- “A small town outside of Galbadia. It is actually a small village. Sorceress Adel of Esthar ordered attacks on this village several times.”
- —FFVIII Info Corner
Winhill (ウィンヒル, Winhiru?) is a town in Final Fantasy VIII. It is a quaint, pastoral village on the southwest end of the Galbadian continent, west of the town of Timber. Somewhat isolated in comparison to other towns, Winhill has no direct road or rail connections and is cut off from the rest of the continent by mountains, making it accessible only by sea or air. The village is surrounded by open plains and rolling fields.
Winhill was founded by a group of peaceful people who embraced small-town life and scorned the presence of outsiders entering their village. Many of Winhill's young people found the quiet village life boring and left to seek excitement in Deling City.
During the Sorceress War, most of the working men in town were sent off to join the war. The ones left in the village, according to Laguna, were women with children, old people, chocobos, dogs, and cats. As a result, monsters made their way into town and overran its streets, making it dangerous for children to play outside. At some point during this time, Estharian troops raided Winhill capturing young girls to bring to their leader, Sorceress Adel, as candidates for succession.
Although the townspeople fought back, the troops succeeded in capturing several children. One child in particular, however, avoided their grasp: Ellone, a girl of two or three with the unique ability to send another person's consciousness back in time. When her parents refused to turn her over to Esthar, they were killed, but the girl escaped and was taken in by her next-door-neighbor, Raine. Following the Esthar raid, a team of Galbadian soldiers were appointed to stand guard at the town's entrance and keep a lookout for Esthar soldiers, but the team did little to address the town's growing monster problem.
Soon after, a Galbadian soldier named Laguna Loire appeared in town, critically injured from a battle with Estharian troops in Centra. Like Ellone, Laguna is also taken in by Raine and is nursed back to health. To repay Raine and Winhill for its hospitality, Laguna serves the town as a protector, running daily patrols to rid the area of monsters, mostly made up of Bite Bugs and Caterchipillars.
Some time later, Estharian troops raid Winhill once again, specifically in search of Ellone. This time, they succeed in capturing her and whisking her away to Esthar. Laguna, now married to Raine, leaves for Esthar to rescue Ellone, leaving behind his pregnant wife. While he is gone, Raine gives birth to Laguna's son, Squall, but dies soon after and is buried on a hill just outside of town. Laguna finds Ellone and sends her back to Winhill while he stays behind in Esthar, but after Raine dies both Ellone and Squall are sent to an orphan home and Laguna never learns of having a son.
Following the war's end, Winhill begins to fall into disrepair. Most of its young people have been lost in the war, while its orphaned children were sent to orphanages. Seventeen years later, the village is as peaceful and remote as ever. Two Balamb Garden drop outs who pose as SeeD members have been hired to protect the town by a secret benefactor, implied to be Laguna. Raine's pub has a new owner, but Ellone's parents' old house was never repaired and lies abandoned.
- Ellone's House
This house used to be Ellone's family home, until her parents were gunned-down by Esthar troops; bullet holes still remain riddled in the walls. Eventually Laguna Loire would reside in the house between monster patrols and looking after Ellone.
- Draw point: Curaga (upstairs, hidden, never refills)
- Town Square
The town square is a place where children can often been seen playing. There's a way out of town in this screen.
- Draw points: Dispel
- Raine's Pub
Located next to the Winhill mansion, the pub was owned and run by Raine Loire before she died. She resided with Ellone, whom she had adopted after her parents' death; she also nursed a wounded Laguna Loire, who was then a stranger, back to health. Years after her death the premises is run by a different woman, but some say Raine's spirit can still be felt within the pub, kept alive by her white flowers.
- Winhill Mansion
The mansion dominates Winhill's main district. Home to many different occupants over the years a mysterious force is rearranging items within its walls. Could it be a ghost or something else? The mansion is only accessible with Squall's party; Laguna cannot enter.
The road leads south from the town square and splits into two paths.
- Draw points: Drain
- Flower Shop
The flower shop is a solitary store on the road through Winhill. It charters many types of flowers; Raine had even given some of her well-admired white flowers for the shop to sell.
The hillside offers a view on the town's flower fields, but locals down below warn passersby not to miss their step.
- Draw points: Reflect (never refill)
- Flower Restaurant
The Flower Restaurant is also Winhill's hotel. Located in downtown Winhill the hotel features a quiet restaurant with a flower theme. The town's modern day monster hunters (two ex-Garden students) have board and keep here.
- Downtown Winhill
Downtown Winhill harbors the Flower Restaurant and Winhill Store as well as a collection of houses and what seems to be a chapel. Most consider this to be the town's 'front'. A portrait of downtown Winhill can be found within the Presidential Palace in Esthar.
Winhill is located to the west of Lallapalooza Canyon in the hard-to-reach south of Galbadia, and can only be reached once the player has control of the mobile Balamb Garden.
Winhill is home to a minor sidequest, which rewards the player little in material sense, but allows the player to learn more about Raine and the town itself. The quest becomes available once Balamb Garden becomes mobile. The player may initiate the quest by visiting the Winhill mansion and speaking with the owner. He confides to the party that his precious vase has gone missing and he fears ghosts may be responsible. Unfortunately, the vase has been broken into four pieces, and it is up to Squall and company to locate them.
- A piece is found inside the suit of armor in the large mansion. Irvine or Quistis must be in the party to get the piece.
- A vase piece is found in the flower shop among the white flowers in the bottom corner.
- Chicobo crossing the road has it. The player must run into the chicobo to get the piece.
- The player must speak to the lady upstairs of the pub till she mentions the flowers' aroma. The player must examine the flowers downstairs in the bottom right corner of the screen, and Raine's ghost will appear, but is replaced by a cat. The cat has the last piece.
The mansion owner rewards the party with a Holy Stone.
In the chocobo crossing there is a chicobo running back and forth. If the player runs into it, they kick the chicobo in the air. This is needed for the vase side quest, but if the player keeps running into the bird they can get more items: A Phoenix Pinion (although the screen will say it's a Phoenix Down), and a Gysahl Green. Once the player has harassed the chicobo enough, a mother chocobo will emerge and take the chicobo away.
Winhill is also home to a strange event; if the player lingers in the area directly outside the town known as Winhill Bluffs, the party may encounter a UFO abducting an unsuspecting cow.
Winhill uses the Centra region rules for the game, even if it is officially part of Galbadia. In Centra region the default rules are Same, Plus and Random. There are no rare cards to be won in Winhill.
|Recovery Items||Price (gil)||GF Items||Price (gil)|
|Eye Drops||100||Normal Ammo||20|
|Echo Screen||100||Miscellaneous||Price (gil)|
|"Fragments of Memories"|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
"Fragments of Memories" plays during Laguna Loire's stay in Winhill. The section with the Chocobo Crossing features an 8-bit version of the "Mods de Chocobo" theme. "Fisherman's Horizon" is used in all visits with the main party.
A live recording of "Fragments of Memories" is included on the A New World: intimate music from Final Fantasy album.
The fields of Winhill appear in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call as a Field Music Sequence.
- In the third Laguna Dream, which takes place in Winhill, a map is visible on the back wall of the Flower Restaurant. Interestingly, the map is not of the world of Final Fantasy VIII but of the real world. The map is no longer present if the player returns to Winhill with Squall later in the game.
- Various unused backgrounds for Winhill are found dummied in the game data, including a scene of a green van being driven and the garage door in Ellone's house opening and closing. If the dummied area is accessed as a playable area a green truck is found parked inside, but only the text "Test" appears if the player tries to select it.
- There is a place in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England, named Win Hill.