Rinoa Heartilly

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Rinoa Heartilly
Final Fantasy character
Rinoa Heartilly.png
Rinoa in Final Fantasy VIII
First game Final Fantasy VIII (1999)[1]
Created by Kazushige Nojima
Designed by Tetsuya Nomura
Motion capture Mayuko Aoki
Fictional profile
Weapon Blaster Edge[2]
Limit Break Combine,[3] Angel Wing
Race Human
Home Galbadia

Rinoa Heartilly (リノア・ハーティリー Rinoa Hātirī?) is the co-protagonist of Square's (now Square Enix) 1998 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VIII. Rinoa is a 17-year-old member of a resistance faction known as the Forest Owls. When the main protagonist Squall Leonhart and his party of SeeD help the resistance movement, Rinoa decides to stay with them and ends up falling in love with Squall.

Creation and traits[edit]

Character artist Tetsuya Nomura found Rinoa the hardest character to design in Final Fantasy VIII.[4] The game's director Yoshinori Kitase said Square already knew all about the PlayStation hardware, so they spent the most time on the characters.[4] Nomura emphasized that he tried to avoid letting the possibilities presented by the recent advancements in full motion video technology become the entire focus, believing that these innovations might tempt developers to make their female characters "too beautiful" and focus more on physical appearance than personality. With this concern in mind, Nomura set out with the intention to avoid making Rinoa gorgeous, and to simply make her "cute" instead. To further emphasize this, he wrote a list of vocabulary traits and physical habits for Rinoa's character that he felt conveyed this idea of "cute, not gorgeous", and sent them to Kazushige Nojima along with the character's design.[5]


In battle, Rinoa uses a weapon called a "Blaster Edge",[2] which consists of an arm holster and a projectile that returns like a boomerang. In her Combine Limit Break, she attacks in unison with her faithful dog Angelo.[3] When Rinoa gains Sorceress powers, she acquires a second Limit Break, Angel Wing, which increases her spell-casting ability, along with rendering her in a state of "magic" berserk for the remainder of the battle.

According to Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, "even after she's learned every Angelo skill, Rinoa is mostly worthless. Later in the game, she gains some value with Angel Wing. This skill turns her into a berserker sorceress that casts random, don't-have-lo-be-stocked spells for five times the usual damage."[6]


In Final Fantasy VIII[edit]

She is the 17-year-old daughter[7] of General Caraway, a high-ranking officer in the Galbadian army, and Julia Heartilly, a famous singer and former love interest of Laguna Loire.[8][9] Throughout the game, she falls in love with the protagonist, Squall Leonhart.[7][10][11] She has black hair with brown highlights and dark eyes. Outspoken, spirited, emotional, and honest with her feelings, she speaks her mind without reservation.[7] Because of her ambition, she can often be stubborn.[7] The year before the game begins, she dated with Squall's long-standing rival Seifer Almasy.[12]

In the game, Rinoa is a member of the "Forest Owls", a small resistance faction seeking to liberate the small nation of Timber from Galbadian occupation.[13] She is called the "princess" of the group.[14] Rinoa first meets Squall at the SeeD inauguration ball at Balamb Garden. During the dance, she manages to charm the usually antisocial Squall[7] into dancing with her.[15] Her purpose for visiting the Garden is revealed when the Forest Owls hire Squall, Zell Dincht, and Selphie Tilmitt as mercenaries. She clashes with Squall during a Forest Owls operation,[16] resulting in her brief departure. However, she decides to stay with them as they are forced to flee Timber, and ends up traveling along with them. At the end of disk one, Rinoa is reunited with her father, with whom she has a rocky relationship.[9]

On disk two, she shares a moment with Squall at Fishermans Horizon, during a concert performed by the remaining party members.[17] After this, both characters become aware of people's efforts to force them into a relationship.[18] The party soon learns that Rinoa is the only main character who did not spend time at Edea's Orphanage.[19] Later, Rinoa is possessed by Ultimecia when she loses her influence over Sorceress Edea, which causes Rinoa to fall into a coma-like state. Consequently, Squall tries desperately to revive her, eventually traveling to the country of Esthar.[20] However, Ultimecia manages to use Rinoa to release Sorceress Adel from her orbital prison.[21]

