Final Fantasy 10 Part 1 – “This is my story.”

Final Fantasy 10 seems pretty well liked from the majority of the community. Final Fantasy 10 also happens to be the only FF title that I have never actually played!

As odd as it sounds, I just never had the opportunity to play it. However, with the remaster HD version of it on PC, I am now ready to take the plunge.

I know some things about the game, of course, just because I have seen videos and read about the game a little back in the day, but other than that, I am flying pretty blind.

Well, I don’t really have much to say, since I never played it, so, let’s hop into Final Fantasy 10!

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At the start of the game, we get a quick primer on the Sphere Grid. This thing is massive!
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In order to get more powerful, we have to acquire Ability Points and Sphere Levels by defeating enemies, use those levels to move around the grid, and use various Spheres that we find off of enemies to unlock and power nodes on the grid.
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That is a very quick summary of it, but that’s pretty much it. Oh, I forgot to mention, at the start of the game, I had the option to choose a Standard Grid, or an Expert Grid. I went with Standard, since this is my first playthrough.

I think Expert gives you more freedom to develop your characters, but if you don’t know what you are doing, you could really waste time going down the wrong path and force more grinding to get back on track.
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At the start of the game, we have the main character, Tidus, whose city ends up being destroyed by this huge creature. Along the way, he meets up with Auron, who helps him out.
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In the end, they both get absorbed by the creature and Tidus ends up 1000 years in the future!

With that, his story begins.

As the story continues, he meets up with some others, namely Wakka, who wants him to join their Blitzball team.

Ah, Blitzball. Some hate it, some love it. Right now, I am on the fence.

Blitzball is kind of a mix between the real world version of football and soccer, I guess? But it takes place in a bubble of water.

I really hate the way the game “teaches” you Blitzball. A huge text dump, then they force you into a very one-side match. I reset a few times and finally managed to win through luck(I’m stubborn), but it is kind of a rough start to Blitzball.

Moving on, I am a couple of hours into the game now, I just completed Operation
Mi’ihen, which was a complete disaster of course.

Sure, just lure the gargantuan death creature that destroys cities and can never truly be defeated right to you.

In any case, some of the things I am liking so far; the equipment system. A weapon and a piece of armor. But they don’t have static attack or defense values attached to them.

Instead, they each have abilities attached to them, like Piercing to cut through defense or Fire Ward to reduce fire damage.

Simple, yet effective. No more swapping out a weapon or armor just because it has 1 more point than what you have equipped.

I also got really lucky and managed to get a weapon drop for Wakka that has Distill Ability, which causes monsters to drop Ability Spheres when they are defeated. Thank goodness, too, because I was completely out. Now I should be good to go for the rest of the game, I would think.
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Yuna’s summons are fairly interesting. Instead of past summons where they usually appear, do an attack and are gone, Yuna actually summons them onto the battlefield to fight.

While they indeed stronger than our party, it seems they go down still pretty fast, so I use them very sparingly.

Thankfully, their overdrive builds pretty fast, so they can usually use their heavy hitting move at least once a fight.
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The story so far is pretty intriguing. I have a some guesses as to what a few key points are, but we shall see if they hold true later on.

After sparring against a fellow summoner, Belgemine, Yuna now has the option of teaching her Aeons spells and abilities by using items. This is a really neat mechanic, although, I am pretty low on items right now, and the abilities I would want to teach, I don’t have the appropriate item for. At least it’s there for later, though.
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I love this little map that shows your journey as your progress. Gives a nice sense of traveling.

After recruiting Rikku, which is odd, because Yuna just suddenly is like, “She should be my guardian!” After seeing her for two seconds? Maybe there is more to the story there…

In any case, we get the ability to customize our equipment! This is awesome!

I do see one problem, however… Items.

It seems this game expects you to use farm a ton of items. Good thing I have two stealers now.

The Crawler machina fight was actually really fun. It required strategy, unlike most of the other fights thus far.

It could summon something called a Negator every so often which basically silences the entire battlefield, even the enemies. As well, it would charge up a Mana Beam that would do massive damage to the party, but it wouldn’t work if the Negator was out.

It became a game of killing the Negator to allow Yuna to heal and Lulu to damage, while doing a cease-fire on it if Mana Beam was about to come out.
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I also tried out one of Yuna’s new aeons. Yeah, pretty strong. At least I saved it for the end of the fight.

