Tuesday Top Ten: Allusions in Final Fantasy X-2

Welcome, friends, for another edition of the Tuesday Top Ten!  Yesterday, we wrapped up our discussion on the powerhouse that is the Final Fantasy series, so today we’ll give it a send-off—and attempt to fulfill a reader request—by counting down the top ten allusions in Final Fantasy X-2 to previous titles and other works.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that fantastic reader Elisa had actually requested a top ten of Final Fantasy X‘s allusions, but I just couldn’t find many that could be reasonably labeled as reliable.  So, since I do want to do my best to put forth accurate information, I’m hoping that the next best thing will be acceptable.

I surely don’t need to give any introduction to the game; last Thursday we discussed this very game.  It was another example of service to the fans, of Square-Enix saluting the very fan-base who had made the company so powerful in the first place.  They revamped quite a few aspects, tested the waters on a few others, but ultimately, it was another love-letter to the fans.  Merely one facet of that love-letter was the collection of allusions to previous titles.

The entries will be a little short this time, primarily due to having just gone into detail about various facets of the game.  As I’ve said before, it’s not an indication that I’m “losing interest”, or anything else.  While I don’t mind offering a wealth of information when appropriate, I also don’t want to bore the reader by repeating information unnecessarily.

That said, let’s rock and roll!

10. Rabite’s Foot
An accessory that raises the Luck stat by a hundred.  Not that interesting, you say?  After all, it’s obviously just another name for a “rabbit”, right?  And everyone and their dog knows about rabbits’ feet and luck.

Well, yes, that’s true—but what’s interesting is that it comes from Secret of Mana‘s Rabite.  It’s a tiny, cute thing—with no feet.  That’s what made this allusion all the more humorous.

09. Calm Lands mini-games
By the time of X-2, the Calm Lands can be said to be that game’s answer to VII‘s Gold Saucer.  Fun, merriment, and games abound for tourists.

The interesting thing is the description the player gets for the mini-games themselves: “Brought to you by Tobli, Calm Skies Partnership, and the letter Q.”  Many gamers should recognize this as an homage to a television show that inspired numerous, numerous kids—Sesame Street.

08. Mi’ihen Highroad sub-quest
Between the time of X and X-2, the chocobos had been driven away by a monster who apparently particularly loves to dine on unholy amalgamations of ostriches and parrots.  One man, known as Prophet, is trying to bring them back.

During this sub-quest, there’s a mystery to solve, with any number of characters able to have an accusatory finger pointed at them.  If the Prophet is so accused, he’ll say, “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”  That’s a line that’s said by pretty much every culprit ever of pretty much every incarnation of the Scooby-Doo cartoons.  Made for a particularly humorous allusion.

07. King VERMIN!
An optional boss that reappears later as a regular enemy.  As fitting its name, it looked like a giant ant, and led a colony of various creepy-crawlies.  As comes as little surprise, this particular homage was to Final Fantasy VII, in particular when the walking stereotype himself, Barret, insults Rufus Shinra.  It’s somewhat fitting that the insult Barret gave Rufus was re-used on a glorified bug.

06. Changing to Black Mage
When changing into a Black Mage, Yuna sometimes says, “Double, double, toil and trouble,” and Rikku sometimes says, “Fire burn and cauldron bubble”.  These are, of course, lines taken directly from Shakespeare’s MacBeth.  For us Shakespeare nerds, that was rather a giggle-worthy homage.

05. Yuna Gone Wild
Berserk is one of those double-edged-sword statuses; it normally grants increased attack power, at the cost of control of the character being taken from the player, and the character will automatically only Attack.  Here, when Yuna casts it on herself, she’ll sometimes shout, “Yuna gone wild!”  Considering the character, some other, if rare, references found throughout the series, it’s likely an allusion to the Girls Gone Wild series of, ah, adult entertainment.  And no, I’m not linking, heh.

04. Changing to Gunner
Sometimes, when changing to a Gunner—which is pretty much what it sounds like; you can use firearms—Yuna sometimes says, “Resistance is futile”.  For us Star Trek nerds out there, we had to titter at this reference to the Borg.

03. Gullwings
The Gullwings is a group of Sphere Hunters—those who hunt for certain specific types of items—that the three playable protagonists belong to.  Now and then, they and other members will refer to themselves as the “friendly neighborhood Gullwings”—and for Spider-Fans, we had to giggle at that reference to the web-head, though it’s a moniker Spider-Man hasn’t used in a good while.

02. Boris
The first real boss of the game, Boris, an “arachnid” creature, is a not-so-obvious (to younger gamers, primarily) allusion to one of the most popular rock and roll bands even to this day—The Who.  Specifically, their song, Boris the Spider.  Also, both his “Sticky End” attack and his entry in the bestiary, “Maybe he’s as scared as you,” are both references to lyrics within that song.

01. Shinra
Number one because it was a turning point.  Yes, X-2 was, as made obvious by that numeral two, a direct sequel to a previous game.  However, the character of Shinra was tied to Final Fantasy VII.  More than that, it was a game that is still quite beloved by many fans of the series.

This was more than just a tie-in—this was Square Enix saying that the brand was going in a new direction.  Direct sequels to games was one thing, especially games made more or less after Hironobu Sakaguchi stopped giving much direct input—but this was something different.  This was a small way to tie various worlds together.  It was a relatively small thing, in and of itself—but the meaning behind it was great indeed.


4 Responses to “Tuesday Top Ten: Allusions in Final Fantasy X-2

  1. Elisa Michelle Says:

    Thanks for writing this article. I appreciate that you actually considered what I said, and even though Final Fantasy X didn’t have enough allusions for your post, X-2 certainly has some unique ones. I think the one about Boris was the one I was totally clueless about. And the Rabite — that made me giggle. I always wondered why it was spelled that way. =)

    • Hey, not a problem at all. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t like interacting with readers.

      I have to admit, while the Shinra one was number-one for what it meant, just for the giggle-worthy aspect, I might otherwise have picked the Rabite’s Foot. I mean, look at the Rabite. It’s so cute. 😀

      • Elisa Michelle Says:

        Oh my goodness! They are adorable! I want a plushie of one…

        Damn, I think having an attraction to cute, fluffy animals is a feminine weakness or something. Haha.

  2. Heeee. Mayhap. And a plushie of a Rabite would be fantastic.

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