|Relm: I couldn't miss the chance to practice my drawing!||This article is in need of a few pictures. Perhaps you can help by uploading a picture of all the nodes (HP, MP, Strength, Defense, Magic, Magic Defense, Agility, Accuracy, Evasion, Ability, Luck, L.1, L.2, L.3, L.4, and Empty) found on the sphere grid.|
The Sphere Grid is the ability and character development system in Final Fantasy X. It is a roughly circular grid of interconnected nodes arranged in smaller circular clusters, containing all the abilities and special skills the player characters can learn. The name of the system is used both to refer to the grid's design, and to the use of spheres to activate the nodes.
In "Beyond Final Fantasy" feature included with the PAL and International versions of Final Fantasy X, Yoshinori Kitase explains the purpose behind the Sphere Grid is to give players an interactive means of increasing their characters' attributes, so they can observe the development of those attributes firsthand.
In general, there are three types of sphere grids:
- Regular Sphere Grid: Only offered in the NA version. This has a total of 828 nodes, 77 of it being unremovable nodes, so are left with 751 nodes to manipulate with.
- Standard Sphere Grid: Only offered in the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions. This has a total of 860 nodes, 85 of it being unremovable nodes, so are left with 775 nodes to manipulate with.
- Expert Sphere Grid: Only offered in the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions. This has a total of 792 nodes, 85 of it being unremovable nodes, so are left with 707 nodes to manipulate with.
Completing a character's Sphere Grid in the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster version earns the Sphere Master trophy. Completing all characters' Sphere Grids earns Perfect Sphere Master. The player must have every node active with a stat boost or an ability.
AP and Sphere LevelsEdit
At the end of each battle, every character in the party that took at least one full turn in battle will earn AP. Characters who are switched out their first turn, KO'd or petrified at the end of the battle, will not gain AP. For example, if the starting line-up is Kimahri, Wakka and Rikku, and Wakka is switched out his first turn and does not return, he will gain no AP because he did not take a full turn.
Similarly, if Wakka is switched out for Auron, and Auron is immediately switched back out, he will also not earn AP. In the above example, if Kimahri acts first in battle and defeats all enemies on his turn, Rikku and Wakka will receive no AP because they did not get a turn. If the player defeats an enemy party using an aeon, Yuna will be treated as having taken a turn and will earn AP, even if she summoned the aeon on her first turn.
When enough AP is earned, the character gains a Sphere Level ("S.Lv"). The number of AP needed to generate a S.LV progressively increases until the player have got 101 S.LV, and thereafter always will require 22,000 AP to generate a new S.LV. When moving about the Sphere Grid, the character may move one node forward for each S.LV they have. The player does not need to activate a node to pass by it. Regardless of if a node was activated or not, when the player passes it a band of color appears connecting their current node to the node they just left, to show they have already been down this path. Moving around paths already connected allows the character to move four nodes for every S.LV they have.
As is the case in most previous Final Fantasy games, at the beginning each character is set with certain strengths and weaknesses, demonstrated by the variety of nodes in their section of the Sphere Grid. Due to the function of the Sphere Grid, however, the player has a choice of going out of his or her way to put the character down a different path.
The character-specific sections of the Sphere Grid merge into each other at certain points, allowing the player to take the character down the grid of another character if they so choose. The character-specific sections of the grid are separated by locked nodes that cannot be passed, but once they are opened, become as any other empty node, allowing free movement. Ultimately, every node on the Sphere Grid may be accessed by every character.
Sections of the GridEdit
The Sphere Grid is roughly divided into seven sections, one for each member of the party. When a character is selected, his or her path will be highlighted in the character's grid color. Each node has seven invisible marks around its border and when a character activates the node, the corresponding mark becomes visible and is colored the same as the character's grid color. These marks can be viewed no matter which character is currently selected.
Tidus's grid has a good balance of Strength and Accuracy, as well as decent Evasion and Agility. Thus he is adept at killing lightly-armored enemies, but flying enemies often have too much Evasion for him to hit, and most of his weapons cannot pierce through armored enemies.
Tidus learns special abilities and White Magic that affect the turn order of his allies and enemies, such as Haste, Slow and Delay Buster. He has party support abilities like Cheer and Flee. At the end of his section is Quick Hit. In the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions, it also includes Extract Speed. Tidus's grid section runs into Yuna's, and his grid color is aqua.
Yuna has low Strength and Defense, but has the highest Magic of the party, and strong Evasion and Agility. Yuna's grid contains many healing White Magic spells, such as Cure spells, Regen and Esuna, and buffing spells like Reflect and Shell. Being the game's Summoner, the stats of Yuna's aeons rise as hers increase. At the end of her section is the spell Holy. Yuna's grid section runs into Rikku's, and her grid color is white.
Rikku has the highest Agility and her grid has many HP and Agility nodes. Rikku has average Strength and low average Magic but learns a variety of support abilities, such as Steal, Mug, Spare Change and Copycat. Her grid contains the White Magic spell Full-Life. At the end of her section is the ability Bribe. In the International, PAL and HD versions, it also includes the Nab Gil and Quick Pockets abilities. Rikku's grid section runs into Lulu's, and her grid color is green.
Lulu, as a classic Black Mage, has low Strength, Accuracy and Agility, but high Magic and the highest Magic Defense and Evasion. She also has the party's highest Defense, which is uncharacteristic of the traditional Black Mage. Black Magic such as the Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, and Water series are in her section, along with other spells like Bio and Demi. Lulu's section also has the support skills Focus, Reflex and Doublecast. At the end of her section is the spell Flare. Lulu's grid section runs into Wakka's, and her grid color is purple.
