Released in July 2000 in Japan and November 2000 in North America, Final Fantasy IX was the last Final Fantasy for the PS1. It brought back many classic elements of the Final Fantasy series, such as crystals, castles, and character classes, and is also notable for having references to every previous Final Fantasy game. The story starts out with kidnapping a princess, but, as is typical, turns into a quest to save the world.
Best time: 8:32 by Kari 'Essentia' Johnson on 2007-03-06, done in 68 segments.
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I would like to thank the following people:
- First of all, my husband, Denton, for putting up with me while I was obsessed
with this run, and for sharing my joy and frustration while making this.
- FUMIZO, for his speedrun and report of this game on Ultima Garden, where I got
most of the boss strategies I used in this run.
- Atomos199, for his Excalibur II + Perfect Game Guide, where I got some other
strategies for doing things quickly in this game.
- nate, for taking the time to capture this very long run and dealing with 19
tapes in the process.
- Reks/JustStep25, for starting the Final Fantasy IX thread on the SDA forums
(which gave me the idea to do this run), and for advising me to throw away all
cards to get better ones from Tot for the card tournament.
- Lag.Com, for urging me to try segment 34 some more, allowing me to get it even
- All the other people on the SDA forums who gave me tips and support, and even
those who just read my ranting posts.
Final Fantasy IX is one of my favorite Final Fantasy games, and I thought it
was a shame that there wasn't a run for it on SDA, especially since it sort of
has a built-in speedrun for the Excalibur II anyway. This is quite different
from an Excalibur II challenge, though.
This run was done on the NTSC version of the game and played on a PS2 with the
fast disk speed and smooth texturing options set. This run does not skip FMVs,
because it isn't allowed by SDA's rules. I also did not use the gold chocobo
bug (where you skip a lot of the plot by getting a gold chocobo early), mainly
because it doesn't seem to work on my version of the game, but also because it
doesn't seem to be worth it.
You might wonder why there are so many segments. The main reason was to avoid
random encounters; it's amazing how you can get through this game with very few
of them. Each time you get into an encounter, it wastes at least 30 seconds,
whereas saving and reloading takes about 14-18 seconds; thus, with one
exception (in the Ice Cavern), it was faster to save than to get into an
encounter. Besides one planned encounter to learn Limit Glove, I get into only
10 random encounters in this entire run. The chance to get into an encounter
is reset every time you enter a new screen, so whether or not you get an
encounter on one screen doesn't affect whether or not you'll get one in the
next screen. With two exceptions, the only places I allowed encounters were on
screens where I had never made it through without any encounters (after trying
a whole lot, of course), and then I allowed only one. The exceptions are the
Iifa Tree and Ipsen's Castle, where those segments depended on a lot of luck
for the bosses.
I don't ever go out of the way to level up, and high levels aren't really
needed on this run anyway. Even at low levels you can still deal lots of
damage by having strong weapons, using killer abilities (e.g. Devil Killer, Man
Eater), and taking advantage of elemental weaknesses. (If you want an example
of this, watch the last segment, where a party with an average of level 24
defeats Kuja and Necron pretty quickly.)
Money was not really a problem in this run. To make sure I had enough, I got
10,000 gil at the beginning for doing the swordfight scene perfect, gave Quina
the Millionaire ability as soon as possible, picked up two Angel Earrings
(which sell for 10,000 gil each), and picked up a lot of gil hidden around
(although I probably picked up more than I should have).
My goal for this run was sub-8:30, which I missed by just a few minutes. While
I didn't make any mistakes that I would call "major", it's definitely possible
to get below 8:30 with more luck. This would require getting fewer encounters,
more preemptive battles, and more critical hits, all of which require a lot of
luck. So lots of luck to anyone who tries to do it!
Comments by segment:
- Start - Alexandria/Steeple
I wanted to steal the Mage Masher from Baku; not only does this save time by
not having to pick it up in the Ice Cavern, but its higher damage speeds up the
next few battles as well. The likelihood of stealing it quickly, however, is
pretty small. After many tries, this was the quickest that I was able to steal
it (took one extra turn). When you follow Puck into the steeple, if you're
fast enough he won't actually tell you to keep up; usually I'm fast enough, but
this time I wasn't.
