The Sorceress War is the name of a war in that occurred approximately 18 years prior to the main events of Final Fantasy VIII. This conflict was named for its initiator, Sorceress Adel, who was on a quest for absolute power.
The war's effects are seen and mentioned throughout the game, most notably the orphans whose parents and families died during the battle. A large portion of Laguna Loire's story also occurs during the war.
Vinzer Deling became the president of Galbadia sometime beyond 19 years prior to the game's events, whereupon he began to unite the independent nations within the Galbadian continent by amassing a military dictatorship. It is unknown how the cruel Sorceress by the name Adel came to her position of power within Esthar, whether it was a coup or election, however, she also wanted to unite the world under her rule.
The 2 year-long war spread across the planet with reported events occurring in the Centra, Galbadia and Esthar continents.
The war was initiated by the despotic Sorceress Adel, who ruled over the technological nation of Esthar and terrorized it with sorcery. She attempted to take over Galbadia using a combination of her magic and Estharian technology, but Galbadia resisted. When Timber lost its independence to Galbadia in the Timber War, Galbadia got access to its vast natural resources. During the fighting many children ended up orphaned, among them: Squall Leonhart, Zell Dincht, Irvine Kinneas, Selphie Tilmitt, Quistis Trepe, and Seifer Almasy.
Esthar discovered the Crystal Pillar, a device that could react with the moon to incite a phenomenon called the Lunar Cry. The last Lunar Cry destroyed the Centra civilization, and Adel planned to use it as a weapon against Galbadia by building a special enclosure dubbed the Lunatic Pandora around the Pillar to amplify the Lunar Cry's power. The second breakthrough came when Dr. Odine stumbled across the secret of junctioning Guardian Forces to human minds, allowing humans access to an incomplete kind of magic known as Para-Magic.
As Adel realized she had no one to pass her "empire" on to, she began desiring a successor to her Sorceress Power, and began to search for an appropriate girl to carry on her legacy. The girl she chose was Ellone, a mysterious orphan from Winhill who had the ability to send another person's consciousness back in time. Adel's Estharian troops kidnapped Ellone and took her to Esthar, where Dr. Odine imprinted her brainwaves into a computer to create the Junction Machine Ellone to simulate her time-traveling powers.
Laguna Loire rescued Ellone and joined the rebellion against Adel that hatched a plan to get rid of her. Although she was too powerful for any non-sorceress or any non-magical being to defeat, Laguna tricked Adel into a special sealing container using Ellone's facsimile, then launched the container into space. The container's anti-transmission waves caused the worldwide radio interference, which would render wireless communication useless for the next 17 years.
With Adel disposed, Laguna became the president of Esthar and ordered the Crystal Pillar to be sunk into the ocean. Esthar then sealed itself away from the rest of the world, and became known as the "Silent Esthar".
The war's aftermath can still be felt even seventeen years after its conclusion, with the abundance of war orphans (most of whom are now in their mid to late teens) and the static over radio-wave transmissions. Relations between Esthar and Galbadia were never patched up, mostly due to the former cutting itself off from the rest of the world.
- The Anarchist Monthly magazine clippings found in the Forest Owls base say that Vinzer Deling became the president after the second Sorceress War ended, and to gain support quickly, he carried out the invasion of Timber. However, this was the only point in Final Fantasy VIII where it is mentioned that there would have been more than one Sorceress War; all the other sources in the game refer the term Sorceress War to the war between Galbadia and Esthar, which took place while Vinzer Deling was already the president of the nation.