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Obel Lake is a location in Final Fantasy VIII north of Timber. It is a horseshoe-shaped lake with a small ledge, and a river flowing northwards through Vaulny Canyon.

Obel Lake is the location for a sidequest that requires Squall to travel all over the world in search of rare items and hidden locations with a guide from a friendly black shadow. The sidequest is best done earliest after the player obtains the spaceship Ragnarok, or latest before the player enters the Lunatic Pandora at the end of Disc 3. In endgame, no black shadow will rise from the lake. If the player misses the sidequest, they also miss the achievement/trophy for it.

The player may opt to get the ability Enc-None to avoid random encounters.


The player should travel to the lake's inlet and press X. An option will appear:

This must be Obel Lake
  • Throw a rock
  • Try humming

Selecting "Throw a rock" causes the rock to skip a certain number of times. For this part, the option is only "the rock x"; x being either "sank", "skipped once", "skipped twice", "skipped 3 times", "skipped 4 times" or "skipped 5 times".

Selecting "Try humming" summons a black shadow to the surface. Options will appears again; "Throw a rock" causes said shadow to disappear, while "Try humming again" will initiate a conversation.

  • Shadow: "...Hello human. What a lovely tune".
  • Squall: (There's something large there...)
  • Shadow: "Thanks for speaking to me again. Can you do me a favor?"
  • Squall: "What is it?"
  • Shadow: "It's my friend, Mr. Monkey... Can you find him for me? Please... Mr. Monkey should be in a forest somewhere. Keep walking around, and I'm sure you'll find him. If he's not around, perhaps he took a train towards Dollet?"

At this point, the player should start looking for Mr. Monkey in a forest (Dollet-Hasberry Plains) surrounded by canyon, northwest of Dollet. An option appears after walking around for a bit.

There's the monkey!
  • Throw a rock
  • Sing

Selecting either option prompts:

  • "You suck!"
  • The monkey disappeared into the forest...

Once Mr. Monkey is found, the player should return to Obel Lake. After Squall "relayed the whereabouts of Mr. Monkey", the black shadow will thank him, concluding the first part of the quest.

Black Shadow's clues[]

If Squall stays and chats, the black shadow will relay random statements, each hinting toward either a hidden draw point, toward two rare items, or simply being random trivia.

Centra clearing.

  • Back in the day, south of here, there used to be a small but beautiful village surrounded by deep forests. Everyone lived a happy life there.

This points out to a location near Almaj Mountains in Centra. If the player goes there, they should find a forest with clearing. If the player presses X, a message prompts out: ...This place just has rubble lying among the grass... Absolutely nothing... This perhaps refer to one of the many Centra ruins found around the world.

  • Oh yeah, do you know what? Take a break at the railroad bridge. I wonder what it means?

Points out a hidden draw point for the spell Break. The player should head towards the railroad bridge found at the river near Dingo Desert.

  • Oh yeah, do you know what? Take some time off at Eldbeak Peninsula. I bet it's a wonderful place.

Eldbeak Peninsula, located north of Balamb on the Trabia continent, contains a clue to a rare item. Walking towards the tip of the peninsula, a message prompts: There is a stone pillar. If you look closely, there's something written on it. "TRETIMEASUREATMINOFFDEISLAND"

Following the shadow's clues, removing the words "TIME" and "OFF" reveals "TREASURE-AT-MINDE-ISLAND".

Luck-J Scroll location.

Minde Island is located between Kashkabald Desert and Esthar's southwest coast. Walking around the place while pressing X yields a Luck-J Scroll, although finding the exact spot can be tedious (somewhere in the middle of Minde Island, near its "sharp" tip).

The player needs to get the Minde Island treasure to get the achievement/trophy for the Obel Lake quest.


...Is this ....part of something?

Squall thinks as he receives the first clue

Next, the black shadow mentions "something" found at three different locations. Walking around while pressing X prompts a message to show the player has received the item.

"Oh yeah... You'll find something on an island east of Timber, too".

This refers to a thin island just off Mandy Beach east of Timber, north of the Horizon Bridge crossing the sea (the rock is somewhere in the middle). The message goes:

  • You found a piece of rock by your foot... It looks man-made, and has some carving on it...
  • R E A I D R
"Oh yeah... At the beach in Balamb, something special washes ashore at times".

This refers to Rinaul Coast, the only beach in Balamb island. The player may have to try again and again. The message goes:

  • You found a piece of rock by your foot... But it was just a rock...
  • You found a piece of rock by your foot... It looks man-made, and has some carving on it...
  • S T S L R M
  • Squall: (...Seems like the same rock I picked up before...)
"Oh yeah... There's also something on top of a mountain with a lake and cavern".

