The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 6: Part Six: Test Prep

Part Six: Test Prep

Well, we've finished with the Fire Cavern. Let's head home.

First order of business: renaming Ifrit. He is now Mufasa.

Nothing eventful happened on the way back.

Thank you, Quistis.

: Let's see... I thought there was something else I needed to go over with you before you take the SeeD exam... Oh yes! Taking care of your GF. This is something you have to watch out for.

No thank you, Quistis.

: Now change into your uniform and assemble at the 1F Lobby.

We're going to do a lot of stuff here, but it's not that.

This is what I'm talkin' about.

Six Cures is not many Cures.

Next on the agenda: makin' friends.

Sure, man. Whatever.

Always be sure to talk to the gatekeeper. It's just good manners.

I absolutely do want to play cards with this guy, but not quite yet.

It's still somehow morning, I guess.

This is kind of an oblique hint at a mechanic in the exam: you lose points if you talk to people, starting as soon as you put your uniform on.

Up to the second floor. There's something important to do here.

It is not listening to this conversation.

But I mean, we're already here.

Exam Passer: Th-th-three... 3 times now.
Also Here: I see, the third time is always a charm.

The SeeD exam is apparently very difficult. I hope we pass.

Exam Passer: What about you? How far along are you?
Also Here: Me? At the rate I'm going, I'll take the exam next term. It'll be my first time. My goal is to be like Instructor Quistis Trepe.

Quistis is apparently considered to be something of a prodigy.

Also Here: She became a SeeD at age 15 and an instructor by 17! It's so impressive. She's my idol.
Exam Passer: Yeah, mine too.

Like I said, something of a prodigy. It seems kind of irresponsible to have a 17-year-old teaching other 17-year-olds, but I'm not the Garden faculty. Quistis is also well-liked by the students, and a lot of people look up to her because of her achievements.

Also Here: Hey, maybe you have a crush on her?
Exam Passer: What?! No! It's not like that at all.
Also Here: Yeah, right...
Exam Passer: Anyway, I'm gonna rock this exam!

Well, listening to this conversation was fun and informative, but I can't spend all day eavesdropping.

I have to get helpful advice from my peers, for example.

It's also time to play a lot of cards. Playing cards is very important if you want to break the game, but I'm working towards a more specific short-term goal. It's a good idea to play against the gatekeeper because he uses some good cards and you can build up your deck pretty quickly.

For the rest of this update, you can listen to the card music:

Oh, and here's a Triple Triad fact: every time you start a card game, the game takes a few seconds to load it and it's annoying.

For this goal, I will need five Abyss Worm cards.

While I'm here, I also play a game with one of the Trepies.

It's weird that you own this, dude.

I played several games of cards, so I ended up having this guy show up.

Card Fan: They're bunch of card maniacs looking for worthy opponents day and night. Consider it an honor to be challenged to a game by one of the CC Group members.

This guy is just telling us about a sidequest that'll show up in a while. Thanks, guy.

Next on the card game world tour: these girls in the dormitory hall.

They play Blitz cards. I want 5 of these as well.

At this point I junctioned all three GFs to Squall because I need to grind out a couple of abilities.

The best place to grind at this point is on the beach, where an enemy called Fastitocalon-F (the f is for fake) shows up.

They made me level up.

Fish fins turn into something pretty decent.

Here's our real prize. 6 AP is pretty good.

After that fight, I got this. Refinement abilities let you make magic straight from items, and they're really the only sensible way to get 100 spells of any type.

For example, I can turn 1 Fish Fin into 20 Water spells. It would take forever to draw these out of an enemy (once we found an enemy with Water to draw), but here's the thing the game doesn't tell you: drawing spells is only for getting some rare spells or getting a top up, and you should never try to draw 100 spells. Not only is it tedious, but you only need 100 spells if you're trying to junction, and you can do okay only junctioning things you can refine.

Case in point: Water is twice as effective a junction as Fire (or Thunder, or Blizzard) on Strength, and I can get a ton of them from the otherwise useless Fish Fins.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Queso learned this after another round with Fastitocalons.

Card is very useful, and will probably always be on whoever has Queso junctioned from now on.

It also unlocks the opportunity to learn the supremely useful Card Mod - this ability is the second part of breaking the game.

I decided to learn T Mag-RF instead.

Anyway, Card.

If you use Card in battle, it puts on a laser show for you. This is very useful if you want to have fun, because laser shows are very fun.

It also turns whatever you hit with it into a card, but who gives a fuck?

The real utility of Card is that it lets you end battles with most enemies (not humans or bosses) without gaining EXP.

BUT, you still gain items and AP.

After a dozen or so battles with my beach friends, I get F Mag-RF...

...And T Mag-RF...

...And Card Mod. I could do some real horseshit right now, but I don't want to.

Card Mod lets you turn your cards into items.

Some of these items can be useful, like these ones that let Quistis learn Blue Magic spells she can use for her limit breaks.

With Card Mod, you can also get super-early access to powerful junctions like Tornado.

Or Thundaga. I'm not planning on using these two regularly, they're for a specific purpose. This is the test prep referred to in the update title, and we're done with that now.

So we can go back to eavesdropping.

If you talk to this girl, it overlaps her talk text box with the other one, which pops up when you stand near her.

Knows about Exams: Yes. I heard only 12 people qualified for the field exam.
Curious about Exams: I wonder how many will pass?
Knows about Exams: Oh, the failure rate is quite high.

The difficulty of the SeeD exam is quite a belaboured point around Garden, and has given me an idea for a little experiment.

Yes, he is.


I'd like to believe that Squall is getting a reputation for walking around Garden, just listening to people talk like a weirdo.

If you go back to the classroom, the Trepie girls have some combat stats for you.

The short-haired one tells you how many enemies Quistis has defeated. (In this run, the only thing she's defeated is Mufasa.)

Well then I don't care about you, either. Hmph.


Well, that would be bad manners. It doesn't matter what you say.

Yeah, you probably watched our exam because all Trepies are creeps.

Quistis never does anything.

So, anyway, this is the important thing I came up to the second floor for.

Not this guy, I don't give a fuck about him.

This guy.

Curious Guy: You know, on gunblades. I heard you and Seifer are the only students to choose gunblade as your specialty.

Important Lore: Squall and Seifer are the only gunblade users at Garden.

This is why we want to talk to this guy.

Squall, always the professional, whips his gunblade out right in the middle of the hallway.

Right on cue, a guy in a suit runs out of the classroom.


Wow, fuck you. I was just trying to be nice to this guy.


That was the important thing on the second floor - getting into trouble.

Now we can head to the dormitory, only stopping to tell this Trepie to get fucked on the way.

To the dorm!

I forgot something...

You can get this from the little kid running around the central hallway of Garden.

Too late!

Now, to the dorm!

Once we change, we're locked into doing the SeeD exam.

You're going to lose points if you don't zip that jacket up, young man.

Next time: the SeeD exam!