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This is the capital of Esthar. It's really huge. Just be careful not to get lost.
—Esthar Guard

Esthar City is a location in Final Fantasy VIII. The capital city of the reclusive nation Esthar, it spans almost the entirety of the Great Plains of Esthar. It, along with the rest of the country, is hidden behind an OCS (Optical Camouflage System) barrier, an invention that cloaks Esthar from view of the outside world. Esthar City is served by a platform shuttle service that runs throughout the inner city. The city is built of luminous blue buildings and translucent pathways. The Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania mentions the streets are kept so clean the long robes of the national dress will not get dirty. Most shopping is handled by computers, with no physical shops in the shopping arcade.

Story Edit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
FFVIII world conceptual

Esthar City limits represented in pink.

For a long time, Esthar was governed by the cruel Sorceress Adel who led the nation to a war against Galbadia, which would become known as the Sorceress War. With the help of Dr. Odine, she sought a child to whom she could give her powers. She set her sights on Ellone, but Laguna Loire used Ellone as bait to trap Adel in a sealing device that would suppress her powers and launch her into space.

Laguna was hailed as the hero of the Esthar revolution, and was elected president with his two friends, Kiros and Ward, working together with him. The Sorceress War was thus abruptly ended, and with no explanation, Esthar sealed its borders and shut itself off from the rest of the world constructing an optical camouflage system around the entire perimeter of the country to visually conceal it from outsiders.

Seventeen years later the current leader of SeeD, Squall, arrives in Esthar carrying the unconscious Rinoa on his back on his quest to find his step sister Ellone who is reported to have gone to Esthar. On the Great Salt Lake Squall and his friends discover the city hidden by a cloaking device. Upon arriving at the city they suddenly fall asleep and enter a dream world of the past. Upon awakening they meet with Dr. Odine who advises them to go out to Esthar's Lunar Base space station to talk to Ellone. Squall splits his group, taking his group into space, while Zell's group protects Sorceress Edea, who has traveled with the party seeking a cure for her sorceress powers.

Soon after, the Galbadian army, led by Seifer, lay siege on the city. With them is the salvaged Lunatic Pandora, which the Galbadians are steering toward Tears' Point, intent on catalyzing a Lunar Cry in the Esthar heartland. Zell's group devises a plan to board the vessel, but they are repelled by its crew, leaving the artifact to to reach its destination with a disastrous result; the city is overrun as a torrent of monsters overwhelm the Esthar troops. Only the presidential palace remains untouched.

Laguna and Dr. Odine come up with a plan to stop Sorceress Ultimecia who is guiding Seifer's actions from the future, and Squall's SeeD team is invited to the palace. Laguna explains the plan which would require Rinoa's and Ellone's help, the former now cured from her coma. Laguna accompanies the party as they launch at attack on the Lunatic Pandora.

Spoilers end here.

Layout Edit

The limits of Esthar City take up the entire western side of Esthar. While the city can be explored on the world map the player only gets to enter the city's central districts closest to the Presidential Palace. The city has one outer skyway and two main inner skyways, all leading to the palace.

Esthar 2

Dr. Odine's Laboratory.

Dr. Odine's Laboratory

Located south-west in prospective to the Presidential Residence, the laboratory is Odine's primary lab where he conducts sorceress research and research into Ellone's powers. In his other lab outside the city, the Lunatic Pandora Laboratory, he conducts research on the Lunatic Pandora.

Ragnarok 2

Esthar Airstation.

Esthar Airstation

West in prospective to the Presidential Residence, the airstation provides docking privileges for aircraft such as the Ragnarok. The background where Ragnarok is stationed in Esthar Airstation before the Lunar Cry (the sky is blue) exists in the game data, but it can never be seen in-game as the player can access Ragnarok only after Lunar Cry as already occurred, and the sky is always tinted pink.

Esthar 4

Presidential Residence.

Presidential Palace

Home of the presidential staff and the president himself. Sorceress Adel once ruled from this palace and now her stasis chamber is shaped in the Presidential Palace's image. Backgrounds with a blue tint from before the Lunar Cry exist in the game data, but the palace can only ever be visited after the Lunar Cry has occurred.

