Characters: Final Fantasy VIII
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"Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us."A skilled soldier who acts as the main character. Though he is one of SeeD's most accomplished students, his cold and professional demeanor ostracizes him from everyone else. He has a rivalry with Seifer, and specialises in the notoriously awkward gunblade.
- Always Accurate Attack: He has maximum accuracy with every model of the gunblade, to the point that he's functionally immune to Blind.
- Always Save the Girl: "Rinoa... Even if you end up as the world's enemy, I'll... I'll be your knight."
- Animal Motifs: Squall's is a lion. He sees them as a symbol for pride and strength. Which is why he always carry Griever around with him.
- Because Destiny Says So: Cid uses this reasoning (vis-a-vis a Stable Time Loop) for appointing Squall commander of Garden, despite the fact that Squall was a cadet a very short time ago and there are far more experienced SeeDs in Garden.
- Beneath the Mask: His "cold, unfriendly loner" persona is a mask he developed as a child in order to 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; beneath it, he is insecure and emotionally immature, and more caring than he likes to let on.
- BFS: Revolver doesn't quite cut it, but the later models, especially the Twin Lance and Punishment, are pretty hefty. Blasting Zone, his third Finishing Move, puts it into a whole new level.
- Big Good: The Stable Time Loop ensures that Squall will be the legendary SeeD.
- Big Man on Campus: Much to his own consternation, a lot of the students at Balamb Garden look up to Squall despite his anti-social tendencies. Headmaster Cid recognizes this fact, and eventually puts Squall in command.
- Broken Ace: Much of the student body of Balamb looks up to and admires Squall due to his incredible fighting skills and calm professionalism despite his lone wolf attitude. This tends to confound the emotionally stunted Squall who created his cold-hearted and powerful persona to be strong enough to not have to deal with other people.
- Brutal Honesty: He prefers to be blunt and straightforward.
- Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings towards Rinoa. This is because for the majority of the game, he's simply not emotionally mature enough to understand his feelings towards her, or how to reciprocate.
- Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: 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 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.
- Catch Phrase: "Whatever." In Japanese, it's "I'm sorry".
- Celebrity Resemblance: Intentionally modeled after actor River Phoenix.
- Chekhov's Gun: Griever. The game even notes its importance to the plot later on by being one of the few non-Guardian Forces to be renamable.
- The Chains of Commanding: It's the reason Squall gets ticked over Cid forcing him to lead Balamb Garden.
- Child Soldiers: He was enrolled at Garden upon its founding, at which time he was no more than five years old.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Black to contrast Seifer's white.
- Commanding Coolness: Invoked. When Cid hands leadership of SeeD over to Squall, the position doesn't come with a pre-established rank. His friends discuss it among themselves and rather arbitrarily dub him "Commander," presumably because "Headmaster" no longer accurately reflects the role and "Commander" sounds cooler.
- Consummate Professional:
- The fact that he's paired with a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits highlights this even more. The rest of his squad is highly idealistic, while Squall is (or tries to be) more emotionally detached. One particular scene has the group worrying over Seifer's fate after the latter has fallen into the hands of the sorceress; when Rinoa asks him, he bluntly informs her that it's likely he's already been executed, and that she shouldn't get her hopes up for his survival.
- A related scene shortly afterwards illustrates how Squall subverts this trope when he blows a gasket over the thought of being referred to in the past tense because everyone is talking about what Seifer was like, showing that he's not as "professionally" detached as he wants to be.
- Cool Sword: His Gunblade, be it Revolver or the upgrades of it. It looks like a pistol-sized gun with a ginormous blade at the end of it instead of a conventional barrel. The trigger of the gun adds an additional blast to deal more damage upon being hit (featured in-game as an Action Command one can do to guarantee a Critical Hit).
- Defrosting Ice King: Much of the game is spent with the other cast members holding a blowtorch to his frosty attitude.
- Determinator: Pretty much the entire third disc involves Squall turning into one of these to heal Rinoa. And then there's that time he jumps down several stories in order to save Zell.
- Dueling Scar: He receives a scar over his face from dueling with his nemesis (who receives a matching but flipped scar, making their scars a literal case of "Dueling Scars").
- Dynamic Entry: Squall makes a couple of impressive gunblade-first leaping entrances.
- Ensign Newbie: Fresh off his graduation, he's put in charge of a field team and sent off on a mission.
- Everyone Can See It: Interestingly, even Squall can see that everyone can see it, but he doesn't realize how much he loves Rinoa until she becomes a Sorceress and goes comatose.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Gunblade users are talked up as being super-fighters simply due to how Difficult but Awesome controlling Gunblades tend to be.
- Facepalm: He's known for doing this in reaction to what others has said or done so often, he even does this within Kingdom Hearts.
- First-Person Smartass: He does an Inner Monologue far more than the other characters do, some of which borderline on snarking. At one point, he even snarks at his own reaction to something.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's pretty harsh on Rinoa and the Timber Owls, but his points are valid. There's also the fact that he's a mercenary to start with.
- Grey and Gray Morality: In his own words, there are no true Good or Evil, just people with opposing viewpoints.
- Handshake Refusal: A running gag early on in the game is that Squall refuses to shake anybody's hand, no matter what the circumstance is. This is significant because the first telltale sign that he subconsciously see Rinoa differently from other people is that he accepts her handshake during formal introductions.
- Hates Small Talk: When badgered by his companions to speak you can visually see his whole body sigh before he stands upright to make as short a statement as possible.
- Heroic BSOD: Several, thanks to his severe emotional damage.
- After Seifer's apparent death, he freaks out when the rest of the team starts talking about him in the past tense, realizing that someday people might be talking about himself that way.
- When he first meets Ellone in the present and finds out that it's her that sends him and the other to the minds of Laguna, Kiros and Ward, he has a massive freak out at her and then immediately resorts to collapsing on a chair and going completely silent.
- He has a lot of trouble maintaining a leaderish mindset during Rinoa's coma. Specifically, he walks out of Garden with her on his back without telling anyone, deciding to find Ellone by himself.
- An epic one in the end FMV. His head basically breaks and he winds up in a barren desert created by his mental reaction to Time Compression, from which Rinoa rescues him.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He proves to be massively insecure, one of the main reasons for his Jerkass Façade.
- Hidden Depths: It's pretty easy at first glance to write Squall off as an annoying emo whiner, but it isn't quite that simple. He's actually emotionally traumatized to such an extent, he put up a Jerkass Façade for the sole purpose of trying not to be hurt even further.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: He only seems to get effusive about his friends after they've survived (or he rescues them from) a life-or-death situation.
- Hope Is Scary: He believes he'll feel less pain if he doesn't get his hopes up.
- I Can't Dance: In the ballroom scene. Turns out to be a lie, at least once Rinoa gets him to loosen up a little; he later confirms that SeeD trainees are taught formal ballroom dancing as a potential cover skill.
- I Hate Past Me: Witnessing a Pensieve Flashback of himself as a child crying over Ellone's disappearance, he describes it as a "disgraceful sight."
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: Gunblades like these are almost impossible to replicate in real life, let alone use effectively.
- I Work Alone: Squall continues to try and pull this, but to his own consternation, constantly gets put into more and more leadership roles.
- Ineffectual Loner: A protagonist version. He didn't want to be the hero anyway. He grows out of it.
- Inner Monologue: Squall does more of this than he does actual talking. A source of humor with pretty much anyone who gets to know him.
- Ironic Echo: Near the beginning of the game, he tells Quistis that he's not interested in listening to her and tells her to go talk to a wall. Half a game later, after Rinoa falls into a coma, Squall realises he loves her and begs her to talk to him. Frustrated by her silence, he notes it's like talking to a wall.
- Jerkass Façade: Squall is perfectly aware he comes off as cold, unfriendly, and professional. He acts this way on purpose to keep from getting close to people because he doesn't want to have to experience the pain of losing them as he did with Ellone. In his (initial) opinion, being alone makes life easier for him as opposed to relying on others.
- Kick the Dog: Sometimes, he goes a bit too far with his Jerkass Façade; such as the infamous scene where Rinoa storms out of an argument calling him a "meanie".
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's a pretty cynical guy, but for all that commits himself to the idealistic Rinoa.
- Lady and Knight: Vows to become Rinoa's knight in Disc 3. Whether he's the Bright or Dark variety is irrelevant to him. All that matters is Rinoa's safety.
- The Leader: Assigned as such to a SeeD mission to help Rinoa's resistance group. He is later promoted to the leader of Balamb Garden.
- Loners Are Freaks: He catches this kind of attitude from many other characters in the game.
- Meaningful Name: "Squall," as in a violent storm, and of course "lionheart."
- My Own Grandpa: He is the one who instilled the idea of SeeD and Garden to Edea.
- Never Be Hurt Again: The reason for his cold, detached demeanor is because his fellow orphan and sister, Ellone, left him alone as a child and he developed abandonment issues. He feels that, eventually, all friends and family die or go away, and the only way to avoid the pain from that is to never let anyone in again.
- New Child Left Behind: His mother died at birth, and his father didn't learn about him until much later.
- No Social Skills: See "Child Soldiers" and "Jerkass Façade." Enrolling at Garden at approximately the age of five did a hell of a number on Squall's social aptitude.
- Not So Stoic: 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 his supposed death.
- Official Couple: Him and Rinoa. Heck, they're the logo.
- Pretty in Mink: Well, handsome in mink, maybe. His bomber jacket has a fur collar, just to show off in the FMVs.
- The Proud Elite: He is a tall, dark, handsome, proud, stoic, quietly dismissive Jerkass (although he has a compelling Freudian Excuse). When it comes to Rinoa, however, he gets all squishy and emotional. And when he finds out his True Companions are Not Quite Dead, he's visibly pleased.
- The Quiet One: Even after most of his Character Development takes place, he's still not the stereotypical loud teenage JRPG hero, avoiding any sort of Unnecessary Makeover.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Seifer's Red Oni.
- The Reliable One: Squall may not be interested in making friends, but he follows orders and he always gets the job done. Despite his prickly and anti-social behavior, his considerable skills and his reliability on the job earn him a lot of respect from his peers at Garden.
- Resigned to the Call: Until Disk 3, anyway.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: His default Gunblade, as the name indicates, has a revolver handle, contrasting Seifer's, which resembles a semi-automatic.
