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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Final Fantasy X-2
The "Perfect" Ending is a bad ending.
The strongest thematic thread running throughout the entire story is progression, or the difficulties associated with moving on from past tragedies.

Most of the story revolves around a conflict of ideals between two organisations with different ideas on how Spira should progress following the defeat of Sin. The leaders of the three main organisations — following their confrontation at the Den of Woe before the story began — could not let go of their mistrust of each other, inadvertently allowing the real villain to push his agenda forward.

Shuyin is an even greater example of someone whose inability to move on caused great pain and suffering. First, he refused to let go of Lenne, which indirectly led to their deaths. Later, trapped in the Den of Woe, he was unable to relinquish his despair and hatred of that moment — a moment in the past that he could not change — and transformed into a vengeful shade as a result. Shuyin is the embodiment of what happens if you refuse to accept and move on from past tragedies.

This brings us to Yuna, who is trying to move onto a new life as a Sphere Hunter. The entire story is about her trying to move on from the death of Tidus in Final Fantasy X. Yes, he was her true love and the ending was incredibly tragic, but that's life. You have to move on from such things, lest you become bitter and trapped in the past as Shuyin has. The second half of the game has her fight and defeat the Dark Aeons, twisted manifestations of her former life; a life that she must move on from. The final boss fight — one in which Yuna fights the mirror image of Tidus — is her final hurdle: she is not fighting Shuyin, but the memory of Tidus that is holding her back and refusing to let her move on with her life.

In the Good Ending, Yuna is content and happy. She will always remember Tidus, but she is ready to move on with her life and embrace the future. In the "Perfect" Ending, she once again returns to the arms of Tidus; instead of dealing with her loss normally like every other person on Spira, she finds a way to circumvent it. To cheat it. One wonders what would happen to her if Tidus was to die a second time, considering this proof that she is ultimately unable to deal with loss and move forward to the future.

  • While Yuna seems happy in the good ending, the 100% Completion ending sheds some doubt on Tidus' return, and implies he might not be around for long.
    Tidus: "Maybe I'm still just a dream."

There is no Bag of Spilling
  • The entire cast just did a No Sphere Grid run through all of FFX, thus leaving Yuna and Rikku at roughly the same power level throughout the entire time from the start of FFX to the start of X-2. Yuna just doesn't use her healing magic because it has too strong of a connection to her past.
    • This troper always figured that after FFX, Yuna and her Guardians either gave away or sold off most of their old supplies and gil, since they weren't off fighting fiends 24/7, so when X-2 came around, they had to more or less start over.
    • The group got their powers from the Sphere Grid, which is noticeably absent from X-2, since they don't have it with them, they lose the Bonuses from it.

Alternate No Bag of Spilling guess:
Since the Garment Grids are not subject to Game Play And Story Segregation, it's possible that the Sphere Grid from the first game works in a similar way, allowing normal characters like a not-inhumanly above average athlete or a seemingly physically fragile priestess to become strong enough, simply by dispersing Pyrefly fiends, to bash giant monsters to pieces. The Garment Grid works on a similar process, but it's incompatible with the original/upgraded Sphere Grid from X, and to use it (or allow Payne, not on the X Sphere Grid, to use it concurrently), they had to disconnect themselves from the Sphere Grid that had all the other teammates connected from X.
  • Alternatively: The Faith powered the sphere grid, and when they were allowed to die, it was destroyed.

The game contains one big Take That at purists who object to there being a sequel.
This troper was seriously considering adding this entry, but there would probably be some who don't agree, and vehemently. Here goes:

Take That - Near the beginning, Yuna and co. arrive at Zanarkand, to find that it's become a tourist trap. Yuna is disappointed, and Rikku is disgusted. After all, in Final Fantasy X, Zanarkand was an immaculate story — er, site with a contained history, and they should have just left it alone and not let new things happen there, right? Too late, we — er, Cid went there!

Yuna is acting as a real person in her circumstances would.
Psychologically, everything makes sense. The poor girl's been repressing both normal emotions and grief since she was eight years old, and she even admits that her whole happy-go-lucky sphere hunter persona is just another mask. Example: When her father died, everyone was too busy PARTYING to remember that their savior had an unusual thing called a "daughter" — to the point where it took Yuna herself a while to realize that she had no parents, and led to one of three times in her life that she cried. Then when Tidus dies, she deals with yet another loved one's death by sphere-hunting... and solving religious conflicts. For TWO AND A HALF YEARS.

It's only natural that Yuna finally starts cracking under it all and affecting drastic changes in her personality, because she's had her parents, her beliefs, and her boyfriend savagely ripped away from her — most people would have at least a close friend to turn to, but even Lulu and Wakka are too focused on their new baby to spend much time with her. Or maybe she doesn't spend time with them on purpose (due to fixing everyone else's problems), so they have no idea in the first place how she's feeling.

