|Final Fantasy character|
Character artwork, by Tetsuya Nomura, depicting Tidus with his sword Brotherhood.
|First game||Final Fantasy X (2001)|
|Created by||Motomu Toriyama, Kazushige Nojima|
|Designed by||Tetsuya Nomura|
|Voiced by (English)||James Arnold Taylor
Cree Summer (younger)
Shaun Fleming (Kingdom Hearts)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Masakazu Morita
Yuuto Nakamura (younger)
|Motion capture||Masakazu Morita|
Tidus (ティーダ Tīda?) is a fictional character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series, first introduced as the protagonist of the role-playing video game Final Fantasy X in 2001 by Square. Tidus is introduced as a 17-year-old rising blitzball star player from the city of Zanarkand. After a mysterious creature called Sin attacked his hometown, Tidus was seemingly transported to the world of Spira. Shortly after arriving, Tidus meets a newly fledged summoner, Yuna, and her guardians. The summoner is soon to set out on a pilgrimage in an attempt to put an end to the very creature that attacked Tidus' city; and by joining them, Tidus hopes he will find his way home. He has also made appearances in other video games, such as Final Fantasy X's sequel, Final Fantasy X-2; the Kingdom Hearts series, and other crossover games by Square Enix.
Tidus' character was designed by Tetsuya Nomura with the intention of having a cheerful appearance in contrast to previous Final Fantasy protagonists, while scenario writer Kazushige Nojima wanted to expand the relationship between the player and the character through the story. He is voiced by Masakazu Morita in Japanese and James Arnold Taylor in English.
The character has generally been well received by video game reviewers owing to his cheerful personality and heroic traits that made him an appealing protagonist. His character development and romantic relationship with Yuna has also been praised, and both have often been featured as among the best ones in gaming. Critics and fans were divided on voice actor Taylor's portrayal of the character, however. Several types of merchandise based on Tidus' character have been produced, such as action figures and jewelry.
Final Fantasy X
In Final Fantasy X, Tidus is introduced in medias res via an in-game cutscene, showing the main characters around the ruins of a city, Zanarkand. He narrates most of the game events, revealing his thoughts on certain aspects of his journey. Tidus recounts how events have led to the present, starting at his life in Zanarkand where he was a sports celebrity in blitzball, a fictional underwater sport. Despite showing a cheerful and carefree attitude, Tidus bears an enormous hatred towards his absent father, Jecht, initially due to the fact his mother did not pay attention to him when he was around, and later for the pressure he had when playing blitzball due to the fact Jecht was also a celebrity. During a Blitzball tournament, Zanarkand is attacked by an immense, shrouded creature known as Sin. The city is destroyed in its path, and Tidus is taken by Sin and Jecht's friend Auron to the world Spira.
After arriving in Spira, Tidus drifts to the island Besaid. While on the island he meets Yuna, a summoner who is planning a pilgrimage to destroy Sin, along with her guardians: Lulu, Wakka, and Kimahri Ronso. Tidus joins them in the hope of finding his way home, and ultimately becomes one of Yuna's guardians, alongside Auron who reveals that Jecht became Sin. Ten years ago, Jecht and Auron did the same pilgrimage protecting summoner Braska, Yuna's father, to defeat it, but Jecht became the reborn Sin. As the journey continues, Tidus starts losing hope of returning home as he decides to stay with the other guardians and develops a romantic relationship with Yuna. As the party approaches Zanarkand, Tidus learns that he and the Zanarkand he hails from are the cumulative dreams of deceased people known as fayth. Dream Zanarkand was created at the same time as the destruction of the original Zanarkand, when Sin was created in the war between Zanarkand and Bevelle. However, if Sin is permanently defeated, the summoning of Dream Zanarkand and all its people—including Tidus—will disappear.
Inside Zanarkand, the group learns Yuna must choose one of her guardians to become her fayth for the Final Summoning. The group decides to find another way to destroy Sin forever and that should not involve the sacrifice of a guardian or a summoner. The group then attacks Sin directly and enter its shell. Eventually, they find Jecht, who they have to defeat to eliminate Sin. After killing the corrupt deity Yu Yevon responsible for Sin's rebirth, the fayth are allowed to depart and their summoning of Zanarkand ends. As he vanishes Tidus says farewell to his friends, and is reunited with the spirits of Auron, Jecht, and Braska in the Farplane. However, after the credits, Tidus is seen awakening under the sea.
