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Written and Translated by:
Henry H. Jerng at

"Our hero Squall, after becoming a mercenary at a soldier training school, becomes acquainted with the girl Rinoa at a party. Squall, who has until then refused to be involved with other people, is gradually influenced by her free way of living. Meanwhile, at the moment, the nation of Galbaldia suddenly declares war against the entire world. Standing beside the address-making president was a 'witch', something that had long disappeared from people's memories..." (FFVIII game, back cover)


Quick Story...
      Final Fantasy VIII, published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCPS 45375-8), is the latest chapter in Squaresoft's popular Final Fantasy series. As in the previous final fantasies, the game takes place in a world of futuristic technology mixed with mysterious magic, of powerful warriors and magicians. In Final Fantasy VIII, the central conflict develops between the SeeD and the witches, and I will now introduce you to the parties involved.

In this world, there are privately-owned soldier training schools known as "Gardens". Gardens are unrelated to any organizations such as government or military, and their administrations are paid commissions mainly for sending its graduates to join military forces of every country. In the Gardens located in every country, special squads known as SeeD are formed regularly. Members of SeeD are chosen because of their exceptional abilities. In fact, their battle abilities are said to be levels above those of the average Garden graduates that are sent to every country. The missions of SeeD include engagements in military activities such as starting wars, protection of VIPs, suppression of uprisings, and assassinations.

A witch is a woman with powerful magical abilities. The birth and existence of witches are shrouded in mystery since little is known about them, but it is known that their continued existence is not based on blood relations but is succeeded to the next witch through a pure "succession of power". As you may expect, for a woman it may be a blessing or a curse to possess a witch's overwhelming powers. Witches have had enormous influence in the world over the ages, but witches have not appeared in recent years. However, the long silence for witches is now broken. As you will see, the reason for the witch's reappearance will become an important part of the FFVIII story.

Nearly all the information that appears here comes from Square's Official Final Fantasy VIII Express Strategy Book for Beginners by DigiCube (ISBN 4-925075-42-X), published on February 10th, 1999. I have done my best to accurately translate the information, and I will first apologize for any error that may have been made. This translation FAQ is meant for personal use only, for helping FFVIII players with this highly entertaining game. If there are questions concerning this FAQ, please feel free to contact me at the e-mail address listed above. Now, let us proceed on to.....

Final Fantasy VIII Opening Scene...
      It begins with two men violently scattering sparks. Seifer and Squall, two students of Balamb Garden, are conducting independent training. They are using genuine gunblades, and, by their intense swordplay, there is clearly some history between the two. Showing offense and defense, the fight climaxes to something usual. While Seifer takes an unguarded position for a moment, Squall takes the opportunity to win the duel...

At that moment, Seifer summons "magic", which is prohibited. Squall withdraws for a moment, but he promptly recovers his stance and tries to return the attack. Seifer becomes involved in the task of offense and defense, advancing and retreating. At the moment when the edge of his blade grazes Squall's eyebrow, Seifer pulls the trigger on his gunblade. Fresh blood scatters around this eyes, and Squall's fighting spirit goes ablaze. And Squall's gunblade again catches Seifer's brow. The forehead wounds that they cut onto each other's foreheads carve inescapable destinies into their hearts...

In a complete change of scenery from the earlier battle, Squall is lying down on a bed in the Garden's medical office. It appears that somehow after the fight, he lost consciousness and now does not remember what had happened to the duel. However, the pain of his forehead wound tells him that there was a fierce battle. Then the medical officer in charge, Dr. Kadowaki, certifies that Squall's condition is stable, and she contacts an officer in charge to come and receive him. In a short time, a woman appears in the medical office and smiles at Squall for this slightly ghastly situation. She is Quistis Trepe, Squall's teacher.

When he returns to the classroom, homeroom started. There seems to be a practice exam for SeeD selection right after class, and it seems that Squall must take it no matter what happened. The place is a cave of flames east of the Garden. Quistis is in charge. In order for Quistis to go with Squall, Squall will meet her at the school's front gate. However, you're advised to not forget to prepare your lessons with your study panel right at your own seat. When you examine the items for lesson preparation and review, you will get 2 Guardian Forces (G.F.): Quetzalcoatl and Shiva.

