Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us.Squall Leonhart
Squall Leonhart is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. A young and aloof SeeD mercenary, others view him as cold and focused until he begins to question the way he has chosen to live his life. Squall's weapon, the gunblade, is one of the iconic weapons of the Final Fantasy series. Squall is later given the title Commander (委員長, Iinchō?, lit. Chairman).
Squall idolizes the mythical winged lion Griever, holding it as an ideal of courage and strength, traits he wishes to possess himself. The lion has come to be his symbol, the same way Rinoa is associated with angel wings.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Other media
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Merchandise
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Etymology
- 11 References
- 12 External links
A teenager with unruly brown hair and light blue eyes, Squall most often wears a black leather bomber jacket with a fur trim collar and a v-neck white shirt, black pants with three interconnecting red belts, and black boots and gloves. He has a silver stud in his left ear and wears a silver chain necklace with a Griever pendant and a matching ring. The only times Squall isn't wearing this particular outfit is when he's wearing his SeeD uniform or SeeD cadet uniform, which he only does if required to, and in flashbacks to his childhood days where he wears an orange loose shirt with several black horizontal stripes, teal jeans and gray shoes and white soles. Squall's gunblade of choice is the Revolver, of which he owns a customized version with Griever engraved on both sides. In a duel with his rival, Seifer Almasy, both end up giving each other mirroring scars across the face.
On his guest appearance as a secret character in Chocobo Racing, both his brown hair and light blue eyes were darker and his interconnecting red belts and the three black belts on the right side from his main outfit are brown. The color of his belts would later be adapted to his Dissidia appearance.
In Dissidia Final Fantasy Squall looks much as he did in Final Fantasy VIII, but is given additional fur ruffles on his jeans, a sash partially covering his right leg, and a lion's head belt buckle, as well as a new shirt with a plunging v-neck collar. Also, his jacket is now slightly more fitted. His Griever necklace has a different design in the ending FMV.
Even though Squall's eyes are light blue in Final Fantasy VIII and Dissidia Final Fantasy, in a select few FMVs in Final Fantasy VIII Squall's eyes appear dark teal, and both his Final Fantasy Mini Arts figure and Dragon Quest & Itadaki Street portable artwork have brown eyes.
In the Kingdom Hearts series, Squall changes his name to Leon, and is an adult with longer unruly hair. In the first Kingdom Hearts, he wears a black short sleeve leather jacket with a red Griever emblem in the sides of his sleeves. He gains a black side belt and wears black magnum combat shoes. He also gains three red belts to his arms to match up his black gloves. This appearance becomes another one of his alternate costumes in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy and his second alternate costume in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. In Kingdom Hearts II, Squall regains his hairstyle and bomber jacket from Final Fantasy VIII, but the color scheme is navy instead of black and he retains the red griever emblems. In Kingdom Hearts III, he looks like he does in Final Fantasy VIII though the three belts now switch to the left side.
In the game's North American and European manuals, Squall's height was listed as 173 cm (5'8"). The Japanese manual shows his height as 177 cm (equivalent to 5'10"). This difference is due to a misconception of height conversion. 177 cm, Squall's original height, is 69.68 inches. There are 12 inches in a foot, and if 69.68 inches is divided by 12, the result is 5.80, leading to the false conclusion of 5'8, when in fact there are 12 inches in a foot, not 10 (so .8 of a foot would equate 9.68 inches). The same error occurs with the other characters' proclaimed height as well. The game's official websites for the original and the Steam versions list Squall's height as 5'9" (175 cm). The official websites for the Remastered version don't list heights.
Uses a sword called a gunblade. Special skill is Renzokuken, using the gunblade. Silent, and a bit cold.Scan description
Squall starts an introverted, cold and taciturn teenager who pushes away those who would otherwise be considered his friends. Though withdrawn, Squall does not shirk from what he considers his duty. As much as he resents assuming leadership, he is the first to ensure that what is necessary gets done. Squall's pragmatism and sense of responsibility lead others to trust and follow him. Even though everyone agrees Squall can be difficult, staff and students alike admire him, and he is eventually appointed Commander of Balamb Garden much to his dismay. Squall becomes the de facto leader of the party, though at first, he dislikes his comrades looking to him for orders and advice.
During the game, Squall narrates his thoughts and feelings in silent voice-overs, during which he reveals he acts the way he does for fear of getting close to people. Squall cannot remember his parents, and his sister was taken away when he was young, making him afraid of losing the feelings of comfort loved-ones provide. Squall does not believe in relying on others, as friends and family are inevitably lost, and in the end, he will be alone. Squall comes to rethink his choices in life when he falls in love with Rinoa Heartilly and comes to accept the support and friendship of his comrades, becoming more social. This more open version of Squall is more or less how he is characterized in the Kingdom Hearts series. He retains his value of independence but learns that being the person who thinks differently from the crowd, and being completely alone, are not one and the same.
Dissidia Final Fantasy mirrors Squall's evolution from a loner to the man he is in the ending of Final Fantasy VIII. Squall fights alone, but finds himself worrying about fellow heroes Bartz and Zidane, and accompanies them and helps them on their quests once he has completed his own.
Squall's "catchphrase" in the English version is "whatever," which he usually uses for want of the current topic to be dropped, often following with changing the subject. In the Japanese version, Squall's trademark phrase can be taken to be (悪かったな, warukatta na?, lit. well, excuse me), as this is the phrase he repeats most often and is what Rinoa uses when mimicking his mannerisms while on the Ragnarok. It is more akin to the colloquial use of "my bad" in American English, and Squall says it more often than he says "whatever" in the English version. In both versions, Squall is supposed to be stand-offish, and the choice of "whatever" for the English version was likely done due to the cultural differences of what constitutes as being stand-offish, as Japanese Squall's use of "excuse me/sorry" is less apologetic and more a social obligation. The French version often has him say "hum" (pronounced like the English "mmhm") expressing incredulity or hesitation, although he does use "désolé" (sorry) on occasion.
Rinoa... Even if you end up as the world's enemy, I'll... I'll be your knight...Squall's thoughts on Rinoa's situation
Squall was born to Raine Loire in the village of Winhill, but she died shortly after his birth. Her husband, Laguna, never knew Raine was pregnant as he was in Esthar saving his and Raine's adopted daughter, Ellone, from Sorceress Adel's clutches. Both Squall and Ellone, whom Laguna had sent back to Winhill ahead of him, were sent to Edea's orphanage on the Centra continent.
Squall grew up in the orphanage and, despite the presence of other kids his age, Ellone was his closest friend whom he referred to as "Big Sis" although it is unknown whether he knew about their familial bond. Due to Ellone's unique ability to send a person's consciousness back in time, she was in danger from those who would want to exploit her and was moved away from the orphanage. No one told Squall why Ellone left and he assumed she had abandoned him. As a result, Squall developed a defense mechanism that eventually made him an emotionally detached, cynical, and introverted boy who wished to go through life without dependencies.
One day, during one of Squall's attempts to find Ellone, a dying sorceress and a teenage Squall appeared from the future. The sorceress passed on her sorceress power to Edea Kramer, the owner of the orphanage who was a sorceress herself and passed away. The teenage Squall told Edea he was a SeeD from Garden and that the notions were originally her idea. Edea told the teenage Squall he is in the wrong time, and he disappeared back into the time portal.
Edea presumed that one day the orphan child Squall would grow up to become a SeeD and kill an evil sorceress. Thus Edea and her husband, Cid Kramer, started the SeeD organization as an anti-sorceress force. As Edea is a sorceress herself, Cid and Edea decided they can no longer stay together, and Edea went into hiding with the orphans who were not admitted to the Garden or adopted.
As Squall himself theorizes, he was never adopted due to his already tricky personality, so sometime around the age of six Squall was admitted into the newly constructed Balamb Garden to train as a SeeD. He chose to train with the gunblade, a difficult weapon to master that takes years of training. He found a rival in Seifer who mirrored him in many ways, including the use of a gunblade and a remarkable aptitude for combat.
Eleven years later Squall is known as a "lone wolf" among his peers. His superiors, such as his teacher Quistis Trepe, regard him as difficult to deal with but respect his talents. The rivalry between him and Seifer has become common knowledge among the Balamb students. Due to Squall's use of Guardian Forces his memory had weakened, remembering only the feelings of abandonment he felt when Ellone left, but no longer remembering Ellone herself.
