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  • Abusive Parents: Jecht was the emotionally abusive type. Tidus spends most of the game resenting him, which is probably why Jecht — as Sin — chooses Tidus to be the one to ultimately kill him. Tidus' mother qualifies as well, though she was more neglectful than actively abusive.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap:
    • Character stats max out at 255. You can beat the Final Boss without too much trouble when your strongest characters have Strength or Magic of about 70. The other 185 points are for Bonus Boss fights.
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    • Also in Blitzball. The level cap is 99, but even if you play regularly you can probably win all of Wakka's Overdrives (the main reason to play the minigame) with a team of 30s and 40s. If you go for the conservative route, it's possible to do this in as little as 26 games, at which point your team probably won't even break Level 20.
  • Action Commands: Lulu's "Fury" Overdrive requires the player to rotate the right analog stick as quickly and frequently as possible. Auron's "Bushido" techniques are activated via button combos, similar to the skills used by Sabin (FFVI) and Zell (FFVIII). Tidus' (timed button press) and Wakka's (slot machine reel) Overdrives also use action commands.
  • Action Girl: Lulu and Rikku; neither of them is very good at fighting directly, but they more than make up for it with spells and a wide variety of items, respectively. Yuna also becomes one in X-2, after switching to guns for her Weapon of Choice.
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  • Adrenaline Makeover: Yuna toughens up considerably after discovering the truth about Yevon. Meeting Tidus helps, too.
  • Affably Evil: Seymour and, to some extent, the other Maesters (except Kelk, who seems to be genuinely good).
  • After-Combat Recovery: Status ailments are removed upon ending battle. This extends to KO; anyone who's been wiped out during battle will be revived with 1 HP.
  • A Friend in Need: The whole party of guardians fight to rescue Yuna from her wedding to Seymour, despite effectively declaring war on the Yevon church.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Kinoc. He's not an especially likable character, but he was backstabbed by his own partner. In fairness, he really should have seen it coming. On the other hand, someone will miss him.
      Auron: Although he was not the man I once knew, Kinoc was still my friend, Seymour. You will pay for his death!
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    • Seymour, especially upon his final sending.
      Seymour: So it is you [Yuna] who will send me. But even after death, Spira's sorrow will prevail.
  • All for Nothing: Operation Mi'ihen, a joint operation between the Crusaders and the Al Bhed in an effort to destroy Sin once and for all using an Al Bhed Wave Motion Gun. The participating Crusaders end up excommunicated from Yevon as a result, and in the end, all they manage to accomplish is getting themselves slaughtered by Sin.
  • All Just a Dream: Inverted, bizarrely enough. The main character is all just a dream.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Early in the adventure, Tidus is seemingly cornered by three somewhat-intimidating Sahagin. After defeating two and rounding on the third, his kill is stolen by the then-unbeatable Geosgaeno. He has no choice but to run (swim) for his life. The player has the option of getting their revenge at a later point, and is in fact the first thing on Tidus's mind when he returns.
  • And Man Grew Proud: Tidus thinks this is in effect when he hears about the ruins, but it's more... complicated than that. This is also the official stance of the Church on why Sin exists: to punish mankind for their past arrogance and the use of advanced machina (especially weapons).
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Part of Seymour's agenda is to get Yuna to marry him.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Yuna to Tidus right before he dissolves into nothingness in the English version of the game. In the original Japanese script, she merely thanks him (albeit it in an equally emotionally powerful way).
  • Antidote Effect: Played straight until you can customize weapons. Yuna starts out with Esuna, a normally endgame spell that cures all status effects from the target, so unless she is silenced or petrified, status effects aren't too much of a problem. Once you can customize equipment, however, you can use the status cure items to put status-inflicting attributes on weapons or make your armor resist them, but you need a lot of them for this.
    • Averted tactically though. Yuna's Esuna will cure almost all status effects on its own, but using items has a higher speed than casting spells. Using items to cure status effects can mean removing a status AND healing the party before the enemy's next turn.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The Dual Boss on Mt. Gagazet has to be completed with just Kimahri. To prevent a lot of unnecessary grinding, the boss characters' stats are slightly scaled up from Kimahri's, so the battle is tough but fair regardless of how much or how little you've used Kimahri.
    • The Seymour fights are hard for you? The game usually has a nearby savepoint with a long hallway before actually facing him. You can pretty much train your characters there as the enemies give lots of experience. For example, you might need someone with a Reflect for the second fight.
    • The International version and subsequent HD re-releases add four "Distill <X>" abilities, attacks that guarantee the stricken enemy will drop Power, Mana, Speed, or Ability Spheres when slain, affording players a way to easily farm spheres from any enemy.
