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Rinoa= (FFVIII Spoilers)


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#1
JTBT

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As promised, this will be my first thread in the new FF forum, and probably a controversial one at that. devil

This theory has really been around since Final Fantasy VIII got into good circulation. It has been discussed over many message boards and a few websites. It often results in a flame war, as "Final Fantasy" fans don't really care for tragic endings. Really, Squaresoft doesn't either as they aim their RPGs at a general audience.

That said, I believe the ending to FFVIII is open to interpretation. Personally, I don't think it was ever the writers' intentions to have Rinoa become Ultimecia. Again, this IS Square. However, the chips have fallen as such that this possibility is left open, and I believe it is up to the gamer to decide what to believe in this instance. In fact, if you include VIII with the information provided below, and look at the series since "Final Fantasy VII", all the endings have had major elements that were subject to interpretation. In FFVII, what was the fate of the world? In FFVIII, did Rinoa become Ultimecia? In FFIX, what became of Kuja? In X, what happened to Tidus?

The time loop created in the game provides a window for this theory to take place. In itself, the Rinoa/Ultimecia theory has some strong points. I like the theory, and I think it makes a good ending even better. Some of the following points are a collection of those made by people supporting the argument. Some of them were overlooked and are entirely original on my part. It may seem convoluted, but in a nutshell, it really is a simple theory.

So, without further adieu, I will tell you why I think Rinoa became Ultimecia:

There are really three areas where I think this theory expresses itself in the game. Motive, foreshadowing, and symbolism.

First, let's talk motive.

Why would Rinoa become Ultimecia? Rinoa is a kind, gentle person where cherishes love, friendship, and freedom. Ultimecia is an evil, vindictive sorceress who desires to live alone and is full of hatred.

quote:


Edea: Ultimecia is a very fearful sorceress. Her heart is filled
with anger and hate.

What do they have in common, if anything at all?

Those familiar with Star Wars know that the Anakin represent in "The Phantom Menace" is a far cry from the evil Darth Vader we discover in "A New Hope". How did this happen? In fiction, circumstances can cause characters to undergo dramatic transformations. What is perceived as strengths can turn into weakness. And those weaknesses can turn the character into an opposite of what they are. This is also covered in the symbolism, but I will get to that later.

There could be one main reason why Rinoa became Ultimecia. The heart of all this reasons would be that circumstances happen to Rinoa to cause her transformation.

Something could've happened to Squall. Rinoa is obviously attached to Squall, and judging by some her conversations, afraid of losing him. She's afraid of finding herself alone. Her entry into Selphie's Garden diary will tell you that much. Really one of the main themes of the game is the fear of being alone and what would happen. A loss of Squall could cause a transformation in the once good Sorceress.

quote:


Rinoa: No, of course not. But now... Squall, you're the one who gives me
the most comfort. Comfort and happiness... And annoyance and
disappointment, too!

It is stated the those sorceresses who often turn to evil don't have a Sorceress Knight by their side. Squall is Rinoa's Sorceress Knight. If Rinoa were to lose that knight, a knight she was particularly attached to and loved, would the ramifications be even more for her? Would this despair cause a change in her?

Say the game turns out as depicted in the ending. Rinoa and Squall are about to live "happily ever after", but Squall remains a SeeD to help the world. After all, there will still be Sorceresses, and the SeeD legacy needs to carried on (as said by Cid at Edea's house) and later reiterated by Squall.

quote:


Squall: ...Future SeeDs... We're fighting across generations.

Let's say that Squall is killed in a SeeD mission. Thus Rinoa loses her Knight and the one she loves. Her despair over this loss turns her to evil. Since some Sorceresses have abnormally prolonged lives, her path takes her into the future, living in anger as a hateful sorceress over her loss. Once being afraid of being alone, she now relishes her loneliness. She maintains a hatred for SeeD because the one she loved was a SeeD and killed on a SeeD mission. It's also possible that a good part remaining in her wanted to bring Squall to her time to see him. Such a motive might explain Ultimecia's final words:

quote:


"Time... It will not wait...
No matter... how hard you hold on
"It escapes you..."