On the morning of his field exam, Squall duels Seifer and they scar each other's faces. While recuperating in the infirmary, Ellone, who has come to the Garden from the White SeeD Ship to inform Cid of Edea's disappearance, happens upon him and recognizes him, but leaves before giving Squall the chance to get a closer look at her. Quistis accompanies him to the Fire Cavern where he obtains a new Guardian Force, Ifrit, and afterward, they depart for the field exam in the Siege of Dollet. Squall is assigned to Seifer's squad, but in his disgust over being subjected to grunt work, Seifer abandons the team and defies direct orders, leaving Squall to lead his teammates as they evacuate while escaping the X-ATM092 robot. After returning to the Garden Squall graduates along with Selphie, Zell and Nida.
During the inauguration ball, Squall meets Rinoa Heartilly who forces him to dance with her. Quistis orders Squall to accompany her to the training center where she reveals she has been dismissed from her position as an instructor and seeks his emotional support, but Squall rebuffs her. They run into Ellone being attacked by a Granaldo as she calls out to them. Squall and Quistis save her, but she is led away by two White SeeDs before she has a chance to explain herself, leaving Squall to wonder how she knows him.
Squall, Selphie and Zell are assigned a mission in Timber and during the train ride the trio falls asleep and dreams of the adventures of Laguna Loire and his friends from the past. Squall learns Rinoa is his first employer, and they are to assist the Forest Owls, freedom fighters devoted to freeing Timber from Galbadian control. Squall and his friends' first mission with the Forest Owls fails when, in an attempt to kidnap the Galbadian President Vinzer Deling, they end up capturing a body double posing as him instead.
Displeased with the Owls' level of professionalism Squall asks to see the terms of employment the SeeD group is under and discovers they are under the Timber Owls' until Timber gains independence. Far from satisfied, the group nonetheless follows with the Forest Owls' plans to intercept the president's Timber-based television broadcast. Rinoa lets slip her views of the way SeeD live, and Squall remarks about her group's incompetence in turn. After the two exchange words, Rinoa abandons the plan and leaves.
Seifer, with Quistis in hot pursuit, takes the president hostage over the air. Under Quistis's request Squall, Zell and Selphie rush to the studio to find Seifer backing away with the president into another room. The president's new ally, whom he was meant to announce on live TV, a sorceress, spirits Seifer away.
With the Forest Owls' base destroyed, Squall and the others lie low for a while. Contemplating Seifer's fate leads Squall and Rinoa into an argument over their views on life before they are given the word, it is clear to leave town. As returning to Balamb Garden is made impossible due to the train services having halted, they head to the nearest Garden, Galbadia Garden, taking Rinoa with them. On their way, Rinoa and Squall argue over his cold attitude towards his teammates when he fails to support Zell who despairs over Balamb Garden's safety instead of Seifer's attack on the president. During the argument, Squall passes out, experiencing another mysterious dream with Laguna. When he awakens, Rinoa apologizes.
In Galbadia Garden, the group learns of Seifer's supposed execution and Rinoa reveals he is her ex-boyfriend. The team receives new orders to assassinate the sorceress during her inauguration ceremony as the ambassador of Galbadia. A Galbadian student, Irvine Kinneas, is assigned to help them. With Squall as their leader, the group makes their way to Deling City to meet with their contact, General Caraway, and run amid a father-daughter feud between Caraway and Rinoa.
As the ceremony begins Sorceress Edea kills the president and claims Galbadia as her own and Squall discovers a renegade Seifer, rather than been executed, has become Edea's sorceress' knight. After Squall and Irvine save Rinoa from a pair of Iguions, Irvine chokes when he is signaled to shoot Edea. Squall reasons with him, and Irvine fires, but she deflects the bullet. Squall faces Seifer and Edea head-on, but she pierces Squall's right shoulder with an ice javelin rendering him unconscious, and the teams are arrested.
After another Laguna dream Squall wakes up to find himself imprisoned, he is tortured by Seifer in the D-District Prison and during the interrogation, Squall learns Edea has ordered a missile strike against both Balamb and Trabia Gardens. The group escapes and splits in two: The team led by Squall heads to warn Balamb Garden of the missile strike, and the other, led by Selphie, aims to sabotage the Missile Base and stop the launch.
