The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy X-2

by BrainWeasel

Part 48: Episode 24 - One Way It Could Have Happened

Episode 24 - One Way It Could Have Happened

Welcome back. Last time I promised that there'd be no more updates consisting entirely of cutscenes, but this one is a special exemption.

Today, we're heading to Mi'ihen to discover the identity of the machina saboteur.

Mi'ihen has one of the most involved requirements for Episode Complete. There are six possibilities for the outcome of this investigation. The most boring one is that no culprit was found; in this instance, the assistant gives you an Ether as thanks and sends you on your way. Otherwise, we head to the Travel Agency for the climactic reveal.

I would like to talk about the recent string of incidents occurring on the Highroad.

The intro is (almost) always the same: Rin welcomes everyone, and the camera focuses on a young Chocobo Eater in a cage. Then Rin will discuss the evidence we've found in text boxes, because the exact evidence we can have for each suspect will vary slightly. Finally, Rin will confront the suspect and hand down a verdict.

Let's go through the five possibilities from least to most interesting.

Case 1

First, let us discuss the circumstances surrounding the hover crash. Someone has been trying to destroy the Highroad's machina, starting with that hover. Hovers are built to be light. Even a child could move one with only a push. Once could easily flag down the pilot and then quickly push the hover off a cliff once it came to a halt.

Now, let us consider the runaway drone machina. But then again, perhaps "runaway" is not the best word. Machina don't just run amuck on their own, now do they?

Our culprit clearly wanted people to fear machina. That is why he or she tampered with their operation. By playing on people's uneasiness, the guilty party hoped to purge the Highroad of machina altogether.

Our machina-hater probably talked an Al Bhed into explaining how the control panel works.

I would like to call a witness.

Someone told him they wanted to learn about machina, and eventually he just gave in.

There is still more testimony to be heard.

They were paid to keep silent. But silence bought with gil is just as easily broken with gil.

Someone looks nervous.

So tell me: who pushed the hover into the ravine?

Surely you saw the one who pushed the hover off the Newroad? ...I see. Just as I thought.

We never, ever get to hear the witnesses' first-hand testimony.

Regarding the person who pushed the hover off the Newroad... and sabotaged the machina after tricking the Al Bhed operator into explaining how they work... There is only one thing to say.

Suddenly, Prophet pulls a gun!

And I would've gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids.
Well, well, well. I see we have new testimony. What I was going to say...

Like, no fair!
Fair? Do you think what you did was fair? You and your partner have been working underground to bring chocobos back to the Highroad. But everyone else greatly preferred the modern convenience of machina. In order to scare them back into using chocobos, you programmed the machina to run amuck. What else can you call that, but unfair?

Damn, Rin. Must be all that Blitzball.

I must think of a suitable reward for your efforts. For two people who hate machina it will be an excruciating, yet fitting, punishment.

Excruciating is right.
They must be hating every minute of this. Advertising something they're against.

But Rin, you're the one who figured everything out.
Hovers are happy! Hovers are fun! We've got a hover for everyone!
Is it just me, or are they enjoying this?

Video: The Culprit is Prophet

I wish people would stop blaming all the world's problems on machina.
I guess in the end, hovers and chocobos are both okay in their book.

Not only was that kind of obvious, we got no reward out of it. No Episode Complete, not even a thank-you gift from Rin thanks to Yuna's big mouth. Let's try something else.

Case 2

First, let us discuss the circumstances surrounding the hover crash. Someone has been trying to destroy the Highroad's machina, starting with that hover. Investigation of the Newroad yielded a vital clue: marks were found suggesting that something fell into the ravine below. As you have no doube realized, someone or something pushed the hover off the road. Additional marks were found on the hover indicating it had been struck. In other words, the hover was attacked with extraordinary force and knocked into the ravine.

This starts similar to the Prophet case, but in this case, we had Rin investigate the hover after the pilot was rescued, causing him to notice dents in the hover.

Now, let us consider the runaway drone machina. But then again, perhaps "runaway" is not the best word. Machina don't just run amuck on their own, now do they?

Perhaps the guilty party merely fiddles with the drone machina's control panel after seeing someone else do the same. I am convinced that is exactly how it all happened.

And what had once been malicious is now random chance. The hover pilot also gives his testimony, but, as usual, we don't hear what he says.

That is correct. Travellers would use chocobos instead of hovers. It all boils down to this: The culprit's objective, obviously, was to bring chocobos back to the Highroad.

This was no playful pursuit, but rather a sincere hunt for food by a starving creature. Hungry, it tried to devour its prey. "It," of course, meaning that fiend which craves chocobos.

