So out of most of the Final Fantasy series (I haven’t played them all), 8 is my favorite. I love the story, the game play itself, the characters, etc. However, there are some unknowns and discrepancies as far as the story is concerned.
One of these is the fact that after being impaled by a giant shard of ice at the end of disc one, Squall wakes up miraculously healed with no explanation. Edea’s intention was to kill him. Why would she practically cut him in half and then heal him back up? The story changes drastically at this point as well. Here is the theory a lot of fans have come up with.
Squall is dead. He has been dead since the end of disc 1.
This may sound a bit strange, so I’ll give you a couple points to show why I think this is a plausible theory.
- Things start to get a little weird after disc one.
Now you may be thinking, ‘well yeah, it’s a Final Fantasy game. Of course things will be weird.” That’s not really the weird I’m talking about. Odd characters and side quests are a give in when it comes to JRPG’s. It’s the main story that gets really skewed in my opinion. While this is one of the reasons why I love the game, it really helps to drive home the theory that this is all happening in his head as he’s dying.
A couple of story examples I can give you would be:
- The torture scene with Seifer. This happens immediately after Squall wakes up to discover he’s fine after being impaled. Seifer is asking what the meaning of SeeD is. From a psychological stand point, this could be looked at as Squall trying to figure out what the whole point was to the life he had been leading. What did it all really mean?
- The time warping that occurs at the end of the game. The whole thing with Ultimecia was odd and came out of nowhere in my opinion. It was never made a big deal in the beginning of the game. You would think that a time traveling sorceress that had the power to possess people would’ve been heard about before. But she literally popped out of nowhere and took over Edea and then Rinoa. On top of that, the time warp magic in general was a bit off.
- Squall carrying Rinoa from FH all the way to Esthar. He walked to a whole other continent! Yes, the point was he was being romantic and all of that, but that behavior was a complete 180 from pre – disc 2 Squall. This actually brings me into my second point.
2. Squall couldn’t stand Rinoa prior to disc 2.
I love their relationship. I love their love story. However, when looking at it realistically, Squall went from thinking that she was the most annoying person in the world to falling in love with her. The entire first disc from the point they met again in Timber to him falling off of the parade float was filled with him telling her she didn’t belong with them or that she would get in their way. Jump over to disc two and suddenly his thoughts are filled her in general. He carries her to another continent when she woke wake up after her possession, he gives her his incredibly valuable ring, etc.
Yes he’s still incredibly awkward the entire time, and yes he sticks his foot in his mouth a lot. But that’s who Squall is. Once again, if we look at this from a psychological stand point, Rinoa was the only girl who showed interest in him at the time of his ‘death’. So in his mind he could be fabricating what could’ve happened had he survived. He didn’t want to be alone, so even a girl who irritated the hell out of him would be better than no one.
3.The time compression ending made no sense.
Yes, the ending was sweet. It showed us that the power of their love was enough for them to survive and find each other again. How exactly did they make it back? Squall was losing his mind at the end for a little while. And then you throw in this picture that flashed for a second during the myriad of images he saw at the end:
A lot of people think that this picture is enough to prove this theory correct. It is a freaky one, thought to represent either the emptiness Squall feels at the time of his death or the lack of self he feels due to being a SeeD. This picture pops up during a rush of images that are played at the end of the game while Squall is basically losing his mind.
Another point to think about is that as the credits role and we are watching the characters record their victory party, Rinao is seen on the balcony alone. In her final scene Squall is with her and they kiss.
This could simply be a bad angle in which Squall can’t be seen. Some people speculate, however, that Rinoa has conjured him up in her head at the end of the game because she is still heartbroken over his death.
The whole theory is very interesting. Play the game and take it’s story as you will, but remember that stories like these are what make games great. I hope you enjoyed this blog and thank you so much for reading!