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The Beginning (Balamb Garden)
The Fire Cavern Test
Mission Briefing (Balamb Garden)
The SeeD Examination (Dollet)
Debrief, Disaster and Diablos! (Balamb Garden)
Dreaming of Deling (Deling City)
Liberation of Hope (Timber)
Unveiled Threat (Timber)
Entry and Escape! (Centra)
Garden Hopping (Galbadia Garden)
The Tomb of the Unknown King (Deling City)
When The Poop Hits The Fan (Deling City)
The Beginning (Balamb Garden)
After the breathtaking intro FMV, we find the hero, Squall, on a bed in Balamb Garden's infirmary. After talking to Dr. Kadowaki, she phones his instructor, Quistis Trepe. After the brief discussion, follow her to the classroom on the second floor. After her brief talk is over, talk to her once more and she'll tell you that you need to take the Fire Cavern test before he can enter the SeeD examinations. Return to his desk and use the console. This is VITAL to the success of the Fire Cavern test since it means you get the two GFs, Quezacotl and Shiva. You'll also be taken through a very boring tutorial on how to use GFs. Now, go into your menu by pressing circle and select the GF command. Now, select Learn for Quezacotl and tell it to learn Boost. Do the same for Shiva and you're set to go. Just don't forget to junction them, OK?
Leave the classroom and as you make to leave the hallway, a young girl in yellow will run into you. While Squall is supposed to be cold n' all, I tend to be gentlemanly in my responses so offer to give her (Selphie) a tour around Balamb Garden. Sneakily, this means you yourself get to learn your way around at the same time. Before you take the elevator down, talk to the guy wearing brown and he will give you seven Triple Triad cards. You can play a game against him by pressing square if you want, but at this moment in time, it's really not worth it.
Once you exit the elevator, Squall will take Selphie to the directory where you'll see a map of Balamb Garden. The important places to note are the library, training center and the dormitory.
Anyway, in the Training Center, you get to fight lots of monsters, including the fearsome T-Rexaur. At the moment, if you see one of them, you want to run. FAST. In the Dormitory, you can save and rest, thus filling your health.
Now, Selphie leaves your party here so head for the library. head to the library and check between the bookcases to find an Esuna draw point and the Occult Fan #1 magazine. Head down through the Central Gate, but don't forget to use the Cure draw point located by the fountain. Finally, you will find Quistis waiting for you. Talk to her and you'll both leave Garden for now.
While you can go straight to the Fire Cavern and take the exam, I strongly recommend you level up in the forest, and more importantly, make sure that both Quezacotl and Shiva have learnt Boost.
At this point, it is important to explain just how Squall's gunblade works. When you tell him to attack an enemy, he will rush towards them and swing his blade downwards. Now, if you press R1 at the right time, about when it pauses in its descent, the gunblade will fire and cause extra damage to the enemy. Quite how it fires is unknown since it has no barrel, but I believe the purpose is to make the blade VIBRATE while slicing the opponent, thus increasing the size of the wound inflicted, and thus the damage.
Once you've at least learnt Boost for both GFs and stocked up on Blizzards (from Fastitolocan's on the Rinaul Shores, just south east of Balamb Town), head for the Fire Cavern (East of Balamb Garden). I find it easier to know where I'm heading by using the flat view map which can be accessed by pressing select once.
The Fire Cavern Test
Talk to the two faculty members and they'll give you a choice of four different times in which to pass the examination. While many people claim that the lower the time limit you complete this section in, the higher your SeeD rank, that's crap. In actual fact, it's how much time you have left when you finish the test. As such, I recommend picking twenty minutes, which should be more than enough; I'll tell you how to negate the time gap at the end.
At this stage in the game, your characters levels aren't too important. This is good since I run from almost all of the fights in the Fire Cavern. At the junction of the three paths, the right one will take you to a Fire draw point, the left to a dead end while going straight on will lead you towards the boss.
DRAW: Fire*, Cure*, Scan
First, you may have noticed I haven't given a health level for Ifrit. This is because the amount of health a boss has is dependant upon their level, which is in turn determined by the average level of the party. So, the higher a level the party is, the more health the boss has! This is a fact that can be easily exploited later on in the game when drawing spells from enemies.
Anyway, Ifrit is a Fire GF, and as such is weak against Ice. This is the key to winning this fight quickly. Summon Shiva and here's where the fun begins; you get to unleash the Boost technique, the best ability in the entire game!
To use it, when the beginning of the GF animation begins, hold down select and a hand will appear in the bottom-right corner fo the screen, over a square, with a number beside it. Now, as you hit square on the pad, the number will increase, thus increasing the damage Shiva does upon your opponent. However, beware! Every now and then, a red cross will appear on the hand. At first it will flash and then turn solid. If you press square while the cross is solid, the boost counter is reduced back to the base of 75!
You should only need to summon Shiva three times and have your second character bombard Ifrit with Blizzards. The fight should take no longer than four minutes at the most. And wow! You've got a new GF!
WIN: G-Returner (x4), Ifrit's Card, Ifrit (GF).
When you've defeated Ifrit, go through his short speech and then the experience screen until you get to name him. At this point, put down the controller and just walk away and do something else for a while. You see, the timer carries on running through this screen, but you cannot get a game over if it runs out here. Bearing in mind the less time you have left after this, the higher your SeeD rank, this means you can end this section with 00:00 on the clock easily!
Quistis will now give you another tutorial, this time about junctioning elemental magic to your defence and attack. This is key to success later on in the game.
As with Quezacotl and Shiva, make sure that you teach Ifrit Boost (as you should for EVERY GF you can). Once you've done that, head back to Balamb Garden.
Mission Briefing (Balamb Garden)
At the gate, Quistis will leave your party and tell you to change into your uniform. Head back to the dormitory and press X next to the bed, selecting the second option. Don't forget to save before heading to the lobby.
Watch the tutorial about Zell's limit break (though I tend to ignore it for the reason I mentioned in the Limit Break section) and then enjoy the dialogue between Squall and Zell... or rather, the lack of it! Seifer turns up with his compadr?s, Raijin and Fujin, just before the headmaster, Cid Kramer arrives. He'll give you a quick briefing, before the party leaves. head to the Parking Lot and you'll get into a car there.
After a brief bit of discussion, you take control of the vehicle.
Follow the road until you drive into Balamb (south-east of the Garden). Board the boat and you'll be on your way to Dollet. After Xu's briefing, you can talk to any of the people here, but if you want to get your rank up, remember to follow Seifer's orders to the letter. Once you disembark, equip Ifrit to Squall and split Shiva and Quezacotl between Seifer and Zell. Also, exchange all of Quistis' magic to Zell or Seifer (preferably the former since Seifer will be mostly attacking physically since he also wields a gunblade and thus does lots of damage that way).
The SeeD Examination (Dollet)
Go up the steps and use the save point before continuing on. Seifer will run ahead but not to worry, if you face a random fight, he will still be in your party. While in the town, it isn't worth wasting magic on the G-soldiers, but remember to stock up on their magic. Continue chasing Seifer until you reach a fountain. Talk to Seifer and eventually, six G-soldiers will sneak through the screen. Seifer orders you to follow them, and while Zell objects, Squall agrees with him.
As you leave the city, the number of fights with G-soldiers will decrease as you fight more and more monsters. As you reach a large set of stairs, talk to the soldier who is crawling, and he'll be dragged into the bushes!
DRAW: Fire*, Cure*, [Bio]
It's a giant smake that's feeling rather hungry. Considering how early on in the game it is, and the fact that it isn't really a boss, the Anacondaur is surprisingly tough, but it is weak against cold, so use/boost Shiva for all you're worth.
You can also draw Cure from it so make sure to keep your health up for its constrict move which is really punishing!
WIN: M-Stone Piece (x4)/Venom Fang (x2)
Continue up to the Communications Tower and you'll find three G-soldiers. They'll briefly discuss some monster that lives in it before heading inside. Seifer will run off leaving you a member short. But not to fear! Selphie turns up (Remember her? You showed her around Balamb Garden earlier) with a message to deliver to Seifer. She'll join your party. Now, equip her with Quezacotl and make sure to make her use it as much as possible for the moment; you're definitely gonna need it soon.
You're given the choice of jumping from the cliff or continuing around the path. I take the path myself so as to get more fights and thus level up my characters while increasing my magic inventory (not to forget increasing Selphie's compatability with Quezacotl). This will also count in your favour when it comes to your SeeD ranking.
Inside the tower, use the draw point and then save the game. You MUST equip at least one person with the item command, preferably two, and one with draw before heading upwards in the lift. Personally, I think you can do without GFs in this fight, so if you need to ditch a command, that's the one to go for.
Two Galbadian soldiers named Biggs and Wedge (Well, they had to be in the game SOMEWHERE) are found on top and you're gonna have to fight them!
BOSS: Biggs and Wedge
DRAW: (Biggs) Fire*, Thunder*, Blizzard*, Esuna
(Wedge) Fire*, Thunder*, Blizzard*, Cure*
At first, Biggs is on his own, so take this as an opportunity to stock up on Esuna from him; it's a great spell to junction to your HP at this early stage. Eventually, Wedge will turn up to assist Biggs, but ignore him and concentrate on drawing your magic. Bear in mind that you do not have to attack these guys at all to progress; just keep stocking up on Esuna until all hell breaks loose!
DRAW: Thunder*, Cure*, Double, Siren
Ye gawds! Not only is this thing as ugly as sin, it's incredibly tough! I got thrashed the first time I fought Elvoret and have since learnt my lesson. The key to defeating it is to use your Limit Breaks, especially Selphie's one. Make sure you learn Full Cure as quickly as possible, while remembering to draw Siren from Elvoret. If you don't, it'll be one hell of a long time until you get a second chance to get one of the most useful GFs in the game.
