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Ultimecia is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VIII, hell-bent on destroying the world and everything in it. Without a shred of goodness in her, she uses people and time alike to get what she wants. Driven by a desire to find the one person who can help her, she is also haunted by the fear of a prophetic glimpse of her own demise. Will she win out in the end? Read our Ultimecia guide to find out.
Ultimecia at a Glance
Not much is known about the sorceress known as Ultimecia. The game reveals her to be the only survivor of her time, and we’re left to believe she’s the reason this is the case. Like all sorceresses, she is human but has taken on some beastly properties in the form of clawed hands, feet, and wings.
Nowhere in Final Fantasy VIII does it reveal her age or any information about her past. We simply know she wants to destroy all of time and space and remake it in the image she sees fit, with her acting as a god. She uses a machine to send her consciousness through time in an attempt to make her dream a reality.
Ultimecia favors magic and can use the most powerful spells in the game at certain points. She also has powerful physical attacks that require the party to withstand as well.
When possessing Edea, Ultimecia wears a form-fitting black dress extending from head to toe with a feathered collar at the top. It flairs out at the bottom with a pink hue to allow for movement. She sports horn-like appendages on her head and a large golden frame on her back.
While Edea’s eyes are normally green, they change to Ultimecia’s yellow when she is under her control.
When meeting Ultimecia in her time, she is revealed to wear a red dress open from top to bottom except for her waist. The dress slightly covers her breasts and opens at the bottom to a short train. She does not wear shoes, presumably because she can fly with magic and large black wings on her back.
Ultimecia’s body is covered in colorful tattoos, and she has bull-like horns extending from either side of her head. Her hair is long, straight, and silver-colored, reaching nearly to her knees. The sorceress carries the yellow eyes that travel with her when she possesses other sorceresses.
Unlike most Final Fantasy games, the characters of Final Fantasy VIII are not able to use magic spells for healing or battle. The game introduces “para-magic” as a substitute, one-time artificial spells that serve the same purpose.
However, within the game’s world are a handful of women known as sorceresses. These women have the innate ability to use magic in all its forms for evil or good. While it is unclear how sorceresses first came to be, a female can only assume the role if powers are transferred to her by another sorceress. This process typically happens only when a sorceress is at death’s door.
Sorceresses often use Knights for protection while in battle. This is especially beneficial due to the rift between normal humans and sorceresses caused by the latter’s immense power. Those with these special powers often retreat from society as a result.
To counter the effects of sorceresses, Cid Kramer took it upon himself to build an army of SeeD fighters. These young warriors train as mercenaries in one of three Gardens to prepare them for battle. Once graduated, SeeDs take on missions around the world to support and restore order. They use para-magic and powerful beings called Guardian Forces to maximize their power.
With the exception of Rinoa, the heroes of Final Fantasy VIII are all graduates of the SeeD program.
A Quest for Power
Ultimecia is a being of pure evil living in the distant future. She’s a sorceress of extreme power, having already destroyed everyone in her own time. Ever thirsty for power, Ultimecia seeks to condense all time and space and become a living god.
With the help of a device known as the Junction Machine Ellone, Ultimecia can send her consciousness back in time to bygone eras. With the machine’s limited power, the sorceress can’t send herself back far enough to do the deed. She must instead find Ellone, the girl the device is based upon, to travel back even further.
To accomplish her purposes and locate Ellone, Ultimecia possesses a sorceress from the game’s present time named Edea to enact her evil plan. As she searches for Ellone, Ultimecia (as Edea) rises to power in the nation of Galbadia, using her newfound authority to extend her search.
Realizing Edea’s powers and corruption of a government, the Garden plans an assassination attempt against Edea during a celebratory parade for her rise to power. Sending Final Fantasy VIII’s playable characters in to stop the sorceress, they execute a daring sniper attempt to bring Edea down. Unfortunately, the sorceress proves too strong and nearly kills Squall before leaving the scene.
The Sorceress Strikes Back
Still assuming the body of Edea, Ultimecia uses her power as leader of Galbadia to launch a counter-attack against the Gardens that attacked her. She destroys one Garden and takes over another, making Galbadia Garden her new base of operations while continuing her search for Ellone.
Recovering from the failed assassination attempt and Garden attacks, the game’s heroes led by Squall travel to Galbadia Garden to try stopping the sorceress once again. After defeating Seifer, a rogue SeeD agent siding with the sorceress, Edea herself steps out and battles Squall and his allies.
This time, the heroes prove successful and manage to defeat Ultimecia within Edea’s body. In a weakened state, Edea unwittingly transfers her sorceress powers to Rinoa, Squall’s love interest and a member of his team. Ultimecia follows the flow of energy into Rinoa’s body, possessing her in the process.
A Search for Clarity
The SeeDs are relieved to see Edea freed of her sorceress powers and believe the worst to be over. Finally free of Ultimecia’s control, Edea tells the group that the true threat is Ultimecia and her desire to destroy the world through time compression. Rinoa, unable to handle the power inside her, collapses into a coma.
