Adel appears masculine, possessing a torso more akin to a well-built male. Her red hair is tied into a long plait and she wears a headpiece, a black skirt with frock, arm bands, and body armor (although this piece is often confused as being part of the multiple black tattoos that adorn her torso, creating the impression of her being topless). Her skin is white and her eyes are crimson. A set of tattoos delineate a mirror-image of wings on her back. In the fighting sequence the tattoo is replaced by an actual set of pinnae, or wings. Adel is at least four times the size of the average person.
Adel is said to be cruel, brutal, avaricious, power-hungry, and utterly ruthless. She has no morals and no sympathies and is the epitome of pure evil. None of her actions in the game show anything more than this.
Sorceress Adel rose to power in Esthar during the time period between the destruction of the Centra Empire and the advent of the Sorceress War. How she became the ruler of Esthar is unknown, although Selphie Tilmitt mentions similarities between the rise of Edea Kramer and Adel in her diary. This would indicate Adel cooperated with the former head of Esthar before taking over the position forcefully, possibly through assassination.
Estharians rarely speak of her in more than hushed voices, indicating it was a rule of tyranny. Adel began what was to be known as the Sorceress War by pitting the forces of Esthar against Galbadia in a step towards world domination. Galbadia retaliated and instead of being conquered, expanded its own power and became a dominant nation in its own right.
Esthar discovered the Crystal Pillar that controls the periodic Lunar Cry. Realizing the destructive power she could harness by using the Lunar Cry as a weapon, Adel ordered a special compound that became known as the Lunatic Pandora built around the pillar. Lunatic Pandora served two purposes: it made the Crystal Pillar mobile, allowing Adel to choose the precise location of each Lunar Cry, and it amplified the pillar's frequency emanations, causing the "cries" prompted by the pillar from inside the Pandora to be even more destructive.
Since a sorceress must pass on her power to another upon death before she can rest, Adel intended find a successor and ordered the mass kidnapping of young girls, planning to choose one with the most potential and raise her to become the next tyrant of Esthar. One target of particular interest was Ellone, the adopted daughter of Laguna Loire and Raine who had a unique ability to send another person's consciousness back in time. After Ellone had been kidnapped, Laguna, a former Galbadian soldier, stopped at nothing to rescue her.
While rescuing Ellone, Laguna joined the Estharian resistance against Adel's rule. Knowing that killing Adel would have her pass on her sorceress powers to someone else, the resistance came up with an alternative: containing her. Laguna enlisted the help of his friends, Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac, as well as the scientific knowledge of Esthar's top scientist, Dr. Odine. Although initially loyal to Adel, Odine's ultimate desire was research, and so he built a cryo-containment device to bind the sorceress's powers and place her in suspended animation for the resistance. The resistance placed the device inside a building that would later become known as the Sorceress Memorial.
Resistance fighters took control of the Lunatic Pandora and sunk it deep into the ocean, both to draw out Adel and to lessen the impact of future Lunar Cries. When Adel came to investigate, resistance members told her they believed those responsible to be holding Ellone hostage inside the Memorial. When Adel entered the building she found a facsimile of Ellone resting within a container, Laguna following her close behind. Before Adel could retaliate, Laguna pushed her and Kiros and Ward remotely closed the container, binding her in thin golden cords and freezing her instantaneously. Releasing a gelatinous cooling and buffering agent, the device protected the frozen Adel from outside contact preventing any stimulus from awakening her.
The container, appropriately dubbed Adel's Tomb, was launched into space and brought to rest in orbit around the moon, causing the worldwide radio interference rendering most wireless technology useless for the next 17 years, until Sorceress Ultimecia possesses Rinoa Heartilly and reaches the Lunar Base, thus gaining access to Adel's Tomb. Rinoa deactivates the trap, freeing Adel, as Ultimecia's sorceress' knightSeifer Almasy starts a Lunar Cry from the salvaged Lunatic Pandora. As monsters fall from the moon, Adel's Tomb is caught up in the morass and brought down with them, falling into the Lunatic Pandora. Ultimecia leaves Rinoa's body to possesses Adel's.
