The time has finally come for the heavily anticipated remaster of Final Fantasy VIII. This fondly regarded classic was a radical entry in the legendary series and was driven by its outlandish plot, memorable characters, and underrated soundtrack. Since it's been over 20 years since its release, revisiting the world from the cockpit of the Ragnarok has never looked better.
With time comes knowledge and there are plenty of things for the first-time players or series veterans can take from this to enhance their experience in reliving this generational classic. These are 10 things we wish we knew before starting Final Fantasy VIII.
10 Draw Everything
Unlike previous Final Fantasy games, magic is no longer discovered or purchased at stores, but rather stolen from enemies in the game’s many encounters. Magic is only used for its traditional purpose but also is used to boost each character’s individual stats making them more formidable as more magic is drawn.
While it's a grind, it should be a priority to draw as much magic as possible during random encounters and later junction that magic as soon as the battle ends to make the rest of the game that much easier.
9 Passing the Test
Squall may be a mercenary, but even he needs to do his homework. Following the epic mission in Dollet, Squall will be assigned a SeeD ranking that determines how much gil he pockets upon payment. The higher his level, the more he gets paid.
These tests can be accessed from the tutorial menu and upon completion of all 30 tests, Squall’s payout totals to 20,000 gil per pay cycle.
8 Forcing a Limit Break
Final Fantasy VIII’s limit break system is different from many of the traditional games with a few exploits that can trigger the powerful attacks well before they should be used. By rapidly opening and closing the battle menu, there is a chance that a limit break will make itself available and lead to some devastating damage to the benefit of the party.
Later in the game, the Aura spell can also trigger party members to have limit breaks outside of critical damage as well, and for reasons that will be detailed shortly, this can best utilize the game’s heaviest hitters in Zell and Irvine.
7 Zell= Easy Mode
If you're looking for the easiest way to go about Final Fantasy VIII, having Zell in the party at all times is the way to go. Zell’s limit break is a series of inputs on a timer, but by quickly inputting the commands for the Punch Rush, Booya and Heel Drop in repeated fashion is usually enough to kill even boss characters in one go.
It would be wise to boost Zell’s strength, speed and luck as high as possible via junctions and Guardian Forces because he is far and away the hardest-hitting character in the game.
6 Quantity Over Quality
Another limit break trick involves the sharpshooter Irvine, who needs to either purchase ammo or have it refined via Ifrit’s Refine-RF ability. Stronger ammo types will require harder-to-find materials and items and take more time to shoot in his timed limit break, so for max damage, keep it simple.
Fast ammo is the easiest to refine and will do more damage than even the stronger pulse ammo acquired near the end of the game.
5 All Aboard the Doomtrain
Upon entering Tear’s Point for the first time, players will get an item called the Solomon Ring. Useless on its own, it is the first step in a fetch quest that will earn Doomtrain. To get this powerful GF, players must get six Marlboro Tenatcles, Steel Pipes and Remedy+ before selecting the Solomon Ring in battle and summoning Doomtrain.
Doomtrain is a hard-hitting Guardian Force that inflicts big damage and numerous status effects, making it an absolute must as the story progresses and for the easier EXP grind in the game.
4 The Island Closest to Hell
Conventional wisdom dictates that one would not want to fight level 100 monsters in random encounters, which is what is to be found in the unmarked Island Closest to Hell. The island boasts some of the strongest hidden draw points in the game and an easy EXP grind if the party has Doomtrain or access to Quistis’s Degenerator limit break.
With Ragnarok, head to the western-most island on the map that is shaped like an ominous “H,” make sure the party is properly equipped and level up in no time.
3 Cactuar Island
Whereas the previous island is an excellent place to grind for EXP and magic, Cactuar Island is the place to go to level up precious AP for Guardian Forces. Each Cactuar kill yields a whopping 20 AP for each, meaning killing 10 of these elusive creatures should unlock all the Guardian Forces abilities.
A mustachioed Jumbo Cactuar will eventually emerge to battle the party and can be challenging for low-level squads but defeating it will give the party the Cactuar Guardian Force.
2 No Guardian’s Left Behind
While characters can swap magic between each other at any time and some experience will be picked up by absent party members, it is critical that all Guardian Forces are equipped at once. Idle Guardian Forces do not gain AP, and with the above-mentioned exploits will be wasted if only some of the summons are not equipped.
Once a new Guardian Force is earned, add it to a party member right away and ensure they are all gain AP to max out their valuable skill set.
1 The Infinite Gil Trick
After acquiring Carbuncle during the battle with the Iguions, it should be an immediate priority to learn the Recov Med-RF skill to take advantage of an exploit that leads to infinite gil. After acquiring the skill, four tents can be refined into 1 mega potion that can be sold for 5000 gil, so stocking up on tents can yield massive profits as the game progresses.
When combined with Tonberry’s multiple abilities to boost sold items and lower prices for all shops, this exploit can turn a massive profit in short order and leave nothing to chance when it comes to money.