It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually started up a challenge and stuck with it. Perhaps I really needed to do something unique, and that at last I’ve found it. Welcome to the Tidus Solo, Expert Sphere Grid, No Customize, Random Paths challenge!
Now you may be asking yourself – what in the world is “random paths”? It’s pretty much the only name I could think of for how this works. For those unaware, the Expert Sphere Grid is a much more complicated layout. Everyone starts near the center and you can easily change people into other characters paths. Before this challenge, I had hardly even looked at the ESG let alone used it. Since it’s so easy for characters to “jump” into other grids, why not make it so where you go is random?
Now of course, you can’t actually tell the game “choose a random direction”. You still have to “choose” the direction. The method I have been using it through random.org to choose my path for me. Each direction will be a number – for example, Tidus has the starting choice of going up or down. Up was 1, down was 2. Random.org gave me a 2 and so down I went. Each “fork” in the path is like this – I’ll “label” each one and then do a random.org for those numbers. So far it’s took me on a slight doozy of a path as I’ll describe below. That’s going to be the beauty of this challenge though – boss preparations are going to have to come on the fly. I won’t know what I’ll be getting for each boss. And that’s why this has been so fun so far.
The start is simple. Klikk brought the first instance of another character being “forced” to do an action. I did that action with Rikku and then killed her off as soon as I could. The same went for the upcoming piranhas and Tros. Tros got a bit interesting since brilliant me decided I didn’t want to use Cheer (which I was thankfully able to pick up because it was by Tidus’ start)!
Before I continue, let me describe another part of this. As I mentioned, I have Cheer, despite the RNG rolling me to go down and away from Tidus’ section. So long as a node is reachable I can activate it. This means I’ll be able to pick up some drive-by stats and skills if the paths I don’t take aren’t immediately an empty node (though most so far have been). I’m also allowed to fill in these empty nodes on side paths if I choose and then activate them. Just so long as I don’t go down a path that I wasn’t rolled at the time.
In Besaid, things started to get interesting. Piranhas were the same as before except with Wakka dying/running instead of Rikku. Fast forward through the million years of story there, we’re back into battle land. Again, in the tutorials I’m forced to use other characters (sorry, wasn’t going to try and get Tidus strong enough to one shot that Flan). Kimahri was straight forward thanks to a couple crits. And then… things got interesting.
I kind of knew I’d have to grind to beat Sin’s Fin. Heck, I was only able to do it because I rolled to go down into Kimahri’s area! Though, of course, that’s where the fun came in. Tidus initially did around 13-14 with Lancet on the Fin… it has 2000 HP. Yeah, I didn’t have enough potions (even with 5x Cheer) to survive all the damage I was taking from the Sinscale left alive. Well, back to the drawing board. The next roll brought me into a tease of Yuna’s area, granting me access to a Magic+2, Scan, and Extract Ability. The next one brought me over to Lulu’s and Blizzard. I’m pretty sure that without Blizzard I would’ve had to just give in and call the Fin impossible. I was also able to get a ton of potions for the next while, and considering they aren’t sold in Kilika… Yeah…
Anyways, the grind to get Blizzard took me somewhere around… 4 hours total? I don’t remember, I lost track. It was over two sessions too. At 2 AP (4 for that occasional overkill from a critical hit or high damage roll on a Condor) a battle, yeah… The Flans of Besaid were also my nemesis, doing 130-140 damage with their Water! Ouch! Anyways, a 21 minute battle later, the Fin went down after many Blizzards, Lancets, Potions, and a couple Ethers.
Sinspawn Echuilles was next, and after the Fin… This was a huge relief. I could actually HIT it! Well, I still had to be careful – Blender did a lot and I couldn’t blind it. Thankfully, 5x Cheer saw to that, along with a Spiral Cut. There’s also the fact there wasn’t a free heal between the fights – even more ouch. Thankfully I had brought enough potions, especially since again… they aren’t sold in Kilika!
Kilika Woods brought with it some of the dangers from Besaid. Elementals were worse than Flans (now doing 180-190 damage). Ragora’s were JUST as bad, with Seed Cannon doing about the same. Thankfully, these can be dealt with with Potions and Escape.The biggest killer in the Woods was status effect. First it was the lizard landing its Petrify (it did this once my entire time here, and it was of course on Tidus). Then, Poison. Oh Poison… While I could try and work around it so long as there wasn’t an Elemental with that Bee, if there was I’d have to do some careful planning. Figure out if it was worth the risk of trying to kill the Bee.
I decided it wasn’t worth trying to fight Lord Ochu so I didn’t even bother. Especially since thus far my stat bonuses have been an (amazing) Magic+2. As for the Sinspawn here, some Cheers helped take out the arms (once I actually decided hey, I should use Cheer). A Spiral Cut brought him out of his shell. And the brilliant thing about this guy? He totally has a pattern to his attacks! This allowed me to plan out how I did stuff, knowing when to guard, Antidote (fact: also not sold in Kilika, thankfully bought them in Besaid), and Attack. Also thanks to Loner, I was able to do a lot of Spiral Cuts here. This is becoming a theme, one I expect to continue until Blitz Ace….
Bunch more story and grinding here. My next random roll brought me into learning all 4 elemental spells. This had a huge benefit in Luca thankfully. I also found out my NEXT roll here – heading down into Lulu’s area. I always knew Tidus wanted to be a mage instead…
Ah Luca, the land of cutscenes. Also the last big roadblock into really getting into areas you can fight bigger stuff. Once I was able to buy (and sell) stuff at O’aka, I (finally) did a big potion restock, along with several of each status ailment. I also sold all non-Tidus equipment for some money and picked up the Stunning Steel. I had previously gotten the Twilight Steel as a drop, so I’m feeling pretty good for now on status weapons. I also have an Ice Brand at this point, though that’ll become relevant again on Mushroom Rock Road (it was relevant in Kilika).
The Machina were just a matter of potions, Cheers, and getting the slow off of the Stunning Steel to hit. Then of course there’s Oblitzerator. Thanks to rolling into getting all of Lulu’s level 1 spells, I had Thunder to activate the crane (after 5 Cheers of course). A Spiral Cut finished the job here, and a Lightning Steel was had. Whew, that’s going to save me a lot in some places… including one very soon!
After winning the Blitzball match (because that Strength Sphere was definitely wanted), the Sahagins were up next. The Lightning Steel was put to good use here, along with a bunch of Cheers to decrease my damage taken. The Garuda became a bit interesting, with my initial idea of trying to Blind then Slow it not working (Slow didn’t land and Blind wore off). Was able to get Blind back on and just beat him down and Spiral Cut for the wind.
Which brings me to the end of this section. Boy, it’s already been a journey and who knows what the future holds! My next split isn’t for a fair while, though I’m already dreading Sinspawn Gui! Heck, who knows, Mi’ihen Highroad may turn into a massive death road! Or my plan to just have Chocobo Eater knock me off might fail miserable! Who knows! Regardless, thus far this challenge has proven very interesting, despite the many hours of grinding needed so far. I was determined to solo the Fin dangit! Even if it did mean hours of grinding…
Final Fantasy X – Tidus Solo Expert Sphere Grid No Customize Random Paths Difficulty (through Luca)
There have been some absolutely deadly enemies if I wasn’t careful, mainly from spell casters. I don’t even want to think about Mi’ihen is going to be!
You can find a playlist of my videos from this challenge on my YouTube channel.
Note: I will explain No Customize in the next part for those who don’t know what it is.