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Ayen
12-01-2013, 03:54 AM
Settle down, Squall fans, he isn't dead.
Sorry, Squall haters, he isn't dead.

I'm wondering if anyone has heard the theory that's been going around that suggests:

When Squall got stabbed with an ice spike at the end of disc one and fell off of, erm, I can't remember it's been too long. Anyway, it suggests that Squall really did die at this stage in the game and the rest is just one big dream sequence. Though I'm not sure how one can dream and be dead at the same time, unless they meant comatose and I'm remembering it wrong. Into the start of disc two things do start to get... interesting, to say the least. We're introduced to an underground desert prison, there are those orange things that jump around, Balamb Garden can be used as a ship that travels the world and there's a big fat squid or whatever in the sub-basement. Not only that but more and more focus starts to shift Squall's way compared to the first disc. Not to mention the fact that everyone apart from Rinoa is revealed to have grown up in an orphanage together. Funny how Irvine forgot to mention that when he met up with the fellas at Galbadia Garden... Suddenly he's meant to be the leader of SeeD, the hero, the icon, the showstopper, the main event, get the girl and live happily ever after.

I just thought it was an interesting theory given the above points and I can see why some people would adopt it. What do you guys think? Does anyone here subscribe to this theory or dismiss it entirely?

Discuss.

Hollycat
12-01-2013, 03:59 AM
Oh man, we had a field day discussing this a few years ago. I believe it was Jeswee who started the thread last time.

It certainly is an interesting idea, and it does fill in a lot of the holes.

Shorty
12-01-2013, 05:57 AM
This is apparently a well-discussed theory across FF fans, but it's never really clicked to be "my" kindof of storyline or twist.

It is interesting, and I've thought before that if it were at all possible, Ellone might have something to do with it (though I'm not sure what).

I prefer to think all the characters were alive and well as the story happened, myself!

Ayen
12-01-2013, 06:09 AM
My only problem with it is I'd be pretty pissed off if the last three discs of the game were all just a dream.

Jiro
12-01-2013, 06:23 AM
I love the Squall is Dead theory because it's just so crazy that it could be plausible. Same with the Ash is Dead theory.

I don't understand why people hate the "it was all a dream" twist. I mean, it is kind of weak, but being like "it wasn't real :aimmad:" kind of misses the fact that it's a fictional story in the first place. A story playing out through somebody's subconscious dreams and hopes and desires sounds like an alright idea to me, even though it certainly wasn't executed that well in terms of FFVIII.

Shorty
12-01-2013, 06:26 AM
I hate it for the same reason I suppose I hated the FFX twist. It's anti-climactic, it makes it feel all for naught.

Scotty_ffgamer
12-01-2013, 07:31 AM
I think the theory is at least interesting to think about. I remember trying to find different things that could fit the theory in one of my playthroughs just for fun. I do dismiss the theory, but college English classes have made me enjoy trying to "prove" and create different interpretations of fiction even if I don't agree with them.

Honestly, if Squall is in a dying state, I would think that he is in that dying state throughout the whole game. I would say that the very first cutscene is his mind trying to transition from what just happened to him to his own dream reality. This is why we keep getting these cuts from Rinoa's voice to Squall and Seifer fighting to Edea and Rinoa and back to the fighting, etc. In my theory, this cutscene holds significance (particularly with regards to Rinoa), but I'll get to that in a moment.

After the cutscenes, we move to Squall waking up in the infirmary. This is an interesting place for Squall's mind to sort of stabilize into his dream world just in that he is already setting himself up to face a pretty grave injury and live to tell about it. From this point on, we get a fairly straight forward retelling of events that lead up to the assassination attempt - albeit, with some alterations to what really happened in order to set up Squall's "post-death" dream world. Some of these alterations would consist of him seeing Ellone in the infirmary and his first visit into the dream world.

Where my theory really differs from the original Squall is Dead comes with my interpretation of the events in Deling City during the assassination attempt. You see, Squall was not the only one to die during this attempt. If you can recall, Rinoa ends up running to face Edea alone essentially to prove that she wasn't weak and unimportant due to everyone practically making her feel that way. During this moment, Edea casts a spell that puts Rinoa in a trance and eventually sicks the Iguions on her as a sacrifice. In that time, Irvine tells Squall that they needed to help her or she could die, but Squall feels bound by his duties to stick to their plan. My theory is that when they do make it through the gate in reality, they find Rinoa dead. This is a moment that Squall greatly regrets and alters in his dying-dream world. In his dream world, he does make it in time to save her, and he also sort of chooses her to be his focal point to hold him together when he gets stabbed with the ice. She is the last thing he sees in that moment, and the confirmation of her being alive helps him hold to life in his dream world after being stabbed. Then after this point, crazy time-compressiony and NORG hijinks ensue.

