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by bover_87

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FAQ/Walkthrough by bover_87

Version: 1.42 | Updated: 11/06/16

Final Fantasy VIII Title Screen

Version History

VersionDateNotes
1.4211/06/2016
  • Added note about potential Fire Cavern wrinkle in the Steam version
  • Added note to Zell Love Quest #2 (if the Conceited SeeD doesn't show up here, just continue with the game)
  • Various minor corrections
1.4107/24/2016
1.405/01/2016
1.3102/21/2016
1.301/13/2016
  • Added mention of woman who uses FH rules in Deling City
  • Added note about inflicting Float on Sacred and Minotaur to prevent them auto-regenerating HP
  • Fixed Sleep vulnerability information for a boss at the end of Disc 2
  • Added a Spd Up available in Balamb on Disc 2/3
  • Added section on The Novice SeeD Candidates' sidequest
1.201/11/2016
1.1111/12/2015
  • Changed D-District Prison YouTube link to embedded video
  • Added link to Triple Triad guide
1.110/11/2015
1.009/28/2015Initial release

Legal Stuff

This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

You may NOT host a copy of this guide on any website without asking my permission first. Do NOT ask me if you can distribute this guide commercially; you cannot. You MAY host a copy of this guide if your site is listed on the Allowed Sites List below.

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If you wish to host this document, please e-mail me at bover87 [at] gmail [dot] com. If you decide to host this guide, please make sure your site is hosting the most up-to-date version of the guide, which can always be found at www.gamefaqs.com. However, I cannot assist you with converting this Formatted FAQ guide to work on your website (I'm a writer, not a web designer).

All trademarks and copyrights belong to their respective owners.

Introduction

Final Fantasy VIII is Square's eighth (imagine that) installment in the Final Fantasy franchise. The game is most noted for its extremely flexible Junction system, as well as its unique battle system. Whereas VII was set in a postmodern society, Final Fantasy VIII takes place in a modern world.

How to Navigate This Guide

To navigate this document, there are two main methods for you to use. The first is to click links to be taken to more information on a topic. The other is to use the Search button in the right-hand corner of the site header if you want to look up a specific search term. Using Ctrl + F also works to search for a term, but only if it's on your current page (or you're using Single-Page View).

Speaking of which, Single-Page View is recommended over the normal paginated view. In addition to less page-changing, certain links do not seem to work in paginated mode due to technical issues beyond my control. To enable Single-Page View, simply scroll to the bottom of the page (tap END if you're on a PC/laptop) and click, "Single-Page View".

Controls

World Map Controls

XExamine/Confirm/Exit vehicle
CircleEnter Menu/cockpit
SquareMove vehicle forward
TriangleCancel
StartPause
SelectToggle map
D-PadMove character
L1/R1Rotate camera
L2/R2Change camera angle

Field Controls

XTalk/Examine/Confirm
CircleEnter Menu
SquareChallenge to cards/Talk/Examine/Confirm
TriangleCancel
StartPause
SelectNone
D-PadMove character
L1/R1None
L2/R2None

Battle Controls

XConfirm
CircleSwitch to next character with active turn
SquareShow status details
TriangleCancel
StartPause
SelectHide menu
D-PadMove cursor
R1Pull gunblade trigger
L2+R2Hold both to run from battle

