Greetings, I am Vinzer Deling, lifelong president of Galbadia. Today, I stand before you to make the following proposition. We the people of this world have the power to end all wars.
- —President Vinzer Deling
Vinzer Deling (ビンザー・デリング, Binzā Deringu?), more formally known as the Deling President (デリング大統領, Deringu Daitōryō?) is a non-playable character and minor antagonist in Final Fantasy VIII. As president of Galbadia and a historic figure, Vinzer Deling's term extended through the Sorceress War and through to during the game's opening events. Deling resides in the Galbadia's capital, Deling City, which is named after himself.
Vinzer Deling, an ambitious man obsessed with power, wheedled his way through the ranks of the Galbadian government until he reached the office of president. At the time Galbadia was relatively small and not known for its strength. It is unclear at what point in history Deling assumed the seat of power. The Anarchist Monthly magazine clippings found in the Forest Owls base say that Deling became the president after the second Sorceress War ended, and to gain support quickly, he carried out the invasion of Timber. However, this is the only point in Final Fantasy VIII where it is mentioned that there would have been more than one Sorceress War; all the other sources in the game refer the term Sorceress War to the war between Galbadia and Esthar, which took place while Vinzer Deling was already the president of the nation.
The Sorceress War against Esthar lasted a number of years, and Esthar's side was led by the tyrannical Sorceress Adel. With ranks of soldiers and technology at his disposal, Deling set his sights on the myriad of independent nations surrounding Galbadia and ordered that they be conquered, starting with the bustling country of Timber.
During the Galbadian siege Timber's citizens mounted a resistance movement, led by the fathers of Zone and Watts. Once the country had been conquered Deling took it upon himself to execute the two, right in front of their children. This atrocity fueled Timber's hatred for Galbadia and its president and inspired them to keep the resistance movement alive despite Galbadian occupation. Over a decade later, resistance groups, such as the Forest Fox and the Forest Owls, still work to liberate Timber from Deling's rule.
Galbadia plunged into years of a devastating Sorceress War, where heavy casualties left children orphaned and unprotected towns raided. Deling's heavy military buildup allowed Galbadia to put up a good fight. Esthar was unprepared for the mounting resistance Galbadia was putting up, and Sorceress Adel prepared to unleash Esthar's secret weapon, the Lunatic Pandora, on the upstart country. Before she could use it, Adel was deposed by former Galbadian soldier, Laguna Loire, who led a resistance movement against her. With Esthar cutting itself off from outsiders, Galbadia became the world's undisputed superpower—and President Deling was at the helm.
Galbadia's (although indirect) victory over Esthar solidified Deling's position within his nation. Deling used his newfound popularity to transform his democratic presidency into an authoritarian dictatorship.
Seventeen years after the end of the Sorceress War, Deling is still ruling Galbadia and pursuing his agenda of territorial conquest. Winhill has come under Galbadian jurisdiction and Deling shifts his focus to the Dukedom of Dollet. At the start of the game, Galbadia's Siege of Dollet is opposed by the Dukedom's forces working in tandem with SeeD and cadets from Balamb Garden. Deling's military is successful in securing Dollet's satellite dish and transmission tower.
While Deling is enjoying his domination of the Galbadian continent, another power is quietly gaining strength - that of Sorceress Edea who is actually possessed by Sorceress Ultimecia from the future. Edea/Ultimecia has plans for world domination, and rather than by directly attacking individual nations, she uses a subtler approach by befriending President Deling. Enchanted by the sorceress and possibly envious of her powers, Deling agrees to install her as Galbadia's foreign ambassador. Deling, blinded by his own ambition, fails to see the threat the sorceress possesses and intends to use her as a thinly-veiled threat, a tool for intimidating Galbadia's targets into submission without having to fire a shot.
Deling, in command of the continent's only telecast system, travels to Timber to broadcast a message through the nation's TV station. During his speech he announces his alliance with the sorceress. Before he can finish he is attacked by a renegade Seifer Almasy, who is coerced to release the president by Edea/Ultimecia and taken away. The Galbadian government announces Seifer executed, but in reality he has been recruited by Edea/Ultimecia to be her Knight. It is unclear whether Deling knows about this arrangement.
Some of Galbadia's citizens are wary of Deling's decision to ally himself and Galbadia with a sorceress. Among his doubters are General Caraway; head of the Galbadian military, and Martine; the headmaster of Galbadia Garden. The two hatch a plot to assassinate the sorceress during her induction ceremony with the help of SeeD, hoping to effectively save Deling from himself.
Before the assassination attempt takes place Edea/Ultimecia uses her acceptance speech as a means to seize control of the government, and murders Deling by impaling him with her bare hand. No one seems to react to Deling's death or retaliate against her for it. The Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania reveals Edea/Ultimecia has enchanted the surrounding crowds with a spell.
- Main article: Fake President
Although not a combatant himself, Vinzer does employ body doubles in response to security threats. One such threat was the possibility of being captured during a train trip through Timber territory, where he was replaced with a shape-shifting Gerogero.