When you're finished in general with preparations at the study panel, try to go out toward the hall. When you do, you will run into a girl at a corner in the hall. The girl will run toward that place, but somehow she doesn't seem to be hurt. She has just transferred to this Garden today, and moreover, she is late for class on her first day. An optional panel appears so you will guide the transfer student around the school. How this unfolds has no effects on the game, even which ones you choose.

Take an opportunity to explore the Balamb Garden.

After you join up with Quistis at the main gate, head toward the cave of flames immediately. Your goal in the cave is to defeat Ifrit who is in the deepest part of the cave. Again, there is a time limit on this test, and before going in you can choose from 10, 20, 30, and 40 minutes. Try not to forget to junction the G.F.'s before entering. Once inside, the main point is to draw Blizzard from Vail. They will be helpful in the boss fight.

You will fight Ifrit in the deepest part of the cave. Remember that Ifrit can absorb the energy of flames and recover his HP, so do not use fire-related attacks. Ifrit is weak against cold magics such as G.F. Shive and the magic Blizzard.

After gaining credit at the cave of flames, Squall challenges the final exam for SeeD. The team consists of 3 people, and the two other than Squall are assembled in the hall of Garden. One person is Zell, who has excellent fist fighting sense. And the remaining person, and the one to become the team leader, is none other than Seifer.

Squall and the others depart for the town of Balamb aboard a high speed car in order to execute their job. You will move from the Garden toward the town of Balamb using a car. When the car reaches the town, go inside and head for the port. At the port, a landing craft is waiting for Squall and others, and after your boarding, it will head straight for the principality of Dollet, their destination. Inside the ship, the mission briefing is given by Garden instructor Shue. Their mission this time is to support the Dollet army, which is in the midst of battle against the army of Galbaldia, a militant nation.

After reaching Dollet, try to spot the central plaza by passing through the city streets. On the way, enemy soldiers will attack several times, but they are not tough opponents and are easy victims for 'draw'. You should draw Thunder for later use. At the plaza, the enemy forces show threatening movements.

Enemy forces is assembling at a radio tower on a mountain top. when you follow them and advance to the mountain trails, a Dollet soldier crawls out from a crevice in the rock, right when you come near the first stairway. When you try to help, a hedge viper appears. Blizzard is effective against it because it is weak against cold air. When you come before the radio tower, Seifer leaves the party and enters the tower. Here, Selphie appears as a messenger, and she joins the party and replaces Seifer.

After adding Selphie to the party, Squall and others follow Seifer who entered the tower alone and head for the highest floor. On the highest floor, major Biggs of the Galbaldian army is repairing the antennae, and when you arrive on the lift, you will have to fight him. When you give him a fixed amount of damage, his subordinate Wedge comes in and assists. Just face them straight on with proper attack methods since neither one has a weak point, and there's no need to use any special attacks.

Shortly after you enter the fight with Biggs, a waterspout rolls out from the sky. Biggs and Wedge are taken away by the waterspout and replaced by a monster, Elviole. The fight continues. Because Elviole has high HP and uses various kinds of magic, you must expect a long fight. Among his attacks, the most terrible one is the storm breath that will give big damage to all members of your party. Because fortunately you can draw Care from it, recover without hesitation when your HP becomes low. Again, if you draw G.F. Siren, you will be able to use it as a G.F. after the battle.

The details of the message was an immediate withdraw. Squall and others must return to the place where they first landed within 30 minutes. However, during their withdraw, a Galbaldian weapon (X-ATMO92, aka "Black Widow") persistently pursues them. Because a battle ensues when you are caught, run toward the beach with all your might. If a battle occurs, the effective attacks are Thunder and G.F. Quetzalcoatl. And when you give a fixed amount of damage, you can stop its movement for a short time. At this time, although you may possibly defeat it if your G.F.'s levels are very high, it is better to run away because there is the danger of running out of time. Moreover, even if you escape when it stops moving, soon it will repair itself and again attack.

