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- "You're the best looking guy here. Dance with me?"
- —Rinoa to Squall
The "Waltz for the Moon" scene in Final Fantasy VIII is a notable event in the game due to its importance to the game’s plot as well as its provision as an ample demonstration of the then new motion capture animation and graphics. The game's protagonist, Squall Leonhart, first meets his love interest, Rinoa Heartilly, in this scene in a way reminiscent of old style war-time romance movies.
The waltz is a standard ¾ time waltz with at least eight steps that are performed and repeated in time to the music, as is demonstrated in the scene. It is unclear how old the waltz is or how widespread; however, the song "Eyes on Me," the origin and base for the waltz's music, was created around eighteen years before the game's events.
A recently graduated Squall attends Balamb Garden's SeeD inauguration ball out of necessity. Standing off to the side due to his anti-social nature, he makes no attempt to socialize until a girl in an ivory dress, Rinoa, approaches him and requests a dance.
Attempting to ignore her, Squall tells her that he can't dance. Rinoa remains persistent, however, and literally drags Squall out onto the dance floor, where she attempts to coerce him into performing the waltz like the other couples. Through Rinoa's determination and understanding, Squall learns the steps, and the pair quickly become proficient dance partners. However, as abruptly as she arrived, Rinoa departs, thanking Squall for the dance.
The dance scene was used for a technical demonstration showing off the graphic card capabilities of the PlayStation 2. It should be noted that the demonstration features some additional steps to the waltz.
The scene appears as in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as the Event Music Stage for Final Fantasy VIII.
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- The scene's initially rocky beginning and, by the end of the waltz, the pair's synchronization, could be used as symbolism for the way the relationship between Squall and Rinoa plays throughout the game's story.
- As a tradition in Japanese schools, folk dances or waltzes are performed as an event near the end of a sports festival.
- This scene was depicted, amongst other Final Fantasy scenes, as a cold cast statue as part of Squaresoft's Final Fantasy Cold Cast Collection.