Final Fantasy IX Walkthrough
by Lassarina Aoibhell
Greetings. Welcome to the Disc Three section of my walkthrough. As previously stated, this walkthrough is my own work. DON'T COPY IT. If you'd like to post it on your web page, you're free to do so--under three conditions. One, don't change it. Two, give me credit. Three, let me know. My email is email@example.com. Thanks!
Table of Contents
Part I: Alexandria
After a couple of scenes, you'll control Vivi. Before speaking to Zidane, why not explore? There are tons of mini-games to play, and you won't be able to access most of them after Vivi rejoins Zidane. First, remember Ilia's grandmother? The woman who loves to sew? Head for her house (to the right from the tavern) and speak to Hippaul and Hippolady. Hippaul has some very nice cards for you to win if you choose to play him, and there's also a mini-game here. Hippolady wants you to help Hippaul get in shape. For every race Vivi wins, Hippaul gains a level. For every ten levels he gains, Hippolady will give Vivi a rare card. The chart of levels and cards is below.
Please note that this mini-game is ONLY available now. You cannot play it after Vivi rejoins Zidane. It's a very easy mini-game up until about level 40. Then it gets much tougher. Frankly, it is my personal opinion that the game simply isn't worth it after level 60. The Genji Card is easier to get playing the jump-rope mini-game, at least for me. You'll have to decide if the Athlete Queen key item is worth it to you.
When you're done playing this mini-game, head for the alley where you met Puck, back at the beginning of the game. Talk to Blank and Marcus, and agree to see the play with them. Scenes will ensue, during which you get an Opal, Topaz, and Amethyst. You'll learn a little bit about Dagger's past.
As Eiko, you can save with Mosh if you like. The mix-up with the letter is amusing, but sweet. When Vivi joins Zidane, head to the bell tower and find your old friend Kupo. You should have a letter for him, and Stiltzkin is nearby, willing to sell you some more items. Your next destination is the castle, but there is one more mini-game you can play before doing that. Head to the weapons shop, where Benero, Zenero, and Genero are running a little gambling game. The maximum you can win at this game is 26,500 Gil, so be advised.
When you get bored with mini-games, make sure you've picked up the nice new equipment from the weapon, item, and synth shops before heading toward the castle. After Freya and Amarant's little tiff, check the area for 3927 Gil and a Phoenix Pinion. Ride the boat to the castle, and search the dock there for an Ether, Phoenix Pinion, and Lapis Lazuli. Take the left-hand path and check in the dungeon for a Phoenix Pinion, then go on to the next room and search for the Leo Stellazio. Return to the dock and head up. Your party will have an audience with Dagger. Be prepared for sap and humour. Ultimately, the party will decide to go to Treno and attend the card tournament.
Part II: Treno
Send Vivi home and have Zidane leave Treno. Head to Dali via South Gate. You must speak to the guard twice to get through. If you didn't feed the Friendly Brown Mu any Ore on your last trip through, you can do so now.
In Dali, go into the windmill. It isn't running right now, so you can pick up the Cacusha and the Elixir on the upper floor. Now go to the Mayor's place, to the left of the windmill. Check the desk for the Mini-Brahne. Search the desk twice more until the boy says "Zzz," then search the heater for the Mayor's Key. Go back outside and search the Chocobo's pen for a hidden treasure chest containing 30,000 Gil, then search that same chest again for the Burman Coffee.
Leave Dali and go to Observatory Mountain. Give the coffee to Morrid, who will promise you a certain key item. Head back to Treno.
At the Knight's House, there's a new monster for you to fight. If you've been stealing a lot, use Thievery to inflict heavy non-elemental damage. The Catoblepas has nothing special for you to steal, but you'll receive 15,000 Gil for defeating it. Go visit Queen Stella, who will have more rewards in exchange for your new Stellazio. You may also wish to drop by the Auction House. You should absolutely pick up the Dark Matter from the Auction, which will teach a character to summon Odin. The shops have restocked as well, so you'll probably want to drop by there as well. Finally, Mogrich, outside the Knight's House, has a bit of information to pass along.
Now you're ready for the Card Tournament. If you've been playing a lot and collecting rare cards, you'll kick ass very easily. You should probably save after each round, however, just in case. You must win the first two rounds of the card tournament. If you get low on cards, Dr. Tot will give you some, or you can purchase them from the seller in front of the stadium. A good strategy for the first round is to select cards with a Magic attack of 2 or higher, or a physical attack of 3 or higher, with good defense stats. For the second round, use cards with lots of arrows and strong stats. The third round is easy; your opponent's cards have 1P or 2P attacks, Physical defense of 1, and Magic Defense of 0. Pick cards with magic attacks or stronger physical attacks. If you win, you'll get a Rebirth Ring. Your final opponent also has the nifty rare Oglop cards.
