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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 (pronounced "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 Legend of the Crystals (Final Fantasy V's Sequel in Another Medium), which predated X-2 by nine years. It's also the first Final Fantasy title released in in the U.S. after Square's merger with Enix.

Two years after Tidus' disappearance, 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 called "Sphere Hunters" scour once-forbidden ruins in search of historical records that have been buried by the church of Yevon.

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Yuna, now free of her obligations as a summoner, is visited by her cousin. Rikku has a sphere of someone who looks exactly like Tidus in her possession. Captivated by the mystery and wanting 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 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 light comedy, featuring Magical Girl Transformation Sequences, boatloads of Fanservice, and a new score (including Japanese Pop Music) replacing the sweeping orchestra of past games. The game is also open-ended: You get access to an airship 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 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: You earn new jobs (here called Dresspheres) by completing sidequests and meeting certain requirements. (In a nod to III and 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 comes with its own set of skills, and you learn 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. Square also brought back the ATB system; 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 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/PS4 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 is the Regional Bonus version, which in X-2's case came with: two new Dresspheres, the Creature Creator (a game-changing feature which allows you to recruit enemies and bosses found in the game), some Fiend Tales (amusing side stories involving the fiends you capture), a Fiend Arena for them to fight in, and a Gaiden Game called Last Mission.

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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    A 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is 99, which is nowhere near necessary to beat the game. Actually, the main difference between this and X is that you cannot permenently raise your stats once you reach Lv. 99, which is why the Via Infinito and the Fiend Arena are such headaches.
  • 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 Commsphere terminal and interview NPCs in various towns from the comfort of your airship. Afterwards, every town on the map flashes red 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-2 directly 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.
      Cid: [grumbling under his breath] Shame, how they gussied this baby up! Dern kitschy paint job.
    • 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 and crannies that Tidus couldn't, at least not without the aid of warp points or the airship.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Some of the various Dances you have in battle.
    • The Thief learns an ability called Soul Swipe.
    • "Prepare for a phantasmagoric panoply of magical power!" — Yuna when changing into the Gun Mage.
    • The names of some of the missions, beginning with "Where's Wakka?"
    • The Gunner's Gauntlet minigame.
    • In one of the optional Hot Springs scenes, Maechen tries to give exposition to a monkey.
      "Sacred Mt. Gagazet. The permanence of this place is palpable. Care to hear about it? [Monkey darts off] Pity."
    • In the second and final mission of Chapter 4, the Gullwings need to clear out the venue for "Yunapalooza."
      Hypello: We've got a schticky situation. Shum fiends have shown up to shnack on the shpectatators.
    • In Chapter 5, you can join Cid in the Gullstore for some Casual Sexism Theatre. He puts his foot down and demands that his niece quit being a sphere hunter, which the others take umbrage to.
      Brother: Why don't you sit back and leave the modern times to us?
      Cid: You're the one I'm worried about most, you mohawked moron!
    • Once eight people show up to destroy it, Vegnagun senses the team's newfound morale and starts to shake. Logos retorts with, "Witless little widget".
    • "Pernicious Powder", an exclusive ability used by Mushroom Cloud.
    • If you beat him, Trema praises Yuna as "a paragon of pastlessness."
    • Last Mission hides the Triple Tiara accessory, which allows you to attack three times in a single turn.
  • Adorably Precocious Child:
    • Shinra is an Al Bhed prodigy. At times, he's more interested in looking smart than being helpful. Still, he is the best-informed of the Gullwings, even if 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! Later on, assuming the CommSphere in Bevelle still works, you're treated to a scene of Pacce laying out a full-grown Warrior Monk before sauntering off. Remember, he was a Guardian at one time. And it looks like his ranks have expanded since Chapter 1.
      Rikku: They're multiplying!
    • The Ronso pups are important to the tribe now since their numbers have been decimated by Seymour. Lian and Ayde embark on a quest to fix Kimahri's horn and affirm his authority as Elder. As the Gullwings deliberate how to drag them back home, the Ronso kids bound off into the distance. ("They can really move!") They eventually return to Gagazet, gushing about their adventures and wishing to travel again; this inspires Kimahri, who was unsure about where the Ronso fit into the Eternal Calm. If you gave the kids directions in Chapter 3, they give you a Grid they picked up from a Guado child. It's a nice indicator that the next generation of Ronso aren't shackled to the past like Garik.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • There's a lot more Al Bhed running around, hence the hi-tech themes for certain areas, 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 haven't all been worked out...
    • Yuna is Kasparov to the Machine Faction's Deep Blue. The Al Bhed are working on a new battle machina to fight Vegnagun, and they need your help to test it. Keep giving them parts 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 Part of the Show: The opening depicts Yuna (actually Leblanc in disguise) throwing a concert inside Luca Stadium. Rikku and Paine crash the stage and provoke her into battle, with the audience unaware of the actual situation.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Yuna's pistols are called "Tiny Bees", but never in-story, only on the merchandise. Also, each gun has "Tiny Bee" engraved on it in Al Bhed (not Spiran) script.
    • One of the main reasons behind Shinra's inclusion. The airship needs an online database just to make sense of the lore and metaphysics of Spira. Now that both games are bundled together, it's not required for a newcomer to read these.
    • According to Ultimania, Shuyin from Rikku's video is long-gone, but his hatred was preserved by pyreflies and lingers on as a ghost which is 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 explains 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 Den of Woe footage was taken on the same day Yuna and her entourage reached Mushroom Rock, and Kinoc left for the front lines. 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 the Worlds Are a Stage: Trema is a fanatic who believes that Spira must "renounce" its past to rebuild civilization. He summons an image of Zanarkand in order to prove his point.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • The Leblanc Syndicate break into the Celsius 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, 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 to promote one of two companies, Open Air or Argent, 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.
  • Anachronic Order: The events pertaining to the Den of Woe. The haphazard pacing of events and disorienting flashbacks are the reason behind this.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Each new Dressphere comes with a new 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: YRP strike this pose several times throughout the game.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: The "Prophet" spends his time on the Mi'ihen Highroad, stumping for chocobo rights. In one of the Mi'ihen Mystery endings, he is proven to have staged a hovercraft accident to make them look unsafe.
  • 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 Features:
    • Special Dresspheres won't activate until you've switched between every job on your equipped Garment Grid. The "Unerring Path" Grid is given to you when you get your first Special. It only has two slots for Dresspheres, allowing quick access to Special transformations.
    • The Gullwings can't kill Angra Mainyu until it attacks Nhadala's camp in Chapter 5. However, they can start fighting it in Chapter 1. It won't attack you; it just sits there. Any damage the Gullwings cause to Angra Mainyu will carry over to the next battle. There are some limits to how much they can damage it per Chapter, but in general, they are incentivised to fight it early.
    • The mission to rescue the trapped tourists in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth and fight Yojimbo is still available in Chapter 5 if you didn't complete it in Chapter 3. The same goes for setting up the chocobo ranch, assuming you at least completed "Cuckoo for Chocobos" at Mi'ihen Highroad in Chapter 2 and had Clasko board the Celsius.
    • Starting with Chapter 2, the Bevelle Underground is available on all subsequent chapters (except the fourth), allowing you to collect the rare items within (Ribbon, Bloodlust, Wring, Dark Knight dressphere) at any time.
    • Following the Chocobo Ranch sidequest, Yuna can send a chocobo to Bikanel Island. This unlocks the Central Expanse as a digging site, which is one of the best spots: with the Chocobo you're faster and there are no random encounters while you're digging.
    • The Via Infinito. Every Oversoulable monster, minus the Bevelle Temple pit bosses, appears down here. This is also a good opportunity to pick up Blue Bullets your Gun Mage may have missed. 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.
    • Square Enix changed the rules in the Remaster so you can win Mascot more easily: 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.
    • Oversouled Mega Tonberry is the only enemy who uses one of the game's rarest Blue Bullets, Cry in the Night, and it is notoriously difficult to learn, especially for all three girls. Mega Tonberry is always joined by a regular Tonberry, so you can't control which one gets Oversouled (it's random). If the RNG picks the wrong Tonberry, you cannot Flee from battle to try again. Fortunately, in the remaster, Mega Tonberry can be fought alone both in the Via Infinito and the Fiend Arena.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The sphere containing a recording of "Tidus" is very dark and the quality is degraded, but we can hear him yelling at the sphere recorder from behind bars. This is actually centuries-old footage of Shuyin while he was jailed in the Bevelle Underground.
    • The Crimson Spheres chronicle a training mission gone wrong. After the Crimson Squad were taken over by Shuyin's pyreflies and killed themselves, the survivors were executed 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.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Yaibal, your first opponent in the Youth League tournament. He's a pretty standard League enemy, but he'll occasionally apologize to Lady Yuna and toss a Grenade at you.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • You can't move your girls into a different job at any time. You have to slot the Dressphere onto a Garment Grid, equip that Grid, and then change jobs while in the menu or during battle. At first, you can use Grids that can only fit two or three Dressspheres, but later Grids 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. With 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:
    • The Gunner ability Cheap Shot ignores Defense. Another ability, Table-Turner, instead inflicts damage depending on the target's Defense; the higher the stat, the higher the damage!
    • Darkness, a Herd-Hitting Attack which ignores all defense and resistance.
    • If the Fiend Arena is giving you trouble, just catch an S-type machina: the Scouter ones from Mi'ihen, 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.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: Gippal tried to enlist in the military branch of Bevelle. Being an Al Bhed, he wasn't eligible (since his people do not follow Yevon), but the Crimson Squad accepted all comers. Nooj joined so he could fight and die as a warrior.
  • 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 tell the inn's clerk you want to rest, she will inform Yuna that there's a chair right behind you.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Enemies recruited in the Creature Creator are strictly AI-controlled and are surprisingly effective...
  • 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 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.
    • 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.
    • YRP can use some Soul Springs bought from those Calm Lands attraction vendors to steal all of Trema's MP. Not only does this prevent him from casting any spell besides Meteor, it also means he'll waste turns trying to cast them without MP.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Yuna is now the narrator, with Rikku tagging closely behind her on the ship. Also, the bridge crew is all Al Bhed, as well as Rikku herself. Rikku's brother and Yuna's cousin, Brother, made a few appearances in the previous game as a minor antagonist before becoming the Farenheit's main pilot; 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 longing for the Calm. She Is All Grown Up now, and plays a bigger role in the Mi'ihen sidequests.
    • 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.
    • In X, the Cactuar Nation was a barren, dead-end area which held Rikku's Sigil. The Nation is now a game-spanning quest, with the Gatekeepers scattered all over Spira (instead of limiting themselves to Bikanel like the previous game). There are stakes involved, an existential threat to the Cactuar, and more rewards.
    • 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.
  • The Assimilator:
    • Scan will identify the Machina Panzer as an ancient, forgotten war machine which was programmed to scour Spira for combat data so that it could learn to counter anything.
    • A Fiend can absorb pyreflies of its fallen species, resulting in Oversoul.
  • 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 (which only Psychic can use).
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The default battle theme is a thrashing electric guitar. Possibly to reflect the idol singer theme.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Gunplay has the upside of being a list of ranged attacks that are instant use (like the regular Attack command) compared to many other abilities, but many of them are situational and the Gunner's dismal MP pool means you can't use them freely.
    • Since there are so many Garment Grids and select Lore-based accessories that come with Black or White Magic, the actual Black and White Mage classes themselves tend to be seen as underwhelming. Warrior and Samurai run into similar problems.
    • For the most part, YRP are better off killing fiends outright rather than debuffing them with abilities like the Songstress's Dances.
    • Lady Luck's stats are generally low, so giving her a Garment Grid which grants her access to abilities from a certain Dressphere such as Black Mage and its Black Magic is wasteful and overlooks her Gamble abilities. Furthermore, her Reels are too slow to execute (unless she's Hasted).
    • Trainer. A hybrid job is redundant in a game where you can switch Dresspheres at will, and it's not particularly powerful.
    • Many Garment Grids have gates that provide you with status immunities, buffs, or extra abilities when you switch Dresspheres during battle. It makes sense to tailor your team to each enemy, however, it's hard to utilize the gate bonuses and wind up with a team you want. A practical application for this does exist, but it's rarely worth it to hop between Dresspheres since, in the end, players won't be using gates except in boss battles.
    • The Special Dresspheres as a whole are under-utilized, and there's not a whole lot to say about them. One would not blame a player for saying that they were probably created as an afterthought. Outside of a few cases, AP is put to better use training normal Dresspheres.

