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"With so many things woven together...what could be waiting where the threads meet?"
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This page assumes you have played Final Fantasy X. As such, all spoilers from that game will be unmarked.

Final Fantasy X-2 (that's "ten-two") is a sequel to the tenth entry in the fist-bumpingly popular Final Fantasy series. It is the first direct sequel to a mainline Final Fantasy game, barring Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals (a sequel to Final Fantasy V which predated X-2 by 9 years), which is an anime. It's also the first FF title released in in the U.S. after Square's merger with Enix.

Two years after Tidus' disappearance in X, Spira has entered a golden age known as the Eternal Calm. The scourge known as Sin is gone for good, and machines (formerly derided as "machina") are no longer considered taboo. An eager new generation of Adventurer Archaeologists called "Sphere Hunters" scour once-forbidden ruins in search of historical records that have been buried by the Yevon religion.

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Yuna, now free of her obligations as a summoner, is visited by her cousin Rikku who shows her a Movie Sphere depicting someone who looks and sounds exactly like Tidus. Captivated by the mystery and wishing to reinvent herself, Yuna runs away with Rikku to join a Sphere Hunter group, the "Gullwings". Along with Paine, a cool-headed warrior with an acerbic tongue, they form the Freudian Trio "YRP" and scour the world for adventure, fortune, and (hopefully) answers to the mystery man in Rikku's sphere.

It's not all fun and games, though. Spira is cracking up in the wave of unprecedented societal progression, and two opposing factions are looking to win the hearts of the people. On one side, there is "New Yevon", a conservative successor to Yevon whose motto is "One thing at a time". And on the other side is the "Youth League", a group of radicals who aim to tear down the status quo as quickly as possible, no matter the cost. There's also the "Machine Faction", a neutral Al Bhed group supplying weapons to the other two, who desire only to promote the use of machina and remove stigma towards them by rebranding them as "machines." As hostilities between the League and New Yevon grow, the Gullwings begin to suspect that another party is behind the strife, and must discover the truth before history repeats itself and Spira is led down the path of destruction once more.

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X-2 jettisoned the brooding tone of its predecessor in favor of a lighthearted, comedic tone, featuring Magical Girl Transformation Sequences, boatloads of Fanservice, and a new score (including J-pop music) replacing the sweeping orchestra of past games. The game is also open-ended: You have an airship at the ready almost from the start, and there are dozens of non-compulsory "Missions" separate from the main story, not all of which can be done in a single playthrough. There's a New Game+ if you want to see everything, but getting 100% Completion (and the attendant Golden Ending) is difficult even with this feature.

The plot starts out with Yuna toting her new duds, which many appropriately nicknamed the "Yuna Raider" outfit. At first it seems out of place, but it's intertwined with the Job System you learn about later on. In a throwback to Final Fantasy III and V, you earn new jobs (or "Dresspheres") by completing sidequests and meeting certain requirements. (In a nod to V, it's implied that each contains the memory of a long-dead denizen of Spira, some of whom hailed from Tidus' hometown of Zanarkand.) Each come with their own set of special abilities, and you unlock new ones by using the Dressphere more often.

The experience and level system is back, and most welcome, though you still need to check the menu regularly to cash in Ability Points for new skills à la X. Square also brought back active-time battles; not just that, but this game's version allows multiple combatants to perform actions at the same time (as opposed to prior iterations where only one combatant can act at a time), resulting in surprisingly intense menu-based combat. X-2 is also the first Final Fantasy to allow class-changing in the middle of battle, and the first to award new skills mid-battle.

Along with X, an HD version of the game was released for PlayStation 3 and Vita as part of a Compilation Re-release. (The PS3 version of X also includes X-2 on the disc, but the Vita version instead comes with a code for the digital version of X-2.) Like the X remaster, the HD release was basically the PAL Bonus a.k.a. "International" version, which in X-2's case came with: two new Dresspheres, a "Creature Creator" which allows you to tame monsters, a retool of X's Monster Arena where you fight different arrangements of monsters rather than a single beefed-up enemy, a few more Bonus Bosses, and an expansion called Last Mission. The CC in particular is a game-changer, as it allows you to recruit enemies in X-2 for the Arena battles, including some of the bosses. The compilation was also ported to PlayStation 4 in May 2015, and to Steam one year later. Finally, the compilation was released on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One on April 11, 2019 in Japan and Asia, and April 16, 2019 elsewhere.


Tropes used in Final Fantasy X-2:

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  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is at 99, which is nowhere near necessary to beat the game. An average, non-perfect game would have your characters around Level 50 towards the end. However, those wishing to challenge Via Infinito will need to be at the maximum level to survive. Interestingly, it is technically possible to beat Via Infinito at the lowest level the game allows you to attempt it, but unless you plan for it, it will almost certainly push you into the 90s just from the random encounters. Acutally, the main difference between this and X and that you cannot permenently raise your stats once you reach Lv. 99., which is why that dungeon and the Fiend Arena are such a headache.
  • Absurdly Short Level:
    • The Temple maps were never meant to be dungeon crawls, so those Missions are pretty short and linear. There's not even a save point inside.
    • Chapter 4 is something of a misnomer. All you do is browse Shinra's terminal and interview NPCs in various towns from the comfort of your airship. Cut to Chapter 5: every town on the map flashes red and the words "Hot Spot" explode onto the screen fifteen times to show that all Hell has broken loose.
  • Actionized Sequel:
    • This game goes back to the traditional Active Time Battle system after FFX ditched it in favor of the Conditional Turn-Based Battle system. X-2directly addresses the most frustrating flaw in IX's battle system by allowing multiple actions to resolve graphically at the same time. There's a lot of unspoken rules for determining which actions are compatible: melee attackers can't hit each other simultaneously. You can't attack while being targeted by a spell or other 'charge time' abilities. And so on. But the general feel of combat is frenetic, and takes some getting used to. If you're arriving at this game from X, your strategy is going to go out the window for a while.
    • The new airship looks like a chopper bike, complete with spinning 'wheels', exhaust pipes and flame decals. The helm even includes a pair of handlebars to steer with.
    • The other thing which sticks out from other Final Fantasy games, apart from XII and XIII-2, is that you have freedom of movement almost from the start and can go anywhere with the click of a button. (The latter two games have Warp Whistles that take you to places you visited previously.)
    • Yuna can hop between platforms and reach nooks that Tidus couldn't, at least not without the aid of warp points or the airship.
  • Adorably Precocious Child:
    • Shinra is an Al Bhed prodigy. He is clearly the best-informed of the Gullwings, but he has an annoying habit of shrugging off inconvenient questions with, "I'm just a kid."
    • Calli is wild about chocobos and wishes she could bring them back to the Highroad more than anything. This causes unexpected trouble if she's revealed to have engineered the machina attack.
    • Pacce's an aspiring sphere hunter, now. He's the leader of the "Kinderguardians." It's all fun and games until you find them goofing off in Vegnagun's old Cradle in Chapter 3! What the hell?
    • Lian and Ayde are Ronso pups who are important to the tribe, since their numbers were decimated by Seymour. They venture out into Spira to find a way to repair Kimahri's horn and establish his authority as Elder. As Yuna and Rikku are deliberating getting them back to their families, the Ronso kids bound off into the distance. ("They can really move!") They eventually return home, gushing about their exploits and wishing to travel again; this inspires their Elder Kimahri, who was unsure about where the Ronso fit into the Eternal Calm.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • There's a lot more Al Bhed running around, and open talk of machina being used for purposes other than blitzball. The Al Bhed and their machina have an increased presence on the Mi'Ihen Highroad: Hovers will carry you from one end to the other for a price, and sentry robots patrol the path in-between. There are some hints that the kinks aren't all worked out...
    • The Machine Faction are working on a new battle machina to fight Vegnagun, and they need your help to test it. It's the Final Fantasy version of Kasparov vs. Deep Blue. Keep giving them scraps from the excavation site to use as upgrades. Eventually their "Experiment" runs amok and has to be beaten at full-capacity before it kills the engineers.
  • All for Nothing: During Final Fantasy X -Will-, it's revealed that, after all of the battles and sacrifices in Final Fantasy X, Sin has again returned thanks to the growing instability of the Farplane.
  • All Part of the Show: The opening depicts Yuna (or so it seems) throwing a concert inside Luca Stadium. Rikku and Paine crash the stage and provoke a battle with "???", who is actually LeBlanc using a Dresspshere to assume Yuna's guise. The audience seems to think this is all part of the stage show.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • According to Ultimania, the Tidus-lookalike (Shuyin) from Rikku's video is long-gone, but his hatred was preserved by pyreflies and lingers on as a ghost which is still semi-conscious and more dangerous than a standard unsent.
    • No reason is given for Kinoc (the corrupt human representative of Yevon) ordering the deaths of the Crimson Squad, though it seemed logical that he would face stiff punishment for working with Al Bhed heretics. Ultimania tells that Kinoc never intended to let the Squad live and sent them on a suicide mission to gather info on a "giant machina" (Vegnagun) which locals claimed to see in their dreams. Presumably those were flashbacks to Shuyin's last moments. Kinoc was feeling threatened by Seymour's growing power within the church, and he thought that Vegnagun could provide leverage. Kinoc timed the training mission on the day of Operation Mi'Ihen so that the Squad would be counted among the casualties. So the footage of Paine and company was filmed on the same day Yuna and her guardians reached Mushroom Rock, and Kinoc left for the front lines as soon as Paine was sent into the Den of Woe. Afterward, Kinoc had the cave sealed up. Soon afterward, Seymour killed him for asking too many questions, so Kinoc didn't learn anything about Vegnagun and didn't get to try again.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • The LeBlanc Syndicate break into the airship and, in typical stupidity, leave behind a video gloating over who did it and where to find them.
    • When Dark Valefor takes over Besaid Temple, and the new arrival Beclem prepares to burn it down over Wakka's protests. His judgement is clearly clouded by his hatred of Yevon, but he's got a point that Wakka is gambling with his and his family's lives. Yuna intervenes since the Temple is where she and Tidus first met.
  • Alliance Meter: In a Calm Lands sidequest, you can choose from one of two companies, Open Air or Argent, and promote them by either playing their games or spreading the word to citizens. You can switch between companies, but that would cost you half of the points earned for the other company. While you'll only need to max out one of the companies' levels to achieve 100%, both companies have exclusive equipment when maxed out.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Each new Dressphere nets you another set of clothes to show off their new powers. It's similar to Jobs from other games in the series, except this game describes them as clothes.
    • Lampshaded with the new Itchy status. When afflicted, the victim can only perform a Sphere Change to switch to a different outfit, or Flee. Once the change has been made, the effect is canceled. Itchy can also be removed by using a Holy Water on the girl!
  • Angels Pose: Seen in the opening segment of the game.
  • Anime Theme Song: "Real Emotion" is a peppy J-pop song, in stark contrast to the ballad "1000 Words", which is more typical of the Final Fantasy series.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Special Dresspheres won't activate until you've switched between every job on your current Grid. (See "Super Mode" below.) For best results, use the "Unerring Path" Grid, which is given to you when you get your first Special. It only has two slots for Dresspheres, making super transformations very easy.
    • Square changed the rules so that you can win the Mascot Dressphere more-easily in the Remaster: you only have the beat the Youth League Cup, and it's not even the hardest bracket in the Arena. So if you missed out on an Episode Complete in Chapter 5, then this is your next-best shot at the Mascot. Ditto "The End" Garment Grid: just keep fighting the same mobs in the Arena until they're Oversouled. This is a lot easier than grinding them out in the Via Infinito and hoping that they appear.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The sphere of Tidus is very dark and the quality is degraded, but we can hear him yelling at the cameraman from behind bars. This is actually centuries-old footage of Shuyin after he was jailed in the Bevelle Underground.
    • The Crimson Spheres are viewed out-of-order. They chronicle a training mission gone wrong. After the Squad were taken over by Shuyin's pyreflies and killed themselves, the survivors were met by gunfire by Yevon's Warrior Monks, presumably to dispose of the evidence. Nooj gunned down the remaining three as they made their escape, but they survived.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • You can't move your girls into a different job at any time. You have to equip the Dressphere onto a Garment Grid, select that Grid, and then change jobs while in the menu or during battle. At first, you can only fit one or two Dressspheres into Shinra's Grid, but the Grids you find later have more empty slots. You're incentivized to do it regularly so your AP can be spread across various jobs, since the AP cost gets higher the more you train a given Dressphere.
    • In the vanilla game, there are only three playable characters. For the International version onwards, in regard to the Creature Creator system:
      1. 8 Characters can be recruited at most, extending the limit to 11 party members. However, only YRP are controllable, the rest is up to the AI.
      2. All characters are designated by size ([S]mall, [M]edium, [L]arge). This includes YRP and other recruitable "human" characters, who all have the Small designation. The restriction is that only three Small characters can be in a battle party. Meanwhile, a Medium character is equivalent to 2 Small characters, and a Large character is equivalent to three Small characters. Thus, Medium characters can be accompanied by only one Small character, and a Large character must fight its battles solo.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: If the Fiend Arena is giving you trouble, get an S-type machina: the Scouter ones, or one of LeBlanc's Flak Pythons. Both of them have attacks that ignore Defense and deal absurd damage. We're talking in the tens of thousands if you get their stats high enough. It's not recommend for Paragon, though. (See "Bonus Boss" below.) Attacks that ignore Defense will make him angry, and you don't want that.
  • The Artifact:
    • Once again, HP/MP restoring save points make Trauma Inns redundant. (X also had Rin's Travel Agencies, but those served to advance the storyline.) Not only that, their presence is openly-mocked in Guadosalam. If you enter the inn and tell the clerk you want to rest, she will inform Yuna that there's a chair right behind you.
    • The Alchemist is a White Mage with a gun. It's also a healing class which does not depend on MP. The Stash ability provides free healing just like Pray does, only it's more potent, and you can always spend Gil on prexisting items if you need something more instant in a pinch. Mega-Potion and Mega Phoenix in particular will keep you at full fighting strength through all but the most dangerous end-game battles. Remedy and Dispel Tonic round out the White Magic skillset with buffs and debuffs. There are strategies to get the most out of White Mage, but they're simply impractical and you could not justify advising a newbie to use them. White Mage is only useful for healing outside of battles.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Enemies recruited in the Creature Creator are strictly AI-controlled and can only be used in the Arena. They are surprisingly-effective compared to YRP, who remain under your control...
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • ...however, the AI can also be quite stupid: healing when they're not supposed to, and then not healing when HP is at critical, among other things.
    • The thing about Angra Mainyu (see "Bonus Boss" below) is that if you have enough offensive power, it really can’t do much to punish you because it’s constantly reviving its other parts. So if you’re above Level 60, then just about anything will work since you only need to do -5,000 to a revived arm before it gets a turn in. The common strategy is to use two Dark Knights and keep spamming Darkness, since it damages all of the targets.
    • Once Chac Petrifies and shatters two people, she will never use Stony Glare again in that round. Not knowing that is the main reason why some players ragequit around Cloister 80.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Yuna is now the narrator, with Rikku tagging closely behind her on the ship. Also, the entire bridge crew is Al Bhed, as well as Rikku and one-half of Yuna's parentage. Rikku's brother and Yuna's cousin, Brother, made a few appearances in the previous game as an antagonist; in X-2, he's the bumbling ship captain and leader of the Gullwings.
    • Calli is a non-player character in X, a little girl seen on the Mi'ihen Highroad who is longing for the Calm. She is full-grown in X-2 and plays a bigger role in the Mi'ihen Mystery.
    • Maechen was our Hitchiker's Guide to Spira. He turns out to be a citizen of Zanarkand who once shook the hand of Lenne, a then-popular singer who lives on in Yuna's Dressphere. Maechen wasn't converted into a Fayth by Yu Yevon like the others; instead he lingered on as an Unsent, eventually forgetting that he is dead. He is reminded of his past when he shakes Yuna's hand. This gradually jogs his memory about Vegnagun. In a later scene, Maechen offers a tantalizing hint that Tidus can be revived somehow, but stops short of promising it will happen.
