When I was a little kid... I was about 4 or so... I was in an orphanage. Plenty of kids... All with no parents... It was around the end of the Sorceress War, so I guess it couldn't be helped.
- —Irvine Kinneas
Edea's Orphanage (エデアの孤児院, Edea No Koji In?) is a location in Final Fantasy VIII situated on the shore of the southernmost peninsula on the Centra continent near a lighthouse. It is a large white stone house.
Many of the children who were raised there later became students at the various Gardens around the world. It is possible to visit here on the world map as soon as the player obtains the mobile Balamb Garden, but Squall refuses to enter, deeming the place irrelevant.
During the Sorceress War many children were orphaned, and Edea Kramer, a kind and loving sorceress, took several in and raised them in her orphanage. Among the orphans were Squall Leonhart, Zell Dincht, Quistis Trepe, Irvine Kinneas, Selphie Tilmitt, Seifer Almasy, and Ellone.
Although they would later forget their childhoods at the orphanage, many of the behavioral patterns that would continue into their teenage years, such as Squall's rivalry with Seifer and Seifer's bullying of Zell, were already present during their time in the orphanage. The children referred to Edea as "Matron" and Ellone as "Sis", particularly Squall, who was close to her.
One day, the dying sorceress Ultimecia appeared at the orphanage through a time portal needing to pass on her sorceress power. Edea voluntarily received it, not wanting any of the orphans to bear the burden of becoming a sorceress. Along with Ultimecia appeared a teenaged Squall, who called himself a member of SeeD—an organization he claimed had been started by Edea herself—and who had apparently just defeated Ultimecia. The teenaged Squall disappeared back into a time portal, leaving Edea bewildered on the meaning of this event.
Edea concluded that she must found an organization called "SeeD" to train Squall to become strong enough to one day take on Ultimecia. This event led to the orphanage being abandoned. Cid Kramer, Edea's husband, took on the task of building Balamb Garden, where Squall and number of the other orphans enrolled as students. The plan was to train them as SeeD, an elite anti-sorceress military force.
Edea didn't follow Cid, but instead founded the White SeeD Ship where Ellone was taken away to be protected by the White SeeD, a number of orphans who did not enroll into the Gardens. Squall ended up traumatized by the loss of his "sis", and refused to get close to anyone from that day onwards in fear of losing them like he did Ellone.
The empty orphanage gradually withered away unkempt and during present time it lies in ruins. It is unknown what happened to bring it down, although the place was left abandoned for around twelve years, meaning it could have simply been ravaged by storms.
The children who had enrolled in Balamb Garden forgot their past due to the influence of Guardian Forces, and in time Ultimecia possesses Edea and uses her as her avatar to take over the world. Cid, deeming it is the time to pass on the torch to Squall, leaves the SeeD in his hands while he departs to the ruined orphanage, presumably unwilling to wage war against his wife. The SeeD gather to fight her, not remembering Edea's true identity, until Irvine Kinneas reminds the party and reveals Edea is their formerly beloved Matron.
The childhood friends return to the orphanage, but on the way run into Galbadia Garden, and the Battle of the Gardens ensues with a possessed Edea and her knight Seifer at the helm. After Edea's defeat, Ultimecia's hold on her is broken as she unwittingly gives up her sorceress power, and she becomes the friends' old "Matron" again. Edea settles back at the orphanage with Cid, who is glad to have his wife back to her old self. While possessed, Edea had learned of Ultimecia's goal of compressing all time and space to become a godlike being, but Squall is more interested in the state of Rinoa Heartilly, a party member who had unknowingly received Edea's released sorceress power, been possessed by Ultimecia and entered a coma. Now having recovered his memories, Squall wants to find Ellone whose special powers to send a person's consciousness back in time he hopes could help him find out what happened to Rinoa. Ellone is with the White SeeD, and Edea gives the party a letter to give to them and instructs where to find them.
After discovering Ellone has gone to the secluded nation of Esthar, Squall decides to take Rinoa there and Edea leaves the orphanage to accompany him and the others as she wants to speak to Dr. Odine of Esthar. After finding out she is no longer a sorceress, she returns to the orphanage where she remains with Cid until Squall and the others arrive with a healed Rinoa on the airship Ragnarok.
On the field behind the orphanage Squall becomes Rinoa's Sorceress Knight and the two they promise to meet there should they ever to be separated. The party is called back to Esthar for a final SeeD mission to fell Ultimecia, and Edea implores this is Squall's destiny. The party travels to the future and enters Ultimecia's time, and as the party appears at the future site of the orphanage, there is nothing left of the house. Although the orphanage itself is gone, Ultimecia Castle is chained to the edge of the former orphanage's backyard, the beach itself also gone, possibly washed away. Around this area lie scattered members of the White SeeD, dead, Squall musing the SeeD have continued to fight Ultimecia across the generations.
After Ultimecia's demise at the brink of time compression the timeline begins to revert and Squall and Ultimecia go back in time to appear at the orphanage twelve years ago in the past. Ultimecia dies and gives up her sorceress power to Edea while Squall plants the seeds of SeeD's foundation by telling Edea about it before disappearing back into the compressed time. He makes his way to the flower field in dusk but Rinoa's back is turned and she can't hear him. As she turns, Squall disappears back into the compressed time.
While Squall remains lost in time, Rinoa finds her way to the flower field behind the orphanage where the two of them promised to meet, but Squall never shows. She grasps a flower petal that turns into a white feather that flies away into the sky and eventually locates the lost Squall. Using her sorceress power Rinoa finds him and brings him back to the flower field and as Squall comes to all of the flower petals flying in the air turn into white feathers. The party, as well as Cid and Edea, head to Balamb Garden to celebrate.
- Orphanage Entrance
The entrance is the building's main walk and the first thing visitors see. Up ahead is the entrance to one of the bedrooms, and if one was to go left at the end, they would end up looking over the flower fields. It is unknown where the door on the right leads, although it is speculated that this is Edea's room.
One of the many bedrooms in the orphanage, this one is connected to the main room through the door on the right and can also be accessed via a door that opens out onto the orphanage entrance.
- Main Room
The kids frequently ran through the main room during their many escapades. The door at the rear leads out to the backyard while the door to the immediate left of that door leads into the bedroom.
A small area located behind the main building directly overlooks the beach and features a rock staircase leading down to it from the house.
The beach was a prominent playing area for the children living in the orphanage, who would sometimes sneak down after dark to light fireworks. The lighthouse is visible from the beach, but in present time it is abandoned. In Ultimecia's future the beach does not exist, having eroded away due to time and perhaps the presence of Ultimecia Castle.
- Draw points: Triple (future only, never refills)
- Flower Field
The flower field is where Squall makes the promise to Rinoa and is seen in the opening and the ending FMVs.
Edea's orphanage is one of the last remnants of the long gone civilization of Centra. The orphanage is situated fittingly on the Cape of Good Hope.
- See also: Triple Triad (Final Fantasy VIII)
Cid and Edea within the orphanage play with Centra region ruleset, where Same, Plus and Random are the starting rules.
- Edea's card can be won from herself.
- Seifer's card is held by Cid. It is easier to win it from Cid earlier, however, when he still plays with Balamb's rules.
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"Truth", the third track in the soundtrack's Disc 4, is the theme of the orphanage. A somber piece using harpsichord and wind instruments, with slight variation to the sorceress theme reflecting Edea's matron personality.
- After the party passes through time compression they find supposedly dead White SeeDs on the ground where the beach near Edea's orphanage used to be. Upon closer inspection the player can see one of the bodies blinking. Whether this is a glitch or just a trick of the camera is questionable, however.