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Lisa Shea
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Final Fantasy IX Walkthrough

Many people have complained that the card game is completely unlearnable and random. This isn't true at all! All you need is a programmer's brain and some patience, and the game becomes incredibly easy. Read on.

You know the basic rules. You need at least 5 cards to play. You take turns putting them down on a 4x4 grid. If you point at another card and it doesn't point back, you take it. If you don't point at any cards, nothing happens. But if you point at another card and it points back at you, battle occurs. This is where most people get confused.

Basically, hex codes are involved. Each hex code stands for a RANGE of values. Here is the table:

Hex CodeRange of Actual Values
0 1-15
1 16-31
2 32-47
3 48-63
4 64-79
5 80-95
6 96-111
7 112-127
8 128-143
9 144-159
A 160-175
B 176-191
C 192-207
D 208-223
E 224-239
F 240-255

The four spots on a card mean:
first spot: attack power
second spot: type of attack (Phys, Magic, or Xtra)
third spot: Defense against physical attack
fourth spot: Defense against magical attack

Physical attacks go against the 3rd number of the opponent.
Magical attacks go against the 4th number of the opponent.

So, for example, a Flan card that says 0M01 means:
The attack value is between 1 and 15 (but you don't know what)
The type of attack it does is "magic", meaning the defender uses the 4th number to defend.
The defense against a "P" opponent is somewhere between 1 and 15
The defense against a "M" opponent is somewhere between 16 and 31

So the flan isn't really good at attacking, but it's reasonably good against M cards.

Now, when a card wins attacks, its attack rating increases. This does NOT increase each attack from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 and so on as far as the card rating *on* the card. If it's a Flan for example, it starts out with a hex value of 0, and a real value around 3. After winning a few attacks it moves to a real value of 4 ... this is STILL a hex value of 0. And so on it goes, until eventually it's won enough attacks to be rated a 16. At this point the front of the card reads 1M01 instead of 0M01.

So those hex numbers indicate a *range* of values, but they do NOT indicate a specific value. If you keep track of your cards you'll always know their specific value - a cactaur that attacks one round with a "49" will attack the next round with a "49" too, unless it has managed to get up to "50".

For defense, if a P card is attacking they use their third value, and if the M card is attacking they use their fourth value. Again, if it's a Genji card and says "4" this could be from 64 to 79, but you can't know exactly *what* number in that range it is unless you keep track of it yourself.

If you sweep all cards on the table, you get to keep them all!

Final Fantasy IX Walkthrough Index

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