The Ragtime Mouse, also known as Ragtimer, is a special creature in Final Fantasy IX whom the party can encounter multiple times in various forests throughout Gaia. It acts as a quiz master, asking the party a yes or no question every time it is encountered. It flees if attacked (even if the player inflicts more damage than his maximum health), and the only way to defeat it is to answer all sixteen questions.
The Ragtime Mouse is always encountered with True and False, which resemble and respectively, on the PlayStation controller. The player attacks one or the other to answer true or false to the Ragtime Mouse's question. If the player attacks all enemies with a group-cast ability the Ragtime Mouse will act the same as if the player only attacked Ragtime Mouse and run away.
Finding Ragtime MouseEdit
Ragtime Mouse appears randomly in the forests on the world map. The number of times it can be encountered is limited per disc, but cumulative:
- Disc 1 = 4 times
- Disc 2 = 6+ times
- Disc 3 = 6+ times
- Disc 4 = 6+ times
Thus it is possible to meet Ragtime Mouse 16 times on disc 4 if it has not yet been encountered on previous discs.
The original game was released on four discs for the PlayStation. The later digital releases do not have distinct "parts" like this.
- Disc 1 ends at the boss battles in Burmecia.
- Disc 2 ends at the battle outside the Iifa Tree involving the Alexandrian navy.
- Disc 3 ends upon gaining the Invincible airship (although the point of no return is going through the Shimmering Island).
- Disc 4 is the endgame.
The chance of Ragtime Mouse reappearing in the same forest is not high. By having an airship or a flying chocobo the player can roam the world map from forest to forest, switching to a new forest after having encountered it. The chances of encountering Ragtime Mouse appear to be higher in forests that the player hasn't visited previously.
There is an exploit to find the Ragtime Mouse many times in succession: if the player taps the movement buttons in only small increments while walking on the world map, one is unlikely to get into random encounters. Because the Ragtime Mouse encounters are unrelated to this trick, the player can force Ragtime Mouse encounters by tapping the button repeatedly while walking through forests filtering out regular encounters.
The Ragtime Mouse appears more likely to be encountered if the player has not had any random encounters since they last entered the world map, either by loading the game or by exiting a location. This means an easy way to encounter the Ragtime Mouse is by entering a forest one hasn't encountered it in yet, saving and then loading the game, and tapping the movement button repeatedly until an encounter starts, and resetting if it is not the Ragtime Mouse. This can be done by tapping the movement button very lightly. If the forest around Zidane appears to have been disturbed, then it has been pressed too hard, but if undisturbed, then the player is pressing lightly enough.
Ragtime's pop quizEdit
The following includes the Ragtime Mouse's questions, including the correct answer. The questions will be asked randomly except Question 16, which is always the last.
- Chocobo Forest is located between Lindblum and South Gate. - True
- Lindblum Castle is larger than Alexandria Castle. - True
- Some Mus are friendly and don't attack. - True
- Theater Ship Prima Vista uses Mist as its source of energy. - True
- Berkmea cable cars have been running for eight years. - True
- Lindblum's air cabs operate around the clock. - True
- Treno's cafe, Card Carta, is members only. - True
- Bobo bird is a bird that brings you fortune. - False
- The 15th Lindblum War started in 1600. - False
- The Theater Ship Prima Vista was built in Artania Shipyards. - False
- "I Want To Be Your Canary" was written by Lord Afon. - False
- Fossil Roo is a tunnel that connects Treno and Alexandria. - False
- Only one desert exists in the entire world. - False
- Conde Petie is a village of Goblins. - False
- Prima Vista means love at first sight. - False
After answering the questions above:
- You can defeat Ragtimer. - True
For answering every question correctly, the player can win up to 70,000 gil. If the player answers the last question correctly, the Ragtime Mouse explodes and the party wins a Protect Ring. To get the Protect Ring the player needs to find him one last time and Ragtime Mouse will tell the percentage of correct answers. If the player answered all his questions correctly they will also get EXP and gil.
Location: Wimpy Guy (Shopping Area - Lindblum), Mountain Chocobo (disc 4, Chocobo's Paradise), Carpenter's Apprentice 2 (Business District - Lindblum), Ovenmeister (disc 4, Alexandria Main Street, 2nd screen)
The name "Ragtime Mouse" is probably a mistranslation of "Ragtime Mouth" as the transliteration of the English words "mouse" and "mouth" are the same in Japanese.
The alternative name "Ragtimer" only appears in the NTSC version. The enemy is named "Ragtime Mouse", however the final true or false statement it proposes is "You can defeat Ragtimer". The enemy's Tetra Master card is also named "Ragtimer". Both of these instances were changed to "Ragtime Mouse" for the PAL release.
- The card Ragtime Mouse is holding has a message present on the face of the card that most players will never see. The text is in Japanese and it reads: "Pop Quiz! FF10's theme is GUTS! True or false?".
- The money and the EXP received from the Ragtime Mouse is a Japanese language pun. Gokurōsan (ご苦労さん?) is "good job"; the number five in Japanese is Go; the number nine is Ku; the number six is Ro; and three is San. Writing 5963 can thus approximately phonetically be pronounced "good job". The Ragtime Mouse gives 23852 EXP, which divided among four party members is 5963 EXP each. It also gives 59630 gil.