Stock up on double from Elvoret and use it to cast cure on your allies when necessary. This entire fight is a delicate balancing act of keeping your health low enough to do limit breaks, but high enough to stop Dark Mist from killing you (it does about 100 damage to each character)
WIN: Elixir (x2), Cottage (x2), G-Returner (x3), 1x Weapon Mon Mar
Once you've defeated Elvoret, take the lift back down to the ground and use a tent at the save point before saving. Equip Thunder to Squall's Elem-Atk-J and give everyone the GF command once again, especially Selphie since you'll need Quezacotl next. As you leave the Communications Tower, a large shape plummets from the dizzy heights of the tower above...
DRAW: Fire*, Blizzard*, Cure*, Protect
If you thought Elvoret was tough, you ain't seen nothing yet! Also known as the Black Widow, this is one badass machine which will stop at nothing to achieve its target... eliminating you!
While it is possible to defeat X-ATM092, you need to be at about level 20 which I'm quite sure you aren't. Since it's a robot, it's weak against Thunder so pound it with that and Quezacotl, making sure to use Boost. When Zell says so, hold down R2 and L2 to run away.
Now we come to my favourite part of the game; the Black Widow gets up and starts to chase you down! Now, if you follow the following instructions carefully, you can avoid fighting it again. Trust me when I say that's highly advisable!
Finally, watch the awesome CGI as Squall makes his dash across Lapin Beach!
Debrief, Disaster and Diablos! (Balamb Garden)
You arrive back in Balamb only for Seifer and his posse to steal your car. Head to the hotel and stay the night for 100 gil, making sure to read the Timber Maniacs on the table. Now, you can rent a car but it's not worth it. Instead, leave Balamb and follow the path back to Garden.
Head to the lobby and the debriefing will begin. Talk to Cid and then leave by the right. Talk to Seifer and then head for the elevator. An announcement will come over the tannoy telling you to assemble outside the second floor classroom. Once you get there, you will see several Cadets all waiting upon their results. Just hang around until a faculty members arrives and says that both Zell and Squall have passed.
You'll find yourself in Cid's office. Talk to him and he'll give you the Battle Meter and then you get your full results in the Dollet Field exam. You can now start taking the SeeD tests to raise your ranking, and thus your wage. To do so, go to the classroom on the second floor and access the computer; pick the SeeD Test option, and you'll have ten questions to answer per level, with each level representing a SeeD rank. The answers are as follows:
|SeeD Test Answers|
Leave Cid's office and head to the classroom where Seifer and co. will applaud all who passed the examination. Finding yourself in the Dormitory, "use" the bed and change into your formal uniform and then save the game. Talk to Selphie or leave to find yourself...
...in a ballroom. Zell will try to talk to Squall and then so does Selphie. Finally, a girl with black hair will start to talk to you and then drag Squall out onto the dance floor. Not much of a mover is our Squall ^^
However, the girl will run off after the dance and Squall will end up on the balcony. Quistis will meet you there and tell you to change back into your normal clothes before meeting her at the Training Center. Exit and you'll be in Squall's room. Change once more and then equip GFs on only Squall and Quistis, making sure she has some magic. Head for the Training Center and find Quistis there as she said she would be. She'll tell you how to defeat the T-Rexaur before a Status Junctioning tutorial begins. Pay attention, this is VERY important.
Go through the door on the right and follow the path around, making sure to use the Blizzard draw point. Make you way through until you reach a screen with a save point in. Walk into the brightened patch at the back and you'll discover it's actually a door, leading to the secret place where lovers go to be together... And Quistis brought Squall here for just what then? ^_~ *ahem*
Once the conversation is over, exit and use the save point. Follow the path off to the left until you reach the screen with the three exits. You'll know what I mean when you get there!
There's a gigantic wasp-like thingy and it's harassing some girl who looks strangely familiar...
BOSS: Granaldo, Raldo (x3)
DRAW: (Granaldo) Sleep, Blind, Shell
(Raldo) Fire*, Thunder*, Protect
This fight is incredibly easy; draw/cast Sleep from the Granaldo, ONTO the Granaldo, thus putting it to sleep. Use one GF to kill off the Raldo's and put the Granaldo back to sleep again. Then, start stocking up on Sleep, Blind and Shell. They'll be very useful in the future.
WIN: Wizard Stones (x16)
From nowhere, two men dressed in white appear and lead the girl to safety. Exit the Training Center and head back to the dormitory where Zell will tell you that you've been moved to a new room.
When you wake up, you're told to get to the Central Gate ASAP so it's time to haul ass, but AFTER taking the Weapon Mon Apr from the desk. Cid arrives shortly after Zell gets his T-board confiscated and tells you that you've got a mission in Timber, and gives you the password you'll need:
THEM: "The forests of Timber have changed."
YOU: "But owls are still around."
Talk to Cid again and he'll give you the Magical Lamp. Head back inside Garden and talk to the girl with the ponytail again, with Zell in the party. Zell will ask about a book he's been waiting for, "Goodbye Pupurun." Exit from Garden and save straight away. Make sure that everyone has full health and that they're all fully junctioned. Now, use the Magical Lamp!
DRAW: Demi, Cure*
Now, at low levels, this fight is tough, but not impossible. First, keep draw/casting Demi on Diablos. You'll need to hit at least three times. Then, start attacking it. If your health ever gets low, cast Demi on Diablos and it'll counter by casting Curaga on you... no, really. It is THAT stupid!
WIN: G-Returner (x8), Diablos' Card, Diablos (GF).
First thing to do is set Diablos to start learning Mug. It's another one of those truly amazing abilities, and Diablos is one of only TWO GFs who have it. It'll take a while to learn but it's definitely worth it, especially if you want to get the ultimate weapons later on.
Head into Balamb Town and stock up on Phoenix Downs before taking the train to Timber. Onboard, Zell will talk to Squall and Selphie before they go into the main corridor. Follow them and talk to Zell and then Selphie. Follow Zell into the room and talk to him to get the Pet Pals Vol. 1. Talk to him again and pick any option; Selphie will enter and then pass out, quickly followed by Zell and finally Squall as well...
Dreaming of Deling (Deling City)
Three rather peculiar looking fellows seem to have replaced your party members and they go by the names of Laguna, Ward and Kiros. Note that Laguna has all of Squall's GFs, Magic and commands, Ward has all of Zell's and Kiros will have all of Selphie's, BUT you only have 3000 gil! Don't worry, you'll get your money back later =P
Follow the path to the north-east and use the Cure draw point. Just keep following the path, making sure to use the Water draw point, before getting into the truck and driving off.
You arrive in Deling City and dump the truck. Head south-east and follow the path until you find a hotel. Pay 100 gil to spend the night and then head downstairs to the bar, Talk to the waitress and a woman dressed in red will appear and start to play the piano. Once you get control of Laguna, walk up to her and try to talk. Unfortunately, Mr. Laguna here ain't all too suave... CRAMP! RUN AWAY!!!
However, the woman (Julia as you should by now know) approaches Laguna and they start to talk. When she leaves, go upstairs and talk to the man at the counter, picking the first option. Laguna and Julia talk and then the screen fades to black...
Liberation of Hope (Timber)
After Squall and co. wake up, they have a brief discussion about the "dream", before they arrive in Timber. Talk to the guy in front of the pet shop and he'll say "The forests of Timber have changed." Sound familiar? Yup, he's your contact to get into the Timber Owls! Reply with "But owls are still around," and you'll be accepted and taken aboard their train base.
Talk to Zone and Watts and then take the stairs up. Follow the corridor all the way along and enter the room at the end, where you'll find the "Princess." It's none other than the girl Squall danced with at the party!
She (Rinoa) hugs Squall and they have a chat where you'll have a tutorial about Rinoa's limit breaks and are given the chance to name her dog. When she leaves, follow her back to where Zone and Watts were when you came in. A brief discussion will take place and then you'll be taken to the briefing room where you're told about the plan to assassinate President Vinzer Deling.
Once that's done, talk to Zone and pick the first option. Now, head back to Rinoa's room and take the Pet Pals Vol. 2 from the couch. Go back into the main corridor and enter the next room down and use the save point. Find Watts and play a card game against him to try and win the Angelo card, before talking to him and picking the second option...
Now, if you're not too concerned with your SeeD ranking (which you really needn't be; you can take the tests to go up the rankings later anyway) this mini-game is incredibly easy. You've got infinite time DESPITE there being a counter. Simply zip down the rope and enter the codes Rinoa gives you. The first set can be done without going back up, but the second set is far harder. Stick in the first two codes and head back up. Wait for a few seconds and head back down to input the last three codes. There; that was easy, wasn't it?
Junction Fire to Elem-Atk-J and make sure at least one character has the Item command equipped (I'd replace GF with it, NOT Draw, but make sure it's not the character who has Ifrit junctioned) before heading back to the save point. Use it and return to talk to Watts; pick the second option and you'll find yourself in the President's Car. Rinoa goes to talk to him, but it's a fake!
BOSS: Fake President/Gerogero
DRAW: (Fake President) Cure
(Gerogero) Esuna, Double, Berserk, Zombie
The Fake President is incredibly weak and useless, so don't waste any magic on him. In fact, I'd recommend making sure every character has 100x Cure by drawing as many as you can from it. Once you've maxed that out, beat it into its second form.
Now, since the Gerogero is an undead monster, it's weak against fire, but more importantly, it can be killed instantly by using a Phoenix Down on it! However, I'd recommend stocking up on Esuna and Double at first, especially the former since it's pretty good junctioned to HP-J. Once you've done that, you can either chuck a Phoenix Down at it or pummel it with Ifrit and attacks.
WIN: Zombie Powder (x8)
You regroup in the briefing room; talk to Rinoa and you'll get to see your contract. I swear, I was screaming "TEAR IT UP!" at Squall, coz' Rinoa was annoying me that much!
