|Full Name:||Lady Summoner Yuna|
|Age (Birthdate):||17 (going on dead)|
|Hometown:||The Isle of Besaid|
|Class:||Hero. Summoner. Doormat.|
|Theme:||Final Fantasy X|
"Don't say it isn't worth it... because it is. Even for a little while... people can sleep in their beds without being afraid. That kind of time is worth anything. Don't say it isn't worth it."
"Don't worry. I can fly. Believe."
Yuna became permanent public property the day that her father killed himself and became Spira's fourth High Summoner. She was somewhat able to escape the limelight on the rural isle of Besaid, and there won the hearts of a new found family who were the first to become her Guardians once she decided to follow in her father's footsteps. Spira has few celebrities, and Yuna feels enormous pressure to give the public whatever hope she can -- and to do the right thing to protect them, and the world that she loves. The world whose pain she feels so profoundly. Unfortunately, the right thing put her on a collision course with the dark conspiracy at the heart of Yevon; she has been excommunicated and sentenced to death. Nevertheless, Yuna continues her pilgrimage, in Spira's name instead of Yevon's; her journey has become a search for truth, and she hopes to find answers in Zanarkand. Gentle and soft-spoken, but not soft-willed, Yuna's steel resolve is quickly becoming another of Spira's legends -- as will she, if she's able to execute her plan, and thus herself, in order to defeat Sin.
- 1 Background
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Logs and Cutscenes
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Aeons
- 6 Personality
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Soundtrack
Note: Many ideas for Yuna's canonically minimally-defined childhood were drawn from the phenomenal webcomic Guardian, perhaps the most impressive work of fandom Yuna's player has ever seen. Highly recommended reading for any lover of FFX.
Part One: The Heretic's Brat
Yuna barely remembers her mother Rikku (ed. note: unnamed in the canon; added with staff and Rikkuplayer permission); she associates her with sunshine and fun, every day a holiday. And Yuna associates her with Sin -- the very first person that Sin took from her, on her way to see her estranged brother, to celebrate the birth of her daughter. Indirectly, this too is when she lost her father, Braska, because he transformed essentially overnight from cheerful, vibrantly in love heretic priest, to grief-stricken apprentice summoner, around less and less as he trained more and more.
But we're getting ahead of the story.
Here's to the tale of Braska and Rikku, which was whispered of among both Yevonites and the Al Bhed, but never turned to song, since it was a disgrace and a scandal to both peoples. Braska, renowned healer and charismatic priest; Rikku, brilliant engineer and gentle medic; each separately embodying the future of their kind. Both determined to forge a new future, together, their love for each other -- a love that surprised them as much as it validated their long-held suspicions that the other side was not so different -- itself a tiny metaphor of their larger dream of healing the cultural rift in Spira at last.
Even if Rikku had lived, this was not to be -- not in their generation. In running away from Home to marry Braska, Rikku had forfeited her role as a leader of her people and was widely considered a traitor; in bringing Rikku home to live in Bevelle, Braska fell from the grace of the Temple and was openly considered as heretical as his so-called wife. He wasn't formally excommunicated, but his time as favored son of Yevon was over, and many doors closed to him and stayed firmly shut, including any sort of career in the clergy.
Both of them grieved for lost friends and family. Both of them knew, when their daughter -- the metaphor of unity come again, this time more profoundly -- was born, that it was all worthwhile. They named her Yuna, for Yunalesca, greatest heroine of Spira, revered by all, even the Al Bhed, who might hate the practice of the pilgrimage but had known occasional peace because of it nevertheless.
And Rikku decided, once Yuna was old enough to be left for a few weeks with her father, that her simple existence was probably enough to begin to rebuild the broken bridge between herself and her brother. Armed with a sphere of their happy family, and the courage of her convictions -- the courage of her compassion -- ah, her daughter would grow up to be so much like her, despite never really knowing her -- she boarded a ship to Bikanel Island.
There was a risk; when Sin is abroad, there is always risk.
The loss of the S.S. Ptero was, therefore, not unexpected, in a world where death is always expected.
Braska was distraught, but his daughter was his comfort. Taking care of her got him through the temptation to join his wife immediately. But it also convinced him of the necessity to join his wife eventually -- as quickly as possible. For Yuna's sake. For Spira's. So that she'd have even the pale chance of a happy childhood. (Ah, how too his daughter is like her father; she would have been happier with him and Sin than without them both, and her current family feels much the same way.)
No one is turned away from training, not even a heretic, if they possess the magical potential to summon and especially if Sin is nigh. But where Braska went, Yuna could not follow.
Enough of the parents' perspective; Yuna is old enough to know herself, now, and to know that everything has changed. That her father is sad and driven and rarely around, though he loves her very much. That his best and oldest friend, Auron, is unsure what to do with her when asked to babysit. That the nuns of Bevelle, whose preschool she attends during the day, treat her differently from the other children. More harshly. They are callous and indifferent to her persistent tummyaches, which she gets whenever she's worried, which she is constantly, for her father but also for the many tiny dramas of everyone else she knows. When she learns her letters they sniff; when she makes a mistake she is punished twice as hard as her classmates. When she speaks glowingly of her beloved father the silence is worst of all.
The nuns look at her face, at her eyes, and call her "the heretic's brat" or "sneaky little heathen" without fondness. And Yuna learns their lesson, alongside her basic maths. She is not one of them. She does not belong. The other children are their treasures, but she is worthless. And those other children, aping their elders, amplify that cruelty in a thousand tiny ways.
Though there are plenty of both, all is not tears and loneliness. Little Yuna makes her own small joys, seeks it and finds it, making her father smile after they both come home at the end of the day, or feeding the birds with half her breakfast or playing games alone with her plushies, or with the occasional fragile friend willing to meet her eyes and see another child rather than a despised Al Bhed. Yuna reaches out less and less, growing shy. But she still has the courage to hope.
Her father leaves one morning on his pilgrimage, Auron with him, plus a strange silly man named Jecht who she has never seen before, and Yuna moves in with the nuns full-time. For a week or two people are slightly kinder to the heretic's brat; they know she may never see her father again. But quickly enough, things return to bleak normalcy. Sin is demolishing towns and destroying lives; tempers fray and suspicions rise. No one has much time for Yuna, especially as more and more newly minted orphans pour into Bevelle to be raised by the temple. Yuna has had a taste of their grief with the loss of her mother, and she feels it terribly now, alongside them. Her truancy is rampant; her stomachaches are bad.
But at least her father is still alive, out there, somewhere. Probably. She misses him desperately.
He comes to visit, several times, with his two friends; Bevelle is a crossroads of the continent, and they have to pass through it, or at least acceptably near it, several times, to reach all the temples. Jecht is no longer a stranger -- not to him, and soon, not to her. These visits build memories that will live on enshrined in golden sunlight; a foundation of the temple of her childhood. When they aren't speaking to her -- kindly, and warmly -- they're speaking of preparations. To cross the Thunder Plains. To sail across the seas to a remote island. To climb a great mountain.
When they leave, that final time, it's in the middle of the night. Braska cannot bear to say goodbye. (He takes a sphere, like his wife did. Perhaps it can bridge a gap.)
And then, a few weeks later... everything changes forever.
Part Two: The High Summoner's Daughter
The sky filled with pyreflies, and then it was finally over. Sin was gone, for now. The Calm had come at last.
Braska's Calm. High Summoner Braska's Calm.
All Bevelle celebrated; the stars themselves were drowned out by the lights of the party.
Child of the man everyone had reviled as a heretic, Yuna was suddenly the orphan of the man they now revered as a saint. After a lifetime of neglect, the attention -- the positivity -- was bewildering, overwhelming. Especially in juxtaposition to her own grief.
Yuna relates what happened next directly, and it's impossible to do better than she did, so here it is:
"Kimahri... Do you remember the first day we met? I was only seven. My father had defeated Sin, and all Bevelle was celebrating. Everyone was saying what a hero my father was. I was so happy. But when night came, it occurred to me. My father had defeated Sin and now he was dead. Now, I was all alone. I couldn't sleep, so I wandered into the town, away from the celebrating crowds. I stood on the bridge in Bevelle where my father and I had parted. Standing there, alone, I could see the fields where he had fought Sin. Then, you appeared, Kimahri. You said you were looking for the daughter of Braska, remember? At first, I was so scared. Until I realized what a gentle person you are. (Laughs) You weren't used to talking to children. When I told you that I was Braska's daughter... you said you would take me as far from Bevelle as you could. That it was the wish of a man facing death. I think I cried, then. Because that... that was when I knew my father was dead... and I would never see him again. You just held me, without saying a word."
We'll never know how well Yuna would have gotten on in Bevelle after that, but the fact that they failed to notice their seven-year-old celebrity WANDERING AROUND THE CITY ALONE AT NIGHT is not a recommendation for their guardianship.
It was the same wherever they went. Crowds would gather wherever Yuna passed; her fame seemed only to grow, no matter how quietly they entered or left a village. People smiled and cheered, they stared and consoled, but it was A LOT for a little girl who had learned shyness in self-defense. She began to learn a new lesson -- she would spend the next few years internalizing it -- that her father was only a hero, respected and beloved by all, because he became high summoner and defeated Sin; that she was only valued, only valuable, because of his sacrifice and her loss.
The only safety to be had was behind Kimahri -- or on his shoulders -- or in his arms (especially scooped up out of the water after jumping off a Shoopuf! Kimahri reintroduced a grieving Yuna to fun). He quickly became Yuna's sanctuary, her confidante, the one and only person in the whole world that she could absolutely trust. By the time they reached Besaid Village, it was unthinkable to her that they would ever part.
And they didn't.
"When you tried to go after leaving me in the care of the temple... I held onto you, crying, 'Don't go, don't go!' And you listened, Kimahri. You stayed. Kimahri, thank you. Thank you so much. And I've always liked your broken horn."
For the first time ever, someone stayed, just for her.
Things were better in Besaid for other reasons too. There were simply fewer people, far fewer, and the drastic change in scenery made the fact that she was treated like a little princess less surreal, less disconcerting. She would always be her father's daughter, but this was still a fresh start, and it was easy for her to believe that even if she had been nobody at all, the village still would have been kind to her, because they were kind to everyone.
Well -- almost everyone. She wasn't her mother's daughter anymore. Racism against the Al Bhed was the norm on Besaid, as it had been in Bevelle. Nobody seemed to notice her green eye, so as that fact of her life was forgotten... she let them forget. Passing was easier, even if it meant sometimes quietly enduring, rather than confronting, the stereotypes and scorn. Besides, who was she to speak for the Al Bhed? She hardly knew them.
