All Qus love frogs best. Eating frogs is key to growth. Qu marshes exist all over world. Go eat frogs in other marshes. I promise, you get much learning.
Frog catching is a minigame in Final Fantasy IX. The player must have Quina in the party to play at any Qu's Marsh. Catching frogs powers up Quina's Blue Magic spell Frog Drop and can yield many rewards, as well as an achievement/trophy in the latest versions of Final Fantasy IX.
When the player catches 99 frogs, Quale will appear to praise Quina, saying that s/he has nothing else to teach and that Quina is now on her/his own. Quale challenges the party for a boss battle as a final test, and the reward for winning is Quina's ultimate weapon, the Gastro Fork.
After defeating Quale, the player can still catch frogs to power up Frog Drop even further, but will no longer receive rewards. The maximum number of frogs caught that can be displayed in the game is 32,767, after which the counter freezes, although the player can still catch more frogs.
How to play
Quina can run around the marsh and pressing near a frog captures it, showing its type. The player can then either keep the frog or release it. Quina cannot enter water and must catch the frogs when they are on dry or approach the dry.
The frogs jump away from Quina towards the water when s/he gets too close. The player can pay attention to their jumping patterns and run to them while they're jumping outside the water.
Leaving a male and a female frog at each marsh ensures that the population will regenerate quickly, and leaving a golden frog will further boost the rate the frogs will spawn. There can be only one golden frog in-game at one time, counting all four marshes. Catching the golden frog in the latest versions of Final Fantasy IX yields the achievement/trophy Going for the Gold.
Frogs display sexual dimorphism in a number of ways. Female frogs have a black stripe running the length of their bodies, which males lack. Females also have red feet while males have yellow. Females are a slightly lighter shade of green (although this can be hard to distinguish). Baby frogs are genderless, but will count as 1 frog when caught. Tadpoles cannot be caught. Mating is chance-based and occur between a male and female pair of frogs; there is no polygamy. The golden frog is not sexually ambiguous.
Frog growth mechanics
Frog growth is time-based. Each marsh handles the passage of time differently, and has its own rate of growth and regeneration. There are limits to how little or how much time is necessary to affect the pond's inhabitants. The game decides what will happen in the pond the moment the player enters a marsh, and frequent visits can be detrimental. Frogs will disappear from the pond if single-gender groups are left behind on a marsh.
Only time spent outside the marshes matters. The ponds have a preset mix of frogs before the player's first visit that is almost guaranteed to change when the player arrives due to the passage of time, since all ponds begin with 00:00:00 as their "time of last exit".
Frog maturity is determined by a level system. Each adult frog, baby frog and tadpole gains a level for every Marsh Time period that has passed since the last visit. Current level dictates the current stage of maturity. The level cap is 15, but a frog can begin mating when it has reached level 10.
- LV1–4: Tadpole
- LV5–9: Baby
- LV10–15: Adult
If a marsh is cleared empty, a LV1 female and LV1 male will spawn on the next visit.
Whether a pair of frogs will reproduce is chance-based. Each pond has eight frog slots and at level up, an adult male and an adult female will mate as many times as there are available slots until either a tadpole is born to fill a slot, or mating fails at every slot. If there are several levels to gain at one time, the mating process will occur before each level up is given. There is a 50% chance a tadpole will be born per available slot. Only couples of frogs will mate; there is no polygamy. The random number generator allows the player to play the odds via resets. Saving the game outside a marsh, one can reset and try again to spawn more frogs. If single-gender groups of adults, babies, or tadpoles are left behind on a pond they will simply disappear.
There is a bug wherein any frog occupying the eighth slot will not count when the game determines the number of males and females left, meaning one is at risk of returning to an empty pond after leaving a male and a female behind. It is impossible to determine which frog is in which slot, so the player cannot anticipate the glitch.
The golden frog
The golden frog accelerates frog growth by lowering the maturity level requirements. There are three variations on the effect the golden frog can have: babies are born at LV1 and become adults at LV2, tadpoles become babies at LV2 and adults at LV4, or tadpoles become babies at LV3 and adults at LV6. The golden frog also changes the successful mating chance to anywhere from 50% to 100% per available slot. The bonuses apply to the golden frog's home pond. The particular bonuses are determined by chance. If the player catches the golden frog, the next one may give a different bonus.
Only one golden frog can exist at one time. The odds of a newborn tadpole being the golden frog are 50% if one does not already exist. A newborn golden frog has the same maturity level requirements as a normal frog, and its presence will not have an effect until it is an adult. When the golden frog reaches adulthood, any frogs already present are "updated" to reflect the new maturity level requirements.
The golden frog participates in the mating process, and thus is at risk of disappearing or falling victim to the eighth-slot bug. If a golden frog is eliminated via one of these ways, the next tadpole born to its slot will be the new golden frog and give the same bonuses.
There is a way to determine the golden frog's gender. The player should first catch all but one male, one female, and the golden frog, exit the marsh, and save on the world map. Upon return, the player should catch the male or the female, and exit and re-enter without saving. If the player caught the female and the pond is empty upon return, the golden frog is male. If the player caught the male and the pond is empty upon return, the golden frog is female. Now, the player can reset the game and catch the right frog. This protects against frogs of the same gender disappearing, but not against the eighth-slot bug.
A golden frog born on the first visit to the Mist Continent marsh will not take the appearance of a golden frog until after the party meets Quale, but its effect is immediate. Whichever frog Zidane catches for Quina upon their first meeting will not be removed from the pond data.
- It is best to always leave a male and a female behind.
- One should not catch the golden frog, unless wanting for it to respawn at a different marsh.
- One should not leave a group of frogs of the same gender alone with a single frog of the opposite gender. This does not increase the reproduction rate.
- One should not leave a single-gender group behind.
- One can save before entering a marsh and reset if there are fewer frogs than expected.
- Frequent marsh visits stunt frogs' growth.
- 2 Frogs: Ore
- 5 Frogs: Ether
- 9 Frogs: Silk Robe
- 15 Frogs: Elixir
- 23 Frogs: Silver Fork
- 33 Frogs: Bistro Fork
- 45 Frogs: Battle Boots
- 99 Frogs: Battle with Quale and Gastro Fork if the battle is won.
"Quina's Theme" (クイナのテーマ, Kuina no Tēma?) plays whenever the player plays frog catching.
Behind the scenes
The Jin Chan (Chinese: 金蟾; pinyin: jīn chán; literally: "Golden Toad") is most commonly translated as "Money Toad" or "Money Frog". It represents a popular Feng Shui charm for prosperity.
In Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae the player can find Cherished Frogs, which cannot be sold. Their description reads, "Frog from fond childhood memories. Never caught more than nine." This refers to Quina's frog catching minigame with the "nine" referring to Final Fantasy IX itself.