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Ultimecia VS Sephiroth
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Pyron_Knight
Eater of Worlds

Gender: Male
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3. Disk 2.

So, now everyone is captured in a prison and Squall is being tortured. His interrogator is none other than Seifer. This is perfect validation that FFVIII’s core ideal is “Fate is Ironically Cruel.”

Seifer: This is the scene where you swear undying hatred for me! The tale of the evil mercenary vs. the sorceress knight... The fun's just started, Squall. Don't disappoint me now!

Seifer’s dream...his budding delusion is in complete opposition with reality. What has Seifer always wanted? To be a leader, to be the Sorceress’ Knight and the hero. Fate however has seemingly chosen him to play the role of the evil mercenary or something similar. His dream is a reality...but it’s not really his dream anymore.

That’s where Squall comes in. Impersonal, unfriendly Squall. A natural-born leader he may not appear but it is his destiny however much he may fight it.

Cid: This is your fate. It is your destiny to lead the way in defeating the sorceress.

Squall: Don't talk about this like it's been decided since by birth! (I don't mind fighting the sorceress. It's unavoidable as long as I'm a SeeD member. What? AS long as I'm a SeeD member? What if I quit? Quit... Then what? What do I have left? Don't even want to think about it. Just stop thinking...)[/I]

Again, the ironic hands of fate are unfolding the drama. The dream becomes reality with the roles reversed as Squall, however unwilling, was destiny-bound to be the hero.

Squall hasn’t grown much emotionally yet but he is starting to think. He’s coming to terms with the fact one can’t simply turn off the light and hide under a blanket, wishing his doubts and fears away.

Squall: (I'm fine by myself now. I have all the skills I need to survive. I'm not a child anymore. That's a lie. I don't know anything. I'm confused. I don't want to depend on anyone. How can I do that? Someone tell me...Someone? So I'll end up depending on others after all.)

Whatever rhetoric Squall spouted earlier about reality was, as we all could’ve guessed, nothing more than a lie. Squall himself seems to do his best to avoid reality, much like Seifer. They just, again, do it in opposite ways.

At last Squall finally admits to himself what is the real issue at hand...

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...)


His losing of “Sis” Ellione has dominated his way of life for over a decade and he just refuses to change on the grounds change will only make him feel that way again. He doesn’t like to be alone but loneliness is preferable to the pain of loss apparently.

Moving away from Squall’s mind, we get to learn about everyone else’s mind! That’s right, it’s the Trabia Garden scene with everyone realizing they’re from the same Orphanage!

\Squall: I don’t think I was adopted because of the way I am. Probably the same with Seifer, too. You two must have been at Garden by the age of 5 or so...

(Who wouldn’t want these two bundles of joy?)

So, after that whole revelation, Balamb and Galbadia Garden begin to battle. Dr. Kadowaki makes a comment I remarked on earlier: fate being the ultimate director of Squall’s and Seifer’s rivalry.

Dr. Kadowaki: Seifer is with them, right? You said yourself. There's no way you can run from him... It's kind of like your destiny to face him. ...Looks like it's now or never! You've come this far already. What is there to think about? You're not gonna run away are you?

Whatever Squall’s personal feelings, Fate demands Squall and Seifer fight and so he does, again, on Galbadia Garden.

Squall: It's too late, Seifer. You can't mess with our minds. To us, you're just another enemy, like one of those monsters.

Seifer: You're comparing ME to one of them? I ain't no monster. I'm the sorceress' knight. And look at you. Attacking like a swarm. You guys are the monsters.


Squall also commented earlier on Seifer being “just a rotruer”. Now he’s “one of those monsters.” Both times Seifer takes great offense, stressing his importance and what he believes is his role and purpose in this tragic tale.

He further separates from reality as Squall further embraces it. This is the ultimate difference between these two characters.

So, the party defeats Edea and she’s free from Ultimecia’s control. But Rinoa goes into a coma...


__________________
Earth is a beautiful addition to the Galaxy...but an even finer accessory on the hand of a God.

Old Post Apr 13th, 2008 02:27 PM
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Pyron_Knight
Eater of Worlds

Gender: Male
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4. Disk 3

Squall: (I've heard enough. I understand that listening to what Matron has to say is important, but Rinoa...) Matron, do you know what's wrong with Rinoa?


Headmaster Cid: Did Rinoa die!?

Squall: NO!!!


Squall seems to finally be opening up, to re-establishing normal emotional connections with a human being. Something he hasn’t done since Ellione.

However timidly, Squall is indeed emerging from his shell.

Squall: I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it. Squall is an unfriendly, introverted guy. It made it easy for me when people perceived me that way.

Using Ellione’s power, Squall goes back into the past to the point Rinoa was possessed by Ultimecia. We hear..an enigmatic line from Ultimecia to Seifer.

???: Oh, my loyal knight, Seifer. The sorceress is alive... The sorceress demands.
Find the legendary Lunatic Pandora, said to be hidden beneath the ocean. Only then shall the sorceress provide you with dreams again.


What does she exactly mean? Is she exercising some form of mental control beyond simple manipulation now? I can’t figure it out personally and it’s one reason I wish I could read Japanese as maybe FFVIII Ultimania sheds more light on this.

