Many Years Ago:
- Hyne, a sorcerer/deity, becomes the father of humanity. He gives a part of his power to the sorceresses. The sorceresses' power is passed on through the generations; when one dies, another must take over for her. Only certain people have the potential to become sorceresses.
4000 Years Ago:
- The time of the Centra civilization. Centra founds two empires; Dollet to the west and Esthar to the east. Dollet begins to excel in military might, while Esthar begins to prosper scientifically.
80 Years Ago:
- The Lunar Cry, a phenomenon wherein the Moon becomes oversaturated with monsters, who erupt towards Earth in a tide of destruction, strikes the Centra civilization. It is utterly destroyed (and a huge crater forms in the middle of it). The Centra's mobile shelters (giant buildings which move through a force of science and/or magic) are mostly ruined, with only two still remaining, both in the Dollet Empire.
- The Esthar people begin to rebuild its scientific society, but Dollet is splintered into the countries (more like city-states) of Dollet, Galbadia, and Timber.
19 Years Ago:
- A girl named Ellone is born in Winhill. She has the power to send her consciousness backwards in time.
18 Years Ago:
- Sorceress Adel has an iron grip on the country of Esthar, and she pits it in a war against Galbadia, led by President Deling, a dictator. Galbadia fights heated battles against Esthar, as well as against its peaceful neighbor Timber; Galbadia takes over Timber and captures it. The fathers of two men named Zone and Watts, the heads of a resistance faction named the Forest Owls, are killed after Timber's capture. Soon, a number of copycat rebel factions begin cropping up, all without a single successful coup to their name. Zone and Watts take over the Forest Owls from their fathers.
- A number of scientists and researchers, disheartened by Galbadia's motives, leave to start their own town they called Fishermans Horizon (FH), dedicated to pacifism.
- Adel discovers the existence of the Crystal Pillar, a stone from the Moon capable of reacting from a certain position on the Earth (within the Esthar continent) to cause a Lunar Cry. She orders a special enclosure called Lunatic Pandora to be built around it. The Pandora seals the Lunar Cry's abilities, but it can also cause a Lunar Cry at any time.
- Dr. Odine, a slightly manic professor, begins experiments on magical beings known as Guardian Forces (GFs). He discovers that they can be harnessed (Junctioned) to human minds, which allows humans to use magic, or, more accurately, para-magic. He also studies the sorceresses' powers, and creates Odine-brand jewelry which is capable of inhibiting those powers.
- Three Galbadian soldiers, Laguna, Kiros, and Ward, return to Deling City from an assignment. They check out the bar at the Galbadia Hotel, where Laguna is treated to a performance by Julia, a pianist. Julia invites Laguna to her room, where a flustered Laguna tells her of his desire to become a journalist. Julia tells him that she has wanted to field-record herself, but has never been able to come up with lyrics, until that night.
- Julia writes the song Eyes On Me about Laguna. She later marries General Caraway of Galbadia, and they have a daughter named Rinoa.
- Laguna, Kiros, and Ward are sent to the Centra Excavation Site to patrol. They lose their way and come up against a battalion of Esthar soldiers. They are trapped and only manage to escape by jumping off a huge cliff. Laguna manages to come away unharmed, but Kiros and Ward are badly injured. Ward loses his voice permanently.
17 Years Ago:
- Sorceress Adel orders the Esthar troops to search for any possible successors to her, whom she wishes to keep in her custody. Many girls are taken. They attempt to take a girl named Ellone from Winhill as well; though they fail, her parents are killed. She is taken into custody and raised by a woman named Raine.
- Ward takes up a job as janitor in the D-District Prison, a Galbadian political jail. Kiros roams around as a vagabond, and Laguna finds meaning in the small Galbadian town of Winhill, formerly assailed by Esthar. He meets up with Raine, takes up a job defeating the monsters that roam around the village, and eventually falls in love with Raine and marries her.
- Kiros finds Laguna in Winhill and joins him for a while in his job. Eventually Laguna goes on to pursue his dream of working for Timber Maniacs, a large magazine.
