Fantasy Finalist: Boom, Roasted

Way back when I was 16 and playing Final Fantasy X for the first time, I never fought Sin. I was too afraid to beat the game and lose my virtual friends. So I quit the game and thought about it at least once a week for approximately ten years.  When the remastered came out for PS4, I determined to finally overcome that hurdle and beat the bastard. I had my English Breakfast tea, a bag of Funyons, multiple body pillows for ample freshness and postural variation, and I’d gotten a good night’s sleep. I entrenched myself for this epic battle that would probably take at least an hour or two. I cleared my schedule, told my family not to contact me.

I started by summoning Yojimbo, the Aeon that looks like a badass samurai, who I definitely want a tattoo of at some point in life. I threw him some money to activate Zanomoto, his one-hit KO attack, just to eliminate the possibility. Lo and behold, the only thing eliminated was Sin. Just like that. One-hit KO in the biggest boss battle of my life. I hadn’t even cracked into my Funyons yet.

Not even Jesus could beat sin with a one-hit KO. He had do die to beat it once, then go to hell and essentially beat it again, then raise from the dead and beat it a third time. Maybe my maths aren’t gelling with my religion, but you get my point.

I was Tidus, a half-shirted jackass, not Jesus. The closest in my party to Jesus was Auron, and he only had one operable arm. I think. I’m still not clear about that.

Even though I’d spent ten years of my life stressing about the implications of this battle, I didn’t feel unfulfilled. I took some time to detox, but there wasn’t anything there to detox from. Sin was a bitch. All I could think is how many other obstacles in life I had made too much of. How many other things had I blown out of proportion and made way worse than they actually were? Tetanus shots, for sure. Learning to ride a bike, definitely.

After ten years of build-up, I needed about ten minutes of detox. I mean, it wasn’t even the final battle. Who knew. And in the end, it turns out it wasn’t the battle that I came for, but the closure of what would happen to my party of misfit heroes that felt oddly like friends. I do, however, think that this battle made me realize that I only play video games for the story. And thus, always on story mode. Life is stressful enough, why would I want to stress over a boss battle on Ultra-Armageddon-Deluxe mode?

Also, not sure about this message of throwing money at Sin to make it go away, but maybe I’m oversimplifying that. 

Josh Sippie: I’m the Director of Publishing Guidance at Gotham Writers. My work has appeared in McSweeney’s, I have an ongoing Fiction series (about Yoda!) at Hobart and a forthcoming humor column at Points in Case. 

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