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Zell Dincht

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Zell Dincht
Portrait Zellmenu
Japanese Name ゼル・ディン
Romaji Zeru Din
Hometown Balamb
Date of Birth March 17
Age 17
Blood Type B
Height 5' 5"[1](168 cm)[2]
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color Blond
Weapon Gloves
Ultimate Weapon Ehrgeiz
Limit Break Duel
Final Fantasy VIII Character
Why don't you try to show a little more passion...? You know, like me!
—Zell Dincht

Zell Dincht is a playable character from Final Fantasy VIII.

His loud and energetic personality is a foil to Squall's cold and silent personality. Zell is a master of hand-to-hand combat and prefers to let his fists guide him out of situations his mouth cannot.

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

Loves the hot dogs sold in the Garden cafeteria. Uses close combat fighting skills to defeat enemies with punches and kicks.
Scan description

Honorable and spirited, Zell is a consummate martial artist and his skills are unsurpassed by anyone in Garden. Not being one to think things through, Zell will not back down from any challenge or confrontation and will always stand up for what he believes is right. Another important feature of Zell's is that, in a military academy where most people use a certain weapon, Zell chooses to use only his hands and feet.

Zell is energetic, loud, overconfident in his abilities and possesses a tendency to overreact when teased. He attempts to make friends with everyone he meets. He is short in build (a fact that aggravates him somewhat) and has uniquely styled spiky blond hair, bright blue eyes, and is the complete opposite of the game's main character, Squall Leonhart, personality-wise.

Zell wears a black vest with red designing along the zipper, black beater, baggy jean shorts, and black and red tennis shoes. He has been shown wearing his SeeD uniform and the SeeD cadet uniform, though he wears it with the sleeves rolled up and the jacket halfway unzipped, revealing a white t-shirt underneath. He is distinguishable by a large black tribal tattoo on the left side of his face.

He is usually in some kind of trouble with either the Disciplinary Committee or the Garden Faculty for breaking the rules due to his energetic nature: running through the halls, riding T-Boards on Balamb Garden premises, etc. It is these characteristics that provide most of the game's comic relief, with some of the other characters mocking Zell's strength and abilities, most specifically Seifer Almasy, who insults him with the nickname "Chicken-Wuss".

Zell Dincht
Zell Dincht in Balamb Garden.
MonterossaAdded by Monterossa

An important factor in Zell's life is his adoptive (although he is unaware he is adopted) family. He seems to have a close and loving relationship with his mother and is a prominent figure among Balamb Town, as pretty much everyone there knows him. Zell expresses a deep respect and admiration for his (adoptive) grandfather, who used to be a soldier, and aspires to become just like him (it is hinted this is his main motivation for him wanting to become a SeeD). He even keeps his grandfather's old rifles in his neatly-ordered room.

Another trait of Zell's is his undying love for hot dogs (bread in the Japanese version) from Balamb Garden's cafeteria. It is a running joke, however, reminiscent of many high school themed anime and manga series, that the demand for them is extreme, and there are never any left for Zell by the time he shows up. He does manage to finally get a surplus of them at the end of the game, and immediately starts choking on them from eating too quickly.

Contrary to what most believe, Zell is actually a model cadet and has a deep interest in history and factual events. When arriving at a key location, Zell will offer a quick explanation of the place's history.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Zell as a kid in Edea's Orphanage.
NetherithAdded by Netherith

Zell grew up in the same orphanage as the other main characters where he was constantly picked on by Seifer. Eventually he was adopted by the Dincht family from Balamb. He idolized his adoptive grandfather, who was a legendary soldier. Aiming to follow in those footsteps, Zell joined Balamb Garden at the age of 13 to train as a SeeD and follow his dream of becoming like his grandfather.

Zell makes his first appearance shadow sparring just before the SeeD field exam in Dollet. He is assigned to Squad B with Squall and Seifer, with Seifer as the squad leader, much to Zell's chagrin. After an eventful ordeal, Zell passes the exam along with Squall, an energetic transfer student from Trabia they met on the field named Selphie Tilmitt, and another student by the name of Nida. They are congratulated by Headmaster Cid himself and invited to the SeeD's graduation ceremony where Zell attempts to congratulate Squall and dodges Selphie's advances about joining the Garden Festival Committee.