    • The PC re-release has a bunch more AFFs that are essentially officially-sanctioned cheats. You can speed up movement (for traversing wide spaces much faster during backtracking), as well as substantially increasing or decreasing Random Encounters for faster grinding or completely eliminating them altogether. You can also boost all characters to max level and gil.
  • Anti-Villain: Jecht and Yu Yevon. The former voluntarily became a world-ending monster because he wanted to help his friends, and the latter has regressed to the point even it's not sure what it's doing anymore.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Averted, as the ordinary citizens will join in singing the Hymn of the Faith to pacify Sin/Jecht to make it easier for the airship to attack it and allow the heroes to penetrate its shell.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • Zig-Zagged. Only three characters can fight at a time, but you can trade the currently active member for anyone in the Lazy Backup section at any time. Some of the more complex boss fights practically require one to abuse this functionality to its fullest extent.
    • Played straight in the underwater levels, as apparently, only Tidus, Wakka, and Rikku can swim and breathe there.
  • Arc Words: "This is my story."
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Early on, Tidus asks what the point of going through with the Final Summoning is if Sin just comes back every time. Yuna and the rest of the party turn this around by saying what little peace they get when Sin is gone is worth it. Once they find out that the Final Summoning ensures that Sin will keep being reborn in an endless cycle of death and rebirth, they change their minds.
    • On the Mi'ihen Highroad, Yuna explains that Sin is a punishment for using machina. Tidus asks, rather nonchalantly, "was that such a bad thing, really?" Yuna's response can be summed up as "now that you mention it, maybe not." It's the start of Yuna questioning the Church of Yevon and some Character Development.
  • Arranged Marriage: Auron turned one down sometime before Braska's pilgrimage. In a way, Seymour and Yuna's too, although it was arranged by the former party.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Final Fantasy X, as the first iteration of the series on the newer PlayStation 2 console, received major graphics upgrades compared to its predecessor. Backgrounds had greater detail, character models were more defined, and everything looked far more realistic.
    • The game has also had an HD Remaster, which boosts the graphics dramatically further. Whilst not on the same level as newer Final Fantasy titles (Lightning Returns being a perfect example) it certainly is an evolution.
    • In the audio department, this is the first Final Fantasy game to have full voice acting, made possible thanks to the (then-generous) size of DVD storage, especially dual layer ones.
  • Art Shift: A subtle example; while most of the game's locations are realized with real-time 3D graphics, many of the smaller locations still use pre-rendered backgrounds. Due to the overall higher quality of the graphics and minimal camera movements in locations which use said backgrounds, however, the transition between the two is generally pretty seamless.
  • Artificial Afterlife: It turns out that Tidus' version of Zanarkand is partially a mix of this, Dream Land, and Pocket Dimension. In the Back Story that Maechen reveals, when the city of Zanarkand was facing certain destruction in a war against the far more technologically advanced city-state of Bevelle, Yu Yevon (Zanarkand's greatest summoner) created the monster Sin to fight against the forces of Bevelle and simultaneously turned the remaining people of Zanarkand into the raw material to power a version of reality where Zanarkand continued to exist separate from the real world of Spira as though it had never been destroyed in the war, with new generations being born, growing old, and dying there. Arguably something of a variant, since it's more an afterlife for the city itself than the people who were around when it was destroyed.
  • Auto-Revive: One of the abilities your equipment can have makes your character automatically throw a pheonix down when a fellow party member falls
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Several of the armor and weapon buffs can come off this way.
    • Armor with Break HP Limit. It is hard to get or to customize, needs severe remodeling of sphere grid to be worth it, and most of enemy attacks (including Penance) can be reduced below Cap with five stacks of cheer and combination of armor abilities "Defense +20%" and "Auto-Protect" (which are way easier to get), can be predicted and thus blocked by an Aeon, or deal secondary Damage Cap worth of damage thus making BHPL irrelevant. You can also unlock Auto-Life. And then there are Percent Damage Attacks, which make healing problematic. It can be useful on Auron with the Masamune, as its damage output increases the more he's missing HP, and even then the increased power can be easily lost by healing him back to full. The game and all the Bonus Bosses are perfectly beatable even without this armor ability.
    • Armor with Break MP Limit. Since there's also "Half MP Cost" or "One MP Cost" abilities that you can unlock, there's almost no reason to increase a character's MP beyond 999.
    • Weapons with Statusstrike abilities. The "Strike" levels of status effects are pretty much a guaranteed affliction of the status, which makes easy work of normal enemies when you have Stonestrike or Deathstrike, turning almost every normal attack into a One-Hit KO. Naturally, this is useless against bosses. It's rare to find a boss that doesn't have Contractual Boss Immunity to most negative statuses, and even rarer to find one that's vulnerable to any lethal status effect.
