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Squall Leonheart

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Leon(Squall)
Squall Leonhart is the primary protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. A young and aloof SeeD mercenary for much of the game, others view Squall as cold and focused until he begins to question the way he has chosen to live his life. Squall's weapon, the gunblade, is one of the most iconic weapons of the Final Fantasy series. Squall is later given the title Commander.

In Final FantasyEdit

Appearance & PersonalityEdit

A teenager with unruly brown hair and light blue eyes, Squall is most often seen wearing a black leather bomber jacket with a fur trim collar and a v-neck white shirt, black pants with three interconnecting belts, and black boots and gloves. He has a silver stud in his left ear, and wears a silver chain necklace with a Griever pendant and a matching ring. The only times he isn't wearing this particular outfit is when he's wearing his SeeD uniform or SeeD cadet uniform, which he only does if he is required to, and in flashbacks to his childhood days, in which he wears an orange shirt with several horizontal stripes and dark pants. Squall's gunblade of choice is the Revolver, of which he owns a customized version with Griever engraved imprinted on both sides. In a duel with his rival, Seifer Almasy, both end up giving each other mirroring scars across the face.

In Dissidia Final Fantasy Squall looks much as he did in Final Fantasy VIII, but is given additional fur ruffles on his jeans, a sash partially covering his right leg, and a lion's head belt buckle, as well as a new shirt with a plunging v-neck collar.

Even though in Squall's eyes are light blue in Final Fantasy VIII and Dissidia Final Fantasy, in a few selected FMV's in Final Fantasy VIII Squall's eyes appear green, and both his Final Fantasy Mini Arts figure and Dragon Quest & Itadaki Street portable artwork have brown eyes.

Squall starts an introverted, brooding, cold and taciturn teenager who pushes away those who would otherwise be considered his friends. Though withdrawn, Squall does not shrink from what he considers his duty. As much as he resents assuming leadership, he is the first to ensure that what is necessary gets done. Squall's clear mind and sense of responsibility lead others to trust and follow him. Even though everyone agrees on how difficult Squall can be, staff and students admire him, and he is eventually appointed Commander of Balamb Garden, much to his dismay. Squall becomes the "de facto" leader of the party, though at first he dislikes his comrades looking to him for orders and advice.

During the game, Squall narrates his thoughts and feelings in silent voice-overs, during which he reveals he acts the way he does for fear of getting close to people. Squall cannot remember his parents, and his sister was taken away when he was young, making him afraid of losing the feelings of comfort loved-ones provide. Squall does not believe in relying on others, as friends and family are inevitably lost and in the end he will be alone.

Squall comes to rethink his choices in life, falling in love with Rinoa Heartilly and accepting the support and friendship of his comrades, becoming more social. This more open version of Squall is more or less how he is characterized in the Kingdom Hearts series. Dissidia Final Fantasy mirrors Squall's evolution from a loner to the man he is in Final Fantasy VIII's ending. Squall fights alone, but finds himself worrying about fellow heroes Bartz and Zidane, and accompanies them and helps them on their quests once he has completed his own. 

StoryEdit

Squall was born to Raine Loire in the village of Winhill, but she died shortly after his birth. His father, Laguna Loire, never knew Raine was pregnant, as he was in Esthar saving his adopted daughter Ellone from sorceress Adel's clutches. After Raine passed away, both Squall and Ellone, whom Laguna had sent back to Winhill, were sent to an orphanage on the Centra continent.

Squall grew up in the orphanage and, despite the presence of other kids his age, Ellone was his closest friend and he referred to her as his "Big Sis", although it is unknown whether he knew about their familial bond.

Due to Ellone's unique ability to send a person's consciousness back in time, she was in constant danger from those who would want to exploit her, and was moved away from the orphanage. No one told Squall why Ellone left and he assumed she had abandoned him. As a way to cope, Squall developed a defense mechanism that eventually made him an emotionally detached, cynical and introverted boy who wished to go through life without emotional links and dependencies.

One day, during one of Squall's attempts to find Ellone, a dying sorceress and a teenage version of Squall appeared from the future. The sorceress passed on her sorceress power to Edea, a sorceress herself, and passed away. The teenage Squall told Edea he was a SeeD from Garden and that the notions were originally her idea. Edea tells the teenage Squall he is in the wrong time and he disappears back into the time portal.

