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Final Fantasy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Final Fantasy Wiki

The Map of Gaia, given to Zidane by Regent Cid.
"We call our world Gaia."
Queen Hilda

Gaia is the name of the main planet in Final Fantasy IX. It consists of four major continents: the Mist Continent, the Outer Continent, the Lost Continent, and the Forgotten Continent. The vast majority of people in Gaia live on the Mist Continent, and very few travel to, or are even aware of, the other three continents that make up their world, largely because the main mode of transport, airships, run on mist, and mist only exists on the Mist Continent, meaning they cannot fly to other continents. The residents of Gaia are quite diverse, ranging from humans to Moogles to Dwarves to animal-like humanoids, such as the rat-like Burmecians, frog-like Qu, and an unnamed hippo-like race.

Contents

Gaia and Terra

"The light remains Gaia's for now, but when the blue changes to crimson, all will belong to Terra, and its restoration will be complete."
—Garland
The birth of Gaia, as seen in Memoria

Near the end of the game, the party follows Kuja into Memoria, the game's penultimate dungeon and a place that contains memories from all walks of life on Gaia, including the earliest recollections of the planet itself. While Zidane wanders through the maze of memories, Garland, a deceased Terran, explains Gaia's history, from its conception as a sphere of roiling flame to the recent events such as the annhiliation of Alexandria Castle.

Gaia is a relatively young planet. Because of this, the people of a much older planet, Terra, saw it as a prime candidate for assimilation. Thus the people of Terra lay to rest for thousands of years until Gaia was assimilated. During this time a sole being, Garland, was created to watch over Terra. A preliminary attempt to absorb Gaia was thwarted simply because the planet of Terra was so ancient, so the Terrans retreated into slumber and ordered Garland to create a plot to assimilate Gaia anew. Garland planned to do this by sparking strife amongst Gaia's people in order to kill them off. Unsatisfied with the long period of time Gaia was taking to assimilate, he created the Iifa Tree, a device which would speed the process up by dispersing mist over Gaia's civilisations, which stimulates the fighting instinct and leads to war. This assimilation is graphically shown twice in-game: once on a projector in Oeilvert, and in Memoria itself.

Landscape

By the time of Final Fantasy IX, Gaia is indeed almost ripe for assimilation. Much of its cycle of souls, or lifestream, has already been depleted, as is evidenced by the barreness and lifeless apperance of much of Gaia. Indeed it is only the Mist Continent which shows any kind of vegetation or lushness at all. Most of the inhabitants of Gaia live on the Mist Continent, but there are settlements further afield. The Outer Continent (the first of the non-Mist continents that the party set foot on) has the Black Mage Village, Conde Petie, the ruins of Madain Sari, and Kuja's Desert Palace. The Lost Continent can be explored once the party recieve the Blue Narciss. This tundra landform has one town, Esto Gaza, and the no-longer inhabited Mount Gulug. The Forgotten Continent, the last to be visited, has no settlements, which may be because of the high cliffs that surround it, making it impossible to access by anything but airship or a Gold Chocobo. Only Ipsen's Castle and Oeilvert are here, neither of which are populated. South of this continent, there is a small chain of green islands, with the populated village of Daguerreo, and Chocobo's Lagoon. Furthermore, each continent has a Qu's Marsh located somewhere, and the Mist Continent marsh works as the entrance for the undersea passage called Fossil Roo.

Calendar

Gaia's calendar is highly similar to the real-world Gregorian calendar, in that it has all the same twelve months and year system. Year 0 is the date when SoulCage was brought to the Iifa Tree by Garland. Final Fantasy IX's story begins on January 15th, 1800 and ends on March 16th.

Location List

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Mist Continent

Demographic Spots

Other Locations

Forgotten Continent

Demographic Spots

Other Locations

Outer Continent

Demographic Spots

Other Locations

Lost Continent

Etymology

Gaia is also the assumed name of The Planet in Final Fantasy VII, although it is mentioned several times that it is called Gaea, which is simply a mis-spelling. Gaia is a classical Greek figure, who guarded the Golden Apples at the end of the world. The name also has Celtic traditions, and has long been associated with the Earth Element. Terra has also been used previously in the games, with a main character sharing the name. The word Terra is French, Italian and Portuguese for Earth, and is shown as a red planet, a complete contrast/inversion of Gaia, which is shown colored blue.

Trivia

The world map for Final Fantasy IX, like many other points of interest in the game, looks very similar in the world map of the original game, with almost identical positioning of three of the four continents. This may be coincidental, but judging from the various 'tributes' to the series, are purposely similar. The most obvious of these similarities is in the shape of Final Fantasy IX's Outer Continent, which resembles a bird like the northeast continent in the original Final Fantasy.

This article uses material from the "Gaia (Final Fantasy IX)" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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