"Such a little man could not have made so big a depression."
-- Norman Thomas
"I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethroí
Gleams that untravellíd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move."
-Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Dramatis Persona Hominis
Author's Extended Foreword:
DISCLAIMER: Everything belongs to Squaresoft, Inc., not to me, unless I made it up.
This fanfiction picks up right where the game ends. If it interferes time-wise with any other fanfic, just treat the celebration at the beginning of the story as some other party that Balamb Garden throws after Squall goes through Time Compression again to kill some other sorceress named Ultimecia during which Rinoa kisses Squall one more time because they both see another shooting star, and during which Laguna, Ward, Kiros, and Ellone all just happen to be in Winhill visiting Raine's grave a second time. If you know already who Lagunaís son is, then Setting 1 is not essential to the plot and can be skipped. This fanfic has many allusions to Final Fantasy 8 and 9, some of which are pretty profound. Those that have not explored the world of Final Fantasy 8 as thoroughly as others might miss some subtle clues while those that have explored the world too thoroughly can guess half the plot out right. Stuff that I made up wasnít meant to be corny, corny as it might be. It is also a tedious reading until the tempo picks up in Setting 11 or so. Skipping to Setting 11 would ruin many of the hints incorporated into every Setting. Setting 8 was especially long and tedious (10 and 15 even more so), and Iím sorry for having ever written them. If you can get through that, I salute you. I donít promise the perfect story, but Iím warning you how big a commitment you have to make to finish this beast. It focuses mainly on Squall, his regular groups (minus Rinoa), and two new characters, Merali and Red Line. I tried to keep the number of Settings focused on characters from the older generation and Seifer to a minimum. Dante, Jeremy, Pearl, and Mina are other additions Iíve taken the liberty to make. Raine Ishida (nanaki_17 @ hotmail.com) has a sequel to my saga and the idea of Mina belongs to her. The idea of Titanus belongs to Dark Horse (sniper_3d @ yahoo.com). The idea of Stella, Laura, and Shojora belong to Kate Lorraine (lorraine_kate @ hotmail.com). The idea of Eris belongs to Blackrose (lenoirrose @ softhome.net).
I realized that the length of this 65-Setting story (520+ single-spaced pages) would deter most fans from reading it, while even fewer would ever finish reading. In order to boost the interest and preserve the incentive to keep reading, Iíve begged the assistance of eighteen very talented artists to whom I shall give due and grateful credit for their pieces for each chapter. I tried a little humor in each Setting with the characters. Please excuse me if what they say is not what you would have liked to hear. I was just tired of reading countless stories of Seifer being a menace to society or Seiferís sudden change of heart. I canít take anymore mushy, too-perfect romance between Squall and Rinoa. I couldnít stand Cidís being able to chew Squall out after he saved the world. I havenít seen too many people use GFs as more than just weapons of war in their stories (the exception being Kate Lorraineís "The Claiming of Shiva" in which she incorporates lines like, "Oh, [Shiva] wanted this one. This one, she had to make her own."). I donít find Rinoaís new sorceress powers are that entertaining. Iím mad at all the fanfics that leave the reader hanging and never get finished, especially with so many people, like myself, who have already beaten FF9 in Japanese. I think Ultimeciaís return or the repeat of the Lunar Cry is unoriginal. I felt Squaresoft left a lot of things to be explained. I hope not to fix all of this, but to present before you something new, if you give me the chance.
Be warned that my writing does not exude the elegance or delectability of Kate Lorraine's. My style has neither the maturity nor delicacy of DJ Johnston's; neither the sentimentality nor the poignancy of Arian's; neither the temerity nor the intrepidity of Darren Shier's; neither the gravity nor flourish of Larathia's; neither the refinement nor efficiency of Malice Shaw's. I do not elevate the language behooved by the epic tradition as does XmagicalX. Instead, I elevate the voice. The prose I promise is whimsical and sprightly. I plan to give you an exploration of the people and their interaction with each other and the world of Final Fantasy 8. I have intended for you not to get caught up in the plot as much as be swept away by the drama and pathos. The creativity I offer, I'm afraid, extends only as far as the bounds of my eccentricity and the reader's willingness to be led. The saddest part is when you have to leave this dream world that I've constructed.
A quick word of caution, though. I abuse the usage of participles and adverbs, and I am shameless in experimenting with narrative distance (though nowhere near as adept or fanatical as Woolf or Joyce). If the story happens to bore, disgust, offend, or annoy you in any way, donít tell me about it because I donít want to know. If you want another story, or a sequel perhaps, drop a line with any fictitious character names you would like to see incorporated in it, or any fresh ideas. So now, without further delay, I shall make my invocation and send you off into my own microcosm of Final Fantasy VIII:
"Be with me, Muse of all Desire, Erato,
While I call up kings, the early times...
A greater history opens before my eyes,
A greater task awaits me."
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