|“||An enclosure for Crystal Pillar made by Esthar. 3 miles tall and 1.5 miles wide, the enormous enclosure boasts a high-tech facility. It floats by causing a reaction with the Crystal Pillar. A stone from the moon is sealed inside. It was probably built to cause the Lunar Cry through artificial means.||„|
|~ A FFVIII Info Corner (about the Lunatic Pandora).|
The Lunatic Pandora (in Japanese: ルナティックパンドラ, Runatikku Pandora) is a colossal structure that can induce the Lunar Cry and a location in Final Fantasy VIII. The Lunatic Pandora encompasses the Crystal Pillar and the casing built around it to make it mobile.
The structure is first introduced in a Laguna dream sequence where Laguna, Kiros and Ward pass through the Centra Excavation Site, which would later become the Lunatic Pandora. Depending on the things the player does as Laguna, different items become available for the later visit with Squall.
The Lunatic Pandora consists of two parts: the Crystal Pillar interior, with labyrinthine tunnels that run throughout; and the surrounding case, a large, semi-rectangular structure built around the pillar made of a dark material, most likely a type of metal. It can be assumed that the people of Esthar constructed the case, since the nation's emblem is prominent on the structure's side.
According to the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, the Crystal Pillar fell on earth from the moon during the Lunar Cry that destroyed Centra decades ago that left behind the massive crater that makes up most of the modern Centra continent. The pillar lay buried beneath the soil to be discovered by the citizens of Esthar during the Sorceress War. During the time, Estharians was excavating the pillar and Laguna and his party were sent to investigate, though they could not fathom its purpose or origin.The Lunatic Pandora was once designed by a scientist named Dr. Odine under Sorceress Adel's command during her reign of terror as the tyrannical empress intends to use it as a weapon in the ongoing Sorceress War. The casing was built around the pillar to move it to Esthar, and the structure became known as the Lunatic Pandora. During his time in the Vienne Mountains filming a movie, Laguna glimpsed the Lunatic Pandora hovering in the distance, musing of its significance. When Squall Leonhart's SeeD party gains access to the mobile Balamb Garden, they can discover a crater on the mountain preventing access to the country of Esthar. The Ultimania confirms the crater was formed by a Lunar Cry the people of Esthar induced by bringing the Lunatic Pandora to the region, perhaps to test its power.
Laguna, after being captured on his way to Esthar, was forced to work in the Lunatic Pandora Laboratory. To complement the pillar Tears' Point was constructed; when the Lunatic Pandora and the Crystal Pillar it houses couple with Tears' Point, it forces a reaction with the moon leading to a Lunar Cry. After the Estharian resistance led by Laguna have deposed and sealed Sorceress Adel, Laguna became Esthar's president. The Lunatic Pandora was deemed too dangerous and sunk in the ocean.
17 years later Seifer, under the control of Sorceress Ultimecia, raises the Lunatic Pandora with the aid of the G-Army from the country of Galbadia and moves it to Tears' Point, initiating the Lunar Cry, which brings down Adel's Tomb from space and monsters destroy Esthar City. The tomb is kept within the Lunatic Pandora while Adel awakens from her frozen state. Squall and his comrades infiltrate the Lunatic Pandora and dispatch Adel, while the G-Army abandons Seifer. After being released from Adel, Ultimecia possesses Rinoa. Ellone, who has a power similar to Ultimecia's to send a person's consciousness to inhabit another in the past, sends both Rinoa and Ultimecia within her back in time to allow the latter to cast the Time Compression. The Lunatic Pandora fades as Squall, Rinoa and their allies fall through time, and its ultimate fate is never revealed; if the heroes leaves the Ultimecia Castle and returns to the world map, the Lunatic Pandora is no longer there.
- "Lunatic Pandora" refers to the Crystal Pillar being a gateway for supernatural monsters from the moon to be released upon the planet, an analogy of the accursed relic (believed to be a box or a jar) that brings all kinds of evil upon the world according to the myth of Pandora's Box.
- "Lunatic", aside from meaning "a reckless impetuous irresponsible person", is also the adjective corresponding to the Latin word Luna ("Moon") which is the origin of both "lunacy" and "lunatics".
- "Pandora" therefore refers to the name of the woman in Greek mythology who open a box filled with evils.
- A running gag involves most of the game's main cast being unable to pronounce Lunatic Pandora's name properly on their first attempt.
- Lunatic Pandora may at first glance appear to be the main tower dungeon of Final Fantasy VIII, however this is not so as it lacks the many floors of the usual tower dungeons throughout the Final Fantasy series.