Final Fantasy 8 Part 5 -Battle of the Gardens

Last time we did quite a bit and found out some juicy information regarding the sorceress.
Check it out!

After the fight, we head back up to speak to Cid, but we can’t find him in his office.
We do some searching and find him in the infirmary, crying.

We speak with him and we ask him some questions.
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He tells us we don’t need to report to him what happened with NORG, he assumes we did what we had to.
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He tells us that he and Edea are indeed married, that they met a long time ago.

We ask about what SeeD is really meant to do and Cid tells us that SeeD are meant to fight against the sorceress, that all these missions we do are merely training for the final battle against her.

It was actually Edea who came up with the idea of Garden.
Cid worried that one day, Garden might have to fight against her, due to her being a sorceress, but she wasn’t worried about, saying it would never happen.

Looks like she was wrong…

Cid met NORG just as NORG had told us. Cid needed money for Garden, NORG gave it to him, but NORG was in it just for the money and managed to gain control away from Cid.

Cid tells us that we need to find a way to stop drifting and hopefully go back to the way things were before.

As we go to leave, Xu stops us and asks us where the headmaster is, that she urgently needs to speak with him.

We tell her where he is and she informs us that a ship is fast approaching and that it could be Galbadian!
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We quickly race to the second floor where we can get a better view.
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Some people appear on the ship and flag us down, saying they are the sorceress’ SeeDs?

They want to see the headmaster and conveniently, Cid appears.
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Ellone? Squall is confused, since Ellone is that little girl Laguna was looking after in the “dream world.”

Cid orders us to find her, so we split up and look for her somewhere in the garden.

We find her in the library and Squall asks her who she is.
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She is vague, but she does mention that she knows Laguna.

Squall asks what is going on with his dreams, but she doesn’t really answer.
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She does say she is making it happen and that it is something from the past.

Squall says to leave him out of it, he doesn’t want anyone to have to depend on him.
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Xu appears and escorts Ellone away, but right before she does, she whispers something into Squall’s ear.
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Squall has a mini-freak out and has a dream of some child standing in the rain.

Rinoa wakes us the following morning and asks to go for a walk.

Squall is reluctant, but we go anyway.

As we are walking out, Cid comes over the intercom and tells us he got it working again.

But then, he flips out…
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We suddenly crash into something!
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We head up to his office and he tells us we have a new mission, to head to the town, which he calls Fisherman’s Horizon and speak with the mayor.

We are also instructed to sight-see while we are there.
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Before we leave, however, we challenge Cid to a bunch of battles and win a few rare cards from him, notably Fuijin and Raijin and the Seifer card.
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As we go to leave, we are stopped by some residents of the city, who warn us not to cause trouble in the city.

Squall explains that it was an accident and that we come in peace.

Everyone then relaxes and they welcome us to the town.

Squall apologizes, but they say it is no big deal, as long as no one got hurt.

We enter the city and look around a bit.

Nothing of importance is found and we find the mayor…
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Who isn’t very pleased to see us.

He says that they abhor violence and us being in the violence profession, he wants us out as soon as possible.

He even offers us aid to repair the ship faster.

Squall goes to speak with Cid about letting strangers on board.
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Before we set out, we play cards a few times and snag another rare card.
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In addition to that, we find the powerful Ultima tucked away in a draw point nearby.

We go to leave, but also find Martine from Galbadia sulking outside.
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He says after he was banished from Garden, he wandered around for a while, before
Fisherman’s Horizon let him in to start a new life.

Before we leave him be, we play cards with him and win some cool stuff, namely Ultima Weapon.

As we go to tell Cid what has transpired, we find out Galbadian soldiers are in town!
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The mayor’s wife tells us that they are looking for us, so we have to take responsibility.

The mayor himself interrupts us and tells us that he will “speak” with them.

Squall remarks in his head that he will be killed, so we head after him.

As we head into the town, we find the mayor trying to reason with the soldiers.

Apparently, they are looking for Ellone.

Despite the mayor’s insistence that they have no idea where, let alone who, Ellone is, the soldier tells him they were ordered to torch the town.
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Squall and the gang jump in as the soldier attacks the mayor.
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We fight a puny group of Galbadian soldiers, but then something else makes it’s presence known!
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The same tank that Selphie and the other’s fought, except now it’s banged up pretty bad!
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This fight was incredibly easy. Rinoa junctioned Blind to her attacks, as the tank could somehow be blinded, making most attacks miss.

