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FelixSH

(He/Him)
You kinda have to take him out to the field once in a while so he doesn't whiff during his solo battle, though.
Not necessary. I played the game two times, never used him, and still had no trouble. I think the game either adjusts, or that part is really easy. Point is, you don't need to worry about this.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I've never really understood the seemingly widespread reticence in making Kimahri take part in the battle system of the game. It's a game limited to seven characters total, with on-the-fly swapping being effortless to do and encouraged by the mechanics--it just followed to make use of everyone without favouring or disregarding anyone. This may be an Expert Grid thing only, who knows, as that's all I've ever played, but you can easily move him to Wakka's path to pick up Dark Attack at the start, the most central tool of the latter, before swerving into Auron's path before Auron even is around, and then you have two great big sluggers for the rest of the game which always has straightforward practical value and some added utility from the brief diversion beforehand. This is what I do literally every time I play the game, so much that the dismissal of Kimahri as a perplexing blank slate doesn't even register anymore.
 

Destil

DestilG
(he/him)
Staff member
There's very few things in FFX I care to have two people do, and all of those I can do with Teleport Spheres.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Yeah, sometimes I wonder if Kihmari's blank slate status wasn't more of the designers not finding out a solid battle mechanic to specialize Kihmari on and then just throwing off their hands and deciding to make him a jack of all trades. It feels weird.

What I did is that I just teleported him around. Having a healer and haster that are not Yuna and Tidus helps sometimes, and there are a few useful tricks in his Blue Mage toolbox.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
like pokemon, the swapping is an intended and sometimes necessary element of play that takes enough inputs and time each use that i didn't try that hard to keep everyone up-to-date at a certain point. especially because i didn't like managing seven sphere grids either. though this is less "never use them" than "wait for a good opportunity to try and rubberband them back up"
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I just wanna see the numbers go up seven times over after every battle and move the orb cursor into the next orb slot and see more orb icons light up.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I didn’t use Kimhari in any of my FFX play throughs, despite him being a big kitty-bigfoot.

That should mean something, dangit!
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I know the Expert Grid lessens this but on the regular grid Kimahri's the guy you use when when you don't want to just shove the round peg into the round hole in the battle system. I made sure to keep him up to date 'cuz it's handy to have someone who can do things that another can.

Speaking of the Expert Grid it's a shame it doesn't turn off the "helpful" advice your companions give you that was designed with the original more fixed roles of the default grid in mind.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Listen. All the Kimahri hate makes me feel sad. I love the boye.

(I like Kihmari the character a lot too, but Kihmari the party member* sticks out like a sore thumb in a party where everybody has a speciality, and since he starts a few nodes behind the starting point of anybody, will never be as good at any job as any other character unless some grinding ins involved)

* classical Sphere grid version only

EDIT: Using inferior cover version because dammit, Youtube, let me just embed the original. Godamned copyright laws.
 
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gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
My theory on Kihmari is that conceptually... I almost don't want to use this phrase.. he's there for the Final Fantasy fans. Like, there is a bonkers level of customization available in many Final Fantasy games prior to 10: 6, 7, and 8 all had "magic systems" that could make any character a powerhouse slinging dual Ultimas, and Final Fantasy 5 had the job system that could equally turn Galuf into a berserker knight or white mage dancer. Final Fantasy 10 is very rigid by its "pokemon-esque" super effective gameplay, and the original set of sphere grids (not expert) basically says "Tidus will be Tidus for a loooong time". I can see Kihmari, complete with "blue magic", being the bone thrown to FF fans, or, to be precise, the people that wanted the "traditional" level of Final Fantasy customization. He's only one character, but you have FF5-esque control over his growth, and if that is something you wanted to see FF10's "system" allow you to do, there you go.

And, to be clear, I don't mean to imply that this was somehow included to (in modern parlance) "keep Twitter happy" or alike. Just likely a case where people who liked previous Final Fantasy games were making a Final Fantasy game, and said "hey, we have an extra catboy in the plot already, let's give him an interesting mechanic that harkens back to previous games."
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Yup, he's the free-for-all character for you to build how you want. Can you imagine a version of the game where he doesn't exists and there's only the six characters on prescribed paths? Can you imagine the forum posts? Can you imagine the teeth gnashing youtubes?