Anyway, Watts comes up with some new info, saying that President Deling is going to make a broadcast live on television, the first one for over a decade. To top it off, he's going to be making it from Timber! Save the game and talk to Watts and say "...OK."
Unveiled Threat (Timber)
Once you get off the train and watch Watts go running after it, go into the Pet Shop and buy Pet Pals Vol. 3 and 4. Now, talk to the old lady in the booth and select all of the options. You'll see why later. Now exit via the bottom-right and watch the sequence on the bridge. Exit and then go south. Approach the guards and Rinoa will insist you stop the G-soldiers from attacking the Timber guards. You'll get two potions and four AP as a reward. Head back to the train station and exit by the right (It's below the platform you got off the Timber Owl's train onto).
Go into the Timber Maniacs building and search all the stacks of magazines to find the naughty magazine "Girl Next Door." Go into the room on the left and there's a draw point hidden behind the desk from which you can get Blizzaga. Back in the main room, head straight up through the doors and go to the right side to find another copy of Timber Maniacs.
Leave the Timber Maniacs building and head to the right. Go down the stairs and fight the two G-soldiers to get a Buel card and then use the Cure draw point. Go into the pub and talk to the drunkard, selecting the second option. He'll give you a Tonberry card and then the owner will move him out of the way of the door. Exit through it and use the draw point to get some Scan spells and then save.
Head left and then up the winding stairs to the giant monitor. Rinoa throws a hissy fit and storms off regardless of what you say to her. Suddenly, the monitor flickers on and the broadcast begins. Vinzer Deling announces that their new ambassador is Sorceress Edea and that they seek to make peace with the rest of the world. However, Seifer barrels on screen, knocking the camera over and he takes Vinzer Deling hostage. Quistis storms in and calls to Squall to hurry to the TV station.
Follow the path all the way along and you'll quickly arrive there. Zell blurts out that they're from Garden and then Seifer drags Deling from the room. As Quistis runs after them, follow her.
We find Seifer backing away, still holding his gunblade to Vinzer Deling's neck as a mysterious woman walks through a wall behind him. She talks to Seifer and he drops the President. Quistis comes running in but the woman uses some magic to send her flying backwards. As Squall and his party arrive, the woman and Seifer walk through the wall. Was that Sorceress Edea?
Deciding that they need to hide quickly, Quistis and Rinoa will run off. Follow them to the house next to the Timber Maniacs building. They hold a conversation about Seifer but the Galbadians arrive! Upstairs, talk to Quistis twice and go back downstairs. Try to leave and after Squall decides they should go to Galbadia Garden, the lady gives him an Antidote, Phoenix Down, Potion, Remedy and a Soft. Outside, head to the right and take the tickets from Zone (who's dressed up like an old man).
Exit via the right again and go up the steps. Enter the house and talk to the old man, choosing the second option, "Yeah, kind of..." Use the basin to the left and you'll be fully healed; this is the Owl's Tear that the old woman in the booth was talking about. You can't use it twice in the same visit to the house. Also, you can repeatedly search the cupboard to steal 500 gil, but afterwards, you can't "get" the Owl's Tear anymore. Leave the house, go across the bridge and head downwards to where Quistis is standing if she isn't in your party. Talk to her and you'll all get onboard the train.
Onboard, talk to everyone, saving Zell for last. Pick the first option and the train journey will end. On the world map, head west into the forest where Squall, Selphie and Quistis pass out...
Entry and Escape! (Centra)
Yup, Laguna and co. are back! After the brief conversation check your junctions. You'll end up on a walkway; use the Sleep draw point and get ready to fight a bunch of Esthar Soldiers. Once you've wiped the floor with them, junction Thunder* to Elem-Atk-J since most of the enemies for this section are mechanical. Hopefully by this point, you'll be able to draw mid-level spells, so if you can, make sure to stock up on 'em!
Head on up the walkway and carry on the path, not taking the one on the right. You'll be at a three-way junction; take the right to get Confuse from a draw point and then down the middle path to reach a ladder. Head down it and go through the reactor room, to a room with three trapdoors. Tamper with the second but don't wak back over it since you'll set it off. Follow the path along to a huge pipe, and in the bottom right, you should be able to find an old key... which Laguna will then proceed to lose through a hole in his pocket. Walk up the next two screens until you reach a room with a boulder to the right and a grey thingy on the floor. Use the "thingy" and select the second option, and then the first option, thus detonating a few explosives, including the boulder in that room. Head upwards to find a long, metal bridge; walk all the way round, and you'll reach a long, curving room. Examine the boulder to push it, thus uncovering a Cure draw point. Exit from the south-east and you'll find that you're back in the room where Laguna lost the key.
It's important to note that around this area you can find both Gespers and Elastoids, from which you can get Black Holes and Laser Cannons. These in turn can teach Quistis Degenerator and Homing Laser respectively; the former being incredibly useful in fights later on.
