The early 2000s proved to be a seminal era in gaming. The first few years of the decade saw revolutionary games like Grand Theft Auto III, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Silent Hill 2 doing things that the medium never dreamed of accomplishing before. Standing shoulder to shoulder with these giants representing RPGs was Final Fantasy X.
The 2001 epic was a game changer for the series and the genre as a whole. Expansive worlds were nothing new, but never had one looked so gorgeous. The varied landscapes and regions were brought to life not only because of the new technologies available, but also from the exquisite art design. This is not to say that aesthetics were the only contributing factor, either. The magnificent writing dreamed up a believable culture that made players really believe Spira had been lived in for thousands of years.
The party of playable characters was unique and memorable. While Tidus, or whatever name was bestowed on him, was the player's vessel to this new and marvelous world, the plot was focused on a young summoner named Yuna and her pilgrimage to defeat Sin.
Given Yuna's importance to the story, one can be assured that an enormous amount of work went into her creation. In this list, we will pick apart and give attention to the most fascinating aspects of her design. Most of these will deal with the physical characteristics of the iconic heroine, but a few will also point out interesting tidbits about her backstory and inspiration.
So fill up those overdrive meters, because here are the 20 Crazy Details About Yuna's Body.
20 She Is Half Al Bhed
The world of Spira is a conservative place where most of everyday life is governed by ancient traditions. While most of its residents adhere to the teaching of Yevon, a race known as Al Bhed live on the margins of society and do not practice the religion. As a result, they tend to be looked down at with contempt.
As one can guess, mixing of the two races is rare and frowned upon. This is mainly why Yuna's mixed blood is kept as a secret.
Her father was a famous summoner, while her mother was an unknown Al Bhed. Even some of her closest companions, such as Wakka, do not find out until later in the campaign.
19 She Can Be Impersonated With A Garment Grid
Being impersonated is the stuff of nightmares, though it has happened to an unlucky few. In the magical world of video games, imposters are more common due to the fact that the kind of technology needed isn't yet available in the real world.
In fact, Yuna is the victim of stolen identity in Final Fantasy X-2's opening cinematic. Throughout the entire intro, players are led to believe that the savior of Spira is performing a sensational pop tune in Luca's blitzball stadium. Shortly afterwards, it is revealed that the Gullwing's rival, Leblanc, was singing. Yuna's conniving rival was able to copy her look by using the Songstress dressphere during the performance. Thankfully, she was thwarted thanks to Yuna's buddies and a handy moogle costume.
18 Rikku Is Her Cousin
It is always better to travel with family, whether they be the one given at birth or forged in life through experience and earned trust. Someone who is both is the most advantageous of them all.
In Final Fantasy X, Yuna is accompanied by her guardians, all of whom are close to her heart save for the Tidus. Rikku joins the party later than most of the crew, but it is revealed that the two have always been connected. As it turns out, Rikku and Yuna are cousins. The summoner's mother is Rikku's aunt, which also makes this entry's Cid her uncle. In the game's direct sequel, Rikku is the only other returning playable character.
17 Her Design Is Based On Hakama
When developers are crafting an entire game's universe from scratch, they have to make the environments feel uniquely their own. The art cannot feel like a rip off of real world designs. This does not mean that they cannot take inspiration from life and all of its beauty, however. For the character's garb in the first foray into Spira, creator Tetsuya Nomura was heavily influenced by Hakama.
This traditional Japanese clothing style has been around for over a thousand years and is still seen in the culture today.
A quick glance at the character and the clothing will reveal similarities, but ultimately, Yuna's look is all her own. Still, credit must be given where it is due.
16 She Wears A Furisode
When a game comes from a certain area of the world, one can usually find traces of that culture in the game's design. It is easy to see the Slavic influence present in The Witcher and the style of Dragon Age is clearly influenced by the French part of Canada.
Keeping with this trend, elements from Japan are plentiful in Final Fantas X. Most notably, Yuna's outfit contains a Furisode, a type of Kimono distinguishable for its large, hanging sleeves. Tetsuya Nomura added the touch to make the memorable sending scene more impactful. The outfit's sleeves are not connected to the rest of the dress, but they definitely add a layer of mysticism of the ritualistic dance.
15 She Appears In Kingdom Hearts II
The idea of a Disney and Final Fantasy crossover makes life worth living. It's made all the more better, then, with the fact that the Kingdom Hearts series actually delivers enthralling stories featuring some of pop culture's most beloved characters.
