Oh, in case you're wondering, the Gullwings are sphere hunters, and sphere hunters are, well... This! We fly all over Spira. I'm really enjoying myself.Yuna
The Gullwings, (written Gull Wings during blitzball), and known as the Seagulls (カモメ団, Kamome Dan?) in the Japanese release, is a neutral sphere hunting group that Yuna, Rikku, and Paine belong to in Final Fantasy X-2. The Gullwings hunt for spheres to assist in the uncovering of Spira's forgotten history. The group ends up providing a variety of additional services, mostly because of Yuna's innate compulsion to help people in need and her inability to say "no."
The group travels Spira on their airship, the Celsius. The group is led by Brother, the pilot, his right-hand-man Buddy working as the navigator. They are assisted by the "whiz kid" Shinra whose technical innovations help support the field operatives, Yuna, Rikku and Paine, or "YRP" for short. Shinra has developed technology that lets the Gullwings use the spheres they salvage as dresspheres, using the knowledge and memories stored within the sphere to enhance the girls' battle capabilities.
- Yuna: The high summoner who gained Spira the Eternal Calm. Becoming bored with her life on Besaid Island, she joins the Gullwings after seeing a 1000-year-old sphere, found by Kimahri, containing images of a man greatly resembling Tidus confined in a prison cell demanding to "see the summoner." She hopes that by joining the Gullwings she will be able to find more spheres like the one she had seen. Yuna has become more open and direct since Final Fantasy X, but is still teased by the other members due to her being somewhat of a pushover (as she never says "no" to anyone). Her new and more revealing attire was a gift from her cousin, Rikku; in addition to that, she now uses the Tiny Bee pistols as her weapons with her default dressphere, Gunner. At 19-years-old, she is the oldest member of YRP.
- Rikku: Yuna's younger cousin, former guardian, and Gullwings' co-founder along with Brother and Buddy. She has overcome her fear of lightning by camping in the Thunder Plains for a week during the two-year gap between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. She maintains her sunny disposition and is usually at the forefront when creating the Gullwings' next scheme with Brother. She now wields dual blades with her default dressphere, Thief. She is 17-years-old and the youngest member of YRP.
- Paine: The x-factor of the group, as none of the other members know much about her. She says her primary reason for joining the Gullwings was to be able to ride on the Celsius. During the course of the game, parts of her past are slowly revealed, particularly her involvement with the trio of Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal. She is 18-years-old, and with the Warrior dressphere as her default dressphere, she wields a one-handed sword as her weapon.
- Brother: Rikku's brother, Yuna's older cousin, and co-founder and primary leader of the Gullwings. Despite being directly related to Yuna, he quite obviously has a crush on her, though she has yet to notice it; he even started learning the Spiran language because of his love for her. Though he self-proclaims himself as leader, he can be quite incompetent and often leaves the decision making to either his second-in-command Buddy, or to Yuna. During the two-year gap, he had a falling out with his father, Cid. Brother names the Gullwings' airship the Celsius in direct contrast to Cid's airship, the Fahrenheit.
- Buddy: The co-founder of the Gullwings and the second-in-command. It might be more correct to call him the shadow leader, as it is in fact him that supplies the Gullwings with important information, as well as doing all the actual work, such as piloting the airship, analyzing Sphere Wave data and making many of the decisions Brother should have made. Buddy seems content with his current position and doesn't seem to mind Brother taking much of the glory, as they are old friends.
- Shinra: An intelligent, young Al Bhed kid that provides the Gullwings with valuable information and technology. He designed the Garment Grid, the CommSpheres, and provides the Gullwings with data decoded from acquired spheres. Shinra still doesn't know everything, and often retorts with "I'm just a kid" when he cannot answer a particular problem.
- Barkeep: A Hypello who runs the bar on the Celsius. He was picked up by Brother for unknown reasons, and was allowed to stay on board if he worked. No one knows Barkeep's name, so he is simply referred to as Barkeep. To Brother's great dismay, Barkeep already has a girlfriend.
- Biggs and Wedge: They only appear to be part of the Gullwings through blitzball.
