Final Fantasy X : Part 20
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Previously, on Six Spirans and a Wanker, the group finally reached the ruins of Zanarkand. To my eternal delight, Part 19 also signaled the end of the Wankese. There is a God. Now it's time for Yuna to meet up with Lady Yunalesca and receive the Final Aeon. OR WILL SHE?!?!?!?!
I have a confession to make. I put off recording the footage for this section for a long, long time. I did everything I could to procrastinate -- even cleaning the house. Twice. The bottom line -- I fucking hate this part of the game. Two of my least favorite boss battles within a single hour, not to mention the obnoxious "plot twists" that tend to make my job a living hell. I may be a masochist, but my spirit has been weakened over the course of these many Tightass-oriented recaps.
But I finally mustered up the courage to just get the damn thing over with. Now I can finally bring you one of the final recaps of Final Fantasy X. You must enjoy this, or all my suffering will be in vain and I'll have to kill you.
The party, as you'll recall, has just entered the Yevon Dome's Cloister of Trials, to my great chagrin. This time, there are no hallucinogenic moving walkways, no disappearing bridges, and no frantic shuffling of spheres. Nope, this time the party gets to play a version of Tetris -- one that sucks vast amounts of ass.
The floor in the first chamber is a giant grid, with glowing dots in the center of certain squares. In the back of the room, a magical screen displays several Tetrisy shapes, and stepping on each of the glowing dots causes Tetrisy shapes to appear on the floor (complete with trippy music). The goal here, as I'm sure anyone smarter than Tightass (which is everyone) could figure out, is to light up the same shapes on the floor as are displayed on the screen. The only catch is that lighting up one of the wrong shapes resets the entire floor. This fucking blows, to put it politely.
However, with my old buddy Mr. Strategy Guide, I complete this tedious puzzle in one try. I am rewarded with a set of six pedestals emerging from the wall and a door opening to the next room. I sure hope the next room holds boundless riches, and perhaps a chocolate bar or two. Alas, pushing one of the pedestals causes a symbol to light up on the wall and we see a close-up of said symbol represented by Tetris blocks on another screen. The camera pulls back smugly to reveal our first glimpse of the next room -- a larger, even more annoying version of the first Tetris room. Fuck.
|This person fucking sucks at Tetris.
Now I have to repeat the light-up disco Tetris floor in the correct pattern four different times -- one for each of the corner pedestals. "But Jeanne," you say, "Why are you bitching? You have the strat guide and that makes everything all better." How little you know, young one. In fact, while the solving time is significantly shortened, the whole thing is still tedious enough to piss me off.
Each time Tightass finishes a puzzle, one of the six hexagons surrounding a hole in the floor lights up with a symbol. After I finish the Tetris shit, there are still two symbols unlit -- and two remaining pedestals in the first room. I note Einsteinically that there are also two spheres next to the magical computer screen. Hold on, I need to think about this for a while.
The game designers have obviously decided that torturing me with irritating puzzles is not enough. As an extra slap in the face, I have to take the two spheres and put them into the remaining two pedestals. It's those little things that make me realize those bastards are just laughing at me.
After all the glowy floor symbols light up, they play a little magical song, and a save point appears in the next room, subtly telling us that it's time for another boss battle. I guess I shouldn't complain about this completely obvious convenience, because the alternative is repeating the last ten minutes of annoyance in the case of my horrific death.
|How could this Tetris rip-off be more fun?
Sure enough, the boss battle music blasts full force in the big Tetris room. Everyone is fully healed, in full overdrive mode, and in correct formation -- almost as if someone strong and benevolent were watching over them and helping them along the way. The unlucky non-chosen members stand around picking their asses as Auron, Wakka, and Yuna run forward onto three of the hexagons. A column of light signals the arrival of our boss.
Now, it would be funny if all that fanfare led up to a wussy little bunny rabbit or something, but of course it's a big, evil-looking, deformed dragon with long arms. And fruity pink wings -- surprise! The background turns all transparent and trippy, with symbols floating around everywhere. Whooooooooooooa.
I'm sure you will be shocked to find out that there is a gimmick to this battle. Basically the dragon floats around, and when anyone attacks him, he counterattacks the three hexagons in front of him with his big, clawed arms. So I have to use Trigger Commands to move everyone around for the least amount of damage to the party. Sounds lame, yet easy enough, right? Not so fast. The dragon also randomly counterattacks whomever the fuck it feels like with its tail -- causing both damage and Berserk. But that's not all. Glyph mines, which kill instantly when they explode, also appear randomly on the hexagons, making me have to do more irritating party shuffling. This honestly used to be one of my least favorite battles in the game. However, some higher power must have decided that I've suffered enough, because I beat the stupid dragon without much trouble at all. Don't think you're off the hook now, game designers.
After the battle, the glowy hexagons move toward the center of the pit and combine to form a magical glowy elevator, the likes of which we've seen in pretty much every God damn Cloister of Trials thus far. You know, screw this descriptive shit. The dragon's dead, now there's an elevator. "Yuna… We're here," Auron pointlessly says, although Yuna probably does need the explanation. "The hall of the Final Summoning," she responds, her voice full of Important Meaning. Hey, we've taken over twenty hours to get here -- why not waste a few more minutes and a few more shreds of my sanity? Auron tells her to get her ass on the elevator. She does, and proceeds to the chamber below all by herself to pick up her prize.
But uh-oh! Over a black screen, the ghostly flashback voice of Jecht wanks, "Huh? What do you mean no Final Aeon?" Plot Twist Mallet......THWACK! But seriously, we know that Braska defeated Sin somehow, so I WONDER HOW ON EARTH HE WAS ABLE TO DO THE FINAL SUMMONING WITHOUT THE FINAL AEON. I WONDER IF IT WAS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN "SUBTLY" FORESHADOWED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE GAME. GOSH, I SURE AM GOING TO BE SURPRISED WHEN I FIND OUT WHAT IT IS. Anyhow, Yuna comes right back up, calling to Auron and everyone else. You know Auron's totally laughing inside since he already knew what was going to happen.
There's a convenient save point next to the entrance on the lower level, and I avail myself of it. Then, because this whole Final Summoning business isn't all that urgent, I take the time to build up all the aeon overdrive bars and stick some spheres into some holes (ew). Why? Don't make me say it.
Now I don't condone the use of illegal drugs, but I strongly suspect that the next sequence might make a wee bit more sense after partaking of some good old-fashioned crack. The group gathers in the Chamber of the (not) Fayth, around a clear bubble-encased statue in the floor, similar to the one we saw back in Bevelle. Yuna explains to everyone that a fayth no longer resides in the statue, having moved on to less painful things than dreaming of Tightass or whatever it is that the temple fayth do. Suddenly, a random dead priest appears to shower us with some convenient exposition. I'm glad that doesn't happen in real life -- I'd get freaked out if I were looking through my games or something, and some dude popped in my room, saying, "Those are video games, and you play them in your Playstation 2." That would especially suck if they were Gamecube games, because God damn it, Random Exposition Priest, at least give me correct exposition.
I seem to have gone off on a tangent there. Anyway, Random Exposition Priest (who may or may not be Father Creepy from the previous recap -- it's not like I remember every damn detail about minor NPCs) explains that this particular fayth was once Lord Zaon. Who, as we know, was Lady Yunalesca's
sexy piece of man meat husband. He was also the "first fayth of the Final Summoning," which I have trouble reading on the screen since the Foreshadowing Wizard is flitting around right in front of my face with his tall hat blocking my monitor. The camera switches to an overhead view and zooms in on the bloated aeon corpse aeon statue of Lord Zaon, which we can't really see all that well. It would be funny if his aeon form was a sexy nude chick like Shiva.
Anyway, REP explains in several different ways that Zaon is the type of dead that can't come back. "You mean, there is no Final Aeon?" Rikku asks incredulously, having missed the flashback about thirty seconds ago. In a shocking turn of events, REP announces that there still is a way to gain the services of a Final Aeon, even though it's not this particular Final Aeon. Lady Yunalesca, in all her thongtastic power, is the key to this. REP gets a little too worked up in his fit of exposition, and reiterates that the summoner and the Final Aeon join together to defeat Sin. I'm sure that comes as a surprise to the group of people who have known this since before the beginning of the game, as well as those of us who don't have our heads up our asses.
REP blinks out of existence like Bilbo at his birthday party, leaving Yuna standing at the glowy door to the next chamber. But before she can go visit Her Nakedness, Tightass decides it's time to take matters into his own hands. He wanks, "Auron, you knew this was going to happen, didn't you?" "No, my entire memory was wiped ten years ago, despite all evidence to the contrary, you fucking idiot," Auron responds. Rikku demands to know why he didn't tell them about this turn of events that really has no effect on the imminent defeat of Sin. "Because if I had told you everything at the beginning, the game designers wouldn't have been able to pull all these lame plot twists out of their asses at the end of the game," Auron tells her.
We haven't focused on Yuna for a few seconds, so it's time for Kimahri to get her attention. Yuna, still facing the glowy door, insists that she's "not going back." I have this strange sense of déjà vu from watching this moment ten thousand fucking times already. Yes, Yuna is STRONG and is GOING TO DEFEAT SIN. This has NOT CHANGED in the last ten seconds. Kimahri is so moved by this particular declaration, he offers to go first, just in case something completely non-threatening jumps out and flicks Yuna in the forehead.
Everyone walks through the door, and I regain control of Tightass so that I can use the save point again, thereby ensuring that I don't have to rewatch all this filler exposition garbage. The party finds themselves in yet another chamber with a staircase at the far end. A nearly-naked figure approaches, and of course it's Yunalesca. She looks exactly like she did in Seymour's creepy 'personal' video, including completely gravity-defying thong and boob covers. Nothing says "Respected Religious Figure" like wearing ass floss.
Yunalesca has a total "ancient mystical woman yet vaguely unsettling" vibe going on, not unlike Movie!Galadriel. This, combined with her completely distracting (and not in a good way) wardrobe, has given me no choice but to name her Thongaladriel.
In a soothing, yet creepy, voice, Thongaladriel joins the millions of others who have kissed Yuna's ass for being such a neato summoner. She assures Yuna that she, Mrs. McWankerson, will indeed gain the use of the Final Aeon. "Now, choose," Thongaladriel commands, causing everyone to look at each other in confusion. "You must choose the one whom I will change...to become the Fayth of the Final Summoning. Didn't you see the Foreshadowing Wizard just inside the dome? He should've been waiting there. Damn bastard, always taking time off work." The party is considerably more surprised than I am, as they gasp in perfect unison. Thongaladriel explains that the "bond" between summoner and guardian is what makes this whole Final Aeon thing possible. She goes on to list, for those mentally challenged members of the group (Tightass), just what kinds of relationship bonds are applicable to this. "If that bond is strong enough, its light will conquer Sin," Thongaladriel continues. In other words, you can't just bring along some random cannon fodder NPC to sacrifice.