My preparation for the final push to the game’s ending began, and the first thing I decided to do was to gather up all of the GFs.

For some reason, I went for Cactuar first. To get it, I needed to defeat Jumbo Cactuar on an adjacent to the Esthar continent. I entered the battle unprepared and forgot to remove my Card command or to add an Item command to any of my characters. What happened was inevitable. Squall was the only character with the ability to resurrect in any way and he got killed first. Since Jumbo Cactuar has an attack that outright kills you, doing 10000 damage, it was game over pretty soon.

Final Fantasy VIII, Cactuar

10,0000 Needles kills anyone, for obvious reasons.

Next up was Odin. Odin isn’t a true GF, meaning he doesn’t exist in the GF menu and can’t be junctioned to a character. Instead, he just appears at the start of random battles and gives you an instant victory. I’m not sure if it can happen in boss battles, but it definitely happens quite often against regular enemies. In order to get him, I had to solve a timed puzzle at an optional area of the Centra continent and then defeat him in battle.On my next attempt, I was ready. The difficulty of Jumbo Cactuar is that his health goes up insanely fast compared to your level. Since none of my characters were above 20 at that point, though, I really didn’t have that problem. It still took me a while to empty his 64 000 health pool, but I eventually did it.

Final Fantasy VIII, Odin Fight

Odin never attacks, so this fight is just a time race.

At the same area, there was another GF to get, this one extremely useful. After I got Odin, I’ve spent some time fighting the only enemy that appears in the area – the Tonberry. Killing about twenty of them causes their king to appear. Winning that battle causes him to join the party as a GF. Tonberry has the useful “Call Shop” ability, which allows me to shop from anywhere. He also has the ability to reduce prices and add rare items to various shops.

Next up was Bahamut, which can be acquired at the start of an optional area in the southwest corner of the map. It takes getting through two battles against Ruby dragons and then defeating Bahamut himself to get him, but it’s worth it. This one, like Cactuar, is also much harder to get at a higher level, but again, I didn’t have this issue.

Final Fantasy VIII, Bahamut Battle

Bahamut was way easier than Cactuar

Since I was already at the ruins, I decided to try and get the strongest GF of the game – Eden. Eden can be drawn from Ultima Weapon, which is an optional boss at the bottom of the ruins. This is definitely the toughest boss I’ve fought up to this point, but after a few attempts, I managed to beat it. It hits much harder than Cactuar, but its health is slightly lower. Eden is a GF with no 9999HP damage limit, reaching over 20 000 damage easily at higher levels, which makes getting it very worth it.

Final Fantasy VIII, Ultima Weapon

Ultima weapon uses Cloud’s ultimate weapon from Final Fantasy VII

The last one I was missing is Doomtrain. In order to get this one, I needed the Solomon’s Ring, which can be found at tears point, bellow Lunatic Pandora. Once I got the ring, 6 Remedies+, 6 Steel Pipes and 6 Marlboro Tentacles, using the ring caused the GF to appear and be added to my party. Probably the hardest part was getting the Tentacles, since the only place to fight Marlboros was at the Islands closest to Hell and Heaven, where they were at level 100.

What I tried was to use Initiative and Mug on one of my characters to steal the tentacles and then run away from combat, but it simply wasn’t working. Eventually, I got lucky and Odin got triggered in a Marlboro battle. Since it was level 100, I got 8 tentacles from that single battle. As for the other two items, Remedy+ is made from 6 regular Remedies with the MedLVLUp ability, while the pipes can be stolen from Wendigos.

In any case, I had all the GFs I could get without having the PocketStation mini game.

At first, Squall listened to Rinoa and let the Esthar soldiers take her, even though it was tearing him apart. Once he met up with the rest of the team, though, they managed to seriously change his mind. I immediately went to the Sorcerer’s Memorial near Esthar, were Rinoa was about to be frozen. I got her out and the group was back together, for a while at least.

Final Fantasy VIII, Squal and Rinoa

I have to say, this whole conversation works.

Rinoa wanted to see Edea’s house, so I went there next. Squall and she had another nice moment where the quote from the intro cinematic is finally used. Basically, Rinoa has a recurring nightmare where she can’t find Squall anywhere, so he promises her he’ll be there, at Edea’s house so that, “if she comes there, she’ll find him”.┬áZell interrupts the moment saying they got a message from Esthar, inviting them to the president’s palace to discuss their plans. The group finally meets the president.

