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Final Fantasy VIII
ファイナルファンタジーVIII
Fainaru Fantajī VIII
Developer(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s)
Japan Square Co., Ltd.

United States/Canada Square EA

Europe/Australia SCE Europe
Release date
PlayStation:
Japan February 11, 1999
United States/Canada September 9, 1999
Europe/Australia October 27, 1999

PC:

United States/Canada December 31, 1999
Japan March 23, 2000

PlayStation Network

Japan September 24, 2009
United States/Canada December 17, 2009
Genre Role-playing game
Game modes Single player
Ratings CERO:B (12+)
ESRB:TeenTeen

USK: 12+ 12+
OFLC:M15+M15+
ELSPA: 11+

Platform(s) PlayStation, PC, PlayStation Network

Final Fantasy VIII is the eighth installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was directed by Yoshinori Kitase, written by Kitase and Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Shinji Hashimoto. The game is the second Final Fantasy that was developed for both PlayStation and PC. It was made available as a PSone Classic over the Japanese PlayStation Network on September 24, 2009 and the North American PlayStation Network on December 18, 2009.

Thirteen weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than $50 million from sales in the United States, making it the fastest selling Final Fantasy title. Additionally, Final Fantasy VIII was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Final Fantasy VIII went on to become one of the best-selling games in the Final Fantasy series with worldwide sales of over 8.15 million by March 31st, 2003.

Final Fantasy VIII is a departure from many traditional standards of the Final Fantasy series. It is the first game in the series to consistently use realistically proportioned characters, the first to feature a vocal piece as its theme music, and one of the only titles to deviate from the series' traditional means of increasing a character's power via leveling. In addition, it does not have a Magic Point-based system for spell-casting. Instead, magic is collected, drawn, and created from monsters and objects encountered throughout the game.

Contents

Gameplay

The gameplay of Final Fantasy VIII is vastly different from previous titles. The Draw and Junction Systems are the most notable changes. Instead of leveling up in order to learn new spells and abilities via weapons or a job class, you must "Draw" your magic and spells from enemies and "draw-points", hot spots scattered throughout the game containing random numbers of a specific spell. This eliminated the convention of magic/mana points, but encouraged players to hoard and conserve spells both for direct use and for 'junctioning' them to different stats associated with Guardian Forces, who also held the learning of new abilities.

Guardian Forces

A battle in Final Fantasy VIII.
Main article: Guardian Force

Summoned monsters in Final Fantasy VIII are known as Guardian Forces, often abbreviated to GF. They require Junctioning to characters in order to use them, as well as their inherent abilities. Unlike previous games, GF take time to be summoned, the time taken depends on the character/GF combination. When selected, the ATB gauge begins to run backwards and the character's name and HP is replaced by the GF's name and HP. Similar to the Aeons used later in Final Fantasy X, the GF have HP and can take damage, shielding party members while being summoned. During the summoning, if the GF's HP reaches 0, they stop protecting the summoning character and do not get summoned.

They are also unable to be summoned until they are revived. On the flip side, if the ATB gauge for the GF reaches zero, the GF is summoned, and attacks in a similar fashion to Final Fantasy VII. If the GF summoned has learned the ability "Boost", the player can attempt to boost the GF's attack power by up to 250%, although the boost may end up being anywhere between 75% to 250% of the GF's normal attack power. The Boost formula has been discovered to be Attack Damage X (Boost Number/100) So if the Boost is below 100, the GF's Attack Damage is reduced.

Guardian Forces can also gain Ability points to learn abilities. Each GF has unique abilities, though rare items allow customization of each GF's unique skill set. Most abilities at least require junctioning the GF to a character, but some abilities also require junctioning to the character to take effect. Each GF has an ability that, once learned, can be junctioned as a battle command. The first two Guardian Forces are acquired at the beginning of the game. Other Guardian Forces can be acquired through side-quests, or by Drawing them from another boss. There are only three GF that you must find to continue the game, the others are completely optional.

Junctioning

Main article: Junction System
Squall's Junction screen.

