Sorceresses, (Japanese: 魔女, Majou, German Hexen, Spanish: Witch) in the world of Final Fantasy VIII are human beings who have received the Sorceress Power, given to humanity by the Great Hyne long ago. A sorceress differs from normal humans as they can use magic naturally and effortlessly (i.e. without the use of Limit Breaks or Guardian Force-- see Para-Magic) until she must eventually pass their powers to another individual at the time of their death. During the game, four sorceresses are revealed: Edea Kramer, Rinoa Heartilly, Sorceress Adel, and Sorceress Ultimecia. Whereas some sorceresses are not even aware of their powers, others simply disguise them from the world.
Calling a sorceress a Descendant of Hyne is a sign of great respect. The only known male sorcerer is the originator, Hyne.
Any person with the capacity for it is entitled to become a sorceress, although as it goes, this is limited to the female gender. This process is dubbed the embodiment, where a dying sorceress passes on her powers onto the chosen successor. The successor has no say in the matter, and thus people could well be given powers against their will. In the event that a human were to resist receiving the powers of a dying Sorceress, it is likely that the Sorceress would overcome the recipient with sheer force of will and could thus inadvertently cause them great pain if they attempt to fight the "gift." Once a person becomes a sorceress, she can still be given more powers from other sorceresses, as shown with Rinoa who received the gift twice.
As illustrated with Ultimecia and Edea, a sorceress must be free of all her powers to die in peace. It is never explained precisely what happens to a sorceress if they cannot find a candidate to pass their powers to. It is likely that the sorceress powers render a sorceress literally unable to pass on until they are free of their powers. Aging, or mortally wounded, a dying sorceress may live in complete misery and pain until a viable candidate is found to receive their powers.
A sorceress does not need to be on the brink of death to pass on her powers. At any point in their life a sorceress may give up their powers to another. This could done by the free will of the sorceress, or as an act of desperation (such as being near death, or Edea desperately fighting to remove Ultimecia's influence from herself). This could be considered a boon for those afraid of persecution at the hands of society. However most sorceresses do not give up their powers freely to others. Some maintain their powers in order to protect their loved ones (Edea, Rinoa) while others prefer to use their powers for their own personal goals (Adel, Ultimecia).
The specific profile of the successor to a sorceress' powers has never been mentioned. However, they may have attributes and characteristics irregular to normal human. For example, Ellone was once chosen as the successor to Sorceress Adel's powers - her hometown of Winhill was raided twice by Esthar soldiers in search of a successor, and the second raid specifically targeted her. Ellone is known to have the ability to transfer one's consciousness into the past, and this may have prompted Esthar to seek her out.
A notable physical trait that most Sorceresses seem to have is, when utilizing their powers, the appearance of wings or wing-like structures from their backs. While Rinoa has white-angelic wings, Ultimecia has black demonic-angel wings. Adel has dark, sharp wings - possibly reflecting her brutal, dangerous and cruel nature. Edea's wings can be represented by the golden ornaments that sit at her shoulders, which could reflect Edea's polite and elegant personality.
The term Sorceress Knight is applied to a male companion to a sorceress. The Sorceress' Knight's task is supposedly to protect the Sorceress. As portrayed in the movie Laguna had acted, the Knight protects Sorceresses from dangers they face, although it's unconfirmed if this is their only purpose.
In the story, Seifer mentions that being a Sorceress' Knight is his childhood dream. When he was brainwashed into serving Sorceress Ultimecia, who was possessing Edea at Timber, Seifer believed that his dream is fulfilled. Even after defeat upon defeat, he insists upon retaining the title.
The exact role of a Sorceress Knight is unknown. The knight seems to serve a personal guard for the sorceress, probably fending off the physical attackers long enough for the sorceress to utlize her powers. The Knight can also be seen as the commander of an army loyal to the sorceress, should the sorceress have access to one, similar to how Seifer commanded Galbadia's military when Edea/Ultimecia took control of the nation.
The only requirement to be a Sorceress' Knight seems to be some kind of bond shared between the two people. Every known Knight has a bond to their respective sorceress. Cid and Squall's bond to Edea and Rinoa respectively is their love for each other. At first glance Seifer would appear to have no distinct bond to Ultimecia beyond her brainwashing of him. Seifer's dedication to Ultimecia actually comes from his intense rivalry with Squall. Since Squall is the leader of the forces that are meant to do battle with Ultimecia, Seifer would logically be the best candidate to protect Ultimecia from him.