Final Fantasy X-2
Tidus figures prominently into the plot of Final Fantasy X-2, though his appearances in the sequel are few. Also, because players have the option of renaming Tidus in Final Fantasy X, he is exclusively referred to with pronouns ("he" and "him") just like in the previous game. Two years after the events of Final Fantasy X, Yuna sees a sphere displaying a young man who looks like Tidus trapped in a prison. This compels Yuna to join the Gullwings, a sphere-hunting group, and travel around Spira in the hopes of finding more clues that Tidus may be alive. The individual seen in the sphere is eventually revealed to be another man named Shuyin instead. Depending on the player's development during the game, the fayth will appear to Yuna in the game's ending, telling her they can make Tidus return to her. Tidus then appears in Spira and is reunited with Yuna. Although another final scene has Tidus unsure whether he is still a dream or not, he wishes to stay with her. He is also an unlockable character to play blitzball in the game but under the name of "Star Player".
In the updated version of the game, Final Fantasy X-2: International + Last Mission, Tidus appears as a playable character for battles. Additionally, an extra episode set after the original game's playthrough reveals that he is living in Besaid alongside Yuna while an illusion of him appears as a boss character. The HD Remastered version of the game adds a new audio drama where Tidus is a new blitzball star who appears to be hiding a wound. Even though Yuna breaks up with him, Tidus decides to aid Yuna on a future quest.
Tidus has also appeared in games outside of the Final Fantasy X continuity. A more youthful version of Tidus appears in the Kingdom Hearts series as a friend of the protagonists Sora and Riku. In the first Kingdom Hearts, he appears with younger versions of Wakka and Final Fantasy VIII's Selphie, serving as an optional sparring opponent. The character makes a cameo in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and in Kingdom Hearts II, he is briefly mentioned by Selphie. A digital replica of Tidus also appears in Kingdom Hearts coded as a boss character. Tidus appears in Itadaki Street Special, a board game-based video game, along with Auron and Yuna. Tidus' dialogues, monologues and character songs were also included in the CDs Final Fantasy X Vocal Collection and feel/Go dream: Yuna & Tidus.
In Dissidia Final Fantasy, an action game that features several Final Fantasy heroes and villains, Tidus is featured as the hero from Final Fantasy X as a warrior from the goddess Cosmos while his father works for the other rival god, Chaos. To match the overall character designs of Dissidia, Nomura designed Tidus to look younger than his Final Fantasy X appearance. Nevertheless, his original Final Fantasy X design is available as an alternative form. Various of his traits such as his thoughts and actions are references to Final Fantasy X. Along the entire cast, Tidus reappears in the prequel Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, representing Chaos in the previous war. When confronted by Yuna, Tidus sacrifices his life to save her from an attack from the Emperor, but is saved by Jecht to later become a Warrior of Cosmos. Besides his previous outifits, Tidus has another design based on an illustration by Yoshitaka Amano. He is also featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a playable character representing Final Fantasy X.
Tidus has also had various types of merchandise modeled after his likeness; for example, action figures and jewelry. In commemoration of the franchise's 20th anniversary, Square released figurines of him alongside other Final Fantasy protagonists.
Creation and development
The game's scenario writer, Kazushige Nojima, has expressed his concern regarding the relationship between the player and the main character in a Final Fantasy title, and wanted to try something new while penning Final Fantasy X. Since both the player and the main character find themselves in a new world, Nojima wanted Tidus' understanding of the world to reflect the player's progress in the game; a connection that allowed the player to advance Tidus' first-person narration of most of Final Fantasy X. Nojima created a brief description for Tidus to give the character designer, Tetsuya Nomura, a rough scenario to work with. Nomura used the description to create a sketch to get input from Nojima and other staff members. Nomura was also requested to design Tidus to look different from the game's theme in order to make him stand out. With the concept of the undead people used in the games, the staff wanted it to use it on one of the playable characters. Tidus was meant to be an undead person, but during development of Final Fantasy X, Nojima watched a movie which used a similar idea with its protagonist. Therefore, Tidus was not an undead person during the game, and such role was given to Auron, as he was a secondary character.
