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Rinoa Heartilly
Japanese Name リノア・ハーティリー
Romaji Rinoa Hātirī
Hometown Deling City, Timber
Date of Birth March 3
Age 17
Blood Type N/A
Height 161 cm (5' 3.5")
Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Black with caramel streaks
Weapon Blaster Edge
Limit Break Combine, Angel Wing
Final Fantasy VIII Character
"Look into my eyes... You're-going-to-like-me... You're-going-to-like-me... Did it work?"
—Rinoa Heartilly to Squall Leonhart

Rinoa Heartilly (Linoa in the French version) is the main female protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. She is best known for her trademark "Angel Wings" printed on the back of her duster sweater and as such her "character symbol" is a white feather that signifies the wings. She serves as Squall Leonhart's love interest and awakens as a Sorceress halfway through the game.


Appearance & Personality

"A member of the Timber resistance group "Forest Owls". Uses her dog to make special attacks."
Scan description

Rinoa has layered black hair that reaches to the middle of her back. There are three caramel highlights on either side of her face that run through her hair. Her eyes are a deep dark brown. She has a heart-shaped face and a small nose. She's short and rather slim, but compared to some characters, she appears more average in weight. In battle, Rinoa wields a unique weapon called the Blaster Edge, which consists of a bladed projectile she shoots toward the enemy from a firing mechanism on her left arm. After hitting the target, the projectile returns to Rinoa like a boomerang. Rinoa also owns a pet, a faithful dog Angelo. Rinoa is aided in battle by Angelo who is able to perform many tricks in order to attack the enemy or aid Rinoa.

Rinoa is first seen in the game wearing a white gown with an off-white/yellowish sheer fabric halter dress wearing her signature necklace, a bracelet on her right arm, and white shoes. She again appears in this ballroom outfit at the Garden Festival event in Fisherman's Horizon. Her signature outfit is a long, sleeveless, blue-hued rib-knit duster sweater that has a pair of white wing designs on the back, which become actual feathered wings when she enters her Angel Wing state. She also wears matching rib-knit arm warmers, a black halter top, a denim button up skirt, a black ribbon on her left arm, and black bike shorts that have zippers going down the front with a pair of silver buckled black boots. Her previously noted signature necklace features a ring given to her by her mother. Just before the battle of the Garden's starts, she receives Squall's Griever ring from Zell, who borrowed it in order to make Rinoa a replica of it. Rinoa adds the Griever ring to her necklace and wears it along with her mother's ring for the remaining part of the game.

Rinoa Artwork created by Tetsuya Nomura.
Rinoa using her trademark expression of request.
Rinoa's trademark symbol seems to be that of a white feather or wing, resembling the angel motif of Sorceresses throughout the game as well as the "angel wings" on the back of her blue duster. Another trademark that she is seen to use frequently in her appearances is the raising of her index finger as she did to Squall Leonhart to request a dance.

Rinoa's personality is everything that Squall's is not: feisty, compassionate, warm, and friendly, and these traits initially annoy Squall to no end. However, Rinoa slowly wins over the irritated Squall, and eventually he realizes he returns Rinoa's feelings and in the later part of the game the two become a couple.

Despite Rinoa's compassionate personality and her cute appearance, she is actually an incredibly brave person. Proof of this is the outstanding fact that, despite being born to a well-to-do rich family and her father being an important figure in Galbadia's military, she is not spoiled and is in fact greatly concerned by the situation of the world. Rinoa even goes as far as joining a resistance movement that fought against Galbadia in order to achieve Timber's independence, and in doing so she abandons her privileged lifestyle, family, and everything she once knew. Rinoa's brave persona is also evidenced by the fact that she fought beside Squall and his group throughout the game despite being the only one without any military training.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

Rinoa Heartilly is the daughter of Fury Caraway and Julia Heartilly. When Rinoa was five, Julia died in a car accident, and her relationship with her father grew rocky over time. She is a member of the resistance faction Forest Owls, based in Timber. Her father has full knowledge of her activities.