Biding her time, Ultimecia hides out in Rinoa’s body as Squall looks for answers to her comatose state. Unbeknownst to the heroes, they travel with Rinoa in search of Ellone who they believe can help heal her state of mind.
Traveling to the futuristic nation of Esthar, the SeeD team searches for Ellone there. Ultimecia realizes an opportunity to take over the body of Adel, an evil sorceress frozen and confined to space during her reign some 15 years earlier.
Assuming control of Rinoa, Ultimecia releases Adel from her frozen tomb and merges with her body. The powerful Ultimecia/Adel/Rinoa sorceress does battle with Squall and his friends. Although the sorceress’s powers reach new heights, it is not enough to bring down our heroes. Defeated, Adel gives her sorceress powers to Rinoa, and Ultimecia is temporarily forced back to her own time.
Finally meeting up with Ellone, she tells the team that Rinoa is now the only sorceress that Ultimecia can possess in this time. When this event happens, Ellone can send Rinoa (and Ultimecia) to the past to begin the time compression process. Only through this method can the heroes travel to the future, confront Ultimecia’s true form, and end her quest for power.
The Final Battle
Ultimecia indeed repossesses Rinoa, as she still needs Ellone to start time compression. Ellone enacts her plan, allowing Squall and team to step into Ultimecia’s Castle in the distant future and battle her. Even with her full power, Ultimecia is unable to defeat Squall and the time compression event comes to an end.
Unable to die until she passes on her power, Ultimecia ends up at Edea’s house in the past, where she gives the young Edea her sorceress powers. This starts the loop that allows Ultimecia to assume Edea’s body in the future, setting the events of Final Fantasy VIII in motion.
Phases of Ultimecia
Players end up doing battle with Ultimecia a total of six times during the events of Final Fantasy VIII. Since Ultimecia possesses other sorceresses as the game progresses, these confrontations happen in three different forms.
Ultimecia has already taken control of Edea before the game even begins. Squall and his team first fight her after the failed assassination attempt in Galbadia. Since monsters (and bosses) scale to your party’s average level, Edea will have different stats depending on your level when you fight her.
During the fight, Edea uses powerful -aga level spells that can do massive amounts of damage. She’s also quick to Dispel the team if you use any positive status effects on a party member. If the party is in rough shape, Edea will use her Limit Break to bring the battle to an end. The struggle also ends if the player doesn’t defeat Edea quickly enough.
Losing this battle does not result in a Game Over, as Edea will critically wound Squall upon its completion either way. If you are able to bring her hit points to zero, you are rewarded with 30 AP.
Pro Tip: Casting a positive status effect on a party member followed by a Carbunkle summon’s reflect causes Edea to waste turns dispelling herself while trying to remove the party’s effects.
Players meet Edea again while inside the Galbadia Garden. She’s obviously much stronger than her first encounter, but the party is also.
Still holding several powerful spells, Edea hopes to stop the party with combinations of -aga spells coupled with Death, Silence, and Maelstrom. At times, she will cast Reflect on herself and still Dispel positive effects from your team.
During the battle, be sure to Draw the Alexander Guardian Force from her and obtain a Royal Crown through a Mug command.
Pro Tip: Set up Junctions to block as many negative status effects as possible to make the fight easier. Edea is susceptible to Sleep spells.
The fight with Adel is especially tricky because Rinoa is fused with the sorceress. If Rinoa dies during the battle, the party will receive a Game Over and will have to attempt the fight again. Adel tends to absorb HP from Rinoa during the fight, and your team’s multi-target spells will damage Rinoa.
Being a powerful sorceress, Adel pulls out big spells like Holy, Flare, Quake, and Meteor for this battle. If she concentrates her magic powers, Adel can even unleash Ultima, dealing devastating damage to the team. She also has one powerful physical attack in the form of Energy Bomber.
There’s nothing worth drawing from Adel, but a successful Mug will get you the Samantha Soul item.
Pro Tip: You can use healing para-magics or items on Rinoa to keep her alive in battle long enough to defeat Adel. Shell will help keep your team alive from Adel’s powerful magics.
You’ll finally take the fight to Ultimecia in her castle at the end of the game. Once you reach her, she will transition through a series of forms before unleashing a devastating final one. Each form is unique and should be handled in different ways.
Ultimecia (Form One)
It’s essential to have all your characters geared up because Ultimecia will force you to start the battle with three random party members. If any character is out of commission for all long, the character will be pulled into time and permanently removed from the fight. Another party member will then take their place.
Ultimecia’s stats in this form look like this, again depending on your party’s average level.
The sorceress has a slew of spells she can sling at you, dealing damage and inflicting status effects along the way. Among her powers is the ability to instantly destroy any Guardian Force summoned into battle.
She’s not overly difficult in this form, and a strategy of physical attacks, magic, limit breaks, and healing as needed should bring her down quickly.
Pro Tip: If you still prefer three specific characters, you can leave the others equipped and let them get absorbed by the time compression. This won’t affect the ending of the game.
Ultimecia (Griever Form)
After defeating Ultimecia in her first form, she will send out her Guardian Force, Griever, to make short work of Squall and his team. Once Griever is defeated, Ultimecia will fuse with the Guardian Force and enter her second form.
