- “Blitz off!”
- —The match opener.
- For Wakka's weaponry, see: List of Final Fantasy X Weapons#Wakka's Blitzballs.
Blitzball is an aquatic ball sport played in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. It is Spira's favorite and most dominant sport, allowing fans to take their minds off the ever present threat of Sin.
Blitzball is a sport over 1000 years old. After Zanarkand's destruction a millennium ago, and after Sin's emergence, blitzball became Spira's only form of entertainment. The ancient gesture used by blitzball spectators to cheer on their team was adopted by Yevon and became known as a religious gesture.
By the time of Final Fantasy X blitzball is embraced by the Yevon faith, despite Bevelle not having its own team in the league; Maesters of Yevon are known to attend important blitzball tournaments, and the blitzball stadium in Luca is one of the few examples of machina that is not labelled forbidden. Two years following Sin's defeat and the ensuing Eternal Calm, blitzball is still among the most popular sports in the world, although it has a new rival in Sphere Break.
The objective of the game is for the player and their team to kick the blitzball - a dimpled ball about thirty centimeters in diameter - into the opposing team's goal, while the opposing team simultaneously defends their goal and attempts to steal the blitzball in order to make an attempt at the player's goal.
The verb for playing blitzball is "blitzing" or "to blitz".
Set-up and FormatEdit
Blitzball is held in open-air water sphere stadium, designed in a traditional amphitheatre style. Once the sphere is filled, a pair of triangular goals are suspended at opposing points within the sphere's diameter (usually at the north and south horizontal points).
Each game lasts for two five-minute periods. The team with the highest score at the end of the second period wins. If the two teams should remain tied during regular League season or Exhibition play, the game ends in a tie. Inversely, if the two teams are tied at the conclusion of Tournament play, the game proceeds to Overtime. Overtime consists of continuous 5 minute rounds in Golden Goal format.
By the time of the Eternal Calm the blitzball rules were altered slightly:
- If a team leads the game by seven goals at any point in the game, the game is ended and the team automatically wins.
- There are now eight players per team; three fielders, four defenders, and one goalkeeper.
- There is only one five-minute round, with no break or half time.
- Overtime can last up to thirty minutes. At this point the match will end and immediately replayed from 0-0.
- “This is the only time! The players fight with all their strength; the fans cheer for their favorite team. They forget pain, suffering... Only the game matters! That's why blitz has been around for so long. Least that's what I think.”
Final Fantasy X opens with the blitzball final in the Jecht Memorial Cup, between the Zanarkand Abes and the Zanarkand Duggles. The game is interrupted by Sin attacking Dream Zanarkand, where the Zanarkand Abes' star player, Tidus, is taken to a world that has only blitzball in common with his own.
Tidus washes up on the shores of Besaid; returning a stray blitzball to the Besaid Aurochs practicing by the shoreline, he demonstrates his talent for the game. Wakka, the team captain, knows Tidus is a blitz player, and proposes he accompanies his pilgrimage alongside summoner Yuna and the rest of the team to the blitzball tournament in Luca, in the hopes someone would know him there. In exchange for passage, Tidus agrees to join the Aurochs and help them win the tournament cup. Aboard the S.S. Liki on passage to Luca, Tidus learns of the rivalry between the Besaid Aurochs and the Spiran champions, the Luca Goers, and vows to change the Aurochs' strategy plan to a more aggressive approach.
During the tournament's first match, Yuna is kidnapped by the Al Bhed Psyches in an attempt to force the Besaid Aurochs into surrendering the match. While Wakka plays, Tidus goes with the other guardians to hunt down those who took Yuna. After rescuing Yuna from the Al Bhed, Lulu sends a signal to Wakka; he wins the game just in time, ending the twenty-three-year-long losing streak without Tidus's help.
The Aurochs proceed onto the tournament's final against the Luca Goers. The outcome of the match depends on the player, though Wakka resigns from professional blitzball after the game regardless of the final result. After the match, a group of fiends are unleashed upon the stadium, creating chaos. Tidus and Wakka fight off the fiends that foray into the sphere pool and manage to make it to the stands, when they are given the surprise aid of Auron, Tidus's old acquaintance. The rest of the fiends are dispatched by Seymour's aeon, Anima.
