Chapter XIII: Zanarkand


Outskirts of Ruins: Campsite

[Party gathered around campfire at sunset. Tidus climbs hill, gazes at ruins.]
Narration: Listen to my story. This may be our last chance.

[Sitting around fire after nightfall…]
Tidus: Hey! There was more, right? I mean like that time…uh… Anyone?
Yuna: I think…
Tidus: Yes?
Yuna: I think that we should stop…maybe. For now.
[They pick up their weapons.]
Yuna: Let’s go.

(The implication is that until now, the entire game has been shared memories, the party recollecting their adventures around the campfire. Tidus’ narrator voiceovers stop at this point.)

Road to Zanarkand

[A river of pyreflies floats overhead]
Wakka: Looks like the Farplane.
Auron: Close enough.

Entrance to Dome

Gatekeeper in priest’s outfit: Journeyer of the long road, name yourself.
Yuna: I am the summoner Yuna. I have come from the island of Besaid.
Gatekeeper: Your eyes, my dear. Show me the long road you have travelled. Very good. You have journeyed well. Lady Yunalesca will surely welcome your arrival. Go to her now, and bring your guardians with you. Go.

Zanarkand Dome

[Inside the dome, various glimpses of past summoner parties appear as they travel the catwalks]

[Two women in Crusader uniforms…]Guardian: If it might benefit the future of Spira, I will gladly give my life. It is the highest honor for which a guardian might ask. Use my life, Lady Yocun, and rid Spira of Sin.

Rikku: What…what was that?
Auron: Our predecessors.
Lulu: She said “Lady Yocun,” didn’t she? Wait! She guarded High Summoner Yocun?
Auron: This dome is filled with pyreflies. It’s like one gigantic sphere. People’s thoughts remain here. Forever.

[Farther on, a blue-haired Guado boy…]
Boy: No! Mother, no! I don’t want you to become a fayth!
Mother: There is no other way. Use me and defeat Sin. Only then will the people accept you.
Boy: I don’t care about them! I need you, Mother! No one else!
Mother: I don’t…have much time left.

Wakka: Hey, wasn’t that…?
Rikku: Seymour?
Tidus: Ah!

[Further on, they come upon Braska and his guardians]
Jecht: Hey, Braska. You don’t have to do this.
Braska: Thank you for your concern.
Jecht: Fine. (Folds arms) I said my piece.
Auron: Well, I haven’t! Lord Braska, let us go back! I don’t want to see you…die!
Braska: You knew this was to happen, my friend.
Auron: Yes, but I…I cannot accept it.
Braska: (Chuckles) Auron, I am honored that you care for me so. But I have come to kill grief itself. I will defeat Sin, and lift the veil of sorrow covering Spira. Please understand, Auron.

Zanarkand Dome: Entrance to Cloister of Trials

[Braska and guardians appear again]
Jecht: Are the Trials ahead?
Braska: Probably.
Jecht: Here, too, huh? Gimme a break. I was expecting, you know, parades and…fireworks!
Braska: You can ask for them after I defeat Sin.

Cloister of Trials

[After slogging their way through another boss fight]

Auron: Yuna… We’re here.
Yuna: The hall of the Final Summoning.
Auron: Go.
Yuna: Yes. (Bows)
[Yuna takes the lift down. Again, we hear an echo of the past…]
Jecht’s voice: Huh? What do you mean no Final Aeon?
Yuna: (Returning via lift) Sir Auron! Everyone!

Chamber of the Fayth

[Party goes down…]
Yuna: This isn’t a fayth. It’s just an empty statue.
Dome Gatekeeper: (Appearing) That statue lost its power as a fayth long ago. It is Lord Zaon, the first fayth of the Final Summoning. What you see before you is all that remains of him. Lord Zaon is…his soul is gone.
Wakka: Gone!?
Rikku: You mean, there is no Final Aeon?
Gatekeeper: But fear not. Lady Yunalesca will show you the path. The Final Aeon will be yours. The summoner and the Final Aeon will join powers. Go to her now. Inside, the lady awaits. (Makes symbol of Yevon and vanishes)
Tidus: Yuna, wait! Auron, you knew this was going to happen, didn’t you?
Auron: Yes.
Rikku: Why didn’t you tell us!?
Auron: If I had told you the truth, would that really have stopped you from coming?
Kimahri: Yuna.
Yuna: I’m not going back.
Kimahri: Kimahri knows. Kimahri go first. Yuna is safe. Kimahri protect.

