So how does the first sequel to a Final Fantasy game start? With Yuna center stage singing an awful J-Pop song, complete with a light show and choreographed dance. I’m dead serious–words can’t even explain:
It was probably somewhere at this point that I wondered why I bought this game and if I should immediately turn in my man card for playing it. However, being the huge Final Fantasy fan-boy that I am, I pressed on.
It turns out that Yuna really wasn’t Yuna, but LeBlanc who stole Yuna’s Garment Grid, and after defeating LeBlanc, Yuna regains her Garment Grid and Songstress dressphere and is compelled by the sphere to start dancing…
After this initial encounter, Yuna begins to fill us in on what has transpired since the time Final Fantasy X ended and narrates the story as Tidus did in Final Fantasy X. Everyone is trying to adjust to the Eternal Calm, and life without the destructive monster known as Sin. Since the defeat of Sin, Yuna has ceased to be a summoner and is now a Sphere Hunter with her cousin Rikku, their new friend Paine, and with the aid of her Uncle Cid and some more of the Al Bhed, forming the Gullwings. Their main focus is to find Memory Spheres to learn more of Spira’s history.
Yuna decided on this new sphere hunting path once Rikku rocked her world by giving her a sphere that Khamari found. In that sphere, she sees a man who looks exactly like Tidus, whom had returned to the Farplane at the end of Final Fantasy X as his presence was nothing more than a dream of the Fayth, a dream promptly extinguished after the destruction of Yu Yevon. Wanting to know if her love is still alive, she joins the Gullwings, hoping that the spheres they find will shed some light on to the situation.
Unlike previous Final Fantasy installments, the game is actually quite non-linear in nature and the story can branch everywhere as it is mission based. These missions help develop the characters further and also reveal more of Spira’s history. However, for the sake of some brevity (and my sanity from recalling some of the more absolutely ridiculous scenes of the game), I will just recap the main highlights that drive the story.
As the game progresses, the two main factions of the game that are fighting for power, the Youth League and New Yevon, become increasingly hostile. During this time, YRP discovers a sphere that reveals a threat of a weapon known as Vegnagun that could destroy all of Spira as, upon activation, it would be unable to distinguish between friend and foe. YRP teams up with their own sphere hunting competitors, the LeBlanc Syndicate, to go beneath the city of Bevelle where the weapon is hidden as they both fear if either faction got their hands on the weapon, it would end in nothing but disaster. Once they reach Venagun’s supposed hiding place, they find out it has been moved to the Farplane via a large tunnel.
Everyone returns to the surface only to find out the leaders of each faction, including that of the smaller Machine Faction, have all gone missing. The Gullwings return to the underbelly of Bevelle and find the three men discussing the weapon. Nooj, the leader of the Youth League, reveals that he had previous come to destroy Vegnagun himself, but the weapon contained artificial intelligence that could sense hostility towards it, and so Nooj’s actions caused the weapon to dig the tunnel and flee.
At this point, the mysterious Paine then reveals she once knew the three men and that they were once very close friends and candidates for the elite Crimson Squad. Two years prior, the four were on a mission in the Den of Woe, but the entire squad was driven mad by the pyreflies in the area and promptly began to kill each other. Paine and the other future faction leaders, Nooj, Baralai (New Yevon), and Gippal (Machine Faction) were the only ones to survive. However, since they saw Vegnagun, they soon became targets of the old Yevon religion. Soon after, Nooj decided to shot his three comrades and left them for dead, effectively severing their friendships.
Nooj, however, was not acting of his own accord. He had been possessed by the spirit of a man named Shuyin. In the two years since, Shuyin has continued to control Nooj in hopes that Nooj would return to Vegnagun so that Shuyin could use him to pilot the deadly weapon. Nooj, however, proved to be too strong for Shuyin to completely control as Nooj’s desire to destroy the weapon overwhelmed Shuyin’s control. As stated before, it was that same hostility that caused Vegnagun to retreat to the Farplane.
Needing another surrogate body to pilot the machine, Shuyin possess Baralai who proceeds to the Farplane to activate the weapon. Nooj and Gippal chase after him, leaving YRP to take care of matters on the surface as Shuyin sent Yuna’s old aeons loose on Spira. After quelling the dark aeon threat, Yuna ends up falling into the Farplane and meets Shuyin face-to-face and is shocked to realize that he was the man in the sphere she was given and not Tidus.
