The following is a list of allusions in Final Fantasy X.
- The Matoya's Blade weapon for Auron refers to the witch Matoya. As Matoya is a witch, Matoya's Blade is a magic-based weapon.
- Elements of Seymour Guado's character arc resemble that of Emperor Mateus from Final Fantasy II, notably being killed by the mid-point, only to end up coming back from the dead in a demonic form and posing a grave threat to the world before ultimately being quelled. He also possessed some physical similarities to Mateus as well.
- Lulu's Celestial Weapon, Onion Knight, refers to the first job of Final Fantasy III NES version, Onion Knight. It has the original 8-bit sprite on the shield.
- The name of Yuna's first summon shares the name of the Valefor enemy.
- After the Warrior Monks have taken over guard duties in Luca, a man wearing a green tunic walks around in the circle area with access to the stairs and the cafe (where the little girl with the red balloon is). He says he asked out a Warrior Monk girl in the cafe, but she called him a "spoony bard"—a reference to the famous exclamation from Final Fantasy IV.
- The Magus Sisters first appeared in Final Fantasy IV. Their attack patterns are similar in Final Fantasy X to when they were fought as bosses in Final Fantasy IV.
- When the Magus Sisters perform their Delta Attack Overdrive, they surround the enemy party in eight crystals, four of a blue hue, and four of a red-orange hue. This alludes to the four blue Crystals of the surface world, and the four red-orange Crystals of the Underworld.
- Kain's Lance weapon for Kimahri is named after Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV.
- The Demonolith enemy is inspired by the Demon Wall boss, which first appeared in Final Fantasy IV.
- Mix first appeared as the Level 2 command ability of a Chemist.
- The ability to capture enemies first appeared in Final Fantasy V.
- Shinryu, which appears as a Monster Arena boss in Final Fantasy X, first appeared as a superboss in Final Fantasy V. Whereas the boss in Final Fantasy V used powerful water attacks, Shinryu in Final Fantasy X is actually submerged in water.
- Yunalesca's final form resembles the battle sprite of Goddess.
- Strago Magus and Relm Arrowny were to fight using stuffed toys, but the idea was abandoned during the development of Final Fantasy VI. This idea was used for Lulu's weapons, as she wields dolls.
- Yojimbo is based on the enemy of the same name from Final Fantasy VI.
- Neslug is based on the first boss in the game, Ymir. In the Game Boy Advance, mobile and Steam versions of Final Fantasy VI, Neslug appears as an optional boss in the Dragon's Den.
- There is a dummied out Buster Sword for Tidus in data files of Final Fantasy X. If given to Tidus via hacking, he strikes the enemy with the blunt side.
- One of Lulu's dolls is Cait Sith from Final Fantasy VII.
- Kimahri's Venus Gospel weapon may be an allusion to Cid Highwind's ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy VII. Also, his Shapeshifter spear shares its Japanese with Cid's Grow Lance.
- There are various NPCs that share a similar design to Final Fantasy VII's rendition of Wedge.
- If one doesn't include Seymour, there are a total of 7 playable characters in Final Fantasy X.
- Auron's Celestial Weapon is called the Masamune, which is also the name of the sword used by Sephiroth.
- Yuna's Fairie Staff rod shares its Japanese name with Aeris's Fairy Tale rod.
- Lulu wields plush toys as her weapon; these include the alien PuPu and the animal Moomba, both of which originate from Final Fantasy VIII.
- Yuna's armor Solomon Ring may refer to the unique item of the same name in Final Fantasy VIII.
- One of Rikku's battle quotes is "Booyaka!" This is Selphie's catchphrase.
- Anima resembles Ultimecia's final form, as the two have an upper and a lower part, and Ultimecia's lower part is displayed in a similar position to Anima's upper part.
- Tidus's sword Heartbreaker shares its Japanese name with Squall's best Renzokuken ability Lion Heart: End of Heart. Tidus's Heartbreaker triples the charge rate of the Overdrive gauge alluding to Squall's ability.
- Varuna and Abaddon bear physical resemblance to Diablos. As a further reference to Diablos, Abaddon doesn't take damage from gravity attacks, as Diablos is a gravity-elemental Guardian Force in Final Fantasy VIII.
- The Yevon prayer bears resemblance to Kiros Seagill's victory pose.
- The Omega Weapon made its first appearance in Final Fantasy VIII.
- When Yojimbo is summoned, the sound effect that plays as the petals flow by resembles the sound effect for monsters using magic abilities from Final Fantasy VIII.