Part III: Alexandria In Danger
Dagger must give orders to the Knights of Pluto. This is a reference to the very beginning of the game, when Steiner spoke to his men. The orders you give should suit the Knights' personalities, so that they will execute them well. Have her tell Weimar and Haagen to protect the townspeople. Breirecht and Laudo should contact Lindblum. Blutzen and Kohel will gather information, and Mullenkedheim and Dojebon can fire the cannons. You will get Angel Earrings if Dagger gives all the proper orders.
When fighting with Beatrix and Steiner, you shouldn't need to do more than attack. If you find yourself facing two Mistodons at once, use Climhazzard. In the last battle, Steiner will Auto-Trance. This shouldn't be difficult.
As Dagger, scoot your cute little royal tush upstairs. You will know if you make a wrong turn. Enjoy the scenes that follow.
When you control Zidane, pause a moment to equip your party with the strongest items you can. Make sure Amarant has the Poison Knuckles and the Add-Status ability equipped. You may want to equip Auto-Potion to your characters and get rid of all the Potions in your inventory, so that you have only Hi-Potions. There is an optional boss fight ahead that is difficult, but rewarding. Pause to clear people out of the castle, if you really wish to be a good Samaritan. In the library to the left, examine the "?" mark to fight Tantarian.
Attack the book to make it show its true form. Once it does so, steal from it, use magic and skills, but DO NOT physically attack this boss. Thievery is a good choice of skill if you've been stealing a lot, and Reis's Wind will be quite helpful. Have Vivi use his strongest magic, and alternate between having Amarant attack the boss and heal the party with Chakra. Tantarian's Paper Storm and Edge attacks are rather brutal. For winning this fight, you get the Running Shoes and possibly another Ramuh Card.
Keep heading up through the castle, and make sure you pause to save with Mosh. Many scenes will ensue.
Part IV: Lindblum
When Zidane wakes up in the Guest Room, there are some new treasures waiting nearby--an Elixir and an Egoist's Armlet. Save your game, and agree to deliver Mogki's letter. When Blank arrives, ask him about Dagger. Head up to the telescope, and speak to her. Then head to the Regent's room. After the meeting, go back to the Guest Room and speak to Dagger again.
It seems you are in need of a few potions. But not so fast! There's a lot of stuff to find in this town. Go to the Business District first. Deliver your letter to Moodon at the Inn, then head north. Check the left side of the screen for the Sagittarius Stellazio. Drop by Card Freak Gon's house for another Elixir and a Remedy. He's a good Tetra Master opponent if your cards are weak; if you're a good player, he's laughable. The brother and sister by the pickle cart, Oliver and Joanna, have some very nice cards for you to win. Joanna possesses Antlion, Gimme Cat, Ragtimer, and Cactuar cards, while her brother has rare cards like Fenrir, Iron Man, Gargoyle, and Hecteyes. You might want to save before challenging them, and again after every game to ensure that you don't lose any of your good cards to them.
Head up to the Market Square, and visit the Weapon Shop if you like--it has been restocked, and there's plenty to buy. Then go find Alice, who will give you the Beautiful Potion. She's outside the Weapon Shop. You may want to drop by the Synthesist's Shop, too, while you're here.
When you're done shopping, head to the Theater District. Drop by Michael's Studio and talk to him, then search in the corner at the bottom of the stairs for the Strange Potion. There's also a Lapis Lazuli in the treasure chest. Michael's not much of a card player, by the way; if you're just starting out, though, he's a decent challenge. Now head to the Tantalus hideout. Cinna will give you the Unusual Potion. Inside the hideout, you'll find 1273 Gil, 970 Gil, and 4826 Gil. If you completed Morrid's sidequest, you should be able to find the Mini-Prima Vista on the floor near the bed.
Now it's time to head back to the castle and hope for the best. After the scene, head down to the Base Level and take the trolley to the Serpent's Gate. Check the chest at the back of the landing platform for a Chimera Armlet. Then board the Blue Narciss.
Part V: Black Mage Village
I recommend putting Quina, Steiner, and Freya in your party, since they will probably need to level up to catch up with your other characters. Pilot the Blue Narciss to the Gegalrich Shores, which are in the long narrow gulf on the south side of the Outer Continent. Head to the Black Mage Village.
The place is almost totally deserted, and there are only three things of interest. First is the Black Belt in the Item Shop--climb the ladder and jump on the bed to get it. Next, go to the cemetery and speak to No. 288, who will tell you what's going on. Vivi is at the Chocobo shack, so go find him. No. 288 will end up giving you directions, so head back to the Blue Narciss and sail east.
Part VI: Dealing With Kuja
Move through the desert to the northeast sinkhole, the one that does not have puffs of sand coming out of it. Avoid the other ones--if you try to enter them, you will have to fight Antlion enemies. Enter the sinkhole by pressing X.
