The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IX

by Mega64

Part 74

Disc 4 begins back at the Black Mage Village. We'll have a bit of story to go through before we tackle some of Disc 4's sidequests. Enjoy!

There's no need to thank me. You've done us all a great service.
It wasn't a big deal...

Of course it is. So, this was Vivi's idea?
Yeah... He wanted the Genomes to start their new lives here.

Right... He also said...

Like you and Vivi...
I didn't even know if I truly understood him until recently.
We'll take good care of them. Your friends are our friends.


He's a chocobo, not a monster. He's called Bobby Corwen.
Oh, you gave him a name!
Yeah. Bobby Corwen. Isn't it a great name?
Sounds great! Bobby Corwen, huh?

Bobby Corwen is a reference to Boco, the main protagonists's chocobo from FF5. The name pops up in a few other FF titles as well.

I think Bobby Corwen likes you, too.
It won't bite?
Oh, come on! He's just a little baby chocobo.

Wow. I think Bobby Corwen really likes our new friend.


Why...? For the customers, I think...
What are customers?
Well, they bring money, and they hand the money over to the shop, and then...
What is money?
Money is, uh...

World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat.

The water of Bran Bal was always still...
Hey, did you know that time flows, just like water?
So, water and time both flow in Gaia...?

Looks like they're off to a good start.
Hmph... It's like watching kids play.
It's not their fault... They've only just begun to live their lives...
...Can lost time be recovered?
I don't know... But there's only one thing we can do.
Of course.

I really love this section. The Black Mages, a newly-sentient race still coming to terms of learning the complexities of human society, are now having to teach another race how to act in a way they themselves barely understand. Yet they can probably teach the Genomes better than any humans could since they can relate to them in a way humans never could.

Hmm? What are you talking about?
Kuja must have done something in the Iifa Tree to cover the world in Mist... Do you not think it wise to consult Regent Cid before the final battle?
Kuja probably plans on destroying Gaia. If I go to Lindblum now and tell the regent about it, it might cause a panic.

Indeed. We must defeat the enemy on our own...
Even if we go back to Lindblum to get equipped, please don't tell Uncle Cid about our plans.

Yes. Let's go.

You don't even have a million in one chance of defeating him... You'll all die.

Doesn't she? She's a bit cynical, but take good care of her, will ya? Her name is Mikoto. She's kinda like my little sister.

We might be desperate insects to Kuja, but I'll show you how powerful we can be.

I don't think that's what Zidane meant...

That's it for story stuff. If we want, we can go to the Iifa Tree to start the final dungeon of the game. We've still got quite a bit of side-questing to do first, however.

First thing's first, we've got new overworld music for both the airship and on land. It's similar to how other FF games' overworld music changed to something haunting when shit got real in those games.

Second thing, no more Hilda Garde 3.

The Invincible is our new airship. The only difference from Hilda Garde 3 is it can land in barren land as well as grass. This really only opens up Vile Island as not needing a Sky Chocobo anymore, but it's a bit convenient for stuff like the Outer and Forgotten Continents.

Like our other transportation methods, pressing the menu button takes us inside, where we can chat up our party. Most have a line, but Dagger has a small scene (I manage to trigger one for Amarant as well in the next update somehow as well).

What is it, Dagger?
I'm riding on the airship that killed both of my mothers and destroyed my birthplace...
I'm sorry... You probably don't want to ride this airship.
Don't worry about it... Kuja and Garland were the ones who chose to destroy. Not the ship. And I want to stop blaming my sorrow on other things...

Dagger's come a long way, but then so has everyone.

All overworld monsters are replaced by nastier ones. Basically the stuff we fought in Terra, Pandemonium, Zombie Dragons from the Iifa Tree, etc.

But there are still things I must protect. Seeing this sky convinced me.

I shall see through this battle to the end...

The twelth Stellazzio is on board the Invincible itself.

We'll deliver this baby later on in the update.

Nothing else here besides the Stellazzio and character chat, though.

I'm close to 99 frogs, so I have Quina just clear the marshes out. I'm not going to grind up Frog Drop so once I hit 99 I'm done.

First order of business: Return to Black Mage Village.

I'm asking him about the Genome world.

There's a lot of new dialogue here.