- Shout-Out: If you haven't figured it out by now, the Gunblades are these to Star Wars. The Infinity+1 Sword "Lionheart" even looks like a lightsaber.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: He actively presents himself as surly and unsympathetic to keep others from getting close, while inwardly he's deeply insecure, longing for support from others but desperately afraid of the pain that would come from losing them.
- Spam Attack: His Renzokuken Limit Break. His ultimate Limit Break, Lion Heart, takes this further.
- Stepford Snarker: He explains his neuroses to Rinoa and finishes by saying "Don't tell anyone I said that." While she is in a coma.
- The Stoic: 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 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.
- Stoic Woobie: A great deal of the tension between Squall and his teammates throughout the game is he refuses to open up to them about and problems he may be suffering. It does lead to a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when he finally does open up to Rinoa; of course, she was unconscious at time.
- Stone Wall: Has the highest HP and vitality among the six main characters.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Ice mostly, until Character Development sets in. Even then, he could still easily be seen as a bit distant since he's The Quiet One.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Squall behaves this way through the first disc or so. How much of it is justified is subject to debate.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Part of his problem with relating to others is that he won't engage in this. In Cid's office in Balamb Garden, when Squall asks him to handle what he's planning to rescue Balamb Garden from being hit by missiles, Cid asks him why he wants to do it. The player is shown at least five specific reasons in Squall's thoughts why he wants to take on the mission before he finally lands on "I don't know why...Who cares?" and tells Cid "My feelings have nothing to do with it, sir." Cid comments that "Quistis was right" about him and if Quistis is in the party, she can barely hide a grin.
- Troubled, but Cute: Despite his cold exterior, Rinoa finds him cute and endearing, and frequently teases him about it.
- Tykebomb: All SeeD are this to an extent, but Squall is a standout case being the focus of the stable time loop.
"Look into my eyes...You're-going-to-like-me...You're-going-to-like-me...Did it work?"A member of the Timber resistance group "Forest Owls". Her outgoing and happy-go-lucky attitude contrasts sharply with Squall, as does her lack of actual battlefield experience. She strikes up a relationship with Squall and becomes determined to crack his shell. She wields a boomerang-esque weapon called a Blaster Edge.
- Action Girl: Although she's less experienced story-wise, she does have a pretty good strength stat.
- Attack Animal: Angelo.
- Badass Adorable: She's a really cute young lady, and more than capable in battle.
- Battle Boomerang: Fired from a wrist mounted launcher. Often they overlap with Rings of Death or Deadly Disc.
- The Beastmaster: Quite funny when you consider she also tames a certain lion throughout the game.
- Big Friendly Dog: Her dog Angelo.
- Black Magician Girl: If her high magic stats don't count her as one initially, she definitely becomes one upon becoming a Sorceress.
- Canine Companion: Her Big Friendly Dog Angelo.
- Character Development: At the start of the storyline, she's a spoiled rich girl whose idealism and enthusiasm override good sense, leading to her making hasty, ill-thought-out plans. After several disastrous results and spending time around Squall's team, she begins to understand just how out of her depth she really is, culminating in her becoming a more effective member of the team who makes carefully-considered decisions by the third disc, including the calm-yet-terrifying choice to surrender to Esthar so that they can seal her away and prevent her from being possessed again. Her dialogue also becomes notably less childish and more mature over the course of the game, especially after she recovers from her coma.
- Combination Attack: Her Limit Breaks with Angelo which aptly fall under the name Combine.
- Convenient Coma: At the end of disc two until the first half of disc three.
- Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: She does this a lot when talking to Squall, starting in the ballroom sequence.
- The Cutie: Designed by Tetsuya Nomura to be cute rather than gorgeous.
- Cute Bookworm: She's delighted when she first sees Garden's library, and can always be found reading there when not in the active party.
- Damsel in Distress: Justified as, unlike the other playable characters, she lived a comfortable upper-class life with no background of combat training. Rinoa requires rescuing four times over the course of the gamenote and is unplayable for a good amount of the third disc thanks to being variously comatose, possessed by Ultimecia, or imprisoned by Esthar. This makes her a Damsel Scrappy to many players, at least until she becomes a sorceress.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Rinoa is not a princess, but the resistance calls her that as a nickname, most likely because she's the daughter of the occupying state's military commander.
- Feather Motif: Beginning with her turning a flower petal into a feather in the opening sequence. Her limit break Angel Wing and her Infinity Plus One Blaster Edge also share an angel wing/feather theme.
- Gender-Blender Name: Not Rinoa herself, but Angelo is actually a female dog.
- Guile Hero: A subtle, mostly non-manipulative example. Rinoa is very adept in social situations, reading people, and figuring them out. She's able to motivate, lead, and inspire intense loyalty in a resistance movement, hobnob at a fancy dress party, and when it comes to it, manipulating people into helping her. The fact that she's able to force Squall out of his shell in such a short time (compared with Quistis, who was trying for years to get him to open up) is remarked upon.
- Heroes Love Dogs: And so do heroines!
- Human Shield: To Adel.
- Improbable Weapon User: The "blaster edge," a chakram-like weapon she fires from a wrist-mounted launcher, which returns like a Precision-Guided Boomerang. She launches her dog from it in one of her Limit Breaks.
- The Lancer: To Squall.
- La Résistance: And she's the leader.
- Last Girl Wins: Rinoa is the last female to (permanently) join the team.
- Literal Cliff Hanger: Off the side of Balamb Garden during the Battle of the Gardens.
- Magic Knight: Very strong with both magic and physical strength.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted. She acts like it around Squall in Disc 1 — and gets told off for it. She shapes up in Disc 2 after nearly getting killed by Edea. Played more straight in the emotional aspects when her persistence in getting to know Squall and for him to open up and rely on her initiates his Character Development.
- The McCoy: She's highly critical of Squall's coldness towards his teammates.
- Military Brat: She has the distant father, although not the uprooted lifestyle since he's a general rather than a grunt.
- Missing Mom: Her mother died in a car accident.
- Motif: She is often associated with angels and shooting stars. She has a pair of stylized angelic wings printed on her clothes.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: At level 100, the playable character with the highest unmodified strength stat in the game isn't Squall, Seifer, or Ward. It's Rinoa. This is most likely a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation; due to being unavailable for an extended period, Rinoa misses out on stat-boosting opportunities that the rest of the party is able to take advantage of, and thus has better-than-average natural stat growth in order to prevent a case of Can't Catch Up.
- Mythology Gag: To the Ranger class and a Shout-Out to Forest Ranger: She's a crossbow(-of sorts)-using fighter who fights with a dog and lives in a city built in the middle of a giant forest.
- Nom de Mom: Properly, her name ought to be Rinoa Caraway thanks to her dad. Rinoa goes by her mother Julia's surname, either as a form of protest against her father or just because being obviously related to a Galbadian general would hurt her credibility with the various factions of the Timber resistance.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Her dog Angelo, who helps her in her Limit Breaks.
- Not What It Looks Like: 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.
- Official Couple: Her and Squall who are so official they are the trope picture.
- Opposites Attract: Her and Squall.
- Plucky Girl: Although she openly admits her fear of fighting alone, she still manages to stand toe-to-toe with the trained mercenaries.
- Power Gives You Wings: The Angel Wing Limit Break.
- The Valkyrie and Cardinal are wrist mounted Automatic Crossbows.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The heroine with the palest skin and darkest hair of the three women.
- Rebel Leader: She leads the Forest Owls, the only active resistance group in Timber.
- Rebellious Princess: At least stylistically. She's not an actual princess, but the Forest Owls call her that.
- Security Cling: 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 occurred, 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.
- Sixth Ranger: Played with. She's the only member of the gang who didn't hail from any Garden and by extension, the only person in the group who didn't grow up in Edea's orphanage.
- Spam Attack: Her Wishing Star Limit Break.
- Spoiled Sweet: Rinoa grew up in the lap of luxury and is clearly used to getting her way, but despite her naivete she's very socially-conscious, compassionate, and highly motivated to help people in need. She's is more than willing to leave the comfort of her father's Deling City mansion to get her hands dirty helping a resistance faction fight the oppressive Galbadian occupation of Timber, and is the main driving force behind the Forest Owls.
- True Blue Femininity: Her coat.
- Two Guys and a Girl: This is essentially her dynamic with Squall and Seifer.
- Uptight Loves Wild: Again, her and Squall
- Witch Species: After Edea gives Rinoa her powers at the end of Disc 2.
- Woman in White: When she wears her white (ivory) dress during the SeeD ceremony and during the FH event.
"Why don't you try to show a little more passion...? You know, like me!"A fellow SeeD who works alongside Squall and Selphie. Though he appears to be a comic-relief hot-blooded goof at first, he is actually a highly competent soldier with a deep knowledge of world history and a lot of integrity, quickly proving that he will do anything for his friends. In many ways, he is in fact the most secure and confident of the whole group. He uses no weapon in battle, preferring instead to use martial arts.
- Anime Hair: Less extreme than Cloud's, though; it looks like a more plausible application of gel.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: He's no monk, but he fits the part where he fights with nothing but hands and feet. He'd also fit the Monk class in the franchise.
- Big Eater: The ending FMV implies this, and you can usually find him loitering in the canteen.
- Big Entrance: Right after Quistis introduces him, he is seen shadow boxing, back flips, and then does an upclose-to-the-screen "YEAH!" Shot.
- The Big Guy: Physical powerhouse edition, in spite of being the smallest male party member.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He loves fighting and having fun, which sometimes gets on Squall's nerves.
- Butt Monkey: Almost any time something comically embarrassing happens to one of the playable characters, it's happening to Zell, from being repeatedly snubbed for handshakes to getting "volunteered" to dodge bullets by himself during the D-District Prison sequence to once accidentally crashing into the girl's bathroom using his T-board before the events of the game.
- Chewing the Scenery: If the game had voice acting, Zell would have been a Large Ham.
- Child Soldiers: Like the rest of the SeeD cadets. He finishes his training and graduates to active SeeD at the age of seventeen.
- Drama Queen: Everybody will know if Zell has an issue with something simply due to how he reacts.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His Different Beat and My Final Heaven final Limit Breaks causes the enemy (and Zell himself while attacking, in case of the former) to spin.
- Genius Bruiser: As his status as Mr. Exposition and Mr. Fixit can attest to. He's definitely not Book Dumb, despite early impressions.
- Genki Guy: Among other things, his character introduction is him backflipping and cartwheeling into the entrance hall.
- Happily Adopted: By Ma Dincht. Zell adores her.
- Hidden Depths: While he acts like a typical Boisterous Bruiser and Dumb Muscle, he's actually quite smart, adept with machinery, and is one of the most well-informed members of the party. Landing on the Deep Sea Research Center has him explain what they were doing here, causing Squall to admit that he has to rethink his opinion of Zell.
- Hometown Hero: The majority of the Balamb residents are thrilled when Zell returned during the Galbadian invasion in disc 2.
- Hot-Blooded: He's quick to judge and quick to act in most given situations and often loud about it.
- Idiot Hero: He's said to be designed to resemble a typical shonen manga hero.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Learns his limit breaks from fighting magazines, which can easily be mistaken for a fan list of attacks from shonen manga and anime.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With "Big Bad Rascal", a young Jerk with a Heart of Gold in Balamb. He looks up to Zell.
- It's All My Fault: He has a moment of this after he inadvertently said that Seifer belongs to the Garden right in front of the Galbadian President. It turns out not to matter, mostly because Edea was planning to go to war against Garden anyway.
- Maybe Ever After: The ending cutscene has him eating his favorite food with the Pigtailed Librarian who has a crush on him.
- Mr. Exposition: "Thank you very much, Mr. Know-It-All Zell."
- Mr. Fixit: Subtly implied in the game that he has a love of machinery, and bringing him to the Bonus Dungeon makes it easier to complete it because he takes the guessing out of the guessing game.
- Mythology Gag: His "Meteor Barret" Limit Break is a reference to the previous Final Fantasy game.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Two Dolphins join him in attacking during his Dolphin Blow Limit Break.
- Noodle Incident: Quistis related that there was an incident where Zell crashed his Cool Board into the girls' restroom. Zell quickly cuts Quistis off before she can tell the rest of the story.
- Number Two: Squall briefly appointed him as a stand-in leader in his absence during disc 3.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Official sources state that Zell is only 5'6" or even 5'5". He is also physically one of the strongest party members.
- Power Fist: Zell's weapons are fighting gloves, his first being a leather glove with metal plating over the knuckles.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Some of his slang comes across as this, especially contrasted with the others.
- Ramming Always Works: His strongest limit break has him dash with a punch towards, and then beyond the enemy to run one lap around the world before finally punching. The enemies will be damaged by the sonic boom, or something...
- Real Men Wear Pink: There's an optional quest where you can make Zell admit that he likes this color.
- Red Is Heroic: His outfit has red all over it (vest, shoes and his Infinity+1 Sword).
- Roundhouse Kick: The Mach Kick, one of his limit break moves.
- Running Gag: Will wipe his hand on his pants and present it dramatically for a handshake, but never gets one.
- Shipper on Deck: Like most of the cast, he's a solid Squall and Rinoa shipper.
- Possibly to Marty McFly. He's dressed in a red jacket, is very Hot-Blooded compared to the rest of the cast, and for no particular reason two easy-to-ignore/miss cutscenes involve him riding a hoverboard. Then there's the whole thing involving his relations with Dr. Odine and the timed mission in Esthar...
- His facial tattoo is apparently based off of something the developers saw on MTV.
- Simple Yet Awesome: The "Armageddon Fist" technique involves ignoring all the flashier moves in Zell's Limit Break to focus on alternating the two most basic instead. A lot less fancy to look at, but backed with a decent strength junction it will destroy things.
- Spear Counterpart: Aside from job class, he and Selphie practically have the same personality.
- Took a Level in Badass: In his backstory, he was revealed to be a crybaby.
- Trademark Favorite Food: A kind of bread in the original Japanese; hot dogs in the English translation. Unfortunately for him it seems that they're everybody's Trademark Favorite Food and the cafeteria is always sold out whenever he tries to get one. (This makes for a minor Dub-Induced Plot Hole in the ending FMV, where Zell is seen stuffing his face with, and choking on, said flavored bread. However, they can still be seen as bread with hotdogs stuffed in them.)
- Tykebomb: Ironically, he's emotionally healthier than the rest of the cast since he grew up with a loving adopted family and wasn't forced into becoming a SeeD.
- Unknown Rival: Zell considers Seifer his Arch-Enemy due to the latter bullying him as a child. Seifer, while doesn't ignore him, only considers Squall as his legitimate rival.
"Destroy everything!"A transfer student to Balamb Garden who ends up working alongside Squall and Zell. She is surprisingly perky and upbeat for a soldier, but behind her smiling face lies a psychotic, destructive streak that surfaces during times of stress. She is one of the more observant and practical members of the party. Also, she likes trains.
- Action Girl: She's a fully trained Seed with both skilled magic and skill with nun-chucks. They are giant sized one's at that.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Searching for her four specific Limit Breaks often takes time, and gives your enemies the first initiative to strike.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Just dare mess with her friends! See how it went for Galbadia!
- Badass Adorable: She's cute as a button and the smallest member of the team, but she'll take down a missile base and maybe even erase you from existence if she has to.
- Beta Couple: Her and Irvine.
- The Big Guy: Magical powerhouse edition, though she's physically the smallest adult character in the game.
- Catch Phrase: Selphie tries to get "Booyaka!" to catch on among the students. It doesn't work.
- Chewing the Scenery: If the game had voice acting, Selphie would have been a Large Ham.
- Child Soldiers: Like the other SeeD cadets. She is seventeen years old when she finishes her training and becomes an active SeeD.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Obsessed with trains and maybe a little too eager to go for the violent solution....
- Confusion Fu: The basis of her Limit Break. You either get lucky and roll a Triple Meteor or The End within three turns, or you end up getting yourself killed because nothing but Pain and Esuna pop up. (Unless, of course, you exploit the PS1 cheat.)
- Crash-Into Hello: How she met Squall. She smacked into him a short while before they had a mission together. He can give her a short tour of the Garden at this time.
- Cute and Psycho: For all that she's a sweet little Genki Girl, she's also far and away the most violently pragmatic of Squall's True Companions. Whenever she's involved in the planning phase of a mission, she always seems to suggest using explosives. Also, when planning how to escape D-District, while a Moomba is in the cell with everyone, she casually suggests skinning it and wearing it as a disguise. It's hard to tell if she was actually joking or not (she claims to be).
- Distaff Counterpart: Aside from job class, she and Zell practically have the same personality.
- Fangirl: For Laguna. She collects all of his magazine articles and comments on them. She even comments when first seeing him how cute he is.
- Fighting with Chucks: A pair of hugely oversized ones. She can do a good deal of damage too if you know how to work the junction system.
- Foreshadowing: Her The End Limit Break is nearly identical to the game's final scenes.
- Friend to All Children: She seems close to the children at Trabia Garden as seen in disc 2.
- Genius Ditz: Despite her kookiness, she runs Garden's intranet and leads the raid on the Galbadian missile base.
- Genki Girl: She's incredibly energetic, always bouncing around and getting excited about things. She makes up songs about train's, jumps up and down when excited or victorious and is always organizing events and trying to get others to join in.
- Green Eyes: Her eye color fit's the out-going spit fire nature of green eyes quite well.
- Hidden Depths: She initially appears to be emotionally invulnerable, always keeping a cheerful or at least energetic disposition; however, shortly after she fails to save Trabia Garden from being bombed and goes to visit the now ruined Garden, she has a hard time keeping it together. If the player visits the makeshift Graveyard while Selphie is off the team, he can find her there, talking to the graves of her friends, telling them how she accomplished her dream of performing on a band on stage.
- Hometown Heroine: The Trabia Garden students are happy when Selphie visits them near the end of disc 2.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: At 5'2" she's the shortest female character, and her Victorious Childhood Friend is Irvine who, at 6'1", is the tallest member of the party.
- Little Miss Badass: Slightly overaged, but she's nonetheless the youngest party member (17), and quite badass and adorable.
- Love Freak: She suggests "Everyone! LOVE AND PEACE!" as the first message to go out over television broadcast.
- Magic Skirt: If you Scan her, you can't turn her character upside-down. (Why are you trying?)
- Mini Dress Of Power: It is so short she can't be scanned the same way as everyone else. In spite of this, she is able to fight in it and never flashes anyone.
- Naïve Everygirl: She doesn't always seem to pick up on when people are freaked out or annoyed by her.
- New Transfer Student: Her introduction even involves giving the player an option to have Squall guide her about Balamb Garden.
- One-Hit KO: Her The End Limit Break instantly defeats any enemy, including bosses. The only exception is the Final Boss. Even then, that's only on a technicality (the final battle having multiple stages, The End will only advance you to the next stage rather than winning the whole battle in one go).
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Well, she has two One-Hit KO Limit Breaks...
- The Pollyanna: Deconstructed after Trabia. She plays the part for the sake of her Trabian friends, but she's deeply upset and can't be used as a party member for a short while.
- Rail Enthusiast: I like trains!
- Shipper on Deck: Like most of the cast, she's a solid Squall and Rinoa shipper.
- Squishy Wizard: She's one of the best natural magic-users in the game, but she isn't the most physically resilient without Junctions.
- The End: Her most powerful Limit Break (which is actually named "The End") uses this. It transports the enemy to a picturesque field empty but for wildflowers and butterflies, before "The End" shows up written in the corner of the screen, per this trope. Then the enemy in question just... dies. The whole thing is rather Meta, given that the field in question is actually where the climax of the ending of the game takes place.
- Tykebomb: She was trained as a Seed since a young age and is very good at her job.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Her response to the Timber Owls' elaborate plot to abduct President Deling: she suggests blowing his private car up with a rocket launcher.
"You know, the boys often choke on this test when I come with them."Squall's instructor at Balamb Garden. Beautiful and intelligent, she is adored by the student base to the point where she has a fan club. However, behind her perfect appearance lies an insecure human who struggles to control her own emotions, and who has unrequited feelings for Squall.
- Action Girl: She is a highly competent Seed who was even an instructor briefly. She also makes for a strong party member.
- Badass Bookworm: She's smart enough to be an instructor and an excellent combatant.
- Badass Teacher: For a little while, anyway. Though it dosen't last, her students practically worship the ground she walks on and she is shown while still an instructor saving Squall in a pinch.
- Bare Your Midriff: A mild example. Her outfit is otherwise completely modest except that she keeps her shirt zipped up from the bottom to expose her bellybutton.
- Breath Weapon: Many of her Blue Magic spells.
- Child Soldiers: She entered SeeD training at the age of ten after her adoption "didn't work out".
