The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 23: Part Twenty-Three: Another Garden

Part Twenty-Three: Another Garden

Coming back from Laguna's adventures, we can see Zell and Rinoa just sort of milling about while everyone's unconscious.

Of course, Zell's already read in on the Laguna situation.

: Sir Laguna's in BIG TROUBLE! I hope he'll be ok...!!!
: Doesn't seem like this is the first time for you all. What is this?

Quistis has an important question.

: We'll just be wasting our time trying to figure it out. Let's keep going.

Quistis probably isn't a huge fan of this answer, but he's not wrong. We have no leads, and it's not really hurting us, so the only option is to sit on it.

: Yeah, let's go! I think we're almost there.

One thing to do before we leave, though.

: I think I may have said too much. I'm sorry.

Of course, Squall just blows Rinoa off.

Switching gears, it's very important that Quistis and Selphie still only have 1 HP.

Good thing I have all these Potions, eh?

Now that we're through the forest, you can see Galbadia Garden is right there.

Of course, we're not going to head straight to the objective. We have to play in the forest first.

You see, I'm looking for one specific encounter. It is not this one.

It's also not this one.

The Ochu does drop Magic Stones, though, which are the missing link between M-Stone Pieces and Wizards Stones. I'll be using these ones to make Cura spells for healing.

Booyakaga also learns Time Mag-RF, which is a pretty important ability once you're able to junction spells to Speed.

I also set him up to learn Enc-None, which is a handy ability when you just want to run between cutscenes. Low-level games make big use of this, naturally.

This encounter is also also not the one I'm looking for. See, I'm missing a crucial but very stupid step in the process.

Wendigos are semi-useful, though, because they drop Steel Pipes, which are a popular upgrade material.

Oh, and Mufasa learned Str Bonus.

Since they're based on gaining levels, the Bonus abilities (spoiler: there's one for all the major stats) are most useful when equipped at low levels, but they're locked up behind the stat+X% abilities, so you usually don't get them until they're past their peak.

Now, back to that encounter I was looking for: to find it, it is critical that you are touching the canyon wall.

As long as you're touching the wall while you're in the forest, you can find these guys: Grendels. They're a fairly tough enemy (in fact, monsters are generally tougher than human enemies) that carries an important item when they're under level 20.

Look how happy Selphie is that I finally found one.

Also look at how I can't break my low-level game habits and insist upon defeating monsters by using Card.

This is the important item that Grendels can drop. Dragon Fangs are one of the materials for making Squall's ultimate weapon; you need four, and you can get them from Grendels now or by fighting other, tougher enemies later.

Grendels also have Double, you know, if you have nothing better to do.

While we're in battle, though, I might as well tell you about Quistis's Limit Break. It's Blue Magic.

Essentially, by feeding Quistis the right items, she learns various skills that enemies also use. You can get these items by killing certain enemies, or (more easily) by refining certain cards. There's also one that you can only get by refining a certain item when Siren is level 100.

Since I'm just trying to weaken this Grendel so Selphie can Card it, I decided to go with Aqua Breath.

Aqua Breath involves Quistis shooting a bunch of water out of her abs to damage enemies. She doesn't even open her mouth. Come on, Quistis.

And that's the story of how I ended up with four Dragon Fangs. Scintillating, no?

So, onward to Galbadia Garden.

The track titles on the soundtrack all have the word written as GARDEN in all-caps, but it's never that way during the game itself.

Upon entering, there's an FMV.

Apparently, Galbaia Garden trains jetpack soldiers. All SeeD gets is magic monsters that live in their brains. This is horseshit.

Also, the design of Galbadia Garden makes me think of a circus tent.

Hey, jetpack shitheads, you're blocking the sidewalk.

PS, welcome to another Garden update where I chat with everyone I find.

Jetpack soldiers will not chat, instead electing to fly away when you talk to them.

Galbadia Garden is a pretty nice-looking place.

I have nothing to add to this conversation, and certainly nothing to add to Rinoa giggling at Squall.

: Could you leave this one up to me? I've been here several times, and I know the headmaster pretty well.

Are you sure you should be talking to headmasters right now, Quisits? Seems like that hasn't gone well recently.

: I'll go and explain our situation.

Hey, you're an adult.

With Quistis heading off, we need to make a new party.

Since this only really affects once scene and the trigger is Zell not being in the party, this is how we're setting up.

Well, see ya, Zell.

Pretty nice atrium.

In the nice atrium, we also get this nice announcement. While we're in Galbadia Garden, this will show up every time you change screens.

This cool beam of light contains a Haste draw point. Aside from refining, this is the earliest you can get the spell.

Haste, which makes the ATB gauge fill faster, is (naturally) great as a Speed junction, but it's pretty handy as a regular spell too, especially if you're not just wrecking everything by spamming Limit Breaks all the time.

This draw point also reminds me that, for whatever reason, Quake is considered Time Magic for refining purposes.

Now, let's take a look around Galbadia Garden.

Squall would never interrupt someone's exam, because it would be bad manners.

He will, however, give a lecture to an empty room.

Unfortunately, we can't fully explore Galbadia Garden.

Of course, we'll do what we can.

Reading Girl: Oh gosh. I can't put this down.

I wonder what she's reading. Sounds good.


This guy just doesn't want to talk to Squall.

Inside this classroom, we can learn about which types of cards are best. Too bad for these nerds, the menu pre-sorts them for us.

Of course, you can play cards with all three of them.

More importantly, we can go for a skate.

Wait, no, everything is shit and life blows.

We can, uh, hang out in the locker room. That's also good.

Life is a handy spell that can replace Phoenix Downs (for whatever reason, you cannot refine Life from Phoenix Downs).

Unfortunately, it's about as hard to refine Life as it is to refine the better version, Full-Life, so it's not the winningest spell in the book.

Jesus, somebody's serious about hockey.

No shit you're worried, that's extremely fucked up.

Well, you have fun with that.

I'm just going to stare longingly at figure-skating practice.

No, I want to skate.

At this point, we've mostly exhausted our options for exploring.

All of the bouncer guys in the Garden will tell you where the reception room is, by the way.

The game is very insistent that you go there.

We are, instead, going to check out this lobby.

It's a good lobby, as far as I'm concerned.

Galbadia Garden has a shitload of sports facilities. Balamb has, like, none.

Shell is okay. It's the magical damage counterpart of Protect. I think Selphie drew seven.

This is the last hallway on Galbadia Garden's ground floor.

Let's head upstairs, I suppose.

That door right there is the reception room we're supposed to head to.

This is interesting. Cid was pretty shifty back at Garden, I could believe he's not doing everything on the up-and-up.

The second floor of the atrium doesn't really have anything going on.

There is another chance for Squall to make one of his classic lectures to empty rooms, though.

Oh, and we can find out that Galbadia Garden keeps their elevators under lock and key. We never get to have any fun.

Being as we're in a school, let's learn something.

We already knew the first part, but that second part is interesting. It also explains why it wasn't the world's number one bad idea to come here.

With everything else done, let's get received, I guess.