She wished she could know them better.
Growing up in Bevelle -- raised by the Temple for most of her young life, no less -- religion was kind of background radiation to Yuna. Though she'd found little solace amongst the nuns, her father had instilled in her a quiet and beautiful faith. Now, in a way, those traditions were all she had left of him. Living in Besaid Temple, among kind, solicitous priests and nuns, Yuna's faith flowered.
Other friendships flowered too. There were three other orphans at the Temple. They were all a few years older than her, and as soon as they started including her in their circle, she promptly began worshiping them as the teenage gods they were. She grew especially close to Lulu -- an unexpectedly familiar face, as they had been briefly co-located at the Bevelle Temple School. Back then, Yuna had sensed her grief and wished she could ease it, but she was too little and too shy.
Now they were two grieving girls alone in the world together. Though they rarely spoke of it directly, pain shared was pain halved. One scary, stormy night Yuna took shelter in Lulu's room and simply never left. They became inseparable; big sister, little sister. When she wasn't behind Kimahri's leg, Yuna was usually holding Lulu's hand.
Wakka and Chappu became family, too. Especially after they normalized the whole celebrity thing. Big brothers -- sometimes gross, sometimes teasing, but always there for her. The chief distance between her and them was age; different interests. An innocence gap.
Five years passed. Five years in the Calm. Sunshine and palm trees and beaches and the sea. Playtime and mealtime, schooling and helping out around temple and island. Peaceful sleep. Peaceful prayers.
Part Three: White Mage
Yuna was twelve when she first consciously used white magic. Well -- it had happened a few times before, over the years, but nobody else ever really noticed and, in her most deeply ingrained habit, Yuna kept her own council about any surprisingly short-lived bumps and scrapes.
But then one day she came upon a kitty, dead before its time. Pain welled up in her -- her pain, her friends' pain, the cat's pain. And then the cat was alive again, and everyone knew that Yuna was a strong, natural healer.
She and Lulu kept the cat.
A formal education commenced. She had already been in regular Temple school all this time (and a much more dutiful student in the supportive environment of Besaid than she had been in Bevelle), but things were different now; white magic could be more than an avocation. It could very well be a career. With or without Sin, the world always needs more healers.
Yuna loved her family and she loved her village and she loved Yevon and she loved its teachings of healing and grace. The people of Besaid -- of Spira -- had given her so much. This was a way to give back. And, as the practice of her faith had been for the last several years, it was a way to connect to her father -- and, this time, her mother too.
Healing the scrapes and sniffles of the village was Yuna's first real taste of duty, and she loved it, she threw herself into it and then begged for more. White magic came to her as easily as breathing; a little too easily, actually, and the priests and nuns worked hard to contextualize her overflowing talents within Yevon prayer and teachings. It wouldn't do for miracles to be wreaked simply by the heart of a compassionate young girl. She needed to properly appreciate -- to firmly understand -- and then truly believe -- that her magic wasn't hers, but Yevon's, and used in His name, at His will, and in His way. The right way.
She believed them, and she prayed with all her might.
Three more years passed; years of study and prayer, service to temple and village, and deepening love for all of them. But years of play, too.
The others grew older alongside her, and left her behind, just a little, as young adults in truth. She continued to dwell with Lulu, and, sensing the attraction between her and Chappu, was much more of an encouragement than a third wheel -- constantly trying to get out of their way. Yuna, ever terrified of being a burden to anyone. She spent countless hours timing blitzball drills for Wakka. And she never stopped spending time with Kimahri; she might not have NEEDED him in that desperate way that she had as a seven-year-old child; she might have survived his departure; but why would either of them ever want to part?
There was just one small, secret wish that lurked in her heart. It felt impious to /want/ to be special, to be chosen by destiny, so she spoke of it rarely, but her huge shining eyes staring at the statues of the summoners in the temple weren't exactly subtle communicators. Of course she wanted it. To be like her father, the High Summoner, the ultimate role model and hero.
And then it happened, one night when she was fifteen, while Lulu was out on a date with Chappu.
And everything changed once again.
Part Four: Summoner
Yuna's awakening to her power as a summoner was dramatic, in proportion to her latent talent, newly expressed from its abeyance. From her perspective, one minute she was falling asleep and the next she was in the lake -- pressed about it later, she did not remember the dream. The voices and visions that had led her down a shining path.
From her family's perspective, she had apparently flawlessly sleepwalked through the fiend-infested jungle, then walked onto the surface of the lake, where she balanced perfectly, cradled by pyreflies.
They dried her off and took her home.
Back in bed with Lulu, she sensed the other girl's tempestuous feelings (she had never stopped being keenly attuned to other peoples' hearts, but now she felt even sharper and more clearly than it ever had) and tried to soothe them. Inevitably, they spoke of what had happened... and what it meant.
Yuna both asked for support and tried to explain why she wanted to be a summoner. That she felt that she owed it to Spira, and the people of Besaid, for being so kind to her. That they deserved her life, if that was all she had to give.
Lulu would not give it. Not then, and not in the morning when the temple priest confirmed the obvious truth, that Yuna had the gift and must be trained as an apprentice summoner. Having failed to convince her not to proceed down this path, Lulu, Wakka and Chappu then tried to /refuse/ her. To tell her that she could not, that they would not allow it. Kimahri held his silence, that day, but radiated worry.
Beneath the weight of their disapproval, Yuna began her training anyway. She knew, as they all did, that it was an empty threat. The temple had governing authority over orphan Yuna, not them. And not only would the temple prevent them from stopping her, it was serious sacrilege against Yevon. The world only had so many potential summoners, and it needed ALL of them. For prayers and leadership; for Sendings large and small; and, yes, for Sin.
And Yuna, true to form, wasn't just any apprentice summoner; as though the pyreflies themselves knew of her celebrity, she quickly displayed rare, extraordinary gift for the art. Her open, willing heart was glad to take on the burdens of the dead. Her patience and kindness were their match, when it came to easing their sorrows and their existence... onward.
It also helped that she was willing to obey any order, take any risk. Anything to be a summoner. Anything for Yevon -- for Spira. The overenthusiastic clergy of Besaid, aware that they had something special on their hands and eager, for a host of reasons selfless and selfish alike, to send forth such a prodigy from their rural temple, quickly pushed Yuna into overtraining. But nothing; not falling; not drowning; not illness; nothing would stop her from giving everything.
Eventually her family gave in. They were proud of her. How could they not be? But her passion, her devotion inspired them -- inspired all sorts of different feelings in them. Lulu began training in black magic again, and was the first to declare her intention to become her Guardian.
Then Braska's Calm was broken by Sin's return; it was childhood's end.
Suddenly so much more was at stake. All the village thought they knew what it looked like when Yuna was in earnest, but her former efforts were as nothing to her preparations now. She was overwhelmed by a terrible urgency, both others' and her own. A year into her apprenticeship, she had grown strong enough to endure the kind of training that had once left her shivering and delirious, and found new limits to push instead. The others threw themselves into their own commitments -- including the one between Lulu and Chappu, which was becoming very serious.
But instead of proposing, Chappu signed up to become a Crusader; to defeat Sin, so Yuna wouldn't have to. And so Lulu wouldn't have to. More the latter than the former, really. Yuna blamed herself anyway, as was her wont, but also inwardly admired his courage and sacrifice. While he was gone, they all tried to distract themselves by working harder than ever.
And then he was /gone/, and there was no avoiding reality. They comforted each other as best as they knew how. None of them were strangers to grief, but they discovered that the first loss to Sin after the Calm hurts extra. Nor were they strangers to guilt, each blaming themselves in their own way.
But Yuna was not expecting, and was not prepared, for Lulu and Wakka to announce that they were leaving on a pilgrimage... only it wasn't hers. Father Zuke -- son of Besaid, priest of Bevelle -- was leaving, and they were going with them. Going without her. Obviously, though it went unsaid, going FOR her, so that she wouldn't have to.
First she was shocked; and then using all of her sixteen-year-old wits she concocted a scheme to go with them as a Guardian herself, as the party's white mage; and then, when they rejected that, she begged them to reconsider; and then she cried alone.
Not truly alone. Kimahri stayed. Stayed, and held her, as the two of them worried together about their distant friends. With the rest of the village, to whom she was already close, she grew closer; focusing on their hopes and dreams, their big and little hurts, their need -- their aching need -- for another Calm. Things got worse and worse.
When Sin came, Yuna found out what 'worse' really meant.
The village was devastated; Yuna's resolve as a healer were put to their first serious test. Not her skills -- there had been a serious injury here or there, in the last few years -- but rather her ability to work through the horror, through the pain, not of one victim of an accident, but an entire island's.
Her resolve as a summoner was tested too, as she performed her first large-scale Sending.
She was still attending to the living -- what remained of them -- when Lulu and Wakka returned. Whole and well, or at least well enough. Yuna's broken heart was still young, and it healed in an instant. She begged them not to leave again without her, and they agreed.
And then they all began training together, the four of them. Well -- three and a half, maybe. Wakka was still distracted. But Yuna didn't begrudge him his outlet.
It wasn't strictly /for/ her, and the timing was more coincidence than planned, but the statue of High Summoner Braska arrived on Yuna's seventeenth birthday. Yuna was awed and touched and all kinds of other, complicated feelings. But most of all it reinforced her resolve. She was going to do this. She was going to become a summoner.
And then she did.
Part Five: Pilgrim
It took a day and a night in the Chamber of the Fayth, which it isn't really supposed to, but Yuna had been trained in a /very specific ritual/ and imbued with a lifetime of instructions about the heresies of trusting her heart over trusting Yevon.
When it didn't work -- when nothing seemed to happen -- she did it again. And again. Terrified by her own unworthiness, humiliated by her own overconfidence, she hyper-fixated on the tiniest details of the ritual, praying until she was exhausted, and then praying some more.
Until -- finally -- desperately -- she stopped thinking about Yevon, she stopped thinking about herself, and simply begged the fayth directly, girl to girl instead of priestess to spirit: "Please."
Please join with me to defeat Sin. Please help me save Spira.
Contact came immediately, in a great rush of vision and memory and feelings, until Yuna wasn't sure where she ended and the fayth began.