    • Here's a weird one: According to Ultimania, the owner of the Monster Arena in X was a beardless Trema, who would go on to impersonate a priest and found New Yevon. He has the unique ability to reconstitute pyreflies into fiends, thus explaining why he needs Tidus to harvest them for the tougher Arena battles. Maybe this is meant to explain his lack of interest in fighting Sin with said monsters.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: There are a handful of attacks that rely on target placement, and attacking enemies from behind will double the damage. But the ATB system doesn't give you any control over where your characters move, so it's hard to exploit this mechanic without Teleport (Psychic).
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The default battle theme is a thrashing electric guitar. Possibly to reflect the idol singer theme.
  • Avenging the Villain: Lord Zaon, who was first-seen among the mirages in Zanarkand, was the husband and guardian to Lady Yunalesca, the first High Summoner. Zaon became the first "Final Aeon" to be sacrificed to Sin. Keep in mind that his Chamber of the Fayth was inert, as his spirit was lost. It's unclear how both he and Yunalesca wound up beneath Bevelle as unsent. (Yunalesca was killed by Yuna, but her husband was consumed by Yu Yevon. Perhaps his soul was freed when Yu Yevon fled into another body, but that's conjecture.) He and Yunalesca share an embrace before she fights you in the Via Infinito. When she is beaten and dispersed, Zaon walks away, destroyed. He resurfaces in the next boss chamber as a gold-plated Weapon (Paragon), evoking his gold armor.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Certain Grids provide you with a small stat buff or new ability when you switch jobs during a fight. A practical application for this exists, but it's rarely worth it to hop between jobs. It makes sense to tailor your team to each enemy, but it's hard to utilize the Gate bonuses and wind up with a team you want. The whole class-changing during battle thing is fun to mess around with, but it gets old after a while, and in the end you won't be using gates except in boss battles.
    • Since there are so many Garment Grids that come with Black or White Magic, the actual classes (along with Warrior and Samurai...) are underwhelming. By Chapter 5, the low HP and Defense just aren't worth it. Not when you can strike off 9,999 HP with Annihilator (see "Last Disc Magic" below) without boosting magic, heal without boosting magic, and your go-to character is the freaking Dark Knight who can multi-target for Non-Elemental damage.
    • The Special Dresspheres (see "Super Mode" below).as a whole are under-utilized and there's not a whole lot to say about them. Outside of a few cases, your AP is put to better use training your other Dresspheres.
  • Babies Ever After: Lulu, who had been pregnant throughout the game, is seen holding a baby at the end. The baby is born in the chapter before the finale (and a major plot point is Wakka getting over himself enough to name the kid).
  • Back from the Dead:
    • The entity who goes by "Shuyin" is a shade of a dead veteran of the Machina War.
    • Yuna performed the Sending on the Fayth at the end of X because they were stuck in limbo thanks to Yevon and couldn't go to the Farplane. Shuyin revives them as mindless minions somewhere in Chapter 2. This horrifies Yuna. Most can be found in the former Chambers of the Fayth in their respective Temples, which are also spewing out fiends. The others ambush the Gullwings at various points: Bahamut's Chamber is in Bevelle, so he gets loose in the Underground, then sneaks up on you in Vegnagun's Cradle. Shiva's, Anima's, and the Magus Sisters' Temples are no longer accessible, so they appear in the Farplane.
    • The Fayth can restore the good-natured Tidus to life in the Good and Perfect endings, but only if you meet the requirements and accept Bahamut's offer.
    • The corrupt ex-leaders of Yevon are now shambling along the halls of Via Infinito. They don't get any dialogue, but veterans will recognize them. They transform into fiends when approached.
  • Background Music Override: "Yuna's Ballad" is used as the battle theme for Bahamut. Also, "YRP, Fight! No. 1" plays continuously while doing the Machina Mayhem mission in Chapter 3 on the Mi'ihen Highroad until Mission Complete, or until it's over.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • Yuna and Rikku do not retain their abilities or attributes from the previous game. Partly-justified in that they're explicitly using a new Sphere Grid.
    • Could be justified since there is no longer a threat of Sin and therefore fewer people getting killed by him, thus fewer fiends. Rikku has also been on the airship for two years, so it's reasonable that she forgot the basics since she hadn't been in battles and therefore didn't need to use them.
    • You also have to find Al-Bhed Primers again to understand the language, as you did in the first game. This does have some merit, as the first game was from Tidus's POV, and this is Yuna wanting to learn the language herself.
  • Balance Buff:
    • Cure spells are newly enhanced with multi-target capability, which seems like an unfair advantage until you realize that every Flan, Elemental, and other spellcaster (plus a handful of melee attackers) now have party-wide or multi-hit attacks, and you need party-wide healing to keep up.
    • A lot of veterans assume that Tetra Master is either mediocre or useless since it's a multi-element attack, which were garbage in VII. This is not the case in X-2. Tetra Strike, against any enemy which has an elemental weakness, will double your physical damage, regardless of whether said enemy absorbs or is immune to the other elements Tetra Strike consists of. If the enemy is weak against Fire but absorbs Ice, Tetra Strike will still double your damage, ignoring the absorption.
  • The Beastmaster:
    • The classic FF job returns as the Trainer. It's one of the few Dresspheres which has exclusive skills for each girl. You're assigned one animal and can't recruit monsters like in the other games; that feature is held back for the Fiend Arena.
    • Trema has spent two years learning how to tame Fiends in the Via Infinito. These aren't run-of-the-mill fiends, either: he pummels Lord Zaon a.k.a. Paragon to death with his bare hands. In the previous game, Paragon went by Nemesis, and was second only to Penance in terms of toughness.
  • Beef Gate: Not that many due to the episodic structure.
    • In Chapter 3, Garik disables the teleport pads on Mt. Gagazet so Kimahri can't catch up to him. If you don't have Encounter Repellant, this is where you'll notice the quantum leap in difficulty: the fiends here are dicks with way too much HP and annoying status attacks. Thankfully, you can reactivate the pads like checkpoints and beam back to the foot of the mountain to heal and save.
    • The Fiend Arena throws these up at you. The hard version of the Grand Arena, which requires six wins to unlock the next tournament, features three such enemies: Shady Duo consists of a Black Elemental capable of one-shotting the party with Ultima and the dreaded Mushroom Cloud (formerly known as Exoray) which can cast a stronger version of Bad Breath (hits everybody with all status ailments) and Ultima. Tonberry the Ripper is a speedier version of the sluggish Tonberry and can carve you up for five figures of damage. In each case, the only way to prevent a party wipe is to level grind and/or use clever strategies to beat them right away.
  • Best Served Cold:
    • The Youth League claims to be only interested in preserving and chonicling Spira's history, but it's obvious that they're mobilizing for war with New Yevon with help from the Al Bhed. You can see the wrecked machina gun tower from Operation Mi'Ihen, which discredited and demoralized the non-believers. (The League is probably still salty about that.) It doesn't help that a guy named Trema founded New Yevon as a sphere hunting organzation to uncover Spira's lost past, then hoarded all the spheres they'd found. Yevon didn't exactly deal them a fair hand.
    • The Ronso Youth want revenge on the Guado for their crimes under Seymour's leadership, which included the mass-murder of the Ronso and their former Elder.
  • Belated Happy Ending: The Good and Perfect endings.
  • Better Living Through Evil: Handing over the Awesome Sphere to New Yevon. Shining Mirror and Blood of the Beast are really-good Garment Grids.
  • BFG:
    • Here's a weird one: Gippal has an eight-barreled blunderbuss with a rotary saw mounted on it for close-quarters attacks. He's the only person a Gun Mage can learn the Mortar skill from.
    • Vegnagun has a giant cannon as long as its entire body...and its body is pretty big to begin with!
    • The Alchemist Dressphere lets any of the girls wield one.
  • BFS: Rikku's sword for the Samurai class, which she takes awhile to actually lift and hit the enemies with.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The HD remaster version added extra voices in battle for the girls, in which their English Voice actors ramble off in Japanese. They appear most often when in the very Japanese Psychic and Festitvalist dress-spheres.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Apparently Lenne and Shuyin were killed by invisible bullets that left invisible wounds with invisible blood. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, since the attackers weren't using invisible guns...
  • Bonus Boss: Plenty of bosses in chapter 5, but those who fit the criteria for a Final Fantasy 'superboss' are:
    • Angra Mainyu, an ancient fiend who attacks the excavation site after being reawakened by their digging.
    • The Den of Woe pits Yuna in a one-on-one battle versus a possessed Rikku and Paine, followed by a 3-on-3 battle against the Crimson Squad (Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal). The DoE is particularly obnoxious if you haven't been consulting a FAQ.
    • Experiment.You can fight it up to 6 times: the first time, and then once more for each Repair Manual you find and deliver. The initial four Levels are not a problem. Level 5 is: It's got rocket attacks, followed by Lifeslicer and Annihilator (always in that order). Lifeslicer is instant-death since it's based on Experiment's max HP. Annihilator is a multi-target, non-elemental Blue Bullet which ignores DEF and M.DEF. (It can still be halved by Shell, though.) Once you beat it at Level 5/5/5, you get a special cutscene and it's over; you can't fight it or repair it ever again, even with Manuals.
    • The fallen Maesters of Yevon from X show up in the Via Infinito, followed by "Paragon" a.k.a. an Unsent Lord Zaon who takes the form of a Weapon (venerated boss monsters from VI, VII, VIII and X), and Trema, a strong-willed Unsent.
    • The Fiend Arena is as follows:
      1. Two original fiends, Almighty Shinra (an accidental merging of Shinra and Omega Weapon) and Major Numerus. Trying to beat Shinra pre-Via Infinito is not easy. The ultimate opponent Major Numerus does not appear until you've won at least five times.
      2. Dark Bahamut in the Aeon Cup can arguably be included. Maddeningly, he can use Samurai abilities (Fireworks and Shin-Zantetsuken) in addition to his usual Mega Flare.
      3. If you manage to beat the returning party members from X, you can play as them again. They never appear until you win the Farplane Cup once. After winning the first time, Seymour will be your only X opponent. You must defeat him and win the Cup afterwards in order for him to be recruited. After you recruit him, Auron appears. He is difficult because he will Eject your party members. After beating and recruiting him, you-know-who will appear. (It's Tidus but the game lists him as "????".) At level 50 it might be possible to reach him as long as you have very high Defense. Mascot is advised, since you're guaranteed to be going up against either Paragon or Trema or both.
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: The Farplane itself. Shuyin flees to the afterlife with Vegnagun, forcing the three factions to put aside their differences and team up to stop him. The spirits of Auron, Braska, and Jecht also make a surprise appearance to offer support to the Gullwings.
  • Book-Ends: Both games open in a blitzball stadium, albeit under radically-different circumstances. Tidus' adventure began when he was approached by The Chooser of The One, Bahamut. (Bahamut's Fayth is a little boy in a hood, and not the corporeal dragon fought in this game. Tidus was surrounded by fanboys and didn't think twice.) At the end of this game, the boy reappears to thank Yuna for breaking Shuyin's hold on him and the others. He may also revive Tidus if the conditions are met.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: As Baralai/Shuyin prepares to execute Nooj, Yuna steps in, prompting a fight with a Malboro which emerges from Vegnagun's pit. Malboro gets harder the longer this goes on: its melee attack inflicts all four debuffs on the target, and pretty soon it'll use Bad Breath and really ruin your day. The objective is to counteract those debuffs and end the fight before Bad Breath occurs. Or switch to Rikku's Special (Machina Maw), which is impervious to status effects. But you still need to act quick, because those tentacles can tear through her robot with no problem.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played straight with the Gunner's Trigger Happy ability, subverted in the Gunner's Gauntlet.
  • The Bridge: Yuna always reappears here when you call the ship or complete a mission. Shinra remains seated in the back, gathering intel. Brother does most of the flying. Buddy shows you "Hot Spots" on the map that indicate new quests.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Whenever you come back from a mission, Paine and Rikku usually have something relevant to say. Rikku is usually enthusiastic and Paine is either impatient or disapproving.
  • Broken Bridge: The first Kilika mission involves hiking around side-paths in the woods and avoiding the New Yevon checkpoints, where the Youth Leaguers are staring down gun barrels. Things are getting tense.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Via Infinito. Supposedly the founder of New Yevon fled down here with a bunch of priceless spheres and wasn't heard from again. Good luck figuring out a way to get through it without relying on Flee, luck, abuse, Wait Mode or cheesing of a single item/accessory/ability/Dressphere. (Looking at you, Mascot.) We can't seem to find one.
    • It has 101 floors and gets progressively harder every ten floors, with bosses every twenty floors. The only relief is that every couple of floors has an exit, and the game records how far you've probed into the maze, so you can warp straight back to Cloisters 20, 40, 60, and so on.
    • The reason Cat Nip (see "Nerf" below) was so popular is because. seriously, the bosses are just so cheap in the later parts of the Via (it's practically on par with trying to do XI's late game content having missed missables or not found the Guide-Dangits), and your own strength has been kneecapped compared to X (or even VII and VIII, at that), so the grin and bear it strategies that saw you through the bonus fights in X are just not viable. You basically have to finish off enemies quickly here or you don't stand a chance. Let's see:
      1. Black Elemental is more of a crap shoot, but the thing about Ultima is that it's pretty much always a crap shoot unless you have a few specific setups, since certain enemies spam it every bit as effectively as Nemesis or Ultima Buster did in X, plus it's random so it often comes right off the bat. (Ultima Buster actually had less Magic ability at 178, and the next two below that were Jumbo Flan and Nega Elemental who didn't even break 100.)
      2. Cloister 80's Chac is a basilisk who can Petrify you even if you have Stoneproof as an ability. (Status immunities? Great, 'til the enemies just plain ignore it.) Even if YRP are at Lv. 99 with maxed-out Mascots, if you go in blind, you don't have a prayer. Just give her three rounds and she'll stone you to death. You'd think that Auto-Ribbon would prevent that! Apparently not. If she's charging Stony Glare (Chac makes it very obvious who her next target is going to be), have a person ready to throw a Soft at the target. Is nobody ready to do so? Well you really should've had someone on standby. Her Heaven's Cataract is pretty much Ultima on steroids, to the point that it actually makes you glad for Stony Glare.
      3. Paragon uses Big Bang, an attack which originated with IV's Zeromus and is more-commonly linked with final bosses in the series, not optional ones. Trema takes longer and has a couple of annoying spells like Ultima and Meteor, but his Meteor is nowhere near as annoying as Ozma's from IX. He will start chanting the Hymn of the Fayth before casting Meteor, which he can only do twice (at half HP or near-death). For Ultima he just yells out something about the Farplane, but Meteor is much worse since it's actually multiple hits of Gravity magic, which can kill you.
    • The enemies get tougher, too. Lacertas with terrifyingly-high Agility and Auto-Haste. Elder Dragons that can easily smash your party while disabling your Flee command. Mega Tonberries with their on-crack animation speed and melee attack hacking off upwards of 99,999.
    • Three words that will make frequent visitors of the Via Infinito crap their pants: Oversouled Mega Tonberry. Its variation of Karma (which gets worse the more enemies you dispatch in the game) also inflicts Stone status...unless the target has Stoneproof, in which case she gets hit with Confuse status which can't be blocked by Confuseproof.
    • You can't just expect to win without any sort of strategy or putting thought into your setup. Thinking about going in guns blazing or cheesing two Dark Knights + an Alchemist (spamming Darkness and Mega Potion)? Think again, that setup is full of holes. White Mage is surprisingly-resilient vs. Black Elementals, and the Berserker is a one-stop shop against Elder Drakes...except you encounter those two fiends together a lot on the last 20 floors (because the Random Number God hates you personally), and the criss-cross is not good. The Drake will rip your Mage to ribbons. The Elemental will struggle to scratch your Mage, but it'll turn your Berserker to ash. Or say Mushroom Cloud gets paired with a Black Elemental. Now you need to add status protection into the mix, too; otherwise the 'shroom will just put you to Sleep and the Elemental will Ultima you to death. Oh, and the M.C. knows Ultima, too.
  • Buried Treasure: The objective of the Bikanel mini-game. Treasures are marked with an X on the mini-map: small amounts of Gil, restorative items, Sphere Break coins, Al Bhed Primers, or buried fiends if you're unlucky. The Central Expanse is one of the best sites to dig: you're on a Chocobo so it's faster and there are no random encounters or fiends who "ambush" you while digging. If you haven't unlocked it yet, just complete the Chocobo Ranch sidequest and send an expendable (i.e. low-level) Chocobo to Bikanel Island.
  • But Thou Must!: Once you find all of the rumored spheres in Chapter 1 (Gagazet, Besaid, and Zanarkand), you get railroaded into looking for the Kilika Port sphere, since it's a time-sensitive mission. You can't exit out of the navigation screen or fly anyplace else. Once you disembark, you can't return to the ship.

