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Carbon Ocelot's Final Fantasy 8 Walkthrough


Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
SeeD Tests
Side Quests
Other GF
Card Game
Card Mods
GF Abilities
Refine Abilities
Item List

Single Page Version

Coming Soon




Balam Card Club
Queen of Cards Quest[s] (N/C)

Triple Triad Rules
The rules for triple triad are fairly basic. Throughout the game you aquire cards through various means. You can "Card Talk" to a character by pressing the 'A' key (PC Version) or Square button (Playstation). If that character plays cards, you will be given oppertunity to begin a game. The rules change from location to location, but the basics are the same. You win a game by flipping over more of your opponants cards then s/he flips of yours. Depending on the rules of the land, the winner gets one or more of the losers cards. The variable rules are:

  • Open. The open rule means that you can see the cards your opponant will be playing with. Be aware that s/he can also see yours. The open rule is very helpful for avoiding same/plus combos, and is an absolute MUST for beginners. Try to spread this rule early on if you're a novice. If you're a veteran player, you probably know what kinds of plays to avoid.
  • Random. This rule makes it very tricky to win battles. With Random, the computer will chose 5 cards for you that you will have to play with. Since some cards cannot be Card Moded without up to 10 cards, it's difficult to keep your deck stacked such that you control what cards are chosen. In fact, with the Difference and All rules, it's virtually impossible! Try not to let this rule spread! If it does spread, you should can eleminate fractional reserves of cards (e.g., you have 1 Chimera card so you need 9 more to get a full set of 10 to card mod) by acquiring 4 really low level cards, and losing on purpose. Your opponent will take the best card you played with, so if you play with 4 bite bug cards and 1 Chimera card, they'll virtually always take the Chimera.
  • Elemental. Some cards have an elemental symbol on them. If the square you play the card on matches that symbol, all point values on that card go up one. If you do NOT match that symbol, all points go DOWN, so be carefull if you are used to just playing a 'pattern' game - cards that did not previously match for "same" may match now.
  • Same. When the Same rule is used, any card played with numbers that matches two or more numbers on adjacent cards with cause those cards to be flipped. When a card is flipped due to the same rule, all cards it can flip will be flipped, etc. Save your game and play with Same until you are comfortable with it.
  • Same/Plus. This is identical to same, except that instead of just matching the numbers on the other cards, you can also match the value that their numbers add up do. So if you play a card where the edges are 2 and 5 next to two cards whose edges are 7 and 4, the values add up to 9 and 9, and thus the two cards matching those edges will flip instead of just the 7 (which would flip because 7>2). This can get tricky, so save your game before messing with it.
  • Same/Plus/Wall. Treat this rule as the one above, but the wall now counts as a 10 (or 'A').
  • One. With One, only a single card is traded. The winner chooses the card.
  • Difference. This rule allows the winner to chose as many cards as he won by. If you win by 5 or more points, this is effectively the same as the All rule below.
  • All. Yeah, you guessed it. Winner takes all cards. Ouch if you lose your good ones. Make sure you save your game before toying with this. When you pair all with random, you might end up losing several good cards because you can't win due to the random bad cards being injected. In this case, use the trick above to remove as many bad cards from your hand as possible before playing with the All/Random combo!
Those last three are actually called "Trade Rules" but I jumbeled 'em in for free. :)

Rules spread when you play games around the world. When you propose a game to a character in a new land, any rules from the previous land you played in may be new to him. He may suggest you play a game that combines rules from both area. Unless you just came from Balam (includes Balam Garden) I don't generally recommend this. Keep proposing games and eventually s/he will not ask to play with combined rules. To spread open, but keep other rules from spreading, I usually go back and play in Balam Garden after each new land I play in. In Balam, I always say no to anyone who want's to play with combined rules. Then when I go somewhere else, I say 'Yes' if they ask to combine the rules from Balam. If this confuses you, I usually pay of the Queen of Cards early on so she'll spread the open rule, if it's not already active in Balam.

That's pretty much it for the rules of the game.

