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Enemies encountered: Dendrobium, Fang, Goblin

FF9 Evil Forest.jpg

After a cutscene you will find yourself in a wooded area known as the Evil Forest. Here you find out that Princess Garnet was also thrown off the Prima Vista from the impact. You are also taught about ATE (Active Time Events) which will show up plenty of times throughout the game. To access an ATE, press Select button. Activating the ATE will show you Garnet and Vivi running away from something.

As soon as you have learned about ATE, grab a Phoenix Down from the top side of the junk pile above the Moogle and then talk to the Moogle to save your game. Once you have done so, move onto the next area accessed through the large tree trunk. There is nothing special in this area, but to make the upcoming events easier, it's best to train Zidane to level 4 or 5 and steal a few potions from the creatures in the area. When you are happy with his level carry on to the next screen.

On the next screen you'll first see Vivi backing away, and instantly you'll be able to tell something is wrong. Steiner happens to be here now, shouting at a strange looking creature from the forest. You'll be thrown into battle.

Prison Cage
HP: 500, AP: 3, Gil: 436, Drops: Eye Drops, Goblin Card, Steal: (stage 2 only) Broadsword, Leather Wrist

You'll notice Zidane is now flashing pink. Here Trance is explained as something "induced by a surge of emotion," and it raises the power of that character for a few turns. When Zidane's gauge is full, note that where Skill once was is the ability Dyne. Feel free to use the new Free Energy ability, but do not use Tidal Flame, as it will also kill Princess Garnet and the game will be over. The monster does not yet have items to steal and Garnet's health is slowly draining, so concentrate on attacking the monster as quickly as possible. Make sure to only attack the lower half as otherwise you will hurt the trapped character. If you find the battle dragging, you can use a potion on Garnet, though it is not normally necessary. After a few attacks, Prison Cage leaves with Garnet still trapped.

Immediately thereafter, however, the monster returns, trapping Vivi in its cage.

This time, allow Zidane to steal the Broadsword for Steiner and the excellent Leather Wrist before attacking Prison Cage with all you've got. Vivi will cast Fire to assist you, but you will notice that Prison Cage will also sap HP from Vivi. Use potions to heal him, but be careful not to accidentally heal Prison Cage (press Up dpad or Down dpad followed by Left dpad or Right dpad to select the trapped character). Once Zidane has stolen whatever items you would like, start hitting him with your physical attacks. Prison Cage poses little threat to your party, but don't forget about healing Vivi while finishing up the battle.

Prima Vista[edit]

Items
*Bronze Gloves
  • Wrist
  • Ether
  • 116g
  • Rubber Helm
  • Leather Hat
  • Ether
  • Blank's Medicine

Following the battle, Zidane finds himself back on the Prima Vista, arguing with Baku. When the conversation has finished, look next to Baku for a chest with Bronze Gloves. Walk to the left to go downstairs and trigger several new ATEs. At the bottom of the stairs is another chest containing a Wrist. Look in the room behind Blank to talk to Vivi and collect a few more items: an Ether is in the chest, and 116g is on the top bunk.

Upon leaving Vivi's room and talking with Blank, head through the door to the left. Grab the Ether in the chest at the bottom and go down the stairs. Here, search the northern part of the room for a Rubber Helm, then go south a room to find a Leather Hat in the chest. Backtrack a room and head east to find Baku. Be sure to get the Potion from the chest before reentering the cargo room, because now you're in for another fight.

Baku
HP: 200, Steal: Hi-Potion, Iron Sword

Zidane's boss makes for a pretty weak foe, but he holds some nice rewards. Before attacking him at all, be sure to steal both his useful Hi-Potion and the Iron Sword for Steiner. Baku's weak attacks and low HP make this an easy battle, so take your time getting the items—but don't get cocky and game over on such an trivial battle.

Upon Baku's defeat, head back upstairs and into the western storage room to re-recruit Steiner into your party. Head 'back' into that room again to collect an Ether from the chest before going east into Vivi's room again. After talking to him, head back downstairs and south to receive some hints as well as Blank's Medicine.

