- This article is about the Final Fantasy VIII character. For the Final Fantasy Tactics A2 character, see Adelle.
- —Message broadcast in radio static by Sorceress Adel
Sorceress Adel (アデル, Aderu?) (Italian: Adele) is a minor antagonist in Final Fantasy VIII. She is a sorceress who was once the ruler of Esthar for an unknown period of time. Though Adel is always referred to as a "she", her physical form is masculine with a muscular frame with thick shoulders. Adel is also at least four times the size of the average person.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
One look at Adel and her most notable physical trait is obvious; she is very masculine. Possessing a torso more akin to a well built male, there have been many debates concerning her gender. Her red hair is tied into a long plait down her back, and her clothing consists of a headpiece, a black skirt with frock, arm bands, and a metallic structure, reminding one of an armor (although this piece of clothing is often confused as being part of the multiple black tattoos that adorn her torso, and therefore creating the impression of her not wearing something to cover up her upper body). Her skin is pure white and her eyes are of a crimson color matching her hair.
On her back, a set of her tattoos work together as a mirror-image of her wings. In the fighting sequence, the tattoo disappears and is replaced by an actual set of wings. Apparently, this happens whenever Adel summons her immense powers and intends to use them.
Adel's personality is mostly ignored throughout Final Fantasy VIII. She is actually quite the rarity in that even when she is finally resurrected and fights the party while junctioned to Rinoa, she says nothing to the player. She is said to be cruel, brutal, avaricious, power-hungry, and utterly ruthless. She has no morals and no sympathies; she is the epitome of pure evil. None of her actions in the game show anything more than this.
- “You thought I would fall for that trick?”
- —Sorceress Adel
Sorceress Adel rose to power in the country of Esthar during the time period between the destruction of the Centra Empire and the advent of the Sorceress War. Precisely how she became the ruler of Esthar is unknown, although Selphie Tilmitt mentions similarities between the rise of Edea Kramer and Adel in her diary. It can be assumed that Adel cooperated with the former head of Esthar before taking over the position forcefully, possibly through assassination.
Few details are known about her rule. This is unsurprising, considering that to this day Estharians refuse to speak of her in more than hushed voices. Although Estharians have never elaborated on the enormity of the cruelties Adel had performed, it may be inferred that her atrocities were truly horrendous. Before the game's events, Adel began what was to be known as the Sorceress War; when she pitted the forces of Esthar against Galbadia in what was presumed the first step towards world domination. Galbadia fought back fiercely and instead of being conquered, expanded its own power and became a dominant nation in its own right.
During the war two last-minute advances gave hope that Esthar would eventually achieve victory. First, one of Esthar's scientists, a brilliant but unbalanced man named Dr. Odine, stumbled upon the secret of junctioning magic and powerful creatures called Guardian Forces for human use. Dubbed "junctioning", it allowed the attached human to tap into the powers of the Guardian Force and allowed him or her to cast a form of magic called "para-magic". Although a far cry from the powers available to a sorceress, para-magic was still far beyond the ken of normal beings. Had Adel managed to junction every Esthar soldier to a Guardian Force before the end of the Sorceress War, it is doubtful whether Galbadia could have endured her onslaught.
Secondly, Adel discovered the Crystal Pillar, a large pillar which controls the periodic Lunar Cry. Realizing the destructive power she could harness by using the Lunar Cry as a weapon, Adel ordered a special compound known as the Lunatic Pandora built around the Crystal Pillar. The Lunatic Pandora served two purposes: it made the Crystal Pillar mobile, allowing Adel to choose the precise location of each Lunar Cry, and it amplified the Pillar's frequency emanations, causing the "cries" prompted by the Pillar from inside the Pandora to be even more destructive. It is possible Adel planned to use the Lunatic Pandora as a Trojan Horse, giving it to Galbadia as a peace offering just in time for the Lunar Cry to cause the country's utter annihilation.
At the same time, however, Adel was planning for the future. Since a sorceress must pass on her power to another upon death before she can rest, Adel intended find herself a successor. To facilitate this, Adel ordered the mass kidnapping of hundreds of young girls, planning to choose one with the most potential and raise her to become the next tyrant of Esthar.
Fortunately, it was in her search for an heir that Adel made her fatal mistake. The girl she chose was Ellone, the adopted daughter of Laguna Loire and Raine. Ellone, with her unique ability to send another person's consciousness back in time, appealed to a sorceress looking for gifted girls. When Laguna, a former Galbadian soldier, discovered Ellone had been kidnapped, he stopped at nothing to rescue her.
Laguna realized, had he simply rescued Ellone and taken her home, Adel would follow them indefinitely and the only way to save Ellone was to get rid of Adel entirely. Laguna joined the Estharian resistance against her rule. Knowing that simply killing Adel would result in passing on her sorceress powers to someone else, the resistance came up with an alternative, safer solution: If Adel could not be killed, perhaps she could be contained.
To this end, Laguna enlisted the help of his friends; Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac, as well as the scientific knowledge of Dr. Odine. Although initially loyal to the sorceress, Odine's ultimate desire was simply to be left to his research. When he saw the turn of the tide coming, he joined the resistance to build a special cryo-containment device, which would effectively bind the sorceress's powers and place her in suspended animation. The resistance placed the device inside a building that would later become known as the Sorceress Memorial.
Resistance fighters took control of the Lunatic Pandora and sunk it deep into the ocean, both to draw out Adel and to prevent or at least reduce future Lunar Cries. When Adel came to investigate, resistance members told her they believed those responsible to be holding Ellone hostage inside the Memorial. Much to the resistance's delight, the sorceress took the bait.
Although it is possible Adel realized that it was a trap even before she walked into the Memorial, she trusted her power was enough to protect her from anything which might be waiting. When Adel entered the building, she found a facsimile of Ellone resting within a container, Laguna following close behind. Before Adel could retaliate, Laguna pushed her backward and Kiros and Ward remotely closed the container, binding her in thin golden cords and freezing her almost instantaneously. Releasing a gelatinous cooling and buffering agent, the device protected the frozen Adel from outside contact of any kind, hopefully preventing any stimulus from ever reawakening the sorceress.
The container, appropriately dubbed Adel's Tomb, was launched into space and brought to rest in orbit around the planet. It wasn't without side effects, however; Adel's Tomb caused the worldwide radio interference, which rendered most wireless technology useless for the next 17 years.
Although peace and tranquility returned to Esthar, the battle for freedom was not over. Seventeen years later sorceress Ultimecia manages to possess Rinoa Heartilly and reach the Lunar Base, thus gaining access to Adel's Tomb. Rinoa deactivates the trap, freeing Adel from her prison, as Seifer Almasy starts a Lunar Cry from the Lunatic Pandora. As monsters travel down from the moon, Adel's Tomb is caught up in the boiling morass and brought down with them. She enters the Lunatic Pandora and slowly begins to regain consciousness. Ultimecia leaves Rinoa's body and possesses Adel's.
Adel's reviving form is taken aboard the Lunatic Pandora, while Squall Leonhart and his allies make their way on board. Seifer kidnaps Rinoa and presents her to the possessed Adel, who junctions Rinoa to increase her powers. Adel loses the battle against the SeeDs and upon Adel's defeat Ultimecia leaves her mind and Rinoa is freed. With no other options, Adel transfers her powers to Rinoa and dies.
- Main article: Adel (Boss)
Adel is fought at the start of Disc 4 in the Lunatic Pandora. Rinoa has been junctioned onto her, forcing the player to not only be mindful about their choice of attack, but also ensure that Rinoa stays alive as Adel drains her life force in order to restore her own.
Adel, like many other names that have "Adel" in them, has a meaning related to "noble" for males (it is also the Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish word for nobility) - most likely referring to her high status as the ruler of Esthar. It is also a genderless name.
The female meaning of the name Adel is "God is Eternal". This could have a direct correlation with Ultimecia's Japanese name referring to "Artemis" the Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon.
- In the French version of the game, Adel is described as intersex, with characters using both pronouns, "he" and "she", when they talk about the sorceress.
- According to the Debug Menu, the FMV of Adel junctioning herself to Rinoa was going to be on Disc 3, so it is likely Adel was going to be the final boss of Disc 3 instead of Seifer, but her boss fight and FMV were moved to Disc 4 likely due to lack of space on Disc 3. This would have kept with the pattern of ending each disc with a sorceress battle.
- Adel only speaks three lines throughout the entire game: "What is going on?" "Where?" and "You thought I would fall for that trick?" - however, on Squall's first visit to the Timber TV Station, several repeating phrases are shown on the huge screen, including "IAMALIVEHERE" (I am alive here), "IWILLNEVERLETYOUFORGETABOUTME" (I will never let you forget about me), and "BRINGMEBACKTHERE" (Bring me back there). These are undoubtedly the words of Adel, whose tomb in space is the cause of the worldwide radio interference down on the planet.
- Prior to Adel, sorceresses seem to have an innate element or magic type they specialize in; in Edea's case it's Ice, and in Ultimecia's case it's Time and Space. Adel does not have such an obvious magic affinity; however, due to casting so many non-elemental spells, Adel may simply be affiliated in Energy and high damage, non-elemental spells in general.
- In discussing the plan to take advantage of Time Compression, Dr. Odine suggests that Adel could potentially overrule Ultimecia's consciousness when the latter attempts to control her. This is indicative, at the very least, of Adel's willpower, but whether it means anything in terms of her power as a sorceress is unclear.
- Adel's design with the claws, bone-like black wings, and some of her face paint resemble Ultimecia's design.