I think most of us know the Squall’s Dead theory by now, but for those who don’t or simply forgot, let’s recap:
At the end of disc one, Squall and Friends face Edea on a parade float in Deling City. After the fight, when Edea seems defeated, she conjures an enormous ice shard and propels it through Squall’s chest. Squall stumbles back and falls off the platform. He sees Rinoa above, reaching to him as he falls. Squall closes his eyes and dies. The entire remaining game time, from the beginning of disc two to the second half of the ending movie, is a dream.
“No, that is not true,” Kitase said, laughing. “I think he was actually stabbed around the shoulder area, so he was not dead. But that is a very interesting idea, so if we ever do make a remake of Final Fantasy VIII, I might go along with that story in mind.”
But this shouldn’t stop us from coming up with theories. Maybe Squall actually did die, but just not in the way we all thought.
First, from what we know of Edea enormous ice shard, is that it’s her Limit Break. Limit Breaks don’t kill with the first bow unless they do an extraordinary amount of power. Edea level would be high for this to happen, but it’s actually quite low. But when she becomes a playable character, she’s only at level 1. Ultimecia, who was controlling her, might be around level 65.
So if Ultimecia used Ice Strike, it might be powerful enough to cause damage. But considering the placement of the hit (his shoulder), it most likely his heart stopped due to shock. Squall drifted off into unconsciousness and then died.
Usually, Life revives “a target from Knocked Out status and restores 25% of their HP”. Curaga could have restored “a major amount of HP on one target”. When Squall arises in his cell in the Galbadian desert prison, he realizes that he has no wound:
(…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!”
Speaking of Seifer, he wasn’t performing electrical cardioversion to revive Squall either.