Final Fantasy X-2 : Part 3
1 : 2 : 3
Last time in FFX-2, The Search for Wank, Yuna and her gal-pals returned at last to lush, lazy, Besaid Island for a heartwarming reunion with Wakka, Lulu, Lulu's gestating WakkaBaby, and all the rest of those wacky, stoned-off-their-asses island folk. Much plot-holing ensued, including a mission to find a sphere that may or may not exist of Wakka's parents that he forgot about until it was convenient to the game's (lack of) plot. Then it was on to Luca for a ditzy flashback sequence explaining the opening of the game, much like your parents explaining that babies come from the cabbage patch. Come to think of it, I'd be more likely to believe the latter than the former, and that's pretty damned sad. Jeanne also had the misfortune of sitting through the way-too-damned-long Sphere Break tutorial and for that I'd owe her my first born child, had recapping Atlantica not made me sterile.
Anyway, we catch up to Yuna leaving Luca behind, the horrible laughing scene nothing more than a bittersweet memory, or so I hope. On the way out there's a chest containing 2 Lunar Curtains on a little island off the main stairway, so of course Yuna simply must jump over there to snag them. Because this time, it's all about what Yuna wants! As she heads up the final set of stairs leading to the Mi'ihen Highroad, the Black Screen of Doom swoops down upon us, and I clutch my Vivi plushie in fear. Oh, no, it can't be. NO!!!!!!
It is. Another pile of steaming, putrid wank-over delivered straight from Yuna's ever-so-roundly cheeked ass. "The Mi'ihen Highroad: Where Crusaders once marched toward battle with Sin, while travelers fled from its shadow," comes the malignant ooze, filling my ears and destroying gray matter in its wake. But that's only a slight taste of misery, however purple, to the true terror to come. "I walked this road, too, on my pilgrimage to Zanarkand," she says as if we weren't deliberately taking the same damned pilgrimage route right now rather than skip blithely on to Zanarkand and get this over with much faster, but with fewer completion points. That's love for you, Dear Readers, and don't think that Jeanne, Sam and I aren't going to use it to our advantage at one point or another. You owe us, goddammit.
Oh, but Yunnie's not done yet, oh no. The coup de grāce comes as a final comment, one that leads me to scour the liquor cabinet for the pure-grain in the hopes it'll dull the pain. "And you walked by my side. It was a journey filled with laugher." Or screaming, eye-gouging and cursing, depending on which end of the controller you're on, Yuna. Also, you just had to mention the laughing, didn't you? God. We're a minute in and I've already passed the two-drink limit.
Her pointless out-loud reminiscing finally over, Yuna chats up some random guy in an orange tunic who's been standing there all day just waiting to tell people about the New 'n' Improved Mi'ihen Highroad -- now with 20% more random monster battles! Seems the chocobos are going the way of the dodos now that the Al Bhed whore their spiffy machina hovers and sentry-bots all over the road. We'll soon find out there's a grass-roots movement to restore the chocobo to their former prominence with all the wanky, self-important posturing that you might expect from a bootstrap environmental movement and its granola-encrusted leader. But that also leads me to call the hovers "hummers" since A. I can, B. it's topical and somewhat political, and C. it contains a penis reference. Penis!
Another important feature about the Mi'ihen Highroad is Yuna's sudden desire to get to know everyone, and I mean everyone that happens to be in her general area on the road. If you thought the endless rounds of "talk to everyone" were bad when it's just your own party, nothing compares to asking some whacked-out stoner to tell you about his favorite aeon while you're knee-deep in weeds at the ass-end of the Oldroad, but we'll get there eventually. First, though, it's random battle time!
Now this will be one of the very few times I'll be bringing up the many, many random battles I went through while taping the recap footage, and I only bring it up for two reasons. One, because against my better instincts I am taking the Brady Guide's advice and leaving one of the girls in the Black Mage dress sphere until the end of Chapter One. I picked my Lulu-in-training to be Rikku, since I think she's cute in her little jester shoes. Also, in keeping with the last recap, I too will be substituting a word to take the place of "hurt" in Paine's stilted monotone vocabulary. And as every penis pumper needs something to strive for, this time our word of the day will be "buttplug." Feel the hoyay! Not to mention that hearing "Here comes the buttplug" makes me giggle, especially since I'm well on my way down the road of inebriation at this point.
