People say you can't change the past. But even still, if there's a possibility, it's worth a try, right?
Ellone (エルオーネ, Eruōne?) is a non-player character in Final Fantasy VIII who is pursued by evil sorceresses who wish to exploit her mysterious powers over time. In Japan, published Final Fantasy VIII materials spelled her English name as Ellione.
Ellone's look and overall clothing style don't change much over the years. As a child she wears a blue short-sleeved dress with a white collar and yellow shoes, while her attire as an adult consists of a blue sleeveless top with a bigger white collar, paired with a white, below the knee skirt and similar yellow shoes. She wears a green shawl and maintains her hair trimmed above the shoulders and has brown eyes.
Ellone's dream is to have her family reunited, and she uses her unique powers to achieve this. When she discovers she cannot change the passage of time, she learns to accept the present and despite being hunted her entire life for her unusual ability to send a human's consciousness back in time, Ellone maintains a childlike innocence about the world, even as a young adult.
Ellone was born in the village of Winhill on the Galbadian continent, about four years before Laguna's Winhill days, making her at least five years older than Squall. Ellone lived with her parents next to the town square, next door to the town pub, but when she was two, the Sorceress War broke out between Galbadia and Esthar and Estharian troops raided Winhill.
Esthar's leader, Sorceress Adel, was searching for an heir, and the soldiers demanded the village hand over all of its young girls for consideration. Ellone's parents refused to hand over their daughter and were gunned down for their rebellion. Ellone escaped the Estharians' clutches, and once the soldiers had departed, she was taken in by her next door neighbor, Raine.
Ellone and Raine enjoyed a peaceful life in Winhill and Ellone accepted Raine as a mother figure. Their makeshift family was not completed, however, until Laguna Loire, a Galbadian soldier, washed up on a beach near Winhill after being critically wounded in a battle. Raine took him in and in under six months nursed him back to health. Eternally grateful, Laguna remained with Raine, repaying his debt to her by helping her raise Ellone and patrolling Winhill in a daily effort to keep its residents and streets safe and monster-free.
Ellone bonded with Laguna, calling him "uncle" and following him everywhere. Laguna was similarly taken with the little girl, and enjoyed playing and joking with her. Ellone encouraged Raine and Laguna to develop their relationship, and they fell in love and married. Their family was torn apart when Sorceress Adel's soldiers returned to kidnap Ellone, this time succeeding and taking her away to Esthar to become Sorceress Adel's successor. Laguna, along with his friends Kiros and Ward, departed for Esthar to rescue Ellone, Laguna never learning Raine was pregnant with his child before leaving.
Once in Esthar Laguna, Kiros, and Ward joined forces with a resistance group against Adel and Laguna enlisted the help of Estharian scientist Dr. Odine to build a special cryo-containment device to bind the sorceress's powers and place her in suspended animation. The resistance placed the device inside a building outside of the capital, which would later become known as the Sorceress Memorial. They lured Adel to the site using a holographic projection of Ellone. Laguna and Ellone reunited, Adel's frozen body was shot into outer space.
With the threat of Adel removed, Laguna hoped he and Ellone could return to Winhill. The Estharians begged him to stay and unaware of Raine's condition, Laguna agreed, and sent Ellone home to Winhill ahead of him, promising to follow when his work was finished. Ellone returned to witness Raine's baby being born, who was named Squall, but Raine died shortly after.
The people of Winhill sent both Squall and Ellone to Edea Kramer's orphanage where Ellone—who was older than the other children—helped care for them like an older sister earning the nickname "Sis". Although Squall had no recollection of his mother or his hometown, he was drawn to Ellone, and became more attached to her than the other children.
One day a dying Sorceress Ultimecia and a teenage Squall appeared out of a time warp. Mortally wounded, Ultimecia transferred her sorceress power to Edea, who was a sorceress herself, albeit she tended to conceal it from the world. Squall told Edea he is a SeeD, a concept he claimed was started by Edea herself, before disappearing back into the time warp. Puzzled by these events, Edea concluded the orphan boy Squall will one day become a SeeD and defeat a powerful sorceress. For this prophecy to come true, she must ensure the SeeD organization is founded to train Squall to become strong enough to one day meet his fate.
Because SeeD was to be an anti-sorceress force, Edea's husband, Cid Kramer, was reluctant to go with the plan, fearing the SeeD might one day want to fight Edea. Edea and the orphans who were not joining the Gardens went into hiding on the White SeeD Ship, and Ellone and Squall were separated. The orphans who joined Edea and Ellone on the White SeeD Ship would become the White SeeD to ensure Edea and Ellone's safety; Ellone herself needed protection as Dr. Odine was keen to have her back for his studies. Whisked away under utmost secrecy, Ellone did not have a chance to say goodbye to her younger brother who grew up believing she had intentionally abandoned him.
Ellone remained with the White SeeD for many years. Although grateful to those who had taken care of her, she wondered how things might have turned out had Raine lived and Laguna returned to Winhill in time. One day, twelve years after Balamb Garden's construction, Edea was possessed by Ultimecia and she left the White SeeD Ship to pursue a political career in Galbadia. Ellone, with a number of White SeeD, embarked to Balamb Garden to tell Cid of this turn of events. While in Balamb Garden she comes across a wounded Squall in the infirmary, but he no longer recognizes her.