Squall Leonhart and his allies infiltrate Lunatic Pandora to save Ellone, whom Seifer has taken captive onboard. As Seifer's allies, Fujin and Raijin, betray him and release Ellone, Seifer kidnaps Rinoa and presents her to the possessed Adel, who junctions Rinoa to increase her powers. Adel loses to the SeeD and transfers her powers to Rinoa before dying.
Main article: Adel (boss)
Adel is fought at the start of disc 4 in the Lunatic Pandora. Rinoa has been junctioned onto her, forcing the player to not only be mindful about their choice of attack, but also ensure Rinoa stays alive as Adel drains her life force to restore her own.
Spoilers end here.
FFAB Adel appears in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as an enemy during an event called "Showdown". In battle, Adel uses Ultima.
Adel appears in Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
Adel from Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade has a lightning-elemental card.
"I'll be here..."
"I'll be 'waiting' here..."
"I'll be waiting... for you, so... if you come here... you'll find me."
This game provides examples of:
open/close all folders
- Absolute Cleavage: Ultimecia.
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The Balamb Garden disciplinary committee - although how much official power they actually have, and how much of it is just Seifer bullying other cadets, is never really clear.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers of Deling City.
- Academy of Adventure: Balamb Garden.
- Achievement Mockery: There is a Steam achievement for losing a rare card in Triple Triad. Then again, you have to lose specific rare cards to the Queen of Cards to advance her sidequest, so completionists will have to get this sooner or later.
- Action Girl: Selphie and Quistis. Rinoa tries, but is undermined by a series of Distressed Damsel moments until she eventually becomes the strongest of the three after becoming a sorceress.
- Action Prologue/Fake Action Prologue: The opening scene in which Squall and Seifer are dueling could qualify as either one. To a new player, it may look like an epic fight between the hero and villain or an In Medias Res of an epic fight that will occur later, but then it turns out that it was a sparring match gone out of hand.
- Aggressive Negotiations: Rinoa states that as soon as the party's ready, she'll begin 'serious negotiations' with the Galbadian president, Vinzer Deling.
Squall: (facepalming) 'Serious negotiations'... Better make sure my GF's equipped...
- The Alcatraz: D-District Prison.
- All in a Row: Earlier games only showed one character at a time. This was the first title to show the entire party walking around together.
- Lampshaded during the missile base mission: a guard will tease you for walking in a single file if you choose to "act cool."
- The Aloner: Squall in the end sequence.
- Always Save the Girl: "Rinoa...... Even if you end up as the world's enemy, I'll... I'll be your knight."
- Ambiguously Brown: Raijin.
- Animal Motifs: Lion imagery is all over Squall, from his family name of Leonhart to the fur collar of his jacket evoking a lion's mane. Some of it, like the jacket and the lion-headed cross that decorates his necklace and his gunblade, is clearly purposeful on his part: discussing his ring, which also features a winged lion, Squall describes the lion as a symbol of great strength and pride, with the implication that he wishes he could be more like one.
- Anti-Frustration Features: As Quistis is needed to be talked to as an NPC within the Balamb Garden cockpit in order to rechallenge the match of Triple Triad against her, if she happens to be within your party when you go to the cockpit, she would automatically walk to the position she would normally be as an NPC and resume her functions.
- Anti-Hero: Squall. He doesn't believe in good or evil and rarely if ever seems concerned with "right" or "wrong," instead staying involved in the game's plot because he is hired to do so and, later in the game, to protect Rinoa and because he is made to believe that it's his fate.
- Anti Villains: Fujin and Raijin. They're loyal to Seifer, but don't get quite as delusional as him and only fight the main characters because Seifer wills it. This dissonance leads them to alternate between senseless loyalty to Seifer to thinking he needs some sense knocking into him.
- Arbitrary Gun Power: Irvine's gun, the damage of which is based on his Strength stat like any other physical attack.
- Laguna's machine gun, in the same vein.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: By the end of the first disk there are six permanent party members, as well as a Guest-Star Party Member who joins for a little while in Disc 3, but the player can never field more than three at a time.
- The Archmage: Ultimecia.
- Arc Words: "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" can be heard in various musical pieces from the opening FMV to the absolute Final Battle. It's a fake-Latin anagram of the game's two intertwining themes: "Love" and the "Succession of Witches".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Right before the Battle of the Gardens, Squall is given a choice of orders to issue to the students in Balamb Garden involving their battle strategy and defense, but there's also an order of what to do with the hot dogs.
