- "A complete mystery. Various states of "present" are believed to become compressed. Sorceress' power from many generations may cross over to give 1 sorceress great strength. No one knows what effect this may have on regular human beings."
- —FFVIII Info Corner
Time Compression is the concept of condensing all of time and space into a single moment, or "singularity." It can be initiated by the casting of a spell, which requires incredible power on behalf of the caster(s) and places them at the center of said singularity. By compressing the entire universe in this manner and placing herself at the center of it, Ultimecia would be able to assimilate all of Creation into herself, then use her Sorceress Power to recreate everything according to her own desires.
When Ultimecia finally manages to compress time, in the body of the Sorceress Adel of the distant past, the spell is halted halfway when Ellone sends her consciousness back to the future from whence it came.
Ultimecia's spell still manages to affect Time and Space, an event which Squall is relying on in order to reach Ultimecia's future and stop her before she can finish what she started. When time and space begin to partially compress, Squall and his allies watch the world turn upside-down (similar to a Salvador Dali painting) as a thousand different kinds of space from a thousand different points in time begin to fuse together all around them, and then must "swim" through the psychedelic landscape to reach Ultimecia. Because time and space are now merging, moving through space allows the party to also move through time, and by utilizing this aspect of the halfway-completed Time Compression, Ultimecia is finally reached and defeated.
In keeping with Time Compression's psychedelic nature, the party initially lands in a version of Edea's waiting hall in Deling City, wherein the atmosphere is foggier and there is a Save Point. However, when the party steps on the save point, dozens of Save Points ethereally spring up around the room, all of them illusions. It is at the center of this room that the party is forced to fight a series of sorceresses from across time and space.
Geographic Changes sửa
The world in disc 4 of Final Fantasy VIII is changed due to the effects of the Time Compression. Of the locations previously accessible in disc 3, most have become unreachable behind curtains of brilliant white light. The backyard of Edea's Orphanage is accessible, as are the Chocobo Forests and the Ragnarok for transportation. Trabia Canyon is still accessible as a foot passage through the Vienne Mountains between Trabia and the Mordred Plains. The remaining accessible locations are all home to Guardian Forces which can still be claimed if they haven't been already: Centra Ruins (for Tonberry and Odin), the Deep Sea Research Center (for Bahamut and Eden), Tears' Point (for Doomtrain) and the Tomb of the Unknown King (for Brothers).
But since disc 4 is occupied by only the final SeeD mission - invoking the Time Compression and vanquishing Ultimecia - the most important location of consequence is Ultimecia Castle. Four portals at the castle are linked to four corresponding portals scattered in the world: at Wilburn Hill in Galbadia, at Serengetti Plains in Centra, at Grandidi Forest in Esthar, and a fourth less-accessible one at Kashkabald Desert in Esthar near where Ragnarok has initially been landed in disc 4. This fourth portal (along with the Ragnarok) can only initially be reached by chocobo.