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  #1  
Old 06-11-2007, 04:55 PM
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Default So, Final Fantasy VIII

I was looking over the comments for the Chrono Trigger post on the main site and the first one mentioned FFVIII and how you can get Diablos and turn off random battles because you get stronger through magic. My first reaction was, what the...

But this was a game I really got bogged down with, I played almost to the end without really grasping the system well. I made it to that place where you climb up the chain to the last area and I totally was overmatched at that point and it seemed like I couldn't go back and right whatever wrongs I did in leading up to having totally underdeveloped characters. Needless to say the system in that game was total confusion for me.

I'd like to go back and revisit the game though and I was wondering if someone could explain to me what the strategy should be for tackling that game. From drawing magic, to Guardian Forces to getting the right accessories to level up your weapon etc. Anyone?
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:01 PM
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Ignore levels, they are irrelevant. Learn useful abilities. Abuse limit breaks. Refine magic from items and cards. It's a very easy game if you know what you're doing.

I loved FF8 because it was so different, and any RPG that lets the player decide what abilities to learn gets high marks from me. Going through the storyline could be a chore at times, but that's true of almost every RPG.

Encounter-None was great, too.. FF5 desperately needs that ability.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:06 PM
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Don't ignore the Card game. Once you have the Card Mod ability you can turn the cards into some crazy useful items, and there's also an ability to turn enemies into cards, so you don't necessarily need to even play the card game (but it's fun, so that shouldn't be an issue). In fact, make sure you learn every Item Refine ability possible.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:21 PM
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Pick up a FAQ. Otherwise, you'll never find the stuff you need to improve your weapons.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:05 PM
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If you follow my friend's strategy, all you have to do is draw ridiculous amounts of the right kind of magic and give them all to Squall. Find out from a FAQ what the most useful magic is for each stat and you're on your way to making a Squall that can take the last boss of the game single-handedly. No kidding- I've seen it. He could do max damage to just about everything, could absorb a whole lot of magic, and had the Recover ability. The other characters were literally nothing but a hindrance, as they only made fights last longer. It was ludicrous.

That said, I think the story and characters of FF8 are complete crap (except for Laguna. I'm a sucker for lovable goofballs). At least everything else is pretty nice.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2007, 06:09 PM
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3 hours into the game and didn't catch my attention. Does it get better?
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:19 PM
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Yeah. Depending on what you like. The highlight of my play experience was after the first Laguna interlude, when Squall says "I dreamed I was an idiot."
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:35 PM
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I enjoyed Final Fantasy VIII. I like depth in both my gameplay and worlds - and VIII had both. Also, it didn't hurt that my youthful enthusiasm (and a good strategy guide) helped me look past some of the flaws in the gameplay and characters. At least until I finish XII and VI, VIII will remain my favorite entry in the series.

As for difficulty, I started grinding immediately, maxing out all the available magic right away, and setting a precedent for the rest of my playthrough. I walked over the final boss by - if I remember correctly - winning the Gilgamesh card from the Balamb Card King, converting it too 100 Holy Wars and spamming Limit Breaks for the entire battle. Proving that Gilgamesh is awesome regardless of form or game.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:08 PM
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That seems like a lot of work. I just made Lionheart and kept Squall in a near-death state so that he could spam his limit breaks on the last boss.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolbe View Post
3 hours into the game and didn't catch my attention. Does it get better?
I personally can never make it past about halfway through Disc 2 and I have tried about 4 times so I say no. This is one of the only FF's I haven't completed (the other being FF II).
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2007, 07:38 PM
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The card game is fun, except for the way you can catch and spread really lame rules like STDs, until every card player in the world is infected and you can't find a decent game anymore.
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2007, 07:58 PM
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What Brandon said. Some of the more archaic rules that are added later in the game are totally lame.

Other then that, FFVIII is an excessively 'eh' experience. It used to be my most reviled game of all time until I got over myself and decided that rather then being the most foul piece of garbage ever burned to disc, it merely wasn't all that great.

Squall is Cloud minus the character development. At least, he was until Advent Children, which pretty much puts them back on the same level I'm told.

Some of the music is pretty darn good though.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2007, 08:05 PM
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The secret of Final Fantasy VIII is to play cards sometimes. Learn card mod, the other refine abilities, equip "encounter none", and use Triple Triad as a replacement for random battles. Win cards, mod them, refine them into spells, refine spells into better spells, and Junction them to "level up". The "Switch" option in the party menu (or was it junction menu?) moves all magic, GFs, and junctions between two characters which lets you create these "meta characters" that you apply to whoever you're currently using while the others act as a sort of bank for excess spells.

Played like that, the broken gameplay becomes sorta fun. If I didn't find the story so bad I'd probably like the game.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:14 PM
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I bet FFVIII is a lot more fun if you pretend that Triple Triad is the main game and the whole offensively bad RPG part is just a mini-game you only play to get more cards.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:16 PM
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It's pretty much why I stuck to playing my friend's saves.

"Hey yeah, you need to get that card? I'll give it a shot!"
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2007, 08:27 PM
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I just don't know what to think about FFVIII. If you play it right it can apparently be a pretty enjoyable game, but the fact that you have to break it in order to make it work properly kind of rubs me the wrong way.

I know this seems weird if you consider the fact that I love to break games, but generally I like games that are fun to play on their own before I try and mess with them.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2007, 08:49 PM
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God I hate this game. Truth in critism there are a few cool parts, the opening invasion, some cool cinemas, the battle between the "schools", the assasination, and um ah ooohh....

