by Conner Tighe Role-playing mechanics were never at their peak until 2001’s Final Fantasy X was released. Easily one of Final Fantasy’s best releases, if not the best, the tenth video game entry holds superior gameplay and a story lasting well past a decade that can’t be said for other role-playing games since then. Japanese company Squaresoft, now Square Enix, is known for its work with other popular titles, like the Kingdom Hearts Series. The series, which featured characters and designs inspired from the Final Fantasy Series, unknowingly reached a gold status when 2001 came around. When Tidus, a young adult who is a well-known Blitzball player from Zanarkand, meets a mysterious man named Auron, all hell breaks loose. After being sucked into a time-lapse, sending him into an unknown world known as Spira, he slowly learns what’s at stake when he meets young summoner Yuna, daughter of High Summoner Braska, who defeated Sin prior years before. Sin is a massive creature of time and darkness shattering cities across Spira whenever it wishes and is considered the main antagonist of the story and Seymour Guado leader of the Guado. This is only the tip of the iceberg that dazzles players as they continue to upgrade their characters and realize each character's background, mainly Tidus, who faces haunting memories of his father Jecht, who disappeared 10 years before the story’s beginning. Earlier releases of FF were nothing short of groundbreaking with their unique worlds and characters that shared common destinies while battling evil. So, when number 10 was released, new worlds were presented as well as the memorable role-playing mechanics, but the story hugely established itself. Several relatable tendencies and issues are presented in this media. Daddy issues, the death of a brother, and following in the footsteps of parents are engaging lessons and morals explored in this crazy game of passion and love for diversity. At the same time, characters develop partnerships and connections on their journey to each city where Yuna builds relationships with locals and develops powerful connections with the “fayth,” spirits of the dead that have been killed by Sin. One of the most memorable moments in the game comes shortly after Yuna and her guardians travel around Spira to Kilika islands. The group finds the town in disarray as Sin had attacked the city shortly before the group’s arrival. Yuna walks across the water with her staff performing “The Sending,” a ritual that sends souls to the Farplane where they can rest in peace. At this moment, players see the love Tidus feels toward the young summoner, a love that would not be explored until long after the two are well into the journey. Players find the characters butting heads frequently over personal issues, but all remember their mission to bring “The Calm,” a decade lasting time of peace, from Sin until he’s reincarnated. Like previous titles, each character has unique abilities: magic (white mage/black mage), strength, nimble and agility, or comedic relief. Final Fantasy X brings all the emotions with every character fueled by battles with enemies, the foremost being Guado. The latter will spark every player’s fury when he comes after Yuna and her guardians after she refuses to marry him. Two years later, a direct sequel was released, Final Fantasy X-2, which explores more of Yuna’s character. In 2013, the two were remastered on newer game systems, and the releases still hold up to being one of the best video games ever released.
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