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Opinion I want to play FF VIII but I don't want to "break" the game while doing it

Inxes

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Nov 6, 2016
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Hello fellow humans, I'm looking into playing the entire FF franchise (I've already finished a few) and I want to star FF VIII because honestly I find it incredibly appealing. At least until I start playing it.

I don't know for the life of me how to tackle the leveling system. I know enemies get stronger by leveling Squall, so thats already like a massive fuck up right, because I am constantly reminding myself that leveling Squall is not even something optimal to do. Then there is the magic shit. Libra is incredibly overpowered, so I kinda just want to have 100 since the beginning, but thats also cheesing the game massively. On top of that, extracting is a thing, which is something that I kinda like, but in all honesty, its just a pointless loss of time. So I dont know If I should use the option to get 100 of everything since the start or not.

How do you guys play FFVIII, and how do you recommend me doing it, since I am a first timer in this game.

(First post ever yay)
 

Ailike

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Mar 10, 2013
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Everything about 8's combat is broken. Theres no way to avoid it. You could play the game by drawing and then using the abilities or you can gather 100, stat up, and autoattack the game. Just remember youre playing an experimental combat system from 1999. Play it for the 'story' and then move on to 9 or whatevs for a better combat experience.
 
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cireza

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Get 100, kill everyone by attacking.

This, or watch GForce videos for hours.
 

NahaNago

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Every time I've played the game( still never beat it) for some odd reason I would just grind on the enemies in the area outside of the school especially on the fish. I just loved seeing the monsters get stronger as I grew stronger. I'm weird like that. I would grind for hours and hours in that area and as soon as a new magic is available to draw I would fight that monster or bad guy over and over again until my whole party had 100 each.
 

heringer

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Breaking the game is the fun part of the gameplay in VIII, especially if you do it by playing Triple Triad.

Just try to break it with your own understanding of the systems, without reading guides or tips.
 

emivita

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Fantasy Sigh GIF by Pixel Bandits


Completely avoid drawing magic from enemies and refining cards/magic from items. Draw magic exclusively from draw points, and don't level-grind.

Enjoy.
 
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fallingdove

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Dec 8, 2011
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Agreed with the above that the battle system breaks itself regardless of how you play,.

Here is how I have had most fun with the game:
- Either don't level at all by transforming enemies you encounter or power level to 100. There is no in-between.
- Steal magic to junction, but don't use that magic on enemies. Your summons (GF) are more than enough to dispose of enemies/bosses
- Quistis > Squall > Rinoa > Irvine > Zell > Selphie
 
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Dec 22, 2020
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Get 100, kill everyone by attacking.

This, or watch GForce videos for hours.
Big warning to everyone following the second advice: GForce abuse can steer the player away from other aspects of the combat system and later in the game become ineffective.

Source: me. I focused way too much on GForce use during combat (all while leveling up too much) and it prevented me from completing the game.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

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Lol I don’t even know if there is a non-broken way to play this game. It’s just fundamentally broken at its core.

- Gaining levels actually makes you weaker relative to enemies (unless you have the GF abilities that boost your stat growth at level up)

- magic boosts your stats and you can draw an unlimited amount of it from any enemy who has the spell you want

- if your HP is low you can use your limit break an unlimited # of times, just keep pushing O until it comes up

Ooooookay. So what’s the correct way to play this game as the developer intended? I have no idea.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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Agreed with the above that the battle system breaks itself regardless of how you play,.

Here is how I have had most fun with the game:
- Either don't level at all by transforming enemies you encounter or power level to 100. There is no in-between.
- Steal magic to junction, but don't use that magic on enemies. Your summons (GF) are more than enough to dispose of enemies/bosses
- Quistis > Squall > Rinoa > Irvine > Zell > Selphie
Zell is broken as hell if you know how to use his limit break. Instead of building up toward a combo just alternate between the two starting moves (up/down and X/O iirc). You can do them super fast and land a zillion hits. Japanese gamers had some cool sounding name for this technique.
 

Clear

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I really like FF8's battle system.

All you have to remember is that unlike other FF's you do not want to grind enemies in order to gain levels. What you do is the first time you encounter a new tier of enemies is draw 99 (or close to) of each spell type from them within a single fight. Once you have that done, kill them and redistribute the magic by junctioning them to whatever stats and attributes you want to maximize. Then just smash until the next tier presents itself, and repeat the process.

