Making up ten percent of the Spiran population they are notable for the unique language that they speak and their use of Machina, a technology prohibited by Final Fantasy X's dominant religion, Yevon.
Around 1000 years before the events of Final Fantasy X the Al Bhed society lived in the Bikanel Desert, also known as the Sanubia Sands. However their city was destroyed by Sin, forcing its citizens to become nomads to survive.
Under the leadership of Cid, the Al Bhed were regrouped on Bikanel Island and built a new city for themselves, called Home.
During the course of Final Fantasy X, the Al Bhed are involved in a plot to kidnap Summoners, ostensibly to protect them by preventing them from completing their pilgrimage (it was later revealed that Summoners die in the process of calling forth the Final Aeon believed necessary to defeat Sin). Against Yuna and her Guardians they used three machina that they either salvaged or had built: the Oblitzerator, the Extractor, and the Crawler. When Yuna is lost in the Bikanel Desert, they take her back to their Home to protect her. Under Maester Seymour's orders, the Guado attack Home to kidnap Yuna, and destroy the city in the process. Amidst the chaos, a number of Al Bhed together with the player's party are able to flee Home using the airship that was discovered during the salvage operation shown early in the story.
After the defeat of Sin the Al Bhed expand their exploration of Bikanel Island. With the collapse of the teachings of Yevon and the wider acceptance of machina, all prejudice against the Al Bhed has apparently ended.
In Final Fantasy X-2, due to the rise of the Eternal Calm and the decline of old Yevon (and its doctrines), the Al Bhed exercised their freedom by expanding upon the knowledge of Machina and improving upon existing discoveries, for the sake of innovating rather than to continue the practice of salvaging and plain usage of the discoveries.
As near-humans the Al Bhed possess extremely close likeness to their Human brethren but for possessing uniquely swirled pupils in their green eyes. The green iris also seems to be an Al Bhed trait.
It should also be noted that the majority of the Al Bhed populace depicted in the games all possess blond hair.
Out of all the humanoid races in Spira the Al Bhed seem to be the most expressive in their emotions and body language, many of their more notable members also exhibit personalities that may classify as eccentric or child-like. Al Bhed take a keen interest in the technological past of Spira, organizing salvage operations and excavations of and for ancient technology.
The Al Bhed are the only Spiran race to openly reject the teachings of Yevon in Final Fantasy X, especially in regard to the ban on machina. For this reason they are often ostracized by the rest of the population, and have been the victims of attacks by Yevonites in the past. However, some Al Bhed have still managed to find global acceptance, most notably Rin, who operates a chain of travel agencies throughout Spira, and some are even allowed to participate in the Yevon-sponsored Blitzball tournaments. However, all Al Bhed are forbidden to enter the Temples; at the Macalania temple, Rikku was refused entry until Auron informed the guard that Rikku was Yuna's Guardian, and as such was duty-bound to enter the temple with her.
The Al Bhed language is a unique language in Spira, spoken by the Al Bhed people. Working like a substitution cipher (a language system replacing certain letters with others), it shares the same syntax and grammar of English in the English version of the games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. In the Japanese version it follows much the same pattern except in using the Japanese Romaji alphabet instead to speak and translate the language.
Converting Al Bhed to English/Japanese is relatively simple once a person knows which letter/sound stands for what. However, in the world of Spira, characters require entire books in order to translate one letter, implying that the language may be more complicated than how it is shown to the player.
(*note this is not the entire Japanese Romaji alphabet)
While Al Bhed speak their own language by majority, some words have been adopted from the Spirans. Words like Fiend, Magic, Aeon and Airship are all used by the Al Bhed in their language but originate from other cultures.
In the games, Al Bhed words are differentiated from the common language of Spira by being printed in blue text (for non-translated words) or pink text (for translated words). The player can learn the Al Bhed language by picking up items called Al Bhed Primers. Each Primer translates a single letter of the alphabet.
In Final Fantasy X, Primers are either given to Tidus by characters, or can be found in the field. The player can also use an Al Bhed Compilation Sphere to load Primers from another saved game. In Final Fantasy X-2 Primers are obtained either by simply listening to the Al Bhed language or by digging in the Bikanel Desert. Primers are carried over if the player uses the New Game Plus feature.
