...I... I did it, everyone...! I know the stage got destroyed, but I performed... My dream band... I was able to carry out my dream...Selphie Tilmitt at Trabia's cemetery, talking to the graves of some of her friends.
Selphie Tilmitt is a playable character in Final Fantasy VIII. She is an active, outspoken and energetic girl who participates in many extracurricular activities, such as planning the Garden Festival and running a school website. She is clumsy, but despite this wields an oversized nunchaku in battle and pilots the Ragnarok airship. The player can read her website that gets updated throughout the game on the Balamb Garden Study Panel.
Selphie most often wears a yellow overall dress with a clip at the front, a frontal zipper that travels the full length of the dress and two large back pockets. She wears a silver pendant, a blue strap on her left wrist and brown boots that reach mid-calf. As a cadet, Selphie wears the standard Balamb Garden uniform with knee-high socks and shoes. At the graduation ball after passing the SeeD exams, she wears the standard SeeD uniform with black knee high boots.
In Kingdom Hearts, Selphie's appearance remains almost identical, with the only changes being that she looks younger and her brown boots are replaced with sandals.
A transfer student to Balamb Garden. Uses giant nunchaku and special magic.Scan description
Selphie is childish, upbeat, and hyperactive, always looking to have fun. She is a fan of combining words to form new ones. Selphie uses the expression "Booyaka!" on her website as a greeting. She wants to spread the lingo, but fails. In Japanese it is "Mamimumemo!"—which is the "M" row in the Japanese alphabet. Selphie is talented with computers and vehicles, and has many hobbies, ranging from running a website in the Balamb Garden intranet to heading the Garden Festival Committee to being obsessed with trains. Selphie has a dark sense of humor, sometimes displaying it in a way others are not comfortable with.
In the Japanese version, Selphie sometimes speaks Kansai dialect. In Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia where she is voiced, she also has a Kansai accent.
It may be that her cheerfulness is born of desperation, out of a fear of acknowledging unhappiness, a trait caused by being an orphan, as when the party visits Trabia Garden, she tries to be cheerful while talking to her friends' graves despite being emotionally shattered. Her comrades welcome Selphie's presence as she is a loyal friend and enjoyable company, so long as she is not trying to get them to join the Garden Festival Committee. Selphie tries to make it her mission to bring Squall out of his shell.
She carries out orders in her characteristically friendly manner and never backs down from a challenge, even if she does not always think it all the way through. Seemingly blissfully ignorant to the gravity of a situation, she often lifts her companions' spirits, distracting them from the seriousness of their problems.
Selphie grew up in Edea's orphanage where she befriended Irvine Kinneas, another orphan. When the orphanage was closed upon the owner couple's creation of SeeD and Garden, the orphans were separated as some were adopted, some went with Edea on the White SeeD Ship, and others enrolled into Garden. Selphie moved to Trabia and became a student at Trabia Garden, and while it does not promote the use of Guardian Forces, Selphie's first junction with one occurred when she was 12 during an outdoor training session when she found one inside a monster. Selphie junctioned her GF for a period of time before losing it, and during this time forgot her childhood memories, the price for relying on the power of a Guardian Force.
Upon completing her training at the age of 17, Selphie transfers to Balamb Garden to partake in the SeeD field exam and becomes involved with the Garden Festival. On the morning of the field exam she is late for class and runs into an unsuspecting Squall, asking him to give her a tour around the Garden so she will not get lost again. If Squall agrees, he takes her to the directory and explains each of Garden's facilities and faculty members. Selphie thanks him and heads off to prepare for the field exam they are both taking that day.
During the SeeD field exam at the Siege of Dollet, Selphie is assigned to Squad A, the intelligence team, whose first mission is to disrupt the Galbadian HD cable. Later she is to deliver a withdrawal order to Squad B and seeks out Squall and Zell, but their squad leader, Seifer, is nowhere to be seen. After spontaneously jumping off a cliff and locating Seifer, Selphie delivers their new order. Seifer abandons his squad and Selphie remains with Squall and Zell for the remainder of the exam, narrowly escaping to the shore by the allotted time. Selphie is among the four to pass the exam and become a SeeD, along with Squall, Zell, and another student named Nida. During the inauguration party Selphie attempts to recruit people into the Garden Festival Committee.