Hall of the Final Summoning

Rikku: Someone’s coming!
Yuna: Lady Yunalesca.
Yunalesca: Welcome to Zanarkand. I congratulate you, summoner. You have completed your pilgrimage. I will now bestow you with that which you seek. The Final Summoning…will be yours. Now, choose.
Yuna: …
Yunalesca: You must choose the one whom I will change…to become the fayth of the Final Summoning.
[They gasp]
Yunalesca: There must be a bond, between chosen and summoner, for that is what the Final Summoning embodies: the bond between husband and wife, mother and child, or between friends. If that bond is strong enough, its light will conquer Sin. A thousand years ago, I chose my husband Zaon as my fayth. Our bond was true, and I obtained the Final Aeon. There is nothing to fear. You will soon be freed of worry and pain. For once you call forth the Final Aeon, your life will end. Death is the ultimate and final liberation. Your father, Braska, chose this path. (Leaves)

Auron: It is not too late! Let us turn back!
Braska: If I turn back, who will defeat Sin? Would you have some other summoner and his guardians go through this?
Auron: But…my lord, there must be another way!
Jecht: This is the only way we got now! Fine. Make me the fayth. I been doing some thinking. My dream is back in the other Zanarkand. I wanted to make that runt into a star blitz player. Show him the view from the top, you know. But now I know there’s no way home for me. I’m never gonna see him again. My dream’s never gonna come true. So make me the fayth. I’ll fight Sin with you, Braska. Then maybe my life will have meaning, you know.
Auron: Don’t do this, Jecht! If you live…there may be another way! We’ll think of something, I know!
Jecht: Believe me, I thought this through. Besides… I ain’t gettin’ any younger, so I might as well make myself useful.
Braska: Jecht.
Jecht: What! You’re not gonna try to stop me, too?
Braska: Sorry. I mean…thank you.
Jecht: Braska still has to fight Sin, Auron. Guard him well. Make sure he gets there.
Auron: (Stammers)
Jecht: Well, let’s go.
Auron: Lord Braska! Jecht!
Jecht: What do you want now?
Auron: Sin always comes back. It comes back after the Calm every time! The cycle will continue and your deaths will mean nothing!
Braska: But there’s always a chance it won’t come back this time. It’s worth trying.
Jecht: I understand what you’re saying, Auron. I’ll find a way to break the cycle.
Auron: You…have a plan?
Braska: Jecht?
Jecht: Trust me, I’ll think of something. (Laughs)
[Braska and Jecht leave; young Auron falls to his knees in despair. The current edition snarls and tries to behead his own image before it fades.]

Auron: And the cycle went on.
Tidus: We’ll break it!
Wakka: But how? What, you got a plan now?
Lulu: If one of us has to become a fayth…I volunteer.
Wakka: Me too, Yuna!
Tidus: Tidus: That still won’t change anything, you know? You’d bring the Calm, and then what? That won’t break the cycle!
Wakka: Listen… You wanna defeat Sin and keep Yuna alive… You don’t want Sin to come back, ya? That is just not gonna happen, brudda, you know?
Lulu: If you want everything, you’ll end up with nothing.
Tidus: But I want everything!
Wakka: Now you’re being childish!
Tidus: I give up. So what would an adult do, then? They know they can just throw away a summoner, then they can do whatever they like. You’re right, I might not even have a chance. But no way am I gonna just stand here and let Yuna go. And what Auron said about there being a way… I think it’s true.
Rikku: “You’ll think of something”?
Tidus: Yes. I’ll go ask Yunalesca. She’s got to know something.
Rikku: You really think she’ll help you?
Tidus: I don’t know, but I have to try. This is my story. It’ll go the way I want it…or I’ll end it here.
Yuna: Wait. You say it’s your story, but it’s my story, too, you know? It would be so easy…to let my fate just carry me away…following this same path my whole life through. But I know…I can’t. What I do, I do…with no regrets.
[She passes through doors; they follow]

Dome — The Beyond

Yunalesca: Have you chosen the one to become your fayth? Who will it be?
Yuna: Might I ask something first? Will Sin come back even should I use the Final Summoning to defeat it?
Yunalesca: Sin is eternal. Every aeon that defeats it becomes Sin in its place… And thus is Sin reborn.
Tidus: So that’s why Jecht became Sin.
Yunalesca: Sin is an inevitable part of Spira’s destiny. It is neverending.
Wakka: Neverending? But…but…if we atone for our crimes, Sin will stop coming back, ya? Someday, it’ll be gone, ya?
Yunalesca: Will humanity ever attain such purity?
Wakka: Uh…
Lulu: This…this cannot be! The teachings state that we can exorcise Sin with complete atonement! It’s been our only hope all these years!
Yunalesca: Hope is…comforting. It allows us to accept fate, however tragic it might be.
Tidus: No!

