Made up of Balamb Garden's students and staff members, the club members' identities are not publicly known, and the player must scour the Garden to find them. The members will only acknowledge their membership once the previous member down on the rank has been defeated. The group members interact with Squall at various times, never letting on they are a member of the club. The reward for beating the Card Club is access to its members' rare cards.
Starting the quest
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 enough games after; Squall must gain some skill by winning at least 15 Triple Triad games in Balamb Garden (games played in the Cafeteria, Library and 2F Classroom do not count—presumably because there are no CC members around to observe Squall's success at the game). Talking to Jack and winning enough games within Balamb Garden can be done before the events at FH, though the quest won't start until after winning against the boss there. The player can start the quest when playing as Irvine Kinneas during his sidequest in FH.
While it is unclear how membership into the club is handled, a challenger must challenge each member by order of card value (Jack, Club, Diamond, Spade, Heart, King). Joker, as is fitting to his card value, can be challenged any time, and is considered separate from the Card Club's hierarchy.
The members of the Card Club:
|Jack||Jack is the first to mention the CC Group to Squall. He is the first member to challenge Squall once he has considerable skill in Triple Triad. He is found in the Balamb Garden main lobby, but the player needs to wait for him to walk onto screen from the south.|
|Knight Club||A SeeD only interested in playing Triple Triad who says nothing except "Draw..." to challenge the player. He is randomly found walking outside of the dormitories along the circular walkway.|
|Princess Diamond||A pair of female students found with Jack in the main lobby, walking up to and standing in front of the directory. The player needs to wait for them to walk into position at the info board.|
|Prince Spade||This is the guy who gave Squall his first deck of Triple Triad cards. He is found on the second floor outside the elevator. He possesses several high level cards.|
|Queen Heart||This member is Xu. She holds many high level cards, which includes the Carbuncle card. She can be challenged on the bridge.|
|Master King||Revealed to be Quistis. She holds many high level cards, including the Gilgamesh card. She challenges Squall randomly in his dorm room when he rests after he speaks to Dr. Kadowaki (after defeating Queen Heart). Once Squall wins the game Quistis can be challenged on the bridge. Unlike all other members, the player does not get an option to back out, and is forced into a card game when she challenges Squall.|
|Magician Joker||Holds the Leviathan card. He updates the Battle Meter (if the player has it) and acts as a shopkeeper in Balamb Garden's training center and the Ragnarok spaceship. He appears randomly on a platform overlooking the water in the training center.|
Dr. Kadowaki also mentions she once served as Master King, but was defeated by an unspecified student (presumably Quistis) four years prior. She does not hold any rare cards.
Card Club members in endgame
During endgame the Card Club members are found on-board the Ragnarok if the player completed the CC quest before the point of no return. (See here how to find the Ragnarok in endgame.) The group members, including Quistis, will wander the spaceship's halls waiting to challenge Squall with rules from around the world. Joker will also sell items and provide weapon remodeling. CC Joker is found aboard the Ragnarok to sell items and offer weapon remodeling even if the player did not do the Card Club sidequest.
During this time the club members each provide dialogue for their take on the current situation, and will play with all the LV8-10 rare cards the player doesn't currently have in their inventory, regardless of whether they were missed, lost or modified into items. It is possible to modify the rare cards into items and then win them back from the group. The cards available in the Queen of Cards sidequest are not played by most of the Card Club members; the player can find the Queen of Cards on the escape pod crash-site south of Tears' Point to win them off her.
The left girl of the CC Diamond is known for playing with all the high level rare cards the player doesn't currently have, including the cards normally obtained from the Queen of Cards. The other CC players will use rare cards at random. The game shuffles the cards' location when challenging the CC members, and thus it takes longer than normal for a card game against them to start. This means that for most of the CC members to play a rare card, the player must have gotten lucky in that the card was shuffled to them, and then for them to choose to use it in a game. The left girl of CC Diamond ignores which member is supposed to have what card, and will play any card the player does not currently have in order, one rare card in a hand at a time. The other CC members don't play the Queen of Cards' cards because these cards' locations are not shuffled (the cards' location is set to the queen if the player entered endgame without them already in their deck). Rarely however, the left CC Diamond girl won't play any rare card, in which case the player needs to challenge her again.
|CC Member||Ruleset||Card Lv||Location|
|CC Joker||Centra||1, 2, 3, 6, 7||Elevator room|
|CC Jack||Balamb||3, 4, 6||Lower level of Ragnarok, room up from hangar|
|CC Club||Dollet||3, 5, 6||Hangar upper level|
|CC Diamond||Trabia||3, 4, 5, 7||Hangar|
|CC Spade||Esthar||1, 2, 3, 6, 7||Storage room|
|CC Heart||Fishermans Horizon||3, 5, 6, 7||Boarding ramp|
|CC King||Lunar||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7||Airlock[note 1]|
- Quistis must be in the party
The trade rule and the Queen of Card's region cannot be changed in endgame and the trade rule stays as whatever she played last and the region she was last present in. Wherever the Queen ends up in endgame, the player should be careful that her trade rule is not "Direct". If the Queen's location at the point of no return was Deling City, all CC members' trade rule is "One" as no CC member plays with Galbadian rules.
- If the player wants to play the left Diamond girl for rare cards, before the point of no return the player can send the Queen of Cards to Trabia region with "All" trade rule so the left Diamond girl will play with that (however, she will only play one rare card at a time).
- If the player wants to play CC Heart for boss cards, the Queen could be sent to FH with "All".
- CC King plays all card levels, and so if the player is missing cards from various levels, the player can send the Queen to the Lunar region with "All" trade rule before the point of no return.
- If some region of the world is currently using Direct as trade rule, the player can send the Queen there with something other than Direct as her personal rule, so the CC member who plays with that region's rules will not use Direct.
Behind the scenes
In Japan, each school has a variety of clubs ranging from the practical (sports, class-room oriented) to the mundane (anime fan groups) and traditional (tea ceremonies, origami), created and ran by the student body. As Final Fantasy VIII was designed with a school theme, this is reflected in Balamb Garden with the Trepies, the Garden Festival committee, the library committee, the Balamb Garden disciplinary committee and the Card Club.
When playing the Card Club members in endgame, Galbadia's ruleset is the only one not used.