    B 
  • 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 Aeons 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 in Chapter 2. This horrifies Yuna. The first three can be found in the Chambers of the Fayth at their respective Temples. 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 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 Fayth can restore Tidus to life in the Good and Perfect endings, but only if you meet the criteria and accept Bahamut's offer.
  • 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 Grid system. 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 (with the exception of Full-Cure) are enhanced with multi-target capability, which seems like an unfair advantage until you realize that every Flan, Elemental, and other spellcasters (plus a handful of melee attackers) now have multi-hit attacks, and you need party-wide healing to keep up.
    • A lot of series 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. When used against any enemy with an elemental weakness, Tetra Strike 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. And that's not even getting into the broken nature of Omnistrike.
  • Band of Brothers: The Crimson Squad. We see that their brief time together formed an unshakable bond, such that years afteshooting his teammates in the back, Nooj still gets invited to clandestine meetings with them and attends without fanfare.
  • Battle Aura: 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 blue, 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 tricks. Defeating Oversouled enemies yields bigger rewards and is necessary to fill out Shinra's bestiary. However, in some cases, an Oversouled Boss can actually be an advantage, since it changes their attack patterns and sometimes even locks them out of some their more devastating attacks.
  • The Beastmaster:
    • The classic Final Fantasy 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 reserved 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 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.
      Paine: Dead? Maybe he was from the start. They say he was able to control the most powerful of fiends.
      Rikku: Which is why I really think we should go home now.
  • 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 a Charm Bangle, 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.
    • There are rooms in the Via Infinito where either Mega Tonberries or Elder Drakes will block your path to the next level. YRP has to go under a lower path or summon a bridge, respectively, to bypass these enemies.
    • Another type of room has a Mega Tonberry blocking the very exit. Fortunately, you don't need to fight it, just defeat two regular Tonberries in the adjacent paths to make the Mega disappear.
    • In the rooms with two Elder Drakes, the second one will be guarding the portal to the dungeon entrance.
    • 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 Mushroom Cloud, which can cast a stronger version of Bad Breath (hits everybody with all status ailments) and Ultima. Tonberry the Ripper has Mega Tonberry, a speedier version of the sluggish Tonberry, which can carve you up for five figures of damage.
    • Azi Dahaka blocks your progress a couple of times in the final dungeon. If you can't defeat it by then, you can instead solve puzzles to get through.
  • Belated Happy Ending: The Good and Perfect endings.
  • Beneath the Earth: You've got five different ways into the Farplane, and the differences between them are mostly trivial. Every entrance has its own little scene of YRP jumping into a hole. You can also enter the Farplane by landing at the specified locations and walking to the holes, but talking to Brother on the Celsius warps you straight there. The first phase of the Farplane consists of floating rocks connected by mossy paths. As you descend, you will see in the distance all the other paths you could have taken. Besaid's path roughly encircles the area, sending you running all the way around the periphery.
  • Best Served Cold:
    • The Youth League claim to be only interested in preserving and chronicling Spira's history. But it's obvious that they're mobilizing for war with New Yevon with help from the Al Bhed, whose Home was destroyed on orders from the church. You can still see the wrecked 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 organization 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.
  • Better Living Through Evil: The rewards you get for handing the Awesome Sphere over to New Yevon. Shining Mirror and Blood of the Beast are really good Garment Grids.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: One Bonus Dungeon, located on the Mi'ihen Highroad. Inside, you find yourself in the middle of an insect colony.
    Paine: We're all going to be dreaming of bugs tonight, that's for sure.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The HD Remaster 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 Psychic and (very Japanese) Festivalist Dresspheres.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Apparently Lenne and Shuyin were killed by invisible bullets that left invisible wounds with invisible blood.
    • The bad outcome with the Ronso Youth. A man in Macalania Woods explains that Garik's rampage took the lives of every Guado man, woman, and child. We don't see any bodies, though. He came expecting to see the place teeming with unsent, but he speculates that the Guado sent themselves rather than become fiends.
  • Body Double: In Black Elemental's Fiend Tale, she spent most of her life believing she was a Maester's daughter, but she was assassinated by an Al Bhed before she even reached adulthood. When she recollects her memories with the help of Shinra, she learns that she was actually just a decoy for the Maester's real daughter.
  • Body of Bodies: This incarnation of Jumbo Cactuar is actually a bunch of small cactuars who merge into one.
  • 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).
    • 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 most defenses. Once you beat it at 5/5/5, you get a special cutscene and it's Episode Complete; you can't fight it or repair it ever again, even with Manuals.
      Al Bhed: If you think you can beat it easily, you are mistaken!
      Paine: Whose side are you on?
    • With Paragon, certain damage makes him counter with Big Bang, a souped-up version of Nemesis' Armageddon attack from X. Big Bang 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. However, Meteor is much worse than Ultima since it's actually multiple hits of Gravity magic, which can kill you.
    • The Fiend Arena has the following:
      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. Major Numerus does not appear until you've won at least five times.
      2. Dark Bahamut in the Aeon Cup. 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. In the Youth League Cup, the battle is restricted to non-Fiend opponents, including Lulu and Kimahri. The others never appear unless 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 "????".) If you try to reach him, you're guaranteed to be going up against either Paragon or Trema or both.
    • Completing Varan's Fiend Tale unlocks three difficult Sphere Break opponents: Varan himself, then a Tonberry, and finally a Haunt; each one rewards an endgame accessory.
  • Bonus Feature Failure:
    • Songstress learns two very powerful abilities through certain key items obtained only near the end of the game, which negates the usefulness of those abilities.
    • Mascot has the best stats of any Dressphere, Auto-Protect and Auto-Shell, Ribbon, and broken abilities. 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.
    • 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, or defeat Major Numerous at the end of the Fiend Arena. Since they're the strongest enemies in their respective versions, you don't really have anything left to use those Iron Dukes on.
  • Book-Ends:
    • Yuna's line: "It all began when I saw this sphere of you..."
    • Both games open in a blitzball stadium, albeit under different circumstances.
    • Tidus got whacked in the head with a blitzball when he first met the Besaid Aurochs. Another stray blitzball hits Beclem on his way out. ("Sorry!")
    • "Where's Wakka?" Seeking guidance, Wakka goes looking for a memento of his parents. They were killed by Sin when he was a child, so he doesn't remember them. His brother Chappu supposedly hid a recording of them on the Island; the whereabouts of the sphere died with him. 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 brother.
    • Tidus' adventure began when he met The Chooser of The One, Bahamut. At the end of this game, Bahamut reappears to thank Yuna for breaking Shuyin's hold on him and the others. He may also revive Tidus if the conditions are met.
    • We keep coming back to the theme of Senseless Sacrifice:
      1. In the first game, Tidus rejects the notion of sacrifice. Few people in Spira can comprehend this. He ends the story by sacrificing his own life so that no more summoners will have to die — Yuna included.
        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."
      2. By the end of the sequel, Yuna has had it up to here with sacrifice:
        Yuna: "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."
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Gunner and Thief are agile, with a handful of vital (though not necessarily powerful) skills. Thief is equipped on Rikku by default if you select her at the beginning of Last Mission, and she's the best character to start out with.
    • The Swordplay learned as a Warrior can certainly be of help for some of the other jobs.
    • Some of the low-level Blue Bullets by used by the Gun Mage, particularly Fire Breath, can stand in for elemental Black Magic. Black Mage will often run into hurdles that bring it on par with the Gun Mage. Silence does not inhibit a Gun Mage like your other spellcasters, either.
    • White Mage is great when equipped on creatures you capture. It may reduce their HP by 20%, but it also gives them the Vigor ability (restores some HP for free), which is downright broken in the hands of certain creatures.
  • Boss Corridor: The largest Cloisters in the Via Infinito are boss rooms.
  • Boss in Mook 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 Gastric Juice attack reduces not one, but four stats per target, and pretty soon it'll use Bad Breath and ruin everyone's day.
    • Elder Drakes hit hard and fast, they have Auto-Protect, and they prevent Escape/Flee, making them strong enough to be bosses in their own right, especially at the level you're likely to be at when you unlock the Via Infinito.
    • Mega Tonberries are worse, since they are fast for their size and their physical attacks are strong enough to deal five digits of damage per hit.
    • In the lowest floors of the Via Infinito, bosses can become Random Encounters. This includes the previous Via bosses (Aranea, Dark Elemental, Concherer and Chac) and the Omega and Ultima Weapons. And none of them have a severe downgrade in ability.
  • Bottle Episode: After spending the past three chapters as globetrotters, Chapter 4 takes place mostly on the Celsius, the bulk of which is spent on the Gullwings talking to the rest of Spira through Commspheres. There are only two short, mandatory missions that take place in the overworld, one of which concludes the chapter.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Amazing Chocobo needs to be freed from the Calm Lands dungeon. It will escort your other chocobos, improving their rate of success and preventing them from running away. But by the time you uncover this place, you're most likely done doing dispatches.
    • Finale, only used with the "The End" Garment Grid, which can only be obtained by Oversouling all monsters in the Bestiary. Fundamentally this game's version of the Brave Blade from V, Finale deals 99,999 physical damage to any target, but only if the user has never Fled from a battle. The problem here though is that it's obviously meant to be used on a second or third playthrough, when you would conceivably have access to accessories and skills that eliminate that need. By by then, there's little you actually need it for. This issue is mitigated somewhat thankfully with Creature Creator.
    • 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.
  • Breakable Weapons: In Iutycyr Tower (Last Mission), each Dressphere has a set amount of HP; if it runs out, it breaks and the girls have to wear the next Dressphere in line. If they run out of Dresspheres, they will be reduced to fighting with punches and kicks.
  • Breath Weapon: In addition to the familiar Bad Breath, Stone Breath, and Flame Breath, Angra Mainyu's arm (Tawrich) belches gas all over the party. It deals damage and applies nasty statuses, including Silence, Darkness, and Confuse, all of which mess with your ability to hurt the body.
  • 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.
    • Lampshaded in an optional scene in Chapter 5, after Shinra announces that he's retiring as a Gullwing.
      Buddy: [in Al Bhed] Maybe it's about time we did some recruiting?
      Brother: Hope we get some cute girls.
  • Broken Bridge: The first Kilika mission involves hiking around side-paths in the woods and avoiding New Yevon checkpoints, where the Youth Leaguers are staring down gun barrels. Things are getting tense.
  • Broken Pedestal: Beclem confesses he was looking forward to meeting Chappu's brother, but Wakka didn't exactly live up to the hype. Right around that time, Wakka was freaking out over what a father should be. So Beclem didn't see him at his best.
  • 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. Encounter Repellant is useless here. It has 101 floors and gets progressively harder every ten floors, with bosses every twenty floors. 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. Good luck figuring out a way to get through it without relying on Flee, luck, abusing Wait Mode, or cheesing a single item/accessory/ability/Dressphere.
    • Last Mission starts simple and gets PRETTY HARD later on. Classic roguelikes are notorious for their difficulty, but the randomized gameplay makes each playthough entirely different and its never boring or predictable in that sense. That being said, in some cases it's unbeatable if you go in with the wrong character build/composition.
  • 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 "Awesome" sphere in Kilika, since it's a time-sensitive mission. You can't exit the navigation screen or fly anyplace else. Once you disembark, you can't return to the ship. The same thing happens when Yuna and Leblanc narrow Nooj's whereabouts down to Bevelle.
    • In Chapter 4, Shinra reports that Spira is cracking up with all of its leaders missing. In fact, things have gotten so bad that this Chapter is completely linear! There are barely any sidequests to do. You don't even have control of the airship for the duration of this Chapter. The implication is that they simply can't afford the travel time; by the time you get wherever you're going and finish sorting monkeys by color or whatever, somebody's going to spark a civil war. Once you land in the Thunder Plains, the crowds who have already shown up to see Yuna will block you from exiting the area, and you can't return to the airship.

