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Final Fantasy VIII
I don't want the future. I want the present to stand still. I want to stay here with you...
Rinoa has layered black hair that reaches to the middle of her back. There are three caramel highlights on either side of her face that run through her hair. Her eyes are a deep dark brown. You first met her in a white gown with an an off-white/yellowish sheer fabric halter dress wearing her signature necklace, a bracelet on her right arm, and white shoes. You'll see the dress again at the Garden Festival in FH. Her signature outfit is a long, sleeveless, blue-hued rib-knit duster sweater that has a pair of white wing designs on the back, which become actual feathered wings when she enters her Angel Wing state. She also wears matching rib-knit arm warmers, a black halter top, a denim button up skirt, a black ribbon on her left arm, and black bike shorts that have zippers going down the front with a pair of silver buckled black boots. Her previously noted signature necklace features a ring given to her by her mother. Just before the battle of the Garden's starts, she gets Squall's Griever ring from Zell, who borrowed it in order to make Rinoa a replica of the ring. Rinoa adds the Griever ring to her necklace and wears it along with her mother's ring for the remaining part of the game. Rinoa's trademark symbol seems to be that of a white feather or wing, resembling the angel motif of Sorceresses throughout the game as well as the "angel wings" on the back of her blue duster. Another trademark that she is seen to use frequently in her appearances is the raising of her index finger as she did to Squall to request a dance. Rinoa's personality is everything that Squall's is not: feisty, compassionate, warm and friendly, and these traits annoy Squall to no end at first. However, opposites attract, and through the course of the game, they fall in love.
Rinoa is the daughter of General Fury Caraway and Julia Heartilly. When she was 5, Julia died in a car accident and over time, she had a bad relationship with her father. She is a member of the resistance faction Forest Owls in Timber. Her father knows this. A year before the game starts, Rinoa began a romantic relationship with Seifer Almasy. He told her about the mercenary-for-hire service that SeeD provided. Rinoa first met Squall at the SeeD graduation party in Balamb Garden, where she got him to dance, much to Quistis' shock. Rinoa was there to talk to Cid to convince him to help out the Timber Owls, who told her she'd get a group of three SeeD's despide the meager payment she offered in return and the complains of the Garden Faculty. Those SeeD's were Zell, Selphie and Squall. She was disappointed that Seifer wasn't there, she was nonetheless elated that SeeD had come, enveloping Squall in a hug upon his arrival. They first assisted in Rinoa's plans willingly to kidnap Vinzer Deling, by hijacking his train. It was a success, but the president was a fake. Rendering the operation a failure, the SeeDs' confidence in the Timber group began to wane. They returned to Timber and learned that Vinzer Deling was in the Timber TV Station to make an announcement. They follow a new plan and Squall requests that he sees the contract only to discover that they were under Rinoa's command as long as Timber remained under Galbadian oppression. On their way to the TV Station, they learned that there were too many Galbadian soldiers. Squall expresses the SeeD group's misgivings about being part of such a casual organization and questions Rinoa's commitment to her goals. The argument ends with her leaving. Later, having seen the whole incident on the Timber TV Station screen, and discovering the Forest Owls' base destroyed, she returns and enters the station in pursuit of Seifer. She arrived too late to find Seifer and she orders the SeeD's to help her lie low while the town was searched by Galbadian forces. Contemplating Seifer's fate leads Squall and Rinoa into another argument over their views on life before they are given word that it was clear to leave town.
The attack was unsuccessful and they were imprisoned in the D-District Prison. Irvine managed to escape and came back with orders to save only Rinoa. Rinoa gets upset and forces him to get back to save the others. They learned that after the attack on Edea, Galbadia had targeted Balamb and Trabia Gardens in a missile attack. The group slit up and Squall's group head to Balamb to warn them and Selphie's group head to the Missile base to try to stop the missiles. If Rinos goes with Squall's group, they arrive at Balamb Garden in the midst of chaos. A mysterious faction with allegiance to NORG, Balamb Garden's funder, had staged a revolt against Headmaster Cid. While helping those they could, Rinoa and Squall searched for Cid to warn him. They find him in his office and he tells Squall about a mobile shelter built in the Centra era. They found and activated it just in time and they escaped the missiles who were fired by flying away Garden, turning it mobile. Cleaning up loose ends due to the rebellion of NORG's faction in the Garden, Rinoa asks Squall for a personal tour of the facility, and in doing so begins to see another side to the taciturn loner. As a result she begins to take an interest in him, attempting to force him into a lighter mood whenever the opportunity arises.
They head back to Esthar using the Ragnarok and invade the Lunatic Pandora to fight through Seifer and Sorceress Adel, who is under Ultimecia's control, junctioning Rinoa's physical body to Adel. Squall and the others must fight Adel/Ultimecia without harming Rinoa which in the end they do by defeating Adel who is forced to pass on her Sorceress power to Rinoa before she can die. Ultimecia with no other options, enters Rinoa as Ellone uses her powers to send Ultimecia/Rinoa back in time so that Ultimecia will begin a Time Compression which is a magic only possible to cast if the Sorceress is in the past, present, and future. The process of Time Compression is long however, and the allotted time allows for Squall, Rinoa, Zell, Quistis, Irvine, and Selphie to enter Ultimecia's Castle in the future, where Ultimecia awaits. Upon Ultimecia's demise the Time Compression unravels back to normal, leaving the combatants stranded in time. Each member managed to get back by remembering who were and where they wanted to be. Rinoa reappeared in the flower field, where she and Squall had made their promise, but Squall was nowhere to be found. Using her sorceress powers, she managed to locate Squall at the end of time. He was near death but for her arrival, and her belief that he would survive, Squall was saved from non-existence. The two were sent back to the flower field, alive and well. In the game's ending, Rinoa is seen with Squall on the balcony, contemplating the stars. Rinoa then points up toward a shooting star. Squall smiles at her and the two embrace and kiss.
Rinoa's weapon of choice is the Blaster Edge, a boomerang-like weapon that can be propelled from a device on the back of the wielder's wrist to cause injury to any opponent and return to its holster. It should be noted that Rinoa can't seem to handle the recoil of the weapon, as she is shoved back by it every time she uses it.
Rumor has it that Rinoa's name was supposed to be "Lenore". As it goes a concept designer had seen this name common in occult or witchcraft related text. They transliterated the name to Japanese and brought it to Squaresoft but due to unknown circumstances Squaresoft was unable to decipher the name, so the name "Rinoa" had to stay. The French translation of the game seems to closer to this, calling her "Linoa" instead. Rinoa's surname, Heartilly is derived from the real English word heartily. Heartily is an adverb meaning in a cordial manner, with warmth and sincerity, with zest or enthusiasm, a word that describes Rinoa very much.
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