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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 2 :: [03.24.02]
  -Part 3 :: [05.31.02]
  -Part 4 :: [07.20.02]
  -Part 5 :: [09.29.02]
  -Part 6 :: [10.12.02]
  -Part 7 :: [11.20.02]
  -Part 8 :: [11.29.02]
  -Part 9 :: [12.30.02]
  -Part 10 :: [01.19.03]
  -Part 11 :: [05.23.03]
  -Part 12 :: [06.08.03]
  -Part 13 :: [06.17.03]
  -Part 14 :: [07.20.03]
  -Part 15 :: [08.09.03]
  -Part 16 :: [09.27.03]
  -Part 17 :: [11.16.03]
  -Part 18 :: [11.23.03]
  -Part 19 :: [12.20.03]
  -Part 20 :: [02.17.04]
  -Part 21 :: [04.04.04]
  -Part 22 :: [04.18.04]
  -Part 23 :: [04.28.04]


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"I know I'm being overly critical here, but Shelinda is far from doing any real reporting. Her segment boils down to, 'Like, I'm going to talk about sphere hunters! Well, there's the Youth League, and New Yevon--like, OMG, their praetor is sooooo cute!--and some other people, and stuff! Facts? Quotes? Um, what are those?' Not to mention that the few things of factual nature she does relate are things we already know. All that said, it is an incredibly realistic representation of local TV news."
     -Sam, Final Fantasy X-2 Part 7




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Final Fantasy X : Part 20
By Jeanne
Posted 02.17.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Thongaladriel is under the impression that sorrow will never, ever go away. "My father... I loved him. So I... I will live with my sorrow. I will live my own life! I will defeat sorrow, in his place," Yuna declares contradictingly. "I will stand my ground and be strong. I don't know when it will be, but someday, I will conquer it. And I will do it without...false hope." Tightass fangirls will undoubtedly attribute this change of heart to the influence of Tightass, but I beg to differ. He's had his say regarding the Final Summoning since the very first time he found out that Yuna would die, and she managed to ignore him, even after he tried to distract her with his tongue down her throat (which wouldn't be a good way of convincing anyone). As much as Yuna annoys me at times, I have to say that she came to this conclusion all by her perfect self -- helped by the flashbacks of Auron and co. -- and not as a result of Tightass's constant wankery. I wanted to clarify that to illustrate how it makes Tightass even less useful to the plot -- like I even needed to make the effort. But I kind of feel that I'm the unofficial Anti-Tightass spokeswoman, so it's, like, my job.

Thongaladriel, instead of bowing down and smooching Yuna's strong ass, feels pity for her, since she's giving up the one thing Thongaladriel can never shut up about. Then our favorite thong-clad creepy lady goes all "In place of a dark lord you would have a queen!" on us, pulling out the Death Mallet, and using it in conjunction with the Hope Hammer to beat us about the head and shoulders. She's hell-bent on killing Yuna to save her from despair. Like Yuna's never had to deal with such an emotion, marrying Seymour and making out with Tightass. Right. "Let me be your liberator," Thongaladriel creeps as the Badder Than A Regular Boss Music starts up.

The entire group gasps as these weird wingish things appear behind Thongaladriel, signalling that she means business. "Now! This is it!" Auron yells. "Now is the time to choose!" He rips the Tools of Plot Obnoxiousness away from Thongaladriel and proceeds to swing them about wildly. "Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!" I think he may be a little pissed at Thongaladriel.

Since this is such a pivotal moment, we see everyone's reaction in turn, from the inane to the incredulous. Kimahri does a complete personality 180 and insists that he'll protect Yuna from this evil bitch queen. Wakka is all, "Shit, I smoked too much weed. I thought somebody said we were about to fight the most important figure in Spira's history!" During this whole time, the camera keeps doing this "artsy cool" staticy effect, just in case we couldn't figure out that this was a Big Fucking Deal. Lulu and Wakka banter a bit about how they're going to fight to the death if necessary, like they've never had to face that subject before. And what Auron started with his stupid mentioning of stories, Tightass finishes with, "This is our story! Now let's see this thing through together." Like he had anything to do with what just happened. Yuna just smiles and nods retardedly, at complete odds with the actual strength she sort of showed a few moments ago. I suppose it would be foolish to expect that to last.