After Rinoa's use expires, Ultimecia possesses Adel and leaves Rinoa to die in space. Squall rescues her, and the two attempt to share a personal moment on the Ragnarok spaceship while the game's theme song, "Eyes On Me", plays in the background.[22][23] While this is happening, Squall discovers that Edea's power had been passed to Rinoa, turning her into a Sorceress.[24] When they land, Rinoa is sent to the Sorceress Memorial by Esthar, who fear her sorceress powers; however, Squall is convinced by his party members to rescue her.[25] The two share an embrace at the Sorceress Memorial, which is also depicted in the opening cutscene, and continue their quest. During the game's ending, she reunites with Squall, and kisses him for the first time on the Balamb Garden balcony.

Other appearances[edit]

Rinoa appears in Square's and Sony's PlayStation 2 technology demo recreating the pre-rendered music video cutscene sequence from the game in real-time.[26][27] Rinoa also appears in the 2004 board video game Itadaki Street Special[citation needed] and the 2012 rhythm video game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.[28]


Many critics commented on the relationship of Squall and Rinoa. Jeff Lundigran of IGN criticized how Squall and Rinoa do not expose their feelings for each other until very late in the game, stating that "considering that the love story is so integral to everything that happens—not to mention forming the central image of the box art—it's incomprehensible why no one says 'I love you' to anyone, ever."[10] Squall's and Rinoa's ball waltz, which was featured also in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, was "the cutest/most awkward dance ever" by IGN's Audrey Drake[29] and as "amazing" by Colette Barr of Official Nintendo Magazine UK.[30] In 2008, AJ Glasser of GamesRadar ranked Squall and Rinoa as number one top Square Enix couple, stating: "Squall has all the emotional depth of a fingernail, but Rinoa more than makes up for the lack of conversation with her endless jabbering about freedom, her father and her partner Seifer. ... Final Fantasy VIII was the first FF in which the love story drove the plot - which is weird when you consider the main characters never even exchange an 'I love you' [and] was Square's valentine to every gamer with a crush."[31] Aneni Soren of RPGamer wrote a feature article about the "great" relationship of Squall and Rinoa[32] and Jenni Lada of TechnologyTell ranked Final Fantasy VIII as the third most romantic Final Fantasy game in 2010.[33] On the other hand, GamesRadar's Brett Elston opined that "for a game centered around the idea of love (as evidenced by the logo artwork, Squall and Rinoa embracing), it's home to the most forced, uninteresting romance this side of Attack of the Clones."[34] He also stated "though it’s one of the most divisive games in the franchise (for various reasons, from gameplay choices to the actual cast) there’s no denying that Squall and Rinoa are at the heart of it all."[35] According to Ryan Woo of Complex, "critics/fanboys had a somewhat legitimate point – why the hell was Squall such a sphincter, when he had a dime like Rinoa constantly hitting on him? Ultimately though, the story was appropriately rich enough to keep us going, and all felt right by game’s end."[36] IGN's Ryan Clements called Final Fantasy VIII "one of the best examples of the innocent relationship" in games as "the fact that Squall and Rinoa's only act of physical intimacy (besides a rare embrace) occurs at the game's finale indicates that this simple expression of love is one of the player's main rewards for hours of dedication. More telling is the cinematography during this moment. The kiss isn't explicitly shown, making it a symbol as opposed to a generic physical action."[37] Including Final Fantasy VIII among the top role-playing video games of all time, the staff of IGN declared in 2012: "The story of Squall and Rinoa marks one of the greatest romances in the Final Fantasy series. From a flirtatious glance across a dance floor to a battle through time—bubbling to a desperate embrace in a field of flowers. These images remain burned into our collective memory, just as brightly as the glorious Balamb Garden drifting across the ocean."[38] That same year, IGN's Emma Boyes also included Squall and Rinoa among the 25 best video game couples.[39]