Why do I say Rinoa died in reality? What proof do I have? Part of it comes with the fact that its doubtful Rinoa could have survived the Iguions attacking her for so long when Edea summoned them to kill her. Part of it comes with the opening cutscene. We keep getting these cuts back to the moment Rinoa is facing Edea by herself during the Squall/Seifer fight. This ends with Rinoa falling into Squall's arms. That moment does happen closer to the end of the game after all of the Ragnarok stuff, but I think at this point the visual is more a representation of Rinoa's death and Squall's guilt.

We also have Rinoa's promise of her waiting flashing on the screen as the very first words we see in the game. Part of me wonders if this promise is something the dying Squall made up, already trying to set up a way in his dream world to sort of protect Rinoa, but part of me also wonders if this is sort of Rinoa's spirit calling out to Squall's to let him know that she's waiting for him now, in the sort of afterlife.

Now let's quickly look at the rest of the game through the lens of "Rinoa is dead too." Over everything else going on in the game, what becomes Squall's constant focus throughout the events after Squall and the gang leave D-district prison? Keep Rinoa from dying at the hands of sorceresses. Squall ends up having a bit of a savior complex with regards to Rinoa. He's jumping out into space to save her, facing the world's most feared sorceress to save her, even taking on the entire world to save her if he has to. This is also why they fall in love so fast; that's how the best way in his dying-dream state to ensure he can always be by her side to continually save her.

Then you get to the end of the game, after Ultimecia is destroyed. Squall is on his last legs of life, so to speak. He nears death while on that desolate floating island. He ends up having Rinoa and the events of the game flash through his mind, but they are all getting hazy because his mind is sort of re-realizing that Rinoa is actually dead and so is he, essentially. Squall actually ends up in a heaven like state, and he finds Rinoa there. This is where life comes back to his island thing, and Rinoa and him are able to be together. Squall is able to accept both of their deaths and move on. The final moments during the credits can be kind of confusing with this. Perhaps we are seeing all of the cast of VIII in reality, being happy because they really were successful in the end. When we do see Rinoa on the camera, Selphie is pointing and making kind of a big deal about seeing her. This is kind of strange, but perhaps Rinoa and Squall's spirit still sort of lingers in the world, and this is the cast of VIII being able to get a glimpse of their spirits and seeing they are happy now.

Or there's the possibility that at the moment when Squall meets Rinoa on the desolate island thing, he is deciding he really isn't ready to move on from his dream world at that moment and life filling the area again is showing him clinging back to life. Who knows. I feel sorry for anyone who just read this entire thing. I still think the Squall is Dead theory is rubbish all in all. Sorry.

Jessweeee♪
12-01-2013, 07:48 AM
This is probably my favorite video game fan theory ever. After I read about it I immediately started playing the game again with that theory in perspective and it was a lot of fun!

As for "it was all a dream/it was never real" in fiction in general, as a twist I think it's great sometimes. It only really bothers me when it's used as a sort of "reset" button to maintain the status quo.

Jiro
12-01-2013, 08:10 AM
I hate it for the same reason I suppose I hated the FFX twist. It's anti-climactic, it makes it feel all for naught.

What if I described it thusly:

Squall, as he is dying, struggles to overcome the trauma and angst of his childhood and finally understands the value of friendship. He also feels love for the first time before his consciousness is swept away and he dies happy. Like, that sounds alright. It's a personal, internal journey for the poor emo guy.

Ayen
12-01-2013, 08:20 AM
This is probably my favorite video game fan theory ever. After I read about it I immediately started playing the game again with that theory in perspective and it was a lot of fun!

As for "it was all a dream/it was never real" in fiction in general, as a twist I think it's great sometimes. It only really bothers me when it's used as a sort of "reset" button to maintain the status quo.

I think that's why I'm a little turned off by it, because the dream thing being used as a reset button. The more I think about it the more I like it and if it was canon it'd be one clever way to introduce a new FFVIII game that shows what happened with those still living.

I get the feeling that wouldn't be received too well, though. Not sure.

maybee
12-01-2013, 02:52 PM
It's a interesting theory, but if you look at this way :

Firion died when Paramecia attacked his hometown, meeting Hilda, Minwu etc from then on is all Firion's dieing dream.

The Onion Knight kids died when they fell in the cave adventuring away from their orphanage, the rest of the game is all their dieing dream.

Cecil died when Leviathan attacked the boat, the rest of the game on is all his dieing dream. Cecil never became a Paladin, it's was just to symbolize his inner desire to become a better person.

Bartz died when the first main Meteor fell into earth, the rest is all his dieing dream.

Terra died when Kefka destroyed the world at the Floating Island, again, the rest of the game is her dieing dream that they all meet together again, that she understands love, that Shadow is alive and alright and they defeat Kefka.

Celes really did die via suicide and her dieing dream is shared with Terra

Cloud died after summoning the Black Materia at the Northern Crater, the rest is his dieing dream to revenge Sephiroth and make love to his crush Tifa.

