If memory serves, this Al Bhed fansite was the first comprehensive "shrine" I’ve ever created when I first embarked on my journey within the Final Fantasy/shrine-making community back in late 2002, when FFX was still relatively new and FFX-2 hasn't even been released yet. The original game (FFX) left such an impression on me that 15 years later, I felt the same awe and excitement while watching gameplay videos in research for the fansite as I did when I first saw the FMV with Auron and the Blitzball water sphere falling apart in Dream Zanakard from the beginning of the game. (Needless to say, Final Fantasy X remains one of my favorite Final Fantasy titles.)

In hindsight, what first drew me in was the novelty of "the shiny new thing", since, at the time, Final Fantasy X was the first Final Fantasy game with voice acting, and the graphics/art were a huge upgrade from previous Final Fantasy titles. However, what truly caught my attention was the complexity of the world of Spira and the lore surrounding this world. Yes, Tidus and Yuna's story was interesting in itself but what made me want to keep playing the game was discovering the world of Spira with Tidus, Yuna and the other characters.

With the Al Bhed, although they are a group of supporting/minor characters, even for the named ones like Rin and Cid etc., they, especially as a group, play an integral role in the story of Spira, enough that the developers created a fictional language for the group. Although they are written to leave a negative first impression (due to language barriers) and antagonized for a large part of the game, they are actually noble characters that despite all the unfounded hatred and prejudice towards them, they want to get rid of Sin just like any Yevonite, and are willing to save and protect the Summoners from needlessly sacrificing themselves for temporary peace and when the Guado attacked Home. For me, I found myself easily drawn to misunderstood/misrepresented characters because they make me want to find out more about them for myself, which is why I decided to bring this fansite back originally as part of the Fictional Worlds event at Amassment.


This fansite was previously named Ihexia (unique), as my late-teens brain thought it was a good idea to have an Al Bhed word/name for an Al Bhed fansite at the time, and truth to be told, I still think that it looks cool (although I'm not sure about “unique” anymore even if it still fits). I'm still pretty horrible at naming things in this day and age, but I wanted to continue my trend of using one English word for fansite names, and I settled on Pathfinders. Personally, I think that Pathfinders is still a bit off but when I was trying to come up with a new name for this fansite, I was thinking that the Al Bhed are ones that questioned Yevon's way of doing things instead of just blindly following whatever the teachings said. I also felt that the Al Bhed are a tribe that base their decisions on facts and evidences and aren't afraid to explore and discover new things. They also open their own paths and make new ones, just like how Cid made the snap decision to blow up Home when all seemed lost during the Guado's attack, believing that it is more important to save living people than something that can always be rebuilt. In the end, I think Pathfinders mostly suit what I wanted to express about the Al Bhed as a group.