Final Fantasy X transitioned the Final Fantasy franchise from the PlayStation to PlayStation 2. Developed and published by Square, it was released on December 26, 2001 and was the first of the series to feature fully three-dimensional backgrounds, which the "Emotion Engine" made possible. The PlayStation 2's graphical capabilities allowed a higher polygon count and lighting and shadows to appear more natural and realistic than in prior Final Fantasies.
Final Fantasy X is similar to other installments in the franchise; the story follows one plotline but contains a number of subplots which relate back. Most of these are listed below, for a recap of the important events of Final Fantasy X check out the "recap" section.
In 2011, an HD version of the game was announced for Playstation Vita and Playstation 3. The remaster would go on to be released on the PlayStation 4 and the PC via the Steam platform as well. The game is bundled together with its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, as part of the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster.
Final Fantasy X, compared to previous games in the series, features a number of gameplay discrepancies. Foremost is the elimination of a world map. Spira is explored from a behind-the-back perspective, rather than an overhead, which 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 strictly turn-based and turn order is determined by the speed of the character. The battle screen charts a menu, displaying characters' upcoming turns, allowing players to plan ahead. The active battle team is limited to three characters, but the player can switch-out a character on their turn with a reserve.
Each party member has a particular specialization that gives him his defining role 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 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. Her Overdrive, Fury, allows her to cast a single spell many times.
- Auron is a pure physical fighter that deals high damage. He uses larger and heavier swords than Tidus and has the Bushido Overdrive.
- Wakka has an advantage against aerial enemies. His weapon of choice is a blitzball which is powered-up with his Slots Overdrive.
- Rikku is an agile thief-like character who can steal from enemies. She wear various gloves to aid her in fighting and blends items together with her Mix Overdrive. Rikku also has an advantage against small machina enemies and can easily dismantle them.
- 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 their strengths and enemy weaknesses.
Final Fantasy X eschews the tradition of having the player accrue experience points to level-up and earn stat boosts and abilities which are tethered to the level; instead, it introduces the Sphere Grid, a field of nodes connected by tracks. Each character begins at a different point and can advance, in any direction, by earning the game's equivalent of experience points. This allows characters to untether from a particular class (e.g., black mage) and become mixed, or simply one different class than intended (e.g., Lulu as a warrior-type). Items called Key Spheres are necessary, however, to traverse the Sphere Grid in this way, and these become available rather early in the game. To unlock stat boosts and new abilities, the player spends special sphere items such as Power Spheres and Speed Spheres which accord to the kind of stat and ability.
Much like a "limit break" from the two previous installments, Final Fantasy X features its own unique and powerful attacks for characters: the Overdrive. The Overdrive gauge, initially, builds as the character is damaged (this Overdrive mode is called "stoic"), but other Overdrive modes can be unlocked and alternative battle actions can build the gauge, e.g., inflicting damage ("warrior"), defeating enemies ("hero") or even healing ("healer").
Each character's Overdrive is tied to him and cannot be learned by the other party members. Each Overdrive also has its own gameplay mechanics that determine the damage inflicted. For example, Auron's Bushido Overdrive requires the player to input a specific button sequence for full effect. Each of Yuna's summons, additionally, have their own Overdrive gauges and abilities. If Yuna uses her Grand Summon Overdrive, she can immediately call forth a summon to use its own Overdrive regardless of whether or not its Overdrive gauge was filled before the Grand Summon was invoked.
Final Fantasy X begins in medias res with the protagonist, Tidus, looking over a ruined Zanarkand, as he starts to narrate the events that led him and his companions there. His story begins just before a big Blitzball game, in an unharmed Zanarkand, where he's a star of the sport. Sin attacks the city, amid the game, sucking up both Tidus and his father's friend, Auron.
