Balamb Garden
Third Visit


The game continues back in the town of Balamb. Seifer and his crew will steal the only car which will leave Squall, Zell, Selphie and Quistis to walk back to Balamb Garden on foot. There are a few things you can do though now while you’re in back in Balamb Town…

Squall at the Balamb Harbor suggesting that they may as well walk back to Balamb Garden

Leave the Harbor area and travel up to the Balamb Hotel. Go into the hotel and up to the second floor to find an issue of Timber Maniacs lying on the table. Finding issues of Timber Maniacs adds additional articles that you can read on Sir Laguna’s Page on the Study Panel in Balamb Garden. Not a huge reward but important if you plan on fully completing the game!

Just outside of the Balamb Hotel where the first issue of Timber Maniacs can be found
Picking up Timber Maniacs in the room of the Balamb Hotel

Use the Draw Point in the center of Balamb which contains Thunder magic.

Leave Balamb Town and make your way back to Balamb Garden. This is another good opportunity to level up your characters and your Guardian Forces before you continue.

Remember: the best place to level your Guardian Forces is down on the beach defeating Fastitocalon-F enemies as they give the most EXP.

Opening brief cinematic of Balamb Garden

Front Gate

Zell and Selphie will part ways with Squall when the three of them arrive at the front gate. They agree to reconvene once the results of the SeeD Field Exam in Dollet are announced.


Squall will run into Quistis, Xu and Headmaster Cid near the directory in the hall. Some dialogue will automatically pick up as you approach the three of them.

Travel to the right of the group of them and head down the pathway leading towards the Library to find Seifer. Talk to him and the story will continue moving forward. Travel back to the hall after Cid, Xu and Quistis leave the area. Take the elevator the the second floor.

Intercom announcing that all SeeD participants needed to go to the 2nd floor hallway

2F Hallway

Walk forward to find each of the SeeD exam participants waiting around in anticipation of the results. Talk to each person there (or just wait a while) and a faculty member will enter the area and begin announcing the results. The successful applicants, including Squall, will head up to Headmaster Cid’s office for the inauguration ceremony.

Zell, Selphie, Squall and Seifer all heading into the Dollet Communication Tower

Talk to Cid after his speech is over to receive a “Battle Meter”. Check out the Battle Meter page in the tips and tricks section for more information on what you can do with it. And don’t worry, you can pick this item up later if you left Cid’s office before speaking to him.

Once Squall is sent back to the 2F Hallway, the other unsuccessful participants will give Squall and the other new SeeD members a round of applause. You will then receive your new SeeD Rank.

Dollet Communication Tower cinematic

As noted on the previous pages, your SeeD rank isn’t too important as it is fairly easy to increase your rank, especially with the help of a strategy guide like this one.

You receive points for:

  • Conduct (how much time you had remaining when you reached the Dollet shore)
  • Judgement (how much time you had left after you defeated Ifrit with smaller values being better)
  • Attack (the number of enemies you’ve killed with more being better)
  • Spirit (how often you escaped from battle with less being better)
  • Attitude (talking to too many people, disregarding Seifer’s order, talking to Biggs, jumping off the cliff, not saving the dog from X-ATM092, hiding in the pub - are all worth negative points)

A typical ranking will be anywhere from 5 to 10 depending on how quick you were, how familiar you are with the game’s mechanics and the points mentioned above.


The game continues with Selphie and Squall in the dormitory. Selphie will show off her new SeeD uniform and tell Squall to go get changed. Go into the dorm and press the XButton near the bed to change into your uniform. Then go back out and speak to Selphie.

You’re the best looking guy here meme

The next scene is the fairly infamous dance scene cinematic and was a pinnacle achievement back in its time. This scene also spawned the “You’re the best looking guy here” meme as well!

Cinematic of Rinoa just ahead of the more infamous dance scene
Squall and Rinoa dancing with fireworks in the background

Quistis will meet up with Squall on the balcony after the scene is over and will ask him to meet her in the ‘secret area’ of the Training Center. Get changed again in the dorm and make your way to the Training Center (eastern section of the main hall). All of the other pathways are blocked off by Balamb Faculty members so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

Training Center

Quistis will be standing outside of the Training Center waiting for Squall when he arrives. She will give you one more overview of another game mechanic that becomes fairly important at this point in your playthrough but especially as you begin travelling through the Training Center (coming up).

Quistis will give you an explanation on how to junction magic to your attacks and to your armor. This is great timing, too, as your newest Guardian Force, Siren, has the ST-Atk-J ability which will allow you to junction status magic to your attacks. Quistis then recommends that you junction Sleep magic to your attacks as it can be used to put the dangerous T-Rexaur enemy to sleep.

Zell, Selphie, Squall and Seifer all heading into the Dollet Communication Tower

You may or may not have Sleep magic at this point, but you can Draw Sleep from nearly all of the enemies in the Training Center. Junction it to one of your character’s weapons and then time your attacks so that the character with Sleep junctioned attacks right after your other character. This will put T-Rexaur to sleep again right after its woken up and allows you to (very slowly) take down a T-Rexaur.

