ultimecia Arutimishia in Japanese, Artemisia in Italian and German, and Artemisa in Spanish) is the primary antagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. A powerful Sorceress from a future many generations ahead of the game’s time, Ultimecia intended to compress time into one single moment with a form of magic known as Time Compression. She used a device called “Junction Machine Ellone,” as a means to send her consciousness into the distant past. In the past era, Ultimecia manipulated world events, and utilized her ability to possess other sorceresses.
The first sorceress known to have fallen under Ultimecia’s control was Edea Kramer of Centra. Ultimecia resided within Edea’s body for a long period of time in order to enact her plan of Time Compression. In her final confrontation with Squall Leonhart, she attempted to absorb all that ever had and ever would exist, including all time and space, in order to become “a living god.” However, her ambitions were ultimately thwarted at the hands of Squall and his friends.
Ultimecia dons a skin-tight red satin ball gown with a plunging neckline that ends just over the crotch, exposing her neck, chest, stomach and abdomen; only partially obscuring the breasts. A black-fur ruffle travels the edge of the bodice to travel along the collar, the ruffle is largest behind the neck, resting over her shoulders and covering the junction of her black feathered wings (it is unknown wether the ruffle is attached to her wings or just rests upon them). The hemline extends to drag along the floor behind her. Long red-blouse sleeves join with her taloned hands, which are colored purple.
Her shoulders are padded to extend just beyond her hip-line. Exposed skin (face, torso and legs) are moderatly tattooed with lined patterns. Jewelery is present with a gold necklace around her neck. Additionally, there are earings and hair jewelery amongst a headdress designed to pull her hair up to resemble horns while silver bangs are left free to hang down past her hip as they frame her face. The most striking feature of which are her yellow eyes set amongst purple eye shadow, the afore-mentioned tattoos and deep-red lipstick. She wears no footwear, instead walking (or perhaps flying) barefoot.
Ultimecia has a definitive sense of style, and she demonstrates it very often. The interior of her castle is filled with faux-Victorian opulence, even containing an impressive art collection. While possessing Edea Kramer, Ultimecia dresses in a skin-tight violet evening gown with a luxurious feather collar. She also accessorizes with ornate headdresses, and a large golden ornament on her back, bedecked with a rose-colored cape. Every time the player encounters her inside Edea, her decorative touch is in plain sight. In Deling City, her waiting room is draped with silk curtains, and while in Galbadia Garden, she reclines on a throne designed to look like a translucent flower, with white lights visible through the crystal, similar to the fronds of luminescent sea kelp.
Ultimecia is a manipulative force who acts through the bodies of other sorceresses for much of the story. She has been described as a malevolent sorceress from many generations in the future; filled with anger and hate. She is capable of sending her mind back through time with a special Junction Machine. Additionally, she can influence the minds of other people, completely altering them into mere agents of her will. Ultimecia is also aware of the fact that she is destined to face a “Legendary SeeD.
According to the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, Ultimecia’s actions are driven mostly by a means to escape her destined defeat at the hands of this “Legendary SeeD.” Ultimecia’s knowledge of this fate could be the main instigation for her desire of bringing about the phenomenon of Time Compression, by which all time would merge. Through the Time Compression spell, Ultimecia could absorb all time, space, and existence, thus becoming “a living god,” incapable of dying. With this power, Ultimecia would be completely omnipotent, and could control all time, space, and existence, effectively preventing her fated demise.
It is made clear from her inauguration speech in Deling City that she has suffered through intense persecution. Future generations were aware of the coming of Ultimecia because of her failure to complete Time Compression. They likely reacted by targeting all sorceresses for persecution and isolation, because of the fear that any one of them could eventually become the “cold-blooded tyrant” that Ultimecia speaks of.
Ultimecia was condemned for crimes she had not even committed yet. This prejudice and condemnation (and perhaps the actions that spawn from such states) is perhaps what prompted her into becoming a wrathful sorceress. Sadly, it is through Ultimecia’s desire to alter time and escape her fated persecution and defeat that the terms of her destiny are fulfilled. Her downfall at the hands of Squall Leonhart and his comrades perpetuates the cycle that will lead to the formation of SeeD and the continued persecution of Sorceresses unto her era.Through entering their minds and forcibly imposing her own will upon them, Ultimecia can effectively turn people into vessels for her to either exist within or simply control externally. The people under her control lose their own will, and are diminished into helpless observers as Ultimecia controls their bodies. As such, it is revealed throughout events within the story that most of the pivotal antagonists of Final Fantasy VIII are either directly possessed or manipulated by Ultimecia as she works towards completing her machinations. Edea Kramer is the first known victim of Ultimecia’s possession powers. Edea is forced to watch powerlessly while Ultimecia uses her body as a “shell” to begin her time-altering scheme, which culminated when she was promoted to Ambassador of Galbadia by President Vinzer Deling. During her acceptance speech, Ultimecia murdered President Deling and seized his place as ruler over the country. Soon after, she began an extensive search for Ellone as well as a worldwide extermination of all SeeD. However, after being defeated inside Edea’s body twice, Ultimecia was forced to give up on this possession. Edea then relinquished her Sorceress Powers to Rinoa, protecting her from any future possessions.Rinoa falls victim to Ultimecia’s control immediately after she is defeated inside Edea’s body. After Ultimecia awakens Seifer, she forces Rinoa into a coma and keeps her in this state until her admittance to the Lunar Base. Upon entering the Lunar Base, Ultimecia awakens within Rinoa and immediately sets out to free Sorceress Adel from her tomb and begin the Lunar Cry.
A short-lived possession, as by now SeeD has caught on to her plan. Ultimecia possesses Sorceress Adel shortly after the mighty tyrant awakens from years of entombment by rebel usurpers. Moments after Ultimecia junctions Rinoa to Adel’s body, she is confronted within the body of Adel. After an intense battle, Adel is killed by SeeD operatives, ending Ultimecia’s possession of her
Ultimecia is an immensely powerful and highly developed Sorceress with her personal power focusing on time and space manipulation. This power is shown in the final battle, where she will often cast spells that involve bending space, such as Bio, Quake, and Meteor or absorb fallen party members into time in the battle against her. Furthermore, she has a devastating magical attack that is similar to Heartless Angel called Hell’s Judgement. With Hell’s Judgement, Ultimecia can reduce the entire party’s health to one point, and she employs it very often in the final battle.
Ultimecia also has the ability to manifest and give life to subconscious thoughts and inanimate objects. This includes giving life to Guardian Forces and powerful monsters that did not exist before she created them. For example, Ultimecia manifested and extracted Griever from Squall’s subconscious mind. She found Griever to be Squall’s conception of the most powerful force that could exist and brought him to life for battle against Squall himself.
Moreover, there is her power to cast Time Compression, which she used to try and become omnipotent through the absorption of all time, space, and existence. Ultimecia additionally has the ability to invade, possess, and control an individual’s body and mind both internally and externally. Furthermore, she has the ability to reach into a person’s mind to steal or give life to thoughts, knowledge, and magic. Ultimecia is also able to use this mind-invading ability on herself. For example, after she transforms into her ultimate form, Ultimecia reaches into her own mind, and manifests Apocalypse, which is in her mind the ultimate Black Magic spell. Her ability to manipulate objects and matter has also led to some interesting Junction forms.
Ultimecia has also demonstrated a keen strategic and diplomatic mind, such as being able to convince the President of Galbadia to employ her as the nation’s diplomat as well as enticing Seifer Almasy, normally a hostile youth, to devote himself to her. In Dissidia Final Fantasy she also casually manipulates Kuja into performing for her ends. She is then seen trying to convince Sephiroth to join her and Emperor Mateus in their quest of taking control of the world from Chaos and Cosmos. Her intellect is also demonstrated by her sheer ability to conceive time paradoxes and work within them to attain her goals of a time and world compressed into what she conceives to be a perfect world.