- The Ronso are willing to construct Yuna a statue with a horn on her forehead. Summoners of Madain Sari from Final Fantasy IX had horns.
- The track "Brahne and the Performers" can be briefly heard in the CGI cutscene when the party arrives in Luca.
Allusions to the number ten and the letter X
Being the tenth installment of the series, Final Fantasy X makes some references to the number itself, including the roman numeral "X". Although many of these are not necessarily deliberate allusions to the number 10 (whether they are or not is speculative), they are nonetheless present.
- The player can control ten aeons: Valefor, Ifrit, Ixion, Shiva, Bahamut, Anima, Yojimbo, Cindy, Sandy, and Mindy.
- The Machina War took place ten centuries ago.
- The Monster Arena can hold up to ten fiends of each kind.
- Lord Braska's pilgrimage took place ten years before his daughter's. In the same year, Wakka joined the Besaid Aurochs and Kimahri left Mt. Gagazet.
- Before Yuna's pilgrimage began, she lived in Besaid for ten years.
- Without inclusion of months, Jecht came to Spira ten years ago.
- There is a boss named Defender X.
- Rikku has a Mix called "Freedom X".
- The superboss Nemesis boasts 10,000,000 HP.
- To obtain Auron's Sigil, the player needs to create ten monsters (excluding Original creations) in the Monster Arena.
- In The Nucleus area of Sin, the player needs to touch ten floating crystals to reach the next area.
- The blitzball league has ten rounds.
- The blitzball rounds have a total of ten minutes.
- There are ten Cactuar Gatekeepers.
- There are ten Jecht Spheres.
- The Thunder Plains has ten lightning towers.
- There are some allusions related to Roman Catholicism, e.g.: pilgrimage, priests, maesters (in Catholicism: cardinal), grand maester (in Catholicism: pope), and Sin. Yevon's dogma is based on the concept of an original sin, saying that people must reach atonement.
- Yuna can be seen as a messiah-archetype, with her mission to sacrifice herself to save Spira from Sin. During the sending in Kilika Port, she walks on the water, which may have been inspired by Jesus Christ walking on the Sea of Galilee.
- When Seymour is killed in the Macalania Temple he falls on the ground assuming the pose of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross. Seymour wants to cure Spira by sacrificing himself to become the next Sin and, according to his perspective, save Spira, possibly meant to reference Jesus' sacrifice of his life for the forgiveness of sins.
- When the party meets Seymour again in Bevelle, Kimahri stabs him in the chest with his spear, similar to the tale of Longinus' spear that stabbed Jesus' chest. Kimahri's Celestial Weapon is called Longinus (Spirit Lance in the English version); Longinus refers to the soldier who pierced the side of Jesus Christ before he was taken down from the cross according to the Bible.
- The Crusaders are named after the Vatican's warriors in the Crusades.
Buddhism and Hinduism
- The Siddham Sanskrit script, which is the basis for the script of Yevon, is used in Japan mostly by the Shingon School of Buddhism that draws on early Hindu traditions. One traditional concept is that deities manifest their thoughts or spiritual energy in the physical world on several different "wavelengths": Sound, Form, and Symbol. The form through which a deity can manifest is an anthropomorphic representation that is not the deity itself, but a living form humans can apprehend. The form physically expresses the deity's essence, in the same vein the aeons represent the fayth's dreams rather than their temporal bodies. In some Hindu and Buddhist practices one can invoke a deity through the physical representation of a statue, similar to the link between aeons and fayth. The symbol through which deity can manifest is a mandala (Buddhist tradition) or yantra (Hindu tradition), a geometric pattern which distills the deity's essence into a visual representation. This is similar to how aeons are represented by glyphs, which appear in the temples and during the aeons' summoning animations, the aeon often emerging into the physical world through the glyph. The fayth also sing the "Hymn of the Fayth", which may represent the "Sound" part of the way spiritual energy manifests in the physical world.
- Spira's "spiral of death" alludes to Saṃsāra, the repeating cycle of birth, life, and death in Buddhism.
- Seymour's plan to free all the humans from suffering with "death", is also based on the same concept.
- Yuna's ultimate weapon is named after the term "Nirvana", the final goal of Buddhism that refers to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished. Those who reach Nirvana will be liberated from the cycle of birth, life, and death so they will never be reborn.
- The design of Yuna's staff is based on the Khakkhara, a staff used by practitioners of Buddhism.
- The concept of fiends and pyreflies are based on the idea that fireflies represent a human soul and that restless dead turn into monsters.
