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"Twink, fearing that if he doesn't give in to my demands I'll spend the next six hours forcing him to visit Mrs. Seymour, Samara, the Pig Lady, and Sue-Belle, agrees that he'll go to Hyrule. But it's going to be a quick in-and-out operation. Of the castle, that is. Ew, he's not referring to Zelda there. EW."
     -Jeanne, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Part 10

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Final Fantasy IX : Part 5
By Kelly
Posted 08.10.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Before we get into the recap, a little 'splainin' is in order. Not too long ago, Jeanne asked me if I'd like to take on recapping FFIX, and I happily agreed. Little did I know that this recap would be the equivalent to a fraternity hazing. Be that as it may, please join me as I lift the heavy mantle Jeanne's left behind and I take up the hot super-deformed action. Unfortunately, for the first part of this recap Zidane wanders around for half a freakin' hour while I try to get my bearings and there are three, 'count 'em, THREE fucking ATEs in the first ten minutes for a total of five in this hour of game play alone. Oh, Jeanne, what did I do to deserve such punishment?! (minds out of the gutters, pervs) Next time, I'll take Squally's Buttplug of Doom instead. I'm sure it's less painful.

So here we are, in the bustling castle-city metropolis of Lindblum. We begin with Zidane leaving his comfortable room at the inn in search of a nice day of shopping, and maybe some quiche down at the local pub. You know, quiche is a nice dish that can be dressed up any way you like, and it's great cold for those casual get-togethers. And the last sentence should tell you that I've been watching way too much Queer Eye for the Straight Guy these days. Since Jeanne's already summed up the letter to Ruby, Zidane is free to go on his merry monkey way. A quick search of the inn's lobby reveals a cache of gil and stepping outside the inn reveals that the game designers are starting mighty early in their quest to drive me insane as we get our first ATE titled "Small-Town Knight in a Big City". Oh, boy. I sure do feel the Adelbert love, and I know you do, too.

We start out with Adelbert wandering around what I think is the Business District of Lindblum bitching about how big everything is and how he's lost. He stops a female Red Mage who wastes no time in dissing Adelbert and turning him down for a date he never asked her out on. This tells me that Ms. Red Mage may have been wearing the Huge Ego+25 hat. Adelbert next tries talking to a little old lady by the name of Grandma Pickle who's selling the "local delicacy" gysahl pickles. And here's your traveler's tip from Auntie AG, kids. Anytime someone offers you a "local delicacy", decline as politely as you possibly can, then run very quickly away. I swear I think there's some kind of secret society that makes up the most disgusting shit possible, then passes it off as the local delicacy wherever they go. They probably work for Pepto-Bismol. Grandma Pickle asks Adelbert if he always has this much trouble getting a date. Now, what would give you that idea, Gran? A chubby, pompous man in eyeliner and rusty armor who's fixated on a sixteen-year-old girl should have women falling all over themselves to get to him, don't you think?

Why don't women like Adelbert?
The rust "down there"
He'll get eyeliner on my sheets!
Nobody wants to hear "P-p-princess!" when Adelbert reaches his "moment", if you know what I mean.


Adelbert quickly changes the subject, asking Grandma Pickle just what it is she has in the pickle barrel. He is told that it's a gysahl pickle, and that they stink to high heaven, but taste just divine. Considering that smell is almost as important as taste when you're eating, I've never understood that reasoning, nor has it ever worked for me. Adelbert tries a pickle anyway, falling on his ass at the horrible smell, to Gran's amusement. Not only is he a loser, but he's a pig for free food, no matter how nasty. He reminds me of someone I dated once. Our tour of the local culinary delights over, we can now go back to Zidane and his shopping. I'd rant that this was the most pointless cutscene in the history of man, but the whole damned recap's going to be full of them, so why bother? As Zidane leaves the inn, he runs into an old codger by the name of Locke and countless FFVI fanboys weep into their hankies at the dis perpetrated upon them by the Square designers. Well, you wanted this to be just like every Final Fantasy you've ever played before, fanboys, and they gave you what you wanted. It's not my fault everyone's dreamy-weamy 16-bit thief now spends his days wondering where he put his Depends. Locke mentions the Theater District, which is our clue to wander the highways and byways of Beautiful Downtown Lindblum. However, before we can do that, as if it weren't exciting enough, it's time for another ATE, entitled "PUGGY!!'s Shopping." PUGGY!! wanders around the shop, makes cute eyes at the lady shopkeeper, gets a kupo nut and finds out that there's a festival coming to town with animals. PUGGY!!'s happy about this and runs off on his little PUGGY!! way. I'm not going to describe every damned ATE in depth for this recap, we'd be here all night. I don't know about you, but neither my sanity nor my bladder has that kind of stretch in them.

And we're back to Zidane again. Man, this is already getting old, and we've still got three more ATEs to go before we're done. I like to count each of them off, since it's like Christmas coming -- or something. Anyway, Zidane didn't listen to a word Locke said, since he heads straight for the Industrial District. Okay, so if you want to get technical about it I didn't listen to a word Locke said. The Industrial District is chockablock with all kinds of machines and engines and things, along with airship engineers scattered around, just to make it interesting. Since the airship engineers like to spend their time debating the feasibility of an airship engine at Warp 5, we've found our hive of resident techno-geeks. I'm sure that each and every one of them can remember every single line from every Star Trek movie ever made, God have mercy upon their Spock-ears wearing little souls.

I understand many guys like it 'in back.'

Next up we're off to the Theater District, only to run headfirst into the ATE Wailing Wall. This time we're back with Adelbert in a little something called "Steam Engine." Here, Adelbert discusses the new-fangled Mist-less steam engines with an elderly man, and the elderly man insults Adelbert for being backwards. I'm actually beginning to feel kinda sorry for poor Adelbert, until I realize that it's his own damned fault for being an ignorant tool. Luckily, I don't have to feel the stings of conflicting emotion long because the ATE is over and now we're back with Zidane again. Dizzy yet?

Zidane leaves the air-cab in the Theater District and comes across a fashionable man about town and his wife. Wifey is all hot and bothered about an actor in town by the name of Lowell, which FMAT thinks makes her act like a little child. This causes FMAT to chuckle in a way that I really don't want to delve into. Let's move away from the nasty pedophile, kids.

I could not make this shit up.

Outside of a clock tower, Zidane runs into a super-deformed Selphie look-alike who goes by the original name of "Number 28". Number 28 blathers something about another girl being late then runs off, so Zidane goes into the rather conspicuous clock tower. What do you know; it turns out to be the secret lair of that infamous band of thieves, Tantalus! Now, I'm sure this has been covered before, but how exactly do you become an infamous band of thieves if you make every effort to give away your presence and your nefarious hideout at every turn? It's like going into a bank and handing a teller a stick-up note, then expecting him or her to mail you the funds in pretty boxes, isn't it? And speaking of pretty boxes, there are treasure chests all around the main room of the hideout, so Zidane helps himself to the contents then slouches in the corner dithering about what to do next. Well, if I'd just entered the lair of a bunch of infamous thieves and stolen all their swag after leaving said band of infamous thieves, I would get the holy fuck outta Dodge and be on the next air cab out of town. But, this is a Square game, where things aren't always what they seem, and they certainly don't have to make any sense, so Zidane stays. A bell in the clock tower rings and he wonders what Garnoa's up to in an idle sort of way. Heads up! ATE incoming! Somebody fix me a cuppa @#$% tea and an ice pack, willya?

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