[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/finalfantasyviii.png]]

->''"I'll be here..."''\\
''"Why...?"''\\
''"I'll be 'waiting' here..."''\\
''"For what?"''\\
''"I'll be waiting... for you, so... if you come here... you'll find me. [[ThePromise I promise]]."''

The eighth entry into the [[RunningGag finger-flayingly popular]] ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series. Originally released on PlayStation and home computer, and ported to the PlayStationNetwork for the PlayStation3, PSP, and Playstation Vita. The PC version later got a {{Steam}} re-release on December 5th 2013.

Squall Leonhart is a student at an ElaborateUniversityHigh for mercenaries named Balamb Garden. The organisation that runs Balamb Garden, [=SeeD=], takes in prepubescent orphans and [[ChildSoldiers trains them to become soldiers]], requiring them to graduate before their twentieth birthday.

Squall is the epitome of a professional soldier: detached, efficient, and unflappable. He is also a sardonic {{Jerkass}} and introvert who shuns the friendship of others. During his first mission as a [=SeeD=], he is sent to aid a [[LaResistance resistance movement]] against the occupying [[TheEmpire Galbadian Army]] and meets his opposite: Rinoa Heartilly, an outgoing, positive young woman naive to the realities of battle. The battle against the Galbadian Army heats to a boil with the emergence of a mysterious new figurehead known as Sorceress Edea, a conflict that soon escalates far beyond anything anyone was expecting.

''Final Fantasy VIII'' deals with the conflict between childhood and adulthood, and examines the consequences of being forced to "grow up". The main characters are [[ChildSoldiers teenage orphans trained as soldiers]] from a young age and taught to suppress their emotions and free will for the sake of the mission. Unfortunately, human emotion cannot be so easily repressed in minds so young, and the "save the world" story is merely a FramingDevice for a sombre ComingOfAgeStory between the main characters. On a cosmetic note, this is where ''Final Fantasy'' started to eschew the SuperDeformed characters traditionally found on {{overworld}}s and battle screens, and the tone generally feels [[SlidingScaleOfRealisticVersusFantastic more serious than before.]]

[[ItsTheSameNowItSucks Ironically]], ''VIII'' dutifully followed in its predecessor's footsteps for the most part, mixing swords and sorcery with a late-'80s CyberPunk vibe (sans FantasyGunControl) and a refinement of [=VII=]'s Materia magic system: characters now equip (or "junction") VancianMagic directly to their bodies instead of their armour. Any spell in the game can be junctioned--including the [[SummonMagic summoned creatures]]--but a single paltry Cure won't make much of a difference. Characters can increase its effectiveness by sapping and stockpiling magic from enemies.

This was also Square's [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII second try]] at shaking up the bog standard JRPG model: For one, it's the first ''Final Fantasy'' to forgo a ManaMeter since ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII''. Monsters use LevelScaling to beef up relative to the party average, making it entirely possible to [[OneManParty level up to Lv.100]] before the first boss and still have it pose a challenge. While admittedly a bold step forward for the genre, the junctioning rigmarole merely substituted one form of grinding for another. Modern ''Final Fantasy'' games continue to tinker with the "no armor" approach, most notably ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX X]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII XIII]]''.

Finally, ''VIII'' replaced the previous game's [[SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer Gold Saucer]] with Triple Triad, a surprisingly in-depth CardBattleGame featuring face cards of the main cast. Though optional, mastering Triple Triad allows you to transform rare cards into [[DiscOneNuke unbelievably game-breaking items and weapon components]]. It was so popular that a (somewhat simpler) SpiritualSuccessor called Tetra Master was included in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' and ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI XI]]''.

Prior to 1999, Squaresoft's localizations were carried out after the game's completion, which usually resulted in either a BlindIdiotTranslation or one replete with {{Woolseyism}}s. Starting with this game, Square took this process a lot more seriously: the company hired translators (both for English and the other European languages) to work alongside the Japanese development team as the game was being created; this is now pretty much standard procedure for ''Final Fantasy'' translations.

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!!This game provides examples of:

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[[folder:A-I]]
* AbsoluteCleavage: Ultimecia.
* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: The Balamb Garden disciplinary committee - although how much official power they actually have and how much of it is just Seifer bullying other cadets is never really clear.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: The sewers of Deling City.
* AcademyOfAdventure: Balamb Garden.
* ActionGirl: Selphie and Quistis. Rinoa tries, but is undermined by a series of DistressedDamsel moments until she eventually becomes the strongest of the three after [[spoiler:becoming a sorceress]].
* ActionPrologue[=/=]FakeActionPrologue: The opening scene in which Squall and Seifer are dueling could qualify as either one. To a new player, it may look like an epic fight between the hero and villain or an InMediasRes of an epic fight that will occur later, but then it turns out that it was a sparring match gone out of hand.
* AdultFear: Edea [[spoiler:is the adoptive mother of all of player characters except Rinoa. Imagine, you're possessed by an all-powerful sorceress from the future who force you to kill your children and unravel all that you built]]. The trauma is so bad that Edea can no longer [[spoiler:act like a mother toward Squall and co]].
* TheAlcatraz: D-District Prison.
* AllInARow: Earlier games only showed one character at a time. This was the first title to show the entire party walking around together.
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: It is quite impossible to not know that [[spoiler:Rinoa is a sorceress]] due to the sheer amount of references available ''everywhere''. On a similar note, Edea being Ultimecia due to LateArrivalSpoiler is another outcome, but this has notably shown how omnipresent Ultimecia really is throughout the game.
* TheAloner: Squall [[spoiler:in the end sequence]].
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: "Rinoa...... Even if you end up as the world's enemy, I'll... I'll be your knight."
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Raijin.
* AnimalMotifs: Squall's omnipresent (winged) lion motif.
%% AngstDissonance was moved to YMMV tab. Please don't add it back here.
* AntiHero: Squall. He doesn't believe in good or evil and rarely if ever seems concerned with "right" or "wrong," instead staying involved in the game's plot because he is hired to do so and, later in the game, to protect Rinoa and because he is made to believe that [[YouCantFightFate it's his fate]].
* {{Anti Villain}}s: Fujin and Raijin.
* ArbitraryGunPower: Irvine's gun, the damage of which is based on his Strength stat like any other physical attack.
** Laguna's machine gun, in the same vein.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: By the end of the first disk there are six permanent party members, as well as a GuestStarPartyMember who joins for a little while in Disc 3, but the player can never field more than three at a time.
* TheArchmage: Ultimecia.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Right before the Battle of the Gardens, Squall is given a choice of orders to issue to the students in Balamb Garden involving their battle strategy and defense, but there's also an order of what to do with the hot dogs.
* ArtificialGravity: Esthar Lunar Base and the Ragnarok. The latter has a scene where it's turned off, causing Rinoa to float.
* ArtsyMoon: Foreshadowing for later in the game.
* AscendedFanboy: The Ultimania guide reveals that Seifer's dream of becoming a sorceress's knight was influenced by seeing the movie in which Laguna played a knight, and that he based his gunblade stance on the one Laguna used during the film.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Cid steps down as Headmaster and promotes Squall to Commander of [=SeeD=] specifically in order to change Garden from a school to an active fighting force against the sorceress. [[spoiler:The decision is undoubtedly helped along by the fact that Cid already knows, courtesy of Edea, that Squall is going to defeat Ultimecia in the future.]]
* AssInAmbassador: Edea's initial role. Galbadia plans on using her as an ambassador to create fear and ultimately TakeOverTheWorld.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Vinzer Deling]] at the parade in Deling City. Nobody felt sorry for him when Edea [[spoiler:impaled him]], even if she was worse than him. She cast CharmPerson on the crowds, so they don't mind it one bit either.
* {{Atlantis}}: The Centra civilization is Atlantis in all but name.
* AuthorAppeal: Nomura admitted he flat out ''wanted'' to include a character in a skirt, heavily inspiring Selphie's design. In addition, Edea and Ultimecia were heavily designed to be a ShoutOut to Yoshitaka Amano's artstyle.
* {{Badass}}: Every player character, especially if you know how to play the system.
** BadassAdorable: Selphie.
** BadassArmy: The [=SeeDs=]. In one day, Squall duels his rival, kicks the crap out of a Guardian Force, destroys two horrible mutant abominations, storms a beach D-Day style, fights an amphibious/urban battle, and escapes from a nigh-unkillable spider robot (or kills it for extra credit), and no one considers this strange or unusual. For [=SeeD=], this is just an example of a final exam for them, which qualifies them to be [=SeeD=] soldiers. No wonder they've got such a crazy reputation. Admittedly, Squall in particular is considered {{Badass}} by the BadassArmy, even at that point in the story.
** BadassBiker: Galbadia's army includes motorcycle troops, using their mobility to race around the battlefield...
** BadassBystander: ... only for one of the bikers to get ''clotheslined'' by a Balamb Garden student swinging a sword.
** BadassDriver: Squall hijacks a top-down car during the disc one finale and speeds up to square-off against his RivalTurnedEvil and the (literal) DiscOneFinalBoss.
** BadassInCharge: [[spoiler: Squall once he becomes appointed as [=SeeD=] leader.]]
** BadassLongcoat: Seifer and Irvine wear these.
** BadassNormal: Laguna, Ward, and Kiros, under most circumstances.
*** EmpoweredBadassNormal: When Connected to the main characters, the trio become [[PersonOfMassDestruction Persons Of Mass Destruction]] on account of being [=SeeD=]-class, GF-empowered fighters seventeen years before there were any [=SeeDs=].
** CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Selphie and Laguna.
** BadassTeacher: Quistis, at least at first. She probably qualifies for BadassBookworm as well, as becoming a [=SeeD=] by age 15 requires some hardcore studying.
** HandicappedBadass: [[spoiler: Ward after becoming mute.]]
** LittleMissBadass: Selphie.
** RetiredBadass: [[spoiler:Laguna, Kiros, and Ward.]]
* BagOfHolding
* BagOfSharing
* BatmanGambit: The ''heroes'' actually use this on [[spoiler:Ultimecia]], although [[spoiler:Ultimecia]] had gotten them with one earlier. [[spoiler:Possessing Rinoa and putting her into a coma so that she could go into space and free the most powerful sorceress in the world]]... nobody could see it coming.
* BattleThemeMusic
* TheBeastmaster: Rinoa.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Cid [[spoiler:promotes Squall to Commander of [=SeeD=]]] based on [[spoiler:Edea's]] foreknowledge of [[spoiler:Squall's role in defeating Ultimecia]]. Squall in turn tells the other [=SeeDs=] at Balamb Garden that [[spoiler:it is their destiny to fight the sorceress]], and tells [[spoiler:the past Edea that she will found [=SeeD=] for that purpose]]. The StableTimeLoop means that there's a lot of BecauseDestinySaysSo running around the plot; [[spoiler:Ultimecia, possessing Edea, also identifies Squall as "the legendary [=SeeD=] destined to face me".]]
* BeehiveBarrier:
** [[spoiler:Balamb Garden]] gets one during the scene where it [[spoiler:becomes mobile]]. However, it doesn't actually act as a force field. It's just part of the sequence that occurs while [[spoiler:the Garden begins moving]].
** The [[spoiler:"Great Wall of Esthar"]] is a somewhat more standard example in that it is actually a wall, albeit one used more for camouflage purposes than physical defense.
* BeneathTheMask: Squall, whose JerkassFacade is a mask he developed as a child to [[spoiler:deal with the pain of losing his "sister" Ellone]]. If you look at his entire persona, it's very much like how a child would think a "tough adult" would act, and beneath it he's insecure and emotionally immature, as well as more caring than he likes to let on.
* BetaCouple: In some degree, Selphie and Irvine.
* BeTheBall: The Wendigo's main form of attack, amusingly enough, is to grab a party member, smash them into a ball, and use them as a weapon against the rest of the group.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Selphie. As [[spoiler:revenge for launching missiles at her old Garden, she decides to blow up Galbadia's weapon base while on a mission ''with a smile'']]. Even before that, her casual suggestions for dealing with various situations will inevitably gravitate towards the most violent options imaginable, to the shock of her teammates. In particular, on her ''very first mission'', she suggests blowing up the President's train [[StuffBlowingUp with a rocket launcher]]. While in D-District Prison, she suggests skinning a [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter moomba]] to wear its fur as a disguise. Mechanics wise, she has not one but two OneHitKill spells in her LimitBreak: "Rapture," which [[OneHitKill one-hit-KO's]] every non-boss enemy, and "The End," which can one-shot anything up to the FinalBoss if you're lucky enough to roll it up.
* {{BFG}}: The gun on the vessel that Quistis uses at Dollet.
* {{BFS}}: They're not the Buster Sword, but the Gunblades are pretty large, particularly the Twin Lance, Punishment, and Lionheart models. There is also Odin's Zantetsuken.
* BGMOverride: For the opening [=FMVs=] of the Dollet Field Exam, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvhuIY8HcgE "The Landing"]] plays and continues to play during random encounters for the first portion.
** During part of the escape from D-District Prison, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFYbtBwxtww "Never Look Back"]] plays and keeps playing during the random encounters.
** During the Battle of the Gardens, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jMzX8sA3pE "Only A Plank Between One and Perdition"]] plays.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Ultimecia.]]
* BigBadassBattleSequence: The Siege of Dollet, the Battle of the Gardens, the Siege of Esthar. All of them use a BGMOverride, as listed above.
* BigDamnGunship: The Ragnarok initially appears as just a spaceship, but is revealed to be this as well during the assault on Lunatic Pandora.
* BigDamnHeroes: Half the game involves someone rescuing someone, usually Rinoa.
* BigFriendlyDog: Rinoa's dog Angelo.
* BigRedDevil: Diablos and Ifrit.
* {{Bishounen}}: In a series chock-full of handsome leads, [=FFVIII=] takes the cake. With the possible exceptions of Cid and Rajin, each of the male lead are depicted with clean-shaven faces and feminine necklines.
* BlackBestFriend: Kiros to Laguna and Raijin to Seifer.
* TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn: In the opening sequence, Squall's gunblade falls end over end and ends up impaled in the ground.
* TheBlank: A FreezeFrameBonus in the ending sequence shows Squall with no face.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: The unique defend command negates all physical damage and half of the magical. Considering it's a GF ability, it can be considered partly magical, but seeing the BonusBoss do no damage with its most powerful attack it's still pretty striking.
