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"Zell wonders if Squally went to the prison as Laguna in the 'dream world.' God, if only. There's no way that wouldn't have been an improvement. Unless it involved the story of Laguna and the Moombas. Let's not go there."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VIII Part 10

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Final Fantasy X : Part 16
By Jeanne
Posted 09.27.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Last time, the wanker gang blasted their way into Bevelle to save Yuna for, like, the third time. Some nonsensical stuff took place, of course, resulting in Yuna getting married to Seymour. Luckily for all of us, the wedding night was cut short as everyone escaped to the Cloister of Trials, where they were captured by the Yevonites. Shit.

The scene opens up with a trial. A Ronso that sounds like James Earl Jones presides over the "High Court of Yevon," while the other three maesters watch the proceedings from their own fancy balconies. Yuna stands alone on the "oh shit" mini-balcony, and her guardians are gathered on the main floor behind her. James spouts some important stuff which basically boils down to "Tell the truth because Yevon says so." Lulu leans over to Tightass and whispers, "Maester Kelk Ronso," loud enough to echo through the room. Okay, so we've now met the fourth maester, who was conspicuously absent at the wedding. Now that you know what his real name is, I can continue to refer to him as James.

As it turns out, Yuna is on trial for the horrific crimes of "inflict[ing] dire injury" upon Seymour the pedophile, and "conspir[ing] with the Al Bhed and join[ing] in their insurrection." James' wording here makes it ambiguous as to whether or not he knows Seymour is dead. After all, he was conveniently absent from the wedding, as I already noted. The court, apparently, is not interested in proving Yuna's guilt or innocence. Instead, James wants to know why Yuna did these naughty, naughty things. What in the hell difference does that make to them?

Of course, it gives Yuna the perfect opportunity to announce that Seymour is the true asshole here, because of the whole murdering his father thing. James is taken aback, clearly the only person -- er, Ronso -- who does not know this. Seymour is all, "Duh! Didn't you know that, dumbass?" Yuna also informs James that Seymour is deceased. Lulu butts in, "It is a summoner's sacred duty to send the souls of the departed to the Farplane!" Thanks, Captain Obvious. "Yuna was only doing her job as a summoner," Lulu continues. Wait a second here. Where in the hell did Lulu get the idea that Yuna is on trial for trying to send Seymour? Also, since she was essentially the one who killed him in the first place, why would attempting to send him later be a good defense? This makes no sense.

Yuna dramatically begs Maester Mika to send Seymour. The background noise turns all creepy as Mika starts acting rather strange. Yuna is all, "What the hell?" and then suddenly pyreflies start emanating from Mika. I guess that really is a little trick that can be turned on and off at will. How neat. So now everyone's shocked and surprised that Mika is dead. Well, except for Auron, because he's also dead. Jesus on a scooter, who isn't dead? Anyway, even though the ominous music informs us that This is Not a Good Thing, James explains that hey, it's okay that Maester Mika is no longer among the living. After all, he's such a great leader, why should they have to lose him just because of something as minor as death? Maester Kinoc notes that he'd rather have some dead guy as a leader than some living moron. I suppose he has a good point, but listen to the evil music!

The maesters all contribute extremely obvious comments about death, such as the fact that it is permanent and everything dies. Wow, no wonder these guys are such great leaders, what with their amazing intelligence and all. "Only the power of death truly commands in Spira," Mika comments. Ouch, the Game Theme Mallet is whacking me on the head! This is Yuna's cue to begin her Dramatic Monologue of Justice. She says that, as a summoner, it is her job to defeat the ultimate death-bringer, Sin. However, the fact that her voice actress has chosen to put emphasis on all the wrong words completely diminishes the message that Yuna is trying to convey. She wants to know if Mika is implying that her quest is futile. She adds a couple of whiny moans after that question, just to add to the strength of her image. "Grand Maester Mika, I am not alone!" she proclaims as the camera swoops in dramatically. "All the people who have opposed Sin...Their battles, their sacrifices--are they all in vain?" The last question is delivered in a whiny tone, followed by more wanky moans. Wow, I'm really feeling the power here.

Mika informs Yuna that although Sin can't ever be permanently defeated, the fact that summoners are willing to fight it gives hope to the people of Spira. Therefore, her tragic death will not be in vain. So basically, stuff we already knew. Thanks, Mika. Auron comments, "Never futile, but never ending..." "Indeed, that is the essence of Yevon," Mika replies. Yuna is shocked, SHOCKED! at this proclamation. In case we didn't quite get the fact that she was shocked, the camera zooms in on her face at lightning speed. I think I'm going to be motion sick. Mika continues to explain that Yevon is all about "eternal, unchanging continuity" and that anyone who doesn't believe this is a traitor. Okay, so all the people who believe that Sin will be defeated and that they will be able to atone for their sins are all traitors? Even though that's what they are supposed to believe? Sure, that makes sense. I guess it's a lot simpler when you boil it down to two things: a) the maesters spout a lot of shit, and b) they want the people to believe in completely different shit. I feel better now.