The "Black Widow" desperately repeats its attacks. Squall and others somehow dodge them and arrive at the beach where their landing craft awaits. However, right behind them the enemy weapon still closes in, with furious force. There, Quistis' protection fires strike the enemy weapon without mercy. And, after Squall and others safely boarded the ship, the landing craft returns to Balamb, leaving behind the remains of the weapon all ruined.

Now you have an opportunity to explore the town of Balamb.

When you return to the Garden, Quistis, Shue, and Cid are discussing among themselves in the first floor's central hall. While waiting for exam results, try to go to the passageway in front of the library. Here is Seifer, complaining about his dissatisfaction with the order to withdraw. However, because he disregarded the order, he is to receive punishment. Afterwards, if you go to the second floor classroom, Squall is notified of his qualification from participants of Garden. At the inauguration ceremony are Zell and Selphie.

When you assume the SeeD office, you will acknowledge your "SeeD rank". Your rank will go up and down depending on your action from this point on. The rank affects your SeeD stipend which is paid at fixed times. It goes up when your rank goes up. The "SeeD rank" goes up when you receive full point on the "SeeD written exam" in the tutorial, or when you accomplish your given mission. However, be aware that it can also go down because of inappropriate speech, inappropriate conduct, and activities during battles.

After the inauguration ceremony ended, go before the classroom. When you do, classmates are all gathered in front of the classroom to bless the departure of Squall and others. And Seifer too eagerly await for Squall here. Zell stands on guard. However, Seifer unexpectedly begins to clap his hands... After the blessing by everyone, go to your dormitory and change into the SeeD uniform. Next is the inauguration announcement party.

After publicly becoming a SeeD, Squall meets a woman at the inauguation announcement dance party. She becomes interested in Squall at first sight, and then she invites him to "dance together". She says she is looking for someone and wants to enter the dance circle by all means.

Squall is enjoying the good atmosphere of the dance, but the woman he was dancing with seems to have found the person she was looking for and left him alone. Afterwards, when he was standing still on the terrace, Quistis comes by to speak to him. And Quistis orders him to go to a place known as "the secret place", located in the back of the training facility. Incidentally, "the secret place' is a date spot where couples on the Garden gather every night. After returning to his dormitory and changing back to his personal clothes, Squall goes to the entrance of the training facility. Quistis is waiting.

Squall and Quistis pass though the training facility and arrive at "the secret place". Times of momentary silence pass between the two. And Quistis slowly tells him. She says that she is disqualified for the teaching position, starting today she will becomes a SeeD herself, and her personal history. However, Squall dislikes half finished affections, and he throws off Quistis insistently.

When they leave "the secret place", suddenly a scream is heard. When they proceed in the direction of the scream, a woman is being attacked by monsters, and a battle begins. The opponents are 3 insect types, Granaldo and Raldo. The Granaldos attack by throwing and kicking Raldo. While the Granaldos are alive, Raldo will not attack on his own. So, if you dispose of Raldo first, you can contain damage to the smallest amount. Attacks using G.F. are quite effective. As for the Granaldos that remain, quickly defeat them with concentrated attacks because an individual Granaldo does not have great attack ability.

When you return to the dormitory from the training facility, a personalized room for SeeD is prepared. Squall, tired from the fight in the training facility, sleeps on the bed. And on the next morning, he hears from Selphie the news of their first mission and goes to the card reader at the Garden's entranceway. From Cid, he learns that the mission this time is to offer support to an anti-government organization in Timber. The members include Squall, Zell, and Selphie.

The party proceeds toward Timber by riding a train that leaves from the town of Balamb. Be sure that you don't buy too much before departure because it costs 3000 gils to ride the train, or you'll get "you don't have enough money". In the train, they find an extravagent guest room prepared for them, and Zell and Selphie are in good humor. However, here a sudden sleepiness attacks Squall and the others, and the three falls asleep as if losing consciousness.

