Yunalesca actually isn’t too bad of a fight. I still got a few game overs, especially on her third phase. Once due to a funny mistake on my part, but we will get to that.
As mentioned, she has three phases.
Her first phase is more of a status inducer. She counters any attacks with the appropriate status ailment; Blind for physical, Silence for magic and Sleep for whatever else like Overdrives.
Second phase gets a bit more complicated. She uses the attack Hellbiter, which causes zombie status. From there, she likes to use Curaga and things like that to try and kill you.
Third phase gets crazy. (And scary looking!) You actually want zombie because she busts out Mega Death, which is an instant kill move if you aren’t a zombie. She does the same as the second phase; uses Curaga, Regen, ect to try and kill you. As long as at least one character is a zombie, you will survive Mega Death.
Another trick she pulls out on occasion is Mind Blast, which deals a chunk of damage to the party and inflicts them with confuse. Very annoying, but not that deadly… Usually. Just watch curing it and don’t remove zombie with a remedy without having another character in zombie. I made that mistake once.
So, my game over.
Tidus was a zombie with pretty low HP, but not a big deal. She just used Mega Death taking out the other two party members. I went to use a Phoenix Down to revive one of them and clicked the control stick one less than I should have and Tidus used a Phoenix Down on himself, killing him instantly! I could do nothing but laugh at myself.
The trick is keeping at least one character in zombie status at all times.
Actually, a little tip I discovered; you can use Drain from Wakka if he isn’t a zombie or another character that isn’t a zombie to heal a zombie character.
Have a non-zombie Wakka/party member target a party member who is a zombie with Drain and the zombie character will be healed while the caster will be damaged instead.
It saved me at the end when my only zombie character had like double digit HP and Wakka gave them just enough to withstand another Hellbiter and get everyone back up again.
At the end of the fight, Yunalesca fades away and the gang is determined to finish off Sin once and for all.
Auron stops Tidus on the way out and tells him that he is also an unsent, like Seymour!
He says that he went to face Yunalesca alone after Braska and Jecht died, and Yunalesca demolished him. He crawled to Bevelle, where he met Kimarhi, who he told about Yuna. I guess he died shortly after that.
Despite this, Sin just casually walks away as Cid and the airship comes and gives us a lift.
At this point, the group has decided to think on ways to defeat Sin without the use of the final summoning.
To that end, we now have use of the airship! It took all of the game, basically, but we finally have the iconic airship at our disposal!
It isn’t free roam, however. We just select a location and travel there instantly if we have access to it. That’s neat. Cuts down on trying to find the specific place you are trying to go. Just click and go!
Kimarhi has a good idea. He thinks speaking with Mika and demanding he talk might be good to figure out our next move.
Back in the main room, everyone has come up with the idea that perhaps the Hymn of the Fayth will calm down Sin long enough for them to deal a decisive strike against it.
Back at Bevelle, we see Shelinda has become the captain of the guard and manages to talk down the guards from blowing the group away with their rifles.
She tells the group that Mika has told everyone that the Al Bhed are the ones spreading the lies about how Yuna betrayed Yevon. That’s pretty convenient for us, even though Mika is evil.
Speaking with Mika, Yuna tells him that we killed Yunalesca…
And he flips out, of course, but he also lets out some very useful information. He disappears while the group ponders this and the young fayth boy tells us to find him.
So it seems that a summoner named Yu Yevon became so powerful that all he could do was summon. As such, he uses the souls of the dead to craft himself armor, which is Sin.
The final summoning destroys Sin, but not Yu Yevon, who merges with the final aeon and crafts a new Sin, hence the Sin-eternal thing.
With that in mind, the group now has a plan, get to the heart of Sin, and kill Yu Yevon, which should end Sin permanently!
On the way out, the group tells Shelinda that the airship will be playing the Hymn of the Fayth. They tell her to let all of Spira know when they hear the ship, to start singing along to hopefully make Sin docile long enough to end it.
Back on the ship, Wakka finally realizes that he was being racists towards Al Bhed and apologizes to everyone, especially Cid.
Cid has some wise words here.
So with that, let’s get this show on the road and take out Yu Yevon!
The ship gets sucked in, and the fight begins!
