|“||This is reality. No one can help you. Sit back and enjoy the show.||„|
Sorceress Ultimecia is the main villainess of Final Fantasy VIII. She is an incredibly powerful sorceress from the future, who seeks to compress time and erase all existence but her own. She sends her mind to the present time and possesses Sorceress Edea Kramer, but the hero Squall Leonhart and his friends can travel down to her era and slay her. She returns as a villainess in the Final Fantasy spin-offs Dissidia, Mobius and Opera Omnia.
Ultimecia is voiced by Atsuko Tanaka in Japanese and by Tasia Valenza in English. The latter also voiced Mariam from Batman: The Animated Series, Madame Hydra in Marvel Heroes, and Poison Ivy in multiple Batman games.
Ultimecia is a tall woman, looking in her thirties or forties, whose undeniable beauty is somehow downplayed by her strange clothing, her horn-like hairdo, and her tattooed body.
She wears a form-fitting crimson ballgown exposing her chest, abdomen, and legs; with a ruffled, plunging neckline of black fur that extends to the end of the bodice, padded shoulders, and an extended hemline dragging along the floor behind her.
She wears a headdress shaping her silver hair like horns, held in place by purple end-pieces, with two long locks left hanging down to hip level. She also wears ornately jeweled necklaces and earrings.
Her face, stomach, and legs are tattooed with colored patterns, her hands are coloured purple and she walks barefoot. Her features are altered by her Sorceress Power and her evil nature, like her yellow eyes, pointed ears, long claw-like nails and black feathered wings.
Ultimecia is notable for her uncanny final form: a gigantic, twisted, oddly symmetrical and multi-colored abomination, hard to describe properly. She has blue bat-like wings full of of holes atop her head, arms at hip level, a strange array of purple blade-like protrusions on her back, and some features reminiscent of her human form, like her horns and the exceedingly long membrane-like thing figuring her gown.
Much worse, her face is a dark void with a flickering light, her chest is open with several layers of "skin", her gown-like "membrane" is filled with a starry night, and her normal body hangs upside-down under her chest; naked, covered in blue and red veins, with dead-like white eyes.
|“||Lowlifes. Shameless filthy wretches. How you celebrate my ascension with such joy. Hailing the very one whom you have condemned for generations. Have you no shame? What happened to the evil, ruthless sorceress from your fantasies? The cold-blooded tyrant that slaughtered countless men and destroyed many nations? Where is she now? She stands before your very eyes to become your new ruler.||„|
|~ Ultimecia expressing her contempt for humanity.|
Ultimecia is cruel, relentless, hateful, uncaring, self-centered, conceited, power-hungry, misanthropic and nihilistic. She appears aloof and regal, but this masks her seething anger. She displays scathing contempt and resentment towards mankind, evidenced by her hateful speech to the Galbadian people after killing President Vinzer Deling.
She holds the heroes in greater contempt (mixed with loathing respect, as she calls Squall "an impressive nuisance"), and bears virulent hatred for the SeeDs (witch hunters), a constant thorn in her side. She deems everyone as beneath her and kills thousands without a qualm.
She does show a softer side though, taking pity on Seifer Almasy and making him her Knight, when she could have left him executed. She sees him as a tool and harshly scolds failures, but heals him when needed and never discards him. More importantly, her last lines (expanded in the cut Japanese dialogue) hint that she longs for the lost happiness and innocence of her early years, with which she strives to renew no matter the cost. Later games hint that she has been broken by shunning, isolation and bitterness.
Reading through Ultimecia's words and actions, it becomes obvious that she is fully aware of her upcoming demise against "Legendary SeeDs", whom she awaits without fear. It is also clear that her hatred of humanity is due to the dire persecution she (and other sorceresses before her) suffered.
Her goal of Time Compression is driven by her yearning to overcome her destiny; by ruling a chaotic universe as immortal goddess, with her fated foes powerless and barely existing, gaining respite at last, at the price of everything and everyone to ever exist.
Ultimecia is highly intelligent, devious and manipulative: she easily uses Galbadian bureaucracy to reach its highest spheres of influence, and manipulates Vinzer Deling and Seifer by playing on their insecurities and desires. When possessing Rinoa, she fakes illness to lead the heroes where she wants, using her when least expected. Finally, she displays keen strategy, forcing the equally strategic Squall on the defensive throughout their battle. In Mobius Final Fantasy, Squall describes her as a skilled liar. She removes him as a threat and sets traps, anticipating his every move.
Finally, Ultimecia has rather extravagant tastes, and revels in luxury and style. She lives surrounded with riches, lords over her domain sitting on exquisitely carved thrones and dresses with luxurious and elaborate, if peculiar and even gaudy clothing. The parade held in her honour in Galbadia is grandiose, filled with light and coloured crystal, yet exceedingly glittering and luxurious.
