Rinoa: Give me a tour of the Garden.Squall: ...Is this another one of your orders?Rinoa: No. I just want you to show me around. You know, to get acquainted with the place. Please?
Rinoa asking Squall to show her around the Garden during its time amid the ocean.
Balamb Garden is a major location in Final Fantasy VIII, situated east of the town of Balamb. Students (usually orphans) attend school in hopes of becoming SeeDs. Balamb Garden is one of the three Gardens in the world alongside Trabia Garden and Galbadia Garden.
The Garden works both as a location, and as a method of transportation around the world map. Using the Garden is made redundant by the game's end as the player obtains an airship that can be used to move around the map more efficiently.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Layout
- 3.1 Overview
- 3.2 First floor
- 3.3 Second floor
- 3.4 Third floor
- 3.5 Sub levels
- 4 Quests
- 5 As a vehicle
- 6 Musical themes
- 7 Other appearances
- 7.1 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
- 7.2 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
- 7.3 Pictlogica Final Fantasy
- 7.4 Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade
- 7.5 Final Fantasy Record Keeper
- 7.6 World of Final Fantasy
- 7.7 Other media
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
Profile[edit | edit source]
Rules[edit | edit source]
The Garden rules are listed on the Study Panel. Occupants may not use weapons or magic in the Garden, apart from the training center. One may not bring animals into the Garden. Loitering, eating in classes and the library, violence and sexual abuse is prohibited. T-Boards (a floating type of skateboard) and similar forms of transportation are also not allowed. Cadets must respect a curfew.
Students may not leave their dorms post-curfew unless at the training center or with special permission from Garden Faculty. Cadets must abstain from purposefully injuring fellow cadets while training. Cadets who break the rules may be reported to SeeD or Garden Faculty. The student-run disciplinary committee oversees cadet behavior. SeeDs who break Garden rules will be referred to their superior officer, and may face demotion or court martial.
Facility rules[edit | edit source]
- -Students should be in their seats and waiting for the instructor 5 minutes before class.
- -When class is over, proceed quietly to your next class.
- -Food, weapons and magic are prohibited.
- -Study panels are shared. Handle with care.
- Training Center
- -Proceed with caution. There are real monsters in the training center.
- -It is open 24 hours. Entering the ground for reasons other than training is prohibited.
- -Do not engage in battles beyond your abilities.
- -Visit the infirmary if you have any health concerns or problems.
- -No items may be taken from the infirmary without permission.
- -Follow the doctors instructions.
- -Open Hours: 9.00 am - lights out.
- -Library usage: All materials are open to public. You may check-out materials at the desk.
- -Remain quiet at all times.
- -Everybody is welcome to apply.
- -SeeDs have priority for single rooms.
- -Going out after hours for reasons other than training is prohibited.
- -Do not leave personal possessions in common areas.
- -Open Hours: 9.00 am - 9.00 pm.
- -Keep the area clean.
- -If late-night meals are required, order them before hand.
Student rules[edit | edit source]
- Garden Precepts
- Work hard. Study hard. Play hard.
- In general, there is no dress-code in Balamb Garden. However, dress accordingly if instructed to do so by your superiors.
- Reward and Punishment
- -The Headmaster presents official commendations to outstanding students.
- -Students who engage in violent acts, sexual promiscuity, or who fall behind in their curriculum, etc. may be expelled from Garden.
- -The skills acquired in Garden must never be used for personal gain.
- -Refrain from committing acts that may damage the Garden's reputation.
- -Take time to think things through before starting a relationship.
- Procedures in case of an emergency
- -If you are on 2f, use the emergency exit next to the classroom. If you are on 1F, exit through front gate. All students must take care of junior classmen during emergencies.
- -Do not use the elevator during an emergency.
- Evening Outings
- All students should be in their dorm rooms before after-hours unless at the training center.
Admission and graduation[edit | edit source]
- -Applicants between ages 5-15 are admitted.
- -All hardworking and confident youths are welcome.
- -Ambitious overachievers are also welcome.