A Knight does not seem to be a requirement for a Sorceress, as there is no mention of Adel ever having a Knight during her ruling of Esthar. This may be because Adel was so evil and selfish that the only thing people ever felt for her was fear and hate, and nobody was able to form any type of lasting bond with her.
Just like there is never any mention of a male sorcerer in the game (aside from Hyne), female knights have also not been heard of.
At the start of Time Compression, Squall and the party will fight eleven incarnations of Sorceresses from different time periods. Though there are eleven, they only have three different appearances, although the in-game logic for this is unknown. The backstories for these eleven Sorceresses are also unknown, as are their real names, their place of origin, and for that matter, even their motives for attacking Squall at the Commencement Room. Not knowing why they have suddenly been dragged out of their own times, they could simply be attacking the people who seem like they might be responsible for it; alternately, Ultimecia could be controlling them, as she did Edea, Adel, and Rinoa. It is also interesting to note that the Sorceresses fight alone, without a Knight by their side.
Refer to the following articles for the enemy battle strategies:
|Squall Leonhart - Quistis Trepe - Zell Dincht - Selphie Tilmitt - Rinoa Heartilly - Irvine Kinneas|
|Seifer Almasy - Laguna Loire - Kiros Seagill - Ward Zabac - Edea Kramer|
|Sorceress Adel - Instructor Aki - Angelo - Biggs - Boko - Cactuar - Chocoboy - Headmaster Cid Kramer - President Deling - Demon King - Mayor Dobe - Ellone - Flo - MiniMog - Fujin - Garden Faculty - Fury Caraway - Julia Heartilly - Dr. Kadowaki - Koko - Library Girl with a Pigtail - Ma Dincht - Martine - Master Fisherman - Mr. Monkey - Moomba - Nida - NORG - Dr. Odine - Piet - PuPu - Queen of Cards- Raijin - Raine Loire - Ultimecia - Watts - Wedge - Xu - Zone|
|Balamb - Dollet - Timber - Galbadia - Fisherman's Horizon - Esthar - Centra - Trabia|
|Balamb Garden - Fire Cavern - Balamb Town - Centra Excavation Site - Galbadia Garden - Deling City - Tomb of the Unknown King - Winhill - D-District Prison - Missile Base - Trabia Garden - Edea's Orphanage - White SeeD Ship - Vienne Mountains - Great Salt Lake - Esthar City - Lunatic Pandora Laboratory - Lunar Gate - Lunar Base - Sorceress Memorial - Lunatic Pandora - Ultimecia Castle - Art Gallery - Tears' Point - Centra Ruins - Obel Lake - Islands Closest to Heaven and Hell - Scary Mountain - Shumi Village - Cactuar Island - Deep Sea Research Center|
|Centra - Human - Moomba - Shumi|
|Ammo - Anarchist Monthly - Angel Wing - Battle of the Gardens - Blue Magic - Card Club - Chocobo - Chocobo Forest - Chocobo World - Combine - Crystal Pillar - Devour - Draw Point - Duel - Fan Club - Forest Owls - Game Over - Garden - Garden Festival - Gil - Great Hyne - Griever - Guardian Force - Gunblade - Hotel - Junction System - Junk Shop - Limit Break - Lion Heart - Lunar Cry - Moon - Motorcycle - Occult Fan Magazine - Para-Magic - Piano - Ragnarok - Rail Transportation - Refine - Revolver - Renzokuken - Road Transportation - Save Point - SeeD - Shop - Shot - Siege of Dollet - Siege of Esthar - Slot - Sorceress - Sorceress Power - Sorceress War - Study Panel - Tempest - The End - The Waltz - Timber Maniacs - Time Compression - Trepies - Triple Triad - Weapons Monthly Magazine - White SeeD - World Map|
|Original Soundtrack - FITHOS LUSEC WECOS VINOSEC - Piano Collections
|Abilities/Command/Support - Chronology - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Guardian Forces - Items - Magic - Merchandise - Walkthrough - Wallpapers - Weapons - Translations|