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E3 2019: The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster Likely Won't Let You Skip Summon Animations - And That's A Good Thing

Siren Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII are two of the greatest JRPGs of all time, but there are aspects of both games that haven't aged well. One of the most frustrating aspects of these games is the unskippable cutscenes that play whenever a monster is summoned using magic. Knights of the Round is one of the most powerful spells in Final Fantasy VII, but the player is liable to grow sick of watching the same one minute and twenty-second clip after seeing it so many times while trying to defeat the Weapon monsters.

Final Fantasy VIII is being remastered and will be coming to modern consoles in 2019. There haven't been many details released about the game, but we know for sure that the graphics are being improved and that several of the cheats that appeared in the remastered versions of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX will also be making an appearance, such as the ability to max out all of the stats and acquire all of the items in the game.

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It will be possible to triple the speed of the gameplay in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered (with the exception of the FMV cutscenes), which means that it will be possible to breeze through the Guardian Force summon animations. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered has also had a lot more work put into it than the other remastered ports, so it's possible that the game may include an option to skip summoning sequences, as was implemented in Final Fantasy IX. 

via de.finalfantasy.wikia.com

The developers of Final Fantasy VIII seemingly couldn't fathom the notion that people would want to skip the summon monster animations after seeing them a hundred times, so they decided to implement a game into the sequence in order to keep the player interested, in the form of the Boost ability.

The Boost ability was activated during the sequence that played whenever a Guardian Force was summoned to the field. Once summoned, the player could press the Select button in order to bring up a prompt that showed the Square button. If the player hammered the button at the right time (and stopped hitting it when prompted), then they could significantly increase the damage that the Guardian Force dealt with its attack. The length of time that the Boost meter appeared was related to the compatibility between the caster and the Guardian Force, which meant that it was possible to strengthen the Guardian Force's attack by up to 250%.

The Guardian Force that benefits the most from Boost is Eden, due to the fact that it has the longest summoning animation in the game and that it can break the damage limit, which means it can deal more than 9999 points of damage. Proper implementation of Boost means that Eden has a shot at dealing the maximum amount of damage in Final Fantasy VIII, which is sixty-thousand points in a single move.

The Guardian Force animations would quickly grow tiresome, but the implementation of the Boost ability gave the player some interaction with the power of their summoned monster. The exception to this was with the Guardian Forces that didn't deal direct damage, such as Cerberus and Diablos, which couldn't benefit from Boost.

The Boost feature made the Guardian Forces a viable combat option in a game that was ripe for abuse, as Final Fantasy VIII was notorious for how easy it was to break the battle system in half.  It's possible to create some of the best weapons in the game by the end of the first disc, as well as use Zell's first two Limit Breaks to cheese almost any opponent in the game. The ability to create items from cards allowed for all kinds of amazing game breaking opportunities, such as being able to create the most powerful magical spells in the game within the first couple of hours of play. The Guardian Forces were powerful, but they paled in comparison to the numerous other combat options that were available.

The ability to fast-forward the game in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will allow the player to breeze through the Guardian Force animations, but they will be missing out on a key part of the original experience if they neglect the Boost feature and its effects. The fast-forward option was incredibly useful in Final Fantasy IX Remastered, due to how slow the battles in that game could be (especially if the player has the Auto-Potion ability equipped), but there is more going behind-the-scenes with Final Fantasy VIII Remastered. Square Enix hid a useful game mechanic within the summon animations for the Guardian Forces, and it would be a shame if it was neglected by modern players who wish to end each battle as quickly as possible.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is coming to the Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2019.

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