The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IX

by Mega64

Part 82: Level 1 run - Chapter 02


Gitan Tribble was running in his was running forested.

Gitan's auto-trance is BEGGING us to Dyne away this fucker so LET'S FUCKIN DYNE THIS SHIT



That's the polite way of saying that I destoryed her body into a million scattered molecules.

Free Energy and Tidal Flame have the same damage multiplier, actaully, just that Tidal Flame hits all and Free Energy hits one.

This Prison Cage has 49 speed, perhaps as a polite way of saying DYNE THE BASTARD TO HELL!

Then another one snags Vivi.

Unlike prison cage #1, this one has material posessions. To steal. The Leather Wrist is handyish if you want to pretend the evade is helping. Prison Cage #2 also has far less speed at 29, so it's closer to the party.

Bosses in FFIX give no experience points, and the AP is small enough and equipment stats so important that the crew's not going to be mastering many abilities.

Spirit is a major stat for the application of crime, increase and duration of the trance gauge, critical hits, the frequency poison and regen fire off, and for how long status effects last. Part of being level 1 is getting mad at how unspirited the crew is. If you called a spirit squad, Gitan and pals would not arrive. Going from 23 to 24 barely affects steal chances but oh god please let me live the lie I want to believe I'm actually doing something helpful here.

Actually every stat matters and the lack of each hurts in their own unique ways, really. It's more than just not having HP, it's that your characters aren't very good at what they do.

Who keeps a fairly hefty sum like this under their pillow like this?

Next in mandatory scuffles is Baku.

Gitan is in the back row; he scooted one foot to the back. This makes Baku's sword sever his tendons at half efficiency.

Either way the plan is to steal Baku's spare sword and then scoot one foot foward and win the damage race, which is easy to do when Baku's not very dangerous under any constraints.

Baku's weak to fire. Gitan cannot deal elemental damage, like, ever.

You see this chest like 3 times - the cutscene of him being locked in, the ATE, and then when you pick up Tinhank - before finally being allowed to open it.

I'm actually trying to get my funds as big as possible as soon as possible, so I can shift from "pinions are your primary sorce of gil" to "pinions are irreplacable and you need 99" as quickly as I can. If I had gotten 100 nobles then I'd have passed the threshold already, but such is life.

Tinhank won't be learning Beast Killer this way, but that's okay, he'll never physically attack a Beast at any point anyway.

I do however need maddeningly fat stacks of potions. I probably could sell the hi-potions for a few more bucks. Tinhank's 120 HP is the highest in the game, and only with HP+10% and 20% will he be breaking 150. I have much much better things to do with 12 of his 17 magic stones anyway.

I'm also keeping a ton of saves. I think I had two when I tried it on-console and got along fine. Just don't alternate with every save, alternate with major milestones like clearing the opening, getting out of Evil Forest, etc.

Gitan's job is to Flee. I'd like to steal things, since I'll need to have a cumulative 834 steals eventually, but for now we need to get out of places at speeds that can be described as high, and return to stealing when we have better skills for stealing and better targets than Fangs and Goblins.

Nothing eventful happens until Plant Brain.

I forget what I'm doing and steal from it. What Gitan should be comitting suicide to get Blank to appear ASAP so we have one more body in the fight.

Tinhank's Fire Sword deals mondo damage. Fire Sword (and Blizzard and Thunder) increases attack by five and is fire-elemental, so that 11 attack after defense is getting multiplied further.

Sword Magic's good, yo.

The Plant Brain's damage output is a lot scarier when you can't take two hits from it.

Besides Gitan's expiration, Blank will show up when Plant Brain is sufficiently bashed.

This is actually kind of pointless to grab. Tinhank will never get blinded again and Level Up is, um, this is a level 1 run.

Gitan gets murdered anyway by a tentacle lashing him for 1 less than his max HP.

And blank takes the KO. Doesn't matter that Gitan missed the 5 AP here, as all it'd do is make him master Flee faster.

And now, the first snag at level 1. Plant Brain isn't easy, but it is consistent and it doesn't give EXP.

No, the problem is you have to fight one group of Plant Spiders on your way out.

Specifically, the one that just walks in front of you here.

There are four spiders here. This attempt is a failure. Invariably someone has to gain a level.

Each spider gives 22 experience, you see.

You might be asking "why can't Blank just gain the levels here?" Well, character data is weird in this game. Blank uses a data slot that is overwritten by a later party member. But the game just doesn't up and replace Blank, no, it keeps his earned EXP, or something. Normally you wouldn't notice this as that party member's level is brought up to the average and but when the average is level one and then gets 66-88 EXP tossed in...

Let's just say letting Blank take the levels is a last resort if you just cannot handle resetting and fighting the plant brain again and again because the RNG is fucking you.

There are three spiders here. This is also a failure. 66/4 is 16.5, drop the decimal and it's 16.

16 just happens to be the exact number of EXP needed to get to level 2.


So I try again.

By the way, Plant Spiders are the last enemy in the game that are level 1. Everything will have an edge over the party from now on, which matters for a few formulas.

And again.

Quite a few times, actually. I try things like wobbling my way down the path, or holding left when running into the spiders. FFIX's RNG advances automatically, or so I've gathered from reading up on its TAS, so the only thing I really do to influence it is take shorter or longer each time I run into spiders.

Eventually, I get exactly two spiders.

11 experience leaves the characters with five left to the next level.

This is one of the easier level-gains to dodge.

One to Tidal Flame Garnet for the hell of it; Unknown number lost to plant spiders spawn numbers.