Final Fantasy VIII [3] – Finally

The group was back at the Garden and, since the last mission was basically the final exam required to become a SeeD, the results were in soon. Squall, Zell and Selphie, as well as one other guy passed, while Seifer was disqualified for being a douche and making the team go to the tower. After the graduation, the group got back down to the second floor and fully expected for Seifer to be there and cause trouble, but he actually just applauded them along with everyone else.

With that out of the way, it was time for a party. This is where we meet the next character of the game, Rinoa. She pulls Squall to the dance floor, even though he sucks and somehow manages to turn him into an expert over the course of just one song. We don’t get her name here yet, though.

Quistis then approaches Squall and makes him go to some romantic spot at the training area. There, she says she won’t be an instructor anymore, so they’re both just SeeD now. Squall is his usual self, so they return, but on the way back, rescue a girl from some monsters. I have already seen the girl at the start, when Squall wakes up at the infirmary. Here, she refers to Squall and Quistis as if she knows them, calling Quistis “Quistie”. When she’s rescued, her bodyguards arrive and take her away before the I could talk to her. The game makes it very clear she’s somehow important.

Final Fantasy VIII, Balamb Garden Training Center

The training center of Balamb GardenĀ 

Before all this, I took some time to draw new spells at the training area. The plants there have Sleep and Silence to draw, so I got 100 of each on both Quistis and Squall and junctioned sleep on Squall’s status attack. This could be very helpful later.

The next day, the group gets their first official mission as SeeD. This time, it’s to help a Timber resistance group to, again, fight Galbadia. Timber is a country that got occupied by Galbadia early in the war, unlike Dollet, which is still independent. I got to the town of Balamb and this time, took the transcontinental train to Timber. The train actually runs through an underwater tunnel, which is pretty cool.

During the train ride, something happened which keeps happening throughout the game. The party gets sleepy and blacks out, suddenly having a collective dream about Laguna, Ward and Kiros, three Galbadian soldiers back during the war. All of this gets explained later, but it’s actually happening and it isn’t just a dream.

The soldiers first do some running through a forest near Timber, I think, then get to a car and drive to Deling City. There, they go to a bar to listen to a singer who Laguna likes a lot. She approaches him so the two other guys step back. They go to her room and basically talk all night. That’s when the dream ends and the gang realizes they all dreamt it. Squall shows his funny side in this, saying he dreamt he was a moron.

During the sequence, I could finally try out my Card ability, having learned it during the boss battle at the training area. Basically, I need to weaken the opponents and then I can turn them into their respective card. I can only use it against monsters, though. Human enemies are off limits. If I win the battle this way, I get no experience, which is excellent, but I do get the AP, which is even more awesome. It’s safe to say, I got some training. I decided to get Boost on most of my GF next and then go for the item creation and junction abilities.

As I said, the group soon woke up and was at Timber. They met their contact and he took them to the resistance base.