I appreciate everyone who is still following along with me here, and as such I hope to get through Final Fantasy IX and move onto other games soon. I even plan on taking suggestions between a few titles I have in mind and am curious which games readers are more interested in hearing about. For now, here is more FFIX to enjoy.
If you want to catch up on my prior pieces, here's a link to last week's Issue 15.
Final Fantasy IX (PSP, PS1 Classic)
I was right last time; it was new party member time as Eiko joined me shortly upon entering Conde Petie. Party makeup is a tad problematic for me right now, as I don't really have a need for two white mage who can summon, but it's not a major issue. I tend to lean towards heavy melee parties, so I'm just getting Mt. Ordeals flashbacks. Thankfully, Conde Petie was a short area with nothing too taxing to battle. The roughest part of the area was navigating the environment, as I wanted to go back to the entrance after beating Hilgigars and just couldn't seem to find the right path up the vines. That's just a personal issue that I have with the PS1 era Final Fantasy games. The level designs are pretty, but occasionally annoying to explore due to being in a semi-3D space.
After working through the Mountain Pass, I was able to enjoy the cute little interactive sequence where Eiko cooks a meal for Zidane in an attempt to win his heart. I tend to love little side stories like this as long as they don't turn into elaborate mini games, so this was lovely. Once the successful dinner ended, the party packed up and headed to the plot-significant Iifa Tree. Here we learn some oddities about Zidane, like how things within this sealed tree react to him and not the others. We also find the source of the mist and learn more about Vivi's origins. Vivi helps the team make the bold move to defeat the source of mist, even if it means the end of his kind. Once again, he's the most human of the characters and his development is the most interesting. The boss fight in the Iifa Tree was made super easy by the fact that it has zombie status and can be killed by a single cast of the life spell. Some might call that cheating, but I call it efficiency. Having finished that battle, the Tree starts to react and the party bails. That ends this week's adventure, as next time we'll head back to Eiko's home of Madain Sari to see what has happened while we were gone.