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Ipsen's Castle

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Ipsen'sCastleEntrance

A view of Ipsen's towers.

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 the visitor has to slide up a pole.

While in Ipsen's Castle, weapons will do more damage the lower their attack power is. Weak weapons are sold by a local moogle, and the characters' default weapons can be found in many of the treasure chests. The unusual weapon set-up does not extend to armor, accessories or magic.

The reduced weapon damage while in Ipsen's Castle weaker is due an alteration in the base damage formula: Damage = Base = (60 - Atk) - Def

OriginEdit

Ispen's Castle

Concept art.

According to the Final Fantasy IX Ultimania, Ipsen's Castle is one of the locations from Terra that ended up on Gaia 5000 years ago due to Garland's failed attempt to merge the two planets into one. The origin from Terra is made clear by the unusual-looking treasure chests, as Terran treasures are always blue, whereas Gaian chests are wooden.

The castle is named after the explorer Ipsen, who was thought to be the first to discover the castle. Another etymological origin derives from Latin where ipse mean it/her/himself, so as Lady Hilda decides on the castle's name, she means it will be called the "no name castle" - the "ipsen" castle (literally translated: the castle itself).

Due to steep, canyon-like walls that surround the castle, it can only be accessed with a chocobo or by airship. It is possible to develop Choco as far as dark blue (ocean/mountain crossing) by the time the party first visits the Forgotten Continent, so it is technically possible to visit Ipsen's Castle before it is mentioned in the storyline. If the player does so, however, the castle appears on the map as simply "?", and although it can be entered from the map, the front door is closed, preventing the player from advancing any further than the first screen.

IpsenEdit

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."
—Story told by Zidane

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Ipsen castle four mirrors

The four mirrors.

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 ventures through the maze-like interior, made all the more confusing due to the castle's mirrored structure. Amarant wins the race and vacates the premises after declaring his disbandment from the party. Zidane and his friends collect the mirrors, but are interrupted by the monster, Taharka, the mirrors' guardian.

Upon exiting the castle, the party discovers Amarant hasn't come out yet. Zidane scours the castle and finds and rescues him. When the two return, Zidane formulates a plan to raid the four elemental shrines, whose locations are marked by the mirrors' placement on the mural they were found in.

QuestsEdit

Ancient AromaEdit

Ipsen'sCastleSwordRoom

Sword room.

Ancient Aroma is an add-on found within the castle. It teaches Dagger the ability "Odin's Sword", which, when equipped, allows Odin to deal damage to enemies that survived the Instant Death.

To obtain Ancient 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, think, push, think, try something drastic, 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 dungeon's entry foyer, directly to the left of the first door the party entered. The new passage leads to a large glowing sword with three ledges and two pots.

A voice within the room whispers, Fight the flow of time, implying the pots must be picked up and placed on the next ledge counterclockwise from its present location. After both pots are rotated thrice each, the electricity within the blade will fill one pot, from which the Ancient Aroma may be collected.

EnemiesEdit

TreasuresEdit

FFIX Ipsen's Castle WM

Ipsen's Castle on the world map.

ShopsEdit

Kumool's MogshopEdit

Item Cost
Mage Masher 500 gil
Iron Sword 660 gil
Mythril Spear 1,100 gil
Poison Knuckles 5,000 gil
Multina Racket 750 gil
Mythril Rod 560 gil
Lamia's Flute 3,800 gil
Oak Staff 2,400 gil
Needle Fork 3,100 gil
Rising Sun 500 gil
N-Kai Armlet 3,000 gil
Jade Armlet 3,400 gil
Venetia Shield 2,800 gil
Red Hat 3,000 gil
Golden Hairpin 3,700 gil
Cross Helmet 2,200 gil
Diamond Helmet 3,000 gil
Power Vest 7,200 gil
Gaia Gear 8,700 gil
Shield Armor 4,300 gil
Demon's Mail 5,900 gil
Potion 50 gil
Hi-Potion 200 gil
Phoenix Down 150 gil
Echo Screen 50 gil
Soft 100 gil
Antidote 50 gil
Eye Drops 50 gil
Magic Tag 100 gil
Vaccine 100 gil
Remedy 300 gil
Annoyntment 150 gil
Tent 800 gil

Musical ThemesEdit

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"Ipsen's Heritage"
Music-harp
FFIX Ipsen's Heritage
Trouble with the audio sample?

The theme that plays in Ipsen's Castle is known as "Ipsen's Heritage". It is a rearranged version of "A Place to Call Home".

An arrangement of this theme appears in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as Zidane's dungeon theme.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • During Disc 3, if, instead of going to Ipsen's Castle by airship, the player goes there by Gold Chocobo, upon leaving the dungeon, the chocobo will be replaced by the party's airship.
  • After the battle with Taharka, on the way out of the castle, a cutscene will play showing one of the non-Zidane party members nearly falling into a trapdoor, a result of having unknowingly triggered some traps in the castle. The member who barely avoids this peril depends on the player's party and the characters' priority over one another. If the party contains Garnet, then she will nearly fall into the trap. If she is not in the party, then Eiko will nearly fall into the trap. If neither Garnet nor Eiko is in the party, then Vivi will nearly fall into the trap. Finally, if Garnet, Eiko, and Vivi are all left outside of the castle, then Quina will nearly fall into the trap. Only Steiner and Freya are guaranteed not to have this peril, as is Amarant, who is not even available to the player at this time, anyway.
  • After the events of this location, Amarant, who, up to this point in the game, has gone without posing at the end of battles, will finally begin to pose.

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