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  final fantasy VIII
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DISC ONE

BALAMB GARDEN

  • GFs:  Quezacotl, Shiva
  • Magazines:  Occult Fan I

Final Fantasy VIII opens with a scene showing two students squaring off in a training match.  One is injured in the battle and awakens in the infirmary.  The medic, Dr. Kadowaki, asks if he feels all right.  Give your hero a name (Squall is the default).  The doctor phones Squall’s instructor, Quistis, to come get him.  Follow her to the classroom.

After Quistis briefs the class, go speak with her.  She reminds Squall to visit the Fire Cavern before taking his SeeD entrance exam.  Return to Squall’s desk and open the Study Panel.  Read through the Tutorials to acquire GFs Shiva and Quezacotl. 

Once done, leave the classroom.  En route to the elevator, Squall bumps into a new female student.  Agree to give her a quick tour of Balamb Garden.  Talk to the guy near the elevator to get your first set of cards.  To learn more about the card game in FFVIII, read the ‘Card Rules’ section in the Tutorial menu.

For now, ride the elevator down to the lobby.  At the Directory, Squall gives the new student a brief rundown of the Garden’s circular layout:

Left side = Infirmary / Quad / Cafeteria
Top = Dormitory
Right Side = Library / Training Center / Parking Lot

After the girl leaves, feel free to explore on your own.  There’s a Save Point in the lobby and one in your Dorm room.  In the Library, check the bookshelf on the right to acquire ‘Occult Fan I’.  With a GF junctioned, you can take advantage of an Esuna Draw Point (DP) in the corner as well.  Avoid the Training Center for now.

When you’re finished exploring, head south from the Directory to meet Quistis at the Front Gate.  You’ll find a Cure DP on the way there.  Speak with Quistis to learn how to junction GFs.  Give Shiva to Squall and Quezacotl to Quistis.  Make sure both have the Draw command set.  Exit the Garden when ready.

BALAMB REGION

On the World Map, you can save at any time.  There’s a hidden Esuna DP inside the train tunnel near Balamb City (to the west), but there’s no need to enter town yet.  Fight a few random battles in the region to stock up on magic before entering the Fire Cavern, which is east of Balamb Garden.
 
In particular, engage Fastitcalon-Fs on the shoreline to draw Blizzard and Sleep spells.  The fish-like enemies offer great AP at this stage.  In the forests, you may encounter a powerful T-Rexaur.  If so, put it to sleep then thrash it with ice magic and Shiva.  During combat, trigger Squall’s gunblade (press R1 at the right time) to do extra damage.

FIRE CAVERN

  • GFs:  Ifrit
  • Rare Cards:  Ifrit

Upon entering, Quistis offers tutorials on magic junctioning and Squall’s Limit Break.  Distribute magic to optimally junction your characters.  When ready, approach the Garden Faculty waiting at the front of the cave.  One of them asks Squall how much time he’ll need.  Allow yourself 10 minutes.

Note that the Garden Faculty is secretly grading your performance during several events in FF8.  The Fire Cavern will test Squall’s Judgment.  To achieve a perfect score, you must get through the cave and defeat the boss with 00’00 left on the clock.  The simplest way to do this is described below.

The clock starts as soon as you enter the cave.  Dash straight through until you reach an intersection.  Use the Fire DP on the right then continue heading north.  Quickly defeat random enemies as they appear, leaving about 6 minutes before facing Ifrit at the end.

BOSS >> GF IFRIT
HP 1,068 / AP 20
Draw: Fire, Cure, Scan

Strategy:  Being a fire-based creature, avoid casting fire spells on him.  Summon Shiva and use Blizzard spells to make short work of the GF.  He has a decent attack rating so heal any character whose health dips below 150HP. 

Upon victory, a screen pops up, allowing you to rename Ifrit.  Although you can’t see it, the timer is still going while parked on the naming screen.  Do not close it until you’re certain the clock has completely depleted.  You’ll see how well you scored later in the game.

Junction your new GF and listen to Quistis’ tutorial on elemental usage.  If Quezacotl has learned the ‘Card’ skill, use it on Bomb enemies on your way out of the Fire Cavern.  Having some Bomb cards early on makes it much easier to win games back in Balamb Garden.

BALAMB GARDEN

  • Rare Cards:  MiniMog, Quistis

When you return, Quistis teaches you about GF abilities and tells you to change clothes in the Dorm.  On your way there, speak with the guy loitering near the Directory and he’ll mention the CC Club, a group of card enthusiasts.  In order to advance this quest, play 15+ card games with students or faculty (Trepe Groupies do not count).

In particular, challenge the kid running around the halls to acquire the MiniMog card.  Do not lose this card – it’s related to a quest later on.  In the Cafeteria, challenge the guy sitting in back to win the Quistis card.  Also, talk to the Cafeteria Worker on the left about her son.  Agree to listen 2x. 

When ready, head to the Dorm to change clothes.  Do not speak to anyone while in uniform (another secret test).  Go to the lobby where Headmaster Cid organizes a party for the upcoming field exam in Dollet.  When he’s finished, silently follow Zell and Seifer into the parking lot.

BALAMB CITY

Drive to Balamb City.  Once there, immediately board the docked vessel.  After Xu explains the mission, Quistis asks if anyone has questions.  Select, “Do nothing”.  When Seifer orders you to check the situation outside, do as he says.

DOLLET

  • GFs:  Siren
  • Magazines:  Weapons Monthly March

Upon reaching the shore, give everyone a GF and re-distribute magic evenly.  In order to score highly on this field exam, don’t converse with anyone except Zell and Seifer, follow all of Seifer’s orders, and finish off enemies quickly. 

Follow Seifer to the top of the stairs and use the Save Point.  Defeat squads of Galbadian Soldiers as you head to the central square.  When you reach the fountain, Seifer tells you to scout the area for more enemies.  Enter the upper right alley and take out the soldiers hiding there.  Speak with Seifer afterwards.  Wait there until Seifer loses his patience and decides to run off ahead.  Follow him.  Ignore the injured Dollet troops near the stairs; simply approach Seifer to do battle with a big snake.

Exploit the Anacondaur’s weakness to ice by casting Blizzard or Shiva on it.  During the fight, Seifer explains that whoever deals the final blow earns more EXP.  Naturally, he wants you save the final blow for him – let him have his way if you can.

Continue up the hill, defeating more enemies along the way.  When you reach the cliff, Seifer runs off and Selphie arrives to conveniently replace him.  Do not jump off the cliff when she does.  Take the right path down instead.  Transfer Seifer’s GF and magic over to Selphie then enter the Communications Tower.  Use the Blind DP on the left and save your game.  Ride the elevator to the top.

BOSS >> BIGGS
HP 467 - 710 / AP 8
Draw: Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, Esuna

BOSS >> WEDGE
HP 416 - 640 / AP 8
Draw: Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, Cure

Strategy:  Both are easy to defeat using GFs, but spend some time drawing Esuna from Biggs before eliminating him.  Draw Cure spells from Wedge to maintain your party’s health.  When the duo is about to be defeated, a large, flying creature blows them off the battlefield.

BOSS >> ELVORET
HP 1,563 – 3,523 / AP 10
Draw: Thunder, Cure, Double, Siren (GF)

Strategy:  Immediately draw Siren (a GF) from Elvoret then stock a few Thunder spells.  Cast Double on at least one party member so that they can heal two people after the boss uses Storm Breath, which does 100+ damage to everyone.  Use Limit Breaks when they become available and summon GFs to dish out extra damage.

Afterwards, you’ll receive ‘Weapons Monthly, March’ and have 30-minutes to get back to the beach (to receive a perfect ‘Conduct’ score, you need to get there in 5-minutes or less).  Do not talk to Biggs.  Quickly board the elevator and descend.  Junction GF Siren to someone before exiting the Tower.  Outside, an automated system pounces on the group.

BOSS >> X-ATM092
HP 5,072 – 5,872 / AP 50 (if killed)
Draw: Fire, Blizzard, Cure, Protect

Strategy:  Unless you are wildly over-leveled, it’s impossible to beat X-ATMO92.  The goal is to bring the boss to its knees as quickly as possible so that you can escape.  Have magic users pound it with Thunder spells while others attack normally.  Don’t waste time summoning Quezacotl or casting Protect on characters.  If the boss gets a chance to perform its Ray Bomb attack, cure anyone who is critically low on health. 

As soon as X-ATMO92 collapses, escape by pressing the R2/L2 buttons simultaneously.  Quickly run to the left.  To achieve a perfect ‘Spirit’ score, you must avoid any additional encounters with X-ATMO92.  To successfully dodge the boss as it chases you, do the following:

  • At the cliff, use the D-Pad to run to the left (do not use the analog stick or you’ll get stuck)
  • Walk (don’t run) down the hill to maintain balance
  • On the next screen, run south
  • On the bridge, head right until you see the boss jump – dash to the left then quickly run to the right before it hops again
  • Save the dog at the fountain by tapping X as you run towards it
  • Run straight to the beach – ignore cadets leaving the cafe

If the X-ATMO92 happens to catch you, you’ll have to fight it again.  Use the exact same strategy each time.  Once you pass the cafe, a scene takes over showing Squall’s escape.

BALAMB CITY

  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs
  • Rare Cards:  Zell

Explore the city after Quistis dismisses you.  Head south and enter the Hotel.  In the 2nd floor guestroom, find an edition of ‘Timber Maniacs’ and save your game.  From Disc 2 onwards, you can read any Timber Maniacs you’ve collected via Squall’s study panel.

Leave the Hotel and continue heading west.  Enter the first house on your right and say hello to Ma Dincht, Zell’s mom.  Play a few card games with her to win Zell’s card.  Zell won’t let you see his upstairs bedroom yet, so leave the house and continue west.

Use the Thunder DP in front of the Junk Shop, where you can upgrade weapons once you have the right components.  Further west, you’ll find the Item Shop and Train Station.  Talk to the colorfully dressed woman standing next to the Train Station.  This is the Card Queen.  If you have the MiniMog card in your collection, you can start her quest right now (see below).  If not, just walk back to Balamb Garden.

CARD QUEEN QUEST – OPTIONAL

Since the Card Queen’s presence in a region randomly alters trading rules, you should always save your game before challenging her.  Some rules are bad to spread.  For example, trade rule ‘Direct’ is terrible.  If the Queen wants to use that rule during your first meeting, reload your saved game and try again.  Note that all trading rules degrade over time (after playing about 20 games):  One > Diff > All > Direct

Here are the initial playing rules for each region:

  • Balamb – Open
  • Dollet – Random, Elemental
  • Galbadia (Deling City, Timber) - Same
  • FH – Elemental, Sudden Death
  • Trabia (Shumi Village) – Random, Plus
  • Centra (Winhill) – Random, Same/Plus
  • Esthar – Elemental
  • Lunar Gate – Open, Random, Same, Plus, Same Wall, Elemental, Sudden Death

If you have 30,000 gil, you can pay the Card Queen to spread a new rule to the region – but there’s no good reason to do so.  Simply traveling around the world gives you the opportunity to change card rules.  In order to abolish/spread rules, you need to carry Region-A rules (last place you played) to Region-B (current place).  If a player wants to mix rules, either say “No” until they stop asking to mix, or say “Yes” and hope for the best outcome.  Goal is to abolish ‘bad’ rules and spread ‘good’ rules to as many regions as possible – if result is not ideal, reboot & try again.  If unwanted results happen frequently, return to a ‘good’ region and play 10+ games to make that region’s rules ‘dominant’ again.

Should you ever wish to clear all trading & playing rules (including ‘Open’), look for a guy sitting near the dock in Balamb City.  Challenge him to a game, wherein the only rule is ‘One’.  This guide assumes you’ve ignored him.

Whenever you win/lose a rare card to the Queen (Lv.8 or higher), she will move to a new location.  Speak with her afterwards to get a clue on which region she’s moving to:

  • If she’s in Balamb - Deling City 63% / Dollet 37%
  • If she’s in Dollet  - Deling City 63% / Balamb 37%
  • If she’s in Deling City – FH 63% / Balamb 12% / Dollet 12% / Winhill 12%
  • If she’s in FH – Esthar 63% / Winhill 25% / Dollet 12%
  • If she’s in Shumi Village – 50% Dollet / Balamb 25% / Shumi Village 25%
  • If she’s in Winhill – Dollet 37% / Deling City 37% / FH 25%
  • If she’s in Esthar – Lunar Gate 50% / Shumi Village 25% / Dollet 12% / FH 12%
  • If she’s at Lunar Gate – moves to random area without giving a clue

The Queen wants certain cards for her collection, but she won’t tell you exactly which ones until she’s in Dollet.  Ideally, you want to move her between Dollet and Balamb – never anywhere else.  At this point, let her win the MiniMog card and send her to Dollet.  If she says she’s heading towards Galbadia (Deling City), reboot and try again.  If unwanted results keep happening, play a few games with locals to reset the odds.  Doing a hard reboot after resting (and saving) in the hotel seemed to work for me.

When the Queen is in Dollet, ask her about her artist father.  She tells you he’ll create a new card once you give her the particular card she wants:

  • Lose MiniMog to create Kiros card (held by man in black in Deling City)
  • Lose Sacred to create Irvine card (held by Flo in FH)
  • Lose Chicobo to create Chubby Chicobo (held by student sitting near library in Balamb Garden)
  • Lose Alexander to create Doomtrain card (held by pub owner in Timber)
  • Lose Doomtrain to create Phoenix card (held by Presidential Aide in Esthar)

Note that all cards lost to the Queen can be regained later on.  Events related to the Card Queen quest (and cards in general) are mentioned throughout this guide.

BALAMB GARDEN

  • GFs:  Diablos
  • Magazines:  Weapons Monthly April
  • Rare Cards:  Diablos, Seifer
  • Key Items:  Battle Meter, Magical Lamp

Go to the lobby after Zell and Selphie leave.  Chat with Cid then head towards the library to find Seifer complaining about the mission.  Talk to him then return to the lobby for an announcement.  Take the elevator up to the 2nd floor and talk to everyone waiting outside the classroom.  When Squall tries to leave, exam results are announced.

Squall, Zell, Selphie, and another student (Nida) are inducted into SeeD, the Garden’s elite mercenary force.  Talk to Cid before you leave his office to get the ‘Battle Meter’, which keeps track of each character’s battle stats.  Access it from the Tutorial menu, under Information.

A screen shows how well you scored during the Faculty’s secret assessment.  Total points earned determines your initial SeeD rank and salary.  Rank 10 assumes you earned maximum bonus points as follows:

Conduct 100 pts. = Reach the Dollet shore with 25:00 left on the clock
Judgment 100 pts. = Defeat Ifrit with 00:00 left on the clock
Attack 100 pts. = Defeat 75 enemies total (GF kills do not count)
Spirit 100 pts. = Never escape from battle (except first X-ATMO92 encounter)
Attitude 100 pts. = Don’t converse with anyone in Balamb Garden or Balamb City before the Dollet mission, ignore all Squad A &C members while in Dollet, leave the defeated Biggs alone, follow all of Seifer’s orders, don’t take the shortcut at the cliff, save the dog from X-ATM092, and refrain from hiding in the cafe.

You can improve your SeeD rank by taking Tests (up to Squall’s current level), which are now available in the Tutorial menu.  The maximum rank you can achieve is ‘A’ with a corresponding salary of 30,000 gil.  Each Test is comprised of ten questions for which you answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.  Here’s a convenient cheat sheet:

Test #1 YNYYY NNYNN Test #11 YYNYY NYNNY Test #21 YYYYN NYYYN
Test #2 YNYYY NYYNN Test #12 NYNNY NYNYN Test #22 NNNYN NNYYN
Test #3 NNYNY YYNYN Test #13 YNNNY NNNNN Test #23 YNNNN YYYYY
Test #4 NYYYN NYYNN Test #14 YYYYN YYNYN Test #24 YYNNY YNNNY
Test #5 NNNYY NNYYY Test #15 YYNNN NNYNY Test #25 YNYYY NNYNN
Test #6 YNYYN NYYNY Test #16 YNNYN YNNYN Test #26 YYNYN YNYNN
Test #7 YYYYY YNYYN Test #17 YNNNY NNYNN Test #27 NYNNN NYNYN
Test #8 NYNNY YNNYN Test #18 YNNNY NNNNN Test #28 YNNYY YNYNN
Test #9 NYNNN NNNYY Test #19 YNNYN NNNNY Test #29 NNNYY NNNYN
Test #10 YNNNN NNNYN Test #20 YYNYN YYYNN Test #30 NYNNN NYNNN

Go to the Dorm where you’ll find Selphie waiting.  Change into formal attire and head off to the inauguration party.  When Selphie asks if you’ll help with the Garden Festival, be kind and say, “Yeah, I guess so.”

After the dance scene, Quistis asks Squall to meet her at the Training Center.  Return to the Dorm and change clothes.  Walk over to the Training Center to meet up with Quistis.  When she’s finished teaching you about status effects, check everyone’s junctions and enter the facility.

Take the eastern path over to a Blizzard DP, fighting random Grats or T-Rexaurs along the way.  At the Save Point, enter the lit door to the north.  After chatting in the ‘secret place’, exit and head west, back towards the entrance.  On the way, the duo chances upon a familiar girl being attacked by some creatures.

BOSS >> GRANALDO
HP  1,314 - 1,538 / AP 5 / EXP 40
Draw: Sleep, Shell, Blind

BOSS >> RALDO x 3
HP 111 – 287 / AP 3 / EXP 10
Draw: Fire, Thunder, Protect

Strategy:  Draw Protect from one of the Raldos and cast it on both party members.  Kill the other two using regular attacks.  While protected, draw Shell and Blind magic from Granaldo until the buff wears off.  Re-cast Protect and keep drawing magic until you fill up slots or get bored.  Try putting Granaldo to sleep, buying more time to draw spells or heal.  Finish off the boss with GFs or Limit Breaks.

After the battle, leave the Training Center and return to the Dorm.  Zell informs Squall that he’s been given a private room.  Use it to rest and save.  In the morning, Selphie tells Squall to meet at the Front Gate.  Pick up ‘Weapons Monthly April’ from the desk before leaving the room.

At the Front Gate, Cid briefly explains the upcoming mission.  Talk to Cid afterwards to get the Magical Lamp.  Before using it, return to the lobby and save your game.  Re-junction the party so that everyone’s Magic stat is as high as possible.  At least one person should have the ‘Item’ command available in case you need to use Phoenix Downs.  When ready, select ‘Magical Lamp’ from the Item menu to call forth GF Diablos.

BOSS >> GF DIABLOS
HP 1,600 – 80,800 / AP 20
Draw: Cura, Demi

Strategy:  Blind Diablos so that his physical attacks miss.  Next, have everyone draw and stock Demi spells (characters with a low Magic stat will frequently fail – have them heal or revive others instead).  Continually cast Demi on Diablos until it does only 2-digit damage.  The GF will fully cure whoever successfully lands the Demi spell.  If no one lands it, Diablos will use his turn to cause massive Gravija damage.  Finish him off with Limit Breaks.

After you acquire GF Diablos (and his card), take the elevator up to 3F.  Challenge Cid to a card game and win the Seifer card from him.  Back on 1F, visit the Library with Zell for a random event involving a secret admirer.  Return here often with Zell to witness the full set of scenes.  Walk over to Balamb City afterwards. 

BALAMB CITY / TRAIN

  • Magazines:  Pet Pals Vol. 1

Go to the Train Station and buy a ticket for 3,000 gil.  Use the Save Point on board then follow Zell into the next compartment.  After receiving ‘Pet Pals Vol.1’, agree to let Zell explain more about Timber’s situation.  The trio gets sleepy and is whisked away to…

LAGUNA DREAM SEQUENCE - Eastern Forest & Deling City

  • Draw Points:  Cure, Water

Ward, Kiros, and Laguna inherit the status of the three characters on the train.  Pass through the forest, finding a Cure DP and Water DP along the way.  Mount the vehicle at the end of the path.

