FF8 with no GF's is a ton of work.
It must have dawned on the creators that FF7 didn't really need magic at all. They corrected in spades!At the moment the Garden transforms, Squall's level is 80, Selphie's is 60 and so forth, according to limit breaks. The more magic, the more useful. That should mean that Quistis will become much more helpful soon. Except for the randomized Angelo Reverse, Rinoa's breaks are still not very good. Zell's are worse and Irvine's, the pits. All this will likely change as we collect the needed items for weapons and magazines for skills.Money is practically useless, so I am taking whatever time I need to move levels up and to collect junk shop items. Since we aren't becoming great SeeDs, we are emphasizing compassion and heroism in all our dialog choices. Nice guy all the way.There is a new chapter to Lucretia's Legacy. Josey's attempting to be more proactive.
About That T Rex...
After the Missile Base consumes your first group, you will switch to Squall's team. This go-around, I chose the worst possible alternates. With Selphie gone, there is no real magic. She's your best ally apart from Squall.I figured my real test would be T Rex, and I was right. Quistis becomes good only in the yellow zone. Then Aqua Breath rules for as much as 800 hit points. Zell really needs to go over to Manual right now, so I'm heading back outdoors to practice keying in the Dolphin Blow, which gets about 270. (These figures apply to T Rex only). And it is paramount to make Squall's every single hit count.With their numbers in the low 30's, the battle is winnable. But I had the absolute worst luck of getting two T Rexes in a row! Let me stress that luck plays a huge role in this battle: Optimally, the monster should wipe out Zell first, and lower Quistis into the yellow zone. Then hit Squall a few times. But we cannot control the enemy without GF's, so luck has to do it. And high levels.I said it before, and I'll say it again. All signs do not point to absolutely being able to finish the game without GFs.Fun to try, though.
FF8: District D Prison
This is a snap after Deling City. I actually took some time to play cards, in hopes of gathering some good stuff. But that is a waste of time, since most items are easy enough to buy. There's more than enough money. If you have nothing but time, try for the rare items. Keep in mind: "no GF's" means some will be useless, although you can sell them.In the prison, ramp up for encounters with GIM52A, who will drop missiles for Quistis' blue magic. All others are a piece of cake.Ditto for Galbadia Missile Base. Here, however, beware of the Boss battle in the end. This is a fake battle, where there is a maximum limit on damage allowed in any one hit. BGH251F2 can wipe out a character in a single shot, but it's still an easy battle, designed for entertainment only. Even without GF's, 10 minutes is enough, but you can select 20 to make the battle comfortable. I finished with only Irvine, and he made out just fine; remember, the boss battles don't accrue experience.Check your brand new Weapons Monthly Jun edition for items you may need around Balamb.And yes, that would include the characters lost in the self destruction of the prision. You don't really believe that those three kids were killed after all that work, do you?
Deling City without GFs
I gave up trying to win the Brothers. For now, it would be all luck. Back to Deling, especially the sewers.First I leveled Selphie up into the 40's. This gives her a lot of opportunity to use magic. I was able to get the items I needed to remodel Squall's gunblade to Shear Trigger by fighting Wendigo. And mostly losing. It took a lot of patience, and I'm not certain that it was necessary. Just get two characters levelled up really high.For me, Selphie in one party and Squall in the other made Deling City doable. It was fun to have Rinoa along, but at this point her limit breaks were too iffy, too randomized. In the future, I will be certain not to develop her weaker breaks.I am beginning to wonder if Irvine will be useless. We will never be able to refine his ammo. Zell would be better if I specifically selected out his major attacks. In the future, I will test this, but for now I enjoy watching the randomized duels. Quistis has only four blue magics, but they are sufficient for most battles. I spent over two hours in the Deling sewers, levelling up the weaker members. There didn't seem to be any penalty for overstaying before the big show. It is already obvious that we will have more than enough money for items, since they can only be used between battles.Most important: bring lots of potions to the sewers and keep the hit points hovering just above the yellow zone.Iguion is a snap even if left up to Irvine, and the sorceress fight is one of those (at least partly) faked battles, designed to move the characters to the District D Prison. There's a quick visit with Laguna and Kiros. Follow the same guidelines in battle and enjoy the limit breaks.We made it to Disk 2 without the GFs. Did I mention there would be spoilers?