mintywolf: (moogle vickie)
[personal profile] mintywolf
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Hello again!

Last time we won the Chappu Memorial Cup blitzball tournament, bringing victory to Besaid for the first time in 23 years, only to have our triumph overshadowed by a pointy-haired attention hoarder and his giant hellbeast. Afterwards we picked up a blade-toting ghost hitchhiker, because apparently creepypasta is not a thing in Spira.

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I haven’t moved anybody on the Sphere Grid yet. So far everyone has still been using their starting stats and skills, which wasn’t especially painful until I got to here. (Hoo boy.) We’ll get a bunch of Level 1 Key Spheres after Operation Mi’ihen (and two around here) so I just have to hold out until then and remember to stock up on phoenix downs and potions, which I almost never do.

Once I got the Level 1 Key Sphere from the guy on the road, I decided to advance Waffles, who is going to be our white mage, towards Yuna’s sphere grid and discovered that it’s blocked by a Level 2 Lock. I’ve never tried to make Kimahri a white mage so I’d never realized that before. And I don’t even remember when the first Level 2 Key Sphere comes our way (I know I’m going to need one to get in and out of Auron’s sphere grid too) so this could get interesting, haha.

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Before we got going I went back to talk to this guy, because there is a tiny ongoing plot arc concerning him and this dog and cat that goes all the way into X-2. Also, talking to everyone from here until Operation Mi’ihen, you get the distinctly foreboding sense that the Crusaders are doomed.

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Waffles stops to admire some ancient Spiran architecture.

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Along the way we run into Professor Exposition! He explains what the deal is with the Crusaders – 800 years ago they were founded by Lord Mi’ihen to combat Sin, possibly as an alternative to sacrificing summoners. Back then, they were called the Crimson Blades. Even though they were a squad of volunteers, there grew to be so many of them that the Church of Yevon feared they could become too powerful and accused them of rebellion. Mi’ihen went to Bevelle to fight that claim, and managed to earn the trust of the Maesters, whereupon the Crimson Blades were assimilated by Yevon and became a military branch of the clergy. They were renamed the “Crusaders,” which is a heavily weighted moniker, carrying connotations of, depending on how much history you know, knights on a holy pilgrimage or knights carrying out horrible Catholic Church-sanctioned atrocities.

Spira’s Crusaders, as far as I know, haven’t done anything horrible, but their new name still bears religious weight, and emphasizes the sense that there is a dark hidden history to Yevon. The annexation of the former Crimson Blades is not the only example we hear of Yevon taking over something it saw as a threat. The Guado (and presumably the Ronso) were converted to the Yevon religion while the Al Bhed, who have resisted Yevon, are treated as outcasts. The use of certain machina is allowed when used to suit the purposes of Yevon, but condemned when used by others. Even the Hymn of the Fayth, it is revealed by our friend Machen near the end of the game (if you track him down), originated as a song of protest against Yevon but was hastily appropriated by the Church and presented as a song of praise.

By now, however, the Crusaders have been cast out from underneath the mantle of Yevon and excommunicated for their use of machina. (Or at least, machina not approved by Yevon.) This is just a theory, but I suspect it may also be because they seek to find a way to defeat Sin without the use of summoners, which undermines the authority of Yevon and its control over Spira.

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Lord Mi’ihen is standing over a fallen Behemoth with a bunch of swords stuck in the ground around the statue, probably put there as tribute by other warriors. His pose resembles the warrior-saint iconography of the archangel Michael slaying a dragon, but I’m probably reading too much into that.

Almost immediately a fiend jumps out of a bush and Auron demonstrates the advantages of piercing weapons. Waffles is sulky.

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“You wish.”

Professor Exposition shows up again to explain how all of these ruins are handiwork of centuries of Sin.

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(This is one of my favorite things he says, haha. In case you were picturing a muddy dog, this is a mudpuppy. Also, this.)

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When they say “humans” I assume they actually mean “people,” including the other sentient races of Spira (Guado, Ronso, Hypello, whatever those little beaky guys, harp birds, saxophone cats, and drum turtles are) but there seems to be a lot of human privilege exercised in Spira. I wonder if there were any not fully human summoners before Seymour.

