You must fight to the end! Even though it may bring tragedy to others!Edea Kramer
Edea Kramer, also known as Sorceress Edea, or Matron (ママ先生, Mama-Sensei?), is an antagonist and a temporary-playable character from Final Fantasy VIII. She is a mysterious woman appointed as ambassador of Galbadia. She is a sorceress with mystical powers.
Edea is refined and ladylike, traits particularly evident during her possession when Ultimecia uses Edea's sophistication and physical beauty to beguile her enemies. She has long black hair and green eyes that are golden yellow when possessed by Ultimecia.
Normally she wears a modest black dress with little jewelry, but while possessed, Edea wears a purple skin-tight dress with a plunging neckline and feathers around the collar, a headpiece adorned with jewels and a metallic half-circle frame on her back with two long strips of sheer fabric hanging down each side. The metallic half-circle holding Edea's cape is similar to the one worn by Wrexsoul in Final Fantasy VI. It only appears during FMV scenes and battles, and is not present in her field model.
Before revealing her face at the parade, Edea wears a red mask to conceal her identity. Her long hair is magically shortened or hidden under her headgear as seen during the cutscene. During close-ups of her face during FMVs, white lines can be observed extending from the corner of her eye and cheek.
When first introduced, Edea is possessed by Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future, and is thus portrayed as a vain, power-hungry and remorseless sadist. All traces of her once kind and loving personality are purged from under Ultimecia's possession to be replaced by an all-consuming desire for world domination.
In actuality, Edea is benign and gentle. Although she has been under the stigma of being a sorceress ever since the age of five, she doesn't resent the world for the prejudice it must have shown her. She devotes her life to helping others, focusing upon the children she cares for in her orphanage. Those raised by her are reluctant to accept the deeds performed by a possessed Edea are those committed by their beloved matron.
When she was five years old, Edea received sorceress powers from an unknown sorceress. She married Cid Kramer, who knew she was a sorceress. They operated an orphanage for the Sorceress War orphans on the Centra continent with the orphans referring to Edea as "Matron".
When Laguna Loire embarked on his search for his missing step-daughter Ellone, he visited the orphanage, questioning Edea on what she might know about how to enter Esthar. Later, nearing the Sorceress War's end, Squall—Laguna and Raine's son—would be sent to Edea's orphanage by the people of Winhill after Raine's death. Ellone, whom he called "sis", accompanied him.
When Squall was four years old Edea met a dying sorceress and a teenage Squall who had come from the future. The sorceress had been defeated by the teenage Squall, and Edea received her sorceress powers. Squall told Edea about the SeeD and the Garden, saluting her with the SeeD salute, before disappearing back into the time portal.
Edea was stricken by this encounter, and puzzled the Squall from the future had told her SeeD and Garden were her ideas. She surmised that Squall, a boy from her orphanage, would one day kill an evil sorceress, and she and Cid began plans to create SeeD and Garden to prepare him. Cid left the orphanage to look for sponsors as they needed funding, and she stayed at the orphanage with the children.
Ellone was being sought by Dr. Odine of Esthar to complete his research on her and her special powers to send a person's consciousness back in time. Edea created the White SeeD, a group of older orphans assigned to protect Ellone. Edea and Cid were permanently separated as Cid became the headmaster of Balamb Garden, his quest being to train young people, Squall among them, as SeeDs to become strong enough to one day take on the sorceress from Edea's encounter. Edea was the captain of the White SeeD Ship that housed the other orphans and Ellone, and the ship became something of an orphanage in its own right.
Twelve years after Balamb Garden's completion, Ultimecia possessed Edea. It is unknown whether Edea left the White SeeD Ship before or after being possessed, but the White SeeDs and other orphans soon voyaged to Balamb Garden, perhaps to tell Cid what had happened. Ultimecia used Edea's body and name as a vessel to seize power across the planet to use the resources she'd gather to hunt down Ellone to make use of her powers over time, the Galbadians believing Edea to be the sorceress who has inherited Sorceress Adel's powers. Ultimecia wants to mobilize the Galbadian army to find Ellone, but to do that she needs to take over Galbadia and she, under Edea's guise, allies with the president Vinzer Deling.