Go back up a screen and then exit via the right; follow the path along until you find yourself at a cliff edge. You'll have to fight some Esthar soldiers (the more advanced ones) and once defeated, one of them will cast Soul Crush, thus reducing Ward's and Kiros' health to 1.
Now, it is possible to actually only have to fight one party of Esthar soldiers, or a total of five, depending upon what you did inside the site:
1) Tamper with the trap door.
2) Detonate the rock farthest from the detonator.
3) Detonate the rock nearest the detonator.
4) Push the rock to reveal the hidden draw point.
Spotting a boat below, Laguna decides it's their only way to escape, and thus pushes Kiros and Ward off the cliff edge before stumbling off himself...
Garden Hopping (Galbadia Garden)
Since Quistis and Zell were the ones who took Kiros and Ward's place in the dream world, they now have one health each, so it's recommended to use a tent now. Have you taught Mug to Diablos yet? If not, I'd recommend doing so as quickly as possible. If you do, junction Thunder to Elem-Def-J and run around in the forest. You want to Mug Wendigos to get Steel Pipes which you'll need to remodel Squall's Revolver to the Shear Trigger, thus teaching him the Fated Circle limit break. You need Thunder junctioned to Elem-Def-J because you'll probably fight a fair few Cockatrices and Grendels in there, which have very strong Thunder attacks.
Once you have enough Steel Pipes, head into Galbadia Garden which should be visible from the other side of the forest. At the central gate, Quistis will leave your party to go and find the headmaster of G-Garden. Upon entering the main hall, an announcement will come over the tannoy for you to head to the reception room on the second floor, but we'll ignore that for now. There's a Haste draw point in the bright light at the center of the hall, so use that. Take the right path and then the left door. You can't get at the draw point on the ice hockey pitch so head to the left and use the door there. In the locker room you should find another draw pointm this time Life. Head back to the main hall and take the path upwards. Keep heading that way until you reach an athletics track; use the Shell draw point here and return to the screen with the stairs. Head upwards and take the right path. Follow the circular path around to the Auditorium, where you'll find a hidden Double draw point by the podium. Now, head back to the top of the stairs and talk to the guard; he'll let you into the room.
A brief scene will follow; talk to Zell and then try to leave. After talking to Quistis, talk to Rinoa and then Selphie, before Squall storms out of the room. Head down to the main hall and you'll bump into Fujin and Raijin; once you're done talking to them, head for the central gate. You'll find Quistis there; talk to her and then Rinoa when she arrives. Martine will then turn up and brief you on the mission that you've just been given; to assassinate the Sorceress! However, you need a sniper to do the job and none of your team fit that description, so Martine introduces sharpshooter Irvine Kinneas, your newest party member.
You'll need to make up a party now and Irvine knows what he wants... pick the option "That's no good..." to get a tutorial about the Switch Member/Junction commands. Once you've picked your party, head to the northwest from Galbadia Garden to Far East Galbadia Station. Talk to the train attendant and fork over 3000 gil. The second party will join you on the train, with Irvine hitting on all the girls. As usual, Selphie will head off to her singing spot, this time followed by Irvine. Go after them and you'll have a short sequence. Talk to Selphie and head back to the entrance chamber for one last talk before you arrive in Deling City.
Tomb of the Unknown King (Deling City)
I find it's incredibly easy to get lost in Deling City on your first visit, but there have been a few changes since Laguna was here, most notably in the introduction of the bus service system. All around the city you'll find bus attendants at bus stops; if you talk to them while a bus is parked next to them, they'll let you on the bus. Even more important is the fact that it's free, and saves you a lot of time.
Head up the escalator and a short sequence will occur. If Rinoa is in your party, she sure seems to know a lot about Deling City... Head north to a fountain and you should be able to see a bus attendant (they all wear green). Talk to him when the bus arrives and choose the first option to get onboard it. It'll take you to just outside General Caraway's Mansion. Follow the onscreen instructions to get off the bus. Now, head across the street and exit via the left. Use the draw point to get Thundara and continue to the left to the gateway. Head down from there and you should be at a screen where there are three bus stops. Exit to the left to find the shopping arcade. Find the Junk Shop and remodel Squall's Revolver to the Shear Trigger, and stock up on any items you feel you need. You may also want to find the Hotel, and spend the night there, so that you can find another Timber Maniacs issue.
Head back the way you came to just outside General Caraway's Mansion, and this time talk to the soldier on the right side of the screen. He tells you that to get in, you need to get the password from the Tomb of the Unknown King. After giving you a map, choose the fifth option to be escorted to the Rent-A-Car shop. The choice is up to you, but renting a car should make the trip a lot easier, but you will need to stock up on certain spells which means walking is worth it as well.
The Tomb of the Unknown King is found to the northeast of Deling City on a peninsula. On the way, you should fight at least a few Thrustaevis; you need to draw at least twenty Floats from them; stock up on Aeros if you can get them as well.
