Info Check - Ultimecia & Her Time Zone (Spoilers I guess)

Vivi-Gamer

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Hi,

I've just been reading into more of the lore of FFVIII & I'm curious to see if there is much more information about the world of her time - Essentially where we arrive in Disc 4.

In the game we don't see much of it beyond Ultimecia's Castle - Other than the beach behind the orphanage at a stretch. All the locations within Disc 4 Are visible on an identical World Map, but they all have barriers around them. I wonder if this was intentional or if it was simply down to budget restraints.

I just felt the game never got a chance to properly explore her as a character nor give much context to her agenda or location she is set in. The beach surrounding her location leaves a bleak view on what we do see - with White SEED's bodies scattered around the environment. I just really wish we could have seen more of the world.

I haven't read the FFVIII Ultimania Book - As it's not been official translated and published but I'm curious to know if it has any details regarding the world post FFVIII's story.

There are some translations online, not sure how much this covers but found a lot of links referring back to these from :
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
 
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Dionysos

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I'm not an expert on FFVIII but from what I know the world map that we see on Disc 4 isn't really the future. Not the full future, anyway. We are seeing a world in which Ultimecia has already activated Time Compression and is squashing all of history into a single moment. But the spell is disrupted so it isn't complete. Her castle is from the future, and that is perhaps our clearest glimpse into her world (and a closer examination of aspects of her castle might be quite revealing).

But most of the world map is out of bounds perhaps because of the budget and time restraints. They would have had to redesign all of these locations with either ruined appearances, or historically confused overlays. This would include anachronisms or things from the past (or the future) appearing in towns contemporary with Squall's timeline.

It would have been a nightmare to create all of that, if I'm interpreting that correctly. So stating that Time Compression only really allows Ultimecia to exist and only allowing you to explore her castle and the wilderness on the world map was far easier.
 

Vivi-Gamer

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It has been a while since I've played VIII too (If I could pause time right now, I'd love to fully indulge in a playthrough), so you could be right in the way that in Disc 4 we're in and interrupted version of Time Compression, I just thought how it would be neat to see the World as it is in Ultemecia's timeframe as what we gather within the game is very little.

I never expected them to change all the current locations, as I would imagine in time they'd be completely different or destroyed and yes that would be a considerable undertaking to do all that and not really have any scenarios built within them. I just wish there was more insight into what the world at that timeframe was like as it just feels odd going around the world map as it is with barriers around everything.
 

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I always assumed that there were barriers around the towns so Squall doesn't bump into his great great (etc ?) grandson and doesn't make things awkward and weird.
 

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I've been thinking about this a lot recently, wondering the precise timeframe to which Squall and party invade Ultimecia's Castle - I know they go through the time compression process but I am wondering still how far into the future that era is set. In particular how many times has the sorceresses' power has transferred. Has their ever been any indication? In the battle during the compression we fight many sorceresses, could this be a clue?

Prior to entering the Castle we see many White SEED's dead along what was once the orphanage beach. Is this a sign of the final battle with SEED to where Ultimecia won? - discounting Squall and company of course. I've always considered it so.

I am assuming despite Squall and Company beating Ultimecia in the future that that event only takes place in that timezone? Meaning that all the disaster prior to their victory where Ultimecia reigns supreme still takes into effect up until her defeat? Some time after the games ending, as time will go on Rinoa will die and pass on the sorceresses curse down the time line until it reaches Ultimecia? The only time I know of it not transferring via death is Edea's battle.

I'm just curious to know more about that era, and about Ultimecia in general.
 
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Dionysos

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I've been thinking about this a lot recently, wondering the precise timeframe to which Squall and party invade Ultimecia's Castle - I know they go through the time compression process but I am wondering still how far into the future that era is set.

My guess would be anything from a couple of generations in the future, to hundreds of years into the future. But it isn’t clear. While the possibility of the White SeeD organisation (or SeeDs in general) still existing that far into the future might seem unlikely at first (Squall himself appears to be shocked to find the future SeeDs had been 'fighting across generations'), maybe Edea and Ellone's legacy really did outlive them for a long time.

A couple of reasons I think this is more than a generation or two. Ellone herself must be long dead or out of reach since Ultimecia isn't using Ellone to transfer her consciousness through time. Instead she is using the 'Junction Machine Ellone' (which Dr. Odine had created in Esthar to replicate Ellone’s abilities whilst she was held there during Adel's reign). Ultimecia must have discovered or excavated this device in order to (imperfectly) transfer her consciousness into Edea as we see in the game. She chose the time period we see in the game presumably so that she could get her hands on Ellone at her prime too, amongst other reasons.

Since Ellone's powers were more exact than the device created to replicate them, if Ellone was still alive during Ultimecia's time then her grand plan would probably have been to capture an older Ellone then instead.

Another reason I believe it is multiple generations into the future (at least) is her castle. Did this castle exist before Ultimecia and we just didn't see it during our own time period? Or is it new? Or more new than Squall's day? If either of the latter, then that would push Ultimecia's day further into the future. This castle is evidently old. By this I don't just mean in a stylistic sense (since it is designed to look medieval combined with classical and renaissance elements). The antique aesthetics could easily be reproductions to suit Ultimecia's tastes. I'm referring instead to the fact that it is visibly very dusty and rundown.
If her castle didn't exist during Squall's time than this could give us some clues about the distance in time, and maybe even Ultimecia herself.



In particular how many times has the sorceresses' power has transferred. Has their ever been any indication? In the battle during the compression we fight many sorceresses, could this be a clue?