- Artificial Gravity: Esthar Lunar Base and the Ragnarok. The latter has a scene where it's turned off, causing Rinoa to float.
- Ascended Fanboy: The Ultimania guide reveals that Seifer's dream of becoming a sorceress's knight was influenced by seeing the movie in which Laguna played a knight, and that he based his gunblade stance on the one Laguna used during the film.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Cid steps down as Headmaster and promotes Squall to Commander of SeeD specifically in order to change Garden from a school to an active fighting force against the sorceress. The decision is undoubtedly helped along by the fact that Cid already knows, courtesy of Edea, that Squall is going to defeat Ultimecia in the future.
- Ass in Ambassador: Edea's initial role. Galbadia plans on using her as an ambassador to create fear and ultimately Take Over the World.
- Asshole Victim: Vinzer Deling at the parade in Deling City. Nobody felt sorry for him when Edea impaled him, even if she was worse than him. She cast Charm Person on the crowds, so they don't mind it one bit either.
- Atlantis: The Centra civilization is Atlantis in all but name.
- Author Appeal: Nomura admitted he flat out wanted to include a character in a skirt, heavily inspiring Selphie's design. In addition, Edea and Ultimecia were heavily designed to be a Shout-Out to Yoshitaka Amano's artstyle.
- Badass Adorable: Selphie.
- Badass Army: The SeeDs. In one day, Squall duels his rival, kicks the crap out of a Guardian Force, destroys two horrible mutant abominations, storms a beach D-Day style, fights an amphibious/urban battle, and escapes from a nigh-unkillable spider robot (or kills it for extra credit), and no one considers this strange or unusual. For SeeD, this is just an example of a final exam for them, which qualifies them to be SeeD soldiers. No wonder they've got such a crazy reputation. Admittedly, Squall in particular is considered badass by the Badass Army, even at that point in the story.
- Badass Biker: Galbadia's army includes motorcycle troops, using their mobility to race around the battlefield...
- Badass Bystander: ... only for one of the bikers to get clotheslined by a Balamb Garden student swinging a sword.
- Badass Driver: Squall hijacks a top-down car during the disc one finale and speeds up to square-off against his Rival Turned Evil and the (literal) Disc-One Final Boss.
- Badass in Charge: Squall once he becomes appointed as SeeD leader.
- Badass Longcoat: Seifer and Irvine wear these.
- Badass Normal: Laguna, Ward, and Kiros, under most circumstances.
- Badass Teacher: Quistis, at least at first. She probably qualifies for Badass Bookworm as well, as becoming a SeeD by age 15 requires some hardcore studying.
- Bad Mood as an Excuse: One gets the impression from the message programed into the robotic dummy of President Vinzer Deling that the real Deling makes use of this a lot, given how convincing the dummy is.
Deling Dummy: I'm in a bad mood right now! If there is nothing in particular, I order you to leave immediately!
- Bag of Sharing:
- Laguna's party and the main party share access to the same collection of Guardian Forces, stocked magic, and items, and anything that Laguna and his friends acquire during the Mental Time Travel sequences stays in the main party's inventory when they wake up. Justified due to the main party being sent to Laguna's party via mental mind travel, inadvertently granting the latter party their own stuff in the process, though this does not explain the sharing of physical items.
- Guardian Forces, stocked magic, and items are also freely shared during instances in which the main party splits up, including when Squall goes into space.
- Batman Gambit: The heroes actually use this on Ultimecia, although Ultimecia had gotten them with one earlier. Possessing Rinoa and putting her into a coma so that she could go into space and free the most powerful sorceress in the world... nobody could see it coming.
- Because Destiny Says So: Cid promotes Squall to Commander of SeeD based on Edea's foreknowledge of Squall's role in defeating Ultimecia. Squall in turn tells the other SeeDs at Balamb Garden that it is their destiny to fight the sorceress, and tells the past Edea that she will found SeeD for that purpose. The Stable Time Loop means that there's a lot of Because Destiny Says So running around the plot; Ultimecia, possessing Edea, also identifies Squall as "the legendary SeeD destined to face me".
