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Sephiroth
10-23-2014, 09:02 PM
Final Fantasy VIII Review:


When Seeds grow

Spoiler Alert


Characters:


Squall Leonhart (17): The main character of Final Fantasy VIII. Squall is a very calm 17-year old guy who does not really care about the lives of others or what they think of his own.
When things start getting tricky and people need help they normally can count on him though. His restrained nature reflects his fear of loss. He is the son of Laguna and Raine
Loire who appear in the past traveller scenes, Laguna even in their present. With his "sis" Ellione defining his character in the past and Laguna and Rinoa his thinking in the present
two sides of Squall clash together and force him to decide which kind of person he wants to be in the future.


Rinoa Heartilly (17): The female main character of Final Fantasy VIII. She gets to know Seifer 1 year before the main story starts and meets Squall for the first time while Seifer introduces her
to Director Cid. She is a rebell who wants to free Galbadia from President Deling for which she hires the SeeDs without knowing that something way bigger is actually involved.
She is the daughter of Julia Heartilly, a former crush of Laguna, and Fury Carway.


Ultimecia: Witch from the future and main villain and antagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. Ultimecia hates all existence, especially that of the SeeDs and wants to prevent her own fate
from being sealed by them through Time Compression, which unites the entirety of space and time in her own being. This includes the power of all sorceresses and thus would give her
the power of Creator God Hyne who split up his power to give it to the witches. Because of the closed circuit of time she is together with her past and future selves doomed to fight
an eternal battle against the SeeDs, which means, no matter if she dies, her younger self has to follow the cycle as well, try to break out of it and fail as well.


Edea Kramer (~40): Witch, wife of Cid Kramer and founder of the Balamb Garden as well as Edea's orphanage. Edea has spent her life taking care of others with her husband, no matter which way,
even if it means giving up herself and offering her own body to become a tool for Ultimecia before the witch from the future can actually hurt others and force them to become her shell
instead.


Seifer Almasy (18): An orphan who lives for the rivalry with Squall and his own passion. Seifer is an impatient and rude person who does not like to follow any orders but command instead.
With his behaviour he has hindered himself from becoming a SeeD in the past and he has no intention to do better. His way of life and morals might be questionable, actually to an extreme,
but he also has a calm and nice side.


Quistis Trepe (18), Zell Dincht (17), Selphie Tilmitt (17), Irvine Kinneas (17): The SeeD gang and Squalls friends. Except Irvine who is no SeeD, all of them are SeeDs at Balamb Garden.
They make a very mixed group of people with their different personalities but nevertheless they can always count on each other. Not only because they actually know each other
for a long time, back when they were children, no matter if they remember or not ...


Laguna Loire (~45): Former Galbadian soldier and now president of hi-tech state of Esthar. Laguna is a very dorky and clumsy person and the father of Squall. He never had the chance
to be much of a father for him directly but he let his son in Edea's caring hands. The most important thing for him is to protect Ellione who is pretty much his adoptive daughter as
he and Raine have taken care of her since her parents died and Ellione is wanted by power-hungry people because of her Connection ability. Still, even though he does not really know
how to be a father for Squall or how to talk with him, he tries to explain him and talk to him, the best way, he can. After all, through Ellione's Connection they were even together
already even before Laguna and Raine got Squall in their very own time so the young SeeD already knows very well how his father works ...


Ellione (20s): Squall's "sis" and the most important non-playable character in the story. Ellione is an orphan who has been taken care of by Laguna and Raine. She has a special ability
that she calls "Connection" which allows her to function as a junctioner for Squall and everyone she and Squall know so the consciousness of people can be sent through time and live
through the moments of other people as she did when she sent him to Laguna in the past and which has been thought of as dream first. She tries to change the past with her ability
but because of the closed circuit of time she fails. Still Ultimecia wants to use the "Junction Machine: ELLIONE" made by Prof. Odyne after analyzing Ellione and Ellione herself
to fuse herself with reality so Squall's sis plays a major role in more than just her own life.


