Balamb Town & Side Quests - FF8 Guide
At the top of every page of my Final Fantasy 8 Walkthrough I will have a list of the most important GF Abilities for you to learn as well as my personal preference for who to junction GFs to for this part of the story. The game's auto order for GFs learning abilities is extremely terrible so it's strongly recommended you interfere and do the abilities in the order I provide here.
Throughout the game you can also refine Cards into Items and then those Items into magic. I've provided a list of the refinements that you can do for the cards that you will most likely have in your possession at this time during the story below as well. This same information will be provided at the top of every page during the full walkthrough, keep checking it as it'll change as the story progresses.
GF Abilities to Learn:
Diablos: ST Mag-RF, Time Mag-RF, Enc-Half, Enc-None, Boost, HP-J, Mag-J, Mug, Hit-J, Mag+20%, Mag+40%, Mag Bonus
Brothers: Str-J, Elem-Atk-J, Spr-J HP+20%, HP+40%, HP Bonus, Cover, Boost
Carbuncle: Vit+20%, Vit+40%, Vit Bonus, Boost, Mag-J, HP-J, Vit-J, ST-Def-J, ST-Atk-J, Counter, Recov Med-RF
Leviathan: Supt Mag-RF, Spr+20%, Spr+40%, Spr Bonus, Mag-J, Spr-J, Elem-Defx2, Boost, GF Recov Med-RF
Pandemona: Spd-J, Elem-Defx2, Boost, Spd+20%, Spd+40%, Str+20%, Str+40%
King Tonberry: Familiar, Haggle, Sell-High, Call Shop, Initiative, Boost
Squall: Ifrit, Carbuncle, Leviathan, Tonberry
Zell: Shiva, Diablos, Pandemona
Quistis: Siren, Quezacotl, Brothers
(Or whomever you choose; Junction them as you would your usual party)
Before you go back to Balamb Town there is quite a bit of side questing that you're able to do which will allow you to make our currently over powered characters even more over powered. If you haven't done much Triple Triad playing up until now you won't be feeling as over powered as me, but these quests will help you get some of the end game spells such as Ultima.
Since we are finally starting to get some of the end game magic you should spend some time reading my FF8 Junctions Guide, it'll cover much needed information about Junctioning.
Shumi Village Side Quest **Return to the Ultima Draw Point here as many times as it takes to stock up**
Centra Ruins (King Tonberry) GF Side Quest **At least get this GF before proceeding**
Centra Ruins (Odin) GF Side Quest (Recommended you wait until Disc 4)
Queen of Cards Side Quest (if she is still in Dollet move her to Balamb)
SeeD Test Answers (Raising SeeD rank increases your Gil)
Squall's Ultimate Weapon (Lionheart)
Zell's Ultimate Weapon (Ehrgeiz)
Quistis's Ultimate Weapon (Save the Queen)
Selphie's Ultimate Weapon (Strange Vision)
Irvine's Ultimate Weapon (Exeter)
Rinoa's Ultimate Weapon (Shooting Star)
When you're ready to proceed with the game's story drive Balamb Garden onto the island and park it near Balamb Town. Enter the town and speak with the man walking around (who is the owner of the hotel) as well as his wife leaning up against the wall near the entrance of town. Then speak to the guard who is blocking your way into the town.
After speaking with the guard I had to run around clueless for a few then approach him again before I got a scene with him telling me I looked suspicious and Zell joining my party. Once you're inside of the town switch around your Junctions if needed and head to Zell's house (pictured below).
Once the scene with Ma Dincht (Zell's mother) is finished there is a bit of tedious back and forth that we need to do in order to advance the story forward. I've covered each of the steps below in a succicnt way for everyone.
1. Speak to the guards at the hotel
2. Rest & save inside of Zell's room (DO NOT side with Zell if you have Selphie in your party; you'll lose a SeeD rank)
3. Go to the harbor and interact with the dog
4. Return to Zell's house to find smoke coming from the window
5. Go inside and talk to Zell's mother
6. Return to the harbor and follow the dog to the train station
If you're having trouble finding the dog at the harbor, run past the two tanks and the guard standing watch. There will be another screen where you'll find the dog standing next to a guard. We were actually in this area when we did the Dollet SeeD mission at the start of the game.
Important: Make sure at least one character is equipped with Draw otherwise you'll miss a GF in an upcoming boss battle!
After you see Raijin at the train station you will want to follow him back to the inn where you'll speak with the guards for another scene. There will be a boss fight with Raijin and the two guards first followed by a boss fight with Raijin and Fujin. You can Mug 2 Str Ups from Raijin during this fight.
Important Draw Information: Make sure you Draw Pandemona from Fujin during this fight or you will miss it forever!
Important Mug Tip: If you have Mug you can use it on Raijin during both fights to steal Str Up
Winning the fight will net you Combat King 002 for Zell and after a few scenes you'll regain control of Squall back on the bridge of the Balamb Garden. At this point you can do Zell's Love Quest (Part #7) if you'd like as well as win the Pandemona Card from the Hotel owner in Balamb Town.
Before proceeding with the game's story now is a very good time to stop and do some AP grinding for GF abilities. This is completely optional but highly recommended especially if you never did any grinding on Disc 1 at the start of the game.
You'll do all of this optional grinding at a little place known as Cactuar Island. It's an area in the southeastern portion of the world and you'll get hundreds of AP in minutes here, it's insane. There's one last thing you should keep in mind that I will remind you of a few more times too...
Every so often you will want to return to Shumi Village and Draw Ultima for your characters. Inbetween side quests, in between collecting Rare Cards - keep returning to Shumi Village and stocking up on more Ultima. It's one of the best magics to Junction to your stats in the game and you can fill up all of your characters before the end of Disc 2 if you keep returning to Shumi Village.