This battle is almost identical to the Evrae fight from earlier. You can have Tidus or Rikku give Cid commands to either move in or get out. The attack you want to avoid is Gravija, which basically does like 90% of everyone’s health if it hits. He also slams the ship and does some decent damage to the party.
However, I still got hit with almost every Gravija. Cid is just too slow and I never figured out exactly when Sin was prepping Gravija.
I will say, do it early if you think he is about to prep. It seems, unless you get lucky, by the time he starts charging the core, if you give the command, you will probably back out after Gravija.
In any case, with Auron and his Armor Break, everyone was hitting for fantastic damage.
Once we weaken it enough, Cid busts out some big guns and literally fries off Sin’s fin!
We go a second round on the other side. This one got a bit close. I am not sure if I just didn’t see the turn counter or what, but I pulled in closer and Sin suddenly got three turns in a row and nearly gave me a game over. Only Rikku lived with a sliver of health.
She mixed up a Mega Phoenix and we finished the other fin off.
After that, Cid tells us the main gun is busted, but the group literally jumps off the ship and onto Sin directly.
This fight was pretty easy. You have to take down the main sinspawn before you can target the core.
Since it was weak to Fire, everyone was hitting for pretty good damage, especially Lulu with Firaga.
Everyone gets ready for Sin again…
Yuna is starting to understand the whole Yu Yevon and the final aeon thing. She thinks that if she summons with Yu Yevon, he will merge with the aeon, but he will be smaller, since it’s not a big final aeon. Hopefully, it will be weak enough that they can kill it once and for all.
She also is starting to pick up on Tidus’ secret that he is a dream. She asks if he will disappear when they defeat Yu Yevon, but they are interrupted by Rikku before Tidus can answer.
It seems Sin is waiting for us.
This battle is essentially timed; you have a limited amount of time before his overdrive gauge is full. When it is, it is lights-out for your party.
The first time I fought him, I knew I wasn’t going to win, I just wasn’t dealing enough damage. As well, the only attack Sin has is this blast that deals damage to the whole party, as well as having a chance to inflict a bunch of status effects. Namely, Confuse. My party, who was equipped with Counterattack weapons, then proceeded to kill each other soundly.
The next fight went much better. Confuse was kept to a minimum, and I removed the counterattack weapons, since they don’t counterattack against Sin this fight anyway.
I proceeded to spam Quick Hit with Tidus while everyone buffed, healed, and threw Ethers to Tidus to keep the Quick Hit spam going.
I think so. I thought I heard him laugh when we entered… Ugh.
Further in, the group indeed finds Seymour, who has been absorbed by Sin. He goes on to tell us that he will end us, of course and the fight begins.
Seymour Omnis, despite looking cool and having amazing battle music, can be hell if you have no idea what you are doing, like I did.
I got quite a few game overs from him, but I eventually found a strategy.
First off, those disks around him show what elements he will use as well as his elemental affinities. He starts the battle with four fires pointing towards him, so he will absorb fire and use Firaga four(!) times.
However, you can manipulate the disks by attacking them with Wakka or magic. So, as long as you hit one disk to move it, he will only use three -aga spells and an -ara spell, which is much weaker.
This means Yuna is a must in the party, especially for this next part. Have her cast the appropriate Nul spell and you will only get hit by the weak -ara spell.
After so many turns, he Dispels your party, and then next turn uses Ultima.
This attack is basically a party killer. Shell doesn’t seem to do anything. I had Auron with full HP and shell, and he still got one shot or very close to it.
Needless to say, you will have to bust out the summons with Yuna and have them Shield to absorb the attack. After that, dismiss them and continue the fight.
This fight and what seems like the rest of the game; keep the momentum. If someone goes down, this fight can take a turn. Yuna has to keep up the Nul spells to absorb Seymour’s elemental assault, otherwise it is game over if you don’t have another way to proof/eat those spells.
Eventually, I got him down and the group continues on after Yuna sends his ass to the farplane, finally. Geez.
After the fight, the group explores this weird city and finds this gigantic pillar. Upon inspecting the pillar we are transported to this weird mini-game of sorts?
We have to collect these glowing eggs while avoiding icicles. I have no idea what I was doing or what this is, but every time I got an egg, I got an item. Mostly equipment, I think.
There was some pretty good stuff in there.