In addition, we also drew 100 Stops from it for each character.
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After that, we just wailed on it until it blew up.
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Once the tank falls into the water, out pops Selphie, Zell and Irvine!

I suppose they took shelter in the tank during the explosion.

Why they attacked us, who knows, maybe they lost control of it or something?

Anyway, Quistis tells Squall that he can ask about it later and everyone splits up to head back to Balamb.

Squall and Rinoa have a bit of a moment, then Rinoa runs off after embarrassing Squall.

We then head back to Balamb.

Along the way, we find Irvine, who asks Squall if he can have the engineers repair something for him.
Squall gives him the go-ahead, as long as it doesn’t slow them down much.

He also tells us that Selphie has been feeling down lately and that we should talk to her.

We enter Balamb and find Selphie.

It seems like the stage for the festival she was planning got demolished during the initial crash.

Squall cheers her up a bit and has Irvine take over.

We then find out Irvine’s master plan: have the engineers repair the stage to impress Selphie.

Squall gets notified over the intercom to see Cid, so he does.
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There, Cid tells him and all of Balamb that Squall will be the new leader, to lead the charge against killing the sorceress.

Squall has a bit of a freak out after Cid tells him this was his destiny.

It seems Squall is having anxiety over being the head of the whole operation, which is entirely understandable.

We then have the small task of choosing instruments for everyone for the festival after the stage gets repaired.

Selphie says she also has a special assignment for Rinoa.

We choose Guitar, Flute, Tap Dancing and Violin for a more upbeat song.

Afterwords, Squall is bored and heads out to find everyone.

Rinoa stops Squall and leads him somewhere.
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We find the gang about to head up on stage, where they play a little song for Squall’s promotion.
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Rinoa gets us alone and there is a little cutscene where she tells us that if Squall ever needs help, he can ask them.

She says anything he wants to talk about, to just… Talk about it.

Of course, Squall is a little hesitant on that idea.

In any case, the show ends and Squall is called to the bridge early in the morning.

Quistis, Xu and Nida congratulate Squall on his new position as leader.
Xu makes the suggestion that we head to Balamb, since we don’t know what has happened to it.
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We now have access to Balamb Garden, which let’s us travel around the world!

Our first stop is Balamb.
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Upon arrival, we find a ship much like ours outside.

When we enter, we find that Galbadia has it locked down!

Zell comes rushing in and says that he lives here, so he has to be let in, but the guard denies even him entry.

Squall tells the guard who refuses to let us in that we have information on Ellone.

He lets us in and tells us that we need to find the commander in the city.

Zell in the party, we head to his house and his mom tells us that Galbadia and the sorceress has the town locked down, threatening to burn it down if there is a disturbance.

We also find out that Fuijin is here. Squall wonders if Seifer is here too.

We try to get entry into the hotel to speak with the commander, but they won’t let us in.

Instead, they tell us to find the captain.

We then go on a very annoying search to try and find said captain.

Eventually, a dog sniffs out the captain, who is Raijin!
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We rush after him and end up fighting him!
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Raijin is incredibly easy. All he has are weak physical attacks, and we can Draw Protect from him, making his attacks minor tickles against us. He also allows us to also draw
Thundara from him, so we get 100 for each character.

We trounce him soundly, then comes the commander, Fuijin!
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Raijin recovers and joins the fight as well.

We immediately draw a new GF from Fuijin, Pandemona. In doing this, she can no longer cast her powerful wind magic, neutralizing her as a threat.

Raijin is pretty much the same, just a tad bit stronger.

We take them both out, but not before we Draw Aero from Fuijin.
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After the fight, they tell us that they aren’t working with the sorceress, they are merely trying to help out Seifer.

Squall asks them if they want anything to do with the garden anymore. They say no, so
Squall tells them next time, they won’t hold back.

They run off and we head back to the ship.

Squall is thinking on the next destination when Selphie comes up and asks if they could visit Trabia Garden.

Looks like we have our next stop.
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We find the garden, but it looks like it is destroyed from the missiles that Galbadia launched.

The rest of the gang also appear, who join us.

Selphie decides to investigate anyways, so the group heads in.