Time would not wait for Rinoa. Aboard the Ragnarok, she says this....

quote:


Rinoa: I just want the present to stand still.

It would pass by, and Squall would die. While the words may be relevant, the motive just listed may not be. It could be Rinoa had forgotten, but not completely, about Squall and the others thanks to the GF junctioning. Memory loss is discovered to be a side effect of GF Junctioning.

In an alternate reality, created thanks to the time loop, Squall could've died during the ending. Again, this would've left Rinoa in despair. A quick scene in the ending FMV might support this:

Posted Image

Or, remember that Rinoa and Squall promise to meet in the field by Edea's house. Perhaps, in an alternate reality, Rinoa shows, but Squall never does. In her despair there, Rinoa becomes Ultimecia, thus explaining why Ultimecia's castle is there.

quote:


Rinoa: Yeah. Can I tell you a story? I had a dream. It was a scary
dream. We make a promise. WE promise to see shooting stars together. I
get dressed up and put on your ring. But the thing is, I can't remember
where I'm supposed to meet you. I started to panic. I really want to
see you, Squall, but I don't know where to go. I start running through
the mountains, the desert, the plains... Through Timber, Balamb, and
Galbadia... When I realized I can't run any longer... I...I just want to see
you so badly... So I scream, Squall, where are you!? Then I woke up. I
was crying. I'm sorry. You don't have to say anything. I just felt like
I had to tell you.

Squall: It was just a dream... It doesn't mean anything. Don't worry
about it.

Rinoa: ...I guess you're right.

Squall: How about this... I'll be here...

Rinoa: ...Why?

Squall: The reason why you couldn't find me was because we haven't
promised yet.

Rinoa: Promised...?

Squall: I'll be waiting for you. If you come here, you'll find me. I
promise.

Rinoa: I'll be here, too. It's a promise! Thanks, Squall! Next time,
we'll meet for sure!

And why did Ultimecia choose Seifer? How would she know about him? Remember, Seifer and Rinoa were an "item" at one point. They knew each other well. Its possible that, as Ultimecia, Rinoa remembered Seifer's dreams and decided to use him. They symbolism is certainly there. Squall and Seifer, both Sorceress Knights, both with scars.

Some would say that if you killed Ultimecia, Rinoa would die too. But that's not true. Adel was killed in the present, but she still remained in the past. Ultimecia would be the future version of Rinoa, but it wouldn't directly affect Rinoa in the present.

One more thing: before Rinoa and the others ever discovered that the matron had become the Sorceress, Rinoa expressed a reluctance to fight her (and again the fear of loss):

quote:


Rinoa: Um... Do we...have to fight? Isn't there another way? Y'know, to
avoid any bloodshed?

Zell: Yo...!? What the...!? What are you sayin' all of a sudden!?

Rinoa: Maybe someone really smart can come up with a way, so we
wouldn't have to fight anymore...

Squall: (What are you getting at...?) (If someone can come up with
something, that'd be great...) (But no one's doing anything... They're all
scared, uneasy. All they do is complain. They just pretend to be
thinking.) (They criticize others, but in the end, they can't do
anything, either.) (Rinoa, why all this, all of a sudden? What do you
expect from me?) (I grew up in Garden. I'm a SeeD. Do you understand?)

Rinoa: Squall? You have to voice your feelings, or else I wouldn't
understand.

Squall: You were...part of a resistance movement in Timber, right? Unlike
others who were all talk, you took to your weapons and fought... And now
you're saying all this? What happened to you?

Rinoa: I guess...I'm getting scared. Sometimes...when I'm with all of you...
I...feel like we're on the same wavelength......you know? But when the battle
start happening, it's different. Everyone's tempo seems to pick up and...
...I get left behind. I try to catch up, but it's no use... How far is
everyone going? I can't hear anyone... Once I catch up, I wonder... Is
everyone safe? Will they welcome me with open arms? ......Is everyone ok?
Will we all make it back together? When I start thinking like that...

Rinoa was no pacifist. She was a Timber Owl. Her motivation for not fighting was the fear of losing others. Oddly enough, Rinoa is the only one of the main characters not to grow up in the orphanage. She's not even a SeeD. Making her like an outsider.