Tidus awakes alone in the ruins of a temple, where he meets a group of Al Bhed salvages. One of who is Rikku, through which 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 once more, washed upon a beach on the island of Besaid. Tidus meets the captain of a blitzball team, Wakka, and quickly impresses him with his blitzball skills. Wakka invites him into the village for food, and along the way they meet Luzzu and Gatta, Crusaders. Tidus feigns that he doesn't remember who they are because of Sin's toxins (which cause memory loss). He discovers that they are a grouped formed eight-hundred years ago, by Lord Mi'ihen, to battle Sin. Tidus remarks, to Gatta's surprise: "What, you’ve been fighting eight hundred years and you still haven’t beat it?". Tidus rests in Wakka's hut and Wakka leaves with a priest of Yevon to the temple, where Yuna has entered the Cloister of Trials and not returned for a full day. Tidus violates the teachings and enters the Cloister while the summoner prays inside, and Wakka later introduces him to she, who plans to make a pilgrimage to the ruins of Zanarkand, as her father, Braska, did ten years before her. At Zanarkand, she will summon the "Final Aeon" and temporarily destroy Sin, bringing about a ten year long "Calm". Tidus meets Yuna's guardians, Lulu and Kimahri, who along with Wakka will accompany Yuna on her journey. Yuna acquires the first aeon, Valefor, in Besaid's temple to begin her pilgrimage, and Wakka gives Tidus a sword belonging to his dead brother, Chappu. He asks Tidus to join them until they reach Luca, to search for anyone he knows and to play for the Besaid Aurochs in an upcoming tournament.
The party sails to Kilika and is attacked by Sin at sea; after the group repels Sin, it turns to Kilika, killing most of its population. The party arrives safely, however, to make the second stop on Yuna's pilgrimage. Ascending the steps of the temple, Wakka asks Tidus about fiends in Zanakard, which surprises him; he segues with this line of thought that Sin doesn't necessarily kill people, but transports them through time and back again. Lulu chastises Wakka for clinging to this absurd belief in hope that his brother, Chappu, may not have died fighting Sin with the Crusaders the previous year. The party battles a Sin Spawn, and the Aurochs, who are traveling along with them to Luca, are confronted and taunted by the Luca Goers, a rival blitzball team. Tidus responds that this year, their goal is not to 'do their best', as Wakka would say, but to win. Another rival, this time a summoner, by the name of Dona is introduced. She denigrates Yuna for having so many guardians, emphasizing "quality over quantity" and pointing-out that Lord Braska had only two guardians, and herself one, Barthello. The guardians descend to the Cloister of Trials, sans Tidus, who is not yet a guardian; regardless, Donna reappears and Barthello forces him into the Cloister. Yuna acquires the second aeon, Ifrit.
The group continues to Luca, where the Aurochs will face the Al Bhed Pysches in their first match of the blitzball tournament. Yuna catches wind that Sir Auron has been spotted in a nearby café, and she, Kimahri and Tidus leave in search. A scuffle breaks out in the café between Kimhari and Biran and Yenke, two of his clansmen from Mount Gagazet, who taunt Kimahri for being the smaller of the Ronso. Yuna is kidnapped by Al Bhed in this midst, and they demand the Aurochs forfeit the match in exchange for her release. Kimahri and Tidus, along with Lulu, track down the Al Bhed to a ship and defeat their machina to win back Yuna. A sphere broadcast shows that the Aurochs have beat the Psyches, although Wakka is injured. Tidus returns to the locker room and replaces Wakka in the upcoming match against the Goers. This is the first playable blitzball match for the player and can be either won or lost, altering a cut scene later. If Tidus learned the Jecht Shot on the S.S. Winnow, he can use the shot here after gaining a level. Whatever the case, the stadium is attacked by fiends after the blitzball tournament. Everyone is saved by Seymour Guado and his aeon, Anima, although Tidus and Wakka defeat a number of foes in the blitzball pool and Auron reappears to vanquish a few in the stands. Tidus finds Auron, who informs the group that he plans to join them as a guardian. Tidus, revealed to the fact that Sin is his father by Auron, acquiesces to follow.
The group continues, encountering Sin at Operation Mi'ihen: the joint effort between the Crusaders and Al Bhed to defeat Sin with forbidden machina. Many of each respective group are vanquished in vain, and Maester Seymour intervenes to help the party defeat Sin Spawn, the creature used to bait Sin. Sin turns away from the carnage, and Tidus swims after in a short catharsis before returning to the shore. The pilgrimage continues to Djose, where injured and felled litter the path to the temple, where Yuna attains Ixion, the third aeon. They make for the Moonflow, where Yuna is abducted amid a ride on the Shoopuff by the Al Bhed. Wakka and Tidus, the only members of the party able to battle underwater, dive and save Yuna from a machina in a boss battle. Shortly after, the group discovers a disguised Al Bhed washed ashore. She reveals herself to be Rikku, who is both one of the abductors and Yuna's cousin. She confers with Yuna and Lulu and presents herself to Sir Auron, who allows her to become a guardian. All arrive at Guadosalam, where Seymour proposes to Yuna before leaving for Macalania Temple. While traveling there though the Thunder Plains, Yuna tells her guardians that she will marry Seymour for the sake of Spira's happiness.
