I speak with passion, from the heart! That's what matters most.
Laguna Loire is a temporarily playable character in Final Fantasy VIII. For most of the game the player experiences Laguna through playable flashbacks explained to the player as the main characters' dreams. He wields a machine gun.
Laguna has shoulder-length dark hair and green eyes. Laguna's in-game render depicts his hair as black, but in his menu portrait and concept art it is cocoa brown. As a Galbadian soldier Laguna wears the regular blue uniform without the helmet. His civilian attire consists of a medium blue jacket with white studs and grooves, white undershirt, brown pants, black boots and dog tags. As he ages Laguna adopts a casual appearance, wearing a baby-blue button-up shirt with khaki slacks and sandals with his hair tied back, still sporting his dog tags.
Laguna's machine gun is a standard Galbadian machine gun he wields during his travels in Final Fantasy VIII. During a minigame Laguna briefly fights with a gunblade. In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Laguna continues to use his machine gun as his primary weapon, but also has an arsenal of different firearms and explosives: shotgun, a close range weapon capable of being charged up to increase its range and damage; sniper rifle, which, aside from shooting directly at the target, can aim at walls, the ground and ceilings to make the bullet ricochet, and, like the shotgun, the rifle can be charged up to shoot multiple bullets; sticky bombs, special grenades that stick to the target before blowing up, and a miniature Ragnarok Cannon, a scaled version of the Ragnarok airship that works as a portable laser cannon. When performing his EX Burst Laguna rides the Ragnarok cannon while blasting the opponent with laser beams.
An energetic man with a big heart. Uses a machine gun. Fires bursts at enemies to help party members in danger.
Laguna is cheerful, generous and kindhearted. He is respected among his comrades, Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac, although they scorn him at times for his impulsive attitude, but ultimately rely on him for guidance and direction. Laguna is courageous in the face of danger and especially when his friends are in trouble. When given time to think about the danger he is in, Laguna can become hesitant, but he is always willing to put his life on the line for the sake of justice.
Laguna makes up phrases on the fly whenever he does not know the correct word to a phrase. Laguna's friends laugh at him for his mistakes to which Laguna usually becomes embarrassed and ends the conversation. He is known for his inability to talk to women, though he exclaims it is only "beautiful women" around whom he gets nervous. When Laguna gets nervous his right leg cramps up.
As a Galbadian soldier Laguna participated in the effort to invade Timber, but his dream was to become a traveling journalist and write about his experiences. In the army Laguna was best friends with Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac and the three formed a platoon where they shared each other's dreams and ambitions. Throughout their time together the three frequently fell victim to Laguna's clumsy nature. Laguna was enraptured by Deling City hotel's lounge pianist, Julia Heartilly, who returned his feelings but all of their interactions ended awkwardly due to Laguna's nervousness.
One night, at the behest of Kiros and Ward, Laguna walked up to Julia while she was playing, and though his leg cramped up and he was forced to retreat, Julia invited him up to her room to talk. The two shared their life dreams before confessing they had always watched each other from afar, but their romance was cut short when Laguna, Kiros and Ward were called away to Centra to inspect a mysterious excavation site Esthar had set up.
Laguna and his friends ventured to the excavation site and discovered Esthar was unearthing a monolithic crystal structure. The trio got trapped on a precipice and Laguna urged his friends to jump to the water below as he could see Galbadian vessels. While Kiros and Ward made the jump Laguna's descent was less graceful and he plummeted to the waters, gravely injuring himself. Laguna was separated from his friends and washed up at an unspecified location, where he was found and brought to the home of a woman named Raine in Winhill. At first as a matter of sheer obligation, she agreed to look after him.
For the next six months Laguna was bed-ridden while Raine nursed him back to health. He bonded with her and her adopted daughter, Ellone, who referred to him as "Uncle Laguna." The town's working men had been sent off to the Sorceress War and so Laguna became the self-appointed "Monster Hunter of Winhill." He declared Raine as his commander and Ellone as his assistant-commander, but never let either go out with him on his hunting.
