Illustrated Guide to the world of Spira (FFX and FFX-2)/Ethnic
Most intelligent beings in Spira belong to one of the 5 Humanoid races that inhabit the planet. The exception are the Cactuars that are intelligent, talking cacti that can even move around Spira during certain phases of their life stages. The Cactuar have been the protectors of Bikanel Desert for many generations.
Humanoids in Spira belong to one of the following 5 sentient races: Ronso, Hypello, Guado, Al Bhed and Humans. Among Spira's regular humans there are several small ethnic subgroups that share some distinctive clothing and/or physical traits.
A segregated branch of regular human beings, rather than a different species altogether, the Al Bhed appear in Final Fantasy X and its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2. Because of their use of forbidden "machina" (machines), they are viewed with suspicion by the Yevonite majority of humans often described as "Al Bhed haters". The Al Bhed are also the only group in Spira who openly oppose the Teachings of Yevon, specifically the ban on machina and the use of the Final Summoning.
For these reasons, they are often ostracized by the rest of the population, and have been the victims of persecution in the past, including an attack by Yevonites that scattered the entire race across Spira until recent history when they were reunited under the leadership of Cid (shown at right). However, some Al Bhed have still managed to find acceptance, most notably Rin, who operates a chain of travel agencies throughout the world of Spira. They are even allowed to participate in the Yevon-sponsored Blitzball tournaments.
Al Bhed are physically set apart from Yevonites by their bright green eyes with spiral-patterned pupils. As a result, they often wear goggles so they can walk among Yevonites (however, somewhat ironically, these goggles stand out more than the actual green eyes themselves). Another mark of the Al Bhed race is that they all have blond hair. In Japanese media, blond hair is often used to identify a foreigner. As a result, a common character design appears throughout Japanese media of a dark-skinned, blond-haired (gaijin, 外人?) (foreigner).
Therefore, the fact that all Al Bhed are blond is an indication that they are separated from the red-haired and brunette Yevonite population, which many feel could be seen as an allegory for the racism that Japanese society once held -- and, arguably, still holds -- toward foreigners. The Al Bhed also possess their own Al Bhed language, which is a fictional language that is spoken only by the Al Bhed people themselves. Although it seems at first like a foreign language, it is actually a Substitution cipher, a system of transposing certain letters for others. It shares the same syntax and grammar of English and can be translated here
In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, the Ronso are a race of blue-furred lion-like humanoids who live on Mt. Gagazet, which they consider sacred and guard fiercely. Ronso are formidable warriors, being very tall and amazingly strong, and are known for their strong sense of honor and loyalty, as well as their pride and quickness to anger. The long, sharp horn sported by all adult male Ronso is a symbol of esteem and a source of great pride to the wearer, and to lose this horn is considered extremely shameful. Kimahri Ronso, one of Yuna's guardians in Final Fantasy X, is something of an outsider among his people, being of comparatively small stature and having previously lost his horn in a fight with one of his peers.
Near the end of Final Fantasy X, Seymour Guado ravaged through Mt. Gagazet and killed all in his path in pursuit of Yuna. He killed many Ronso in his ascent up the slope, including Maester Kelk Ronso (the current elder) as well as Biran and Yenke Ronso (Kimahri's long-time rivals whom he had just recently defeated). After the start of the Eternal Calm, Kimahri returned to Gagazet to help rebuild his home and restore his people's honor. He was named elder of the tribe by his kinsmen, and has been on Gagazet ever since. But the events of Seymour's destruction cause sparks of hatred and plans of revenge among the recovering Ronso tribe.
Filled with hatred for the slaughter of their people, the Ronso youth despised the Guado, whom they felt were responsible for supporting Seymour as their leader. During Final Fantasy X-2, a young Ronso named Garik assembles his fellow kinsmen for an attack against the Guado, but he is thwarted in his plans of rebellion by the Gullwings when he goes to get Gagazet's "blessing".
Confused and angry, Garik demands Kimahri what path there is for the tribe; but Kimahri has no answer, and Garik rejects him as their leader. But through the experiences of young Lian and Ayde (who had just traveled Spira in a vain attempt to fix Kimahri's horn), Kimahri saw the Ronso must experience all of Spira to continue their path. And thus, after proving to Garik that violence doesn't answer anything, the Ronso elder decides his tribe must first learn of the rapidly-changing Spira to decide the fate of their race.
Guado are an arboreal humanoid race inhabiting Spira, the world of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. They are set apart by their long limbs and fingers, pale green skin, and wild blue-green hair. They are the keepers of the entryway to the Farplane, where the images of the dead appear. The Guado were converted to Yevon by their leader, Jyscal Guado (later appointed a Maester of Yevon), but were ironically led down the path of ruin by Jyscal's own son, the megalomaniacal Seymour Guado.
After Sin was destroyed, the Guado, despised by the rest of Spira for their allegiance to Seymour, abandoned their ancestral city of Guadosalam and took up residence in the dying forest of Macalania. Depending on the player's actions in Final Fantasy X-2, the Guado may gain the courage to return to their home, where Jyscal and Seymour's former vizier Tromell assumes leadership among his people and proceeds to repair the Guado's image and their relations with the rest of Spira.
Hypello are a docile, amphibious race in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. They have blue skin and a characteristic manner of speaking which makes most of their speech sound slurred. The Hypello live primarily in and around the area of the Moonflow and usually work as Shoopuf handlers or captains aboard the Shoopuf ferries. Though extremely quick and agile swimmers, they are curiously the only race in Spira that does not participate in blitzball tournaments. Hypello river crossing service: 1, 2, 3, 4.
The Cactuar are intelligent, talking Cacti that appear in the games Final Fantasy X and its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2. They go through several life stages, including one where they are small mobile cacti.
In Spira we have the regular, run of the mill, humanoid person or animal that can be killed or die of natural causes, but we also have several "magical" classes of beings. There are 2 types of immortal beings that look, move and talk like an humanoid species yet are not alive and can not die: The Unsent and the Fayth. All 5 humanoid races when deceased can become either one, depending on how much skill and help they get. There are also 2 classes of magical fauna in Spira: the helpful Aeons and the aggressive Fiends.
Lenne is an unsent.
Apparently any humanoid with very intense emotions can manage to stay behind in Spira in a shadow form that is called "unsent". Unlike ghosts, most unsent are virtually indistinguishable from live humanoids. The powers and the level of skill of each unsent seem to vary with their "age", i.e., with the time they have been unsent, and with whether or not the unsent had magical training or had been a summoner during his life. Examples of unsent characters are: Yunalesca, Maechen, Shuyin and Lenne...
The Fayth are the souls of the people who willingly underwent a ritual that removed their souls from their still-living bodies and sealed into stone tablets. This technique of creating Fayth is known only by those from Zanarkand. The purple hooded boy that talks often to Yuna and Tidus is Bahamut's Fayth.
Aeons are the "physical-forms" the Summoners give to the Fayth's dreams. Aeons resemble large animals or figures from Earth's mythology. There are a total of 8 Aeons in Final Fantasy X. After Yuna defeated Sin the eons were no longer available for Summoning but still returned in FFX2 as "Dark Aeons" who attacked Yuna and her friends.