Downloading Magic sucks, not being able to buy weapons and armor sucks, the card games suck, the characters suck, the whole Laguna thing sucks, the story sucks.

The worse part was probably the villian. I mean thats c'mon thats half the reason you play an FF game for the fascinating complex villian. I forget the name of the chick in FF8 but God she was awful. She shows up out of no where in the last battle yells "Prepare to die SEEBS" (Aw shit I screwed up my line) and dies. And if anyone even brings up Seifer I'm going to have to go get my Walking Tall Beatdown stick.

She makes Ex Death look like Kefka.

Nerd cred points: When I played the game I didn't know you could Boost your summons, more or less the foundation of the battle system, and I beat the whole game without doing it once.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2007, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_bungle700 View Post
I just don't know what to think about FFVIII. If you play it right it can apparently be a pretty enjoyable game, but the fact that you have to break it in order to make it work properly kind of rubs me the wrong way.

I know this seems weird if you consider the fact that I love to break games, but generally I like games that are fun to play on their own before I try and mess with them.
I understand and feel the same way. Junctioning 100 Haste to Speed for your characters alone will make them faster than fast.
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2007, 09:01 PM
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I just had a pleasant thought. Well, not really. Anybody remember Eden?
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  #20  
Old 06-11-2007, 09:01 PM
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Oh wow, the polarizing PS1 FF. Honestly, I kinda like this one. For one, it was the only FF on the PS1 that I ever beat (yeah never beat FF7, that's my secret shame), two, I liked the story line better than I did VII's, though still not as good as VI. I remember using the Expert Gamer walkthrough to abuse the system. *Edit* oh yeah Haste Spell went on the speed stat, Ultima on hp, or something like that. Kept everyone, especially Squall, at around 1/4 health (when the text is yellow or slightly above that sometimes) to spam the triangle button to bring up the Limit Breaks for every attack. Pretty freaking cheesy I know.

Also what the freak was the deal with the Eden GF. Besides the breaks the 9999 damage limit, I still to this day have no idea what that was.

Keep a save on Disc 3 before you go to last dungeon on that disc. In Disc 4, all the towns are blocked off, so if you need to gear up you need to use the GF shops.

The card game in this one was probably the best time suck mini game in all the FF's. Especially compared to Drownball...er Blitzball from FFX.
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2007, 09:03 PM
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I really kind of loved FF8. It didn't have the kind of story or gameplay I had expected, but I have lots of good memories of the whole thing. Even the goofy junctioning.

On the other hand, I wasn't overly impressed with FF9, so I might just be the anti-Final Fantasy fan.
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2007, 09:34 PM
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The proper way to play FF8 is to kill Squall at the beginning of the game and leave him that way until the last boss. Due to my well-publsized views on the game, I rushed through it as fast as possible with Squall mostly alive. Thus, at the end, he was level 24 and every other party member was 14 or so. The last boss mauled me. I actually had to use a friend's save file to beat the game.
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  #23  
Old 06-11-2007, 09:39 PM
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Oh, cool tip in case anyone doesn't know it already: Zell's Limit Break does a shit TON of damage if you ignore all of the big attacks and just alternate between Punch Rush and Booya. They only require two button presses each, and since they never trigger any other moves you can keep doing it until time runs out (and since it requires less than half a second to do do either move, that could be awhile). You can seriously do even more damage than Squall's Lionheart limit break with this technique. I've think I've even killed bosses with Zell single-handedly this way.
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  #24  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:00 PM
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Yes, but then you'd have to use Zell....
Although I suppose it's like picking the cool kid on the short bus when choosing an FF8 party.
Caution! I may be biased.
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  #25  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:14 PM
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Hey, Zell is great. Plus, he's the only character in the game that isn't emo, useless, or Selphie.
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  #26  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:16 PM
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Okay, okay, I get it. The internets hate FFVIII. Fine. Be that way.

I actually liked it. Not just the gameplay, but part of the story, as well. Yeah, the final villian sucks. Seifer sucks. Really, much of the plotting of the game sucks.

Story isn't just plot, however. I thought Squall was an interesting character, in that his growth is not just some revelatory moment like so many other FFs, but is instead a very gradual process forward. I liked the big ideas in FFVIII. The whole time paradox thing was a clever way to make Squall the hero, as much as he didn't want to. That his actions in the future literally force him to let go of his self absorbed nature and fight for others was pretty cool I thought.

As far as advice, don't spread your magic thin--just have magic and junctioning for 3 people and just switch it all over when you have to change members. Try and use Limits more then GFs--much less annoying and better damage. There's a spell, Aura to get instant limits. If you get Lionheart, Squall's ultimate Limit Break, that makes the rest of the game a complete cakewalk.
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:18 PM
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No sir, I didn't like it.
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  #28  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:29 PM
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I'm playing FFVIII right now and the Junction system frustrates the CRAP out of me. I keep having to hit reset because I forget to save and then I end up switching characters and get thrown into a boss battle without any GF's equipped.
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  #29  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
Some of the music is pretty darn good though.
I agree. Some areas were catchy and I stuck around even though I probably could have moved on faster. THEN some areas music just sucked and those were the areas I got lost in and ran around in circles for like thirty minutes...
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  #30  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamin View Post
Story isn't just plot, however. I thought Squall was an interesting character, in that his growth is not just some revelatory moment like so many other FFs, but is instead a very gradual process forward.
So, uh, what about when Rinoa falls into a coma and he suddenly decides that he not only doesn't find her annoying anymore, but is actually completely in love with her?
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