She remained with her, deeply entranced, for a very long time, as they shared themselves with each other, fayth and summoner, united in mind, body and spirit. Too long -- Yuna's body began to give out. Neither of them noticed, until Besaid's fayth sensed the approach of someone unusual. Someone interesting. (Someone she knew, in dreams.) Suddenly aware of how much time had passed, she released Yuna promptly. Yuna's sense of self rubber-band snapped back into place, but... stretched. Very much expanded. Ancient texts had utterly failed to prepare her for the profundity of their souls' merging.
She nearly collapsed on the spot, but was rescued by Kimahri. Lulu and Wakka were waiting for her as well. And... someone unusual. Someone interesting...
After a brief rest, during which she was informed of how much time had passed and how worried everyone had been, she emerged from the Cloister triumphant but also feeling very... gentle. The village was overjoyed, and she was glad for that, and felt terrible for frightening them, but so much of her mind was preoccupied by her ordeal and processing her experience, and her new reality. It took prompting from Wakka and a little internal nudge from the fayth to remind her to summon her -- their -- aeon for the first time. Their aeon, Valefor.
She was so /wonderful/. Yuna felt such tenderness, and fell in love all over again, and then she fell asleep -- though not before interrogating Lulu and Wakka about the boy who had invaded the Cloister of Trials because he feared for her safety! A boy from Zanarkand... Zanarkand, like the one described by Sir Jecht.
That night, the whole village celebrated, but of course it was bittersweet. Some summoners remain in villages to learn and to teach, to Send the dead and protect the living, but everyone knew that was not Yuna's intention. She and her family -- her Guardians -- had decided before they even entered the Cloister that once Yuna was a summoner they would embark on the pilgrimage immediately. Even a day lost could mean another massacre wrought by Sin.
So she spent her time among the village elders and children whom she would never see again. It was a long goodbye and a reassuring one -- from her, for them. Not that she would be okay; that THEY would be okay, without her. The only person there who wasn't one wrong word from crying was Tidus; they finally got a chance to speak.
It was so awkward! They were both awkward. Yuna felt a new kind of shyness blooming alongside an eagerness to get to know this mysterious stranger better, and did not, could not recognize it for what it was.
This did not improve on the boat to Kilika Island the next day. Leaving had been agonizing -- every step its own goodbye to an island and its people she would never see again, and she felt both grief and gratitude for this place that had given her peace and shelter for ten sweet years. But somehow, feigning nonchalance -- why was she feigning? why did she even feel a need to act cool? -- around Tidus was almost more agonizing, perhaps because of its unfamiliarity. At the same time, it -- he -- was a welcome distraction. He was the perfect accompaniment to the gentle sea breeze, a wind full of promise. The beginning of an adventure.
Over the course of just a few minutes, Yuna and Tidus established that they were, indeed, both awkward nerds who were at least capable of laughing at themselves over it; that they might be connected by destiny or the blessing of Yevon, if indeed his father had been her father's Guardian; and then Tidus saved Yuna's life, /again/ (though only she was fully aware of it being the second time) as Sin attacked. Afterwards, she healed his wounds, and marveled at the strange miracles of the world. The little things.
Fighting Sin for the first time is a life-changing event; it is different than huddling in a village as it disintegrates around you. It is, in a terrifying way, empowering, at least if you survive. And so, when Yuna saw the wreckage Sin had left of Kilika, it filled her with resolve, rather than fear. Resolve to defeat Sin, and end this suffering.
There was more immediate suffering to attend to first, that of the living and the dead. Never mind that they'd just finished a terrible battle; no one could stop Yuna from rushing straight down the gangplank to meet the villagers and, with both dignity and compassion, offering to perform the Sending.
It was different now, with a fayth in tow, riding along with her. Stronger mystically, but more than that, much more powerful emotionally. Her own grief; the fayth's grief; her friends' grief; the villagers' grief; the grief of the dead, as she guided them to the Farplane. It filled her to overflowing. Afterwards, drained, she sought validation from Lulu. They held each other at the Inn that night -- as they had countless times in their bedroom at home, but never in the immediate aftermath of a Sin attack or a mass Sending. Last time, Lulu was with Father Zuke.
Yuna let thoughts of Tidus distract her that night, and by morning had decided to translate them as a desire for him to become her Guardian. Everyone she'd ever been truly close to had become her Guardian, and she... wanted him to be close to her... so...? Besides, there was something so strange and wonderful about his miraculous presence here in Spira. For him to be her Guardian, as his father was to her father, stirred her heart powerfully. Lulu didn't like it but wouldn't forbid it. She was taken aback by Wakka's reluctance -- didn't Wakka, in some ways even more than her, want Tidus to be part of their family? Trying to find the words to describe her feelings was a struggle, and she was grateful for Lulu's intervention.
They became more of a team on the trip through the forest. Crusaders were everywhere, trying to rid the jungle of the fiends that always intensified near Sin. Yuna was reminded of Chappu and of Besaid, too -- she'd always loved jungle -- and, determined to do her part, did the opposite of following instructions when they were warned away from the greater fiend Ochu, Lord of the Wood. By the time they made it through to the temple they had settled into a real fighting force, become comfortable supporting one another in battle in a way that no training could achieve. Their pilgrimage had truly begun in earnest.
Sin seemed to be everywhere they turned, though. Indulging in a moment's playfulness, a race up the famous steps of Kilika Temple turned into another battle against major Sinspawn. To Yuna, protecting her more extended family of Besaid Aurochs -- like a half dozen other big brothers to her -- was an immediate and vital priority, and she remained, alone, to cover their retreat and await her Guardians' arrival.
Relief at the temple was short-lived. First the Luca Goers were nasty to the Aurochs, and then Lady Yuna The Summoner had her first encounter with one of her peers, who was quite nasty to /her/. She had been sweetly eager to meet Dona and introduce herself, but after Dona remarked upon Yuna's fame, and denigrated her Guardians, Yuna -- in her soft-spoken but firm way -- drew herself up and defended their honor, and her own. She pushed the encounter from her mind to focus on the Cloister of Trials -- the first time all of them had gone through it together -- and bid Tidus farewell.
The Cloister itself was straightforward, in a high-temperature way. As her Guardians led the way, she meditated quietly on the beauty and danger of flame. How it could cleanse, could purify, as well as simply harm. When it was time to enter the Chamber of the Fayth, she did so humbled by her first experience -- only two days ago! -- but also with a much clearer sense of performance. After dutifully performing the ritual, /once/ instead of an increasingly panicked half-hundred times, she relaxed into her lotus position and opened herself to communion with Kilika's fayth.
Not easy, but simple.
It was less overwhelming the second time, but no less incredible. In a single moment Yuna gained more understanding of the Crusaders -- their ways, their struggles, their purpose -- than any amount of simple admiration for their cause could have provided. Her quiet distress about Yevon's excommunication of the Order sharpened into a deep compassion for the men and women who had given their lives to stop Sin for good... and the ones about to do it again. Yes, the two of them would do well together.
She emerged several hours later, exhausted but, unlike last time, at least able to stand. Well, maybe she crouched a little. But it was a controlled collapse -- progress!
After letting Lulu and the others fuss over her a little, she endured similar treatment from the crowds of well-wishers, and prayed to Yevon that she would be able to return their gratitude with a Calm someday soon. She thought about the way Tidus screamed, screamed out his feelings wordlessly at the jungle canopy, when they came to be too much, all the way back to town.
After that there was nothing left to do but leave. Bidding the beleaguered survivors of Kilika Village farewell, they boarded their next ship. Yuna, irritated at the Goers' continued rudeness to Tidus and the others from Besaid, picked the wrong hill to die on, defending his origins in Zanarkand. But while the crowd may have written her off as an eccentric celebrity, she confessed to Tidus, afterwards, that she really believed him. About Zanarkand. About everything.
...because of Jecht.
They did not speak again of his becoming her Guardian, but out there, beneath the twinkling stars, they did speak of Jecht. Of her good memories, and his bad ones. The last possibility of there somehow being two different Jechts evaporated when Tidus performed the Jecht Shot that she'd been shown as a child, and well... that was that. It was amazing, how differently they felt about his father. About both of their fathers. About what it was like to be the child of a famous father, following in their footsteps.
It was amazing, how nice it was to talk to somebody who understood.
All the while, their ship sailed and chocobo'd its way to Luca.
To Luca, where the blitzball tournament awaits Wakka.
To Luca, where crowds of people will expect her to smile.
To Luca, where she and Tidus are supposed to say goodbye.
To Luca, which is really just one minor stop along the way.
Along her way...
Coming Soon on DC
Part Six: Traitor, in which Yuna unwisely accepts a sidequest from a hungry ghost, unwisely accepts a proposal from a maester, then accidentally turns him into a hungry ghost, too (check!)
Part Seven: Apostate, in which Yuna, excommunicated and sentenced to death (check!), commits the ultimate heresy in the halls of Zanarkand
Part Eight: High Summoner, in which Yuna helps break the thousand-year spiral of death for good
Part Nine: Sphere-Hunter, in which Yuna searches for answers: where Tidus is, what Spira is, and who she is, in a world without Sin
Powers and Abilities
Magic isn't always hereditary in Spira, but it helps, and both of Yuna's parents were white mages, so nobody was really surprised when their daughter turned out to be as well. After the traumatic experience that caused it to flow out of her at full strength for the first time, she spent the next several years in training at Besaid Temple, beneath the white mages among the nuns and priests. The violence of Sin has caused her education in white magic to expand ferociously through terrible experience -- first when he attacked Besaid, prior to her pilgrimage; then in the aftermath of Kilika; Operation Mi'ihen demonstrated that Yuna can heal whole battlefield's worth of survivors, and push herself beyond her limits to do so. She also knows that she could use her magic offensively, to bring peace and passing to the undead, though she has yet to do so.
Although it isn't a requirement of the art, to Yuna white magic has become inextricable from her summoning in the sense of being a deeply empathetic experience for her; she prays through the chants of Yevon for salvation, but her magic is driven by her heart, by her deep sense of others' suffering and urgent need to relieve it. Yuna's white magic is always, one way or another, an expression of love. Love of Yevon (for now), love of Spira, love of its people, both in general and in particular.
'Holy', one of the most potent offensive magics in Spira, is a bit different -- she will always feel sorrowful when she invokes her magic to do harm to the living, once she becomes capable of it. She isn't yet. Holy will be a symbol of her resolve, and how much she has grown.
Yuna is a summoner, like her father before her; after awakening to her potential, she threw herself into study on Besaid Island as an apprentice summoner, then immediately set out on her pilgrimage once she gained her first aeon and full standing. Her whole career has been defined by the urgent threat of Sin, and the immediacy of its atrocities, as she rushes to become worthy of the ultimate sacrifice.
