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I don't like running...

Hippaul

Hippaul is a minor non-player character in Final Fantasy IX who lives in Alexandria. Hippaul's father owns the Alexandrian inn, and Zidane notices that the boy seems to be more adept at managing it than his father. Hippaul is involved in a short-lived minigame available only when the party returns to Alexandria from their excursion on the Outer Continent.

Gameplay[]

Card stash[]

Something of a Tetra Master expert, Hippaul's card stash can be found in the bell tower and varies depending on when discovered. If found before leaving the town in the beginning of the game, the stash contains an Ironite card, a Goblin card and a Fang card. The player must either refuse Puck's offer to see the show, or simply visit the tower before trying to get Vivi's ticket stamped (stamping the ticket triggers Puck's appearance). After obtaining the cards, the player can then return to him.

When the party returns to Alexandria later, the stash includes rare eidolon cards, Shiva and Ramuh, as well as the other cards if they were missed earlier. The cards must be picked up before the story progresses to the Treno card tournament, or they will be missed. However, more Shiva and Ramuh cards are available from high level Tetra Master players in the endgame.

Racing Hippaul[]

Hippaul racing.

Hippaul can be challenged to a footrace when the party is back in Alexandria after visiting the Outer Continent. The race is available for a short time and the opportunity to race him ends as the player agrees to see Ruby's play. Hippaul, along with his mother, are found on the main street in Alexandria, Hippolady wanting her son to lose weight.

The player controls Vivi and must press Square and Circle in quick succession to run. Racing Hippaul is the only way to obtain the rare key item Athlete Queen (doing this also earns an achievement/trophy in the latest versions). Genji and Ribbon cards can also be won.

Hippaul levels up as he loses to Vivi. He quickly becomes extremely fast and difficult to defeat. Every 10 levels up to 80 the player is rewarded with a prize; there are no rewards at levels 90 or 100. Hippaul gains five levels if Vivi beats him by a lot, but he only gains one level otherwise.

In the PS4 version, beating Hippaul by a lot rounds his level to the nearest 5. For example, if Hippaul is at level 52 and Vivi beats him by a lot, his level will be 55, not 57.

Level Reward
Level 10 Wyerd Card
Level 20 Carrion Worm Card
Level 30 Tantarian Card
Level 40 Armstrong Card
Level 50 Ribbon Card
Level 60 Nova Dragon Card
Level 70 Genji Card
Level 80 Athlete Queen

If the player played the racing minigame, Mogrich will have a letter in Treno's Knight's House from Kupo:

From Kupo to Mogrich, There's an amazing new champion sprinter in the town of Alexandria! The sprinter's name is [Hippaul/Vivi]. He's amazing! Remember his name! Kupo!

If the player beat lv. 60 in the Hippaul minigame, Vivi will be the name. If not, it will be Hippaul.

Tips[]

Vivi scores Athlete Queen.

There are several methods for making the game easier: the most basic is to reconfigure the controller so that instead of Square and Circle, the buttons would be, say, L1 and R2. Another technique on the original system, albeit one with minimal effect, is to open the disc cover or disc tray to slow the game down slightly. If playing via emulator, decreasing the game's frame-rate effectively increases the rate at which button presses are received making it trivial to defeat Hippaul even at higher levels.

Jumping the gun is impossible, so one can start pressing the buttons before the race begins to get into the rhythm. If the player is willing to treat the controller roughly, it can be easier to configure opposing shoulder buttons and place the controller upside down on a solid surface, rocking it left and right to press the buttons. "Spoon Strats" was made famous by the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time speedrunner ZFG who would rub a spoon on the controller to press buttons rapidly; the smooth surface of the rounded side of the spoon allows for very quick and smooth button presses without damaging the controller.

When playing on an emulator, this autohotkey script wins every run without mashing keys, even on normal frame-rate:

q::
LOOP
{
SEND, {n down}
sleep, 1
SEND, {n up}
SEND, {m down}
sleep, 1
SEND, {m up}
}

w::Pause

One should assign "n" to Square and "m" to Circle in the emulator settings, start the loop with "q" when starting the first race, then pause with "w" at the finish line. The player can restart the next run with "w" again. (Tested on ePSXe emulator.)

Gallery[]

Etymology[]

The ideas for Hippaul and the item Athlete Queen derive from a Greek Myth on Atalanta where the huntress Atalanta decrees that the man who can beat her in a footrace becomes her husband. Many men die in the attempt, until a man named Hippomenes takes up the challenge and, with the help of the Goddess Aphrodite's golden apples, wins the race.

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