Tidus awakens in a mysterious oasis.
No one else is around.
I don't think we're in Macalania anymore, Toto.
Yes, a giant bird is just what we need right now. I tried to flee from it, but to no avail.
Thankfully Auron and Lulu showed up to help. Together, they take it down.
They still have no clue where they are, or where anyone else is.
It doesn't take long to find Wakka hanging out under a makeshift tent.
These Al Bhed Potions restore 1000 HP to the whole party and cure poison, petrification, and silence, but can only be used by Rikku. They'd be pretty handy if she was here.
We find Kimahri trying to walk up a sand dune.
You just can't have a desert without giant sandworms, can you? This thing has a staggeringly high 45,000 HP, more than even the bosses we've fought up to this point.
It can also swallow an ally whole, removing them from combat until it regurgitates them.
After finding Rikku, all the guardians are together, but there's still no sign of Yuna. And she actually knows where this is. She has something to say, but everyone has to promise to keep it secret.
This prompts a big "Hmm?" from Wakka.
Rikku explains that this is Bikanel Island, and there's a secret Al Bhed base called Home nearby. Why it's "Home" instead of "Rusa" I don't know. Anyway, Rikku thinks that Yuna will be there, so the guardians head in that direction.
I ran into another sandworm on the way. I decided to give it a taste of Auron's Shooting Star, and this time got all the inputs right.
See ya, loser.
A Cactuar! This cute little cactus thing can be quite dangerous. It's known for its 1000 Needles attack, which deals exactly 1000 damage. Sadly, this one ran away before I could do anything to it.
We also ran into these plant things lurking in sand pits. Their Seed Burst causes confusion, which makes a character attack themself or their allies at random. Like with sleep, a good smack will set them right.
Home is just over the next hill, but things don't look good.
A dying Al Bhed near the entrance says who is responsible for the attack.
This is Cid, Rikku's father, Yuna's uncle, and leader of the Al Bhed. He's trying to gather the survivors and lead them to safety. Almost every Final Fantasy game has a Cid, and they're usually connected to airships. This one is too; we'll get into that later.
The guardians have to fend off more fiends summoned by Guado guards inside. An alarm is constantly blaring "Ajanouha ihtan!" ("Everyone under!" in Al Bhed) and it sounds kind of like "I'm annoying, huh?" And yes, yes you are.
These dual chimeras are particularly dangerous, since fighting one on its own was tough enough in Macalania. The Guado guard isn't helping, either.
Rikku explains that the summoners are held in the Summoners' Sanctum.
Wakka guesses (correctly) that the Al Bhed have been kidnapping summoners, explaining the disappearances. He seems to understand why, though. Tidus sure doesn't. Don't summoners have guardians to protect them?
Inside the sanctum, Dona and Isaaru are present, but Yuna isn't. They are about to perform a sending for the Al Bhed that died protecting them. The Al Bhed believed that summoners shouldn't have to do their pilgrimage. Tidus is still confused, leaving Rikku to finally explain...
Whoops. When Rikku said "sacrifice" earlier, she was being a little more literal than Tidus thought. And yes, everyone else knew. No one wanted to bring up the subject to him.
Tidus thinks of all the things he told Yuna, about how they would go to Zanarkand together, of things she would do after she beat Sin, and all she could do was smile. He flashes back to the time in Luca when they were talking together.
"I learned to practice smiling when I'm sad, you know?"
"I want my journey to be full of laughter."
Okay, so I've tried to avoid spoilers, but this one's kind of out of the bag. There is a sequel to this game, Final Fantasy X-2, and it has Yuna in the starring role. So no, she is not actually going to die at the end of her journey. As for what actually happens, well, you'll just have to wait and see.
We can't angst for too long, though. We've got to get going.
We also get this great moment of Cid suplexing Tidus after he tells him to find Yuna again. He sure isn't going to let his niece die on some pilgrimage either. Once everyone's on board, they activate the engines.
It's an airship! It takes to the skies.
Cid doesn't really know how it works, but it flies, and that's the important part. He and Rikku's brother pause a moment, then they sing the Hymn of the Fayth together. Rikku explains: They're going to blow up their Home.
Home is gone, and the attackers with it.
The next step is finding Yuna. Cid thinks he can use the scanning device to search for her, but it will take time.
