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20 Cool Things about Final Fantasy VIII (Happy 20th Anniversary)

Final Fantasy VIII was released 20 years ago and to commemorate the release of this awesome game from Squaresoft (now known as Square Enix), here are 20 cool things about Final Fantasy VIII.

  1. Liberi Fatali’s Meaning

Talk about foreshadowing, the first song in the opening was titled Liberi Fatali which meant “Fated Children”. An allusion to the role Squall and his team has in shaping the future of the world.

2. Zell is Tifa

Ever noticed how much similarity Zell has with Final Fantasy VII’s Tifa Lockheart?

3. Sorceress Edea had a different speech in Deling

The English version is completely different from the Japanese version. You can read the Japanese version HERE. Still the same though, by the end of this section, Edea impales Squall with an big-ass ice shard.

4. Conspiracy Theory: Squall was Dead

There’s a long standing theory that most of the discs for the original Final Fantasy VIII release on the Playstation was Squall just dreaming or that he was dead and this was just a *gasp* Fantasy *gasp*. There’s a ton of fan generated theory related to this. You can read about it HERE and HERE and HERE.

5. Conspiracy Theory: Rinoa is Ultimecia 

This wouldn’t be a 20 Cool Things about Final Fantasy VIII post without a slew of conspiracy theory/ fan theories. So the whole plot involved time travel.  And it also had a lot of moments where the characters go back and forth between past, present and future. Here’s a sample link on where to read up on the theory.

6. Pizza Time!

Before the time of fast Internet connection, playing demos of games were weird. Leading up to the release of Final Fantasy VIII, gamers could have tried the demo via discs that came along various products. In North America, the demo was bundled when you ordered pizza from Pizza Hut!


Pizza Time!

7. If you Smell What the Rock is cooking

The demo also had its share of controversy which was the reason why it was changed for the final product. There was a bit of segment for the demo music called “The Raid of Dollet” which was very similar to a track composed by Hans Zimmer for the film “The Rock” which starred Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage.

8. Raijin and Fujin where FFVII Characters

According to interview with the game’s developers, they were swapped and added to the game because the two of them fit better with the overall narrative of the game.

9. Edea Kramer was also for Final Fantasy VII

In an interview for Famitsu, it was revealed that Edea’s design was supposed to be going over to FF7 for a witch enemy. But before that was implemented, Tetsuya Nomura sent the design over to the FF8 team to use as the witch character.

10. Edea had the strongest Triple Triad Card

If you played the Triple Triad card game, you’ll have a hard time beating Edea because (a) Central rules apply (b) she’s designed with a smarter AI. But man oh man, will you dominate with this card.

11. Selphie with Selfies

Selphie is the second character that Tetsuya Nomura designed after Squall.

12. River Phoenix (Down)

Did you know that they took inspiration on actor River Phoenix for the design for Squall Leonhart? In an interview at the Square Media
Tour in 2000, Nomura admitted to basing a lot of Squall’s appearance on the late actor River Phoenix.

13. Rinoa Heartilly was the GOAT

If you play the game and level up all the characters without doing any buffs, it turns out that Rinoa Heartilly would come out as the strongest character on both STR and MAG? Hot damn.

14. Angelo the Dog

There’s no final word on how Rinoa was developed but according to rumors Nomura based the designed on the prettiest FF girl on somebody he actually knew. And that girl also had a dog named Angelo.

15. Star Wars x Final Fantasy

Did you know that there are several characters that are big Star Wars easter eggs? Obviously we all know Wedge and Biggs, the two Galbadian soldiers players fight several times throughout the game. But there’s also Piet (as seen above) based on the Executor (Darth Vader’s Destroyer) captain, Admiral Firmus Piett…

There’s also Needa, the SeeD member who graduates alongside Squall in Disc 1…

based on Lorth Needa, the same guy who lost the Millennium Falcon in Empire Strikes Back

16. The First Game to Let Players Name the GFs

One of the coolest things you can do is name your GFs (Guardian Forces) with whatever you want. So to hell with “Ifrit” if you can name the fiery fiend “Coco”.

17. Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

Another classic song from Final Fantasy VIII was that chant-y song which is an anagram for “Succession of Witches”. Somebody call Geralt of Rivia already for this.

18. Laguna is heavily implied as Squall’s dad

God damnit, the video above from Dissidia even had “Eyes on Me” playing in the background. Also Kiros says that Squall looks just like his mom.

19. Squall’s in Kingdom Hearts

Not playing Kingdom Hearts? You should. This may be the only game where you get to see Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII and Squal Leonhart aka Leon from Final Fantasy VIII together. In the Hades Paradox cup, the 49th seed will even have you (Sora) together with Goofy and Donald go up against numerous FF characters.

Watch the fight below

And here’s the Hades Cup with just Cloud and Leon

20. Angel voices the Lion

Veering away a bit from Final Fantasy VIII, did you know that David Boreanaz from Buffy and Angel gave his voice for Squall/ Leon in the Kingdom Hearts game?

So there you have it, 20 Cool Things about Final Fantasy VIII!

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