A year before the game's events Rinoa began a romantic relationship with a SeeD cadet named Seifer Almasy. It is from Seifer that she learned of the mercenary-for-hire service SeeD provided. Rinoa first met Squall during the SeeD celebration party at Balamb Garden, where she got him to dance, much to Quistis's shock. Rinoa herself was on an errand on behalf of the Timber Owls to convince Headmaster Cid Kramer to employ some SeeD mercenaries to aid her cause and, with Squall's unwitting help, was able to find Seifer without being too conspicuous on the dance floor. With Seifer's help she was introduced to Cid. Hearing her plight, Cid relented, allowing her the use of a group of three SeeDs at her disposal despite the meager payment she offered in return and the complaints of the Garden Faculty.

The three SeeD chosen were Zell Dincht, Selphie Tilmitt, and perhaps by fate, Squall Leonhart. While disappointed that Seifer was not part of the squad when they arrived in Timber, she was nonetheless elated that SeeD had come, enveloping Squall in a hug upon his arrival. The SeeD group at first willingly assisted in Rinoa's plans to kidnap Vinzer Deling, the President of Galbadia, by hijacking his train. Although the plan was successfully deployed, the President aboard was a fake. Rendering the operation a failure, the SeeDs' confidence in the Timber group began to wane.

Squall and Rinoa dancing to the Waltz for the Moon.

Returning to Timber, they learn that the real President was going to be in the Timber TV Station to make an announcement. The Forest Owls attempt to hatch a new plan, with their SeeD mercenaries watching skeptically from a distance. Squall requests to see the contract that bound the SeeD group to the Timber Owls, only to discover they were under Rinoa's command as long as Timber remained under Galbadian oppression. While on their way to infiltrate the TV Station, new intelligence indicated that, due to the large numbers of Galbadian soldiers, the agreed plan would have to be ditched. Squall expresses the SeeD group's misgivings about being part of such a casual organization and questions Rinoa's commitment to her goals. The argument ends with her leaving. Later, having seen the whole incident on the Timber TV Station screen, and discovering the Forest Owls' base destroyed, she returns and enters the station in pursuit of Seifer.

Arriving too late to find Seifer, she orders the SeeDs to help her lie low while the town is searched by the Galbadian forces. Contemplating Seifer's fate leads Squall and Rinoa into another argument over their views on life before they are given word that it is clear to leave town. On their way to Galbadia Garden, the two argue again, this time about Squall's cold attitude towards his teammates. The group makes it to the Garden and after some reminiscing about Seifer, who they presumed was dead from execution. Rinoa ended up revealing her past relationship with him, and after doing so, they receive new orders. Rinoa pretends to be a SeeD to avoid conflict and joins Squall's group in heading to Deling City to meet their contact, Rinoa's father, General Caraway. After meeting with the SeeDs, General Caraway locks away Rinoa in another room and then turns to inform the SeeDs of his plan to assassinate the Sorceress, Edea Kramer.

When the briefing finished, Rinoa finally managed to escape the room, rushing to Quistis to tell her of another plan to stop the Sorceress by getting her to wear the Odine Bangle. Quistis, however, berated her; thinking that Rinoa's plan was only contrived to oppose her father's plan, Quistis walked off to her position. Left to her own devices, Rinoa proceeded to carry out her plan, infiltrating the Presidential Residence, and offers the bangle to Edea as a gift, but Edea casts a spell that renders Rinoa under her control. Like a puppet, Rinoa placidly follows Edea out onto the pedestal where she is designated as a sacrifice for the ceremony. Edea then summons two Iguion statues from the wall, and they attack Rinoa.

Squall and Irvine manage to infiltrate the Presidential Residence in time to save her and in return she stayed and fought beside Squall when he attacked Edea. However, the attack proved unsuccessful and the group was captured and imprisoned in the D-District Prison. They were barred by Irvine who managed to escape. Irvine would eventually return, acting on orders from presumably Rinoa's father, to retrieve Rinoa from imprisonment and, with tenacious convincing from Rinoa, the pair would assist the rest of the group's escape from the compound.

During their capture, the group collectively learned that in retaliation for the attack on Sorceress Edea, Galbadia had targeted Balamb and Trabia Gardens in a missile attack. Splitting into two groups; Squall's group and Selphie's group, the party attempted to prevent the attack. Selphie's plan was to sabotage the missiles aimed at Trabia, and Squall proceeded to warn Balamb of the missiles.

