There is a hidden system in Final Fantasy X that is not explained or mentioned at any point in the game. All characters (except Tidus) have an Affection value towards Tidus. Everyone starts at 0 Affection at the beginning of the game, which can be raised by various means throughout the story.
This system doesn’t affect anything in the gameplay, but based on who has the highest affection, certain cutscenes and the animation of Tidus’s Blitz Ace Overdrive will change. Something to keep in mind as well: there is no way in the game to check what anyone’s Affection value is.
How to Raise Affection
There are several ways to raise a character’s affection throughout the game. The main way involves the parts of the game when your party members are spread out across an area, like inside a town you have just discovered.
The first character you talk to during these sections will have their Affection raised, with the value depending on the character.
Talking to Yuna, Lulu, and Rikku first will have theirs raised by 4.
Talking to Kimahri, Auron, and Wakkawill raise their Affection by 2.
Another opportunity to affect Affection will present itself during battles.
If Tidus heals a party member or intercepts an enemy attack with Guard or Sentinel, the assisted character’s Affection is increased by 1.
However, if you attack a party member with Tidus, their Affection will decrease by 1.
There are also specific spots in the story where you can raise a certain character’s Affection, which we will cover next.
In Besaid Village (Night) – Yuna
After speaking to Yuna for the first time, Tidus is asked by Wakka, “She’s cute, ya?”. Replying “Yeah!” will increase Yuna‘s Affection by 8.
On the S.S. Liki–Wakka
Speaking to Wakka before approaching the crowd of people around Yuna at the bow of the ship will increase Wakka‘s Affection by 4.
On the S.S. Winno–Yuna, Lulu, Wakka
Watching the conversation between Yuna and the Luca Goers before eavesdropping on Lulu and Wakka will increase Yuna‘s Affection by 4.
Speaking to Yuna after she converses with the Luca Goers, but before Tidus attempts the Jecht Shot will further boost her affection value by 4.
Eavesdropping on Lulu and Wakka a total of four times will increase both their Affections by 4. Speaking to Wakka afterwards will further boost his Affection by 4.
These must be done before attempting the Jecht Shot or speaking to Yuna after she conversed with the Luca Goers.
In Guadosalam–Yuna, Lulu, Rikku, Kimahri
Based on who has accumulated a higher Affection, Tidus will talk with either Lulu or Rikku after Yuna enters Seymour’s manor.
If Tidus talks with Lulu, when talking to her a third time she will say “I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t fall in love with her.” Replying “Too late” will increase Yuna‘s Affection by 8. Replying, “You’re more my type, Lulu” will increase Lulu‘s Affection by 8.
If Tidus talks with Rikku, she will ask “It’s your big chance, huh?” the first time she’s spoken to. Replying “I guess you’re right” will increase Yuna‘s Affection by 8. Replying “I’d rather have you, Rikku” will increase Rikku‘s Affection by 8.
Watching Kimahri leave the item shop will increase his Affection by 6.
When the player returns to Guadosalam later, but before defeating Yojimbo in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth, speaking with Lulu in the Farplane will boost her Affection by 8.
Outside the Travel Agency, if Tidus enters before Auron concedes to Rikku, Rikku‘s Affection increases by 8.
Speaking to Rikku inside the travel agency before meeting Yuna in her room increases Rikku‘s Affection by 8.
After speaking to Rikku inside the travel agency, Rin enters the foyer. If Tidus speaks with him, Rin will ask “Would that be Sir Auron by any chance?”. Replying “Nope, wrong guy” will increase Auron‘s Affection by 8.
Under Lake Macalania–Lulu, Wakka
When under the lake ice before speaking to Rikku, if Tidus speaks to Lulu she will ask “We’re under the lake ice, aren’t we?”. Replying “Maybe” will increase Lulu‘s Affection by 8.
After speaking to Rikku, but before speaking to Auron, if Tidus talks to Wakka he will ask “Say, you feel something weird in the air?”. Replying “Yeah” will increase Wakka‘s Affection by 8.
There are four cutscenes that get affected by this system. During these scenes, the person with the highest Affection in the current party will talk to Tidus.
After Yuna enters Seymour’s mansion in Guadosalam. When the party breaks up, either Lulu or Rikku will talk to Tidus. Once the conversation is finished, Tidus can talk to the selected party member two more times for more cutscenes. In case of a tie, Lulu takes priority.
After the Crawler is defeated, either Lulu, Rikku, Auron or Kimahri will accompany Tidus on the Al Bhed machina sled to Macalania Temple. In case of a tie, Lulu has priority, followed by Rikku, then Auron, then finally Kimahri.
On the Fahrenheit, after the party has defeated both of Sin’s fins, the party member with the highest Affection will speak to Tidus before jumping off the airship prior to the battle with Sin’s Core. In case of a tie, Yuna has priority, followed by Auron, then Kimahri, then Wakka, then Lulu, and finally Rikku.
After the cutscene where the party jumps off the airship to attack Sin’s Core, Wakka is always the last party member to land, even if he was the party member chosen to jump off the airship first.
On the airship’s bridge after the battle with Sin’s Core, but before the final battle against Sin,the party member with the highest Affection will speak to Tidus after Brother’s English conversation with Tidus. In case of a tie, priorities are the same as with the third cutscene.