Food in Final Fantasy IX
So our heroes found absolute and unquestionable proof that Queen
Brahne was behind the Black Mages, and learned from Garnet's uncle
that Brahne was getting the mages from a weapons dealer named Kuja,
who lived far to the north on a Mistless outer continent known as
Delaware. They decided that rather than take on the source of their
problems directly, they would cut off Brahne's dealer. That involved
a boring and nasty trip through a toll tunnel called the Fossil
Roo (which was probably supposed to be the Fossil Rue, but if the
translators can't read Japlish, they can't be expected to know Japench).
When our heroes stumbled into the bright, Mistless light of Delaware,
woozy and seasick from riding upside-down on spiders, they emerged
into a hot, harsh world. Sun-scorched ground. Dying forests. Killer
cactuses in little green sombreros. Life was nasty, brutish, and
short, and so were the inhabitants.
The monsters were nasty and brutish. The inhabitants were short.
And green. And possessed of chins as huge as camel's humps, which
performed about the same function. They lived in a vaguely Central
American Indian templesque village on a bridge, where they spent
their time sipping tea by the fountain while they talked about food
Admittedly, the Pumpkin Bomb (bombe?) which the shopkeeper offered
Quina cost 1,000 gil, the price of a fairly nice weapon, and when
Zidane talked to the same shopkeeper, he didn't have any food to
sell--only potions. Apparently there's a menu for normal people
and a menu for adventurers, and the adventurers all get the liquid
diet. People continually accused poor Quina of being the thief who
was stealing all their food--as though there were any way to miss
Quina long enough for her to steal something. Even in idyllic little
Conde Petie, food is associated with lawbreaking and denial. But
the people were at least willing to talk about it.
Their other favorite topic, on the other hand, was sweet. Courting
couples stood in the sunlight, contemplating the boat they would
one day be married on. Village elders drinking tea around the village
hookah discussed getting wives for their sons. There was no small-minded
discrimination, though--they were just as willing to consider Dagger
as wife material. Will-she nil-she. Eventually Zidane figured out
that the "Sanctuary" the Conde Petiens were talking about--a sort
of dwarven Niagara Falls--was where he and his bunch needed to go
next, but the only way the dwarves would let them go was to go through
"the ceremony"... so everyone in the party got married to each other.
Despite the fact that the dwarves considered Vivi a little boy,
they were quite happy to see him wed. It was very gentle and Gretna
Green in its own pot-addled way.
So the happy couples bounced off into the wilderness, picked up
another pathetic lifeform, dropped by the Sanctuary, hit a force
field, and turned back to figure out what plot trigger they'd missed.
Ah! They hadn't taken the pathetic lifeform home! So off they toddled
to the other half of the wilderness, and came across... a ruined
city. Filled with Moogles.
Have I mentioned yet that Moogles freak me out?
...That's a rant for a later time. Anyway. There was a band of Moogles
living in the ruins of Madain Sari, taking care of a pathetic lifeform
named Eiko. (May I also add that Gaia needs a serious social-services
overhaul? So far we've met Vivi, whose foster-father wanted to eat
him, Zidane, whose foster-father beat him and forced him to work
as a thief-slash-actor--and we all know what actors do between shows--Garnet,
whose mother was so deranged that her uncle had to arrange for her
kidnapping in order to get custody of her, and the Prince of Burmecia,
whose father seems not to have noticed that his son has drifted
away and is now living in the streets. And now Eiko, who's about
eight and who's being looked after by a band of marshmallow-brained
flying teddycats who probably worship Satan. There are at least
two Evil Overpersons in the game so far, and neither of them has
seen the howling need for a decent social services machine. Any
Evil Overperson worth their salt would have all of these children
slaving in the Black Mage factory in Dali right now. It's a waste,
letting them stumble about the continent high on potions and cheap
...After that digression, perhaps we should start