After another six months rolled by, Kiros, who had been searching for Laguna ever since he recovered eleven months ago, found him, and told him Ward had lost his voice and become a janitor at the D-District Prison, while Julia had become a famous singer/songwriter and married General Caraway from the Galbadian army after her "true love" never returned from war.
Laguna took Kiros out on a monster hunting mission and the two talked about Laguna's plans of becoming a journalist. Upon returning to Raine's house, the two eavesdropped on Ellone asking if Raine will marry Laguna. Afterwards Kiros noted a change in him. Laguna and Raine fell in love and Laguna proposed to her. The two married, but one day Sorceress Adel's forces kidnapped Ellone. Laguna promised Raine he would bring her back without knowing Raine was pregnant. Laguna and Kiros recruited their old friend, Ward, and the search for Ellone began.
The three struggled in getting into Esthar. Laguna wrote articles to Timber Maniacs and they participated in a movie deal to raise money for their travels where Laguna fought a Ruby Dragon with a gunblade, a weapon he hadn't used since his training at a military academy. Laguna met with Edea Kramer in her orphanage and asked her to keep an eye out for Ellone, as well as Sorceress Adel, as she was looking for a successor for her sorceress power. Laguna became separated from Kiros and Ward and wound up in Shumi Village where he befriended the village Moombas, attempting to teach them to speak. The Moombas learned only one word, "Laguna", which they exclaimed whenever they saw him. During his travels he at times felt a mysterious surge of power, and came to refer to it as "the fairies". Unbeknown to him, the feeling was the future Ellone sending Squall Leonhart to inhabit him in an attempt to change the past.
Eventually Laguna, Kiros and Ward crossed the Horizon Bridge to Esthar, but were captured and imprisoned within the Lunatic Pandora Laboratory where they joined the resistance against Sorceress Adel. Laguna was appointed their leader after displaying kindness to a Moomba, and staged a jailbreak. Laguna found Ellone, who had been kept safe by Dr. Odine, who wanted to study her power to send a person's consciousness back in time.
To capture Sorceress Adel the resistance constructed an armored cryo-capsule, placing it inside the Sorceress Memorial. They crafted a simulacrum of Ellone, whom Adel was searching for to continue her reign of terror through a successor, and used it as bait. They had the Lunatic Pandora housing the Crystal Pillar Esthar had dug up from the Centra Excavation Site sunk to the bottom of the ocean and Adel rushed to investigate. Once she was informed Ellone was being held inside, she arrived to see the fake Ellone, and Laguna pushed her into a cryo-tomb (later known as Adel's Tomb) where she was flash-frozen.
Laguna, hailed the hero of the revolution, was appointed the new president. He sent Ellone back to Winhill where she stayed with Raine who gave birth to Laguna's child. Raine died soon after and Ellone and the baby were sent to Edea's orphanage on Centra. Laguna later heard Raine had died and that Ellone had been taken to an orphanage, but never learned of his son.
Laguna remained the president of Esthar for the next seventeen years and thought about Ellone who unbeknownst to him had been hidden away from the world to protect her on the White SeeD Ship. Ellone regrets the way the events unraveled and upon meeting Squall at Balamb Garden concocts a plan to try and change the past using her special ability. She sends Squall back in time to inhabit the Laguna of the past, but although she discovers changing the past is impossible, she learns how much Laguna had loved her. She resolves to venture to Esthar to reunite with him and tell him of his estranged son.
As an Estharian ship rescues the White SeeD Ship from Galbadian assault, Ellone comes onboard and she is taken to Esthar where she is sent to the Lunar Base to reunite with Laguna, where she presumably tells him about his son. Squall arrives at the base soon after with a comatose Rinoa, seeking Ellone's powers to revive her, and though Laguna interacts with Squall and his friends he has his space suit on, concealing his identity. As the Lunar Cry begins the space station is evacuated and Laguna again loses contact with Squall and Ellone.