Zidane will awaken in a small, circular room, and hold a brief conversation with Kuja. You have no choice but to agree to do him a favour. He tells you where and what: go to Oelivert and retrieve the Gulug Stone.
Now, you must choose a party. I recommend Zidane, Eiko, Freya, and Amarant. You should leave Steiner behind because he will be of more use where Vivi is, and you definitely want to leave Vivi and Dagger behind. Eiko won't be as useful once you get to Oelivert, but she can be of enormous help on the way there. Equipping the Healer ability on her once you get to Oelivert will make her much more useful. If you don't want her, take Quina instead, who will be able to learn a bunch of new Blue Magic. Kuja will transport you to the airship dock. As you make your way to the airship, beware of the Grimlock enemies, who can be immensely annoying. Board the airship to begin the next phase of your journey.
Part VII: Errand to Oelivert
When you reach the Forgotten Continent, purchase items from Zorn and Thorn. Equip everyone with the Clear Headed and Bright Eyes abilities; if you brought Eiko or Quina, equip them with Loudmouth. If you brought Quina, there's a Qu's Marsh to the north of where the airship lands; otherwise, head south into the canyons, and veer to the west. The light will change as you move into the canyons, as though it were approaching sunset. When you reach the seashore, turn east and then south, following the spiral-shaped canyon. Save outside the city, then head in.
Eiko's Moogle friend Mimoza is in Oelivert; she has a letter for you and runs a Mogshop. Pick up a lot of Soft items from her. Before you head into the city proper, make sure everyone who knows Chemist has that ability equipped. Give Eiko the Healer ability and direct her to attack your party members, which will heal them in battle.
Once inside the doors, look to the right side of the staircase for a Remedy. Head up the stairs for a Rising Sun. Head left from there and examine the magic globe, which will turn red. The chest contains an Elixir.Go back to the "lobby" and use the lower-left exit. Go around the circle to see a projection show. Retrieve a Diamond Sword and Shield Armor from the chests, then leave through the bottom exit.
A chest to the far right contains a Power Vest. You'll see two more projectors, but investigating them proves fruitless. Go up the stairs to find a chest containing Feather Boots and another pair of projectors. Check the left-hand one, then activate the other three, moving clockwise. A story will gradually take shape. When you're finished, leave by the top-left exit.
In this large room, examine the glowing globe you come across, then keep going left. You'll find yourself back in the first projection room. Head through the blue door. Here you will find a few more pieces of the puzzle. Return to the main lobby, and head right. Mooel the Moogle is here, along with a chest containing Gaia Gear. Speak to Mooel, whom you should have a letter for, and make sure to save. Watch the display. Head through the door at the right, and step onto the platform. Walk up and take the Gulug Stone, only to find that its guardian isn't precisely pleased...
Start out by casting Reis's Wind. Have Amarant Throw items and use Chakra to help heal people. Freya should attack, and Zidane should use Thievery if you've been stealing a lot, physical attacks if you haven't. If Zidane Trances, use Solution 9. Freya, at least, should have access to the Chemist ability, so use her as your healer, with Eiko and Amarant's help. Steal the Holy Lance if at all possible. Your party should all have the Clear Headed ability equipped to help defend against Ark's Confuse attacks. After the fight, you will get the stone. The scene shifts back to the Desert Palace.
Part VIII: Desert Palace
As Cid, you have to save everyone's butt. You'll overhear a conversation between two Black Mages. Go right as they leave. You have six minutes to play a game of Red Light-Green Light with the Hedgehog Pie, snag the Hourglass Key, unbalance the scales, and turn the hourglass. Move ahead when the Hedgehog Pie's back is turned; if he sees you, you have to start over. Use the O button to move. Examine the weights and scales, then use the clay, stone, and iron weights. Flip the hourglass and set the others free.
If you left Eiko behind, she will lead the party. If not, Steiner assumes the lead. Deck everyone out with new equipment, and make sure Dagger equips the Pumice Piece so she can learn the Ark Summon. Give as many people as possible the Body Temp ability. Head right again. Mojito has a letter for your to deliver, and runs a Mogshop. Now head left and up the stairs. Examine the statue at the left, then check the glowing bloodstone at the right for a Promist Ring. Head up.
Examine the three statues, then run all the way right and head left past the demon statue. A new path appears. Go up it. Run to the right side of the balcony and light the candelabra, then head back to the three statues and exit to the left. You'll find yourself on a curving staircase. At the top are three braziers. Light all three and zip from the left side to the right, where you should light the brazier on the bottom left. The statues at the left will disappear. Go back to the left side and walk into the center area. Examine the wall art and light the two braziers in the center, causing the statues at the right to disappear.
Light the remaining two braziers on the right and go down the central steps. Light THAT brazier and the central bloodstone will glow. Retrieve the Anklet from it. Now head through the right-hand doorway. In the curved corridor, examine the second statue to light a candelabra. The bloodstone yields a Shield Armor. Keep going to the end of the semicircle and move slightly forward to go up the stairs.
