Seymour Guado could have been a great villain, but Square Enix continues to miss opportunities to develop the deepest elements of his character.
Final Fantasy X is a fan favorite of the popular RPG franchise, due to its unique setting and some significant changes to the traditional gameplay of the series. It has one critical narrative flaw, however. Despite all the effort the game puts into its world-building, making the land of Spira a cohesive place, it unfortunately doesn’t think so much about its antagonist.
Like a lot of the past Final fantasy villains, Seymour Guado seeks ultimate power in an effort to end the world. But what sets him apart from them is his motivation. Seymour has been discriminated against for being a MÃ©tis child, and his frustrations with society are a big part of the reasons he lashes out at her. While not the most original villain, Seymour could have been more than the sum of its parts if the game had simply spanned that backstory.
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Seymour is half human, half guado, making him a hybrid of two races that seemingly have tensions between them. however, Final Fantasy X barely portray this tension. He emphasizes his mixed-race status and tries to draw parallels with the also biracial heroine Yuna, but that doesn’t explain why that would be a problem. There are no cutscenes in the main story that show one of these races persecuting the other, and both are portrayed as staunch devotees of the Yevon religion. This can lead many players to assume that the conflict just doesn’t exist, especially since it has members of both races among its supporters.
While Final Fantasy X shows a flashback to Seymour and his mother, and the player can speak at the first of their regrets, these scenes don’t elaborate enough on the suffering of either character. Much of the important detail about mankind’s persecution of Guado and how the two races struggled to accept Seymour’s mixed status are relegated to the background. Ultimanie Omega guide book. So it’s hard to credit the game for writing an interesting villain when most of its story is stuck behind additional material.
What makes this particularly confusing is that Final Fantasy X does a great job showing humanity’s discrimination against Al-Bhed. This race shuns the Yevon faith in science and technology and is hated like pagans. The game is strongly sympathetic to Al-Bhed, describing them as just as versatile as humans. These are usually imperfect but ultimately well-meaning people who do not deserve the contempt they receive. It is therefore disappointing that the guado did not receive a similar treatment.
With Al-Bhed being hated as apostates, Yuna and her companions have legitimate concerns about revealing her secretly biracial status. Seymour ostensibly experienced the discrimination she avoided through this sadly necessary deception, and his experiences are the justification he provides for his genocidal nihilistic ambitions. With Yuna struggling desperately to preserve life on Spira, even at the cost of his own, the game had the perfect opportunity to create a tragic set of rivals. Unfortunately, Seymour’s lack of development deprived him of that chance, a problem the HD remaster absolutely failed to correct.
These days, it’s not uncommon for developers to upgrade new versions of old games with new content. Square Enix themselves have a long history of it. Not only have they released several new versions of old titles, but they are also updating games as recent as Final Fantasy VII remake Going through Intergrade. Final Fantasy X‘S HD remaster should have done something similar. It could have fixed what the original had shattered by allowing players to see more clashes between humans and guado, giving more context to Seymour’s misanthropy. Alas, he had no ambition to develop the story in any meaningful way. As a result, a potentially interesting antagonist has remained underdeveloped and unsympathetic.
Square Enix has a reliable record of remastering and re-releasing their old games, so it’s very likely that Final Fantasy X will receive another update at some point in the future. When this happens, the company should definitely take the time to correct Seymour’s writing issues. As it currently stands, the character is one of their less impressive villains. His goal is nothing new and, compared to the unpredictable Kefka or the manipulator Sephiroth, he has nothing to stand out. A more solid backstory won’t necessarily put Seymour on their level, but it could give him something worth discussing. At the very least, it would give players the chance to see the pain he always talks about.
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