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Final Fantasy X
If you defeat Yu Yevon, it will end. Tell me, what do you know about Yu Yevon?
A great war
We go back in time one thousand years, before the events of Final Fantasy X. There was a great war, the 'Machina War', between the cities of Zanarkand and Bevelle. Yevon, Zanarkand's ruler saw that the Summoners of his city were no match for Bevelle's machina. Machina is Latin for machines. However, he was unwilling to allow his city to be swallowed up into the pages of history. Therefore, he made a plan to preserve Zanarkand's memory for all eternity...even if this would destroy the great city of Zanarkand.
At Yevon's order, most of the surviving common citizens and Summoners of Zanarkand gave up their lives to become Fayths. Yevon would then use them to conjure a summoned form of Zanarkand, using their memories as the basis for this massive summon. It was an ideal paradise, removed from conflict and those who would infringe upon this city's tranquility. This summoned version of the real Zanarkand is called 'Dream Zanarkand' (夢のザナルカンド, Yume no Zanarukando).
How did he do it?
To be able to accomplish this, Yevon manifested the city out at sea in a undisclosed location. This was far away from Spira's mainland and the warmongering Bevelle. Also, he created a magic armor, this was to prevent modern technology from Bevelle or anyone else, to locate his summoned city and of course to protect himself. He used gravity magic to surround himself with pyreflies and he used them to create an invincible armor that would grip Spira in terror: the creature we now know as 'Sin' (シン,"Shin"). This armor would not only protect him and his summoned Dream Zanarkand, but he also 'programmed' it to attack areas with high populations and advanced technology. Therefore bringing technological progress to a stop and keeping the people of the mainland from giving much thought to what may lie far out at sea.
What happened to Yevon?
Unfortunately for Yevon (now to be known as 'Ebon-Ju', or 'Yu Yevon' in English, which means 'The Curse of Yevon'), maintaining his summoned city and creating Sin was a greater strain on his human mind than even he (who was considered peerless amongst Summoners) could handle. Therefore, his humanity faded from him and all that was left now was the instinct to maintain Dream Zanarkand's order, and of course, to protect himself.
Sin's first attack
Sin's first act as an instinctive beast, 'programmed' to destroy advanced technology, was to decimate the original Zanarkand. Sin would then go on to bring death to Spira's citizens for a millennium.
The teachings of Yevon were implemented by Bevelle to maintain order through giving the people hope that Spira may someday be free of Sin should they atone for their 'sins'. It's said that Yevon left his teachings to his daughter, Lady Yunalesca. In actuality, Yunalesca and Yevon are believed to have planned it this way from the start. Bevelle believed Sin to be an Aeon, Summoned by Yevon as revenge for conquering Zanarkand's defenders.
Yunalesca appeased Yevon's wrath and she offered to provide Bevelle with a means to maintain order and hope in the common people: Yevon's teachings. In exchange for them ensuring that Yevon would be praised and glorified. They agreed and the temples of Yevon were born. They were teaching that machina were forbidden (another means of preventing advanced technology from revealing Dream Zanarkand's location), that Sin was a result of humanity's pride and use of machina in the first place. Furthermore, they taught that Sin could only be vanquished when humanity had attained purity and that they would have been cleansed of its past sins. Until then, it was said that only the ritual known as 'the Final Summoning' would provide brief reprieves from Sin's terror. This called the 'Calm' (ナギ節, Nagisetsu, meaning 'calm time').
The Calm would come whenever a Summoner managed to complete the Summoner's pilgrimage and after she had obtained the Final Aeon from the unsent spirit of Lady Yunalesca in the ruins of Zanarkand. Yunalesca herself was the first High Summoner, transforming her husband Zaon into a Fayth, and using him as her Final Aeon to defeat Sin.
