You would think that after thirteen years that Final Fantasy fans would have picked apart all the meticulous details of a title, right down to enemy AI scripts and magic damage formulae. This nugget eluded Final Fantasy IX fans until recently, when GameFAQs user The_Kusabi_ discovered an out-of-the-way sidequest in Disc 4 through the game’s Ultimania. Confirmed by MysterPixel and recorded by GarlandTheGreat above, the sidequest involves Zidane visiting Lindblum over the course of the final chapter of the game.
As Zidane returns at various points, he bumps into relatives of Zenero and Benero, two members of the Tantalus Theatre Troup to which our protagonist originally belonged. After meeting all of their kin, you’ll be able to score yourself a Protect Ring, but it’s not quite as easy as the video makes it seem. There are seventeen story triggers that will cue subsequent run-ins, with the last one ending on the Deathguise boss fight. You’ll need to plan several trips in and out of Memoria to complete the run.
It also has implications for perfectionists. If you didn’t know already, the game has a hidden challenge where if you complete the game up to Hades in Memoria in under 24 hours, you’ll receive the Excalibur weapon. Complete it in under 12 hours and you’ll receive the much coveted Excalibur II. As if that wasn’t challenge incarnate, others have taken it upon themselves to design game walkthroughs that not only award players Excalibur II, but pick up all the missable items and quests in order to craft the “perfect file”. Looks like some extra time will need to be worked in to make sure the sidequest is completed.
What about you? Have you given Final Fantasy IX another playthrough recently? What do you make of these developments? Leave us your thoughts (or strategies) in the comment below.