Nomura has also mentioned a contrast between the lead male and female protagonists was established by Yuna's name meaning "night" in Okinawan. This contrast is also represented with the items required to empower their Celestial Weapons; the Sun Sigil and the Sun Crest for Tidus', and the Moon Sigil and Moon Crest for Yuna's. Nomura also explained he wanted his clothing and accessories to suggest a relationship with the sea. For example, his outfit bears a distinctive blue theme, and the symbol of Tidus' Blitzball team on his clothing is designed after a fishing hook. The symbol is designed as an amalgamation of the letters "J" and "T" (the first letters of Tidus' name and that of his father, Jecht). Due to the player having the option to change his default name, Tidus is never directly referred to by name during audible dialogue, though one character in Dream Zanarkand says his name in a dialogue box. The only other in-game appearance of his name is on a name plate on an Auroch locker in the Luca stadium as "Tidu", written in the fictional script used in Spira. Prior to Final Fantasy X's release, Tidus was referred by publications as "Tida". During early 2001, PlayOnline changed the name to "Tidus". Because his name is never spoken out loud in Final Fantasy X, its intended pronunciation has been a subject of debate among fans. Interviews with James Arnold Taylor, Tidus' English voice actor, and spoken dialogue from the English versions of Dissidia, Dissidia 012, and Kingdom Hearts—which featured the character in a cameo—portray it as // TEE-dəs, whereas one instance in the English version of Kingdom Hearts 2 exists in which the character's name is pronounced // TY-dəs.
For the sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, producer Yoshinori Kitase thought that the fans' biggest expectations of the game was a reunion between Tidus and Yuna after their separation in the first game. The game generated multiple rumors about Tidus' connection with the villain, Shuyin. In response, Square found answering that would be too complicated due to Tidus' nature.
Nomura has expressed after designing serious and moody main characters for Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, he wanted to give Tidus a cheerful attitude and appearance (while still keeping the recent trend of giving him a name related to the sky), which is reflected in the name Kazushige Nojima chose for him (Tiida is the Okinawan word for "Sun"). This is also shown in his personality with Nojima calling him "lively" and comparing him with Final Fantasy VIII's Laguna Loire and Zell Dincht. Initially, Tidus was going to be a rude plumber who was also part of a delinquent gang, but Kitase pointed it would make him a weak protagonist, so he was changed to a sports star. His relationship with his father was based "stories throughout the ages, such as the ancient Greek legends." This would eventually reveal the key of Sin's weakness and eventual defeat.
In Japanese Tidus has been voiced by Masakazu Morita who stated that playing such character was one of the best experiences in his career thanks to the fact he also did the motion capture for him. This gave him greater understanding of the character's personality and was able to connect himself with him to the point that when Morita did Tidus' dialogues in the recording of the game he also moved his own body. James Arnold Taylor did the character's English voice and stated that it did not seem realistic to him to have Tidus react in any other way than to truthfully show his emotions. While he also said there were things he would change about his performance if he could do it over again, Taylor stated he enjoyed voicing Tidus and thanked fans of the game for complimenting him on his work.
Tidus has received positive reception with GameSpy describing him as a "garishly dressed Leonardo DiCaprio", commenting that his flaws are what make him appealing. PSXextreme's Arnold Katayev liked Tidus' personality which contrasts the ones from previous Final Fantasy protagonists. His role as the male lead was found outstanding in comparison to previous characters by GameZone due to his "perpetual feel of youth and innocence". The 1UP.com staff initially described him as the "good kind of jock" due to how he supports the other protagonists of the game and yet they noted that his anger and his growth throughout the game avoided him from being a "stereotypical boy scout". Although GameSpot's Greg Kasavin commented players might not initially like the character, they would eventually find him "suitably endearing." Furthermore, he stated that he had the "surprising depth" characterized by past Final Fantasy protagonists, and called the ending involving Tidus "emotionally charged and satisfying". Eurogamer's Tom Brawell stated that Tidus and the other characters "make much more dignified and believable decisions than those made by their predecessors in other Final Fantasy games." Kazuma Kaneko from Atlus also praised him calling Tidus "a dashing lead character."
Tidus was also listed as the fourth best Final Fantasy hero of all the time by GamesRadar who described him as "One of the most complex and bizarre heroes yet seen in the series", while in another article they referred to his look as androgynous. In a Famitsu poll done in February 2010, Tidus was voted by readers as the twentieth most popular video game character. GameZone listed him as the third best Final Fantasy character praising his energetic personality and his actions across Final Fantasy X that make him "the true star of the title". Tidus' revelation of his real nature in the game's ending was third in a 1UP article of video game spoilers; such event was stated to have reduced "[to] at least two 1UP staffers to a state of misty-eyed mourning" yet they criticized how Tidus' resurrection in the sequel makes his fate unrealistic. On the other hand, GamesRadar found Tidus' fate in the first game confusing as in the epilogue he appears alive despite having previously disappeared, and such scene is not explained until the sequel's ending. Matthew Walker from Cheat Code Central commented that the game's final scene was meant to give hope that Tidus was alive, the ending still felt sad.