Ellone comes up with a plan to use her power to prevent her own kidnapping, thus stopping Laguna from leaving Winhill and abandoning Raine, and sends Squall's consciousness back in time to inhabit Laguna's past in a dream world. Although unsuccessful at changing the past, Ellone comes to learn how much Laguna had loved her by viewing the past through his eyes. Ellone's attempt to change the past teaches her an important lesson—people may not be able to change the past, but they can make the most of the present. Determined to regain her family, Ellone returns to the White SeeD Ship only to escape again at earliest opportunity, fleeing to Esthar on board an Estharian ship in search of Laguna.
Ellone follows Laguna to the Lunar Base Space Station where she tells him he has a son. Squall follows her to the base, desperate to find a cure for a comatose Rinoa Heartilly. Squall, who has recovered his childhood memories, begs Ellone to send his consciousness into Rinoa's past to see what has happened to her and prevent it. Ellone sends Squall into Rinoa's most recent past and helps him uncover the secret to her strange behavior: Rinoa has become a sorceress and been possessed by Sorceress Ultimecia from the future. As the Lunar Cry begins the space station is destroyed and Ellone and the staff evacuate on an escape pod, which lands on the coast of Esthar. The pod is found by Galbadian forces and Ellone is taken captive within the Lunatic Pandora.
Squall and his friends meet with Dr. Odine and Laguna and learn Laguna is the president of Esthar, which is why he was unable to get away and reunite with Ellone for so long. As explained to Squall and his friends by Dr. Odine, in the future, Sorceress Ultimecia is using an invention of his called "Junction Machine Ellone" to send her consciousness into the past to possess past sorceresses to achieve time compression to become a godlike being. The junction machine mimics Ellone's powers and was created by Dr. Odine as a result of experimentation done on her brainwaves when she was held captive in Esthar as a child. The machine has limits to how far back it can send Ultimecia, and so she wants Ellone to use her power to travel even further back in time. Odine uses this knowledge to design a plan to stop Ultimecia: Squall and his SeeD partners have to do away with Sorceress Adel, forcing Ultimecia to possess the only sorceress left in the present, Rinoa.
Squall and his friends infiltrate Lunatic Pandora and save Ellone and kill Adel. Once Rinoa is possessed, Ellone sends both Rinoa's and Ultimecia's consciousnesses as far back in time as she can. Ellone pulls Rinoa back to the present and sends Ultimecia back to the future, halting the time compression (if only temporarily), allowing Squall to reach Ultimecia and defeat her. Laguna returns to Winhill, visiting Raine's grave, and Ellone's family is finally reunited: with her "uncle" back in Winhill and Squall—her brother in every way apart from blood relation—looking over them from Balamb Garden.
'Connect' is just what I call it. It's when I use my special power. Oh, I know... I must be asleep. That's why I can't control it.
- —Ellone, to Squall, at the end of the fourth Laguna sequence
Both Adel and Ultimecia seek her for her unusual powers that allow Ellone to connect with the consciousness of someone she knows, and send their consciousness back in time to experience the events of someone else she knows. She can also communicate with others in the present through telepathy. When Ellone links herself mentally to another person, she calls it "connecting" and when she severs the mental link, she calls it "disconnecting".
Ellone can use her power consciously, but it can activate while she is asleep, and she is unable to disconnect until she wakes up. Ellone can only link her mind with those in the present, but once she sends their mind back in time both she and the person she connected to can experience the past. When Ellone connects with someone, the subject falls into a sleep-like state. They experience the events of the past, which they may interpret as vivid dreams. The individual in the past, whose actions are being experienced, may be aware of those in the present, hearing their voices as indistinct buzzing. The person viewing the past is only a passenger and Ellone believes they cannot directly influence the person in the past.
At one point, Ellone sends Squall's mind back in time to experience Rinoa's final minutes and he speaks to her and gives her the strength to survive a bit longer. The Junction Machine Ellone allows the user to control the person in the past, as Ultimecia does to control Edea and Rinoa. It is unknown if this is due to Ultimecia's own magic, or the Junction Machine Ellone being stronger than Ellone.
The Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania' explains that Ellone's ability to connect to the mind of another is the same kind of process as when a person junctions a Guardian Force; one's consciousness can't be connected to another without an intermediary with a special ability—a Guardian Force, Ellone herself, or the Junction Machine Ellone.
The Dissidia 012 character file for Ultimecia refers to Ellone as a sorceress, but this is an erroneous translation, as the Japanese profile merely refers to her as one with power over memories.
- See also: Triple Triad
Ellone possesses Laguna's rare Triple Triad card. The card can be won from her while aboard the Lunar Base. This may prove to be a challenge as the Lunar Base uses almost all the card rules found across regions; this can be made easier if the player by chance abolishes the Random rule.
"Ellone" may be derived from "Elona".Elone is a variant of Hebrew "Alona" and Hungarian and Greek "Ilona". It means "oak tree" and "light".
- The quote "You're my only hope", a line Ellone speaks to Squall, may be an allusion to Star Wars where Princess Leia says the same line in a recorded message meant for Obi Wan Kenobi. It is unknown if this is an intended allusion, but Final Fantasy VIII already has multiple other allusions to Star Wars.