Do you think weapons will disappear when everyone is happy? Does that mean we wouldn't need magic, either?

Gaia is full of unnecessary things...

The main draw though is all the shops have new inventory. The item shop has all the sellable consumables at this point, and the weapon shop has some new stuff, even if most of it is unnecessary.

The Wizard Rod teaches Dagger Curaga, Protect, and Shell, all unnecessary since she's known all White Magic for awhile now. Same deal with Siren's Flute, which teaches Eiko Full-Life, Dispel, and Esuna. The only big get is the Thief Hat for Zidane, which boosts speed by 2 and teaches Long Reach, Lucky Seven, and Mug.

Everyone is back, we have new friends, Bobby Corwen is here... So many great things happened all at once!

I see, so you enclose a captured life-form and conduct research here.

Why do the people of Gaia pay special attention to communication through sound?

There's always light in Terra. The same method wouldn't apply there...

There's probably even more light now that it's constantly in a state of burning.

I wonder why Garland chose the names Kuja, Zidane, and Mikoto for his special genomes.

Why do you think the Genomes and we have so many things in common?
I don't know... Why?
We were manufactured in Alexandria, but that technology wasn't developed by Alexandria...

If Kuja is also a Genome, I wonder how he felt when he manufactured us...

Probably spouted some poetry and mixed some "MWAHAHA"s in while raising his arms in the air. You know, the usual.

What's the point of this? It isn't like the dead would appreciate it.
...You're right, but I don't think we build cemeteries for the dead. Sure, it may seem pointless to you, but... How can I describe it? It's so that we can think like this:

'And we won't let the fear of death, which each of us knows, stop us from living our lives. ...Because my friends will remember me when I'm here.'

Some nice musings here.

The synthesis shop is upgraded as well, and there's some really nice stuff here. In addition to the gems from Daguerreo, we can craft the Masamune for Zidane, which boosts Magic, teaches Sacrifice, and inflicts Doom (and is useless both because we'll get Zidane's ultimate weapon in a few minutes and because Thievery does 7.5k damage at this point so I'm gonna either Steal or use Thievery at all times). The Duel Claws teach Amarant Aura, No Mercy, and Counter with a 25% chance of inflicting Berserk, but are mainly useful as an upgrade since they're his second-best claws. The Priest's Racket teaches Silence and Might and is the second-strongest racket after the Tiger Racket.

On the armor side, the Bracer is the best armlet, boosting Wind damage and teaches Add Status and for Amarant, Power Throw. Power Throw boosts the bonus damage of Throw by 50%, but costs an insanely high 19 stones and is really dumb anyway because I haven't used Throw once yet. The Golden Skullcap halves Earth damage, boosts Water damage, and teaches Locomotion and Power Up, another Amarant-exclusive abilities that doubles the amount Chakra recovers to 40% of a target's max HP and MP. This only costs 4 stones, too, so you might actually use this in some situations. Next, for Steiner and Freya is the Grand Helm, the best helmet, which teaches High Tide and slightly boosts speed. The Brave Suit, the ultimate armor for Zidane and Amarant, boosts Fire damage and teaches Auto-Regen and Restore HP. Similarly, the Grand Armor is the ultimate armor for Steiner and Freya and halves Shadow damage while teaching Chemist and Restore HP. Whew.

Choco's still around and we still get the chill music for it, though for now all we need to do is go to where Shimmering Island was. It's gone now, and because of that we can get the final Dead Pepper treasure and thus finish this sidequest.

10 Aquamarine, the Invincible Card, the Maximillian (Steiner-exclusive armor with a big Spirit boost that teaches HP +20%), and the Ultima Weapon, which is the ultimate weapon (of course) for Zidane. It teaches Flee and inflicts Sleep. It'd be nice if I ever had Zidane attack.

We'll got all the treasures now, but I'll show the resolution of the Chocobo quest line next update.

The events of the Iifa Tree's rise have led to roots growing all over Gaia, which conveniently locks out a lot of areas. Most of the major hubs are accessible like Alexandria, Lindblum, and Treno, but areas like Esto Gaza, Conde Petie, all the various gates, most dungeons, and so on are no longer accessible.

Next up, Daguerreo.

