Friday, January 13, 2017

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy IX (PlayStation, 2000, Square-Enix): Issue #018: Warp Speed Now!

And we finally get to engage a few random monsters on the way out. Well, a few more, since we were fighting Black Mages and Bandersnaches towards the end of the last issue as well. On the way out, Zorn and Thorn try to trap Zidane, Vivi and Dagger in the same trap they used on the party when they was coming in before. Luckily for the party, Marcus and Blank show up and suckerpunch the jesters, thoroughly putting their lights out so that Zidane and the others can escape.

The plan for now is for the party to get to Treno and figure out what to do from there. This, naturally, means another trip by Gargant, and another boss fight with a snake kind of thing. This one's green and a bit stronger than the one from before. It's also got some armor for somebody and a new staff for Vivi that I'll say more about in a bit.

Another difference is that this boss doesn't keel over or run away once the party kicks its ass. Instead, it gets up and chases the Gargant past Treno and makes it crash into a rocky canyon a fair ways past the town. Dagger winds up pulling something of a Cecil and gets knocked out for awhile, only to wake up to find herself in a life-changing situation.

Before she does, though, we're treated to a cutscene where Zorn and Thorn go try to tell Brahne that some special guests have arrived. These guests are some axe-wielding lady called Lani and a big red-headed guy who looks like he enjoys punching things. The queen explains that their mission is twofold: get the royal pendant back from Dagger by any means necessary and to off Vivi as well. The punchy red-headed dude says he wants a piece of Zidane and tells Her Yugeness that he's gonna go for that as his first priority when he finds out he's with the party. Lani tells the queen that they'll get the job done even if they don't seem to have manners for royalty because manners aren't what they were hired for and heads out the normal way while Punchy, as I'll call him until we get to know his real name, jumps off the balcony. Zorn and Thorn, meanwhile, realize that they're pretty much screwed without the queen's support and go running off to figure out other plans after letting the guests in.

When Dagger wakes back up after the cutscene, Vivi explains that they're in a place called Pinnacle Rocks, and that they need to find a way back to Treno so they can hook back up with the Tantalus guys. As they discuss things, an old guy floats in and introduces himself as Ramuh. Ramuh explains that one of Dagger's eidolons was used to nuke Cleyra. Dagger knows it was her mother that did it, now prepared to believe it. Ramuh says whoever did it was evil, as eidolons are like summons from several previous games and can only follow their masters' orders, and the person who used Odin on Cleyra was full of greed and hate.

Ramuh goes on to explain that he'll be the first summon Dagger can actually use in the game if the party can get the story of Joseph from the Famicom version of Final Fantasy II put together in more or less the right order. I'll get to that next time, which might be awhile, because I want to refresh my memory of that from Apple's Let's Play of FF2 from several years ago now.

One last thing I want to get to before I wrap this up, of course. Towards the start of this issue, I mentioned a few thoughts about the equipment upgrades. Seems we're getting them by the ton now, which is just as frustrating as being in the opposite situation on the last disk. There were times, especially towards the end of the last disk, that I would have given my bottom gold for an upgrade in the equipment department, and now it seems I've got more than I can use. I think part of it's in service of the whole Synth Shop thing this game does. It's certainly not as cumbersome a method for making and remaking equipment as I've seen in other games, I'll give it that. Still, it's a hassle to manage all this stuff that I need to learn spells and skills from and then hope I can get it upgraded in a timely manner.

That's my thoughts on the matter for now. We'll be getting on to one of the biggest links between this game and one of its earlier cousins next time. Until then, stay safe, keep gaming, have fun, and DFTBA!

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