The Junction System is the system used for boosting stats and to give elemental/status effects to weapons and armor in Final Fantasy VIII. The player must Junction, or equip, a Guardian Force to enable the use of battle commands other than Attack. Boosting stats require characters to obtain magic, usually by Drawing magic from enemies. The player can then Junction that magic to stats such as Strength, Vitality, Evasion and Hit-Rate. What can be customized depends on the Guardian Force that is currently junctioned. The Guardian Force can learn to unlock more statistics to junction magic to with Ability Points.

Experience and Leveling

As with most games of the RPG genre, Experience Points are awarded following defeat of randomly encountered enemies. Final Fantasy VIII's system of leveling is unique for two reasons: each playable character only requires 1,000 Experience Points to advance to the next level, whereas other games require progressively more points as the levels are gained. The statistic increases granted by a level-up are minuscule, as major stat growth is relegated to the Junction system.

The other feature is that enemies and bosses have no set level; they increase in hit points, statistics, and abilities alongside the player party. Higher-level enemies are capable of inflicting and withstanding significantly more damage, and may have additional special attacks. They also possess better magic to draw and items to steal as their level rises. The benefits of this system are that by keeping characters at low levels, enemies and bosses at the later stages of the game can be significantly weaker, resulting in "No-Leveling Challenge" games of Final Fantasy VIII.

Furthermore, due to most locations being visited several times during the storyline and for side-quests, enemies encountered early will grow with the party and can still pose a threat later in the game. There are certain locations that are the exempt to this style of creature leveling, notably the Islands of Heaven and Hell, where all creatures are at level 100 regardless of character level, and Lunatic Pandora, where all creatures are at level 1 regardless of character level.

Limit Breaks

Main article: Limit Break#Final Fantasy VIII

Limit Break abilities returned in Final Fantasy VIII and once again received an overhaul from previous incarnations. The system is similar to the Desperation Attacks in Final Fantasy VI, but the player has more control over when and which Limit to use. A Limit is triggered by low health, however the spell Aura increases the chance a Limit will be available even at full health. Each playable character has their own unique Limit Break, attune to their character style, and are accompanied by an interactive element which, when performed correctly, can increase the potency of the attack. Squall's Renzokuken, Irvine's Shot, and if used correctly, Zell's Duel can be considered amongst the strongest Limit Breaks in the entire series.

Triple Triad

A trading card game featured in Final Fantasy VIII. This was later followed up by Final Fantasy IX's Tetra Master card game. Triple Triad varies from a very simple easy-to-play game to one that is incredibly complicated. If you were to play Triple Triad throughout the entire game, you'll find that more rules and variations of other rules come into play depending on what area you are playing in. And to complicate things further, rules you play with in one area are carried by you to other areas. So you'll want to be careful what rules you pick up while playing.

Cards won from monsters or by playing NPCs can be turned into various items using Quezacotl's Card Mod ability ranging from Screws to items capable of being refined into the most powerful magics in the game. Cards can also be obtained by using the Card command learned from Quezacotl, which turns the targeted monster into a card. It isn't advised for anyone to pass up playing Triple Triad.

Characters

Artwork of the Final Fantasy VIII cast by Yoshitaka Amano.
Main article: List of Final Fantasy VIII Characters

Overall, Final Fantasy VIII has eleven playable characters, six of them used for the majority of the game, three of them used at certain interludes in the game, and two temporary characters.

These six player characters are used throughout the entire game. They are:

Other major characters join or replace the party, though only for short periods.

  • Seifer Almasy - Squall's rival who wreaks havoc within Garden. Wielder of the Gunblade Hyperion.
  • Laguna Loire - A Galbadian soldier with a dream of becoming a Journalist. A bit of a klutz.
  • Kiros Seagill - A Galbadian soldier who wields katar in battle. Laguna's best friend.
  • Ward Zabac - A Galbadian soldier who wields a harpoon. Laguna's close friend.
  • Edea Kramer - A mysterious Sorceress, she is closer to the heroes than they initially realize.