At the temple, the group finds a sphere in the possession of Yuna, which was recorded by Seymour's father, Jyscal. It details the malcontent and hate his son possesses, as Jyscal foretells of his own murder at the hands of his son. At this knowledge, the group enters the cloister of trials and makes for Yuna, who is already praying in the chamber of the fayth for the fourth aeon, Shiva. Altogether, they fight the Maester Seymour and fell him. Tromell, servant of Seymour, fetches Seymour's body with assistance of two Guado refuses his sending. All flee the temple, chased by Guado, and then fall through the ice of Macalania after a boss battle with a Wendigo. Far below the temple, the group feels the presence of Sin through its toxins and finds itself transported and dispersed to different locations on the desert-like Bikanel Island, home of the Al Bhed.
The party regroups, minus one member, unable to find Yuna. Rikku leads everyone to the Al Bhed's "Home", which is arrived at under attack by the Guado and Yevon. Violators of the teachings, which inculcates the belief that machina must be eschewed to achieve atonement, whereupon Sin will vanish, the Al Bhed have also earned this wrath for abducting summoners, who are the only real, practical way of vanishing Sin. Tidus learns, in the Summoner's Sanctum, where Issaru and Donna and their guardians are held, that the Final Summoning will kill any summoner who performs it, including Yuna. Cid, Rikku's father, resolved and failed to save Yuna, who has been absconded to Bevelle to be forcefully married to the dead and unsent Seymour.
The party travels to Bevelle on an airship, which is the one salvaged at the beginning of the game, after Home is rocketed by the airship's machina. Gatecrashing the wedding, Seymour orders the execution of the guardians; however, Yuna threatens to fall to her death in protest, and Rikku takes advantage of this distraction by throwing an Al Bhed flash grenade. Yuna flees, summoning Valefore, and the others in the group make for the Bevelle temple. There, Yuna acquires the fifth aeon, Bahamut. As she emerges from the chamber of fayth, all are ambushed by Yevonites, who bring them to trial.
The farcical trial, presided over by the maesters of Yevon: Kelk Ronso, Kinoc, Mica and Seymour himself, ends in the party being sentenced to their death in the Via Purifico. Yuna escapes with Auron, Kimahri and Lulu in tow, defeating Issaru, a rival summor, before exiting the labyrinth portion of the Purifico. Tidus, thrown into a maze of underwater passages with Wakka and Rikku, also escape after defeating Evrae. The entire party, emergent, defeat Seymour in battle a second time. After a respite in part of the Macalania Woods and a romantic embrace between Tidus and Yuna (in the famous scene which plays "Suteki da ne"), the party travels 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 reaches the summit, they encounter Seymour, whose powers have continued to grow in death and encompass now levitation, and learn that he slaughtered the Ronso tribe behind him. The group defeats Seymour for a third time and continues 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 known to them 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' flashback sequence, which had begun at the beginning of the game. Inside the Temple of Zanarkand, the group learns 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; it shows Auron, ten years ago, attempting to attack Yunalesca for the deaths of Braska and Jecht. Yunalesca fells Auron in this display, revealing to the party that Auron is an Unsent himself.
Yuna does not wish for any of her companions to be sacrificed, which angers Yunalesca and sparks a confrontation. After defeating Yunalesca, the group determines to finding a new way to defeat Sin, permanently and without sacrifice; so they attack the monster with Cid's airship and enter its body. Soon after this, the party encounters and defeats Seymour for a final time, and 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 aeons to destroy Yu Yevon, ending Sin and its ability to be reborn.
Auron is laid to rest on 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 who are simply focused on finishing the game. These next few sections are dedicated to analyzing and pointing out the 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 has some obvious trouble believing this since the prologue 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 geographical 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?" Tidus' interests, however, 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; and despite nothing serious occurring between the two until the tail-end of the game, characters and party members poke fun at their high-school relationship. 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 physically very tame, 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 could be seen as Yuna trying to express her feelings for Tidus; although it may be more likely that her kind and philanthropic outlook has manifest to help Tidus find his home again. The second sign comes much later, during a scene amid the destruction of the Al Bhed's Home. Tidus learns that Yuna will die when she summons the final aeon that defeats Sin and is enraged by this, swearing to find another way which will spare her life.
Near the final hours of the game, Tidus is informed of what The Fayth are capable of when he discovers that he is a figment whom they have created and does not actually exist. After this, 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 through his experience in Spira. Tidus struggles, throughout, 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 Zanarkand, he is known as "the son of Jecht", and a narrator in the beginning of the game references the potential spectacle of Tidus preforming his father's famous Jecht Shot. Things are similar in the world of Spira too, since Jecht guarded Lord Braska (Yuna's father) along with Auron and helped bring The Calm to the people. Tidus is called by other possessive nicknames besides "son of Jecht" for plot and narrative reasons, but this also works around the fact that players can name Tidus whatever they want. The name "Tidus" is never spoken in the game's dialogue.
In addition to Jecht and learning to express his feelings for Yuna, Tidus' general understanding of Spira is a topic that sprawls, for example, death to racism (more on this later). Death is widely accepted since Sin terrorizes the cities and villages so frequently; however, Tidus comes from a utopian society, and this jars him. After Sin attacks Kilika and Yuna preforms a sending, Tidus says: "I wished there would never be a next time. No more people being killed by Sin. No more sendings for Yuna. Everyone stood there watching her. It was strange, and somehow … horrifying. I never wanted to see it again". Lulu explains that the unsent become bitter, envying the living, becoming fiends. By the time the party reaches Guadosalam and visits the Farplane, Yuna views her parents as Wakka his brother, Chappu, and Tidus develops an understanding of death and peaceable death in Spira. Jyscal, Seymour's father, appears to emerge from the Farplane and into the world and Auron remarks that he has died an "unclean death", before Yuna "sends" him.
Seymour, who himself remains unsent after his death in Macalania Temple, explains later: "Death is a sweet slumber. All the pain of life is gently swept away … Ah, yes. So you see … if all life were to end on Spira, all suffering would end". Seymour voices his wish to become Sin and destroy Spira. It appears his objective would perhaps be to manifest a population of unsent, with only those of a strong will and attachment to the world remaining. Maester Mika, a revered leader even among the group (at least until he condemns them to the Via Purifico as traitors of Yevon), is revealed to be an unsent and an example of who might remain.
The morbid logic of Seymour is denied by Tidus, who comes to accept even his own transience once he is revealed by the fayth to be a dream-like entity. Tidus grows to accepts death, not as a power which can be harnessed, but as the last in a natural stage of events, even at his young age.
Final Fantasy X is mostly a story about maturing from a teenager to young adult. This is tailored in specific ways to resonate with fans of the Final Fantasy series, although broad enough to be relatable to a general audience. Tidus' struggles may not mirror every player's personal problems, but his issues allow a good deal of imagination, so players can relate to the game how they want. There are, however, several other characters who go through a similar "coming of age" tale.
(R) Self-Identity ***
Rikku is 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 attitude gives some 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 she only speaks when she has to.
Because of her envy of Lulu, Rikku attempts to copy the way Lulu might act sometimes. She even tries to learn Black Magic spells in order to be viewed similarly. (This is quite significant given Rikku's phobia of the thunder spell, which once zapped her at a young age when her brother (actually named Brother) was practicing). When the party is stranded at the bottom of Macalania Temple, beneath the ice, Tidus relates to her that Wakka is in shock but Lulu is not unlike herself; Rikku responds: "She’s so together. All grown up, I guess". Kimarhi speaks to Rikku and says "Rikku should be Rikku." His few words are expounded on by Tidus, who says that each person is made a certain way, and that instead of trying to change who she is, she should embrace it. Tidus ties this back to the pilgrimage, explaining that someone has to be optimistic when times are grim. Rikku takes the advice and continues being herself. She is able, eventually, to reveal her more mature thoughts later in the game, as she builds trust with her 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