Wakka has high HP, Strength and Accuracy, but average Magic, MP, and Agility, along with low average Evasion and low Magic Defense. Wakka learns many special attacks that let him inflict status ailments on enemies, such as Dark Attack and Silence Attack. Wakka's grid also contains two Black Magic spells, Drain and Osmose. At the end of his section is the special attack Triple Foul. In the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions, it also includes Extract Ability. Wakka's section runs into Auron's, and his grid color is yellow.
Auron's section has many Strength, Defense and HP nodes, but lacks Evasion, Accuracy and Agility. His section includes "break" abilities to lower enemy stats, like Power Break and Armor Break, and defensive abilities such as Sentinel and Guard. At the end of his section are the special abilities Threaten and Entrust. In the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions, it also includes Extract Power and Full Break. Auron's section runs into Tidus's grid, thus closing the circle of Tidus-Yuna-Rikku-Lulu-Wakka-Auron. His grid color is red.
Kimahri's section is in the center of the Sphere Grid and contains a variety of nodes. As a Blue Mage, Kimahri's grid directly connects to the grids of every other character except Auron, allowing the player to customize his stats as they wish once they can access the proper Key Spheres separating the grids. Kimahri's section contains the ability Lancet which allows him to learn Ronso Rages from certain enemies, and support abilities like Jinx and Scan. At the center of his section is the Black Magic Ultima. In the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions, it also includes Extract Mana. Kimahri's grid color is dark blue.
In the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions, an Expert option is available at the beginning of the game. The difference between Standard and Expert is that in the Expert mode each character starts in the middle of a completely different grid design. The player must decide which path the character will follow. The abilities in both grids are the same (the standard grid is slightly different from the regular grid, with extra branches and nodes to fit the new abilities), but the Expert grid has fewer nodes in total than the Standard grid (68 less), but it still contains enough nodes to maximize the characters' statistics, to exception in three stats at maximum, unlike the Standard grid which are two.
Activating any node on the grid requires a sphere. Early on, the player only has access to the basic red spheres, but as they progress many more types of sphere become available. Though all nodes need a sphere to be activated, not all spheres are used only to activate a node.
The types of sphere are as follows:
- Red Spheres are the most common kind, with the exception of the Fortune Spheres. They are used to activate most of the nodes on the grid to increase basic stats like Strength, Agility and HP. The types of red sphere are:
- Key Spheres are dark gray and come in four levels, which can open a locked node of the corresponding level only: a Level 4 Key Sphere cannot open any locked node but Level 4. When a locked node is unlocked, it is unlocked for all characters regardless of who unlocked it.
- Purple Spheres are used to fill empty nodes with stat nodes. There are ten types of purple sphere, one for each for the basic stats: HP, MP, Strength, Defense, Magic Power, Magic Defense, Agility, Evasion, Accuracy and Luck. Whenever any empty node is turned into a stat node, the stat increase given by that node is higher than the increase given by a normal node: For example, an HP node made from a purple sphere gives +300 HP, as opposed to normal HP nodes which give +200 HP. MP nodes give +40 MP, and all other stat nodes give +4 in their respective stat.
- Yellow spheres are used to activate ability nodes that have been activated by at least one other character, no matter where that node is in relation to the character's location. The types of yellow sphere are:
- Light blue Spheres can teleport characters around the grid. The types of light blue sphere are:
- Clear Spheres are aqua and can only be bought from the Monster Arena owner after the player has captured five of every fiend in the game. They will clear any stat node and negate whatever stat increase it gave. Ability nodes and locked nodes cannot be cleared. Clear Spheres cost 10,000 gil apiece.
There is an option to customize one's personal Sphere Grid. By doing so, one would be able to max out the characters' stats. If the player only activates the nodes that are available by default, the characters will not max on all of the stats.
Some nodes will either have +1, +2, +3 and (rarely) +4, as well as +200 HP and +20 MP. By using the Clear Sphere (available at the Monster Arena) the player can clear out the weaker nodes and activate any of the purple spheres of the player's choice (HP, MP, Strength, Defense, Magic Power, Magic Defense, Agility, Evasion, Accuracy and Luck). Once all the weak nodes have been removed and replaced with the +4, +300 HP, and +40 MP, it is possible to max a number of stats. It is not possible to max out all stats.
The special spheres to help the player customize the Sphere Grid are received from the monsters at the Monster Arena. The following chart explains what they drop and how to acquire them.
|Sphere||Stat Increase||Fiend||Unlock by|
|HP Sphere||+300 HP||Ironclad||Capture 10 of each of the Iron Giant-type fiends.|
|MP Sphere||+40 MP||Vidatu||Capture 4 of each of the elemental Imp-type fiends.|
|Strength Sphere||+4 Strength||Juggernaut||Capture 5 of each of the Ruminant-type fiends.|
|Defense Sphere||+4 Defense||Tanket||Capture 3 of each of the Helm-type fiends.|
|Magic Sphere||+4 Magic||Jumbo Flan||Capture 3 of each of the Flan-type fiends.|
|Magic Def Sphere||+4 Magic Defense||One-Eye||Capture 4 of each of the Eye-type fiends.|
|Agility Sphere||+4 Agility||Fenrir||Capture 3 of each of the Wolf-type fiends.|
|Evasion Sphere||+4 Evasion||Pteryx||Capture 4 of each of the Bird-type fiends.|
|Accuracy Sphere||+4 Accuracy||Hornet||Capture 4 of each of the Wasp-type fiends.|
|Luck Sphere||+4 Luck||Greater Sphere||Breed at least 2 monsters in Species Conquest.|
- Despite the Sphere Grid being critical to both increasing stats and learning abilities, it is possible to complete Final Fantasy X without ever using it. Even most of the optional bosses can be defeated; Penance is the only optional boss that has never been defeated in a No Sphere Grid game without using Zanmato.