The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 111: Episode CI: Our Bad Parenting

The people have spoken. It was a long and grueling tight race (seriously there was closing in on 800 votes and a winner only came ahead after the mid-700s) between contestants Unit-01, Agnes, and MOM?! But the mother of principal Seymour Guado is officially re-titled Agnes.

With that said, there is absolutely nothing more to do here at the moment. So let's blow Baaj Temple and head back to the airship to chart a new course for dubious adventure.

Our next destination for the end game quagmire shall be Lake Macalania.

“Saaaay! That wasn't the runner-up on the End Game order vote,” you may be thinking if you are some sort of crazy person. Yeah, you can just go ahead and forget about that vote for a while. I was just gauging where people's interests lie. Now that I've collected all the necessary battle data, the BOWs are being released upon your homes as we speak and I'm off to collect my check from the Neo-Umbrella corporation.

New Music: Travel Agency (Piano Version)

So Lake Macalania. Hey, this is almost exactly where the post-hiatus updates began. All the Rin Travel Agencies across Spira are now filled with the younger women and children Al Bhed refugees from Home. I guess these Al Bhed drew the short straw in being deposited in a frozen lake bed.

Good thing the whole whole Home massacre happened in the middle of Wakka's racism breaking character arc. If we'd arrived at these places back during the pilgrimage and they were full of non-English speaking Al Bhed, I somehow think his brief racism arc would have taken a far nastier turn.

The conditions at Lake Macalania currently look slightly better than the ones outside my house at the moment. At least there's no lousy wood elves tanking the real estate property value. Wakka may have gotten over his Al Bhed racism. But me and elves? That beef is never gonna be kosher.

For this trip we are going to head back to Macalania Forest. Not for the mini-game present here. I don't have that in me at the moment. There is another, far dopier side quest we need to complete here first.

But first... we did just pick up an extremely powerful new aeon and went to all the trouble of naming it...

It'd be a shame not to take it out for a test drive. Sure, maybe the poor fauna, of an area we are six chapters ahead of at this point, is a bit overkill. But eh. The LP did stall out here for nearly three years. Clearly, they all deserve what's coming to them.

“I will share your pain with you.”

Yuna's tastes are... very singular. Tidus is in for more than he bargained for once this whole Sin thing blows over.

We've pretty much already had a taste of most everything Agnes had of note, back when we fought her under her stage name of Anima in... well, Macalania still. But we'll go over just how beefy she is in end game Yuna's hands.

Granted, this is against enemies Lulu could probably take down with physical attacks now. But, after I finished up Yuna's corner of the Sphere Grid, I sent her over to Auron for some strength training for a while. So she's gotten nice and swole in the process. As have her aeons as a result. So, Agnes' normal attack is just gonna go ahead and hit the secondary damage cap on these mid-game peons. No big deal.

Pain is a clearly just a younger clone of Lulu with the goth aesthetics replaced with punk to appeal to the teenage demog—wait... That's Paine with an 'e'. Shit. Nevermind. Entirely different thing! No I'm not LPing that game ever, you can stop asking. You're lucky I'm back for this one.

Pain we saw back in the boss battle against Anima. And technically it was what she was using in her introduction FMV eons ago back during the Blitzball tourney. It hits all enemies on the field for a rather sizable amount of damage. Or it might just inflict instant death, like above. It's technically a non-elemental magic attack. But it ignores any kind of enemy defenses. Shit hurts is what I'm getting at. The title doesn't lie.

If for some reason you are feeling sassy, Agnes comes equipped with Wakka's entire status effect skill-set. Zombie Attack is down there below. They couldn't all fit. By the way, these all hit for damage still. So if you want to do 99,999 damage AND gauge out someone's eyes. By all means!

Black Magic as well. Agnes has the works all the way up to Bio and Death. No idea why you would use an actual Death spell when there is a 0 MP physical attack, full enemy roster hitting Death spell in Pain. But hey. You do what you gotta do.

And of course, we couldn't go anywhere without discussing Agnes' Overdrive: Oblivion.

Same deal as back in the Seymour boss battle. Now that Yuna is armed with Oblivion, there is almost 100% chance it will inflict 99,999 damage to even the heartiest of foes.

