Final Fantasy VIII's Laguna, and more

[12.06.98] » The latest issue of Shonen Jump in Japan finally reveals Laguna Loire, as well as a possible "airship" and other enticing tidbits.

   As an update to our news story posted yesterday, here's a few more tidbits and details recently translated thanks to Rei Urabe.

   As suspected, Laguna Loire is indeed a soldier who aspires to become a journalist, even doing freelance articles for magazines while still holding a post in the military. In some of the screens we've seen, he appears to be wearing a Galbadian soldier's uniform -- Galbadia is another country in FF VIII's world, with its own unique Garden.

   The other two new characters, Raijin and Fuujin, are Seifer's followers. They're both students at Garden as well -- Raijin is 18, while Fuujin is 17. Raijin and Fuujin, by the way, are both names of gods from Japanese Shintoism. Raijin (the character), despite being large and fearsome, is a shy and sensitive man. Fuujin, on the other hand, is a very cold-blooded character -- she speaks very little and wears an eyepatch over her left eye. Her weapon appears to be a circular boomerang.

   Some background information on the Ragnarok vessel has also been translated. The ship measures in at a length of 108 meters, with a powerful particle cannon capable of being charged and fired at foes. The ship was created in an unknown country over twenty years ago, and still remains one of the most advanced technological creations around. Perhaps the word "ESTHAR" on the hull lends some clue about the ship's origins?

   We'll continue to bring you the latest info, because, gosh darn it, our readers want to hear about it!

   The latest Shonen Jump issue in Japan has provided a whole slew of interesting tidbits regarding Square's upcoming Final Fantasy VIII. When the title was first announced earlier on in the year, only two characters were revealed -- Squall Leonhart and Laguna Loire. While much more information regarding Squall soon followed, Laguna seemed to have vanished completely.

   But now, despite looking uncannily similar to a character known as Irvine, Laguna shows up for the first time in the magazine. Carrying a machine gun, Laguna Loire seems to be a soldier or police officer of some kind. Laguna's initial description earlier this year painted him as a friendly and righteous 27 year old who changed professions to journalism after a military career. Does this still remain true in some way, or has Square of Japan rewritten his character completely?

   In addition to Laguna, two new characters have also been uncovered. Raijin ("thunder god") is a heavy-set man who appears to fight with a bo. He's got muscles to spare, a dark skin tone, a gold necklace, and doesn't wear much of a shirt. Chances are Raijin is why Final Fantasy VIII's thunder-based Guardian Force is the Aztec bird Quetzalcoatl instead of Ramuh -- it would be rather confusing to have two human thunder gods.

   The other character, Fuujin ("wind god"), is a young woman who seems to have short-cropped black hair continually covering her left eye. No word yet on whether these two new characters are playable or not -- GIA is betting Raijin and Fuujin are villains. (Perhaps a fire god and a water god will soon follow, meaning four wickedly-cool human elemental bosses similar to Rubicant and company in Final Fantasy IV?)

Cool to a fault

   Also showcased in Shonen Jump are sleek artwork renders and screens of a spare-faring red vessel known as "Ragnarok." This ship is used in replacement for the classic airship transportation of previous Final Fantasies, it seems, judging by the screens of Ragnarok in overworld flight.

   Finally, two new Guardian Force monsters were disclosed. Siren is a winged, scantily-clad female summoned monster who plays her harp, casting mute on enemies from high atop a rock in the middle of a vast ocean. Pandemonium is a blue wind-based summoned monster who appears to expel powerful streams of wind at foes.

   Don't forget to browse the accompanying screen and artwork sections.

[source] » Shonen Jump / FF8 Omega Heard a hot news tip? Tell the Agency
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