- “Time... It will not wait... No matter... how hard you hold on. It escapes you... And...”
Ultimecia (アルティミシア, Arutimishia?) is the main antagonist in Final Fantasy VIII. A powerful sorceress from a future many generations ahead of the game's time, her ultimate goal is to compress all time and space to become "a living god".
Ultimecia's exact age and time-frame in the future is kept ambiguous; the only hint given is that Ultimecia is stated to exist "many generations in the future".
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
- “A sorceress trying to change the world by compressing time and taking power from all sorceresses.”
- —Scan description
Ultimecia wears a skin-tight red gown with a plunging neckline that extends to just above her crotch, exposing her neck, chest, stomach and abdomen, and only partially obscuring her breasts. A black collar extends down the neckline to her waist; the collar rests over her shoulders and covers the junction of her black feathered wings. In Final Fantasy VIII the collar appears to be made of feathers, but in Dissidia Final Fantasy it is made of fur. The dress has a short train, which drags along the floor, trimmed either similarly to the collar, or torn and frayed and made dirty, suggested by her dirty bare feet. Long red sleeves with large prominent shoulder pads join with her taloned hands, which are purple in an ombré gradient.
Ultimecia's exposed skin (face, torso and legs) is tattooed with lined patterns. She wears a gold necklace, earrings and hair jewelry among a headdress designed to pull her hair up to resemble horns; silver bangs are left to frame her face. Ultimecia has yellow eyes surrounded by purple eyeshadow and she wears deep red lipstick. She appears to have no eyebrows and has tattoos instead. She doesn't wear any footwear, instead walking (or perhaps flying) barefoot, and although Ultimecia has a human appearance, her toenails resemble a beast's claws that are made even more animalistic in her Dissidia Final Fantasy appearance.
Ultimecia has a definitive sense of style: the interior of her castle is filled with faux-Victorian opulence with an impressive art collection. While possessing Edea Kramer, Ultimecia dresses in a skin-tight evening gown but with an ombré gradient that spans the length of the dress, from black at the top, to deep purple, fading into a paler purple, and finally white at the bottom hem, which is cut into radially symmetric points like petals of a flower. The dress features a luxurious feather collar, similar to the collar of Ultimecia's red dress. The gradient of Edea's dress echoes Ultimecia's gradient on her sleeves, and the bottom hem echoes Ultimecia's dress's bottom hem.
Along with her gown she wears an ornate headdresses and a large golden ornament on her back from which two sheer capes hang, splitting the middle of her back. The color of these capes vary in official artwork between white and a pale silver with a pinkish hue. In Edea's battle sprite and in the FMVs they are sheer white. In Deling City, her waiting room is draped with sheer curtains, and while in Galbadia Garden, she reclines on a throne designed like a translucent flower with lights visible through the crystal, similar to the fronds of luminescent sea kelp.
Ultimecia is a manipulative force who acts through the bodies of other sorceresses for much of the story. She has been described as a malevolent sorceress from many generations in the future, filled with anger and hate. Ultimecia's background and motives are alluded to indirectly and she is met only a few times in the game even as she is possessing other sorceresses, and even then, rarely does she speak of her true motives. The most significant events involving Ultimecia's past and motives are her inauguration speech in Deling City and the events surrounding the final battle during the game's climax.
Ultimecia demonstrates a strategic and diplomatic mind, such as being able to convince the president of Galbadia to employ her as the nation's diplomat, as well as enticing Seifer Almasy, normally a hostile youth, to devote himself to her. In Dissidia Final Fantasy Ultimecia manipulates Kuja into performing for her ends. She is seen trying to convince Sephiroth to join her and Emperor Mateus in their quest of taking control of the world, though they end up failing.
- “This is reality. No one can help you. Sit back and enjoy the show.”
Not much is known of Ultimecia's world. The only thing that is certain is that Ultimecia's castle dominates the landscape and it is implied Ultimecia is the sole ruler of her world, although besides fallen White SeeDs near her castle, no other inhabitants of her world are introduced in the game, their fate unknown.