I don’t know if they had planned for Maechen to be revealed as an unsent before X-2 (probably not) but the way he refers to the people of Spira as “they” and not “we” makes it sound like he’s excluding himself, which is curious.

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When they all ran in Waffles was like “Hey, I’m a guardian now, so watch out!” and Lulu said something like, “You’re not lacking confidence, I see,” sounding amused. (I’ve seen screencaps with in-battle dialogue subtitled on them. Does anyone know how to do this?)

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Then she got knocked right the heck out.

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I brought Waffles back in to fling a phoenix down at her because I’m aiming for the conversation with Lulu in Guadosalam. "This isn’t like me," she tried to brush it off as she got back up, a statement that was proven to be a flagrant lie about six times over before I even reached the travel agency.

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I enjoy that Ifrit has fluffy fur/flames on the back of his legs like Fennekin. (Or rather, that Fennekin has them like Ifrit.)

Ifrit’s summoning sequence is really cute – Yuna gets flung up in the air, and he catches her on his shoulder and sets her gently down. (Something which he seems to do only to Yuna, since we don’t see this happen with either Belgemine or Isaaru.) But even so it’s not clear whether or not he is a benevolent entity. The first time she summons him, Yuna asks warily, “Will you . . . help us?”

Like a lot of recurring Final Fantasy critters, I first came by Ifrit by way of Dungeons and Dragons, but they are actually a type of fiery djinn originating in Arabic mythology, and generally depicted as evil in both cases. In folklore there are stories of djinn being summoned and bound and asked to grant wishes, but evil ones often find a way to twist the wisher’s meaning into something tricky and horrible. (A party I was in once encountered one in the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, but fortunately one of the players was a law student and managed to draw up a contract that the DM, and therefore the djinn, couldn’t find a way around, so we got our wishes.)

So it is an appropriate theme for a creature bound to its summoner and made to do her bidding. Yuna’s aeons seem to be tied to her out of affection, because her strength as a summoner and therefore her bond with her aeons is often remarked upon, but I do wonder if some aeons resent their summoners. Ifrit’s design doesn’t incorporate chains like some of the others (his necklace appears to be prayer beads) but he has shackle-like cuffs on his wrists and ankles.

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Along the way we run into Captain Lucil of the Djose Chocobo Knights, along with Elma and Clasko. I appreciate that it’s a woman in the position of leadership here.

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Auron starts to chuckle to himself. When Waffles demands to know what’s so funny,

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Although Waffles doesn’t want to hear it, Auron seems to enjoy pointing out that he’s more like his father than he thinks. (I also like how he seems to be actually facing Yuna here when he says this, because she enjoys hearing about her father’s pilgrimage.)

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Lulu you are burning through my supply of phoenix downs like an actual phoenix.

I suppose this would be a good time to share my little headcanon that Lulu’s low HP, strength, and physical defense are indicators of a weak constitution, although she wouldn’t admit it to anyone. I imagine that as a result of frequent childhood illnesses she spent a lot of time inside studying instead of outside playing like the other kids, which led to her discovering her talent for magic at an early age. Poor physical stats are a hallmark of the black mage class (even worse than for white mages) throughout the series too, so it’s also possible that casting black magic is physically taxing.

At any rate on a No Sphere Grid run, she's more or less a One Hit Point Wonder.

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Oh no it's Belgemine. I am not ready for you.

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I think it’s kind of weird that she feels the need to clarify this. Because summoner battles are never fights to the death; the aeons just fight each other until one gets knocked out and reverts to pyreflies. They’re exactly like Pokémon battles. The aeons never attack the other summoner, but I suppose they could, and I wonder if aeons (and for that matter, Pokémon) have ever been used this way in-universe.

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This also brings up the question of whether more than one summoner is able to call on one particular fayth at the same time. In Yuna’s battles with Belgemine and Isaaru she is never allowed to summon the same aeon as them at the same time. I don’t know if it’s because it would be ineffective, or if the fayth is unable to respond to more than one summoner at a time. (Or at least, unable to fight itself, because in regular combat Yuna never seems to be unable to summon an aeon unless it’s been recently knocked out.)

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Thank you, slobbery doggie, for this overdrive.

