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Final Fantasy 10 is an incredibly important game in the history of video games because it was the first title to truly bring us into the next generation of gaming with the PS2.
It is also the game that introduced a lot of people to the series in the same way Final Fantasy 7 did 3 years prior and remains one of the most talked-about in the lengthy Final Fantasy series even to this day.
I experienced Final Fantasy 10 when it was first released over 20 years ago, and while I admittedly still place it behind a few games in the series like Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 7, it’s still an incredible game with a thought-provoking story that feels so much different than any Final Fantasy game that came before it.
The unique atmosphere that the game created, mixed with the awesome characters and engaging villains, made it a joy to play through and the tragic and powerful tale that’s told is still up there as one of the best videogame stories I’ve ever experienced.
One of the most interesting parts of Final Fantasy 10 is Yu Yevon. He is a figure of mystery for much of the game but ends up being incredibly important to the game as a whole as he is secretly the one who caused the events of the game to unfold.
What makes it more interesting is that Yu Yevon isn’t a purely evil character either and has some legitimate motivations for acting as he does. We’re going to explore everything there is to know about this mysterious character in Final Fantasy 10. Let’s begin our Yu Yevon guide by looking at Yevon’s background.
Yu Yevon’s Background
Yu Yevon is mentioned in passing in the early going of Final Fantasy 10, but you never get more than a brief amount of information about him until the ending hours of the game.
Yu Yevon is the initial leader of the city of the ancient city of Zanarkand. He is also the father of Lady Yunalesca and the creator of Sin, the main antagonist throughout the game.
Yu Yevon was a powerful summoner over a thousand years ago and the leader of Zanarkand at the time it was at war with Bevelle, the technologically advanced nation that wielded weapons far beyond the means of those of the Zanarkand army.
Yu Yevon sensed that his city was doomed and refused to let it be destroyed; in his desperation, he convinced the citizens of Zanarkand to turn themselves into Fayth, which removed the souls from the bodies of the citizens and stored them in statues.
Using the power from this ritual, Yu Yevon summoned and perfect version of Zanarkand during its peak of power and used the Fayth to maintain this fake version of Zanarkand.
Yu Yevon gathered the Pyreflies that resulted from the Fayth and used it to create a powerful form of armor for himself. That armor became the creature known as Sin, which was a sentient being under Yu Yevon’s control.
Under Yu Yevon’s control, Sin was given the command to destroy any machine or any city or nation that was progressing too far technologically. The first move from Sin following these orders was to destroy the actual Zanarkand.
This was done to strike fear and terror into the invading Bevelle forces, and it worked to perfection as they reported the news of the monster Sin the world over.
Not much is known from Yu Yevon’s early years, as he is only known as being
Yu Yevon’s Goals
Yu Yevon is told to be neither good nor evil to Tidus by the Fayth, who maintained the Dream Zanarkand. He is instead an obsessive leader who has remained immortal due to one single thing. His unwillingness to let Zanarkand fall
Yu Yevon had a family before his grand plan was put into motion, though, so before he did it, he let his lone daughter, Yunalesca know of his plans to essentially turn himself into a monster and gave her a failsafe of sorts if Sin got out of control.
That failsafe is that every time a summoner fulfills their pilgrimage to destroy Sin, the Aeon that they summon will be possessed by Yu Yevon and be used to rebuild Sin.
This rebuilding period became known as the Calm, during which the nations of the world would rebuild their power and technology in the wake of Sin’s destruction, unknowing that the rebuilding of this technology would be the cause of Sin’s arrival once again.
Religion of Yevon
After Yu Yevon’s disappearance, the religion of Yevon begins across the world, helped spread by Lady Yunalesca, believing that her father was doing good by the world in his sacrifice to become Sin.
Thus, people the world over became fiercely loyal to this religion, not realizing that they were praying to the very person responsible for the death and destruction of their world.
Yevonites began spreading the world over, creating an almost universal religion, showing the mastery of Yu Yevon’s original plan. The Ronso and Guado are followers as well, though the Guado are the most recently converted. The only race of people in the world that go against the religion of Yevon are the Al Bhed, who are viewed as rebels and heretics.
The Al Bhed are the most technologically advance of the nations, and because of that, they are viewed essentially as pagans by the Church of Yevon. The church believes that the use of such technology is a curse to their world, and according to Sin’s original purpose, they are very right.
The Church of Yevon is respected the world over, but each region is ruled on its own. The control of the church is done via Maesters, who is referred to as the Four Masters of Yevon.