* BlowYouAway: Fujin. Also, the Pandemona GF (which is drawn from Fujin).
* BoisterousBruiser: Mentally, Seifer. Definitely Raijin and Zell.
* BossBattle
** AdvancingBossOfDoom: [[SpiderTank X-ATM092]]. Type A.
** BaitAndSwitchBoss[=/=]TrickBoss: Biggs and Wedge on the Dollet Communications Tower. They're blown away (literally by wind) and replaced by the much stronger Elvoret.
** BonusBoss: Omega and Ultima Weapon. Also, the various [=GFs=] that you have to fight and defeat before obtaining.
** BossBanter: Several bosses talk to the party during the fight; Edea, Seifer, NORG, Fujin and Raijin, Biggs and Wedge, Fake President Deling.
*** In a subversion, Ultimecia starts to talk [[spoiler:right before the fight is over]].
** BossBonanza: The game had a [[VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon last dungeon]] full of semi-optional bosses who need to be defeated to unlock abilities for the final battles.
** BossInMookClothing: T-Rexaur. Tonberry. Malboro. Elnoyle [[PaletteSwap looks like]] the second boss in the game, but it's much, MUCH worse. Also, Ruby Dragon.
*** The game actually has two areas filled with nothing but bosses in mook's clothing called the Island Closest to Heaven and the Island Closest to Hell.
** ContractualBossImmunity: A rare subversion with Selphie's "The End" Limit Break, which, if pulled off successfully, can OneHitKill any boss in the game except the FinalBoss (and then it's only because it's a four-stage fight; The End will still knock out one of the stages for you instantly). However, it's played straight with other attacks, such as Quistis's "Degenerator" Limit Break or the Level 5 death spell.
*** There's actually a notable example with Odin, who will randomly appear during non-boss battles and use a OneHitKill attack to destroy whoever you're fighting. When fighting Seifer for the fourth time, [[spoiler:Odin will appear and use his OneHitKill attack, but Seifer blocks it and destroys Odin. However, this causes Gilgamesh to appear later in the battle and use his OneHitKill attack to defeat Seifer]].
** CowardlyBoss / GetBackHereBoss: Sacred in the Tomb of the Unknown King, who runs away after your first optional fight with him. The player then has another optional fight with him again along with his brother, Minotaur.
*** Jumbo Cactuar can run away while the player is fighting it, requiring the player to have to fight it all over again, which is not fun. It will do so if it's brought down to less than 2% of its hit points.
** CutsceneBoss: [=X-ATM092=]. If the player doesn't destroy it by bringing all of its hit points to zero -- which most don't due to either the time limit, the amount of LevelGrinding required, or just the sheer repetition of having to fight it numerous times -- then Quistis will destroy it in an FMV.
** DamageSpongeBoss / MarathonBoss: Omega Weapon, Ultima Weapon, Tonberry King, Jumbo Cactuar, Ultimecia's four forms.
** DegradedBoss: Granaldo and its Raldo backup. Inverted with Elvoret being a boss, but Elnoyle being a palette-swapped copy monster who is about 10 times as powerful by comparison.
** DualBoss: The Iguions, the Oilboyles, Fujin and Raijin, Biggs and Wedge, Sacred and Minotaur, Vysage with Lefty and Righty.
** DuelBoss: In the first boss fight against Seifer, Squall fights him alone.
** FinalBossNewDimension: The climactic battle against Ultimecia begins in her throne room, but grows increasingly chaotic as TimeCompression proceeds; the last stage occurs in a nearly-featureless void.
** KingMook: Tonberry King.
** OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler:Ultimecia]] goes through several of these. Also, the [[spoiler:Fake President Deling]] has this when he transforms into Gerogero.
** PuzzleBoss: The Propagators on the Ragnarok. Also, Odin. Before you fight him, you have to complete the Centra Ruins puzzle quickly enough to get to him and beat him.
** RecurringBoss: Several. Biggs and Wedge have to be fought twice. Seifer has to be fought four times. Edea has to be fought twice. Raijin has to be fought three times. Fujin has to be fought twice. Sacred has two optional fights. [=BGH251F2=] has to be fought twice.
** SequentialBoss: Numerous.
*** The fight against Biggs and Wedge goes straight into the fight against Elvoret without the battle sequence ending.
*** The first fight against Seifer in Deling City goes straight into the first fight against Edea, but with a scene in between.
*** The first fight against Raijin in Balamb goes straight into the next boss fight against both Fujin and Raijin, but with a scene in between.
*** The third fight against Seifer goes straight into the second fight against Edea without the battle sequence ending.
*** All eight of the Propagators on the Ragnarok. They don't ''have'' to be fought one after the other, but they are all in the same area, and there's really nothing else to do since the player is stuck on the spaceship until the Propagators are cleared out.
*** The several fights against sorceresses while [[spoiler:entering the time compressed world]] have to be fought one after the other without the battle sequence ending.
*** After defeating the necessary number of Tonberries, the Tonberry King appears right after the last one, without the battle sequence ending.
*** The boss fight against Vysage, Lefty, and Righty goes straight into the fight against Gargantuan without the battle sequence ending.
*** All four of Ultimecia's forms must be fought one after the other with no breaks or scenes in between.
** SkippableBoss: All eight of the bosses in Ultimecia's Castle do not have to be fought. However, since you have to beat them to unlock your abilities before fighting Ultimecia, skipping them is not recommended.
** TimeLimitBoss: Ifrit in the Fire Cavern, [=X-ATM092=] in Dollet, [=BGH251F2=] in the Galbadia Missile Base, Odin in the Centra Ruins.
** VehicularAssault: [[SpiderTank X-ATM092]] in Dollet, [=BGH251F2=] in the Galbadia Missile Base and later in Fisherman's Horizon.
** WarmupBoss: Ifrit in the Fire Cavern.
** ZeroEffortBoss: The first fight against Edea. If she reduces the party's hit points too low, the battle ends, and the game goes into the following cut scene. The player just won't get any AP, which they will if they defeat her.
*** [[spoiler:Having Odin makes Seifer's last fight this. You can wait, see Odin be killed, wait, and see Gilgamesh beat Seifer without taking any action.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Irvine's shotguns actually do have consumable ammo, but it is only used for his Limit Break. His firing animation with his shotgun shows him quickly loading the barrels while entering the "ready" stance. Laguna's machine gun can be used indefinitely without the need to reload.
* BoyMeetsGirl: Squall meets Rinoa.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Seifer, although it is debatable as to how much of it was due to that and how much of it was his willingness to serve Edea ([[spoiler:who in turn was possessed by the main villainess, Ultimecia]]). Certainly given some of the comments, he seems to fit this trope more towards the end when Ultimecia admits that she is using him.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Unique to the French version of the game, but characters say things like "This is a video game, not a fairy tale", "she's gonna hold me there for the whole game" (in a transparent thought panel), or "I won't say anything until the end of the game" (and here, it's Ward saying this out loud to Laguna) pretty often.
* TheBrute: Raijin.
* BrickJoke: Interacting with the structure inside Centra Excavation Site during Laguna's second dream sequence in Disc 1 will unlock passageways to rare items while you infiltrate Lunatic Pandora in Disc 3.
* BurnTheWitch: [[spoiler:Rinoa on Disc 3.]] Adel left the people of Esthar very poorly disposed towards sorceresses in general, and they're eager to ensure that no other sorceress remain free to someday pose a threat to them.
* CanineCompanion: Angelo, to Rinoa.
* CanisLatinicus: Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec. Looks more or less like Latin; actually a SignificantAnagram.
* CantDropTheHero: Except for several plot-specific instances in which [[LetsSplitUpGang the party splits up to accomplish separate objectives]], such as the Disc 1 assassination mission and the Disc 2 missile base mission, Squall must remain in the active party at all times.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: It doesn't matter if you have just spent the last hour rescuing cadets and children from [[spoiler:monsters unleashed by [=NORG's=] faculty]] and been appointed Commander. Use magic in the halls ''and your ass is going down a rank''.
* CannotSpitItOut:
** Irvine pretends to be a cool loner, then a nervous flake, in an awkward attempt to hide the fact that [[spoiler:he remembers his childhood at the orphanage and recognizes all his old friends (and their "Matron", Edea), while none of them remember him. When they finally remember,]] he reveals that he didn't say anything because he was embarrassed about [[spoiler:being so utterly forgotten]].
** The same goes for Squall's feelings towards Rinoa. This is because for the majority of the game, he's simply not emotionally mature enough to [[WhatIsThisFeeling understand his feelings]] towards her, or how to reciprocate.
*** Rinoa addresses this when the team is at Trabia Garden. She tells Squall that he has to voice his feelings or she won't understand.
* CannotStandThemCannotLiveWithoutThem: Squall spends the first two discs of the game grimly resisting Rinoa's efforts to get him to open up to her, but gradually giving way. When she [[spoiler:falls into a coma at the end of disc two, however, he realizes how much he doesn't want to lose her, and she becomes his main priority]].
* CatchPhrase: Selphie ''tries'' to get "Booyaka!" to catch on among the students. It doesn't work. Squall's may as well be "Whatever", especially in the English version which altered some of his dialogue to add this as much as possible.
* CelebrityResemblance[=/=]NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Tetsuya Nomura mentioned in an interview about ''TheBouncer'' that Squall was inspired by River Phoenix and "Nobody understood it". Though, many series fans have also noted a resemblance to idol singer Gackt. The fact that Gackt has cosplayed Squall and Tetsuya Nomura's obsession with him appeared in multiple games only makes the resemblance even easier to notice.
** Most fans believe Cid bears a strong resemblance to RobinWilliams.
* TheChanteuse: Julia Heartilly, from the flashback sequences.
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%% the CharacterAlignment tropes were moved to the YMMV tab. Please don't add them back here.
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* CharacterLevel
* CharacterTics: When he's nervous, Laguna's left leg starts to limp.
* TheCharmer: Irvine.
* CharmPerson: Visiting Deling City during the second disc and talking to the citizens will reveal that when they saw Edea speaking to them [[spoiler:before she killed the president]], they all felt incredibly loyal to her and are willing to do whatever she wanted them to. It's never addressed why her magic didn't work on the protagonists.
* CheerfulChild: Ellone
* ChekhovsArmoury: The Information menu, as well as numerous little things mentioned at the start of the game. Hints as to the [[spoiler:Guardian Forces causing memory loss]] come as early as the terminals accessible at the very beginning of the game.
* ChekhovsGun: The Dollet satellite dish.
** A little (not-so-)honorable mention was used by the BigBad against the player: [[spoiler:Squall's ring, named by the player partway through the game, is Ultimecia's inspiration for her sort-of [[TheDragon dragon]], Griever]].
* ChekhovsGunman: The girl who appears at the beginning of the game in the infirmary and later appears again in the Training Center.
* ChildSoldiers: [=SeeD=] is made up almost entirely of them. The oldest member of the the party proper is Quistis, who's ''18''. The whole game is a savage {{Deconstruction}} of the concept, showing just how screwed-up soldiers of such a young age should be.
** [[RedOniBlueOni Seifer and Squall]] seem to suffer the most due to this in game, probably justified by the fact they've possibly been training to kill whoever they're paid to since the ages of 6 and 5, respectively.
* ChivalrousPervert: Irvine.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Laguna Loire is an utterly bizarre human being.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Seifer does this to Squall in D-District Prison.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience:
** Squall wears [[DarkIsNotEvil black]], Seifer wears [[LightIsNotGood white]].
** The propagators on the Ragnarok appear in color-matched pairs, and if both of a given colored pair aren't killed one immediately after the other, the remaining one will revive the defeated one. It's ''eventually'' possible to simply wear them down and kill them normally -- and is a good way to grind AP for a low-level game -- but only after killing them ''thirty-six times''.
** Rinoa and Ultimecia have [[LightIsGood white]] and [[DarkIsEvil black]] wings respectively
* ComingOfAgeStory: A theme of the story is how the main characters ''think'' they're mature and adult, but quickly prove otherwise; Squall and Rinoa mature visibly over the course of the story.
* CommercialBreakCliffhanger: Done with ''disc changes'' throughout the game.
** Disc 1-2: Just as our heroes think they've beaten Sorceress Edea the first time, she [[spoiler:busts out her LimitBreak, [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice sending a massive icicle through Squall]] and sending him falling off the float...]]
** Disc 2-3: Just as our heroes think they've beaten Sorceress Edea ''another time'', she [[spoiler:snaps out of it, reverting to Matron Edea Kramer... but Rinoa has inexplicably gone into a coma...]]
** Disc 3-4: Just as our heroes think they've beaten [[SomethingCompletelyDifferent Seifer for the last time,]] [[spoiler:he kidnaps Rinoa and hands her to Adel on a silver platter]].
* CompetenceZone: Completely torn to shreds. At first, the game seems to fall in line with most {{Eastern RPG}}s by setting the CompetenceZone under the age of eighteen. Unfortunately, most of the non-global conflict is ''caused'' by the young average age of the main characters, as they are too emotionally immature to deal with the events of the story in a sensible, adult way.
* ConditionedToAcceptHorror: Squall, Selphie, and Zell are completely up-front about their willingness, as [=SeeDs=], to follow their client's orders no matter how little chance they have of succeeding or how likely they are to get killed as a result. Rinoa is shocked and upset by this attitude, and Squall is in turn confused and frustrated by her reaction -- he thinks they're simply being professional.
* ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination: Edea's [[spoiler:killing of Vinzer Deling in front of a huge crowd, who continues to cheer as if nothing odd is going on]]. Justified, as she had cast a charm spell on the crowd.
* ContinuityCameo: Gilgamesh's appearance is the first instance in the series of a character from [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV another Final Fantasy game]] canonically appearing as the same person in a different one.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious: Squall keeps trying to talk [[spoiler:to Rinoa while she's in a coma]]. He even laments that "it's like [[IronicEcho talking to a wall]]". It doubles as an IronicEcho, as earlier in the game he tells Quistis to talk to a wall if she wants someone to listen.
* CoolAirship[=/=]CoolStarship: The Ragnarok.
* CoolBoat: Balamb Garden's landing vessels and later, [[spoiler:Balamb Garden itself]].
* CoolBigSis: [[spoiler:Ellone]] to the [[spoiler:team when they were in the orphanage]].
* CoolOldGuy: Cid.
* CoolSword: Squall and Seifer use gunblade swords as their weapon of choice.