Surprise! The Esthar president is Laguna. His aides are Ward and Kiros. As official as that sounds, Laguna is still the same “moron” from the first dream sequence. He loves to talk, never plans anything and doesn’t really understand things. He’s a nice guy, though, so I guess that makes him an OK leader. He lets Odine explain the plan. I’ll give it my best shot…

Final Fantasy VIII, Laguna, Ward and Kiros

They haven’t aged a day!

Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future. In her future, everything is destroyed and only she exists. She wants to get to the present, but she needs Ellone’s ability for that. We can’t kill her, though, since she’s actually in the future and only uses hosts in the present. There’s a trick to get to her, though – time compression.

Basically, we get to Adel, since Ultimecia will be using her now. We kill Adel and Rinoa accepts her powers. Rinoa then lets Ultimecia into her mind and Ellone sends Rinoa further to the past. She then pulls Rinoa out, which somehow causes the future and the present to merge, so the group has access to Ultimecia’s body, so they can finally kill her.

I have no idea how that works, I even have no idea if that’s the whole story, because I couldn’t remember all of it, but I think I got the gist of it. Suffice to say, Final Fantasy VIII gets extremely complicated before the end.

In any case, everything that needed to be done before the final area has been done. All that now remains are the optional quests, items and areas, which I will definitely have to visit if I want to stand a chance of beating the final area. Compared to the rest of the game, the final area of Final Fantasy VIII get’s insanely hard.

The lunar station team consisted of Squall, Rinoa and Irvine, though Irvine didn’t have any use during these events. The Space part is where the story gets seriously weird. First of all, the president is up there and I meet him several times, but he’s always in a suit, so I don’t actually find out who he is until later.

Secondly, I’m suddenly told that this is where they keep Adel, the sorceress who ruled Esthar during the war and was overthrown sometime after Laguna’s imprisonment there. This whole idea seems pretty cool. They can’t kill her, probably because her powers would just transfer someplace else. Instead, they keep her suspended, or frozen, or something, in orbit around the planet. The station was built and deployed solely to monitor Adel and respond if anything unexpected happens.

Final Fantasy VIII, Space

There was a lot of FMV during the part in space.

Thirdly, I am told that the planet’s moon is infested with monsters. In fact, that’s where all the monsters on the planet come from. Periodically, similarly to how tides are caused by the moon, the planet causes a monster “bloom”. The amount of monsters dramatically increases; they somehow pile up and grow, and then finally fall down to the planet. This is what’s called a Lunar Cry and, if I understood this correctly, it happens at Tear’s Point, where Lunatic Pandora was heading. Pandora is somehow connected to the moon.

A lot of these things aren’t very well explained and are sort of just dropped on the player, so I can’t say I love the storytelling here, but the concepts are definitely pretty cool. The world of Final Fantasy VIII is, I’d say, much more alien compared to any other in the series, except perhaps Spira of Final Fantasy X, which is what I like, a lot.

Anyway, soon after we land on the station and I talk to Ellone, who is also there, Rinoa wakes up in a trance, under some sort of power. She trashes around the station with no one able to touch her, exits into open space and manages to free Adel. Then I have a series of events which advance the story and make me realize Rinoa is now under Ultimecia’s control and I’m forced to save her. It’s a lengthy series of scenes, but you don’t get to play much during them, so there isn’t to much to write about.

Irvine, Ellone and the station staff leave with an escape pod, while Squall remains behind to save Rinoa, who is drifting in Space. There’s another bunch of sequences where Squall really grows as a character,before they both finally remain alive, on an abandoned spaceship.

Final Fantasy VIII, Ragnarok

Ragnarok – The coolest airship of the franchise.

The ship is infested with monsters that revive one another. I had mixed feelings about this part back in the day. On the one hand, it was the first time I encountered non-random encounters. The monsters are actually visible in the field and the game switches to battle once you “touch” them. On the other hand, it took me a while to figure out the idea behind revival. Plus, I was weak on my first playthrough, which wasn’t the case this time around.

The revival mechanic is quite simple, really. There was a total of ten monsters, divided into same-color pairs. If you kill one, the other revives it after your next battle. This means the monsters forming a pair need to be killed one after the other, with no battles between these two. Basically, I had to figure out which colors are easiest to reach and eliminate them first, which then made the rest simpler.

I also used the opportunity to stock up on higher level magic, since the monsters can be mugged for wizard stones. I didn’t have to do it for too long, though, since I already had a nice supply available.