She was chosen as one of the 20 "muses" of video games by Brazilian magazine SuperGamePower in 2001.[40] When Game Revolution's Johnny Liu expressed the wish that the game had voice acting, he specifically mentioned Rinoa.[11] The character was given a 8.0 rating from WomenGamers.com, who opined "it's as though she's a mix of Tifa and Aerith from FF7, both in appearance, name and character. But she still comes off as very original from any other Final Fantasy character."[41] On the other hand, Charlie Barratt of GamesRadar included her among the examples of "pure hearted love interest" in an article about lazy character cliches.[42] GamesRadar's Elston listed Rinoa's "compassion" among "stereotypical, contrasting personalities that's no fun to hang around" in the game[34] but also described her as "rough around the polygonal edges, sure, but feminine enough to make fanboys latch on for years to come."[43] A staff member of IGN wrote in 2002, "Cloud, Tifa, Squall, and Rinoa are the names most everyone remembers, and I suppose it will always be that way."[44] Rinoa was included among the 20 candidates in the 2006 poll "Miss of the Video Game World" by Polish edition of GameStar[45] and was voted the tenth most commonly favorite female Final Fantasy character in an official Square Enix survey in 2013.[46]

Computer and Video Games described the PS2 demo as "stunning", especially in regard to Rinoa's character model and dress and hair physics.[26] Years later, GamesRadar's Mikel Reparaz featured Rinoa in an article about characters who are sexy in their art and in cutscenes but ugly in their in-game graphics, describing her as "lovable and pretty, if completely unremarkable by the standards of Final Fantasy heroines," while her actual gameplay appearance was of a "bubble-faced creature with stick arms, weird shoulders and a chin that disappears into her disproportionately fat neck."[47] On the other hand, IGN's Justin Kaehler and Naomi Cheung remembered the "hot" Rinoa as one the game's main strong points.[48]

Chloe Kung of RPGamer called Rinoa's dog Angelo "a great addition to the assortment of skills featured in Final Fantasy VIII as she brought a variety in aesthetics to the usual Limit Breaks which feature magic casting or flamboyant but yet iconic swinging of the sword."[49] Angelo was also included among the best canines in video games by Brittany Vincent of Complex.[50]

GamesRadar's Ashley Reed included "Rinoa is a sorceress in a world that hates sorceresses" on the list of top nine lingering plotlines in video games[51] and also noted the "infamous" theory that Rinoa and Ultimecia are in fact the same person, which is "probably one of the most contentious in the Final Fantasy fandom [as] some argue that Rinoa becoming the villain destroys the game's central love-conquers-all message, while others say it improves the game by making Ultimecia a person of emotional consequence."[52] According to Glenn Morrow of RPGamer, who analyzed this theory in a dedicated article, most of the arguments in favor of it "are never definitively contradicted by the source material, in which case their potential as being possible remains," but nevertheless he opined the theory is "in no way" plausible.[53]