As Squall arrives he finds the Garden in chaos as a faction with allegiance to Garden Master NORG, Balamb Garden's financier, has staged a revolt against Headmaster Cid. Squall searches for the headmaster to warn him of the missiles, finding him bunkered in his office. Cid reveals the Garden's past status as a mobile bunker of Centra make and, upon activating the ancient system, the Garden transforms into a mobile fortress and avoids destruction by moving away from the spot the missiles were programmed to target.
Squall's team is called to the basement level where they meet NORG himself. NORG wants to give up those associated with the assassination attempt to Edea to quell her wrath and save the Garden, but Squall and his friends defeat him. During the confrontation, NORG reveals Sorceress Edea and Headmaster Cid are married. Squall talks with Cid who admits this is the truth and explains the SeeD's real purpose was always to fight a sorceress.
The seaborne Garden has left adrift in the ocean currents and is met by the White SeeD Ship whose crew requests they hand Ellone (who is still hiding in the Garden) over into their protection. Squall remembers a young Ellone from one of his dreams and finds she is the same girl he met in the infirmary and whom he saved from a Granaldo. Ellone reveals she has been sending Squall's consciousness back in time to inhabit Laguna, although she doesn't tell him why. Ellone departs with the White SeeD, leaving a confused Squall behind.
When the Garden crashes into Fishermans Horizon due to a broken steering device, Squall and his group enact a formal apology. Mayor Dobe, the leader of the pacifist city, asks them to leave as their presence can only cause destruction. Galbadia invades the town, and Dobe heads off to discuss peacefully with the soldiers. They do not listen, and Squall fights the soldiers to save Dobe's life, being reunited with the Missile Base team of which they had no word until then. In a rare display, Squall is happy they are alive and well, something Rinoa does not fail to notice. Dobe grudgingly accepts the team's apology, and orders the city's technicians to restore Balamb Garden to full functionality.
Cid presents his resignation appointing Squall as the Garden's commander; a decision Squall is not at all pleased with. To show him their support Selphie and Irvine organize a concert in Squall's honor, and Rinoa has an eventful chat with him, encouraging him to trust in them as they believe in him. After the Garden is fixed Squall sets course to the town of Balamb only to discover the G-Army occupies it. Squall and his team free the town after defeating Fujin and Raijin, Seifer's friends who now work for him.
They head to the destroyed Trabia Garden, Selphie's home Garden, where Irvine tells everyone about their past together in the orphanage, which they had all forgotten (except for Irvine, of course) due to a side effect attributed to junctioning Guardian Forces: memory loss. Remembering their childhood, the team recognizes Sorceress Edea as their Matron, the woman who used to care for them in the orphanage and decides to defeat her in spite of the past. The Garden embarks to the old orphanage in search of clues.
Balamb Garden is intercepted by the similarly mobile Galbadia Garden and the Battle of the Gardens ensues. Squall leads Balamb's defense, at one point giving a heartfelt speech to Balamb's SeeDs and cadets, encouraging them to fight on. Squall and his team infiltrate Galbadia Garden and defeat Seifer and Edea, but Rinoa becomes comatose. It turns out Edea had been possessed by a sorceress from the future, Ultimecia, the whole time and did not act of her own free will. Ultimecia's goal is time compression to make herself a god-like being, but she needs to find Ellone to perform the spell and thus took over Edea to conquer Galbadia and use their workforce to find her. The SeeD's defeat over Edea snapped her out of the possession, and she divulges all she knows of Ultimecia to help them.
Realizing he is in love with Rinoa, Squall searches for Ellone to have her send him back in time to prevent Rinoa from becoming comatose. After learning from the White SeeD she has gone to Esthar, Squall decides to abandon the Garden and to take Rinoa to Esthar in secret. While crossing the Horizon Bridge Squall opens up to the unresponsive Rinoa on his deepest fears. When reaching the Seaside Station on the other side his party and Edea catch up with him, admonishing him for leaving them behind. The party makes its way into the mysterious nation of Esthar that has had no contact with the outside world for 17 years.
After learning Ellone has gone to the Lunar Base Squall and Rinoa are sent to the Estharian space-station. Squall reunites with Ellone who is happy to learn he has recovered his childhood memories. He begs her to send him back in time so he can save Rinoa, but Ellone tells Squall she has learned it's impossible to change the past using her ability, as her numerous attempts with Squall and his friends resulted in naught but reliving the past.