General Strategy

  • In this guide, you'll frequently see the abbreviations MT, for multi-target (targets more than one enemy/ally), and ST (single-target, targets one only).
  • Use your Junctions! Junctioning is one of the most important mechanics in the game, since it serves as the equivalent of equipment from other JRPGs.
  • Be sure to keep up on Sidequests, Junctions, and GFs. The main walkthrough will give this information as needed.
  • Selecting the correct Elemental and Status Junctions will help you greatly over the course of the game. The former can increase your attack damage while decreasing damage taken, while the latter lets you attack with and block status ailments.
  • Attacking physically or with Limits is better than attacking with Magic in most cases. Not only is Magic generally poor in damage (except in a few specific cases), but using Magic also reduces the stockpiles of Magic for your Junctions, reducing stats. Curative and Status magic is still very useful, however.
  • Play Triple Triad--lots of Triple Triad. It is by far the most rewarding quest in the game, and it's available right from the start.
  • If you play Triple Triad, don't mix rules without reading this first, otherwise you'll just make things much harder on yourself.
  • During the plotline, always try to have at least one character with the Draw command. Some bosses have GF's for you to Draw, not to mention powerful spells.
  • Once you gain control of the game, go into the Setting menu and change the Cursor setting to Memory. This will make Drawing Magic far quicker and easier, since you don't have to navigate the menus every time.
  • While the game's story is mostly linear, due to the amount of importance placed on scavenging in FFVIII, it ends up playing somewhat like an open-world game in terms of buffing up your characters, so be sure to take advantage of any free time you might get!
  • The Strategy Guide provides a more in-depth discussion of the game's more important elements and how to take advantage of them.
  • For a complete discussion of FFVIII's many subsystems, take a look at the Lists/Reference section.

Walkthrough - Disc 1

Please insert Disc 1.

This section will contain some spoilers. Many spoilers are covered in spoiler tags (like here--select the text to reveal it), however, due to the nature of the guide it's impossible to completely avoid spoilers, especially well after they happen, so read ahead of where you are in the game at your own risk.

For an abbreviated version of the walkthrough that only details things you can miss permanently, click here.

Note that tips for defeating normal enemies will be contained in the Enemy List, while bosses and special fixed encounters will be listed as they are encountered in the walkthrough.

Enjoy the opening movie!

Preparing for the Exam

Watch the scene.

Perfect Game Alert #1

Before starting any actual play, there are a few things that need to be stated right off the bat, for those of you interested in a Perfect Game.

First, there's the question of whether you even want a Perfect Game in the first place. Getting a perfect file takes many hundreds of hours, so be aware of this if you want to try. Your first time through the game, I recommend that you don't try for one, although the information in Perfect Game Alert boxes can still be useful to you.

Second, Final Fantasy VIII tracks the number of times each character has been KO'd and the number of times you've escaped battle. For a Perfect Game, you need to have no characters KO'd, and exactly one escaped battle (there is a battle that cannot be won and an escape is forced; I'll let you know when the time comes).

Third, try to keep your levels down. Until you get a certain ability to be named later, you won't be able to directly avoid encounters, and you'll need some encounters to learn Abilities, so just not grinding for Exp is enough for the time being. It isn't strictly required to not gain levels, mind you, but it will save you quite a bit of time in the endgame, the lower your levels are throughout the game.

Finally, there are also Missable Item Alerts. These are intended for people who want a complete Item list but not necessarily a Perfect Game, but they apply to those of you going for Perfect Games as well, so be on the lookout for them in addition to the obvious Perfect Game Alerts.

Preliminaries

ItemsQuezacotl [GF], Shiva [GF], Geezard [Card], Funguar [Card], Red Bat [Card], Gayla [Card] Gesper [Card] Fastitacalon-F [Card], Caterchipillar [Card], Occult Fan I,
EnemiesBite Bug, Caterchipillar, Fastitocalon-F, Glacial Eye, T-Rexaur

Give whatever response you like to Dr. Kadowaki, then you'll be prompted to name your character (Default: Squall). There'll be more scenes to follow, then, when you're in control of Squall, examine the desk he's at, turn on the power, and select Tutorial. You'll receive the Quezacotl and Shiva GFs, and be prompted to name them. Once you're done, exit the tutorial (you can view it later in the menu if you want, and this guide covers everything in detail) and the computer, and go into the menu.

Since the default GF ability learning order is quite useless, we're going to change your new GFs' ability learning orders (select the GF option in the menu). For Quezacotl, select Card first. The ability is crap, but it opens up one of the best abilities in the game. For Shiva, just give her I Mag-RF for now. Speak to Quistis to proceed the game, then leave, following the hall towards the camera. A girl who's late for class will bump into you, allowing Squall to give her (and you) a tour, surly style. (If you've already played the game before, feel free to refuse; there's no penalty for doing so except for some very minor changes to dialog later.) Either way, continue along the hall and talk to the lone guy sitting down near the elevator in the next screen to receive a Geezard Card, Funguar Card, Red Bat Card, Gayla Card, Gesper Card, Fastitacalon-F Card, and Caterchipillar Card. Head to the elevator and ride it down to 1F.

