III. Disc One
After the awesome intro FMV, Squall wakes up in the infirmary. You start out controlling Squall, who you control through most of the game. You can't do much at first, so just follow Quistis, the instructor, until she dismisses her class. Talk with the other students, then return to your desk and turn on the Study Panel with Execute. Access the Tutorial section, then "new", and you'll get your first two GFs: Quezacotl and Shiva. Stick around and read the rest of the Tutorial to learn some basics. If you have questions later, you can return here, or access the Tutorial section on the Menu. You can also look through the rest of the choices on the Study Panel. Particularly read the Library section. When you're ready, disconnect.
Now's a good time to junction your GFs, before you forget and get into battle. You'll be doing this a lot throughout the game, so now's a good time to get used to it. Exit the classroom, and you'll bump into another student. Agree to give her a tour. Continue to the right. On your way to the elevator, Talk to the person standing on the side of the walkway, and he'll give you your first seven cards. See Part II:H (Triple Triad). It isn't much, but it'll let you challenge another player. Enter the elevator.
When you come out of the elevator, you head straight down and take a look at the Directory. Watch the conversation to get a good idea about the layout of the garden. See that spinning blue and yellow globe? Walk into it: it's a Save Point. Watch out for these guys, they're important. Head left to the next map, then take the first bridge on your left. Continue through the corridor left to the Infirmary. Here you can talk to Dr. Kadowaki. You can also challenge her to a game of cards if you want.
Leave to the right two screens, back to the center circle. Continue up and left to the next bridge, which takes you to the Quad. The student you ran into before will follow you around on this first screen. Head down then left to the next screen. Talk to people. You can join the Garden Festival Committee if you like, by talking to the "transfer student" by the stage.
Head back out to the rotunda and continue clockwise. The Cafeteria is next. Talk to people, especially the Cafeteria Lady. She's long winded, but hear her out. Go off the screen to the back and talk to some more folks. Leave, and continue clockwise to the Dorms. You're now in Squall's room. You can use Squall's bed any time to regenerate your characters' and GFs' HP. Just walk up to it and hit Execute. You can also use the Save Point here.
Next stop is the Parking Lot. No reason to come here unless you need some wheels. Continue to the right now, and you'll come upon the Training Center. This is a good place to level up early on, but be careful, as monsters roam this place freely. There's also a Save Point in the back. When you're ready, head to the Library next. On the second bookcase to the right is the magazine Occult Fan I. Pick it up for an interesting read, and to unlock some secrets later on. Head towards the back wall from where you got the magazine. In front of the palm tree is an Esuna Draw Point. Talk to the librarian behind the desk, and the folks to the screen to the right.
Now that the tour's over, head to the Front Gate (go down from the directory) and meet Quistis. Equip her with one of your GFs. On the left is a Cure draw point. There are also two card players hanging out, assuming you want to play. Continue down and exit to the world map. Wander around awhile and Draw magics from the various creatures you run into. Just to the east of Balamb Garden is a train tunnel. Head into it to find an Esuna Draw Point. When you're ready, head east to the fire cavern that Quistis told you about.
When you reach the Fire Cavern, Quistis will give you a Tutorial on junctioning. Skip it or read it, your choice. Approach one of the Garden Faculty to start the section. They will ask you to choose a time limit. This has an effect on your SeeD rating later on: the less time left on the clock when you beat Ifrit, the more points you get towards the ranking. If you spent a lot of time leveling up outside, choose a lower time. If you're not sure what lies ahead, choose the highest time. Either way, it really doesn't affect the game that much.
If you chose a low time, don't bother fighting a lot (or reading Quistis' comments), or Drawing magic, as there's plenty of time for that on your way out. Notice that, as this is the Fire cavern, most of the enemies are Fire-based. This means that they're particularly susceptible to cold-based attacks, like Blizzard and Blizzara. Anyway, make your way through the cave (there's only one path), and face your first boss: Ifrit.
Summoning Shiva, and using Blizzard and Blizzara are your best bet here. If you're going for a SeeD rank, get Ifrit down to about 100hp, then wait for the timer to get down to about 20 seconds, then finish him off.
After beating Ifrit, he becomes one of your GFs. Don't forget to junction him.
Head back to Balamb Garden. Do like Quistis tells you and head to your room to change. Just stand next to his bed and hit Execute. Hit Execute again to rest up, then use the save point. Go to the library and talk to everybody.
Meet Quistis near the Directory, then head down off the screen. You get in the car and follow the road to Balamb proper. There's nothing really to do here yet, so make your way to the assault boat to start the mission.
Following a cool FMV of the SeeD invasion, you end up in Dollet. This is your graduation test, and your actions in this area determine your SeeD ranking (and correspondingly your salary) when you graduate. Each time you talk to somebody is a 2-point deduction. Don't worry about missing out on anything, though, because you'll return here later in the game. The rest of these actions are detailed below.
So, without further ado, head to Dollet's Central Square, just following the road and avoiding any conversations or side-trips on the way. Note that Seifer and Zell have joined your party. Don't forget to junction everybody. Also remove Quistis' stuff and use it. Once at the square, head towards the car in the upper right to fight one more soldier. Hang out until Seifer tells you to head to the Communication Tower.
When Seifer tells you to, follow him through the northwest exit. Jog across the bridge to the left and then up the path twice, fighting as you go. At the top, Selphie makes a clumsy FMV entrance, then takes a shortcut down the hill. Don't follow her. Instead, follow the path down to the right, then up the next screen. At some point, Seifer takes off and is replaced by Selphie. Don't forget to junction her. Enter the tower. On the right is a Blind Draw Point, and on the left is a Save Point. Save, then enter the elevator. Once at the top, wait for Biggs and Wedge to start a fight with you.
At the beginning of the fight, you only fight Biggs. After you do some damage, or after a few minutes, Wedge joins in. These guys are easy enough that you can just sit back and Draw Esuna from Biggs and Cure from Wedge. Once you're ready, hit them with your strongest GF.
Once you beat the dynamic duo, another boss appears. Yay.
Before you do anything, make sure you Draw the GF Siren from him. You can also Draw the Double spell from him. To beat him, just summon your GFs.
After beating Elvoret, you have 30 minutes to reach the transport on the beach. Get there with more than 25 minutes left to score high. Unfortunately, upon exiting the tower, a boss tries to kill you:
Hit him with Quezacotl once, or use any other Thunder-based magic until he falls down and begins repairing himself. When this happens, escape from the battle.
Note that it is possible to beat him completely, but you'll loose a lot of points towards your SeeD ranking. On the other hand, you do get 400 AP for doing so.
After beating X-ATM092, you run away, and it gives chase. Keep running back towards the beach until you get to the second downward mountain path. Hold Walk to avoid being stunned, and the consequent fight when the metal beast catches up to you. After this screen, you can resume your frantic run. The next spot to watch out for is the bridge. X-ATM092 will jump over the party and cut them off. When this happens, jog back in the direction you came until it jumps over you again. Then resume your mad dash to the beach.
When you get to the Square, be sure to rescue the dog. Failing to do so deducts 10 points from your score. Also, don't duck into the Café to escape the X-ATM092, as doing so results in another deduction. Once you get to the beach, you're rewarded with a cool FMV.
After their narrow escape from Dollet, the party ends up in Balamb Town for a little R&R. Head up two screens to the Hotel to rest and save. With Zell in the party, head to his house and speak with his mom. From the Hotel, go one screen left, and in the first door on the right. Zell's mom is in the kitchen, is an excellent card player, and holds Zell's Card. Also head to the back room and check out the magazine stack. You almost get a copy of the magazine Timber Maniacs.
For the real deal, go back outside, then two screens left to the Train Station, and search next to the signpost in the foreground. Go right one screen, and you can say hello to the Queen of Cards. She can tell you about rules currently in effect, spread new rules for a fee, and can be challenged to a game. To the right of her is the Item Shop. Go back one screen to the right. The door on the left is the Junk Shop, and in front of that is a Thunder Draw Point. Buy stuff from the Item and Junk shops if you feel like it, then head up twice from the screen that the Junk Shop is on to exit to the world map. Go to Balamb Garden.
