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Look at the corner of the screen see how the world melts away as i leave? ITS SO WELL MADE, SO WELL MADE!!!
Two years after the confrontation with Sin in Final Fantasy X, the world of Spira has entered a golden era known as the Eternal Calm. Yuna, now free of her obligations as High Summoner, is finally able to get some much-deserved rest. However her own calm barely lasts as her old friend Rikku brings her a movie sphere showing someone who looks and sounds just like "him". Yuna sets out to find more spheres similar to that one, as they may provide clues to whether or not he is still out there. She joins Rikku and stoic newcomer Paine as a member of a "Sphere Hunter" exploration group known as the Gullwings.
Aside from being the first true direct sequel to a main series game in the number-crunchingly popular Final Fantasy series, the game has a less epic, more-down-to-earth tone, focusing on how the world of Spira is coping following the aftermath of Sin. It's a massive switch from the dark and nihilistic tone of Final Fantasy X, featuring Magical Girl-esque Transformation Sequences, heaploads of Fan Service and extremely cosplayable outfits, and peppy J-pop instead of sweeping orchestral scores. In keeping with this, Yuna got a big swing in personality (which is referenced quite a lot) and a new wardrobe to match.
Lost in the controversy over the changes is a fun game that never takes itself seriously or pretends to be anything more than a Fan Service game. The battle system- a fast and fluid refinement of the Active Time Battle system used in previous games- is praised as one of the high points of the game design, and it features the first use of a changeable class system since Final Fantasy Tactics.
Tropes used in this game:
- Absurdly High Level Cap: Subverted. While an average, non-perfect game would have your characters around Level 50 towards the end of the game, those wishing to challenge Via Infinito WILL NEED to be at Level 99  to survive.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Shinra, despite being in a full-body suit.
- Alliance Meter: In a Calm Lands sidequest, you can choose from one of two companies, Open Air or Argent, and promote them by either playing their games or spreading the word to citizens. You can switch between companies, but that would cost you half of the points earned for the other company. You only need to max out one of the companies' levels to achieve 100%, thankfully.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Every new dressphere nets your party another set of clothes to show off their new powers. The same as other Jobs in the series, though this game describes them as clothes first.
- Angels Pose: Seen in the opening segment of the game.
- Anime Theme Song: "Real Emotion"
- Anticlimax Boss: Vegnagun, which can be taken down almost effortlessly if the characters' levels are above average.
- Arbitrary Gun Power: Taken to the extreme with the Gunner's Trigger Happy ability, where you can shoot an enemy 20+ times in a row, yet they still have a fair chance of living.
- Arranged Marriage: Yuna almost has one, although her intended and his father are never seen in the game as they have been replaced at New Yevon by Baralai. While some people have thought this was supposed to be Baralai, he specifically states that this is not the case, much to Yuna's (thinly-veiled) relief. She was supposed to be married to Trema's son, who is never encountered. Much of this is addressed in a prequel video: "Eternal Calm".
- Artificial Limbs: Nooj has literally lost an arm and a leg.
- Ascended Extra: Rikku's brother (and Yuna's cousin) Brother.
- Back From the Dead: Tidus in the Good and Perfect endings.
- Bag of Spilling: Yuna and Rikku both do not retain their abilities or attributes from the previous game. Justified in that the Big Bad of the previous game was the source of Yuna's powers. However, Rikku has NO excuse for forgetting how to do the same things she apparently does every day with her tribe and has yet to stop.
- Could be justified since there is no longer a threat of Sin and therefore fewer people getting killed by him, thus fewer fiends. Rikku has also been on the airship for two years so it's reasonable that she forgot the basics since she hadn't been in battles and therefore didn't need to use them.
- Also, regardless of whether you found them all in the previous game or not, you have to find all the Al-Bhed Primers all over again. Regardless of the fact that Rikku, an Al-Bhed, is in your party at all times. And that Paine ALSO speaks Al-bhed as is revealed later in the game, and that Shinra, Buddy and Brother are all Al Bhed. And Yuna's mother was an Al Bhed... Still gotta dig though the desert to find em
- Fridge Brilliance Tidus was the one who picked up the Al Bhed primers, not Yuna.
- The Beast Master: The Trainer dressphere.
- Belated Happy Ending: The Good and Perfect endings.
