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"The game designers have gone out of their way, what with all those cinematics, to show us that the Gnosis can really do whatever the fuck they want as long as they aren't solid. We see them osmosing their way into the ship, absorbing bullets with ease, and God knows what else, but they're afraid of fire and doors. What the fuck is that about?"
     -Sam, Xenosaga Part 3




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Final Fantasy X : Part 10
By Jeanne
Posted 01.19.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
We rejoin our favorite group of characters and Tightass at the shoopuf dock, where they're about to cross the massive Moonflow. I just realized that "Moonflow" sounds like a hippie word for that time of the month. Thanks, game designers.

Yuna and Kimahri, standing over by the shoopuf dock sign, tell a sappy story about their last shoopuf ride ten years ago. For those of you who have trouble with subtraction, that would make Yuna seven years old. She fell off the shoopuf into the water, and it picked her up with its nose. The experience was apparently fun enough to make Yuna jump in on purpose several more times. Kimahri says he was worried. "Whoops!" Yuna replies, because God forbid she actually does anything to please herself. That came out wrong. Sorry.

Then Yuna randomly exposits that she lived in Bevelle, Spira's largest city, until ten years ago. This has pretty much no bearing on the rest of the story, but now we know that Yuna didn't always live in Podunk Besaid. Kimahri has also been with Yuna for that long, and by "with Yuna", I don't mean in the biblical sense.

Story time isn't over yet. Auron has another one to share that took place ten years ago, just like everything else. Tightass is all smartass about getting "a history lesson" as if he didn't just listen to Yuna's inane story without bitching. Of course, he's not trying to get into Auron's pants. Thank God. Anyway, on the pilgrimage ten years ago, Jecht was smashed off his ass and he attacked a shoopuf. Tightass is all disgusted, unaware that he's done ten thousand retarded things on his pilgrimage. After the Ambiguously Gay Trio paid for the damages with all their money, Jecht stopped drinking. I guess attacking a shoopuf is Spira's version of hitting rock bottom.

Tightass smartly (!) avoids all the wily merchants waiting around to cheat him out of his "hard earned" gil, and heads over to talk to Exposition!Man, who just happens to be hanging around the shoopuf docks. E!M asks before he offers his random exposition, and that's always a plus. This time around, he tells all about the "wondrous shoopuf" which doesn't eat, but instead sucks water through its "shnoz." Unfortunately for us, that means that the shoopuf won't eat Tightass. E!M also spouts some info about the Hypello, the race of little blue dudes that are the shoopuf handlers. To add to the unfortunate ethnic stereotyping, we find out that the water-dwelling Hypello are also lazy. Way to go, game designers.

 
What, no cunning linguists?

After getting his fill of exposition, Tightass walks over to the gazebo thingy to talk to Wakka and Lulu. Our favorite bitchy goth chick scoffs that riding a shoopuf isn't all that fun. Wakka objects, saying, "Some things little boys never grow out of!" Tightass agrees. Lulu thinks to herself that the both of them pretty much are little, and that her time is better spent elsewhere. Like with Yuna. In that way.

After Tightass exhausts all of his conversational possibilities, he heads over to tell Jar Jar he's ready to ride. Well, I don't know if it's the same Hypello dude as before; they all look the same to me. A machina contraption lifts Tightass onto the shoopuf, but in the next scene, everyone is magically aboard. The little overhead map appears, showing us that we are traveling from Moonflow - South Bank to Moonflow - North Bank. Thanks, game designers -- I couldn't have figured that out on my own.

There's a little covered seating area on the shoopuf's back. Tightass is all alone on one end, because no one wants to sit next to him. Wakka tells him to look in the water. If Tightass couldn't breathe underwater, I'd think that Wakka was trying to drown Tightass, but unfortunately, that's not the case. Instead, Wakka wants Tightass to see the sunken machina city, so that he can give today's obnoxiously self-righteous Yevon lesson. You know a scene is really pathetic and annoying when Tightass is the person who makes the most sense. Yeah, sad.