    C-D 

  • CamelCase: The theme is titled real Emotion, making it an odd case of this trope applied to multiple words.
  • Camera Abuse: Poor, poor CommSpheres.
    • In Chapter 4, watch the Besaid CommSphere enough times and you'll watch the Besaid Aurochs practice some blitzball shots. It ends in the ball being kicked at the camera and Shinra commenting that the Aurochs "really suck."
    • In Chapter 5, several CommSpheres are destroyed by outside forces when you examine them.
    • In an optional sidequest, all the cutscenes are being recorded in-universe with sphere cameras. The recorder Paine drops the camera several times, causing the recording to end. It even gets shot out once!
  • Camera Screw: Likely to happen at least once in the Yojimbo fight. This is an issue because the opponent has very clear tells as to what attack they're going to do, and one of them is so dangerous that you need to immediately react to it.
  • Canon Name: The game doesn't enforce this upon Tidus, who could be named in Final Fantasy X, and goes to sometimes awkward lengths to avoid referring to him by name to allow the player to pretend he still has whatever name you gave him if you played the first game; this is almost certainly the reason why the option to name your characters has been removed in every FF game since.
  • The Caper: After LeBlanc and her goons raid the Celsius while the girls are away, YRP concoct a plan to sneak into Chateau LeBlanc and steal back the other half of a broken sphere.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Rikku's "Oh, poopie," which Yuna later adopts.
    • Shinra's "I'm just a kid," in response to questions he doesn't know the answer to.
    • "Anything goes for..." Leblanc, Tobli, the Gullwings — take your pick, all of them are used at some point or another.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The game tricks you into letting your guard down in the beginning with stuff like colorful outfits, a peppy J-Pop concert and the girls posing like Charlie's Angels. The more you play, however, the more you come to see a lot of darker stuff bubbling up, such as having to fight the dark aeons, a conspiracy involving the world's three leaders, and the spirit of a man who's been tortured with the memory of the death of himself and his lover for years. While there continues to be fun / funny stuff throughout, starting at the end of Chapter 2 things really start to take a shift.
  • Challenging the Chief: The Ronso Youth don't respect Kimahri's authority or his peacenik tendencies. He's still the runt and probably nowhere near the oldest. Some believe the Ronso are dying out, and Lian and Aide leaving on a Quixotic quest to fix K's horn just makes him look even worse.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Sphere Changes. It is essentially Square Enix's version of the Women take forever in the Bathroom cliché; she might even change her dress several times because she can't decide what to wear, so the fiends are left waiting for an hour or so. Although given that a Sphere Change uses the smallest-possible unit of in-game time to complete, YRP are the fastest costume-changers ever.
  • Charged Attack: First game since Final Fantasy Tactics to add in charge times.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Chapter 1, Dona scurries up a log and hops across the canopies while you're mucking about with the Warrior Monks. In Chapter 3, Dona reminds you about the shortcut, and Yuna uses it to reach Kilika Temple.
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • In X-2 there are too many enemies with the ability to reduce you to 1 HP, at which point the chip damage from Poison kills you. That's why it's a bad idea to wear a Wring past a certain point, as it inflicts permanent Poison status.
    • Dark Yojimbo's Kozuka now deals MP damage and inflicts Poison. You have to be careful about Poison in particular because of Zanmato: Instead of an instant-kill, it reduces both HP and MP to 1 for the whole party. An Alchemist is vital for getting the party back on their feet, but you might want to consume a real (and faster) Mega-Potion so the mutt (Daigoro) doesn't get to you first.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Referenced by one of the Leaguers, Lucil, when she shares her dream of a new age "in which children will never have to lift a sword." However, the background music of the Youth League sounds like a march, and you can clearly see little kids running around the barracks, swinging swords larger than they are.
  • Class and Level System: In a throwback to previous Final Fantasies like II and VII, your mages must train up their existing white/black magic to cast the "-ra" or "-raga" equivalents.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel:
    • Shuyin in his final form. See "Meet the New Boss" below.
    • In some cases, an "Oversouled" fiend (see "Turns Red" below) turns into a Glass Cannon, resulting in them actually being easier to kill. For instance, if you're having trouble with Chac, fight an Oversouled Chac for best results. You'll still have to deal with her annoying Stony Glare, but Heaven's Cataract (which utterly neuters your offensive capability) isn't in Oversoul Chac's movelist. She sticks mainly to weak melee attacks and also likes destroying your Softs and Remedies...one at a time. Oversouled Paragon will not attack at all for the first two minutes. (He will counter-attack, though.) He also won't use Big Bang unless all three party members have Reflect on. Well, that works until he has only 21,000 HP remaining, at which point his pattern changes completely and he just spams Ultima/Holy/Judgment/Genesis/Big Bang randomly. At that point, just kill him as fast as you can, really.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Brother is quite the oddball after getting a personality.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Several of the dresspheres. Red for Yuna, Yellow for Rikku, and Blue for Paine. Even Rikku's Dark Knight armor is copper.
  • Combos:
    • The new Chaining system rewards the Gullwings for timing their attacks to land in quick succession. You get a bit of a damage boost by creating a Chain combo, but the timing can be finicky. Enemies with ranged melee attacks can interrupt your attack animation and break your combos.
    • Certain skills (such as the Gunner's innate "Trigger Happy") do this automatically. Lady Luck's Reels have huge potential for combos.
    • A few enemies, like Baralai, can attack three times in a row and combo you.
    • Another thing to consider: "-ga" spells can be Reflected off your party to hit 3 times for 50% damage each. Due to Chains, this ends up causing more than 150% damage against a single enemy.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: "Tourist Trap". The fondest memories from Yuna's pilgrimage are being trampled by stampeding tourists. Try to re-visit Zanarkand and you'll notice them rubber-necking around the place. This winds up backfiring on the Calm Lands agencies: The Cave of the Stolen Fayth explodes with fiends again, forcing you to locate the guests within the maze. Hilariously, the guests are very demanding and won't leave with you until you make them happy. They're lucky that they didn't get filleted by Dark Yojimbo.
  • Composite Character:
    • Warrior is a cross between Auron from X and the trusty Mystic Knight (Sorcerer in the PS1 translation) from V.
    • The Songstress acts as a combination of the Dancer and Bard; both support classes with little means of self-defense.
    • Lady Luck's Reels are straight out of Wakka's old Overdrives, and this version of The Gambler (hurling dice and spinning slots to fight) also lumps a bunch of other jobs together randomly à la Mime.
    • Dark Knight combines Souleater a.k.a. Darkness (originating in III but made famous in IV) and Charon, which is identical to Kimahri's Self-Destruct.
    • The Trainer is unique among non-Special Dresspheres in that each character gets different stats and abilities when wearing it. Rikku's monkey is basically if she (Thief) and Tidus (Time Mage) had a baby. The monkey can make also make use of Tidus' Cheer command (Ghiki Cheer), which boosts Attack and Defense at the same time.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Some of the tougher fiends are degraded when you capture them with Shinra's help. For instance, Mushroom Cloud can be caught with a Trap Pod S set up at Bevelle after unlocking Via Infinito. It comes equipped with Pernicious Powder; however, unlike an enemy Mushroom Cloud, this one is weak to status ailments, and it needs to re-learn Ultima and One MP Cost.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: After the Gullwings snag the "Awesome Sphere" and return to the Celsius, if you have Yuna go for the elevator, Buddy will tell her that the sphere analysis is complete and they should find out what's on it. If you try it again, he reminds her that it's Gullwing tradition that they all watch spheres together. Any further times that you try it, he tells her that she's "just being silly" and demands that she get back in the cockpit to watch the sphere with them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Elma's argument with the Hypello about allowing a chocobo to ride on a shoopuf is the exact same one she had in the previous game.
    • If you go to Bikanel Island in chapter 2, Rikku will get the party lost, just like in X.
  • Control Room Puzzle: Bevelle Underground. The first consists of a giant wheel surrounded by some weird glyphs and towers, and platforms in the middle leading downward. Red towers select which platform you're moving, blue towers move the platform right or left, and the glyphs stop flashing when you're making progress. Next is the "Gaol" (glimpsed in Rikku's sphere from the prologue), which is another spinning machina. Logos and Ormi can't make heads or tails of it, but pushing the switches will spin the prison cells and clear a path to some chests on the ledges above. Unlike the last puzzle, you can brute-force your way to the solution, though it will probably take a while.
  • Counter-Attack:
    • With practice, the Berserker can Evade and/or Counter any physical or magical attacks directed at her. This is to enhance her skills as an autonomous fighter, since she cannot be controlled by the player when Berserked.
    • The Dark Knight's namesake, Darkness, can bypass Shell and Protect. It's strong enough to hurt Trema. Dark Knights are a good idea against him, anyhow, since they easily pass muster with DEF and M.DEF, and you both have 255 STR melee attacks and Ultima to deal with. Against Paragon it's a complete no-go. However, that's not so much due to the efficacy of the skill, it's more because — well, try it. Say "Hi" to Aerith for us, OK?
  • Critical Status Buff: Certains Grids, Dresspheres, and equipment come with "SOS" buffs. There's also Cat Nip, which had to be fixed in the PAL/HD version because it was laughably broken. At critical HP, every attack, not matter how pitiful, reaps 9,999 HP. The Gunner's Trigger Happy can target an enemy 20+ times in a row, but each shot deals two-digit damage—unless Cat Nip is activated. Then it becomes a slaughter.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: The "Fem-Goons" under LeBlanc's command. They wear skin-tight pink uniforms and attack you with heart-shaped fans (similar to their leader), along with the usual face coverings. Chapter 2 revolves around stealing three such uniforms to stage a heist on LeBlanc's house.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Whichever side loses the "Awesome Sphere" in Kilika becomes paranoid that the other is going to invade. You can initiate a series of fixed battles to get past the main gate of the Youth League HQ or Bevelle, where the guy you've just knocked out tells Yuna to stop before they get really angry, and Yuna just... leaves. It's out-of-character for Yuna to storm the Vatican, but there's really no reason why she couldn't. When it comes time to locate Nooj in Bevelle, Yuna has no problem blasting her way into the cathedral if you helped the League.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Haste makes your attack animations faster, so it's ideal for Dresspheres with stunlock potential (like Gunner) or anyone under Berserk.
  • Dark Reprise: From 0:47-0:57 and 1:55-2:05, the game's final boss theme, "Their Resting Place," contains a dark instrumental reprise of the melody of the game's vocal theme "1000 Words." "Their Resting Place" is played while fighting the 1000-years-tortured spirit of Shuyin, the lover of Lenne, who wrote and performed "1000 Words," and who following the battle tells Shuyin that she has a new song for him, which is implied to be "1000 Words."
  • Debate and Switch: Carries over from the first game. In the original, there is an active debate in-game about whether or not it's right to sacrifice people in order to temporarily bring the rest of the world peace. Near the end of the game, the characters find a workaround to the Vicious Cycle, but it will still cause the deaths of two of the major protagonists. This was done intentionally, in order to show The Hero's growth from being selfish to selfless. However, in the sequel, a similar situation comes up and a character offers to sacrifice himself in order to defeat the Big Bad of X-2. Yuna vehemently opposes this idea, stating that she is sick of watching friends die or fade away, and that she does not want to fight battles where "we have to lose in order to win." Furthermore, the aforementioned sacrificed hero gains a chance to be reborn in this game, should the player meet certain requirements, providing no resolution to the overall debate.
    • Yuna begins her opposition of the idea with her best line in the entire game.
    Yuna: "I don't like your plan. It sucks."
  • Defeat Means Playable: The LeBlanc Syndicate and Crimson Squad (Nooj, Gippal, and Baralai) can be fought and recruited in the Fiend Arena. Most of the guardians from X can be recruited if you beat them in the Arena, either alone or in pairs. Since not everyone survived that game, this is a bonus feature which usually only happens in a New Game +. The Arena grants them maxed-out Limit Breaks and active/passive skills. Seymour shows up again, as well, since he briefly joined Tidus' party before turning heel. Players may notice the glaring absence of Wakka; accounts vary on why he didn't make it in.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The Bevelle Underground contains a ring of six towers with security interfaces. Solving the puzzle involves figuring out how the towers manipulate the platforms to create a stairway into the pit. Every time you activate a tower, though, you trip an alarm which forces a battle. The bosses you face are YSLS-Zero, the boss of Chapter 1; Precepts Guard, formerly the boss in the Chamber of the Fayth at Zanarkand; and Georapella, the sea monster which almost ate Tidus at the beginning of X. You can also grind them for Oversoul encounters (plus their rare item drops) and experience.
    • The Dark Aeons, who were summoned by Yevon's assassins in the PAL/HD version of X. They appear again as foot soldiers of Shuyin, but they are non-optional bosses and not as tough. The exception is the Bahamut fought in the Arena.
    • Omega Weapon turns up again as a random encounter in Via Infinito (around Cloister 70) and the Farplane (if you keep walking into the electric gates); this is probably the weakest incarnation of Weapon in the series. Sanctuary Keeper, the scourge of Gagazet in the last game, also appears as a gate boss (now named Azi Dahaka). He's a lot tougher than Omega, but it feels weird taking apart these two behemoths after the trouble they gave you last time.
    • Black Elemental becomes a common mob in the depths of the Via Infinito, which sucks. Chac only appears on floors 81-84, which is before the Via Infinito throws annoying enemy combos at you. Thank God for that because the amount of setups that can take on and defeat Chac without relying on a lot of luck is lower than with any other enemy in vanilla X-2. Concherer shouldn't be a problem, though.
  • Demoted to Extra: Take your pick of any of the guardians from X who aren't Yuna and Rikku. Wakka and Kimahri are quest givers. If you trigger the ending with Tidus coming to life, Wakka reappears alongside Lulu and their newborn son. Kimahri needs the Gullwings' help to stifle a Ronso rebellion. Kimahri is also the one who found the New Beginnings sphere and gave it to Rikku to deliver, which kick-starts Yuna's whole adventure. Auron has brief-but-memorable cameos in a recording with Gippal and as a disembodied voice coaching you through the last battle.
  • Depth Deception: Defied when Rikku spots O'aka hiding in a tree which is invisible to the player due to the forced perspective. Lampshaded at Kilika Temple when you have to guess the passwords to pass through military checkpoints, which is determined by the even or odd number of warrior monks. There is a guard hidden behind a foreground firepot, and the other checkpoints try to fake you out with confusing jump cuts, or by having guards suddenly appear off-camera and sprint over to the checkpoint to swell their numbers. You get a reward for passing all four checkpoints without a fight.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: With Sin dead and Yevon exposed, the ex-summoners are left feeling adrift. Yuna joins the Gullwings out of ennui. Dona is committed to the Youth League, which causes a rift between her and her ex-guardian/lover. Isaaru now entertains tourists at Zanarkand by getting his Regis Philbin on. No, that is not a joke; that actually happens in the game. The Ronso, whose sacred duty for generations was to protect summoners crossing their mountain, are frustrated and angry at having no "path" in this new Spira; and their Elder Kimahri is at a loss because he's lost his vocation, too.
  • Destroyable Items: Oversouled enemies can sometimes destroy items in your inventory.
  • Developers' Foresight: Using a spell on a fully-healed enemy which absorbs said spell will not earn you AP by itself, unfortunately. It has to either restore an enemy's HP or damage it, so you would need at least one person to constantly hit the enemy, as well.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did YRP just destroy a massive omnicidal superweapon?
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The first Dressphere you unlock is the Songstress. Darkness Dance immediatly renders most melee enemies harmless. Samba of Silence: ditto with spellcasters. Sleepy Shuffle can be quite the win button. Brakedance, as well, since it casts Slow on everything. The Sleep, Slow and Stop Dances remain OP for most of the game. Not to mention Matador's Song, which is simply broken: it raises EVA by 10+, and will allow your party to dodge most evadable attacks. Songstress is one of the most debilitating classes in the entire series!
    • Getting Paine's Special Dressphere, Full Throttle, is as easy as clicking on Macalania Woods and talking to Tromell in Chapter 1. Crazy Wing is an easily-learned attack which inflicts Confusion and is unlikely to kill an enemy, so it's essential for learning the Gun Mage a.k.a. Blue Mage support spells.
    • Black Mage. All in all, a pretty good damage-dealer for early game and endgame.
      1. Black Magic does a ridiculous amount of damage in the first two or three Chapters. Casting "-ga" magic, even if they're just on loan from the elemental Grids, wrecks fiends to a far greater degree than other options you have at the time. The hypothetical combo of Wring + Minerva's Plate allows you hit 255 Magic and some do some insane damage with Fire Breath (Gun Mage), but at the cost of 100% completion and EXP/AP for the user. If you opt for defensive accessories, Fire Breath's damage takes a nosedive whereas Firaga doesn't take as much of a hit. This is all ignoring Reflected magic (bounce multi-target spells off of Reflected allies and hit a single target 3 times) and repeated no-charge "-ga" spells, too.
      2. Also to consider: using Gun Mage is basically a waste of AP. If you're not grinding, but earning AP as you would playing the game normally, Black Magic has value when you're just starting out.
      3. Regardless of that, though, Blue Bullets will always have a relatively-long charge time, such that enemies will be able to get in their melee attacks before you finish charging, whereas Black Magic is fast enough that you can fire it off and potentially kill enemies before their first action.
      4. Black Magic Lv.3 is twice as fast as normal, and you can quintuple that by equipping a Wring, which also casts Auto-Haste. Two black mages with this setup will ensure that an enemy almost never gets a turn. This strategy was used to defeat the bonus boss Trema in the vanilla version, but it won't work on him now. Still, it's incredibly OP and can be achieved as early as Chapter 2.
    • Fire Breath, learned by the Gun Mage, is more useful than Reflected Firaga vs. multiple enemies, i.e. most random battles.
    • Certain Grids grant you status immunities or convert enemy spells into HP. (X) Eater abilities are OP in Chapter 1, and you can speed the process along by casting low-level Black magic on yourself. Fire Eater is disproportionately useful. However, the elemental Grids only have three slots, which rules out any versatility if all three girls need the elemental resistance.
    • The Psychic Dressphere in International and HD Remaster. It learns Auto-Abilities that absorb every element, buffs that neutralize magical or physical damage and last as long as Protect, Haste, etc. Excellence is O MP cost buff which grants immunity to both physical and magical damage until your next turn. Telekinesis is a 12 MP insta-kill with a high success rate and works on almost anything, apart from bosses and late-game mobs. Teleport is a free ability which has no charge up or cooldown time and allows you to reposition yourself behind a target monster; useful for getting out of range of AoE attacks. Combined with a Ribbon, it's the most-broken Dressphere next to Mascot. Oh, and to get Psychic, all you have to do is beat the first Fiend Arena Tournament one time, which can be accomplished as early as getting on the Celsius for the first time. This is easier said than done, however; see "Beef Gate" above.
    • Potentially limitless gil courtesy of O'aka XIII, merchant extraordinaire, available almost immediately after the intro missions, assuming you have the patience to rack up 100k gil just from grinding or fighting in the fiend arena before taking on any missions outside O'aka's. With that, you can settle our merchant friend's debt, which he thanks you for by selling common items at a 95% discount. You can then turn around two steps to sell those items for 230% of what you paid for them. Since Phoenix Downs are the most valuable item O'aka sells you at this point, at around 7300 gil profit per round of sales, this the best gil-earning method in the early game and provides the opportunity, again assuming you have enough patience to bank hundreds of thousands of gil 7k at a time, to max your captured fiends' HP and MP at a ridiculously early point.
    • The incredibly powerful defense-oriented accessory, Adamantite, gives Auto-Wall (permanent Protect and Shell), a massive +120 to both Defense and Magic Defense, and double HP, making its wearer several orders of magnitude more durable (at the relatively minor cost of losing 30 Agility). You can obtain two Adamantite accessoriesnote  very early on. The first can be obtained before you even set foot on Mt. Gagazet in chapter 1, by going into the Creature Creator and completing the fiend tales of Killer Hound, YSLS-Zero, and Machina Panzer. The second is given as a prize for scoring over 2800 points in the Gunner's Gauntlet.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • Yuna's Gunner is based on Tidus. It's her canon outfit and it's a good way to express her new free-spirit persona.
    • The three faction leaders are obvious foils to YRP. We see that their brief time together in the Crimson Squad formed an unshakable bond, such that years after literally shooting his teammates in the back, Nooj still gets invited to clandestine meetings with them and attends without fanfare.
      1. Nooj to Paine. These two are affected by their experiences the most. Whereas Paine walked away from her old life to hunt for spheres, Nooj uses his sphere-hunting operation as a cover.
      2. Baralai to Yuna. Besides the Yevon connection, both want to save the people of Spira. They are the de facto leaders of their respective teams, also. Baralai is overcome with anger and tries to shoot Nooj, making him easy prey for Shuyin, who threatens the Eternal Calm Yuna worked so hard for. In the end, Yuna vetoes Nooj's plan to snipe him and decides to talk down Baralai, instead.
      3. Gippal to Rikku. This one's easy. Both are Al Bhed and the youngest of their respective trios. Both seem to act as a mediator between the extremes of the others. Where Rikku succeeds, Gippal fails. Both have happy-go-lucky personalities despite the trauma in their pasts. Rikku is the result of having good friends around her, whereas Gippal comes across as glib and repressed.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: Scalping tickets for Tobli's show in Chapter 2. This is another mission which punishes you for not buying the strategy guide. To get the full percentage, you have to sell every ticket and make a profit, which means you have to know exactly which ten NPCs will buy his tickets for an inflated value.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The infamous massage parlour minigame. LeBlanc has just left a meeting with Meyvyn Nooj. A disguised Yuna must fumble her way through a back massage while LeBlanc waxes poetic about how manly Nooj is. The colors indicate how close we are to one of Leblanc's knots a la Minesweeper, and once you hit it, LeBlanc moans in ecstasy and does her trademark hand gesture, and the grid resets.
  • Dragon Hoard: In Chapter 1, your opponent in Besaid is the aptly-named Flame Dragon, which is jealously guarding a sphere.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Beclem is a blitzball coach from Hell who was sent over by the Youth League to replace Wakka. He has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming, and is a dick to Yuna no matter which faction you side with. When Yuna objects to his questionable training methods, he calls Yuna washed-up and challenges her to a minigame.
  • Duel Boss: Yuna fights a possessed Rikku and Paine by herself in an optional sidequest.
  • Dungeon Town:
    • The game begins in and around Luca Stadium as YRP are being harried by LeBlanc.
    • When Vegnagun draws power from the Farplane, the old Chambers of the Fayth get sucked underground, and fiends start emerging from the weird, Silent Hill holes that replace them. This spells trouble for Yuna's adopted home of Besaid.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: A whole chapter of the game is devoted to finding three different female goon uniforms for Yuna, Rikku, and Paine so they can infiltrate Leblanc's mansion.
    Paine: Stealing peoples' clothes? What a lame mission.

