Introduction

As the primary protagonist of the Squaresoft's highly acclaimed video game Final Fantasy VIII, you'd expect him to have a heart of gold who's out to save the world for the good of mankind. You know, the knight-in-shining-armor type? Yeah, that's not him at all.

Squall's got a plethora of problems, especially for a 17-year-old. He comes off as cold, calculating, and distant. He's the type of guy who wouldn't know a joke if it slapped him in the face, and doesn't really care for sentimental bullshit. He'd probably avoid you if you wanted to gush out your feelings over brunch. He really isn't your typical hero. In fact, for a good portion of the game, he's a kind of an antihero. Cue in the site title.

Born on the 23rd of August in the small town of Winhill, Squall stands at roughly 5'9" (177cm) with a solid build, light brown hair, and bright blue eyes. Modeled after the late River Phoenix (as stated by Tetsuya Nomura in an interview), he's quite the heartbreaker and would seem incredibly attractive if it weren't for his off-putting personality.Squall also has his trademark diagonal scar running across the bridge of his nose obtained during a Gunblade duel, compliments of his rival, Seifer. He's typically seen wearing a black leather jacket lined with white fur on the collar and a white v-neck underneath... and lots of black elsewhere. He's so cool that he wears not one, but two belts (at the same time!). His most prominent accessory, however, is his necklace with a pendant in the form of a lion-esque creature common referred to as the "Greiver" (he's got a matching ring, but it's kind of hard to see).

Sarcasm aside, Squall diligently trains in Balamb Garden, which is one of the three military academies in existence. After graduating, he becomes a full-fledged member of SeeD: an elite group of highly trained mercenaries. On the night of his graduation, he meets a girl named Rinoa Heartilly at the dance; she would later become his first client with whom he sparks a romance. As the story progresses, Squall becomes involved in a series of events that would lead him to eventually defeat an evil sorceress known as Ultimecia. Alongside this, Squall builds on his relationships, struggles with his past, and rediscovers himself in order to become the character?and leader? he was meant to be.

Take a step back...

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

?--Mary Oliver, from the poem "In Blackwater Woods"

Much of what makes Squall's character distinctive in video game pop culture is not precisely how he turned out, but how he started. We watch him work his way from one end of the spectrum to the other: antihero to hero, unconventional to conventional, ultimately choosing to use the power of undying love in the face of the enemy.

Quite frankly, his final decision isn't something we've never seen before.

Squall's role of as the protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII proves that not all people are born heroes or noble by nature. Squall fights with himself in order to get it right; he shattered once, healed crooked, and, during the course of the game, had to be broken again in order to set himself on the right path. For Squall, his most important battle is not with Ultimecia, but to be able to forgive himself and just move on. As a person who doesn't believe in the concept of destiny, he is determined to make a future for himself by his own conscious choices, not because it was pre-determined.

A Note from the Editor

This project dates back to 2004, and I have been (arguably) known to talk about Squall. A lot.

In retrospect, Squall, wasn't merely a character I respected and admired. To me, he was something of an expreince, someone I could easily relate to. During my most recent play through, deciding whether or not I chose to make Squall a total jerkface felt like bits my angsty teenage past unfolding on the television screen in some twisted melodramatic sense. You can probably thank FF8's systematic RPG interaction for that.

I'd like to think that I really fell in love with this character not because I saw myself in him, but rather because he made me believe that I could perhaps one day better myself, as how he himself turned out by the end of the game. While I can no longer 100% relate to Squall on an emotional level today, I can see tiny parts of myself in him, like his blatent honestly and general disregard for trivial matters.

To the reader: I hope you enjoy exploring this site for however much it's worth. It's been a great challenge creating a site about a subject close to my heart, and this place has gone through at least a decade of many transformations. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, I welcome you to shoot me an email whenever you get the chance!


About Antihero
Antihero is a fansite dedicated to Squall Leonhart, a fictional character from Final Fantasy 8. Started in August 2004, this site hosts a collection of analyrical essays and writings geared towards helping to understand the character on a critical level. All personal opinions are subject to debate. Also featured is an archive of images collected from various places over the years.
Dedication
To my brother, for allowing me to play this game on the console, otherwise I would not have. To all of my friends in the shrine community who have supported this dedication and up with its constant transformation. And to all of the visitors, old and new, who have come throughout the years: this site wouldn't be here without you.
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