Rikku as an Al Bhed deep-sea diver
An Al Bhed child
Nhadala in Al Bhed desert excavation gear
Rin; an Al Bhed in the business industry
Other Al Bhed in various employments
|Tidus - Auron - Rikku - Wakka - Lulu - Yuna - Kimahri|
|Temporary playable characters|
|Jyscal Guado - Kelk Ronso - Wen Kinoc - Yo Mika|
|Chappu - Clasko - Elma - Gatta - Lucil - Luzzu - Lord Mi'ihen|
|Belgemine - Braska - Dona - Gandof - Isaaru - Ohalland - Yocun - Yunalesca - Zuke|
|Barthello - Biran Ronso - Borra - Brother - Calli - Cid - Ginnem - Jecht - Maechen - Maroda - O'aka XXIII - Omega - Pacce - Rin - Shelinda - Tidus' Mother - Tromell - Wantz - Yenke Ronso - Yu Yevon - Zaon|
|Baaj Temple - Besaid Island - Kilika Island - Luca - Mi'ihen Highroad - Mushroom Rock Road - Djose - Moonflow - Guadosalam - Farplane - Thunder Plains - Macalania - Bikanel Island - Bevelle - Calm Lands - Monster Arena - Cavern of the Stolen Fayth - Remiem Temple - Mount Gagazet - Zanarkand - Zanarkand Dome - Omega Ruins|
|Al Bhed - Guado - Hypello - Ronso|
|Aeon - Blitzball - Butterfly Hunt - Calm - Celestial Weapon - Chamber of the Fayth - Chocobo Knights - Cloister of Trials - Eternal Calm - Fahrenheit - Fayth - Fiend - Final Aeon - Guardian - High Summoner - Hover - Jecht Shot - Machina - Maester - Overdrive - Overdrive Mode - Overkill - Pilgrimage - Pyrefly - Rin's Travel Agency - S.S. Liki - S.S. Winno - Sending - Shoopuf - Sin - Sphere - Sphere Grid - Summoner - Unsent - Warrior Monks - Yevon|
|Original Soundtrack - Promo CD - Suteki da ne - Vocal Collection - Feel/Go Dream: Yuna & Tidus - Piano Collections - Official Soundtrack
|Abilities - Armor - Auto Abilities - Black Magic - Characters - Chronology - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Items - Locations - Ronso Rage - Translations - Walkthrough - Wallpapers - Weapons - White Magic|
|Yuna - Rikku - Paine|
|Brother - Buddy - Shinra - Barkeep - Biggs and Wedge|
|Auron - Ayde - Baralai - Barthello - Beclem - Benzo - Borra - Calli - Cid - Clasko - Dona - Elma - Garik Ronso - Gippal - Jecht - Kimahri Ronso - LeBlanc - Lenne - Lian - Logos - Lucil - Lulu - Maechen - Marnela - Maroda - Nhadala - Nooj - O'aka XXIII - Ormi - Pacce - Prophet - Rin - Seymour Guado - Shelinda - Shuyin - Tidus - Tobli - Trema - Tromell - Vidina - Wakka - Wantz - Wen Kinoc|
|Besaid - Bevelle - Bikanel - Calm Lands - Cave Ruins - Cavern of the Stolen Fayth - Chocobo Ranch - Coliseum - Den of Woe - Djose - Farplane - Fiend Colony - Guadosalam - Kilika - Luca - Macalania - Mi'ihen Highroad - Mushroom Rock Road - Ruin Depths - Thunder Plains - Via Infinito - Yadonoki Tower - Zanarkand|
|Creatures and Races|
|Al Bhed - Guado - Human - Hypello - Ronso - Cactuar|
|Aeon - Blitzball - Blitzball Tournament - Blue Bullet - Calm - Celsius - Chamber of the Fayth - Chocobo - CommSphere - Creature Create System - Crimson Squad - Dressphere - Episode Complete - Episode Concluded - Eternal Calm - Fayth - Fiend - Game Over - Garment Grid - Gil - Gullwings - Gunner's Gauntlet - High Summoner - Hotspot - Hover - Kinderguardians - LeBlanc Syndicate - Machina - Machine Faction - Maester - Missions - Movie Sphere - New Yevon - Oversoul - Piano - Public Relations - Pyrefly - Rin's Travel Agency - Save Sphere - Shoopuf - Shop - Sphere - Sphere Break - Sphere Break Tournament - Sphere Hunters - The End - Tiny Bee - Unsent - Vegnagun - World Map - Youth League - Zanarkand Abes|
|Original Soundtrack - Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ - Real Emotion/1000 Words - Vocal Collection - Yuna - Vocal Collection - Rikku - Vocal Collection - Paine - International Last Mission Original Soundtrack - Piano Collection
|Accessories - Blue Bullet - Chronology - Dresspheres - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Items - Merchandise - Spells - Walkthroughs - Wallpapers|