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But I still lost.

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(~Spoilers~) Like a surprising number of people in this game, Belgemine is dead. She is an unsent. The way she says this makes it sound like she did actually get all the way to Zanarkand and obtained the Final Aeon, but died in the battle with Sin itself. She has met Braska, but I'm not sure whether she met him under the same circumstances as Yuna (she seems to wander around testing summoners to see if they’re strong enough to receive the aeons from Remiem Temple, which she is guarding by herself) or whether she was alive when he was.

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“As you wish,” he said when I switched him in. When this happened to me the first time I was playing I blurted out, “That means he loves her!!”

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“Hey, lady, are you going to die for our sins?”
“Yes, very soon.”

Calli (I hope, because otherwise this is pretty callous of her) does not know what bringing the Calm entails, but surely her mother does. Both she and Yuna seem very slightly embarrassed to be having this conversation, but brush it off as a fact of Spiran life.

But check out that steely glare from Lulu back there.

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Everybody else modestly accepts this woman’s good wishes while Lulu continues to stand there beaming scathing disapproval in her direction. Her arms-folded posture is defensive, too. We’ve seen before that she doesn’t like having her feelings poked at and, without knowing it, Calli’s mom is poking at them.

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Then we have some exposition about what exactly the Calm is, basically the time between Sins. There is some question about how long the Calm lasts. Ultimania claims that it lasts only a year, which I don’t like to accept as canon, because it makes the sacrifice of a summoner seem really insignificant. Also, if they knew that their deaths would only buy a year of Sin-free time, there would a lot fewer summoners undertaking the pilgrimage so earnestly, and that their home temples would find it more valuable to keep them at home to perform other summoner duties like sendings. If the length of the Calm is undetermined, summoners still have the hope that maybe theirs will be the one that sticks.

Also you’d think that a society plagued by constant rampaging monster attacks with only five disparate years of peace in the past millennium and no technology to fend it off would have been destroyed a long time ago. Even as it is they must have a lot of children to keep their population stable with each generation.

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At this point Waffles of course doesn’t know that the summoner has to die in order to defeat Sin. But the conversation prompted by his innocent question is forcing Yuna in this moment to think about her father’s death and feel the weight of her own impending mortality.

(Although . . . did it never occur to him to wonder what happened to Braska? He’s holding on to the hope that Jecht might still be alive somewhere, and Auron is still around, but he never asks what happened to Yuna’s dad.)

Lulu looks really cute with her head tilted thoughtfully/patiently to the side like that.

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This backs up what I posited earlier about the Crusaders being excommunicated because they are seeking a way to defeat Sin without sacrificing summoners. Without that knowledge, it looks like he’s just being cocky and saying that he can have the glory of fighting Sin just as well as any summoner, but they’re really trying to save lives.

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This does not look good for Homestar Runner.

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Like Yuna, these guys are prepared to die fighting Sin if necessary. Backing out of the operation and going back to Besaid now for them would be like a summoner abandoning the pilgrimage.

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I really like fantasy-world ephemera, especially advertisements. (The Fable series is great for this.) I wish we saw more ads for Spiran products but the Al Bhed seem to be the only ones with enough business acumen to advertise. The Spiran script says “Rin Travel Agency” but I can’t quite decipher the Al Bhed script at the top. It might say the same thing.

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Further down the road we run across Shelinda, whom I did not like the first few times I played this but she kind of grew on me. (Although I don’t think there’s anybody in the entire game that I have a raging hatred for.) I find blind, unquestioning devotion to a religion off-putting and dangerous, but her purpose in the story is to illustrate that.

She explains that she’s been trying to convince the Crusaders to call off the operation not because it won’t work, but because they’re using machina, which is (allegedly) forbidden by Yevon. Unsurprisingly, none of them have listened to her.

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She is so devoted to Yevon that she believes upholding the teachings is more important than defeating Sin. Wakka agrees with her, because he also has an intense distrust of machina.

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She claims this is because she’s “just a lowly acolyte” but I’m prettttty sure it’s because they’ve put months of planning and Sinspawn-capturing into this operation and aren’t likely to be deterred by one lone fundamentalist yelling about Yevon on the side of the road. Yuna kindly tells her not to be so hard on herself.