The 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World includes a dream sequence referencing a similar scene involving Squall and Rinoa at the end of the game.[54] American make-up demonstrator Michelle Phan made a video walkthrough on how to transform oneself into Rinoa Heartilly in 2011.[55] According to Australia's Official PlayStation Magazine, "the Final Fantasy VIII characters have certainly been embraced by the Japanese gaming public. At the Tokyo Game Show [1999], there were hundreds of people dressed up as Final Fantasy VIII characters." Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima said "it is scary to think about the impact that a game can give to the society" and art director Yusuke Naora said, "I sometimes really admire them for the time, energy and money they spent on the costumes."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rinoa Heartilly - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Final Fantasy VIII Characters - Rinoa". SquareEnix.com. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p. 21. SLUS-00892GH. 
  4. ^ a b c "Official NZ PlayStation Magazine - Issue 028 (1999-11) (ACP PUblishing) (NZ)". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  5. ^ Knight, Sheila (2003). "Tetsuya Nomura 20s". FLAREgamer. Retrieved 2006-04-13. 
  6. ^ "Official US PlayStation Magazine - Volume 3 Issue 1 (1999-10) (Ziff Davis) (US)". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 6–9. SLUS-00892GH. 
  8. ^ Kiros: "Heard she recently got married." / Raine: "Oh yeah! To some army general, right? General Caraway or something?" / Kiros: "I'm not too sure." / Raine: "I read in a magazine that her true love went off to war and never came back. General Caraway comforted her while she was feeling down. That's how they got to know each other." (Final Fantasy VIII
  9. ^ a b Squall: "Where's Rinoa?" / General Caraway: "She has not receive the type of training you all have, and may become a burden. It's for the best that she stays out of this operation." / Selphie: "So you're Rinoa's father?" / General Caraway: "I can't remember the last time she called me that." / Zell: "So the father's a top military officer, and the daughter's a member of an anti-government faction!? That's bad... Really BAD!" / General Caraway: "Yes, indeed. It's a serious problem. But it doesn't concern you. It's our problem." {Final Fantasy VIII)
  10. ^ a b Lundigran, Jeff (1999). "Final Fantasy VIII Review". IGN. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  11. ^ a b Liu, Johnny (1999). "Game Revolution Review Page - Final Fantasy VIII". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  12. ^ Rinoa: "I don't really know. I... I think it was love. I wonder how [Seifer] felt...? ...It was last summer... I was 16." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  13. ^ Zone: "Just stand anywhere you want. This is a full-scale operation. Our resistance, 'The Forest Owls', will be forever known in the pages of Timber's independence! Exciting, huh? It all started when we got a hold of top-secret info from Galbadia." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  14. ^ Zone: "Just take it easy. Here, let me introduce you. Looks like you already met Watts. I guess it's just our princess then." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  15. ^ Rinoa: "SeeD members dance quite well, don't they?" / Squall: "Approach your target inconspicuously at a dance party... There may be missions requiring this sort of subterfuge. It's expected of SeeD to learn various skills." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  16. ^ Rinoa: "...Tell me. This is an order. An order from your client!" / Squall: "How serious are you...? Really...? The 3 of you plop down on the floor to discuss strategy? On top of that, you can't make a decision without our input, right? How do you think we feel, working for such an organization?" (Final Fantasy VIII)
  17. ^ Rinoa: "Fine... I guess I'll have to bug you for the rest of the night. And I'm gonna keep chanting 'concert, concert, concert' and drive you nuts. Is that what you want?" / Squall: "...Oh man..." / Rinoa: "I'm getting to you already, huh? Looks like you have no choice!" (Final Fantasy VIII)
  18. ^ Rinoa: "So that's what you call it. You know Zell said he'll make me one exactly like it. Who knows, maybe I can become like a lion, too. That'd be crazy, huh!? I mean, everyone might, y'know, get the wrong idea about us." / Squall: (If it's so crazy, why do you sound so delighted? Everyone is trying to get us together. It's so obvious even I can tell.) "You sound like you want everyone to get the wrong idea." / Rinoa: "No-no-no-no-no!" (Final Fantasy VIII)
  19. ^ Irvine: "Seifer was there, too. Except for Rinoa, we were all there." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  20. ^ Zell: "Is the princess still asleep?" / Quistis: "She might wake up with a kiss from the prince." / Squall: "Is that why you came all the way out here? To tell me that?" / Quistis: "You're going to Esthar, right? We're coming, too." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  21. ^ Rinoa: "But Edea's still... I can't guarantee anything, either, if Ultimecia possesses me again... You saw me. She controlled me in outer space and made me break Adel's seal. What might happen next time? What will I end up doing? Will I end up fighting everyone? ...Scary thought, isn't it?" (Final Fantasy VIII)
