Witch

While witches (魔女 [majo] or 'witch' in Japanese) have appeared in many Final Fantasies, they generally have appeared as mere enemies and do not provide an explanation as to who the witches are. However, there are several exceptions to this. They have been detailed below.

Final Fantasy I

In Final Fantasy I one witch can be found within the world. She is called Matoya, and she lives in a cave dwelling far from other human habitation. Her home is full of various witch paraphernalia, including animal skulls and talking, animated brooms that keep the place clean, singing all the while.
During the game, the player helps Matoya in recovering her Crystal Eye. It appears that she cannot see without it, and is even constantly bumping into furniture when she doesn't have it.

This is all the indication given about the life of witches, and there is none whatsoever to indicate if Matoya is a typical one or not. Questions raised could be, for example, why she lives so far from other people, what does she do with all those skulls, how did she animate her brooms and if this is a common skill among witches, and even how she came to lose her vision without the Eye and if all witches have an Eye like hers.

Final Fantasy VIII

In Final Fantasy VIII, witches (translated as 'sorceress') are users of real magic, while normal people are only able to use para-magic. They are said to have existed from ancient times, and originally received their powers from the god Hyne. They are always women.

Due to possessing powers that not many have, and how some witches have used their powers for their own gain, many (or most) people in the world equate witches with bad people. However, the majority of them only want to live in peace, and choose to live a quiet life away from the rest of the society to minimize their chances of being hunted and reviled.

For a witch to die, they must first pass their powers on to another person, be this witch or a common human, related or unrelated to the dying witch. The receiver must have the potential to become one though, in their natural affinity for magic. Other than for the passing on of powers, a witch's lifespan is the same as that of a normal human.

The power of Hyne shared among witches is said to be a constant. That is to say, if a witch passes their powers on to another witch, that witch will become more powerful - and that is also to say that all the witch powers can be eventually concentrated on one person.

In the original release of the game, Witch was translated as 'Sorceress' for whatever reason, possibly to not link them with western ideas of witches. However, the translation as 'sorceress' also deprived the FF8 witches in the west of a good portion of their story's connections to the real world, as 'sorceress' doesn't have any connotations of 'to be feared' as is the case with 'witch' in both the real world and in the FF8 world among the general populace.


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