The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IX

by Mega64

Part 73

But think for a moment... Isn't life death itself? It must kill other life-forms to survive... Sometimes it even kills those with whom it shares blood...

A mature civilization becomes aware of this paradox...

It's a world in which life and death become one... That is the dimension in which we are meant to live, as beings that transcend life and death!

We know more than you... We're not perfect, but we have friends who help us. That is reason enough for us to live!
It took us a long time, but we've all found our way.
I exist to eat, but also exist to live!
We may be weak, but that's what makes us work together and help one another!

This reminds me so much of FF6's final battle where the party says their part before they fight, though Garland's slightly less of a ham than Kefka was. And also this isn't the final boss since we have another disc to go.

But this isn't going to be easy. We've got quite the gauntlet to close out Disc 3!

First off, the Silver Dragon. You may remember it from serving Kuja for the first two Discs.

Also, the Pandemonium music still plays for this battle.

It's mostly wind (Aerial Slash, Twister) and physical (Shockwave, Claw) attacks. This attack happens to trigger Trance for both Zidane and Quina.

Dragon Mail is its big steal (Kaiser Knuckles would be if we didn't get some Chocobo hunting earlier). It's exclusive to Freya and teaches her High Jump, a passive that boosts the damage of her Jump command. Normally Jump does 150% the damage of Freya's physicals, with High Jump it's 200% the damage. For only four stones, it's not too shabby if you Jump a lot (and didn't just grind Dragon's Crest to max damage instead).

Otherwise, Silver Dragon is a joke. It's vulnerable to Ice and Wind attacks as well as status effects like Darkness, Silence, and Sleep. The former two neuter its attacks, the latter nullifies the boss itself.

It does have a rather neat death effect though.

The restoration of Terra! Isn't it obvious!?
No! That's what the people of Terra want. Why aren't you asleep with the rest of them?

I exist to wait for a time when this world is without life or death...

According to outside sources, Garland is an android charged with being in charge of the whole Terra migration system thingy, thus his being involved in the events of things for thousands of years.

With no time to recover, we immediately have a battle with Garland himself. He's not nearly the pushover Silver Dragon was.

Stop, as you remember, is essentially instant death. Locomotion on your team is highly encouraged.

Psychokinesis is a physical attack where Garland raises and slams the character down. It cannot be evaded.

He also has a stronger physical attack called Wave, though inflicting Darkness on him will help with this.

And finally, he has Flare, which can hurt.

Unless you're Vivi. Then you just get pissed off and throw double the Flares back at him.

Alternatively, try to stick Silence on him to stop his Flares and Stops, though it may take a few tries to do.

Garland has two different light armors availble. The first is Ninja Gear, for Zidane and Amarant only, which slightly boosts Speed and teaches Alert, Eye 4 Eye, and Locomotion. We technically could've gotten this earlier by having Quina obtain 99 frogs. The latter armor is for everyone except Steiner/Freya, the Dark Gear. Nice Spirit boost and teaches Clear Headed and Jelly.

Garland has a ton of HP (around 40k)to burn through and some dangerous attacks, but I'm pretty overpowered at this point so it doesn't take long to knock him down.

Give it up, Garland!

What the-

This is too easy!

Garland gave me everything without a fight. The old fool was too busy dealing with him. Now, only death awaits him.

This is no accident. Fate has chosen me to become the new ruler of Terra!

I must say... I truly love you all. You not only broke the seal to Terra, but did me the favor of defeating Garland!

What are you doing here, Kuja!?
That's not a very nice way to greet your brother.

Oh, such ferocity... Master Garland, he intends to fight Terra.
Kuja... What are you scheming?
Scheming? Me? Watch me as I defeat these enemies of Terra!

For all eternity!

The final boss of Disc 3 is Kuja himself.

His main attacks are Demi and Thundaga, nothing too scary at this point. He does have one other nasty attack that I didn't trigger during this fight, the rather scary Flare Star that deals damage equal to character level * 40. He'll break it out in certain circumstances, like if you drain his MP or reflect his spells.

He's only vulnerable to Slow and Darkness, the latter useless since he only uses magic. In a way, he's less scary than Garland unless you have bad luck with Flare Stars.

He has a bit more HP than Garland, so it takes awhile to bring him down. All the while he'll gloat and mock you, because that's what Kuja loves to do.

He has another Carabini Mail and another Light Robe, both old news at this point but still nice duplicates to have.

After I finish stealing, it's a matter of spamming Flare/Bahamut/Thievery until...

Meet Trance Kuja.

I'll show you my true power!

Ultima is a staple FF attack. Generally, it's the most powerful magic spell in whatever game it's in.

FF9 is no exception.