I'm not sure how many times the power has been transferred. I believe the rule is that anyone with the power cannot die whilst they hold that power, and instead are obligated to pass it on to somebody else. When Ultimecia is defeated she passes her power onto a young Edea, creating a weird time loop. The precise order of the events that we see during FFVIII happen because of the events that we see during FFVIII... To some degree. It gets a bit 'timey-wimey'.

About the sorceresses fought during the time compression, it's not clear if some of these might be earlier sorceresses or later ones. They could be pre-Abel or they could be future. Since it is time compression, they could be from anywhere.

Two of the designs in particular wear costumes resembling Estharian aesthetics (to my eye anyway).
sorc 2.png
Sorc 1.png


If so, that probably puts them during an earlier time of Esthar's history when they were more welcoming to sorceresses. Or it could be that the wacky Estharian costumes had a longer heritage than the foundation of Esthar itself and that these are more ancient... Or it could equally be from a time in the future where there is a revival of this sort of thing.

We don't know. At least I don't. :argor:


Prior to entering the Castle we see many White SEED's dead along what was once the orphanage beach. Is this a sign of the final battle with SEED to where Ultimecia won? - discounting Squall and company of course. I've always considered it so.

I think they probably fell during a battle with Ultimecia, perhaps trying to prevent her from throwing her consciousness back into time into Edea. Maybe in the decades (or centuries) after Ellone's death the White SeeDs transferred their attentions to guarding the 'Junction Machine Ellone' instead, and perhaps Ultimecia slew them in order to get her hands on it and enact her grand plan.
Or maybe they went after her after she already took the machine but were slain as they tried to stop her from using it.

I'm not sure if it represents an alternate reality where Ultimecia was successful though, as if it did then that might mean that the time compression was successful and none of the things we saw in the game could have been possible.


I am assuming despite Squall and Company beating Ultimecia in the future that that event only takes place in that timezone? Meaning that all the disaster prior to their victory where Ultimecia reigns supreme still takes into effect up until her defeat? Some time after the games ending, as time will go on Rinoa will die and pass on the sorceresses curse down the time line until it reaches Ultimecia? The only time I know of it not transferring via death is Edea's battle.

I'm not sure how we're meant to imagine time working here. We do see a sort of time loop set up. Not only does Ultimecia transfer her powers into a younger Edea (although she may have had some powers anyway), but the Squall we play as also pops up to advise Edea to found SeeD to defeat the evil sorceress. Hence Squall essentially determines his own fate, but only because he has already lived it....

It gets quite complicated. Would any of what we saw in FFVIII have happened had it not been for it already happening?
How did it happen the 'first time', if it did?

I don't know if we'll ever get answers about this.

Ultimately (forgive the pun) Ultimecia's time period remains deliberately mysterious and there is room for the imagination. This is probably why people developed the 'Rinoa is Ultimecia' theory (now debunked by Square Enix). We know so little about Ultimecia herself so people are desperate to insert their own head canons.

And to be honest I quite like that she is mysterious. It intrigues me.
 

Vivi-Gamer

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Interesting notes on the state of the castle being old, it certainly looks like it has been their for a long time and taken over it's environment. If I remember right, it is stated that sorceresses don't gain any life extension abilities,so Ultimecia won't live out through generations (Unless you count her actions through Edea ect.

Speaking of Edea, she appears normal/ Matron looking in the Credits video, does this have anything due to the change that has taken place? I always like to think that the video in the credits is set a Year later, when the new school term starts so maybe that is time eough, I never felt Eda's appearance was purely cosmetic - or when she is with Cid in the Orphanage she would have already changed I'm sure.

Also I agree with you on the Estha aesthetic on the sorceresses! There is cleraly no other place in the FF8 world so flashy :P
 

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If I remember right, it is stated that sorceresses don't gain any life extension abilities,so Ultimecia won't live out through generations (Unless you count her actions through Edea ect.

Yeah. Rather than giving the host the powers of immortality, I think instead we could compare the Sorceress compulsion to pass on powers to that of a zombified animal when it is taken over by a parasite. It’ll seek out a new host or a new place to spread and infect other animals. Likewise the Sorceress power must be transferred, so when a Sorceress becomes aware that they are dying then they are compelled to pass on the power onto another. It doesn’t mean that they are immortal while they find a new host, only that their instincts take over and they simply must find someone.

I think that’s it anyway. I could be way off base there.

It makes you wonder what a Sorceress would do if she was shot in the head or something…. That rule presumes that the Sorceresses will have time to act upon knowledge of their death, that they are experiencing a slow death due to a mortal wound or illness rather than an instant one.


Speaking of Edea, she appears normal/ Matron looking in the Credits video, does this have anything due to the change that has taken place? I always like to think that the video in the credits is set a Year later, when the new school term starts so maybe that is time eough, I never felt Eda's appearance was purely cosmetic - or when she is with Cid in the Orphanage she would have already changed I'm sure.

I think Edea had a lot going on with her. Her yellow eyes seemed altered to me. At bit like how practising the Dark Side in Star Wars can turn the eyes yellow.

1492528078-anakin-skywalker-dark-side-red-eyes-revenge-of-the-sith.jpg


The shell-like headpiece which Edea wore as a Sorceress also looks like it is painfully grafted onto her face. There’s a veiny pattern possibly partly under her flesh, partly above it, which suggests that something has taken root. A bit like a parasite, as it happens.

Ff8-edea.jpg


Maybe Edea underwent a recovery period after she was freed from Ultimecia’s influence, taking a year to physically and mentally recover and become her old self again. Becoming a Sorceress would have its own complications, but becoming possessed by an evil Sorceress from the future on top of that must have been a nightmare. She'd probably need much therapy and recovery time.
 
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