"Squall Leonhart, student at the prestigious Balamb Garden, is facing the most important challenge of his young life. Candidate for an elite mercenary organization known as SeeD, the taciturn gunblade specialist prepares for his field exam. With the aid of his Guardian Force, the manipulative jinn, Ifrit, Squall must fight dutifully alongside gifted classmates as well as his sworn rival, Seifer. Little does the adolescent warrior realize, however, he shall play a central role in a grueling battle that will test both his abilities and his confidence. Their enemy is the army of the tyrannical nation of Galbadia, and his actions today may affect more than his grade…"
SeeD: The Beginning is a 180-page preview of the forthcoming unofficial novelization of Final Fantasy VIII by Micah Rodney, retelling the early events of the game. This project is a collaboration by fan creators from around the world, produced in association with KupoCon. I worked as co-author and project manager on this venture, alongside Micah and chapter illustrator Kayley Henderson. We are also grateful to Fiveonthe for creating our glorious cover art as well as Tabitha, Kira and Chantelle for their tremendous support in editing.
Launched at the Pomex event in London in September 2019, it has received much praise from the Final Fantasy community. It is now available to the general public for free.
You will find below the eBook files in three separate formats:
- PDF (for standard use)
- ePub (for use with iBook, NOOK, etc)
- MOBI (for use with Kindle devices)
Please note that the Kindle edition does not contain Kayley's chapter illustrations.
Please also note that paperback editions are currently exclusive to KupoCon attendees.
While the novella is 100% free, Micah, Kayley and myself would greatly appreciate any support you are able to offer:
- Make a pledge to my Patreon here
- Make a pledge to Micah's Patreon here
- Support Kayley's tattoo business here
Here are a selection of reviews from the community:
“Final Fantasy VIII was my first Final Fantasy game and a favourite of mine… I can say without a doubt that reading SeeD absolutely warmed my heart. I found myself reading it and grinning when being introduced to each character (especially Selphie!). It is a fantastic homage to the game and wonderfully written. I particularly liked the inclusion of Guardian Forces in the story [which is] well executed and gave extra perspective. I think fans of Final Fantasy VIII as well as readers who may not know of the world would very much enjoy this book. It’s easy to follow and brilliantly edited. You can tell with each page the work and passion that went into this project.”
Emma Byford, HelloMog.net
“The seeds are planted for a deep and exciting exploration of the Final Fantasy VIII mythos. With its plot neatly framed around the Dollet mission, the novel, filled with original ideas, also stands alone proudly. By integrating Guardian Forces (predominantly a gameplay mechanic) into a devilishly intriguing embellishment of the plot, the story blossoms anew.”
Dan Hume, FinalFantasyForums.net
“Every word on the page is spot on and precise. I can almost see the game being played in my head as I read. The attention to detail by the contributors has been outstanding… I enjoyed most the added depth to characters that I didn't have a strong connection with in the game [which] I now do due to [Micah’s] writing and knowledge of the characters… Mo has taken his expertise from his successful Final Fantasy VII Novelisation adventure and passed them on to Micah in what seems to be a very nurturing and professional way. Last, but certainly not least, the wonderfully talented Kayley’s […] artwork blew me away! She captured the facial expressions and emotions of each character in a unique and funny way whilst also focusing on the emotions being written by her fellow contributors. Together, this dynamic trio created an absolute masterpiece that sits proudly on my bookshelf... I cannot wait to see the finished product of this novelization.”
“I have to say the time and effort put into the book has truly shown and expressed the passion the writer has for the game. The graphic and vivid detail of the battles and the way each character was expressed was beyond comprehension.”
“This book is a fascinating take on a classic game. It gets inside the head of the characters, good, bad, and neutral to help understand who they are and how they are. Expanding on the game and filling in the gaps in between scenes with enjoyable banter, [we discover] more about the world we've all played through. It's a stellar read and it covers a fraction of the game! If the completed project is half as good as this, then we're in for a real treat.”
“This is the novelization you needed alongside the game. Hearing the characters’ inner thoughts and feelings brings them to life in new dimensions, whilst seamlessly dropping in original text from the game. The fire cavern [was] like I was experiencing it for the first time again, with the anticipation of the upcoming battle preventing me from putting the book down!”
“After reading The Nibelheim Incident by Mo, I had high expectations. Safe to say I was not disappointed. This book is good enough to be officially written for Square-Enix. It adds so much more depth to the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII [that] it makes the original game somewhat mediocre. The inner battle in Squall’s head with Ifrit was my personal favourite addition. The writing is fluid and emotive and a testament to how good a writer Micah is… I really look forward to reading the rest of the series. I urge any fan of Final Fantasy to read this novel... you are in for a treat.”
“Micah, Mo and Kayley have given more depth to the story and I love you guys for what you’ve done for us. Definitely a book I’ll be going back to repeatedly. Thank you for making Final Fantasy VIII even more awesome.”