Now for the battle. Hate it oh-so-much. As I mentioned earlier, I've put off recording the footage precisely because of this fight. Yet, to my surprise, I don't have much trouble with it this time, just like the previous boss. Is someone laughing at me? Needless to say, I feel a bit sheepish. I procrastinated for that? What irks me about this fight is the constant warding off of annoying status effects and the obnoxious length of the battle, seeing as how Thongaladriel is an Important Boss and therefore has three separate forms. On top of that, Death is one of the unfortunate status effects that Thongaladriel loves so much, and if the party gets hit with it and I am unprotected, then I have to listen to the entire last scene over again. Now you understand.

Let's move on to a description of the three forms. First off is, as I mentioned, the elaborately winged Lady Thongaladriel. In fact, I'm not really sure what the things growing out of her back and ass are supposed to be, but they kind of curve up and around the back of her, creating two distinctly rounded shapes. Sometimes I really hate having to describe the cracked-out shit the game designers pull out of their asses. It's like trying to explain that wacky dream you had where you, your husband, and your dog were bringing the One Ring to Mount Doom, only you had to use a microphone to address a group of people regarding the alternate reality you just saved while an evil horse lady tries to stomp you to death. Moving on.

Upon the defeat of this form, Thongaladriel rises up, supported by the shit coming out of her back, which now includes a fleshy stalk extending into the ground. Also, there are tentacles. Of course. What is a Japanese video game without tentacles? Once in a while, some other tentacles with skulls on the end randomly shoot out of the ground and bite the party members, infecting them with zombie status. Just when you think there is nothing that could possibly be more disturbing (besides Tightass's wang, but let's just not go there), Thongaladriel morphs into her third form. The whole stalk re-buries itself, and a moment later, it erupts again, this time revealing an enormous evil face on its tip. The entire creature resembles -- as you could probably guess -- a giant penis. Thongaladriel and her curved wings form the testicular area, the long flesh thing is the shaft, and the head is, well, the head. And it has tentacles-with-heads coming out of it as well. You might want to re-read that, as I'm sure your head just exploded. Or maybe you don't. It takes a special and rare kind of substance to come up with something as messed up and penisy as this -- I'm sure most game companies (including Namco) would be like, "Whoa. Dude. That's a little too much." But this is Squenix, so you do the math. Meanwhile, the entire group takes this chance to glare at Wakka, as surely his secondhand smoke has seeped into their brains.

 
I'm not making this shit up, people.

The immense head enjoys casting "Mega Death" on the party, which would make me cry except for the fact that Auron has Deathproof armor. I hope the irony is not lost on all of you. Strangely, the Penis Head of Doom is not quite evil enough to do the actual spell. Nope, an evil specter appears behind an altar to do the dirty work. Because if something that looks like a clichéd grim reaper didn't show up to cast Death, we might not be aware of what was going on. Stupid game designers.

Now that the Thongaladriel fanboys are hopefully reconsidering their sexual fantasies (the alternative scares me), it's time to end this stupid battle. After the final blow, the Head of Doom flops around like a limp schlong dying snake for a while and then dissolves. Thongaladriel, back to her non-penisy form, warns everyone that upon her death, the Final Summoning is no more, as she is the only person who can Presto Chango an individual into a creepy fayth. Never mind that Thongaladriel is already dead -- this is, like, final death, yo. And guess what else will totally disappear with her? Go on, guess. That's right...SPIRA'S HOPE. Ouch. Jesus. "Then we'll find Spira a new hope!" Tightass declares, obviously referring to his imminent demise. Thongaladriel exposits that even if there were another way to defeat Sin -- which she is quite sure there isn't, especially not one that a group of seven people could pull off together -- it wouldn't matter, since "Yu Yevon the immortal would only create Sin anew." Plot twist, ahoy! But before Thongaladriel can overexplain the story of this new guy, she dies in agony, whimpering about hope (thwack!) and sorrow (thwack!). God damn, what a fucking whiner.

The prominent asscheeks and crack really add to the tragedy of this scene.
 

So we now know that basically this never-before-mentioned Yu Yevon dude is responsible for the whole Sin phenomenon, and is likely the key to defeating Sin for real (aka the final boss). I can only imagine what imposing and impressive design the game designers have worked out for him. I am sure it is something that will strike fear into the hearts of gamers everywhere, and go down in history as the most frightening final boss ever. People will be telling their grandchildren stories of this guy.

 
What, try to act like a decent human being?

Once the smoke clears, Yuna is all, "Uh-oh, what the fuck did we just do?" Tightass wants to up the ante and do something that none of us have ever thought of ever throughout this whole game: destroy Sin for good without the Final Aeon. What a God damn genius. He runs to the front of the group, and the camera follows. After admitting that he doesn't have a fucking clue how to accomplish this, but will somehow magically find out, he inflicts this lame, open-mouthed boy band smile upon us.