Dollet Communication Tower cinematic

Consider running away from the first one if you don’t have any Sleep magic junctioned just yet, but once you stock up, you can take down any of the other T-Rexaurs you come across in this area.

Battle against a T-Rexaur with the monster asleep

You can also use Blizzard magic or use your Guardian Force, Shiva, as T-Rexaur is weak to ice-based attacks. Using Shiva should also not wake up T-Rexaur if it has the Sleep status effect. Ideally, any T-Rexaur you come across should hardly be attacking your party members during a battle at all. It should spend nearly the entire fight asleep.

Take the pathway leading off to the right side of the screen. You can go either left or right and both directions lead to the same place, but there is a Blizzard Draw Point down the right pathway.

Battle against a T-Rexaur with the monster asleep

Save your game at the Save Point and then proceed to the back (‘secret area’) of the training center to continue the story and run through some more dialogue. Quistis will tell Squall that she is no longer an instructor at Balamb Garden and plans to just be a regular member of SeeD, opening the door for her to join Squall on future adventures.

Drawing Sleep from a Grat in the Training Center

Save your game again once Squall and Quistis exit the secret area and make your way back towards the entrance of the Training Center. The two will hear a scream once they get back near the entrance and will then be thrown into a really easy ‘boss battle’ that requires no preparation.

Boss Battle: Granaldo
Boss battle against Granaldo in the Training Center

Granaldo has three Raldo enemies standing in front of it. All three of these enemies and Granaldo will attack your party members but they are all extremely weak. This is a very easy boss battle as each of them do very little damage with each of their attacks. This will give you a great opportunity to Draw some important magic from each of the enemies though as well.

You can Draw Protect from the Raldos and you can Draw Shell from Granaldo. Stock up on both spells as they are both extremely helpful when junctioned to various character stats.

Granaldo can also be put to sleep using junctioned Sleep magic which makes this battle even easier.

Rescuing Ellone from the Granaldo in the Training Center

Draw List
Mug List
8x Wizard Stone
Drop List
4x Wizard Stone

You probably recognize the girl that Squall and Quistis saved; she is the same girl that appeared in Squall’s room in the Infirmary at the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, she is taken away before Squall can ask her any questions, but she will be making another appearance later in the game.


Head back to the Dormitory after Quistis parts ways with Squall. Zell will be standing out front ready to deliver some good news to Squall. As members of SeeD, they get access to new (larger) dorms!


You can save your game once more at the Save Point. Make sure to pick up the magazine sitting on Squall’s new desk. The magazine is Weapons Monthly, April Issue.

Squall approaching the Dormitory with Zell standing out front

Each of these magazines will provide you with a list of items that you need to acquire to upgrade your weapons. It is not required that you have the issue of Weapons Monthly in order to upgrade your weapons; its essentially just a recipe book.

As soon as you acquire the required materials, the option to upgrade your weapon will be available when you visit a weapons shop and you will be able to easily see which components you are missing.

Squall trying to go to sleep in his new Dormitory, talking about Timber and the Weapons Monthly magazine off to the right

Have Squall go to sleep and then make your way to the front of Balamb Garden the next day.


Travel out towards the front gate and you will run into Headmaster Cid and some faculty members. Cid will provide you with an overview of your next mission. Talk to Cid one more time and he will also provide you with a Magical Lamp item. You can use this Magical Lamp to summon and battle Diablos, a Guardian Force, who will join your party if you are able to defeat him.

Receiving the Magical Lamp from Headmaster Cid near the entrance to Balamb Garden

Start off by leaving Balamb Garden though and then turning around and heading right back into the garden. Work your way through the Hall and use the elevator to reach the third floor.

Returning to the 3F of Balamb Garden to obtain the Battle Meter from Headmaster Cid


The third floor is Headmaster Cid’s office. You can speak to him here and obtain the “Battle Meter” if you forgot to speak to him after the conclusion of the SeeD mission. Additionally, Headmaster Cid is a Triple Triad player…

Exit Balamb Garden again. Let’s make some important preparations before we kick off the battle against Diablos.

Alcauld Plains

Save your game before you attempt the battle against Diablos. The battle will begin as soon as you ‘use’ the Magical Lamp item that Headmaster Cid provided you with (by selecting it in your inventory). Make sure your characters are fully stocked with their Guardian Forces and that they have appropriate magic junctioned.

This is not a requirement, but you can make the battle even easier if you junction Blind magic to ST-Atk-J so that you can blind Diablos and prevent him from hitting you with regular attacks. Remember to check out the Magic Junction Guide if you’re not sure how to do this.

