- "The whole mess started with the Garment Grid... That's the invention that lets us harness the dresspheres' power."
Dresspheres (ドレスフィア, Doresufia?) are an integral part of Final Fantasy X-2 's battle system; each character has to choose a dressphere to use in battle, which roughly translates into a Job System from previous Final Fantasy games; however, dresspheres are a little more encompassing than previous job systems.
Dresspheres determine the character's weapon, base stats, and appearance and there is no equipment to control these choices. Consequently, and perhaps fittingly, all of the equipment in Final Fantasy X-2 are some form of accessories.
Dresspheres need to be equipped in the character's Garment Grid to be used, and the player is able to change between dresspheres mid-battle by moving to a different node on the Garment Grid. Due to the game's New Game Plus function, it is possible to gain several of the same dressphere and equip them to the same Garment Grid, allowing gates to be activated while keeping the same job class.
During battle, a spherechange can be implemented at any time to change the current dressphere. This can be done to gain extra abilities from the Garment Grid, to activate the special dressphere, or just switching to a different job more suited for the particular enemy. Switching of dresspheres can be stopped by Statuss.
The weapons wielded by the girls while wearing the dresspheres (particularly Warrior, Samurai, Dark Knight, White Mage, Black Mage and Mascot) are reminiscent of the weapons featured in Final Fantasy X. For instance, as Warrior, Yuna wields Tidus's Brotherhood sword. Another example is when, as a Samurai, Rikku dons a katana identical to Auron's.
Garment Grids and dresspheres were invented by Shinra, an Al Bhed kid who is part of the sphere hunting group Gullwings. Yuna, Rikku and Paine work as sphere hunters for the group, and can thus utilize Shinra's inventions. It is indicated that dresspheres are a recent invention come about after Sin's defeat.
Dresspheres are regular spheres which can be equipped on a Garment Grid to make use of new skills and spells. Most of the time a dressphere gives each wearer a unique attire, but there are some exceptions: while wearing the Songstress dressphere Yuna inherits Lenne's exact outfit, and Leblanc is able to modify her entire appearance to the likeness of Yuna while wearing the Songstress sphere on Yuna's Garment Grid, although this probably wasn't the power of the dressphere.
Only the player party and Leblanc are shown to use dresspheres. Leblanc uses a stolen dressphere to masquerade as Yuna, and her outfit resembles that of the Lady Luck dressphere although she does not use the Lady Luck's skillset when fought as a boss.
Rin offers a dressphere as the grand prize of the Sphere Break Tournament in Luca, a contest intended for the general public rather than just sphere hunters, although whether Rin knows the sphere he rewards can be used as a dressphere is unknown.
It is not revealed where Yuna, Rikku and Paine obtained their starting dresspheres, but it is known that Rikku brought Yuna's new attire to her when asking her to join the Gullwings, indicating she may have brought the Gunner dressphere to Yuna on that day.
Dresspheres determine most things about the characters, including their base stats. Unlike many other games featuring jobs, weapons and armor cannot be equipped and the weapon used is tied to the dressphere, though they only serve an aesthetic purpose and the base stats are what decides strengths. The only equipment in the game that can be changed is accessories which can be equipped by any job.
Each type of dressphere has the character in a unique outfit, and the outfit is also unique to each character.
Each dressphere has their own section of abilities which can be viewed from the menu. Players learn abilities by selecting them and then defeating enemies and by using the abilities of the dresspheres to gain AP. Jobs have sixteen available abilities, however some will be already learned by default, while others cannot be accessed until prerequisite abilities have been earned.
In terms of commands, jobs will typically have a regular command and a skillset at the very least. Some jobs like mages do not have the basic Attack command. The skillsets contain varying amounts of miscellaneous abilities specific to the job. Some of the abilities learned from the ability menu sometimes serve to improve the effectiveness of a job's commands. While abilities are not transferable between jobs, some Garment Grids and accessories give abilities from other jobs' skillsets to the users.