Selphie is assigned to a mission along with Squall and Zell to assist a resistance faction in Timber known as the Forest Owls. Selphie is elated to discover they are to go by train but falls asleep in the SeeD cabin, dreaming of a Galbadian soldier called Laguna Loire in what appears to be the invasion of Timber many years in the past. Upon awakening she tells of her dream to the others, recounting how much she admires Laguna, and is startled to find Squall and Zell shared the same dream.
Upon meeting the Forest Owls they are tasked with capturing the president of Galbadia, Vinzer Deling, by hijacking his private train. The mission fails due to false intelligence, and their next mission is to intercept the first live televised broadcast in over seventeen years, being delivered by the president himself. Seifer takes the president hostage over the air and Quistis Trepe, Squall's former teacher, arrives in hot pursuit and calls the Timber team to the TV station where they meet the president's new ally, a sorceress, who teleports Seifer away and saves the president.
As G-Forces storm the town the group is forced to go into hiding, a member of the Forest Owls, Rinoa Heartilly, securing them a hiding place in another resistance faction's house. As returning to Balamb Garden is made impossible when the rail services stop, the group flees to Galbadia Garden. On the way there, they fall asleep in a forest and enter another dream world with Laguna. In G-Garden they learn of Seifer's supposed execution, leading Selphie and Rinoa into a discussion about love, as Rinoa dated Seifer over the previous summer. The group is called to the front gate by Master Martine where they are tasked with assassinating the sorceress, Edea, before she can take control of Galbadia and become a threat to the world at large.
Galbadia Garden's best sharpshooter, Irvine Kinneas, joins the party to help carry out the assassination, and immediately begins flirting with Selphie, choosing her in his team if Squall let's Irvine decide the parties. The group travels to Deling City where they split into two teams, Selphie becoming a part of the "gateway team" along with Quistis and Zell to trap the sorceress inside an archway as her float passes through. While the "gateway team" accomplishes their part of the mission, the assassination fails and the SeeD are captured and incarcerated in the D-District Prison.
While in prison Selphie tries to cast curative spells despite the anti-magic field in place, and befriends a Moomba worker. They escape, but discover Galbadia has ordered attacks on Balamb and Trabia Gardens. They spot missiles launch overhead in the direction of Trabia Garden, with Selphie silently apologizing to Trabia for not being able to save them. She convinces Squall to split the group with the other infiltrating Galbadia's missile silo, while the other warns Balamb Garden of the impending attack. She leads the Missile Base team to avenge Trabia Garden, and along with two other team members heads off in a stolen Galbadian vehicle where they find G-soldier's uniforms to use as disguise.
The three infiltrate the Missile Base and reprogram the base to self-destruct. The alarms flash and the three are discovered. Galbadia launches the missiles and outside they are ambushed by a Galbadian war machine that they disable, but the machine's remains block the exit. While the others mourn their fate and having been unable to stop the launch, Selphie remains hopeful that Squall chose the team for a reason. She urges the party to take shelter within the dysfunctional war machine as the base self-destructs. Surviving, the three remain inside the machine and pilot it when it becomes part of an invasion force against Fishermans Horizon where Squall's team is forced to fight it until Selphie and the others can get out.
Reunited, the team learns Balamb Garden was saved from the missiles by activating its mobile capabilities and that it has crashed into Fishermans Horizon. The FH technicians promise to repair the Garden's steering mechanism by morning, but Selphie becomes temporarily depressed upon discovering the Garden Festival stage was destroyed. To cheer her up, Irvine helps Selphie organize a party to honor Squall's promotion to commander of the Garden. Each party member (excluding Squall) learns to play an instrument and the group performs for him and Rinoa at the FH sun panel.
After the Garden leaves Fishermans Horizon Selphie is exhausted from all that has happened, and is unavailable to be recruited in the party for the time being. Selphie creates the Sir Laguna's Page to the Balamb Garden intranet, her fansite to her dream hero, upon discovering Laguna is a real person who, after quitting the G-army, posted articles to the Timber Maniacs magazine during the Sorceress War. The more magazines the party finds, the more entries Selphie adds to her page. She also writes a blog about their adventures, and asks her friends to contribute.
If Squall takes Selphie in his team to free Balamb from Galbadian occupation, Selphie will visit Zell's room where Zell complains of her being too much at home. She says he should be happy a pretty girl like her is sitting on his bed and if Squall sides with Zell, his SeeD Rank is deducted.
