Part 51: Episode XLIII: Watch My Back
Welcome to the Djose Highroad. It is thankfully a fairly short distance compared to the Mi’ihen and Mushroom Rock jogs. Indeed the end of that curved path in the distance is the entirety of the thing.
The surviving Crusaders are licking their wounds and retreating north to Djose Temple as well. We can once more exploit our summoner entourage status coupled with the Crusader’s newfound
Basilisks prowl the Djose Highroad alongside palette swaps of Flans, those lizards and oversized bees from Kilika Woods, and the two armored enemies from Mi’ihen Highroad. These scaly critters are noteworthy in a few ways.
Offensive wise they are the first enemy to inflict the Stone status ailment (using their Stone Gaze ability.) This isn’t the type of stoning that can be remedied with a bag of Doritos. Stoned characters are turned into statues. In this form they are unable to perform any other actions in battle until un-stoned by either a Soft item or an Esuna spell. This is why Yuna got that Stone Ring at the beginning of the area. Being un-stoned has no adverse side effects at all. However if any physical attacks from enemies hits a character while they’re Stoned, they will shatter and instantly be killed with their character slot being unavailable for the rest of the battle. In addition, if the entire party gets Stoned it is a Game Over.
Defense wise they are nothing to write home about. They have 2,000+ HP so no one shotting ‘em. But other than a resistance to Lighting magic, they have no real defensive capabilities. Kimahri can use Lancet to learn the totally useless Stone Breath Overdrive. Stone Breath will petrify enemies… but petrified enemies give 0 AP so why in the hell would you ever use it? Even among Kimahri’s array of shitty Overdrives, this one reigns king.
The most noteworthy part about Basilisks is the fact they are fairly common in this area and drop the ever scarce Ability Spheres. Two if killed with an Overkill (924 HP easily done with one of Lulu’s Level 2 spells.) So it is a pretty decent idea to go farm ‘em for a bit to build up a stockpile.
So anyway, back to the Djose road… Ain’t shit going on here beyond depressed Crusaders to guilt into free items and the occasional treasure chest.
There is an easily missed Al Bhed Primer vol. XI hidden behind a stone pillar and a camera angle shift to obscure it. Today we learn that [G = K]! Dnasahtuic!
Tidus’ meaningless Al Bhed mastery rank has also leveled up! Today is a fine day.
About half way down the road we see a familiar trio of Crusaders hauling ass northward. Alright… Clasko was clear nowhere near the frontlines when that operation went pear-shaped. I’m not sure about Elma. But pantsless Lucil was CLEARLY right in the middle of Sin’s super suntan ground zero in that beach attack FMV. She was leading the charge. How in the world did she manage to survive that? With her Chocobo intact no less.
I’m calling shenanigans, Final Fantasy X.
The party eventually reaches the end of the road and decides it is cutscene time…
"Still a ways."
"First down the Moonflow to the Guado city of Guadosalam... Then we cross the Thunder Plains to the temple of Macalania."
*slouches* "Oh… boy…”
"Hehehe. And before that, we get to pray at the temple in Djo~ose!"
"We can't just skip all that? …Can we, huh?"
”No pooling our gil together and hitching a ferry straight up to Zanarkand?”
"Mmm-mm. I have to pray to the fayth in every temple in order to earn the Final Aeon."
”Gotta catch ‘em all, huh?”
"That's a summoner's training. She's gotta prepare mind and body, all just to get ready for the Final Summoning."
"Hmm… Must be tough, Yuna."
*smiles* "I'll be fine with you here!"
”…You aren’t being sarcastic now, are you…?”
*chuckles and walks off*
“Okay is laughing and walking away without answering just a common thing in Spira or is Auron’s routine infecting other people?”
Welp that is a wrap for the Djose Highroad. It is also becoming clearer and clearer that the route on the map and the actual areas presented in-game has fuck all correspondence to one another…
The rest of the party walks on ahead…
”Well *you* are the newest party member, right?”
“…Are you attempting to refer to me as a newbie?”
"What can I do for you, boss?"
"Don't tell Yuna you know about Sin and Jecht.
“You know her...”
“We do not want that."
”Little late for dating tips, eh?”
“Something like that.”
"I see, I think. Yeah, but even if I did say something, no one would believe me, you know?"
”Hey, Sin is my dad. No really, it’s true! He used to be a star blitzball player up in Zanarkand back in the day! You’ve gotta believe me. Hey, what’s that white jacket for…?”
”…You sure? I mean she is pretty trusting but…”
“She readily believed you jumped ahead 1000 years from Zanarkand on the back of Sin, did she not? Then she would ask me if it was the truth and… we do not want that conversation, do we?”
"Ah...you have a point. Come to think of it...did I really have to know about Jecht? What about my feelings?"
*punches the air* "What? Me, emotional?"
”Your accusations wound me, sir. I will not stand for this!”
*chuckles and walks off*
“Yeah, maybe when I was a kid. Maybe even a little now.”
“…Just a little."
Note: Tidus totally buys his story. Auron doesn’t give the first fuck either way.