- BFG: Gippal and Paine have them.
- Vegnagun should be noted as having a giant canon as long as its entire body...and its body is pretty big to begin with!
- Bishonen Line: Trema, founder of New Yevon and now Unsent, is just an old man... Which, given that he lives at the bottom of Via Infinito, should tell you something about his abilities.
- BFS: Rikku's sword for the Samurai class, which she takes awhile to actually lift and hit the enemies with.
- Bloodless Carnage: Apparently Lenne and Shuyin were killed by invisible bullets that left invisible wounds with invisible blood. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, since the attackers weren't using invisible guns...
- Bonus Dungeon: The Via Infinito, which has 101 floors and gets progressively harder every ten floors, with bosses at every twenty floors (which you thankfully only have to beat once). Go ahead, try and beat it without being at level 99 with Cat Nip. By the time you get to Cloister 80's Chac, the basilisk that can petrify you even if you have Stoneproof as an ability, most people start screaming.
- Bottomless Magazines: Played straight with the Gunner's Trigger Happy ability, subverted in the Gunner's Gauntlet.
- Canon Name: The game doesn't enforce this upon Tidus, who could be named in Final Fantasy X, and goes to sometimes awkward lengths to avoid referring to him by name to allow the player to pretend he still has whatever name you gave him if you played the first game.
- Catch Phrase: Shinra's "I'm just a kid," in response to questions he doesn't know the answer to.
- "Anything goes for..." Leblanc, Tobli, the Gullwings - take your pick, all of them are used at some point or another.
- Charged Attack: First game since Tactics to add in charge times.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Yuna, bar none.
Nhadala: We've got a prickly situation. Fiends are attacking the Cactuar Nation!
Yuna: We'll take care of it! Benzo, let's go!
Paine: I was wrong. She doesn't get dragged into trouble.
Rikku: She jumps in headfirst.
- Class and Level System
- Cloudcuckoolander: Brother is quite the oddball after getting a personality.
- Combos: The new attack chaining system that rewards characters for attacking in unison by increasing the damage of their attacks.
- Certain attacks (such as the first Gunner ability "Trigger Happy") do this automatically.
- Continuity Nod: Elma's argument with the Hypello, about allowing a chocobo to ride on a shoopuf, is the exact same one she had in the previous game.
- If you go to Bikanel Desert in chapter 2, Rikku will get the party lost, just like in X.
- Maechen makes comments about explaining Spira's history and geography to Tidus.
- Contrived Coincidence: Apparently the fact Shuyin looked JUST LIKE Tidus, who looked just like Chappu (Wakka's brother) was just a coincidence. Unless the Zanarkand Faith based Tidus on Shuyin. In addition, Lenne also looked a bit like Yuna, though the only person that felt this way may have been confused since Yuna only appeared to him using the Songstress dressphere made from Lenne's memories. Furthermore, when you actually see Chappu, he doesn't look a lot like Tidus - Wakka may have simply been melancholic since they were both close in age.
- Tidus being based on Shuyin is never explicitly stated, but is still pretty obvious, especially during the final boss fight, when every other attack is a renamed copy of one Tidus used in the last game.
- Dark and Troubled Past: You mean there's a reason Paine's so dark and quippy?
- Dead All Along: Maechen
- Deadpan Snarker: Paine
- Death Seeker: Actually Nooj's nickname.
- Debate and Switch: Carries over from the first game. In the original, there is an active debate in-game about whether or not it's right to sacrifice people in order to temporarily bring the rest of the world peace. Near the end of the game, the characters find a workaround to the Vicious Cycle, but it will still cause the deaths of two of the major protagonists. Word of God states that this was done intentionally, in order to show The Hero's growth from being selfish to selfless. However, in the sequel, a similar situation comes up and a character offers to sacrifice himself in order to defeat the Big Bad of X-2. Yuna vehemently opposes this idea, stating that she is sick of watching friends die or fade away, and that she does not want to fight battles where "we have to lose in order to win." Furthermore, the aforementioned sacrificed hero gains a chance to be reborn in this game, should the player meet certain requirements, providing no resolution to the overall debate.
- Yuna begins her opposition of the idea with her best line in the entire game.
Yuna: "I don't like your plan. It sucks."