    C 
  • 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 with the ball being kicked into the camera and Shinra commenting that the Aurochs "really suck."
    • If you're on the New Yevon side, Shinra will never be able to plant a CommSphere around Mushroom Rock, as someone will angrily hurl it into the sea. If, instead, you sided with the League, the Monks in Bevelle will chase away Maroda as he's talking to the CommSphere before shooting it.
    • In Chapter 5, several CommSpheres are destroyed by outside forces when you examine them. This is the most tedious part of getting 100%, so it's a good thing the game lets you know when you exhausted all possibilities in a given area.
    • 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 once!
  • Camera Screw: Likely to happen at least once in the Dark 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 FFX, 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.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: In the PAL/HD version, not only does each girl get a new profile picture depending on their current Dressphere, but every mob and NPC in the Arena gets a unique one, too.
  • Catchphrase:
    • 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 is extremely lighthearted right up until the point the Big Bad Shuyin starts making his move and the Dark Aeons appear. The story even acknowledges this shift as Yuna becomes upset that the peaceful days she fought so hard for disappeared so quickly.
  • Challenging the Chief: The Ronso Youth don't respect Kimahri 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 his horn makes Kimahri look even worse.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Sphere Changes. Turning the Transformation Sequence off sees the party changing instantly on the spot.
  • 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 tells you about this shortcut, and Yuna uses it to reach Kilika Temple.
    • Shinra's flying CommSphere gets lost in the Farplane after capturing some footage of the Crimson Squad. The last puzzle in the game requires you to hit floating switches in the correct sequence. However, Gippal repaired the CommSphere so it can be used to survey the whole area as you work.
  • Cherry Tapping: There are too many enemies with the ability to reduce you to 1 HP, at which point the chip damage from Poison kills you.
  • 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: In some cases, an "Oversouled" fiend turns into a Glass Cannon, resulting in them actually being easier to kill.
  • Cognizant Limbs:
    • Angra Mainyu. The left arm, Zarich, casts third-level Black Magic, but its ultimate attack, Glimmer of Despair, is the one you really need to worry about. Just like the Malboro fight, it applies all four Breaks to the party, but unlike the Malboro fight, it's not possible to end this battle quickly. Zarich, as you might have guessed, mirrors its twin and is immune to physical damage.
    • The third fight with Vegnagun is set up much like Angra Mainyu: the threat comes from the legs on either side, but the real target is the core. The left leg casts status ailments on you, the right casts buffs, and both will counter if we attack the core while they're still alive. Herd Hitting Attacks like Fireworks, Darkness, and Blue Bullets help here. The core will bring the legs back to life if necessary, but otherwise charges up for Memento Mori. After winning the fight, Vegnagun grows a big cannon from his mouth. The tusks will attack in unison, and if you take one out, the other will revive it. Both tusks have to be dead at the same time to leave the head vulnerable, after which the tusks will act independently, casting spells and firing a laser. The head, meanwhile, will restore the tusks to life, belch fire and status ailments, and multi-target the Gullwings with high-tech weapons.
  • 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.
  • Combat Medic: The Alchemist can be used for both healing and offensive purposes, especially through her Mix command. Paine's Trainer gets single-target healing. Yuna's Mascot has a set of unique healing spells and buffs, while Rikku's can access any spells she learned as a White Mage.
  • 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. Certain Dresspheres can do this automatically.
    • A few enemies, like Baralai, can attack three times in a row and combo you.
    • "-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 revisit Zanarkand and you'll notice them rubber-necking around the place. This winds up backfiring on the Calm Lands agencies: The Cavern of the Stolen Fayth erupts with fiends again, forcing you to rescue 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 Time Mage, Dancer, and Bard; 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. Some of her skills were learned by the Thief in earlier games.
    • 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 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:
    • In Chapter 2, Leblanc spends her first turn casting "Not-So-Mighty Guard" which, annoyingly, is better than the version your Gun Mages can learn. Garik, Lucil, and Humbaba use the potent version to draw their battles out.
    • Status immunities? Great, 'til the enemies just plain ignore them. Even if YRP are at Lv. 99 with maxed-out Mascots, just give Chac three rounds and she'll stone you to death. You'd think that Auto-Ribbon would prevent that! Apparently not. Her version of Heaven's Cataract is miles ahead of the one you can learn: it lowers all stats by a level of ten. It's Ultima on steroids, to the point where it actually makes you glad for Stony Glare.
    • Mega Tonberry. If you manage to survive the damage they deal with Karma, you'll be hit with Confusion even if you're protected against it. And you can't Flee from them, either. Oversouled M.T. can inflict Stone along with Confusion.
    • Mushroom Cloud will inflict numerous, unblockable status ailments: Petrification, Silence, Darkness, Poison, Confusion, and/or Berserk, all at once. It also incurs a -10 penalty for Strength and Magic.
    • Trema's regular attack is a set of three-hit combos that can't be dodged, even with a Rabite's Foot equipped (+100 Luck), and they really hurt because his Strength and Level are maxed-out. If he catches your party unawares, he can wipe you out with one set of combos.
    • Some of the tougher fiends are weaker when you capture them. 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.
    • When you go to Bikanel Island for the first time in this game, 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 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), 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.
  • 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.
    • Elder Drake only uses its fire breath when you attack it with magic.
    • The Dark Knight's namesake, Darkness, is a "Special" move, ergo it can bypass Shell and Protect. Against Paragon, however, it's a no-go. That's not so much due to the efficiency of the skill.
  • Critical Hit Class: Gunplay has varied effects, including a bullet which is a guaranteed Critical. Assault (Warrior) forces the party to focus strictly on dealing high-damage hits, by way of casting Berserk alongside a series of buffs that raise offense and defense. Dirty Dancing (Songstress) ensures that every hit on an enemy is Critical. The Samurai's auto-ability SOS Critical allows her to always land these when her HP is low. And Lady Luck will always land Criticals once her auto-ability is unlocked.
  • 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 multiple times in a row, but each shot deals small damage—unless Cat Nip is activated. Then it becomes a slaughter. The other application is with Lady Luck's Four Dice. It has the benefit of targeting the enemy party with an average of 14 hits, up to a maximum of 24 hits.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: 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.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Warrior is decent early on, but gets eclipsed by Dark Knight, and even Samurai, in the later chapters.
    • Songstress is good if you're underleveled, but essentially a third wheel otherwise.
    • Black and White Mages are outmoded after a while. Black Mage is astoundingly useful for the first two to three Chapters, but for most random encounters, just attacking is better if for no other reason than that there's no charge time. By endgame, you'll have faster methods to destroy enemies, with or without magic. In this iteration, they don't normally have access to the more powerful spells (Flare, Ultima, and Holy) either.
    • Festivalist in the International and HD Remaster versions. There is no role she can do that another Dresspheres can't fulfill later on outside of very niche exceptions.
  • 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: There are quite a few methods you can go about this depending on the Dressphere:
    • Sometimes you can stunlock an enemy with Trigger Happy, and Gunner in general is able to combo with other Dresspheres during their "queued" attacks because she can act without waiting.
    • The Songstress is best used to shut down enemy mobs or support other party members with Dance, making it easier to chain combos.
    • Lady Luck can create long combos with Two or (especially) Four Dice, though Attack Reels and Magic Reels can also contribute to the hurting depending on the results.
    • Bully Ghiki (learned by Rikku's Trainer) actually resets an enemy's charge time, rather than causing a normal delay effect.
    • Time Trip (learned by Psychic) freezes time for 10 seconds, allowing you to execute up to two actions before anyone else has a turn. If nothing else, it allows you time to breath and use either Physics Guard, Magic Guard, or Excellence to make it easier on yourself.
    • Haste makes your attack animations faster, so it's ideal for Dresspheres with stunlock potential (like Gunner) or anyone under Berserk.

    D 
  • Dark Reprise: A part of 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, Lenne's lover, 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 game.
      Yuna: "I don't like your plan. It sucks."
  • Defeat Means Playable: The Leblanc Syndicate, Youth League, and Crimson Squad (among others) can be fought and recruited in the Fiend Arena. Most of the guardians from X can be also 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 Overdrives (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.
  • Defector from Decadence: The game doesn't come out and say it, but general consensus is that Logos and Ormi are the two unnamed Monks you hear in the Crimson Report spheres checking for survivors. Ormi alludes to the fact that Leblanc saved them from some deeply unpleasant work, which could explain their devotion to her.
  • 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, Precepts Guard, and Georapella (the final boss of Chapter 1, and Underground Monkeys of the Spectral Keeper and Geosgaeno from X, respectively). 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 the Via Infinito, the Farplane, and the Fiend Arena; this is probably the weakest incarnation of Weapon in the series. In fact, Ultima Weapon is actually stronger than Omega for the first time in the series. However, Almighty Shinra is supposedly the result of Shinra being possessed by Omega Weapon, and he's a tough customer.
    • Random Encounters in the Via have a tendency to be bosses or boss-level enemies. Zalamander makes appearances at the top, and Cactaurs start appearing at Floor 47, with Jumbo Cactaurs following three floors later. The Via bosses become common mobs later on, which sucks.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Wakka, Lulu and Kimahri retired from the Guardian business. Now they 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 final battles.
    • Reminiscing with Maechen causes the pyreflies coming from his body to take on "a mind of their own": Yuna sees a flash of Braska, Auron, and Jecht during their pilgrimage. (Looks like Maechen has been tagging along for far longer than Tidus or Yuna realized.)
    • An inanimate example: the Farenheit, your airship from X, can only be seen once in the entire game, stationed just outside the ruins of Zanarkand Dome. Cid's been using it for his money-making schemes.
  • 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. Cid is still trying to hustle enough gil to rebuild Home, overlooking the fact that the Al Bhed don't need shelter from the world anymore.
  • 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.
    • Key to Success (+100 Luck, doubles efficacy of all items, EXP, AP, Gil, item rewards from battle, and max HP/MP) is incompatible with the Mascot Dressphere, as well as a couple of Garment Grids. For the record, the Enterprise accessory (removes HP cap) is incompatible with Mascot, as well.
    • Vegnagun's head. You can't count on Cat Nip to cheese this boss, because you get a free health restoration before the fight.
    • Likewise, you need at least 21 Cat Nip rounds combined with Trigger Happy to take out Paragon, and Yuna can't manage that in a single turn. Armor-piercing attacks aren't that effective, either. Attacks that ignore Defense will make him angry, and you don't want that.
    • Damage output also scales to a character's level. So, even if you have a low-level character with capped stats (most likely during a New Game+ by equipping them with an Iron Duke or two) they can still dish out middling damage to, and be knocked out by, high-tiered enemies like the mobs in the higher cups and especially the Bonus Bosses.
  • Diegetic Interface: Garment Grids are real items in-universe, and your first mission is to recover one stolen from YRP by their rival. The existence of the Garment Grids implies that the Sphere Grid from the previous game is also a physical object the characters interact with, although the characters never mention it, and how either of the devices act on the characters' physiology is never explained in either game. But as is usually the case when something isn't explained in Spira, you can assume pyreflies are responsible.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The first two Chapters are dedicated to the Gullwings' rivalry with the Leblanc Syndicate. After raiding their base and defeating their leader for the umpteenth time, did she reveal her true motivations, and the actual plot of the game picks up.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The first Dressphere you unlock is the Songstress. Darkness Dance immediately 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. Not to mention Matador's Song, which is simply broken: it raises Evasion by 10, and will allow your party to dodge most evadable attacks. Songstress is one of the most debilitating classes in the 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 support spells.
    • 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 the other options you have at the time. 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.
    • 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 overpowered in Chapter 1, and the Gullwings can speed the process along by casting low-level Black magic on themselves.
    • The Psychic Dressphere in International and HD Remaster. All you have to do to obtain it is beat the first Fiend Arena Tournament one time, which can be accomplished as early as getting on the Celsius for the first time.
    • Potentially limitless gil courtesy of O'aka XIII, merchant extraordinaire, available almost immediately after the intro missions. With that, the Gullwings can settle our merchant friend's debt, which he thanks you for by selling common items at a 95% discount.
    • The powerful defense accessory, Adamantite. In the PAL/HD versions, you can obtain two Adamantites very early on.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • 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 Gunner attire: the hood, the asymmetrical skirt, the logo of Tidus' team on her chest, and her similar-looking haircut. 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.
      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.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • The reason the Youth League is becoming more warlike is because Nooj is acting on Shuyin's will. When Baralai holds Nooj up at gunpoint, Shuyin flees into Baralai's body and uses him to steal Vegnagun. The Crimson Squad members pursue him into the Farplane.
    • After his theme park venture goes up in smoke, Cid gets lost in a cave. He needs your help beating back the fiends that have infested it. Yuna offers to give Cid refuge, against Brother's protests.
      Brother: Father, if you want on the ship, apologize to me.
      Cid: [in Al Bhed] I'm sorry, son.
      Brother: That was too easy. What's he plotting?
    • Once you've put all the Aeons to rest again, Bahamut reappears. He was Tidus' guide in the prequel: dropping hints on how to banish Sin without the Final Aeon, and how to kill Yu Yevon thereafter. Here, he's a prisoner of Shuyin.
  • Ditto Fighter:
    • Lady Luck is less of a Job in its own right than than a Mime with more cleavage than usual.
    • Mascot can be fun to use since each girl uses three skillsets at once, but that's not as unique as it was in V.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The cactuars send you on a quest to unseal the power to defeat Angra Mainyu's army: "The Great Habob". It turns out to be a sand tornado which picks up the fiends and carries them away. Afterward, Angra Mainyu gets pissed off and attacks Nhadala's camp.
  • 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 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 guarding a sphere.
  • The Dragon Slayer:
    • The Gun Mage's Drake Slayer quadruples damage against Drake enemies.
    • With just a single Berserker, Elder Drakes (and non-Oversouled Lacertas) in the Via are completely harmless.
  • 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.
  • 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 he's 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, the Gunner's Gauntlet. As alluded to in Chapter 4, Beclem embarks for Kilika to regroup with the League, and the Aurochs are happy to be rid of him. He responds by performing a perfect flip and kicking a blitzball at them, which sends the goalie flying.
    Beclem: Practice harder! [leaves]
  • Drought Level of Doom: Last Mission. Save books, Dressmakers (for farming Lv. 1 Dresspheres of your choice), Fusion books (for fusing two Dresspheres together), and Ethers are meant to be stockpiled. YRP are also expected to save room for accessories so they can equip auto-abilities.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: It's distasteful to turn Zanarkand into that kind of tourist trap, complete with bizarre treasure hunts and 'host with the most'-types. It's a shame what happened there, especially with Isaaru. The player characters lost all respect for him after what happened in the Via Purifico, but when he starts up with that "password" tomfoolery in Yunalesca's room, it's like treading on a grave.
  • Duel Boss: The Den of Woe. After having a full party for so long, Shuyin throws you for a loop by pitting Yuna against her possessed teammates. Rikku has her default double-strike, grenades, and four flavors of elemental attack items. Once she is down for the count, Paine rallies and attacks. She's only got a sword swipe, though, so it's not as tricky.
  • Dungeon Town:
    • The game begins in and around Luca Stadium as YRP are fighting the Leblanc Syndicate.
    • When Vegnagun draws power from the Farplane, holes appear in the Chambers of the Fayth. This spells trouble for Yuna's adopted home.