Yuna is a summoner of unlimited potential because of her extraordinary capacity for empathy. It is her defining trait, and also her doom. Yuna is suicidal in her need to relieve the pain of Spira which she feels so directly and personally; it is why she became a summoner and why she continues her pilgrimage even as an excommunicated heretic.
Because of her strong ability to connect with pyreflies and fayth through the power of feelings, Yuna's practice of the art is very different from the norm. Sendings are an extremely emotional experience for her, as she opens herself to the grief, pain, and rage of the pyreflies of the recently dead, and then forces herself, and therefore them, to accept their death and move on, a high-stakes catharsis that she experiences directly alongside them.
But a summoner isn't just a pyrefly dancer: they are ghost whisperers. Yuna takes it a step further, as a shaman in a classic definition of the term -- she is a spirit carrier. An aeon is born from the union of the soul of a summoner and the soul of a fayth, the willingly sacrificed spirit of a person now bound to a statue and trapped in eternal dream, except when they get to go on walkabout with their petitioners. In a Chamber of the Fayth, a summoner prays for the honor of this union, and it is, if granted, both literal and permanent. In the instant that they merge, summoners momentarily experience the whole of a fayth's life (and vice versa), and though they do not retain the knowledge and memories of each fayth, they do retain the most important underlying feelings, the emotions that made that fayth who they were and are, which becomes the basis of their bond... which is expressed, externally, in the form of an aeon.
Merging with fayth to produce an aeon is a similarly emotional experience for Yuna. The first time Yuna presented herself to the fayth, specifically Valefor's, it took her a really long time for a variety of reasons, but one of the foremost ones is that she was trying /really hard/ to do as she had been instructed by the priests, to stick to the traditional prayers and gestures. It was all very rigid, and in some ways it just wasn't really /her/. Once Yuna found the courage to stray from their instructions and simply open her heart in the way that has always come so naturally to her, to give herself fully to the fayth not as a priestess but as a person, as one young girl connecting to another, the rest was -- not easy, but simple, as she sometimes likes to say. (After learning to trust herself and the fayth and allow them to connect as people, the rest of her experiences in the Chambers of the Fayth were MUCH faster, though still exhausting, arguably moreso than for most, because of how much of herself she pours into it.)
All this is another way to say that Yuna loves the fayth and the aeons, and the fayth that live inside of her love her too, as does the symbol and product of their merging. Together, all this love produces miracles.
Day to day, Yuna, truly attuned to the fayth she has given permanent homes within her soul, is never alone. She can feel the fayths' joy and sorrow and rage and even humor as they see through her eyes -- and feel through her heart. Hearts can speak and they can listen, too, and in this way Yuna and her fayth have deeply meaningful, and ever-evolving, relationships.
Besides being a nascently powerful summoner simply because of who she is, she is also rapidly gaining skill from all-too-regular battle experience, and is soon to receive some direct training from the (secretly Unsent) summoner mentor Belgemine. She uses her aeons wisely, playing to their strengths and covering for their weaknesses. Extremely early in her career, she was sometimes too conservative, wanting, paradoxically, to protect her aeons, to not want them to get hurt. She still wants that but has figured out, correctly, that the best defense for an aeon is a strong offense.
- Besaid Worry Beads: Yuna runs her fingers along the beaded necklace in her hair when she needs to have a good long think. The stimulation helps to calm her, and of course the beads themselves remind her of her beloved island home, which feels more and more distant as her pilgrimage goes on. (Retired as a Tool; she still wears it though!)
- Kilika Fishing Net: Yuna has been keeping a little piece of Kilika with her ever since their first visit, in the aftermath of Sin's attack. It is stretchy and long and has little hooks on it, basically it's a portable ladder. And yet, through the miracle of Spiran knotwork and handicraft, it folds up into something small enough to tuck into her obi.
- Macalania Destruction Sphere: In the aftermath of the chaos of the Macalania Sequence, Yuna wound up with the temple's Destruction Sphere in her possession. Reasonably, she elected to start using it to... destroy things.
- Teleport Sphere: Discovered in the Via Purifico, one of its forgotten secrets. Teleport Spheres are one of the greatest treasures in all of FFX and an extremely limited resource; therefore the tool is appropriately powerful, but rarely usable.
- Pilgrim's Sash: Yuna has received many gifts and other acquisitions on her travels, tucked away in her obi. Their memories are as valuable to her as their actual functionality -- perhaps moreso. A few examples:
- Unmeltable Shiva Ice Crystal containing one of Mariel's white flowers (returned to Mariel)
- Half of a Drifter wood carving made and split by Ragnell during their first meeting
- A screw from when Marivel left Hob with her for a while
- A water flask given to her by her Al Bhed captors while they were crossing Bikanel Desert to bring her to Home
- Her souvenir from the Water Shrine
- Other Temple Spheres (a Besaid Sphere, a Glyph Sphere, etc) she's received at the various Cloisters of Trials
- Potions/Ethers/Phoenix Downs given to her by various Spiran fans, along her journey
- Staff Technique: Yuna can bonk people with her staff; she's been training with it since she was a little kid, since it's a tool for both white magic and summoning. She isn't super effective, but actually it's her favored defense against benign threats, like Al Bhed kidnappers. She'd rather do too little damage than too much, and wouldn't dream of summoning her aeons to fight other people.
- Al Bhed: Yuna was raised bilingual by her parents, a tradition carried on by her father alone once her mother was gone (it became a way to remember and honor his wife), but she never got to use it outside of speaking to him, and, given an intervening decade since he was alive, has forgotten most of what she knew. What little she retains is very girlish and sweet, and she can't read it at all.
- Dancing and Singing: Yuna is a highly trained dancer -- dancing forms the core of the vital Yevonite ritual of Sending, even if it's basically the saddest dance possible. She has great body control, earned through years of practice. She also has a naturally beautiful voice with a wide range, though no training with it and minimal experience outside of the Hymn of the Fayth and other prayers.
- She is not an eager performer, and tends to have to be urged to the stage (outside of times when it is her duty, as it is with the Sending). But she is naturally expressive, and given the opportunity, her powerful feelings are strongly communicated through song and dance.
- Someday, the Songstress dressphere is going to be /lit/.
- Blitzball: She's not there yet, but Yuna will have cause in her retirement to Git Gud at holding her breath, swimming, and ultimately totally kicking butt in the Blitzball arena. YRP! YRP! GOOOO GULLWINGS!!
Logs and Cutscenes
Chapter 2, Act 1
Chapter 2, Act 2
Chapter 2, Act 3
- Kimahri: Kimahri, unique among everyone in Yuna's life, is the only person who has never left her -- who stayed, just for her, when she asked him to. He's been a scary savior in Bevelle to the only one she'd chatter at when she was shy around everyone else as a little, to now, when he's the one she shares her deepest secrets and fears with -- and, very rarely, her tears. Yuna adores Kimahri, would do anything (except not defeat Sin) to avoid causing him pain, and there's nowhere in Spira she feels safer than in his arms. (Even if she's a little old to sit on his shoulders these days.) Because of Kimahri Yuna has a very high opinion of Ronso in general.
- Yuna refused to leave Kimahri behind in Bevelle when he sought to buy them time to escape from Seymour; with the last shred of illusion of any possibility that she would allow him to die for her as a Guardian banished, they are closer than ever. As they approach Mt. Gagazet Yuna is starting to relate to Kimahri in a whole new way -- she senses his apprehension, as an outcast coming home. Now she's an outcast, too. But they'll always have one another.
- Lulu: In part because they're both girls, in part because they're both mages, in part because they shared a room growing up, in part because they also share a history of grief involving pilgrimages and summoners, and in part simply because of who they are, Yuna is much closer to Lulu than she is to Wakka, and was to Chappu. She knows Lulu better, and is known by Lulu better, than anyone else on Spira. They've been helping each other dress, and doing each other's hair, for ten years! That's really close.
- Lulu is much more big sister than mother, but either way, a bit of an authority figure in Yuna's eyes -- she always wants to make Lulu proud, and it's Lulu she looks to first for approval of her actions and decisions. Yuna hugely admires Lulu for her intelligence, her determination, and her oft-hidden kindness, but would never think of it those terms -- she just loves Lulu for being Lulu, because she's Lulu. Yuna is painfully aware that she's putting Lulu and Wakka through the wringer by becoming a summoner, and feels that their willingness to become her Guardians, despite the pain it causes them, is a debt she can never really repay. Defeating Sin for them is the only way to even come close.
- On the far side of killing Seymour in self- (and Guardian-) -defense, and getting them all branded first as traitors by the Guado, then as outright apostates by Yevon, Yuna feels immensely guilty about having dragged Lulu and Wakka into imprisonment, interrogation, and ultimately a death sentence. Plus Seymour killed their last summoner, and the man who brought Lulu to Besaid in the first place, Father Zuke, right in front of them, seemingly only to make them suffer. Their choice to stand alongside her in the face of societal and religious condemnation means everything to her -- though she perhaps doesn't realize what her refusal, under Yevonite interrogation, to confess to any larger plot beyond acting alone, means to them. She has always loved them with all her heart, but now she understands what that really means.
- With Lulu in particular she shares a desire to find the truth -- the truth about Yevon, about Sin, about the Final Aeon. She hopes to find these answers -- and the true meaning of her journey -- in Zanarkand. And she also has started sharing a certain maturity. They are not girl and woman anymore, they're two women, that final separation between them is gone. How their relationship redefines itself beyond the long-established contours of 'big' and 'little' sister remains to be seen. Yuna herself hasn't really noticed yet.
- Wakka: Wakka is, for all intents and purposes, Yuna's big brother, plus chief of a tribe of other big brother figures in the Aurochs, and their relationship has developed accordingly. Wakka (and Chappu) were more likely to lead her into games, pranks, and fun as a kid; they were also the guys who taught her how to live on Besaid, in the sense of fishing, gathering, ocean and jungle safety, and so forth.
- Wakka and Yuna have a special bond, among The Besaid Breakfast Club, because they are, and were as children, by far the most pious of the group; they've spent a lot of time in Temple together, even if Wakka didn't enroll in a formal course of study as a priest as she did as a priestess. They also have a special distance that only one of them knows about, because Wakka is pretty stereotypically racist against Al Bhed, and thus, along with other villagers, a major reinforcement to Yuna's fears of being rejected by them if she's anything less than perfect. If someone that close to her hates the Al Bhed that much... dare she go to anyone (except maybe Kimahri) with her deepest feelings and fears?