After Wakka retires from the captain's post, the Besaid Aurochs still play in the league. It is left ambiguous whether Tidus becomes the team's new captain, but he is the only unit the player can't kick out of the team, although it's not necessary to actually bring him to the games. Note however Tidus is the only player in the game that can learn the famous Jecht Shot, used and created by his father.
- “The day that blitz freaks across Spira have been waiting for is finally here! That's right, folks! Blitzball season has begun!”
At the beginning of Final Fantasy X-2, the stadium in Luca is used as a concert hall off-season. Leblanc performs there under the guise of Yuna. Blitzball season opens again with the Gullwings' return. The Besaid Aurochs - busy with looking after Lulu and Wakka's son - ask the Gullwings to take their place in the upcoming tournament.
The player can have a more managerial role compared to the previous game, creating formations, adjusting how hard they play during a game and training their players to be the best in Spira. Instead of the players leveling up while on the field, the player must level up their blitzball players with points received after each game. Training one stat may lower another.
Blitzball is accessible to the player at almost any time following the events in Luca, via Save Spheres. The Besaid Aurochs can partake in a League, Tournament or Exhibition game. Prizes for victory range from Megalixirs and Dark Matters to Wakka's Overdrives, Slots. Individual prizes are also awarded for league top scorers.
The player can scout new players for the Besaid Aurochs from other blitz teams, and through free agents met in field, by using to interact. Scout level increases as the player's blitzball prowess increases, allowing the player to view statistics and even abilities of a candidate.
Locales and StadiumsEdit
Blitzball stadiums have a superstructure of varying design, supporting hemispherical seating around a circular masonry courtyard, above which an invisible spherical and semi-permeable force field is suspended. Water fills the force field to create the water sphere play-field.
- “It's not any different, but the stadium is here. The Crusaders fight to protect it with all their strength.”
By the time of the events in Final Fantasy X the Luca Stadium is the sole surviving blitzball stadium in Spira, and home of the Spiran blitzball tournament. It sits at the center of Luca's docks. Protected by the Chocobo Knights, as well as Crusaders and Warrior Monks during visits from Maesters, as seen during the visits of Maester Seymour and Grand Maester Mika. The stadium is a vital monument of hope for the world's populace constantly under the threat of the monster, Sin. Bobba and Jimma commentate the blitzball matches held at the stadium, but are never seen.
If the player wishes to recruit any of the Besaid Aurochs into their team, all five original starting players can be found and scouted in the Aurochs' locker room in the stadium's basement.
- “Ten years later, the Jecht Memorial Cup tournament is today! The two teams that have won through to the finals are...of course, the Abes from A-East and the Duggles from C-South.”
A locale in Dream Zanarkand, it was the home stadium for the Zanarkand Abes, Tidus and Jecht's team, and houses the Jecht Memorial Cup. It was destroyed along with the rest of the city during Sin's attack on the dream world. Its structure is similar to that of the Zanarkand Dome. Zanar commentates matches in Dream Zanarkand. He talks of his experiences watching Jecht play blitzball, conversing about him with his father, and the Jecht Memorial Cup, in which Tidus plays.
Zanarkand Stadium appears in a ruined, ethereal state Inside Sin called Dream's End. In Final Fantasy X, the party fights the game's final battles here. It also appears as the representative arena of Final Fantasy X in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
Teams and PlayersEdit
- See also: List of Blitzball Teams
There are six active blitzball teams from across Spira that compete in both Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. Blitzball teams are made up of six players per side; three fielders, two defenders, and one goalkeeper. Team captains tend to have bands on their left arms as a sign of their status.
The Aurochs hail from the seaside village of Besaid, and at the beginning of Final Fantasy X, are under Wakka's captaincy. The team have the dubious distinction of being the only team in Spira to have never progressed through the first round of the Luca blitz tournament. When Tidus joins in exchange for passage, their success rate increases. The player has control over the Besaid Aurochs following the events in Luca.
At the opening of Final Fantasy X, the Luca Goers reign as the Spiran champions. They are captained by the confident and brash forward, Bickson. As they represent the city with the only blitz stadium, they are widely regarded as the most beloved team throughout Spira. The team members can be found in and around Luca stadium, if the player wishes to add them to their team.
