Not to get too attached to my own edits - I'm the one who wrote most of this article - but I'm not sure why the discussion of Ultimecia's relative unpopularity as a character was considered "baldly POV." I didn't say I thought she was a bad villain; I said that she was unpopular, that she received very little characterization, and that the game was widely criticized for its lack of a compelling villain, all of which are objectively true. The fan reaction to Ultimecia seems like a valid and relevant thing to discuss. Having read over the paragraph in the history, the only part I'd consider possibly POV is the statement that "Ultimecia was a major disappointment," which could be revised to "many fans considered Ultimecia a major disappointment" or something similar.
So - could the information from that paragraph be restored while removing any apparent bias? I don't want to just revert to my version of the article without hearing some other opinions, so I open it up here. 126.96.36.199
- The problem is that there's a thin line between stating a fact and stating an opinion, and it seemed, to me, that the paragraph in question was doing far more of the latter than the former. Stating that Ultimecia was unpopular is fine. However, to state that "she received very little characterization" is trickier: that's a literary criticism argument, and it needs to be supported to be any other than POV. Which, I hasten to add, is likely very possible to do, but was simply not present anywhere in the paragraph. The wording, too, was rather leading ("simply ridiculous," "simply insane," "no possible motivation," "bizarre," "weak point in the Final Fantasy series"), which led me to conclude (perhaps incorrectly) that the paragraph was simply bald editorializing attempting (and failing) to hide behind the "popular reaction" idea. It's the "everyone agrees" device, namely, trying to pass off a personal editorial reaction as something more broadly applicable than it is. Which is manipulative and, more importantly, entirely unencyclopedic.
- The first key, IMO, would be to "de-adjective" the thing: drop the more evocative terms and phrases (some of which I've listed above) and stick to the facts. Avoid sensationalism: while pointing out that a lot of people reacted poorly to Ultimecia has its place, stating that she is (even "arguably") "the single least popular villain in the entire Final Fantasy series" does not. That's a very broad claim, and if you want to make it, you'll need to have some sort of citation to support it. Given that citing fan reaction is tricky, at best, it's probably more sensible to shy away from such statements to begin with. The references to Sephiroth and Kefka, in this context, are also inappropriate: a similar argument regarding what, exactly, Kefka's motivations were (other than being "simply insane") could just as easily be made, and one could just as well point out that "not appearing until the very end of the game" is more the rule than the exception for the series, as well (Chaos, Dark Cloud, Zeromus, Garland, etc.). It serves little purpose, anyway. The article is about Ultimecia, not the broader topic of Final Fantasy VIII, and conjecture as to it being a "weak point" in the series is inappropriate (and extremely contentious, to boot).
- In short, tread very lightly: it's fair to point out that Ultimecia's past and motivations are murky, and that many fans find the absence of such details disappointing. It's even fair, perhaps, to suggest that she may not be entirely sane, provided such conjecture is kept to a bare minimum, and only brought insofar as it can be supported by the game itself (her speech mannerisms and actions, basically). But that really seems to be more of a ground-up rewrite than a revision, and that was why I dropped the paragraph entirely. Trying to salvage something useful from it struck me as being too difficult to be worthwhile. That said, I've dropped in a new paragraph which gets at what I personally feel is appropriate. Feel free to do with it what you will, but I hope I've provided at least some food for thought. I do appreciate your engaging in conversation on this, though, and I apologize if my edit came off as too brusque.
- I'm adding a note below that I started to write, but which got preempted by your own comment. While some of the details may be redundant now, my basic point remains, so I'm going to include it, anyway. If something doesn't make sense in light of what I've talked about above, it's because I've probably changed my mind in response to your own comments above :-) – Seancdaug 23:39, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
- And I'm sorry if I came across as offended; I was just puzzled by the deletion of what I considered one of the more relevant things to know about Ultimecia. As you noted below, without that discussion, it's much more of an article about the "Is Rinoa Ultimecia?" controversy than an article on Ultimecia herself.
