Final Fantasy X: Timeline

By Shamus
on May 3, 2006
Filed under:
Game Reviews

If you has asked me, the first time I beat Final Fantasy X, how long the characters traveled together and how much time passed in the game world, I would probably have guessed several months. It’s a huge, epic game and when you’re done it feels like the end of Lord of The Rings: The whole world is different, and ages have passed.

But on subsequent plays I noticed there is an implied day / night cycle. We can judge where one day begins and another ends by keeping an eye on the lighting and the sky. Using this as a guide, how many days pass within the game world between the opening credits and the final scene? How long does Tidus spend in Spira? Let’s look:

Day 1

Play blitzball in Zanarkand at night. Get attacked by Sin. Team up with Auron and then get pulled into Spira. Wake up in the ruins. Build fire. Meet Rikku. Get Kidnapped. Salvage Airship. Get attacked by Sin and knocked into water.

Day 2

This is a very slow-paced day. Tidus wakes up on the Besaid beach and meets Wakka. Travel to the village. Enter temple, do the trials, and then end the day at the campfire.

Day 3

Wake up in Besaid village. Leave town. Fight Kimari. Take the boat to Killika. Fight Sin on the boat. Arrive at Killika at sunset. Yuna does the sending and then everyone calls it a night.

Day 4

Wake up at the Killika inn. Visit the temple. Meet the #!$&ing Goers. Get back on the boat and set sail for Luca. Spend the evening talking to everyone and learning the Ject shot.

Day 5

Wake up on the boat. Arrive in Luca. Meet Mica and Seymor. Rescue Yuna during round 1 of the tournament and then compete in Round 2. Humiliate the #%@!ing Goers. Fight Sin in the arena and reunite with Auron. Then travel the north road to Rin’s Travel Agency. Talk with Yuna at sunset and then sleep at Rin’s.

(The entire tournament in one day? If all these people from around Spira travel for days to get here, they ought to expect more than a day of entertainment. However, we never see the sun go down, and there is no break in the action, so I guess this all really was supposed to happen in a single day. What a ripoff!)

Day 6

Wake up and fight the Chocobo eater. Travel the Mi’ihen highroad. Take part in Operation Mi’ihen. Fight Sin. Lose badly. Travel to D’jose temple and do the trials.

Day 7

Wake up at D’jose temple. Travel road to Moonflow, and then ride the Shoopuf. Rescue Yuna from the extractor and reach the other side. Reunite with Rikku, and have her join the party. Visit Seymor at Gaudosalam and see the Zanarkand recordings. Then Seymor proposes to Yuna. They discuss it, and then cross the Thunder Plains to to Rin’s Travel Agency.

Day 8

Cross the second half of the Thunder Plains. Go through the woods. Stop at Rin’s. Get attacked at the lake and fight the Al Bhed tank. Go the the temple and Fight Seymor. Do the trials. Escape the temple and confront the Guado at the lake. Fall into the abyss under the frozen lake.

The is no explicit day / night change, but we get moved from one area of the world to another. It seems to be about the right time for a night to pass.

Day 9

Wake up, mysteriously, on Bikanel island. Cross the island and find the Guado attacking. Head through the complex. They have a key turning point in the game, where Tidus finally learns what’s going on. Get on the airship. Blow up the Al Bhed home. Fly to Bevelle. Fight the Guado onboard and then fight Everae. Crash the wedding, help Yuna escape, and then head for the trials. Get captured.

They stand trial and are tossed into Via Purifico. While Yuna faces issaru, Tidus faces Everae. (again) They escape in the evening and fight Seymor (Again!) just after sunset. Then they meet in the woods outside Bevelle at night. Tidus and Yuna meet at the lake and have their moment together.

Day 10

Wake up at the campsite in the woods. Optionally get a chocobo and visit Reminem Temple. Then trek all the way over the Calm Lands. Fight the guados at the bridge. Optionally detour into the sunken cave to visit the stolen Fayth. Then head for Mt. Gagazet and and meet with the Ronsos to get passage up the mountain. Kimari must fight his brothers. Then climb all the way up the mountain. This is the densest fighting in the game, and the climb takes a while. Reach the top and confront Seymor. (Again!) Then head through the caverns, open the way, and reach the Zanarkand summit. Fight the guardian. Tidus has his encounter with the Fayth. Several conversations and cutscenes follow.

Finally, reach the base camp on the outskirts of Zanarkand at sunset. The party rests until nightfall, talking. Once it is dark, they set out into the ruined city.

