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


Alexandria, Part 1
In which an entire town is addicted to Magic: The Gathering

In the streets of Alexandria, a tiny bundle of laundry topped by a pointy hat goes floppity right on its little face. Eee, Vivi! I'm a FF9 ignoramus, but even I know Vivi! Apparently the game doesn't know Vivi yet, though, because when I check his stats, his name is listed as ?????. Now, that's just sloppiness. You'd think that somebody behind the scenes would have, say, gotten his name from him as they noshed at the caterers' sandwich tray. But no, everyone was too busy fawning over the sexy bishou-hito, and wee sad Vivi got forgotten again.

Wee sad Vivi drops a ticket, which a wee small girl gives back to him. Apparently there's a big play on today--the deathless classic "I Want to Be Your Canary," which presumably sounds better in Japanese--and Vivi has a ticket! Wow! How on earth did Vivi get a ticket? Where did he get the money? Where did he come from, anyways, since he seems to be completely new to the city? And what is he? Everyone calls him a little boy, but have they noticed the glowing yellow eyes and the complete absence of face? Is everyone in the city blind?

Never mind. It's not important.

What is important is--there's a play on tonight! Eeee! And it's this way! Eee! You can never forget which way the play is because the path is marked by a stream of small waddling children pattering by on the tips of their toes. One of the children runs into Vivi and yells at him. Brat.

Thence follows the ancient game known as, "What in hell am I supposed to be doing here?" Vivi wanders around talking to everyone and picking up random useful things. Like potions, and tents, and largish sums of money. Yes, people leave potions and money scattered all over the city. The cards I can understand--they get lost all the time--but potions? Money?

In the future, it will transpire that potions are the primary sustenance of adventurers--cheap, nourishing, portable. Like bottled Gatorade. It would make sense, then, that people would leave half-drunk potions all over the place the way we leave half-drunk coffee and Coke. But whole, sound ones?

Maybe Vivi's collecting half-drunk potions and pouring them all into one bottle.


Vivi's explorations also take him inside people's houses, where he opens chests, looks under beds, and pokes in the bureaus. The people stand by, smiling benevolently. Vivi takes their food, their clothing, their cards, and Grandma's savings. It's okay, though. The people are happy to let him. If a tiny coal-eyed black demon rooted through your stuff, wouldn't you let it take whatever it wanted?

Maybe the people of Alexandria aren't so blind after all.

After mooching around the place for a while, Vivi finally ends up at the ticket booth. The ticket master expounds upon Princess Garnet's beauty for a while ("She's a babe! She's a babelicious babe! She's the most babelicious babe Alexandria has ever seen! And she's 16 today! That's the age of consent, so even a middle-aged pervert like me doesn't have to feel like a pedophile when I say that she's a total, scrumptious babe!"), then tells Vivi that his ticket is fake. Oh, nooo! Vivi wilts. Fearing that Vivi's sudden shrinkage is the first stage in compressing himself into a black-hole-density ball and then exploding and taking out Alexandria, the ticket master hastily gives him some cards.

What is it with the cards?

Vivi accepts the cards and wanders off into an alley, where he falls over. A signmaker on a ladder misses his stroke and castigates Vivi for making him miss. 'Kay, so we have some problems owning our actions. The signmaker bustles off to his anger management class, leaving Vivi standing about looking lost and pitiful.

Along comes the rat-faced brat from before--we don't know his name, so I'll call him Ratsnickle. Ratsnickle commiserates with Vivi in his own earthy urchin way for buying a fake ticket, then tells him that he, Ratsnickle, will get Vivi into the show if Vivi will be his slave.

How very... kind of you. And yet, how many shades of "no" are in my answer.

(to be continued)

On to the next chapter...