Overview of Balmb Garden's facilities.

If you agreed to give a tour, Squall will give the girl (and, more importantly, you) a quick rundown of the Garden's sections. Balamb Garden is arranged like a wheel, with a central hallway circling the elevator and "spokes" extending out to the various facilities (see the diagram above). If you didn't give a tour, Squall will be at the elevator. In any case, head to the Library (you can examine the directory at the entrance and select a facility with X to travel to it).

Zell Love Scene #1

Speak to the Library Girl in Pigtails to trigger this scene, which is part of a sidequest for a character we haven't met yet. (Note that while the dialogue is very non-descript in relation to the quest, it does still affect the quest's ending.)

Examine the second bookshelf (still on the same screen; the part nearest the aisle) to receive Occult Fan I. There are other things to explore and people do have interesting comments, but there'll be a better time for that soon. Once you have it, there's nothing to do for now except save near the directory, then head to the front gate for a scene, after which Quistis Trepe will give you a tutorial on Junctioning GF's and then join you. Junction Quezacotl to Squall and Shiva to Quistis and give both characters Draw, GF, and Item, then head to the World Map.


Before doing anything else, save your progress (simply enter the menu). On the World Map, you can encounter several weak enemies...and occasionally T-Rexaur in the forest. If you encounter a T-Rexaur, either run or summon GFs and hope you can knock it off, or just reset (you did save, didn't you). From other monsters, try to Draw some Magic. It won't give you huge boosts, and we'll have better methods soon, but it's your only source of Magic for the time being. Remember that Squall can trigger his gunblade (with R1) for 50% extra damage. The Fire Cavern is on the east end of the island.

Fire Cavern

ItemsIfrit [Card], Ifrit [GF]
EnemiesBomb, Buel, Red Bat, Ifrit (boss)

(Note: All regular enemies in Fire Cavern are Level 5, regardless of your party's Levels. This is unlike most other areas of the game, where their levels scale with yours.)

As you run down the path, Quistis will give a tutorial on Junctioning Magic to stats, followed by an opportunity to go over Squall's gunblade settings. After that's over with, approach the Faculties, and you'll be prompted to select a time limit. 10 minutes is plenty (and you want to come as close to hitting the limit as possible), so long as you took the time to Draw some Magic outside. (I've received a report saying that, in the Steam version, you get penalized later for letting the timer hit zero; however, I do not have the Steam version, so anyone who can test this and inform me of the results would be appreciated.)

Your physicals will be more than enough to dispose of the enemies here, so don't waste time with Summons (their animations waste too much time), and don't waste time on Drawing from the enemies either (a better time to draw from them is coming very soon). Buel and Red Bat should both go down in a single attack. Bomb is much sturdier than the others; if you encounter it in a group, considering Summoning Shiva to wipe them out fast. Simply follow the linear path (ignore the Draw Point for now) to the end to face...

Boss: Ifrit

Ifrit.

HP Range1,068Level Range6
AP20Exp0
Level-Dependent Data
Level 6
Draw List

Fire
Cure
Scan

Mug (Overall Chance: 0%)
Nothing
Drop (Overall Chance: 100%)
3x G-Returner (69.5%); 4x G-Returner (19.9%); 5x G-Returner (5.9%); 6x G-Returner (4.7%)
Non Level-Dependent Data
Card DropIfrit (100%)
Vulnerable to Gravity?Yes
Elemental WeaknessesIce
Elemental ResistancesFire (Absorbs)
Status VulnerabilitiesThe End

Ifrit, being the game's first boss, is actually somewhat strong, but nothing you can't handle. He's also rather unusual for having a fixed Level (6) instead of leveling with you.