At the top of the stairs, light the candelabra. The stained glass window will light up. Circle around the balcony to reach the library. At the left of the screen is a candelabra. Lighting it causes a staircase to appear. Ascend the stairs to light another candelabra on the left. A door will appear. Get the N-Kai Armlet and promptly equip it to Vivi so he can learn Water.
Go back to the library and down the stairs. Go up the small staircase at the left and check the !, then light the candelabra at the right to reveal a new doorway. Go through and to the left. Light the candelabra there and continue upwards to light yet another. Go back to the library.
Now light the candles at the bottom right side of the library. Oh goodie, a new door appears. Go through it and light the candelabra there, which opens up the left-hand wall of the library. Give Mogsam the letter from Mojito, and save your game. Move on to the left, and the next fire-trap in this palace.
Light two candles and examine the gargoyle. The bloodstone contains the Black Hood. Go through the door and across the balcony. Inspect the angel statue, and light the candles. You can get the Venetia Shield from the bloodstone. Light the third candle, beneath the portrait. Now extinguish the left-hand candle under the angel statue. Go back to the other side and extinguish the left-hand candle beneath the demon statue. A staircase will appear in the center of the room. Go back and save. Make sure that Vivi either knows Water or has the N-Kai Armlet equipped. If Dagger doesn't yet know the Leviathan summon, make sure you equip her with the Aquamarine.
Go back to the room with the angel and demon statues and ascend the staircase. Light the final candelabra, summoning the guardian of the Desert Palace, Valia Pira.
If you got all the bloodstones, this is a piece of cake. Have Steiner use the Water Sword, Quina cast Aqua Breath, Dagger summon Leviathan, and Vivi cast Water. It's not difficult at all.
After the fight, re-light the candelabra and step onto the glowing circle. It will teleport you somewhere. The viewpoint will switch to Zidane's group. Head through the airship dock to the teleporter. Go up the stairs and enter Kuja's room. After the scenes, create a battle party. Check the stand of books at the left for the powerful Namingway Card. Leave Kuja's room and use the left-hand teleporter to go back to the airship dock.
Oops, the Hilda Garde 1 is gone. Head out via the top exit and examine the lever to drop the ladder. Make your way out. You will see the airship moving to the Lost Continent. Save and prepare to chase Kuja yet again.
Part IX: Esto Gaza
When the Blue Narciss lands, take a moment to explore. See the Chocobo tracks? If you dug up the Cold Field Chocograph, you can get that now--just to the east of the tracks. You can also find the Green Feather Circle friendly monster in this area. When you are finished exploring, head east to Esto Gaza.
Go up the stairs and through the central, lighted door. Speak to the Bishop, then head right. Go all the way around the circle clockwise (starting at the left) for a Wing Edge. The shopkeeper is in the center, and has lots of new toys to sell you. Go back to the lobby and up the stairs to the left. Mogrika has a letter from Artemecion and one for you to deliver to Moodan. Go up and check the ! for a view of the Shimmering Island if you like, then head to the right. In the next screen, go up. Pause outside the doors and equip Body Temp to everyone in your party; you'll need it.
Part X: Mount Gulug
From the entrance, head into the house to the left. There is 9693 Gil in the lower right corner. Read the bulletin board on the left-hand wall. Go up the ladder and examine the rubble to the left to find an Ether. The door at the left leads to a ladder to a Red Hat (hidden on the platform below). Now go back downstairs and into the house on the right. Go through and check to the left of the rope, where you can find a Gold Hairpin in the adjacent cavern. There's a bulletin board here, as well. Go back and slide down the rope.
Head right, and give Moolan Mogrika's letter. He has a letter for you to give to Mogtaka. Save and rest. The bottom right corner of this room contains a Wing Edge. Go right and through the door. In this room, there is a bulletin board at the top of the first set of stairs. Keep going to get a Gaia Gear on the platform outside. Head back. As you begin to leave the room, Red Dragons will attack your party. Pause to rest and save with Moolan afterwards--your party will probably need it.
Leave Moolan's room and head left past the well. Enter the house, where you will find a Demon's Mail to the right and a bulletin board over the dresser. Leave the house and enter the cave. Go up the stairs and you will find the moogle Mogtaka, whom you should have a letter for. He runs a Mogshop, so stock up and save. Go out the top exit and into the house at the right. A Red Dragon will attack you. Check the treasure chest after the battle for an Elixir.
Go back to the well, and pull the lever down three times. Climb down and wander through the room at the bottom, where you will fight another Red Dragon. Afterward, you may wish to go back up and save with one of the two Moogles--a boss fight is coming soon. When you're ready to proceed, step through the rubble where the dragons were. Scenes ensue. You'll get the Ribbon item.
