Located on the large continent to the east of Galbadia, Esthar is Galbadia's major rival in terms of world politics, but little is known about it for much of the game. Esthar is a technologically-advanced society governed by a president. Esthar has, since the Sorceress War, hidden themselves from the world using a cloaking device, known as Optical Camouflage System, or OCS for short.
- See also: Information
- Esthar (1)
Founded by people who immigrated to a continent east of Centra around the same time Dollet Empire was founded. The mild climate and temperament of the people soon gave way to scientific advancement.
- Esthar (2)
Started the Sorceress War and fought against the world under Adel's rule. Their sorceress and their scientific powers posed a worldwide threat. After abruptly declaring an end to the war, Esthar closed its borders and has kept silent ever since. No details are known.
- Esthar (3)
Governed by President Laguna and his aides. Due to their concern over Dr. Odine's inventions having a negative effect on the state of world security, they closed off their country for 17 years. It is very likely that President Laguna will be criticized for keeping silent for so long.
At the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII, Estharian territory spanned the entire Eastern continent.
About 4,000 years before game events the civilization of Centra created two major empires; Holy Dollet Empire and Esthar. While Dollet in the west began to excel in military force, Esthar, in the east, grew scientifically advanced. At some point in history, they began to focus more and more on military affairs aided by their superior technology, which eventually culminated as the Sorceress War, under the rule of Sorceress Adel.
It is unknown when Adel was inaugurated as the nation's ruler, but prior to the game's events, she made a bid for world domination, which was opposed by Galbadia's growing military. The war between the two nations came to be known as the Sorceress War. During the war Adel sought out potential heirs to her power and sent out search teams across the world. She eventually set her eyes on a young girl named Ellone in Winhill, however, when the Estharian forces took her, her caretaker, Laguna Loire, went after her.
Following her to Esthar, he would eventually be instrumental in Adel's downfall, staging a coup, trapping her in a stasis chamber and blasting her into space. Immediately after (17 years before game events), Esthar closed its borders to the rest of the world, and was ever since known as "The Silent Nation". Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Adel's Tomb, which Esthar launched into orbit, is the reason behind the worldwide Radio Interference.
The president rules the nation from the palace in the center of the city, though in the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania it is mentioned that the title is more symbolic and most of the political affairs are handled by the aides and the rest of the government. The city keeps itself hidden from the rest of the world by a cloaking device that renders the city invisible to persons crossing the Great Salt Lake. Crossing the Horizon Bridge is considered the only way of entering the country, as air travel doesn't appear to exist in the world of Final Fantasy VIII, perhaps due to the radio interference.
The City of Esthar is built of luminous blue buildings and translucent pathways. The Ultimania mentions the streets are kept so clean the long robes of the national dress will not get dirty. One can travel the city by floating plate lifters. Most shopping is handled by computers, with no physical shops in the shopping arcade.
Further, according to the Ultimania, Esthar’s military power exceeds Galbadia's; soldiers' powers are enhanced by their special armor, and they wield swords that have built-in shotguns. The Ultimania reveals that Esthar is developing mechanized soldiers, which will eventually replace people in military service. A common concern is that the soldiers rely too much on the enhancement suits, and the refining of their natural strength is neglected. Adel and her time in power are something of taboo subjects, and the younger generation, never having to had experience the torments of living under the sorceress's rule, are largely ignorant on the details.
Esthar comes into the story when Squall is searching for Ellone, wanting her help in saving Rinoa, who has become comatose for unknown reasons. He sets out to cross the Horizon Bridge on foot, the only known way into the mysterious nation. The rest of the party follow him with Edea, who wants Dr. Odine's help in getting rid of her Sorceress Powers, so that Ultimecia may not possess her again.
They meet Dr. Odine in Esthar who examines Edea and Rinoa. As it turns out, Edea is no longer a sorceress; she had unknowingly passed her powers on during the Battle of the Gardens. Squall learns that Ellone has gone to the Lunar Base. While Squall and Rinoa set off to space to find Ellone, the Galbadian army, led by Seifer, comes to Esthar. They have salvaged the Lunatic Pandora from the bottom of the sea, and with it, they induce the Lunar Cry, which brings down Adel's Tomb, along with a swarm of monsters. Esthar takes a heavy blow from the Lunar Cry, the capital being overridden by lunar creatures.
After having learned that Rinoa is a sorceress, the Esthar government wants her contained, similar to Adel. As soon as Rinoa, now out of her coma, returns from orbit, she is taken to the Sorceress Memorial. Squall, with the aid of Ward Zabac (though Squall doesn't know it at the time) rescues her, and the party flees Esthar.
Having heard of Ultimecia's plan to destroy the world with Time Compression, Esthar comes up with a plan to save the world by sending a team of soldiers to the future to kill Ultimecia. They want to hire out Squall's team for the task, and so the party sets out to Esthar for the one final mission.
Some of the locations found in Esthar include:
- Great Salt Lake
- Esthar City
- Lunatic Pandora Laboratory
- Lunar Gate
- Lunar Base
- Sorceress Memorial
- Lunatic Pandora
- Tears' Point
Transport and CraftEdit
Esthar is present as a room for preset characters of the game's Multiplayer Mode Online Lobby.
Esthar is used as the background during Battle Music Sequences for "Man With The Machine Gun" and "Force Your Way".
Esthar might be a reference to "Ishtar Gate", which was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon, named after the Mesopotamian goddess of love, who was the daughter of Sin, the god of the moon. This echoes Esthar's interest in the moon, and being the eighth gate, may be an allusion to the number eight as well.
- During the first visit in Esthar City, Kiros and Ward can be found near the presidential palace, though the player cannot speak to them.
- The nation of Centra echoes the real world Roman Empire, with a somewhat reminiscent architectural style. In the world of Final Fantasy VIII Dollet and Esthar were founded by emigrants from the Centra, the old Dollet being known as Holy Dollet Empire, as an allusion the Holy Roman Empire, a weak, fragmented empire of city states proclaimed as a successor to the Roman Empire. The other empire with a claim to being the successor to the Roman Empire is the Byzantine Empire that was more technologically and culturally advanced than the Holy Roman Empire, but also intentionally cut-off and secretive. This reflects Esthar's role in the game.