    E-I 

  • Earn Your Bad Ending:
    • The most difficult outcome of Mi'ihen Mystery is implicating Rin. Not only does he cover his tracks almost perfectly, he escapes punishment even if you nail him, then states that he'll continue to cover up accidents in the future. And then you're cheated out of an Episode Complete for your hard work, since this is an undesired outcome. It's a paradox that the hardest ending to attain is considered a failure in every sense of the word.
    • Die or take too long in the battle with Vegnagun, and Shuyin fires the cannon while in the Farplane, causing the planet to shatter from within. But you pretty much have to try to lose in this manner, since Shuyin waits until you've blown up the tail, leg and arms to start the countdown; if you've come this far, even an under-leveled team will tear apart Vegnagun within the time limit.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Continued from Final Fantasy X's ending: the entire sequence of events Yuna has to go through is what led to Tidus's return depicted at the end of the previous game.
    • Paine makes a reference to this trope, commenting at one point "People who want happy endings have to write their own."
  • Easing into the Adventure: Chapter 1 is a snooze. Wakka is one of the Gullwings' first clients in the game. It's nickel-and-dime stuff which involves finding his family's Video Will. The quest turns out to be a loose end, but near the end of the game you can unearth a real recording of Wakka's late brother.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Bevelle Underground / Via Infinito are empty, impossibly-large labyrinths from the time of the Machina War.
  • Elite Mook: Kill enough of a particular type of Fiend, and one random encounter will eventually see that fiend absorbing the pyreflies released by those of its kind you killed previously, making it much stronger (but also drop much nicer loot, more gil, and experience).
  • Elite Tweak: The Songstress dressphere. There is no possible way of attacking, and they only start out with Darkness Dance. Once you learn a few dances (which takes a lot of AP to learn), she can consistently cast Haste on the party or cast Stop on the enemies. The dances acquired through key items far into the game are also worth learning.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • LeBlanc and her goons agree to bury the hatchet with the Gullwings once Nooj goes missing. They assist you in breaking into Bevelle and uncovering what Nooj and Baralai (under the guidance of Shuyin) are planning.
    • The final battle is fought in an alliance with the Youth League, Machine Faction, and LeBlanc Syndicate leaders versus Shuyin and his giant machina Vegnagun.
  • Escort Mission: Your first Moonflow mission involves escorting a carvan as it gets barraged by bandits.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The previous game began with Sin's attack on Dream Zanarkand, while this game begins with a pop concert, showing that X-2 is significantly Lighter and Softer than X.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Gullwings barkeep is the trope namer.
    Yuna: "Our barkeep's a Hypello. No one knows his real name, so everyone just calls him 'Barkeep.'"
  • Evil Debt Collector: Somebody involved with the making of this game definitely seemed to have something against debt collectors. In Chapter 1, you can choose to hide O'aka from a group of Al Bhed debt collectors on the Celsius, though you are also allowed to turn him over to them. Then, in Chapter 4, you run a mission in which you pursue Tobli, who is on the run from debt collectors, and he waylays them in a series of increasingly amusing and outrageous incidents.
  • Evolving Music: The airship music in X was suspenseful. The airship music in X-2 has an electronic Big Band theme going on. And it changes as you progress through the Chapters. It starts with the funky "We're the Gullwings!" and gets replaced by "Friendly Neighborhood Gullwings", signaling their new mission as heroes-for-hire. The heroic-sounding (but still jazzy) "Gullwings March" takes over in Chapter 5.
  • Face Your Fears: Rikku has overcome her Fear of Thunder from the previous game by camping out in the Thunder Plains for a week.
  • False Flag Operation: Before the Crimson Squad exercise, Kinoc announces that certain units are required to scrounge up their own weapons, and his text might as well read obvious suicide mission! in bold. The first Crimson Sphere clearly shows Ormi (during his Warrior Monk days) gloating over the dead trainees and declaring it a job well-done, followed by Logos berating him for not checking to see if any survivors got away.
  • Fanservice: The game is fully aware of how cute and pretty it is, although Yuna's default outfit isn't really more ridiculous than any average FF character. The alternative outfits are quite racy even for her, though, especially the Thief and Lady Luck dresspheres. Then there's the Hot Springs Episode. And let's not even start on Rikku and that bikini!
  • Fat and Skinny: Logos (tall and fast) and Ormi (stout and slow).
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: By default, Paine is a Fighter a.k.a. Warrior and Rikku is a Thief. White Mage is unlocked in Chapter 1 (along with Black Mage) because Yuna used to be one. Cycle the gals between Warrior, Gunner, White Mage, and Black Mage to learn as many Abilities as possible early on. In the Last Mission expansion, there is the "Bare" option: variations on the girls' default Dresspheres.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Clasko's plan to move into the abandoned Monster Arena hits into a snag in that the Arena isn't actually abandoned. Some of the fiends Tidus captured in X are still present, and YRP have to clear them out since Clasko is worthless in battle. It's a series of battles that are artificially-lengthened by having to hunt for them; for some unexplained reason, most of the fiends are illusory, and you have to run all over the place to figure out which ones are real before fighting them.
  • Final Boss Preview:
    • In the prologue to X-2, the recording of a jailed Tidus, which Yuna plays again for Lulu in Besaid (i.e. the second Mission of Chapter 1), is actually a much-older recording of Shuyin upon whom the idealized version known as "Tidus" was based. Shuyin is hinted to have been a blitzball player in Zanarkand; what is known is that he fought in the Machina War and was jailed for trying to hijack Vegnagun. It's a little unclear whether he was summarily executed or died in prison. At the start of Chapter 2, the Gullwings watch a sphere of him conversing with a giant machina parked underground, which is later revealed to be Vegnagun...
    • When the trio first enter the Via Infinito, they're greeted by an unsent in the early stages of decomposition. It's pretty obvious that this is Trema, but he refers to himself in the third person. He's the last boss of the dungeon.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Kilika Temple is the first instance of guns being used to dispatch fiends. However, one of the Warrior Monks reports that they're almost out of ammo, so don't expect any backup from them. Not even a squad of sentry machina can stem the tide. The Machine Faction are in a similar jam: they were counting on defending the Temple from outside attack, but the Cloister is too small to bring in the big guns, leaving them with only rifles and small arms.
    Paine: So, not even the Machine Faction's weapons can stop the fiends... Another group bites the dust. That didn't take long.
  • Foreshadowing: When Yuna wakes from her nightmare in Chapter 2, Rikku makes the offhand remark "Blame it on your new jammies!" - the songstress dressphere. Later, we find out that the dressphere has been acting as a conduit for Lenne's memories, and the memory of her death was responsible for the nightmare.
  • Free-Range Children: Unfortunately, there are a number of these running around Spira because of Sin having killed off so many of the parents. While some have found other guardians, many of them have had to learn to fend for themselves, so they're even capable in certain cases of fighting off basic fiends. Examples include Calli, Lian & Ayde, and the members of the Kinderguardians.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In the Eternal Calm prologue, Yuna changes from her summoner outfit to the Gunner dressphere once she gets a Garment Grid. Thus explaining why LeBlanc wears the summoner outfit when she steals the Grid.
    • A Nashorn tells you that Save Crystals are particularly popular around Spira for their restorative properties. Said Nashorn also has a track record of getting teleported across the world by Save Crystals.
    • Oversouling is this as well. Because there are no more sendings or summoners, the dead have nowhere to go or how to be guided. Doubly so when the dead can't find their way to the Farplane due to its growing instability. As a result, all the dead fiends end up eventually powering up one of their kind, hence the oversoul mechanic.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Oddly, even some machina can be Oversouled, such as Yevon's attack golems.
    • In Chapter 3, the Gullwings decide to become "Your Friendly Neighborhood Gullwings, taking out fiends and charging for it." Of this money, however, you don't actually see a dime, except for a 10,000 gil reward on the Mi'ihen Highroad, and that's for taking out machina, not fiends.
    • Dark Ixion's attacks are all pretty familiar. He also looks the same, even though he's supposed to be merged with Al Bhed machina to become a cyborg.
    • It's never explained how the Garment Grids, which are an untested invention of Shinra's, can be found all over Spira, or how LeBlanc got her hands on one. You'd think a tool which can disguise you as anything would be revolutionary, and indeed, Yuna tries to entrap Shuyin by posing as Lenne. But it's rarely used for anything apart from sphere hunter rumbles.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: If Shinra wins the Sphere Break tournament in Chapter 3, he'll refuse to relinquish the Lady Luck dressphere that's the grand prize. Now what does a young boy need with a sphere of women in skimpy dresses?
  • Ghost in the Machine: Lenne's spirit still clings to Yuna's dressphere.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Boris the giant crab-fiend is your first real challenge. His cousin Aranea (the reincarnation of Maester Wen Kinoc) is just a plain joke boss, really. If you can't handle it, chances are you really don't belong in the Via Infinito anyway and need to go home in shame with Yuna's moogle tail between her legs.
  • Giant Mook: You'll notice that a lot of 'new' fiends use the same models from X, but scaled-up to appear bigger.
  • Golden Ending: Notable for being very hard to get. What's more infuriating is that there is only one extra scene not included in the Good Ending, so completionists won't feel too rewarded.
  • The Goomba: "Yuna" and her backup dancers in the intro. LeBlanc is powerless to do much in Songstress form, apart from tossing party-drugs at her minions and plinking away at you with Thunder castings.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All:
    • The Gullwings have to find and strip three of LeBlanc's henchwomen of their uniforms to gain access to her "Chateau". This takes some time, as the henchwomen are deployed in different places.
    • The Cactuars in the desert want their rebellious children to come home. Not only do you have to seek out the baby cactuars in the hidden nooks of towns, you then have to beat them in a Quick Draw mini-game while dodging their stupid needle attacks.
    • The Den of Woe won't open up until you insert all of the Crimson Spheres scattered throughout the game.
    • The Experiment at Djose Temple. All you have to do is dig for scrap metal. After about 50-60 parts you should be done. You can check your progress in two ways: Talk to the engineer in front of Experiment, and he'll list off the current levels (Attack, Defense, Special) of Experiment. The points need to total up to 38 for that category to reach Level 5. The second way is to enter the right chamber of Djose Temple. There's a monitor there where you can check which Assemblies you've dug up. Once they're all at 5, Experiment is at its peak! ...which is a problem, because it grows too powerful.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: In the International and HD Remaster versions of the game, YRP will occasionally utter Japanese quotes before the beginning of a battle or while initiating a special ability. As of writing, there's no real explanation as to why the English VA's did this...
  • Grind Boots: While LeBlanc watches the exit, Yuna grinds down a chain into the Bevelle Underground to fight sone sentry robots. Funnily, she's the only person in the original cast who didn't get to cable-surf down to Bevelle.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Any sidequest which requires scouring towns for NPCs and picking from a menu of dialogue options. Once you get the airship in Chapter 1, all there really is to do on Gagazet is placate the Ronso. They'll say certain things and Yuna has to pick an answer they like. This is another part of the game which punishes you for not buying the strategy guide which came with the game, because the best answer isn't always obvious or even consistent with Yuna's message. Sometimes the Ronso get offended if you tell them to simmer down.
    • The best ending is frustratingly difficult to get, even with a guide. The game counts innocuous events towards your completion total, and there's very little leeway as to how much you can miss. The worst examples include a hidden cutscene in the Chapter 1 which can't be accessed later, losing points for skipping cutscenes or fast-forwarding through a particular cutscene, hidden button prompts in cutscenes, and the choice to side with either the Youth League or New Yevon. Did you stupidly side with New Yevon? Better reload your last save, because New Yevon won't net you 100%. If you manage to get 100% completion in a single playthrough, buy a plane ticket to Las Vegas immediately.
    • Hard to fathom, but getting the Mascot Dressphere was actually worse. It originally required you getting all Episode Completes for each quest. If you get a Mission Complete instead, you can still get the best ending, but the game won't credit it toward the Dressphere. And for some sick reason, saving the Bikanel quest for last denies you the Mascot. (Probably a design oversight, since the Mascot is awarded on the airship, and you don't automatically return there after Bikanel. Every other mission deposits you right back on the Celsius.) Angra Mainyu is one of the worst bosses in the game, so a lot of players saved it for last and cheated themselves out of the Dressphere by accident.
    • Key items needed for certain side quests are easily-missed without an FAQ.
    • The Bevelle Underground. Getting a Ribbon accessory in Final Fantasy has rarely been this difficult.
    • The Mi'hen Mystery, if you care less about your score and more about seeing justice done. You absolutely need a guide to catch Rin in the act, since it involves checking and re-checking an idle security cam.
    • The International/HD release adds the Creature Creator, which is another can of worms entirely. To unlock certain features in CC's Fiend Arena and capture rare fiends, you have to locate and finish the "Fiend Tales" throughout all five chapters. Which fiends? Good luck figuring that out because it's not mentioned anywhere. And yes, some of these creatures are permanently-missable, especially when Chapter 3 ends.
    • There's also a Bonus Dungeon in the Calm Lands which you have no chance of finding without a guide.
    • Last Mission suffers greatly from this as well; there are locked Elevators every five floors, but the game never tells you how to unlock any of them, potentially leaving you stranded without consulting a guide. The last four floors are possibly the most devious, as it requires you to employ Violation of Common Sense and the only hint towards doing so is a vague comment from the player character on the 77th floor.
  • Guilty Pleasure: For both male and female gamers, but for different reasons. For male gamers, it feels like a game for females due to the dress-up aspect. For female gamers, it feels like a game for males due to the Fanservice.
  • Guns Akimbo: Logos and the Gunner dressphere. See below.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • The Gunner is packing a pair of slide pistols that are the size of Yuna's head. Rikku carries a more modest-sized gun.
    • Logos brandishes a pair of 2ft-long revolvers. They don't hurt you much, but are terrifically-strong in the Arena. "Parting is such sweet sorrow."
    • The Alchemist carries a one-handed sci-fi cannon. Paine's might qualify as a BFG.
  • Happy Ending Override: The audio drama Final Fantasy X ~Will~ released with the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster version has one of these. After an unspecified amount of time from the X-2 ending, it seems Tidus and Yuna are separated by the former's devotion to his life as a blitzball player in Luca and the latter's want for a peaceful life on Besaid. Not only that, Tidus' reappearance is a signal that the thoughts of Spira's people, if strong enough, are capable of also bringing back Sin, and Tidus sets off to protect Yuna when she declares that she will be the one to defeat Sin once again.
  • Harmless Villain: LeBlanc. ("Remember that name well, loves!") She shows up again imnediately after the intro, and already the Gullwings are tired of dealing with her. Logos accidentally lets slip that LeBlanc has been shadowing you since she can't find treasure on her own, and an embarassed LeBlanc flees with the help of a smoke bomb.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The Garment Grid is part of the new job system. It's also a stylistic difference from the prequel, which largely divorced the game mechanics from its plot: outside of the tutorial, nobody in X wandered around talking about the Sphere Grid, wheras in this game, the Garment Grid and Dresspheres are integral to the storyline. Buddy chews out Shinra for not fully-understanding how Grids work despite them being Shinra's own invention.
  • He Knows Too Much: When you break into the Bevelle Underground, sentry machina fly over to attack you. If you're on New Yevon's side, there's an extra line of dialogue to express Rikku's chagrin.
    Rikku: Hey, wait! It's us, the Gullwings!
    Paine: I don't think they care.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You have the option to rename the fiends, NPCs, and machina you capture in the CC.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Defied by Yuna, who rejects a plan to destroy Vegnagun that involves the planner dying. She is sick of people having to die for a greater good, and seeks out a solution in which Everybody Lives. Which works. Not only that, but in the Good and Golden endings she actually de-sacrifices a hero.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Kilika forest, the Warrior Monks block off all routes to the Temple to keep the Awesome Sphere under wraps, even threatening to shoot any Youth Leaguers who come near. When Dark Ifrit takes over the Temple, newly-erected barricades prevent the Yevonites from escaping the burning forest.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: While digging in the desert, you'll occasionally run into Spira's answer to Deathgaze or the Midgar Zolom. Angra Mainyu considers you beneath its notice, so it ejects YRP from the fight after enough time has passed. You can't kill it until it attacks Nhadala's camp in Chapter 5.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Early in the game; while on a mission, the team discovers a hot spring on Mt. Gagazet and decide, right there and then, to put their pursuit on hold and get the bikinis out. Strangely, Rikku's swimsuit covers more of her body than her default outfit. Later, Shinra installs a security camera there, so you can watch other people bathe without their knowledge. But it's okay! You need to do it for 100% Completion!
  • A House Divided: Spira isn't adjusting that well to an Eternal Calm. Youth League vs. New Yevon, Ronso vs. Guado, machina vs. chocobos. In Chapter 3, the residents of Kilika are split over whether to save the Yevonites from Dark Ifrit. Some are suspicious that New Yevon is luring them into an ambush, but many of them are just concerned for their friends and relations at the Temple.
  • I Can't Reach It: For no readily-explainable reason, you can't enter the old Monster Arena without Clasko in the party. Try it, and a text box appears over Yuna saying she refuses.
  • I Will Wait for You:
    • An odd variation - both people in the relationship are ghosts, the guy involved is Unsent, and the girl is using Yuna’s Songstress dressphere as a Soul Jar. Over the course of the game, you eventually bring the dressphere to the Unsent, make him see reason, and then a cutscene plays showing that they’re finally Together in Death.
    • You can also have Yuna do this at the end. In the Good or Perfect endings, she meets Tidus again.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Garik hopes to lead a rebellion to depose Kimahri and wage war on the Guado for slaughtering their clan. Seeking guidance, he goes to the summit (as is custom) and tells Mount Gagazet of his plan. To his shame, he admits that the mountain did not respond, but he stubbornly pushed forward. If you defuse the Ronso rebellion, he thanks Yuna for stopping him.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Almost every dressphere. The design philosophy seems to be, "How can we make this as hard as possible for cosplayers to pull off?" That hasn't stopped them trying, of course, with wildly varying degrees of success.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: The series is infamous for this trope, but this game does this relative to its own universe. Given that a major game mechanic is capturing and leveling up monsters, power levels are all over the map. Behemoths, a classic final dungeon monster, show up in the first chapter and are easily curbstomped. Omega Weapon and Ultima Weapon, both common superbosses of the series (and in the previous game), are weak commons in the final dungeon.
  • In Medias Res: We're back to the style of VI and VII by throwing your trio in the thick of it during a mission. This time Rikku and the newcomer Paine crash Yuna's rock concert, and Yuna pulls a swerve by summoning some ninjas to stomp your ass while she continues dancing. The pair chase "Yuna" to the stadium exterior, where another gun-toting Yuna turns up, and we learn the singer is her rival in disguise. Unless you read spoilers or watched Final Fantasy X: Eternal Calm, you'll have no inkling what's going on until you beat the LeBlanc Syndicate and Yuna's inner monologue starts. The remaster thankfully includes Eternal Calm on the title screen, and since it's required for a Trophy anyway, there's no reason not to watch it.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: As you begin the battle with Vegnagun's leg and after you finish it.
    Paine: Leblanc never stood a chance against this thing.
    Rikku: Well, we've got a leg up on her.
    Yuna: Save the jokes for later.
    ...
    Rikku: So, did we get it?
    Paine: Sure looks that way.
    Yuna: Shake a leg!
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Chests make even less sense than usual this time around. It's worth noting that treasure chests get refilled between Chapters with increasingly-valuable loot, so it can be worth exploring even if there's nothing else to be gained there (i.e. no "Hot Spot").
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • Tellingly, the Wring is found in the same place your Gun Mage can learn Heaven's Cataract for the first time. There is no incentive to ever pair Wring with black magic; Heaven's Cataract just destroys everything, and then you get to Chapter 5 and Annihilator does the same thing in the end-game. Although she can still learn Supernova (Kimahri's ultimate Rage) from Ultima Weapon, the higher cost and low damage makes it a rare casting choice. Still cool to look at from time to time.
    • The Iron Duke accessory. It doubles HP and adds 100 points to almost every stat, but you have to beat Trema at the bottom of the Via Infinito (strongest enemy in the regular game) to get one, or defeat Major Numerous (strongest enemy in HD remaster/International game) to have a chance to drop several. But since they're the strongest enemies in the game you don't really have anything to use those Iron Dukes on. They trivialize the New Game +. The Gun Mage's Annihilator (also learned in Chapter 5) will do 24,000 damage when equipped with an Iron Duke on the Higher Power Grid, which removes the damage cap.
    • Rikku has somehow forgotten how to make her super-powerful Mixes. Granted, Alchemist gets an invincibility Mix, but you have to beat the Via Infinito before you can get the items needed to use it.
    • Finale, only obtainable from the "The End" garment grid, which can only be obtained by running into every Oversouled monster. It does the maximum amount of damage possible if you haven't Fled from any battles. While you'll probably had to run away at least once for the Oversouls, on New Game+, it's highly exploitable.
    • In a New Game + playthough, you'll start to accumulate duplicate dresspheres. There can be up to six slots in a grid, and you can eventually acquire six copies of every job. This lets you fill any grid with a single job, so you can activate Gates without actually switching jobs. By the time you've played through the game six times, you should already be invincible.
    • Psychic in the remaster is definitely OP. But her invincibility needs to be charged-up during battle (while leaving you vulnerable), and Psychic is offensively very weak. Mascot has the innate Ribbon ability, whereas Psychic needs the actual accessory (thus wasting a slot) or a Garment Grid with that ability. Mascot also has Auto-Wall, and her stats outpace the Psychic's at Lv. 99: 140+ DEF and 130+ MDEF. Even though Psychic does edge out Mascot out on the defensive front, Mascot's defenses still shouldn't be taken lightly. Mascot remains the #1 dressphere, though Psychic comes in a very close second.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Mascot has the best stats of any Dressphere, Auto-Protect and Auto-Shell (halves all physical and magical damage), immunity to all status effects barring Breaks, broken abilites like Team Heal, Revive, and unique abilities for each girl: free MP restore in Yuna's case, area Eject for Rikku, and a high-damage, defense-ignoring attack for Paine. By the time you obtain the Mascot after "Episode Completing" all objectives, your old Dresspheres should be more than sufficient to handle anything the vanilla game throws at you. In the International/HD version, it requires beating the Youth League Cup in the Fiend Arena, which will almost surely entail fighting Mega Tonberry or Mushroom Cloud (see YMMV page) + Black Elemental team. Via Infinito, however, is not required to win it, and since the Gunner was nerfed in the remaster, Mascot will be very useful down there.
  • Informed Ability: Yuna is supposed to have a beautiful singing voice...but Hedy Burress is Hollywood Tone-Deaf. It's notably improved in the cutscenes.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If you're to slow to stop Vegnagun from shooting a hole in the Farplane. A cutscene follows of the Calm Land cracking abd being engulfed in flames.
  • It's Personal: The game's Tagline is "Last time she saved the world. This time it's personal." This, however, turns out to be something of a misdirect. See Chronic Hero Syndrome above. Though we're supposed to believe that Yuna has gotten out of the world-saving business, her desire to help others prevents her from just sitting back when the party discovers a conspiracy and an ancient weapon that could again put the world in danger.