Subsequent appearances

Several characters from the game have appeared in other Square games. Squall and Ultimecia appeared in Dissidia Final Fantasy as the main protagonist and antagonist representing Final Fantasy VIII, while Squall himself has made cameos in Chocobo Racing, Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II and Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special. Rinoa also appears in Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special while Quistis appears in the game's portable version. Selphie also appears in Kingdom Hearts, and is joined later by Seifer, Fujin and Raijin in Kingdom Hearts II.

Squall and Rinoa were featured in an official Final Fantasy VIII Technical Demo for the PlayStation 2 in 1999, recreating their pre-rendered dance movie from 'Final Fantasy VIII' using real time animation.

Story

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
"At the forefront of a rising tide of violence brought on by Galbadia's war declaration is a SeeD cadet named Squall Leonhart. Serious to a fault, Squall has earned himself the reputation of being a lone wolf."
"A chance encounter with the free-spirited Rinoa Heartilly, however, turns his universe upside down. Having thrived on discipline, Squall finds Rinoa's carefree attitude fascinating. Yet there is no time to ponder these thoughts, for the job of dealing with the sorceress behind Galbadia's irrational hostility has fallen to SeeD and Squall."
—Official Introduction

Background & SeeD

Squall and Seifer duel against each other.

The game opens with a duel between the two arch-rivals Squall Leonhart and Seifer Almasy. Squall and Seifer are both students at Balamb Garden, a military academy training SeeDs, an elite mercenary force that helps people all around the world. Squall loses the duel, although both men end up with scars across their faces. Squall wakes up a few hours later, on the day of his SeeD field exam. He goes with his instructor Quistis Trepe to retrieve a Guardian Force (GF), that enables people to use magic more easily.

The final test Squall must pass to become a SeeD, is to go the the occupied city of Dollet, together with his squad members Zell Dincht and Seifer. They quickly uncover the reason for the Galbadian Army's occupation; to reactivate an old radio tower. Seifer leaves his teammates behind, and disobeys Garden's orders. A spunky young girl, Selphie Tilmitt, joins the party at this time, and after defeating a monster at the top of the tower, the tower is reactivated, and they are chased back to the beach by a spider-like war machine.

Back at Garden, Squall finally has passed the final test to become a SeeD, as have Zell and Selphie. Seifer, however, having disobeyed a direct order, failed. That night, during the SeeD Graduation Ceremony, Squall is asked for a dance by a girl. The introverted Squall is forced out onto the dance floor, and a cutscene ensues. The day after, they receive their first mission as SeeDs: to aid a resistance faction known as the Forest Owls, in their quest to retain the independence of a small nation called Timber.

On the train trip to Timber, the SeeDs strangely pass out, and have a dream about a man called Laguna Loire, and his two friends Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac. Upon waking up, they meet up with the Forest Owls, only to find out that the leader is the girl who danced with Squall, Rinoa Heartilly. The Forest Owls' plan is to abduct Vinzer Deling, the tyrannic president of Galbadia, and force him to withdraw his soldiers from Timber. However, once they manage to hijack the president's train, they find out it is an impostor.

Chaos & Memories

After defeating the impostor, they learn that the real President Deling is going to the Timber TV Station to broadcast something. He announces that the new diplomat for Galbadia is the Sorceress, Edea. However, an enraged Seifer somehow goes there and holds the President hostage. He is, however, led to following the Sorceress, and is officially announced executed. The SeeDs are then hired by Galbadia Garden, to kill the Sorceress, with the help of General Caraway's plan, and the master sniper, Irvine Kinneas, at her inauguration parade in Deling City. Rinoa, however, comes up with a plan of her own; to suppress the Sorceress' power with an Odine Brand item.

However, Rinoa is struck down by the Sorceress, who then kills President Deling. Running through the parade, Squall is surprised to see Seifer, standing at the Sorceress' side. Squall and Irvine eventually reach Rinoa, Zell, Selphie and Quistis, and trap the Sorceress inside a gate. However, Irvine seems to lose it just before he is supposed to shoot her, but with a little help from Squall, he fires at the Sorceress. Edea blocks the shot with a magical barrier. Squall must then fight the Sorceress, but has to go through Seifer, who has now become Edea's protective Knight. Edea uses her ice Limit Break, which pierces Squall's chest and renders him unconscious.

