Final Fantasy VIII

aka: FF8, FFVIII, Finalnaja Fantazija 8, Zui Zhong Huanxiang 8
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Description official descriptions

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.


  • Финальная Фантазия 8 - Russian spelling
  • ファイナルファンタジーVIII - Japanese spelling
  • 太空戰士 8 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 最终幻想8 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +



Credits (PlayStation version)

113 People (107 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Main Programmer
Battle System Designer
Character Design / Battle Visual Director
Art Director
Scenario Writer
Image Ilustration
Movie Director
Movie Character Director
Character Modeling Director
Real-Time Polygon Director
Battle Effect Director
Motion Director
Card Game Director / Battle Camera Director
Lead Field Designer
Event Script Programmer
Battle Programmer
Event Director
Map Director
[ full credits ]



Average score: 88% (based on 67 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 336 ratings with 26 reviews)

The Interactive movie no one understands

The Good
This game had a epic long story that featured film-like CGI scenes with vibrant color and realism. This game/movie would have made the Final Fantasy Movie #1 in the box office, if they would have used the story (taking out all of the game-like resemblances such as battles and the long waits when you travel to other places) In place with some plot twist and some cuts, this movie would dominate the box office, except it lies besides Final Fantasy VII in the video game world.

The Bad
The game has a long drawn out plot that didn't suit a video game. Sometimes after defeating it once, it will begin to collect dust. Boredom will overwhelm you. As always it will leave a mark in the beginning for better games to come.

The Bottom Line
If you are a Hardcore Final Fantasy fan or love a good romantic story this is a game for you. Forget going to the movies looking for a better love/ action story. this is the one you'd want.

Windows · by Brian Clark (2) · 2003

Final Fantasy VIII is one of the best games I have ever seen

The Good
First, its GF junction system was completely new. This system gave me an uncommon experience. Second, its SEED system is a new concept, it allows us to avoid hunting for money battling enemies. Instead, I had to raise my SEED rank to gain more salary, and to make the quests perfectly.

The music is just splendid, especially the song "Eyes On Me", I liked it very much. And the graphics show people as real people, I felt as if I were in the reality when I was playing the game.

It's hard to describe the story. The friendship between Squall, Seifer and other students of SEED is interestingly described. And also the love story is very beautiful!

The Bad
Nothing. Really nothing!

The Bottom Line
The SEED system, the GF junction system, the magic-drawing system are all different from previous Final Fantasy games. Those innovations brought me a lot of joy and a new experience.

PlayStation · by Fading3 (19) · 2005

Not as Good as FF7 but still a good game.

The Good
I loved the card game. It was a great idea with all the monsters in the game and all the characters. The way they had the magic was pretty cool.

The Bad
The way they had the magic wasn't as cool as on FF7. The way it would always switch back to that weird guy in "Dreamland" was pretty dumb. Why do all FF games have to have such a weird storyline?

The Bottom Line
A good but not great RPG.

PlayStation · by Attila (553) · 2001

[ View all 26 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Game with downloadable sounds soundbank MerlynKing Oct 24th, 2016
A question-spoilers! GAMEBOY COLOR! (1989) Apr 24th, 2011
OMG!!! TEH DEVIL!!! The Fabulous King (1330) Jul 24th, 2007


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.


  • 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.


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


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.


  • 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.


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.

  • The original Playstation release included a Chocobo World minigame which required access to a PocketStation, a console that was only released in Japan. Gamers in other territories could only access that by importing a PocketStation from Japan. This was the only way to access some rare items in the game.

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Foxhack, j. jones, NightKid32, Rey Mysterio, Tiago Jacques, YID YANG, WizardX and Zovni

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Related Sites +

  • 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.
  • FF8 Hints
    Final Fantasy VIII hints and solutions
  • 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 <em>Final Fantasy VIII</em>.
  • Wikipedia: Final Fantasy VIII
    Information about Final Fantasy VIII at Wikipedia

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matthew Bailey.

PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. PS Vita added by GTramp. PlayStation added by Grant McLellan.

Additional contributors: MAT, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Silverblade, DarkDante, DreinIX, —-, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson, Lain Crowley, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, 64er.

Game added March 26th, 2000. Last modified August 30th, 2023.