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"You know what this victory means -- Vyse and Pippi do the Ass Pirate handshake thingamabobber again. Drachma hits Vyse in the back of the head, ruining the whole effect. Vyse whines, and Drachma tells him to keep his hands on the wheel. Duh! 'Yeah, you idiot!' Pippi chimes in. 'Why don't you watch what you're doing? It's a good thing Cap'n Drachma's here to keep you in line.' Ah, friendship."
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 3




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Final Fantasy IX : Part 5
By Kelly
Posted 08.10.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Somewhere between the second and third levels of the castle, Zidane manages to change out of the guard's uniform and back into his, for lack of a better term, street clothes. Though if I ever saw a young man with a monkey tail, waistcoat, frilled cravat and cuffs walking down my street, I'd expect him to be followed by the nice men in white coats. Once he's on the third level, Zidane uses his superior sneaking skills to get past the guards and up the stairs of the left castle tower. There's a guard on the tower too, but they are powerless against the Love that is Meant to Be, so we'll just have to sit here and let this thing play out, like it or not. For some strange reason, the singers of "Song of Memories" change when we go from the regular game engine to CGI. We go from a nice soprano to more of a mezzo-soprano, and the mezzo-soprano can't pronounce her L's as well as the other singer.

It sure does suck to be a princess. *sigh*
 

Zidane finds Garnoa looking all weepy-cute and they share some meaningful eye contact before she turns away to watch the pretty white birds fly off to wherever it is pretty white symbolic birds go. And, I know I'm really late in noticing, but does anyone else have a problem with the way Zidane's belt looks like a huge schlong? Oh, come on. You knew you weren't going to get out of this recap without at least one penis joke. 'Cause I love me some penis jokes. Besides, if I didn't make at least one penis joke per recap, and I spent six hours or more of my life deconstructing an hour of RPG game play, that would make me the kind of pathetic loser who takes games and game humor way too seriously, and God knows we can't have that. Why, I'd have to go on every gaming message board known to man just to proclaim how much I suck. But I digress. Back to those crazy star-crossed plot contrivances!

We're back in regular game mode now that Zidane and Garnoa have shared their romantic moment with us all, and Zidane compliments Garnoa on her lovely lyrical abilities. Garnoa takes the compliment without so much as a thank you and asks Zidane how he managed to get up the tower. Zidane reminds her that he's a thief, duh. How could we have forgotten, game designers? They chitchat a little more about the great view from the tower, and Zidane wants to go check out the telescope positioned in an outcropping from the main tower. The whole point of this is so you can look at the world map and find all the groovy things you're going to be doing later on in the game. Well, that's nice and all, but I have this terrible tendency to get lost on world maps, so looking at it like this isn't going to do me much good. Garnoa takes her turn at the telescope to whine internally about how much trouble she's been to everyone. Well, yes, dear. That's pretty much the entire point of your existence here, and I don't see it changing any time soon. Look at it this way. At least you're not Rinoa.

 
No...really?

Now Garnoa pumps Zidane for information on his actions. Just why did he take her to Lindblum? Instead of answering with the truth, that he was after a little nookie, ('Cause OMG, ZIDANE LIEKS CHIX!!!!), Zidane replies that he just wanted to "help" Garnoa. Garnoa wants to know if Baka ordered Zidane to bring her here, and receives the shocking information that Zidane's left Tantalus all because of her. Thank goodness this isn't the real world, because if a guy left his job just because he wanted to chase after a girl, said girl would turn him down for being a shiftless loser, as is prudent to do in these situations. Now Garnoa wants to know how Zidane was planning to kidnap her before she went and messed up their carefully made, kidlet approved plan. Zidane replies that they were going to put her to sleep with some "sleeping weed" and abscond with her while she slept. Well, Garnoa, you might be date-raped by a monkey-boy, but at least you'd be mellow about it all. Have a brownie. Garnoa angles to get her hands on some sleeping weed, saying that she's had trouble sleeping lately. Zidane predictably tells her that she just needs a little company at night. Garnoa asks if Zidane really thinks she's that na´ve. I think that would be a "yes", folks.

She's gonna get some, hurr!
 