Even Yuna gets in on the fun during Kingdom Hearts II, first appearing as an adversary before switching sides. What's particularly fun about her part is her - along with Rikku and Paine's - size. The three heroines are tiny, and also possess wings. Their role does raise an entirely new question, though: was the trio shrunk down just for fun or is everybody in Spira the same height when compared to the other universe? It's hard to say for sure, considering Tidus and Wakka's cameo in the first game.
14 She's connected to the Hibiscus Flower
When a character is being designed, their creator does not only think about what is pretty. Sometimes, there is a connection between what the person adorns on their body and them. For example, Yuna wears a necklace of the Hibiscus flower. Additionally, this flower can be spotted on her dress.
In Japan, the Sea Hibiscus is also known as Yuna.
The connection between the floral species and the heroine don't end there, though. In Final Fantasy X-2, one of her garment spheres is called Floral Fallal. Its design is derived from the Sea Hibiscus. Don't take this to mean that the character is soft and fragile as a flower, however, as she still has the ability to summon powerful beasts.
13 Her Final Fantasy X-2 Outfit Reflects Spira's Change
The Spira in Final Fantasy X is non secular, but the belief that Yevon is infallible slowly unravels through the course of the game. By the sequel, most of the world is starting to let go of its old ways and embrace new values. They also do not live in fear of Sin anymore, thanks to Yuna and the crew's prior escapades.
When redesigning the character for X-2, the developers wanted her outfit to reflect the changes that Spira was going through. As a new day was dawning in the land, she no longer needed to dress solemnly. This also rings true for the game's story, which is a more lighthearted jaunt than its predecessor, though it still pulls on the heartstrings when needed.
12 The Insignia for Tidus' Zanarkand Abes was sewn onto her gunner outfit
One major theme in Final Fantasy X-2 involves moving on from the loss of a loved one. As the love of her life evaporates in front of her eyes during the first game's conclusion, it is understandable that she needs time to grieve.
As a way to keep Tidus continually close to her heart, the insignia for his blitzball team, the Zanarkand Abes, is sewn into her Gunner outfit. She eventually finds peace at the end of X-2, but this progress is arguably negated by the inexplicable good ending when Tidus is revived. Moving on from loss and grief is a complicated subject. How does one let go of the past without forgetting the ones they love entirely? Everyone has their different methods of coping and paying tribute.
11 Yuna's Final Fantasy X-2 design was created before the game's script
Ask any creator what the first thing they make in a story is, and the answer may be surprising. David Lynch got the title for Blue Velvet from the song before even conceptualizing the movie itself, and Kurt Cobain got the phrase "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from a deodorant before writing the hit song. Similar to these two examples, Final Fantasy X-2's design got its inspiration from somewhere quite unexpected.
The very first piece of art made for the project was Yuna's outfit.
It had been conceptualized and completed before a single word of the script was penned. All in all, it is a good jumping off point considering how it reflects the game's upbeat vibe.
10 Her Songstress Outfit Was The Most Challenging To Make
If video games had wardrobe departments, then they would have had a special challenge with the plethora of outfits in Final Fantasy X-2. Since these virtual creations do not have those, the burden of crafting all of the dressphere's looks fell upon Tetsu Tsukamoto.
Prior to the second adventure through Spira, Tetsu had specialized in monster design. As such, he admitted in an interview that designing the cute outfits were the most challenging. By all accounts, he did a stellar job with the final product. Going out of one's comfort zone is a necessary for growth, particularly in artistic fields. While it may be harder, it provides learning opportunities and a chance to add something new to long established aesthetics.
9 She Had Twin Pistols
Firearms are typically not abundant in the series, but one character may be a dedicated gunslinger every now and then. Final Fantasy X was completely absent of such a party member, but its sequel remedied this with the Gunner dressphere.
The Gunner outfit, which is also Yuna's default costume in game, utilizes dual pistols called the Twin Bees. Unlike real world weapons, these bad boys (or girls) utilize enchanted ammo - because it is a video game and guns can be majestic if they so desire. It must be frustrating to wield pistols in a turn based RPG, though. Why do they have to wait so long if they can just fire at targets from a distance?
8 Her Name Means "Night"
Choices behind a character's creation are rarely arbitrary. Elements that don't immediately appear to have significance usually do have some meaning behind them. Names, for instance, are carefully chosen to represent a personality or a theme. Yuna's name was picked because of its resemblance to the Okinawan word for "night."
This is especially significant when considering the fact that Tidus' name is loosely based on the word "Sun" from the same language.
The story is so focused on the two characters developing a relationship and eventual love for each other, so it makes sense that their names would also be connected. This is, off course, assuming that the player kept Tidus' name "Tidus" and didn't change it to something immature like "pickle."
