Five on Friday : 5 Things You Should Know Before Playing Final Fantasy VIII

I played Final Fantasy VIII way back in high school, much longer back than I would care to admit to, so when I revisited the game with the remaster, I needed a lot of refreshing. Final Fantasy VIII, with it’s unique junction system, is very different from the other titles in the series and has a steep learning curve that the tutorial doesn’t even begin to really explain. I don’t think I truly understood  the junction system the first time I played the game, even with the official strategy guide, and ended up getting stuck in a lot of boss battles, so I wanted to share 5 thing that I learned during my replay that helped me to be successful enough at the game in order to platinum it.


5 Things You Should Know Before Playing FFVIII




Special thanks to my friend  @garrett_emery for letting me pick his brain on everything Final Fantasy VIII related. Without further ado, here are 5 Things You Should Know Before Playing Final Fantasy VIII:


1. Junctioning is your best friend and can be your biggest enemy if not used properly.


  • Your level in the game doesn’t matter.  Junctioning is what makes your party members stronger. Constantly check to make sure your stats are configured to the best of your ability and inventory of spells. 
  • What you junction to each stat matters. For example, the spell Full-life or Curaga junctioned to an HP stat will give your stats a much higher boost, than say, Thundaga.
  • Elemental Defense, which protects you from all sorts of spells, is a great tool to protect against status affects like pain, confuse, death, and poison, in hard fights against bosses like Malboros.
  • Junctioning elements to your weapon isn’t that helpful, but junctioning death to a party member’s weapon can lead to a one hit kill!

2. Draw, draw, draw!

  • The higher the quantity of spells junctioned to a stat, the bigger the gains. 100 Full-Life spells junctioned to HP will give you a much bigger increase than 20. So turn on that x3 speed (thank you Remastered version), and draw 100 of each new magic you encounter.
  • Some GFs are drawn from boss battles! Don’t miss out on them or you’ll leave your characters at a severe disadvantage.


3. GFs matter. A lot.

  • It matters which party member gets which Guardian Forces. In order to unlock each stat for junctioning, make sure you’re looking at what skills each GF unlocks and planning accordingly. This will allow your party members to reach their full potential. I used this invaluable spreadsheet found on Reddit to make sure my characters were well rounded.
  • Go the extra mile and get every single GF in the game, even the optional ones, like Doomtrain, Cactuar, and Bahamut. Your party will only be stronger for it. Though if you’re a huge Final Fantasy fan, I shouldn’t have to tell you to get Bahamut. 
  • To level up your GFs super fast and to take advantage of all their amazing abilities, stay at Cactuar Island and do some grinding. You get the most AP per kill in the game for killing Cactuars!

4. Play the card game, Triple Triad.

  • Triple Triad is one of my favorite parts of the game. But the regional rules can make it almost impossible to win, especially later in the game. I cannot emphasize this enough: make sure you save before each and every match, and just reload if you lose.
  • There’s no reward in the game for having all the cards, so mod your weaker cards into items for magic or weapons (by using Card Mod, you could even get the items for Squall’s Ultimate Weapon–Lionheart–on Disc 1) or simply just to best that pesky random rule that somehow always picks your worst cards and costs you the game.
  • By playing Triple Triad and using Card Mod on rare cards, such as the Laguna Card, you can make Heroes, an item that renders your party members invincible. This will help you beat the optional and most powerful boss of the game, the Omega Weapon (which is necessary for obtaining the Platinum Trophy).

5. Don’t worry about all your party members.

  • In most Final Fantasy titles, I try to keep every single party member about the same level. That way if a party member leaves the group, which is something that happens A LOT in Final Fantasy VIII, I have another suitably leveled character to step in. But due to the Junction system in Final Fantasy VIII, you only need to pick 3 party members and stick with them. With the Junction and Magic Exchange systems, you can easily swap all GFs, magic, and stats to another character. And since level doesn’t matter in the game, there is no noticeable difference between a level 100 and a level 80 character and so on and so forth.

I hope these 5 things you should know before playing Final Fantasy VIII helps you to enjoy and to be successful in your playthrough of Final Fantasy VIII. Any tips and tricks we missed? Let me know in the comments below!


Five on Friday : 5 Things You Should Know Before Playing FFVIII - Blogging with Dragons

Posted May 29, 2020 in Five on Friday, Games

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