[Ed. Note: originally published on GameFAQs’ now-defunct FFX forums by user pmog here (broken link): http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/2000008-final-fantasy-x-storyline/21477330?page=3]
The following is my translation of “Wakka’s Story” from the FFX SUG. It’s posted a little later than I said it would be, mainly because I was still trying to wrestle with some linguistically tricky areas (one of them being the story title itself!). Grammatically, I found it slightly more difficult than my previous effort, though I think I’ve been mostly successful in keeping things as accurate as possible. Barring stylistic changes, of course…
THE MAN WHO CHASES A BALL, SEEKING TO BURN OFF ALL HIS ENERGY
For Wakka, blitzball is as close to life itself.
Losing his parents to Sin’s attack on Besaid back when he was too young to remember, Wakka was left holding his baby brother in his arms, at a loss over what to do. Undoubtedly, there were more than enough stories like these in Spira. Without any warning, Sin would suddenly come and take everything away. It was good fortune that he and his brother just survived.
It was because of those commonplace tragedies that those who had escaped death lived closely together, supporting each other. Both these young orphans, too, were brought up equally by the surviving adults, and given nourishment to help them grow. Owing to the warm climate, there was plenty of food from the sea and agriculture so that Wakka could live without worrying about his meals from day to day.
Wakka vaguely remembers feeling as a child that the adults truly took good care of him. The reason that the orphaned brothers, especially the infant Chappu, could grow up properly was thanks to the kind-hearted and devout people of Besaid, and it was certainly a blessing of Yevon.
And so, for a person who was given life on Spira – a world where a calamity named Sin exists, he doesn’t think of himself as being particularly unfortunate. As for his parents, he thinks that because he was too young to remember their faces, he doesn’t feel too lonely without them.
But nevertheless –
Living with Sin suddenly thrusting death in his face must have been all too difficult for a child’s mind to deal with. The young Wakka wanted support. He wanted something that he could cling to and could put Sin completely out of his mind. Something worth living for, which could completely burn away the fear and sorrow rooted deep in his heart, for even just that one moment.
And then, Wakka came across blitz.
The underwater ball game of blitzball is a sport that one of the High Summoners – Ohalland – also played in his younger days, and one of the few forms of entertainment in Spira encouraged by the Temples. Even the Al Bhed, who are usually disliked for not following Yevon’s teachings, are unconditionally accepted in blitz. It is a festival where Guado, Ronso – and indeed all the peoples of Spira overcome racial barriers in order to drive all thoughts of Sin out from their minds – an officially recognised sports competition.
Like everyone else, Wakka was obsessed with the pleasure and appeal of blitz. Not as a spectator, but as an actual competitor. He learned blitz at 5 years of age and when he turned 13, began walking the path towards becoming a serious player by joining the local team – the Besaid Aurochs.
Chasing the ball underwater where it was difficult to breathe, dodging opponents, fixing his aim on the goal and firing off a shot. While he was doing that, Wakka could forget about Spira’s harsh reality. How could he dribble faster, or make a more accurate pass? Could he move better through the water, or kick a more powerful shot? Thinking about those things, practising and planning… If he was devoting himself to blitz, Sin would then disappear completely from within Wakka’s mind.
His younger brother Chappu also began blitz in his footsteps and when they were finally able to play together for the Besaid Aurochs, blitzball became the focus of Wakka’s life more than ever before. Though they had never been able to taste victory even just once at the official tournament where all the teams from across the world gathered, the times when Wakka chased his dreams with his brother brought him a sense of fulfillment that was indescribable.
Blitz, where he could fire himself up with enthusiasm in order to forget all about Sin. The sacred teachings of Yevon, which said that if the people spent their lives following its precepts, their sins would be expiated and one day, Sin would disappear. With both of these serving as his wheels, Wakka kept moving forward. He was able to pass the days without getting discouraged by life, or without forgetting to smile.
Wakka is now trying to give up that very sport of blitz – equal to life itself.
This is due to the fact that even if he gave it up, he had done something which needed to be accomplished.
1 year ago, Chappu was killed, leaving Wakka behind. Retiring from blitz, he had joined the Crusaders and taken part in the Djose Shore Defense Operation. Wakka’s only remaining relative never returned from the fight against Sin.
Wakka has no intention of begrudging the Crusaders, who risk their lives protecting the blitzball stadium in Luca for the benefit of the people. Chappu joined the Crusaders because he wanted to protect Spira from the threat of Sin in his own way, and because he wanted to keep Sin far away from the woman he loved.
But why did he have to fight using Al Bhed machina that went against Yevon’s teachings? Then, far from helping make mankind’s sins disappear, he may well have destroyed all the hard work they had put into atoning so far. Wakka couldn’t understand why Chappu had to die that way.
At last year’s blitz tournament where he had just received the bad news, out of his sorrow and confusion over now having lost Chappu too, Wakka also missed out on a first victory that was almost within his grasp. He then decided to retire for the first time and in order to avenge his brother, became a guardian to a summoner – the only way of defeating Sin in accordance with the teachings.
However, even during the pilgrimage, there was a part of him that thought only about blitz if his attention ever slipped just a little. He was angry and ashamed of himself for thinking about that even more than of his regret over Chappu having been killed. Before he was able to focus his mind on being a guardian, the pilgrimage was brought to a standstill and Wakka returned to Besaid, still in despair. That happened 6 months ago.
Now, he serves as a guardian once more. This time, the summoner he must protect is Yuna, whom he has loved like a real little sister ever since she moved to the island 10 years ago. On no account can he allow this pilgrimage to fail. On no account can he face this journey with any halfhearted feelings – for Yuna’s sake, and his own.
And so, Wakka will go back to being a blitz player for a little while more. In order to burn away all his attachment to blitz and cleanly retire at this year’s tournament, held right at the beginning of the pilgrimage. From then on, he will move forward, with his duty as Yuna’s guardian serving as his new wheel.
Wakka will bring the life he has led until now to an end, for this time, he must come face to face with Sin.
A boy suddenly appeared from the sea, firing off a stunning shot. This young man, who looks surprisingly like Chappu, will be the one to guide Wakka’s dreams into reality.