And the lifetime of repression and being groomed to ritual suicide? That means Yuna has no idea how to effectively cope with her pain. People are only complaining that she's acting like an idiot because they don't realize how severely she's been traumatized by having half the people she loves die untimely deaths. I can't imagine how she managed to last two and a half years.
  • Perhaps related to what you're saying: Yuna's been under massive amounts of restrictions since she was little, following in her father's footsteps every step of her life, and has never really had anyone in her life who didn't remind her that people were counting on her to do so. While folks like Lulu, Wakka, and Kimahri all care for her dearly, they are still part of the whole Summoner shtick and thus she doesn't want to disappoint. Tidus was really the first person in Yuna's life where she could forget about the Summoner title, and just be Yuna. He didn't have anything to do with Yevon, and his part as a Guardian was simply to fight and protect Yuna, nothing more. When he faded away, Yuna lost not only her main purpose in life (defeat Sin), but she lost the one person in her life who never saw her as anything but Yuna. Two years later, Yuna's kind of drifting around with nothing to give her roots. Then Rikku shows up with this sphere and an offer for something new. Naturally, this appeals to Yuna since she's been only relatively happy so far, and this new spherehunting thing could give her a purpose again. So High Summoner Yuna is left behind, and Sphere Hunter Yuna, with a new outfit, new haircut, and new attitude takes her place, allowing Yuna to be entirely different from the old Yuna. She's now making choices for herself, deciding her future, instead of letting tradition make them for her. Final Fantasy X-2 was basically her time to recover and be her own person for once. She wasn't forced into fighting Shuyin, that was her own choice, (mainly because she has a rather impressive case of Chronic Hero Syndrome, but I digress.) She's making idiot choices simply because she can, and that's probably more exciting to her than fighting even the biggest of fiends.
    • Extremely good point. Also, to add to my original one: Maybe people are too used to Heroic BSODs and Bewaring The Nice Ones to realize that she's behaving like an actual PERSON. Not everyone "snaps" in the sense that they go blank or on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge — in fact, only a small percentage of real people do. It's because most of us are decent people who can't get past our aversion to wanton murder/torture, even if the targets are the ones who killed or hurt our own loved ones: We know that almost everyone has someone who cares about them. (Also, there'd be a lot less people to go Ax-Crazy on if everyone who snapped under tragedy bombed cities or went on killing sprees.) The fact that it takes several years for soldiers to even temporarily ignore the knowledge that their enemy is another person proves the point. Since Yuna will only consider hurting someone if it means helping/protecting someone else, she can't go on a rampage or lie around in an unfeeling heap; she cares too much about others for those to be viable courses of action. So that leaves her with the idea of taking the WORST solutions to things — which, as you said, is something she was never able to do before because she was busy being held on a pedestal as the Sacrificial Lamb Of God Yevon.
  • Not to nitpick, but Rikku saw her as "just Yuna" as much as Tidus did. The main difference Tidus/Yuna and Rikku-Yuna was the lack of romance in the latter.
    • In that case, it does explain why Yuna decides to leave everything from her old life behind and join Rikku and the Gullwings.
    • Another difference between Tidus and Rikku is Tidus's innocence. Rikku is her family, yes, but she, too, has grown up around Sin. Tidus, however, has not, and that makes him such an otherworldly creature to everyone. I remember when Lulu just goes "you really do come from a world where there is no Sin". Tidus and Rikku represented two different kinds of hope: Rikku represents making the best of your situation and finding hope in where you are now. Tidus, however, represents desiring more, as in giving Yuna the chance to aim for more out of life. While both of them protest against the pilgrimage, when the chips are down, it is Rikku who eventually caves and accepts it as Yuna's decision, while Tidus refuses to and tries to find another way. Yuna remembers that after Sin is gone, so that's why she's so keen to jump into an adventure instead of living a quiet life.

A wizard cursed her with a hair growing curse inbetween the games.
  • How else could she get that hair that's a good six feet long when braided in just two years?
    • Many people blamed the Al Bhed ascent. After all, Rikku grew quite a lot of hair too.
    • It might not be real — we never see it unwrapped, after all. Suppose it's a really weird sort of extension? Of course, the upper part is clearly braided from her actual hair, and there is a tuft on the end, so the game is probably implying that it's real. Barbers on Spira must make a fortune if everyone else's hair grows that fast.
    • She only ever wears it as part of a Dressphere. Her FFX costume in Eternal Calm has her hair the old way. The Dressphere gives her this hair perhaps, almost like an online avatar?

Tidus = Shuyin, and him falling for Yuna was no accident.
Or, well, to be more specific, Tidus was borne of the dream of the Fayth, where Zanarkand of the past, prior to the war, was perfectly preserved. We know very little of Shuyin beside that he fought to save Lenne — maybe in reality he was the son of Jecht, and his dayjob was playing Blitzball? In this case, although Shuyin died and went onto the farplane, someone who became one of the Fayth on Mt. Gagazet remembered him. Tidus' physical aspects, his style — and arguably many aspects of his personality (They're both a little short-sighted and selfish and refuse to bow down to outside authority) — are all because of the fact that he was someone's dream of remembering Shuyin. And this would make his attraction to Lenne — who was very similar to Yuna in several respects — no accident whatsoever.