- Alexandria/Steeple - Prima Vista/Crash Site
I really should have retried this segment until no one used any stage magic,
but oh well. (I think I was more lenient at the beginning of this run and got
stricter as I got further.) The sword fight was perfect and I got 10,000 gil
out of it. The first two battles with Steiner go quicker with the Mage Masher
equipped. I don't have Cinna attack because he doesn't do enough damage to
make it worth it, although I didn't realize until after I'd gone on to further
segments that I should have had him steal a Silk Shirt. (I buy one in Dali
instead.) In the fight against Steiner and the Bomb, it's quickest to kill off
everyone except Garnet so you don't have to sit through their dialogue.
- Prima Vista/Crash Site - Prima Vista/Crash Site (after fighting Baku)
Both Prison Cage battles go nice and quick. In the Baku fight, I needed him to
attack Zidane 3 times in order to fill up his trance gauge as much as possible;
this makes the Sealion battle go faster.
- Prima Vista/Crash Site - Evil Forest/Spring
This segment is only about a minute long, but you wouldn't believe how hard it
is to get through those three screens without any encounters.
- Evil Forest/Spring - Gunitas Basin
Against the Plant Brain, Zidane commits suicide so that Blank appears
immediately. The boss then goes down in one round. Zidane is revived
afterwards so that he'll gain a level. I wanted to fight 4 Plant Spiders, and
I did, but unfortunately they all got a turn before Vivi did. It's nice that
you can't have any encounters as long as the words "Mist Continent" are on the
screen, but you can't save as long as they're there either.
- Gunitas Basin - Ice Cavern/Cave
This is the one place where it takes longer to save than to get into an
encounter (because of the conversation with the moogle and the tutorial
afterwards). I saved here, however, to preserve my sanity against Sealion (see
next segment). Since I was saving here, though, I made sure not to get any
encounters throughout the entire Ice Cavern.
- Ice Cavern/Cave - Nolrich Heights
The boss battle here is annoying in that even if you do everything correctly,
your last attack may or may not do enough damage to beat it (due to
randomness). The Black Waltz stays alive as long as possible so he'll help to
fill up Zidane's trance bar. After taking the Black Waltz out, Zidane needs to
attack the Sealion once from the front row, once from the back row, and steal
the Mythril Dagger, all before getting a trance. (Doing any more damage than
this will cause the Sealion to wipe you out with Blizzara or Tidal Wave.) I
was very lucky to steal the Mythril Dagger on the first try, but then of course
I made a mistake. The battle could have ended a turn earlier if I hadn't used
that last Potion; I wasn't even planning to use it, but I must have had a brain
cramp. Still, Zidane got his trance about 4 turns earlier than usual, plus I
got no encounters in the rest of the Ice Cavern, which make up for it.
- Nolrich Heights - Dali/Storage Area
I chose to end this segment at the Dali storage area because the next segment
is so long. Dagger doesn't appear in the weapon shop until you visit all those
places and talk to Vivi. The Mage Masher and Feather Hats that I buy are for
synthesis later on, and I have to buy a Silk Shirt since I forgot to steal one
from Steiner in segment 2. I've got avoiding those kids in the town down to a
- Dali/Storage Area - Lindblum Castle/Dragon's Gate
This is the longest segment of this run. I could have split this in Lindblum,
in order to get a faster time in the festival hunt; however, any time saved
from that would not be enough to offset the time of saving and reloading. As
Steiner, you have to wait for Morrid to walk so far down the steps before he'll
enter his hut, so I have just enough time to pick up 135 gil and a Hi-Potion.
Observing the barrel is about 6 seconds faster than poking it with the sword,
but may not be as humorous. I never did quite figure out Black Waltz 2; most
of the time he casts Fira on everyone, but sometimes he doesn't. I needed to
steal a Steepled Hat here (or so I thought--see Black Waltz 3 battle) so that I
wouldn't have to visit the weapon shop in Lindblum. The battle went all right,
I guess. Black Waltz 3 went perfect, although I was expecting Zidane to steal
a Linen Cuirass (but not depending on it). The Zidane loses the Festival of
the Hunt when he is unable to distinguish between foe and self, but at least
Freya will share her Coral Ring. Buying 11 Potions and 11 Phoenix Downs was
for safety reasons, but looking back, I probably didn't need to buy them.