* CoolTrain: Trains are the primary way of getting around cross-country for most of the average citizens of the game world, and they're usually pretty neat, but Doomtrain takes the grand prize - not only for design (which is an obvious throwback to the Phantom Train in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''), but for his summon sequence and the fact that he slaps the target with just about ''every status effect in the game,'' making him one of the most consistently useful Guardian Forces.
* CowardlyLion: Watts and Zone know how to avoid doing work. However, Watts is '''very''' good at gathering information very quickly, and Zone saves the day by giving Quistis his own train ticket out of Timber.
* CrashIntoHello: How Squall meets Selphie.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: [[spoiler:Laguna's plan to defeat Ultimecia is to ''let her'' start Time Compression, then have Ellone abruptly "disconnect" her to half the process, while Squall and the party use ThePowerOfFriendship to navigate their way through the time stream and make it to Ultimecia's Castle so they can kill her, and they'll return to the present when the timeline is set right.]] It works.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: Squall, when he's being tortured by Seifer in D-District Prison.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Esthar, pretty much literally.
* CurseCutShort: The S-word is cut short when Laguna falls off a cliff during the second dream sequence.
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow: Ellone.
* CutsceneIncompetence: This is an RPG, so of course the characters are unable to do things during the story that they can easily do in battle, such as summoning [=GFs=].
* DancesAndBalls[=/=]DanceOfRomance: Squall and Rinoa at the [[DancesAndBalls SeeD graduation ball]].
* DarkChick: Fujin.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Squall wears black. Also, [[spoiler:Edea, who dresses in black even before and after she's possessed.]]
* TheDayTheMusicLied: [[spoiler:Someone's going to die the last time you summon Odin, but it won't be the boss.]]
* DeathFromAbove: The Lunar Cry.
** Numerous [=GFs=].
* {{Deconstruction}}: Oh so much. For example, Squall is utterly broken when compared to a typical teenage-orphan EasternRPG protagonist, precisely because he's a teenage-orphan EasternRPG protagonist.
* DesperationAttack: The game's {{Limit Break}}s are also desperation attacks, triggered specifically by how dire a situation the character is in. Low HP is the main contributing factor, but having party members [=KOed=] or suffering under status effects also goes towards a hidden Crisis Level calculation which determines how likely a limit break is to trigger and, where relevant, how potent it will be. As a result, a common strategy (at least, before the Aura spell becomes available) was to keep one or more characters at minimal health and refresh the command menu until the Limit Break popped up.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: The writing dips into this at times:
-->'''Cid:''' You will be passing through a real battlefield. Obviously, the battles will be for real.\\
(later)\\
'''Squall:''' Thanks to you, I feel like I can take on anyone, even if they fight dirty like you.\\
'''Seifer:''' You'll thank me when the time comes.
* DeusExMachina: The Ragnarok conveniently floats by as Squall and Rinoa are drifting in space. It's revealed later that it was used to launch Adel's tomb and thus was abandoned in the same area of space. However, its timing and placement is still incredibly convenient.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Odin again.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Squall gets into a space suit and leaves the EscapePod to [[spoiler: escue Rinoa, who's floating out in space]]. Even though he succeeds, they're both stuck out in the middle of space, low on oxygen, and with no way to get back to the Planet. Fortunately, DeusExMachina saves the day.
* DieselPunk: Though a bit brighter than ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: [[spoiler:Edea]]. She's also the Disc Two Final Boss.
* DiscOneNuke: Players can forge Squall's InfinityPlusOneSword as early as Disc 1. It requires a ''lot'' of patience, as well as the [[GuideDangIt knowledge of how to get the items needed]], but forging it that early means you can [[GameBreaker kiss the difficulty goodbye]].
** Before you head out to Timber, you can play Triple Triad to collect Abyss Worm cards, which refine into Windmills at a 1:1 ratio. Windmills, in turn, refine into 20 Tornado spells each. Tornado is one of the best spells in the game for junctioning to Strength and Magic, comparable to the end-game Holy, Meteor, Flare, Pain, etc. With 100 Tornadoes junctioned to Strength, Squall will deal over 1000 damage per attack.
** If Tornadoes alone are not enough, Gayla cards can be refined into Mystery Fluids on a 1-to-1 basis, and each Mystery Fluid can be refined into 10 Meltdowns. In addition to junctioning nicely to Vitality, thereby [[StoneWall increasing a character's resistance to physical damage]], Meltdown can be cast on an enemy in order to reduce its Vitality to zero, making it literally defenseless against physical damage. Forget the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Lionheart]] - with the Tornado/Meltdown combination, Squall can solo some of the early bosses with his ''starter weapon''.
** Curaga is a high-level spell, junctions well to HP (like all healing/reviving magic), and can be refined from tents at a ratio of 10 spells from a single item. Each tent costs 1000 gil, so it's a bit pricey for the early game, but with a high-enough [=SeeD=] rank you'll be earning 10,000 gil or more per paycheck. Also, 100 Curagas junctioned to HP will give your characters 2200 HP above and beyond their unmodified stats, at a time when enemies will be lucky to hit triple-digit damage. Finally, while the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Lionheart]] must wait until later on disc one, Curaga, like Tornado and Meltdown, is available before Squall even leaves on his first mission.
* DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud: The Pandemona GF.
* DoomyDoomsOfDoom: Doomtrain, natch.
* TheDragon: Seifer, first to Edea and then to [[spoiler:Ultimecia]]. Also, Edea is at first, briefly, the Dragon to Vinzer Deling.
* DragonInChief: Edea. After [[spoiler:killing Vinzer Deling, she takes over as leader of Galbadia]].
* DreamSequence: Squall has several of these showing him as a child talking about his missing "Sis".
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Done in the Galdbadia Missile Base mission. Also, Watts is seen in Timber dressed as a Galbadian soldier.
* DrillSergeantNasty: One can be seen briefly in a hallway in Galbadia Garden making students do push ups, one of whom is Zell if he's not in your party.
* DubInducedPlotHole: A minor example -- in the beginning of the game, Zell continually tries (and [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption fails]]) to get his TrademarkFavoriteFood from the Balamb Garden cafeteria. What his favorite food actually ''is'', however, depends on what translation of the game you're playing (in English, it's hot dogs; in French, it's bretzels, which are similar to hot dogs; etc). Much later, during the DancePartyEnding, Zell is seen stuffing his face with a pile of what looks like dinner rolls. This is actually the punchline to a BrickJoke -- in the original Japanese script, Zell's favorite food is a particular kind of bread. He ''finally'' got his hands on some!
** It still sort of works in the English version, as the dinner rolls look like hot dog rolls which would, presumably, contain hot dogs therein.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: This is an RPG, so of course, you're not too important to run people's errands like finding pieces of a vase or gathering rocks to make a statue. Squall [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this during the Timber Mission when the Forest Owls ask him to go wake up Rinoa.
--> '''Squall''': Were we hired to run errands? Well?
--> '''Zone''': A-Are you angry?
--> '''Selphie''': You tell 'em, Squall. They can't treat us that way.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Inverted. Irvine appears to be invoking this on the train to Deling City, when he's telling Selphie they're destined to be together when they just met a few minutes earlier at Galbadia Garden. However, [[spoiler:the orphanage flashback reveals that he has known her a lot longer]].
* DummiedOut: Originally, Selphie was supposed to have two more Limit Break spells which apparently were never programmed in. The spells were ''Percent'' which cuts all enemies' current HP by 93.75% and ''Catastrophe'' which is more powerful than the ultimate spell, Apocalypse. They both can be accessed with a Gameshark.
** Another example is an entire mini-game mode for the PocketStation, which [[NoExportForYou never made it out of Japan]]. Said mode is still referenced in the English release and manual, probably because the decision not to release the hardware hadn't been made yet. It is possible to play with an imported Pocket Station from Japan. The mini-game could be used to get many useful items, guardian forces, and of course, HundredPercentCompletion. However, the PC version had this mini-game as a separate program.
* DungeonCrawling
** BonusDungeon: The [[UnderwaterBase Deep Sea Research Facility]] and the Centra Ruins.
** DiscOneFinalDungeon: Deling City, then Galbadia Garden, then Lunatic Pandora.
** FinalBossNewDimension: [[spoiler:The ruined future controlled by Ultimecia]], accessible through Time Compression. The distortion hasn't been fully-realized yet, which allows Squall's party to cross back and forth from the main overworld.
** LocomotiveLevel: A daring mission to detach President Deling's passenger car and attach it to a [=SeeD=]-controlled train.
** TheMaze: The Tomb of the Unknown King.
** NoobCave: The Fire Cavern.
** VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:Ultimecia's Castle.]]
* DungeonTown: Probably the most prominent example of this trope in a video game, you engage in combat in ''every town'' in the game except for the HiddenElfVillage where the Shumi reside. You fight in {{Arcadia}}. You fight in what will become your GlobalAirship (both of them). You are even forced to kick ass in the "completely safe" CrystalSpiresAndTogas {{Utopia}} once the skies turn red and demonic forces are literally poured on top of the town.
* DynamicEntry: In the D-District Prison, [[spoiler:Squall saves Zell by leaping a half a dozen stories onto a prison guard about to shoot him]].
* EasingIntoTheAdventure: Before taking the Fire Cavern Exam and the Dollet Field Exam, Squall is shown in class, and the player has the option of giving Selphie a tour and/or wandering around Garden on their own for a while. The plot doesn't really get rolling until the party deploys on their first mission the following day.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Edea.
* AnEconomyIsYou: This is an RPG, so pretty much every shop sells stuff the player needs and can upgrade your weaponry.
* {{Egopolis}}: Deling City.
* ElectricTorture: Used on Squall when the team is captured and being held in D-District Prison.
* EncounterRepellant: Diablos' Enc-Half and Enc-None abilities that reduce or stop random battles respectively.
* EnthusiasmVersusStoicism: Epitomized in Rinoa and Squall and a source of conflict between them.
* EquipmentSpoiler: A Weapons Monthly issue describing Rinoa and Irvine's weapons can be found before either of them is introduced (Rinoa does appear, but you don't learn who she is at that point).
** You could also buy ammo for Irvine's gun before you met him. Rather annoying, considering that Squall's weapon was a GunBlade, which contrary to what one would assume, didn't use any ammo at all.
* EscapeSequence[=/=]IndyEscape: Dollet, with Squall, Zell, and Selphie running away from [=X-ATM092=], and in D-District Prison, with Squall running away from the shifting panels on the bridge.
* EscapePod: On the Lunar Base.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Squall and Rinoa. By halfway through the game, even ''Squall'' can see that everyone can see it, but it takes him a little longer to really reach an epiphany himself.
* EveryoneIsRelated: [[spoiler:Most of the cast comes from the same orphanage, which makes sense, considering the Gardens were founded by the owners of said orphanage, Cid and Edea.]] Even [[spoiler:Rinoa]], the character with the least number of connections to the rest of the party, is still tied to them because [[spoiler:she used to date Seifer before the game began]].
** Not only that, but Laguna [[spoiler:was in love with Rinoa's mother before he disappeared to Winhill and before she married General Caraway, adding a further connection between them]].
** In the film sequence, Laguna plays a sorceress's knight and uses his gunblade the way Seifer does as an adult. Seifer saw the film as a kid and copied Laguna's fighting style, while the film itself inspired his dream to be a sorceress knight.
* EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture: The entire city of Esthar looks like the first and second generation [[IProduct iMac]], complete with transparent blue plastic.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Rinoa is not a princess, but the resistance calls her that as a nickname, most likely because she's [[spoiler:the daughter of the military commander of the occupying state]] and because she acts like she thinks she's one in the early parts of the game.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Zell's final Limit Break causes the enemy to spin.
* [[EvilSorcerer Evil Sorceress]]: Ultimecia and Adel, plus Edea [[spoiler:while she's possessed]].
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: Lunatic Pandora.
* EvolvingAttack: GF compatibility. Using [=GFs=] raises their compatibility with the character using them and causes them to arrive faster when you summon them.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The aptly named 'Mean Guy' in Galbadia Prison. Also, Selphie's 'The End' LimitBreak.
* ExperiencePoints
* ExtremeOmnivore: Anyone who uses the Devour skill. Edible objects include dragons, aliens, and mechas, and even things that will cause damage, petrification, death, or a ''game over'' if eaten are not safe. Devour can't be used [[ImAHumanitarian on people]], though. [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even extreme omnivores have standards]].
* EyeBeams: The first skill of Quistis's LimitBreak is called "Laser Eye", which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Through the hilarity of [[StockFootage stock animations]], she can upgrade to Machine Gun Eyes with the "Gatling Gun" skill.
* EyepatchOfPower: Fujin.
* TheFaceless: The Balamb Garden staff, whose faces are always covered by their headgear.
* {{Facepalm}}: Squall does this, often.
* FacialMarkings: Ultimecia. Also, Zell's tattoo.
* FakeVideoCameraView: During the ending sequence.
* FastballSpecial: Both the Granaldo boss and the GF Brothers make use of this when attacking.
* AFatherToHisMen: Cid.
* FemmeFatalons: Edea. Also, Ultimecia.
* FetchQuest: The vase quest in Winhill and the rock gathering quest in Shumi Village.
* FightingWithChucks: Selphie uses nunchucks as her weapon of choice.
* FinishingMove: Upgrading Squall's gunblade adds additional {{Finishing Move}}s to his LimitBreak. Zell gets a few as well if you can get your hands on fighting magazines for him to read.
** On the enemies' side, there's the Esthar "Death Corps"' Soul Crush and the Forbidden's Iai Blow.
* {{Flashback}}
** FlashBackEcho: Squall's flashback to himself talking about [[spoiler:his missing "Sis"]], which explains his mentality in the present.
** PensieveFlashback: The present day version of the team members who were there are shown in the past during the [[spoiler:orphanage revelation]].
%%The Five Man Band trope as it applies to this game is currently being debated on the discussion page. Please weigh in there if you have an opinion.%%
* FlorenceNightingaleEffect: Happens twice.
** First, in the past with Laguna and Raine. She falls in love with him while nursing him back to health.
** Second, although it's not nurse to patient, Squall finally realizes his feelings for Rinoa when [[spoiler:she falls into a coma and is lying in the infirmary]].
* FluffyFashionFeathers: Edea, the neckline on her dress.
* ForceField: Edea uses one to block [[spoiler:the incoming bullet from Irvine's rifle]].