The morning after the inauguration ball; Zell, along with Squall and Selphie, are assigned to another mission in Timber to assist a resistance faction known as the Forest Owls in capturing the President of Galbadia, Vinzer Deling, by means of hijacking his private train. While their mission ultimately fails due to false intelligence the three SeeD members are under contract by Cid to assist the Forest Owls until Timber's liberation, a vague order they are less than pleased to follow.

TV studio
The Party confronting Seifer in Timber.

Their next mission is to intercept the radio broadcast delivered by the President, which is to be the first live televised broadcast in over seventeen years. When Seifer shows up rogue to assassinate the President, Zell accidentally lets slip the fact they are all from Garden. The President threatens an attack on all Gardens unless he is released immediately, and after the sorceress Edea's timely arrival, he is freed unharmed as Seifer is teleported away.

After deciding to convene on the nearest Garden, which in their particular case is Galbadia Garden, Zell becomes fearful for Balamb Garden's safety and asks Squall if they will be okay, to which Squall coldly replies it depends on the strength of the Galbadian army, leaving Zell discouraged. In Galbadia Garden the group discovers Seifer's act is being considered independent and Garden will not be held accountable. Seifer is sentenced for execution and though Zell never liked him, he is nonetheless thrown into sadness at the news.

The group is assigned a new mission from both Headmaster Cid and Galbadia Garden's Master Martine to assassinate the sorceress who has been declared ambassador of Galbadia. Upon arriving in Deling City, Zell assists the group during the mission as part of the "gateway team" along with Selphie and Quistis, while Squall and Irvine Kinneas, a student from Galbadia Garden who specializes in guns, are part of the "sniper team". Though Zell accomplishes his task in the mission to trap the sorceress between the gates of the bridge, the mission itself is a failure, and the entire group, save Irvine and Rinoa, are captured.

D-District Prison kickass
Zell in the D-District Prison.

Zell and the others are sent to the D-District Prison where Zell recognizes the place as the location Ward Zabac worked when he was retired from the Galbadian army. Zell had been having dreams about him because of Ellone, a girl with the unique ability to send a person's consciousness back in time and relive moments of another person's life. In Zell's case, it was normally the life of Ward. As Zell realizes this, the group try to escape. Since Zell is the only one able to fight without weapons, he volunteers to retrieve the group's weapons from the guards, and then, using his knowledge of the prison, he is able to lead the group through it, retrieving Squall and eventually escaping.

Soon after they discover that under sorceress Edea's command, a nearby Galbadian Missile Base has attacked Trabia Garden and is planning to launch missiles at Balamb Garden next. The party splits into two groups with one team heading towards the Missile Base to try and stop the missiles and the other team giving warning to Balamb Garden of the impending attack.

It is some time later, after Balamb Garden becoming mobile and the Galbadian silo being destroyed, that the teams are reunited in Fishermans Horizon. That night, the group throws a party for Squall in honor of his promotion to commander and their first move is to head back to Balamb Town. When they arrive Zell finds his fears to be realized as Balamb is under Galbadian occupation and currently under lockdown. Zell and Squall infiltrate it and after making sure Ma Dincht is unharmed, liberate the town by defeating Fujin and Raijin, who have both pledged their loyalty to Seifer who is still alive and now working under the sorceress as her knight.

Zell momentarily falls into Raijin's speech patterns.
NetherithAdded by Netherith

Soon after that, Garden travels to Trabia Garden to lend their support. Thanks to Irvine's memory preservation as a result of him never junctioning a Guardian Force, Zell and the others remember their past how they used to live together in an orphanage owned by Edea and Cid Kramer. This is where Zell finally becomes aware he is adopted. Although somewhat surprised to find out sorceress Edea used to be their beloved Matron, Zell and the others eventually accept the fact she is now their enemy. Decisions are made to travel to the old orphanage on Centra. On the way Balamb Garden is intercepted by similarly mobile Galbadia Garden and the Battle of the Gardens ensues.

During the battle Zell takes some leadership and organizes an entire group of SeeD and students to protect the quad. When Squall meets up with him Zell borrows his Griever ring for Rinoa and gives it to her upon their next meeting for safekeeping. Zell tells her he will make one exactly like it for her so that she can "become a lion" like Squall. Zell and the others fight off Galbadian forces until they are forced to face their former Matron, sorceress Edea Kramer.