This isn't a particularly difficult fight. Use Mini against the boss, and steal the nice items it has. Regen will be helpful to your party. Administer Vaccines when Meltigemini causes Virus. After the battle, you'll find Lady Hilda in a nearby room.
Back in Lindblum, when Zidane awakens, speak to Mogki. He wants you to take a letter to Kumool. Go to the conference room, where you'll be given an objective. Before completing the objective, however, there are a few other things for you to do. Zidane must search for Dagger, and in the process, he'll acquire the Garnet from Beatrix. Once you find her, Regent Cid will give you the Hilda Garde 3 airship. Once on board, go to the bridge and exit by the door at the back of the bridge. Go through the areas where Quina, Freya, and Vivi are until you find an area with a ladder. Search to the right of the ladder for a Tent. Climb the ladder. The compartment is locked. To get in, land at Lindblum. When you board again, choose to go to the bridge. Sailor Erin will have the compartment open, and it contains an Elixir for you.
There are two minor places to visit that contain some fairly nifty things. First, take your new toy to the valley beneath Treno, and visit the north side of South Gate. The moogle Mosco is hanging out here, along with two treasure chests containing 3206 Gil and an Elixir.
The other minor place to visit is the main entrance of South Gate, on the other side of the mountain and the airship gate. This place, where Steiner was toting around Dagger in a pickle bag, has a chest you couldn't reach before. It contains the rare Elixir Card, which is worth your time to get if you're a fan of Tetra Master.
Having done all this, your immediate destination is Ipsen's Castle, but there are a few more things you can do first. Now that you have an airship, you'll be able to complete the Chocobo Hot and Cold sidequest. Then there's the city of Daguerreo, not to mention a brief visit to Alexandria. All these things are covered in the next few sections.
Part XI: Chocobos
While playing the Chocobo Hot & Cold Game in Chocobo Forest, you will eventually run up against the realization that you cannot dig up any more Chocographs in that area. Now that you have an airship, you have the ability to reach a new Chocobo area, the Chocobo Lagoon. Fly your airship to the southwest corner of the world map, and find the island with chocobo tracks. Land there and call Choco, then follow the reefs east, north, and around. You should reach the north side of the island that is to the east of where you left your airship. Enter the cave, where you can dig up ever more Chocographs. In the interests of space, I will not be including a full chart of the Chocographs, their locations, and their contents, but you can find that guide by clicking here.
Part XII: Daguerreo
Daguerreo is located in the southwest archipelago. You need either a Gold Chocobo or an Airship to get there. Enter the citadel and descend the platform to the right. Move toward the front of the screen (down on the control pad) to get the Capricorn Stellazio. Keep heading right. In the next room, get on the lift. Noggy the moogle is waiting to the right. The Synthesist is directly in front of you. However, do NOT synth the Thief Gloves. You can buy them at the Treno Auction for only 26,000 Gil, in contrast to the 50,000 Gil the Synthesist wants. Go left and speak to the four-armed man. He will tell you your treasure hunter rank. If you've gathered enough treasure, you can get the Rank S Award. If not, come back later. You can try to win airship cards from him if you wish, though these can also be found in the Chocobo Hot & Cold sidequest. Continue to the left.
The first man you see is Engineer Zebolt of Lindblum. Next you'll find two people debating about something. If you agree with the young lady, she'll give you the Meteor Card, but if you agree with the young man, you will get the Flare Card. The young woman runs an Item Shop. Go further left and speak to the scholars. You can rest by speaking to the Librarian. Now go through the door and speak to the weaponsmith. Go back to the library and press the button to the left of the item shop. Go back to the room where Noggy is and go downstairs.
Go to the main room and examine the statue of the Dragon God at the north end of the main platform. For every 5 Ore you put into the statue, you will receive one Aquamarine. This is helpful if you want to boost the power of Dagger's Leviathan summon. Now go left and speak to the woman in green, who's a survivor of the Cleyra disaster. Examine the bar leaning against the bookshelf, and play with the levers. Choose the left lever twice and examine the hole. Pick up the bar by the bookshelf and put it in the hole. Now pull the right lever until the platform is level with the ground, and step onto the platform. It will take you to the second floor. Speak to the weaponsmith, and purchase from him if you like. If you run low on cash, go fight outside--every Gimme Cat battle is worth 5,000 Gil, more if Quina equips Millionaire.
Go back to the library. To the right of Engineer Zebolt, examine the large stack of books. Now go speak to the scholar at the other end of the room, who is looking for "The Eidolon and I." Coincidentally, it was in that stack. Tell him so. When he moves away, go into the bookshelves where he was standing and find the ? icon. Go down. At the left is a guy who will rename your characters if you got the Namingway card. To the far right of this balcony, there is an Elixir. You can find another Elixir at the far left end, as well.
