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"The screen fades to black, depriving me of the butt-naked sprites I so desperately wanted to ogle (because I'm a recapper and I can't get any)."
     -Sam, Suikoden II Part 5

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Final Fantasy X : Part 20
By Jeanne
Posted 02.17.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Even though it would possibly result in Tightass's discontinued existence, I have to say that I hope that Yuna doesn't choose him. Just the idea of him and Yuna forming any further bond than what we've already seen, combined with the horror of Tightass's aeon form, which is likely a giant piece of shit, would make me unable to go on living. But I'm getting ahead of myself -- of course Yuna isn't going to choose right here, as we are clearly in the realm of drawing things out as long as possible. To my great delight.

Thongaladriel is not done with her spiel. She informs everyone that she chose Lord Zaon as her Final Aeon -- hey, that rhymes! -- in case they couldn't put two and two together...which they probably couldn't. Then, she pulls out something that she was hiding somewhere on her person (I don't want to know where) -- the Death Mallet! Continuing in her calm tone, Thongaladriel reminds Yuna that her death will be a relief because she won't be alive to worry about shit anymore. "Death is the ultimate and final liberation," she gushes. Someone should seriously hire her as a motivational speaker. "Your father, Braska, chose this path," she reminds Yuna. The camera does a close-up on Yuna, who looks blank for a moment, then surprised. What a Shion.

At the mention of Braska, it's time for another Ghostly Expository Flashback. Thongaladriel retreats to her hidden lair as the camera zooms drunkenly over the chamber and straight up the holographic Braska's robes. Then, Auron begins begging his man to stop this foolishness. Braska's having none of this. He's going to defeat Sin, God damn it, and nothing can change his mind! Hey, just like Yuna! There are, like, totally these really kewl parallels and stuff! Auron insists that there has to be some other way. Hey, just like Tightass! More parall......excuse me, I have to go be sick.

Jecht is all over Braska at this point, practically putting his hand on Braska's ass possessively. He's not willing to find a better way right this moment, and what the hell, Braska might as well make him the Final Aeon so that they can join together as one. Hey, I know you were thinking it. And despite the urgency of this whole pilgrimage, there's still time for Jecht to give a sappy monologue about Tightass, with the Strings of Tragedy playing in the background. Just what I needed. Apparently, Jecht's goal in life was to make Tightass a blitzball star. Wow. I can't even express how fucking sad that is. I'd want to die too if that were all I had to live for. But now that Jecht is stuck in Spira, he'll never fulfill his wanky dream, so he might as well sacrifice his life to defeat a giant sea monster. This will, according to Jecht, give his life meaning. Well, if he can find meaning in something related to Tightass (that doesn't involve killing him), then anything can give his life meaning.

The possibility of losing yet another member of the Ambiguously Gay Trio sends Auron even further over the edge. With Corey Feldman-like tears in his voice, he begs Jecht not to give into this shit. If he lives, then they can have copious amounts of buttsex fight crime figure out a non-deadly way of defeating Sin. "Believe me, I thought this through," Jecht insists, despite having only been told about the Final Aeon thing a short time earlier. "Besides...I ain't gettin' any younger, so I might as well make myself useful." The Ultimania guide, to my best Japanese knowledge, gives Jecht's age as mid-thirties. Yeah, he's right. He's so fucking ancient, what the hell else is there to do but just kill himself? God damn game designers.

Braska approaches Jecht seductively, whispering his name. Auron stands to the side, looking down at the floor, hands clenched in jealousy. Jecht gets all pissy when he thinks Braska is going to talk him out of becoming a fayth (like the guy's going to pick Auron at this point), but instead Braska thanks him, and sticks his tongue down Jecht's throat. Yeah, making up shit doesn't work quite as well when I'm not dealing with sprites, but go with it. Jecht does take this opportunity to remind Auron that as the last remaining guardian, he's responsible for making sure Braska doesn't accidentally die on the way to his showdown with Sin. He even puts his hand on Braska's shoulder in a totally Squally and Seifer way. The two of them walk off into the sunset together to go transform Jecht into a dead stone person.

'Bitch, get yo' hands off my may-un!'

But Auron's not finished! He calls out to the doomed lovers, causing Jecht to practically bite his head off. At least Auron has a good point though -- "Sin always comes back." Unlike Yuna, Auron doesn't think the brief Calm is worth the summoner's death. But Braska is a moron. "There's always a chance it won't come back this time," he tards. "It's worth trying." Obviously, Braska has the complete inability to recognize patterns. At this point, I would consider his death natural selection. Jecht is a tad more willing to listen to Auron's protests -- he insists that he will "find a way to break the cycle." At this, Auron perks up, thinking that Jecht has possibly come up with a plan instead of just pulling over-optimistic bullshit out of his ass. This is another indicator that Auron was not nearly as cool or intelligent back in the day. "Trust me. I'll think of something," Jecht Tightasses. For some reason, his own dumbassitude causes Jecht to cackle madly, although Auron is distinctly less than amused. The camera pulls back suddenly, showing us the current party of losers enthralled by this blast from the past.