- -Applicants are admitted only after passing a final interview.
- -Must be between 15-19 years of age.
- -One must have all the required skills and knowledge taught through Garden courses.
- -One must have the Headmaster's approval to graduate.
- -At age 20, regardless of graduation, all students are released from the Garden.
- Opportunities for Alumni
- -The Garden supports a program that helps graduates enlist in armies all over the world.
- -Instructors and SeeDs are permitted to remain at the Garden. However, SeeDship must be attained before the age of 20.
Uniform[edit | edit source]
Gardens require students to wear cadet uniforms for formal occasions or external operations where the Garden is represented. The uniforms of each Garden are in similar design with patterned shoulder pieces and silver linings. The Garden logo appears partway down the right sleeve. The main difference between the uniforms is the color: Balamb Garden's consists of a navy blue base with yellow accent. Upon graduation, SeeD members receive their own formal uniforms.
Story[edit | edit source]
Founded 12 years ago by Cid and Edea Kramer, and funded by NORG, Balamb Garden was remodeled from an old Centra shelter by Estharian technicians allowing it to transform into a mobile form with the power of limited flight. Cid was instructed to build the Garden to train SeeDs, an anti-sorceress army, as per a premonition of the future his wife, Edea, had foreseen.
Shortly after its construction, Galbadia Garden and Trabia Garden were created on the Galbadian and Trabian continents, respectively. Specializing in Guardian Force training and Para-Magic, Balamb Garden is the only Garden authorized to conduct the SeeD field exam, which cadets must pass to join the ranks of SeeD. Cadets attending other Gardens must transfer to Balamb to complete this final requirement.
After the Siege of Dollet Balamb Garden's most recent class of SeeDs enjoys the graduation ball, while cadets prepare for the annual Garden Festival. When Seifer, a Balamb Garden cadet, threatens the life of the Galbadian president Vinzer Deling, Garden attempts to distance itself from the incident. Galbadia Garden is threatened by both Deling and the rise of his ally, Sorceress Edea. Because the true purpose of Garden as an organization is to fight the sorceress, Cid, along with the Galbadian Garden Master Martine, orders Balamb Garden SeeDs Squall, Quistis, Zell, and Selphie and Galbadia Garden student Irvine Kinneas to assassinate her.
When the assassination plot fails the sorceress vows revenge. This creates a rift between NORG, the Garden Master, and Cid, the Balamb Garden Headmaster. NORG believes the Garden is doomed if they don't appease the sorceress, and plans to hand over the SeeDs involved in the assassination attempt to Galbadia. Cid is enraged by NORG's plot, and an all-out riot breaks out with the Garden Faculty, who are loyal to NORG, and the SeeDs, who are loyal to Cid, both trying to recruit as many people as they can on their side. NORG summons the party to his chambers to explain his plan to them and he battles them. He is defeated and transforms into a cocoon form.
Sorceress Edea takes command of Galbadia Garden and launches a missile strike against Balamb and Trabia Gardens. Trabia Garden is destroyed, but Squall and his friends save Balamb Garden by restarting the ancient Centra machinery, morphing Balamb Garden to its mobile form. Barely evading the missile attack, the Garden speeds out of control past Balamb town and heads out to sea. With its navigation and piloting systems malfunctioning due to lack of maintenance, the Garden crashes stern-first into Fishermans Horizon whose mechanics are familiar with the Centra technology, being the ones who originally built the Garden, and renovate it.
Headmaster Cid appoints Squall as the Garden's commander before going into hiding at Edea's House. Once the mobile machinery is repaired, the SeeD Xu takes on the role of Garden navigator, while Nida fills the position of pilot. With both NORG and Cid out of the picture, Squall gains sovereign control over Garden, and embarks on a mission to defeat the sorceress.
The newly retrofitted Garden engages the mobile Galbadia Garden now under the sorceress's control near Edea's House. While Balamb Garden cadets prepare for an assault, the flying Gardens butt heads as their pilots ram the hulls together, tangling the structures. Balamb Garden takes heavy damage, and part of its quad is destroyed.