  22. ^ Squall: "Why are you holding onto me like this?" / Rinoa: "You don't like this, Squall?" / Squall: "Just not used to it." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  23. ^ Rinoa: "I don't want the future. I want the present to stand still. I want to stay here with you..." / Squall: (Rinoa...) / Squall: (I don't know what to do... This is just another crossroad in my life. But, for the first time, I don't know which way to go. I've come this far because I've...fallen for you. ......Rinoa...... Now...am I just supposed to let you go?" / Voice: "Respond, Ragnarok!" (Final Fantasy VIII)
  24. ^ Voice: "Rinoa? The sorceress!?" She's on the ship!?" / Squall: (So... It's true? Rinoa is a sorceress?) / Rinoa: "I've...become a sorceress. I can't stay with you anymore, Squall." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  25. ^ Squall: (A fool, huh?) "...Maybe." (What am I doing...? I may never get to hear Rinoa's voice ever again... What the hell am I doing? What can I do? ...Of course...) / Quistis: "Have you decided?" / Zell: "Heading to Esthar, right?" / Squall: "Pandora whatever and Sorceress Adel are out of my hands. I don't even know where to look for Sis. The only think I know is Rinoa. The only thing I want to do for sure right now is for Rinoa. We're going to get Rinoa back!" (Final Fantasy VIII)
  26. ^ a b "Computer and Video Games - Issue 210 (1999-05) (EMAP Images) (UK)". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  27. ^ Scammell, David (2013-02-20). "A look back at some of PlayStation's historical reveal events". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  28. ^ Audrey Drake (2012-12-19). "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy iOS Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  29. ^ Drake, Audrey (2012-05-25). "Getting in the Groove of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Part 3 - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  30. ^ "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy needs to be released in the UK". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  31. ^ "Page 10 - Top 10 Square Enix Couples". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  32. ^ "RPGamer Editorials - Squall and Rinoa". Rpgamer.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  33. ^ "5 Most romantic Final Fantasy games". TechnologyTell. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  34. ^ a b "The Top 7... You love 'em, we hate 'em". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  35. ^ "Page 2 - All 14 Final Fantasy logos explained". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  36. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII (PSX, 1999) — Counting Down The Best Squaresoft Games Of All Time". Complex. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  37. ^ Clements, Ryan (2010-05-14). "Why I Dig Digital Japanese Love - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  38. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII - #97 RPG - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  39. ^ Boyes, Emma (2012-02-14). "The Greatest Video Game Couples - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  40. ^ "As Musas Do Videogame" [The Muses of Videogames]. SuperGamePower (in Portuguese) (85): 15. April 2001. 
  41. ^ "Rinoa Heartilly of Final Fantasy V". WomenGamers.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-25. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  42. ^ "Page 2 - The Top 7... Lazy Character Clichés". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  43. ^ "Page 4 - Game babes: A history". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  44. ^ "Top 25 Games of All Time: Complete List - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2002-01-22. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  45. ^ "Wybierzcie Wirtualną Miss Świata 2006!". Gamestar.pl. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  46. ^ "Square Enix Poll: Favorite Female Final Fantasy Character". Anime News Network. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  47. ^ "Page 2 - Ugly polygon "babes" of yesteryear". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  48. ^ Kaehler, Justin (2004-09-21). "IGN Babes Feature: Naomi Cheung's Top 10 Videogames - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  49. ^ "Feature > An Adventurer's Best Friend". RPGamer. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  50. ^ "Angelo — Video Game Canines That Would Make the Dog From "Call of Duty: Ghosts" Look Like a Little Puppy". Complex. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  51. ^ "9 popular games you didn't realize had lingering plotlines". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  52. ^ "9 theories that transform two characters into the same person". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  53. ^ "Editorials - Rinoa And Ultimecia: Sorceress of the Past and the Future?". RPGamer. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  54. ^ "Every Scott Pilgrim vs The World videogame reference". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  55. ^ "Watch This Lady Transform Final Fantasy VIII's Rinoa Before Your Eyes". Kotaku.com. 11/07/11. Retrieved 2014-07-05.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]