Total Death Count: 12
Clear Time: 48:39

Final Fantasy VIII Journal

Heath and Kelsey Hindman here. When one of our regular Megathon crew members bit the dust, we stepped in to tackle FFVIII. Kelsey hasn’t been through very many RPGs before, so she did most of the story progression and I did the bulk of leveling, though we regretfully couldn’t do much of that due to our hurry.

  • With Kelsey being new to the game and my having gone through it something like 6 years ago, it was obvious fate was against us in dealing us Final Fantasy VIII. Parts 6, 7, 9, 10…heck, any of the more recent games would have been easier for a duo such as us. Oh well.
  • As odd as FF8 may be overall, I noticed Ifrit’s Cave is a pretty easy nice beginner dungeon. Kelsey handled it rather well. I love when you use Shiva against Ifrit and he says out loud “They have Shiva!?”
  • Despite the time ago it was, I did remember one or two thigns from my 1999 excursion, like when *Spoiler* you fight the Fake President on the train, you can simply use a Phoenix Down and kill him instantly. That bit of infor came in handy, especially considering our low levels, which would prove to be a problem throughout the game.
  • Ah, the field exam: where you find out how much of a prick Seifer really is.
  • Ah, the Laguna episodes: where you find out how much of a sissy Laguna really is.
  • Anyone else notice that the one merchant girl in Balamb looks like Aeris? We’ll post a picture of her soon.
  • Random note: Biggs and Wedge really got the shaft in this game. No love. None.
  • Kelsey played the boss battle against NORG while I was asleep. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell her to draw Leviathan from it! Crap! This is the only time you can get that GF. We missed out.
  • Edea’s house: We’ve come to a mutual decision that this is where the story gets good.
  • Being sick of the FF8 soundtrack–good as it may be–we decided to shake things up my spinning the FF8 Piano Collections and Arranged CDs in certain places.
  • Although our plan is for one of us to be either sleeping or tending to things of real life importance, I couldn’t help but watch the scenarios at the Lunar Base and when you first get the Ragnarok Airship. What a cute pair Squall and Rinoa are 🙂
  • Lunatic Pandora is the only place where the ever-persistent Fujin and Rajin actually gave us any problems. They didn’t kill us, but the battle was much harder than previous ones. This was a sign that our lack of leveling was catching up to us, and it was time for me to take the wheel and grind for a bit.
  • As much as it set us back timewise, we had to level our party some. Squall was literally 30 levels ahead of everyone else at one point. Since some monsters (Bahamut and his Red Dragons, for example) have a level dependent on his, we needed to balance things out for a couple hours. We used the “bonus trick” of strengthening without levels. That is, whichever character was closest to level-up got equipped with GF’s Brothers and Ifrit, then with the HP Bonus and STR Bonus abilities. Those grant the wearing character stat boosts at level up that are permanent. So we kept swapping GF’s every few fights, which was a slight hassle, but the bossted HP and STR of the characters will ultimately pay off for us…we hope.
  • After Kelsey did some minor leveling and moved the story along, she slept while I went hunting for GF’s. She started the Toneberry quest already, so I just picked up where she left off and finished the job. I then went through the strenuously long process of recruiting Bahamut. Thankfully, no Game-Overs were involved
  • I then flew the Ragnarok over to Cactuar Island to fight the man himself, Giant Cactuar. That was a tought fight. I kept using my most powerful GF’s over and over while Haste was on all characters, too. Two Game-Overs later, I decided to level Quistis and Zell a bit more before going back. Kelsey awoke to find me laying sideways fighting the thing, my mind probably reduced to mush within my skull at this point. “What are you doing?” she asked. “…Please kill this thing,” was all I could muster out. It ran away before I could hand her the controller. Yeah, the Jumbo Cactuar, most feared creature in the land, just up and took off. What a pansy. Her attempt yeilded similar results. It was back to leveling if we wanted this super-powerful GF on our side. Through a bit more blood sweat and tears, I finally beat him–my 5th try.
  • Bahamut was obtained from the proper sidequest with no big problems, but it took longer than expected. We were falling way behind on our time budget.
  • Observation: There are too many freaking bosses near the end of this game. Several of them aren’t even difficult, they just have a ton of HP, so the only challenge is on your patience. Just give me one, two or maybe three fights and let’s call it a game, yeah?
  • We thought about hitting the world map before entering Ultimicea’s Castle and doing some hard core leveling before the last big fights, but decided against it cause they just wasn’t much time left. So we comprimised and hit the world map until each character got their next level up, then headed back inside
  • .

  • Argh, I forgot what a pain unlocking abilities can be. Good thing there’s a Save Point right on the steps so you don’t actually have to unlock “Save” for a while. The order we unlocked things was: GF, Magic, Resurrection, Item, Save. We decided we could live without Command Ability and Draw for the last dungeon.
  • Our first attempt was unsuccessful. We wiped out in shorter time than would have been predicted, so our hope for the next attempt was bleak…
  • But I suppose our being scared worked to our benefit. We rejunctioned just a couple small things that seemed to make a world of difference. We cleared the game and saw FFVIII’s awesome ending. And even for you folks who have a grudge against FFVIII have gotta admit, the ending is darn cool.
  • We’re glad to have taken part in the megathon. Once we figure out how to get these stupid digital pictures from the camera to the comp, we’ll post ’em. We promise…stupid software >_<
  • Final Fantasy VIII Pictures

  • Does that girl on the stairs not look like Aeris?
  • The king himself
  • Something discomforts me about letting Selphie pilot an airship
  • Fujin in battle
  • Fujin makes a DECISION…in all caps.
  • Gilgamesh will cut you.
  • This was good to see.
  • This guy took way too long to kill
  • A creative yet annoying dungeon concept
  • Here comes the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with completing a Final Fantasy game 🙂