Galbadian paratroopers and motorcyclists board Balamb Garden, breaking classroom windows and wreaking havoc on the Garden's interior as SeeDs and cadets defend their home. The conflict is resolved when Squall and his friends board Galbadia Garden and defeat Sorceress Edea, who is released from the clutches of the evil sorceress Ultimecia who has been possessing her.
Balamb Garden students can focus on repairing damage to both the Garden and each other. Some time after the incident Squall leaves the Garden to head to Esthar, and the Garden stays docked at Fishermans Horizon. It is never revealed who takes over when Squall and his friends have left.
The party returns to the Garden after defeating Ultimecia to engage in celebration. Balamb Garden flies all around the world and Cid and Edea appear to have returned to the Garden.
Layout[edit | edit source]
Overview[edit | edit source]
Balamb Garden is initially located on Balamb continent to the east of the Alcauld Plains, nestled at the foot of the Gaulg Mountains. After becoming mobile, the Garden's location is no longer fixed, although it can dock at Fishermans Horizon.
Balamb Garden is an immense, futuristic-looking cone-shaped building, with a chrome and blue finish. It has large glowing halo at the top. Its layout is a series of stacked rings surrounding the central elevator. It has three main floors, plus a large basement. The first and second floors are accessible to the entire Garden population, while the third floor and basement level require special permission.
First floor[edit | edit source]
Front gate[edit | edit source]
The front gate is the Garden's main entrance. Upon entering the gate's outer part, visitors travel up a set of stairs and through a landscaped area before proceeding to a security checkpoint at the inner gate. SeeDs, students, and visitors must present their IDs for inspection to enter the Garden.
The player's first task in the game is to meet Quistis at the gate. If the player did not pick them up from the classroom study panel, Quistis will give the player their starter GFs at the gate. After the SeeD graduation the player receives the mission briefing for Timber here, and Cid gives the party the Magic Lamp that holds the GF Diablos inside. This location is truncated once the Garden becomes mobile, with only the security station remaining.
First floor lobby[edit | edit source]
The front gate leads to the lobby, the Garden's unofficial center and a gathering point for students. Its main features are a directory and an elevator, which allows access to other floors. The lobby is shaped like a ring and the first-floor sections branch off it like spokes on a wheel. Before the Garden becomes mobile, the directory can be used to fast-travel between different sections in the Garden.
A boy in a blue shirt runs laps around the ring of the first floor and plays the rare MiniMog card. The Card Club quest can be started at the lobby after the Garden becomes mobile.
Library[edit | edit source]
Following the lobby to the right, the southeastern corridor branching off from the ring leads to the Balamb Garden library. Open from 9am until curfew, its materials are available to students. Zell can embark on a sidequest to gain the affections of a student employee: Library Girl with a Pigtail. When Rinoa is not in the party she can be found in the library, and Zell can be found just outside it.
Training center[edit | edit source]
Continuing up the lobby ring counter-clockwise, the eastern corridor leads to the training center. Known by students as the "monsters' lair," it is open 24 hours a day, even after curfew. Monsters inhabit it, mainly Grats and T-Rexaurs, to challenge students' fighting skills. A save point can be found inside, along with a Blizzard draw point.
The training center also has a hidden section called the "secret area" where students go to socialize or otherwise meet in private after curfew to avoid being caught by the Garden Faculty.
The enemy encounters in the training center vary based on the path the player takes from the entrance. The encounters on the left path are:
The encounters on the right path are:
In the training center, the player can find the CC Joker, part of the Card Club who also works as a merchant, randomly in the center's easternmost screen. CC Joker also holds the rare Leviathan card. The player can win the GF Meter from him to view stats on kills and KO's for the party's Guardian Forces. CC Joker will be met in Ragnarok in endgame where he will also let the player model weapons.
CC Joker sells the following items:
If the Joker will not show up regardless of how many times the player re-enters the screen, it may be necessary to re-enter the screen from the left side of the map instead of the bottom.
