Final Fantasy 9 Part 4 – Moogles and Lost Memories

Check out what happened last time!

With our new mission in hand, let’s explore Pinnacle Rocks!
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Right at the beginning, we find Ramuh with the first clue.
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Well, that was pretty easy, one down, 4 more to go.

The group quickly gathers the remaining story pieces from Ramuh and Garnet re-tells the story to him.

The story appears to follow the events of Final Fantasy 2 when the group went with Joseph to the ice cavern!

Anyway, he gives his power to Dagger in the form of a Peridot and the group makes their way to Lindblum.
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As they make their way to Linblum, they spot the Red Rose…
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Which proceeds to attack and destroy the city!
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She lets loose the black mages upon the city, which destroy it from the inside out.

Dagger runs towards the city, but it is too late, the devastation has already begun.
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With Dagger nearly in tears at what her mother has already done, Queen Brahne summons another eidolon, which proceeds to suck in large chunks of the city, even the black mages!
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Entering now the demolished city of Linblum, Zidane and Dagger tell Vivi to hang low for a while, since he looks too suspicious. He agrees and the duo head into the city to check things out.

The city is in shambles, but there are some survivors. I end up restocking on supplies and synthesizing some new equipment.

Zidane and Dagger run into her uncle, who takes them to Cid.

He tells us some information about Kuja.
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It seems Kuja is responsible for supplying the magical weapons to Brahne. Zidane and
Dagger both have the idea of taking care of Kuja so Brahne can’t have any more new weapons.
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But, it appears he is from a far away place known as the Outer Continent.

Zidane asks to borrow an airship, but since most airships run on Mist and there isn’t any Mist on the Outer Continent, they can’t use it. There is also the fact that Brahne has taken control of all of the major ports and airships, even the one that Cid was working on that doesn’t run on Mist.

But, Cid tells us of a tunnel in the swamps outside of the city that are rumored to travel all of the way to the Outer Continent.

With no other leads, the group decides to head to this swamp to try and find the tunnel.

Before he sneaks us out of the city, Cid gives us the rare World Map. Almost 12 hours of gameplay and I finally get the World Map!

With that, the group heads out in search of this tunnel Cid spoke of.

The group heads to Qu’s Marsh, where they find Quina! It looks like they made it out!

As the group moves along with Quina now in tow, Quina smells some more frogs and runs off.

Luckily, Quina discovers the entrance to the tunnel!
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As soon as the gang enters the tunnel, the gates shut and this thing starts chasing them!
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This part was annoying, since this creature was chasing us and we had to dodge these guillotines. If we ran into one, we were thrown back, most likely into the monster, which caused a fight.

This thing knew death spells, even Level 5 Death (Ugh, flashbacks of FF5).
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Zidane jumps over a pit and the monster falls down it. Before they can catch their breath, that same woman Brahne ordered to find the princess shows up and demands the pendant Dagger has!
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Lani was no joke. She exclusively attacks Dagger, which caused her to fall fairly quickly, even with Quina spamming White Wind as fast as they could. Dagger just managed to get Shell on herself before she finally fell to an onslaught of magical attacks.

After that, Lani cast Scan on Quina, found their fire weakness, but thankfully only cast Fira once on them.

I stole a few things, but I had to end the fight, the damage was just too much, and with Dagger out for the count and Quina running out of MP, I didn’t have a healer.

After Vivi tranced and double casted a focused Bio on her, she gave up and ran off. Phew!

This place requires us to use gargants to get around. We have to turn on and turn off various switches to divert water flow to manipulate where the gargants take us, since they hate water and will avoid it.

It’s a fairly simple, yet annoying area, but at least Hi-Speed helps with all of those gargant riding sections!
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The group finally manages to find their way out of Fossil Roo and continue on.
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After hanging around in this area for a bit to catch frogs and learn some new blue magic, the group comes up to Conde Petie, their next destination.

The group enters the town and finds out that friendly dwarves inhabit this place. Doing the usual exploring, shopping, ect, Vivi finds out that the people here seem to recognize him for some reason?

Then, the group discovers one of the black mages and chases after it!