- Lindblum Castle/Dragon's Gate - Eunorus Plains
Now onto some side events that will end up saving time. Getting Quina allows
for using Limit Glove to significantly shorten some boss fights. Leaving
Quale's hut to the right prevents Quina from asking to catch frogs.
- Eunorus Plains - King Ed Plains
I stop by the forest and get a chocobo out of it, who will help to avoid random
encounters in a few spots later on. There's no need to buy Gysahl Greens from
Mene, since I'll be picking up what I need.
- King Ed Plains - Eunorus Plains (after learning Limit Glove)
Getting Limit Glove with level 2 characters isn't the easiest thing to do.
This could have been better in a lot of ways. First of all, it would have been
faster to fight 2 mandragoras instead of 3. Second, there's no reason at all
for Quina to gain any levels, so it would have been better if s/he had died in
place of Vivi. Third, Freya and Quina took some extra turns, which wasted
time. I probably could have redone this segment, but I was just happy to
finally get Limit Glove.
- Eunorus Plains - Gizamaluke/Cavern
The Potions I used were a precaution, but I probably shouldn't have used any on
Zidane or Freya. It's fastest to have only Zidane attack the black mages since
he can kill them in one hit. Quina must die for the next segment to work. You
have to talk to the first moogle or they won't give you the bell (in the next
segment), but I accidentally talked to him an extra time.
- Gizamaluke/Cavern - Daines-horse Basin
It can take quite a few resets, but it's nice that Phoenix Downs can revive you
with 1 HP. Gizamaluke seems pretty pathetic here. I kind of forgot what I was
supposed to do right after Gizamaluke since it took so many tries to get this
far. It took me a moment to realize I was talking to the same guy over and
over (rub-a-dub!), and I had to backtrack a bit to pick up the Multina Racket.
So this little section could have been better, but it didn't lose very much
- Daines-horse Basin - Burmecia/Vault
The black mage battle is something we've seen before. Me like Burmecia with no
random encounters. There's one point where I lost my grip on the control
stick--see if you can spot it!
- Burmecia/Vault - Start of DISC 2
The battle against Beatrix...well, let's just say that I forgot the battle
doesn't end right after Limit Glove. (Poor Zidane, no one likes him...)
Still, I stole the Chain Plate like I wanted, so I kept this segment. End of
- Start of DISC 2 - Bentini Heights
Marcus gets humiliated when Dagger deals more damage than he does to Black
Waltz 3. (By the way, this is Dagger's final equipment for the rest of the
run.) I pick up 1610 gil from a treasure chest on the way out.
- Bentini Heights - Gargan Roo/Entrance
I watch the first ATE in order to get a Power Belt (500 gil is a reasonable
price to pay). The Mage Masher, Leather Wrists, and Glass Armlets are for
synthesis later on, and the Magus Hat is to raise Vivi's ice damage. There
happens to be 2225 gil in front of the auction house, which is mine for the
taking. Not much else here besides skipping storyline.
- Gargan Roo/Entrance - Daines-horse Basin
You wouldn't think that getting through Gargan Roo with no encounters would be
that hard, but it seems to have a higher encounter rate. Ralvurahva cooperated
this time by not killing Steiner (at least, not until it didn't matter
- Daines-horse Basin - Cleyra/Tree Trunk
No encounters; picked up Magician Shoes to boost Vivi's magic attacks.
- Cleyra/Tree Trunk - Cleyra/Inn
Quina could have learned Auto-Life in this segment, but I decided against it.
The only fight where it would be useful is against the Antlion, but with some
luck it isn't needed at all. It took only one try to get out of the quicksand
hole this time. Lots of stuff to pick up in Cleyra: 970 gil, Thunder Gloves,
Gysahl Greens, Yellow Scarf, and 1250 gil respectively. The Chain Mail is for
synthesis later on; I buy it here instead of at Treno so that Steiner could
equip optimum without equipping the Chain Mail (saves a tiny bit of time).