When he regains consciousness, Squall becomes Laguna Loire, a Galbaldian soldier, and is marching in the forest of Timber. Along side him are Kilos, who carried himself undignified, and Ward, a bigman who boasts of his strength. The three are passing through the forest and escaping the battlefield in a military vehicle. They are going toward the Galbaldian capitol, Dering City.

Laguna, after returning from the battlefield, invites Kilos and Ward for a drink. However, somehow it seems that alcohol isn't what he is after. They go to a club under a hotel, and when they speak to a waitress, she guides them to their usual seats. Then an woman appears, the one Laguna is after there. She begins a piano performance. When he approaches her to confess his feelings, he suffers a honorable defeat as he stumbled out of terrible nervousness. After the performance, Laguna is invited by her to go to her room in that hotel.

Squall wakes up from his dream. Moreover, the others say they saw the same dream. While this left a big mystery, their train arrives at Timber. When they say the password at the Timber train station, they are guided the hideout train of the "Forest Owls", the anti-government organization. In the hideout, they are asked by members of Forest Owl to summon their leader in a back room. There, they meet with Rinoa Heartilly. She was the woman who danced with Squall at the Garden party before.

Timber is now becoming under Galbaldia's control. Rinoa and others are working to free Timber from the dictatorship of Vinzer Dering, Galbaldia's current president. According to the latest information, the president is visiting Timber on a train. Rinoa quickly begins to explain her operation to Squall and others.

The summer of the operation is to wedge a dummy train (the Forest Owls' hideout) that looks like the president's train right between cars one/two and three/four, thereby substituting it for the real president's car.

After making preparations, the operation begins at last. By controlling Squall, you will move him on top of the trainand twice cut off and separate the connections between train cars by entering passcodes. You must finish the entire operation in 5 minutes. A calm and swift operation is the key to success.

As a result of a successful operation, Rinoa receives the president. However, he was not the real president Dering. The fake president reveals its real form and attacks Squall and others. If you use Raise, Araise, and Pheonix Tail, you can defeat it with one blow. If you fight it with physical attacks, it will be very hard. Moreover, the opponent has many abnormal status attacks such as Breath, Bazerk, and Silence that give damage along with Darkness effects. Therefore, while you recover often, it will become a long fight. Recovery magic like Care, in association with Double, and attacks using G.F. Ifrit are effective.

Rinoa and others get off at the Timber train station, after making up their minds to attack the broadcast station. It is a city with complex archtectural styles where many train lines meet. You should first search the Timber Maniacs building. Now the city is more occupied by Galbaldian forces, and you will frequently get into battles. Carelessness is something to avoid here.

According to the news on the streets, it seems possible to go to the broadcast station from behind the pub. When you head for the pub, some Galbaldian soldiers are talking in front of the pub. A battle ensues, and you will receive the "Vail Card" after your victory. When you enter the pub, because a drunken customer is obstructing the back door, you will be able to go to the back alley if you treat this customer wine or return the card you just got earlier.

When you pass through the back ally and climb up some stairs, words of unknown meaning are projected on a monitor on the wall. Before long, those words change to the relay of the presidential address, and then it suddenly changes to an image of Seifer and Quistis storming into the broadcast station. Squall and others rush to the broadcast station. Seifer tries to take the president captive, but he is taken away by a witch and then disappears to somewhere

Because it was leaked out that Seifer and Quistis are associates of Garden, Squall and others are urged that they must escape. They decide to seek shelter for a moment at the Forest Fox's hideout and ask about some chance of escape. In conclusion, they decide to take a train to visit the nearby Galbaldia Garden.

Riding the last train out of Timber, you should get off the train at the school east station. You will have to go past the Timber forest in order to go to the Galbaldia Garden, and you can see it from the station in the northwest direction. If you cross the bridge while following the train track, you will soon get there.

