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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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"Now the moron tells us that 'There's a man who sells parts behind the tavern.' Hmm, there are several people selling things behind pubs near to where I live, but I'm certain that they ain't flogging Sandflier parts."
     -Ben, Breath of Fire IV Part 2




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Final Fantasy IX : Part 4
By Jeanne
Posted 10.20.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
I posted this recap at the same time as Part 3, so there's no point in rehashing everything that happened. All you need to know is that everyone has been reunited near a cargo ship. Zidane and Garnoa want to go to Lindblum, and Adelbert wants to go to Alexandria. Hey, if the game designers can be lazy, so can I, dagnabbit. Read Part 3.

Zidane asks Adelbert if he knows where the cargo ship is going. I'd think that would be painfully obvious, seeing as how everyone and their brother have already said that it's going to Alexandria Castle. However, Adelbert is actually smart enough (!) to take advantage of everyone else's abject stupidity. "...L-Lindblum. Yes, to Lindblum," he clumsily lies. "That's convenient! Did you ask someone?" Zidane wonders. Well, why the hell did he ask Adelbert in the first place if he didn't think Adelbert would know? Adelbert continues to lie badly, and Zidane thinks he's acting strangely. Zidane must be a freaking psychic.

Suddenly, they spot something flying in their direction, and it does all this teleport-y stuff as it reaches them. It looks like another Winged PUGGY!!! Pointy hat? Check. Black face with glowing eyes? Check. Wings? Check. Fancy blue ballroom gown? Check. Wait -- what the hell?

Winged PUGGY!! No. 2 tells Garnoa that the queen is waiting for her at the castle. "You were all sent by the castle!?" Zidane asks, surprised. I guess that's why the offscreen voice that Zidane heard after defeating WP#1 said WP#2 and #3 would "reclaim" the princess. Duh. Since no one else knew anything about what happened earlier with the first Winged PUGGY!!, they are confused. Zidane fills them in. "Are you the one who defeated No. 1? I am [Winged PUGGY!!] No. 2!" says....Winged PUGGY!! No. 2. Duh again. "My power, magic, and speed make me far superior to No. 1! Resistance is futile!" So WP#2 is a borg. Also, if the Winged PUGGY!!s are successively stronger, why didn't Zorn and Thorn just send in #3 first?

'Oh, okay, I'll just stand right over here while you kill my friends.'
 

There's some more pointless banter where WP#2 and Steiner argue about who is going to take Garnoa back to the castle, and then WP#2 attacks. About halfway through the battle, WP#2 yells, "My mission is to take back the princess!" because we forgot that in the last minute. Finally, I beat it before there is any more inane dialogue.

After the battle, Garnoa wonders if she hasn't been careful enough in hiding her identity. Well, when you stand around and talk about it (like now), someone is bound to get suspicious. Adelbert tells her, "Your noble upbringing cannot be disguised so easily." This pisses Zidane off, even though Adelbert probably meant it as some sort of compliment. "That's not true at all. You haven't been watching. Garnoa is trying really hard. You're the one with the problem! Walking around, yelling 'Princess!' everywhere..." He's got a point.

Zidane tries to change the subject by bringing up his new brilliant plan for crossing the border. He thinks they should use the cargo ship. Garnoa agrees, and PUGGY!! is too depressed and Adelbert too pissed to offer their opinions. It's decided then. They stop at the inn first (translation: there was just a boss battle and I need to save).

Innkeeper Hal is there in all his sliminess, and he's surprised to see PUGGY!! with them, although he doesn't say anything. I think it's kind of funny how there's this big dastardly plot going on beneath the town and yet no one seems to notice (or mind) that there were strangers hanging around the cargo ship, or that PUGGY!! is walking around again when he should be in a barrel, but whatever. Apart from that one line, the dialogue with Innkeeper Hal is identical to the first time they met him, with Zidane angry at him for staring at Garnoa, etc. Yet another item to put on the "Proof that Game Designers are Lazy" list.

After a rest and a save, Zidane and company return to the cargo ship which, amazingly, hasn't left yet. Zidane is all ready to ask the people for a lift, but Adelbert insists on being the one to ask them, in order to continue with his lies. Zidane is still suspicious, but Adelbert blusters some more shit about protecting the princess in order to cover his tracks, and then runs off. "[Adelbert]...He was so adamant about going back to the castle before...," Garnoa says. Does it hurt to be that clueless? Then she seems to catch on. "An airship full of barrels like the ones I saw at the castle...[Adelbert] was against going...Zidane, is this ship really headed for Lindblum? I'm the stupid woman (tee hee!) so I need a big, strong man to figure stuff out for me. Or you, Zidane." "No. It'll probably take us straight to Alexandria Castle," Zidane states the obvious. Garnoa asks why he wanted to get on the ship. "Just trust me!" Zidane tells her. I think she'll have to, if she wants to avoid tripping on her own stupidity.

