Lunar Gate is a location in Final Fantasy VIII. Located directly east of Esthar City, near the eastern coast of the continent, it is an airport-like facility used by Esthar to shuttle people to the Lunar Base.
To launch someone (or presumably something) into space, they are placed in a capsule. They then undergo a process called "cold sleep", rendering them unconscious for the trip, and are shot out of a cannon-like apparatus into space. They are "thawed" upon arrival at the Lunar Base.
Squall Leonhart, Rinoa Heartilly and a party member of Squall's choosing are sent out to Lunar Base to meet with Ellone, who has been sent on the space station to meet the president of Esthar, Laguna Loire. Squall and the others are placed in separate capsules and ejected into space, but before departing Squall appoints Zell Dincht as the group's leader while he is away. After Squall's party has left, Angelo, Rinoa's dog, runs to the base and barks. Zell and others go outside and see Lunatic Pandora approaching Esthar City, and rush to the site.
The Lunar Gate is located to the south of the Great Plains of Esthar, a distance to the east of Esthar City.
The Lunar Gate is a space travel facility similar to an airport. The main building, similar to most Esthar architecture, is a chrome building with large glass windows, with concrete roads either side of it, and immense blue tubes on top of the building that are the boosters used for the shuttles to launch individuals.
The lobby of the building has a gold finish along the walls and luminous blue windows. They have a small door leading to the gates inside, while the next room contains a golden tube in the center used to transport individuals through a capsule up to the boosters and into space.
The gate also has a golden control room overlooking the boosters, in which scientists control red terminals to oversee the cold sleep and the launch to space. This room is populated by scientists, and not visited by the player.
The Lunar Gate uses the Lunar region rules, which uses all rules by default. The area has no players who use rare cards, but the player can use them to abolish lunar rules before going to space, as even if the lunar ruleset already has every rule, playing there as a newcomer to the region can still randomly abolish a rule after a few games. Abolishing random makes it easier to win the Laguna and Alexander cards.
The Queen of Cards can be found here if she gives a clue that she is going somewhere "far away". If the Queen of Cards comes Lunar Gate she will sell rules for the region and playing her manipulates the Lunar 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 progress her sidequest by getting her to Dollet. From Lunar Gate she will go anywhere in the world (Balamb Town train station, Dollet pub, Deling City hotel, Fishermans Horizon save point area, Shumi Village inn, Winhill hotel, or Esthar City Presidential Palace) and does not give a clue as to where she is headed.
Bringing the Queen of Cards here actually makes abolishing a specific rule easier if the player has the funds, as after a rule abolishes the player can pay her 30,000 gil to get the rule back, then play her until another rule is abolished.
"Fear" plays in the Lunar Gate on the party's first visit prior to the Lunar Cry.
"The Salt Flats" plays in the Lunar Gate following the Lunar Cry.
Behind the scenes
The screen with the launcher displays a message in the upper corner that appears to say: "Tin Can Shooter" and "UPS!! seventh and gave up on the most of the way".