She still promises to try, but as Squall takes Ellone to the medical room, Ultimecia possesses Rinoa and uses her to free Sorceress Adel from her space-bound tomb where she was kept to prevent her from passing on her sorceress power and leaves Rinoa to die in space. The station is evacuated as the Lunar Cry begins and within the escape, pod Squall asks Ellone to try again. Ellone sends Squall to Rinoa's consciousness, where he tells her to activate the extra oxygen supply in her spacesuit. Ignoring everyone's warnings, Squall jumps into space to catch her.
Squall and a cured Rinoa come across a derelict spaceship Ragnarok, which they use to return to the planet. Squall learns Rinoa has inherited Edea's sorceress power and become a sorceress, and the land base informs them Rinoa is to be seized upon returning to Esthar.
Squall lets Esthar take Rinoa into custody, but after being talked into reason by his friends, he breaks into the Sorceress Memorial and frees her. The team heads back to Edea's house. Rinoa is pessimistic about the future, but Squall silently vows to be her knight even if all the world is her enemy. Squall and Rinoa promise to meet at the field behind the house in case they should be parted.
They are recalled to Esthar and find Laguna is Esthar's president and that Ellone has been taken captive inside the Estharian weapon Lunatic Pandora by the G-Army that now controls it. Laguna and the Estharian scientist Dr. Odine have concocted a plan to stop Ultimecia once and for all. Laguna follows Squall and his friends to the mission and within the Ragnarok Laguna's friends talk about Squall's parents, and Laguna, who has learned the whole story from Ellone—as the reason she had gone to Lunar Base was to meet with him—tells Squall they will have a lot to talk about later.
They invade the Lunatic Pandora and save Ellone. After Fujin and Raijin unsuccessfully try to convince Seifer to stop serving Ultimecia, Squall and his friends fight through Seifer and shortly after, Adel, whose tomb had been swept up in the Lunar Cry and fallen to the Lunatic Pandora. With no other body to possess Ultimecia takes over Rinoa, which gives Ellone the opportunity to send Ultimecia's mind further back in time. Ultimecia begins the time compression allowing Squall and his friends to travel to the future and confronts her.
In the final battle that traverses time and space, Ultimecia meets her demise. Time compression halts at Ultimecia's defeat and time begins to revert to its original form. A dying Ultimecia and Squall go back in time and appear at Edea's orphanage where Squall meets Edea and implants the ideas of SeeD and Garden. After Ultimecia passes on her sorceress power to Edea, Squall falls back into the compressed time and tries to find his way back to the field where he and Rinoa promised to meet, but is trapped in a void. Rinoa uses her sorceress powers to find him and brings him back home.
During a party at Balamb Garden to celebrate SeeD's victory over Ultimecia, Squall and Rinoa stay outside on a balcony overlooking the ocean. Under a shooting star, Squall smiles at Rinoa and kisses her as the Garden flies under the moonlight.
Squall is the main playable character and is mandatory in the party throughout most of the story. In the formation menu, Squall is placed in the middle by default. His weapons are gunblades, which in all forms have 255% accuracy and can never miss. Using the trigger as the Gunblade hits an enemy can also add 50% extra damage dealt. Squall's Limit Break, Renzokuken, deals damage based on if the player hits at the correct time to match a bar on-screen, slashing the enemy four to eight times before dealing a finishing blow. It is potentially the most powerful Limit Break. Squall's ultimate weapon is the Lion Heart.
Officially Final Fantasy VIII does not feature character themes, and thus Squall has no official character theme. The musical theme "The Oath" is often associated with him, however, playing at various important stages of the game, such as when Squall addresses the students during the Battle of the Gardens, or during his rescue by the others in the D-District Prison. The boss battle theme, "Maybe I'm a Lion," has become associated with Squall based on the title. "Maybe I'm a Lion" is played in the final battle's third phase, when Ultimecia and Griever merge. "SeeD" is used as Squall's theme in the "5th Anniversary Special Medley" from Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
Squall has appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy VI as a loading screen cameo.
- Final Fantasy VIII technical demo as a cameo.
- PocketStation memorycard icons as a cameo.
- Final Fantasy XIV as a Triple Triad card and costume.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Explorers as a Trance.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Mobius Final Fantasy as a costume.