Parking lot[edit | edit source]
The northeastern corridor leads to the parking lot, an underground complex that houses most of Balamb Garden's road vehicles, including the SeeD Personal Carrier Vehicles for student transportation. The parking lot is accessed via a road that travels past the Balamb Garden front gate.
Dormitory[edit | edit source]
The northern corridor leads to the dormitories. Cadets share dorms with two single bedrooms connected to a shared living space. SeeDs have individual rooms, and the player can rest in Squall's room to fully recover. During curfew students can only leave their dorms for the training center. A save point can be found here.
After the Granaldo boss fight in the training center, the Weapons Monthly April issue can be found in Squall's room. The jacket hanging over Squall's bed changes depending on which clothes he's wearing.
After winning against CC Heart in the Card Club quest, the CC King may challenge the player to a card game when the player sleeps at the dorm, and plays the rare Gilgamesh card. After winning against the King, the player can play them again at the Garden bridge.
Cafeteria[edit | edit source]
The northwest corridor leads to the cafeteria. The cafeteria is open from 9am till 9pm, and students can order meals for the night and pick them up before curfew. The most popular dish is the Balamb Garden hot dogs. The cafeteria is a popular hang-out spot for cadets to meet and exchange gossip. The Garden's disciplinary committee is often found here. At the beginning of the game, the player can get a scene here with Zell trying to score hot dogs and Seifer's party wanting to "arrest" him for speeding.
The player can do a small sidequest with the Cafeteria Lady. When talking to her, she mentions her son is away. The player can find the son in Fishermans Horizon, in the area where the boss was fought near to where Grease Monkey lives, and recognize him as the Cafeteria Lady's son. Upon returning to the Garden, the player can now walk behind the counter area and talk to the son who has moved there. He plays cards and implies that his mom also does, and she can likewise be challenged. They don't play with any rare cards, however.
Quad[edit | edit source]
The western corridor leads to the quad, an open-air garden and a place for students to relax. It has a stage where students can watch performances or films. The annual Garden Festival takes place in the quad.
Infirmary[edit | edit source]
The southwest corridor leads to the infirmary where Dr. Kadowaki takes care of sick or injured students. No items can be taken from the infirmary without the doctor's permission.
Second floor[edit | edit source]
Classrooms[edit | edit source]
The classrooms are located on the second floor, circling around the main elevator in a ring. Students are obliged to be present in classes five minutes before the bell rings. There are 36 shared study panels in every class. Each student has a log-on screen where they store school-related and personal information. Students may also store Guardian Forces in their computers. SeeDs don't attend classes, as they have completed their training.
Shiva and Quezacotl, the first Guardian Forces, are acquired in the classroom. If the player doesn't take them, Quistis will give them to the player at the front gate in all versions besides the original Japanese version.
The Trepies here give Quistis's battle stats if spoken to, and may play her card in Triple Triad. The player can use the computer in Squall's desk to access the study panel, which gets updated as per story events, and Selphie's Sir Laguna's Page can be read here, which gets new entries the more Timber Maniacs magazines the player finds.
Balcony[edit | edit source]
The balcony at the second floor's end is used to enter Fishermans Horizon while stationed there, and next to it is the emergency exit that, when used, opens a yellow inflatable slide. The emergency exit is used once during the Battle of the Gardens when Squall is trying to evade a G-Soldier riding a jetpack. The Balamb Garden balcony glitch can occur to trap the player on the balcony during the FMV scene on disc 2.
Ballroom[edit | edit source]
The ballroom is only used for special occasions, such as the SeeD graduation ball and other formal events. It is a large, two-story room with a dome ceiling and a stone balcony. The player can never visit this area and such, it isn't clear where in the Garden structure the ballroom is supposed to be located.
Third floor[edit | edit source]
Headmaster's office[edit | edit source]
The headmaster's office is on the third floor, accessible by the main elevator. Students may only visit the headmaster's office when summoned by Headmaster Cid.
The office is replaced with the bridge once the Garden transforms to become mobile. Navigation and piloting controls are accessible from the bridge.