And if you weren't aware, this is the weaksauce version of the attack. It's actually bugged in the original Japanese and NA release. You know the part of the overdrive where the Freudian nightmare at the bottom half of Agnes is going all Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star to the enemy? Yeah. All those punches were supposed to hit. For 99,999 damage. Sixteen times. For a grand total of max 1,599,984 HP of damage against a single target. Making it the strongest single attack in the entire game.

So Anima. Pretty pretty good. Trogdor, you had a good run my man. But you are stuffed in the closet, to be sold at a yard sale years from now once Yuna goes off to college.

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Macalania Woods was a fairly lengthy trek the first time through. It was pretty and all, but a shortcut has opened up between our first and last visit. It's just here now by the save point leading out to Lake Macalania.

A fantastical sky bridge has formed over the forest proper. What? Huh? Why? How come? I'm just going to go ahead and assume it was created as a direct result of Tidus and Yuna entering the bone zone in that pond. I have nothing to back this up. But this path didn't exist prior to that point. Just saying...

Regardless of its origin, this sky-bridge creates an enemy encounter free shortcut from the beginning to the end of Macalania Woods. So that's nice. I guess it's a bit more elegant a backtracking solution than just plopping teleportation pads next to save points. If slightly less convenient.

So while we're up here, the path splits off toward the north. And there is this woman just hanging out here telling us about how easy it is to get to Macalania Temple now. That's it. That's all she has to say. Our actual reason for coming here today is just past this idiot woman. But no. She's not fucking moving! She's got to stand here and tell all passersby how it's great someone porked in the mystical fairy bridge pond, so they can go pray to their local death cult chapter.

That's wonderful news lady! I hope Sin steps on you and whatever dirt shoveling hovel of a village you hail from! By the way your religion is a lie and run by an undead ghost pope. The goofball standing in front of you helped murder one of its founders. Summoner's Pilgrimage that gives you hope? Total bullshit! Howabout that, huh? Huh...? That going to make you scoot over?


No. It's easier to get to Macalania Temple now that this road's open again is still all you got?

Goddammit. Fine! We'll go do the stupid sidequest! Jesus.

Time for an obtuse little puzzle. Or more, a very easy side quest that has no reason to exist other than to waste our times with busy work. As we follow Rainbow Road back to the entrance of Macalania, we find this mother and ill-kept son. Lady, button up your boy's beer gut tunic there. I'm starting to feel like Spira is just utterly devoid of anything resembling good parenting.

Seymour's Mom was terrible, as we just saw. Jecht being a shit dad is like half the crux of this journey and Tidus' unnamed mom didn't seem much better. Braska had a mid-life crisis and went off to die at the hands of Sin. Everyone else has parents that are DEEEEEAAAAAD or Cid. And this boy's mother cannot help but stare off into the distance, as her son looks like he dressed himself after a weekend bender.

Ugh. What's the deal lady?

So this is the side quest. She goes on to say she hopes nothing bad happened. Her son with the unbuttoned shirt says the same. They're just absentmindedly waiting here for the man of the family to show up. Since they are nameless NPCs with zero initiative, it will, of course, fall on Tidus to find the dipshit husband of this space cadet woman.

Thankfully, he's just down the road here, back at the party's old post-Bevelle escape campsite.

No, you're supposed to meet them at the literal entrance to the woods! Not a side alcove across from the boning spring. How do you mix this up? I know you didn't come from the Calm Lands, as there is absolutely nothing out there. And Bevelle is in lock down still. So you had to have entered the woods, wandered down no less than two turns. And gone yes. This is it! The agreed upon meeting spot with the pair of glaring tree elves. Naturally.

Anyway, the nitwit runs off to find his family at this point. With him gone, one of the two weird Guado hanging out here will exposition the hell out of Tidus if prompted to do so. The one above recognizes Tidus as one of the Besaid Aurochs and tells us to talk to his grandma.

