Rinoa Heartilly is the main female character of Final Fantasy VIII. She is the rebellious daughter of General Caraway, a head officer of the Galbadian Army, in Deling. It is revealed that her mother is Julia Heartilly, a beautiful pianist and singer who died before the events of the game. Rinoa uses her mother's maiden name so as to distance herself from her father who is against what Rinoa fights for, the liberation of Timber.
Rinoa's first official appearance is at the SeeD Ball that follows Squall Leonhart's passing of the SeeD examination. Rinoa picks Squall, the game's protagonist, to dance with and drags him onto the dance floor. After dancing with him, Rinoa leaves him in the middle of the floor to speak with Headmaster Cid. The player does not learn her name until the following day, during Squall's first SeeD mission. He's assigned to assist the Forest Owls, a resistance group that she leads. Rinoa's efforts in the resistance are apparently born out of her hatred for her father and her disdain for the Galbadian politics. After the mission ends in failure, she joins Squall and the other SeeDs, saying that Squall is to work for her until Timber is liberated, as stated by the contract she has with the Garden.
During their time together, Rinoa attempts to get Squall to open up to his friends as well as her, but he is resistant to it for the majority of the game. His friends constantly try to pair the two of them together, and Irvine Kinneas goes the lengths of setting them up on a 'date' during the Garden Festival Selphie organizes at Fisherman's Horizon. During the Battle of the Gardens, when Rinoa is in peril, Squall finally realizes his feelings for her.
After the team defeats Sorceress Edea, Ultimecia loses control over her host. In a desperate attempt to find a new vessel, she takes over Rinoa's body and causes her to go into a coma. In a desperate attempt to find a cure, Squall takes Rinoa to Esthar. The scientists in Esthar then decide to take her to the Esthar Space Station for treatment.
Once in space, Ultimecia uses Rinoa to release Sorceress Adel, who was sealed in a chamber near the Esthar Space Station. After Adel is released and returns to the world below, Ultimecia abandons Rinoa's body and leaves her for dead in space. Squall rescues Rinoa and brings her back to the space station, where they find the Ragnarok; a ship capable of making the return trip back to the planet. Upon their arrival, Esthar forces take Rinoa to have her sealed away so she will not cause anymore harm. Squall, however, goes after her at the urging of his comrades, and the two are reunited. The pair and their friends then return to meet with Laguna, the president of Esthar, to figure out a way to defeat Ultimecia.
Angelo is Rinoa’s pet dog that comes to her rescue when called or on his own. When summoned as Rinoa's Limit Break, Angelo will perform one of a number of actions randomly. Actions he can perform include attacking enemies, healing allies, reviving party members, finding items, and granting invincibility to all party members. Rinoa can teach Angelo new tricks by collecting issues of the magazine Pet Pals. Occasionally, Angelo will come to the aid of the party on his own accord.
|Angelo Rush||Damages enemies/random attack||[starts with]|
|Angelo Recover||Restores HP to party member with the lowest HP/random event||[Pet Pals Vol. 2]|
|Angelo Reverse||Revive a KO party member/random event||[Pet Pals Vol. 4]|
|Angelo Search||Finds items on the battlefield/random event||[Pet Pals Vol. 5]|
|Angelo Cannon||Damages all enemies/when called||[starts with]|
|Angelo Strike||Damages one enemy/when called||[Pet Pals Vol.1]|
|Invincible Moon||Makes all party members invincible/when called||[Pet Pals Vol. 3]|
|Wishing Star||Damages all enemies/when called||[Pet Pals Vol. 6]|
Late in the game, Rinoa's encounter with the sorceress gives her new powers in the form of a new limit break, Angel Wing. It is similar to the berserk status effect in that she cannot be controlled. However, unlike the Berserk status, she will use only magic rather than physical attacks, though the magic does not come from your personal inventory of spells. Her speed and magic stats are also enhanced during her limit break.
Angel Wing is a permanent effect and will remain on her even if she is knocked out. However, it will end when the battle is over.
- Cost: 100 Gill
- Attack: 11
- Hit: 99
- Items Required: M-stone Piece(x3)
- Cost: 200 Gill
- Attack: 14
- Hit: 101
- Items Required: Shear Feather(x1), Magic Stone(x1)
- Cost: 400 Gill
- Attack: 18
- Hit: 103
- Items Required: Saw Blade(x1), Screw(x8)
- Cost: 800 Gill
- Attack: 24
- Hit: 104
- Items Required: Cockatrice Pinion (x1), Mesmerize Blade(x1), Sharp Spike(x1)
- Cost: 1000 Gill
- Attack: 28
- Hit: 107
- Items Required: Windmill(x2), Regen Ring(x1), Force Armlet(x1), Energy Crystal(x2)