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In Final Fantasy X, just as Tidus and Wakka enter Besaid, Wakka pulls Tidus back and confirms if he knows the prayer. After showing it to him Tidus's inner monologue says:

Any Blitzball Player would know that Prayer, that Prayer was the Blitzball Sign for Victory

and we can confirm this at the beginning when Tidus promises a group of kids to teach them how to Blitz and they give him the prayer.

However, later we learn the Zanarkand Tidus came from was actually a dream world created by the Faith on Mt. Gagazet, it also seem that the Faith in the temples can also go to this world as we see the Bahamut Faith appear at the beginning and also in Tidus's flashbacks

and also when the truth about Yu Yevon is revealed, visiting the other Faith has them confirm they too are dreaming the Dream Zanarkand

But I am wondering, was the Yevon Prayer created from the Blitzball Sign for Victory after Zanarkand was destroyed or is the Blitzball Sign for Victory just the Yevon Prayer that was added to Dream Zanarkand by Bevelle/Yevon centric Faith?

  • should this be a question for gaming.stackexchange.com ? I don't think there are any manga/anime series in the FFX universe – Toshinou Kyouko Nov 5 '14 at 17:38
  • @ToshinouKyouko JRPGs are still on-topic so long as it's about the plot. while plot/lore based question are also on-topic on Arquade i see good ones get downvoted in my opinion for no reason because from what i read there are some people on Arquade who just don't like them, so any JRPG question of plot/lore i ask here while most other games on Sci Fi (because most are sci fi anyway). also there's Final Fantasy X: Eternal Calm which you could put on the same line as Advent Children: Final Fantasy VII and there are the Novella and Ultimania though i don't know if any was released for X – Memor-X Nov 5 '14 at 21:26
  • I did a bit of meta-digging & Videogames on their own are allowed if they are "anime-styled", not just JRPGs - meta.anime.stackexchange.com/a/418/1530 - I suppose FF fits under that category, and unless anyone else has an issue, I'm guess I'm relatively okay with it staying open :) – Toshinou Kyouko Nov 5 '14 at 21:37
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As @Kai has mentioned, it is ambiguous and you'll have to make your own judgement call. I've written down a good chunk of information that may convince you either way.

Disclaimer: I believe it is blitzball which came first, but I have tried to make this balanced

Timeline:

  • 1000 Years Ago: Machina War, Destroyal of Old Zanarkand
  • End of Machina War: Creation of Dream Zanarkand, Sin
  • In-game Present Day: Tidus leaves his home, Dream Zanarkand

When the Machina war neared the end, it was clear that it was being dominated by Bevelle thanks to the help of their machina Vegnagun. Yu Yevon was on the side of Zanarkand (Anti-Machina) who were slowly being destroyed.

In order to preserve the city, Yu Yevon turned the remaining citizens of old Zanarkand into the Fayth. The Fayth then created Dream Zanarkand, based off of memories of their life in the old city. To protect this place of peace, Yu Yevon created Sin to defend Dream Zanarkand and rid the world of traces of machina. Yu Yevon may not have been a symbol of religion at this stage, but he had a large following. It would not be strange for a community of a united cause to have a symbol of respect and unity while he lived.

The dream Zanarkand is composed merely of the Fayths memories of the old city and their lives. It also resides in a space distinct from the rest of the world. These two facts combined give us evidence that the Fayth must have known of the symbol before Dream Zanarkand was constructed.

The point of Dream Zanarkand was to restore Old Zanarkand to it's pre-war state and to preserve it for eternity. Since Dream Zanarkand was pre-war - there would have been no large following of Yu Yevon as the powerful summoner defence against the machina. Even if this symbol was in use, it is much less likely that an already established sport would take on the idealisms and symbolisms of one man's following, than it is to believe that Yu Yevon adopted the symbols as they were already representative of victory and strength.

In the first moments of Final Fantasy X, we follow Tidus in Dream Zanarkand, many traditions have been forgotten as years have gone by. Souls no longer need to be sent, there is no evidence of the existance of aeons, and the Hymn of the Fayth no longer holds any meaning. This is the main point of contention - Does the fact that the Hymn exists mean that the Hymn originate from the fayths' subconsciousnesses as they reside in the world (Not related to Yevon)? or was the dream city created to represent the city whilst Yu Yevons still had its following (Originates from Yevon, Possibility the symbol does also)?

The Hymn of the Faith roughly translates to (after some puzzle solving seen in the link):

Pray to Yu Yevon

Dream, Fayth

Forever and ever

Grant us prosperity

The lyrics indicate the acknowledgement of the Fayth's creation by Yu Yevon and how they are to reside there forever and ever in a dreamlike peace. This makes the song even more important in assessing the timeline of the symbol.

The wikia and other sites claim that blitzball came first, but none cite any solid articles or go into more detail than passing mentions. Therefore, you must decide yourself which possiblity you believe is more plausible.

  • Specifically, the wikia claims here that the prayer "evolved from a blitzball ritual", though no source is given. – Torisuda Nov 11 '14 at 22:08
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http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Dream_Zanarkand

As far as I know, this is left somewhat ambiguous. Dream Zanarkand is based upon the memories of people that lived there, yet it is clearly also different from the actual Zanarkand.

But we can also consider that Yu Yevon was supposed to be contemporary with the true Zanarkand. He does not seem to be known in the idealized dream Zanarkand. And yet the Fayth, who were also contemporary with true Zanarkand, must know of the sign, in order to have dreamed it. But furthermore, at that time, Yu Yevon was not really a religious figure I don't think, though he may have been the object of a cult of personality. Therefore, I think it's safe to guess that the Yevon Prayer did not begin as a prayer exactly. Perhaps it was a sign for Blitzball victory, or I think more likely, some sort of general salute that people would have done in support of Yu Yevon, and perhaps also for victory in blitzball.

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