- But, at last, Wakka has found out the truth... and watching him change his feelings about the Al Bhed, rather than his feelings about her, gives her hope for Besaid Village's eventual acceptance as well. And beyond, for that matter. If he can change, maybe all of Spira can change. Perhaps her parents' wish can really come true. As for Wakka's wishes... she hopes she can make as many of them come true as she can, before the end. He deserves every happiness.
- Tidus: For Yuna's part, everyone in the village was her friend but no one was her date; no one approached, for obvious reasons, and she wasn't all that interested anyway. She was busy; she was firmly immature in that way, overflowing with love for everyone, but platonic love only. As such, the star player of the Zanarkand Abes represents the first time Yuna has ever really Looked at a boy. She has no idea how to deal with these feelings she gets when he's around; it's pretty much puppy love, baby's first crush.
- They have a lot in common. He represents a link to her father and Sir Jecht, to their past. He is HER AGE -- she had a lot of big brothers and sisters on Besaid, and a lot of tiny admirers, but nobody right in her age group. He is both a celebrity (in Zanarkand) and the child of a celebrity (although they feel very differently about their fathers). She's known him for like a week and wants to confide everything to him forever but TALKING! IS HARD! WHY IS THIS SO AWKWARD?? She doesn't even know how to tell him that she wishes they didn't have to part ways in Luca; all she can think to do is wish that he'd become her Guardian, the only framing she can think of to keep him close by.
- She is also attracted to Tidus' suffering, which she feels acutely, of course, because that's who she is. She doesn't see Chappu in him, but she senses his confusion and misery at being thrust into a whole new world and wants to soothe it, to help him feel better. And, because of who he is and the mysterious place he came from, Tidus ultimately represents, most of all, an escape. An escape she'd never be able to commit to by turning her back on Spira, but being distracted by visions of Zanarkand dancing in her head is pleasant, indeed. Much more fun than thinking about her own incipient death. All the more reason not to tell him about it. Someday... but not yet.
- As time passed -- far more time than she ever expected, due to an involuntary detour to Filgaia -- their relationship undeniably deepened, and keeping the secret became unbearable. Even as they confessed their feelings to one another, Yuna drew away, forcing distance between them once more, because of how wrong it would be to allow them to become truly romantic before he knew her secret. She had planned to tell him soon thereafter, but was consecutively kidnapped by the Al Bhed and Guado/Yevon before she could. Instead he found out without her, and obviously suffered deeply for it. She feels responsible for the cruelty of that moment, and wants very much to make it up to him.
- But now that he knows the truth... something new has become possible. Tidus is no longer her escape; he's so much more than that. And the prospect of leaving him has become the most difficult thing imaginable. She's so amazed and grateful that he's willing to stay with her... until the end. Always. And she wishes she could fill what time they have left together with as much laughter as possible. It's just that... with everything so serious... she doesn't feel like pretending anymore. And now, she doesn't have to.
- Auron: Yuna calls Auron "Sir Auron," or just Sir, which pretty much summarizes their relationship, especially early on; he's the closest thing in the world to a father figure, because she knew him when she was little, and because he was her father's best friend. And since Yuna's culture reveres Braska as a martyr, and his Guardians as all but saints, she does too -- especially Auron (she was too close to Braska, and Jecht was too goofy, but Auron fits the type). She defers to him without the slightest bit of resentment, while hoping that by spending time together, she can come to know him, and her father, better. However, this deference only goes so far -- Yuna knows her own mind and will make her own decisions, with or without Sir Auron's approval... ESPECIALLY if they're being made to protect him.
- Given his cynical lack of surprise at Yevon's corruption, Yuna is beginning to suspect how much Auron is keeping from her, and a reckoning may be at hand. Or maybe not. Yuna's third sub-class is "doormat" for a reason.
- Rikku: Where Auron represents a connection to Yuna's father, Rikku is the living bridge to her mother -- and her mother's side of the family -- and her Al Bhed heritage. Despite Rikku's kidnapping attempt, Yuna and Rikku hit it off immediately; family is family, is so important to Yuna, and she immediately recognizes Rikku's good intentions, deeply understands her motivations, after years of working through it with Lulu and Wakka and Kimahri. She also knows that Rikku only agreed to be her Guardian in order to try to talk her out of going through with the pilgrimage, and she doesn't resent this. In fact, their relationship, over the years, is going to be basically defined by Rikku deciding that Yuna's life is unacceptable and taking action to change it -- Yuna, ever the peacemaker, is both willing to go along and get along, and tends to enjoy the makeovers. It's all too easy to just let destiny carry her away... but Rikku takes Yuna out of her comfort zone instead, over and over, and Yuna loves her for it. Having to break Rikku's heart in Zanarkand breaks Yuna's heart now.
- While they were on Filgaia, Yuna let Rikku teach her about machina engineering (and, more to the point, mid-combat dismantling) and basic fiend alchemy. She enjoyed this more scientific perspective on learning more about the world around her, and is unresentful of the likelihood of Rikku's I-Told-You-So's in the wake of Yevon's betrayal. Rikku has never believed in anything that could betray her, though, and so could never understand how Yuna feels. She's still one of her most precious confidants, and, increasingly (though she may not realize it), Yuna's role model, along with Tidus, as to how to be a good person outside of the structures of organized religion.
- Braska: Yuna is honored to be his daughter, driven to follow in his footsteps, and in the deepest, darkest part of her heart, wishes that he had never become a summoner, but stayed with her instead. Now that she is also a HERETIC like her father, she has begun to wonder what she doesn't know about him, and worries about how he'd feel about her path.
- Rikku Sr: Yuna barely remembers her mother; one of her only remotely solid memories is of being told to go to her uncle if she's ever in trouble. Other than that, it's all associations... mostly with how, before she died, life was fun, and then after she was gone, everything changed. She really has no idea what her parents were like together but tends to assume, from her father's recollections, that they truly loved each other and had an ideal relationship. She worries, though rarely consciously, that her mother would be ashamed of her for hiding her Al Bhed heritage (or at least not actively calling attention to it).
- Jecht: Yuna only met Jecht a few times but he made a big impression -- appropriate, since he's a man with such a big personality. She adored him as a little girl, and he spoiled her shamelessly. This picture does not fit at all with Tidus' tales of neglect and cruelty, which is something she's still figuring out how to navigate tactfully.
- Sin: As a good Yevonite Yuna genuinely believes that Spira DESERVES to be ravaged by Sin, on some level. But as a good person she knows, even more deeply, that Spira deserves to be freed from Sin forever. It is the summoner's highest ideal, and hers as well. And even if it isn't forever... she will gladly die to free Spira from Sin for the length of a Calm. Don't say it isn't worth it. However, between Seymour's ritual on Filgaia that created a second Clysmian, and some of his and Mika's dark comments in Bevelle, she understands that there's a lot about Sin that she doesn't know -- that nobody knows. If those answers are anywhere, they are in Zanarkand. Still, she expects that it's her friends who will have to bring them back, in her place. They can use her Calm to change the world forever, and for good.
- Cid: Yuna was dying to know her uncle, but then many of the Al Bhed all died for her, instead. She correctly assumed his disapproval as to her path, and though she honors the Al Bhed's sacrifice, it will not thwart her from her own. She respects him as a leader -- but not HER leader. Generally she defers to Rikku when dealing with Cid.
- Belgemine: Yuna's mentor; is a good indicator of how Yuna feels about other summoners generally, which is eager to meet them, friendly bordering on reverential, and more interested in learning from them than being their rival (though she'll rise to the challenge if asked). She's also a fine example of how Yuna treats her elders, which is with great respect. Belgemine comes to truly tutor Yuna in the most effective combat use of aeons, and Yuna is impressed by her prowess and endlessly grateful for her help, while allowing herself to not think too deeply about how she's really obviously Unsent. See also: Maechen.
- Dona: Yuna tries really hard to get along with Dona, but isn't a COMPLETE pushover. It's telling how Dona's criticisms of Yuna as a person she tends to accept gracefully or even dwell deeply upon (maybe too deeply...), but the minute Dona starts being nasty about her friends, Yuna stands up for them. Theirs is a relatively unfriendly rivalry, and since Yuna can't change who her father is, she suspects, sadly, that it may always be. Even then, though, she wishes Dona all the best.
- Isaaru: Yuna's more friendly rival, self-declared -- but Yuna is amiably willing to accept his "challenge" to race to see who gets to kill themselves first. She likes Isaaru and his brothers enough to not want to see how devastated his brothers will be when he dies, so she'd better win.
- Seymour: Yuna's first impression of Seymour Guado is as a Maester, a religious authority figure that she automatically massively respects, but that lasts about THIRTY SECONDS because he starts STARING at her and all of a sudden she's aware of him as a Man in the same way she's only had a head start on being aware of men as Men with Tidus, for like a week. She finds the attention, and obvious attraction, of this socially and mystically powerful man, both flattering and bewildering. She quickly comes to admire his awesomely powerful and not at all creepy aeon, his totally good-hearted and not at all twisted support of Operation Mi'ihen. He's like the ultimate cool youth pastor/world leader. She is not at all prepared for his proposal -- and really not interested in that way. She doesn't want to DATE Seymour... she wants to BE him. If she grew up. Which she's not going to. But, of course, things aren't always about what she wants...
- Although he's kind of, sort of, not really, Tidus' romantic rival, Seymour's real role in the story is as Yuna's enemy and foil -- Yuna, through a mirror darkly. They are both children of two worlds, and have both suffered for their controversial parentage. They are both summoners who travel to Zanarkand; one comes to crave power for its own sake while the other is willing to end that power forever, for the good of the world. One decides that Spira's suffering is inevitable and that the only way to relieve it is to destroy it. The other rejects that truism and finds a way to relieve Spira's suffering for good.
- Yuna's defiance and rejection of Seymour, over and over, helps define her as a hero.
- Yuna never wanted to kill Seymour, and the endlessly rippling consequences of that murder in self-defense have cost her, and both worlds, dearly. She considers herself personally responsible for all of his monstrous actions as an Unsent, which just seem to be piling higher and higher. Though she does not reject her choice to abort her best chance at Sending him -- at their wedding -- in order to save the lives of her friends, she does urgently wish to end his rampage, and lay him to his final rest.
