Greetings, TAY folk! I’m a rather infrequent commentator on this site and have never written a post, so I thought I’d give it a try. Hope this works! I just thought I’d begin by sharing a little story about a game near and dear to my heart... Final Fantasy IX!

I’ve played through this game many times, so I know it like the back of my hand, but on one particular play through I came up with a brilliant solution to a question I couldn’t answer-

“Is it possible to escape the Forgotten Continent when Kuja sends you to Oeilvert?”

Some background, the Forgotten Continent has no shoreline, so it is inaccessible by boat, and at this point in the story your team doesn’t have their own airship, so there’s no way to access this area on your own. Once Kuja catches you and sends off, there’s no way to leave until you complete the quest. A quest I hated because I DON’T LIKE BEING LIMITED! So, after putting up with this for many years of playing, I decided to find a way to come and go as I please. And then laughing about it in Kuja’s girly face!

My plan began with your chocobo companion and expert treasure hunter, Choco. Chocobo Hot & Cold is one of the most addicting minigames ever, and one of my favorite things about it is watching Choco evolve and gain new abilities.

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Particularly, the ability to fly.

My brilliant idea was to try and get as many Chocographs as I could to get the flying ability, so that when Zorn and Thorn dropped everyone off, I would just call my own ride and fly away! ...Okay, so it wasn’t that clever, but at the time it felt like it could really work. Knowing that your moogle friend notifies you when Choco has found all chocographs available, I was determined to hunt until I was shut down.

It started out well enough. I was already really good at Hot & Cold and was a pro at reaching the treasure max before time runs out (the lagoon was my personal favorite). I got Choco the ability to travel across oceans when the chocographs stopped rolling in... But I refused to stop because Mene wouldn’t tell me whether or not it was possible!

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So, I played and played and played in hopes that I would finally get that final upgrade. But somewhere around getting Choco’s Beak LV. to 92, I started entertaining the idea that maybe the developers were clever enough to think about this and implemented something to prevent it from happening.

After many many hours over the course of several days, I relented and let Kuja capture my team. Once, that anti-magic mission was over, I went back to the lagoon and immediately found the chocograph for flight in my first round of Hot & Cold...

Well played, Square! You won that round. At least I still have the broken exploitable playground that was Final Fantasy VIII.