* ForegoneConclusion: Squall and Rinoa are embracing in the game's logo. The game is billed as a romance. If you are surprised that Squall and Rinoa become a couple in the course of this game, then you're just going to flip out when you find out who Superman is...
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The first two discs of the game are packed with foreshadowing regarding the latter half's big revelations, well before the player has any of the context in which it's relevant. Notable examples include Edea's NewEraSpeech at the end of Disc 1, early and easily-missed discussion regarding the significance of sorceresses in general and Adel in particular, a note in the study panel regarding [[spoiler:memory loss]] as a possible but as-yet-unproven side effect of Guardian Force use, and ''almost everything out of Cid and Irvine's mouths''. None of this makes any sense until Disc 3, by which point the player has probably forgotten about it.
** [[BadMoonRising OH HEY, I'M THE MOON!]] Just wanted to stop by in every single background and let you know I'm the moon.
** The sequence of Selphie's TheEnd LimitBreak is nearly identical to the game's final scenes.
* FreudianExcuse: Just about all of Squall's mental issues stem from a mix of this and [[spoiler:amnesia]].
* FreudianTrio:
** Laguna: A [[BunnyEarsLawyer smart yet impulsive and offbeat]] man who often makes reckless decisions. (Id)
** Kiros: Level-headed DeadpanSnarker who most often tries to get Laguna's head out of the clouds and back onto the mission at hand. (Superego)
** Ward: Respects the other two's opinions, but will side with whoever's actually making sense. (Ego)
* FriendlySniper: Irvine.
* FormFittingWardrobe: Edea.
* FunetikAksent: Ultimecia replaces all C's with K's... [[spoiler:except for her final line as she dies. She never has it while possessing Edea, Adel, or Rinoa, either.]]
** She doesn't speak like this in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' either, where she suddenly gains a more coherent speaking style. This is likely because ''Dissidia'' used a different translator and was written ten years after the original game.
** She doesn't speak like this in the Spanish translation either.
*** Even in the Japanese version, Her speech doesn't imply an accent or speech impediment, which is the only way she speaks funky one way and not when possessing anyone. It seems the English translation gave her an accent just for the hell of it.
** Dr. Odine as well: "Do you vant to take zis outside?! Do you vant to fisticuffs?!"
* FusionDance: With [[spoiler:Griever in the final battle]].
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: Characters use their LimitBreak outside of the battle system a few times. In the opening cutscene, Seifer casts a fire spell at Squall and then follows up with a sword slash, which is essentially his No Mercy limit break. Squall counters with his Renzokuken finisher Rough Divide. Later on, after the boss battle [[spoiler:against Edea, she defeats Squall]] by firing an icicle spear that [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice impales him through the shoulder]]. Later on, [[spoiler:after she becomes a GuestStarPartyMember]], this is revealed to be her limit break, creatively named Ice Strike.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: This is an RPG, after all. However, there are a few exceptions. The classroom control panels indicate rules regarding use of magic in school, and at one point Squall is given the option of demonstrating a spell for a student. If he does, a Balamb Garden staff member appears and yells at him, and the player's [=SeeD=] rank is lowered. Also when Selphie attempts to cast Cure while under the influence of an anti-magic barrier.
* GatlingGood: Quistis thinks so as evidenced by the gun on the vessel that she uses at Dollet. Also her appropriately named Gatling Good LimitBreak.
* GenderIsNoObject: Male and female Garden students and [=SeeDs=] live, train, and fight together, and no one mentions anything about it. Also, both Galbadia and Esthar are shown having both a male and a female leader. The only time in the whole game that any gender differences are brought up is in a blink-and-you'll-miss it-comment by Raijin during the boss fights against him, in which he says "[[WouldntHitAGirl I don't hit girls, ya know]]", and only if he [=KO's=] your male characters and there is a female character remaining standing.
* GenerationXerox: [[spoiler:Squall's father is implied to be Laguna. Laguna's first love, Julia Heartilly, later married General Carraway and became Rinoa's mother. Seventeen years later, Squall and Rinoa meet and fall in love.]]
* GetOnTheBoat: The Garden students take landing vessels to get to Dollet on another continent and to get back to Balamb. Additionally, [[spoiler:once Balamb Garden becomes mobile]], it's needed to progress from point to point in the game for most of Disc 2 and Disc 3.
* GiantHandsOfDoom: Vysage, Lefty, and Righty. They also form the first stage of a boss (the rest of his body rises out of the ground once you defeat them) in Ultimecia's castle.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: During the [=SeeD=] exam at the beginning, Evolret shows up out of nowhere to dispose of Biggs and Wedge and attack the team. [[spoiler: There are hints that it's actually an assassin sent back in time by Ultimecia to kill Squall before he even knows of his enemy.]]
* GirlishPigtails: The aptly named "Library Girl With a Pigtail" in Balamb Garden.
* GlamorousWartimeSinger: Julia Heartilly, though she's more of a Glamorous Wartime Pianist during her single appearance in the game. She later goes on to write and perform (in-story) the song "Eyes on Me," which we don't hear as a full vocal performance until Disc 3, although the tune recurs several times in the game's instrumentals starting with the waltz Squall and Rinoa dance to at the graduation ball.
* GlobalAirship: The Ragnarok.
* TheGlomp: Rinoa gives one to Squall when he meets her in Timber.
* GoingThroughTheMotions: Squall's {{Facepalm}} in particular is iconic enough that it was reproduced in the ''KingdomHearts'' games.
* GoldfishPoopGang: Two of them. Fujin and Raijin. Biggs and Wedge.
* GoodMorningCrono: After the title sequence, the game proper begins with Squall awakening in Balamb Garden's infirmary.
* GoodWingsEvilWings: The recurring Buel creature has ''both'' bird and bat wings. [[RuleOfThree In threes]]. And the bat wings are the bigger ones.
** [[spoiler:Rinoa (in her second Limit Break form) and Ultimecia both possess wings. Rinoa's? Pure white and angelic. Ultimecia's? Black.]]
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Zell uses his fists as his weapon of choice.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Squall and Seifer have mirror-image diagonal facial scars. Ward has a typical "tough guy" scar running down the entire left side of his face.
* GrotesqueGallery: Gerogero, the various sorceresses.
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:Ultimecia]]'s specialty.
* GraveMarkingScene: During the visit to Trabia Garden, there is a cemetery for [[spoiler:the students killed in the missile attack]] with other students visiting and paying their respects. Also, at the end of the end of the game [[spoiler:we see a flashback to Raine's proposal to Laguna. When we return to the present, Laguna is visiting her grave.]]
* GrayAndGreyMorality: As mentioned by Squall: "Right and wrong [[NotSoDifferent are not what separate us and our enemies]]. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. [[BothSidesHaveAPoint Just two sides holding different views.]]"
* TheGreatEscape: The team does this getting out of [[spoiler:D-District Prison]].
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: The guards in D-District Prison and in the Galbadia Missile Base.
* TheGunslinger: Irvine uses a shotgun as his weapon of choice.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Seifer [[spoiler:and Edea]].
* GuideDangIt: Finding the White [=SeeD=] Ship on your first playthrough without a guide can be a bit of a hair puller. The only clue you're given is that it's located in the Centra continent, which is quite large, the smaller waters are very difficult to navigate through in the Garden, and the ship itself is quite well hidden by the geography, so you may miss it if the camera isn't facing the right direction.
** Also, when you're supposed to head to Esthar for the first time, more than one gamer flew around in the Garden endlessly, trying to reach the Esthar continent before finally realizing that you were supposed to pilot the Garden into Fisherman's Horizon, then, when it automatically cuts to inside the Garden, go to the infirmary.
** The Tonberry King GF. There are very few clues in the game that it even exists, let alone how to get it.
** The ''entire'' Shumi sidequest in Fisherman's Horizon. Try finding the ladder to the old fisherman without knowing it's there.
** It's stated that after you hit [[PointOfNoReturn Time Compression]], you will not be able to access any towns or characters. But you still have access to your GlobalAirship... where a number of {{NPC}}s have inexplicably set up shop. And the only way to ''reach'' your airship is a wildly circuitous Chocobo ride. How many people figured this out without being told it beforehand?
* HalfwayPlotSwitch: As is typical for the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series. The game has a very, very clear line in its plot where the focus shifts completely. The first two discs of the game consist of Squall and the forces of [=SeeD=] battling Edea and Seifer as they use the country of Galbadia to try and conquer the world. The ''very first event'' after Disc 2 is TheReveal that [[spoiler:Edea was just BrainwashedAndCrazy, and the real antagonist is Ultmecia, a sorceress in the future who wants to destroy the entire space-time continuum]]. That's in terms of the overarcing plot -- otherwise, focus from this point shifts to Squall searching for a way to get [[spoiler:the comatose Rinoa back to normal]].
* HandshakeRefusal:
** Squall does this quite a bit, most notably to Zell and to Zone.
** Everyone does this to Zell. It's one of the game's [[RunningGag Running Gags]].
* HatesBeingTouched: Squall, though he doesn't actually hate it. He just says he's not used to it when Rinoa is sitting in his lap and has her arms wrapped around him.
* HauntedCastle: Although it's not haunted, Ultimecia's Castle definitely has this appearance from the outside.
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: The Edea battle at the end of Disc 1, which the party loses even though [[LazyBackup Squall is the only one incapacitated]] by Edea's Limit Break.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Edea.]]
** FaceHeelTurn: Seifer.
* HelloInsertNameHere: Probably the first in the series where you are not allowed to name all of the player characters; you are allowed to name all of your Guardian Forces and Rinoa's dog. The only two player characters you are allowed to name are Squall and Rinoa, just in the case the game didn't make it obvious enough who the two lead roles were.
* HeroesPreferSwords: Squall, or rather heroes prefer gunblades.
* HerrDoktor: Dr. Odine.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Biggs and Wedge.
* HiddenElfVillage: Shumi Village[[spoiler:; until you traverse the Great Salt Lake]], there is hardly a hint of Esthar.
* HighAltitudeBattle: The Battle of the Gardens and Squall's midair fight with a Galbadian paratrooper for a jetpack.
* HitPoints
* HotLibrarian: The library girl who likes Zell.
* HufflepuffHouse: Trabia Garden; the only real information we have on it being that Selphie went there before transfering to Balamb Garden and [[spoiler:its eventual destruction]].
* HulkSpeak: Fujin only speaks in one- or two-word sentences, [[NoIndoorVoice at maximum volume]]. In the Japanese version, she spoke solely in Kanji, leading to more of a FunnyForeigner style as all-kanji lines look similar to Chinese. Notably, near the end of the third disc, [[spoiler:Fuujin drops this speaking style to try and talk sense into Seifer]].
* HumanShield: Adel uses Rinoa as one during the boss fight against her on Disc 4. If Rinoa dies, it's game over, which requires the party to keep her healed, as Adel absorbs her hit points, and also prevents the party from using any offensive [=GFs=] or attacks that hit all targets, as they'll damage Rinoa as well.
** Earlier, in Timber, Seifer uses Vinzer Deling as one.
* ICantDance: Squall in the ballroom scene. [[spoiler:Turned out to be a lie.]]
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: The '''Lunatic Pandora'''.
* AnIcePerson: Edea.
* IceQueen: Fujin.
* IdiotHero: Laguna.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: Male warning male version. Before leaving Timber, Zone warns Squall that he'll kill him if he lets anything happen to Rinoa. Later on, when they meet again, Zone goes berserk when Squall reveals that [[spoiler:Rinoa is in a coma]].
* IKnowMaddenKombat: The Slappers in the Galbadia Garden skating rink who incorporate hockey techniques into their attacks.
** The recurring Wendigo creature does basketball moves [[GrievousHarmWithABody USING your party.]]
* ImAHumanitarian: Amusingly, in one battle, Rinoa can be eaten alive by a party member with the Devour command equipped, though [[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment this causes an immediate Game Over]]. She is, however, the only human who can be eaten in this way, so this was probably an oversight on the developers' part.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Edea [[spoiler:does this to Squall with her Limit Break]].
* ImprobableAge: Despite being an elite squad of mercenaries tasked with highly dangerous wetwork (such as [[spoiler:political assassinations]]), none of the characters are old enough to drink. Both lampshaded and sort of justified: [[spoiler:Edea knows the man who will kill Ultimecia is a teenager, so she knows [=SeeDs=] will need to be below a certain age.]]
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Although many characters do use fairly sensible weaponry, there are also quite a few examples of this trope:
** Squall and Seifer both use gunblades -- that is, a sword with a pistol built into the base of the blade; perfect examples of ExoticWeaponSupremacy, as they have 100% accuracy and can do additional damage with the press of a button. Exactly how gunblades function are a source of much FanWank, though Square themselves basically explained them to be {{Vibroweapon}}s in the [[AllThereInTheManual Ultimania guide]]. In-universe, Cid mentions that gunblade specialists are rare, as the weapons are rather difficult to use, hinting that even in the game's world, they're not necessarily practical. Seifer mastered it because he saw a video of a sorceress' knight as a kid and wanted to emulate the style (and he's still rather blunt when using it). Various secondary media point out that Squall learned it because he was ''stubborn'', and wanted to master the weird weapon when everyone else went to something more commonsense.
*** There's also the fact that at the end of the game, [[spoiler: Squall is sent back in time to his childhood orphanage. Aside from giving his adoptive parents the idea to form [=SeeD=], the fact that he wielded a gunblade could have been Cid's inspiration in wanting him to be trained in its use. So in a sense, he gave himself the idea.]]
** Rinoa has her "blaster edge", a chakram-like ring which fires from a wrist-mounted launcher and returns like a boomerang. It can also fire her ''dog''.
** Ward uses a giant harpoon. Which he has to go run over to the monsters to retrieve and then run back into formation to use again.
** And Esthar's army uses what appear to be pick-axes with shotguns built into them (not to mention an armor ensemble that makes them look like mass-produced Franchise/{{Kamen Rider}}s).
* {{Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain}}s: Biggs and Wedge.
* InexplicableTreasureChests: Mostly averted; there are no treasure chests. However, the party can still sometimes find useful items lying around.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: As with the other games in the series, every character has an ultimate weapon.
* InfoDump: A ''huge'' one from Zell to Squall after he returns from the Esthar moonbase with ''the Ragnarok'', Disc 3.
* InjuredVulnerability: The Card skill only works on enemies that have been weakened. There's also Devour ability, which also only succeeds against enemies low on health, but can grant you various bonuses if you use it successfully, including permanent stat increases.
