Final Fantasy IX - Strategy Guide
By: Matthew Leuthy
I don't own Final Fantasy, it's characters, or anything related to it, so PLEASE don't sue me.
And now... on with the Walkthrough!
It's time for action, action, action! In Lindblum's Grand Castle, Castle, Castle! With it's own indoor airship dock, dock, dock!
Our heroes wind up in Lindblum Grand Castle. Eventually they are escorted by Minister Artania to the royal chambers of Regent Cid Fabool. Eventually we se that Regent Cid has been turned into an oglop (Steiner: I HATE oglops!) After talking a bit everyone takes a break for lunch. Zidane, not favoring the high-class food at the castle, returns to a favorite spot of his in the Industrial District (gotta love the music). He talks a bit with Bobo the Bartender (who looks a bit like Clyde from Outlaw Star) and Lillian the waitress until a Burmecian dressed in red at the bar interrupts. After some conversation we get to name Freya. Freya kicks a whole lotta butt in this game so we will keep her file under Freya. Some more involved conversation between the two stirs up and everyone automatically rests.
Dialogue between Dagger and Cid is lengthy, but informative. You end up with Zidane in the Inn. After he and Vivi talk a "Teach Me Mogster" ATE pops up and you are told the basics of synthesizing items and weapons. This is where I get my philosophy from back in Part II. After this talk to Moodon in the next room over and Mognet to recieve a letter from Ruby. Save, then it's time to hit the town.
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere...
(I do not own the lyrics to "New York, New York" so PLEASE don't sue me.)
It's that time again... to EXPLORE! On your way out of the inn pick up the 163 Gil in the foreground near the railing. Exit and an ATE of Steiner and Grandma Pickle appears. Just about everyone here plays Tetra Master so be sure to try and challenge some folks. To the east is the Aircab Station, to the south is the Hunter's Gate, and going north leads to town. Go north then into the western alley. In the trees near the church you'll find a hidden Tent. Enter the church and climb up the ladder. A Leather Plate is at the end of the scaffolding.
Return to the way where Grandma Pickle is and enter the house between the two streets. Card Freak Gon has a Hi-Potion and Eye Drops in chests up here. Exit and go down the right path. The Weapon, Item, and Synthesis shops are all here. At the Weapon shop buy a Javelin, 1 Mythril Dagger, 4 Glass Armlets, 2 Steepled Hats, 4 Headgear, and 2 Linen Cuirasses. At the Item Shop be sure to get some Softs. The alley on the left near the smokestack leads to the Synthesis Shop. In here get as many as you can of EVERYTHING. Synthed items and weapons often offer many new abilities. After this go back to the weapon shop and get 2 Glass Armlets and 3 Steepled Hats. Once done here go south from the street with the inn and out the Hunter's Gate.
Outside you can now learn all your new abilities and level up before the Festival of the Hunt. You'll get massive EXP because only Zidane's fighting out here. I got all the way up to Level 20 before I went back into Lindblum. Also, Freya will be at whatever level Zidane is at after the festival so that makes getting up to Level 20 even better. Two new types of enemies appear on the Lindblum Plateau: Axe Beaks and the infamous Bombs. The former can put you to sleep and the latter has very powerful Fire magic so be sure to watch yourselves. Be sure to learn Soul Blade from the Ogre before battling in forests. Then equip the Butterfly Sword so when you use Soul Blade it can silence the Bombs you will only find in the forested areas here. What's That?! is good to use in Back Attacks when you have other party members to back you up. Ragtimer will pop up in the small forest be the roots for questions 2 through 4, all of which are False. You may want to go visit Pinnacle Rocks now to get a Pheonix Down and an Elixir in the foreground after the second stone ornament near the path. You'll see more of Pinnacle Rocks later.
