The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 5: Episode IV: Demolish My Neighborhood

Music: Hurry!!

The pair continue their trek across the highway. Tidus has a brief moment where he tries to stop Auron from running toward the ever growing onslaught of Sin's sentient dandruff. But Auron doesn't even bother to acknowledge his protest and rushes towards the next set of monsters in need of being cut down.

"Some can't wait to die!"

Time for a mid-boss. This giant glowing tentacled hunk of ugly embedded in the road is called Sinspawn Ammes. The monstrosity only has a single attack.

Spamming the Demi magic spell. Demi is a magical attack that removes 25% of the recipient of the spell's HP. The spell rounds down in its damage calculations. So it's impossible to be killed by Demi exclusively. At most, Auron and Tidus' HP can be reduced to 3, making this battle impossible to lose.

But that's okay, cuz this is a tutorial battle meant to teach us about Overdrives. If you've played earlier Final Fantasy games, Overdrives are basically FFX speak for Limit Breaks. If not, the short summary is Overdrives are special super attacks unique to each character. Final Fantasy X has quite a few ways to fill they Overdrive meter which can be customized eventually. But for now, it defaults to damage taken by enemies.

In Final Fantasy X, Overdrives can (and often should) be stored for a rainy day. Once the meter is full, they can be accessed at any time by pressing left on the D-pad. As mentioned, each character's set of Overdrive skills are unique. Auron's Overdrives are called Bushido and right now he has the skill Dragon Fang under that banner. So let's give that a whirl.

Each Overdrive will automatically be performed once selected. However, every character also has a special method of buffing the strength of their Overdrive attack. Auron's Bushido skills can be augmented by quickly entering a button combo before a five second timer ticks down.

Overdrives will also hit different enemies. Dragon Fang, in which Auron stabs the shit out of the ground so hard it explodes, will hit every single enemy on the field for a healthy bit of damage. For this battle, that will eliminate all the little Sinscale critters running around, leaving just the big boy to uselessly cast Demi for the rest of the fight.

Tidus might have only became a swordsman about two minutes ago, but his Overdrive ability is Swordplay with its first skill being a single enemy targeting Spiral Cut attack.

For Tidus' Overdrive, we are given a bar with a shaded area in the center and a cursor which bounces back and forth across the bottom of the bar. To get the full powered strike, the player must hit X while the cursor is in the shaded area within a three second time limit.

Successfully executing the attack causes Tidus to flip around like an extra from one of the Prequel Star Wars battle scenes and strike a single adversary for a decent chunk of damage.

And that's basically it for this battle. The rest of the fight is just mashing X to attack while the Sinspawn desperately tries to reduce the party's HP for dramatically diminished returns.

Following its defeat, Sinspawn Ammes will explode then dissolve into a shower of colorful wispy lights. In fact, all the Sin spat out creatures have died like this so far. There may be storyline related reasons as to why everything turns into colorful fairy dust upon death. So keep that in mind for later.

After the battle, Auron continues his power walk northward down the highway, once more leaving Tidus far behind in the dust. Tidus has a really abysmally slow gallop around the field. You'd think a professional athlete would have a bit more speed in his step. But I suppose you don't see many Olympic swimmers winning the 100 yard dash either...

Just past the shriveled husk of the slain Sinspawn we have our first "Traveler's Save Sphere Level 1." These glowing spheres, as the name may suggest, let us save the game. But more importantly, they FULLY restore HP and MP for free! An unlimited amount of times. You don't even need to save. Just clicking on the thing is enough to get a free topping off of energy. So whenever grinding a few levels, expect to be running laps around these things quite a bit.

Tidus continues to lag behind Auron...

So guess who has severe daddy issues as a central character trait? I'll give you a hint: It's not Auron.


Auron runs off ahead again...

I think this is past the point most people would realize that perhaps Auron was up to some shit it would best not to be mixed up in. But Tidus, being just a few ticks above Nowe on the JRPG protagonist intelligence scale, just shrugs it off and follows along anyway.

Meanwhile, Sin seems to be taking issue with uppity people murdering its kids and evacuating in the wrong direction and launches a few more Sinscales in the party's path.

And by "few more" I mean "a few hundred". This could be bad.

So let's talk about battles and how they work. Final Fantasy X's uses a "Conditional Turn-Based Battle". Which is sort of an awkward mouthful, but the Japanese version kind of committed to the CTB acronym and they had the salvage the original Engrishy "Count Time Battle" designation somehow.

The CTB system is a turn based affair. But instead of everyone politely waiting in line for their number to come up over the PA system, the player (and enemies) can actively effect their next turn in battle. See the little list of icons on the right hand side of screen? That's the order in which everyone gets to attack. So right now it's Tidus' turn, then five monsters, followed by Auron, then that lardass slowpoke Monster B.

This whole system adds a nice bit of strategy to everything and allows planning ahead of time to combat troubles ahead.

For instance, this Sinscale is charging up a special attack, Spines, which inflicts about 75-100 HP of damage over the default Sinscale biting attack which deals >25 HP a piece.

Sinscale C blew his turn readying his attack and will use it the next time its turn pops up. Looking at the list, we can see that Auron could safely attack Sinspawn B or E, which are up next, and save the party from taking a hit leaving Tidus available to take out the one with the flickering wings before it fires off its special attack. That's about as much strategy as we're allotted this early on. But it opens up quite a bit once some more abilities and buffs are underneath our belts in the future.

For now, we're still basically in glorified cutscenes. Slaying any of the either Sinscales currently surrounding our heroes will just result in one of its brethren skittering around in the background to immediately taking its place. So the only course of action is just getting some exercise killing cannon fodder until Auron decides he's had enough of this bullshit.


"But... we've just got swords. How is whacking a car gonna help anything?"
"I said trust me."

Welp, Auron seems to know what he's doing. Our objective now is shifted to blowing the next few rounds hacking away at the coupling to what is apparent a Fantasy Tanker.

Like in any good JRPG, swords ultimately beats technology and the tanker goes plummeting into the abyss below the highway. So uh... Auron, what was the point of tha--


So Auron's solution to a giant bug infestation is to drop a goddamn skyscrapper on the lot of them. Auron takes his pest extermination VERY seriously. I heard once he saw a cockroach skitter across his apartment's kitchen. So he turned on the gas on his stove and tossed a box of lit matches in the window from outside. Razed the entire apartment complex to the ground. But damned if there wasn't a single cockroach left in sight.

"Where...? Across the falling building?!"



"I'm supposed to be getting LAID right now!!"

Action Tidus manages to just barely grab onto the edge of the newly demolished highway. Haven't we been in this very same position recently? I don't think that went well...

Music: This is Your Story


"Auron! WHAT THE HELL!? Did that explosion blow out your hearing? Ledge. Falling! HELP!"

The wreckage of Zanarkand begins flowing towards the err...hole... newly formed underneath Sin. I hope that's some sort of Independence Day death ray and not the prelude to a street block sized monster shit...

"Yeah. PRETTY sure I could use some help! When did you turn into such a jerk?!"

Auron finally decides to help Tidus out by yanking the guy up by the scruff of his ridiculous outfit.


Overdrive Demo

Episode 4 Highlight Reel
(Recommended Viewing)

Sinspawn Ammes Concept Art

Tanker Concept Art