Arriving in Deling City, head right to reach the Galbadia Hotel.  Save your game in the lobby then go downstairs.  Speak with the hostess to get a seat and when you’re able to move, approach Julia at the piano.  Return to your seat for another scene.  After Julia leaves, go upstairs and ask the receptionist for her room number.  Approach Julia whenever the conversation stalls.  When the scene ends, you’ll be back with Squall’s party on the train.

TIMBER / FOREST OWLS’ MISSION

  • Magazines:  Pet Pals Vol. 2
  • Rare Cards:  Angelo

After discussing their shared dream, the party arrives in Timber.  Meet your contact (Watts) outside the station and respond with the password, “But the Owls are still around.”  Follow him onto the next train.

Once on board, Zone (another resistance member) asks Squall to check on the ‘princess’.  Before fetching her, use the Save Point in the middle compartment and challenge Watts to a card game.  He will ask to mix rules.  In this region (Galbadia), the starting rule is ‘Same’.  Agree to mix but quit as soon as the game starts.  The goal is to spread Balamb’s ‘Open’ rule to Galbadia.  If ‘Open’ does not spread, reboot and try again.  Once you’ve changed the rules, win the Angelo card from Watts.

Go to the back of the train and meet your new party member, Rinoa (default name).  Rinoa’s Limit Break involves her dog, Angelo.  Read issues of ‘Pet Pals’ to teach Angelo new tricks.  Follow Rinoa to the briefing room, where the upcoming mission will be explained.  Save your game before returning to Watts.  Tell him you’re ready to begin.

Working against a 5-minute timer on top of the moving train, leap across the gap by pressing X.  Talk to Rinoa then use the D-Pad to shimmy down the side of the train.  Correctly input 3 codes when they appear on screen.  Party members will warn you if the guards start moving towards you.  If so, press any keys to exit the code screen and quickly shimmy up.  Wait on top of the train until both guards move away from the window.

After detaching the 1st escort, climb up and dash over to the 2nd escort.  This time, you need to input 5 codes while keeping an eye on the guards yourself.  Shimmy down to the control panel and enter the first code.  Now use the R1 button to pan over to the guards.  If they are moving, climb up and wait.  If they are stationary, enter another code.  Alternate between watching the guards and inputting codes.  There is no penalty for entering wrong codes, so play it safe.  You have plenty of time.

If you manage to set all codes without getting caught by the guards, your SeeD rank will increase.  If you trip the alarm and have to try again, your SeeD rank will decrease.  Return to Rinoa’s room to pick up ‘Pet Pals Vol. 2’.  Select a party, re-junction, and save your game.  Speak with Rinoa when you’re ready to continue the mission.

BOSS >> FAKE PRESIDENT
HP 52 - 778 / AP 0
Draw: Cure

BOSS >> GEROGERO
HP 350 – 3,650 / AP 20
Draw: Esuna, Double, Berserk, Zombie

Strategy:  Use regular attacks to eliminate the Fake President.  Gerogero is harder to defeat, given the various status ailments it inflicts on the party.  Draw and use Esuna liberally.  Since it’s an undead creature, Cure spells harm Gerogero.  Fire works well, too.  If you can spare the time, stock some extra Esuna and Double spells.

After the battle, read the ‘Anarchist Monthly’ bulletin on the right wall to advance the scene.  When prompted, select a 3rd party member to join Squall and Rinoa.  Talk to Watts when you’re ready to get off the train.

TIMBER

  • Magazines:  Girl Next Door, Timber Maniacs, Pet Pals Vols. 3 & 4

Expect random encounters with Galbadian Soldiers as you explore town.  Visit the Pet Store next to the train station.  Buy ‘Pet Pals Vols.  3 & 4’ as well as some restorative items for your GFs.  From there, head south.  Upgrade weapons at the Junk Shop and visit the Hotel to save if you wish.  Optionally fight two Elite Soldiers blocking the exit gate.  Now return to the train station.  On your way back, talk to the man on the overpass 2x to receive a Potion.  At the station, head east.

Enter Timber Maniacs and examine book piles in the lobby to get ‘Girl Next Door’ – a naughty magazine that can be traded later on (do not sell it).  Search for a hidden Blizzaga DP in the room on the left then enter the door at the end of the hall.  On the floor, you’ll find another issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’.  Chat with the journalists if you wish.

Leave the building and talk to the guy wearing a green jacket outside to receive a nice item from him later.  Enter the house next door and speak with the older woman.  Look out the window on the 2nd floor to get a view of the back alley.  Ignore the bratty kids and leave.

Continue heading east onto the train tracks.  Climb steps on your left and visit the Owl’s Tear.  Talk to the man sitting on the couch.  When he asks if you like beverages, say “Yeah, kind of” then examine the faucet across from him to restore your party’s HP.  Check the TV cupboard 4x to pinch 500 gil.  The owner will not be pleased however.  Leave the house and return to the previous screen (west).  Go down the northern flight of stairs.

Watch as two Galbadian Soldiers argue about a card.  Defeat the easy pair to acquire it.  Visit the Item Shop on the left and use the Cure DP on the right before entering the Pub.  Inside, talk to the drunk blocking the back door.  To get him to move, mention the Buel card you found.  He’ll let you keep it and offers a Tonberry card, too.  Enter the back alley and head towards the TV Station.

When Rinoa asks Squall for his opinion, pick any answer.  Watch the President give his speech then enter the TV Station.  Follow Seifer for more scenes.  When you regain control, use the Scan DP in the alley and return to the house next to Timber Maniacs.  Inside, the group retreats to the upstairs bedroom.  Talk to your comrades (Quistis twice) to advance the story.  Before leaving, speak with the older woman to receive a bunch of items.

Outside, talk to the Galbadian Soldier who turns out to be Watts in disguise.  Head east for a scene with Zone then follow Quistis to the departing train.  Once on board, talk to the girls then check on Zell.  Choose to “Leave him alone” to return to the world map. Disembark at East Academy Station. 

EAST ACADEMY STATION

Although you are supposed to enter the Eastern Forest, which is west of the station, ignore it for now.  There are some important things you should take care of in Dollet and Timber first.  To begin the side trip, follow the paved road northeast towards the beach.  While on roadways, no random battles will occur.  Pass through the canyon and enter Dollet.

DOLLET & TIMBER REVISITED - OPTIONAL

  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs, Occult Fan II
  • Rare Cards:  Siren

While in Dollet, refrain from doing anything card-related until indicated below.  Starting rules in this region are ‘Random’ and ‘Elemental’.  By following this guide to the letter, you’ll be able to abolish both rules – I highly recommend taking the time to do so.

Head south past the car rental agency to get to the central fountain.  Use the Silence DP on the right then approach the Dollet trooper on the left.  Talk to him twice to bust through.  Fight random enemies as you head up the mountain.  Watch a funny scene at the end then return to the fountain area.

Enter the Hotel.  Pay 100 gil to rest and get the ‘Timber Maniacs’ issue in the guestroom.  Save your game in the lobby.  After saving, do a hard reboot (e.g., quit the game, turn off the console, and reboot). 

After loading your saved game, exit the Hotel.  Immediately re-enter and challenge the girl standing in the lobby.  When she asks to mix rules, say, “No”.  Decline to mix rules 2x (or 4x if the Card Queen was NOT sent to Dollet).  Challenge the girl a 3rd time and say, “Yes”.  Exit the card screen (quit) without playing.  The girl will tell you that ‘Open’ has spread to the region.  New rules in Dollet should be: Open/Random/Elemental

Now leave Dollet (you’ll be returning shortly) and return to Timber (follow the paved road south).  While traveling back and forth between Dollet and Timber, there is another optional quest you can start (read the ‘Obel Lake Ghost’ section, below, for details).

In Timber, challenge the gate guard on the left.  Decline to mix rules each time he asks until he stops asking.  When he no longer asks to mix rules, play a game with him.  The ‘Same’ and ‘Open’ rules should be in effect now.  Return to Dollet afterwards.

Back in Dollet, enter the Hotel and repeat the exact same process described above (rent a room, save, hard reboot, exit hotel, challenge girl in lobby, decline to mix 2x, etc.).  If you correctly followed the procedure, the lobby girl will tell you that ‘Random’ has been eliminated.  New rules in Dollet should be:  Open/Elemental

In order to abolish the ‘Elemental’ rule, you first need to do a few things in Dollet.  Leave the Hotel and head south.  Visit the Nautilus Junk shop on the right if you wish; otherwise continue down to the Pub on the left.  Go upstairs and use the Save Point (equip Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ ability to see it).  If you sent the Card Queen to Dollet, she’ll be standing there.  Ignore her.

Challenge the Pub Owner standing next to the Card Queen.  When he asks if you’re sure, say, “Yes”.  Win the card game and he’ll ask you to follow him.  Head right, crossing the footbridge to reach the Pub Owner’s private room.  Examine the pile of magazines next to the door to acquire ‘Occult Fan II’.  If after 3 tries you do not receive the rare magazine, reload your saved game and try again.  Talk to the Pub Owner afterwards to receive a few basic cards.  Now leave the Pub.  On your way out, grab an issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’ off the left table.

Having accessed the Pub Owner’s private room, you can now work on abolishing the ‘Elemental’ rule.  To do so, leave Dollet and travel back to Timber.  Once there, challenge the left gate guard again.  As before, decline to mix rules each time until he stops asking.  When he no longer asks to mix rules, play a game with him.  Return to Dollet afterwards.

Back in Dollet, enter the Pub.  Talk to the woman on the left then walk upstairs and save your game.  Do a hard reboot (e.g., turn the console off/on).  Load your saved game and go to the Pub Owner’s private room.  Examine the magazine pile next to the door exactly 2x (3x if the Card Queen is NOT in Dollet) then challenge the Pub Owner to a game of cards.  Agree to mix rules but quit as soon as the game starts.  This should abolish the ‘Elemental’ rule.  If not, reload and try again.  Once you’ve established that the only rule in Dollet is ‘Open’, play cards with the Pub Owner and win the Siren card.

Now talk to the Card Queen on the 2nd floor, assuming she is there.  Ask the Queen about her artist father to learn a few things:  1) She gave the MiniMog card to her son.  2) Receiving MiniMog inspired her father to create a new card, which was given to someone in Deling City.  3) Her father will create another new card if you bring her the Sacred card (which you haven’t found yet).  Leave the Pub and head south to find a dog and a little boy.  Follow the boy into his house.

Examine the ‘bone’ painting in the middle of the room then talk to the boy.  Exit the house and head north.  Inspect the dog near the fountain to receive an item.  Return to the boy’s house and examine the painting again.  Talk to the boy then locate his dog near the Pub.  Inspect it to receive another item.  Go back and examine the bone painting a third time.  After talking to the boy, inspect the dog sitting outside the house to get an item.  Re-enter to see that the painting is finally gone.  Talk to the boy one last time to wrap up the ‘Bone Quest’.

Before leaving, play cards with the boy to win back the MiniMog card.  Note that he will hold all rare cards lost to his mother (the Card Queen) from now on.  When ready, exit to the world map.  Follow the train tracks back to East Academy Station.

OBEL LAKE GHOST, PT. 1 – OPTIONAL

Just north of Timber, look for a small lake nestled behind the forests.  Walk to the edge of the inlet and examine the water.  Choose to ‘hum’ and a friendly shadow appears.  Hum again and it will ask a favor.  Agree to help find Mr. Monkey.

Mr. Monkey is hiding in a forest near Dollet (to the left of the city).  Run around the forest until the monkey spots you.  Choose to ‘throw a rock’ at it or ‘sing’.  After the monkey insults you, return to Obel Lake.  Tell the shadow you found Mr. Monkey. 

Continue talking to the shadow until you receive all clues concerning other places you should explore.  When it starts to repeat itself, throw rocks in the lake until you get the message: “The rock skipped many many times.”  Receiving this message completes the first stage of the Obel Lake Ghost quest.   The second part requires an airship (covered later).

EASTERN FOREST

From East Academy Station, form a party consisting of Squall, Quistis, and Selphie.  Head west and enter the small patch of forest between two cliffs.  Watch a scene inside, during which the trio is whisked off to the dream world...

LAGUNA DREAM SEQUENCE - Centra Excavation Site

Now with Laguna, Kiros and Ward, check your junctions to make sure they inherited everything from Squall, Quistis and Selphie.  When Laguna questions himself, say, “Nah, just my imagination” then walk down the hill to a Sleep DP.  Defeat two groups of Esthar Soldiers on the raised walkway then take the right path over to a ladder.  Descend into the mines.

In order to access nice items later in the game, Laguna’s crew needs to do certain things during this trip.  Move forward until you reach an intersection.  Check the green tunnel opening to find an ‘Old Key’.  Laguna immediately loses it – not to worry – just head left until you reach 3 hatches on the floor.  Choose to tamper with the middle one.  Head east and watch as Esthar soldiers fall for the trap.

Now return to the 3 hatches and examine the right hatch.  Although Laguna mentions something is stuck, toying with it pays off later on.  Backtrack to the ladder and climb up.  On the raised walkway, follow the left path now.
Veer right to find a Confuse DP then climb down the center ladder. 

Below, search near the left sawhorse to find another ‘Old Key’ that Laguna immediately loses.  Continue south until you reach the 3 hatches.  Tamper with the left hatch.  Once it’s loosened, climb back up the ladder and return to the right side of the mines. 

At the green intersection, head north to find a detonator on the ground.  Examine it.  Choose to hit the red switch first, followed by the blue switch.  Watch as boulders crush more soldiers.  All 3 hatches should be open now (a prerequisite for finding items later).

Follow the long staircase across to another tunnel.  Examine the boulder on the left to push it back, revealing a Cure DP.  Up ahead, you’ll find a Save Point.  Use it before entering the northern tunnel.  Outside, the party faces a group of Esthar Soldiers.  If you failed to open the hatches, you’ll have to defeat five groups.  The last soldier standing performs ‘Soul Crush’ to reduce Kiros and Ward’s HP to 1. 

EASTERN FOREST / MONTEROSA PLATEAU

After some scenes, you’ll be back with Squall’s team on the world map.  Make sure to heal Selphie and Quistis before moving on.  Note that the Eastern Forest can be explored now.  A wide variety of creatures make it a decent training spot.  Some inhabitants drop rare items necessary for weapon upgrades.  Keep in mind that enemies will not DROP rare items if they are mugged.

Galbadia Garden is just around the corner.  Fight a few random enemies on the Monterosa Plateau before heading inside. 

GALBADIA GARDEN

Go to the front gate.  After Quistis leaves, head north to reach the central hall.  Use the Save Point on the right and look for a hidden Haste DP under the center light.  An intercom announcement tells you to come to the upstairs Reception Room.  Head north to the staircase.  On 2F, enter the room directly to the south.

Talk to everyone inside at least once then try to leave.  Eventually Squall gets fed up and storms out of the room.  Go downstairs and head south to bump into Fujin and Raijin.  After a brief conversation, return to the front gate and speak with Quistis.  Follow her.

Talk to Rinoa at the entrance to prompt Martine’s arrival.  The headmaster explains your next mission and introduces a new party member, Irvine, who is a sharpshooter.  Talk to Zell after Irvine joins, and then select a party (don’t let Irvine choose).  A tutorial explains how to swap party members and junctions during the game.

Back on the world map, you’re supposed to board the train at Far East Station, which is right next door.  Before heading off, I recommend returning to Galbadia Garden to take care of some important card-related business.  This is your only chance to do so.

Re-enter Galbadia Garden and save your game in the central hall.  From here, head right.  Inside the hallway, there are two doors.  Enter the door on the left to reach an ice rink.  Further left is a locker room.  Go inside.  Use the Life DP in the corner then talk to the Trabia Exchange Student sitting on the bench.

If you’ve been following this guide religiously, you should be carrying the ‘Open’ rule from Dollet and nothing else.  Assuming that is the case, challenge the Trabia Exchange Student to a game of cards.  Agree to mix rules but quit as soon as the game starts.  Your goal is to spread ‘Open’ to the Trabia region (rarely will he abolish ‘Random’ or ‘Plus’ during the first encounter).

Return to the hallway on the right and enter the left door now.  Inside the classroom are three Galbadian students.  The girl in the middle holds all Lv.6 cards.  Challenge her but decline to mix rules each time she asks.  When she stops asking to mix, play a game with her.  You should now be carrying the ‘Same’ and ‘Open’ rules.  Save your game in the central hall.

Go back to the locker room and challenge the Trabia Exchange Student again.  Agree to mix rules but quit as soon as the game starts.  During this session, the goal is to abolish ‘Random’ or ‘Plus’ from the Trabia region.  If ‘Same’ spreads (or he abolishes ‘Open’), reboot and try again.

Repeat the process with the Galbadian girl (decline to mix each time) and the Trabia Exchange Student (agree to mix but quit) until all unwanted rules are abolished from the Trabia region.  Make sure to save your game before challenging the Trabia guy.  Keep going back and forth until ‘Open’ is the only rule in Trabia. 

FAR EAST TRAIN STATION

When ready, head over to the Far East Train Station next to Galbadia Garden.  Pay 3,000 gil to buy a ticket and board the train.  Inside, speak with Irvine then try to exit.  Once the others board, follow Irvine to the next compartment and speak with Selphie.  Return to the main group for a scene.  When it ends, the train arrives at Deling City Station.

DELING CITY

  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs
  • Rare Cards:  Kiros

Exit the station and ride the escalator up.  Talk to any character to proceed.  Before going to Caraway’s Mansion, explore the city.  From the bus terminal area, head east to reach the Galbadia Hotel.  Rent a room for 100 gil and pick up the issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’ in between the beds.  Save your game in the lobby before leaving.

From the hotel, head south to reach the shopping district.  On the right side, visit the Item Shop and Junk Shop.  On the left side, look for a man dressed in black.  If you spoke to the Card Queen in Dollet after losing the MiniMog card, the ‘Man in Black’ will be holding the new card her father created.  Play him to win the Kiros card. 

When ready, return to the bus terminal area.  Stand near the lower gate and wait for the bus heading to Caraway’s Mansion to arrive.  Board it and get off at the next stop.  Cross the street, heading west to find a Thundara DP.  After using it, return to the bus stop.  Walk between the bushes on the right and a guard will stop you.  He explains that you cannot enter the mansion until you’ve obtained a password from the Tomb of the Unknown King.

After receiving a free map of the Tomb, you can buy a helpful Location Displayer for 5,000 gil.  Don’t bother buying any hints – you won’t need them.  Ask the guard to escort you out of town.  At the car rental agency, exit to the world map on foot.

Head northeast toward the Tomb of the Unknown King.  The entrance is on the very tip of the peninsula.

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN KING

  • GFs:  Brothers
  • Rare Cards:  Sacred, Minotaur

In the courtyard, check the left side for a Protect DP and use the Save Point on the right.  Enter the tomb and hold the [Select] button to bring up the map.  If you purchased the Location Displayer from the guard, you’re position will be marked with an X.  Do not press [Triangle] while viewing the map.  If you warp out, your SeeD rank will go down a level.

Move forward to find a blue weapon on the ground.  Examine it and write down the (random) Student ID number.  Although your work here is technically finished, stick around to acquire another GF.  From where you found the weapon, head right.  Keep making right turns until you reach the eastern alcove.

BOSS >> SACRED
HP 578 – 27,218 / AP 20
Draw: Shell, Protect, Berserk, Life

Strategy:  Cast Float on Sacred to cancel his Regen status and cast Protect on your characters to diminish the impact of his physical attacks.  Stock as many Life spells as you can before he runs away. 

After Sacred leaves, a Save Point appears.  Use it then exit the alcove.  Once again, keep making right turns until you reach the northern alcove.  Use the Float DP on the left and pull the chain on the right to release the water flow.  Exit and continue making right turns until you arrive at the western alcove.

Once there, use the Cura DP then examine the wheel on the left to change its direction.  If you have Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ ability equipped, you’ll see a Save Point in the back, too.  After using it, leave the alcove and start making right turns.  When you reach the student’s weapon near the southern entrance, turn around and head north, straight towards the center of the tomb.  Cross the new bridge to face GF Brothers.

