The acquisition of Steiner's most powerful weapon, the Excalibur II sword, is considered by many fans as Final Fantasy IX's biggest challenge, possibly more so than defeating Ozma. Most players find it nearly impossible to achieve, and many think it's simply not worth the effort simply for the advantage of a few extra attack point.
Nevertheless, the challenge is still there if you're crazy enough to attempt it.
So, how exactly do you go about getting this insanely powerful weapon? It's simple... or not so, depending on how you look at it. You just have to reach the terrace in Memoria... within 12 hours! Sound impossible? It's doable, but it's by no means an easy feat.
Below is a collection of tips to help you achieve this monumental task.
Tips for acquiring Excalibur II:
- It's a good idea to wait until your second playthrough to attempt getting the Excalibur II. You'll know your way around the game better, and you'll be able to shave off more time as a result. Things are always in hindsight.
- Remember to plan ahead! Know what you do and don't need to buy when you enter a town, what to equip your characters with, and the fastest routes through each area of the game the game. Don't bother standing around to sight-see.
- Skip every FMV sequence - the game clock still ticks even when you are watching a cutscenes. Since you can't skip these manually, the only way to do so is by ejecting the CD from your PSone or PS2, and inserting it back in straight away. If using this method on the PSone, wait for the disc to stop spinning before you close the disc tray, or you may end up damaging the CD! Eyes on Final Fantasy is in no way responsible for any damage you may cause to your CD by not following this advice.
- Keep enemy encounters to the bare minimum. Set the battle speed to it's highest setting so each character's turn will come around more quickly, and use the Zidane's Flee ability as much as possible. Your level will be extremely low by the time you reach Memoria, so expect the game to be extremely challenging.
- Set the message speed to it's fastest setting in your options, and hammer on the X button to skip through dialogue. You don't have enough time to spare to appreciate the story if you want to get Excalibur II.
- Skip unnecessary Active Time Events. Only do ATE's required to progress the story further.
- Keep more than one save file handy, but only save when you need to. This way, if you feel you spent too long in one section, you can go back to an earlier save and try for a faster time.