In Final Fantasy VIII, at the end of disc one, Squall and his friends face Edea on a parade float in Deling City. After the fight ends, Edea is left at the brink of defeat and conjures up an ice shard which she directs through Squall’s chest. Squall stumbles back, falls off the platform and sees Rinoa above, reaching for him. Squall then closes his eyes and the game prompts you to insert disc 2. As you begin disc 2, Squall wakes up in a cell in the Galbadian desert prison and is surprisingly healed, without any wounds to prove that he was stabbed with the ice shard. Squall’s first thoughts and dialogue are:
(…Where am I? I…challenged Edea… My wound…? No wound…? How…? The Galbadian soldiers… …We were surrounded. He was there… Seifer, leering down at me.) “Damn you, Seifer!”
As the theory goes, Squall died here and all the events after disc 1 are simply his dream. His dream is basically his life (and what would have happened later in his life) flashing before his eyes. Squall’s dream explores the unanswered questions posed in disc 1 such as: Who is the Sorceress Edea? Why was Seifer in the parade with Edea when he was supposedly executed? And, why did Squall, Selphie and Zell all have the same dream about Laguna?
Everything in disc 2 and beyond seems too wonderful and perfect. In disc 1 everything feels real without much fantasy, but as soon as your insert disc 2 you are taken to a world where fatal wounds mean nothing, where impossible monsters come from the moon and where Squall, a newly recruited cadet, saves the world from an evil sorceress from the future. And to top it all off, he gets the girl at the end of the story.
However, it is highly possible that Squall was healed after being impaled by the ice shard. He lives in a world full of Cures and Curas, Phoenix Downs and powerful sorcerers. Is it too much to assume that someone revived and/or healed Squall?
Moments prior to Squall’s impaling, Edea turned 2 complete stone gargoyles into living, breathing monsters … it wouldn’t have been that hard for her to fix the damage she did to Squall. But why would she want to heal one of her enemies? Well, perhaps she wanted to interrogate him to find out more about SeeD. True, Squall had only recently been promoted, he is no great captain from Balamb Garden. He may not even possess that much information on SeeD. But there can be no doubt that Edea knows he is a vital player in the game (pardon our pun) and that any information he does have must be incredibly important.
We have to conclude that Squall did not die at the end of disc 1. With Final Fantasy VIII we are dealing with a game in which players can be brought back to life with magic and, therefore, being stabbed with an ice shard will not, necessarily, spell the end for a character if someone powerful enough is around to heal them.