Squall wakes up in the D-District Prison, where he is tortured by Seifer, who demands to know the true purpose of SeeD. Squall is knocked unconscious by the pain, but is rescued by a Moomba. His friends manage to escape as well, but upon escaping, they see that the Galbadians have launched missiles against Trabia Garden, and are planning to launch some at Balamb Garden as well. They split into two teams, one with Selphie as the leader, who try to stop the missile launch, and one with Squall, who go to warn Balamb Garden. Selphie's party fails to stop the missile launch in time, and barely escapes the self-destructing missile launch base inside a machine. Squall arrives to find Balamb Garden in an uproar; students are fighting each other, one side siding with the Headmaster Cid, and one with the Garden Master NORG. They eventually stop NORG, and find out that the Garden is mobile, and moves the Garden just in time before the missiles hit.

Balamb SeeDs battle Galbadian Soldiers.

However, Balamb Garden isn't controllable, and they crash into Fisherman's Horizon. The crafty technicians there help restore the Garden into full functionality. When they go back to Balamb, they find that the Galbadians, under the supervision of Seifer's friends Fujin and Raijin, are searching for a woman named Ellone. They decide to go to Trabia Garden, Selphie's original Garden, where they suddenly remember that as children, they all, except Rinoa, lived in an orphanage together, cared for by a woman named Edea.

They had forgotten all about their past because of the memory loss that using the GFs bring. They decide to go back to the orphanage, only to find out that Galbadia Garden had gotten there first. They prepare for an assault on the Garden, which is now under the control of Edea and Seifer. The many brave SeeDs show their skill, and they finally reach Edea, but are stopped by Seifer. Seifer is defeated once again, but appears again in the subsequent battle.

When they finally defeat Edea, she returns to her normal state of mind in surprise. She then reveals that she has been possessed by a Sorceress from the distant future called, Ultimecia, and that up until now they had been fighting against Ultimecia, inside Edea's "shell." However, Rinoa becomes possessed by Ultimecia now, and manipulates Seifer, who is now merely Ultimecia's puppet. Ultimecia then forces Rinoa to fall into a coma. The SeeDs return to the orphanage to speak with Edea about Ultimecia. It is through this conversation with Edea that they learn of Ultimecia's plans for Time Compression.

The Destined War With Ultimecia

Squall is overcome by emotions, and understands that he is in love with Rinoa. He will do anything to bring her back, and they go to the hidden nation of Esthar, to speak with Dr. Odine, the inventor of Guardian Force Junctions, and a specialist on Sorceresses. Edea joins the party to Esthar, despite her fear that Ultimecia may possess her again. Squall carries an unconscious Rinoa on his back during the journey to Esthar. In Esthar, Dr. Odine tells him where he can find Ellone, who might be able to help Squall find out what happened to Rinoa. They are launched into outer space, to Esthar's Lunar Base, where they are keeping the Sorceress Adel, who once ruled Esthar, confined.

Squall rescues Rinoa‎ before she is sealed.

However, Ultimecia takes possession of Rinoa's body and forces her way through those who might stop her. Back on the ground, Zell's party is shocked to see the Lunatic Pandora, a mighty pillar, that was used long ago to destroy the Centra continent by summoning monsters from the Moon, rise again from the ocean, due to Seifer. Ultimecia goes out into outer space and destroys the seal upon Adel, who returns to the Lunatic Pandora. Ultimecia then abandons Rinoa's body in space to enter Adel's body.

Squall goes after Rinoa, and rescues her from a death in outer space. They escape on the lost spaceship Ragnarok. However, Rinoa is now deemed a Sorceress, and Esthar demands that she be handed over to them, as she poses a threat to the world. Rinoa agrees to go with them, but Squall can't bear it, and rescues her before she is sealed away. The party then prepares to head to the Lunatic Pandora to rescue Ellone, who had been captured by Seifer to further Ultimecia's plan.