Our hero quickly changes the subject and asks if it was Garnoa doing the singing in the village of Dali. This is to beat it into our heads that Garnoa has a beeootiful singing voice, and as she begins singing again, we're treated to a montage of the other party members, each having their own melancholy moment alone. Adelbert argues with someone who dares to dis Queen Brahne in the armorer's shop, PUGGY!! is reminded that the Big Black Mages he saw were just brainless toys, and Freya spends her time leaping from rooftop to rooftop commenting on the weather and missing Sir Fratley. Even Regent Cid gets in on the moping and moaning as he and an engineer fail to make the Hilda Garde 2 work correctly. That's quite a useful song you've got there, Garnoa. Just sing that at every battle and the enemy would go off of for a good sulk and a round of suicide poetry on black writing paper. However, that would mean we'd have to listen to the damned song at every battle, which would lead me to some suicide poetry writing of my own.

Now Zidane asks Garnoa when she'd like to go on the airship cruise. Whoops, tailed studmuffin. Garnoa correctly figures out that she wasn't the one invited on the airship cruise while Zidane backpedals like crazy. In order to cover his ass, Zidane jumps up on the rampart of the tower wall and makes Garnoa promise that they'll go out on a date if he should win the Festival of the Hunt tomorrow. Garnoa tepidly agrees and Zidane scampers happily away.

And now, here we are, the day of the Festival of the Hunt. No goodnight music, no nothing, we've just gone forward a day like it was magic! Two guards are standing around discussing the festival while behind them a carriage holding some of the vicious creatures to be hunted is accidentally opened and little brown doggie things come pouring out as the guards run away. On the other side of town, some blue and white squirrel-looking things are released as well. And just what is it with blue and white animals in video games and anime? It's not a color you readily find in nature, not even here in Mulletland where those colors are king, and the name of the local college basketball team is the Wildcats. Even we have the good sense to make the thing a golden-tawny brown color and leave the blue and white crap to the rabid fans. Now we move on to the piece de resistance of the Festival, a huge ox/boar/tusked thing that goes by the name of Zaghnol. The breeder seems really proud of himself for making this thing as psychotic as possible, proclaiming that none can stop it. We'll see about that, Mister Man. Zidane's got a Butterfly Sword, and he's not afraid to use it!

Speaking of Zidane, we're now looking in on the castle's guest room as PUGGY!! wonders where Zidane might be and Adelbert tries like anything to convince Garnoa that she'd like watching the Festival of the Hunt, if only she'd give it a good try. Garnoa reluctantly agrees. Zidane finally shows up, and we start the preliminary crap to get into the Festival of the Hunt. Zidane wants money if he wins, Freya wants an "add-on", which prompts Joey to ask me, "Is that like a strap-on in FF-land?" I don't know, and I don't think I want to know. PUGGY!!, entered by Zidane on the sly, wants a card. Zidane promises him a date with Garnoa if he wins, and is lectured by Freya for his inconsideration for l'il PUGGY!!'s feelings. Everyone is given a starting position for the hunt, and after a quick visit with Mogki, we're ready to begin. Zidane takes off in an air-cab for the Theater District.

The principle behind the Festival of the Hunt is easy. You have to kill as many of the happy little forest creatures as possible in twelve minutes. If you'd followed the handy-dandy "hints" from the folks in town, you'll know all the primo spots to catch some killing action. Of course, there's the mini-boss music playing the whole time to stress how important the Festival is, and Garnoa and Adelbert are on hand to provide a running commentary on how well PUGGY!!'s doing, at least until Zidane's air-cab gets to the Theater District. Since my strat guide is the "official" Brady guide, it's absolutely no help to me, and I have to rely on the old standby of players everywhere, the "Hey, I've done this bit before." Zidane finally reaches the Business District where he finds the Zaghnol in a filthy temper. Freya steps in to "help" at this point, and the Zaghnol goes down with 48 seconds to spare on the clock, ending the Festival of the Hunt with Zidane as the winner. Zidane is rewarded for his daring with 5000 gil and a Master Hunter. Now maybe the little cheapskate will go out and buy Garnoa a present or something. He could at least bring the girl some flowers on that date she's managed to whore herself into. But thoughts of the date will have to wait, since just as Regent Cid's finished giving Zidane his goodies, a severely wounded Burmecian soldier makes his feeble way to the throne room with terrible news. What terrible news, you ask? Well, you're just going to have to read the next recap to find out. I've got to go visit my Uncle Walt in the hospital. Some idiot stabbed the poor dear with a halberd.

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