Ifrit will spend his time either casting Fire on a character, or using Jump Punch for around 100 damage. The trick here is that if you have the Draw command equipped, you can Draw Cure to cast on characters with low HP, and I suggest doing so if either character drops under 100 HP. Summoning Shiva will do high damage as well, so do that with Quistis while Squall attacks physically. Soon enough, Ifrit will drop, just keep an eye on the timer. Limit Breaks will out-damage both Shiva and normal physicals, so use it if you get one.

Upon victory, Ifrit will drop at least 3 G-Returner items, which revive a KO'd GF, as well as the Ifrit Card, which makes a great playing card well into the game.

Ifrit will join you as a GF. On his naming screen, just leave the game sit for a while (long enough to let the timer hit zero, although it will be invisible) before exiting. This will help you out later (for more information, although with some spoilers, click here). Junction Ifrit to Squall, and be sure to junction some Magic to his Strength stat, as well as give your GF's new abilities to learn if they mastered their previous ones (for Quezacotl, Card Mod once you're finished with Card, for Shiva, Str-J once I Mag-RF is learned, and for Ifrit, F Mag-RF). On the way back, feel free to grab the Draw Point (Fire), as well as Draw any magic you feel like getting from the enemies, since the timer is gone. Exit the way you came to return to the World Map.

Pre-Exam Free Time

ItemsQuistis [Card], MiniMog [Card]
EnemiesBite Bug, Caterchipillar, Fastitocalon-F, Glacial Eye, T-Rexaur

Back outside, your next destination is Balamb Garden, but I strongly suggest taking a detour to Balamb Town. This is optional, but really helps to buff you up a lot; if you don't want to, skip to the next required section by clicking here.

Building Your Card Supply

In Balamb, go find the Queen of Cards by the train station (left from the central intersection, in front of the train station entrance; she's dressed in a distinctive white dress). Challenge her to cards, and check the Trade Rule she uses. If she uses something other than All, quit and try again until she does use All. Once she does use All, you're in business. You don't need to actually play her (and I recommend you don't, since there's a strong chance she'll start using a different Trade Rule), just seeing All as the Trade Rule is enough. Once you get All as the Trade Rule, don't challenge her again (you will need to in the future for a sidequest, but you'll be advised when it's time).

You can also check out the Shop here, but it doesn't have anything special. Leave Balamb once you're done.

Your next task is to farm AP. Yes, this will cause you to gain some levels, but you need to learn the basic refinements to make your upcoming work be of any use. The best place to fight is on the beach (Junction Thunder to Elem-Atk), since the Fastitocalon-F enemies here drop decent (3 each) AP as well Fish Fins, which will be useful in refinements. (If you're worried about gaining Levels, you can use Card to kill them off without gaining any Exp, although this does slow the process significantly.) Train your GFs in the following order:

How long should you grind, you ask? Really, you only need to grind long enough to learn all the refinement abilities not named Mid Mag-RF or Ammo-RF. If your Ifrit is leveled highly enough, do learn Ammo-RF, but don't sit here grinding just for this ability, it's less urgent and can be learned in due time (just make sure to watch Ifrit's level and learn it as soon as you can). Make sure to learn the elemental refinements and (especially) Card Mod, they're the main reason to come here. It's also possible to draw Sleep Magic from them, but it will come available soon enough, and there's nothing of major significance between now and then that's vulnerable.

Feel free to mod the Fish Fin items Dropped by the Fastitocalon-F monsters into 20x Water each using I Mag-RF (don't bother Drawing for Water Magic, they don't carry it). Water Magic Junctions quite well for this stage, but that's only the beginning.

Once all that's done, return to Balamb Garden (once you enter, Quistis will give a tutorial on GF Ability learning and HP, then leave you). The Ifrit Card you won earlier, along with the All rule, will help you build a deck quickly. Your first task should be to get the two Rare Cards currently available in Balamb Garden. The Trepe Groupies (there are some in the 2F classroom, as well as in the Cafeteria) play the Quistis Card, which should be your first priority due to its power as a playing card, while the young boy running around the lower-level hallway has the MiniMog Card, which sucks as a card, but don't mod it since you need it for a quest later.