In battle, if a character spherechanges she can go from one node to another on the Garment Grid. Colored gates between the nodes are activated by passing between the nodes and activating gates can add stat boosts or other effects for the duration of the current battle. Each battle, a character that links to all the nodes can activate their special dressphere, which functions similarly to summons in other Final Fantasy games; party members are replaced on the fighting field by the dressphere entity and the dressphere manifestations are manifold each comprising a 'party' of three entities.
When spherechanging an animation of the girl changing clothes interrupts the battle, although the player can turn these off in the config menu. The first time viewing it is always shown in full. In the animation a girl twirls around while her previous clothes disappear and a new garment manifests on her. Changing into a special dressphere has a unique animation. Nude models for the party members are used as the base models for the spherechanging animation, although the player never sees the girls in full-nude as they will always be covered by some sort of overlay effect.
During the spherechanging animation the party is immune to enemy attacks and time is halted, and spherechanges can be timed to coincide with enemy blows to survive unharmed, although the timing has to be very specific and it won't work against enemies' cinematic attacks.
List of DresspheresEdit
Yuna's default dressphere, the Gunner, allows the player to shoot an enemy from afar. This dressphere has excellent Accuracy and fair Agility. The Gunner's most useful abilities include Scatterburst, Tableturner, Enchanted Ammo, Trigger Happy and Cheap Shot, as it ignores target's defense.
Rikku's default dressphere, the Thief, allows the player to steal items (among other things) from enemies. As such, she has high Agility, and fair Luck. The stronger moves like Master Thief have a long wait. Thief is the fastest dressphere and gets two attacks in one command. The Thief's most useful abilities include Flee, Steal, Pilfer HP, Pilfer MP, Pilfer Gil, First Strike and Master Thief.
Paine's default dressphere, the Warrior, allows the player to attack an enemy with strong elemental strikes. Warriors have good Strength and high Defense and their most useful abilities include Power Break, Armor Break, Magic Break, Mental Break and the elemental attacks.
Songstress relies on the character's dancing and singing skills to inflict status ailments on enemies or to support her group. If the player is using it only to master it, the process may be faster by using a Garment Grid that gives the character Magic, Bushido, or Instinct abilities, as the Songstress cannot attack in the normal sense. The party gains the dressphere after defeating Leblanc the first time in Luca. The Songstress is the only dressphere that plays a part in the story, not counting the girls' default dresspheres. The dressphere was created from Lenne's memories. The only way to attack is to be afflicted with Berserk or to use Mug.
The Black Mage dressphere allows characters to cast devastating spells. A Black Mage wields elements such as Fire, Water, Lightning, and Ice. She can also utilize an Osmose-like ability called MP Drain. The spells are limited to the basic Elemental Magic, and higher level Black Magic such as Flare and Ultima can only be gained by equipping a relevant Garment Grid. Players receive the Black Mage after the first mission in Chapter 1 on Mt. Gagazet. It is implied the Black Mage dressphere was created from Maechen's memories.
White Mages equip rods, however, they cannot attack. They work similar to White Mages in past games, casting White Magic and healing, higher level White Magic such as Auto Life and Holy can only be gained by equipping a relevant Garment Grid. The White Mages' HP is low, but they have excellent Magic Defense. The dressphere is received after completing the story mission in Besaid during Chapter 1.
Players can obtain Gun Mage dressphere in either Chapter 1 or 2 at the Moonflow. The Gun Mage is quite weak in all areas except Magic. Fiend Hunter abilities, which deal quadruple damage to specific fiend types, are where she really shines. Gun Mages also have the Blue Bullet skill, which works like traditional Blue Magic, in that the character learns the enemy ability by having it performed on them and surviving the battle.
Players obtain the Alchemist dressphere in Chapters 2, 3, or 5 at the old Monster Arena in the Calm Lands. Alchemists can use several items from a limitless Stash and Mix items together to make stronger items. This is basically the same as Rikku's Overdrive from Final Fantasy X. The Alchemist's most useful abilities include Mega-Potion, Elixir, Phoenix Down, Mix, Chemist, Elementalist, and Items Level Ups.
