Friday, November 18, 2016

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy IX (PlayStation, 2000, Square-Enix): Issue #008: Qu Slough

That's what we might call it in my neck of the woods, but the game calls it Qu's Marsh.

There's a couple places we can visit on our way to Burmecia. One is the optional, or at least I'm assuming optional Qu's Marsh, which is about halfway to the other one, Gizamluke Grotto. I'm not entirely sure how necessary it is to actually visit the marsh and get our sixth party member that I mistyped as the fifth last time: a rather androgynous entity called Quina. Even in the game, there's quite a few instances where Quina is referred to as “s/he” when being spoken of in the third person, though the translation also often goes for “him” just as often. All members of Quina's tribe are like this and have names that start with “Qu”. They like to eat many things, and have quite the taste for frogs. I'd be talking about myself if I'd ever tried frogs. And was of less certain gender.

Back on topic, the leader of the group Quina's a part of is called Quale, and when he finds Zidane and the others catching frogs for Quina, they take the four back to the main house in the swamp and ask the party to take Quina with them. I usually agree, simply because I quite like the way the Final Fantasy series in general has handled the “blue magic/mage” aesthetic, especially in these ones that were released as multiples of three. Gau from Final Fantasy VI, which was originally released as III here in the states got quite a lot of the stuff by hopping on monsters in the Veld region of the world map. The Enemy Skills materia in FF7 has more or less the same effect, gaining its spells as the party member who's got it equipped gets attacked with the spells it can learn. Quistis's blue magic limit break was at least an interesting idea, coming from items dropped in battle.

In this case, Quina gets their blue magic by gulping down enemies in battle. I know the targeted enemy's HP has to be down to either a third or a quarter before Quina can eat them, though I can't recall which it is specifically. Quina's limit break is called Cook, which replaces the Eat command, and allows them to eat monsters at higher HP than with the standard Eat command.

There are one or two blue magic spells I usually want to get before I go on with the Grotto ahead. One's the Vanish spell, which makes party members invisible and immune to physical attacks. The other's one called White Wind, I believe, which heals a good amount of HP to the whole party. I think I know which beast I've gotta have Quina eat for that one, and I know where to find it.

Thing is, in the process of all this, it's very easy to get the crap kicked out of the party. A good many of these spells are worth having, sure, but the monsters can still beat the hell out of the party in the process of getting their health down low enough for Quina to eat them.

After about an hour of trying this, it was time for a break, and because I needed to restock some of my items and use a proper Inn to restore my health, I went back to the Inn at the business district of Lindblum. When I have a better chance to sit down and do all this right, I'll put more time into getting the spells I can for now before going on to Gizamaluke, and I'll probably do that part as well. But that's for next time, in issue #9, North To The Grotto. Until then, stay safe, keep gaming, have fun, and DFTBA!

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