Anyway, Wakka and Lulu tell a story about the bad, bad people who built their city on rock and roll. Er...on bridges over the water. The bridges collapsed under the weight of the city, and now the whole thing is sitting under water. Wakka says, "Right. It's a good lesson." He doesn't care that thousands of people tragically died, he just wants to use it to push his religious beliefs off on other people. Loser. He goes on to say that the only reason anyone would ever want to build a city on a river is to "defy the laws of nature." He says it in this really self-righteous tone, too, that makes me want to kick him in the head. Even Tightass -- Tightass, for the love of God -- can see how flimsy an explanation that is.

"Yevon has taught us: When humans have power, they seek to use it," Wakka wanks. Well, no fucking shit, Sherlock. "If you don't stop them, they go too far, ya?" And I'm sure that a frail old geezer, a little fat bald dude, a pedophile, and whatever the hell the other maester is are the best people to decide what's too far. Tightass asks about the machina used at the blitzball stadium. Lulu, pulling the Exposition Hat out of her cleavage and donning it, says, "Yevon, it decides which machina we may use and which we may not." Oh, what a shock. Auron remains silent, thinking about how this is all a crock of shit.

Tightass gets all belligerent, because he doesn't understand the difference between good machina and bad machina. Wakka replies that machina used for killing and maiming are bad and thus, forbidden. "Or war will rage again," Lulu adds. Shit, this means more lame exposition about the last war. Here goes. This time Yuna gets to help recite our history lesson. And to think that Tightass was bitching about having to hear Auron's story about Jecht. Yuna pulls out her Exposition Wand, and tells of a machina war fought -- you guessed it -- about a thousand years ago. With machina. The bad kind. Duh. Finally, Sin came and destroyed everyone and the machina. "The war ended," Lulu says, "and our reward...was Sin." Right.

Wakka does this gay hand gesture as he blithely accepts punishment for something that he didn't even do. "Man, that's rough..." Tightass wanks, finally swallowing this load of bull like Squally swallows...never mind. Then we learn, thanks to Lulu, that machina don't kill people -- people kill people. Like I want to kill Tightass. Bigot!Wakka makes another appearance, blaming the Al Bhed for using machina and "screwin' everything up." Because Wakka hates the Al Bhed. We get it already.

Suddenly, the shoopuf shakes, causing everyone to scream like little girls. "Whatsh could thatsh be?" Jar Jar wonders from the driver's seat. Yuna and her guardians all stand up, and Auron tells Yuna to sit back down. Instead of doing so, she apologizes (surprise), and this delay allows someone to jump up and grab her. Oh no! A Final Fantasy heroine in peril! Tightass and Wakka jump in, where Tightass is killed messily and never seen again. Well, I tried. Actually, Tightass and Wakka get to fight an underwater battle against a machina that has Yuna trapped in a big bubble. Thankfully, this isn't one of those lame "hit the monster but don't hit the girl" battles -- I guess Yuna is just there to look cool or something. "Yuna, we'll save you!" Wakka calls out underwater, not really sounding all that different. Whoops, game designers.

The complex strategy used in this battle is to just keep hitting the machina with weapons. Wow, that was a challenge. Meanwhile, everyone else is just chilling on the shoopuf. Finally, the machina explodes, and somehow Yuna makes it out alive and unhurt. They don't show her actual escape, just her sitting back on the shoopuf. Lulu is fussing over her like a lesbian lover....I mean "big sister." Yeah. Wakka makes a derogatory remark about the Al Bhed, just in case we didn't get that they were the ones responsible for the abduction. "Ish ebullibody okay?" Jar Jar wonders and it's supposed to be funny because funny accents are funny, get it? Yuna stands up to let him know that everyone is, indeed, okay. Auron gets pissed and Yuna quickly sits down. We all know who's really in charge here.