Refinement Moment #1

This is the first of many good opportunities to abuse Card Mod (and other refinements) for fun and profit. At this point, it's important to try to keep a base playing hand, so you can actually win games, meaning don't mod all of the cards you intend to win games with. You'll be able to go all out a little later, when your backup options for your playing hand are much better.

(Note: If the Trade Rule degenerates to One, feel free to just play and quit until it changes back to All. If you moved the Queen, unfortunately it will not change back to All.)

A word of caution before continuing: the following will make you insanely overpowered if you do it all. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you're looking to get out of the game. If you find the game is too easy, feel free to simply not Junction the overpowered spells, or not use the broken skills.

Now comes the real fun. Using the All rule, it's time to amass huge numbers of Common Cards. If the Trade Rule degenerates to One, feel free to just play and quit until it changes back to All, which it will do eventually if you're following the walkthrough (If you moved the Queen of Cards, unfortunately it will not change back to All.) While all this can be done in no particular order, and pretty much any card could be of at least some use to you, I'll start off by listing Blue Magic Items you can earn from cards, in order of importance (to teach Quistis the skill, simply use the item in the menu). For a description of a skill, simply click on it. The Level of the card will be listed after the refinement; in a bit I'll explain who plays which levels. All of the refinements use Card Mod, as a reminder.

Degenerator is highly useful from the beginning of the game to the end; it Ejects anything not immune (which means almost all regular, non-boss enemies). For more information about Quistis' Limits, click here.

Don't mod the Ifrit Card, we need it to obtain a Rare Card on Disc 2.

There's also a boatload of spells you can snag, which will make your life much easier. The needed magic refinement will be listed (since the beginning inputs are all Cards, you obviously need Card Mod for that part). Like the Blue Magic Items above, these are listed in order of usefulness, along with the rank of the Card. Especially Tornado is really powerful, even moreso considering you've barely even started the game (Junction it to Str and watch the fireworks). Flare is stronger still, but it's a major pain in the ass to accumulate the needed cards to refine it (you need a whopping 50 Ruby Dragon Cards to max someone out), so you might want to skip it, but feel free to grab some for casting. Tornado is by far the most important; the -aga spells do junction fairly well, but not as well as you'd expect, meaning they're nice but the return may or may not be worth it. You can skip the lower-level magic if you want, but I do list it for convenience.

Finally, if you learned Mid Mag-RF, you can level up your low-level Fire/Blizzard/Thunder/Cure spells into their mid-level versions. This is less efficient than Card Mod, but if you feel like it, be my guest.

Another little "cheat" is modding Elastoid Cards (Level 5) into Steel Pipes (1 Steel Pipe per Card). These will teach your GF's the SumMag+10% while also unlocking SumMag+20% for you to learn. This isn't all that great, mind you, but there's little to no downside to doing this and the extra damage never hurt anyone, so might as well, right? If you have extra Elastoid Cards, mod them and hang on to the Steel Pipes, you'll be able to make use of them later in other ways. Don't go out of your way to get these cards, but if you're playing with All it's likely a few will fall into your lap.

While these are the best ones you can exploit at the moment, feel free to accumulate other types of cards; while you can't do much with them now, you will be able to in the future once you have more refinement abilities. Don't forget to Junction any new Magic to reap the full benefits of it.

The next question is whom to play. Generally, you want to play someone who plays only the level(s) of cards you're looking for. Lists of players follow:

  1. Level 1: All players in the Garden except for the boy sitting down in the library and Trepe Groupie #1
  2. Level 2: All players except random students walking the halls, Trepe Groupie #2, girl and black student in Library hallway, and girl in 2F Hallway
  3. Level 3: Most people in Garden
  4. Level 4: Trepe Groupie #3, Cafeteria Lady, all students in Library area (except Girl in Pigtails behind desk), girls in Dormitory hallway, girl in 2F Hallway
  5. Level 5: All Trepe Groupies, Gatekeeper, Cafeteria Lady, male student in blue in Library, girl in Library reading area

If you're looking for something in particular, for Level 3 Cards Trepe Groupie #2 has the best and easiest set available, while for Level 4 Cards the student that randomly appears in the hallway to the Library is arguably the best source, while for Level 5 Cards Trepe Groupie #1 is best. If you're looking for someone who plays ALL cards level 1-5 (except PuPu, which no one will ever play), play the girl in the Library's reading room.