To recover the airship Celsius, Brother and Buddy traveled to Spira's cold northern regions. At first their attempt to find an airship appeared to have failed. Suddenly spotting a single gull in the sky, they decided to follow it. The gull led them to the airship, and so, based on this event, the group Brother and Buddy would form was named the Gullwings.
The Gullwings were originally an 'all-Al Bhed' group founded by Rikku, Brother, and his old friend Buddy. They were shortly joined by Shinra, Paine, and lastly Yuna. Two years have passed since Yuna defeated Sin. Back on Besaid Island, her quiet life was shattered when she received a message from Rikku, who had a gift from Kimahri—a sphere he had found on Mt. Gagazet showing a man with a striking likeness to Tidus, her lost love.
Yuna joins the Gullwings to find out more about the sphere and whether it means Tidus is still alive. Yuna's Garment Grid has been seized by a group called the Leblanc Syndicate led by the sphere hunter Leblanc. Using her Garment Grid, Leblanc impersonates Yuna, taking on her identity. While wearing the Songstress dressphere, Leblanc uses Yuna's fame to gain money by organizing a concert at Luca. The Gullwings come up with a plan involving Rikku and Paine sneaking into the concert in hopes of getting Yuna's grid back. Yuna has to be left behind wearing the Mascot dressphere for a disguise.
After a confrontation in Luca Harbor, the Gullwings defeat Leblanc and her goons and retrieve the Garment Grid before returning to the airship. They detect sphere waves emanating from the Floating Ruins of Mt. Gagazet and while pursuing this lead encounter the Leblanc Syndicate after the same treasure, and race towards the sphere, nabbing the sphere before the syndicate does.
More sphere waves are being sent out from Besaid Island and Zanarkand Ruins. The Gullwings stop by Besaid and, after sleeping for the night, Yuna's old comrade Wakka has gone missing. They find him in a cave and defeat a fiend when they reach the sphere. Next, the Gullwings go to Zanarkand Ruins only to find it has been made a tourist attraction by Rikku and Brother's father, Cid. As they venture deeper into the ruins, a voice taunts them that they won't get their sphere so easily. The voice turns out to be Isaaru, Yuna's former acquaintance from her pilgrimage two years ago, who is now working with Cid, wanting to lure tourists into the ruins by providing fun mysteries for them to solve. The Gullwings finally find the sphere in an underground structure, but it is only half a sphere. They take it nonetheless.
Buddy detects an "Awesome Sphere" in Kilika Port, which the Gullwings seize amid the fighting Youth League and New Yevon factions, all being after the same sphere. When the Gullwings watch it, they are shocked to find it shows images of Vegnagun, a dangerous machina weapon, and the man who looks like Tidus saying that he can only count on Vegnagun to save someone named Lenne. When Yuna later goes to bed while wearing the Songstress dressphere, she experiences a nightmare of her and Tidus running away in a complex underneath Bevelle and being gunned down by Bevelle soldiers. The next morning the group decides to give the sphere to either the Youth League or New Yevon, Brother saying Yuna should make the decision.
After the sphere is delivered to either the Youth League or New Yevon, Buddy receives a distress signal from the airship: the Leblanc Syndicate broke in to steal the half of a sphere they had found in Zanarkand. The Gullwings procure three syndicate uniforms to sneak into Chateau Leblanc and get back the stolen half sphere. While in there, Leblanc's lackeys Logos and Ormi order Yuna to massage Leblanc. After Leblanc falls asleep, Logos and Ormi order the Gullwings to check on the switch that leads to an underground maze. Brother contacts them and talks loudly, blowing their cover.
The Gullwings quickly investigate Logos's room and find a dud sphere before being confronted by Ormi and Logos. After defeating them, they eventually find their half of the sphere, and learn that the syndicate already had the other half. Leblanc, Logos, and Ormi confront them, but are again defeated. Leblanc allows the Gullwings to view the now restored sphere, which shows Vegnagun. Knowing how dangerous Vegnagun is, the Gullwings and the syndicate put their differences aside and decide to investigate Bevelle Underground together to learn more about the ancient machina weapon.