    E-F 
  • Earn Your Bad Ending:
    • The most difficult part of the Mi'ihen Mystery is building a case against 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 its pilot fires the cannon while in the Farplane, causing the planet to shatter from within. But you have to try to lose in this manner, since he waits until you've blown up the tail, leg and arms to start the countdown. Even an under-leveled team will tear apart Vegnagun within the time limit.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Continued from X's ending: the 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 difficulty-wise. 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.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Both the Bevelle Underground and the Via Infinito are empty, impossibly-large labyrinths from the time of the Machina War.
  • Elite Mooks: 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 in order to Oversoul, making it much stronger, but also granting more experience, gil, and loot. Encountering a low-level Oversouled enemy will cost you time at most, but an Oversouled Mega Tonberry is no fun at all.
  • 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 Heart of the Farplane: here begins the final boss rush. Shuyin's giant machina is perched on a spire off in the distance, but winding paths and floating platforms let you to work your way around to its vulnerable appendages and disable them before assaulting the core. The Gullwings will be finishing off Vegnagun's components themsleves, naturally, since this is a video game, but they need help from the Leblanc Syndicate and the Crimson Squad to keep Vegnagun penned in.
  • Enemy Summoner: One of the randomly-generated Via maps is a minefield of Tonberries. The Mega Tonberries on ledges will stay right where they are unless you run into one of the little Tonberries, which causes the big ones to start hunting you.
  • Escort Mission:
    • Your first Moonflow mission involves escorting a caravan as it gets barraged by bandits.
    • "Tourist Trap" is about helping tourists trapped in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth reach the exit. They are not in any actual danger (Fiends won't certainly get to them since they stay out of battles), but the tourists have several restrictions that will prevent the player from taking them all at once.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Gullwings's barkeep, called 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. In Chapter 4, you must pursue Tobli, who is on the run from debt collectors and waylays them in a series of outrageous escapes.
  • Evil Living Flames: Dark Ifrit. Kilika Temple is in poor shape, with the flames having burst out of their usual containments and conjuring Fiends.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: A lot of X-2's new status quo revolves around the idea of what happens when a society that has labored under death and religion no longer needs to do that. On one hand, everyone is far safer and happier and Spira is progressing in both culture and technology. On the other, without a central antagonist for everyone to focus on like Sin, Spira is splitting down the middle due to the civil war between New Yevon and the Youth League.
  • 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.
  • Experience Booster:
    • Lady Luck's auto-ability.
    • One of the Guadosalam endings will net you the Key to Success, which also boosts Experience.
    • The Covenant of Growth Garment Grid, won by defeating the last Cactuar gatekeeper in its minigame, has Double Exp. and Double AP nodes.
    • The Intrepid Garment Grid (available in International/HD only) grants Triple AP as long as the player goes through all its nodes every battle. Fortunately, it's the second-smallest Garment Grid with only three paths and nodes.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Amazing Chocobo is actually hidden in the back of Chocobo Ranch itself, and is uncovered by sending chocobos to the Calm Lands. Ultima Weapons roam the dungeon, and it's guarded by the Anything Eater, which is a Chocobo Eater on PCP.
  • 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.
    • In Balivarha's Fiend Tale, Ruminants (Balivarha's species) and Drakes are massacred by Yevon, even though the Balivarha and the Drakes' representative, the Spine Drake, are lured to a peace conference. When the two Fiends return and saw their fallen brethren, they prepare to go to war on one another until other Fiends came along and revealed the deception. Balivarha and Spine Drake proceed to team up against the Yevonites, creating the "Calm Avengers" team.
  • 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).
  • Feeling the Baby Kick: When the Gullwings come to visit Wakka and Lulu, who are getting ready for their first child, they go off to talk to Lulu by themselves. After a while, Lulu pauses, saying the baby is moving, and Rikku skips over saying she want to feel.
  • 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.
    • In the Den of Woe, Shuyin conjures up memories of the Crimson Squad if you survive his first assault.
  • Final Boss Preview:
    • In the prologue to X-2, the recording of a jailed Tidus, which Yuna plays again for Lulu in Besaid, 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.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: Yuna has a brief encounter with the final boss in the Farplane meadow before being spat back into the Bevelle Underground, seemingly thanks to Tidus/the Fayth showing her the way out.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: In Kilika Temple, guns are 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 up 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.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Very high Agility allows a Thief to get a lot of turns, but don't expect her to take much punishment without collapsing.
    • A Gun Mage's speed is way ahead of a Black Mage if you don't take advantage of insta-cast.
    • Express casts Haste on your Psychic and raises both Evasion and Accuracy, making lots of attacks outright miss. However, she's low on Defense and not particularly quick or nimble without it.
  • 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.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: The Tourist Trap mission requires you to bring power to the teleport pads using Energy Cores given by the rescuees. Once you rescue enough tourists, an NPC outside the Cavern will give you one Core for free. If you didn't know about this one giveaway, you won't be able to rescue the last two tourists (who are trapped in the rooms on either side of Yojimbo's lair). You can still fight Dark Yojimbo and finish the mission, but those tourists will never get out.

    G-H 
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • It's a little suspicious how all of the undead Yevon leaders wound up in the Via Infinito, regardless of where they were killed. Particularly Maester Jyscal, who was sent to the Farplane not once but twice.
    • The crowd shot in the Good/Perfect ending is a little goofy if you think about it. We've visited Besaid many times. There's not enough room in the village for that many people. Where the hell did they all come from?
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Boris the giant crab fiend is your first real challenge.
  • Giant Mook: A lot of fiends use the same models from X, but scaled-up to appear bigger. Many of them appear in the Cactuar Dungeon. After you beat the weak mobs near the entrance, a horde of cactuars appear and pump them full of magic needles to increase their size.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Samurai is actually one of the weakest physical-based Dresspheres in terms of Defense.
    • All of the Special Dresspheres have limited healing spells.
  • Good vs. Good: The Youth League vs. New Yevon. Ultimately, both sides want what's best for Spira. Unfortunately, there are numerous reasons why both sides feel like they can't trust the other.
  • Gotta Catch Them 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.
    • "Tourist Trap". Rescue all 15 people to get the Tetra Master Grid, which has all four elemental "-Eater" abilities.
    • Recalibrating the towers on the Thunder Plains. There are some good prizes to be won here, including a powerful Grid.
    • The cactuars in the desert need 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 obnoxious needle attacks.
    • The Experiment at Djose Temple. All you have to do is dig for scrap metal. 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 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.
    • The Den of Woe won't open up until you insert all of the Crimson Spheres scattered throughout the game.
    • The reward for exploring all of the routes into the Farplane is a chest containing Megiddo, another Garment Grid.
    • Last Mission. Every 5 floors you will need to perform certain tasks to open the elevator to the next floor. These actions range from "kill X enemies, throw x items, read x books", and so forth.
  • Gotta Kill Them All:
    • "Machina Mayhem" has you racing around the Highroad and dismantling droids that are mistaking people for fiends.
    • "Find a Sphere and the Fiends Appear" writ large: Fiends are attracted to the sphere waves from Yuna's concert, causing the Al Bhed technicians to flee. After nine battles, the situation still hasn't resolved itself. The trick is that there are actually ten lightning towers, but one of them is some distance removed from the walkable path. Naturally, there's a boss at that tower.
    • Filling out Shinra's bestiary. 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.
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous Latin:
    • Both of Full Throttle's wings and the key items related to it. Dextera means "right" and Sinistra means "left". Corpus Invictus means "unconquered body." Victor Primoris means "first conqueror".
    • Via Infinito roughly translates to "Endless Road." Coincidentally, that was the name of Tidus' best armor: Endless Road.
    • Vegnagun was built by Bevelle, and many of its attacks have Latin names that refer to death or judgment.
      1. The tail, for example, uses a swipe called Noli Me Tangere, or "Touch Me Not," said to be what Jesus told Mary Magdalene when she recognized him after the Resurrection.
      2. The Leg has an attack named Vita Brevis, meaning "life is short," which is taken from a quote by Hippocrates (of the Hippocratic Oath fame). It also fires magic bullets, the most impressive of which is an eight-shot volley called Dies Irae, or "day of wrath," named after a hymn describing the day of judgment.
      3. The core will charge up for Memento Mori, or "Remember you will die." The tusks will attack in unison with Pallida Mors, or "pale Death," which is how the Romans described their mythological personification of death. The tusks fire a laser called Lacrimosa, whose name is taken from the ending of the hymn "Dies Irae" ("Day of Wrath"). The head, will restore the tusks to life with Acta Est Fabula ("The play is over", supposedly the last words of Roman emperor Caesar Augustus), belch fire and statuses at you with Mors Cetra ("death is certain," typically followed by hora incetra, "the hour is uncertain"), suck everyone into a null dimension with Nemo Ante Morten Beatus ("no man can be called happy before his death") and shoot bullets at you with Odi Et Amo ("I hate and I love"), from a poem which equates love with the torment of crucifixion.
  • 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!:
    • If you want a 100% completion rate in a single playthrough, you need a guide for the following reasons:
      1. Any sidequest which requires scouring towns for NPCs and picking from a menu of dialog 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.
      2. The best ending is frustrating 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 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 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 an Episode Concluded instead, you can still get the best ending, but the game won't credit it toward the Dressphere. And for some reason, saving the Zanarkand 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 Zanarkand. Every other mission deposits you right back on the Celsius.) A lot of players saved it for last and cheated themselves out of the Dressphere by accident.
    • Sphere Break has an element of chance, and the tokens required to play are not readily available from any obvious source.
    • 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'ihen 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. Firstly, you need to look up a guide to learn the Dressphere/Auto-Ability combos. You should notice that eventually you will spawn items that grant you these auto-abilities, ex. Doomproof, Berserkproof, MP per kill, and so on. This will make you immune to the status effects that will give you the most trouble later on. If luck is on your side, you will acquire these DS and items early on. 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 a Violation of Common Sense, and the only hint towards doing so is a vague comment from the player character on the 77th floor.
  • Guns Akimbo: Logos and the Gunner Dressphere.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • The Gunner. Yuna and Paine are packing a pair of pistols that are the size of their heads. Rikku carries a more modest-sized gun.
    • Logos brandishes a pair of 2ft-long revolvers. "Parting is such sweet sorrow."
  • Hanging Our Clothes to Dry: How the Gullwings obtain one of Leblanc's uniforms on Mt. Gagazet. One of the She-Goons frets about taking a bath on Ronso holy ground. The boulder Yuna's standing on gives way and falls right into the spring. It's enough to scare the superstitious She-Goons and Ormi away.
  • 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.
  • 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, whereas 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 dialog 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.
  • Helpful Mook: You will occasionally come across a Tonberry duo in the Via Infinito who offer items. These can range from a simple Hi-Potion to a Gold Hairpin.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After killing Angra Mainyu, head back to the Cactaur Nation to see what's up. Apparently, the big Cactaur, Marlena, Dragonball Z'ed herself to death, only to have a tiny cactus sprout in her place.
  • Heroic Suicide: Nooj's plan to stop Shuyin hinges on the latter jumping out of Baralai and back to Nooj's body, after which Nooj will blow himself up. Yuna shoots this down and offers an alternative.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • When Rikku suggests bringing both factions together at a concert, Paine is scornful. Once she's alone with you on the deck, Paine confesses she sang along to the Hymn of the Fayth as part of the coordinated effort to bring down Sin.
    • Beclem gets recalled from Besaid after Nooj goes missing. (The Youth League has slightly-bigger things to worry about than Blitzball.) He's still feuding with the "slackers", but Wakka mentions that Beclem diligently patrolled the Temple each day to make sure the fiends don't come back. You get one last chance to check in with him in Chapter 4: It turns out that Beclem served with Chappu. Before leaving the island, Beclem may hand over a recording of Chappu and ask you to see that Wakka gets it.
    • In the same Chapter, Dona admits that the League made her an offer to become the new Mevyn. Dona said she was too busy looking out for Number One. But from what we've seen of Dona in X and X-2, she doesn't believe her pedigree as a summoner should give her that kind of power. So she turned it down. You can then spy on Dona rehearsing some apologies to Barthello: one is heartfelt, the other is backhanded. Guess which one she settles on.
      Dona: I ought to fire you for just up and leaving me the way you di—
      Barthello: DONA!
      Dona: Don't interrupt! I've been practicing these lines for days, so be quiet and let me finish!
  • 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, their newly-erected barricades prevent the Yevonites from escaping the burning forest.
  • Hope Spot: After surviving the Den of Woe and Yevon's assassins, the Crimson Squad disbands on the Highroad. Shots ring out offscreen, and Gippal and Baralai fall to the ground, having been shot in the back. Nooj then turns his rifle on the cameraman before the sphere ends.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Trema: In Sin, Spira's youth had an enemy. Without it they waved their swords at shadows, eager for a foe. Their hearts, you see, were not made of the same tempered steel as their swords.