In the mean time, Tidus can explore the airship. A number of friendly travelers are also on board, including many Al Bhed, Rin, the Al Bhed Psyches, Dona, and Isaaru and his brothers.
Back on the bridge, Cid and Auron are bickering about Yuna. They're interrupted by Rikku's brother, who has found her.
He isn't dead! Seymour surprise! (Actually he is, but it's complicated.)
Lulu knows the location, and it's not gonna be easy to reach. Not that that will stop Cid, of course.
The red carpet has teeth. This is Evrae, the guardian wyrm of Bevelle, and the guardians will need to defeat it before making their approach.
Rin offers to sell some supplies, but yes, they still have to pay. He's confident that they can achieve victory.
This boss is fought on the deck of the airship. Tidus and Rikku have trigger commands to tell Cid to move closer or further away from it as needed, but it takes him a few turns to respond.
Its poison breath is quite deadly. This hits the whole party and causes poison that deals further damage each turn. Rikku's Al Bhed Potions are great for patching everyone up after that. Since there's no Yuna, she has to take over as main healer. It also has a petrifying gaze which again, Al Bhed Potions can cure.
When further away, you can't attack it directly except with Wakka. Magic technically works, but it has high magic defense and resistance to all elements.
And if you can move the ship away in time, its poison breath dissipates harmlessly into the air. It's a little tricky, but not too bad to handle.
Until that happens. Now you have to deal with it using attacks much more frequently, and if you stay far from it, it can use a sweeping attack to close the distance. It's still defeatable, but this is where things get painful.
Take that, you bastard.
Once it dies, the party flies toward Bevelle.
There it is, the greatest city in Spira.
Seymour is walking Yuna to the altar when...
The airship arrives. It launches a pair of grappling hooks into the ground.
Guardians to the rescue!
You now have to fight off many waves of warrior monks. Some have rifles, others have flamethrowers, and there are a few machina weapons too.
Tidus learned a new Overdrive here: Slice & Dice, a series of dash slashes.
Eventually, the party is stopped by Kinoc and his soldiers.
Yuna attempts the sending, but is halted by Maester Mika.
Mika: "Stop! Do you not value your friends' lives? Your actions determine their fate. Protect them...or throw them away. The choice is yours."
Seymour: "Kill them."
Yuna runs to the nearest ledge.
Seymour orders the soldiers to stop.
Yuna tells her guardians to leave her...
...then plummets off the side of the building.
She is safe, and her guardians are able to get away in the chaos.
They know where she's going, too.
Wakka is stunned to find that there are machina inside the temple. Seems Yevon doesn't exactly follow its own teachings.
This Cloister of Trials is themed around paths of light that you can ride platforms on. Bevelle Spheres are used to activate the platforms and create new paths. It can be a little tricky because of the camera angles, but this maze isn't that hard to figure out.
It's required to get the Destruction Sphere treasure in this one, since you can't return here later.
Tidus decides "you can stuff your taboos" and tries to open the door to the Chamber of the Fayth himself. It doesn't work, until Kimahri helps out.
This is the fayth, and the true form of the mysterious child we've been seeing. A human soul, imprisoned in stone.
Yuna prays to it, and then it enters her body and collapses.
As Tidus carries her out, he finds Kinoc and the soldiers waiting. They are to stand trial for their crimes.
But not before naming the aeon first. This guy is common to nearly all Final Fantasies, and his name is usually Bahamut. This name was a suggestion from Silent. Yes, it is just "Dragon" backwards.
Here is the fourth maester of Yevon, Maester Kelk Ronso. He and the other three maesters abdicate Yuna's trial. He accuses her of inflicting grave injury upon Maester Seymour, and conspiring with the Al Bhed.
Yuna offers her rebuttal.
She explains that Seymour killed his father.
Yuna says that she should perform the sending for him. Mika just laughs.
After all, the maesters claim, the dead make better rulers than the living. Spira is truly ruled by death. Resisting its power is futile.
Yuna and her guardians are deemed guilty.
Well now what?
Tidus and Auron talk about what Mika said to pass the time. Everything in Spira revolves around people dying. Summoners kill Sin, and die by doing so. Guardians die for their summoners. The fayth are the souls of the dead. The only thing reborn is Sin, and that is so it may kill again.
