Rinoa Heartilly is one of the main playable characters in Final Fantasy VIII. Rinoa is a spirited young woman, honest and blunt with her feelings. Despite being the daughter of high-ranking military General, Fury Caraway, she leads an anti-government resistance in Timber.
Despite not being extensively trained, Rinoa is skilled on the battlefield, fighting with a projectile weapon, the blast edge. When in dangerous situations, Rinoa is aided by Angelo, her dog, who can assist her in battle.
Rinoa has two Limit Breaks. The first one utilizes her dog, Angelo who will come to aid Rinoa in battle, performing random acts that have been taught to him through the process of setting a skill and learning it through walking around on the field map. Rinoa's second Limit Break Angel Wing is related to her latent Sorceress ability that allows her to cast magic from her stocked inventory.
 Character Design & Personality
Nomura's fundamental specification was that she be believable and in terms of appearance, "cute". He developed a list of traits and habits to embody this to bring the character down to earth. Designers have commented that Rinoa was modeled as European-inspired.
Despite her occasionally stubborn personality, Rinoa has a natural way with people, leading to strong bonds with those around her - even Squall gradually becomes endeared to the carefree young woman. Her personality is open and characterized by her loyalty and compassion for others, leading her to initially clash with Squall Leonhart, who to her perception is selfish and cold-hearted. Behind her confident mask, Rinoa hides a deep insecurity that she does not belong anywhere in the world, fearing always that people will move on with out her.
Rinoa first appears at the SeeD Inaugeration ball where she has come to request the assistance of SeeD in the liberation of Timber, though at that time it is also suggested that she is the girlfriend of Seifer Almasy. At the ball, Rinoa meets and dances with Squall Leonhart who is quick to learn the steps of the dance. When Squall meets Rinoa again, she is the leader of a small activist group called the Forest Owls who are against the occupation of the Galbadian military in the city of Timber. Together with SeeD, Rinoa fronts an assult on a train that is suspected to be carrying President Vinzer Deling which is foiled by a body double that is impersonating the President for his own protection. Thrown into dangerous situations on numerous occassions, Rinoa always manages to get out of them with the help of Squall Leonhart.
 Other Appearances
Rinoa appears as a Legendary character.
Rinoa appears as one of the random purchasable Premium characters in the shop.
Though Rinoa does not physically appear in the series, during the ending credits, Leon (Squall) is reading a letter that contains a butterfly inside it: a reference to her. It is unknown if she will ever make an appearance.
|"You're-going-to-like-me! You're-going-to-like-me! Did it work?"|
|"Squall, you're the one who gives me the most comfort. Comfort and happiness... And annoyance and disappointment, too!"|
|Final Fantasy VIII Characters|
| Squall | Rinoa | Zell | Quistis | Selphie | Irvine |
Laguna | Kiros | Ward | Seifer | Edea | Ultimecia | Adel
Angelo | Biggs | Cid | Dr. Kadowaki | Dr. Odine | Ellone | Fujin | General Caraway | Julia Heartilly | Ma Dincht | Mayor Dobe | NORG | Raijin | Raine | Vinzer Deling | Watts | Wedge | Xu | Zone