The Final Summoning
The Final Summoning requires a bond between the Summoner and another individual. That individual would become a Fayth for the Final Summoning, if the bond was strong, powerful, and personal. Such a bond that would only exist between siblings, friends or spouses. Only then would the bond between the Final Aeon and the Summoner provide enough power to shatter Sin's armor. Unfortunately, the art of the Final Summoning only ensured that Sin would return, as Yu Yevon's spirit would emerge from the cracked armor of the defeated Sin. He would then possess the Final Aeon that had destroyed the monstrosity, using that Final Aeon as the core for a new Sin. This would start the cycle anew.
Yu Yevon merges with the Final Aeon
The Final Aeon is now in the control of Yu Yevon and because it no longer needed its Summoner, it kills the Summoner immediately. Yunalesca herself faced this fate, but her conviction to pass on the Final Summoning kept her in Spira, as an unsent. After the defeat of Sin, the Calm would then follow. The Calm provides a brief period of respite form Sin's destruction, while Yu Yevon created a new Sin around the Final Aeon he had possessed.
The Spiral of Death
Thus it was for one thousand years: Sin would be defeated, the Summoner who achieved the defeat would die, and Sin would be born anew...then defeated and born anew... again and again. Spiraling endlessly. Leaving destruction and sorrow in its wake all across Spira. This repetition of death was known as 'The Spiral of Death'. The spiral of death had repeated itself at least five times before the beginning of Final Fantasy X.
In the one thousand years that followed Sin's creation and the destruction of Zanarkand, Spira became a rustic land, almost completely devoid of large cities and higher civilization. Due to the actions of Sin, and Yevon's ban on machina, few territories reached larger than hamlet size, as they were destroyed by Sin and their populations decimated before they were able to develop. The only cities left larger than small villages were Luca, which houses the only Blitzball stadium in Spira, and Bevelle, the center of the temples of Yevon. The people of Spira lived in constant fear of Sin, and yearned for another Calm to begin, which daring Summoners would set out to bring to Spira, each time a new Sin emerged.
During the pilgrimage in Final Fantasy X, Yuna and her Guardians came to learn of the corruption, hypocrisy and horrific internal workings in Bevelle. Only the rulers of Bevelle, the so-called Maesters, knew the only truth about the pilgrimages and the Final Summoning. Every Summoner who began his or her pilgrimage had only one goal: defeat Sin, bring the Calm to the people of Spira, which would bring peace and joy. The only hope that Spira and its citizens had, was that there was a chance that Sin would not be reborn, if they had totally atoned to Yevon's teachings. The citizens of Spira never knew that it was an endless spiral, it would continue endlessly. There was no possibility at all, that Sin would not be reborn after a Final Summoning. No matter how good they followed Yevon's Teachings or no matter how much they regretted the fact of ever using machina.
Yuna finds out the truth
When Yuna and her Guardians meet Lady Yunalesca in the ruined city of Zanarkand, they find out the truth behind the Final Summoning. They realize it's no use... There are two harsh facts: the Summoner will die and Sin will be reborn, no matter what. They are even more shocked when they find out that Lady Yunalesca and the Maesters of Bevelle knew this all along and didn't do anything to stop this from happening. Even though the Calm would bring a short period of peace, they are convinced that there is another way to defeat Sin for good. They make the important decision of 'killing' Yunalesca and sending her to the Farplane (Heaven) so that the Final Summoning would never happen again. They set out on another unknown journey to find a way to defeat Sin for good.
The final defeat of Sin
Yuna and her Guardians eventually discover that Sin cannot be defeated from the outside. They'd have to get inside Sin to defeat the Core. It meant defeating the current Final Aeon that Yevon had possessed the last time a Summoner performed the Final Summoning. And after that, it meant defeating Yevon himself. This meant the beginning of the Eternal Calm. By the end of Final Fantasy X, the Teachings of Yevon were banned once evidence of its corruption was discovered and its remaining priests no longer hid the truth.
Go to the pages Eternal Calm to read how the story continued.
F.A.Q. of this page (pages will come soon!)
* What are the Teachings of Yevon?
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