At first glance, there may not be a connection between Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII. But fans found a link, one that has to deal with time. Fittingly enough, this theory started with an observation of the Clock Tower within Ultimecia’s castle:
It could have been any other number. But some fans assume Final Fantasy VIII hints at something by pointing to “three” and “eight”.
From there, fans have also found some interesting parallels between the two games. Glenn Morrow wrote an article on it, and a fairly extensive thread on it has been from here on ign.com.
Hein/Hyne. In Final Fantasy III, Hein was a great wizard who was sent by Xande to cause chaos on the Floating Continent. He deceived the king of Castle Argus, and imprison the castle’s inhabitants. He also caused the Elder Tree to float above a desert.
In Final Fantasy VIII, Hyne was a great sorcerer AND god only mentioned through tales. According to the lore, he is the reason sorceresses pass their powers unto others.
Spelling differences aside, fans theorize Hein and Hyne are the same. The Japanese version spells Hein and Hyne the same way.
The Lore. Final Fantasy VIII’s lore mentions several similarities between Hein and Hyne.
Long, long ago… When this world was just made, there was a strong god called ‘Hyne’. This god was very, very strong, but after fighting a lot of monsters, he became very tired. So he made ‘people’ like you and me to do all the work, and the god went to sleep. […] However, the god was very surprised when he awoke. Surprised that there were so many people. Hyne decided to reduce the number of people by taking away the children. […] Of course, everyone was scared then, too. And so, the battle against Hyne began. Even though the people were small, they all got together, and finally cornered him. Hyne didn’t know what to do. Out of desperation, he gave half of his body to the people and ran off with the remaining other half. Well, he was a god. Anyway, it turns out Hyne tricked the people. The half that Hyne ran away with was the half that had the stronger magic. Hmmm… It might be close by, actually. It might even be watching you.
In Final Fantasy III, Hein is a skeleton.
Map. Fans say that certain locations and geographic features matchup. You’d have to overlay both world maps on top of each other. For comparison, here are the maps for Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII.
And finally, theorists note that Ultimecia’s castle is floating. Sorceresses are “Hyne’s descendant” out of respect. Maybe Ultimecia’s choice to float her castle is a reference to Hein or Xande’s floating spell.
Glenn Morrow mentions Bahamut. In Final Fantasy III, he appears on the Floating Continent. But in Final Fantasy VIII, he appears just above sea level, at the Deep Sea Research Lab. Besides being an interesting reversal, it helps that the games don’t take place in the same world. Had this been the same world, they’d be in the same location on their respective maps.
If the maps matchup with each other, where are the landmarks? Many of the markers and memorials from Final Fantasy III are missing in Final Fantasy VIII. What if some landmarks changed name and appearance over time? They don’t appear in the same location on their respective maps. I’m sure the developers consciously move these landmarks around away from each other. Also, does this mean that Final Fantasy VIII has a Floating Continent above it?
Most fans note the spelling for Hein/Hyne is superficial. However, the Great Hyne lore is a mythological creation story. Hein was from the seemingly medieval period of Final Fantasy III. The most one could say is that Hyne resurfaced as Hein. But the lore in Final Fantasy VIII makes no mention of that or his death in Final Fantasy III.
Each Final Fantasy has a homage to the previous games. The clock hand seems like just a reference to that past one. The real similarity is that both Final Fantasy III and VIII have orphans for heroes, and maybe that. Consider that the clock hands roughly make a path. Ind at eight to indicate there’s no door your characters can go through on the other side.
Some fans consider Final Fantasy III as bland. But others consider Final Fantasy VIII as the black sheep in the series. Linking these two games together might be a way for detractors of both games to find something interesting in each.
Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII: Based on the Same World?