Hopefully Conquering Final Fantasy 8: Part 1

I’m sure you’ve all heard me complain about it, many times before, but I was never able to beat Final Fantasy 8.  I think it was due to a complete lack of understanding as to how Junctioning works, along with the fact that enemies become more powerful the more you level up, that accounted for my struggles with the game.  Rarely do I fail to complete a game I have started, but after many hours of struggling against the final boss, barely able to leave a dent in their lofty HP, I had to accept that victory was miles beyond my reach.

Several years have since passed, and I have returned.  And this time, I mean business.  By business, I mean that I am taking advantage of every piece of advice anyone has ever given me, and consulting an online walkthrough, because darn it, I am not going to work my way through four discs just to fail again!  I am drawing magic like crazy, trying extra hard to learn how to properly Junction magic, and…playing cards?

I am not the kind of person who enjoys extra diversions in video games, particularly anything that is, or feels like, a mini game.  I mean, I never…ever…ever played Blitzball in Final Fantasy 10, except that one time when they made me.  Likewise, when I first played FF8, I had no desire to play Triple Triad, a card game to which you can challenge random people throughout the game.  It just didn’t seem like a good use of my time, so…I probably played one game and never bothered again.

Well, I heard that it was actually beneficial to play Triple Triad, and now that I’ve looked up some tips on getting stronger cards, I’ve actually become quite addicted to it.  And I have developed a perfectly grand strategy.  What I do is…I save after every successful game and kill my characters off if I lose (not because Squall has lost the will to live, but because I don’t like losing my good cards).  Ha ha, I have never officially lost a game!  Not one that I have saved after, anyway, and that still counts!  Thus far, I have gotten Ifrit, Minimog, Diablos, and a few stronger cards I either won from people or obtained from catching enemies in the Fire Cavern, which has certainly made my endeavors far easier.  Needless to say, building a stronger card collection is a lot more fun than I had expected.

Aside from that, I haven’t progressed too far into the game story-wise.  I got just past the mission in Dollet where you get chased by the spider robot.  When I first played the game, that robot caused me so much trouble.  This time, I looked up some tips for avoiding it, and I only had to fight it that first, initial time it appears.  I even saved the dog!  Yay!  Cheating is fun!

I’ve got a good feeling about my second playthrough.  This time, I will beat the game and add it to my list of victories!  Then again, even if I don’t win…

Whatever…

That was a joke.  Because I’m totally finishing the game this time.  The Duck shan’t fail.

I Think a Far Cooler Name for the Main Character is Squall Duckheart

Image from Flickr User: metallimaniac

11 Comments

  1. Kariyanine says:

    Final Fantasy 8 is one Final Fantasy I’ve never completed. This mostly stems from the fact that my memory card failed and I lost all my progress. Being as I was on the last disc, this made me incredibly angry and I haven’t ever returned to the game.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      I would have been very upset, too, if that had happened to me. That’s always a big fear of mine, that I’ll be far along into a game, only to lose my save file. There were a few times in the past when I accidentally chose to load a file rather than save it, and I lost my day’s progress. Needless to say, I was very unhappy with myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Celia Sheilamae Balderas says:

    Yeah FFVIII is a little bit complicated compare to other FF. Like FFIX and the others. Since it is very unique. You should not level your characters higher than 20 or else the enemies will become harder. And mostly your strength depends on the GF and the junction and magic is very important because your strength mainly depend on it. But despite all that I find it interesting and fun especially the Sorceress, the fact that Balamb Garden is actually a flying school and such hehe

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      While I am accustomed to RPGs where I can simply level up until I am strong enough to defeat tough enemies, I find it rather exciting to see if I can master FF8’s Junctioning. Right now, I’ve been spending most of my time Drawing magic…or playing Triple Triad, since I heard playing that game can be beneficial. Hopefully my extra efforts will pay off this time around.

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  3. The level-scaling made FFVIII the most difficult in the series for me, but it ended up as my personal favorite of the numbered entries (Tactics is my all-time favorite FF, for what it’s worth). Hopefully you enjoy it while you’re determined to finish it up!

    I always seem to get sucked into FF mini-games. I played a ton of Triple Triad and Blitzball, but not enough of the latter to get the ultimate weapon as a reward.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      I think I’m going to like FF8 a lot more this time around, now that I understand it better. I’m making progress very slowly because I’m spending a lot of time Drawing magic and playing Triple Triad at the moment. I hope that if I really prepare myself early on, the rest of the game won’t be so tough.

      Triple Triad has been really addicting. Today, I got the Seifer card from the Headmaster and am working on getting the Quistis card from some guy in the Cafeteria. Mainly, I keep getting a Draw or winning when less desirable cards are available, but I’ll get that card eventually.

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  4. Let me know if you need some more Junctioning advice! I think I mentioned this before, but I’d actually rely on drawing spells from enemies rather than the draw points, and I’d find ones that had the “basic” spells like Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, Cure, etc. and the upgrades of those whenever you get to them. I was exactly the same way you were when I first played it. I was constantly summoning my GFs instead of using the Junction system in the right way and it caused me no end of grief. I think FFVIII has the most complicated magic system on the surface, but once you get used to it, it’s really neat!

    The secret with the card game is to NEVER let the Random or Closed rules spread o.O There’s a place where all the rules are activated and there’s a rare character card. I can’t tell you how many times I hit reset…

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      What I’m kind of curious about is…should I only focus on drawing magic from enemies, but not on actually defeating them? I was wondering if it’s best to run from battles once I draw enough magic so I don’t risk leveling up and making enemies tougher. Then again, I do want to make my GF’s stronger….

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      1. You can defeat enemies! Trust me once you learn how to Junction and you have the proper magic, you won’t have any issue with enemies even when they level up. There’s also an ability that will let you change enemy levels, which is really useful for when you want to draw magic that’s level dependent.

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        1. duckofindeed says:

          Cool, that’s good to know. I wanted my GF’s to learn some abilities, but then I didn’t want to risk leveling up too much. It was a conundrum. Thanks for the advice! I’ll have to look out for that ability. It sounds quite useful indeed!

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