|Final Fantasy IX owned by Square Enix.|
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- Your trip through Pandemonium begins with Zidane fighting several battles, both on his own and accompanied by various party members. These fights aren't too difficult so long as you keep Zidane reasonably healthy. Mind that you can't heal between battles, so Zidane should be reasonably healthy at the end of each fight.
- After three battles you'll gain a team of Zidane, Dagger, Steiner, and Quina. Head back east and you'll find the rest of the party, as well as Moorock, the Moogle from Bran Bal. Moorock can sell you items and equipment, and you can swap your party members out at the Moogle. Go all the way back to the seat where Zidane started out (pictured above) and check it for a Holy Miter.
- Proceed west into new areas. In the first room you'll see a room filled with unlit, blue orbs. Touch the northern-most orb, mounted on the wall, and the other orbs will come to life and taking turns lighting and dimming. You need to run to the bottom-left corner of the room while avoiding these orbs. Stop beside one while it's lit and you'll get into a fight. If you can do this within thirty seconds you'll find a bridge to the next area.
- In the next room you'll find a strange mechanism that controls the orientation of a floating platform one room to the west. It has six settings, each of which changes where you can embark and debark from the platform. Mess with the controls and go back and forth several times...
- ... until your remaining team members show up and offer to take the controls for you. This triggers the The Elevator ATE. Select setting 4, ride the elevator up one level, run up to the top level, rotate the platform to 3, hop on and ride up to the chest on the right to get 20,007 gil, return to the lower level, set it back to 4, and hop on from the left.
- There are three paths on the next floor, and each leads to a teleportation pad:
- The pad on the right leads to a three-way intersection of more pads. Take the left pad to find a Carabini Mail, the right path to find an Elixir, and the upper path to make your way to the first chamber's left path.
- The pad to the south leads to a two-way intersection and more pads. The lower pad leads to Battle Boots, while the upper path leads to a Moogle named Mozme, for whom you may have mail. Here you have one last chance to save and change your party before embarking on the final stretch of Pandemonium. There's a nasty procession of bosses ahead.
Finally, a chance to kill one of these flighty beasties. The Silver Dragon is fast and strong, capable of using a variety of wind-based and neutral attacks against one or more of your characters. Negating this damage with select pieces of equipment - the Coronet leaps to mind - will make damage mitigation much easier. Heal as necessary, and have your attackers smack the Silver Dragon down with physical attacks, hopefully with Bird / Dragon Killer equipped. The Silver Dragon is weak to ice, so Vivi and Steiner make a good combo when entering the fight.
Zidane can Steal an Elixir, Dragon Mail, and Kaiser Knuckles from Silver Dragon.
A lover of magic, Garland spends the majority of the battle targeting single party members with powerful spells and abilities. Flare is his signature move, though you'll get hit by the occasional, annoying Stop spell, and Wave / Psychokinesis, both of which are painful and unblockable. Still, Garland isn't that bad. You can use Silence to mute Garland and stop the Flares and Stops or Reflect / Eiko's Carbuncle Eidolon to bounce Garland's attacks back at him, though this latter will prevent you from easily healing your party with magic. Smack Garland around with normal attacks and he shouldn't survive too long. The Locomotion Ability is key to this fight, given the fact that stop status doesn't wear off on its own.
Zidane can Steal Battle Boots, Ninja Gear, and Dark Gear from Garland.
At last. Kuja enjoys magic, like Garland, though he prefers to use a combination of Thundaga and Demi for the majority of the fight. He can't be Silenced, unfortunately, and if you use Reflect on your characters he'll use the more-powerful Flare Star, so most of the time you just have to heal your characters while smashing away at Kuja. It's not that difficult a fight, honestly, and you can make it really easy if a few of your characters have Coral Rings equipped to heal away the damage from Thundaga.
Zidane can Steal an Ether, a Carabini Mail, and a Light Robe from Kuja.
- Epic stuff happens, and the escape from Pandemonium - and Terra - runs almost on autopilot. Beyond this there's only one dungeon left in Final Fantasy IX, and it's a doozy.
Part Twenty-Seven: Last-Minute Exploration