The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 54: Episode XLVI: Ride My Shoopuf


Welp it’s that time of the month again. Time for a trip down to the moonflow. It is about a week long journ—wait no. I’m mixing up my facts. The road to Final Fantasy X’s Moonflow is only a single map long and maybe a five minute walk were random battles not a thing.

Unfortunately, they are indeed a thing. The stinger bug, dog, oversized armadillo and ice Flan variants from the Djose Highroad have all spread to this area as well. Joining them is a random battle version of the Ochu we fought back in Kilika Woods. Strangely the common Ochu variety is way tougher than its Lord variant (7,200 HP vs. Lord Ochu’s 4,649 HP) and give out way more prizes when popped like a vegetable piñata (180 AP vs. Lord Ochu’s 40 AP.) With that in mind, that block of HP takes a pretty long time to whittle down, making killing them more of a pain in the ass than a decent source of grinding.

But enough about mini-bosses downgraded to common mob fodder. We have several familiar faces to gab with idling about on the sides of this path. First up is Shelinda. Spoilers: She’s gonna talk about Yevon!

“We can all learn a lesson from what has happened to the Crusaders. Only the truly faithful have a hope of defeating Sin."
"Where you going now?"
"I'm thinking of Guadosalam. I have not spoken with the Guado for some time."

Yeah I’m sure they’ve been all torn up about that. Moving on…

Well now here are some folks I didn’t expect to see way out here. Maybe we’ll get some Ronso trash talking out of Kimahri before he bashes someone over the head with a steel folding chair. I like to imagine all Ronso conflicts I settled via either bar fights or wrastlin’.

People of the North Pole

We come upon Biran and Yenke harassing some kid who soon takes off as we approach.

”Might wanna get your eyesight checked, buddy.”

"Hornless! Hornless!

I had some vague comment on Ronso trash talking, but then my wife walked by and asked with the giant blue cat dude had nipple mustaches. Now I cannot unsee Kimahri’s nipple mustaches… Thanks for that, Fio. You’re swell…

”Maybe insult a little. We see.”
"Summoners disappear. Never return."
"Next will be Kimahri's summoner."
"Poor Kimahri! Lost his horn, next lose his summoner!
”Only thing Kimahri not lose is Ronso cherry.”

"Pitiful Kimahri! Howl alone! Howl alone!"
*laugh and run off*

*shakes head*
“What, they were just picking on you?"
"Kimahri will deal with them."
"And I'll help!"
"Kimahri alone."
”Kimahri have climactic solo boss battle against two in third act of game. No more talk.”

“We can't interfere; it's a rule."
”Whose rule? Yevon again…?”
“Ronso rule.”
”Ronsos rule!”
“You ain’t gonna argue with a Ronso, ya?”

"I'm worried."
"Let the Ronso deal with Ronso problems, ya? That's how it's always been."
"I mean I'm worried about those summoners disappearing."
”Could you at least vaguely try to stay focused on your job?”

”Don’t people like actually do that when they die in Spira…? At least into those pilefly things.”
“Only when dramatically appropriate. You saw the beaches at Mushroom Rock.”
“…Yeah I was doing my best to try to forget that. Thanks for the reminder, man. Anyway…”

"Hey, if we guardians do our problem, right?"


Summoners disappearing… I am sure that will never be an issue with Yuna’s crack team of guardians that already let her get kidnapped once this week.

Anyway, a bit of a jog further into the woods takes us to our final familiar face on this road. Who’s up for another Pokémon Battle?

“I heard you took part in Operation Mi'ihen. You've seen that machina aren't the answer. In the end, only summoners can hope to defeat Sin."
"You are right. I must train harder."
"I can help you with that, if you like. I propose a contest of aeons. A friendly contest, of course."

So we can once more challenge Belgemine to a summoner duel. It is pretty handy to have Yuna’s Overdrive filled up prior to the battle so she can perform a Grand Summon (aeon begins its summoning sequence with a full Overdrive bar.) But meh… This particular battle is pretty lopsided in our favor without that crutch.

Normal Battle

As before, Belgemine busts out the newest aeon in our collection and thus blocks it off from use by Yuna.

But that’s okay. McGruff has a handle on this situation. It is not explicitly mentioned prior to the player fucking up, but Yuna can use both Kazooie AND McGruff during this fight in order to beat Belgemine’s Ixion. If either aeon gets wiped Yuna can summon the other one to continue fighting – which makes this fight a bit unfairly stacked in our favor. But meh… I’m not complaining.

In any case, McGruff’s standard melee attack is the most effective offensive ability during this fight. Meteor Strike does only around ~100 HP more damage at the cost of being much slower to recover from turn wise. The early part of the battle is just a matter of exchanging blows with Ixion.

Ixion is not a particularly fast aeon. In fact it is objectively slower than our fire werewolf or oversized bird despite being an animal associated with speed (a dog.) To offset this, Belgemine’s Ixion will caste Haste once its HP drops below around 50%.

I believe someone speculated that the reason two of the same aeons couldn’t be summoned in the same battle was a story limitation and not a gameplay one. Nope. All aeons are unique to their summoners and are not the same creature. Also the game will immediately crash if you force it to attempt loading two of the same aeons in one of these battles. I tried. So there is that too.

Anyway, our Ixion foe now gets about two to three turns for each of our McGruff’s. But as long as our Overdrive meter fills before Ixion, we’re golden. It is actually possible to heal McGruff prior to that by casting Fire on ourselves since elemental aeons absorb and are healed by magic of their like element.

But who needs healing when you’ve got Hellfire, eh?


“Here, your prize. Go on, take it.”
*receives Dragon Scales x2 and Summoner’s Soul*
"I look forward to meeting you again. Till next time, Yuna.”

We now get a tutorial about the Summoner’s Soul. It is long and boring, so here’s the skinny: We can now teach our Aeons new abilities by spending items in certain quantities to unlock ‘em. For instance, those two Dragon Scales we got could be used to teach an aeon Watera. Or five Speed Spheres could teach it Aim. The bulk of items we find in our journey can be spent in mass to unlock new abilities for our aeons. Though it is worth mentioning that not every aeon can learn every ability. McGruff cannot learn Ice magic. Ixion is a no-go on Water. Stuff like that.

That said I… pretty much never touched this mechanic. I tend to use aeons as Overdrive cannons or meat shields. And a lot of the vast quantity of items dropped into improving them could be better put to use elsewhere. There are a few exceptions I’m sure. But totally ignoring this business rarely came back to bite me.

Welp, that’s a wrap for the road to the Moonflow. Pretty boring filler. Let’s go check out the actual highlight, ya? Ya…? Ah Christ, I’m getting the Besaid Bug. Soon I’ll start ending every other statement with “you know?”

Water Ambience


Perhaps it is just me, but with a name like the “Moonflow” you’d expect something a bit more spectacular than an overcast Florida Everglades with some fantasy fireflies sputtering about…

”Ooh! Let me guess! The flowers are called ‘moonflowers’ right?”
“…That is still part of the moonlilies.”
“…They weren’t big on flowers back in Zanarkand. At least not that I remember. I know for sure they weren’t big in blitzball circles.”

“They say that clouds of pyreflies gather here when night falls."
"The entire river glows, like a sea of stars."
*jumps up and raises arm* “Hey, I got an idea!"

“Ah… Oh…” *frown*



“Chirp. Chirp. Chitidusisslowthisisasuicidemissiongetacluegeezrp”

On that awkward note, everyone takes the time to pose for a group shot that will look nice in the trailers.

"Shoopuf? That some kind of boat?"
”…No. Wait! I’ve heard of shoopuf before. Man they outlawed that stuff back in Zanarkand ages ago. Never tried it myself. I ain’t chasing any high that requires an enema to…”
“What…?! No.”

New Music: Rides ze Shoopuf?

Behold the mighty shoopuf. Apparently Dr. Seuss’ stories actually took place in Spira. Seymour’s peculiar hairstyle is actually an adverse effect to Green Eggs and Ham. That shit will mess you up! You want to know what happened to that poor bastard that was duped by Sam I Am into chowing down on that stuff?


"Whoa... Let's ride! Come on, let's go!"
"All right! We board soon as we're ready, ya?"

Hold your horses, buddy. The party has scattered around the wharf and all have extra conversations if we chat them up prior to boarding the shoopuf. First up are Yuna and Kimahri.

"What? You've been on one of these?!"
"Well, just once. Ten years ago, with Kimahri.”
*turns to Kimahri* “Remember?"
"Shoopuf shook, Yuna fall in water. Shoopuf scoop up Yuna with long nose. Yuna jump in three more times for fun. …Kimahri worried."
"Yuna had fun. Kimahri happy."
”Kimahri not get wet. Kimahri glad.”
“Aww… Kitty don’t like getting wet?”
“Kimahri wonder how long blitzball player breath last underwater when Ronso hands around neck…”
“Right… Moving on…”

Tidus speaks with Yuna a second time…

"I lived in the city of Bevelle until ten years ago. I moved to Besaid after my father defeated Sin. Kimahri was with me the whole way!"
"It's the biggest city in Spira! The main temple of Yevon is there."
”…Even bigger than Luca? How does that even work with Sin showing up at any time?”
“Right… Moving on…”

"Come on! Let's get on the shoopuf!"