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I think they’re probably around the same age. Even though she’s a summoner, Yuna doesn’t consider herself more important than any other person trying to improve the world. Shelinda, however, is very excited that a summoner is talking to her like this and kind of becomes Yuna's Number One Fan.

Afterwards I finally managed to drag the party out of the Random Encounter Gauntlet to the Mi’ihen Travel Agency, at which Wakka did not want to stay because it’s Al Bhed-run.

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You can hear somebody – I think it’s Waffles – whistling innocently in the background here during the Collective Facepalm.

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“EVER. There will be no more sleeping. I am buying all the coffee right now.”

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Heehee and okay this is a weird little detail but I noticed that whenever you talk to Shelinda here, it triggers Lulu looking down at this bin of pears like she’s inspecting them for sacrilege.

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More Waffles rubber ducky face.

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The sunset he saw in Kilika did have a gigantic murderbeast sailing along through it.

He finds Yuna sitting alone and comes up to ask “Whatcha up to?” She puts something away hurriedly and smiles up at him, embarrassed. What was she up to?

Preparing to make everyone cry several hours of gameplay later! It’s possible that the conversation they had on the road about the Calm, Sin returning, and whether or not it’s worth it, is what prompted her to record this farewell to all her friends.

Let’s stop and look at it now so we have a better sense of the frame of mind she was in when she made it, and during the conversation immediately afterwards.

It’s still fairly early into her journey and she’s only known Auron for a few hours at this time. She probably met him briefly when she was seven, but I don’t think he’d have paid much notice to a little girl and his main concern would have been Braska. (Also, her attention seems to have been captured by Jecht during that meeting.)

Yuna is intimidated by the honor of having Auron as a guardian. She always addresses him as “Sir Auron,” throughout the game, and even though she doesn’t know him well she puts him first in her farewell message. Because of her awe of him, and also because of his aloof personality, they never become close friends like she does with the rest of her guardians. He’s sometimes even quite harsh with her, although there are a few times where it’s evident that he is fond of her, in a grumpy uncle kind of way. Her promise to defeat Sin as thanks to him is significant because that is exactly what he wants from her, and she may have already picked up on that from him, although she doesn’t know the real reason yet – she is the one who can free Jecht and avenge Braska.

Her farewell to Kimahri is the most backstory we ever get about Kimahri. I wish we could see more interaction between them because he obviously means a lot to her. Originally, Auron was given the responsibility to bring Yuna to Besaid but he died, and then decided to go to Zanarkand. (Like you do.) At this point in the game, the “man facing death” sounds like Braska, but it’s actually referring to Auron too. Before dying, he passed Braska’s request onto Kimahri, who found him dying near Bevelle after his fight with Yunalesca and tried to rescue him. Kimahri was there because he had just left his home on Mt. Gagazet after losing his horn in the earlier mentioned fight with Yenke and Biran and was striking out on his own.

We learn here that Braska did not want Yuna to grow up in Bevelle, and in fact, as far away from it as possible. He probably recognized how difficult it would be for a half Al Bhed child growing up in such a strict Yevon environment, and at this point, he didn’t know whether he would defeat Sin or whether he would die in the attempt, but either way he was planning never to return home. If he did become High Summoner, he could have the hope that people would regard Yuna with greater reverence, but if he failed, he’d know that she’d only be recognized as the daughter of the heretic summoner, and treated accordingly.

Ironically, while everyone was celebrating Braska, apparently no one was paying attention to his daughter, because somehow a seven-year-old was able to wander off alone into the largest city in Spira at night and climb onto a bridge. (Which, if she was staying in the temple, and if it was the Highbridge, wasn’t that far away, but she does say she went into the city.) I also wonder how many little girls Kimahri had to approach before he found the right one.

So Kimahri abandons all of his life plans to take responsibility for some child he has never met and has no obligation to and bring her to a distant island, a journey which must have taken several days at least. In that time she gets attached to him, and when he prepares to leave her in a strange new place she begs him not to leave because he is her only friend and the only source of familiarity and stability in her life at that time. And so he stays with her, in a tropical environment completely alien to him, the only member of his race among strangers, for the next ten years. That is a BEAUTIFUL STORY and it’s given almost no attention during this game.

