At first, Squall listened to Rinoa and let the Esthar soldiers take her, even though it was tearing him apart. Once he met up with the rest of the team, though, they managed to seriously change his mind. I immediately went to the Sorcerer’s Memorial near Esthar, were Rinoa was about to be frozen. I got her out and the group was back together, for a while at least.
Rinoa wanted to see Edea’s house, so I went there next. Squall and she had another nice moment where the quote from the intro cinematic is finally used. Basically, Rinoa has a recurring nightmare where she can’t find Squall anywhere, so he promises her he’ll be there, at Edea’s house so that, “if she comes there, she’ll find him”. Zell interrupts the moment saying they got a message from Esthar, inviting them to the president’s palace to discuss their plans. The group finally meets the president.
Surprise! The Esthar president is Laguna. His aides are Ward and Kiros. As official as that sounds, Laguna is still the same “moron” from the first dream sequence. He loves to talk, never plans anything and doesn’t really understand things. He’s a nice guy, though, so I guess that makes him an OK leader. He lets Odine explain the plan. I’ll give it my best shot…
Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future. In her future, everything is destroyed and only she exists. She wants to get to the present, but she needs Ellone’s ability for that. We can’t kill her, though, since she’s actually in the future and only uses hosts in the present. There’s a trick to get to her, though – time compression.
Basically, we get to Adel, since Ultimecia will be using her now. We kill Adel and Rinoa accepts her powers. Rinoa then lets Ultimecia into her mind and Ellone sends Rinoa further to the past. She then pulls Rinoa out, which somehow causes the future and the present to merge, so the group has access to Ultimecia’s body, so they can finally kill her.
I have no idea how that works, I even have no idea if that’s the whole story, because I couldn’t remember all of it, but I think I got the gist of it. Suffice to say, Final Fantasy VIII gets extremely complicated before the end.
In any case, everything that needed to be done before the final area has been done. All that now remains are the optional quests, items and areas, which I will definitely have to visit if I want to stand a chance of beating the final area. Compared to the rest of the game, the final area of Final Fantasy VIII get’s insanely hard.