Head to the main Hall, and chat with Quistis, Xu, and Cid. Then find Seifer outside the Library. After awhile, you hear an announcement. Simply follow its instructions. After graduation, and everybody leaves, talk to Cid, and he'll give you the Battle Meter. Access it through the Information section of the Tutorial Menu. Exit off the bottom of the screen, then walk towards the classroom to be met by the applause of your fellows. The scene switches to Squall's Room. Change, then talk to Selphie to go to the graduation party.
After the long dance FMV, meet Quistis at the Training Center. Don't forget to junction her. Take either the left or right path. If you take the right path, there is a Blizzard Draw Point in the middle of the screen, next to the tall palm tree. Make your way to the back of the Training Center and save. From the Save Point, head north to Quistis' "secret area". Watch the conversation. On your way out, you rescue the strange girl you saw in the infirmary from a boss and his sidekicks.
Put Granaldo to Sleep and his three Raldo companions will just sit there. While they're asleep, stock up on Protect and Shell by Drawing them. When you're ready, finish off the three Raldos first, then Granaldo himself. If you kill them in the opposite order, the Raldos will go into hyper-speed and whoop you.
After the fight, leave the Training Center. Go back to Squall's Room and sleep. In the morning, Examine Squall's new desk to find the Weapons Mon Apr. If you're on the Garden Festival Committee, you can go to the classroom and access its web page from Squall's Study Panel. Now's also a good time to play some cards, and pick up the MiniMog Card from the student jogging around, and Quistis Card from trepie #2 in the back of the Cafeteria. Cid has the Seifer Card.
Head to the Front Gate to receive your first mission assignment. After the meeting, speak with Cid and he'll give you the Magical Lamp (see Part VII.A: Magic Lamp.) Go to the library with Zell in the party and talk to the girl with the pigtail.
If you go out to the docks, stand on the edge of the "diving board" to get to the Cure Draw Point in the water. Go to the train station at Balamb town and buy a ticket from a conductor. Get on the train. Eventually end up in the SeeD cabin, where you talk to Zell, and get Pet Pals Vol. 1. Selphie comes in complaining of fatigue, and you all fall asleep.
You are now in a weird kind of dream sequence, where you have control over Laguna, Kiros, and Ward. Head up the screen until you come to an armored vehicle. Get in and it'll take you to Deling City. Go to the Galbadia Hotel, to the right. Once there, visit the lounge downstairs. Talk to Kiros and Ward, then talk to Julia, the beautiful pianist. Talk to Kiros and Ward again, then go to the front desk and ask the concierge for Julia's room. Talk to Julia until Squall and company wake up.
Upon arriving at Timber Station, a guy will come up and speak to you. Reply with "But the Owls are still around." He'll take you to the Forest Owls' hideout.
After some introductions, head to the back of the train to meet Rinoa and wake her up. Head back to the entrance and into the Strategy Room. When you get the chance, look at the bulletin board in the back of the room. There are several issues of Anarchist Monthly, which provides lots of info on the Galbadian dictator, Vinzer Deling. After the briefing, head back to Rinoa's room and look under Rinoa's bed for Pet Pals Vol. 2. Do this before you tell Watts you're ready to begin the mission. Now is also a good time to set Rinoa's Limit Break.
Once you speak to Watts, the mission begins. If you complete the mission without problem, your SeeD level increases. If you fail any step, you get the choice of starting over or quitting. If you start over, your SeeD level won't increase no matter how well you do. If you quit, you can reload your game and try again.
Step 1: When the base catches up to the President's train, simply follow Rinoa onto the last car.
Step 2: The 2nd escort car is the one that has the heat and motion detectors. Stand still at first to observe the soldiers. When they open their windows, they'll discover that their equipment isn't working, so just run across.
Step 3: This one's easy. Just run across the President's car.
Step 4: Selphie and Zell act as lookouts here. When they tell you to, climb back up immediately. When both soldiers head back the other way, you can drop down and finish the job. The codes you have to enter are given to you randomly here, and you only have 5 seconds to enter each code.
