July 18, 2024


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How Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft Inspired FFX-2’s Yuna

Final Fantasy X’s Yuna had a style overhaul in FFX-2, and a lot of the inspiration for this redesign came from Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft.

There were elements of Yuna’s design in Final Fantasy X-2 that were inspired by Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. Over Tomb Raider’s 25 years, it has inspired many other video game titles. Even Uncharted was dubbed “Dude Raider” when it was first revealed to audiences, due to the game’s uncanny resemblance to some of Tomb Raider‘s classic levels. However, none have had shown such an apparent callback to Lara Croft as Final Fantasy 10-2’s Yuna did.

Back in 2001, Final Fantasy fans were treated to the tenth mainline installment to the series. In FF10, iconic characters such as Tidus and Rikku debuted to fans. Along with this duo, a young summoner named Yuna was also introduced, and her story arc was a crux to the game’s overall plot. Then, in a first for the series, FF10 went on to get its own direct sequel. Final Fantasy X-2 was released in 2003, and this time the story focused on returning characters Yuna and Rikku along with newcomer Paine.

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But while Yuna was a returning character, her overall look took a radical turn in Final Fantasy 10-2. Gone were her long ceremonial robes, and in place were short shorts, a more revealing top, dual pistols, and a long braid. This, understandably, led many to immediately start drawing comparisons to another of gaming’s heroines: Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft.

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However, what many people didn’t realize at the time was that this was actually an intentional move from the Final Fantasy 10-2 developers. Yuna’s similarities to Lara Croft were not coincidental at all, as revealed by Square Enix Extreme Edges on Twitter (via Final Fantasy Union). In a tweet from Extreme Edges (Square Enix’s western title line in Japan), Yoshinori Kitase (a Director and Producer for multiple classic Square Enix games) is pictured holding up the three original Tomb Raider games. The translated tweet then goes on to say that Yuna’s design in Final Fantasy 10-2 was indeed inspired by Lara Croft.

While this revelation about FF10 and 10-2′s Yuna is not surprising, it is very of its time. Games today have started to move away from depicting their female leads as overly sexualized characters. This is something that is made undoubtedly clear in the latest Tomb Raider games, as the most recent trilogy not only rebooted Lara Croft’s origin story, but also Lara herself. Since 2013’s Tomb Raider, Lara Croft’s appearance has taken on a much more gritty and realistic form. Her shorts were replaced by sensible cargo trousers, while her skin-tight tops were changed to climate-suitable alternatives throughout the ‘Survivor’ timeline series of games.

So, while Yuna’s story (for now at least) finished at the conclusion of Final Fantasy X-2, this change in Lara’s style does give one reason to wonder if Yuna’s look would be the same should FFX-2 have been made today. The more recent releases of games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, and Control have shown that a female character doesn’t have to be sexualized for a game to sell – much like the modern Tomb Raider’s version of Lara Croft proved.

Next: Tomb Raider’s Many Lara Crofts Celebrate 25th Anniversary In Video

Source: Square Enix Extreme Edges, Final Fantasy Union)

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