Sub levels[edit | edit source]
MD level[edit | edit source]
The MD level is only visited once to save the Garden from the oncoming missiles. Headmaster Cid gives Squall a key to use in the elevator which opens a hatch and leads into an oil stratum. A valve must be turned to open a door. The team will find a console to activate the Garden's transformation into its mobile state on this level.
Several enemies are fought here, including Blobra, Blood Soul, Buel, Geezard, Tri-Face, and the boss Oilboyle. Many of these enemies are weak to Fire, leading Squall to suggest junctioning Fire spells to weapons.
A Full Life draw point is found here, which never refills.
Basement[edit | edit source]
The Balamb Garden basement is accessible by the main elevator with special permission from the headmaster. It is home to NORG, the Garden Master and financier of Balamb Garden. After NORG's defeat, a hidden Bio draw point can be found on the pod, and a couple of Shumi NPCs can be met here.
Quests[edit | edit source]
Study Panel[edit | edit source]
The player can access the Balamb Garden intranet from the study panel in the classroom. The player can operate it to get Shiva and Quezacotl at the beginning of the game, but the panel can also be used to view tutorials and learn more about the Garden. In the Garden Square message board the player can view posts left by the students, hinting about the disciplinary committee's "nosiness" and the affection the library girl has for Zell. The player can even see which books are late from the library, giving context to the scene where Zell tries to loan out a book that is never available.
Selphie transforms the Garden Festival page and adds a blog she will update throughout the game. She will also start a Sir Laguna's Page, a fanpage for Laguna Loire she adds more entries to the more Timber Maniacs magazines the player finds.
Finding the other party members[edit | edit source]
After Balamb Garden becomes mobile, when the party members are not assigned as player characters they wander the Garden on their own: Rinoa is reading books in the library, Selphie is updating her site in the second floor classroom, Irvine is hanging around the classroom with Selphie and even when she's not there, Quistis is on the Garden's control bridge, Zell stays in the Garden foyer outside the library and Squall himself (during the one time he is not in the party) is asleep in his dorm room. Sometimes Selphie and Zell will wear their cadet uniforms.
Triple Triad[edit | edit source]
Balamb Garden uses the Balamb region rules, where Open is the only default rule. The rules get mixed up if the player plays games with mixed rulesets. The Garden keeps the Balamb region rules even after its location becomes non-fixed.
Card Club[edit | edit source]
After the Garden becomes mobile, the player can start the Card Club quest after having won enough Triple Triad games within the Garden to gain fame. Squall must find and win all Card Club members to gain the chance to challenge the secretive CC King itself. Even if the player participates in the quest as Irvine during the time the Garden is stationed at Fishermans Horizon, the player will still be referred to as "Squall."
Rare cards[edit | edit source]
Many rare Triple Triad cards can be won within the Garden:
- Quistis - Quistis's card can be won from Trepie Groupie #1 sat in the cafeteria, or from either Trepie Groupie #2 or #3 in the classroom on the second floor.
- MiniMog - MiniMog's card can be won from the boy in blue shirt who runs around the central area. If the player skips the fight against the T-Rexaur during the Garden Riot, he will disappear. The player can still win the MiniMog card by playing cards with the girl in pink who is holding the boy's cards, standing in the hall leading to the training center and the library.
- Seifer - Headmaster Cid has the card and there are several occasions the player can challenge him. The first is by returning to his office on the 3F after being issued with the Timber mission on disc 1. Cid can be challenged later while he is in the infirmary once the Garden is mobile, and on the bridge after asking Squall to apologize to the mayor at Fishermans Horizon, and finally at Edea's House on disc 3.
- Leviathan - CC Joker in training center as part of Card Club quest.
- Carbuncle - CC Heart on the Garden bridge as part of Card Club quest.
- Gilgamesh - CC King in either in Squall's dorm room or after completing the quest on the Garden bridge, as part of Card Club quest.
- Chubby Chocobo - The student sitting on a bench outside of the library has it as part of the Queen of Cards sidequest.