- Beehive Barrier:
- Balamb Garden gets one during the scene where it becomes mobile. However, it doesn't actually act as a force field. It's just part of the sequence that occurs while the Garden begins moving.
- The "Great Wall of Esthar" is a somewhat more standard example in that it is actually a wall, albeit one used more for camouflage purposes than physical defense.
- Beneath the Mask: Squall, whose Jerkass Façade is a mask he developed as a child to deal with the pain of losing his "sister" Ellone. If you look at his entire persona, it's very much like how a child would think a "tough adult" would act, and beneath it he's insecure and emotionally immature, as well as more caring than he likes to let on.
- Beta Couple: In some degree, Selphie and Irvine.
- Be the Ball: The Wendigo's main form of attack, amusingly enough, is to grab a party member, smash them into a ball, and use them as a weapon against the rest of the group.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Selphie. As revenge for launching missiles at her old Garden, she decides to blow up Galbadia's weapon base while on a mission with a smile. Even before that, her casual suggestions for dealing with various situations will inevitably gravitate towards the most violent options imaginable, to the shock of her teammates. In particular, on her very first mission, she suggests blowing up the President's train with a rocket launcher. While in D-District Prison, she suggests skinning a moomba to wear its fur as a disguise. Mechanics wise, she has not one but two One-Hit Kill spells in her Limit Break: "Rapture," which one-hit-KO's every non-boss enemy, and "The End," which can one-shot anything up to the Final Boss if you're lucky enough to roll it up.
- BFG: The gun on the vessel that Quistis uses at Dollet.
- BFS: They're not the Buster Sword, but the Gunblades are pretty large, particularly the Twin Lance, Punishment, and Lionheart models. There is also Odin's Zantetsuken.
- BGM Override: For the opening FMVs of the Dollet Field Exam, "The Landing" plays and continues to play during random encounters for the first portion.
- Big Bad: Ultimecia.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: The Siege of Dollet, the Battle of the Gardens, the Siege of Esthar. All of them use a BGM Override, as listed above.
- Big Damn Gunship: The Ragnarok initially appears as just a spaceship, but is revealed to be this as well during the assault on Lunatic Pandora.
- Big Damn Heroes: Half the game involves someone rescuing someone, usually Rinoa.
- Big, Friendly Dog: Rinoa's dog Angelo.
- Big Red Devil: Diablos and Ifrit.
- Bishounen: In a series chock-full of handsome leads, FFVIII takes the cake. With the possible exceptions of Cid and Rajin, each of the male lead are depicted with clean-shaven faces and feminine necklines.
- Black Best Friend: Kiros to Laguna and Raijin to Seifer.
- The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: In the opening sequence, Squall's gunblade falls end over end and ends up impaled in the ground.
- The Blank: A Freeze-Frame Bonus in the ending sequence shows Squall with no face.
- Blocking Stops All Damage: The unique defend command negates all physical damage and half of the magical. Considering it's a GF ability, it can be considered partly magical, but seeing the Bonus Boss do no damage with its most powerful attack it's still pretty striking.
- Blow You Away: Fujin. Also, the Pandemona GF (which is drawn from Fujin).
- Boisterous Bruiser: Mentally, Seifer. Definitely Raijin and Zell.
- Boss Battle
- Advancing Boss of Doom: X-ATM092. Type A.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss/Trick Boss: Biggs and Wedge on the Dollet Communications Tower. They're blown away (literally by wind) and replaced by the much stronger Elvoret.
- Bonus Boss: Omega and Ultima Weapon. Also, the various GFs that you have to fight and defeat before obtaining.
- Boss Banter: Several bosses talk to the party during the fight; Edea, Seifer, NORG, Fujin and Raijin, Biggs and Wedge, Fake President Deling.
- In a subversion, Ultimecia starts to talk right before the fight is over.
- Boss Bonanza: The game had a last dungeon full of semi-optional bosses who need to be defeated to unlock abilities for the final battles.