    I-L 
  • 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 his 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. If you don't stop the Ronso attack, Garik will still be posturing at Kimahri and making demands. His thirst for blood has not been sated.
    • Note that the battle rewards are suspended throughout the whole Youth League tournament. So what do you get for winning? Lucil delivers a speech so riveting, even Paine is moved to applaud.
      "Nonetheless, under Nooj's leadership, we finally found a way to apply our strength. But look at us now! The power we hoped to use for good has intoxicated us all. Even Nooj. The Youth League is in danger of becoming a mindless band of thugs that know only violence. A power that destroys rather than creates. Without meaning. No better than Sin."
  • 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 Random Encounters in the final dungeon and Via Infinito.
  • 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. Most chests get refilled with increasingly-valuable loot between Chapters, so it can be worth exploring even if there's nothing else to be gained there.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The Farplane meadow. For the time being, Leblanc will hold the fort here, as well as act as an item shop. Once you reach this field of flowers, Brother opens a shortcut to it in his menu.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Dark Elemental's Fiend Tale is about a woman losing her only child, and then tries to drown herself in the Moonflow in despair. She was rescued by her daughter (reincarnated into a Dark Elemental), inspiring her to live on.
  • Ironic Echo: The power of the Songstress dressphere causes the undead spirit of Shuyin to mistake Yuna for his long-lost lover Lenne. He tells her "I've waited so long Lenne" and she replies "But I'm not Lenne." Later, if the player completes the Den of Woe segment, he tells her "This is our story, Lenne" and she shouts at him, telling him "Don't make me say this again. I'm...not...Lenne!" At the end of the game, Yuna is determined to make Lenne's words reach him: telling him that she she loves him, that she shouldn't go on grieving alone and can finally rest. But he sees through her Lenne guise.
    "You are not Lenne!"
  • 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.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If you're slow to stop Vegnagun from shooting a hole in the Farplane, a cutscene follows of the Calm Land cracking and being engulfed in flames.
  • Item Caddy: Stash (Alchemist) and Item Reels (Lady Luck) allow you to manufacture a particular item without depleting its stock in the item inventory, or even having said item in the inventory to begin with.
  • 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.
  • Kamehame Hadoken:
    • Mascot Yuna has Moogle Beam, a non-elemental laser.
    • Fiends are trying to breach the Cactuar Nation, so the Gullwings are dispatched to defend the settlement. The leader of the Cactuars, Marnela, shocks them by firing laser beams towards the fiends; she is able to buy the Gullwings extra time to find the Gatekeepers.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Sometimes, fighting a Tonberry is required to leave a room in the Via, and occasionally, fighting one will teleport Yuna closer to the exit.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kimahri needs help to suppress the bloodlust 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.
  • Killer Rabbit:
    • In Chapter 2, a whimsical mission to catch a chocobo almost ends in Calli 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.
    • In Chapter 5, the Cactuars fire powerful lasers at the encroaching fiends.
  • King Mook: Two Via Infinito mini-bosses. The Black Elemental (Maester Jyscal), which is the strongest Elemental by far, and the all-black basilisk Chac (Lady Yunalesca).
  • 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 YRP 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.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Some of the Dresspheres are redundant and were put there to artificially increase your playtime.
    • The game measures your story completion. You can't skip any cutscenes or miss key dialog if you want the good ending.
    • Getting every Grid and accessory in X-2 is kind of annoying, since it usually requires beating the game all over again. 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.
    • 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 every quest chain must conclude with an "Episode Complete" display. You have to get one in each of the fifteen World Map locations (although some locations have hidden ones that don't count toward that goal). "Episode Concluded" 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 an "Episode Concluded" screen a few Chapters later. Ex: Escort the Hypello caravan from the wrong side of the road and lose 1 sack of cargo to the thieves. That tiny 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.
  • 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 Dressphere which can cast Flare, Holy, and Ultima without the aid of Grids (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.
    • X-2's Warmup Boss, Logos, seems to have a very high rate of DPS since he attacks from a distance and doesn't need to waste time jumping in and swinging a melee weapon at the enemy. When "Captured", he learns Quick Hit naturally, so he will keep cheesing it.
    • 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.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Much like the XIII sequels, X-2 has a pretty radical change in tone from the original. The original was a fantasy epic about two teenagers marching to their deaths for the greater good. X-2 is almost comedic in comparison in its overall plot. It’s a realistic shift since the world is at peace now, but it’s not something you’re used to seeing in JRPGs.
    • Brother is useless outside of the pilot's seat, and Rikku and Buddy constantly undermine him, even knocking him unconscious to countermand his orders. (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.
  • Lip Lock: 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-release 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:
    • The "Where's Wakka?" mission. You need to find a combination to open ancient vaults all over Besaid. Some digits can be gleaned from the villagers, some are scribbled on the ruins, and others are hidden on the Temple's architecture and can only be glimpsed with binoculars, thus explaining why Tidus didn't spot them.
    • The Aurochs' locker room. To open it, you have to finish Varan's Fiend Tale. Inside you can challenge expert Sphere Break players.
    • 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.
    • Completing the Ronso quest unlocks Tobli's office in Guadosalam. Inside, we find that Guado kid Lian and Ayde made friends with. He gives you a Grid, too, assuming you got one from the Ronso Twins, along with some nifty items. (Tromell stashed some relics here in case the Guado died out.) The loot is dependent on how well Tobli's show went.
    • The last, stubborn cactaur and his gang are hiding in a cave on the north end of the Cactaur Nation. You need the other nine cactuars to unseal the entrance.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Gunner, Gun Mage, Alchemist, and Lady Luck. X-2 did away with enemies that require projectiles or magic to hit, so ranged attacks like Wakka's aren't as necessary, but birds and hornets are still evasive little buggers. With these outfits, the girls don't have to waste time running up to hit the target. Makes fights end faster. And the fact is, it does matter: sometimes a foe or ally is in the way and all it does it stall your tank.
  • 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.
  • 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 impostor'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.
  • Low-Level Advantage: Captured Fiends scale to the level average of your party. So Fiends at a low level can unlock their Fiend Tales rather easily. Lower levels also allow the Fiend to get a Fiend Tale Bonus even at the weakest tournaments, the Standard Cups.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Beating Shinra in the Sphere Break tournament 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.
    • Last Mission. Simply put: SAVE. OFTEN. You never know when you'll trigger a trap and lose your items or primary Dressphere, or just plain die.

    M 
  • 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.
  • Mage Killer: Dark Knight, Samurai, and Psychic have the potential to neuter oncoming spells or debuffs. White Mage has killer Magic Defense, which will pose a real problem for Black Elemental and Chac.
  • Mage Marksman:
    • In conjunction with the Gunner's abilities, her twin pistols (the "Tiny Bees") can fire automatic and enchanted shots. A Gun Mage can potentially have a bullet for each species of fiend.
    • Nooj has two types of magic ammo: Rippling Chroma deals magical damage to one character and ignores Magic Defense, and Greedy Aura damages all characters and reduces their max HP/MP.
  • Magic Knight:
    • Warrior. Most of her Swordplay involves adding elemental damage to her melee attacks.
    • Samurai has some pretty neat self-supporting abilities: Nonpareil (raises Strength and Accuracy), No Fear (grants Protect and Shell), Clean Slate (restores HP and removes status ailments), and Hayate (grants Haste and raises Evasion).
    • Dark Knight is a knight who specializes in magic, specifically the Arcana series, which inflicts non-elemental damage status ailments.
    • All three versions of Mascot; they are all powerful Dresspheres whose utility allows them to take up a diverse set of roles.
    • Full Throttle gets a similar range of elemental attacks as Warrior, but not only are they all free, but they all also come out in an instant instead of waiting for them to finish charging.
    • Elma. Between having a better Mighty Guard than the Gullwings have, elemental spells, status spells, Osmose, and two types of status-inflicting grenades, this fight will take more preparation.
    • Lucil has spells of her own. The one to watch out for is Harbringer. This is a melee version of Doom, and Doom is one of those statuses you can only prevent with a Ribbon.
  • Magical Security Cam:
    • In Chapter 3, 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 Luca. 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 later comes in handy for exploring those holes in the temples.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Dresspheres prepackaged or obtained in Chapter 1 don't see a whole lot of use in the Via Infinito apart from some niche purposes (though Gunner managed to avoid this in the vanilla version via the Cat Nip exploit), but White Mage is actually pretty good. If White Mage is equipped with a Garment Grid that grants access to the more powerful spells (especially Surpreme Light for both Auto-Life and Holy), doesn't die, and has the MP to use her stuff, she can be quite a monster.
    • In the International/HD version, a Level 40 Chocobo can learn Meteor by getting hit with a powerful spell. 10 powerful, non-elemental hits that will annihilate most fiends in the Arena.
  • Male Gaze:
    • Rikku's thong has the most camera time, and she gets a gratuitous butt shot as a Psychic. She gets upstaged, however, during Paine's change into the Lady Luck Dressphere.
    • Mish Yoona hash nishe backshide, yesh? 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 waddles into the frame a second later.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • Angra Mainyu is a Damage-Sponge Boss. Even if you know the trick to win, and your party setup is all but impervious to it, this battle is still 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 drawn-out battle you probably faced was a monster with 8,888 hit points. Angra Mainyu has 333,444 HP.
    • With its insane defenses and Auto-Protect, Concherer can also take a long while to defeat. This is bad enough already, until you remember that it becomes part of the Random Encounters in Via Infinito's lowest levels.
  • 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.
  • 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 quick-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 offense. The primary danger is how little Agility the Special Dresspheres have.
    • The Dark Knight Dressphere has the single highest base Defense out of any of the other Dresspheres in the game, and even has the 4th highest Strength before Paine's Mascot, Machina Maw, and Full Throttle in that order. In return, however, the user gets irritatingly long ATB gauges.
  • 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.
  • Minigame Zone:
    • It's the off-season for Blitzball, so the residents of Luca are preoccupied with the Sphere Break tournament. In Chapter 5, Blitzball opens up again as a mini-game. It underwent some serious changes between games: everything is AI-controlled, and all you do is call out strategies. Blitzball was more Tidus' thing, after all.
    • The objective of the Bikanel mini-game is to find Buried Treasure. Loot is marked with an X on the mini-map: scrap metal for Experiment, Gil, items, Sphere Break coins, Al Bhed Primers, or buried fiends if you're unlucky; gold Xs are what you're after (usually parts for the Experiment machina in Djose) to make a successful expedition.
    • The Calm Lands. Two companies are fighting for dominance, and they offer different games. You can either play for unique prizes, or just buy the credits outright. At the end, Tobli arranges a merger between the two companies. Instead of Open Air and Argent, the park is now staffed by the Calm Lands Partnership. Both companies offer new prizes if you maxed out their publicity. You can also purchase fast travel to jet between each of the attractions.
  • 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?) Wakka looks the same despite supposedly putting on weight. But what's really funny is that Kimahri's statue is very obviously a reused art asset of his battle sprite under Petrification status.
    • Most if not all of the regular mobs return, along with some bosses, 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.
  • Mon: What fiends turn into once their souls are purified and they regain memories from when they were living people.
    • 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 reagents 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.
    • Lady Luck's passive skills: Double Items, Gillionaire, and Double EXP. You can get swole pretty quickly with these three, particularly the first two. Each stack to an 8x multiplier if all three of your girls learn them.
  • 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 aura 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, Shuyin 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.
    • 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.
      Rikku: I think we should go home now.
      Yuna: Let's ease their pain.
      Rikku: I knew it.
  • 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.
    [later]
    Paine: I don't want to be part of that blabber-beak's show, got it?
  • Moveset Clone:
    • The majority of the weapons from Final Fantasy X are reused. Paine gets her own unique swords due to her weak connection to the previous game.
      1. When Yuna is a Warrior, she is armed with the iconic Brotherhood sword and fights exactly like Tidus does, even using the same Victory Pose, unlike Rikku and Paine who have unique animations. (Rikku uses one of Tidus' generic swords.) She wields his Celestial Weapon, the Caladbolg, when dressed as a Dark Knight. Yuna also poses differently when casting: Her casting pose is the one Tidus used when activating his Overdrives.
      2. Both she 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.
      3. The Mascot grants all three girls Lulu's dolls.
      4. Both White and Black Mages get Yuna's rods/staves. (Yuna gets her default and Celestial Weapon, respectively)
      5. 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.
    • The Black and White Mages wield rods/staves that Yuna used in X. 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. Trainer Yuna is accompanied by Daigoro, the Canine Companion of X's Yojimbo.
  • 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. (Brother is a glory hog and buzzes the dome with his ship before they leave.) While leaving the Farplane, you pass through the field of flowers one more time. If you just let the scene play, nothing happens, but if you press X, a familiar whistle rings out...
    1. The sad ending plays if you have less than 75% completion: a shade of Tidus appears, just like a Farplane ghost. (Yuna's never been to the Farplane to see him.) In an echo of X's ending, the specter hugs Yuna from behind, and Yuna realizes she has to learn to live without him and leave her ghosts behind.
    2. In the good ending, it's not Tidus who appears, but Bahamut. He reassures Yuna that the Fayth are safe and offers a bookend to Tidus' story. If Yuna expresses no desire to see Tidus again, the scene ends. Otherwise, Bahamut agrees to pull some strings, and then an additional FMV plays after she flies back to Besaid: it picks up from The Stinger at the end of X, with Tidus reappearing off the coast of Besaid.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • One sidequest has you pair up love-struck monkeys in the hope that they will breed and drive out tourists. The monkeys all have Theme Naming, 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.
    • Many of the accessories, such as the Soul of Thamasa, are also series references.
    • If you complete the Mount Gagazet quest, they'll carve a statue of you. As a symbol of respect, Yuna is depicted with a Ronso horn. In Final Fantasy III, V, and 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, X had the exact same thing. Plus, the captain of the Celsius happens to be the son of the Fahrenheit's captain.
    • 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...). At the end of Mi'ihen Mystery quest, one of the culprits, Rin, mentions that he's financing ways of mining this energy. ("I am not alone in my thinking.") The Episode Complete screen for Djose hints more at his nefarious plans.
      Paine: If Rin really plans to change the world, we might find ourselves on opposing teams someday.

