Ah Final Fantasy. You know when you say the name now people tend to just slightly purse their lips and set their jaw. It’s kind of like they’re talking about a best friend who turned to drugs. “Ah Final Fantasy, I remember the good old days, remember Six? And Four? Oh and Seven was the best! Eight was okay and Nine was so solid…”
And then comes Ten.
These days gamers look at Final Fantasy X the way comic fans talk about Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again. The clear marking for when great talent suddenly goes rotten.
Yeah, that’s right. I said that about Miller. I accept it.
Despite the incredible early love it received people now completely dismiss it as a title with bad pacing, bad voice acting, and a bad lead character. If you’re curious go check out Spoony’s Review on the game.
That actually hits me a bit close to home since James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Tidus, also voices Ratchet, whom I consider one of the best voiced characters in gaming today. Specifically with his more modest temperament and wit.
But I’ve probably said enough about Ratchet and Clank . Back to Final Fantasy X.
Final Fantasy X is kind of the odd duck of the original set. Especially when you boil down it’s basic plot. It’s complex… well complicated story focuses on a devastating creature named Sin that must be destroyed by having a lone summoner go through a complicated series of rituals to gain summons (or Aeons since this was the point in Final Fantasy where they took to renaming things) until at last they create the Final Aeon to destroy Sin.
The main character of the story according to some is Tidus. Tidus is a star blitzball, an underwater version of soccer, player from a hyper-advanced city called Zanarkand. Sin attacks Zanarkand causing Tidus to somehow be warped from it to a land where Zanarkand has been destroyed for over a thousand years. This is the world of Spira.
He soon meets a young summoner named Yuna. She’s destined to undertake the ritual to destroy Sin while helping the spirits of the dead move on to the afterlife so they don’t return as monsters. However, should she complete the ritual she must first sacrifice the one she loves (if you can’t guess that’s Tidus then there’s no help for you) to complete the Final Aeon before dying in a battle with Sin.
What we learn is that even though Sin will be destroyed, the person used in the sacrifice to make the Final Aeon will become a new Sin for the next generation. Apparently this entire thing is the manufacture of a man named Yu Yevon. After a series of complicated motivations Yu Yevon created Sin after his home of Zanarkand was destroyed. He created a dream version with completely fake people and instilled himself as Spira’s one true god.
Tidus’s goal throughout the entire game is to break the cycle of sacrifice, even though doing so means his own demise as he is a product of the dream Zanarkand. There’s more to the plot involving Tidus’s father being the former sacrifice for Sin and how Auron, Tidus’s mentor is Sin’s former best friend, now trying to kill him and aid Tidus in breaking the cycle.
Now, that’s about all I need to say about the plot. There’s a lot more but I’m trying to simplify things.
For the longest time the plot of Final Fantasy X puzzled me. There seemed to be some significance in having the theme being breaking the cycle of constantly fighting a giant monstrous enemy with characters that are just illusions.I was told the plot of the game long before I ever saw in-game footage of it. As it was I was looking at the game as a whole all this time rather then a series of sequential events.
Then, just after watching Spoony’s review, it hit me.
Final Fantasy X might actually be a metaphor about ending the entire Final Fantasy series.
Think about it. The whole point of the game is to stop a constant cycle where a giant evil threatens the world. The entire franchise is one great evil after another threatening all life. Then a new game comes out with a brand new evil!
Look at Tidus! One of his most infamous lines (aside from the laugh) is about how this is “His story,” and how he plans to change it. He is actually an NPC taking over the plot of the game. In any other game, a character like Tidus would be a quest point or an incidental character and nothing more. Auron contributes to the theory also, he’s a metaphor for the saved game that one keeps after the beat the game. A shadow of his former self, unable to move forward and is simply a ghost of the past.
Lastly there’s Yu Yevon himself, the creator. It isn’t hard to imagine him as a metaphor for the lead developer of the Final Fantasy series. An omniscient figure who has created a mighty work that he continually repeats. In the end though he is only a powerless small black husk, and doesn’t really have any power at all. That’s certainly how the boss battle plays out as fighting him is considered by most to be excessively easy.
The problem is Final Fantasy X is a lot like the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Geroges Seurat. If you look close at the work, you don’t see anything worthwhile, you have to back away from it to see what it really is.
That’s right, I used John Hughes’s interpretation of a Georges Seurat painting in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to explain a Final Fantasy game. Eat that internet searches.
Unfortunately, while playing Final Fantasy X it doesn’t really reflect the metaphor it represents as a whole. In fact, not a lot of people even know what to make of it especially during the points in the game where the narrative fails.
So, am I right? What do you think? Does my theorem have merit? Let me know and maybe we can get a good discussion going about this.
So too does this work exist.