PUGGY!!, still not able to cope with the discovery of the Big PUGGY!!s, asks Zidane, "Did you think they look like me?" I make Zidane say "yes," even though there is the issue of the plumpness and the purple coats. He assures PUGGY!! that they are just dolls, however. At that moment, the cargo ship starts moving, which prompts Zidane to say, "It's moving." He tells Garnoa that they have to get on the ship, and she's still skeptical. Just get on the damn ship already!

The Triumphant Mannheim Steamroller-Sounding Theme of Daring Heroes plays as PUGGY!! climbs up the ladder of the cargo ship. Garnoa is still reluctant, and Zidane tells her again that it's okay, and finally Garnoa climbs up the damn ladder. Zidane starts up, too, but not before grabbing Garnoa's ass, supposedly by accident. He doesn't even apologize, he's just all, "Ooo, soft..." Ew, yuck.

The ship takes off in a majestic FMV, with Zidane still holding onto the ladder. He doesn't fall, but that would've been funny. Back in regular gameplay mode, Zidane is standing next to Garnoa on the back of the ship and sort-of-apologizing to her. "Come on, it's not like I did it on purpose," he whines. How about a simple, "I'm sorry"? Why the lame excuses? Also, it's not that hard to climb up a ladder behind someone without grabbing her ass. "Accidentally"? Yeah, right. When she tells him to knock it off, he says something snide about the "royal tone" in her voice. Dude, you grabbed her ass. She has the right to be pissed off at you.

PUGGY!! is nervous being outside, so Zidane and Garnoa bring him inside the ship, via the door on the back. Garnoa turns back and says, "I trust you, Zidane," before walking inside and closing the door. "I get the feeling that she doesn't quite trust me yet..." Zidane says to himself. Now why would that be? I can't think of a single reason why she wouldn't tr.....oh, yeah, the BUTT GRABBING. "Maybe she'll reward me with a kiss or two if I try hard enough." Maybe she will restrain herself from kicking you in the balls if she tries hard enough. Garnoa throws the door open, and Zidane's all, "Wow, Already!?" Sadly for Zidane, but happily for the viewing public, Garnoa has something else on her mind. Something is wrong with PUGGY!!.

Zidane follows Garnoa inside the ship, only to find out that the Big PUGGY!!s are not dolls after all. They are animate, and they are operating the ship. Poor little PUGGY!! is trying to engage one of them in conversation, but it just ignores him. It's actually kind of cute in a sad way to see him following the big dude around. PUGGY!! finally gives up and walks over to Zidane and Garnoa. A sad version of PUGGY!!'s theme begins playing as PUGGY!! explains what we've already seen -- the Big PUGGY!!s won't pay attention to him. "I tried...again and again...but...they won't even turn around," he says. He acts like he's been trying for hours, but only a minute has passed since he first went inside the ship.

 
I hate you, game designers.

Zidane tries to comfort PUGGY!!, but only does a half-assed job of it. He decides instead to go up above and try to turn the ship around. He tells Garnoa to watch over PUGGY!!. Zidane arrives on deck to find Adelbert face down on the ground, moaning about how the ship left without Garnoa. "What will I say to Queen Brahne...?" he whines. "What the heck were you doing? You almost took off without us!" Zidane says. It takes Adelbert a moment, but he figures out that Garnoa made it after all. "All is well, now. This ship is returning to the castle," he gloats. "You will be hanged for the kidnapping of a member of the royal family! Enjoy your freedom while you can." Aww, isn't he such a nice guy? Zidane goes over to the bridge, leaving Adelbert to muse about his plans out loud to himself. He grudgingly admits that Zidane was responsible for getting Garnoa on board the ship, so "I shall petition for a life sentence on his behalf. Yes, that would be the honorable thing!" You know, I can't really argue with the justice involved -- namely, Zidane getting his ass nonconsensually grabbed by guys in prison. Adelbert blathers on about his duty as a knight when suddenly, the ship begins to shake and he stumbles.

An FMV shows the cargo ship pulling a U-turn, and uh-oh! Yet another Winged PUGGY!! watches from the front of a nearby ship. I'm going to hazard a wild guess that this is Winged PUGGY!! No. 3. I know, I know -- you're wondering how I got these amazing psychic abilities. Just in case we didn't understand that WP#3 is pure evil, we get a closeup on its slitted glowing eyes with some lightning crackling in the foreground. My head hurts from where the Characterization Mallet hit me.

No comment.
 

We return to the cargo ship to see Zidane at the wheel. Adelbert runs in, pissed off to the max. Zidane just wags his ass at him. I didn't need to see that. Adelbert tries to push Zidane away from the wheel, but Zidane flips away from him (he's an agile thief, remember?). He even hangs from his tail at one point, which should eliminate the "Monkey Tail or Cat Tail?" debate once and for all.

The Big PUGGY!!s crowd around the bridge. Adelbert is surprised to see them responding, since they wouldn't respond to him before, and he assumes that Zidane's actions have ticked them off. He tries to apologize, but the Big PUGGY!!s turn around and walk back to the deck of the ship. Something's happening, as if we didn't expect that already.

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