- Destroyable Items: Oversouled enemies can sometimes destroy items in your inventory.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: During the massage mini-game, Yuna's (female) client's moans of pleasure get positively orgasmic should she hit the right spot.
- Demoted to Extra: Take your pick of any of the main characters from Final Fantasy X who aren't Yuna and Rikku.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did YRP just punch out a massive omnicidal superweapon?
- Duel Boss: Yuna fights Rikku and then Paine alone in an optional event.
- Dressing as the Enemy: A whole chapter of the game is devoted to finding three different female goon uniforms for Yuna, Rikku, and Paine so they can infiltrate Leblanc's mansion.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Continued from Final Fantasy X's ending: the entire sequence of events Yuna has to go through is what led to Tidus's return depicted at the end of the previous game.
- Paine makes a reference to this trope, commenting at one point "People who want happy endings have to write their own."
- Elite Mook: Kill enough of a particular type of Fiend, and one random encounter will eventually see that fiend absorbing the pyreflies released by those of its kind you killed previously, making it much stronger (but also drop much nicer loot, more gil, and experience).
- Elite Tweak: The Songstress dressphere. There is no possible way of attacking, and they only start out with Darkness Dance. Once you learn a few dances (which takes a lot of AP to learn), she can consistently cast Haste on the party or cast Stop on the enemies. The dances acquired through key items far into the game are also worth learning.
- Evil Makeover: The Dark Aeons.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "Our barkeep's a Hypello. No one knows his real name, so everyone just calls him 'Barkeep.'"
- Evil Debt Collector: Somebody involved with the making of this game definitely seemed to have something against debt collectors. In Chapter 1, you can choose to hide O'aka from a group of Al Bhed debt collectors on the Celsius, though you are also allowed to turn him over to them. Then, in Chapter 4, you run a mission in which you pursue Tobli, who is on the run from debt collectors, and he waylays them in a series of increasingly amusing and outrageous incidents.
- Excuse Plot: You have no objective whatsoever other than "run around and steal treasure" until about halfway through the game.
- Expy: Lenne and Shuyin
- Face Your Fears: Rikku has overcome her Fear of Thunder from the previous game by camping out in the Thunder Plains for a week.
- Fake Skill: To finish Via Infinito, many players rely on the Gunner/Cat Nip combo to defeat the final boss. It's clear the developers have realized this, since in the International Version, it also adds a Slow/Berserk status, ruining the strategy.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: Poor Tonberries...
- Fan Service: The game is fully aware of how cute and pretty it is, although Yuna's default outfit isn't really more ridiculous than any average FF character. The alternative outfits are quite racy even for her, though, especially the Thief and Lady Luck dresspheres. Then there's the Hot Springs Episode. And let's not even start on Rikku and that bikini!
- Fear of Thunder: Averted since the last game: Rikku has gotten over this in the two years between games by camping in the Thunder Plains for a week.
- Fetal Position Rebirth: Tidus
- Flanderization: Rikku was happy-go-lucky, quick-witted, yet reasonably clever, emotional and overall a well developed character, especially for her age of merely fifteen at the time of Final Fantasy X. Unfortunately, Square decided to relegate her to the stereotypical “dumb blonde” role, rendering her wit more based upon stupidity than anything else. And good luck seeing her display any of her previous intelligence. She has cute moments, sure, however she saw a significant decline. FFX-2 International only worsened this assassination.
- Fixed Camera
- Free-Range Children: Unfortunately, there are a number of these running around Spira because of Sin having killed off so many of the parents. While some have found other guardians, many of them have had to learn to fend for themselves, so they're even capable in certain cases of fighting off basic fiends. Examples include Calli, Lian & Ayde and the members of the Kinderguardians.
- The Gambler: The Lady Luck dressphere.
- Game Show Host: Isaaru now entertains tourists at Zanarkand by getting his Regis Philbin on. That is not a typo.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Chapter 3, the Gullwings decide to become "Your Friendly Neighborhood Gullwings, taking out fiends and charging for it." Of this money, however, you don't actually see a dime, except for a 10,000 gil reward on the Mi'ihen Highroad, and that's for taking out machina, not fiends. Justified Trope in Besaid, which is Yuna's hometown, so she doesn't really want to charge them for it. Not so much for Kilika, though.
