This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Squall Leonhart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Squall Leonheart)
Jump to: navigation, search
Squall Leonhart
Final Fantasy character
Squall Leonhart.png
Squall Leonhart artwork from Final Fantasy VIII
First game Final Fantasy VIII (1999)
Created by Kazushige Nojima
Designed by Tetsuya Nomura
Voiced by (English) Doug Erholtz
David Boreanaz (Kingdom Hearts)
Voiced by (Japanese) Hideo Ishikawa
Fictional profile
Weapon Revolver (Gunblade)[1]
Limit Break Renzokuken (連続剣)[2]
Race Human

Squall Leonhart (Japanese: スコール・レオンハート, Hepburn: Sukōru Reonhāto) is a fictional character and the primary protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII, a role-playing video game by Square (now Square Enix). In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall is a 17-year-old student at Balamb Garden, a prestigious military academy for elite mercenaries (known as "SeeDs"). As the story progresses, Squall befriends Quistis Trepe, Zell Dincht, Selphie Tilmitt and Irvine Kinneas and falls in love with Rinoa Heartilly. These relationships, combined with the game's plot, gradually change him from a loner to an open, caring person. Squall has appeared in several other games, including Chocobo Racing, Itadaki Street Special, and the Kingdom Hearts series, as Leon (レオン, Reon).

Squall was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, with input from game director Yoshinori Kitase. He was modelled after late actor River Phoenix. Squall's weapon, the gunblade, also made so that it would be difficult to master. In order to make players understand Squall's silent attitude, Kazushige Nojima made the character's thoughts open to them. Squall's first voiced appearance was in the first Kingdom Hearts game, voiced by Hideo Ishikawa in Japanese and by David Boreanaz in English; Doug Erholtz has since assumed the role for all other English-speaking appearances.

Squall had a varied reaction from critics, with some judging him poorly compared to other Final Fantasy heroes (due to his coldness and angst) and others praising his character development. Nevertheless, the character has been popular, and his relationship with Rinoa resulted in praise.

Creation and design[edit]

The first character Nomura designed for Final Fantasy VIII, Squall was inspired by actor River Phoenix, although Nomura said that "[n]obody understood it."[3] Squall is 177 cm (5 ft 10 in) tall,[4] initially with longer hair and a more feminine appearance. After objections by game director Yoshinori Kitase, Nomura made the character more masculine. He added the scar across Squall's brow and the bridge of his nose impulsively (to make the character more recognizable), leaving the description of its origin up to scenario writer Kazushige Nojima.[5] Squall's first illustration was used as a set up to create the world around him. The logo of the game which had Squall embracing Rinoa was left as an open interpretation for fans who still had not played the game. The scar in Squall's forehead was also left ambiguous although Nomura said it was important for him.[6]

Nomura's design of Squall included fur lining along his jacket collar as a challenge for the game's full motion video designers.[7] In Final Fantasy VIII Nojima worked to give players insight into what Squall was thinking, in contrast to Final Fantasy VII (which encouraged players to speculate).[8] In retrospective, Nojima believes the staff made him particularly "cool".[9] Across the video game it is implied that the character of Laguna Loire is Squall's father. However, Square Enix never confirmed it.[10] Nomura designed Squall to contrast with Laguna.[5]

Nomura created Squall's gunblade with silver accessories.[11] The weapon is a sword with components of a revolver, sending vibrations through the blade when triggered;[12] this inflicts additional damage if the player presses the R1 trigger on the controller as Squall strikes an enemy.[12] Although the weapon was intended as a novel way for players to control weapons in battle, Nomura said he feels (in retrospect) that it looks odd.[5] Additionally, he felt it was very difficult to master.[6] Square's Hiroki Chiba said that his favorite moment in the Final Fantasy franchise was when Squall and Rinoa embrace in space due to the use of Faye Wong's "Eyes On Me" music in the background and having to work every frame to make it work.[13]

While Final Fantasy VIII did not use voice acting, Squall obtained a voice in the Square Enix series Kingdom Hearts, where he is known as "Leon". There, he is voiced by David Boreanaz in the English version of the game and Hideo Ishikawa in the Japanese version. He returns in Kingdom Hearts II, voiced in the English version by Doug Erholtz. Erholtz said in an interview that he had a "fun journey" voicing Leon and it was a "really fun role to play".[14]

Appearances[edit]

Final Fantasy VIII[edit]

At the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall is known as a "lone wolf" because he never shows his feelings[15] and seems cold to his associates.[16] His superiors (such as teacher Quistis Trepe) consider him difficult to deal with, but respect his talents.[17][18] Squall is stoic, with his taciturn nature used for comic relief. He is dragged into a heroic role when Cid, headmaster of Balamb Garden, appoints him leader of the academy midway through the game.[19] During a late battle against Galbadia Garden, Squall has difficulty exhibiting leadership because of his lingering isolation.[20] Although other characters try to pull him out of his shell and Rinoa Heartilly expends considerable energy pursuing him, it takes time for him to accept the others' friendship, fall in love with Rinoa and care for her.[21] Squall is more comfortable later in a leadership role, especially when he must fight Ultimecia.[22]