* InnerMonologue: Squall does more of this than he does actual talking. A source of humor with pretty much anyone who gets to know him.
* InstantFanClub: Quistis Trepe; her fans call themselves ''[[Franchise/StarTrek Trepies]]''.
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: In the D-District Prison, there are waist-high barriers that look as if they could be climbed/jumped over with very little effort, instead, forcing your party to run all the way around the big hole in the middle. Then you see [[spoiler:Squall jump down a couple FLOORS to save Zell]].
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Ellone with [[spoiler:her Uncle Laguna]].
* InterrogatedForNothing: Squall not only doesn't have the information that Seifer tortures him for at the beginning of Disc 2, he doesn't even understand the question. [[MoralEventHorizon Seifer ultimately doesn't care.]]
* IronicEcho: Early in the game, Quistis turns to Squall for support and comfort; unfortunately for her, Squall believes that people shouldn't have to rely on others, and tells her bluntly to talk to a wall. At the beginning of Disc 3, when [[spoiler:Rinoa is in a coma and Squall, having realized his feelings for her, tries to talk to her]], he comments that it's like talking to a wall.
* ItemCrafting: The only way to improve your weapons in the game. There's also a fair bit of "Item Mutation" in the game, as almost every [=GF=] has the ability to "Refine" spells into different spells, items into different items, items into spells, or (in one case), Triple Triad cards into items/spells.
* ItsAllMyFault: Zell has a moment in Disc 1, after he inadventertly said that Seifer belongs to the Garden of Balamb [[WhatAnIdiot right in front of the President, who were threatened by Seifer himself, during a live TV program]]. Fortunately, Quistis later reassures him that his recklessness didn't cause repercussions at all for their Garden.
* ItsRainingMen: Galbadia Garden uses this technique during both of their offensives during the Battle of the Gardens.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:J-R]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Seifer, who has pretty much the same personality when he [[RivalTurnedEvil turns evil]].
* JerkassFacade: Squall. He gets better.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Seifer's ElectricTorture on Squall in D-District Prison.
* JustifiedTutorial: The Fire Caverns quest at the very beginning of the game.
* KarmaHoudini: Sure, he was under Ultimecia's influence, but Seifer, as a sorceress' knight and while leading Galbadia, was responsible for a lot of death and destruction... and [[spoiler:yet he gets to live happily ever after with his buddies Raijin and Fujin]]. Well, unless you count the beat down the party delivered to him near the end (especially if [[SideQuest you unlocked]] [[MemeticBadass Gilgamesh]]).
* KickTheDog: Seifer does it early on. Not just figuratively, either.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Edea's [[spoiler:murder of President Deling]].
* KillTheOnesYouLove: Averted, more or less, [[spoiler:with Cid. He's fully prepared to send his and Edea's surrogate children to kill her, because he knows he's not capable of it himself, but it all works out in the end]].
* KilledMidSentence: [[spoiler:Ultimecia]] in her final OneWingedAngel form.
-->'''[[spoiler:Ultimecia]]''': Reflect on your... Childhood... Your sensation... Your words... Your emotions... Time... It will not wait... No matter... How hard you hold on... It escapes you... And...
* KillerBunny: One beach-dwelling monster is a sand-swimming, flying, piranha-toothed ''goldfish''.
* KleptomaniacHero: Not as bad an example as many [=RPGs=], but there are some instances. There's also an aversion -- rooting around in cupboards in a house in Timber finds the party some gil, but it also makes the house's resident refuse to let you rest there any more, and since the hotel is off-limits during your first visit...
* KlingonPromotion: Edea [[spoiler:after killing Vinzer Deling]].
* LaResistance: The people of Timber are doing this against their occupation by Galbadia. Also, the people of Esthar are shown doing one against their ruler, Adel, in the flashbacks.
* LadyInRed: Ultimecia's default form.
** Also, Julia in the flashback sequence from Disk 1 is wearing a red evening gown when she performs, making her even more the [[GlamorousWartimeSinger Glamorous Wartime Singer]].
* LadykillerInLove: The daydreaming guy carrying Quistis's card in the Balamb Garden cafeteria whose dialogue reveals he's smitten with her. The guy sitting next to him says he used to be the cream of the crop before her.
* ALadyOnEachArm: Irvine does this with Rinoa and Selphie if you follow his suggested party split at Galbadia Garden. It's possible to swap one of them out for Quistis, but for some reason, Irvine isn't as happy about it.
** [[spoiler:It's because he remembers her as a big sister figure.]]
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: [[spoiler:Guardian Forces inhibit memories]], which is a fundamental plot point that defines most of the game.
* LastStand: During the Battle of the Gardens, after Galbadia Garden's first two offensives, the Balamb Garden leaders realize another offensive will probably result in this, so they decide to take the offensive.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: The PSN version of this game actually blows Ultimecia's identity right in the product description. Normally, this would be TrailersAlwaysSpoil, but as the game is ten years old and the PSN version came out well after ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' included her as the main villain representing ''Final Fantasy VIII'', it ends up falling under this trope due to sheer age. But woe to the newer generations playing this for the first time...
* LawOfCartographicalElegance: As is typical for an RPG, the world is nice and square.
* LazyBackup: Hand-in-hand with that ArbitraryHeadcountLimit -- except notably during the final battle, in which party members who remain [=KOed=] for three turns are "absorbed into time" and replaced by one of their teammates.
* LeetLingo: The young boy in Timber uses it in speech.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Largely [[AvertedTrope averted]] as far as characters go. NobuoUematsu noted that he avoided making character themes for [=FF8's=] soundtrack, with the exception of "Eyes on Me". However, different versions of "Liberi Fatali" are used as leitmotifs for the concept of sorceresses.
** "Eyes on Me" is more the Leitmotif for the concept of love itself. Every time something romantic between Squall and Rinoa, or their parents (it's complicated, but there's no incest) or Laguna and Raine, this music plays. In addition, most of the main cast ends up with ''someone'' by the end of the game, and the reason that [=SeeD=] exists in the first place is because Cid loved Edea too much to just outright kill her when he saw what a monster she was becoming (that and before being mind controlled, Edea knew a teenager killed Ultimecia).
* LethalLavaLand: The Fire Cavern.
* LetsSplitUpGang: After breaking out of D-District Prison, the team splits up into two groups; one to head back to Balamb Garden to warn them about the missile attack, the other to the missile base to try and stop the attack.
** The team also splits up when Squall and Rinoa are sent into space.
* LevelGrinding: As mentioned, the game slims down this process as it is normally seen in {{RPG}}s. However, players often find themselves spending a while Drawing spells from monsters, either to keep for its own sake or the purposes of Refining. Triple Triad got a similar reputation, but at least it was more fun than spamming "Draw" for five minutes.
* LevelScaling: The levels of every mob are determined by your party's average level, except for some bosses. But never fear: bosses have level ''caps'', and will never get above a certain level no matter how strong the player is.
* LighterAndSofter: When taken against most of the rest of the series. The world is a cheerier, more prosperous place in general than in ''VII'' or ''VI'', and unlike games 4-7, [[spoiler:no party members or major sympathetic characters ever die over the course of the game. Hell, even [[ThoseTwoGuys Biggs and Wedge]] survive, and their whole [[RunningGag thing]] up to that point in the series was to show up and die horribly. Even the StarterVillain, who would've been killed by the game's real BigBad in previous games (Gestahl and President Shinra say hi) gets her own HappilyEverAfter, and the RivalTurnedEvil gets a measure of redemption and is last seen fishing with his friends with a big smile on his face.]]
** If you want to get down to brass tacks, [[spoiler:the only named characters who die are Vinzer Deling, Raine, Julia Heartily, and Adel. Odin may die if you acquired him before fighting Seifer at Lunatic Pandora, while whether Ultimecia dies at the end is vague due to [[StableTimeLoop time compression shenanigans]]]].
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Quistis and Squall. During the [[spoiler:orphanage revelations]], Quistis claims she thought her initial feelings for Squall were love, but later realized it was misplaced sisterly affection. How honest about this she's being is subject to some debate among fans, particularly considering her later comment that [[spoiler:she gave up once Rinoa entered the picture]].
* LimitBreak: One of the more easily-abused systems in the series. See the "GameBreaker" entry on the [[YMMV/FinalFantasyVIII YMMV page]] for more details.
* LiteralCliffHanger: Rinoa, hanging off the side of Balamb Garden during the Battle of the Gardens.
* LittlePeopleAreSurreal: Dr. Odine.
* LostForever: Any item or sidequest that involves entering a town after getting to Disc 4.
** In the Japanese version, this happens with any of the [=GFs=] that have to be drawn from a boss, and with Cerberus. The US version, however, averts this by allowing the player to draw any of the missed [=GF's=] from the bosses in Ultimecia's castle.
** Any item on the Dollet communications tower.
** Any item in [[TheAlcatraz D-District Prison]].
** Any item in the Galbadia missile base.
** Any item in Galbadia Garden.
** Any item on the Esthar Lunar Base, one of which is a card that can only be gotten there.
* LostInTranslation: Although it's still possible to guess from Gilgamesh's comment about the Rift that he's the same Gilgamesh that appeared in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', a single syllable confirming it was left out of the English translation:
--> '''Gilgamesh [Japanese]:''' "Huh? Was it you... Ba--?" [referring to Bartz]
--> '''Gilgamesh [English]:''' "Huh? Was it you...?"
* LoveConfession: Notably [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]. The IGN review notes that, for love basically being the main theme of the game, the word is not mentioned once (although this is incorrect; Rinoa does tell Squall "''we'' love you" during the concert at FH. Nevertheless, neither of the leads of what is primarily a love story ever makes an official LoveConfession).
* LoveTranscendsSpacetime: Basically how [[spoiler: Squall is revived after nearly being lost to the rebound against Time Compression.]] Extra Credit for combining this trope with TimeyWimeyBall.
* LoveTriangle: Subverted. The game initially seems to be setting one up involving Squall, Rinoa, and Seifer, particularly when Rinoa thinks back to the time she spent with Seifer the previous summer and confesses that she thinks she might have been in love with him. However, by the time all three of them are brought together, Squall and Rinoa are beginning to grow close to one another while Seifer has fallen under the sorceress's influence, to the point that there's never any actual romantic conflict involving the three of them.
* LowLevelAdvantage: If you stay at the lowest level possible throughout the game, DynamicDifficulty means enemies will never develop their stronger attacks and defenses. Plus, because of Refining and Triple Triad, you can still get access to top-tier spells which mobs aren't themselves carrying yet, leading to low-level characters with stats that are nonetheless maxed out. For bonus points, stay at a low level for most of the game, then start advancing when you finally get Abilityx4. The stat bonuses will practically make your characters demi-gods.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Squall]] turns out to be [[spoiler:Laguna's son]]. [[TheUnreveal Nobody in the game ever confirms this]], but plenty of clues direct the player to that conclusion: [[spoiler: comparison of the timeline to Ellone and Laguna's account of events, Moombas identifying Squall as connected to Laguna based on his blood, Laguna's comments about needing to talk to Squall after the war is over, and Kiros and Ward's remarks that Squall looks like his mother and it's a good thing he doesn't look like his father.]]
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Galbadia's missile attack on Balamb Garden.
* MadScientist: Odine.
* MakeOutPoint: The secret area in the Balamb Garden Training Center.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Rinoa subverts this - she really only acts particularly quirky or footloose around the lead, then gets told off for it repeatedly before learning to take things more seriously. She shapes up on Disc 2 after nearly getting killed by Edea.
* ManInWhite: The male White [=SeeD=]s and technically Seifer.
* {{Meganekko}}: Quistis. Unfortunately, only during [=FMVs=].
* MentalTimeTravel: [[spoiler:Ellone]]'s power.
* MetalSlime: The Cactuars, who give a whopping 20 AP for each one defeated. They have an annoying tendency to run away before the party can even attack, and if the party does get in a turn before, they are very difficult to hit.
* MildlyMilitary: For an academy that produces the [[BadassArmy toughest and most elite soldiers in the world]], Balamb Garden is surprisingly cozy and cheerful. And the [[EarWorm music that plays while you're in there]]...
** Subverted with Galbadia Garden, which appears to be much stricter and doesn't have a cheery atmosphere. Irvine Kinneas, however, is looser than most of the Balamb crew.
** During the first disc, Balamb Garden is far more spit-and-polish; while there's still plenty of leeway for horsing around and playing card games while on duty, there are lines that should not be crossed. Zell gets his futuristic skateboard confiscated when he rides it around Garden, and when Seifer disobeys orders on a mission to further investigate the enemy's actions, it causes him to fail the field exam even though he cut a swath through the opposition in the process. Finally, your initial [=SeeD=] rank is partly determined by your willingness to stick to the regs on that mission (the Attitude score), and later on, your rank can drop if you spend too much time playing around and don't stick to the mission at hand.
* MilesGloriosus: This seems to be the case with Irvine when he [[spoiler:panics during the assassination attempt]] and can't carry it out, and he even gives that as the explanation; that he just loves to talk tough but can't do anything when the time comes. However, he's very clearly not a coward when it comes to all fighting, and it's later revealed he had very good reason for [[spoiler:not wanting to kill Edea]].
* MilitaryAcademy: The Gardens.
* MilkingTheGiantCow: Most of the characters do this at some point.
* MindScrew: It is not exactly clear what the GF Eden is, nor what exactly happens [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZbfDMzynwg during its attack]], except that the universe appears to fold in on itself and back out again.
-->'''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZbfDMzynwg&lc=FNgIkWR9Gwfdbi7DoE6sgaWtkFoYwuvpLJuP_tMkiL8 Commenter]]:''' Summoning Eden requires you to get to a new planet in a new galaxy, drop Eden down to bend reality, and then remake the world as a giant IMMAFIRINMAHLAZOR which shoots at the new galaxy and that drops the enemy [[ForMassiveDamage FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE]] in less than a minute and a half. Do that without turning into [[FinalFantasyVII Jenova]] [[SarcasmMode AND YOU SHOULD BE PERFECTLY FINE]].
** A close inspection of Eden could liken it to a Garden structure. Garden... Eden... anyone else seeing this?
* MinidressOfPower: Selphie, and the female [=SeeD=] uniforms.
* ModelPlanning: The Forest Owls use train models to explain hijacking the railcar of an enemy president.