- Pretty much the dresspheres. No matter what dressphere the girls are using in battle, if there's a scene right after it they'll be wearing their default Dresspheres (Yuna - Gunner, Rikku - Thief, Paine - Warrior) even if said sphere isn't even on the Garment Grid.
- Ghost in the Machine: Lenne's spirit still clings to Yuna's dressphere.
- Girly Run: Yuna
- Glacier Waif: Some of the dresspheres can invoke this.
- Global Airship: One of the big changes from your normal Final Fantasy game is that you get the Global Airship at the start and can go pretty much anywhere.
- Golden Ending: Notable for being very hard to get. What's more infuriating is that there is only one extra scene not included in the Good Ending, so completionists won't feel too rewarded.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: Leblanc, Ormi, and Logos
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Yuna, having never cursed in her life, seems incapable of using strong language.
"Who's Lenne? Why...why am I so mad? Who the heck is Lenne?!"
- And let's not forget
- Which Yuna actually gets scolded for saying.
- Guide Dang It: Getting 100 percent completion on your first playthrough without a guide is impossible, especially since the game doesn't show you fractions of a percentage even though many actions only earn a fraction of a percentage. Most players actually rendered getting 100% impossible during the first FIVE MINUTES of gameplay. There is a very short hidden conversation off to the side of the first area. Miss it, and even if you do EVERYTHING else perfectly throughout the game, you'll never get that 100%. Not to mention the fact that skipping scenes also deducts points. As does going through the wrong path, and accidentally hitting X during an extremely long lecture, etc. On the other hand, going through New Game+ and taking the second path will practically guarantee 100%, since there's actually a total of about 140% if you count both paths, and your percentages carry over.
- Getting the best ending without one is nearly impossible. How the hell is anyone supposed to figure out on their own that you hit X during this particular scene?
- Guilty Pleasures: For both male and female gamers, but for different reasons. For male gamers, it feels like a game for females due to the dress-up aspect. For female gamers, it feels like a game for males due to the Fan Service.
- Guns Akimbo: The Gunner dressphere.
- Hand Cannon: The Alchemist dressphere. Paine's might count as a BFG.
- Hot Springs Episode: Early in the game; while on a mission, the team discovers a hot spring on Mt. Gagazet and decide, right there and then, to put their pursuit on hold and get the bikinis out. Strangely, Rikku's swimsuit covers more of her body than her default outfit. Later, Shinra installs a security camera there, so you can watch other people bathe without their knowledge. But it's okay! You need to do it for Hundred-Percent Completion!
- Hot Witch: The Black Mage dressphere.
- Humongous Mecha: Vegnagun
Brother: "What in Spira is that machina?!"
- Hundred-Percent Completion: Usually only possible through New Game+. And you must pick Youth League to do this on the first playthrough.
- Hypno Fool: Leblanc had so much fun at the concert that emotion latches onto Yuna's garment grid, so that when Yuna gets the grid back, the emotion apparently brainwashes her, so that she dances uncontrollably for a few seconds.
- Idol Singer: The Songstress dressphere.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Almost every dressphere. The design philosophy seems to be, "How can we make this as hard as possible for cosplayers to pull off?" That hasn't stopped them trying, of course, with wildly varying degrees of success.
- Improbable Weapon User: The Lady Luck dressphere continues Square's tradition of using gambling and cards to attack, and the Mascot beats enemies up with dolls. Surprisingly, the remaining spheres all use appropriate or practical weapons, though some of them are ridiculously embellished.
- The Festival-Goer dressphere uses shoes, goldfish and cotton candy to attack, among others.
- Incest Is Relative: Brother has a crush on Yuna. They're cousins. This elicits quite a justifiable response from Rikku (Brother's sister) - a rather well-placed kick.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: As you begin the battle with Vegnagun's leg and after you finish it.
Paine: Leblanc never stood a chance against this thing.
Rikku: Well, we've got a leg up on her.
Yuna: Save the jokes for later.
Rikku: So, did we get it?
Paine: Sure looks that way.
Yuna: Shake a leg!
- Informed Ability: Yuna is supposed to have a beautiful singing voice...but Hedy Burress is Hollywood Tone Deaf. It's notably improved in the cutscenes.
- Informed Deformity: Despite Lulu being nine months pregnant, her character model is identical to the one from Final Fantasy X. Hell, she's still wearing her corset! This is actually Lampshaded by Rikku, who states that Lulu doesn't look pregnant.