Afterwards, the gang is thrown into some place… Where Jecht is waiting for them.
First, he has two stones that are beside him. If they are both alive, they power him up, healing him for 1500 and giving him some overdrive meter. If you kill one, the other starts using some nasty stuff, like Curse, which is basically Bad Breath on one character.
Or even Osmose, which can completely drain someone’s MP.
However, if you do manage to kill them, they just revive like two turns later with full health and their HP max gets higher every time!
As Tidus, you can talk to him to lower his overdrive gauge, but you can only use it twice in the fight!
Second, Jecht can cause Stone and Zombie, some of the most annoying status ailments.
Thank goodness he can’t confuse or I would probably be screaming more than I already am. Haha!
Finally, when his overdrive is full, he uses a super strong attack against someone, which can cause the aforementioned zombie, but no one in my party can survive the attack, so it didn’t really matter. Except for maybe max health Auron.
So, I finally gave up for a bit and went back to grinding. My mission: get Stoneproof and Zombieproof on everyone. Plus just generally hit more spheres on the grid.
Hanging out in the Omega Ruins and stealing for Petrify Grenades and hitting up the Zanarkand Ruins to steal Candle of Lifes was on the agenda.
To find the Omega Ruins, you have to search for it in the airship menu. I just clicked around everywhere and happened to find it. I read it was a high level area, so I thought that would be the best place to train and get those Petrify Grenades.
It took a ton of stealing, mugging and customizing, but everyone has at least Stoneproof and Zombieproof.
I also fully customized everyone’s gear to what I thought would help.
I cheated a bit and looked up some info on the final boss and it seems he is susceptible to zombie. While the two Pagoda remove it, they won’t heal him for a brief moment when he is under zombie, so that might give us an edge.
Yeah. This fight is aggravating.
The only other thing I can think of just grind some more and try and get some more items.
I finally managed to beat him!
Oh man… I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish it without even more grinding, but everything fell into place and I finally got him.
To anyone reading this and just playing through the game normally… I would suggest just leveling up a lot throughout the game, that way you don’t get completely walled at the end.
Anyway, I used pretty much the same strategy as before; try and inflict Zombie as much as I can, buff like mad and keep healed.
When he reaches the second phase, if you have protects and Cheers, his attacks hurt, but aren’t a one shot anymore. It’s at this point you can start using Talk with Tidus and lower his overdrive when it is full.
After that, when it becomes full and he is about to use his overdrive, summon with Yuna to hopefully deal some damage and basically let the aeon take the hit.
When he was nearing the end, I had Yuna use Holy, which dealt 9999, which was enough to kill.
After the fight, Tidus has a moment with his father and then Yu Yevon appears!
The fayth tell Yuna to summon the aeons, so she does.
You get the choice on which aeon to summon, so I just went ahead and went from Valefor all the way down the list.
Each Aeon, when inspected, tells you to kill them. So sad…
The good news, and let me tell you, after the hell with Braska’s Final Aeon, I was so happy about this, all your party has a permanent Auto-Life on! Which is good, considering that the aeons can deal high amounts of damage. Especially when their overdrive is filled.
The Pagoda stones or whatever make a return, and basically do the same thing for the aeons as they did for Braska’s Final Aeon, heal plus overdrive fill. I just ignored them entirely.
After we defeat each one, the cycle repeats.
Each time, Yuna becomes more and more upset, understandably so.
After defeating Bahamut, Yu Yevon finally appears.
Before the group engages, Tidus drops the bomb that he will disappear once Yu Yevon is defeated.
You can see Summon is greyed out because all the aeons are basically dead. Poor Yuna.
This fight cracked me up. Every time you hit him, he retaliates with Curaga, which heals him 9999. Well, I noticed that Wakka had inflicted Zombie on him…
After that, Yu Yevon turns to dust!
With that, Yuna begins sending all of the aeons, Yu Yevon, Sin, even Auron.
The aeon’s statues in the temples begin to turn to stone.
The aeons start to disappear…
Tidus then begins to follow suit as well.
I enjoyed it pretty much all the way to the end. It seemed like there was a huge difficulty spike during the last 1/3 of the game. Which wouldn’t be bad, but especially the last boss felt impossible without grinding. In my case anyway.
