- For the technical remake of the ballroom dance scene, see: Final Fantasy VIII technical demo.
The Dollet dukedom, at war with the Galbadia Army have requested 'Garden' to dispatch 'SeeD'. The world renowned special team 'SeeD' from 'Garden'. The high-speed vessels in which they ride are about to land in Dollet dukedom...
Final Fantasy VIII had several demos released; for both the PlayStation and PC versions. The first PlayStation demo is known for playing slightly different from the finalized version, with Selphie and Quistis absent and the scene's original music, which ended up being replaced, still intact.
The PlayStation demo is included along with the Japanese and North American releases of Brave Fencer Musashi. In North America it was released October 31, 1998, and the disc the demo is on is called SquareSoft '98 Collector's CD Vol 2 - Final Fantasy VIII. At the time, the fast food chain Pizza Hut also had a deal where they gave out PlayStation demo discs with their pizzas, and Final Fantasy VIII was in this offer as well.
In Europe, a slightly more polished version of the Final Fantasy VIII demo came with a special issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine, and a second demo disc featuring early cuts of the "Liberi Fatali" and ballroom scene FMV's respectively was packaged along with the Platinum Edition (re-release) of Final Fantasy VII.
In France, the disc came with the October-November 1999 PlayStation Magazine special issue. The only notable difference with the retail game was stronger characters. It was relatively easy to defeat X-ATM092, which was called Goliath.
A demo version without Rinoa also exists that is closer to the final game.
Differences from the final gameEdit
The demo takes place at the Siege of Dollet, with Rinoa in the party replacing Seifer and Selphie for the bits they are playable in the finalized game. The characters wear their normal clothes instead of the SeeD cadet uniforms they don in the final game, and the demo's FMVs are altered to show Rinoa in place of Selphie, and the different wardrobe; the characters' facial structures also differ slightly from the final game's FMVs. The dialogue is completely different from the final game with some terms translated differently.
At the beginning of the demo the scene at the beach is longer with Seifer explaining the party's objective, as the demo lacks the scene present in the final game where Xu explains the mission within the vessel. On the Central Square, Zell comments on the dog licking Seifer, Rinoa laughs and Seifer shoos the dog away, annoyed. Seifer doesn't call Zell a "chicken-wuss", but instead comments on how taking the dog along instead of Zell would prove more worthwhile, sending Zell into a rage.
The communications tower (called "antenna facility" in the demo) doesn't have the Blind draw point the final game has, and instead of Selphie, a Dollet soldier delivers the withdrawal order; unlike in the final game, the demo only has 15 minutes to reach the shore. At the demo's end, Squall and the others rush back to the vessel and the X-ATM092 is destroyed by a Dollet soldier instead of Quistis. Production credits appear overlaying the FMV and the scene cuts off as the vessel leaves the shore, ending with a message stating "Winter 1999".
The party has Leviathan, which is the only Guardian Force the party can summon as the menu is disabled. The most spells that can be drawn at once is only three. Squall has Fated Circle instead of Rough Divide for his C. Sword finisher and the player cannot enter Zell's Fight commands; instead, Zell performs a scripted Limit Break. The demo is more difficult than the actual scene in the final game due to the disabled menu, which prevents the player from customizing the party, and the characters can't level up.
Certain sound effects and animations are slightly different in the demo than in the final game and the X-ATM092 is considered impossible to destroy (Except in the French Demo). Even though Rinoa is in the demo, she has no spoken lines and nobody refers to her during gameplay. She also has no Limit Break and cannot use the Draw command, but she can summon Leviathan into battle.
The demo has two extra dummied command abilities that were removed for the second, non-Rinoa demo: Fortify and W-Item. W-Item works the same its equivalent in Final Fantasy VII and uses two items per turn, and Fortify casts Cure, even if its description suggests it would heal a Guardian Force. Despite Rinoa not speaking in the demo, she has an unused line: "I wonder how many enemy reinforcements are coming." The demo also has a limited debug room, with half the options being jumps to non-existent maps, and the other half of the options simply being broken.
During the demo the track "Raid on Dollet" plays, which was replaced by "The Landing" in the final game, and "Raid on Dollet" never appeared on the game's original soundtrack. Although no official reasoning has been given, it is presumed that "Raid on Dollet" was taken out due to sounding too similar to the theme of the film The Rock composed by Nick Glennie-Smith and Hans Zimmer.
A version of "Prelude" plays in the PlayStation demo's menu that isn't included in the full game.
PC version demoEdit
The PC version demo was available for download shortly before the game was out and included the the ballroom scene and Squall and Quistis's trip to the Balamb Garden training center, ending with the boss battle against Granaldo. All the dialogue plays the same as in the finalized game, but notably, the party has Leviathan, a Guardian Force not available at that point. Due to limited junction magic available, the PC demo is also harder than the final game, especially if the player ends up encountering the T-Rexaur.
- The North American release of the PlayStation demo was rated M (Mature). The full game is rated T (Teen). This makes the Final Fantasy VIII Demo the first Final Fantasy release to receive the M rating.
- The Dollet evacuation FMV in the final game still has some remnants from the demo version. During the scene Selphie and Zell run across the beach toward the camera, Selphie has Rinoa's shadow. When X-ATM092 searches its target the scene is black and white and grainy and from the robot's point of view; Squall running toward the vessel was re-rendered in a SeeD cadet uniform, but Rinoa and Zell in his casual clothes still appear small in the background, instead of Selphie and Zell in his cadet uniform. (See a comparison video on YouTube.)