    J-N 

  • Just a Kid: Shinra's boilerplate excuse whenever he's unable to come up with the answer to a problem.
  • Justified Tutorial:
    • Yuna's first battle forces her to switch to Songstress mode and disable LeBlanc with a status effect.
    • Buddy flies you straight to the top of the Gagazet ruins. Yuna promptly gets vertigo and almost falls to her death. So you're introduced to another new gameplay feature: The circle button lets her hop over certain gaps or climb up platforms. You quickly get exposed to all three of the ways this mechanic will be used: gaps you want to jump over, ledges you want to climb, and gaps you want to fall into in order to reach treasure.
  • Karma Houdini: Logos and Ormi never face any repercussions for engineering the deaths of the Crimson Squad. Not even from Paine, and they tried to bump her off once she got away! The game just kind of forgets about that plot point.
    • Conversely, the game never makes it clear how culpable they were beyond being dispatched to go after Paine's group. The Crimson Squad candidates are said to have all killed each other due to Shuyin, and given that Logos and Ormi don't recognize Paine (or vice versa), it's likely they deserted immediately after given the mission.
    • A Commsphere conversation also seems to imply that they may have been made to do those kinds of jobs against their will.
    Ormi: Back then we was workin' for those Yevon creeps. Me and Logos was forced to do all their dirty work. Eh, those were bad times.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kimahri needs help to suppress the blood-thirst of his people. Otherwise, Tromell and the other Guado will be wiped out by rampaging Ronso in Chapter 4 (which is only faintly glimpsed by Shrina's camera), and they disappear from the game.
  • King Mook: Two Via Infinito mini-bosses, namely an all-black basilisk (Lady Yunalesca) and a previously-unseen Black Elemental (Maester Jyscal) which is the strongest Elemental by far.
  • Last Disc Magic:
    • Every Special Dressphere learns a set of Aeon skills to make them truly beefy: Double HP/MP, status immunity, and the ability to break the HP/damage cap. The last two can't be learned without special end-game items, but you won't need them until then, anyway.
    • Two Dances must be learned from books in Chapter 5. Vol. I can be found inside the Den of Woe after you unlock it. Vol. II is given to the party in Djose Temple after defeating the Machine Faction's Experiment at its highest level. The best Blue Bullet is used exclusively by Experiment, by the way.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Some of the Dresspheres are redundant and were put there to artificially-increase your play time.
    • The game measures your story completion. You can't skip any cutscenes or miss key dialogue if you want the good ending.
    • Garment Grids are thankfully not a factor in getting 100%, since there are 60 of them to find. Filling out Shinra's Bestiary earns you the final Grid (The End), plus a trophy in the remaster. The only way to complete it is to engage every enemy (though it's not necessary to kill them), including some bosses, in both their normal and Oversouled forms.
    • Witness the horror of earning the Mascot Dressphere. It's awarded by the ship's crew for finishing all of the Missions flawlessly. Every sidequest must be beaten, and each quest must conclude with an "Episode Complete" display. "Mission Complete" doesn't cut the mustard, since it doesn't add as much to your total, so if you see it in Chapter 5, it means you slipped up somewhere. You'd think the New Game + feature would make it easier, but it's actually a hindrance. It's laughably easy to pooch the whole playthrough and not realize your mistake until you're presented with a "Mission Complete" screen a few Chapters later. Example: Escort the Hypello caravan from the wrong side and lose 1 sack of cargo to the thieves. That tiny little blunder haunts you for the rest of the game and cheats you out of both a Minerva Plate and Mascot.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Wakka and Lulu's son doesn't get named unless you complete a sidequest, and if you fail or skip the quest, then Rikku jokes that the kid might go nameless until he hits puberty.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: This game assumes you've played FFX and are aware that Sin permanently kicked the bucket (as opposed to undergoing the reincarnation process) and Tidus went with it.
  • Left Hanging: The fate of Isaaru, last seen during Chapter 5 prepared to die protecting Zanarkand Temple. But this will never happen if you do the Ruins' monkey match-making sidequest in Chapter 2/3, speak with him in Chapter 3, and in Chapter 4 watch him via CommSphere until he questions staying in Zanarkand. Then, in Chapter 5, he will come back to Bevelle, reunite with his brothers, and become a hero.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • The Songstress relies on status magic to incapacitate foes in the early game. For enemies that are vulnerable to Silence, Sleep and Stop, a Songstress can end a fight outright. Guess wrong and your girl spends two turns doing nothing.
    • Lady Luck is weird. Dominating only in the Luck category, this job doesn't stand out in any particular field. On the other side of the coin, Lady Luck is good for farming money, items and EXP, which are in short supply during your initial game. Luck and Felicity can increase Luck (and Evade by proxy) faster than Matador's Song can raise Evade. This is also the only conventional Dressphere which can cast Flare, Holy, and Ultima, albeit at random.
    • The Mascot. Powerful abilities that are cherry-picked from past Dresspheres, great stats, and status immunities. It's a giant pain in the ass to obtain. Then it still needs to be leveled-up, and it's the most-expensive one to train. But it's very much worth it, even if Paine moans when you force her to wear it.
    • LeBlanc's flunky and X-2's Warmup Boss, Logos, is the quickest to act in the Fiend Arena. Team him up with some hard-hitting machina (Impale) and let him keep cheesing Quick Hit, which he learns naturally.
    • Lampshaded in the Fiend Arena tournaments. Namely, you need a Chocobo in your active party to unlock the Chocobo Cup, and a Cactuar to open up the Cactuar Cup. Both make great NPCs to do battle with. You can actually stunlock Chac with a Chocobo.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Brother is useless outside of the pilot's seat, and Rikku and Buddy constantly undermine him, even knocking him unconscious at one point to counteract his commands. (Chain of command? What's that?) It's a subtle bit of world-building, though: Someone like Brother in a leadership position suggests a safer world with a complacent population.
    • Even ignoring the brighter color palette and the "girl power" themes, compared to Final Fantasy X, this game has a lot less overwhelmingly depressing cutscenes. The pretty much non-existent body count aside from the flashbacks of the Crimson Squad, anyway, helps.
  • Lip Lock: Subverted towards the end of the game. Special mention goes to Lenne in the ending sequence, where her lip-movements continue for a good few seconds after a quick "Hey there."
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Wakka deduces that if the Gullwings turn off the source of the fiend invasion (the Dark Aeons), they can save everyone without damaging the Temples.
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: Most of the Missions aren't matters of life and death: excavating the desert, bailing out O'aka's debt, chasing the tourists out of Zanarkand, scalping tickets for Tobli, finding a site for Clasko's chocobo ranch, and so forth. There's a main thread running through all of it, but the bottom line is that the game has a dizzying amount of sidequests, some of which can easily-missed. Most of them are required to get 100% completion and the best ending, but the regular ending can be reached with only 50%, meaning that about half the game's content consists of "sidequests". The re-releasee added a Creature Creator and the accompanying Fiend Tales and Fiend Arena; all told, it's about as long as the main campaign, meaning that two-thirds of the game now consists of sidequests.
  • Locked Door:
    • A fissure in Mushroom Rock leads to an elaborate locked door which can only be opened by gathering all of the Crimson Spheres. These are actually snippets of a training mission involving the Crimson Squad, a joint operation between Yevon's Warrior Monks and the Al Bhed-affiliated Crusaders. The spheres were filmed by Paine when she served as their recorder.
    • "Tourist Trap". One of the Calm Lands agencies thought it was a good idea to turn the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth into an attraction. Tempting as it is to say that this is natural selection at work (Yuna admits to almost leaving these morons to their fate), you need their help to reach Dark Yojimbo. They'll give you energy cores to power up the cave's teleporters and get inside the walled-off Chamber of the Fayth. Rescue all 15 people to get the Tetra Master Grid, which has all four elemental "Eater" abilities.
  • Lost Technology:
    • Shuyin has a history with the ex-Crimson Squad members, and he's manipulating them with mind control to unearth Vegnagun, a robot forged during the Machina War which was deemed too destructive to actually deploy.
    • Bevelle Underground is filled with unknowable and intimidating machina; you might not even realize you're staring at a puzzle unless you spot the chests in the far distance.
  • Love Makes You Evil:Shuyin, including his evil remaining in death.
  • Lower-Deck Episode
    • The optional Chapter 1 mission in Luca is a Whole Episode Flashback where Yuna reminisces what she's been up to while Rikku and Paine infiltrate her imposter's concert.
    • The Crimson Spheres depict some of the events from X from the perspective of the Crimson Squad survivors. This includes one where Paine was running through the battlefield looking for her friends in the aftermath of Operation Mi'ihen, and another which shows Baralai seeking refuge with Seymour in Guadosalam, right before Yuna's retinue arrives. While not a part of the Crimson set, another Sphere shows Gippal meeting Auron some time during when his pilgrimage is stranded on Bikanel Island, and right up to the Siege of Home.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Beating Shinra in the Sphere Break tournament pretty much boils down to this. Doesn't matter how good you are at math if he just keeps throwing out 1s.
    • Sphere Break in general can be this. You can plan things out perfectly and have a great field...then end up getting hit with enough 1s over the course of a game that you can't win.
  • Macguffin Melee: Sensors detect a rare sphere in the vicinity of Kilika Temple, with the Youth League (representing the village) and New Yevon (representing the Temple) laying claim to it. The Gullwings opportunistically swipe it from under their noses. But after playing the footage (a clip of Vegnagun), even Brother agrees that it's too hot to handle and they need to get rid of it. The Gullwings lose face and have to return what they stole to either Nooj or Baralai.
  • Magic Knight: In addition to the Warrior Dressphere, the Samurai Dressphere has some nice, castable self-buffs: Nonpareil (raise Strength and Accuracy), No Fear (Protect + Shell), Clean Slate (restore HP and remove status ailements) and Hayate (raise Evasion and cast Haste). The Dark Knight's Arcana magic ignores all defenses.
  • Magical Security Cam:
    • Somewhere in the middle of the game, Shinra starts planting these things in each town. Eventually the whole planet is honeycombed. You can check in on NPCs, converse with a few of them, watch some Funny Background Events, and even stream a newscast from Shelinda. A lot of this is required for 100% completion. Mi'Ihen Highroad is also littered with cameras, which forms the basis for a Carmen Sandiego-type quest in Chapter 4.
    • Also in Chapter 3, you can ask Shinra about a droid which is flitting around the bridge. Apparently he's gone on to develop a mobile version of his commsphere, but "it hasn't passed QA yet." That could come in handy for exploring those holes in the temples.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Yuna's Special Dressphere. Compared to Rikku and Paine's, which are consistently powerful throughout the game, it's not until very high levels that Yuna's starts pulling its weight.
    • In International/HD Remaster version, Level 40 Chocobo that you captured can learn Meteor (by getting hit with powerful spell), an extremely powerful ten hits non-elemental attack that can annihilate most fiends in and out of the arena. With the right Dressphere and accessories, it can cause upward 50,000 HP damage (and counting) to single target.
  • Male Gaze:
    • Rikku's g-string gets the most camera time. She gets upstaged, however, during Paine's change into the Lady Luck Dressphere (sometimes shot from the back).
    • This also happens occasionally with Yuna. On your second visit to Chateau LeBlanc, Logos rifles through his sphere bank for some clues as to what happened to Nooj. The second video is a lovely waste of time: it was filmed during the Bevelle break-in and lingers a little too long on Yuna's Daisy Dukes. He attempts to foist the blame onto Ormi...who bumbles into the shot a second later.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Apart from Logos and Ormi, the LeBlanc Syndicate consists of ninja-like "Goons" wearing face masks.
  • Marathon Boss: Angra Mainyu is a damage sponge. Even if you know the trick to win, and your party setup is all but impervious to it, this battle is a war of attrition. High defense and frequent turns prolong the battle. In order to understand how bad it is, by the time you get to Angra Mainyu, you'll be doing about 900 damage with the melee Dresspheres. The last monster you probably faced was a drawn out battle with a monster with 8888 hit points. Angra Mainyu has 333,444 HP. Cat Nip will shorten the battle significantly...that is, unless you're playing the remaster, in which case you'll have to pop on a podcast and get comfortable.
  • Maybe Ever After: For Rikku and Gippal. He jokes around that "we made quite the couple", which Rikku vehemently denies. Nonetheless, there are hints that she feels something for him. They're seen leaving the Farplane together at least - but nothing confirmed by the end of the game.
  • Meaningful Echo: "It all began when I saw this sphere of you..." is said by Yuna (in narration) in an early cutscene, and can be heard as her voice sample for her character dossier. If you get the best ending, this exchange occurs:
    Tidus: Whoa! You've changed!
    Yuna: Well, you've missed a few things!
    Tidus: I want to hear everything!
    Yuna: Well, it all began when I saw this sphere of you...
    • Wakka states that he shouldn't risk his life protecting one memory, the possible destruction of the Besaid Temple, when it means missing out on all future ones (his son's life). He says to Rikku "memories are nice, but that's all they are", which she used as the reason for why Al Bhed don't go to the Farplane back in the first game.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of Wakka and Lulu's son, Vidina, means Al Bhed for "future". It's even more meaningful because this means Wakka has gotten over his hatred toward the Al Bhed.
  • Meet the New Boss:
    • The treacherous Ronso Youth (especially Garik) are indistinguishable from Biran and Yenke, the meatheads who bullied Kimahri in X.
    • Shuyin's robot must be disabled and its human pilot (Baralai) incapacitated. Much like X's Yu Yevon who was helpless once he ran out of Fayth to inhabit.
  • Mexican Standoff: Gippal VS Baralai VS Nooj. And then again later on, though the three of them point their guns at the person they didn't point them at the first time. Yuna, Rikku, and Paine join in with this too in an optional sidequest. It’s even caused by the person who caused the first one!
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • You wouldn't expect to get the Special Dresspheres so early in Chapter 1, except that they're more like meat shields than Disc One Nukes. Each has easy-to-learn abilities that triple your HP and ward off status ailments, along with free HP/MP restoring and KO-reviving skills. Their attacks, on the other hand, tend to be agonizingly slow, which undermines the increased offence. The primary danger is how little Agility the special jobs have.
    • The Dark Knight Dressphere inflicts some of the highest damage of any Dressphere in the game. In return, however, the user gets irritatingly long ATB bars.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: The average fiend tale in Creature Creator is this. As many fiends are unsent with unfinished business, some fiends in this complete one last task in the game before they pass on.
  • Mind Screw: The events inside the Den of Woe. The haphazard pacing of events and disorienting flashbacks are the reason behind this.
  • Mini-Game: Many, though mostly optional. Sphere Break stands out for offering a Dressphere as a reward, and considering what seems to be the point of this game, that makes it practically mandatory.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The game recycles a lot of maps and assets from X...
    • ...most conspicuously Lulu's model. (A corset? Isn't she supposed to be heavily-pregnant?) Most if not all of the regular mobs return, and most of the returning NPCs look and dress the same; Yuna comments on how Calli has grown-up, which is evident from her new model, but Isaaru's youngest brother Pacce has stayed a kid.
    • The exteriors look beautiful, but head inside the new dungeons and you'll usually find bland, samey stone corridors. The one exception to these is Bevelle Underground.
    • Yuna's original pilgrimage route is largely-intact, so you can conceivably walk/sail all the way from Besaid to Zanarkand, although you'll usually warp back to the airship after a Mission is over. Cut content includes the Via Purifico, Baaj/Macalania/Remiem Temple, the Omega Ruins, and the Cloisters of Trials (no need for a trial if there's nothing left to win), although some of Cloisters return. Tidus solved all the puzzles, but there's other stuff to do.
  • Mobile Menace: It's unclear how the LeBlanc Syndicate have such a global presence or can beat you in a race to Gagazet, despite having no airship of their own.