* {{Mook}}s: Notable even among ''Final Fantasy'' games for how absolutely ''infested'' the game is with Galbadian soldiers, pitting them against you constantly, from Dollet right up until the second-to-last dungeon. They are ''never'' anything resembling a threat. In the Laguna sequences they're swapped out for Esthar soldiers, who aren't much more dangerous.
* MoneySpider: The first ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' game to avert it, actually. Instead, Squall receives a regular stipend proportional to his rank, which itself rises and falls depending on your performance. Monsters still drop standard consumables / components for ItemCrafting.
* MoreDakka:
** Once again, the gun on the landing vessel that Quistis uses in Dollet.
** Laguna's "Desperado" LimitBreak. Irvine can hit this if he uses fast Ammo with his "Shot" Limit.
* MrFanservice: Squall.
* MsFanservice: Rinoa in her white dress, Julia, Selphie, Edea and Ultimecia.
* TheMutiny: The team returns to Balamb Garden after breaking out of D-District Prison to find the school undergoing one by students and staff loyal to NORG.
** AntiMutiny: The students and staff loyal to Cid are attempting one.
* MutuallyExclusivePartyMembers: The pseudo-Guardian Forces Odin and Gilgamesh can't be possessed at the same time. Getting Odin before Disc 3 results in him being killed during the events of Lunatic Pandora and replaced by Gilgamesh. You can keep Odin if you wait until disc four to get him, but then you lose your chance to get Gilgamesh.
* MugglesDoItBetter: Faced with an unkillable robotic warmachine that your team of OneManArmy soldiers and their [[SummonMagic summoned demigods]] can't stop? Break out the .50 cal machineguns.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Since Square's rendering abilities had progressed dramatically since ''VII'', they rendered anything they could possibly find an excuse to render in FMV. Which works when it's a dramatic chase sequence featuring our heroes pursued by a giant mechanical spider, but tends towards the absurd when an elevator is given the same loving treatment.
* MusclesAreMeaningless: At level 100, the playable character with the highest unmodified strength stat in the game isn't [[TheHero Squall]], [[TheRival Seifer]], or [[GentleGiant Ward]]. It's ''Rinoa.''
** Probably justified in that she's unavailable for most of Disc 3 and will rejoin you at a level close to your average party level. If you're playing normally and had been using level up bonuses, she'd fall way behind if her growth rate had been average due to lost opportunities to to increase her stats through said bonuses.
* [[MyMasterRightOrWrong My Friend Right Or Wrong]]: Fujin and Raijin state that they're on whatever side Seifer is on, which they do for most of the game, [[spoiler: however, at the end of Disc 3 when they finally feel Seifer has gone too far they call him out on it]] but still tell him they will remain his friends.
* MysteriousWaif: Ellone.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Galbadia's initial plan bears resemblance to [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi Germany]]'s actions at the Munich talks in 1938; hold peace talks that are really just a guise for demanding concessions in order to ultimately TakeOverTheWorld.
* NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: Discussed in-universe, when the party thinks Seifer is dead. Everyone else starts talking about him positively, while Squall finds himself disgusted by the way they've changed their opinions about him as soon as they think he's croaked.
** Squall has a mini BSOD later on when he realizes that if HE dies, everyone will be talking that way about him. Needless to say, he gets moving and goes to kick some ass.
* NewEraSpeech: Edea's speech in Deling City.
* NewsTravelsFast: While typical for an RPG, in this case this it's notable because of the radio silence mentioned throughout the game.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Squall's efforts to [[spoiler:revive Rinoa from a coma over the course of Disc 3]] end up playing into the BigBad's hands, as [[spoiler: Ultimecia, controlling Rinoa, releases Adel from imprisonment as her stasis pod is dragged out of orbit by the Lunar Cry]].
* NoCutsceneInventoryInertia: Characters always use the base model weapons in cutscenes, regardless of what model they've been upgraded to.
* NoHeroDiscount: This is an RPG, of course. Though there is one exception in Timber, when saving some kids from being hit by a train gets you a free hotel stay. Played straight for everything else. ''How much'' for a train ticket?
** '''[[UpToEleven HOW MUCH]]''' for the Queen of Cards to spread a new rule?
** Probably justifiable since, to everyone else in the world, you're just doing your job.
* NominalImportance: Only plot relevant characters have names. Those who aren't important enough for them have names such as "Mean Guy" and "Library Girl With a Pigtail".
* NonActionGuy: Cid.
* NonStandardSkillLearning: The Limit Breaks are like this. Squall's Limit Break availability is based on his equipped weapon. Zell reads magazines to learn finishing moves. Quistis uses certain items to learn skills. Rinoa takes her dog for a walk, and learns a new skill during the plot. Irvine can use different bullets based on what's in inventory. Selphie (technically) has all of her best Limit Break Magic available from the word go, but once you use the special ones once the show up more frequently in future.
* NonUniformUniform: Squall and Zell wear their Balamb Garden cadet uniforms in nonstandard fashion, in ways that echo their civilian clothes -- Squall leaves his jacket open, and Zell leaves his collar undone and rolls up his sleeves. Seifer forgoes the uniform entirely even during the field exam.
** Laguna, Kiros, and Ward have Galbadian blue uniforms, but missing the helmets. Ward's bandana and Kiros' hairdo push this trope straight into MildlyMilitary.
* NoSocialSkills: Squall is not the most socially apt of individuals. At first glance, this is because of him being raised in Garden all his life, but as the story progresses, it becomes more clear that his mental issues stem less from being in Garden and more from [[spoiler:Ellone's disappearance]]. Contrast with Seifer, who also joined at about the same time.
* NotAGame: Rinoa gets this lecture ''twice'' on Disc 1. The first time is from Squall, who doesn't say these exact words, but questions Rinoa's sincerity about resisting the government after witnessing the unprofessional way she and the Forest Owls come up with poorly-thought-out plans (also a notable moment of CharacterDevelopment for Squall, marking the first time he clearly expresses his feelings to anyone). The second lecture comes from Quistis, who uses the exact words to shoot Rinoa down when she proposes another poorly-thought-out plan just as the [=SeeDs=] are preparing for their own mission.
** It's worth noting that Rinoa herself ''doesn't'' consider the situations a game either. She's dead serious about assisting Squall and liberating Timber, but she's simply not mature or experienced enough at planning things out to carry out the operations successfully on her own.
* NotTheIntendedUse: Selphie's Limit Break scrolls through random skills, including 'The End', which instantly destroys all creatures. It worked on bosses. An easy abuse of this skill was to open the top of the Playstation which puts the game into a pause like loop where you can keep scrolling through her skills until you get 'The End'.
* NotWhatItLooksLike: Rinoa claims she doesn't want to ask Squall to see his ring (so Zell can make a replica of it) because people would get the wrong idea.
* NowWhereWasIGoingAgain: Doesn't happen so much after getting [[spoiler: the mobile Balamb Garden]], as the [=NPC's=] on the deck will tell you where you need to go, but it can happen before that, as there's no real reminders of where you're supposed to be going or what you're supposed to be doing.
* NumerologicalMotif: The number eight recurs throughout the game, presumably for the obvious reason. The Galbadian soldiers have 08 on their armour, the heroes have to catch a number 8 bus at one point, and there are eight playable characters (including the two {{Guest Star Party Member}}s) in the present.
** The GF menu lists the [=GF=]s in two rows of eight.
** There are 4 pairs of [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience color-coded]] propagators inside the Ragnarok.
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry: What the Timber resistance wants.
* OfficialCouple: Squall and Rinoa.
** It's in the logo.
* OffWithHisHead: NORG wants to offer the heads of the party members to Edea on a silver platter to calm her after the assassination attempt.
* OminousLatinChanting: "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" is just supposed to ''sound'' vaguely like Latin; it's actually an anagram of the phrase "Succession of Witches" and the word "Love." Everything else in the opening theme is genuine Latin, though, and [[BilingualBonus relevant to the plot]].
* OneeSama: [[spoiler:Ellone]] to Squall.
* OneTimeDungeon: There's Dollet Communications Tower, Galbadia D-District Prison, Missile Base, Galbadia Garden (during the attack), Great Salt Lake, and Lunatic Pandora (only visited twice) leading to almost all locations inaccessible due to Time Compression. Not to mention the Laguna dream sequences.
* OpeningTheSandbox: Disc 2, [[spoiler:when Balamb Garden lifts off]]. And of course [[spoiler:getting the Ragnarok in Disc 3]].
* OppositesAttract: Squall and Rinoa.
* OrchestralBombing: Galbadia's attack on Dollet and the missile attack on Balamb Garden.
* OneHeadTaller: Raijin to Fujin.
* OrphanageOfLove: The focus of the game's major plot [[TheReveal revelation]].
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: The President Buffoon type, subverted with [[spoiler:Laguna]]. After the whole game portrays him as awkward, dimwitted, and reckless, he then becomes President of [[spoiler:Esthar]] and seems to be doing quite well at it. Still a pretty big dork when you meet him with your party. His background also helps make him a President Personable and President Action.
** President Vinzer Deling of Galbadia, however, is PresidentEvil played quite straight before [[spoiler: Edea makes him a President Target]].
* OverlyLongFightingAnimation: The Guardian Force summon animations are some of the longest in the series, leading to the most powerful summons (and not coincidentally, the ones with the longest summon time) being rarely used at all. The backlash is likely what led to Square offering the option to shorten them in future titles. Ironically, this was also the first game to make those movies interactive: there's a "Boost" function which lets you ButtonMash your way to higher damage.
* PamphletShelf: Several places, this being an RPG, most notably in the Balamb Garden library.
* ParentalAbandonment: Ellone. [[spoiler:All of the playable characters except Rinoa, though she has a MissingMom.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: Cid and [[spoiler:Edea to the orphanage kids]].
* PartyInMyPocket: The first game in the series to avert it. While in a town or dungeon, the party members will be shown AllInARow, but on the world map, only the leader will be shown.
* PeninsulaOfPowerleveling: The Island Closest To Heaven and The Island Closest To Hell. Not only does it have (hidden) Draw Points stocking some of the game's best spells, it's also the only place where DynamicDifficulty is averted, instead providing Lv.100 versions of some pretty fierce monsters. While the EXP they provide doesn't go up, it does affect their item drops and the magic you can draw from them, and at a high encounter rate. Spam [[OneHitKill Degenerator]] for rapid experience gain.
* PerfectPacifistPeople: The people of Fisherman's Horizon, who refuse to fight even when their town is invaded by Galbadia.
* PiggybackCute: Squall carries Rinoa to Esthar this way after she falls into a coma.
* PimpedOutDress: Edea's, with the [[FluffyFashionFeathers feather collar]], and the cape with the arch on top. Accented by a bitchin' helmet with bird-beak visor and magical hair extensions, natch. Ultimecia also has one, [[EvilIsSexy only it's a lot sexier]].
* PinkMeansFeminine: Quistis and Ultimecia.
* PlayerHeadquarters: Balamb Garden.
* PlayerParty
* PlayingSick: Zell uses this technique to [[spoiler:help the team escape from D-District Prison]]. He has Selphie and Quistis lie down and act unconscious and tells the [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy guard]] that a snake bit them.
* PoliceState: Galbadia; the Galbadian army occupied Timber, and briefly, occupied Balamb.
* PowerAtAPrice: The act of junctioning Guardian Forces to your characters is put forward as the reason for their [[spoiler:memory loss. The only one who doesn't suffer from this is Irvine, who didn't junction one until he joined your party]]. This is representative of the effects of war erasing their childhood.
* PowersAsPrograms: The Guardian Forces can be junctioned to anyone interchangeably. Not to mention magic spells, which can be traded around to people (even, presumably, to people who don't use [=GFs=], since you draw magic ''from'' such entities all the time). The FinalBoss junctions ''herself'' to her Guardian Force.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: A theme of the game, as highlighted in a speech by Laguna towards the end of the third disc.
* ThePowerOfLove: A major theme of the game's plot.
* PowerupLetdown: Reflect is heavily {{Nerf}}ed in this game, only working on single-target spells the player characters can learn. Later on, all it does is block healing spells.
* PornStash: That copy of "The Girl Next Door" you pick up from the magazine publishers in Timber rewards you with a Triple Triad card later on. Also, Zell is ''very'' adamant about not letting ''anyone'' enter his room. [[WildMassGuessing One can only guess what he's got hidden away up there.]] Of course, when you actually do get a chance to visit his room, (during the Balamb occupation sequence), there seems to be no evidence of it. Though, you can see a spare T-Board and a [[WallOfWeapons collection of guns]].
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Fujin.
* PreMeeting: Rinoa asks Squall to dance at the party, but doesn't think much of it. Squall's first mission as a [=SeeD=] is assisting her resistance group.
* [[PressXToNotDie Press Right To Not Die]]: During the escape from D-District Prison, when Squall is hanging off the bridge connecting the towers, the player has to hold down the right directional button or else it's game over.
* PrettyInMink: The collar of Squall's bomber jacket, designed to challenge the CGI artists.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: [=SeeD=].
* ProtagonistPowerUpPrivileges: Squall has more weapons than any other party member, and his InfinityPlusOneSword can be acquired earliest.
* {{Punch Clock Villain}}s: Fujin and Raijin.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: The [[spoiler:orphanage revelation]] reveals the team is [[spoiler:actually doing this]].
* QuestGiver: Various [=NPC's=] for the various sidequests.
* QuicklyDemotedLeader: Quistis is demoted from Instructor to normal [=SeeD=] early on, leaving her free to team up with Squall and join the party.
* RaceForYourLove: Variant -- in Disc 3, after the return from space, Rinoa [[spoiler:chooses to allow Esthar to take her into custody and seal her power rather than risk becoming a danger to the world through Ultimecia's possession]]. Squall, paralyzed by his own issues and convinced he has no right to interfere with her decision, lets her leave, but when Quistis catches up to him and reads him the riot act over it, he changes his mind, rushes to the Sorceress Memorial [[spoiler:where Rinoa is about to be sealed, storms the facility, and sets her free]].
* RandomEncounters
* ARealManIsAKiller: All the male playable characters' {{Limit Break}}s are purely offensive compared to the females' sans Edea.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Cid.
* RebelLeader: Rinoa leads the Forest Owls at the beginning of the game.
* RebelliousPrincess: Rinoa, although she's not an actual princess, the other Forest Owls nickname her "Princess", and she is [[spoiler:the daughter of a high ranking government official]].