Upon her defeat Zell and the others discover Rinoa has fallen into a coma-like state and Edea has been released from the control of an evil sorceress from the future named Ultimecia. Edea reveals the sorceress's ultimate goal is Time Compression, a spell compressing all of time into a singular moment, which is something only Ultimecia will be able to survive and will allow her to recreate the world how she sees fit. Everyone becomes deeply concerned over Rinoa's condition, but at the behest of Edea, decides to search for Ellone.

When the White SeeD tell them she is in Esthar, Squall docks Garden against the Horizon Bridge and ventures alone, the hundreds of miles with Rinoa on his back so that Ellone may bring them together again. Zell and the others beat him to the continent in Garden and berate him for not trusting in his friends. The reunited group locates the invisible domain, Esthar City, and eventually discovers Ellone to be in the Estharian space station, Lunar Base, which orbits the planet in the same scope as the moon.

The Party at the Lunar Gate.
NetherithAdded by Netherith

Squall and one other party member travel into space with Rinoa's body from the Lunar Gate, while Zell volunteers to protect Edea, who still believes herself to be a threat so long as she can be controlled by Ultimecia. Zell and Edea head back to the city to see Dr. Odine, a scientist famous for his invention of junctioning and Para-Magic as well as sealing the evil tyrant, sorceress Adel, more then seventeen years ago.

When they arrive at his lab they learn of the Lunatic Pandora, a monstrous, hovering black monolith, is looming close to the city controlled by the Galbadian army. Zell and Dr. Odine get into an argument about time constraints before an overzealous Zell leads the team in an attempt to board the structure before Dr. Odine can finish explaining its capabilities. They are repelled by an invisible force as the colossal structure continues to proceed over a location known as Tears' Point, which triggers the Lunar Cry.

Afterward it is discovered Rinoa has become a sorceress and as Squall and Rinoa return from space, the team goes back to their old orphanage for a safe haven where Zell tells Squall how much he's changed since meeting Rinoa. With the help of the President of Esthar, Laguna Loire, and Dr. Odine, the team returns and comes up with a plan for defeating sorceress Ultimecia once and for all. They use the newly acquired Ragnarok spaceship to invade the Lunatic Pandora where Zell aids in fighting through Raijin and Fujin while also assisting in the defeat of Sorceress Adel who has recently been possessed by Ultimecia.

Ultimecia succeeds in casting time compression by using Ellone to send her consciousness even further back into time and allowing her to exist in all past, present, and future simultaneously. Since the spell is not instantaneous and takes time to cast, Zell and the others survive the effects by believing strongly in each others' existence, which allows them to travel to the future where Ultimecia awaits and destroy her before time compression completes itself.

FFVIII Zell Recording
Zell choking on his favorite food.

The story ends at midnight over a vast ocean where Balamb Garden is holding a celebration in honor of Ultimecia's demise. During the party Zell is found talking with his love interest, simply known as the Library Girl with a Pigtail, and stuffing his face with a plethora of hot dogs/bread he has finally managed to get his hands on, which causes him to choke. Selphie, Quistis, and the girl have to slap his back until he is able to swallow. A recovered Zell is peeved by this, and the three girls flee as he tries to give chase before noticing Irvine has recorded the ordeal on video and throws a piece of bread at the camera.

In BattleEdit


Main article: Knuckles (Weapon Type)
Zell with his Metal Knuckle.

Zell uses gloves to augment his hand-to-hand fighting prowess. Depending on the particular gloves he wears, Zell's weapons can increase his attack power and hit accuracy as well as how much damage he does with his Limit Break.

There are four glove models available for Zell to use throughout the course of the game:

  • Metal Knuckle – Initial model. Described in Weapons Monthly, March Issue.
  • Maverick – Described in Weapons Monthly, April Issue.
  • Gauntlet – Described in Weapons Monthly, June Issue.
  • Ehrgeiz – Described in Weapons Monthly, August Issue.

Limit BreaksEdit

Main article: Duel
My Final Heaven.
BoogumAdded by Boogum

Duel is Zell's Limit Break. To use the Limit successfully, groups of button sequences appear on the screen and as many as possible must be input in the allotted time. The time allotted is between 4 and 12 seconds, depending on factors and how low Zell's HP is and whether or not he is afflicted with status ailments, and if he is under the influence of Aura.