Unforunately, I accidentally talked to the priest in the cathedral twice, even
though I was specifically trying not to.
- Cleyra/Inn - Cleyra/Inn (after Antlion)
Without Auto-Life, Quina must get exactly 1 HP in one of two ways (both of
which require a lot of luck): by being killed and revived with a Phoenix Down
or by Antlion using Sandstorm (which reduces HP to <= 10). It would have been
better if one of these had happened first thing in the battle, but at least
this really didn't take any longer than if I had used Auto-Life. (Besides,
this battle took MANY resets to get.)
- Cleyra/Inn - Cleyra/Cathedral
First, I pick up some Gysahl Greens and 900 gil that I skipped earlier. Once
again, Quina must die. (Don't worry, s/he's used to it by now.) The battles
went pretty much as I expected; some were quicker than others, but everything
went down in one hit. I save all the Cleyrans because I'm nice (and it's
quicker than not saving them).
- Cleyra/Cathedral - Red Rose/Cabin
Beatrix goes down the same way as last time. I really should have stolen the
Ice Brand from her, though. Since I didn't, I have to spend a little extra
time in Alexandria Castle picking it up. Poor Cleyra...*sniff*
- Red Rose/Cabin - Alexandria Castle/Chapel
This is the fastest way I've found to escape with Steiner and Marcus. I
believe it's possible to avoid both guards, but I've never been able to do it.
So I fight one battle and kill off Marcus so Steiner will gain one extra level.
I'd make a joke about all the Alexandrian guards here being blonde, but I have
blonde hair myself, so... Against Zorn and Thorn, Vivi shouldn't have had to
take a turn, but annoyingly, Zidane didn't do as much damage as he normally
- Alexandria Castle/Chapel - Alexandria Castle/Chapel (after a bunch of
Finally there's an actual fight against Beatrix, but it still goes pretty
quickly. When I practiced this segment, Beatrix always killed Bandersnatches
in one hit, but of course when I record, she doesn't. (Grr!) It would have
been nice if Freya hadn't died so she could get some more experience, but I
dealt with it. Zidane gets to level 13 at the end of this segment, and just
"happens" to have max HP that ends with 7! (This was planned, of course.)
- Alexandria Castle/Chapel - Eunorus Plains
It takes 2 Blizzaras and one attack from Zidane to take out Ralvuimago; Zidane
attacks last so it doesn't go into its compact form. Stealing the Adaman Vest
was a nice surprise, meaning I don't have to buy it later. Ramuh is useless
(as well as all other eidolons), so he gets skipped. It's very easy to not
trigger the conversation with the people standing around the black mage in
Lindblum, but I guess I had to make a mistake in this segment somehow...
Because of my earlier shopping, I don't have to visit the weapon shop in
Lindblum. The Exploda is for Lucky Seven, the Glass Buckles are for Power
Belts, and the Power Belts are for...well, power! (Well, and also for MP
Attack and Counter.) This time I save on the world map instead of at the
moogle near the exit because it can be difficult to get to Qu's Marsh without
any encounters (as I found out in segment 10), and the next segment is already
- Eunorus Plains - Fossil Roo/Cavern
There are a couple small mistakes in this segment that bother me. I can dodge
the pendulums just fine almost every time, but of course the time I do the
worst is when I get lucky with Lucky Seven against Lani on the first try. (In
case you don't know what Lucky Seven does, it randomly deals 7, 77, 777, or
7777 damage if Zidane's HP ends with 7, and deals 1 damage otherwise.)
- Fossil Roo/Cavern - Dyshnose Shores
A pretty boring segment, if you ask me. I get through Fossil Roo with no
encounters. As long as the words "Outer Continent" are on the screen, you
won't get into encounters, so I manage to get pretty far before saving.
- Dyshnose Shores - Magdalene Forest
Chocobo = no encounters, which I like. I pick up 2700 gil, and then follow a
black mage out of town.