Inside, we find survivors, friends of Selphie, who are relieved to see her.
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We also stumble upon this, hidden away on an invisible spot on the ground.

Selphie tells us she will be with us in a minute, and to wait at the nearby basketball court while she catches up with friends.

Some times passes and Selphie enters the court and thanks us for taking her here.

Rinoa has some concerns about all of the fighting.
She thinks that she can’t keep up.

After, Irvine tells us about an orphanage he used to be at when he was kid.
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He describes it, when Selphie and Quistis remember the same thing.

What follows is a pretty long cutscene.
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Here is FF8’s famous “plot twist.”

Everyone stayed at the same orphanage as children, even Seifer, but they forgot each other.

The reason?
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Using GF’s causes amnesia.

Irvine remembers because he only started using GF’s when he joined us recently.

Everyone else has had prolonged contact with GF’s, causing their memory to fade over time.
Rinoa wasn’t there, so she wouldn’t have any memories of it.

In any case, we also learn something very important as well. There was a care-taker for all of children here, whom they called Matron.
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Turns out, it was Edea!

Why was the sorceress taking care of the children?

If she was kind and gentle like Squall and the others have said, what turned her evil?
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The group decides that fighting is their only option. Even if it is the motherly figure that they vaguely remember from their child-hood, they have to do something.

We leave Trabia, but we head back in to get a rare card from Selphie’s friend.
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Unfortunately, she uses the Random rule, which is just that, all cards in your hand are chosen from your entire stock of cards.

Needless to say, this is really annoying, since more often than not, you will get crappy cards instead of the cards you actually want.

Then, there is the fact that she actually has to play the card you want, never mind the fact that she will most likely play really strong cards for having the random rule up.
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After a couple of tries, the cards finally aligned right and I managed to snag the Selphie card.

Leaving Trabia, we head to the orphanage and find Galbadia there.

Squall prepares the school for possible attack and we gather Quistis and Selphie with us.

We find Zell, who asks Squall if he can borrow his ring.

Squall gives it to him and we see Irvine and Rinoa appear.
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Rinoa appears to be in high-spirits.

The gang rush to to get in position.
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We get a view of the other garden and see Seifer leading the Galbadian troops!
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He sends his men after Balamb and Squall gets called to the second floor to defend the younger students from the attacking soldiers.
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Rinoa also ends up falling off of the garden, dangling above the ground, but no one can reach her.
Squall tells Zell to save Rinoa while he deals with the rest of the school.
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These guys were easy. Mildly annoying, since they could cast Demi and Silence, but other than that, no trouble.

After securing the children’s safety, Squall once again gets called to the bridge from Dr. Kadowaki.
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There, everyone is pressuring Squall to save Rinoa, despite him having a thousand responsibilities, and Zell failing to save her like Squall asked him to.

Even Irvine jumps down Squall’s throat, almost demanding he save Rinoa.

With no easy way to get to her, Irvine mentions that they could ram the Galbadian garden, Squall could save Rinoa and everyone else could carve a path through Galbadia garden.
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So, they do just that.
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Before Squall can try to save Rinoa, however, a soldier comes and attacks him.

He gets pinned, and trying to escape only lowers Squall’s HP bar further.

We have a few choices on what to do and to be honest, this took me a few tries to complete.

Essentially, you have to look for another way, then, hit the emergency escape button.
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When the soldier tries to ram you again, Squall and the soldier instead get jettisoned outside and have a fisticuffs duel high above the ground.
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If Squall’s HP bar empties, you die, but can easily restart again right before the fight.

If you manage to block a few attacks from the soldier in a row, you get access to the “Deathblow,” dealing a ton of damage.
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After two Deathblows, the soldier gets knocked off, and Squall uses the device to save Rinoa.
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Squall and Rinoa run past all of the intense fighting and make their way into the Galbadian garden.

At the entrance, however, Rinoa mentions that Zell gave her Squall’s ring.

She says that she couldn’t die just yet, not without giving it back to him and she of course, thanks him for saving her life.

She asks him if Squall has named the lion insignia on the ring.
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I leave it at default, of course.

Inside, the rest of the gang is ready.
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Squall gives a quick pep-talk, telling everyone that even if the sorceress is the Matron from their childhood, that she chose her path, now they must choose theirs.

With the group successfully in Galbadia garden, can they end the sorceress?

Find out next time!

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