Tidus was also compared to Squall Leonhart, the protagonist from Final Fantasy VIII. IGN noted the differences in appearances between the two, comparing Squall's darker colored outfit and "permanent mope" against Tidus' brighter outfit and weapon along with "an indelible grin". Additionally, Gamasutra thought that Tidus' character was more entertaining than Squall's despite being "a bit whiny". 1UP listed him as the worst dressed video game character, citing a "deal with it" outfit design by Nomura. They further commented that despite the "preposterous" design, Square was able to "successfully sell" Tidus as Final Fantasy X's main protagonist. His Dissidia outfit was noted by 1UP to be consistent with other outfits by Nomura due to the number of accessories it has. Because of his English-language voice work, GameSpot commented it would have preferred "an almost-mute lead character, a la Squall from Final Fantasy VIII." Regarding the character's English-language voice work, IGN stated the character "has a tendency to speak a little too high and fast when he gets excited." RPGamer criticized Taylor's work, stating that while Tidus is supposed to sound "impulsive and energetic", his dialogue leaves him as "stupid and childish", while Eurogamer echoed similar statements by referring to his voice acting as "whiny" and "detestable". On the other hand, PSXextreme found that Taylor does a good work voicing Tidus. He was also featured fifth in 1UP's "The Top 5 Most Irriating RPG Protagonists" with criticism focused on his relationship with his father and his outfit. Matthew Walker noted that while in the climax Tidus still told his father he hated him, he actually came to appreciate him despite his initial feelings.
The relationship between Tidus and Yuna was listed by GameSpot as one of the "Great Loves" in video games. It referred to their relationship as "one of the best (and ultimately saddest) examples" of a mature romance in games and cited the progression of the romance throughout the story as one of the game's best elements. In a general overview of the romances from Final Fantasy, Gaming Age stated that Final Fantasy X had "the sparks fly" between Tidus' and Yuna's relationship. GamesRadar listed their relationship as the tenth best romance in gaming as well the second best romance in Square Enix game, commenting on "that they have the most realistic relation", and noted that despite the sacrifices they go through in the series, they still look for a chance to be together. Kotaku listed the relationship second in the "Gaming's Top Five Love Stories" by Mike Fahey who stated that the popularity of their relationship and the fact Tidus fades away in the game's ending was what forced Square to make its direct sequel so that the two characters could meet once again. Gamasutra featured it fifth in their list by Leigh Alexander who despite citing Tidus as a "forgettable hero" praised the importance of his and Yuna's relation in the game's story. Both Tidus and Yuna also won the "Best Couple of the Year" award from Game Informer in 2001. Yuna's English voice actress, Hedy Burress, commented that thanks to Tidus' interactions with Yuna gave her character a more "womanly aspect", and thus, more humanizing.
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Tidus: Listen to my story. This may be our last chance."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Zanarkand (Dream). "Commentator: Ten years later, the Jecht Memorial Cup tournament is today! The two teams that have won through to the finals are, of course, the Abes from A-East, and the Duggles from C-South. I know there's a lot of people out there today to see the star of the Abes [Tidus]! In just one year, he's become the team's number one player! He's Jecht's blood, and the new hope of blitzball!"
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Yuna: What would you do if you found him? / Tidus: Who knows? I thought he died ten years ago. Well... I'd probably just smack him one. After everything he put Mom and me through. And because he was famous, I was always... Well, you should know, Yuna. Your father's famous, too. Everyone in Spira knows him, right? Ain't it tough?"
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Tidus: I think I just figured something out. / Yuna: What? / Tidus: Why I hate my old man. [...] Whenever my old man was around, my mother wouldn't even look at me. Maybe that's when I started to resent him, even hate him. When he left us... Mom just lost her energy. [...] The old lady next door told me...when a lovebird dies, the one left behind...it just gives up living so it can join its mate. It was just like that. I hated my old man even more."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Zanarkand (Dream). "Auron: Look! [...] We called it "Sin". / Tidus: Sin...?"