- Item Caddy: The Alchemist dressphere.
- Just a Kid: Shinra's standard excuse whenever he's unable to come up with the answer to a problem.
- Large Ham: Brother, not just because of the voice-acting, but because whenever he talks, he flails his arms up and down.
- Last-Minute Baby-Naming: Wakka and Lulu's son doesn't get named unless you complete a sidequest, and if you fail or skip the quest, then Rikku jokes that the kid might go nameless until he hits puberty.
- Left Hanging: The fate of Isaaru, last seen during Chapter 5 prepared to die protecting Zanarkand Temple. But this will never happen if you do the Ruins' monkey match-making sidequest in Chapter 2/3, speak with him in Chapter 3, and in Chapter 4 watch him via CommSphere until he questions staying in Zanarkand. Then in Chapter 5 he will come back to Bevelle, reunite with his brothers, and become a hero.
- Let's Play: A rather hilarious one by Tipping Forties.
- Lethal Joke Character: The Gunner dressphere. Most of their stats are decent, with their specialty being Accuracy. Their abilities somewhat make up, but once you get the Cat Nip accessory near the end of the game, you'll be relying on them to take out the Via Inifinito bosses.
- A straighter example would be the Mascot dress sphere, which is an absolute pain in the ass to obtain and the most expensive dress sphere to train, but it has the potential of being ridiculously overpowered, almost as ridiculous as the costumes themselves look.
- Lighter and Softer: Even ignoring the brighter color palette and the "girl power" themes, compared to Final Fantasy X, this game has a lot less overwhelmingly depressing cutscenes. The pretty much non-existent body count aside from the flashbacks of the Crimson Squad, anyway, helps.
- Lip Lock: Subverted towards the end of the game. Special mention goes to Lenne in the ending sequence, where her lip-movements continue for a good few seconds after a quick "Hey there."
- "The nerve!" [flap, flap, flap, flap]
- Living Legend: Yuna is known across Spira for being the one who permanently defeated Sin. And singing.
- Lost Forever: The game is divided into chapters, so progressing the story means you lost all remaining sidequests in that section. The game is absolutely notorious for how hard it is to get Hundred-Percent Completion because of this.
- Averted in at least a couple of instances. The mission to rescue the trapped people in the cave in the Calm Lands Gorge and fight Yojimbo is still available in Chapter 5 if you didn't complete it in Chapter 3. The same goes for setting up the chocobo ranch, assuming you at least completed Cuckoo for Chocobos at Mi'ihen in Chapter 2 and had Clasko board the Celsius.
- Love Makes You Evil: Shuyin, though in his defense, he's also dead.
- Male Gaze: Rikku gets this the most. This also happens occasionally with Yuna. Also lampshaded when a sphere taken by Logos is shot from the backside of Yuna. He attempts to foist the blame onto Ormi...who walks into the shot a second later.
- Marathon Boss: Angra Mainyu. Even if you know exactly how to beat it, and your party setup is all but invincible to it, the battle can take a painfully long time due to its high defenses, frequent turns, and lots and lots of HP.
- In order to understand how bad it is, by the time you get to Angra Mainyu, you'll be doing about 900 damage with the physical oriented dresspheres (the last monster you probably faced was a drawn out battle with a monster with 8888 HP). Angra Mainyu has 333,444 HP. Heaven help you if you don't have the Cat Nip.
- Meaningful Name: The name of Wakka and Lulu's son, Vidina, means Al Bhed for "future". It's even more meaningful because this means Wakka has gotten over his hatred toward the Al Bhed.
- Mega Manning: The Gun Mage dressphere.
- Mexican Standoff: Gippal VS Baralai VS Nooj. And then again later on, though the three of them point their guns at the person they didn't point them at the first time. Yuna, Rikku, and Paine join in with this too.
- Mind Screw: The events inside the Den of Woe. The haphazard pacing of events and unnecessary flashbacks are the reason behind this.
- Mini Game: Many, though mostly optional. Sphere Break stands out for offering a Dress Sphere as a reward, and considering what seems to be the point of this game, that makes it practically mandatory.