The screen goes black for a few seconds, accompanied by a sharp banging sound. My overactive and sad brain comes up with quite a few unfortunate scenarios, but it's only the sound of Jecht and Braska leaving the room and closing the stone doors behind them. I hope. The camera focuses on a self-pitying young Auron, on his knees with his legs spread. I'm sure he's supposed to be broken and hopeless, but no. That pose just looks wrong. Although it's Auron, and not Tightass, so I guess I can't really complain. Current Auron takes exception to his younger, wankier self, brutally slicing the ghostly figure with his giant sword. This, of course, is accompanied by much grunting from Auron, which doesn't do a whole lot to help his image here. Thankfully, the camera fades out before we can see any more tantrums. "And the cycle went on," Auron reminds us sadly. It's the Circle of Wankers.

I guess I can live with that crotch shot.

Well, that was depressing. Speaking of depressing, the camera does a sudden zoom on Tightass's face as he insists that they'll be the ones to break the cycle. Wakka, like Young Auron, wonders if Tightass has a plan. Oh, come on. DUH! Drawing attention away from King Wanker, Lulu offers her services to Yuna. As a fayth. Jesus. Wakka, tired of his sad life as a blitzball player and blitzbong smoker offers himself up as well. God damn, why do I keep on typing shit like that? Tightass tells them they're all morons. "That still won't change anything, you know? You'd bring the Calm, and then what? That won't break the cycle!" Now here's the thing: obviously Tightass, like Young Auron, is the voice of reason here. We all know that this summoner shit is stupid, and that there is some way to defeat Sin for good, and it probably involves this overly powerful party hitting it with weapons and magic. Otherwise, what is the damn point of the game? I know, I know, pretending like there's a point is kind of ridiculous, but hear me out. Anyway, the problem with Tightass's approach -- and to a much, much lesser extent, Young Auron's -- is that he's totally screechy and obnoxious about it. No one wants to listen to someone who's acting like a complete asstard. In fact, he kind of makes me want to kill myself defeating Sin.

Wakka is not swayed by the wankery. He insists that there's no way to defeat Sin and save Yuna, nor is there a way to stop Sin from coming back. "If you want everything, you'll end up with nothing," Lulu agrees. Lulu should seriously join Thongaladriel on that Power of Positive Thinking Tour. "But I want everything!" Tightass whines, causing Wakka to call him childish. This is so bizarre -- the people with the lame beliefs are the ones with the most convincing and least annoying arguments.

Speaking of stupid, Tightass goes into an assy monologue that basically reiterates his stance for the thousandth time -- he's not going to let Yuna go off to die, even if he has no chance of success. "And what Auron said about there being a way...I think it's true." Holy crap, am I smoking crack, or did Tightass just agree with Auron? This must be some kind of record. Rikku repeats Jecht's words about thinking of something back to Tightass, completely mangling her phrase emphasis. Of course Tightass is still blindingly ignorant, as he decides he needs to ask Lady Thongaladriel just what the fuck is going on. Rikku seems doubtful that she'll help them, particularly if Tightass makes a big ass of himself in front of her. Oh, but Tightass is going to make the attempt, wanky or not. "This is my story," he says in a close-up, which temporarily blinds me. "It'll go the way I want it...or I'll end it here."

Yuna, who has thus far stood back and passively let everyone else decide her course of action, is all, "Hello bitch, it's my God damn story." Only a lot, lot less emphatic than that. I should totally write dialogue for video games. "It would be so easy to let my fate just carry me away, following the same path my whole life through," Yuna stammers inanely, moving her head around like a retarded bobblehead doll. "But I know...I can't. What I do, I do...with no regrets." Then she brutally kills Tightass. Let me dream, damn it.

Who would be the best Final Aeon?
Auron: He kicks tons of ass, and he's already dead, so no harm done.
Lulu: She could smother Sin with her giant aeon boobs.
Wakka: The smoke from his Blitzbong Attack would mellow Sin out for an easy defeat.
Rikku: She'd irritate Sin to death.
Kimahri: Uh........he's blue.
Tightass: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...yeah right.


Yuna leads the group up the Staircase of Doom, leaving Tightass behind yet again. He manages to push the heavy double doors open all by himself. Okay, I'll buy into magic, and a giant magical sea monster that was once a wanker's dad, people embedded in stone who transform into magical fighting beasts, and even people who can voluntarily come back from the dead. But no way am I going to suspend my disbelief enough to accept Tightass doing difficult physical labor without any help. It's just not gonna happen.

