Final Fantasy VIII
A warm welcome to all entities, and a welcome devoid of any sensation to my fellow nonentities!
You seem to have found your way to something created by Sorceror Nobody. This may or may not be a cause
for concern, but since you're here you might as well have a look around before fleeing this fragment of the void.

This is a guide to the PlayStation game Final Fantasy VIII. In the unlikely event that there is any difference between the EU and US versions of the game (other than the half-arsed localisation, that is), please note that since I'm English, this guide is based on the former.

Feel free to correct any SPG errors, though I don't usually make many. Don't attempt to change English spellings to American.

There's a good chance that you may not have encountered my style of writing before. If so, heed these seven warnings:

  • Humour: You may find my sense of humour odd or just plain unfunny. Expect frequent sarcasm
  • Randomness: Non-sequiturs are rather probable. They can occur at any time, so be prepared
  • Profanity: I will almost certainly use mild profanity frequently, and strong profanity occasionally
  • Sexual Refs: The intermittent occurrence of sexual references (usually mild) is entirely possible
  • "Pet Hates": I will frequently make jokes at the expense of things that I don't hold in high regard
  • "Pet Likes": I will occasionally make jokes at the expense of things that I do hold in high regard
  • Offensive: Any offence I may cause is entirely unintentional (unless stated otherwise, but that's very rare)

How to Play Final Fantasy VIII[edit | edit source]

Since this is a PlayStation game, you'll be needing a PlayStation, PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3, as well as a copy of the game. You can also download this game for PS3 via PSN. There's also a PSP port on PSN, which is, as far as I know, identical apart from some weird control stuff to work around the fact that it's deficient to the tune of two shoulder buttons.

Basic Controls[edit | edit source]

Since this game is on the PlayStation, you'll be using the following parts of the handheld player/console interface mechanism (i.e. the controller):

D-pad and Left
Analog Stick
Movement both in the field and in menus. Pretty simple. If you're using the analog stick, you can walk rather than run by only tilting it partially. If you're wondering why you would ever want to slow yourself down, it will be useful later. Trust me.
X Selection in menus, interaction in the field.
Square In the field, engages NPCs in a game of Triple Triad. In battle, used when ing GF.
Circle Opens the main party menu in the field. In battle, cycles through characters whose ATB gauges are full. My first action in playing FFVIII is always to go into the config menu and swap these functions with the triangle button.
Triangle You know how X is the universal confirm button? It's probably not too hard to work this out then: triangle is the universal cancel button. In the field, holding it while you move around will make you walk. My first action in playing FFVIII is always to go into the config menu and swap these functions with the circle button.
L1 In battle, toggles the target window. On the overworld, rotates the camera.
L2 In battle, hold both L2 and R2 to attempt to flee.
R1 In battle, operates gunblade triggers, as well as in Irvine's limit break. On the overworld, does the same thing as L1, but in the opposite direction. Sheer wizardry.
R2 On the overworld, toggles the perspective between horizontal and top-down. In battle, see L2.
Start Pauses the game. That's about it, really.
Select In battle, hides the HUD, which is needed for Boosting GF. On the overworld, toggles the world map between hidden, globe, flat and full screen.
L3, R3, Right
Analog Stick
Press L3 and R3 simultaneously while rotating the Right Analog stick clockwise – the timing is extremely precise, and you have to get the rotation just right, too. What this secret button combination does is waste your time messing about with three inputs that don't do anything.

Battle System[edit | edit source]

Final Fantasy VIII uses the usual ATB system, where characters have ATB gauges that fill up, and when it's full, they can take action. A character with no GF junctioned can only attack (and use their limit break). Yeah, they can't even use items. Whoever made Item a GF-dependent command needs to be shot.

There is no MP in FFVIII. Instead, you obtain up to 100 'copies' of a spell, and this stock is used up when casting them. Spells are obtained either by drawing them from enemies or draw points, or by refining them from items with GF abilities. The other main battle command, after Magic, Draw and Item, is GF, which allows you to summon the usual gratuitous cutscenes which, as an afterthought (the spectacle is clearly the primary function, after all), deal damage. Well, apart from a few particular GF that have other effects.

There are also other command abilities, learned by GF, such as Treatment, Card, Doom... some are useful, others less so. Annoyingly, the limit on commands is "Attack and three others", so you always have to go without one of Draw, Magic, GF or item, and if you want to use a unique command, you'll have to go without another one of that core set.

Growth System[edit | edit source]

While the standard experience level system does exist in FFVIII, it's almost redundant. Your characters' levels determine very little, mainly affecting the levels of your enemies. Yes, enemies level up with you, rather than just being stronger in later areas. The main effect of this, in turn, is to increase enemy stats, but more importantly, to change the items they hold, and the magic that can be drawn from them. Certain GF also learn Bonus abilities that bump up the increase in stats when the character levels up. You can certainly exploit the Card ability to defeat enemies without getting exp, then grind levels once you have the Bonus abilities, but there are less tiresome ways to break the game.

In short, what grows in the game isn't really your party. It's your GF. The most important of all GF abilities are the junction abilities, which allow you to attach magic to your characters' stats. Since spells are readily obtainable by exploiting things like Triple Triad, this is what breaks the game. By the time you set off on the SeeD mission that starts the events of the game in earnest – which is pretty damn early – you can have access to three GF that have the HP-J ability, as well as the means to refine 100 Curagas to junction to HP. This gives you characters with a few thousand HP at a point when they would otherwise have no more than about one thousand, tops.

It's not just stats, either. Elemental and status attack and defence are also subject to junctioning. Once you have 100 Death spells junctioned to ST-Atk, you can cruise through a lot of normal battles. A word of caution, though: if a spell is junctioned to a stat, the number of copies affects the potency of the junction. In other words, casting that spell will reduce the number of copies in stock, which weakens it. It's all very well having Full-Life junctioned to HP, but if you use it to revive party members, the caster's maximum HP will decrease.

Using the Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

There is relatively little outside of plain text, with the odd image and a few fairly self-explanatory things like character and boss boxes, and lists of stuff to be obtained from optional exploration. Other than that, I hope my guide is clear enough. If you find any of the actual phrases or terms used in the text confusing, you can refer to the Glossary. If you still have problems... well, that's exactly the sort of thing that Talk Pages are useful for!

A note about spoilers[edit | edit source]

I will try to avoid spoiling anything ahead of time, and sometimes not even at the time. However, where names and terms are presented as links to articles on the wiki, those articles will have spoilers. Just like official websites accepting no liability with regards to external content, I accept no liability for spoilers that result from you clicking links.

Table of Contents[edit | edit source]

Note: Parts which have not yet been completed are provisional, and may be split or merged when they come to be written

Disc the first

Disc the second

Disc the third
  • Part 14: Wherein salt is often mistaken for snow
  • Part 15: Wherein technophobes will not be happy
  • Part 16: Wherein there is lunacy on many levels
  • Part 17: Wherein arrives a Machina Ex Machina
  • Part 18: Wherein there are many more sidequests
  • Part 19: Wherein Pandora's Box becomes relevant

Disc the fourth

  • Part 20: Wherein timey-wimey gets wibbly-wobbly
  • Part 21: Wherein the final dungeon crawl occurs
  • Part 22: Wherein our heroes confront their enemy

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