Enduring Final Fantasy IX - Episode 1b: I Want To Be Your Canary

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SamStrife

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Edited By SamStrife

 Episode 1b: I Want To Be Your Canary...
 Episode 1b: I Want To Be Your Canary...
 
As always, before you even start reading this blog, Check out Dankempster and his blog that inspired me to start this one.  After a silly Safari error this dude's hurting real bad right now, so show him the support he deserves.

Previously On Enduring Final Fantasy IX

We only just started and you've already forgot?  Well just to recap, we met Zidane, Tantalus and Vivi and have now just sneaked our way into the play with our new friend/master Puck.  Check it out here if you havem't read it already.  Now onto business:

I Want To Be Your Canary

By the time Vivi's got into the play, it's already begun and we get to see Tantalus preforimg Alexandria's favourite play.  I'm not going to go into too much detail about the play, it's good to watch but probably not the most riveting thing to talk about.  It is awesome that Squaresoft really went out of their way to establish this fiction for the world, between plays like this and a detailed timeline that you can explore and learn about, it really does strengthen the feel that this world is just as real as ours and that there's a thousand more stories that could be told about it (which makes me sad because there should be a thousand more stories set in this world.)
 
After watching several minutes of the play, the player finally gets to take control of Zidane as he and Blank put on a sword fight for the nobles watching.  For those who
Sword Fighting has never been so scripted.
Sword Fighting has never been so scripted.
haven't played IX you can check out the sword fight here, but basically it's just a simon says style game where Blank calls out a command and the player has to input it as fast as possible.  It's a fun minigame, although it's quite hard to work out why, as the transitions into animations are a bit stilted (the animations look awesome though) and it does just boil down to pressing a button when prompted to.
 
After the fight, Zidane and Blank rush offstage into the castle, where they rough up a couple of guards and steal their uniforms.  Planning to use the uniforms as a means to get to the princess, Zidane bumps into a girl on their way to her chambers.  Being the lady pleaser Zidane is, he flirts with the girl, but when trying to get a closer look at her face, she bolts down the stairs, knocking Blank out the way.  As Zidane runs to chase her he reveals to Blank that she was infact...The Princess!  Chase after her Zidane, and whilst you do so, I'll introduce the blog readers to her: 
 
No Caption Provided

The Knights Of Pluto

We now get to see two of the most annoying characters in Final Fantasy history, two court jesters by the name of Zorn and Thorn, who've just discovered the Princess is missing.  As they make their way to the Queen, they're constantly talking to each other, but they do so in a way that just grinds against the plauer.  They both say the same thing at the same time, but the words are arranged ever so slightly differantly.  I'll slap a picture on the blog to give you an idea but it gets annoying fast.  At the same time though, it's supposed to be annoying, and it just goes to show how amazing Squaresoft could be at character design when they wanted to be.
 
After breaking the news, the Queen orders her best to go out and find her...her best being General of the Alexandrian army, Beatrix.  She also sends our third playable character, captain of the Nights Of Pluto, Adelbert Steiner 
 
No Caption Provided

 Our very own knight in rusty armour.
 Our very own knight in rusty armour.
It doesn't take long for the player to realise why Steiner's a bit of a joke in the castle, the Queen doesn't even remember his name for christ's sake!  In assembling the Knights Of Pluto, all he get's is the two guards Zidane and Blank jacked earlier, and they still haven't got their uniform back.  Furious, Steiner resorts to finding the Princess himself, punishing any of his Knights he finds a long the way.
 
After exploring the castle, Steiner finds himself at the top at one of it's towers.  Just as he's about to give up hope, he looks across to the tower opposite where he see's Garnet running away from Zidane.  We now get to see an awesome FMV that really cemented how awesome this game is to me.  Don't have me ruin it with words, watch it for yourself.   
 
How awesome's Garnet!?!  Maybe she isn't the little girl everyone makes her out to be.
 
