Part 19: Episode XV: Trade-in My Weapon
After resting for the evening, we rejoin Tidus in the back of the Crusader's Lodge with a new camera angle prominently displaying the save point. It's been like 20 minutes since the last save point. Might be time to hit it up. I know. I had to replay the last couple of updates worth of game to name a giant bird summon after a Rare character from the Nintendo 64.
Tidus heads outside...
Upon leaving the confines of his temporary lodgings, Tidus finds Lulu and Wakka hanging out in the middle of the square. Man the edge of Tidus' hood could cut glass.
"Something I want to give you."
Wakka hands Tidus the sword from the cover art...
"Yeah, use it well!"
Tidus takes the sword by the hilt and uses all the restraint he can muster from swinging it around like the Star Wars Kid as he did with Jecht's keepsake. Oh, what became of the sword Auron said was from Jecht? Pfft. Vendor trash now. Fuck you and your sword too, dad!
*looks over slightly confused*
"Well, he never used it."
"We're taking the same boat as Yuna, right? Why do we gotta wait here?"
"We'd be pretty crummy guardians if we left her in town, ya?"
New Music: Yuna's Theme
*scratches head* "The Calm?"
"I think you've exhausted your terminology questions for this location, eh? Gotta pace yourself."
"Since then, she's been like a little sister to me and Lulu. But she had the talent... She became an apprentice. Now, today, she leaves as a summoner."
"This is our journey. We should leave together."
"Plus, again... It is our jobs..."
"Oh right. Guardian thing? Oh yeah. Hey, where's that freaky blue giant cat dude...?"
Yuna emerges from the temple...
Pictured: The only JRPG character to ever actual pack anything for a giant game spanning journey.
"Ah... They're not really my things. Th-they're gifts for the temples we're to visit."
"This isn't a vacation, Yuna."
"I guess...I guess you're right."
"W-Well let me just take out my change of clot--"
"...We're going to miss the boat, Yuna."
And thus Yuna leaves her suitcase full of crap behind and returns to the status quo of beginning a journey with little more than the most poorly crafted weapon available within 100 miles and the clothes on your back.
"Okay! Off we go!"
"You could have left of your own accord at any time."
"Yeah... NO idea where the hell the docks are, lady. I got shoved into a killer fish filled lake as soon as I got here. Kinda makes navigation hard."
"...How did you get-"
"Urgh...! We'd better get going already, ya? That boat isn't going to wait forever!"
As everyone wanders off, Yuna turns back and prays toward the church one final time as we say goodbye to Besaid Village until pretty much the very end of the game.
Alright, it's time to... ignore what I just said and immediately return to Besaid. To the item shop, to be specific.
Everyone's dialogue in town has changed. Mostly to variations of "piss you, heathen" toward Tidus for his earlier antics. But speaking with the item shop clerk will result in this little bit of seemingly inconsequential dialogue about the girl's dog.
Having heard that, we can have Tidus take a quick jog across the square to the hut just north of Wakka's pad. Here we will find the aforementioned dog belonging to the clerk. Examining it twice will result in...
A gross ball of something... So what benefit does this crap have, you ask?
Why a shiny new Overdrive for
Anyway, now that we've settled that little bit of business, our trek to the docks of Besaid (basically where Tidus initially washed up on the shore) can begin proper.
Music: Normal Battle
And by "begin proper" I mean "start a series of scripted tutorial battles".
So this is a Dingo. I'm not sure why Australian critters infest all tropical settings in Square games. El Nido back in Chrono Cross was awash with a plague of marsupials.
In any case, our hero has no problem with murdering the shit out of a random feral dog with his swanky new water sword. He even excitedly exclaims "no problem!" after stabbing it in the throat. Oh well... At least we're not hunting them to extinction to make Yuna a new coat for journey or the like.
"Might make a good guardian someday."
"How well does that pay?"
"...It doesn't. The reward comes from gui-"
This here is a Condor. It has a very stupid looking beak.
Wakka can fairly reliably one-shot these things. The Condor is a flying enemy. In Final Fantasy X, enemies flying about is not just a visual effect with no barring on the battle as our characters swing swords at the air which magically connect with the thing fluttering about. Flying enemies almost universally have a very high Evasion stat along with ground based physical attacks getting an accuracy penalty against fliers. So while Tidus can wreck the shit of a dog dicking around on the ground, he'll have a pretty decent chance of wiffing attacks against enemies like these. On the other hand, Wakka has very high Accuracy and his blitzball toss ignores the whole ground penalty thing so he has no trouble whacking these sorts of monsters out of the air.