After the fight, Wakka finally learns that Rikku is an Al Bhed and flips out. It is a bit annoying to have such a zealous character, but, there had to be some inter-party drama at some point.

We also finally learn that Seymour(a maester, a political figure) killed his father and is an all around bad guy. His own father wanted someone to kill him while he was still alive.

He surprises everyone by asking for Yuna’s hand in marriage, and she agrees!?

But, later on it explains why Yuna actually wanted to marry the guy, she was trying to stop him. Thank goodness, I seriously thought that Yuna was that dumb for a moment.

We corner Seymour and take him down. With Yuna using Nul spells to block his elemental attacks, we were golden.

When the guado found out we had killed Seymour, they were pretty upset and attacked us on sight. As well as breaking the only evidence we had that Seymour was evil.

And here I thought guados were pretty cool!

The Wendigo fight was really fun as well. He hit HARD, one shotting everyone without buffs and powerbreak. I had Auron Guard, Yuna healed every turn, while everyone buffed and took out the two Guado Guardians, which are annoying as heck.

Then, I had Yuna Esuna the Beserk away and brought out Wakka, who used Dark Buster every turn while Auron and Tidus wailed on him.

After a while, he went into a counter-attack stance, which Blind didn’t affect, so I had to bring out Yuna and Lulu, who healed and used magic instead of attacking.

Hopefully this trend continues of battles being pretty strategic and requiring almost all of my party’s skills. Up until this point it was attack, Lulu used magic and Yuna was brought out here and there to heal.

After making our way through the desert, which was pretty tough, actually, we finally reach Rikku’s home, but it is being attacked by the Guado!

Also, Lulu learned Bio, which I was super excited about, but all it does is poison, no damage!? What the heck, what a let down.

This area is one of the most annoying so far. Annoying bombs and Guado Guardians everywhere with nasty status effects and that annoying Al Bhed who keeps yelling in the background! The same phrase, over and over again!

Who thought to loop that every second was a good idea!?
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In any case, we rescue the summoners, sans Yuna, find out that summoners sacrifice themselves to stop Sin(saw that one coming), get the airship, find Yuna and proceed to head out.

Looks like Seymour is still kicking around, somehow. So, his attachment to this world is keeping him from moving on. So like… If you die, you can just stay alive if you want to, if no one sends you? I know that they can turn into fiends, but why is Seymour still normal looking?

Anyway, I am just glad that area is over with.

The gang finally reaches Bevelle and there are monsters attacking the airship!
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Everyone makes their way to the deck and they see Evrae, the Bevelle’s guardian dragon!

This fight was awesome. Tidus or Rikku could command Cid to move the ship away or closer.
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Where this comes into play, if the ship is far away, Cid could bombard Evrae with missiles, but only three times.
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As well, if you are close, after a few turns, Evrae charges up his Poison Breath attack. If you are far away, the breath misses.

Cid has his own “turns” which shows up on the turn counter, just like everyone else. I had a moment where Evrae had charged his breath, but Tidus just went, and I only had one turn left. Thankfully, Cid was the next in the turn order, so I swapped in Rikku, who gave the command to back up and the gang avoided the attack.

Other than that, Evrae was pretty easy, although he had a ton of HP.
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Everyone bursts onto the scene as Yuna is heading up the altar with Seymour!
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This was where I got my first game over.

First off, there is no save point at this junction. Why they thought this was a good idea right after a pretty difficult boss fight, I have no idea.

You face a series off battles with a bunch of Yevon guards. One of which wields a flamethrower who can deal about 500 damage to each party member.
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The fact that the game loads you down with Al Bhed Potions is really genius, because with no Yuna, you probably don’t have a healer. Since I taught Kimahri the Use ability, he could keep the party healed through that, along with Rikku, who innately knows it.

Al Bhed Potions heal Poison, Darkness(blind) and Petrification as well as healing everyone 1000 HP!

What did me in though, was the YKT-63 machina. I didn’t realize that if you leave it for last, it will use Thrust Kick. Thrust Kick ejects two party members and then it will wail on your solo member until they are dead.

I now have a new found respect for reading the tips provided by Senser.

All I can say, thank goodness for auto saves, otherwise I would have been pissed.

In other news, Kimahri learned Thrust Kick as well!