  • Awful Truth: Several:
    • If a summoner completes their pilgrimage successfully, they will die. Revealed about halfway through the game.
      Wakka: We weren't hiding it.
      Lulu: It was just... too hard to say.
    • In order to defeat Sin, not only must a summoner die, but one of their guardians must sacrifice their life as well. The Final Aeon is made from someone with a bond with the summoner, this bond providing the Aeon with enough power to pierce Sin's hide and creating a strong mental connection between the two. With Sin dead, Yu Yevon will possess the summoner's Final Aeon and then re-create Sin around it, breaking the mental connection between the Summoner and Aeon, killing the Summoner in the process.
    • Auron also presents one to Tidus when he tells him that Sin is Jecht. This one comes surprisingly early in the story, although the rest of the party doesn't find out about it until much later.
    • Inverted in the final act. Tidus knows (as does the player) that destroying Yu Yevon will result in his own death as well, but he keeps this a secret from the rest of the party until the final confrontation is underway so that they will go through with their mission.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Tidus and Jecht at the end and certainly not played for laughs. With the long journey Tidus has been on, and with a greater understanding of the world, he has grown past his resentment of Jecht, who himself has come to realize his own failure as a father. The pair of them do end up bonding somewhat, before Jecht's life is ended.
  • Ambiguously Human: The Guado are said to be a separate species from Humans and the main distinction is that they all have the same, gruff face. The reason Seymour, who descends from them, does not have the same face is because he is half human
    • The Al Bhed are also very similar to Humans, except for their distinctive swirly green eyes
  • Background Music Override:
    • The trek down to Zanarkand is the most notable (and serves as the page quote for the trope), but the game does this for some other sequences as well, with a new spin on it due to the smooth transition from overworld to battles used in some places.
    • When Wakka replaces Tidus in the blitzball match against the Luca Goers, the normal blitzball music is overridden with the exciting and cheerful "The Blitzers," also known as "Blitzball Gamblers." Regardless of whether you win or lose, it's awesome. Alright, it's more awesome, though, if you win. Doubled if you're playing the remastered version of the game, and thus listening to the remastered version of the track.
  • Backtracking: It's purely optional, but you can do this at certain points of the game before acquiring access to the airship. Doing so will let you experience events in Spira in more depth, develops ordinary NPC characters (look under Developers' Foresight for more details), and acquire a few extra items. Backtracking is also a good way to learn a number of things, like finding the statue of Mi'ihen that holds Auron's Infinity +1 Sword. Once you do get the airship, you can do this to do things like open the treasure chests in the Chamber of the Fayth, find and upgrade the characters' respective Celestial Weapons, or encounter bonus bosses like the Dark Aeons.
  • Badass Creed: Tidus is obliged to change the Aurochs' motto, the appalling TO DO OUR BEST! (especially since their "best" has apparently equated to the entire league's worst for twenty-three years running), to a call for unequivocal victory.
  • Badass Driver: Tidus decides to strike the flying "Red Carpet with Teeth" known as Evrae whilst on the open-air deck of the airship, Fahrenheit. This requires some serious maneuvers from pilot Brother and Captain Cid, to stay alongside the beast or maintain a decent distance, at a constant speed, with technology only recently salvaged, on its maiden voyage. After incredible emotional upheaval and personal loss, no less. Way to go, Brother! Naturally, after this and a few other equally impressive piloting feats, none of them bat an eye when Tidus suggests fighting Sin head-on much later in the game.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In-universe in the infamous laughing scene, done by Tidus and Yuna. That scene was a game suggested by Tidus as a way to relieve stress for the road ahead, and at first both force themselves to laugh, before really laughing about how ridiculous it sounds. However, this was before Tidus realized that Yuna had to sacrifice herself in order to defeat Yu Yevon.
  • Bag of Spilling: In X-2 in the traditional sense for Yuna and Rikku. In the first game, before "Tidus' Story" starts, Auron had completed the pilgrimage once, and Lulu and Wakka have made it to the Calm Lands (the former twice), and none of them have the gear or abilities to show for it. Handwaved by Auron stating that monsters in the past weren't as strong and numerous as they are today.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Souls are allowed to voluntarily go to the Farplane at any time (Mika does this after you tell him you defeated Yunalesca), but most don't choose to do so, so they must receive a sending ritual from a summoner in order to reach the Farplane. Souls that don't get this ritual become Unsent (sentient undead) if they're lucky, otherwise, their jealousy towards living beings warps them into Fiends. This leads to Senders after the events in this game since, at the end of the game, there's no more summoners, since the Big Bad was powering them.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Spherimorph changes between a different elemental weakness every few turns. Scanning it or paying attention to its color will keep the player up to date regarding its status.
