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- "...Kuja's secret palace is on the eastern side of this continent. It's buried under quicksand. You'll need a ship to get there."
- —Black Mage No. 288
The Desert Palace (デザートエンプレス, Dezāto Enpuresu?, lit. "Desert Empress") is Kuja's lair in Final Fantasy IX, located in the desert on the Outer Continent. It is an immense underground fortress, filled with traps and can only be entered through a mock Antlion pit. Desert Palace is one of only two places where one can obtain the Namingway card, which can be shown to a man in Daguerreo in order to rename the player characters.
When the party is captured by Kuja, they are nearly killed when the floors of their cells drop away. Regent Cid manages to save them by releasing them from their cells, and the party begins to search for a way to escape Kuja's fortress.
Navigating the dungeon is tricky and requires the completion of several puzzles, which involve candle lights and hidden passages. The security system of the Desert Palace is the Valia Pira, which the party can make weaker by turning off the Bloodstones scattered across the palace. The Bloodstones also yield treasure for them.
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Cid's Quest to Save the PrisonersEdit
After Kuja has decided to let his prisoners fall to the fire at the bottom of their prison cells, Cid sets out to save them. He has six minutes to complete the scenario.
To sneak past the Hedgehog Pie the player must tap the button when the monster is looking away to move forward. If the player moves when the Hedgehog Pie is looking at Cid, they must start again from the beginning. After getting close enough Cid will get the Hourglass Key item.
The next step is to place the weights on the scales. The correct combination is: clay, stone and iron. After placing the weights the player must climb onto the scales and turn the hourglass.
The Namingway Card can be obtained from Kuja's room in Desert Palace after Zidane and his party have returned from Oeilvert, and after Eiko has been kidnapped. Before exiting the room the player can search the left side of the screen to find the card.
- Hourglass Key
- Promist Ring
- Fairy Earrings
- Shield Armor
- N-Kai Armlet
- Black Hood
- Venetia Shield
- Namingway card
|Diamond Sword||4,700 gil|
|Mythril Claws||6,500 gil|
|Magic Racket||1,350 gil|
|Healing Rod||1,770 gil|
|Fairy Flute||4,500 gil|
|Cypress Pile||3,200 gil|
|Silver Fork||7,400 gil|
|Rising Sun||500 gil|
|Chimera Armlet||1,200 gil|
|Egoist's Armlet||2,000 gil|
|Diamond Gloves||2,000 gil|
|Mantra Band||1,500 gil|
|Dark Hat||1,800 gil|
|Green Beret||2,180 gil|
|Cross Helmet||2,200 gil|
|Judo Uniform||5,000 gil|
|Gold Armor||2,950 gil|
|Phoenix Down||150 gil|
|Echo Screen||50 gil|
|Magic Tag||100 gil|
Multiple songs play during the party's time at the Desert Palace, beginning with "The Devil's Ambition," a variation of "Kuja's Theme" also known as "Footsteps of Desire." When Kuja asks Zidane his favor, "Immoral Melody," another variation, plays. "Kuja's Theme" plays as Zidane and his chosen party members make their way to Oeilvert. During Cid's "Red Light, Green Light" minigame, the distinctly cheerful "The Sneaky Frog and the Scoundrel" plays. For the rest of the time spent in this location, "Kuja's Theme (Millennium Version)" plays.
|Backgrounds and Screenshots|
- Complementing Kuja's tastes, the Desert Palace contains many works of fine art, including a trio of statues arranged in a triangular fashion. Two of these are decidedly demonic-looking, replete with bat-like wings and tridents, and are referred to as the "Promise of the Evil God" and "Truth of the Devil." The white angelic statue in the middle is called the "Illusion of the Goddess." This is an allusion to the Warring Triad from Final Fantasy VI.
- The Desert Palace can be skipped if the Gold Chocobo Bug is carried out in early versions of the Japanese and North American versions of the game.
- When Zidane is choosing his party for his trip to Oeilvert, the order in which Kuja calls them in their cells depends on the characters' priority. Eiko has top priority over the non-Zidane party members, so she will always be called first regardless of who else is chosen. Steiner has the next highest priority, followed by Vivi, Freya, Amarant, Quina, who can only be called as early as second, and Garnet, who will always be called last.
- The leader of the party in this area depends on whom the player chooses to send with Zidane to Oeilvert. The leader of the party left behind will depend on its members, as well as who has priority over whom. This priority is stated in the above note. Thus, if Zidane's party does not contain Eiko, then she will lead the party through the palace. If Zidane's party does contain Eiko, then Steiner has the next priority to lead. If Zidane takes both Eiko and Steiner, then Vivi has the next priority to lead the party. Finally, if Eiko, Steiner, and Vivi are all sent with Zidane, then Freya will lead the party. Amarant, Quina, and Garnet, the three characters with the lowest priority rankings, are guaranteed not to lead the party in this area.