Once I was done clearing the place, I could access the cockpit and land the ship down to the planet, with the help of people on the surface. Squall and Rinoa had a nice moment there with actual music with vocals accompanying them. Once that was done, it’s revealed that Rinoa is in fact a sorceress and will be taken by Esthar soldiers once Ragnarok, as the ship is called, lands.

I have to say, there’s one thing I don’t like about Esthar. In order to actually enter the city from the world map, you are forced to navigate a lengthy network of “roads”, before you are finally near enough. This means it’s always a long and, thanks to Enc-None, uneventful time to get inside the city.

Anyway, I entered the city and went straight for Odine’s lab. There, I was told that the Galbadians recovered something called the “Lunatic Pandora”. It was a huge structure/artifact the Esthar dug out years ago. They found out it was extremely dangerous, so they sunk it to the bottom of the ocean.

Final Fantasy VIII, Lunatic Pandora

The Lunatic Pandora

Now the Galbadians have it and are heading for Tear’s Point, for some reason. Since they are passing over the city, I had three chances to stop them. I’m guessing this is another situation that affects the SeeD rank. I was given a total time limit of 20 minutes. At specific moments during this countdown, the Pandora would pass over certain areas of the city.

The problem was, I wasn’t very familiar with the city, since I didn’t explore it previously and I can’t remember much about it since my last play through years ago. Still, thanks to the highly praised Enc-None, I could freely explore the town and managed to get the first location just in time. My SeeD rank wasn’t increased, but I’m guessing it also won’t be decreased for the next while.

Final Fantasy VIII, Lunatic Pandora Interior

I guess one of those Laguna flashbacks took place here.

I wasn’t inside the Pandora for long, though. I got through a bunch of passages, encountered a strange robot-like thing and was then thrown out. That was it for Zell and the team, at least for now. Next up, Spaaaaace!

The continent where Esthar was located is surrounded by high cliffs, so there’s no way to get to it with the Garden. Instead, I had to land at FH again, and then use the railroad to get there on foot, since no trains used the railway since the Sorceress War.

At this point, Squall was being his old self, trying to do everything on his own. He took Rinoa and left without telling everyone. Of course, as predictable as he is, the rest of the group was already waiting for him at the end of the tracks. Selphie and Irvine already scouted the north and south, so the only way left was east.

I entered some sort of salt flats or something and started exploring it. Thanks to Enc-None, random encounters were not an issue, so the area was cleared extremely fast. At the end of it, I got attacked by an undead creature. Sadly, I wasn’t smart enough to junction the item ability on one of my characters, so I had to kill it with Curaga, since Life doesn’t work like Phoenix Down does. Three Curaga’s were enough to deal with it. I could’ve gone the usual route of just hitting it to death, but it’s defenses were insanely high, and I didn’t want to use my small supply of Meltdown spells.

Final Fantasy VIII, Abadon

Oh, I will!

At that point, it was obvious Esthar was protected by some sort of force field of invisibility. It was obvious because part of it was broken and I could see an entrance. I got in, walked through a bunch of hallways and stepped on an elevator platform which took us to Esthar.

Final Fantasy VIII, Esthar

Esthar looks amazing.

Once I got there, another Laguna flashback happened. He was imprisoned with Ward and Kiros, at an Esthar facility. After a while in there, he made some friends and then managed to escape with everyone and join an anti-Adel resistance group. Oh, by the way, Adel was the sorceress controlling Esthar back then.  During all of this, a character in prison kept saying how nice of a guy Laguna is and how he would love to have him as his leader once the resistance gets rid of Adel. Gee, I wonder if the game is hinting at something. Oh, not to forget, Laguna also manages to save Ellone from Esthar researchers somehow.

Squall and the others woke up and were greeted by the president’s aid. Apparently, Adel was overthrown ages ago and Esthar has significantly advanced since then. I mean, they have an invisibility field not powered by magic. A Dr. Odine said he could help Rinoa, but they need to go the Lunar Launch Station first. I did some shopping at the market district and then left the city for the station.

Final Fantasy VIII, Esthar Gun Ship

Who needs a rocket ship when you have a giant revolver that can shoot you into space.

Once I got there, I had to pick one extra character to get launched into space with Squall and Rinoa. I picked Irvine. The rest remained on the ground waiting, but something happened soon. A huge structure appeared above Esther and everyone started to panic. While Squall, Irvine and Rinoa were in space, Zell, Quistis and Edea decided to go check out what was going on in Esthar.