    N-O 
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Angra Mainyu (in the Avestan language) and Ahriman (in Middle Persian) is the Zoroastrian name of the devil, meaning "destructive spirit."
    • Azi 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 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. Lastly, Mushroom Cloud is one of the few enemies that know Ultima, which can one-shot an unprepared party. Mushroom Cloud has a 1-in-4 chance of casting Ultima on any turn.
  • 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 and her chocobo, another chocobo who got beamed up by Shinra, O'aka the runaway merchant, and the Musicians from Macalania. Cid and Leblanc move between the decks and act like they're in charge of the ship.
    Paine: Great. I've always wanted to harbor a fugitive.
  • Nerf: Whatever happened to all the old tools that you used in X? Gone!
    • A lot of enemies you want to use Demi or Death on will resist it now.
    • Haste doesn't speed up your turns quite so much. It is, however, a boon for the Gunner, who can use it to spam Trigger Happy at high levels.
    • In the previous game, Poison was actually dangerous. They nerfed the Poison status for X-2, and since Bio doesn't inflict direct damage when cast anymore, its stock has plummeted.
    • Spare Change is much more expensive. It takes way more than a hundred grand gil to land 9,999 damage, and somewhere around 3 million for max damage.
    • Mix, previously an Overdrive, is available as a regular command of the Alchemist Dressphere, and doesn't need an Overdrive charge. In order to balance this fact, most of the combinations that made Mix so broken are omitted. (For example, Final Wall is Hyper Mighty G without Auto-Life.) Granted, the exception here is Miracle Drink (party-wide Invincibility Powerup in X-2), which has a more useful effect than in X (increased critical hit chances).
    • Rikku can use Cheer when using the Trainer Dressphere. However, it's not multi-target like X's version, or any of the Sing abilities.
    • Unlike V's Mystic Knight, Warrior is weak magically.
      1. Elemental damage sounds nice against Flans and Elementals, but both of those fiends have huge Defenses. She can just shell out some gil for an elemental attack accessory and save herself the interminable charge time.
      2. The Break abilities have been nerfed. They still do damage, and they can now be stacked, but the effect is small. It's hard to forget Armor Break reduced the target's Defense to 0 in the previous game. Now it's only useful for shortening boss fights. Furthermore, armored enemies are no longer a thing in X-2.
      3. There's now the Chain mechanic to consider, and Warriors have dismal speed.
      4. Most damning of all, most of the charge times for Warrior abilities are just not worth it. She'll just be spamming Attack the entire time, with the occasional debuff thrown in against durable enemies. Once YRP unlock the Dark Knight at the end of Chapter 2, they'll never look at Warrior again. Dark Knight is just as sluggish, but that can be fixed with a Haste accessory.
    • Likewise, the Samurai is an okay fighter, but she's loaded down with gimmicky attacks that don't do a whole lot of damage, and the Samurai is fragile. Zantetsu works similar to Zanmato, from the last game. Zanmato could kill almost anything instantly if you paid Yojimbo enough money, but there's almost no way to guarantee success with Zantetsu other than leveling her up to 99.
    • Thief provides a nice cushion for your party's finances early on. However, you can only Steal once from any given enemy now.
    • Black Mage and White Mage can't physically attack in any way (unless Berserked or using Mug/Nab Gil) and are very MP dependent. Lulu and Yuna both had melee weapons in X, even if they were weak. Black Mage in particular is one job which really didn't need any more "balancing". Even with maxed-out Magic, Black Magic just isn't as useful in the endgame.
      1. Not having Drain, Osmose, Flare, or 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 reach 9,999 damage, and neither it or Ultima can break the damage cap on their own.
    • Just as the Black Mage ought to learn Flare, White Mage ought to have included Holy in her spellbook. The Trainer, Stash, Blue Bullets, and even items outclass White Magic. 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 it can only be used on one target at a time for 97 MP a pop. Even IX had better access to it.
    • One could argue the Blue Mage was already nerfed under Kimahri's watch, but the Gun Mage has her own set of handicaps:
      1. 1000 Needles: You can't learn it until the end of the game, when you should already be dealing four-digit damage anyway.
      2. Bad Breath: All of those statuses have been nerfed, so this spell is disproportionate to its MP cost.
      3. Blaster: No longer kills an enemy. Now it just acts like Demi, and the larger fiends resist it.
      4. Mighty Guard: All this does is cast Shell and Protect. Underwhelming compared to X's version, or even the version enemies still use!
    • It wouldn't be Berserker without Berserk, right? This time it's not automatic, but by the time you get your turn, charge this ability, and initiate it, most other melee Dresspheres will have attacked once or twice already. Plus, unlike in most Final Fantasy games, Berserker isn't the strongest fighter. Her skills are pretty lukewarm, and her survival largely depends on her counterattacks, so it's a crime that they cost so much AP to learn.
    • Lady Luck. They really penalize you with Dud. Compare it with Mysidian Rabbit from VI, the game 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. She is put at risk against high-level fiends and bosses, since they may kill the girl before the results go off. Hopefully you have good reflex skills, because you'll need to be quick when using Reels.
    • 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 (which would be Trigger Happy more often than not) to grind even the toughest of enemies into a fine powder. The International and HD Remaster versions add the Berserk status along with the damage buff, limiting you to single-hitting melee attacks. This also makes a Blue Bullet (Cry in the Night) harder to get.
    • In Last Mission, the Gun Mage can still copy abilities from enemies to use later, but she can only carry up to eight and they vanish after being used.
  • 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 Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Enemies with ranged melee attacks can interrupt your attack animation and break your combos. Two can play at that game: Gunner requires no charge time, and her animations are extremely fast, so she can attack more often than other Dresspheres. She can momentarily stun her attacker if she hits them in mid-swing.
  • Never Mess with Granny:
    • "Marnela", as the translator helpfully tells you, is the cactuar word for "Grandma." (Cactuars are actually a pupal stage between a small cactus and a tall one.)
    • One Fiend Tale has a Fly Eye trying to peep on the Gagazet hotsprings, only to learn to its horror that the current occupants are all senior citizens. One of them immediately pulls a Pervert Revenge Mode on Fly Eye.
  • 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 Dresspheres. No matter what 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! However, 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 likely 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.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • If you dawdle while fighting Vegnagun and it blows up the earth.
    • Upon completing Ultima Weapon Fiend Tale, Omega Weapon hijacks the Fiend Arena and uses it to open a portal to the "Fiend Realm". This causes a new unique tournament to open up. Unlike the other brackets, this one is treated as a Mission, and losing to any team results in a Game Over as the Celsius explodes.
  • Nonstandard Skill Learning: The one offensive white magic (Holy) and the High-level Black Magics (Flare and Ultima) can only be accessed through Garment Grid gates. And even then it's only temporary.
  • Noob Cave: The Gullwings' first mission is to beat Leblanc and her cronies to the top of an unexplored 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.
  • Noodle Incident: Brother is currently estranged from his dad Cid. It's never revealed what happened between them after X.
  • 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.
  • Old Save Bonus: You could unlock extra cutscenes in 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.
    • The Den of Woe has the same fog effect Mushroom Rock sporadically had in Chapter 1, which makes navigating it annoying.
  • 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' Agility to 255, it would break the battle system more than anything else. Your characters would constantly be acting, the enemies would almost never get a turn, abilities would have practically no charge time, etc. Now imagine having 3 S-sized creatures, all with 255 Agility. Nothing else would ever even move. That's why Iron Dukes only raise Agility by 10, the Howling Wind Garment Grid (+5 Agility when equipped and per gate) is so viable, and why it's almost always a good idea to equip Thief onto your creatures (especially if they inherently have Ribbon or Ailment Def., negating the need for Mascot). The only accessory that can increase Agility (at least by itself) is Sprint Shoes. (You'd think raising Luck would be as difficult, but Rabite's Foot increases that stat by 100!)
  • One-Woman Wail: "Bevelle's Secrets", which plays in certain rooms in the Underground.
  • Only Smart People May Pass:
    • You have to be fairly good at math to play Sphere Break.
    • Revisit the Thunder Plains cave after saving Cid, and you'll be presented with a maze with doors that have math-based questions as locks. There are a bunch more doors beyond the one Cid opened for you, and you have to open them all in sequence by adding numbers together. You have to keep track of randomly generated numbers, how many battles you fight, and how much Gil you earn between each door. Later doors try to throw you by bunching two or more answers together.