Finally, her namesake Castle, while creepy befitting a Dark Queen of her level, is lavishly decorated, filled with opulent furniture and contains an impressive art collection.
In Other Games
Dissidia Final Fantasy and Mobius Final Fantasy flesh out Ultimecia's character and motivations. In Dissidia, she is more cynical than hateful, being suave, with a flair for theatrics and no respect for boundaries. She finds life and struggles meaningless and despises her foes' resolve, trying to break their spirit. She is very deceptive, shape-shifting to misguide Squall and playing on his doubts. She is also sharp-witted and mockingly seductive, berating allies and foes alike, calling them the puppets of their fates. But on the other hand, she hints a melancholic side and even some regrets.
In Mobius, she is very harsh, controlling and nihilistic. She reviles the world and the suffering it brings. She deems everything is fleeting thus pointless, bitterly musing about people rejecting reality to cling to expectations. So she wants to select who and what she would allow to exist, if they obey her. She is scornful and taunting, albeit rather cordial, welcoming potential servants and conversing with the heroes in earnest. She notes that they both fight for a better outcome but they reject it, for they try to make things better while she would sacrifice all for her selfish vision.
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia shows her in a surprisingly positive light. While still manipulative, she laments her life of loneliness and seeks to find her true self. Furthermore, she sincerely assists Noel Kreiss, finding affinity in their plight as time-travellers from bad futures. But she hides herself out of self-loathing, and accepts the heroes' scorn, apparently regretting her evil ways. Also, she is intrigued by the heroes' bonds, siding with them in earnest to learn more.
Powers and Abilities
As with every Final Fantasy Final Boss, Ultimecia is incredibly powerful. The scan explains that she syphons power from all Sorceresses. As such, she added all the Sorceress Power in existence to her already tremendous magic, gaining god-like abilities. Later games describe her magic as boundless.
Ultimecia's powers include sight, hearing and speak from far away; extended perception; heightened strength, speed and stamina; flight, teleportation and phasing through solid matter; high-level telepathy, mind-probing and telekinesis; perfect control over the weather and the elements, among many others.
She can bend a will to her own, compel up to vast crowds as if they were acting on their own free will, or turn people to mindless, obedient puppets. She can paralyze many people, who can still see and talk; heal wounds; shape-shift, alter her features or clothing in mere seconds; raise magic barriers; and infuse objects with her magic to animate them or alter them as she wishes.
In battle, she masters a wide array of powerful spells. In Dissidia Final Fantasy, she fires all sorts of energy weapons. In Mobius Final Fantasy, she coats her hands with dark-red orbs to parry strikes and surrounds herself in a spherical barrier, hurls orange energy bolts, red orbs firing exploding bolts, violet explosions, and raining, explosive yellow bolts even far away.
Control of Time And Space
Ultimecia's Sorceress Power grants her absolute control over Time and Space. As seen when she absorbs fallen enemies into the void of time, or when she separates the party in different planes during the final battle. (She chooses three foes at random and isolates the others, making them appear out of nowhere when she brings them forth.) Also, she maintains her Guardian Force Griever (an immensely powerful summon) in battle as long as she wants to, instead of letting him disappear after a single attack.
In Dissidia she can freeze time, with only her being able to move or remain conscious, seemingly for as much as she pleases. In Mobius, she spreads her influence through other eras. She can stop, slow and fasten time, as far as rewinding time to cancel her foes’ attacks; distorting space to relocate things and people, make people vanish and reappear at leisure, and drag them where she wants; or even warping both to relocate people into echoes of past battles, or create illusory landscapes perfectly replicating people’s memories, both as real as the normal deal.
Ultimecia can transcend the limits of magic and warp reality itself to a huge extent. While possessing a much less powerful sorceress, she could create monstrous clones of people, and turn statues into flesh-and-blood beings.
When not limited by a host, she can control and summon monsters; create mighty beings as her slaves, from small objects or from nothing; corrupt, transform and empower beings; or make machines into sentient life-forms. She either bewitched her castle to make it fly, or built it flying from scratch. She can seal people's powers, like she does when the heroes enter her castle, and destroy a foe's entire stock of magic.
When Junctioning people, she fuses them instead of simply linking their minds, (merging Rinoa Heartilly into Sorceress Adel and merging herself to Griever). She also uses it to possess any sorceress, and gain access to any living being's mind, enabling her to draw as much power and knowledge as she wants from it, stealing spells from the heroes during the final battle.
To a further extent, she can make real what she finds in people's minds. She creates Griever that way, giving life to Squall’s conception of the most powerful Guardian Force that can exist, resulting in a demon as powerful as she is.
In Mobius, her leaking magic is enough to spawn monsters drawing power from their surroundings; change from scorching heat and freezing cold, instantly covering mountains in snow; alter memories; and create landscapes as if they were always there. It even spawns a weaker double of herself acting independently. She can grant power to servants, bring her Castle to other worlds, extract memories, or invade imaginary worlds, even from far away.