Edea presumes that some day Squall, a boy from her orphanage, will grow up to become a SeeD and kill an evil sorceress. Thus Edea and her husband, Cid Kramer, start an organization known as the SeeD trained as an anti-sorceress force. As Edea is a sorceress herself, Cid and Edea decide they can no longer stay together and Edea must go into hiding with the orphans who are not admitted to the Garden or adopted.

As Squall himself theorizes, he was never adopted due to his already difficult personality, so sometime around the age of six Squall was admitted into the newly constructed Balamb Garden to train as a SeeD. He chose to train with the gunblade, which is a difficult weapon to master and takes years of training. He found a rival in Seifer, who mirrored him in many ways including the use of a gunblade and a remarkable aptitude for combat.

Eleven years later Squall is known as a "lone wolf" among his peers. His superiors, such as his teacher Quistis Trepe, regard him as difficult to deal with, but respect his talents. The rivalry between him and Seifer has become common knowledge among the Balamb students. Due to Squall's use of Guardian Forces his memory has weakened, remembering only the feelings of abandonment he felt when Ellone left, but no longer remembering Ellone herself. After an eventful field exam, Squall graduates along with Selphie, Zell and Nida.

During the inauguration ball Squall meets Rinoa who forces him to dance with her. He learns she is his first employer, and works as part of a hired group with Selphie and Zell to assist the Forest Owls, freedom fighters devoted to freeing Timber from Galbadia's control. During the train ride to Timber the trio fall asleep and experience the same dream of the adventures of Laguna Loire and his friends from the past.

Squall and his friends' first mission with the Forest Owls ends in failure when, in an attempt to kidnap the Galbadian President Vinzer Deling, they end up capturing a body double posing as the president instead. Having issues with the level of "professionalism" in the Forest Owls, Squall asks to see the terms of employment the SeeD group is under and finds out they are under the Owls' employment until "Timber gains its independence". Far from satisfied, the group nonetheless follows with the Forest Owls' plans to intercept the president's Timber-based broadcast, the first world-wide broadcast in 17 years. Just short of invading the studio Rinoa lets slip her views of the way SeeD live, and Squall remarks about her group's incompetence in turn. After the two exchange words, Rinoa abandons the plan and leaves.

A few minutes after the President begins broadcasting, Seifer, with Quistis in hot pursuit, takes the president hostage over the air. Under Quistis's request Squall, Zell and Selphie rush to the studio to find Seifer backing away with the president into another room. The president's new ally, whom he was meant to announce on live TV, a sorceress, appears, and convinces Seifer to come away with her. Seifer is later announced executed.

With the Forest Owls' base destroyed, Squall and the others lie low for a while. Contemplating Seifer's fate leads Squall and Rinoa into another argument over their views on life before they are given word it is clear to leave town. On their way to Galbadia Garden the two argue again, this time about Squall's cold attitude towards his team mates. During the argument Squall starts to feel faint and passes out, experiencing another mysterious dream with Laguna.

The group makes it to the Garden and receives new orders to assassinate the sorceress during her inauguration ceremony as the ambassador of Galbadia. A new team member, Irvine Kinneas, is assigned to help them. With Squall as their leader the group takes a train to Deling City to meet with their contact, General Caraway, and run directly in the middle of a father-daughter feud between Caraway and Rinoa.

As the ceremony begins, Sorceress Edea kills the president and claims Galbadia as her own and it is discovered Seifer is alive and has become Edea's Knight. Irvine chokes just when he is meant to shoot Edea, forcing Squall to reason with him, and Irvine fires, but the sorceress deflects the bullet. Squall faces Seifer and Edea head on. Edea casts Ice Strike, piercing Squall's right shoulder and rendering him unconscious, and the teams get arrested.

After another Laguna dream Squall wakes up to find himself imprisoned. He is tortured by Seifer in the D-District Prison and during Seifer's interrogation Squall learns Edea has ordered a missile strike against both Balamb and Trabia Gardens. The SeeDs escape and the divide into two groups: One, led by Squall, to warn Balamb of the missile strike, and the other, led by Selphie, to sabotage the missile base and stop the launch.

