I'm crossposting this to my journal.
I'm only really posting this, since I've never really seen anyone tackle it, either in essay or fanfiction.
Laguna. It hit me today, as I was puzzling over the dates and timeline for FF8, that while you can't find a general 'time' for the game, you can generally pinpoint the timeframe of Laguna's search for Ellone. How? Squall.
Ellone states at one point:
"When I was kidnapped, Uncle Laguna went on a journey to find me..."
"But because he did, Uncle Laguna wasn't able to be by Raine's side when she died."
"Raine wanted to show Laguna her new born baby..."
"Raine kept calling out for Laguna. So no matter what, I wanted Laguna to stay in the village..."
Later Laguna tells you:
"So I rescued her and sent her off to Winhill. Shortly after that, Raine died."
Between these statements it the implication that Ellone was kidnapped, Laguna left to look for her, and never returned. Raine therefore had to be pregnant before Ellone was kidnapped. Also implied is that Raine essentially died from complications in childbirth. Thus if Ellone was sent to Raine before she died, then Ellone was gone less than nine months, to account for her being in Winhill before Squall was born. there's no evidence about exactly how long Ellone was gone, but even if Laguna left as soon as Raine conceived, and Ellone returned just days before Squall was born, that is still less than 9 months.
Another timeline related bug that bit me today was something Irvine says to Squall in the scene at Trabia Garden.
"Probably the same with Seifer, too. You two must have been at Garden by the age of 5 or so..."
This, I think, is impossible. Squall is 17, Seifer is 18.
Headmaster Cid before you battle NORG:
"I should've never trusted you! I wish I could go back ten or so years."
"To tell myself that you're nothing but a money grubbing son-of-a-bitch! Then I would've never built this place."
So around ten years means Squall had to be about 7, at the youngest. Cid gives the impression that he looked for support for some time before he met up with NORG, and even then, it would have taken time for Garden to be established. so even if Cid started trying to build Garden 12 years ago, it would still have taken time for it to be established enough for Edea to send Squall and Seifer there.
Do bear in mind I'm taking the stated age as what they mean, I realise it can be interpreted as longer than the stated dates.