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Casts Reflect on all party members.

In-game description

Carbuncle is an eidolon in Final Fantasy IX who can be acquired as a summon for Eiko. It bestows beneficial status effects and takes the form of a green creature with a large jewel on its forehead. The status effect Carbuncle bestows depends on Eiko's add-on, though the default is Reflect. Carbuncle is the only supportive eidolon, and unlike most eidolons, Carbuncle doesn't have a Tetra Master card in Final Fantasy IX.

History[]

Mural of Carbuncle in Madain Sari.

Carbuncle was an eidolon that manifested to protect the crystal of Gaia. The practice of summoning it presumably went back centuries, as Carbuncle appeared on a mural on the Eidolon Wall in Madain Sari, the summoners' village on the Outer Continent. As the summoners left the Mist Continent 500 years ago, summon magic fell into legend among the Mist Continent populace. At some point, the summoners used Carbuncle to seal the entrance to the Iifa Tree to ward off travelers, though the purpose of this is unknown. Leviathan is sealed at Iifa Tree's base, so perhaps the summoners wanted to restrict access to it.

Ten years ago, Garland ordered Kuja to destroy Madain Sari with the Invincible, killing most summoners. The few survivors had a child, a young girl, but all her elders perished one by one until she was the only summoner left. Eiko thus made a living in the ruins of Madain Sari with only the local moogles for companions. She kept the art of summon magic alive by herself, and resorted to stealing food from the dwarven village of Conde Petie for sustenance. On one such heist a group of travelers from the Mist Continent caught her: Zidane, Dagger, Vivi, and Quina. Eiko showed them hospitality in a bid to not be alone anymore, and the travelers were amazed that she could summon eidolons like Dagger could, who was unfamiliar with the eidolons Eiko could call forth.

When Zidane wanted to go to Iifa Tree, Eiko cautioned against it, as she knew it was sealed with Carbuncle's power. Zidane was still determined to go, and Eiko did not want to part ways with him, and thus resolved to help undo the seal. She communicated with Carbuncle using her summoner's horn, and obtained a ruby and the seal on the tree dissipated.

I'm going to ask the eidolon to come back. The summoner's horn allows us to communicate with eidolons and wild animals. I'll break the seal now. Watch! Boom boom boom! Boom boom boom! By the light of our spirits! I call upon thee! Answer my call! Wherever your soul may be!

Eiko breaks the seal on Iifa Tree

Dagger was impressed Eiko could speak with eidolons telepathically, she being unable to do so despite also being a summoner. Eiko joined the others in the struggle against Kuja's schemes. Kuja kidnapped Eiko to extract her eidolons, but the procedure failed, and so Carbuncle stayed with Eiko until the end.

Characteristics[]

Carbuncle's different gemstones.

Carbuncle is a long-haired mint-green creature with a horn made of a large jewel on its forehead. The type of jewel depends on Eiko's add-on, but the default is a red jewel, perhaps a ruby in accordance with being learned from a Ruby and Carbuncle's summon ability name being Ruby Light, or perhaps a carbuncle in accordance to its name. When Eiko equips a moonstone and Carbuncle uses Pearl Light, the horn on its forehead appears pearlescent. When Eiko equips an emerald and Carbuncle uses Emerald Light, the horn appears smaragdine. When Eiko equips a diamond, the horn appears maroon like a natural brown diamond and Carbuncle uses Diamond Light.

Carbuncle has large blue eyes and a long bushy tail. It has a leporine nose and large floppy pointy-tipped ears. It has a tiny body compared to its large head, tail, and limbs. Carbuncle is the smallest eidolon seen in Final Fantasy IX.

Gameplay[]

Carbuncle's_Ruby_Light_from_Final_Fantasy_IX_Remastered

Carbuncle's Ruby Light from Final Fantasy IX Remastered

Carbuncle costs 24 MP to summon and is learned from a piece of Ruby for 35 AP. A Ruby is obtained as part of the story when the party first visits Iifa Tree with Eiko after visiting Madain Sari. Another one can be purchased from Stiltzkin in Alexandria near the end of the game. If the player consumes both Rubies, no more can be obtained, and if Eiko didn't master Carbuncle yet, she can never obtain this summon.