- I definitely do understand where it could have come across as editorializing hidden under the "everyone agrees" device; I've come across my share of that on Wikipedia. For whatever it's worth, I personally don't consider FF8 "a weak point in the Final Fantasy series" at all; on the contrary, on any given day it's a toss-up whether I'll consider FF8 or FF7 my favorite Final Fantasy game. :-) However, there are an awful lot of fans and critics who have described it as one of the weakest entries in the series, and almost every major storyline-related criticism I've heard revolves around Ultimecia and her lack of backstory and motivation. And even among others who like the game, I've seen a great deal of criticism and little to no defense of Ultimecia as a character. That's why I considered it an important thing to note in any discussion of Ultimecia, just as I'd consider it a problem if the article on Sephiroth failed to note his enduring popularity with fans. 188.8.131.52
- The key villian's slimness in the plot? What? Is it completely forgotten that Edea is not Edea for the first portion of the game but actually Ultimecia? She wasn't just "making Edea do bad things" - she'd totally taken control of her body and was controlling her. Edea, as she is first presented to us, is Ultimecia with a different name and form. Until Ultimecia finally releases her, all of "Edea's" actions can be attributed to the Sorceress from the future.
- Likewise, her motivation seems simple enough - she plainly states that in her time, she (and perhaps all sorceresses) have been condemned and persecuted, likely because of her role in history as the 'evil Time Compressor Sorceress ruler from the future'. Since she (and others like her one presumes) are being condemned for crimes that she personally has not committed yet, she naturally gets royally p*ssed and decides "You know what, to hell with you - I am that big bad evil sorceress spoken of in history". She then proceeds to become the "Big Bad" of the world - and then, suffering from incredible hubris, she thinks she's going to be able to conquer destiny and her fate through Time Compression, when instead she just ends up fulfilling it. Beautiful imho... the only major flaw with FF8s plot was the execution of the "We all grew up in the same Orphanage" revelation.
- I'm sorry if that appeared overly confrontational, I just feel affronted on poor Ultimecia's behalf... she gets such a bad rep...(184.108.40.206 06:01, 13 January 2006 (UTC))
A while ago, I redirected this article back to the main Final Fantasy VIII article, because I didn't see that there was really enough to justify a seperate entry. As things currently stand, there's certainly a good deal of information here now, but I'm not really sure how much of it really qualifies as encyclopedic. I removed an entire paragraph of completely inappropriate POV pushing, and now the article really doesn't consist of much more than the Rinoa/Ultimecia theory. Now, I've always been something of a proponent of that particular theory, but I don't kid myself that it's anything more than base fanwank, and while I can justify mentioning the theory as part of discussing the fan community of the game, I'm skeptical that an indepth, pro/con outline of the thing is something we should be including here. On the other hand, it's a well-written summary, so I'm hesitant to just cut it entirely. But if all we can come up with for this article is fannish editorializing and (admittedly well-written) theorizing, I don't see what the point is, really. Maybe we should move it over to the Final Fantasy wiki linked from the main Final Fantasy article? – Seancdaug 23:39, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
- I'd back a VfD for this. Really, it's not a major-enough issue to be worth a Wikipedia article. Fascinating (I'd not considered it but it makes a great deal of sense, nice subtle addition to the story), but it should be put in a follow-up external reference rather than part of the Wikipedia itself. Sockatume 00:30, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
- The main reason I ended up re-creating this article is because the "Is Rinoa Ultimecia?" theory kept coming up in other FF8 articles; I deleted a long, disorganized discussion of it in the Rinoa Heartilly article and a short summary of it in the main Final Fantasy VIII article, replacing both with short references and links to this article. If nothing else, I figured that the fact that it kept coming up meant that a single, organized summary of the argument would be useful.