“We are responsible for the fiends that attacked the stadium after the game. We're sorry for the disturbance and for disrupting such a wonderful game. Please accept our apologies."
”Oh... Cool. Well, I mean not cool. But good to know. That was like a million years ago. Don't wor—“
"It was Maester Seymour's plan to release the fiends into Luca Stadium. He thought he could win the trust of the people by defeating the fiends with his aeon. I heard that his plan to marry the high summoner's daughter was solely to gain the support of the people of Yevon. There seem to have been other reasons as well, but now, we will never know."
”Yeah. I figured that out. The high summoner's daughter is like right around the corner. She's even got that crazy aeon thing now. I could go ge—“
"By obeying Maester Seymour, we Guado have committed an inexcusable crime. It's far too late to try shifting the blame to Maester Seymour. Within time, the Guado will be as despised as the Al Bhed."
”Yeah... About the Al Bhed, you might wanna wa—“
"That child's brother was Maester Seymour's subordinate. He died while invading the Al Bhed hideout, searching for the lost summoners. He was never sent... I fear he now wanders as a fiend."
*rubs neck* ”Yeah. Heard about that whole thing... That was a bad scene. Umm... I gotta g—“
"The power of the Guado has greatly deteriorated. They merely await the inevitable, now. That is why I brought that child and moved away from Guadosalam. Perhaps we will find peace in some far away land."
”So you didn't hear it from me, but the Calm Lands is around the corner and Gagazet is past that. Dunno if word has gotten this far yet but... Have you heard of the Ronso guys? You should... maybe avoid any Ronso you see for a good while. Just... for your health, ya know?”
"I still haven't told that child the truth about the Guado. Perhaps when he grows older and can accept the reality of the situation... only then will I reveal the truth about everything to him."
”Yeah that might get out. And that dude looks like 30...”
"I'm tired now after talking so long. I'm not as young as I used to be."
”And I feel like I've aged a decade. Good luck with the Guado thing. That sounded kinda racist, but I'm gonna go before you start talking again. Ciao!”

Phew... With that out of the way, now we can return to that lady from earlier. Hopefully her husband hasn't wandered into the Thunder Plains somehow. He's on his own if that's the case.

A quick jog later...

"But my son went off into the woods before my husband came. I... I don't know what to do."
”Are... are you being serious right now?”
“Oh you know... I just found my husband and I don't want him to wander off.”

Jesus H. CHRIST, lady! What the fuck?! This is woods full of literal monsters. The vengeful souls of the dead twisted into grotesque creatures that live only to kill the living. There is a living crystal groundhog that is four feet tall! A creature the size of a bear with scissors for hands! Lizards the size of a large dog. FOOT SIZED WASPS! A flying set of geometrical shapes that just drowns people with its mind. That's all it does! That's its purpose. Wandering human drowning. It just does that! Those are all in these woods with your child!


We cannot just call Spiran Child Protect Services on these fuckwit duo of parents. And thankfully, their child has not wandered far. Remember that asshole from earlier blocking the northern sky bridge path? Don't know where. Don't care. I hope she tripped and fell to her death. Fiends could be below tearing her broken necked corpse to shreds for lunch. Do fiends even eat...? Doesn't matter!

Point is, this idiot wandering child, son of negligent idiot parents, is hanging out at the end of this path. He has taken particular interest in this massive... I'm not even sure what I'm looking at. A flower pod? Hey kid, stay away from strange giant flowers. I've seen this go REAL bad for this one temperamental chick over in Notspain.

Regardless, Tidus decides this is a good place to use the Cloudy Mirror. Remember, the Cloudy Mirror, right? No? Of course not. It was the prize for winning the Chocobo Race maze at the bottom of Remiem Temple.

Tidus decides to hold this up in a way that suggests he's going to summon Spira Captain Planet or the like aaaaaand...

In an eye-searing flash of magenta, the Cloudy Mirror transforms into the Celestial Mirror! Uhh... Neat...?

Oh yeah, and the parents of the year finally show up to collect their Heavy Rain Jason caliber winner of a son. I guess the magenta flash signaled either their little boy had been located or there was something new to go gawk slack-jawed at for a while. Win-win for them either way. The family bows but offers no reward for Tidus' charitable behavior. Ingrates.

Anyway, this was all a side quest just to obtain this mirror. Which we need to unlock all the ultimate weapons. Yep. This whole asinine family drama of absentminded NPCs was a completely mandatory step to most of the remaining end game bullshit.

And boy, oh boy... does it get bullshit...

Video: Agnes Demo Reel
(Recommended Viewing)

Upper Macalania Concept Art