It's been years since I played Final Fantasy X. I bought the HD Remaster when it hit PC but decided to save it for another day and never got around to it. But I recently got a Vita to binge Persona 4 Golden and picked up FFX/FFX-2 while I was doing a pre-flight shopping binge wherein I buy several books and games to stave off the utter terror that I MIGHT. GET.BORED. 


So I started playing again. And I decided, since I played the shit out of it before PSN Trophies were around to give me the credit I so richly deserve, that I would platinum it. I promised myself.


I hate myself, and I hate my promises.


I thought I knew what FFX completion looked like. In my PS2-era mind it was getting all the celestial weapons and beating the Omega dungeon. Then I see these fuckers on the trophy list.


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I didn't even realize what that meant. Surely it couldn't mean activating every node on the entire sphere grid (the game's leveling/skill tree system), could it? That's like a human rights violation. For reference, this is the sphere grid.


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In the normal course of the game, each of the 7 playable characters starts at a different point on this grid and follows a track. When you fight monsters you earn points (AP) that let you advance around the grid and you spend different types of spheres to activate nodes that raise your HP, MP, Strength, etc. or unlock abilities like Heal or Fire or Quick Hit.


Mostly, the tracks and some special abilities are locked off from each other, unless you get special spheres to unlock them, but theoretically this means you can teach your tanks to heal and get your mages some defense.


Pretty cool, right?


In the FUCKING SADISTIC version of the game, just taking ALL 7 characters around the ENTIRE GRID isn't even enough. You have to consign yourself to spending hours hitting special monsters in a monster arena to collect special spheres to turn empty nodes into attribute nodes, then activating them so there are no empty nodes left.


You need to earn a LOT of AP to be able to move around to activate everything. There's one particular trick that's supposed to make this easier. You customize some weapons to add certain abilities, then repeatedly fight a specific monster to get a TON of AP.


But before that you have to, (SURPRISE!) beat up other monsters for hours on end, torturing them into dropping items you need so you can customize OTHER weapons and sell them to make money so you can bribe totally different monsters for the materials you actually need to make the weapons to hit the AP guy so you can move around the sphere grid.


I hate everything about it, but I'm still putting myself through it.


Yesterday I got my first character through this gauntlet (bless you, Wakka). He had the hard work of forging the path through, transforming every empty node. Now all the other characters follow behind. Hopefully that means only a few hours to go? Hopefully?


I checked my play time pre-grind and where I'm at now. 80 hours. 80. HOURS. That's half my total play time. As much time as I've spent playing the game, getting all the celestial weapons, and beating the secret dungeon that I would have defined as "complete" before.


Almost done, though! Right? I hope? Then I can move on to getting the Platinum for Final Fantasy X-2 because I NEED the perfect ending.


What am I doing with my life?