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Final Fantasy VIII (Windows)

80
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Squall Leonhart is a young man in training to become of member of SeeD - a mercenary organization and the goal of all young students in Balamb Garden. Squall is not a particularly friendly guy and has troubles with his fellow students and teachers. On the eve of his graduation hostilities break out between the city-states of Galbadia and Dollet. As their final test, Squall and three other students are sent on a mission to assist in the fight against Galbadia. In the process they discover that there are other characters pulling strings from behind the stage, and eventually uncover a mystery that involves two decades of secrets hidden both from the world and from themselves.

Final Fantasy VIII is set in a "retro" environment reminiscent in some ways of the 1960's, with a few sci-fi and plenty of supernatural elements mixed in. The basic system resembles those of its predecessors: the player navigates a party of characters over a world map, accessing various locations and fighting randomly appearing enemies in turn-based combat of the series' trademark ATB (active time battle) variety. However, character development system has been re-designed.

Player-controlled characters in the game have no defined character classes. They can be customized by equipping magic spells, which can be "drawn" from enemies in battles. When used in combat, spells act like expendable items; there are no MP (magic points) in the game. When equipped, they act like armor, raising or lowering character parameters, including resistances to various kinds of magic (elemental, status-changing, etc.).

Monster summons (called Guardian Forces in the game) play a very important role in the customization process. They can be "junctioned" to to the characters, acquire ability points (AP) earned from battles along with experience, learn and "teach" characters new abilities, and can also be summoned in battles. Each character can also execute unique powerful attacks or support actions when his or her hit points are low. Many of these attacks require the player to press specific buttons at the right moment to increase their power.

New weapons are constructed by collecting materials and bringing them to a blacksmith. The player does not acquire money from random enemies, but instead receives paychecks over time based on the player character's SeeD rank. This rank increases when the characters defeat enemies in battles without summoning Guardian Forces; when the player takes SeeD tests within the game; or, occasionally, when the player chooses a correspondent action or decision for the protagonist during some of the missions. Payments are regular and are calculated by the amount of steps the characters make.

Visually, the game resembles its predecessor, featuring 3D graphics for battles and world map exploration, and pre-rendered backgrounds for individual locations. The game's 3D character models are realistically proportioned (as opposed to the "super-deformed" character graphics of the previous game), and the influence of anime art is less noticeable.

Like the previous installment, Final Fantasy VIII features several mini-games, the most prominent of which is the card game Triple Triad. Cards can be won in matches or acquired through side quests or by transforming enemy monsters. Many characters in the game can be challenged to a game of Triple Triad, so it is always possible to take a break from saving the world to play cards with the locals.

Screenshots

Final Fantasy VIII Windows Seifer preparing to attack Garden
Final Fantasy VIII Windows A random battle at Ultimecia's Castle
Final Fantasy VIII Windows Shiva is definitely the best animated GI (in my opinion, at least).
Final Fantasy VIII Windows Just as this seems romantic, it is nothing but polite.

Alternate Titles

  • "最终幻想8 " -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "太空戰士 8" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "Финальная Фантазия 8" -- Russian spelling
  • "Zui Zhong Huanxiang 8" -- Chinese title
  • "Finalnaja Fantazija 8" -- Russian title
  • "FFVIII" -- Informal name
  • "FF8" -- Informal name

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

J-RPG's have a place in the PC platform John Franco (161) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
A definite game that marks a millennium. MAT (70372) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
The best game ever, Square did it again! esural (14) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
My review of FF8 Pablo Motta (2) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
Final Fantasy 8, Swell Game. New Age Gilgamesh (4) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
The Interactive movie no one understands Brian Clark (3) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
It doesn't do justice to its predecesors. jeremy strope (126) unrated
Good, but doesn't live up to the level of SquareSoft Excellence MadCat (55) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
A good old game! michael mccafferty (3) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

The Press Says

Game Over Online Feb 03, 2000 91 out of 100 91
Gamesmania Jan 22, 2000 88 out of 100 88
PC Player (Germany) Feb, 2000 85 out of 100 85
GameStar (Germany) Feb, 2000 85 out of 100 85
Gaming Age Sep 05, 2004 B+ 83
ActionTrip Feb 16, 2000 80 out of 100 80
Legendra Oct 21, 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Feb 05, 2000 80 out of 100 80
IGN Jan 28, 2000 7.4 out of 10 74
GameSpot Feb 02, 2000 6.7 out of 10 67

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
A question-spoilers! 1 DANIEL HAWKS ! (1928)
Apr 24, 2011
OMG!!! TEH DEVIL!!! 16 אולג 小奥 (168607)
Jul 24, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The PS1 version of Final Famtasy VIII appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Development

  • During production of the game, there were plans to originally call the Rinoa character "Lenore".
  • Parasite Eve was the 'testing ground' for the cinematic graphics used in FFVIII.

Innovations

As of 2013, Final Fantasy VIII is the first and the only Final Fantasy game where the playable characters don't equip any armor.

Music

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.

Ratings

When it was first released as a demo, it was rated M for strong language but was later toned down to a T rating.

References

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Esthar there is a shop called Cloud's Shop, a reference to Final Fantasy VII.
  • You can spot UFOs during battles in four areas of the world. The sightings are used in the 'Pupu card' sidequest, and can only be seen from the second disk onwards.

References to the game

  • 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
  • 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.

Summonings

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 Fantasy games with summonings include the option to shorten the animation...

Tech demo

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.

Version differences

  • The PC version includes a mini-game called Chocobo World. Previously, this was only available with the Japanese PSX version through the Dex Drive.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Foxhack, j. jones, NightKid32, Rey Mysterio, Tiago Jacques, YID YANG, WizardX and Zovni

Related Web Sites

  • FF8 Hints (Final Fantasy VIII hints and solutions)
  • FF-Fan (A fansite that offers all kinds of information on the entire Final Fantasy franchise, including walkthroughs, game media, discussion boards and fan art.)
  • Final Fantasy Extreme (Site that contains movies, wallpaper, codes, guides, walkthroughs, and general information on the Final Fantasy series.)
  • GameFaqs Files (Comprehensive links to numerous Final Fantasy VIII files on GameFaqs)
  • OC ReMix Game Profile (Fan remixes of music from Final Fantasy VIII.)
  • Wikipedia: Final Fantasy VIII (Information about Final Fantasy VIII at Wikipedia)
Matthew Bailey (1143) added Final Fantasy VIII (Windows) on Mar 26, 2000
Other platforms contributed by Charly2.0 (30546), GTramp (31430) and Grant McLellan (545)