The Iifa Tree seems to be dying off, while Zidane and company somehow managed to escape from Necron.
What's gonna happen?
What!? Where are they?
The Hilda Garde is probably closer...
Sir! Haagen, Pluto Knight VIII, ma'am!
I didn't ask for your name. Contact the Hilda Garde right away.
Yes, sir, ma'am, sir!
Sire! We're receiving a transmission from the Red Rose!
Punch it up on the main line!
You're not general Beatrix. Who are you?
My name is Mikoto. Everyone is alive. You are very close to them.
What!!!? How do you know?
I can hear him...
Right on cue, the Hilda Garde just manages to land right where our party is.
Looks like Cid came to rescue us.
Thank heavens, you're all safe! Come quickly! We don't have much time!
At last, it's all over. Time to go home and celebrate.
I have to take care of something...
He can't be...
What!? Wh-What do you mean by that!?
...Kuja's still alive. I can't just leave him.
This is ludicrous. Just because you two are from the same planet doesn't mean-
No, that's not the reason.
Come on, Zidane! Why are you doing this!?
I probably would've fought against you guys and wreaked havoc in Gaia like he did... I know it sounds crazy...but I know, deep down inside, I have to do this.
But you go help Kuja not good idea. Is too dangerous.
...I can't just leave him. There's no way I could live with myself.
You're making a big mistake!
Maybe... But we all have to make big decisions in life sometimes. For me, now's that time.
That was a big decision for Vivi.
That's what you think, but I might not be doing this if it weren't for you. You've definitely taught me to take life more seriously.
The principle of knighthood requires that one assist his comrade in times of need. I shall accompany you as well!
Whoa, wait a minute.
Besides, you guys have more important things to worry about, like Burmecia and Alexandria.
For once in your life, why can't you be honest!?
You're a real simpleton.
Come on. Let's just leave him and get outta here.
Alright, you heard the man! Get out of here before it's too late!
I still hungry!!! You need come back, take me more places, show me more food!
'Til we meet again.
No... You're not being selfish.
If it weren't for you, I probably would've led a meaningless life.
We faced many hardships, too...but...I think I finally know what's important.
And as the Hilda Garde takes off...
Dagger and Zidane see each other for what could very well be the last time.
Zidane has one last thing to take care of, though.
Just shut up, and stay where you are!
SERIOUSLY WATCH THE ABOVE VIDEO
Zidane has to enter the Iifa Tree, where the roots are currently thrashing about as the Iifa Tree is quickly dying.
So, uh, enjoy these still screenshots of an action sequence! Seriously, watch the video.
Interesting touch to use Zidane's character model overlayed on FMV here considering they've had no issue doing full FMV for action sequences before (namely the Evil Forest escape sequence).
But the model is definitely more than adequate here.
It's also one of the better action cutscenes in this series.
Lots of dynamic movement and camera angles and all that technical shit I know little about. It looks cool, that's what matters to me.
Eventually, Zidane makes his way to a giant gaping hole.
Finally finds Kuja...
...and fails to stick the landing.
I guess that was pretty crazy.
What are you doing here? I thought I told you to go...
Yeah... I knew you had something to do with it.
...I'm glad they made it.
Yeah, well...it's our turn to get movin'.
I'm useless to this world.
No one's useless... You helped us escape, remember?
Then, I finally realized what it means to live...
The roots of the Iifa Tree converge around Zidane and Kuja...
And close in...
Kuja destroyed Terra, brought ruin to Gaia, and nearly destroyed the universe itself. But in the end, was Kuja truly evil? He did everything he did to defy his fate as puppet to Garland, to live his life the way he wanted. When he learned he was fated to die, he panicked and did more unspeakable acts. In the end, there was a good person underneath all that hatred, and even someone as despicable as Kuja can bring hope to those like the genomes, who are now left alone to find their own place in this world.
Next time, the epilogue and final update of Final Fantasy IX.