|Final Fantasy IX owned by Square Enix.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
Alexandria - Zidane
Alexandria - Zidane
- You begin the game as Zidane, a young man with a plan. Once you gain control, head north to light a candle. This will trigger a prompt to name Zidane. (Or whatever you might want to call him.)
- Once you’ve named Zidane you’ll get into your first battle. Here you have control of four characters: Zidance, CInna, Marcus, and Blank. You can easily bash your opponent down with normal attacks, though you should spend some time trying to Steal a Mage Masher from the fellow. It will serve Zidane nicely for the first few areas.
- A cut scene follows. Jump!
Alexandria - Vivi
- Now you’re playing as a pint-sized Black Mage, default name Vivi. He’ll start off in the streets of Alexandria, a sprawling city. Once you gain control, look to your immediate left, just beneath the edge of a yellow roof, for a Potion. You can find 9 gil beneath the bed in the house on your right, a Potion on the table near the ladder, and a Fang Card in the dresser on the second floor of this same house.
- Before heading north, where you were originally pointed, head back south. You’ll find a plaza with a statue in the middle. Check the houses in the rear of the plaza and you can find a Sahagin Card to the left of the statue and a Lizard Man Card directly behind the statue.
- Head back north. Shortly after getting knocked down by some bratty rat, check the fruit baskets on the left side of the street for a Potion. Then head one screen more. Check the grass in the foremost, right corner of the screen for 33 gil, and the grass in the left corner for a Goblin Card.
- You’re outside a Tavern at this point. Check inside and look in the bottom-right corner for a Potion, in a barrel to the left for a Flan Card, and in the far-left doorway for 27 gil.
- Head west from the Tavern. There’s a small item shop on your right on the next screen; check the junk inside for 38 gil.
- To the north, in another plaza, is a Ticket Booth. Check it for a cut scene where you’ll earn a Goblin Card, a Fang Card, and a Skeleton Card. Then have a look around the plaza. You can find a Phoenix Pinion by a house to the north, near the castle gate, and an Ether in right corner of the Synthesist’s Shop, in the east.
- Near the Ticket Booth are three girls playing jump rope. Vivi can take the place of the jumper and participate in a simple jumping game. Successfully jumping a certain number of times will yield up prizes:
- 20 jumps - 10 gil
- 50 jumps - Cactuar Card
- 100 jumps - Genji Card
- 200 jumps - Alexandria Card
- 300 jumps - Tiger Racket Card
- 1,000 jumps - King of Jump Rope
- Head west, into an alley. A cut scene will make you the slave of the Rat Kid. After he runs off with a ladder, Alleyway Jack will appear; speak to him and he’ll teach you how to play Triple Triad, the game associated with those cards you’ve been picking up. We’ll discuss Triple Triad in another article.
- Follow the Rat Kid down the alley. There’s a small house on your left as you run where you can find Eye Drops, and if you walk down a street a bit the girl inside this house will leave, allowing you to get upstairs and find 3 gil under a bed. At the end of the street, by the docks, you can find a boy named Tom who’s looking for his missing cat Mittens. You can find Mittens wandering near the statue at the entrance of Alexandria; speak to Tom again by the docks and he’ll give you a Bomb Card.
- Head into the church near the docks. After a brief cut scene a Moogle will appear. Time for one of the game’s more fundamental mechanics.
Moogles and Mognet
As you proceed through Final Fantasy IX you’ll run into Moogles, a race of fluffy, white, winged creatures. Unlike other NPCs Moogles will appear in towns and in dungeons, and their primary purpose is pretty important: they’re your save points. There are no other ways to save your progress unless you’re on the world map, so use Moogles to save every time you meet one. Moogles also allow you to use Tents if you feel the need to heal indoors.
In addition to saving, Moogles operate a communications service called Mognet, though it’s currently inoperable. Choosing the Mognet option will allow you to pass letters between Moogles, which will, eventually, unravel the story of why Mognet isn’t working properly. We’ll look at this in another article in more detail, but suffice it to say that you should check every Moogle for letters.
The final service you receive from Moogles is via Stiltzkin. He’s a prominent, cloak-wearing Moogle who travels across the world. Stiltzkin has a story of his own, of sorts, and you’ll often run into him in dungeons. Stiltzkin will sell you items.
- Speak to Kupo and he’ll give you a letter from himself to Monty, check around the edges of the church’s small inner area for a Tent and a Potion, and follow the Rat Boy (known more formally as Puck) onto the rooftops. You can find 29 gil in a chimney after crossing the first wood bridge to the west, 63 gil in a chimney in the far east, accessible via a half-ruined house, 92 gil in a chimney to the far north.
- A cut scene follows, and so does another character jump.
Alexandria - Zidane
- Battle! Neat though the SFX moves look, they do nothing. Attack normally.
- After the fight you’ll get into a slightly more cinematic battle, a sword duel between Zidane and Blank. This is a mini game that will have you trying to match Blank’s instructions by hitting the buttons he supplies. Do well and you’ll earn a prize. You can repeat this mini game as many times as you like to get prizes. You can earn the following, depending on your performance:
- Silk Shirt
Up to 10,000 gil (amount depending on your performance)
- Once the duel is over you’ll wind up in Alexandria Castle. Soldiers block most of the Castle, and all you can do is head upstairs and hit a cut scene. Once it’s done…
Alexandria - Steiner
- Next up you’re playing as Steiner, head of one half (the crappy half) of Alexandria’s knights. You’ll gain control of Steiner after a few cut scenes; before doing anything else, head back to the balcony and speak to Queen Brahne (hard to miss) to receive your reward for the duel.
- Start by checking the room where Zidane and Blank where a moment earlier. Check the left corner of the room for a Phoenix Down, and speak to the Moogle, Mosh, to save. No Mognet to be had here right now.
- Enter the foyer of Alexandria Castle. There are two dining halls to the east and the west on the upper level; neither has any items, but the one in the west contains a kitchen with a character you’ll get to know intimately in a little while.
- Head downstairs. There are libraries on your left and right; neither are currently useful, though that’s not always true. Head south and out of the Castle, then take a left and enter the western tower. A cut scene follows.
Alexandria - Zidane
- Follow the cloaked girl east to hit a series of cut scenes. Keep running until you wind up in a battle with Steiner. It’s a standard battle; Steal from him for a Leather Hat.
- Many, many more scenes follow, culminating in another battle with Steiner. He’s joined by two Knights, but you have Vivi and Garnet, the princess, on your side. Vivi has black magic, namely Fire; Garnet has white magic, namely Cure. Both will make the fight easy. Immediately thereafter you’ll get into another battle, which is functionally no different from the last, aside from lacking Knights.
- The cut scene that follows this marks the end of your time in Alexandria… for a while, anyway.