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Blitzball is a fictional sport existing in the world of Final Fantasy X, and X-2. Best described as an underwater cross between Rugby and Association Football, the basic objective is to get the ball past the opposing keeper. The opposing team may use any number of tactics to stop the ball carrier, however.
The sport itself isn't commonly seen in fandom, unless it serves as a plot point. Examples could be similar to the events of Final Fantasy X, where the underdog team the Besaid Aurochs were to win a tournament against all odds.
Underwater sex is a niche that Blitzball occasionally abuses, more often than not with established players. Yuna's admission that she can hold her breath for two minutes and forty one seconds plays into this niche fairly well.
Blitzball is traditionally played with six players per side; two forwards, one midfielder, two defenders and a goalkeeper.
Through the use of tactical play and techniques, teams must make their way past opposing team members, and kick(1) the ball into the opponent's goal. Whether or not the goal is scored depends on RNG, the shooter's SH score, and the goalkeeper's CA score.
The game continues for two rounds of five minutes, and the team with the highest score at the end of the game is pronounced the winner. Should the scores be drawn at full time during a tournament, the game will go into one round of overtime followed by sudden death, in which the game ends when a goal is scored, regardless of the time at which it is scored.
(1) Kicking is not always necessary. Some techniques, such as Aurochs' Spirit and Invisible Shot, do not use any kicks at all.
Blitzball uses many specific terms that are endemic to the game.
- AT is short for Attack, the amount of damage a player can deal with their tackles.
- EN is short for Endurance, the amount of damage a player can withstand before losing the ball.
- PA is short for Pass, and calculates how far a player can accurately pass the ball.
- BL is short for Block. The higher the number, the better the player is at impeding the opponent's passes and shots.
- SH stands for Shot, and calculates a player's odds of scoring. It challenges the goalkeeper's catch statistic, or CA.
- CA stands for Catch, and measures how effective a goalkeeper is at blocking shots. The higher the number, the harder they are to beat.
- HP stands for Hit Points, and measures how long a character can 'dribble' the ball before fatigue sets in, and their stats are halved. HP is also expended for using techniques.
- Techcopy shows up when a player on the opponent's team is using an ability, and someone marking the player is able to learn it. Hit X at just the right moment (varies between moves) to learn the ability. If the character's level is lower than that of the user, Techcopy may fail.
Blitzball positions typically resemble the following:
Forwards are their team's primary means of goal scoring, often boasting high SH and EN stats, and sometimes high SP. Their AT, BL and PA are often considerably lower, however, as well as their HP (though this one varies heavily with race).
Tidus of the Zanarkand Abes and Besaid Aurochs sports a high EN, and one of the highest SH stats in the game. Conversely, his BL, PA and AT are fairly poor.
Isken of the Kilika Beasts has a surprisingly high AT stat for a forward, with a slight penalty to his SH stat.
Eigaar of the Al Bhed Psyches has exceptionally good all round stats, with only the redundant CA suffering. His AT is above average, while his BL and PA are exceptional for a forward.
Midfielders start off each half of the game, competing with the opposing midfielder for early possession. They typically have far greater PA and BL than forwards, and have middling AT, SH and EN scores.
Vuroja of the Kilika Beasts has a very high PA stat, often boosted farther by his fondness for the ability Venom Pass 2. His BL is also respectable, while his EN is about average, AT is slightly above average, and SH is slightly below.
Brother, a free agent that can be signed up from the airship Fahrenheit, boasts not only a respectable SH stat, but exceptional SP, and even decent AT. As with many all rounders, his CA suffers (despite making no difference to a midfielder).
Gazna Ronso's enormous size gives him exceptional EN, even surpassing the forwards on the team. His AT is also decent, however his PA and BL are slightly lower than your average midfielder's, which is less than ideal.
Defenders do their best to stop forwards from getting past them and attempting to score. They usually boast high AT, BL and HP stats, and generally have respectable PA stats, but their SH stats are often low. EN stats vary wildly among defenders.
Doram of the Luca Goers has very high AT and HP, and decent BL and PA, but an awful SH stat. Her EN is below average.
Kyou, a free agent that can be signed up near Djose Temple, is feared in defence because of his monstrous AT stat. However, Kyou also has a deceptively good CA stat, which is very rare outside of dedicated goalkeepers.
Shuu, a free agent that can be sign up in Luca, has a higher than average SH, even bordering on good at higher levels. Her AT starts off very low as well, making her poorly suited for a defender at low levels.
Possibly the most important members of the team, it is the goalkeeper's job to keep the ball out of their goal. After all, a team can't lose if they don't concede any goals. CA and HP are the only stats that matter for goalkeepers, and nearly all dedicated keepers are decently endowed in both these stats, or better. A goalkeeper's other stats tend to be poor or worse.
Zamzi Ronso of the Ronso Fangs has a very high CA stat and a monstrous HP, as well as a god awful SH stat.
Keepa of the Besaid Aurochs starts off with terrible stats across the board, including a base CA of only 5 (compared to an average of 8 or 9), and an SH stat that doesn't rise above 1 until he is past level 40. However, should you keep training him, he will eventually have the highest SH stat out of all possible players in the game, at an incredible 99.
Nimrook of the Al Bhed Psyches is infamous for being the best goalkeeper in the game, starting at level 1 with an incredible base 18 CA. However, Nimrook is also blessed with very impressive AT and PA stats, somewhat typical of Al Bhed Blitzers.
Final Fantasy X-2 introduced two new players per team, and a much more managerial approach to the sport, where tactics were selected and employed, rather than manually controlling the characters. Several more stats were introduced as well; FTG (Fatigue), REC (Reach), RNG (Range), and MOR (Morale).
- Tidus, the protagonist of Final Fantasy X, is a games Blitzer.
- Wakka, one of the main characters, also plays Blitzball professionally.
- Brother is a minor character in the game, and also the older brother to Rikku, as well as a cousin to Yuna. He can be recruited on the Fahrenheit airship.
Yuna, Rikku, Paine, Lucil and Elma all learn to play Blitzball between the events of X and X-2 (however the girls' skill levels spark much debate).