SPOILERS Were the Sin toxins real?

Dionysos

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This thread is based on a recent conversation in FFF's Discord.

When people in Spira get too close to Sin they are at risk of becoming infected with 'Sin toxins', according to various Yevon-worshiping citizens. These toxins cause the sufferer to mix up their memories.

I have been reminded that both cases of purported toxin exposure that the player is most familiar with are false. Wakka believes that Tidus is suffering amnesia or false memories due to exposure to Sin. The same was said of Jecht. But we know that their memories were true (even if the particular nature of their existence was not). We know that toxins had not affected them in the slightest. In fact, Sin granted them the gift of physical existence in Spira rather than taken from them their identities.

So were there any genuine cases of toxin induced memory loss or befuddlement? Were many others accused of the same? Did this simply become an easy way of excusing strange and unorthodox behaviour and mentally undesirable states?
 

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If I remember there was a case of someone in Besaid in the beginning that was affected and you could speak with them, so it doesn't appear to be an off excuse. As to them being affected since the only time besides when they get inside Sin is at the end the only other time Tidus came into contact with Sin not counting those Sin spawn fights and the fin was at the beginning, Tidus was still in the dream realm of Zanakand. The same could probably be said for Jecht, so I think we can base this that since they were dreams at the time and also in a state of nonexistence when they were in Spira that the rules of the world didn't affect them as they way it did for normal people.
 

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I don't actually recall the person at Besaid who had been affected. I'd have to play through the beginning again. But over all, it does seem like it could just be used as an excuse to explain away strange behavior.
 

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Isn't Tidus' 'condition' considered a bit of an extreme case?

I imagine that it's not uncommon for people to be affected by the toxin and be a bit fuzzy & out of it, but maybe in extreme cases they become delirious, as they suspected that Tidus was. Perhaps you, as Tidus, don't see many people who are affected because they're either in bed sleeping off a Sin-hangover or they died when they got close enough to sin to be that extreme of a case.
 

Dionysos

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I looked it up again and found this on FF Wikia:

People who have gotten close to Sin may get muddled up and experience hallucinations. This is called "being affected by Sin's toxin," but the true reason is that the high density of pyreflies that form Sin's body have an adverse affect on the low-density amounts of pyreflies present within the bodies of those who approach it.
So it seems like 'Sin's toxins' was just a theory and they hadn't a clue what was going on. According to the lore it was something to do with the effect of the pyreflies which form Sin's body overpowering the pyreflies in a person's soul, or something. That might also be why it didn't actually seem to wipe Tidus and Jecht's memories since their pyrefly makeup was likely very different due to them being dreams.

I would suggest that there may well have been a combination here. There may well have been a genuine condition (which was little understood) where people close to Sin had their pyreflies sent all wobbly and lost some of their memories, but it is also possible that Yevon could have latched onto the condition and applied to any undesirables that it wanted to silence. It might have become an easy excuse to excommunicate people.
 

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A bit off topic, but I feel like the last few times I've looked something up on the FF wiki for FFX there were a lot of things explained by just 'because of the Pyreflies." While I think it's cleaver for a few things, I feel like they relied too heavily on pyreflies to explain things.

I was gonna make a joke that it's also probably the reason they breath underwater but...
Pyreflies and water harmonise with each other extremely easily. Accordingly, water causes all sorts of phenomena in Spira. When summoners perform a Sending, the pyreflies on the water’s surface are fixed into place due to the summoner’s abilities, and it becomes a foothold. The blitzball sphere pool, too, is made by utilising the underwater pyreflies and congealing the water into a sphere. In addition, blitzball players being able to stay active underwater for long periods of time is because they are supported by the pyreflies that are contained in the water.
Source
🙄
 

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A bit off topic, but I feel like the last few times I've looked something up on the FF wiki for FFX there were a lot of things explained by just 'because of the Pyreflies." While I think it's cleaver for a few things, I feel like they relied too heavily on pyreflies to explain things.

I was gonna make a joke that it's also probably the reason they breath underwater but...


🙄
You are very right!