In case you did not get off at school east station, the train will go to the Dollet station, the next stop. Because Dollet station is the final stop, just return by walking on the railroad tracks. Incidentally, monsters will not appear on the roads or train tracks.

Now is a good opportunity to explore Dollet and Timber.

When you step into the Timber forest, Squall's consciousness again flies to Laguna. Laguna, along with Kilos and Ward, is lost in an excavation site that is digging for something. Because there is nothing special here at the excavation site, proceed to look for the exit. En route, there are places to set traps, so you can set traps for enemy Esta soldiers. However, it is okay if you don't.

When you proceed to a save point, Laguna and others will be surrounded by Esta soldiers. When defeated, the Esta soldiers will finally use the skill called "Soul Crush" that will reduce your HP to 1. After the battle, they Laguna, Kilos, and Ward will dive down a cliff and toward some ships below.

Squall and other return from their second trip to the "mysterious world". Afterwards, they again set out for Galbaldia Garden, their original destination. For all that, the Garden is right before their eyes.

The area ahead is a region called the Monterosa high plains, and the distribution of monsters suddenly changes. Because rather powerful enemies appear, go out after you have confirmed your party status. In the battle a little while ago, it is possible you have a character with only 1 HP.

Finally you reach Galbaldia Garden. It is a place you want to study and observe briefly, but a broadcast announces for them to come to the second floor reception room as soon as possible. At this time, because this is no reason to go to all the places inside the school, you should wait for a chance later and not hurry.

Squall runs away from the reception room. After a meeting with Fuujin and Raijin in the first floor hall, he obeys the instructions on the broadcast system and heads for the front gate. And the party that gathered there at the front gate receive orders from Dodonna, the school principal and board chairman.

The contents of that order was to go to Dering City and assassinate the witch Edea. They added the sniper Irvine Kinneas hereafter to the party as a member of the execution team.

Squall and others appoint Irvine to the immediate party composition (it is possible to change), and they head for the Galbaldian capitol, Dering City, where witch Edea is. Because the railroad tracks go all the way to Dering City, it is better to go by train. However, if you go on foot, en route the Galbaldian army is spreading a baracade. Because the baracade is released if you go to Dering City once, you can return from Dering City while walking.

The location of the station is at the southwestern direction from the Garden. It is supposed that you will soon understand because the train stops there. Still, because it costs 3000 gils to ride the train, try not to squander your money.

You will board the train by paying 3000 gils, but the train will still not depart. If you try to exit the train from the hatchway there, Irvine and others will return to the same train after doing other activities. And in the course of talking with the other members, the train they are on slides toward the underground station of Dering City.

When they arrive on the ground level from the underground station on a escalator, they immediately come to a traffic circle in front of the station. To go to the Carway residence from here as instructed, it will be good to talk to the clerk in charge when a bus comes to the bus stop right before you. It costs nothing to ride the bus.

Squall and others visit a home to meet with captain Carway, but they are turned away at the gate by a guard. Without having varified the true power of SeeD, the captain will have no reason to meet them.

Then there is a very simple condition to show their true strength. It is a test of courage- after searching for the "tomb of the unknown king" which is near Dering City, see the signature (attendence number) of a weapon that was dropped there. Because you can receive a map for that place, you can go to "the tomb of the unknown king" immediately. As for the content of the test, if you are confident as SeeD and think that there is nothing missing, it is probably okay to take a chance and explore the tomb. However, it is recommended that you pay the guard money and listen to his hints.

Hints you can receive from the guard
3000 gils: About the best way to defeat the monster inside the tomb.
5000 gils: You can get the capability to display current position on the map you received.

The weapon in question was dropped on the right hand side of the passageway right when you enter the king's tomb. Try to remember the attendence number written on it. Furthermore, if you explore beyond the entrance, then look at the map often. It is displayed if you press the select button. It is easy to understand the map if you look so that the direction you are heading is always on top.