Edea was now good again, Rinoa was in a coma, and I was confused, back when I was on my first play through. I also had a short attention span, so from this point on, I didn’t really understand what was going on until now. It’s still a bit weird, but at least I get it, sort of.

Here Goes – The Story of Final Fantasy VIII

Edea was the group’s matron in the orphanage. Cid married her back then. She learned that she could be the next sorceress, so she was aware she might turn bad. What happened was that a sorceress from the future, Ultimecia, tried to take control of her mind for some reason. She managed to push it back, but she also realized Ultimecia would target Ellone in that case. This is why she formed the SeeD with Cid and the allowed Ultimecia into her mind. It made her go evil, but at least Ellone was safe.

The White SeeD took Ellone on her ship to protect and hide her from Edea. Her defeat by the group managed to somehow snap her out of Ultimecia’s control, but she could still take her back at any point. How Rinoa’s condition is connected to all of this, however, no one knows, including Edea.

With nothing to be done here, the game made me visit Rinoa at the infirmary, where I got another Laguna flashback. This one was rather pointless, but funny. Laguna, Ward and Kiros are together again, but they somehow got a job at a cheap (and extremely bad) movie. The main actor didn’t show up, so Laguna has to fill his place, while Ward and Kiros are to control a dragon prop, since the prop guy didn’t show up either. Somehow, they get attacked by a real dragon and are forced to beat it.

Final Fantasy VIII, Laguna and the Dragon

Sure, a costume…

As I said, the flashback was rather pointless, but relatively funny. Afterwards, Ellone manages to talk to Squall in his dream and Squall gets an idea. Maybe she can help Rinoa with her ability somehow. I got back to Edea to ask about the SeeD ship’s whereabouts and I went directly there next.

Not true. I didn’t go there at all. You see, Edea has her character card in her posession, but Centra has the random rule, so I’ve literally spent hours trying to abolish it from the Centra and Trabia region, but got nowhere. Eventually, I’ve sent it all to hell and decided to skip on the cards for a while. I probably wouldn’t have gotten all of them anyway, so why bother with these extra hard ones.

Eventually, though, I did decide to go track down the ship. It was at one of the bays around the Centra continent. I boarded it and gave Edea’s letter to their leader. Ellone wasn’t there, though. Apparently, some Esthar soldiers came looking for her. The SeeD wouldn’t hand her over, but she jumped ships on her own and is now probably in Esthar.

I guess that’s the next destination.

Since I remembered where Edea’s house was from the last time I played Final Fantasy VIII, I decided to go there directly. Before I could reach it, though, Balamb Garden got attacked by Galbadia Garden. They figured out how to fly it soon enough.

I absolutely loved the Garden battle as a kid. Everything about it was just bad-ass. Massive battles, with your characters moving through it, motorcycle assault squadrons, mech troopers; everything was just completely, absolutely cool. Sure, I had to do a lot of backtracking and sometimes, it wasn’t very clear where I had to go, but the watching the scenes was worth it.

Final Fantasy VIII, Galbadia Garden Battle FMV

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Once all the fighting was starting to get wrapped up, it became clear that Balamb was losing. Galbadia’s troops had far more experience, while Balamb contained mostly lower year students. This is why Squall decides to crash his Garden into the other one, to gain access to it and attack it from the inside. During all this, he manages to punch a mech soldier to death, comandeer his flying mech, rescue Rinoa and get to the back entrance of the Galbadia Garden. Sure, everything else was bad-ass, but he was the most bad-ass of it all.

Now, the next part, I didn’t like back when I was a kid. It involved several difficult boss fights, a lot of walking back and forth with random battles and a puzzle involving key cards with multiple clearance levels. The area was just hard, as the final area of the second disc should be.

This time around, though, I was prepared. I understood the mechanics, knew which abilities to teach my GFs first and understood how the puzzle worked. First of all, I used Diabolos’ Enc-None ability, which eliminates random battles. Walking back and forth was easy now. Secondly, I did some junctioning and I already acquired plenty of high level spells thanks to all of the carding I did, as well as all of the card games I played. Suffice to say, GF item refining abilities should be top priority to get, followed by junction abilities and then everything else.