Well it turns out that she landed on the theater ship (handy) and after being chased through it by Zidane, Garnet reveals that she is running away from the castle and asks Zidane to kidnap her.  It's nice when things work out like that and just when the plan looks like it's in full swing. Steiner confronts them.  After trying to escape from the Knight, Garnet, Zidane and Steiner find themselves on stage where they are forced to improvise to not blow their cover.  Stiener though is still trying to save Garnet and the whole sitaution is above him, and he takes the play ever so slightly too seriously, in a hilarious way.
 
Just as things are about to wrap up, Vivi is chased on stage by two guards who've realised he's snuck in, and whilst trying to defend himself with his black magic, he
 Honour among theives...
 Honour among theives...
accidently sets fire to the princess, who is forced to throw off her cape and reveal her identity to the crowd.  Queen Brahne isn't happy about this, so whilst the theater ship is trying to is trying to make it's getaway, she fires a bomb (you know the common Final Fantasy enemy) onto the ship, which explodes, sending the ship down into a nearby forest below.  Not the best of escapes, but things are about to get a whole lot worse, this forest is more dangerous than you might expect.... 
 

Feedback and Trivia

And there wraps up episode 1b and episode 1 as a whole.  Thank you for reading, and as ever, PLEASE leave whatever feedback you can.  Thank you and stay tuned for episode 2, where we'll fight our way through this forest and maybe even tackle the magical ice cavern and it's frosty dangers.  Before it's fully over though, let me introduce you to one last feature:  

No Caption Provided
Peace Out...
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#1  Edited By SamStrife

 Episode 1b: I Want To Be Your Canary...
 Episode 1b: I Want To Be Your Canary...
 
As always, before you even start reading this blog, Check out Dankempster and his blog that inspired me to start this one.  After a silly Safari error this dude's hurting real bad right now, so show him the support he deserves.

Previously On Enduring Final Fantasy IX

We only just started and you've already forgot?  Well just to recap, we met Zidane, Tantalus and Vivi and have now just sneaked our way into the play with our new friend/master Puck.  Check it out here if you havem't read it already.  Now onto business:

I Want To Be Your Canary

By the time Vivi's got into the play, it's already begun and we get to see Tantalus preforimg Alexandria's favourite play.  I'm not going to go into too much detail about the play, it's good to watch but probably not the most riveting thing to talk about.  It is awesome that Squaresoft really went out of their way to establish this fiction for the world, between plays like this and a detailed timeline that you can explore and learn about, it really does strengthen the feel that this world is just as real as ours and that there's a thousand more stories that could be told about it (which makes me sad because there should be a thousand more stories set in this world.)
 
After watching several minutes of the play, the player finally gets to take control of Zidane as he and Blank put on a sword fight for the nobles watching.  For those who
Sword Fighting has never been so scripted.
Sword Fighting has never been so scripted.
haven't played IX you can check out the sword fight here, but basically it's just a simon says style game where Blank calls out a command and the player has to input it as fast as possible.  It's a fun minigame, although it's quite hard to work out why, as the transitions into animations are a bit stilted (the animations look awesome though) and it does just boil down to pressing a button when prompted to.
 
After the fight, Zidane and Blank rush offstage into the castle, where they rough up a couple of guards and steal their uniforms.  Planning to use the uniforms as a means to get to the princess, Zidane bumps into a girl on their way to her chambers.  Being the lady pleaser Zidane is, he flirts with the girl, but when trying to get a closer look at her face, she bolts down the stairs, knocking Blank out the way.  As Zidane runs to chase her he reveals to Blank that she was infact...The Princess!  Chase after her Zidane, and whilst you do so, I'll introduce the blog readers to her: 
 
No Caption Provided

The Knights Of Pluto

We now get to see two of the most annoying characters in Final Fantasy history, two court jesters by the name of Zorn and Thorn, who've just discovered the Princess is missing.  As they make their way to the Queen, they're constantly talking to each other, but they do so in a way that just grinds against the plauer.  They both say the same thing at the same time, but the words are arranged ever so slightly differantly.  I'll slap a picture on the blog to give you an idea but it gets annoying fast.  At the same time though, it's supposed to be annoying, and it just goes to show how amazing Squaresoft could be at character design when they wanted to be.
 