What a twist!

With its main course gone from the Highroad, the creature instinctively knew: Machina are responsible. Destroy them and the chocobos will return. And that is when it used its formidable strength to topple the hover. Further, when it discovered the machina's control panel, it somehow pressed the right buttons to cause the machina to go haywire.

It has managed to thoroughly disrupt our daily affairs - even if it was just pure luck. Fiend or not, I admire it greatly for its tenacious pursuit of its goals. In honor of that tenacity...

Whoa, whoa, you're going to feed it?

The chocobos deserve to live without fear of being devoured.

Oh... phew. Although maybe the Eater would prefer a form of honor where you don't haul it away for unspoken purposes?

The chocobos seem happier, with that fiend finally gone.
So, what are you gonna do with it?
You are better off not knowing.
So, a happy ending for everyone. Unless you're a fiend.
Anyhoo, let's get back to the airship.

Oohhhh! Somebody stop this thing!!

Video: The Culprit is Chocobo Eater

Yunie, you all right? That looked and sounded like it really hurt.
So, how did it feel to ride a psychotic chocobo?

Well, that's a little better. We got our EPCOM, at least. But we have an airship, so free chocobos isn't that much of a reward, and the culprit was a little obvious. How about this?

Case 3

For this case, we're back to the theory that the hover was pushed, not punched. Also, rather than Prophet's assistant taking the blame for tampering with the control panel, she passed what she learned from the Al Bhed on to someone else. But there's some damning forensics that will decide this case, so let's just jump ahead to that.

I have deduced that whoever owns this feather must hold the key to solving our mystery. The feather has already been returned to its owner.

I thought if machina were gone, chocobos might return to the Highroad.
First you knocked over the hover, then you sabotaged the other machina. Am I correct?
Yes. But my plan worked a little too well. I didn't mean to cause such a mess! I-I got so scared. I was afraid to tell anyone about it. I'm so sorry!
I can understand your love for chocobos. But have you ever considered how the chocobos feel?
You are correct in assuming that chocobos would once again be needed if machina were gone. They would be used in place of the hovers. But do you think chocobos enjoy being used?
Well, um...
You of all people should know better.
Yes, sir.

Now then, everyone.

How shall we have her atone for her crimes?

She said she's sorry. Isn't that enough?
At any rate, we at the Travel Agency are quite grateful for the help.
Don't be a slave driver, you hear?
Ah, but I have so much for her to do. In fact, I've prepared a new job just for her. I will have her take care of all our chocobos.

Video: The Culprit is Calli

I guess in the end, Rin and Calli both made out good, huh?
Hm. I guess hurting Calli was never an option, was it?

Well, that was interesting. But it's still kind of obvious, we still didn't get a decent reward, and, considering that the only way to earn this outcome is to refuse to let Calli aboard your airship, I feel kinda responsible. Let's try another one.

Case 4

Again, I'm jumping ahead a little to where the evidence starts to diverge. Also, there's no dent on the back of the hover this time.

However, after seeing a man fall off the Agency's roof, another possibility struck me. An impact, were it strong enough, could also be enough to cause a machina to malfunction. Such an impact would not necessarily require beastly strength. Even someone weak could deal a forceful enough blow - with a little help from nature. Suppose, for example, someone were to jump down from a great height... That would do it.

We have already heard some testimony: The hover lost its balance and overturned while attempting to avoid a passerby. But who could that passerby be? According to the hover's pilot, it was an Al Bhed female. We found footprints on one of the malfunctioning machina. Those same footprints were also found on a ledge by the Newroad.

Has anyone recently been to the ruins at the Highroad's south end?

And does anyone recall jumping down from a great height?

Has anyone climbed down onto the ledge along the Newroad?

One final question: Would the Al Bhed ladies please raise their hands?

Please try to recall what happened, Rikku.

Rikku's actually pretty easy to implicate. The jumping down scene is from part of the Chapter 2 chocobo catching mission I cut out. Rikku climbs up a ruin to scout and falls on her ass, but the camera here zooms out to indicate it wasn't exactly her ass she landed on. However, it's also important that Yuna's team is the one to defeat one specific rogue machina during the Chapter 3 mission, where you have to jump down to a lower ledge. That puts Rikku's footprints at the scene, and also allows Shinra to install a CommSphere down there for the investigation.

Precisely. The hover crashed while trying to avoid hitting you. And you caused the drone machina to malfunction when you landed on it. You, Rikku, are the one who caused these two incidents to occur.
I am sure you meant no harm, but your carelessness invited disaster.

