If there’s anything I find Square Enix JRPGs have tried to stay away from, it’s being overly sexual, a staple in Japanese content. While games would often take on themes of romance, for a while Square wasn’t exactly offering a swimsuit portion of the game in everything they’d do.
Final Fantasy X and especially X-2 are one of the few Final Fantasy games that I can remember being a little more sexual than Square games normally are and perhaps the point where they started doing it a little more often.
It could simply be because FFX was the first major release they had on the PlayStation 2, where the graphics were starting to really show the future (and weren’t all jaggedy-edged). After all, how sexy can you really make 16-bit and the spiky, triangular graphics from the PS1 era, granted by Final Fantasy IX, it was starting to look a little better, but nothing compared to the next game.
It doesn’t take very long for FFX to show a little sexy side of itself. You could say the female fans at Zanarkand fall into this category, but really Rikku in her full-body outfit while she’s showing no skin, it’s designed to look otherwise. Once the real journey starts in Besaid, you’re introduced to two more girls. Lulu, who looks like her tits are going to pop out any second, even having some jiggle physics when victory posing after a battle. And Yuna, who while is seemingly designed to be very innocent and such, you constantly get her standing in the right spot for a little sideboob. So right off the bat, you have three female leads, all of them in their own unique way (except Lulu, who just bashes you over the head with her cleavage) being sexualized a little bit. We also can’t forget the unforgettable strip scene Rikku (see the cover photo) where she takes off that outfit and half the screen is taken by her ass in those green shorts. Then in terms of side characters we have Dona, who forgot to finish the entire length of her skirt and cover up that thong she’s wearing. Then there’s also Yunalesca and the leader of the Crusaders, Lucil (Elma also sort of falls into this category as well). Apparently for an entire world that is seemingly based upon a religion, they sure aren’t very conservative. Hell, Rikku’s an Al-Bhed who are the closest thing to atheists in Spira and they seem to wear more fabric and show less cleavage and ass than most of the religious. It’s a weird world, Spira…
And then there’s Final Fantasy X-2…
I always say it to people. FFX-2 was nothing more than a Final Fantasy themed Charlie’s Angels game. It was a game in that universe that was far more like a sexy Japanese game than a traditional JRPG. And it wasn’t a bad game still, but it was very obvious that the game was built as fan service for all those in Japan who bought FFX, I’m not 100% sure X-2 was ever intended to be released outside of Japan, but the sales were too high to ignore everywhere else.
The game’s main gimmick was the Dressphere system, where the three girls (Yuna, Rikku, Paine) adopted the job system except it was interchangeable in-battle…and a lot of them were very sexualized. Some of the notable ones are Thief, Lady Luck, Berserker and of course, Songstress. It was basically playing dress-up, except it wasn’t girls putting pretty dresses on the characters, it was more being done by men.
The initial character designs were also very sexually designed. Paine‘s outfit looks like a pair of scissors sliced half the fabric out. Rikku (who I loved her FFX outfit) traded in her top and shorts for a bikini and a mini-skirt. And Yuna of all people in this universe went from the long dress to fucking hot pants! That’s quite the change! Although out of the two them, I welcomed Yuna’s change a lot more, not because her ass was out in full view now, but because her personality changed quite a bit along with it, she was enjoying life a lot more now, she had a bit of an edge as well. It was far more enjoyable than the innocent sheep she was for the majority of FFX. And then of course you have to bring Leblanc into the conversation, just to let the original outfits’ sexiness sink in.
There are two final nails in the coffin for FFX-2 being clearly made as a fan service game. There’s the scene/minigame where Yuna massages Leblanc, but that’s nothing compared to the hot springs. Yup, if you take a certain path on Mt. Gagazet, you fall down into a hot spring, scaring Leblanc’s cronies out. But instead of giving chase, YRP decide to take a break and go for “just a little dip“. And because apparently women do this (I have no research into this, for obvious reasons), Rikku spends some time comparing bust sizes with Yuna and Paine as well, because why not?
Did any of this bother/offend me? A tiny bit really, mostly because they made Rikku look rather slutty looking in X-2, though that was more my feelings back then, I’ve made semi-peace with that. I now really just dislike the bikini outfit. But in terms of the game itself, X-2 like I said was still really fun to play and X is one of my favourite JRPGs of all-time. And as if I haven’t said it enough, I’ve never really been bothered a lot by sexualized material, it’s only if it’s there for the sake of making the girls look hot and having zero character/personality. In this case, it doesn’t fall into that territory, as cheesy as FFX-2 is.
And I’d be hypocritical if I said otherwise, when Rikku’s butt in those green shorts is a gaming memory permanently burned into my brain.
I thought I was done for back there.