The Zanarkand we see at the beginning of Final Fantasy X is booming and filled with so much life. It’s hard to believe that all of it, from every building to every last child, is a memory, a figment of some dreamers’ imaginations.

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but the Zanarkand we see and the Zanarkand that existed differ, as the one we see is a mere recollection, and in memory sometimes details change. It’s interesting to note because Tidus is a recollection of a man that lived in Zanarkand named Shuyin, a guardian of a summoner who was shot to death with the one he was guarding. While they share similarities, Tidus and Shuyin don’t exactly look the same, and if you play FFX-2 you’ll see that they don’t exactly act the same, either. Their intentions were the same, though, as both did everything they could to protect the women they loved (Yuna to Tidus and Lenne to Shuyin).

If anything can be said about Tidus from the beginning of the game it’s that he’s very loyal to the place he’s from. He spends a great deal of time trying to figure out what happened to Zanarkand, and he’s crushed (as much as he is confused) when he learns that it doesn’t exist.

I was very young when I was taken away from my mom, and my grandfather put me in a Children’s Home at the age of six. I know growing up I spent a tremendous amount of energy and time trying to figure out where I came from and why it was all taken away from me. I know it’s not exactly the same because Tidus was a lot older when he was separated from the home he knew, but there’s one constant: you never lose that love for your home, and the memories you have. Hell, sometimes I find myself visiting my mom and asking her to tell me the same stories over and over about when I was little.

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