We just read the dialogue above. Now, what about other possible foreshadowing?

In the dialogue, there seems to be an awful lot of text that can be construed as foreshadowing if you consider this theory. Rather than doing a lot of talking about it, let's try to let some of the dialogue speak for itself...

quote:


Rinoa: You'll be fine. Come on. I'm looking for someone. I can't be on
the dance floor alone.

quote:


Rinoa: I couldn't...I just couldn't. I couldn't fight alone...

Would Squall be faced with a similar choice that Cid was faced with, without realizing it? Who knows. But, if so, this line is kinda ironic...

quote:


Squall: But isn't she the headmaster's wife? He wants us to
kill his wife?) (What does it feel like to give an order like that?)

This relates to what I was speaking of before about Rinoa losing everything...

quote:


Squall: (Am I that untrusting...? Maybe I'm this way because I'm scared.)
(Nothing lasts in this world.) (It feels great to have friends who
believe in you, and adults you can rely on.) (That's why it's so
dangerous, especially if you become used to it.) (Someday you're bound
to loose everything. Everybody around you will be gone.) (Then what are
you left with? Nothing. Nobody... It's so miserable.) (And it's
inevitable. It's so hard to recover from something like that.) (I never
ever want to deal with that again. I can't even if it means being
alone...)

If Squall were to face Rinoa as Ultimecia, it would come down to circumstances...

quote:


Squall: Friend or foe... It all comes down to circumstance. That's how we
were raised. It's...nothing special. (Nothing special... Is that true?
Then... What is this I'm feeling?) Let's go.

quote:


Rinoa: But Edea's still... I can't guarantee anything, either, if
Ultimecia possesses me again... You saw me. She controlled me in outer
space and made me break Adel's seal. What might happen next time? What
will I end up doing? Will I end up fighting everyone? ...Scary thought,
isn't it?

Squall: (Rinoa......) (Even if you end up as the world's enemy.) (I'll...)
(I'll be your knight.)

Rinoa: If I fall under Ultimecia's control again... SeeD will come kill
me, right? And the leader of SeeD is you, Squall... Squall's sword will
pierce my heart...... I guess it's ok if it's you, Squall. Nobody else.
Squall, if that ever happens...

quote:


Edea: I now understand there is an end, no
matter how painful it may be. Therefore...Squall? You must fight to the
end! Even though it may bring tragedy to others!

In another conversation at Edea's house, Cid says that there may come a time when the SeeDs have to fight Rinoa.

Finally, there is the symbolism.

For one thing, remember that Rinoa got Squall's Griever ring from him and questioned him about it. To Squall, it is the ultimate GF. At the end of the game, who does Ultimecia junction to? Griever. How would Ultimecia know about Griever? Is it because Ultimecia remembers this as a weakness in Squall's mind?

I've already mentioned the flower field, and the significance of the promise and Ultimecia's castle being near there. Even if Rinoa didn't get "lost" there during an alternate reality, waiting for Squall, it would make sense that she would set up her castle there, waiting for him.

There are the wings. Ultimecia has black wings. Rinoa has white wings on her clothing, and exhibits those wings for real in one of her ultimate limit breaks. If a transformation of Rinoa were to occur, it would make sense that her white wings (signifying purity) would turn black (signifying the darkness in her heart).

Notice the eyes:

Posted Image

You notice that Rinoa has brown eyes, while Ultimecia appears to have a golden tint. So they can't be the same, right? Wrong. If you notice during the Galbadian parade FMV, Sorceress Edea has golden eyes, which is not her natural eye color. Buffy fans will tell you that witches can change eye color. Its a common myth in witchcraft, and not exclusive to one type of fiction.

When Rinoa awakes on the Lunar Base under Ultimecia's possession, you'll notice there are multiple images of her. Why is this? Could it be because of the multiple consciousness of the same person?

Next, you have the Latin roots of the names of the three sorceresses:

quote:


Ultimecia - Ultimus: on the farther side, that is beyond, later, most distant, uttermost, extreme, the final.

Rinoa (often misspelled Renoa) - Renova: to renew, restore, revive; Reno: to return, to swim back.