Step 5: Sit back and watch the FMV of the trains moving into place.
Step 6: Uncoupling the 2nd car is tougher because Selphie and Zell are too busy to provide lookout duty. You'll have to manage on your own. If either guard is on his way towards you, regardless of distance, climb up just to be safe. You now have five codes to enter, but you still have five seconds for each one.
Step 7: Sit back and watch more FMV. After completing the mission you'll be back in the Forest Owls' train. Prepare your party for a boss fight (for some reason all of Zell and Selphie's junctions are gone). Then talk to Rinoa to confront the President.
Fake President is really weak, so take the opportunity to Draw Cure from him and stock up. Once he's dead, he turns into Gerogero. Since Gerogero is an undead monster, curative type magic will hurt him. He dies instantly if you use a Phoenix Down, an Elixir, or an X-Potion on him. Keep in mind that the Phoenix Down has a small chance of failing.
Debrief in the Strategy Room, then talk to Watts to exit to the town of Timber. Now is a good time to pick up a bunch of magazines. Go to the Pet Shop on the left of the stairs and buy Pet Pals Vol. 3 and Pet Pals Vol. 4. Read them right away so you can get Angelo working on them. Go to the Souvenir Shop on the left and talk to the lady here. Her "easy to read" map of Timber isn't. Asking about the Naughty Magazine should suggest to you to give the Girl Next Door magazine to Zone when you get the chance. Lastly, ask for directions to the "infamous" Owl's Tears.
Head down from this screen, and down again on the next. Talk to the guy on the bridge that overlooks the train tracks. Keep talking to him, and eventually he'll give you a Potion. After that, every time you talk to him and either Quistis or Rinoa are in your party, he'll give you another one. Exit to the right.
On the left top when you get to this screen is the Junk Shop. The door to the right of that is the hotel. Inside is a save point. Head right one more screen. Approach the soldiers at the bottom of the screen until you fight them. Now go back to the screen past the bridge. Exit to the right of the Souvenir Shop. Go straight up into the Timber Maniacs building. In the lobby, just to the left of the information booth is the Girl Next Door magazine lying among a stack of magazines. In the door to the left is a Blizaga Draw Point. Up from the lobby is an office. Search the shelves in the back right for an issue of Timber Maniacs.
Exit the building and go into the house next door. The Lady suggests you go upstairs and look out the window. Do so. If you continue right to the next screen, go up the steps, then into the door. This is important since you can't stay at the local hotel yet. The old man inside will let you drink all you want from the faucet on the left side of the room, which is a good thing because you get all your HP restored. You can also find 500 gil in the cupboard, but if you take it, the old man won't let you drink any more. Exit and go over the bridge to the right. There is a Save Point here. Go back to the previous screen, then north, down the stairs.
There is an Item Shop on the left and a Cure Draw Point on the right. Fight some soldiers, then go into the pub, where you find a drifter blocking the back door, and your progress. To get him to move, you can do one of two things. You can buy him a drink (Reagan), or you can tell him you found a monster card out front. If you do the latter, you save 100 gil and he gives you a Tonberry Card.
Exit to the rear. In the alley is a Scan draw point on the top left, and a save point in the lower middle. Head through the alley to the left, and up the stairs a few screens to the TV Station where you see some action. Afterwards, meet up with Rinoa and follow her to the Pub Owner's home, which is located to the right of the Timber Maniacs Building. Talk some more. Exit the house to the right. Then talk to Zone to get tickets for the train to Dollet. Head right up the stairs, then down two screens and get on the train.
Get off at the East Academy station, then head northwest, across the bridge for the road, then through a small wooded area set between two mountains. Save before going in, because you're about to have another "dream" about Laguna and pals.
Upon entering the woods, your party falls asleep, and you switch to controlling Laguna and pals. A couple of notes before getting started. First, the enemy Gesper sometimes drops the Degenerator item, which Quistis can use to learn her Degenerator magic. Second, there are two types of Esthar Soldiers here: Human and Cyborg. The Cyborgs are a lot tougher than their human counterparts, so kill them off in battle first. Thirdly, what you do in the Lunatic Pandora now affects the rewards you reap when you come here later in the game.
