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"One goblin stops them and warns the Trio to watch out for angry Mystics, because all the ancestors of the monsters of the village lost a war against some humans a long time ago and as a result, are all damned dirty racists that spend their time brewing Moonshine, sleeping with their cousins, and making up new endings to otherwise undisputed wars. At least, I think that's what he said. I was drifting in and out."
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Final Fantasy IX : Part 6
By Kelly
Posted 05.09.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Back in the swamp, the name confirmation screen comes up and I'm asked to pick a name for our buddy here. The default shows "Quina", and that's good enough for me. Quina it is. While we're here we may as well set a gender for the poor thing, and since we were once told by a friend of a former forum poster that our recaps are doing terrible damage to women's lib, from here on out, Quina will be referred to as a "she" in the recaps. Go, women's lib, go! You are woman, hear you whine about being hungry all the time, carry a spork as your weapon of choice and basically be a pain in the ass for the rest of the party. You crazy broad!

Do the recaps damage women's lib?
Yes, you chauvinist...er, chauvinists!
No, now get back in the kitchen and get me some pie!
What the hell are you talking about?

 

Zidane, ever the gallant ladies' man, offers Quina the frog, and she enthusiastically accepts it. Then the camera shifts to show another member of the family, and they're dressed even fruiter than Quina, as much as it hurts me to type that. I haven't seen this much pink in one place since that wedding scene in "Steel Magnolias", a movie that if I never see it again, I'll still know every bit of dialogue, thanks to my mother, my sister, and my sister's friends. It's enough to make a Baby Jesus wreath cry, I'm telling you.

This paragon of pinkness goes by the name "Quale" and for comedic value, we're going to call Quale a "he." Quale tells Quina she's pathetic since she can't even feed herself, then leads the way back to his Hut of Good Eatin'. I've got half a mind to rename Quale "Alton", but Alton Brown would've shown us five froggy recipes by now as well as a few science lessons to boot, so Quale's just not bringing the food love like he should. Quale lectures Quina some more on the art of eating and the science of eating well, stating that there's more to a good chowin' than just a frog leg or two. Quina whines that she likes her frogs here the best, better than those nasty Alexandrian frogs. I have to add that during this entire conversation, the two huge Qu tongues are flapping in the breeze, something that quite frankly, puts me off food for the next decade or so. There's just something obscene about a game character that could make Gene Simmons feel acute tongue envy.

Quale tells Quina that she needs to get out into the world, to sample the other foods the Mist Continent has to offer, to visit the other Qu Marshes and quit moping around here with her picture of Chairman Kaga pinned to the wall and crying at the drop of a hat. Somehow, Zidane gets shanghai-ed into taking Quina with him, which just so happens to fill that empty spot in our little traveling party. However, we can't leave just yet. As Zidane exits the Hut of Good Eatin', he's trailed by PUGGY!! who has something on his mind. Seems Quale bears a striking resemblance to PUGGY!!'s grandpa, and PUGGY!! thinks Quale might know him. Back in the Hut of Good Eatin' we go for a Very Special Moment.

 
You mean besides the huge lolling tongue? No, nothing, dude.

PUGGY!! approaches Quale, asking him if he knows of a Qu by the name of Quan. Quale freaks out, loudly proclaiming that he doesn't know "that bigot". Well, this must be something particular to Qu society and beyond my stupid American way to understand. When asked if you know of a person, you should say no and call them a name. Oh, okay! So, if people say, "Hey, AG, do you know President Bush?" I can cheerfully reply "Nope, I don't know the backwards moron!" and it'll be fine, right? Um, maybe that's not the best example...okay, moving on.

Still, PUGGY!!'s not fooled. He asks Quale how he knows his Grandpa Quan, and Quale stonewalls him. Dude, it's PUGGY!!. Give the little black mage what he wants, or he'll burn down your hut and you in it. Then all the other Qus will come over and feast on your corpse, loudly proclaiming "Taste like frog!" Still PUGGY!! presses on, stating that Quale looks exactly like Quan. Quale tells him that of course they look alike, they're from the same tribe. Holy Contradictory Statement, Batman! Zidane tries to help PUGGY!! by asking the same question in a different way, giving Quale the out he needs. Zidane kindly ushers PUGGY!! out of the Hut of Good Eatin' and back into the swamp as PUGGY!! hangs his little head in disappointment. There's a longer than necessary scene of PUGGY!! leaving, and I just know he's calculating the amount of fire spells it would take to turn this ramshackle hut into a barbecue pit. Go get 'im, PUGGY!!

Do you also deny having sex with 'that Qu, Mr. Quan'? Just asking.
 

On the way out of the swamp, Quina wants to catch frogs, one of those "throw your controller against the wall to see all the pretty plastic pieces shatter" mini-games that Square excels in. You have to run Quina around to all the frogs on the shore of the frog pond and press X at just the right time to catch a frog. If you catch enough frogs, Quale comes out to give you a present. Quale, you can make my present a double rum and coke if you expect me to catch all these damn frogs any time between now and the next day or so. The things I do to boost my character's stats, I'm telling you. Once all the frogs are captured, it's time to leave the swamp behind.

Since I suck at the world map I manage to get turned the wrong way for the entrance to Gizamaluke's Grotto, and end up running across the King Ed Plains to a rather circular-looking forest. Inside the forest is Mene the Moogle, Choco the Chocobo, and a game that will own your soul if you let it. At first Choco won't come near you since he's scared of people but Mene encourages you to befriend Choco and take a little practice ride outside. If you do, he'll tell you a secret. Secret, huh? You mean a secret that will lead me to hours of wrist-killing button mashing and handing over all my gil to you, you little pink shyster? That's exactly what he means. Still, even though I know what awaits me, I have Zidane take Choco out for this little joy-ride anyway, while Mene rubs his little moogle hands together and chortles with glee. Back inside the forest, Mene tells me that Choco can find things hidden in the forest. All I have to do is pay him 60 gil per minute and Zidane will ride Choco around, checking out the best places to dig. Hitting the square button will get you a "Kweh", a "Kweh!?" or, if you're really lucky, a "Kwehhh!?" and it's up to you to maneuver Choco around until you hear him cry out with chocobo joy at the buried goodie he's found. From there it's a matter of hitting the square button as fast as you can to make the little chicken dig whatever it is out of the ground. This is another of those mini-games that will become important later, but the sad thing is that it fucking owns me. It's worse than slots, worse than video poker, worse than any other gambling game I can think of for sheer addictive power.

 
Owned by a chocobo jones

And on that note, it's time to call this recap to an end. Join me next time as we make our way to Burmecia, a forbidding land of talking rats, trick treasure chests, and rain. Lots of rain. I can only hope we're still in time to aid in the war effort. In the meantime, I'll be here in the forest, betting my last sixty gil on an overgrown chicken and a monkey-boy. C'mon, baby. Mama needs a new pair of shoes.

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