- Sphere Break has the benefit of being a Luck-Based Mission where Continuing Is Painful and the tokens required to play are not readily available from any obvious source. Fortunately, the only opponent worth playing (the one with the Lady Luck Dress Sphere) is standing right next to a save point and playing to win is substantially easier than practicing (since a good amount of possible, otherwise correct moves have the side effect of eating your tokens and making it impossible to ever play again, which you don't have to worry about in your last game). You also have to be really good at adding and multiplying small numbers quickly, which no amount of grinding or online walkthroughs can help you with.
- Mismatched Eyes: As in the first game, Yuna has a blue left eye and green right eye.
- Moral Dissonance: Yuna finds the tourist trade at Zanarkand utterly reprehensible, but it's just fine for her to go on a Sphere-Hunting adventure at the ruins in Chapter 1.
- Multiple Endings: The Normal ending happens no matter what; the Good ending occurs after the Normal ending if you complete certain criteria; the Sad ending is happens if you fulfill the right criteria but have less than 75% game completion, and the Perfect ending is achieved through Hundred-Percent Completion. There's also a Bad ending if you lose the final battle after a certain amount of turns, though it takes at least half an hour of gameplay for this to happen.
- Mystery Arc: The Mi'ihen Highroad subquest, complete with Multiple Endings.
- Never Trust a Trailer: One of the early trailers ended with Yuna and Tidus getting gunned down in front of Vegnagun. Granted, said scene does actually play out in game, but it's not as... permanent. It certainly has shock value, though.
- New Game+: Unless you're perfect, you will need it for Hundred-Percent Completion.
- No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Invoked with dresspheres. The girls are stuck in their Gunner, Thief, and Warrior duds, respectively, though Yuna might appear in Songstress attire while channeling Lenne.
- Non-Human Sidekick: The Trainer dressphere gives each girl a thematically appropriate pet: Yuna gets a dog, Paine gets a pheasant, and Rikku gets a monkey. This is arguably a play on the Japanese folklore hero Momotaro, who met a dog, a pheasant and a monkey, who all agree to help him on his quest.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Because nothing quite says "practical design" like installing a pipe organ as the cockpit for your Weapon of Mass Destruction. It does, however, say "dramatically awesome!"
- One-Winged Angel: Interesting variation; your characters can do this, via thier special dresspheres.
- Palette Swap: Done with most of the monsters.
- Yuna also copies all of Tidus's animations while in her Warrior dressphere. Only her casting animation is different.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Quite a few of the dresspheres.
- Plot Tunnel: In-universe example. In the first two chapters, the Gullwings are sphere hunters, but take part in other missions than sphere hunting when they can. In chapter three, powerful fiends are coming from the temples, so they put off sphere hunting for the rest of the game, and most of their missions require saving people from the fiends.
- Post Script Season: Oh hell yes.
- Power Trio:
- Punctuated for Emphasis
Shuyin: This is our story, Lenne.
Yuna: Don't make me say this again! I'm...not...Lenne!
- Rapunzel Hair: How the hell did Yuna manage to get that floor-length braid of hair of hers in two years?
- The Rival: LeBlanc is Yuna's rival in sphere hunting. Eventually, you find out pretty much everything she does is to impress "Noojie Woojie", including throwing the concert at the beginning of the game and impersonating Yuna. She eventually teams up with the Gullwings to deal with the real threats.
- The Rock Star: Yuna's concerts are a plot point in several parts of the game. Following the influence of Lenne's dressphere.
- Rule of Sexy: Several of the dresspheres, and some NPCs (looking at Lucil here), have highly Stripperific wardrobes.
- Run, Don't Walk: Noticeable during Chapter 2 if you side with the Youth League. In Mushroom Rock Road, while traveling through, you must walk by the on-screen monsters to go unnoticed. Thing is, it's VERY hard to walk in this game, and chances are you will fight one of the monsters.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Inverted. Shuyin was just an Anti-Hero when he was trapped in the Den of Woe, but being forced to view his greatest failure over and over again turned him into an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Sequential Boss: Vegnagun, with a side of Colossus Climb. Also, the marathon in the Den of Woe.
- Serious Business: One sidequest has you pair up love-struck monkeys in the hope that they will breed and drive out tourists. The monkeys all have ridiculous names and when you examine them, the game tells you things like "Sylvah can't keep living like this" and "Quivorr looks ready to break some hearts." This is all done with a completely straight face.
