“Wrong Hole, Darling” – Love Story Misses Countdown #4

Okay, well Ethan’s had his fun. It’s MY turn to weigh in on the best and worst of videogame romances. You might be asking, “how is Riddles qualified in the least to speak on romances, virtual or otherwise?” My answer to you is: how is anyone?

That aside, let’s discuss one of the more tragic romantic blunders in gaming.

So romantic.

So romantic.

#4 Worst Video Game Romance: Tidus and Yuna

Oh, this one hurts. Final Fantasy X tells a fantastic story, and the romance between Tidus and Yuna had such potential. Unlike many others, I actually liked both Tidus and Yuna as characters. Tidus was portrayed perfectly as the rich-kid sports star who suddenly found himself in a completely different world. And while many people found Yuna boring, I thought her subdued determination was both touching and sincere.

For the first half of the game, the romantic buildup was done very well. The first scene where the two of them spoke in front of the bonfire was a perfect beginning. The infamous “haha” scene is extremely painful, yes, but still heartfelt and sincere in an extremely goofy way. Tidus’ increasing devotion to protecting Yuna and seeing her quest to the end is very believable, as is the increasing attraction that develops between the two youngsters.

Finally, we reach the infamous scene in the spring. After a tense, subdued, and slightly saddening conversation, the romantic buildup reaches its breaking point. We’re treated to a beautiful (though admittedly rather odd) love scene, in which the two of them spin around in the water and suck face. Khimari, sick fuck that he is, witnesses the entire thing.

And then… NOTHING.

For the remainder of the game, Tidus and Yuna’s romance is not explored in any way, at all. It practically falls off the face of the map, and leaves the player wondering if they missed some sort of serious discussion in which the two mutually agreed to keep their pants zipped and their eyes on the prize.

It’s something of a disappointment, to say the least.

In fact, it’s a damned disappointment. The ending to Final Fantasy X is a beautiful, emotionally charged experience, and to this day it remains one of my all-time favorite endings. However, it still feels like too little too late when it comes to Tidus and Yuna.

Of course, then Final Fantasy X-2 came along and just ruined EVERYTHING, but that’s a rant for another day. I have a feeling that a lot of you might disagree with what I’ve said here, and if that’s the case, let the comments rip below. But in my firm opinion, Final Fantasy X’s romantic subplot is one of the biggest dropped balls in gaming.

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27 Responses to ““Wrong Hole, Darling” – Love Story Misses Countdown #4”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    - I was about to get very angry untill I read your article, and mostly agreed with you. This absence did detract from the narrative tempo of the game. The thing that does let it off the hook partially is that the remaining portion of the game really is only about 24 hours without rest, during which Tidus and Yuna don’t really have any alone time. I think the character of Yuna is set up in such a way that we wouldn’t expect her to get sidetracked making out with Tidus when she’s on the job, and is unlikely to be intimate with him in front of the rest of the party, a more explicit explaination certainly would have been nice. Parhaps I’m just looking to let it off the hook since I enjoy what’s there so much.

    - At any rate we can both agree that X-2 ruined FFXs fantastic ending, and the tragic (albeit flawed) relationship built around the two characters. IMO X-2 should have been the bittersweet story of Yuna learning to move on from Tidus.

    -BTW “Tidus was portrayed perfectly as the rich-kid sports *star* who suddenly found himself in a completely different world.”

  2. Ethos says:

    We’re failing grammar today, ‘eh, SN?
    And even without explicit making out, there could have easily been clever flirtation and tension and build-up.
    I still don’t know how you guys can even like Yuna. I like her in the bonfire scene at the beginning, like Riddles describes, but that’s about it.

  3. Andogo says:

    The girl’s been spending her whole life preparing to sacrifice herself, and if she hasn’t gotten it on with one of the friendly locals, she probably won’t be getting it on with Tidus 6 hours after their first kiss, in full view of everyone, including Tidus’-father-cum-world-destroying-monster. Really, come on, kids. And Tidus is the hottest blitzball player in Zanarkand, but acts like a eunuch most of the time. A jerk, yes, a whiny crybaby, yes, but a man who knows his way around the nether regions of someone who has two X chromosomes… no. I’m not sure this was exactly a combination that would lead to hot desert monkey sex. Like really, were they supposed to go on a date in Luca and talk about their feelings while everyone’s trying to figure out how to kill her husband and his father?

    You know it’s going to be a sucky romance when it’s the dude who has the massive daddy issues. My god, even Seymour had his eyes on the prize, didn’t waste any fucking time.

    It’s like I’m on crazy pills! STRONGER ONES THAN THE ONES I’M ALREADY TAKING.

  4. Ethos says:

    And this, folks, is why I love Andogo.

  5. SiliconNooB says:

    @Ethos- You’re biased against certain character types remember? We’ve discussed this.

