In X-2, the head-scratcher was how Yuna was tied to Shuyin and Lenne, or why she seemed to be the key to bringing them back together and calming Shuyin's insane rage. It's said outright that she isn't a reincarnation of Lenne, despite the parallels. Then, it hit me. Sin may be gone, the Fayth may be enjoying their overdue rest... but that doesn't mean Yuna stopped being the most powerful Summoner on Spira. And aside from the task of defeating Sin, a Summoner's duty involves sending the spirits of those who died violently to their rest. I raise a beer to you, Square.
This is something I realized while replaying X-2 and reviewing the pre-requisites for the different endings. You receive a different ending based on how many completion points that you've gained. If you have low completion points then Yuna will not re-unite with Tidus and will instead choose to continue her adventuring with the Gullwings, if you receive enough points however Yuna returns to Besaid and settles down with Tidus. At first I didn't understand why the game ended this way until I looked back at X. In X though Yuna traveled the world she didn't get a chance to enjoy it and experience it, that's where X-2 comes in. In X-2 the only way to receive a full 100% completion is to have Yuna visit every location on the map multiple times, see new people, and experience new things. The completion percentage represents Yuna's satisfaction with the adventures she has had so far. Once she has felt that she has truly experienced the world then she chooses to settle down with Tidus. In X-2 International+Last Mission, they reveal that Yuna leaves the Gullwings anyway no matter whether or not you decided to have her re-unite with Tidus. This also explains her behavior in X-2. As society in Spira was very strict during the events of X, Yuna as a summoner was probably never allowed to just be laid back and have fun. Also as a girl this troper can vouch that no matter how proper a girl is if she's around really good friends then she'll let her hair down and have fun, and for Yuna it was the very first time where she could just have and so she didn't know how to act, so she did the next best thing. She copied Rikku's behavior from Final Fantasy X.
With Rikku's personality it never made sense to this troper why she was so much more laid back until I realized that her situation is the same as Yuna's. Even though Rikku was chipper during X, it was because she like Yuna was a Stepford Smiler, and she being an Al Bhed had very few choices as to what she could do with her life. Though she traveled the world before Rikku never got a chance to enjoy herself as she was on missions. This is the first time in Rikku's life that she is free to do what she wants and go where she wants. The problem is Rikku never had plans for what she wanted to do with her life, which is why she seems to just go with things. Now that Rikku can be truly carefree she's enjoying every minute of it.
Let's go over a few facts; Tidus is a dream of the fayth, he looks identical to Shuyin, Shuyin sneaked behind enemy lines to get a WMD so he could save Lenne proving that he'll do anything to keep her safe, Lenne was a Summoner (ergo she was powerful) so she would be sent to the front lines in the war (with no guarantee of her safety), Yuna looks a lot like her and was in a similar scenario...Tidus pulled out all the stops to save her when he learned the truth about the Final Summoning, Sounds a lot like Shuyin...doesn't he? The brilliance here is the possibility that Tidus may have been the dream version of Shuyin. However it really hits you when you remember that Tidus was basically a plan the fayth came up with to end Sin's cycle, could the fayth really have planned out Tidus meeting Yuna (who is again Lenne's look alike...or is it the other way around), falling in love with her, and finally giving up his life so she would live, cuz lets face it; saving Yuna was his driving force —Ryuki
After thinking about it some more I came up with another idea; what if the faith didn't just plan out the first game, but the second one too? Think about; Yuna see one sphere about a guy who kinda looks and sounds like (but as we find out later he doesn't just kinda look like Tidus) saying he wanted to save the "summoner"...really...just what are the chances that seeing that one sphere would lead her to save the world again, now can anyone say this adventure would have happened had she never met Tidus. Now i'm not sold on the idea, but come on, if they really did plan out that far ahead it would be pretty badass. —Ryuki
Which means that not only did the fayth plan everything to save Spira (twice!), but in the process they managed to reward Shuyin and Lenne after their sacrifice by both reuniting them and allowing their dreamworld/descendant Expies to be together too. Crowning Moment of Heartwarming as well as badass, and a fitting gesture of gratitude for being freed to finally rest.