BOSS >> SACRED
HP 578 – 27,218 / AP 20
Draw: Shell, Protect, Berserk, Life

BOSS >> MINOTAUR
HP 855 – 36,375 / AP 20
Draw: Shell, Protect, Berserk, Double

Strategy:  Cast Float on the Brothers to cancel their Regen status.  Now cast Float on your party members to render useless their combo attack, the Mad Cow Special.  Both are weak to wind magic, so use Aero (or Tornado) spells liberally.  If Irvine is in your party, his Limit Break will make short work of them provided you use decent ammo.  Heal as necessary and draw a few spells before ending the battle.

Once they agree to join you, you’ll get GF Brothers as well as their two cards.  Note that acquiring GF Brothers raises your SeeD rank.  You’ll see the effect when you next receive a salary.  Leave the Tomb by heading straight out.  In order to evenly junction the most stats, I recommend re-distributing GFs to your party members as follows:

Person #1: Shiva/Diablos
Person #2: Ifrit/Siren
Person #3: Quezacotl/Brothers

Before returning to Deling City, you should visit the Card Queen in Dollet to give her the Sacred card.  To get there, either rent a car in Deling City (make sure to bring enough Fuel) or head southeast on foot.  Either way, follow the paved roads to reach Dollet.

DOLLET / CARD QUEEN QUEST – OPTIONAL

Upon arriving in Dollet, you should be carrying the ‘Open’ and ‘Same’ rules from Deling City.  If so, stop by the Hotel and challenge the girl in the lobby.  Decline to mix rules each time she asks until she stops asking.  When the girl no longer asks to mix rules, play a game with her to re-establish the single ‘Open’ rule.

Walk down to the Pub and save your game on the 2nd floor.  Challenge the Card Queen and intentionally lose the Sacred card (do not play her if she uses the ‘Direct’ trading rule).  If, after losing Sacred, she says she’s moving to Balamb, great.  If not, reboot and try again.  If unwanted results keep happening, play a few games with other people in Dollet to reset the odds. 

After successfully moving the Card Queen to Balamb, go down the block and play cards with her son to win back the Sacred card.

DELING CITY

  • GFs:  Carbuncle
  • Magazines:  Weapons Monthly May

Return to the guard in front of Caraway’s Mansion and tell him you’re ready to answer.  Input the Student ID number you wrote down.  If it’s a 1-digit number, enter ‘0’ for the hundreds and tens.

When he lets you pass, use the Save Point in front of the mansion.  Inside, talk to Rinoa and wait for General Caraway to arrive.  Select a party then follow Caraway through the city as he explains the mission.  When he’s finished, go ahead and shop, upgrade weapons, etc.  Return to Caraway’s Mansion when ready.

Once there, the party splits into two teams.  The Gateway Team (Quistis, Zell & Selphie) bump into Rinoa as they try to leave.  Controlling Quistis, follow Caraway to the drop-off point.  Controlling Squall, speak with Caraway then follow him into position.  After Caraway leaves, Quistis decides to go back and apologize to Rinoa.  Return to the mansion for a scene.

When you gain control of Rinoa, junction her and use the Save Point near the crates.  Before climbing up, examine the manhole cover on the right.  Descend into the sewers and head west 3x to find ‘Weapons Monthly May’.  Exit the sewers and climb the stack of crates to reach the roof.  Head left to a ladder and ascend.  Approach the Sorceress at the end of the hall and watch the scene that follows.

Back at Caraway’s Mansion, have Quistis examine the painting next to the window.  Grab a glass cup off the shelf near the door then move to the upper left corner.  Place the cup in the statue’s hand to reveal a hidden passage.  Junction your party and descend into the sewers.  Ride the waterwheel on the left then head north until a scene takes over.

When you regain control of Squall, follow Irvine.  Junction the duo and save your game near the crates.  Climb up to the roof and enter the Sorceress’ chamber.

BOSS >> IGUION x 2
HP 127 – 1,747 / AP 20
Draw: Cure, Esuna, Break, Carbuncle (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Carbuncle, then eliminate one of the Iguions to prevent Resonance, a combo attack.  If they use Magma Breath, draw and use Esuna to avoid turning into stone.  Both are weak to earth-based magic so GF Brothers will prove effective.  Drain spells work well, too.  Mug some G-Returners if you can.

After the battle, fetch Rinoa and return to the corridor.  Open the floor hatch on the right.  Go down and pick up the sniper rifle.  After a scene, you’ll be back with Quistis’ team in the sewers.  Now that you have another GF, I recommend re-junctioning the party as follows:

Person #1:  Shiva/Diablos/Siren
Person #2:  Ifrit/Carbuncle
Person #3:  Quezacotl/Brothers

Have GF Carbuncle learn ‘Recov Med-RF’ first.  The reason for this will be evident later.  When ready, proceed to the next screen and open the upper left gate.  Pass through to find a ladder that collapses.  Cross it and head west to reach an Esuna DP.  Now return to the collapsed ladder, cross over and head west.

On the next screen, open the top gate and head north.  Move past a dormant waterwheel and head east to an active one.  Before riding it, follow the lower path west to a Zombie DP and take the southern path down to a Bio DP.  Return to the usable waterwheel and ride it to reach another wheel on the right.  Jump onto this one then head south.  Keep heading south, using two more waterwheels, until you reach a collapsible ladder.

Ignore the tall ladder to the south, which leads back to where you started (the stairwell with the Save Point).  Instead, head east from where you dropped the ladder to another waterwheel.  Ride it and follow the northern path to a Save Point.  Climb the ladder on the wall (2x) to reach the top of the Archway.  Look out the window for a scene.  When Zell tells you to, hit the switch on the left to drop the gates. 

Back with the Sniper Team, junction Squall, Irvine, and Rinoa when the party screen pops up.  Squall reaches the gate first and must face Seifer alone.

BOSS >> SEIFER
HP 176 – 1,150 / AP 0
Draw: Fira, Cura, Life

Strategy:  If Squall has Diablos junctioned, mug Seifer to get a Hero or Holy War.  Draw some Life magic before finishing him off with regular attacks.  When Seifer collapses, Irvine and Rinoa arrive to assist Squall.

BOSS >> EDEA
HP 1,300 – 7,000 / AP 20
Draw: Cura, Dispel, Life, Double

Strategy:  Edea uses powerful elemental spells.  To avoid them, summon GF Carbuncle to cast Reflect on the party.  While in this state, Edea will use her turns to dispel it, buying you time to get a few good physical attacks in.  Successfully mugging her nets you an Elixir.  Although Edea has no particular weaknesses, you can occasionally put her to sleep.  Finish her off with GFs or Limit Breaks.

After the battle, watch a scene then save and switch to Disc 2.

D I S C   T W O

LAGUNA DREAM SEQUENCE – Winhill

  • Key Items:  3,000 gil

Young Ellone informs Laguna that a visitor is waiting for him in Raine’s pub.  Before leaving the bedroom, use the  (hidden) Curaga DP near the door.  Go downstairs and talk to Ellone.  Enter the pub next door to meet up with Kiros.  Ask him about Ward and Julia then tell him you’ll catch up later.  Junction Kiros before heading off on patrol duty.

Outside, use the Dispel DP in the lower right corner.  Cross the bridge on the left and head south through town, fighting weak enemies as you go.  Near the flower shop, there’s a Drain DP you can take advantage of.  At the end of town, visit the Item Shop on the left.  Laguna has 3,000 gil to spend so use it while you have it (all items you purchase will carry over to your regular team). 

Return to the pub and go upstairs for a scene.  Talk to Raine then head back to Laguna’s residence.  Save your game in the bedroom before choosing to rest.

D-DISTRICT PRISON

  • Magazines:  Combat King 001
  • Key Items:  Character Report, Rosetta Stone (rare)

Zell awakens in a cell with Quistis, Selphie and Rinoa.  Talk to Rinoa twice and the scene switches to Squall who’s being transported to an interrogation room.  When a Moomba arrives to feed Zell’s group, choose “I’ll stop him” to defend the little guy from an abusive guard.  When you’re back with Squall, say, “Just let me die.”

Taking control of Zell, talk to your cellmates until they devise an escape plan.  Have Zell go upstairs to retrieve the party’s weapons.  On the 8th floor, approach two guards that are examining Squall’s gunblade.  Defeat both and watch the scene that follows.  Back in the 7th floor prison cell, re-junction Zell, Selphie and Quistis when prompted.

BOSS >> BIGGS
HP 1,467 – 2,235 / AP 5 
Draw: Cura, Haste, Slow, Regen

BOSS >> WEDGE
HP 1,416 – 2,139 / AP 5
Draw: Fira, Shell, Protect, Reflect

Strategy:  Cast Silence and Blind on the pair to render them useless.  Spend as much time as you can drawing Regen and Reflect, as both spells are ideal for junctioning.  Mug the duo to get a Regen Ring and Strength Love.  Neither is hard to defeat.

After the battle, explore the lower floors before going up - this will be your only chance to do so.  Some floors have a barricade near the stairs, forcing you to go the long way around.  Random enemies appear on each floor, along with doors leading to cells.  Enter any cell that is open.  Here’s what you’ll find:

  Left Cell Right Cell Stairway
Floor 7 * This is where you start * --- No barricade
Floor 6 --- --- Save Point
Floor 5 --- Card Player (500 gil) ---
Floor 4 Tent --- ---
Floor 3 --- Pet House ---
Floor 2 Pet Nametag Strength Up ---
Floor 1 Save Point (hidden) Combat King 001 No barricade

Upon reaching the first floor, start heading back up.  The Card Player on Floor 10 will upgrade your Battle Meter with a Character Report if you win.  Definitely play cards with the guy on Floor 11 to try and win a valuable Rosetta Stone (teaches a GF ‘Ability x4’). 

  Left Cell Right Cell Stairway
Floor 8 Man From Garden shop   No barricade
Floor 9 --- Berserk DP ---
Floor 10 Save Point Card Player (300 gil) ---
Floor 11 Card Player (200 gil) Thundaga DP (hidden) ---
Floor 12 --- --- ---

The interrogation room is on the 13th floor.  Go up and find Squall.  When you take control of him, talk to the 3 Moombas in the room.  If Squall refused to surrender while being tortured, each will offer to create a shortcut.  Pick 3 floors that don’t already have open barricades.  Leave the room to automatically board the arm.  Press the red button and ride down to the basement.  Examine the door at the end of the passage.

The scene shifts back to Zell, who must escape from the guards alone.  Run clockwise towards the stairs.  Enemies should pose little threat.  After Irvine arrives, divide the party into 2 groups.  Squall’s group will be heading upwards, and Irvine’s must make its way down to the 3rd floor.  Prepare to swap junctions a couple of times.

When Squall’s party reaches the 14th floor, speak with the two Moombas to receive a Cottage and Rename Card.  Climb the center stairs and use Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ ability to reveal a hidden Save Point.  Use it before exiting on the right.

BOSS >> ELITE SOLDIER
HP 45 – 2,260 / AP 2 
Draw: Fira, Thundara, Blizzara, Scan

BOSS >> GIM52A x 2
HP 1,431 – 10,850 / AP 6
Draw: Haste, Slow, Dispel

Strategy:  Get rid of the Elite Soldier before he has a chance to enhance the GIM52As.  Remove their Aura or Protect status by drawing and using Dispel.  Use water and thunder spells to seriously injure the constructs.  Using GF Siren causes them to become slow and rubbery.  Heal whoever gets hit with Micro Missiles.

After winning, examine the panel inside to move the arm (if Zell is in your party, he does it for you).  Go downstairs and save your game.  Head back up to the Control Room and go outside.  Start crossing the bridge and when it retracts, quickly move Squall towards the green light on the right using the D-Pad.  If you fail to reach the green light in time, it’s game over.   Once safe, the party leaves in stolen buggies.

GALBADIAN DESERT

Use the Aero DP then talk to Selphie twice.  Choose who will go with Squall to Balamb Garden (I recommend bringing Zell and Rinoa) while the others head to the Missile Base.  When Squall’s team reaches the Galbadia Desert Station, head left to sneak onto the train.

Back with Selphie’s team, you can drive straight to the Missile Base, which lies to the west, or head north to complete some business in Deling City first.  Either way, don’t drive around too much or you’ll run out of Fuel.

DELING CITY REVISITED - OPTIONAL

  • Rare Cards:  Rinoa

In Deling City, go the Item Shop and buy as many Tents as you can afford.  Use Carbuncle’s ‘Recov Med-RF’ ability to refine the Tents into Mega-Potions.  Now sell the Mega-Potions for significantly more money than you bought the Tents for.  Repeat the process until you’ve amassed a satisfying amount of gil.  This ‘unlimited gil’ trick allows you to buy maximum quantities of every item sold in stores from now on.  Plus you can further refine store-bought items into other useful things.  Before leaving the shopping district, upgrade weapons at the Junk Shop.

Now go to Caraway’s Mansion and ask Gen. Caraway about cards.  He mentions that he holds Rinoa’s card but will not use it until you give him your Ifrit card.  Play a game with him and intentionally lose the Ifrit card (you’ll be able to get it back later).  Keep playing cards with him until you win Rinoa’s card.  Leave the city afterwards.

Junction Selphie’s party before driving to the Missile Base.  The road from Deling City leads directly to it.

MISSILE BASE

  • Magazines:  Weapons Monthly June

After driving through the gates, enter the building on the left.  Use the Save Point below then examine the lit panel between the doors.  When the left door unlocks, go inside.  Throughout this mission, play it cool – your SeeD rank will increase by 2 full levels if you make all of the right choices while here:

In the first hallway, you’ll see a guard standing next to the Circuit Room.  Choose to “Walk by quietly.”  Walk single file past the guard then head east.  Go downstairs to a Save Point.  Head directly south from the Save Point to reach a large, grated platform with a Blind DP.  Talk to two Maintenance guys on the right then return to the Save Point.  Enter the northern door.

Inside the Launcher Room, use the Full-life DP then talk to the soldier standing next to it.  Tell him “To go on ahead.”  Return to the Maintenance guys.  Impart what the soldier said and they’ll ask you to go to the Circuit Room.  Make your way back to the Circuit Room near the base entrance.

Once there, talk to the guard you walked by earlier.  After bluffing your way inside, examine the console on the left.  Choose: “Ah, just hit whatever” and then “Just press whatever”.  Use the Blizzara DP then exit the room.  When the security team arrives, do not fight.  Instead, say, “We were just gonna call you” and watch the result.

Return to the Launcher Room.  Attempt to enter and a guard stops you.  Pick: “Play it cool” then agree to “Help out”.  Once inside, have Selphie stand between the two soldiers on the left.  Mash the [Square] button to move the launcher into place.  Talk to the soldier afterwards, who tells you to check the control panel in the hall.

Leave the room and activate the control panel on the right.  When the menu screen pops up, select ‘Equipment’ to verify the type of missile being used.  Next, select ‘Target’ and set the Error Ratio to maximum.  Finally, select ‘Data Upload’ and press ‘Yes’ to confirm.  Exit the panel and save your game.

Talk to the guard on the lower right stairs to access the room above.  Once inside, the party is finally identified as imposters and must defeat a group of Elite Soldiers.  All can be easily put to sleep if you want time to draw spells.

After defeating the soldiers, examine the left panel, right panel, and center panel to unlock the top door.  Go inside and activate the self-destruct panel.  Set the timer to 10 minutes, which is plenty.  Exit through the door on the right. (NOTE: The shortcut door only unlocks if you set the timer to 10 or 20 minutes.)

Once outside, attempt to leave the base by running to the right.

BOSS >> BGH251F2
HP 4,200 – 8,400 / AP 4
Draw: Shell, Protect, Stop

Strategy:  Since you’re working against a clock, cast Haste on characters to speed up their turns.  Inflict Blind on the machine then pummel it with water or thunder-based spells.  Only use GFs if you can spare the extra time it takes to summon.  The BGH251F2 has six smoke stacks, and once you start destroying them, it will retaliate with Beam Cannon, so watch your HP.  Make sure you have a minute or two left on the clock to defeat 3 soldiers that emerge at the end.

Upon victory, you’ll receive ‘Weapons Monthly June’.  Walk around the parking lot to see that you’re stuck inside.  After the base self-destructs, you’ll be back with Squall & Co.

BALAMB GARDEN

  • GFs:  Leviathan

Do a junction swap then starting heading towards the lobby.  On the way, a Faculty member stops you.  When he asks what side you’re on, answer, “I don’t get it” then defeat the two weak monsters he leaves behind.  At the gate, speak with the injured SeeD twice to receive a Mega-Potion.

When you reach the Directory, talk to Fujin and Raijin then start looking for Cid.  Move clockwise and confront all Garden Faculty you see to clear each area.  Speak with the people you helped to receive nice items:

Infirmary Defeat a Granaldo then talk to Dr. Kadowaki to get an Elixir.
Quad Defeat a Glacial Eye and Bomb then go down to the stage.  Talk to the middle SeeD to get an X-Potion.
Cafeteria Defeat a Bomb then talk to the girl (2nd from left) twice to get Gysahl Greens.  Use the Demi DP near the counter as well.
Dorm Defeat a Caterchpillar then rest and save in your room.
Parking Lot Defeat a Grendel then talk to the SeeD on the left to get a Tent.
Training Center Defeat a T-Rexaur then talk to the SeeD to get a Remedy.
Library Defeat a Grat then talk to the girl on the far right.  If Zell is with you, she’ll give you a Mega-Phoenix.  If not, she offers a Remedy.

Once you’ve cleared the first floor, return to the Directory to spot Xu heading towards the elevator.  Ride up to 2F and locate Xu at the very end of the hall.  After telling her about the missiles, go up to 3F and enter Cid’s office.  When he collapses, talk to Cid and he’ll give you a key to the basement.  Talk to Cid again to save your game.  Board the elevator and ride down to MD Level.

When the elevator halts, inspect the buttons then open the floor hatch in the corner.  Climb down and follow the passageway to another hatch.  Open it and descend.  Squall suggests junctioning fire magic to Elem Atk-J while down here.  Feel free to take his advice.  Continue forward and climb down the ladder.  Enter the door on the left.

Examine the circular valve inside.  In order to turn it, mash the [Square] button before time runs out.  It’s impossible for Squall to succeed alone, so try again with 2 people.  If that fails, try with all 3.  Once turned, return to the previous screen and climb down the newly uncovered ladder.

Take the stairs down to a Full-life DP then head towards the pillar on the left.  Have Squall climb the ladder to scout the room above.  After he crashes through, examine the panel on the right, which appears to activate something.  Climb back down and respond to your comrades however you wish.  Walk over to the green light near the railing.  Pull the latch to open a path leading down.  Use the Save Point below then flip the nearby lever to open a hangar in the distance.  Move towards it.

BOSS >> OILBOYLE x 2
HP 2,136 – 4,988 / AP 20
Draw: Esuna, Blind, Cura, Confuse

Strategy:  The Oilboyles are fast and can cause a few maladies, so draw and use Esuna when needed.  Both are extremely weak to Fire, as well as Sleep.  Watch out for their Oil Blast attack, which shaves more than half your HP.  Mug them for Fuel if you wish.

After the battle, head north and climb down the ladder.  Move forward and examine the switch in the middle twice.  Watch the awesome scene that follows.  When it ends, you’ll be back with Cid.  Talk to him twice and agree to check what’s going on outside.

Take the elevator down to 2F and go to the very end of the hall.  The back door is unlocked now, so head out to the balcony to witness the Garden’s maiden voyage.  Go inside for more scenes.  When they end, Squall will be in his Dorm room.

If Rinoa is with you, she’ll ask Squall to give her a tour.  Save your game and start showing her around.  You’ll see various scenes depending on which area you take her to.  Upon reaching the lobby, a faculty member orders Squall to go to see the ‘Master’ at once.  Ride down to MD Level. 

Once there, your other party member (or members) will catch up with you.  Talk to Cid then head left to meet NORG, the Garden Master.

BOSS >> NORG POD
HP 2,000 / AP 0
Draw: Cura

BOSS >> LEFT ORB
HP 57- 2,865 / AP 0
Draw: Thunder, Life, Bio

BOSS >> RIGHT ORB
HP 57 – 2,865 / AP 0
Draw: Dispel, Confuse, Slow

Strategy:   Physically attack the Orbs when they change from green to yellow.  If you allow them to turn red, they’ll cast powerful spells on the party.  Successfully mugging the Orbs yields some nice ‘Mag Up’ and ‘Spr Up’ potions.  Attack the center Pod until the shell cracks open, revealing the true NORG.

