The following is a list of version differences between releases of Final Fantasy VIII.
The original version of Final Fantasy VIII was released in Japan on February 11, 1999.
North America and EuropeEdit
The western versions of the game released later after the Japanese version underwent a number of changes:
- By default, the English version of the game uses to confirm, to cancel, to enter the menu. The Japanese version uses to confirm, to cancel, and to enter the menu.
- Tutorials show up automatically in the game's storyline.
- Junction exchanging between party members is added.
- If the player attempts to leave Balamb Garden the first time without having obtained Quezacotl and Shiva from the Study Panel, Quistis will give them to the player. In the original version, the player can leave the Garden without any Guardian Forces.
- At the Fire Cavern in the Japanese version, the player has to defeat Ifrit and return to the entrance before time runs out. In the English versions, the player just needs to defeat Ifrit to stop the timer.
- Zell's favorite food has been changed from flavored bread to hot dogs.
- The weapon Selphie wields is called nunchaku in the NTSC versions and "shinobou" in the English PAL version. This doesn't apply to the Italian, Spanish, German and French versions.
- Some Guardian Forces can be obtained in Ultimecia Castle if the player missed them. This is not possible in the Japanese version.
- Torama, Iron Giant, Elnoyle and Behemoth have different HP formulas.
- Depictions of blood and gore were toned down:
- In the original Japanese version, the boss Gerogero's organs were red. The change to blue for the localized versions was probably made because the red makes the organs protruding from the creature look far more real.
- The Ultimecia Castle's armory has red blood on the wall in the Japanese version, but in the localized versions it has turned green.
Greatest Hits versionEdit
- The first sentence of Bahamut's Scan description in the English language release had a spelling mistake, reading "Called the King of GF; its Mega Flare ignores all defense, giving a powerful blo". In the PlayStation Greatest Hits (Platinum) release this error is corrected so that the first line ends with simply "ignores all defense".
The PC versions were released in 2000 with minor changes:
- The Triple Triad card faces use the whole render of the subject at times, rather than a close-up.
- Siren's Tool-RF can refine 1 Dark Matter from 100 Curse Spikes at any time instead of having to get Siren to level 100.
- Omega Weapon scales around the party levels instead of always being level 100.
- Several keys were removed from the organ in Ultimecia Castle: SO, LA, TE, and DO.
- The Credits for the PC version can be viewed from the main menu.
- The music was mixed down to MIDI quality to compensate for the sound hardware available at the time.
- The battle UI operates at 15fps.
The Steam version released in 2013, and is an upscaled version of the original PC release, with a number of changes:
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and newer are now supported.
- Screen resolutions are supported up to 1920x1080.
- Window mode is available.
- The full motion videos have been reencoded and upscaled to 720p standard HD resolution [1280x896 PAL]
- 45 achievements are added to the game.
- A cloud save feature allows files to be saved to the internet and synced to the web. This does not replace local saves.
- A launcher is implemented that serves as a main menu before accessing the game. Here settings can be changed and data not stored in save files viewed (such as achievements).
- Controls can be set from the launcher as well as in-game. The ability to change controls from the launcher means minigames and menus that use different control setups will still function with the user's chosen controls.
- A Magic Booster feature is added.
- Several other booster cheats have been added: HiSpeed Mode (F1), Battle Assist (F2), 9999 Damage (F3), AP Max (F4), and Magic and Gil Max (F5).
- The Square Enix logo appears before the Published By Square Electronic Arts text and the Squaresoft logo.
Final Fantasy VIII RemasteredEdit
An enhanced remaster of Final Fantasy VIII was released on September 3rd, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam in celebration of the game's 20th anniversary, featuring a number of major changes while incorporating a number of features that were absent in the 2013 Steam version:
- Character models have been completely remade with updated visuals. Added graphical improvements include new hairstyles, faces and additional animations to accessories. Other non-playable and supporting characters have a more detailed look.
- Weapons also have been visually updated and have more depth; for example, the barrel on Squall's Revolver gunblade is fully rendered in 3D as opposed to the original version where all gunblades were flat.
- Siren is more covered up by feathers compared to her original model (summon model only, original model still displayed on her Triple Triad card).
- Updated animation effects in spells and command actions.
- Updated font designs for texts.
- Significantly improved loading times during area and screen transitions. For example, entering and exiting an area from the World Map or challenging an NPC to a game of Triple Triad now loads in an instant.
- Improved anti-aliasing.
- Most changes made of the PC version stay, such as the Triple Triad cards using the designs that show the subject's full body, Siren not needing to be LV100 to refine a Dark Matter, and Omega Weapon's level depending on the party's.
- The music is of the original PlayStation version quality.
- "The Landing" theme was originally bugged during the Siege of Dollet and Battle of the Gardens events, reverting to the MIDI sequencing from the original PC version
- The option to turn off in-game timers during certain events.
- The option to multiply in-game movement speed by three.
- The option to turn off random encounters.
- The option for "Battle Enhancements".
- A brand new title screen is shown after the Square Enix, Dotemu and Access Games logos on PS4, Switch and Steam.
- Pressing any button or key will go straight into the Squaresoft logo.
- On Xbox One, the new title screen is right before the Square Enix, Dotemu, Access Games and Squaresoft logos. It is in a reversed order for title screen and the developer logos right before the Squaresoft logo.
- Pressing any button or key will go straight into the Squaresoft logo.
- Credits for personnel involved in the port can be viewed in the "Credits" option on the main menu. "The Landing" plays during this sequence.
- A "Select Profile" option is added in the main menu in the Xbox One version. It also shows the current signed-in profile on the top right of the main menu.
- Booster icons are larger in the Switch version.
- Booster icons can be shown on the top left of the game screen without backgrounds in the Steam version.
- Several battle boosters have been added exclusively for the Steam version, including the maximum number of gil, cards, stocked magic etc.
- The Chocobo World mini-game has been removed. Its exclusive items can still be obtained via Angelo Search. Boko can use his upgraded attacks natively based on Squall's level.
- Controls have been remapped as appropriate for each platform. A screen will detail the remappings upon starting a new game. Some features (e.g. gunblade triggers) are not directly documented, though they still work as closely to the original PlayStation controller as possible:
- The PlayStation 4 version matches the original layout button-for-button with the North American configuration. As in prior ports, the TOUCH PAD replaces SELECT while OPTIONS replaces START. On Xbox One, VIEW replaces SELECT while MENU replaces START. On Nintendo Switch, MINUS replaces SELECT while PLUS replaces START.
- There is no controller vibration option.
- Fixes issues where the player may get stuck.
- Fixes BGM and other audio bugs.
- Other minor bugs addressed.