Now that my hand is bloody from punching through the screen, it's time to leave the stupid dome. Finally. But first, I pick up one of the two necessary items for Tightass's ultimate weapon. I might as well have saved myself the time and energy, as I will never, ever be subjecting myself to the chocobo racing hell that rewards me with the second item. Upon leaving the platform of agony and returning to the previous room, a green flash of light causes the party to gasp...and all the lights go out, signifying that the spirit of the place is No More. Well that was nice. Yuna manages to lead everyone out except for Tightass and Auron. "We must talk," Auron says, giving me hope (thwack!) that perhaps this will be the beheading scene I've wanted all along.

But no. "There is something you should know," Auron says, clearly leading up to an Important Revelation, the likes of which we haven't guessed yet. "I know...it's about you, right?" Tightass replies. "I am also an unsent," Auron admits. Holy...fuck....what? Auron's....dead...? I need a moment. This is sudden. Fuck, that just totally came out of the blue. Auron notices Tightass's complete lack of reaction and wonders, "You are not surprised?" "I think I kinda knew. It was [Thongaladriel], wasn't it?" Tightass surmises. I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from this. On one hand, the whole Auron = dead thing was so fucking obvious, it wouldn't be surprising if even Tightass had figured it out by this point. On the other hand, it's Tightass, so it's just as likely that he pulled the "Uh...sure I knew" stuff out of his ass. Either way.

Auron relates what we already gathered from the flashback -- upset about the death of his Ambiguously Gay buddies, he returned to teach Thongaladriel a lesson, only to have his ass handed to him. "Somehow I made my way, crawling, down Mount Gagazet. But my strength left me just outside Bevelle. That's where Kimahri conveniently found me. I told him about Yuna -- since the entire God damn world revolves around her -- right before I died." And that, as they say, is that. Tightass gets all sad and shit, but Auron sarcastically tells him that death isn't so bad. In fact, he was able to ride Sin all the way to the Dream Zanarkand, which I suppose makes sense to someone, somewhere. "And you've been watching over me since then, haven't you?" Tightass unfortunately reminds us.

Now there's a mental image I just did not need.
 

Even Tightass realizes how pathetic this is. "What's the big idea? Why me?" he whines. "It is one of those things that is difficult to explain," Auron understates. Instead, he will use his never-before-mentioned Magical Flashback Powers to show what really went down ten years ago. Cue Ambiguously Gay Porno Music (Auron's Theme) as we travel into the past. "Can I ask you one last favor?" Jecht wonders. Oh, my. Since this is Auron's flashback, we literally see this scene through his eyes. And he is staring quite intently at Jecht's ass. Suddenly shy, Jecht waffles a bit. "Spit it out, girlfriend!" Young Auron lisps. To Auron's dismay, however, Jecht does not ask for hot man sex, but instead for Auron to look after Re-Jecht in the mystical Zanarkand. What a freaking letdown. "He's such a crybaby," Jecht warns. "He needs someone there to hold his hand, see?" Oh, Christ. No....no. Forks stabbing in eyes......vomit........Auron/Tightass mental image............death. Auron wonders how the hell he's supposed to get to Zanarkand, causing Jecht to throw the poor guy's words back at him: "There must be a way to get there, right? You'll find it." The obvious conclusion here being to ride Sin to Zanarkand, of course. Who the hell wouldn't think of that?

Auron looks around frantically, trying to get out of this horrible duty, but unfortunately he's way too honorable. "I'll take care of your son. I'll guard him with my life," he promises with an agonized quiver in his voice, essentially nailing his coffin shut. Thanking Auron, Jecht walks forward so his chest is right in Auron's view as the camera fades out. "You were always such a stiff, but that's what I liked about you," Jecht comments seductively. It's fun when the game designers make the gay supertext for me.

 
Of course it is.

Back in the present, Auron bitterly remarks, "That is why." Then he leaves the room, presumably to weep for those ten wanker-filled years.

On that horribly depressing note, I think I'll take my leave. Join me next time when this group of rocket scientists comes up with a plan for defeating Sin. I'm sure Tightass will have a lot of valuable input to contribute.

[Recapper's note: Since this is VGR's second birthday, I'd like to thank everyone who has made VGR a success: recappers, contributors, forum members, and readers. Without you guys, I'd never be able to survive Tightass with my sanity intact.]

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