At the top of Mt. Gagazet, the party encounters Seymour again. They killed him once and he returned as an unsent. Then they killed him again after escaping the execution maze in Bevelle, and he seemed to evaporate. But here he is again, looking much the same as ever.
Seymour, Round 3
Seymour appears alone, and apparently on foot. No escort. No minions. No vehicleAlthough he sort of turns into a flying machine for the boss fight, but we’re probably not supposed to ask about how THAT works..
Hm. This doesn’t really seem to fit with Seymour’s style.
He informs everyone that Kimahri is now the last of the Ronso, because Seymour killed them all on his way up the mountain.
Oh, okay. This is totally Seymour’s style.
Well, Seymour claims the Ronso are extinct, but there are still Ronso scattered around Spira. And if you hike back down the mountain, you’ll find a couple of Ronso shopkeepers standing all alone, still selling merchandise to nobody in particular. We never encounter any Ronso housing on the path. I think we’re supposed to assume they have houses nearby that we never see, and now we’re supposed to assume all those houses are empty. I’m willing to take the writer’s word for it, but this setup does take some of the punch out of Seymour’s killing spree. This would have more impact if the game actually showed us where the Ronso lived so we could see the devastation for ourselves. As it stands, he’s claiming to have killed, off-screen, a bunch of people that were never part of the visible gameworld to begin with.
Unlike the previous fights, Seymour means business this time around. This is where a lot of players see the GAME OVER screen for the first timeUnless you got ambushed by a Malboro in the Calm lands a couple of hours earlier. Man, screw those ambushes.. The game is finally starting to push back, and you’ll need to really know how to use the whole party if you want to beat this clown.
Part of the problem is that the power level of the party is now incredibly variable. Up until now, it seems like the game has been balanced under the assumption that the player is going to keep moving forward without making any special effort to grind. But now the player just went through the Calm Lands. After that there was a little side-path leading to the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth, one of the very few optional areas of the game. So one player hikes directly across the Calm Lands and skips the cavern, and another player explores all of the Calm Lands, finds the Monster Arena, spends some time rounding up monsters, and then does the optional cavern. All of that content is optional, yet rich in XP, so the power delta between these two hypothetical players is going to be enormous.
From the perspective of the game designer, this is the most variable the player’s power level has ever been. To me, it feels like the fight is balanced under the assumption that the player did most of the side content. This fight seems to be here to push back against players taking the lazy way through, although it’s certainly possible to beat him with an under-powered party if you’ve got a solid grasp of the mechanics and know what to expect. Like most boss fights, he’s based on patterns that the player can learn through observationOr read on the wiki, because they have better things to do than repeat this scene multiple times..
Seymour has a brisk health regeneration and a couple of attacks that deal huge damage to the whole party. In previous fights you could usually plow through by just healing and dealing steady damage. If you were clueless or under-leveled that fight might take a long time, but you’d still win eventually. But here it’s possible to get caught in a downward spiral where you spend all of your turns reviving and healing teammates instead of keeping up with Seymour’s health regen. Once that happens, it’s just a matter of time until he unloads his super-attack and wipes the party.
So OF COURSE the fight takes place after a four-minute unskippable cutscene. The difficulty of boss fights in this game are directly proportional to the amount of cutscene that precedes them. Fair warning: This is a problem they didn’t bother to address in the recent PC edition.
After the first Seymour fight we saw his dead body being dragged away. After the second, he seemed to dissolve. Now that we’ve pummeled him a third time, he’s been dispersed into a cloud of pyreflies.
Spoiler: We still gotta face this goof one more time.
Gotta Have Fayth
We come to a mass of people entombed in the cliff face. They look kind of like the Fayth that power the aeons in this world, only instead of being integrated into a tasteful display in a temple, they’re just shoved into the side of the mountain. Tidus touches them, and collapses. He finds himself back in Zanarkand. His Zanarkand.
A small ghost child – who is apparently the Fayth for one of Yuna’s Aeons – shows up and explains to Tidus that he (Tidus) is a dream.