How does magic work?
Users can manipulate the pyreflies in their fingers. Probably.

How are spheres created?
Pyreflies coalesce into spheres, sometimes containing memories of those to which the pyreflies once belonged.

How are babies made in Spira?
When two people love each other very very much, the father’s pyreflies- I’ll stop there.

-

"It's pyreflies!" is a bit of an easy catch-all explanation in the Spiran universe. I'd rather there was something deeper, more tangible and human about all of this. I much prefer the idea that Yevon manipulated people into believing that Old Man Loopy was suffering from Sin's Toxins whereas in actuality he was the only sane man in the village.
 

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To be honest I really wouldn't be surprised if the baby thing was also true :tearjoy: Maybe the amount of pyreflies at the time of conception determines if you're a summoner or not. Can you imagine the things in our present world that we could just explain away with pyreflies? It's the miracle of life itself.

I feel like Sin actually having a toxin was more believable! Maybe that's why they just kinda left it at that explanation, who knows! Like I said earlier, I think the pyreflies are really interesting concept that is fine being the reasons for a few things, but for the Blitzball Sphere pool.. or for Sin's toxin... ehhh.

Does that mean that Pyreflies actually have a consistency to them? Can I reach out and touch them? I was under the impression that they were just kinda... lights I guess.
 

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I think the person you talk to that was afflicted with "Sin's Toxin" is actually in Kilika after Sin's attack. Can't say with absolute certainty, but I do remember Besaid not being attacked by Sin.
 

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I always considered it an excuse to rationailse post-traumatic stress disorder. I mean after having your village wiped out in a single strike and being a surivior of such a massacre would cetainly have a lasting affect. Tidus is even asked to lie to others about having the toxins to excuse his absent mindfulness of the world. Is there a point where the Al Bhed expand upon it? or is it ever mentioned in X-2?
 

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I don't believe it's ever mentioned in X-2. After Kilika, the only other time it's mentioned when Sin attacks the party under Macalania Temple. After that, I really don't remember any other mention of the toxins.

Just a question, but is toxins just another word for "The Memories of all the Unsent that Sin devoured infecting the living?"
 

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Just a question, but is toxins just another word for "The Memories of all the Unsent that Sin devoured infecting the living?"
I found this, which reflects what Dionysos said about the toxin being pyreflies:

According to Final Fantasy X Scenario Ultimania Sin's body is composed of pyreflies and in that respect, it is no different from a common fiend. However, Sin draws in pyreflies to replenish its strength whenever damaged, and thus conventional attacks cannot defeat it. According to the Final Fantasy X Ultimania Omega, its body is formed as a result of gravity magic used to draw in further pyreflies from the atmosphere, and compressing them densely. Sin can recover the separated parts of its own body, known as "Sinspawn," because Sin can repair its body more efficiently by taking in pyreflies that have already been condensed, rather than freshly absorbing pyreflies that drift around the surrounding areas.
The 'toxin' is the 'condensed' Pyreflies, with results in a large mass of memories in one area. So to answer your question, yes, kinda. I'm guessing when someone gets too close there's just too high of a concentration that a normal person is used to.
 

Dionysos

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Does that mean that Pyreflies actually have a consistency to them? Can I reach out and touch them? I was under the impression that they were just kinda... lights I guess.
I just imagine the pyreflies as being little soul particles, I guess. At first I thought that each pyrefly would be one soul, but that doesn't appear to be consistent. When you see them in the Farplane they behave as if each pyrefly represents one soul as they appear to be hanging out, going for walks in the park, floating over waterwalls and singing and saying 'wooo!' like happy ghosts.

And also during Yuna's iconic sending dance at Kilika it appears in a few frames that there might be single souls exiting the sunken coffins:

And yet we see pyreflies everywhere in other circumstances. When a person or a fiend dies in Spira they often disintegrate into multiple pyreflies, not a singular one. So there must be more to it. Maybe a person's soul is actually split into hundreds of pyreflies, or there are certain conditions which make the soul either splinter or coalesce.

