The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X

by The Dark Id

Part 74: Episode LXV: Wander My Sands

Music: Twilight

Welp, everyone is getting a nice helping of Sin Toxin for hanging out on Sin's back for road trip discussions without realizing it. Don't worry about all that memory loss or health issues nonsense from earlier in the game we were warned about. We've got a minute long dream sequence and the plot device toxin will never be mentioned again.

Imagine four blitzballs on the edge of a cliff. Say a direct copy of the blitzball nearest the cliff is sent to the back of the line of blitzballs and takes the place of the first blitzball. The formerly first blitzball becomes the second, the second becomes the third, and the fourth falls off the cliff."

Sin works the same way.

”I'm an adult now. I get up in the morning and I dress
myself every day. Huh? What are you laughing about...?”

“You want this to end.”

We now return to our regularly scheduled program of Tidus drowning... already in progress...

New Music: Scorching Desert

Now that our interlude of Tidus getting baked with his ghost dad has ended, we find ourselves err... Scorching Desert? What kinda music track name is tha—

Oh... We actually are in a scorching desert now. That makes more se—

Wait, WHAT?!

Tidus, please stop treating your doom whale father, that kills hundreds regularly and locks the populace of an entire planet in fear, like a misbehaving puppy. It's very distasteful.

So anyway, we have somehow traveled from the bottom of a frozen lake to a shallow oasis in the middle of a vast desert. What? Why? How? Huh?!

No, I have no idea how that works. Nor will anyone actually question how Sin flung everyone from the bottom of the lake to the middle of the desert. Or why they're all still alive after an intermission of being knocked unconscious by Sin's poo gas and presumably dragged underwater. Everyone just kind of rolls with it without question.

Music: Normal Battle

As of right now, Tidus is the only member of our party and he almost immediately gets attacked feet away from leaving the desert oasis. Maybe it isn't wise to leave the only visible landmark for miles in favor of wandering the desert aimlessly, eh?

Yep. That was probably a pretty bad idea...

We're now cast into a mini-boss battle against Zu, a giant fuck-off vulture of the desert. Zu has a quite healthy 12,000 HP to its name. Which might seem like a problem for just Tidus to handle. But in truth if Tidus' HP falls below about 50% Auron and Lulu will eventually show up in battle to help out.

Zu hits fairly hard pecking or flapping its wings for around 850-950 HP of damage a turn. But I think Tidus can handle this foe quite easily by himself. Especially, if he just exploits his innate weird time mage abilities.

We'll start off with a smattering of Haste...

...maybe throw in a Delay Attack to get a bit more breathing room...

Alrighty then. All that in a row and now the Zu gets one turn for every six of Tidus'. That sounds like more of a fair fight. But we could do a little bit better.

I unlocked the second tier of Slow, Slowga, in Tidus' Sphere Grid not long ago. So we'll give that a whirl.

Hmm... Seven or eight turns to Zu's every one turn. Now I'm feeling a little bit mean spirited about this fight.

Especially when it whiffs its solitary chance to attack out of the last 15 rounds. That's got to be embarrassing. Should have stuck to eating leftover chocobo carcasses, buddy.

Zu has a second phase to battle where it will land on the ground and start doing somewhat more powerful versions of its beak strikes. But unfortunately it only made it to the landing stage of that phase before Tidus brutally slashed it eight more times in a row.

Oh, hey guys! Nice of you to show up. Man, Lulu you have got to be regretting that choice of attire by this point. I've said this like twenty times and it keeps getting truer as the game progresses.

Music: Scorching Desert

*pant* “The others?”

“We're supposed to stay in one place if we get split up."
”Huh? When did we agree on that? I don't remember anyone saying that.”
“It was agreed upon before we set on the pilgrimage.”
“...I've been here since the beginning.”
“Well... You should have paid more attention.”

"Wait here if you want. He's not.”

Keeping in character, Auron eternally has no time for anyone's bullshit.

Now that we have Lulu and Auron back in the party. Guess we'll have to go track down the rest of the gang before venturing forth. It could be trouble tracking down everyone. Who knows how far everyone got flung by... however the hell Sin teleported us this time. How do we even know everyone ended up in the same place? Well, might as well...