Rinoa, having gone with Squall in his group, arrived at Balamb Garden while it was in the midst of chaos. A mysterious faction with allegiance to Master NORG, Balamb Garden's funder, had staged a revolt against Headmaster Cid. While helping those they could, Rinoa and Squall searched for the Headmaster to warn him of the missiles. Finally finding him bunkered in his office, the Headmaster instructs Squall of the Garden's past status as a mobile shelter built during the Centra era. Upon the activation of the ancient system, the Garden transformes into a mobile fortress and narrowly avoids destruction by moving away from the spot the missile's were programmed to target. Cleaning up loose ends due to the rebellion of Master NORG's faction in the Garden, Rinoa asks Squall for a personal tour of the facility, and in doing so begins to see another side to the taciturn loner. As a result she begins to take an interest in him, attempting to force him into a lighter mood whenever the opportunity arises.

Since there was no way to control the Garden's flight, the Garden crashes into Fisherman's Horizon. Squall is ordered to act as an ambassador and enact a formal apology, and Rinoa tags along. Mayor Dobe, the leader of the pacifist city, tells them to leave immediately, as their presence can only cause destruction. Galbadian soldiers eventually invade the town, and Dobe heads off to discuss peacefully with the soldiers. However, the soldiers do not listen, and he is eventually rescued by Squall. Grudgingly, the mayor accepts their apology, and orders the city's technicians to restore Balamb Garden to full functionality. During this the participants of Selphie's group reunite with Squall's group and for a moment Squall is seen to be almost elated. Of course, this doesn't go unnoticed by Rinoa.

Artwork of Squall and Rinoa by Tetsuya Nomura.

With the Balamb Garden now mobile, Squall was appointed Commander of the Garden and SeeD, and to celebrate his friends held a concert for the sole purpose of lightening the load on Squall's shoulders, with Rinoa personally informing him of this. As his first command Squall liberated Balamb from Galbadian occupation. The next order was then to head to Trabia Garden, Selphie's home Garden and the first target for the missile attacks. He offered the Trabia students Balamb Garden's support. While waiting for Selphie to regroup with them, Rinoa begins voicing her worries about being a burden within the group and what would happen in the future. This causes the rest of the group to recollect their pasts and discover that they all were raised at the same time in an orphanage. Decisions were made and the Garden next embarked to the old orphanage, but they are intercepted by a similarly mobile Galbadia Garden. The Battle of the Gardens ensued, which resulted in Sorceress Edea's defeat and Rinoa mysteriously becoming comatose.

Rinoa's condition is of great concern to Squall, driving him to great lengths to find a reason behind the coma and how to wake her from it. Eventually being lead to Esthar, Squall is sent to space with Rinoa, where onboard the Lunar Base she awakens under the control of the sorceress who had been possessing Edea, Ultimecia. After being defeated twice, Ultimecia had left Edea's body to enter Rinoa's. Sorceress Ultimecia then uses Rinoa as a means to unlock Adel's Tomb. The evil sorceress then leaves Rinoa to die in space. However, Squall had ditched his escape pod from the exploding Lunar Base, and was able to intercept her and the two board the derelict Ragnarok.

On board of the Ragnarok, Squall communicates their current situation to Esthar, and then enables the ship's autopilot to return to the planet. During the trip, Rinoa and Squall embrace and share a tender conversation, with Squall confessing many things to Rinoa about himself and Rinoa telling him that now he is the one to give her the most comfort and happiness. The land base then communicates and Squall learns that Rinoa will be seized by the Esthar government upon landing.

Upon landing back in Esthar Rinoa was taken by Esthar officials to contain her sorceress powers in a new tomb on Sorceress Memorial. Squall intervened after being pushed into action by his friends, especially Quistis, breaking the seal of the Tomb and taking Rinoa away with him to Edea's Orphanage where Rinoa voices her concerns about being possessed again and turning evil. Squall then makes a silent vow to become Rinoa's Sorceress Knight. Rinoa asks Squall to kill her himself should her worst fear of becoming evil come to reality, but Squall reassures her that his enemy is Ultimecia alone and asks Rinoa to stay close to him. Rinoa then tells Squall about a nightmare she had in which she wanted to see him, but could not find him. The couple then make a promise to meet at the flower field in Edea's orphanage should they be separated. This is a defining moment in the couple's relationship.

