The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 128: Episode CXVIII: Our Final Stretch of Road

Music: Twilight

Welcome back to the end of our long road. No, I didn't skip past anything between updates. After Seymour's Sending, we are abruptly dumped here: The City of Dying Dreams. Indeed, were we to double back and use that save point before, the game skips right past the Garden of Pain. It is almost as though that area and the last Seymour fight was added in quite late when they got cold feet about not having a Capital V Villain as a roadblock before the reluctant tragic adversary of Jecht and unknown entity of Yu Yevon.

The City of Dying Dreams is a big, difficult to navigate maze of a dungeon. Which is not at all helped by the auto-filling mini-map and twisting, weird camera that cannot decide if it is going to follow behind Tidus, have some Resident Evil style cinematic cameras, or cut between shots mid-corridor for no reason.

The area itself is lousy with hidden paths only accessible by humping on certain walls like it's a low rent Doom .wad or clicking on every weird glowing panel in hopes it will become an elevator or open a hidden pathway.

Most of these side trails lead to treasure chests containing... god knows what. Final Fantasy X's final stretch has awful design in just barfing non-stop custom weapons and equipment like this. The fuck is a “Four-on-One”, FFX? Is it armor? A weapon? Some weird item? I have no way of knowing without sifting through everyone's inventory one at a time. And in the end game, every other enemy constantly drops vendor trash weapons and armor. I've hit the inventory cap no less than three times, selling everything but the essentials and mildly useful each time. It's a bloody mess.

The damn thing is a weapon for Wakka, if you were wondering.

Early on in the maze, there is a glyph just thirsty for some fiend blood. It is actually a series of locked gates demanding Tidus and the gang slay an assortment of fiends before it will open the path. Ten fiends, another ten fiends, and fifteen more after that, to be specific. There is a Lv. 4 Key Sphere waiting at the end. A nice item. But, ya know. I could already one hit KO every enemy left from here to the finish line if I wanted. I've had enough grinding in Final Fantasy X.

The enemy pool of the City of Dying Dreams is mostly the same as the Sea of Sorrow. A few more critters have joined in the fun from the Omega Ruins. Most notably, that awful Demonolith with all the status effect counter-attacks with overly long animations.

The only unique and indeed final unseen enemy type of Inside Sin is this big boy, the Barbatos. All this grotesque Ninja Turtles reject does is slam the party for physical attacks. Quite literally. It has two variations of body slams that hit everyone for decent damage. The only particularly noteworthy thing about this deformed turtle jerk is the fact he has the highest HP of any random battle encounter fiend in the game at 95,000.

Yep. This goofy looking common creature has more HP than Seymour Guado's final form. Just kick a lame villain while he's down, why don't you?

There are a couple paths through the labyrinth of the City of Dying Dreams. But, since I'm not particularly into the idea of scouring through samey looking corridors for under-powered loot, let's just skip on to the next area.

Up ahead we come upon the Tower of the Dead which holds the final Save Sphere of Final Fantasy X. If you are playing yourself and planning to finish Final Fantasy X, don't make any plans for a bit. This may be the final save point, but there's still a good feature length movie run time left of the game.

In any case, I cannot say I am really understanding this whole Tower of the Dead business. Just looks like some more weird spliced together cubes and sh—

Oh... Nevermind. Spoke too soon. I think we found the Tower of the Dead.

Activating the glowing purple glyph outside the Tower of the Dead is, in fact, the Point of No Return in Final Fantasy X. Buckle up. No turning back from here to the closing credits.

But we're not allowed to just march straight up to the final boss. First, there is one last utterly nonsensical and designed like a dumpster fire gameplay challenge to overcome first. Welcome to The Nucleus. We have seen this place before. Luzzu and assorted dusted Crusaders from Operation Mi'ihen were wandering here after that whole disaster, when Tidus thought it was a good idea to swim after Sin. Ghost Kid told us to buzz off and get back to reality. And boy, we ought to have listened to him the first time...

So here is the Nucleus' deal. We're in a large open circular arena. The camera is locked close in to Tidus. It never moves the distance pictured above. However, it is slowly panning clockwise non-stop. Like have you ever played one of the Elder Scrolls games and left your character idle? You know how it goes to third person view and rotates around your character? Imagine that, but you have to play the game with the camera moving like that the entire time. Good stuff, huh?

All the while, there are completely random icicles erupting from the ground. 100% random. There are no rhyme or reason as to where they'll explode from and there's about a second warning of the ground glowing before the next one appears. If Tidus should be standing anywhere near (their hitboxes are, of course, wonky given the fucked camera) he acts like he's been struck by lightning in the Thunder Plains and is thrust into a battle.

Maybe it's just confirmation bias, but I found the few basically unavoidable spikes I was hit with (I had to do this segment twice because I screwed up the recording of upcoming junk. Good stuff) were against Demonlith. But Wraiths, Behemoth Kings, Barbatos, Land Worms, and ambushing Great Marlboros are also rarely in play.

