Friday, February 24, 2012

Final Fantasy VIII~Seifer Almasy

Seifer Almasy

"The way I see it, as long as you come out of the battle alive, you're one step closer to your dream."
—Seifer Almasy
Seifer Almasy (Cifer in the German version) is a temporary playable character and one of the main antagonists in Final Fantasy VIII. He is the rival of the main character Squall Leonhart and is the mirror image of him in many ways.
He wields a gunblade, a weapon original to the Final Fantasy franchise.

Seifer was born 18 years prior to the events of Final Fantasy VIII. He was orphaned after his parents were killed in the Sorceress War and sent to Edea's Orphanage. From a young age he bullied the other children in the orphanage, especially Zell. As he grew up, he became a student at Balamb Garden, where he studied to become a SeeD. Seifer would later forget his past in the orphanage due to the memory loss that using Guardian Forces causes. Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania reveals that when Seifer was a child, a popular movie was released about a sorceress who stood to defend her country, and her knight who protected her. The film was Seifer's favorite, and inspired his dream to become a Sorceress Knight himself. He even copied the battle pose of the actor who played the Knight in the film.
At Balamb Garden, Seifer found friendship in Fujin and Raijin, and their posse was rarely seen apart. The friends later became the Balamb Garden Disciplinary Committee, abusing their power to give fellow students punishment and detention. Even though he forgot his past, Seifer became a rival to another student at Balamb Garden, Squall Leonhart, who had coincidentally grown up in Edea's Orphanage. Of all the students at the Garden, only Seifer and Squall chose a gunblade as their specialized weapon, and they would often duel to hone their skills.

Squall and Seifer sparring.
Even though Seifer had great potential to become a SeeD, his behavior made him fail the exams needed to become one, and he was labeled a "problem child." Seifer also developed a "romantic dream" about becoming a Sorceress Knight and has borrowed several books from the Balamb Garden related to the subject. About a year before the events of Final Fantasy VIII, Seifer started a romantic relationship with Rinoa Heartilly, a girl working in a resistance group to free the occupied nation of Timber.
At the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII, Seifer and Squall are shown having a fierce duel in a rocky field near Balamb Garden. Neither one seems to be giving an inch, but Seifer casts a Fire spell during the duel, sending Squall to the ground. Seifer strikes at Squall's face, giving him a bloody scar, but as Seifer lets his guard down Squall strikes back, leaving a mirrored scar on Seifer's face.

For the SeeD field examination, Squall and Zell Dincht with Seifer as their leader, are put into one group to form a squadron of SeeD for a military operation against the Galbadian Army. Selphie Tilmitt later joins the group, but because of Seifer's disobedience during the engagement, he fails his SeeD exam once more. He grudgingly applauds Squall, Zell and Selphie, all of whom pass.

Seifer attempts to kill President Vinzer Deling
While Seifer is sent to be disciplined for his actions during the exam, Squall, Zell and Selphie are assigned a new mission, their first as SeeD mercenaries: to aid a resistance faction known as the Forest Owls in their mission to free the occupied nation of Timber. In this resistance faction, Rinoa, Seifer's former love interest, is a member. Having heard of this, Seifer breaks out of the discipline room, injuring many people in the process, and embarks to assist them by holding the President of Galbadia hostage during a broadcast from the Timber TV Station. Backed into a corner and watched on by Squall, Zell, Selphie and Quistis Trepe; who had been sent to retrieve him, Seifer attempts to retreat and is saved by Ultimecia who appears in the body of Edea Kramer. Appealing to Seifer's darker side, Ultimecia successfully convinces him to follow her. Seifer is officially announced executed by the Galbadian government and a saddened Rinoa reveals her past with Seifer to Squall.
Seifer is believed dead until he shows up in Deling City, standing at the side of Ultimecia having become the sorceress's protective Knight. Squall, with their new ally, Irvine Kinneas, had been assigned to assassinate the sorceress by shooting her, but Irvine, remembering his past at the orphanage (he had not forgotten his memories due to the fact he had never used Guardian Forces, though at the time he was unaware of Ultimecia's possession of Edea), refuses to shoot Edea and disguises it as merely nerves.

Seifer tortures Squall for information on SeeD's intended purpose
Squall convinces Irvine to shoot, but Ultimecia blocks the shot with a spell. Squall is forced to break into the sorceress's parade and fight her one-on-one; Seifer stops him and, claiming his new status as hero and Knight of the sorceress, fights Squall. After Seifer's defeat, Squall fights Ultimecia, but is defeated when Ultimecia casts Edea's Limit Break, Ice Strike, which pierces Squall's shoulder.
When Squall comes to in Galbadia's D-District Prison he is quickly transported to the torture room by none other than Seifer who tortures Squall for the truth about SeeD. Squall, who does not understand the question, only further enrages Seifer who turns the electrical torture instrument to full, which leaves Squall unconscious and incapacitated. While Squall later escapes with his friends, Seifer, now head of the Galbadian Army, invades and takes over control of Galbadia Garden under Ultimecia's orders. Enabling the Garden to be airborne he embarks on the search for a girl named Ellone whom his sorceress wishes to find. Eventually, whether the encounter was accidental during the search or intentional is unknown, he manages to intercept a similarly airborne Balamb Garden over the Centra continent near the ruins of Edea's Orphanage.

Seifer defeats Odin
With Seifer as commanding officer the Galbadia Garden launches a full assault on Balamb Garden. The Balamb students and SeeDs turn the battle and make their way inside Galbadia Garden, where Squall and his party encounter Seifer. He is defeated once again, and is left unconscious and disgraced on the floor. Despite Seifer's determined efforts Squall's party defeats Ultimecia within Edea's body, which results in Ultimecia leaving Edea's body to possess Rinoa's body and ordering Seifer to raise the Lunatic Pandora from the sea.
Under the orders of Ultimecia, Seifer embarks on a new quest to resurrect the Esthar weapon Lunatic Pandora from the depths of the ocean. Restoring the device to active status he directs the pillar to be placed upon Tears' Point, starting the Lunar Cry and bringing into motion Ultimecia's plan for time compression. Squall and his party move to prevent this, invading the construct with an Estharian airship and battling their way deeper into the Lunatic Pandora. The many toils had begun to take their toll on Seifer, as his hair is unkempt and his coat is blackened and falling apart. Fujin and Raijin, who up until now had followed Seifer loyally, beg him to stop following this path and go back to being their friend.

Seifer tries his hand at fishing.
Seifer claims it is too late to go back, and wishes them a good life, before he fights Squall one last time. During this fight, if the player has obtained Odin, Seifer manages to bisect him when he is summoned in battle, and Gilgamesh takes his place, and knocks Seifer down. Despite his defeat, Seifer manages to capture Rinoa and offer her to Ultimecia in the body of her new host, Sorceress Adel, whom she had just resurrected. After Ultimecia is bested inside Adel's body by Squall's group, she casts time compression, allowing Squall to reach her era. After Squall and his party reach the future era and defeat Ultimecia, Seifer is seen in the ending as an entirely different person. He is fishing together with Fujin and Raijin, and smiles toward Balamb Garden as it flies by through the sky.


Anonymous said...

Rinoa and Seifer don't have to romantic relationship, since in the game Rinoa said the THOUGHT it was love, also she NOT considered his girlfriend, then I think that they do not talked about their feelings. As such, I think that a relationship can not be sustained at all (if that was because it is not entirely clear). Also in the game shows no flashbacks or FMVs us that there was a romance. What is certain is that they have to have a business relationship because Rinoa wanted freedom of Timber and wanted to enlist the help of Seifer, and it seems that's all that was between them.

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