And not only that! It seems pretty clear from exploring the backstories of both games that Lenne was one of the summoners of Zanarkand helping to defeat Bevelle in the war centuries ago. In order to save her life, Shuyin sneaks into Bevelle to destroy the great machina weapon Vegnagun, but gets captured; Lenne tries to save him and they both get killed. End result, because Vegnagun wasn't destroyed, Yunalesca and Zaon had to go on with their plan to create the greatest summoning ever to bring down Bevelle. Flash forward to the present: the fayth, drawing upon the dream Zanarkand, create a copy of Shuyin to reunite with his love's Expy, thus able to finish what Shuyin and Lenne started — bringing down Yevon (and therefore Bevelle), eliminating Sin and freeing the fayth. In gratitude for this, and for eliminating the last loose ends by destroying Vegnagun and freeing Shuyin and Lenne so they could pass on, the fayth use their power to restore Tidus so he and Yuna can live the lives of love Shuyin and Lenne were meant to have. The games truly are one long plan to give Shuyin and Lenne the chance to undo their mistakes that allowed Vegnagun to remain and created Yevon and Sin, fulfill the missions they were intended to fulfill, and then reward them for succeeding.
Many people think the monkey matchmaking sidequest's sole purpose is Rule of Funny. But pay attention: The last two monkeys you pair up are named Sol and Luna. Hmm... reuniting two lovers who are represented by the sun and the moon? What's this game about again?
The possibility that Chaumi from the bonus audio drama is Auron's illegitimate daughter really does add some perspective to Auron turning down his arranged marriage.
Chocobos disappear into pyreflies when killed. That means that chocobos are fiends! That explains why wild chocobos will fight you. YMMV on whether using tamed fiends as mounts is Fridge Horror.
And speaking of fiends, many players wondered why many of their names were changed, even though they are essentially the same fiends from X. This is because the old Yevon order, who established the old fiend taxonomy/nomenclature system, was brought down as a result of Sin's final defeat. Spira had to start fresh, and thus a new order required a new fiend taxonomy/nomenclature system to go along with.
Baralai's attitude towards Nooj's apparent betrayal makes even more sense if you realise that it happened around the same time Yevon as a whole got exposed as Hypocrites. Baralai had to go through two separate traumas one after the other, resulting in serious Break the Cutie.
An interpretation for Baralai becoming the New Yevon praetor. He seems to want New Yevon to atone for the mistakes the old one made. Possibly clinging to his faith in the hope that Nooj can somehow atone for what he did. Which he thankfully does.
Why does Rikku not get the same recognition as Yuna when she helped defeat Sin? Well the Al Bhed have been thought of as heathens for a while. Old prejudices do die hard.
In Final Fantasy X2, the characters access different ability sets (ranging from black magic to the power of dancing so badly it causes your enemies to go blind) by using "Dress Spheres". The reason why this works is mentioned in a throwaway line about them being filled with the memories of people who actually had the ability to cast magic or dance or use certain weapons, and you're just borrowing their expertise when you use a Dress Sphere. This becomes much creepier when it also shows that using a Dress Sphere can cause unexpected side effects due to the consciousness downloaded into the Sphere breaking through and forcing the user into performing certain actions; this implies that each Sphere contains at least a part of the original person who was used to program it, instead of being just a set of skills and techniques copied out of someone's head (and the game never mentions how the memories are obtained... or what happens to the "donor" afterward). In other words, it's possible that each Dress Sphere is a tiny prisoncontaining the enslaved mind and/or soul of a once-living individual, trapped forever and used as a source of power by anyone who picks them up.
I'm skeptical. It's pretty much outright stated that the Black Mage dressphere is a sphere of Maechen's memories from before the Machina War. In this case, it's more likely that they're very similar to recording spheres, but convey abilities and probably feelings of the person whose memories the sphere contains.