After liberating Balamb Selphie requests for Balamb Garden to be sent to Trabia. Squall agrees, and upon arriving to the Trabia Garden ruins, Selphie reunites with some of her old friends and pays respect to the grave site. Selphie and the others (excluding Rinoa) discover their past together at Edea's orphanage thanks to Irvine's memory preservation, a result of him never junctioning a Guardian Force until recently. Selphie confesses using a GF before she came to Balamb Garden, though recalls nothing of it. They are forced to accept that their beloved Matron has become the evil Sorceress Edea.
The team decides to travel to Centra to visit the old orphanage to find clues why Edea has turned evil. Balamb Garden intercepts the similarly mobile Galbadia Garden and the Battle of the Gardens ensues. Selphie participates in infiltrating the enemy Garden and they battle Edea and her "sorceress' knight," Seifer. Edea is defeated, Rinoa begins acting strange and revives Seifer who departs. Rinoa falls into a coma, and Edea is released from the control of an evil sorceress from the future named Ultimecia. Ultimecia's ultimate goal is time compression, something only she would survive, allowing her to recreate the world as she sees fit.
Everyone becomes concerned over Rinoa's condition and Squall decides to search for her long lost sister Ellone whose mysterious powers over time he hopes could cure her, as he has learned she is the one sending them back in time to inhabit Laguna in a dream world. When the White SeeD tell them Ellone is in Esthar, Squall docks the Garden against the Horizon Bridge and ventures alone with Rinoa on his back.
Selphie and the others catch up with him and berate Squall for not trusting his friends. Edea accompanies them, concerned Ultimecia may possess her again, and thus wants to see Dr. Odine of Esthar. The reunited group locates Esthar City, and discovers Ellone to be in the Estharian space station, Lunar Base, which orbits the planet in the same scope as the moon to watch over Sorceress Adel's spacebound tomb. Squall takes Rinoa to the space station to be cured while the others stay behind to watch over Edea, who learns she has lost her sorceress powers.
A colossal structure known the Lunatic Pandora operated by Seifer and the remaining G-Forces crosses Esthar City, docks at Tears' Point and triggers Lunar Cry, bringing Sorceress Adel down to the planet from space. When Squall returns with a ured Rinoa, he brings with him the Ragnarok airship, but Rinoa is seized by Esthar as she has inherited Edea's sorceress power and become a sorceress.
Selphie declares herself Ragnarok's pilot and takes Squall to Sorceress Memorial where he rescues Rinoa from being entombed like Adel had been. The party returns to the old orphanage where each team member expresses their elation over Squall and Rinoa having become a couple, Selphie being glad Rinoa's "straight-forward" worked to knock down Squall's defenses, and states she just enjoys being surrounded by her friends.
The team is soon called back by the president of Esthar, whom Selphie is excited to discover is Laguna Loire who had looked after Ellone before she was sent to the orphanage. One reason Ellone had used Squall and the others from the orphanage to send back in time to inhabit Laguna in a dream world, had been to learn more about their past. Laguna and Dr. Odine task the SeeDs with vanquishing Ultimecia once and for all.
They use the Ragnarok to invade the Lunatic Pandora where Selphie aids in defeating Sorceress Adel who is now possessed by Ultimecia. Ultimecia casts time compression when Ellone sends her consciousness even further back in time, but Selphie and the others survive by believing strongly in each others' existence. They travel to the future where Ultimecia awaits and destroy her before the time compression is complete. Upon Ultimecia's demise the timeline begins to revert, but Selphie has faith in her friends and her own existence and is able to return to her own time.
Balamb Garden celebrates Ultimecia's defeat and Selphie video tapes the festivities and saves Zell from choking on hot dogs. Irvine seizes the camera from her, Selphie wears his cowboy hat and gets jealous when he flirts with other girls. She directs Irvine to film the balcony where Squall and Rinoa are about to share a kiss, but the battery dies before it is caught on tape.
Selphie wields nunchaku and her Limit Break is Slot. Slot allows her to cast spells from a random spell pool, with four more powerful spells also as options which have no equivalent in normal magic, and an ability to indefinitely "Do over" to reset the possible slot. Her ultimate weapon is the Strange Vision, which is the only weapon to have 255% accuracy outside of gunblades.