Finally, before moving on with the rest of the walkthrough, it's worth pointing out that no one whom you can currently play plays Level 6 or Level 7 Cards.

You can also talk to the three students sitting at the table (near the Trepe Groupie) in the Cafeteria to start a minor quest (click here for more information). Speaking of the Cafeteria, if you want to unlock a minor bit of dialog later, talk to the Cafeteria Lady (the one who gives long speeches) until she stops giving new dialog. This appears to become unavailable at some point in the future.

Zell Love Quest #2

Go to the Library and speak to the Conceited SeeD. (Note that it's possible that he won't show up; if he doesn't, don't worry about it, you'll have opportunities to find him later.)

Once you have everything you need, it's time to continue.

Perfect Game Alert #2

Get 100x Tornado (or Flare) and Junction it to Squall's Str stat before moving on. You'll need this high a Str stat for a certain task to come, Other Magic doesn't matter too much for a Perfect Game, so do whatever else you want to do.

The SeeD Exam

Starting the Exam

Zell.Assuming you're not already there from doing the optional stuff just now, your destination is Balamb Garden. (If you're returning directly from Fire Cavern, Quistis will give a tutorial on GF ability learning as you enter Balamb Garden, then leave you.) In any event, you need to head to the Dormitory. Change clothes when prompted (you should also Rest using the bed if your HP is low).

A word of warning: from now until you're dismissed from the exam, do NOT speak to anyone unless told otherwise (even people like Quistis or Cid). Talking to people (with some exceptions, to mentioned as they arise) will give you poorer exam results, reducing your score every time you do it. You can receive more information on this topic (as well as the grading scheme of the exam) here. The walkthrough is written with the idea of getting you the highest score possible. Be aware also that a "perfect" score isn't possible in all categories at the same time, so don't sweat it if you took a small deduction somewhere.

(Note: If the link above isn't working, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Single-Page View," and the link will magically work.)

Anyway, return to the main hall for a scene (forced scenes, like this one, do not count as "talking to someone" in this exam), then, not talking to either Quistis or Cid, drive the car to Balamb Town once you've watched the scene. The car will make its way straight to the harbor (Google was making driverless cars in 1999?), including driving through Balamb Town. When it stops, don't talk to anyone, just board the submarine.

On the submarine is a scene. During the scene, you'll be prompted to choose who you want to talk to; don't speak to anyone, instead choose "Do nothing." Seifer will then tell you to go look outside; obey him to proceed the game (and avoid reducing your score).

The Dollet Mission

Items2x Elixir or 2x Cottage, Siren [GF], 3x-6x G-Returner
EnemiesAnacondaur, Elite Soldier, Geezard, G-Soldier, Biggs (boss), Wedge (boss), Elvoret (boss)

Upon landing, don't speak to Quistis, but do listen to her and equip GFs to your party. Give Shiva to Zell and Quezacotl to Seifer, as well as some Magic for each of them to junction (use Switch in the menu to quickly move stuff off Quistis and onto either Zell or Seifer, although you'll still need to set both of them up manually). Like Squall, Seifer uses a gunblade, which has perfect accuracy and can be triggered (with R1) for extra damage, though the trigger window is much smaller for Seifer's Hyperion than for Squall's gunblades. In addition, from now on, there is no penalty for speaking to Seifer or Zell (though the penalties for speaking to others still do apply). Feel free to refine more Fish Fins (or other items you might have lying around in your inventory) if you need Magic for Junctioning.

