[Ed. Note: Throughout pmog’s long, now-defunct GameFAQs thread, she answered many user questions (which I didn’t make a copy of, so I’m guessing in the brackets. Her answers paraphrase or bring together lots of info from the Ultimania Guides. As usual, I give the ]
[How Long Did Yo Mika Rule As Unsent?]
It’s been explained that Mika spent the majority (more than half) of his term as Grand Maester as an Unsent. So he probably died when he was in his mid-60’s to mid-70’s. However, that’s not very specific, so I decided not to note it down. I may change it later if I can find a good way of wording it.
Re: background info on Mika. Only explained in the UOG. No one in the game is willing or in a position to divulge that information.
Turning People into Fayth/Final Aeon: Who Can Do It?
Re: Turning people into fayth. The Yevon Temples also know how to turn people into fayth. The secret technique once belonged to Zanarkand, but the Temples got a hold of it after Zanarkand fell.
It’s unknown whether Yunalesca’s method of turning people into fayth is any different from the one that the Yevon Temples have. It could very well be the same technique, the only difference being that the fayth for one’s FA is someone that a particular summoner already has an extremely strong, personal bond with, as opposed to the Temple fayth, who a summoner wouldn’t know from Adam until meeting them in their respective temples.
It’s also unknown if the Temples could or were aware of how to make a FA fayth. Even if they could, it would be contradictory to their legends and admitting to the hypocrisy and falsehood of Yevon’s teachings. Yevon’s original purpose in spreading stories of the FA and the Calm, etc was to keep the people’s hopes up. Even then, it was hundreds of years before anyone managed to achieve it (thereby verifying its “validity”).
Yunalesca, The Pilgrimage, The Church of Yevon
Yunalesca did *not* go through a pilgrimage before she turned Zaon into a fayth and used her FA to defeat Sin. The pilgrimage was set up by the Temples, (which itself was established only after Yunalesca defeated Sin and became an Unsent), in order to train summoners to prepare their mind and body to be able to obtain a FA (and be good enough to use it). Being able to communicate with a fayth is an extremely difficult process and a summoner can die if they’re not able to endure the strain of it. Seymour was able to get his FA without going on pilgrimage, but then again, he refused its power at first (he only obtained it when he became high priest of Macalania Temple years later), and he already had massive amounts of summoning talent at a young age (not to mention he was part-pyrefly-adept-Guado).
The origins of the Temples and their connection with Yunalesca are hazy at best. However, there is no evidence to suggest that Yunalesca had any direct hand in the Temples’ formation and their doctrine. In fact, it’s stated that she learnt of the contents of Yevon’s teachings through people visiting the Zanarkand Ruins seeking the FA and played along because she then wished for the people of Spira to follow them. It’s more a case of the philosophy of the Temple’s and Yunalesca’s having a lot in common (both the “preservation of Spira” as well as “continuing the cycle”).
Zuke, Rin, Omega
Re: Thundaka’s questions. Some of those points are explained elsewhere in the guides. Rin probably just had good business sense – the talent to exploit a need for a particular service (in this case, lodgings for and safe transport (chocobos) for travellers), the far-sightedness to learn the common tongue to communicate, and the cow sense not to leave any “sacrilegious” items (machina) lying around, no matter how much he might have disagreed with the Temples’ teachings.
Zuke probably quit his pilgrimage halfway for the same reasons that most summoners do: getting closer to facing the moment of a certain death, he lost his nerve. Of course, he then has to live with the scorn for having chickened out.
As said before, Omega was executed for treason. In the period when he lived, no one had yet defeated Sin using the FA (300 years after the Temples’ formation) and thus, there were heaps of doubts as to whether the teachings were really true or not. There were also a lot of people thinking of trying to find alternate ways of defeating Sin. Omega was one of those people with doubts about the Temples, so he was openly branded as a traitor and then executed.
More on Yunalesca’s Backstory
There isn’t anything which explicitly states that “Yunalesca did not go on pilgrimage”, only because there would have to be a statement somewhere suggesting that she did in order for there to be a statement in the negative to disprove it.
This theory seems to be based on the assumption that Yunalesca made a deal with the Temples in Bevelle before she defeated Sin. That itself is an extrapolation from a misinterpretation of a non-factual statement. I’ve explained in my last post that there’s more evidence her connection with the Yevon Temples were only indirect.
Anyway, here is most of the evidence available in regards to this matter.
Firstly, the purpose of the pilgrimage is to train fledgling summoners into becoming experienced by the time they reached Zanarkand. The role of guardian is something based on the legend of Yunalesca and Zaon (as told by the Temples). As a citizen of a summoner city where summoning was the standard means of combat and, what’s more, the daughter of the greatest summoner who ever lived, Yunalesca would’ve had no need for training. She even had enough knowledge and ability to make her own fayth.
Secondly, at the time when Yunalesca defeated Sin, the Temples had not yet been established (they were the ones who built the temples around Spira). In fact, Bevelle and most of the machina cities were still in ruins. As seen in the timeline, the Temples were established only after Sin reappeared. The original aim of the Temples was to maintain hope in a seemingly hopeless situation (Sin coming back after it had been killed), which is why they then spread the stories of the Calm and the FA, etc. The temples around Spira themselves were each built at different times in history.
Lastly, as had been said before, Yunalesca learnt the contents of the Temples’ teachings because people visited Zanarkand seeking the FA. She agreed with them because they happened to have a lot in common with her views. Ironically, without the Temples, Yunalesca’s philosophies (providing hope and maintaining the cycle) would not have survived.
Thus, Yunalesca and the Temples were (later, and indirectly) aware of the other’s existence and fed off each other’s influence, but it appears that they did not purposely work together in order to form either the Temples or the concept of the pilgrimage.