Ipsen's Castle (イプセンの古城, Ipusen no Kojō) is a location on the Forgotten Continent in Final Fantasy IX. The building itself, inside and outside is an architectural marvel, much like M.C. Escher's drawing "Relativity". Many rooms are upside down and in one room you have to slide up a pole. While in Ipsen's Castle, weapons will do more damage the lower their attack power is. This means stronger weapons do less damage and weaker weapons do more damage. Very weak weapons are sold by a Moogle Inhabitant, and the most basic weapons available for each character can be found in many of the treasure chests. However, it should be remembered that this unusual weapon set-up does not extend to armor, accessories or magic, so these should not be altered in combat.
The item Ancient Aroma is an add-on which can only be found within the castle. This add-on teaches Garnet an ability called "Odin's sword", which, when equipped, allows Odin deal damage to enemies if he's unable to kill them.
In order to obtain the Aroma, the player must solve the puzzle of the rotating tablet near the elevator to the mirror room. When prompted, Zidane is required to examine, push, pound, kick, and rest in order to flip the wall and gain access to a new area of the castle. This opens up a new door in the entry foyer of the dungeon, directly to the left of the first door entered by the party. This new passage leads to a room with a large elevator that descends into a room with a large glowing sword and three ledges with two pots. A voice within the room may whisper "Fight the flow of time". This implies that the pots must be picked up and placed on the next ledge counterclockwise from its present location. After both pots are rotated about thrice each, the electricity within the blade will fill one pot, from which the Ancient Aroma may be collected.
The Castle is named after the explorer Ipsen, who was thought to be the first to discover the castle. Due to steep, canyon-like walls that surround the castle, it can only be accessed with a Red or better Chocobo or the Hilda Garde III or Invincible Airships. Since it is possible to develop Choco as far as Dark Blue (ocean/mountain crossing) by the time the party first visits the Lost Continent, it is technically possible to visit this location before it is mentioned in the storyline. If the player does so, however, it appears on the map as simply "?" and although it can entered from the map, an invisible barrier prevents the player from advancing any further than the first screen. Queen Hilda decides on the use of the name, stating "Well, since this castle doesn't have a name, let's call it Ipsen's Castle."
"Ipsen and his good friend Colin worked at a tavern in Treno. One day, Ipsen got a letter. The letter was so wet from rain that most of the writing was illegible. The only part he could read said 'Come back home.'. Nowadays, we have airships and stuff, but back then, it was really hard to travel. He didn't know why he had to go back, but he got some time off, gathered his things, and set out on his journey home. He walked a thousand leagues through the Mist. Sometimes he was attacked by vicious monsters, but he made it, because his friend Colin was by his side. And then, after much time on the road... He had to ask Colin something:
"Why did you come with me?"
"Only because I wanted to go with you"
The party is sent to Ipsen's Castle to retrieve the four Elemental mirrors. Amarant challenges Zidane to a race for the mirrors, saying that he "works alone". The player party then ventures through the maze-like interior, made all the more confusing due to the inverted structure of the castle. Amarant wins the race no matter how fast the player gets to the mirror room, and vacates the premises after declaring his disbandment from the party. Zidane and his friends then collect four mirrors on a mural and are interrupted by the monster Taharka, the guardian of the mirrors. Upon returning to the Hilda Garde III, the party discover that Amarant isn't back yet. Zidane scours the castle in search of him, and eventually finds and rescues Amarant, who has dropped down a ledge. When the two return to the exterior of the castle, Zidane formulates a plan to raid all four elemental shrines, whose locations are marked by the four mirrors' placement on the mural.
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
The theme that plays in Ipsen's Castle is known as "Ipsen's Heritage".
|Zidane Tribal - Vivi Orunitia - Adelbert Steiner - Garnet til Alexandros XVII - Freya Crescent - Quina Quen - Eiko Carol - Amarant Coral|
|Temporary playable characters|
|Marcus - Blank - Cinna - Beatrix|
|Black Waltz No. 1 - Black Waltz No. 2 - Black Waltz No. 3 - Brahne Raza Alexandros XVI - Garland - Kuja - Lani - Necron - SoulCage - Zorn and Thorn|
|Artania - Artemicion - Lord Avon - Baku - Black Mage No. 288 - Bobby Corwen - Choco - Erin - Cid Fabool VIII - Cid Fabool IX - Fratley - Gilgamesh - Queen Hilda - Hippaul - Jane - Lowell Bridges - Mikoto - Mog - Morrid - Nero Brothers - Knights of Pluto - Puck - Quale - Quan - Ruby - Queen Stella - Stiltzkin - Doctor Tot - Zebolt|
|Gaia - Terra|
|Alexandria - Evil Forest - Ice Cavern - Dali - Morrid's Tower - Lindblum - Gizamaluke's Grotto - Burmecia - Aerbs Mountains - Treno - Gargan Roo - Cleyra - Pinnacle Rocks - Fossil Roo - Chocobo's Forest - Quan's Dwelling|
|Conde Petie - Black Mage Village - Conde Petie Mountain Path - Madain Sari - Iifa Tree - Desert Palace - Earth Shrine - Mognet Central|
|Oeilvert - Daguerreo - Ipsen's Castle - Wind Shrine - Water Shrine - Chocobo's Lagoon|
|Esto Gaza - Mount Gulug - Fire Shrine - Shimmering Island|
|Bran Bal - Pandemonium|
|Chocobo's Air Garden - Chocobo's Dream World - Crystal World - Memoria - Chocobo's Paradise - Qu's Marsh - Hill of Despair -|
|Races and creatures|
|Black Mage - Burmecian/Cleyran - Dwarves - Eidolon - Genome - Gargant - Human - Moogle - Oglop - Qu - Summoner|
|Active Time Event - Airship - Battle of the Iifa Tree - Blackjack - Chocobo Hot and Cold - Chocograph - Crystal - Festival of the Hunt - Frog Catching - Gulug Stone - Invincible - Jump Rope - Magic Stone - Mognet - Siege of Burmecia - Siege of Cleyra - Siege of Lindblum - Tantalus Theater Troupe - Tetra Master|
|Original Soundtrack - Original Soundtrack PLUS - Uematsu's Best Selection - Melodies of Life -Final Fantasy IX- - Piano Collections
|Abilities - Add-on - Allusions - Armor - Characters - Eidolons - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Items - Jewels - Locations - Merchandise - Timeline - Translations - Walkthroughs - Wallpapers - Weapons|