- Also, Seymour stole her first kiss, which was also the kiss that technically bound them as husband and wife. The former means more to her than the latter; she does not consider their union a true one, on legal or religious grounds. But his continued interest in her sickens her, even as his handling of her has added a fresh new layer of trauma to her nightmares. What does he mean, that he wants to become Sin, and how would she be a part of it? She'll never allow that. But neither does she want other people to keep paying the price by getting in between the two of them. She has to put an end to things before he kills someone else.
- Belize: A member of Maester Seymour's retinue, they first met only briefly at Operation Mi'ihen, but Yuna was deeply impressed by the other summoner's resolve -- and mysterious, powerful aeon. Later, united in their determination to try to prevent a war between Yevon and Althena's Guard, they journeyed together to meet Leo in Kilika, and there Yuna learned to admire the other summoner's anger, and willingness to express it. Her affection for Belize grew quickly -- as Yuna is wont to do, giving away her heart. But at Macalania Temple, she discovered that Belize is Unsent -- just in time to have Seymour join them.
- Belize and Seymour are incredibly different ghosts, enough so that Yuna's feelings about the Unsent are evolving beyond the (evidently false) teachings of Yevon. She wished desperately to regain Belize's friendship, and learn their whole story; a story which now includes Belize's role in the destruction of Home, which has added a layer of complexity to Yuna's feelings for them. Unexpectedly this became possible when Mika sent Belize to finish the job of executing Yuna in the Via Purifico; the two of them left nothing on the table in their aeon duel. With a much better understanding of who and why Belize is, she is determined to Send them on their own terms -- by fulfilling their promise to destroy Sin forever, which is why their spirit lingers on. And she's hopeful that she's reached Belize about Seymour and how dangerous he's become...
- Biggs and Wedge: Maester Seymour's primary Guado Guardians. They exemplify the Guado's disdain for non-Guado, and Yuna has never really been comfortable around them, pretty keenly aware that they only see her as people through the context of her relationship with Seymour. Now that that's very much over, she does not doubt that they will be particularly eager to revenge themselves upon her as executioners, next time they get the chance. She does not despise them for their loyalties, but she does worry what this means for Spira, if it is writ larger across the continent's civilizations -- will the Guado all willingly follow Seymour, even to the darkest possible ends? How can they be reached?
- Gon Guado: Another of Seymour's loyal followers; once an ally, now an enemy. Yuna shuddered to see the force with which he opposed her would-be rescuers at her wedding. If all of the Guado fight with his conviction, it may not take Althena's Guard to rend Spira beyond repair through the horrors of war.
- Mika: Yuna is pretty willing to believe the Last Will And Testament of Seymour's dad, enough so that she goes to terrible risks to verify and act on the contents of that Sphere, but Grand Maester Mika broke her heart. They hadn't met, but she spent her life venerating him as the wise and wonderful leader of the world. The revelation of his corruption -- and undeath -- and, most of all, veneration of the terrible status quo as inevitable and unending -- has rattled Yuna to her core... which she is in the process of rebuilding, with a new and stronger resolve to fight for Spira, instead of for Yevon. He obviously must be removed as Grand Maester, along with the other conspirators who have kept continuity of Yevon's spiral of death as their highest priority, instead of the good of the people. With Sin on the loose, though, her duty comes first. She expects that others will wind up taking care of Mika during her Calm.
- Kinoc: Yuna met Maester Kinoc for the first time at Operation Mi'ihen, and did not quite understand Auron's distance from his old friend, but also did not question it. She was suitably impressed, and warmed by Kinoc's decision to support the Crusaders despite the heretical nature of their plan. When Vinsfeld arrived and accused Kinoc of having betrayed his men, she did not believe him, and immediately protected the maester with her life, as would any good Spiran. With the Crusaders having been excommunicated by Yevon in the aftermath, however, she was bewildered at best by this series of events. Kinoc showed his true colors at the wedding, downright cheerful at the prospect of executing Auron and Tidus, and the trial, as a worshipper of death and follower of the dead. She considers him as much a traitor to the people of Spira as Mika. Worse, in a way, because he
iswas still alive. Yevon blames her for his murder, and, as is her nature, she doesn't entirely disagree. On the other hand, it sounds like things underneath Bevelle were even worse than she imagined... how could he, how DARE he abuse Lombardia, a hero who sacrificed much to confront Sin, so terribly?
- Kelk Ronso: Yuna finally finished collecting stamps on her 'met all Four Maesters' card when she was stolen away to Bevelle for, first, her wedding, and then her trial. Kelk officiated the latter, and Yuna tried desperately to appeal to his famous honor and righteousness. She has no idea how much she succeeded. Alone among the four leaders of Yevon, however, he does seem interested in ideals of justice. It's just a shame that he's also a worshipper of death and a willing follower OF the dead... and that his ideals of justice led him to join the others in sentencing her to excommunication and death.
- Gatta: Luzzu was another one of Yuna's big brother figures growing up, and she feared terribly for his safety at Operation Mi'ihen, a fear that turned out to be realized in his death. Gatta declaring revenge on Kinoc and Yevon, and absconding with Vinsfeld to Odessa, created an entirely new kind of fear within her. She prayed that she'd have the opportunity to reach Gatta, and in sharing their grief, ease it for both of them, before the end, and did succeed at this in the end. She's not sure how everyone returned to Spira from Filgaia, but she hopes Gatta caught a ride and has gone home to Besaid.
- Shelinda: Yuna is warmly supportive of Shelinda's journey as a new priestess, which occurs in parallel to Yuna's as a new summoner. She sees herself in the other girl -- maybe who she would have become, if she hadn't had the ability to commune with the fayth.
- Elma/Lucil/Clasko (The Chocobo Knights): The rank and file of the Crusaders, Yuna treats them all very warmly both before and after Mi'ihen. Yevon's edict excommunicating them means little to her, and does not stop her from providing them with aid, both casual before and critical after, their heretical Operation.
- Rin: The first Al Bhed Yuna comes to know well, who isn't a blood relation. Yuna finds Rin's network of inns both impressive in themselves and a welcome sight on the long pilgrimage road. And she finds his kindness striking -- validation of her long suspicion that Yevon's malignment of the Al Bhed is unfair and baseless. She is glad that he survived the destruction of Home.
- Paine: Yuna looks up to Paine as a sphere hunter, and also as a friend, to quote the game she's from. Their relationship could be wildly different if someone apps Paine before X-2 opens, but in a nutshell Yuna tends to admire Paine for her apparent maturity and cool head (and coolness, period), while (usually gently, at least more gently than Rikku) very much wanting to get to know her better. As their adventures proceed together they and Rikku become the best of friends, inseparable hunters of history.
- Gippal: Culture shock! Yuna is uncomfortable with how forward and unmannerly Gippal is, and pushes back when he starts to get too close. Her own formality and Yevonite culture traditionalism can sometimes make her uncomfortable among the extremely casual.
- Nooj: Culture shock! Yuna admires and supports the Crusaders but isn't a soldier herself -- the emotional basis for her determination and self-sacrifice is very different. She finds their leader and hero impressive but not necessarily inspiring; theirs are very different worldviews.
- Baralai: After Sin is gone, Baralai represents the familiar, the safety of the old. Yuna is way past that by then, so although she likes him in a general way, she is uneasy about him and what he represents.
As a general category, Yuna has felt inspired by the Otherworlders who have come to Spira and proven, through their simple existence, that it is possible to have a world without Sin. They've been helpful and kind, such as when many of them helped free her from the Al Bhed ship during the blitzball tournament. When they further swore to aid Spira against Sin, her hope only blossomed further, and she defended their presence to many suspicious elders who feared that their presence could herald an invasion -- though she did try to express her concerns to these Otherworlders, as best she could, that they would be in terrible danger. With Althena's Guard having declared war on Yevon, the elders may have been right all along, but Yuna is determined to trust them, to believe in them, anyway. To believe in a future they can all make together, hand in hand. She prays that someday, Spira can have the opportunity to help the Otherworlders and their other worlds, the way they have already helped her. She doubts that she'll be around to repay that debt personally, but dreams of having the chance.
Her dreams were answered in an unexpected and involuntary way when she was sent to Filgaia in the aftermath of the explosion at Macalania Temple. There, it was she who was the Otherworlder, which has further deepened her empathy for their experience as outsiders on Spira, and her gratitude for their recent return. Walking in their world, a world without Sin, and fighting to keep it that way, meant everything to her. It had its problems -- serious ones, suffering she yearns to ease -- but she never lost sight of how amazing Filgaia is for its own sake. She wanted to learn everything... not as a tourist, but as someone hopeful for Spira's future. Someone who believes in a better world.
- Ghaleon: Yuna had never heard of Ghaleon before he sacrificed himself in Operation Mi'ihen, but apparently he's kind of a big deal -- and was BEFORE that sacrifice, unlike high summoners who only become one after. She honored his memory, along with all the other brave warriors who stood against Sin that day, until she ran into him underneath Bevelle and found out he hadn't died after all! His treatment by Yevon symbolizes everything she finds repulsive about the current regime -- a courageous warrior who stood against Sin, thrown in prison like he was nothing. That he's one of the champions of Althena's Guard means much less to her than, perhaps, it should; and despite his warnings that he fought Sin for his own reasons and that he does not have Spira's best interests at heart, she finds herself admiring and even trusting this man of honor. This cannot possibly go wrong.
- Hiro, Gwen Whitlock, Jean, and other Vile Fiends: Apparently they have a common enemy, since the power Althena's Guard used to seal away Kilika's fayth is the power of Zophar. Yuna is grateful for their efforts to free the fayth, and admires them all as lovely people who are obviously being wrongly persecuted by their homeland's religious institution. Lately this is something they have in common. Yuna wonders if these friends have any wisdom to share about perservering through such circumstances.
- Ida Everstead-Rey: Yuna met Ida for the first time in the Chapterhouse at Luca, in the immediate aftermath of the fiend attack, and found the other girl to be a lovely person -- if someone who seemed to have something more to say, which she couldn't. (In all truth, Yuna runs into this issue often; being surrounded by the loud silence of things that go unsaid is one of the fates of any summoner.) Ida is brave and kind, and Yuna likes her very much. As their friendship has deepened, she has learned about some of the complexities of Ida's existence, and promised to help her confront her demons, to the extent that she is able (eg, if she's dead by the time that reckoning takes place, she won't be able to make it). Her best advice to Ida about sharing a body with Fafnir was to try to get to know him better. "I don't ask you to sympathize with him... but you may need to understand him."