  • Mon:
    • Chocobo ranching is back (last seen in VII). Once X's Monster Arena is converted into a makeshift stable, you can start catching chocobos in battle for Clasko to raise. These are important for uncovering optional dungeons and rare treasure. You get a Grid which gives you initiative over encounters so you can nab chocobos before they run away from fights like usual.
    • There's no equipment customization, so Vendor Trash isn't as important as it once was. However, in the PAL/HD version, you can use regeants to teach your captured foes (via the Creature Creator) skills they don't normally learn.
  • Money for Nothing:
    • If you cover O'aka's outstanding debts early in the game, he agrees to stay aboard the ship for a while and sells you stuff at at 10% market price. He's standing directly across from Barkeep, who buys things at 50% market price. This is how you farm infinite Gil in Chapter 1. Buy 99 of the cheapest item at rock-bottom prices and then flip them at a huge markup.
    • Lady Luck's passive skills: Double Items, Gillionaire, and Double EXP. You can get swole pretty quickly with these, particularly the first two. Each stack to an 8x multiplier if all three of your girls learn them.
  • Monster Compendium: Shinra has an online bestiary of every NPC and fiend you've met.
  • Mooks:
    • Rikku and Paine are seen pacifying some stadium guards in the intro.
    • The LeBlanc Syndicate. You meet a variety of "Goons" during the game, but none of them pose a noticeable threat; they just slow you down.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • The evil influence of the Den of Woe turns the Gullwings into mindless berserkers, followed by a boss battle with shadows of the Crimson Squad (Nooj, Gippal, and Baralai) conjured by the pyreflies.
    • In addition to possessing living people, Shiyin can also possess Fayth: once he takes up residence in the Farplane, he conjures up your old Aeons off-screen and spits them back out into the Temples, most likely to guard Vegnagun. (It's not explained in-depth.)
    • Via Infinito bosses. In a twist, each of them were Yevonites from X who were never fought directly and became Unsent, with the exception of Lady Yunalesca who comes back for a second try.
  • Moral Dissonance: Yuna finds the tourist trade at Zanarkand utterly reprehensible, but it's just fine for her to go on a Sphere-Hunting adventure at the ruins in Chapter 1. To be fair though, Yuna's arc throughout Zanarkand has her eventually driving away the tourists/Sphere-Hunters as well for an episode complete, but she DOES wonder if she really did the right thing, as opposed to letting Zanarkand have a chance to rebuild.
  • Motor Mouth: Tobli is supposed to be a fast-talking entertainment mogul. Paine sees right through his act.
    Rikku: Paine might not say as much, but deep in her heart burns the hope that one day she, too, will be an actress.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • The Samurai's moves and weapons are easy enough to identify. The Thief and Alchemist are based on Rikku's old Steal and Mix abilities. The Gun Mage is an oblique version of a Final Fantasy Blue Mage, i.e. Kimahri. Yuna's Beastmaster is accompanied by Daigoro, the Canine Companion of X's Yojimbo.
    • Yuna undergoes a makeover before the game starts, ostensibly to fly under the radar now that she's famous, but it's obvious from her attire: the hood, the asymmetrical skirt, the logo of Tidus' team on her chest, and her similar-looking haircut. When Yuna is a Warrior, she is armed with the iconic Brotherhood sword and fights exactly like Tidus does, even using the same win pose as him (unlike Rikku and Pain who have their own unique animations). She also wields his Celestial Weapon, the Caledbolg, when dressed as a Dark Knight, whereas the other two have unique broadswords.
    • Shuyin predictably uses the same animations as Tidus, and even copies his most-damaging Overdrive, Blitz Ace (fittingly renamed the "Terror of Zanarkand").
  • Mr. Exposition:
    • Shinra. He "knows everything"...until he conveniently doesn't. He also offers some technobabble explaining how the Garment Grids and Commspheres work.
    • Maechen the historian returns with more lectures, which are required for 100% Completion. He mainly serves to patch up holes in continuity.
  • Multiple Endings: No matter what, you get an FMV of Yuna skipping a self-congratulatory ceremony and flying back home. The scene beforehand will play out one of three ways, depending on your past heroism and the dialogue choices made.
    1. In the neutral ending, Yuna leaves the Farplane without incident.
    2. If you fulfilled the criteria, Bahamut shows up again, thus reassuring Yuna that the Fayth are safe and providing a bookend to Tidus' story. (See "Book Ends", above.) If Yuna expresses no desire to see Tidus again, the scene ends. The sad ending plays if you have less than 75% game completion: In an echo of X's ending, a spectre of Tidus hugs Yuna from behind, and Yuna realizes she has to learn to live without him and leave her ghosts behind.
    3. The good ending requires beating all of the Missions and triggering some seemingly-unrelated cutscenes, including listening for Tidus' telltale whistle twice. Bahamut agrees to pull some strings for Yuna, and then an additional FMV plays after she flies back to Besaid, with the scene picking up from The Stinger at the end of X.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Head back to the weird outer space room where you fought Yunalesca in the last game, and you'll immediately be confronted by one of the most-hackneyed villain voices ever recorded for a game. Paine readies herself for a boss fight—but the mood is skewered when the voice asks you a goofy riddle (which was presumably dumbed-down for the knuckle-dragging tourists who have overrun Zanarkand). No matter how you respond, one of the girls recognizes the 'boss' as Isaaru. Now we know why Maroda refuses to even discuss his brother now. It's like his brother retired from being a holy man to get a job at Six Flags.
    • One sidequest has you pair up love-struck monkeys in the hope that they will breed and drive out tourists. The monkeys all have ridiculous names, and when you examine them, the game tells you things like "Sylvah can't keep living like this" and "Quivorr looks ready to break some hearts." And when you complete the mission, you get a poem presented in the same text scroll as the opening to the first Final Fantasy:
      Their world was veiled in darkness.
      But now, as monkey love blossoms and grows
      a monkey-full future surely lies ahead.
      This is their home.
      They will protect it.
      Now, and always.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Azi Dahaka. Mr. Dahaka's history goes wayyyyyy back: he's a very, very, evil figure in ancient Persian mythology, appearing in texts as far back as 1000-2000 B.C. One of the very first religious texts of Zoroastrianism, called the Avesta, refers to him as Aži Dahāka—"Aži" being the word for "dragon" and "Dahāka" being disputed to mean several things, including "huge," "manlike" and "burning."
    • Mushroom Cloud. A much-feared mob which appears in the Via Infinito and the Fiend Arena. It has permanent Spellspring (0 MP cost) and Regen, and can inflict numerous unblockable status ailments with its Pernicious Powder: Petrification, Silence, Darkness, Poison, Confusion, and/or Berserk. Powder also incurs a -10 penalty for Strength and Magic. Lastly, Mushroom Cloud is one of the few enemies which knows Ultima, which can one-shot an unprepared party. Mushroom Cloud has a 1-in-4 chance of casting Ultima on any turn. F@#k.
  • The Need for Mead: The airship has an onboard tavern (the "Gullstore"). Barkeep runs a modest item store and lets you rest in the cabin. There's no good reason for this feature to exist, seeing as save spheres restore your party for free. But you'd better do it anyway, because resting is worth 0.2% story credit every Chapter. Various NPCs will come and go, including the ex-Chocobo Knight/Youth League washout Clasko, Calli, a chocobo who got beamed up by Shinra, O'aka the runaway merchant, and the Musicians from Macalania.
    Paine: Great. I've always wanted to harbor a fugitive.
  • Nerf: Where are your old tools? Gone! Let's see:
    • Most of the enemies you want to use Demi or Death on will resist it now.
    • Haste doesn't speed up your turns quite so much. It mostly improves your party's animation speed.
    • In the prequel, Poison was actually dangerous. They nerfed Poison for X-2, and since Bio doesn't inflict direct damage when cast (as in some prior games), its stock has plummeted.
    • Spare Change is much more expensive. It takes way more than 100 grand to do 9,999 damage, and something like 30 mil to do 99,999.
    • Mix, previously a Limit Break, is available on every turn after obtaining the Alchemist Dressphere. Most of the combos that made Mix a game-breaker are omitted. Final Wall is Hyper Mighty G without Auto-Life. Granted, the exception is Miracle Drink (Invincibility Powerup in X-2), which causes a different effect from Miracle Drink (higher critical hit chance in X).
    • Black Mage and White Mage can't Attack in any way (unless Confused, Berserked, or Countering) and are very Mana-dependant. Lulu and Yuna both had melee weapons in X, even if they were piss-weak.
    • Rikku can use Cheer while in a Dressphere which not is as fragile as Songstress. However, it's not multi-target like Tidus' version. Or Songs, for that matter.
    • Unlike V's Mystic Knight, Warrior as weak magically as she is strong physically. (As usual with 3D Final Fantasy games, hitting things with a big sword is always the preferred strategy.)
      1. Elemental damage sounds nice against Flans and Elementals—but both of those fiends have huge physical defenses. Just shell out 3,000 Gil for an elemental attack accessory and save yourself the interminable charge time.
      2. The Break abilities, like most status effects, have been severely nerfed in X-2. They do damage now, and they can be stacked, but the effect is small. And it's hard to forget that Armor Break reduced Defense to 0 in the prequel. Now it's only useful for shortening boss fights. Furthermore, armored enemies are gone from X-2.
      3. There's now the Chain mechanic to consider. Warriors have dismal speed.
      4. Most damning of all, most of the charge times for Warrior abilities are just not worth it. You'll just be mashing the melee button down the entire time, with the occasional debuff thrown in against durable enemies.
      5. Unfortunately, once you get the Dark Knight at the end of Chapter 2 (holy smokes would you look at those stats), you'll never look at Warrior again. DK is just as sluggish, but that can be fixed with a Haste accessory.
    • Likewise, the Samurai is an okay melee job. But she's loaded down with gimmicky attacks, like fixed-damage or armor-piercing. Those don't do a whole lot of damage, and the Samurai is unusually-fragile for a fighter. Zantetsu is Yojimbo's Overdrive (Zanmato) from the first game. It could kill almost anything instantly if you paid him enough money. Here there's no way to guarantee success other than leveling her up to 99.
    • Thief provides a nice cushion for your party's finances early on. However, like in previous Final Fantasies, you can only Steal once from any given enemy now. Thief is hard to get AP for until you get the Garment Grids that bestow Mug or Steal Gil. The Thief's AP gains will be limited because you can only Steal most things (Gil, Items, even MP) once per fiend.
    • Square continues to find new ways to demean the Black Mage. This is one job which really didn't need more 'balancing.' Even with an Iron Duke and maxed-out Magic stat, Black Magic just isn't as useful in Chapter 5.
      1. Not having Drain, Osmose, Flare, and Ultima is what really killed it. The most powerful Black Magic isn't even available from the job itself, but has to be unlocked in every battle through Garment Grid gates.
      2. There really isn't anyplace for Flare and Ultima to shine, anyway. Although a longer battle might be fun, it is simply not sustainable in the Via Infinito when you have Mega Tonberry doing 24,000 damage with Chef's Knife every turn, or Concherer doing 65,000 with Megaton Press. You need Flare in order to even reach 9,999 damage, and neither it or Ultima can break the damage cap on their own.
      3. Even if you could learn them, it would still suck due to the MP cost. Black Magic has no way to replenish Mana unless you're playing as a Black Mage, and even then, Gun Mage does it better with Absorb.
      4. If you really want to use Black Magic, Floral Fallal does it better.
    • Just as the Black Mage ought to learn Flare, White Mage ought to have included Holy. The Trainer, Stash, Blue Bullets (White Wind and Mighty Guard), and even items outclass White Magic apart from Full-Life. As for Auto-Life? You depended on it when you couldn't use Aeons and the oncoming attack was too powerful. It's in X-2, yeah, but it's so gated that it's practically inaccessible, and can only be used on one target at a time for 97 MP a pop. Even the famously-hard IX had better access to it.
    • One could argue the Blue Mage was already nerfed under Kimahri's watch, but the X-2 version (Gun Mage) has its own set of handicaps:
      1. 1000 Needles: you can't learn it until the end of the game, when you should be doing four-digit damage, anyway.
      2. Bad Breath: all of these statuses have been nerfed, so this spell is disproportionate to its MP cost
      3. Blaster: no longer kills an enemy. Now it just acts as Demi, and the larger fiends resist it.
      4. Mighty Guard: all this does is cast Shell and Protect. Underwhelming compared to the prequel version. Chapter 2's LeBlanc spends her first turn casting "Not-So-Mighty Guard" which, insultingly, is better than the version your Gun Mages can learn. Annoyingly, Garik likes to use the genuine article (Shell + Protect + Haste + Evade + Regen) to draw his boss battle out.
    • It wouldn't be a Berserker without Berserk, right? This time it's not automatic; by the time you get your turn, charge this ability, initiate it, and wait for your next turn, most other melee jobs will have attacked once or twice already. Plus, unlike in most FF games, the Berserker isn't the strongest fighter. Her skill-set is pretty lackluster. And her survival largely depends on her auto-abilities, so it's a crime that they cost so much AP to learn.
    • Lady Luck: they really penalize you with Dud. Compare it to Mysidian Rabbit from VI in which the Gambler was first introduced. That at least healed a tiny bit of HP and removed low-level status ailments. All reels, even when manipulated, still require the full attention of the UI, and unlike VI or VII, enemies will still attack you while the slots are spinning. You may be put at risk against higher-level fiends, since they may kill the girl before the results go off. For that reason alone, Lady Luck is not suitable for bosses.
    • Cat Nip. If your HP is critically-low, it causes all of the wearer's hits to inflict 9,999 HP of damage, regardless of stats. It can be easily-abused by damaging your own character and then selecting a multi-hit attack (most likely Trigger Happy) to grind even the toughest of enemies into a fine powder. The International version causes Cat Nip to inflict Berserk status along with the damage buff, limiting you to single-strike melee attacks. So many of the options you had in X (or in previous Final Fantasies) are no longer viable, so there's relatively few top-tier options, and nerfing Cat Nip knocked out one of them. This also makes a Blue Bullet (Cry in the Night) harder to get, as Mega Tonberry practically requires Cat Nip Gunner. The upside is that at least Mascot isn't sidelined anymore, plus it's no longer possible to screw yourself out of qualifying for Mascot.
  • Neutral No Longer: The pro bono quests involve stopping Vegnagun, saving the Temples from being destroyed by fiends, and Yuna's concert to promote peace in Spira.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One of the early trailers ended with Yuna and Tidus (in their old outfits) getting gunned down by sci-fi troopers in front of Vegnagun. Nice shock value, but that's not actually Tidus and Yuna. It's Shuyin and Lenne in the past. It turns out to be a Catapult Nightmare brought on by Yuna crashing in the ship's cabin while still wearing the Songstress outfit.
    Rikku: Blame it on your new jammies.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia:: The Desspheres. No matter what dressphere the girls are using in battle, if there's a scene right after it, they'll be wearing their Gunner, Thief, and Warrior duds, respectively. Even if said spheres aren't even on the Garment Grid. Invoked with dresspheres. Yuna will occasionally wear Songstress attire while channeling Lenne in cutscenes or FMVs.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The Trainer dressphere gives each girl a thematically appropriate pet: Yuna gets a dog, Paine gets a pheasant, and Rikku gets a monkey. This is arguably a play on the Japanese folklore hero Momotaro, who met a dog, a pheasant and a monkey, who all agree to help him on his quest.
  • Nonstandard Skill Learning: The one offensive white magic (Holy) and the High-level Black Magic (Flare and Ultima) can only be accessed through Garment Grid gates. Aand even then it's only temporary.
  • Noob Cave: The Gullwings' first mission is to beat LeBlanc and her cronies to the top of an undiscovered ruin on Mt. Gagazet. The dungeon is mostly a straight shot to the boss; it's designed to show off the new platforming sections and your improved mobility.
  • Not the Intended Use: To finish Via Infinito, many players rely on the Gunner/Cat Nip combo to defeat the final boss. It's clear the developers have realized this, since in the International Version, it also adds a Slow/Berserk status, ruining the strategy.
  • Not So Different: Many Fiend Tales show that Fiends do generally human-like and mundane things in their spare time, such as Haizhes protesting the use of machina that affects the environment, or a Behemoth trying to become a balloon salesman. Makes sense, as the fiends in the game were once originally human.
  • Not Used to Freedom: Most of the conflict seems to stems from how characters are handling the uncertainty of a post-Sin world.