Edea - Edo: to send forth, to produce, to give birth to, to spread, to cause.

This creates a circle, a loop. You have Ultimecia, the extreme bearer of power. The powers end up with her. Then you have Edea, the one who continues the cycle in name by sending forth her powers. She sends them forth to Rinoa, who in turn returns them as Ultimecia.

Ultimecia's final form in the last battle exhibits two sides, much like Anima in FFX. Also, if you remember in the ending battle, the face of Ultimecia is blanked out. During the ending FMV, Squall sees visions of Rinoa, but her face is also blanked out as well.

Then, you have what may be the most eerie piece of evidence. In the ending FMV, images of Rinoa's face are quickly interlaced with Ultimecia's.

Posted Image Posted Image

Tere a few points to clear up about time compression. Some would say that Rinoa could not fight Ultimecia because they same person can't exists in the same space and time. But this is not true. The game never says that, and it is a common misconception. In fact, Squall exists as the same time as his young self in the end. Time Compression only denies all existence, with the exception of the person using the magic. The others can still exist because, as Quistis points out when you enter the Ragnarok on Disc 4, time compression is not complete yet. It is gradually happening, as Ultimecia wished.

So there you have it. Take it or leave it. Since Square has never confirmed or denied this rumor, I believe it is up to the gamer to decide if the theory is true. It is still just_a_theory. Not fact, as there is no hardcore proof either way. The choice is yours.

#2
David

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WOW. nice read and plot theories. ive always thought Rinoa was Ultimecia. and with this whole dealio you posted, makes me believe it even more, mainly because i haven't played THROUGH the game in 4 years, and i forgot a lot about the story itself.

#3
starwarskater

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I never really thought about it. I always kinda assumed she was ultimecia, but I guess it is open to be interpreted other ways.

#4
Sephi

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****en awesome read, JTBT! thumbs_u

i, too, believe that Rinoa is Ultimecia, and that proves ALOT of points.

#5
Cloud

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Damn what a post, i have to read through it all but so far i've seen that most of the things you say have been my theories or ideas aswell so this is probably close to what i thought also :)

#6
TuskenRaider

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That has to be one of the longest and most thought through posts I've ever read. Lol

And I just took everything at face value up to this point. Like.. different names = different people and that was good enough for me. I didn't want to be TOO confused or whatever. But what you've said there really starts to make me think a little bit.

#7
Darth_Binks

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I'm not reading any of it 'till I beat FFVIII!

#8
TuskenRaider

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Thats probably a pretty good idea. lol

#9
Otanku

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quote:


That said, I believe the ending to FFVIII is open to interpretation. Personally, I don't think it was ever the writers' intentions to have Rinoa become Ultimecia. Again, this IS Square. However, the chips have fallen as such that this possibility is left open, and I believe it is up to the gamer to decide what to believe in this instance.

I'm not sure I get what you mean. How is the ending ambiguous that it requires open interpretives? Rinoa and Squall live "happily ever after". I don't thin there's any 'doubt' about that. Rinoa was also Ultimecia I don't think that was an accident on the part of the writers. The fact that Ultimecia has Griever is most of the proof as well as the wings.

The only thing I have a problem with the ending is the fact that Ultimecia returns to the past to transfer her powers to a young Matron. THIS part of the ending I think is what is vague and subject to interpretation. To me this means that the 'future' will continue to occur in exactly the same manner. I don't see how they 'broke' anything in defeating Ultimecia. Yes they may have prevented time compression to the point of preserving their existence, but the past/future will still occur as it will.

Rinoa IS Ultimecia, there is no doubt, IMO. I think what probably happened is that her powers made her immortal, or at least with an obscenely long life. When she simply outlived Squall, her broken heart and loss of knight was probably too much for her, and she junctioned Griever. Once this happened her memories slowly faded and she went mad. Her broken heart fueled her eventual hatred and all she could vaguely remember was "SeeD". Perhaps her time compression was not to destroy the world but to reconnect with Squall, but the evil in the power of the sorceress itself consumed her.

