The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 102: Episode XCII: Forget My Existence

Well... That happened. Let's not discuss the implications of Tidus being some manner of blitzball player shaped aeon and just move on with our lives. At least until we reach Zanarkand.

We never return to this spooky area of Mt. Gagazet cemented in walls of corpses fayth. Do you think the Ronso know knew about the Zanarkand citizen eternal mosh-pit on the side of their mountain? Or did they all just hang out at the foot of the mountain all their lives and never really give the place a once over.

We just had a climactic battle with Seymour. We also had a big plot dump of... questionable significance at this juncture. Surely Zanarkand is right around the corner?

Music: Silence Before the Storm

Yeah... about that. There's actually another forty-five minute dungeon that is such busy work filler that I straight up forgot it existed until this replay. Wouldn't want things to be decently paced, now would we? Seymour loves his battles to be preceded or followed by a half hour block of the good ol' Guado Fuckall, as they call it back home.

Welcome to... just some nondescript cave running through the middle of Mt. Gagazet. Let's go over the new baddies since yes, this place has new enemy lists. It's literally just as long to transverse as the Gagazet climb. Robots are still occasionally hanging out. As are that mob of a bot, a dog, and a dragon that seem to have a remarkably high Ambush rate and have nearly wiped me twice this climb. The purple flammable mountain cousin of the Wendigo/Ogre are still in play as well.

Joining them are Mandragora, the final model of the the Ochu mid-boss made common enemy. This one can use Quake, I guess... That's neat. Not particularly wise when dwelling in a cavern. But hey, at least Mandragora went out and saw the world unlike his bum brother Lord Ochu.

New to the monster mash is the Behemoth, a Final Fantasy enemy that has been hanging around since Final Fantasy II and has appeared in nearly every Final Fantasy since then. Even bleh... Dirge of Cerberus. Behemoth has a rather healthy 23,000 HP. The big purple bruiser hits like a truck for a round 1500-2000 damage. It can also use Thundra – another spell that seems ill-advised utilized in a cave. But what do I know?

Behemoth's main worry is Heave, an attack which has the beast utilize its horns to flip an unsuspecting party member flinging into the air and dropping to earth for a good 3,000+ HP of damage. Nevermind we're in a cave with a ceiling of about 20 feet at max. Unsuspected bounce pad launches can lead to all kinds of nasty injuries.

Beyond that, Behemoth doesn't have much in the way of defenses. Magic ruins him. Physicals do the trick. Not too bad of an enemy.

Lastly, we have this... thing. The Dark Flan. The developers have finally run out of standard element colors and said “fuck it, let's just increase the model size!” Dark Flan comes with 12,800 HP, resistance to all elements and physical attacks until Auron gets off his butt and breaks them.

Beyond that, Dark Flan has access to all the nasty sort of non-elemental (as far as Final Fantasy X is concerned) attacks like Flare, Demi, and Bio. Most annoyingly, the swimming pool sized bucket of jelly has Osmose. Which is just a big fat “fuck you” attack that drains the entirety of someone's MP pool. Rude.

On the plus side, Dark Flan forgot to give itself immunity to Silence. So using an item or weapon that inflicts that will make it completely unable to attack. Slick, Big Bro Flan. Slick.

That's a wrap on new enemy mobs. Now about this dungeon. The path through this one is a bit less straightforward than the last few enemy filled grinds.

Past the first save point is a bottomless pit. Someone scribbled a note just stating “Try jumping”. Tidus is a blitzball player, not a hoopsman. This just won't do. We'd best find another way past this obstacle.

Heading down the only available path to the left leads us to a body of water at the cavern's bottom where...

"Looks like we got a job to do, ya?"
”You guys seriously need to learn how to swim.”
“Don't give me that look, Kimahri. I saw the blitzball teams back in Luca and there's an entire team of Ronso. The cats hating water excuse ain't flying, bud.”
“...Kimahri in mourning for non-blitzballing Ronso.”

"If anything should happen in the water, we're relying on you three. If it gets dangerous, pull out quick."
“Heh... Nothing.”

"Be careful, okay?"

So show of hands, who was expecting the underwater battle mechanic to rear its underdeveloped head one final time before we reached the end game? Oh well... Here were are. The game isn't even making any excuses as to why only Wakka, Rikku, and Tidus are on water duty. Look, they only made battle animations for those three. Deal with it.