Some enemies can be considered "Out of Range" to characters like Tidus' physical attack. Usual do to being off the battlefield entirely. Like if say Zombie Aeris emerged from the depths and attacked Tidus from the side of a boat. Tidus would be unable to hit such an enemy. But Wakka has no problem beaning 'em from any distance. Just something to keep in mind.
All that said, with the local wildlife defeated, we are free to make silly post-battle poses and continue on...
...all of about thirty yards...
Another scripted battle kicks in...
"Hah! Watch this!"
Tidus practices his stabbing skills on this sentient scoop of Jell-O to little effect.
"If you can't beat 'em down, you gotta use magic of an element they don't like."
"Let's have our black mage show you what I mean. Lu! You're up!"
"Wait, hold up. Like magic is an actual thing in Spira? Why didn't anyone inform me of this earlier...?! That's awesome!"
"...What did you think Yuna summoning that Aeon was all about?"
"I dunno. Calling demons out of the sky to wow crowds and calling elemental powers to kill stuff sounds SORTA different."
"...You've got some weird standards."
Lulu enters the battle. By the way, Lulu unceremoniously joined the party as soon as we left Besaid. So did Yuna too, for that matter. This game is really not into fanfare about newly recruited party members...
"Spells of ice work well against fire fiends... And ice fiends are weak against fire magic."
"I get fire and ice, but what about lightning and water?"
"And why are water and ice separate elements? Isn't ice just frozen water? That doesn't make sense."
"Is every sentence that comes out of your mouth a question or belligerent justification of your line of questioning?"
"Lighting and water are opposed, just like fire and ice. This one here is a water fiend, which means..."
Lulu, as the party's designated black mage (read: offensive magic) early on, comes equipped with one of all the base element spells. Out of the box she comes with high defense in both physical and magic attacks (the highest in the game for both) along with high magic attack stats and MP. She's also got meh HP with crap Strength, Accuracy, and Agility. But you should not ever be attacking physically with Lulu early in the game (her weapons are creepy walking dolls of which get no explanation.)
Anyway, if you listened to Lulu's tutorial spiel, elemental weaknesses are pretty useful in Final Fantasy X. This water element monster would take about six rounds between Wakka and Tidus together to defeat. But Lulu can just 1-shot the thing with a single 4 MP Thunder spell. Keeping that in mind, Lulu is pretty damn useful early on in the game. Though she gradually becomes kind of crap as things progress (Yuna is actually a way the fuck better black mage than Lulu if we have her hop on over to Lulu's Sphere Grid.)
Upon winning the battle, Lulu demonstrates the classiest of classy win poses. Not displayed: circa 2001 boob jiggle physics.
The party reaches the top of the cliffs overlooking Besaid Village... -
"Sheesh. What's the hold up? I know you can see your house from up here but let's move it."
"We gonna wait."
Yuna finishes gazing back down at the village and walks over...
*walks over and nods before following Yuna*
*nods and follows Lulu*
"What's uhh... going on?"
*nods at nothing and follows*
"Chappu didn't pray that day. Said he'd miss his boat..."
Tidus is given the option as to whether he should pray or not. This effects absolutely nothing but meh...
If it can help us avoid getting splattered by some kind of angry flying space bubble, I suppose it cannot hurt.
Now that we've said our last goodbyes to the village, we're free to continue north down the other side of the mountain.
Final Fantasy X might have its share of problems, but art direction ain't one of 'em. All the crumbling ruins overgrown with vegetation dotting the landscape still looks pretty damn nice, even a decade later.
Just as we pass by the first bit of ruins, there is an eyecatching sigil written in Al Bhed. Kilika and Bikanel are auto-translated since Tidus somehow divines those are proper nouns. But we've yet to learn enough of the language to make out most of the text. So there’s nothing to be done with it at the moment.
Kilika and Bikanel join as one.
Tidus continues onward when...
Music: Inflexible Determination
“Ergh! N-Nice blue furry... dude... I umm... Your friends are just back a bit if you wanna... you know... go with them. I‘ll just like...”
Episode 15 Highlight Reel
Dingo Enemy Concept Art
Condor Enemy Concept Art
Water Flan Enemy Concept Art