Signature Weapon:- Missile Blade
Starred In:- Final Fantasy 8
Fujin, much like Raijin, is very loyal to Seifer, going to the same lengths as the former to follow along with Seifer.
The smallest in stature of the three, she is also arguable the scariest, preferring to speak with one word at a time, preferably loudly to make sure she is heard, she is the one member of the disciplinary committee who actually seems to care about the rules and not just punishing people.
Through most of the game, you are not gonna take Fujin that seriously, I mean come on, she yells one word phrases and pals around with Raijin, who ain’t the smartest of individuals, hwoever, when she stops and finally properly speaks, you find out just how much love she has for her friends and just how worried she has been about the path Seifer has been going down the lions share of the game, following along in an attempt to keep an eye on him, and in the end not giving up on him, but trusting that Squall can do what they could not, reach through and bring back her friend.
Yin: slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime
Yang: fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime
I apologize for the lack of non-webcam gif spam updates. Aside from home improvements, I was in the middle of switching to another company and just celebrated my first anniversary. Doing so without taking time off meant a lot of late nights and weekends, while still including Harp lessons and Ballet. On top of that, my free time was filled by gatherings surrounding the goodbyes/congratulations as a few friends were also switching companies.
Now that I’m fairly settled, I’m more content with where my life is and excited about where it’s headed. Even though my positions for the past six years have been fairly ‘hands-off’ when it comes to hardcore coding, I’ve been designing and developing responsive sites by donating my free time (again) on a volunteer basis to companies/causes that deserve it. Seeing how happy people get when I make something for them is very satisfying.
Now onto that FF8 thang. Being imprisoned and breaking out is a typical JRPG scenario, but what’s unusual with Final Fantasy is how the games seem to be throwing both women and men into cells together - cells with toilets!
With that out of the way, Rinoa wakes up with Quistis, Selphie and Zell (the gateway team) in a prison cell. She silently listens to everyone talking about the strange dreams they had again, but is more focused on where she is and what it means for the group since Squall is missing.
Rinoa isn’t the type to share her plans until she has one, so she’s unusually quiet at this time. This type of behaviour is typical of strategists, it’s referred to as a “detective thinktype”. She scratches her head as Zell mentions Ward being in a prison, since this gives her a starting point. Still, she’s so focused on making a plan to get out that she only speaks up when Zell goes to her, fairly certain that the prison he was dreaming about as Ward is the same one that they are inside right now.
Knowing that Zell isn’t the sharpest of the bunch, Rinoa gently allows him to come to the same conclusion, in his own loud way. Rinoa then covers her face as she finally speaks up. She explains where they are - a prison for political activists in Galbadia. It is run by President Deling, and anyone who goes against him gets sentenced to death there.
Rinoa curls her arms around her legs and tightens up as she speaks. It’s a habit of hers when uncomfortable, and she definitely is. She’s thinking of how Squall is missing from the group, and he’s likely in a worse situation than them since last she saw he was getting impaled. She hopes that he is still alive, since Galbadia’s leader is now the Sorceress and things may be different.
There’s not much happening here beyond setting the new scene, which is set as a contrast to the previous bright and happy family scenes with Ellone, Raine and Laguna. And I don’t know what it is, but the women in the flashbacks always made me think of the ’70s because their outfits had a vintage shape and colour to them - Raine’s sweater and headband, as well as Julia’s slipdress really gave me that feeling.
Scene setting aside, something is worth noticing. Without Squall present, nobody seems to be taking charge. For whatever reason, the player is given Zell’s POV at this stage, and Zell jumps at the opportunity for leadership while Selphie doesn’t care for it. Meanwhile, Rinoa is too inwardly focused (what a change!) on what to do, and whether Squall has been sentenced to death that she doesn’t even notice Quistis cutting into her dialogue to reassert herself.
