I couldn't miss the chance to practice my drawing!
The whole mess started with the Garment Grid... That's the invention that lets us harness the dresspheres' power.Yuna
Dresspheres (ドレスフィア, Doresufia?) are an integral part of the battle system in Final Fantasy X-2; 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 are some form of accessory.
Dresspheres need to be equipped in the character's Garment Grid to be used, and the player can 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 status effects.
The characters' weapons in some of the dresspheres—particularly Warrior, Samurai, Dark Knight, White Mage, Black Mage and Mascot—are weapons featured in Final Fantasy X. For instance, as Warrior, Yuna wields Tidus's Brotherhood sword. Another example is when, as a Samurai, Rikku wields a katana identical to Auron's.
In Last Mission, up to five dresspheres may be equipped on a character, with additional dresspheres providing support abilities, while certain combat abilities are only available based on the primary dressphere. Certain combinations of dresspheres are required to access powerful support abilities. Each dressphere carries an HP total and will break and is lost if the current HP is reduced to 0. If all equipped dresspheres are eliminated, the character is forced to fight bare.
Garment Grids and dresspheres were invented by Shinra, an Al Bhed kid, part of the sphere hunting group Gullwings. Yuna, Rikku, and Paine, the group's field agents, can thus use Shinra's inventions. It is indicated that dresspheres are a recent invention that came about after Sin's defeat.
Dresspheres are regular spheres 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 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 may not have been the power of the dressphere.
Only the player party is shown to use dresspheres, although 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. In the Japanese version, he explicitly uses the word "dressphere".
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 a cosmetic purpose and the base stats determine attack strength. The only equipment type is accessories, which can be equipped by any job.
Each type of dressphere has the character in a unique outfit, which is also unique to each character. The girls also have unique victory poses for each dressphere.
Each dressphere has its own section of abilities viewed from the menu. Players learn abilities by selecting them and then defeating enemies to gain Ability Points (AP) to master them. Jobs have sixteen available abilities, but some will already be learned by default, while others cannot be accessed until prerequisite abilities have been earned. If an ability belongs to two dresspheres, the party member will not have to learn it twice: the AP counts for the ability even if accumulated in the other dressphere. When an ability is mastered, it will have an icon of three gold stars and the word "Master" beside it. After mastering all abilities, that dressphere is considered mastered and will have a gold crown icon beside it.
In terms of commands, jobs will typically have a regular command and a skillset. 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 support abilities 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.
Most of the dresspheres' stats, excluding HP and MP, tend to increase and decrease from level 80 onwards. In the International and HD Remaster versions, each girl's current dressphere appears on their portrait in the main menu and the battle results screen.
Spherechanging during battle moves the character from one node to another on their Garment Grid. If this activates a colored gate, it can add stat boosts or other effects for the duration of the current battle. In each battle, a character that links to all the nodes can activate their special dressphere; party members are replaced by the dressphere entity whose manifestations comprise a "party" of three entities.
When spherechanging, an animation of the character changing clothes interrupts the battle, although the player can turn these off in the config menu. The first time is always shown in full. The character twirls while her previous clothes disappear and a new garment manifests on her. Changing into a special dressphere has a unique animation. Nude models are used as the base models for the spherechanging animation, and while skin can be seen during dressphere transitions, the models lack anything explicit.
During the spherechanging animation the party is immune to enemy attacks and time is halted. 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.
Spherechanging all girls in the same battle in the Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster version earns the Dressed for the Occasion trophy/achievement.
List of dresspheres
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, which ignores target's defense. It was Rikku's gift to Yuna.
Rikku's default dressphere, the Thief, is a quick-attacking job that allows the player to steal items (among other things) from enemies. It has high Agility, combined with balanced strength, defenses, and Luck. The stronger moves like Master Thief have a long wait. Thief is the fastest dressphere and gets two attacks in one Attack 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 can be expedited by using a Garment Grid that gives the character Magic, Bushido, or Instinct abilities, as the Songstress cannot attack in the normal sense. The only way to attack is to be afflicted with Berserk or to use Mug. The party gains the dressphere after defeating Leblanc the first time in Luca.
The Songstress dressphere is comprised of Lenne's memories.
The Black Mage dressphere allows characters to cast devastating Black Magic 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 Floating Ruins. It is implied the Black Mage dressphere was created from Maechen's memories.
White Mages equip rods, but cannot attack unless afflicted with Berserk or are equipped with a Garment Grid or an accessory which grants access to physical attack commands and/or skill subsets. They work similar to White Mages in past games, casting White Magic and healing. Higher level White Magic, such as Auto Life and Holy, are 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 the 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 shines. Gun Mages' Blue Bullet skill works like traditional Blue Magic, in that the character learns an enemy's ability by having it performed on them and surviving the battle.
Players obtain the Alchemist dressphere in Chapters 2, 3, or 5 at the Calm Lands Ruins in the Calm Lands. Alchemists can use several items from a limitless stash and mix items together to make stronger items, an ability that is functionally identical to 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 status ailment abilities such as Bio and Break. They have attacks that drain the user's HP to cause damage, similar to the Darkside attack from previous games, and Black Sky, a powerful multi-hit attack. 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.
The Dark Knight has the least amount of Ability Points to master it.
Found in the Kilika Temple in Chapter 3, the Samurai has high Strength and is useful for dispatching large groups of enemies with Bushido abilities like Fireworks, and command abilities like Zantetsu. It has the useful Bushido ability Clean Slate, which heals the user and removes status ailments.
Lady Luck is the equivalent of the Gambler job (and is actually named as such in the Japanese versions), 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 minimal Defense, but is balanced by great HP, Strength, and Evasion. Equipping the Berserker with a Haste-inducing accessory makes her 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 pheasant named Flurry.
Each animal accepts different commands and performs different abilities. This is similar to releasing monsters in Final Fantasy V, except the monsters are permanent. To obtain the dressphere, Yuna must correctly respond to Kimahri in Chapter 2. He will give the dressphere to the party in Chapter 3 when Garik Ronso is planning to attack the Guado. 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 has wide range of functions and is considered the ultimate 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. It is obtained by getting Episode Complete in every location. Due to a glitch, if the player completes Zanarkand last, they will not receive the dressphere. It can also be obtained by beating the Youth League Tournament in Fiend Arena in the International and HD Remaster versions. Mastery in Mascot can be considered the toughest to achieve, as it uses abilities from two of the other thirteen dresspheres, equating to roughly 3,300 AP total for all three, or roughly 1,000 AP more than the Alchemist.
Special dresspheres are similar to Limit Breaks or summoning in other Final Fantasy games. A special dressphere is activated by accessing all jobs on the grid during one battle. Once the character changes into the special dressphere, the other characters disappear until the special dressphere is removed. Each special dressphere consists of three components that 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 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.
Obtaining a special dressphere in the HD Remaster version earns the trophy/achievement Specialty.
A giant flower with two pistils Yuna uses to dish out magic attacks. The dressphere is mastered with two key items found in Chapter 5: Aurora Rain that gives Break HP Limit, is found in the back of Yojimbo's chamber 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 bridge 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 is 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 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 Paine uses to slice and dice her enemies. The dressphere is mastered with two key items: Corpus Invictus, gives Break HP Limit, found in the New Cave 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 the item 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 in the game is optional, Full Throttle is the only one of the special dresspheres that can be missed until New Game Plus.
International/HD Remaster dresspheres
The girls don traditional Japanese festival outfits and attack with spinning objects and fireworks. Each girl has a different set of weapons. Yuna uses Temari (balls attached to her wrist) and sandals, and specializes in elemental magic; she can also deal two attacks at once. Rikku uses cotton candy and fish in a plastic bag and specializes in elemental physical damage. Paine uses a giant fan and a mask, and specializes in dealing status conditions with physical damage. The dressphere is obtained by talking to Brother when the player is on the airship for the first time. A second copy can be acquired by beating the Grand Cup for the first time.
The girls wear school uniforms and stylized futuristic visors and utilize mental energy and the laws of physics to engage in combat. Psychic dressphere is obtained by beating the Standard Cup in the Fiend Arena.
Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission dresspheres
In Iutycyr Tower, each dressphere has an HP 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. Dresspheres carry a more limited set of attack or magic abilities found in the original game and certain useful auto-abilities that can be gained by equipping combinations of dresspheres. A total of up to five dresspheres may be equipped, one primary dressphere and four sub-dresspheres. Dresspheres can be fused using the item "Dress Fusion Secrets", which increases the dressphere's HP.
Yuna and Rikku spherechange. In Dead Fantasy II, Rikku attempts to spherechange but is interrupted when she bumps into Hitomi. In Dead Fantasy IV, Yuna spherechanges to her summoner form, which is her main appearance in Final Fantasy X, to aid her rival Kasumi against her antagonistic clones.
In Dead Fantasy VI, as the late Monty Oum stated, Rikku was supposed to spherechange using fan-made dresspheres won through his competitions, such as Lolita, Spell Sword and Ninja. She was going to do this to fight her rival Ayane. In the last preview, Rikku used Machina Maw to fight Ayane in the ocean grounds.
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.
Behind the scenes
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.
One of the first things decided for Final Fantasy X-2 was that, being a sequel, the developers didn't want the game to be just an extension of Final Fantasy X. Yuna's new character design was intended 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 their 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
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.
- Concept art gallery
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.
- Dresspheres with names written in italics are obtained during main storyline.
- Exclusive dresspheres
- For the International + Last Mission and the HD Remaster versions only.
- Special dresspheres
- Dresspheres with names written in italics are obtained during main storyline.
- Yoshinori Kitase (2022, January 5). "Final Fantasy X and X-2 producer reflects on the innovative PS2 titles". From PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on 6 January, 2022.
- Final Fantasy X-2 Developer Interview (Accessed: July 20, 2020) at IGN
- Exclusive interview: Final Fantasy X-2 (Accessed: July 20, 2020) at Games Radar