Power-Boosts as the Final Boss
In the final battle, Ultimecia increases her ludicrous abilities twice. First she fused with Griever adding his might to her own, then she assumes her unfathomably powerful final form.
Not only does she gain formidable spells, but her mere existence is now enough to wreck the time and space continuum and to gradually absorb the entire universe.
Even worse, her already tremendous reality-warping power skyrockets, to the point that she becomes able to make her own thoughts come true. As such, she comes up with the most devastating spell she can think off and draws it from her mind, becoming able to cast it for real as many times as she wishes.
Role in Final Fantasy VIII
Magic is a divine power inherited from the Great Hyne, the Creator God of the Final Fantasy VIII world who made humanity. Each Sorceress wields a fraction of his power, with a distinct theme for each, becoming able to spell-cast naturally while everyone else requires engineered Para-Magic. A Sorceress has to pass her power to a worthy successor before she can die. As such, Sorceresses are revered, but also feared, as divine representants. Yet, a Sorceress needs a Knight to help her shoulder her burden, and risks being broken, or worse corrupted without one.
Ultimecia's past is only hinted in the game, but all hints were later confirmed in the Ultimania official guide. Knowing what she did in Squall's era, people persecuted all sorceresses, hoping in vain to prevent her rise to power. Alas, it did the reverse and drove her to the deep end. The lack (or maybe loss) of a Knight might have made it worse.
She gathers power from all Sorceresses. Given the devastation around her Castle, she probably warred against Seeds, elite mercenaries against military or supernatural threats, especially evil Sorceresses. She likely wrought untold destruction, or even took over as in the present. Mobius Final Fantasy confirms that her mere name is feared by all.
War against Galbadia
At the start of the game, the heroes (newly promoted SeeDs cadets), are sent against the mighty Galbadia nation, which is occupying its neighbors.
It then turns out that the mysterious Sorceress Edea, soon-to-be ambassador of the Galbadian President Vinzer Deling, , far from appeasing the tensions as advertised, is secretly fanning the flames of war.
The story begins when the resistance faction the Forest Owls, led by a young girl named Rinoa Heartilly, hires Squall's SeeDs’ assistance against Galbadia.
Later, the renegade SeeD cadet Seifer Almasy fails to murder President Deling, witnessed by the heroes. Edea teleports in the room, hiding her face under a mask. She paralyzes everyone and easily talks Seifer into following her.
Attempting to stop Edea on her own while the SeeDs prepare to kill her, Rinoa sneaks into the presidential residence with a bangle that can suppress her power. Alas, Edea notices her, recognizes the bangle, and telekinetically knocks her out with no effort, before compelling Rinoa to follow her like a puppet.
Shortly after, Edea kills President Deling by stabbing him with her bare hand and seizes power in Galbadia, insulting the crowd whom her magic compels to cheer.
Edea then gives life to two Iguions statues (powerful reptilian monsters), and orders them to devour Rinoa, who is rescued by Squall. Meanwhile, the SeeDs' plot ends up in failure, as Irvine Kineas, the sniper meant to shoot down Edea hesitates and gets noticed. When he finally fires, she blocks the bullet with a magic barrier; forcing the heroes to directly engage the Sorceress in battle.
The SeeDs defeat Seifer who has become Edea's Sorceress Knight and right-hand-man, but Edea near fatally pierces Squall with a conjured icicle, and has most of the SeeDs imprisoned and tortured for information.
The Battle of the Gardens
The heroes are freed from jail by their friends who escaped imprisonment, only to learn that in retaliation for the attempt on her life, Edea ordered a missile attack on Trabia Garden and Balamb Garden (the academies where the SeeDs are trained).
While nothing can be done to prevent Trabia's destruction, they manage to activate special machinery that turns Balamb Garden into a mobile fortress, enabling it to scarcely escape the missiles.
Later, Squall and his friends remember their childhood, which they had forgotten due using Guardian Forces. It appears that they were all (including Seifer but excluding Rinoa) raised in an orphanage run by Edea herself, who was back then a kind and loving woman, the opposite of the remorseless tyrant she is now. (Irvine remembered, since he never used Guardian Forces until now, hence his hesitation.) Moreover, it is revealed that it was Edea and her husband Cid Kramer who created the SeeDs and the Gardens, adding to the mystery.
They defeat the Garden's greedy financial backer NORG, who tries to seize controls from Cid and to deliver them to Edea.They learn that Edea is using the Galbadian army in a worldwide search for Ellone, a young woman from the orphanage with the unique ability to send people's minds in the past, burning cities on their wake. The sorceress personally commands Galbadia's formerly independent mobile Garden to track down Balamb Garden.
Galbadia Garden invades Balamb over the ruins of Edea's orphanage, forcing the SeeDs to storm it and confront Edea, whom they defeat at last. Unfortunately, Rinoa inexplicably falls into a coma shortly after.
Later, when the heroes finally enter the ruined orphanage, they meet the real Edea Kramer, who reveals that she was possessed all along by the real villain of the story, a Sorceress from the future named Ultimecia, who wants to compress time into a single moment, threatening to destroy the entire universe.
Search for Esthar
To cast the Time Compression spell, Ultimecia must find Ellone and Sorceress Adel. the tyrant of the futuristic nation of Esthar, who waged the gruesome Sorceress War seventeen years ago to take over the world, but got trapped into a stasis chamber and sent into space by her rebelling people, helped by Squall's father Laguna Loire (who left for war and never learnt he has a son).
To cast the Time Compression spell, Ultimecia needs to reach the future, the present and the past at once. The machine she is using to reach the present era cannot go further into time, so she needs Ellone's power to send Adel's mind back in her own past.
The SeeDs travel to Esthar, hoping to find a cure for Rinoa. Edea joins them, hoping to relinquish her Sorceress Power and escape further possession. Power she unknowingly passed to Rinoa after her final defeat. Upon reaching Esthar at last, Squall carrying Rinoa on his back, they are led into space to the Lunar Base where Adel is watched over. There, Squall finally meets Ellone and Laguna.
Alas, it now becomes clear that Ultimecia took advantage of the power transfer to possess Rinoa. She caused her coma, knowing that they would bring her to Esthar to find a cure. She takes control of Rinoa to unseal Adel's Tomb before leaving her to die in space.
Meanwhile, she has Seifer, whom she healed after his defeat, take control of the Lunatic Pandora, a weapon devised by Adel's scientists to cause a Lunar Cry: the downfall of countless monsters from the moon, to bring Adel back to Earth. Rinoa is again saved by Squall, who becomes her Sorceress Knight.
The SeeDs form a plan to defeat Ultimecia for good: They intend to kill Adel, which would transfer her powers to Rinoa, forcing Ultimecia to possess her again so and enabling Ellone to send their minds into Adel's past.
Ultimecia would then cast the Time Compression spell, but Ellone would halt the process by bringing back their minds, so that the heroes could travel through the Time Warp to Ultimecia's future and settle their score once and for all.
Later, Seifer abducts Ellone and Rinoa, unknowingly serving his foes' interests, and brings them to Adel, now possessed by Ultimecia. The Seeds reach and destroy Adel, passing her Power to Rinoa, and enact their plan.
The Final Showdown
Travelling through a warped universe; clinging to their sense of self to remain whole while fighting eleven sorceresses from all eras, the heroes reach the future under Ultimecia's grasp, devastated and plunged into a never-ending night.
They enter the Sorceress' gloomy flying castle, surrounded with the corpses of all the elite White SeeDs she killed. Inside, a spell cast by Ultimecia seals their powers into her eight highly powerful monster servants.
They must destroy them all to regain their abilities and stand a chance against her.
Ultimecia is finally defeated after a long and gruelling battle, wrecking her castle and tearing through the fabric of time and space.
The heroes manage to return to the present. However, the dying Sorceress followed them through the Time Warp, desperately clinging to life. She ends up thirteen years before the story in Edea's orphanage, closely followed by Squall.
Too weak to do anything, Ultimecia has no choice but to transfer what remains of her Sorceress Power to the Edea of the past, who was already a Sorceress and who refused to let any child in her care to suffer this burden.
Ultimecia dies at long last, having unwillingly created the Time Paradox that would lead her to possess Edea; and completed the cycle of time-travel between the SeeDs and her.
As the Final Boss
|“||Reflect on your childhood... Your sensations... Your words... Your emotions... Time... It will not wait... No matter how hard you hold on. It escapes you... And... I can't disappear yet.||„|
|~ Ultimecia in her final form.|
The final battle is very long and difficult, being divided in four stages: against Ultimecia in her normal Sorceress form; against Griever her Guardian Force; against Ultimecia junctioned to Griever; and finally, against Ultimecia's final and most powerful form.
Ultimecia chooses three heroes at random, invalidating the player's selection. Worse, if a hero is killed and not revived quickly enough, she absorbs them into time and forever removes them from play, replacing them once again at random. This proves extremely irksome if the party is not well balanced; or worse if the only healer-reviver gets removed from play. As such, it is best to have the party at similar levels and many healers and defenders.
The best tactic for the entire battle is to cast Meltdown (a spell doubling the target's following damage), to cast Aura to unlock the heroes' Limit Breaks (most powerful attacks), and to pummel her with Limit Break combos. Powerful defences and frequent healing are needed.
Ultimecia's least powerful form, yet not to be underestimated. She casts many dangerous spells including Meltdown, Bio (poison), Maelstrom (divides all the heroes' life-points), Quake and Tornado (heavy damage to all heroes), Holy (heavy damage), and Death (instant-kill depending on the target's level); and assist magic like Dispel (cancels a magic advantage), Double, Triple (spells cast twice/thrice in a row), Confuse (the target may attack allies), and Draw (steals a spell from one foe).
The heroes must always dispel Double or Confuse and not waste any time; the longer the battle lasts, the deadlier her spells become. It is advised to keep the best spells and items for the following stages.
Ultimecia creates Griever from Squall's mind to battle in her stead. He is a deadly foe who can remove a spell from one hero's inventory, preventing its use and remove junction to their stats. He uses dangerous attacks and can draw spells from a hero.
He casts Doom (kills the target after a few turns), Pain (poison, darkness -lowered accuracy-, silence -prevented spellcasting-), and Triple. When damaged enough, he starts using his special attack Shockwave Pulsar, dealing critical damage to the entire party. Shockwave Pulsar must be drawn from him with Quistis.
Ultimecia junctions herself to Griever to combine their might and resume the battle.
She instantly destroys all Guardian Forces, and creates one, then two Helixes: small metallic creatures that blast rays on targets and grant her fearsome attacks such as Ultima (the mightiest spell available), Flare, and Meteor, as well as her special attack: Great Attractor, hugely damaging the three heroes at once.
The heroes must focus on Ultimecia-Griever, and use mighty defenses. But beware for she can dispel their magic advantages. When wounded enough, she loses her lower half and cannot maintain her Helixes.
She returns to the spells she used under her Sorceress forms, but still remains equally dangerous as she was before. The heroes must keep on fighting until she is taken down.
|“||I am Ultimecia. Time shall compress... All existence denied.||„|
|~ Ultimecia in her final form.|
As Ultimecia seems gone, she resurfaces under an eerie, eldritch final form. She starts absorbing the entire time and space continuum, engaging the hardest stage of the battle.
This grotesque but formidable demon destroys Guardian Forces and dispels magic advantages. She mainly casts Hell's Judgement, reducing every hero's life-points to one. They must heal right after, lest Ultimecia finishes one with a mere Claw Swipe, or worse, two with Double Claw.
When wounded enough, Ultimecia creates the ultimate spell Apocalypse, dealing extreme damage to the party. She casts it often, making the best defenses mandatory. Destroying her lower-half prevents her from casting it, but she instead casts Holy, Flare, Meteor and Ultima. Coupled with Hell's Judgement, this can prove even worse.
In Dissidia: Final Fantasy
|“||I'm not foolish enough to surrender my will to some nebulous deity.||„|
|~ Ultimecia about serving Chaos.|
In Dissidia: Final Fantasy and its prequelDissidia Duodecim, Ultimecia is a "servant" of Chaos, God of Discord. Yet, she only feigns obedience, and plots with Emperor Matheus Palamecia, manipulating heroes and villains alike, to create Dark Crystals they could use to take over the multiverse.
Whenever Chaos or Cosmos gets killed, the Dragon God Shinryu revives them and restarts the war, as he draws power from it. So they only side with Chaos until he kills Cosmos, before killing him and enact their plan.
Unlike her core game's plan to destroy the universe, here Ultimecia wants to make everything everlasting under her reign. She regards the conflict between Cosmos and Chaos pointless and despises them both.
Dissidia Final Fantasy
|“||Foolish boy. Everything is an illusion. Your hopes, your friends, your life itself, shall fade.||„|
|~ Ultimecia to Squall.|
Ultimecia and the Emperor try recruiting villains, starting with Sephiroth, but to no avail. She shape-shifts as Cosmos to instill doubt in Squall, separating him from his comrades to make him easier to deal with. She ambushes Squall in her castle with Garland, but Zidane Tribal takes care of him. Squall attacks her but she casually warps through his strikes and stops time, but he still repels her projectiles and beats her.
After Cosmos' final death, Ultimecia prepares to compress time, but Squall tracks and kills her. Chaos is later slain for good with the Crystals.
Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy
Ultimecia returns in this prequel, in which she can appear as a possessed Sorceress Edea in her second attire. It appears that Dissidia showed the Thirteenth Cycle of the never-ending war between Chaos and Cosmos. After each cycle, their agents get their memories erased to start another anew.
Ultimecia toys with the heroes' resolve, as they repel the invasion of Manikins (crystal-born doubles of the playable characters) summoned by Chaos' servants. Intrigued by Tifa Lockhart's optimism, she tries and fails to break her, and substitutes a Manikin as Tifa defeats her. She then tries to kill Tifa from behind, but Kain Highwind saves her.
The villains assemble to prevent the heroes from sealing the Rift, source of the Manikins. But Cosmos ultimately sacrifices herself to do it in their stead and is resurrected, leading to the first game's events.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
In this arcade sequel/reboot and its console adaptation Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, Cosmos and Chaos have been destroyed for good with the world they were warring in after the Thirteenth Cycle. A new world was created by Cosmos' dying wish, only to be claimed by Cosmos' and Chaos' reincarnations of sorts: Materia, Goddess of Machinery and Protection, and the sinister but not evil Spiritus, God of Magic and Destruction. Heroes and villains must battle again.
Like every other character, Ultimecia has no interest in this restarted war and seeks to return to her life. Kefka Palazzo tries to persuade Ultimecia and Exdeath to destroy this world, with hopes to escape, but are interrupted by Firion, Tidus and Shantotto. Ultimecia verbally spars with Shantotto and fights, but they are defeated.
The fight is eventually halted by the sudden appearance of a Planes Gorger, in fact a draconic servant of Shinryu sent to absorb this new world's energy and destroy it. The Planes Gorgers soon overwhelm the world, forcing both sides to make a truce.
Ultimecia joins forces with the Cloud of Darkness during the staged battle meant to lure Shinryu. Once he appears, she partakes in the joined assault against him. With Shinryu destroyed for good, every warrior returns to their world, leaving a double behind to fight in their god’s behalf and sustain this new world.
This alternate continuity to NT takes place in the Respite World, a haven for characters between battles. Alas, strange Torsions start tearing the fabric of the universe and must be closed off. But some villains try to control them, and the Blackened Wills behind them.
Ultimecia starts by controlling Seifer again, but he foils her. She later talks goals with Kefka, but is revulsed by his actions and baffled by his Manikins growing their own will. Atypically, she is mostly an ally.
She kept company to Noel Kreiss, lost in a desert for months, only speaking from afar afraid of rejection. Upon learning who she is, he only half-heartedly sides against her. Stranger still, she repeatedly helps the heroes and offers to join forces, citing her life of ostracism. Knowing her, they first refuse, fearing a trap. However, she ends up joins the effort to end the Blackened Wills and destroy Shinryu.
As a playable character
|“||There are manners, even in battle!||„|
Ultimecia is a "Sorceress Fusilier": a master of long-range and aerial battle, focusing on barrages of projectiles. She fires energy arrows she can stop or redirect, waves of energy swords, bouncing energy axes of variable size, and energy spears from the ground. The more she strikes the greater she damages. She casts her spells from Final Fantasy VIII, hurling spheres of destruction and blasting runes.
Her EX Mode (super mode) junctions Griever to herself (instead of the other way around) and freezes time for her EX Burst (ultimate attack): first "Time Compression": a multi-directional storm of energy arrows, and "Sorceress Heart" a giant explosion.
In Dissidia NT and Opera Omnia, Ultimecia uses the same attacks with different names, adding a rain of arrows and a wave of spears erupting from the ground. Her special attacks also have much bigger area of effect. She has a Black Magic gauge called Maleficium that rises the more hits she lands, and vastly empowers her attacks.
Role in Mobius Final Fantasy
The Sleeping Lion
Ultimecia is the primary villainess of the event The Sleeping Lion, which takes place after Final Fantasy VIII. The game is set in the world of Palamecia, named after but not related to the Emperor, called the "world of hope unbound". The main hero is a young man named Wol, fated to become the legendary Warrior of Light who can defeat Chaos, here a human turned eternal Avatar of Destruction.
Squall finds himself in a different Balamb Garden in Palamecia, but he cannot recognize anyone nor remember anything. Preparing for the Seeds exam, he grows irked by Meia, the instructor who knows more than she cares to tell. He meets the faerie Echo, who says she can only bring him home if he remembers.
Meanwhile, he is having visions of Wol's team, including Meia (in fact one of the main characters) investigating on strange events. A sorceress' yet unseen magical energy is swarming the land with abnormally powerful monsters, radically altering the weather, and disturbing their memories. Their investigation leads them in strange ruins then to a cave, that were not there before. There, they find Squall fighting Ultimecia's monster Catoblepas, who is from another world as Seeds do not exist in Palamecia, which the Squall taking his exam is watching incredulously.
Squall tells them that only Ultimecia could cause such trouble, but he and his friends killed her. Yet, she brought her Castle to Palamecia, devastating all the region, and is expecting Squall. She sends many monsters after them, including variations of the Fiends of Chaos, to test whether to destroy them or to recruit them as her Knights.
Storming The Castle
Ultimecia was watching and teleports near them, stating her intention to Compress Time and grant them an eventual respite if they submit. As Squall wonders how he and Ultimecia can be here, Echo reappears and asks him about his memories. After many trials, including reliving Wol's battle with Chaos, they face Ultimecia, who summons thee powerful Iron Giants protected by the Mighty Guard ability. Ultimecia must be taken down to lift it and be able to damage them.
Wol destroys the Iron Giants and attacks her, but she protects herself. Squall strikes her, but she warps time to undo it and space to steal his Gunblade sword at the same time. The heroes flee but Ultimecia warps space to drag them back in her throne room. She isolates Squall to fight one-on-one and makes short work of him, shape-shifting as Wol for psychological warfare.
- Ultimecia fights like in Final Fantasy VIII, casting Double or Triple, and attacking with Bio, Thundaga, Painja, Shineja, Quake, Tornado, or her mightiest attack Shockwave Pulsar. Her Time Compression can skip the battle by two turns and her elemental resistance changes often. The heroes must pummel her with combos.
Attack on Balamb Garden
Squall finds himself back in Balamb Garden, unable to find the others. Worse, he finds it swarmed by monsters. There, he finds a Rune showing him his memories and realizes that his adventures with Wol's team were in fact flashbacks. He recalls that Ultimecia attempted to break his Gunblade, but could not and sealed its experience in the Rune he is holding, which was stolen back by Echo.
As Squall stands no chance without his lost memories, Wol's sister Princess Sarah stayed behind to ward off Ultimecia, who blasted them with energy balls as they fled her castle, and Meia brought him to an illusion of Balamb made from the Rune, faking an exam to make him remember.
His training complete, Squall reunites with Meia. But Ultimecia sends hordes of monsters in the illusory Garden with her magic. Seifer's counterpart Graff has fallen under Ultimecia's control and was named her Knight, being granted some of her powers. He leads monsters and Galbadian soldiers, destroying all in his path with Fire Magic. He is beaten by Squall, Meia, and the Seed candidate Sophie, but Ultimecia blasts them from afar, thwarting Squall's full restoration. With the Rune and the Illusory Balamb Garden both gone, Squall's memories seem lost forever...
Back in Palamecia, Squall is attacked by Wol, who fell under Ultimecia's grasp as well. They battle, yet he deems Squall too weak and departs. Rushing after him, Squall and Sarah run into Sophie, then into Graff who is spreading devastation to attract Squall. He boasts about destroying the Garden, but Squall defeats him and lifts Ultimecia's mind-control. Yet, Squall still cannot remember, and worries about failing.
Catching-up with Wol, Squall finally reignites his Gunblade's full power. Satisfied, Wol who was only pretending to be controlled at Echo's request, drops the villain charade and joins them towards Ultimecia's Castle. On their way, they defeat the Catoblepas and Squall explains Time Compression, remembering at last.
The Final Showdown
|“||There is nothing worth protecting in a ruined world!||„|
|~ Ultimecia, expressing her nihilism.|
Back at the Sorceress' Castle, the heroes defeat a Guardian drawing power from its surrounding. To their horror, they meet Meia possessed by Ultimecia, who plans on letting them witness Time Compression. They defeat her, but she shrugs it off. Fortunately, Meia crumbles, forcing Ultimecia to leave her shell and vanish. Meia is safe, but Ultimecia casts the Time Compression spell, dispersing the heroes in ever-changing echoes of the past.
- Meia-Ultimecia fights with her staff. She can summon monsters to draw power and defence from them, and can accelerate or stop Time. She casts her normal spells like Maelstrom, Ultima and Shockwave Pulsar, but she can also cast Meia's magic attacks, like the Light-based Bright Varuna, the Dark-based Violet Varuna.
Advised by Squall, the heroes can find a way through the twisted time, despite Ultimecia's repeated attacks. They land in an echo of the Promised Meadow, where Squall and Rinoa swore to find one another. Ultimecia attempts to sway them one last time, but they call off her nihilistic rant and put an end to her folly.
- The Final Battle is long and hard. Ultimecia is backed by two Guardians and uses Time Compression. She casts Double and attacks with Firaga, Stoneja, Shineja, Gravija, Maelstrom, Tornado, Quakega, Meteor, the devastating Apocalypse, or Knight’s Blade, Knight’s Spear and Knight’s Claymore.
- In the next stage, she spams Hell's Judgement, Shockwave Pulsar and Apocalypse, so mighty healing magic is crucial.
A defeated Ultimecia escapes with Squall on her tracks, leaving Palamecia saved. He bids goodbye to the heroes, and they muse about what is a home, and he assures them that someone awaits him and that he will find his way.
Ultimecia and Squall seemingly arrived here when drifting in the Time Warp in the ending, before reaching Edea's orphanage.
The Transient Sorceress
This final event features Wol, venturing in Ultimecia's Castle and confronting the Sorceress, hell-bent as ever to compress Time. She muses about heroes always stopping villains and he denies being one, but she replies that people deeming him as such makes him one, for they only see what they want to see. To her, no knight nor sorceress can escape their history.
It turns out that she is not Ultimecia, but a Shadow, a sentient double made from a fraction of her power. Still, she is determined to be the villain and become just as feared. Wol calls her out on her short-sighted goals, and she admits that she does not want to be forgotten, but she clings to her delusion to the bitter end.
This event plays as a sequence of Boss Battles, several against Ultimecia's Replica herself. She shifts her element and summon monsters to draw spells, using a Sorceress' Sigh attack.
There is an amount of Time Limits and she can skip turns, but if she is not defeated before its limits, she wins the fight with Time Compression.
Other Events and Cards
Ultimecia is featured in the multiplayer event Ultimecia Challenge: a series of Boss Battles against her for rewards.
There are various levels of difficulty; Sorceress from the past, Sorceress from the present, Sorceress of Eternity.
Finally, Ultimecia is featured in Meia's job card (setting aspects and attributes), Sorceress of Oblivion. It gives her the aspect she had when possessed and grants her some of her spells like Apocalypse.
Appeaances in Miscellaneous Games
Ultimecia appears in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a game consisting in Field, Event, and Battle, music sequences in tune to the series' most famous musical themes.
In the first game, Ultimecia appears under Edea's possessed aspect for the Waltz For The Moon Event Sequence. In the sequel Curtain Call, she is fought in a Battle Sequence.
Ultimecia is a boss in the action puzzle game Pictlogica Final Fantasy, which consists in fighting in RPG-style while solving puzzles and riddles. The possessed Edea is also featured.
Ultimecia and the possessed Edea are separate characters in the mobile game Final Fantasy: Airborne Brigade, in which the heroes fend off a monster invasion.
They serve as allies and Legends (assist summons). Ultimecia fights with her Dissidia moves, while Edea favours "classical" Final Fantasy spells. Edea also serves as a boss.
Ultimecia and Edea appear as cards in the collecting game Final Fantasy Artniks, in which the heroes are tasked by the Dragon King Bahamut to spin the world’s tale. Ultimecia's card is her Dissidia artwork, while Edea's is the core game’s art and Arc Words Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec (anagram of "Succession of Witches" and "Love").
Possessed Edea appears in the free-to-play Final Fantasy: Record Keeper re-enacting the series' best battles. She first serves as a boss, fought like in Final Fantasy VIII, then aided by Seifer thus more challenging. She can later be recruited in the party. She focuses on Black Magic, and multi-target spells, though she can cast defensive spells.
Ultimecia makes a cameo in the puzzle video game Puzzle and Dragons featuring characters from RPG games, including of course Final Fantasy.
She serves as a boss, and later as a Five Star Unit. She fights with the same spells as in the first stage of the original final battle against her.
Finally, she makes a cameo in the IOS/Android, cooperative multiplayer strategy game Monster Strike, in which the players must fight and capture all sort of monsters. In the Final Fantasy collaboration, she appears under her normal form and her fusion with Griever from Dissidia.
- Ultimecia is the second main antagonist in the mainstream Final Fantasy series to be female, following the Cloud of Darkness from Final Fantasy III, and preceding Nael van Darnus from Final Fantasy XIV.
- In the German and Italian translations, Ultimecia is named "Artemisia", a common sorceress name in Italian folklore, and Artemisa in the Spanish translation. This might refer to Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Moon and Hunting, fitting the moon as a major theme of the story.
- Considering that the sounds "l" and "r" overlap in Japanese, it can be assumed that the sorceress' name was meant to be Artemisia, wrongly translated as Ultimecia.
- Two queens of the Greek city of Caria were named Artemisia. The first sided with the Persians around 480 BC before backstabbing them, the second built a tomb for her husband Mausolus around 350 BC: the origin of the word mausoleum and one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
- The English translation of Ultimecia's dialogue replaces the letter "c" with "k" (lest she possesses someone or appears under her final form), to figure some sort of accent. This was not in the original Japanese, and would later be dropped in the Dissidia Final Fantasy games.
- The English translation omits parts of Ultimecia's dialogue that sheds light on her motivations. In her speech to the Galbadians as Edea Kramer, she mocks them for living in delusions instead of facing reality, and states that she will make them suffer her own fantasy, which she calls the "final fantasy" in a nod to the series itself.
- Before the Final Battle, she describes in detail what would happen to the heroes in the Time Compression, having their existence absorbed, their minds and memories shattered, unfeeling and revering her for eternity.
- Ultimecia is heard laughing at the very start of the final battle.
- During the first stage of the final battle, Ultimecia uses the Stop ability that temporarily prevents its target from acting, mirroring her power to stop the flow of time.
- Ultimecia and Rinoa Heartilly are almost complete opposites: One having black wings and grey hair, clad in an extravagant crimson-red gown and summoning the lion-like Griever. The other having black hair, clad in a simple blue dress, using her dog Angelo in battle, and having white wings manifesting when she calls upon her power.
- An extremely popular fan-theory assumes that Ultimecia is in fact Rinoa's future self, driven to evil by grief after outliving Squall, with her goal of Time Compression being motivated to reunite with him. It was debunked by the game creators, who stated that sorceresses have normal life-spans, yet many fans keep believing it.
Final Fantasy VII
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