  • Barrier Maiden: Yunalesca is a villainous example.
  • Basilisk and Cockatrice: Basilisks are huge snakes with arms who can induce Petrification on the party. Running into them is often the player's first experience with the Non-Standard Game Over when all active characters are petrified.
  • Battle Couple: Two slightly lesser examples, Tidus and Yuna and later on Wakka and Lulu. Though neither couple is outright stated in-game, both relationships are forged in the fires of their journey, proven canon in the sequel, and you can be sure that any of them would avenge the death of their partner with extreme measures.
  • Battle Strip: When Shiva is summoned, she throws off her cloak dramatically before fighting (and Yuna steps forward to catch it).
  • Beam Spam: Valefor's second overdrive, Energy Blast, rains several beams on the enemies.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Protect spell manifests as this.
  • Begin with a Finisher: Characters build up Overdrive as they fight, to be released in a big, flashy attack. However, since Overdrive stays banked after a fight ends, it's a common tactic to raise it to max fighting Mooks before you go up against a boss. And against some bosses with an annoying initial form, blasting the Overdrive immediately can be the best strategy.
  • "Begone" Bribe: A learnable skill (on Rikku's Sphere Grid path), which becomes rather useful due to the rare items some enemies leave behind them after using it. This even applies to some bosses.
  • Better as Friends: Tidus and Rikku, of the more Platonic Life-Partners variety, which makes things easier for the canon. They are in many cases a Fan-Preferred Couple, however.
  • BFS: Both Tidus and Auron wield these. So does Jecht, especially as the penultimate boss, "the Final Aeon". That same sword is later used as the platform where the party stands in the Amazing Technicolor Battlefield against Yu Yevon.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: The overall point of the pilgrimage is to destroy Sin, and by extension the spirit of Yu Yevon that controls it, but Sin is essentially a creature of instinct with no higher intelligence and never schemes against the party, nor does it serve as any source of personal conflict with the group. Seymour Guado is a menace to the party repeatedly and a major threat, and It's Personal between him, Yuna, and Tidus, but his threat levels are far below Sin. Tidus' father Jecht serves as a major source of angst for Tidus and in doing so acts as a personal enemy for him to surpass, and then comes The Reveal that the current core of Sin is Jecht himself, possessed by Yu Yevon. Then of course there's the church of Yevon that controls Spira as a Corrupt Church, and Lady Yunalesca who is responsible for beginning and perpetuating the cycle of Sin. The end result of all this is that instead of one central villain, there are multiple villains who all share some level of blame for making Spira a Crapsack World.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The party crashing Yuna's wedding, including surfing down the airship's anchor cables while More Dakka is flung at them.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: One of the most iconic in the entire series, between Tidus and Yuna at Macalania Spring.
  • Big Good:
    • Cid, since he is the leader of the Al Bhed and the captain of the airship (as well as Rikku's father and Yuna's uncle). You don't meet him and ally with him until about halfway through the game, though.
    • Auron may qualify as well, as he is the one constantly demanding Yuna continue her pilgrimage, even when other members of the cast are willing to let her give up or actively encouraging it. Auron won't let that happen, because he wants Yuna to be the summoner to break the cycle. He's also Braska's legendary guardian and one of the most famous people in Spira. Oh, and he helped bring Tidus to Spira and got him involved in Yuna's quest as well.
    • Similarly, Jecht may count as well, since he specifically took the form of Sin to give the characters a shot at stopping it via Fighting from the Inside. Twice in the game, Sin avoids killing the protagonists outright only because Jecht is giving Tidus and the others a chance.
    • And finally, the Fayth (usually incarnated as the hooded, dark-skinned boy that Tidus talks with on occasion, who turns out to be Bahamut's Fayth). In combination with the machinations of Jecht and Auron, the Fayth are the ones who explain how everything works to the protagonists and are the ones who summoned Jecht and Tidus in the first place. They were a major cause of the story's events because they have been trapped in a Dream World around the since Sin came into being.
    • Mika is thought to be this but...
  • Bilingual Bonus: The apparently-gibberish Hymn of the Fayth, if written down and then read in a certain manner, becomes a Japanese prayer to Yevon.
