- “When Hilda found out about my little affair, she used her magic and turned me into an oglop. Then she stormed off in the new airship, which I named Hilda Garde. Pretty ironic, eh?”
- —Regent Cid
The Hilda Garde (ヒルダガルデ, Hirudagarude?) is a series of airships in Final Fantasy IX. They are steam-powered ships created by the Regent of Lindblum, Cid Fabool IX, and are named after his wife, Queen Hilda.
Hilda Garde IEdit
The Hilda Garde I was seen as an amazing piece of technical engineering as it was the first steam-powered airship in the world, and thus would run without a Mist-engine meaning it could fly outside of the Mist Continent. Cid and his assistant Engineer Zebolt used ground-breaking technology to construct it. After a fight with Hilda, due to her discovering the Regent's womanizing, she turned him into an oglop and stole the Hilda Garde I. It was later taken from her by Kuja.
Along with his Silver Dragon, Kuja used the Hilda Garde I as primary transportation across Gaia. When the party is captured at Kuja's Desert Palace, Kuja sends Zidane Tribal and three of his friends on a quest to Oeilvert to retrieve the Gulug Stone. They travel to the Forgotten Continent on the Hilda Garde I, which Zorn and Thorn pilot.
When they return with the required stone, Kuja snatches it, kidnaps Eiko Carol and flees on the Hilda Garde I to the Lost Continent, inside the fiery reaches of Mount Gulug. Zorn and Thorn are destroyed by the party at the bottom of the volcano, and Kuja flees, though it is not known whether the escapade is by teleportation or by airship. Either way, the Hilda Garde I is never seen again.
Location: Gilgamesh in Daguerreo
Chocobo Treasure in a crack on the Forgotten Continent.
Hilda Garde IIEdit
After the Hilda Garde I was stolen the regent began working on Hilda Garde II. However, due to his hampered skills as an oglop (and later on as a frog), the Hilda Garde II was poorly constructed and deemed a failure. The player first gets a glimpse of it in an ATE with Steiner when the party first visit Lindblum and Steiner is lost in the vastness of the Lindblum Castle and the town.
Though not as successful as the Hilda Garde I, it is still used by the Regent when he travels to Treno to partake in the Card Tournament. The pressing attack by Bahamut on Alexandria forces Cid and the party to board the airship and fly from Treno to Alexandria to assist in the city's defense.
During the flight, comments are made about the craft's ill design with Vivi getting motion sickness due to the unstable flight. During the flight Eiko recognizes the signs of the Holy Judgement summoning and jumps off the airship's prow to descend and join Garnet who has been lead by the same signs to the top of Alexandria Castle.
The Hilda Garde II drops Zidane and party at the entrance of Alexandria Castle, where he rescues Garnet and Eiko who have summoned Alexander. As the Invincible prepares to obliterate Alexander and a majority of the city, Zidane, Garnet, and Eiko grab hold of the Hilda Garde's flylines and lift off into the sky, escaping the destruction. This is the last time that the Hilda Garde II is seen, so its fate is left unknown.
Hilda Garde IIIEdit
After reconciling with Hilda and being turned back into a human, Regent Cid begins working on the Hilda Garde III. Many of the materials used to build the Hilda Garde III came from the Blue Narciss, a ship Zidane and his party used to ferry across the the oceans of Gaia (the Blue Narciss in turn had been remodeled from the Alexandrian cargo ship the party had stolen and flown to Lindblum). Cid presents the craft to the party after they return from Mount Gulug.
When the party emerges from the Shimmering Island in control of the Terran-wrought Invincible, the Hilda Garde is returned to Regent Cid. The Hilda Garde III is seen leading the Lindblum Airship Fleet in the battle against the Silver Dragons at the Iifa Tree, with Regent Cid and Tantalus Theater Troupe at the helm. It collects the party at the Iifa Tree after Necron is defeated.
Cid may have constructed a Hilda Garde IV, as indicated near the end of the game when he claims his new Hilda Garde is the fastest ship yet. It's unclear whether he means he's built an entirely new ship, or if he's talking about the Hilda Garde III.
Location: Gilgamesh in Daguerreo, Chocograph treasure "Outer Island II".
The theme used when the player pilots the Hilda Garde III around the world map or explores its interior is called "Aboard the Hilda Garde", which can be found as track 1 of the fourth disc of the Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack.
- The design of Hilda Garde I was used to depict the "SS Highwind", one of the treasures rewarded in the Facebook game Knights of the Crystals.
- Though Zidane and party travel to the aid of Alexandria on the Hilda Garde II, in the FMV where Eiko jumps of the prow to meet with Garnet it is the Hilda Garde III that is seen.