As Squall arrives in Balamb Garden he finds it amidst of chaos, as a faction with allegiance to Garden Master NORG has staged a revolt against Headmaster Cid. While helping those he can Squall searches for the Headmaster to warn him of the missiles, finding him bunkered in his office. Cid reveals the Garden's past status as a mobile bunker of Centra make and upon the activating the ancient system, the Garden transforms into a mobile fortress and avoids destruction by moving away from the spot the missiles were programmed to target.

The seaborne Garden is met by the White SeeD Ship who request they hand Ellone (who was currently hiding in the Garden) over into their protection. Squall remembers Ellone from one of his dreams and confronts her about it. Ellone reveals she has been the one sending Squall's consciousness back in time to inhabit Laguna, although she doesn't tell him why. Ellone leaves with the White SeeD, leaving a confused Squall behind.

When the Garden crashes into Fishermans Horizon due to a lack of a steering device, Squall and his group are ordered to act as ambassadors and enact a formal apology. Mayor Dobe, the leader of the pacifist city, tells them to leave as their presence can only cause destruction. Galbadian soldiers invade the town and Dobe heads off to discuss peacefully with them. The soldiers do not listen and Squall fights the soldiers to save Dobe's life. During the fight, Squall and his team reunite with the Missile Base team, of which they had no word until then. In a rare display, Squall is happy they are alive and well, something Rinoa does not fail to notice. Dobe grudgingly accepts the team's apology, and orders the city's technicians to restore Balamb Garden to full functionality.

Cid reveals he is Sorceress Edea's husband, and presents his resignation as Director of Balamb Garden, appointing Squall as the Garden's Commander, a decision Squall is not at all pleased with. To show him their support, Selphie and Irvine organize a concert in Squall's honor, and Rinoa has an eventful chat with him, encouraging him to trust in them as they trust in him. After the Garden is fixed, Squall sets course to the town of Balamb, only to discover it is occupied by the G-Army. Squall and his team free the town after defeating Fujin and Raijin, Seifer's friends who now work for him.

They head to the destroyed Trabia Garden, Selphie's home Garden, and while waiting for Selphie's return and due to a segment in Rinoa's conversation, Irvine tells everyone about their past together in the orphanage, which they had all forgotten (except for Irvine, of course) due to a side effect attributed to using Guardian Forces; memory loss. Remembering their childhood, the team recognize Sorceress Edea as their Matron, the woman who used to care for them in the orphanage. The team decides to defeat Edea in spite of the past, and the Garden embarks to the old orphanage in search for clues.

Balamb Garden is intercepted by the similarly mobile Galbadia Garden and the Battle of the Gardens ensues. Squall leads Balamb's defense, at one point giving a heartfelt speech to Balamb's SeeD and cadets, encouraging them to fight on. Squall and his team infiltrate Galbadia Garden, defeating Seifer and Edea, ending in Rinoa becoming comatose. It turns out Edea had been possessed the whole time and did not act of her own free will.

Concerned over Rinoa's state Squall decides to search for Ellone. Squall wants Ellone to send him back in time to see what happened to Rinoa, so he can find a way to stop her from becoming comatose. Edea reveals the sorceress they had been fighting was not her, but Ultimecia, a sorceress from the far future who wants to merge time into a single existence through time compression, using Edea as a puppet. Being from the future, Ultimecia had no way of accomplishing her goals without a vessel to exist within and she used Edea's body to house her mind and spirit.

After learning from the White SeeD that Ellone is in Esthar, Squall and his party, along with Edea, make their way into the mysterious nation that has had no contact with the outside world for 17 years. After learning Ellone has gone to the Lunar Base Squall and Rinoa are sent to the Esthar space-station. Squall meets up with Ellone and begs her to send him back in time so he can save Rinoa, but Ellone tells Squall she has learned it's impossible to change the past.

She still promises to try, but as Squall takes Ellone to see Rinoa, Ultimecia takes possession of Rinoa and uses her to free Sorceress Adel from her space-bound tomb and leaves Rinoa to die in space. The station is evacuated as the Lunar Cry begins. Squall decides to save Rinoa and, ignoring everyone's warnings, jumps into space to catch her.

