|Final Fantasy worlds|
| FF VIII map|
The Final Fantasy VIII world map
A temperate island between the two major continents, Balamb Island lends its name to both the Garden and the small town located on it.
| Balamb Garden|
Balamb Garden exterior
| Balamb Town|
A street in Balamb Town
| Fire Cavern|
Ifrit's fiery home
- Balamb Garden
A military academy at which SeeDs are trained. Balamb Garden is the second largest of the three Gardens (Galbadia, Balamb, and Trabia). Balamb Garden was founded by Cid Kramer, who became its headmaster, using funds donated from the Garden Master, a Shumi named NORG. Characters Wikipedia:Squall Leonhart, Wikipedia:Zell Dincht, Wikipedia:Seifer Almasy, Wikipedia:Quistis Trepe, and Wikipedia:Selphie Tilmitt all attended this military academy, the last being a transfer student from Trabia Garden. The hidden secret of the facility is its construction as a Centran mobile fortress, capable of hovering at low altitudes and move freely over lowlands and the ocean.
- Balamb Town
A small town on the southern coast of the island, not far from the Garden itself. Zell Dincht lived here with his adoptive parents. Trains travel between Balamb Town and Dollet, through the use of an underground transcontinental railroad.
- Fire Cavern
The site used by Balamb Garden for the final individual evaluation of potential SeeD students, and the resting place of the fire-elemental Guardian Force Ifrit who must be beaten in combat. In the introductory sequence, it is just outside this cavern where rivals Squall and Seifer are seen fighting and receive the scars on their faces.
Occupying a large area of the upper western hemisphere, this continent has seen the rise and fall of the Dollet Empire and the establishment of the dominant Republic of Galbadia.
A coastal town on the northern arm of the continent, the last remnants of the empire founded by those Centrans that migrated west after the destruction of Centra itself. Dollet was formerly the capital of the continent, until Galbadia rose to power. The SeeD candidates from Balamb Garden – which Squall, Zell, and Selphie are part of – are taken here for the final examination: a live-combat situation in which they are tasked to perform flush-and-hold operations, while experienced SeeDs fight off an invasion of the town from Galbadian soldiers.
A coastal town near the eastern edge of the continent. It was formerly an independent state, until it was invaded and occupied by Galbadia. Many of the town's residents oppose the occupation, and have formed various resistance groups. Wikipedia:Rinoa Heartilly is a member of one of these resistance groups, the Forest Owls. However, throughout the game, Timber's independence is not realized nor is it known when it will be. The town's most noteworthy feature is its TV station, where President Vinzer Deling of Galbadia first announces his nation's alliance with Sorceress Edea.
- Galbadia Garden
The largest Garden, located near the centre of the continental landmass. Originally operated by a man named Martine, Sorceress Edea chose Galbadia Garden as her base of operations when she took power over the Galbadian Military forces. Galbadia Garden has the same flight capability as Balamb Garden. The player may visit Galbadia Garden only twice during the game: when it is a building and still under the Garden scheme's control, and again when it is an airship and under the control of Sorceress Edea. It is a tough place with strong enemies to fight on the second visit. The final major playable character, Wikipedia:Irvine Kinneas, joins the party from Galbadia Garden at the end of the first visit. After the second visit, when Edea withdrew from power and Wikipedia:Ultimecia had Wikipedia:Seifer take control, the Garden seemingliy disappears from the game, and its not mentioned what happens to it after that.
- Deling City
Capital of the Republic of Galbadia and named after President Vinzer Deling. Deling City is the largest and most advanced population center outside of Esthar. The city has a relaxed, slightly decadent atmosphere, with several examples of architectural beauty. One of these is the Wikipedia:triumphal arch at Deling Plaza located at the centre of the city, the scene of a failed assassination attempt on the Sorceress Edea. Given the events that transpire here, it is possible that the city and plaza are named after Wikipedia:Dealey Plaza, the site of the infamous assassination of American president John F. Kennedy.