    P-R 
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The Good ending is a variation on this, where as she does the final voice-over 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": 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: Many things can be missed. Garment Grids, Dressspheres, Accessories, Treasure Spheres. It takes at least three games to get everything.
    • To obtain the Trainer, Yuna must talk to Kimahri in Chapter 2 and give a correct answer.
    • Since talking to Tromell at any point in the game is optional, Full Throttle is the only Special Dressphere which can be permanently missed.
    • Getting the Mascot was considered the toughest to achieve, since it was obtained by getting an Episode Complete in every town.
    • Pass the Leblanc mini-game and you get 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.
    • If the Ronso eradicate the Guado, the Key to Success will be waiting for you in Tobli's office. Likewise, getting Minerva's Plate is easy: don't talk to Tobli during the Moonflow Mission. Note that since you're sacrificing a few percentage points here, anyways; you won't get 100% in one go with these methods, so you might as well side with New Yevon. (Shining Mirror is a neat toy.)
    • The only way to watch Gippal's sphere (the one with the Auron cameo) is by gathering enough evidence against Rin.
    • A lot of the enemies that teach Blue Bullets are one-time battles, though some can be easily fought again in the Arena. Others are still missable. Lv. 5 Experiment has Annihilator, and is unavailable anywhere else—not even in the Fiend Arena. Once you destroy it, it's gone for good. In the Den of Woe, the illusion of Baralai uses many of the same attacks as before. If your Gun Mage missed Drill Shot, here's her last chance to learn it in the vanilla version. Gippal and his chainsaw attack second, and he uses the exclusive Blue Bullet Mortar.
    • 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.
  • Perspective Reversal: In the first game, Tidus is completely against any form of sacrifice, and Yuna changes his mind on the subject. He winds up sacrificing himself in her stead, and because of this, Yuna HATES the idea of sacrifice in this game.
  • 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 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.
  • Power Copying: The Gun Mage learns Blue Bullets, which is this game's equivalent 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).
  • Power Floats: The girls levitate as Psychics, Yuna as Floral Fallal, and the swords above Paine's Full Throttle.
  • Preexisting Encounters: In the Via Infinito, it's often a punishment for missing a jump or being too hasty. Elder Drakes like to pounce on you from behind corners, and you can't Flee from them. Once you hit Floor 61, Mega Tonberries spawn in. As you might expect, you're not really supposed to fight these guys—and you really don't want to. Almost 50,000 HP, maxed-out Strength, and a melee attack which routinely deals 20,000 HP damage.
  • Press Start to Game Over:
    • Epitaph. This version of Final Fantasy's Demon Wall casts Stone Breath, potentially causing a party wipe.
    • Black Elemental is more of a crap shoot than the other Via bosses; but the thing about Ultima is that it's 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, plus it's random so it often comes right off the bat. White Mage is surprisingly resilient vs. Black Elementals, and 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 RNG hates you personally), and the mix-match is not good. The Elder Drake will rip the White Mage to ribbons. Black Elemental will struggle to scratch the Mage, but it'll turn the Berserker to ash.
  • Promoted to Playable: The Creature Creator allows you to capture Fiends to use in your party, although they're only playable insofar as they fight on your side and can be taught moves. Certain NPCs in the game can also be captured, such as Brother, Buddy, the Chocobo Knights, and the Crimson Squad. The Via Infinito bosses are also included.
  • Psycho Electro: The Chapter 5 Thunder Plains mission. There's a Rhyos at every lightning rod tower, visibly sucking electricity, while lightning strikes the ground all around you.
  • 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.
  • Punny Name: Shell Shocker and Concherer/Grand Maester Mika. Concherer is a portmanteau of "conch shell" and "conqueror". Both are hideous, giant mutant snails. They use the same model as Neslug, the only truly Unique Enemy Bonus Boss from X's Monster Arena.
  • 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 from his creditors in the woods!
  • Quicksand Sucks: In addition to their deadly acupuncture, the cactuars fill their dungeon with sand to bog the Gullwings down.
  • Rainbow Speak: Important terms such as "Garment Grid" or "Sphere Break" are presented in yellow in the subtitles when first introduced.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After a millennia of forced Medieval Stasis, Spira's freedom from Yevon's oppressive Machina ban causes the world to change drastically in just the Time Skip between the two games. Formerly untamed wildernesses like the Calm Lands and religious sites like Zanarkand have turned into flat-out tourist attractions, augmenting technology into combat has forced off most wild beasts, leaving formerly endgame zones safe at best, and the fiends that do show up are very low-level. The Thunder Plains in particular, for what a pain to navigate they used to be, has turned the lightning storms into a non-issue with machina-augmented lightning rods laid out across the entire road.
    • Since Summoners relied on Aeons and the teachings of Yevon, when the truth came out and Yevon was overthrown, Summoners became obsolete and thus anyone who was training to be one, or was one, were forced to suddenly change their entire lives quickly. Several Summoners in-game admit to having no idea what to do now and thus are conflicted on their life choices. This also means that Fiends have become more dangerous without Summoners, as they were the only ones capable of preventing pyreflies from becoming Fiends.
    • Politics have also shifted, after it was revealed that Yevonism was both hypocritical and led by ghosts upholding an Ancient Conspiracy, Yuna told the entire story to the world. As a result, not even the most staunch followers of Yevon stayed loyal, instead of creating a "New Yevon" religion who keeps to the positive morals of the old religion, while preaching for conservatively giving machines to the world, and the Youth League who thinks that since most of Yevon was lies, they don't deserve the time of day for redemption and want to tear down as many walls as possible to augment the world with machines; the Al Bhed, who have centuries of persecution from Yevon behind them for their use of Machina, naturally side with the League. When the two factions go to war, the story angles towards the Youth League being the "right" faction, as while neither is technically in the right and both are at fault for tensions getting so high, siding with a church that has a risk of slipping back into their old corrupt ways is considered the worse option of the two. Showing New Yevon any favoritism at all locks you out of the game's Golden Ending.
    • The tension between the Guado and Ronso are high at the start of the game due to Seymour's actions. Seymour massacred a ton of the Ronso, and as the official leader of the Guado as a whole, his psychopathy made everyone else look at the Guado with suspicion at best and hatred at worst. Thus is not helped that some Guado continue to revere Seymour, even if they admit that he was misguided and what he did was horrible. [[spoiler:If the party doesn't talk the Ronso down, this leads
to what's implied to be the extinction of the Guado.]]
  • As the one who defeated Sin for good, Yuna is beloved by the people and many see her as a rallying figure, which results in all the major factions wanting her to ally with them because it will make their side look more credibility to the rest of Spira. As a result, when Yuna finds a potentially important sphere and has to choose who gets it, it results in one side getting what they want, but the other factions become openly hostile because someone like Yuna can't just make choices freely when she carries so much weight in the world.
  • Recurring Boss: Logos and Ormi 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.
  • Red Alert: The klaxons on the ship go crazy when it senses fiend or sphere activity. Rikku coins the term "disasteriffic" to alert the ship whenever YRP are in serious trouble.
    Brother: [on radio] "Disasteriffic" is not a word! Say "disastrous" like the rest of Spira!
  • The Red Mage:
    • Three Trainers is a diverse party capable of doing quite a number of things: elemental attacks, support abilities, stealing, and status ailments. They each come with their respective animal-based attack for some physical prowess, as well.
    • Mascots are great at most everything, well-balanced, and have ridiculous amounts of HP.
    • Paine's Festivalist can inflict statuses, whereas Yuna and Rikku use elemental magic and elemental Chain attacks, respectively.
    • Yuna's Special Dressphere, Floral Fallal. Party healing and buffs make it easy to double her defensive power. Floral Fallal is also a good choice for enemies with strong physical defense but susceptibility to magic.
    • In Final Fantasy, the Sage is typically considered a step up from the Red Mage job. But while they have more magic at their disposal, their physical offense is limited compared to those who are less specialized. Enter Seymour in the International/HD Remaster version of X-2. His spell list in the Farplane Cup includes Black Sky and Meteor, usually casted in rapid succession, which will steamroll characters with low HP. He begins by casting Protect and Shell on himself. He'll often switch tactics, like casting magic that inflict status ailments like Break or Slow, removing buffs with Dispel, or launching a chain of swift (albeit weak) melee attacks.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Yuna is revealed to have dodged an arranged marriage to the Praetor of New 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 the city and survived the attack; consequently, he didn't need to escape aboard the Fahrenheit with the others, though Buddy was allegedly 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 grease some palms; Seymour acquiesced, 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 member, didn't appear in the prequel as fans in the US. He has a completely generic character model and only showed up in a promotional video which came bundled with the International version. If you 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. An evil entity is using them 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 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.
  • Roguelike: Last Mission abandons anything resembling Final Fantasy in favor of a dungeon crawler. If you have played Chocobo's Dungeon, then this setup should be familiar to you.
  • 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 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, regardless of who's wearing them.
  • 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.
  • Rhythm Game: Slow status can be good for Songstresses. The game hints at this by rewarding the Shmooth Shailing accessory via a Rhythm Game involving the Songstress Dressphere.

    S 
  • 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.
    • Sphere Break has the side-effect of eating your tokens and preventing you from playing again until you find more. You only get one shot at beating that brat Shinra in Chapter 3, and the game makes it clear that you're playing for a new Dressphere. On the bright side, your opponent is standing right next to a save point. 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 earlier than Ch.5, and even then, it may still give you trouble. As long as a failed collection attempt is followed by a reset, you can reload to get a more-favorable result.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Bevelle, the largest city in Spira, has an army of warrior monks packing flamethrowers, rifles and robots, a temple packed to the rafters with thousand-year-old technology...and a giant robot named Vegnagun in the basement. The church was more afraid of Vegnagun than they were of Yu Yevon, as shown by their insistance on not attempting to even agitate it. They believed Vegnagun had the power to destroy Sin, but feared risking it going berserk, to the point that they sealed it away to prevent anyone from approaching it at all.
    • Marnela explains that the Cactuar Nation has watched over the sands "since the dawn of time", and that her ancestors were responsible for sealing Angra Mainyu away.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Songstress Dressphere. Lenne was using it as a Soul Jar and is influential in solving the main crisis.
  • Secret Character:
    • The Mascot is an end-game superjob.
    • In the Fiend Arena, if you find and defeat the guardians from X, you can use them again in battle.
    • Tidus and his old team, the Zanarkand Abes, can also be unlocked in blitzball, regardless of which version you're playing. You need to watch the Perfect ending with Tidus and Yuna at Zanarkand first; after that, you can unlock the Abes in the same way as the Aurochs.
  • Sensual Spandex: Paine has a pretty-distracting camel toe while in the Songstress outfit. The Berserker dons animal skins and fur, along with durable fabrics.
  • 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.
  • Shaped Like Itself: After slaying Zalamander, you're stuck on the parked airship until it's time for the concert. As Shinra gets the A/V equipment ready, Tobli (the promoter) rushes onto the bridge and points out that the gangs in attendance are getting edgy. "Catastrophic catastrophe!" "The spectators are making a spectacle!"
  • Shoot the Mage First:
    • So, when is a good time for casting Black Magic? 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.
    • The game discourages you 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 Via Infinito apart from Chac would be Mushroom Cloud and 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 Mushroom also whittles your damage down to 1/6 or something. If there's one thing which is a total life-saver, it's killing the Mushroom Cloud before it ever gets a chance to use Pernicious Powder or Ultima. And so a formation which originally seemed unbeatable is suddenly docile, just by taking out the Mushroom Cloud.
    • When dealing with the Old Guard team (Lulu and Kimahri), the Gullwings must focus attacks on Lulu since so many of her spells harm the entire party. However, Kimahri usually casts Mighty Guard on his first turn, forcing the party to remove Lulu's buffs before attacking her.
  • Shout-Out: The English dub can get pretty Shrekian at times.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Barkeep actually has a girlfriend known as Darling. It's impossible to tell who is who.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: The Al Bhed need some help recalibrating the lightning rod towers on the Thunder Plains. This involves a series of button-matching games of varying permutation and difficulty.
  • Sky Pirate: Cid is alarmed at his sister ship being used for plunder. Pretty funny considering that the Fahrenheit, one of only two functioning airships in the entire world, spends the entirety of the game parked in a tourist trap. The game never explicitly refers to the Gullwings as pirates, whereas Sky Pirates are a common element in Ivalice Alliance.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke:
    • Although Gun Mages can still learn Supernova (Kimahri's ultimate Rage) from Ultima Weapon, the higher cost and low damage make it a rare casting choice. Still cool to look at from time to time.
    • Dark Knight's Black Sky costs too much MP for a contextually underwhelming attack. Plus YRP will rarely see the need to equip an Arcane Lore, as explained earlier.
    • Samurai's Zantetsu is a trademark attack of Odin's from previous games, and nothing is immune to it, not even bosses. However, the trade-off is a low hit rate, which becomes even more pathetic on bosses.
  • Snakes Are Sinister:
    • Along with Syndicate goons, you're going to 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.
    • Yunalesca transforms into a petrifying snake, which fits because in the prequel she transformed into a Medusa head who could Zombify you with her hair.
  • So Much for Stealth:
    • Brother's habit of radioing in to (loudly) check on Yuna. It winds up biting you in the ass at Chateau Leblanc.
    • In Kilika during Chapter 3, the guard at the gate will occasionally open it to let Youth Leaguers through, and you have to sneak past him when that happens. It only works when Dona is distracting the guard. However, another guard in the watchtower spots Yuna even if you beat the minigame on your first try.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: The final section of Farplane looks manmade. Vegnagun has infected it, and there's a nearby synthesizer which flashes to indicate its puzzle importance. This is actually less of a music puzzle and more of a switch puzzle. Playing the correct tune on a keyboard will disable nearby security systems, including electric traps, sentry robots that shoot lasers at you, and force fields. The last area requires you to ride floating platforms to more switches. The sound cues give you a hint if you touched one out of order.
  • 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: 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 Thief's Steal Ability allows you to poach extremely-powerful items from him, and in the upper floors, his presence is required to make progress.
  • Stance System: The game uses this for its Job System, where the player can instantly change jobs in the middle of battle depending on a character's equipped Garment Grid as well as the Dresspheres slotted in it.
  • Starter Equipment: YRP's respective default dresspheres (Gunner, Thief, Warrior; Songstress is added once the Garment Grid is recovered), and no accessories. In New Game+ the player has to stick with this setup throughout the entire prologue, to ensure that they don't cheese through the mission with endgame Grids, dresspheres, accessories or (in the HD rerelease) captured Fiends.
  • Status-Buff Dispel:
    • Series tradition Dispel makes a return to this game, removing all positive statuses.
    • Crackdown and Fingersnap remove both Protect and Shell on the target.
    • Azi Dahaka's Bated Breath is frustrating not just for the damage it deals, but because it carries a Dispel effect.
    • Paragon alternates between an unblockable punch and Genesis, a Beam Spam attack which takes away all your buffs, including Auto-Life. He will retaliate if you use any attack which bypasses Protect or Shell. His Big Bang ignores such spells, hits every party member for up to 99,999 HP, and it's non-elemental. It removes other buffs, as well, rendering Auto-Life useless.
  • Stone Wall:
    • A team of Songstresses can render themselves nigh-invincible by stacking Songs.
    • Concherer is an absolute brick wall, and Defense-ignoring attacks are a must. He also comes with Auto-Shell and -Protect, which cannot be removed.
  • Story Branching:
    • You can let O'aka join the Celsius for a time and pay off 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 repo men 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.
    • In Chapter 2, the Gullwings are required to forgo their neutrality and hand a MacGuffin over to one of the rival factions. It's a tacit endorsement of their ideology. And afterward, you will be persona non grata in Kilika or Bevelle for a while. This only has a minor effect on the main plot. But it does affect your 100% Completion score and the availability of faction-specific sidequests later.
    • The Gullwings can decide to humor Lian and Ayde's search for a way to fix 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 Ronso Youth uprising is not a main quest, but if you don't quell the unrest, the Ronso will wipe out the Guado race.
    • The culprit in the Mi'Ihen Mystery is dependent on the clues you provide Rin. The game takes whoever has the 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.
    • If you didn't help Dona send a care package to Barthello, he sits outside Dona's house groveling for the rest of the game. Likewise, the trigger for Besaid's good ending is talking to Beclem on the CommSphere. Otherwise, Beclem doesn't give you the War Buddy sphere, Wakka doesn't get inspired, and his newborn son remains unnamed.
  • 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: Seem to be the norm in Spira unless you're a member of the Yevon order. Lady Luck and Thief Dresspheres are the two most noteworthy. As a rule, Rikku tends to don the least clothing.
  • 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. Embarrassed, she cries, "I'm going to go 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.
    • Paine barking at Brother in Al Bhed ("And who asked you, airhead?"), causing everyone else to gasp. Yuna and Paine just finished having a heart-to-heart about the futility of staying on as a Gullwing if Tidus can't be found. Brother was a bit too eager to speak for Yuna and make her stay, which pissed her friend off.
      Rikku: [in Al Bhed] Will you get mad if I talk to Paine privately in Al Bhed?
      Paine: Thanks. I open up to you and all you do is tease me.
  • Suddenly Voiced: If you finger him for the Mi'ihen Mystery, The Prophet suddenly pulls a rifle and starts talking like Scooby-Doo's Shaggy. You can talk to him earlier in the game; it's just that like most minor NPCs, his speech is presented in text-boxes, with no voice-acting. It's only if you nail 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 respective Special Dressphere, 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 Overdrives like in X, but Special Dresspheres have at least one flashy, Overdrive-like move; loads of damage, big charge-up time.
  • Surveillance Drone: At the start of Chapter 3, these droids called Watchers start appearing in random battles. Not only do Watchers show up all the time in the Thunder Plains cave, but now they start jamming the abilities they've seen you use.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: The Mi'Ihen Fiend Colony. You need to use explosive attack items you've collected throughout the game to excavate tunnels and dig straight to the center. There's no minimap, but you can tell the destructible walls from the solid ones by watching for a mysterious breeze which makes Yuna's skirt blow around. This is one dungeon where you can't get away with skipping random battles, because you need to fight the bugs here to keep your bomb supply topped up.