So I have no idea how it works. I would imagine that they are just lights though. Spiritual energy. Ectoplasm. Something like that. If we were to reach out to tickle one then it is likely that our hands would just phase through it.

I always considered it an excuse to rationailse post-traumatic stress disorder. I mean after having your village wiped out in a single strike and being a surivior of such a massacre would cetainly have a lasting affect. Tidus is even asked to lie to others about having the toxins to excuse his absent mindfulness of the world. Is there a point where the Al Bhed expand upon it? or is it ever mentioned in X-2?
I really like the PTSD analogy. Whether we accept the in-game lore explanation or not, I think it probably counts as a form of PTSD. The 'Shell Shock' of Spira.

I think they forgot to be consistent with much of the lore when it came to X-2. :D
I'm not too familiar with X-2 though so I can't help there. I'd suspect there may not have been any plot-driven moments where Sin toxins would be relevant. It would have been nice to see someone still suffering from some effects.

Just a question, but is toxins just another word for "The Memories of all the Unsent that Sin devoured infecting the living?"
I guess so. Since it seems that the lore explanation is that toxins are pyreflies, it is likely that the cacophony of memories stored in the pyreflies which create Sin might be affecting the pyreflies residing within the brains of the victims of ‘Sin toxins’.

I had another thought about the "it's pyreflies!" topic. I wonder if this is the equivalent of the midi-chlorian theory behind the Force in Star Wars. Just because a theory like that is mentioned by a character doesn't mean it needs to be taken as a universal truth. I've personally interpreted that as a naturalistic/rationalistic theory which Qui-Gon Jinn and a few of the Jedi subscribe to, but that it isn't necessarily known to be the what is truly behind the Force, thus explaining why it doesn't appear to be mentioned again very often in Star Wars lore.

In FFX it is clear that pyreflies exist in some form as we do see them with our own eyes, but I wonder if some of the things which have been attributed to them are merely in-game theories which Spirans have considered and may not be the 'truth'.
 
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Ilyena

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I guess Pyreflies are what allow blitzball players to breathe underwater too and not drown. I had always just assumed people could breathe underwater on Spira until I read that. :tearjoy: I do think there are some conflicting and confusing explanations regarding pyreflies and how they work.
 

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When Kimahri lost his horn, do we think he lost some pyreflies? Did they flow out from his horn as it hit the ground?

Yeah, I think there is a lot which is unanswered about pyreflies in Spira.

The breathing underwater thing seemed inconsistent. Forgetting the blitzball arenas, how come Tidus, Rikku and Wakka could breathe underwater in ruins and flooded dungeons but other party members couldn't? Did the pyreflies not feel like supporting Lulu and Kimahri whenever they wanted to go for a swim?
Does this also mean that when Tidus and Yuna had their kissy acrobatics underwater in Lake Macalania, this was actually because the pyreflies decided on this occasion only that Yuna should be allowed to hold her breath underwater? Were they.... watching them?

Which makes me wonder if individual pyreflies have a will of their own, or if there are multiple types of pyreflies.

The more I think about pyreflies, the less I think I actually understand them. :sad2:
 

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I'm not sure how a thread about toxins turned into a spirited discussion about pyreflies, but I'll opine about that after.

So you hear about Sin's toxins when Tidus is with Rikku, early in the game, then with Wakka later and Lulu, etc. My guess is that there are other people around Spira like Tidus that are dreams of the fayth, they just never had the desire or opportunity to fight as a guardian along side a summoner. So for these people that had "odd" musings, people would just say "what the hell are you talking about?" Then after a while they just said, I've heard similar things from some other knucklehead, and there was enough of a consistency to say, they can't all be wrong. They have something in common. So they probably realized they were all exposed to Sin in some capacity but managed to not get killed, so they called it a toxin. Do we even really know if Sin gave off some kind of odor or discharge on people? It's not specific in that regard, but they just made that assumption and everyone was happy with that.