Library girl with a pigtail[edit | edit source]
Zell and the girl with pigtails of the Library Committee have a crush on each other, but are too shy to let their feelings be known. The player can unite the two by frequently visiting the library with Zell in the party to view scenes with the two, which culminates in a romantic encounter in Balamb Hotel after the Garden becomes mobile.
Garden riot[edit | edit source]
NORG attempts to take over the Garden and the player party must locate Cid. Many items are available if the player refuses to join NORG's cause, but the player is pitted against a set battle before every area on the lower level of Garden:
- Mega-Potion from the student lying on the ground near the entrance gates.
- When the player heads to the library, the Faculty summons a Grat against the party.
- At the Training Center if the player helps the children by fighting a T-Rexaur, the SeeD accompanying the kids gives Squall a Remedy.
- At the parking lot the Faculty summons a Grendel and the player gets a Tent from the SeeD inside.
- The Faculty at the dormitory summons a Caterchipillar. There is no item at the dorm, but the player can rest and use the save point.
- The Faculty at the cafeteria summons a high-level Bomb. The player then gets a Gysahl Green from the people in the cafeteria. There is also a Demi draw point here, available only at this time. If Zell is in the party, the player also gets a humorous scene where he finds the cafeteria is out of hot dogs.
- The Faculty is running away at the quad and the player can let him exit the screen without interaction, but the player should talk to him to initiate a battle against a Bomb and a Glacial Eye to get an X-Potion from a SeeD on the quad.
- Elixir from Dr. Kadowaki after dispatching the Granaldo.
To clear the scenario the player must accomplish the following:
- Go to the Training Center and interact with the the Faculty member. After he talks, the player can either engage with the situation or just turn around and leave.
- Fight a set battle at the library, and talk to the girl and collect an item.
- Visit to the infirmary where SeeDs and NORG supporters are at a stand-off. The player can let the SeeD trainees handle the battle or do the battle themselves.
After these three areas, the player can take the elevator to Cid's office. However, visiting the other areas yields further events and rewards.
The following enemies are fought during this event:
- Bite Bug
- Bomb (the fixed battle at the cafeteria is always a higher level Bomb even if the player hadn't leveled up much)
- Glacial Eye
- Grendel (once only, summoned by a faculty member in a scripted fight)
- Granaldo (once only, summoned by a faculty member in a scripted fight)
Valve minigame[edit | edit source]
The valve on the MD level involves a minigame where the player must repeatedly press a button (default ) within a ten second timeframe. If the player fails, they can retry with each attempt becoming progressively easier with the aid of an additional character. Attempts made after failing with three people requires only one button press to succeed.
|After failing with 3 people||1|
Battle of the Gardens[edit | edit source]
During the Battle of the Gardens, the following enemies are fought:
SeeD rank demotions[edit | edit source]
There are couple events in the Garden the player can do, but if the player follows through their SeeD rank will go down. In the beginning of the game, showing off Squall's gunblade to the two students sitting on the floor outside the 2nd floor classroom lowers the player's rank by one; even if the player isn't a SeeD yet, it will later be deducted.
Trying to sneak out of Balamb Garden during the night of the SeeD graduation lowers the rank by one; if the player tries to leave three times, the rank will drop. After defeating NORG there will be a boy outside the 2nd floor classroom asking Squall to show him magic. If the player complies the player's rank decreases by one.
As a vehicle[edit | edit source]
After the events in Fishermans Horizon the player can use Balamb Garden to traverse the world map. The Garden is slow, and can only ascend on land from beaches, and it cannot cross the Horizon Bridge. The Garden cannot cross the Trabia Crater or the mountains that lead to the Kashkabald Desert.
The player can move the Garden by talking to Nida on the bridge. After the events at Esthar, the player can still find Balamb Garden on Fishermans Horizon and use it if they wish, but acquiring Ragnarok makes using it obsolete.