So what do you think of this place? Don't you find it strange that they are keeping all these books in a damp place like this?

It's magic, don't question this stuff.

The Daguerreo weapon shop is the only other location with an upgraded inventory (the synth shop is same as before). The Ultima Sword teaches Stock Break, which deals 150% damage to all enemies with the equipped weapon's element. The Power Wrist boosts strength and teaches Accuracy+. The Steiner-exclusive Aegis Gloves nullify Fire damage and teach him Charge!. The Kaiser Helm for Steiner and Freya teach Eye 4 Eye.

And that's it for shops other than one secret synthesis shop, but we'll get to that a bit later since it's hidden in the final dungeon.

Consider it a dying man's last wish. I will give you something in return.

We'll tackle this one in a bit as well.

That was the only way she could be united with Marcus-in death.
No! It was to prove that she loved Marcus just as much as she loved her father.

The play literally tells you she died because she still loves her father no matter how crazy he is, this was right before a giant bomb appears and blows everyone out, how can you miss the obvious cues you twits.

Too bad we burned it all down, huh?

I kinda stopped bothing giving this guy Kupo Nuts because it's a lot of back-and-forth for mostly minimal gain. The first Kupo Nut you give this guy on Disc 4 gives the final Aloha T-shirt we were missing, so now everyone can chill. Hooray.

Next up, we finally finish frog hunting.

Master Quale...

The final test is a boss fight with Quale. They are by far the most challenging opponent we've faced yet, though of course if you're prepared they're not too bad.

Quale has a variety of attacks like Water and Aqua Breath. Water protection is advised.

Especially since Water can hurt.

The best strategy is to Magic Hammer away Quale's MP pool since it's not that large and since most of Quale's attacks are magical in nature.

Quale can deal some damage, but their real threat is the variety of status effects they can inflict. Blocking Blind, Confuse, Poison, and Silence is wise. Can't block Mini, unfortunately.

Finally, Quale does have a rather devastating physical attack.

But at this point, Quale becomes much less of a threat because that single-target attack is all they can do anymore.

There are nice steals, of course. Elixir, Ninja Gear, Glutton's Robe, and finally the Robe of Lords, the best robe that nullifies Wind damage, boosts each stat by one, and teaches Concentrate and Reflect-Null. Definitely worth going for.

After that, it's simply burning through Quale's huge HP pool under they finally go down.

Our reward is Quina's ultimate weapon. It inflicts Stop and teaches High Tide like all other forks.

That's it for that.

Next, Alexandria.

There's one last chain of Mognet letters to deliver before we can finish it. I'll do part this update and finish it the next.

Anyway, Atla is in Burmecia.

Also, Stiltzkin somehow escaped Terra using that Quina magic or whatever and can sell us some really nice stuff for dirt cheap.

Oh, I wanted to do something for you, 'cause you always buy stuff from me.

By buying everything we could from Stiltzkin, we obtain a Ribbon. Pretty good stuff.

That's it for Alexandria.

Next, Burmecia to visit Atla.

I wonder if I'll start getting mail again when the machine gets fixed, kupo?

Mogryo is in Black Mage Village. We'll be going back there at the end of the update.

I also buy Steepled Hats because now that Black Mage Village has updated their inventory, Atla's the only source of these babies left. I need to do the Cotton Robe trick one more time since there's stuff at Treno I want to buy.

Which means we'll also be returning to Dali! Surprisingly, there's a lot of new dialogue here even though almost everywhere else (namely Alexandria, Lindblum, Daguerreo, and Treno) is the same as Disc 3.

It used to be so nice and sunny. Why are the Mist and the monsters back? It's scary.

Why is her name Bratty Marin when none of what she's said this entire game gives even one hint of her being a brat?

Remember these two? They're the ones running the store here now.

South Gate was destroyed by the giant roots. So, he and I came to this village... We were lucky. Eisha hired us on the spot!

She seemed different from the others when I first met her. I had no job at the time, so I decided to help run the South Gate shop. Then the Mist cleared, and I couldn't get back because the cable car had stopped! So, I ended up staying with her longer than I expected. Now I can't imagine living without her.