    • The lyrics to "Suteki Da Ne" ("Isn't It Wonderful?"), the Love Theme of Tidus and Yuna, are another example. The song is played twice during the game, and each time they describe the main characters' situation with a different emotional resonance.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Whenever Brother, Cid, and Rikku are in a conversation. The former only speaks Al Bhed while the latter two flip between English and Al Bhed constantly. Near the end, though, Brother learns enough English to make a request of Tidus to take care of his sister.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Yu Yevon is defeated and Spira is finally freed from the eternal terror of Sin. However, this victory costs Tidus his life, leaving Yuna to go on without him. Her last words to him: "I love you." The game closes with her concluding a speech to a stadium full of cheering citizens by saying that the dead must never be forgotten as we see a montage of her memories of Tidus.
  • Black and White Morality: Slightly lost in the translation, but the Japanese kana for "Yevon" and "Al Bhed" can be read as "Ebon" and "Albedo"... "black" and "white". Now think about what those groups represent in-game, and... yeah.
  • Blatant Lies: The heads of the Church of Yevon know everything about the origins and purpose of Sin, yet they choose to maintain the population in ignorance with a false creed. They also use forbidden machina in their temples while excommunicating everyone else who makes use of them.
  • Bleak Level: The beach, post-Sin wreckage. The Zanarkand Dome is this as well; it's the only part of the game where the player has to fight zombies.
  • Blinded by the Light: Rikku's tactic to serve as distraction, facilitating the party's escape, is to throw a flash grenade at the feet of Seymour, at his wedding. The oblivious victim hilariously fixates on it before it goes off.
  • Blind Obedience: The hat of most (but not all) of the warrior monks that the party encounters.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three female protagonists are Rikku (blonde), Lulu (brunette), and Yuna having a lighter shade of brown to fill in as the 'redhead'.
    • This trope crosses the male spectrum as well. The male protagonists are Tidus (blond), Auron (brunet) and Wakka (redhead). Kimahri fills the You Gotta Have Blue Hair fourth color since he's a Ronso.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Wakka has shades of this, although he's a bit more virtuous than most Boisterous Bruisers tend to be. Jecht, however, plays it straight. In Dissidia Final Fantasy, it's every single one of Jecht's lines.
  • Bold Inflation: Yuna is guilty of this, though this is at least partially a problem with actress Hedy Burress' performance. This trait was not present in the sequel, where many people noted said actress' performance had gotten significantly better. Word of God is that Hedy Burress tried to lip-sync with the digital representation of the character. As the former was speaking English, and the latter was lip-syncing Japanese, it made for some odd inflections. The sequel, X-2, had more effort put into the localization, syncing the character with the voice actor, rather than the voice actor syncing with the character.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The party is captured, caged, and then split up into two teams. Those that can swim are thrown into the submerged half of a labyrinth and told to swim until they lose hope and drown, at which point their floating corpses will be collected. Those that can't swim are holed up in the other, un-submerged half. Both halves of the labyrinth have escape exits guarded by a previously-defeated boss (with a hilarious Weaksauce Weakness which can let you kill it in two turns) and a weaker, lone summoner, respectively. The villains responsible could easily have left the party members caged until they starved (if not simply shooting them), but instead, gave them the chance of escape, all their equipment, didn't incapacitate the Summoner of all people, and surprise surprise — half an hour later you're back out in the sunshine.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • 62 of them, by the loosest definition: Lord Ochu, Belgemine's Ifrit on Mi'ihen Highroad, her Ixion on the Moonflow, her Shiva in the Calm Lands, her 8 Aeons at Remiem Temple, Ginnem's Yojimbo, Geosgaeno, Ultima and Omega Weapons, the 35(!!) monster arena creations, the 10 Dark Aeons (you can fight the Dark Magus Sisters separately, thus making them truly three separate bosses), and Penance — the last 11 are absent in the original version, though.
    • Penance the Ultimate Dark Aeon, in the International version. At maximum character potential, it takes 30 MINUTES and can One-Hit KO your characters. If you don't know how to fight him he can, and will, use an attack that is a Total Party Kill, with Auto-Life or not.
  • Bonus Dungeon: A few of them, such as the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth, Baaj Temple, and the Omega Ruins.
  • Boss Corridor: There are a handful of halls/walkways that lead to boss fights, including all four Seymour battles, but the most notable one is in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, where a hall precedes a warp called the Tower of the Dead; this warp is the Point of No Return and leads to a crystal room and then to the area where the endgame takes place.
  • Book-Ends: After being sucked out of Zanarkand, Tidus awakens in a zero-gravity void above a ruined stadium. This is the heart of Sin, where Jecht resides. It will take Tidus the entire game to get back here.
    • This is also done for the entire saga in the "Good" and Perfect endings of the sequel. In the beginning of the first game Tidus washes up in Besaid. In the better endings of X-2 (hinted at in The Stinger of this game) Tidus, after being reincarnated as a real person by the Fayth, washes up in Besaid. In addition, Tidus begins his narration of the story of "X" in the ruins of Zanarkand, and in the perfect ending of X-2, he and Yuna return to the ruins for the end of their story.