- Cool Big Sis: Subverted. She's initially set up and subconsciously acts as one of these, but as the game progresses, we see her making several irrational and immature decisions, the same as the rest of the cast.
- Cool Teacher: She tries to be this. Although she does have a fanclub, her efforts bounce off of Squall and Seifer.
- Elemental Powers: Her Electrocute, Aqua and Fire Breath Limit Breaks.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Her fanclub seems to be composed mostly of girls.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Her name implies this.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: If her pack of fangirls and fanboys is anything to go by.
- Eye Beams: Her initial Limit Break is "Laser Eye". She can eventually pick up Ray-Bomb!
- Fan Community Nickname: Her admirers call themselves Trepe Groupies or simply Treppies.
- Final Boss: She is the leader of the CC card group and is the last member you'll face.
- Fired Teacher: She's knocked back to a regular SeeD after the Dollet exam thanks to Seifer's disobedience.
- Hopeless Suitor: To Squall. She may be interested but he wasn't biting even before Rinoa showed up.
- Hot Teacher: She jokes that male students get distracted by her on missions.
- Instant Fan Club: The Trepies. She doesn't pay that much attention to them.
- Like Brother and Sister: She initially thought her feelings for Squall were love but later came to realize they were this.
- Loving a Shadow: Quistis realizes that her "feelings" for Squall were actually sisterly affection rather than romantic affection.
- Master of None: Stat-wise. Her magic and strength stats are on their own all fairly average.
- Meganekko: To help complement her smart image. She wears glasses when fighting off the mechanical spider and while teaching.
- No Body Left Behind: Degenerator literally degenerates majority of your random encounters.
- Number Two: She is the de-facto second-in-command in disc one.
- One Hit Ko: Depending on the enemy, her Degenerator and Shockwave Pulsar Limit Breaks. If the monsters you're fighting have levels that are divisible to five, then her Lv5 Death skill counts as well. Depending on the enemy, Bad Breath is capable of this too.
- Pink Means Feminine: Kind of. Pink-tawny-salmonish, anyway. She is sweet and caring with a small romantic side.
- Power Copying: How her Limit Break works; through use of certain items, often but not always associated with the monster who uses the move she's learning, she can gain them for her own use (the game will helpful tell you which item does what). Furthermore, with some luck and planning, Quistis' versions can be superior to the original, either doing more damage, or additional buffs/debuffs. For example:
- Mighty Guard: Enemy version casts Shell and Protect. Her version can also cast Haste, Regen, Float and Aura.
- Shockwave Pulsar: Griever's powerful special attack. Her version is one of the few that can break the damage limit.
- Bad Breath: A nightmare when a Malboro uses it, can be an instant 'I Win' in her hands.
- Quickly Demoted Woman: Starts as a teacher and mentor to Squall and is the most senior SeeD in the party, but she subsequently follows his leadership after being demoted and the debacle at the Timber TV station.
- Sensei-chan: Quistis while skilled enough to become a SeeD wasn't prepared to be placed to put into a position of authority and thus struggles with maintaining a professional demeanor, controlling unruly pupils and the alienation her job as instructor gives her with people her own age
- Skirt over Slacks: Nomura thought that she should be the skirted team member, but put her in slacks after he gave that role to Selphie.
- Shipper on Deck: Like most of the cast, she's a solid Squall and Rinoa shipper.
- Ship Sinking: Has an interest in Squall, but gives up as the story continues. Justified as she lost interest after remembering that she grew up with him and thought of him as her little brother, which is a product of the Westermarck effect.
- The Smart Girl: Her friendship with fellow instructor Xu, being a SeeD from age fifteen, plus she's the Card King.
- Statuesque Stunner: The tallest female party member at 172cm (roughly 5'8").
- Teen Genius: She's only a year older than Squall, but she's an instructor at the school at the start of the game.
- Tykebomb: She joined Balamb at the age of ten and became a Seed by fifteen and an instructor by seventeen.
- Whip It Good: Quistis's weapon of choice is a whip, starting with a chain whip.
"Thanks for the support, but I never miss my target."An expert sniper hailing from Galbadia Garden who joins the Balamb Garden party on an assignment. He likes to style himself as a cool, unflappable gunman and complete ladies' man. However, this is just a façade so he can cope with the suffocating pressures of his job. His true personality is much more shy and dorky.
- Badass Longcoat: Indeed. It makes him look even more like a cowboy.
- Beta Couple: Him and Selphie.: The ending hints at them getting together and he already seemed really interested before that.
- BFG: His final weapon Exeter is one of these.
- Bottomless Magazines: Unless you're using his Limit Break. He just never seems to run out of ammo.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Can't tell the others that they were all orphans together and Edea was their matron. He's pretty hurt that they don't remember.
- The Casanova: Talks himself up as one and tries to form a party with himself, Selphie, and Rinoa.
- Character Development: While Zell and Selphie are rather unchanging, Irvine changes as a person (for the better) during the course of the story.
- The Charmer: He can't help but flirt with the ladies at least some of whom find him interesting.
- Child Soldiers: Like the other SeeD cadets - although unlike the others, he has yet to graduate.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He is cocky and flirtatious but also kind, helpful and good-natured. He treats the female members of the group as being just as competent as the males.
- Cold Sniper: Subverted. He makes much of "the loneliness of the sharpshooter," but completely fails to live up to the image. Instead...
- Fingerless Gloves: A cosmetic choice that fits his image.
- Friendly Sniper: Particularly once he gets past his initial flakiness. He is seen trying to flirt with people as well as to shake Squall out of his shell.
- The Gunslinger: He fits all four archetypes depending on the ammo he uses for his Shot Limit Break.
- Gentle Giant: Despite what he would like others to believe, he's the kind of guy who wouldn't hurt a butterfly that landed on him.
- The Heart: He has a bit of a rocky start, but from the visit to Fisherman's Horizon onward Irvine makes the most active and consistent efforts to keep the party pulled together and emotionally centered.
- Handsome Lech: He's good-looking, but also flirtatious and is seen to be trying too hard at times.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Fires these courtesy of the AP Ammo.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Justified during the parade sequence. He is a sniping specialist and he uses a special rifle rather than the one he wields in random battles.
- Jerkass Façade: The whole "cold sniper" routine he has going is a cover for his confusion and hurt over the fact that nobody remembers each other.
- Mage Marksman: Has sharpshooter training from his time at Galbadia Garden, and learns how to use Para-magic and Guardian Forces after joining the party.
- Miles Gloriosus: This seems to be the case at the Deling City Parade, but there's more to it than that.
- More Dakka: His limit break consists of him just firing round after round of Abnormal Ammo. One of those is the Rapid Shell, which allows you to shoot as quickly as you can press the button at reduced damage.
- Named Weapons: His guns are named after famous warships.
- Nice Guy: Probably the friendliest guy among the whole cast, though he may not look like it at first.
- Nice Hat: He was designed to look like a cowboy.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He comes across as an idiot to Squall but when it comes to other people he's the most insightful member of the party. He may or may not have been feigning nervousness when he has the opportunity to assassinate Edea because he's the only party member to remember that she raised them. He was definitely keeping silent about most of the party growing up together.
- Shipper on Deck: Like most of the cast, he's a solid Squall and Rinoa shipper.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: He's also good with other firearms, but shotguns are his preferred weapons.
- Sixth Ranger: He attended Galbadia Garden, which is more militaristic than Balamb or Trabia, and is the last permanent member to join.
- Tykebomb: A trained gunslinger since youth.
- Vehicular Theme Naming: His guns are all named after warships.
"I speak with passion, from the heart! That's what matters most."A Galbadian soldier who dreams of becoming a world-renowned journalist. His dorky and excitable demeanour obscures his extensive combat experience and natural courage. He uses a machine gun in battle and is the main character in the flashback sequences that Squall's party experiences throughout the game.
- Adorkable: The guy is incredibly goofy, whatever the situation.
- Alliterative Name: Laguna Loire.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Became President of Esthar on the strength of defeating and sealing Adel.
- Badass Adorable: Yeah he's a good soldier, but his attitude is so endearingly goofy.
- Badass Normal: Notice how Laguna doesn't use superhuman powers or rely on cool weapons to get by. A hand-grenade and a few machinegun rounds are all he needs.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kinda goofy, nervous around women, terrible sense of direction, swings from a rope in the sky to spray you with machine-gun fire—wait a second.
- Bottomless Magazines: His machine gun never seems to run out of ammo or even need to reload, not even while using his Limit Break.
- Breakout Character: One of the most fondly remembered characters in the franchise.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Laguna is a powerful combatant, a charismatic leader, and a general Nice Guy with a strong sense of right. However he's a klutz who has trouble approaching Julia, constantly mixes words up and confuses what he's trying to say, and generally acts more than a little goofy.
- Chewing the Scenery: If the game had voice acting, Laguna would have been a Large Ham.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He is flaky, is incredibly energetic, mixes up phrases while speaking, fashions himself the protector of a village after being healed there and is constantly talking about the power of love in the later stages of the game.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Literally referred to as a moron when we first saw him, but goes on to become president of Esthar, the most technically advanced nation in the game, and sealed away Adel to earn that title. That's without you helping him with junctions, by the way.
- Determinator: He's determined to do what he believes he much do, to the point that his Limit Break is called Desperado!
- Deuteragonist: His importance in the game's storyline (as seen in the flashbacks, he's heavily involved in and responsible for many of the game's plot points), his presence in Dissidia Duodecim, and the manual outright describing the game as being the story of both him and Squall plant him in this category.
- Disappeared Dad: To Squall. He seems to be aware of the connection but by this time his child is a young adult and is past being raised.
- Dork Knight: He even played a Knight in Shining Armor in one film. Still Adorkable.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Whenever Squall and his friends "mind travel" to Laguna's period, they would be junctioned to Laguna and his friends, temporary granting them the use of their powers.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: How he fell for Raine. She took care of him after he was injured and ended up in her home village.
- Friend to All Living Things: He quickly befriends the Moombas being used as slave labor in Esthar.
- Friendly Tickle Torture: The "Cuchi-Cuchi Treatment" he threatens Kiros and Ward with.
- Hero of Another Story: Of the "Dream World" sequences for which he's the protagonist to, which is actually the past.
- Iron Butt Monkey: A lot of shit happened to the guy, but he continues to get through with his life.
