Beltane got a copy of FFIX during the massive hulla-ba-dub that was the holiday season. This game has tremendous music, great graphics, tons of what we refer to technically (being the masterful gamers that we are) as "little hidden shit," and was all in all, loads of fun to play. This isn't to say that the game wasn't plagued by the usual fare of unfortunate afflictions, e.g. load time, random arbitrary romance, and the character of Queen Brahne, but it was, by and large, an enjoyable (5 days with sleep breaks) play through. My main problem with the whole... thing (if you will), was it's easy boss battles.

Okay. So we'd been playing up until the wee hours, and I got the idea to jam the controller under the couch (as I'd been just tagging the 'fight' button over and over again) during one of the fights mid-3rd disc. Miraculously, or not remotely so, the couch won the fight.

This turn of events was much to my liking, and when Beltane handed me the controller so that I could finish off the last boss the next day, I wasted no time in jamming that controller under the chair and letting it work it's magic. Slapnutz ended up killing Amarant (Caelin in our game), but the day was saved by the might of the team I'd put together earlier on ("A team full of assbeaters is better than a team full of magic users. Yeah, sure, we can keep the summoner.") The last boss's mystical ways couldn't compete against my chair's button mashing capability. Thusly, a legend was born.

The Final Word: Square should never have put 'auto-regen' in the game.

The Word After the Final Word: I know what you're saying here, but did your chair beat Final Fantasy IX? Yeah, "not yet" is right.

We believed in sleeping in shifts.

We believed in the big fucking tin of popcorn.

We believed in Choco.

We believed that if you don't actually go buy a strategy guide and just look stuff up online, it's not technically cheating.

We believed in "the Crackhead's Walkthrough of FFIX" which consisted of about forty lines of text. Economy is wondrous.

We believed in Climhazzard until we knew we couldn't get it.

We believed in Auto-Regen.

We believed in Karsh, also known as Vivi.

We believed in Vile Island.

We believed in The Chair, and it believed in us.
To take the idea of using inanimate objects as RPG aids just a little further, try this.

First, go to Radio Shack or some place like that, and get a turbo controller for your Playstation. (Namely one with a switch which, when set, will interrpret the holding down of a button as the rapid-succession pressing of a button.) It's also important that you get one which had a d-pad that is composed of one shaped plastic piece (sort of like the pad on a Super Nintendo controller.) The more space between the casing and the pad, the better. These generally cost less than $10 USD.

Back at home, plug the turbo controller into slot 1 and fire up Final Fantasy IX. The key here is to give all your characters auto-regen, and then put them somewhere on the overworld. Now, for the nifty part.

Find a screwdriver, and then hold down and right (or up and right, up and left, down and left, whatever you want. Make sure you're walking into the clear, not into an obstruction.) Here's the trick, jam the screwdriver into the gap between the pad and the casing on the other side, so it serves as a wedge. If you did it right, the pad should stay depressed and your characters should run in a circle without your intervention. It's important, now, to make sure they do manage to complete the circle without hitting anything. As long as they stay in constant motion, you're golden.

Now, after a few seconds you'll hit a random encounter. At this point, switch on the turbo function and stick the controller under your chair as you did before. This will a.) negate the effect of the wedged d-pad, since the X button is firing in such rapid succession b.) do all your attacking for you and c.) get you through the "gained exp" screen and back to the overworld, all without your intervention

Once you hit the map again, you'll walk in circles until you encounter a battle, and the cycle will repeat. This works so well in FFIX because of the auto-regen ability. Monitor your little rig here and make sure your characters are not taking any real HP loss during battle. In fact, they must come out with more or equal HP or they will die, eventually. Once you have them in an area that's easy enough, turn off the TV (to save electricity!) and then go to work, go to school, go to sleep, whatever. When you come back, you should have some nice level 99 characters.


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