- And when you complete the mission, you get this poem:
Their world was veiled in darkness.
But now, as monkey love blossoms and grows
a monkey-full future surely lies ahead.
This is their home.
They will protect it.
Now, and always.
- Shout-Out: If you change Paine into a Black Mage and cast any of the Ice spells, she'll occasionally say "Ice ice, baby."
- When LeBlanc fixes the feed on a sphere screening, Shinra shouts:"Inconceivable!"
- Many battle quotes are taken from various media and trends. For example, Rikku's reaction to one of the first enemies, a snake-like creature, is "Snake. Snake? Snaaaake!!!"
- The entire game is a shout out to Charlies Angels. Even the Japanese version did this.
- The majority of the weapons from Final Fantasy X are reused. Yuna's Warrior costume wields Tidus' Brotherhood. Yuna also wields Caladbolg as a Dark Knight, both her and Rikku wield Auron's weapons as a Samurai. Rikku's clothing also evokes Auron's in her Samurai form. Rikku's sword in Dark Knight also comes from FFX. The Mascot gives all three girls Lulu's dolls, both White and Black Mages get Yuna's rods/staffs (Yuna gets her default and Celestial Weapon respectively while the others get other weapons). Even the main villain uses Wakka's Celestial Weapon, World Champion, in Terror of Zanarkand, his version of Tidus's Final Overdrive, Blitz Ace. It should be noted that Paine gets her own unique swords in this game due to her weak connection with the previous game.
- Yuna's Warrior costume is an almost-perfect copy of Tidus' in FFX. She moves differently, when casting. Her casting pose is the pose Tidus used when you were activating his Overdrives.
- Many of the accessories, such as the Soul of Thamasa, are also series references.
- The name of the airship, Celsius, is a reference to Bahamut Lagoon, which had an airship named the Fahrenheit.
- ...And, in a less obscure homage, also to Final Fantasy X, which had the exact same thing. (Plus, the captain of the Celsius happens to be the Fahrenheit's captain's son...)
- In X, the airship has "Continental Circus" emblazoned on its sides, with the name "Fahrenheit" specified only by Word of God.
- The bestiary descriptions for some enemies nod toward their past incarnations, such as warning not to call Ultima Weapon "Atma", or the insectoid King VERMIN!'s entry ending in Barret's manner of speech.
- Late in the game, Shinra talks about how the Farplane is made up of limitless energy, and in a few generations that energy could be harvested and used. Yuna exclaims how it would be great for Spira, and how there would be shining cities that never sleep. Hmm....
- Much about the sequence you get if you pin Prophet as the culprit for the Mi'ihen Highroad mystery is reminiscent of Scooby Doo, right down to Prophet's voice, which sounds quite a bit like Shaggy.
- If you choose "Is that you, Isaaru," when Isaaru asks "What is the meaning of life,", Isaaru responds with "Is that your final answer?"
- One of Logos' lines when he uses his Russian Roulette attack is "Feeling lucky, punk?"
- Showgirl Skirt: The Gunner and Gun Mage dresspheres for all three girls, the Alchemist for just Yuna and Rikku, and the Songtress for Yuna only.
- Skinship Grope: The optional hot spring scene has Rikku nosing around Yuna and Paine's bathing suits, doing a breast comparison. She gets her just desserts for that.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Paine's theme song is...light jazzy pop? Wait, what?
- Spira Shattering Kaboom: Die or take too long in the battle with Vegnagun, and you're treated to this in the cutscene that follows. But you basically have to try to "lose" in this manner - if you're powerful enough to get that far, you can easily defeat Vegnagun's final parts within the time limit.
- Spiky Hair: Gippal has the distinction of being one of the few FF guys with a spiky hairstyle that's actually possible to pull off in real life.
- Stripperific: Too many costumes like this to count, though the Lady Luck and Thief dresspheres are the two most noteworthy.
- Super Mode: The special dresspheres, which are near-useless in Via Infinito's lower levels... To a lesser extent is the Mascot dressphere, which has its own unique abilites for each girl and pulls abilities from previous dresspheres, which also vary depending on the girl.
- Terrible Trio: The kimono-wearing Leblanc and her two henchmen, Logos and Ormi.
- Take Your Time: Wasn't it nice of Shuyin to delay activating Vegnagun until the Gullwings got there?