- Keet: He is incredibly energetic and always eager to do things and help others.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Falling off the cliff after tossing Kiros and Ward from it to escape Eshtar. It's also implied that he takes the most time needed to recover.
- Let's Get Dangerous: when the Estharians kidnapped his adopted daughter, the Unlucky Everydude stopped dorking around, became a revolutionary hero and president.
- Location Theme Naming: He is named from either a province from the Philippines or a place in California. Both are known for their beautiful beaches.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Surprisingly, the Galbadian military didn't have him cut it.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The Reveal regarding Laguna being Squall's father never actually happens. The closest you get to a confirmation are a few vague comments from Laguna and Kiros.
- Magnetic Hero: He gets put in charge of the Esthar resistance basically because they think he's a swell guy.
- More Dakka: He's not called "The Man With The Machine Gun" for no reason.
- The Musketeer: During filming of a movie he makes to earn some money, he's attacked by a dragon and must make use of an old gunblade to defend himself.
- Nice Guy: One of his most endearing aspects. Part of the reason why he was never willing to leave Winhill is because he felt obligated to repay the villagers' kindness by defending them from monsters.
- Oblivious to Love: Apparently, he has no clue that he is the soldier that Julia fell-in-love with than never returned. Kiros is obviously disappointed that he (Laguna) didn't.
- The Pollyanna: A very rare male version. He always wants to help others and always tries to look on the bright side of things.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is not interested in power or war but in ruling benevolently and helping others out the best he knows how, which is the only reason he took the job.
- Renaissance Man: Soldier, monster hunter, writer, actor, Rebel Leader and President. These are all the rolls Laguna played throughout the story.
- Retired Badass: He, Kiros, and Ward can still kick ass even after leaving the Galbadian army.
- 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.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Again, two out of three; Laguna's average height at about 5'9". Although the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania has amended his height to 181cm (just over 5'11"), so he fits all three now.
- Unlucky Everydude: The guy can't catch a break. Separated from his crush by a high-ranking rival, badly wounded, separated from his friends, mistrusted by the townspeople he's trying to protect...
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He believes very firmly in the power of love and acts on it, even when others think him foolish for it.
"You cut a pretty pitiful figure up there. I'd say you're about a -3 on the manliness scale."One of Laguna's best friends and fellow Galbadian soldier. He has a sharp wit and often pokes fun at Laguna, but also trusts him with his life.
- Black Best Friend: To Laguna and Ward. Laguna sometimes gets on his friends' nerves, but they nonetheless like him a lot.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Between him and Ward, Kiros is mostly the one who keep Laguna's bizarre personality in check.
- Dreadlock Warrior: Surprisingly, the Galbadian military didn't have him cut it.
- Dual Wielding: Uses double katars in battle.
- Hero of Another Story: Of the "Dream World" sequences, as The Lancer of Laguna.
- Humans Are White: One of the few who is not.
- Knife Nut: Has a pair of Katar (misspelled as Katal), but he's a good guy through and through.
- The Lancer: He is Laguna's constant companion in all the "Dream World" sequences.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: He and Ward doesn't gush over Julia the way Laguna and the rest of their comrades do.
- Retired Badass: He, Laguna, and Ward can still kick ass even after leaving the Galbadian army.
- Shipper on Deck: He and Ward actively encourages Laguna to make a move on Julia.
"......"A Galbadian soldier and the third member of Laguna's unit. His intimidating appearance on the battlefield contrasts sharply with his caring demeanour outside of it. He is rendered mute after suffering a serious injury to his throat during battle.
- Anchors Away: Combined with Blade on a Stick for a giant anchor like harpoon that is thrown at the enemy.
- The Big Guy: Physical powerhouse, and the single tallest playable character in the entire series at a monstrous 7' (outside of the customizable player character from XIV, which can break 7' if they are a Roegadynn or Au Ra)
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the French localization, he isn't mute: he just swore he would never say a single word again in the entire game.
- Mighty Glacier: Level for level, Ward's base Speed stat is the lowest out of any of the playable characters, maxing out at level 100 at a rating most of the other characters have reached at level 50. His Strength, on the other hand, is consistently higher than that of any other character save Rinoa.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: He and Kiros doesn't gush over Julia the way Laguna and the rest of their comrades do.
- Put on a Bus: He doesn't appear in the third "Dream World" sequence. If the player reads the Timber Maniacs issue at Shumi Village before the fourth sequence, he won't appear in that sequence either. Nonetheless, he will appear in the fifth and final "Dream World" sequence.
- Retired Badass: He, Laguna, and Kiros can still kick ass even after leaving the Galbadian army.
- Scars Are Forever: The facial/throat scar that took his voice.
- Shipper on Deck: He and Kiros actively encourages Laguna to make a move on Julia.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Wears a tank-top after his retirement from the Galbadian army.
- Visible Silence: He becomes mute later in the game.
"I don't want you all to become machines. I want you all to be able to think and act for yourselves."The headmaster of Balamb Garden, and one of the original founders of SeeD.
- A Father to His Men: He really cares for the SeeD, and not just as soldiers.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Nicest guy on the planet, and founder of SeeD.
- The Bus Came Back: In disc 3, he's always available at the orphanage with his wife.
- Celebrity Resemblance: Looks an awful lot like Robin Williams.
- Kill the Ones You Love: He's fully prepared to send his and Edea's kids to kill her, because he knows he's not capable of it himself, but it all works out in the end. And, depending on your perception of the Timey-Wimey Ball, he might have known it would anyway.
- Nice Guy: He's a kind and caring man, and wants the SeeD to think for themselves instead of being mindless tools of war.
- Put on a Bus: After appointing Squall as SeeDs's ecommander at the middle of disc 2, he disappears.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Sort of. He tries, but the Garden Faculty undercuts his efforts.
- Shout-Out: His surname and his main dilemma is a literal Pun of Kramer Vs Kramer.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: He looks like an average, middle-aged man, but Edea looks like a supermodel.
"You cannot change the past, but seeing it once more is enough."A mysterious girl who shares a connection with Squall, Laguna and SeeD. She is hunted by various factions during the game, most notably by Sorceress Edea.
- Chekhov's Gunman: First appearance is her visiting Squall in the infirmary after his duel with Seifer in the opening FMV. She also later appears in the Training Center where she's rescued by Squall and Quistis, and she calls Quistis by her childhood nickname.
- Mental Time Travel: She has the power to send people's minds back in time.
- Parental Abandonment: Her parents were killed when they wouldn't hand her over to Esthar.
- Randomly Gifted: Her powers which are considered to be separate from (though compatible with) the magic used by Sorceresses and are never given an in depth explanation other than she was born with them.
General Fury Caraway
The General of the Galbadian Army and Rinoa's estranged father.
- A Father to His Men/Benevolent Boss/Reasonable Authority Figure: According to Word Of God, he is a strict but well meaning general.
- Badass Longcoat: Well, he is a general.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Pretty much his entire characterization.
- Last Name Basis: We never learn of his given name.
- His first name is Fury, as shown in Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Hints from supplementary materials stated that the reason he sends Laguna and co. on the Lunatic Pandora mission is so he can make a move on Julia.
- Pet the Dog: Is dismissive of Rinoa, but cares deeply for her.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Attempts this in disc 2 in order to bail out his daughter from prison. Rinoa refuses to leave her friends/comrades alone.
- Second Love: For Julia Heartilly, with Laguna being the first.
- Stalker with a Crush: Implied to be this for Julia.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: A little taller than Squall, but just as sarcastic and dismissive.
A lounge singer in Dueling City that appears during Laguna's flashbacks. Like most of the Galbadian army, Laguna has a crush on her. Unlike everyone else, she actually returns his interest.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Raine's Betty, being the attractive, exotic one to Raine's more down-to-earth Girl Next Door.
- The Chanteuse: She only plays piano rather than singing during her appearance (though she adds singing to her act later, which helps launch her performing career), she's a young, attractive woman in an evening gown, performing melancholy music in a classy, old-fashioned lounge.
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: Though she performs in her country's capital city rather than touring the front lines, her audience still consists almost entirely of soldiers on leave, including her Love Interest.
- Life Will Kill You: In a game about teenagers trained as hypercompetent mercenaries fighting incredibly powerful sorceresses and conscript soldiers fighting a losing war against a technologically superior army, in a world where monsters are commonplace and very dangerous... Julia dies off-screen, in a car accident.
- Missing Mom: Though it's not revealed until well after Julia is introduced as Laguna's love interest, in a bit of bait-and-switch, she's actually Rinoa's mother, who died before the beginning of the game.
- The Muse: Laguna actually acts as one for her — her hit song "Eyes On Me", the one that let her start incorporating singing into her piano performances, was about Laguna watching her from the audience.
- Posthumous Character: She died a decade or so before the start of the story, appearing only through Laguna's flashbacks.
A resident of Winhill, and Ellone's Parental Substitute. She eventually becomes Laguna's wife and Squall's mother.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Downplayed, but in her brief appearance on-screen she's clearly as exasperated by Laguna's immaturity as she is fond of him.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Julia's Veronica, being the feisty Tsundere character.
- Death by Childbirth: Implied to be how she died..
- Hair Decorations: A simple headband keeps her hair pulled back from her face.
- Missing Mom: Squall's.
- Parental Substitute: After Ellone's parents were killed by Esthar soldiers, Raine took her in
- Posthumous Character: She died 17 years before the start of the story.
- Second Love: For Laguna.
- Sweater Girl: Wears an Ivory colored one.
- Tsundere: She is the more belligerent one in her and Laguna's Belligerent Sexual Tension.
A member of SeeD and Quistis' closest friend at the start of the story.
- Action Girl: Required for being a SeeD member.
- Anime Chinese Girl: Judging from her name.
- The Lancer: To Quistis. She's even her Number Two in the CC group.
- Mauve Shirt: She is a named member of SeeD but is not that significant to the plot.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gave a deserving verbal beatdown to Seifer in disc 1.Xu: Seifer you'll never be a SeeD. Calling yourself a [team] captain is a joke!
- Those Two Guys: She and Nida ultimately becomes this.
- Undying Loyalty: To Headmaster Cid.
A member of SeeD who graduated with Squall, Zell and Selphie.
- Ace Pilot: Becomes the Garden's pilot once it becomes mobile.
- Gender-Blender Name: Though to be fair, we don't know if it's his actual given name or he's into Last Name Basis.
- Mauve Shirt: He is a named member of SeeD but is not that significant to the plot, and even have less screentime and dialogues compared to Xu.
