Indulgence - I do what I want! You have problem!?Quina's quote
Quina Quen is a playable character in Final Fantasy IX. S/he[note 1] is apparently a genderless Qu who specializes in blue magic, and loves eating frogs. Quina serves as comic relief, often failing in his/her eternal quest to consume new cuisine. S/he speaks in broken English, as all Qu do, and will often eat anything s/he sees. Quina's eating habits are one of his/her greatest skills, as Quina learns Blu Mag by consuming an enemy.
Although the pronoun "s/he" is mostly attributed to Quina, only masculine possessive and demonstrative pronouns like "his" and "him" are used. In the game's Spanish version, Quina and Quale are referred to as "she", while Quan is "he". In the German version Quina is referred to as "he". In the French version Quina is "she" whereas both Quale and Quan are "he". In the Italian version, Quina is said to be female, like Quale, and has rearranged with Roman dialect.
Quina is a genderless Qu, a tribe known for their strange eating habits, long tongues, and poor language skills. Quina wears a chef's hat, and his/her tongue hangs out to the middle of his/her chest. S/he wears a salmon-pink overcoat with a baby-pink apron over it, has a napkin tied around his/her neck, and wears white gloves and blue shoes with white ribbons. In Trance, Quina's facial area resembles Vivi's (long black tongue notwithstanding) having disappeared into a void with only bright white eyes to hint s/he has a face. Clothes are replaced by an obese armor set complete with an elaborate neck armor and his/her chef's hat may possibly be metal as well. The armor includes a decorative design on the chest.
Why you care about small things?... World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat.Quina
Quina has a childlike curiosity for the world and is always ready to explore new locations to find new tastes; when arriving at a new location, Quina is quick to smell and taste-test the local wildlife and cuisine to discover delicacies. The childlike curiosity is Quina's dominant personality trait, as s/he is delighted by the small things in life, and takes the journey as a learning experience. Quina can be reckless, such as when s/he jumps head-first into the canal in Treno after thinking s/he spotted food down there.
Setbacks don't bother him/her much, and s/he is soon back on his/her feet ready for new experiences. Quina has great respect for Qus elder to him/her, and at first wants to journey with Zidane because his/her Master tells him to. In an optional event in Quan's Dwelling it is revealed that Quina is on his/her way to become an excellent gourmand because of his/her vivid imagination, and it is hinted Quina has already surpassed his/her Master in the ways of the gourmand.
Although it may seem that Quina is the least involved in the quest the heroes undertake, being more interested in food than world events and going off on his/her own numerous times to pursue his/her own interests, s/he does develop a bond to the party. Quina attempts to cheer Freya up en route to Burmecia, and assures Vivi—who worries not being human—that he is as human as anyone else in the world. Quina helps Eiko cook in Madain Sari, teaching her that cooking for friends is at the core of love for food. When Quina is paired with Zidane to go explore the Earth Shrine, s/he is happy to go with him even if knowing Zidane only took him/her because s/he was the one left over when everyone else already left, saying that leftovers are a good thing. In Pandemonium, Quina eagerly helps Steiner fight off a monster.
In the Japanese version Quina ends his/her sentences with (アル, aru?) written in katakana, an alphabet usually reserved for emphasis or for foreign words. This is supposed to be mimicking Chinese speech, specifically how words sometimes end with the "er/ar" (尔) sound in Mandarin Chinese and Beijing dialect (see 尔化 or er-hua). China is often associated with the world of cooking and restaurants in Japan, befitting the Qus' gourmandism. In the Chinese version, Quina just speaks normal Chinese, but like the Japanese version, also ends sentences with the alu (阿鲁, alu?) sound.
In the English version, Quina speaks in broken English. In the French version, Quina ends many of his/her sentences with miam, meaning "yum".
This city have very yummy sand! This city delicious!Quina, trying to cheer up Freya
Quina was hired as the head cook in Alexandria Castle the month before Princess Garnet's 16th birthday. On the day of the festivities s/he oversees the chefs' every move and tastes most of their dishes in preparation for the birthday party. Two days later, Quina travels toward Qu's Marsh and, a couple of days later, participates in the Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum under the name "Strange Gourmand". However, it is not until the party visits Qu's Marsh that they have a chance to make their acquaintance properly.
