Carbuncle is a one-of-a-kind Triple Triad card in Final Fantasy VIII used to play the minigame and for turning into items with Quezacotl's Card Mod. Carbuncle is the eighty-ninth card in the inventory and the first Level 9 card. It depicts the Carbuncle Guardian Force drawn from the Iguions during the Deling City assassination mission. The card is called "Carbuncle" even if the player renames the GF.
As a Level 9 GF card, Carbuncle has good values and has one A, which represents the value 10 for the minigame and is unbeatable without special rules. Its value placements may also be useful for games that use Same and/or Plus.
Carbuncle is held by Queen Heart of the secretive Card Club of Balamb Garden who plays with Balamb region rules. The player can start the quest after defeating BGH251F2 in Fishermans Horizon as long as they have talked to Jack in the Balamb Garden lobby and won at least 15 Triple Triad games in Balamb Garden (games played in the Cafeteria, Library and 2F Classroom do not count). The player can then go round and try find the club members by challenging them to a card game; winning against the lower ranked member lets the player challenge the next person in line. CC Heart is the fifth club member whom the player can challenge after winning against CC Spade. CC Heart is Xu, who is found on the bridge.
If the player completed the Card Club quest before the point of no return (fighting the boss atop the Lunatic Pandora), the club members will appear aboard the Ragnarok in the endgame, from whom the player can win all Level 8–10 cards they do not currently hold in their deck, even the cards they had modified before. This allows the player to modify the Carbuncle card and then win it back.
The Carbuncle card refines into 3 Glow Curtains, an item that teaches the Auto-Reflect support ability and also further refines into 100 Reflect spells. It is a good item to have and hard to come by without modding Carbuncle, as the player would need to collect 100 Dragon Skins and use a refiner ability learned by the very final Guardian Force they will likely get: Eden. Carbuncle is the only GF that learns Auto-Reflect natively, but it takes a lot of AP, and thus modding the card would also allow for speeding up Carbuncle's development by letting it learn Auto-Reflect without an AP grind. However, Auto-Reflect is not such a crucial skill, as the player can simply summon Carbuncle to bestow the whole party with Reflect for only the cost of using up one turn in battle (as long as they can bear to watch the summoning animation over and over).
In 1999, following the release of Final Fantasy VIII in Japan, Bandai produced a full set of collectible Triple Triad cards in Final Fantasy VIII Carddass Masters Perfect Visuals. The set was made up of the 110 cards as seen in the game along with 72 artwork cards and a collector's edition playing mat. The cards have a blue side and a red side. The cards have become a rare collector's item.