By doing this, which really doesn't take long, your hands are untied to really experiment with the numerous sub-systems and options the battle system has.
 

fallingdove

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Zell is broken as hell if you know how to use his limit break. Instead of building up toward a combo just alternate between the two starting moves (up/down and X/O iirc). You can do them super fast and land a zillion hits. Japanese gamers had some cool sounding name for this technique.

Agreed. However, I de-prioritize Zell for the same reason I hate mashing buttons for GF boost, there are faster, more interesting ways to get through a battle than by these tedious limit and summon actions and their accompanying cutscenes. As a kid I loved stringing together the Zell limit combos though.
 

wa600

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May 25, 2020
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Lol I don’t even know if there is a non-broken way to play this game. It’s just fundamentally broken at its core.

- Gaining levels actually makes you weaker relative to enemies (unless you have the GF abilities that boost your stat growth at level up)

- magic boosts your stats and you can draw an unlimited amount of it from any enemy who has the spell you want

- if your HP is low you can use your limit break an unlimited # of times, just keep pushing O until it comes up

Ooooookay. So what’s the correct way to play this game as the developer intended? I have no idea.

Lot of people back in the day just went into it playing it 'naturally'. No help from the internet on how to break the game. Some decided to spend hours on 'grinding' to draw magic, others didnt. But its just weird to me that people decide to draw magic for hours only to complain afterwards how grindy, broken or what a slog the gameplay is. It actually never made sense to me to spend that much time on drawing magic when almost around every corner there was new (and possibly better) magic to draw from. So why waste your time grinding in situations you are having no troubles to get through? Thats like fighting enemies in other jrpgs over and over although the overall difficulty is rather low.

A new player will not realize enemies scale with you (boss levels are capped by the way and higher lv drop better items and have better magic to draw from). Majority of new players also does not know that you can abuse the limits in such a way.

(If it were by me, I would have let the player chose between 'Beginner' and 'Expert' mode. Beginner is as it is. Expert caps the amount of magic you can junction. Meaning lv. 20 Squall cant junction 100 Ultima, but only 20. Limits are also too powerful this way.. should have nerved this a bit)
 

Captain Toad

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FF8 is a mess. The most effective way to play is to avoid every battle you can and avoid leveling up. Get stronger by drawing magic off the world map.

I really had hoped they would have changed the enemy scaling for the remaster, but they didn't.

You can get an item to avoid random battles early on. If you can get that, you'll just walk through the game. It makes everything feel pretty pointless.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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Lot of people back in the day just went into it playing it 'naturally'. No help from the internet on how to break the game. Some decided to spend hours on 'grinding' to draw magic, others didnt. But its just weird to me that people decide to draw magic for hours only to complain afterwards how grindy, broken or what a slog the gameplay is. It actually never made sense to me to spend that much time on drawing magic when almost around every corner there was new (and possibly better) magic to draw from. So why waste your time grinding in situations you are having no troubles to get through? Thats like fighting enemies in other jrpgs over and over although the overall difficulty is rather low.

A new player will not realize enemies scale with you (boss levels are capped by the way and higher lv drop better items and have better magic to draw from). Majority of new players also does not know that you can abuse the limits in such a way.

(If it were by me, I would have let the player chose between 'Beginner' and 'Expert' mode. Beginner is as it is. Expert caps the amount of magic you can junction. Meaning lv. 20 Squall cant junction 100 Ultima, but only 20. Limits are also too powerful this way.. should have nerved this a bit)
Drawing magic wasn’t what made the game a slog. What really made it a slog was how the whole battle system was practically built around watching your GF’s countdown + unskippable summon animation over and over.

And if you weren’t meant to draw lots of magic then why even give you the option, and give every enemy an unlimited pool to draw from? That’s like just leaving a bunch of stat boosting items sitting around and asking the player to decide how many they’re supposed to pick up.

re. level scaling, any gamer who goes in blind is going to reasonably expect it to work like every other freaking JRPG. Where gaining levels makes you stronger, and if the battles are too difficult then the surefire brute force way to win is to grind a few levels until you’re a better match for the enemy. Whereas if you played FF VIII that way you’d end up permanently gimping yourself and making the game even harder.

So yeah I stand by my statement that the game is just fundamentally broken and there is no clear “right way” to play. Doesn’t mean the game isn’t fun.
 

SkylineRKR

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Breaking this game is part of the fun. Without breaking you'll probably end up going through boring ass summons time and time again. Personally, the fun I have with the game is the fact its possible to have tier 3 spells, an ultimate weapon and thousands of hit points on the very first disc/first 6 hours. And its false that you need to draw the shit out of enemies for it. Refining dropped items is key.

I like the game a lot but i'm not saying its without issues. The junction system is rather terrible in fact because it discourages you to cast spells. Leveling up doesn't matter. Even if you don't min/max you're still way too powerful at level 100 with top tier junctions. I didn't even min/max that well last playthrough, I think my Squall was level 40-50 when I min/maxed to 100. But in the end my team was ridiculously OP anyway. When I played without any knowledge whatsoever and just wasted spells I felt this was the hardest FF, this in was in 1999, I didn't junction for shit, I didn't allocate my GF well, I casted spells. Some bosses could one shot me and I wondered how. But it wasn't leveling up, it was the fact I had very weak stats because of barely junctioning and some greyed out due to bad allocation. But with casting GF, and with limit breaks etc I could still win.
 
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Jul 13, 2020
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Drawing magic wasn’t what made the game a slog. What really made it a slog was how the whole battle system was practically built around watching your GF’s countdown + unskippable summon animation over and over.

And if you weren’t meant to draw lots of magic then why even give you the option, and give every enemy an unlimited pool to draw from? That’s like just leaving a bunch of stat boosting items sitting around and asking the player to decide how many they’re supposed to pick up.

re. level scaling, any gamer who goes in blind is going to reasonably expect it to work like every other freaking JRPG. Where gaining levels makes you stronger, and if the battles are too difficult then the surefire brute force way to win is to grind a few levels until you’re a better match for the enemy. Whereas if you played FF VIII that way you’d end up permanently gimping yourself and making the game even harder.

So yeah I stand by my statement that the game is just fundamentally broken and there is no clear “right way” to play. Doesn’t mean the game isn’t fun.

I'd argue that playing the game to "watch GF countdowns," is the entirely wrong way to do it. I've found that summons in VIII behave pretty much like they do in other titles, at least attack wise. They're very beneficial and deal high damage at the beginning of the game when your stats are low and new players are figuring out the game play systems, but they become RAPIDLY outclassed or equaled by regular spells or physical attacks, if not by numbers then by the amount of damage you can put out in three regular attacks versus one summoning.

The only GFs that are really worth using for their attacks toward the end game from memory are Bahamut, Doomtrain and Eden. Even Odin with the instant win condition gets ruined by Gilgamesh.

The best way I've found to play "fairly," is to just draw with your whole party for a couple of rounds when you find a spell you like, then separate your spells into the categories of "stuff I want to use in battle," and "stuff I want to junction to stats," Healing really isn't an issue, because you can buy shit loads of health items and you get paid like every twenty minutes for just existing. When you get towards endgame, you can just use the Refine abilities and easily get loads of high level spells to use or junction.

As has been said before, higher level enemies drop better loot, which means better refining tools. If you don't give a fuck about Triple Triad, you can card refine a LOT of good stuff.

If you don't like Limit Break spam, just like...don't cast Aura/have low HP.

VIII is one of those cases where people will say it's broken, because of the notion that "I'm able to do it, so it must be done," In reality, it's a very fluid system that sort of trusts you to adjust your own preferred difficulty through emergent choices you make with the systems available to you. You can one shot everything, you can spend hours watching summon animations. Fuck, you can even eliminate random encounters altogether. VIII doesn't get enough credit.
 
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TidusYuna

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Draw ultima from the draw points and save as many as you can. Also stack on Aura for Limit Break. Junction Ultima it to the Lion Heart (Squall's ultimate weapon). 1 shot everyone with Squall's Limit Break "Lion Heart." I did this when I was a kid and played FF8 which was my first Final Fantasy. You got this TS.

But I too need to go back and play FF8 properly, currently doing that with the Metal Gear Solid series right now.
 