We rarely get to hear from his perspective, but I’m pretty sure that he had gotten attached to her too, and she was also the only friend that he had at the time, since he had outcast himself from the other Ronso. Maybe he had nowhere else to go either. At the very least, he was compassionate enough to realize that this tiny crying child whose entire world was in upheaval was dependent on him. He was also, according to Ultimania, 15 years old at the time, although it’s possible that Ronso reach maturity faster than humans do. (The “Ronso Youth” in X-2 all seem to be full-grown.)

Moving along, I’m disappointed that her farewell to Wakka and Lulu is so brief and also that she doesn’t address them individually. Her bond with each of them is clearly emphasized during the game and it’s very apparent that they both care about her deeply. So I don’t know why this part of her recording is so short. Maybe she’d already told them in person everything she wanted to say, except for this. Also, I think this is the only time we hear Yuna mention Chappu. Perhaps all the memories of their childhood together are too painful for her to dredge up, especially when she’s dwelling on her own death.

And then finally, she gets to Waffles, whose name she clumsily avoids. (Personally I like to think that she forgot it, and was too embarrassed to ask.) As I mentioned before, Yuna is a late bloomer falling in love for the first time. She began training as a summoner at 15, knowing that from then on the rest of her life was planned out for her and accepting that she would die young. Compared to her self-sacrificing love for Spira, romantic love is a personal, selfish luxury that she didn’t allow herself or even expect herself to be subject to. But now unexpectedly she finds herself falling for Tidus, and even though she is caught in the blushing, giddy joy of her first-ever crush, she is in pain because she knows that it can’t last, because she has to die. And she doesn’t want to tell him, so she is bearing the pain of that secret by herself. Also, she was apparently planning never to confess her love to him while she was alive, since this message is meant to be seen after she’s defeated Sin, either because she’s too shy or too devoted to her pilgrimage. (Or both.)

On a tiny side tangent, this may also be the first time she’s noticed a boy paying particular attention to her. Not only was she busy in summoner training for the past two years, but her adolescence has been spent growing up alongside Lulu, who, whether she intended to or not, had probably captured the eyes of all the boys. When Yuna was an awkward 13-14 year old, Lulu was a mysterious and graceful 18-19. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to the experience of being the mousy, unnoticed one next to a friend or sister who is more striking, more mature, or at least knows how to properly put clothes and makeup on herself. So when she found herself the target of Tidus’ attentions, Yuna’s first reaction may well have been “ . . . Me?”

Not to mention that he was probably first guy brave/blithe enough to get through the barrier of her overprotective big brother, big sister, and big kitty.

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I don’t know why Yuna thinks the side of the fiend-infested highway is such a haven of peace and smiles considering she grew up in a tropical paradise. Maybe by “a place like this” she just means “a place not currently being attacked by Sin.”

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So now we’ve seen that Yuna was just in the process of saying goodbye to everyone in preparation for her inevitable demise when he plunked himself down next to her and started cheerfully talking about what’s going to happen after she defeats Sin. (She was also fumbling ineptly over her feelings for the very guy who is now two inches away and unaware of this.) This explains her subdued attitude during this scene; she barely bothers to pretend to smile when he starts making jokes, but she manages to keep an admirable grip on her composure.

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I love how optimistic he is about this. He’s still not entirely certain of what a summoner is, and he’s only met a handful of other ones, but he is sure that whatever it is, Yuna is the very best. Just like your dog is 100% certain that you are the best person in the world.

He was there when Belgemine said that she couldn’t defeat Sin, so he might have taken away from that that if you fail to defeat Sin, you just don’t get another chance because of your own lack of skill or strength. But he’s positive that Yuna can do it, TWICE if need be. Unfortunately, he has no idea what he’s talking about.

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Yuna explains that “Sin is punishment for our vanity, and it will not go away until we’ve atoned,” repeating the explanation that Wakka gave at the beginning of the game. Waffles, who was not raised on the teachings of Yevon, is suddenly not satisfied with this answer and wants to know HOW they are supposed to atone, not just why. (Which is a good question; so far the dominant practice seems to just be “Endure Sin, be miserable.” But throughout the Middle Ages there was a similar belief, pushed by the Church, that earthly suffering was transitory, and necessary, and endurance of it would lead to a good afterlife.) We see him beginning to pull at the Yevon Jenga blocks here.