7 Praying Is Exhausting And Takes A Lot Of Yuna's Energy
Summoning had never taken such a central part in a Final Fantasy story before X. The majority of the game involves the party protecting Yuna while she prays at all of the temples to gain the ability to summon Aeons.
The first time players see Yuna, she has just finished acquiring her first Aeon by praying to Besaide Temple's fayth. In the cinematic, she appears out of breath and barely able to stand on her own two feet. She tumbles down the stairs, but Kimhari catches her before she lands on the temple floor. The idea of summoning is cool, but there is a reason why not everybody does it. Becoming a summoner requires focus and discipline beyond what most humans have.
6 Her Songstress Dressphere Has A Secret
Along with the Gunner dressphere, the Songstress outfit is one of the most important items in Final Fantasy X-2. Not only does the game open with the Dressphere being used to perform a concert, but it also contains a long dormant secret.
Inside the artifact is the sleeping soul of a woman who passed away over a thousand years ago. The woman in question was named Lenne, and she was gunned down along with the love of her life, Shuyin. This revelation plays a huge part in the plot, as her passing is the impetus for Shuyin's thirst for vengeance against Spira. As classic lost love revenge tales often resolve, the last thing Lenne wanted was for her soulmate to be consumed by vindictive behavior.
5 Her Staff Is Based On A Khakkhara
What is a mage without a staff? It's like a dog without a bone, a video game console without a controller, or a Bond movie without rampant misogyny. As expected with most magic users, Yuna has a trademark staff of her very own. The weapon is instantly recognizable, but carries the ordinary name of Summoner's Staff.
It's real life inspiration comes from Khakkhara, an ancient staff associated with Buddhists.
Khakkhara is also adorned with bells, which are meant to warn small animals away from one's footsteps. It's understandable for a summoner, whose secondary specialty is white magic, to wield a weapon influenced by pacifistic ideas. However, that's not to say that the Khakkhara won't leave a mark if someone was smacked with it hard enough.
4 She Can Walk On Water
Among the many standout facets of the franchise's tenth entry, its themes about religion and the use of religious symbolism was one of the most talked about. Magic and summoning were nothing new, but never had they been directly tied to a belief system, particularly one that is key to the story.
While Yuna herself may not be the messiah, a Basilisk Lizard, or Robocop, she does occasionally possess the ability to walk on water. This only happens "occasionally" because the only time she demonstrates it happens during the emotional sending ritual in Kilika. The scene is beautifully done, and the water walking adds enchantment to an already mystical tradition. It also makes for a neat trick to break out at parties.
3 Her Outfit In Final Fantasy X-2 Was Inspired By Lara Croft
We often hear about real life influencing video games, but what about the impact games have on each other? Sure, one can see a title take cues and elements from other games of its ilk, but it is more interesting to see when the inspiration comes from an entirely different genre.
Yoshinori Kitase recently revealed that Yuna's Final Fantasy X-2 outfit was heavily influenced by another iconic gaming heroine: Lara Croft. With the dual wielding pistols and shorts, the evidence of the inspiration is clear. Maybe the influence will run two ways soon, with Lara wielding a staff and summoning giant monsters to her aid in the newer games. It couldn't be more ridiculous than thinking Angel of Darkness was ready for release, right?
2 Her Eyes Are Two Different Colors
What's cooler than being a powerful summoner with a trusted crew of guardians at your side, ready to save the world from an endless cycle of destruction? Doing all of that while having two different colored eyes, that's what. Yuna's unique feature is the real deal too, not like David Bowie getting punched in the face as a teenager, which left one of his pupils permanently dilated.
The reason for this is because of her mixed race heritage.
If mixing the two groups always results in different color eyes, then they should probably do that more often because it looks fantastic. Yuna was not gifted the swirly eye gene, but the two different colors are definitely a solid consolation prize.
1 She Eventually Grows Out Her Hair
Some may not realize this, but Final Fantasy X's story actually continues after the sequel's credits roll. Final Fantasy X-2.5: Eien No Daisho follows up the events of the second game's good ending, where Yuna is reunited with Tidus. The book was then followed by an audio drama titled Final Fantasy X: Will.
There are no visuals, but art shared by Square Enix shows that Yuna grew out her hair out during these events. The actual details of the plot are truly bizarre, and end up with a revived Sin and a strained relationship between the star crossed lovers. The controversial ending may be why the two works have not yet been translated into English.
Are there any other interesting facts about Yuna's body in Final Fantasy? Sound off in the comments!