Throughout the game, he has a rivalry with Seifer Almasy. The opening sequence features the duel where Squall receives his facial scar (giving Seifer a mirror image), and scenes where Squall and Seifer are supposed to cooperate are characterized by squabbles between the cadets.[23] Although Seifer later allies with the Sorceress (requiring Squall to fight him several times), Squall still feels a camaraderie with him.[24]

According to flashbacks during the game, Squall grew up in an orphanage with the other playable characters (except Rinoa). The orphans were cared for by Edea; although Squall remembers little about his past, he becomes an emotionally detached, cynical and introverted boy whose original goal is to go through life without any emotional ties or dependence.[25] He gradually warms, and it is later revealed that his detachment from his companions is a defensive mechanism to protect himself from the emotional pain he suffered when he and his older sister were separated.[26]

After Ultimecia is defeated, the time and space that she had absorbed begin to return to normal, pulling Squall's comrades back into their places in the timeline, while Squall returns to the orphanage and meets a younger Edea. Since she does not want to involve the children, she absorbs the dying Ultimecia's powers as part of the cycle of sorceresses (a sorceress must pass her powers to a successor before she can die peacefully).[27] Squall plants the ideas for Garden and SeeD in her mind, creating an origin paradox: Squall must become leader of Balamb Garden so he can pass its version of SeeD tradition to Edea, who teaches them to her husband Cid (who co-founds Balamb Garden, which admits Edea's orphans—including Squall).[28]

Other appearances[edit]

Squall appears as a non-playable character in Kingdom Hearts. He wears a short leather jacket with red wings on the back (resembling the decorations on Rinoa's duster) and his Griever necklace. Squall takes the name Leon as an alias, because he was ashamed of not protecting those he loved from the Heartless when his home world (the Radiant Garden) was consumed by darkness.[29] His role in Kingdom Hearts is to help guide the protagonist, Sora, in his battle (with other Final Fantasy characters) against the Heartless. Although Squall's appearance and age differ (he is 25 in Kingdom Hearts[30] and 17 in Final Fantasy VIII),[31] his personality remains the same.[30] A memory-based version of Squall (as Leon) appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories teaching gameplay in a tutorial.[32] Leon's jacket later has a fur lining on its collar, which did not appear in the first Kingdom Hearts game. In this game, he works with his friends to restore their world.[33] Squall also appears as an opponent in Olympus Coliseum tournaments, often paired with other Final Fantasy characters. His virtual replica appears in Kingdom Hearts coded, where it meets Sora's virtual replica.[34]

Squall is a secret character in Chocobo Racing [35] and Itadaki Street Special, and a sprite version occasionally appears on the loading screen of the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VI (part of the Final Fantasy Anthology). He appears as a playable character in every Dissidia: Final Fantasy title, with his Kingdom Hearts design available as downloadable content in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.[36][37][38][39] He is a playable character in Itadaki Street Portable and the main character, representing Final Fantasy VIII, in the rhythm games Theatrhythm Final Fantasy[40] and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call.[41] Squall also appears as a premium character in Pictlogica Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy: All The Bravest both for Android and iOS.

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to Squall was mixed. Journalist Jack Patrick Rodgers of PopMatters said that Squall's cynicism and frustration with those around him made him a strong character, but "coldly inhuman".[42] GamesRadar called Squall the fifth-best Final Fantasy hero of all time, praising the development of his personality and his improved interactions with other characters.[43] GameZone rated him the fourth-best character in the franchise, saying that while fans "either love or hate this guy" he became the "ultimate anti-hero" (despite little dialogue) of an entertaining journey.[44] The website called Squall and Rinoa the best couple created by Square Enix, noting the differences between them and the fact that their relationship was the first in the series to drive the plot of a game.[45] They were on The Inquirer's list of most-memorable video-game love teams, with comments again focused on the differences between them.[46] GameSpot said that while Squall could be viewed as a "jerk", he could also be seen as "standoffish because of some repressed Wagnerian broodiness, in which case he was kind of interesting".[47] Allgame said that they initially hated Squall, but although he originally seemed "cold and uncaring", his romance changed him for the better.[48] RPGamer called Squall "everyone's favorite orphan" and said that although he tries to distance himself from others, "he can't help but draw people to him, be it sorceresses or gun-slinging ladies' men".[49] GameDaily ranked him sixth on their list of the "Top 25 Gaming Hunks", stating that while critics described the character as a "jerk", his character design, notably his scar, made him visually appealing.[50] Arnold Katayev of PSXextreme praised Squall's redesign in Kingdom Hearts as the game's best.[51] In a 2008 Oricon poll, Squall was voted the tenth-most-popular video-game character.[52] He was voted the 29th-best video-game character by Famitsu readers in February 2010.[53] Complex listed him as the one of the greatest Final Fantasy characters.[54]

However, IGN said that "the problem [with Final Fantasy VIII] is that the character at the heart of everything, Squall, is basically a pouty jerk ... When your story is character-centered, you'd better center it on a character the audience can care about. Squall ... just doesn't fit the bill".[55] 1UP.com ranked Squall second on its list of the "Top 5 Most Irritating RPG Protagonists" and stated that although he was an attempt to "cater to the fedora-wearing, trench-coat-clad folks", his lack of social skills alienated players.[56] Edge compared Squall unfavorably with Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife, saying that Squall's angst "didn't seem to have any context" (unlike Cloud's, which developed from one of the pivotal events in Final Fantasy VII). His relationship with Rinoa was criticized by Edge: "He [Squall] suddenly falls in "love" with [Rinoa] at the end [of Final Fantasy VIII]."[57] In GamesRadar's humorous "RPG Emo-Off", Squall was defeated in heartbreak by Cloud.[58] Squall was featured in the 1UP.com article "Top 5 Final Fantasy Character Types" in the second category, "The Sullen Asshole", with Cloud and Cecil from Final Fantasy IV.[59] GameSpy featured him in its comical "Videogame Characters Who Would Suck in Real Life", saying that in reality he would be a terrible soldier.[60]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII Characters Squall". Square Enix. Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  2. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p. 21. SLUS-00892GH. 
  3. ^ "The Bouncer Team Talks About Its Mysterious Game". IGN. 2000-09-21. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  4. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 12. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  5. ^ a b c Knight, Sheila (2003). "Tetsuya Nomura 20s". FLAREgamer. Retrieved 2006-04-13. 
  6. ^ a b Coxon, Sachi (2003). "Final Fantasy VIII interview". PlayStation Tripod. Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2017-01-06. 
  7. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. pp. 46–47. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  8. ^ Square Co. (2002-01-31). Final Fantasy X International. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Beyond Final Fantasy: Event. 
  9. ^ Wanlin, Matthew. "Interview with Final Fantasy X Development Team". RPGamer. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Maciel, Joshua. "Rebuttal to FF8 FAQ Part 2". RPGamer. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  11. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 13. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  12. ^ a b Studio BentStuff, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 43. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  13. ^ Wallace, Kimberley (April 29, 2016). "Final Fantasy Masterminds Reminisce About Their Favorite Moments". Game Informer. Retrieved April 30, 2016. 
  14. ^ Kana. "Kana's Korner - Interview with Doug Erholtz". Kana's Korner. 91.8 The Fan. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  15. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Rinoa: That's it! Just let out anything! Anything... We want you to talk to us a little more. That's all. Y'know, if there's anything you want to tell us, or anything we can do, don't hesitate to let us know. I know it's not easy, but I wish you would trust us and rely on us a little more. 
  16. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Rinoa: Don't you ever worry about or even think about the well-being of your comrades!? / Squall: (I don't believe in relying on others.) / Rinoa: Don't you understand!? / Squall:(...Whatever.) 
  17. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Quistis: I guess I was right. You and Seifer are in a class of your own. You both have amazing strength and potential. 
  18. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Quistis: Aren't there times when you want to share feelings with someone? / Squall: Everyone has to take care of themselves? I don't want to carry anyone's burden. 
  19. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Headmaster Cid: Squall, we're under your command from now on. This is your fate. It is your destiny to lead the way in defeating the sorceress. 
  20. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Squall: (I've had it up to here with this leader thing... Alright, alright... I'll choose.) 
  21. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Squall: Pandora whatever and Sorceress Adel are out of my hands. I don't know where to look for Sis. The only thing 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! 
  22. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Squall: I don't know what's going on. But since we're still here, I think we still have some time to finish our job. / Quistis: What are we going to do, Squall? / Squall: We'll divide into two parties. 
  23. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Seifer: Well then, Squall. Go see what's going on outside. / Squall: ......Ok. / Seifer: Good. Because it's MY order. 
  24. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Squall: (I liked him... wasn't really a bad guy... He was one of us...) (Seifer... You've just become just a memory.) (Will they... Will they talk about me this way if I die, too?) (Squall was this and that. Using past tense, saying whatever they want?) (So this is what death is all about...) (...Not for me.) (I won't have it!!!) / ... / Squall: I'm not having anyone talk about me in the past tense! 
  25. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Squall: (I don't believe in relying on others.) 
  26. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Squall: I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it. Squall is an unfriendly, introverted guy. It made it easy for me when people perceived me that way. That's a secret between you and me. Got that? 
  27. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Edea: It's ok. There's no need to fight. That sorceress is just looking for someone to pass her power on to. In order to die in peace, a sorceress must free of all her powers. I know... for I am one, too. I shall take over that sorceress' powers. I do not want one of the children to become one. 
  28. ^ Square Co. (1999-09-09). Final Fantasy VIII. PlayStation. Square EA. Edea: SeeD? Garden? / Squall: Both Garden and SeeD were your ideas. Garden trains SeeDs. SeeDs are trained to defeat the sorceress. / Edea: What are you saying? You're... that boy from the future? 
  29. ^ Square (2002-11-15). Kingdom Hearts. PlayStation 2. Square Electronic Arts. A swordsman who wields the gunblade. His real name: Squall Leonheart. He escaped to Traverse Town when the Heartless raided his home world. To part with his old self, a man who had been helpless to stop them, he changed his name. 
  30. ^ a b "Kingdom Hearts". Square Enix. 2002. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  31. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 28, 33–35. SLUS-00892GH. 
  32. ^ Jupiter (2004-12-07). Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Game Boy Advance. Square Enix U.S.A., Disney Interactive. Leon: Well, let's get on with it. Come on, follow me. Be careful, though. There are still Heartless wandering around town. I'd better teach you how to protect yourself in battle. 
  33. ^ Square Enix (2006-08-28). Kingdom Hearts II. PlayStation 2. Square Enix U.S.A., Buena Vista Games. Leon: We want to restore Hollow Bastion to what it used to be. Who knows---maybe even something better. There's still a lot to do, but I'm sure we can handle everything--- Except...for that... 
  34. ^ Square Enix, h.a.n.d. (2011-01-11). Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Nintendo DS. Square Enix. Leon: The name's...Leon. I wanted to help with the blocks, but something else needed my attention first. 
  35. ^ "Chocobo Racing Cheats For PlayStation". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  36. ^ Yoon, Andrew (2007). "Squall joins Final Fantasy Dissidia line-up". Joystiq. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  37. ^ Dissidia Final Fantasy Ultimania (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. p. 580. ISBN 978-4-7575-2488-0. 
  38. ^ "Dissidia 012[duodecim] Final Fantasy Available on: PSP Summary Review Articles Walkthroughs & Guides Cheats Screenshots Videos Discussion Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy Character Basics Guide". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  39. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2011-02-16). "Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy: First Gilgamesh Details". Andriasang. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  40. ^ Ishaan (2011-12-26). "Ifrit, Moogles, And Chocobos In New Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Screenshots,". Siliconera. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  41. ^ Wade, Kieran. "Western Release Date Set For Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call". Gamer Headlines. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  42. ^ Rodgers, Jack Patrick (2009-05-27). "Remembering the Orphan: Final Fantasy VIII". PopMatters. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  43. ^ Christian Nutt. "The five best Final Fantasy heroes". GamesRadar. Future US. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  44. ^ Hooker, Heath (2012-01-01). "Top 10 Final Fantasy Characters". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  45. ^ Glasser, AJ (2008-02-14). "Top 10 Square Enix Couples". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  46. ^ Villafania, Alexander (2007-02-02). "The most memorable video game love teams". The Inquirer. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  47. ^ Rorie, Matthew. "The Most Romantic Moments in Gaming". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  48. ^ Baker, Christopher Michael. "Final fantasy VIII Review". Allgame. All Media Group. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  49. ^ Ouden, GliffordAdriaan den; Cunningham, Michael. "Dissidia Final Fantasy 2009 Contestant Breakdown". RPGamer. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  50. ^ Buffa, Chris. "Top 25 Gaming Hunks". GameDaily. AOL. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  51. ^ Katayev, Arnold (2002-03-20). "Kingdom Hearts Review". PSX extreme. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  52. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2009-10-04). "And Japan's Favorite Video Game Characters Are...?". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  53. ^ "Snake Beats Mario, Is Coolest Video Game Character Ever". Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  54. ^ "The 20 Greatest Final Fantasy Characters of All Time". Complex. 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 12 December 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  55. ^ Lundigran, Jeff (1999). "IGN: Final Fantasy VIII Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  56. ^ "Top 5 Most Irritating RPG Protagonists". 
  57. ^ "This Week in Japan: Final Fantasy Special". Edge. 2006-03-10. Archived from the original on May 31, 2013. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  58. ^ Glasser, AJ. "RPG Emo-Off". GamesRadar. Future US. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  59. ^ Sharkey, Scott. "Top 5 Final Fantasy Character Types". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  60. ^ Drucker, Michael (2010-01-12). "Videogame Characters Who Would Suck in Real Life". GameSpy. Retrieved 2010-01-12.