The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 36: Episode XXX: Delay My Game

Music: Confrontation

"Here we are, folks. The moment you've all been waiting for... The final game of the Luca cup tournament!"
"Some say risking life and limb to make the dangerous trip to Luca just for a tournament lasting a single afternoon is a ludicrous endeavor. But those naysayers just aren't feeling the spirit of the game."
"Right you are, Jimma."

"Here come the two teams onto the field. The defending champions, our very own Luca Goers, against the laughing stock of the entire league, the Besaid Aurochs."
"Never in a thousand years could I have predicted this match up in the finals today."
"Personally I would have sooner believed chocobos would gain sapience and form their own blitz team before the Aurochs would get anywhere near the finals. But here we are, folks!"
"Strange times we live in, Jimma."

"It looks like Wakka is sitting this game out."
"After that vicious beating he took from nearly the entirety of the Al Bhed Psyches last match, who can blame him?"
"That was brutal, Jimma. I think even the goalkeeper took a few swings at the Aurochs' captain. Regardless, taking his place is..."
*shuffles papers* "...I don't seem to have any information on the Aurochs' new recruit. We'll get back to you in a minute on that."

"In a showing of uncharacteristic sportsmanship, it seems the Goers' captain, Bickson, is offering to shake hands with the newcomer."

"Now that is the Bickson we know and love."

"Captain Bickson was once described as having the 'most punchable face in all of blitzball' in a fan polling last year."
"That is some reputation to keep up, Bobba. But he's doing a stellar job of carrying that torch."

"Now that the pre-game special tournament cup cutscene formalities have concluded, the teams return to their proper sides for the game to begin."
"You can feel the anticipation in the air."

New Music: Blitz Off

"Here we are at the blitz-off, sports fans."
"The blitz-off occurs at the start of each 5:00 minute half of a blitzball game as well as whenever one of the teams scores a goal. The blitzball is mechanically shot from the bottom of the sphere upward toward one of two players facing off above."

"No skill is involved in who catches the ball at the blitz-off. It is entirely left up to luck and chance."
"Letty of the Aurochs has the luck of the draw at the start of the match. Let's see what he can do with the ball."

"It appears as though the Aurochs are switching over to manual movement for the game."
"A wise decision, Bobba. Automatic movement has been described by blitzball enthusiasts as 'a bigger sin than Sin' and to be avoided at all costs."
"It seems they've gone with manual movement A. Manual A allows blitzers to move around the field in relation to the camera's position while Manual B is in relation to the game's mini-map."
"We sure are disregarding the fourth wall here, Bobba."
"Right you are, Jimma."

"It looks like Letty has gotten into a face-off against the Goers' Abus."
"Abus is a beast on offense with tremendous shot accuracy and admirably endurance. But defense is not his game with the attack ability on par with a lanky tween and the blocking ability of a child just learning to swim."
"The Aurochs' Letty is more about moving the ball around the field on offense. His shooting won't impress anyone, but he has one of the better passing arms on the Aurochs' team."

"Two members of the Aurochs are downfield from Letty. Somewhat surrounded by defenders is Datto."
"Datto can take a hit like a champ and is a bit better when it comes to shooting than most on the second rate Aurochs' squad. But his passing arm is on par with a paraplegic. Datto's stamina also leaves quite a bit to be desired."
"Someone needs to get a bit more cardio down on Besaid Island."

"Far more open downfield is the Aurochs' newest player -- Teyeduhs."
"I think that's pronounced 'Tee-dus', Jimma."
"Be that is it may, that sounds dumb. Right, sportsfans?"
"Tidus is by far the most impressive player offensively on the Aurochs' line-up. Great stamina, durable when it comes to taking a hit, and outstanding shooting ability. Where did the Aurochs dig up this guy?"
"Rumor has it he washed up on Besaid Island one day claiming to be the 'star player of the Zanarkand Abes'."
"That's quite the story, Bobba. But if all rumors we heard turned out to be true, we'd be playing Persona and my wife wouldn't have left me for allegedly sleeping with that Al Bhed tramp from the grocery store."

"It looks like Letty is passing the ball to Tidus... And the pass is good!"
"Jimma, have you ever found it strange that pass completion is entirely up to the passer's accuracy at throwing the ball and not at all on the receiver's ability to catch?"
"Are you suggesting more stats crammed into an alleged high-paced ball game?"
"Yevon perish the thought!"

"Tidus makes his way downfield straight toward the Goers' goal but runs into the one of the biggest roadblocks any of the Aurochs could face on this field."
"Bickson may be the sneering face of the Luca Goers, but in all honesty he's a mediocre player. His number two, Graav, is a Level 3 player in a sea of Level 1 rookies."
"Balgerda is no slouch either as a Level 2 player at the opening tournament of the season."
"Due to the way stats are king in blitzball, encountering either of these two alone is often enough to lose the ball on a pass or have it forcefully taken alongside a nice black eye on a break attempt. But facing them together at once? Tidus may as well kiss that ball goodbye."

