Final Fantasy IX - Strategy Guide
By: Matthew Leuthy
I don't own Final Fantasy, it's characters, or anything affiliated with it, so PLEASE don't sue me.
Now that that's taken care of, on to the continuation of the Walkthrough.
The Alexandria/Lindblum Globetrotters
After the CG of the escape from Evil Forest, some brief scenes occur and everyone is brought back up to full strength. Garnet laments over Blank and the the moogle that was near the healing stump appears. Teach Me Mogster: Lesson 1, an ATE, pops up and Mogster the Moogle teaches you some basics before your first foray out into the world. Be sure to pay attention. After this you recieve the Moogle's Flute, with which you can call on a moogle, Moguo, from anywhere on the world map with the options of using a tent and saving your game. Everyone leaves the Evil Forest behind, for now. The basic controls for the World Map show up, and after reviewing this you are given free reign on where you want to go, though two places in particular are worth going to.
As you trek around be sure to have Garnet learn her first slew of abilities: Cure, Panacea, Protect, and Shell (from the Moonstone.) Equipping her with the Silk Shirt Blank had will give her double growth on Cure. Also be sure to have Steiner learn Bright Eyes and Level Up from the Iron Helmet. From your starting point head west past the small ridge to the arch-like struture (North Gate) and enter it. A scene ensues. After this go through the gap in the fence to find a chest with a bottle of Eye Drops. Then go to the Arch's doorway, listen close, and call out. A woman here is selling Potions. Stock up, if need be, then exit.
Go east from North Gate, following the ridge, and you'll come across a small patch of forest and the Ice Cavern. Continuing east from here will lead to a river, another patch of forest, and an eventual dead end. Be sure to have all you new abilities learned before entering the Ice Cavern. Call up Moguo, Tent, Save, then procede.
Two brief scenes occur, then you are left to control Zidane and company. Random battles occur here but there is also another way to engage a fight. Certain paths will be crossed by a stream of wind at random. Walking into this stream engages a battle with the Weyrds. You can wait for the wind to pass to try and avoid a fight. They have a nasty attack called HP Switching that does just what it sounds like. You can probably get into more battles this way than running around for random battles, but you usually gain less experience per battle.
Jump up to the ledge and grab the Tent from the chest. Get back down and continue north. Go up the right-most stairs and inspect the icy wall. Vivi will blast it with his magic and reveal a chest with an Ether. Continue around the path just to your left to find a Potion. Return to the stairs on the left and go north again. Go right from the entrance of this screen up what looks to be a frozen log to grab another potion in a chest. Walk back down and inspect it. Vivi blasts it and you are free to get the Mage Masher from the chest below. Another wall can be broken in the back of this room where the two paths converge. An Elixir is inside. Resume your journey to the next screen.
A Pheonix Down is in a chest just to the right of the entrance. Then take the left-most path to what looks to be a dead end. Vivi blasts this wall as well, revealing a tunnel to the chest on the small ledge you saw at the start of this screen. It contains a Leather Wrist which has the Blizzard spell for Vivi if you didn't get the one back in Evil Forest. Continue north and into the western tunnel. A moogle is frozen in ice, but with a little magic from Vivi he is set free and we are treated to a second lesson from Mogster. Pay special attention to what he says about Elemental Properties. After this Mognet and Mois will give you a letter for Gumo. Now is the time to level up some more, so remember to come back here to Save and Tent if need be. Just don't go through the windy right tunnel near Mois' dwelling for now. Just make sure Garnet is at least at Level 10 and your other characters will be very strong.
When you are done leveling up equip Zidane with his optimum (Mage Masher, Leather Hat, Leather Wrist, Silk Shirt, and Moonstone if you like,) Tent, Save and procede to the windy eastern tunnel. A scene occurs where everyone falls asleep until Zidane wakes to the sound of a bell. Proceed to where the wind is coming from. You'll find a strange frozen waterfall and the source of the wind, Black Waltz #1. At the beginning of the battle BW1 uses the Blizzaga spell (thankfully not on you) to summon Sea Lion, an ice beast. No doubt you'll Trance during this battle since you're the only target. Tidal Flame can take out BW1 in one hit and seriously damage Sea Lion, but be sure to Steal all you can before killing them. A Mythril Dagger, Ether, and Pheonix Down are found on Sea Lion, and a Remedy and a Silk Shirt are on BW1. What I did is just take out BW1 with Free Energy then be sure to Steal the Mythril Dagger off of Sea Lion before whupping him with Tidal Flame or physical attacks. If Tidal Flame does not kill Sea Lion outright it will retaliate with a water attack, Tsunami, so be sure to keep your health up with potions (you should have lots now.)