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He asks if it was the use of machina, and then asks if that was really such a bad thing, after all. His question catches Yuna off-guard, and she says that it’s not something she ever questioned, even as a child.

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Coming from Yuna, this sounds like simple naiveté, but Lulu, of all people, expresses a similar sentiment later. Even though she is very knowledgeable and world-wise, she is still kept in the dark under the mantle of Yevon.

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Meanwhile Waffles is relieved to know that he’s not the only one around here who doesn’t always know what’s going on.

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He starts trying to explain in his native tongue of blitzball metaphors.

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I am reasonably certain that Yuna has never had to think about either of these things.

Also, I find it really charming that he remembered this girl:
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This whole conversation takes on a heart-stabbing new depth of meaning after a first playthrough. All this time he’s been talking about the future and what she’s going to do after she defeats Sin, blissfully unaware that she’s not going to be around for that future. And he’s so happy that she can’t bring herself to tell him. :(

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I really love how he spreads his arms to indicate the breadth of Sin.

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Then he starts enthusiastically punching the air, apparently to demonstrate how he’d do it. I am the tiniest bit sad that he never got the chance to become Yuna’s Final Aeon.

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Yuna knows that Operation Mi’ihen is doomed. This is probably the reason she tried to deter Luzzu and Gatta.

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I think this must be the first time that anyone’s mentioned to him where they’re going, because he is very surprised to hear that the destination of the pilgrimage is Zanarkand. They’ve talked about Zanarkand before, but just to say that it’s only ruins now and isn’t the city he remembers. I don’t think anyone has said to him, “But you can see it for yourself, because that’s where we’re headed, by the way.” But Auron interrupts the conversation to say just that.

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He has meanwhile been over here making sure they don’t get up to any shenanigans. Also probably pleased to have Tidus and Yuna finally in the same place so he can guard them both at once like he promised their dads.

“Look at me, chaperoning these kids like a pro. I can do this.”

 photo 808_zpsef05b626.png

(Apparently Tidus doesn’t have a curfew.)

I would guess that he doesn’t want them to keep talking about Zanarkand, and risk letting Waffles reveal something he shouldn't.

 photo 809_zpsf09c1263.png

 photo 810_zps8158b511.png

 photo 811_zpsac0169b5.png

As they go back inside, Yuna trots after him and for a second it looks like she’s thinking about slipping her hand into his, but she stops. It looks like the same animation from after the Macalania spring scene, where she does take his hand. Instead she takes a moment to look back at the sunset one last time.

 photo 812_zpse8b60222.png

We find out later that she does this because she is saying goodbye to the places she’s not expecting to see again.

 photo 813_zps3b983d1f.png

Her arm-flailing run is really cute. If you’re going to wear giant flags on your arms you might as well have some fun with them.

The sign in Spiran on the right says “Chocobo Rental” and the one on the left says almost the same thing, as far as I can tell, only the letters are kind of backwards. The sign isn’t backwards; the letters all face the right way, but as best as I could decipher it, it says “bochoclatner.” It’s good to know that someone is catering to the dyslexic Al Bhed demographic.

 photo 814_zpsf9ea7289.png

 photo 815_zpsc6a90d10.png

I want a sacrilegious pear!

 photo 816_zps7e1a2c65.png

 photo 817_zpsa91b4106.png

And I suppose I will leave it on that cliffhanger.

Next time: a horrible beastie! Will we be able to avoid being pushed off the cliff? (Probably not.)

