Garnet, who permanently changes her party member name to Dagger a short way into the game, is a playable character in Final Fantasy IX. She is primarily a Summoner with a secondary job as a White Mage. She can summon eidolons to damage enemies and cast Wht Mag spells support her allies. Dagger is the party's most powerful healer for the beginning portion of the game before Eiko joins the party. As a mage-type character, her physical capabilities are poor and she is placed in the back row by default.
She is first called "Garnet" in battle, but after taking on an alias, she is called "Dagger" or the player's chosen name for her for the remainder of the game. She appears briefly as part of a boss, and acts as a party leader when she and Steiner journey to return to Alexandria.
Dagger has two victory poses, depending on the weapon type equipped. When equipped with a rod, she spins it a few times before putting it behind her back and crossing her legs. When equipped with a racket, she holds it to her side and looks off into the distance. After the events at Alexandria Castle upon her return there, she will not pose until after the party's first visit to Conde Petie. Later, when she loses her voice, she will not pose until after the battle with Meltigemini.
Dagger's passive abilities enhance her capabilities as a mage and a healer. They include MP-raising abilities, Healer that lets her heal with her physical attacks, Chemist that doubles the potency of healing items, Reflect-Null that lets her spells pierce the Reflect status, Concentrate that boosts the power of healing spells, Half MP that halves the cost of spells, and Boost that guarantees the longer summoning animation of an eidolon, which is more powerful than the short summon.
Garnet/Dagger is the player's first white mage, but her array of spells is smaller compared to Eiko's, who joins later. Dagger can use some status magic and the basic curative and supportive spells. Her unique spells are Scan, Blind, Berserk, and Confuse. Curative spells can be used to hurt undead enemies. Healing spells can be group-cast by pressing when the cursor is on an ally when targeting the spell.
- Cure, Cura, Curaga
- Panacea, Stona
- Shell, Protect, Reflect
- Silence, Mini, Confuse, Berserk, Blind
- Scan, Float
Compared to Eiko, Dagger has a wider array of eidolons. Dagger's eidolon pool has more elemental variety, including the game's most powerful eidolon: Ark. Garnet/Dagger can summon Shiva, Ifrit, Atomos, Odin, and Bahamut at the beginning of the game, but the spells require so much MP that her level would need to be substantially higher than it is likely to be. Later, when Dagger re-acquires the eidolons she lost, the MP cost for summoning them is a quarter of what it was before. She can also learn three new eidolons she did not have in the beginning: Ramuh, Leviathan, and Ark.
While Dagger is in Trance, her Summon command becomes Eidolon, and the summoned eidolon reappears randomly after being called, as well as acting as a counter attack. As long as Dagger has some Trance bar remaining, the counter attack can last until the end of the battle, as it won't use MP or expend the Trance gauge. When Dagger uses the Eidolon command during Trance, there is a higher chance of getting a full summoning animation, which will inflict more damage. The auto-summons thereafter use the short summon animation and thus are weaker. Dagger loses the ability to Trance during the time she is going through emotional turmoil, but recovers after she cuts her hair.
Dagger uses rods and magical rackets as weapons. Rackets are long-range, allowing her to attack from the back row with normal damage, although due to her poor physical stats, Dagger's physical attack is weak. She can equip jewels to learn new eidolons, and equips mage-type armor and female-exclusive equipment.
- Light armor
Boss and enemy
Garnet appears as a boss when trapped inside Prison Cage. The player must defeat Prison Cage before her HP drops to zero, but can heal her with Potions to prevent this. Her battle is reminiscent of the battle with Rinoa and Adel in Final Fantasy VIII.
Garnet joins Zidane's party near the beginning of the game; she first appears in battle against Steiner. In the Evil Forest she is initially missing, but rejoins after the party defeats the Prison Cage boss. After the Ice Cavern, she permanently changes her party member name to "Dagger".
In Dali, the party fights Black Waltz 2 who will not target Dagger. She stays with Zidane until they reach Lindblum. After the Festival of the Hunt (that she does not partake in), Dagger leaves with Steiner and acts as the party leader for the portion where the two go through Aerbs Mountains. Marcus joins the two as a guest and they fight off Black Waltz 3 again. Instead of heading to the next destination of Treno, the player can take a detour back to Dali and open the treasure on the vegetable farm (Elixir); this is the only time it can be opened.
In Treno, the player can explore the town as Dagger and use the auction house, give Stellazzio to Queen Stella, and fight a challenge in the Treno weapon shop. The player can also visit Quan's Dwelling as Dagger and fight the friendly Mu and Ghost for the friendly monsters quest. Taking the Gargant from Treno to Alexandria ends her scenario and Dagger will be away from the party until reaching her within a time limit with Zidane's party. She stays with him from then on, and this is the time the player can finally start to building her as a summoner by equipping her with jewels.
If Dagger and Zidane are alive in the party when Eiko summons for the first time before they reach Madain Sari, the player gets some unique dialogue mid-battle.
After the party returns from the Outer Continent, Dagger leaves the party and most of the others head to Treno. She is the controlled character for the Battle of Alexandria segment, where she must direct the Knights of Pluto (see below) and head to the top of the castle for a cutscene. Afterward, she can be added to the player's party on the Blue Narciss, but she has lost her voice and her given battle commands often fail with the message "Dagger can't concentrate", and she cannot builf Trance. In Desert Palace, the player can choose to send her to Oeilvert with Zidane's party or have her stay back with the others. If Steiner leads the Desert Palace party and Dagger stayed behind as well, he will ask if she is all right after they escape from their cells. She cannot answer since she is without her voice at this time, but he is the only party leader who shows her specific concern.
After fighting Meltigemini at the bottom of Mount Gulug, Dagger regains her battle prowess and gains a new character model with cropped hair.
During the time the party invades the four elemental shrines, Dagger and Eiko head to the Water Shrine, but the segment is not playable. In Bran Bal, Dagger is again away from the party for a bit when the player can explore as both Zidane and Eiko. During the "You're Not Alone" sequence in Pandemonium, Dagger is the last character to join Zidane during set battles, and is the one to finally snap him out of his stupor when they have to fight a Shell Dragon together; when she joins, she automatically heals him to full health.
Knights of Pluto orders
Dagger must give orders to the knights during the Battle of Alexandria, and her reward depends how suitable jobs she assigns them,
- Weimar and Haagen are more suited for the protect the townspeople task.
- Breireicht and Laudo should be the ones for the contact Lindblum task.
- Blutzen and Kohel are the simple choices for the gather information task.
- Dojebon and Mullenkedheim have the skills needed for the fire the cannons task.
An easy way to accomplish this is to first choose Gather Information and choose Blutzen and Kohel then mash confirm.
There is a secret message concerning Dagger on the Eidolon Wall in Madain Sari. There is a way to reveal the truth after the party has the Invincible. The player must form a party with Dagger and visit Lani on Eiko's kitchen. Lani will run away. After exiting the village and returning with anyone except Dagger or Amarant, the player should talk to Lani twice. A message will lead the player to the Eidolon Wall where they should walk clockwise from the entrance (heading to the right) until they complete a full circuit of the wall.
The player should move just past the "!" until a sound plays. Then they must walk counter-clockwise back to the entrance, just past the "!" again. The player should repeat this nine times and hear a sound each time. On the ninth round, HP/MP will be recovered and all status abnormalities removed.
The inscriptions on the murals must be read and it is possible to do it in any order. Extra messages will appear this time. The one concerning Dagger is read by returning to the Ifrit drawing. In the latest game versions, uncovering this secret earns the achievement/trophy Cracking the Code.