- World of Final Fantasy as a summonable Champion.
- Chocobo Racing as a secret playable character.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Squall has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
- Kingdom Hearts series as a support character.
- Itadaki Street series as a playable character.
- Puzzle & Dragons as a playable character.
- Monster Strike as a playable character.
- Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble as a playable character.
A reference to Squall in Final Fantasy IX is made when Zidane utters, "No cloud, no squall shall hinder us" while he performs on stage in disguise before revealing his identity to Garnet. This is also a reference to the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife.
In the fighting series, BlazBlue, Jin Kisaragi's future self Hakumen has a Distortion Drive named "Judgement: Squall" carried in the same manner as Squall's Limit Break, Blasting Zone, and it takes critical damage to the opponent. This move is also difficult to execute because of the magatamas he needs to activate his powerful moves including his Astral Heat. In BlazBlue: Chronophantasma through Centralfiction, Kagura Mutsuki's Astral Heat known as The Black Dragon Sky-Rending Blade bears a striking resemblance to Squall's Blasting Zone but the color of the move is black in a purple tint as opposed to the latter's original white in a gold tint. Interestingly, Kagura's weapon of choice which is the rectangular two-handed Zweihander also bears the color scheme of both Squall's Twin Lance and Punishment.
In the game Parasite Eve II the protagonist Aya Brea can wield a gunblade similar to Squall's Revolver. Her single slash attack resembles Squall's basic attack.
Borderlands 2 has a challenge named "A Squall of Violence" attained by killing enemies using a bladed weapon. This is a reference to Squall and his gunblade.
In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, another game published by Square Enix, the in-game dictionary contains an entry for "squall" which reads: "A sudden torrential rain shower, accompanied by powerful winds, mainly occurring in tropical regions. Speaking of Squalls... Oh, never mind." Additionally, a costume themed around Squall's outfit is available as the 3P costume for Cliff Fittir.
In the online dance battle game Audition, the playable male avatars can wear Squall's original outfit known as the "Fantasy Outfit" as the v-neck shirt of this outfit shows the lower abs of the playable male avatars which contradicts from his CGI appearance where he duels with Seifer at the beginning of the game. The Fantasy Outfit can be purchased at the Audition Fashion Store as part of the male's full body customization section.
In the online game, Dragon Raja. The male characters can wear a school uniform customization that bears a close resemblance to Squall's SeeD cadet uniform which he wears from his CGI appearance during the SeeD exam in the siege of Dollet.
In the widely proclaimed manga and anime series Attack on Titan, Annie shares Squall's surname "Leonhart". She is cold and calm, acting anti-social toward her comrades and focuses on her missions. However, she is an antagonist, becoming merciless to her comrades.
In the 2000 film version of Charlie's Angels, the two boys are playing Final Fantasy VIII and are controlling Squall and Quistis in a battle in the Training Center. They are fighting against two Grats, Squall is seen preparing and summoning Quezacotl against the two Grats.
A cosplaying pianist known as "Piano Squall" cosplays as Squall during his charity concerts.
Behind the scenes
Squall was the first character Tetsuya Nomura designed specifically for Final Fantasy VIII. Initially, Squall was given longer hair and a elegant appearance, but director Yoshinori Kitase felt this design did not work, asking Nomura to shorten his hair and make him more tough. Aspects of Nomura's first design can be seen in Squall's Kingdom Hearts appearances.
Nomura doesn't remember why he created the scar across Squall's face, saying it was just "a spur of the moment." Like Cloud Strife's distinguishable hair, he wanted something to set Squall apart and make him recognizable. The scar was there before establishing the character's history, and Nomura left it to scenario writer Kazushige Nojima to work out how he obtained it, leading to the duel between Squall and Seifer in the game's intro. Squall's design was completed with a fur ruff along the collar of his jacket, included by Nomura to challenge the game's FMV designers. In an interview at the Square Media Tour in 2000, Nomura admitted to basing a lot of Squall's appearance on the late actor River Phoenix.
Final Fantasy VIII is unique in the sense the player is able to "hear" the main character's thoughts, displayed in transparent text boxes. This idea came about because the scenario writer Kazushige Nojima wanted to give players insight into what Squall is thinking; a contrast with his handling of Final Fantasy VII, which encouraged the player to speculate.