By clearing the guard's test, Squall and others can finally meet captain Carway. The members are ushered into a room and are allowed to hear the tangible details of the assassination plan from Carway. First, they will divide the party into two teams: the sniper team and the Arch of Triumph team. 1) The sniper team will watch and wait in front of the presidential palace. 2) The Arch of Triumph team will watch and wait inside the Arch of Triumph. 3) The car carrying the witch leaves the presidential palace. 4) The sniper team infiltrate the palace. 5) The Arch of Triumph team confines the witch's car. 6) The sniper team executes the sniping from the clock tower. That is the sequence of events. When they hear a telephone call, the party is dismissed for a moment.

When you are prepared, you will again gather at the Carway residence. After the teams are formed there, they are taken by captain Carway to assume battle positions. Afterwards, they are just supposed to wait for the beginning of witch Edea's parade to start, but Quistis becomes worried about something. Something about Rinoa. Quistis cannot get over her concerns by any means and returns to the Carway residence for a moment. They get wrapped in an unexpected happening.

Rinoa, excused from the assassination plan, comes to the side of the presidential palace. She is trying to make the witch wear the "Odyne Bangle", something that will seal the witch's powers. And she climbs up a wall and heads for the room where the witch awaits.

From behind witch Edea's back, Rinoa imparts her will to present the bangle to the witch. However, Edea certainly had no use for Rinoa's little tricks. Completely saw through by Edea, Rinoa's plan here ends in failure. And, as if nothing had happened, Edea goes out to the presidential palace's terrace where president Dering awaits. She begins a speech to assume ambassadorship.

The viewpoint again returns to Quistis. Quistis and others are shut in the captain's residence. They search various places to find some way to leave the room. It is thought that there is a hidden passage somewhere... There seems to be some connection between the picture hanging on the wall and a statue set near the room's entrance. At suspicious places, try investigating by pressing the circle button.

Quistis and others somehow escape from the Carway residence. They exit to an underground waterway. While advancing through the passageways by riding the rotating waterwheels, look for the exit. Don't forget to confirm your equipments.

Right when Quistis and others finally discovered the underground waterway, witch Edea's parade opens its ceremoney. Squall and Irvine, who were waiting in the front gate of the palace, quickly hurry to the witch's room to help Rinoa. If you take the same path that Rinoa took and climb the crates on the side of the palace, you can come out to the terrace.

When you enter the back of the room, you will fight against 2 Shumelkes. The Shumelkes will use direct attacks with their claws or a skill called "Magma Breath" that will damage with its flame property and gradually turn its victim to stone. If you are turned to stone, you should quickly cure it with Ethna. And, don't forget to draw the G.F. Carbangle. After the draw, it is okay to cast magical attacks because the Reflect that was cast on Shumelkes by Carbangle is gone.

After saving Rinoa, Squall and Irvine follow the plan and await for the set time inside the clock tower's mechanism. When you descend inside, you will receive a rifle that was placed there beforehand.

When Quistis come out of the underground waterway and arrive at the Arch of Triumph, it was the time right when the witch's parade passes through. Somehow the gate's switch is pulled, and they succeed in stopping the parade. They just need Irvine to make one shot from the clock tower, with his gun that is pointed at Edea...

Because the sniping failed, the operation naturally shifts to one of direct confrontation. Seifer, who they heard was executed, is waiting there. The battle proceeds with a one-on-one fight. Try to recover HP before the fight.

After you defeated Seifer, Rinoa and Irvine hurry to the scene, and it finally becomes a decisive confrontation with Edea. Edea's attacks are centered around attack magic such as Firega, Thunderga, and Blizzardga. If you cast reflect with G.F. Carbangle, Edea will try to cast Dispell on you. At that opening, it will be good to defeat her with direct attacks.

(End of Disk 1...)

FAQ of DISC 2.

      Oh, finally, another reminder. FFVIII was produced by Squaresoft and reserves all rights to materials associated with the game. Most of the material within this FAQ was translated from Squaresoft's Official FFVIII Express Strategy Book. Squaresoft's Official FFVIII Express Strategy Book retains all copyright to its material.

Please note that A.P.I shall not be held responsible for the accuracy of this article.

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