The game is featured in the movie Charlie's Angels. It's the game the two kids are playing in the scene where Drew Barrymore drops naked from Knox's house. Interestingly enough both kids seem to be playing it at the same time, apparently nobody figured to tell the production team that the game was single-player only.
Disc 3 of the Windows version (US release) has a hidden audio track. It contains the song "Eyes On Me", sung by Faye Wong. This song was released in Japan as a CD single and was part of the original soundtrack.
The ballroom dance scene was used as the basis for a PlayStation 2 tech demo, showing that the PS2 was powerful enough to render the scene in real-time.
On the Islands Closest to Hell and Heaven you can find over 40 hidden draw points, including Ultima.
You can spot UFOs during battles in 4 areas of the world. The sightings are used in the 'Pupu card' sidequest, and can only be seen from the second disk onwards.
Parasite Eve was the 'testing ground' for the cinematic graphics used in FFVIII.
FFVIII revamped the entire FF battle system with 'Junctions'. For the first time (and only time so far), every character could summon or use magic as regular attacks.
The music in this game was originally composed and recorded as Dolby Digital 5.1, then "dumbed down" to normal stereo for the actual release. The original DD 5.1 score was rumored to be the one to be used in a PlayStation 2 re-release.
When it was first released as a demo, it was rated M for strong language but was later toned down to a T rating.
In the 2004 Olympics, one of the American synchronized swimming teams chose to use a piece of music from Final Fantasy VIII as their background music . They used the song "Liberi Fatali", the game's main theme.
During production of the game, there were plans to originally call the Rinoa character "Lenore".
In Esthar there is a shop called Cloud's Shop, a reference to Final Fantasy 7.
When the game came out, the #1 complaint everyone had was that there was no way of skipping the summoning animations - which were essential for making it through the early stages of the game. The creators claimed this was entirely intentional, and that it was somehow vital to the plot that the players be forced to sit through the same minute-long animations hundreds of times. They never changed it in FFVIII (even the later PC adaptation) but oddly, all subsequent Final Fantasies with summonings include the option to shorten the animation...
Although it's not documented or officially supported, the U.S. release of FFVIII does utilize the Sony PocketStation (released in Japan).
"Final Fantasy VIII" is the first and the only (until now) Final Fantasy game where the playable characters don't equip any armor.
The game's most poweful GF is called Eden. This is actually the name of the paradise, "Garden of Eden" (Hebrew "Gan Eden"), from where Adam and Eve were expelled, according to the first book of Moses from the Old Testament. Why is the most powerful GF a garden? Because the universities where the heroes of the game study and train are called gardens. It is logical the most powerful garden is also the most powerful weapon.
Some names of the Guardian Forces (monsters you can summon in "Final Fantasy VIII") are taken from mythologies of different nations. Quetzalcoatl is one of the main gods in the mythology of Central America's Indians; Shiva is God in Hinduism (he appears as a feminine incarnation in the game, although he is normally regarded as male); Diabolos is Greek for "devil"; Cerberus is a three-headed dog which guards the gates of Hades in Greek mythology; Siren is a beautiful and dangerous demi-goddess, also from the Greek mythology; Leviathan is Hebrew for "whale", this word is used to describe the sea monster that swallowed the prophet Jonas in Old Testament.
Seifer and Zell, two important characters of "Final Fantasy VIII", were renamed to Cifer and Xell, respectively, in the German version, probably because the original names are common German family names and might have possibly offended their innocent bearers ;)
The PC version of Final Fantasy VIII includes a mini-game called Chocobo World. Previously, this was only available with the Japanese PSX version through the Dex Drive.
Final Fantasy VIII is connected to Final Fantasy VII only by name. Like most Final Fantasy games it has no returning characters and the stories are in no way connected.
Characters named Cid, Biggs, and Wedge make return appearances from earlier games, but they are not related to any previous characters.