Final Fantasy X marked the transition of the Final Fantasy franchise from PlayStation to the PlayStation 2. The game was developed and published by Square and was released on December 26, 2001 and was the first of the series to implement fully three-dimensional backgrounds, made possible through the "Emotion Engine." The PlayStation 2's graphical capabilities allowed a higher polygon count and for lighting and shadows to appear more naturally and realistically than prior Final Fantasy games.
Final Fantasy X is similar to other installments in the franchise; the story of the game follows one base plotline, but contains a variety of smaller conflicts relating to the main goal. Most of which are listed below, for a recap of the important events of Final Fantasy X check out the "recap" section.
In 2011, it was announced that an HD version of the game will be available for Playstation Vita & Playstation 3. The latter comes bundled together with the game's sequel, Final Fantasy X-2 as part of the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster.
Final Fantasy X featured a number of significant gameplay changes that set it apart from previous games in the series. First and foremost was the elimination of a world map. Rather than roam the world from an overhead perspective, Spira is explored from a behind-the-back perspective that is mostly kept on a straight-forward track with little deviation in the path from start to finish. The majority of battles in the game take place as random encounters.
Final Fantasy X's combat system is a strict turn-based affair in which turn order is determined by the speed of the individual characters. To help the player plan ahead, the battle screen features a chart that displays which characters will act in the upcoming turns. The active battle team is limited to three characters, but the player can switch out an active character on their turn to bring in one of the reserves.
Each party member has a particular specialization that gives them their defining roles in combat:
- Tidus is a speedy fighter that can use time magic such as Haste and Slow. His main weapon is a sword and his overdrive ability is Swordplay.
- Yuna is both the party's White Mage and Summoner. She is able to equip staffs and summons her aeons in overdrive using her own overdrive ability Grand Summon
- Lulu is the party Black Mage that can cast the majority of the game's attack spells. She wields various puppets resembling characters from previous FF games as her weapon and when she hits overdrive she is able to use her Fury ability.
- Auron is a pure physical fighter that deals high damage. He uses larger heavier swords than Tidus and has the Bushido overdrive ability.
- Wakka has an advantage against aerial enemies. His weapon of choice is a blitz ball which he powers up with his Slots overdrive
- Rikku is an agile thief-like character that can steal from enemies. She wear various gloves to aid her in fighting and blends items together with her Mix overdrive.
- Kimahri has the Blue Mage ability to learn certain enemy attacks that are used against him with his Lancet ability. He wields large spears and uses his Ronso Rage when in overdrive.
The key to using the game's combat system effectively lies in the ability to switch characters in and out to take advantage of the player characters' strengths and enemy weaknesses.
Final Fantasy X does away with the traditional method of accruing experience points to gain levels and automatically earn stat boosts and abilities. Instead, it introduces the concept of the Sphere Grid; a field of points linked together by tracks. Each character begins at a different point on the grid, and by earning the game's equivalent of experience points, the player is gradually able to advance the characters to each point on the tracks. As a character unlocks each point, he or she gradually earns increased stats and abilities.
With the proper items in possession, it is also possible to open up other areas of the Sphere Grid to each character. This allows, for example, Lulu or Auron to learn white magic abilities, while Yuna and Tidus could gain the strength boosts and combat abilities of Auron's track.
Much like limit breaks from the two previous installments, Final Fantasy X had unique powerful attacks for each characters called Overdrives. Initially they build up in the classic way (taking damage) but later you are able to switch what method by which you fill your overdrive meter (i.e. defeating enemies, inflicting damage, even healing). Each characters overdrives are centered around their jobs or weapons/skills such as Yuna's Grand Summon or Rikku's Mix.
Final Fantasy X begins in medias res with the protagonist, Tidus, looking out over a ruined Zanarkand City, as he starts to narrate the events that led him and his companions there. His story begins just before a much anticipated Blitzball game, in an unharmed Zanarkand City, where Tidus lives and is a famous star of the sport. During the Blitzball game, Sin attacks the city, sucking up both Tidus and his father's family-friend, Auron.