A thousand years ago, Zanarkand and Bevelle had a war. It was the summoners of Zanarkand vs. the war machines of Bevelle. Zanarkand… didn’t win. So the survivors got together and became Fayth, and were used to summon the entire city and all of its people into some… dream dimension? If you read the Ultimania guide – which is extra-textual – you’ll learn that the writer thought that Dream Zanarkand occupied physical space here in Spira. It’s located near where Tidus dropped into this world. But that explanation never made it into the base game, which is a shame. Explaining that Dream Zanarkand exists in the real world, but isn’t located near ORIGINAL Zanarkand would have been nice, because it really helps us understand what’s going on and that’s not the kind of leap the player should be expected to make on their own.
After a thousand years, the Fayth are tired of dreaming and they hope that Jecht and Tidus – who are bits of the dream escaped into the real world – can end the dream by killing Yu Yevon.
Broadly speaking, there are four phases to experiencing a Final Fantasy story:
Phase 1: Wow. This is so new and different! So full of interesting ideas!
Phase 2: Some of these ideas are really out there.
Phase 3: This is so crazy I can’t even form an opinion on it. This is so strange I don’t have a frame of reference.
Phase 4: Are you sure this is translated properly? I don’t know what the story is saying and my head hurts now.
Welcome to Phase 4
I suppose this means that the Zanarkand where Tidus is from is… an Aeon? It’s not nearly as straightforward as I present it above, and they leave out the important detail that explains that the guy summoning Dream Zanarkand is also the guy summoning Sin – Yu Yevon.
This really does make Yu Yevon the King of All Assholes. He’s tormenting the people of Spira by attacking them as Sin, and he’s tormenting the people of Old Zanarkand by forcing them to dream this copy of Zanarkand into existence. Basically everyone in the world needs this guy dead.
There are lots of questions the story never bothers to explore. How did Jecht escape the dream world to begin with? If Tidus is a dream that they create, why do they continue to dream him as a know-nothing teenager instead of simply changing the dream so that he knows all the stuff and is an unstoppable juggernaut? If it’s their dream, why don’t they have any power over it? How did Auron get in and out of the dreamworldHe says he “rode Sin”, which is about as useful as saying he flapped his arms and flew there.? Have the people of Dream Zanarkand been living the same dream over and over, like watching a movie on repeat, or is Dream Zanarkand an ever-changing improv?
If these people want to stop dreaming so bad, why don’t they just have Yuna send the lot of them? She could make Dream Zanarkand vanish in a little dance. They wouldn’t even need to tell her that. Just have Tidus ask Yuna for a quick send.
Normally Sin is powered by the soul of the fayth used to create it. If you made Lulu into the Final Summoning then you’d summon her as some crazy aeon of belt buckles and cleavage. Assuming she and her summoner had a solid emotional bond, Lulu-aeon would defeat Sin and bring the next calm. But then Yu Yevon would abandon his old Sin, grab Lulu’s aeon, and get to work turning her into the next-gen Sin. That’s strange and a little confusing, but okay.
But The current iteration of Sin is powered by Jecht, who is already a summoned creature. This is like plugging one power strip into another. Unplug the first one, and they both go dead. So it seems like shutting down Dream Zanarkand would solve all of Spira’s problems right here, right now, without anyone needing to fight anything. Tidus would vanish in the process, which is just a nice side-bonus for everyone involved.
Actually, it’s even more convoluted than this. All of these fayth are being used to summon a single dream city full of people. Then one of those people gets loose into the real world and becomes a fayth. Then that fayth is used to power an aeon. Then that aeon becomes Sin. This is a power strip, plugged into a power strip, plugged into a power strip, plugged into a battery that’s been running for 1,000 years.
I can’t really call any of these plot holes. The whole thing is dense yet vague, filled with strange unexplained notions. If you want to know more you’ll probably need to read the Ultimania guide. And even once you read that, you’re still going to need to make up some details yourself. This is not a world of hard rules. This is a world of crazy ideas designed first and foremost to make stuff that will look impressive in expensively-produced CGI cutscenes, secondly to make for strong emotional cues. Having stuff that makes sense and follows explained rules comes in at a distant third.
 Although he sort of turns into a flying machine for the boss fight, but we’re probably not supposed to ask about how THAT works.
 Unless you got ambushed by a Malboro in the Calm lands a couple of hours earlier. Man, screw those ambushes.
 Or read on the wiki, because they have better things to do than repeat this scene multiple times.
 He says he “rode Sin”, which is about as useful as saying he flapped his arms and flew there.
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