After breaking the news, the Queen orders her best to go out and find her...her best being General of the Alexandrian army, Beatrix.  She also sends our third playable character, captain of the Nights Of Pluto, Adelbert Steiner 
 
No Caption Provided

 Our very own knight in rusty armour.
 Our very own knight in rusty armour.
It doesn't take long for the player to realise why Steiner's a bit of a joke in the castle, the Queen doesn't even remember his name for christ's sake!  In assembling the Knights Of Pluto, all he get's is the two guards Zidane and Blank jacked earlier, and they still haven't got their uniform back.  Furious, Steiner resorts to finding the Princess himself, punishing any of his Knights he finds a long the way.
 
After exploring the castle, Steiner finds himself at the top at one of it's towers.  Just as he's about to give up hope, he looks across to the tower opposite where he see's Garnet running away from Zidane.  We now get to see an awesome FMV that really cemented how awesome this game is to me.  Don't have me ruin it with words, watch it for yourself.   
 
How awesome's Garnet!?!  Maybe she isn't the little girl everyone makes her out to be.
 
Well it turns out that she landed on the theater ship (handy) and after being chased through it by Zidane, Garnet reveals that she is running away from the castle and asks Zidane to kidnap her.  It's nice when things work out like that and just when the plan looks like it's in full swing. Steiner confronts them.  After trying to escape from the Knight, Garnet, Zidane and Steiner find themselves on stage where they are forced to improvise to not blow their cover.  Stiener though is still trying to save Garnet and the whole sitaution is above him, and he takes the play ever so slightly too seriously, in a hilarious way.
 
Just as things are about to wrap up, Vivi is chased on stage by two guards who've realised he's snuck in, and whilst trying to defend himself with his black magic, he
 Honour among theives...
 Honour among theives...
accidently sets fire to the princess, who is forced to throw off her cape and reveal her identity to the crowd.  Queen Brahne isn't happy about this, so whilst the theater ship is trying to is trying to make it's getaway, she fires a bomb (you know the common Final Fantasy enemy) onto the ship, which explodes, sending the ship down into a nearby forest below.  Not the best of escapes, but things are about to get a whole lot worse, this forest is more dangerous than you might expect.... 
 

Feedback and Trivia

And there wraps up episode 1b and episode 1 as a whole.  Thank you for reading, and as ever, PLEASE leave whatever feedback you can.  Thank you and stay tuned for episode 2, where we'll fight our way through this forest and maybe even tackle the magical ice cavern and it's frosty dangers.  Before it's fully over though, let me introduce you to one last feature:  

No Caption Provided
Peace Out...
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#2  Edited By Vanek

I haven't played FFIX in a long time, which will soon change, but I believe the item was a moonstone.  I really do need to play FFIX again as it is my favourite Final Fantasy game to date.  I did enjoy reading this however so keep it up.  My only problem is small, but the layout of the post is a little weird.  As far as the content is concerned everything is fine and I really like the trivia idea.   
 
Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next addition!  =) 
 
[EDIT]  I just realised there's something about the title "Enduring Final Fantasy IX" that is strange.  I normally only hear someone enduring bad things, but that's just me I suppose.

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#3  Edited By SamStrife
@Vanek:  Ding ding ding...Moonstone!
 
How'd you mean by the layout?
 
Yeah I thought that about enduring, but I shrugged it off and carryed on regardless.  Also, Love that picture of Gum ^_^
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#4  Edited By zeforgotten

Another nice read :D 
Only really have one thing to add and that is that the only cool and great and awesome thing about the "fight" between Blank and Zidane is the music. 
Without that, that part would have been soooooo boring :P 
 
Vamo' Alla Flamenco (Original Version)
FTW (The Black Mages, version) 
 
Again, if it wasn't for that song, that part would have been such a drag. 
Looking at Mr. Awesome fighting Mr. Monkeyboywithtailuphisbutt 
Fucking Zidane :P

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#5  Edited By SamStrife
@ZeForgotten:  You're 100% right, that music is absolutly awesome, it wouldn't be the same without it.  Blank is kinda awesome, although I spent a very long time thinking he was a girl...
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#6  Edited By NintenDood

Great write-up! This brings back so many memories from my favorite FF game (That I never finished...>_>) :3. Keep going with this, it's awesome!