- Magdalene Forest - Mountain Path/Roots
It's pretty much impossible to get through the forest without any encounters,
so this is the first segment where I allow one (besides the one encounter for
acquiring Limit Glove, that is). I pick up Gysahl Greens in the chocobo
stable, and because of earlier shopping, I'm able to avoid going to the
synthesis shop (which would have triggered a time-wasting conversation). If I
would have planned a bit better, though, I would have bought the 2 Glass
Armlets earlier when I bought the others in Treno; they aren't needed until
Disc 4, but this is the last chance I'll have to buy them. Magic Armlet and
Magician Cloak are for raising Vivi's magic and ice damage, respectively, and
the Headgear is for Undead Killer. (Although Ritual Hat also provides Undead
Killer and has higher defense, you'll see in segment 37 why I bought Headgear.)
Too bad there isn't time for Vivi and Quina to get married... The only
mistake of this segment is right at the end, where instead of talking to the
save moogle I accidentally talked to Stiltzkin as well as accidentally bought
his deal for 666 (coincidence?) gil.
- Mountain Path/Roots - Banyano Shores
Despite getting this segment many times in practice, once I started recording
it took forever to get. 7777 damage isn't quite enough to take down Hilgigars,
so Vivi helps with Blizzara. Zidane speeds things up by asking Dagger to come
with him to the Eidolon Wall before he actually decides to have her come. (The
dialogue is messed up because of this, but it's too fast to read it here.)
Poor Vivi looks like he's getting whiplash during the dinner conversation.
- Banyano Shores - Pualei Plains
No encounters on the way to the Iifa Tree--short and sweet.
- Pualei Plains - Iifa Tree/Roots
This segment was a fluke, but a good one. The Iifa Tree has one of the highest
encounter rates in the entire game. Previously, the fewest encounters I'd
gotten during this segment was 3, and I was about to accept that when Lag.Com
urged me to try to get it down to 2 encounters. So I tried just a couple more
times, and somehow I got really lucky and got through with only 1 encounter!
- Iifa Tree/Roots - Pualei Plains
This was one of the hardest segments of this run. It's possible to get through
with only 1 random encounter, but so many other things depend on luck as well
that I finally gave in and allowed 2 random encounters. Zidane MUST have his
HP end in 7 at the end of this segment, which pretty much means he can't get
hurt during the two forced encounters. Zidane also must be at level 17 at the
end of Disc 2, so in order for him to get enough experience, the first forced
encounter had to be against 3 zombies instead of 2 (it can randomly be either)
and Dagger needed to be dead (which I didn't have to worry about, thanks to the
previous segment). Finally, Soulcage's first move is always L.5 Death, which will
kill Zidane at this point, and so I needed the first turn in that battle.
Needless to say, I was very happy when all of this finally happened.
- Pualei Plains - Lucid Plains
Same as segment 33, except backwards.
- Lucid Plains - Banyano Shores
This is why Zidane's HP had to end with 7 at the end of segment 35. When
Zidane's defense is exactly 21, Amarant's attacks will always be a multiple of
10, so I don't have to worry about Lucky Seven getting messed up. With the
Survival Vest that I pick up and his other equipment, his defense becomes 21.
It takes one extra attack after doing 7777 damage to finish Amarant, so you can
see that this battle is the fastest scenario. Although Amarant isn't any more
useful than Dagger in the upcoming battles, he needs to gain some exp. and AP,
so I put him in the active party.
- Banyano Shores - Pualei Plains
If you've watched segment 33, this will seem very familiar. The only
difference is I do some equipping in the menu at the end.
- Pualei Plains - Iifa Tree/Tree Trunk
I was unlucky with the first Mistodon battle in that both Mistodons got a turn
before my characters. Still, I got through the first part of this segment with
no encounters, so I'm not complaining.
- Iifa Tree/Tree Trunk - Start of DISC 3
I've never gotten past this part without at least one Mistodon battle, so I
made sure it was ONLY one. End of Disc 2!
