Balamb Garden (Mobile)

The upgrades to the ship are nearly complete, but there are a few more cutscenes that will occur before you can leave Fishermans Horizon (FH). As suggested by Irvine, go find Selphie in the Quad. The Quad is located in the north-western portion of Balamb Garden following the pink pathway.

Speak to Selphie and offer to console her by responding with “(Cheer her up)” when given the opportunity. Squall will leave the area leaving Selphie and Irvine to plan out the stage performance.

Meeting with Selphie in the Balamb Garden Quad

Later on, in the center of Fishermans Horizon, you will be given the opportunity to select instruments for Zell, Irvine, Selphie, and Quistis, to play during the stage performance. You can select any one of four instruments for each person and the sheet music for each will correspond to either a fast song or a slow song.

The idea is to have all four party members be coordinated by playing either the fast or the slow song. The instrument choices are as follows:

- Guitar (Fast Song)
- Sax (Slow Song)
- Electric Guitar (Slow Song)
- Piano (Slow Song)
- Violin (Fast Song)
- Flute (Fast Song)
- Bass Guitar (Slow Song)
- Tap (Fast Song)

There are no consequences to any of this - you can choose to have the team play the slow song, the fast song, or a disastrous combination of the two.

Selecting the instruments for each character to play

More importantly though, however, is that as each character’s instrument is selected you will be briefly in control of Irvine.

All you would normally need to do to continue the story at this point is walk up to the person playing the instrument and select either “Ok, sounds good” or “Try something else”. We can actually take this opportunity to go explore Fishermans Horizon as Irvine by just leaving the stage area.

Irvine travelling back to Fishermans Horizon

Fishermans Horizon (as Irvine)

There isn’t much that you can do in town right now, but you can travel back to the Grease Monkey’s house at the edge of town to pick up some items. Enter the house to find a G-Soldier chatting with the Grease Monkey. Talk to the G-Soldier and then leave the house.

Exploring the Grease Monkeys House in Fishermans Horizon with the Galbadian Officer yelling

Re-enter the house and talk to the Grease Monkey for a free Phoenix Down. Examine the G-Soldier lying on the ground to pick up 15x Fast Ammo, 10x AP Ammo and 5 Pulse Ammo.

Picking up the Pulse Ammo in the Grease Monkeys House

There is nothing else that can be done with Irvine at this time so travel back to the Sun Panel and continue picking instruments using the hints mentioned above.

Balamb Garden - Dormitory

Leave the Dormitory once you are back in control of Squall and speak to Rinoa in the hallway. Choose the “(…I don’t know)” option to agree to go to the concert with her.

Squall agreeing to go to the Sun Panel concert with Rinoa in Balamb Garden

Fishermans Horizon

Follow Irvine and Selphie down into the center of the Sun Panel near the residence. Zell, Irvine, Selphie and Quistis will start up their performance using the instruments that you selected. Once the camera moves away you will have the option to press the SquareButton to change your view of the concert but this doesn’t really do much.

Concert in Fishermans Horizon with Zell, Selphie, Irvine and Quistis all playing instruments

Exit the area to the right and search for the dirty magazine that Irvine placed on the ground. Examine it to continue the dialogue between Squall and Rinoa. The game will continue back in Balamb Garden when Squall wakes up in his Dorm.

Squall and Rinoa talking near the concert in Fishermans Horizon

Balamb Garden - Bridge

Make your way back up to the bridge once you are back in control of Squall. Take the elevator to 3F and then ride the secondary elevator inside Headmaster Cid’s office up to the bridge. Quistis, Xu, and Nida will be waiting for Squall when he arrives.

Xu on the bridge of Balamb Garden suggesting that they travel back to Balamb

Nida is the new navigator of Balamb Garden which will function as your first mobile ship that you can use to get around the world. The world of Final Fantasy VIII does not have a name like some of the previous worlds used in the series (the world of Final Fantasy VII is called Gaia and the world of Final Fantasy VI is referred to as the “World of Ruin”).

In control of the Mobile Balamb Garden for the first time

This new access that you have to the world of Final Fantasy VIII opens up a number of side quests that can be completed at this point in the game. Note that all of these side quests are optional but none of them are too challenging.

It is recommended that you complete as many of them as you can in order to get the full experience of Final Fantasy VIII. Check out the Side Quests section if you want to see the full list, but this guide will tell you how and when to complete them all!

The first quest that you can complete involves finishing up the CC-Group side quest if you have been playing Triple Triad:

Upgrading Your Guardian Forces

There are two steps you can take to level and upgrade your Guardian Forces at this point in the game which will greatly increase the strength of your party members.

The first is to use the Card Mod ability to teach your Guardian Forces some important abilities and the second is to level them quickly so that they learn all of their abilities by earning them a ton of Ability Points (AP) which we will take care of a bit later on.