Advent Children is counting his dream and Zack and Aerith that his dieing dream isn't quite over yet, but they'll be waiting in the Lifestream for him

DOC is Vincent's dream after the falling off Meteor end of Final Fantasy VII

Crisis Core is Cloud finally making terms with his rough past, with Zack helping him and telling him what he didn't know and what really went on back then.

Zidane died at the Lifa Tree when saving Kuja at the end, him coming back and hugging and embracing Garnet was just his last Fantasy.

Tidus was a dieing dream, FF X wasn't Tidus's dream, but he was a dream.

etc, etc, etc.

It sort of falls because you could do it with all the Final Fantasy leads.

Hollycat
12-01-2013, 05:34 PM
It's a interesting theory, but if you look at this way :

Firion died when Paramecia attacked his hometown, meeting Hilda, Minwu etc from then on is all Firion's dieing dream.

The Onion Knight kids died when they fell in the cave adventuring away from their orphanage, the rest of the game is all their dieing dream.

Cecil died when Leviathan attacked the boat, the rest of the game on is all his dieing dream. Cecil never became a Paladin, it's was just to symbolize his inner desire to become a better person.

Bartz died when the first main Meteor fell into earth, the rest is all his dieing dream.

Terra died when Kefka destroyed the world at the Floating Island, again, the rest of the game is her dieing dream that they all meet together again, that she understands love, that Shadow is alive and alright and they defeat Kefka.

Celes really did die via suicide and her dieing dream is shared with Terra

Cloud died after summoning the Black Materia at the Northern Crater, the rest is his dieing dream to revenge Sephiroth and make love to his crush Tifa.

Advent Children is counting his dream and Zack and Aerith that his dieing dream isn't quite over yet, but they'll be waiting in the Lifestream for him

DOC is Vincent's dream after the falling off Meteor end of Final Fantasy VII

Crisis Core is Cloud finally making terms with his rough past, with Zack helping him and telling him what he didn't know and what really went on back then.

Zidane died at the Lifa Tree when saving Kuja at the end, him coming back and hugging and embracing Garnet was just his last Fantasy.

Tidus was a dieing dream, FF X wasn't Tidus's dream, but he was a dream.

etc, etc, etc.

It sort of falls because you could do it with all the Final Fantasy leads.
The problem with all of these is that the only one where this could make sense is 8, because it's the only one where after the event happens, the main character doesn't meet anyone important. All the characters Squall meets after his "death" barely have any sort of personality to them at all, as if they were filler. The only character who this possibly doesn't apply to is Ellone, who Squall has met in passing.

Scotty_ffgamer
12-01-2013, 07:12 PM
I would say its interesting to note the kind of people Squall does meet after Disc 1. Ellone, Laguna, and Matron (I say the last one because the Edea of disc 1 and Matron later on really are essentially two different people). Then you have the party remembering that they all were in the same orphanage. If you go with the Squall is Dead theory, you really have Squall resolving all of his abandonment issues as a child pretty quickly.

If any unfortunate soul reads my theory that I put a lot of work into in my last post, something else I will note with that is its interesting how Squall is extremely closed off with getting close to people due to his abandonment stuff. In some ways, he had been abandoning everyone else (at least emotionally) throughout that first part of the game. If Rinoa actually dies at the point I mention in my theory due to his emotional detachment/abandonment, and the rest of the game is Squall's dying dream to fix his regrets of what happened, then it makes some sort of sense how Squall quickly attaches himself to Rinoa, is constantly saving her life time and time again, and refused to ever abandon her again.k

maybee
12-02-2013, 07:11 AM
The problem with all of these is that the only one where this could make sense is 8, because it's the only one where after the event happens, the main character doesn't meet anyone important. All the characters Squall meets after his "death" barely have any sort of personality to them at all, as if they were filler. The only character who this possibly doesn't apply to is Ellone, who Squall has met in passing.

Yeah

but

All of the important characters just happen to be introduced on the first CD

Rinoa, Seifer, Irvine, Zell, Laguna, Ward, Kiros, Cid, Edea, Selphie, Quistis etc

There's nobody else really important to introduce, minus Ellone like you say.

Even Ulti is introduced on the 1st CD, it's just through Evil! Edea.

noxious.sunshine
12-02-2013, 03:34 PM
I came across this theory last year I believe....

And it's hella interesting & plausible, but I'm choosing not to go that route, though seeing how all of the points made in the original post (at the actual website of this) -do- fall in rather easily with the story (I replayed it as well, keeping in mind the Squall's Dead theory).

I mean, like said before, it'd be a major disappointment if that were the case.

WhiteStorm
12-03-2013, 12:56 AM
I came across this theory last year I believe....

And it's hella interesting & plausible, but I'm choosing not to go that route, though seeing how all of the points made in the original post (at the actual website of this) -do- fall in rather easily with the story (I replayed it as well, keeping in mind the Squall's Dead theory).

I mean, like said before, it'd be a major disappointment if that were the case.


Same here.

It's interesting, but that's all.