Part XIII: Alexandria Again
You'll enter Alexandria on the screen where Ilia's grandparents live. They're standing outside with Ilia. Search across the street for a Sapphire. In the next screen, search the left side (near the bottom of the screen) for an Ether. Continue on to the next screen, the main square, where you will find a little girl running around. Speak to her to get the rare Alexandria Card. The weapons shop has relocated, and is now next to the Inn. There's a Remedy on the right side of the screen, to the left of the green awning.
In the alley by the mini-theater there is a wandering synthesist. Enter the mini-theater to find 2680 Gil at the bottom edge of the screen. In the next screen, there is a Tent next to the bell tower. Inside the bell tower, Kupo is still hanging out, and the little girls playing jump-rope have taken up residence. If Vivi or Eiko is in your party, you can play jump-rope and win some pretty nice cards. The moogle Chesnut keeps track of your jump-rope records.
Now head up toward the castle. At the boat dock, you'll find a Topaz to the left and 4832 Gil to the right. Go to the castle. At the landing dock, there is an Opal on the southwest corner. To the right of the statue on the upper level of the dock, you can find a Peridot. There is a Sapphire in the rubble at the north end of this screen. If you wish to speak to the Knights of Pluto, head left, and you will find a couple of them sorting through the rubble.
At this point you should have acquired enough treasures to gain the Rank S Medal in Daguerreo, so travel there and speak to the Four-Armed Man. He'll run away. Chase him to the lobby and speak to him again to get the award. He will also tell you his true name, which will have meaning to those who have played other Final Fantasy games.
Part XIV: Wandering
At this point in the game, you may wish to revisit the Qu's Marshes you have previously investigated, as the frogs have probably respawned since your last visit. There is also a new Qu's Marsh you can reach, in the archipelago of islands near Daguerreo.
It's probably also a good idea to level up. Fighting Grand Dragons (in the area outside Daguerreo, and on the heights above Gizamaluke's Grotto) will get your characters to level 50 quite easily. If you wish to level them up higher, battle the Yans on Vile Island, east of the Desert Palace. In this area, you can also meet the most powerful of the Friendly Monsters, covered in the next section.
Remember the moogles back in Gizamaluke's Grotto? Each time you get a Kupo Nut, return there and feed them. Eventually the moogles will give you an Aloha T-Shirt, completing the collection found in one of the Chocobo Hot & Cold game. (This doesn't actually do anything for your party, except function as a nifty equipment placeholder for characters not currently in your party, but it's vaguely amusing nonetheless. Remember, you can only hold one Kupo Nut in your inventory at once, and you will not acquire any more until you get rid of the one you have.)
Finally, you should drop by Treno and have a look around at the auction; there may be some good items for sale. For example, you can get the Thief Gloves for Zidane at the auction for only 26,000 Gil (whereas it costs 50,000 Gil to synth them in Daguerreo.)
Part XV: Friendly Monsters
The Friendly Monsters sidequest can be frustrating, but the rewards far outstrip the annoyance. You must find all the other creatures before trying to face the Friendly Yan, because it will run away if you have not encountered (and satisfied) all the other friendly monsters. However, if you appease the Friendly Yan, you will be able to use physical attacks against Ozma. This is valuable because Ozma likes to use the Berserk status on your characters...but we'll save that for later. The following is a chart of the Friendly Monsters, their locations, their demands, and your reward.
Part XVI: Ipsen's Castle
Choose your party and head on into the castle. This place is really strange. Equip the weakest possible weapons and armour to your characters--because of the weird nature of Ipsen's Castle, Zidane's Dagger will do high damage, but his more powerful weapons won't be effective at all, and likewise for the other characters. Fortunately, this stricture does not effect magic--Firaga is still more powerful than Fire. If you sold or synthed all your weak items, there is a Mogshop early on from which you can pick up the appropriate items.
When Amarant has his little tantrum, choose to let him go, and continue into the castle. In the first room, check the left side for a Dagger and the right side for the Aquarius Stellazio. Go toward the archway at the back of the room, but before walking through it, check to the left for a ! icon and read the sign. Then go through the arch. In this new room, the top left corner contains a chest with Cat's Claws. In the lower left is the moogle Kumool. You have a letter for him, for which he'll give you a Kupo Nut if you don't already have one in your inventory. He also runs a Mogshop where you can purchase the weak equipment your party probably needs.
Slide down the pole in the center of the room. There is a ladder behind Zidane, toward the top of the screen. Climb it and go left. Head down, and slightly left, to get to the next room. Go up and through the doorway above you, then climb the ladder up. Jump off to the left and go around the walkway for a Javelin. Walk back around and get back on the ladder, then hop off to the right to acquire a Broadsword. Get back on the ladder once again and go down. Get on the next ladder and head up. Jump off when the game asks to get a Rod. Go back and climb up either of the two ladders, then go through the door. Step onto the elevator.
You will encounter Amarant here. Examine the back wall for four mirrors. Their guardian will then attack you.