So Yuna tries to send Seymour, be he says that if she tries, her friends will die, so she stops and goes on with the marriage.

Then, Seymour tells his men to kill them, just as any evil-doer would do.

But Yuna runs to the edge and tells Seymour if they try, she will jump off of the ledge.

He backs down, and Yuna tells everyone to run and jumps off!

Of course, she summons Valefor and flies out of there.

The gang gets the heck out of dodge and makes their way to the Bevelle temple, as they suspect Yuna might be there.
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The Bevelle trials were really annoying. You are essentially on a platform and have to time your button presses to correspond with the arrows on the track to go in the direction you want to go. Once I realized this, it got much easier, but the game kind of just throws you in there to figure it out.

There was also a chest at the end, but for some reason the pillar wouldn’t push to it and I accidentally continued on without knowing, so that was annoying.

After Yuna unlocks Bahamut(Whoo!) the gang is captured and sent to trial.

Yuna desperately pleas with the maesters, telling them all about Seymour and his deeds.

Except, Maester Mika is also dead, something called unsent!

Only Maester Kelk Ronso seems to not be in the evil circle at this time…

Anyway, they throw everyone down into some dungeon, where no one has ever escaped.

Mika worries that they may escape anyway and asks for someone to kill them if they reach the exit. Seymour volunteers, but Kinoc decides to go with Seymour.

He doesn’t trust Seymour. Okay, so it seems we have some tension in the evil group as well, that’s good.

Yuna finds herself wandering the halls alone, but later picks up Auron and Kimahri.

Issaru is down here and Yuna dukes it out with him.
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He even summons Bahamut at the end, but Shiva kicks his butt.

Tidus, Wakku and Rikku also find themselves together and face off against an undead Evrae!

What sucked was it petrified Rikku turn one and she shattered, so she was out the whole fight.
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After the group meets back up, Seymour comes up and we find he has killed Kinoc. What a shocker.
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Evil 101: Kill everything to “better the world.”
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Kimahri stabs Seymour… Who doesn’t seem at all fazed.
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He then absorbs a bunch of energy from Kinoc and his guards and turns into this thing!?

Kimahri tells us to run, but eventually Yuna goes back for him.
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On the bridge, the enemies here begin to demolish my party, dealing close to 1800 damage and having party wide attacks that deal upwards of 800.

I stayed in this area to level up a little bit, because these battles were a nightmare. Damn those kicking machina! Even when you know their trick, they still hit like a truck!

Anyway, the gang finally makes it to Kimahri and Seymour and the battle begins!
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Seymour was pretty difficult. He starts off with him and his pet spamming party wide elemental spells. Yuna was barely able to keep everyone up. When I realized that there might be a pattern, I tried using the Nul spells to cancel it, but by that time, he started spamming Break.

Thankfully, no one was shattered. Plus, I had the people that had Stone Ward swap their equipment to protect against it.
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You can attack his pet and when it reaches 0 HP it will absorb health from Seymour, damaging him. His health slowly gets lower and lower, so eventually, my characters were better off attacking Seymour directly.

I also had brought Lulu out at one point and used Bio, and I can’t believe it worked. He was nearly dead, but I kind of wish I knew that at the beginning of the fight, it would have sped things up.

In any case, near the end, Seymour starts to spam Flare, which is basically a OHKO on anyone. With Yuna reviving and the rest of the party using Phoenix Downs if she went down, Seymour eventually bit the dust…
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But I doubt that is the last we will see of him.

The group makes their way out of Bevelle and Yuna and Tidus have a moment together, where they basically confess their feelings for one another.

Tidus tries to talk her out of her pilgrimage, but she decides to continue on.

The group makes their way to the Calm Lands, where summoners battle Sin. According to Lulu, this place is almost barren. No towns or villages to speak of at all.

It’s here where we unlock the monster arena. I guess we can capture monsters and re-fight them. He offers some fantastic rewards. I will do what I can, but I am not going for all monsters right now. I bought Kimahri a spear that allows him to capture monsters to get me started.
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Especially with such monsters as these, who can petrify with Stone Gaze, and they have an attack called Sonic Tail which does like almost 1500 damage to the party! Needless to say, the first time I fought them, I didn’t know about Sonic Tail and got a game over.

