My power is protected underwater, surrounded by the earth.
Message on the mural
The Water Shrine is a location in Final Fantasy IX built to house the Water Mirror.
When the party is split into four groups of two, Garnet and Eiko are sent to the Water Shrine where they encounter the Water Guardian. After they defeat it, Eiko and Garnet release the Water Seal, thus allowing access to the world of Terra. The outside of the shrine is covered in flowers and is surrounded by a whirlpool. The shrines refer to the elemental shrines from the early Final Fantasy series where crystals were housed.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Water Shrine is the only shrine among the four in Final Fantasy IX which the paired party members do not encounter the guardian face to face on-screen. Data hacking shows many gaps in the numerical sequence of battle formations and monster IDs, showing that many battle formations and monsters were deleted prior to the final version. In addition to many more, three missing monster IDs appear around the "Earth Guardian", making one suspect that in an earlier plan the player was to fight all four of the guardians instead of only one (in the final game, the other three are defeated via cut-scenes, including Wind Guardian/Tiamat). Design artwork for these other three guardians is known, as well as for deleted locations, which would probably have been where they were fought.