Selphie is a playable character in Final Fantasy VIII. She wields nunchaku in battle, and her Limit Break is Slot that draws up various random magic spells, some of the most potent ones being exclusive to her. Selphie is also available as a Triple Triad card and challenger. Selphie acts as the party leader during the Missile Base mission.
Selphie joins the party outside the Dollet communication tower during the SeeD exam, inheriting whatever GF and magic and junctions Seifer had, but not his EXP. She stays with the party until they return to Balamb Garden. She soon after joins Squall and Zell for the mission to Timber. During the dream onboard the train, Selphie's junctions go to Ward. During the Centra Excavation Site dream, Selphie's junctions are given to Kiros.
When the party splits at the end of D-District Prison, Selphie leads the Missile Base team, the player being able to choose who joins her and who will go with Squall back to Balamb. The player can then control her on the world map, but the only town they can visit at this time is Deling City.
Selphie wields oversized nunchaku in battle. Equipping more advanced models will increase Selphie's attack power and hit accuracy. Selphie's ultimate weapon, the Strange Vision, is the only weapon apart from the gunblade that has natural 255% accuracy.
Selphie's weapon is called "Nunchaku" in the NTSC versions of Final Fantasy VIII, but in the English PAL version they are known as "Shinobou" due to nunchaku's status as an illegal weapon in UK at the time.
There are four nunchaku models available for Selphie:
- Flail – Initial model. Described in Weapons Monthly, March Issue.
- Morning Star – Described in Weapons Monthly, June Issue.
- Crescent Wish – Described in Weapons Monthly, July Issue.
- Strange Vision – Described in Weapons Monthly, 1st Issue.
The weapons apart from Strange Vision are not a priority to upgrade as they only offer Strength, which is much more readily boosted via the junction system than weapon upgrades. Strange Vision, meanwhile, is worthwhile to aim for, as it can hit even the Cactuars without missing.
Selphie's Limit Break, Slot, allows her to cast spells from a random spell pool. Each spell can be cast up to three times in succession. The player can "Do over" Slot indefinitely. In the PlayStation version, it is possible to "cheat" while executing the Limit Break: before selecting a spell, one can open the disc cover and the enemy will not attack, thus one can "Do over" until one encounters the desired spell.
Aside from the usual magic encountered throughout the game, Selphie has four exclusive spells in Slot:
- Full-cure - Restores all party members' HP and removes all status ailments.
- Wall - Casts Protect and Shell on all party members.
- Rapture - Wings carry enemies away. It does not work on enemies immune to eject.
- The End - The party instantaneously wins the battle. Works against all enemies apart from undead creatures. The percentile range for this particular slot coming up is low, and it never shows up when Selphie is on levels 40–79.
In the Japanese version, Selphie's spell Rapture is named Levitaga, i.e. a third level Float spell.
Her base stats can be boosted via the junction system and permanently raised via Level Up Bonus abilities. Leveling up mainly affects enemies' stats, however, and so using the junction system to customize stats is the superior method of making up a strong party.
Selphie joins the party when the player has three Guardian Forces available, and because her Limit Break is magical, she is best equipping Quezacotl who has Mag-J. She is apt for a healer and buffing role, as various powerful curative and buffing spells may appear in her Slot that the player has not yet had a chance to draw, such as Regen or Aura or Triple. From then on, she is good continuing to equip GFs with Mag-J (Quezacotl, Siren, Diablos, Carbuncle, Leviathan, Cerberus) and Mag+% (Quezacotl, Siren, Diablos). She may also be a good candidate for ST-Def (Siren, Carbuncle, Cerberus, Doomtrain) because she may get the chance to heal the others with Full-Cure, which is a fairly common outcome in her Slot.
GFs that have Defend (Brothers, Cactuar) may be good for Selphie, as if she used Defend the previous command, the protection will not lapse when she initiates her Limit Break the next turn, and is free to shuffle through the spell list while being protected from physical damage.
When Selphie gets her ultimate weapon, she will never miss, making her also a good physical attacker. Equipping her with STR-J (Shiva, Ifrit, Brothers, Pandemona, Cerberus) and Luck-J (Cactuar) makes her strong and increases the chance of critical hits, as unlike Squall who also has 255% hit rate, Selphie can't "trigger" her physical attack and thus needs the random chance. 255% hit rate is perfect for fighting Cactuars, and so a GF with Elem-Atk-J (Quezacotl, Shiva, Ifrit, Brothers, Leviathan, Pandemona, Alexander, Doomtrain) with Water junctioned would work perfectly.
The below values are the base compatibility values at the start of the game. The compatibility is affected by Selphie's actions in battle and what compatibility items are used in the menu; however, the compatibility mechanic only affects how fast a GF can be summoned, and summoning is usually an ineffective use of battle time, as the party can usually outdo the damage from a GF during its animation time, anyway. Compatibility is thus a minor mechanic that could be ignored.
After Balamb Garden becomes mobile, Selphie becomes available to challenge for Triple Triad. When not in Squall's party, she frequents the Balamb Garden second floor classroom (possibly updating her website) where she can be challenged, but she doesn't play any rare cards. She plays with Balamb region rules.
Selphie's main "sidequest" is the collection of Timber Maniacs magazines that has Selphie add new entries to her Sir Laguna's Page, viewable from the Balamb Garden Study Panel. Selphie updates a blog and a friends' page as well that gain new entries after cleared storyline scenarios.
Optional scenes with Selphie
At the beginning of the game Selphie will bump into Squall and the player has an option to give her a tour of the Garden premises. If Squall then visits the quad before taking the Fire Cavern mission, he will find Selphie who chases after him in the hopes of getting him to join the Garden Festival committee. Selphie recognizes Squall if he gave her a tour of the Garden. If the player joins the Festival Committee at this point, Selphie's dialog will change at the SeeD graduation dance, prompting Squall to work hard in the festival besides doing well in SeeD. If Squall hasn't joined yet, Selphie asks him to, and the player can either appease or ignore her. If the player has Squall join, Selphie—at the end of the Missile Base mission—laments that she can't trust Squall to take care of organizing the festival by himself.
When the party is on its way to Timber, they pass by the Balamb Town gas station. If they return to this area and speak to the gas station attendant, Zell will boast about his pull-ups record, but Selphie is less than impressed. If the player accepts Irvine's initial party set-up when leaving Galbadia Garden, Selphie will display mock infatuation with him.
If the player enters Missile Base on foot without the Galbadian vehicle, Selphie's party is denied entry and she gets rude with the guard, telling him "up yours". If the player brings Selphie to liberate Balamb, she has a unique scene in Zell's room where he is annoyed she is acting too much like "at home". Not taking Selphie's side has the player's SeeD rank drop. After the town is liberated, the player can talk to a chef on the harbor with Selphie in the party to get a scene where she talks about her favorite food being Ms Moogle's Cake.
When the party visits Trabia Garden, before heading to the basketball court the player can trigger various scenes with Selphie: talking to her friend, comforting the kids about her lost teddy bear, visiting her friends' graves, and turning off a computer terminal that displays Selphie's personal information when it comes back online.
If Selphie was chosen to go to Lunar Base with Squall, after she finds him back on where he landed, she explains she hitched a ride with a chocobo (though chocobos can't normally be ridden on on Esthar). Selphie is the default pilot of the Ragnarok.