They fight their way in and do the trials. Then they fight the Spectral Keeper. Finally they reach the inner chambers and meet Yunalesca. Things go sideways and they kill her.

Talk about long days!

Day 11

At sunrise they emerge from the place and see the Airship waiting for them.

All the rest of their efforts seem to happen during one day. It stays daytime until the very end, when we see them gathered on top of the airship at sunset for the final scene.

So there it is. The whole thing takes 11 days.

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201434 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Your Wife! says:

    Welcom to Geek Central. Please take a seat as the plane will be leaving just as soon as the pilot rolls up his character.

  2. . says:

    I always felt that FFX’s story was extremely truncated. It was good, paced well up until around the end. Then all of a sudden we go from human characters on a quest to superhuman monsters capable of taking down this world-ravaging behemoth.

    There are tons of things that I remember (I played the game around 3 years ago) as loose ends — What’s going on with the Farplane? What happens to the Al Bhed? Why was Bevelle so damn secretive? What the heck was the deal with Yunalesca? Why are those plants in the forest near Bevelle capable of powering up weapons? Etc, etc, etc. Obviously they tried to wrap things up with X-2, but it’s just such a different game it doesn’t feel like a true sequel. Moreover, a lot of the things in the game were never even hinted at, or explained whatsoever — This leads me to believe that many of the sidequests/optional things were designed around the fanatical Japanese market. Dodge lightning 100 times in a row, does anyone consider this fun? (Note, did the lightning after only a few times, but some of the other sidequest/minigames are absolutely horrendous ‘DIAS’ gameplay, as you called it.)

  3. Shamus says:

    This leads me to believe that many of the sidequests/optional things were designed around the fanatical Japanese market. Dodge lightning 100 times in a row, does anyone consider this fun? (Note, did the lightning after only a few times, but some of the other sidequest/minigames are absolutely horrendous ‘DIAS’ gameplay, as you called it.)

    Oh, this is a sore spot with me as well. Some of the sidequests are just mean.

    The chocobo racing is both DIAS and downright annoying to play. It looks ridiculous and doesn’t seem to fit in the game world, either.

    This is my sixth time through the game, and I’ve never gotten Kimari’s ultimate weapon. The butterfly catching game is childish, it doesn’t make sense, it takes forever, and it. is. so. hard.

    Yuna’s weapon isn’t that bad. (You had to do the temple puzzles and find all the purple destruction spheres, then get the extra aeons.) Not a problem, and this one makes sense.

    Auron’s isn’t hard to get, but it is a bit time-consuming to catch all the monsters.

    And if you want Wakka’s weapon you had better LOVE playing blitzball. Geeze. The game is nice and all, but you need to play like 20 or more hours of Blitzball to unlock his ultimate weapon.

  4. . says:

    I was going to complain about the butterfly catching game, but when I played FFX it was on an early-1990s television with a dying picture bulb. The screen was so dark when I was playing it that I literally could not see most of the butterflies. I managed to do it with the help of a strategy guide and ~100 or so “practice runs”.

    Never got Wakka’s ultimate weapon — Not enough patience for basic arithmetic dressed up as a largely not-entertaining game. Plus the enemy teams were levelling up faster than most of my players — Blitzball’s experience calculations are pretty easy to figure out, you get experience for goals and passing and breaking, I think, but your defenders will really lag behind in experience unless you make a concerted effort to play them and have them pass the ball around. Even doing a lame strategy of having my players pass the ball around for 90% of the period and then scoring one goal, I still managed to find my team underleveled compared to enemy blitzball teams (which apparently get large chunks of experience just for playing, or something).

  5. Bogan says:

    I’d just like to start off by saying that I have beaten the butterfly puzzle and will enjoy the moment of satisfaction I got from knowing Shamus hasn’t. Now I think that 11 days seems a bit clumped together. After all a trial to sentence a heritic by an official council, an attack on a major city, and a wedding all in the same day. I think we may have just missed a few days in there somewhere. And a world that you can walk the length of in 11 days sure is small. I don’t even think you can cross the US on foot in that time, let alone stopping to save the world at least once everyday. That’s my thoughts anyway.

  6. . says:

    Slight addition to my first paragraph up there (lost my train of thought):

    The reason why I didn’t complain about it is because I assumed it was only annoying due to the fact that I couldn’t see the damn things. Guess I was wrong there.

  7. Joel says:

    I have been playing with the idea of playing through FFX again, and I think the recent burst of posts has finally inspired me to dive in. I’m sure my wife would thank you for the loss of all of the free time that I would normally spend with her that is about to get sucked up by this (admittedly amazing) game.