At any rate, I think that Squall saved the 'present' world, but Rinoa's future I think is always to be doomed, as well as the future generations of the planet. Squall's time in history is always the time that kills Ultimecia, but from the period of his death until the period of Ultimecia's death in the future the whole world is doomed, and it is not until the time of the future and Squall's time reconnect that the 'future' of the world is also restored to normalcy. The fact that they left that Ultimecia scene in the ending to me is what confuses the whole time thing and shows that they didn't really win anything.

#10
Euronymous

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This is a great thread and to me significant of my belief why FF8 DOES have the best, in-depth story of any FF.

The only problem I got is with the time loop and refers to something that Othanku said.

Since the time loop compressed past, present and future, what in fact did Squall and co defeat? If what Tank sayng is true that Rinoa (ultimecia) came back to reunite herself with Squall after the loss from immortality, once destroyed, doesn't that mean that Rinoa's future was also killed off? That refutes Rinoa STILL becoming Ultimecia for me. Perhaps that was the way fate had it until Ultimecia decided to go back to her past ( present ). Having said that, Squall's conflict with Seifer and Seifer's sudden jump to be by herside from Disc 2 onwards seems to make a lot of sense in the fact that he was controlled somehow by Ultimecia. I know he was Edea's lapdog but I'm assuming that's Ultemicia's goal too.

Lots to think about.

#11
Cloud

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I finally got to read all of that first post, amazing and has made me start to think more, beyond the circle so to speak. I'll have to read everyone elses now though i agree with Euro about how in depth 8 is, i remember doing an essay type thing on rinoa and Squalls relationship!

#12
Otanku

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Euronymous:

Since the time loop compressed past, present and future, what in fact did Squall and co defeat? If what Tank sayng is true that Rinoa (ultimecia) came back to reunite herself with Squall after the loss from immortality, once destroyed, doesn't that mean that Rinoa's future was also killed off? That refutes Rinoa STILL becoming Ultimecia for me.

No, not exactly. This is how I see the timeline, especially based on the ending showing Ultimecia giving her powers to Edea:


Timeline:

[-1------2--------3--3a------4.....5___________6-------]


Ok, I drew a timeline with numbers and here is how I view the breakdown:

1. Adel is suspended by Laguna. The fact that she is not dead means that she is still technically the 'sorceress' of the time. Since there is no transfer of power there is no true sorceress replacement.

2. Matron Edea assumes powers of a dying Ultimecia.

3. Rinoa assumes possession of Ultimecia via Edea.
3a. Rinoa/Ultimecia free Adel. This is to prevent sorceress paradox. Adea must transfer her powers in order for future sorceress' to exist. When Squall kills Adea the fact that Rinoa was "junctioned" to Adea at the time allowed immediate power transference, thus truly transforming Rinoa to a sorceress. This also coincides with Edea completely losing all power (as there should be only one active sorceress).

4. Squall and co defeat Ultimecia in time compressed world. World becomes temporarily uncompressed ("..." indicate time compression occured but was temporarily restored)

5. Squall dies. In grief, Rinoa (creates?)junctions Griever, and fully becomes Ultimecia. All of the world at this point is doomed to suffer and die.

6. Time compression occurs and eventually compresses back to the time of Squall. This is also the period where 4 and 6 meet. Ultimecia is defeated. Ultimecia returns to point 2 in time to give her powers to Edea. Her returning to this spot is also part of the fixated memory of "the promise" (to meet at the orphanage). All time after point 6 is also fully restored.

This is how I see FF VIII, based on the ending. I just think that this whole "time loop" really negates a victory insofar as I don't think that it can be prevented that Rinoa is Ultimecia. That is her fate, and her only time of happiness is twofold:

One, she does indeed have a wonderful lovemate/knight in Squall (until his death).

Two, in her madness as Ultimecia she gets her wish that Squall is the only one allowed to kill her. Perhaps also a reason for the time compression, as future SeeD are no match for her powers.

#13
Euronymous

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Hang on, I found the one solitary difference that stops the two being the same.


Ultimecia had a far bigger rack thatn Rinoa.

:)

#14
Sephi

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laugh thumbs_u

true dat!

