Friday, February 24, 2012

Final Fantasy VIII~Ellone


"People say you can't change the past. But even still, if there's a possibility, it's worth a try, right?"
Ellone (
エルオーネ, Eruōne?) is an important, non-playable character in Final Fantasy VIII. Before the events of the game, Ellone was sought by Sorceress Adel as her successor, but was rescued when Adel was sealed away. During the plot of Final Fantasy VIII, Ellone is pursued by Ultimecia in her quest to compress all of time. In Japan, published Final Fantasy VIII materials spelled her English name as Ellione.

Ellone was born in the village of Winhill on the Galbadian continent, about four years before Laguna's Winhill flashback, making her at least five years older than Squall. Ellone lived with her parents in a modest home next to the town square, next door to the town pub. When she was two, the Sorceress War broke out between Galbadia and Esthar, and Estharian troops raided Winhill. Esthar's leader, Sorceress Adel, was searching for an heir, and the soldiers demanded the village hand over all of its young girls for consideration. Ellone's parents refused to hand over their daughter and were gunned down for their rebellion. Ellone somehow managed to escape the Estharians' clutches, and once the soldiers had departed, she was taken in by her next door neighbor, Raine.
In the time that followed, Ellone and Raine enjoyed a peaceful life in Winhill, and Ellone seemed to accept Raine as a mother figure. Their makeshift family was not completed, however, until Laguna Loire, a Galbadian soldier, washed up on a beach near Winhill after being critically wounded in a battle. Raine took him in and in under six months managed to nurse him back to health. Eternally grateful, Laguna remained with Raine, repaying his debt to her by helping her raise Ellone and patrolling Winhill in a daily effort to keep its residents and streets safe and monster-free.

Ellone encouraging Laguna and Raine's relationship
Ellone grew attached to Laguna, calling him "uncle" and following him everywhere. Laguna was similarly taken with the little girl, and enjoyed playing and joking with her. Although Raine and Laguna were only friends at first, Ellone encouraged them to develop their relationship, and they fell in love and married, much to Ellone's delight. Their small family was torn apart when Sorceress Adel's soldiers returned to kidnap Ellone. This time they succeeded in capturing the girl, taking her away to Esthar to become Sorceress Adel's successor. Enraged, Laguna, along with his friends Kiros and Ward, left Winhill for Esthar to rescue Ellone. Laguna never learned Raine was pregnant with his child before he departed.
Once they arrived in Esthar, Laguna, Kiros, and Ward joined forces with a resistance group against Adel, because as long as Adel was alive, she would pursue Ellone indefinitely; Laguna decided the only way to save Ellone was to get rid of Adel entirely. To this end, Laguna enlisted the help of Estharian scientist Dr. Odine, who built a special cryo-containment device which would effectively bind the sorceress's powers and place her in suspended animation. The resistance placed the device inside a building they hastily erected just outside of the capitol of Esthar, which would later become known as the Sorceress Memorial. They lured Adel to the site using a holographic projection of Ellone. Laguna and Ellone were reunited, and Adel's frozen body was shot into outer space.
Ellone captured by Esthar
With the threat of Adel removed, Laguna hoped he and Ellone could return to Winhill. The Estharians, however, begged him to stay and help them rebuild. Unaware of Raine's condition, Laguna agreed, and sent Ellone home to Winhill ahead of him, promising to follow when his work was finished. Ellone returned to Winhill just in time to witness Raine's baby being born, whom Raine named Squall. Raine died shortly after giving birth.
Following Raine's death, the people of Winhill sent both Squall and Ellone to Edea Kramer's orphanage, which had been set up to care for children orphaned by the Sorceress War. At the orphanage, Ellone - who was older than the other children - helped care for them like an older sister earning the nickname "Sis." Although Squall had no recollection of his mother or his hometown of Winhill, he was instinctively drawn to Ellone, and became more attached to her than the other children.

