- "This is the capital of Esthar. It's really huge. Just be careful not to get lost."
- —Esthar Guard
Esthar City (エスタシティ, EsutaShiti) is a location in Final Fantasy VIII. The capital city of the reclusive nation Esthar, Esthar City spans almost the entirety of the Great Plains of Esthar. It is hidden behind an OCS (Optical Camouflage System) Barrier, an invention that cloaks Esthar from view of the outside world.
For a long time, Esthar was governed by the cruel Sorceress Adel. With the help of Dr. Odine, she sought a child to whom she could give her powers to. She finally set her sights on Ellone. However, Laguna saw his chance here, and used Ellone as bait to seal Adel's powers and launch her into space. After this, Laguna was hailed as the hero of the Esthar revolution, and was elected president, with his two friends Kiros and Ward working together with him. With this, the Sorceress War was abruptly ended, and for the next seventeen years, Esthar kept its silence.
By the time of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall arrives here, carrying the unconscious Rinoa on his back. Seeing only the Salt Flats, and no city, they began to think the reclusive Esthar did not exist anymore. However, they discovered that most of the continent was hidden by a cloaking device to protect the city against invasion from their old enemies. They enter the city, and meet with Dr. Odine. He advises them to go out into space, and Esthar's Lunar Base, to talk to Ellone about going back into time to find out the fate of Rinoa. Squall splits his group into two; his group will go into space, while Zell's group protects the Sorceress Edea.
Later on, Seifer and the Galbadian Army have raised the Lunatic Pandora from beneath the ocean, and are steering it over Esthar towards Tears' Point. Zell devises a plan to board the Lunatic Pandora, and successfully does so, only to be thrown right out. The Lunatic Pandora reaches Tears' Point and initiates the Lunar Cry.
The limits of Esthar City actually takes up the entire western side of Esthar. While the city can be explored on the world map the player only gets to enter the city's central districts closest to the Presidential Residence.
- Dr. Odine's Laboratory
Located south-west in prospective to the Presidential Residence this laboratory is Odine's primary labs where he conducts Sorceress research. While in his other labs outside the city; the Lunatic Pandora Laboratory, he conducts research on the Lunatic Pandora.
- Esthar Airstation
West in prospective to the Presidential Residence the airstation provides docking privileges for aircraft such as the Ragnarok airship.
- Presidential Residence
Home of the Esthar presidential staff and the president himself. Sorceress Adel once ruled from this palace and now, ironically, her stasis chamber is shaped in the Presidential Residence's image. The residence serves as Laguna's abode, due to his status as Esthar's President.
Located at the city entrance cars can be hired here for a small fee. Remember, although you can avoid random encounters on the field in a car, you need fuel to run them.
Esthar City is served by a platform shuttle service that runs throughout the inner city.
|"Silence and Motion"|
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- "Silence and Motion" - Esthar's theme. It is an ambient composition of strange electronic synth whistles and chimes that give the impression of technological progress and marvels that Esthar is abundant with.
- "SeeD" - Played during and after the Lunar Cry incident in Esthar.
Esthar City, peaceful as it is, may be overwhelmed with monsters, and this will happen permanently due to the Lunar Cry. Before the Lunar Cry, monsters may be encountered on the overworld map of Esthar only, but after the said event, monsters can be found inside.
Before Lunar Crysửa
Lunatic Pandora Attacksửa
After Lunar Crysửa
- The protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife, makes a cameo appearance in Esthar through his name being used as a shop title; Cloud's Shop.