Laguna meets Squall face-to-face when his SeeD party is called to Esthar for a mission to defeat Sorceress Ultimecia who has been reaching into their era from the future to wreak chaos. Laguna and Dr. Odine have come up with a plan to send the SeeDs to the future to vanquish her, and hints he and Squall will have a lot to talk about later. Laguna aids Squall's party in infiltrating the restored Lunatic Pandora where Adel, being possessed by Ultimecia, is being held after her tomb fell during the Lunar Cry incident. When Ellone sends Ultimecia's consciousness back in time it triggers the time compression, which lets Squall and his friends travel to the future and defeat her once and for all.
Laguna returns to Winhill to visit Raine's grave in the nearby fields, the same place he had proposed to her. He is joined by Ellone, Kiros and Ward, while Balamb Garden soars overhead.
Though not directly confirmed, it is heavily implied Laguna's estranged son is Squall. When Laguna left Winhill, Raine was pregnant, and after her death both the baby and Ellone were taken to Edea's orphanage, which is where Squall grew up. Kiros remarks Squall resembles his mother and should be grateful he doesn't look like his father, implying he knows Squall's parents. Laguna mentions Ellone has "told him everything," and tells Squall that once Ultimecia is defeated the two of them have a lot to talk about. This would also explain several other connections between them, such as a Moomba recognizing Squall's blood as Laguna's in D-District Prison, as it is stated in the Information section of the menu that Moombas can recognize people after having tasted or smelled their blood. Squall's mind is the one always connected to Laguna's when Ellone uses her powers to send Squall back in time, and Laguna also possesses Squall's Triple Triad card.
Laguna is playable during dream sequences, and always takes Squall's junctions. His weapon of choice is the Machine Gun. His Limit Break is Desperado, in which he uses hand grenades and machine guns to damage all opponents at once.
Creation and developmentEdit
Kazushige Nojima planned for the two playable parties—Squall Leonhart's present day group and Laguna Loire's group from the past—to contrast with one another. Laguna's group consists of characters in their late twenties who have plenty of combat experience and are close friends who have fought together for a time and trust one another. Squall's party on the other hand is young and inexperienced, and Squall himself does not initially understand the value of friendship.
The concept of two main characters was planned since the beginning of the game's development. Tetsuya Nomura tried to create a contrast between Laguna's and Squall's occupations; thus, Laguna became a soldier and Squall became a mercenary student. The designers intended Laguna to be similar to the previous protagonists in the Final Fantasy series to complement Squall, who is different from previous main characters.
Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima initially envisioned for Laguna's part to encompass the first half of the game. It ended up being cut down "due to various reasons," and the map made just for Laguna's timeline did not get much use.
Various examples of unused backgrounds hint that Laguna may have possessed a lime-green convertible pickup truck during his time in Winhill. Laguna's black-and-white intro picture depicts him driving said car, and the artisan in Shumi Village—one of the places Laguna spent time in—has a miniature model of it. The car can be found in the garage in Ellone's parents' house where Laguna resides during his stay at Winhill if the location is hacked into the game. The car, however, is never used as Laguna's car in the final game.
In the Debug Menu, among the FMVs listed for disc 2, are ones called Laguna/Squall watching the moon. When played, they show scenes from the Battle of the Gardens—indicating these FMVs were left out. There also exists a promotional CG artwork that depicts Squall and Laguna looking at the night sky, which may have been part of this unused FMV at one point. There are also dozens of unused battle formations with Esthar soldiers being fought in Esthar City. All this may indicate that a good portion of Laguna scenes may have been cut.
Laguna's theme is "The Man with the Machine Gun", which is used as the battle theme for the scenes in which the player controls Laguna's party. The song has also appeared in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series, in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and in Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, and has appeared in numerous arranged albums and been performed in Final Fantasy concerts.
Laguna has appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- PocketStation memorycard icons as an icon.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call as a playable charater.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- 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.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
- Monster Strike as a playable character.