Zell's Limits are believed to be the strongest, because the button formations are quick and he can manage large amounts of hits. After the time allotted has expired, and assuming the player punched in the proper techniques, Zell will perform one of his finishers. Zell can learn new Limit Breaks by reading the Combat King magazine.

  • Burning Rave – Already known.
  • Meteor Barret - Combat King 003
  • Different Beat - Combat King 004
  • My Final Heaven - Combat King 005


LV HP Str Vit Mag Spr Spd Luck
1 252 2 1 1 0 20 14
10 627 9 7 7 5 22 15
20 1035 16 12 14 9 23 15
30 1435 22 17 19 14 25 16
40 1828 27 21 24 17 26 17
50 2212 32 25 29 20 28 17
60 2589 36 28 33 22 29 18
70 2958 40 30 36 24 31 18
80 3320 43 32 38 26 32 19
90 3673 45 33 40 26 34 20
100 4018 47 33 42 27 35 20

Triple TriadEdit

TTZell Element None
Refine 1 refines into 3 Hyper Wrists
Drop N/A
Card N/A
Level 10 (Player Card) Win Ma Dincht in Balamb Town.
The CC Group in the Ragnarok airship on disc 4.

After Balamb Garden becomes mobile, Zell becomes available to challenge to a match of Triple Triad. When not in Squall's party he frequents the Balamb Garden lobby just outside the Library, where he can be challenged.

Creation and DevelopmentEdit


Zell's design was achieved with the notion in mind that he would look and act exactly like the main character of a shōnen manga (Japanese comic-books intended primarily for teenage boys). The outrageously spiky hair, his boyishly styled outfit, and his comedic though confident personality are all reminiscent of the main qualities the protagonist of these particular comics usually exhibit.[3] According to the Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide, this concept is reflected by all of Zell's neighbors in the town of Balamb, who genuinely refer to him as a "comic-bookish type of superhero".

The inspiration for the tattoo on his face came from an MTV music video that featured a man with a full body tattoo resembling tribal origin and design. Mike Tyson also has a similar facial tattoo.

Other AppearancesEdit

Pocket Station Memorycard IconsEdit


An icon sprite of Zell appears in the Pocket Station memorycard file manager.

Final Fantasy ArtniksEdit

FF8 Zell Dincht R+ F Artniks

Zell appears in Final Fantasy Artniks.

Final Fantasy Trading Card GameEdit

Zell appears in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game and is represented in a Fire-elemental card where he is depicted in his Final Fantasy VIII artwork.



Zell is a German family name and many locations called Zell exist in Germany. Perhaps for this reason Zell is called Xell in the German version of Final Fantasy VIII.


Zell outside library
Zell outside the library.
  • When not assigned to the player party Zell can be found hanging around outside the Balamb Garden library. He sometimes wears his cadet uniform.
  • A minor sub-plot in the game hints to Zell having a reciprocal attraction to a girl who works at the Garden's library, and he is seen with her during the game's ending.
  • Zell's birthday, March 17, is a real-world holiday: St. Patrick's Day, a widely known Irish celebration. March 17th is also Muay Boran Day in Thailand; Muay Boran is the ancient world equivalent to Muay Thai or Thai Boxing from where many of Zell's kicks and fighting stance seems to have been inspired.
  • In the game's English translation, Zell loves eating hot dogs, but in the ending FMV he is seen to be eating Japanese flavored bread. This is because in the original Japanese Zell's favorite food was flavored bread, not hot dogs. In the French version, his favorite food named is Bretzel.
  • During Zell's intro FMV the SeeD symbol seen behind him has been flipped.
  • Zell owns a T-Board, a device similar to a skateboard, but with no wheels, instead hovering at low altitudes.
  • The Ragnarok is always piloted by Selphie whenever she isn't in the player party. If Selphie is unavailable, the Ragnarok is piloted by Zell, and if both are in the player party, Quistis takes the reins.
  • The only time Zell doesn't wear his gloves is during the SeeD inauguration ball.
  • When the party heads to Galbadia Garden for the first time, after Squall rushes out of the reception room, Zell can be found doing push-ups frantically in the hall downstairs.
  • Zell's tattoo is available in Character Creation mode in Final Fantasy XIV.


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