Once out of the Fossil Roo, I didn’t really have a direction to go to. However, the only place I could really go to was Conde Petie. Conde Petie is a town of dwarves, which is basically just rest stop between several important game locations.
Anyway, before I got to the village, I decided to spend some time learning new blue magic with Quina. I got a few new spells, but nothing really important. I also summoned Choco at the local tracks and used him to open up a Chocograph treasure chest. I’ve spent quite a sum of money to buy fresh gear at Conde Petie, so I also used the opportunity to get my cash supply back up, since I knew the mage village has an amazing synthesis shop. With all of that, my four characters got to around level 25.The first one was the village of the black mages. You get there by stumbling into a black mage who has been trading with the dwarves. He runs away, showing he’s extremely afraid of humans, but the dwarves point you in the right direction – “deep in the forest, where the owls don’t fly”, or something like that. I’m not sure if this is a reference to the Final Fantasy VIII rebel password or if I’m just reading to much into it.
Anyway, after that, the game took me back to Conde Petie, where I found out someone’s been stealing the dwarves’ food, and a hint of a new character is shown. This subplot got a bit postponed, though, due to a new problem arising.I finally got to the village, where some storytelling happens. It’s revealed that some of the black mages sometimes gain sentience, which is how that group wound up on this continent. It’s also revealed that they have an extremely limited lifespan, with most of them simply “stopping” after about a year of activity. No one ever explicitly states that the same applies to Vivi, but there’s no reason not to think that, since he’s a black mage to.
The only way to get to “The Sanctuary” on the other side of the mountains is through Conde Petie. However, the dwarves only let through people who are on a kind of honeymoon. This makes for a nice, comical moment, but also leaves room for Zidane and Dagger’s relationship to grow a bit. Overall, Final Fantasy IX handles these things in a much more lighthearted manner, compared to the other two games on the PlayStation.
While running, she ends up stuck on a cliff, her faithful friend Mog ditches her and Zidane ends up saving her. This starts another funny subplot, where this six years old ends up having a crush on Zidane. Quina chases Mog, so Eiko replaces him/her as a group member. At this point, though it’s still unclear what Quina’s gender is, most of the characters in the game refer to it as “him”, so I will to, from now on.The ceremony is quick, and it’s time to get through the city, but not before I encountered the infamous food thief. The thief turns out to be Eiko Caroll, the new playable character. She’s a summoner, which means she uses White Magic and Summoning, just like Dagger. However, she learns her spells in a different order and her eidolons are different to.
Eiko invites the group to her home in Madain Sari, but I still had a ways to get there. The area I was in was yet to be explored and a boss was waiting for me. Before that, though, thanks to the PSP’s pause function, I was able to end my session here