I’m not gonna lie – Final Fantasy X is one of my favorite games ever. You don’t have to tell me how divisive it is, or how there are better FF games (let alone better JRPG’s), or point out any of its major flaws, because I know! Trust me, I know there are plenty of reasons why FFX shouldn’t be among my favorites.
But let me give you one reason it is: Timing.
Way back when on December 17, 2001, I was a wee lad of 14 basking in the glory of the PS2 era. And let me tell you – bask, I did. At such a young and impressionable age, the world was my oyster, and the PS2 was the hot sauce to add flavor to the slimy mess I had made it (14 is a weird age…). On this fateful day, Final Fantasy X released in North America, and I, young and eager, was quick to lap it up. I loved FFVII (although I didn’t quite understand it until later), I was confused by FFVII (still am! WTF, FF8?!), and was almost perfect age for FFIX (like cheese or a fine wine, this one only gets better with age), so FFX held infinite promise, what with its fancy graphics and fully voiced dialogue.
And holy shit, did it blow my mind. I loved it. I needed it. I played through it like 3 times within the first year of getting it, and have picked it up from time to time since to relive this glorious time of my youth.
Which leads me to now: I’m playing through the remaster on my Vita (Sony and Squeenix, if you’re reading this, if you release every game you’ve ever done and optimize it for Vita, I WILL buy it), and while I can acknowledge its numerous faults, I still love it to this day. But something irks me. Something eats away at the back of my 29-year-old subconscious that my 14-year-old mind could never have truly realized. Something horrible, but something wholly obvious all the same.
Tidus is a wimp.
The article is only 350 words deep, and he's already crying!
Seriously, the dude’s grade-A middle school bully fodder. I know he’s portrayed as this womanizing megastar back in Zanarkand, but I think the treatment he encounters upon his arrival in Spira is much closer to the truth. I don’t want to insinuate anything, but that dude definitely had his fair share of unsolicited swirlies and purple nurples back in the day. Name written on the elastic of his tighty whities. Rockin' the fanny pack at the mall. You know the drill.
Reflecting on just how wimpy and sad Tidus really is got me thinking about how poorly he would fare without the help of a giant lion-man, a racist pitcher, a well-endowed pyromaniac, a jailbait foreigner, an alcoholic uncle, and a woman who can summon patronuses. Thus, I present to you, a list game characters that could beat Tidus up without having to really put a whole lot of effort into it.
Magikarp at its most dangerous.
Magikarp is a pretty safe place to start, as being an underwater sports star Tidus would likely encounter a lot of these creatures in the wild. Unless you devote all resources to make Magikarp not-sucky, Magikarp, by its very nature, is sucky. I’ve never made it all the way through a Pokemon game, and I’m sure at some point it levels up into something that isn’t a total waste of pokeball space, but in its purest form, Magikarp is the worst. Which is exactly why it could beat Tidus up.
Think about it: At the merest sign of its notoriously not-very-effective splash, Tidus would undoubtedly tussle his hair, sparking an instant hissy-fit and sending the rest of his day into total disarray. I’m not saying the least effective move from the least effective Pokemon could totally beat the crap out of Tidus, but I am saying the least effective move from the least effective Pokemon could at least fuck him up beyond all recognition.
2. Ashley Graham
She's not resting - she was actually kidnapped by this barrel.
Ashley “The Girl Who Almost Ruined Resident Evil 4” Graham is a world-class waste of space. Ashely has approximately two abilities: Getting Kidnapped and Dying. That’s it. Those are her special moves. I don’t ever recall an instance of playing RE4 in which Ashley didn’t die by running into the chainsaw guy, walking into an environmental hazard, or slipping on a banana peel into a spike pit; these are the sole reasons she is memorable. That, and the fact that her shirt has more sleeves going up her neck than down her arms. I mean, a turtleneck vest? The fuck?