This boss is very weak against Flare, so if Vivi is in your party, have him Focus and then repeatedly cast Flare. Steiner should use the Flare Sword if both he and Vivi are in your party. Depending on who else is in your party, have Dagger summon Bahamut. Freya should attack and use Reis's Wind to help heal the party. Amarant should cast No Mercy, and Zidane should attack and steal. Have Quina use Frog Drop if you've caught a lot of frogs. When the boss curls up, stop using physical attacks. Use skills or magic instead. It's not a particularly difficult boss fight.
After the battle, take the elevator down and examine the fresco on the wall. Push it, pound on it, think, push it again, try something drastic, and then rest. A door will open. Go through and open the chest to the right for a Barette. Go back through the door and to the right. Climb down the ladder and return to the room where Kumool is.
Trigger the right-hand trap door that is roughly parallel to Kumool to get a Maiden Prayer. Jump down from the chandelier and climb up the pole. Head out of the castle. In the first room (the one where you found the Aquarius), there is a new door open, to the left of the archway. Go through and across the catwalk in the next room. You will find an elevator.
Ride the elevator, and you'll find a room with two vases. There's also a chest containing a Golem's Flute. Move each vase counter-clockwise twice. The sword on the wall will transfer electricity into the vases. Pick up the right-hand one to get the Ancient Aroma. Go back up the elevator, and look to the left to find a chest with an Air Racket.
Return once more to the room where Kumool is hanging out and climb the pole until Zidane automatically jumps off onto a chandelier, where you'll find a Mage Staff and a Fork. Jump down and leave the castle, at which point Zidane will notice that Amarant is no longer present. Go back to the room where Kumool is and descend the pole to find Amarant. Fight your way out of the castle, and don't forget to re-equip everyone once you leave.
Part XVII: The Four Shrines
You must split your party into four pairs and take on the four shrines at once. Drop Dagger and Eiko off at the Water Shrine, south of Ipsen's Castle. The Fire Shrine is north of Esto Gaza on the Lost Continent, while the Wind Shrine is in the southeastern part of the Forgotten Continent. Finally, take Zidane and Quina to the Earth Shrine, southeast of Kuja's Palace on the Outer Continent.
Pause to equip Zidane and Quina with strong weapons and armour, since Ipsen's Castle probably left you with some pretty weak gear. Also, you may want to give them both the Auto-Float and Auto-Life abilities. Auto-Regen, Auto-Haste, High Tide, and Counter are also good ideas for support abilities. Also, equip them with items that absorb Earth Damage, like the Gaia Gear. When you're ready, head down the steps. When the trap activates, press X whenever the ! icon appears to dodge the stones. In the main chamber, examine the altar. Your party members will fight all four Guardians, but the only battle you actually have to control is the one with the Earth Guardian.
Have Quina cast Mighty Guard, and then attack, while Zidane focuses on stealing. If Zidane trances, use Grand Lethal. Have Quina repeatedly cast Bad Breath as well, to weaken the boss. If Quina doesn't have Bad Breath, then use 1,000 Needles. This isn't a particularly nasty boss fight, but the items it has are well worth stealing.
Before you conquer the Shimmering Island, you may want to drop by Treno to trade in any Stellazio you still have lying around. If you'd like to level up, now is a good time to do that as well.
Part XVIII: The Shimmering Island
The Shimmering Island is the iceberg south of the Lost Continent. Press the O button while hovering to enter. You'll be greeted by an arrogant old man. Head to the right, where you'll see a blonde girl who promptly runs away from you. Before you follow her, go down the path at the left near the top of the screen, and jump first forward, then right for a Coronet. From there, jump right and up twice for a Dragon Wrist. Head back to the screen where you met the blonde and go up.
The treasure chest to the left contains an Elixir. Continue to follow the blonde around. She will lead you across a bridge, and you will come to a screen with a glowing web leading down. At the bottom is a second web to the right; climb down it to get a Remedy. Climb back up and follow the ledge around to the left. Jump across the gap and search for a hidden chest behind the wall at the right, which contains a Mythril Racket. Walk back toward the gap and examine the ? icon. Go down the web, and open the chest for a Demon's Vest.
Continue to follow the girl. Cross the bridge and go up the stairway. There is a tunnel on the left at the first platform. It circles around to a chest containing a Minerva Plate. Go back up the tunnel and continue up the stairs.
Part XIX: Bran Bal
At the green portal, go to the left. The first door on the left is the Inn. There is an Elixir in the chest at the back. Outside, near the big staircase, walk right (behind the stairs) and continue on until you reach a ! icon. Press X and you will find yourself on a small platform. Open the treasure chest for a Flash Hat.
Above the girl standing over the pond, you can find Angel Earrings on the small "shore" that extends into the lake. Go right into the next screen and enter the lower door to find a Wing Edge. Examine the rocking vase to release Moorock. He runs a Mogshop, and has a letter for you to deliver to Mozme.