Loving reading, just a note

Date: 2013-12-03 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello, just want to say am loving reading this, found it through your tumblr (I am dayriderbusking on there :) ), and yeah, like how you take the much later points to show the power of the earlier ones, most people get scared of putting spoilers, but at this point, think tis okay :P but yeah, really cool to see :)

Also, have played this game more than anyone ever should, but seeing some NPC dialogue had never seen before, which is cool :) especially the "Will you buy something for me" one xD

The point I wanted to make, aside from a general "You're awesome!" was that Kimahri is aged 25 during the events of Final Fantasy X (and thus 27 in X-2). Think tis rare the Ultimania is wrong, but there's a few sources around that I believe came with the game that put him at 25. I remember having a book with it that had a walkthrough, and then random game cheats for PS2 games at the time at the back, but it gave ages for all of them: Rikku 15, Tidus & Yuna 17, Lulu 22, Wakka 24, and Auron 35 - which explains his point of "a boy about your age actually" quote at the Gagazet peak.

Anyways, yeah, keep it up, loving it :)

Re: Loving reading, just a note

Date: 2013-12-04 02:00 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Just realised I misread the post, and that you meant Kimahri was 15 at the time, not during the game's progression, apologies, my mistake. But yeah, tis a nice change to see a playthrough with better exposition, accompanied with good humour :)

Part of me think Kimahri was probably very mature for his age: he was most likely bullied for being short, as many people irl are treated for being outside the norm during their teenage years, and that probs forced him to grow-up quickly and learn how to deal with personal problems. He's always been shown to be a stoic character since his leaving Gagazet, but always has had honour, can see him having someone ask him for help, a dying, wounded man at that, and him having no purpose at the time, but wanting one, taking up the charge with grace, honour, and vigour. The convo at the Moonflow about him and Yuna crossing, you can tell he cared about her a lot even then, and took his charge really seriously :)

Date: 2013-12-04 03:12 am (UTC)
auronlu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] auronlu
"Humans" – I've a suspicion that Seymour's mother defied tradition (which seems to be the only kind of successful pilgrimage) by taking a semi-human along. The Yevon church has converted Ronso and Guado, but I get the distinct impression that the church is still fairly prejudiced against them: the only ones allowed to hold church position are the leaders of each species, which seems like a typically cynical way of keeping them in line. (Seymour's ascension to the priesthood seems to be the exception to the rule as well; there are no other visible Guado, Hypello or Ronso priests in the temples.)

I had never noticed Lulu's glare during the Callie episode. Ouch.

Great write-up on Yuna's sphere and what she was thinking or knew at the time she recorded it. Poor Waffles inadvertently saying so many things he'll rue later, although I'm sure she finds it sweet as well as sad.

I love your description of Tidus pulling put Jenga bits from their Yevon beliefs. That whole cliffto

Funny how the Marshmallow of Yevon does kinda grow on you, eventually.

“Look at me, chaperoning these kids like a pro. I can do this.” Heh.

I like your headcanon that Lulu's actually not all that strong physically (although surprisingly good at Evasion despite that skirt;.)

I'm so impressed you've gotten this far without breaking down and using the sphere grid. That upcoming boss battle's gonna be a PITA without everybody's stuff charged. *peers* Speaking of which, see that simulator-console-thingie in the Inn? You can use those mock battles to charge up everyone's overdrives. (Although I don't think that nets any AP, so hrm. I've also been known to backtrack on the highroad and get the aeons up to full).

*peers* It looks like the first level 2 Key Sphere may be a loooong way in: a drop from the Spherimorph blobby boss in Macalania Woods. And that's just a single keysphere. Unless you want to start somebody on Rikku's thief route and rely extensively on Steal/Use, it's going to be tough to make it that far with minimal sphere grid. (Wakka's Petrify Ball which you can pick up from O'aka at Operation Mi'ihen is also handy, though it means no overkill bonuses.)

Then again, I've never understood how people do those No Sphere Grid challenges.

I had never noticed the sacrilegious pears! But I bet I know why Lulu's frowning. She's thinking about Dis Pear...

(Speaking of which, you never commented on my last FFVII playthrough post...not sure if you saw it?)

Dis Pear

Date: 2013-12-04 03:13 am (UTC)
auronlu: (SephiroWTF)
From: [personal profile] auronlu
GRrrrr. Shoulda known it wouldn't let me embed YouTube.

There's a silly Sephiroth meme, based on one of his most famous quotes... here's the link.

