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FINAL FANTASY 8 SPEED FAQ/WALKTHROUGH BY: Meh1 and Edman VERSION: 1.0 This is a guide to help you play the game in an easy, quick manner. It's fine for first-time players and veterans of the game. Note that the focus of this guide is to make the game very easy, so you won't find things like optional quests or collecting rare items. It just tells you how to breeze through the game. I will also skip any basic instructions that you can find in in-game tutorials or the instruction manual. So if you don't understand something, check those places first. If you still have trouble, e-mail me and I'll help you. I'll also add those things in on my next update. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= COPYRIGHT This guide is copyright (c) Meh1 (email@example.com) and Edman (firstname.lastname@example.org). All copying, including digital formats is prohibited and is a break of the copyright. If you wish to use this guide on your site, you must ask permission first. After you have been granted permission, you can post it up. Neither of us won't say 'No', the only thing we require is a kind email from you. Feel free to email us with questions and feedback. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= CONTENTS I. Explanation of Levels and Junctions II. Doing a Speed Game III. Disc 1 Walkthrough IV. Disc 2 Walkthrough V. Disc 3 Walkthrough VI. Disc 4 Walkthrough VII. Credits & others -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= I. EXPLANATION OF LEVELS AND JUNCTIONS The levels in Final Fantasy 8 work completely differently from most RPGs that are around, and it's different than any other Final Fantasy. The level of your enemies depends on the average level of your party. So, if you have 3 party members at levels 30, 28 and 32, then your enemies level will be around 30 (but not always exactly). From this you have to remember 1 thing - the higher will be your level, the higher will be the enemy's level. That's why it doesn't matter wether you finish the game at LV10, or at LV100, the difficulty doesn't really change. In fact, one could argue that the difficulty under LV100 is higher than under LV10, because the enemies stats on level ups rise more than yours. However, no matter what, your enemy's stats will always be better than yours. The only way top stay ahead of your enemies, is to use the junction system. If you don't know how the junction system works, check either your manual, the tutorial in the game, or another guide. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= II. DOING A SPEED GAME As most of this guide is just a simple "Easy Game Walkthrough", and all it really does is to tell you which junctions you should have at what time, and in which places you can save time (which is all Meh1's doing), I just had to write up an extra section to help people who really want to do what this guide is saying - finish the game as fast as possible. These are just some tips: --> Don't try this if this is your first time through the game. It can get a little bit frustrating. Just follow the walkthrough and you will finish the game with as much fun (almost - if you have fun doing side quests, then try another guides, like Scott Ong's one) as possible. --> Read this walkthrough!!! I'm serious, OK? It really does help. The usual mistake of any person playing FF8 is to overdo with either the junctions (that is, to equip junctions that are far too good for that part of the game, which involves a lot of time and is completely useless. Heck, some people try to get really good junctions before you go on the SeeD mission to Timber in disc 1, and then they never change their junctions until the end of the game. Getting very good jucntions at that point of the game is very time consuming) or the card game (the card game is usually linked with junctions, as modding cards simply is the best way ot get very good spells early in the game. However, the card game takes a lot of time). If you follow this walkthrough, you will only get the cards that you need to get to finsh the game as quickly as possible, and you will only get the junctions you need to finish this game as quickly as possible. --> Some things aren't necessary to do. If you have played FF8 for ages, it simply seems impossible that you don't have to go there and there. The first time I played speed game, it was really strange for me that I didn't have to go and get Odin. Or that you don't have to go to Dollet right after Timber mission. Try finding the parts of the game that can be left out. --> Restart! That's right, if you wish to finish this game with as little time on the clock as possible, you will have to restart a LOT. Simply, play through a part of the game. Save in 2 different slots, find out the things that took you the most time, play again and try to do those things again. See if you have improved on your time. Keep on improving until you are sure that there is no way anyone can do better then that. Progress onto the next part. No need for me to say, is this only for people who just have to get to Ultimecia