- Start of DISC 3 - Treno/Knight's House
This segment is mostly skipping storyline. The only things of note are picking
up 3927 gil at the dock and tossing all my cards in order to get better ones
- Treno/Knight's House - Gegalrich Shores
The card game is not one of my favorite parts of this game, and I've never been
that great at it. I depended more on luck than skill to win the
tournament--and I needed to win in order to get the Rebirth Ring. I also
acquire some Angel Earrings when Dagger gives the correct orders, which are
only good to sell for 10,000 gil later. I avoid the first Mistodon battle by
luring it over so it gets stuck, which can be kind of tricky. All the battles
with Steiner and Beatrix go well; it's too bad that Steiner's automatic trance
in the last battle is useless. The rest of the segment is just a ton of
storyline. It doesn't matter at all who I choose for my party at the end,
because it's going to be changing again soon anyway.
- Gegalrich Shores - Kiera Desert
Once again, Choco saves the day.
- Kiera Desert - Blairsurpass Plains
Here is the first time where choosing the right party really matters. I can't
say for certain that I made the best decision here, but it seemed to work
pretty well. Ark has more HP than Valia Pira, so the group going to Oeilvert
gets more heavy hitters. The screen right before getting onto the Hilda Garde
1 is another screen that's impossible to get through with no encounters--and
they make you go through it 3 times! Too bad the words "Forgotten Continent"
disappear before you get a chance to walk. The chocobo tracks are pretty far
away, so I have to walk quite a ways before saving.
- Blairsurpass Plains - Oeilvert/Outside
This is the last time we'll be seeing Choco...
- Oeilvert/Outside - Oeilvert/Star Display
It may not seem like it, but the hardest screen in Oeilvert to get no
encounters on is the very first screen. I had a little trouble in the room
with the airship holograms, but nothing too major. The only treasure I pick up
is the Shield Armor.
- Oeilvert/Star Display - Desert Palace/Rack
This here is another very annoying segment. The two things Ark could do to
mess things up were to use Propeller Wind (which would confuse everyone since
no one has Clear-headed) or Photon on Zidane (reduces HP to 1). At least I was
able to get Zidane's defense just right again so that Ark's other attacks
always dealt damage that's a multiple of 10. I wasted some time using Lucky
Seven a second time, but other than that this battle went very well. I really
wish the hedgehog pie minigame weren't right after the Ark battle, though; of
course, I got nervous and lost about 20 seconds.
- Desert Palace/Rack - Desert Palace/Library
The only treasure picked up here is the Shield Armor. It's not too difficult
to get through here without any encounters.
- Desert Palace/Library - Gulug Mountains
Since I picked up the Shield Armor in the last segment, Valia Pira doesn't get
its defense enhancement; now it takes one Limit Glove and two attacks from
Freya to finish it. I was VERY lucky to get only two encounters in this
segment (I was expecting more). It takes about the same amount of time to kill
one Ogre as it does to Flee. The first time that I was able to change my
party, I put Freya in, hoping that she would gain a level from some Ogres. At
the end, I put Vivi in the party so that it wouldn't bring up the change party
screen in the next segment when he forces his way in.
- Gulug Mountains - Esto Gaza/Terrace
There are some chocobo tracks nearby, but unfortunately I don't have any more
Gysahl Greens. For some reason, you can get attacked in the first screen of
Esto Gaza, which is kind of annoying (didn't happen here, though). During the
flashback, you have to wait for the scene to complete, so it doesn't matter how
fast you skip through the dialogue. This is the first time I don't have enough
money to buy everything I need; luckily Angel Earrings sell for 10,000 gil.
- Esto Gaza/Terrace - Hadris Basin
By my calculations, I figured I didn't need to pick up the 9793 gil near the
entrance of Mount Gulug, but not picking it up proved to be a small problem
later on. Steiner equips the Coral Sword and Coral Ring in order to learn
Charge! and Man Eater, and Amarant equips the Chain Plate so he'll have Devil
Killer. I was hoping Amarant would inflict Venom on one of the Red Ragons, but
unfortunately it didn't happen; however, I was happy just to defeat them. I
couldn't have asked for a better Meltigemini battle, although I wasted a turn
healing Amarant. Besides Steiner, it doesn't matter who goes to Ipsen's Castle
(although it'd be foolish to put Amarant in the group at this point). At the
very end of this segment is one of my worst mistakes of this run; it just shows
that I should have practiced flying from Lindblum to Ipsen's Castle...