    • The first and final bosses are incapable of defeating the party. Sinspawn Ammes can only use Demi (does nothing to a 1-3 HP target) and after defeating Braska's Final Aeon the party has permanent Auto-Life for the last few battles.
  • Booze Flamethrower: Auron does a variant for Tornado, one of his Overdrives. He creates a huge whirlwind, then throws his bottle of sake into it, and the whole thing bursts into flame. Through friction, maybe?
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Due to the over-arching religion of Spira, all mechanical weaponry is some form of this, seemingly including the Mecha enemies. Any guns encountered certainly appear this way as well. Also true of the Fahrenheit, a newly salvaged airship from 1000 years past. Almost all weaponry and technology is improved to some degree, however, ending up with a Retro Upgrade.
  • Breakout Character: Auron is badass. You may notice it reading this page. Jecht gets much love too.
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak: The Besaid Aurochs will win the first round of the Blitzball tournament during a cutscene, ending a losing streak that lasted more than a decade.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • The game plot runs on rails with a single way forward up to the point where you get the Global Airship... and at that point you can go directly to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon or run around doing sidequests to get all the Infinity Plus One Swords and defeat all the Bonus Bosses.
    • The canonical romance between Tidus and Yuna is also an example. At one point the player is given the chance to have Tidus express an interest in Lulu or Rikku instead, but Yuna is invariably the one he falls in love with.
  • Call-Back: The "Eternal Calm" short on the HD remaster, which sets up the events of X-2, has Yuna utter a familiar line of dialogue when deciding to leave with Rikku:
    Yuna: I know it's selfish, but this is my story.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: This ends up being the central plot point of the whole game. In fact, it's implied that the whole reason Tidus was even brought to Spira was so he could save the world by doing this (to the point that it's a battle tactic when they fight). It's also subverted; by the time you can do it, Tidus forgives him and Jecht is apologizing for being such a crappy father.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: The framing device that starts the game is Team Tidus gathered around a campfire reflecting on how they met and got to this point before their major boss fight.
  • Can't Catch Up: When you get Yuna back after a 3-5 hour plus absence, you will most likely find that most of your characters are near the end of their Grid, while Yuna will still only be about halfway done. Given that she comes back just before the fight with Seymour, mark II, this disadvantage (especially considering she's your only dedicated White Mage) can be crippling.
    • Can easily be subverted with some proper tactics, as teaching Yuna Drain via a black mage sphere turns her into a massive damage dealer while also keeping her healed.
    • Another powerful tactic is to turn Yuna into a better elemental black mage than Lulu around the time of Bevelle. Just get Lulu up to the -ga elemental spells by that point and you will soon be able to teach Yuna all four of them with black magic spheres that seem intentionally located around this point for precisely this purpose. Or, y'know, just use her regularly, because aeons are more than enough to deal with the general fiend population.
  • Cat Folk: The Ronso are a race of muscular, anthropomorphic Amazing Technicolor Wildlife feline humanoids from the world of Spira. The Ronso tribe lives at the base of Mt. Gagazet and guards the sacred mountain fiercely. They are formidable warriors, well known for their strong sense of honor and loyalty, as well as their pride and quickness to anger.
  • Cathartic Scream:
    • Early in the game, Tidus states that he just wants to scream. And he does so, right in the middle of the Kilika Temple.
    • Later, in Luca, Yuna asks him if he wants to scream again. Tidus states that it's really not going to help this time.
  • Celeb Crush: As the youngest Maester, and with the aid of his somewhat-revealing outfits and crazy hair, Seymour is the target of a few of these. Including Yuna, to a minor degree. It doesn't last long, though...
  • Chained by Fashion: Anima.
  • Character Development: With the exception of Auron, who already underwent his in his back story, this happens to some degree for all the main party members.
    • Tidus goes from a rude, stubborn, and somewhat self-centered adolescent who has no respect for the culture of Spira, just wants to get home, and doesn't think much of the idea of self-sacrifice to a mature leader who willingly performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the story to defeat Sin and give Spira peace. The difference in his tone of voice between his narration before they enter Zanarkand and his first few interactions with the other characters also bear this out.
    • Yuna, in an inversion of Tidus' character arc, begins to question both the tenets of her Yevonite faith and her conviction that her mission to sacrifice her life to bring Spira respite from Sin is worthwhile. When Yunalesca tells her outright that the Final Summoning is a Senseless Sacrifice, she snaps, rejecting the tenets of Yevon to Yunalesca's face and saying that while she would sacrifice her life to permanently defeat Sin, she will not do so to gain only a temporary victory, and outright repudiates the goal she's been working toward for the entire game.
