I’m still working diligently on Final Fantasy VIII, using guides as I go so as not to miss anything. (I was using a guide on a website called Jegged, but then I kept getting lots of weird popups, so I switched to IGN.) I have recently reached disc 3 and am currently all caught up on side quests and Triple Triad and the like. And I have noticed one very surprising difference between this playthrough and my last. When junctioning correctly, this game is…incredibly easy.
So is Triple Triad, which has been going great. I accumulated so many good cards that even the random rule hasn’t been a big deal for me. It does indeed help to turn all your wimpier cards into items, even if this plan isn’t 100% effective, since some cards require you to have certain numbers in order to change them. (For example, you may have 4 of a certain card, but you might need 5 in order to create an item out of it.) Even so, I have been winning cards with ease, my most recent acquisition being Edea’s card, which you can obtain from the sorceress herself.
I have also completed the Card Club side quest and have been working from time to time on the Queen of Cards side quest, as well, which involves losing specific cards to her in order to win rare cards from other characters. (But worry not, you can win your lost cards back from her son in Dollet.) This is where the random rule in Dollet became a problem because the game wouldn’t pick the correct card I needed. Fortunately, I followed a guide to eliminate the random rule from Dollet, so problem solved.
I have also obtained more GFs, including the Tonberry King, and I gained tons of AP from the cactuars off the coast of Cactuar Island. In the process, I also learned Enc-None with Diablos, so I don’t have to fight random enemies anymore. This made reaching Odin quick and easy (you have a 20-minute time limit to reach and defeat him, which is no big deal). The funny thing is, when I occasionally lose a rare card in Triple Triad, killing off my characters for a game over has gotten way tougher. Either Odin shows up and defeats everything, or Phoenix brings everyone back to life. Just let me die already!
I also completed the Chocobo Forest side quest. Now that was actually really annoying.
One final thing I’m really proud of is the fact that I recently got Squall’s strongest weapon, Lion Heart. It was rather annoying to obtain because you have to win a lot of Elnoyle cards in order to gather up the necessary items, but I was determined. I’m also super happy to be past the part of the game where you have to defeat that flying soldier in midair. The worst parts of the game for me are the flying soldier and the part early on where you have to run from the spider robot. At this point, though, it should be smooth sailing from here.
Starting out, I had serious doubts as to whether or not I’d be able to complete this game. Now it’s pretty much guaranteed based on how great everything has been going. Bosses that used to cause me trouble are now pushovers. It’s been…pretty great.
Oh, and do you remember the part of the game where you pick instruments for your characters to play? I totally picked the wrong ones, and it sounded horrible. It was pretty hilarious.
Anyway, we’ve got two discs left to go, and now that I’ve caught up on side quests for the time being, I get to focus almost entirely on the story at this point. I’m happy to say the game has been much more fun this time around, and I look forward to seeing what happens next. Ta-ta for now, dear readers!