In Tidus' regard, he was very open about the good ol' days of Zanarkand. I would imagine in most cases, people were a little shy, just observing what's going on and not being so open about where they came from. So they probably soaked it in to try to make sense of everything. Tidus was in your face about it, so we got a healthy dose of his "foggy memory".

The only time I recalled someone mentioned toxin and not referring to Tidus was either Isken or Larbeight (love the name). One of those blitzers was in a shop in Kilika and the shop owner (maybe it was an Inn, I don't remember) said he's really suffering from toxin bad. And I think he might have said some gibberish if you talk to him. But he was a hell of a blitzer though.

Okay, I didn't read much about all the pyreflies talk. In regards to the broken horn, the pyreflies only take form in the deceased, so the horn wouldn't be a loss of pyreflies. Now, if Kimahri dies, goes to the Farplane, would his horn be whole when he materializes? Age old question. But yeah, the pyreflies are memories, not living in a physically living person (or animal in Kimahri's case). And that's why the dead and unsent were made of them, as well as the sphere's you find scattered around Spira. And with swimmers, Wakka and Rikku swam, so pyreflies wouldn't be a factor. And Auron doesn't swim, though with that outfit and giant sword, he wouldn't have much luck anyways.
 

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Okay, I didn't read much about all the pyreflies talk. In regards to the broken horn, the pyreflies only take form in the deceased, so the horn wouldn't be a loss of pyreflies. Now, if Kimahri dies, goes to the Farplane, would his horn be whole when he materializes? Age old question. But yeah, the pyreflies are memories, not living in a physically living person (or animal in Kimahri's case). And that's why the dead and unsent were made of them, as well as the sphere's you find scattered around Spira. And with swimmers, Wakka and Rikku swam, so pyreflies wouldn't be a factor. And Auron doesn't swim, though with that outfit and giant sword, he wouldn't have much luck anyways.
Putting aside the fact that Auron, Lulu and Yuna weren't exactly wearing clothes that were easy to swim in, I think the discussion moved towards how people breathe underwater. Apparently in Blitzball, pyreflies help keep people alive during the game (according to FF wiki) but not sure about Tidus, Wakka and Rikku during their battles underwater.
 

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I simply chalked the whole eternal breath holding thing as a gamplay and story segregation thing because Square didn't want to make a timer thing, or add air pockets in underwater dungeons.

For actual in game thing, I think Tidus would have been the exception as he was a Dream Fragment, and PROBABLY could have about as much need to breath as a corpse does but simply does so because of habit.

*Shrugs.* Are pyreflies made of air?
 

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Going back to the whole "Sin's Toxin" thing; part of me wonders whether it's closer to the PTSD one develops after a huge event (such as a GIANT fucking MONSTER attack) than it is Sin itself infecting people - PTSD can do incredibly harsh things to the mind once it has its grips on a person (so, similar to what Vivi-Gamer said). I also feel like "Sin's Toxin" is a potential way that the Yevon religion (which is shown to be relatively corrupt throughout the game) controls its believers - a healthy dose of hysteria blended with a whole lot of gaslighting. Anyone who says something "wrong" or "not along with the general dialog"? Oh, they must be infected with Sin's Toxin! I do felt that FFX dropped the idea rather swiftly, however, which I found somewhat sad.

Pyreflies though:
To me, Pyreflies are the "NANOMACHINES" of the FFX series; they enable the world the characters inhabit to exist - it explains why you might have strong, weak, big and small monsters; it gives meaning and weight to what the religion of Yevon contributes to the world(pyrefly-spawned monsters and the need for Sendings emphasise that the belief in Yevon and the practices it believes help the world in some way) and what Summoners themselves do to help the world (outside of their main quest). Hell, pyreflies give the people of Spira the power to potentially see their loved ones - albeit in a hampered state! That's intense!