The key card puzzle required me to find three different Galbadia students, each containing a key card of a different level. The first one would open first level doors, which would get me access to the second one and so on. It took me a while to track them all, but eventually, I got it and I could get to Edea’s room, where she and Seifer were waiting.

First, I had to fight just Seifer, which was very easy, thanks to all of my junctioning. Once he was beaten, Edea disappeared through the floor, so I had to go find her at the auditorium. In this second battle, I had to fight both her and Seifer, but one at a time. Seifer was again easily beaten, but it took me a while because he loved using his desperation moves this time around.

Final Fantasy VIII, Seifer Battle

Seifer was easy, as usual.

Once I destroyed him, Edea started the fight with a special move which halved everyone’s health from the start. After that, though, she was easy. All it took was a couple of rounds of physical attacking and she was done. I made sure to Draw a new GF, Alexander, before I killed her, though.

Alexander was the third GF I got in a short amount of time. The first one was Pandemona, which I got from Fujin back in Balamb. The second one was Cerberus, which I got here, in Galbadia garden. To get him, you actually have to fight him in a similar fashion to Ifrit back at the start of the game. Cerberus is probably the hardest fight in Galbadia Garden, so I especially hated him as a kid. He’s skipable, but it’s definitely worth it to get him now, since the next opportunity for that is at the end of the game.

Final Fantasy VIII, Edea Battle

Edea wasn’t that hard either.

Anyway, Edea was beaten now, but not dead. The fight snaps her out of her “evil ways”. Not all is good, though. For some reason, Rinoa blacks out and falls in some sort of coma.

As expected, Trabia was in ruins, but there were survivors. Selphie soon met one of her friends so she asked the group to wait for her by the basketball cart while she catches up. She returned soon and said she decided to stay with the party, even though her Garden needs her. Most of all, she wants revenge on Edea and to stop her from doing something like this again.

Now that she caught up with some friends, the group decided to catch up as well, and the second big reveal of the game happens, the first being the part about the true nature of the Garden and Cid’s being married to Edea.

Now, when I played this game the first time, I was twelve or thirteen, so I didn’t pay attention to most of the details, same as with Final Fantasy VII. The difference was, at this point my German was much better, so I at least did understand more of it. What happens is that the group helps each other remember something extremely important. All of them, excluding Rinoa, lived together as kids, in an orphanage. Seifer was there to. Irvine was the only one who really remembered, or at least, he remembered the biggest part of it, but he didn’t say anything because no one else did.

Final Fantasy VIII, The Orphanage

The orphanage.

A lot of them got adopted early, so part of it was forgotten due to the young age. The much bigger part had a simple explanation. It has long been rumored that using GFs affects memory. Now that they know this, however, they can help each other keep their future memories, so this shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

Something even bigger was revealed, though. First of all, Ellone was there to. This is why she referred to Quistis as “Quistie” and this is why she knew all of them. She didn’t use GFs, so her memories weren’t affected. Plus, she was older, so there’s that to. Finally, the most important thing they realized was that their matron was Edea. This explains why she formed SeeD with Cid and why he married her. She wasn’t always evil. Something changed her.

Sadly, this doesn’t change anything now. They still need to fight her and defeat her. Before that, though, they decided to visit their orphanage, a stone house by the sea, somewhere.

As expected, Balamb was the place Galbadians hit next.

I like the looks of this location, but I also kind of liked the way this part of the game was handled. There was very little fighting involved. Mostly, it was a search puzzle. I usually don’t like those very much, but this one wasn’t too difficult and didn’t use the whole “just talk to everyone” approach JRPGs often use. The place was also very lighthearted, as was FH, so it serves as a relaxing period after the whole Galbadian missile crisis.

First, I had to get access to the city. Squall handled this by himself by some creative lying. Once I was in, I had to go find the commander of the squad. I was immediately told the base of operations was at the hotel, so I went there. Unfortunately, the commander wouldn’t see me, so I had to find the captain. Unfortunately, he was on patrol.

Most people I talked to would hint it wasn’t really a patrol. Apparently, the captain is lazy and loves to take his breaks. Right now, I can’t remember who pointed me there, but I went to the docks, because someone said the captain loves to fish. A soldier there told me the captain was fishing, caught something and decided to go and cook it.

Final Fantasy VIII, First Fight

The first fight in Balamb Town was easy.

