Blitzball is essentially the (European) football of the FFX universe; it is a fun sport - at least to me; I dunno why most hate it - in which you control a team of players underwater. Its purpose is to get a bump-covered Blitzball into the opposing team's goal, although that's not very easy due to the enemy team, the viscosity of water, and the inability to use extra-large potato launchers.
Anyhow, a Blitzball game takes place in a spherical ball of water (don't ask me how it's held up); you, however, will only control yourself on the two-dimensional great circle in the middle. If you look at the map nearby, you (green) will always be the left side, and your opponents (red) the right. You control one of the players using the Analog Stick, if you want - there are three controlling methods: Auto (clear definition), Manual A (based on the map), and Manual B (based on the direction of the opposing goal to you). Generally, you should use Manual, and Manual A is the easiest to grasp.
Each player on a team has a set of stats, as follows:
- HP - Used as currency for actions, and lowers as you hold the ball; if you lack the HP, you cannot some things, but HP is regained when the character goes not have the ball
- SP - Speed
- AT - Attack, used in encounters and breaking through
- EN - Your true HP, used in encounters
- SH - Basically, the strength of a shot - more on this later
- PA - Strength of passes - more later
- BL - Strength of blocking - more later
- CA - Strength of the catcher, essentially the final "block" - more later
If you opt to shoot, then your SH and the opponents' BL is considered in addition to their catcher's CA. If you opt instead to shoot before an encounter, then all you worry about is the catcher's CA. This is essentially the same thing as a pass to the goal, as it were - the opponents will subtract from your SH with their BL (+/- 50%), then the catcher gets a chance with his +/- 50%. If you still win out (>0 SH after the CA subtraction), then a goal is scored!
Keep in mind with these three situations that Techs can be used, which can augment the stats of the actions in various ways. Techs will be discussed more in-depth later. Essentially, they're special abilities. To learn one, you must have someone Mark a person with the desired technique during halftime; during the second half, then, when the person uses that technique, the word "Techcopy" appears and flashes: press X to learn the tech. (Your level cannot be too low, however.) Players have a limited number of tech slots, though, when you equip them - 1 at Level 3, then new ones are gained at Levels 7, 12, 20, and 30, for a max of five.
Techs can also cause status ailments, as below:
Nap : Essentially, the character is asleep and inactive for around a minute.
Poison : Poisoned character lose HP when in possession of the ball much faster than normal, with a loss of some HP every 0.6 seconds. Poison can stack, too, via Pile Venom, affecting the rate of HP loss: essentially, you will lose (4^x) HP per 0.6 seconds (5*(4^x)/3 per second) where x equals the number of times poison has been applied: this is 4 for once, 16 twice, 64 thrice, 256 four times, and 1,024 five times. You will lose ability usage, too - one poisoning causes the loss of shot techs, two makes you lose tackle techs, and three makes you lose pass techs.
Wither : Essentially, the character's stats are halved, depending on how it was induced. If this was from a shot tech, your BL and CA are halved; from a tackle tech, your EN, PA, and SH; from a pass tech, your PA, AT, or BL. This lasts for about half a minute.