No, our party cannot learn it, and only Kuja has it. It's a cutscene spell that simply wipes our party.

The mighty power of souls! They assault any threat that tries to destroy them!
Wh-What do you mean...?
It's Trance! You know how it works. But a normal Trance won't be enough to defeat you... You're all as resilient as oglops.

It was easy. I just needed to borrow the power from wretched souls that can't die...

The ship sucked up the souls of Madain Sari, the Iifa Tree, Alexandria, to feed upon them...


The souls trapped inside the Invincible welcomed me with open arms. They were fed up with being your prisoners, Garland.

I shall rule Terra and Gaia with my unconditional love from now on...
What will you do with such...power?
Master Garland... You, of all people, should accept defeat gracefully.

How sad... Any last words?

Or should I kill you slowly and painfully to show you my love... Oh, I've got a great idea! How's this? I'll make you pillars for my castle!

No... Never!


Did you leave something behind?

...What? What do you mean!?

It was too dangerous to let you last any longer than that.
What are you saying...?

Even as I die, you'll have died without ever leaving your mark on the world...

Ha ha ha... Nice try, Garland, but I won't fall for your silly tricks... Garland?

A mortal...? ...I'm finished? I don't believe you! Why would I believe such a silly story!

I single-handedly brought chaos unto Gaia, but in the end, I'm nothing but a worthless doll!


Kuja has obtained enormous power immediately before finding out he's going to die soon.

That's probably the worst time to tell someone they're going to die.

Kuja proceeds to have quite the temper tantrum. On the bright side, at least he's flown past Denial quickly and jumped right into Anger.

He...may have just utterly destroyed all of Terra while dealing with it, though. He may have overreacted a little bit. Just saying.

But how...? We need to carry the injured out, too.

Oh yeah... But...

I'm gonna rescue the Genomes! They're victims. I can't just abandon them!

I don't want you to leave us again... So, I'll keep watch over you!
...Okay. We should be able to go back through the warp gate on the other tower!

At this point, the rest of this is rather linear.


What's wrong?
B-Behind you...

Just eyes...? How very bold of you...

In case you needed a reminder that Dagger is the best FF heroine.

Um... About what happened earlier...
What is it, Zidane?

Just say it! We need to hurry.
Um... You came to my rescue, right? And... Uh...

How can I say this...? Um...


Amarant's too cool to worry about dying. He'll just stroll out casually like a jackass.

Poor Quina.

Let's evacuate the Genomes!

Yeah! I'll go this way! We'll meet up when the Invincible arrives!


Hold it! Where is Quina!?
Aaargh! Is s/he late again!?

Don't worry, as we've learned by now that Quina has a knack for escaping utter destruction through blind luck.


Why were you underneath the ship in the first place...?
Save it for later! We must get the ship moving!



What's the point? They're only empty vessels...
Stop talking like that! Do you really believe what you just said!?

But Garland is dead. Terra will soon be destroyed. What's the point?
I asked myself the same question...
Did you find an answer?

It's gonna be hard...but I've got my friends. It isn't so bad.

Garland gave you a name, didn't he?

Mikoto, huh? That's a nice name... A lot of people are gonna call you that from now on.

Let's go to the new world, Mikoto! There, you can find your answer...


He'll be here any minute! He's looking for the last Genome...

Sorry I'm late. But now we got everyone.

And with that, we're finally done with Terra.

It was an interesting trip, got to meet new people, see new interesting flora and fauna, learn some pretty scarring secrets, undergo a crisis of faith set to some pretty sweet music.

But I'm happy to be heading back home. I don't know about you guys, but I feel Terra has too much burning and utter destruction going on for me to really want to stay any longer. It's nice for a vacation spot, but even complete annihilation gets boring, you know?

Home, sweet home.


Yes, we managed to escape from Terra, but...
What's wrong, Freya?
Well, I was talking to Amarant about it earlier...

...Are you talking about Kuja?
Do you really think he perished with Terra?
Even with his power, it's hard to believe that he'd have escaped unscathed...
What do you think, Zidane? What will Kuja do next?

But how?
There was one thing Garland said...

That must be...
Yeah... It's the Iifa Tree.

You must come look! Come with me!
What's up, Steiner? Can't you just tell us?
It would be faster to come see it on the bridge!

It's not a normal cloud...
What...? Let's lower our altitude and see.
Don't you see? Our altitude is not very high. And this is all we can see!
Then what could it be...

It's what black mages are made out of, and what used to cover the Mist Continent...

Why...? How?

It seems Kuja isn't done yet. His influence and the events of Terra have flooded the entire world with Mist, the souls of Gaia that cannot return to their planet due to the influence of the Iifa Tree.