Hello, loves! Back in April, you may have read our piece on the affectionately named Seymour “Please die now!” Guado, a man whose arrogance is matched only by his persistence! But I think we forgot that Seymour is by no means the only obnoxious narcissist in Spira, with a seemingly unlimited number of Phoenix Downs. I speak, of course, of the oft-hated excuse for comic relief known as LeBlanc.
LeBlanc, for those of you who have never played Final Fantasy X-2, is the leader of her own syndicate of sphere hunters, The LeBlanc Syndicate (no points for creative title there, LeBlanc).
Together with her two least terrible lackeys, Logos and Ormi, she travels throughout Spira stealing whatever spheres she can find and being repeatedly foiled by our protagonists, The Gull Wings. Trust me, when I say ‘foiled repeatedly’ I mean foiled repeatedly! The hapless trio simply refuses to die. Maybe it’s something in the perfume LeBlanc coats herself with, or perhaps their bodies are fuelled purely on swag and delusions of grandeur, but either way, it clearly works! You have to defeat LeBlanc not once, not twice, but three times before she finally just gives up and joins your party for the final sequence! Of course, that’s not until after you’ve given the b*tch a backrub… Yeah, this is Final Fantasy X-2 in a quirky, fun-time nutshell. In an odd way, LeBlanc kinda sums up the state of the game. She’s not a hugely deep character; her sole motivation for sphere hunting in the first place is just so she’ll get her senpai, Nooj, to notice her. Nor is she a horrifying boss that’ll take you days to finish; the game goes so far as to name one of her abilities ‘Not-so-mighty guard’ as a tongue-in-cheek way of saying,”You’re better than her, go kill!” In short, LeBlanc is just there to entertain you with flashy colours and unending hip movements. And in the end, isn’t that what we all play Final Fantasy for?
Yeah, I couldn’t take that line seriously either. So without further ado, let’s move on to a quick recount of The LeBlanc Syndicate boss battles, A.K.A LeBlanc’s Losses.
Round 1: Imposter!
The first time we fight the infamous LeBlanc Syndicate comes at the very beginning of the game. As we just about finish running around Luca in search of the thieves that stole a dress sphere from The Gull Wings, we are confronted by LeBlanc’s lackeys, Logos and Ormi. Neither are too happy with our little interruption to their concert, but they don’t take much time to express this before our gun toting heroine, Yuna, runs in and leaps off of Ormi’s shield to join in the fray.
There’s not much to this fight; you wail on the two of them for a few minutes before LeBlanc shows up dressed as Yuna, and does quite possibly the dumbest thing she could do if she wanted to keep the dress sphere. She gives it back to Yuna, allowing her to use it in the fight, and then says, “It won’t be yours for long!” and proceeds to try to fight you with a paper fan and magic attacks. Seriously, what is with villains and giving the heroes an obvious advantage before the fight? This stage is less straightforward; Yuna is trapped in the Songstress dress sphere for both tutorial and plot reasons, but it doesn’t hinder you too much. Wail on her too until she gives up and Yuna has a dance break.
Round 2: Nope, definitely not following you!
So, once again we find ourselves face to face with the infamous and deadly… nope, I can’t say that with a straight face. The LeBlanc syndicate followed you to Mount Gagazet cos they were too lazy to find a sphere themselves. But they can’t let you think that, of course, so let’s fight and let them win back their honour! This fight isn’t a difficult one either to be honest; LeBlanc has gotten a slight upgrade in that she can use her fan to attack all 3 party members at once but, assuming you can focus her down and keep the other two dimwits blinded, they’ll fall pretty easily. Then, all you have to worry about is them cheating, throwing down a smoke bomb, racing to the top of the mountain and then stumbling at the last hurdle as you casually stroll past. Gotta say, I’d feel sorry for them if LeBlanc wasn’t so high and mighty all the time!
Round 3: Lets break in!
LeBlanc’s third and final encounter comes when you actually break into her hide out by stealing some LeBlanc Syndicate uniforms. You’d think they’d keep better tabs on their staff… maybe get some ID cards or something? Nonetheless, no matter how convincing your performance as ‘Female henchman #2’ is, LeBlanc comes and finds you just as you’re about to escape with her prized loot, a sphere containing information on her beloved Noojie Woojie.
To their credit, the Syndicate actually puts up a fight this time. LeBlanc, Ormi and Logos have all done some serious levelling up, and they’ve even earned themselves a Limit Break in the form of ‘No Love Lost’. This is a move that requires all 3 members to activate, but deals some heavy damage to our heroines. Once you kill one member, they can no longer use ‘No Love Lost’, but that doesn’t save you from either Logos’ Russian Roulette, which inflicts a random status effect, or Ormi’s Supercollider, which is literally just you being hit by a big fat man with a big fat shield. This fight actually gave me some pause the first time I played through the game, though to be fair I was allergic to grinding levels and completely missed the chance to get Payne’s special dress sphere. Regardless, I have to give the LeBlanc Syndicate props for once. Good job girl, all that time posing for the camera paid off!
BONUS ROUND: BACKRUBS!
I bet you thought we were kidding about those back rubs, huh? Nope, this is a legit minigame from Final Fantasy X-2!
It occurs whilst you’re sneaking around in the LeBlanc Syndicates headquarters, disguised as one of her henchmen. Logos will come up to the gang and order you to go help the boss ‘unwind’ which, thankfully, doesn’t mean what your dirty minds think it does. You have to give her a back rub, using a 3×3 grid to gauge what her sweet spots are. Before you think of just cracking her back into a thousand pieces, she’ll get angry and make you do it again every time you mess up. Oh well, guess we just have to massage the enemy until she conks out, have fun!