Tidus awakes alone in the ruins of an unknown deserted temple, where he meets a group of Al Bhed salvages. One of whom is Rikku; through her Tidus learns that Zanarkand was destroyed by Sin a thousand years ago. Tidus helps the Al Bhed with the recovery of a large sunken Airship just before they are again attacked by Sin.
Tidus wakes up alone for a second time, having washed up on a beach on the island of Besaid. Tidus meets the captain of a Blitzball team Wakka as he arrives to shore and quickly impresses him with his Blitzball skills. Wakka introduces Tidus to Yuna, an apprentice summoner who plans to make a pilgrimage to the ruins of Zanarkand, as her father did ten years before her. At Zanarkand, she would summon the "Final Aeon" and temporarily destroy Sin, bringing about a ten year long "Calm." Tidus also meets Yuna's guardians; Lulu and Kimahri, whom along with Wakka would travel with Yuna on her journey. Yuna acquires the first aeon, Valefor, in Besaid's temple to begin her pilgrimage and Wakka asks Tidus to accompany them part of the way to Luca, to search for anyone he knows and to play for the Besaid Aurochs in an upcoming tournament.
The party sail to Kilika Island and are attacked by Sin at sea; after the group repel Sin, it turns to Kilika Island, killing most of it's population. The party arrive safely at the destroyed Kilika to make the second stop on Yuna's pilgrimage, with Yuna acquiring the second aeon, Ifrit. They continue on to Luca, where the stadium is attacked by fiends after the blitzball tournament. They are fought by Seymour Guado and his aeon, Anima, and destroyed. Tidus finds Auron in Luca shortly afterwards, who informs the group that he plans to join them as a permanent guardian on their pilgrimage, causing Tidus to effectively do the same.
The group continue their journey, encountering Sin and it's devastating effect on the world once again, before making the next stop on the pilgrimage to get the third aeon, Ixion. They continue onwards and come across a disguised Al Bhed, who quickly reveals herself to be Rikku, and Yuna's cousin. They arrive at Guadosalam, where Seymour proposes to Yuna before leaving for Macalania Temple. Whilst traveling to the temple though the Thunder Plains, Yuna tells her guardians that she will marry Seymour for the sake of public happiness.
At the temple, Yuna finds a sphere recorded by Seymour's father, Jyscal, detailing the malcontent and hate his son possessed. In this recording he accurately predicted his own murder at the hands of his son. After receiving the fourth aeon, Shiva, from the temple, the group fight and kill Seymour. After fleeing the temple the group are again attacked by Sin, this time transporting all of them to different locations on the sandy, desert-like Bikanel Island, home of the Al Bhed.
The party regroups, minus one member, after being unable to find Yuna. Rikku leads the group to the Al Bhed Home to find it under attack from Yevon's forces; the Al Bhed had been kidnapping summoners to prevent them from summoning the Final Aeon. It is here that Tidus learns that the Final Summoning will kill any summoner who performs it, including Yuna. Cid, Rikku's father, was determined to save Yuna, who had been taken to Bevelle to be forcefully married to the dead, but unsent, Seymour.
The party travel to Bevelle on the airship salvaged at the beginning of the game and gatecrash the wedding in progress, stealing back Yuna and escaping to the Temple of Bevelle. There, Yuna acquires the fifth aeon, Bahamut, before the entire party defeat Seymour in battle a second time. After a romantic embrace between Tidus and Yuna the party travel through the Calm Lands and onto Mt. Gagazet, the Ronso homeland. Halfway up the mountain, Kimahri encounters members of his old tribe, who tell him to turn back, as he was banished from the mountain long ago. Kimahri fights his tribesmen, Biran and Yenke, defeating them and earning their respect. When the party reach the summit, they encounter a flying Seymour and learn that he had slaughtered the entire Ronso tribe behind him. The group defeat Seymour for a third time and continue down the mountainside toward the ruins of Zanarkand.