- Talk Like a Pirate: There's a Sphere Break player (possibly the most challenging) who shows up in Chapter 5. He wears a pirate-y outfit and asks if there's anyone in Spirrra who has the guts to take him on.
- Tech Demo Game: May have possibly been created to serve as a dry run prototype for Final Fantasy XIII's gameplay and chapter-like progression.
- Time Limit Boss: You have to beat Vegnagun before it fires. However, the time limit is so long that you pretty much have to try to run the timer out to see what happens.
- Took a Level In Badass: Yuna since FFX.
- Took a Level In Dumbass: Except for a very few key scenes, Rikku appears to have de-matured in two years.
- Took a Level In Jerkass: Rin, but only if you manage to pin him with the guilt in the Mi'ihen Mystery mission. Otherwise, he's the same kind man he was in the former game.
- Too Many Belts: As usual for Nomura character designs. Nooj in particular is probably the worst character design Nomura has done by a long shot.
- Totally Radical: Rather than the RPG standard "You obtained [item]x[number]," the game insists on saying "You scored [item]x[number]!"
- Translation Convention: Subverted, just as it was in the previous game. Somewhat annoying, in that it made sense for Tidus not to speak Al Bhed, but Rikku speaks it natively; you'd think Yuna would've picked up on some of it, too, since her mother did also, and an optional scene reveals that Paine knows a little of it as well, so there's no need for Yuna to, say, dig through the desert for more primers when she could just ask for lessons. This is just a strange example of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
- Transformation Sequence: These can be turned off. But why would you want to?
- Unexpected Shmup Level: The Gunner's Gauntlet, which is a third person shooter around Besaid Island.
- Useless Spleen: Rikku has the in-battle quote "I'mma kick you in the spleen,", to which Paine replies "'Spleen'?"
- Vapor Wear: Leblanc's outfit in particular.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: For such a light-hearted game, there's a disturbing number of examples of this...
- You can prevent Tidus and Yuna from being reunited. People who thought he was The Scrappy were Laughing Mad when they found this out.
- You can kill chocobos in battle.
- You can allow genocide by skipping a certain mission. You also get a very good accessory later on if you do this.
- When choosing to allow whether or not let Clasko board the Celsius in Chapter 1, the wording of the negative choice is "Sorry, loser."'
- There's a female Sphere Break playing who is saving up money to open up her dream shop. Each victory of Yuna's puts the woman one step further away from her new shop.
- The Leblanc massage sequence. Screwing it up is both funny as hell, and rather cathartic...
- You can walk over Brother when he's lying on the floor after he "jumped" in the first mission at Mt. Gagazet.
- Vocal Evolution: In FFX, Yuna's voice was soft and stilted per her personality, but in X-2, her speech has noticeably improved, as she's gained quite a bit of confidence with her new job. The actress and lipsynch technology got a lot better too.
- One of the main problems with FFX was Hedy Burress' attempts to lip-sync with a character who was speaking Japanese, something the other actors were smart enough to not bother with. New technology in X-2 allowed the lips to be rendered in real time, and we got a much more natural performance from her. (It should be noted that, in most animation situations, the voice actors do record first, and the artists animate to their performances, so all the English VAs would have been out of their element. Why they let Burress keep lip-synching anyway is its own question.)
- Walking the Earth: The Ronso children Lian and Ayde travel all across Spira over the course of the game trying to find a way to fix Kimahri's horn. While they don't succeed, they do expand their horizons by exploring the world beyond their mountain home and inspire their fellow Ronso to do the same.
- Wave Motion Gun: Vegnagun
- Waxing Lyrical: When Yuna first changes her dressphere to Songstress in their first fight with Leblanc, she often shouts "Hey, eyes on me!" "Eyes On Me" was the love theme between Squall and Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII.
- After the opening battle, Paine quips, "I could've danced all night."
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Subverted by Baralai, who gives off the impression of being one, though he is probably more of a Dark-Skinned Blond in appearance. While he does fight YRP at one point and gets possessed by Shuyin later on, by the end it is clear that he is on the side of good.
- White Mage: Returns as a dressphere.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Shuyin
- You Meddling Kids: Prophet's reaction if you pin him as the culprit for the Mi'ihen Highroad mystery. "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids."