Esthar (エスタ, Esuta) is one of the main political powers in Final Fantasy VIII, and also the name of the nation's capital. Located on the large continent to the east of Galbadia, Esthar is Galbadia's major rival in terms of world politics, but little is known about it for much of the game. Esthar is a technologically-advanced society governed by a president, which at the time of Final Fantasy VIII, is Laguna. Esthar has, since the Sorceress War, hidden themselves from the world using a cloaking device, known as Optical Camouflage System, or OCS for short.
At the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII, Estharian territory spanned the entire Eastern continent.
About 4,000 years before game events the civilization of Centra created two major empires; Holy Dollet Empire and Esthar. While Dollet, in the west, began to excel in military force, Esthar, in the east, grew scientifically advanced. However, at some point in history, they began to focus more and more on military affairs aided by their superior technology, which eventually culminated as the Sorceress War, under the ruleship of Sorceress Adel.
It is unknown when Sorceress Adel inaugurated as the nation's ruler, but prior to the game's events, she made a bid for world domination, which was opposed by Galbadia's growing military. The war between the two nations came to be known as the Sorceress War. During the war Adel sought out potential heirs to her power and sent out search teams across the world. She eventually set her eyes on a young girl named Ellone in Winhill, however, when the Estharian forces took her, her caretaker, Laguna Loire, went after her. Following her to Esthar, he would eventually be instrumental in Sorceress Adel's downfall, staging a coup and entrapping the Sorceress in a stasis chamber and blasting her into space. Immediately after (17 years before game events), Esthar closed its borders to the rest of the world, and was ever since known as "The Silent Esthar". Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Adel's Tomb that Esthar launched onto the Earth orbit, is the reason behind the worldwide radio interference.
The president rules the nation from the palace in the center of the city, though in the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania it is mentioned that the title is more symbolic and most of the political affairs are handled by the aides and the rest of the government. The city keeps itself hidden from the rest of the world by a cloaking device that renders the city invisible to persons crossing the Great Salt Lake. Crossing the Horizon Bridge is considered the only way of entering the country, as air travel doesn't appear to exist in the world of Final Fantasy VIII, perhaps due to the radio interference.
The City of Esthar is built of luminous blue buildings and translucent pathways. The Ultimania mentions the streets are kept so clean the long robes of the national dress will not get dirty. One can travel the city by floating plate lifters. Most shopping is handled by computers, with no physical shops in the shopping arcade.
Further, according to the Ultimania, Esthar’s military power exceeds Galbadia's; soldiers' powers are enhanced by their special armour, and they wield swords that have built-in shotguns. The Ultimania reveals that Esthar is developing mechanized soldiers, which will eventually replace people in military service. A common concern is that the soldiers rely too much on the enhancement suits, and the refining their natural strength is neglected. Sorceress Adel and her time in power are something of taboo subjects, and the younger generation, never having to had experience the torments of living under the sorceress's rule, are largely ignorant on the details.
Esthar comes into the story when Squall is searching out Ellone wanting her help in saving Rinoa, who has become comatose for unknown reasons. After learning that Ellone has gone to Esthar, Squall takes Rinoa and sets out to cross the Horizon Bridge on foot, the only known way into the mysterious nation. The rest of the party follow him with Edea, who wants Dr. Odine's help in getting rid of her sorceress powers, so that Ultimecia may not possess her again.
They meet Dr. Odine in Esthar who examines Edea and Rinoa. Turns out Edea is no longer a sorceress; she had unknowingly passed them on during the Battle of the Gardens. Squall learns that Ellone has gone to Lunar Base and sets out to follow her. While Squall and Rinoa set off to space to find Ellone, Galbadian army, led by Seifer Almasy, comes to Esthar. They have salvaged the Lunatic Pandora from the bottom of the sea and with it, induce Lunar Cry, that brings down Adel's Tomb. Esthar takes a heavy blow from the Lunar Cry, the capital being overridden by monsters.
After having learned that Rinoa is a sorceress, the Esthar government wants her contained, similar to Sorceress Adel. As soon as Rinoa, now waken from her coma, arrives back on earth, she is taken to Sorceress Memorial. Squall, with the aid of Ward Zabac, though he doesn't know it at the time, rescues her, and the party flees Esthar.
Having heard of Ultimecia's plan to destroy the world with Time Compression, Esthar comes up with a plan to save the world by sending a team of soldiers to the future to kill Ultimecia. They want to hire out Squall's team for the task, and so the party sets out to Esthar for the one final mission.
The player can find many rare magazines from Esthar, most interestingly the first issue of Weapons Monthly Magazine found during a Laguna flashback, yet somehow stays in the inventory even after the point of view has switched back to Squall and his party.
Occult Fan IVsửa
The player can obtain the final issue of the Occult Fan Magazine from the Presidential Palace, but only during the first visit to Esthar, before Lunar Cry. The player must leave the Palace after having talked to Dr. Odine, who takes Rinoa under his wing, then talk to an Aide at the Esthar Airstation, and come back to the Palace to find the magazine in a stack on the floor.
Combat King 004sửa
During Galbadia's raid on Esthar, the player controls Zell Dincht while trying to get on-board Lunatic Pandora. During the scene the player must meet the Pandora in certain contact points at the right time. During the event, the player can obtain the Combat King issue from an Estharian soldier on a bridge near the Airstation.
Esthar Book Storesửa
Some of the locations found in Esthar include:
- Great Salt Lake
- Esthar City
- Lunatic Pandora Laboratory
- Lunar Gate
- Lunar Base
- Sorceress Memorial
- Lunatic Pandora
Transport and Craftsửa
- One of the rooms from the Online Lobby in Dissidia Final Fantasy is named Esthar.