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Dragon Gate

Upon exiting Lindblum, you will be placed onto the world map with plenty of places to explore. Gizamaluke's Grotto to the north is your next destination, but there's plenty more to explore in the plains, forests, and streams on the way. These detours are totally optional, but very highly recommended.

Qu's Marsh[edit]

FF9 Qus Marsh.png
On the world map, Qu's Marsh looks like an ordinary forest with a hut in the middle.

If you go directly north from Lindblum, you will come upon an area called Qu's Marsh. When you enter the marsh, you will see a couple of familiar moogles that can give you help if you need it. Go through the entrance in the tall grass behind the moogles, then go directly north until you reach a small pond filled with frogs. At this lake, you will meet a new character by the name of Quina. Quina can be very valuable further into the game because s/he belongs to a species of Blue Mages called the Qu. The Eat ability allows Quina to obtain monsters' abilities, which s/he can later Use in battle. The catch is that, in order to Eat an enemy, it must be at 25% health or less (during Trance, Eat becomes Cook and can be used on enemies with less than 50% health remaining). The resulting abilities are cast in battle with the Use command.

Quina will be busy catching frogs when you see her, but you can get her attention by catching one of the frogs in the pond and giving it to her. At that point, another Qu named Quan will scold Quina and convince him/her to go with you to travel the world and try different food. (Talk to Quan to get some interesting info about Vivi if you wish as well). Agree to bring Quina along, and head south.

Frog Catching Game[edit]

Frog Catching Prizes
* 2: Ore
  • 5: Ether
  • 9: Silk Robe

On your way past the pond, Quina will ask you if s/he can catch some frogs. Comply, as it benefits you later in the game; catching frogs is a part of getting Quina's ultimate weapon.

To catch a frog, wait alongside an area of the pond where many frogs are congregating. Occasionally, one jumps onto the shore. When this happens, press Cross button. If successful, you will see the frog's gender and be given the opportunity to throw it back if desired. If you keep the frog, your frog count will increment, and, when your frog count reaches a certain number, Quan will arrive to award a prize. Catching frogs also powers up the Frog Drop attack that Quina can learn by Eating the Gigan Toad enemies you can find around the swamp.

Before starting, note that frog ponds are fragile ecosystems. Although frogs occasionally spontaneously join a pond, a breeding pair of frogs more quickly and reliably repopulate. To encourage frog breeding, always leave at least one male and one female in the pond (female frogs have red feet and a black stripe on each side of their body; male frogs have yellow feet and no stripes). Also, golden frogs speed up the breeding process and are no more valuable to catch, so do not keep a golden frog if one is caught.

New Blue Magic
EnemyAbility
Axolotl Aqua Breath
Gigan Toad Frog Drop

Once you are done catching frogs (remember, leave a few to repopulate for next time), go south again. On your way out of the marsh, walk around a bit to engage a few random encounters, using the opportunity to grab Quina's first couple Abilities. Eating Axolotl teaches Aqua Breath, a water elemental attack on all enemies, and eating Gigan Toad teaches Frog Drop, a special ability that starts out rather weak, but gets more powerful when you catch more frogs in the pond.

Picking up Blue Magic[edit]

New Blue Magic
EnemyAbility
BombMustard Bomb
Axe BeakLimit Glove
Carve SpiderLV3 Def-less
SerpionMighty Guard
Hedgehog PiePumpkin Head
ViceVanish
IroniteAngel's Snack
Mandragora Limit Glove

Though Quina is an adequate fighter for now, the character's real value comes as a caster of strange and useful abilities. To keep her useful, try to obtain abilities from the enemies in each new area. Take this opportunity to pick up abilities from the enemies around Lindblum.

Lindblum Plateau[edit]

Some monsters are in Lindblum Plateau Head back to Lindblum through Dragon Gate and up the lift to the middle level. Take the Air Cab back to the Business District and head south onto the plateau outside the city.

