The HD version of Final Fantasy X is a remake of the international version of the game, so it included a bunch of content that never made it to North America the first time around. I knew some of the new stuff revolved around new even more challenging challenge fights but I didn't know what they were going to be and intentionally kept myself from looking it up so I could work it out on my own. I was expecting something like a new challenge dungeon or something like that. At the very least I was expecting some kind of warning that I was about to get obliterated...
I got the airship yesterday and decided the first thing I was going to do was go back and capture the monsters from the starting areas. I'd go through the zones pretty carefully to make sure I hadn't missed any Al Bhed primers or other stuff since I didn't want to look that stuff up either. So I went back to Besaid and killed everything on the way back to town. I actually hadn't even talked to everyone in town at the start of the game so it's entirely possible I missed something in there. So I walked into town and was immediately thrown into an encounter with a scary looking version of the first aeon, Valefor. He went first and attacked someone for 9999 damage. I tried to run, realized I couldn't, and tagged in Yuna to cast life on the dead person. Valefor then killed my whole party with one attack. Game over, man. I actually hadn't saved in quite a while (why would I save when I was just going to the starting town to capture enemies that can't kill me?) and I had a lot of cutscenes to get through before I could even get back to flying around on the airship again. At least I'd saved right after the Yunalesca boss fight since that thing took a long time!
Ok, fine... So the challenge bosses are twinky versions of the aeons? The guy who brought Valefor out made it clear he was from the temple (which is inside the town of Besaid) and they were out to get me for being a traitor. Ok, makes sense. I can see making twinky versions of the aeons. I probably would have put the fight in the temple itself to let me go back to the town of Besaid but I can live with this. I was annoyed I hadn't saved in a while but it's time to move on. Later I found a second twinky aeon, inside a temple this time, and I'd saved right before I went in. Shiva also blew me up, but I was expecting it and had saved so it was all good.
Then I ran into a third one... This one was on the thunder plains, and it was triggered by just walking up (and maybe talking to) a guy standing under a lightning tower. I wasn't anywhere near a temple. There was no indication that this was going to be a challenge fight (except maybe that the guy was dressed up like a temple monk I guess). I exploded. I once again hadn't saved in a while. Why would I save when I was just running around the thunder plains catching monsters? I'm really annoyed because I'd caught a full 10 cactuars.
I then found a fourth one, this time just on a road at the end of the Mi'hen Highroad. I had thankfully just saved so I didn't lose any progress this time, but it was still a little frustrating. This time it was a twinky version of an aeon I don't even have myself! It was the Magus Sisters, and one of their attacks hit poor Rikku for 599994 damage. She has around 2500 health, so I was overkilled by a factor of 240. I don't think you needed to be quite that twinky, Magus Sisters!
Anyway... While the hard fights were in a challenge dungeon I was fine with not looking them up. If they were contained in the temples I could accept losing progress once and then avoiding them. But if they're just going to stick them on a road, or in the middle of a zone I need to play in, I have to know what to avoid. So instead of playing the game right now I'm going to go look up the changes in the international edition. That makes me sad, but what else can I do?