KOs the target.Description
Death is a Blk Mag spell in Final Fantasy IX that attempts to instantly defeat a regular enemy; it never works on bosses or the undead, but can be especially useful against Yans, the toughest free-roaming enemy.
In Trance, Vivi can use Death twice in one turn. It can be used by Lich, Ozma, Whale Zombie and Ash against the player. It can be reflected as normal and can be countered with the ability Return Magic.
Death is learned from the Black Hood for 45 AP. It can be bought from Esto Gaza for 2,550 gil (after Desert Palace), and found in the Desert Palace. As these locations eventually become inaccessible, Death is missable.
Status-inflicting Black Magic spells' success rate is based on Vivi's Level, Magic stats, and the status spell's base accuracy. Vivi can use the Focus ability to increase his Magic during that battle by 25% per use. The effect stacks up to 99 and lasts for the entire battle, even if KO'd.
Afterward, two randomly generated numbers determine if the spell will hit:
- A random number 0...99 >= Chance, Vivi misses his cast
- A random number 0...99 < Target's Magic Evade, the target evades
Against undead targets, the spell's effect is reversed and can restore them to full health.
In Vivi's Trance, Blk Mag turns into Dbl Blk where Vivi can cast two spells on his turn. The spells cost MP and expend the Trance gauge independently.
Death is obtained midway through disc 3, in Desert Palace; if the Desert Palace party has Quina with LV5 Death, this is the superior instant death spell for this location, however. Vivi's instant death also falls short of Dagger's Odin, and Amarant can also trigger the effect with Add Status with his Avenger.
The best use of Death is against Yans, though they have a high level and thus are not the easiest targets to dispatch in this manner; Vivi should aim for the best Magic stat. However, if Zidane has the Masamune, Yans are easy to defeat with its Soul Blade while the rest of the party supports.
Against other regular enemies, Vivi is usually better off targeting their elemental weaknesses with his spells than gambling by using Death. However, Death does work against the regular enemies in the final dungeon. If eschewing EXP-gain is of no importance, Vivi could use Break over Death, as it has a higher success chance and lower MP cost and normal enemies don't tend to resist it.