|Final Fantasy IX owned by Square Enix.|
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- Cut scenes. Per usual. Follow Artanis through Lindblum Castle, listen, talk, don't explore too much. You'll get plenty of chances to look around soon. During the cut scenes you'll meet a new soon-to-be party member by the default name of Freya. Once it's done you'll receive a Synthesis Mogster lesson as well.
Synthesis is a fairly simple, yet important, game mechanic. Visit a Synthesis shop - you may have seen one in Alexandria, though it was closed - and you can fuse two items together, creating a single, superior item. Synthesis is typically used to create better equipment out of your old stuff, and consequently, it's a good idea to not sell your old items too swiftly.
Synthesis can be performed in a number of different shops across the world. They don't all create the same Synthesized items, however, so you can't create super-powerful weapons and armour right off the bat.
Now you can explore. Let's have a look around, starting in the Business District.
You start off at Lindblum's Inn. A Moogle named Moodon is one room over, and he has a letter from Ruby. That done, head outside. You'll get the ATE event Small-Town Knight in a Big City. After that you can look around howsoever you please:
- The building across the street from the Inn is the Air Cab station for the Business District, which you can use to access other areas of Lindblum. Upon entering you'll hit an ATE with Vivi that will earn you a Kupo Nut. We'll come back here after looking through the rest of the Business District.
- If you feel like risking a trip on Zidane's lonesome you can leave Lindblum by heading south. There's a location a short walk east of the city where you can find an Elixir.
- North of the entry street of the Business District, near the Gysahl Pickle vendor, is a house owned by Card Freak Gon. He has an Echo Screen and a Hi-Potion near his bed.
- Northeast of the Pickle stand is a small square with three shops: Weapon, Item, and Synthesis. Check the rear work table in the Synthesis Shop for Silver Gloves.
- There's a church in the far, far north of the District. Climb the ladder in the rear of the church to find a Leather Plate. Just outside and to the right of the church, beneath a tree, you can find a hidden Tent.
The Industrial District is inarguably the least important of the three Districts. You don't get many chances to search here, though, so we'll check it out now:
- Right beside the exit from the Air Cab station is a hidden Leather Wrist.
- In the far north of the Industrial District, up a set of stairs and past the restaurant where Zidane met up with Freya, is a house. Inside you'll find a Mimic Card and a Steepled Hat.
The Theater District is your next storyline-related destination. There's plenty else to see here, too, however:
- As soon as you leave the Air Cab station you'll get the Steam Engine ATE. Just south of the station, along the leafy brush that lines the bottom of the screen, you can find 127 gil.
- The home of a painter is just east of the Air Cab station. You can find Ore inside.
- The HQ of Tantalus is to the west of the Air Cab station and down the stairs. Entering will trigger an ATE. Once it's done, check the chests in the HQ for 282 gil, 68 gil, 97 gil, and, up on the beds on the left side of the HQ, a Mini-Burmecia. When you leave again you'll get the Baku and his Crew ATE.
- At the 'end' of the Theater District (down the stairs to the south of Tantalus HQ) you can trigger a little cut scene by speaking to the mob of people to the north. Once the Moogle leaves, head back towards the Air Cab station and check the home of the painter again. The blue-haired dude inside, Lowell, will give you an Autograph. You can also get a Moogle Suit from the drawer on the right.
- After visiting Tantalus HQ and finishing up in Lindblum, head back to the Castle byAir Cab. Take a right when you reach the elevator you went up upon first entering Lindblum to find Dagger's room, though she's not here. Once Steiner charges out, check the room for a Glass Armlet and an Ether, as well as the Moogle Mogki. You have a letter for him from Kumop, potentially, and he'll ask you to send a further letter, this to Alta.
- Head back out to the elevator for a cut scene, then go down the stairs from Dagger's room and check the napping guard to steal his outfit. Now you can get on the elevator.
- Take the stairs on your left at the top of the elevator and keep climbing to hit a cut scene with Dagger. This triggers a fairly lengthy cut scene leading to an event mentioned several times: the Festival of the Hunt. You can begin it by heading to the Theater District.
Festival of the Hunt
Been waiting for some more excitement? Now's the time. The Festival of the Hunt is a solo combat excursion where Zidane is set loose on Lindblum with the task of killing as many rampaging monsters as possible. He's competing against several other fighters - including Vivi and Freya - and each fighter gets points for the monsters they kill. The competitor with the most points wins a prize.
Your task is pretty simple: run around the three Districts of Lindblum and kill as many monsters as you can before the twelve minutes of the contest runs out. Enemies won't respawn, so it's best to jump from District to District and kill as many creatures as possible. The Business District seems to have the best offerings, and you should make a point to head there by the end anyway.
At the four minute point a massive creature called the Zaghnol will appear in the Business District, near the shops in the northeast, and Zidane can engage it alongside Freya. Zaghnol is a fairly basic creature, aside from some lightning magic, and shouldn't challenge your two characters that much... though the character that defeats Zaghnol is the only one to earn points for the beast. The results of the Zaghnol fight will probably determine the outcome of the Festival.
You will get a reward for completing the Festival, regardless of who wins:
- If Zidane wins he'll earn 5,000 gil. You'll get this result by earning as many points as possible, and, likely, by killing the Zaghnol with Zidane.
- If Freya wins she'll earn a Coral Ring, which is likely to happen if Freya lands the killing blow on the Zaghnol, or if Zidane does badly in general.
- If Vivi wins he'll get the Theater Ship Card, which only tends to happen if both Zidane and Freya lose to Zaghnol. (This is not a Game Over, however.)
Part Six: Qu's Marsh and Chocobo's Forest