The group heads back to Esthar, and using the Ragnarok, they invade the Lunatic Pandora and fight through Seifer and Sorceress Adel (who was now Ultimecia's vessel). Ultimecia then orders Seifer to capture Rinoa, who is then junctioned to the physical body of Adel through Ultimecia's powers. Squall and the others must fight Adel/Ultimecia without harming Rinoa. They are successful in defeating Adel, who is forced to pass on her Sorceress Power to Rinoa before she can die in peace.

Because of Adel's demise, Ultimecia enters Rinoa once again, just as Ellone uses her powers to send Ultimecia and Rinoa back in time so that Ultimecia can cast Time Compression, which is a magic only possible to cast if the Sorceress' consciousness exists in the past, present, and future. The process of Time Compression is long however, and the allotted time allows for Squall, Rinoa, Zell, Quistis, Irvine, and Selphie to enter Ultimecia Castle in the future, where Ultimecia awaits. Upon Ultimecia's demise the Time Compression unravels back to normal, leaving the combatants stranded in time. Each member managed to get back by remembering who they were and where they wanted to be. Rinoa reappeared in the flower field, where she and Squall had made their promise, but Squall was nowhere to be found.

Using her Sorceress powers, she managed to locate Squall at the end of time. He was near death but because of her arrival and her belief that he would survive, Squall was saved from non-existence. The two were sent back to the flower field, alive and well. In the game's ending, Rinoa is seen with Squall on the balcony, contemplating the stars. Rinoa then points up toward a shooting star. Squall smiles at her and the two embrace and kiss.

In Battle

Sorceress Power

Rinoa and her trademark "angel wings".

Rinoa's power is the strongest out of all the Sorceress' in potential, although due to her having just received them, and her own reservations about them, it is unknown whether they manifest to full power or not. Rinoa's own strength lies in primal magic with no known alignment, evidence of this is shown by the effects of her Angel Wing Limit Break.
However, Rinoa also receives the powers of Adel and Edea, resulting in her also possessing talent in Ice spells and high damage spells.


Rinoa's weapon of choice is the Blaster Edge, a boomerang-like weapon that can be propelled from a device on the back of the wielder's wrist to cause injury to any opponent and return to its holster. It should be noted that Rinoa cannot seem to handle the recoil of the weapon, as she is shoved back by it every time she uses it.

There are five Blaster Edge types/models available for Rinoa to use throughout the game: the Pinwheel, the Valkyrie, the Rising Sun, the Cardinal, and the Shooting Star.

Limit Breaks


Main article: Combine

Combine is Rinoa's primary Limit Break, in which Rinoa teams up with Angelo to perform a variety of attacks, as well as certain effects. To gain access to Combine moves the player has to read about them in Pet Pal magazines, and then walk around so Angelo can learn it.

Angel Wing

Angel Wing.
Main article: Angel Wing

Angel Wing (ヴァリー, Varī) is Rinoa's second Limit Break in which literally two white angel wings appear on Rinoa's back and enable her to fly. While in the Angel Wing state Rinoa's magic damage is boosted five times more powerful than usual, and puts her into a Berserk spell-casting state in which she uses only magic.

As a Boss

Main article: Rinoa (Boss)

During the battle with Adel, Rinoa is junctioned to her, immobile, because Adel is absorbing her powers. If she dies, it's game over.

Triple Triad

Image:TTRinoa.png Level 10 (Player Card) Element None
Refine 1 refines into 3 Magic Armlets
Drop N/A
Card N/A
Win General Caraway after losing the Ifrit card to him.
The CC Group in the Ragnarok Airship in Disc 4.

Creation and Development

Nomura had difficulty drawing Rinoa. Nomura wanted to create a character that would leave an impression on the viewer; instead of a beauty, he wanted something cute. He had a hard time with this, and feels that some of his personal preferences were included in the design. For Rinoa he also created a "cute" vocabulary list and some ideas for her habits which were then sent off to Nojima. For his part Nojima wanted to have Rinoa like books and reading. This is the reason why she was always found in the library at Balamb Garden. One development point that did not make the Japanese-to-English translation was Rinoa's habit of forming cutesy words (much like Selphie). One such word was oHARO~ ("ohayo" (good morning) and "HELLO" put together).

