The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 22: Episode XVIII: Exploit My Encounter

Music: Enemy Attack

Now where were we...? Ah yes. Everyone's favorite Lovecraftian horror from the depths of the ocean was out for a swim.

The Liki's crew spring into action and man the harpoons for some advanced level whaling.

"Stick a harpoon in it and we'll all get dragged under!"
"Sin is going for Kilika! We gotta distract it!"
"Our families are in Kilika! Forgive us, Lady Summoner!"

Yuna gives her approval. Though I'm fairly certain they would have just told her to go fuck her C-List celebrity self right up the ass, had she protested.

FMV Sin must be really trucking to have teleported a quarter mile away in-between the transition of formats.

In any case, the harpoons manage to stick into Sin, taking the S.S. Liki and its passengers on the most bogus tugboat ride of all time.

Sadly, the bulk of the ship's crew that is not fortunate enough to be named are swept away in the turbulent tides. At least Final Fantasy X is lenient enough to just plaster folks lacking a title at the beginning of their subtitles instead of the Xenogears' policy of "NPC with no portrait = disaster death sentence".

Sin is not particularly thrilled with jerks sticking it with pointy sticks to get a free ride and deploys an upgraded version of those wacky Sinscales of which Tidus faced back in Zanarkand.

It is now up for Tidus and the gang to fight off the invading Sinscales and perhaps do something about that massive fin dragging the boat along. And hey look, Kimahri decided to join the brawl. Which is nice, because this fight is pretty special. In the sense that you can exploit the hell out of it for a bunch of really easy Sphere Levels with next to no effort. Allow me to explain.

First of all, Yuna is pretty damn useless in this battle. So we'll have her just bop a Sinscale on the head just for her ticket on the AP gravy train before swapping her out with Wakka.

Kimahri is useless for actually completing this battle. But to exploit the mechanics, we'll need him. The beefy furry is pretty much middle of the road in all his stats and is a bit unique in his development tree. But we'll get to that later. For now, his only unique ability is "Lancet", a move which steals a bit of HP and MP from an enemy and can also cause him to learn skills for his “Ronso Rage“ Overdrive. Kimahri is basically a Blue Mage from earlier games, which means he can learn special attacks from monsters. But since it is limited to Overdrives, you’ll never use them. It’s not the best implementation of the gimmick...

But enough about Kimahri. Let’s talk about this battle. There are four enemies during this fight. Three Sinscales and Sin itself tooling around in the background. The Sinscales behave exactly like they did back in Zanarkand. Just with a bit more bite this time around.

Sin, when its turn comes up, just changes positions on the battlefield. It doesn’t actually participate in this battle beyond that. And the position swapping affects nothing. It’s just a cinematic effect to remind you a giant fuck-off doom whale is dragging our boat. There is also no real threat of being dragged down with Sin or it getting away to destroy Kilika. So it can safely be ignored until we want to end the battle.

If the party slays all three Sinscales on the deck of the ship, then Sin will automatically piss out a new trio of Sinscales to take their place immediately upon the third one‘s defeat. It will do this effectively forever until the party causes 2000 HP of damage to the Sin Fin. So I mentioned getting some really easy AP for Sphere Levels here. Well, we’ve basically got an unlimited supply of enemies getting shat out on deck and an uncaring boss in no hurry to finish the fight. The Sinscales will do 150+ HP of damage and take 2-3 physical hits for Tidus/Wakka/Kimahri to take out. That is... at base level.

Remember that Cheer ability we got for Tidus back when I first explained the Sphere Grid? The one that slightly raises Attack and Defense? And stacks five times for the duration for a battle...? If we have Tidus go ahead and spam that for five turns in a row, suddenly the Sinscales are doing only 50 HP worth of damage while Tidus, Wakka, and Kimahri can all 1-shot them.

Not only that, but the Sinscales have a fairly low Overkill threshold. Overkill is a mechanic in Final Fantasy X in which the player is awarded with additional AP and an increased item drop for murdering the SHIT out of an enemy. This is accomplished by landing a killing blow which deals roughly 1.5 to 2x the creature’s total HP. The Sinscales here have 200 HP with an Overkill threshold of twice that at 400 HP. So any critical attacks doing over that will score an Overkill.