Bird nest location.

Here, the player should travel to Monterosa Plateau (southwest of Galbadia Garden, near a railroad), and look for a cavern with a river flowing out of it. If the player lands Ragnarok there, they will find a Blizzara draw point near the mouth of the cavern. Players can land the Ragnarok atop the plateau and walk towards the ledge. A message will read:

A bird is warming an egg
  • Check it out
  • Leave it alone

Selecting "Check it out" prompts a battle with two Thrustaevises. After defeating them Squall receives this clue:

  • You found a piece of rock by your foot... It looks man-made, and has some carving on it...
  • E A S N P D
  • Squall: (...Seems like the same rock I picked up before...)

It is possible to leave the bird alone and check back and eventually the bird will have left to find food, so the player can find the rock without having to kill the bird. It serves no purpose except to avoid a battle.

For the fourth piece, Squall must return to Obel Lake.

Mr. Monkey[]

"Mr. Monkey had a rock like this I think..."
Black Shadow will give the player this clue if Squall talks to it after he has found at least one of the three rocks above.

At Obel Lake the player can try "throwing a rock" again. At some point, they may come across the message "The rock skipped many, many times". This prompts the moment the player should return to Mr. Monkey.

There's the monkey!
  • Throw a rock
  • Sing

Once having found him again, selecting "Sing" prompts the "You suck!" message. The player should select "Throw a rock" and Mr. Monkey will respond:

  • "Ahhh! Damn it! Y-You're just a big loser! I'm able to skip the rock as many times as I want! So there! Ha-Ha! Loser! Moron! Idiot! Your mum wears combat boots/a shellsuit!"

"Throw a rock" again

  • "...OUCH!...D-Darn it!...You're gonna pay for that!"
  • The monkey threw a rock at you and ran! ...Upon inspecting the rock, it looks man-made, and has some carving on it... U R H A E O.
  • Squall: (...This must be all of them...)


Next, Squall must leave for Obel Lake, and talk to the black shadow for the last time:

  • Shadow: "Hello! ...This must be all the rocks."
[ S T S L R M ]
[ U R H A E O ]
[ R E A I D R ]
[ E A S N P D ]

"I wonder what it means?"

Reading it from top right downwards for each column reveals:


To Mordred Plains[]

Mordred Plains is an area north of Esthar sandwiched between two mountain ranges: Vienne Mountains to the north, and Nortes Mountains to the south. The start of this sidequest occurs with this message:

There are many multicolored rocks with faces all over the place...

There are four colored rocks here, although they don't actually appear on the world map: blue, white, black and red. They give the player, or rather try to give them, clues to the final item. Pressing X prompts messages from the rocks as long as the player is within the area.

The best reference is the blue-faced rock:

The blue-faced rock whispers "I don't know where the treasure is..."
The blue-faced rock whispers "Some of us just say the opposite of what we mean".
The blue-faced rock whispers "Some of us just talk nonsense".
The blue-faced rock whispers "Some of us just repeat the same thing".
The blue-faced rock whispers "People call us 'The Liar Rocks'".

The white-faced rock is the one talking nonsense.

The white-faced rock tells you coldly "It's south."
The white-faced rock tells you coldly "It's north."
The white-faced rock tells you coldly "It's east."
The white-faced rock tells you coldly "It's west."

The black-faced rock is the one that just repeats the same thing.

The black-faced rock tells you sternly "...The treasure is probably in the direction of the North Star..."

The red-faced rock is the one that says the opposite of what it means.

The red-faced rock tells you angrily "The treasure's to the north!"
The red-faced rock tells you angrily "The treasure's to the south!"
The red-faced rock tells you angrily "The treasure's to the east!"
The red-faced rock tells you angrily "The treasure's to the west!"
The red-faced rock tells you angrily "The treasure's not here!"

Three Stars location.

Whatever the red-faced rock says, the player must do the opposite. If it says "north!", the player must go south according to the map (not press Down). When the rock says the treasure is not here, the player has found the treasure: the Three Stars item that enables a Guardian Force to learn Expendx3-1—this means that casting three spells under Triple status will only cost one magic spell in stock.

When the player gets the red rock talking, it is possible to keep talking to it, as it gives more than one direction. If it gives a direction, it is easiest to press X again until it gives another direction, then go the opposite of the two directions. The treasure is found faster this way.

Finding the Three Stars ends the sidequest.

Completing the quest in the versions that support achievements earns the player the achievement/trophy Obel Lake Secret. To unlock this, the player needs to find both the Three Stars and the Luck-J Scroll on the world map.