* RedHerring: Zell is shown playing with a [[HoverBoard T-Board]], claiming that it might be useful in [=SeeD=] missions someday. It doesn't.
* RedOniBlueOni: Squall (Blue) and Seifer (Red). Biggs and Wedge are an even more blatant pair, complete with color coding. Also, Raijin and Fujin, though Raijin only has a red scarf.
** The Brothers GF, who sport color-coded bucklers and Caps Locked dialog accordingly (Sacred/Red/all caps, Minotaur/Blue/no caps).
* RedemptionEarnsLife: [[spoiler:Raijin and Fuujin refuse to serve Seifer when they discover he is merely Ultimecia's pawn. The ending shows the three of them together, alive and well.]]
* RelaxOVision: The Devour ability cuts to a flower field, though you get crunching sound effects if you successfully eat the monster.
* ReligiousAndMythologicalThemeNaming: Like the other games in the series, there are numerous examples, both characters and summons.
* RequiredPartyMember: Squall for almost all of the game, except during the Galbadia Missile Base mission, during which it's Selphie. The two teams during the assassination mission. Rinoa when the team goes into space.
* ResignedToTheCall: Squall. [[CharacterDevelopment Until Disk 3, anyway.]]
* TheReveal: NORG revealing that Edea [[spoiler:is married to Cid]].
** Irvine telling the team [[spoiler:about Edea's orphanage]].
** Edea revealing that [[spoiler:she was possessed by Ultimecia]].
* ReviveKillsZombie: Certainly a staple of the series (particularly in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' at one point), but particularly {{egregious}} here, where you can [[spoiler:remove the zombified 'president' in one hit on the early-game train mission]]. This can also be done against Abadon, but has less of a chance of being successful.
* RhythmGame: Renzokuken!
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: The Moombas.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: In the Galbadia Missile Base, though this can end up a SoMuchForStealth situation.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Seifer, who is also a GuestStarPartyMember for exactly one mission.
* RuleOfCool: The reason the place is called "Fishermans Horizon" turns out to be this in-universe.
** Is also presumably the power source of Balamb and Galbadia Gardens.
** One recurring monster is the Chimera, which has multiple heads just like in all the myths, ''[[GatlingGood except that they rotate gatling-style]]''. [[ArtisticLicenceBiology We'll let you take a moment to see why that would be considered as crossing the line.]]
* RuleOfFunny: Some of the Guardian Forces' animations, such as the Brothers, Cactuar, and Tonberry.
* RunningGag: No one ever wants to shake Zell's hand...
** Not to mention Zell never getting his hot-dogs. [[spoiler:Until the ending, at least.]]
** Squall doesn't shake ''anybody's'' hand at first. [[spoiler:So it's pretty significant that he shakes Rinoa's hand when they're first properly introduced in Timber.]]
** Squall's "whatever" CatchPhrase.
** Irvine acting smooth to the ladies. Also, Irvine hitting on Selphie and she acts either flustered or completely oblivious.
** Quistis finishing Squall's sentences.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:S-Z]]
* SafetyInIndifference: This is Squall's viewpoint throughout most of the game. After [[spoiler:growing up in an orphanage, and then watching everyone he cared about slowly go away one by one]], he decided that if people were going to die or otherwise leave him alone, it was better to be alone in the first place to avoid he pain of losing them. He intentionally pushes everyone away to avoid developing bonds with them that would hurt to sever. [[spoiler:It takes [[SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl Rinoa]] to break him out of it.]]
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Squall and Rinoa early on, though they both move closer to center as the game progresses.
* ScarsAreForever: Apparently true for Ward's facial scar. It's not clear about Squall or Seifer's, however, since they both get their scars right at the start of the game, actually making it plausible for them to still have them considering the short period of time that passes.
** Dr. Kadowaki does specifically say that Squall's wound ''will'' leave a scar, however, heavily implying that it will be permanent. If so, this likely applies to Seifer's scar as well, as he suffered a nearly-identical wound.
* SceneryPorn: Background bitmap detail compared to ''VII'' was cranked UpToEleven.
* SchizoTech: Despite having access to a wide range of advanced technology, including cruise missiles, cybernetic robots, energy weapons, hovering buildings that can traverse both land and sea, and advanced spacecraft, radio broadcast is not used. This is a major plot point, as [[spoiler:Sorceress Adel's containment device in orbit interferes with radio transmission; it isn't until the Galbadian army invades Dollet and upgrades the old radio tower there that any radio signals are able to bypass this interference.]]
* SchoolNurse: Dr. Kadowaki.
* SchoolTeachers: Quistis fits several sub-tropes.
** BadassTeacher
** FiredTeacher
** HotTeacher
* [[ScrewTheWarWerePartying Screw The War, We're Partying]]: This seems to be Laguna's attitude in the first flashback sequence when he leaves Timber and goes to Deling City to see Julia peform.
* [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Screw This, We're Outta Here]]: Biggs and Wedge.
* ScriptedBattle: The first fight against Edea. Seifer vs. Odin/Gilgamesh. Also, the end of the battle with Ultimecia.
* SealedEvilInACan: The entire reason for the radio interference on Earth is [[spoiler:that the sorceress Adel was sealed in a high-tech containment system and launched into orbit. This was necessary because nobody knew how to kill her permanently, and because of how powerful she was, just flinging her into deep space could have had long-lasting consequences]]. This does, of course, mean that by the end of the game, you've not only traveled through time and saved the world... you've also brought TV back into the world.
* SecurityCling: Rinoa does this three times to Squall. First, after being rescued from the Iguions, she grabs onto him and doesn't want to let go. Later, while on the Ragnarok, after the intense sequence of events that's just occured, she takes advantage of the gravity being turned off to float down into Squall's lap and puts her arms around him, telling him that it makes her feel safe. The third time is when she hugs him after he rescues her from the sorceress memorial.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: [[spoiler:Ultimecia's]] actions are fueled by a desire to avoid persecution for crimes she hasn't commited and stop history from coming to pass, which states she will be killed by [=SeeD=]. Thing is, her attempts to do this involve [[spoiler:possessing people of the past to try and wipe [=SeeD=] out, starting war in the process, and eventually causing [=SeeD=] to kill her in retaliation for it all by traveling to the future]]. To put it simply - she tries to stop the chain of events that results in her death, and in doing so causes said chain. See also StableTimeLoop.
* SensibleHeroesSkimpyVillains: Though in this case, it's really just Ultimecia. Though Edea pushes it for most of the game, [[spoiler:she's also possessed by Ultimecia the entire time she's your opponent, so this could be her influence]]. She's noticeably more conservative in her dress in flashbacks, [[spoiler:although she keeps her updated outfit for the rest of the game as well]].
* SeriousBusiness: Triple Triad -- though not in terms of the game's storyline, but because of its Gamebreaker status.
* [[SheIsAllGrownUp She's All Grown Up]]: Ellone.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: While in the infirmary when Squall gives Rinoa a tour of Balamb Garden, Dr. Kadowaki asks if Rinoa is Squall's girlfriend. The player is given the option several times of having Squall either confirm or deny it.
* ShesGotLegs: Selphie, Rinoa in her white dress and Ultimecia.
* ShiftingSandLand: Galbadia Desert, where D-District Prison is located, which is why it's named D (For Desert) District Prison.
* ShipperOnDeck: During the Garden festival at Fishermans Horizon, after meeting up with Rinoa, Squall [[LampshadeHanging comments]] that everyone is trying to get them together and that it's so obvious even he can tell.
* ShockAndAwe: Fujin.
%% ShoutOut isn't trivia. Leave it here.
* ShoutOut:
** A shout-out occurs in music form: the final boss music, "The Extreme", contains a call-back to the original Final Fantasy battle music.
** On the music example, the beginning of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czn2_ngX6_k the final dungeon theme]] is very similar to the third segment of Dancing Mad from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''.
** Another notable music example occurs in the opening measures of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4jvol20r6Y the recurring sorceress battle theme]], where it plays the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UARM4q7hHU iconic theme]] of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
** Interestingly enough, this game pays large homage to the oft-overlooked ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII''. A major character in the backstory is the Sorcerer Hyne, a reference to Sorcerer Hein from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII''. The basic layout of the overworld in this game roughly maps onto that of ''Final Fantasy III'''s overworld also.
** Doomtrain isn't terribly different from the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Ghost Train/Phantom Train]], either. And by that, it has a freakin' ghost face and looks undead enough.
** Lunatic Pandora likewise has sequences very similar to music from the Moon in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''. Appropriate, considering that it was designed to call down monsters from the moon. Likewise, when the monsters are ready to drop, the moon grows red. This same feature is shared by the corrupted moon of IV.
** The blue Galbadian uniforms resemble the SOLDIER uniform from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
** Zell's final weapon is quite appropriately named for a FightingGame, {{Ehrgeiz}}.
** "Leonhart" was previously the name of a major character in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' (shortened to "Leon" in localizations due to character space limits).
** The arrival at the Lunar Base is a shout-out to the "Blue Danube" scene of [[ASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]], using the similar waltz BGM "Dance with the Balamb Fish" instead. The station itself has some similarities (centrifugal force to generate gravity, camera angles,...) with Discovery One.
** On the {{Pun}}ny side of things, Headmaster Cid's main dilemma is [[spoiler: having to kill his wife Edea]] if the situation calls for it. Their surnames is [[Film/KramerVsKramer Kramer]].
* ShoutOutThemeNaming: Biggs and Wedge. The theme is continued with later supporting character [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Firmus_Piett Piet]][[note]]as in "You are in command now, ''Admiral'' Piett."[[/note]] and in the original Japanese, Headmaster Martine of Galbadia Garden is named [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jan_Dodonna Dodonna]].
* {{Sidequest}}: It is an RPG.
** IrrelevantSidequest: So it has both.
* SignificantAnagram: "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" is an anagram of "Love" and "Succession of Witches."
* SillyMeGesture: She doesn't hit herself on the head, but Selphie's introductory FMV includes the wink and tongue-stickout parts of this after she trips her way down a hill.
* SimpleStaff: Raijin uses a staff as his weapon of choice.
* SingleStrokeBattle: If you have Odin, he randomly appears at the beginning of a battle and ends it quickly, [[spoiler:except against Seifer]]. In addition, [[spoiler:after Odin is killed, his replacement, Gilgamesh, will randomly appear during any part of a battle and attack with a weapon. If it's the Zantetsuken (Odin's recovered sword), then this happens as well.]]
* SinisterGeometry: Lunatic Pandora's outer casing.
* SlowClap: Initiated by Seifer after Squall, Zell, and Selphie graduate as [=SeeD=].
* SlowMotionFall: Squall gets two of these. First, in the FMV at Dollet, with him jumping to reach the landing vessel before [=X-ATM092=] fires at him. The second occurs after the first boss fight with Edea when she impales him, and he falls off the parade float.
* SmallGirlBigGun: The cutscene with Quistis at Dollet taking down [[SpiderTank X-ATM092]]. Although not petite, she's still pretty trim and the gun she's using is ''freaking huge''.
* SoleEntertainmentOption: It doesn't really have a city that specializes in the Card Game of the Week, but each city has its own rules. Regardless of this fact, practically everyone plays. Not only that, but people carry all of their cards around with them as they aimlessly walk around.
* SolemnEndingTheme: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNefNLOHVYk Eyes On Me]]".
* SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear: The game manages to avoid this for the most part - the "Junction Switch" mechanic allows the player to quickly switch the entire Guardian Force junction setup from one character to another, and the sheer number of Guardian Forces available in the later stages of the game make it possible to outfit all six party members with decent junctions if the player is so inclined. The game also usually goes out of its way to remind the player to check the party's junctions after any involuntary lineup changes - for good reason, since neglecting to do so can result in an unprepared party getting tossed into battle with no abilities junctioned, "naked" and unable to do anything other than attack.
* SoMuchForStealth: Escaping from D-District Prison. Can also happen in the Galbadia Missile Base, depending on your actions.
* SorryImLate: Irvine and Rinoa join Squall during the battle sequence in the first fight against Edea.
* SpaceBase / SpaceStation: Esthar's lunar base.
* TheSpeechless: [[spoiler:Ward]] from Disc 2 onward.
* SpiderTank: [=X-ATM092=].
* SpottingTheThread: In the Galbadia Missile Base, if you manage to get through it without getting caught, Selphie [[spoiler:gives herself away when she salutes the wrong way]].
* SpritePolygonMix: The vast majority of the backgrounds are pre-rendered bitmaps, though several times, the game will transition into an FMV sequence and the background will change into a fully-rendered sequence while the player still has limited interaction with the game. Rather groundbreaking at the time.
* StableTimeLoop: [[spoiler:Ultimecia's meddling in time and space ended up sending Squall and herself back in time to his childhood. This sets in motion Edea's possession by Ultimecia and subsequent reign of terror, but also allows Squall to give his old matron the idea for creating [=SeeD=], thus ensuring the creation of the organization that set Squall and his comrades on the path to ultimately fight and [[YouCantFightFate defeat Ultimecia]]. Of course, this also means that while Squall technically hasn't stopped her reign of terror in the future, her defeat is already a ForegoneConclusion.]]
* StandYourGround: Balamb Garden during the first half of the Battle of the Gardens before taking the offensive.
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:Edea. She kills Vinzer Deling]] and then takes his place as [[spoiler:leader of Galbadia]].
* StartXToStopX: The master plan to prevent [[spoiler:Ultimecia from compressing time; Let her compress time]] and jump her ass while she does that. See BatmanGambit above.
* {{Starter Villain}}s: Biggs and Wedge.
* StepfordSmiler: Even after all that happens, the only times we see Selphie show sadness are during the Missile Base sequence [[spoiler:after she realizes they can't escape]] and [[spoiler:the resulting damage at Trabia Garden]]. And she's cheering people up at Trabia a moment later. Oh, and the Garden Festival.
* TheStoic: Squall. It's interesting to note that the exact qualities that make him a good soldier (quiet, emotionless, obedient) make him a poor human being, because he forced himself to become an adult [[spoiler:as a child to cope with the loss of Ellone]]. Contrast this with Laguna, who is both a competent soldier ''and'' a complete dork because he matured at a natural pace.
** StoicWoobie: A great deal of the tension between Squall and his teammates throughout the game is he refuses to open up to them about any problems he may be suffering. [[spoiler:It does lead to a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming when he finally does open up to Rinoa; of course, she was unconscious at the time.]]