- Satellite Character: Lampshaded by headmaster Cid himself during the graduation ceremony.Cid: Do your best. Even if you don't stand out.
- Those Two Guys: He and Xu ultimately becomes this.
Balamb Garden's resident doctor.
- Last Name Basis: Her first name isn't revealed.
- The Medic: Again, she's Balamb Garden's resident doctor.
- Retired Badass: Well, retired badass card player since she was the former leader of the CC group.
- School Nurse: Well, doctor.
- Team Mom: To the entire Balamb Garden. Squall even mentions that students go to the infirmary just to seek her advice.
"Failure is not an option."The ruler of Galbadia Garden.
Zone & Watts
"Gathering info is my specialty sir!"
"Ouch my stomach!"Rinoa's closest allies in the Forest Owls.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Zone is very protective of Rinoa despite being a Lovable Sex Maniac.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: They've known each other since childhood.
- The Lancer: Zone, who is Rinoa's implied Number Two in the Forest Owls.
- La Résistance: Members of the Forrest Owls.
- Legacy Character: Their fathers were Forest Owls' founding members.
- Nice Guy: Watts.
- Non-Action Guy: Both guys openly find convenient excuses for you to not select them at your party.
- Number Two: Zone is implied to be Rinoa's deputy leader in the Forest Owls.
- Put on a Bus: After your party leaves Timber in the middle of disc 1.
- The Bus Came Back: In disc 3.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zone is red, while Watts is blue.
- Running Gag: Zone's perpetual stomach ache.
- The Smart Guy: Watt's main duty in the Forest Owls is to collect information.
- Theme Naming: Named after TV signal and reception terms.
- Those Two Guys: They're... Rinoa's closest allies in the Forest Owls.
- Verbal Tic: Watts have one sir!
- You Killed My Father: Their reason for resenting President Deling.
Esthar's resident scientist.
- Asian and Nerdy: His appearance is very Japanese inspired.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Eccentric as he is, his thoughts are always valued.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's been mentioned by Rinoa near the end of disc 1 but will only be revealed to be more relevant in disc 3.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Well, he wasn't the one defeated but rather his guards.
- Funetik Aksent: Thiz iz the way he speaks.
- Heel-Face Turn: He was once Adel's follower, he joined Laguna in overthrowing her.
- Mad Scientist: He is... very eccentric.
- Non-Action Guy: He is not combat proficient.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His outfit.
- Shorter Means Smarter: He is the shortest character in the game and is touted as one of the smartest.
- Third-Person Person: "There iz nothing Odine can't do". Or, "So what you will take Odine hostage? You are a fool!"
- Token Evil Teammate: Of the Adel resistance group.
- The Smart Guy: Obviously, being a scientist and all.
Mayor Dobe & Flo
Dobe is the mayor of Fisherman's Horizon and a former Esthar scientist. Flo is his wife and presumably a former esthar scientist as well.
- Actual Pacifist: They firmly hate violence and those who prefer it.
- Brutal Honesty: They are much, much blunt and straightforward than Squall, much to the latter's surprise and annoyance.
- Distaff Counterpart: Flo is basically her husbabd in different gender.
- The Fettered: They will stick to their Actual Pacifist views no matter what.
- Grumpy Old Man: Aside from their Brutal Honesty above, they're very aloof. Though they do play cards with you.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Dobe is a classic example of a Wide-Eyed Idealist turned bitter by the politics of reality.
- Jerkass: Their Brutal Honesty even gets into the main characters, even the also brutally honest Squall.
- The Leader: Of Fisherman's Horizon.
- Neutral Female/Non-Action Guy: They practices their Actual Pacifist views.
- Pink Means Feminine: Flo wears a pink shirt.
- Satellite Love Interest: Flo is usually with Dobe.
"I've always gotta be doing somethin' big! I don't wanna stop. I'm gonna keep running! I've come this far...I'm gonna make it to the end, to the goal!"One of Balamb Garden's top students, and Squall's rival. Though he is just as competent as Squall and respects him, he lacks the detachment necessary for a soldier and frequently disobeys orders when his temperament flares up. In fact, he has many of the same personality traits and insecurities as Squall and they shared the same childhood; the difference between them being that Squall's defense against the world is reserve, indifference and cynicism while Seifer's defense is arrogance, outspokenness and romanticism. Though he is outgoing and honest, his single-minded pursuit of his dreams leads to him failing the SeeD examination, and further disasters.
- Ascended Fanboy: The Ultimania guide reveals that he 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.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He's the only other gunblade user in Garden and has a pretty big ego in Dollet.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Becomes the head of Galbadia from Disc 3 onwards.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Not really evil, but he's a Jerk Ass most of the time.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: There is extensive fan debate as to how willingly Seifer served Edea as her Knight but certainly in the final battle with him he falls into this trope and is being used by Ultimecia. He even admits that he doesn't care, just wanting to impress Squall and prove he was right.
- The Bully: Loves belittling people he dislikes or who are weaker than he is, and sometimes even acts out of line deliberately to piss them off.
- Chewing the Scenery: He can be quite theatrical.
- Child Soldiers: Like Squall, he's been at Garden since it was founded, which would have been when he was about six years old.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: White to Squall's black.
- Cool Sword: His gunblade, Hyperion.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: His motif which is used in his most powerful Limit Break as a portal to what looks like Hell.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Unless you send your characters into battle with him without junctions, Seifer as a boss is unlikely to give you a lot of trouble. But during an automated sequence just before the final battle with him, he goes Odin on Odin by reversing his Zantetsuken to vertically bisect him...with no effort at all (In fairness, when Odin appears as a boss in the series, he generally lacks Contractual Boss Immunity to make up for his time limit). Even Squall is shocked. Of course, this sets up the stage for the appearance of Gilgamesh a few turns later, who proceeds to utterly defeat him in your place.
- Delinquents: Ironically, he's the head of the disciplinary committee.
- Determinator: Seifer simply does not back down. Even after you KO him.
- Disc Three Final Boss: The last faceoff with Seifer concludes the third disc of play, and is also the game's Point of No Return, since a lot of stuff is blocked off on Disc 4.
- The Dragon: To Ultimecia.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the opening cutscene, he and Squall are engaged in a sword duel where, upon losing the advantage, Seifer decides to use magic and later attack Squall while he's down,scarring him.
- Evil Counterpart: To Squall. Their designs also make this very obvious—Squall is brunet, Seifer is blond; Squall wears black, Seifer wears white; Squall has more feminine features, Seifer has a very strong jaw; and they have opposite scars.
- Face-Heel Turn: Until the ending."One of these days, I'm gonna tell ya 'bout my ROMANTIC dream!"
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: A subtle variation; the scar that Seifer acquires in the opening FMV would be a hero scar on its own, but it's a mirror-image inverse of Squall's, making it more of a villain scar in context.
- Guest Star Party Member: He's briefly playable during the Dollet mission.
- Hot-Blooded: He's really enthusiastic about the fighting in Dollet.
- I Just Want to Be Special: What Seifer's ambitions to be a Knight essentially boils down to. His problematic and rebellious behavior at Balamb Garden is rooted in his desire to be respected by his peers. His antagonism towards Squall is implied to be jealousy of Squall achieving just that.
- Jerkass: Though initially one that does think he's doing the right thing.
- Jerk Jock: He has his moments.
- Jumped at the Call: Unfortunately for him, it was the wrong call.
- Karma Houdini: He never pulls any sort of act of redemption, and yet he never has to face any real consequences for his actions. In the ending cinematic, he is seen fishing with Raijin and Fujin, while Balamb Garden flies by. To be fair, he was very clearly used and manipulated by the sorceress, possibly even to the point of mind control.
- Ki Attacks: The manual says that the fire magic used in Seifer's Limit Break is produced by chi and not Para-Magic.
- Kick the Dog: Literally and figuratively.
- Lady and Knight: Dark Knight to Edea's and later Ultimecia's Dark Lady.
- Light Is Not Good: Wears a long white trench coat. Also serves as one of the antagonists.
- More Than Mind Control: Seifer is somewhere between Brainwashed and Crazy and this trope.
- Moveset Clone: He has the same progression of Limit Breaks as Squall does, and the same "trigger" attack, but it requires different timing.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: When the party thinks he is dead, they remember him in a fonder light—much to the frustration of Squall who isn't willing to sugarcoat that Seifer was a bully and a Jerk Ass.
- Out of Focus: After disc 2, his importance to the plot diminishes severely.
- Pet the Dog: He has a few Pet the Dog moments when it comes to Rinoa...but his many Kick the Dog moments tend to overshadow it...and we never see those moments since they occur before the game.
- There's also one non-Rinoa moment: When Squall, Zell and Selphie graduated as SeeDs while he's clearly annoyed that he didn't graduate (and got scolded on top of that), Seifer took the time to gather all that doesn't graduate, and then give Squall and Zell a genuine, warm applause. Considering his attitude, it comes off as this. But then he proceeds to kick a lot of dogs later.
- Playing with Fire: Loves fire magic almost as much as his gunblade, and even uses it as part of his Limit Break.
- Psychopathic Manchild: A type C case, In contrast to Squall, who is more emotionally withdrawn, Seifer is more emotionally stunted; incredibly impulsive, violent and a bully that jumps at the chance to serve by Edea to fulfill his childhood dream and ending up getting Brainwashed and Crazy as a result.
- Recurring Boss: After his Face-Heel Turn, Squall has to confront Seifer on deadly terms 4 times; the first of these is a duel, and the rest are all party boss fights. Seifer is virtually a pushover in these fights.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Squall's Blue Oni.
- The Rival: To Squall, until he turned evil.
- Worthy Opponent: When you get right down to it, the need to be recognized as this for Squall is the main motivating factor for his actions throughout the game, despite Squall, character development or not, couldn't give a damn. Being called just another enemy sets him off and the drive to consider himself a revolutionary rather than a knight, all so he'd be seen as a significant opponent.
- Shadow Archetype: To Squall.
- Smug Super: A major reason why he hasn't become a SeeD despite his exceptional skills.
- Spin Attack: His Demon Slice Limit Break.
- Sword Beam: His No Mercy Limit Break.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Raijin and Fujin.
- Two Guys and a Girl: He, Squall and Rinoa fit the dynamic.
- The Unfettered: Slips into this after his descent into villainy.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He grew up a fan of films about sorceresses and heroic knights who defended them. The sorceress takes advantage of his desire to live up to that dream to manipulate him, and in the earlier stages of his service to her he takes great relish in declaring himself the heroic knight to Squall's "evil mercenary".
- Tautological Templar / Never My Fault: Disc 2 seems to display this mindset in full, showing that thinking all his actions as a Sorceress Knight are automatically good while those opposed are automatically evil. Besides the above "evil mercenary" accusation, when confronted in Galbadia Garden, he accuses Balamb Garden of attacking like swarms, never mind that it was his side who opened hostilities.
- You Are in Command Now: spends the third disc as the leader of Galbadia after Ulti!Edea is out of the picture.
"You must fight to the end! Even though it may bring tragedy to others!"A vain and power-hungry Sorceress who uses her brainwashing magic to seize control of Galbadia. SeeD is assigned the task of assassinating her. She is the wife of Cid Kramer, and has become possessed by the malevolent Sorceress Ultimecia.
- An Ice Person: She loves her ice spells, and used an ice spear to pierce right through Squall at the end of Disc 1.
- Badass Cape: It even only appears in battle!
- Brainwashed and Crazy: More like Possessed and Crazy actually.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She dresses in black even before she's possessed.
- Disc One Final Boss: Literally for both Disc One and Two. Edea is the very last boss faced on these discs before they end and the player is prompted to change discs.
- Driven to Villainy: Edea (or rather, Ultimecia), is driven to avenge the Sorceresses who were persecuted long ago. In the Japanese translation, "Sorceress" is rendered as 'witch', which makes her motives clearer.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: This is her specialty, since her Limit Break is ice based and she impales Squall with a giant icicle.
- Evil Sorceress: And a great threat to the world for precisely that reason. Though not as much "evil" as "possessed". Edea's the first of three evil sorceresses SeeD must contend with in FFVIII
- Force Field: She uses one to protect herself from Irvine shooting her.
- Glass Cannon: When she's a party member, she has great chemistry with G Fs, but cannot take much punishment.
- Guest Star Party Member: Briefly joins the party as they cross the Great Salt Lake.
- Heel-Face Turn: After Squall and the party defeat her for the second time, she regains her senses and is freed from Ultimecia's control.
- Lady of Black Magic: A refined and sophisticated Sorceress with a specialty in ice magic
- Letting Her Hair Down: Shown in the flashbacks and in the ending, and she really looks hot in it.
- Meet the New Boss: Edea's character arc is similar to Golbez, the main villain during two-thirds of Final Fantasy IV. Both characters climb to power by remaining in the shadows, share a personal connection with the main heroes, and undergo a Face Turn by the third act. Edea is also fought multiple times, much like Golbez was.
- Older Than They Look: Edea was already a grown woman thirteen years prior to the events of the game, and probably isn't more than five years younger than Laguna, but even in the game's present day she doesn't look much older than Squall and his teammates. Her sorceress powers may have something to do with this.
- Recurring Boss: Squall and SeeD attempt to assassinate her at the end of the first two discs of play, which both go into boss fights.
- Woman in Black: She wears a black dress both as a sorceress and as an orphanage matron.
"I am Vinzer Deling, lifelong president of Galbadia!"The self-proclaimed lifelong president of the Galbadia.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The people of Galbadia cheered wildly when Edea killed him.
- Arch-Enemy: To many countries in the world, but the game only let us see Timber. Among the Timber resistance group the Forrest Owls, with members Zone and Watts having legitimate reasons to hate him.
- Asshole Victim: As written above, no one felt sorry that he died. Even General Caraway have mocking words to say to him posthumously.
- Celebrity Resemblance: To George W. Bush. Ironically, this game was released a year and a half before Bush became president.
- Genre Savvy: He uses decoys when necessary.
- Kick the Dog: A lot of his actions.
- Non-Action Guy: He's not combat proficient. He also counts as The Unfought (see below).
- President Evil: He wants to conquer the world.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Well, he is a politician...
- Smug Snake: Apparently. You only fight an undead clone of his, and his attempt to use Edea/Ultimecia as a forceful ambassador leads directly to his death.
- The Unfought: The party never had a chance to fight him due to being killed by Edea. The president on the train was an imposter.
Biggs & Wedge
"I was demoted because of you! I'm only a lieutenant now! I'll get my revenge!"Two Galbadian soldiers who encounter Squall again and again, each time leaving with both their pride and career prospects severely damaged.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: They are never once considered a serious threat, not even when Biggs sics the infamous Spider Tank on SeeD.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Despite all the time they're demoted, they're never seen apart.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Source of some of the game's funniest moments.
- Legacy Character: They have turned up in other FF games, always as Mooks.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Biggs is red, being a lot more short-tempered and overconfident, and Wedge is blue, being more level-headed. Hell, they even have matching colors.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: They finally quit the Galbadian military right when you're about to fight them for the last time.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: Named after Luke Skywalker's Red Squadron wingmen in Star Wars, like other characters in the Final Fantasy series.
- Starter Villains: These two are the second boss fight of the game, and not much of a threat, especially when they get blown away by Elvoret, who replaces them as the boss of Dollet.
Raijin & Fujin
"Hey, jus' like Fujin said, ya know!? We're with Seifer. Always have, always will."Seifer's partners and only firends. Raijin often slurs his speech and ends his sentences with "y'know", while Fujin speaks in monotone. Along with Seifer, they make up the self-proclaimed Balamb Garden Disciplinary Committee.
- Ambiguously Brown: Raijin.
- Adorkable: Raijin. Raijin is very friendly to Squall and has a high opinion of him, even when Fujin and Seifer are giving Squall cold indifference.
- Anti-Villain: Both of them. As they admit, they are on no one's side except Seifer's, as they see something in him others don't.
- Black Best Friend: Raijin.
- Blow You Away: Fujin.
- The Brute: Raijin.
- Co-Dragons: To Seifer.
- Dark Chick: Fujin.
- Dual Boss: For the second and third time you fight them. The first time, Raijin is alone with two Galbadian soldiers.
- Eyepatch of Power: Fujin.
- Flunky Boss: You'll fight Raijin along with two Galbadian Mooks.
- Gentle Giant: Raijin when he wants to be.
- Glass Cannon: Fujin has attacks that can really hurt, but has a rather poor vitality.
- Hulk Speak: Fujin. Her (failed) What the Hell, Hero?/Get A Hold Of Yourself Man speech to Seifer is notably the only time Fujin uses coherent sentences and speaks in a soft tone.
- Zig zagged in the French localization, where she speaks sentences more often. Most of them are still very short, but they're sentences nonetheless.
- Ice Queen: Fujin.
- Lightning Bruiser: Raijin is big, strong, tough and fast.
- No Indoor Voice: Fujin ALWAYS SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS.
- One Head Taller: Raijin, compared to his pals (and a lot of other characters, for that matter).
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: Fujin. Overlapping with Fuma Shuriken.
- Punch Clock Villain: Both of them.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming
- Shock and Awe: Raijin.
- Simple Staff: Raijin.
- Terse Talker: Fujin speaks in one- or two-word sentences. In the Japanese version, her dialogue boxes contain a solitary kanji character.
- The Power of Friendship: Both see something in Seifer no one else does; they are instrumental in his eventual backing down and bringing him to his own self-contentment.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Seifer.
- True Blue Femininity: Fujin's entire attire sans boots and eyepatch.
- True Companions: To Seifer, with whom they'll stick through thick and thin.
- Verbal Tic: Raijin has one, ya'know. FUJIN TOO.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Raijin, even for his boss battle. Unless of course, he's blinded.
"THIS IS MY GARDEN!"The true ruler of Balamb Garden.
- Black Sheep/Token Evil Teammate: The entire Shumi tribe consider him as this.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: His Berserk Button.
- Entitled Bastard: He demands respect from the Garden inhabitants for the sole reason of owning the place.
- Large And In Charge: He is 5-10 times taller and wider than his subjects.
- Man Behind the Man: He rules from the shadows.
- No Indoor Voice: HE SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS TOO! AND UNLIKE FUJIN, HE DOES IT IN A COMPLETE SENTENCE.
- Smug Snake: Comes along with being an Entitled Bastard. He treats the Garden inhabitants as Ungrateful Bastards when they sided with Cid despite the fact that he never even made his presence known to them and the latter being A Father to His Men.
An evil Sorceress who once used her powers to rule Esthar with an iron fist. She was overthrown by a resistance movement led by Laguna, and sealed into a technological tomb which was then launched into space.
- Brawn Hilda: Some people may not even realize she's a she.
- Evil Sorceress: One of three that SeeD must fight in the game, and the least visible due to not physically appearing until the final third of the game.
- Fusion Dance: With Rinoa.
- Energy Absorption: She sucks Rinoa's HP throughout the battle. Let Rinoa's HP get to zero (whether by letting Adel suck her dry or accidentally hitting her with a multiple target attack, and it's Game Over.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Ladies and gentlemen, your malevolent ruler of Esthar!
- Grand Theft Me: Courtesy of Ultimecia.
- Human Shield: She uses Rinoa as one.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Honestly, would you guess she was female solely from her appearance? She's huge and muscular as hell.
- Large And In Charge: She's the (former) ruler of a nation, and happens to be about four times the size of an average human.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Adel has blood-red eyes in the cutscene where she grabs Rinoa and junctions her to herself.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Thanks to Laguna's efforts, she was sealed away in a heavily-guarded prison floating in outer space; this alternative was preferred over killing her, as doing so would have caused her to pass on her sorceress powers to someone else.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Don't be confused. That is indeed a Sorceress. She just happens to be a 15ft tall, masculine-looking, purple woman with an overtly muscular frame. Yet nobody ever comments on her appearance. This, combined with the appearance of other sorceresses such as Ultimecia, has led to the Fanon theory that the Sorceress Power causes unknown physical side-effects on each woman which varies from subject to subject.
"This is reality. No-one can help you."Ultimecia is an evil, all-powerful Sorceress from the future. She seeks to cast the almighty Time Compression magic, which would combine the worlds of the past, present and future into a single point and enable her to rule over all of time itself. While the party doesn't confront her in person until the end of the game, she acts as the antagonist by sending her consciousness into the past to possess other Sorceresses to act through.
- Absolute Cleavage: The neckline plunges down to her crotch.
- All There in the Manual: The aptly-named Ultimania guidebook greatly elaborates on her character and explains her history and motivations, such as her Start of Darkness. In the game itself, you only meet her once to fight her, though some information can be gleaned from the things she says while controlling Edea.
