A small town outside of Galbadia. It is actually a small village. Sorceress Adel of Esthar ordered attacks on this village several times.FFVIII Info Corner
Winhill is a town in Final Fantasy VIII. It is a quaint, pastoral village on the southwest end of the Galbadian continent, west of the town of Timber. Somewhat isolated in comparison to other towns, Winhill has no direct road or rail connections and is cut off from the rest of the continent by mountains, making it accessible only by sea or air. The village is surrounded by open plains and rolling fields.
Winhill was founded by a group of peaceful people who embraced small-town life and scorned the presence of outsiders. Many of Winhill's young people found the quiet village life boring and left to seek excitement in Deling City.
During the Sorceress War, most of the working men in town were sent off to join the war. The ones left in the village, according to Laguna, were women with children, old people, chocobos, dogs, and cats. As a result, monsters made their way into town and overran its streets, making it dangerous for children to play outside. At some point during this time, Estharian troops raided Winhill capturing young girls to bring to their leader, Sorceress Adel, as candidates for succession.
Although the townspeople fought back, the troops succeeded in capturing several children. One child in particular, however, avoided their grasp: Ellone, a girl of two or three with the unique ability to send another person's consciousness back in time. When her parents refused to turn her over to Esthar, they were killed, but the girl escaped and was taken in by her next-door-neighbor, Raine. Following the Esthar raid, a team of Galbadian soldiers were appointed to stand guard at the town's entrance and keep a lookout for Esthar soldiers, but the team did little to address the town's growing monster problem.
Soon after, a Galbadian soldier named Laguna Loire appeared in town, critically injured from a battle with Estharian troops in Centra Excavation Site. Like Ellone, Laguna is also taken in by Raine and was nursed back to health. To repay Raine and Winhill for its hospitality, Laguna served the town as a protector, running daily patrols to rid the area of monsters, mostly made up of Bite Bugs and Caterchipillars.
Some time later, Estharian troops raided Winhill again, specifically in search of Ellone. This time, they succeeded in capturing her and whisked her away to Esthar. Laguna, now married to Raine, left for Esthar to rescue Ellone, leaving behind his pregnant wife. While he was gone, Raine gave birth to Laguna's son, Squall, but died soon after, and was buried on a hill just outside of town. Laguna found Ellone and sent her back to Winhill while he stayed behind in Esthar, but after Raine died both Ellone and Squall were sent to an orphan home and Laguna never learns of his son.
Following the war's end, Winhill began to fall into disrepair. Most of its young people were lost in the war, while its orphaned children were sent to orphanages. Seventeen years later, the village is as peaceful and remote as ever. Two Balamb Garden drop outs who pose as SeeD members were hired to protect the town by a secret benefactor, implied to be Laguna. Raine's pub has a new owner, but Ellone's parents' old house was never repaired and lies abandoned.
Winhill is located to the west of Lallapalooza Canyon in the hard-to-reach south of Galbadia, and can only be reached once the player has control of the mobile Balamb Garden.
Winhill is a small village with old English architecture. The town is structured around the Winhill Mansion, around which a town square is built along with many residential buildings. Close to the town is Hillside, a large mountain providing an overview of the town, which has a set of stairs built leading up to the road on the side of the mountain.
In addition to the old English architecture, Winhill is notable for its theme of flowers. The town has vast flower fields visible in its surroundings, a flower shop, and even its hotel, the Flower Restaurant, shares the theme.
Ellone's house is located in the top-left corner of the town square. The house has two floors. The top floor is a bedroom which contains a save point, a small piano, a small cupboard, and a table and chair. The bottom floor is a kitchen, with a blue table in the middle, and small portraits all around the room. From the outside, a balcony on the top floor is also present, along with a small garage to the right of the entrance.
This house used to be Ellone's family home, until her parents were gunned-down by Esthar troops; bullet holes still riddle in the walls. Laguna stayed in the house between monster patrols and looking after Ellone.
The town square is a stone plaza directly in front of the Winhill Mansion, with several houses and stores around it. To the left of the mansion near the back of the square are Ellone's house and Raine's pub. Directly opposite the mansion is a canal, with a bridge leading across it down to the road, and steps to the right of the bridge leading down to board canal boats.
During the Laguna dream the town square is manned by G-Soldiers who talk about being stationed at the village because it has been attacked by Esthar before, hypothesizing that Sorceress Adel is hunting for a successor. During the present day, several children can often be seen playing in the town square.
One of the town entrances to the world map is from the right side of the town square.
Located next to the Winhill mansion, Raine's pub is an English-style pub, with small round tables each featuring candles, glass mosaic windows, and barrels found around the bar. To the left is a small set of steps leading to an upper room, which is a wide bedroom with two beds, a sofa and two chairs around a table, and other pieces of furniture dotted around.
The pub was owned and ran by Raine before she died. She resided with Ellone, whom she had adopted after her parents' death; she also nursed a wounded Laguna Loire, who was then a stranger, back to health. Years after her death the premises is run by a woman, but some say Raine's spirit can still be felt within the pub, kept alive by her white flowers.
When visiting the pub as Squall, talking to the woman upstairs and then inspecting the flowers downstairs has the party see a ghost that transforms into a cat, and then collect a vase piece for a side quest from the cat.
The mansion is the largest building in Winhill's main district, found at the center of the town square. It is a luxurious building with wide spaces, chandeliers on the ceilings, large stairways, and mosaic glass windows. Home to many different occupants over the years, a mysterious force is rearranging items within its walls. Could it be a ghost or something else? The mansion is only accessible with Squall's party; Laguna cannot enter. The party can start the vase quest here.
The road leads south from the town square and splits into two paths. To the left of the road is a large field of flowers, at the end of which is the flower shop, a small stone building found close to the fork in the road. Directly opposite the flower shop and along the fork in the road leading right is a Drain spell, along with directional signposts. Continuing along the road leads to another screen down towards downtown Winhill, which similarly has a field of flowers to the left, as well as a "Caution" roadsign with a chocobo icon.
During present day a chicobo is running back and forth across the chocobo crossing. Running into it yields items until the mother chocobo appears and takes the chick away. The first item earned from running into the chicobo is a vase piece for the vase quest.
The flower shop is a solitary store on the road through Winhill, located on the road. The building contains many of the flowers perched on shelves inside and glass mosaic windows at the top. The shop charters many types of flowers; Raine had even given some of her well-admired white flowers for the shop to sell.
The lady is found here in both Laguna dream and in the present time. In the dream she tells Laguna should think about leaving Winhill. In the present time, she talks about Raine and her flowers. One of the vase pieces needed for the mansion sidequest is found in the flower bed in the forefront.
The hillside is a large area atop a mountain, which offers a view on the town's flower fields, but locals down below warn passersby not to miss their step. A road is found on the side of the mountain, with stairways leading up to it.
In the Laguna dream, the hillside has no stairs. In the present day, the hillside has wooden stairs and there are some NPCs on the bottom right corner the player can interact with.
Downtown Winhill is a small village with stone buildings. Among these are the Flower Restaurant on the right, the largest building in the village which takes the appearance of a chapel, and Winhill Store on the left at the front, as well as a collection of houses. Most consider this to be the town's "front". A portrait of downtown Winhill can be found within the Presidential Palace in Esthar. In the present day, the party can find two men in Balamb Garden SeeD and cadet uniforms protecting the town, having been hired by "an undercover figure that helps this town out". Talking to them more reveals they are not actually SeeDs, only posing as such. The Esthar Presidential Palace has a picture of this area of Winhill.
The shop is found in the lower left corner. The shop can also be visited as Laguna; in fact, Laguna's pool of gil is independent of the money the main party has, and thus the only use of Laguna's money is to use it in the shop, as the player can still get the items to the main inventory and use them as the main party.
- Winhill Store
|Recovery Items||Price (gil)||GF Items||Price (gil)|
|Eye Drops||100||Normal Ammo||20|
|Echo Screen||100||Miscellaneous||Price (gil)|
The Flower Restaurant is also Winhill's hotel. Located in downtown Winhill the hotel features a quiet restaurant with a flower theme. The town's modern day monster hunters (two ex-Garden students) have a board and keep here.
The bottom floor is a wide room with tables and a kitchen on the right, with stairs to the left leading up to the hotel room. This room has a bed, a bunk bed, a large wooden desk with a window, and a round table lit by a lamplight.
In the third Laguna dream, which takes place in Winhill, a map is visible on the back wall of the Flower Restaurant. The map is not of the world of Final Fantasy VIII, but of the real world. The map is no longer present if the player returns to Winhill as Squall.
If the Queen of Cards comes to "Centra" she will be here.
Winhill is home to a minor sidequest, which rewards the player little in a material sense, but allows them to learn more about Raine and the town itself. The quest becomes available once Balamb Garden becomes mobile. The player may initiate the quest by visiting the Winhill mansion and speaking with the owner. He confides to the party that his precious vase has gone missing and he fears ghosts may be responsible. The vase has been broken into four pieces, and it is up to Squall and company to locate them.
- A piece is found inside the suit of armor in the large mansion. Irvine or Quistis must be in the party to get it.
- A piece is found in the flower shop among the white flowers in the bottom corner.
- The chicobo crossing the road has a piece. The player must run into the chicobo to get it.
- The player must speak to the lady upstairs of the pub till she mentions the flowers' aroma. The player must examine the flowers downstairs in the bottom right corner of the screen, and Raine's ghost will appear, but is replaced by a cat. The cat has the last piece.
The mansion owner rewards the party with a Holy Stone.
The chocobo crossing has a chicobo running back and forth. If the player runs into it, they kick the chicobo in the air. This is needed for the vase quest, but if the player keeps running into the bird, they can get more items: a Gysahl Green and a Phoenix Pinion (although the screen will say it is a Phoenix Down). Once the player has harassed the chicobo enough, a mother chocobo will emerge and take the chicobo away.
Winhill is also home to a strange event; if the player lingers in the area directly outside the town known as Winhill Bluffs, the party may encounter a UFO abducting an unsuspecting cow.
If the Queen of Cards says she is going to Centra, she will be at Winhill's hotel, where she will sell new rules for the Centra region and playing her manipulates the Centra 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 does not start with any. The player can do her sidequest by getting her to Dollet. From Winhill she will go to Deling City (37.5%), Dollet (37.5%), or Fishermans Horizon (25%).
"Fragments of Memories" plays during Laguna's stay in Winhill. The section with the chocobo crossing features an 8-bit version of the "Mods de Chocobo" theme. "Fisherman's Horizon" is used in all visits with the main party.
A live recording of "Fragments of Memories" is included on the A New World: intimate music from Final Fantasy album.
The fields of Winhill appear as a background in a Field Music Sequence.
Behind the scenes
Various unused backgrounds for Winhill are found dummied in the game data, including a scene of a green pick-up truck being driven and the garage door in Ellone's house opening and closing. If the dummied area is accessed as a playable area, a green truck is found parked inside, but only the text "Test" appears if the player tries to select it. Based on the pattern on the seat , the car Laguna is depicted driving in the opening credits is likely the green pick-up truck in the Winhill garage. The pick-up truck model still appears in Shumi Village when the artisan shows the miniature car models he has made.
There is a place in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England, named Win Hill.