The Forest Owls' Base is a location in Final Fantasy VIII. It is a yellow train, which is the headquarters of the Forest Owls rebel group. The player visits the headquarters once, during the mission to swap President Deling's train to capture him. In an FMV the train has a skull with the text "RAIDERS" under it painted on the side, but this is absent from its field model.
Forest Owls is a rebel group that opposes the Galbadian government that has occupied Timber. Their base of operations is a yellow locomotive that they use to move about the extensive railway network around Timber. Rinoa Heartilly is the daughter of the general of the G-Army, who has joined the group and comes up with the idea of hiring SeeD mercenaries to kidnap the president of Galbadia. When the SeeD group—Squall Leonhart, Selphie Tilmitt and Zell Dincht—arrive, they meet with the Owls' member Watts at the train station near the pet shop in Timber. They give a password and are allowed to come on board the Owls' base, the yellow locomotive. Squall meets the Owls' leader, Zone, who asks him to get Rinoa so they can start the meeting.
Squall is unimpressed he's been sent on an errand, but finds Rinoa in her room in the base, and recognizes her as the girl he had met at the SeeD inauguration ball. Rinoa asks for Seifer Almasy, but Squall explains Seifer did not graduate. Rinoa introduces Squall her dog, Angelo.
The Owls explain the SeeDs the mission. President Deling is arriving in Timber on a train and the Owls want to capture his train car and attach it to the base by swapping the president's car with a dummy car that has a dummy of the president. The SeeDs and Rinoa are to board the president's train and uncouple the cars at the correct junctions and then accost the president.
The plan works out and the Owls escape with the president's train car. When they approach him however, they discover he is but a body double. They learn the train was a ruse and that the real president is heading to the TV station to make an announcement. The Owls hatch a plan to disrupt the television broadcast, but Squall is dubious and asks to see the terms of contract between the Forest Owls and Balamb Garden. Rinoa produces a letter from Headmaster Cid Kramer that shows Squall's party is under her employment until Timber gains independence. Rinoa, Squall, Selphie and Zell head out to the TV station while the rest of the Owls go into hiding with their base.
Timber becomes overrun by G-Soldiers who also find and destroy the Forest Owls' base. The members disperse to lie low and escape from Timber.
This is where the party will board the base and meets Watts and Zone. It is a small, metal room with green doors. The way up the stairs heads to the engine room and Rinoa's room, the way left leads to the presidential car when it is attached to the base, and the door next to it leads to the Forest Owls' meeting room.
The meeting room is a longer room with a model train track that is used for illustrating the mission plan for the SeeDs to capture the presidential car from the Galbadians' train. There are Anarchist Monthly clippings pinned to the notice board at the back.
If the player watches the train abduction demonstration in the Forest Owls' base twice, Selphie will suggest they derail the president's car instead, to which Zell points out it would be pointless to kill him before abducting him.
In this room the player can find the other members of the Forest Owls and talk to them.
Rinoa's room is pink and elaborately decorated as opposed to the metal ascetic nature of the rest of the base. Returning to this room after Squall an Rinoa leave finds a Pet Pals Vol. 2 magazine on the bed. If the player misses it, they can later buy it from the Esthar Book Store.
Replica presidential car
The car originally attached to the Forest Owls' base is a replica of the real presidential car that they hope to use to dupe the Galbadians. It has a Vinzer Deling dummy that is fitted with a voice recording. Others remark that it is notably shabbier than the real presidential car, though Rinoa claims this design choice was intentional to reflect her hatred of Galbadia.
During the mission to capture the president's train car Squall, Selphie, Zell and Rinoa jump over to the the presidential train, and the player has to input three codes. The player should go down when there are no guards, and go back up if a guard gets near. In the next segment the player must input five codes and won't get a warning for the guards.
During the train mission, if Squall is never detected by the guards he gains a SeeD rank. If he is detected fewer than 10 times it has no effect on his rank, but if the guards spot him over 10 times, his rank will drop.
"Timber Owls" plays during scenes with the Forest Owls. "My Mind" plays when Squall meets Rinoa, which follows the melody of "Eyes On Me". "The Mission" plays during the Forest Owls' train mission.