  8. Dan says:

    WOW! I never got far enough to see the butterfly catching game because the story, characters, and the enviroment all bored the living crap out of me. Since I just learned about this silly game it only reaffirms my belief that Final Fantasy X is as gay as they come.

  9. Shamus says:

    Final Fantasy X is as gay as they come.

    Try saying “I didn’t like it”.

    The last dozen comments and the last few posts have been dedicated to the game and are from people who have enjoyed the game quite a bit. If you don’t like it, fine. Go play FF7 all you want, but stop with the flame-bait.

  10. Shamus says:

    And not that I think of it, where do you get off complaining about the butterfly-catching game which you have never played. Three days ago you were going on about the chocobo breeding in FF7.

    Get some perspective, man!

  11. Dan says:

    Im not knocking the game that all of you seem to enjoy so much. I’m just putting out there why I disliked the game and what i thought of it. and yes i would say its not fair to judge since i have never played the game the whole way through (barely at all would be more accurate) but that is just how it is going to have to be. Also I was interested in the game when i first started but as soon as blitzball rolled around, my interest quickly left. In my opinion any game that can totally disinterest a person such as myself at the drop of a hat and so early on in the story can’t be worth playing through. Upon further examination of the story later from my friends games/disscusions the interest would have never returned.

  12. Dan says:

    You guys have a number of complants about FFX. while I have only one complaint about FFVII.
    Yes that complaint is chocobo breeding. I used to have 2 discruntlements about the game. The other being the ending and how they don’t really say exactly what happened. but they even fixed that with a kick butt movie (although they never do say how Red XIII had babies) but that is a minute detail.

  13. Sounds like these are really long, long “days”, or can be.

    Reminds me of a “day” in the DBZ series. Goku is dead, but is permitted to return to the earth for 24 hours, in part so he can enter a martial arts tournament being held there. For reasons not worth going into, he didn’t get a full 24 hours and had to return early. Nonetheless, his less-than-24-hours started in episode 193 and ended in episode 234, fully 42 episodes.

  14. Shamus says:

    Steven: You have nailed it. That’s exactly what this feels like. The first few days (day 2 in particular) feel just right. They take about an hour of time to go through, which works. I played through day ten recently and it took well over 10 hours.

    Even so, 10 or 20 hours of game time is STILL less than 42 episodes. Wowzers.

  15. Stripped, with 5 episodes per week, it took two months to broadcast.

    And during those 42 episodes, it never got dark. Not once, not anywhere we were ever shown.

  16. Eric says:

    The worst thing about FFX is the dumb ass fayth yojimbo. Firstly his name sounds like a japanese card game, and secondly he’s just a waste of time once you’ve allready broke the damage limit. I was pissed that I had to pay him to do my dirty work, and over pay him at that. The only reason I used him was to see his animations. I was thourghly dissapointed. Also Seymour smells.

  17. Eric says:

    P.s. The butterfly game was super weak. Bogan only beat it because it was fluke, as he forgot to mention above. Also I loved the breeding of chocobos in VII. I had fun, but was pissed because after you beat ruby you get a gold chocobo without having to do the breeding, which just made that whole side quest/minigame irreverent.

  18. Vegedus says:

    Yay for commenting on more old rants. Guess I’m bored. Well, if Shamus appreciates it…

    Anyway, about Yojimbo, Eric (not that you will be reading this), he really ain’t that bad if you know how to use him. After I read a F.A.Q. I found out that he has this underlying affection system, where he gains affection if you pay him well and don’t let him die and so on. If you gain a good deal of affection, you have to pay him something like a 1000 gil to use Zanmato, e.g. instant kill. And, unlike other FF’s, it works on everything, though you’ll have to pay him abit more for bosses. But, 100000 gil for an instantly killed Dark Aeon isn’t that bad, I think.

    About the days, I’m pretty sure it isn’t suppose to be taken that literally. I doubt most developers really think about it, let alone conform the game to fit an ingame time frame. You could think that all optional sleeping (there isn’t much in X because of the healing save points though) is also pushing it a day forward. Also, “long days” is not completely unrealistic. As long as it doesn’t take you more than 24 hours to complete a day, it is possible they simply did do it all in one day. Also how long a day FEELS is defined from how much you get to do in it. Most peoples view of time is fairly linear, but I’m sure you could ask fx war veterans, and they would tell you about extremely long days and short days of their lives.

    Oh, wait, it seems I’m trying to disprove something, but you didn’t really have a point, did you Shamus?