After the battle Zorn and Thorn give Zidane an eerie warning, then everyone wakes up. Procede up the path near the now thawed-out waterfall, across the gaps and out the opening. Once outside a scene ensues and you get to rename Princess Garnet anything you like or the default, Dagger. It's not my fault the defaults are good, but we will stick to calling Princess Orange Spandex "Dagger." All exit and you are now on one of the many high plateus on the Mist Continent. It's above the Mist but there are still monsters to contend with.
Once again, kiddies, it's time to EXPLORE! Procede south from your starting point and you'll encounter another Gate. This is part of South Gate. Tell the attendant you want to rest and tell him you can wait. Talk with him and a girl will run up to sell you items and let you rest for 100 Gil. Rest and stock up, then exit. Back outside battle around the giant tree root near the exit of the Ice Cavern. In here you will find the first of the Land Spirits, a friendly brown Mu. Give him the Ore he wants and he'll reward you with 10 AP, which will give you an added boost towards getting the Bandit Support Ability off the Mythril Dagger. Be sure to learn it while you're out here and equip it.
The Ragtimer Quiz Game can be found in the large section of forest near South Gate. Your first question is "Chocobo's Forest it Located Between Lindblum and - South Gate." This is True. You get 1000 Gil for getting the question right. After this your next destination is the small mountain on the cliff near the village. This is Observatory Mountain. In the foreground a Hi-Potion is in a chest and in the back at the end of the fence is 135 Gil. Enter the small house and speak with Morrid, then examine his Theater Ship figurine on the left. This initiates the Coffe Sidequest. Morrid wants Burman, Kirman, and Moccha Coffee. I'll be sure to tell you where these are along the rest of your journey. There's nothing up the long flight of stairs so exit Observatory Mountain and enter the Village of Dali.
The Truth is Under There...
A couple scenes start up, one outside and one inside the inn, then you automatically rest. During the night Zidane hears someone singing. He wakes up and you are left to control him alone. A slew of ATEs pop up in Dali so have some time on your hands and be sure to see each one. After seeing one of the two initial ATEs open the chest on the right for an Antidote. Another chest is hidden behind a plant on the left side of the screen. Open it for a Potion, then examine the machine on the left which tells you your fortune for 10 Gil. The bookshelf on th upper right side of the screen contain books that, according to Zidane, suck. Exit the bedroom and view the ATE you didn't see inside the bedroom.
Give the letter to Gumo, the moogle in the inn, and Save. Exit the inn and an ATE of Hal the Inkeeper plotting something pops up. After viewing it go to the building on the left into Eve's Weapon Shop. A pamplet in the foreground contains info on equiping new weapons and the Card Game. First buy a Dagger, 2 Mage Mashers, an Iron Sword, a Rod, a Mage Staff, 3 Leather Wrists, and 4 Feather Hats, 1 set of Bronze Gloves, and 1 Bronze Armor. You should have plenty of money from battling. My philosiphy is "It always pays to keep an extra on hand." You'll see why in a minute. Play a card game with Eve if you like, then exit. Inspect the large wheel near Mayor Kapu's Home (sun picture above door.) If yoou try and enter the Mayor's house you'll always get kicked out, for now. This includes the entrance from the Windmill. Walk up to Vivi. A scene ensues and Vivi is kidnapped.
Two more ATEs pop up, another with Hal and another with Dagger. In the Dagger ATE either choice will end in the same result. Enter the Windmill and talk to the man sitting down. Search the back of the room behind the turning stone for the first of the Zodiac Coins, the Aries, then examine the door on the right. The hall in the lower left leads to Mayor Kapu's house. Up the ladder are two treasure chests you can't get to, yet. Talking to the girl near the well will initiate a quick scene where you hear a Chocobo. Enter the house to the right of the windmill. Talk to the girl and you can buy items from her. After you buy something Zidane asks the girl about Dagger. Speak to her again and chose not to buy something and a brief conversation starts. Exit and go east. Speak with the Old Lady then go around to the last section of crops and examine the markings in the field.