- Laguna returns to Winhill. Soon afterwards, Ellone is captured by the Esthar soldiers (she is a candidate for sorceress inheritance) despite his efforts. He chases after Ellone towards Esthar, but the journey is long. To make ends meet, he and Kiros find side work as extras in a movie company's filming in Trabia Canyon, where they are unfortunately assailed by a real dragon!
- On his way to Esthar, Laguna falls off a cliff and is taken in by the Shumi tribe, who nurses him back to health after about six months. In the meantime he has a profound effect on the tribe, and attempts to teach the Moombas to speak (they manage to say his name).
- While Laguna is searching for Ellone, Raine gives birth to a son named Squall.
- Laguna reaches the Lunatic Pandora Laboratory in Esthar, where he is captured and forced to provide hard labour for the experiments of Dr. Odine. He meets up with more Moombas here. Kiros and Ward rescue him, and together they beat Ellone's location from Dr. Odine and rescue her as well. Before they get her, though, Odine manages to imprint Ellone's brain wave patterns onto his computer, leading him to create a machine that simulates her time-spanning powers. He calls the machine the Ellone Junction Machine.
- Laguna joins up with a rebellion against Sorceress Adel, and hatches an ingenious plan to get rid of her. Though they cannot harm her physically, they trick her into a special sealing container, which they then launch into space, to be continually monitored by Esthar's space station. The container's antitransmission waves cause constant worldwide radio static from this point forward. As part of the plan, they dump the Crystal Pillar from Lunatic Pandora into the ocean to prevent the Lunar Cry from occurring.
- Laguna is elected President of Esthar, and decides to shut Esthar up from the rest of the world; partly in penance for their war, partly because he believes the rest of the world is not ready for Esthar's scientific knowledge yet. Kiros and Ward stay on as his assistants.
- Laguna sends Ellone back to Winhill, but Raine later dies in unspecified circumstances, leaving her nowhere to go. She's sent to the orphanage of Edea and Cid Kramer. Squall goes there as well.
13 Years Ago:
- Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future, arrives from the Time Compression (see later) and perishes; she is succeeded by Edea Kramer. Cid and Edea realize the evil she could cause. They come up with a plan for a military academy where students would be trained to fight the sorceress's forces. They call the school Garden, and its graduates SeeDs. (Possibly the future Squall tells Edea these things via a closed time loop, but the ending's a bit vague as to whether that scene is real or not.) Cid receives funding for the venture from the mafioso-like NORG, a Shumi Villager. Three Gardens are set up; Balamb Garden, Trabia Garden, and Galbadia Garden. Balamb and Galbadia are built over old Centra Shelters. NORG sets himself up as the "Garden Master" and dwells at the lowest level of Balamb Garden. His minions are stationed throughout the Garden, making sure Cid does what he's supposed to.
- All the children from the orphanage are later recruited into Garden. Squall, Zell, Seifer, and Quistis end up at Balamb Garden (where Cid becomes headmaster), Selphie goes to Trabia Garden, and Irvine to Galbadia Garden.
- Edea trains her own small section of SeeDs, called White SeeDs. She realizes Ellone's potential as a sorceress and her special time-spanning power, and gives them their mission: to protect Ellone at all costs. They are given their own ship and separate from the other SeeDs.
- Julia Heartilly (Caraway) is killed in a car accident.
- Ultimecia reaches her mind across time and finally begins controlling Sorceress Edea. Her goal is to compress time into a single state, a state in which only Ultimecia may survive. By this time Garden has become more or less a center for training mercenaries (the need arose due to financial concerns) and their true purpose has been forgotten. Regretfully Cid begins to prepare to fight against his wife, but delays, hoping she will prove stronger than the sorceress' will which pervades her.
- Edea schemes to take over Galbadia herself. She does so by ingratiating herself with Vinzer Deling, Galbadia's dictator of a president. He resolves to announce his new friendship with Edea via satellite dish, a technology not in use since the radio silence began 18 years back. However, the only remaining radio receiver/transmitter is in the city of Dollet. He orders his army to take it by force and repair the transmitter.
- Rinoa runs away from her father in Deling City and travels to Timber, where she becomes embroiled in the Forest Owls, one of the many rebel factions hoping to gain independence from Galbadia.
- Continual Junctioning of a GF is found to have decaying effects on human memory. Soon, Squall and everyone else at Balamb and Trabia Gardens completely forget their childhood at the orphanage.
- Selphie is transferred from Trabia Garden to Balamb Garden.
- Ellone is also taken to Balamb Garden for an unspecified reason.
- In Balamb Garden, Seifer eventually is shown to be a brash and unpredictable student. He fails the SeeD field test twice through failure of following orders. Oddly enough, he is appointed head of the student disciplinary committee, aided by two cronies, Fujin and Raijin. Squall (the youngest of the orphanage children) proves to be a moody and introverted student with great skill in the gunblade, rivaling that of Seifer. Quistis is a prodigy and becomes a SeeD at age 17 and an instructor a year later.
- Squall and Seifer (both students of Quistis) hurt each other in a fight with real gunblades; both bear facial scars for life. The next day is Squall's SeeD field test. Before doing so, he needs to visit the Fire Cavern, acquire the GF, Ifrit, who dwells there, and return within a set time. Quistis accompanies him there.
- The next day is Squall's SeeD field test. Xu, a senior SeeD, shows the scenario. The city of Dollet is under siege by Galbadia, and SeeD has been hired to stop it. The captain of Squall's team (which includes Zell) is Seifer. Though far from happy about the situation, Squall does what's expected of him. They travel to nearby Balamb City, where their water transports are readied.
- The team is ordered to defeat the forces in their way and wait in the central square. They do so, but Seifer gets impatient and goes to scout out ahead. Squall and Zell follow him (he is their leader, after all). They reach the communications tower, where Seifer runs off on his own. Selphie arrives at this point to deliver a message: the order to retreat within 30 minutes. They follow Seifer and try to stop Major Biggs and Lieutenant Wedge of the Galbadian army from activating the comm tower, but are unsuccessful.
- Biggs sics the X-ATM092, a huge spider-like robot, on the SeeDs. They are chased through the streets of Dollet, and arrive at the shore. Quistis finally puts the monster robot to rest by hitting it with a few hundred rounds from the machine gun mounted on the getaway water transport.
- Biggs and Wedge are demoted due to their incompetence in the Dollet comm tower fiasco.
- Only Squall, Zell, Selphie, and another student named Nida pass their SeeD test; Seifer fails yet again for his disobeyance of orders. Selphie asks Squall to join the School Festival Committee; Squall is noncommitant. The big SeeD dance is that night.
- Rinoa travels to Balamb Garden to ask Cid to help the Forest Owls for free; Cid likes her proposal and agrees. Squall meets her there as well, and despite his protests and inability to dance, they have a memorable one on the dance floor. Quistis approaches Squall and tells him to meet her at the Training Center.
- There, Quistis shows Squall where students hang out after hours. She tells him her instructor's licence has been revoked, mainly due to Seifer's rebellion, and that she's just a normal SeeD now. Squall doesn't particularly care, though. On the way out, they find Ellone being attacked by some of the monsters kept in the Training Center (though Squall doesn't recognize her because of his memory loss). After the battle, she is taken away by her White SeeD bodyguards.
- Squall's first SeeD mission (he travels with Zell and Selphie) is to Timber, where he is to aid Rinoa. (Cid gives him a Magical Lamp as well; using it causes a fight with GF Diablos. Beating Diablos lets you Junction him.) On the way, however, he falls into a stupor due to the abilities of Ellone. Ellone has the power to take someone's mind into the past; she places him and his two friends in the eyes of Laguna, Kiros, and Ward (the scene involving Julia). They wake up, confused, and continue to Timber.
- Rinoa, Squall, Zell, and Selphie execute a daring attempt to kidnap President Deling as he travels to Deling City on a train. They make an elaborate dummy President complete with recorded voice, and a dummy car which they exchange for the real one in a complicated maneuver. They approach the President only to find he was a fake. The real one is already safe in Timber, where he's traveled to make an announcement on the newly-restored Dollet communications system.
- Deling makes the announcement, but is attacked by Seifer, who escaped from Garden by himself. Quistis arrives to galvanize the SeeDs into stopping Seifer. As they confront him, Zell mistakenly lets slip the fact that Seifer was part of SeeD. The President and Seifer both escape. Seifer is met by Sorceress Edea, however, and she takes him away to be her "knight" (a.k.a. henchman).
- Cid and NORG decide not to wait any longer, and send to Martine, Headmaster of Galbadia Garden, to tell him of a plan to assassinate Edea. The Deling City contact will be Rinoa's father, General Caraway. The plan is to include a sharpshooter from Galbadia Garden; however, Martine modifies it to include the visiting SeeDs from Balamb, in order to shift the blame (should the plan fail) onto Balamb Garden.
- Squall, his SeeD friends, and Rinoa's Forest Owls are all being searched for. They escape to the East Academy Station on the way to Galbadia Garden. Zone and Watts, Rinoa's two sidekicks, don't have tickets, but they manage to escape anyhow. They are later picked up by Edea's White SeeD Ship and stow away on it.
- In the forest on the way to Galbadia Garden, they fall into another stupor, and another Laguna dream sequence occurs (this time the one involving the Centra Excavation Site).
- Quistis finds Martine, who calls them to the Reception Room. On the way there they meet Fujin and Raijin, who have been sent by Cid to deliver the assassination message. They're also looking for Seifer.
- Irvine, Galbadia's sharpshooter, joins Squall and group. They take a train to Deling City. They try to get into Caraway's mansion, but are stopped by his guard, who has orders to send them on a test before the assassination attempt goes through. They are to go to the Tomb of the Unknown King and retrieve the ID number of the last SeeD who attempted to enter. They do so, and also find a twin GF, Minotaur and Sacred, who fight them. When they are beaten, the Brothers allow themselves to be Junctioned.
- They return to Deling City and present themselves to General Caraway, Rinoa's father. He forbids Rinoa from going on the mission, and outlines the mission to the five SeeDs. There is a parade in Edea's honor being held that night. Squall and Irvine are the sniper team, who wait at the roof of the Presidential Residence. The gateway team (Quistis, Selphie, and Zell) are to get into the gateway mechanism at the Arch of Triumph and trap Edea inside the gates when she goes through during the parade. Once she's trapped, Irvine fires his shot; if it fails, Squall backs him up in hand-to-hand combat.
- Squall, Irvine, and Caraway leave to their positions. Rinoa suggests using Dr. Odine's patented Sorceress-inhibiting jewelry to stop Edea, but Quistis ridicules Rinoa. Rinoa resolves to do it herself, and runs out of Caraway's Mansion to the Presidential Residence, where she climbs to the top. In the meantime, Quistis regrets her harsh words and goes back to Caraway's Mansion with Zell and Selphie in tow, but are trapped by a paranoid Caraway's machinations when the door locks on them instead of Rinoa!
- Rinoa approaches Edea with the locket, but Edea hits her with a magical blast. Rinoa is dazed as Edea makes her speech to the masses, where she proclaims that a new reign of terror would begin. Saying so, she murders Deling by stabbing him with her claw-like hands. Edea brings two stone dragons to life, and they attack Rinoa. Squall and Irvine quickly make their way to the top of the Presidential Residence to defeat the beasts. Once Rinoa is safe, they head to the roof.
- Quistis and the others find a secret passage into the Deling City Sewers, which they follow back to the Arch of Triumph just in time to trap Edea with the gate. Irvine gets cold feet and almost is unable to fire, but Squall convinces him by telling him to pretend it's just a signal, not an assassination bullet. Irvine fires accurately, but the bullet is deflected by Edea. Squall jumps down from the building, grabs a nearby car, smashes it into the gate, jumps through, and confronts Edea. He is stopped by Seifer, who is at Edea's right-hand side.
- Squall defeats Seifer and fights Edea (Irvine and Rinoa arrive to help him), but Edea lets loose with an ice attack which impales Squall straight through. He falls to oblivion. Edea heals him and Seifer takes him (plus Quistis, Selphie, Zell, and Rinoa) to the D-District Prison where he intends to interrogate him. While unconscious, Squall and Quistis have another Laguna dream sequence, this time in Winhill. Zell also dreams of Ward being a janitor in the same prison he finds himself in when he awakes.
- With President Deling dead, Edea takes over control of Galbadia. Her first intended act is to shoot a barrage of missiles at the Gardens. She has an excellent excuse for doing so as well: Seifer's attack of the President in Timber. Missiles are targeted at Trabia Garden and Balamb Garden.
- Irvine is employed by Caraway to rescue Rinoa (and ONLY Rinoa) from the prison. Rinoa goes, but when she finds out about it she's pissed, and makes Irvine go back.
- Moombas are employed as hard labour in the prison; one of them brings food to the cell where Zell, Quistis, and Selphie are imprisoned. The nearby guard strikes him, and Zell beats him up. Zell decides to break out and get everyone's weapons back, and he proceeds to do so. Now-Lieutenant Biggs and Private Wedge enter the room to teach them a lesson for beating up the guards before, but are met by fully-armed prisoners who give them the once-over before making a break for it.
- Squall is tortured by Seifer, who wishes to know the true meaning of SeeD (he figures with Squall a SeeD, he would know). Squall, though, doesn't know anything besides the mercenary facet of SeeD, and is tortured in vain. He is saved by Zell and the others with their newly recovered weapons, and the help of the Moombas. Squall is astonished when he hears the only word they can pronounce, "Laguna".
- Zell helps the rest take a nearby transportation device to the bottom level of the prison; however, they come across a dead end when they realize that the entire prison is submerged in sand. Irvine chooses that moment to rescue them from the guards, Rinoa in tow. After a few short words, Irvine staves off the guards and heads to the lowest floor to find transportation out of the prison, and Squall heads for the topmost floor.
- There, he manages to get to the opening leading outside, but he finds it only leads to another section of the prison. However, the prison then begins churning itself into the sand! Squall manages to escape being buried in it by hanging onto a rafter (previously a bridge). Somehow everyone comes out okay, and they steal a dune buggy to hop it out of there.
- The first batch of missiles is fired at Trabia Garden, heavily damaging it. To attempt to stop the next batch headed for Balamb Garden, the party splits up. Selphie heads to the Missile Base to try to stop them from launching, and Squall heads for Balamb Garden to warn them of the impending danger. He hijacks a nearby train to do so.
- Selphie and the others wear the uniforms found in the stolen buggy to gain admittance to the Missile Base (an ID card allows them access inside). They do some running back and forth to try to confuse people, gain access to the power room and shut off the power (it doesn't work), help to move a missile into place, and finally gain access to the missile system. They set the error ratio as high as it can go (just in case), then run into the central base, beat up some guards, and set the self-destruct sequence for the base to go. They are unable to stop the missiles completely, though, and they are shot off towards Balamb Garden. Before the SeeDs can escape, they are attacked by a giant robot. They manage to heavily damage it, and climb in to escape the blast. But the robot goes nuts (the controls are fused) and they find themselves stuck inside it as it rumbles across the ocean!
- Squall arrives in Balamb Garden to find it in turmoil: NORG is looking for Cid, intending to hand him to Edea before she can destroy the Garden. Cid is hiding in his office, and the student body is split between those with the Garden Master and Cid. Squall manages to find Xu and informs her of the missile attack; she takes him to Cid. Cid tells him that the Garden used to be a Centra Shelter, which has unknown properties. He allows him to go to MD Level to try to figure out these properties and if they can be used to avert the attack. Squall manages to find the central control which turns the Garden into a mobile building! It moves out of its previous position and narrowly averts the missiles.
- While students try to figure out how to steer the Garden, Squall is called to the B1 level, where NORG lives. NORG berates them for ruining his plans and attacks them. Squall defeats NORG, who dies. (Later, Shumi villagers visit Balamb Garden to apologize for NORG's actions.)
- Squall meets Cid, who finally tells him the true meaning of SeeD, to defeat the sorceress. They are then met by a mysterious ship, the White SeeD Ship. Fulfilling their purpose, they take Ellone from the Garden. Squall is confused and wishes to learn more about his dreams with Laguna, but Ellone refuses to tell him anything more than the fact that they were in the past and that she was trying to change it.
- The ship is later met by Galbadian ships, who do battle with them. However, during the battle, an Estharian rescue mission sent by Laguna also enters the fray. Ellone goes with them to Esthar.
- Balamb Garden, out of control, crashes into Fishermans Horizon (FH). Mayor Dobe is annoyed that the SeeDs are here (he hates fighting). His fears come true when Galbadia attacks FH, looking for Ellone. He tries to reason with the soldiers, but comes very close to being killed. He is saved by Squall. However, the huge machine which Selphie and her cohorts are in arrives on the scene and attacks Squall! Squall manages to destroy it and Selphie finally comes out.
- While repairs are being enacted on the Garden by FH's technicians, Selphie stages a concert where she, Quistis, Irvine, and Zell play the instruments. Rinoa approaches Squall and takes him there. She tells him that he can't depend on just himself all the time, and that his friends are there to help him when he needs it.
- Back in the Garden, Nida (the fourth new SeeD member and now pilot of the Garden) is told to go to Balamb City. If Galbadia is looking for Ellone in port towns, that's the next logical place to go. They arrive to find it under Galbadian control.
- Squall claims to have information about Ellone, and the Galbadian officers let him through. He goes on a search for a man they call the "captain", whom he finally finds to be Raijin! Raijin attacks him by Seifer's orders, then calls in the "commander", Fujin, to help as well. Squall defeats them and they run away, freeing Balamb from Galbadia's grasp.
- Selphie now asks Cid if they can go to Trabia Garden; he complies. They find it a wreck. They meet in a destroyed basketball court. Irvine begins to talk about his childhood, and the memories of the other SeeDs now slowly come out; they remember the orphanage, Ellone, and Edea, whom they all called "Matron". Still, they resolve to defeat Edea for the good of the world.
- They decide to travel back to the orphanage, only to meet Galbadia Garden also on the move! Cid, fearing both possible outcomes of the battle (losing his SeeDs or losing his wife) flees to the ruins of the orphanage. Galbadia invades Balamb via high-tech airborne soldiers. Zell heads to the Quad to stave off the enemy, but a collision causes Rinoa to fall off the edge, hanging on by her hands. Zell runs off to find Squall and some way to save Rinoa. Before Squall can do so, he's asked to find a missing child. He finds him on the third floor, but is suddenly attacked by another airborne Galbadian soldier, who pins him to the wall.
- In desperation, Squall kicks out the emergency door behind him and they both fly out the window. Squall defeats him and grabs his jet pack, rescuing Rinoa on the way down. He and Rinoa (later joined by the other SeeDs) head into Galbadia Garden. They meet Raijin and Fujin, who finally decide that Seifer's gone too far, and to let Squall take care of him. They finally come up against Seifer, and defeat him. He crawls off to Edea, resolved to protect her, and is defeated once more. They finally come up against Edea and defeat her for good.
- Edea loses her sorceress powers in the battle, but is succeeded by Rinoa, who now becomes a sorcererss. Ultimecia wastes no time in controlling her (but the control isn't as complete as Edea's, since Rinoa isn't really ready yet). Rinoa whispers to Seifer that she is now in charge, and tells him to salvage the Lunatic Pandora, which Ultimecia intends to use to cause a Lunar Cry and use it to bring Adel's body back to earth. Rinoa then falls into a deep coma.
- Edea returns to her orphanage and reunites with her husband Cid at the orphanage. She apologizes for her actions, but tells them she doesn't know how to heal Rinoa. Squall goes back to the infirmary to spend time with Rinoa, and falls into another Laguna dream sequence (the Trabia Canyon one) - but in this one Ellone actually speaks with him. Upon awakening, he realizes that perhaps Ellone can find a way to save Rinoa. He goes back to Edea, who presents Squall with a letter to give the White SeeDs in an effort to retrieve Ellone from them.
- The White SeeDs tell Squall that Ellone was taken to Esthar. Squall resolves to head there. The only way to do so is via a bridge from FH, and that's where Squall heads. He is met by the other SeeDs and Edea, who joins him to go to Esthar. She tells him to ask Dr. Odine about Rinoa; he might know something.
- They reach the continent of Esthar, but can't see any cities. They enter the Great Salt Lake, a dried-up water body. They eventually disover a hidden opening into the huge shield that hides the enormous Esthar City from the rest of the world. They are taken on a futuristic elevator to the city, but on the way down are subjected to the final Laguna dream sequence (in the Lunatic Pandora lab and Odine's lab).
- They come to Dr. Odine, who says that Ellone is in outer space at the moment, and Squall must travel there to meet her. He goes to the Lunar Launch Pad near Esthar City, and he, Rinoa, and one other blast up to the Lunar Base. He leaves Zell to take over down on Earth. Laguna is apparently already in space, inspecting Adel's seal.
- Zell returns to Dr. Odine to discover that Galbadia's taken over the Lunatic Pandora and is piloting it to Tears' Point, the location where the Lunar Cry will take place. Zell and his friends attempt to board Lunatic Pandora as it passes through Esthar City. They manage to get aboard, but are kicked off soon after.
- Squall finds Ellone, but before he can ask her to save Rinoa, Rinoa is taken over by Ultimecia yet again. She opens the first of Adel's seals on the space station, then dons a space suit to reach the seal physically and release the second one. She does so at the same time that the Lunatic Pandora reaches Tears' Point and unleashes a Lunar Cry. Adel is borne to Earth by the force of the descending monsters and lands in Lunatic Pandora. Ultimecia then leaves Rinoa for dead.
- The Lunar Base begins to collapse because of the monsters, and Squall and the rest (including Ellone and Piet, the head of the Lunar Base, and Laguna) escape in a pod. He asks Ellone to let him see Rinoa's memories; she does so, and he finds out that Rinoa is the sorceress candidate and is taken over by Ultimecia. However, Squall refuses to let Rinoa die in space, and puts on his own space suit to find her.
- Squall reaches her, but his oxygen is not enough to get back to the pod. He luckily stumbles across the Ragnarok, the dragon-ship used to carry Adel into space. The atmospheric controls still work, and he and Rinoa can breathe again. After clearing the spaceship of aliens, they start back towards Earth, sharing a romantic moment while in space.
- When they land on Earth, Rinoa is captured (albeit willingly) by the Estharians and taken to the Sorceress Memorial, a place to seal Rinoa, similar to Adel's (but without the necessity of being taken into space, since she isn't a full-fledged sorceress). Squall lets them take her, knowing it's best for the world. However, Quistis arrives and berates him for letting Rinoa go. He heads back to the Sorceress Memorial and saves Rinoa before she is put into her cryogenic chamber.
- They travel to Edea in the ruins of her Orphanage. Squall resolves to defeat Ultimecia so that Rinoa won't be possessed again. While there, Squall receives a transmission from Esthar City: the President has a plan to defeat Ultimecia, and he wants SeeD to do it. They travel to Esthar City to be greeted by the President, who to Squall's total surprise is Laguna. He and Dr. Odine have hatched a complicated plan. To defeat Ultimecia they would have to actually travel to the future to fight her. But time travel is technically impossible...
- The idea is that Ultimecia needs Ellone's powers to travel further back in time (the machine she's using, an advanced version of the Ellone Junction Machine, has limits as to how far back it can go), and a sorceress to possess. Right now Adel is the strongest of the two surviving sorceresses, so that's who Ultimecia wants to possess, which would be catastrophic. Squall needs to defeat Adel to force Ultimecia to possess Rinoa instead. Then Ellone would take both Ultimecia's and Rinoa's minds back in time using her powers, allowing Ultimecia to compress time. She would then return Rinoa and Ultimecia to their proper times. Once time is compressed, the SeeDs can travel down it to any point, including Ultimecia's future.
- They take the Ragnarok and smash into the Lunatic Pandora, entering it from within. They find Raijin and Fujin protecting Seifer again. Squall defeats them, and they run inside to find Seifer. They defeat him, and Raijin and Fujin come in one last time and try to dissuade him from his imaginary quest. He doesn't listen to them; he steals Rinoa and rushes to Adel's room.
- Adel takes Rinoa hostage, but Squall manages to defeat her without harming Rinoa. Ellone then carries out Laguna's plan, and time compression occurs. Ultimecia's castle appears. Squall finds his way through it and confronts Ultimecia. She Junctions herself to Griever (the "ultimate GF"), but Squall finally manages to defeat both Griever and the sorceress.
- Squall finds himself adrift in time. He arrives 13 years in the past to see Ultimecia dying and being succeeded by Edea, then is set adrift again; only his yearning for Rinoa helps him to reach home again. A huge party takes place in Balamb Garden, Edea and Cid take over again as head of the Garden, and everyone ends up happy.
- Ultimecia, the sorceress of the era, uses one of Dr. Odine's items to transfer her mind into the past. She can possess sorceresses of other times and force them to do her bidding. She plots to enter time compression, a state in which time is fused and only she can exist. She first takes over the mind of Sorceress Edea...
- The Shumi Village is in the Trabi Continent. The Shumi are building a statue of Laguna, a man who impressed them greatly. They tell Squall that the furry Moomba are the forms that Shumi evolve to. Squall talks to the Elder, who asks him to help finish the statue. He finds the five necessary stones, and he is rewarded with a Phoenix Pinion.
- Squall is then enlisted to bring the Shumi Artisan to help with the statue, but he is reluctant to do so. The owner of the repair shop in FH gives Squall a Moomba Doll with a recording of his voice; the recording reminds the Artisan of his true calling and he agrees to help with the statue.
- The Centra Ruins is home to Odin, a GF who appears randomly at the start of battles to destroy the enemies. Once Squall gains Odin's help by defeating him, he may also enlist the help of the Tonberry King by defeating enough Tonberries in the Ruins.
- If Squall does have Odin's help by the final Seifer battle, Odin will attempt to destroy Seifer, but Seifer will chop him in two. However, Odin's Zantetsuken blade will be caught by Gilgamesh, arriving from the Cleft of Dimension, who defeats Seifer and takes over Odin's position as a randomly-arriving GF.
- There are six Chocobo Forests around the world. Completing the puzzles therein allow you to call a Chocobo to ride whenever you want. Once all six are completed, visiting the forest-bound Chocobo Sanctuary lets you get a Chicobo card.
- Balamb Garden is home to the Card Club Group, a bunch of expert card players. Beating Jack allows you to play Club, then Diamond (a pair of girls), then Spade. Heart is actually Xu, and the Card King ends up being Quistis! Most of the higher-level CC Group members have rare cards. There's also a Joker who upgrades your Battle Meter when you beat him. Beating all the CC members has another effect: when you regain the Ragnarok in the time-compressed world, they'll be on board.
- Tears' Point is home to a magical item called Solomon's Ring. Using the ring when you have six Malboro Tentacles, Steel Pipes, and Remedy+s summons GF Doomtrain to you.
- An island near Centra is home to the Cactuar King; beating him will let you summon GF Cactuar.
- The Deep Sea Research Center is a hidden area in the middle of the sea. Bahamut lives on the top floor, and beating him lets you summon him. After he is defeated, a hole opens up to the floors beneath. Using the remaining energy wisely allows you to enter an area infested with high-level monsters; at the end of it is the Ultima Weapon. Beating that nets you 100 Ultima Stones, plus you can draw GF Eden from it.
- There are four places where you will sight a UFO in battle. You will then fight the UFO itself. After beating it you'll find its owner, PuPu, wandering around the Balamb Garden area. If you give it five Elixirs, it'll give you its rare PuPu card.
- Two islands are home to hugely difficult monsters and rare Draw Points: the Islands Closest to Heaven and Hell.
- Obel Lake in the Timber region is home to a shadow. Throwing a rock at it will make it converse with you; it'll ask you to find a monkey. Once done that, it'll give you hints about hidden treasure. Piecing together all the hints leads to a canyon north of Esthar. Many stone faces direct Squall confusingly to the treasure, a Three Stars item. Another hint from the shadow leads to Minde Isle, which has a Luck-J Scroll.
- The Card Queen, originally in Balamb, changes her location when you lose rare cards to her. Once you do, you can win them back from her father and son in Dollet. Finding her and beating her can be tough, though.
- A portal near Ultimecia's Castle in the time-compressed world leads back to the real world. You can use a Chocobo to regain the Ragnarok, and the CC Group will inhabit it if you beat them all.
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