After Ellone's abduction, the party discusses Ultimecia's plan with Dr. Odine. Ellone's ability to send the consciousnesses of others into different eras of time had been used by Dr. Odine at some point in the future to create the "Junction Machine Ellone." Ultimecia was using the "Junction Machine Ellone" to reach back in time to connect and takeover the bodies of sorceresses so that she could exist in all eras of time. However, the Machine had limitation in regard to how far it could send a consciousness back in time. Thus, it had become Ultimecia's goal to find the real Ellone, so that her consciousness would exist in the past, present, and future. With her mind present in all eras of time, Ultimecia would finally be able to achieve Time Compression.

With these revelations, Squall and his friends acted quickly to form a plan with Dr. Odine that would halt Ultimecia's plans. They would allow Ultimecia to possess Adel. The group would then be forced to defeat Adel, so that she would pass her powers onto Rinoa, making her the only sorceress left in the present era who Ultimecia could exist within. With Ultimecia inside Rinoa, Ellone would then be able to send both of their minds into the distant past, allowing Ultimecia to cast Time Compression. Ellone would then bring back both of their consciousnesses, which would temporarily stop the spell.

After discussing the plan to stop Ultimecia, the President of Esthar, Laguna Loire (also the father of Squall), told Squall and his friends how to survive in a universe of compressed time. In order to survive, Squall and his friends would have to keep their bonds strong by remembering each other and thinking of a place they are all connected to and want to go to. They would then be able to survive Time Compression through their love and faith in each other.

Fate's Closing

The party finally confronts Ultimecia in her true form.

With the plan to defeat Ultimecia prepared, the party traveled to the Lunatic Pandora and confronted Seifer. It is there that Fujin and Raijin advise that Seifer stop serving Ultimecia and go back to being their friend. Seifer ignores their request and does battle with Squall and his comrades. After Seifer is defeated, he captures Rinoa, and offers her to Ultimecia (not in the body of Adel).

Ultimecia then Junctioned Rinoa to Adel's body. Squall and his comrades fight Ultimecia (as Adel), and defeats Adel's body. As Ultimecia's possession of Adel ends, Adel passed on her Sorceress Power to Rinoa setting the plan into motion. With no other vessel to exist within, Ultimecia possessed Rinoa, allowing Ellone to send Ultimecia's and Rinoa's minds into the past. With her mind in all eras, Ultimecia cast Time Compression, though it temporarily halted when Ellone sent her mind back to the future era.

However, the compression of time that had occurred allowed Squall and his friends to travel to the future and finally reach Ultimecia Castle. In the future, the party finds a dark world ruled by Ultimecia. The corpses of White SeeD members are found around her castle, causing Squall to state that SeeD has been fighting Ultimecia across generations. After many grueling battles in which the party must reclaim their sealed abilities, Ultimecia is finally confronted. The final confrontation between Ultimecia and SeeD was an epic battle that shifted through the fabric of time and space.

Ultimecia attacked with an array of abilities including reaching into Squall's mind and creating Griever, a Guardian Force created from Squall's idea of the most powerful force that could exist. After Squall and his friends triumphed over Griever, Ultimecia Junctioned herself to Griever to increase her power. After she was bested while merged with Griever, Ultimecia transformed into her ultimate form to complete Time Compression.

Ultimecia then began absorbing all time, space, and existence into herself, merging with it in order to become an omnipotent "living god." Ultimecia even reached into her own mind to create Apocalypse, the ultimate Black Magic spell in her mind. However, her fated destiny, as well as the links that bound Squall, Rinoa, Quistis, Zell, Selphie, and Irvine, proved to be too much for Ultimecia to overcome.

Squall looks on as Ultimecia transfers her power and essence to Edea before she dies.

After the collapse of Ultimecia's Time Compressed Form, Ultimecia and Squall time travel back to the past. Squall then witnesses Ultimecia passing her powers on to the Edea of the past before she fades away. With the land now free from the tyranny of Sorceresses, Squall attempts to jump back his present time, but he must first go back to Ultimecia's time in order to make the jump. However, he discovers the time compressed world has decayed into a featureless, desert-like state of limbo that is gradually slipping into nothingness. Unable to recall his memories of Rinoa's face, Squall resigns himself to his fate of being trapped in this dimension.