The group is soon met with violence as three guards enter. Rinoa and the other girls freeze in terror as the guards raise their guns at Zell for speaking up. They’re then forced to watch the armed guards beat Zell, or be shot. Unlike the other two girls, she was unable to silently watch, so she yells at the top of her lungs for them to stop. This actually causes them to stop what they’re doing, and reminds them of why they were there - which is to look for “a Rinoa”. Rinoa allows herself to be taken in order for the violence to end, and assures everyone that she’ll be fine even though she’s not completely certain.
The scene then fully cuts to Squall’s POV, and the source of all things yaoi between Seifer and Squall. Seifer tortures Squall and calls him an evil mercenary - while he calls himself a Sorceress’ Knight. It’s ironic, that the people who don’t actively seek something that brings power (and glory) end up being the best at it. In this case, Squall never romanticized the idea of being a Knight - yet he eventually becomes an excellent one out of the greater need to protect someone he loves. Which brings us to Squall’s realization in mid-torture that his friends may be tortured as well. It allows him to admit that he cares for them. Sure, it’s just admitting it to himself.. but showing concern for anyone is a huge deal for him.
If you’ve been reading, you’ll know that I subscribe to the school of thought that Seifer’s mind has been under control at the subconscious level ever since he encountered Edea at Timber. Not only is mind control what Witches simply do all the time, but if Seifer is really that evil, it makes his character irredemable. Evil is not what his character was set out to be. He may have a long coat and a long sword and be called a “rival” but he is no Sephiroth. At the end of Final Fantasy games, usually whoever is evil will get what’s coming to them. In Seifer’s case, he’s smiling and acting like a teenager when it ends. It shows us that he returns to being the Seifer we knew in the beginning of the game - the Seifer that Rinoa knew.
While the worst-dungeon-sequence-ever is happening, Rinoa is freed from the prison, all thanks to General Caraway’s connections. Her father also ordered Irvine to drive her safely back home to Deling City, but Rinoa refuses to go anywhere while everyone is likely to be sentenced to death. Instead, she jumps on Irvine and scratches at him until she can jump out. She explains why it’s uncertain that everyone will be safe - by showing an uncanny familiarity with the way Squall rationalizes his decisions. She then comically forces Irvine back into the car until he drives it to the prison. Though cute as this may seem, Rinoa is actually quite angry. She’s so unimpressed with Irvine’s attitude that she begins to see him the way she sees her father - as a man who only cares about themselves.
Sidenote: I’m unsure if I brought this up here before but Rinoa doesn’t drive in the whole game. This scenario with Irvine would have been hugely different if she simply took control of the car and drove it. Judging by how she easily moved around in the car, taking control doesn’t seem to have been the problem. Instead, she says she doesn’t care if she has to force him to drive her. If Rinoa wants to go somewhere on her own, she rides the bus and takes trains, and it’s clear her father prefers her being escorted by a driver in a vehicle like a princess. I am reaching here, but her mother died in a car accident, and that’s likely that’s why she never learnt.
Irvine leads the way back into the prison and snipes the guards shooting at everyone with ease. It seems these shots aren’t fatal, as the guards getting shot are still making grunting noises - something which proves that Irvine is indeed very good at what he does. In fact, he’s so good that he gets carried away with showing off… until Rinoa kicks him down the stairs. She’s especially angry because Irvine took so long to change his mind, and if they came more earlier they might not have had to join a firefight.
We’re suddenly thrown into Rinoa’s internal POV, and up until now it was debatable whether we were seeing things from Rinoa’s or Irvine’s. Only in the future will we see why her POV is important, but for now we learn the obvious - that she’s extremely happy that Squall is alive. She’s so relieved that she crouches down on the steps as soon as she sees him and calls his name. She’s still speechless as she walks over and looks at him.
Rinoa and Squall spend an awkward moment of restraint staring at each other, all the while Quistis and Irvine have a conversation on their behalf. Not quite listening, Rinoa mentions that her father pulled some strings to get her out of the prison - while still looking at Squall. Annoyed, she nicknames Irvine the same thing she calls her father (“that man”) while she tells Squall how Irvine originally didn’t plan to come back and help anyone. Although Squall doesn’t reply, he is definitely surprised that Rinoa, an outsider, came back to help.