Return to the weapon shop to find Dagger. A funny scene ensues, then compliment her on her speach, and tell her you thought she was Ruby. Dagger goes back to the inn. Exit and go across the small bridge to the window of the inn. Look inside and you'll see Dagger working on her speech. Return to the inn and speak with Dagger in the guest room. After their conversation a Steiner ATE pops up. When this concludes you control both Zidane and Dagger while they search for Vivi. Equip them with their optimum now, save, and go to the windmill. A scene occurs and we find that Vivi is somewhere underground. Enter the windmill and pop open the hatch the man was guarding. Go down.
Climb down the ladder and ride the small lift. 156 Gil is waiting for you at the bottom in a chest. Go north for a scene with some of the village's adults. After the scene continue north again and grab the Potion in the hut Vivi was in and the bottle of Eye Drops in the foreground. Continue east. Inspect the boxes and the barrel to find Kumop who has a letter for Mogki. Save, then grab the Ether on top of the stack of boxes and the hanging Potion by kicking the rusted wheel. On the next screen run up the nearby stairs and jump up to the top of the crates. An Iron Helmet is just across a wooden board. Back down, grab the Leather Wrist from inbetween the stacks of supplies and continue northeast. A scene occurs where you find Vivi and he joins your party. Optimize him and go inspect the machinery. After this grab the 95 gil from the chest and open the doors. The little Ghost enemies are undead, so Dagger's Cure spell is a quick way to destroy them. Ghosts have a lot of good stuff that can be stolen off them as well. Outside you'll find a Pheonix Down, a Potion, and a Pheonix Pinion near or behind the machinery. Random battles now occur all over this area, but it's a good way to learn some of your new abilities and level up some so spend some quality time here. Remeber Kumop if you need to heal or restore MP.
After you have pumped (clap) yourselves up continue past the machinery making "eggs." On the next screen you'll see a Chocobo powering the conveyor belt and the eggs disappearing into the bowels of another machine. Continue down the hall and Zidane will hear a sound like eggs hatching. Go on to the next screen and prepare to be shocked.
Black Mages by the dozen being hauled around like giant dolls and packed into boxes like the one Vivi was in. To coin a phraze from the GIA.com, "Soylent Green is BLACK MAGES!"(it's in QUOTES so again, PLEASE DON'T SUE ME! thank you) We see that this business is why the adults have been away from town. Zidane, Dagger, and Vivi end up being shut up into the strange boxes as well.
Not So Endless Waltzes
We rejoin Steiner at Observatory Mountain. Let Morrid past you then follow him into his house. Speak with Morrid and some funny antics will commence. After this exit his house and off Observatory Mountain. Steiner spies the cargo ship from afar and runs up to see what is going on. Noticing that a large barrel is moving he runs around to inspect it. Chose either option and the outcome is the same: Zidane and company are freed from the barrel and Black Waltz #2 shows up.
A Leather Plate and a Steepled Hat can be stolen from BW2. When you use Vivi's magic BW2 will retaliate with the same magic. Since your Silk Shirts are weak against fire have Vivi use either Thunder or Blizzard. BW2 only attacks Zidane, Vivi, and Steiner so always have Dagger heal. BW2 isn't too hard to take down. After the battle I suggest you chose to rest at the inn. Equip the Leather Plate on Zidane and the Steepled Hat on Vivi (Dagger should already have Protect.) Enter the inn and you automatically rest. Be sure to save and, if you can, save this "Memory File" to an empty block to keep there. Stock up on items if you need to then return to where the Cargo Ship is and chose to board it. Answer Vivi's question however you like.
Zidane now makes a bit of a grab-ass out of himself as he, Dagger, and Vivi rush to board the departing Cargo Ship. After some funny conversation Zidane rushes inside the cargo ship. Inside, Vivi is habing considerable trouble communicating with the Black Mages. You are then left to control Zidane. The thing that looks like a treasure chest in the foreground isn't really a chest. You can examine the engine and look out a window then climb up the ladder to the deck of the Cargo Ship. There, Steiner is lamenting over how the ship took off before he believes Dagger boarded it. Zidane brings him to his senses, though. Examine the pilots from the outside then enter the cockpit. Steiner talks to himself then Black Waltz #3 attacks.
A very emotional CG plays then our heroes minus Dagger are left to fight the final Black Waltz. A Steepled Hat, Silver Gloves, and a Linen Curiass can be stolen from BW3. Vivi Trances at the beginning of the battle. Just have him use Blizzard or Thunder like with BW2. After you have won the battle some action-packed CG plays and our heroes eventually arive in the giant castle-city of Lindblum.
That's all for now, folks. Keep in touch for the next installment.
This guide is copywright August 22, 2001 by Matthew Leuthy.