Selphie's Triple Triad card can be obtained. She can also be challenged to a game of Triple Triad after Balamb Garden becomes mobile. Selphie's "sidequest" in the game is collecting the different entries to her website by finding Timber Maniacs magazines.
If one is to Scan Selphie, her avatar cannot be rotated to view from below despite all other scan avatars being able to, likely due to her dress.
After Squall finishes showing Selphie around Balamb Garden, she can be found again in the Quad before leaving for the Fire Cavern. She follows Squall wherever he goes and asks him to join the Garden Festival Committee. If he agree to join, then Selphie won't ask during the graduation party, instead she just reminds Squall to work hard on the festival. After Balamb Garden becomes mobile, when the party members are not assigned as player characters, they can be seen wandering the Garden on their own. Selphie is updating her website in the second floor classroom, and sometimes wears her cadet uniform. The Ragnarok is always piloted by Selphie whenever she isn't in the player party. If Selphie is unavailable, the Ragnarok is piloted by Zell, and if both are in the player party, Quistis takes the reins. There is no gameplay difference to who is piloting the airship, however.
Final Fantasy VIII doesn't have designated character themes, but Selphie is often associated with "Ami," appropriate to Selphie's friendly and bubbly nature as the name means "friend." A notable time the song plays is when Irvine is cheering her up before they start planning the Garden Festival together. There is another version of the song called "Where I Belong," which plays within Trabia Garden, the place which Selphie studied.
Uematsu has said the name "Ami" comes from the Spanish word "ami" meaning "friend" (the Spanish word for friend is amigo, the French word for friend is ami), as friendship is an important part of the game's story. The song's naming was also inspired by 1986 novel by Chilean writer Enrique Barrios, entitled Ami, el niño de las estrellas.
Selphie has made appearances in the following games outside the Final Fantasy series:
- PocketStation memorycard icons as an icon.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- 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 Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad (Portal App) as a card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Selphie has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
- Kingdom Hearts series as a support character.
Behind the scenes
Selphie was the second character, after Squall, Tetsuya Nomura drew for Final Fantasy VIII. He intentionally gave her an impractical hairstyle. When he first designed Selphie, Nomura drew her in overalls, but realized none of the other girls would be wearing a skirt. He gave Selphie a mini-skirt/overall hybrid and let Quistis have a long skirt over pants.
Originally there were two further spells slated to be in Selphie's Limit Break, but they were never programmed in, although they can be accessed with a Gameshark. When used, the animation is of the Fire spell.
- Percent - a gravity type spell that cuts all enemies by 15/16 (93.75%) of their current HP.
- Catastrophe - the ultimate offensive spell, 2.25 more powerful than Ultima and 1.5 more powerful than Apocalypse.
If the player takes Selphie to meet the chef on Balamb harbor after having liberated the town, it is revealed Selphie's favorite food is "Ms. Moogle's Cake."
The player can come to Shumi Village as soon as they have the mobile Garden. Selphie can be added to the party formation after the Balamb Town liberation event. If the player does the stone searching quest in Shumi Village with Selphie in the party, she will mention it reminding her of playing in "Matron's house," even if this is before the Trabia Garden revelations where the party uncovers their buried memories.
Rikku, from Final Fantasy X, also uses the phrase "Booyaka" when dealing a finishing blow to an enemy, as a tribute to Selphie. Beat, a character from another Square Enix game, The World Ends With You, also uses the phrase in a cutscene. Professional Wrestler Rey Mysterio uses the word "Booyaka" as his catchphrase. "Booyaka" is slang with various meanings.
The name "Selphie" could derive from sylph. Sylph (also called sylphid) is a mythological creature in the Western tradition. The term originates in Paracelsus, who describes sylphs as invisible beings of the air. There is no known substantial mythos associated with them. However, the name Selphie (セルフィ・ティルミット, Serufi Tirumitto?) and the word sylph (シルフ, Shirufu?) do not sound the same in Japanese.
After the game's release, Selphie's name has also come to sound similar to the word selfie, a self-portrait often taken via a smartphone and posted to social media.
- Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, p.020
- New discovery: main character weights (Accessed: January 06, 2020) at /r/FinalFantasyVIII @reddit
- Nobuo Uematsu’s favorite Final Fantasy tune? (dead) (Accessed: May 11, 2014) at Continue Play (dead)