Despite her apparent lack of fighting prowess, Ashley could totally beat the shit out of Tidus. Apart from having more functional and less stupid clothing (it doesn’t get a whole lot dumber than shorts which are shorter on one side than the other [unless he rides a bike controlled only by his inner thighs]), Ashley is about 300x times empowered and prepared than Tidus for facing the adversity in front of them. After all, she’s up against Spanish people infected with a virus that could destroy the world, while he’s up against………flan. Yep, flan. That create lightning. Dude, grow up.
3. Shy Guy
Social anxiety is no laughing matter.
Shy Guy has always been near and dear to my heart. This precocious little troublemaker loves causing mischief and mayhem in the Mushroom Kingdom, but deep down, he’s really quite insecure. To hide his deep personal demons, he wears a mask – a poignant and biting social commentary for the anonymous internet generation. Also, he can’t pee in public restrooms and gets nervous when the pretty barista asks for his name.
Shy Guy seems more like a lover than a fighter; so why could he beat Tidus up? Because any day of the week, a Shy Guy is tougher than a Cry Guy. When the going gets tough for Shy Guy, he recoils into his Safe Space © to hide away from the dangers of the world. When the odds are stacked against Tidus, he cries. And blames his dad. Below the surface of Shy Guy there’s an inner strength and confidence just waiting to be unlocked. Below the surface of Tidus is an even shorter, more asymmetric pair of shorts. This fight wouldn’t even be close.
4. The Car from Street Fighter II
The calm before the ass-whooping storm.
You know, I never really understood why punching the shit out of a car was a reward for successfully punching the shit out of other humans in Street Fighter II, and it’s likely I never will. All I know is that car was a real sport: It just sits there and takes a pounding from burly international fighting legends, smiling all the while (something I could see Tidus doing, come to think of it). No matter how many times you Hadoken or Shorriyououiken or Tetisupenamklasdelmeken it, it just goes back to the shop, gets a fresh lick of paint, and waits for the next round of challengers. However, despite its propensity for taking a beating, it never fights back – something that could theoretically pose a challenge in actually winning a fight.
Enter Tidus. I honestly believe that Tidus would get his ass kicked by Car. No amount of frilly flips that end in flourished baton twirls (i.e. all of Tidus’s Overdrive attacks) could ever hope to break the spirit of Car, but would instead end in the spirit of Tidus being more shattered than Car’s window after calling Blanka’s mom a wildebeest. What Car lacks in ATK he more than makes up for MND, which is more than we can say for Tidus.
5. The Detroit Lions from Madden 09
The names of the players have been blurred out to protect them from further shame.
Boy, where do we start on this one? They say the remaining living players from the ’72 Dolphins get together and toast every time an NFL team gets its first loss to honor their undefeated championship season. If that’s the case, to the ’76 Bucs do the same when a team loses its final game of the season to become winless? Only the ’82 Colts and ’08 Lions can answer that. This team, featured in Madden 09 is the most recent team to fail to win a single game through a 16-game season, a truly wondrous feat when one considers the amount of money that goes into a team, and the fact that so few people on earth can do what these players do. Few remember the 1-15 teams throughout the years; fucking everybody remembers the 0-16. A team which perfected the art of losing, the ’08 Lions could absolutely kick Tidus’s ass. Hear me out.
Tidus barely defeats small groups of wild monsters and feral fish without the help of his aforementioned friends. How the hell could he ever hope to defeat an entire 53-man roster of a professional football team? He’s not bursting through that O-line to reach Daunte Culpepper, and even if he did (even in the waning stages of his career), Tidus wasn’t bringing him down. He wasn’t going up top over Calvin Johnson to deflect a pass. Paris Lenon would have absolutely crushed him on an outside sweep. Take even the smallest guy on the roster, Kicker Jason Hanson; at 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, the team’s kicker could make absolute mincemeat out of Tidus without little effort.
Plus, Hanson can actually kick an oddly-shaped ball through an arbitrarily-shaped opening to score points for his team without having to get fucking Jecht Shot 2. Advantage: Hanson.
What other characters could kick Tidus’s ass? Is there any ass Tidus actually can kick? Have you been reading it as “Tee-dus” or “Tie-dus” as you read along? Let me know in the comments below!