Yuna, Rikku, Paine, Leblanc, Logos, and Ormi enter Bevelle, and venture to the old Chamber of the Fayth that now leads into an underground section. The group fights Baralai, the leader of New Yevon trying to stop them from finding Vegnagun. They defeat him and enter the Vegnagun chamber, only to find it gone and a twisted version of Bahamut in its place.
After they defeat Bahamut, Brother contacts Yuna, telling her that they should return to the airship immediately because fiends are pouring out from the former temples of Yevon. They decide to take up the moniker of "Your Friendly Neighborhood Gullwings" and take out fiends while charging for it.
In Besaid they find Beclem, the Youth League member now training the Besaid Aurochs, planning to burn the Besaid Temple to destroy the fiends, but Wakka doesn't want the temple destroyed, as it is still part of the island's heritage and history. The Gullwings enter the temple and find the dark Valefor. They defeat her, and Wakka concludes they may have to burn the temple after all if fiends ever show up again. Yuna tells Wakka to call her first and use fire as the last resort. The Gullwings arrive in Kilika where the town is in control of Youth League, while the Kilika Temple is in the hands of New Yevon. In the former Chamber of the Fayth the Gullwings encounter the dark Ifrit and defeat him.
The Gullwings receive a distress signal from Djose where Brother declines helping Gippal, the leader of the Al Bhed's Machine Faction, because he "gets all the action". Yuna still wants to help, saying they'll charge him a little extra. The Al Bhed protecting the Djose Temple tell them that Gippal is missing. The YRP make their way into Djose's Chamber of the Fayth where they defeat the dark Ixion, who explodes having merged with the Machine Faction's machina. The effect knocks Yuna into the deep pit on the ground where the temple's fayth used to be, and through which the fiends and corrupted aeons have been emerging.
Yuna finds she has fallen to the Farplane, the mystical afterlife world of pyreflies that exists on the inside of the planet of Spira. She meets the man bearing resemblance to Tidus who turns out to be a look-a-like named Shuyin, an angry unsent bent on seeking revenge for his love, Lenne's, death. The missing leaders of Spira's factions turn up here as well, and when Nooj of the Youth League tells Yuna to open her eyes, she sees Shuyin transform into Baralai, possessed by Shuyin's malevolent spirit. Baralai moves deeper to the Farplane while Nooj and Gippal follow him despite Yuna's protests. After everyone leaves, the Farplane darkens and Yuna becomes angry for only finding questions rather than answers when she's already confused to begin with. She screams out and hears Tidus whistle. Upon seeing his faint silhouette, she tries to catch up to him, only to find herself back in Spira in an old Chamber of the Fayth where the relieved Gullwings come pick her up.
In an effort to quell the rising tension in Spira with the bickering factions whose leaders have gone missing, Yuna holds a concert on the Thunder Plains wearing the Songstress dressphere. As part of the concert, Shinra creates a sphere-screen so even the spectators further back the crowd can see the performance. The Songstress dressphere reacts with the screen, and displays ancient images of Lenne and Shuyin in front of Vegnagun just before being killed by Bevelle soldiers. Yuna learns from the famed scholar Maechen that the sphere the Gullwings have been using as the Songstress dressphere, is actually the crystallized feelings of Lenna, a singer from 1000 years ago who was Shuyin's lover before they got caught up in the Machina War and perished. Lenne had been unable to make her true feelings known to Shuyin, who as a result has become a malevolent spirit that is now possessing others to gain access to Vegnagun and use to "end all wars" by eradicating life on Spira.
YRP travels into the depths of the Farplane where they find Vegnagun. They defeat it and are attacked by Shuyin. They attempt to trick him into thinking Yuna is Lenne, but the plan fails and an enraged Shuyin forces Yuna, Rikku, and Paine into battle. They defeat him, and Lenne leaves Yuna's dressphere, encouraging Shuyin to return to the Farplane with her.
The Gullwings decide not to attend the event in Luca held by the three leaders of Spira's factions, and go home to Besaid. While on the way Yuna tells Brother to fly higher and faster. If Yuna agrees to the fayth reviving Tidus, the fayth find Tidus's pyreflies and restore him to life, with Tidus emerging on Besaid Island and he and Yuna have an emotional reunion.