Next up, I went to Zell’s place and sure enough, his mom said the captain used her kitchen. Apparently, the fish stunk really badly, so she was worried about the soldiers the captain told he would share the fish with. The soldiers were found sick, at the train station. They didn’t know where the captain was though. I talked to a few people and some of them hinted I reek real badly, due to the fish.

I remembered there was a dog at the docks, so I went there next and sure enough, the dog sniffed me and started running towards somewhere. I followed him back to the train station and watched him enter the train and chase Raijin out of one of the cars. It turns out Raijin is the captain, meaning Fujin is the commander. He ran back towards the hotel.

I got there, and it was finally time for a fight. Raijin attacked with a couple of soldiers. Both of them fell in a single hit, while Raijin took a few, but he was still easy to handle. I entered the hotel, where Fujin was waiting. Before I could attack, Raijin got in to rejoin the battle, meaning I had to fight both of them.

This fight was a bit harder, but still quite easy. Before I did anything, I used Draw on Fujin to get a new GF, Pandemona. After that, I used Shell to protect myself against Fujin’s spells and them simply attacked Raijin and her until they were done.

Final Fantasy VIII, Raijin and Fujin

The second fight was only marginally harder.

Squall decided to let them go. They really did what they did for just one reason. They are Seifer’s friends and they will remain loyal to him no matter what. They don’t like what he’s doing, and they will do what they can to change him, but they will still remain loyal.

Balamb was now free, so it was time to choose the Garden’s next destination. Selphie asked the group to visit Trabia Garden. This third Garden suffered a direct hit from the missiles, so she was very worried, since that’s where she’s from.

Squall was just about to mope some more, when something interesting finally happened. The Balamb Garden was now drifting for a while and it finally drifted somewhere. It crashed straight into Fisherman’s Horizon.

The concept of Fisherman’s Horizon is something I liked very much back when I first played this game, and I still do. There’s a railroad going across the central ocean of Final Fantasy VIII’s world. This idea, to me, is pretty cool on itself, mostly because it’s completely ludicrous. Even better, the railroad is pretty much built across the widest part of the ocean. It’s not completely obvious from the game, but I’m guessing the railroad is built high enough for ships to be able to pass underneath, because anything else would make even less sense. One thing is for sure, though. Balamb Garden cannot pass under it.

In any case, FH is a town of engineers who built the railway as well as a lot of other things in the world. The town itself is built next to the railway, halfway between the continents. As far as I can tell, it’s actually floating, attached to the railway. It’s also build around a huge solar array; so big there’s room for the mayor’s house as well as a performing stage in the middle. Suffice to say, it’s a very original looking town and I love the concept of it.

Final Fantasy VIII, Fisherman's Horizon Solar Array

Awesome town with an awesome view.

Well, as I said, Balamb Garden crashed into it. It didn’t do much damage, but it was stuck. Lucky for everyone, the engineers of FH have built all of the Gardens, so they are very much familiar with how it works, so the mayor promised repairs and a crash course in piloting it.

As for myself, I went to explore the town, got some Ultimas from a draw point at the mayor’s house, as well as some Regen at another draw point. The former seems to be a one-time use or at least on a very long respawn timer, but the one with Regen respawned twice while I was there.

There wasn’t much time for exploration. Soon, a squad of Galbadian soldiers arrived and started asking questions about Elone. It looks like Edea is looking for her, for some as of yet unknown reason. Sadly, I had to get myself involved and, since they were human, I couldn’t use my Card ability. After the soldiers were beaten, the tank Selphie’s team encountered at the missile base busted in and attacked. It was already damaged from before, so I beat it easily. It turns out, it was piloted by Selphie and the others, but they lost control. Everyone was together again.

After this, there was some talking, mostly involving Selphie and her plans, but Squall finally started to get fleshed out as a character. I know a lot of gamers dislike Squall the most when it comes to PS1 Final Fantasy games, but I don’t. In fact, I like the main protagonists of all three PS1 Final Fantasy games and I’d even say Squall is better than Cloud, though neither is as “emo” as many love to claim.

Final Fantasy VIII, Squall and Rinoa

Squall is starting to get a personality.

Before I could leave FH, there was also the matter of a concert Selphie organized. Why? Because Cid, for some reason, decided to promote Squall to commander of Balamb Garden. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make much sense, but it happened and the game handles it well enough later on.

With all of that out of the way, the group decided to go back to the town of Balamb. It’s a harbor town, so it was likely Galbadians would go search for Ellone there as well, since they know she’s on the white SeeD ship.