In the present era, Rinoa arrives at the flower field at Edea's Orphanage to find Squall is missing. Possibly using her sorceress powers, Rinoa is able to jump back to the time compressed world, where she finds Squall unconscious on the ground. However, at that moment Rinoa and Squall reach their own time as the clouds open up revealing the flower field at Edea's Orphanage, where they had promised to meet each other before Ultimecia compressed time.

The ending cutscenes reveal the fates of the various characters. Seifer is shown to have abandoned his dream of becoming a SeeD and is spending his days in the company of Fujin and Rajin in Balamb Town; though his satisfied smile as Balamb Garden passes overhead suggests he has accepted his fate and moved on. Laguna visits Raine's grave in the hills outside Winhill where he recalls his memory of proposing to her, while Ellone, Kiros and Ward watch on at a distance.

The main party re-unite at Balamb Garden for a celebration party, where it is shown that Edea has reverted back to her old self and is no longer a sorceress. Irvine and Selphie use a video camera to document the party, though Squall is nowhere to be seen and the camera runs out of batteries. After the credits, a short scene shows Rinoa gazing at the stars from the balcony of Balamb Garden. A shooting star streaks overhead, and Rinoa points it out, not unlike her first meeting with Squall. Squall looks at Rinoa and smiles for the first time in the game. Squall and Rinoa share a kiss as Balamb Garden ascends through the moonlit sky.

Music

Main article: Final Fantasy VIII: Original Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the game was Nobuo Uematsu's 23rd work for Square. Released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan, and by Square EA in North America a special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game (arranged by Shiro Hamaguchi) was released under the title FITHOS LUSEC WECOS VINOSEC, and a collection of piano arrangements (performed by Shinko Ogata) was released under the title Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VIII.

The Final Fantasy VIII theme song, "Eyes on Me", which Uematsu wrote and produced for Hong Kong pop diva Faye Wong, sold a record breaking 400,000 copies. Placing it as the best-selling video game music disc ever released in Japan until the release of "Hikari" by Utada Hikaru for Kingdom Hearts. It also won "Song of the Year (Western Music)" at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards in 1999. The first time a song from a video game ever won the honor.

Another popular song from the score of Final Fantasy VIII is "Liberi Fatali," a Latin choral piece that is played during the introduction to the game. "Liberi Fatali" was played during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens during the women's synchronized swimming event.

The Black Mages, a band that arranges music from Final Fantasy video games into a rock music style, has arranged five pieces from Final Fantasy VIII. These are "Force Your Way" from The Black Mages, published in 2003, "The Man with the Machine Gun" and "Maybe I'm a Lion", from The Skies Above, published in 2004, and "The Extreme" and "Premonition" from Darkness and Starlight.

Development

Squall
Seifer
Yoshitaka Amano's renditions of Squall and Seifer, though not representative of their in game appearances, still show their visual similarities, most noticeably the scars across both character's faces, each given by the other in battle.

Final Fantasy VIII follows Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII in displaying a world with high technology, diverging from the more traditional medieval feel of the original titles. However, it diverges further still by focusing the story on the characters instead of the world events. Character designer Tetsuya Nomura wanted the game to have a "school days" feel. Because Yoshinori Kitase already had a story in mind in which the main characters were the same age, the idea worked. Thus, they created the concept of military school-like academies in which the students would train to become mercenaries.

Further on Nojima planned for the two playable parties featured in the game-Squall Leonhart's present day group and Laguna Loire's group of twenty years in the past-to highly contrast with one another. Leading to Laguna's group consisting of characters in their late twenties and have a lot of combat and teamwork experience while Squall's party was young and inexperienced, and Squall himself not initially able to understand the value of friendship.

With Final Fantasy VII, the main protagonist, Cloud Strife, had a reserved nature that led Kazushige Nojima to include scenarios in which the player can select Cloud's responses to certain situations and dialogue. With Final Fantasy VIII, Nojima wanted to give players actual insight into what the protagonist was thinking and feeling, even while the other characters remained uninformed. This led to Squall's "internal monologues" that appeared in italized text boxes throughout the game.