1581803507110.png


As for the justification of them in the real world - part of me wonders if the developers simply wanted to test and push the power of the new hardware! :lew:
 

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Okay, I didn't read much about all the pyreflies talk. In regards to the broken horn, the pyreflies only take form in the deceased, so the horn wouldn't be a loss of pyreflies. Now, if Kimahri dies, goes to the Farplane, would his horn be whole when he materializes? Age old question. But yeah, the pyreflies are memories, not living in a physically living person (or animal in Kimahri's case). And that's why the dead and unsent were made of them, as well as the sphere's you find scattered around Spira. And with swimmers, Wakka and Rikku swam, so pyreflies wouldn't be a factor. And Auron doesn't swim, though with that outfit and giant sword, he wouldn't have much luck anyways.
Okay, so maybe once a person dies then the pyreflies within them become loose and can escape. If unsent then a strong mind might maintain one's form by focusing hard and preventing the pyreflies from reassembling, whereas some might lose control of their pyreflies and become fiends. Since Auron was a monk and several of the other 'human' unsent were priests or Summoners, etc, maybe these qualify as disciplined individuals capable of extreme mental control. Whereas most people become slobbering fiends.

Maybe.

The reason I mentioned Kimahri's horn was 90% joke but there was an element of seriousness to it. The horn will be dead matter, so I wanted to figure out whether pyreflies were present in all dead matter. I guess if we want to be pedantic we should also wonder whether dead skin cells contain pyreflies. But perhaps pyreflies are more closely connected to the soul or spirit of the individual rather than on a cellular level. Perhaps pyreflies flow within the body of something which is living. If that being loses a limb then the pyreflies remain in what is left of the body. If the body dies entirely, that's where things get interesting and pyreflies can either turn the body into fiends or become unsent/zombie humans, unless sent by a Summoner.

Maybe.

I simply chalked the whole eternal breath holding thing as a gamplay and story segregation thing because Square didn't want to make a timer thing, or add air pockets in underwater dungeons.
This is probably the 'real' reason from the point of view of the game developers. Maybe they figured it would be impractical to create swimming animations for Lulu, Kimahri, Auron, etc.

Having said that, I don't know why since there are give or take maybe a hundred Blitzball players which have swimming animations. Maybe it was the battle animations rather than the field animations which put them off having to put the entire party through that.

For actual in game thing, I think Tidus would have been the exception as he was a Dream Fragment, and PROBABLY could have about as much need to breath as a corpse does but simply does so because of habit.

*Shrugs.* Are pyreflies made of air?
On the point about Tidus, I guess that depends. Did Tidus become (temporarily) 'real' when he touched Sin and found his way to Spira? Or was he fake the entire time? His existence was maintained by the dreaming of the Fayth even in Spira, but he seems to have enjoyed a brief period between states of realness and dreamed. As far as we can tell, he could feel, hear, breathe, touch just like any other person. He could also, perhaps, die.

But maybe all of Tidus' life was just an illusion and he was going through the motions of living. Maybe he didn't need to breathe.

As for the pyreflies being made of air, maybe they are as light as air and people could pass through them like air. Maybe the lights that are emanating from the pyreflies are due to some sort of chemical reaction. Or maybe it is just fancy fantasy stuff and we're meant to leave it at that.

Going back to the whole "Sin's Toxin" thing; part of me wonders whether it's closer to the PTSD one develops after a huge event (such as a GIANT fucking MONSTER attack) than it is Sin itself infecting people - PTSD can do incredibly harsh things to the mind once it has its grips on a person (so, similar to what Vivi-Gamer said). I also feel like "Sin's Toxin" is a potential way that the Yevon religion (which is shown to be relatively corrupt throughout the game) controls its believers - a healthy dose of hysteria blended with a whole lot of gaslighting. Anyone who says something "wrong" or "not along with the general dialog"? Oh, they must be infected with Sin's Toxin! I do felt that FFX dropped the idea rather swiftly, however, which I found somewhat sad.
I personally much prefer this explanation. It is a more cynical, realistic and human approach.
I like to imagine that Sin's Toxins could be a form of PTSD combined with perhaps some minor effects caused by being in the presence of Sin, but that Yevon also manipulates this and labels any dissenters as people who are suffering from this very convenient illness.



:D

If someone manages to create a version of that meme with a Spiran saying 'Pyreflies' then I will give them 10 Community Tokens.
 
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