That all said. You've got an inexhaustible amount of enemies that can be immediately 1-shot with almost no risk of dying netting 6-9 AP every fifteen seconds or so by just masking X to attack periodically. Go watch some television with the game on in the background and you can net yourself a shit load of easy AP in no time.

Boss battle exploitation aside, actually dealing with this debacle requires Lulu and Wakka to be in the active party. Lulu's magic ignores Out of Range enemies as does Wakka's blitzball based physical attack. Have I mentioned Wakka has a HELL of a throwing arm...? Kimahri or Yuna ought to be brought out as a third wheel to deal with two out of the three Sinscales. If only one is left in the group, Sin won't bother replacing their numbers.

With that in mind, it's just a matter of dealing 2000 HP of damage to Sin for the battle to come to its conclusion.

And by "concludes" I mean Sin just yanks off the harpoon guns right off the ship and cruises away.

But not before splashing the boat one last time for being such a jerk to it. Maybe it was just out for a swim today and was going to swim right on by Kilika? But now. Now you've gone and done it!

Kimahri once more cops a feel as the crisis comes to its end. Now then, is everyone accounted for...?

Let's see, Yuna, Conan, Madam Gothtits, and Blue Dude. Yup. That's everyone.

...Wait a second. Something feels off. In the air... It's like the whole place feels suddenly less douchebaggy... Like... Aww, hell. We lost Meg in FMV Land!

Wakka, being a total bro, dives right into the immortal space whale and its demon spawn infested waters to go save his new buddy.

Team Non-Swimmers looks on with mild concern. Alright, I can see Lulu not being able to battle underwater because she is dressed like a goddamn idiot and I'm assuming she has above average buoyancy even if that were not the case. And Kimahri is a cat and we know how fond those are of water. Yuna... actually was planned to be playable underwater. But I am fairly certain the developers realized they'd have to make underwater animations for all the Aeons and that idea was quickly nixed due to .

Meanwhile, Tidus has drowned.

And his corpse is being ravaged by rogue Sinscales patrolling the area. Shame, that.

But fear not! Sports to the rescue!

Wakka drags Tidus' lifeless carcass away from the swarming Sin dandruff...

...tosses that sonuvabitch a Phoenix Down...

And boom. We're back in business.

Though, the obligatory high-fives will have to wait. As a new monstrosity rises from the depths of the ocean to greet our sportsmen duo.

Meet Sinspawn Echuilles, the real boss of this whole sequence. There's no healing between the battle on deck and this one, so hopefully Tidus and Wakka are in decent enough shape to heal up before fighting proper. I'm not sure why Tidus would have exactly the same amount of health given what just happened to him... But details...

There is a far greater danger of dying in this battle and that can be reduced by once more having Tidus spam a few rounds of Cheer to up the party's Defense to tank the hits coming from this boss.

In addition, the Sinspawn is susceptible to blinding, so Wakka's Dark Attack can neuter most of the beast's offensive capabilities.

But the real danger in this fight is from the supporting Sinscales accompanying their big brother. Like the fight up above deck, they're infinitely spawning. But it is useless to target them at all here since they continuously resupply their ranks and far outnumber Tidus and Wakka.

Even while blinded, Echuilles has one special attack, Blender, which blasts the whole party for 150+ HP of damage. So that’s something to look out for, though only rarely.

That all said, as long as we keep an eye on the party’s HP and maintains the boss’s blindness, Sinspawn Echuilles doesn’t put up too much of a fight.

And look at all that sweet delicious exploitation AP. For reference, the proper boss fight was only 15 AP out of that total. And that was only little more than ten minutes of mashing X while watching the evening news. Didn't want to go overboard. But at least that's enough of a buffer to avoid early game grinding.

Oh yeah. And I won’t be wanting for Power Spheres again in this lifetime. All in a day’s work. Now then... I wonder what became of Sin after it ditched our piggyback ride...?

Video: Click Here to Find out!
(Mandatory Viewing!)

Video: Episode 18 Highlight Reel
(Recommended Viewing)

Sinspawn Echuilles Concept Art