Perfect Game Alert #3

Don't let Seifer get any kills; since you would otherwise have to max them out (which is pretty close to impossible), it's better for a Perfect Game that Seifer just have zero. However, don't let him get KO'd either.

Seifer.Once everyone is equipped to satisfaction, head into town without speaking to anyone. Climb the stairs and use the Save Point, then run towards the town to be attack by 2x G-Soldier. They're nothing short of pathetic as enemies, but they do have basic spells for you to Draw if you want; especially Cure is important to stock up on. Once you're done "borrowing" their Magic, slap them with your weapons to continue on. Once you're finished, continue on into the town proper.

Here, ignore the door to the right and just keep running down the street. In the next screen, you'll encounter two more G-Soldiers, just waiting to eat your blades and fists. Defeat them, and, ignoring the Garden students who walk out of the pub, continue onward. Don't bother trying to enter the shop here, just continue on to the Central Square, where a lone G-Soldier awaits slaughter. After the battle, run towards the street blocked off by trucks (not the one going out the upper-left corner; going there now nets a score penalty) to find yet another G-Soldier. Shove his face into the pavement like you've been doing up until now.

Now, speak to Seifer twice for a scene. When the camera angle changes, speak to Zell first, then to Seifer, then walk away and re-approach him for yet another scene. Once it's over with, follow Seifer up the street towards the tower (the one I told you to ignore earlier).

The path from here is completely linear. You'll get into random encounters with Elite Soldiers, G-Soldiers, and Geezards. Elite Soldiers are only slightly stronger than the regular blue-garbed, garden-variety G-Soldier, while Geezards mostly just sit there barely even scratching you. After you cross the bridge, do not speak to the wounded Dollet Soldiers, but press on instead. You'll get into a fixed encounter with an Anacondaur. There's no penalty for Squall or Zell dealing the finishing blow to the Anacondaur (Seifer doesn't even comment on it), and if you're playing a Perfect Game it's necessary that Seifer not get it.

Continue up the path and past the next screen. Seifer will leave the party. Seifer's GF have been de-equipped, so Junction them to Zell for now. Do not jump off the cliff here--you'll take major penalties. Just follow the path around to the base of the tower. Selphie will now join you; she has any Magic Seifer had when he left, but make sure to equip her with a GF (Quezacotl, the same one Seifer should have had, is best). Enter the tower and save your progress. There's also a Blind Draw Point here; whoever has the highest Magic stat (probably Selphie) should Draw from it. (An easy trick to increase yields of Draw Points is to take the character with the highest Magic stat, pour everything into Magic, use that character to Draw, then change their setup back to whatever it was before.) Giving whoever has the Blind spells the Magic Command is a great idea. Be absolutely sure someone has the Draw Command equipped (besides a couple of useful spells, not being able to Draw will cost you a GF), then ride the elevator up for a brawl with...

Boss: Biggs, Wedge

Biggs and Wedge.

Biggs' Data
HP Range467 - 705Level Range1-10
AP4Exp0
Level-Dependent Data
Level 1-10
Draw List

Fire
Thunder
Blizzard
Esuna

Mug (Overall Chance: 25%)
3x Elixir
Drop (Overall Chance: 100%)
2x Elixir
Non Level-Dependent Data
Card DropNothing
Vulnerable
to Gravity?
Yes
Elemental
Weaknesses
None
Elemental
Resistances
None
Status
Vulnerabilities
The End
Wedge's Data
HP Range416 - 640Level Range1-10
AP4Exp0
Level-Dependent Data
Level 1-10
Draw List

Fire
Thunder
Blizzard
Cure

Mug (Overall Chance: 25%)
3x Cottage
Drop (Overall Chance: 100%)
2x Cottage
Non Level-Dependent Data
Card DropNothing
Vulnerable to Gravity?Yes
Elemental WeaknessesNone
Elemental ResistancesNone
Status VulnerabilitiesThe End

The battle will begin with Biggs solo. If you wait long enough without defeating Biggs, Wedge will show up. Neither of these two are any sort of threat (unless you somehow break your PlayStation laughing at them or something), but let's take a quick look at them anyway.

