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Yuna (Final Fantasy)

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Final Fantasy character
Yuna in Final Fantasy X, as illustrated by Tetsuya Nomura
First appearanceFinal Fantasy X (2001)
Last appearanceDissidia Final Fantasy NT (2018)
Created byMotomu Toriyama
Designed byTetsuya Nomura
Tetsu Tsukamoto (X-2)
Voiced by
Motion captureMayuko Aoki
In-universe information
RaceHalf Al Bhed
WeaponStaff (FFX)
Guns (FFX-2)
Significant otherTidus

Yuna (ユウナ, Yūna) is a fictional character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. She was introduced as the female protagonist, and one of the main playable characters of the 2001 role-playing video game Final Fantasy X. She appears as a summoner embarking on a journey to defeat the world-threatening monster, Sin, alongside her companions, including the male protagonist, Tidus. Yuna reappears in Final Fantasy X-2, where she becomes the protagonist, searching for a way to find Tidus two years after his disappearance. Other Square Enix games have featured Yuna, notably Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.

Tetsuya Nomura based Yuna's overall design on hakama, but also wanted to give her outfit something that would flow and so gave her a furisode. Nomura said that her name means "night" in the Okinawan language, which contrasts with Tidus's name, which is Okinawan for "sun." For Final Fantasy X-2, the game's staff wanted Tetsu Tsukamoto to redesign her costume to reflect her personality and the game's atmosphere.

Many media critics and fans received Yuna's character well, particularly praised Yuna for her story in the first game and her relationship with Tidus, her characterization, and her sex appeal. Despite the critical reception, there was a mixed reception for her role in Final Fantasy X-2 due to her redesign and asthethics involving her changed personality.


In Final Fantasy X, Yuna is introduced as a summoner who can use healing magic and is able to summon powerful magical entities called aeons with help from spirits known as Fayths.[2] Already known throughout Spira as the daughter of High Summoner Braska, who previously brought a brief respite from Sin's destruction ten years earlier, Yuna decides to embark on the summoner's pilgrimage to become a High Summoner herself.[3] Yuna must journey to temples across the world, acquire the aeon from each and summon the Final Aeon in a battle that will kill them both.[4] She gradually becomes more open and falls in love with Tidus.[5] Upon arriving at the place where Yuna can summon the final aeon, Tidus persuades the group to look for another way to defeat Sin without using any sacrifices.[6] After entering Sin's body, Yuna and her guardians defeat the disembodied spirit of Yu Yevon, who is responsible for reviving Sin after each defeat, allowing an eternal Calm to start in Spira.[7] However, Tidus disappears as he is the product of the Fayth, who could not depart until Sin's defeat.[8]

In Final Fantasy X-2, set two years after Final Fantasy X, Yuna is a member of the sphere hunting group, the Gullwings, along with Rikku and Paine. In the game's international version, the Gullwings go their separate ways before the game's opening, with Yuna returning to Besaid Island. The trio then reunites to explore a newfound tower.[9] In X-2, Yuna journeys to Spira in search of the truth behind a sphere containing a video featuring a man resembling Tidus in prison.[10] During her journey, Yuna discovers the man from the sphere was actually Shuyin, a spirit who wishes to destroy Spira in revenge for the death of his lover, Lenne.[11] The Gullwings defeat Shuyin, who departs to the afterlife with Lenne's spirit.[12] Depending on the player's progress throughout the game, the Fayth may revive Tidus so that she can reunite with him.[13][14] The game's HD Remastered version adds a new audio drama where Yuna becomes a part of the group called Yevoners, whose main temple is on Besaid. In the story, she breaks up with Tidus after telling him she loves somebody else before declaring she will fight the revived Sin once again.[15]

She also appears in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, an action game that features several Final Fantasy characters, as one of the characters to be summoned by the goddess Cosmos to participate in a war against her rival, Chaos. For this game, Yuna appears in her Final Fantasy X form, but sightly arranged to fit with the game's cast.[16] Additionally, she has an alternative design based on Yoshitaka Amano's illustration, and a wedding dress from Final Fantasy X.[17][18] Her Final Fantasy X-2 regular form was made available as downloadable content.[19] She also appears in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a warrior summoned by Cosmos's heir apparent, Materia, to take part in a war with her rival, Spiritus. However, Yuna is one of many characters summoned far away from the war and arrives well after its completion.