The Al Bhed Psyches represent the Al Bhed race. During the Luca tournament of Final Fantasy X, they attempt to rig their opening match against the Besaid Aurochs by kidnapping Yuna. Their goalie, Nimrook, is the best goalie in the game. The Al Bhed Psyches can only be found on the Fahrenheit, and are only available after the player boards the airship after the player has finished in Zanarkand.
The Ronso Fangs represent the Ronso race. Due to their physicality, they rely heavily on power and endurance in matches, whilst somewhat lacking in the speed statistics. The Ronso Fangs team members can only be found at the Luca Docks in Luca.
The Kilika Beasts hail from the small seaside town of Kilika. High Summoner Ohalland used to play for the team before he became a summoner. The Kilika Beasts' team members can be found throughout Kilika from the port to the temple.
The Guado Glories represent the Guado race, and hail from Guadosalam. Statistically, their players contrast the Ronso Fangs, with high speed at the expense of HP, Attack and Endurance. The Guado Glories team can be found in Guadosalam.
The Zanarkand Abes is Tidus's team in Dream Zanarkand, where he was known as the star player. They have yellow and black outfits. His father, Jecht, also played for the Abes, a shadow Tidus struggles to step out of. They are only available to play against in Final Fantasy X-2.
The Zanarkand Duggles is another team competing in the Jecht Memorial Cup, featuring black and red outfits. Little is known about the team due to Dream Zanarkand's destruction at the hands of Sin other than that they "play dirty".
- See also: List of Blitzball Agents
Great players are treated as sport heroes, receiving extra attention and drawing in crowds to their games. For recreation, while they're not training, players usually either occupy the hot springs or participate in some "downtime activity" of their choosing.
Three of the main characters in Final Fantasy X, Tidus, Wakka, and Jecht, are professional blitzball players of varying skill. Other notable free agents include Al Bhed entrepreneur Rin, and Rikku's brother and Celsius pilot, Brother.
Each blitzball player has differing statistics that determine their proficiency in the sphere pool. Players who are also playable characters - such as Tidus, Wakka and Brother - have completely independent blitzball statistics to their battle statistics.
Players gain experience with each game played, increasing their stamina, speed, endurance and attack along with other skills they need in order to become better players.
|Represents how much stamina the player has left. HP dwindles as the player swims with the ball, is spent when passing and shooting, and is also used for performing various Blitzball techniques.|
If a player has low HP, passing and shooting stats are halved, and techniques can't be used. HP slowly regenerates when players are not carrying the ball.
|Varies how fast the player swims through the water. Speed is important for escaping the tackles of opposing players and getting closer to the opponent's goal.|
|Calculates how much damage from tackles a player can take before surrendering the ball to their attacker. The higher a player's EN, the less likely it is that (s)he will lose the ball.|
|The player's strength in tackling the ball carrier. The higher the player's AT, the more likely they are to steal the ball from their opponent.|
|Varies how far the player passes the ball. When making a pass, the player's PA is steadily reduced by friction while traveling through the water. If PA reaches 0 before the ball reaches the intended target, the ball is fumbled, leaving it loose and open for retrieval by the opposing team.|
|Based on the player's ability to block passes and shots. The higher a player's BL, the more of his/her opponent's PA or SH will diminish when trying to get the ball past the player. If the BL/PA or BL/SH ratio is lopsided enough, the ball will be intercepted. If a player tackles, (s)he will no longer be able to block the ball.|
|Decides how well the player can shoot the ball at the opposing team's goal. Like PA, SH is lowered by the defender's BL and by how long the ball travels through the water. When close enough to the goal, it will be calculated against the goalkeeper's CA.|
|A statistic used exclusively by goalkeepers to determine their success at making saves. The keeper will either catch the ball and throw it to a friendly player, or just parry the ball away from the net, knocking it back into play for retrieval by anyone.|
|How far the player can accurately pass or shoot. (Only appears in Final Fantasy X-2)|
|How well the player can receive passes. (Only appears in Final Fantasy X-2)|
|How well a player can reach shots, intercept passes, tackle opponents, etc. (Only appears in Final Fantasy X-2)|
|How tired the player is from training and playing Blitzball matches. A player suffering from high fatigue increases the likelihood of becoming injured while training or after a hard tackle during a game for prolonged periods of time. This can be easily lowered through the Downtime and Hot Springs training modes. (Only appears in Final Fantasy X-2)|
|OUT||Displays the number of matches the player must sit out until (s)he can actively play again, and is applicable only if s/he is injured through training or playing. (Only appears in Final Fantasy X-2)|
- Main article: List of Blitzball Techniques
Players can learn varying techniques to enhance their gameplay. Whilst most techniques are available to learn through the use of the Tech Copy command, a number of techniques are exclusive to certain positions and players, such as Super Goalie and Jecht Shot, respectively.