- Tomb Of The Unknown King
The tomb of Dollet's last king. Because it is considered bad luck to call a dead king by his name, it remains nameless, and therefore unknown. Located northeast of Deling City, the tomb can optionally be explored (requiring the solution of the Tomb's topographical puzzle) to gain an additional Guardian Force, the earth-elemental Brothers.
- D-District Prison
This remote, underground prison is run by Galbadian President Vinzer Deling as a holding area for political opponents and insurgents. The prison structure can be raised above ground – thus placing its single point of escape high in the air – when security alerts occur.
- Galbadia Missile Base
The launch site of Galbadia's intercontinental missile capability. Sorceress Edea launches an attack on Balamb and Trabia Gardens from this facility in retribution for the assassination attempt on her at Deling City. The missiles miss when Balamb Garden becomes mobile, but unfortunately Trabia Garden is hit and destroyed. After a short hiatus of both launches, Selphie and her group destroy the missile base with themselves inside. However, they manage to survive by hiding in the armor of the vehicle they were fighting.
A quiet village near the continent's southern tip. Wikipedia:Laguna Loire moved here after leaving the Galbadian army, and began a relationship with a local woman who helped him recover from his injuries, Raine. It is greatly hinted, though not explicitly said, that he fathered Wikipedia:Squall Leonhart while living here, though events drew him away before the child was born. Raine died during childbirth and is buried in a field of flowers located next to the village. Ellone also lived in Winhill, before being captured by Esthar soldiers.
Occupying most of the eastern hemisphere and encroaching into the northern polar regions, this continent is the largest on the planet. It is divided by a near-impassable mountain range that separates the two regions into Trabia, in the north, and Esthar, to the south.
- Trabia Garden
The smallest of the three Gardens, located in the northern polar regions of the eastern continent. Wikipedia:Selphie Tilmitt studied at this academy before being transferred to Balamb Garden. It is later partially destroyed by Galbadian missiles.
- Great Salt Lake
Once a huge, beautiful lake teeming with life, until scientific experiments by Esthar ruined it and leaving a barren wasteland. Also home to the zombie creature Abadon.
The capital city of the technologically advanced and isolationist country of the same name. At the end of the first Sorceress War, the people of Esthar withdrew from world affairs. They used their advanced technology to erect an immense dome over the entire city, rendering it completely invisible. Wikipedia:Laguna Loire's world travels eventually lead him to Esthar, where events transpire to leave him president of the city-state after the confinement of Sorceress Adel.
- Research Facility
Esthar's primary centre of scientific study outside of the city proper. The Crystal Pillar – a mysterious artifact originating from the planet's moon – was recovered and moved here, leading to the creation of Lunatic Pandora.
- Lunar Gate
The base of Esthar's space programme. The Lunar Gate is essentially a spaceport, with a catapult-like launch assist system for surface-to-orbital vessels.
- Tear's Point
A peculiar construction found near the southeastern extent of Esthar's territory on the eastern continent, which appears to share some connection with Lunatic Pandora. The Galbadians move Pandora in conjunction with the Tear's Point device, thus triggering a Lunar Cry.
- Lunatic Pandora
A giant enclosure and transport vehicle, 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles high, constructed by Esthar to hold the Crystal Pillar. During a preceding Lunar Cry event, this artifact fell to the planet's surface, destroying the Centra civilisation in the process. It was recovered and moved to Esthar's Research Facility for study, during which time the Lunatic Pandora shell was built around it. After the studies were abandoned, Pandora was re-excavated by the Galbadians and used as a mobile attack platform. The name most likely refers to Pandora's Box (in mythology, the source of all evil); Lunatic in this case would mean 'of or from the moon'.
- Sorceress Memorial
The scientific facility used by Wikipedia:Laguna Loire to seal Sorceress Adel's power and end of her rule over Esthar. After Rinoa gains her sorceress powers, she is taken here by Esthar soldiers to be sealed.
- Shumi Village
A village located underground in an environmentally controlled facility. It is located on a small island on the northernmost area of the planet. This island is named Winter Island, and is, at first glance, deserted. The village is inhabited by the Shumi, a people who oddly resemble a squid. The Shumi are very technologically advanced, as they have their own "biodome" contained underneath the frigid northern continents. Wikipedia:Laguna Loire recovered here, after being injured jumping from the cliffs of Esthar. This is also the homeplace of the Moombas, the orange cat-like creatures who help Squall out during his escape from the D-District Prison.
- Chocobo Forest(s)
A forest where the player may encounter chocobos.
- Chocobo Sanctuary
A chocobo forest where the player performs other chocobo-related tasks.
Once a landmass in its own right and home to the Centra civilisation, this area is the site of a calamatous impact event. During the most recent Lunar Cry, 80 years prior to the game's events, the Crystal Pillar also fell from the Moon. It liquified much of the central landmass and threw it out to cool into long, jagged island chains, which radiate from the impact site. The remaining Centrans emigrated both to the eastern and western continents.
- Edea's House
A stone house next to a lighthouse, located on the western tip of the southernmost island on the planet. It became an orphanage, founded by Edea, as a result of the Sorceress War. During its time as an orphanage, it was home to Squall, Seifer, Quistis, Zell, Irvine, and Selphie until they either were adopted or attended one of the three Gardens. Prior to the game's events, it became nothing but ruins and a setting of old memories.
- Centra Ruins
The only remaining remnants of the Centra civilization, annihilated during the last Lunar Cry along with the majority of the continental landmass. It is the home of the Guardian Force Tonberry King and the semi-GF Odin.
White SeeD Ship: A sailing ship crewed by a special group of SeeDs. They are responsible solely for the protection of Ellone, who was moved to the ship in order to keep her from the Sorceress Ultimecia. The ship hides amongst the jagged, rocky remains of the Centra continent.
- Chocobo Forest
- Fisherman's Horizon
An artificially constructed atoll built equidistantly between the western and eastern continents, home to ex-pats and wanderers who opposed the use of violence as a solution to problems. An intercontinental railroad runs across the central ocean, through Fisherman's Horizon, and was in use until the end of the first Sorceress War, which saw the self-imposed isolation of Esthar.
While not a location that the player may actually visit, the unnamed planet's moon plays a big role in the Final Fantasy VIII story. It is revealed through play that the moon is the original home and breeding ground of the monsters that infest the planet. A natural event called a Lunar Cry occurs periodically, when masses of monsters converge towards a single area of the moon and are subsequently drawn from its surface and towards the planet itself in a flux tube (the massing of monsters on the moon's surface gives the satellite the appearance of an eye when observed from the planet, crying tears down towards the surface). Despite bringing monsters to the planet, Lunar Cry's are not in themselves destructive.
- Ultimecia's Castle
The home of the sorceress, Ultimecia, which hovers in the sky near Edea's orphanage, held down by a number of massive chains. Upon entering the castle, Squall and his party have their abilities sealed by Ultimecia in a last attempt to stop them. Only by defeating the guardians of the castle can they restore their powers. The castle is also home to the Omega Weapon, the strongest enemy in the game.
- Deep Sea Research Facility
A mysterious construction that exists separately to the main storyline. Not shown on the game map, but located at the extreme southwestern corner of the map projection, the research facility was built to allow access to, and subsequently seal away an extremely dangerous monster known as Ultima Weapon. Also houses the King of Dragons - the Guardian Force Bahamut.
- Island Closest To Hell / Island Closest To Heaven
Both these islands feature very powerful monsters as well as draw points for high-level magic. The Island Closest To Hell carries mostly draw points for attack magic (e.g. Quake, Meteor) while the Island Closest To Heaven carries mostly draw points for defensive magic (e.g. Regen, Full-life).