  19. Anna says:

    yeah i thought the day thing was a little weird. yet i do think you missed a day that ends somwhere in the baaj temple (ruins where you met rikku) because he falls asleep and when he wakes up the fire went out. and after the night he had in zanarkand he was probably tired and slept for 10+ hours. then rikku hit him in the stomach and he blacked out again for maybe an hour? because he was on the ship when he awoke. then he got the airship and ate the food rikku gave him. but yeah pretty wierd that yuna and tidus’ “love” developed over 11 or 12 days.

  20. Anna says:

    errr correction… he woke up on the al bhed *ship* not the airship and then they slaveged the *airship*.

    also gotta say i fell in love with this game before i even played it. – i watched my sister’s guy-friend play it and then took the disk before he left and started my own game.

    i have but one complaint – the side-quests.

    I. wtf? 200 lightning bolts? thats not really a quest… more of a waste of time hopping around a big field with lightning bolts. yet i know its not impossible becausse i have seen screenshots of a tresure chest outside rin’s that reads “obtained mars sigil!” or whatever planet sigil it is. and dont you think that it should be for kimahri and not lulu? or keep everyones crest and sigil in the same area like they did with rikku’s – both on bikanel island where the al bhed home is. or even themed like yunas. crest on besaid where she lives and sigil after she beats all belgemines aeons.

    II. oh. my. god. i hated the butterfly catching quest. i was up to six butterflies and the last one was in sight when the time ran out !!! i was PISSED! i still havent done it. its not completly impossible – i have gotten that close. yet i just want the take my ps2 and throw it against the wall when i get that close just to lose it because of the goddamn clock.

    III. chocobo race = grr. tidus reminds me of a chocobo with his hair. no real complaint with this except its hard. and the “0”0″0 time is literally impossible. if it took that little to cross the plains, you could snap your fingers and be on the other side. but it would also take like 5 one-hundreths of a second and therefor makeing you have to snap your fingers again and again till you finally get pissed of and use a cheat code to get the goddamn sun sigil. yet my lowest time is 14.5 seconds so i might as well keep trying. and trying. and trying. till i get pissed off again.

    i noticed the days a little bit but still i thought there would be more than 11 or 12 days that they showed. and in places like baaj temple and the thunderplains i hate the weather. it could be dusk morning or noon and you couldnt tell. but not night or it would be so black you would be able to see your hand in front of your face

  21. Anna says:

    wow that was long. sorry bout this one just wanted to state the obvious.

  22. Qurqriish Dragon says:

    Anna: Actually, the 0 time in the chocobo race is not too hard. It took me about a dozen tries, so it isn’t easy, but it can be done. The trick is getting all the time bonuses. If you run the course a few times, not bothering to get a good time, you can locate a good path that gets your time down. It has been a while since I played it, so I cannot give you the path, but I got the sun sigil through normal means.

    The only thing I didn’t care for was blitzball, which I played only as much as the story required, and maybe 1 or 2 more games. This dislike continued into X-2, although I gave it a little more of a try then.

  23. IceQ says:

    YAY! Just got the Sun Sigil!! woohoo and got 0’0’0 by accident… :) but now the lightning… damn that is still tedious…

  24. Annon says:

    After about 10 aborted runs through the game (I distract easy) and one full run through, I am proud to say that I have completed every quest (including the idiot butterfly one) without resorting to cheats. Now I cheat through the Thunder Plains before I lose patience, and just grit my teeth and bear the butterflies.

    I think more time is supposed to be passing than can be judged by where the sun is. Specifically, any time you finish one are and move to another, it fades to a map with a little dotted line representing the path you are taking. To me, that says that what I’m seeing is only a small piece of a long stretch of road, which actually takes weeks to traverse. Let’s face it though: watching Tidus and the gang trudge through miles of scenery isn’t fun, so we get the abridged version of the trip.

  25. Elryc says:

    There’s certainly a certain amount of abridgment in the time of travel, not to mention the fact that we can probably assume there’s a certain amount of time lost in traveling on the airship, and various ships between Luca, Kilika, and Besaid, among other amounts of time lost.
    And as for that bloody butterfly race, I always got the feeling that there’s a bug in there, since running the path I *know* from experience is correct doesn’t mesh with what *looks* correct.

    “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”

  26. Carter says:

    I’m also one of those that has completed all of these quests without resorting to cheating, Though…Butterflies? I can’t remember having that much trouble with the butterflies. I can remember spending hours with my tv muted, farming lightning bolt jumps around one of the spots where you could get two in a row almost everytime. I can remember vein popping frustration with the chocobo racing. But…I don’t recall any trouble with the butterflies. Clearly i have to go back and see what all the fuss is about.