It's really nice that these two easily-ignorable side characters (you could theoretically never see them again after Steiner nudges them together near the end of Disc 1) end up having a nice story arc in the background of things.

And also that the woman and her daughter that ran this store finally got their trip. It's a shame they're probably dead now due to the Mist and monsters and all that but oh well.

Anyway, maxing out on Wrists. Once we hit Treno, we'll be rich again.

Man, I wanna go home and play more card games!

Morrid died in yesterday's earthquake.
An earthquake?
You didn't know about the earthquake...? Huge roots, buried under ground, tore open cracks that Mist could escape through. Morrid looked so peaceful, like he was only sleeping... I'm so sad about losing him...

The observatory is inaccessible now, and of course if you didn't finish the coffee quest in Disc 3 you can no longer do it.

r.i.p. Morrid.

It'll probably take at least a year to get the farm back to where it was before.

Seriously, it's amazing how much focus Dali gets for a town you have no reason to return to after your first visit there.

Next up, Treno.

For turning in the twelth Stellazzio, we get the Robe of Lords. Sweet.

According to my information, there are 12 Stellazzio...

Surprise! There's another one!

Yes! There must be a 13th Stellazzio somewhere!

Well, fine! I'll give you all my Stellazzio, and you bring me the 13th!

We'll tackle that in a minute.

There's a new monster here.

This is a FF classic, the Behemoth.

It's vulnerable to petrification.

Our reward is a Circlet. Nice.

To unlock the Magical Fingertip, you have to buy the other rare treasures (Griffin's Artifact, Doga's Artifact, Une's Mirror, and the Rat Tail) and then sell them to nobles in Treno. Then at Disc 4 it'll pop up.

This guy also sells Ribbons now but they're insanely expensive.

I also buy back Doga's Artifact for reasons you'll see shortly.

The Magical Fingertip normally hovers around 40k. I got unlucky but I also don't give a shit because I don't need to spend money on much else at this point.

Gogo is a famed mimic in this series, remember.

Also, is that Lady Bandit Ruby the same Ruby with the southern accent, I mean there's no fucking way right.

Anyway, let's talk Stellazzio. There's a bunch of clues in each of them, and they focus on sunsets and forests and mountains and the east.

Guess what's in the east, in a mountain, surrounded by forests, which has the best place to view a sunset?

The final Stellazzio is where Scorpio was, back in Quan's Dwelling.

The End.

Give it to me, along with the rest of the Stellazzio I loaned you!

Then begins a rather lengthy cutscene where you give the Stellazzio back, one by one. Joy.

The final reward is Cinna's hammer.

I'm not kidding. This thing is used in an end-game synth and apparently unlocks a minor scene in the ending, though I think another weapon may do that as well? Still not sure how that works, but whatever. At any rate, it's useless right now.

Back to Daguerreo.

Sure why not. We just spend 60k on it, but no biggie, take it for free.

Oh, thank you!!!

What's wrong?
...I used to be a fairly well-known blacksmith.

Few years ago, I read a biography of a great craftsman named Gogo who was known for making dolls that looked like real people. Supposedly, the secret to his extraordinary skill was in his fingers. So, I figured if I could get his fingers and combine them with my skills, I could make a doll that looked like my wife.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I now realize that I must accept who I am and how I have lived my life. Please accept my gratitude. I no longer need it.

The Excalibur is the third-best knight sword (behind Ragnarok and Excalibur II). It's holy-elemental, which is really important, and teaches Climhazzard, which does magical damage to all enemies for twice Steiner's regular attack. Very handy.

Another happy ending. I guess.

Now, to end the update, Black Mage Village again.

A special item? Maybe it's...

Kumool is all the way at Ipsen's Castle. We'll resume this chain next update.

The last thing I'll show off today requires both Doga's Artifact and Une's Mirror.

What? What do you mean?
Some item you have is responding to this machine...

What was that...?
A resident spirit inside an item responded to this amplifier.
What a beautiful song...

The song stems directly from Final Fantasy III.

Doga and Une are characters from that game. Doga controlled the realm of magic, Une the realm of dreams. The dialogue from that conversation seems to be a vague reference to FF3's plot. Kind of a cool callback to some more great music.

Next time, we finish up Disc 4 side quests, including tackling the game's superboss. Good times!