Final Fantasy IX - Strategy Guide
By: Matt Leuthy
Welcome To Disc 2! Please watch your step while exiting the vehicle. Overhead contents may have shifted during your 'net surfing.
The Trains Were A Lot Bigger In VII...
Disc 2 opens back at Bohden gate, where the two Abbot and Costello-ish guards converse about war and pickles. Steiner reflects while Dagger sleeps in the cable car. The cable car reaches Summit Station and you disembark. Both are very glad to be home. You gain control of Dagger again and are free to roam about Summit Station. Speak to the man in the center between the two sets of stairs if you wish to learn more about the Berkmea Cable Cars. Enter the rest area on the right and speak to the official behind the desk. Dagger will hear a familiar voice, but before exiting collect the Phoenix Down in the chest near the stairs. Talk around and shop for an Air Racket, Mythril Rod, and any other supplies you may be in need of. Mognet with Nazna twice to receive a letter from her to Mochos. Here in the rest area you can talk to the chef about the famous South Gate Bundt Cake. Once finished in here exit back to the station.
Of all people, Marcus and Cinna are here. Cinna missed his ride back to Lindblum, but will make up for it by eating some more South Gate Bundt Cake. Enter back into the rest area and you'll find Steiner confronting the Tantalus boys. Speak to either Marcus or Cinna and then reprimand Steiner for his rudeness. Be sure to equip your optimum, or something you feel fit, and save with Nazna. Exit and go to the northern platform where Cinna sees Marcus off. Speak with Cinna and he gives you a vague explanation for Marcus's going to Treno. Enter the car and Dagger and Marcus will discuss their reasons for travelling. Speak with Marcus again and Dagger will offer her services, but before that an old friend comes calling...
Oh... now I get it; KILL!
Black Waltz Number 3 is back and he's... got a hernia? BW3 babbles mindlessly about his mission and you engage in a battle with him. A Steepled Hat, Lightning Staff, and something else can be stolen from BW3 by Marcus. BW3 uses level-1 magic against you, except for one new addition. He now has the magic Freeze which makes a party member so brittle that any physical attack against them instantly kills them. Watch out for this and use Life when necessary. BW3 goes down easy, after which your party arrives at the Alexandria Station. Go north from the station and take a look at the nifty commemorative plaque, after which you can go to Dali or Treno. If you do go back to Dali and talk around Dagger will often reminisce. The old lady on the farm is out of the way of that chest now, and it contains an Elixir. Not much has changed in Observatory Mountain, so after a quick stop there head back to South Gate. Take the other fork, hop across the dilapidated bridge and go down the stairs to collect 1610 Gil from the chest. Speak to the guard and he'll let the gate down for you to proceed.
Getting Caught Up
As you can tell, your characters here are nowhere near the levels of your other party, so its time to train, and EXPLORE! You'll fight mostly basic enemies around here, except for in the forest. There reside the Mandragoras. These little critters use their special attack Chestnut which does the same thing as Minus Strike, and Shriek which silences you. It's a good thing to concentrate on one Mandragora at a time. After she's gained a few levels have Dagger in the front row to attack with Steiner and Marcus at the same time at a single Mandragora; it should go down after everyone has attacked. Since you attacked no other Mandragoras, their Chestnut should do 0 damage to you. Mandragoras give the most experience around here (200 for 2, 300 for 3.) Battle near Treno itself and you can encounter a little white Ghost with a halo asking for some Ore. Gladly give the Ore to this Land Spirit and you will receive 10 AP in return.
Following the long portion of forest in this area between the two mountain ranges, you will come across a cave opening in the eastern-most portion of the Bentini Heights. This is Quan's Dwelling, a small cave with many secrets to uncover. Follow the land bridge to the right and go down the stairs to collect the Ether in the chest. Go back around the large pillar of rock and climb down the rope. Down here you will find another Ether in a chest, along with the Scorpio Stellazio Coin in the center of the foreground. If you drink the steaming waters here your HP and MP will be restored, making Tents somewhat unnecessary here. Enter the space through the darkly colored rock archway and climb up the ladder to find an Ether at the top. Search the back wall and you will find some odd writing perhaps relating to Vivi's past. Exit to the right and examine the clock and the end of the platform. There's nothing else here, so exit Quan's Dwelling for now. Remember you can always come back to restore your health at the steaming spring.
At Level 19 Dagger will finally have enough MP to be able to Summon one of her Eidolons: the Mistress of Ice, Shiva. However, using her will effectively drain almost all your MP, making it very impractical unless you’re in the habit of visiting Quan’s Dwelling often. When everyone is at Level 20 or higher de-equip Marcus and enter Treno, the City of Nobles.
Upon entering Treno a funny scene occurs and your group naturally splits up. After this two ATEs are available: Treno Tradition and Ambition. The former involves Dagger getting tricked by the wallet inspector and the latter involves two kids discussing Marxist ideals. Most of the time in Treno you’ll get an option of two ATEs with the former starring Dagger and the other featuring Marcus and the Tantalus gang. Throw thirteen coins into the fountain on the left to receive the Gemini Stellazio Coin. Go to the right and you get another option of two ATEs, Confusion and Meeting Place. Back with Steiner, climb down the ladder and open the chest which contains a Yeti Card. Further to the right is a chest with 1 Gil in it, and in the back of the item shop by the red tarp is the Taurus Stellazio Coin. Climb back up and continue north. Go north then west to force a moogle and a dog from the small pillar. Mognet with Mogrich and there’ll be a letter from Stiltzkin to read. Save and enter the weapons shop on the right.
Update your equipment and weapons. I recommend that you keep 6 of every vest/plate/hat/wrist and 2 of every armor so that for now you’ll have extras and will be able to equip every character. You can chose to fight the Griffin in the cage below you and if you win you will receive a Tonberry Card. I suggest you open up with a physical attack then watch of your HP to go down about half way. Then start using Minus Strike to do extra damage and use Hi-Potions when necessary. Exit and go northwest to view an ATE involving Kuja at the Auction House, which is where you’re headed now. Enter and Dagger will join your party. Update her equipment and head back south past the weapons shop. Continue west past the Card Stadium and then north to Queen Stella’s place. Turn in all your current Stellazio to her for these fabulous prizes:
Scorpio: 1000 Gil
Cancer: Phoenix Pinion
Gemini: 2000 Gil
Taurus: Blood Sword
Aires: 5000 Gil
The Blood Sword gives an equal amount of HP to Steiner for how much damage he does with his attack, and its Darkside is good for when you don’t want to use up MP attacking enemies with strong armor. Go back and enter the doors on the left. Travel down the hallway to find the Synthesis Shop. While here be sure to get at as many as you can of the Yellow Scarf, Chachusa, Coral Ring, and Gold Choker. The Chachusa offers Dagger the extremely valuable Ability up, the Coral Ring teaches Insomniac, and the Gold Choker gives you Auto-Potion. You may want to take some time now to learn your new abilities; when you exit the city Marcus automatically rejoins the party. Exit here and go up the leftmost stairs back outside. Continue left and open the chest near by the entrance to the large tower for a Mythril Dagger.
After learning your new abilities go to the Auction House and get ready for some bidding. After your extensive battling, you should have more than enough to buy all you need, upwards of 200,000 Gil. There are seven items available at the Auction House you should be intent on getting. Four Key Items, Griffin’s Heart, Une’s Mirror, and Doga’s Artifact, which can be sold to people outside or inside the Synthesis Shop, cam be bought with relative ease; the Mini-Cid doll is also available for purchase. Four accessories are also available: Pearl Rouge, Madain’s Ring, Reflect Ring, and Fairy Earrings. These all have very useful skills to learn, and you’ll have plenty of time to learn them soon. After shopping (but not quite dropping) save with Mogrich and enter the inn near the Item Shop. Go down the stairs and inspect the Wanted poster, then tell Marcus you’re ready.
Run down the short and winding path to the dock and speak with Baku before departing. On the way, Steiner and Dagger reflect on how Zidane has affected their lives. During your search for the Supersoft the group meets Dr. Tot, the scholar that tutored Dagger in her younger years. He agrees to give you the Supersoft at his place, so follow his directions and get truckin’. Inside the tower follow the winding stairs up to Dr. Tot’s room where Marcus picks up the Supersoft. Speak with Tot again and a flashback will occur highlighting Dr. Tot’s research with Eidolons. After this scene climb up the ladder and enter the well for your first visit to Gargan Roo.
This would so clear up the congestion on the Beltway.
There are many objectives to complete down here, but first you’ll want to learn the abilities you can from the rare accessories you bought at the Auction House. The best place for this is right here where the Crawlers will give you 2-3 AP. Phoenix Downs, Hi-Potions, and Antidotes can be stolen from Crawlers. Be absolutely sure Dagger has learned or learns Ability Up from the Cachusha. The Pearl Rouge offers Level Up, Loudmouth, and Reflect-Null. The Fairy Earrings also teach Level Up along with Body Temp; which is also found on Madain’s Ring. The Reflect ring teaches Auto-Reflect, Distract, and of course Reflect. If you need to tent up Mochos is here ready and waiting. Mognet with him to give him his letter from Nazna. After you have learned all your abilities take off any new accessories so as the other group will be able to learn them coming up. Dagger will probably be able to Summon Ifrit, the Demon of Fire, and Odin, the Black Knight of Death.
Take the left route from the entrance and collect the Chain Plate from the chest. In these outside areas you will battle Dragonflies who use Buzz to Berserk your party members. Go left to find a Phoenix Down and a large lever. Flip the lever and return to the entrance where you can take the right path to the now unblocked sequence activator and boarding platform. Go to the right first, where you pull a lever to summon a gargant, a huge insect-like creature with a small trolley hanging from him. Go back left and Tent/Save with Mochos. Be sure to have some good abilities equipped, including Antibody. Return to the outside and flip the small switch on the left you passed earlier. Your party will hop aboard the gargant trolley only to be attacked by Ralvurahva. A Bone Wrist, among other items can be stolen from Ralvurahva. It uses mainly String to slow your party down and Devil’s Kiss to poison them, but with Antidote only Marcus will be affected by this. After dealing a good amount of damage the little worm runs away, leaving you to finish your journey. Shortly after arrival Marcus, Steiner, and Dagger are captured by Zorn and Thorn.
As the story continues we are back with Freya’s group in Burmecia. As they recover from Beatrix’s attack they resolve to travel to Cleyra. Your party automatically ends up back on the World Map, and Cleyra is just a stone’s throw to the west. Set up your new equipment on everybody, keeping in mind that there are some opportunities for double growth on abilities. The Coral Ring will give Freya the Lancer Dragon Skill that cuts down an enemy’s HP and MP. The newly bought Fire Staff will give Vivi Fira and Sleep. Go west, young gamer, and enter the whirlwind surrounding Cleyra’s Trunk.
A beautiful CG signifies the beginning of your journey up the huge tree. Go forward, then on the next screen flip the lever on the far right to open the door. A Phoenix Down is contained in the chest on the right of this, the first of many sand-filled screens. Speaking of sand, the Sand Golems in this area can only be defeated by attacking the red Core in their chest. Go north and then grab the Magician Shoes in a chest in the foreground of the next screen. An Ice Staff is in a chest hidden behind the leaves of the tree in the center of the room. Go to the right, and outside you’re likely to encounter Zuus, large birds with an appetite for your party members. They teach the White Wind Blue Magic if eaten. Go north and re-enter the tree where an Ether can be found. Stick your hand into the hole at the bottom of this screen that will trigger a chain reaction that allows you to proceed by opening the large center door on the outside. The room inside has been completely flooded with sand, but you can proceed through the newly available tunnel on the right. Go up the ramp and to the right to find Monev, who is awaiting a letter from Atla, which you have. Dragonflies you battle here can be eaten for the Blue Magic Matra Magic.
Continue north and on this next screen you will encounter little enemies called Carrion Worms. They are VERY weak, have little HP, and can inflict Trouble on your characters, but if you eat them you will gain the almost invaluable Blue Magic Auto-Life. Start off by having Vivi attack one of the Worms, and kill off the other. The Carrion Worm remaining will probably use Drain a couple of times, then use Vivi to attack again. The Worm’s HP should be at critical, and so you will gain Auto-Life, which acts like Life 3 from FFVI in that when cast on a character he/she will be automatically raised when his/her HP reaches zero. After taking some tome to have everyone learn Insomniac from the Coral Ring, you can also use Quina’s Night to cast sleep on all your enemies. Just be sure to have everyone equipped with Insomniac before using it, though. Follow the path up to a chest to find a Flame Staff within. If you feel like proceeding, follow the sign’s directions to go to the right.
After crossing a short bridge you will enter into a seemingly confusing room with many tunnels. Search behind the large trunk growing in the center of your path to find a pair of Desert Boots. Follow the sandy path to the right and you’ll find a chest containing a Remedy. Continue and the path will lead back to the center where you can proceed forward. A set of Mythril Gloves greets you right away on this new screen. Follow the path to the north and you’ll find a large wheel. Leave this for now and return to the main room. Search the arched doorway to your left for a Mythril Vest which has the Auto-Potion ability. Take the far left path and grab the Potion by the flowing sand. Return to the wheel and pull the lever on it, which will cause a small wooden gate to halt the flow of sand by the chest near it. Go there and an Elixir awaits you in the chest. Remember Monev if you need to Tent and Save while learning your abilities here. One odd thing about this area is that when you fight Sand Golems the camera will be at a very strange angle and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re attacking the Core or the Body. To continue take the left fork from the path where you stopped the flowing sand.
This room is full of whirlpools. If you fall in you’ll need to quickly tap the X Button to break free. Slowly edge along the rims of the whirlpools to grab a Hi-Potion and 900 Gil in the two chests to the north. You need to intentionally fall into the leftmost whirlpool to proceed through the hallway on the left. Continue around the corridor to find a ladder and a chest hidden to the left of it with some Gyshal Greens inside. Climb up the ladder and up the stairs to the right and you will finally reach your destination, the beautiful treetop city of Cleyra.
I hate to leave you hanging, but wait til’ next time for the continuation of the guide.