The Ronso are a race of muscular, anthropomorphic feline humanoids from the world of Spira in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. The Ronso tribe lives at the base of Mt. Gagazet and guard the sacred mountain fiercely. They are formidable warriors, well known for their strong sense of honor and loyalty, as well as their pride and quickness to anger.
In Final Fantasy X, once Yuna and her guardians arrive at Mt. Gagazet on their way to Zanarkand, Maester Kelk Ronso and the Ronso tribe block their path until they are convinced of Yuna's conviction, upon which they allow the group to pass and swear to guard the gate from the Guado who seek to apprehend the group for treason. The Ronso underestimate Seymour Guado's power, however, and many Ronso were killed in their attempt to stall him from going after Yuna. Seymour falsely boasts that Kimahri is now the last Ronso; he declares that the Ronso were "truly a gallant race. They threw themselves at me, to bar my path. One... after another..."
After Sin's defeat, the deconstruction of Yevon, and the onset of the Eternal Calm, the few remaining Ronso youth foster a deep hatred of the Guado for what Seymour had done, and one Ronso in particular, Garik Ronso, openly seeks revenge against the wishes of the new Elder, Kimahri. The Gullwings thwart Garik's plans of rebellion when he climbs the mountain to receive guidance.
Confused and angry, Garik demands for Kimahri to tell the Ronso the path the tribe should take, but Kimahri has no answer, and as a result Garik rejects him as their leader. But, through the example of young Ronso Lian and Ayde (who had traveled Spira in a vain attempt to fix Kimahri's horn), Kimahri sees that the Ronso have to travel and experience all of Spira to learn their path. And thus, after proving to Garik violence is not always the answer, the Ronso elder decides it is for each individual Ronso to decide their path to ensure the tribe's future.
While they have been seen traveling across Spira, the Ronso village is located at the base of Mt. Gagazet. Hardly anything is known of their culture, other than that they view the mountain a sacred location and trekking up the mountain is viewed as a spiritual journey for a Ronso seeking guidance. However, no actual Ronso dwellings are ever seen. It can be speculated that they are a race that favor strength based on their warrior like appearance and mannerisms.
"Kimahri's Story" in Final Fantasy X Scenario Ultimania the Ronso take pride in protecting the mountain, and have lived for a long time in these lands, competing with each other over who is worthy of being a guardian of the sacred mountain. Thus the genes of the powerful are continuously passed on, and though the number of the tribe is not large, for generations it has produced a great many of those both blessed with superior mind and body. They have gained a reputation throughout Spira as a valiant people, ideally suited to protecting the lands at the edge of the world.
Ronso are humanoid in stature, standing above two meters in average height (with the males considerably larger and more muscular than the females, who possess a "faster", more athletic body type). They are feline in appearance, possessing hands/claws and foot paws, they walk on (what would be for humans) the balls of their feet and possess dew-claws as well as foot pads. Possessing lion-like tails that roughly measure half of their body lengths, Ronso bodies are covered in blue fur (perhaps a trait due to their living in a winter climate) with patches of white (though the color has differed to either a darker blue or yellow depending on the individual) fur around the thighs, calves, shoulders, chest (males), tail-tips, and scalp. The abundance of the fur the patches consist of seems to be greater on the males than the females, based on observation. The scalp fur, or mane, is usually tied back or styled in a similar way to hair.
In regards to facial appearances Ronso differ in comparison to humans, again they possess feline attributes like muzzles and fangs as well as a distinct cat-like nose. Their ears, while located similar to humans, possess a more elven shape and are thought to be capable of articulation similar to cats. The male Ronso possess a singular horn that grows from the forehead and denotes status and power. The females do not seem to posses this attribute. For the males, the horn is a symbol of their strength and pride, and to lose the horn in battle is considered shameful. Kimahri Ronso was one such Ronso who had been cast out due to its loss and his comparatively small stature next to his kin.
Both genders possess carnivore fangs, hinting that they may be meat eaters (it is unknown if they are omnivores). Their eyes are yellow, contrasting starkly against their fur, and constantly give the impression of a predator's gaze.
Ronso refer to their young as "pups" despite their cat-like nature.
During the events of Final Fantasy X, Kelk Ronso was the current tribe leader of the Ronso and was their representative in Bevelle as a Maester of Yevon. After his death at the hands of Seymour Guado, Kimahri took up the role as the tribe's leader.
A largely taciturn species, the Ronso give the impression of being slightly uncomfortable with human language as they speak in short, direct sentences with rough grammar. They also habitually refer to themselves in third person. Maester Kelk, however, speaks English normally.
Fumi Nakashima, the sub-character designer for Final Fantasy X, has stated the aspect she concentrated on the most during the design phase was giving the characters from different cultures distinctive styles of clothing. Because the Ronso are a warrior tribe she gave them features that would allow them to engage in battle easily.
- The Ronso race is represented in the blitzball League by the Ronso Fangs.
- The Ronso and Guado seem to use their respective races as 'family names'. Interestingly, the names are always spoken in the western order, even in the Japanese release.
- ↑ "Beyond Final Fantasy" bonus DVD included in the International and PAL versions of Final Fantasy X.