After landing in Besaid the Celsius malfunctions and is unable to fly and even Shinra is stumped on how to repair it. A man named Briar points Shinra out as a "Bedore" and tries to attack him, but Paine and the other Gullwings subdue him and tie him up at the Besaid Temple. Shinra is curious and asks Brier what a Bedore is and learns it is the ancient name for Al Bhed. Briar tricks Shinra into releasing him by promising to fix the Celsius, but as Shinra unties him Brier knocks him down and escapes.
Three months after the events of Final Fantasy X-2, the former members of the Gullwings have all gone their separate ways: Yuna lives with Tidus in Besaid, Rikku works mission after mission, and Paine wanders Spira by herself. Each member of the party receives a letter that calls them back to explore the Iutycyr Tower. As the trio explore the ruins they converse over what they'd been doing since they had separated and why they hadn't stayed in contact.
The conversation escalates as Rikku expresses her jealousy towards Yuna, who had reached her goal in life and settled down. The bickering between the pair causes Paine to raise her voice. She reveals she had sent out the letters, citing her wish to not lose the friendship they once shared, having learned from both her previous friendship with Nooj, Gippal and Baralai, and from her own lonely travels.
At the top of the tower they find a broken machina and not much else. Due to their conversations they realize that the machina is a bit like their group: broken and separated. As they vow to be more than just strangers who had met by chance, becoming friends once again, the machina begins to work, and their adventures continue...
Due to babysitting Wakka and Lulu's baby, Vidina, the Besaid Aurochs allow the Gullwings to take their place in this year's blitzball tournament. Blitzball is available in Luca during Chapter 5. The player can elect to play the game as soon after landing, or drop in at the booth at Luca Stadium Entrance any time. The original team consists of Yuna, Rikku, Paine, Shinra, Brother, Buddy, Biggs and Wedge – however, new players can be signed on and rotated with the current ones.
Yuna, Rikku and Paine also have a unique coin illustration etched in their likeness in the Sphere Break coin game.
The game's soundtrack includes numerous songs named after, or devoted towards, the Gullwings group:
- "We're the Gullwings!"
- "Sphere Hunters"
- "The Gullwings March"
- "Your Friendly Neighborhood Gullwings"
- "YRP, Fight! No. 1", "YRP, Fight! No. 2", "YRP, Fight! No. 3"
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Yuna, Rikku, and Paine make an appearance in Kingdom Hearts II in the form of a pixie trio. Calling themselves "treasure fanatics", the three were mercenaries spying on Leon for Maleficent, though after being left behind by Maleficent and some trickery from Donald involving promised treasure, they join with Leon and help defend Radiant Garden against the army of Heartless.
Later, the Gullwings discover Donald's lie but feel sympathetic to Sora's cause. Instead of taking his items they give him the keychain "Gullwing".
The Gullwings (Yuna, Paine, Rikku) are all playable characters in the special edition of the Monopoly-like video game available only in Japan.
Behind the scenes
The term 'Friendly Neighborhood Gullwings', which the group uses to refer to themselves when contributing to community service, derives from a phrase affiliated with the western comic book hero Spider-Man, or more accurately; the "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man", who is popular in Japan.
The "Yuna" Zippo lighter represents the Gullwings with the wing of a seagull embossed on the lighter and wings on the silver chain. The chain is made of .925 silver, and the Zippo of polished steel. The Zippo is limited to 3,000 pieces and its original retail price was 15,000 yen.
The group is named after the gull Brother and Buddy followed when looking to salvage an airship. While the name originally referred to the sphere hunting group in its entirety in Final Fantasy X-2, the term "Gullwings" has become affiliated with, and refers to, the three-way combination of Yuna, Rikku, and Paine in other media.
The inclusive group name for the Gullwing girls is "YRP", from their initials (or "YuRiPa" (Yuna, Rikku, Paine) in Japanese), and also acts as the girls' pre-mission cheer. The trio is called "YuRiPa" on the Steam Trading Card.