The Grand Maester is the main leader at the top and, during the events of Final Fantasy 10, has been in the position for 50 years. These Masters are treated as elites in this world, and their reach extends to military matters as well.
Although Yu Yevon’s plan seemed farfetched at first, learning more about it makes the whole thing somewhat understandable to a fiercely caring leader. The Dream Zanarkand was essentially Yu Yevon’s dream of a utopia version of Zanarkand, which was not at all in that shape when Sin was first created.
This Dream Zanarkand became powered by the memories of the Fayth who sacrificed their lives to create it. The city was then moved out to sea, a long way from anywhere in the known world. Yu Yevon created Sin in order to protect the Dream Zanarkand.
The thought is that by destroying civilizations that get too technologically advanced, the less curious they would be to explore far into the sea and eventually find the utopia that is Dream Zanarkand.
Yu Yevon’s Death, Sin Unleashed
Yu Yevon strived to become immortal in order to keep his dream of Yu Yevon alive, but in the process, he slowly lost his humanity. As a summoner, the strain to create Sin as well as maintain an entire city was too much for one man to do, and the result was the essential death of Yu Yevon.
Despite his death, though, his instincts remained to keep Dream Zanarkand alive as well as Sin. As soon as Yu Yevon’s human body was dissolved, Sin immediately returned to its first true purpose, to destroy Zanarkand in order to drive fear into the army of Bevelle.
Following Yu Yevon’s disappearance from the inside of Sin, Sin begins to act without reason. Although initially meant to destroy nations that got too technologically advanced, without the humanity of Yu Yevon driving it, Sin becomes a force of destruction without purpose, seemingly attacking anywhere that has large gatherings of people, whether they are technologically advanced or not.
Yu Yevon’s Daughter, Lady Yunalesca, and The Final Summoning
Following the disappearance of Yu Yevon, Lady Yunalesca became the first of the summoners to start the cycle of defeating Sin. In this brilliant scheme, Yu Yevon made it so that only small groups would ever try to defeat Sin, and each group would provide him with an Aeon he could absorb to rebuild Sin during the period of Calm.
Lady Yunalesca provided the blueprint on how to defeat Sin, and by having legions of summoners then turn her into an icon, they began a cycle that would effectively keep Sin from ever being defeated for good.
What is never fully explained to the summoners in the process of the Final Summoning, which you must perform in order to finish off Sin. During this process, of the people who accompany the summoner on the pilgrimage, one will be chosen who has a powerful bond with the summoner to become the summoner’s Final Aeon.
The Final Summoning effectively destroys Sin by uniting the Final Aeon and summoner, but despite that, Yu Yevon manages to survive because he then absorbs that Final Aeon every time to create another version of Sin.
Even further to secure Sin’s constant existence is the fact that with each merge of Yu Yevon and the Final Aeon, the summoner dies, making sure that no information about the Final Summoning can be passed back to the world to warn them about what the summoner will face.
Lady Yunalesca avoided death by remaining unsent, slowly mutating her over time, but her presence remains integral for the process of the pilgrimages by the summoners to continue.
Because of Yunalesca being the first to perform the Final Summoning, she gave up her life in the process but remained unsent due to Yu Yevon’s control over the Fayth and remained in the world in the Zanarkand Dome, where she awaits to meet all summoners at the end of their pilgrimage.
Her Final Aeon was her husband Zaon, who unknowingly was pulled into her and her father’s plot.
Her first defeat of Sin is what caused the creation of the Church of Yeon. The religion then began to create falsehoods that Yunalesca knew to be untrue, yet she went along with them anyway in order to keep her father’s name being worshipped.
Yunalesca remains in Zanarkand Dome in order to explain the Final Summoning to the summoner and her guardians. If the summoner refuses, much like Yuna does in Final Fantasy 10, Yunalesca then attempts to kill them.
During Final Fantasy 10, Auron reveals he is one who refused to be part of the Final Summoning and was killed by Yunalesca, only kept alive by the Fayth in order to guide Tidus towards his final goal.
Yunalesca remains in the temple until Yuna, and her guardians all refuse the Final Summoning task and defeat her, and send her to her death finally. This broke a millennium of summoners attempting to stop Sin once and for all and losing their lives in the process that Yu Yevon counted on from the very start.
The party of Final Fantasy 10 fights Lady Yunalesca in one of the more difficult battles of the game after they infiltrate the exceedingly complex Zanarkand Dome. Her death ensures the end of the cycle of summoners and guardians dying for her father, Yu Yevon, to continue dreaming of a perfect Zanarkand.