** NotSoStoic: His stoicism increasingly breaks down as his coping mechanisms are tested and proved wanting. Disc 3 provides the best example, but instances occur as early as Disc 1, starting with the mini-meltdown he has over the way people talk about Seifer after [[spoiler:Seifer's supposed death]].
* StormingTheCastle: Occurs a few times.
** Dollet while under attack by Galbadia.
** Galbadia Garden.
** Lunatic Pandora.
* {{Stripperific}}: Ultimecia's outfit.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Squall.
* SummonMagic: Guardian Forces.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: The sorceress Edea possesses these, as does the sorceress Ultimecia. This is likely ''not'' a coincidence, considering the connections between the two characters.
* SuperSoldier: The [=SeeDs=] are trained as such, and for good reason: [[spoiler:they are intended to fight and defeat sorceresses]]. Their status as such is played straight, with small numbers of [=SeeD=] soldiers being deployed and garnering a mixture of both fear and respect for their capabilities.
* SupervillainLair: Ultimecia's Castle.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Squall behaves this way through the first disc or so. How much of it is justified is subject to debate.
** His team acts like this towards the Resistance, which is not unreasonable.
* SwordFight: Squall and Seifer's duel at the beginning of the game. This fight includes;
** SwordDrag: Done by Squall.
** SwordPointing: Done by both Squall and Seifer to each other.
** SwordSparks
* TakeOverTheWorld: Vinzer Deling's plan for Galbadia, for which purpose he makes the sorceress his [[AssInAmbassador ambassador]] in order to intimidate other nations. [[EarthShatteringKaboom The sorceress, however, has other plans.]]
** Xu [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this at one point, asking, "What does the sorceress really want? It can't be something as simple as world domination."
* TakeYourTime: Happens twice.
** The first time is during the Battle of the Gardens, when Rinoa falls off the side of Balamb Garden and is dangling from a rock over a tremendous fall. You must hurry there and rescue her! However, there's no timer counting down... so, sure enough, you can take your time. No matter what you do, you'll always arrive in time to grab her hand and save her from falling. In all, she ends up holding on for a solid thirty minutes, while the two Gardens keep ''crashing into each other''.
** The second time is on the Esthar Lunar Base, which is about [[spoiler:to be swallowed by the Lunar Cry]], but you can take as long as you want getting to the EscapePod. To gain a particular card in the game's card game sidequest, you are required to play a secondary character, an opportunity that [[LostForever comes only in this instance]]. The game does some LampshadeHanging on this by having the character state, "You wanna to play cards now!?"
* TalkingInYourSleep: At one point, Squall wakes up in his dorm room to find Rinoa standing over him, who reveals that he was talking in his sleep, and that "she isn't even going to tell him what he was saying". However, just before, he was shown having a DreamSequence flashback to himself as a child. Also, earlier, during the Winhill flashaback, Raine is listing off Laguna's annoying traits and mentions that he [[GenerationXerox also talks in his sleep]].
* TallDarkAndHandsome: Laguna and Squall get two out of three; at 175cm, and 172cm respectively, they are shorter than any other male playable character in the game except for Zell.
* TeacherStudentRomance:
** Hot for teacher variation: Many of Quistis's male students (and apparently [[LesYay quite a few female ones]], if the Trepies are any indication) are pining for one. She {{lampshades}} this in the Fire Cavern Test when she mentions to Squall how the boys often choke on the test when she comes with them.
** Hot for student variation: Quistis for Squall, though in her defense, they're only a year apart in age [[spoiler:and apparently grew up together, though neither of them remembers it anymore.]] Squall comments on the awkwardness of it fairly early in the game, and Quistis eventually says that her crush on him was actually misdirected sisterly affection, although how honest she's being about that is subject to interpretation.
* TechnicolorDeath: Following series tradition, the FinalBoss goes out like this.
* TechnologyPorn: Throughout the game, but in paticular, the scene of the Dollet Satellite Dish being reactivated. It even has its own theme music!
* TechPoints: Ability Points.
* TemporalParadox: Specifically, an Ontological Paradox - [[spoiler:present Squall gives past Edea the idea for [=SeeD=]. Since FFVIII's model of time travel seems to involve a single, immutable sequence of events, there was never an alternate timeline in which Edea came up with [=SeeD=] on her own.]]
* ThemeNaming:
** AnimalThemeNaming: The Timber resistance groups.
** FamilyThemeNaming: [[spoiler: Laguna (lake), Raine, and Squall (violent wind).]]
** Headmaster Cid and his wife (see ShoutOut above) is a {{Pun}}ny ShoutOutThemeNaming to ''Film/KramerVsKramer''.
** ReligiousAndMythologicalThemeNaming: Raijin and Fujin respectively from Japanese thunder and wind deities.
** VehicularThemenaming: Irvine's weapons are named after battleships.
** Zone and Watts are named from TV signal and reception terms.
* TheyHaveTheScent: You have to track down Raijin in Balamb in Disc 2 by entering the kitchen where his attempt to cook some fish he just caught [[LethalChef went a bit awry]], after which the scent all over you will trigger a guard dog to find him.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Some characters would need one. Possibly justifed by the SchizoTech setting, as psychology might not have been invented yet.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Most of the [=GFs=].
* ThoseTwoGuys: Zone and Watts.
** ThoseTwoBadGuys: Biggs and Wedge; arguably also Raijin and Fujin, although the latter pair is much more dangerous.
* ThreeAmigos: Seifer, Fujin, and Raijin. Also, Laguna, Kiros, and Ward.
* TimeBomb: The Galbadia Missile Base's self destruct sequence.
* TimeMaster: [[spoiler:Ellone.]] Also, Ultimecia.
* TitleDrop: The Japanese version of Edea's speech in Galbadia plays out a little differently from the English translation, and includes a line referencing the series.
-->'''Edea''': You and me. Together, we'll bring about this final fantasy.
* TokenMinority: Kiros, the only non-white playable character.
** Raijin, the only non-white human enemy, boss, and supporting NPC.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Played straight and averted all at once. Playing the game normally, you'll hang onto your best items and will never use them except for the final battle, and any spells you've junctioned to your stats will never be cast unless you don't mind your stats dropping from it. If you take the time to abuse the hell out of the card and item refinement, you can have 100 of the best items and spells in the game without having the need to grind for them by other means.
* TookAShortcut: To get Rinoa's card from General Caraway, you have to play him in Triple Triad and lose your Ifrit card to him in a game to get him to use Rinoa's card, and then play him again and beat him. Immediately after the game screen fades out, if you talk to Caraway, he says he lost the Ifrit card to Martine in Fisherman's Horizon.
* TooManyBelts: Squall has one belt around his waist, two hanging around his hips, and three on his right leg.
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Subverted. Squall is subjected to ElectricTorture in the D-District Prison, but since he doesn't have the information he's being tortured for in the first place, all that this accomplishes is to either provoke him into lying or just make him want to die.
* TortureTechnician: Seifer fills this role while the team is being held in D-District Prison.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Zell and hotdogs.
** In the original Japanese, it's a particular kind of bread (a common trope in high school anime). In the French version, it's pretzels.
* TrainJob: Squall, Selphie, and Zell's first mission as [=SeeDs=] is to assist the Timber resistance with one of these to kidnap Galbadian President Vinzer Deling. It's done in a way that's definitely cool but would be impossible to pull off in reality, with the team using switch tracks to swap out a dummy train car with the President's car.
* TraumaInn: Well, duh. This is an RPG, so a night at the inn cures everything.
* TreacherousAdvisor: Edea to Vinzer Deling.
* TrenchCoatWarfare: Seifer
* TroubledButCute: Squall.
* TruckDriversGearChange: Done in The Black Mages' version of "The Man with the Machine Gun".
* TrueBlueFemininity: Rinoa, Ellone, Fujin and the GF Shiva. [[spoiler: Also as kids during the orphanage flashback, Quistis was wearing a navy blue shirt and Selphie wore a denim jumper.]]
* TrueCompanions: The party, especially after they learn that [[spoiler:most of them grew up together in the same orphanage]].
* TwoTeacherSchool: Aside from Quistis and a minor NPC named Mr. Aki, none of Balamb Garden's instructors ever actually make appearances. This may be justified by the fact that Squall graduates within the first stages of the game and no longer attends classes.
* {{Tykebomb}}: The [=SeeDs=] begin their training at a very young age and are brought up to be the [[BadassArmy best and most highly skilled soldiers]]. [[spoiler: And as the end of the game reveals, Squall getting lost after Time Compression ended up with him turning ''himself'' into one, as well as the other orphans he lived with.]]
* UnbrokenVigil: Squall to Rinoa, after Rinoa falls into her coma. He takes the vigil on the move when he decides to take Rinoa to Esthar in search of Ellone.
* UncommonTime: The main combat music is in 5/4. The boss battle theme is mostly in CommonTime, but throws in a bar of 5/4 and a bar of 6/4 to change things up.
* UnderwaterBase: The Deep Sea Research Facility.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: Other than the obvious Triple Triad turning it into a card game, there is also a pseudo-FightingGame sequence near the end of Disc 2.
* UnfamiliarCeiling: After the opening FMV, the game starts with Squall in the Garden's infirmary.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Quistis, though [[spoiler:in a subversion, she doesn't ''remember'' being Squall's friend, and when she does, she realizes her feelings for him weren't supposed to be romantic at all, leaving her embarrassed]].
* TheUnreveal: [[spoiler:Laguna]] never comes out and says "[[LukeIAmYourFather Squall, I am your father]]," and in fact nobody ever mentions anything about it except for one oblique reference by [[spoiler: Kiros]]. It's still heavily implied, especially in one of the conversations Squall can have with him in which [[spoiler: Laguna mentions that they have a lot to talk about when it's all over]].
* UrbanFantasy: One of the foremost examples in the series, complete with cars, modernized cities, and even space flight and the internet.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Somewhat averted. StandardStatusEffects are still not worth casting, but the junctioning system removes the necessity of casting them: just assign them to your gunblade and hit the road!
** There's also a Useless Useful Summon: Siren, who casts Silence on any enemies on the field susceptible to it -- and little else, making summoning her barely more worthwhile than casting Silence yourself. Doomtrain, who hits every enemy on the field with ''every status effect in the game'', is much more useful; if nothing else, the defense-nullifying Vit-0 effect usually works even on bosses.
* VancianMagic: There's no Mana in this game: Magic spells are quantified by individual uses, either by using Draw on monsters or certain Draw points, or by refining items into more spells using [=GFs=].
* VaporWear: Ultimecia.
* VerbalTic: Raijin says "ya know?" at the end of each sentence, while Fujin says one worded sentences [[PaintingTheMedium in all caps]]. In the case of Fujin, her verbal tic was to speak using only one kanji in the original Japanese version. However, [[spoiler:before the last fight with Seifer, the two drop their verbal tics and plead with him to stop what he's doing to show their dedication for him]].
** NORG, who says made up words like Fushururu or Bujururu before everything.
* {{Vibroweapon}}: Gunblades, according to Ultimania; the bullets channel a 'wave of power' through the blade instead of firing a projectile when the trigger is pulled.
* VillainExitStageLeft: Seifer, repeatedly.
* VisibleSilence: Squall, frequently, and [[spoiler:Ward as well after losing his voice trying to escape Esthar.]]
* WalletOfHolding
* WallOfWeapons: Zell has one in his room in Balamb.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: If your three active party members die, it's game over because of LazyBackup.
* WeHaveWaysOfMakingYouTalk: Electric torture used on Squall in D-District Prison when he refuses to tell Seifer the true purpose of [=SeeD=]. Seifer also warns Squall that if he doesn't talk, then the others will.
* WelcomeToCorneria
* WeirdMoon: It's [[spoiler:covered with monsters]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** The Galbadian occupation of Timber is never officially resolved; although the city is apparently free of Galbadian soldiers if you return there later in the game, nothing is ever stated about what happened there after the party left in Disc 1.
** It's never made clear how much damage the flood of lunar monsters in Disc 3 does to the country of Esthar. The Esthar military are still fighting them by the time the party embarks on the endgame.
** After the Battle of the Gardens, Galbadia Garden disappears and isn't seen again.
** Precisely what happens to the Lunatic Pandora is never answered. Squall's team manages to take control of the Pandora's control room, but what is done with it after time compression is not made clear.
* WhatIsEvil: Ambiguity between good and evil is a prominent theme in the game. The fight against the primary antagonist is almost purely pragmatic, only loosely tied to any personal motivation against the antagonist proper. Arguably, the antagonist even has a defensible position (one of the heroes even considers this, albeit briefly).
* WhatIsThisFeeling: Squall has the love version of this a few times with Rinoa.
* WhatTheHellHero: After [[spoiler:Squall rescues Rinoa from ''the freaking void of space'', only to let her be taken into Esthar custody for becoming the next sorceress]], Quistis ''tears him a new one''.
* WhipItGood: Quistis Trepe uses a whip as her weapon of choice.
* WomanInBlack: Edea.
* WomanInWhite: The female White [=SeeD=]s, Rinoa in her cocktail dress and Raine.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Raijin, during the three boss fights with him, will not attack your female characters. He even says ''"I don't hit girls, ya know"'' if he [=KOs=] all the male members of your party and only females are left. (Sadly, it is not possible to take advantage of this by fighting him with an all-female party since you CantDropTheHero, and during the first two fights, Zell is a RequiredPartyMember.)
* YouAreInCommandNow: Cid summarily hands command of Balamb Garden and [=SeeD=] as a whole over to Squall in Disc 2 - to Squall's intense dismay. He proves quite good at it, but doesn't enjoy it.
* YouALLLookFamiliar: Did we mention this is an RPG?
* YouALLShareMyStory: The PensieveFlashback to the orphanage.
* YouAlreadyChangedThePast: The simplest explanation for how the various forms of time travel in the game work, and why Ellone concludes the past cannot be changed.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: This signals the end of [[spoiler:Vinzer Deling]], once Edea is in a position to take over.
* YourMom: The player can receive one of these during the Mr. Monkey sidequest, which involves finding a monkey near Dollet and throwing rocks at him. After completing it, the monkey calls you names and tells you that your mum wears combat boots.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The Timber resistance against the Galbadian occupation, even though the Galbadians never explicitly refer to the resistance as terrorists.
[[/folder]]
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-->"'''''[[NobodyCallsMeChicken CHICKEN WUSS?!?]]'''''"
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