Final Fantasy IX Zidane Solo–Disc 3 Thoughts
Boy oh boy did disc 3 ever take a bit. It wasn’t even due in part to hitting a roadblock – that lovely thing called real life interrupted. At points, disc 3 met my expectations of difficulty. At other points, though, it somewhat let me down.
After the mass amount of cutscenes to start off the disc, the first notable part is the protection of Alexandria sequence. I went into this expecting a few deaths, mainly due to levels, but thankfully there were none. Being able to abuse the Mistodon’s major weakness of them being undead helped a lot.
Following that though, came the first super boss: Tantarian. Well, okay, I could have done it sooner but I’m pretty sure that would have been an absolutely terrible idea. Tantarian wasn’t “hard” persay – it’s just that he had access to this lovely little spell called “Doom.” Now, in theory, Doom shouldn’t be landing very frequently. The reality of course is that it was landing about 95% of the time and causing several game overs. What ended up clinching the win was hitting Trance, getting him open on the first hit of Trance, and then just destroying him. Thanks Trance skills for not counting as a physical hit! With the defeat of Tantarian, a much needed skill was finally obtained – Auto-Haste. This meant that battles now would no longer take 10 centuries, just 9!
Fastforward a bit and the next section was Oeilvert and Ark. I actually wasn’t expecting many issues here, but when I ended up getting petrified at one point before I could soft the enemy… Yeah. Ark was trouble for a different reason – for a few attempts, silly me didn’t even have Clear Headed on. Once Clear Headed was on, though, it became MUCH easier.
Now, in Desert Palace, I was expecting issues again. This is due to the same reasons I expected issues back in Alexandria – I don’t have Zidane and everyone is underleveled. However thanks to some fancy work with skills and equipment, I was able to get through here. In fact, Valia Pira went MUCH smoother than I had anticipated! I had actually previously gone over to Esto Gaza for other reasons, but without thinking about it helping, I had picked up a good throwing item for Amarant. I ended up using this against Valia Pira. Basically, Amarant ended up being the hero of that battle.
Jump ahead a little to Mt Gulug. Again, another place I wasn’t expecting too many issues to arise, but I did end up with a death here due to the Red Dragons. The boss however was nice and susceptible to some parts of the tent trick, which allowed me to mitigate some of his skills.
Ipsen’s Castle was pretty uneventful. Taharka just took a bit, though I’m glad he did (even with poisoning him for a bit). That glorious Orichalcon became mine!
Up next was Earth Guardian which really, unless you’ve done some decent work on Quina, is all about Zidane anyways. During this boss though, I was starting to play around with Auto Regen which I had finally learned thanks to doing the Friendly Monster side quest. Those things are great AP, you know? It was here I discovered that oh wow, I no longer need Auto-Potion! Ah Auto-Potion, you served me well but your usefulness has at last ended.
The next major sequence was You’re Not Alone. This entire time I had been mentally preparing myself for this part of the game, mainly due to the second battle of it. For those unaware, the second battle involves Steiner and Quina being out and Zidane coming in later. In other words, I had to survive with them until he did. I think I got incredibly lucky though, as all the enemy did was attack Quina. After reviving him/her twice, Zidane jumped in and I was able to actually begin the battle.
The last, almost unexpected, difficulty came right at the end. The 18th and final death of disc 3 came from Garland opening up the fight with Stop… and it landing. Well then! A quick swap on of Locomotion later and the last three fights of the disc went down fairly easily. While Garland and Kuja did take a little bit, this was just because they both had around 40k HP. Garland went down a little faster than Kuja, but that’s just because of a Trance coming along right at the start and being able to hit him with 4 9999 attacks.
Disc 4, while normally very short, I’m expecting to become the biggest trouble. The bosses of Memoria are not easy and well there’s still a couple super bosses to go. I say a couple as I have decided to skip doing Quale – sorry, really don’t feel like frog catching to unlock it. Oh Ozma… You are going to be a massive RNG battle. Especially without Thievery.
Disc 3 Difficulty with Zidane Solo
I would give it a 4/5 if You’re Not Alone had caused more issues.
Expected Disc 4 Difficulty with Zidane Solo
Ozma. Ozma, Ozma, Ozma. Even excluding him, the entirety of Memoria.