Thursday, August 31, 2006

Questing FF8

Once the Lunatic Pandora is safely over Tears Point, it's time for Side Quests. No Final Fantasy is worth its salt without its sidequest. I honestly don't understand people who skip them, unless, of course, the player is varying the game in order to create a new challenge. See here.

In Final Fantasy 8, the toughest side quests involve collecting Guardian Forces. In fact, I simply dropped the Triple Triad card game (scroll down for various posts) in favor of dedicating myself to gathering GFs. The one that has always bothered me was the Tonberrys, or Tonberries, if you will. Tonberry and Odin are in My Blue Heaven on the Centra Continent.

The earliest this can be attempted comes with the mobile Garden. It is extremely tough, and it can be incidental to collecting Odin. Since the Odin quest is a puzzle, the easiest way to find Odin is to junction the No Encounters ability. The time limit becomes negligible and the player can enjoy the puzzle.

Collecting Tonberry is simple, but not easy. Tonberries come at the player at practically every step in My Blue Heaven.

Tonberry is weak to Demi; Diablos is good for 9999 each time. Best bet: the player with Diablos summons him each time. Forget Mug; Chef's Knives drop after the battles.

Keep Squall in the Yellow zone of hit points. Hit the O button until Renzokuken comes up.

A different player should have Revive, Restore, and Auto-potion, all at once. Be sure to sell any Potions and High Potions, so that only X potions are available. Do not use the healer for Squall, just for the others.

The third player becomes the summoner, and should also have Magic. Have a lot of Lifes. This player will revive Squall, keeping him in the yellow zone. Do not cure him.

The battles become routine: two Diablos, a couple of Rezokukens, raising the fallen, and keeping everyone but Squall up to max. The excitement comes when the Tonberry King appears, after some 15-20 battles. Don't use Demi or Diablos, but keep up everything else. It's a longer battle, but not very difficult. The King will eventually fall, apologize, and join the party.

I haven't yet decided which GF to quest next.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Recommendation Regarding Triple Triad

Newcomers to Final Fantasy 8 should concentrate on the story line, battles, drawing magic and Guardian Forces, and enjoy the show.

That said, experienced players can alter the game significantly by jumping whole hog into the side quests. They are absorbing and time consuming; some result in significant rewards. The card game, Triple Triad is an ongoing game within the game. It's fun to guess which players may yield rare cards, and there is a certain logic to their selection.

Triple Triad is simple: higher number takes lower number. "Rules" make the game more challenging, attaching themselves to the player as he or she passes through geographic areas. It is possible to elminate them by backtracking and playing in regions with simpler rules, but the risk is that players may infect the old region with the rules he or she is carrying. One can collect enough rules to eliminate any possiblity of winning at all.

An independent game "guide" states that the Random rule should be avoided at all cost, but there is a way to level the playing field. Of course there are some cards that I prefer to use, but I can usually mentally arrange a random set to work as well. In fact, I prefer to retain the "Open" rule at all costs, to help me plan; I am not good with numbers and I need the visuals to help me along.

If the Random rule deals up too many junky cards, use the Card Mod ability to convert them into items and tools, if only to sell them or toss them out during battle. Clearing out lower cards increases the chance of a decent hand.

Practice, practice, practice. And don't be shy about saving a great win and resetting a disasterous defeat.

Bottom line: do not allow rules to accumulate if they become confusing. Reset when necesary, and master them one by one. And the Queen of Cards you first meet in Balamb Station may be able to eliminate a rule if you check in on her once in a while.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Card Quest

Otay. I'm sick to death of playing Triple Triad. Did finally pursue the Card Club in Balamb Garden/Ship. This is an excellent way to collect the higher cards, which are good for Card Mod purposes.

Once again, I'm struck by how much Girls Rule in FF8! Could this be why many guys hate the game? Look to the ladies in Balamb Garden to complete your quest. Otherwise, the Joker in the Training Area is pretty good. Mix it up, though, because you will drain off the good cards if you gain any skills.

By the way, should you find yourself over your head in a region's rules, return to the Garden and look up your friends. That should reset back to the rules you're used to following.

Meanwhile, I'm returning to game play. It's time to take on Galbadia Garden and one of the more exciting sequences of the story. I want more Guardian Forces. Summoning is one of the prettiest features of any Final Fantasy. Get a load of Shiva,if you doubt it!!

(BTW: Let me go on record here. The premise of this game is immoral: no one should be collecting up orphans for their militia, no matter how noble their aim. Yeah, sure, it's just a game. But still immoral. SeeDs are still kids, even at 16 or 17. Guess that's why I like Seifer and his buddies: their little clique is based on romantic ideals, no matter how wrong they go. Like my kids and their buddies.)