I don't think Square actually designed him to be a bulwark against a certain type of fan, but I do think they did want a character that had a less defined role than the rest of the cast and was more open to player expression. And if that doesn't always work out elegantly, well games are messy. X was innovating a bunch of new systems and a new way for an RPG to articulate. It was an experiment in a lot of ways. If Khimari is something of a loose cog that's fine. It's not like he undermines the entire machine.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I’m glad to know you can simply do whatever you want with him. I was concerned there was a certain path on the Sphere Grid I wasn’t seeing for him. Thanks, everybody.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
That's the great thing about Kimahri: his starting position on the Sphere Grid means you can do anything you want with him, such as leave him on the bench for the entire game.
I just want to say that this is one of my favorite things I've ever posted.

Actually, though, the best thing to do with Kimahri might be to sleep on him until you get a Teleport Sphere, at which point you can, for example, teleport him to Lulu, skip over the early spells, and make him a strictly better Lulu. But even then, you're leaving someone on the bench. The presence of a blank slate in a game where everyone else is highly specialized means that you're doubling up on exactly one of those roles. The setup of the not-Expert Sphere Grid (Beginner Sphere Grid?) makes it really easy for Kimahri to become a worse version of someone else.

And that's a shame, because Kimahri is both a good character and a blue mage, and those should make him a shoo-in.
 

4-So

Spicy
I never used Kimahri because the devs decided to lock blue magic, one of the best mechanics in the franchise, behind his Overdrive. Piss off with that. I rarely used Quistis in FF8 for the same reason.

Just let me use the blue magic.
 

aturtledoesbite

earthquake ace
(any/all)
You kinda have to take him out to the field once in a while so he doesn't whiff during his solo battle, though.
The stats of the opponents in that battle scale with Kimahri's own, so doing this isn't strictly necessary. You may want to anyway, however.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I can see Kihmari, complete with "blue magic", being the bone thrown to FF fans, or, to be precise, the people that wanted the "traditional" level of Final Fantasy customization. He's only one character, but you have FF5-esque control over his growth, and if that is something you wanted to see FF10's "system" allow you to do, there you go.

I can almost agree with this if not for the fact that, in order to fully customize, you'll need a lot of Teleport spheres to move him into different directions. He starts at the center of the grid, but once you set him on a path, he basically has to follow that path, same as the "class" characters do, unless you waste points backtracking to get him back to the center and have him go down another path... or if you teleport him there. Though I suppose Unlock spheres can also help.

Me, the first time I played I moved him down Rikku's path, so I could have a Thief before she joined permanently. Then I teleported him to Lulu's path so I could have a backup Black Mage for all the "You have to doublecast Ultimas for twenty rounds in a row" Monster Arena nonsense. Never again.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Lulu isn't especially good in the postgame. Quick Hit spam is the best damage outside of Overdrives. Of course, you can build Lulu to be a physical attacker, but her attack animation is painfully slow.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Listen. All the Kimahri hate makes me feel sad. I love the boye.

Just speaking for myself, I don't hate him at all. I love his design, and I like his personal story.

The problem for me is, that, like others mentioned, I never saw a way to make him into something specifically "him". He sort of has to become a copy of one of your other characters, and here I fail. I just don't like to have two times the same character. Like, I'm horribly bad at strategy games, because, instead of building stuff the way it makes sense, I want to have one of every building first. Was that way in Starcraft, was that way in Heroes of Might and Magic 3. One building after the other, I need everything. No doubles. So, Kimahri never had a chance. A shame - as I mentioned, I love his design. Ronso look so cool.

Also, the sphere grid is just intimidating to me. Every time I start the game, I take a look, and try to think of something interesting, but there is just too much stuff there. So I let everyone go their predestined way (except for Yuna, last time I gave her black magic, which works really well). Kimahri doesn't have one, and I just can't make a second character the same as another one. So, I just have nowhere to go with him.

I will try to use him, whenever I get to FF X.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Lulu isn't especially good in the postgame. Quick Hit spam is the best damage outside of Overdrives. Of course, you can build Lulu to be a physical attacker, but her attack animation is painfully slow.
Yep. The only character you really need post game is a Yuna who has traversed half the Sphere Grid and is wielding a 1MP weapon with Auto haste. Maybe a second character to shell her, in case something is quick enough to theretically get a hit in before she summons some Aeon to turn everything into a smoldering crater.

Disclaimer: I haven't tackled the optional bosses from the International versions, which I assume actually do require more than one character being overleveled.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Maybe a second character to shell her, in case something is quick enough to theretically get a hit in before she summons some Aeon to turn everything into a smoldering crater.