Finding Garnet[edit]

About Abilities
Most pieces of equipment contain abilities, some of which are used in battles, others of which should be equipped on the Abilities menu screen. To use or equip an ability, the character normally must have the associated equipment equipped, though after filling the ability's AP meter by winning battles, the equipment prerequisite disappears and that character permanently learns that ability.

Before heading back out into the enemy-infested forest, be sure to equip new, improved equipment and abilities on everyone in your party. Especially important is giving Vivi a Silk Shirt to learn Thunder and giving Steiner the 'killer' abilities. The leather wrist can either be given to Vivi to teach him Blizzard or be given to Zidane to teach him Beast Killer. These will all come in great handy throughout the next few areas.

Cinna's
Shop
ItemPrice
Potion50g
Phoenix Down150g
Antidote50g
Eye Drops50g
Tent800g

If need be, you can restock on basic items by talking to Cinna and heal your party back inside the Prima Vista in the bed Vivi was sleeping in previously. Note, however, that you should not sell any equipment you may have replaced with better models. Throughout the game, you will encounter synthesis shops that can turn much of this old equipment into new, better weapons and armor. Unlike some previous Final Fantasy games, you should not need any more inventory space, and if you need more Gil, a better solution is to fight more battles and steal more items. When ready, continue into the forest past where you earlier fought Prison Cage. Several screens later, you will approach a natural spring. Pressing Cross button on the fountain will restore your characters' HP and MP. There are no monster encounters in this area, so feel free to heal and talk to Monty the Moogle. Give him the letter you have been holding for him and read it twice to have him show you his letter from Stiltzkin. Then save and heal for a potentially difficult boss fight two screens later.

Plant Brain
HP: 1000, AP: 5, Gil: 468, Drops: Phoenix Down, Steal: Eye Drops, Iron Helm

With quadruple-digit hit points and a repertoire of powerful and status-affecting attacks, this boss fight could be very difficult without a little strategy. Before the battle begins, be sure to equip Silk Shirts on Zidane and Vivi to protect against Plant Brain's Thunder and double-check that Steiner and Vivi have a full supply of MP to unleash their magical attacks. Upon entering the battle Plant Brain will immediately blind the entire party, but do not bother using your Eye Drops: instead, use those moves that do not require eyesight. Have Vivi cast Fire and Steiner use his Fire Blade Mag ability. Meanwhile, Zidane should Steal until he finds the Iron Helm. The fire-based magic always hits and is very effective against the flammable Plant Brain. Make sure you give Zidane and Blank (who shows up towards the end of the battle) enough time to get the loot—depending on your effectiveness, you may have to delay your damage-dealing moves a little to give the thieves a chance to catch up.

After the battle, run as fast as you can to avoid battles with the pursuing Plant Spiders. If you do end up in battle, roast them all with Vivi's Fire (press L1 button to target all enemies at once). Once out of the forest, learn (or review) a few of the finer points of the game with the Moogles and receive the Moogle Flute. Finally, you will find yourself out on the world map.

World Map — Gunitas Basin[edit]

Enemies encountered: Goblin, Mu, Python

Controls out here are similar to most areas, but press Square button to call Moguo the Moogle at any time using your Moogle Flute. This will let you save or use a tent wherever you are as long as you're on the world map screen.

North Gate[edit]

Items
*Potion
  • Eye Drops
Medicine Woman
ItemPrice
Potion50g

This area is optional. Your next objective is to go through the Ice Cavern to the south, but if you don't mind a pit stop, head west through a canyon to the North Gate (press Cross button to enter when the '?' appears at the top of the screen). There is not much to do here—as Zidane said, the gate is sealed—but the characters will notice some strange activity beyond the locked door. You can buy Potions from a woman behind the gate, and grab another Potion and an Eye Drops in the chests behind the broken fence. That's all there is to do here, so follow Zidane's instructions to the next area.