The Other Side

Final Fantasy X was a game with an extremely detailed world because much love, dedication and thought was put into it. As such, a disk titled The Other Side of Final Fantasy was packaged along with it, so that players would recognize the staff's dedication. On this disk some subjects relevant to this site were discussed.
The Other Side of Final Fantasy DVD Menu

Language Design

Spira, Yevon and Al Bhed have their own sets of fonts used throughout the game, in backgrounds or even clothing. This was a unique touch as some symbols often had two meanings and were always placed just-so. Various staff teams had to ensure that proper usage of the languages was coordinated across the game's design.
"One thing I noticed while working on the Final Fantasy film and while working on games is the importance of pre-production scenarios, concept art and world.

Work with several ideas and take your time in selecting just one concept during this process. It's important to stay focused on that concept in order to create something impressive."

          –Hironobu Sakaguchi
If one looks closely, one can read all of the words which appear in the game as they are in English. As an example, "Salvage Dream Cid" is written on many of the Al Bhed technology we come across such as the airship and Home. One of the more obvious examples is how the rotating disc on the airship says "Wind Bless You" during FMVs. The Crusaders' markings say Bravery on the right and Wisdom on the left. Temples also have the Spiran letter/element representative of the Summon predominantly placed.

Tetsuya Takahashi designed the Yevon script while Masahiro Dairaku designed the Spira script. The fonts were loosely modeled after English text, whereas Yevon script was made from scratch. The spoken Al Bhed in the japanese version was a clever use of rearranged consonants (only possible with Japanese language). It was so clever that it could actually be learnt and spoken normally with practice. The English compromised by creating made-up sounds for the words; to keep up with the ability to rearrange letters.

Version Changes

Quite a few changes occurred during the localization of FFX. In fact, so many changes occurred which made FFX in English a completely different world, both as a story and as a game. In many cases, such as with Seymour, the chosen voice actor changed the character completely.

Regardless, people from outside of Japan were also involved in the making of the original Japanese game. In fact, some of the original ideas for character movements were changed before the game was finished, as they had inappropriate meanings to non-Japanese. One would be the Yevon greeting, originally it looked like someone 'flipping the bird'!

Most of the changes from the Japanese game to the English were chosen to give a 'cool' historic sound to the words and titles used among the characters. In the Japanese version, Guards were simply called "Guard" but the English version renamed them to "Guardians" and "Sir" was placed in front of names, as English speakers associate this with Knights.
Zanarkand Dome Concept Art Zanarkand Dome Concept Art
Aeons in the PAL German version were Bestia (in keeping with FF9's vocabulary), Farplane became Abyssum, Fayth became Asthra (from the word Astral - which is not too far off, because FFXI calls the strong Summon Ability "Astral Flow"), Sending became Segnen (to bless). There were too many changes to list, but the selections were unique and fitting.

With so many changes in items, places and names, dialogue was changed drastically as well. Even one of the most important, final lines in the game spoken by Yuna was changed. A sorrowful "thank you", ありがとう, which had meaningful layers of ambiguity became a hopeful "I love you". This was possibly to tie in with the hope that she can meet him again.

The dialogue in the English and PAL version give the feeling that Yevon is based on Catholicism and the Catholic Church. While the Yevon religion can seem comparable to it and many other religions, the PAL and English versions play on the Roman Catholic similarities even further.

What is Sin?

Scenario director Kazushige Nojima gave a small explanation of what Sin symbolized to him.
"If I were to exaggerate, I would compare it to the obstacles encountered in life, and giving up without overcoming them when faced with them directly. This of course differs for each person but it can be compared to something along those lines.

When I explain Sin to people, they say it's easy to understand when it's compared to a typhoon. In a deeper sense, I'm sure this analogy also applies."

          –Kazushige Nojima
Song of Prayer Princess Summoning End