  • Items: Occult Fan IV magazine (the player must leave the palace after Dr. Odine takes Rinoa to his care, and then return there before going to space to find the magazine).
  • Draw points: Blizzard (outside the palace)
  • Triple Triad: A presidential aide has the Phoenix card as part of Queen of Cards sidequest.

Esthar streets



The streets of Esthar are more expansive than in any other location. The player can ride lifts between the areas.

  • Items: Combat King 004 (obtain from a soldier on a bridge during the Lunatic Pandora incident)
  • Draw point: Curaga (on a junction near entrance)

Esthar Shopping Mall

Shopping Mall.

Shopping Mall

The shopping mall is a place for shops. The shopping is conducted by operating the terminals.

  • Items: Rosetta Stone (Cheryl's Shop; the shop is closed but will randomly give a Rosetta Stone when the player attempts to access it)
  • Draw points: Tornado
Esthar 3



Located at the city entrance cars can be rented here for a small fee. Although one can avoid random encounters on the field in a car, the car needs fuel to run.

Shops Edit

The player may get a random reward for accessing a shop. One shop is closed at first and Cheryl's Shop is never open. For details see Quests section.

A - Items only appear with the Familiar ability.

Rinrin's Store Edit

Item Cost
G-Potion 200
G-Hi-Potion 600
G-Returner 500
Pet House 1,000
Amnesia Greens 1,000
HP-J Scroll 10,000
Str-J Scroll 10,000
Vit-J Scroll 10,000
Mag-J Scroll 10,000
Spr-J Scroll 10,000
Pet Pals Vol. 5 1,000
Pet Pals Vol. 6 1,000
Giant's Ring[A] 20,000
Power Wrist[A] 20,000
Force Armlet[A] 20,000
Hypno Crown[A] 20,000

Johnny's Shop Edit

Item Cost
Potion 100
Hi-Potion 500
X-Potion[A] 5,000
Mega-Potion[A] 10,000
Phoenix Down 500
Mega Phoenix[A] 10,000
Elixir[A] 50,000
Antidote 100
Eye Drops 100
Soft 100
Echo Screen 100
Holy Water 100
Remedy 1,000
Tent 1,000
Cottage 1,800
G-Potion 200

Cloud's Shop Edit

Item Cost
Hi-Potion 500
Phoenix Down 500
Eye Drops 100
Soft 100
Remedy 1,000
Tent 1,000
Fuel 3,000
Normal Ammo 20
Shotgun Ammo 40
Dark Ammo 300
Fire Ammo 500
Demolition Ammo[A] 800
Fast Ammo[A] 100
G-Potion 200
G-Hi-Potion 600
G-Returner 500

Don Juan's Shop Edit

Cheryl's Store Edit

The shop is always closed. The player may receive a Rosetta Stone for trying to access it.

Location Edit


Location of Esthar City, indicated by the crosshair.

The largest location in terms of size on the world map, Esthar City covers the entire western portion of the continent. Players can enter the "location proper" by either landing on the airstation or driving/traveling to the Presidential Building on the world map.


The Presidential building on the World Map.

Quests Edit

Shops Edit

Cheryl's Shop is always closed, but if the player keeps selecting it from the shopping arcade terminal they will get a free Rosetta Stone. Johnny's Shop (Esthar Shop!!!) is closed at first, but can be opened and will sell some potent items that are not available in any other shop. If the player opens Johnny's Shop they can also visit it with Tonberry's Call Shop ability. Johnny's Shop will open at random when the player tries to enter it.

The following items are randomly given when accessing an Estharian shop from the field (not via Call Shop ability):

  • Cloud's Shop: Hi-Potion, X-Potion
  • Johnny's Shop: Hi-Potion, Mega-Potion
  • Karen's Store: Hi-Potion, Mega Phoenix
  • Cheryl's Store: Rosetta Stone

Rare magazines Edit

There are two rare magazines that can be found in Esthar City. The first one is Occult Fan IV. To get it, the player must leave Rinoa in Dr. Odine's care in the palace. Next, the player can talk to a presidential aide near the Airstation, who leaves the screen. Returning to the palace the player can find the presidential aide has left a stack of magazines on the floor, among which the player may find the Occult Fan IV. This must be done before Lunar Cry floods the city.

During the Lunatic Pandora chase, the player can obtain the Combat King 004 by talking to a soldier on a bridge near the Airstation.

