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:
- Win at least 15 games against Balam Garden residents
- Defeat CC Jack
- Defeat CC Joker
- Defeat CC Club
- Defeat CC Diamond
- Defeat CC Spade
- Defeat CC Heart
- 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.
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.'
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.)
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
Triple Triad StrategiesBeing 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.
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.
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.
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).
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,
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: