|Final Fantasy IX owned by Square Enix.|
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- You start off in Alexandria as Vivi. There are a number of things to see and do before you progress the story:
- Several ATEs pop up as you wander around, including It's So Big!, Long Time No See!, To Fly High, and Artemicion.
- If you head towards the entrance of Alexandria you'll see a hippo lady and her son standing on the side of the street. You can race the son in a minor alternating-button mini game. It starts off pretty simple, but little Hippaul gets faster each time you race him, making the game progressively more difficult to complete. In addition to a bunch of rare Cards (Wyerd, Carrion Worm, Tantarian, Armstrong, Ribbon, Nova Dragon, and Genji) you can win the Athlete Queen item by successfully completing each difficulty tier in this mini game.
- The shops of Alexandria are now open. Of particular note is the Synthesis Shop, which has a lot of cool new stuff.
- There's a goofy little scene with the Mayor of Dali at the Inn. This is a sign, for later, that you should check out the Mayor's home back in Dali, as he's not there to kick you out anymore.
- Back in the steeple, where you climbed to the rooftops during your first visit to Alexandria, you can drop off a letter for Kupo from Kuppo, assuming you picked it up a while ago. Kupo also has a letter of his own to share. While you're here you can also meet Artemecion, the 'official' Moogle mailman who sucks at his job, and Stiltzkin, who has a Phoenix Pinion, Hi-Potion, and Elixir to sell you for 777 gil.
- Climb up the steeple to the bell. You can pull a rope up here to get an Ironite Card, a Goblin Card, a Fang Card, a Shiva Card, and a Ramuh Card.
- Once you're done looking around, head into the alley west of the market. Marcus and Blank are here, and Blank will ask you to see a play with them in the mini-theater behind them. Agree and head down to trigger several cut scenes, during which you'll receive an Opal, a Topaz, and an Amethyst, all of which contain Summons for Dagger.
- Once the scenes are done you'll gain control of Eiko, and she's in Alexandria Castle. Head to the main hallway and the action jumps again as a rather silly side romance begins. On to Zidane, and this time you'll get the I Forgot ATE. Steer him towards the Castle, north of the former Ticket Stand, for another cut scene.
- Float over to the Castle. There's more exploring to do:
- Out front of the dock to the south of the Castle is a statue draining water into a pool. Check behind it for a Lapis Lazuli.
- In the west wing of the Castle you'll find an aquatic transport device that takes you basically nowhere. If you check the top-right corner of the room where you first see the statue with the glowing harpoon you can find the Leo Stellazzio.
- Entering the Castle's main entrance will trigger a scene with Steiner and Dagger. This leads to a sequence of cut scenes, a long sequence of cut scenes, that will take you to Treno.
- Exploration! You're here for a Card Tournament, though you can look around as well:
- ATEs: Eiko Talks Life, How He Ended Up Here, Memories By The Water, and City People (which earns you a Chimera Armlet).
- Speak to the Moogle outside the Weapons Shop. If you competed in the racing game in Alexandria there will be a letter from Artemecion about a 'running champion' back in the city. If Vivi did well enough, he'll be the champ; otherwise, it's Hippaul.
- Speaking of the shop, it now has new goods on sale. The Synthesis Shop does, too. Neither are any different from Alexandria, though.
Not done outside Treno yet. Head through the Gate east of Treno and you can make your way to Dali:
- The windmill has stopped. Climb to the upper floor and you can find chests containing a Cachusha and an Elixir.
- You can now enter the Mayor's home, since he's not here. You can find a Mini-Brahne in the desk, and if you check it twice more the child in the room will be asleep enough that you can check the heater, which contains the Mayor's Key.
- The Mayor's Key allows you to open the rear door in the windmill. It leads to a small side yard with a chest containing 30,000 gil. Check the chest a second time to find some Burman Coffee.
Enough exploring. Head back to Treno and head to the Card Stadium in the middle of town. You'll need to play Tetra Master three times in the Card Tournament, winning at least twice in the process. If you manage to win all three matches you'll get a Rebirth Ring. You'll get the Good Old Days, Lessons of Life, Hallucination, and Premonition ATEs between matches.
Be careful! There's no getting back any cards you lose during matches, and you only get one chance to win the third match. Heed the advice of the attendant penguin and save before playing. I recommend only using cards you don't care about in the tournament. If you run out of cards, speak to Doctor Tot and he'll give you some freebies.
- After the tournament ends you'll have to rush back to Alexandria as it comes under attack.
- After some epic cut scenes you'll jump to Dagger, who has to give orders to the men of the Knights of Pluto in defence of the city. You will receive common items for doing okay at this (an Ether, a Hi-Potion, or an Elixir), or Angel Earrings for sending all of the Knights off on tasks suited to their personalities, as established at the veeeeery beginning of Final Fantasy IX. The Knights should do the following:
- Blutzen and Kohel should gather information
- Weimar and Haagen should protect the townspeople
- Breirecht and Laudo should contact Lindblum
- Dojebon and Mullenkedheim should prep the cannons
- The action now jumps to Steiner and Beatrix, who need to protect the streets of Alexandria from Mistodons. Run around and kill the beasts plaguing the town's various areas. This is a good point for Steiner to play catch up with the rest of the team, so you may want to, alas, knock out Beatrix. This will give Steiner all of the experience and catapult him into some extreme power.
- Jump to Dagger after it's done. Run upstairs to Queen Brahne's bedroom, then take the side passages on the left to the roof. Cut scenes follow, and when they're done (you never get that Eidolon, unfortunately) you'll regain control of Zidane's party, which is back in Alexandria. You need to make the same trip up the Castle that Dagger just made...
- ... however, this is also the last time you'll get to enter Alexandria Castle. That also means this is the last time you can fight Tantarian, the optional boss in the Castle's library. Check this article for tips on defeating Tantarian. You won't have Steiner handy for facing Tantarian in this case, but your team should be substantially more powerful, making it a much easier battle overall. You can also save in the Guard House near the spiral stairs, which I highly recommend doing before fighting Tantarian.
- Cut scenes follow at the top. Somehow the team survives.