With the battle over, Yuna heads over to speak to the Al Bhed woman operating the hummer nearby. For the low, low price of 30 gil, Yuna and her gal pals can climb aboard a thing that looks like one of those pontoon boat things they use in the Everglades and ride on down the road. I have two choices of destination: the Travel Agency, or the North Exit. Being the impatient type, I choose the North Exit and away we go!
It's at the North Exit that we meet someone known as "The Prophet" and his sycophantic assistant, Whatshername. The Prophet loves him some chocobo (no, not like that, at least I hope not) and he wants to tell the world about it, whether they like it or not. He and Whatshername prattle on and on about chocobos, chocobo rights, and the evils of the hummers to the point where I want to carry around a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chocobo, just to piss them off. The Prophet and his lady friend may become important later on in the game; then again, they may not. Playing FFX-2 is all about making choices, such as my choice to have another double bourbon. 'Scuse me a sec.
|If this dude starts talking about Sephiroth, I'm killing myself, I swear it.
|Most plausible Chocobo Rights demonstration stunt?
This little side trip gets me two Budget Grenades before our band of riot grrrlllss heads back to the South Exit. And while it seems really, really stupid to go to the North Exit, meet the Prophet and head back, well...it was really, really stupid. Just be glad I'm not a weepy drunk and go with it, okay? It's not like it makes any less sense than the rest of the damned game, and if you'd had to do it in order to fulfill one of the more fucked up sidequests, I'm sure some fanpoodle on a message board somewhere would fanwank it into deeper meaning oblivion. And don't ask me which sidequest is the most fucked up, either. That would be like picking the most pathetic Tidus cosplayer. When all the choices are bad, comparison becomes a pointless exercise.
This time the girls travel on foot, and I won't bore you with all the random battles that I went through to get more than ten yards away from my starting point, but it was a lot. Near the statue of Lord Mi'ihen, there are two women NPCs with a message to impart. Seems the Highroad is much safer since the coming of the Al Bhed and their hummers, but there have been some problems, too. Like the time an Al Bhed sentry-bot got a crossed circuit and attacked a traveler, thinking they were a fiend. Yuna files this random bit of trivia away -- or forgets it after five seconds, take your pick. After all, she had a full-on make-out session with McWankerson and is still favorably disposed towards the guy after two years, so I'm suspecting that dear Yuna's got memory holes the size of the Holland Tunnel in her precious little noggin.
There aren't many people to talk to in this part of the road, but Yuna does her best politician imitation, shaking all the hands, kissing all the babies, and collecting all the kickbacks -- er, I mean freely given political donations. Remember, if you don't pay off your revered world leaders with thinly disguised special favors and policy requests wrapped in lots and lots of cash, the terrorists win. Or something. Actually, I just felt like making a random not-very-good political joke because I want people to think I'm up on world events, when in reality, I'm an apathetic slacker who watches the Daily Show and worships Jon Stewart. Moving on now.
About mid-way to the Travel Agency, I begin to realize that our merry little misses have a problem. They're very, very low on MP. I have in my party a black mage and no Ethers in my item inventory, because I R TEH SUK. Still, one must muddle through the best one can, and throwing caution to the winds I say "Screw the Brady Guide!" and change Rikku's job back to thief for the rest of the fights. Dan Birlew, you can kiss my fat white girl ass. Besides, I manage to snag an ether or two off a few of the monsters, so it's all good.
At the Travel Agency, the girls stop off for a little R&R, a little shopping, and this great little spa treatment to bring back their depleted MP. And of course, we must have the obligatory NPC Meet 'n' Greet. Fortunately, neither one has much to say and we're free to go on our way back to the north end of the road after Yuna does some totally random staring at the sentry-bots Rin's keeping out in the back yard.