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Thread: The Morals of Tidus' Decision

  1. #1
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Default The Morals of Tidus' Decision

    So at the end of FFX, we do something pretty awesome: we save Spira from the menace of Sin... and erase the existence of Dream Zanarkand. As we know from Tidus, they aren't really any less 'real' than 'real people', they are human beings with ambitions, careers, love lives, they just live in Dream Zanarkand which appears to be a kind of utopia, at least, the people there seem to be living pretty great lives and outside of the Sin attack in the opening, don't really have to worry too much about their own survival.

    None of these people have really done anything wrong really, however, their sin is their ignorance; for them to even exist, all of Spira suffers under Sin's presence. Doesn't even matter that it's not their fault, the inescapable reality is that their existence is tied to the suffering of an entire people.

    FFX doesn't really go into this much, but in the end, Tidus and Jecht basically make the decision that the suffering of the people of Spira is more important than the existence of their home utopia and decide to end the dream, essentially killing everyone there, for the sake of the people of Spira. This is kinda a pretty heavy thing to go through with!

    But I'm curious, so now I turn to you guys. Let's not make this a topic about the merits and faults of FFX, but rather, regardless of whether you like the game or not: what are your feelings on this particular point? Do you feel it's just, or even a moral imperative, to commit genocide on a people to free those that suffer horribly from their existence? Or, since they really aren't themselves at fault for any of it, do you feel it's morally reprehensible to do so? Would you have judged Tidus if he had turned the other way and not let them destroy Yu Yevon, fighting for his home's right to exist instead? Or would you have even supported him in it?

    Maybe a pretty loaded topic, but I'd love to see what people feel about this.

  2. #2

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    It's been about a decade since I played this so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I remember some of the Aeons (Bahamut in particular) asking you to end the dream for them as they were tired of it. If I remember right the aeons were all part of that dream as well, so by them essentially asking for death it shows you at least some of them thought the same as Tidus. The sensor descriptions you can get from the aeons in your final fight with them pretty much confirms this as well. There's also this from the wikia: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Fayth

    After growing tired of a millennium of dreaming, the fayth request Tidus, a person who hails from Dream Zanarkand and thus a product of their dream, to destroy Yu Yevon so they can rest. Bahamut's fayth knows Tidus from his trips to Dream Zanarkand, and due to the fayth's shared consciousness acts as a spokesperson for all the fayth in asking him to kill Yu Yevon to stop the summoning.

    So I'd say that's a pretty good indicator that almost nobody wanted the dream zanarkand to keep on existing anymore, its residents included.

    In terms of morally questionable things going in in FF X, I've always considered the big one to be Tidus basically saying "Screw the final summoning, we'll find some other way to stop Sin." Of course this is a videogame so everything works out that way, but what if it didn't? What if there really was no other way to stop Sin, and his actions basically caused all of Spira to continue suffering from Sin because Tidus didn't want to lose Yuna? That's always been an idea that interests me, because in the real world things rarely end up working out perfectly like they do in fantasy tales. What would be the consequences of a summoner just deciding they refuse to go through with it?

    In Tales of Symphonia, which shares a surprising amount of parallels to this game (one world's existence causes another world to suffer, the church is basically corrupt, you need to go collect summons in order to "save the world" as it were, fufilling the chosen's journey will cause them to 'die') they mention one of their "chosen" (equivalent to a summoner in X) was basically forcibly dragged around to all the seals (which coincide with aeon temples in X) against their will in order to bring salvation to their declining world. Would Spira do something like this as well if there were no willing summoners? Would they just tie them up and drag them to each temple in order to obtain the aeons and save the world from Sin? I think it's a very interesting plot point that could spawn a lot of great fanfiction.

  3. #3

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    Disregarding the OP post, which in itself brings a pretty interesting thought that I am not too sure how I actually feel about, even if killing Yunalesca and bringing end to the final summoning without actually succeeding to destroy Sin, I do not think that it would be that big of a deal.

    The biggest difference would be that the Yevon ideology would have to change and Spira's people thinking along with it and instead of clinging to false hope of Sin hopefully dissapearing somehow in the future for good by sacrificing summoners all the time, they would have to just accept it as a force of a nature, which it more or less already is.

    Considering that until Tidus, Yuna and the company destroyed Sin at the end of the game through the magic of plot armor, Sin was around for about 1000 years and in all that time, it was destroyed only 4 times, where "the Calm" was not really such a long time of peace. Since Braska defeated Sin only ten years before the story of FFX, the peace was not truly long lasting and thus even if there was no way to stop it at all, there would not be such a big difference if stopping it for a while was not an option anymore anyway.

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    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarisa View Post
    It's been about a decade since I played this so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I remember some of the Aeons (Bahamut in particular) asking you to end the dream for them as they were tired of it. If I remember right the aeons were all part of that dream as well, so by them essentially asking for death it shows you at least some of them thought the same as Tidus. The sensor descriptions you can get from the aeons in your final fight with them pretty much confirms this as well. There's also this from the wikia: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Fayth

    After growing tired of a millennium of dreaming, the fayth request Tidus, a person who hails from Dream Zanarkand and thus a product of their dream, to destroy Yu Yevon so they can rest. Bahamut's fayth knows Tidus from his trips to Dream Zanarkand, and due to the fayth's shared consciousness acts as a spokesperson for all the fayth in asking him to kill Yu Yevon to stop the summoning.

    So I'd say that's a pretty good indicator that almost nobody wanted the dream zanarkand to keep on existing anymore, its residents included.
    I don't think the Bahamut fayth is speaking for the residents of DZ here. Unlike the fayth, as we can see in Tidus, the residents are all blissfully unaware of the fact that Spira, as well as the fayth mass, are suffering because of their very existence.

