Final Fantasy X owned by Square Enix.
Images used for educational purposes only.
Zanarkand Docks
- Once you gain control of your character (default name Tidus, which I'll stick with throughout the walkthrough) you'll be standing outside a house by the docks. Walk south to meet Tidus' adoring crowds; speaking to them will prompt name selection.
- Try to leave the crowd to spark a quick cut scene.
Zanarkand Overpass and Arena
- Follow the length of the highway to the east to enter the arena. Dash through the crowd to trigger another large (and one of the coolest in the game) cut scene.
- Run south after regaining control. Follow Auron.
- Eventually you'll get into your first battle. Woo!
Final Fantasy X is the first in the series to use the Conditional Turn-Based Battle system, or CTB. X's battles consist of a series of turns, laid out on a vertical pane on the right side of the screen. The faces on this pane indicate who goes next in the sequence, allowing you to plan ahead. Faster characters will before, and may go more often than, slower characters. Different actions will also change the order of the queue, with some actions eating up more time between turns than others. For example, casting a spell will often require more time than attacking or using an item. Plan accordingly.
For the moment, the only other thing to note about the CTB system are Overdrives. Characters that take a substantial amount of damage may go into Overdrive, allowing them to use powerful attacks. The more damage you take, the greater the chances of Overdrive being triggered.
Zanarkand Overpass
- You're currently facing waves of Sinscales. No big issue here; slash the ones in front of you. Ignore the ones behind your party. Tidus and Auron can one shot each Sinscale.
- After fighting two waves of Sinscales you'll face off against the massive Sinspawn Ammes. Use Auron's Overdrive to wipe out the Sinscales, then concentrate all fire on Ammes. Ammes only uses Demi to attack, so you'll have many chances to practice Tidus' and Auron's Overdrives as their HP is sapped.
- Beyond Ammes is a Save Sphere. Access it to save your game and fully restore Tidus and Auron's HP. Keep running up the highway.
- On the next screen are more Sinscales, and no matter how many you kill they'll keep appearing. Heed Auron's advice and whack away at the Tanker to your right instead. Five good hits should bring it down.
- Another lengthy cut scene will ensue. Once it's done... well, you won't be in Zanarkand anymore. Swim down in the next weird area, towards the purplish glow, and you'll wind up somewhere quite different.
- This doesn't bode well for our hero. You'll wind up in a watery ruin, filled with... well, not a whole lot, really. But you do have a map! That's handy.
- Swim northeast to find a small platform rising out of the water. Climb the stairs to find a glowing blue message. You can't read it right now - but if you check behind the broken pillars, at the rear of the platform, you'll find a chest containing 200 gil. not bad, not bad.
- Swim to the west side of the grounds. On another ruined platform is an Al Bhed Compilation Sphere. This will scan your memory card for other Final Fantasy X save files. If you've collected any Al Bhed Primers on these files (which allow you to decipher and read the weird language you saw moments ago), they'll be included on your new game. If this is your first trip through, though, you'll be outta luck.
- Head north until you reach a screen division.
Ruins - Underwater Hall
- Use the Save Sphere in this next area, then carry on north, across the thinning platform paths.
- When the path splits on your left, follow it to a dead end. At this end is a Hi-Potion in a chest.
- Return to the main path and continue northward. The ground will give out beneath Tidus. Swim around for a while until battle finds you.
- You're fighting three Sahagins. No big deal. Break 'em apart with sword slices. Kill two... and then the real master of these waters will emerge.
 BOSS: Geosgaeno
Looks cool... but this isn't a true-blue boss fight, as, like Ammes, Geosgaeno will half your HP with each strike. Consequently, there's no point at all in healing yourself. Hit it a few times and it will eventually chase Tidus out of the water and off to safety. (Don't worry - you'll get your chance to fight this thing for real. Eventually.)
Ruins - Hall
- At least you're in a semi-dry place. Climb the stairs behind Tidus into the large, central room.
- Less water, more chill. Tidus needs a fire. Start by examining the fire pit in the middle of this room; the game notes that you need flint and tinder to start a fire.
- Northeast of the fire pit is a door you can't open. To the right of this door, hidden behind a hunk of rubble, is a chest containing an X-Potion.
- South of the fire pit is a Save Sphere and a small offshoot room. Inside is a crushed table; inspect it to find Flint.
- Return to the Hall and go through the northern door.
- Go up the stairs to the second floor. Up here, set into the wall, is a vase containing a Withered Bouquet. Continue past it to the second floor of the Hall and you'll find a chest containing a Hi-Potion.
- Backtrack to the main floor and inspect the fire pit. Cut scene, and, then, battle!
You start off with Tidus fighting a Klikk solo. Beat on it until help arrives in the form of a mystery girl. Use her Grenades via the Special menu to do further damage to the Klikk. If you want to expedite the experience, you can use the girl to Steal Grenades from the Klikk. Continue whacking the creature until it dies.
- Once the battle's done you'll wind up, yet again, somewhere else. It is, at least, better than where you were. (Though not by a whole lot.)
Salvage Ship
- Once the cut scene has run its course, use the Save Sphere at the far end of the deck to fully restore Tidus' HP. On the other side of the deck, opposite the Save Sphere, is the Al Bhed Primer Vol. I.
- Speak to the Al Bhed on the left side of the deck to receive three Potions.
- Once you're done exploring, speak to the girl to learn about the Sphere Grid.
Sphere Grid
Character progression in Final Fantasy X is governed by the Sphere Grid. Rather than receiving experience points like other Final Fantasy games, you receive Ability Points (AP) which allow your character to move along the Sphere Grid and obtain statistical upgrades and new abilities. The tutorial that opens up by speaking to the girl succinctly explains the functions of the Sphere Grid; the only thing you'll really need to remember in the future (aside from planning ahead while developing characters, as it will save time and effort) is to include all party members in each battle. More on that later.
(If you want to watch this tutorial again, speak to the left male Al Bhed on the deck and say 'Yeah' when prompted.)
Underwater Ruins
- Speak to the girl a second time to prompt the next section. Tidus will dive off of the ship.
- Descend into the depths, following the chain attached to the Salvage Ship. On the way down you may run into a battle or two with Piranha; they're easy pickings. Steal from them for Grenades.
- Use the Save Sphere inside the Underwater Ruins. Approach the control console and inspect it to proceed. Continue swimming through the Ruins until you're attacked by more Pirahna.
- Approach the girl after driving off the fish. This will spark some sort of power-up process... and attract something gruesome. Try to leave the Underwater Ruins and you'll discover just what it is you've awoken.
BOSS: Tros
At last, a real boss battle. Tros is the most difficult foe you've faced thus far, but it's not that bad. It will spend the first few turns attacking normally, eventually fleeing to hide behind a nearby generator. The first time it does this, all you can do is Wait and recover some HP. Eventually it will dash back via its Nautilus Charge and damage both characters. The second time, though, you can catch it in a Pincer Attack and inflict more damage with your attacks. Do so and the girl's Grenades will deal ridiculous amounts of damage, killing it in a few explosions. (Speaking of which, you can Steal more Grenades from Tros while fighting. Handy.)
- Continue to follow the girl after the battle to trigger a cut scene. You'll soon wind up back on the deck of the Salvage Ship. Speak to the girl (Rikku) when given control and... um... bad stuff. Again. Tidus has a rather poor life at the moment.