|“||A Sorceress cannot die while still holding onto the Sorceress Power.||„|
|~ Edea Kramer about the Sorceress Power.|
The Sorceress Power (in Japanese: ソーサレスパワー Sōsaresupawā) is a special magical energy that separates Sorceresses from normal human beings and it is an important plot element in Final Fantasy VIII.
Granted to Sorceresses at the beginning of time by the enigmatic god-like entity known as the Great Hyne, the Sorceress Power is a mysterious gift that enables one to use sorcery naturally without resorting to either a Limit Break, a Guardian Force or a Junction System.
The Sorceress Power seems to be an eternal, inexorable power. This phenomena attaches to a person and remains with them until their death, at which point it must be passed on to another sorceress or potential sorceress. This process of transference is dubbed the "Embodiment" (in Japanese: 実施例, Jisshi Rei), wherein a dying Sorceress passes on her powers to a chosen successor who is unable to reject the transfer of power. Once that individual becomes a sorceress she may still be used as a successor for the powers of another Sorceress.
A potential sorceress can be rare to find, but is identifiable by people who know what to look for. As an example of their rarity, the Estharian tyrant Sorceress Adel kidnapped hundreds of young girls from all over the world in an attempt to find the one who could be the successor of her power and her "empire".
The recipient of the power must be physically close to the sorceress at the time of their death in order to receive it. Due to this event, both Adel and the evil Sorceress Ultimecia are forced to give their power to SeeDs member Rinoa Heartilly and orphanage director Edea Kramer (formerly as "Sorceress Edea"), respectively, even though these people were never the ones they wanted to give the power to. It is uncertain what happens to the sorceress and/or her power if there are no recipients in proximity to them. It is also unknown if the power has a cumulative effect when a sorceress receives more than one sorceress' power, such as in Edea and Rinoa's case.
In the Information part of the menu there is a section that can only be unlocked by hacking the game, called "Succession of Sorceress Power", which says: When a sorceress is about to die, she gives her power to the next person who 'inherits' her sorcerous powers. According to Dr. Odine's research, the power tends to weaken with each succession. It is unknown if this section was disabled on purpose, or if it is a mistake; therefore it is unknown if the hypothesis of the power weakening with each succession is canon or not.
Manifestations of the Power
A total of 15 different sorceresses are shown exhibiting the Sorceress Power in Final Fantasy VIII, but only two of them have any background on how they originally obtained it:
Edea Kramer; received the Sorceress Power from another sorceress at the age of 5 and on top of that also received Ultimecia's powers several years later.
Rinoa Heartilly; received the power from Edea during the Battle of the Gardens and, later, from Adel on board the Lunatic Pandora.
Although the Sorceress Power is said to originate from the Great Hyne, it seems to take different forms within different people. Every Sorceress in Final Fantasy VIII demonstrates a different "specialty" with their power.
- Edea Kramer - Ice (shown in her Draw lists, her weapon, and her Limit 55).
- Adel - Non-elemental (shown in her choice of spells - Flare, Ultima, Meteor - and her Energy Bomber skill).
- Rinoa Heartilly - Pure, primal magic (shown by the effects of her Angel Wing Limit Break).
- Ultimecia - Time and Space (mainly only shown by her choice of Time Compression as her ultimate spell).
- The 11 sorceresses in the Commencement Room - varies, but each sorceress has a theme, as they only casts one or two specific spells.
The full extent of a Sorceress's abilities is but unknown. Throughout Final Fantasy VIII, Sorceresses are seen utilizing telekinesis, teleportation, telepathy, mind control, mental possession, control over the elements, the installation of life into inanimate objects, projection of kinetic barriers, the capacity to phase through solid matter, and enhanced strength and endurance. Sorceresses also demonstrate the ability to alter their physical appearance to some extent.
A notable physical trait that most sorceresses seem to have is, when utilizing their powers, the appearance of wings or wing-like structures behind them; the appearances of which seem to run parallel with each sorceress's own personality traits.
Appearances in other media
The Sorceress Power, specifically the obligations to transfer one Sorceress' mystic power to another in the vicinity upon death, was briefly alluded to in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, in a pre-battle quote by the deranged clown Kefka Palazzo should he fight against Sorceress Ultimecia, where he says "How about you give me that power?".
- In the original ve Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII, the Sorceress Power was known as the "Witch Embodiment".
- The Japanese term used in Final Fantasy VIII is 'witch' rather than 'sorceress'. This is why the term 'witch' appeared in the "Succession of Witches" phrase that is an anagram from "FITHOS LUSEC WECOS VINOSEC" ("Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec"), the lyrics that open the game in "Liberi Fatali". The term refers to an old European folk belief of a human being who causes harm to humans and animals via the means of witchcraft.
- The sorceress is called "Hexe" in German, "Strega" in Italian, and "Hechicera" in Spanish.
- The appearance of the sorceresses could be based on the conceived appearances of Buddhist demons known as Asuras. The most evident example of this is in their appearance as beautiful women with deformed hands and feet, as well as in the wings and horns/horn-like protrusions.
- The notion of Sorceress Knights is similar to that of the bonds between the Aes Sedai and their Warders in Robert Jordan's anthology, "The Wheel of Time". Like the sorceresses, the female Aes Sedai take upon themselves Warders, who are (save one case) male, to protect them against physical assaults.
- In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Ultimecia's Brave attacks are named after knights, possibly alluding to Sorceress' Knights from Final Fantasy VIII.
- In Dissidia Final Fantasy, the term "witch" has been used interchangeably with "sorceress".
- In Ultimecia's profile within the museum in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Ellone was stated to be a Sorceress. This is but a translation error as the original Japanese profile does not say this.
- Sorceress Knights are mentioned in Final Fantasy XIII-2 as the answer to one of the possible questions in Captain Cryptic's Confounding Quiz. The question is: "Which celebrated movie introduced the gunblade, a now-popular toy among kids?" The answer is "The Sorceress's Knight". The movie itself is a Final Fantasy VIII allusion, alluding to the movie "Zefer", in which Laguna Loire portrayed a Sorceress' Knight.
- There exists a similar, yet separate group of enemies in Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years called the "SorcerLadies" (commonly known as "Sorceresses" and "Witches"). These spellcasters are capable of casting Haste, Slow, and Silence among their magic abilities against their foes.