Dark Knight has great HP, Strength and Defense, and also has fair Magic and Magic Defense, but has low Agility. Dark Knights have abilities such as Poison and Break. They also have attacks which drain the user's HP in order to cause damage, similar to the Darkside attack from previous games; and Black Sky, a powerful multi-hit attack. It is also notable that the Dark Knight has more status-proof abilities than any other dressphere. Dark Knight is found in the Bevelle Underground by choosing the right lifts and activating the blocks correctly.
Found in the Kilika Temple in Chapter 3, the Samurai has high Strength and is useful for dispatching large groups of enemies with abilities like Fireworks and Zantetsu. It also has the useful ability Clean Slate, which heals the user and removes harmful status effects.
Lady Luck is the equivalent of the Gambler job, and has abilities similar to those of Setzer from Final Fantasy VI. It can be obtained either by defeating Shinra in the Sphere Break tournament at Luca in Chapter 3, or failing that, challenging and defeating Shinra in Chapter 5.
The Berserker has low Defense, but is balanced by great HP, Strength and Evasion. Equipping the Berserker with a Haste-inducing accessory makes the Berserker a deadly attacker. Berserkers can double their max HP with Howl, and can inflict Berserk on themselves. The dressphere is found after completing the Lake Macalania mission in Chapter 3.
The Trainer is a version of the Beastmaster from past games. Unlike in other games, where Mediators equip whips (or daggers and guns, like in Final Fantasy Tactics), Final Fantasy X-2 Trainers attack by giving orders to pets. Yuna uses a dog similar to Daigoro (Yojimbo's dog) named Kogoro, Rikku uses a monkey named Ghiki, and Paine uses a raptor named Flurry.
Each animal accepts different commands and perform different abilities. This is similar to releasing monsters in Final Fantasy V, except the monsters are permanent. To obtain the dressphere, Yuna must talk to and advise Kimahri in Chapter 1 or 2. He will then give the dressphere to the party in Chapter 3. If Yuna rests at the Celsius cabin at least once every chapter, in Chapter 5 a scene will occur and the player can rename the animals by talking to Barkeep.
The Mascot is capable of a wide range of functions in battle, and can be considered the ultimate dressphere. It can only be obtained by getting Episode Complete in every place without doing Zanarkand last. Due to a glitch, if the player completes Zanarkand last, they will not receive the dressphere. Yuna is a Moogle holding a Moomba doll, Rikku is a Cait Sith holding a PuPu doll, and Paine is a Tonberry holding a Cactuar doll.
Special dresspheres are similar to Limit Breaks or summoning in other Final Fantasy games. A special dressphere is activated by a character highlighting all of the paths on a Garment Grid within the course of one battle. Once the character changes into the special dressphere, the other characters are no longer visible or playable until the special dressphere is removed. In battle, each special dressphere consists of three components which take turns just as regular party members do.
Additionally, as long as a character is changed into a special dressphere, any accessories that character has equipped will have no effect. These dresspheres also have no access to the Item command. Unlike all other dresspheres, the base statistics of the special dresspheres are directly related to the number of nodes on the equipped Garment Grid, thus forcing a player who intends to make use of the special dresspheres to choose a balance between speed of access and power of the form.
A giant flower with two pistils Yuna uses to dish out magic attacks. The dressphere can only be mastered with two key items found in Chapter 5: Aurora Rain that gives Break HP Limit, is found in the back of Yojimbo's cave in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth at the bottom of the Calm Lands northern gorge; and Twilight Rain, that gives Break Damage Limit, is under a waterfall on the long Besaid path. Floral Fallal is obtained when chasing the Leblanc Syndicate on the Djose Highroad in Chapter 2, behind a rock.
A large salvaged machina Rikku uses to bombard her enemy with attacks. The dressphere can only be mastered with two key items: Machina Reactor that gives Break HP Limit, can be accessed in the same chapter as the Chocobo Ranch is set up, by gaining access to the Ruin Depths. The ruins are a secret dungeon at the back of the Chocobo Ranch. The other item is Machina Booster that gives Break Damage Limit, and is found in a chest at the bottom of the lift up to the Youth League HQ at Mushroom Rock Road during Chapter 5. Machina Maw is found in Chapter 2 in Bikanel Desert in the Oasis.
