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Surface Marginal Influences


One area of the game where marginality is especially prevalent is in the setting and character design. Much of the game takes place on tropical islands that are very similar to Southeast Asia, especially Okinawa. Not only are they visually similar, however; the main village of Spira (the name for the world in Final Fantasy X) is famous for its high-quality cloth, just like Okinawa. In addition, the main vocal song of the game is performed by an Okinawan artist, Rikki. This influence was intentional, as scenario writer Nojima Kazunari states, “The world looks vaguely similar to some places in Southeast Asia because that's the style we were going after.” (FFX Development Team Interview).
The names of Final Fantasy X are based on different languages spoken in Japan, especially the language of Okinawa. The name of the main character, Tiida, is based on the word for “sun” in the Okinawan language, and Yuna's name is based on the word for “moon”. Another main character, Ryukku, has a name similar to the word “rykukyu”, which is another name for the islands of Okinawa. Finally, the character Wakka's name is based on the Ainu word for “water” (Hague). Perhaps these names, having their origins in the languages of the native peoples of Japan, are an acknowledgment of the minorities that are also a part of Japan.