The Garment Grid is the same as the Sphere Grid, just with a different use.
Think about it. Both of them use nodes that powers up the user. Chances are Yuna or Rikku accidentally broke the Sphere Grid into little pieces, and Shinra came up with the Dresspheres to compensate.

This game is one massive Take That to today's generation.
It's a little easier to make this theory by comparing the two games to different generations. Final Fantasy X resembles last generation, where people didn't have as much distractions to think about compared to the world of X-2. X-2 resembles today's generation, where people are much more loose, pop culture has evolved, and politics has become a warzone. Itemized list:

1. People's behavior: The world of Final Fantasy X was a lot more serious, and people were genuinely more concerned by Sin. Now people are more loose, let's talk about the Gullwings' clothes. Before, the girls dressed so they didn't show too much skin, not that they didn't look suggestive to begin with. Now they look like sluts, and everybody is a little more flirty than before. 2: Pop culture: In the first game, the only hobby people had was blitzball, and everybody enjoyed it because it was one of the few pieces of entertainment in Spira. Now that Sin is gone, we now have concerts, tourism, Sphere Break, you name it. It says something that Blitzball is only available in the final chapter, and it isn't even required compared to the first game where they were unlocked fairly early on and had much greater prizes. 3. Political warzone: Remember in the first game when people had too much time fighting with Sin to fight with each other? Now that the threat by Sin is gone, human instinct requires we battle with somebody, so we battle with each other, making anything personal a conflict. This is a lot like today, where political opinions basically degenerate to, "Democrats rule, Republicans suck!" and vice versa. It's certainly a more touchy subject.

And you know who is behind this?

Rin = bad.

He's the one who insists on machina being the way of the future. He's the one who invented Sphere Break. And he can be caught making shady deals behind the scenes in the Mi'ihen mystery. When clearing Mi'ihen Highroad in Chapter 5, he realizes that new doesn't always mean good, and allows the chocobos on the highroad. Machina symbolize today, and the chocobos symbolize yesterday. By doing so, he realizes that he's the one who's helping to ruin Spira and decides to stop before he has become a shameless moneygrabber.

Rikku isn't disgusted by Brother's crush on Yuna. She's jealous.
Which isn't to say she thinks Brother has a chance in hell, that's envy. Rather she's jealously guarding her claim. She's willing to back off in regards to Tidus because the whole true love thing, but so long as he's out of the picture, she's occupying that territory and will defend it to the death.
  • Just what this game needed: more freaking incest. Creepy cousins, stay away from the ex-summoner!

This game was inspired by The Crystal Maze.
The spheres have a lot of flat surfaces and jagged edges due to the graphical limitations, and one day the resident Anglophile (hey, us westerners have Otakus...) among the developers was watching an episode of The Crystal Maze, noticed the PS2's graphical limitations made the spheres look like the crystals, and pitched the idea of FFX-2 being a game in which you run around puzzle dungeons collecting these "crystals."

Tidus is actually Shuyin in disguise.
The whole plot is actually a fake act of terrorism organized by Tidus and the Fayth so that the factions would stop fighting like idiots and stop Yuna from being such a Mary Sue helping people who are afraid of using their feet. Having learned of Shuyin, Tidus became his Shadow as hinted by the Fayth, which explains why Square was so lazy designing his moves. After the mission is completed, Tidus is rewarded by being revived and acts like he knows nothing about what happened.

Shuyin is a Pianist, and Resemblance to Tidus is Coincidental

Part 1: Shuyin is a pianist, not a blitzballer. We know he can play the piano because of how well he plays Vegnagun, and it also explains how he met Lenne. There's no evidence whatsoever for him playing Blitzball, apart from the fact that he resembles someone who did.

As for his resemblance to Tidus...it seems plausible that the Fayth only had a limited set of bodies to work with. Fayth!Zanarkard clearly has a history, based on the fact that people have children, and those children grow up (exhibit A, Tidus). How many millions of times must they have merged together the same few faces, bodies, and personalities? There's probably a million Shuyin lookalikes running around in Fayth!Zanarkand (which explains why Tidus says nothing about the lookalike background characters in Spira).

Tidus never came back.
Not the real Tidus anyway. In the sequel novel, as I understand it, Tidus is suicidally overconfident and doesn't act much like Tidus at all. Also Sin's back because reasons. At first, I took this as Square screwing there fans, but it's possible this means it was just an incomplete Tidus that came back, and the real Tidus ended up essentially becoming Yuna's Final Aeon, and due to how Yevon set things up, became the new Sin.


Final Fantasy XWMG/Video GamesFinal Fantasy XI

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