Kinoc comes to their cell, and says their sentence is to be decided.
They are sent to the Via Purifico, a system of tunnels under the city.
But supposedly, there is an escape somewhere. Seymour decides to watch the exit, just in case.
Yuna is lost somewhere within the maze. There are some fiends here too, giving her a chance to try out that new aeon.
This dragon has quite the regal air to him. He's a league above the other aeons we have, with stronger stats. He has no elemental affinity, but can cast spells of all elements, including the third tier spells Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga, and Waterga. His special is Impulse, an energy pulse that hits everything on the field.
And his Overdrive is something to behold.
This deals out annihilation to everything in sight.
Lulu can be found in the tunnels, so that Yuna doesn't have to fight alone.
And Auron shows up soon after.
Isaaru was brought here by Maester Kinoc, who told him to "deal with the traitors". He didn't realize it's Yuna he'd be fighting. However, he won't back down now.
This is an aeon duel similar to the ones we've had with Belgemine, but with much higher stakes. He opens up with a Grand Summon on his first aeon. If you check the little bar at the top, you can find his aeons have their own unique names.
I had Romanov Shield his Hellfire, then retaliate with her ice magic. He was soon reduced to ash.
Time for round two.
Kaminari had to endure an Energy Ray, but then was able to retaliate with the hammer of Thor, finishing this one off.
And now he gets serious. Spathi here will stand imposingly, doing nothing but charging his Overdrive for 5 turns. Once that's done, it's Mega Flare time. Shield helped Amon survive the Mega Flares, and he could heal himself with Fire as he slowly whittled down the dragon's HP.
Once all of Isaaru's aeons are defeated, he surrenders.
Meanwhile, over in the underwater section...
These three have to fight off some aquatic fiends in a large tunnel. They're not too difficult, but can take a while to defeat due to being heavily armored.
And then Evrae appears again. This is actually just the zombified corpse of the guardian wyrm, but it's still dangerous.
Since it's a zombie, healing effects deal damage to it. This means that tossing a Phoenix Down on it will take out half its HP, and then a second one will take out the other half for a ridiculously easy battle.
Everyone's back out, safe and sound. I'm not exactly sure how Kimahri got free, but apparently he did.
Oh look, it's this creep again.
He had Kinoc killed too. I'm not exactly sure why Kinoc is a lifeless corpse rather than an unsent soul like Mika or Seymour.
Seymour claims that he has relased him from his own pain, fear, and paranoia, and now only sleeps eternally.
This is what he needs Yuna for. He asks her to come with him to Zanarkand, so that he might become Sin and save Spira from its own sorrow by ending all life.
Tidus just says he's totally nuts.
Kimahri makes a similar point. Seymour just considers it unpleasant. Then, he absorbs the souls of Kinoc and his guards...
Kimahri offers to stand guard while the others escape. They initially flee, but then realize they can't leave Kimahri behind.
We have to fight this idiot again, and he's got some new tricks up his sleeve. The little claw thing floating beside him is called the Mortibody, and it supports his attacks.
I gave him the grand opening with a Grand Summon. He then used his Banish special to unsummon Nogard, ensuring that we can't really use aeons for anything else here. The Mortibody can take damage, but can't be killed as it will absorb HP from Seymour if its own runs out.
His Break spell causes petrification, then the Mortibody follows up with Shattering Claw. If it hits a petrified character, it shatters them to bits, but it doesn't deal much damage to flesh.
Lucky for us, we've got a few more spells of our own.
Lulu's Bio spell inflicts poison which deals damage every turn until death. It doesn't seem like much, but the damage can rack up, and it's based on the enemy's max HP too.
Yuna learned Reflect, which bounces spells back toward the enemy. This is a double-edged sword of sorts, as healing and buff spells will be reflected too. Still, it nullified pretty much all of Seymour's attacks once it was on the whole party.
At lower HP, Seymour broke out another new spell called Flare. Here he is getting it reflected into himself like an idiot. This looks like a fire spell, but actually deals non-elemental damage. Maybe it's just too hot for fire resistance?
Tidus finished him off with a Slice & Dice, and he was done for.
"We escaped with our skins intact, but Yuna lost something. I could already tell, her faith was shaken. Yevon had betrayed her. I felt like I should do or say something -- anything... But nothing came. I was just as lost as she was. And then..."