After traversing the Calm Lands, the group is stopped by some Guado who demand we come with them. Seymour demands it. So it seems he is still kicking around.
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The group obviously refuses and they sic a giant golem thing on us!

This thing hit freaking hard. It could two shot most everyone, except for Auron. Plus, it was resistant to physical attacks, so I had to rely on Lulu’s magic, which didn’t deal that much considering it has a huge HP total.
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I had to rely on Auron using Guard, since its attacks were so strong. Yuna cast Protect on Auron while healing and poor Lulu was spamming magic with everything she could. I even tried Bio and Demi to see if it would work, but to no avail.

When I could, I had Auron use Power Break, Armor Break and Mental Break. Power Break never seemed to connect, and Mental Break barely did anything for Lulu, but I suppose every little bit helps.

It also seemed he could counter every so often? Not sure on that one.

I even had Yuna Grand Summon Bahamut, who unleashed a huge 12,000 damage Megaflare, but the Defender X responded with a triple turn, taking Bahamut out in one fell swoop!

When it got low on HP, it used Mighty Guard on itself as well! I had Yuna Dispel it immediately.

I used up one of my 6 Ethers on Yuna, so she could keep healing everyone up and I barely managed to finish it off. Phew!

After the fight, the group enters Mt. Gagazet and is stopped by the Ronso leader. Yuna tells him that she fights for Spira and that she must continue on and seeing her resolve, lets them all pass.

The gang is shortly stopped by Biran and Yenke, who says Kimahri may not pass.
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We then have a solo fight against them with Kimahri!

This fight wasn’t particularly difficult, just long. Biran could hit pretty hard with Bulldoze, and Yenke could hit for okay damage with his various breath attacks.

They use Bulldoze to move around the battle field. If they are next to each other, they will essentially Guard one another and making Kimhari’s physical attacks do next to nothing.
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I had to use a chunk of my potion reserves, but we finally managed to beat them, and in the process learned two of the staple blue magics from the series; White Wind and Mighty Guard!

After the fight, they say Kimahri is strong and is allowed to pass. They also say they will stop our pursuers.

They say they will make a statue of Yuna, with a horn on her head, just like the other Ronso.

I guess summoners just can’t get away from those horns, can they?
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First battle in Gagazet, got ambushed and nearly got a game over.

Geez, this game suddenly really ramped up the difficulty in the last few hours. I deal decent damage, but everything can basically two or even one shot me. This is after I spent a bit leveling on the highbridge in Bevelle!

We make our way up the mountain and run into Seymour… Again.

He says he wiped out the entire Ronso tribe coming up here!?

He demands Yuna come with him. He wants to become the next Sin and basically wipe out Spira to end their “suffering.”
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Seymour Flux as he is so affectionately called, is extremely strong, it seems.
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His main gimmick is he likes to use Lance of Atrophy to inflict Zombie on someone, then use Full-Life to instantly kill them.
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He also has a cleave attack that can basically one shot everyone except for Auron. Lovely.

I managed to get Zombie Ward on everyone’s armor by blowing all of my money on Holy Waters to customize it on their gear. That coupled with Yuna casting Protect cut down on the cleave attack.

He can actually be poisoned again, so Lulu’s Bio works wonders.

That’s all fine and dandy, however, he ended up using an attack called Total Annihilation, which just evaporated the party. It deals a bunch of minor damage, but it hits so many times it really adds up.

Oh, he can also banish summons with one move, so that’s just lovely.

Got another game over. Had a great start, but then he busted out Dispel. That is just fantastic.

I broke down and did some grinding. I suppose the game just caught up with me. But Kimahri and Auron are now at the end of their natural sphere grid while the others are not far behind. So if I can’t beat this guy now, I just suck.
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And with that, he goes down! Thank goodness!
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He was still tricky. My party barely managed to survive Total Annihilation with Shell up.

Except Auron, he took it like a champ with his massive HP pool.

It did freak me out when he kept dispelling my buffs. I tried to have Wakka use Silence Buster when I thought it might be coming out, but it never really helped.

He also cast Reflect on himself at one point, but I had Yuna immediately Dispel it. He then proceeded to cast Flare on himself once like a fool.

But he finally went down and the group finds out that Sin is Jecht. Everyone is a bit taken back, but they have to press on.
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After the fight, the group comes up to this wall of people? As well as what appears to be a soul-nado from Mortal Kombat just hanging out.