    -Tidus had such a massive Oedopus complex that if he screwed Yuna he would likely end up calling her Mum and getting slapped, I think we should all be thankfull that we weren’t subjected to that kind of awkwardness. XD

  6. Ethos says:

    @SN – That was at a different site! I only retain website-specific memories!
    …or something…

    …I know…
    …You’re right…
    Why is Yuna so passive?
    *grumble grumble* Lightning punches dudes in the face *grumble grumble*

  7. SiliconNooB says:

    Anyway the question remains; Cloud + Aeris of Tifa? I suppose you hate Aeris?

  8. Ethos says:

    You got it! Glad that bitch died!
    But would I say that so willingly and reveal that Cloud and Tifa will be on the list?
    …hrm…you’ll just have to see…

  9. SiliconNooB says:

    - Haha see you just have an irrational hatred of any and all demure/martyr character types.

    - I much prefer Aeris, her and Clouds chemistry was so bittersweet, and Cloud is clearly still stuck on her (and ignoring Tifa) in AC.

  10. SiliconNooB says:

    -If you had played MGS3 Naked Snake and Eva would definitely make the list, though it wasn’t a particularly happy coupling.

  11. Ethos says:

    It’s not irrational, it’s frustration at the helpless female stereotype.
    And I have nothing against a good ol’ martyr, but that’s not why Yuna/Aeris get on my nerves.
    And yes, Cloud IS stuck on Aeris for some reason, what an IDIOT. Tifa was throwing herself at him!
    And a love story doesn’t have to be happy to be a good one…or even on this list…

  12. SiliconNooB says:

    Well of course he chose Aeris over Tifa, she came off too desperate. Aeris on the otherhand was selfless and adorable.

  13. Ethos says:

    Aeris was hardly adorable. Ugh, if those two actually started a relationship, it would fail before you could say “Aeris Dies”. That would be such a passive aggressive trainwreck.
    Tifa would actually challenge him and they’d be able to grow. Hell, just look at the game itself, Tifa’s the one who worked with him to regain his memories.

  14. SiliconNooB says:

    Aeris was totally adorable, the fact that you don’t like nice girls doesn’t make her less so.

  15. Riddles says:

    I didn’t hate Aeris, but I’d much prefer to see Cloud and Tifa together. I don’t think Cloud is hung up on Aeris because of any real feelings for her; he’s still just guilty because he feels responsible for her death.

  16. Ethos says:

    I like nice girls! I mean, Tifa kicked ass and took names, but she was really sweet!
    I also love Dagger, and she’s not a tough-ass, quiet Lightning-type.
    It’s really just the “giggle, who me?” type that bothers me. The “oh please, big strong Cloud, can you help me over this puddle?”. I suppose Yuna wasn’t really that type either, but something about her make me think she deserves a good ol’ punch to the throat. I’m with Riddles though: I don’t really mind Tidus.

  17. Ethos says:

    @Riddles – True dat.

  18. SiliconNooB says:

    I like both Tidus and Zidane because they were both positive leads. I thought Aeris was a great character because she added so much more to quiet and serious Cloud, I remember LMAO when Cloud had to walk her home, and when she dressed up Miss Cloud. Their chemestry really worked.

  19. Ethos says:

    @SN – I WILL admit that I like that part quite a bit. But I just adore ALL the Midgar section in FF7. And I’ll also admit that I DO like Aeris notably more than Yuna. I just love Tifa too much, that it makes it seem like my like for Aeris is less than it is.

  20. SiliconNooB says:

    I always thought Cloud should just do both of them anyway …

  21. Ethos says:

    Well that is the obvious solution.

  22. DarthGibblet says:

    haha, man, looks like I missed a great discussion. Stupid work. For what it’s worth, I’m completely and totally in the Aeris camp, but I do agree with Ethos in that a long-term relationship between the two very well may have been a trainwreck. I’ve found that for video games/movies/book/whatever media, I really prefer it when the long-term relationship is left to your imagination. As much as I liked Cloud and Aeris’s interaction, I think Aeris dying might just have been the best thing to happen to them as a couple. Otherwise I could see FFVII suffering from the same issues as X as the game drew to a close.

  23. SiliconNooB says:

    Happy endings only exist in massage parlours, the narrative happy ending only lowers the curtains on what comes next, which is usually left to poorly written fan fic. I think Square did us a huge service by giving us something definite, and preserving Cloud and Aeris’ relationship in a place that neither fanfic writers nor SE’s own awful spin-offs can touch.

  24. Ethos says:

    Just watched the ending to FFX on YouTube. First time I’d seen it in a while. It’s fantastic! Imagine they had actually developed the romance properly? Man! I’d be weeping!

  25. SiliconNooB says:

    I think in the grand scheme of things it was developed much better than that found in many other games, it’s just a shame that a gaping hole was left in its arc during the last 20% of the game, it’s flawed not bad. I still think both the relationship and ending are credible.

  26. SiliconNooB says:

    Huh …

  27. DarthGibblet says:

    @SN: It seems the spammers really loved the love hits/misses countdowns.

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