Before reaching the bottom of the mountain, Tidus learns that he, his father, Jecht, and the Zanarkand they had known are dream-like entities created by Yevon, the real Zanarkand's ancient ruler. It is after this that the party reach the bottom of the mountain and ends Tidus' prolonged flashback sequence, which had begun at the beginning of the game. Inside the Temple of Zanarkand, the group learn from Lady Yunalesca that the Final Aeon is created from the spirit and life of one of the summoner's guardians, the last of which had been Braska's guardian, Jecht. A flashback visible to the entire group occurs; showing Auron, ten years ago, attempting to attack Yunalesca for the deaths of Braska and Jecht. Yunalesca kills Auron in this display, revealing to the party that Auron is an Unsent himself.
Yuna did not wish for any of her companions to be sacrificed, angering Yunalesca and sparking a confrontation. After killing Yunalesca the group decide to find a new way to defeat Sin, permanently and without sacrifice; they go on to attack the monster with Cid's airship and enter it's body. Soon after landing inside Sin, the party encounters Seymour for a final time, after they defeat him Yuna sends him to the Farplane, ending his life forever. They encounter the spirit of Jecht, defeating him and then sacrificing all of Yuna's collected aeons to destroy Yu Yevon, ending Sin and it's ability to be reborn forever.
Auron is laid to rest, finally going to the Farplane, and the spirits of the fayth are all released: causing the aeons, the dream-like Zanarkand and Tidus to dissipate. Yuna pledges to help rebuild Spira now that it is free of Sin and asks that no-one forget those who died to make it possible.
Final Fantasy X is thick with lore and hidden stories throughout the fifty hour adventure. Many of these hidden gems can be overlooked by players focused on finishing the game instead of soaking up the atmosphere of the world. These next few sections are dedicated to analyzing and pointing out those significant moments that you may have missed.
IMPORTANT: Sections that contain spoilers will be marked with a *.
- Anything you could find out from reading the manual, or playing the game for three hours is not a spoiler.
- Anything from the introduction sequence of the game will be marked with one * (10 hours in).
- Anything from the middle of the storyline will be marked with two ** (10-32 hours in).
- Anything from the end section of the game will be marked with three *** (32-45 hours in).
Final Fantasy X has seven main characters that the player can control throughout the game. Each character has fully developed personalities. Every character has unique conflicts that they fight through for the duration of the game's story. This next section covers each of the seven characters and the unique subplots that they have. For the sake of organization each entry will have the first initial of the character's name so no one gets confused. So:
Tidus = (T)
Auron = (A)
Rikku = (R)
Wakka = (W)
Lulu = (L)
Yuna = (Y)
Tidus' hometown Zanarkand, is believed to have been destroyed a thousand years ago according to the religion of Spira: Yevon. Tidus obviously has some trouble believing this since the prolouge of the game takes place in Zanarkand on the day of the assumed destruction of the city. Zanarkand serves as the driving force for Tidus for the majority of the game. He tags along with Yuna and her guardians so he can find Auron, and he only wants to find Auron so he can figure out how to get back to Zanarkand. When Tidus learns that Yuna's destination is Zanarkand, he sticks with the crew so he can see his home once again.
This conflict establishes the goal of the story from the very beginning. Players are supposed to wonder whether or not Zanarkand is really destroyed, in the same way that Tidus questions the validity of everyone's story. In addition to being crucial to the creation of the story, Zankarkand also provides a geographically end point to the game. Players are given an idea of where the game will end, and won't have to stress during the final hours of the game bemused by the thought "is this going to end?" However Tidus' interests are not exclusive to his hometown...