Balam Garden Card Club

Note: You can't start this on Disc 1!!! Read the whole section for more information. The Card Club of Balam Garden is a group of players in the Garden that are really good. Defeating them will not only fufill a side quest, but can also net you some sweet cards you would otherwise be unable to aquire. I played several games with each, and will tell you any 'special cards' they chose to use. To complete the card club side quest you must:
  1. Win at least 15 games against Balam Garden residents
  2. Defeat CC Jack
  3. Defeat CC Joker
  4. Defeat CC Club
  5. Defeat CC Diamond
  6. Defeat CC Spade
  7. Defeat CC Heart
  8. Defeat CC King

Win 15 games:
I was unable to verify the number 15 for two reasons. First, you cannot take on the CC at the very beginning of the game. Therefore, since I get the Quistis and Mini Mog cards right off the bat, (not to mention I use the card game to get massive magic early on and totally unbalance the game :D ) I had played way more then 15 games.

CC Jack:
Once you have won enough games, feel free to head over and take this guy on. He's the guy that first tells you about the CC. You can find him (appears randomly) hanging around the front lobby. He usally walks in from either the top righ or bottom of screen. If you haven't won enough games, he will ask if he has told you about the CC yet. He did not appear to play with any 'special cards.'

CC Joker:
Card Club Joker will only play you after you have defeated CC Jack. He is also called 'Man From Garden' in other areas (Like Galbadia Prison and once you have the 'Call Shop' skill.) He runs the only buy/sell place in Balam Garden. You can find him (appears randomly) in the Training Center, standing on the end of the 'dock' on the screen where you can fight T-Rexaur enemies. If you go there and he's gone, just leave the screen and return. Even after you defeat him, you may want to continue playing until you win the Leviathan card from him. When you defeat him, he will add the 'View GF Information' function to your battle meter. Note: He doesn't appear until after Disc 1.

CC Club:
Card Club Club (Now you know why they always refer to this as the CC group in the english version of this game) appears randomly around the dormitory. Piece of advice, if you have just come from Joker, save your game in the dorm first, then come back and try to take on this guy. He does not apppear to play with any special (rare, high-level) cards.

CC Diamond:
The CC Diamond is actually 2 people. They are the 2 girls that hang out in front of the directory in the lobby of Balam. If you do not see them, wait a few seconds. They sometimes appear from the bottom right. If this is the case, you will have to wait until they are stopped in front of the directory before you can talk to them. They did not appear to play with any special cards.

CC Spade:
Remember back on Disc 1 I told you to remember the guy who gave you your starter pack of cards? Well, he's the Spade of the CC group. He does not appear to play with any special cards.

CC Heart:
Head up to the bridge and challange Xu. Please note that this battle is not possible until you've finished the Fisherman's Horizon section (Xu will not be on the bridge until then). She uses Carbuncle. At this point, the battles get REALLY TOUGH. Be sure to have saved your game before attempting this battle. Another interesting thing to remember here is that she plays easier after the first battle. So rememeber, you don't have to win Carbuncle on the first battle. Of if you feel like you have to, substitute a Malboro (or equally powerfull but not unique card.)

CC King:
To get King to show up, you have to first 'Card' (B2, etc) to the doctor. When you do, she will tell you that she is no longer the King. To find the king. Go to your dorm and SAVE. Then rest. If the King doesn't challenge you in the middle of the night, leave the dorm and then return. Repeat Rest and Leave routine until satisfied. Again, you don't have to win the Special Card (Gilgamesh, Ultima WeaponCard) right off the bat. You can always do that later. The CC King will tell you when and where the King allows challenges.

Now that you have defeated all the CC members, if you leave the castle on Disc 4 and return to the Rangnorok, the members of the Card Club will be waiting for you. Furthermore, they will play with the most advanced, rarest cards in the game. If you can defeat them and mod their cards, you can basically level up your magic and gear in very short period of time.

Triple Triad Strategies

Being good at the card game really does translate to being better prepaired for the actuall game. Unlike some mini-games in other Final Fantasy games, winning lots of card games translates into better magic (and thus insanely high stats toward the start of the game), better gear (level up your weapons at the junk shops), and stronger GF (they can learn skills from the stuff you get when you card mod). Follow these hints to learn how to maximize your card playing ability.

Start early:
It's possible to aquire some good cards without having ever left Balam. Once you get your starter deck from the guy at the hallway of level two, head for the training center. Set Quezacotl to learn 'Card' and go hunting for Grats. When you get weak, head to your room and rest. (Save your potions and cure spells for later.) From the main entrance to the training center, head to the left and call Quezacotl when you encounter a heard of Grats. He'll usually kill grats in one shot, but you may have to kill them yourself with a good smack once in a while.