Squall's gunblade was also designed by Nomura who was into silver accessories at the time and wanted Squall to have a silver weapon. Nomura wanted some new way for the player to control the weapon in battle, and with both ideas combined, came up with the gunblade. Nomura says it has a rather odd appearance in retrospect.
When asked about what is one thing Director Yoshinori Kitase would change about Final Fantasy VIII, he mentioned the FH concert where Rinoa mocks Squall by mimicking his mannerisms and he raises his hand at her and she dodges. "[...]even at the time, [Kazushige] Nojima-san was like, 'He shouldn’t be hitting her. It’s really not good to have a guy hitting a girl.' Looking back, I wish I could change that."
There is a dummied piece of dialogue in the scene where Squall and Rinoa are onboard Ragnarok where Rinoa tried to dissuade a fit of assumed jealousy in Squall for her having dated Seifer in the past. When Squall did not catch on Rinoa commented that Squall does not care about other people's histories.
Squall's Student ID is No. 41269.
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. During the short time he is not in the party (during the scene the party is choosing the instruments to play at the FH concert), Squall can be found sleeping in his dorm.
Squall's birthday is in August, the eighth month of the year and appropriate for the eighth installment of the Final Fantasy main series. In the traditional sidereal zodiac, Squall's star sign would be Leo, possibly referencing his association with lions; however, in the traditional tropical zodiac, his date of birth is one day too late, making him a Virgo (though this depends on the year as the last day of the Leo and the first day of the Virgo tends to change). Squall's character design was inspired by actor River Phoenix whose birthday is also August 23.
In Final Fantasy XII, a fake Revolver gunblade is one of Gilgamesh's weapons. It also is a dummied weapon in the database and can be used by the player via hacking. Also, the Ras Algethi gun resembles the Revolver, though it's a long-range weapon.
"Squall is dead" is a notorious fan theory that posits Squall dies at the Deling City parade and the rest of the game is his dream. Director Yoshinori Kitase has denied the theory, saying "I think he was actually stabbed around the shoulder area, so he was not dead. But that is a very interesting idea, so if we ever do make a remake of Final Fantasy VIII, I might go along with that story in mind."
The opening training session between Seifer and Squall was storyboarded and directed by Tetsuya Nomura who came up with the concept. It is based on Japanese tradition of "morning practice" for clubs; the scene has build-up where it looks like a battle, but it turns out to just be "morning practice," and Squall and Seifer end up permanently scarring one another's faces. Coincidentally, dueling scars have been seen as a "badge of honor" since as early as 1825 and were popular among upper-class Austrians and Germans involved in academic fencing at the start of the 20th century. Being a practice among university students, it was seen as a mark of their class and is an early example of scarification in European society.
Leonhart is a variation of the English surname "Lionheart".Lion Heart means to possess or display courage, being able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching. is a recurrent theme for his character. Squall regards lions as creatures of incredible strength and pride, and his personal favorite is the Griever, a Guardian Force engraved in his Revolver gunblade as well as his ring and necklace.
The Japanese name for Leon from Final Fantasy II is Leonhart (レオンハルト, Reonharuto?), the same as Squall's last name. Squall would, in turn, change his name to Leon after failing to save Hollow Bastion from the Heartless in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Leon is a name of Greek origin. The Greek λέων (leōn), meaning "lion," has spawned the Latin leo, French lion, Irish leon and Spanish león. During the Christian era Leon was merged with the Latin cognate Leo, with the result that the two forms are used interchangeably.
- New discovery: main character weights (Accessed: January 06, 2020) at /r/FinalFantasyVIII @reddit
- North American Final Fantasy VIII manual
- Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, p.012
- Squall’s “Whatever” Line in Japanese Final Fantasy VIII (Accessed: February 13, 2019) at Legends of Localization
- FF 20th Anniversary Ultimania File 1: Character, p.254
- The Bouncer Team Talks About Its Mysterious Game (dead) (Accessed: February 04, 2011) at IGN
- Beyond Final Fantasy feature in International/PAL versions of Final Fantasy X.
- Back To School: The Stories Behind Final Fantasy VIII (Accessed: November 22, 2019) at Game Informer
- Is Squall Really Dead? Final Fantasy Producer Addresses The Series' Biggest Fan Theories (Accessed: February 13, 2019) at Kotaku