But in good news, Squall has finally reached the pinnacle of his character development.

Squall: I don't know what to do... This is just another crossroad in my life. But, for the first time, I don't know which way to go. I've come this far because I've...fallen for you. ......Rinoa...... Now...am I just supposed to let you go...?

Squall has taken the emotional road less-traveled for himself. He’s going out of his way to be with someone and overcoming his fears. To enforce a point of how Seifer and Squall are different, I’ll say Squall has “stopped running.” More on that later.

If this quote doesn’t support my claim of Fate is brutally ironic I’m not sure what does.

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


Squall Leonhart, a man who’s spent his life in a self-imposed exile from feeling and attachment to others, who never asked to be the leader or te hero, has finally accepted his role. He is the knight to the Sorceress Rinoa and will stand by her against the world.

The one thing Seifer dreamed of most has been handed to his unwilling perpetual rival.

We come finally to the “showdown” with Seifer. As I said at the start, it sucks. But let’s get pased that and listen to Fujin.

Fujin: POSSE... We are. We always will be. Because we're a posse, we want to help you. Whatever it takes to fulfill your dreams, we're willing to do. But... You're being manipulated, Seifer. You've lost yourself and your dream. You're just eating out of someone's hand. We want the old you back! Since we can't get through to you, all we have now to rely on is Squall! It's sad... Sad that we only have Squall to rely on... Seifer! Are you still gonna keep goin'?

We all know this. We know Seifer is being used and not fulfilling his dream. The real impact of this sccene is...now Seifer has literally lost the only friends he had in the world. The only hope his posse had left for their leader was for Squall to beat sense into him.

Squall: Are you going to continue with this knight thing?

Seifer: The knight has retired. I guess you could call me a young revolutionary.

Squall: What do you think you're doing?

Seifer: I've always gotta be doing somethin' BIG! I don't wanna stop. I'm gonna keep running! I've come this far... I'm gonna make it to the end, to the goal! There's no way I'm sharing
it with you!


Remember I said Squall had stopped running and that was another real difference between Squall and Seifer? Well, there it is. Seifer won’t stop running, he won’t accept reality. Squall has grown beyond himself but Seifer won’t let himself see past his childhood fantasy.

The party beats Seifer...then he gets up and takes Rinoa to Adel.

Rinoa: Seifer! Stop it! Haven't you done enough!? I know you're not like that!

Seifer: Can't go back now! I can't go anywhere! The sorceresses as one! That is Ultimecia's WISH!

Rinoa: ......Seifer.


Seifer is, understandably, cracking up. He has nothing left but his dream which is crumbling around him. It’s a life preserver in a sea of nothing.

5. Disk 4

Now this scene I always found very interesting.

Rinoa: .....Seifer. No more... Please?

Seifer: Rinoa...

[Squall runs into the room just then.]

Squall: Seifer!!! NO!


Watching this scene, it really did seem to me like Seifer was listening to Rinoa. Then Squall ran in and whatever chance Rinoa had at making Seifer stop was lost. He tosses her to Adel and we don’t see him again till the end of the game.

No more quotes to be posted really. We see Squall stumbling alone through a dessert, strangely resembling Rinoa’s nightmare. He collapses and his lover happens upon his unconscious form.
We then see Seifer with his two friends, laughing and smiling as he looks at them and then Balamb Garden.

What happened between the events at Lunatic Pandora and then? Who knows. Stupid Square.

Conclusion

The real difference between Seifer and Squall is that Squall progressed and Seifer regressed. Squall outgrew the scared little boy he was and matured into a (presumably) healthy, well-adjusted adult. Seifer clung to his boyhood ideas, unwilling to hear or listen to anything that threatened what he felt he deserved and more importantly what he wanted. Even if it meant he was being used, he’d play at the dream.

It’s not really his fault in my honest opinion however. Squall was just as emotionally crippled at the start and had Ultimecia chosen to manipulate him, I’m pretty sure she could have. Seifer was just the unlucky pawn in her scheme and while Squall bore the luxury of fixing his fractured ego, Seifer was abused both mentally and physically by his “Sorceress” and even by the woman he might have loved at one point. I don’t expect anyone to improve mentally under these circumstances.

At the end, Fate chose Squall as the Sorceress’ Knight and Seifer as the evil mercenary. Both men had no choice in the matter.

That’s about it. I hope this has been intriguing and if you stopped reading a long time ago, I can’t blame you.


__________________
Earth is a beautiful addition to the Galaxy...but an even finer accessory on the hand of a God.

Old Post Apr 13th, 2008 02:28 PM
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Almagest88
Junior Member

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Feelin' Ellone-ly tonight....eh? Eh?

See what I did there? You're welcome smile LOL sorry guys I"m just playing around. But kurses, you krazy kids, swarming akross generations ike lokusts , and I agree about Ultimecia. I liked her a lot better when she came back as Kuja in FF9 except in somehow an even sluttier wardrobe. jk lol have a great night just wanted to make someone laugh smile

Old Post Mar 19th, 2021 02:01 AM
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