    O-S 

  • Old Save Bonus: In International + Last Mission, you could unlock extra cutscenes in Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission by loading a X-2 save with at least 100% completion. HD Remaster removes this by automatically showing you the extra stuff anyway.
  • Ominous Fog: The floor in Bevelle is covered in an evil mist this time.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Because nothing quite says "practical design" like installing a pipe organ, of all things, as the cockpit for your Weapon of Mass Destruction. It does, however, say "dramatically awesome!"
  • Once More, with Clarity!: During the initial pursuit of "Yuna", you may notice an NPC in a moogle costume cowering behind some crates in Luca. Try talking to them, and they'll toss a potion your way. In the flashback which plays later, this turns out to be the real Yuna in disguise.
  • One Degree of Separation: Baralai, Gippal, and Nooj are old war buddies, which would explain the back-channel communication between the leaders of the three major factions. They took part in a botched military exercise called the Crimson Squad. Paine was their camera-man. Logos and Ormi used to work for Yevon and were tasked with mopping up after the operation, though it's implied that the pair went AWOL after they failed to eliminate Nooj and co. What's more, the 10 Crimson Spheres that are needed to unlock the Den of Woe in Chapter 5 were all recorded by Paine, Logos and/or Ormi.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: The reason why Agility is so hard to raise is the same as in the original game. Agility is one of the most important things in an ATB system. If you could max all your of your characters'/creatures' AGI to 255, it would break the battle system more than anything els. Your characters would constantly be acting, the enemies would never get a turn, abilities would have practically no charge time, etc. Now imagine having 3 S-rank creatures, all with 255 agility. Nothing else would ever even move. That's why Iron Dukes only raise AGI by 10, the Howling Wind Grid (+5 AGI) is so OP, and why it'a almost-always a good idea to equip Thief on your fiends. Ths only thing which increases Agility is Shmooth Shailing... a Hypello trinket which also inflicts Slow status. There seems to be no single way to increase Agility only. (You'd think raising Luck would be as difficult, but Rabbite's Foot increases it by 5.)
  • One-Woman Wail: "Bevelle's Secrets", which plays in certain rooms in the Underground.
  • Palette Swap: Done with most of the monsters.
    • Model Swap: the Warrior dressphere is particularly prone to this. Rikku uses Auron's animations, whereas Yuna copies Tidus's—only her casting animation is different. Justified though as these are explicitly done in their memory, Yuna is even wielding Brotherhood.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The Good ending is a variation on this, where as she does the final voiceover narration, Yuna crouches on the top of the Celsius, and at the end of this scene the camera pans out into the sky.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": And again with the damn monkeys. The Gullwings overhear a LeBlanc Goon in Zanarkand radioing in and asking for the answer to Cid's riddle. It's "monkey." Later, you can spy on some Yevonites in Kilika discussing their daily passwords, which again involves monkeys.
    "You got it? Forget again, and I'll feed you to the blasted monkeys."
  • Peace Conference: The Crimson Squad members happened to be the present-day leaders of major political movements, and tensions were already pretty-hot, so it has a side effect of sparking a civil war when the leadership of both movements is decapitated. At the end, Nooj and Baralai find themselves back on terra firma; they publicly apologize for pitting Spirans against each other.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Passing the LeBlanc mini-game nets you the classic Gold Hairpin. Failing it once (with hilarious results) downgrades you to a bottle of LeBlanc's Heady Perfume. You can only get it once per playthrough, and it essentially refills your MP between battles (via MP Stroll), so you can spam Fireworks/-aga spells/etc. as much as you like during dungeons. The Gold Hairpin (0 MP cost) is good for boss battles, but the Heady Perfume also boosts your MP by 20% and ensures you'll start the fight with full MP, so you're not much worse off. It does not really matter as neither is very useful compared to other accessories. However, the Heady Perfume is rarer, and for that reason you may prefer to break LeBlanc in half.
    • Per usual for Final Fantasy, a lot of the enemies that teach you Blue Magic are one-time only, though some can be easily fought again in the Arena. Others are still-missable, though. Lv. 5 Experiment has Blue Bullet, which can only be learned from its final form, and is unavailable anywhere else—not even in the Fiend Arena. Once you destroy it, it's gone for good.
    • Moreso than other Final Fantasy games, this one is very unforgiving of mistakes. This is due to the episodic format: towns and dungeons stay the same, but new content and dialogue trees will emerge. Chest contents are overwritten and replaced with new items between Chapters. Many sidequests span the whole game and require you to revisit them in Chapters 2, 3 and 5. (Chapter 4 is a wash, since you spend it aboard the Celsius.) So if you missed something in a previous Chapter, then the rest of the quest may be compromised. Progressing to a new Chapter will cut off access to some of the sidequests in the previous.
    • Fiend Tales. Put simply, you have to capture certain fiends, train them to level 5, then release them. Upon their release, a Dark Aeon enters the Fiend Arena. And yes, one of those fiends disappears in later Chapters.
    • Averted in at least a couple of instances.
      1. The mission to rescue the trapped tourists in the Cave of the Stolen Fayth (via the Calm Lands Gorge) and fight Yojimbo is still available in Chapter 5 if you didn't complete it in Chapter 3.
      2. The same goes for setting up the chocobo ranch, assuming you at least completed "Cuckoo for Chocobos" at Mi'ihen in Chapter 2 and had Clasko board the Celsius.
      3. If you missed the Ribbon, the Bloodlust, the Wring, or the Dark Knight in Chapter 2, you can still solve the puzzles and/or pick them up in Bevelle Underground.
  • Perspective Reversal: Downplayed Trope. In the first game, Tidus is completely against any form of sacrifice. At first, it's Played for Laughs to make him seem childish — but later, it's played seriously after it's pointed out that the pilgrimage is a Senseless Sacrifice. Yuna, on the other hand, is perfectly fine with sacrifice if it makes people a little happier and safer. By the end of the second game, Tidus is the one who's sacrificed himself (along with all of the party's Aeons), and because of this, Yuna HATES the idea of sacrifice. Look at these quotes for emphasis:
    • First Game:
    Tidus: "I get it! I thought it was weird. Yuna's dad defeates Sin ten years ago, right? But Sin's still here! Didn't make much sense till now. Wait...If it just comes back..."
    Yuna: "Don't say it isn't worth it...Because it is."
    Tidus (narration): "Even for a little while...people can sleep in their beds without being afraid. That kind of time is worth anything. Don't say it isn't worth it. Your words that day, Yuna — I remember them well."
    • Second Game:
    Yuna: "I don't like your plan. It sucks. Your plan is awful. Think about it. It's no different than what we did two years ago. We destroyed our own allies. We destroyed the aeons who had fought together with us, at our sides. We didn't have a choice then. We believed that was the only way we could save Spira. Do you know what it felt like to watch them die? Right before my eyes? It was the only thing we could do. It was the only choice we had. I gave in, I accepted, I believed. I allowed it to be true. I thought I'd be able to go through with it without ever doubting myself. But I...It hurts so much. Everyone was so happy. 'Great job, Yuna. You did it. You saved us all.' There were too many smiles to count. And I know that I was smiling, too. But now...when I look back...The people who should be here aren't. The ones who should be smiling with me aren't here. 'We had no choice.' Always 'we had no choice.' Those are our magic words. We repeat them to ourselves again and again. But you know...The magic never worked! The only thing we're left with is regret. No. I don't want this anymore. I don't want friends to die...or fade away. I don't want battles where we have to lose in order to win. Nooj, I know that what you say is what you mean to do. Give me your resolve. Believe in Yuna."
  • Playable Epilogue: Last Mission is a strange halfway-point between being this and an outright sequel. While it has enough content unto itself to qualify as its own game, the actual plot of Last Mission is mostly tying up loose ends from X-2 and serving as a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for the main trio.
  • Playing Cyrano: Aside from repairing Dona and Barthello's relationship, this is an actual sidequest. It uses the same mechanic as promoting the Calm Lands resorts to NPCs throughout Spira. Just approach random women on the street and sell them on idea of marrying some schmuck from the Calm Lands. His father hires the Gullwings to find a wife for his son, who has crippling agoraphobia and never utters a line or even leaves his tent. Do well, and a huge line of prospective brides forms at the tent.
  • Plot Tunnel: In-universe example. In the first two chapters, the Gullwings are sphere hunters, but take part in other missions than sphere hunting when they can. In chapter three, powerful fiends are coming from the Temples, so they put off sphere hunting for the rest of the game, and most of their missions require saving people from the fiends.
  • Point of No Return:
    • The game is divided into five Chapters. During each Chapter, there are fixed events happening at different locations in the game. With a few exceptions, you're given free reign to explore the world to explore and complete these events as you choose. However, if you advance the main plot, you're in danger of triggering a point of no return which advances to the next Chapter, and you'll miss out on any side missions that you haven't completed.
    • After a fashion. Chapter 4 is spent in Spira's airspace as you monitor the activities of its citizens via the Commspheres. It's very cutscene-focused, and represents the end of your 'freedom' thus far. Chapter 5 returns to normal, but any missed quests are wiped out.
  • Power Copying: The Gun Mage learns Blue Bullets, which is this game's equivilent of Blue Magic or Ronso Rage. Indeed, many of these abilities are the same ones used in Kimahri's Overdrives. As usual, the only way to learn a support spell for Blue Bullet, such as White Wind or Mighty Guard, is to Confuse the enemy and make them cast it on your party. Some captured fiends can also learn Blue Bullets, either by default, or by being targeted with an offensive move (and surviving) or a supportive move used by another character (YRP or another NPC). All Blue Bullets can be learned in the Fiend Arena with the exception of Experiment's Annihilator, since it doesn't show up outside of Djose.
  • Power Floats: The girls levitate as Psychics and the Floral Fatal/Full Throttle Dresspheres.
  • Promoted to Playable: The Creature Creator allows you to capture Fiends to use in your party, although they're only controlled by the AI. Certain NPCs in the game can also be captured which include most of the playable note  protagonists (the exception is Wakka, for some reason) and even the undead ones (Tidus, Auron, Seymour). The notorious Via Infinito bosses are also included, even Trema, the previous holder note  of the title of X-2's ultimate Bonus Boss.
  • Preexisting Encounters: Deep in the Via Infinito, Mega Tonberries spawn in. As you might expect, you're not really supposed to fight these guys—and you really don't want to, seeing as you can't Flee from them, and an Oversouled M.T. can inflict Stone or Confusion with his knife attacks. It's most often a punishment for missing a jump or being too hasty.
  • Punch-Clock Hero:
    • X was about a solemn pilgrimage across Spira, visiting Temples and solving ancient puzzles, with the threat of Sin and Seymour looming over them as they carry on. X-2 has the protagonists jumping all over Spira to perform heists and solve a number of relatively-small local conflicts and crises. And a lot of the time, the Gullwings charge for their services. This elicits one of Lulu's trademark facepalms in Chapter 3.
    • Rather than standard RPG window reading "You found [item]x[number]," the game announces "You scored [item]x[number]!", since it's from the point of view of a treasure hunter.
    • The Bikanel Island excavation quest. In a throwback to VIII's SeeD exams, you have to apply for a job with the Machine Faction and fill out an online application first; then you get access to more-desirable digging sites. It reads like a parody of one of those obnoxious retail job questionnaires: the only way to pass it is to act like shoveling dirt is your life's dream.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The LeBlanc Syndicate. The Scan ability will constantly point out that her Goons are underpaid.
  • Punny Name: Shell Shocker and Concherer (Grand Maester Mika). Concherer is a portmanteau of "conch shell" and "conquerer." Both are hideous, giant mutant snails. They use the same model as Neslug, one of the unique Arena bosses from X.
  • Quest Giver: "Hot Spots" refer to opportunities for the Gullwings to earn some notoriety. All you have to do is land and talk to the person in charge. In Macalania, this is harder than it sounds, since O'aka is hiding in the woods from his debt collectors.
  • Rainbow Speak: Important terms such as "Garment Grid" or "Sphere Break" are presented in yellow in the subtitles when first introduced.
  • Rapunzel Hair: How the hell did Yuna manage to get that floor-length braid of hair of hers in two years?
    • It's speculated by fans that Al Bheds have an accelerated hair growth. Rikku went from "tomboyish" to "giving any saiyan a run for his money" in two years too, and Yuna is half Al Bhed.
  • Red Alert: The klaxons on the ship go crazy when it senses fiend or sphere activity.
  • Recurring Boss: Logos and Ormi. Laurel & Hardy here will challenge you multiple times during the game, including in the opening, on Mt. Gagazet, in the desert, and in their suites in Chateau LeBlanc. After that, they become grudging allies.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Yuna is revealed to have narrowly-dodged a marriage to the de facto leader of Yevon, Baralai.
    • Paine, Praetor Baralai, Mevyn Nooj, Gippal, Logos and Ormi were members of an offshoot of the Crusaders who all shot themselves during a training exercise thanks to Shuyin's influence. Maester Kinoc (Auron's ex-friend and one of Seymour's victims) was heavily-involved in the Squad. After the slaughter at the Den of Woe, Kinoc washed his hands of it. This happened not too long before Tidus' arrival and the failed operation to kill Sin, which wiped out the remaining Crusaders.
    • Gippal was filmed with Auron shortly before Tidus reunited with everyone in the desert. Yevon just wanted a pretext to purge the Al Bhed, but Gippal was outside of the city and survived the attack; consequently, he didn't need to escape aboard the Fahrenheit with the others, though supposedly Buddy was among the refugees.
    • Just as Seymour was plotting to marry Yuna, Baralai was filmed with him inside the manor. Baralai wanted to cover-up his past involvement with Nooj and asked Seymour to pull some strings; Seymour acquieced, thinking he could call in the favor later. That didn't happen, but Baralai used his new connections to become Praetor.
    • Yaibal, a Youth League representative, didn't appear in the prequel as fans in the US got it. He has a completely generic character model and only showed up in a promotional video which came bundled with the International version. (If own up to not knowing this guy, guess what? There goes another 0.2% story credit.)
  • The Reveal:
    • Baralai accuses Nooj of trying to commandeer Vegnagun and draws a gun on him. Nooj starts acting weird, addressing himself in the third person, then emits a cloud of pyreflies that transfer to Baralai and take him over. Nooj was a puppet; some evil entity was using him to get close to the machina. Baralai then escapes into the Farplane aboard Vegnagun while Nooj and Gippal give chase.
    • Tidus is dressed a little differently, but he's more or less the same guy. He finally shows himself in the Farplane and introduces himself as "Shuyin", extinguishing what little hope there was that Tidus survived.
  • The Rival: LeBlanc is Yuna's rival in sphere hunting. Eventually, you find out pretty much everything she does is to impress "Noojie Woojie", including throwing the concert at the beginning of the game and impersonating Yuna. She eventually teams up with the Gullwings to deal with the real threats.
  • The Rock Star: Yuna's concerts are a plot point in several parts of the game. Following the influence of Lenne's dressphere.
  • Roguelike: Last Mission abandons anything resembling traditional Final Fantasy-style combat in favor a dungeon crawler setup.
  • Rule of Sexy:
    • No reason is given for LeBlanc impersonating Yuna in public instead of making off with the Dressphere. It establishes the game as being a bit more tongue-in-cheek and fanservice-y.
    • Later, we're treated to the Gullwings desecrating a sacred mountain by going for a dip in the hot spring, and Yuna infiltrating LeBlanc's house and giving her a back massage while in disguise.
    • In addition to the usual collection of visible g-strings and chainmail bikinis (looking at you, Lucil), some of the Dresspheres are oddly enticing. The Psychic wears a schoolgirl outfit for some reason, and Lady Luck's dress has so many strategically-placed holes that it's a wonder it even stays on.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: The Gunner and Gun Mage looks pretty goofy on all of the Gullwings.
  • Run, Don't Walk: Noticeable during Chapter 2 if you side with the Youth League. In Mushroom Rock Road, while traveling through, you must walk by the on-screen monsters to go unnoticed. Thing is, it's VERY hard to walk in this game, and chances are you will fight one of the monsters. That said, they go down easily enough if you don't want to bother. One new feature of the outside maps are floating rocks that move out of reach unless you slow down and walk towards them; they hold optional treasure.
  • Save Scumming:
    • As with the Tobli and Calm Lands quests, each of the Ronso have multiple-choice tests for you to answer. It's actually not hard to figure out if you bungled a reply, and there's a save point sitting right there. It's annoying, but not a challenge.
    • The Chapter 3 Sphere Break tournament. A 'worthy' successor to that appalling Blitzball match vs. the Luca Goers in X. You only get one shot at beating that brat Shinra, and the game makes it clear that you're playing for a new Dressphere, so get ready to reload your save. A lot. You can retry for Lady Luck indefinitely in Chapter 5, though; you need to fulfill double the quota by then, but given that you're allowed to pick your own coins, it's not going to be as hard. But you'll lose out on story credit, and thus the Mascot in Chapter 5.
    • Choco-digging, once you get your chocobo ranch up and running. While theoretically possible in earlier Chapters, it's hard to get the two chocobo-found Grids (Strength of One and Mounted Assault) earlier than Ch.5, and even then it may still give you trouble. Level, mood, geniality, and location don't matter. It might work in any given session, but are no better than any other combination — and are definitely not required. Have Clasko send out the four Lv. 5 "Bold" Chocobos all over. Fight the obligatory seven random battles and save. Next check with Clasko to see if the Garment Grid has been found. As long as a failed collection attempt is followed by a reset, you can reload to get a more-favorable result. Otherwise, one can break up the tedium by doing blocks of collection attempts separated by other stuff until the Garment Grid is found.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Inverted. Shuyin was just an Anti-Hero when he was trapped in the Den of Woe, but being forced to view his greatest failure over and over again turned him into an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Another inversion is the Songstress Dressphere. Lenne was using it as a Soul Jar and is influential in solving the main crisis.
  • Sequential Boss: Vegnagun, with a side of Colossus Climb. Also, the marathon in the Den of Woe.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop:
    • X-2 was marketed to women, who tend to be less-savvy on D&D and role-playing games to begin with. This is apparent from all the mini-games, and the fact that it's insanely-easy to grind to Lv. 99. Sometimes it's annoying that this game is so easy: you have all of these fantastic strategies that cannot really be applied because most fiends just roll over and die from melee attacks. That, and you have plainly-overpowered Dresspheres like Mascot/Dark Knight, and who can forget the Cat Nip in the North American release? At least it's far more balanced in the PAL/HD version: you can still use it, it's just more risky and requires strategy. (But then again, the PAL/HD version has the even-more OP Psychic available from the start.)
    • Since MP scales when you change jobs, and you can also do it outside of battle, just flip over to the White Mage temporarily, then use her MP reserves to heal up between battles. You'll usually have one melee character who isn't using her MP for anything else, anyway. White Mage trivializes most of the game's dungeons.
    • Stash (Alchemist) isn't so much of an instant-win button as a can't-lose button.
    • "First strike" Garment Grids are necessary for catching chocobos, and OP everywhere else.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • Aeons are no more, and they were part and parcel of a lot of strategies for surviving bonus bosses.
    • Stat-grinding is no more. You're limited to what the Dresspheres give you and what you can scrounge up from accessories and Garment Grids. And those dip into your auto-abilities which brings us to...
    • You can't customise your gear, and accessories tend to give you only 1 or 2 autos, if that. And you usually need a slot or two to spend on boosting your defensive stats, too, if you hope to live through an enemy turn.
  • Sentient Phlebotinum: The pyreflies were always a welcome sight in X, indicating the death of a fiend or the unmasking of an Unsent and their dispatch to the Farplane. Now the pyreflies are turning hostile. (Although the bizarre deaths of the Crimson Squad were an early sign of this phenomenon.) Kill too many of the same fiend type, and those pyreflies will return out of nowhere to buff (or "Oversoul") the next one. It's later stated the pyreflies brought a manifestation of Shuyin back to torment Spira. What changed in-between games? The game more or less leaves it to your imagination.
  • Shoot the Mage First:
    • So, when is a good time for casting Black Magic? The whole point of a Wring is to take a class with horrible HP and Defense and turn her into a one-hit killing machine. Battle starts. First person applies a buff or Reflect, then enemy kills Black Mage unless she has First Strike equipped. In which case, you also need First Strike for the character who is applying buffs; just hope that Black Mage doesn't act first. While it is technically feasible to make Black Magic fast, or even instant, it's still more trouble then it's worth.
    • The game discourages from bringing dedicated mages into the Via Infinito. Poison is just too nasty if you have low HP.
    • One of the most dangerous encounters in the entire Via Infinito except for Chac would be Mushroom Cloud + Elder Drake. That enemy formation demands that you have everything. Physical Defense or Evasion against the drake, Magical Defense against the Mushroom's Ultima, status protection against Pernicious Powder, and good Offense since the powder also whittles your damage down to 1/6 or something. If there's one thing which is a total life-saver, it's Speed. You can kill the Mushroom Cloud before it ever gets a chance to use Pernicious Powder or Ultima. Then one of your characters just needs to switch to Berserker and win. And so a formation which originally seemed unbeatable is suddenly docile, just by taking out the Mushroom Cloud.
  • Shout-Out: The English dub can get positively Shrekian at times. See also "Waxing Lryical" below.
    • If you change Paine into a Black Mage and cast any Ice spell, she'll occasionally say, "Ice ice, baby."
    • The text description for the first Luca quest ("-real Commotion-") promises "The true story behind the music!"
    • Many battle quotes are taken from various media and trends. For example, Rikku's reaction to one of the first enemies, a snake-like creature, is "Snake. Snake? Snaaaake!!!"
    • The majority of the weapons from Final Fantasy X are reused. Yuna's Warrior costume wields Tidus' Brotherhood, while Rikku uses one of his generic swords. Yuna also wields Caladbolg, Tidus' Celestial Weapon, as a Dark Knight. Both her and Rikku wield Auron's weapons as a Samurai. Rikku's clothing also evokes Auron's in her Samurai form. Rikku's sword as Dark Knight is Auron's Celestial Weapon, the Masamune. The Mascot grants all three girls Lulu's dolls. Both White and Black Mages get Yuna's rods/staffs (Yuna gets her default and Celestial Weapon, respectively). Even the main villain summons Wakka's Celestial Weapon (World Champion) when using Terror of Zanarkand, his version of Tidus's Final Overdrive, Blitz Ace. Paine gets her own unique swords in this game due to her weak connection with the previous game.
    • Yuna's Warrior costume is an almost-perfect copy of Tidus' in FFX. She also moves differently when casting: Her casting pose is the pose Tidus used when you were activating his Overdrives.
    • Many of the accessories, such as the Soul of Thamasa, are also series references.
    • If you complete Mount Gagazet, they'll make a statue. Coincidentally, they'll make one of Yuna with a horn as well. In Final Fantasy IX, all summoners had horns.
    • The name of the airship, Celsius, is a reference to Bahamut Lagoon, which had an airship named the Fahrenheit.
    • ...And, in a less obscure homage, also to Final Fantasy X, which had the exact same thing. (Plus, the captain of the Celsius happens to be the Fahrenheit's captain's son...)
    • The bestiary descriptions for some enemies nod toward their past incarnations, such as warning not to call Ultima Weapon "Atma", or the insectoid King VERMIN!'s entry ending in Barret's manner of speech.
    • Late in the game, Shinra talks about how the Farplane is made up of limitless energy, and in a few generations, that energy could be harvested and used. Yuna exclaims how it would be great for Spira, and how there would be shining cities that never sleep (Hmm....). In the Mi'ihen Mystery quest, Rin mentions that he's financing ways of mining this energy ("I am not alone in my thinking").
    • Much about the sequence you get if you pin Prophet as the culprit for the Mi'ihen Highroad mystery is reminiscent of Scooby-Doo, right down to Prophet's voice, which sounds quite a bit like Shaggy.
    • If you choose "Is that you, Isaaru," when Isaaru asks "What is the meaning of life,", Isaaru responds with "Is that your final answer?"
    • One of Logos' lines when he uses his Russian Roulette attack is "Feeling lucky, punk?"
    • The name LeBlanc may be a reference to Maurice LeBlanc, the French writer who created the Arsène Lupin series. Making the name a subtle Shout-Out to Arsene's half-Japanese descendant Lupin III.
  • Showgirl Skirt: The Gunner and Gun Mage dresspheres for all three girls, the Alchemist for just Yuna and Rikku, and the Songstress for Yuna only.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: The Al Bhed need some help recalibrating the lightning rod towers on the Thuner Plains. This involves a series of button-matching games of varying permutation and difficulty. There are some good prizes to be won here, including a new Grid.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: The tone of the insults between the Gullwings and the Leblanc Syndicate tends towards this.
  • Skinship Grope: The optional hot spring scene has Rikku nosing around Yuna and Paine's bathing suits, doing a breast comparison. She gets her just desserts for that.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Along with Syndicate goons, you run into Bandoleers, LeBlanc's attack machina. They slither around on circular ammo belts and point a chain gun at you. Each one is named after a type of snake.
  • So Much for Stealth:
    • Brother's habit of radioing in to (loudly) check on Yuna winds up biting you in the ass at LeBlanc's house.
    • In Kilika during Chapter 3, you have to play another minigame to try and sneak past the barricade. The guard at the gate will occasionally open it to let Youth Leaguers through, and you have to dart past him when it happens. It only works when Dona is distracting the guard. There's no penalty for screwing up, but you get an item for doing it perfectly. However, a guard in the watchtower spots Yuna even if you beat the game on your first try.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The "Where's Wakka?" mission. You need a memorize a couple of combinations to open ruins all over Besaid. Some digits can be gleaned from the villagers (especially the blitzball team), some are scribbled on the ruins themselves (indicated by a flashing light), and others are hidden on the Temple architecture and can only be glimpsed with binoculars (thus explaining why Tidus didn't notice them).
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Paine's theme song is...light jazzy pop? Wait, what?
  • Souvenir Land: Some historical sites and dungeons from Yuna's pilgrimage have become world-famous. The Calm Lands is now a burgeoning amusement park. Zanarkand Dome has been emptied of fiends and converted into a tasteless tourist attraction, which the Gullwings strongly object to.
  • Spoiler Opening: Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster came as a separate game on the PS Vita, and therefore has its own title screen as a result. The image of said title screen? It's straight out of the Golden Ending!
  • Stalked by the Bell: In Last Mission, taking too long on a floor produces ominous messages heralding the appearance of the Founder, a powerful enemy who turns your character into a LeBlanc Goon. If he attacks while your character is already a Goon, he will kick you out of the Tower, requiring you to start over. There are upsides to spawning the Founder, however; using the Thieasf Dressphere's Steal Ability allows you to poach extremely powerful items from him, and in the very upper floors his presence is required to make progress.
  • Story Branching:
    • In Chapter 2, the Gullwings are required to forgo their neutrality and hand a MacGuffin over to one of the rival factions. Yuna isn't interested in politics, so the plot continues; but it's a tacit endorsement of the Youth League's/New Yevon's ideology. And afterward, you will be persona non grata in the other's HQ for a while. This only has a minor effect on the main plot. But it does affect your score and the availability of faction-specific sidequests later.
    • You can let O'aka join the Celsius for a time and pay down his debts, or rat him out to the Al Bhed. The former is more poignant as O'aka returns to his re-possessed shop, only to find the creditors have been killed by fiends. (The nearby lake becomes a hotbed of fiends due to Vegnagun, and the Al Bhed become another victim of Shuyin.) O'aka pledges to stay behind and man the store in their memory, since he can never honor the debt. In the other scenario, O'aka ends up captured and put to work by the Al Bhed, similar to Tidus in the original: you will find O'aka shoveling sand in the desert.
    • The Gullwings can decide to humor Lian and Ayde's search for a fix for Kimahri's horn. You can point them in whichever direction you like, and they'll show up there later. All options give you the same amount of story credit; it's just important that they travel the world.
    • The culprit in the Mi'Ihen Mystery is dependent on the clues you provide Rin. The game takes whoever has he most accumulated "evidence" stacked against them and makes them the culprit. You can miss a few steps and still win. The only suspect you must be 100% sure on is Rin: he is incredibly tough to nail and missing just a single clue will eliminate him as a suspect.
      1. The Chocobo Eater or Calli are lightly chastised for inadvertantly causing the malfunction.
      2. Rikku or the Prophet recieve an ironic sentence: Adopt-A-Highway or shilling for Rin's hovercrafts.
      3. The two-faced Rin is too slick to be punished, and taunts the Gullwings with plans to expand his empire and harvest energy from the planet à la Shinra Electric Power Co.
    • The Ronso Youth uprising is not a main quest, but if you don't quell the unrest, the Ronso race will wipe out the Guado race.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: It turns out both Rikku and Gippal nicknamed Paine "Dr. P". In an interesting variation, it’s not played for laughs.
  • Stripperific: Too many costumes like this to count, though the Lady Luck and Thief dresspheres are the two most noteworthy. As a rule, Rikku tends to don the least clothing.
    • To be fair, Stripperific outfits seem to be the norm in Spira unless you're a member of the Yevon order.
  • Stunned Silence: After her impromptu concert for the crew on the ship's hull, Yuna throws a fit at the starry sky and demands to know who "Lenne" is, to the deafening silence of her friends and the band. Embarassed, she cries, "I'm going to bed!" And then she flounces off. This is the first time Yuna's ever felt anything approaching jealousy. It's a luxury she wasn't afforded before.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The "Prophet" spends the entire game on the Mi'Hen Highroad, stumping for chocobo rights. If you finger him for the Mi'Hen Mystery, he suddenly pulls a rifle and starts talking like Scooby-Doo's Shaggy. (To be clear, you can "talk" to him earlier in the game, it's just that like most minor NPCs, his speech is presented only text-boxes with no voice-acting. It's only if you finger him as the culprit that you actually get to hear him talk out loud.)
  • Super Mode: The Special Dresspheres. X isn't the only game which lets you transform into a Boss-type character. Unlike the Aeons, though, you have to charge them up by switching to every Dressphere on your Grid in the same battle. When one character activates her Special job, she kicks the other two girls off the battlefield and transforms into something large and thematic with a matching pair of support bots. Since they take the place of your party, they likewise have to stand in for your entire party, and are therefore jacks-of-all-trades. YRP don't have Limit Breaks like in X, but Special Dresspheres have at least one flashy, Overdrive-like move; loads of damage, big charge-up time.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Even though their boss is a bad-tempered harridan, Leblanc's Goons are amazingly subservient. They treat her like some of queen and resent her kittenish behavior around Nooj. (Which are the only times she becomes slightly-bearable).