(T) Love Interest - Yuna ***
Yuna is introduced halfway through Tidus' progression on Besaid Island. Tidus is instantly attracted to her due to her beauty and approachable demeanor. The relationship that forms between Tidus and Yuna over-arcs the entire storyline; despite nothing serious occurring between the two until the tale end of the game, characters and party members poke fun at their high-school relationship the entire game. Tidus initially starts talking to Yuna because she seems very friendly, and is the only other character of the cast who is close to Tidus' age.
Although the relationship is very tamed physically, Tidus and Yuna show signs of interest in one another in a few key points of the story. The first being Yuna's suggestion that Tidus join her group of guardians. This act can be seen as Yuna trying to express her feelings for Tidus, but at the same time when taking in consideration her kind, philanthropist look on life, she also most likely just wanted Tidus to find his home again. The second sign is much further down the line during a pinnacle scene at the destruction of the Al Bhed haven, Home. Tidus learns that Yuna will die when she summons the final aeon that will defeat Sin, Tidus is enraged by this fact, and swears that he'll find a way so that she won't have to die. This act is more self-centered when compared to Yuna's, but that mirrors Tidus' personality correctly.
Near the final hours of the game, Tidus is informed of what The Fayth are capable of when he discovers he is an figment that The Fayth created, and doesn't actually exist. After this point, Tidus begins to develop a more mature and understanding outlook on life.
(T) Maturation *
As the opening cinematic clearly states: this is Tidus' story. The game follows Tidus' trajectory from being a teenager, to a young adult throughout his experience in the land of Spira. Throughout the course of the game Tidus struggles with several reoccurring conflicts that plague his life:
- Living in his father's shadow
- His feelings for Yuna
- General understanding of Spira
Tidus struggles to get away from his father's history. In Zankarkand he is known as "The Son of Jecht." This is because Jecht was a star blitzball player just like Tidus, but is often seen as "better" than Tidus since Jecht came first. Things are very similar in the world of Spira as well, since Jecht is known as a great guardian in the land. For this reason he is often referred to as "The Son of Jecht" or other possessive nicknames. Tidus' constant nicknames are used for plot and narrative reasons, but also works around the fact that players are allowed to entitle their character whatever they want. The name "Tidus" is never spoken in the game's dialogue, allowing players to name their character whatever they want.
In addition to Jecht, Tidus also tries to figure out how to express his feelings for Yuna, but for more on this check out the "Love Interest - Yuna" section. Tidus' general understanding of Spira is a very vague topic that actually stretches over several smaller problems in the world of Spira. For example, death is commonly accepted in the world since Sin terrorizes the cities and villages so frequently. Tidus comes from a Utopian society, so this common acceptance for death and sacrifice is jarring for Tidus initially and has to overcome his gut reaction so he can function properly in his new society. There are several other subtopics such as Racism in the world, that will be mentioned more later.
Final Fantasy X is primarily a story about maturing from a teenager to young adult. This storyline was picked to help resonate with fans of the Final Fantasy series, and provides a common ground that most people playing the game and relate to. Tidus' struggles may not mirror every player's personal problems, but his issues are ambiguous enough to allow a good deal of imagination to be used so players can relate to the game how they want. However there are several other characters who go through a similar "coming of age" tale...
Rikku follows a long progression over the entire game about what type of person she wants to be. She's introduced as the happy and upbeat "don't worry be happy" type. However, as the game progresses, Rikku reveals to the other party members that she thinks her optimistic and happy attitude gives some people the impression that she isn't very intelligent. She fantasizes about becoming like Lulu, the black mage of the party. Lulu's demeanor is very serious, and only speaks when she has to.
Because of her envy for Lulu's personality, Rikku begins to mirror how Lulu would respond to situations instead of herself. She even tries to learn Black Magic spells in order to be viewed in a similar way. After a steady progression of trying harder and harder to be someone she is not, Kimarhi speaks to Rikku and says "Rikku should be Rikku." His few words are further explained by Tidus, who elaborates that each person is built a certain way and instead of trying to change what she is, she should embrace it. Tidus ties this explanation back to the pilgrimage by explaining that someone has to be optimistic when the times are so grim. Rikku takes the advice and continues to being her own-self. Eventually she is able to reveal her more mature thoughts later in the game the more she trusts her fellow party members.
