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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)

Why play cards?:
I'm glad you asked! Quezacotl's Card Mod skill lets you turn cards into items, which can be used or refined into things that can significantly help your characters throughout the game. For example, be sure to see the Weapon Upgrades section and learn how items you acquire through the card game will let you upgrade to a new weapon (you don't buy better weapons in this FF.)

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.

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.

And it's not just magic. Remember the Weapon Upgrades section? I upgrade Squall's weapon the moment I leave Balam Garden to go take the Fire Cave test.

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
5 Abyss Worm 5 Windmill Quezacotl: T Mag-RF 100 Tornado Magic
5 Blitz 5 Dynamo Stone Quezacotl: T Mag-RF 100 Thundagas Elem Def/Atk
5 Snow Lion 5 North Wind Shiva: I Mag-RF 100 Blizzaga Elem Def/Atk
2 Fastitocalon 2 Water Crystal Shiva: I Mag-RF 100 Water Elem Def/Atk
50 Ruby Dragon 5 Inferno Fang Ifrit: F Mag-RF 100 Flare (F/L/I dmg) Str/Elem-Def
15 Hexadragon 5 Red Fang Ifrit: F Mag-RF 100 Firaga Elem Def/Atk
50 Chimera 5 Regen Ring Siren: L Mag-RF 100 Full-lifes HP
25 Torma 5 Life Ring Siren: L Mag-RF 100 Life HP
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
10 Tri-Face 10 Curse Spike Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Pain ST-Atk
10 Gayla 10 Mystery Fluid Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Meltdown Vitality
5 Armadodo 5 Dino Bone Diablo: Time Mag-RF 100 Quake Strength
5 Blood Soul 5 Zombie Powder Diablo: ST Mag-RF 100 Zombie Status Def
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
1 Vysage 1 Wizard Stone Various Level 3 Magic Various
1 Imp 1 Wizard Stone Various Level 3 Magic Various

Who to play:
To make it easier to find some of the cards above, here's a helpful list of who to challange to win the cards you want.

Early in the game; while you are still in Balam:

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