At the tomb, you will see two female Galbadia Garden cadets running like hell. They'll drop a very useful hint about using the Float spell... Use the save point and the Protect draw point before venturing inside. Head straight up and you'll see a gunblade lying on the floor. Examine it to get the password you need, but you're not done here yet! Just as a note, the password is different for every game so I can't just give it to you here so you can skip this section. You shouldn't want to anyway because there's a very valuable prize at the end of it...
Now, here's a simple rule of thumb for navigating your way around the Tomb of the Unknown King. If you can, turn right. If you can't, go straight on. This will take you to the four corners which are the key points of the maze. Also, you'll want to be stocking up on Shell and Protect from the monsters here. Your first stop will be the easternmost part of the maze. Here you'll find a giant statue; take this opportunity to junction Aero to your Elem-Atk-J, and then approach the statue, upon which it comes to life!
DRAW: Shell, Protect, Berserk, Life
If you cast Scan upon Sacred, you'll notice the description says that it "Recovers by power of the earth." Remember what the two girls mentioned? Float. Simply cast it on Sacred and he'll take off into the air, thus breaking his link with the floor, and ending his regen cycle.
Now, I found this fight really easy coz' I'd been spending lots of time drawing spells from enemies, so I had as much as I could junctioned to my stats. This is a brilliant opportunity to stock up on Life spells, so make the most of it, as well as getting however many more Shell and Protect spells you need.
Once you've finished stocking up on magic, just pound him to the ground with your Aero-enhanced weapons. If you need to use GFs, I recomend you stick with just Diablos
WIN: G-Hi-Potion (x8)
After he's defeated, Sacred will scarper. Don't worry about it for now, you've still got some more things to do in here. Follow the rule of thumb once more to end up at the northernmost part of the maze. Examine the right-hand side of the chain to undam the water, and draw some more Float from the draw point.
Again, follow the rule of thumb and you'll end up at the westernmost part of the maze. Use the gears and then, if you have Siren's Move-Find equipped, use the hidden draw point to get some Cura.
For the final time, use the rule of thumb to get out of the Tomb of the Unknown King. Now, I'm sure you'll be asking yourself: Why did I do that stuff with the chain and gears if I'm going to leave right now? The answer is, you're not leaving. Use a tent on the savepoint and then save before heading back inside. This time, ignore the rule of thumb and keep heading up until you find Sacred again, but this time, he's brought a friend... or rather, his big brother. No, really... the little one is older than the big one.
BOSS: Sacred and Minotaur
DRAW: (Sacred) Shell, Protect, Berserk, Life
(Minotaur) Shell, Berserk, Protect, Double
Once you're done stocking up on spells, especially Double if you haven't already done so, cast float onto Minotaur, the short one. Ignore Sacred for the moment; it doesn't matter if he gets healed, because he's not gonna get attacked yet. Concentrate your physical attacks onto Minotaur until he's defeated, making sure to keep the Float up on him.
Once he's down, switch to Sacred, and repeat the tactic. Sacred will attack more frequently with Minotaur down, but that's just fine; keep your party healed up, except for Squall. When he's in critical, let loose with Renzokuken to finish off this fight. If Squall gets killed, just draw/cast life onto him.
If Selphie is in your party and has learnt Full-Cure in her Slot limit break, and EVERYONE'S health is low, have her use it and switch to GFs for Squall once more. Following thse tactics, the fight shouldn't be too hard...
WIN: G-Returner (x8), G-Hi-Potion (x8), Sacred's Card, Brothers (GF).
You'll receive Minotaur's card from the Unknown King and then you can leave the Tomb at last.
When The Poop Hits The Fan (Deling City)
As you may guess from the title I've given this section, all hell is going to break loose. Head back to Deling City and make your way to Caraway's Mansion once more. Talk to the soldier and pick the first option. Now, it's important to note that you must put the three digit code in BACKWARDS. If the code was 123, then you need to enter it as 321. Once you give him the right password, he'll let you in. Use the savepoint by the entrance and then enter.
Talk to Rinoa and she'll talk about General Caraway in a very familiar way... Caraway will eventually enter the room. He'll brief you on the mission, but insists that his daughter, Rinoa, cannot be allowed to participate in it. Next, he will give you a guided tour of sorts; showing you around the places that are vital to the success of the assassination attempt to be made on the Sorceress.
Once you gain control of Quistis, exit the area and you'll bump into Rinoa, upon which, Quistis lets rip. GO QUISTY, GO!
Back to Squall; follow Caraway to the Presidential Residence and then exit via the left.
Quistis once more; she'll want to apologise to Rinoa. Head back to the mansion via the quick path (the one with the Thundara draw point on).
Rinoa: Daddy dearest tries to lock her in the briefing room, but she escapes and sets off to use the Odine Bangle on Edea...
Back to Quistis; once they reach the briefing room, the door locks shut behind them, with the time running out! Oh crap!