    Of course no one *suffering from it* wants DZ to continue existing after 1000 grueling years, but think of Tidus' life as a superstar, his fangirls, Zanar the announcer, they all speak to the DZ inhabitants leading normal peaceful lives ignorant of the effect their continued existence has on the outside world.

    Tidus and Jecht come to the conclusion to erase DZ for everyone else's sake, so the game's stance on this matter is pretty clear, and is the one I'd generally agree with more, but it's kinda a pretty brutal choice nonetheless. Cause there really is no actual villain in this conflict (only Sin, which is more akin to a force of nature enforcing this concept, beyond human good and evil), but the reality that Spira suffers immensely as long as DZ exists is undeniable and inescapable, so you can't exactly expect the people of Spira and the fayth to just sit down and deal with it, "sucks to be you".

    Maybe the game's version of this choice is a bit too abstract, but you can imagine a lot of different situations where this would be a choice.

  5. #5
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Since I was asked to comment on this:

    I know the OP said to not use this as a soapbox to complain about the game, but this right here is an example of a large issue I have with the game and how so much of the cosmology was created for short-sighted plot points as opposed to building a cohesive world that actually functions. As it stands, since Tidus and both his parents seem to exist in the Farplane, it seems to me that DZ's destruction will not end the existence of its inhabitants, largely undermining the moral blow such a decision would cause.

    Moving onto the subject matter, I would probably say that Tidus' decision was justified since the game implies that due to DZ's origins, the world already exists with one foot firmly planted in the land of the dead and that ending the dream pretty much shifted the existence of said world to one plane of existence instead of the two worlds it bordered on. I actually wouldn't even surprised if the residents didn't even notice it. Secondly, the very existence of a physical afterlife/reincarnation cycle ultimately undermines any moral argument about murder as far as I can tell. Hell, the freaky existence of how the dead work in this game even makes Seymour's plan not feel either crazy or reprehensible for me. Thirdly, DZ is presented as a world of perpetual stasis, it never grows or really evolves and remains the way it was a thousand years ago. This alone tells me it's a world that probably has no purpose to exist regardless of how one feels we can classify the inhabitants. They are not really doing anything with their existence that is practical and for me, that's not really living. The "Arcadia" archetype is not a world anyone should wish as it is void of any real life, instead being a perpetual world that will never go beyond its basic existence. Such a world would be boring to live in, and if I had come from such a place and yet somehow retained my current beliefs, I would have destroyed it as well because it's not doing anyone any good.

    If we wish to take this premise into real world morality, then simply ask yourself this: Is it okay for first world powers to exploit third world countries for the benefit of perpetuating the first world countries standard of living? When placed in this context, we can see that DZ is a world that, ignorant or not, simply exists through the perpetual suffering of Spira. While we can do something to ease the burden and shorten the gap between the haves and have nots of our own world through political and economical change, DZ can only exist if Sin exists and Sin exists to punish and perpetuate the existence of a nation that lost a war. Chances are, if DZ was aware of how its existence affected the rest of the world, while some would come to Tidus and the Fayeth's decision, I'm sure a chunk of the inhabitants would argue for their world to continue to exist regardless of the problems it caused simply out of their own desire to keep their way of life going.

    As for breaking the Summoning Cycle, it seems to me that it was already on its last leg anyway due to the quick turn around of Sin's existence from Braska's efforts. So the practice would have probably ended shortly after Yuna's time regardless. Though had it kept working, I imagine it would still have kept going, though I don't know if forcing someone to do it would work out so well. Seymour was forced to do so and in addition to Anima not likely being strong enough to function as a Final Aeon due to the circumstances of its origins, forced use would likely not work well. Even if the Yevon Chruch was to fail and fall to obscurity, I wouldn't be surprised if it went the I am Setsuna route and the Pilgrimage would still continue through parts of Spira that keep the "old traditions" alive, even if the rest of the world stopped believing in it.
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  6. #6

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    It seems like most people are forgettong that it's pretty strongly implied that left unchecked by the Calm, Sin would kill everyone. So once they stop the possibility of a final summoning they really don't have much other choice unless they want to let everyone in Spira die. And sure death doesn't seem so final there, but most would probably become fiends, so that seems like a pretty awful fate to me. Plus there would be no new life and there can't be new life in Zanarkand anyway, as far as I know.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Golbez View Post
    It seems like most people are forgettong that it's pretty strongly implied that left unchecked by the Calm, Sin would kill everyone. So once they stop the possibility of a final summoning they really don't have much other choice unless they want to let everyone in Spira die. And sure death doesn't seem so final there, but most would probably become fiends, so that seems like a pretty awful fate to me. Plus there would be no new life and there can't be new life in Zanarkand anyway, as far as I know.
    Technically, background notes say that Sin only attacks regions that have lots of machina because it mistakes them for Ancient Beville. Otherwise it doesn't actually directly attack locations unless provoked. With that said, Sin is a general menace due to causing tsunmai's and all the Sinspawn it creates.

    As for the fiends, that would ultimately be the Achilles Heel in Seymour's plan, not helped by the fact the few undead are treated as just a different type of Fiend to begin with. Personally, if I knew reincarnation was a real thing, I don't exactly feel like I would be really salty about dying anymore, eliminating the causes of being a fiend. I'm honestly dumbfounded that such a world like Spira wouldn't have a more Buddhist mindset about death as opposed to the one we see. Just another issue I have with how the world was made.
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