After one more shocked, "Lord Mika!" from Yuna, the camera swoops overhead and the scene thankfully fades out. Sure, that was a strange place to put a scene change, but nothing else about it made sense, so I'll just accept it for now. Unfortunately, the next scene opens up with the sound of Tightass being assraped. At least that's many people would conclude. In reality, he's grunting and whining because he's stuck in a hanging prison cell with Auron. I can think of many, many worse fates than that. Like what Auron's dealing with, for instance. The others are presumably in the other hanging cells, having to deal with Tightass's temper tantrum as well. After Tightass screams at the guards or whoever to let him out, Auron pretty much tells him to shut the fuck up. Tightass does, thankfully, and then sits down on the floor of the tiny cell. He wonders if Yuna's okay, and Auron responds that "She'll be okay" because she's so strong. The game designers figure that if they repeat that enough times, that will make it true. Anyway, Tightass gets pissy at Auron's reply, wanking, "She'll make it? What, so she can die?" Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. Did he want Auron to say that Yuna was being tortured to death?

That could be said for anything that comes out of Tightass's mouth.

Tightass, visited by the Really Fucking Obvious Game Theme Fairy asks why everything in Spira has to do with death. "Ahh, the spiral of death," Auron replies. Get it? Because the world is called Spira and it's a spiral of death? Because if you add an "L" to the end of "Spira" you get the word "spiral"? Isn't that so fucking clever? Anyway, get used to being hit over the head with the Death Mallet, because from here on out, it'll be a constant companion.

Tightass responds to Auron's statement with his favorite word, and Auron explains the concept in minute detail so that Tightass can understand it with his tiny brain. He lists each and every instance of something relating to death -- the Final Summoning, Sin, the fayth, etc. The rest of us, who have not had our heads up our asses, simply roll our eyes at this insult to our intelligence. Tightass, however, sighs as the knowledge molecules try to penetrate his thick skull. The scene fades out again.

The next scene takes place in the same hanging cell chamber, this time with the camera at an overhead angle to make it look really different. Kinoc walks on the bridge next to the cells. He announces that the maesters have decided their sentence. Auron is all, "Don't you mean execution?" Kinoc slimily replies, "Really, now, what person would execute a dear friend?" "You would," Auron says right before the scene fades out again. HA! BURN! Oh wait, that was a really stupid bit of dialogue that added nothing to the proceedings. Well, anyway, we know that they've been sentenced to death. Let's see how they get out of it, shall we?

When the scene fades back in, Tightass stands on a platform that juts out over an indoor waterway. A warrior monk pokes him in the butt with his gun (thanks, game designers) and tells him he's next. "Next for what?" Tightass demands, because he is really, really stupid. Obviously, the warrior monk pushes him into the water. The camera changes to Tightass's viewpoint from beneath the water. The warrior monk, not sounding the least bit muffled or distorted, tells Tightass to move his ass. Tightass, also sounding completely normal despite the fact that he's underwater, demands to know where everyone else is. Shall we find them?

I really hope he washed that gun afterward.

Tightass swims a short distance, only to conveniently find Wakka and Rikku, the other two characters who can battle underwater. Tightass wants to know what the hell is going on, and Wakka informs him that they're expected to "give up and die down [there]." I think now would be a good time to point out the utter ridiculousness of this situation. The Yevonites, upon sentencing this group to death, gave everyone back their weapons and threw everyone -- including two people who are known to have mad breath-holding skillz -- into a stupid waterway. Will they ever escape?! God, even Tightass comments that "that's a really lame way to kill someone." It's like the game designers weren't even fucking trying. Look surprised.

Well, that's what I'm hoping.

The group decides to wait at the exit for Yuna, assuming that there is an exit. Of course there isn't! It's an indoor waterway of death that no one can ever escape! Yup, there's an exit. With that riveting bit out of the way, we rejoin the three maesters that have been proven evil (we still don't know about that enigmatic James). In fact, they are discussing the Ronso maester, as he's decidedly lukewarm about Seymour's murder of his father. Mika laughs evilly (because he's evil) and comments, "Ever the Ronso. Hard-headed, hardly useful." Poor James, all defenseless as his evil co-workers giggle behind his back. Jerks. "The summoner Yuna, daughter to High Summoner Braska..." Seymour pointlessly says, as we all fucking know who her dad is already, "She may be of some use to us alive." Do I even need to comment on that? Mika responds that since Yuna has royally screwed over Yevon, she needs to die. Well, okay. Seymour is all, "Oh well." Kinoc exposits, "No one thrown into the Via Purifico has ever survived." I'm glad that Spirans like to use Italian-sounding words for their dumb-as-shit execution methods.

Mika realizes that there is a "small chance" the group will survive, seeing as how they have their weapons and all their healing items, not to mention a strategy guide that maps out the entire area. He orders the others to place some guards at the exit to kill anyone who makes it that far. Seymour brings up the fact that there hasn't been a boss battle for a while, and that after working their way through the next area, it's only logical that the group should fight one. Mika says, "First your father, now your bride?" "Allow me to do this because she is my bride," Seymour responds. Well, that's logic if I've ever heard it. Kinoc announces that he's going along. "You do not trust me?" Seymour creeps, as if it's really odd that someone wouldn't trust a murdering pedophile. Kinoc makes a comment to this effect. And off they go.

Over a black screen, a disembodied voice says, "Lady Yuna, forgive me," and then we rejoin Yuna in a maze of tunnels. Apparently, Yuna was not shoved into the water like the others. Or if she was, the game designers conveniently skipped over that part, since they were too lazy to show Yuna swimming. If only that held true for the rest of the game.

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