You should now gain control of Rinoa. Use the savepoint and then examine the manhole and opt to go inside. Keep heading left until you find the Weapon Mon May, and then return. Now, climb up the crates by using the X button. Head left once you reach the ledge and use the ladder on the next screen. Climb onto the final section of roofing and Rinoa will find herself inside. Walk to the chair and... well, I'm not gonna spoil it. Just sit back and watch!
We come back to Quistis and co. once more. Examine the painting on the wall and you can see the statue has a glass in its hand. Walk to the cabinet on the left and take a glass. Now, it's very hard to see, but in the very top-left part of the room is a seperate section, in which is a statue which looks remarkably like the one in the painting. Put the glass in the statues hand and it will reveal a secret door!
Enter it and then go down the ladder, making sure to equip Quistis and co. with GFs and whatnot. Walk onto the wooden platform next to the waterwheel and press X to climb over it. Head upwards and you will be greeted with a FMV of the parade beginning...
Controlling Squall once more, follow Irvine into the Presidential Residence. Equip them both with GFs and magic. Simply follow the route you took as Rinoa (except skipping the manhole). Head towards the building when on the rooftop and you'll see Vinzer Deling's corpse. Head into the building, taking note of the hatch in the floor. Continue on and you'll find Rinoa about to be attacked by the monsters Edea created!
BOSS: Iguion (x2)
DRAW: Cure*, Esuna, Break, Carbuncle
This fight is woefully easy, simply because it's most devastating attack, Magma Breath, which casts gradual petrify upon one of your characters, can be undone by draw/casting an Esuna from them!
First thing you need to do is draw Carbuncle; this GF is vital for the next boss fight. You need to use Brothers nigh-on constantly since these guys are weak against earth damage, but don't use Ifrit since they can't be damaged with fire.
Stock up on Cure* and Esuna while pummelling the two Iguions and this fight should be incredibly profitable for you.
WIN: G-Returner (x8)
MUG: G-Returner (x6)
Head back to the room with the hatch and use it to get to the firing point. Examine the sniper rifle to the left of the entrance and you'll have a short sequence, where Irvine reveals at the end that's he's scared. Just what we need...
We switch to Quistis and co. for the last time. Junction them up with GFs and magic before heading into what is every FFVIII FAQqer's nightmare...
Move forward and open the gate in front of you, and then head to the upper-left corner, opening that gate. Walk to the ladder on the wall and you'll knock it down, forming a bridge across the water. Cross it and follow the path to find an Esuna draw point. Double back to across the ladder and then head left, through the next gate. Continue on 'til the next bridge; cross it and then leave via the gate on the right. Go across the bridge and leave by the top-left to get to the Zombie draw point, before going back to the bridge and examining the waterwheel. Head right and examine the next waterwheel, clambering over it as before, and then head down. Examine this waterwheel and then down once more, to yet another waterwheel before going down once more. You can knock the ladder down and cross it to get to a save point, but there's another one a few screens away so I suggest not bothering. Instead, head right and examine the final waterwheel; clamber over it and then follow the path.
The Cliff Notes version for that section is as follows, since it's a bugger to navigate:
Use the savepoint and climb up the ladder. You'll find yourself inside the Gateway. Get back on the ladder and climb up once more. Walk to the window and after a few seconds, the clock will hit 20:00. Push the switch to the left of the ladder and this section will be done and dusted...
We come back to Squall and Irvine, with the latter still afraid. Squall succeeds in convincing Irvine to take the shot and the aim is good, but Edea's magic stops the bullet, meaning Squall has to take her out himself...
DRAW: Fire*, Cure*, Life
This fight is pathetically easy, despite having to fight it with only Squall. One boosted GF ought to be enough to do away with Seifer, but I wouldn't recommend it. Instead, just leech plenty of Fira, Cura and Life, while draw/casting Cura on yourself if you need it.
So, Seifer is down, leaving only Edea to go. Luckily, Rinoa and Irvine show up to help out; trust me when I say Squall would get slaughtered on his own...
DRAW: Cure*, Dispel, Life, Double
First thing first, summon Carbuncle. If you don't, Edea is going to beat you about the place so easily. Instead, to counter Carbuncle, Edea will cast Dispel on all three characters. By the time she's done that, you ought to have summoned Carbuncle again. Meanwhile, your other two characters should just pummel the crap out of the Sorceress!
If you didn't get Carbuncle from the Iguion's, or simply forgot to junction it, you're in a lot of trouble. Her attacks will do about 300+ damage on each casting, which means you're gonna be in a whole world of pain. Draw/cast Double on at least one person and use them as a healer while the other two use either limits or GFs. Normal attacks won't really cut it unless your party is inhumanly strong at this point, which I severely doubt.
When her HP hits 0, the fight is over, but the trouble has only just begun. For one, Edea most definitely looks like she's still alive and that gigantic shard of ice she just threw at Squall... well it looks sharp. And having it stick out of his chest like that? Gotta be painful. The world fades to black...
So I'm on my first playthrough of FF8 and I just had a strange scene. I found a key and the text box says something like
Laguna found a