Story: The story of Final Fantasy VIII begins like every story of Final Fantasy: Something bigger has yet to come. Squall is about to become a SeeD and succeeds after a mission
in the city of Dollet. Soon after he and the others get hired by Rinoa to assist her and her group in the fight against Galbadia. After finding out that Deling who was thought of
their enemy was not actually the one to fight but the witch Edea - who actually also got controlled without their knowing - thinsg start getting even more serious. A failed assassination
operation with Irvine whose shot was blocked by Ultimedea - Ultimecia who controlled Edea - being imprisoned and preventing the Balamb Garden from being destroyed and finding out, except Rinoa
they already all knew each other in the past but forgot it because of the Guardian Forces, energetiy life forms that feast on their memories, they finally manage to win
the battle against Ultimedea and break the spell so they find out about Edea being controlled for the first time.
As Ultimecia decides to use Rinoa, Rinoa becomes unconscious and her body is not being animated by herself or the witch from the future for a while. Squall who already knows of Ellione
and her powers wants to find and ask her to send him to Rinoa in the past as he does not know things can't be undone, as whatever would happened in the past, would have already happened before,
meaning being sent to the past would already have been done once before and would not have woken up Rinoa.
Squall's intentions, which gradually start changing him by falling in love with Rinoa, do not hinder Ultimecia to animate Rinoa's shell and use it for her own purposes so she
can free Adell, an evil witch who has been sealed away with Laguna's help in the past.
After Ultimecia finally let go of Rinoa and Squall being able to save her, their relationship starts growing even faster. Saving her from being sealed away as well by Esthar,
they are all finally together again and think of a plan to stop Ultimecia from achieving her goal - an event mentioned by Edea and Prof. Odyne called "Time Compression".
Stopping Ultimecia requires to let her initiate Time Compression and travel to her in the future before she actually can absorb everything. With a trick of Rinoa and Ellione
they manage to do it and face Ultimecia for the final showdown. Ultimecia cannot end the process and everyone travels back to their normal time while reality normalizes again,
though Squall who is about to get lost in nothingness after finding the past in which Ultimecia gives her power to Edea and the young SeeD invents together with Edea the concept of the Gardens-
After not meeting with Rinoa as planned and not being able to return without her, he is ultimately found by Rinoa and saved so they can go back to live their
normal live in the Garden in peace.



Inconsistencies: Ultimecia's abilties are pretty clear but sometimes the story does not actually explain when she just corrupts a person to let them reflect her intentions or actually turns off their consciousness
to act instead of them. Normally she does the latter with Edea but sometimes it is explained different. Various moments in which people should not really know things or at least why they know so much about it,
it being either because of they abilities or a totally different scene, is also not explained.
Also, though Ultimecia's Time Compression working in theory with the concept of her consciousness being in multiple time periods, making them one single time that she unites in her being, the overall
thing would also not work as it also includes past in a way and so the causality paradoxes come into play again (at that point even theory breaks), which means, basically no matter if Ultimecia can survive Time Compression, she
could never end it from a logical view as she still was a part of time and needed the past to exist seperately - you could come with an explanation of like "time is frozen during the process of time compression
so the normal flow of past, present and future is not interrupted and does not count as action that cancels out the past events meaning time flows and so causes no paradox as the frozen time events are not meant
to replace the other stuff even on the same timeline - it freezes by fusing but does not actually void the actions that happened in those time periods as those happened and "next to it there was one single moment that covered all those times that does not actually count fot the regular flow" - it normalizes again
but that is some kind of thing that should at least be said and even that would be only some kind of "somehow-explanation". Nevertheless, if you just do not think too logical about it, everything should be fine. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy XIII-2
are also a collective of logical chains and ilogical chains.


Music: Final Fantasy VIII touches me with a beautiful collection of emotional themes and songs as well as dramatic ones. Most of them include Squall and Rinoa's love, Laguna and Raine's love or Julia, Ellione or the Witches. The rest of the
sountrack is not really of my taste but I have yet to see a soundtrack that perfectly convinces me.


World/Atmosphere: To be honest, I do not like the too realistic and grown up touch of Final Fantasy VIII. It can convince with the rest thoug, it being the more fantasy-like part of the world,
or the story and music so it is okay for me.