- “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 located on the southernmost peninsula on the Centra continent. Many of the children who were raised there later became students at the various Gardens around the world.
The orphanage's present state is that of ruins. It is unknown exactly what had happened to bring it down in ruins, although the place was abandoned for around 12 years. In the future, although the orphanage itself is not shown, Ultimecia Castle can be seen chained to the edge of the orphanage's backyard. The beach itself cannot be seen, possibly washed or blown away.
During the Sorceress War many children were orphaned and Edea Kramer, a kind and loving sorceress, took several of these children 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 past 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 Ellone.
However, one day, the dying sorceress Ultimecia appeared at the orphanage through a time portal. Ultimecia wanted to pass on her Sorceress Power and Edea voluntarily received it, not wanting any of the orphans to have to bare the burden of becoming a sorceress. With Ultimecia appeared a teenage Squall, who claimed to be a SeeD, a concept he claimed was started by Edea herself, and it appeared he had just killed Ultimecia. The teenage Squall disappeared back into a time portal, leaving Edea confused and bewildered on the meaning of this mystifying event.
From the event, Edea depicted that she must found an organization called "SeeD" in order to train Squall become strong enough to one day take on this Ultimecia. This event marks the point where the orphanage ends up being abandoned. Cid Kramer, Edea's husband, takes on the task of building Balamb Garden where Squall and number of the other orphans enroll as students. The plan was to train them as SeeDs, an elite anti-sorceress military force.
Edea doesn't follow Cid, but instead founds the White SeeD Ship where Ellone is also taken away to be hidden and protected by the White SeeD, a number of orphans who did not enter the Gardens. Little Squall ended up being traumatized by the loss of his "sis", and refused to get close to anyone from that day forward, in fear of losing them like he did Ellone.
The orphanage was thus left empty and slowly withered away unkempt. The children who had enrolled in Balamb Garden forgot their past at the orphanage due to the influence of Guardian Forces. By this time Ultimecia has possessed Edea and uses her as her avatar to take over the world. The SeeD gather their forces to fight her, though not remembering Edea's true identity, until Irvine Kinneas ends up reminding the party and reveals sorceress Edea's identity as their formerly beloved Matron.
Reunited in mind as well as body, the childhood friends decide to return to the orphanage, but on the way, they find Galbadia Garden, and a great battle between Balamb Garden and Galbadia Garden ensues. After Edea's defeat Ultimecia's hold on her is broken, and she becomes the friends' old "Matron" again. Edea and Cid eventually settle back at the orphanage.
The field behind the orphanage also plays an important role in the story. This is where Squall becomes Rinoa's Knight and where they promise to meet each other were they ever to be separated. The orphanage is also seen in the future during the time the party travels to Ultimecia's time, although there will be nothing left of the house at that time.
- Orphanage Entrance
The main walk of the orphanage and the first thing visitors see upon entering. 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 main room of the orphanage. The kids frequently ran through here 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. The backyard directly overlooks the beach and features a rock staircase leading down to it.
A prominent playing area for the children living in the orphanage who would sometimes sneak down after dark to light fireworks. 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. It is also 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.
Cid and Edea within the orphanage play with Centra region ruleset, where Same, Plus and Random are the starting 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.