One day the idyllic peace of the orphanage was shattered when the dying Sorceress Ultimecia and a teenage Squall appeared out of a time warp. Mortally wounded, Ultimecia transferred her Sorceress Power to Edea. Squall told Edea he is a SeeD, a concept he claims was started by Edea herself, before disappearing back into the time warp. Puzzled by these events, Edea came to the conclusion that the orphan boy Squall will one day become a SeeD and defeat a powerful sorceress. In order for this prophesy to come true, she must make sure the SeeD organization is founded, in order to train Squall to become strong enough to one day meet his fate. But because SeeD was to be an anti-sorceress force, Edea's husband, Cid Kramer, was reluctant to go with the plan, fearing the SeeD might one day want to fight Edea. Edea and the orphans who were not joining the Gardens thus went into hiding on the White SeeD Ship, and Ellone and Squall got separated. The orphans who joined Edea and Ellone on the White SeeD Ship would become the White SeeD to ensure Edea and Ellone's safety; Ellone herself also needed protection at this point, as Dr. Odine was keen to have her back for his studies. Whisked away under utmost secrecy, Ellone did not have a chance to say goodbye to her younger brother who grew up believing she had intentionally abandoned him.

Ellone sees Squall after thirteen years apart.
Ellone remained with the White SeeD for many years, where she grew terribly lonely. Although grateful to those who had taken care of her, Ellone spent much of her time wondering how things might have turned out had Raine lived and Laguna returned to Winhill in time. One day, 12 years after Balamb Garden's construction, Edea is possessed by Ultimecia and she leaves the White SeeD Ship to pursue a political career in Galbadia. Ellone, with a number of White SeeDs, embarks to Balamb Garden to tell Cid of this turn of events. While in Balamb Garden, she suddenly comes across a wounded Squall lying in the infirmary, but he no longer recognises her and has no idea who she is.
During this time Ellone comes up with a plan to use her power to prevent her own kidnapping; thus stopping Laguna from leaving Winhill and abandoning Raine. Ellone uses her power to send Squall's consciousness back in time to inhabit Laguna's past. Although unsuccessful at changing Laguna's actions, Squall's experience triggers many of his buried memories and his revelations allow Squall and Ellone to properly reunite. Ellone's attempt to change the past also teaches her an important lesson - people may not be able to change the past, but they can make the most of the present. Determined to regain her family, Ellone returns to the White SeeD Ship only to escape again at earliest opportunity, fleeing to Esthar on board an Estharian ship in search of Laguna.

Ellone and Squall on the Lunar Base
Ellone follows Laguna to the Lunar Base Space Station where the two are finally reunited and Ellone tells Laguna he has a son. Squall follows her to the base, desperate to find a cure for Rinoa Heartilly, who has fallen into a comatose sleep during battle. Squall begs Ellone to send his consciousness into Rinoa's past to see what has happened to her and prevent it. Ellone sends Squall into Rinoa's most recent past and helps him uncover the secret to her strange behavior: Rinoa has become a sorceress and been possessed by Sorceress Ultimecia.
They discover that, in the future, Sorceress Ultimecia is using an invention of Dr. Odine's called "Junction Machine Ellone" to send her consciousness into the past to possess past sorceresses in an attempt to achieve time compression. The invention, Odine deduces, is one which mimics Ellone's powers, created by himself as a result of experimentation done on Ellone's brainwaves when she was held captive in Esthar. It appears, however, that the machine has limits to how far back it can send Ultimecia, and so she wants to find Ellone as a means of using Ellone's power to travel beyond the machine's limits. Odine uses this knowledge to design a plan to stop Ultimecia. First, Squall and his SeeD partners have to do away with Sorceress Adel, who Ultimecia was on the verge of awakening. This would force Ultimecia to possess the only sorceress left in the present: Rinoa.

Ellone prepares to confront Rinoa possessed by Ultimecia
Once Rinoa is possessed, Ellone sends both Rinoa's and Ultimecia's consciousnesses as far back in time as she can. Ellone pulls Rinoa back to the present and sends Ultimecia back to the future, halting the Time Compression (if only temporarily), which allows Squall to reach Ultimecia and defeat her. The plan is successful with Ultimecia falling at Squall's hands. With the world's known threats defeated Laguna returns to Winhill, visiting Raine's grave. Ellone's family is finally reunited; with her "uncle" back in Winhill and Squall - her brother in every way apart from blood relation - looking over them from Balamb Garden.


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