Anyhow, a short jog north leads us to the Djose Temple grounds. The area tremors as we approach the temple. Nothing to worry about, I’m sure. That aside, it seems the Chocobo Knights trio that passed us is camping out up ahead. Let’s see their story.
*blitzball prayer* "Yourselves as well, Captain. We were worried. Praise be to Yevon!"
"We escaped with our lives, but our troops were decimated."
”You know decimation actually means to red—“
“Argh. NOBODY cares, Clasko. Nobody! And if they did, they’re probably dead! In fact they are dead because they cared about whatever you’re going on about. I hope you are happy!”
”This chocobo… This chocobo has *seen* some shit, man… Shit like you wouldn’t believe.”
"We make pretty poor Chocobo Mounted Forces without chocobos."
"We turned our backs on the teachings and cast away our faith. This... this is our just reward.”
And that is all they have to say. We can speak to all three of them again, but they all pretty much have beaten dog responses groveling to Yevon for going against their teachings.
Yuna’s entourage continues towards the temple…
New Music: Djose Temple
Upon approaching the temple the rocky shell covering the structure explode off and begin levitating in mid-air around the building. I have no idea why this happens beyond something vaguely to do with summoners and aeons. But it sure looks neat.
"That means another summoner's already in there."
"Ugh. What if it's Dona?"
”My afternoon has been just fine without seeing any pepperoni sized man-nipples.”
“That guardian needs to wear a shirt. Or at least something that show some decency, eh?”
*looks to right*
"We have to hurry."
"Right! In we go!"
Well we could run straight into the temple headlong into some more cutscenes. But there are a few things of note out here.
To the right of the temple is a small inn/shop selling nothing spectacular. But we could afford to unload some of the trash equipment we have accumulated the last few cross-country hikes we’ve taken.
Back behind the small traveler’s rest is a chest that contains 4000 gil which we’ll gladly liberate. Oh yeah, and Gatta is curled up here having a nervous breakdown. Should probably check that out…
"Where is he?"
"I found him...but he was...torn in half…! I..."
"I'm going back to Besaid!"
So yep. Telling Gatta to stay put (or simply ignoring his plight) gets Luzzu killed off-screen and this super short scene before Gatta fucks off to Besaid never to be heard from again. Had we told Gatta to man up and go off into battle Tidus would have found him dead on the beach following Sin’s attack and sort of freaks the fuck out. Later on we would find Luzzu here totally snapping and losing his shit over having gotten Gatta killed. Both are far better scenes than what you jerks picked. Oh well…
The party enters the temple…
Hymn of the Fayth
Djose Temple is pretty metal both inside and out.
Upon entering the temple we meet a new face. I think this is the last reoccurring jerk we’ll run across on the road. He is also the second character in this game voiced by Quinton Flynn.
*fancy Power Ranger prayer* "I am Summoner Yuna, from the Isle of Besaid."
"As I thought! The daughter of Lord Braska. You have the look of your father."
"My father? You… knew him?"
"No, I have never met the man.”
”It is just… well the statue of Lord Braska is right there. It isn’t hard to notice the similarity.”
“I am a summoner, like you."
<Am I hearing things or does this guy sound exactly like that one douche…>
“Hey. Umm… Mr. Isaaru. Do you happen to have any err… brothers…?”
“That I do…”
"And I'm Maroda. I'm guarding my big brother here."
”Err… No I mean… It’s just… there was this guy on the Luca Goers and he… Ahh… Never mind. I’m just hearing things.”
“I wished I would someday become a high summoner like he was. You must have some of your father's talent in you! I believe you might someday defeat Sin."
"I...I'm not really... I've only just become a summoner."
”Really… It has been all of a week. A *very* busy week but…”
“So perhaps we should race to see who can defeat Sin first, no?"
"Very well, then. I accept your challenge."
”Just be warned that I *am* on the logo of the game…”
“…That could mean anything.”
*walks toward the door* "Isaaru!"
"Yuna, I beg your leave. Good luck, to both of us!"
Yuna and everyone but Tidus enters the Cloister of Trials…
"You are Yuna's guardian, no?”
”Yes. No having your big burly brother tossing me down the elevator to try to get Yuna in trouble.”
“I… do not know how to respond to that…”
“Maroda's heard a curious rumor. I thought you should know."
“Seems that summoners have been going out on pilgrimage and just...disappearing."
"It could just be the fiends got them...but not so many so quickly."
”I dunno, man. Have you seen what happens to people when Sin gets ticked off?”
“Summoners generally try to avoid Sin before the end of the pilgrimage.”
“Yeah? Tell that to my party…”
"Sorry I don't know more, but...watch your back. Ain't much future for a guardian without a summoner, eh?"
"We're talking about doing your job as a guardian!"
<…Man becoming a guardian suddenly becomes far less impressive…>
"Hey, I'm doing good! Right, big brother?"
*smiles and nods*
Isaaru and his brothers take off…
Welp… This game has been moving along at a steady pace for far too long here. Time to bring it to a screeching halt!
Episode 43 Highlight Reel
Basilisk Concept Art
Djose Concept Art
Djose Temple Concept Art
Djose Temple Interior Concept Art