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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.


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

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.



The Presidential building on the World Map.

The largest location in terms of size on the world map, Esthar City covers the entire western portion of the continent. On the world map itself, the blue skyways and large skyscrapers are visible. Players can only enter the central districts of the city close to the Presidential Palace by either landing on the airstation or traveling to the Presidential Building on the world map.

Esthar City is a vast futuristic metropolis notable for luminous, sleek, blue skyscrapers with a chrome finish, built around the Presidential Palace, an immense building with golden chambers around its circular roof. Transportation comes in the form of platform shuttles through red tube highways and translucent blue pathways. The city is far more technologically advanced than any other nation in the world.

In the inner districts, the player can travel between locations of Esthar City using its highways for an easy route across. In the outer districts on the world map, the player can only traverse the red and blue skyways.

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.

Dr. Odine's laboratory[]

Dr. Odine's laboratory is located south-west of the Presidential Residence. The lab 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.

The chrome building is entered through a brown skyway, where a Quake draw point is found in front of the building. The first room is a relatively long room with yellow ovoid pods on either side, a red tube at the top, and a circular elevator in the center of the room, with a Double draw point found to the right of it. The door at the end of the room leads to an inner blue room, while the elevator leads up to the red tube and through to the second floor, with a hidden and a hidden Flare draw point which never refills found in front of a door into the next room. This room is a red room with terminals on the right and a glass overlooking the room containing test subjects, including Ellone during Laguna's flashback.

Esthar Airstation[]

West in prospective to the Presidential Residence, the airstation is a building that 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 has already occurred, and the sky is always tinted pink.

Presidential Palace[]

The Presidential Palace is the largest building in Esthar City, visible from the world map, and from many of the other areas of the city. It is 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.

The Occult Fan IV magazine can be found here. To obtain it, 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. Additionally, a Blizzard draw point can be found outside the palace.

A presidential aide has the Phoenix card as part of Queen of Cards sidequest. The queen herself is found here on the elevator landing if she says she is going to Esthar.

There is a picture depicting downtown Winhill above the waiting room doors.


The streets of Esthar are more expansive than in any other location, and consist of bright blue translucent walkways high above the city. The player can ride platforms between the areas.

Esthar City does not have a hotel, but turning up from Dr. Odine's lab, or down from the Airstation, finds an area with a save point and a beaming light above. Walking through the light beam heals the party to full health.

Combat King 004 can be obtained from a soldier on a bridge during the Lunatic Pandora incident. Additionally, a Curaga draw point can be obtained on a junction near the entrance.

Shopping mall[]

The shopping mall is an aisle of a wide variety of shops, each of which consist of terminals from which shopping is conducted. The terminals have a blue ovoid and a holographic banner above them for each shop, though one terminal can be used to access all six shops. Several advertisements are seen on a red holograph display on the ceiling, and a bridge with the "Shopping mall" banner is seen between the two ends of the aisle.

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 Tornado draw point can be obtained.

Don Juan's Shop[]

Don Juan's shop is a junk shop, where the player can remodel weapons.

Cheryl's Store[]

The shop is always closed, but will randomly give a Rosetta Stone when the player attempts to access it.


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.

The rent-a-car area is used to exit the interior city districts to the world map. This can be done either by renting a car or using the elevator to leave and travel on foot.

Outer districts[]

The outer districts of Esthar City are seen on the world map, and take up the entire western side of the Esthar continent. The city has one outer red skyway and two main blue inner skyways, all leading to the palace, which the player can traverse on the world map on foot or by car. Aside from the skyways, the player cannot traverse any other part of the city's outer districts on the world map.

Enemies can be encountered along the skyways of the outer districts, with an Esthar City battle background when fighting.

The enemies encountered here before the Lunar Cry are:

After the Lunar Cry:



Eshtar City Shop gives a present from FFVIII Remastered.png

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[]

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[]

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

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

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

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[]

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 location.

  • Phoenix card can be won off a presidential aide in the palace as part of the Queen of Cards sidequest. The player must first lose Doomtrain to the queen and talk to her in Dollet pub after.
  • 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.

If the Queen of Cards comes to Esthar she will be at the presidential palace. She will sell new rules for the Esthar region and playing her manipulates the Esthar region trading rule. The queen moves regions when the number of rare cards (Lv.8–10) she holds changes, so the player must lose one to her or win back from her, but she doesn't start with any. The player can do her sidequest by getting her to Dollet. From Esthar City she will go to Dollet (12.5%), Shumi Village (25%), Fishermans Horizon (12.5%), or Lunar Gate (50%).

Elnoyle encounter[]

The soldier who becomes an Elnoyle.

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.

Musical themes[]

"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[]

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy[]

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[]

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[]

PFF Esthar.png
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Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade[]

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Behind the scenes[]

An NPC talks about Gardens having been made in Esthar.

An NPC who asks Squall how they came to the city says that the Gardens were made in Esthar if the player claims they came over in a Garden.

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?).

After the Lunar Cry incident, the lifters stop working and Esthar soldiers will use the lifter tubes for shortcuts. If the player tries to enter one, however, Squall will refuse and call the soldiers fools, saying they are making themselves "sitting ducks" for the monsters.

The exact reason Esthar is camouflaged is never addressed in the game, but it could be a deterrent against Galbadian missiles since optical detection is the only means available for launching guided strikes due to the worldwide radio interference.