- Big Bad: She doesn't directly take action for a good part of the game, but she is nonetheless the main threat who's been orchestrating the events of the game.
- Evil Sorceress: The third and last of the three antagonistic sorceresses, and SHE'S the sorceress that SeeD was founded to fight in the first place; all of their training was in preparation for dealing with her specifically.
- Facial Markings: She has jagged purple tattoos. Two of them are in a Big Ol' Eyebrows pattern.
- Femme Fatalons: Her hands appear to have been turned into purple clawed appendages.
- Final Boss: She's the reason SeeD exists, since they were founded to defeat her, and sure enough, Ultimecia, once seen in person, is the final enemy of the game.
- Funetik Aksent: Though only as herself in her human form before the Final Boss fight.
- Fusion Dance: With Griever in the final battle.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Has a pair of black feathered wings
- Grand Theft Me: Her specialty. She's been possessing every woman with sorceress powers all through history.
- Horned Hairdo: Not only is her hair styled into horns, she has actual horns on her headdress.
- Lady of Black Magic: An elegant, all-powerful Sorceress of Time.
- Manipulative Bastard: When she's not pulling a Grand Theft Me, she's exploiting the psychological weakpoints of potential minions, both world rulers and Seifer.
- Mystical White Hair: The most powerful Sorceress in history, and she has long, flowing silver hair.
- New Era Speech: In Deling City while possessing Edea.
- Omnicidal Maniac: After being driven into her final form.
- One-Winged Angel: Twice in the final battle.
- Rapunzel Hair: Has two long bangs as part of her hair.
- Recurring Boss: Ultimecia is possessing Edea both times Edea is fought as a boss, and then she possesses Adel at the start of Disc 4. Shortly afterward, Squall's team fights her in person, and the first phase of the lengthy final encounter acts like a third Edea battle.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Wears a form-fitting red ballgown with black angel wings.
- Red Right Hand: Her bare black clawed feet.
- Screw Destiny: Her motivation.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A popular theory states two tiers of this. First, Ultimecia's Start of Darkness was brought about when she was persecuted for the crimes she was going to commit, which became common knowledge thanks to the Time Travel antics of her future self (as depicted in the game). Second, Ultimecia's motivation was to use Time Compression to control time and thwart her destined defeat at the hands of the "legendary SeeD". But not only do her efforts to cast Time Compression paint a big bullseye on her chest for SeeD, but her use of the Time Compression spell allows Squall's party to travel to the future and defeat her directly.
- Sequential Boss: Is fought three times when you meet her in her throne room at the end of the game (There's four parts to the final battle, but the second of them is against a monster she summoned).
- Spell My Name with an "S": Some localizations call her Artemisia, which is pronounced the same way than Ultimecia in Japanese and also creates an interesting link with the moon, one of the recurring motives of the game.
- Summon Magic: She summons Griever for the second phase of her boss battle.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Her eerie yellow eyes pass down when she posseses Edea.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: It's implied that she became evil because of the way sorceresses are persecuted in her era.
- Time Master: Her powers involve time travel and time manipulation, and her ultimate goal is a Time Crash.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has two; first, when the party finally meets her in person, she flies into a rage about how they're always getting in the way. Then, once she's forced into her final form, she flatly states her new goal to destroy everything.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Her Rapunzel Hair is a stark white/silvery color.
- Wicked Cultured: Ulty's castle has an art gallery and a cathedral, among other hints as to her favoured pastimes.
- Winged Humanoid: Has a pair of black demonic wings as part of her wardrobe.
- The Woman Behind The Monsters: Sends a handful of evil creatures several times during the game to kill the SeeDs, and has eight guardians in her castle that lock down the abilities of any unwelcome guests who enter; the player must kill most if not all of them to stand a chance against her.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: What little information the game provides as to her motives implies that, due to being a Sorceress, she was persecuted all her life because of the terrible actions of evil sorceresses in the past. Not only that, but thanks to history, she knows she is destined to die at the hands of a bunch of teenage mercenaries and all her plans are based on a desperate desire to escape her fate. Sadly, her actions in the past to achieve this goal caused the start of the persecution of Sorceresses in her own time.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She kills Vinzer Deling once she's gotten what she wants out of him.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: In the final battle, she Draws Apocalypse, what she believes to be the ultimate spell, from herself.
The first Guardian Force you have to fight (he's also the first boss of the game, period). Squall and Quistis must fight him in the Fire Cavern as part of a SeeD exercise.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Joins the party upon being defeated, recognizing their strength.
- Kill It with Fire: He's a Fire elemental Guardian Force, so this is to be expected.
- Magma Man: Or beast in this case. He actually lives in the stuff too.
- Oh Crap!: "They have Shiva?"
- Timed Mission: You have to choose a time limit before you enter the Fire Cavern, and must defeat Ifrit before it runs out.
A devil Guardian Force that controls gravity. You can fight him at any time after Cid gives you the Magical Lamp.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Joins the party upon being defeated, recognizing their strength.
- Dub Name Change: He is known as Nosferatu in the French version, and Diablo in the Spanish version.
- Lost Forever: If you actually sell the Magical Lamp before using it.
- Magikarp Power: He does damage based on a percentage of the enemy's HP, getting up to 100% at level 100, or does 9999 damage.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Until Defeat Means Friendship.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: With the can being the Magical Lamp.
The Brothers (Sacred and Minotaur)
A pair of minotaurs fought in the Tomb of the Forgotten King.
- A Load of Bull: They are minotaurs, after all.
- Aloof Big Brother: Minotaur.
- Bash Brothers: Literally.
- Big Little Brother: Sacred.
- Big Shadow, Little Creature: During the second encounter, Sacred tells the party that he's calling on his big brother to aid him, and a for a second the entire screen was engulfed by a huge silhouette, which then shrinks to reveal Minotaur.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Join the party upon being defeated, recognizing their strength.
- Dual Boss: The second encounter with Sacred involves both him and Minotaur; this is the fight SeeD needs to win to recruit them.
- Dub Name Change : Sacred and Minotaur are respectively known as Tauros and Taurux in the French version, and the GF itself is Taurus.
- Fastball Special: Poor Sacred.
- Greek Mythology: Since they're found in The Maze, the reference is quite obvious. However, they actually owe more to the myth of Antaeus, a son of Gaia who was undefeatable as long as he remained in contact with the earth - as Earth elementals, the brothers regenerate HP as long as they're touching the ground.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hot-tempered Sacred wears red and delivers his dialogue in all caps; his older brother Minotaur is calmer and more sensible, wears blue, and speaks in all lower-case.
- Shout-Out: They're based on two bosses from Final Fantasy V, Minotaur and Sekhmet.
- Sibling Team: Duh.
A cerberus Guardian Force you can fight in Galbadia Garden when you invade it at the end of Disc 2.
- Canis Major: A huge, three-headed dog.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Joins the party upon being defeated, recognizing their strength.
- Hell: Well, it is where he's from. The ominous-looking gates, blood-red sky, and charred ground are kind of a giveaway.
- Lost Forever: If you miss him, you can still draw him from Gargantua on the final disc. Miss him there, though, and you lose him for good.
- Rule of Three: He has three heads and relies heavily on the Triple spell, which allows him to cast magic three times a turn. Summoning him applies Triple status to the party.
A powerful Guardian Force encountered in the Deep Sea Research Center.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Joins the party upon being defeated, recognizing their strength.
- Marathon Boss: You have to fight at least three red dragons before actually fighting him.
- Non-Elemental: His attacks deal no elemental damage, but are nonetheless deadly.
An optional, unjunctionable Guardian Force encountered in the Centra Ruins. After you obtain him, he can sometimes show up right at the beginning of a fight to One-Hit Kill your enemies before anybody has a chance to do anything. If you obtained him before completing Disc 3, he will show up at the start of the fight with Seifer, and get cut clean in half. Fortunately, Gilgamesh replaces him.
- Death by Irony: An iconic character known for his ability to kill his enemies in one hit is bisected the exact same way.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Joins the party upon being defeated, recognizing their strength.
- Deus ex Machina Shows up in the fight against Seifer at the end of Disc 3, but gets cut in half for his efforts.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: During the fight with Seifer at the end of Disc 3.
- Killed Off for Real: If you have him while you fight Seifer. Fortunately, Gilgamesh is there to replace him if it happens.
- Master Swordsman: The guy can kill anyone with a slash of his sword, cutting them in half.
- Timed Mission: When you reach the Centra Ruins, he gives the party twenty minutes to either leave, or reach and fight him. If the timer runs out, it's Zantetzuken time for the party, and an instant Game Over. If they beat him, however, he'll recognize their strength and join them.
An optional Guardian Force you automatically obtain if Seifer kills Odin. He's obviously a reference to the Final Fantasy V character, if not the same guy.
- Call Back: His entire appearance is one huge one to Final Fantasy V: Gilgamesh refers to the Dimensional Interval (i.e. the Interdimensional Rift that houses the Void he was banished to) and in the Japanese version, he nearly name drops Bartz, The Hero of V and his Worthy Opponent.
- Cool Sword: He has four, namely; the Excalibur, Excalipoor, Masamune, and Zantetsuken.
- Deus ex Machina: Shows up out of nowhere in the final Seifer boss fight after 12 turns and literally blows him away before disappearing. This only happens if you completed Odin's challenge earlier; if not, Gilgamesh doesn't show and the SeeDs have to take Seifer out themselves.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did you just Stealth Hi/Bye Seifer after he killed Odin? Yeah, that happened.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Arrives at the very end of disc three.
- Flight, Strength, Heart: the power of his four swords: Zantetsuken is a One-Hit Kill, Masamune and Excalibur are both heavy-hitters, and as for Excalipur...
- Four Is Death: He has four swords in his arsenal.
- Joke Item: It's the very weapon he's associated with, Excalipoor.
- Lost Forever: He is an entirely optional GF, and can only be obtained if Seifer kills Odin at the end of Disc 3.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: If you look closely though, the arms on his cape are cardboard cutouts, with his real arms on his right side under it and holding his cape.
- Power Up Letdown: A minor example, but he does have a risk of showing up against Adel. Since Rinoa must be kept alive during the fight, but is treated as a target for the purpose of the battle, Gilgamesh will also target her; if he uses Zantetsuken, the battle ends in a Game Over before it can even start. Fortunately, this only applies to this one battle, and doesn't count outside of it.