A large blade suit with two large wings of blades Paine uses to slice and dice her enemies. The dressphere can only be mastered with two key items: Corpus Invictus, gives Break HP Limit, found in the second (after Cid is found) secret dungeon in Thunder Plains, behind a false wall; and Victor Primoris, gives Break Damage Limit, obtained by riding a chocobo to the northernmost curve in the Mi'ihen Highroad; at the gap, the chocobo will hesitate and then fly up to a chest.
The player must wait at the same spot a second time, and it will fly into the gorge, where one of the items is found. This is only available if the Gullwings helped Calli in Chapter 2. Full Throttle is obtained by talking to Tromell four times in the Macalania Woods in Chapter 1 or 2. Since talking to Tromell at any point of the game is optional, Full Throttle is the only one of the special dresspheres that can be permanently missed.
International Only DresspheresEdit
The girls don traditional Japanese festival outfits and attack with spinning objects and fireworks. Each girl has a different set of weapons. Yuna, using Temari (balls attached to her wrist) and Geta (wooden sandals), specializes in elemental magic. Rikku, using cotton candy and a goldfish in a plastic bag, specializes in elemental physical damage. Paine, using a giant fan and a mask named Omen, specializes in dealing status conditions with physical damage.
The girls wear school uniforms and stylized futuristic visors. As the name suggests, Psychic utilizes mental energy and the laws of physics to engage in combat.
In the Last Mission dungeon each dressphere has a HP and MP designation; if it runs out of HP, it 'breaks' and the girls have to wear the next dressphere in line. If they run out of dresspheres, they will be reduced to wearing their sleepwear. At this point, the girls are at their highest levels, but have no abilities to use, and can do nothing but punch and kick for beating fiends.
Concept Art GalleryEdit
Numerous dressphere ideas were planned, of which only a part is seen in the game. The pictures below are from the Ultimania guides for Final Fantasy X-2.
One of the first things decided for Final Fantasy X-2 was that, being a sequel, the game developers didn't want the game to be just an extension of Final Fantasy X. Yuna's new character design was designed to freshen things up and was one of the first things made for the game. From Yuna's new look the developers came up with the idea of "dress-up", which led to the development of the dressphere system. It was known since the beginning Final Fantasy X-2 was not going to have summons and that something else was needed in the summons' place; this is where the idea for the Spherechange system came from, since it provides something appealing both visually and in terms of gameplay.
- "The ones that were hardest or most challenging were the ones that are "cute". It's a personality/style that I'd never worked on (since I have been designing monsters in the past). I think the songstress is at the top of that list. I remember gathering all kinds of materials and having a hard time finalizing the designs. My favorite costume is dark knight - I'm a fan of armor and suits of armor."
- —Tetsu Tsukamoto, Alternate Costume Designer
- The concept of the dresspheres' spherechange sequence is based on the "magical girl" genre of Japanese anime and manga, where the heroines have elaborate changing sequences from civilian attire to magical attire, a prominent example being Sailor Moon.
- Though not appearing in the finished product, designs for an unused class showing Yuna wielding a dagger-like gunblade can be found in the game's Ultimania guide among numerous other potential classes.
- The Dark Knight has the least amount of Ability Points to master it, while the Alchemist has the most (without inclusion of Mascot). Mastery in Mascot can be considered the toughest to achieve as it uses abilities from two out of rest of the thirteen dresspheres, which easily beats a number of about 3,300 AP mastery compared to the Alchemist.
- In Dead Fantasy, a popular CGI movie series, creator Monty Oum had a contest for fans to create a dressphere for Rikku to use in her upcoming battle with Ayane from Dead or Alive. The three chosen were: Ninja, Spell-Sword, and Lolita.
- Most of the dresspheres' stats, excluding HP and MP, tend to increase and decrease from level 80 onwards. The reason for this is unknown.