BOSS >> NORG
HP 4,400 – 12,200 / AP 20
Draw: Shell, Protect, Esuna, Leviathan (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Leviathan from the boss right away then follow up with wind-based attacks, such as Aero and Tornado.  Demi works well, too.  Steal a Circlet from NORG and dispel any protection he casts on himself.  Keep hitting the Orbs when they change color.  Draw and stock as many spells as you can before the battle ends.

After the fight, junction GF Leviathan to someone and set it to learn ‘Supt Mag-RF’.  Ride up to 1F and visit the Infirmary.  Talk to Dr. Kadowaki then speak with Cid at his bedside.  When he asks what you want to talk about, go through all options until you’ve exhausted the list. 

Head to the lobby and Xu tells you a ship is approaching.  Ride up to 2F and go out to the balcony for a scene.  When it ends, return to 1F and locate Ellone, who is sitting in the Library’s reading room.  After more scenes, Squall wakes up in his Dorm room.

Rinoa arrives (if she’s in your party) to join Squall.  As soon as you leave the Dorm, you’re told to come to the bridge.  Watch as Balamb Garden crashes into Fisherman’s Horizon.  The two are attached now.

FISHERMAN’S HORIZON

  • Magazines:  Occult Fan III, Timber Maniacs x2
  • Rare Cards:  Quezacotl, Irvine
  • Key Items:  Pulse Ammo x5

Exit via the balcony and head right, talking to all citizens you pass.  Look for an obscure ladder on the rusty wall – it’s a few paces west of the lift.  Descend the ladder and follow the walkways over and up to the Master Fisherman.  Apologize to him (1st option) to get ‘Occult Fan III’.  Talk with him again to be sent on an errand.  Climb back up and head east.  When you reach the lift, tell the Familiar Face guy you want to ride down.

Follow the path to an intersection.  The Mayor’s House is straight ahead but choose to explore town first.  Head right to reach a Save Point and Regen DP.  Continue heading right and enter the Item Shop on the left, which doubles as an Inn.  Explore the upstairs guestroom for an issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’ then leave the shop.

Outside, head right, following the dock over to a Junk Shop owner.  Upgrade your weapons and use the Shell DP next to him.  Now talk to the kid in the boat.  When he asks you about the Master Fisherman, say: “Sort of,” then “I saw him,” and finally, “I was sort of...impressed.”  Keep talking to the kid until he almost chokes the Junk Shop owner.

Leave the dock and head north.  On the next screen, enter the Repair Shop on the right.  Inside, examine the Moomba doll then talk to the Grease Monkey about it.  Search the floor next to him for another issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’.   Now backtrack to the Save Point (ignore the train station on the left for now). 

After saving your game, head west.  At the intersection, go north.  Walk down a long ramp to the Mayor’s House.  Before entering, head right.  If you lost the Ifrit card to Gen. Caraway earlier, you’ll find Galbadia’s disgraced headmaster, Martine, sitting there.  Challenge him to a card game (but only if you saved).  The starting card rules in FH are ‘Sudden Death’ and ‘Elemental’.  Agree to mix rules.  After one or two games, Martine will likely tell you ‘Open’ has spread to the region, which is good.  Win back the Ifrit card from him.

When ready, enter the Mayor’s House and go upstairs.  Speak with Mayor Dobe then play cards with him to win the Quezacotl card.  If you gave the Sacred card to the Queen in Dollet, the new card her father created will be held by the Mayor’s wife, Flo.  Challenge her to win the Irvine card.  Flo is a decent player so it might take a few attempts to get it.  Use the (hidden) Ultima DP on the right before leaving.

As you climb up the ramp, a man shouts that Galbadian soldiers are attacking town.  Run back down to warn the Mayor.  Talk to everyone below then resume climbing the ramp.  Follow Mayor Dobe all the way to the train station.  Save your game on the way there.

When you reach the stairs near the Grease Monkey’s house, watch as Mayor Dobe gets roughed up and choose to “Go help”.  After defeating some Galbadian Soldiers, a familiar foe arrives.

BOSS >> BGH251F2
HP 5,100 – 7,800 / AP 20
Draw: Shell, Protect, Stop

Strategy:  Cast Blind on the ironclad until it sticks and cast Protect on the party to reduce further damage.  Keep the boss alive until you successfully mug it for a rare Adamantine.  The BGH251F2 is weak to both water and lightning so use those spells for an easy victory.

Upon winning, Selphie’s missile base team appears and the full party is reunited.  Talk to Rinoa then speak with Mayor Dobe.  Choose “I want him to understand us” and “Try to continue”.  When finished, leave the screen then immediately re-enter.  Talk to the guy standing on the left 3x and pick, “Isn’t he the cafeteria lady’s son?”  After the helpful exchange, go down to the dock.  Talk to the kid in the boat and watch as he finally catches a fish.

Start heading back to Balamb Garden now.  After riding the lift up, Irvine joins Squall.  Climb down the ladder and visit the Master Fisherman.  Agree to meet him at the Inn.  Return to town with Irvine and enter the Item Shop.  Go upstairs and listen to the Master Fisherman’s whole story (pick, “Why not...?”).  Follow him outside to the dock and talk to the Shopkeeper to advance the scene.  When asked for your opinion, say, “I think you’re right”.  Talk to the Master Fisherman afterwards to receive a Megalixir.  Completing his quest also boosts your SeeD rank slightly.

Decline the Master Fisherman’s offer to escort you out of town and instead head north to the Grease Monkey’s house.  Talk to the Galbadian Officer then step outside.  Re-enter the house and speak with the Grease Monkey to get a Mega-Phoenix.  Save your game on the way back to Balamb Garden.

Once there, ride down to 1F and visit the Quad.  Talk to Selphie near the stage and choose to “Cheer her up.”  Watch several scenes, during which Cid appoints Squall the new commander and your comrades arrange a concert to celebrate the occasion.

A stage has been set up in front of the Mayor’s House and Irvine must choose 4 instruments for characters to play.  His choices will determine how well the concert is received.  It doesn’t matter who plays each instrument but only two combinations will sound good:

                  Upbeat jig = Guitar, Violin, Flute, Tap Dance
                  Slow ballad = Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Saxophone, Piano

Starting with Zell, pick an instrument.  Before confirming the selection, there is a profitable task that Irvine can complete (you only have one chance to do it).  When you take control of Irvine, leave the stage while Zell is playing and walk up the ramp. 

Go to the Grease Monkey’s house.  Inside, Irvine finds the Galbadian Officer has returned.  Talk to the Officer then step outside.  Re-enter the house and speak with the Grease Monkey to get a Phoenix Down.  Examine the fallen Officer to receive Fast Ammo x15, AP Ammo x10, and Pulse Ammo x5.  Do not sell/use the Pulse Ammo as it allows Squall to complete his final weapon upgrade.  It’s super hard to find.

Now return to the concert stage and talk to Zell to confirm the instrument choice.  Select the remaining instruments and after all is confirmed, you’ll be back with Squall in his Dorm room.  Save your game and walk out to meet Rinoa.  Choose to accompany her to the concert. 

Talk to Irvine twice then head down to watch the show.  You can change your view of the concert by pressing [Square].  From the stage area, head right and check the magazine Irvine left behind.  Rinoa and Squall’s conversation will go smoothly if you chose the upbeat tune.  If you chose the ballad, it will be lukewarm, and if you chose any other combination of instruments, both parties will feel uncomfortable.

Regardless of the outcome, Squall spends another restless night in his Dorm room.  In the morning, go up to the 3F bridge and talk to Nida to learn that Balamb Garden is now mobile!  Nida will be your pilot from now on.  Talk to him when you’re ready to depart. 

MOBILE GARDEN

On the world map, you can steer Mobile Garden across the sea and use any open shoreline to reach land.  Certain areas (land surrounded by cliffs, for example) are unreachable right now.  Press X to get on/off the ship.  Press [Circle] to return to the 3F bridge.

Although Xu and Quistis suggest heading to Balamb City, there are many rewarding things to do before going there (see Optional sections, below).

CC GROUP - OPTIONAL

  • Rare Cards:  Leviathan, Carbuncle, Gilgamesh
  • Key Items:  GF Report

Re-board the ship to complete the lucrative CC Group quest.  If you haven’t done so already, play 15+ card games with people in Balamb Garden (groupies in Library, Cafeteria and Classroom do not count).  If you are still carrying rules from FH (‘Sudden Death’ and ‘Elemental’) decline to mix rules each time until the person stops asking.  This will re-establish the ’Open’ rule in Balamb.

After winning several games, go down to the 1F lobby.  Challenge the guy standing near the Directory.  If he’s not there, exit the screen then re-enter and wait for him to arrive.  He will introduce himself as ‘Jack’ – an elite member of the CC Group.  There are 7 elite card players you need to beat.  With the exception of ‘Joker’ you must challenge the CC Group members in a particular order.  Some hold rare cards:

Jack 1F Lobby ---
Club 1F Upper halls (near Quad or Dorm) ---
Joker 1F Training Center (eastern dock) Leviathan card
Diamond 1F Directory (the twins) ---
Spade 2F hall (sitting near elevator) ---
Heart 3F Bridge Carbuncle card
King 1F Dorm Gilgamesh card

After beating Jack, search the northern hallways for ‘Club’.  Look for him on the screen with exits to the Cafeteria, Dorm, and Parking Lot.  Challenge him to a game and win.

After beating Club, enter the Training Center.  A man dressed in green will be standing on the eastern dock.  If he’s not there, re-enter the screen to force him to appear.  If random enemies become a problem, equip Diablos’ ‘No Encounters’ ability. 

When you first challenge the man on the dock, he’ll introduce himself as ‘Joker’ and offer to sell you items (he is, in fact, the same man who sold items in D-District Prison).  Win a card game and he’ll upgrade your Battle Meter with the ‘GF Report’.  Keep playing cards with Joker until you win the Leviathan card. 

To find ‘Diamond’, return to the 1F lobby and challenge the twin girls standing in front of the Directory.  After beating the Diamond duo, ride the elevator up to 2F.  Challenge the guy sitting next to the elevator (if he’s not there, exit/re-enter to have him appear).  Beat ‘Spade’ then go up to the 3F bridge.

Challenge Xu to learn that she is CC Group’s ‘Heart’.  Beat her to win the Carbuncle card.  Talk to Nida afterwards to trigger dialog concerning the mysterious ‘King’.  Now ride down to 1F.  Go to the infirmary and challenge Dr. Kadowaki to a game of cards.  She reveals that she’s the former CC Group King but won’t tell you who currently holds the title.  Play at least one card game with Dr. Kadowaki before leaving.

Go to your Dorm room and save your game.  Choose to rest (and keep resting) until the ‘King’ appears in the middle of the night to challenge you.  Beat the King to win the Gilgamesh card.  If you don’t win the first time, go to the 3F bridge and try again.

SHUMI VILLAGE, PT. 1 – OPTIONAL

  • GFs:  Phoenix
  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs

Shumi Village will be marked on your map if you spoke to the Grease Monkey in FH.  To get there, head northwest into the snowy regions of Trabia.  Navigate through icebergs to reach a shore you can park on.  The igloo-shaped village will be on the left.  Spend some time fighting enemies in the region to collect Mesmerize Blades, which can be refined into useful spells and potions. 

When ready, enter Shumi Village and head north.  Talk to the Shumi trio on the left to access the Ultima DP behind them.  It’ll cost you 5,000 gil to use it – a reasonable price considering it’s the best spell in the game.  Since money is no longer an issue, return here often.

Enter the elevator room to the north and ride up.  On top, head west until you reach a pond with a frog.  Enter the house on the right.  Talk to the Artisan inside and watch as he shows off his collection of toy vehicles.  Get the issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’ here then exit and head over to the workshop on the far left.

Pass through the first room and talk to the Sculptor working on the Laguna statue.  Agree to visit the Elder when asked and use the Firaga DP before leaving.  Head east to the house being guarded by a Moomba.  The little fellow will let you pass now.  Use the Save Point on the left and the Blizzaga DP on the right before entering.

Inside, speak with the Elder.  As you attempt to leave, he will give you a quest.  Return to the Sculptor and agree to fetch 5 special stones.  Each time you find one, report back to the Sculptor to receive the next clue:

- Blue Stone:  Examine the big rock behind the Laguna statue
- Wind Stone:  Examine the boulder next to the Inn (near the elevator)
- Life Stone:  Climb up the tree roots next to the Elder’s house
- Shadow Stone:  Ride the elevator up and search the ground opposite the Ultima DP
- Fake Water Stone:  Examine the frog at the pond to get a regular stone
- Water Stone:  Examine the sink in the Artisan’s house

After giving all of the stones to the Sculptor, speak with him twice.  Return to the Elder’s house for a scene.  Upon leaving, you receive a Phoenix Pinion.  Choose to “Explain” what it all meant then leave Shumi Village.

Back on the world map, re-junction your party so that one person has the Item command available.  Get into a random battle and use the Phoenix Pinion item to summon GF Phoenix.  From now on, GF Phoenix will randomly appear during battles to revive a fallen party, thus saving you from Game Over.  You do not need to use additional Pinion items to summon the GF – using it once in battle does the trick.

You may have noticed the small dome-shaped forest next to Shumi Village.  If you want to start the profitable Chocobo Forests quest, enter it now.

CHOCOBO FORESTS – OPTIONAL

  • GFs:  Boko
  • Rare Cards:  Chicobo
  • Key Items:  Gysahl Greens

There are 6 Chocobo Forests in the world, each offering a variation of the same puzzle:

1 - Beginner’s Forest Trabia (Winter Island) – near Shumi Village
2 - The Basics Snowfield Trabia (Sorbald Snowfield) – south of Shumi Village
3 - The Roaming Forest Trabia (Bika Snowfield) – north of Trabia Garden
4 - Forest of Solitude Centra (Nectar Peninsula) - northern tip, behind mountains
5 - Forest of Fun Centra (Lenown Plains) – east of Edea’s Orphanage
6 - The Enclosed Forest Centra (Talle Mountains) - southeastern edge

Once you’ve solved all the puzzles, you’ll gain access to Chocobo Sanctuary where the quest concludes.  Start by entering the ‘Beginner’s Forest’ next to Shumi Village. 

1. BEGINNER’S FOREST - Location: Trabia (Winter Island)

Speak with the boy standing in the center and pay 1,000 gil to hear his explanation of the rules.  Although the boy offers to catch a Chocobo for you, do not let him.  You need to catch all Chocobos yourself (one in each forest) in order to earn their affection and get the big prize.  When the boy is finished talking, press [Square] to bring up the Choco-Whistle equipment screen:

Equip the ‘Sonar’ and walk around while holding [Triangle] to detect active spots in the forest.  Stop when you hear rapid beeping and the red bar fills.  Once you’ve identified an active spot, equip the ‘Ziner’ and press [Triangle] to drop one or more Chicobos.  If you pick the wrong spot, a little fellow comes down and steals your whistle.  If this happens, buy a new one from the boy for 700 gil.  The goal is to have only ONE Chicobo remain on the ground.  In the Beginner’s Forest, there’s only one ‘hot spot’ to worry about (in the upper left corner).  Other forests will prove more difficult.

When only one Chicobo is standing in the forest, talk to it to have its mother appear.  Return to the boy.  Talk to him twice and he’ll hint that there’s something else in the forest that you need to find. 

Equip the Sonar to find a new hot spot in the forest.  Once there, equip the Ziner and have mama Chocobo dig up a treasure for you.  In this case, the treasure (an Aura Stone) is buried in the upper right corner.  Talk to the boy after finding the treasure. 

Having earned the mother’s Pledge of Affection, you can now ride the Chocobo out of Beginner’s Forest any time you wish.  In order to get the final reward, you must earn a Pledge of Affection in 6 different forests.  Additionally, you cannot advance the Card Queen quest until you’ve done so.

2. THE BASICS SNOWFIELD – Location: Trabia (Sorbald Snowfield)

To reach this Chocobo Forest, head south from Shumi Village.  After crossing the ocean look for a shoreline on the landmass directly below Shumi Village.  Scan the snowfield until you find the mound-shaped forest.  Save your game before entering.

Inside, the boy will be waiting for you.  After talking to him, repeat the procedure described above (alternate between Sonar and Ziner) until only one Chicobo is left standing.  In this forest, find the ‘hot spots’ then blow the whistle as follows: 

                  - Center left (3 Chicobos fall)
                  - Center right (2 of them rise)

When only one Chicobo is left standing, talk to it so that its mother appears.   Speak with the boy until he hints at hidden treasure.  Use the Sonar and Ziner to dig up the treasure:

                  - Left edge (Flare Stone)

Talk to the boy afterwards to win the mother’s Pledge of Affection.  You can now ride the Chocobo out of The Basics Snowfield any time you wish. 

3. THE ROAMING FOREST – Location: Trabia (Bika Snowfield)

To reach this Chocobo Forest, head east from Shumi Village.  Cross over to the adjacent landmass then navigate in between mountains and over forests until you reach it.  It’s just north of Trabia Garden (which you’ll be visiting later).  Save your game before entering.

Inside, you’ll notice that two Chicobos are already standing there.  After talking to the boy, repeat the procedure described above (alternate between Sonar and Ziner) until only one Chicobo is left standing.  Find the ‘hot spots’ then blow the whistle as follows: 

                  - Between the 2 Chicobos (one falls & all 3 rise)
                  - Near the exit, next to bottom tree (single one falls)

When only one Chicobo is left standing, talk to it so that its mother appears.   Speak with the boy until he hints at hidden treasure.  Use the Sonar and Ziner to dig up the treasure:

                  - Upper snow bank, directly behind mother (Shell Stone & Holy Stone)

Talk to the boy afterwards to win the mother’s Pledge of Affection.  You can now ride the Chocobo out of The Roaming Forest any time you wish. 

4. FOREST OF SOLITUDE – Location: Centra (Nectar Peninsula)

To reach this Chocobo Forest, head north from the Trabia region (to end up on the bottom of the map).  Continue north towards the big Centra crater.  Find a beach that allows you to get onto land and park on the northeastern tip of the Serengetti Plains.  Travel on foot around the mountain to reach it.  Save your game before entering.

Inside, the boy will be waiting for you.  In this forest, the ChocoSonar produces a very weak signal.  There is only one ‘hot spot’ but you need to pinpoint it:

                  - Light patch of grass behind boy (your feet should hover near his hand)

After the single Chicobo drops, talk to it so that its mother appears.  In order to reach the treasure, you need to get the boy to move.  If you challenge him to a card game, you’ll get the dialog option asking him to move.  Get him to move twice so that he waits in the upper corner.  Use the Sonar and Ziner to dig up the treasure:

                  - Spot where boy was originally standing (Protect Stone & Meteor Stone)

Talk to the boy afterwards to win the mother’s Pledge of Affection.  You can now ride the Chocobo out of the Forest of Solitude any time you wish. 

5. FOREST OF FUN – Location: Centra (Lenown Plains)

To reach this Chocobo Forest, travel to the southwestern edge of Centra and park near the lighthouse (which you’ll be visiting later).  Save your game before entering.

Inside, the boy will be waiting for you.  After talking to him, repeat the procedure described above (alternate between Sonar and Ziner) until only one Chicobo is left standing.  Find the ‘hot spots’ then blow the whistle as follows: 

                  - Center (3 Chicobos fall)
                  - Next to far-left Chicobo (4th one falls)
                  - Left of boy (5th one falls)
                  - Left of boy near 5th Chicobo (bowls the other 4 down)

When only one Chicobo is left standing, talk to it so that its mother appears.   Speak with the boy until he hints at hidden treasure.  Use the Sonar and Ziner to dig up the treasure:

                  - Far right corner of clearing (Meter Stone, Flare Stone & Ultima Stone)

Talk to the boy afterwards to win the mother’s Pledge of Affection.  You can now ride the Chocobo out of The Forest of Fun any time you wish. 