Kitase also expressed desire to give the game a deliberatly foreign, largely European atmosphere. As part of this theme various designs were created using the style of ancient Egyptian and Greek architecture as well as styles from the cities of France and idealized European societies seen in various artworks. Additionally, Kitase explained that the main logo of the game-Squall and Rinoa embracing-was inspired by the team's efforts to express emotion through body language.

Squall standing side by side with his father, Laguna.

This aim was also referred throughout the game; utilizing the game sprites to physically display their emotions and actions alongside the text boxes as well as using updated CG full motion videos, which were far more advanced in detail than any Final Fantasy game that had come previously, to convey a kind of 'silent movie' operatic atmosphere that didn't rely on words to convey their meaning.

In terms of character artwork, Final Fantasy VIII reflected Nomura's preferred technique, as opposed to Final Fantasy VII, which featured characters that "weren't really his style." The team had decided to use realistically proportioned characters. The higher level of full motion video technology would have otherwise created an inconsistency between the in-game graphics and the higher definition full motion video graphics.

Despite this, Nomura ended up altering each of the characters in some way before they reached the final design stage, which required sacrificing his original intentions. For instance, he had originally wanted Seifer Almasy to be involved in a love triangle with Rinoa and Squall, however, for unknown reasons he was prevented from doing this. As another example Quistis Trepe was originally going to be designed with a short skirt but in the end was given a long skirt worn over pants. Rinoa was originally planned to wear a mini-skirt over shorts, this led to a conflict as he wished to have at least one female lead wearing a skirt. A compromise was made in this regard with Selphie Tilmitt design: she was originally intended to be wearing overalls, but Nomura eventually decided that her outfit should be something of a combination of the two, resulting in her overalls-skirt look.

Packaging Artwork

Easter Eggs

  • In the Galbadian Missile Base, on a terminal, there is an option to view the various equipment involved in the missile strike. By holding down File:Triangle-button.png and File:Square-button.png and pressing up or down. You'll get hidden views of a Soldier and an Elite Soldier dancing on the monitor.
  • If the Renzokuken is performed on the Jumbo Cactuar the summon will dance around in a comical way while it is being attacked. This is not the only enemy to which Squall has a unique Renzokuken sequence.

See Also

Trivia

  • This is the first game in the series to consistently use realistic proportioned characters, and also to not have a magic point-based system for spellcasting.
  • This is the first game in the series to feature a vocal piece as its theme music, "Eyes on Me", performed by Chinese singer Faye Wong.
  • To date, Final Fantasy VIII has the highest number of Star Wars-inspired names, including Biggs and Wedge, Nida, Piet, and Martine who is named Dodonna in the Japanese version.
  • This is the first game in the series that allows the player to name Summons.
  • This is the first game in the series where Ramuh is not present as the Lightning elemental Summon. He is replaced by Quezacotl.
  • During Ultimecia's Parade in Deling City, the masked dancers are performing the dance moves from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video.
  • Final Fantasy VIII is parodied in the Dreamcast game Segagaga, where it's called Final Pharmacy VIII.
  • In one of the Charlie's Angels movies, in the scene when one character approaches a building, there are two little kids inside playing Final Fantasy VIII. Infamously for fans, both kids holds controllers despite the fact that the game has no two-player mode.
  • The demo disc released for the game uses a track called "Raid on Dollet" for the invasion of Dollet. The final version of the game does not use that track and it was never released on any official soundtrack album. It is unknown why the track was scrapped, although a widespread theory is that it was removed for legal reasons due to heavy similarities with the song "Hummel Gets the Rockets," composed by Hans Zimmer from the movie The Rock.
  • Final Fantasy VIII is the only game in which love is the most important part of the journey. The role of love is shown by its involvement with protecting Squall and his friends from Time Compression, and the romance that Squall has with Rinoa, resulting in his life being saved when he gets lost in time.

External Link


This article uses material from the "Final Fantasy VIII" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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