Bombshell is a tribute to a character that I found striking on the far edge of childhood; Quistis Trepe has had a place in my sense of self as I’ve aged. It’s the kind of tribute generally called a character shrine, something I discovered roughly around the moment I started playing Final Fantasy VIII. Like all the best things in life, what a character shrine is resists definition — and like all the important things in life, it is a product of love. There is a dedicated community of shrine creators and appreciators, Amassment, which showcases many possible definitions of that term. Mine is this: it’s a website about something in particular; and it has to be about something that the creator felt deserved interest.
I like to think that I have a truly democratic heart and that everything is worthy of interest, but that’s just not so, and so this website isn’t for an audience of everyone. It’s about me and my favorite character. If you can find that linked subject matter of automatic interest, then welcome, bienvenue, this is for you. If that’s not the case, then let me describe what I’m trying to do: I’m not going to tell you cheat codes, or stats, or give you a guide about getting all of Quistis’s limit breaks; I will discuss at length the information the game offers on her psychology and how that informs her role in the story. Plus, quite a bit on the lore of the world of Final Fantasy VIII, because I always found that interesting.
I think you should love her. I do, and I don’t think I do because of unique features of my psyche; you should do it because she is brilliant, competent, beautiful, caring, and ... alone, and debatably lonely. Sometimes stories tell us that we’ll be rewarded, if we are strong, and we help others, and are conventionally good-looking. That fairytale promise doesn’t apply to her. Yet she shows up, resolute, not a blonde hair out of place, to face down the apocalypse. Considering people who make the choice to do the right thing without reward is morally instructive for us all.
In that sense, this is a site for you, it is a site for me. But most importantly, this is for her, because despite my lofty description of Quistis Trepe as a moral paragon who does things for reasons beyond the selfishly instrumental, she deserved better.
This section, world, will contain information on FFVIII, to initiate the unfamiliar and re-acclimate the rusty. Little of it mentions the central subject, but that’s unfortunately part of the point — as you’ll soon see. For the remainder of the tribute regarding the woman, I will assume an understanding of the overall story of the game, in order to focus closely on particular moments within that I take to be revealing. And that site section is all about the self-referential stuff.