Final Fantasy VIII , a best-selling role-playing video game by Squaresoft , features an elite group of mercenaries called " SeeD ", as well as soldiers, rebels, and political leaders of various nations and cities. This graphical shift, as well as the cast itself, has received generally positive reviews from gaming magazines and websites. The six main playable characters in Final Fantasy VIII are Squall Leonhart , a loner who avoids vulnerability by focusing on his duty; Rinoa Heartilly , an outspoken and passionate young woman who follows her heart; Quistis Trepe , an instructor with a serious yet patient attitude; Zell Dincht , an energetic martial artist with a fondness for hot dogs; Selphie Tilmitt , a cheerful girl who loves trains and flies the airship Ragnarok; and Irvine Kinneas , a marksman and womanizer who uses his charm to mask his insecurities. The main antagonist is Ultimecia , a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. In Final Fantasy games, scenario writer Kazushige Nojima stresses the dynamic of the relationship between the player and the main character; thus, he puts significant thought into how that relationship will develop. With Final Fantasy VII , protagonist Cloud Strife 's reserved nature led Nojima to include scenarios in which the player can select Cloud's responses to certain situations and dialogue.