The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 121: Balamb Garden Info Archives

Bonus Update: Balamb Garden Info Archives

Today, we're going to take a trip all the way back to the study panel from the beginning of the game.

This thing is full of all kinds of information that very few people will ever see, since who reads tutorial shit like this? A lot of the information is just fluff, but some of it is very interesting/important, and it's all a sign of just how deep the dev team went with the design of Garden and SeeD. Besides that, somebody programmed all this into the game, so it's just polite for us to read it.

Let's start from the top, with the "About Garden" section.

This is the Garden info. I wonder how many kids come in here at 15 wanting to be SeeDs. That's the same age Quistis was when she graduated. I also wonder how they handle the 5-year-olds. They're probably not very good in combat training.

There are also individual rules pages for every Garden facility. I wonder how they separate classes with only one classroom in the whole building.

The training centre is not a petting zoo. If you go there for any reason other than to kill monsters, you will be expelled.

The infirmary is the only place in the whole Garden where the concept of "private property" is enforced.

At the library, they let you - get this - borrow books to read.

How do they know if somebody is out for a reason other than going to train? Do they walk you there and force you to fight? Or are they just hoping that when they ask where people are going, they'll be honest about it?

If you're going to get the munchies at 1 AM, you better be ready. A SeeD is always prepared.

Now that we've done all the facility rules, let's look at the student code of conduct.

I don't know if I mentioned it earlier, but there is a fucking ton of shit in here.

The Garden tries to be cool like there are no real rules, but you know it's lying.

"There are no rules unless you break them."

One of those things you can be punished for is not like the others. Also, I feel like Final Fantasy usually stays away from explicitly mentioning sex, so it's weird to see it included as a rule here.

Garden will employ you, but if you use the skills you learned there in your job, you are so fired. All SeeDs are only allowed to be gardeners.

Front gate's blocked? You're dead, I guess.

Then how do they get to and from the training centre, huh? Ever think of that, The Man?

So they kick you out at age 20. Good to know.

You know, it says that SeeDs get priority for the single dorms, but I wonder if any of the "undergrads" get in. I wonder what it would be like for the 15-year-olds or whatever who had to live with all the SeeDs and instructors.

There are three Gardens in the world, but they don't all train SeeDs, so it looks like some of them are just military academies with silly names that aren't puns.

Garden proprietor? What's that about? Eh, I'm sure it's not important.

Trabia is the least remarkable, and smallest, of the Gardens. Basically the community college of Gardens.

Galbadia Garden is the largest, but does not train SeeDs. It just trains Galbadian Soldiers.

Good question, game.

SeeDs are magic-powered teen mercenaries.

SeeD is not a picky organisation, nor is it concerned with morality. Garden will employ SeeDs to fight for anyone who will pay.

There's nothing to say about this one, but it closes out the "About Garden" bit.

Now we can find out about the Garden social calendar!

So, there's only one SeeD exam, and it's in the spring. I guess that means that this first bit of the game takes place in spring.

Garden students are fucked up about hot dogs. Using GF causes uncontrollable hot dog rage, you heard it here first.

It's been brought up in the thread that the disciplinary committee might be just a student group, but it seems from this that it's at least acknowledged by the administration, since this is in the official postings section. It's probably just that Seifer's a douche and a bully that makes people think that. He probably took over from someone.

Fun fact: the bit about reporting any unusual bugs comes from Raijin, who collects bugs.

If you know the characters from the game well enough, you know who all the holds belong to. Except maybe the one about edible flowers. I have no idea who would want to research that. Maybe it's Squall.

And there we go, we're done! That was certainly enlightening, n'est-ce pas?