And what would be an underwater segment without its own set of random battle mobs.

Spoilers: It's the exact same mobs as Via Purifico, as they never bothered to make additional aquatic enemies. The overgrown calamari has been replaced by a re-skinned, poisonous version of the piranha from way back in Besaid Island. At least you all just get a brief summary of underwater dregs. I get 20 random battles fighting the above enemies during the course of this dungeon. Good times.

Thankfully, during the Wakka/Rikku/Tidus segments of this dungeon they disabled random battles on dry land. So no risk of having to take on a Dark Flan or Behemoth with this less than optimal team. So why are we on land, you ask?

Why for a mini-game of course! What else did you think? The powers that be of Mt. Gagazet demand Wakka use his blitzball to accurately hit a target in the middle of a rotating series of... something. Fantasy curtains? You got me.

There are two rotating thingamabobs surrounding a stationary circle. The player needs to hit X at the correct time to pass the barriers and hit the glowing gem in the center. There is no penalty for failing and you've got infinite tries.

There's like a second and a half delay between hitting X and Wakka's ball reaching the target. So that's fun. Sure would be a shame to come this far and only to be turned back because none of the summoner's parties had a decent throwing arm. Feels like something Yevon ought to have mentioned as being part of the pilgrimage.

Welp. The gem target changed color and there was a jingle to go along with it. So... something happened. Maybe. A box appeared with a Lv. 1 Keysphere. Hopefully more occurred than that...

Nothing left here but to take another swim, fight five or six battles along the way, and return to the party. No words of encouragement or relief at a safe return from the rest of the party. The game just automatically flags the non-swimmers as part of the party once more as soon as Tidus touches land. Good stuff, guys.

So having Wakka fling a blitzball at a target has transmogrified the pit by the save point into a staircase. Sure, Gagazet. Why not?

Further into the cavern, we soon come to a place where the map says there should be a path heading northwest. But no such path exists. What is present is yet another body of water to wade through (I skipped past one with a couple of forgettable items on the way here.)

This time around there is no dry land on the far end of the flooded passage. But that doesn't mean there isn't a second trial of Gagazet...

Mt. Gagazet's second trial demands... you have brought three people who can swim. Wait... so Auron would have had to have done this during Braska's pilgrimage. And for that matter, Braska could swim with a get-up nearly as ridiculously impractical as Lulu's. Those two have just been fucking lazy non-swimmers this entire time!

So this isn't a mini-game. Or even a puzzle beyond the most basic definition in being multiple choices with a fail state (with no consequences.) There are three panels. One character must select and swim to each panel. The panels are red, green, and blue. We've got to match the character with the same color as their Sphere Grid color designations.

So Rikku, you're green like your hotpants. Float your underaged ass on over there.

Tidus, you're blue like... Uhh... I guess your eyes are blue. Good enough.

The third one, Wakka, will automatically be selected. I guess red corresponds with his goofy hair cut. Though it's more carroty orange than straight red. Close enough...

And once more... something happened! Really communicating progress well here, Final Fantasy X.

Swimming back to land reveals a rock formation has materialized back earlier in the map. Thank goodness for mini-maps becoming a norm around this point in video games.

And that's a wrap for this awful little dungeon. That might have seemed quick. It lasted me about forty minutes while fighting every random battle that came my way. Zanarkand better be exceptionally rad to make up for this slog.

"They'll be upon us soon. She has sent fiends to test our summoner's strength."
"Who is 'she'?"
"Lady Yunalesca?"
"In Zanarkand, she awaits the arrival of the strongest."

"She... is still alive?"
"As much as Mika and Seymour."
"I see."
”We... aren't going to have to fight her too. Perhaps multiple times... Right?”
“...About as much of an answer as I was expecting.”

"Lost your nerve?"
"No. Nothing frightens me now."
"Braska would be proud."

You heard her. Let's mosey team synchronized fist pumps.

The party exits Mt. Gagazet caverns...

*snicker* “Keep it in your pants, Auron.”