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#7  Edited By zeforgotten
@SamStrife: It's a japanese character in a japanese game :P 
Everyone looks like females :D
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#8  Edited By Vanek
@SamStrife said:

" @ZeForgotten:  You're 100% right, that music is absolutly awesome, it wouldn't be the same without it.  Blank is kinda awesome, although I spent a very long time thinking he was a girl... "

Y'know, back when I got the game I thought the same thing about Blank for awhile.  Then again I also had my suspicions about Kuja back then. 

@SamStrife

said:

" @Vanek:  Ding ding ding...Moonstone!  How'd you mean by the layout?  Yeah I thought that about enduring, but I shrugged it off and carryed on regardless.  Also, Love that picture of Gum ^_^ "

 
I mean there are some strange gaps like the start of the last paragraph before the trivia section.  It seems to cut off and start a new line and leaves a large space which doesn't look right.  It also appears to happen at the start of the second paragraph of the main section where you talk about the sword fight sequence as well.  Honestly I think it was either an accidental tap on the enter key or something funky with the text editor, but as I said before it's a tiny issue. 
 
Oh, and the best music in the game is the funky Black Mage village theme.  I will never get that tune out of my head.  =)    
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#9  Edited By SamStrife
@Vanek:   Ah I see what you mean, I thin kit has something to do with the way images wrap, I would fix it but I'm sure it'd just pop up somewhere else and like you say, it's a minor issue.
 
The Black Mage Village music is quite awesome but my favourite lies with the Cleyra Dance, that scene is just mad awesome.
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#10  Edited By Fallen189

Fratley is highest tier.

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#11  Edited By SamStrife
@Fallen189:  Beatrix is better.
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#12  Edited By ImHungryx10

I like Zorn and Thorn only because I hate them so much...
 
If I feel a strong hatred towards something that's not real then the game is doing it's job.

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#13  Edited By SamStrife
@ImHungryx10:   Yup I agree on you on this occasion, but there's some games where I hate characters because they're so poorly designed...*Cough*Rico*Cough*
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#14  Edited By danielkempster

A fantastic write up as always, SamStrife. As somebody who played the hell out of this game and loved it to pieces, your words seem to have the innate ability to conjure up all of the nostalgic images in my head that I didn't even know I'd retained. As far as the structure goes, the trivia is a brilliant idea, and it's cool that you're throwing in videos as well as images to provide a more rounded read. I think that's about all I have to say. Oh, except that Steiner is awesome, and that FMV sequence proves it. Keep writing, duder.

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#15  Edited By Synthballs

Mmm....keep these things coming man. Although I was kind of hoping the "trivia" would be actually just random facts connected to the game...

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#16  Edited By SamStrife
@Synthballs:  There's plenty of white space on that feature, I can certainly add some trvia when I do them in the future.  I've also got a few other styles of feature planned for the future, but cheers for the feedback dude.
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#17  Edited By Synthballs
@SamStrife:
Anytime, you're probably my favourite GB Community member as of now, I don't know why but, Bring on the next part already. 
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#18  Edited By SamStrife
@Synthballs: ^_^ thank you.  Next part's gona be a few days am afraid, going to my mates place and having a 2 day drinking session, so once that's over and I'm recovered, I'll write up episode 2. 
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#19  Edited By Synthballs
@SamStrife:
I say for the ultimate in awesome do one WHILE drunk. We might end up with some awesome shit coming out "masnn....viiivii is hawt." *vomit*
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#20  Edited By sparky_buzzsaw

Nice write-up!  I like the trivia bit, though I had no clue.  I've never been great at Simon Says mini-games or QTE's.  Not sure if that's a problem with my vision or the good ol' hand-eye coordination.  Hmmm.
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#21  Edited By WalkerTR77

Great blog, every time I replay this I have to get every button prompt right, get 100% approval and impress the queen during the swordfight.

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