Final Fantasy 9 Part 3 – A forgotten love and the truth

Check out what happened last time here.

Continuing on…
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Right outside of the city, Freya mentions it has been five years since she last came here and that she must protect her kingdom as a Burmecian dragon knight!

The group enter Burmecia to find it crumbling. Dead bodies lay everywhere.

They are accosted by Thorn and Zorn once again, who send their mage cronies after us.

After dispatching them soundly, they speak of a “general” that will give us trouble.

Moving on, the gang explores the desolated city. At one point, a upper floor falls apart, preventing me from picking up a chest. Apparently, I will never be able to get it.

The only way to grab it is to walk instead of run on it. That is just dirty, FF9.

Exploring further into the city, we save some citizens who are trying to escape. Freya starts having second thoughts on being here, since she doesn’t want to see her homeland in ruins, but Zidane and Vivi convince her that she has to keep going.

Even Vivi is scared, but he has to know who or what he is.

In the next few areas, we nab some fantastic items, namely the Mythril Spear for Freya and the Lightning Staff for Vivi.

With Vivi using the -ra spells, he deals almost 1500 damage to his target, although it drains his MP quite fast at this point, costing three times as much as the basic spells.

We also deliver a letter to a moogle and buy some stuff from his shop.

In addition, Stiltzken, the traveling moogle appears and we buy some basic curatives from him, who says he will use the money we gave him to allow him to keep traveling around.
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The gang continues forward and sees Queen Brahne with Beatrix from Alexandria!
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They spy on them for a moment, when another man enters the scene, Kuja, who tells them that the king most likely fled to Cleyra, a city cloaked in a protective sandstorm.

The Queen asks Kuja if his magic will be enough to get through the storm.

He believes so, with the help of the Alexandrian army and his black mages! So Kuja is the one who is manufacturing these mages!

A proud, but foolish Burmecian knight attempts to attack them, but falters when Beatrix mentions her own name.

Springing into action, Zidane and the gang jump down to stop the attack.
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Beatrix then comes at us full force!

Beatrix is a gimmick fight. After so many turns, she will automatically end the fight, so no need to worry about damage.
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We just play it defensively with buffs until the fight automatically ends.

Beatrix herself, has a multitude of lightning-based attacks, which HURT, dealing upwards of 650 damage, which is enough to OKO anyone in the party who doesn’t have the Coral Ring(absorbs lightning attacks) equipped.
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She does have steal-able items, but I am not concerning myself with it, since it’s nothing special and I don’t want to subject myself to a timed fight trying to press my luck with a 1/256 chance of stealing the rare item.
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Eventually, she hits the party with Stock Break, nearly killing everyone.
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Her and the Queen walk away, while Kuja literally gets on a dragon and flies off.

Cutting back to Dagger and Steiner, their train has just arrived at a waypoint between them and Treno.

With time to kill before the next train arrives, they explore the area.

The item shop has some upgrades for Dagger, finally, who can now cast some pretty essential spells like Protect, Shell and Life.

After buying some items, Dagger overhears a familiar voice to find Marcus and Cinna from the Tantalus gang!

She talks with them to find out that Marcus is headed to Treno as well, while Cinna is heading back to Lindblum.

The train arrives, so Dagger, Steiner and Marcus board.
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As the train departs, Dagger inquires about what his plans are from Marcus, who tells her that he is looking for a Supersoft for Blank, who is still petrified in Evil Forest.

Dagger asks if there is anything she can do, but Marcus shuts her down.

Before she can insist, the train jolts to a stop.
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The conductor leaves to see what the problem is when…
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Black Waltz is still alive!?

Dagger demands an explanation, but Black Waltz isn’t even listening and attacks them!

Marcus will take over Zidane’s duty as resident thief in this fight, to which I finally got lucky and managed to snag all three items fairly quickly!
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Black Waltz hits somewhat hard with its spells. He has a combo where he will inflict Freeze on a character, then attack them to instantly kill them. Pretty annoying, but thankfully, Dagger has Life now, even though her MP is still fairly low at this point. But she is only like level 6, so I can’t except too much from her yet.

In addition, Dagger having Chemist, which doubles the healing from items really helps here.