- Personally, I don't buy the theory, but I think that it's plausible enough, widespread enough, and important enough to players' interpretations of the game that it's useful to have it discussed on Wikipedia. But my personal Wikipedia philosophy generally leans to the inclusionist side of things; we're not, as they say, a paper encyclopedia. :) 220.127.116.11
- Generally I would agree, except that it feels... wrong... in this particular case. There are, it seems to me, two major issues: one, how deeply do we want to get into the question on Wikipedia, and two, where is the best place to do it. Personally, I think it does deserve a mention, but agree with Sockatume that the nitty-gritty details should probably be moved elsewhere (like the aforementioned FF Wiki, which is in desperate need of some lovin' :-) ) and just linked from here. And it seems like whatever we do keep can be fit into the Rinoa Heartilly article just as easily as it can here. While Rinoa is an important enough character to have her own article, Ultimecia really isn't, and given the composition of the article at present, it kind of shows.... :-/ – Seancdaug 01:41, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)
Alright, so I did some digging. A note about the near-mythical "official Square confirmation" that Rinoa was not Ultimecia that was supposedly available on Final Fantasy Online. First of all, if we're going to cite something like this, we really need to link to the source. After quite a bit of digging, I was finally able to turn up an external link to here. It's not a letter from a Square employee. It's a refutation of the idea by, as far as I can, a fan who claims to be reasonably well connected. Which, I want to be clear, I have no problem with: it makes a decent case, and it might well be worth linking to, anyway. The idea that it was a letter from Square seems to stem from the fact that the author claims to have spoken to a Japanese designer of the game, who denies the connection. Now, I'm personally not interested in whether or not the writer was telling the truth or not, and I have no real reason to doubt him. But, even so, this is quite clearly not a credible source for an encyclopedia. It's third-hand information, first of all ("he said she said he said..."), and we've got no information on who this employee is, or why his or her words should be taken as reliable. There's a rather substantial credibility gap here, and the information itself is probably not even notable. It is, after all, fan speculation, and we have gone to (IMO) great lengths to point that out. That it's not "official" should, really, be blindingly obvious. The frequent attempts to inject this dubious "official" denial into the article is somewhat pointless, and, I think, risks bringing Wikipedia into the sort of fan debate that can never be effectively NPOV. So I removed the note. Now, if I am mistaken, and if there is, in fact, another letter that is actually verifiable, then there might be a case for restoring the information. But if this is the case, can we please have some sort of external weblink as a reference, guys? – Seancdaug 19:14, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)
"Eyes on Me" on Ultimecia's piano
So, uh, can anyone besides the person who put it in the article confirm or deny this buisness about playing "Eyes on Me" on the piano in Ultimecia's castle to unlock a "hidden guardian?" I certainly don't remember doing any such thing, and I did get all the party's abilities unlocked - but maybe I've just forgotten. I did a bit of digging on Google, and none of the walkthroughs I've looked at mention this. 18.104.22.168
Proof that Rinoa's not Ultimecia
Hey, folks. Sorry for not bringing this up in here sooner, but there's proof now that Rinoa's not Ultimecia, uncovered by myself and a translator named "DarkAngel," owner of the Gunshot Romance website (a Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis English translation site), and a staff member at AdventChildren.net.
The proof comes mainly from the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania Guide, which states that Witches (Sorceresses) do not have unlimited lifespans.
- To be fair, I have never once heard that unlimited lifespans was a requirement for the theory to work, and I'm sure that someone who actually wanted to could argue around it. To be even more fair, this is entirely original research, and it's well and truly outside the purview of Wikipedia. I've chopped the entire section down to size, and eliminated most of the "evidence" for and against. I think it's fair to point out that the theory exists, that it's basically fannish speculation, and that it's not supported by everyone. Beyond that, we're really getting into NPOV (not to mention questionable notability) territory. – Seancdaug 08:29, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
- "To be fair, I have never once heard that unlimited lifespans was a requirement for the theory to work, and I'm sure that someone who actually wanted to could argue around it."
That's the core principle behind the entire theory, cited in every incarnation of the theory since 1999. Remember, Ultimecia lives far into the future, many generations beyond anyone's normal lifespan. For that matter, arguing around this point is stepping outside the realm of reasonable assumption, and ignoring Occam's Razor. Simply arguing around it isn't enough without it being plausible or reasonably assumed. As you say in the new rendering of the article, all the alleged evidence is highly debatable, and in some cases, altogether non-existant.