Start by running around in a forest until you run into a Bomb, which will teach the Mustard Bomb ability when eaten. As a low-accuracy attack that only inflicts Heat, it can be useful against tougher non-boss enemies, who are not smart enough to wait for the effect to wear off. Then in the plains areas, find an eat an Axe Beak (who teaches Limit Glove) and a Carve Spider (who teaches LV3 Def-less).

Below the mist[edit]

Return to Lindblum and use the castle lift to go back below the mist. As you continue, keep a look out for Serpions, who teach the amazing protective spell Mighty Guard when eaten (you probably can't cast it yet, but be sure to grab it now for difficult battles yet to come). Also eat a Hedgehog Pie to learn the Pumpkin Drop attack. Nearer to South Gate, eat a Vice, which teaches Vanish, a spell that administers the status effect of the same name, and eat an Ironite to get Angel's Snack, which for now is just a quick way to waste your precious Remedies.

Chocobo's Forest[edit]

Chocobo Forest, east of Qu's Marsh
Chocobo Hot & Cold Prizes
Prize Points
Gysahl Green 10
Phoenix Down 150
Ore 250
Ether 450
Viltgance Card 1800
Wing Edge 3500
Protect Ring 8500
Robe of Lords 10000

Go east from Qu's Marsh, cross a small bridge, continue east, and head into a small, dense forest. This is Chocobo's Forest. Here, Mene the Moogle will introduce you to Choco the chocobo and give you some Gysahl Greens to help you catch him. To do so, go just outside the forest to where Chocobo footprints are visible on the ground. Bring up the menu (Triangle button) and use the Gysahl Greens item. Choco will appear and allow you to mount him (with Cross button). This move works everywhere you see the footprints, so long as you have enough Gysahl Greens. To get more, hop of Choco and head back into Chocobo's Forest. Talk to Mene and he will let you play "Chocobo Hot & Cold" for 60g. In this game, use Choco's clues to find buried treasure--mostly junk worth precious few points, but also clues to find other buried treasure out on the world map (see "Chocographs" below). Later in the game, this even leads to characters' ultimate weapons!

Mene
ItemPrice
Gysahl Green80g

After playing, talk to Mene to purchase some Gryshal Greens so you can continue to call Choco from anywhere you see the tracks. Since monsters do not attack your party, the going is easier on a chocobo, but keep in mind that you do not receive the valuable items and experience that come with battle. Use your chocobo wisely.

Chocographs[edit]

Every so often while playing "Chocobo Hot & Cold", you will find ancient treasure maps etched on stone. When you find your first one, Mene decides to call it a "Chocograph". Chocographs are clues to finding buried treasure out on the world map. With each one comes a small picture, a list of chocobo abilities required to retrieve it (Choco starts with "Field" and can gain others later), and a hint that is sometimes useful and sometimes cryptic. When riding Choco on the world map, press Triangle button to open the Chocograph menu and view this information. When you believe you have found the treasure's location, press Square button to have Choco start digging.

For a full list of chocographs that you can find in Chocobo's Forest, see the Treasure Hunting page. Here are the chocographs that you should try to find at this point in your journey, two you should find and retrieve now and one you should find now to retrieve later:

Chocograph Treasure Mene's Hint Location
Streamside
  • Elixir (×2)
  • Hi-Potion (×3)
  • Ether (×4)
  • Germinas Boots (×2)
Go check where the river meets the ocean, kupo. (You're hopeless if you can't find this, kupo!) From Chocobo's Forest, go east. When you cross the small bridge, follow the river south to the its mouth. The treasure is on the beach.
Between Mountains
  • Potion (×5)
  • Hi-Potion (×5)
  • Tent (×2)
  • Cotton Robe (×2)
Go look near the mountains facing the ocean on the southwest side of the Mist Continent. (Try going somewhere you don't usually go, kupo.) From Lindblum's Dragon's Gate, travel west, skirting around the mountain to a valley that looks like the chocograph image.
Healing shore
  • "Reef" ability
I've seen a beach that looks like this near a city with high winds, kupo. (Kupo! You already know how to call a chocobo, right?) This will become accessible after completing Gizamaluke's Grotto.

South Gate[edit]

Items
* Moccha Coffee
  • Ether

Northeast of Chocobo's Forest is the other end of South Gate, which you probably recognize from an ATE featuring Baku and Cinna earlier. This very small area is totally optional, but worth checking out. Walk to the very end of the log to your right to get the Moccha Coffee that Cinna made there earlier. The spring next to the coffee heals your party's HP and MP. Finally, near the gate, a hidden Ether lies ripe for the taking.

Leave the area and make your way back past Chocobo's Forest, across the tiny bridge by Qu's Marsh, and north into the mountains.

Gizamaluke's Grotto[edit]

Items
*Gizamaluke Bell (×4)
  • Bronze Vest
  • Mythril Gloves
  • Magus Hat
  • Holy Bell
FFIX Gizamaluke's Grotto.jpg
The Grotto is on the side of a mountain

If you go north into the mountains from Qu's Marsh, you will eventually come upon the entrance to Gizamaluke's Grotto, a cave on the side of the mountain. When you enter, you see a large door straight ahead with a bell on it. The door will not open at this time, so run back and go up the path to the right. On the ground there, a dying soldier will hand you a Gizamaluke Bell. Take the bell back to the door discussed earlier, which will open upon ringing of the bell. You will run into similar doors throughout the area, each of which consumes one Gizamaluke Bell to open. If you run out of these bells, you can return to this dead soldier's body to get another off of it. To avoid running back to the start, do so now.

Once you go through the door, you are immediately met with some fairly easy resistance in the form of two Type A black mages. Once they are dealt with, attack the additional wandering mage in this room for another bell to open one of the various doors at the north end of this area. Open the door at the top of the stairs to the left, and go around the path. On the left side of the screen, a chest with a Bronze Vest hides behind a stone pillar. Get it, then continue until you reach the soldier sitting at the end. He will give you another bell. Return to the middle, go back down the stairs, and ring that bell to open the door on the far right.

When you enter this door, it will lead to a room with a path winding around a large bell in the middle of the room. Travel along the path, watching for hidden treasure. A chest with Mythril Gloves sits about three-quarters of the way to the top, and another with a Magus Hat is under the bridge to the southwest. The path will eventually take you to the large bell in the center of the room. There, you will meet Mogmi, a moogle who seems to be in distress. Mogmi will notice that you have a kupo nut on you and will want it to solve her dilemma. When she asks, agree to hand the kupo nut over. After the scene, a chest appears; in it is another Gizamaluke Bell. Use this bell on the door to the right.

In this small room, speak to Mogmi to save and rest up while you can. Speak to Moguta to tell him you like Kupo nuts (apparently, any friend of Kupo nuts is a friend of Moguta's). When you leave this room, Moguta will then hand over another bell called the Holy Bell; this bell will be used to open the door to the left of the large bell. Wait to do so until you are sure you are done exploring the grotto, since when you open the door, it will start a potentially difficult boss battle:

Gizamaluke
HP: 3175, AP: 5, Gil: 1200, Steal: Elixir, Magus Hat, Ice Staff
FFIX Gizamaluke.png

Gizamaluke's main element is water, which he often casts against a single target, so be sure to have at least a few party members equipped with water-resistant armor. He also has a formidable physical strike, so before attempting to steal, have Zidane use Soul Blade to blind or silence him to head off one of those two avenues of future damage. You also have a small chance of inflicting Silence and Blind if you use a tent on the boss right off the bat. Gizamaluke counters ordinary attacks with the physical attack Crash, so have Freya use Jump to deal more damage in each blow; he counters magic attacks with Silence, so have Vivi focus for several turns before using Thunder (to which the boss is weak) for maximum damage per cast. Quina can respond to Gizamaluke's counters with potions and echo screens on the affected characters. Follow this advice, and the boss should be dead in no time.