Vivi is a playable character in Final Fantasy IX. He is a black mage who wields staves in battle. He is physically weak and thus best kept in the back row. His special ability is Focus which increases his magic power, and his skillset is Blk Mag, which casts offensive magic. Vivi's Trance changes this to Dbl Blk, allowing him to cast two Blk Mag spells in one turn. When he is in the same party as Steiner, Steiner gains access to these spells through Swd Mag, at no cost to Vivi. Vivi also appears as a boss. His victory pose is to twirl his staff before coming to an attention pose. When Vivi is growing more depressed at Queen Brahne's use of black mages during their escape from Alexandria, he will not pose until after the party's first visit to Conde Petie.
Vivi learns abilities that enhance him as a mage, such as MP+20%, Half MP and Return Magic. His unique abilities are Reflect-Null to make his spells piercing, Reflectx2 that causes spells cast by Vivi to double in power when reflected off a target, and Mag Elem Null that renders all spells non-elemental.
The Focus command enhances Vivi's Magic Power. Vivi can stack the effect, but once the Magic stat reaches 99, it will not increase further. The effect lasts for the entire battle, even if KO'd.
The formula for Focus is as follows:
Vivi's main ability is to use Black Magic and he is the only character in the game with the ability to do so. Vivi is one of the strongest black mages encountered, his powers rivaling even those of the Black Waltzes.
Vivi's stats are geared toward magic use, with low HP and Strength.
Unlike in games past, where Black Mages equip rods or daggers, Vivi equips staves. His armor consists of mage robes and hoods, as well as lightweight vests and hats. Vivi begins equipped with Mage Staff, Leather Hat and a Leather Shirt.
Vivi is an AI-controlled target in the second battle with Prison Cage. Vivi will cast Fire on the Prison Cage throughout the battle, while the Prison Cage will cast Drain on Vivi to drain his HP. The battle will result in a Game Over if Vivi dies.
A mirrored Vivi can also be summoned by the Epitaph enemy through its Mirror ability. Like other mirror enemies, the Vivi will use regular attacks on others, but a 9999 attack on Vivi where he exclaims "I'm Vivi!".
Jump rope is a minigame the player can participate as Vivi in Alexandria at the beginning of the game by approaching the girls jumping rope to the left of the ticket booth. Later, the girls relocate to the bell tower. The minigame yields many rewards such as gil, rare cards, and a rare key item.
Vivi at the Festival of the Hunt
Vivi wins a Tetra Master card of the Theater Ship if he wins the Festival of the Hunt during the party's first stay in Lindblum. Although the player can only control Zidane, and briefly Freya, it is possible to control who wins the festival. For Vivi to win, one must allow the Zaghnol faced during the festival to defeat both Freya and Zidane.
When visiting Treno for the Tetra Master tournament, the player has a chance to prompt Vivi to visit Quan's Dwelling during the Active Time Event "How He Ended Up Here", in which Vivi meets with Marco. During the discussion Marco mentions that Vivi should meet with his family, and the player can decide if Vivi should visit Quan's Dwelling or stay in Treno.
If Vivi stays in the city, the second round opponent in the tournament will change, and the player has another chance to win the rare Namingway card. If Vivi is sent to the dwelling, the player controlling Zidane can leave Treno for the dwelling and meet Vivi there, who tells Zidane of his time under Quan's care.
If both Quina and Vivi are in the party, and the player visits Quan's Dwelling after obtaining the Hilda Garde III, a unique scene triggers with Quina, Quale, Quan and Vivi. Vivi is excited to see his grandpa again. Afterwards, the player can look into the clock on the ledge to receive a pair of Running Shoes.
Hippaul can be challenged to a footrace at the beginning of Disc Three. The race is available for a very short time only, and the opportunity to race him ends as the player agrees to see Ruby's play. Hippaul, along with his mother, can be found on the main street in Alexandria. Hippolady will mention that she wants her son to lose some weight.
Hippaul gains levels as he loses to Vivi during the successive races. He quickly becomes extremely fast and difficult to defeat. Every ten 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.
|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|
There are several methods for making the game slightly easier: The most basic is to reconfigure the controller so that instead of and , the buttons would be, say, and . Another technique, albeit one with minimal effect, is to open the disc cover or disc tray, to slow the game down very 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, for example, 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.