The Centra Ruins is an optional location on the Centra continent in Final Fantasy VIII first accessible by the mobile Balamb Garden. It is dominated by an octahedral frame and is a remaining structure from the ancient Centra civilization. The ruins look old, but are riddled with technology. Throughout the structure there are blue and red wires, which power the apparatus inside. Some devices work as if controlled by magic. It is unknown what purpose the ruins once served.
The Centra Ruins, located within the destroyed continent of Centra, is near Mount Yorn to the south-east of the Centra Crater.
The Centra Ruins is a large tower, based around an octahedral frame, and is comprised of ancient, stone structures. It contains many ominous statues, mosaic glass windows, and dimly lit rooms. A throne room can also be found within the ruins.
The first level of the ruins has a statue, said to be of a sorceress and a knight, in the center of a round platform with small steps leading up to it. There are also several worn pillars, as the floor has been eroded over time. At the back behind the statue is a set of stairs leading up before forking; the left path breaks half-way through, while the right path leads up to the next floor.
This area also has a hidden Drain draw point. This area also appears on Selphie's Sir Laguna's Page after the player visits the area; it is the only section added to the Sir Laguna's Page where the player doesn't have to read a Timber Maniacs magazine to get it. This area is full of Tonberries, making a good area to fight in to get the Tonberry Guardian Force.
After taking a stone lift up, the player comes to a screen with ladders leading up to the top of a tall tower. The left one leads to the control room, and the ladder on the right allows access to a hidden Aero draw point.
The control room is reached after taking a lift up to the second level and climbing two flights of ladders. It is a dimly lit, circular, dark room with a glowing blue sphere. Activating this mechanism erects stairs in the area below, allowing the player access deeper into the ruins.
The statue, found on the outside of the tower, after taking the stairs up from the ladders has only one eye when the player reaches the screen the first time. The player must take the eye out and leave the statue eyeless. Later, when returning with two eyes, putting both on the statue activates a mechanism that lets the player input a code that opens the door below, leading to Odin's chamber.
The green dome at the top of the ruins has another statue with only one eye. Putting in the eye collected from the level below displays a code that opens the door to Odin's chamber. After getting the code the player can take the eyes out and place them on the statue on the level below.
Odin is found in the locked throne room chamber within the ruins, ready to face his challengers. This is a tall throne room with mosaic windows letting in limited light. Odin will not attack, but if the player runs out of time during the battle, Odin will slice the party with Zantetsuken.
Sir Laguna's Page
This is something extra. It's the entrance to the Centra ruins. You see me in the picture? There's a statue of a sorceress and knight. It's kinda nice. Although there are tons of monsters!Selphie's description of the ruins at Sir Laguna's Page
The Centra Ruins will appear on Selphie's Sir Laguna's Page after the player visits the area. This is the only section added to page where the player doesn't read a Timber Maniacs magazine to unlock it.
Completing the ruins within time limit
Upon entering the ruins, a timer begins. The party must find a series of red gemstones and place them in the eyes of statues to acquire the code to access the room where Odin is fought; if they cannot do this before the timer ends, they must start over. The quest is easier with the Enc-None ability equipped (learned by Diablos).
Proceeding up into the ruins, there are two gargoyles: one at the entrance leading to Odin, and one on top of the ruins. The entrance to Odin is unlocked by inputting a five-digit code. The player must climb above to the second gargoyle and retrieve the code and two gems to be placed on the first gargoyle. The player then enters the code once the gems have been placed on the first gargoyle, and the entrance is opened.
If the timer runs out before the party encounters Odin, he seemingly kills the party (
The heavens hath decreed thy fate. PERISH BY MY SWORD!), before the player is presented with options to "Try again" (which boots the player from the ruins with all the progress intact) or "Game over" (which results in a Game Over).
Reaching Odin's room allows the party to challenge him. The timer keeps ticking by during the battle, so to get more time the player can exit after opening the door to Odin's chamber and the timer will begin from the start upon reentering the ruins. Odin will not attack, but will annihilate the party with Zantetsuken if they run out of time. Odin has many good spells to draw. The battle being timed alludes to Final Fantasy V whose Odin was faced under similar conditions.
Defeating Odin within the time limit recruits him as a pseudo-Guardian Force. He cannot be junctioned, but will appear randomly to vanquish random opponents. Acquiring Odin is needed to recruit Gilgamesh at the point of no return.
In all versions of the game, it is possible to take a shortcut to Odin from the ruins' entrance by entering the Centra Ruins while holding the button to challenge others to card games ( in the PS). The player is teleported to Odin's chamber with 1:30 left on the timer. However, if the player has not opened the stairs in the previous area, they cannot leave the ruins and will be stuck. This shortcut can be used for farming Luck-J Scrolls from Odin, however, by purposefully defeating him right as the time is running out, still netting battle rewards yet being ejected from the ruins.
Why the shortcut functionality exists is unclear; it may be a leftover from developers testing the game.
The Tonberry King appears in a specific battle once at least 20 Tonberries have been killed. A good area for this is the first area of the ruins as Tonberries are the only encounter there. A quick way to kill the Tonberries is to bring Irvine on critical health and use his Armor Shot to kill the Tonberry in one turn; other Limit Breaks can also be used, but Irvine's is faster than most others', as Quistis's Degenerator has no effect on Tonberries. The player does not need to kill all Tonberries in one go; they can exit the ruins to save or do other things to return later. Tonberries drop Chef's Knives that refine into AP Ammo.
After enough Tonberries have been killed, the King steps in to battle the party. Players may want to face Tonberry King once the party is on average above Lv30 to be able to draw the valuable Full-life from him. Defeating Tonberry King earns the player Tonberry as a Guardian Force.
The Centra Ruins' theme is "Find Your Way", the standard dungeon music shared by other locations in the game.