    • Wakka, like Yuna, begins to question the tenets of his faith, as well as reconsider his hatred of the Al Bhed.
    • Lulu warms up considerably toward both Tidus and the rest of the party, and begins to let go of the guilt and pain she feels for the loss of her previous companions.
    • Rikku's cheerfulness and optimism wane somewhat as the story goes on and it becomes increasingly apparent she will be unable to dissuade Yuna from her mission. Still, with Tidus's help, she never truly loses her optimism and exuberance all throughout the game.
    • Kimahri's is more subtle since he doesn't talk much, but over the course of the game he overcomes the shame of his exile, finally confronting and overcoming his former tormentors Biran and Yenke when he returns to Mt. Gagazet. He also starts responding to Tidus more the further along you are in the story.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Every single blitzball player can participate in strenuous underwater activity for long stretches of time without coming up for breath. The masters of this can even sleep underwater. Rikku and the other Al Bhed working on the salvage ship can do this too.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The airship Tidus finds together with Al Bhed very early in the game is much later used to escape from besieged Home.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Tidus, Wakka, and Rikku all demonstrate the ability to swim at the outset. This becomes essential once the pace of the game picks up.
  • Chest Monster: As is a tradition with Final Fantasy games, the Chest Monster is present. However, it's only in two areas, and both have different ground rules for the trope:
    • First, in Home, there are a bunch of chests that give you a choice of what you want to see in the chest. The choices are in the Al Bhed language, and one of the choices, if translated with enough Al Bhed Primers (which are stored to the game's hard drive instead of the file), will read "Fiend". Select this choice at your own risk...
    • The other is in the Omega Ruins bonus dungeon. There are sets of four chests in various parts of the area, but in order to get these treasures, you must open the chests in the right order. It's not stated what the order is, and opening an incorrect chest will force a fight; survive, and the other chests vanish. In this same area, one must be wary of chests in battle; some of these chests are booby-trapped with Mimic enemies that will spring out if Rikku attempts to steal from the chest. If a Mimic reveals itself, the player is forced to try to destroy it since they will lose the option of fleeing. Mugging the chest (which has 1 HP) will destroy the Mimic before it becomes a serious problem to deal with. The Mimic monsters, however, give the most amount of gil after a battle; with Rikku's Celestial Weapon Godhand, particularly the weapon upgrade Gillionaire, this can earn you 100,000 gil all from one battle.
    • In the Chamber of the Stolen Fayth area near the end of the game, a Random Encounter enemy called Magic Urn can be found. It is an urn with a Purple cartoonish humanoid alien creature in it that gives you items if you strike the right eye symbol on the urn. If you hit the wrong eye, however, it explodes with a powerful blast that will likely take out at least one of your party and greatly injure everyone else. The items you got will also go away if this happens. Which eye is the right one is completely random
  • Child of Two Worlds: The Al Bhed are a shunned group since they freely use technology (which the rest of the Yevon-worshipping world rejects) and have spiral-shaped irises. Yuna, who is half Al Bhed, eventually brings them together by exposing Yevon as a Scam Religion, ending its reign. Seymour, who is half-human and half-Guado, is also an example of this trope, though his story ends much more tragically.
  • Church Militant: Heavily employed by Yevon.
  • Climax Boss: Yunalesca. The fight is fairly challenging and is preceded by a long, epic cutscene complete with a major plot twist.
    Auron: Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! 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!
  • Competitive Balance: Each party member's individual Sphere Grid gives them set roles in battle.
    • Tidus is a Fragile Speedster, with high Agility and a combination of accuracy and power meant to take out lightly-armored and nimble fiends. He's also a Time Master, learning Slow, Haste, and Delay attacks to speed up the party's turn order and low the enemy's.
    • Auron is a Mighty Glacier, with high Strength and HP, armor-piercing weaponry, as well as the "Break" abilities to lower enemy stats. However he has poor speed and accuracy so he can't deal with fast-moving fiends that will avoid his strikes.
    • Wakka has Improbable Aiming Skills, able to snipe airborne fiends other characters miss. He's also got status attacks to inflict enemies with status ailments.
    • Yuna is the White Mage, learning a variety of healing and buffing attacks. She can also literally Summon Bigger Fish, calling Aeons to help out against bosses or tougher enemies.
    • Lulu is your Black Mage, specializing in offensive magic and ways to make it more effective. She's also got Evasion and Magic Defense going for her.
    • Rikku is a Support Party Member, able to Use attack items for various effects and being able to Steal from enemies, which also lets her instantly kill machina-type enemies.