The main changes from the original Japanese release contains all the updates found in the North American. It maintains an English voice cast while maintaining the same Japanese text. Like all other "re-releases" of Square games in japan, this is also considered as the "final-cut" of the game. The PAL version of Final Fantasy X could be seen as the only "English" release of Final Fantasy X International, as it contains all the following changes, except the Prelude to Final Fantasy X-2.
There's an extra sphere grid which starts the players off in the center of the grid. This will allow all characters to progress however they want. Instead of locking Lulu as a primary "black mage", she is free to pick whatever style of play she wants. However, selecting the new Grid will result in less status boosts and overall smaller grid.
During the course of the game, the player is allowed to fight the dark version of Aeons. These are considered some of the most powerful boss fights in the game. It's impossible to defeat the harder Dark Aeons without unlocking every characters Damage Limit and Status Limits. After defeating all the Dark Aeons, the player is allowed to fight the hardest monster of Final Fantasy X, Penance.
Prelude to Final Fantasy X-2
The Japanese version contains a bonus feature which leads up to the story of Final Fantasy X-2. Called the "Eternal Calm", this feature highlights life without Tidus and Yuna understanding the changes of the world. It finally closes with a man who looks like Tidus locked up, and this drives Yuna to find her true love.
Both the Japanese and European versions of Final Fantasy X International. The bonus DVD contains the making of documentary of Final Fantasy X. It also contains interviews with the English voice actors of Tidus and Yuna. The extras of the DVD are some trailers of Final Fantasy X and the music video of the Final Fantasy X love song, "Suteki Da Ne" performed by RIKKI.
- "I Want To Tell You Everything"
- To Zanarkand
- Tidus' Theme
- This is Your Story
- Normal Battle
- Victory Fanfare
- Game Over
- Hopeless Desire
- Underground Activities
- Underwater Ruins
- Al Bhed Tribe's Chi
- Enemy Attack
- Blitz Ball Gamblers
- Besaid Island
- The Sight Of Spira
- Song of Prayer
- Between Ordeals
- Song of Prayer (Valfor)
- Daughter of the Great Summoner Warrior
- Good Night
- Yuna's Theme
- Farplane Sending
- Silence Before the Storm
- Song of Prayer (Ifrit)
- Welcome the Old Maester Mika
- Inflexible Determination
- The Splendid Performance
- Blitz Off
- Auron's Theme
- Mi'ihen Highway
- Brass de Chocobo
- Travel Company
- Permitted Passage
- Seymour's Theme
- Djose Temple
- Song of Prayer (Ixion)
- Riding Shoopuf
- Rikku's Theme
- Thunder Plains
- Jecht's Theme
- Macalania Forest
- Sea of Mists
- The Temple Band
- Seymour's Ambition
- Song of Prayer (Shiva)
- The Burning Sands
- The Truth Revealed
- Marriage Ceremony
- I Can Fly
- Via Purifico
- Song of Prayer (Bahamut)
- Moment of Truth
- Isn't It Beautiful? (Suteki da ne?)
- Yuna's Determination
- Lulu's Theme
- Brave Advancement
- Song of Prayer (Bodyguard)
- People of the North Pole
- Song of Prayer (Ronzo Tribe)
- Wandering Flame
- Someday the Dream Will End
- Song of Prayer (Yunalesca)
- To the End of the Abyss
- Song of Prayer (Spira)
- The Deceased Laugh
- Seymour Battle
- Song of Prayer (Anima)
- Summon Beast Battle
- Decisive Battle
- Ending Theme
- "Please Remember"
- Isn't It Beautiful? (Suteki da ne?) - Orchestra Version