"It looks like Tidus is going to take the only gamble he can play to his strengths and attempts to shoot the ball."
"Balgerda and Graav both have a block accuracy stat of 8 a piece against Tidus’ shot accuracy of 10.”
"Couple that with Goalkeeper Raudy’s respectable catch ability of another 8 and this is definitely a long shot.”

“Remarkably, Balgerda cannot get a hand on the ball and flubs the block attempt!”
"Right you are, Jimma. While a block on a ball is a hard shot accuracy decrease equal to the defender’s block ability, the actual determining factor as to whether the block attempt will even connect with the ball is in the hands of the RNG.”
"That is random number generator for those at home living in blissful ignorance of its cruel whims barring down upon our lives.”

"Incredibly, Graav too flubs his block attempt on the ball!”
"Unbelieeevable, folks! I’m not sure what virgin sacrifices the Aurochs’ newcomer dabbled in before the game, but you’d better believe it is working in his favor!”

"Amazing! Simply amazing! 38 seconds into the first half and the Aurochs have already overcome incredible odds and statistical uncertainties to score their first goal against the Goers.”
"The crowd is going wild here at Luca stadium!”

A short while later...

"Here’s the second blitz-off of the game. This time the ball goes straight into the hands of Graav of the Goers.”

"Graav makes a break straight for the Aurochs’ goal. But three of the Aurochs are immediately upon him on defense.”
"This is not a common occurrence, Jimma. Often times a rival team can grab the ball at the blitz-off, swim right to the opposing team’s goal, and shoot with only the goalkeeper between him and scoring.”
"In the Aurochs' case that would spell disaster. The goalkeeper of the Besaid team, ironically enough named ‘Keepa’, is perhaps the worst goalie in the entire league at the moment.”
"Judging by his performance in past games, it’s like he lubes his body up with a pound of grease before taking to the field. His catch accuracy stat is at a pitiful 5, leaving just about any undeterred Goer more than capable of scoring on him with only the faintest of effort.”
"He must hate his parents for giving him that unfortunate name.”
"It says here his parents were killed by Sin over half a decade ago.”
"Well, there you go, Bobba.”
"Even with Graav’s above average endurance and shooting ability, the combined efforts of the Aurochs defenders is enough to cause a turnover of the ball.”
"Botta grabs the ball and... What’s this...? Is he...? Why yes he is, folks! Botta is swimming right into his own goal!”

"Botta is an above average attacker on defense, but the rest of his stats is currently what can only be described as ‘laughable’.”
"That is probably why Botta seems to be going for the controversial ‘goal turtling glitch’ maneuver.”
"For the uninitiated, this is a glitch in the blitzball AI where a ball carrier, if not surrounded by defenders from the opposite team, can swim into their own goal for unintended consequences to the game’s AI scripting.”
"Indeed. The AI for all players on the field will immediately break if the ball carrier idles in their own goal. Everyone on the field will swim in circles or float in place until either the player moves from the goal or the half ends. It is almost a memorizing display of incompetent programming.”

"It looks like he will be carrying us straight into Half-Time with the glitch, Jimma.”
"Not the most admirable tactic. But with the cards stacked so against the Aurochs I doubt anyone can blame them."

At half-time and the end of the game both teams will receive some experience points and possibly level-up their blitzball stats. Much like the standard game, players much actually do something, whether it is handling the ball or defend, in order to gain levels. Tidus earned a technique slot, which will come in handy shortly.

Later in the locker room...

"What about me?"
"Get the ball and just shoot like crazy!"
"Really want me to mix it up, huh?"
"Goers are goin' down!"

"Shoot like crazy!"
"All right! Hustle!

So before games and at half-time we can set special techniques for players. Technique slots open at Level 3 (for now read: only Tidus.)

Since we successfully completed the sequence on the S.S. Winno, Tidus has access to the rather broken Jecht Shot. He also comes standard equipped with the Sphere Shot (special shot which adds a random 1-10 additional SH to Tidus' standard SH during a shot.)

For now, we'll go with the Jecht Shot and hop right back into the game...

New Music: Blitz Off

"And we're back with the second half of the game, folks. The Besaid Aurochs are ahead by one."

"Abus nabs the ball and wastes no time swimming straight to the Aurochs' goal. This doesn't look good."
"Teams on defense are completely automated and often have difficulty keeping up with another team's offense right at the start of a blitz-off."

"He shoots... and it's good! Keepa misses defending the shot by a hilariously terrible margin."
"This is why you do not assign roles in competition based on how appropriate someone's name would be in a certain position."

A bit later...