Shuyin approaches Yuna and starts to talk to her; however, he believes Yuna is a woman named Lenne. He proceeds to tell her that he had been searching for her ever since he awoke from his death and was saddened he couldn’t find her. He then proceeds to tell her the motivation for activating Vegnagun. He is angered that Spira still seeks out war, despite all the pain and heartache is causes. Thus, he will use Vegnagun to destroy Spira and end any possibility of war from ever occurring again. During this whole time, Yuna starts to feel drawn to Shuyin, as if she is in love; however, it isn’t because he looks like Tidus. She feels as if the feelings are coming from some other source that isn’t her.
After this meeting, Yuna ends up learning the history of Shuyin and Lenne lived in Zanarkand over 1,000 years prior, during the time of a war between Zanarkand and Bevelle. Shuyin was a star bliztball player (hey, that sounds familiar…) and Lenne was a famous songstress and summoner (hey, that really sounds familiar!). While the two had strong feelings for each other, the two never stated to each other how exactly they felt for each other.
Unfortunately for the two of them, they also never got the chance.
All of Zanarkand’s summoners were called to the frontlines of battle, taking Lenne away from Shuyin. He was absolutely convinced Lenne would face certain death as the Bevelle army was far strong than that of Zanarkand. Shuyin then devises a plan to save her. He would sneak into the underbelly of Bevelle, activate Vegnagun and unleash their own weapon back on them, ending the war himself. Lenne predicted this plan, and went after Shuyin, stopping him just as he was about to fire Vegnagun’s main weapon. However, the couple met a tragic end as they were confronted by Bevelle soldiers and were killed, with Shuyin dying right before he could hear Lenne finally profess her love.
Shunyin’s despair transferred to his pryeflies, constantly reminding him of the moment he lost his love. Over 1,000 years later, his despair grew so strong that he wanted to simply destroy Spira, believing that only then would he return to Lenne’s side and be at peace.
With this knowledge, Yuna sees the need to quickly end the bitter conflict between the Youth League and New Yevon. Of course to do this, there was only one solution, and in order to pull it off, she needed the help of all her Gullwing comrades. She ordered the Gullwings to set up shop in the Thunder Plains, invite all of Spira to bring the two quarrelling factions together, so that they could all bear witness to…
…a concert, starring everyone’s favorite former-summoner and songtress sphere wearing girl, Yuna.
Yes, Yuna decided to throw the Final Fantasy/J-Pop version of Woodstock (without the drugs) to bring peace and love to Spira. Even better, the plan actually works and creates what is simply the corniest moment I’ve ever seen in the series:
As can be seen, we find out that Lenne’s memories actually dwell inside Yuna’s songtress dressphere, allowing for the last moments of Shuyin and Lenne to be seen by the entire world. Everyone is so moved, the two factions agree to stop fighting each other.
However, there is still that ever so slight problem of Shuyin wanting to use Vegnagun to destroy Spira and effectively make the new peace the last thing that ever happens. So, Yuna and company team up once again with the LeBlanc Syndicate and head out to the Farplane. After they arrive, they find Nooj and Gippal already engaged with the mammoth machine and they help the pair disable it.
Shuyin though, is still hell bent on having his plan succeed and he appears to square off against YRP in a final battle that he loses. Upon his defeat, Lenne materializes and brings Shuyin to his senses. With the two lovebirds reunited, all is well again, and they return to the Farplane to rest in peace at last.
Because this story just simply can’t end without the complete Disney happy ending, the Fayth of Bevelle appears to Yuna and thanks her. Not only that, he seems to want to give her a thank you gift, asking if she would like to see “him” one more time. Here, if the player chooses “Yes” and has completed 80% or more of the game, an additional cutscene is attached to the ending in which Yuna and Tidus are reunited in Besaid. If 100% of the game is completed, an additional conversation is added on that really doesn’t add too much, save for Tidus theorizing that the Fayth restored him by reuniting all of his thoughts (pyreflies) together again. While there isn’t any additional confirmation in the game, his theory seems rather sound with the rest of the game’s lore.
Anyways, the long story short (too late), the world is saved, everyone lives happily ever after, roll credits.
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