Moreso in the game than in on my cousin Timmy's old sketch comedy show, but I figure I may as well make the reference since he did me a good turn and mentioned this on his gaming stream when I was in the chat on the 22nd. Gotta say, I think I could really get into Final Fantasy XV, between what I've seen in that stream and the Let's Play of it CLG's RekiWylls is doing.
But going back a half dozen games to Final Fantasy 9, we left off with Zidane having a look-see at what's going on around the village of Cleyra. There's some good stuff to find that I'd forgotten about. I would only have bought one Thunder Glove had I remembered one was available for free.
There's also one last Active Time Event where one of the Burmecian soldiers is understandably yet unfortunately teaching his kids to be racist when he and his family corners Vivi at the Inn and calls him a bastard, mistakenly thinking that he was involved with Alexandria's taking a big, giant crap on Burmecia just because he's a Black Mage. The innkeeper breaks it up before things can get physically violent, which gives Vivi a chance to at least say he wasn't involved, even if it doesn't really get him anywhere.
From there, all that's really left is going to the temple, where the priests tell Zidane that Freya's going to be there awhile, so he should just go to the Inn and wait there for her. When he gets there, Burmecian Soldier Dan shows up, freaking out about how the Antlion is going nuts and trying to eat some kid. The only option is to follow him down to the monster's den and try to kick its ass. Dan gets there just ahead of Zidane, but won't go in with him to actually fight the damned monster. On the one hand, the guy does have a family to think of, but at the same time, he was eager to fight the monster until it came time to actually fight the monster. Fortunately, Freya, Vivi and Quina show back up to help instead.
Turns out the kid the Antlion is trying to snack on is that Puck guy Vivi was hanging out with at the beginning of the game. And better yet, Puck is actually the crown prince of Burmecia. I guess it explains why he's kind of a punk. Somehow, Freya recognizes the guy when the soldiers don't seem to.
The Antlion has a gold helm and some mythril armor that will be useful later, and one Annoyntment, which cures the Trouble status, which also comes in handy, since the Antilon causes that as well. It's easy enough to get it all and then wail away on the monster.
After the battle, the party goes to the temple, where the priests ask Freya to join them in the ritual dance to strengthen the storm protecting the settlement. It's certainly an enchanting dance to watch, even if it does ultimately go wrong. After the dance is completed, the strings on the harp used to provide the music pop, and the harpist says it's a bad omen. Bad is kind of an understatement, as the storm stops, revealing what would otherwise be a very lovely day in the area around this particular Mana Tree.
When the storm stops, the scene shifts back to Alexandria Castle, where Steiner and Marcus are locked up in a cage suspended in the middle of a rather large room being guarded by Beatrix's soldiers. The pair is arguing about who's to blame for their being in the fix they're in. Meanwhile, Dagger's under guard in her room, deciding that she's going to be frank and forward with her mother about what's actually going on. Zorn and Thorn show up to take her to speak to her mother, though for other reasons entirely. Dagger asks her question about what the deal with Burmecia was, and Bhrane says it was because Burmecia had actually intended to hit Alexandria, so she decided to act first to keep that from happening. We're given a choice to either take the queen at her word or call her on it. I went with calling her on it, simply because I do believe it's mostly a shorter route. Either way, eventually, Kuja shows up and puts Dagger under so that Zorn and Thorn can do a ritual of their own to pull the summons, officially called eidolons for the first time, from Dagger. For some reason, they had to wait until she was sixteen to do it. I know a lot of these mystical things like this have weird age restrictions, so I guess it makes sense.
With that ritual underway, we get back to Cleyra, where Zidane and Freya discuss what they're going to do now that Cleyra's at as much risk as Burmecia was. The decision is made to do something about it. Zidane's dialog options include agreeing with Freya about what's going on, wondering who Kuja is, and being most worried about Dagger. I went with wondering about Kuja, because I actually kind of do. With that, Zidane goes to get the others while Freya gets to look around before meeting up with the others at the entrance to town.
This is where I'm going to save and take it a rest. Things are going to get interesting for a bit here soon, but we'll get more into that next time. Until then, stay safe, keep gaming, have fun, and DFTBA!