Biggs, in addition to a weak physical, has weak Cure and Thunder Magic, while Wedge has a sword slash (weak) and Fire Magic (weak)...I think you notice a pattern here? The only noteworthy feature is that you can Draw Esuna from Biggs, and I suggest you do exactly that. Once you're done, just take them down however you like.

The battle ends once either soldier is reduced to 0 HP. Biggs has the better Drop of the two (2x Elixir), so I suggest you defeat him rather than Wedge.

Don't celebrate yet, because a mind-blowing (get it?) surprise is headed your way!

Boss: Elvoret

Elvoret.

HP Range1,563 - 3,523Level Range1-11
AP10Exp0
Level-Dependent Data
Level 1-11
Draw List

Thunder
Cure
Double
Siren

Mug (Overall Chance: 25%)
6x G-Returner
Drop (Overall Chance: 100%)
3x G-Returner (69.5%); 4x G-Returner (19.9%); 5x G-Returner (5.9%); 6x G-Returner (4.7%)
Weapons Mon Mar (100%)
Non Level-Dependent Data
Card DropNothing
Vulnerable to Gravity?Yes
Elemental WeaknessesNone
Elemental ResistancesFlying, Poison (Nullifies)
Status VulnerabilitiesConfuse (90%), Darkness (60%), Drain, Slow (90%), The End

The most important thing to do in this battle is to Draw the GF Siren. I cannot overstate how important this is; if you miss the chance, you won't be able to do so again until Disc 4, and she'll miss out on serious leveling and AP time (and you on some great abilities). It doesn't matter who actually Draws her; she can be Junctioned to anyone just like any of the other GF's you've seen to this point (but you won't be able to Junction her until after the battle). Once you've Drawn Siren, she will disappear from the Draw List.

Elvoret is the first somewhat dangerous boss you've seen in the game. While it's not overpowered by any stretch, it's capable of wearing you down. Storm Breath hits your whole party for heavy damage, while its physicals pack a punch as well. Its Magic (Fire and Thunder) is much less dangerous, but they can whittle off your HP over time.

If you plan to Draw Magic (not just Siren), your first task should be to inflict Darkness on Elvoret. This will make its physicals miss much more often, taking the heat off your party somewhat. Elvoret does have partial resistance to the status, so it may take a few casts for it to actually stick. (Elvoret's other status weaknesses are only currently available through Slot, and are less useful because of this.) In the meantime, the rest of your party should try to Draw Double spells. They're overrated as a Junction and you probably won't be able to Draw them very fast this early, but they're decent for how early in the game it is, and they're useful for casting purposes (double-casting Magic never hurt anybody...except the enemies, that is). Be sure to keep healed; Elvoret will whip out Storm Breath every so often, which is its most dangerous attack. Selphie's Full-Cure Limit Break (through Slot, but fairly easy to get) is perfect for party upkeep, as is simple Draw-casting Cure. Either way, chip away at Elvoret's HP while keeping healed once you're done Drawing and the battle will end soon enough. (You might want to end battle with Squall in critical if you're playing a Perfect Game though; you'll see why in a little while.)

Elvoret drops the Weapons Mon Mar magazine upon defeat in addition to 3-6 G-Returner items.

After the battle, name your GF if you got it (Default: Siren). There'll be a scene, then you'll be given a 30 minute time limit to get back to the beach (and how quickly you can return to the beach affects your score). Quickly (the timer still runs in the menu) Junction Siren to Squall (paired with Ifrit) and set her to learn L Mag-RF. After learning L Mag-RF, have her learn Tool-RF, the Mag+% abilities (to unlock Mag Bonus), Mag Bonus, Move-Find, ST Med-RF, Boost, the Junctions, and finishing with the others. Also Junction Tornado (or, even better, Flare) to Squall's Str if you have it, as well as the strongest Lightning-elemental Magic you have to Elem-Atk (it doesn't help Limits, but will improve regular physicals).

Your GF setup will look like this if you've followed the walkthrough: