The final step of my preparation for the finale is completed!
Getting all the spells I needed was easier than I thought, for the most part. Due to my training at the Island Closest to Hell, I was already stocked with various extremely powerful items. I used the refining abilities I had to stock up on Meteor, Flare, as well as some other minor spells, such as Bio, Death, Pain, etc.
Next up was Meltdown, which I knew gives nice boosts. I won’t need it for battles directly, since I have Doomtrain to cover that status effect, but magic in Final Fantasy VIII really isn’t made for casting anyway. Mystery Fluid was the item of choice here, since it refines into 10 Meltdowns each. I found out it was dropped by the manta enemies on the snow fields around Trabia, so that’s where I went. In no time, my entire party was fully stocked on meltdowns. The thing that helped here the most was mugging by Squall and the fact that I junctioned Pain to everyone’s Status Attack.
The last spell I wanted to have was Ultima and for that one, I resorted to google. It turns out, there’s an enemy you can repeatedly fight inside Esthar, the Elnoyle. It drops up to four Energy Crystals per battle, though mostly only two. Each of those can then be refined into two Ultimas. It wasn’t extremely fast, but it was the fastest way to get this spell in the game. For this one, I decided to only get three full stocks, since I can easily switch them around when needed.Full-Life was extremely easy to get. The catlike enemies around Esthar can be mugged for around five Regen Rings. These can then be refined into 20 Full-Life each. Suffice to say, this was another spell that everyone had a full stock of in minutes. The same area contained a bunch of other enemies with useful items and spells, so my arsenal was getting richer and richer extremely fast.
The happy side effect of repeatedly fighting Elnoyle is that it can also be mugged for Moon Stones, which can be refined into 20 Holy each. Since this was a spell I didn’t get much of yet, it was very welcome here. Also, Elnoyle wasn’t immune to Death, so having it junctioned to my Status Attack meant the battles were easy to win in spite it having 140 000 HP and a lot of nasty attacks.
With my arsenal of spells fully stocked, I had to figure out how to optimally distribute them among the attributes. After some crunching, I opted for a single priority system. Full-Life went to HP. It provides by far the best bonus for it, other than Ultima, which I needed for Strength. Strength is my top priority attribute, which is why my strongest spell went here. Thanks to this, all of my characters had 255 strength without any extra abilities needed.
Next up was Meltdown on Vitality. Out of my remaining spells, nothing else increased it as much. In my opinion, Vitality is more important than Spirit, since most magics can either be resisted with Elemental junction, can’t be resisted at all, or don’t do much damage to begin with.
To Magic, I junctioned Meteor. Again, out of my remaining spells, It provided the best overall bonus. I won’t be casting spells much, but on the occasions I will, It’s good to have them with a properly strong effect. To Spirit, I junctioned Curaga. With any luck, I won’t have to use it in battle and if it happens, I can easily replenish my stores with item refining.
Triple was junctioned to Speed. Speed is a good stat to have plenty of and Triple gives by far the biggest bonus to it. Evasion was junctioned with Tornado. It wasn’t very important, but neither was Tornado, and they work together well. Most of my characters didn’t need Hit, but I junctioned Double to it anyway.
For elemental defense, I used Protect, Shell and Life for some extremely nice overall reduction in all elements. For the last slot, I used Flare, so I could absorb the three basic elements. As for elemental attack, I left it empty. If I need an element for a boss, I can always junction it before the battle, but outside of that, I’d rather potentially do less damage overall, than no damage at all when I encounter an enemy that’s immune.
For status, again, I used Esuna and Reflect for some nice overall resistance and then some of the basic stat spells for defense against the most dangerous afflictions. For status attack, I used death to make random encounters quick and painless. Once I switch to Enc-None, I might replace Death with Pain, but it probably won’t matter, since I’ll only be fighting bosses.
In any case, my party was now ready. It was time to go to Lunatic Pandora and complete this game.