When you return to Lindblum you will find a new accessory in available in the Synthesis Shop, the Yellow Scarf. This Dr. Who-ish item will give Zidane the Bird Killer Support Ability, and is much stronger than the Glass Buckle. You can go back out the way you came to learn this before the Festival of the Hunt, or simply equip it and Bird Killer.
Enter the aircab station to the east of the Inn and a Vivi ATE will appear where he gets a Key Item, a Kupo Nut. You can challenge Old Margaret to a card game if you wish. After this select to go to the Theater District of Lindblum.
After you exit the cab station an ATE will reveal the real villain of this game that could cause harm and degrade the entire world in just a few decades! Actually it's just a steam engine, which in this world is the better, cleaner, more efficient form of propulsion. Damn, I wish I had an airship. Now that the engineering lesson is over go down the semi-hidden stairwell in the southeast corner of this screen. Here in Aspiring Artist Michael's chateau a piece of Ore can be found in a chest in the foreground. Go back out to the street and go down the stars to the far left. Talk to the Lowell Fan Club member who runs off and is immediately followed by another. After speaking with them enter the Clock Tower, which is Tantalus' good ol' hideout. Zidane reminisces and then a Dagger ATE is force-fed to you. Antes de the ATE you meet Bunce and Lucella, the youngest members of Tantalus. When they leave retrieve a lot of Gil from the chests laying about and the Mini-Burmecia doll from atop the bed.
Exit and you can see an ATE with the Tantalus Crew at a Gate. They talk of reviving Blank (yay!) Then go down the southern stairs to the Fuegert Memorial Theater. Attempt to talk to the second woman from the right near the entrance and a scene involving Lowell (cough cough diva cough) pops up. He ends up running away from the groupies in a giant moogle suit. Return to Michael's basement to find Lowell. Talk to him and you'll recieve his Autograph. Then search near the bright red chair to find his Moogle Suit. Exit and take the air cab to the Industrial District.
I'm Cid, this is Cid, over there's Cid, Cid here teaches philosophy, and what might your name be?
Ironically the setting of the Industrial District reminds me more of plays than the Theater District. But, anyway, the first thing you'll notice is the statue of Cid VIII on which is inscribed:
= Cid VIII =
Developed the first Mist-powered
airship in 1762. Led the airship
armada in 1771 and brought peace
to the continent. Died 1780.
In honor of my father, Cid IX
Talk if you wish then go up the stairs. The Doom Pub is serving Dark Stew, but you can't buy it. You can speak with Bobo again by going around the back of the counter and up to him. You can play cards with Lillian the waitress (her cards aren't the only thing I'd like to play with *SLAP*). North of the Bar is Roodle Faux's place, where you can find a Mimic Card and Steepled Hat upstairs. Also introduced is a new weight loss program for engineers working with steam engines if you talk to Ludruff. Return to the air cab station and fly to Lindblum Castle.
Wait, wasn't Locke that old guy near the air cab station in the Business District?
Return to the guest room and you'll find Steiner lamenting over the disappearance of Dagger (when isn't he?) After Steiner runs from the room grab the Glass Armlet and Ether from the chests and give Mogki a letter. Mognet again and he'll give you a letter for Atla. Save then return to the hallway. Go back to the fountain room and you'll hear Dagger singing once more try using the lift and you'll be rebuked. Return to the previous screen, go down the stairs, and talk to the sleeping guard. You'll end up stealing his uniform, which reminds me... If you haven't played Final Fantasy VI, DO! At the upper level you'll take off your disguise. Do not procede into the arched hallway, instead go to the left and up the many sets of stairs. At the very top you'll find Dagger and some birds. The birds leave. You'll end up in a sequence where you must find various points of interest using the large telescope. They are the Ceebell River, Chocobo's (???) Forest, the Aerbs Mountains, South Gate, Qu's Marsh(land), and a second ridge of the Aerbs Mountains. In further conversation Zidane tries to put the moves on Dagger, but soon you'll see how Zidane get's hustled by Dagger, he he. Steiner, Vivi, and Freya are seen in some scenes in the city (try saying that three times fast!) Cid is trying to fix problems with the Hilda Garde 2's engine, but he just can't do it as an oglop. This is another example of how infidelity makes you a dumbass. Dagger accepts an offer from Zidane that states they will go on a date if he wins the Festival of the Hunt.