6. THE ENCLOSED FOREST – Location: Centra (Talle Mountains)

To reach this Chocobo Forest, search the eastern edge of the Centra continent for a small beach you can park on.  Walk through a gap in the mountains then head left into a patch of forest.  Save your game before entering.

Inside, the boy will be waiting for you.  After talking to him, repeat the procedure described above (alternate between Sonar and Ziner) until only one Chicobo is left standing.  There are 6 ‘hot spots’ in this forest and multiple ways to solve the puzzle.  In my case, I ignored the spot on the path in front of the boy – just know it’s there in case you need it.  Find the ‘hot spots’ then blow the whistle as follows: 

                  - Upper left corner of clearing
                  - Next to the rock behind boy
                  - Next to lower right rock
                  - Next to upper right rock
                  - Center of clearing

When only one Chicobo is left standing, talk to it so that its mother appears.   Speak with the boy until he hints at hidden treasure.  Use the Sonar and Ziner to dig up the treasure:

                  - Far right corner of clearing (Meter Stone, Holy Stone & Ultima Stone)

Talk to the boy afterwards to win the mother’s Pledge of Affection.  You can now ride the Chocobo out of the Enclosed Forest any time you wish.  Since you’re close by, consider riding over to Kashkabald Desert (see below).

COMPLETING THE QUEST / CHOCOBO SANCTUARY

Chocobo Sanctuary is located in Grandidi Forest, which on the Esthar continent.  To reach it, return to “The Roaming Forest” in Trabia (#3) and get a Chocobo.  Ride southeast towards the Heath Peninsula.  Head south across shallow waters to reach the west coast of Grandidi.  Enter the narrow valley and ride northeast thru the dense forest.  Switch views to more easily spot the dome-shaped mound in the middle.

Upon entering the Sanctuary, you’ll see the 6 Chocobos you befriended.  To celebrate your arrival, three perform a dance for you.  When it ends, talk to Boko and he’ll give you the well-earned Chicobo card (the Card Queen wants this, so don’t lose it).  Talk to the boy one last time and pick, “Help me” to get a free ride out of the forest.

KASHKABALD DESERT - OPTIONAL

If you want your GFs to learn new abilities quickly, go to Kashkabald Desert.  It’s on the northeastern edge of Centra.  Since you can’t park directly on the sand dunes, get as close as you can then walk the rest of the way. 

Cactuars appear here and each one nets you a whopping 20 AP.  The tricky part is defeating the little buggers before they flee.  Form a party with those who have the highest Hit % and Speed rating.  Use regular attacks until one connects, and heal in between battles to replenish anyone hit with their 1,000 Needles attack.

While here, you might encounter a few Sand Worms (mug Windmills or Missiles) or Blitz enemies (mug Betrayal Swords).  You might even see a UFO pass by (related to a quest that will be covered later).

CENTRA RUINS – OPTIONAL

  • GFs:  Odin, Tonberry King
  • Rare Cards:  Odin
  • Key Items:  Luck-J

The Centra Ruins are located on the southern end of Centra’s Crater.  After navigating the ship onto dry land, look for a diamond-shaped structure in the wastelands.  There are two GFs inside: Odin and Tonberry King.  Getting Odin is a time-sensitive affair.  Getting Tonberry King is a progressive affair. 

Note that Odin is not like other GFs – you cannot equip him – he just appears randomly to defeat enemies for you.  Odin’s appearance is often problematic (for example, if you’re trying to mug a particular enemy for rare items) so you might want to hold off on getting him until Disc 4.  Either way, teach Diablos the ‘Enc-None’ ability before entering.

Acquiring GF Tonberry:

As soon as you enter the Ruins, a 20-minute timer starts.  Head north to a circular area with a Tonberry statue in the middle (and a Drain DP on right).  In order to get GF Tonberry King, you need to defeat at least 20 regular Tonberry enemies in this area.  All are weak to Meltdown and Demi magic.  None offer EXP or decent AP.  Some will drop a Chef Knife.

The game keeps track of your Tonberry progress, so don’t worry if the timer runs out.  Just save outside and re-enter the Centra Ruins to reset the clock.  Keep fighting little Tonberries near the statue until the big guy appears.  You cannot save beforehand.

BOSS >> GF TONBERRY KING
HP 90,000+ / AP 20
Draw: Death, Curaga, Full-life

Strategy:  Cast Meltdown on the boss and unleash Limit Breaks.  If the Gf’s attacks become problematic, cast Protect on the party.  Draw a few Full-life spells from the GF and heal/revive as necessary.

Once defeated, you’ll get GF Tonberry King and a Royal Crown.  Among the many useful things he can learn is ‘Call Shop’.  Junction him to someone then exit the Ruins.

Acquiring GF Odin:

Upon entering the Ruins, you’ll have exactly 20 minutes to find Odin and defeat him.  To save time, equip Diablos’ “Encounter-None” ability to avoid random battles.  If time runs out, Odin will kick you out the Ruins.  Not to worry.  You can always re-enter and try again, using a fresh clock.

From the entrance, head north.  Use the Drain DP near the Tonberry statue then head east up the rainbow staircase.  Enter the door in the background.  Stand on the stone platform to ride up.  Climb the left ladder 2x to reach the opening on top.  Activate the blue switch inside then climb back down. 

Below, examine the blue orb to create a staircase on the right.  Climb the new staircase as it spirals east (ignore the Aero DP for now).  On the next screen, climb the short ladder on the left to reach the gargoyle statue above.  Remove the red jewel from its left eye then climb back down.  Ascend the eastern stairs.

Use the Pain DP on the right then climb up the green dome to find another gargoyle statue on top.  Insert the red jewel in its left eye.  Elect to leave the statue as is to obtain a random 5-digit password.  Write it down.  Take both red jewels before climbing down.

Return to the previous statue and insert both jewels, causing a column to appear on the right side of the screen.  From top to bottom, input the 5-digit password then press [Triangle] to unlock the door below.  Enter to face Odin.

BOSS >> GF ODIN
HP 1,300 – 31,000 / AP 20
Draw: Stop, Death, Double, Triple

Strategy:  Odin will just sit there until the timer runs out, so hit him with your most powerful stuff as quickly as possible.  Stock up on Triple spells if you have time, and make sure to mug a Luck-J scroll from him.

Upon beating GF Odin, you also receive his card.  On your way out of the Ruins, use the Aero DP if you wish.  To reach it, climb the ladder on the right (near the blue orb).

WINHILL  - OPTIONAL

Winhill sits on the southern end of the Galbadian continent.  To reach it, head south from D-District Prison.  There are two nearby shores you can park on.  Put Irvine in your party before entering town.

Go to the Mansion at the north end of town.  Talk to the owner standing on the stairs to initiate a quest that requires you to find 4 pieces of a broken vase.  To get the 1st piece, examine the armor on the left until a Chicobo pops out.  Pick up the Vase Piece it leaves behind.  This will only happen if Irvine is in your party.

To get the 2nd piece, leave the Mansion and start heading south.  At the Chocobo Crossing sign, you’ll see a little Chicobo dashing back and forth.  Knock into it while it’s crossing (press X) and pick up the Vase Piece that floats down.

To get the 3rd piece, enter the Flower Shop down the street.  Talk to the woman inside then examine the flowers in the foreground.  When she asks if you like them, say, “Yes.”   Examine the flowers again to get the Vase Piece.  If you want to visit the Item Shop or rest at the Inn, continue heading south; otherwise, follow the eastern path back to the top of town (you’ll find a Reflect DP along the way). 

To get the 4th piece, enter the Pub on the left.  Talk to the woman upstairs.  Keep talking to her until she mentions flowers.  Now go downstairs and examine the flower arrangement on the table.  Doing so causes Raine’s ghost to appear.  When the ghost vanishes, examine the cat sitting on the bar to get the final Vase Piece.

Return to the Mansion and give the owner all 4 pieces.  For your efforts, you’ll earn a Holy Stone.  Exit the mansion and walk between the buildings on the right to reach the world map.  You can draw many nice spells from Vysage enemies (and their Lefty, Righty appendages) in this region, btw.

BALAMB CITY

  • GFs:  Pandemona
  • Magazines:  Combat King 002, Combat King 003
  • Rare Cards:  Pandemona

Put Zell in your party before entering Balamb City.  Talk to the couple near the car rental agency and the Galbadian soldier blocking access.  After Zell complains, talk to him then approach the soldier to get inside.  When prompted, swap party members if you wish.

Enter Zell’s house and speak with Ma Dincht in the side room.  Talk to the neighbor and her kid as well.  Leave and go to the Hotel.  Talk to the guards posted there to learn that the ‘Captain’ is out on patrol.  Head over to the dock.  Avoid the Tabloid Guy sitting near the trucks on the right.  If you use his services, it’ll lower your SeeD rank.  Instead, speak with the guard on the dock (standing near the dog) to learn that the Captain was seen fishing. 

Return to Zell’s house and talk to Ma Dincht to learn that a strange man just used her kitchen to cook.  Zell will let the party rest upstairs now.  If Selphie is with you, agree with her statements to retain your SeeD rank.  After saving your game, return to the dock.  The dog will smell fish on you and dash off.  Follow the dog to the Train Station.  Once there, you’ll spot the ‘Captain’.  After he flees, go back to the Hotel and confront him.

BOSS >> RAIJIN
HP 400 - 40,000 / AP 12
Draw: Thunder, Thundara, Shell, Protect

Strategy:  Get rid of the two soldiers then concentrate on Raijin.  Blind him to avoid most of his attacks.  Raijin absorbs thunder magic so don’t use it.  Mug two ‘Str Up’ potions then cast Sleep on him if you need time to heal.  You will not be able to save in between battles.

After sustaining enough damage, Raijin leaves.  The battle continues in the Hotel.

BOSS >> FUJIN
HP 300 – 8,700 / AP 10
Draw: Aero, Cura, Life, Pandemona (GF)

BOSS >> RAIJIN
HP 400 – 11,600 / AP 10
Draw: Thunder, Thundara, Shell, Protect

Strategy:  First, draw GF Pandemona from Fujin then try putting her to sleep.  Her deadly Sai attack reduces your HP to 1, so prepare to heal often.  Blind Raijin and try putting him to sleep, too.  Both are weak to poison so cast Bio if you can.  If possible, mug a ‘Str Up’ from Raijin and either a Megalixir or Hero from Fujin before ending the fight.

Afterwards, you’ll receive ‘Combat King 002’ and automatically board Balamb Garden.  Selphie suggests going to Trabia Garden to see what damage the missiles caused, but there are a few things to do first:

Re-enter Balamb City with Zell in your party.  If you spoke to the pigtailed girl in Balamb’s Library with Zell, talk to the girl hanging out near the car rental agency then go to Zell’s house and talk to his mom.  Now rent a room at the Hotel.  After resting, walk down to the lobby to witness a scene between Zell and his secret admirer.  When it ends, talk to Zell to receive ‘Combat King 003’. 

After saving your game in the guestroom, walk outside and challenge the Hotel Owner to a game of cards.  Keep playing him until you win the Pandemona card.  Walk over to the Train Station and you should see the Card Queen standing there.  If you obtained the Chicobo card (from the Chocobo Forests quest), challenge the Queen and lose the Chicobo card to her.  Make sure she goes to Dollet afterwards.  If not, reboot and try again. 

DOLLET / CARD QUEEN QUEST – OPTIONAL

  • Rare Cards:  Chubby Chicobo

Travel to Dollet, which is west of Balamb City.  Once there, enter the Pub and talk to the Card Queen upstairs.  Ask about her artist father to learn that he’s created a new card in world, based on the Chicobo card you just gave her.  She says the new card was given to someone in Balamb Garden.  Leave the Pub and walk down to her son’s house.  Play cards with the kid to win back the Chicobo card. 

Re-board Balamb Garden and ride down to 1F.  Challenge the student sitting on the bench near the Library.  If he’s not there, exit the screen and re-enter to have him appear.  Beat him to win the new Chubby Chicobo card.

Talk to Nida on 3F when you’re ready to depart.  Form a party (remember to junction GF Pandemona to someone) and head northeast towards Trabia Garden.  Stop by Shumi Village on your way there. 

SHUMI VILLAGE, PT. 2 / FH – OPTIONAL

  • Key Items:  Status Guard

Inside Shumi Village, the Ultima DP will have replenished so pay 5,000 gil to access it.  Ride the elevator up.  Check in with the Sculptor to see how much progress he’s made on the statue.  Apparently he needs more manpower.  Go to the Elder’s house and explain the situation.  Talk to the Moomba outside then follow him to the workshop.

After the Moomba leaves, speak with the Sculptor.  Report back to the Elder then return to the workshop and talk to the Elder’s Attendant.  Now enter the house next door and talk to the Artisan.  Visit the Elder once more before leaving the village.

Travel to Fisherman’s Horizon.  Walk up to the Grease Monkey’s house.  Talk to him to acquire his Moomba doll.  Return to Shumi Village after getting the doll.

Give the doll to the Artisan.  Listen to the message it delivers then leave the house.  If you completed the Master Fisherman’s quest in FH earlier, he’ll arrive for a scene outside.  Eventually, the Artisan emerges and agrees to help out in the workshop.  Finally, talk to the Elder to receive a valuable ‘Status Guard’ (teaches a GF St-Def +4).

TRABIA GARDEN

  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs, Weapons Monthly August
  • Rare Cards:  Selphie

To reach Trabia Garden, head east from Shumi Village, crossing the sea to get onto the adjacent landmass.  The Garden is nestled in the mountains about midway across.  Park near one of the forests and spend some time fighting enemies in the region before entering.  In particular, draw Meltdown from any Lv.30+ Gaylas you encounter and mug them for Mystery Fluids.

Upon your arrival, Selphie heads off to check things out.  Climb the wall to get inside.  There are no enemies here, so don’t worry about swapping party members.  Move forward to find Selphie chatting with a friend near the statue.  Talk to Selphie’s Friend and choose to “Play along”.  Use the nearby Thundaga DP then head northwest.

At the intersection, go right to find a Save Point.  Talk to the kid in blue 2x to learn about a secret treasure.  Fiddle with the nearby console if you like, then head back to the statue.  On the way, you’ll see Selphie encouraging some kids.

Back at the statue, walk 5 steps south to find ‘Weapons Monthly August’ on the ground (it’s at the very edge of the screen).  After getting it, head northeast to the cemetery.  Selphie will be there, paying her respects.  Use the (hidden) Zombie DP then exit the screen.  Re-enter to pick up an issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’ where Selphie was standing.  Return to the statue and head northwest again.

At the intersection, go left and talk to the students standing next to an Aura DP.  Proceed to the basketball court.  Once there, try to leave.  When a basketball rolls into frame, Selphie rejoins the group.
 
During the flashback scenes, move Squall to the beach.  Approach each child to trigger a memory then enter the door on the right.  Back on the beach, talk to each party member to learn some interesting things.  After hearing Irvine’s theories, the party will be back on the basketball court.  Speak with Rinoa to automatically board Balamb Garden.

Before heading off to the Orphanage, save your game and re-enter Trabia Garden.  Challenge Selphie’s Friend to a card game.  If you’ve been following this guide, you already abolished Trabia’s ‘Random’ and ‘Plus’ rules (remember the Trabia Exchange Student you met in Galbadia Garden’s locker room?)  Assuming that is the case, challenge the girl to win Selphie’s card easily.

BALAMB GARDEN INVASION

From Trabia, head north to reach the Centra region (exit the top of map to re-appear at the bottom).  Locate the lighthouse on the southwestern tip.  Once there, you’ll see Galbadia Garden hovering over a nearby forest.  Approach it to initiate a scene.  Have Squall give out commands as follows:

1.  Prepare for the attack
2.  Prepare our defense
3.  Take care of the junior classmen
4.  No orders/End

Leave the bridge and talk to Quistis.  After forming a party, ride the elevator down to 2F.  Talk to everyone in the hallways to direct them to their stations.  Talk to the kid wandering near the balcony door to get a Cottage.  Ride down to 1F and use the Save Point temporarily posted near the Quad.  Talk to Zell near the Quad’s stage and then speak with Rinoa.  Head out to trigger a scene on the bridge.

When you take control of Zell, junction the party and head left.  After Rinoa falls, leave the Quad and go down to the Front Gate.  Back with Squall, form a party (re-junction) and ride up to 2F.  Enter the classroom and fight Galbadian Paratroopers that crash in.  After defeating the intruders, ask the woman on the right to look after the kids.  Ride up to 3F for a scene.

Return to 2F and the woman near the elevator will ask for your help.  Locate the missing child near the balcony door.  As soon as you find him, a Paratrooper busts through and pins Squall against the wall.  Don’t move.  Instead, press X and select, “Look around for a better option.”  Press X again and choose: “Press the button for the emergency exit.”

When the door flies open, you’ll be hanging on a rope with the Paratrooper.  During this mid-air duel, press buttons to [Kick], [Punch], or [Block] the Paratrooper until he falls off the rope.  If you block repeatedly, a 4th option [Deathblow] becomes available.  Should Squall’s health bar deplete first, you’ll have the option of trying again.

After rescuing Rinoa, dash to the left.  At the entrance, name Squall’s ring (Griever is the default) and choose to bring Rinoa with you.  Before entering Galbadia Garden, look for a (hidden) Aura DP in the distant field.

GALBADIA GARDEN

  • GFs:  Cerberus, Alexander
  • Rare Cards:  Cerberus

After meeting up with your comrades, form a party and use the Save Point in the hall.  Head right 2x and go upstairs to find Fujin and Raijin, who no longer wish to fight.  Chat with them then head left.  Enter the door on the right.  Talk to the student inside to acquire ‘Card Key 1’.  Now backtrack to the 1st floor Save Point and head left.

Use Card Key 1 to unlock the door on the left.  Cross the ice hockey rink to trigger a fight with some Slappers and use the Haste DP in the net.  Stop by the locker room on the left if you want to use the Life DP; otherwise, go through the door on the right.

Enter the classroom on the right and get ‘Card Key 2’ from the student inside.  Exit and head south, back to the Save Point.  Return to Fujin and Raijin.  Once there, go up to the 3rd floor.  Use Card Key 2 to get outside.

Hop down onto an athletic court and use the Shell DP on the left.  Enter the main building and go south past the stairs to reach the lobby.  Use the Save Point to the east before approaching the GF in the center.

BOSS >> GF CERBERUS
HP 7,100 – 10,000 / AP 30 
Draw: Quake, Double, Triple

Strategy:  The boss mostly uses Tornado and Quake, which can cause significant damage.  Decrease the effect by casting Protect or Float on your party.  Avoid using wind and thunder-based magic as he absorbs both.  Cerberus can cast Triple on himself, allowing him to attack 3 times in a row.  Undo the effect with Dispel.  Use Demi against him or summon GF Diablos.  Draw a few Triple spells and mug him for a ‘Spd-J’ scroll if you can.

Once you’ve received GF Cerberus (and his card), use the Haste DP he was guarding.   Junction the GF then head west to another hallway.  Enter the left door and speak with the student inside to get ‘Card Key 3’.  Now return to the lobby and head north.  Take the stairs up to the 2nd floor.  Once there, go left and use Card Key 3 to unlock the elevator.  Ride up to a chamber with a Save Point and two adversaries.

BOSS >> SEIFER
HP 1,300 – 10,300 / AP 20
Draw: Fira, Thundara, Dispel, Haste

Strategy:  Try to Blind and Silence Seifer.  When his HP drops, he’ll start using Demon Slice, which causes about 1500 HP damage.  Seifer tends to focus his attacks on Squall so have the others keep him as healthy as possible.  Mug some Mega-Phoenix’s from him if you can.

After the battle, return to 2F and head right.  Use Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ ability to locate a secret Save Point at the end of the corridor.  After using it, move forward to enter the Auditorium.

BOSS >> SEIFER
HP 1,200 – 7,400 / AP 20
Draw: Fira, Thundara, Dispel, Haste

Strategy:  He’s weakened so just attack normally.  Try to mug a Hero or Holy War, as well.  Heal your party before finishing him off as you’ll have to fight Edea immediately afterwards.