What sentence?

Didn't expect trash duty.
You must be tired.
I'm ready to drop.

I guess Rin decided he needs transportation that can survive having a teenage girl dropped on it.

They were being employed to power a ferryboat, so I purchased them.
That's great, but can I go home now? I picked up all the trash.
All of the trash?
Every last piece. Look!

I thank you for your hard work.
Well, get plucking.
This stinks! Feathers aren't trash!

Video: The Culprit is Rikku

I don't ever want to see a chocobo feather again!
Looks like our garbage hunter is all tuckered out.

Now that's what I call a reward. EPCOM, chocobos, and an accessory that grants Zero MP Cost. Now my White Mage can cheese healing as well as an Alchemist can with a fraction of the charge time!

But wait, that's only four. Who could the last suspect be? Let's see.

Case 5

This time, there's no crowd, and Rin doesn't say anything about the case at first.

This chocobo was being employed to power a ferryboat, so I purchased him.
What did you find out about the machina incidents?
I have deduced that both the hover incident and the malfunctioning machina drones were accidents.

I am trying to clear that matter up. I asked my assistants to inspect our machina some time ago.
An inspection? I had heard that it was an experiment, to synchronize the machina.
Yeah, I heard that, too.

Remember that? Go check Episode 3 if you don't.

Yes... while performing maintenance to keep the machina under control, we also experimented with upgrading them.
But you still couldn't control them!
True, but-

What's more, synchronized machina always act in unison. One malfunction could have triggered a similar effect in all the Highroad's machina.

Someone cut off our CommSphere's transmission.
It broke?
No. It was broken. We could see the culprit through a separate CommSphere.

That's when I realized: you never intended to catch the culprit. When I think about it, I've seen you on the Highroad a number of times now. Once before the machina started acting strange. And then again after the incident was over. But before I could talk to you, you vanished, as if you didn't want to be seen.

But then, when you tried to investigate, they all rebelled at once. So, you went around dismantling the rogue machina. Yes, while we were busy fighting them. Then, you slipped away just as everything was settling down. I am right, aren't I?

This is tricky. One of the pieces of evidence you have to collect to implicate Rin is to wait after getting the Mission Complete screen for the Mi'ihen mission in Chapter 3. Rin appears in the back of the crowd there, but you won't see him if you hit X too fast.

You are suggesting that my decision to upgrade the machina resulted in a number of casualties... and that I tried to cover it up?
You put the investigation in our hands because we were amateurs. You hoped we would botch the case. And then, I kept calling you even though I didn't have any leads. You would have objected to the meaningless interruptions, if you really wanted to solve the case.

Why, Rin?
If word got out that machina pose a danger, people would fear them and stop using them.
So Yevon's not alone in sweeping things under the rug.
I firmly believe that machina are an indispensable part of Spira's development.

You really think people will follow you that way?
I am not alone in my thinking. We are researching ways to extract the vast energy that sleeps in Spira, and use it to power machina.

That line, right there, about extracting energy from Spira and using it to power machines? That's the "evidence" that FFVII is a sequel to X-2. I'm sure there's a romhack out there somewhere for FFVII that does nothing but change "Lifestream" to "Farplane," "Mako" to "Pyreflies," and "Materia" to "Spheres."

I will take that as a compliment.

Video: The Culprit is Rin

Well, we don't get Episode Complete for this, but we find another one of the team's spheres. Let's head back into the Mystery Machine to watch it.

What's gotten into Rin? Did he eat something weird?
If Rin really plans to change the world, we might find ourselves on opposing teams someday.

Fun fact: this video is actually mutually exclusive with a 100% run! That's right, it's impossible to see this video without giving up Episode Complete here. Another fun fact: these treasure sphere videos don't carry over to New Game +! This game really wants you to play it several times.

Orders are to locate the summoner Yuna and kill her guardians. Maybe you oughta lay low for a bit?

Hey, whoa!

No. I just don't want you stirrin' them up. The temples are after me too.

You're fighting? I see...

Heh. I'd probably look like a jackass if I even suggested it.
Only a jackass can change the world.
Huh. Good call.

What was that all about?

Sounds like fun.

Then, a radio signal chirps in.

Who is it?

Video: Gippal's Sphere

Well, it looks like Gippal went to hide out in Bikanel after the Crimson Squad incident, although apparently not for long. This also helps pin down the timeline, and I think it's illegal to have that much awesome that close together.

Next time; you wanna fight, eh? Come on, I give-a you a fight.