Friday, February 24, 2012

Final Fantasy VIII~Selphie Tilmitt

Selphie Tilmitt

"...I... I did it, everyone...! I know the stage got destroyed, but I performed... My dream band... I was able to carry out my dream..."
—Selphie Tilmitt at Trabia's cemetery, talking to the graves of some of her friends.
Selphie Tilmitt is a playable character in Final Fantasy VIII. She is an active, outspoken and energetic young girl who participates in many extracurricular activities, such as planning the Garden Festival and running the school's website. She is actually a little clumsy, ironically wielding an oversized nunchaku in battle and piloting the Ragnarok starship.

Selphie grew up in the same orphanage as the other main characters. She made quick friends with them due to her electrifying personality and even formed a small crush on Irvine Kinneas, another orphan, who similarly returned her affection. However, in time; the orphanage (run by Edea Kramer and her husband Cid) would shut down upon the couple's creation of SeeD and Garden. The orphans were separated as some were adopted, some went with Edea on the White SeeD Ship, and others simply enrolled directly into Garden. Selphie was the only one to move to Trabia and become a student at Trabia Garden, and while this particular Garden does not promote the use of Guardian Forces, Selphie's first junction with a GF occurred during an outdoor training session when she found one inside a monster. Selphie junctioned it for a period of time before eventually losing it and forgetting memories including its name as well as all of her memories of her time at the orphanage, the price one must pay for relying on the power of a Guardian Force. Upon completion of her training at Trabia Garden at the age of 17, Selphie transferred to Balamb Garden in order to take part in the SeeD field exam. It is at this time she becomes heavily involved with the Garden Festival, an event she didn't get to take part in back at Trabia Garden.

Selphie, missing class
Selphie first appears at the beginning of the game when she accidentally runs into an unsuspecting Squall. She misses homeroom class and complains Balamb Garden is so much bigger than Trabia. She asks Squall if he can give her a quick tour around the Garden so she does not get lost again. If Squall agrees, he will take her to the directory located on the first floor and give her general information about each of Garden's facilities and faculty members. Selphie thanks him and heads off to prepare for the field exam they are both taking that day.
During the SeeD field exam in Dollet, Selphie appears to Squall and Zell as a messenger from Squad A. After spontaneously jumping off a cliff and locating the captain of Squad B, Seifer Almasy, Selphie tells them their new orders are to retreat. Seifer is not satisfied with the order and so Selphie is forced to remain with the party for the remainder of the SeeD exam, narrowly escaping to the shore by the allotted time. Selphie is one of only four to pass the exam and become a SeeD, along with Squall, Zell, and another student named Nida. During the inauguration party, Selphie spends her time attempting to recruit people into helping her with the Garden Festival.

Selphie recollects on her "dream"
In the morning, Selphie is assigned a new mission along with Squall and Zell to assist a resistance faction in Timber known as the Forest Owls, where Rinoa Heartilly is also a member. Their mission is to capture the President of Galbadia, Vinzer Deling, by hijacking his private train and replacing it with a replica. And while their mission ultimately fails due to false intelligence; the three SeeD members are under contract by Headmaster Cid to assist the Forest Owls until Timber's liberation, a vague order they are less than pleased to follow. Nonetheless, their next mission is to intercept the first live televised broadcast in over seventeen years, being delivered by the President himself. This mission fails as well when Seifer shows up in an attempt to seize the President. Quistis Trepe arrives in hot pursuit and calls the Timber Team to the radio station where they meet the Sorceress, who teleports Seifer away and saves the President.
Afterward, the group is forced to leave Timber and head for the nearest Garden, which in their case is Galbadia Garden. Upon arriving, they learn of Seifer's supposed execution which leads Selphie and Rinoa into a conversation about love, as Rinoa dated Seifer over the previous summer. Suddenly the group is called to the front gate by Master Martine where they are given a new mission, this time to assassinate the Sorceress, Edea, before she can take control of Galbadia and become a threat to the world at large. Galbadia Garden's best sharpshooter, Irvine Kinneas, joins the party, and is charged with the official assassination of the Sorceress. The group travels to Deling City where they split into two teams. Selphie is a part of the "gateway team" along with Quistis and Zell whose task is to trap the Sorceress between the bridge as her float passes through. While the "gateway team" accomplishes their part of the mission, the actual assassination fails and the team (excluding Irvine who manages to escape) are captured and incarcerated in the D-District Prison.

Selphie and her party are trapped
They manage to escape, but soon afterward discover Galbadia has ordered attacks on Balamb and Trabia Gardens. As they are discussing their plan, missiles launch overhead in the direction of Trabia Garden. Selphie silently apologizes to Trabia for not being quick enough to save them, but pulls herself back together from her sorrow so that she can continue on with their new mission. Selphie convinces Squall to split the group into two teams; one to infiltrate Galbadia's missile silo while the other travels back to Balamb Garden to warn of the impending attack. She demands to be on the missile infiltration team to take revenge for Trabia Garden, and along with two other team members, heads off to see her vengeance met.
The three infiltrate the Missile Base with a Galbadian vehicle and dress up as Galbadian soldiers to sneak past the guards. Selphie reprograms the remaining missiles to self-destruct. The alarms start flashing and the three are finally discovered. They run outside where they are ambushed by a Galbadian war machine that they quickly disable, but the machine's remains block the only available exit and effectively traps the team inside the base to meet their demise. While the other two teammates mourn their fate, Selphie remains hopeful that Squall chose the team selections for a reason. In quick thinking, she gets the party to take shelter inside the dysfunctional war machine just as the missile base self-destructs. Thought dead, the three remain inside the machine and pilot it when it becomes part of an invasion force against Fishermans Horizon where Squall's team is forced to fight it until Selphie and the others can get out.

