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You take damage in place of a girl.


Protect Girls is a support ability in Final Fantasy IX for Zidane. It is his version of Cover that only triggers on female allies. When an enemy is about to physically attack a female ally who is in half health or lower, Zidane intercepts the attack by taking the damage instead. Protect Girls costs 4 Magic Stones to equip.


Protect Girls is learned from Butterfly Sword and Leather Shirt for 35 AP. Equipping both at the same time masters Protect Girls at double the pace.

Leather Shirt is bought from Dali, and Butterfly Sword is first synthesized in Lindblum.


When Dagger, Freya, or Eiko is on 50% or lower of her maximum HP, and an enemy directs a physical attack at them, Zidane with Protect Girls (who is not incapacitated by a status effect) will intercept the attack to take the damage. The enemy attack can miss. Zidane will protect girls even if he is in Near Death.

With Protect Girls active, Zidane would also protect Beatrix were it possible for the two to be in the same party. Zidane does not protect Quina though in some game versions they are treated as a female.

If Zidane is in the party with another ally who has Cover, and Dagger/Eiko/Freya is in Near Death, Zidane's Protect Girls takes precedence over the other ally's Cover.


Protect Girls is good for protecting the party's white mages, especially when coupled with Distract and Counter, and possibly High Tide. Protect Girls is less useful to protect Freya, who can shield herself by using Jump. Protect Girls is especially potent when Zidane has the Vanish status, as all physical attacks will miss against him even when covering others. Another protection the player can give him is Protect.

Protect Girls is still a less useful version of Steiner, Freya, and Amarant's Cover, as they will protect any Near Death party member from enemies' physical attacks. Though Protect Girls activates at a higher HP threshold, Cover is still more than sufficient for protecting vulnerable allies. However, there is a stretch of story spanning the excursion to the Outer Continent where Zidane is the only physical attacker in the party of mages, and when Amarant joins there, he does not yet learn his Cover.