Keihart

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Break the game while not breaking your will to live, i see that as a win win.
Attempting to break the game on the first disc is when you start trying way to hard and might rob yourself of enjoying it, just play it and try to get OP as you would in any other game, the game has it challenges and you would not normally get a broken build until you actually get some knowledge of the systems and where everything is, which usually would be about the right time if you stop going online for tips about the game and just play it.
 

Karonoth

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I'm a fan of FFVIII and have played it multiple times and I'm pretty confident when I say: you can't not break the game. I tried everything, even not junctioning any magic at all, and it was still broken once I could use better magic (even though I only extracted from enemies and didn't convert cards, which is also broken).

Avoid extracting 100 of everything, you really don't need to do any of that shit, the game is super easy and broken and you'll get tired of the game if you do that.
 

Karonoth

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I was being ironic. Who would want to watch the same thing again and again for hours ?
I did lol Quetzalcoalt's and Shiva's animations were incredible back when the game first launched (still are today tbh).
 
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Aldynes

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Best to go in completely blind, don't watch any guide just follow the story, don't level up much it's near useless the ennemies level up with you anyway, just have fun and move on never stay too long on one part of the game keep pushing, the only thing to remember is to DRAW bosses, they might be carrying a G-force (summon) besides magic, I only figured that out near the end of the game on my first playtrough back in 1999, if you experiment more than a tiny bit you'll broke the game very soon, trust me it's crazy simple...

Had a blast with FFVIII when it came out, I loved the story and the OST is absolutely amazing, great use of cutscenes mixed with gameplay at the same time it was already present in VII but you see they cranked it to 11 this time.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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They are really part of the problem I have with RPGs ever since the advent of the disc medium. Everything became unnecessarily long. Loadings. Scenes. Animations etc...
Agreed, lots of JRPGs from that era were obsessed with showing off their fancy graphics and (overly long) animations. Not so great for a genre where you fight hundreds of battles over and over against the same few enemies that don’t pose any threat to you.
 

Ikutachi

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I think the long GF animations were deliberate in part to make you unable to abuse their power in timed battles.
 

Knightime_X

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Throw the game in the trash, watch the ending on youtube and play any other ff game which is VASTLY superior.
 
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The Shepard

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I remember Playing this game as a kid and had no idea about the lv scaling at the time, Got to lv 100 and completed it with no problems.
 
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Michele

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Contrary to most peoples here, I do suggest you take time to level up in-between. For the final boss it should be around 50-60.
 
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Love the game but breaking it is how it's enjoyed.

I like to have 2 near dead characters who constantly unleash limit breaks, and one healer to res them.

See how many of Zell's combos I can squeeze in before final heaven!

I just wish there was a hard mode, it's so powerful
 
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Jaxcellent

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Sep 8, 2019
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Hello fellow humans, I'm looking into playing the entire FF franchise (I've already finished a few) and I want to star FF VIII because honestly I find it incredibly appealing. At least until I start playing it.

I don't know for the life of me how to tackle the leveling system. I know enemies get stronger by leveling Squall, so thats already like a massive fuck up right, because I am constantly reminding myself that leveling Squall is not even something optimal to do. Then there is the magic shit. Libra is incredibly overpowered, so I kinda just want to have 100 since the beginning, but thats also cheesing the game massively. On top of that, extracting is a thing, which is something that I kinda like, but in all honesty, its just a pointless loss of time. So I dont know If I should use the option to get 100 of everything since the start or not.

How do you guys play FFVIII, and how do you recommend me doing it, since I am a first timer in this game.

(First post ever yay)
Play it without reading into it and already knowing it's glitches could be a good start for a FFVIII virgin.

Gaming is best when you start playing following the ingame tutorials and figuring and puzzling stuff out on your own IMO.
If i'm stuck then I'll try to find a minimal hint somewhere, but I only go for a hint if I'm stuck a whole evening or so. i like to be surprised, and figuring stuff out on my own, thats why invest time and money in the game.

That being said, if I'm really into a game, and when and like it and have time, I go for a second playthrough and then I use a guide to get more stuff unlocked and get the best strategy etc.

When I first played FFVIII, i was 19, It was 1999 and we diden't have a internet connection yet, I had to travel by train the whole day to buy a US import launch copy, When I did all the searching and calling and traveling to get my hands on the game, it felt really special to play it that night when I got home. t's a great game i hope you enjoy it.