Final Fantasy IX Zidane Solo–Disc 1 Thoughts

Going along the lines of my recent Yuffie solo post, I decided to do a post for the other challenge I’m working on – Zidane solo. Unlike the Yuffie solo, Zidane is available for almost the entire game. This, of course, presents even more challenges when Zidane isn’t available for play – but that won’t be covered until I do my thoughts on Disc 2.

For the most part disc 1 is pretty tame if you prepare right. The sheer amount of damage you’ll be taking can be quite scary, especially given how slow the battles are in general and how long it takes for ATB to fill. I had many scares along the way of being really low on health and my ATB only being half full.

Nothing was overly notable until I made it to Black Waltz 3 though. Having to deal with his Thundara’s was an experience with only having potions to heal with. However, while most Trances in this game come up useless (really, my useless Trance counter is already somewhere around 6 for one disc), it’s amazing how much they can help in boss fights and just trivialize them. You get a lot more Trances being the only one taking any damage.

The next major area after Black Waltz 3 was Gizamaluke’s Grotto. There was a near heart attack fighting a Lamia in there when Zidane got confused… Not to mention the fact I was taking around 1/6th of my health from enemies and there were 2-3 in fights. Not a fun place! Thankfully, Gizamaluke himself wasn’t too terrible, at least when he wasn’t hitting through blind. The tent trick is so nice…

Then of course there’s Burmecia. Of course, anyone who has played the game knows what comes at the end of Burmecia… That first Beatrix battle. If you thought that fight got scary in a regular playthrough, imagine being the only one who can take damage. Oh, did I mention that Shock is painful? I think my fight that got past her got insanely lucky. After dying three times to Shock from not having enough HP (and trying to brute force it with abusing the fact my Trance gauge was about 1% from full), I finally did my first bit of grinding. Unfortunately, my fourth and final death of the disc came from said grinding.

Now I mentioned that I got insanely lucky on my fight that won. How? Well, let’s just say something along the lines of a low damage roll Shock and surviving with 5 HP when I definitely shouldn’t have survived. Yeah… While I was hoping to actually “kill” her, I ended up just having to use the method of waiting out til she force uses Stock Break. Not that this was easy of course! Again, Shock. Thunder Slash was the most preferable move of her entire pool of attacks, and unfortunately she only used it a few times. Thankfully this meant most of her attacks (around 6/10 of them) were regular physical hits. The two Shocks that happened were scary, especially the one that left me at 5 HP and thinking it was going to kill me.

Of course, with disc 1 out of the way that brings in disc 2. I can already tell you’ve I’ve experienced two game overs in disc 2 without even having Zidane. When I don’t have Zidane I have a “low level” challenge in play. I say “low level” as I really don’t want to deal with the headaches of keeping absolute minimum level. This means that I’ll kill encounters if I can win before I manually flee from them. There are a few other exceptions just for a bit of sanity, but again, I’ll cover that in my disc 2 thoughts post.

Disc 1 Difficulty with Zidane Solo

4/5 – Beatrix. That’s all I have to say.

Expected Disc 2 Difficulty with Zidane Solo

4.5/5 – Again, Beatrix. Not once but twice. Also the fact I’ve already had two game overs…

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