with the least time on their clock as possible. --> Save in different slots! So if you find out how one thing could have been done faster, you don't have to restart the whole game, just the bit you played before. --> Level up as little as possible [read: run if you get into a random battle]. --> Remember that to beat this game, you don't have to have 3 characters perfectly junctioned - if you have just 1 with very good junctions, it will be enough. It saves time to junction only 1 character. That sums it up. With these guide lines, you should finish the game in less than 14 hours. However, that's 14 hours of gameplay, not 14 hours in your life... Please remember that unlike some games, like Final Fantasy 9, there is no prize, apart from bragging rights, for finishing the game as quickly as you can. Just for the record, Meh1 in his "Speed playthrough" finished the game in 14 1/2 hours. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= III. DISC 1 WALKTHROUGH A. Fire Cavern -------------- The start of the game is pretty slow. Just get through the text, any of the choices you make here won't really affect the game. After you gain control of Squall in the classroom, check his computer terminal. You'll get the first two GFs in the game, Quezacotl and Shiva. Junction one of them to Squall. It doesn't matter which. Make sure you choose 'Draw', 'Magic', and 'Item' for his commands. Now go to the GF section and change the abilities you want your GFs to learn. Here is the order you need to learn them in. Quezacotl: --> Card --> Card Mod --> HP-J --> T Mag-RF --> Vit-J --> Mag+20% --> and Mag+40%. The rest doesn't matter. Shiva: --> Str-J --> I Mag-RF --> Vit-J --> Vit+20% --> Vit+40% --> Spr+20% --> Spr+40% Again, the rest doesn't really matter. NOTE: Some of the abilities do not appear unless you have learned a pre-requisite. For example, you must learn 'Card' before you can learn 'Card Mod'. The same with Mag+20%, which if you learn, opens up Mag+40%. So let Quezacotl learn Card and Shiva learn Str-J. Now talk to Quistis and then leave the classroom. You'll bump into a girl. If this is your first game, you should show her (Actually, you'll be showing yourself the Garden) around. Otherwise, it's up to you. Make sure you talk to the guy by the elevator, who'll give you 7 cards. Take the elevator downstairs and go to the library. Here, check the bookshelf for an 'Occult Fan I'. If you go to the upper corner, there's another screen with a draw point. Draw Esuna and leave the library. Exit the Garden through the front. You'll pass by a Cure draw point on your way out. Draw it. Once you get to the exit, Quistis will give you a tutorial. Pay atention if it's your first game. Otherwise, use the cancel button to exit the tutorial. Now junction the other GF to Quistis. Give her the same commands you gave Squall. If you want, you can go to Balamb first, but you might find it as a waste of time. Just follow the road. There is a Thunder draw point in Balamb, and you get some nice conversations with NPCs. When you're ready, go to the Fire Cavern, which is to the east of the garden. Upon entering, Quistis will have an optional tutorial about your gunblade trigger. The trigger allows you to deal an extra 50% damage if you press the R1 button at the right time. The timing is roughly when Squall cuts down in his attack motion. If you have Vibration on, you'll know when you succeed due to the shock. Otherwise, look for an explosion. Choose the 10 minute time limit when given a choice. The Fire Cavern is extremely linear. Draw some Fire from the draw point if you wish. You can kill all the enemies in one or two hits except for the Bombs. So run away from them if you want to save time. Actually, you can run away from all of them if you want. It won't make much of a difference. Just don't take too much time because the timer's running. Eventually, you'll get to the end and fight the boss, Ifrit. He's ridiculously easy. Draw some Cure spells at the beginning. Then use normal attacks. If you need healing, cast Cure from your magic stock. Why? Because if you Draw/Cast Cure, the amount you can heal for varies greatly. So it's more reliable to cast from your stock. Oh, and if you can't kill him before the timer expires, it's Game Over. Remember that the timer still runs while he keeps on talking, so you will have to do the final hit when the timer shows 40 secs. So don't mess around too much. After you defeat Ifrit, he'll join you. Now make sure one person has Quezacotl and Shiva, while the other character has Ifrit. Ifrit should learn in the following order. --> HP-J --> Ammo-RF* --> F Mag-RF --> Str+20% --> Str+40%. *Ammo-RF will only appear when Ifrit reaches level 10. This won't be for quite a while, unless you really like to level up. But once he does reach level 10, learn it immediately. From now on, I suggest Ifrit be always junctioned ALONE to someone until he reaches level 10. This is because GFs share EXP when junctioned on to the same character. So having Ifrit alone gives him the most EXP. Ifrit is the only GF that you need to worry about levels