- For a history of this land, see: Final Fantasy VIII/Timeline
The world of Final Fantasy VIII has no known name, yet it is as diverse as it is large. It is composed of three large continents and several islands of varying sizes.
The various locales in this world include: the laid-back seaside towns of Balamb and Dollet, the bustling metropoli of Deling City and Esthar City, the remote and mysterious retreats of Shumi Village and the Deep Sea Research Center, the quiet sanctuaries of Winhill and Edea's Orphanage; as well as the composed environments of the scorching Kashkabald Desert, the lush Rosfall Forest, the enigmatic Centra Ruins; and the dark, foreboding soul of Ultimecia Castle.
The world of Final Fantasy VIII uses Gil as its official currency. It is accepted world-wide; however, it is unknown how this came about due to the differences and origins of each country. It is also unknown whether or not this is the only currency used, if not then this may be a globally accepted trade currency.
People in Final Fantasy VIII can be seen working in schools and universities, shops, bars, travel agencies, recruited in armies, raising chocobos, sailing boats and research. One assumes some Final Fantasy VIII residents fish and grow produce to supply their fellow countrymen with consumable goods and that there must be a market in every city/village. One such job that is explored in detail is the profession of being a SeeD mercenary.
The surface of the world of Final Fantasy VIII is covered in large part with water, having three large continents and several islands of varying sizes. The world has two main superpowers: Galbadia, a military dictatorship, and Esthar, a scientifically advanced nation.
There are also many other countries - those mentioned are Balamb, Dollet and Trabia. Timber and Winhill were once independent states, but were annexed by Galbadia prior to the start of the game. It can be assumed that other countries exist - Centra, once home to the Centran Empire (which was destroyed by the Lunar Cry), appears to be empty in-game, aside from the Centra ruins and Edea's Orphanage.
The climates reflect that of some of Earth's primary western countries (Europe, America, Africa). In the north is a snow-covered, northern arctic climate in Trabia that gradually turns into barren lands and plains further south in Esthar, which were altered by Esthar's experiments. In Galbadia and Balamb, as solitary lands girted by ocean, the landscapes are primarily filled with mountain ranges, forests and green fields. Galbadia also possesses a desert known as the Dingo Desert.
Further south in the country of Centra the lands are barren due to the events that lead to the Centra Crater although there are tentative fields in the southern-most island. The world's largest desert, Kashkabald Desert, is also located on this land.
The world of Final Fantasy VIII consists of two types of fauna; native and foreign. Most common animals such as chocobos, cats and dogs (a deer also appears during an FMV of Galbadia Garden attacking Balamb Garden; and a UFO is seen capturing a cow) are considered native fauna because they originate on the planet, while some other species (namely the monsters) are considered foreign because they originate from the moon, having been brought to the planet due to the Lunar Cry. All plant species on this world resemble that of the real-world Earth with the exception of plant-like monsters such as the Ochu and Malboro.
The politics of the world of Final Fantasy VIII are primarily based around conflict between nations, at least that is what is explored during the game. There is the dictatorship of Galbadia and Esthar and their constant war between each other as well as the numerous freedom-fighter rebellions originating from Timber. Also, there exists the apparent neutrality of SeeD and its existence as a public mercenary force available for hire from both sides.
The primary mythology explored in the game is that involving the Sorceress and the obtainment of her near godlike powers; called Sorceress Power. Hyne is said to be the god who created all mankind and the Sorceress Power originates from him.
Other themes explored are the mythology of ghosts, spirits and aliens. Such themes are encountered and explored by the player during certain events in the game.
- Triple Triad
- Flower Arrangement/Crafts
Though mostly relative to real-world late 1990's, there are some instances in the world of Final Fantasy VIII where the extent of technology goes far more into the realm of science fiction.
By far the most advanced civilization in the world of Final Fantasy VIII Esthar owes this largely due to its priority of technological advancement resulting in such endeavors as space travel. Purely scientific, the secretive country possesses flying cars and camouflage shielding that renders its city hidden from the rest of the world. It was Estharian technology that created the Lunatic Pandora and enabled it to become mobile. It was also Estharian technology that enabled the common person to be able to manipulate magic as a weapon, a trait that was long believed only possible for a Sorceress. Estharian tech was also used to battle, contain and even mimic Sorceress Power.
The unique Gunblade weapon is part sword blade and part gun mechanism. The firing of the Gunblade's gun-chambers induced a tremor in the blade effectively making it similar to a vorpal or vibro blade, escalating its cutting capacity. In Final Fantasy VIII there are at least eight models of the weapon available. Each with a unique design and required unique items to modify.
A unique technology that is rediscovered during the game is the technology of the ancient Centra and their mobile shelters. While comparatively outdated in most scientific aspects the technology of the Centra seem to be embedded or fused with magic and thus are of a type that is largely undiscovered in the rest of the world. Primary examples of working Centra technology are the mobile Garden installations Balamb Garden and Galbadia Garden, who are both rendered mobile over land and water thanks to mystical Centra technology.
- Humans - Most intelligent beings in the world of Final Fantasy VIII are human. Some humans receive Sorceress Power.
- Shumi - Humanoids who evolve throughout their lifetime into forms such as Moombas and possibly even humans. They hail from the Shumi Village but can be seen elsewhere.
- Aliens - A short blue humanoid, PuPu, visits the world of Final Fantasy VIII during the course of the game and can be seen abducting numerous artifacts and a cow before his UFO is destroyed.
- Monsters - Monsters are extraterrestrial beings from the planet's moon that have being deposited on the planet due to the Lunar Cry. Many are aggressively hostile and are not beyond invading towns and other settlements to cause chaos.
Guardian Forces are beings of immense power that can offer their power to compliment another's. It is unknown how they are formed or even where they come from however it is known that, once their trust has been earned, they can be extremely loyal to their charge and obey their orders without question. There is a rumor that excessive use of the Guardian Forces can cause memory loss in the wielder due to the presence of the Forces.
List of Final Fantasy VIII LocationsEdit
- Balamb Garden
- Fire Cavern
- Balamb Town
- Centra Excavation Site
- Galbadia Garden
- Tomb of the Unknown King
- Deling City
- D-District Prison
- Missile Base
- Fishermans Horizon
- Centra Ruins
- Trabia Garden
- Edea's Orphanage
- Great Salt Lake
- Lunar Base
- Sorceress Memorial
- Deep Sea Research Center
- Shumi Village
- Lunatic Pandora
- Ultimecia Castle
- Vienne Mountains
- Esthar City
- Lunatic Pandora Laboratory
- Lunar Gate
- Tears' Point
- Obel Lake
- Island Closest to Heaven
- Island Closest to Hell
The overall architect in Final Fantasy VIII was designed with western European themes in mind and as such many architectural examples in the game can be linked back to modern real-world buildings and locations that are both real and theoretical.
Different Architectural styles in Final Fantasy VIII:
Real World InfluencesEdit
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. During the present time of Final Fantasy VIII most of the region that used to belong to the Holy Dollet Empire is claimed by Galbadia, and only the duchy of Dollet remains.
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.