#15
Cloud

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These are some excellent ideas, though somewhat depressing, i'm all sad now after reading through it and thinking of how happy i thought Rinoa and Squall were there at the ending on the balcony :( :(


Euro's got a good point though

#16
Otanku

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Euronymous:
Hang on, I found the one solitary difference that stops the two being the same.


Ultimecia had a far bigger rack thatn Rinoa.

:)

Maybe Rinoa is just wearing a sports bra. :P

OR

Once she has sorceress powers she made her own boobs bigger. pimp

#17
JTBT

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Wow. Thanks for the responses. I guess this theory is a little unsettling, but its nice that people can discuss it without it evolving into a flame war. :)

Otanku:
I'm not sure I get what you mean. How is the ending ambiguous that it requires open interpretives?

At face value, it isn't open for interpretation. In that sense, it is the best FF ending at tying up all the loose ends.

But what I meant was that if you take into consideration the theory, you could say the ending is open to interpretation.

Otanku:
I know he was Edea's lapdog but I'm assuming that's Ultemicia's goal too.

Yeah, if you remember, Edea was operating under Ultimecia's control at that time. Ultimecia wanted to take control of the Galbadian army to find Ellone for her ability. When control was removed from Edea, Seifer stopped serving her (yet continued to fulfill Ultimecia's wishes)

#18
Euronymous

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quote:


Orignially posted by JTBT:
Ultimecia's final form in the last battle exhibits two sides, much like Anima in FFX. Also, if you remember in the ending battle, the face of Ultimecia is blanked out. During the ending FMV, Squall sees visions of Rinoa, but her face is also blanked out as well.

Then, you have what may be the most eerie piece of evidence. In the ending FMV, images of Rinoa's face are quickly interlaced with Ultimecia's.

I disagree. The whole sequence (FMV) is more so a result of the time compression rather than an explanation of who or what Rinoa is.

Laguna says to the clan before the fight, something to the effect of "When you're in time compression, remember each other so that you can exist" That's a lame effort on my behalf of what he said but what Laguna did mean by this is that your memories will pretty much anchor your existence with each other, if you remember each other.

Those repeated shots of Rinoa, distorted and faded, are the memories in Squall's head. He is struggling to hang on to those memories and it's no surprise that Rinoa is shown so much since they are in love. What is shown are a lot of the fmv's sequences and they are host to Squall's memories and experiences from his point of view throughout the game. There's scenes from the mission in Timber being chased by the mechanical spider to when he was lost out in space with Rinoa. No other FMV's were shown in this section that didn't have anything directly to do with Squall. That's evidence to suggest that this a battle for Squall's own existence which is supported by the last pic of Squall without a face representing him possibly forgetting his own existence. He suddenly snaps out of it as Rinoa is on her way.

This is completely from Squall's point of view. The same should be happening to Rinoa as well wherever she was as she was searching for Squall as we saw in the FMV,too.

#19
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Well, I'm not so sure I can add anything here to the discussion, I just wanted to say that this back and forth discussion between you two is extremely interesting and it's really making me want to play this again with this in mind.

#20
Dr. Ifto

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wanted to bump this, its a good read!

edit:

I soooo want to replay this game now. When I was playing it, I had some thoughts about this, but never really put hte pieces together...

#21
Jason Solo

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I replayed the game through a while back with this knowledge and theory, and it really heightened the experience for me. thumbs_u

#22
Euronymous

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Yay!! I didn't say it my posts earlier but JT/Sute did a fantastic job at proving the theory of Rinoa=Ultimecia.

I still don't want to believe it though. :P

#23
Rori Firehawk

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I believe it... :D

#24
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Pro Rinoa is Ultimecia: when Ultimecia is dying, she reaches the flower field near the orphange in a last effort to meet Squall there. [and actually he was there ...]

Contra: Ultimecia has already has the "Ellone junction machine" that in the future is perfect to go back in the past, at least when the machine has been already invented by Dott. Odine, so enough to meet Squall, her knight again... but instead she needs Ellone, if she wants just to be destroyed by Squall or meet Squall again, I don't understand why she needs Ellone.

#25
Dr. Ifto

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Woah that was a necro bump, but a good one.