Guardian Force Battle: Diablos
Close-up of Diablos face during the battle against it

Defeating Diablos is pretty easy once you understand how its attacks work. Diablos primarily uses gravity-based magic; spells like Demi. Gravity-based magic deals damage as a percentage of your overall HP rather than a fixed number. This means that gravity-based attacks on their own cannot kill your party members. Spells like Demi will do less and less damage as your characters lose HP. Diablos has a regular physical attack that it sometimes uses which is the only attack that can cause a KO.

It’s most powerful attack, Gravija, inflicts 75% damage to a party member. It is a very effective and powerful attack but it can never cause a KO on its own.

One of the best strategies for defeating Diablos is to use its own magic against it. Draw the Demi spell and cast it directly on Diablos. This will inflict a percentage of damage, and because Diablos’ HP is so high, this can cause as much as 1,000-3,000 damage when you use it early on in the fight. Keep casting it until the damage that it causes gets too small and then switch over to other attacks.

Your characters will quite often have low HP throughout this fight due to the nature of Diablos’ attacks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though; it means that you can use each of their Limit Breaks multiple times throughout the battle. Just press the TriangleButton to switch party members until their Limit Break activates. It has a higher and higher likelihood as their HP gets lower and lower.

Selphie can can use a spell called “Full-Cure” which will fully heal each of your party member’s HP. Just keep selecting “Do Over” until it comes up. Squall’s Renzokuken attack is also a great option as well and it deals a ton of damage.

You can attempt this fight as many times as you need to as long as you saved before the battle.

Battle against Diablos

Draw List
Level 1-19:

Level 20-29:

Level 30-100:
Mug List
Drop List
Level 1-29:
8x G-Returner

Level 30-100:
4x Hero

You will receive the Diablos Achievement/Trophy once you have defeated it in battle and it has joined you as a Guardian Force.

Diablos Trophy

In addition to having a brand new Guardian Force (GF), you will also receive the Diablos Card as a reward for defeating Diablos.

This is a great Guardian Force to obtain as Diablos has a number of key abilities that you will want to have it learn as soon as possible.

Start off by having it learn Mug so you can start stealing powerful items from enemies and bosses, then move on to having it learn its Refine abilities (Time Mag-RF, ST Mag-RF), and then its junction abilities (HP-J, Hit-J), then Enc-Half and Enc-None; finally, have it learn HP+20%, HP+40% and HP+80%. All of these abilities are amazing additions for a character to have.

Selecting various Abilities for Diablos to learn once you obtain it as a Guardian Force

Your next destination is Balamb Town, but consider taking some time to level up your characters (by defeating Fastitocalon-F on the beach). You should also consider playing some Triple Triad to earn cards, using the Card Mod ability to refine cards into items, and then using refine abilities (Time Mag-RF, L Mag-RF, etc.) to refine items into magic that you can junction to your players. Refer to the Triple Triad Power Up strategy section for more information.

Battle against 2 Fastitocalon-F enemies down at the beaches of Balamb

Playing cards is much easier if you spread the ‘Diff’ rule throughout Balamb. This Queen of Cards strategy was mentioned earlier in the guide, but use this strategy up above if you haven’t already to spread the ‘Diff’ trade rule and earn cards much faster!

You can refine the following items at this stage of the game:

So play lots of cards and get to using Quezacotl’s Card Mod ability so you can convert those cards into items! This overall strategy is explained in greater detail in the Triple Triad Power Up strategy section.

Take some time to level your Guardian Forces to obtain as many of these junctions as possible by initiating battled down on the beach. Finally, head to Balamb Town when you’re ready to continue the story.

Balamb Town

Save your game just outside of Balamb Town as you may need to reset your game to complete the steps in the next section. Travel towards the train station and look for the Queen of Cards again.

If you’ve been playing cards and using the Card Mod ability on your duplicate cards, you may have acquired the necessary materials to remodel your weapons at the Balamb Garden junk shop. Some of the more high powered weapons that you can earn early on include:

Feel free to upgrade your weapons if you can spare the gil and the parts.

Upgrading weapons at the Balamb Town junk shop

Head to the train station in the area behind where the Queen of Cards was standing. The Station Staff member will charge you 3,000 gil for a ticket to Timber. Pay the price and board the train.

Boarding the train at the Balamb Town train station

You will receive the Handyman Achievement/Trophy as soon as you upgrade any of your character’s weapons at any junk shop.

Handyman Trophy


Save your game at the Save Point after you regain control of Squall. Travel through the doorway and into SeeD’s private cabin. Have Zell give you some info about Timber after Squall sits down next to him.

Zell, Selphie and Squall on the train to Timber

Zell will give Squall a magazine that he finds in the cabin, Pet Pals Vol.1, and after a short bit of dialogue Selphie will re-enter the room and the three SeeD team members will fall under a trance. The next part of the game is a short interlude involving Laguna, Kiros and Ward.

Zell, Selphie and Squall falling asleep in the train car cabin ahead of the Laguna Dream Sequence