...Oh wait never mind. Wakka is just camping out, quite literally it seems, twenty feet away.

"Where's Yuna?”

*nervous glance at each other*
*disinterested stare*
*kicks a posts and busts his foot*

You people are profoundly bad at your jobs. At least Auron has the excuse of thinking this job is beneath him and not giving a shit in the first place. And Tidus sort of Forrest Gumped his way into things. But Lulu and Wakka? No excuses.

Next to the tent we find a chest full of eight Al Bhed Potions. Al Bhed's first aid sprays cure poison, silence, and petrification as well as heals 1,000 HP on all party members. They're pretty nice for this point in the game. I'm sure Wakka would rather bleed out from a deep gut wound than use one. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Conveniently the dunes of the desert form trails for the party to follow along. There's a few short branching paths. But much like the rest of the game's map design, we are stuck on rails. Though not everyone got the message...

Kimahri doesn't really get sand dunes. Which is weird considering he lived beachfront on an island for a decade. But you know how cats can be.

"It's not your fault, Kimahri!"

At least Kimahri was attempting to be proactive in doing his job. I've got to imagine giant blue guy atop a dune would stick out in the middle of a desert. Though... maybe given that Tidus was immediately set upon by a super-sized vulture, that isn't the best tactic.

Speaking of desert enemies, there's a sorry crew of desert-esque palette-swapped cousins of earlier enemies. The flying nuisance, swift dog, and armored lizard type. Still Wakka, Tidus, and Auron one-shotting affairs as usual.

Also roaming the desert, as Wakka suggested earlier, are Al Bhed machina known as the Mech Guards. They're just kind of shit robots that ram into people for negligible damage and will go down to a single Thunder spell from Lulu or a couple of whacks from anyone else on the team. We saw another model of this enemy briefly back the first time Yuna was kidnapped by the Al Bhed Psyches in Luca. So don't go thinking they actual put the effort in for a real new enemy.

Trekking further through the desert, we'll eventually reach Rikku, who managed to get flung much further than anyone else by Sin. At least as far as we know. Yuna could have been launched into space at this rate.

“Hey, guys! Where's Yunie?"
*shakes head* “Gone.”
*sighs* "Gone... Some guardian I am."

"There's something I wanna tell you, but promise not to say anything."

“No glaring either!”

“Yunie's there, I'm sure of it!”

Yeah so Sin flung the party literally half-way across the planet onto essentially another continent between scenes. And a decent clip inland at that, if the wildly rotating map of Spira is to be trusted. And we're just going to roll with that like it's a minor hiccup on the journey. This middle portion of Final Fantasy X gets kind of spotty at connecting locations in any sort of natural fashion.

So our new goal is to hike clear across the desert to the Al Bhed's home of Home. Which in Al Bhed would be Rusa. Which sounds like a suitable fantasy location name. But whatever, Rikku is the resident translator.

"What does it matter as long as she's safe?"
"That's right!”

“Anyway, I will take you there if you promise... that you won't tell anyone about it. Especially not Yevonites, okay?”
“...You know what I mean.” *side glance at Wakka*

“You know they don't like us Al Bhed. Who knows what they'll do if they knew?”
"Gimme a break. What are you accusing Yevon of this time?"
“Yevon did something really bad to us before."
"Well, you Al Bhed must've deserved it."

”I get it. Generations of societal mistrust and all that. Blahblahblah. I fell asleep to lectures of that all the time before I dropped out of school to blitzball. But I mean we got bigger worries. Also having someone know where the heck we are sounds like a plus.”
"Just promise you won't tell anyone about this island. Promise?"
"Wakka, come on!"
"All right, I promise! Lead the way."
"You got it!"

So I hope you all like sand textures and showcasing the power of the Playstation 2's Emotion Engine's ability to render massive barren, empty plains fields with long draw distances. Cuz we're about to get a lot of that!

Video: Episode 65 Highlight Reel

Bikanel Desert Concept Art

Zu Concept Art