for, so don't bother doing this with other GFs. Ammo-RF is quite an useful ability, but hardly necessary. So don't bother if you're lazy. Exit the Fire Cavern, fight battles if you want. Go back to Balamb Garden and Quistis will leave you. B. SeeD Test ------------ Go to your dorm and change up. Go back to the front of the garden for a very long scene. Eventually, you'll get a car. Drive it into Balamb. Then hop onto the ship. Don't talk to anyone if you want a high score on the test. But it really doesn't really matter much. After a long scene and yet another fabulous FMV, you'll arrive at the Dollet beach. Spread your GFs so everybody has one. Now follow Seifer. You'll get into some forced battles, all of which are easy. Note that Seifer can use the trigger too. If you want to level up Ifrit but not your party members, kill off Squall and Zell. Then just have Seifer(a temporary party member) take all the exp. Do note that this strategy is a little risky, because if Seifer dies, the game is over. Make sure you draw some thunder and cure spells from the soldiers if you don't have many. 20 of each is more than sufficient. When Seifer asks you to check for enemies, go to the right side of the screen for a battle. Then you'll get a mundane scene. After a while, you'll see some Galbadian soldiers sneaking around. Seifer wants to follow them and Squall will agree. If you use Seifer only, you must remember that your GFs will still gain EXP on dead characters. What this means, is that you should leave your junctions as they were - 1 GF per person, otherwise your GFs will share EXP. In the next part, there's a chance you'll meet two anacondours in a battle. They can be pretty hard, so run away if you want, but then again, this would be nice EXP for Ifrit and no EXP for your party. Eventually, Seifer will go on ahead by himself and you meet Selphie. After she jumps down, you have a choice to follow her or walk down. Jump after her will get you penalized on the exam [read: your SeeD grade will be lower]. But saves some time. Oh, and make sure you heal Zell and Squall if you killed them earlier. Once Selphie joins, junction Seifer's GF to her (she will have all Seifer's magic transferred to her). Save at the Save Point and take the elevator up. You'll get into a boss fight. BOSS: Biggs & Wedge, Elvoret **************************** First you'll face Biggs. If you want, draw some Esunas from him. But it's hard to draw it right now. Just hit him with regular attacks and Wedge will show up. Now concentrate on hitting one of them. Eventually, Elvoret will blow them away. Elvoret is pretty intimidating, but not difficult. He has a fixed attack pattern. He'll use either a physical attack or a simple attack spell for two turns, then a powerful Storm Breath(~160 damage) on the 3rd turn. Elvoret will repeat this cycle for the whole fight. First draw Siren from him. Then just attack or draw Cure from him if you need some. Make sure you remember when Storm Breath is coming up, and heal if necessary. Note that if your HP drops to yellow (usually after Storm Breath), you can use limit breaks (Squall and Zell unleash attacks, Selphie use Full Cure). Doing so will speed up the fight dramatically. Due to his high HP, this will be a long fight. Don't worry, bosses will be significantly easier later in the game when you've powered yourself up. After some more scenes, take the elevator down, junction Siren to someone, and change the abilities for her to learn. GF Siren: --> L Mag-RF (VERY, VERY important ability) --> Move-Find --> Mag+20% --> Mag+40% The rest aren't important, so choose whatever you want. Now you will have to fight the only fight in the game where you are not supposed to win: XATM082 or the "Black Widow". Simply use Quezacotl to beat him down on his foot, and that will give you the chance to run away. After this, the chase will start. You will have 30 minutes to run to the beach. Once you have managed to get over XATM082 the first time, you don't have to fight it again, if you walk correctly. In the second screen, keep the the pad pushed "down" and he won't catch you. Before the third screen loads, keep the pad pushed left, and XATM082 will just miss you. In the fourth screen, walk instead of running. In next screen, simply run as fast as you can. The sixth screen will be the bridge. You should run forwards, until you hear XATM082 jump over you. Then run backwards and he will jump back. Once you hear him jumping back, run forwards again and you will just escape it. Once you are in the next screen, remember to save the dog (talk to it to make it run away). Then simply run. Once you are back in Balamb, simply walk back to the garden, talk to Seifer, and wait for your test results in the Garden's 2nd floor. Once you have gotten your SeeD results, I advise you to take the SeeD tests. However, this isn't really necessary, as you will gain enough money by selling the 'Occult Fan I' and 'Girl Next Door' magazines. You will have to go on a walk with Quistis. This will mostly be some dialogue (where Quistis is told to talk to a wall...), but there will be