I just went through the game, no real guide or anything until the very end, so I guess my party was just weak. Plus, I didn’t do much optional content, like the monster arena and I missed the optional aeons.
It was just frustrating because I know people have beat this game with no sphere grid, no summoning, no customize, ect. I knew I could do it if I just figured out a strategy and got lucky.
Moving on, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Sphere Grid.
On one hand, it was awesome to see this huge grid where you can choose where you want to go.
But the characters, especially on the Standard Grid were pretty much locked in to a certain path. I suppose I understand, but really, it meant that some characters had severe drawbacks without going down other paths to make up for that.
For instance… Lulu. Lulu was awesome for most of the game, but the final few areas I never used her because her speed was absolutely abysmal. If she used a spell or heaven-forbid her overdrive, she wouldn’t get a turn for like 10 turns. With Haste it wasn’t that bad, but once again, her low HP meant she would get KO’d and lose Haste anyway before her turn came up.
Auron was also pretty slow, but he was also a beast, able to tank hits and dish it out, so it was worth the lesser speed.
Again, going down a different path on the sphere grid would help, but I just went the normal route until the end of the game when basically everyone “finished” their natural grid.
Another thing, because of the gradual ascent, I never felt my party get more powerful. I consider this a good thing and bad thing.
Good because it means that just having one single level won’t make or break you, but I felt my party never made any real head-way without grinding for items(especially items) or leveling for a long time.
Which brings me to my next point; items.
The game expects you to have and use lots of items. Customizing armors, weapons, mixes, aeons… So much relied on having a ton of different items. This meant Rikku is an absolute must throughout the game.
Stealing/Mugging is pretty much the only way to really farm for stuff without dishing out a bunch of gil using Bribe. Bribe was great, but it was very expensive to get the good stuff.
Thank goodness I remembered that tip I read a while back about taking Kimarhi down Rikku’s path. With two stealers in the early game, it really helped out.
Of course, you still need an epic amount of items to fully customize everything.
Which you will have to do if you want to not rip your hair out. This games loves to throw status effects around like crazy. Which was kind of cool, in a way. It meant that status ailments weren’t just a nuisance, they were really debilitating, unlike other FF’s.
Especially confuse… I am gritting my teeth just thinking about the amount of times confuse screwed me over.
Having Confuseproof, Stoneproof and whatever else you can get will really help out. But those two seemed like the ones that will really mess you up the most.
In this version, I read there is a Ribbon that you can put on your armors, but it requires 99 of a super rare item, so that wasn’t going to happen for me.
The story and the characters were pretty great. I really enjoyed it, despite my complaining on a few things. Yuna and Tidus falling in love basically at first sight is a little cliche, but eh, the game released so many years ago, I am not going to fault it for that. At least Yuna was pretty likable. Tidus was so-so.
My favorite character was probably either Auron or Kimahri. Auron was just a bad ass all the way through, while Kimarhi was a bad ass, just in a different way. His loyalty to the group and especially to Yuna was awesome to see.
Wakka’s blind conviction to the Yevon teachings and his unnecessary hate for the Al Bhed was pretty annoying, but by the end, he actually got over that.
Game Overs: 22! If you notice, most came from the final leg of the game, which makes
-YTK-63(kicking machina) at Bevelle High Bridge
-Machina at Bevelle High Bridge
-Anacondaur in the Calm Lands
-Seymour Flux x3
-Spectral Keeper at Zanarkand
-Yunalesca after I freaking threw a Phoenix Down on my last zombie character by mistake.
-Yunalesca again after I accidentally cured confusion with a Remedy, also curing my last zombie.
-The Sin Head fight. Confused party killed each other horribly.
-Seymour Omnis x3
-Black Elements and Spirit in Omega Ruins x3
-The Master Coeurl and Floating Death in Omega Ruins
-Marlboro in that damn icicle egg minigame before the final boss.
-Random encounter in Zanarkand Ruins against the YTK-63 and the flamethrower guys.
-Braska’s Final Aeon x3
So, would I recommend this game?
Yes, I would. Despite my issues with it and my experience, it was a great game overall and I might come back to it eventually. I will use the Expert Sphere Grid and try and get all of the extra stuff I missed.
So, with that said, it’s time for the first MMO of the series…
Final Fantasy 11!
See you then!