Squall catches Rinoa in space and the two come across an abandoned spaceship Ragnarok, which they use to return to the planet. During their journey Squall learns Rinoa has inherited Edea's sorceress power and has become a sorceress. The land base informs them Rinoa is to be seized upon returning to Esthar. Squall lets Esthar take her into custody, but after being talked into reason by his friends, he breaks into the Sorceress Memorial where Rinoa is being held. He frees her and the team heads back to Edea's Orphanage. Rinoa is pessimistic about the future, but Squall vows to be her Knight even if all the world was her enemy. Squall and Rinoa promise to meet at the field behind the orphanage in case they should be parted.

They get called back to Esthar and find Laguna is Esthar's president and that Ellone has been taken captive inside the Lunatic Pandora. Laguna, together with Dr. Odine, has developed a plan to stop Ultimecia once and for all. Laguna follows Squall and his friends to this mission and during optional conversations within Ragnarok, Laguna's friends talk about Squall's parents, and Laguna tells Squall they will have a lot to talk about later.

Using Ragnarok, they invade the Lunatic Pandora and save Ellone. After Fujin and Raijin unsuccessfully try to convince Seifer to stop serving Ultimecia, Squall and his friends to fight through Seifer and shortly after, Adel. With no other body to possess, Ultimecia takes over Rinoa, which gives Ellone the opportunity to send Ultimecia's mind further back in time. Ultimecia begins the time compression, which allows for Squall and his friends to travel to the future. After defeating her most powerful minions and making it through the puzzles and traps of her castle, the group confronts Ultimecia.

After a final battle that traverses time and space, Ultimecia meets her demise. Time compression is stopped at Ultimecia's defeat and time begins to revert back to its original form. Ultimecia and Squall go back in time and appear at Edea's Orphanage where Squall meets Edea and implants the ideas of SeeD and Garden.

After witnessing the moment in which Ultimecia passes on her sorceress power to Edea, Squall falls back into the compressed time. He tries to find his way back to the field where he and Rinoa promised to meet, but is trapped in the Void where he nearly dies. Rinoa uses her sorceress powers to find him and brings him back home.

During a party at Balamb Garden to celebrate SeeD's victory over Ultimecia, Squall and Rinoa stand outside on a balcony overlooking the ocean. Noticing a shooting star, much as the one he had seen on the night the pair first met, Squall smiles at Rinoa and kisses her as the Garden flies under the moonlight.

In Kingdom HeartsEdit

Kingdom HeartsEdit

Early LifeEdit

Squall Leonhart grew up in the paradise world of Radiant Garden until it was consumed by darkness. Ashamed and angry that he was unable to defend his home and his loved ones from the Heartless, Squall assumed the name of "Leon" in order to distance himself from his past, vowing never to use his real name until the Heartless are defeated and his world restored.

Leon awakened in Traverse Town along with the few fellow Radiant Garden refugees Yuffie, Aerith, and Cid, none of which changed their names as Leon did. During his teenage years, Leon formed the Heartless Resistance, effectively keeping an area of Traverse Town safe against Maleficent and the growing tide of Heartless. He was also known to travel between worlds in his Gummi Ship, assisting other refugees in peril and relocating them to Traverse Town. His actions did not go unnoticed, eventually gaining the attention and confidence of King Mickey who was watching the growing battle warily.


Nine years laterEdit

Nine years after Radiant Garden's fall, which is now renamed as Hollow Bastion, when the wielder of the Keyblade was revealed, King Mickey ordered Goofy and Donald Duck to find Leon, trusting that Leon would inform them of the circumstance and help them find the wielder, Sora. It turned out, however, that Leon had already found Sora within the safe First District of Traverse Town, challenging and either defeating the boy in a duel or being defeated before dragging Sora back to the resistance's hideout; a room in one of Traverse Town's motels. There, Leon and Yuffie explained to Sora about the Heartless and his destiny as the Keyblade's chosen one. Uniting Sora with the newly arrived Donald and Goofy, Leon then sent them on their way.