This junction makes Ultimecia even more powerful, once again giving her access to power spells such as Quake, Tornado, and Holy. She can also use a powerful physical attack called Great Attractor to offset magical damage.
As with the previous battle, the fused sorceress will immediately wipe out any summoned Guardian Forces and remove downed fighters from the battleground.
During the fight, she can summon Helixes to aid her in battle. These monsters damage the party and enable Ultimecia to use even more powerful magic. If one Helix is present, Ultimecia will be able to use the Ultima spell. With two, she can use the even more powerful Meteor.
When only 35% of her health remains, any Helixes on the battlefield will disappear, and she will resort to lower quality spells. After a final push, she will fall once again, and Griever will disappear.
Pro Tip: You’ll need both Protect and Shell to have ample defense against the boss’s attacks. Using Vit 0 on Helixes or Ultimecia make those targets much easier to hit.
Ultimecia (Final Form)
With Griever out of the way, Ultimecia enters her final form, prepared to complete the ritual to end all of time and space. There’s no time limit for the battle, but players will see her continue to absorb space around her during the fight.
The battle begins with just her upper half visible. Her hit points take to new heights, but some of her other stats are weaker than in the previous fight.
Ultimecia’s Upper Half
Ultimecia can use powerful spells like Ultima, Flare, Meteor, and Holy against the party right out of the gate. She can still dispel positive effects and annihilate Guardian Forces, but in this form, she can also remove an entire type of para-magic from a party member’s inventory, even if it is junctioned. Her most powerful spell is Hell’s Judgement, which reduces the entire party to a single hit point.
At some point during the battle, Ultimecia will introduce her lower half. While the lower half has no abilities, Ultimecia can draw Apocalypse from it. This spell is even more powerful than Ultima. You only need to defeat the upper half to finish the game, but stopping the lower half will prevent Ultimecia from using Apocalypse.
Ultimecia’s Lower Half
Even after reducing Ultimecia’s hit points to 0, the battle does not end. At this point, the sorceress will begin a monologue and continue fighting. Squall and team must continue inflicting damage on her to advance the text, and after the fifth line, she will finally succumb.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of Hell’s Judgement to throw out Limit Breaks. Make sure to have someone available to heal the party right away as well.
Ultimecia is bent on destroying everyone, but she does connect with a few characters along the way.
Ultimecia chooses Seifer as her Knight during the early stages of the game. A rogue SeeD agent, Seifer is a fierce rival to Squall and seeks to overturn him in any way possible. After failing in his mission to serve Ultimecia, Seifer is last seen fishing in Balamb village with friends Fujin and Raijin.
Ultimecia sees Squall as a threat because of a prophetic notion that he would be the one to bring an end to her plan. Despite this, she doesn’t kill him when she has the chance after their encounter in Galbadia. Obviously, Squall is the one to ultimately defeat her at the end of the game.
At the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII, Ultimecia has already possessed Edea Kramer and uses her powers for evil. It is actually Edea who helps create SeeD with her husband Cid before Ultimecia takes control of her. At the end of the game, Ultimecia bestows her sorceress powers to Edea, creating the opportunity to possess her in the first place.
Ellone has a unique gifting to send people’s consciousnesses through time. Ultimecia seeks this power to travel far enough into the past to bring her plan of time compression to fruition. It is Ellone who develops the strategy to use time compression to allow Squall and his party to travel to the future.
Ultimecia herself doesn’t talk much during the entire game. These are a few of her quotes while possessing Edea or in her true form.
This is reality. No one can help you. Sit back and enjoy the show.
Time… It will not wait… No matter… how hard you hold on. It escapes you… And…
Defeated… useless fool. Enough play. SeeDs must die!
I am Ultimecia. Time shall compress… All existence denied.
Question: Can You Save in Ultimecia Castle?
Answer: When you enter Ultimecia’s Castle, eight of your party’s abilities (including saving) are locked. You can unlock saving after defeating one of the bosses, or you can always save your game outside the castle itself.
Question: Why Does Ultimecia Compress Time?
Answer: This is Ultimecia’s insane attempt to condense all of time and space into a single point. In doing so, she would absorb the powers of all sorceresses before her, giving her untold power. This would allow Ultimecia to recreate the world however she chooses.
Question: How Much HP Does Ultimecia Have?
Answer: Ultimecia’s hit points in FF8 vary depending on your party’s average level when you face her. Her hit points can get as high as 43,000 in her first form and 278,900 in her final form.
Question: What is Griever FF8?
Answer: Griever is the name of Squall’s ring and is the vision of the ultimate Guardian Force in his mind. Ultimecia draws the beast into reality during the final battle, forcing the party to take up arms against it.
Ultimecia is a sorceress of pure evil who was not content with destroying only her own timeline. This desire for power brings her to the past, where she causes untold destruction while trying to obtain the abilities of a god.
We’re never given a reason for her unquenchable thirst, possessing other sorceresses and obtaining new strength anywhere she can. This ultimately causes her end when her time compression allows the party to travel to the future and vanquish her once and for all.