"The Aurochs just have had no luck going up against the Goers' formidable defense, Bobba."
"The only chance at recovery rests with the Aurochs' new blood."

"It looks like Tidus is gearing up for the 'Sublimely Magnificent Shut the Fuu..dge Up Dad Shot Mark III'. Quite the mouthful."
"You said it, Jimma. But apparently the technique is also nicknamed the 'Jecht Shot', likely in honor of the great guardian of Lord Braska's Calm, Sir Jecht."
"Using a staggering 120 HP to make the shot, the Jecht Shot adds +5 SH to Tidus' shot accuracy. Bumping it from the current 16 up to a whopping 21."

“To add to that, Tidus bounces the ball off the faces of two defenders, knocking them straight out of the face-off."
"That's going to leave a mark in the morning."

"The only drawback to the shot is the fact that the animation takes an absurd amount of time and we have a scheduled cutscene drama at the 3:00 minute mark of this game regardless of the current situation."
"And looking at the clock, it seems that is going to bite the shooter right in the behind, Bobba!"

3:00 minutes into the second half of the game...

"The fans are getting impatient! They're calling for some action!"

The crowd chants for Wakka. Sports drama! The worst drama regardless of the media! Nothing says emotional climax like a crowd of drooling idiots whining demands in unison!

"He's leaving the sphere pool! He may be injured!
"This is highly unusual, Bobba. Blitzball does no have substitutions for injuries mid-game, no matter how severe."
"Indeed so. Even the tournament three years back between the Ronso Fangs and the Kilika Beasts, where one of the Ronso tore off the leg of the rival team's captain and beat him over the head with it, didn't feature a substitution for injury until Half-Time."
"At least our Luca Goers do not seem to take issue with the game's interruption due to manufactured last minute dramatics. So let's break from this brief word from Yevon while the Aurochs sort out their game."

Back in the locker room...

"It really was the Aurochs' and Wakka's show, after all."
"The game was tied. I'm sure Wakka could pull through..."

Music: The Splendid Performance

"I'm not sure how he's still able to swim after the brutality the Psyches showed him earlier, but the crowd loves it!"

"It looks that this is just the morale boost the Aurochs might need to rally and pull ahead! We could be looking at history in the making, folks!"

"Good news to all of the three Aurochs fans still remaining after today. It seems Wakka is retiring as the team's captain as of this year."
"Maybe next year, Bobba."

Goddammit all, Wakka! Fuck you and fuck your scripted event causing another blitz-off where the Goers can (and did) just grab the ball, march over to the goal, and scored!

Wakka himself isn't that bad. He can shoot as well as Tidus and has the highest endurance of any of the Aurochs currently. But he cannot pass for shit and is terrible on defense. Really, the fact that you need to endure another blitz-off and can easily get immediately fucked by the RNG and AI ganging up with 2:00 minutes left in the game (and the game clock is in reality going double speed, so it's more like one minute) is a totally shitty design decision in already the single worst possible introduction to a mini-game imaginable.

After the first game, I retried for a better outcome. Remember you need to watch ALL of the cutscenes between speaking with Wakka in the locker room. You can only skip the dialogue when the announcers are speaking. But even then all the animations have to play (read: Auron's slow stroll up the steps and Bickson being a douche before the match-up.)

In the later attempts I had two games where the RNG hated my guts and I had no chance of winning. A third game came close but the game ended with a 1 to 1 tie which... still counts as a loss since there's no tiebreakers in blitzball as it was a game designed by assholes. And the final attempt...?

0-3 blowout where the Goers made bad throws constantly, missed all kinds of blocks, I could do the Jecht Shot before cutscene drama, and everything went ridiculously well in my favor. I full expect to be hit by a bus any minute now to offset that luck.

So what happens when you win the blitzball tournament and defeat those Luca Goer douchebags...?

The ten second cutscene at the conclusion of the match shows the crowd cheering and the announcers say the Aurochs win. That is... it. A ten second cutscene. Wakka is also holding the trophy in a later cutscene and that is it...

The real prize for winning the game is a Strength Sphere (turns an empty node into a +4 Strength node. Quite the decent boost early on.) And even so, while that is a rare treasure, it's hardly a deal breaker if you just say "fuck it" and take the loss like a sane person.

A short while later...

In my winning game, Wakka accomplished absolutely nothing. But at least the blitz-off didn't result in a bullshit goal for the other team.

Tidus swims out to see if Wakka is doing alright. Thumbs up are exchanged. But before the customary blitzball bro high five can be shared...

Enemy Attack

A swarm of killer fish fiends leap fifty feet out of the stands and invade the blitzball sphere. Sure... Sure... why not...? As long as no more blitzball is played in here today, I'm good with that...

Video: Episode 30 Highlight Reel

Amano Blitzball Artwork