To properly cite the concept in an encyclopedia venue, it should at least offer not just some information regarding how the belief arose, but point out a flaw in the logic based on information that is currently known, don't you think? If you'd prefer that not be in the body of the article itself, I wouldn't mind putting my article on my website so that it could serve as an external link. There's simply so much information involved in the theory that to even bother citing the concept requires -- for the benefit of readers -- some demonstration of all the evidence for and against the matter.
- I suspect we're getting a little far afield here, as the relative merits of the theory are not valid for Wikipedia discussion, nor do I particularly care one way or the other. I would point out, though, that there is a basic logical fallacy in your argument (at least, as it's presented here): granting that sorceresses are not immortal, it is logical to assume that being a sorceress doesn't give Rinoa a longer lifespan than anyone else in the game. However, this does not disprove anything. Assuming that Rinoa needs to be particularly long-lived to eventually become Ultimecia is reading extra material into the script: we know that Ultimecia is from the future, but we don't really know how far in the future, nor do we know for certain that she lived linearally through the intervening years. Indeed, given that time travel, of a sorts, plays into the endgame in a major way, and given that we know that Ultimecia is capable of a form of time travel already (her influence over past sorceresses). It also assumes that just because all sorceresses are not immortal, that there is no way for a particularly skilled (or particularly lucky...) sorceress to find a way to extend her lifespan. Not all mages can cast Firaga is not the same thing as saying that no mages can cast Firaga. I frankly think you're reading way too much into a single sentence fragment. Which is pretty much tradition for this particular argument, but it is certainly not going conclusively disprove anything.
- But that's beside the point, really. The problem isn't your reasoning, nor your conclusions. The problem is that it is inherently unencyclopedic, particularly in the way it was phrased (we have absolutely no authority to declare something right or wrong in a context such as this). In truth, so was the "for" side, which is why I chopped most of that out as well. If you want to host it on an external site, that's a different story, although it may still run into many of the same problems: the next time a partisan comes by and objects to your particular presentation of the case, and adds his/her own link to "demonstrate all the evidence for and against," and we wind up with dozens of links to non-notable and only vaguely informative websites. But I wouldn't object at the moment, if that's what you want to do.... – Seancdaug 18:54, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
To whoever keeps reinserting this "proof" in the article: please stop. It is not "proof," and, at best, it only refutes a specific form of the theory. As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia cannot insert itself into fan debates as some sort of arbiter. It's a fan theory, it's highly unlikely that it was intended by the developers, and it's controversial. If we can't keep neutral on the matter, then we're probably better off losing this article entirely, IMO. – Seancdaug 02:18, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
== Ultimecia/Rinoa == (Found this on List of FFVIII characters and moved here)
There does seem to be strong evidence for this this rumour and you can see where the theroies come from,watch the ending on youtube and you'll see things like Ultimecia imposed on Rinoa etc. If the theme of the game is love then Squall,in this instance does not care what might happen in the future because he is in love now. You have to remember what people ARENT saying i.e the creators and what theyre implying is very strong in Japan culture.
- I heart the List of Final Fantasy IX characters article. It presents everything that really happened in the game - I couldn't find any fan speculation so far. We should keep this article that way. As a start, this Ultimecia OR will be moved to its own article. Bluerfn 09:18, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Someone again added that Ultimecia is Rinoa, with so-called evidence. I checked the supposed source, and it came from an editorial in RPGamer.com. Again, this is fancruft/original research. I think I understand that Wikipedia does not allow OR, am I right? And as much as I also believe Ultimecia maybe Rinoa, there is no verifiable source for this. So this is OR, which does not warrant any place in wikipedia, right? 私はBluerfnです 17:37, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
This so called strong evidence is an entire series of assumptions that are so wrong its a joke. The first is that Rinoa is immortal, which is stated in the FFVIII Ultimania Guide published by Square that sorceresses have normal lifespans, Adel wouldn't need a successor if sorceresses are immortal (Ellone is kidnapped because of this in the game). Second is Rinoa's wings going from angel white (there's a lot of emphasis on this in the game) to black, there's no evidence of her being "an evil sorceress" in the game, if you watch the opening video, the wings change as Squall gets injured during the duel. It may be a warning of the fated sorceress fights (Edea and Ultimecia), (Rinoa, if you notice is worried about her powers until Edea tells her about having a knight, and everything changes, she's calmer). The third assumption is that Rinoa's words with Squall about stopping time on the Ragnarok somehow supports this theory, she didn't want to leave Squall and be stuck in space(She even goes with the Esthar officials to do just that to protect people in case she gets possessed, doesn't sound like an evil sorceress does it?). The four assumption is that Rinoa forgets Squall (after becoming Ultimecia) and tries to kill Squall and of course as she's being defeated give him the lecture about time (Rinoa didn't know him in childhood nor does she hate SeeD's (She's in love with the Commander of SeeD, Squall, after all.) The next assumption is that Ultimecia wants to get Squall back through Time Compression (if he's dead from her acts how can she get him back?). Also Ultimecia doesn't have a knight which is why she is assumed to be crazy (Rinoa does have one and so is sane), more importantly Ultimecia is called "she" by Rinoa, and has "hate in her heart" not suiting to Rinoa's free spirit (she doesn't want to alienate people), Ultimecia also tries to kill Rinoa and Squall (no evidence is given to say Rinoa would have continued to use GF's and forgotten her past and Squall). Ultimecia's accent is not present in Rinoa's speech, she spits out words with C's perfectly so where would she have acquired it?. As for the assumption that Ultimecia's castle is in Edea's house (it floats or else why would it have chains keeping it down?) and it matches the opening words of the game of the protagonists being Fated Children. Edea's House is not enterable. The appearance assumption is also wrong (all FF8 women's faces look alike) and what I find most interesting is that Ultimecia has gray hair. The Griever necklace assumption is also shot down because Rinoa doesn't know what is on his ring, and if you scan Griever it says "In Squall's mind, the strongest GF." Two more pieces of evidence are also important, the first is Ultimecia can't be Rinoa or else they can't fight each other in her castle, Ultimecia does't recognize Squall at all (Rinoa would since use of GF's are debatable. In fact Rinoa doesn't seem to be affected by memory loss due to GF use she remembered the Deling City incident and Squall doesn't (In the flower field scene) and Rinoa is possessed by Ultimecia twice which would explain Squall's image in Time Compression (Remember past, present and future are all mixed up) and Squall did see Rinoa's possession by Ultimecia through Ellone on Lunar Base and it could be it as simple as he remembering that along with everything at once (Time Compression is sometimes just unexplainable). The second piece of very important evidence is that FF8 is a love story (like fairy tales they have happy endings and Rinoa being evil and crazy beings her out of character context.) If anyone reads the Rinoa Heartilly article and looks at the sources, and reads the articles on Flare Gamer it says that Normura likes Rinoa alot (why have her be the antagonist? Is it too show his liking for the character to have Rinoa supposely become Ultimecia?) By the way Rinoa's alive after Time Compression and the world is safe and Ultimecia is dead after giving her powers to Edea. If Square wanted to make a link between the characters why not have Ultimecia give her powers to Rinoa? (If I might add, not all sorceresses give up there powers in fact all of them except Adel, Ultimecia and Edea (Rinoa is excluded) die without giving up their powers and Rinoa received Edea's powers after Ultimecia gave Rinoa the sorceress embodiment power but Edea has her powers until she goes to the Lunatic Pandora after catching it she gets thrown out and stops being a sorceress and Rinoa receives Edea's sorcery and becomes a sorceress). Lastly, Rinoa can't be Ultimecia for all these reasons and this theory is false. Ultimecia is just a sorceress from the future who is not loved and so created her end herself. Saying that Rinoa is Ultimecia is like saying since no one knows where Necron came from, then I guess he must be Zidane right? -Eileen-
I'm getting rid of original research that is on this Wikipedia article that shouldn't be. It is the cause of many disputes that will probably never end because neither side can be proved or disproved. However, I will be starting a Talk page about all kinds of Final Fantasy theories so it will appear there for analysis. -Eileen-
- Eileen, I'm restoring the text above, simply because other users probably don't like their comments blanked. I'd suggest continuing the discussion here. Regards, alphachimp. 20:37, 4 January 2007 (UTC)