The Lie of Yevon
Yu Yevon’s religion spread throughout the land without him knowing, as his humanity had long been lost at that point, but the religion of Yevon seized immense power throughout the land of Spira.
The Church of Yevon becomes all-powerful in military, spiritual, and even civil matters as well, holding an incredibly large amount of control over many of the provinces of Spira and encapsulates the majority of the races there as well.
The teachings of the temple imply that Yu Yevon was once a great and powerful summoner from Zanarkand who fought Sin and then taught his daughter how to fight Sin as well.
Sin is taught to be a creature that was cursed upon the world due to mankind starting the Machina War. This, of course, was a lie being perpetrated by those who longed to keep Yevon in power.
For 600 years, no one was able to defeat Sin, and doubt began to enter the minds of those who followed the Church of Yevon. One of those who doubted it was the priest Omega, who was promptly killed by the church for speaking out against the religion.
He was not allowed to be sent and slowly mutated into a hateful being and, eventually, a powerful fiend known as Omega.
The first summoner to defeat Sin was Gandalf, likely because he was the first who accepted Yunalesca’s instructions in the Zanarkand Dome. This caused faith in the church to return, and it would remain that way for hundreds of more years.
The lies of the Church of Yevon would become exposed by Yuna’s friends during Final Fantasy X, where she finds out the priests of Yevon have known for a long time that Sin cannot be defeated and that the Grand Maester is a liar and an unsent being himself.
The lie of Yevon and the Maesters and Priests who perpetuated it becomes exposed, with their complete control over Spira being the pillar that caused them to lie to the populace for so long.
The lie finally is exposed after the defeat of Sin, where the years and years of falsehoods told by the church get exposed by the church as the Maesters of Yevon all disappear following the defeat of Sin for the final time.
Yu Yevon in Final Fantasy 10
As an antagonist of the game, Yu Yevon never actually appears in the game. His teachings are everywhere, and the Church of Yevon dominates Spira, but the man himself is nowhere to be found or even seen.
Yu Yevon spends the entirety of the game inside Sin. It is thought that due to Jecht being the Final Aeon that Yu Yevon last absorbed and Yevon perishing from the mortal world shortly after, that Jecht has some control over Sin and is constantly using Sin to attack Tidus’s party because he wants Tidus to end it once and for all.
Yu Yevon represents the final challenge the party faces in Final Fantasy 10. With Braska’s Final Aeon in the form of a severely mutated Jecht defeated, Sin’s armor is shattered and exposed. After its defeat, Yu Yevon proceeds to possess each one of your Aeons in the form of Dark Aeons in order to try and defeat you with one last effort.
After defeating the Dark Aeons, Yuna and her part encounter Yu Yevon. His appearance is nothing more than a strange symbol that resembles a crab with an angel-like design of the Church of Yevon on the front of it, symbolizing what Yu Yevon believes himself to be through keeping Dream Zanarkand alive for a thousand years.
The final boss fight against Yu Yevon has the party facing off against Yu Yevon and two Yu Pagodas on top of Sin. Yu Yevon attacks the party with high damage magic spells, but regardless of the damage he causes you, the entire party is protected by an Auto-Life spell, so regardless if he kills you or not, you will revive.
The Auto-Life spell is revealed to be cast by the Fayth, who are simply tired of dreaming of Zanarkand and wish to finally rest. The party defeats Yu Yevon with ease, who, without his armor of Sin, is nothing more than a simple fiend with nothing more to live for now that Yunalesca is gone and the lie of Yevon discovered the world over.
Sin and Jecht
Sin is a complex force in Final Fantasy 10, and its motivations seem to be completely glued to the will of Yu Yevon.
Originally created as a way to protect Yu Yevon as he dreamt of Dream Zanarkand, as well as to stop civilizations from ever becoming too technologically advanced to discover this utopia, once Yu Yevon loses his humanity, all that remains is his initial directive, which was to summon Dream Zanarkand and recreate Sin anytime it is defeated.
With Yu Yevon housed inside Sin but no longer fully in control, Sin began to act out of control as well, no longer following the directive of destroying technologically advanced nations but rather to just attack haphazardly, with a particular focus being on Tidus’s party.
Sin isn’t known to attack just people, but rather cities and the people that are killed in the process are just casualties of its ultimate goal, to destroy the technology. As Yu Yevon loses control of himself and his humanity, Sin essentially gets put on auto-pilot.
