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Final Fantasy VIII
Why don't you show a little more passion...? You know, like me!
One of the first things you see about Zell is his unique spiky blond hair, which is nicely styled and never out of position. Further, he has bright blue eyes and he is the complete opposite of Squall, personality-wise. He's always full of energy, loud, overconfident in his own abilities and he wants to make friends with everyone he meets. He also is usually in some kind of trouble with either the Disciplinary Committee or the Garden Faculty for breaking the rules, such as running through the halls, riding T-Boards on Garden premises. Seifer insults him relentlessly throughout the game. But you could say that he is an easy target, he acts faster than he thinks.
Zell also really loves hot-dogs (called flavored bread in the Japanese version), which can be bought at Balamb Garden's Cafeteria. However, most of the time there aren't any left. At the end of the game, during the credits, he does get a lot of these and he chokes on them from eating too quickly. Zell is really close with his adoptive family, though he doesn’t know about that at the beginning of the game. He has a close and loving relationship with his mother, who is an important person in Balamb Town. Zell also expresses a deep respect and admiration for his (adoptive) grandfather, who used to be a soldier, and aspires to become just like him (it is hinted that this is his main motivation for wanting to be a SeeD). He even keeps his grandfather's old rifles in his neatly-ordered room.
Zell wears a black vest with red designing along the zipper, a black beater underneath that, a long baggy jean shorts and black and red tennis shoes. He is also known about his large black tribal tattoo on the left side of his face. You can also see him in his SeeD uniform, which he likes as he likes the status of a SeeD. During the Final Exam in Dollet, he also wears the SeeD Cadet Uniform, though he wears it with the sleeves rolled up and the jacket halfway unzipped, revealing a white t-shirt underneath, to distinguish himself.
Zell grew up in the same orphanage as the other main characters were Seifer picked on him constantly. Later, he was adopted by the Dincht family from Balamb. He idolizes his adoptive grandfather, who was a legendary soldier. He wants to follow in his footsteps, so he joins Balamb Garden at 13 to train as a SeeD and follow his dream. Some say that he tried too hard, but he has great hand-to-hand combat ability skills and his reputation is known throughout Garden. You first met him just before the SeeD Field Exam in Dollet, and he's also assigned to Squad B, just like Squall and Seifer. Zell hates it that Seifer is the Squad Leader though. Eventually, Zell passes the exam together with Squall, Selphie and Nida. Headmaster Cid congratulates them and during the Graduation Party Zell tries to congratulate Squall and dodges Selphie's advances about joining the Garden Festival Committee. The next day, Zell, Squall and Selphie are assigned to their first mission in Timber to assist a resistance faction known as the Forest Owls in capturing the President of Galbadia by hijacking his train. Their mission false since the president is a fake, but they need to work with the Forest Owls until Timber’s liberation, which stands in a vague order in the contract. They find out the real president is at the Timber TV Station where the president will hold the first live televised broadcast in over seventeen years. Seifer shows up trying to assassinate the President. They come to aid and Zell accidentally says that they're all from Garden, causing the President to threaten an attack on all Gardens unless he is released immediately. Sorceress Edea arrives, the President is freed, but Seifer is teleported away.
They decide to head to the nearest Garden, Galbadia Garden, and Zell fears for Balamb Garden's safety and he asks Squall if they'll be okay. Squall coldly replies that it depends on the strength of the Galbadian army; leaving Zell discourages and full of shame. In Galbadia Garden however, the group discovers that Seifer's act is being considered independent and that Garden will not be held accountable for it, much to Zell's relief. However, Seifer has been sentenced for execution and though Zell never liked him, he is nonetheless thrown back into sadness at the news. They are assigned to a new mission from Headmaster Cid and Headmaster Martine from Galbadia to assassinate the Sorceress. They head to Deling City and Zell is part of the "gateway team" along with Selphie and Quistis, while Squall and Irvine the sniper, are part of the "sniper team". They accomplish their task to trap the Sorceress between the gates of the bridge, but the mission fails and the entire group except Irvine and Rinoa were captured in D-District Prison. Zell recognizes the place as the location Ward worked when he was retired from the Galbadian army. Zell and the others had dreams about Laguna, Kiros and Ward because of Ellone, a girl with the unique ability to send a person's consciousness back in time and relive moments of another person's life. Zell always relived Ward's life. The group try to escape the prison and Zell goes to retrieve the weapons, since he always carries his weapons. Using his knowledge of the prison, he guides the group through it and they escape. Soon afterwards, they learn that under Sorceress Edea's command, a nearby Galbadian missile silo will attack both Trabia and Galbadia Garden. The party splits up into two groups: one heading towards the missile base to try to stop the missiles and the other to Balamb Garden to warn them of the incoming attack.