Outside the Final Fantasy series, Yuna appears in Kingdom Hearts II as a pixie along with Paine and Rikku. Bribed by Maleficent into spying on Leon's group, the pixies eventually switch sides after being abandoned by the witch and told of Sora's cause.[20] Yuna is also featured in the board game style video game Itadaki Street Special, appearing alongside Auron and Tidus,[21] and represents Final Fantasy X in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.[22]

Multiple figures and figurines of Yuna were produced by various manufacturers,[23] including a 2001 figure by Square.[24] A 2003 audio CD Final Fantasy X-2 Vocal Collections features performances by Mayuko Aoki, Marika Matsumoto and Megumi Toyoguchi, the voice actresses for Yuna, Rikku and Paine, respectively.[25][26][27][28]

Creation and development[edit]

According to Tetsuya Nomura, he based Yuna's overall design on hakama, a type of traditional Japanese clothing. Nomura said that after learning Yuna was to perform a dance called the "sending," he wanted to give her outfit something that would flow. For this reason, the specific type of kimono he chose for her was a furisode, a long-sleeved kimono.[29] Nomura also said that he adorned Yuna's dress and necklace with images of the hibiscus flower also called "yuna," and that her name carries the meaning of "night" (夕な) in Okinawan, establishing a contrast between her and the lead male protagonist of Final Fantasy X, Tidus, whose Japanese name (ティーダ) translates to "sun" (太陽) in Okinawan. This contrast is also represented in-game by items named for the sun and moon that empower Tidus' and Yuna's most powerful weapons. Nomura explains that while all these subtle details may be unneeded, he wanted his designs to have meaning behind them.[29]

Yuna's re-design for Final Fantasy X-2

The positive fan reaction to Final Fantasy X convinced the developers to continue Yuna's story and those of other characters with Final Fantasy X-2. Costume designer Tetsu Tsukamoto said that Yuna's radical design changes from one game to the other reflected a huge cultural change. Producer Yoshinori Kitase added that they did not want to make Final Fantasy X-2 feel like an extension of its predecessor, so they changed the clothing of Yuna, Rikku, and others' to make them seem more active. They accomplished this before creating the story and setting. Because Yuna, Rikku, and Paine live in a more carefree world, the designers wanted them to dress up, a feature that became key to the gameplay. Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima described her new outfit as a "natural reaction to the heavy stuff she wore in FFX." Yuna's singing performance was used to demonstrate the pop feel that the game incorporates.[30][31] Final Fantasy X director Motomu Toriyama said her personality was the result of not having her bear the responsibility of being a summoner anymore. He added that while "she could be seen as a completely different person, ... deep in her heart, she is the same old Yuna."[32]

In the games' Japanese versions, Yuna has been voiced by Mayuko Aoki.[1] Hedy Burress provides the character's voice in the English adaptations. Voicing Yuna, Burress remembers trying to translate Yuna's duty, respect, and honor and wanting to retain the gentleness and femininity of her character. When commenting on how the audiences would react to Final Fantasy X, Burress said that she wanted them to participate in the game itself and "transport them into a completely different world" through the voices.[33]


Yuna received positive critical acclaim for her appearance in Final Fantasy X. Chris Reiter of Gaming Target ranked her as the third best "PlayStation 2 babe", describing her as "the star heroine whose soft features, kindness, and her unique story makes her one of the better beauties to love."[34] In 2008, Chip ranked her as the 13th top "girl of gaming".[35] In 2012, Larry Hester of Complex ranked the original version of Yuna as the 20th "hottest" video game character yet.[36] That same year, Heath Hooker of GameZone ranked Yuna the ninth top Final Fantasy character, calling her "one of the strongest female characters in the entire Final Fantasy franchise" and stating "the depth of character Yuna presents to the player is unfathomable and is one reason why she lands on this list."[37] In 2013, Complex editors Michael Rougeau and Gus Turner listed Yuna at number 21 on the list of the greatest heroines in video game history.[38] The same publication later ranked Yuna as the sixth greatest Final Fantasy character of all time.[39] However, retrospectively called Yuna an underrated character and stated that she was overlooked due to Auron and Rikku.[40]

GamesRadar listed Yuna as one of the 25 best new characters of the 2000s, describing the romance between her and Tidus as "legendary" and Yuna herself as compassionate, generous and dutiful.[41] Yuna and Tidus were included on the list of "great loves" by Matthew Rorie of GameSpot in 2006,[42] while AJ Glasser of GamesRadar in 2008 listed them as the second best Square Enix couple.[43] Their kiss scene was declared as number two best in video games by Lisa Foiles of The Escapist,[44] and Yuna's abortive wedding with Seymour was also ranked as the third memorable matrimony in the history of PlayStation by Official PlayStation Magazine in 2014.[45]

Yuna's design change in Final Fantasy X-2 received a mixed reception.[41] Rob Wright of Tom's Hardware included her among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history.[46] Jeremy Dunham of IGN praised the clothing designs, combining "proven and recognizable Final Fantasy styles" with a "revealing neo-modern fashion sense", referencing her warrior costume as a stand-out, and also said that English voice actress Hedy Burress' performance sounded more comfortable as opposed to the previous game.[47] Brad Shoemaker of GameSpot praised Burress' voice acting, saying that it brought her fully to life in accordance with the other changes in the character.[48] The book Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes described Yuna's appearance as being a "sexy MTV video star", adding that it is a "lesson to girls that being brave, strong, and ready to fight can only last so long – the next adventure is fashion, boyfriends, and sex."[49] GameSpy's Raymond "Psylancer" Padilla called her "the video-game vixen of my dreams."[50] Christian Nutt, also of GameSpy, described Burress' portrayal of Yuna in X-2 as superb.[51] Various publications compared Yuna to other fictional characters, including the Charlie's Angels's Natalie Cook as portrayed by Cameron Diaz;[52][53][54] and Tomb Raider star Lara Croft, due to her attire and gun-wielding skills.[55] In 2008, GameDaily listed the Final Fantasy X-2 incarnation of Yuna as one of the top 50 hottest video game women, praising her revealing outfit as well as her alternate costumes.[56] That same year, she was ranked as the tenth on top Final Fantasy character by IGN, commenting that while her original appearance made her "fine eye-candy" and her sending scene was one of the best works by the CG studio Square Visual Works, it was the sequel that gave her more confidence and attitude, as well as "a gratuitously exploitative costume that ranks among the series' finest bits of fanboy-baiting."[57]

Negative response focused on the character's revealing clothes and singer areas which produced backlash enough from gamers to avoid labeling as an actual Final Fantasy game in contrast to previous more fitting heroes.[58][59] GameSpot felt that while her character feels rewritten, the caring parts from Yuna remain intact. However, GameSpot still felt the costumes were too skimpy.[60] Having criticized Hedy Burress's acting in the original game to the point that gamers feel the need of hearing to the Japanese acress, Eurogamer the actress improved her work. However, he felt that Yuna's characterization might come across as too cheesy not only due to the usage of her as a singer involving Jpop most notably the Spice Girls.[61] Similarly, GameSpy praised the improvement of Burress despite noticing poorlsyching. Yuna's quest to Tidus was noted to be a strong narrative to motivate players but he felt such potential was lost as Square instead focused the plot on a series of sidequests which lack appeal.[62] Gaming Age negatively compared the Gullwings with the film Charlie's Angels, panning the former for making as entire game unbearable especially when Yuna starts singing.[63] Despite having mixed feelings about Yuna's traits from X-2, Fanbyte panned Yuna's characterization from the audio drama Will for going back to her original persona, undoing any type of character arc the character went through.[64]