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Al Bhed Salvage Ship. "Tidus' narration: So I told her everything there was to tell about Zanarkand... About life there, blitzball, and Sin's attack...and about how Auron and I were engulfed in this light."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Besaid. "Tidus: We're taking the same boat as Yuna, right? Why do we gotta wait here? / Wakka: Yuna came to this village ten years ago, when the last Calm started. [...] Since then, she's been like a little sister to me and Lulu. But she had the talent... She became an apprentice. Now, today, she leaves as a summoner. / Lulu: This is our journey. We should leave together."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Tidus' retrospective: I was just fooling myself. Maybe it was that day...on the sea, under the burning sun. I started to give up hope. I was in a foreign world. I wasn't going home. This was my new reality, and I was stuck in it for good."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Luca. "Auron: Nothing impossible about it. Jecht, Braska, and I...together, we defeated Sin, ten years ago. Then I went to Zanarkand, where I watched over you."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Mi'ihen Highroad. "Yuna: Sin dies and is reborn. / Tidus: I get it! I thought it was weird. Yuna's dad defeated Sin ten years ago, right? But Sin's still here! Didn't make much sense till now."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Luca. "Tidus: Is [Jecht] alive? / Auron: It depends on what you mean by "alive". He is...no longer human. But then...I felt something of Jecht there in that shell, couldn't you? You must have felt him when you came in contact with Sin. / Tidus: It can't be... / Auron: It is. Sin is Jecht."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Luca. "Tidus: Auron? Will I ever go home? Back to Zanarkand? / Auron: That's up to Jecht. ... I'm going to offer my services to Yuna. Come."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Macalania Woods. "Tidus's retrospective: I guess I understood. My old man... he knew there was no way back home, back to Zanarkand. He wanted to go home, but he knew he couldn't. He couldn't go on until he accepted it. Besides...even if he had found a way back...I don't think he would've left his friends behind before their journey was complete. Maybe I had to start accepting my own fate."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Yuna: I'll continue. I must. If I give up now...I could do anything I wanted to, and yet... Even if I was with you, I could never forget. / Tidus: I'll go with you. I'm your guardian. Unless I'm...fired? / Yuna: Stay with me until the end. Please. / Tidus: Not until the end... Always. / Yuna: Always, then."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Fayth: Yes, you're a dream of the fayth. You, your father, your mother, everyone. All dreams. And if the fayth stop dreaming... / Tidus: No! So what if I'm a dream?! I...I like being here. / Fayth: We've been dreaming so long...we're tired. Would you and your father... Would you let us rest?"
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Zanarkand. "Yunalesca: Welcome to Zanarkand. I congratulate you, summoner. You have completed your pilgrimage. I will now bestow you with that which you seek. The Final Summoning...will be yours. Now, choose. You must choose the one whom I will change...to become the fayth of the Final Summoning."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Zanarkand. "Tidus: I give up. So, what would an adult do, then? They know they can just throw away a summoner, then they can do whatever they like. You're right. I might not even have a chance. But no way am I gonna just stand here and let Yuna go. And what Auron said about there being a way...I think it's true. / Rikku: You'll think of something? Tidus: I'll go ask Yunalesca. She's got to know something. / Rikku: You really think she'll help you? / Tidus: I don't know, but I have to try. This is my story. It'll go the way I want it...or I'll end it here."
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Sin. "Jecht: Well, I am Sin, you know. [...] Tidus: That's enough. Let's finish this, okay? / Jecht: You're right. Well, then... Let's go! [...] Tidus: I promise this'll be quick! Hit me with all you got, Dad!"
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. "Tidus: Yuna, I have to go. I'm sorry I couldn't show you Zanarkand. Goodbye! / Wakka: Hey! / Rikku: We're gonna see you again...? [...] / Yuna: [to Tidus] I love you."
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- Square Co (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2. PlayStation 2. Square Enix. "Yuna's restropective: It all began when I saw this sphere of you. At least, it looked like you. I couldn't say for sure. I thought I might find more spheres like it if I joined the Gullwings. So I did. 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."
- Square Co (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2. PlayStation 2. Square Enix. "Rikku: You met Shuyin, right? Was he anything like you-know-who? / Yuna: Not really. Just his face."
- Square Co (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2. PlayStation 2. Square Enix. "Fayth: You heard it, didn't you? You want to see him? / Yuna: Him? / Fayth: Yes. You want to walk together again? / Yuna: Yes! / Fayth: I can't promise anything, but we'll do what we can."
- Square Co (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2. PlayStation 2. Square Enix. "Yuna: Are you real? / Tidus: I think so. Do I pass? / Yuna: You’re back. / Tidus: I am back. I'm home. / Yuna: Welcome home."
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- Square Enix (March 28, 2006). Kingdom Hearts II. PlayStation 2. Square Enix U.S.A., Buena Vista Games. "Selphie: Hey, do you feel like going out to the island? Tidus and Wakka are all wrapped up in their ballgame and they won't go with me."
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