Head up one screen. Towards the bottom middle is a Sleep Draw Point. Head up and then go down the ladder on the right. On the next screen, continue down the ladder, then up the walkway. Take a left, into the tunnels. Pick up the "Old Key" which is invisible, but lying next to the junk in the lower middle part of this screen. Laguna loses it, so exit to the left. Go left two screens, to the area with a bunch of panels in the floor. If you tamper with them, you create a trap for unsuspecting Esthar Soldiers, but you can't go across them any more.
Tamper with the middle panel, then exit to the right. Go back the way you came, all the way up the ladder. This time, follow the walkway north to the next screen. Continue north, and at the end of the branch of the walkway to the right is a Confuse Draw Point. Resume your northerly trek, and at the top of the screen is a hole with a ladder in the middle. Go down the ladder.
In the middle of this screen on the floor is another invisible "Old Key". Pick it up, and Laguna loses this one, too. Now, go all the way back to the screen with the Sleep Draw Point. Again go down the ladder.
Now go to the place where you found the first "Old Key". Head north from here two screens, and you'll see a weird long thing laying on the ground. It's a detonation device. Hit the red switch first, then the blue one. The order is important, as if you screw it up, you'll block any further progress. Also, the other two trap doors open up. From here, go up the stairs and through an entryway. One the screen after that, move the boulder to reveal a Cure Draw Point.
Continue north and use the save point on the next screen. Go through the door at the top, and fight some soldiers. When you off the last one, he'll reduce your party's HP to 1. That should just about do it. Squall's party wakes up and continues on their way.
Make sure you heal Squall's party as soon as you get the chance, as Laguna's party takes a whipping at the end of the previous sequence. Exit the forest and find Galbadia Garden.
Head up a few screens, to a circular room with four paths leading away from it. In the lower right is a save point, and in the middle of the room is a Haste Draw Point. What you need to do here is find the 2nd floor reception room. But if you're into cards, you can get all of the Level 6 Boss Cards from a single person. From the circular "main lobby," go out the door to the right, then in the door on the right. The female student in this group has the cards; but beware, as she's pretty tough! After each win, I recommend going back to the save point. That way if you lose a card you didn't want to, you can just reload.
When you're ready, or you're not into cards, head to the 2nd floor reception room. To get there from the "main lobby," exit to the north, and on the next screen, go up the stairs behind them, then into the door on the bottom of the screen (it's kinda hard to see).
Talk to everybody, Zell last, and eventually Squall leaves the room. Return to the "main lobby" and talk to Fujin and Rajin. Save, then go to the front gate and talk to Quistis. Go down one more screen and talk to Headmaster Martine. Irvine Joins the party. Exit to the world map, and go to the train station near by.
Go down the escalator, then get on the next one going up, and head towards the top of the screen. Go to the Galbadia Hotel. To get there: either hop on a bus and get off outside the building labeled "Galbadia Hotel," or go up twice, then left twice. Once in the hotel, stay the night, then look under the middle bed for an issue of Timber Maniacs.
Next, you need to get to Caraway's Mansion. Hop a bus and get off on the screen with the bridge on the left and the road running north/south. Exit through the walkway on the right. Run up to the guard at the front door, and he asks you to go on a quest and retrieve a code number. He offers to sell you a "current location displayer" for 5000 gil. It helps, but it's not necessary. The hint he offers isn't all that useful, either. Leave the mansion. Go down, then left. Exit the city by going left past the car rental shop.
Head north and east out to the tip of a long peninsula. The entrance to the tomb is kinda obvious. Just outside the tomb itself there is a Protect Draw Point on the left, just up the steps. On the right is a Save Point. Just inside the tomb, up one screen, on the floor on the right is a sword with a blue hilt. Examine it to find the code you're looking for. Write it down, as it's random. At this point you can head back to Deling City and give the code to Caraway, or you can stick around to get the Brothers GF. (see Section VII.D: Tomb of the Unknown King for details).
