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The Disappointing Final Battles

Braska’s guardian Jecht — Dissdia Final Fantasy NT

Remember the final battles that made your heart wrench, made you excited, made you anxious and then remember the ones that made you yawn, made you bored and made you irritated.

You, like every single gamer out there has experienced this and likely it was due to the final battle.

Now we’re not going to be going into every genre because there are a lot of them. We’re going to zero in on RPGs because they typically have the most memorable bosses. This, in my opinion is because of the story-centric narrative.

The heroes standing together — Final Fantasy X

There were many choices but I’m going to go with Final Fantasy X because it is by far one of the most story driven games in the genre and is from the series I have been obsessed with since the original Final Fantasy came out for the NES.

So of course, I’m most confident in explaining it.

To give a quick summary of the events of Final Fantasy X.

  1. You are Tidus who journeyed mysteriously from a city called Zanarkand only to fall into a puddle of water (understated) and awaken in a village called Besaid.
  2. He meets his future allies: Wakka, Lulu, Khimaru and Yuna.
  3. He is offered to come along aid Yuna in her pilgrimage to summon the Final Aeon.
  4. So the rest of the journey is ridden with twists and turns and revelations where they meet with Rikku and Auron.
  5. They learn that the Yevon Order is not all it’s made out to be. In fact, it propagates a cycle of destruction by a monstrous force called Sin.
  6. The team learns of Sins origins, who Yu Yevon is and they resolve to destroy the cycle.
  7. But there’s a catch, Sin is Tidus’ father who was transformed into the Final Aeon to destroy a previous incarnation of Sin and Tidus is a dream manifested into reality by dreaming sorcerers called the Fayth.
Braska’s Final Aeon, Jecht — Final Fantasy X
  1. The Fayth charge Tidus with destroying Sin and Yu Yevon so that they can end their dreaming and finally have the peaceful rest they desire.
  2. The twist comes from Tidus because he is a dream manifested into reality by the dreaming Fayth; the moment that Sin and Yu Yevon are destroyed is the moment they awaken and the dream ends and with it Tidus disappears from the world.

Experienced Final Fantasy players know this as the moment when the hero has their soul crushing moment. They also know after some soul searching they get over it and resolve to finish the fight regardless.

The outershell of Sin — Final Fantasy X

They challenge Sin and after an incredibly difficult fight they destroy it. Then comes the final battle with the ultimate evil who has been propagating the cycle, Yu Yevon.

At this point you’ve faced boss battle from difficult to absurdly difficult and are expecting the final battle to be something out of a nightmare.

Unfortunately, Yu Yevon is nothing more a floating tick with the symbol of Yevon on it’s back.

The final boss, Yu Yevon — Final Fantasy X

This sad appearance is compounded with the fact that you are invincible throughout the fight thanks to auto-life. Yu Yevon pretty much only attacks with Gravija, which is non-threatening at this point and he has no second, more powerful transformation. So the only thing you can do is attack; mindlessly whittling the health down until you are done.

Now a lot of you will will have seen the problem with this by now and noticed that the story I summarized hyped everything up for a final battle showcasing the pain and hopes of everything you’ve been through. Instead we’re offered a let down in the form of a floating tick.

This is the problem with most games where the story and gameplay are solid and feel like what you are doing matters; there are genuine lives to be saved if you succeed. But unfortunately isn’t the case.

Sure Yu Yevon was the cause of the cycle, but couldn’t Yu Yevon have a form that, even if not gigantic like Sin, could have been a humanoid with the symbol of Yu Yevon as his magic symbol floating behind him raining down ancient spells that wouldn’t have one-shot capabilities, but him feel like a real threat? That in my opinion would have been wonderful and wouldn’t have brought disappointment.

Tidus glancing at Yuna at the end cutscene — Final Fantasy X

But then again maybe Square decided they wanted a Swan Song for Yu Yevon. Something unimposing after a long fight and meant to symbolize the sadness that you were going to feel once Tidus faded out of existence.

So that’s the the problem. A great story tied with great gameplay, but with a disappointing final battle. It’s something that’s become the problem with modern games and if you’re like me, you tend to enjoy nearly everything before the final battle and then slog through to the final cutscene where only sadness awaits.

If you’re looking for more articles like this check out my publication: @Gaminglinkmedia or @ryanvelasco.

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Twitter: @ryanavelasco
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