BOSS >> EDEA
HP 500 – 16,000 / AP 30 
Draw: Blizzara, Demi, Esuna, Alexander (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Alexander from her first then cast Shell on your party members.  Edea is capable of a few pretty nasty spells, including Death and Maelstrom, which halves each member’s HP along with causing status ailments.  Put her to Sleep then draw and use Demi to whittle down her HP.  If Edea endows herself with Reflect, break it with Dispel.  Be sure to leave a character on standby to revive those hit by Death.  If you can, try stealing a Royal Crown from her.

After the battle, watch the cutscene then save and switch to Disc 3.

D I S C   T H R E E

BALAMB GARDEN / EDEA’S ORPHANAGE

  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs, Weapons Monthly July

When you regain control of Squall, leave the Infirmary and go to the 3F bridge.  Form a party (remember to junction GF Alexander) and head to Edea’s Orphanage (e.g. the lighthouse).  You should be within walking distance from it.

Once inside, talk to Cid then look for a Curaga DP in the room on the left.  Pick up a copy of ‘Timber Maniacs’ near the door leading to the beach.  Walk down and talk to Edea.  Listen to her whole story then attempt to leave.  Squall automatically returns to Balamb Garden.

Before checking on Rinoa, go to the Training Center to get ‘Weapons Monthly July’.  You’ll find it on the ground just beyond the left gate.  Visit Rinoa in the Infirmary.  At her bedside, Squall nods off and enters the ‘dream world’.  When prompted, select a character to play Kiros during the upcoming sequence.

LAGUNA DREAM SEQUENCE - Trabia Canyon

Laguna has taken up work as a b-movie actor.  When a real Ruby Dragon arrives, he must duel it alone.  Tap the [Attack!] button once to have Laguna swing his blade, then assume a defensive stance.  After Laguna parries the blow, have him attack again.  Keep repeating this attack/defend pattern until Laguna emerges victorious. 

When Kiros arrives, choose, “Hold on a sec...” to retreat to the Save Point on the left.  Check junctions and save before facing the actual Ruby Dragon.

BOSS >> RUBY DRAGON
HP varies / AP 14
Draw: Aero, Fira

Strategy:  Cast Meltdown and summon Diablos repeatedly for an easy kill.  This creature isn’t too hard to take down.  Plunder an Inferno Fang from it to teach Quistis Fire Breath or use it for Selphie’s weapon upgrade.

After the battle, you’ll get a Ruby Dragon card.

EDEA’S ORPHANAGE

  • Rare Cards:  Edea

Once Squall wakes up, return to the Orphanage and ask Edea for information.  She recalls that Ellone was taken aboard the White SeeD and presents Squall with a letter to give to the ship’s leader.

Save your game on the world map then return to Edea’s house.  Challenge her to a card game and try to win the Edea card.  Be careful, though.  Edea is a very good player and the tough rules in Centra (‘Random’, ‘Same-Plus’) make it rather difficult.  If you decline to mix rules, Edea will usually abolish one after a couple of games.  If you mix rules, ‘Open’ will spread and nothing will be abolished.

After winning the Edea card, re-board Balamb Garden.  Challenge Xu to a card game and decline to mix rules.  When she stops asking to mix, play a few games with her to make the ‘Open’ rule dominant again.

WHITE SEED-D SHIP

  • Magazines:  Timber Maniacs
  • Rare Cards:  Shiva

Head north from Edea’s house and search within the ring of islands for the White SeeD ship.  It’s concealed near the western end of Centra’s crater.  Shift your camera angle to more easily spot it.  Approach the vessel to automatically board.

Ignore the unfriendly crew and move forward to a Save Point, where you’ll find Watts and Zone.  Follow Zone upstairs.  Pick up the final issue of ‘Timber Maniacs’.  Talk to Zone until he mentions the ‘Girl Next Door’ magazine.  Let him have it for free to get a Rename Card and the Shiva card.  Return to the Save Point below.

Enter the Leader’s quarters on the right.  Use the Holy DP then give him Edea’s letter.  Speak with the Leader twice to trigger a scene.  When it ends, you’ll be back on the 3F bridge.  Talk to Quistis to learn that Esthar isn’t reachable by ship.  To get there, you need to cross the long bridge at Fisherman’s Horizon.

Go to the Infirmary to fetch Rinoa.  While carrying her, walk east along the FH walkway until a scene takes over.  When it ends, press X to pick up Rinoa.  The party meets Squall at the abandoned Esthar Station where Edea joins as a guest.  Talk to Edea, pick a party, and head down the tracks to reach the world map.

GREAT SALT LAKE

Save your game outside then head east to enter the Great Salt Lake.  Select a party and move north.  Climb the fossil on the right and follow the upper path east to a Meteor DP.  Cross over the bone bridge on the left.  Use the Thundaga DP at the end then choose to jump off the cliff.

Below, head north and at the T-intersection, go east to find a Save Point.  After using it, head west.  Walk towards the big crevasse to awaken the creature residing there.

BOSS >> ABADON
HP 510 - 17,010 / AP 40
Draw: Cura, Esuna, Dispel

Strategy:  Abadon is undead so curative items/spells harm it.  Although you can cast Life on it for an instant kill, try to mug a Power Wrist before ending the battle.  Leviathan’s ‘Recover’ ability will decimate the boss.

Once Abadon is defeated, head north.  Examine the flickering barrier in the sky to uncover an opening.  Climb up to it.  Move forward until you reach a console.  Play around with it to see various shield tests then enter the door beyond.  When the elevator platform stops, approach the back wall to exit.  Watch as the capital city of Esthar reveals itself.  Below, a high-pitched noise sends the group back to the dream world.

LAGUNA DREAM SEQUENCE – Odine’s Laboratory

  • Magazines:  Weapons Monthly First Issue

As Laguna, talk to both Esthar Soldiers then chat with the Moomba and the Worker until the soldier returns to fight you.  After defeating him, Kiros and Ward arrive.  Pick the 1st option to junction them before facing more Soldiers and a Gesper.  The Gesper can eject characters with its Degenerator attack, so defeat it quickly.  After beating the foes, use the elevator to reach the ground floor.

Eavesdrop on Dr. Odine until you’ve heard the entire conversation then head right to exit.  Outside, listen to what Odine’s Assistant has to say and use the Death DP near the Save Point.  Go back inside and pick up the ‘Weapons Monthly First Issue’ on the floor.  Take the elevator down to the basement.  Defeat two Esthar Soldiers and an Elastoid (mug a Laser Cannon and draw Meltdown) then ride back up and follow Dr. Odine outside. 

Upon arriving at Odine’s Laboratory, defeat more Esthar Soldiers then use the Double DP near the back door.  Equip ‘Move-Find’ to reveal a secret Save Point on the left.  Examine the transport pod in the center of the room.  Choose to sit down to reach the 2nd floor.  Above, use the Flare DP then enter the control room. 

After fighting more Esthar Soldiers, peer through the window to see little Ellone trapped below.  Fiddle with the center panel until you unlock the lower door.  Ride the pod down and enter the room to rescue little Ellone.

ESTHAR CITY

  • Magazines:  Occult Fan IV, Pet Pals Vols. 5 & 6
  • Rare Cards:  Ward
  • Key Items:  Force Armlet

The party wakes up and is driven to the Presidential Palace.  When you regain control of Squall, challenge Dr. Odine to a card game.  The starting rule in Esthar is ‘Elemental’.  Agree to mix rules so that you spread ‘Open’.  Keep playing Dr. Odine until you win the Ward card.  Speak with Odine’s Assistant, who suggests touring the city before going to the Lunar Gate.  Leave the room and head right to reach a transport pod.  Ride up and exit the Palace.  Throughout Esthar, you’ll discover many transport pods offering shortcuts to different areas.  Until you become familiar with the city’s weird layout, I suggest walking. 

Move forward to the highway and use the Blizzard DP if you wish.  From here, head left 2x to reach an intersection with a dog.  Go south and talk to the Presidential Aide taking a break near the Air Station (currently closed).  After talking to the Presidential Aide, return to the Palace.  Once inside, speak with the Secretary near the door.  When he leaves, examine the spot where he was standing to get ‘Occult Fan IV’. 

Leave the Palace and return to the intersection where the Presidential Aide is standing.  Once there, head south to find a Save Point in the middle of the road.  After using it, proceed to the next screen.  The southern path leads to Odine’s Lab, which is currently closed, but use the Quake DP at the entrance if you wish.  Back on the highway, continue heading east to another intersection.

The southern route allows you to leave the city.  For now, head right to get to the Shopping Mall.  Use the Tornado DP in the corner then approach either wall to bring up a Store Directory menu.  Some shops give you items simply for visiting (if you’re really lucky, you’ll get a Rosetta Stone).  Two shops are closed, but repeat visits will eventually open them:

1.  RinRin’s Pet Shop - Buy Pet Pals, Vols. 5 & 6 and a Force Armlet (for Rinoa’s weapon upgrade)
2.  Cloud’s Item Shop - Stock up on potions and ammo
3.  Johnny’s Item Shop - Currently closed, but come back later to buy rare potions
4.  Don Juan’s Junk Shop - Upgrade your weapons here
5.  Karen’s Book Store - Buy any magazines you don’t already have
6.  Cheryl’s Store - Currently closed, but come back later to buy rare items & tools

When you’re done shopping, head north past the orange cones to a T-intersection.  Follow the western path up a short staircase and at the next intersection, head north (the southern route leads back to Odine’s Lab).  When you reach the front of the Palace, head east to a 3-way intersection.

Head southeast to get to the top of the overpass.  Talk to the person dressed in red.  After he/she scurries off, go south.  Climb the stairs on the left (the lower route leads back to the city exit) and use the Curaga DP on top.  Head west to reach the center of the city.  Talk to the locals gathered there then continue west and talk to the soldier standing on the busy highway.  Further west brings you back to the intersection with the dog. 

If you want to save your game, head south from the dog.  From there, go east then south to reach the City Entrance. Once there, you can rent a car or step on the center platform to exit the city on foot.

ESTHAR REGION / TEARS’ POINT

  • GFs:  Doomtrain
  • Key Items:  Solomon’s Ring

Move through the maze of blue and red paths (representing Esthar’s highway system) until you reach the outer field.  If you check your map, you’ll find 4 new locations near Esthar City:  Lunatic Pandora Laboratory, Sorceress Memorial, Lunar Gate, and Tears’ Point.  Before meeting Dr. Odine at the Lunar Gate, definitely visit Tears’ Point.

Save frequently while roaming the fields around Esthar, as you may come across deadly Malboros.  Though rare, these creatures cast Bad Breath - a spell that causes every kind of status malady you can imagine.  Those who are not properly equipped against Confuse, Berserk, Poison, Silence, Break, Darkness and Sleep will not last very long.  If you encounter any and survive, mug Malboro Tentacles from them (ideally, 9) so Quistis can learn Bad Breath and upgrade her weapon.  Plus you’ll need 6 more to acquire a GF.  Remember to cure your characters after any Malboro encounters.

Tears’ Point is located southeast of Esthar City.  Use the Life DP at the entrance then approach the giant statue at the end.  Once there, you’ll find a Reflect DP on the left and a small object on the ground to the right.  Examine it to acquire the Solomon Ring.  The ring houses GF Doomtrain but to release him, you’ll need the following ingredients:

                  6x Malboro Tentacles = Mug Malboros or mod Malboro cards
                  6x Steel Pipes = Mug Wendigos or mod Elastoid cards
                  6x Remedy+ = Use Alexander’s ‘Med LV Up’ ability to refine Remedies

Collect the ingredients as soon as you can because GF Doomtrain is awesome.

LUNAR GATE

Head northeast from Tears’ Point to get to the Lunar Gate.  Enter the complex then follow the girl who says she’s been waiting for you.  Inside the launch room, Zell volunteers to stay behind and look after Edea.  Choose to trust him.  Form a party consisting of Squall, Rinoa, and one other person (other than Zell or Edea).  You won’t be doing much fighting up in space, so select whoever needs the least leveling up.  Enter the capsule and watch the blast-off sequence.

When you take control of Zell, exit the complex.  Select a 3rd party member to join Edea and Zell then head back to Esthar City (remember to junction everyone).  Navigate the exterior highway system to reach the center building.  Save your game outside before entering.

ESTHAR CITY

  • Magazines:  Combat King 004

From the City Entrance, head west 2x then go south to reach Odine’s Laboratory.  Once inside, sit on the transport pod to ride up.  Enter the control room and talk to Dr. Odine, who explains that Lunatic Pandora will be passing over the city shortly.  In order to board it, you must reach one of its contact points within a certain period of time.  Press [Square] to view the 3 locations:

15:00 - 12:00 = Pandora takes 5-8 minutes to reach the City Center
10:00 - 5:00 = Pandora takes 10-15 minutes to reach the road where 2 skyways meet
3:00 - 0:00 = Pandora takes 17-20 minutes to reach a road block, north of the Mall

If you miss all 3 contact points, you will not be able to board Lunatic Pandora.  The timer starts as soon as you exit Odine’s Lab and you’ll be fighting several enemies as you go, so factor that in.  The fastest route to the City Center (1st contact point) is as follows:

Exit Odine’s Laboratory and move forward to the highway.  Go left twice.  On the third screen, head north.  Go right twice.  Talk to the Esthar Soldier running on the highway to get ‘Combat King 004’ then head right once more.  Wait for Lunatic Pandora to arrive at the City Center (near the blue vehicle).  When it does, defeat a couple of Galbadian Soldiers then climb up to board it.

LUNATIC PANDORA

  • Magazines:  Combat King 005
  • Key Items:  Power Generator, Spd-J

What you did with Laguna’s team on Disc 1 affects the areas accessible to you now.  The following assumes you had Laguna trigger all traps in the Centra Excavation Site:

Use the Meteor DP on the stairs then go up to the lobby.  Once there, use the Curaga DP then enter red Elevator #3.  On top, move towards the bottom of the screen and climb down the ladder.  Use the Confuse DP and search the tube on the right to receive a hidden ‘Luv Luv’ item.  Head left twice to reach 3 open traps.  Look inside each one to find a Power Generator, Phoenix Pinion, and Silence DP.  Continue heading left to find ‘Combat King 005’ on the ground.  Look for a hidden Ultima DP at the end of the path then backtrack to the red elevator.

Ride down to the lobby and enter green Elevator #1.  On top, use the Holy DP and search inside the hole on the left to get a ‘Spd-J’ scroll.  Continue heading north to a Save Point.  After using it, proceed until the party is unceremoniously ejected from Lunatic Pandora.  Watch the scene that follows.

LUNAR BASE

  • Rare Cards:  Alexander, Laguna

After Squall reaches the lunar dock, speak with the man in the white lab coat (Piet).  Pick up Rinoa and follow Piet into the Med Lab on the left.  Place Rinoa in the back chamber then save your game.  Exit the Lab and proceed down the hall, past the staircase, until you reach the Control Room.  Check the console near your party member to see that the ‘Lunar Cry’ is about to begin.

In order to advance the Card Queen quest, you must win the Alexander card from Piet while he’s in the Control Room.  Since Lunar Base uses ALL card rules, it’ll be tough getting it.  After one or two games, Piet usually abolishes one of the rules (hopefully ‘Random’) – just make sure to save your game in the Med Lab before playing him.

After winning the Alexander card, save your game again.  Go upstairs and enter the room at the end to find Ellone.  Before talking to her, challenge her to a card game.  Keep playing Ellone until you win the Laguna card.  Talk to Ellone until she agrees to join you.  Escort her downstairs and head right.

When the alarm sounds, go to the Med Lab to find Rinoa in a possessed state.  Squall will be repelled if he tries to touch her, so simply follow Rinoa to the Control Room.  When she leaves, examine the red monitor to see the result of her actions.  Leave the Control Room and go upstairs.  Peer out the window for a scene then enter the room to the north.  Open one of the lockers to change into a spacesuit then enter the airlock door on the left.  Try to float into space, only to be denied.  Float back down and exit the Locker Room.

Watch a scene in the hall then return to the Control Room.  Once there, talk to Piet to trigger more scenes.  Speak with Ellone then follow her to the elevator.  Ride down to a Save Point.  After using it, board the Escape Pod. 

Talk to Ellone then step inside the open capsule to trigger more scenes.  When they end, climb up the ladder to go out into space.  When you finally get to Squall’s POV, you must reach Rinoa before oxygen runs out.  Use the D-Pad to keep Rinoa in the center of the screen and press [Triangle] to speed up your movement.  After being reunited, the couple boards the Ragnarok.

RAGNAROK AIRSHIP

Save your game then examine the panel on the left to close the airlock.  Go through the door for a scene then exit the room to discover you’re not alone.  There are 8 Propagators on the airship, two of each color (Purple, Red, Green, Yellow). 

To permanently eliminate them, you must slay the matching pair while dodging other colors.  All Propagators revive if you kill them out of sequence.  Start by heading right and killing the purple Propagator at the bottom of the stairs (remember to junction).

BOSS >> PROPAGATOR
HP 1,100 – 5,200 / AP 5
Draw:  Thundaga, Curaga, Esuna, Life

Strategy:  All Propagators share the same stats so repeat whatever works the first time. They are weak to most status ailments but can cause a few of their own.  If both Squall and Rinoa have decent strength, the fights will be relatively effortless.  Put the creatures to sleep so that you have time to draw and stock spells.

After killing the purple Propagator, enter the big circular door in back.  Run to the left before the red Propagator catches you.  Fight the second purple Propagator in the adjacent room.  Now go for the red pair.  Defeat the red Propagator in the previous room then backtrack to the staircase.  Go upstairs to find the second red Propagator patrolling the hall.  Locate the green aliens next.

Go downstairs and enter the door in the far right corner.  Defeat the green Propagator inside then use the Save Point it was guarding.  Exit the room and enter the circular door again.  Head west to find the second green Propagator sitting on a platform.  Beat it then enter the Passenger Room on the left.  A yellow Propagator charges as soon as you step inside.  After ridding it, you can examine a console in the Passenger Room, though it’ll only tell you what you already know:  Kill aliens in pairs.

Head south to release the Security Lock and proceed to the airlock (where you first entered the ship) to find the last yellow alien.  After clearing the ship of all Propagators, walk back down the hall and re-enter the room next to the Life DP.  Step on the elevator platform to ascend.  Watch a sweet scene inside the cockpit.

After Rinoa’s departure, re-board the Ragnarok and head left.  Enter the Passenger Room to meet up with your comrades.  When the conversation ends, go up to the cockpit to find Selphie in the pilot’s seat.  Whenever she’s in your party, other teammates will fly the airship. 

The Ragnarok starts out in Kashkabald Desert.  It can land on practically any terrain with the exception of forests and water.  Additionally, you can select any marked location on the map and fly directly to it.   Start by getting Rinoa back.  Press [Select] to bring up the map and click on ‘Sorceress Memorial’ to fly there.

SORCERESS MEMORIAL

Enter the complex and use the Stop DP on the left.  Approach the sentries to get inside.  Enter the room on the left.  After rescuing Rinoa, leave the Memorial.  Back in the cockpit, Rinoa suggests heading to Edea’s House.   Before going there, feel free to explore the world now that you have an airship (see Optional sections, below):

CACTUAR ISLAND - OPTIONAL

  • GFs:  Jumbo Cactuar

Board the Ragnarok and return to Kashkabald Desert in Centra.  Land on the small island to the east.  Once there, you’ll see a Cactuar randomly appearing and disappearing.  Junction Water to Elemental Attack, remove ‘Mug’, and save your game before tagging the green fellow.

BOSS >> GF JUMBO CACTUAR
HP 33,000 – 330,000 / AP 20
Draw: Meltdown, Demi, Tornado

Strategy:   Draw and cast Meltdown on the boss right away to reduce its Vitality to 0.  Blast it with water spells and Leviathan, plus any high level magic in your arsenal.  When the GF uses its lethal 10,000 Needles attack, immediately revive the fallen character.  Take advantage of low HP to have Limit Breaks kick in, but don’t get into a position where the entire party is at risk.  Slow the boss or Hasten the party to win the upper hand.  When the GF’s health falls below 5%, a message appears, saying: “Jumbo Cactuar is hesitating”.  At this point, cease all weak attacks and do massive damage.  Otherwise, it’ll run away and you’ll have to start all over again.