Quina loves frogs, and is distressed that s/he cannot catch one. Zidane catches one for Quina, leading the head Qu, Quale, to scold Quina for being too lazy to feed him/herself. Quale asks the party to take Quina around the world so that s/he may visit the other marshes of the world to taste different types of frogs, as frogs are the Qus' delicacy, and attain a higher rank of gourmand.
Quina joins the party for their trek through Gizamaluke's Grotto, Burmecia, and Cleyra while being obsessed with hunting for new kinds of food, which s/he refers to as "yummy-yummies". At the party's stay in Cleyra, Quina is upset that the locale has no exotic food to be had, settling on a pair of pink mushrooms whose edibility is questionable.
When the other three group members teleport to the Alexandrian airship Red Rose via black mage teleportation devices, Quina declines to go with them and flees Cleyra on foot, saying that s/he "no like heights". When Cleyra is destroyed by Odin summoned by Queen Brahne of Alexandria, Zidane, Vivi, and Freya are left believing s/he perished during the destruction, with Vivi particularly devastated by his/her possible demise.
Quina returns to Qu's Marsh, where, much to Zidane's relief, the party finds him/her, with Quina explaining that while s/he survived, s/he had "much trouble coming back from Cleyra alone". Zidane, Vivi, and Garnet, who has joined in place of Freya, want to find the path to the Outer Continent, and Quina inadvertently leads the party to the Fossil Roo entrance in search of more frogs.
Is very delicious shape. Inside might have fine cuisine!Quina's appraisal of the village of Conde Petie
After helping Zidane, Vivi, and Garnet fight and defeat bounty hunter Lani in Fossil Roo, Quina navigates the tunnels with the party and arrives on the Outer Continent and its dwarven village of Conde Petie. Quina rushes in, certain that good food is to be had. S/he makes a beeline for the consumable shop, where the shopkeeper offers to sell Quina a Pumpkin Bomb for 1,000 gil. Quina cannot understand the need for currency, so the dwarf labels him/her as a thief, and Quina flees the shop in a panic.
In the Black Mage Village Quina finds another source of food: a chocobo egg being hatched by two black mages. Though Quina longs to taste the egg, the mages shoo him/her out, but he/she stays and keeps referring to the egg as "delicious". Returning to Conde Petie, it is possible for Quina to undergo the "marriage" ritual with Vivi to access the Sanctuary beyond the village. Quina is pleased with this arrangement, saying, "I...so happy". If Quina and Vivi choose not to marry, the pair will sneak by the dwarven guards when they are called to deal with a theft committed by a little girl from outside of the village.
After being allowed to travel through the mountain path, the party encounters Eiko, the young thief, stuck on a tree limb. Quina is deterred from eating her when Eiko says she tastes horrible. This backfires on her, as Quina runs off to attempt to eat Mog, Eiko's pet moogle, instead. Eiko later mistakes Quina for Kuja, having been reeled in from the river by a fishing pole. Quina stays and helps Eiko cook dinner for the rest of Zidane's party in Madain Sari.
While Zidane, Vivi, Garnet, and Eiko are investigating the Iifa Tree, leaving Quina behind in Madain Sari, s/he swims away back to the Mist Continent, wrongly believing the others had purposely abandoned him/her. Quina ends up in Treno, and later, when Gilgamesh attempts to corner Eiko there, using the guise of attending a banquet to kidnap her and hold her for ransom against Amarant, Quina pops up, demands food, and scares Gilgamesh away.
Despite this noble act, Quina is again left behind and, thinking a reflection of the moon in the water resembles food, jumps in to try and eat it. S/he washes up on the shores of Lindblum, frightening several town guards. S/he fails to haggle for a Gysahl pickle, a local delicacy, and finally permanently joins the party either after Zidane pays off his/her debt for the pickle, or Zidane simply boards the Blue Narciss, where Quina will already be waiting aboard, ready to help his/her friends on their quest to find Kuja and the kidnapped Lady Hilda.