The character also gained a significant and enduring popularity among the gamer public, especially in Japan. Readers of Game Informer voted Yuna's relationship with Tidus as the best of 2001.[65] Yuna was voted the 10th most popular video game character in Japan in a 2008 Oricon poll,[66] as well as 16th in a similar poll by Famitsu 2010.[67] In a 2010 ASCII Media Works poll in which Japanese fans would vote whose video game or manga character would like to name their children after, Yuna came second in the female category.[68] In official Square Enix polls, Yuna was voted the third most commonly favorite female Final Fantasy character in 2013[69] and the most popular Final Fantasy heroine in 2014.[70] Yuna also placed 2nd in a NHK Grand Poll in 2020.[71]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ティーダとユウナがCD発売記念イベントを開催!!" (in Japanese). Famitsu. October 22, 2001. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Square (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X (PlayStation 2). Square EA. Level/area: Besaid. Lulu: The fayth are people who gave their lives to battle Sin. Yevon took their souls, willingly given from their still-living bodies. / Tidus: Huh? / Lulu: Now they live forever trapped in statues. But when a summoner beckons, the souls of the fayth emerge once again. That's what we call an aeon. / Tidus: All that in this room? S-So what's Yuna doing in there? / Wakka: She prays with all her heart for a way to defeat Sin.
  3. ^ Square (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.
  4. ^ Square (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X (PlayStation 2). Square EA. Level/area: Bikanel Island – Home. Rikku: The pilgrimages have to stop! If they don't, and they get to Zanarkand...they might defeat Sin. Yunie could...but then she... Yunie will die, you know?! You know, don't you? Summoners journey to get the Final Aeon. Yuna told you, didn't she? With the Final Aeon, she can beat Sin. But then...but then... If she calls it, the Final Aeon's going to kill her! Even if she defeats Sin, it will kill Yunie too, you know! / Tidus: Was I the only one who didn't know...?
  5. ^ Square (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.
  6. ^ Square (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X (PlayStation 2). Square EA. 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. / Yuna: Wait. You say it's your story, but it's my story, too, you know? It would be so let my fate just carry me away...following this same path my whole life through. But I know...I can't. What I do, I do...with no regrets.
  7. ^ Square (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X (PlayStation 2). Square EA. Level/area: Bevelle Temple. Tidus: We'll beat Yu Yevon. / Fayth: If you defeat Yu Yevon, it will end. Tell me, what do you know about Yu Yevon? / Tidus: He's what makes Sin come back! / Yuna: Sin is his armor. It protects him. / Fayth: Yu Yevon was once a summoner, long ago. He was peerless. Yet now he lives for one purpose: only to summon. [...] Even if you defeat[ed] Sin with the Final Summoning, Yu Yevon will live. Yu Yevon will join with the Final Aeon. He will transform it into a new Sin.
  8. ^ Square (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: I love you.
  9. ^ Square (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2: International + Last Mission (PlayStation 2). Square Enix. Level/area: Yadonoki Tower.
  10. ^ Square (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2 (PlayStation 2). Square Enix. Yuna [voiceover]: 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.
  11. ^ Square (2003-11-18). Final Fantasy X-2 (PlayStation 2). Square Enix. Shuyin: Lenne. We disappeared together, but when I awoke, I was alone. I looked for you for so long. While I wandered, I realized something: Spira hasn't really changed at all. Everyone's still fighting over nothing. Still dying like they used to. A thousand years have passed, and they can't leave the hatred behind. I'm through waiting. I'll fix it. This world continues to fail us, and what's worse, I failed to protect you. Vegnagun will make that all go away. And we'll fade together again, together. Help me do it, Lenne.
  12. ^ Square. Final Fantasy X-2. Shuyin: A thousand years, and this moment is all we get? / Lenne: This moment's enough. I don't need anything else. Just knowing how you feel is enough. Shuyin, let's end this. Let's go home. /Shuyin: Can we? / Lenne: That was all a thousand years ago. We've come too far to look back now. Rest, Shuyin. Rest with me. Let's go. I have a new song for you.
  13. ^ Square (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.
  14. ^ Square (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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  20. ^ Square Enix. Kingdom Hearts II. Yuna: Where's Maleficent? / Sora: Looks like she ran away. / ... / Sora: Umm, hey...if you're looking to pick sides, why don't you pick Leon's? They can always use help. / Yuna: Does this Leon have any treasure? / Donald: Yeah, lots of stuff! / Rikku: Perfect! /Paine: Come on. / Sora: Who ARE you? / Yuna: Oh, we're nothing worth mentioning. / Paine: Just three treasure fanatics.
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External links[edit]

  • Yuna at the Final Fantasy Wiki