- Ivan: Yuna and Ivan were on opposite sides before Ivan left Althena's Guard, but she bears him no ill will, and -- at first -- a great deal of sympathy for the difficulty of being at loggerheads with his former religion (though she doesn't fully understand that they were just his employers). Now, of course, she's in much the same boat, and that sympathy is metastasizing into empathy.
- Jacqueline Barber: Jacqueline is one of the Drifters who helped rescue Yuna from the Al Bhed in Luca, but far more importantly to her, one of the Drifters who helped rescue the chocobos from the Chocobo-Eater on the Mi'ihen Highroad! Over various adventures their chief intersection has been related to Lunata; Yuna was glad for the opportunity and ability to protect Jay long enough for her to reach Lunata both physically and emotionally, during the events of Original Sin.
- Kaguya: Yet another should-be enemy who Yuna connected with a little too well, the history of her frenemyship with Kaguya began when she fought her and her mighty Guard Golem at Luca, and has continued through various encounters ever since. In this case, what they share is a certain complex relationship with their own deaths. They couldn't be more different, so why do they feel so similar?
- White Knight Leo: Another of Yuna's rescuers at Luca, Leo proceeded to be much more important than she initially realized, as he essentially represents another government, army, and religion. Her first impression of him was as a brave, honorable, and serious person; someone to admire. She is alarmed and dismayed by his decision to declare war on Yevon, and deeply concerned for the well-being of Kilika's people, but hopeful that if, perhaps, she could intercede, further tragedy could still be averted. He has since dashed that hope with his determination to wage his holy war -- but his allowing her to perform a Sending for Kilika's latest dead, and allowing her to go in peace, has at least left the door open in her heart for the possibility that someday they can reach a true understanding of each other, and each other's faiths.
- Leon Albus, Lily Keil, Fei Fong Wong and Elhyam van Houten: Mercenaries who arrived in the aftermath of Operation Mi'ihen, apparently they already knew some of her Guardians. And any friends of her Guardians are friends of hers, as far as she's concerned! She has been both kidnapped and rescued by their organization since then, and had the opportunity to get to know Leon better in particular, in the aftermath of the events at Macalania. She has no hard feelings for their work on behalf of the Al Bhed, and great respect for their courage and prowess, and has basically said as much when some of them (Fei) tried to apologize. The rate at which she and Elly have been saving each other's lives seems to be accelerating as of late; the two have connected several times, and she is grateful for the woman's wisdom and kindness.
- Lunata Croze: An Otherworlder who somehow immediately became part of Maester Seymour's retinue, Lunata made a great first impression on Yuna both on and off the battlefield, and was originally glad that Seymour was surrounded by so many good people. But, of course, it turns out that Lunata was deceived by Seymour, the same as everyone else. In a way, Lunata was kind of ahead of the curve of the rest of Seymour's orbit, in the sense that she's been dead, or something like dead, for longer than most, but whatever she is, it isn't Unsent, and it doesn't change Yuna's feelings about her. Like Belize, Lunata's simple existence forces Yuna to question what she knows about death and undeath; she has had to perform Sendings in Lunata's presence more than once and trusts her deeply, implicitly, to survive them. Unlike Belize, Lunata has awoken to the truth about Seymour, and though Yuna's primary goal is to see Seymour to the Farplane ASAP, she has learned the healing value of certain kinds of confrontation. She is determined not to allow Seymour to hurt Lunata again, but would help Lunata face him, if it would do Lunata's heart good.
- Mariel: Yuna is totally oblivious to Mariel's special status as an Elw, but deeply in tune with her abilities as a healer; their powers combined, once, in the desperate fight against Seymour's second Sin, and from that moment was born both a treasured artifact and the beginnings of a lovely friendship founded on mutual appreciation of flowers. After discovering Mariel's project to cleanse corrupted Baskar Rods and, therefore, free Kilika's fayth (and perhaps others that have been lost to the predations of Althena's Guard in Yuna's absence from Spira), she has thrown her support behind the other girl in any way she can, and is deeply grateful for her aid, on her own behalf and that of the fayth's. She wonders at Mariel's apparent belief that she is somehow inadequate to accomplish great things; she has acted with such striking courageousness, so many times, in ways that traditional warriors simply cannot. It is always harder, Yuna knows, to be an emissary of nonviolence. She wishes Mariel could see herself through Yuna's eyes.
- Marivel Armitage: Perhaps the truest Otherworld friend Yuna has made so far apart from Tidus (who is kind of in a category of his own, though time will tell how tragically true that really, really is). Marivel's feelings about duty and sacrifice drew Yuna to her. Time and trouble has deepened their friendship, while gradually enlightening Yuna as to Marivel's many complexities. Rather than flinch from them, Yuna has continued to be close to her; for all their spectacular differences, and the challenges Marivel's simple existence represent, Yuna treasures the relationship they have as just two girls, spending time together. Finally, Yuna greatly admires Marivel's singing voice.
- Seraph Ragnell: You'd think that Yuna would have the worst possible opinion of someone who put themselves between her and the Clysmian of Desperation when the clock was ticking down to Doomsday, but the Seraph's full-contact belief in the necessity of trials, of hardship, to strengthen someone along their path to destiny, actually slots in very comfortably with Yuna's own beliefs about the summoner's pilgrimage. Accordingly, she bears Ragnell much more gratitude than resentment for her interference, and paradoxically views this occasional opponent as something of a mentor. She wants to know what it is that Ragnell loves to such fierce extremes. She also wants to know why she occasionally feels a little bit flushed whenever they interact.
- Vinsfeld Rhadamanthus: The first person to say out loud in Yuna's earshot that Yevon's actions surrounding Operation Mi'ihen stink to high heaven; he may have planted a seed more deeply than he realized, considering that she immediately stood against his attempted murder of Maester Kinoc. She was worried about Gatta's choice to follow this person into parts unknown, and did not feel guilty about blowing up Odessa's airship. She wonders, however, why Odessa took the field to grab her at Macalania Glacier, and if he'll be trying again in the future.
Valefor: Of the fayth, Yuna is closest to Valefor's both because they have been together the longest and because they are the most similar; two young girls willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save Spira, who grew up in Besaid. They are fast friends and becoming faster all the time, continuing to share themselves with each other through the bond of their spirits in their aeon. They recently wrought a miracle together, able to combine their shared loves of flight, freedom and one another, even without the trappings of a traditional summoning, in order to receive their aeon in mid-air. Valefor is almost like Yuna's first child, and incredibly precious to her. Yuna sometimes summons Valefor a little frivolously, just to give the fayth the opportunity to have corporeal form, and to let the two of them hang out.
Valefor is mostly a grand birdmonster, but there's something feline to her also, and something human. She's the smallest of Yuna's aeons but that's still REAL BIG -- big enough that Yuna can fly through the sky with her, and probably take a modest number of other riders as well. She is faster than she is tough, extremely agile in the sky. She is also deadly strong with those snatchy claws, wing sideswipes, sharp beak and body slams, but her true strength lies in sorcery.
Like Lulu, Valefor is a prodigy in all four primary black magic elements, and casts progressively more powerful spells with incredible deadliness. Also like Lulu, she has some ultimate attacks which are non-elemental magic; Energy Ray and, even moreso, Energy Blast, are -- and, linked as they are to the strength of Yuna's own magic, will continue to become -- truly spectacular, battle-shaking abilities. Valefor's most frustrating ability, though, is her ability to slam her wings together in midair, creating a sonic projectile that rushes forward to push back, slow, and disorient her foes. Delay attacks are the worst, and all should learn to hate Sonic Wings.
Personality-wise, Valefor is a little bit of a troll in combat (see again: Sonic Wings, and targeting elemental weaknesses of her foes) who exudes cleverness, grace, and a surprising gentleness, even at her fiercest. She smells like peaches, from the island her fayth loves.
Ifrit: Yuna and Ifrit's fayth have spent less time together, and are less instantly and perfectly compatible. He's more into military discipline than she is; she's more into Yevon than he is. They are united, of course, in their willingness to die to defeat Sin, and are also gradually discovering more common ground. For example, Ifrit's fayth really likes spicy food and is encouraging Yuna to be more adventurous with her eating choices so that he can live vicariously through her. They also care a lot about the Crusaders even though Yuna isn't one herself, and their bond has been strengthened by their shared determination, and ultimate success, at wresting the innocent Gatta from the manipulative clutches of Odessa.
Ifrit is a Big Boy; whenever he comes to Spira, he shatters the ground on his way out, and has to catch Yuna in midair! And set her on his shoulder, for safe keeping. Fire is his element -- so much so that he can heal himself by casting fire-type black magic with himself as the target! -- but he has a strongly earthy feel to him as well... volcanic, like Kilika Island. He likes to tear chunks of earth out of the ground, turn them into molten slag, then chuck or even punch them them at people, which is actually more technique than sorcery; he uses magic to make the fire, but the hammer-throw is all him. He is the opposite of Valefor defensively, tough instead of fast, though he's a surprisingly agile meleeist, flipping all over the place, fists and claws and horns everywhere. In keeping with the fire that flows through his veins, and the laws of Spiran magic, ice magic is his bane. He knows a spell to defend himself from it, but it isn't always enough.
In terms of attitude, Ifrit is sweet to Yuna but ferociously aggressive to his enemies; right on the edge of being a berserker, but just a hair on the side of control. He smells like fire and brimstone, like the beating heart of the world.
Ixion: Ixion's fayth is a fisherman -- an ordinary Spiran who loves his world and its people. Like Valefor's, but not with the perspective of a child (and unlike Ifrit's, who is, fundamentally, a soldier rather than a civilian). If there was any lingering question of Yuna's adulthood, Operation Mi'ihen has banished it completely. Yuna has emerged from Operation Mi'ihen both deeply traumatized by the many lives she couldn't save, and more profoundly and urgently committed than ever to her chosen path of self-destruction (what includes embodying hope with an ever-brighter fake smile and positive attitude, and also her fair share of flashbacks and nightmares). She and Ixion's fayth do well together. Besides their maturity, their intensity of purpose is one.
Ixion is a massive ki-rin, a somewhat exoskeletal, somewhat ethereal, HIGHLY electromagnetic unicorn. Despite being a mighty beast, virtually all of his attacks are magical; he is the heart of the storm, and he expresses himself through lightning, through thunder, and through the thoroughly rude manipulation of magnetism, which slows his enemies while enhancing his own speed. Fighting Ixion has an alarming tendency to involve him getting three or four attacks to every one of his opponent's. He can also crush his enemies beneath his hooves or skewer them with his horn, but... it tends to be that their thundrous approach, or the lightning gathered at its tip, respectively, gets to his enemies first.