Once defeated, you acquire GF Jumbo Cactuar as well as a Gaea’s Ring (if you removed ‘Mug’).  Junction him to whoever will most benefit from the 5 Level-Up bonuses he has already learned.  Feel free to stick around to fight little Cactuars on the island, as each offers 20 AP.

DEEP SEA RESEARCH CENTER, PT. 1 – OPTIONAL

  • GFs:  Bahamut
  • Rare Cards:  Bahamut

Put Zell in your party and fly to the southwestern corner of the ocean.  When you reach the edge of the map, look for a structure jutting out of the water.  Land on top of it and press X to enter.

Follow the exterior walkway into a room.  On the right, you’ll see a spinning blue orb that randomly flashes on and off.  Move only when the light is turned off and keep inching your way towards the blue core.  If you move when the light is on, enemies attack.

Upon reaching the core, examine it and select the 1st option (“It’s not our will to fight.”)  Defeat the Ruby Dragon that appears.  Cast Meltdown and try putting it to sleep before it has a chance to use its Breath attack, which causes substantial fire damage.  Heal frequently because you will be fighting 3 consecutive battles.

After defeating the first Ruby Dragon, re-examine the core and select, “Never” to engage another one.  The second Ruby Dragon starts off with a back attack, so immediately heal the party.  Repeat whatever worked the first time to eliminate it.  If you acquired GF Odin from the Centra Ruins, he often steps in to help.  Examine the core again.  This time, pick the hidden option, below the other two (“It’s our nature.”) to bring forth the true boss.

BOSS >> GF BAHAMUT
HP 10,800 – 90,000 / AP 40
Draw: Flare, Curaga, Full-life, Dispel

Strategy:  Start by casting Blind on Bahamut, followed by Slow.  This will take care of his regular swipes, allowing more time to Shell and Hasten the party.  The only attack to watch out for is Mega Flare, which shaves about 4000 HP those without Shell.  Cast Meltdown on Bahamut and use Aura on Squall to prompt his Limit Break.  Mug a Hyper Wrist if you can, though he’ll probably drop one after the battle.

Once defeated, you’ll acquire GF Bahamut, plus his card.  Bahamut can learn Mug and Auto-Protect, so assign him to someone who can benefit from those.  Although ‘Rare Item’ might seem valuable to learn, it actually reduces the chance of getting useful items (pretty ironic, I know).

Leave the Research Center and board the Ragnarok.  Talk to your comrades in the cockpit.  Doing so unlocks a new area in the Research Center.  Bring Zell along for the next part:

DEEP SEA RESEARCH CENTER, PT. 2 – OPTIONAL

  • GFs:  Eden
  • Rare Cards:  Eden

Re-enter the building and use the Save Point next to the big hole in the ground.  Climb down the gnarled roots to reach the lower floor.  Below, use the Dispel DP then examine the terminal next to the floor hatch.  You’ll learn that you need to distribute steam units efficiently to access the lower levels.  Say “Yes” to spend 4 units now.  After the floor hatch opens, descend to Level 2. 

Expect random enemy encounters from now on.  While fighting Tri-Faces, mug Curse Spikes from them, which can be refined into many useful things.  Continue expending steam units to open hatches as follows:

On Level 2, use 1 steam unit at the terminal
On Level 3, use 1 steam unit at the terminal
On Level 4, use 1 steam unit at the terminal
On Level 5, use 1 steam unit at the terminal

Ride the platform down to Level 6.  Allow Zell to fiddle with the steam mechanism (2nd option).  Doing so opens the left door and saves you 4 steam units.  Pass through and use the Save Point behind the columns.  Follow the broken path deeper into the ruins.  Use a Triple DP along the way and continue winding down until you get to the very bottom. 

Once there, equip Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ ability to reveal a hidden Save Point.  Use it before examining the console on the right.  You need 10 steam units to activate it.

BOSS >> ULTIMA WEAPON
HP 51,100 – 160,000 / AP 100
Draw: Regen, Dispel, Ultima, Eden (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Eden right away, then summon Cerberus to put your party in Triple state.  Cast Shell on everyone, followed by Haste and perhaps Aura.  Ultima Weapon is extremely fast and immune to all status ailments, except Meltdown.  Its unblockable Light Pillar attack causes 9,999 HP damage, so you’ll be reviving characters frequently.  When it’s not using Light Pillar, the boss casts Gravija, Quake, and Meteor.  Unleash Limit Breaks and if you can spare a few turns, draw some Ultima spells.  Try mugging a ‘Three Stars’ as well.

After the difficult battle, you’ll acquire GF Eden, Ultima Stones x100, and Eden’s card.  Additionally, your SeeD rank increases by 1 level.  Note that Eden is the only GF capable of doing 5-digit damage.  It also has a unique ability called Devour that allows you to ‘eat’ certain enemies to boost stats (T-Rexaurs, for example, yield Strength +1).

Junction the new GF, save your game, and backtrack to the exit.  Use the Ultima DP on your way up.  The spiral path will be void of enemies once Ultima Weapon is gone, but there are still a few stragglers up on the hangar levels.  Climb up the roots and re-board the airship.

UFO SIGHTINGS - OPTIONAL

  • Rare Cards:  PuPu
  • Key Items:  Aegis Amulet

While traveling, you may have seen a UFO flying by.  Encounter it once in 4 different locations to advance the quest (equip ‘Enc-None’ to avoid unwanted battles in each area):

1.  Mandy Beach (search the shore east of Timber)
2.  Winhill Bluffs (search near the town of Winhill)
3.  Heath Peninsula (search the tiny island east of Trabia Garden)
4.  Kashkabald Desert (search the sand dunes)

Once you’ve sighted the UFO 4 times, fly to Grandidi Forest, which is north of Esthar.  Land the airship on the northernmost cliff (above Chocobo Sanctuary).  Walk around until you encounter the UFO.  This time you have to fight it.  You’ll get an Aegis Amulet (teaches GF ‘Eva-J’) after it crashes to the ground. 

After beating the UFO, acquire 5 Elixirs - purchase them from Johnny’s Shop in Esthar City, or use Alexander’s ‘Forbidden Med’ ability to further refine Remedy-Pluses.  Once you have the Elixirs, junction the ‘Item’ command and fly to Balamb.  Examine the spot where Garden used to sit.

When PuPu arrives, do not harm the adorable alien.  Instead, feed it Elixirs until Pupu thanks you and dashes off.  After the encounter, you’ll receive PuPu’s card, which is one of a kind.

DOLLET / TIMBER / BALAMB CITY – OPTIONAL

  • Rare Cards:  Doomtrain

If you won the Alexander card from Piet, stop by Dollet to advance the Card Queen Quest.  Once there, challenge the girl in the Hotel lobby and decline to mix rules each time she asks.  When she stops asking to mix, play a game with her to reaffirm the ‘Open’ rule.  Now walk down to the Pub.

Save your game on the 2nd floor then challenge the Card Queen and intentionally lose the Alexander card.  Talk to her afterwards.  If she says she’s moving to Balamb, great.  If not, reboot and try again.  If unwanted results keep happening, play a few card games with locals to try and reset the odds.

After sending the Card Queen to Balamb, go down the block and challenge her son to win back the Alexander card.  Leave Dollet and fly to Timber.

Enter Timber and make your way over to the Pub.  Challenge the Pub Owner (on the right) to a game of cards.  Keep playing him until you win the Doomtrain card created by the Queen’s father.  Now leave Timber and fly to Balamb City.

In Balamb City, decline to mix rules If you are carrying the ‘Same’ rule from Timber.  After re-establishing the solo ‘Open’ rule, challenge the Card Queen at her usual spot near the Train Station.  Intentionally lose the Doomtrain card you just received.  Get the Card Queen to move back to Dollet one last time.

Fly to Dollet and talk to the Card Queen on the 2nd floor of the Pub.  Ask about her artist father to learn that he created a new card and gave it to an official in Esthar.  Before leaving Dollet, play the Queen’s son to win back the Doomtrain card.

OBEL LAKE GHOST, PT. 2 - OPTIONAL

  • Key Items:  Luck-J, Three Stars

Obel Lake is north of Timber.  If you haven’t completed the first part of the Obel Lake Ghost quest, click here and complete it now.  After getting the message: “The rock skipped many many times”, look for 4 stones with inscriptions in the following areas:

1.  The forest west of Dollet (throw rocks at Mr. Monkey until you find one with a clue)
2.  Mandy Beach (search tiny island east of Timber, near Horizon Bridge)
3.  Balamb (search the shoreline)
4.  On the cliff above Galbadia’s waterfall (search for a nest and defeat two Thrustavius)
 
After finding the 4 stones, return to Obel Lake and ‘hum’ to present them to the ghost.  Once the inscriptions are rearranged, you’ll get clues suggesting you explore the Mordred Plains and Eldbeak Peninsula.

Fly to the Mordred Plains, north of Esthar City, and land the Ragnarok near the shore.  Equip ‘Enc-None’ while searching the middle of the plains to avoid random battles.  Eventually, you’ll come across a bunch of talking rocks.  Each color points you in a different direction.  The red rocks always lie, so go in the opposite direction they tell you to.  The tricky part is that you need to move one step at a time; otherwise you’ll be wandering in circles for hours.  When you finally come across a red rock that says, “The treasure is not here”, search the spot again to get a ‘Three Stars’.

Now fly to Eldbeak Peninsula, which is on the southwestern coast of Trabia.  Search the southern tip for a message that says: “TRETIMEASUREATMINOFFDEISLE.”  To get the treasure it refers to, fly to Minde Island, which is directly north of the Kashkabald Desert.  Search the tiny island thoroughly to receive a ‘Luck-J’ scroll.

SHUMI VILLAGE, PT. 3 - OPTIONAL

Pay to use the Ultima DP again then check on the Sculptor in the workshop.  Laguna’s statue should be finished by now.  If so, watch a scene in the workroom, during which the Master Fisherman from FH arrives if you completed his quest.  Talk to the Elder afterwards.  Head back towards the elevator room to trigger a final scene.

ISLANDS CLOSEST TO HEAVEN / HELL - OPTIONAL

  • Draw Points:  Aura, Full-life, Tornado, Quake, Flare, Meteor, Holy, Ultima, Triple

There are two islands in the world that offer a plethora of hidden DPs, as well as fierce enemies (all at Level 100) that offer great EXP/AP.  Many drop rare items needed for weapon upgrading.  Before tackling either island, remove ‘Mug’ and junction characters with as many Status Defenses as you can.

The Island Closest to Heaven is east of Grandidi Forest, in the northern regions of Esthar.  Search the cluster of small, green islands off the eastern coast until you land on the right one.  Before fighting, equip Diablos’ ‘Enc-None’ to draw all of the spells.  Save your game frequently while doing battle with the island’s tough inhabitants.

The Island Closest to Hell is west of Deling City.  Land the airship on the long island furthest to the northwest.  The DPs on both islands recover quickly so return often to stock up on high-level spells.

EDEA’S ORPHANAGE

When you are ready to advance the story, put Rinoa in your party and fly to Edea’s House.  Once inside, follow Angelo to a field of flowers on the left.  During Squall’s conversation with Rinoa, Zell arrives with news from Esthar.  Listen to what Edea has to say before heading out.  Zell automatically replaces your 3rd party member so check junctions before flying to Esthar City.

ESTHAR CITY

  • Rare Cards:  Squall, Phoenix
  • Key Items:  Energy Crystals, Moon Stones

Land the Ragnarok on top of Esthar’s Air Station tower and press X to enter.  Since the city’s transport pods are no longer working, you’ll have to manage on foot.  Expect random encounters along the way.  One enemy respawns and is well worth fighting to get rare Energy Crystals and Moonstones.  More on this later...

To reach the Presidential Palace, move forward from the Air Station then go north 2x.  Turn east when you can and, finally, north to enter.  Ride the pod up to the main level.  Head left past the first door to reach the President’s private room.  Talk to the guards to gain admittance.

Play cards with Esthar’s President (surprise!) before asking any questions.  After winning Squall’s card, ask whatever questions you like, ending with the mission plan.  When Odine finishes his long-winded explanation, talk to the President and agree to do the mission.  The briefing continues aboard the Ragnarok. 

At this point, finish side quests and thoroughly explore the world before approaching Lunatic Pandora, which is hovering above Tears’ Point.  Once you board the Pandora, time bends and most areas become unavailable.    Start by returning to Esthar City to complete the Card Queen quest (and to find the creature that respawns): 

From the Air Station, make your way back to the Presidential Palace (north 2x then east).  Once there, enter the first room.  Challenge the Presidential Aide to a game of cards.  Keep playing him until you win the Phoenix card.  This card is the last one related to the Card Queen quest.  Congratulations! 

Leave the Palace and walk down to the highway.   Head west then go south to reach the intersection where the dog used to be.  Although the dog is gone, there’s a fishy looking figure (dressed in black) sitting on the right.  Talk to the fishy man, who turns out be a powerful Elnoyle.

FIXED ENCOUNTER >> ELNOYLE
HP (varies) / AP (varies)
Draw:  Pain, Double, Holy

Strategy:  Cast Meltdown then pummel the creature with wind-based magic.  If you junction Death x100 to Status Attack, there’s a 20% chance you can kill it instantly.  Blind the Elnoyle and try putting it to sleep, gaining time to heal and draw Holy spells.  If the Elnoyle is Lv.30 or above (use Scan to check), there’s a good chance it will drop rare Energy Crystals or Moon Stones.  Both are required for final weapon upgrades, and Energy Crystals can be refined into Pulse Ammo.  Make sure to remove the ‘Mug’ ability beforehand; otherwise Elnoyles won’t drop the good stuff.

After beating the Elnoyle, exit the screen and re-enter to respawn the ‘fishy man’.  Fight as many times as you want – just make sure to heal the party in between battles.  Note that this fixed encounter will not be available in Disc 4, so gather as many rare materials as you can right now.  Before leaving Esthar, go to the Shopping Mall to see if the other two shops have opened yet.

UPGRADING WEAPONS - OPTIONAL

Gather materials and upgrade weapons to their highest levels:

Name Items Needed How To Get Items (sample)
Squall’s Lion Heart Adamantine x1
Dragon Fang x4
Pulse Ammo x12
Dropped by Adamantoise / Card mod Minotaur
Dropped by Blue Dragon
Refine Energy Crystals, Laser Cannons
Zell’s Ehrgeiz Adamantine x1
Dragon Skin x4
Fury Fragment x1
Dropped by Adamantoise / Card mod Minotaur
Dropped by Anacondaur
Card mod Blue Dragon
Rinoa’s Shooting Star Windmill x2
Regen Ring x1
Force Armlet x1
Energy Crystals x2
Mug Thrustaevis, Abyss Worm
Dropped by Chimera, Vysage
Buy in Esthar’s Pet Shop
Dropped by Elnoyle
Quistis’ Save the Queen Malboro Tentacle x2
Sharp Spike x4
Energy Crystals x4
Dropped by Malboro
Dropped by Grand Mantis
Dropped by Elnoyle
Selphie’s Strange Vision Adamantine x1
Star Fragment x3
Curse Spike x2
Dropped by Adamantoise / Card mod Minotaur
Dropped by Iron Giant
Mug Tri-Face
Irvine’s Exeter Dino Bone x2
Moon Stone x1
Star Fragment x2
Screws x18
Dropped by T-Rexaur
Dropped by Elnoyle, Torama
Dropped by Iron Giant
Dropped by Geezard


Note that any rare cards destroyed (except PuPu) using Quezacotl’s ‘Card Mod’ can be regained later on.  Most of the enemies listed above are found on the Heaven/Hell Islands, in the Deep Sea Research Center, or around Esthar, but some species (Lv.30+ versions) need to be fought elsewhere:

- Abyss Worm (Kashkabald Desert) – drop Windmills
- Adamantoise (Long Horn Island) – tough to find but they drop Adamantines
- Anacondaur (Eastern Forest) – drop Dragon Skins
- Grand Mantis (Centra region) – drop Sharp Spikes

TEARS’ POINT / LUNATIC PANDORA

When you’re ready to advance the story, pilot the Ragnarok over to Lunatic Pandora, which is floating directly above Tears’ Point in Esthar.  Make sure you’ve completed everything you need to do in cities and towns before approaching it, since they will all be gone shortly.  After a scene, bash into Pandora to automatically enter.

BOSS >> RAIJIN
HP 5,400 - 22,200 / AP 12
Draw: Thundara, Thundaga, Protect, Shell

BOSS >> FUJIN
HP 5,300 - 17,900 / AP 8
Draw: Aero, Curaga, Full-life, Tornado

Strategy:  Cast Blind on Raijin and Sleep on Fujin to avoid most of their attacks.  While awake, Fujin will Hasten herself so break it using Dispel.  Her Sai attack reduces a character’s HP to 1.  Mug a Megalixir from Fujin but avoid mugging Raijin (his drop is better).  Draw and stock any spells you’re missing.  Finish them off with Limit Breaks or GFs. 

After the battle, move forward to the next screen.  Approach Biggs and Wedge, who no longer wish to fight.  Use the Save Point and enter the tube on the left.  Move past the intersection and ride Elevator #2 down to the lobby.

Once there, enter Elevator #1 and ride up.  Follow the path until you reach a Save Point.  Make preparations and save before heading north.

BOSS >> MOBILE TYPE 8
HP 30,300 – 42,300 / AP 40
Draw: Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga, Flare

BOSS >> LEFT PROBE / RIGHT PROBE
HP 9,000 each / AP 0
Draw: Curaga, Demi / Curaga, Esuna

Strategy:  Cast Cerberus to put the party in Triple status, so that a single person can heal everyone with Curaga.  When the boss is in ‘Mobile Weaponry Attack’ mode, it’ll retaliate against all physical attacks aimed at the main body.  Use thunder-based spells against it until the boss switches to ‘Support Weaponry Attack’ mode.  While in this mode, the boss uses Corona to decrease everyone’s HP to 1.  Quickly heal the party before Megido Flame wipes everyone out.  Make sure to mug both Probes to get ‘Vit Up’ and ‘Str Up’ potions before ending the battle.

WARNING:  You’re at a point in the game where there’s no turning back.  If you haven’t finished all side quests related to towns (including the CC Group Quest), re-board the Ragnarok and complete them now.  When ready, move forward to face your old foe.

BOSS >> SEIFER
HP 3,700 – 34,500 / AP 40
Draw: Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga, Aura

Strategy:  If you obtained GF Odin, he’ll arrive at the beginning of battle, only to be vanquished.  As usual, Seifer is a pushover.  Keep mugging him until you get a Hero or Holy War then finish him off with a Meltdown/Limit Break combo.  Odin will re-appear and finish the fight for you in his new incarnation, Gilgamesh.

After the battle, pick a replacement for Rinoa (if she was in your party) then save and switch to Disc 4.

D I S C   F O U R

LUNATIC PANDORA / COMMENCEMENT ROOM

  • Draw Points:  Break

Return to the previous screen and climb the ladder on the right.  Use the smaller ladder to reach a hidden Break DP then descend and walk up the white pole.  On top, equip Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ to reveal a Save Point near the door.  Use it before entering.

BOSS >> ADEL
HP 6,000 – 15,000 / AP 0
Draw: Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga / Dispel, Regen (Rinoa)

Strategy:  The goal here is to defeat Adel while keeping Rinoa alive, so avoid using Limit Breaks, GFs, or spells that harm both people.  Adel will continually drain Rinoa’s health to cure herself.  Offset this by casting Regen on Rinoa and heal her periodically.  Shell the party to diminish Adel’s arsenal of magical attacks (including Ultima) and maintain the party’s health.  If you can spare the time, mug Adel to receive a Samantha Soul.

After the battle, the party is transported through time.  Move past fake Save Points in the hallway and enter the Commencement Room.  Once inside, the party must battle a series of weak Sorceresses.  Fight normally until the final Sorceress arrives.

BOSS >> SORCERESS
HP 32,000 (max) / AP 55
Draw: Flare, Holy

Strategy:  The final Sorceress will count down to Ultima, so Shell the party before she uses it.  Her counterattacks cause about 1,000 HP damage – nothing too serious.  Hit her with Meltdown then summon Bahamut or Eden to finish her off.