One of the townsfolk mentions how the “pointy-hats” live in the forest, so the group gives chase.
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The group follows the lone black mage, where he uses some magic to dispel an illusion!
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Quickly bolting after him as he runs, the group finds themselves in the Black Mage Village!

Same old, same old, explore, buy stuff, but this place also has a synthesis shop!

As we explore, Vivi finds out more about the village as he speaks with the black mages, who all fear the group.

Eventually, with Vivi in tow, the town starts to trust the group and tells us some information.
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Apparently, some of the black mages that reside here just stopped moving… But the townsfolk are doing what they can for the… “Stopped” black mages. Vivi seems worried and doesn’t know what is going on.

The group decides to rest in town and Zidane and Dagger discuss what Vivi might be feeling. Zidane tells her, Vivi might just be looking for a place to call home.

Vivi also talks with the “cemetery” keeper, who tells him some grave news.

The following morning, Dagger manages to get some information regarding where Kuja might be located, as well as something about the origin of the Mist!

The group heads back to Conde Petie to head to the Sanctuary.
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We also get to finally summon Ramuh for the first time! The damage isn’t that great right now, compared to the rest of the party, though.

When we arrive, we are told that only those who have taken part in some kind of ceremony may pass, and that we have to find someone called, “his holiness.”

After speaking to him, it appears that to pass, a wedding must take place, wherein the newly weds can travel past the village. Zidane has the idea to get hitched to Dagger, to which she immediately agrees, throwing Zidane off guard.

After the wedding, Vivi and Quina wonder how they will pass, to which Zidane says that they should get married too. Reluctantly, they do.

The group also gets sight of a young girl and a moogle stealing food from the village and fleeing the village.

After that, the group continues on past the village.
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Moving on, we find that young girl stuck on a branch on the mountain path. She quickly introduces herself as Eiko.

The group finds out she doesn’t live that far from here, so they decide to escort her home.
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And we have a new party member! Eiko is essentially another Dagger, just slightly different. From what I understand, Dagger is more like a Summoner/White Mage, while Eiko is more of a White Mage/Summoner, if that makes sense.

Her trance is similar to Vivi’s, except it works for white magic. Handy for double revives or something in tricky battles.

She doesn’t have much right now, but she will get there. I never really used her, so maybe this play-through I will…

Anyway, we continue on.
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After getting a few items, finding a moogle we can save at and also stumbling across these odd colored stones, the gang sees off in the distance their destination: Sanctuary.

Before everyone can talk about it, there is a rumbling off to the side.
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We then find this guy waiting for us!
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This guy was annoying. First off, he started the fight off with Earthquake, dealing a good 200-400 damage to the entire party. This can be avoided with Float, however, Float literally lasts like 2 turns before wearing off.  You have to anticipate when he will use it, which seems to be every 3 or 4 attacks.

He also hits pretty hard with his physical attacks, but that isn’t that much of an issue. He has one good steal, and I tried and tried, but I eventually gave up. You can later buy it, anyway.
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With two healers, it isn’t that hard to keep up everyone’s health, but when Eiko and Dagger’s MP started to dwindle, I went ahead and had Vivi(who was tranced) spam Bio for the kill.

After the fight, we learn that Sanctuary is actually the Iifa Tree. Sanctuary was just a name given to it by the dwarves.
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After saving, we take all of those colored orbs we have been finding and get a Moonstone for our troubles.

The group then continues on their way to Eiko’s house.
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Upon arrival, the group finds the village of summoners, Eiko’s home. It is packed with moogles as well.

She asks Zidane a bunch of question, and then runs off to cook for everyone, giving us time to explore our new locale.

We get some various scenes; Vivi is contemplating his life, Dagger is wondering about her summon magic, Eiko is desperately trying to cook the best meal she can to impress Zidane and Quina is just Quina, although they do help Eiko cook a fantastic meal.

After the meal, Zidane asks Eiko some questions about her and her village. Apparently, a disaster struck and she was pretty much the only survivor. Her grandfather passed away a year ago, and she has been on her own with the moogles ever since.

Zidane asks about the Iifa Tree and learns that an eidolon has been sealed there, barring entry. Zidane asks if she can break the seal, to which Eiko refuses.

