How to Get a Perfect Score on the SeeD Field Exam
Have you played through Final Fantasy VIII but couldn't get a decent SeeD rank? Wondering how to get the best rank possible?
There are five categories in which you'll be graded: Judgment, Spirit, Attack, Attitude, and Conduct, each out of 100 points. There are also 100 points extra credit available, if you're up to it. You'll have to do relatively well in all of the categories to get the highest rank possible, 10. Having played FFVIII for a solid decade, hopefully I've got enough expertise to show you how it's done.
Grade affected: Judgment
This grade isn't really that hard, but to prepare, equip Quistis with the Shiva GF and get her compatibility to at least 800, if not 1,000. For those of you who don't know, compatibility is the rate at which a GF gets summoned. The higher the compatibility, the faster the character can summon the GF. Again, compatibility is increased with use of the GF. Try to learn the SumMag%10 and SumMag%20 abilities, as well as Boost, to increase damage.
Choose a time limit of 10 minutes - you won't need anything more. Speed along through the cave until you reach Ifrit, which should take you about 5 minutes. Take the opportunity during the beginning of the battle to draw, if you wish, from the monster. At about 3:00 is when you should start attacking - bear in mind that a GF animation lasts about 30 seconds. Ifrit has between 600-1,000 HP, so a couple of Shiva summons should do it. Blizzard works, but you don't really have to bother, it's not that hard of a fight.
Bear in mind, however, that even once you defeat Ifrit, the timer will keep going until he's done talking to you and the victory music plays. Therefore, I would advise summoning Shiva at 0:45 to finish him off. Otherwise, it's game over; even if you've defeated him, he has to finish talking first.
- 0:00~0:07 - 100 points
- 0:08~0:29 - 90 points
- 0:30~0:59 - 80 points
- 1:00~1:59 - 70 points
- 2:00~2:59 - 60 points
- 3:00~9:59 - 50 points
- 10:00~10:59 - 40 points
- 11:00~11:59 - 30 points
- 12:00~12:59 - 20 points
- 13:00~14:59 - 10 points
- 15:00 and above - 0 points
Escaping the X-ATM-092
Grade affected: Spirit
There is only one time where you must fight the X-ATM-092, and that is when it jumps down on you when you leave the tower. Every other encounter can be avoided. On certain screens, you just have to run before it catches you. There is one screen where, if you're running, it will make you stumble and force you to fight it. This can be avoided by simply walking down rather than running (hold the cancel button to walk). On the bridge, when it jumps ahead of you, start running backwards so it doesn't catch you off guard. It will jump back on the other side once you cross past the two lamp posts that intersect their perceived shape with each other (i.e. the exact center of the bridge). Crossing back after this, will make it jump again. Crossing forward, just after it lands will make it jump in front of you again, so you have to be methodical.
If you only escape once, when you have to fight it, you will get a full score. Also, if you defeat it at the bridge while having escaped only once, you will get a full Spirit score and a bonus.
- 1 - 100 points
- 2 - 70 points
- 3~4 - 50 points
- 5~9 - 30 points
- 10 - 0 points
Grade affected: Attack
You will be graded on how many enemies you kill during the Field Exam. Note, however, that enemies killed by GFs don't count! Since monsters level up with the player's average level, one of the best tactics for this is to utilize Seifer's temporary status in the party, by KOing the rest of your party members (i.e. Zell and Squall) and using him to rack up the kills needed, in random encounters, just before you reach the Communication Tower. This is also a good opportunity for players to gain more AP, Drawn magic, and EXP levels for their starting GFs. Since Seifer's character is also pre-programed with a high desperation attack HP-algorithm, it's also fairly easy for him to use his Limit Break Fire Cross, thus making this task all the more simple.
Number of enemies defeated
- 75+ - 100 points
- 25~74 - 90 points
- 15~24 - 50 points
- 10~14 - 20 points
- 0~9 - 0 points
Retreating to the Beach
Grade affected: Conduct
Remember that a withdrawal order has the highest priority, even over defeating the X-ATM-092. You must retreat to the beach as quickly as possible to get good Conduct marks. To do this, avoid fighting the X-ATM-092 as much as possible (unless you're trying to kill it for good.)
- 25:00+ - 100 points
- 24:59~24:00 - 90 points
- 23:59~23:00 - 80 points
- 22:59~20:00 - 70 points
- 19:59~19:00 - 60 points
- 18:59~17:00 - 50 points
- 16:59~15:00 - 40 points
- 14:59~10:00 - 30 points
- 9:59~6:00 - 20 points
- 5:59~3:00 - 10 points
- 2:59~0:00 - 0 points
Penalties: Things to Avoid Doing
Grade affected: Attitude
This is a school trip, kids. Don't do anything you wouldn't want your grandma knowing about. Actually, there are plenty of actions that if you take, you will lose points for. I'll list them here:
- When Selphie suggests jumping down the cliff as a shortcut, doing so will set you back 5 points.
- If you forget to save the dog from the X-ATM-092, that's a 10 point penalty.
- Running into the cafe to escape from the X-ATM-092 is a steep 20 points.
- Ignoring or insulting Seifer, or going against his orders, is a 1 point penalty every time.
- You cannot speak to anyone during the Field Exam except Zell and Seifer. This means that from the moment you're in the car en route to Balamb to when you get your score, keep your mouth shut unless spoken to. The only time when you can speak without being penalized is when you're in the square with Seifer, waiting. Speaking is a 1 point penalty, unless you talk to Biggs, in which case it's a 2 point penalty. Yeah, seriously.
Killing the X-ATM-092
Grade affected: Bonus
I bet you thought it was impossible. Well, there's a way - it just requires a lot of training. This section will be a partial guide to grinding before the battle as well...
You're going to want to start training before leaving for Dollet. Junction Quezacotl to Squall, and keep him there. If you don't understand why, somehow, I'll tell you - X-ATM-092 is a machine; it's weak to Thunder magic. You'll want to get Squall's compatibility with Q. up to 1,000 by summoning him repeatedly. To learn the abilities you'll need, go down to the Balamb beach, where you'll find plenty of Fastitocalon-Fs that are weak to...guess what...Thunder! They come in pairs of two, and together yield around 6 AP.
Quetzacotl must learn
Leveling Quezacotl up won't hurt, either. He'll do more damage that way. Also, get to learn the Boost command well. You'll want to boost him up to at least 130 every time you summon him in the battle against the X-ATM-092.
You've done enough ability-learning at this point. In Dollet, bear in mind that the X-ATM-092 can only be permanently killed on the bridge. If you want to get a good Spirit grade, you should only engage it here and when you have to under the Comm Tower. That way, you can still only have escaped once.
Use only Quezacotl. Do not bother with any other attack, although you can Draw Protect if you want to.
You may notice that the robot keeps repairing itself, and it doesn't die like a normal enemy. That is true - note that it has only around 5,000 HP, and even if you deplete that amount, it will continue repairing itself. It can only repair itself three times. At the third time, Selphie will say "No more!", and that's your signal to know that the robot's just about run out of steam. Now, you can finally kill it.
The X-ATM-092 yields a staggering 50 AP when you kill it. Note, however, that you can actually get 50 AP for depleting its HP during any encounter throughout the chase, for up to 250 AP. Be warned, however, that doing this will probably kill your Spirit and Conduct grades. Better to take your 50 AP and split, if you're shooting for a 10 rank. Actually, you could probably do this and get away with a 9 or 8, but then again, that's not the point of this guide, is it? ;) The only drawback to destroying the X-ATM-092 is that it takes away the opportunity to view the involved FMV, same as if you avoided it by hiding in the bar.