Squall continues to be silent until they get back to figuring a way out. Cue the guards coming for them and Irvine having a change of heart. Inspired, Irvine takes on a heroic stance and offers to lead the party covering everyone on their way out. Several battles and a death defying stunt later, everyone escapes the prison and the party is whole again. The girls decide to go in a yellow car, which leaves the guys to go in the other, much to Irvine’s dismay.
I wish we could have seen the conversation that the girls and guys had in their respective cars. It was a perfect opportunity for character development across characters who are not Squall and Rinoa, and it was completely missed due to the need for the story to keep moving forward while only being focused on Squall and Rinoa. Sure, it was already a dialogue heavy game, but there was so much more to be said as the groundwork for their personalities (not so much their histories) were laid so well. This is probably why there is so much fanfiction out there for FF8 that’s actually really, like really, good. In many ways, better than the game itself due to this groundwork.
In my mind’s eye, I see Rinoa becoming close friends with Selphie. Sure, Rinoa and Selphie were nerding out on her website off-screen, but I’m a bit miffed that the story never really branched out that way for the two characters on-screen. This is probably why there’s a ton of bonding for Rinoa and Selphie in this story by Tealover.
The party soon comes to a (literal) crossroads which affects the future of both Gardens. It seems Selphie and Rinoa did talk in the car for a short time, though it was about something serious - Galbadia and Balamb being under attack. Rinoa looks at the ground and paces, she doesn’t know exactly what to do about the situation but she does know that they have to split up again - and soon.
It seems everyone is wasting valuable time talking, so Rinoa finally speaks up with her own plan. She says that Squall is now the leader and will decide on two teams - but because of this, he will have to be on the team going back to Balamb. In a democratic move, she asks everyone to vote on whether they’re for or against her plan - because she is no longer their client and has no say in what they do. She also says that she doesn’t mind which team she gets placed on. This shocks Squall, because Rinoa’s not a student of Garden and yet she cares to put her life on the line for them, again.
Missiles fire towards Trabia and this spurns everyone into action, causing them to go along with Rinoa’s plan. So while Rinoa isn’t a great leader, she’s a great strategist at getting the needed results and she’s a great team member to have. While everyone is rushing Squall into making decisions, Rinoa is the only one there reminding him to think carefully.
FF8 and SeeD’s logo were obviously based on Yin and Yang, but how this translates into the game is so very subtle sometimes. It’s more than just Squall and Rinoa’s designs. It’s how they seek to resolve problems. Squall (Yang) fights on to seek victory, while Rinoa (Yin) seeks victory through democracy. The yin and yang symbolism is also brought back in FFX with the designs for Tidus and Yuna.
Think of how Rinoa joined the resistance with Timber, she wasn’t there to just “fight”. She joined to help the powerless realize that they have the power within themselves to remedy the situation. Now think of how it would be if Squall joined the resistance with his mercenery thinking and training. Squall would simply want to know who to kill - no other questions asked.
With the way videogames and the real world (unfortunately) works, one would think that the “Yang” mercenery approach would be the fastest way to liberate Timber. But the reality is that this could only result in a cycle of escalating violence using stronger weapons and military as the city sorts itself out and continually fights against whichever figurehead leads Galbadia. This is because any violence done by a Timber citizen to a Galbadian citizen is violence done to all, and who better to understand this reality more than Rinoa - who is a Galbadian herself.
So while the Forest Owls seem to not be getting all that many ‘victories’ through their non-violent “Yin” approaches, over time this approach to revolution will bring Timber the freedom and peace they truly need. It has taken decades, but it won’t take thousands of lives.
– Sheila Knight, FFVIII Thoughts
so i saved spr-j and it’s strange how str-j, vit-j, spd-j luck-j, hit-j, and def-j aren’t taken
quick guys let’s have a -j family
You little bitch.
breathtaking games - final fantasy viii
Edea Kramer: Gran magia - Luz helada