During the night, Eiko overhears Zidane and Vivi talking, and Eiko decides that Zidane is her true love and decides to go with them.

After everyone gets some sleep, Eiko joins us and agrees to help us break the seal. Dagger seems a bit annoyed at that prospect, but in any case, the group heads out.
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The group arrives at the Iifa Tree and Eiko quickly breaks the seal. We also get a Ruby for our troubles.
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Our first fight is with this thing. It hits pretty hard and can petrify. I switch around my abilities to deal with certain types of enemies and make the party immune to petrification.

We find a helpful save moogle and descend deeper into the creepy Iifa Tree. The music here is quite unsettling, I will say.
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Exploring the area, we find some items, notably the Healing Rod! This should cut down on the amount of MP we have to use to stay alive.

The group finds another elevator down and gets into some battles along the way.

When they reach the bottom, the group finds a well-spring of this odd water and mechanical nature.
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The group takes a moment to take in their surroundings when an odd tree creature appears!

It tells them that it creates the mist and that it expels it from its roots all through the world. Kuja apparently is using this mist to power his machines and create his black mage army.
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It also tells the group that by defeating it, the mist will disappear.

The group, resolute, goes on the offensive.

This guy was really easy, and I got lucky and managed to steal all I wanted fairly quickly.

It is also undead, so healing magic will harm it. With Dagger equipped with the Healing Rod on healing duty while Eiko spammed Cura on it, it went down fairly quick, especially with Vivi.
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Vivi is amazing. That was just a Bio, by the way. It is also weak to fire, but harming it with fire with cause it to burst into flames and deal more damage to us, so I opted not to do that.
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We then get a scene of the mist beginning to clear.

After the fight, one of the moogles comes up and tells Eiko that someone is in the village stealing stuff!

The group rushes back to the village to see what is going on.

When the group arrives, they find that Eiko’s treasure is missing!

She rushes to find it, but then gets caught by the thief!

Zidane sneaks a peek and see it’s Lani, the bounty hunter!

The group confronts her, but then the red-haired man steps in and demands that she give back what she stole.

Lani is quite confused, as she should be, and demands an answer from him.

He says he doesn’t associate with hostage-taking scum, and wants to fight on an even playing field.

Outnumbered, Lani flees.

Before the group can really thank him, he challenges Zidane to a duel!
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He accepts and the fight begins!
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Being a one-on-one fight, there isn’t much to say, although “Red” will jump around the battlefield.
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He actually can attack in quick succession, wearing Zidane down pretty quick. I had to use a few potions and even a Hi-Potion to stay alive. Near the end, I took a risk while Zidane was Tranced and used his most powerful Dyne skill twice to finish him off.

Red asks to be killed, but there is no way Zidane is going to do that, and tells him to just give back Eiko’s jewel and he can leave. He is confused, but hands over the jewel and runs off.

That night, Zidane and Dagger are speaking when Dagger hears that same song that she sings, and it causes her memory to come back to her.
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She sees a past memory of when she was a child, leaving the island after being hit with some kind of natural disaster, along with a huge eyeball that just peers down onto the island.

She faints, and everyone gets some rest for the night.
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The following morning, everyone gets together and talks. Dagger speaks with Eiko about her past, and how she remembers being on this island as a very young child. Eiko is overjoyed to not be alone anymore and shows Dagger around.

After that, Eiko decides to finally go with Zidane and the others and leave the island. As well, Red suddenly shows up and demands to know why Zidane didn’t kill him. Zidane of course, can’t really answer, so he asks him to just follow them and maybe he will get it.
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Red finally introduces himself, and tells them to call him whatever they want. Zidane decides on Aramant, from his nickname, “the Flaming Aramant.”

The group then continues onward toward the Iifa Tree, this time with Aramant in tow!
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Aramant is basically a mix between a Monk and a Ninja. He can use “Flair” skills, which function like Monk skills and Throw, which does what it says: throws item to deal damage. I set him up and replace Dagger for the time being.

Next time, the group heads towards the Iifa tree! What will they find? Stay tuned!

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