    Also…maybe I just love minigames, but For Wakka’s stuff and chocobo raising in FFVII, I loved blitzball and chocobo racing. Blitzball especially, and the only one that I coulda complained about being low leveled is my goalie. Course, you can always reset stats and start off with better stats than the rest if you recruit free agents.

  27. Winter says:

    About Yojimbo: “Yojimbo” means “bodyguard” in Japanese. Yojimbo were basically hired bodyguards. There’s also a movie called Yojimbo that features… well… something like that.

    The chocobo racing was an insult. I’ve done it well over a hundred times and my best is 0:00:1. Which hurts. It hurts a lot. The worst part is that it’s actually mostly random. Sure, you have to understand how to win and have the skill to press the buttons correctly… but that’s actually quite simple. The hardest part is doing the race enough times until the track randomly aligns itself so that you CAN win. Which is why some people beat it in only a few tries and why others never do.

    Compared to that, lightning dodging was EASY. Even the butterfly thing is largely influenced by skill. Bloody effing chocobo racing, though…

    Which really frustrates me because, by and large, i actually like the game quite a lot.

    I also think it’s definitely more than 11 days. Any time you cut away there’s a threat that some amount of time has passed unaccounted for.

  28. justin says:

    I have completed everything in this whole game, i have done the 200 lightning bolts multiple times on multiple files for multiple friends, I have done the chocobo race with ease. and the butterly game was nothing. I had every sphere on the grid full even the blank nodes. with every character dealing damage of 99999, yes even yuna and lulu. all of my aeon statistic were all at 255, and i had all of the master weapons. all monsters in t he arena, and i have beaten nemesis multiple times, I am not lying. I had over 350 hours on one file. Im not really a nerd, used to be anyway. I let my brother take the memory card to show his friend my file, and it was lost. so i basically do not play video games anymore.

  29. HeartBlade says:

    Good strategic layout but I agree that l1 days is too short. Even Braska, Auron, and Jecht took about three months to complete their pilgrimage and Im not sure but they probably did not have to face Yevon as traitors (not sure since the three were all deemed outcasts of Yevon). Not including possible days in tournaments, they are many scenes where Tidus is knocked out like when he falls after fighting the beat in Macalenia temple and so which may add up days or so. Still this is a good outline of the days we do know.

  30. Joe says:

    Gawd I hate this butterfly catching game so much. I tried the sounthern portion of the game for 2 hours and only succeeded once. The only time I got all 7 butterflies, I overshot the last one by a couple of steps and pffff………..I’m in the next screen. When I return there was no treasure chest and I had to start over again. I basically gave up after that.

  31. Deered says:

    You’re all assuming that Spira rotates at the same rate as Earth does. How many normal days does 1 spira day equal?

  32. GBJoker says:

    I’ll also agree the butterfly catching game was pretty bad. But mostly due to incredibly poor programming. All of the butterflies, including the blue ones, are lined up in a zig-zag path, which makes it insanely easy in some spots. But in, uh… Damn, forgot the exact name, the central area for getting butterflies, the one farthest away from Macalania Temple, there is very crappy programming on the last turn (the one that’s almost a 180 degree turn). The fact that perception and distance is beyond crazy makes that one a pain. The trick is to just hug the wall closets to the camera as you approach the turn, and as you go around the turn, jump to the other side of the bridge so that you’re still as close as possible to the camera.

    The chocobo race: Yes, it is beyond out of place for this specific FF. They aren’t even needed any where but to get across the bloody Calm Lands, which, I have never figured out why they made that one area about 5 times wider and longer than all other areas. Luca is almost the same size, but it’s split up into several sections… The trick for getting the Sun Sigil is to always at the start of the race, go right away for the second balloon, and ignore the closest first one entirely. This way, you’ll always be ahead of the other person and can get all the balloons.

    Lightning dodger is easy… Get yourself stuck in a place and dodge until you get 200+. Getting stuck means you don’t need the “No Encounters” mod on a piece of armor.

    And back to the main subject at hand; yes, 11-12 days seems a bit short. I’ve played through twice now, and I got to the end of Zanarkand at about the 30 hour mark both times. I might… MIGHT, accept 30 days…

  33. Seine says:

    Well, alot of people say that 11 days is kinda short, but you could take into consideration that this is NOT earth, therefore a “day” could have a significant difference in length. Seems unlikely, I know, but greatly possible.

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