Mayuko Aoki acted out the motion capture needed for Rinoa's FMV sequences however Yasuko Yokoyama was Rinoa's motion actress for the dance party while Hoshimi Asai performed Rinoa's stunt scenes like when she fell down the side of Balamb Garden. During the game Rinoa does not have a voice, but in some FMVs she is heard breathing. Foley artists in the U.S.A. recorded and mixed all the sounds featured in the FMV movies. There is a speculation among fans that Rinoa is modeled after Japanese actress and singer Takako Matsu, although this has not been confirmed.

Musical Themes

Promotional artwork of Rinoa.

The romance between Squall and Rinoa was always accompanied by a variation of Julia Heartilly's Eyes on Me. Rinoa's introduction in Balamb Garden's Dance Hall was accompanied by the Eyes on Me variation "Waltz for the Moon," and her second introduction on the Timber Owls train was accompanied by another variant, titled My Mind, which is considered to be her individual theme. This began a trend for the female protagonists of the next two games, as Garnet from Final Fantasy IX and Yuna from Final Fantasy X had individual themes that were variants of Melodies of Life and Suteki da ne, the themes of their respective romances with Zidane and Tidus.

Other Appearances

Chocobo World


An 8-bit sprite of Rinoa appears in Chocobo World.

Non-Final Fantasy Appearances

See also: Final Fantasy in Popular Culture.
Rinoa in Itadaki Street

Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special

Rinoa, along with other Squaresoft characters from the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series, appears in Itadaki Street Special, a game that resembles Monopoly. It has only been released in Japan.

Kingdom Hearts series

During the end credits of Kingdom Hearts 2, Squall (named Leon) receives a letter from a girl who is presumably Rinoa. This might be hinting that she might very well appear in a future installment of the series soon.


Rumor has it that Rinoa's name was supposed to be "Lenore". As it goes a concept designer had seen this name common in occult or witchcraft related text. They transliterated the name to Japanese and brought it to Squaresoft but due to unknown circumstances Squaresoft was unable to decipher the name, so the name "Rinoa" had to stay. The French translation of the game seems to come closer to this, calling her "Linoa" instead. Rinoa's surname, Heartilly is derived from the real English word heartily. Heartily is an adverb meaning in a cordial manner, with warmth and sincerity, with zest or enthusiasm, a word that describes Rinoa very much.


Rinoa appearing in the Dollet evacuation FMV.
  • Rinoa has a fanmade design, known as the "Dion Roger's Rinoa", that is popular amongst cosplayers.
  • Rinoa has appeared in the second segment of the Dead Fantasy series and appears to be using a new Blaster Edge model, one called Silenced Tear. In this version of the character, she also uses a Gunblade of her own for melee combat, possesses permanent Angel Wings (that actually enable her to fly) and uses a large extent of the Sorceress Power. She debuts in Dead Fantasy II with Kairi to aid Yuna, Rikku, and Tifa against their Dead or Alive rivals.
  • In the original demo of Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa was part of the team that infiltrated Dollet and is featured in Selphie's place in the evacuation FMV.
  • Apart from the Angel Wings symbol and the ring of her mother, shooting stars also seem to have a significance to Rinoa. She is seen pointing at one when we first see her and also in the final moments of the game's ending. Her strongest weapon is also named "Shooting Star" and one of her most powerful limit breaks is called "Wishing Star".
  • Squall and Rinoa appear in a Technical Demo for the Playstation 2 where they reenact the waltz scene from Final Fantasy VIII to showcase the console's graphics engine.
  • During the ending of Dissidia Final Fantasy, when everyone is disappearing, a feather (possibly having something to do with Rinoa) falls down towards Squall. He grabs hold of it and disappears with the other Cosmos characters. In Shade Impulse, Squall mentions to Ultimecia and Onion Knight that he made a promise to return to someone in his world, referring to Rinoa.


External links

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

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