one boss - Granaldo and 3 Raldos. These guys really are a joke, but you should draw some Blind spells from it. Also, some Protects and Shells wouldn't hurt, but you don't have to get them. Once you are done with the fight, you should go back to your dormitory. C. Timber Mission ----------------- You will be woken up by Selphie. Get the magazine that is on your desk (not that you would want to remodel weapons... but you can sell it for more cash). Cid will give you the mission instructions. Don't forget to talk to him after he does so to receive the Magic Lamp. Now go to Balamb, to be safe, buy some 5 Phoenix Downs, save and use it. You'll get into a fight with Diablos. For the Diablos fight, make sure you blind him ASAP(may take a few tries). Then it's an easy fight, as his rush attack will likely miss once blinded. His spells can't kill you, so don't worry about them. If you run out of blinds before he's blinded, reset and try again. Or try to fight him the hard way if you want. Note that he'll heal you with Curaga if you cast Demi on him from your magic stock. However, your magic stat should be pathetic right now so this is not a viable strategy. After you get GF Diablos, let it learn Time Mag-RF first. Then Enc-Half, Enc-None, Sta Mag-RF, and Mug. Now buy some (the numer 30 comes to mind - remember to sell the Occult Fan I and any other useless items you might have. If you still don't have enough money, wait until you will get the 'Girl Next Door' magazine that you can sell for some cash) tents, which you can convert into Curagas using L Mag-RF. If you haven't learned this ability yet, you're not following the guide. But don't worry, go to the beaches by Balamb. Now kill or card the enemies there until you learn it. All active characters should have 100 curagas each as soon as you can afford the tents. For now, buy as many as you can afford, but keep 3000 gil for the train ticket you need soon. Take some time off to play card games. You have Ifrit and Diablos card now. Go to the Fire cavern and Card 2 Bombs. Now start playing cards in Balamb Garden. Save first. If you're not familiar with the game, check the tutorial. Also, the card FAQ by Sister is very helpful, although nobody can teach you how to play the game - you learn it by practicing. When you're ready, play the following people: a) Cid: He's on the 3rd floor. Play until you get the Seifer card. b) Any of the Trepies: One is in the cafeteria and 2 are in the 2nd floor classroom. You want the Quistis card. c) Zell's Mom: She's in a house in Balamb. Play for Zell's card. When they're not playing with the above cards, you should try to get Gayla, Tonberry/Tonberry King, or Grand Mantis/Death Claw cards. Priority in the order I gave you. Gayla cards can be modded into mystery fluids and then Meltdowns using Sta Mag-RF. The other cards give you items which can be refined into AP Ammos using Ammo-RF. If you have either T Mag-RF, I Mag-RF, or F Mag-RF learnt, refine the 16 wizard stones from the Granaldo fight into 80 Thundagas or Blizzagas or Firagas. Junction them to someone's Strength, preferably Squall or Zell because of their limit breaks. Now Card Mod your Gesper card (from the guy at the beginning of the game) for a black hole. Give it to Quistis to learn Degenerator. Degenerator instantly kills just about all non-boss enemies. Once you have done that, get on the train to Timber. The first Laguna scenario will start, but this one is mostly dialogue, so there isn't anything difficult. Afterwards you will have to do a little train mission for the Timber resistance group. It's not difficult at all, and you should get your SeeD rank raised by 1. Once you are done, you will have to fight another boss - Gerogero. To take out the fake president, simply use physical attacks. Gerogero can be killed using 2 Curaga spells. Afterwards you will have time to explore Timber. As you can meet random enemies in this place, I suggest you leave the exploring and do what you have to do - head to the Timber TV Station. On the way is the Timber Maniacs building, which has the 'Girl Next Door' magazine. Remember that you don't have to go into the house to see what the alley looks like (I just did it! I'm so used to doing it, that I did it although there was no need for it...). You will have to fight 2 soldiers that you can't run from, but they go down easily. The whole TV Station scene is very easy, just get through the text and you are done. Once your are on the train, don't bother going to Dollet and simply get out on the first station. In Laguna's dream in the woods, make sure you push the rock that opens up a cure draw point. This is important later in the game. When you've learnt Time Mag-RF(I did so around this point in the game), Card Mod your Quistis card into 3 Samantha Souls. Then turn them into 180 Triples using Time Mag-RF. Squall should now have the following junctions: HP: 100 Curaga Str: 100 Triple If you don't like Squall, use Zell (and later Irvine) for similar effects. Other party members' limit breaks aren't as powerful damage-wise, so they're not good candidates. Do note that