Leave that room and go into the upper door. Speak to the people around the large glowing object. You'll learn a little bit about their world. Now go down the stairway at the right, and speak to everyone here. Follow the girl upstairs, where she'll impart a good deal of information.
After a little while, you'll control Eiko. Meet Amarant at the green portal by the entrance. Go through the green light and across the bridge. The path is fairly straightforward.
Part XX: Pandemonium
As Zidane, walk forward. Meet Garland, and follow him. Jump across the platforms on the next screen. Eventually Eiko and Vivi will find him. Zidane will fight an Amdusias, in which battle Freya and Amarant will join him. Zidane stubbornly moves on and encounters Steiner and Quina.
Afterward, he will fight a Shell Dragon. Dagger pops up to help. After the battle, go to the right and back through the door. Go through the next room to find a room full of odd statues. Flip the switch at the left and observe the lights. If you touch one while it's lit, you will have to engage in a battle, and since you only have 30 seconds to cross the area, you don't want to have to fight a battle. Spend some time getting the pattern right, then dodge the lights and cross the holographic bridge beyond. (You have to cross the bridge within the 30 second time span or it will disappear.)
In this next room, there are small glowing spheres. Examine them where the ? icon appears. It's some kind of device....Head left. If you go all the way left and up, you can get on a platform. Ride it up. Go left and up again, and take the first teleporter. Oops, that won't work. Go back to the room with the device, and adjust the Standard Heading so it says 3. Ride the floating platform to the top of the room for a chest containing 20,007 Gil.
Go back down and change the standard heading to anything you please. After a few times of doing this, taking the platform, and getting nowhere, the characters not currently in your party will stay and manage the controls. Have them set the heading to 4 and ride up to the second level. Then go up to the highest possible "boarding point" (below the treasure chest), get on the left side, and set the heading to 4 again. Choose to go up one floor.
Go right and take the teleporter. You will be on a platform with three other teleporters. Take the one to the right for an Elixir. Then take the left teleporter. Go down for a Carabini Mail, then teleport back to the platform with four teleporters. Take the red one. Now go through the round area in the center, down, and to the left.
Use the teleporter. Go to the lower-right teleporter and take the subsequent one to get Battle Boots. Go back to the original platform. Take the upper right teleporter and to up and slightly left to find the moogle Mozme. Use a tent and make sure you save. If you give her a letter, she'll give you a Kupo Nut as long as you don't have one in your inventory already.
There are a few tough fights ahead, so pause to make sure your party is well equipped. If Quina knows the Night spell, equip everyone with Insomniac. If Eiko is in your party, make sure she has the Maiden Prayer equipped as her add-on and that she knows Madeen. Dagger should know Bahamut. Steiner may be useful if you have the Ragnarok sword from the Chocobo Hot & Cold side quest. My personal choice of party for this battle is Freya, Zidane, Dagger, and Amarant, but you may wish to substitute Steiner or Vivi for Amarant. Give your party Auto-Life and any status guard abilities, but particularly Locomotion. It would also be wise to give Freya the Dragon Killer ability, and give all the high-attack characters like Zidane, Amarant, and Steiner the Bird Killer ability.
Your strategy will vary according to who is in your party. If Quina is in your party and knows Night, have everyone BUT Quina attack and then have Quina cast Night as your party is finishing up, which will put the Silver Dragon to sleep, and prevent it from attacking. If Quina isn't in your party, then exploit each character's strengths. Zidane should attack or use Thievery, and use a powerful Dyne skill if he Trances. Dagger should summon Bahamut or Shiva and help heal the party. Eiko should summon Madeen or Fenrir as long as she has the Maiden Prayer equipped so that Fenrir will do Wind damage. Freya should use Reis's Wind. If she has the Dragon Crest skill and you have been killing a lot of dragon-type enemies, use Dragon Crest for powerful damage. Steiner should attack, or use Blizzaga Sword if Vivi is in the party. Vivi should cast Blizzaga or Flare. Have Amarant attack or use No Mercy.
If Eiko is in your party, have her summon Carbuncle so that all of Garland's magic attacks reflect back onto him. This has a disadvantage in that you cannot magically cure your party, but you won't NEED to nearly as much if Garland's powerful magic isn't busy kicking your ass. Use powerful physical attacks, skills, and magic against him, and make sure Zidane steals. Garland can be pretty tough, so keep your HPs high.
Have Eiko summon Carbuncle to protect the party with Reflect again. Have her and Dagger summon Bahamut, as well. Quina's Mighty Guard and White Wind are helpful. Otherwise, blast Kuja repeatedly with powerful physical attacks and skills like Dragon's Crest, No Mercy, and Shock.
After the battles, you control Zidane. Run across the holographic bridge and follow Dagger up to the platform between the glowing eyes. The game will take over when you arrive back in Bran Bal, and you'll board the Invincible.
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