Apparently, it’s fayth. Tidus then has the bright idea to touch it and passes out.
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He wakes up in Zanarkand, from his time. He sees that little boy again, who tells him that he, his father, mother and all of Zanarkand that he knows is just a dream from the fayth!?

The boy also tells him that because he and his father have been touched by Sin, they are something more…

Yuna then wakes him up and Tidus decides not to tell anyone just yet.

So, Zanarkand was destroyed 1000 years ago, but the survivors of the attack started to dream to keep the memory of Zanarkand alive? So when Sin attacked, when he and Auron got sucked up by Sin, they survived because the fayth dreamt of him, keeping the memory of him and all of the past Zanarkand alive?

Hm. I guess we will find out more when the time comes.

Continuing on, Auron mentions how Yunalesca is sending fiends to test us? Yuna asks about Yunalesca and Auron tells her she is like Seymour, dead but not really.

Further on, she sends one nasty customer at us.
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This thing had an answer for everything, it could heal itself, buff itself, deal huge damage and it has high stats. It eventually just became a war of attrition.
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Oh, and Photon Wings, along with dealing tons of damage, inflicts Curse, so no Overdrives if you are cursed!
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Eventually, we take it down with everyone on their last legs.

The group then makes their way to the outskirts of Zanarkand.

There is a scene where Rikku doesn’t want Yuna to go, and she unknowingly drops a sphere. Tidus picks it up and listens to it, and it’s Yuna telling everyone her goodbyes. It’s pretty emotional, to say the least.

Moving on, the group enters Zanarkand proper while somber music plays.

We finally reach the “dome” as it is called and a elderly man lets us in. He tells us to find Yunalesca.

Here, we see memories of past pilgrimages. We even see some of Braska, Jecht and Auron.

We then reach the cloister. Oh my lord… There is a puzzle here that took me so long to do. It wasn’t that difficult, you had to light up the correct panels and it was just annoying.

Anyway, with that finally completed, the gang continues on.
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We are then thrust into a boss battle with the Spiritual Keeper.
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The gimmick of this fight is that you can move your party around via the pads that surround him. His normal physical attacks hurt bad and hit everything in front of him.

Oh, he also can move around and use Berserk Tail, which inflicts Berserk.
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He also can summon Glyph Mines, which show a purple aura on two platforms. After a few turns, they explode, basically OHKO’ing anyone standing on them. Those mines can throw some wrenches in plans, let me tell you.
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There is also a very slow pan if someone gets beserked by Berserk Tail, even if they are killed by the attack. It was weird. I guess just to notify you that you got berserked?

The problem is speed. Moving costs a turn, which, for people like Auron that start off super slow, if he moves, he basically gives up his turn for like 6 turns. Guard and Sentinel don’t work either, so Auron may be benched for this fight, even though he is probably my strongest character.
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Second try I got my win. The trick is taking it slow, even if it means just spreading people out and casting buffs to stall out the turns. I also equipped everyone I could with Berserk Ward.

The Spiritual Keeper seems to counter attacks with a physical attack of his own, so knowing when to strike or not is key. Especially when they can basically two shot anyone in your party, maybe three for Auron.

Tidus was also a huge part of my success with Hastega.

You really don’t want people to fall in battle, since speed and timing is crucial.

What is funny, Wakka got the final shot when he got Berserked and was staring down death. If he didn’t kill, he would have went down.
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We get a cutscene where the group finds out that there isn’t a final aeon, or at least, not like they imagined.
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Yunalesca comes forth and tells the group that Yuna must choose someone she has a deep bond with… And they become the Final Aeon.

There is a flashback of Auron, Braska and Jecht, where Jecht agrees to become the final aeon for Braska.
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We also learn that when a final aeon defeats Sin, it becomes Sin, creating a cycle.
Jecht says he will find a way to break the cycle of Sin’s rebirth.

Tidus has the same thoughts. He wants to break the cycle. He finds it all pointless if Sin will just come back.

The group meets up with Yunalesca again. Yuna isn’t choosing anyone. She would gladly sacrifice herself, but she won’t sacrifice her friends.

Yunalesca tells her that death is the ultimate liberation, but Yuna says she will stand and fight her sorrow.

With that, Yunalesca gets pissed and attacks us.

Next time, we take on Yunalesca!

Join me there!

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