Music: Enemy Attack

Welcome to the final challenge of Mt. Gagazet: The Sanctuary Keeper aka a goddamn dragon. Compared to Seymour Flux and a boss that certainly won't be the thousand year old unsent namesake of Yuna hanging out at the end of the journey is yet to come, this guy is a total pushover. It only has 40,000 HP to its name and, once Armor Break is performed by Auron, all our heavy hitters can do around 4,000-5,000 HP of damage a turn.

Our first order of business should be to have Tidus haste everyone as usual. Then have Yuna cast Reflect on the Sanctuary Keeper. There's a very good reason for doing that.

Sanctuary Keeper loves to cast protective spells like Shell and Protect on itself regularly. With Reflect cast, it'll buff our party for us. That's sweet. Most importantly, Sanctuary Keeper has Curaga which will restore 9,999 HP to itself if Reflect isn't cast. I dunno about you folks, but nothing annoys me more than a boss that heals itself for four digits of health at will. Gotta nip that business in the bud.

Offensive wise, this guardian dragon can swipe at our party for ~1000 HP of damage. But it has bum accuracy, so that isn't much of a threat.

Far more troublesome is its main attack, Photon Wings. This laser light show hits the entire party for 1,000+ damage. But more pressingly it will randomly inflict Darkness, Poison, Confuse, Sleep or Curse (disables Overdrives.) Curse is near guaranteed to hit unless for whatever reason an armor is equipped to prevent it. The rest are random. Tidus managed to become a confused cursed sleepy blinded man twice during the battle for me. Sounds like just a standard rough night of drinking to me but eh.

Mana Breath is another of the Sanctuary Guardian's unique attacks. It's just a dragon laser beam that hits a single character for 2000-3000 damage. Weak sauce. Mikhail could ruin this second rate dragon with ease.

Lastly... the dragon has just run dry on ideas and will swipe the entire party for a few hundred damage. Anyone successfully hit gets their turn knocked back once on the line-up. You'd think a rain of laser beams raining from the heavens would delay a counter-attack longer than getting rammed by a tail. But here we are...

Finally, unlike Seymour Flux, Sanctuary Keeper can wise up to the party reflecting its heals away from itself. It doesn't have a Dispel spell to counter our sabotage. But when low on HP will begin tossing Reflects on our party. If that party member is still Reflected by its next turn, it'll bounce a Curaga off itself for a 9,999 heal. But it is clever enough to know that party member has dispelled reflect or left the field. So no casting a full cure on a party member intentionally like a dingus.

Anyway, it's just mostly a matter of having Auron or Tidus/Wakka slamming the shit out of the mountaintop dragon while Yuna manages status effects and this boss will be toast in no time. You may now file this boss in the pile of utterly forgettable bosses.

Music ends...

"Hey! Can't we rest a little?"
"No need. We reach the summit soon."
"I know, that's why I want to stop for a bit.”
”Also there was the part where we just fought a dragon and I didn't see you doing a lot of work swimming through those flooded caves, mister. Besides...”

“Soon means that... there's not much time left."
*stands up and walks off* "Fiiiiine! I'll think on the way."

C'mon Rikku. You can't get snippy with the person that is going off to die about how you cannot think of a way to prevent their death. That's just being a jerk.

Music: Wandering Flame

"We are almost there, aren't we?"
*shrugs and shakes head* "We've come a long way."
”This like a whole area further than I ever got.”

"You remind me of myself. Before, the closer I came to Zanarkand, the more I wondered... when we arrive, Braska will call the Final Aeon... He will fight Sin, then die. I thought my mind was made up long before. But when I stood here, my resolve wavered."
”Did you guys have to fight a dragon?”
“It has been some time. I honestly cannot remember.”
“How do you forget about fighting a dragon?!”
“Do you recall battling the Defender-X?”
“The what now...?”
“No? Perhaps Spherimorph rings a bell?”
“What of the Moogle Eater?”
“I think I remember that one. On the road with the thing...”
“...I rest my case.”

"Huh, never would've figured. Legendary guardians choke sometimes, too, ya?"

“A boy about your age, actually. I wanted to change the world, too. But I changed nothing.”
“That is my story."

And with that, Auron dramatically walks off in slow motion to leave Tidus pondering his words. Tune in next time for the final update before we catch up with present day! We're almost done listening to Tidus' eternal goddamn story!

Video: Episode 92 Highlight Reel

Behemoth Concept Art

Sanctuary Keeper Concept Art