When he learns card, eneable it in the menu and have him move on to 'Card Mod.' Continue Grat hunting, but this time try not to kill them out right - if Quezacotl doesn't kill enemies on one shot, great! Otherwise, you'll have to hunt by hand. Hit them two or three times to weaken them, then card them. You'll get lots of Grat cards, but you should also get a few Shumi Tribe cards. These are increadible cards to aquire this early in the game. Try to get three of them if you can, then you can begin playing in earnest.

Round One:
Leave the arena, save your game, and take on the girl in the Library at the desk. When you get good enough that you can beat her with ease, go for the girls outside your dorm room, then the lunch counter lady (the one on the left). If you can beat all these easily, try Dr. Kadawaki and the guy by the entrance to garden (the one in the booth). If you can defeat these guys pretty much every time, you should begin to acquire some decent cards, and you will probably begin to develop a bit of strategy.

Round Two:
Head to the Library and go to the far right screen (a little study area). You should find a girl who says "Hehe... So you want to play with me?" She plays with some pretty good cards, so you can get some pretty powerful cards here. Continue until you can beat her with some frequency. After that, it's time to win your first Page 10 card - Quistis. Save first. ;)

Head to the Cafeteria and go to the back-right screen. You'll see a few guys you can talk to ("...the one in front, or the one in the back?") Card talk to the one named "Trepe Groupe #1" and beat him to acquire your Quistis Card. To beat him easily, I used: Shumi Tribe, Malboro, Wedge/Biggs, Elastoid and Wendigo. If you can't beat him on the first try, just keep at it. If you lose too many cards, restart from your save (you did save, right?!?) and try again. When you have it, save again and then look for the kid that's running circles around the middle of Garden. You can't miss him - he runs past on the screen with the directory almost every time. Card talk to him and win the Mini Mog card.

Side note: I used to think the mini mog card was only good for card moding, but there's a problem with that - you will not be able to complete the queen of cards quest if you do that. So keep it handy and learn to incorporate it into your strategy (e.g., play it where your oponent can flip it on one side and then you can flip it on the other).

Moving up:

It's probably obvious by now, but they single easiest way to get powerful characters is to win and card-mod certain cards, and then use your GFs' magic refinement skills to turn those things into magic. Throughout most of the game, you'll be playing with 3 characters. You can also move magic between characters via the Magic submenu. What all of this means for you is that you can very early on in the game use the card game to make normal game play easy (I mean REALLY easy!!!) and the really tricky stuff possible. Put another way, if you want to get some of the most powerful stuff in the game, you're going to *have* to learn how to play the card game well. As an example of what the card game can do for you, before I have Squall (L17), Zell (L9), and Selphi (L8) get on the train for Timber, they all have between 3000 and 5000 HP. All three have 100 of the following high-level magic: Tornado, Death, Meltdown, Pain, Curaga, Regen, Zombie, Blizzaga, Thundaga.

I get a lot of email from people saying "It's so boring to play the card game for hours before I even play this game, why don't you just level grind?" My answer is: Go ahead!!! It's your game - play however makes you happy. For those of you who want to truely dominate - no matter what it takes, the card game is an easy (if time consuming) way to do it. Compare to other games where you have to play the same level 100 times and get everything EXACTLY right or you can't beat it. That really bugs me. But I'm not going to force you to do things *my* way. ;)

For example, if you get 50 Chimera cards, you can refine those into 100 Full-Life. Junction this to HP and a level 13 Quistis goes from 900 HP to 7700 HP. Before leaving Balam for Timber, I Junction both Shiva and Diablos to one character. Then I'm able to junction 100 Full-life to HP (>7k HP), 100 Flare to Str (86 Str), 100 Meltdown to Vit (123 Vit), 100 Pain to Mag (70 Mag), and 100 Curaga to Spr (74 Spr). My guys are now 10 times as powerful as they would otherwise be, and I haven't even left the island!!!

