I just needed to borrow the power from wretched souls that can't die... Where did I acquire it? It was the Invincible, or should I say, that large eyeball in the sky?Kuja
The Invincible is an airship in Final Fantasy IX. Constructed by the Terrans, it is an ancient battleship geared for war and enslavement. The Invincible possessing an "eye" on its underside is a recurring design trait in structures built using Terran technology.
Battleship... Invincible... prototype... Prototype... failure...Hologram at Oeilvert
According to ancient Terran recordings at the ruins of Oeilvert, the Invincible was developed many times to refine it into a perfect tool of war. The final version is used by Garland, who recognizes its potential as a weapon. The Invincible's underside contains a large, crimson "eye" that fires a devastating energy beam and can enslave eidolons.
The Invincible hosts numerous souls trapped within it, apparently absorbing them in events such as the Second Battle of the Iifa Tree. The exact meaning of this is never explained; Kuja claims that the Invincible sucked up the souls to "feed upon them", perhaps suggesting the Invincible uses them as an energy soul akin to how Gaian airships employ Mist engines. The Invincible is Garland's method of traveling between the two worlds of Gaia and Terra. The reason Kuja is never seen on-board the Invincible, even though he appears to work with it, is probably because, according to the Final Fantasy IX Ultimania, Garland has banished Kuja from traveling between the worlds.
A young Sarah and her mother sailed away from the burning village of Madain Sari in a boat. Garland attacked the city with the Invincible in fear of the resident summoners' ability to call forth eidolons, a talent that could hamper Garland's plans to assimilate the world of Gaia into Terra. Though Sarah had repressed these memories and soon assumed a new identity as Princess Garnet, the hazy memory of the eye in the sky keeps haunting her.
Kuja, having gained control of the ship, uses it to possess Bahamut at the shores of the Iifa Tree and commands the eidolon to kill Queen Brahne. Princess Garnet attains Alexandria's throne, though her coronation ceremony is halted by tragedy. Kuja, relishing his new powers, sends Bahamut on a rampage through Alexandria, but the dragon's flames are quelled by the eidolon Alexander Garnet and Eiko Carol summon together. Though Bahamut is vanquished, Kuja attempts to enslave Alexander instead. This fails, as Garland, fed up with Kuja's insolence, appears on the decks of the Invincible and uses it to destroy Alexander.
When the party ventures to Terra they spy the Invincible levitating above the entrance to Bran Bal. Garnet faints upon seeing the ship, recalling her childhood trauma. The heroes confront Garland within Pandemonium, but Kuja, having arrived to Terra on a Silver Dragon, steals the Invincible and, being a Genome, takes power from the souls residing within the ship into his body to achieve Trance.
After Kuja murders Garland, Zidane and his friends—along with the resident Genomes—take control of the Invincible and pilot it back to Gaia. The party uses it to fly it into Memoria, but what happens to the Invincible after Necron is vanquished is a mystery, as it is not seen again after the party returns from the Crystal World.
As a vehicle
Unlike the Hilda Garde III, which can only land on grassy areas, the player may land the Invincible on barren lands, desert areas, swampy areas, or snowy areas on the world map. Neither airship can land in forests.
Location: Gilgamesh in Daguerreo, Card Phantoms in Memoria, Chocobo Treasure at the Shimmering Island's ruins on disc 4.
Etymology and allusions
The Invincible is a recurring airship name in Final Fantasy games (the first Invincible appeared in Final Fantasy III), but looks nothing like any of the airships that share its name. Final Fantasy IX makes numerous allusions to previous games in this manner. The title itself may originate from Stanisław Lem's story The Invincible, where the Invincible is a very powerful and armed interstellar space ship.
The Invincible resembles Yoshitaka Amano's conceptual artwork of the airship, Enterprise, from Final Fantasy IV. Its concept, however, as an airship able to travel between worlds, seems based on the Lunar Whale, also from Final Fantasy IV.
- Final Fantasy IX, Kuja: "I just needed to borrow the power from wretched souls that can't die... Where did I acquire it? It was the Invincible, or should I say, that large eyeball in the sky? The ship sucked up the souls of Madain Sari, the Iifa Tree, Alexandria, to feed upon them..."
- Final Fantasy IX Ultimania World Establishment (development materials) p.041–42