Ixion's intensity of being extends to his personality; he is, above all other things, focused. A very serious and earnest presence. Secretly, Ixion likes giving people rides, born out of a quiet affection, a yearning for closeness quite at odds with his being shocking to the touch. To ride the storm is a great honor, and an unforgettable experience. He smells like burning ozone. (This is not a coincidence.)
Shiva: Shiva's fayth is a nun, a priestess just like Yuna, and in this way they immediately have a strong common ground upon which to know each other. She's also a woman -- fully grown, in a way that Valefor is not and never can be -- and aware, through Yuna, that the High Priest of her Temple, once in a very real way her own partner, betrayed not only Yevon, but Spira itself.
Hell hath no fury.
Her aeon fully actualizes Yuna's as-yet-unexpressed attributes in both categories. They're both self-possessed, but Shiva is confident, in herself, comfortable inside her own skin, in a way that Yuna can hardly dream of. Shiva loves and accepts herself for who she is, and she thinks that you should too. (Love and accept yourself, that is. She doesn't require your approval by any means.) And who is she exactly? She is strength; she is freedom; she is justice. Also, she is prayer -- with a litany of blessings and curses at her disposal.
And, of course, Shiva is, at her most superficial, a giant woman, FAR more humanoid than any of Yuna's other aeons so far. But she is also a living glacier: multilayered, beautiful, deadly, and, of course, ice cold. Her power over elemental ice (which is, in Spira, QUITE distinct from water) is absolute. She fights with it both as blunt instrument and fine scalpel; she crushes and slices, she imprisons and shatters, she entombs and she explodes. She also heals; like many of the other aeons her body is literally elemental, and she can conjure snowstorms to help build up her body when battle is wearing it away. So, in a matter of speaking, when Shiva kicks your ass with martial arts, that's an ice attack, too.
Shiva's presence burns the nostrils with sheer cold, but underneath that, there's the subtle spiciness of an ancient ink which was widely used when she was a priestess, though it's no longer common.
Bahamut: Bahamut's fayth is an even smaller child than Valefor's. This is a big surprise with profoundly horrifying implications, considering that his temple slash tomb is the center of worship for all of Yevon. He's an unchildlike child, though; any thousand-year-old ghost has every right to be wise beyond his years, but this fayth's gravitas is downright unsettling. He has a heart so big and a memory so deep that it's easy to get lost in, and on the far side of their union, Yuna is quietly unsettled by the awareness that she still doesn't entirely UNDERSTAND him, except in a very basic way. Fortunately, it's the most fundamental way: he wants, more than anything, to end Spira's suffering by defeating Sin forever. (He wants, more than anything, to end the fayths' suffering by ending the cruel Sin cycle driven by Yu Yevon.) Bahamut's fayth is simple in a way that Yuna is simple; they are instantly and totally united in the only thing that really matters to either of them, or at least, in the thing that, over and over, they put above anything, everything else, no matter what the personal cost.
The other major insight Yuna gained about the fayth of Bevelle was a very keen sense that they'd somehow already met -- or at least, that somehow HE already knew HER. Glimpsing herself in his memories, feeling not only his recognition when she first arrived, but his faith in her, his adamant trust, and also an almost painfully poignant yearning, not for her exactly, but for something related to her... she isn't sure why he has so many feelings about her, but she's humbled by them all the same. She assumes that forging this connection just as Tidus burst into his Chamber of the Fayth is why their connection feels, on some level, connected to him as well. She is wrong.
Bahamut, as the aeon of Bevelle Temple, is in many ways the living(ish) symbol of the Yevon religion. So maybe people shouldn't have been so very surprised by all the guns at the wedding, and the high technology inside the Temple itself... because unique among the aeons, he is very, very much an ARM. A supermassive dragon of living metal who dwarfs his counterparts, there is no separation or contradiction between biology and technology to be found here; Bahamut simply IS.
Though he most often stands on two legs instead of four, his wings and claws and fangs and tail are all as deadly as they are beautiful, and each is capable of rending his enemies asunder. He is equally dangerous on the ground or while airborne, and enjoys the draconic tactic of hurling opponents less versatile than he into the endless sky. It must be said, however, that he's no berserker; he does not walk Ifrit's path. There's a terrible, sinuous elegance to his fighting. A keen, deliberate brutality that bespeaks a terrible amount of battlefield experience.
Bahamut is a master of all four of the major Black Magicks, though he must use White Magic to heal himself, as, like Valefor, he is not an elemental (if only because Steel is not an element). Besides simply casting spells, he enjoys channeling greater expressions of the elements through his entire body into massive exhalations -- breath weapons, in other words.
One of these is so much greater than the rest that it does not deserve to be in the same paragraph. Bahamut wears his heart on his back, and it is engine, fulcrum, and capacitor all in one, which distills energies from any and all sources into an unmatched expression of raw power... though it takes a few moments to charge. The legends only whisper its name.
Despite his composition, Bahamut smells not of metal, let alone of oil; he brings with him the clarity of air that is born after a rainstorm, warmed golden into a perfect, sun-drenched afternoon.
Yuna's defining trait is empathy; feeling other peoples' feelings as her own is part of what makes her such a powerful summoner, but more importantly, a caring person and good friend. From this root bloom many flowers of who she is -- it's why she's unable to turn away from anyone who comes to her needing help, and why she's so driven to give hope to the hopeless in not just any way she can, but EVERY way she can.
Add to this her deeply internalized feelings of worthlessness, from a childhood that despised her heritage and celebrated the grief of her father's sacrifice, and you have an equation that leads a young girl of seventeen to really, truly believe with all her heart that the best way for her to live her life is to die.
It doesn't help that she's so terribly indoctrinated in the ways of Yevon, which, in its way, venerates and glorifies death while explaining suffering as just punishment for wrongdoing, and which has gone a step further to convince Yuna that her talents as a healer and summoner are simply an expression of His will and His grace rather than any of her own goodness. That's only ever gone so far with Yuna, though. She may be breathlessly pious about the blessings of Yevon, devoutly performing the Yevonite prayer at every opportunity, deeply respectful of their traditions and leaders, and reverential of the tenets of their faith -- but from the very beginning of her journey, it is Spira, not Yevon, that she serves. Spira and its people -- and its fayth, who she cares for as dearly as anyone. More.
She gives her herself away so easily. Her heart, the easiest of all.
Her adventures will eventually teach her that she believes in something greater than Yevon, too -- she believes in Spira, and in a future for Spira without Sin. That begins with supporting the Crusaders at Mi'ihen; staying to heal their wounded and Send their fallen afterwards, when the other summoners simply continue on their pilgrimages. It ends in her becoming an apostate when she destroys the tradition of the Final Summoning for good.
But she does believe in Yevon, for now; she believes that summoners carry the weight of Spira's sorrows and sins with them on their journey, and that to die for those sins is to atone for them, a necessary requirement for that brighter future when Sin stops coming back. She believes that the Final Summoning is the only way to defeat Sin, and that if she isn't the one to do it, that only means that someone else must in her place. She believes in the past; has a certain reverential approach to her father, and everything about HIS pilgrimage. She believes that the Maesters are Yevon's authority on Spira, and good, strong, wise leaders.
Poor Yuna. She's going to be so disappointed by awful truths, devastated again and again. Good thing she's a tough little cookie. Yuna gets up -- Yuna keeps going.
Living her life in accordance with these beliefs, Yuna is honest, loyal, and true. Honorable, in a way that feels old-fashioned. She enjoys a clear-eyed dignity, a resolve -- still mostly untested -- far beyond her years. She tends to speak softly but very deliberately, choosing her words with care. All of this applies to those who name themselves her enemy as well as her friends; 'politely resolved opposition' tends to be her stance, when challenged, even if it's a challenge to the death (um, sorry Seymour). Her attentiveness to the people who like to shower her with attention, her kindness to them, is not an act; she feels that she owes tremendous gratitude to the peoples of Spira. But the smiling and cheerfulness often is.
It isn't always. Yuna can be genuinely merry and playful, especially before Mi'ihen (and then again, after Sin and some time to grieve). She finds excuses to laugh, especially at herself, and knows well the value of happiness, of joy, in a life whose days are numbered. She's excited to see new places and try new things, even if it will only be once and never again. She loves blitzball and has a summoner's nuanced appreciation for how it, too, gives Spirans something to cheer for in troubled times.
Sometimes it's not so easy, though.
Yuna is hyperaware of how, as a summoner, she must behave in a manner that engenders hope for Spirans. She keeps her problems to herself -- sometimes hiding them even from her closest friends and family. No one is immune; the more serious the situation, the more likely she is to play her cards closely to her chest, to protect others from being drawn into her troubles. At her core, too, lies the tiniest bit of distrust... a still small voice that is afraid that if she's anything less than perfect, she'll be abandoned -- and then alone.
She doesn't WANT to die; she's just willing to, for a strong reason and the highest cause, the greater good. (The culmination of X-2 is when she stops being willing to go along with sacrifice plays at all and DEMANDS BETTER, then makes it happen. "Your plan sucks," Yuna declares to Mr. Self-Sacrifice. "Let's do something else.") But because this has been her goal for most of her childhood, she really has little basis for a lot of normal teenage behavior and can be quite awkward when making small talk with her peers, of which she had few as a kid (everyone was older or younger). Her unwillingness to lie can have her dying on some weird conversational hills (Zanarkand...), and she's often serious to a fault, as Auron later puts it.
Finally, Yuna has an extraordinary memory. She remembers the names of everyone she meets, even years later. Perhaps it's the effect of her shared soul -- the aeons within her, and their lifetimes merged with hers. Perhaps it's just a quirk of her mind. Either way -- she never forgets, so it's a good thing that she's so willing to forgive.
|FFX Theme - To Zanarkand|
Yuna's Theme - Suteki Da Ne Rearrangement
My heart trembled
Valefor's Theme - Wings
Ifrit's Theme - Hope On Fire
you're a one-man shift in the weather
ooh you're gonna make your mark this time
|Ixion's Theme - Thunderstruck
Thunder, thunder, thunder, thunder
Shiva's Theme - Apres Moi
Be afraid of the lame, they'll inherit your legs
Bahamut's Theme - Black Sheep
Send you my love on a wire