The good news, I don’t think Black Waltz will ever actually attack Dagger here, or at least he never did as long as either Marcus or Steiner was alive. Which makes sense, considering he said he needed to take the Princess alive.

With Marcus and Steiner attacking and Dagger furiously trying to keep them alive, the fight drags on a bit, but finally ends and the group makes their way to Treno together, after Dagger basically forces her help onto Marcus.

Treno quickly comes into view and the party enters.

Immediately upon entering, Dagger runs off and Marcus sneaks away from Steiner, leaving him by his lonesome.

Exploring Treno, we spend a good portion of our funds on new equipment, both for our party and for synthesis.

We also find a mysterious “Queen Stella,” who collects something called the Stellazzio, those odd zodiac coins we picked up here and there. We trade the three that we have in and get a few goodies. Now we know what purpose these coins have.

Steiner tracks down the princess in the auction house and gets a sight of Kuja, but she doesn’t know who it is.

With Dagger in tow, they search for Marcus and find him in the inn area.

He takes Dagger and a very apprehensive Steiner down to where Baku is waiting for them.

They sneak into the place where the Supersoft waits, but someone begins to head down to where they are.

Before they can freak out, Dagger recognizes that it’s her old tutor, Dr. Tot.

Dagger asks him for the Supersoft, but he quickly tells her to meet him at his home in Treno later, where he will give it to her.

Before the shop-keep can find them, the gang runs off to the tower Dr. Tot spoke of.
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We also get a quick cutscene of Kuja speaking to the auctioneer about Burmecia and his coming attack on Cleyra.

Kuja also mentions Dagger and that she flew right into his trap, that he wants her to go back home to Queen Brahne for some nefarious reason.

Back in the main part of the city, they head to the tower that Dr. Tot mentioned.

Dagger finds and speaks with Dr. Tot, who gladly hands over the Supersoft. They reminisce about when Dagger was a young girl in the castle.
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Dr. Tot also tells them he has a way for them to get to Alexandria by way of a tunnel system from Treno that leads all the way to Alexandria called Gargon Roo.

Inside, he tells Dagger and the others there are monsters, but also they need to find a trigger that will allow them to travel through the tunnel.
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After some brief searching and lever pulling, the gang comes across a giant insect called a gargant. Apparently, this is how you get through the tunnels, you ride on a small gondala-like thing as it skitters on the ceiling. Freaky.
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Dr. Tot sees everyone off and wishes Dagger safety.

After a short time, the gargant suddenly stops, scared by something.
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Then this thing comes out of nowhere and attacks us!

I got really lucky in this fight again. For one, I forgot to heal up, so everyone was low HP and Dagger had literally 0 MP.

Secondly, I managed to steal all of the items very quickly, thank goodness.

With Dagger equipped with Chemist and throwing Potions while the others attacked, it went down without issue.
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They arrive in a place underneath Alexandria. Dagger tries to tell them to be careful, but
Steiner rushes ahead and they all get capture in a cell by Zorn and Thorn.

Dagger and the others are shocked to hear that the Queen is behind their kidnapping.

The scene switches back to Zidane and the others, who are still recovering from their injuries in Burmecia.

Freya gives us directions to Cleyra, but doesn’t know how to get in.
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Leaving Burmecia, the group finds the massive sandstorm that was talked about.

Climbing up the Cleyra trunk was fairly uneventful, other than trying to get more blue magic for Quina. The enemies here are pretty annoying, especially the Sand Golem, which actually managed to kill my party when I kept trying to run but failed.
They can use Sandstorm, an attack that damages the entire party as well as Fira. Oh, and they can counter physical attacks against them with their own attack, which hurts pretty bad.
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There is also a fairly annoying room where you can get trapped in quicksand and have to button mash your way out.
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But, we finally managed to get some more blue magic, including the lovely White Wind!

Thank goodness too, because not having a healer of any kind other than Potions is getting annoying.

The party manages to scale the tree and makes their way into Cleyra proper, where Freya is whisked away to see the king and everyone else kind of does their own thing, leaving us in control of Zidane solo.

We purchase a bunch of new awesome equipment, bottoming our gil reserves once again.

Zidane is told that he must wait at the inn until Freya is done speaking with the king, but when he gets there, someone is shouting that the antlion is attacking some kids, so Zidane springs into action.
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Zidane finds a little rat boy being grabbed by the antlion, who Freya recognizes as Puck, the Prince of Burmecia!? What!?

Puck gets tossed aside and the antlion attacks.
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The antlion can be dangerous, especially if you didn’t pick up White Wind, since its sandstorm attack isn’t the piddly one that the Sand Golem knows, the antlion’s sandstorm will always drop everyone to single digits, so quick healing is needed after each one ASAP.
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Boy am I getting lucky! I managed to snag all three items fairly quickly and take it out no trouble! Vivi managed to trance during the battle, so Double Blizzaras while Quina kept everyone alive was the game plan until it died.

Puck runs off and Vivi chases after him to “tell him something.”

Afterwards, the king and the priests of Cleyra tell the group that they are strengthening the sandstorm with a ritual.

Upon completing the ritual, however, the strings of the magical harp snap, and…
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The sandstorm disappears!? Welp, that can’t be good, Cleyra’s last line of defense just went kaput.

Back in Alexandria, Steiner and Marcus are being held captive while Dagger awaits her mother.

Dagger contemplates her circumstance, wondering what is going on. She thinks back to her last birthday, which is when everything changed. Dr. Tot left and her mother began to behave differently towards her…

Zorn and Thorn arrive and forcefully take Dagger to her mother.
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Dagger asks the all important question: did she really attack Burmecia?
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The Queen plays coy and says that they were plotting to attack Alexandria anyway, so she had to attack first. Dagger refuses to believe her when Kuja shows up!
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He toys with her for a bit, then suddenly casts a spell on her to put her sleep!
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Uh oh.

Zorn and Thorn then begin a ritual and start to suck out all of Dagger’s summons that she never got to use! Dang it!
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Back in Cleyra, Freya gives us some terrible news. She and Zidane agree to find out why the sandstorm disappeared.

As the group descends back down the Cleyra trunk, Alexandrian soldiers appear!

As they get further down, Freya notices that there aren’t that many here and Puck comes rushing up telling Freya that the town is under attack!
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With the trap set, Cleyra gets assaulted upon.

We also get a quick glimpse of Beatrix.

Back in the town proper, Zidane and the others fight off wave after wave of soldiers and black mages, all the while rescuing the citizens.
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Eventually, they get cornered by the cathedral…

But are rescued when Fratley, the man Freya has been searching for, dispatches the enemies!

Everyone rushes inside and Freya immediately runs to Fratley and asks him where he has been and what he has been doing, but…
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He has amnesia and doesn’t remember a thing!
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Puck shows up and tells everyone he found Fratley, and all he remembers is he was once a dragon knight. He doesn’t even recognize Puck or his own king!

Fratley then jumps off, with Puck following after him, but not before apologizing to Freya for Fratley.
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Freya breaks down for a moment, but collects herself, since the enemy is literally on her front door steps. Freya is awesome.

Anyway, suddenly Beatrix appears and steals the jewel that was connected to the enchanted harp!

Everyone rushes after her.

Speaking to the citizens we saved gives us some items.
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Zidane catches up to Beatrix, who gladly fights us.

This fight is the exact same as before, except this time, we are a tad bit more powerful, even though she can still OKO people with her sword skills.

I stole all I could, but I didn’t get the rare item from her before she used Stock Break to end the fight… Oh well.

Afterwards, Beatrix orders a full retreat as she hops on a black mage who teleports away.

Zidane quickly jumps on another black mage as it teleports away and tells everyone to do the same.

Only Quina doesn’t teleport, who runs off somewhere.
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We get a view of Brahne, who uses the Dark Matter and Dagger’s stolen power to summon Odin…
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Who literally drops a nuke on Cleyra, utterly destroying it.

As the gang boards the ship, everyone is devastated. Before they can really take it in, they quickly have to hide from Beatrix who is stalking the ship.

They overhear some words from Beatrix, who appears to be having second thoughts about the Queen and this whole ordeal.

They eavesdrop on the Queen and Beatrix, to which the Queen orders Beatrix to find the final jewel that she needs after taking the jewel from Cleyra.

Beatrix inquires about the Princess…
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Yep, Brahne is pretty evil, if you weren’t already sure.

Even Beatrix is taken back by this.

Zidane flips out over hearing this, but Freya stops him from doing anything brash.

Vivi then tells everyone to follow him, so they do.

Zidane follows him to these odd pots. Vivi mentions that he heard them say these pots go to Alexandria, so, they all jump in and are teleported.

Back with Steiner and Marcus, they come up with a plan to bust out of their cell.
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Marcus and Steiner then begin to slowly swing their cage to each side until eventually it slams into the upper flooring, allowing them to escape!

Upon reaching another floor, Marcus says he is leaving to help Blank, leaving Steiner by himself.
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Just then, Zidane and the others appear, and tell him that Dagger is in danger. It takes some convincing from Vivi, but then, Zidane gives us some troubling news…
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30 minutes!? Time to book it!

They travel around the castle and eventually find their way to where Thorn, Zorn and Dagger are.
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These clowns aren’t tough at all, although they do have a small gimmick.
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They will power each other up as the fight goes on. If you don’t attack the correct clown fast enough to neutralize their power up, they will cast either Light Flare or Meteorite. Meteorite is slightly more dangerous, but they still don’t do enough damage at all for the party to be in any real danger.

I managed to snag all but one item with Zidane, so I am happy.

After the fight, Dagger remains unconscious, but still alive. Zidane picks her up and they begin to make their escape.
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They reach the Queen’s chambers and even Steiner is starting to question the Queen.

Zidane puts Dagger down to let her rest. Funny glitch here, Dagger’s eyes popped open for a split second when he put her down. Made me laugh.
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Just then, Thorn, Zorn and Beatrix come into the room!
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The group fights Beatrix once again, which goes about the same as usual, some time passes, she one shots the party.

After the fight, Zidane rushes to defend Dagger, even yelling at Beatrix, asking her what her duty as a knight is.

Beatrix sees the Princess and lets her guard down for a moment.
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She walks over to her and begins casting a spell to help her, but Thorn and Zorn tell her it’s useless.

After a few castings, Dagger wakes up!

Then, Queen Brahne herself comes onto the scene!

She unapologetically tells Thorn and Zorn to throw Dagger in jail, but Beatrix steps between them and defends Dagger!

Freya also gets on the front lines and defends the group while the everyone else escapes.
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Brahne leaves, letting Thorn and Zorn clean up.
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So, the knightly duo of Freya and Beatrix fight together!

Beatrix is pretty amazing, obviously. She doesn’t have that much MP, but she comes stocked with almost every white magic spell and her assorted sword skills, called, “Seiken.”

Beatrix alone could solo anything at this point, but Freya is there because she is awesome too.
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Back with Zidane and the others, checking the ability screen, yep, all of Dagger’s summons are gone!
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After a quick battle with some black mages, the group goes back down into the bowels of the castle, but Steiner tells them to get the Princess to safety, he is staying behind to help her escape.
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Then, the knightly duo becomes a trio, who all fight off Thorn and Zorn’s pets!

Zidane, Vivi and Dagger continue their escape, but get trapped in the same trap that Dagger, Steiner and Marcus did!
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Just then, Marcus and Blank show up and knock Thorn and Zorn out!

Marcus managed to save Blank from his petrification and made it just in the nick of time!

Zidane and the others continue on while Marcus and Blank stay behind to fend off any further enemies.

The group gets on the gargant to head to Treno…
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But eventually gets stopped by another worm thing, but this one looks meaner than the one before!

This thing was pretty easy, Vivi’s Fira did a ton of damage, so once all of its items were stolen, it went down very quick.
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As they get back on the gargant, the worm comes back and chases us out of the tunnel, which causes the cart to crash!
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We get a quick scene of the Queen hiring some mercenaries to deal with Dagger and Vivi!

Back to the rest of the group, everyone wakes up in a place called Pinnacle Rocks.

Discussing their next move, Ramuh shows up!?

He tells Dagger, that if she truly wants to get her summon magic back to fight her mother, she has to find five manifestations of Ramuh in the forest and repeat a story back to him before disappearing.

With their next quest in hand, what awaits the group in Pinnacle Rocks? Find out next time!

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