    • Kimahri is the Jack-of-All-Stats Master of None, starting in the center of the Sphere Grid and able to slip into most any other part of it to train as you need him, but he'll inevitably lag behind the other six in their dedicated roles if you don't take time to level him up.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Blitzball, so much. Expect to see AI opponents endure tackles from several enemies who have higher Attack than their Endurance, score goals on you despite your Catch being significantly higher than their Shoot, and their status-ailment techs will take effect more often than yours do.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Interestingly played with, if less morally ambiguous than normal. A Summoner, whose entire purpose is to destroy a beast of immense size, is hounded by the leaders of her Corrupt Church after she discovers their terrible secret. Generally hunted by a specific individual, she hurries to complete her own contract — just not the way the organization wants, and in such a manner that will cause the whole world to realize its lies.
  • Convenient Terminal Illness: Seymour's mother is hinted to have had one, part of her reasons for so readily agreeing to forsake her humanity and become her son's Aeon.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: This is a problem that plagues endgame Aeons' Overdrives, as for all the flashy theatrics they have, they still do only a single hit, ensuring they can never hit for more than 99,999 damage in one use, something that a party going for the Bonus Bosses can achieve with normal attacks. The Magus Sisters are notable for this issue, as all three sisters' Overdrive gauges need to be charged up to cast Delta Attack...and they still only do one hit! This is corrected somewhat in the PAL and International rereleases onwards: the sisters' and Anima's Overdrives now do 6 and 20 hits, respectively.
  • Conveniently Timed Guard: Tidus and friends rush to save Yuna from the clutches of her evil husband-to-be, and manage to defeat him and his bodyguards. It is at this precise moment, as the party prepares to send his soul to the Farplane and stop him from returning as a fiend, that his butler enters the room, sees his now deceased master, and orders everyone loyal to his master to hunt the party mercilessly.
  • Corrupt Church: Yevon's leaders are by and large complete asshats. It does have a great many sincere and good adherents, though, such as Isaaru, Shelinda and Dona, who all end up picking up the slack when Yevon collapses near the end of the game and in X-2.
  • Crapsack World: Spira is a place in which people live in constant fear of a gigantic Eldritch Abomination that regularly annihilates entire cities, technology is stagnant, the spirits of the dead turn into monsters if they are not properly put to rest, and society is ruled by an order of self-interested theocrats who preach that You Can't Fight Fate. People must marry young because they aren't likely to live to be old. The population's only sources of relief come from the sport of blitzball and the hope that one of the many summoners journeying at any given time will complete a pilgrimage and bring a brief interval of freedom from Sin's rampages before it inevitably returns. Lampshaded by Auron:
    Auron: Summoners challenge the bringer of death, Sin, and die doing so. Guardians give their lives to protect their summoner. The fayth are the souls of the dead. Even the maesters of Yevon are unsent. Spira is full of death. Only Sin is reborn, and then only to bring more death. It is a cycle of death, spiraling endlessly.
  • Crutch Character: Aeons. Early on Aeons are far stronger than the party of three you trade in to summon them, with high HP, high damage output, their Overdrives can easily hit the damage limit (Bahamut also allows for the first taste of exceeding the initial damage limit), and they're immune to status ailments. But once you hit the Calm Lands, many bosses are then scripted to specifically counter Aeons, often though some manner of One-Hit KO attack, and their inability to heal (unless you use items to teach them) begins to dampen their usefulness. In the post-game once you start taking on the optional bosses, the Aeons are vastly inferior to your party members on even an individual basis, and they're mostly only useful to summon them to Take the Bullet for strong attacks and/or launching their Overdrive for a quick burst attack.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Spira is a tropical themed version of this, although most of the "crystal spires" are the remnants of a lost civilization.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Unusually enough for a Final Fantasy, the final battles. You're provided with Auto-Life as a permanent status effect, and cannot lose. It's simply a matter of how long it takes you.
  • Cutscene Incompetence (also an example of Stupid Surrender): The party is unable to actually stop Yuna's wedding, since some guards are pointing guns at them. However, in regular battle, guards of the very same type with the very same guns aren't any more threatening than regular fiends.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The blitzball FMV in the prologue of the game features Tidus tackling a player so hard it forces them out of the sphere. Players frustrated with the actual blitzball gameplay can only wish this was doable.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • You can fight Evrae Altana the hard way, and strategically deal with a system of locked gates in order to improve your chances of survival... or you can just throw two Phoenix Downs at it and be on your merry way.
    • You can avoid playing the game of "should I steal from this Omega Ruins chest at the risk of it being a mimic?" by simply Mugging from it. You'll either destroy it and get an item out of it as usual, or get nothing out of it but still destroy it before it turns into a Mimic since the chest only has 1 HP.
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