Not to mention Maechen's soul clearly not being in that sphere
Indeed, It is confirmed that the spheres are merely recording spheres, and the attack data is gathered from a person who appeared on the sphere. And as a final proof that a person's soul is not trapped in there, The Gun mage was derived from Tobli (as shown by Yuna and co sometimes picking up his verbal tick when using it)Considering what he gets up to for the rest of the game, I think his soul is very much in his body. As for the Songstress, Lenne rebuilt herself around the recordings of her in the sphere, so in effect she was willingly using it as a Soul Jar, and as shown by the ending was not an intrinsic part of it, and could leave whenever she wanted rather than being trapped.
It's kind of interesting that this sounds very similar to the way Jobs are handled in FFXIV. Anyone can have the base trappings of a classic Final Fantasy class (a staff to cast spells with, a lance to poke things with, all that), but you only become one of the standard Final Fantasy JOBS when you equip the appropriate Soul Stone, upon which are inscribed the deeds of past users of that Soul Stone, and without which you can't use any of the related Job's abilities. Swapping between Jobs requires you change your weapon (and Soul Stone) out, and often involves a complete swap of your outfit, to gear more appropriate for the class.
In the battles, Rikku will sometimes say "Dr P is in the house" and Paine will respond with "stop that". One of the Crimson Spheres shows that Gippal sometimes called her that too. It's likely the nickname brought back bad memories for her.
It's often hinted at that Tidus' own existence as a fayth dream was modelled on Shuyin, which explains the resemblance in appearance and voice, yet the two could not be farther apart in personality and world outlook. However, Tidus could very well be what Shuyin was like back when he was alive. If that's the case, the psychological torture Shuyin has had to endure has sent him into a headfirst dive over the Despair Event Horizon, which means that even Tidus could be pushed to the same extreme if subjected to such immense emotional trauma.
Why did the creators of Vegnagun never use it against Sin? It would seem to me that using the continent-destroying superweapon against the local equivalent of Godzilla would be the smart thing to do in order to prevent all the mass destruction and chaos that Sin was causing. We see in one of the flashbacks that Vegnagun's main weapon is unbelievably powerful and capable of planetary-level destruction, so it would seem ideal for taking out Sin and Yevon.
Several reasons. First of all, it is highly unpredictable. Once it is activated it can't distinguish between its enemies. So they might make it go after Sin but it could turn around and destroy the rest of Spira. Also it's been hidden underneath Bevelle for over a thousand years so very few people knew about it. And also Yevon have been spouting the "machina are bad" laws for years. If Sin doesn't get destroyed then they're exposed as hypocrites.
Not to mention that by the time the religion of Yevon was established, they didn't really want Sin to be killed forever.
Because Vegnagun could easily prove to be worse than Sin. Sure, they could destroy Sin with it, but they might destroy the whole world in the process. Crossing The Streams is something you simply do not attempt- Sin may kill a lot of people, but at least there will be survivors, which there might not be after Vegnagun's rampage is over.
Putting it another way: Sin is manageable. Send Summoners to be a form of sacrifice; bam, a few years of peace. Vegnagun could theoretically permakill Sin, but especially for people like those of Yevon, they'd rather deal with a practical natural disaster on-off and force summoners to sacrifice themselves for peace than unleash what is essentially a potential nuke: if it doesn't go how you want it, well... the world ends.
Why is Shuyin's spirit stuck in the Den of Woe? Initial theories pretty much came down to 'he was buried/killed there.' No, Vegnagun was in Bevelle, and he and Lenne were shot right in front of it. Why would they bury the guy in a cave that's nearly 3/4 of the entire map of Spira away?
The Bevelle authorities knew Shuyin's enormous hatred-based willpower (that it can resist even the most elaborate sending ceremony) can haunt Spira for a very long time, so they were Crazy-Prepared to contain his body and unsent soul in an obscure place instead of simply sending it to the Farplane.