Go to Caraway's mansion to deliver the code. The way to enter it is kinda tricky. Basically you enter the code backwards. So if it's "135," you enter the "5" first, the "3" second, and the "1" last. Save, then enter the mansion and talk to everybody, Rinoa last. General Caraway comes in briefs you on your mission. Tour around the city if you want, then return to the mansion. At this point you split into two teams: the Sniper team and the Gateway team. You'll be switching between them a lot, so don't forget to re-junction your characters every time you do.
Follow Caraway to the archway. After some talk, follow Caraway to the spot where the Sniper team is supposed to stand. Now take the Gateway team back to Caraway's mansion. They get trapped. Worry about them later. You now control Rinoa. If you go down the manhole on the right beforehand, you can grab the Weapons Monthly May issue several screens left in the sewers. Save, then go up the stacked boxes. Go left, then up the ladder. Hop up onto the roof, then approach the sorceress. Rinoa gets trapped, then Edea wakes up in a cool FMV. Her speech is pretty rude, but the people don't seem to notice. Weird.
Switching back to the Gateway team, you need to find a way out. Speak to your teammates for clues. Also look at the paining for the real hint. Still can't figure it out? Take a glass from the shelves near the door on the left and put it in the statue's hands. The statue is kinda hard to see, but it's in the back left corner. Doing this will open up a secret entrance to the sewers. Head down the stairs and save.
Your job is to get through the sewers and throw the switch at the top of the gateway arch. While there are some Draw Points scattered throughout the underground, my personal opinion is that they're not worth the hassle of getting to them. From the first screen, hop the water wheel to take you up, then go in the gate on the upper right.
Sniper team's turn. You'll come back to the Gateway team's maze in a while. Don't forget your junctions! To get them inside the Presidential Residence, follow Rinoa's path, except that when you get to the room, you have to keep going. From the second part of the roof, climb up to the left, between the second and third vertical gold bar thingies. Go up the steps, then inside on the right. Hook up with Rinoa by saving her from the Iguions.
Start this fight by Drawing the GF Carbuncle from them. If one of your characters gets the Stone curse cast on them, Draw Esuna from one of the Iguions to cure it. If both your characters get Stoned, it's game over. Summoning Brothers works well here, as the Iguions are weak against Earth. If you're looking to stock up on magic, kill one of them and leave the other, as they both carry the same stuff.
After the fight, open up the hatch on the right side of the hallway with the red carpet. Examine the gun on the left, at the base of the stairs. After some conversation, you switch back to the Gateway team.
Continue up through the gate on the left. Knock the ladder down, but don't go across it; instead continue left. Go up and open the gate. Continue up, open another gate. On the next screen, open the gate on the upper right and go through. Continue right, go up the wheel, then down the other wheel. Open the gate at the bottom, go down another wheel, then through the gate at the bottom of the screen. Go down another wheel, continue down to the next screen. Knock down the ladder, but continue right, through the gate. Go up the wheel on the next screen, then up two more screens. Use the Save Point, then go up the ladder. Get off the ladder, then back on, choosing "Go up." At the top, examine the switch on the left to trap the sorceress' float.
Irvine is right on target, despite his misgivings, but Edea blocks his shot. Junction Squall and company, then Squall approaches the Gateway, and the float, in a cool FMV, in order to fight Seifer and the Sorceress.
The first part of the fight is Squall vs. Seifer. He's surprisingly weak. Physical attacks should take him out no problem, or you can summon a GF After you finish him off, Irvine and Rinoa join you against Edea.
Summon Carbuncle first to make use of his Reflect ability. Edea will counter using Dispel, but it only affects one character at a time, so she'll spend her next turns dispelling your barriers. Just have the character with Carbuncle continue summoning him every third turn, and you won't have to worry about Edea's powerful magics. You can draw Cura, Dispel, Double, and Life from her to stock up. Physical attacks work here as well, but if you want a quick end to the battle, go ahead and summon a GF or two.
Even if you lose this fight, you still continue on. In fact, the plot seems to indicate that you do lose. On the other hand, losing means you miss out on 20 AP.
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