And we just run away from the animals?
At the castle guestroom you are told the general rules of the Festival. Zidane, Freya, and Vivi will be participating. If they win the party will receive a large sum of Gil, a Dragon Armlet, or a Tent Card, respectively. Okay, what determines the winner? Basically it comes down to this: if you really, really suck Vivi will win. What determines the winner between Zidane and Freya is who makes the last blow on the Zaghnol, who is in the Business District. You need to have at least two minutes left on the clock to face the Zaghnol.
Go to the castle's air cab station and get on to make your way to the Theater District. Beat the Mu running around the old man and run down the stairs to the Clock Tower. Run to the end of the lane then turn and run back to fight a Trick Sparrow. Return to the air cab and go to the Industrial District.
Run up the stairs, then into the Fang chasing a cat around the Cid VIII statue. Run up the stairs in the background and a Mu will come right at you. Continue up the stairs to where a Mu is knocking at Ludruff's door. Return to the cab and fly to the Business District.
Exit the station and run to where a Mu is lifted away by a Trick Sparrow. Continue north and a Trick Sparrow will try and pick up you. Go north past the median you are near and a Mu will pop out of a building on the right. Kill it and continue to the square. A fang is in the alcove on the right. Go to the alley of the church and kill the fang menacing a woman on the left. A Trick Sparrow is waiting for you at the church's doorstep. Return to the square and Vivi will run across the screen away from a Fang you can kill. Go to the right to the shop centre. Face the Zaghnol and Freya will join you. Mythril Gloves and a Needle Fork can be stolen from this Zaghnol, but it's tough. Have Freya Jump or Attack, and have Zidane Steal all he can before killing Zaghnol. Using Freya to finish Zaghnol will earn you a Dragon Armlet which has some Abilities she can learn. Use Zidane and you'll get 2000 Gil and a date. It's your call.
Lab animals have rights, too!
Back in the castle you are informed of an attack on Burmecia by an army of Black Mages. While you wait for the Dragon's Gate to be opened everybody chows down, but it turns out Dagger put the sleeping weed she got from Zidane to taint everybody's food except Steiner's and her own. They escape and you prepare to leave. You now have the options of going back into town if you still need to shop or take the lift down to the Base Level. Update everybody's equipment, then take the lift to the Base Level when you're ready. Use the eastern car to go to the Serpent's Gate where you can find a Wyerd Card behind a lamppost. Use the car again to get to the Dragon's Gate. A Tent can be found behind the platform you arrived at. Speak with the Merchant in the blue cap if you need to do some last-minute item shopping, then Mognet and save with Moonte in the foreground before exiting.
If Strago, Kefka, and that ghost from the Ghost Train had a kid...
To EXPLORE, the time is now!!! Also, this is the time to learn some abilities and level up (especially Vivi.) You can get some double growth on a couple of Freya's new abilities so be sure to pay attention to what weapons and armor you have equipped. Have Freya equip Level Up as soon as she starts learning it. As usual the forests around here yield more battles with large EXP, but it still is usually below 100 EXP/battle. Equip the Antibody ability to protect yourself from Serpions' stingers. Most enemies are weak against Vivi's Blizzard magic.
That weird, gourd-shaped thing is one of the four Qu's Marshes located around the globe, all nearly identical swamps. Enter and go into the opening past Mogster and his little brother and run straight north through the tall grass. Just be thankful there are no velociraptors living in Qu's Marsh. You'll find a large, frog-filled pond with the head chef from Alexandria Castle running around for no apparent reason exclaiming how hungry he/she is. Okay, to end the debate whether Quina is, in fact, a male or female (at least in this guide,) I will use my keen power of observation and compromising abilities. Quina's name ends in the suffix -a, which in the Spanish language denotes something of feminine value. Using this knowledge, I will refer to Quina as a female, which evens out the main cast to four men and four women. If you have any complaints about this, keep the anger or irritation bottled up inside of you until it goes away. Catch a frog and give it to Quina. Do this and you will be treated to a brief scene with Quale, Quina's master. During this chose to have Quina come along with you. Once back in control of the party, go back to the frog pond and catch 6 of the frogs there, EXCLUDING the Golden Frog, which serves to help regenerate the frog supply in the pond much quicker, because is can mate with both sexes of normal frogs.
And now a list of things Quina can eat and gain Blue Magic from in this general area:
Serpion: Mighty Guard - casts Safe, Shell on all party members (yay)
Hedgehog Pie: Pumpkin Head - damage = max HP-current HP
Vice: Vanish - causes Vanish status
Gigan Toad: Frog Drop - #of frogs caught times level
Axolotl: Aqua Breath - Water/Wind elemental attack on all enemies
Bomb (back on Lindblum Plateu): Mustard Bomb - inflicts Heat status
Carve Spider ( || ): Level 3 Defenseless - Lowers defense for enemies with levels at multiples of 3
Axe Beak ( || ): Limit Glove - causes maximum damage at 1 HP
A lot, huh? Mighty Guard is great, but if you use it now it will almost completely drain your MP, not very practical. Use Mustard Bomb for some instant-death goodness. Aqua Breath isn't as good as it was in previous FFs, rarely connecting. Quina's Support Abilites include the for-now exclusive High Tide, which enables you to Trance more quickly, and Millionaire which increases the Gil you get every battle. For now return below the Mist and travel east to the big, dome-shaped forest across the small bridge.
Kweh, kweh kweh, kweeeeeh? Kweh kweh wark... I mean kweh.
Upon entering Chocobo's Forest you'll see a Moogle and a Chocobo running towards you. They are Mene and Choco, respectively, and you'll see a whole lot more of them during your quest. During your conversation with Mene Choco runs off and Mene gives you some Gyshal Greens to help get him back. Go back outside to the chocobo footprints and use the Gyshal Greens to call Choco. Mount him, then re-enter Chocobo's Forest. You can only enter here, and two other places I will get to in time, while riding Choco. Everywhere else you must dismount before entering.
Ask Mene about the big secret after re-entering, and he'll tell you about Choco's past, along with his treasure-finding abilities. Then it's on to your first game of Chocobo Hot-And-Cold. My best strategy for this mini-game is set up a pattern of where you run, then dig every few seconds to see if anything is along the route. Playing Chocobo Hot-And-Cold is a great way to stock up on basic items. Eventually, you'll find a Stone With Patterns - your first Chocograph! Now you can use Choco's amazing tallents on the World Map to find even more weapons, armor, and items. The Streamside Chocograph can be found across the bridge near the start of the beach which contains 2 Elixirs, 3 Hi-Potions, 4 Ethers, and 2 Germinas Boots.
Continue playing and you'll eventually come across the first of six Chocograph Pieces, which provide clues to a secret locale shrouded in mystery, which I already know everything about. Other Chocographs you'll be able to get at this time are Between Mountains, Uncultivated Land, Healing Shore, Abandoned Beach, Cold Field, Faraway Lagoon, Bird's Eye Lagoon, and Small Beach. Between Mountains is right where it says it is, and it contains 5 Potions, 5 Hi-Potions, 2 Tents, and 2 Cotton Robes. All the others are inaccessible for now, so exit Chocobo's Forest, then follow the large roots to the entrance of Gizamaluke's Grotto.
That's All For Now! See You Again Soon!
This guide is copyright November 22, 2001 by Matt Leuthy.