[Just as Tidus yells and charges, the ghost-image of young Auron reappears and does likewise, brandishing his sword]
Auron: No! Where is the sense in all this? Braska believed in Yevon’s teachings and died for them! Jecht believed in Braska and gave his life for him!
Yunalesca: They chose to die…because they had hope.
[Young Auron gives a horrible yell and leaps, and Yunalesca zaps him. He flies across the room and crumples, then fades away.]

Yunalesca: Yevon’s teachings and the Final Summoning give the people of Spira hope. Without hope, they would drown in their sorrow. Now, choose. Who will be your fayth? Who will be the one to renew Spira’s hope?
Yuna: No one. I would have gladly died. I live for the people of Spira, and would have gladly died for them. But no more! The Final Summoning…is a false tradition that should be thrown away.
Yunalesca: No. It is our only hope. Your father sacrificed himself to give that hope to the people. So they would forget sorrow.
Yuna: Wrong. My father… My father wanted…to make Spira’s sorrow go away. Not just cover it up with lies!
Yunalesca: Sorrow cannot be abolished. It is meaningless to try.
Yuna: My father… I loved him. So I… I will live with my sorrow, I will live my own life! I will defeat sorrow, in his place. I will stand my ground and be strong. I don’t know when it will be but someday, I will conquer it. And I will do it without…false hope.
Yunalesca: Poor creature. You would throw away hope. Well… I will free you before you can drown in your sorrow. It is better for you to die in hope than to live in despair. Let me be your liberator.

Auron: Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!
Kimahri: Yuna needs Kimahri. Kimahri protect Yuna.
Rikku: Well, I’m fighting!
Wakka: I can’t believe we’re gonna fight Lady Yunalesca! Gimme a break!
Lulu: You can always run.
Wakka: Hah! I’d never forgive myself–no way! Not if I ran away now. Even in death, ya!
Lulu: My thoughts exactly.
Tidus: Yuna! This is our story! Now let’s see this thing through together.
Yuna: (Nods and smiles)
[They beat the stuffing out of Yunalesca]
Yunalesca: If I die, so does the Final Aeon. And with it, Spira’s only hope.
Tidus: Then we’ll find Spira a new hope!
Yunalesca: Fool. There is no other way. Even if there was… Even if you did destroy Sin… Yu Yevon the immortal would only create Sin anew.
Tidus: Yu Yevon!?
Yunalesca: Ah… Zaon… Forgive me… Spira has been robbed of the light of hope… All that remains is sorrow. (Dissolves)
Yuna: I cannot believe what we just did.
Tidus: Let’s do something more unbelievable.
Rikku: What?
Tidus: Destroy Sin. So it won’t come back, and without the Final Aeon. I don’t know how just yet. But I’ll find out.

Hall of the Final Summoning

[On the way out, Auron and Tidus hang back.]
Auron: We must talk.
Tidus: What?
Auron: There is something you should know.
Tidus: I know…it’s about you, right?
Auron: I am also an unsent. You are not surprised?
Tidus: I think I kinda knew. It was Yunalesca, wasn’t it?
Auron: When Braska and Jecht died defeating Sin…I just couldn’t accept it. I came back here…tried to avenge them. But she struck me down. Somehow I made my way, crawling, down Mount Gagazet. But my strength left me just outside Bevelle. That’s where Kimahri found me. I told him about Yuna…just before I died. I’ve been wandering ever since, never going to the Farplane.
Tidus: Auron…
Auron: Don’t make that face. Being dead has its advantages. I was able to ride Sin and go to your Zanarkand.
Tidus: And you’ve been watching over me since then, haven’t you? Why? What’s the big idea? Why me?
Auron: It is one of those things that is difficult to explain. Very well, I will show you. My memories. (Kneels, dissolves into pyreflies)

Jecht: Can I ask you one last favor? Uh… Nah. Never mind.
Auron: Out with it!
Jecht: Okay. Listen good. Take care of my son. My son, in Zanarkand. He’s such a crybaby. He needs someone there to hold his hand, see? Take care of him, will you?
Auron: But how am I supposed to go to Zanarkand?
Jecht: Hey! You said it yourself! There must be a way to get there, right? You’ll find it.
Auron: All right, I will! I give you my word. I’ll take care of your son. I’ll guard him with my life.
Jecht: Thanks, Auron. You were always such a stiff, but that’s what I liked about you.

Auron: (Resolidifying) That is why.

Outside Zanarkand Dome

FMV: Sinrise

[Tidus, emerging from the dome, finds Sin waiting outside. It’s dawn.]

Tidus: Dad? I know. The Final Summoning’s gone. But I’ll think of something! Just give me a little more time!

FMV: Departure

[Sin slithers off, just as Cid’s airship arrives.]

(NOTE: Dark Aeons appear at this time, including one blocking entrance to Besaid village.)