The best cards to card mod early in the game are:
Best Card Mods
Quantity Card Mods Into Refine With Refins Into Junction To
50 Chimera 5 Regen Ring Siren: L Mag-RF 100 Full-lifes HP
50 Ruby Dragon 5 Inferno Fang Ifrit: F Mag-RF 100 Flare (F/L/I dmg) Str/Elem-Def
10 Tri-Face 10 Curse Spike Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Pain ST-Atk
5 Abyss Worm 5 Windmill Quezacotl: T Mag-RF 100 Tornado Magic
10 Gayla 10 Mystery Fluid Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Meltdown Vitality
25 Torma 5 Life Ring Siren: L Mag-RF 100 Life HP
1 Vysage 1 Wizard Stone Various Level 3 Magic Various
1 Imp 1 Wizard Stone Various Level 3 Magic Various
5 Armadodo 5 Dino Bone Diablo: Time Mag-RF 100 Quake Strength
5 Mesmerize 5 Mesmerize Blade Siren: Life Mag-RF 100 Regen Vitality
3 Tonberry 3 Chef's Knife Siren: Life Mag-RF 30 Death (+ 10 below) Magic
3 Belhelmel 3 Saw Blade Siren: Life Mag-RF 10 Death (+90 above) Magic
5 Blood Soul 5 Zombie Powder Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Zombie Status Def
5 Snow Lion 5 North Wind Shiva: I Mag-RF 100 Blizzaga Elem Def/Atk
5 Blitz 5 Dynamo Stone Quezacotl: T Mag-RF 100 Thundagas Elem Def/Atk
15 Hexadragon 5 Red Fang Ifrit: F Mag-RF 100 Firaga Elem Def/Atk
5 Anacondaur 5 Venom Fang Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Bio St Def/Atk
5 Forbidden 5 Betrayal Sword Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Confuses St Def/Atk
4 Ochu 4 Ochu Tentacle Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Blind St Def/Atk
2 Fastitocalon 2 Water Crystal Shiva: I Mag-RF 100 Water Elem Def/Atk

Other Useful Mods:
10x Elnoyle -> Energy Crystal -> High Level Magic (Ultima) Later
6x Elastoid -> 6x Steel Pipe -> Call Doomtrain Later
24x Malboro -> 6x Malboro Tentacle -> Call Doomtrain Later
3x Adamantoise -> Turtle Shell (Weapon Component)
4x Blue Dragon -> Fury Fragement -> 2x Aura Stone (Siren's Tool-RF)
GIM47N -> 10x Fast Ammo
Wedge, Biggs -> X-Potion (Not magic, but powerful) (Siren: Tool-RF)
Creeps -> Coral Fragment -> 20x Thundara
Thrustaevis -> Shear Feather -> 20x Aero
Glacial Eye -> Arctic Wind -> 20x Blizzara
Bomb -> Bomb Fragment -> 20x Fira
Caterchipillar -> Spider Web -> 20x Slow
Gesper -> Steel Orb -> 15x Demi
Grendel -> Dragon Fin -> 20x Double
Elastoid -> Steel Pipe -> 20x Berserk
Ochu -> Ochu Tentacle -> 30x Blind
Cockatrice -> Cockatrice Pinion -> 20x Break
Elastoid -> Steel Pipe -> 1x Auro Stone (Siren: Tool-RF)
3x Iron Giant -> Star Fragment -> 2x Meteor Stone (Siren: Tool-RF)
For more information on other card mods, please see the Card Mods section.

Early Non-Card Mods:
Buy 10x Tent -> 100 Curagas (Siren's L Mag-RF Skill)
Kill Grats -> Sleep Powder -> 20x Sleeps (Diablo's ST Mag-RF Skill)
Kill Grats -> Silence Powder -> 20x Silences (Diablo's ST Mag-RF Skill)

Before I even get to the Fire Cave I sell off whatever I can and make sure I have 30 tents. For exmaple the sleep powder, Occult Fan I and duplicates of items that teach Quistis skills. The only exceptions being what is needed to mod weapons at junk shops. With 30 tents, Siren can give all 3 characters 100 Curaga. So, are you ready for a few tips to make the card game easier to win?

  1. Keep the random rule from spreading. Unless you really like a challange, it's a bad idea to let random spread. Since some countries force you to play with Different or All, you may not have a choice about what cards you aquire. If you get a Chimera, for example, you have to aquire 9 more before you can card mod it away. Since the Chimera card is not usefull in a battle really, it's better to not have it in your hand unless you are trying to get the Regen Ring it will mod to. Also, when you are trying to aquire a rare card, it's frustrating to have the computer randomly chosing when your opponant will play with it.
  2. Let the Open rule spread. Since Balam (includes Balam Garden) uses the open rule, I try to return there between each battle in a different land. Since the next time I battle (in a new area) they will ask me to play with balam's rules, I can spread "open" this way.
  3. Look for opponant patterns. Some opponants have a fondness for certain corners. If you know this in advance, it can help you chose what cards will work well against them.
  4. If I don't have dynamite strong cards, I like to play a worthless card in the middle of the board. It encourages your opponents to play good cards in bad spots.
  5. Go for the corners if you can. If you can control the corners, it's a lot easier to protect weak cards. Remember, the Malboro card may only have 2 sides that are good, but when placed in the lower left corner, only a handful of cards will beat it (until you start playing the high profile players later)!
  6. Unless you're playing "Direct," don't be afraid to sacrafice a good card for the win. Pay attention to your trade rules. I usually place a rare card where it can be flipped to force my opponant to play his dangerous cards first. Remember, most characters just can't resist the chance to flip Squall. But if you are playing with Direct, you'd better be able to win it back later!
  7. Try to Card Mod anything you don't need, but keep a backup just in case. It is inevitable that you will have to play a game where Random is used. To minimize its effect on your hand, keep a smaller hand! You probably won't be able to have a hand of 5 awesome cards, but a true master of the game could get away with it. If you try to play with only 5 cards, save your game first. Remember, you must have at least five cards to play. Also remember that the queen of cards quest requires you to lose SPECIFIC cards to her, so you may have a hard time doing that if you've card mod'd the only copy of, for example, Mini Mog.
  8. When playing with same/plus, spread the cards out and fill in squares. Try to play next to an existing card to keep from opening yourself up to same/plus attacks. Keep the number of sides open to attacks to a minimum. If your opponant opens by playing in a corner, play next to that card if you can. If he plays into a three card "L" shape, play in the hole to form a square. Getting into this habit will cut down on the number of times you have to reload because you irretrevablly lost your best card.
  9. It's usually easier to get a rare item by Card Mod then by random encounter winnings. Unless you have the "Rare Item" skill enabled (or you cheat), you will probably need to resort to card play to get an item. For example, if you need a Malboro Tentacle for a weapon, you would have to be insane to try for it the normal way (or insanly good, but that's beside the point). Play the guy in the booth at Balam Garden, however, and you can get a Malboro Tentacle by winning and Card Moding four Malboro cards.
If I think of more strategy hints later, I'll put them here too.

Queen of Cards Quest[s]

OK. I've finally decided to update this to include the instructions for defeating the Queen of Cards in the Queen of Cards Quest. This quest is actually easy to figure out, but hard to acomplish. You'd better be REALLY good at the game. Here are the directions as well as a few bits and pieces to help you out. Lose a GF or better (lvl 8+) card to her in various towns until she gets to dollet. Then you'll have to start losing specific cards. Just lose a specific card to her, then head to dollet and win the card back from the little boy at the artists shop. Throughout the time you are playing her, she'll bet bored and head to another area. Consult my "Where is she going...?" table to figure out where to find her after each battle. If the queen asks for a card you do not have, consult my "Where can I get a...?" table.

You can start as early as the first time you set foot outside of Balam garden - she's in the town. I opted to lose my mini-mog card immediately. That's not a very useful card, anyway. In fact, for most of the time I'm playing here, I just lost it and won it, over and over. Don't forget to head back to Balam Garden and get the open rule and the trade rule "1." It's important to not have too many cards in your deck when you have to play with the "random" rule.

  1. Find the queen of cards in Balam after Galbadia has occupied the town (not during). You might be able to start earlier, but if you wait this long you'll have spread some better rules around and gained some high-power cards, which will make this easier.
  2. Lose a rare card to the Queen. Cards I like to lose include Leviathan, Mini Mog, Carbuncle (if you have Quistis), Siren (only if you have Oden), Ifrit (if you have Minotaur), Quezacotl (if you won Siefer from Cid) and Angelo - mostly because they're not very useful in terms of card game play.
  3. She'll get bored and head to another area. This time around (for me) she headed to 'Galbadia.'
  4. Follow her to the place she went, and either win back what she took or lose another "good card." I chose Gilgamesh.
  5. She said she was heading to "Centra" which means Winhill.
  6. I went there and lost my Quezacotl card. After that, she headed to the Dollet Pub.
  7. When you finally meet her upstairs in the put at Dollet, save your game and talk to her. Ask "About your artist father."
  8. She tells you she needs a "MiniMog" card.


Where is she going...?
Destination Reality
Galbadia Galbadia Hotel (It's in Deling City, actually)
Centra Winhill (The hotel, I think)
Dollet Dollet (Yeah, she actually goes there. Hit the pub).
FH Fisherman's Horizon - near the save point one screen left from the inn.

Where can I get a...?
Card Location
Mini Mog

(Work in progress, please be patient.)
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