Final Fantasy X – Feels like home

24 comments

It’s been over fifteen years since I discovered the land of Spira as a kid. My first Sony console was the PlayStation 2, so I had never had the opportunity to play Final Fantasy titles before X. Final Fantasy X was my first experience with them. Playing FFX again feels so comfortable and nostalgic that it easily brings to mind all those late weekend nights in the dim glow of the TV next to the fireplace with my dog curled up under my chair, occasionally nudging my leg for attention. Final Fantasy X is a game that, for me, fits like a pair of gloves I thought I’d lost long ago.

“Listen to my story.” (Spoilers ahead)

The intro cinematic to Final Fantasy X is one of the most impressive and memorable in the series and I still get chills listening to the gritty, screaming electric guitar over those futuristic action sequences. Star Blitzball player, Tidus, is in the middle of a heated game when he catches a glance of a massive wave approaching the gorgeous, neon city of Zanarkand. Seconds later, it shatters the tournament coliseum around him in a massive tumult of water and pulse-weapon fire.

In a race to escape the crumbling city, Tidus manages to survive the tsunami on one of the suspended city roads and makes a mad dash for safety through the chaos of fleeing citizens and attacking fiends with the help of a long time family friend, Auron. Just when they are able to catch their breath, both are pulled into a horrific vortex in the sky, the maw of some kind of massive, monstrous creature.

Tidus awakens alone in the ruins of Zanarkand 1000 years in the future, which is something he begins to discover as he meets the people of Spira. How did this happen and can he even get back? These are the questions Tidus sets out to answer which end up tying his fate to that of Yuna, a determined, young Summoner on a quest to stop the attacks of Sin, the leviathan coincidentally that took Tidus from his home. Only Yuna initially believes his story and Tidus becomes one of Yuna’s faithful, fearless Guardians during her Pilgrimage across Spira.

Tidus

Final Fantasy X is a story of hope and love, of tragedy and romance, courage and self-sacrifice, and a beautiful a coming of age tale for more than one character. To me FFX is the definition of an epic romance. Tidus and Yuna are the main characters, but each of the party members get some focus in turn. I’ve heard a lot of Final Fantasy fans will say Tidus is one of their least favorite protagonists because of how outspoken and immature he is. To the contrary, I actually like him a lot because he feels believable.

I think Tidus rubbed some players the wrong way because he was the fully voiced, non-self-insert protagonist. The poor guy got ripped from his home and dropped across space and time, all alone, no supplies, no support… I think he handles it rather well, considering. Honestly, Tidus is a breath of fresh air with his upbeat, can-do attitude, and his spunky, go with the flow optimism. He’s a pretty laid back guy in general, but a solid friend and fighter as needed. I much prefer him to the stoic, dark and edgy Final Fantasy protagonists in the older titles. They were boring.

Sure, Tidus has some adolescent rage in him, but who wouldn’t if their dad disappeared on them when they were not even 10 years old? If you had to live in the shadow of a famous father who abandoned you, you’d probably have a little bottled up anger too. Emotions are healthy and Tidus is full of them, both good and bad. I think it’s perfectly reasonable and realistic. He resolves much of his immaturity by the end of the story, if I recall (we’ll see). In the meantime he is eager to please and just so sincere. You gotta start somewhere. I like Tidus. So sue me!

Music and Memory

Find the transition from 3:00 to 3:20 for maximum Chills Express.

Isn’t it interesting how hearing even a few moments of a tune can recall such strong memories? To Zanarkand always brings to mind bittersweet heartache with a smile. When I saw the Distant Worlds tour when it visited my home city during college, I was in silent tears no later than the fourth measure of To Zanarkand. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. (I highly recommend Distant Worlds if it’s ever near where you live.)

As I replay Final Fantasy X, the soundtrack is hitting me like a truck. I remember all the tracks so clearly and the reorchestrated version is absolutely phenomenal! Full Feelsbus O-clock, man.

Final Fantasy X meant so much to me that I wanted to do a small series on it as I play through the HD Remaster on the Switch. There’s just too much to dig into that a single review wouldn’t do it justice. Look forward to more!

Thanks for reading.

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24 comments on “Final Fantasy X – Feels like home”

  1. I finally finished X last year/the year before via the Vita version, it’s such an odd entry in the series imo. It’s incredibly focused on its story but there’s alot of additional stuff that’s really difficult too.

    One tip, and it could be classed as a spoiler, have Rikki/anyone with Steal in your party when your party when youre fighting any robots as Steal is an instant kill on those enemies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Steal is an instant kill on Machina enemies? Dude! I may have known that back on the day but didn’t remember at all.

      Did you know the URL tied to your username is a broken link? You should totes update that so people can find your site more easily. 🙂

      Like

      1. It’s super useful! The weaknesses in battles are such a great exploit (I know other Final Fantasy’s do it too but not in the same manner), it’s kind of Persona-esque

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes it’s an excellent first FF game! It’s easy to understand and it’s one of the few that doesn’t have an open-ish world map, which means you won’t get lost. However the lovely graphics may spoil you to the older graphics of prior entries. You might want to wait for the remakes of VII and VIII after playing this one.

      XII HD is good too, but I think the story in X is much more compelling to new players. XII tends to wander a bit.

      X is on sale $15 off on Amazon and Best Buy right now if it tickles your fancy. If you like JRPGs you’ll likely love X.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the info! I’m playing through Persona 5 right now, but I’m looking for games after that. Might have to give this one a shot… Just an intimidating series to get into after so many entries!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to admit I haven’t really played the Final Fantasy series to completion past VI, but I’ve heard things both good and bad about X. The general takeaway I get is that it was the series’ final hurrah before going off the rails with the next few installments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IMO people were just butthurt because it was the first to take a major turn away from the typical series formula, in that it was mostly linear in it’s progression without much open world. All entries after that have been different experiments in new ideas and variations on the typical FF experience that was getting stale. They wrenched the wheel back the other way with FFXII which had the biggest open world but the most controversial combat system.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Final Fantasy X is the only title I’ve played in the series, and I think part of the reason I can’t bring myself play any of the other games is I doubt that they will match the emotional impact this game had on me. To this day, the piece Wandering Flame continues to sadly haunt me, bringing back to my memory every mournful instance it was used in the game. Probably the most depressing usage of the piece was on the beach, in the aftermath of one of Sin’s most brutal attacks. I can still see Yuna dancing to send those poor souls to a better place…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Apologies my friend!! If it helps your heart (and my heart too), let’s also not forget the endearingly comical scene of Yuna and Tidus guffawing into the wind much to the confusion of everybody else in the party xD

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This was the first Final Fantasy game I played and one that totally captured my imagination, and pretty much hooked me on gaming. I remember chatting through strategies with my best friend who also had the game, trying to work out the best way to beat the boss we were stuck on. It was amazing!

    Well here come the nostalgia pangs…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. FFX was such a conflicting entry for me. I had started with VII, loved that one, and to a lesser degree VIII (skipped on IX at the time), then when I came back for X it was just… Sooo different.

    Ultimately it won me over. Except for going after some of the ultimate weapons. Tidus’ race… *cry* …One time before I finally got it, I hit exactly 0 seconds. But it wasn’t good enough. You had to do one better and get into the negatives. A controller came close to being broken that day.

    But then that ending… D:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely loved X and it has only grown on me with age. VIII was my first (I had a psx) amdnloved it but X caught me hook line and sinker. I preferred VIII minigame triple triad to blitzball (I don’t get sports games so hate tackling and passing and yada yada) but X’s ending… I know many people hate the final boss, but i loved it, it made it so much more heartwrenching! Wont say more for fear of spoilers. The other titles havent had nearly sonmuch of an impact on me due to X’s narrative strength and Yuna is my favourite heroine to ever exist in a video game (second is Kreia so that’s how highly I think of Yuna). One of my pet peeves is people complaining about female representation in games when characters like Yuna and Lulu exist, play the classic games, they’re filled with incredible women (and incredible men too)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yuna is love <3. Lulu is a great character, but I hate how pandering her outfit is. Her personality seems rather modest to me so the revealing clothes just don’t seem to suit her. Ashe in FFXII also stuck me an incredibly strong female character among others.

      Like

  7. This is my favorite Final Fantasy! I’m like you, played it over ten years ago. I recently bought it for PS4, and I’m hooked all over again. The graphics, the story, everything is just perfect. Horrible fact, I’ve never beaten it before…*insert tears here*. *spoiler if you haven’t played it* I always stopped at the Seymour/Yuna wedding part, and then gave up. Now, I’m at Sin, so some progress. I’m also planning to play X-2, because I love Yuna and Rikku! I think the ladies in this game might’ve been one of the first games I was able to play as a woman, (even though your Tidus the whole time, you know what I mean). I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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