- The concept of the unsent alludes to the yūrei; according to traditional Japanese beliefs, upon a person's death the soul leaves the body and enters a form of purgatory, where it waits for the funeral and post-funeral rites to be performed so it may join its ancestors. If one dies in a sudden or violent manner, if the proper rites have not been performed, or if they are influenced by powerful emotions, the soul transforms into a yūrei, which can bridge the gap back to the physical world and exist on Earth until it is laid to rest, either by performing the missing rituals, or resolving the emotional conflict that ties it to the physical plane. Yūrei are frequently depicted as being accompanied by a pair of floating flames that are separate parts of the ghost rather than independent spirits. This is similar to how the unsent in Final Fantasy X are related to pyreflies.
- Yuna's role as a summoner is akin to an arukimiko (歩き巫女?), a type of miko or priestess who travels the countryside while performing her duties. Her sending dance at Kilika is homage to a kagura dance.
- The plot of Final Fantasy X alludes to the famous Japanese story of Susano'o and the Yamata no Orochi. Susano'o (Tidus) is banished from his home in the Heavens (Dream Zanarkand) and trying to win back favor to return home. He comes to the mortal world (Spira) and comes across two earthly deities who are weeping because they have to sacrifice their daughters (summoners) to the evil Orochi (Sin) to keep it from destroying their home. They wish to save their eighth daughter (Yuna) from being devoured, so Susano'o concocts a plan that involves getting the dragon-snake drunk with wine ("Hymn of the Fayth") and killing it in its drunken state.
- The Ronso treating Mt. Gagazet as a sacred place may allude to the Japanese culture where many mountains are considered holy with a Buddhist temple/shrine located on them. Thus they're sites of pilgrimages where people will climb up and pray.
- Yuna's and Tidus's characters may allude to the Chinese philosophy of the Yin and Yang, concepts used to describe how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent giving rise to each other as they interrelate. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, and male and female) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality of yin and yang. Yin is the negative/passive/female principle in nature, and may allude to many other concepts e.g. the moon, shaded orientation, something covert or concealed, "of the netherworld", overcast or sinister. Yang is the positive/active/male principle in nature, and may allude to many other concepts e.g. the sun, open, overt, and "belonging to this world".
Other oriental cultures
- The concept of riding on shoopufs as a form of transportation is based on elephant riding in India, Thailand, and other South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. The seats and decorations on the back of shoopufs are also similar to the way they do with elephants in said countries.
- Ultima Weapon, Omega Weapon, and Nemesis do a hands gesture similar to the Namaste before they use some of their abilities.
- Despite having its name based on Greek mythology, the concept of Ixion is actually based on Kirin, the mythical creature known in East Asian cultures. Kirin is depicted as a dragon shaped like a horse with a huge horn on its forehead. It comes from heaven to punish bad people.
- Tetris blocks are used in Zanarkand Dome's Cloister of Trials puzzles.
- Bomb type enemies make a similar sound to Pac-Man when they are defeated.
- There is a man in Besaid's Crusader's Lodge who says he is fixing a hole where the rain gets in. This alludes to the song "Fixing a Hole" by the Beatles.
- Tidus says, "Don't worry, be happy?" when Kimahri tells him not to try to worry as it would make Yuna worry. This alludes to Bobby McFerrin's song of the same name.
- "Macarena" is mentioned by Tidus by mispronouncing the name of Macalania Temple. This alludes to the popular song "Macarena", by Los del Río. When he is corrected, he responds by saying "Aye". (In Japanese Tidus mixes up "Malacania" for "Macalania" and does not make a pop culture reference.)
- After striking the last blow in battle, Wakka might shout "Woohoo!" in a similar way to Song 2 by Blur.
- The event in the Moonflow resembles the similar event in Journey to the West where the Buddhist monk Tang Sanzang (Yuna) gets kidnapped while traveling the river by Sha Wujing (Rikku), who becomes the final member of Sanzang's group once defeated.
- Blitzball is based on association football. The last attack sequences of the Jecht Shot and Blitz Ace allude to two of the most famous football tricks: The jumping volley (Jecht Shot) and the bicycle kick (Blitz Ace). The sport being played in water means that it may also allude to water polo.
- Auron's Overdrive, the Shooting Star, alludes to the home run in baseball.
- Wakka's weapons are named after sport terms, such as Ace Striker, Grand Slam, T.K.O., and World Champion. Stone Cold refers to Stone Cold Steve Austin, an American professional wrestler.
- There are several scenes where Wakka applies a professional wrestling move, the side headlock, to Tidus.
- On the airship Fahrenheit, Cid throws Tidus with a famous judo move, the Ippon seoi nage.