for convenience sake, the rest of this guide will assume that you used Squall. If you used someone else, just subsitute his name where I wrote Squall. ^_^ Other junctions aren't important. You should now keep Squall's HP in 'yellow', or critical. This way he can use limit breaks easily. However, don't kill non-boss enemies if you can help it. The more exp you get, the less powerful this junction setup becomes. But if you like fighting, go ahead. The whole scene in Galbadia Garden is really text-only, so nothing difficult there. Once you are done, just head for Deling City. D. Assassination Mission ------------------------ Go inside the Deling city. Walk left to get to Caraway's mansion. The guard will tell you to go to the Tomb of the Unknown King. You can also pay up 5000 Gil to get the location displayer, but if I were you, I would just read on and save some of your cash. The Tomb of the Unknow King is to the East of Deling City, on a small strip of land. There is a save point at the entrance, so save. Go inside the tomb. Check the student's ID and memorize it. Now, keep on going straight until you reach the first crossroads. Then go right. Then go straight, then right, straight until you meet Sacred. It is a boss fight, but you should be able to take the guy down in one hit. Get out of the room. On the first junction go right, then straight, then right. You will come to a place where you just have to touch some stuff on the wall to let the water flow out. Then get out of the room. On the first junction, go right, then straight, then right. Again, you just have to touch some stuff until the water levels change. Then get out of the room. Walk straight until the SECOND junction where you should walk right, then, at the next junction, turn left. After that go straight, walk over a bridge until you get into a room where you will meet Sacred and Minotaur - the two BROTHERS. Against Brothers, use Squall's limit to kill Sacred and Minotaur in one hit each. Then Mod Sacred card into 100 Dino Bones. Refine them into Quakes (Time Mag-RF) for everyone in your party. Squall's junction should look kind of like this: HP: 100 Quake Vit: 100 Curaga Str: 100 Triple Mag: Not important Spr: Not important With the above junctions, the rest of the bosses on disk 1 should be a joke. Irvine's Limit requires Ammo. If Ifrit hasn't learned Ammo-RF yet, just buy Normal and Shotgun ammo from stores. Otherwise, you can refine AP and Demolition ammos, which are better. AP ammo is VERY good, as it ignores defense. Quite useful throughout the game. Now go back into the Deling City, and do all the stuff General Caraway tells you to. It is not a difficult misison, and with these junctions, the bosses (Iguions (Make sure you draw GF Carbuncle from the Igunions. I didn't find Carbuncle that useful in terms of abilities, though. Learn it's Mag-J and HP-J first. And then it's your choice), Seifer and Edea (now, she's real crap for the 'sorceress bent on ruling the world')) will seem very easy. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= IV. DISC 2 WALKTHROUGH A. Getting out of Prison ------------------------ Although the disc will start with yet another Laguna scenario, it is so easy I won't go into any detail. I suggest you run from all the enemies. You will wake up in the prison. Remember to junction Zell before you go to beat the crap out of the poor soldiers. After Zell gets everyone's weapons, you get a chance to junction your characters. Take the time to give everyone the best Magic junction possible. The best magics you have right now are Quake and Triple. Try boosting magic with abilites like Mag+20% and Mag+40% if you have them. You then fight Biggs/Wedge. Have everyone draw 100 Reflects apiece from Wedge, for a total of 300. After the fight, you should have the following spells on each stat: HP: Quake or Curaga Vit: Curaga or Reflect Str: Triple or Quake Mag: Not important, but Quake would work. Spr: Reflect or nothing I know your all characters don't have a complete set of junctions yet. But don't worry about that. Just junction what you can. I usually get Enc-None at this time in the game. Put it on if you you want for less hassles. The prison is also straight forward. Once you get out, simply go up, find Squall, then you will go down with the arm, but somehow will finish up in the middle floors with Irvine and Rinoa. Then you will have to climb up, and Irvine's party will have to go down. Simple, right? You will have to fight a boss at the end, but it's a joke. When you choose your party after getting out of prison, make sure Irvine(or Zell if you can use his limit break) is in Selphie's party. If you have AP Ammo, definitely choose Irvine. B. Saving the Garden -------------------- Before heading to the Missile Base, take a detour to Caraway's mansion in Deling city. Play cardz with Caraway. First make sure you have 4 crappy cards and Ifrit. Now purposely lose. He'll take your Ifrit card. Play him again with your best hand until you get his Rinoa Card. Note that Caraway will not play with Rinoa card until you've forked over the Ifrit card. The Missile Base is straight forward, just make sure that every time you have the choice, always try to get through without fighting. You don't want unneeded EXP. Once you have set up the missile base self-destruct system, choose 10 or 20 minutes for the timer, so you can use the door in the control room. You will also get a higher SeeD rank if you choose a lower time limit. Give Irvine (or Zell) Squall's junction and have him in critical condition before the boss fight. Now pummel the boss with limits quickly so you won't run out of time(assuming you chose 10 minutes). Keep the two other characters at full health, because this boss can deal some pretty hefty damage. However, if you are quick enough, you can kill it even before it does it's first attack. The scene will switch to the Balamb Garden. You will have to free all the garden sections before you can progress on with the storyline. I suggest you free them in a clockwise direction so that you can get a Mega - Phoenix at the library. Then you will meet Xu, talk to her and you will get on with the storyline. You will have to go and save the Garden. You will have to go to the bottom of the Garden (MD level). If you have encounter none, this place is straight forward. Against the Oilboyle bosses, Quistis' Degenerator works(the only time Degerator works against a boss). Otherwise, it's the same old limit breaks with Squall. Afterwards, the graden will just escape missiles. C. More Adventures... --------------------- Next morning, you will have to take Rinoa for a walk (did that sound like taking a dog for a walk? Whooops!). At one point a Garden Faculty will come to you and ask you to go to the B1 level. There you will have to fight Norg. Make sure you draw Leviathan from Norg. Leviathan will alow everyone in your party to have Spr-J. Have it learn Supt Mag-RF. Everything else is up to you. Oh wait! I forgot the boss strategy! Well, guess what? Just use one limit break! This game really is easy... With your first 8 GFs, you should be able to let everyone have junctions to HP, Str, Vit, Mag, and Spr. Go ahead and adjust your junctions so this is the case. If you haven't learned enough junction abilities yet, start doing so now. Note that it doesn't matter if one person has 2 GFs while another has 4, or something like that. You don't have to worry about GF levels, except make sure Ifrit reaches level 10. After that scene, your dear garden will run into the Fisherman's Horizon, with the funniest scene of the game, featuring the Master Fisherman. This part of the game is, again, easy. Just run to the center of the town, talk to the Mayor, and then try to leave. The town will be attacked by Galbadians. Run to the right of the centre of the town, just keep on running, and you will run into a boss you have met before. The only real differnece is the fact that he has less HP... afterwards the party will be united again and you can get on with the story. After some more text-only scenes, you will be free to go and check out the world with the garden under your control. First, you should go to Balamb. You will see that the town is occupied. Talk to the guard again and he will let you in. Go to the hotel and talk to the guards there. Then go to the docks (furthest screen) and talk to the guard there (lots of talking to guards...). Then go to the train station and talk there. Afterwards go to Zell's house, talk to Ma, rest, save and then go to the train station again. Lastly, go to the docks, talk to the dog and follow him to the train station. Afterwards the dog will wake up the captain, who actually is Raijin. Go to the Hotel and two consecutive boss fights will begin, one with Raijin and two guards, and another one with a stronger Raijin and Fuijin. The battles themselves are really easy. Make sure you draw Pandamona from Fujin. This is VERY important. Pandamona should learn Spd-J first. Then it's up to you. Spd+20%/40% and Initiative are helpful but hardly necessary. After this scene, go back to balamb and play cards with the guy in front of Balamb Hotel. Get Pandamona card. Mod it. Now use T Mag-RF to turn the Windmills into Tornados for everyone. Your junctions will look something like this: HP: Quake Str: Triple/Tornado Vit: Curaga Mag: Tornado or best available Spr: Reflect After this, you should head for the Trabia Garden. This another text- only scene in the game, so no help necessary. Make sure you draw Aura from the hidden draw point in Trabia Garden. Use Siren's Move-Find to see it. After you are done with the Trabia Garden, it's time to show those Galbadian's who's the boss. So go to Edea's house and run into the Gabaldian Garden. Make sure you equip encounter none, so you don't have to fight those random battles. There will be just one fight that you will have to fight, it will be with 4 soldiers and is really easy. Afterwards, you will have to save Rinoa. Later in the game, make sure you draw Aura from the hidden draw point outside Galbadia Garden(the screen where you named Griever). Make sure you beat up Cerberus in G Garden main hallway. If you have the Mug ability, steal a Spd-J scroll from it. Now mod your newly acquired Cerberus card. The lightweights you get can be refined into hastes. Make sure everyone has 100 of them. Have Cerberus learn Spd-J first. The rest doesn't really matter, but Auto-Haste, which you need Spd+20% and Spd+40% to unlock (so you really won't get it...), is quite nice. Note: If Pandamona has learnt Spd-J now, put 100 haste as the junction. If you have the Spd-J scroll from Cerberus, give it to a GF for the character that doesn't have Cerberus or Pandamona. This way, everyone in your party can have Spd-J. In the fight against Edea, her Maelstrom can curse your characters, preventing them from using limits. Make sure you cure them with Esuna. Just whack her with limits or regular attacks. Edea has really low vitality, so normal attacks work well. Draw Alexander if you want. It's not very important so I won't bother with the abilities. Revive is kind of nice, though. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= V. DISC 3 WALKTHROUGH Make sure you prepare before fighting the dragon in Laguna's senerio. If you have Meltdowns, use one first before attacking. It's a bit long if you don't use a meltdown first, as Ruby Dragon has pretty high defense. Not a hard battle, though. The whole getting to Esthar is really easy. All you have to do is get the letter from Edea, find the White SeeD ship, talk to evryone in the ship, go to FH, and then go to Esthar crossing the Ice Desert. For the boss there - it is undead, so use Curaga magic or some limit breaks. Play Odine for the Ward card when you meet him in Esthar as Squall (not as Laguna). Visit Cheryl's shop repeatedly for a rossetta stone. If you did not mug the Spd-J scroll from Cerberus, there's one available in Lunatic Pandora. Remember the rock I told you to push in Laguna's dream? The hole that opens up now has a Spd-J scroll. When you visit Lunatic Pandora as Zell, get it. Give it to the person without this junction yet. If everyone does, then it's kind of useless. The whole scene in Space is really easy. The propagator enemies will die from just 1 hit from Squall (although it depends on your level - the lower your level, the easier). Play cards with Laguna when you can. Get the Squall's card. Mod it for 3 3-Stars. Refine them into 300 triples. Also mod your Rinoa, Zell, Minotaur, and Ward card. This way, you can teach Str+60%, Vit+60%, HP+80%, and Spr+60% to everyone's GFs. Your junctions should now look like this for everyone: HP: Tornado Str: Triple Vit: Curaga Mag: Quake Spr: Reflect Spd: Haste Your Abilities should be: Str+60%, HP+80%, and Spr+60%. If you used your Rossetta stone on someone, that person can have another ability. I suggest either Auto-Haste, Spd+40%, or Vit+60%. In addition, everyone should have some aura, meltdowns, life, and shells. To get more Auras, go to the Western-most island on the map. Make sure someone has Enc-none equiped. Run around the island and press X repeatedly. You'll find draw points with some of the best spells in the game. If this weren't a speed game, I'd tell you how to get those juicy spells like Meteor and Ultima by the bundle. But too bad. :( Anyway, one of the spells available is Aura. Draw some. You'll probably want 20-30 for the rest of the game, just to be safe. To get more meltdowns, walk in the snow by Trabia garden and meet Gaylas. If your levels are high, just draw meltdowns from them. If your levels are low, card them and mod the cards. You'll want maybe 20+ meltdowns for the rest of the game. Just to be safe. Note: If you have high levels, go ahead and draw 300 meltdowns from Gaylas. Now junction your meltdowns in place of Curagas for Vit-J. In your 2nd Fujin/Raijin fight, take out Fujin as soon as you can with a powerful limit. She can be quite annoying if left alive. If your levels are high (like around lv40+), Seifer has Aura for drawing. If he has them, draw 300 (100 per person). Seifer's easy. So you should have no problem staying alive. If you drew Auras from him, switch your junctions a bit. Put Aura on Strength and Triple on Speed. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= VI. DISC 4 WALKTHROUGH Adel can cast some nasty spells. So you should keep every character at high HP. Use meltdown first. Then aura on your fighters to use limit breaks, rather than keeping your characters in critical condition. This is the first battle where you should make full use of Aura to trigger limits. In earlier fights you can pretty much get away with keeping Squall in critical the whole time. In this fight, don't use any attack that can hurt Rinoa. This includes Squall's finishing move Fated Circle and Blasting Zone. Switch to Irvine and Zell's limit breaks just to be safe. Of course, don't use Zell's finishers that damage all enemies. If you're in the mood, draw 300 Flares and 300 Holys from the final sorceress during time compression. Make sure you do it after she starts the countdown, or she'll counterattack. When she finishes the countdown, she'll use Ultima. This did about 1100 to my party with Reflect junctioned to spirit and Spr+60%. Absolutely pathetic. So draw at your leisure. However, it's not necessary for finishing the game. If you're lazy, don't bother. If you did draw those spells, put Holy at HP in place of Tornado. Flare belongs in the Elemental Defense Junction. In the Ultimecia's Castle, you only need to unlock 4 of your abilities: Magic, Limit Break, Resurrection and Save. The 4 bosses I suggest you should fight are Sphinxaur, Tri-Point, Krysta and Tiamat. Those are the 4 easiest to find. You should unlock the abilities in the order I gave you. Sphinxaur is really easy, he's just standing there once you enter the castle. Just kill it with you attacks. The next is Tri-Point - from the place where you fought Sphinxaur, just keep on walking up, walk on the lamp and you will fall down. Check the hatch on the floor and you will find the next boss - Tri-Point. He is really easy, just beware of his Counter Attack. Cast Meltdown and then just wack away with your attacks. Afterwards, go up the stairs (back to where you were before), and walk on the Green Spot. Swap the parties, and go into the menu and swap the junctions. Now walk on the same lamp, but this time it won't fall down. Go to the other side, and you will fight Krysta. This guy should (but it depends on your level...) have less than 10000 HP, so use 1 limit break and he will go down. At the end of the fight, he will cast a Final Attack - Ultima. Should do no more than 1200 damage. Once you are done with with those three, it's time to kill Tiamat. Note: If your levels are high, instead pick Trauma as your next boss. To find Trauma, go to the room with all the paintings (it's to the left of the room where you fought Sphinxaur), look at all the paintings, then chack the big painting on the wall and choose 'Vividarium', 'Intervigilium' and 'Viator'. A boss will appear, it's very easy. The only reason I picked Tiamat, is because he is much easier to find. Simply go to the Ultmecia's room (head straight from where your party that fought Tri-Point was), until you come to a spiral path. There you will see a swinging lamp. Jump on the lamp and you will come to a new room with Tiamat in it. He has 1 attack, called the Dark Flare, but he is pretty slow at casting it. Use a metldown and then some Limit Breaks. If you wish to unlock another ability, like Item, simply kill Trauma as I explained. All the other abilities are hardly necessary. FINAL BOSS FIGHT: ULTIMECIA --------------------------- I'll go ahead and give you a guide to beating her, not that you really need one. She starts off by choosing 3 random party members. If one of them is dead, Ultimecia will replace him/her with another party member after a while. So if the characters you've junctioned don't all show up at first, kill the characters you don't want. Once your favorite party shows up, cast haste, shell, and triple on everyone. Give someone (Squall, Irvine, or Zell) Aura and have him use limit. After some damage, Ultimecia will summon Griever (or whatever you named him in disk 2). Now cast meltdown on Griever and continue whacking him with limit breaks. You don't even need meltdown if you use Irvine's AP Ammo. When he dies, Griever will use Shockwave Pulsar. With Shell and the good Spirit Junction I recommended, it shouldn't be harmful. Otherwise, you'll die. Now Ultimecia will junction to Griever. Again, Meltdown/Aura/Limit. Incerdiably enough, you can kill her with just 1 limit... Now we have True Ultimeica. Meltdown/Aura/Limit works again. After she uses Hell's Judgement, one person should triple cast Curaga on everyone, or use a mega-elixer. When she starts talking, switch to normal attacks. After a few whacks, Ultimecia will blow up. Congrats!! You've just beaten FF8. Now enjoy the ending, which is my favorite out of ALL RPGs. Make sure you keep the Playstation on until you see 'The End' on the screen. For reference, Meh1 beat the game in 14 1/2 hours in his 'Speed' playthrough. His final party was Irvine(lv16), Squall(lv15), and Selphie(lv13). -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= VII. CREDITS & CONTACTS Credits: I think 2 guides on Gamefaqs deserves to be listed on this section. First is SOng's walkthrough, which is incredibly detailed and helped me greatly in side quests and many things in general. The other guide is ABrea's Power Up guide. I learned a lot about junctioning from it. Also, a few of the boss strategies might be mutated from reading his guide. It's been so long since I first played this game. So my memory regarding where I learned certain tricks is certainly quite hazy. Edit by Edman: How could anyone forget my No Level Up guide? Of course, it's not as though you really need a guide for a No Level Up game, but it's as good as a walkthrough as anything. Some of the stuff I typed out on this guide can be found in that guide too... Contacts: Meh1: email@example.com Edman: firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to mail us questions and feedback. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= END OF GUIDE THANK YOU FOR READING -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Guide copyright (c) Meh1 & Edman.