The Banpresto Final Fantasy VIII Laguna Loire figures were released in 1999, and has Laguna on a black stand touting his machine gun. These were won from crane catcher games in Japan. Also in 1999 Kotobukiya released Laguna Loire 1/6 Scale Figure of Laguna, and Bandai released an official action figure the same year. Manufactured by Banpresto, a Laguna keyholder also exists, available briefly from crane catcher games in Japan.
The first Final Fantasy themed Coca-Cola marketing campaign brought Final Fantasy figures attached to Coca-Cola products sold in shops, the first edition containing characters from Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, thus including Laguna. The variants were "deformed" (big head, disproportionate body), "real" (more realistically proportioned), and "crystal" (solid red figurines).
A physical version of Triple Triad was released as merchandise, containing Laguna's card.
Laguna is the Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Tagalog, Spanish and Portuguese word for "lagoon", a shallow body of salt water separated from larger seas by small sandbanks or coral reefs. Additionally, Laguna is a Spanish term for a "mental blackout"; periods where one loses consciousness and is unable to remember what happened during that time when one wakes up. In Basque, laguna means "the friend".
All of these traits befit the character, as both his wife and son share a name linking to water. Further contrast between the two protagonists is seen in the etymology of their names: "Laguna" refers to a serene body of water, and "squall" refers to a tempestuous windstorm.
Laguna's name in Japanese, (ラグナ, Raguna?), is spelled the same as the first three characters in the name of the Ragnarok (ラグナロク, Ragunaroku?). This is noted in-game when Laguna says, "I always wanted to ride that thing. Plus the name sounds so cool!"
- The film Laguna and his friends were in while raising money is implied to have inspired the dream of Squall's rival, Seifer Almasy. Seifer wants to become a sorceress' knight like the character Laguna played, named "Zefer" according to the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. Seifer has the same battle stance as Laguna did when acting in the film, and in Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia reveals he is a fan of Laguna and his inspiration for taking up a gunblade.
- When approaching his office within the presidential palace in Esthar City, a detailed portrait of downtown Winhill is placed above the doors. If Squall's party visits Winhill in present times they find the town guarded by two SeeD drop-outs, having been hired by a foreign benefactor, likely meaning Laguna.
- Laguna's Limit Break, Desperado, is the Japanese name of Sazh Katzroy's full ATB skill in Final Fantasy XIII. The name was changed in the English releases to "Cold Blood".
- In Dissidia Final Fantasy, a Ghost Card bearing Laguna's name can be fought. The Laguna ghost is a Level 24 Squall, equipped with Mythril equipment and the Machine Gun weapon, a reference to Laguna's signature artillery. The accessories White Gem and Occult Fan can be won from the ghost via battlegen. The quote on the card "Just for that, you're gettin' the Cuchi-cuchi treatment" is what Laguna said to Ward during their escape from Esthar soldiers in Centra Excavation Site. The Occult Fan alludes to the magazine that can be collected in the Esthar presidential palace.
- Laguna was originally planned to appear in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, and a scenario was planned where he would be the one in charge of the Mirage Arena. However, due to his inclusion in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, he was left out.
- The player can find Timber Maniacs magazine issues scattered around the world with articles Laguna submitted during the time he was looking for a way to get to Esthar to save Ellone. Reading the magazines adds new chapters to Selphie's Sir Laguna's Page that can be read from the study panel in Balamb Garden's classroom.
- ↑ http://www.final-fantasyviii.com
- ↑ Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, p. 24
- ↑ FF 20th Anniversary Ultimania File 1: Character, p.254
- ↑ Tetsuya Nomura's 20s (Accessed: October 10, 2019) at Flare Gamer
- ↑ Kazushige Nojima Talks About Early Internet Criticism On FF7 That Influenced Final Fantasy VIII (Accessed: October 10, 2019) at Siliconera
- ↑ Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania — and related — Translations Continue (Accessed: December 06, 2018) at TheLifestream
- ↑ Nomura and Takahashi on Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (dead) (Accessed: February 21, 2011) at Andriasang (dead)