- Boss Corridor: This precedes all but the first boss of the Lunatic Pandora, acts like this twice for Edea's Commencement Room (the first visit at the end of Disc 1 to save Rinoa from two Iguions and then again after Lunatic Pandora but before the multi-sorceress Time Compression fight at the start of Disc 4), and a bridge connects the last explorable area of Ultimecia's Castle, the Clock Tower, with her throne room, which is the final Point Of No Return and where the final boss fight of the game takes place.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: T-Rexaur. Tonberry. Malboro. Elnoyle looks like the second boss in the game, but it's much, MUCH worse. Also, Ruby Dragon.
- The game actually has two areas filled with nothing but bosses in mook's clothing called the Island Closest to Heaven and the Island Closest to Hell.
- Cowardly Boss / "Get Back Here!" Boss: Sacred in the Tomb of the Unknown King, who runs away after your first optional fight with him. The player then has another optional fight with him again along with his brother, Minotaur.
- Jumbo Cactuar can run away while the player is fighting it, requiring the player to have to fight it all over again, which is not fun. It will do so if it's brought down to less than 2% of its hit points.
- Cutscene Boss: X-ATM092. If the player doesn't destroy it by bringing all of its hit points to zero — which most don't due to either the time limit, the amount of Level Grinding required, or just the sheer repetition of having to fight it numerous times — then Quistis will destroy it in an FMV.
- Damage-Sponge Boss / Marathon Boss: Omega Weapon, Ultima Weapon, Tonberry King, Jumbo Cactuar, Ultimecia's four forms.
- Degraded Boss: Granaldo and its Raldo backup. Inverted with Elvoret being a boss, but Elnoyle being a palette-swapped copy monster who is about 10 times as powerful by comparison.
- Dual Boss: The Iguions, the Oilboyles, Fujin and Raijin, Biggs and Wedge, Sacred and Minotaur, Vysage with Lefty and Righty.
- Duel Boss: In the first boss fight against Seifer, Squall fights him alone.
- Final Boss, New Dimension: The climactic battle against Ultimecia begins in her throne room, but grows increasingly chaotic as Time Compression proceeds; the last stage occurs in a nearly-featureless void.
- King Mook: Tonberry King.
- One-Winged Angel: Ultimecia goes through several of these. Also, the Fake President Deling has this when he transforms into Gerogero.
- Puzzle Boss: The Propagators on the Ragnarok. Also, Odin. Before you fight him, you have to complete the Centra Ruins puzzle quickly enough to get to him and beat him.
- Recurring Boss: Several. Biggs and Wedge have to be fought twice. Seifer has to be fought four times. Edea has to be fought twice. Raijin has to be fought three times. Fujin has to be fought twice. Sacred has two optional fights. BGH251F2 has to be fought twice.
- Sequential Boss: Numerous.
- The fight against Biggs and Wedge goes straight into the fight against Elvoret without the battle sequence ending.
- The first fight against Seifer in Deling City goes straight into the first fight against Edea, but with a scene in between.
- The first fight against Raijin in Balamb goes straight into the next boss fight against both Fujin and Raijin, but with a scene in between.
- The third fight against Seifer goes straight into the second fight against Edea without the battle sequence ending.
- All eight of the Propagators on the Ragnarok. They don't have to be fought one after the other, but they are all in the same area, and there's really nothing else to do since the player is stuck on the spaceship until the Propagators are cleared out.
- The several fights against sorceresses while entering the time compressed world have to be fought one after the other without the battle sequence ending.
- After defeating the necessary number of Tonberries, the Tonberry King appears right after the last one, without the battle sequence ending.
- The boss fight against Vysage, Lefty, and Righty goes straight into the fight against Gargantuan without the battle sequence ending.
- All four of Ultimecia's forms must be fought one after the other with no breaks or scenes in between.
- Skippable Boss: All eight of the bosses in Ultimecia's Castle do not have to be fought. However, since you have to beat them to unlock your abilities before fighting Ultimecia, skipping them is not recommended.
- Time-Limit Boss: Ifrit in the Fire Cavern, X-ATM092 in Dollet, BGH251F2 in the Galbadia Missile Base, Odin in the Centra Ruins.
- Vehicular Assault: X-ATM092 in Dollet, BGH251F2 in the Galbadia Missile Base and later in Fisherman's Horizon.
- Warmup Boss: Ifrit in the Fire Cavern.
- Zero-Effort Boss