The group emerges onto a large stone platform surrounded by the night sky and about a zillion pyreflies. I'm not sure where exactly this is supposed to be, since the edges fall off into nothingness. It can't be on top of the dome, since the group went down an elevator and only up one staircase. The truth of the matter is that I don't really care, so we'll just assume that the game designers created this area to look cool and mystical.

The ghostly form of Thongaladriel emerges from the far end of the platform, and wonders if Yuna has chosen a fayth yet. "Might I ask something first?" Yuna wonders timidly. "Will Sin come back even should I use the Final Summoning to defeat it?" Thongaladriel is all, "DUH!" She goes on to explain what we've kind of already guessed -- each summoner's Final Aeon eventually transforms into Sin. To my surprise, we are allowed to connect the dots on our own regarding Jecht becoming Sin -- no one has any Einsteinian dialogue to this effect. You know I'm just pulling your leg here -- of course Tightass has to say, "So that's why Jecht became Sin." And it only took him a second to come to that conclusion. Maybe that's why some people think Tightass has matured into a more intelligent individual by the end of the game -- he can make completely obvious connections all by himself without needing ten thousand explanations first! Well that just about makes me want to jump on the Tightass fan bandwagon now.

Thongaladriel emphasizes that no way will Sin ever be truly defeated. Wakka suddenly has the thumb of Yevon firmly up his ass, as he regurgitates the teachings that say Spirans must atone for their sins to defeat Sin. Even though said teachings were proven to be bullshit at least several recaps ago and Wakka supposedly recognized this. Ah, but there I go, expecting continuity again. "Will humanity ever attain such purity?" Thongaladriel responds. Wakka makes a helpless sound and turns to his better half. Lulu, in a surprising show of emotion, freaks out at Thongaladriel. "This...this cannot be! The teachings state that we can exorcise Sin with complete atonement! It's been our only hope all these years." God damn it. News flash: you've already had this confirmed by the head maester himself. This is not a revelation. For God's sake, why can no one remember anything for more than a few hours? You know, screw this. I'm starting to yell at video game characters, and that can't be healthy. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Booze.

"Hope is...comforting," Thongaladriel condescends, putting away the Death Mallet, and bringing out a new tool, the Hope Hammer. "It allows us to accept fate, however tragic it might be." At this proclamation, both Tightass and the ghostly Young Auron rush forward, screaming, "NOOOOO!!!!" Jesus. The Ghostly Expository Flashback takes over as Young Auron bitches out Thongaladriel. This must take place after Braska defeated Sin, since Auron whines about Braska and Jecht giving their lives for their beliefs. Flashback!Thongaladriel explains, "They chose to die...because they stupidly believed that Sin would die for good this time had hope." This second mention of hope pisses Young Auron off so badly that he charges Thongaladriel with his sword, screaming like a bitch. In a flash of light, Thongaladriel repels Auron, flinging him up in the air. He lands with a crash, and to add insult to injury, his sword sticks into the ground. That is not some disturbing euphemism -- I mean his actual sword. Apparently, this was the lethal blow. You know, I'm just not winning here.

No way is that phallic.

As everyone watches this humiliating display of Young Auron wankst, Thongaladriel continues her speech. "Yevon's teachings and the Final Summoning give the people of Spira hope. Without hope, they would drown in their sorrow." It would seem that Spirans would benefit from a bit of therapy instead of covering up their psychological issues with summoner sacrifice. Thongaladriel is tired of wasting time on this pointless explanation, so she inquires once again as to whom Yuna will pick. She doesn't see a problem with clobbering us with the Hope Hammer a few more times, for good measure. She loves that God damn thing.

The Tragic Strings continue to play as the camera pans slooooooowly over the group. The suspense is killing me. I need to know who Yuna will choose! As it turns out, she chooses no one. Instead, she begins Mary Sue Monologue #536, reminding us that she was all ready to die and stuff, because she'll do anything for the People of Spira. But now, after hearing the Evil Speech of Hope, she's ready to write off the whole Final Summoning deal as a bunch of bullhonkey. Or maybe she just chickened out after all. But no, that would never happen because she's SO STRONG.

Here's where the shit really hits the fan. Thongaladriel takes offense at Yuna's declaration that "The Final Summoning is a false tradition that should be thrown away" and flails around with her favorite hammer some more. By this point, you may have realized that Thongaladriel likes to talk about hope a lot, and you would be making a gigantic understatement. "Your father sacrificed himself to give that hope to the people," she continues, in a complete change of topic. "So they would forget sorrow." "Wrong. My father... My father wanted..." Yuna begins in her usual wishy-washy tone. "to make Spira's sorrow go away. Not just cover it up with lies!" She looks meekly down at the floor to emphasize the strength of her words.

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