    T-Z 

  • Taking You with Me: Dark Ixion has enough energy to fire off one last Aerospark. Rikku and Paine dive out of the way, but Yuna gets blown backward and tumbles into the hole the Aeon emerged from. She awakens in the familiar Farplane meadow, where she is accosted by Shuyin.
  • Talk to Everyone:
    • Once you're introduced to your new home, the Celsius, the long-range sensors detect a sphere in the area. The "data" won't be done "processing" until you explore the ship and meet all of the supporting characters.
    • Stealing three Fem-Goon uniforms. You don't get any leads via the world map, so the obvious place to ask around is in LeBlanc's lair, Guadosalam. Talk to the locals and you'll get three new clues permanently added to your map.
      Rikku: For a "Syndicate," Leblanc's gang really sucks at covert operations...
      Paine: How hard can it be to chase a group with a leader that... loud?
  • Talk Like a Pirate: There's a Sphere Break player (possibly the most challenging) who shows up in Chapter 5. He wears a pirate-y outfit and asks if there's anyone in Spira who has the guts to take him on.
  • Team Switzerland: The Gullwings. Rikku is a lot ditzier this time around, but suggesting that they help people out for a fee is the smartest thing she does all game. It balances Yuna's martyrdom and Paine's mercenary attitude. Brother is apolitical, but he's hungry for fame and prizes, so this plays off of that.
    Buddy: Meyvn Nooj of the Youth League...and Baralai, praetor of New Yevon...gone. They've disappeared!
    Brother: [utterly disinterested] Fascinating.
  • Technicolor Fire: When YRP return to Kilika Temple, people are fleeing the Temple in droves and the flames in the braziers have turned blue under the influence of Dark Ifrit. The Temple itself is in even worse shape, with the flames having burst out of their usual containments.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: Lampshaded in-universe. "Find the sphere and the fiends appear" is a credo among sphere hunters.
  • Terrible Trio: The LeBlanc Syndicate is very large, but it's fronted by three sphere hunters. Together they represent a time-tested anime trope: determined enough to be a constant threat, but never competent enough to actually win.
  • Time for Plan B: Before the battles with Vegnagun and Shuyin, there's a lot of talk about The Power of Love and Nooj asks if Yuna's plan is to defeat Vegnagun by showing him the light of love for him, specifically that of his lover Lenne's words that he never heard. She tells him that that's plan B, but first since Vegnagun is just a machina, they should be able to take it apart. Later, after the party wins one of the battles with Vegnagun, Nooj asks "What now?" and Rikku suggests "Maybe we're finished?" The voice of Baralai, whom Shuyin is possessing, replies "Finished indeed. All of Spira is finished!" and Rikku shouts "He's got a plan B too!" However, the voice of Auron assures them that "He's panicking. Yuna. End it now." The party is finally able to defeat Vegnagun, but ends up having to go to plan B anyway when Shuyin still won't give up.
  • Time-Limit Boss: You have to beat Vegnagun before it fires. However, the time limit is so long that you pretty much have to try to run the timer out to see what happens.
  • Time Skip: X-2 is set in the near-future, so Square Enix gets away with re-using some of the old maps while adding some extensions that Tidus supposedly missed on his pilgrimage. The novelty is seeing how things have changed in peacetime.
    • It's the off-season for Blitzball, so the residents of Luca are preoccupied with the Sphere Break tournament.
    • The infernal lightning strikes from X are gone, thank God. The Al Bhed re-calibrated the lightning rods in the Thunder Plains, so you can cross it without getting struck. It's mentioned that Rikku spent a week camping in the Thunder Plains to overcome her fear of lightning.
    • Macalania looks fine despite supposedly "dying", but the suspended Temple lost grip on the ice cavern and fell into the frozen lake as a result of Shiva disappearing. (The Aeons were all laid to rest by Yuna in the last game.) The ice bridge collapsed, so you can't progress past the Travel Agency. This was the start of O'aka's problems, since there were no more summoners or tourists to keep him solvent.
    • Bevelle is now set in the daytime, and some 3D-rendered scenery has been added to give it more scope, but you still can't explore beyond the capitol building. The courtroom where Yuna's sham trial was held is now open to the public, and the witness stand leads to the Underground. In Chapter 5, the entrance to the Via Infinito also appears here.
    • The Guado live in shame for blindly following Seymour; they have self-exiled themselves to Macalania Woods. Outsiders have taken over governance of Guadosalam, most notably LeBlanc, who has converted Seymour's old mansion into her tacky "Chateau". The holographic portraits of Seymour's family line are still in the foyer, but LeBlanc has added a life-size statue of Nooj (in her bedroom, eek). You can no longer visit the Farplane from here since the Guado aren't around to keep the portal stable. (Also, it's implied that the Farplane is somehow overflowing, which may explain all the weird pyrefly activity.) If you pacify the Ronso, the Guado eventually return home.
    • Once the mass summoning ended and the Fayth went away in X, the mist surrounding Mt. Gagazet dissipated, revealing some floating ruins on its peak. The Fayth Scar is where the Fayth who summoned the simulation of Zanarkand once rested. Tidus passed by here in the prequel, although it was protected by an energy barrier, and he didn't have the ability/opportunity to climb up it.
    • Yuna is deeply shaken by the commercialization of Zanarkand, which falls on her uncle's shoulders: Cid hired Isaaru as a tour guide and used the Fahrenheit as a cruise ship to carry tourists to the sacred site, hoping to scrounge up enough Gil to rebuild Home (which was bombed to bits in X).
    • The most dramatic changes have happened to Kilika Port and Mushroom Rock, both of which were devastated by Sin in the previous game. Kilika has been rebuilt into a teeming town, with multiple tiers and canals, so check that off as a 'new' location. Mushroom Rock is the HQ of the Youth League, situated on the cliff facing the ocean, and the previously-unseen Den of Woe provides some backstory for Paine and Shuyin and ties them to the events of X.
  • Time Stands Still: The Psychic Dressphere's Time Trip Psionic. Using it freezes time for every combatant except the user (including your allies) for ten seconds, which is enough time to pop off a free action that normally takes a while to cast, like Excellence.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The digging mini-game. If you're slow, another digger will get to the treasures before you do. There's also a time limit to get back to the hover before you pass out from heat exhaustion.
    • In Chapter 2, a whimsical mission to catch a chocobo for Calli almost ends with her getting gobbled up by a Chocobo Eater. If you make it in time, a flock of chocobos will fend off the Eater, and Calli will adopt a chocobo at the end of the mission. If you don't, Calli doesn't get her chocobo, but Rin's machina step in to protect her.
    • "Machina Mayhem" is a series of fixed battles with machina gone haywire, The Al Bhed are doing damage control by sweeping the Highroad, and will occasionally dismantle the droids before you do; to get the best result for this mission, you need to beat 7 mobs or more. Yuna can also now jump up or down ledges to reach a couple of elusive ones.
  • Tournament Arc:
    • The Sphere Break tournament in Chapter 3.
    • If you align with the Youth League, Maroda mentions that Yuna's been good for recruitment. A little too good, as it happens. Some of these rookies are just autograph-hunters. Chapter 5 in Mushroom Rock will conclude with a tournament organized by Lucil to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Opponents include Yaibal, Elma, and Captain Lucil herself. If the player sided with New Yevon, however, the Gullwings don't get to compete. They can still get an Episode Complete in both paths, anyway.
  • Translation Convention: Subverted, just as it was in the previous game. Somewhat annoying, in that it made sense for Tidus not to speak Al Bhed, but Rikku speaks it natively; you'd think Yuna would've picked up on some of it, too, since her mother did also, and an optional scene reveals that Paine knows a little of it as well, so there's no need for Yuna to, say, dig through the desert for more primers when she could just ask for lessons, or even just ask Rikku to translate for her. This is just a strange example of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
  • Transformation Sequence: These can be turned off, which can be useful for speeding up battles.
  • True Blue Femininity: Lenne's dress and Yuna's Songstress outfit is blue. Notable because it's the only Dressphere with plot significance.
  • Turns Red:
    • Ormi, the shield guy, isn't as dangerous as his partner, but once Logos faints, Ormi hulks up and tosses his shield at you like a discus.
    • If you defeat a particular genus of fiend (and some boss fiends) enough times throughout multiple playthroughs, the next one you encounter will enter "Oversouled" mode and visibly turn red, boosting its stats and granting it new attacks, status immunities and/or unlimited MP. You have to pummel it quickly before it can pull some nasty trick. Encountering a low-level Oversouled enemy will cost you time at most, but an Oversouled Mega Tonberry is no fun at all, and the mini-bosses in the Via Infinito can prove catastrophic if you killed their brethren too many times. Defeating Oversouled enemies yields bigger rewards and is necessary to fill out Shinra's beastiary.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Diving straight from Final Fantasy X-2 to Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission suddenly introduces you to turn-based dungeon crawling a la Mystery Dungeon.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The Gunner's Gauntlet, which is a third-person twitch shooter based around Besaid. Beclam challenges you to beat his fiend-hunting record. There are no random encounters, and running, aiming, and shooting are all assigned to different buttons. On top of that, Yuna stops to reload every six shots without any indicator to tell you that her ammo is low, and if she gets hit, there's a 3-second window where she can't attack, meaning getting stunlocked is a common occurance. This mission is also a bit of a dick move in that Beclem's high score carries over to New Game +, so not only is it harder to beat every cycle, but you will probably only win Beclem's unique item once. It's optional for best ending purposes, though.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Rikku can become this if she is the culprit in the Mi'hen Highroad mystery. She accidentally damages one of the machina on the Mi'hen Highroad, causing them to go berserk later in the game.
  • Updated Re-release: The "International + Last Mission" version. Contrary to what its title implies, it is Japan-exclusive, and includes a truckload of new stuff : A Last Mission mode that serves as a sort of gauntlet, new Dresspheres and Garment Grids, new superbosses, and a Creature Create system, where creatures from the game, including the new superbosses and most playable and non-playable characters from the first game, can be captured, trained, and used in battle.
    • It's getting an Updated RE-Rerelease, for the PS3, which subverts No Export for You by being based on the Japanese exclusive version.
  • Vapor Wear: Leblanc's outfit in particular.
  • [Verb] This!: Gippal says "Dodge this!" when using Bullseye.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Farplane. There are numerous entrances all over the world, including Vegnagun's old Cradle in Bevelle, but they all lead to the familiar meadow/cascading waterfalls from X. Beyond that is metallic road which branches out from Vegnagun's makeshift Cradle in the distance. This area (the "Heart" of the Faeplane) is shorter, but with more hazards such as electric barriers and Degraded Boss encounters.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • O'aka's sidequest. If you smuggle him aboard the airship and cover his debts, he sells items to you at low, low prices. Low enough that you can sell some of them back for a profit!
    • The solution to the Zanarkand quest lies in helping the monkeys repopulate the dead city, driving the insufferable tourists out.
    • Dona is separated from Barthello; the fiery ex-summoner kicked him out over their political differences. Isaaru is feuding with his brother Maroda, again because the former backed New Yevon. You can help them mend fences; it's easy to reunite Dona with her boyfriend, but it's surprisingly-hard to drag Isaaru back to Bevelle. It's actually one of the hardest Episode Completes to attain.
    • Help Kimahri quell the Ronso Youth rebellion, then locate the enigmatic "Musicians" from the dying Macalania Woods. Tromell the butler will be elected the new leader of the Guado, and the Musicians will relocate to Guadosalam and play a new theme for the town. Tromell uses his new authority to restore relations with the Ronso and the rest of Spira. Yuna gets a giant stone effigy on Mt. Gagazet to compliment Kimahri's, complete with a badass Ronso horn on her forehead.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Lampshaded hilariously in this video.
    • You can kill chocobos in battle, and you don't get a reward for it like with some of XII's Mark Hunts.
    • You can allow genocide by skipping a certain mission. You also get a very good accessory later on if you do this.
    • You can leave O'aka twisting in the wind financially, or even turn him in to the repo men. His debt stays the same between playthroughs, but the game actually increases his debt in every New Game +, so it becomes harder to pay it off if you haven't done so in earlier save files. You'll find the indentured O'aka working in the desert in Chapter 3. He'll give you another opportunity to recruit him...or you can literally tell him to go pound sand.
      Paine: Remind me never to borrow money from you, Yuna.
    • When choosing to allow whether or not let Clasko board the Celsius in Chapter 1, the wording of the negative choice is "Sorry, loser."'
    • There's a female Sphere Break player who is saving up money to open up her dream shop. Each victory of Yuna's puts the woman one step further away from her new shop.
    • The LeBlanc massage sequence. Yuna clearly has no massage experience. It's also easy to screw up on purpose, too, which changes the item you get as a reward. There's no penalty for failure besides having to do it again. and cracking LeBlanc's bones is both funny as hell and rather cathartic. In fact, the game 'punishes' you by awarding the Heady Perfume.
    • You can walk over Brother when he's lying on the floor after he "jumped" in the first mission at Mt. Gagazet.
    • The first thing the Creature Creator has you do as part of the tutorial is catch Brother in a trap meant for fiends, after which you're allowed the pleasure of disintegrating him into pyreflies if you're not fond of him. The game will inflict cruelty back on the player in turn, though, by reviving him if you ever have no other fiends captured.
  • Vocal Evolution: In FFX, Yuna's voice was soft and stilted per her personality, but in X-2, her speech has noticeably improved, as she's gained quite a bit of confidence with her new job. The actress and lipsynch technology got a lot better too.
    • One of the main problems with FFX was Hedy Burress' attempts to lip-sync with a character who was speaking Japanese, something the other actors were smart enough to not bother with. New technology in X-2 allowed the lips to be rendered in real time, and we got a much more natural performance from her.
  • Walking the Earth: The Ronso children Lian and Ayde travel all across Spira over the course of the game trying to find a way to fix Kimahri's horn. While they don't succeed, they do expand their horizons by exploring the world beyond their mountain home and inspire their fellow Ronso to do the same.
    • Despite having their Global Airship, the main party can do this as well, as most places on the map are connected in a way where you could simply walk the entire path of the first game's pilgrimage if one is so inclined, resolving any side quests along the way.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: One of the traps in LeBlanc's vault triggers a wall lined with spikes.
  • War for Fun and Profit: The Machine Faction seem to imply that they are supplying weapons to both sides of the political conflict.
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    • After the opening battle, Paine quips, "I could've danced all night."
    • When Yuna first changes into the Songstress Dressphere (usually during in the first fight with Leblanc), she often chirps, "Hey, eyes on me!" Dig the Faye Wong reference. ("Eyes On Me" was the love theme of Squall and Rinoa in Final Fantasy VIII.)
    • When Paine casts an Ice-based spell:
    • Right before Yuna's big concert in the Thunder Plains, Brother proclaims, "Spira is going to be killed softly by your song!" in his Funny Foreigner accent.
    • In the Remaster, obtaining Magical Dances, Vol. II (needed for learning Magical Masque) earns you the Dancing Queen trophy/achievement.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Baralai, Nooj, Gippal, and surprisingly, Paine, but Shuyin's possession of Nooj during the Crimson Massacre and afterwards destroyed their friendship. While Nooj doesn't fully recall the incident, Gippal returned to the Al Bhed, and Paine sought answers about the incident on her own, Baralai is plagued by his inability to understand why Nooj did what he did. He even almost says word for word:
    Baralai: WHY DID YOU SHOOT?! ...WE WERE FRIENDS, AND YOU SHOT US IN THE BACK!! ANSWER ME!!!
  • Wham Episode: Final Fantasy X -Will-, the audio drama recorded for the HD Remaster. One of the new characters claims to be Auron's daughternote . The dead start coming back to life when beckoned. Sin returns. Yuna and Tidus argue and appear to break up.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Subverted by Baralai, who gives off the impression of being the white-hair pretty boy type typically associated with villains and the morally shady. While he does fight YRP at one point and gets possessed by Shuyin later on, by the end it is clear that he is on the side of good.
  • White Mage: Returns as a dressphere.
  • Whodunnit: The Mi'ihen Mystery. Something or someone provoked a new line of machina to start attacking passerby right outside Rin's travel agency. The intent was to link up the machines to perform tasks in unison, but that backfired. It gave his business a black eye at a time when locals were already frustrated at increased hovercraft traffic on the Highroad, which drove away the native chocobos. Rin suspects foul play and hires the Gullwings to absolve his new venture. In most of the endings, the malfunction turns out to be an accident caused by a third party (including Rikku), but a closer investigation can find either the Prophet (a Luddite preacher) or Rin himself culpable.
  • With Catlike Tread: One of the She-Goons frets about taking a bath on Ronso holy ground. It's all well and good until the boulder Yuna's standing on gives way and falls straight into the spring. It's enough to scare the superstitious She-Goons and Ormi away.
  • Wolfpack Boss:
    • LeBlanc (the slightly-smarter one who's in charge), Logos (the marksman), and Ormi (the shield-bearer).
    • Once again, the party fights a couple of rogue Ronso. Unlike last time, though, it's possible to lower their morale beforehand through your dialogue choices. Low morale Garik has only one supporter and will cast Protect and Shell on himself. If Garik's morale is high. Garik has two minions and a wider array of moves, including Mighty Guard.
  • Work Off the Debt: Seems to be a common punishment in Al Bhed society:
    • If you turn O'aka over to his Al Bhed creditors, they put him to work at the Bikanel excavation site.
    • If Rikku is the culprit in the Mi'hen Mystery sidequest, Rin sentences her to community service and puts her to work cleaning up trash along the Highroad—a Sisyphean task.
    • If Callie is the culprit in the Mi'hen Highroad Mystery, Rin makes her get a job at the Travel Agency. One of her duties involves caring for the Chocobos that Rin has bought, which makes Paine wonder if it's really a punishment.
    • If the Chocobo Prophet is the culprit in the Mi'hen Highroad Mystery, Rin forces him to start promoting machina instead of chocobos.
  • You ALL Look Familiar:
    • The Prophet uses the same long-haired hippie NPC seen in Kilika and places further north.
    • Trema uses the same model as Yunalesca's zombified valet. Many players mistakenly assume it's the same guy. (It's not; Trema pretended to follow Yevon and wore their vestaments in order to infiltrate Bevelle.)
  • You Meddling Kids: Prophet's reaction if you pin him as the culprit for the Mi'ihen Highroad mystery. "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!" This is very clearly a Shout-Out to Scooby-Doo, as the Prophet is voiced by Shaggy, even going so far as to use his Verbal Tic.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Logos and Ormi deploy some new skills when you face them in Chapter 2, but you might never see them, because for some reason they're both vulnerable to Sleep!
    Paine: I imagine Logos and Ormi are "getting the heel" right about now.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Grade A on Paine's (default) Warrior and Gunner outfits, and Rikku's Black Mage and Gun Mage outfits, and a variation of Grade B on Paine's White Mage outfit. Also, Nhadala, who sports a Grade A with shorts.

"Gimmie a 'Y'!"
"Gimmie an "R"!"
"...Gimmie a break."

 
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It Connected!

Shinra's amazing commsphere device won't connect, but the mighty Leblanc whacks it with her Paper Fan of Doom and suddenly it connects.

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