When Sora, Donald, and Goofy returned to Traverse Town again seeking Leon's help, they find him in the Secret Waterway, underneath Merlin's house, training. Here he offers information about the Keyholes of each world that lead to the heart of the world. He explains that the Heartless are drawn to the heart's power and would corrupt it, thus causing the world to disappear. This is why Sora's Keyblade is so important, because it has the power to seal them from the Heartless.

Leon also gives Sora the Earthshine Gem which contained the spirit of Simba, for luck. Later, after they move to the newly accommodated base, a previously abandoned house deep in Heartless territory, Leon and company tells Sora about Maleficent and about Ansem and his journal before once again, seeing Sora, Donald, and Goofy off.

Leon also gives Geppetto and Pinocchio a place to live after they escape from Monstro.

After escaping from Hollow Bastion, Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Kairi sought shelter with Leon's group in Traverse Town. Sora informed Leon of everything that had happened, prompting him to follow Sora and company when they left for the final battle with Maleficent in Hollow Bastion.

After Sora defeats the Behemoth Heartless that guards Hollow Bastion's Keyhole, Leon stands waiting to bid his farewells, for after Sora seals the heart of all worlds, Kingdom Hearts, the two groups might never see each other again.

Later, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith can be seen wandering the Hollow Bastion Library, reading the books.

After Sora sealed Kingdom Hearts and returned the universe to its order, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith are reunited with Cid and Cloud in Hollow Bastion.


Kingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesEdit

After the defeat of Ansem, while skirmishing through Castle Oblivion, Sora, Donald, and Goofy later meet Leon and his friends in a memory-based version of Traverse Town. However, like the town itself, little did Sora and his party realize that Leon and his friends were actually the product of Sora's memories that were being manipulated by Naminé. Due to that, the Leon and his friends that Sora encounter have no memories of ever meeting Sora, but somehow know his name, which they could not explain how. Like the Leon from the first game, he nonetheless decides to help Sora and company, such as by teaching Sora the card-based system as well as providing the Simba and the Key of Guidance cards in order for Sora to proceed. Before Sora leaves, Leon ensures him that he will be okay; no matter what shape reality takes, and that while he may not remember Sora, he knows that he is in his heart.


Kingdom Hearts IIEdit

In Kingdom Hearts II, Leon is seen to be slightly more cheerful than he was in the original Kingdom Hearts, as he and others are rebuilding their home. Leon is also the leader of the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee, which is composed of the returning Final Fantasy characters from the first Kingdom Hearts and Merlin. He fights alongside Sora in one of the fights near the beginning of the game, when Nobodies attempt to make a move on the city. Sleeping Lion, a Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts II, is another reference to Squall. He later gains three extra hands, Yuna, Rikku and Paine, when Donald convinced them that Leon has a whole collection of treasure. He explains to the trio about Sora's journey and the significance of their mission, which convinces them to put aside their argument with the three.

During the Battle of the 1000 Heartless, he, along with many other characters, helps Sora fight the Heartless on the Ravine Trail in Hollow Bastion, later named Radiant Garden. He and Cloud were also shown back to back and surrounded by Heartless, bantering briefly before charging at their enemies. The two later returned to Hollow Bastion's outer wall and witnessed Sora's escape at the end of the battle.

By the time they visit again, the town is infested with Heartless from Space Paranoids. While Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off to Space Paranoids to help Tron, Leon goes to pick up the eradicator program that Cid has been working on to defeat the Master Control Program for good. They eventually succeed, and Tron is able to remind everyone of the town's true name.

During the game's end credits, he is seen in Merlin's house, reading a letter that produces a strange glowing butterfly shape that floats towards the ceiling and then vanishes.

Leon plays the largest role of any Final Fantasy character in Kingdom Hearts II storywise, is the only Final Fantasy character that has relations to King Mickey, and works very closely to Sora and company. Leon is also the only Final Fantasy character in the game to come face to face with Organization XIII and fight the Nobodies. He seems to be a good friend to both Cloud and Aerith.

On Sora's TeamEdit

Leon trains new members of the team after they join. On missions, he stands his guard and tests those if they're friends or foes.

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