Tidus speaks with Kimahri…

"Biran is troublemaker, but Ronso do not lie. Summoners disappearing -- that was not lie."
”Yeah. That summoner guy from the other day said the same thing.”
“This not information you share with other guardians…?!”

"Right, I'll be careful."

Tidus speaks with Kimahri again…

"Smells like oil."
”Tch. Hey!”
“Not you.”
“Oh… alright.”
“You smell like old towels and gym socks.”
“That’s the unique fragrance of victory, buddy.”
“Kimahri prefer oil.”

The next screen over we can find the boarding platform for the shoopuf as well as a bunch of merchants selling crap. We can inquire about what the deal is with the big loading machine on the dock. But apparently this is Yevon Approved™ Machina and is kosher for use because… well Yevon said so and the maesters weren’t loading their own luggage onto giant fantasy elephant boats.

Anyway, Auron has some stuff to say.

“Ugh… A history lesson?"
"Jecht saw his first shoopuf here. Surprised, he drew his blade and struck it."
"He was drunk... Thought it was a fiend."
*groan* "Oh, brother..."
"We offered all the money we had as an apology. Jecht never drank again.”
”Get out of town!”
“Well, he still drank during ‘special occasions’. But not quite blackout, striking shoopuf in a disoriented stupor drunk.”
“And ‘special occasions’ were…?”
“Braska completing another temple… Reaching a new landmark… Defeating a particularly powerful fiend…”

*looks at the shoopuf* “But, it would seem that shoopuf still works here."

Indeed, if you look closely at the thing’s thigh in the background it has a nasty scar. I thought that was a nice detail.

Tidus talks to Auron a second time…

"Even after ten years, Spira hasn't changed. Truly... The place seems to resist change. It would take something unusual."

Tidus heads west to the end of the wharf…

Oh… Hey. Read this dialogue in the tone of a mushmouthed racist caricature not unlike Jar Jar Binks. The guy speaking is a Hypello. Hypello are… special…

"Please, we beg of you!"
"Imposhibibble! Imposhibibble!"
"What's wrong?
"This guy won't let our chocobo on the shoopuf!"
”No I meant with that guy’s voice… Did he have a stroke?”
“…It’s a Hypello. They’re just like that. Don’t you know anything?”
“Got close to Sin’s toxin. Yadda yadda. Forgot. But…”

*looks at chocobo* "It is kinda big."
"It's just not fair!"
"He does have a point, though."
"So, what? We just leave him behind?"
"Hey, I didn't say that. Just..."
”Because that chocobo is twice—no THREE times the man you are. That chocobo is a war hero. It was tempered in battle and bathes only in the blood of its fallen enemies. I’d sooner leave you behind than it, Clasko! I’d offer it your throat if that would even begin to satisfy its yearning to return to battle. Which is being denied by frikkin’ WEIGHT restrictions. Are you kidding me?!”

"It is no good. We will have to find another way. We will find a ford where we can cross on foot."
"Yes, Captain, sir!"
"But...that'll take days!"
"Where there's a will, there's a way."
"Oh, boy..."
"That's our captain!"

The chocobo knights run off…

“Those words stayed with me. I wonder how Captain Lucil is doing.”
”She and the other two just kind of dropped off the face of the earth in the third act. Though… Hmm… That kind of happened to a lot of people…”

Tidus enters the nearby rest stop and speaks with Lulu and Wakka…

"How little you know! Some things little boys never grow out of!"

Last but not least, old man Maechen has a pair of history lessons for us before we depart. Sure, we’ll listen to your story for a change. Ours was getting kind of dull.

“Very well! There are many things we do not know about the shoopuf. For example, what does it eat? It eats nothing! The water it sucks through its shnoz somehow supports its considerable size. Some theorize it eats teeny-weeny waterborne organisms. And that, as they say, is that."
"Perhaps you'd like to hear about the Hypello, hmm?"
“Hmm. The shoopuf handlers belong to a race of water-dwellers known as the Hypello. They may be slow on land, but in the water they're quick as silvery fish! You'd think they'd make admirable players of blitzball. But their lackadaisical disposition draws them to less strenuous pastimes. And that, as they say, is that."

All dem lazy Hypello! Go back to Hyp…wherever you came from…!

Well then, that is all for the Moonflow’s dock. Let’s gather our party before venturing forth to Ride ze Shoopuf!

And away we go! Spoiler: Riding a slow moving animal as it lazily swims across a river is not nearly as glee inducing exciting as some would have you think…

Episode 46 Highlight Reel

Maechen Lecture #2

The Moonflow Concept Art

Moonlily Concept Art

Shoopuf Concept Art

Hypello Official Art