Shall I Give You Dis Pear...
Edited Date: 2013-12-04 03:14 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-12-04 04:29 am (UTC)
auronlu: (fangirl)
From: [personal profile] auronlu
That whole clifftop scene is just fantastic, as well as heartwrenching, with all the levels of cute and he-doesn't-know-what-he's-saying and Yuna, as you note, trying to maintain her composure... partly of course because she wants to partake of his innocent good cheer and not dwell on grim thoughts. As she says later, it made her happy [to listen to him burble enthusiastically].

I love your analogy that he's like a dog that is 100% sure you're the best human in the world.

Date: 2013-12-04 05:48 am (UTC)
auronlu: (dork)
From: [personal profile] auronlu
*howls with laughter at Doge Waffles*

This needs to be an icon.

Date: 2013-12-04 05:47 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's funny, but before reading this, it never really occurred to me to think of Hypello as one of the different races in Spira. Or I certainly wouldn't have listed them as one if someone asked me. Maybe it's because we see so little of them compared to the others. If I'm remembering right, most of the ones we meet throughout X and X-2 are in service-type careers, aren't they? I feel like there's an interesting discussion to be had there.

"Because summoner battles are never fights to the death; the aeons just fight each other until one gets knocked out and reverts to pyreflies. They’re exactly like Pokémon battles. The aeons never attack the other summoner, but I suppose they could, and I wonder if aeons (and for that matter, Pokémon) have ever been used this way in-universe."

Good point. That makes me wonder about the battle with Isaaru later. Was the intention to fight to the death? I'm assuming so since he's sent to "deal with the traitors," which makes it sound like he means to have his aeons attack Yuna and her guardians. But I wonder how that sort of thing works. It seems kind of horrific, honestly, when you think about the bond the fayth would have with both Isaaru and Yuna.

Date: 2013-12-04 09:42 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I believe either in the Isaaru battles, and also in the Belgemine battles after the Highroad where you can go through more than one Aeon, that if you are much slower than her Aeon, then the Aeon will attack you before you have a chance to summon, and it knocking you out will cause the 'stop, that is enough' from Belgemine.

Never lost to Isaaru, but guessing that one nets you a Game Over.

Date: 2013-12-05 04:33 am (UTC)
melchar: (auron)
From: [personal profile] melchar
Hee hee! I can help with key spheres!

IF you manage to get the chocobo eater to die by falling off the cliff behind him - then you get a level 1 key sphere. If you -overkill- him as you knock him over the cliff you get -2- level 1 key spheres.

I knocked the chocobo eater off the cliff/overkilled him [with Valefor's ultra-cool overdrive] my first play-thru of FFX. My hubby killed it on the plains and did -not- get key spheres, then -doubted- my memory of getting them. I bullied him into doing the fight until he got the over-the-cliff death [complete with Wylie Coyote air hover/exclamation points/then plummet] - and he did. They are -very- important!

There's also a hidden chest with L1 key spheres near where you talk to Shelinda on the way to the Moonflow [near a trellis] - and another in a chest near where Biron & Lenki confront Kimhari on the road. And 2 in a hidden chest near djose temple.

You can get a level 2 key sphere from a chest behind Kimhari when they fall thru the ice after fighting the wendigo. And another in a chest in the desert as you are slogging around, looking for Home. Plus a chest with one behind the travel agency in the Calm Lands.

And those oh-so valuable level -3- key spheres can be stolen from Biron and Lenki during their solo fight with Kimhari. I will NOT let them die until I've stolen at least 8 of them from the pair. [This does mean I will heal them if necessary, toss luck and any other buff on Kimhari after the first couple fall in order to alter his thievery numbers and make more fall out of their pockets].

There's also mostly hidden chests in Home that have a L2 key sphere and a L4 key sphere under the stairs before you enter the Summoner's sanctum.

After my first play thru, I relied less on the key spheres because I played a ton more blitzball. You can get RETURN spheres from blitzball - and -sometimes- friend spheres - and those are more useful in moving around the sphere grid and circumventing the higher-level key locks.

... I find that a lack of ability sphere is more limiting early on. Thus stealing them from dual horns - or getting them from killing piranhas as their rare drop [early in the game, when Wakka pushes Tidus off the cliff can they swim around ... looking for those 3 chests ^_^].

... I hope that didn't come off as too ramble-y.

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