ROAD TO ULTIMECIA’S CASTLE

The party ends up at the Orphanage but during another era.  Walk down to the beach and watch as time bends.  Move past the fallen White SeeDs to find a huge chain leading up to Ultimecia’s Castle.  Use the Triple DP on the beach then walk up the chain to find 3 portals.  Here’s where they lead:

-  Upper portal:  Grandidi Forest (Esthar region)
-  Middle portal:  Serengetti Plains (Centra region)
-  Lower portal:  Wilburn Hill (Galbadia region)

If you’re ready to complete the game, ignore the portals and continue up the chain.  If you want to retrieve the Ragnarok and do some exploring (recommended), go through the middle portal.  Press X to jump across the gap.

TIME-COMPRESSED WORLD - OPTIONAL

No matter which portal you go through, you’ll find a corresponding portal on the other side, allowing quick access back to the chain.  Open the map and you’ll see a red dot marking the Ragnarok’s current location in Kashkabald Desert.  To reach it, you’ll need a Chocobo.  Though you can fetch one in Grandidi Forest, the Centra route is easier:

After emerging from the middle portal, head towards the small mountain on the northeastern tip of Centra’s crater.  Follow the narrow path around the side of the mountain to find a Chocobo Forest.  If you completed the Chocobo Forests quest earlier, your feathered friend will already be waiting for you.  If not, pay 1200 gil to have the boy catch one for you.

Mount the Chocobo and head south.  Cross shallow waters to get to Edea’s Orphanage.  Once there, you’ll notice a barrier around it.  All cities and towns are similarly blocked off.  Ride northeast and look for a gap in the mountains that you can pass through.  Head towards the red dot on the map to find the Ragnarok.  Nearby, you’ll see a 4th portal leading back to Ultimecia’s Castle.  Keep it in mind for later. 

Although limited, feel free to explore areas that remain open:

-  Deep Sea Research Center
-  Centra Ruins
-  Chocobo Forests
-  Tomb of the Unknown King
-  Tears’ Point
-  Fire Cavern
-  Trabia Canyon

Also, restock spells on the Heaven/Hell Islands and farm Cactuars until your GFs have learned all skills.  At some point, return to the cockpit.

RAGNAROK AIRSHIP - OPTIONAL

  • Rare Cards:  All (except PuPu)

If you completed the CC Group quest, Xu will greet the party and explain that all of Balamb Garden’s elite card players are on board.  Each uses a different region’s rules:

Joker Elevator room Centra rules
Jack Side hangar Balamb rules
Club Airlock hallway Dollet rules
Right Diamond Stairwell Trabia rules
Left Diamond Stairwell Trabia rules (unless Queen ended up in Shumi Village)
Spade Save Point hangar FH rules
Heart Entrance Esthar rules
King Cockpit Lunar Base rules

Joker also sells items in case you want to buy anything.  The Left Diamond girl holds any rare cards you refined or missed (except PuPu), though she’ll only play one at a time.  If you sent the Card Queen to Shumi Village (and left her there), you can get the Left Diamond girl to play by rules other than Trabia’s.  To do that, locate the Queen.

FINDING THE CARD QUEEN - OPTIONAL

To find the Card Queen, fly to the Abadan Plains, which is directly south of Tears’ Point.  Save your game after landing.  Search the plains until you enter an invisible area.  The Card Queen will be standing next to an Escape Pod.

If you challenge the Card Queen here, she will randomly pick rules she wants to play by.  The Left Diamond girl aboard the Ragnarok will inherit whatever rules you leave with.  This only happens if the Queen ended up in Shumi Village at the end of Disc 3. 

ULTIMECIA’S CASTLE

  • GFs:  Siren, Leviathan, Pandemona, Carbuncle, Cerberus, Alexander, Eden
  • Key Items:  Rocket Engine, Elem Atk, Diamond Armor, Elem Guard, Magic Armlet, Status Atk, Status Guard, Rosetta Stone

When you’re ready to complete the game, fly back to one of the portals and enter.  Walk up the chain and use the Flare DP near the Save Point.  After saving, the party must divide into 2 groups (which will be referred to as ‘Main Party’ and ‘Secondary Party’ below).  Your Main Party should contain more men than women, not due to strength per se, but because of ‘weight’.

As soon as you step inside the Castle, 8 commands are sealed off (Item, Magic, GF, Draw, Abilities, Limit Break, Resurrection, and Save), leaving you with nothing but ‘Attack’.  The goal is to reclaim the commands, one at a time, by defeating 8 bosses that reside within.  Throughout the process, characters retain their junctioned status so feel free to shift parameters depending on which boss you’re facing.  In addition to bosses, the Castle is filled with random enemies – a few from every region.

The green Switch Point in the foyer is one of many scattered throughout.  Stepping on them allows you to swap parties, or change individual members.  Although there are a number of ways to clear the Castle, this guide assumes you’ll be using the Main Party to do most of the work.  For now, leave the Secondary Party in the foyer.

MAIN PARTY:

From the entrance, walk up the stairs to face your first boss.

BOSS >> SPHINXAUR / SPHINXARA
HP 20,000 / AP 30 
Draw: Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga, Curaga

Strategy:  Since ‘Attack’ is the only command available, just hit Sphinxaur until he falls (try to mug an Elixir).  If you have Blizzaga junctioned to Elemental Defense, you can absorb any ice magic the boss casts.

After the battle, choose a command to unseal - ideally ‘Magic’ so you can heal the party (if you didn’t get GF Siren earlier, choose ‘Draw’ instead).  Enter the door Sphinxaur was blocking and cross the chandelier, causing it to drop.  Inspect the floor hatch and descend into the cellar.   Remove ‘Mug’ since the remaining bosses have nothing to steal.

BOSS >> TRI-POINT
HP 2,400 – 22,400 / AP 30
Draw: Haste, Tornado, Blind, Siren (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Siren if you missed it; otherwise, cast Meltdown.  When you attack, Tri-Point counters with Mega Spark that takes off about 3,000 HP from everyone.  Characters protected against thunder will fair well.  Heal those that aren’t.  Hit the boss with Firaga and Blizzaga, or use physical attacks junctioned to those elements.

After the battle, unlock a 2nd command (choose ‘Draw’ or ‘Magic’ – whichever wasn’t chosen the first time).  Use the Aura DP in the upper right corner then go upstairs to the chandelier room.  Use the door on the far left to get back to the entrance hall.  Once there, climb the stairs and head east.  Enter the door to the south.  Descend the stairs and ignore the bell rope below.  Go through the door behind the Switch Point to reach the Art Gallery.

Examine 4 paintings on the 1st floor (ignore the largest one on the left) then examine 8 paintings on the 2nd Floor.  Use the Meltdown DP in the right corner, too.  After examining all 12 paintings, view the large painting on the 1st floor to bring up a list of titles.

To figure out which titles to enter, return to the 2nd floor and look at the clock painted below.  The numbers the hands point to (VIII, IIII, VI) offer clues.  The first Roman numeral matches the first letter of the painting’s title and the remaining numerals tell you how many letter ‘I’s are in the title.  Return to the large painting and enter the following titles:

                  Vividarium – starts with V and contains three I’s
                  Intervigillium – starts with I and contains four I’s
                  Viator – starts with V and contains one I

Once you’ve entered the correct titles in the proper order, Trauma will appear.

BOSS >> TRAUMA
HP 5,555 – 34,114 / AP 30
Draw: Meltdown, Leviathan (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Leviathan if needed, followed by Meltdown.  Bash away at it using physical attacks or cast Tornado.  Ignore the Dromas he summons as they come in unlimited numbers.  Heal after the boss uses Mega Pulse Cannon. 

After defeating Trauma. unlock a 3rd skill then go through the back door.  Descend the ramp behind the Switch Point to reach the Floodgate room.  Once there, enter the tunnel on the left.  Below, the door locks behind you.  Use the Full-life DP then take the Prison Key from the skeleton’s hand.

BOSS >> RED GIANT
HP 30,000 / AP 30
Draw: Demi, Pandemona (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Pandemona if needed, then cast Blind and Meltdown on the boss.  His high defense reduces the effectiveness of physical attacks.  Instead, cast Demi or summon Diablos to whittle down the Red Giant’s HP.

After defeating the Red Giant, unseal a 4th command.  Use the Prison Key to unlock the door leading back to the Floodgate room.  Climb the stairs on the left.  If you unsealed ‘Save’, go through the upper left door and follow the passageway to a Save Point (past the Cura DP).  Either way, backtrack to the entrance foyer where your comrades are waiting.  Once there, step on the green Switch Point and swap parties.

SECONDARY PARTY:

Starting in the entrance foyer, enter the door on the left.  Follow the hallway north to reach the first floor of the chandelier room.  Once there, stand on the green Switch Point to the east.  Flip the lever to stabilize the chandelier.  Swap parties.

MAIN PARTY:

Climb the stairs and enter the northern door.  Cross the stable chandelier and go through the back door to reach the Terrace.

BOSS >> KRYSTA
HP 5,200 – 16,000 / AP 30
Draw: Holy, Carbuncle (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Carbuncle (if needed) then Shell the party.  The boss is immune to ice so avoid using that element.  As usual, reduce its vitality by casting Meltdown.  Krysta will counter every attack you throw at it, with the exception of summoned GFs.  Use Doomtrain or an Aura/Limit Break combo, and heal after the boss casts Ultima.

After beating Krysta, unlock a 5th skill.  Make your way down to the party waiting on the first floor of the chandelier room.  Once there, enter the northern door to reach a Courtyard with a fountain.  Continue north past the Slow DP to reach the Chapel.

Avoid the purple smoke in the center of the Chapel and use the Dispel DP on the left.  Ignore the organ in back for now and climb the staircase on the right.  On top, carefully walk across the wooden bridge and examine the shiny object to get the Armory Key.  If it falls, don’t worry.

Now backtrack to the Floodgate room (near the Art Gallery).  If the Armory Key fell off the bridge, examine the canal to retrieve it.  Use the key to unlock the door on the right.  Once inside, use the Ultima DP on the left then approach the boss.

BOSS >> GARGANTUA
HP 10,100 – 15,400 / AP 30
Draw: Bio, Quake, Reflect, Cerberus (GF)

Strategy:  Fight the Vysage, Lefty and Righty as you normally would (Blind and Silence the trio) until the full body emerges.  If needed, draw GF Cerberus from Gargantua then pound it with Holy spells and Alexander.  Or Zombie the boss and kill it with Elixirs.  Gargantua can inflict a host of status ailments (Blind, Slow, Berserk, etc.) so rid those quickly with Esuna.  When physically attacked, he uses Counter Twist (shaves 2,000+ HP) so heal as needed.

After the battle, choose a 6th skill to unlock.  Now return to the Courtyard and check the left side of the fountain to get the Treasury Vault Key.  Once you’ve obtained it, go back to the entrance foyer.  Walk upstairs and on top head west into a new area.

Go down to the 1st floor and enter the door behind the Switch Point.  Inside the twisted corridor, look for a hidden door on the left (behind the column).  Use the Treasury Vault Key to unlock it.  Inside you’ll find a Holy DP and 4 coffins.  To get them all to open, do the following:  Open #2 / Close #3 / Open #1 / Open #4

BOSS >> CATOBLEPAS
HP 10,500 – 38500 / AP 30
Draw: Meteor, Alexander (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Alexander (if you missed him) then Blind and Meltdown the boss.  Catoblepas is weak to water and earth damage, so Brothers and Leviathan work well.  The boss mainly uses spells like Thundaga, but beware of his final Meteor attack.  Cast Shell to reduce damage.

After beating the boss, unlock a 7th command.  Head south and step on the Switch Point.  Swap parties.

SECONDARY PARTY:

From the chandelier room, make your way over to the Main Party (west, south, upstairs, west).   Pass through the twisted corridor to reach the Elevator Room on the north end.  Once inside, stand on the left Switch Point and swap parties.

MAIN PARTY:

Go upstairs and head east into the bell room.  Enter the blue door below and pass through the Art Gallery.  Upon reaching the stairwell near the Floodgate, climb up to the 2nd floor and head west.  Use the Save Point in the corridor and continue heading west to reach the opposite end of the Elevator Room.  Stand on the Switch Point to raise the other party (this only works if your Main Party has 2+ men).

SECOND PARTY:

After the party rises, head left.  Grab the Floodgate Key and use the Curaga DP inside then return to the Switch Point.  Swap to the Main Party and they will automatically inherit the key.

MAIN PARTY:

Backtrack to the Floodgate room (north of Art Gallery).  Once there, examine the lever near the left door 2x to drain the water.  Now go to the first floor of the chandelier room and head north.  Pass through the Courtyard to reach the Chapel.  Once there, move forward and examine the organ. 

Press all 8 keys simultaneously and hold them until the notes fade away.  It might take a few tries to press all controller buttons at the exact same time.  Once finished, leave the Chapel and return to the Courtyard.  Head northeast and follow the path down to a metal gate.  If you successfully played the organ, the gate bars will be lowered. 

Enter the aqueduct, which should now be drained of water, and follow the path over to a box containing a Rosetta Stone.  Use it to teach a GF ‘Ability x4’ and re-junction your party accordingly.  You can open up a shortcut to the Floodgate here but there’s no need to use it.  Instead, return to the Chapel and climb the stairs on the right.  Cross the wooden bridge and enter the door on the left (the ladder on the right leads to a dead-end).

Inside the Clock Tower, equip Siren’s ‘Move-Find’ to reveal a hidden Save Point.  Use it then start ascending.  When you reach the swinging pendulum, stand on the left side and press X to jump onto it.  Hop off and enter the opening on the ledge to emerge on a balcony.

BOSS >> TIAMAT
HP 21,200 – 89,600 / AP 30
Draw: Flare, Eden (GF)

Strategy:  Draw GF Eden (if needed) then cast Shell on the party.  Tiamat counts down to Dark Flare, which will cause about 4,000 HP damage to those unprotected.  Stick to the tried-and-true Meltdown/Aura/Limit Break technique to quickly end the battle.

Afterwards, unseal your final command and use the Triple DP in the corner.  Re-enter the Clock Tower and jump onto the pendulum to get to the other side.

OMEGA WEAPON – OPTIONAL

If you want to take on Omega Weapon before fighting the final boss, descend.  Use the Save Point on the bottom then exit the Clock Tower.  Have your Main Party head back to the Courtyard.  Once there, remove all Elemental Attack junctions and step on the green Switch Point near the fountain.  Swap to the Secondary Party.

Move the Secondary Party east, back to the room with the bell (near the Art Gallery).  Pull the rope in the lower left corner once to ring the bell then quickly step on the nearby Switch Point.  Swap parties and run to the Chapel in 60 seconds or less.  Approach Omega Weapon, who has replaced the purple mist.

BOSS >> OMEGA WEAPON
HP 111,105 – 1,161,000 / AP 250
Draw: Flare, Holy, Meteor, Ultima

Strategy:  Omega always begins by casting Lv.5 Death on the party.  Those with Death x100 junctioned to Status Defense will be immune.  The boss absorbs all elements so hopefully you removed Elem Atk junctions beforehand.  If you have any Hero items, use them to make characters invincible for a period of time.  Cast Meltdown on the boss and Hasten the party.  Omega will settle into a fixed pattern, alternating between major attacks (Meteor, Gravija, and Ultima) and lethal attacks (Megido Flame, Terra Break, and Light Pillar).  Occasionally, he’ll throw in a regular swipe.  Likewise, your turns should fall into a basic pattern:  Attack, heal, attack, revive, heal, attack, etc.  Have Squall or Irvine unleash Limit Breaks while the others support.  Use Leviathan’s ‘Recover’ ability or Megalixirs and immediately revive fallen characters.  If you have the ‘Defend’ ability junctioned, use it before the boss casts Terra Break – thus saving one member.  Although you might be tempted to draw and stock Ultima, do so at your peril.  Characters with high vitality, Auto-Protect and Auto-Shell junctioned will fair much better.  Due to Omega Weapon’s absurdly high HP, stay focused and keep at it until he falls.

Upon victory, you’ll get a Three Stars and ‘Proof of Omega’ entry in the Tutorial menu (nothing spectacular).  Return to the Clock Tower afterwards and start climbing.

ULTIMECIA’S MASTER ROOM

Inside the Clock Tower, ascend past the pendulum.  At the fork, use the Stop DP above then head south.  Run across the hands of the clock face and climb down the ladder.  Head right to reach another ladder.  Descend to a bridge leading to Ultimecia’s Room.  Walk over to the Save Point. 

For the final boss battle, participants are chosen randomly (including Squall) so spend time evenly distributing GFs and magic to maximize everyone’s junctions.  Use Tonberry’s ‘Call Shop’ to restock supplies, fully heal the party, and save one last time.  When you’re ready to end the game, enter Ultimecia’s Room.

Watch a scene, during which a random party is chosen.  Should Squall be selected as one of the participants, let him do most of the attacking.  The rest should simply support him by casting Meltdown, Haste, etc. and heal when needed.  Ultimecia comes in 5 forms, which you’ll fight consecutively.  Whatever buffs you apply to the party will carry over to the next fight so keep that in mind.  Since it’s the final showdown, use inventory items liberally.

BOSS >> ULTIMECIA
HP 4,600 – 43,000 / AP 0
Draw: Haste, Slow, Reflect, Demi

Strategy:  In her first form, Ultimecia uses Quake and will try to Meltdown characters.  Her Maelstrom attack causes significant damage and inflicts Curse.  Cast Esuna to remove status ailments and spend time enhancing everyone for the battles that follow.  Ideally, cast Triple, Protect, Shell, Haste and Regen on the party if possible.  Eliminate her with the usual Meltdown/Aura/Limit Break combo or GFs.

BOSS >> GRIEVER
HP 16,750 – 115,950 / AP 0
Draw: Bio, Quake, Tornado

Strategy:  Griever tends to cast Demi and Doom, and has an annoying habit of drawing spells from your party.  Occasionally, he removes an entire set of magic, causing you to lose that junction.  The boss will immediately kill GFs when summoned, so don’t bother.  Counter Doom with either a Remedy+ or Megalixir and hit it repeatedly with Limit Breaks.  Cast Meltdown, Holy, and Ultima.  Near the end, Griever uses Shockwave Pulsar, which shaves about 3,000 HP from those without Shell protection.  Heal the party before facing Ultimecia’s next incarnation.

BOSS >> ULTIMECIA-GRIEVER
HP 13,050 – 176,250 / AP 0 
Draw: Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga

BOSS >> HELIX x2
HP 25,000+ / AP 0
Draw: Esuna, Dispel

Strategy:  In her 3rd form, Ultimecia joins with Griever for a truly nasty package.  She uses Tornado, Meteor, and Holy, and periodically removes an entire set of spells from your magic list.  Expect frequent Shockwave Pulsar attacks as well.  With two Helix helpers, she’ll perform Great Attractor, a physical attack that does mass damage to the entire party.  Stick to the tried-and-true Meltdown/Aura/Limit Break combination to take her down.  When the lower part of her body falls off, it means she’s close to defeat.

BOSS >> ULTIMECIA (FINAL FORM)
HP 13,050 – 176,250 / AP 0
Draw: Holy, Flare

BOSS >> ULTIMECIA (LOWER PART)
HP 2,300 – 21,500 / AP 0
Draw: Apocalypse

Strategy:  In her final form, Ultimecia adds more powerful magic to her arsenal.  Along with Ultima, Flare, and Holy, the boss uses Hell Judgment to reduce everyone’s HP to 1.  Ultimecia retains the ability to remove an entire set of spells from you, too.  Heal immediately when she hits you with Hell Judgment, since Ultima is usually her next move.  When her health reaches 30%, the lower part will be exposed.  She’ll draw Apocalypse from it, which damages the party for roughly 3,500 HP.  Although you can draw and cast Apocalypse against her, it’s better to dispose of the lower part as quickly as possible.  When Ultimecia is near defeat, she’ll start uttering lines in battle.  Keep attacking until she utters a new line.  Strike the finishing blow after hearing all that she has to say.

Enjoy the closing scenes.  And congratulations on beating the game!

END WALKTHROUGH

 

 

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