Rinoa Heartilly (Linoa in the French version) is the main female protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII. She is best known for her trademark "Angel Wings" printed on the back of her duster sweater and as such her "character symbol" is a white feather that signifies the wings. She serves as Leon's love interest and awakens as a Sorceress halfway through the game.
Rinoa's personality is everything that Leon's is not: feisty, compassionate, warm, and friendly, and these traits initially annoy Leon to no end. However, Rinoa slowly wins over the irritated Leon, and eventually he realizes he returns Rinoa's feelings and in the later part of the game the two become a couple.
Despite Rinoa's compassionate personality and her cute appearance, she's actually an incredibly brave person. Proof of this is the outstanding fact that, despite being born to a well-to-do rich family and her father being an important figure in Galbadia's military, she is not spoiled and is in fact greatly concerned by the situation of the world. Rinoa even goes as far as joining a resistance movement that fought against Galbadia in order to achieve Timber's independence, and in doing so she abandons her privileged lifestyle, family, and everything she once knew. Rinoa's brave persona is also evidenced by the fact that she fought beside Leon and his group throughout the game despite being the only one without any military training.
Rinoa has layered black hair that reaches to the middle of her back. There are three caramel highlights on either side of her face that run through her hair. Her eyes are a deep dark brown. She has a heart-shaped face and a small nose. She's short and rather slim, but compared to some characters, she appears more average in weight. In battle, Rinoa wields a unique weapon called the Blaster Edge, which consists of a bladed projectile she shoots toward the enemy from a firing mechanism on her left arm. After hitting the target, the projectile returns to Rinoa like a boomerang. Rinoa also owns a pet, a faithful dog Angelo. Rinoa is aided in battle by Angelo who is able to perform many tricks in order to attack the enemy or aid Rinoa.
Rinoa is first seen in the game wearing a white gown with an off-white/yellowish sheer fabric halter dress wearing her signature necklace, a bracelet on her right arm, and white shoes. She again appears in this ballroom outfit at the Garden Festival event in Fisherman's Horizon. Her signature outfit is a long, sleeveless, blue-hued rib-knit duster sweater that has a pair of white wing designs on the back, which become actual feathered wings when she enters her Angel Wing state. She also wears matching rib-knit arm warmers, a black halter top, a denim button up skirt, a black ribbon on her left arm, and black bike shorts that have zippers going down the front with a pair of silver buckled black boots. Her previously noted signature necklace features a ring given to her by her mother. Just before the battle of the Garden's starts, she receives Leon's Griever ring from Zell, who borrowed it in order to make Rinoa a replica of it. Rinoa adds the Griever ring to her necklace and wears it along with her mother's ring for the remaining part of the game.
Rinoa's trademark symbol seems to be that of a white feather or wing, resembling the angel motif of Sorceresses throughout the game as well as the "angel wings" on the back of her blue duster. Another trademark that she is seen to use frequently in her appearances is the raising of her index finger as she did to Leon to request a dance.