According to the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, Ultimecia's actions are driven mostly by a means to escape her destined defeat at the hands of the "Legendary SeeD". Ultimecia's knowledge of this fate could be the main instigation for her desire of bringing about time compression, by which Ultimecia could absorb all time, space and existence, and become "a living god", incapable of dying. With this power, Ultimecia would be omnipotent and control all time, space and existence, preventing her fated demise.
With the use of Junction Machine Ellone, something which is actually never seen in the castle, Ultimecia sends her consciousness back in time to take possession of Edea Kramer. Ultimecia's plan is to send her mind far enough back in time to cast the time compression spell, but the Junction Machine has a limit; to get even further back in time, she needs to find a girl called Ellone with a natural gift to send people's consciousnesses through time. Ultimecia uses Edea's body to infiltrate the government of Galbadia, quickly rising the ranks until she is appointed to the position of Ambassador of Galbadia by President Vinzer Deling.
President Deling announces her appointment in the first worldwide televised broadcast in 17 years. President Deling's broadcast is interrupted when he is taken hostage on-air by Seifer Almasy, a renegade SeeD cadet. Ultimecia (within Edea's body) surfaces from a teleportation spell and gains control over him by offering her assistance in saving him from the "predicament" he finds himself in. When the other SeeDs approach her, they are paralyzed by her magic and Seifer allows Ultimecia to teleport him away to Galbadia.
Although it is publicly announced Seifer would be executed for attempting to kill the president, this does not happen and Ultimecia turns Seifer into her Sorceress Knight, making him her personal guardian. It is likely President Deling knew about Ultimecia's actions, but nonetheless, he continues to publicize his new ambassador and plans a parade in Deling City to honor her appointment.
Unbeknown to Ultimecia, General Caraway and SeeD mercenaries formulate a plan to assassinate her at the parade to prevent her from seizing power across the world. Before the parade begins, General Caraway's daughter, Rinoa Heartilly, attempts to trick Ultimecia into taking a bangle created by Dr. Odine to seal away her sorceress power. Ultimecia recognizes the bangle for what it was, telekinetically disables Rinoa and takes control of her body, leading her to the balcony of the Presidential Palace. Ultimecia ascends the podium to give her acceptance speech to the people of Galbadia with Rinoa in tow, but it is a speech of hatred.
According to the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania guide, Ultimecia casts a fascination spell that drives the crowd into a frenzy of reverence. Ultimecia impales President Deling through his chest with her hand in front of the entire city and throws his corpse aside. Ultimecia declares herself the ruler of Galbadia, assuring the beginning of a "new reign of terror". After her speech, Ultimecia brings two Iguion statues on the side of the Arch of Triumph to life and orders them to devour Rinoa as a sacrifice for the celebration. Leaving Rinoa to her fate, Ultimecia boards her parade float which glides out into the street parade.
As Ultimecia passes underneath the Arch of Triumph, the gates fall down trapping her inside. The sniper Irvine Kinneas shoots a bullet at Ultimecia from the top of the clock tower, but she blocks the bullet with a protection spell. Ultimecia is confronted by Squall, Irvine, and Rinoa (who had been rescued from the Iguions). Ultimecia uses Edea's Ice Strike Limit Break to stab Squall through the chest with a large shard of ice.
Instead of killing Squall and his friends, Ultimecia has them imprisoned in D-District Prison and she orders Seifer to extract information about SeeD from Squall by torturing him with high voltage electricity. As Galbadia's new dictator, she declares Garden to be her enemy and orders missiles aimed at both Balamb and Trabia Gardens. Balamb Garden avoids the missile attacks thanks to Squall and the others (who had managed to escape from prison), but Trabia Garden is almost completely annihilated by the missile strike.
Ultimecia takes control of the remaining Galbadia Garden and sets out to find Ellone. Galbadia takes over the towns of Balamb and Fishermans Horizon at her order and the army searches every house to find Ellone, but the search is unsuccessful. Ultimecia sets out to attack Balamb Garden directly, resulting in the Battle of the Gardens. Her invasion ends with Squall leading his allies into Galbadia Garden where she is confronted in the Garden Auditorium.
Within the Garden Auditorium, Ultimecia orders Seifer to dispatch the SeeDs, but when he fails, Ultimecia is forced to do battle. The encounter ends with Ultimecia being bested inside Edea's body. This defeat causes Edea to relinquish her powers to Rinoa, which in turn transfers Ultimecia from within Edea to Rinoa's body. Ultimecia uses Rinoa to revive Seifer and orders him to salvage the Lunatic Pandora from beneath the ocean. After giving Seifer the order, Rinoa's body goes into a coma. Whether Ultimecia forces this upon Rinoa, or if she collapses due to strain of having received Edea's sorceress power, is unknown.
Searching for a means to awaken Rinoa, Squall takes her comatose body up to the Lunar Base to see Ellone, hoping Ellone could cure Rinoa. Seemingly unaware of Ellone's close proximity, Ultimecia seizes the opportunity and uses Rinoa, who comes out of her coma, to unlock sorceress Adel's tomb, which was kept in space orbiting the planet. Ultimecia abandons Rinoa's body in space and leaves her to die.
During all this, Seifer had taken control of the Lunatic Pandora and completed the Lunar Cry which brings monsters down to Earth from the Moon. Adel's unlocked tomb comes down with the monsters and Seifer captures Ellone who had escaped the Lunar Base on an escape pod, and brings her to the Lunatic Pandora for Ultimecia's use.
After Ellone's abduction, Squall and his comrades, having saved Rinoa from space, figure out Ultimecia's goal. They construct a plan to halt Ultimecia's scheme with the Esthar scientist Dr. Odine. They would defeat Adel, leaving Rinoa as the only sorceress in the present era who Ultimecia could control. After Ultimecia would take over Rinoa, Ellone would send both of their consciousnesses into the past, allowing Ultimecia to initiate time compression and Ellone would send both of their minds back to their original bodies. To survive the compression, Squall and his friends would have to keep their bonds strong. Through the strength of their bonds they would wade through the compressing timelines and reach Ultimecia's era.
Ultimecia possesses Adel as she is waking from the frozen state she had keen kept in the tomb, and orders Seifer to capture Rinoa and bring her to Adel's tomb. Ultimecia junctions Rinoa to Adel's body to use her as a source of power for which Adel's own powers could be fully restored. After engaging Squall and his friends in battle, Adel is defeated. Before her death, Adel passes on her powers to Rinoa as planned and Ultimecia possesses Rinoa, allowing Ellone to send both of their minds to the past. Ultimecia casts time compression only to have it temporarily halted when Ellone sends their consciousnesses back to their respective eras. Squall uses the partial compression as a way to enter Ultimecia's future.
After finding a world ravaged by Ultimecia's powers, Squall and his allies enter Ultimecia Castle. After getting past the various traps and puzzles, they confront Ultimecia in the Master Room. The SeeD battle Ultimecia who reaches into Squall's mind to find a power he values most. Using this information she summons Griever, the strongest Guardian Force in Squall's mind.
In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII, Ultimecia also unveils the party's fears of memory loss but claims it is not what they should fear, but the power of Griever, and orders the GF to unleash its ultimate attack, Shockwave Pulsar. After Griever's defeat, Ultimecia junctions herself to him, greatly amplifying her power.
After Griever's body is destroyed, Ultimecia transforms into her ultimate form and declares all existence is denied. Ultimecia is absorbing time, space and existence into her newly transformed body and while in the process of becoming an all-powerful deity attempts to kill the SeeDs by destroying their stocks of magic, casting some of the most potent spells in existence, among them the ultimate offensive spell, Apocalypse.
During the final stages of the battle Ultimecia speaks of trying to fight against time and the futility of it. Her final speech is distinctly different from her pre-battle lines and she seems to be warning the party of something.
Despite her extensive powers, Ultimecia is unable to overcome her fate as the links that bind Squall and his friends protect them from time compression. The final encounter ends in Ultimecia's defeat and she falls in a massive explosion. Ultimecia still cannot die before she passes on her sorceress power and as time begins to decompress, she travels through the time warp and appears in Edea's Orphanage thirteen years before the beginning of the story and passes on her power to the Edea Kramer of the past, unknowingly perpetuating her defeat by SeeD. After passing on her powers, Ultimecia falls to her knees and fades away in a cloud of purple smoke.
- “I am Ultimecia. Time shall compress... All existence denied.”
Ultimecia is a powerful sorceress who focuses on time and space manipulation. In the final battle she casts spells such as Bio, Quake, and Meteor, or absorbs fallen party members into time. She has a devastating magical attack called Hell's Judgement that reduces the party's health to one point, and she employs it often in the final battle.
Ultimecia can manifest and give life to subconscious thoughts and inanimate objects. This includes giving life to Griever and Iguions; Ultimecia manifested and extracted Griever from Squall's subconscious mind. She found Griever to be Squall's conception of the most powerful force that could exist and brought him to life for battle against Squall himself.
Ultimecia uses her ability to compress time to try and become omnipotent through the absorption of all time, space, and existence. She can invade and control an individual's body and mind both internally and externally, and through the use of Junction Machine Ellone utilize this ability throughout different eras. Ultimecia can reach into a person's mind to steal or give life to thoughts, knowledge, and magic. Her ability to manipulate objects and matter has also led to some interesting junction forms.
- Main article: Ultimecia (Boss)
- Main article: Ultimecia (Griever Form)
- Main article: Ultimecia (Final Boss)
There are four boss battles at the climax of Final Fantasy VIII. The first phase is a fight against normal Ultimecia. The second phase is fought with her newly created Guardian Force, Griever. She junctions herself to Griever during the third phase. The fourth and final phase is fought against Ultimecia after she manifests into her existence-absorbing final form.
|"Succession of Witches"|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
Ultimecia has a variety of musical themes that accompany her presence throughout Final Fantasy VIII. Ultimecia's themes often contain the words, "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec", which are first heard in the game's opening song, "Liberi Fatali". All of her themes tend to invoke feelings of melancholy and terror.
"Succession of Witches" is the song most connected with Ultimecia's presence throughout the story. It is accompanied by a chorus chanting the words, "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec". This song is usually heard when Ultimecia appears to Squall and his comrades within the body of a sorceress she has possessed.
"Premonition" is played during the times Ultimecia is fought within the body of Edea and also plays during the first phase of the final battle with Ultimecia in her real body and during the battle with Griever until Ultimecia orders him to use Shockwave Pulsar. The song then transitions into "The Legendary Beast".
"Compression of Time" is an ambient song used when Squall and his party enter the future through time compression. It features a synth saxophone accompanied intermittently by a chorus.
"The Castle" is the dungeon music for Ultimecia Castle that features a baroque organ, and is separated into three sections of varying emotions. The styles of these three sections vary from light-hearted, dark and sinister, and playful intimidation.
"The Extreme" is the game's final battle theme played during the confrontation with Ultimecia's ultimate form. This song is likely Ultimecia's most recognizable theme. A version of the song by the Black Mages is found on the The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight album. It is also used at various times during battles with her in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
- Main article: Ultimecia/Dissidia
Chaos has summoned a combined force of Final Fantasy's ultimate villains to gain control of the Final Fantasy worlds. Ultimecia is one of these villains, and stands as the villain representing Final Fantasy VIII, opposing Squall Leonhart.
Ultimecia is mostly seen allying with the Emperor in an effort to reign in the more destructive members of Chaos's warriors and break the cycle of war. She appears to manipulate Squall's chosen path towards his Crystal, and test his resolve to fight her. Her overall goal is to create a compressed world where everything could exist eternally.
Her alternate outfit is a beige palette swap with red claws.
Ultimecia reappears as a Warrior of Chaos in the prequel to Dissidia Final Fantasy alongside the other characters. She acts as Tifa's enemy, appearing to mock her about her friendship with the other Warriors of Cosmos. She notifies Tifa of Kain's treachery, pointing out he has attacked and incapacitated Zidane. Ultimecia acts as one of the final opponents of Scenario 012, fighting Tifa.
Her second alternate outfit is Edea's attire while under Ultimecia's possession, a black and purple dress with an elaborate headpiece.
Ultimecia appears in the Event Music Sequence "Waltz for the Moon", but only as a possessed Edea.
Ultimecia appears in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. She can perform her signature moves, Great Attractor and Hell's Judgment.
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Ultimecia features in cards in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game in her Dissidia Final Fantasy artwork and EX Mode render.
Ultimecia's name differs depending on the translation. Developer notes in the game's background files reveal the original intended spelling was Ultimisia which is somewhat of a cross between the name's commonly assumed origins of the adjective "ultimate" and the name "Artemisia".
The English and French translations' addition of "Ulti" to the name could be derived from the word, "ultimate". A definition of "ultimate" is to be the furthest away or the best of a kind; Ultimecia was assumed to, once time was compressed, possess every sorceress power bestowed upon humanity by the Great Hyne effectively becoming "the ultimate sorceress". Another theory is that her name derives from the spell Ultima.
The Spanish translation's take on the name (Artemisa) could be derived from Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt (also the Goddess of Childbirth, Virginity, Forests, and the Moon), and Zeus and the nymph Leto's controversial child who never married and remained chaste for all her days. Another possible origin is the spell Ultima which is called "Artema" in Spanish language versions.
The Italian and German translation's take on the name (Artemisia) calls back to at least three prominent historical women:
- Artemisia I of Caria (About 480 BC)
- Known as the "Tyrant of Halicarnassus", she fought alongside the Persians in the Battle of Salamis, but survived the battle using an unorthodox tactic; by sinking a friendly Persian vessel which made the Greeks think she was fighting for their side and backed off.
- Artemisia II of Caria (About 350 BC)
- The wife (and sister) of King Mausolus; she is known in history for her bizarre way of grieving from her husband's death and to memorialize him she had the Mausoleum of Mausolus built, that is known today as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World".
- Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – 1653)
- A female painter, whose theme in many of her paintings is female strength and sometimes even dominance over men.
In Italian culture "Artemisia" is a typical sorceress name.
- Despite being a sorceress of time, Ultimecia hardly uses any time-based spells such as Haste, Slow or Stop in battle. During the second fight against Edea, however, she can use Slow, and in the first stage of the final battle, she is capable of casting Stop.
- The video game website, 1up, ranked the final battle with Ultimecia #15 on their list of the 25 best final boss battles in video game history.
- As a sorceress, Ultimecia is almost the mirror opposite of Rinoa: Ultimecia is an evil sorceress with black wings, while Rinoa is pure and has white wings; Rinoa has black hair and Ultimecia has white-silver hair; Ultimecia wears a prominent red dress, while Rinoa's sweeper is light-blue; Rinoa uses Angelo while fighting and Ultimecia uses Griever; Griever is based on a lion, while Angelo is a dog.
- Design elements from Ultimecia's final form are seen in Anima from Final Fantasy X, most notably the inverted "lower body" which in both cases is crucial to their respective strongest attacks.
- In Final Fantasy VIII Ultimecia's speech patterns put an emphasis on the letter 'c' pronouncing it as a harder sound than normal. This is shown through the game text as replacing this letter with the letter 'k', as seen in the line, "Kurse all SeeDs. Swarming like lokusts akross generations". However, later on, during and after she evolves into her final form she loses this emphasis. She also doesn't speak this way in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series, or while possessing Edea.
- The speech Ultimecia holds in Deling City was almost completely different in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII. She even mentions the words "final fantasy". The original speech can be read here.
- Ultimecia's plight is similar to several Greek tragedies involving self-fulfilling prophesies, such as Oedipus and Perseus. Both involve relatives of protagonists sentencing their infantile kin to die upon learning that they would die by their hand; the child is invariably saved and unknowingly fulfills his destiny. In a similar fashion, Ultimecia tried to eliminate SeeD, the children who would rise up to defeat her, but in so doing created the very circumstances that allowed herself to be defeated.
- Although not credited, Ultimecia is one of the few characters whose voice is heard during the game: her laugh is heard at the beginning of the final battle.
- Ultimecia is the first identifiably female main antagonist in the series; although the Cloud of Darkness has a distinctly female appearance, and is referred to as 'she' in both Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, it is in fact genderless.
- Given the likelihood that Ultimecia killed any other living sorceresses of her own time, as well as the fact that she passed her powers on to Edea (a sorceress of the past) upon death, it is possible that Ultimecia is the last sorceress ever, unless another existed undiscovered in her time.