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
Balamb Garden's musical theme is "Balamb GARDEN" that plays whenever the player walks its corridors. The track "Fear" plays in the Training Center. "Waltz for the Moon" plays during the SeeD graduation ball.
"Balamb GARDEN" also appears on FITHOS LUSEC WECOS VINOSEC: Final Fantasy VIII orchestrated album as "Balamb GARDEN~Ami". It appears in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival as a Field Music Sequence and in Final Fantasy XV in the music player as part of the Memories of FFVIII album.
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Balamb Garden is mentioned in the Mognet letter sent by Mohnny, who describes the 'Garden' as a giant school campus.
- Travels - To Be Young Again
The adventurer moogle, on his ongoing journey! I have arrive at a giant school campus called the garden that apparently trains mercenaries. Do you have any memories of school? It might help me if you share some!
The player may reply either "The disciplinary committee scares me," "There was this one hot teacher..." and "I don't want to remember." The first option describes Seifer, Raijin, and Fujin, while the second option describes Quistis.
Balamb Garden appears as the FMS for "Waltz for the Moon," and slightly different versions appear for "Balamb Garden" and "The Oath". It can also be seen in the background for "Ending Theme", alluding to the ending of the original game.
Balamb Garden 1[edit | edit source]
Having passed his final exam, Squall becomes an official member of SeeD. At the graduation party, he meets Rinoa, with whom he reluctantly agrees to dance. Quistis takes Squall aside to talk after the party, and as they head back to their quarters, they hear a woman scream.
Balamb Garden 2[edit | edit source]
Now full members of SeeD, Squall and the others receive their first deployment orders, and with them, a mysterious lamp from Headmaster Cid...
Balamb Garden MD[edit | edit source]
On orders from Headmaster Cid, Squall's team descends to the MD Level beneath Balamb Garden, where they must activate an emergency console to save the academy.
Balamb Garden appears as a location. Balamb Garden is a large Mirage named "Eden". Although Balamb Garden is used as the headquarters of the League of S and only a small portion of it is explorable, the 1F directory is shown and is laid and labeled the same as it appeared in Final Fantasy VIII.
Other media[edit | edit source]
In the 2000 film version of Charlie's Angels, the character Dylan (played by Drew Barrymore), after escaping an attempt on her life, stumbles up to a house and throws herself against a sliding glass door. Inside, she sees two young boys and asks for help and clothing. At the time, the two boys are playing Final Fantasy VIII and are controlling Squall and Quistis in a battle in the Training Center, likely during their visit leading up to the introduction of Ellone.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
As the character models were to be depicted as being closer to normal human proportions for the first time in the series, the game backgrounds also needed to have more of a sense of realism to them. The team went location scouting for school environments to make Balamb Garden come alive.
During Zell's intro FMV the SeeD symbol behind him has been flipped.
In the game's English localization, Balamb Garden cafeteria's most sought after menu item is hot dogs. In the original Japanese version, it is flavored bread.
Goodbye, Pupurun tells the story of the small sprite Pupurun rendered into the language of humans. Originally it was part of the Balamb Garden library's collection of books, but Raijin borrowed it and never returned it, as seen in the Study Panel.
There is an FMV on disc 2 which shows Balamb Garden being destroyed by the missiles, which is displayed if Selphie's party runs out of time escaping the Missile Base, or the player doesn't set the missiles' error ratio to the maximum. The Garden is still in its stationary state when destroyed, even though the missiles would still have been launched the same time as if Squall's party had activated the MD level. The player earns a Game Over after the FMV plays.
Balamb Garden appears to fly over water in the game's ending, despite being partially submerged like a sea vessel every other time.
In the beginning of the game, the different sections of the Garden are attached to the main building via open hallways with bushes and other greenery growing on the sides. These areas disappear after the Garden becomes mobile, save for one scene: in Fishermans Horizon Rinoa comes to ask Squall to attend the concert in the hallway that leads to the dorms.
On the second floor, when the player heads to the balcony they take a right path from the elevator hallway, which faces the main gate, yet when the Garden is seen from the outside, the balcony is to the left of the main entrance.