Boarding the Lunatic Pandora Edit

After talking to Dr. Odine while Zell is the party leader in Esthar, the Lunatic Pandora will fly across the city. To board it, the player must head to one of three contact points within a twenty minute limit. Random encounters are activated for the scene and the timer keeps ticking during battles. The player must arrive in the contact point screen after contact with Lunatic Pandora has been established, not before, as if the player arrives to the area too early the scene won't trigger until they leave and re-enter the screen.

The three contact points are as follows:

(1) Center of the city
Esthar city centre

Center of the city.

Lunatic Pandora will arrive at the city center with 15:00 left on the timer until 12:00.

(2) Where the two skyways cross
Esthar skyway intersection

Skyway intersection.

Lunatic Pandora will arrive at the intersection with 10:00 left on the timer until 5:00.

(3) North of the shopping mall
Esthar north of shopping mall

North of the shopping mall.

Lunatic Pandora will arrive north of the mall with 3:00 left on the timer.
The easiest way to complete the scene is thus: As soon as the party exits Dr. Odine's lab the 20-minute timer begins. The party should head bottom-right, then left, and left again, then head up, then right, and right again. This area has an Esthar Soldier from whom the player can receive the the Combat King 004 magazine (only available during this scene). The player should head right once more and the next area is the contact point at 15:00.

Being at a contact point during the correct time frame has the Lunatic Pandora fly past and the party must hop onboard, but a fixed encounter ensues, and the player must clear the battle before the time runs out; if the player runs out of time during the battle Lunatic Pandora will have passed the area and the party must catch it in the next contact point. If the player fails to board the Lunatic Pandora in any of the contact points, they miss the chance permanently and the scene will simply end.

To make completing the scenario easier the player can equip Enc-None to eliminate random battles.

Triple Triad Edit

Estharians play with Esthar region rules, where Elemental and Same Wall are the starting rule. However, Same Wall doesn't appear in games unless the player spreads the rule Same to the region first.

  • Phoenix card can be won off a presidential aide in the palace as part of the Queen of Cards sidequest.
  • Ward's card can be won off Dr. Odine.
  • Squall's card can be won off the president of Esthar in the palace, or on the Ragnarok after he boards it. He is available to play until the player fights Seifer at the Lunatic Pandora.

Elnoyle encounter Edit

After Lunar Cry, there is a soldier leaning over a railing north from Dr. Odine's lab. Talking to him triggers an encounter with an Elnoyle, a useful enemy to fight for its draw spells and the Energy Crystals it yields, needed for remodeling weapons. Leaving and re-entering the screen has the soldier respawn so the player can fight Elnoyles endlessly this way.

Enemies Edit

Before the Lunar Cry, monsters may be encountered on the overworld map of Esthar only, but after the said event, monsters can be found inside.

Before Lunar Cry Edit


Lunatic Pandora attack Edit

City Interior

After Lunar Cry Edit

City Interior
  • Behemoth
  • Imp
  • Iron Giant
  • Torama
  • Turtapod
  • Elnoyle (on certain streets)

Musical themes Edit

"Silence and Motion"
FFVIII Silence And Motion

"Silence and Motion" is Esthar's theme. It is an ambient composition of electronic synth whistles and chimes that give the impression of technological progress and marvels that Esthar is abundant with. A piano arrangement of the theme is included on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VIII album. "SeeD" is played during and after the Lunar Cry incident in Esthar.

Other appearances Edit

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Edit

Esthar City appears as the BMS for "The Man with the Machine Gun" and "Force Your Way". When played during a Dark Note, the sky in the background turns red, a reference to the Lunar Cry.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call Edit

Esthar City and its Lunar Cry return as the BMS for "Force Your Way", "The Man with the Machine Gun" and "Don't Be Afraid, respectively.

Pictlogica Final Fantasy Edit

PFF Esthar
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Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade Edit

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Gallery Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife, is alluded to in the shop title: Cloud's Shop. This is not the case in the original Japanese version of the game, where the shop is called "Esthar Shop" (エスタショップ, Esuta Shoppu?).
  • The exact reason Esthar is camouflaged is never addressed in the game, though the technological sophistication suggests that it deters Galbadian missiles since optical detection is the only means available for launching guided strikes due to the worldwide radio interference.
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