"Damn the Al Bhed!" Wakka bitches. I start randomly killing people, starting with Tightass. Wakka continues talking out his ass, wondering why the Al Bhed want to kidnap Yuna. His final brilliant deduction is that they're pissed off that the Aurochs beat them in the blitzball tournament. Whereas I think losing to Tightass's team would be a very depressing thing to contemplate, Wakka is forgetting that Tightass didn't actually play in the game against the Al Bhed, and therefore, they wouldn't be all that bitter. His other backup theory is that they're pissed off about Operation Mi'ihen. Yeah. Lulu has another idea. "I wonder..." she muses. "Didn't Kimahri's clansman say something...about summoners...disappearing?" Oh, that's right. I had totally forgotten about that, only having heard it mentioned several times, not twenty minutes before. Way to connect the dots there, Einstein. Wakka's dumbassness must be rubbing off on poor Lulu. Wakka is almost thrilled to find out that the Al Bhed are responsible for that endlessly foreshadowed occurrence, and he lets loose with a string of ethnic slurs against them. Everyone else just sits there in silence, looking uncomfortable. Finally Tightass breaks the silence, because he can never keep his mouth shut. He basically tells Wakka to cram it. No, not like that. Shit, I just gave myself nightmares. Another nightmare-inducing thing is that Tightass is not the biggest dumbass in the scene. Pardon me while I die from shock.

Yuck.
 

He also says more shit about protecting Yuna, and everyone agrees with him. That's right. Everyone agrees with Tightass. I think there's a warm breeze blowing through hell at this moment. Yuna mouths "thank you" at Tightass, because of course she needs a man to take care of her problems. However, she'll settle for Tightass. With that jolly little scene out of the way, we rejoin Tightass and the others on the north dock. There is a crowd of obnoxious sycophants around Yuna, spouting shit about how wonderful she is. Kimahri stands to the side, beating himself up for not guarding Yuna better. Tightass becomes jealous that there's someone whinier than him at the moment, so he heads over to talk to Wakka and Lulu. They have nothing of note to say. That means it's time to move on.

 
...Whatever.

Different random people are chattering about seeing their dead loved ones in Guadosalam. It sounds like a creepy place. Of course, Seymour lives there, so that's kind of a given. We also meet some Guado. They're vaguely elfin, pointy-looking people with hair that sticks out every which way. I know I'm turned on.

On the path to Guadosalam, Tightass finds someone lying on the ground. It's a familiar jumpsuit-clad strap-in-the-crotch young girl. That's right, it's Rikku. "You're...not dead?" Tightass einsteins. That would be why she's breathing. Rikku pops up, shoving her ass right in the camera (get used to this), and Tightass jumps back in surprise. Then the game designers decided to throw a bone to the fanboys, so to speak. Rikku bends over, slowly stripping off her wetsuit to show off her asscheek-displaying green shorts. Tightass stares at her with his gaptoothed leer. "Rikku! You're Rikku!" he finally figures out. Way to go, Tightass. Rikku falls down, and Tightass asks how she's been. Hello, McFly! "Terrible," Rikku whines. "Yeah, you don't look so good," Tightass says smoothly. He wonders what happened to her. I'll give you one guess. That's right, it was Rikku in the Yuna-stealing machina they just fought. Unfortunately, Rikku doesn't give Tightass a well-deserved ass-kicking.

Thanks, game designers.
 

Just as Rikku starts to tell Tightass that the whole machina incident is "not what [he] think[s]," the rest of the party shows up. Where the hell have they been all this time? Rikku introduces herself to Wakka, who is completely oblivious to the fact that she's Al Bhed. That's probably a good thing. Then Tightass reminds Yuna and Lulu what he told them earlier about Rikku saving his sorry ass. "She's an Al Bhe...beh..." Tightass stutters, trailing off so that Wakka doesn't realize what Rikku is. And even though Tightass said all but the "d" of "Al Bhed," Wakka still doesn't figure it out. "He's not too smart, bless his stoned little heart," Susi just said. Not too smart, indeed. Yuna and Lulu pick up on it, and this prompts them to have a little "girl talk" session with Rikku over to the side. Doujinshi-drawing fanboys just started their pencils a-movin'.

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