Eventually, the missiles were sent to both Trabia Garden, which was destroyed and Balamb Garden, but Squall found a device to make Garden mobile to they escaped the attack. The two groups are reunited in Fisherman's Horizon, via a dysfunctional Galbadian war machine they stole from the exploding missile silo. That night, the group throws a party for Squall, to honour his promotion to Commander. Zell learns how to play an instrument, which you can choose. In the morning, the Garden is repaired and set up with an even better piloting mechanism. They head back to Balamb Town for supplies and make sure it wasn't another target. When they arrive, Zell finds his fears to be realized as Balamb is already under Galbadian occupation and under lockdown. They infiltrate and make sure that Ma Dincht is unharmed. They then defeat Fujin and Raijin to liberate the Town, these two have pledged their loyal o to Seifer who was alive and now working under the Sorceress as her Knight. Garden travels to Trabia Garden to lend their support. Thanks to Irvine's memory preservation as a result of him never junctioning a Guardian Force before, Zell and the others remember their past and that they used to live together (except Rinoa) in an orphanage owned by Edea Kramer. Zell then realizes he was adopted. They are surprised to find out that her beloved Matron is actually Sorceress Edea, but they have to accept that she is now their enemy. They decide to travel to the Orphanage on Centra and discover more about the Sorceress' Power and how to defeat her. Balamb Garden gets intercepted by similarly mobile Galbadia Garden and the Battle of the Gardens starts. Zell takes leadership and organizes an entire group of SeeD and students to protect the quad. Squall meets up with him and he borrows his Griever ring for Rinoa, who spoke with him about how much she liked it and gives it to her upon their next meeting. He said he’ll make one exactly like it for her. They fight of Galbadian forces until they are forced to fight Sorceress Edea.
After you have defeated her, the party finds out that Rinoa has fallen into a coma-like state and Edea has been released from the control of an evil Sorceress from the future: Ultimecia. Edea tells that her ultimate goal is Time Compression, a spell compressing all of time into a singular moment, which is something only she will only survive and then she can recreate the world how she wants it. They head to Esthar, where they might know more on Rinoa's situation and Ultimecia. They find Ellone in the Estharian space station, Lunar Base, which orbits the planet in the same scope as the moon. They travel into space with Rinoa’s body and Zell volunteers to protect Edea, who still believes herself to be a threat as long as she can be controlled by Ultimecia. She's happy with Zell's protection, stating that it gives her a sense of security. They head back to see Dr. Odine, a scientist famous for his invention of Junctioning and Para-Magic as well as sealing Sorceress Adel more then seventeen years ago. When they arrive at his lab, they learn of the Lunatic Pandora, which is passing the city. They board the Lunatic Pandora before Dr. Odine can finish explaining its capabilities. They are repelled by some kind of invisible force as it just continues to proceed over Tears's Point. Edea is the only one to realize it to be the Lunar Cry. The others return from space and Rinoa has been possessed by a Sorceress. They head back to their old orphanage, where Zell tells Squall how much he's changed since meeting Rinoa. With the help of the President of Esthar, Laguna and Dr. Odine, the team returns and comes up with a plan to defeat Sorceress Ultimecia once and for all. They use the newly acquired Ragnarok airship to invade the Lunatic Pandora and defeat Sorceress Adel, who has also been possessed by Ultimecia. Afterwards, Ultimecia succeeds in casting Time Compression by using Ellone to send her consciousness even further back into time and allowing her to exist in all past, present and future simultaneously. However, since spell is not instantaneous and takes time to cast, Zell and the others survine the effects by believing strongly in each others existences. This allows them to travel to the future where they can destroy Ultimecia before Time Compression is completed.
The story ends at midnight over a vast ocean where Balamb Garden is holding their Garden Festival in honour of Ultimecia's demise and the preservation of life, time, and SeeD. During the party, Zell is found talking with his love interest, simply known as the Library Girl with a Pigtail, and stuffing his face with a plethora of hot dogs that he’s finally managed to get his hands on. He begins to choke on them though so Selphie and Quistis have to slap his back until he's able to swallow. A recovered Zell simply continues eating them anyway though, not dissuaded in the slightest at his brush with asphyxiation.
Zell uses gloves to augment his hand-to-hand fighting prowess. Depending on the particular glove he wears, Zell's weapons can increase his attack power and hit accuracy as well as how much damage he does with his Limit Break, Duel.
Zell's name may derive from the Germanic names "Zellmer" or "Zellmeyer", or quite possibly from the numerous city districts located throughout Germany of the same name. "Zell" is also a common last name used in the country. The last name "Dincht" is also German in origin, deriving from the word "Dink".
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