Have I used that title here already?
I'd be surprised either way, really. I know it's something I've talked about a few times in this Text Play. One of the stories I've heard about Final Fantasy 9 is that it so heavily references the Nintendo-era entries, and especially the NES or Famicom entries, because it was meant as something of a last outing for fans of the classic series like myself before moving on to what it's become since then. Giving some of the newer games a play for myself is something I've been meaning to do for quite some time now, but haven't gotten to yet for various reasons.
In regard to this game, though, I should talk about the save point I left off at last time. There was a letter for the moogle running the save point about through the area from the one in the Black Mage Village, saying how he's adjusting.
Also, along the way, there are altars with stones in them. One has a blue stone, another has a red stone, the third had a yellow one, and the fourth had a green stone. I could have sworn they were all interchangeable somehow, but it seems not, at least not yet, anyway. Maybe it's just that I didn't put enough time into it. I might go back before I start the next area, just to see if I can get it figured out.
Just past the save point, the party sees a big, giant tree in the distance, covered in mist. Zidane's really impressed by the sight, but nobody tells him what he's seeing just yet. Over the next hill, there's a boss fight with a giant creature called a Hill Gigas. These guys were random monsters in Final Fantasy II, and they were a real pain in the ass to deal with. Fortunately, this one isn't so bad. He had a new weapon for Eiko, but it was one that needed to be stolen during the fight, but I didn't manage to pull it off. If Eiko uses her summon magic during the fight, there's a take on the scene from Final Fantasy 6 where Terra uses magic against the Empire's soldiers in that Dagger's just as freaked out by it as Edgar and Locke were in the earlier game.
After the fight, Eiko explains that the gigas is a monster that just shows up from time to time. She goes on to explain that the path to the left leads to something called the Iifa Tree. I've always taken it to be a variant on the Mana Tree, as more famously seen in the Mana series. See also my playthrough of Legend of Mana for more.
The path to the right, meanwhile, leads to her home in a place called Madain Sari. While I was trying to remind myself of where that was, I ran into the friendly version of the Yeti monster in this game. It gives 20 AP for feeding it some Ore and says to be on the lookout for the Nymph next. When we pick up next time, I'll be at the entrance to the next village, but may go back to the path from Conde Pettie. Not sure yet. Until next time, though, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA!