Later the party can locate two Pumice Pieces, which can be forged into Pumice by Hades at his Synthesis Shop in Memoria. Pumice can also be received by beating Ozma, the most powerful enemy in the game.
When equipping Dagger with the Pumice, she can learn to summon Ark. When summoned, Ark departs from the Red Moon of Terra, and transforms; a hovering Ark targets the enemy with a laser glyph before firing a salvo of explosive lasers from its wings to scorch the battlefield, and finishes off by readying a larger laser whose impact can be seen from space. Its attack is called Eternal Darkness (暗黒の運命, Ankoku no Unmei?, lit. Dark Fate), which deals Shadow-elemental damage to all enemies.
It costs 80 MP to summon. Ark has the longest summon animation—the full attack is almost two minutes, and the short animation is longer than most summons' long animations. Ark's spell power is equal to 106 plus the total number of Lapis Lazulis in the party's inventory. (See Summon (Final Fantasy IX)#Mechanics for damage formulae.)
Ark appears to be an eidolon of Terran origins, being fought in Oeilvert, an ancient Terran archive, and a red moon features during its summoning. The pattern its lasers draw on the ground includes the triangular emblem of Terra that appears in many locations associated with the planet. As eidolons are born of people's collective imaginings, most often based on myths and legends as in the case with Gaia's eidolons, Ark may be based on the Terran memories of an ultimate Terran warship, as told in the Oeilvert records. Whether the Ark fought in Oeilvert and the one learned as an eidolon from the Pumice are the same being, is ambiguous, as the Ark protecting the Gulug Stone never transforms.
Ark seems to be Terra's equivalent to Gaia's Alexander: their elements mirror each other; Ark being Shadow-elemental and Alexander being Holy-elemental; both are mechanical in nature, being feared as ancient weapons and summons, with Alexander being an immobile megalithic fortress while Ark takes a form similar to an airship. They share the theme of Heaven and Earth, with Ark being airborne and Alexander being earthbound; both represent their respective worlds of origin and their names relate to the a theme of judgment and punishment, with Alexander known for his attack, Divine Judgment, while Ark's original attack name in Japanese was known as Dark Fate.
Location: Treno, Card Stadium, Chocograph treasure "Forgotten Island".
- Main article: Ark (Boss)
Ark is fought as a boss in Oeilvert.
Ark appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game with a dark-elemental card depicting an artwork of it.
- The Pumice item used to summon Ark is known as "Fuyuuishi" (ふゆう石, "floating stone?). In the original NES version of the original Final Fantasy, this item was translated as "FLOATER", and was used to lift the ancient airship from the desert. This bond is strengthened by the fact that Ark takes the form of an airship.
- Its origins coming from invaders from another world, being an airship, and its Dark-elemental affinity, is likely a throwback to the Japanese late Edo Period born concept of the black ships. How it is a robot, but described as "the beast from the dark", is also a wordplay on the suffix counter word "-goki", where it is used to count machinery, but can also mean "strong demon" by homophone.
- Ark's transforming capabilities can be seen not only as a precursor to the transforming Eidolons in Final Fantasy XIII, but also an indirect reference to the Transformers franchise, which features a spaceship called the Ark.
- Ark's design is a nod to the 1986 Square game Cruise Chaser Blassty, bearing heavy influence from the game's cruise chaser mecha.
- Ironically, had Kuja not sent Zidane to Oeilvert to claim the Gulug Stone, he might have found an eidolon to rival Alexander.