Back to the rotating hellscape. While fighting a fruitless battle against the camera and evading randomly generated ice spikes erupting up Tidus' anus, we have to collect glowing eggs of light that also randomly appear on the field... for a limited time. Again, their spawning is completely random and doesn't give the first damn if the camera has decided to face their direction or if Tidus is going to have to Crash Bandicoot this shit. They also only stick around for 10-15 seconds before de-spawning and appearing another random point on the grid.

Each of the orbs will cough up one of a randomized (but set pool) item. There TEN of these damn tokens we've got to collect. Notice the ugly Nickelodeon orange digit that has appeared in the bottom left of the screen. Gotta fill that bad boy up to ten.

The items the Nucleus decides are pivotal parts of the party's inventory are:

Finally, once all ten pieces of shit we are not even going to take notice of are collected, Tidus is whisked away into the final area!

WHY DID ANY OF THAT PART OF THE GAME EXIST?! That was just five minutes of pure awful bullshit! Fighting RNG and an awful, uncontrollable camera. Why the flying fuck would you include any of that? Conceptually? Mechanically? The lost of it. Much less as literally the last thing before fighting the final boss. If you die against the final boss, you have to do all of that again because fuck you! It's not even like it is difficult. You can flee from all the battles. It's just plain garbage design and it is baffling that it exists at all. It served no purpose other than to be an aggravating speed bump to finishing the game. Fucking hell!

Truth be told, I quite liked Final Fantasy X before I started this LP. But just going through it bit by bit, examining all its component parts? You know what? Now? Fuck a lot of this game! Let's get to the end. Let's just get to the end... Maybe they'll stick the landing.

Welcome to the final area of Final Fantasy X: Dream's End. A bit on the nose there, game.

You can tell Tidus is serious. He's the only one wearing his high quality character model.

Jecht, on the other hand? Nah. Ten years later and that man still refuses to wear a shirt. It's just a dad thing, alright. I can relate. Ask Papa Nier too. That guy will vouch for it.

Music: Revealed Truth

By the way, if you're observant and have quite a long memory... we've been here before...

There was a surreal sequence of Tidus swimming down in mid-air down here, complete with Jecht hanging out in the center, in the brief interval between Tidus getting sucked up into Sin and being shat out in Baaj Temple and Spira in the very beginning of the game. That's a decent little easy to overlook detail.

"...I know."

Jecht turns around...

I do kind of hate that they cheaped out on making a high quality model for Jecht. Seymour gets a high quality model for both his normal stupid self AND his wedding outfit we see for all of ten minutes. But they couldn't bother to model and animate one for the character that is central to the end of the game and most of the motivation behind two of the three most plot relevant characters?


“You eating right, boy?”
“You've really grown."
"Yeah... but you're still bigger."
"Hehehe... Well, I am Sin, you know."
"That's not funny."
”It's a little funny.”

*cracks knuckles* “Let's end this."

"Heheheh... I know, I know. You know what you have to do."
"I... I can't hear the Hymn so well anymore. Pretty soon, I'm gonna be Sin. Completely. I'm glad you're here now. One thing, though... When it starts, I won't be myself anymore. I won't be able to hold myself back.”
”I'm gonna warn you now... It's gonna get so metal, it may melt your faces off. It's beyond my control.”
*shakes head* “I'm sorry."

“Let's finish this, okay?!"
*crosses arms* “You're right.”

Music ends...

It wouldn't be a proper modern RPG if there wasn't a dramatic powering up sequence. Not like back in the old days where a boss would wander off screen and be a 40 foot angel or a doom tree between battle transitions.

Jecht stumbles back toward the end of the platform as his power takes hold.


“Ah! Ahh... ahhh!”


Tidus... I know you're emotional here and all. But I'm pretty sure you also just broke your index finger. It should not bend that way...

Pfft... Some star player of the Zanarkand Abes.

Jecht vanishes into light as the entire area begins to shake. Quite a feat for a floating platform.

“Whoa! Huuh?”


All of Dream's End Zanarkand, not to be confused with Dream Zanarkand or Zanarkand Ruins, lights up for the main event of Final Fantasy X!

New Music: Other World ~ Braska's Final Aeon
(Hahaha! Yes it's the fucking ridiculous butt rock from when Sin first appeared.)

Meet Braska's Final Aeon. It's an absurd as hell heavy metal album cover art giant demon version of Jecht and I kind of love it.

“Hit me with all you got, Dad!"

Tune in next time for the final boss of Final Fantasy X!

Kinda... But not really... Look. It's complicated. And not in the multiple forms sort of last boss way. You'll see...

Video: Episode 118 Highlight Reel

City of Dying Dreams Concept Art – I mean it's less a city and more of a bunch of back alleys of dying dreams...

Tower of the Dead Concept Art – You know what, game? I would have taken a tower climb over what we got...

The Nucleus Concept Art – Maybe I should make a gif of it rotating constantly so it would serve as a better reference piece.

Dream's End Concept Art – Of course it all ends in a goddamn blitzball stadium.