- "...It's old, but the engine's got power."
The Cargo Ship is an airship in Final Fantasy IX used to transport cargo from the village of Dali to Alexandria. It is operated by black mages. The cargo is transported in barrels tied around the sides of the ship.
The cargo ship is used to transport completed black mages from Dali to Alexandria. Steiner, who wants to return to Alexandria with Princess Garnet, tells the party the ship is going to Lindblum in his attempt to get the princess on-board. Zidane, Vivi, Steiner, and Garnet stow away on board the airship, and although Zidane knows Steiner is lying, he is planning on taking control of the airship and fly it where Garnet wants to go. Steiner boards the ship first while the others get on-board just in time before the cargo ship is about to take off, making Steiner momentarily believe he has accidentally left the princess in Dali.
On-board the ship they find it is manned by black mages. The mages are unresponsive and ignore them completely, even Vivi, who is shocked to meet black mages other than himself for the first time. Zidane enters the cockpit and easily takes control of the ship, the black mages simply let him do it. Steiner is furious and commands Zidane to turn the ship around. Black Waltz 3 attacks the airship in order to kidnap Garnet, but when it attacks the party the black mages surround Vivi to protect him.
The Black Waltz blasts the black mages with his magic sending them falling off the ship. Vivi is infuriated and enters Trance and while Vivi, Steiner and Zidane fight off the Black Waltz Garnet is left in control of the ship. Zidane tells her she can either choose to go back to Alexandria, or fly through the South Gate to Lindblum.
After being defeated the Black Waltz is thrown off the ship, but is still pursuing the cargo ship in its own airship. Garnet tries to outrun it and fly through the South Gate just as the gate is closing, and the Black Waltz ends up crashing inside the gate causing an explosion, while the cargo ship escapes unharmed.
After being taken to Lindblum, the cargo ship is not seen again in that particular incarnation. But after the destruction of Alexandria in disc 3, the party is in need of an ocean-going ship to sail to the Desert Palace on the Outer Continent, so Regent Cid remodels the Cargo Ship into the Blue Narciss.
After Hildagarde Fabool is rescued from Mount Gulug and she turns Cid back into a human, Cid decides to remodel the Blue Narciss back into an airship again, this time as the Hilda Garde 3. It becomes the main airship for the party to freely control, and remains so through the rest of disc 3 until traveling to Terra. The vessel is seen once more in the ending, retrieving the party from Memoria.
In all, the Cargo Ship was remodeled twice and appeared in three different incarnations.
- Black Waltz 3 (Boss)