Selphie performs at the Garden Festival
Reunited, the team learns of Garden's mobile capabilities as well as its crashing into Fishermans Horizon. The FH technicians promise to repair it by morning, but Selphie still becomes temporarily depressed over everything that's happened. Squall and Irvine cheer her up however, and she exclaims that "cheering up" was not something she ever expected from Squall, something he nearly takes offense to, before leaving her in Irvine's hands. Later that night; Selphie and Irvine organize a party in honor of Squall's promotion to Commander where each of the party members (excluding Squall of course) learns to play an instrument and performs for him and Rinoa at the FH sun panel.
After Garden leaves Fishermans Horizon with Squall as the new Commander, Quistis tells Squall Selphie is exhausted from all that has happened, and she is unavailable to be recruited in the party until they get to Balamb, which they find occupied by Galbadian forces. If Squall takes Selphie in his team to free Balamb, Selphie will visit Zell's room in his house and when Zell complains of Selphie being too much at home at his room, she tells Zell he should be happy a pretty girl like her is sitting on his bed. If the player disagrees with Selphie and sides with Zell their SeeD Rank is deducted.

Selphie returns to her friends
After liberating Balamb Selphie requests for Balamb Garden to be sent to Trabia. Squall agrees and upon arriving, Selphie reunites with some of her old friends and gives respect to the grave site for those who did not make it. It is here that Selphie and the others (excluding Rinoa) remember their past at the orphanage thanks to Irvine's memory preservation, a result of him never junctioning a Guardian Force. Selphie confesses her experience with using a GF before she came to Balamb Garden, though recalls nothing of it, even its name. Selphie and the others are forced to accept the fact their beloved Matron is now the Sorceress Edea. The team decides to travel to Centra where the old orphanage is located to try and discover the source of the Sorceress's power. When they arrive in Centra, Balamb Garden intercepts the similarly mobile, Galbadia Garden and the Battle of the Gardens ensues. Selphie participates until finally the group is forced to face their former Matron, Edea. After a fierce battle Edea is finally defeated and everyone in the room falls unconscious due to a spell.

Squall's party traverses the Salt Lake
Upon waking, Selphie and the others discover Rinoa has fallen into a coma-like state and Edea has been released from the control of an evil Sorceress from the future named Ultimecia. Edea reveals the Sorceress's ultimate goal is time compression, a spell compressing all of time into a singular moment, which is something only Ultimecia will be able to survive and will allow her to recreate the world how she sees fit. Everyone becomes deeply concerned over Rinoa's condition (especially Squall) who at the behest of Edea, decides to search for Ellone. When the White SeeD tell them she is in Esthar, Squall docks the Garden against the Horizon's Bridge and ventures alone, the hundreds of miles with Rinoa on his back so that Ellone may bring them together again. However, Selphie and the others beat him to the continent in Garden and berate him for not trusting his friends. The reunited group locates the invisible domain, Esthar City, and eventually discovers Ellone to be in the Estharian space station, Lunar Base, which orbits the planet in the same scope as the moon. Squall takes Rinoa to the space station to be cured while the others stay behind to watch over Edea, who still considers herself a threat unaware that she has lost her Sorceress Power.
Selphie and the rest soon discover a colossal structure known as the Lunatic Pandora looming ever closer to Esthar City. When they attempt boarding, however, they are repelled by an invisible force and are forced to retreat until they can find a way through. When Squall returns with Rinoa, he brings with him the Ragnarok starship. Selphie immediately declares herself its pilot and takes the party away from Esthar so that Rinoa, who is now a Sorceress herself having inherited Edea's powers, is not sealed within the Sorceress Memorial. Selphie pilots the Ragnarok to the old orphanage where each team member expresses their elation over Squall and Rinoa being together. Selphie is glad that Rinoa's "straight-forward" worked to knock down Squall's defenses and states herself she just enjoys being surrounded by her friends.

Selphie flies the Ragnarok
The team is soon called back by the President of Esthar, Laguna Loire, and Dr. Odine to defeat Ultimecia once and for all. They use the newly acquired Ragnarok to invade the Lunatic Pandora where Selphie aids in the defeat of Sorceress Adel who has recently been possessed by Ultimecia. Afterward, Ultimecia succeeds in casting time compression by using Ellone to send her consciousness even further back into time and allowing her to exist in all past, present and future simultaneously. Since the spell is not instantaneous and takes time to cast, Selphie and the others survive the effects by believing strongly in each others' existence. This allows them to travel to the future where Ultimecia awaits and destroy her before time compression completes itself. Selphie is one of the first to fall back into time's rift just before she is defeated, believing strongly enough in her friends as well as her own existence that she is transported back to the present time.

Selphie in Irvine's cowboy hat, during the ending sequence.
The story ends at midnight over a vast ocean where a celebration is held for Ultimecia's defeat. Selphie spends the entire time video taping the moments of all her friends as well as saving Zell from choking on his hot dogs. It is implied here that Selphie and Irvine have begun developing feelings for each other as she wears his cowboy hat and gets jealous when he flirts with other girls. Her video taping ends when she enthusiastically directs Irvine to direct the camera towards the balcony where Squall and Rinoa are about to share their first kiss, but the camera's battery dies before the kiss is caught on tape. 

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