Carbuncle's default attack, Ruby Light, bestows Reflect onto the party, but the effect changes depending on certain other jewels Eiko can equip.

Carbuncle's_Pearl_Light_from_Final_Fantasy_IX_Remastered

Carbuncle's Pearl Light from Final Fantasy IX Remastered

If Eiko summons Carbuncle while equipped with the Moonstone, the summon ability becomes Pearl Light, which bestows Shell. The player may already have a Moonstone when they first meet Eiko from impressing 100 nobles and Queen Brahne during the sword fight minigame in the beginning of the game, and another is available in the area where Eiko joins the party by putting the colored stones found along the Conde Petie Mountain Path to a device at the end of the path.

Carbuncle's_Diamond_Light_from_Final_Fantasy_IX_Remastered

Carbuncle's Diamond Light from Final Fantasy IX Remastered

If Eiko summons Carbuncle while equipped with the Diamond, the summon ability becomes Diamond Light, which bestows Vanish onto the party. The party may already have a Diamond before meeting Eiko from the kirkboat in Conde Petie.

Carbuncle's_Emerald_Light_from_Final_Fantasy_IX_Remastered

Carbuncle's Emerald Light from Final Fantasy IX Remastered

If Eiko summons Carbuncle while equipped with the Emerald, the summon ability becomes Emerald Light, which bestows Haste onto the party. The party may already have an Emerald when they meet Eiko from speaking with the High Priest in Cleyra.

With the long summon animation, Carbuncle also bestows Protect onto the party in lieu with the other buff.

The jewels that change Carbuncle's summon ability are of limited quantity, and are also used for the friendly monsters sidequest. There are more than one of each available throughout the game, but if the player consumes the gems by the time they can no longer get any more of them, the friendly monsters quest cannot be completed, and the player loses the chance to change Carbuncle's summon ability. It is best to not use these rare gems as healing items during battle.

The first time a summon is called in battle the full animation plays. Afterward, there is a 33% or 10% chance to get the full animation again based on the following:[1]

If MP < (Summon MP Cost * 2), the chance of full animation is:
Rnd MOD 256 >= 170, use full animation
Otherwise, the chance of full animation is:
Rnd MOD 256 >= 230, use full animation

MP in these calculations refers to the MP before the cost is subtracted. The value used for Summon MP Cost is unaffected by Half MP.

The Boost ability makes the summon always do the full animation, but it costs many Magic Stones and takes a long time to learn from the Pumice Piece.

Here to Help icon.jpg

Carbuncle is a useful eidolon when the party needs buffing, such as during boss battles. It is much more efficient than casting buffs one by one, and costs much less MP than Quina's Mighty Guard. Carbuncle being able to bestow various buffs depending on Eiko's add-on makes it versatile, however, this takes up an add-on slot from something else Eiko may want to equip to learn new abilities from. The Reflect effect is made redundant with Auto-Reflect for the battles where the player wants to use Reflect, but this support ability takes many Magic Stones to equip. Summoning Carbuncle earns the Here to Help achievement in the mobile and Steam versions.

Gallery[]

Etymology[]

Carbuncle was a mythical creature reportedly sighted in the Americas by Spanish conquistadors. It is described as a small creature, either a bird or a mammal, that has a gem in its forehead crystallized from the brain of a dead dragon. According to myth, it is good luck to catch a carbuncle. A carbuncle is also an archaic name given to any red cabochon cut gemstone. The name applied particularly to red garnet.

References[]

  1. Rebirth Flame (18 January, 2011). Final Fantasy IX – Battle Mechanics Guide. GameFAQs. Archived from the original on 26 June, 2021.
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