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Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII: Based on the Same World?

Glenn Morrow

I believe that the world of Final Fantasy VIII is the world of Final Fantasy III after several hundred years have passed.

The reasons for this are as follows:

1) First, there are some startling similarities in the geography of the two worlds:
Final Fantasy III World Map.
Final Fantasy VIII World Map.

2) Referring back to the previous point, the northernmost continent of Final Fantasy VIII being hit by a Lunar Cry at one point (note the large crater on its landscape), the southernmost continent (the Centra continent) also being pulverized by one that wiped out its civilization, and the natural process of continental shift can possibly account for all the changes in the geography.

Further still, the Crystal Pillar fell from the Moon onto the Centra Continent. If the Lunar Cry that wiped out its civilzation had not been enough to break that southernomst continent up into the chunks we see on Final Fantasy VIII's World Map, the massive structure that is the Crystal Pillar (the Lunatic Pandora was a large enclosure developed by Esthar to hold the Crystal Pillar) was. We can even see the Crystal Pillar within the Lunatic Pandora when it pulls Adel's Tomb out of the Lunar Cry. While it's reasonable to assume, based on this picture, that the Lunatic Pandora is taller and wider than the Crystal Pillar. We can safely believe, when taking into account that Lunatic Pandora is three miles tall and a mile and a half across, that the Crystal Pillar is--for lack of a better term--fucking huge. Its falling could have certainly contributed to the massive continental crust damage.

When considering the damage rendered to the landscape of the northernmost and southernmost continents by Lunar Cries and the natural process of continental shift over several hundred years, the World Map of Final Fantasy VIII isn't too far a cry from what we see with Final Fantasy III's World Map.

There's even a continent between the two western and eastern continents of Final Fantasy III's World Map that could have become Final Fantasy VIII's Balamb Continent, and on the western continent, southeast of it, we have the Water Temple, Water Cave, and a large lake. The Water Crystal had been in the Water Cave. To the southeast of Balamb on Final Fantasy VIII's World Map, we have the Great Salt Lake, dried up due to experiments conducted there by Esthar. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that Esthar may have excavated the area due to residual energy from the Water Crystal still being detected in the area.

(Note: I realize that there are some noticeable differences in the geography beyond just their locations, but considering the differences in the graphics of the two games, these may not be as significant as they appear.)

3) There's a Floating Continent in Final Fantasy III. It's location on the Final Fantasy III World Map matches the location of the Deep Sea Research Center of Final Fantasy VIII exactly (refer to the lower left hand corner of both World Maps). In Final Fantasy III, this Floating Continent nearly fell into the sea at one point, and only one person knew how to prevent it. If, in time, this person should die and no else knew how to keep the continent floating, there would be nothing to prevent its collapse into the sea.

The Deep Sea Research Center was most certainly built over something that had sunk into the sea. We see marvelous architecture in the Deep Sea Deposit area. That this lost land may have been the Floating Continent once upon a time seems very possible to me.

4) Referring back to the previous point, Bahamut lived on the Floating Continent of Final Fantasy III. Bahamut was discovered in the Deep Sea Deposit of Final Fantasy VIII.

5) In Final Fantasy III, the Sorcerer Hyne took over the Floating Continent and its kingdom of Argass, and was later defeated by the Light Warriors, who happened to be children. When he was defeated, his head disappeared first.

In Final Fantasy VIII, we're told that a being named Hyne was the originator of the Sorceress Power. The people regarded Hyne through legend as having been a god, and, indeed, the creator of Homo Sapiens. In The Legend of Vascaroon (told to some children by a lady named Lina on the White SeeD Ship) we're told that the being Hyne ruled the world (Hyne of Final Fantasy III ruled his world, the Floating Continent). He created Homo Sapiens and then went to sleep. When he awoke, he found that they had multiplied by a vast margin, and he began trying to remove the children (possibly a reference to the fact that children are those who defeated Hyne in Final Fantasy III).

Hyne is said to have lost the war with the Homo Sapiens, who rebelled against him, and offered up half of his body to them along with his powers as a peace offering. However, he had tricked them and offered up a powerless skin of himself, taking his power with him in his escape (again, when Hyne is defeated in III, his head vanishes before the rest of him).

In the case of the Great Hyne in The Legend of Vascaroon, we're not told when he gave up his powers to some Homo Sapien females, but the Tutorial states that the Sorceress Power originated when Hyne did just that.

Sorceress: The legend goes that the Great Hyne created people. The sorceresses were given a fragment of Hyne's own power. It's hard to determine how many sorceresses exist today, for many keep their powers concealed. However, it is believed that they avoid spreading their power too thin."

Further, it's said that to call a Sorceress "Hyne's Descendant" shows great respect. When Rinoa and Squall return from space, the Esthari representatives who take Rinoa into custody address her as "Sorceress Rinoa" and then "Hyne's Descendant." Though it's not explained when it occurred or why, Hyne most certainly was the progenitor of the Sorceress Power.

It may very well be that Hyne escaped death at the hands of the Light Warriors and eventually gave up his powers unto some Homo Sapien females. I concede that I might be reading too far into things, but after many centuries, it's possible for the facts surrounding what happened in regard to Hyne to have become obscured and for what broken information remains to become the stuff of legend. While Hyne is regarded as the creator of Homo Sapiens, the legend still retains information suggestive of him having been an asshole and that people rose up against him. Were he omnipotent, it's hard to believe that he could have been overthrown or would have had cause to fear humanity to begin with.

6) This isn't really a large point, and might be altogether unrelated to the matter at hand, but on Ultimecia's large clock tower, the hands point to "III" and "VIII": Linkage.

Without the other bits of information, I would regard this as irrelevant, but with them present, I think it's possible this could be a reference to the two worlds being the same, the world of III having become the world we see in VIII with the passage of time (represented by the large clock).

I concede that there may be holes in the theory, such as the whereabouts of the Elemental Crystals in Final Fantasy VIII. Personally, I believe that the Crystals could have removed themselves from the surface world so as to never allow anyone to tamper with them again, as their power was not something that should be tampered with in the first place. If they removed themselves to within the Planet, this might even explain why magic seeps up out of the Planet to its surface at Draw Points.

The concept of Draw Points is very similar to Final Fantasy VII's concept of Mako Fountains, and due to the tendencies of other games to suggest that all the worlds (or at least those of Final Fantasy VII, IX, X/X-2, and The Spirits Within) have a Lifestream, it may well be that these Crystals are just the same thing by a different name, and in a different form. The fact that the world was held together by these Elemental Crystals in the same way that life of the world of Final Fantasy VII or IX is maintained by the Lifestream would suggest this to be the case. Once having moved to reside within the Planet, the Crystals may have even dropped their crystalline forms and become a swell of Spirit Energy as we see in Final Fantasy VII or The Spirits Within. Perhaps even the Lifestreams at their centers bear crystals. Further, the sentience of the Crystals is somewhat reminiscent of the sentient nature of the Planet in Final Fantasy VII.

In any event, while the suggestions toward this possibility are only subtle and may not be at all intended to indicate that the worlds are the same, I nonetheless feel that the possibility is very powerful.

Acknowledgement: I would like to acknowledge a fellow by the name of Desh for having been the first to have ever posed the possibility, putting me on the road to examine the matter in greater detail. Though I never met you, Desh, if you should ever read this, you have my thanks.

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