- Hadris Basin - Ipsen's Castle/Small Room
Amarant leaves, but it doesn't affect my current party.
- Ipsen's Castle/Small Room - Ipsen's Castle/Small Room
I had been planning to steal the Orichalcon from Taharka, but this proved so
difficult that I finally gave up on it (which caused some strategy changes
later on). I don't think it's possible to defeat Taharka much faster than
this. (Yay for Heat!) Since I was so lucky with Taharka, I allowed one
encounter on the way back.
- Ipsen's Castle/Small Room - Triquai Plains
This time I made sure I practiced flying the airship between the shrines before
recording this so I wouldn't have another blunder like at the end of segment
- Triquai Plains - Blairsurpass Plains
If I'd had the Orichalcon, it would have taken 3 hits from Zidane and 1 Limit
Glove to finish the Earth Guardian. Without the Orichalcon, the fastest way is
2 Limit Gloves and one hit from Zidane, which is a bit slower due to Limit
Glove's long animation. Zidane equips Gaia Gear to absorb earth damage and the
Ribbon to halve the other elemental damage. At the end of this segment,
Steiner, Freya, and Amarant are put into the party so that I could get their
equipment ready for the battles in Pandemonium.
- Blairsurpass Plains - Bran Bal/Storage
It turns out that I shouldn't have put Steiner into the party in the previous
segment; his equipment and abilities didn't need to be changed, and he leaves
the party anyway at Bran Bal, forcing me to replace him. So I switch him out
at the first opportunity. I pick up a Demon's Vest on the way to Bran Bal, and
then Angel Earrings and a Wing Edge.
- Bran Bal/Storage - Pandemonium/Hall
I have to buy the Orichalcon here since I didn't steal it from Taharka, which I
hadn't planned on. (Costs 17,000 gil, ouch!) The 3 forced battles in
Pandemonium can really be a pain, but here they worked out well. In all 3 of
them, the enemy gets healed completely whenever one of the characters joins the
battle. No one except Quina and Dagger could die in these battles, because
this is the last chance for them to get experience.
Amdusias: Zidane's trance here was not planned (in my practice run he got his
trance at the end of Disc 2), but it actually turned out to be helpful. Freya
shows up after Amdusias flies up, and Amarant shows up after you deal enough
damage (usually 2 hits, but only 1 hit if Zidane has a trance). Then I wait
for it to come back down because attacking it while it's in the air provokes a
Abadon: Zidane shows up after 2 rounds, so no point in doing anything until
then. I was lucky that it missed with its physical attack.
Shell Dragon: Dagger shows up when Zidane's HP is critical; unfortunately, this
took 2 turns longer than usual. It was also unlucky that Zidane missed with
- Pandemonium/Hall - Pandemonium/Maze
This is the last time I go shopping. Since I didn't pick up the gil in Mount
Gulug and since I had to buy the Orichalcon, I have to sell a few extra things
to have enough money to buy all that I need. The heavy hitters get weapon
upgrades, and the Coronets absorb wind (very helpful against Nova Dragon). I
wasn't exactly sure how many Phoenix Downs I would need in Memoria, so I used
up the rest of my money buying them.
- Pandemonium/Maze - Start of DISC 4
There's no time to equip anyone in Disc 4 before Nova Dragon, so they need to
be prepared for that battle as well as the next 3 battles here. The 3 bosses
here (Silver Dragon, Garland, and Kuja) are all actually pretty easy. Garland
is usually more annoying with casting Stop a lot, but here it wasn't bad.
Terra gets destroyed, and it's the end of Disc 3!
- Start of DISC 4 - Memoria/Entrance
Since Nova Dragon is weak against ice, Vivi can deal more damage to it than
Freya can. Nova Dragon can deal major wind and water damage, but due to their
equipment, Vivi and Steiner absorb wind and water, and Zidane and Amarant are
immune to wind and halve water damage. The rest of the strategy depends on
Nova Dragon not doing Shockwave at all, which WILL kill everyone.