After obtaining the Hilda Garde III airship, the party can visit Quan's Dwelling with Vivi and Quina, where Quina hallucinates a feast on the table of the abandoned dwelling. Upon realizing there is no food as the others are puzzled what s/he is doing, Quina runs outside onto the fishing post where they meet the ghost of Quan, a master gourmand and Vivi's caretaker, whom he calls "grandpa". Quina's Master Quale shows up, and it turns out Quale is Quan's protege the same way Quina is to Quale, but Quan's ghost deems Quale an inferior gourmand for his lack of imagination, revering Quina for his/her skills instead. Zidane, who follows the exchange from afar, is bemused, as he cannot see or hear the ghost.
Aiya! What big stone! Why you all watch stone? Is stone edible? Or is for barbecue? No answer...I think I lick it.Quina at Bran Bal
Quina is paired with Zidane when the party decides to tackle the elemental shrines simultaneously, and is unbothered by Zidane's admission that he only took Quina because s/he was the one left over when everyone else had already left, stating that leftovers are a good thing. When the heroes reach Terra, Quina candidly interacts with the unresponsive Genomes at Bran Bal. S/he attempts to taste a large luminous stone seemingly worshiped by the Genomes, to no avail. When the airship Invincible is used to escape Terra, Quina warps in at the last minute from underneath the ship. The rest of the party also uses the warp when they descend into Memoria. While in Memoria Quina experiences Gaia's early era as a globe covered in ocean and tries to swim through it.
After Trance Kuja and Necron have been felled and peace returns to the world, Quina is back in the Alexandrian kitchen, cooking up more munchies to satisfy his/her never-ending palate, ensuring the other chefs prepare a good meal for his/her friends who will soon be visiting Alexandria for what is presumed to be Garnet's seventeenth birthday, as well as to witness another performance of I Want to Be Your Canary by the Tantalus Theater Troupe.
Quina wields forks in battle, which deal random damage, but can be very powerful. His/her primary function is casting Blu Mag spells, which are learned by consuming enemies with Eat when they are at 25% HP. In Trance, Eat transforms to Cook, which kills enemies at 50% HP. S/he has great utility through his/her Blu Mag spells, but each need to be learned from fighting specific enemies.
Quina's dodge animation looks similar to poses seen in Kabuki dances and performances.
Though some localizations treat Quina as a female, the game mechanics treat him/her as a male: Quina is affected by the Lamia's "Entice" ability, Zidane will not take damage in place of him/her with his "Protect Girls" ability, and the Rubber Suit that can only be equipped by female characters, cannot be equipped by Quina.
"Quina's Theme" is named for himself/herself, and plays during the frog catching minigame, when s/he washes up in Lindblum, and when s/he first meets Grandma Pickle. It has parts of the the Qu's Marsh theme inter-spliced with a new techno melody.
Quina has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Tetra Master as an opponent and a card.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Behind the scenes
The only FMV where Quina appears in is at the game's finale. Quina is the oldest playable character in Final Fantasy IX.
The name "Quina Quen" is a Japanese play on words.
"Quina" ("kuina") means "Eat!" in Japanese.
Quen ("kuen") means "cannot eat..." in Japanese.
Throughout the game, Quina is on a personal quest to find new, exotic foodstuffs, but most of the time fails at this task.
All of the Qus' names in Final Fantasy IX begin with "Qu".
In the Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive, Volume 2, the names of Quale and Quan are given as Quina Quan and Quina Quale, which would indicate that "Quina" is a clan name. If this is the case, this would make Quina's personal name "Quen" and would also indicate that similar to Adelbert Steiner, the name that the player is allowed to change in-game is not the character's personal name.
Usually when saying "eat" in Japanese, it's 食べる (taberu), but 喰う, kuu (or quu) is another way to say it. This symbol, 喰, is specifically read as ku (or qu). The word is more informal, and just saying "qu" with no context makes it sound a name of a race.
- Pronoun used in the game
- FFIX World Chronology – p.44-46 of the FFIX Ultimania - Characters' personal timelines (Accessed: December 07, 2018) at The Lifestream
- Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania vol.2, p.222
- Character Height Comparison Chart from Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimania
- Final Fantasy IX Ultimania, p.018-019
- Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive, Volume 2, p.247