The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X-2

by BrainWeasel

Part 16: Episode 8 - The Dr. Emmett Brown Theory of Temporal Bifurcation

Episode 8 - The Dr. Emmett Brown Theory of Temporal Bifurcation

Welcome back, and to Chapter 2. That was fun, wasn't it?

Maybe we overdid it?
"Overdid it?" There is no such thing! The Gullwings shall be notorious throughout Spira!
They weren't all that happy. Don't forget that notoriety can be a bad thing.
So what? I want to have fun!
Just make sure you don't do anything to land us in hot water, okay?

Oh, no...
Whenever Rikku and Brother agree... bad stuff happens.
That... can't be good.

We can't even leave the bridge yet. If we try, Buddy runs after us and tells us to check with Shinra to see what's on that awesome sphere. Everyone else is on the bridge, and has opinions on what we're doing.

We'll snaggle ourselves some spheres and shakey-shake our way into stardom! Forget "High Summoner Yuna." You'll be Gullwing Yunie!
All of Spira will be smitten with ME, leader of the Gullwings!
We definitely went too far. Let's... just not talk about it.
There had better be something awesome on this awesome sphere. Go see what Shinra's got.

Okay, Buddy, we get it already.

Hmmm... It's just a regular movie sphere. It doesn't appear to have any special functions. You wanna take a look?

We don't actually get a choice. This is Important Plot.

Hey, that guy!

You know, you're all I can count on to save Lenne.

Video: The Awesome Sphere

What in Spira is that machina?
Any ideas?
Not a one. But, as machina go, it looks extremely dangerous. Definitely a weapon.
I don't like this sphere.

Meanwhile, along a parallel line of thought...

Is it you? Or does it just look like you? And... who's this Lenne?

Come on, Yuna, it can't be Tidus. Both his pant legs are the same length.

So, uh... Let's give back that sphere, what do you say?
But we worked so hard to get it!
That thing is uber bad news.

True. It was enough to start a minor armed conflict over. As cowardly as this is, it's probably the most leaderlike thing Brother does.

What if we donated the sphere to the study of Spira's history? That's what being a sphere hunter was originally about, right?
It's a little late to be bringing that up.
Yeah! We already swiped it!
Well, I still don't want it! We're giving it back! Now!

Everyone looks to Yuna for approval, because they know who the real leader is. She just nods.

You don't mind?
I've seen it.
It's still pretty shameless to saunter up and give back the sphere we just stole.
You be quiet!
Our reputation is all but worthless if we do that. Our leader's, too, no less.
Shut up!

Politics and superweapons being kind of a downer, everyone's a little depressed after this exchange.

I really gotta let off some steam.
Whaddaya got in mind?

Oh? That's it!

I don't envy translators their jobs. It's not easy. You have to balance artistic intent with the cultural norms of the target language, and you're often beholden to all sorts of annoying restrictions. That said, the whole team cajoling Yuna into dancing for them plays much more creepy in English than I think they intended, and someone really should have suggested this edit. The job's name is Songstress, for crying out loud, it's not like it's out of the blue.

Anyway, our party has some amusing reactions here.

Maybe you could dance the sending? Actually, forget it. That would be a serious downer.
Once you've returned the sphere, you'd best forget what was on it. I'd hate to see you weighted down right when you were starting to lighten up.

In the cabin, it seems that Brother picked up some hitchhiking musicians at Kilika. How very convenient.

The impromptu concert is held on the hood of the ship, of all things, directly in front of the airlock. The crew, plus anyone you decided to let on board, is in the audience. Yuna dances her Songstress battle idle animation and doesn't sing any lyrics that aren't la la's, na na's, or doot do's. A little lazy, but it's not like Yuna's been preparing a song list, so I give it a pass.

Then Rikku takes over for a shift and Yuna takes a breather away from the crowd.

Who's Lenne? Why... why am I so mad? Who the heck is Lenne!?

Aww. That's almost adorable. I like the idea that this is really Yuna's first occasion to ever feel anything approaching jealousy. It's really a luxury emotion she wouldn't have been afforded before.

I'm going to go to bed.

And she does.

And she dreams. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Video: Yuna's Dream

Yuna wakes with a start.

What "what?"
It must have been a dream.
A dream's a dream.
Blame it on your new jammies.

In a nice nod to consistency, Yuna undergoes a spherechange transition into her normal clothes before we can run around.

Returning the sphere is all well and good, but who do we return it to?
With the Youth League and New Yevon, it's a lose-lose situation.
What do you think, Yuna?
I'll follow your orders, Leader!
Uh... Aha! As leader, I order Yuna to decide!
Hey, that's cheating!

Big decision. We've got one last opportunity to run around and get people's input.

Can't we just flip a coin? It's not like one group is any better than the other. If you ask me, neither organization is exactly a worthy cause.
The group that gets the sphere will love us, but the one that doesn't... Not that I care. Hurry up and choose.
This is a matter of Gullwing honor, so we'll all go to return the sphere together. Which is fine by me. Sky life is starting to make me a little flabby. Once you figure out who we're returning the sphere to, it's go time. We don't know what's ahead, so make sure you're prepared.

And one last opportunity to watch the sphere.

This could be your last chance... I've watched it a bunch of times since last night.

New Yevon... well, it's got "Yevon" in its name. Enough said.
But the Youth League is reckless. They're the ones picking the fights.
Well? WELL?

This is the major branching moment in the entire game. We can only pick one side to give the sphere to, and neither is a great choice. New Yevon seems just as secretive as Old Yevon was, on top of apparently hoarding machina weapons, but the Youth League is a cult of personality which is actively militarizing.

So cast your votes in the thread! Whom do we back?

Psyche. I have room on my memory card. We're doing both. The choice changes a lot of the dialogue later on, locks some missions, and unlocks others. Some scenes will have big differences, and those will be obvious. Where there are little changes, I've made some custom quote block things that use the color scheme I established before. Blue for backing New Yevon:

I'm so glad you joined us here at New Yevon!

And red for backing the Youth League:

I'm pissed off that you joined the other guys in the Youth League!

Well, let's start with New Yevon.

I wonder why...
You're the high summoner, remember?

Take it easy. Show some class, man.

Inside the temple, everyone is bowing and performing the old prayer.

Thank you. It's not every day you meet hunters who are willing to bring back a sphere they stole.
Well, it's a long story.
You helped us keep the sphere out of the hands of the Youth League. I'm willing to leave it at that. You've been of great help, High Summoner.
Excuse me! Her name's Yuna, and she's a Gullwing!
Ah, forgive me. By the way, have you seen the contents of the sphere?
Then…I suppose I have a little explaining to do. What you saw is Vegnagun, a weapon built roughly one thousand years ago. It's currently being held under tight security. The location is, of course, highly classified.

Of course it's a weapon. It's got "gun" right there in the name.

True. The Youth League would like nothing more than to use Vegnagun to control Spira. But do not be afraid. We will stop them at all costs.

Tell me… Who was the man I saw in the sphere?
Hmm… I couldn't say.
I see.

Now that all the exposition has been delivered, the meeting is cut short.

Gullwings, we're leaving!

Video: Baralai Explains It All

Alright, now into the parallel time dimension.

Nooj looks on from a balcony. You're really not helping our impression of you with this dictator chic, buddy.

Wow! They're pulling out all the stops!
I wonder why...
You're the high summoner, remember?
Who throws a welcome party for the people who ripped them off?
Details, details. Show some class, man.

Brother tries to introduce himself to Nooj, but Yuna steals his thunder.

We'd like to give you the sphere that you were looking for. Now that you have this, you can stop the fighting in Kilika.
How generous... and how sudden. Maybe you should start by introducing yourself, High Sum-
We're the Gullwings.
I see. Sphere hunters. In that case, I gratefully accept the sphere you have brought. On behalf of the Youth League, I thank you.

Once that's done, we head inside.

So did you watch it?

You are the worst liar ever, Rikku.

We did.
I'm afraid I cannot.

You told her to forget it too, Paine. What's going on with you?

Some advice: That... thing... The colossus you saw is known as Vegnagun. It possesses overwhelming destructive power. It must not be touched! Yet those Yevon fools think they can control it. The Youth League will do whatever it takes to make sure they do not get a chance to try. Trust me, you don't want to get involved.

You know, I really don't.

Tell me... Who was the man I saw in the sphere?
I cannot say.
I see.

Gullwings, we're leaving!

Video: Nooj Explains It All

It's interesting to see both sides of the conflict this way. Both groups are accusing the other of wanting to "control" Vegnagun. It's like a cold war when there's only one nuke in the whole world. It's also jarring to see Nooj trying to cover up the contents of the sphere after all his speeches about freedom of information. He seemed to know what was on the sphere before he got it, too, making it that much harder to trust him.

Anyway, back to the ship.

It's official. We've been burgled. The broken sphere from the Zanarkand Ruins is missing.

Video: Leblanc's Last Laugh

Crap. Those guys just won't let up.

She got us.
Oh, poopie!
Yuna! Don't talk like that!
I'm just copying you!
That's nice. And?
We're gonna take it back! No one messes with us!
And what about Vegnagun?

There's a couple of dimensions to this line. The first, and most obvious, is that Yuna has chosen her new life, and getting involved in this heavy stuff isn't part of it any more. But there's also the question of how effective she'd be if she did. Yuna was a perfect candidate to defeat Sin, even in the unorthodox manner that she did, because it's what she was raised to do. This time around, though, all she brings to the table is an airship and a swanky wardrobe. She doesn't know nearly anything about what's going on, and can't trust any of the parties involved to tell her the truth. Jumping into the middle of things could be really dangerous for little benefit.

That's right! We steal back what is stolen. It is the law of the sphere hunter! Now we go to Chateau Leblanc! We attack in the name of honor!
...get our hineys kicked in the name of honor.

There's some cutscene logic going on. We can take Leblanc's goons in battle, but only because the battle system has a cap of four enemies. The Syndicate is big enough for goons to be infinitely spawning random encounters, however, so we have to assume they could simply overwhelm the trio if we attacked head-on and they all piled on at once.

Maybe we can sneak in in disguise?
That's it! Yuna, you are brilliant!
So, we have to fly around till we find Leblanc's gang-
Beat them up and steal their uniforms. Three of them.

Here's our plot hook for the second chapter. We need to find three uniforms to sneak into Leblanc's place. We've even got more default dialogue from our party to reflect it.

Buddy's line reflects how the chapter starts; we really have no idea where to look. There aren't any Hotspot!s on the world map to guide us, either.

Might as well start at the source; Guadosalam.

Still can't get in the front door, only now there's a tiny scene here that counts for percentage points. However, it seems like the Syndicate isn't particularly good at message discipline. Everyone in Guadosalam can be spoken to twice. The first thing they say is probably about what went down in Kilika, but the second might contain clues about where to find Leblanc's goons.

We get hints that they're headed to Bikanel...


...and Gagazet. There's no obvious indicator that anything has changed, but once we get all those clues, the dialogue on the airship reflects it. I missed these my first time through, but you don't actually need to do it to finish the chapter or get 100%. Stumbling into the plot is just as valid as knowing where it is in advance.

For a "Syndicate," Leblanc's gang really sucks at covert operations...
How hard can it be to chase a group with a leader that... loud?

Next time: everywhere else again!