The player has the option to configure the Besaid Aurochs into formations after gaining more experience.
|Normal||Fielders and defenders chase after opposing ball carrier for a short time. Good enough until other formations are acquired.|
|Mark||Fielders and defenders chase after the person they marked before the game and at half-time. Unlike normal, they follow them all over the pool. For defense, it makes it easier to block shots and passes.|
|Left Side||Everyone (excluding goalie) focuses on the left side of the pool, leaving the right side virtually defenseless, but might be overlooked if a fielder or defender is lucky enough to be on the right side.|
|Right Side||Essentially the same as Left Side, but on the right side and with the same weakness: the opposite side is left without any defense.|
|Center Attack||Offense: All three fielders charge down the middle of the field giving each other backup at a close range. Perfect for raising some EXP with the team's shooters.|
Defense: All three fielders charge down the middle of the pool while trying to hold off any opposing player. Works well if the fielders know some tackle skills.
|All-out Defense||The fielders try to block off the ball carrier while the defenders try to intercept him if he gets close to the player's goal. Defenders should have a decent amount of AT and some tackle skills to further increase the team's defense.|
|Flat Line||Everyone lines up & charges right down the middle, providing good offense with a downside of poor defense, since even the defenders move with the fielders. This can be countered if they manage to intercept someone.|
|Counter||Both of the player's defenders move towards the opposing goal to do exactly what the formation says: counter their pass-in if their shot was blocked and, if they have sufficient PA, allow the player's fielders another try at scoring a goal.|
|Double Sides||Defense: The right fielder and defender block the right side, and the left fielder and defender do the same for their side. The mid-fielder simply follows the opposing ball carrier.|
Offense: This becomes helpful as the player has each fielder of both sides of the field, ready to catch and score before the other team has time to react; perfect if the player's main shooter has high speed as well.
There are many ways to create a winning team. The best approach is to build a team strong in both offensively and defensively. It is best to make sure that the forwards are strong offensively and one of the forward is also good defensively. The stronger defense the front line has, the easier it is to steal the ball and transit to the offensive.
|"Blitz off!" from Final Fantasy X|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
The theme that plays during blitzball games in Final Fantasy X is "Blitz off!" The theme in the blitzball menu is called "Decision on the Docks".
In Final Fantasy X-2, the third track from the original soundtrack plays, theme called "YuRiPa Battle No.1."
Blitz is German for lightning, a term reflecting the quick nature of the sport also commonly used in the sport of American football.
- In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Tidus's introductory quote to Shantotto is "I can carry you like a blitzball", while in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Jecht says to her "oops, thought you was a ball". This refers both to blitzball, due to Shantotto's size, and the Final Fantasy XI fan joke of "taru punting".
- There is a game called blitzball in the novel A Separate Peace written by John Knowles and published in 1959.
- The blitzball players' names make a cameo in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- in Chapter 9, as the ID names of the reconnaissance Gun Bull Heads deployed in the Nibel Plains. The names are displayed when using the sniper rifle.
- In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Captain Cryptic's Confounding Quiz has a question regarding blitzball; the question is: "What is the name of the exciting underwater sport that requires a ball?".
- A parody of Blitzball called Drownball appears in the webcomic 8-Bit Theater. The goal of the game is to be the first to drown. Fighter plays the sport out of the belief that he will obtain an ultimate weapon, referencing the means of obtaining and powering up Wakka's World Champion.