During a live television broadcast meant to introduce her to the world as a new Galbadian ambassador, Seifer, a rogue SeeD cadet, takes the president hostage and Ultimecia in Edea's body spirits him away with her. Deeming Seifer potentially useful for her, Ultimecia makes Seifer her sorceress' knight. While possessed by Ultimecia, Edea's "shell" kills President Deling, survives an assassination attempt by SeeD, and takes command of the Galbadian army. She declares SeeD as her enemy and orders missile attacks on Trabia and Balamb Gardens while she makes Galbadia Garden her base of operations.
While Balamb Garden escapes the missile attack by activating its mobile functions and moving away from the spot the missiles were programmed to target, Trabia Garden is not as lucky. Ultimecia orders the G-Forces to look for Ellone with Seifer in command, who appoints his friends Fujin and Raijin as commanders. Squall becomes the commander of Balamb Garden and begins the war against Edea and her G-Forces despite now knowing her as his former Matron.
During the Battle of the Gardens Edea falls in battle and the near-death experience expels her sorceress power that seeks for a new host in Rinoa Heartilly, a member of Squall's party. Ultimecia possesses Rinoa to order Seifer to rouse the Lunatic Pandora, an Estharian weapon of mass destruction, before Rinoa falls comatose. Seifer departs to carry out the task with the G-Forces, and Edea regains control over body and mind.
Everyone retreats to the old orphanage where Edea is reunited with Cid. Edea explains what had happened to her and Ultimecia's true goal of finding Ellone: casting a spell that would destroy the world as they know it, time compression. Edea is unaware she has lost her sorceress powers, and only knows Ultimecia has left her, and is unable to help Rinoa who remains comatose. She helps Squall look for Ellone by telling him where to find the White SeeD Ship, and gives him a letter of introduction so the crew would accept him onboard.
Edea wants to ensure Ultimecia will never possess her again and joins the party for a trip to Esthar in hopes Dr. Odine would rid her of her powers. Edea helps the party as they cross the Great Salt Lake and later when the Lunatic Pandora, now operated by Seifer and the G-Army, flies over Esthar City. Edea learns from Odine she had inadvertently relinquished her sorceress power to Rinoa. With the burden of her power lifted, Edea returns to the ruined orphanage with her husband, where she gives shelter, advice, and background information to the party.
After a visit to the Estharian space station the party returns to Edea's house with a cured Rinoa. The president of Esthar sends a message to the party asking to hire them on a SeeD mission to vanquish Ultimecia once and for all, and Edea wishes them good luck. Squall and his friends travel to the future and kill Ultimecia, and Edea and Cid attend the victory celebrations in Balamb Garden.
There are two themes accompanying Edea's presence. "SUCCESSION OF WITCHES" accompanies her when she appears as an antagonist, most notably played when she first encounters Seifer in Timber. However, this is considered Ultimecia's theme. The other theme is called "Truth" and plays at Edea's House. Her battle theme is "Premonition".
Edea has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- PocketStation memorycard icons as an icon.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a costume.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a costume.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call as an enemy.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Behind the scenes
Edea's character was designed for Final Fantasy VII, and Tetsuya Nomura intended the design to emulate the style of Yoshitaka Amano. It was not until Final Fantasy VIII Nomura found a way to use her.
"Edea" is a female name with French and Australian origins. It may also be derived from Greek mythology, specifically from "Medeia" (Latinised as "Medea") who was a sorceress; her name also means "cunning".
Kramer is a Dutch and Low German word for a small merchant, hawker, or retailer and is a common occupational surname. It can also be an Anglicized version of the High German surname Krämer.
- Final Fantasy VIII script:
Edea: Have you all heard of Sorceress Adel before? She was the ruler of Esthar during the Sorceress War. No one knows of her wherabouts... That's what I learned. The Galbadians must have thought I was the sorceress who received Sorceress Adel's powers.
- Weekly Famitsu Issue no. 1224 Yoshinori Kitase Interview translated by TheLifestream.net (Accessed: July 04, 2020) at The Lifestream