The key to Sin during the iteration you find him in Final Fantasy 10, though, is the presence of Jecht within him. Unbeknownst to Tidus, his father is the driving force within Sin’s core as he was Braska’s Final Aeon. Once Yu Yevon loses his control over Sin, Jecht slowly starts to steer Sin in the direction of Tidus.
Never before did Sin appear to have a vendetta against a particular people, and all of a sudden, Tidus and Yuna are constantly in his sights.
Now, you could say that its Sin attacking an airship because, with said airship, you could theoretically find the Dream Zanarkand, and that is why Sin was created, to begin with, but due to Auron’s presence, who had already fought with Sin during Braska’s pilgrimage, it is more likely that Auron and Jecht were trying to work together to get Tidus and Yuna to end Sin once and for all.
Yu Yevon’s Hypocrisy
What is strange about Yu Yevon is that his goal is to create a world where there is no technology too advanced so that a war like the one he participated in against Bevelle doesn’t ever happen again. While this thought process is understandable because it threatened Yu Yevon’s perfect dream civilization, the city of Zanarkand.
This ideal, though, completely conflicts with the fact that not only was Zanarkand an incredibly technologically and magically advanced city, but so is the existence of Dream Zanarkand, which you can see at the beginning of the game strongly resembles a modern city in more ways than one.
Yu Yevon’s true dream, whether he intended it or not, was to have Zanarkand and specifically Dream Zanarkand be the only technologically advanced city in the world.
This is basically his bid for ultimate power, despite framing it as a way to keep his beloved city alive for all eternity. When the cost of such a thing is the death of millions and the destruction of countless nations, how benevolent is this really?
Why Does Yu Yevon Direct Sin to Destroy Dream Zanarkand?
One of the most confusing parts of Yu Yevon’s plans in Final Fantasy 10 revolve around the initial destruction of Dream Zanarkand in the opening moments of the game. If Yu Yevon’s goal is to keep the Dream Zanarkand from being destroyed, then why destroy it?
There are a few reasons why this might have happened. The first has to do with Yu Yevon having his human form dissipate shortly after using Jecht as his Final Aeon to build Sin out of.
Jecht, of course, saw the truth of the Final Summoning and knew that Auron faced off against Yunalesca following their battle against Sin, and he and Auron were able to communicate through them both being Fayth. Thus began the plan to break Tidus out of the Dream Zanarkand.
With this plan in motion, Sin had to attack Dream Zanarkand in order to get Tidus on the path to meet up with Yuna in order to join her on the pilgrimage to take down Sin.
The other theory around this attack revolves around the fact that with Dream Zanarkand being a living and breathing city where people age and live and die, their technology evolved to the point where Sin recognized it as being too powerful to be allowed to continue.
The main directive of Yu Yevon was always to destroy any technologically enhanced city, and ironically, Dream Zanarkand ended up fitting the bill and being a perfect target for Sin to destroy.
Question: Is Yu Yevon Alive During Final Fantasy 10?
Answer: Technically, Yu Yevon is alive in spirit during Final Fantasy 10. His consciousness controls Sin, but only through the ordering of a single objective which is to keep Dream Zanarkand alive while reincarnating Sin after each of its defeats.
Question: Does Sin Return in Final Fantasy X-2?
Answer: It is suggested that the Eternal Calm that takes place in Final Fantasy 10 does not last for the eternity it would suggest, and that Sin rises again. Despite this, Sin is not in Final Fantasy X-2, although it is alluded to on occasion.
Question: What Happens to the Fayth After Sin is Destroyed?
Answer: When Sin is destroyed, the Fayth remains; however, when Yu Yevon is destroyed, the Fayth cease to exist and instead are sent onward to the Farplane.
This causes summoners to no longer be able to summon Aeons and brings about the Eternal Calm. It also causes both Auron and Tidus to disappear, as Auron is an unsent guardian and Tidus is a dream of the Fayth. Once the Fayth stopped dreaming, Tidus stopped existing.
Final Fantasy 10 is one of the best games in the series, and while most of the Final Fantasy series introduces us to enigmatic villains, Final Fantasy 10 has its most fascinating villain behind the scenes. Yu Yevon, nevertheless, is such an interesting character that’s explored primarily through backstory in the game.
That backstory ends up being crucial to the overall plot, and his reveal as the one behind all the chaos taking place in the game is among the most interesting twists the series has ever seen. Hopefully, you learned a bit more about this underrated villain in Final Fantasy 10.