Ah, that's where First Strike comes in! :D

Seriously the only way I can deal with the Great Malboros in the Omega Ruins is to have Yuna at the top of the list, with a First Strike weapon, and have her summon an Aeon that can either tank the spit or no-sell the breath. Dang weeds have such high agility they usually get first turn and can destroy a party before it can even act.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I don't think Kimahri is diminished in any way by not having a niche of his own on the board. Even when following the path of another character, he still looks, sounds, animates like himself, has his own equipment and his own Overdrives--I don't think these are meaningless distinctions even if they're not primarily represented by hard numbers. The reason I take him on Auron's path is not just because I like having another beefy physical fighter, but because they have history together and complement each other as the guardians they've sworn to be. It's as much about that final walkoff where Auron acknowledges that connection with a gentle backhand against Kimahri's chest as it is about fulfilling a mechanical quota.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Oh yeah, Kim's Overdrives. I... honestly think relegating Blue Magic to Overdrives hurts both the concept, and the unique skill he brings to the table? Some Blue Magic ODs are powerful all around, but the vast majority of them are not worth building up a whole Overdrive bar for, especially for a skill like the kick that punts an enemy into the distance, anime-style, but that over half the enemies are immune to. And since getting the Overdrive is already its own mini-quest (and many can be missed) having to put an additional barrier to execution kinda negates their utility.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Sending Khimari down either Wakka's or Auron's or maybe Tidus's path made sense to me in the one or two times I played FFX. Khimari tends to get weapons with Piercing on 'em, so getting him a skillset that lets him hit stuff seemed intuitive enough.

But thinking about it more all his overdrives probably count as magic, so if he's gonna use those I guess putting him down the Yuna or Lulu path also makes sense. I dunno, like Zef said they didn't seem to be much worth relying on, so apart from Mighty Guard I think I mostly ignored them.
 
Actually, though, the best thing to do with Kimahri might be to sleep on him until you get a Teleport Sphere, at which point you can, for example, teleport him to Lulu, skip over the early spells, and make him a strictly better Lulu. But even then, you're leaving someone on the bench. The presence of a blank slate in a game where everyone else is highly specialized means that you're doubling up on exactly one of those roles. The setup of the not-Expert Sphere Grid (Beginner Sphere Grid?) makes it really easy for Kimahri to become a worse version of someone else.

On the Normal Grid it's pretty easy for him to double up on both Rikku and Lulu's roles, which makes him very useful due to the the Paint By Numbers style of the battle system (where each character can generally either one-shot a particular type of enemy or is completely useless against it) for basically everywhere in the main game except for the final dungeon and presumably the post-game. If you do this, he ends up learning Steal a little before Rikku joins and spends most of the game as a version of Lulu who gets spells earlier, does more damage with the same spells when she finally catches up to him, is not as squishy, and has better overdrives. (This is because you don't have to even sleep on him and teleport to Lulu, there's just a path for him to jump to an area of Lulu's path that will take her much longer to reach. You have to use one of the limited unlock spheres to do open this up for him, but who else needs it?) It's extremely convenient when you run into a random battle that would normally require two Rikku turns or two Lulu turns to one-shot their respective enemy types.

Presumably if you want to play the post game this is a bad idea because physical damage is where it's at in the end, but... I don't want to play the post game, so having an improved Lulu who can also steal is great. And because he's an improved Lulu it keeps Black Magic just viable enough to continue working throughout the main game, while with actual Lulu you're probably going to bench her anyway...
 
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R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
Okay, reading here that physical damage is the way to go at the end sounds absurd to me. Whenever I need to dish out serious damage, I have to either summon or use Lulu‘s Black Magic. What changes?
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Speed, mostly. When you approach max speed, anything that takes longer than Attack is no longer worthwhile.

The way I understand it, there's a fixed delay imposed by the action itself and then there's a delay added to it that scales with your Speed.
 
FFX's damage formula is cubic with respect to strength and quadratic with respect to magic. Spells have higher damage multipliers to make up for that, which keeps them even with physical attacks, if not better, during the story, but with strength and magic both maxed out, a normal attack will do a lot more than any spell. On top of that, there's an ability learned later in the game that does the damage of a normal attack and lets you act again sooner. On top of that, each character gets a unique weapon in the postgame that ignores defense. There are a few postgame fights where magic is useful, but it does fall behind in general.
 
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