- Memoria/Entrance - Memoria/The Past
I never managed to get through the third screen here without any encounters,
although I tried my hardest; I finally gave in and allowed one encounter. I
pick up Kain's Lance and The Tower. Maliris was kind enough not to use Mustard
Bomb and not to kill Zidane until Raining Swords (which she always does when
you kill her).
- Memoria/The Past - Memoria/Ruins
Amarant gets his Rune Claws. Since Maliris made sure everyone could be at
critical HP in this segment, I use that to my advantage against Tiamat. As
long as Tiamat doesn't use Twister or Jet Fire, everything goes fine.
- Memoria/Ruins - Memoria/Portal
Once again, I was never able to get through this without any encounters, so I
allowed one. (This is the last one, though!)
- Memoria/Portal - Memoria/Time Warp
If you don't take out Kraken's tentacles, they will counter every time you
attack him, so they go first. Once they're gone, however, Kraken counters with
either Leg or Waterga every time you attack him. I was hoping for Leg every
time (since Waterga would wipe everyone out), and preferably he would do it to
Steiner or Freya (since they have Distract). Thus I needed to limit the number
of times that Kraken countered, and Charge! was perfect for the job; it lets
you get 4 hits with him countering only once.
- Memoria/Time Warp - Memoria/Gate to Space
Lich was nice enough not to use L5 Death or Earthquake, and so this battle went
- Memoria/Gate to Space - Crystal World
Made it in plenty of time to pick up the Excalibur II...not that I was really
worried about that. Thank goodness this was the last area where I had to avoid
random encounters (although it still wasn't that easy).
- Crystal World - Crystal World
Here is the first (and last) time I use Tents. While it would be nice to have
critical HP for using Charge! against Deathguise, having full HP increases
their chances of surviving his opening attack. Deathguise is without a doubt
the hardest boss in this entire run. He always opens with Meteor, which
usually kills everyone right out, but can sometimes miss or do very little
damage. Then about 90% of the time he follows that with Spin, which kills
anyone who happened to survive Meteor. If he doesn't use Spin, he'll use
Demon's Claw, which will usually miss Steiner and Freya (thanks to Distract)
but kills the others. Because there was so much randomness in who survived
Meteor, I didn't have a definite strategy for this battle and had to improvise
it. I finally got a battle that worked, with the added bonus of having
everyone at critical HP at the end (which makes Kuja battle tremendously
- Crystal World - End
The party's final equipment is listed below. Note that not some things are
equipped only because they were required for previous battles and I didn't
bother to take the time to unequip them; not everything here is necessary for
the final battles.
Zidane (level 30): The Tower, Coronet, Jade Armlet, Gaia Gear, Rebirth Ring
abilities: Auto-Life, MP Attack, Bird Killer, Devil Killer, Man Eater, Counter
Freya (level 19): Kain's Lance, Cross Helm, Venetia Shield, Shield Armor, Power
abilities: Distract, MP Attack, Bird Killer, Devil Killer, Man Eater, Counter
Steiner (level 25): Excalibur II, Cross Helm, Venetia Shield, Shield Armor,
abilities: Distract, MP Attack, Bird Killer, Devil Killer, Man Eater, Counter
Amarant (level 23): Rune Claws, Coronet, Jade Armlet, Demon's Vest, Power Belt
abilities: MP Attack, Bird Killer, Devil Killer, Man Eater, Counter, Locomotion
Both of these final battles were perfect. Like Kraken, Kuja likes to counter
every time you hit him, with either Flare, Holy, or Flare Star, so using
Charge! limited the number of times that Kuja would counter. Flare Star wipes
everyone out, so I just needed him to not do that. For Necron, as long as
Zidane survived until Neutron Ring (which always comes right after Grand
Cross), I had won the battle.
That's it for the run; I hope you enjoyed watching it! I really enjoyed doing
this run, even though it really tried my patience at certain times. If you
have any questions or comments about this run, feel free to email me at
fouressentia AT yahoo DOT com.
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