As the title suggests, ''The Altimate Rewrite'' by Albert is a retelling of Final Fantasy VIII through a combination of text and edited game screenshots. The work is notable primarily for its Broad Strokes approach to the source material: unlike a standard Novelization or Let's Play, it makes extensive alterations to setting, backstory, characterization, and plotline, with a large amount of original material worked in.
Fan response is strongly divided. Those who like it embrace the many changes as improvements on the original game; those who dislike it find it too removed from the original to the point of being Final Fantasy VIII In Name Only.
As of the last update in May 2012 it had reached over 200 pages in length, making it a Long Runner of the fanfic world. The creator has since admitted that it is a Dead Fic, stating that their reveal of who Ultimecia would be wasn't narratively satisfying or appropriate and that reworking the final plot point would undo too much of the established story.
This work provides examples of:
- Batman Gambit
- Chessmaster: Cid, to the point where even people who know what he's up to, like Martine and Laguna, are appalled at how good he is at it.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: In place of the Stable Time Loop of the original. Ultimecia remembers every iteration, and Cid/Odine find out through Thay's diary. So far, they're about 200,000 times through the loop, to the point where Cid's given up on breaking it, and is merely attempting to make each pass through as bearable as possible.
- Hey, You!: The source of the name "Thay."
- Mildly Military: Averted.
- Mind Screw: Your brain will be tied into knots.
- Only Sane Man: Thay regards himself as this, to the point of assigning the other SeeDs uncomplimentary nicknames in his head. Later on, he's rather chagrined to find that Irvine does exactly the same thing.
- Scrapbook Story: The rewrite is told out through Thay's officer diary (with a few entries from the rest of the party). It ends up becoming far more relevant after The Reveal, where we learn that Cid is using past versions of the diary to predict how the latest time around the time loop will go.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Thay and Rinoa.
- Timey-Wimey Ball
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Mostly averted between Thay and Rinoa. They do have a major falling out on the Ragnarok, however, when Rinoa is not flattered by Thay's willingness to forsake the world just for them.
- Wild Mass Guessing: The story has been subject to countless pages worth of speculation on the real identity of Ultimecia and just what the heck is going on. Fans periodically PM Albert with their guesses, to which he is fairly responsive. The content of these private exchanges has largely been kept secret, and the mystery hasn't been spoiled yet.