Acquiring the Carbuncle Card

Several of the high level cards that you have earned can be refined into items that can teach your Guardian Forces powerful abilities. There are a maximum number of abilities that can be learned (2 pages, or 22 total abilities). You can get all of these cards back at the end of the game on Disc 4 as long as you complete the CC-Group side quest.

Acquiring the Gilgamesh Card

So what abilities should you have your Guardian Forces forget in order to free up space? The SumMag abilities are good candidates. This includes SumMag+10%, SumMag+20% and SumMag+30% as well as GFHP+10%, GFHP+20% and GFHP+30%.

It could be argued that if you are using your Guardian Forces all the time that these abilities might be useful but very few strategies, and very few players for that matter, should be regularly casting their Guardian Forces in battle.

Here are the cards that you should consider refining:

Card Item Teaches
Angelo Card 100x Elixir
Gilgamesh Card 10x Holy War
Siren Card 3x Status Atks ST-Atk-J
Carbuncle Card 3x Glow Curtain Auto-Reflect
Quistis Card 3x Samantha Soul Use Time Mag-RF to refine each into 60x Triple
Zell Card 3x Hyper Wrist Str+60%
Rinoa Card 3x Magic Armlet Spr+60%

Why these cards? Elixirs and Holy War items are extremely useful in regular and boss battles. And because you can regain these cards after having used the Card Mod ability, there is no downside to refining your cards into items now.

ST-Atk-J is an ability that Siren and Carbuncle can already learn but it can be incredibly helpful for all three of your characters to be able to junction status magic to their regular attacks. Auto-Reflect also comes in very handy for many battles.

Samantha Soul can be refined into Triple Magic using Time Mag-RF ability. Triple can be junctioned to different stats for huge benefits to that party member. They can also be used in battle if you need to cast three spells in succession but this should rarely be required.

Hyper Wrist, which teaches a Guardian Force the SStr+60% ability, and Magic Armlet, which will teach a Guardian Force the Spr+60% ability, are incredibly helpful character stat boosters. Recall that a higher Spirit stat will increase that character’s defense against magic attacks. Refer to the “Character Stats” page in the Tips and Tricks section for more information.

So how should you go about having your Guardian Forces learn these new abilities? Is there a way to have your Guardian Forces forget or unlearn abilities so that they can learn new ones?

You can travel to the town of Timber (which you have already visited) and buy Amnesia Greens there. The best strategy for splitting your Guardian Force abilities is to ensure that your first three Guardian Forces (Quezacotl, Shiva and Ifrit) are split between your three characters at all times. As such, we are going to remove a number of their abilities and have them learn the most powerful abilities which can then be split properly to each of your three party members.

Use Amnesia Greens to remove unimportant abilities from your Guardian Forces. As mentioned above, this includes any SumMag+% ability or and GFHP+% ability. You can also have them forget the standard Magic, GF, Draw and Item abilities as your other Guardian Forces all know these four abilities already. There is no point in duplicating them.

Using Amnesia Greens to forget Guardian Force Abilities

Now teach each of the three Guardian Forces the following abilities using the items from the Card Mod steps above:

Lastly, if you travel to the beaches in and around the Dollet area and defeat Adamantine enemies (the large turtle-like creatures) you can obtain an Adamantine item. Make sure you do not Mug them or they will not drop an Adamantine. This item can be used to teach your Guardian Forces the Vit+60% ability.

Battling Adamantoise enemies on the beaches near Dollet

Your Guardian Forces are now all set for abilities!

The Shumi Village Side Quest

This side quest is a lengthy endeavour that involves collecting stones in a remote northern village. It is a fairly painful side quest to complete but the rewards include a Phoenix Pinion which can be used to easily complete the Phoenix side quest listed below.

This village is fairly close to the first Chocobo Forest making it easy to complete…

The Chocobo Forests Side Quest

The rewards for completing this side quest, which will have you traveling all over the map, is the Chicobo Card which is required to complete the Queen of Cards side quest and obtain all of the cards in the game.

Obtaining Phoenix and Odin

There are two optional Guardian Forces that you can obtain now, but these are not your typical Guardian Forces. They cannot be manually summoned in battle and they will not appear in the Guardian Force menu when you obtain them. Instead, these GFs will randomly appear during some battles.

There is one more thing that you can do in the Centra Ruins though while you are there (or rather, if you chose to go there)…

Obtaining Tonberry

Unlike Odin and Phoenix, Tonberry is a real Guardian Force that you can junction to your characters and have it learn useful abilities that you can use. Check out the Tonberry King / Centra Ruins page below for more information:

Leveling Your Guardian Forces

You now have access to an area on the map which will allow you to quickly earn AP for your Guardian Forces to have them learn any of the abilities that they haven’t already.

The location is Cactuar Island on the southeast corner of the Centra continent. Refer to the Earning Fast Ability Points (AP) page for more information:

Make sure that you pick up Tonberry before levelling up you Guardian Forces to make sure that Tonberry gets all of that AP as well!

You can now continue on with the game by making your way to Balamb Town.