Game Log
+ Prologue
+ Pirate actors
+ Alexandria 1
+ Alexandria 2
+ The Woods
+ Cleyra
+ A pause
+ The Castle
+ The Iifa Tree
+ Fossil Roo
+ Conde Petie
+ Madain Sari
+ The Desert
+ The Desert Palace
+ Ipsen's Castle

+ Everything I never needed to know I learned from FF9
+ FF9 is a family game...

+ Zidane Tribal
+ Tantalus
+ Vivi Ornithopter
+ Garnet
+ Kuja
+ Garland


Madain Sari
Food in FFIX, Part 3
In which there are far too many Moogles

There was a band of Moogles living in the ruins of Madain Sari, taking care of a pathetic lifeform named Eiko. Eiko's lonely for someone who doesn't go, "Kupo!", and in the great anime tradition, she has decided that she, the perky flatchested grade-schooler, is going to seduce the show's hunk away from Garnet. And how is she going to do it? The traditional way: with FOOD!

The Moogles point out that she can't cook.

She tells them that they're going to help her.

They whine.

She fusses.

She wins.

So what shall we cook? she says. How about rock-fisted potato stew? A picture of a pot of vile yellowed stew slides across the screen. Yeah! That's good! But we need something else. What about... barbecued fish! A picture of a disgruntled browned fish on a bed of lettuce slides across the screen. Great! We'll make that. So who wants to make what?

WAIT! I cry. What about vegetables?

Apparently that's what the bed of lettuce is for.

There are three Moogles in the kitchen: a tiny one, a sleepy one, and a sensible one. Who should go fishing? asks Eiko. A decision menu pops up on the screen.

Why are you asking me, you silly bint? You're the one who lives with them! Fine; let's pick this name here.

Great! And who should get the potatoes?

The sleepy one. Potatoes don't move fast, so it should be about his speed.

And the last one will help in the kitchen. Great! Did I make the right choices?

First, you didn't choose, I did. And second, the hell should I know? Moogles all look alike to me. Doesn't matter to me which fuzzy Satanist you have grubbing about in the potato patch. But you're still looking at me expectantly, so I'll poke "yes" and let you get on with the cut scene.

So we have Zidane, Dagger, that quiet boy, and me coming to dinner, plus [insert a long list of Moogles' names]. How much stew should we make?


I wasn't paying any attention. How should I know? But you're looking at me expectantly and the Moogle is fluttering over the waterfall with a heavy-looking iron pot in his little paws, and if I wait too long he's probably going to fall into the waterfall, drown, and remanifest in his true spiritual body, freed of his fleshly shackles. And I just don't want to deal with that many tentacles in the kitchen. So I'll say... uh...

...Four plus one plus three, or was it six, and... oh! She didn't mention Quina! She must not know that Quina's still around. So I'll say eleven, since I think there are about ten, and you should always make extra. You've never seen Quina eat.

And should I put the oglop I found on the trail into the pot?


Eiko stands in front of the oven singing a little cooking song and doing the Cooking Dance. I approve. She's cute and slimy, but she dances.

The Littlest Moogle shouts that it's got a fish--and it's a big one! Help! Help! Eiko dashes down to help it, and together they pull up... Quina, who bounces onto the landing and says, "Your bait not taste good."


Eiko gives Quina the once-over. "Pale hair, pale skin, strange clothes... Zidane told me about you! You're Kuja!"

By the time I climbed back onto my chair, that little misunderstanding had been glossed over, and Quina was offering to help Eiko to cook.

Oh, right! Quina has actual skills! "It is my life's goal to master the art of gourmand!" Eiko is thrilled, and Quina checks on the stew. "You've made enough for 11. That's a good number." (I beam. Quina approves of me!) "You should always make more food than you think you'll need. Maybe someone will drop by suddenly, or maybe--" And Quina's off on a lesson in How to Plan Meals. My jaw drops. Someone has found a way to insert Life Skills for Hopeless Otaku into a fantasy game.

Eventually, the food is done, and everyone gathers around the table. Zidane takes an attack stance and cries, "Let's eat!" I expect to see the combat zoop and find myself in six-on-one combat with a huge blackened fish and a pot of fat-squirting yellow stew. But no, everyone sits down and has a civilized, non-poisoned meal.


Eiko lays a little of her first-grader mojo on Zidane. "Don't you think I'm just like a tragic maiden in distress?" And then she quotes him a little Lord Avon. (He's like Shakespeare, only even worse.) The Lord Avon looks like it might work, if only because Zidane is going to choke on his fish and Eiko's going to have to Heimlich him romantically. But no, Garnet pipes up with, "Isn't that from such and such a play?" Eiko grumps, and the meal ends in peace. But another Life Skill has been taught: Don't use corny lines in front of an audience.

Despite all the talk about making enough food for the Moogles, they are not invited to the meal. They hang out outside and "Kupo!" through the windows on cue. Maybe Eiko's learned a thing or two about the fuzzy little bastards after all.

So there it is: In the midst of a harsh, arid world, where the only thing cheaper than life is sand, the inhabitants remember some of the kinder elements of life that their pampered Mist Continent cousins forgot.

On to the next chapter...