    T-V 
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Dark Ixion has enough energy to self-destruct. 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 Farplane meadow, where she is accosted by Shuyin.
    • Humbaba casts Meteor before it dies, as per series tradition.
    • Ever the martyr, Nooj rigs his half-machina body to explode once Shuyin comes looking for a new host. Yuna does her best to talk him out of it, arguing that Spirans have sacrificed too much already.
  • 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.
    • You have to talk to Tromell a lot to unlock his Episode Complete.
    • The cameraman in Kilika. If you spoke to him in each Chapter (this game loves making you do things multiple times), he'll finally give you a boat ride you to the Youth League building so you can open a chest.
    • Stealing three Fem-Goon uniforms. You don't get any leads via the world map, so the obvious place to ask around is Leblanc's lair in Guadosalam. Talk to the locals to gather three clues that are 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?
    • Chapter 4 is spent inside the Celsius as you monitor the activities of its citizens via the CommSpheres. Some of these are optional, but a lot of them are required for an Episode Complete.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: There's a Sphere Break player (possibly the most challenging) who shows up in Chapter 5. He wears a pirate-like 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.
  • Technicolor Fire: When you return to Kilika in Chapter 3, people are fleeing the Temple in droves, and the flames in the braziers have turned blue under the influence of Dark Ifrit.
  • 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 led 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.
  • Terror Hero:
    • Intimidate deals damage and inflicts Slows on a target.
    • Full Throttle is able to delay an enemy's turn with Fright.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • With all the crap Angra Mainyu throws at you, the conventional way to fight it is with Dark Knights. Floral Fallal can block Flare from damaging her main body.
    • Angra's debuffs can largely be ignored through use of the Samurai skillset. Samurai is also a good choice for controlling the flow of a Thunder Plains boss battle.
  • Time for Plan B: Before the battle with Vegnagun and Baralai, there's talk of how to disable it with a minimum of casualties. Nooj plans to shoot Baralai and commit a suicide bombing; Shuyin, seeking a new pilot for Vegnagun, will try to repossess Nooj's body. Yuna counters with her own plan, one which will save everyone. Once the party cripples Vegnagun, Baralai activates a giant screw-you laser cannon, and Rikku moans, "He's got a Plan B, too!"
  • Time Skip: X-2 is set two years after X, 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.
    • 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.
    • The Guado live in shame for blindly following Seymour; they have exiled themselves to Macalania Woods. Outsiders have taken over the 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 isn'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.
    • The infernal lightning strikes from X are gone. 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 Highbridge. 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.
    • 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).
  • 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 addition to the aforementioned Calli mission, "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.
    • The Founder in Last Mission. To make him appear, just keep walking around until a message pops up saying "An eerie laughter can be heard from afar". Then another saying that the laughter is coming closer, and finally he'll appear somewhere on the floor and try to boot you from the Tower, resulting in a game over. Don't spend too many turns on any particular floor, and the Founder won't appear. A lot of rougelike games have this feature; it's a step limit. After a certain number of moves, it gives you a few warnings and then something really bad happens to you. The first Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has this, and after the warnings it just kicks you out of the dungeon. It's supposed to prevent you from grinding for experience, farming super-rare items, or something like that.
  • 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. Chapter 5's Mushroom Rock will conclude with a tournament organized by Lucil to separate 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 spar with the League. (Lucil is worried the violence will get out of hand if Yevonites are allowed to compete.) They can still get an Episode Complete in both paths, anyway.
  • Translation Convention: 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.
  • Translator Buddy: The Al Bhed have diplomatic relations with the Cactuar Nation, so they call in the Gullwings to help the cactuars out, even providing a translator.
  • Transformation Sequence: These can be turned off, which can be useful for speeding up battles. (In real-world time, that is.)
  • 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.
    • When Nooj is at critical health, he responds with Lightfall, which deals unblockable damage to everyone. He can still be killed before he has a chance to fire it off; if he does, it's Game Over unless someone has a minimum of 5,000 HP.
    • Mega Tonberry will use Cry in the Night when it is low on health.
    • Paragon will never miss with his melee attack, but Oversouled Paragon will. Also, he won't attack at all for the first two minutes. (He will counter-attack, though.) Most importantly, he won't use Big Bang unless all three party members have Reflect on. Well, that works until he reaches critical, at which point his pattern changes completely and he just spams Ultima/Holy/Judgment/Genesis/Big Bang randomly. All YRP can do is kill him as fast as they can.
    • Almighty Shinra casts Final Impact (a special Meteor spell that deals massive HP and MP damage) instead of his usual Full Break if his HP is below a certain value. A true dick move.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • You can also play the Gunner's Gauntlet in Besaid Temple's Cloister of Trials...and it becomes a Rail Shooter.
    • Diving straight from X-2 to 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 occurrence. 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, though.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • The Crimson Squad lit the fuse to this whole mess.
    • Two of the possible Mi'Ihen Mystery culprits: Rikku and Calli. The former is actually one of the easiest to implicate. She lost her balance and accidentally damaged one of the 'bots with her derrière. This caused them to go berserk later in the game.
  • 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 Farplane) is shorter, but with more hazards such as electric barriers and Degraded Boss encounters.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • O'aka's sidequest. If Yuna smuggles him aboard the airship and covers his debts, he sells items at low, low prices; low enough that YRP can sell some of them back for a profit! It will also help O'aka reconcile with Wantz and take him on as a clerk. (Remember O'aka's Travel Agency? That was one of those optional Episode Completes.) The brothers sell "Lore" accessories that grant access to a second, third, or even fourth job's abilities.
    • 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.
    • Help Kimahri quell the Ronso Youth rebellion, then locate the "Musicians" in 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 song 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 tell him to go pound sand.
    • When choosing to allow whether or not let Clasko board the Celsius in Chapter 1, the wording of the negative choice is "Sorry, loser."
    • 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 and rather cathartic.
    • 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.

    W-Z 
  • Walking the Earth: The Ronso children Lian and Ayde travel all across Spira trying to find a way to fix Kimahri's horn. Although they don't succeed, they do expand their horizons by exploring the world beyond their mountain and inspire the older Ronso to do the same.
  • Wall Master: Epitaph. Some cracks in the Fiend Colony are not shortcuts at all, but rather a fiend in disguise. ("That's not wind...That's fiend breath!")
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    • After the opening battle, Paine quips, "I could've danced all night."
    • When Yuna changes into the Songstress Dressphere (usually during in the first fight with Leblanc), she 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 concert in the Thunder Plains, Brother proclaims, "Spira is going to be killed softly by your song!" in his Funny Foreigner accent.
    • Trema recites lyrics from the "Hymn of the Fayth" before casting Meteor for the first time: "Ha sa te ka na e Ku ta ma e."
    • 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: If you remember, in Crimson Record 3, the Crimson Squad were discussing what they would do during the Calm in order to keep Nooj amused so he wouldn't die. Paine was hidden behind the camera the whole time, but in the final video (the one Gippal gives you), the camera keeps getting passed around. The Squad entertain the idea of serving on an airship one day, then nominate Nooj to be their captain. Everyone thinks he is the most hilarious grumpy old man and piles into frame for a group shot.
  • 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.
  • 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 a Friend and a Stranger: Yuna and Rikku are cousins and friends who have already completed one adventure together during the first game. By contrast, Paine is an outsider to their group who initially joined the team out of convenience, but eventually develops true friendship with the others over the course of the story.
  • 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 dialog 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.
    • There's one version of the Watcher for offensive abilities, one for healing, and one for everything else. If you actually try to fight your way through the Thunder Plains cave without a Charm Bangle, you'll find it gets harder and harder as the things you need to kill enemies get slowly taken away from you. The dungeon boss, Machina Panzer, comes escorted by one of each flavor of Watcher, which immediately disable all the abilities they ever scanned. It then doubles the Watchers' HP and shields them with Protect and Shell. This boss could be trouble if you've been relying too much on the Dark Knight/Alchemist Cheese Machine.
    • The Dark Magus Sisters. This is a 3-on-3 fight. The Sisters can be annoying due to the variety of their attacks. As usual, it's in your interest to focus fire and take out one of the Sisters as soon as possible, removing their ability to use Delta Attack. Delta Attack does the same thing that Yojimbo's Zanmato did, and with three enemies ganging up on you, you don't want to be in that position.
    • Vegnagun's Leg. The orbs in its side provide magical support. The green one heals and buffs the leg, the yellow one casts Black Magic on you, and the red one fires magic bullets.
    • The Fiend Arena. In this iteration of the Arena, you fight different arrangements of monsters rather than a single, beefed-up enemy.
  • Work Off the Debt: Seems to be a common punishment in Al Bhed society:
    • If you turn O'aka over to the Al Bhed, they put him to work at the Bikanel excavation site.
    • If Rikku is the culprit in the Mi'ihen 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'ihen 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'ihen 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.
    • Yuna's pet Kogoro is a dead ringer for Yojimbo's Daigoro, right down to the name.
    • Beclem uses the same model as Yojimbo's Fayth from X.
    • Paine's falcon is a reused design from Baaj Temple; it first appeared when Tidus awoke and found himself in Spira.
    • 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 vestments in order to infiltrate Bevelle.) The "Founder" of Iutycyr Tower in Last Mission also uses the same model.
  • You No Take Candle: In its Oversouled state, the Anything Eater will use haymakers on anyone wearing the wrong Dressphere. If the girls are all wearing the same clothes when "Me no like Dressphere! Tired of that Dressphere!" appears, it will attack everybody at once.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Marnela uses her power to keep the snake fiends out of the Cactuar Nation. However, they still need more firepower to fend off Angra Mainyu, so they ask you to find the Ten Gatekeepers who have wandered off.
  • 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.
    • Zalamander is kind of lackluster for an end-of-Chapter boss fight. It's another boxy corridor dungeon, but what makes it feel even more like a hack job is that the boss is just a palette swap of the Besaid boss from Chapter 1, Flame Breath and all.
    • Jumbo Cactaur doesn't actually have any attacks, so once you take out its cohorts in the first turn, it just dances in place. It's a little more dangerous if you manage to Oversoul Jumbo Cactaur. (The Cactuar dungeon is supposed to induce this.) But Oversoul Jumbo's attacks are all magic, and YRP can win the fight by casting Reflect and then putting the controller down.
    • Boris' 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.

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

 
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Final Fantasy X-2 - Lady Luck

In "Final Fantasy X-2 (HD Remaster)," if the player wins the Sphere Break tournament in Luca against Shinra in Chapter 3, then Yuna receives the Lady Luck dressphere as the tournament prize and poses with it.

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