Final Fantasy VIII 20th Anniversary

So much love for the most underrated FF title. <3

Our parents never got FF for us and when the titles became Sony exclusive, we missed out of 7, 8 and 9.

We only managed to play FFVIII because our cousin had a modded PlayStation and we’d spend weekends trying to beat the game. All the good memories of pizza nights, interacting with the GFs, drawing magic and items from enemies and triple triad... man they were good times.

We tried going back to FFVII but couldn’t beat it out of boredom. FVIII had spoiled us in terms of presentation, the newbie-friendly gameplay and music.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,974
Easily the best world in a FF game. I was so disappointed that IX didn’t have the same style


But really, why don’t they port this game? Did the lose the source code?
 
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Wazzy
Oct 25, 2017
2,203
Since I'm replaying VIII for the Anniversary(and doing all the Steam achievements) I was thinking about the fact people still spread around that Squall is a major asshole who doesn't show signs of growth until Rinoa's coma which is so blatantly wrong right from the first part of the game. Squall has moments of being abrasive but when he is confronted over his behavior being rude he is generally apologetic and we always get insight into his views when he goes into his thoughts. Not only that but the most interesting part is seeing how often Squall questions his mission and role in the game especially knowing Cid is forcing responsibility on him purely because of the future Squall Edea met.

I wanted to post some examples of how the game allows players to make Squall even kinder and more understanding with just simple choices and scenes that are in the game normally. Some will be imageless.

1. Meeting Selphie. You bump into her and can ask if she is okay and then agree to show her around.

2. Joining the Garden Festivel. This can happen either at the dance after she asks Zell or at the beginning of the game if you head to the Quad in which case she just says hello to Squall at the dance since he already joined. I prefer the first since if you agree he will compliment her efforts.

3. Squall dancing and enjoying himself with Rinoa is an obvious one.

4. When Squall is in Timber he is blunt about what might have happened to Seifer since that is the kind of situation expected for mercenaries. He laughs at the thought of Seifer hearing people feel sorry for him unknowingly to the others who take it as him laughing at Seifer potentially being dead and Rinoa gets angry. He doesn't realize how his behavior is coming across and continues to talk normally about the situation causing Rinoa to get angry. He apologizes.

5. When Squall reunites with Rinoa after the Iguion attack, he informs her about Seifer being alive but being on the side of the sorceress. He understands Seifer is important to her and warns her that he might have to kill him which obviously does bother him. He initiates the conversation and Rinoa understands. He then comforts Irvine into taking the shot and never blames him even after he misses.

6. Squall worries about whoever is sent to the missile base. When he reunites with the group, he is extremely happy they are okay. If Rinoa is on the missile team she says she missed him and he can respond that he missed her as well. If she isn't with the group he can respond that he would have worried about her too and then get embarrassed


(I didn't screenshot my dialogue so I found an image which is closest just replace Irvine with Rinoa because I prefer the dialogue from Rinoa in missile base run.





7. Irvine asks Squall to cheer Selphie up and he doesn't question helping her because she is upset over the missiles going to Trabia.

8. The concert date can go poorly or great depending on the song. If you pick Eye's on Me it ends in a fight but if you pick Irish Jig the game has Squall seriously contemplating Rinoa's questions and then it can be assumed they spend the night talking since neither storm off.

9. If Quistis waking Squall up triggers(Rinoa should be on missile team for this) she asks if he wants to talk. He is hesitant but she points out that now he understands her previous feelings over the training center scene. He says he does understand and then Quistis tries to convince him it is worth talking. You can agree and she says to do it over tea. Prior to all of this he thinks about the fact that no matter what he still depends on others to get where he is showing that he is questioning his outlook.





There is a lot more such as Squall being concerned when Seifer tells him everyone is at the prison, apologizing for going too far when getting angry at Rinoa for the Timber Owls lack of professionalism, wanting to save Garden from the missiles and calling it his home, being apologetic whenever they cause trouble, etc. There is more but considering I'm stopped right after Squall becomes commander I would rather play through it before posting things that happen after.
 
Oct 27, 2017
640
Probably in the top 5 intro of all time. It was the first FF that I played and because of that it will always have a special place in my heart despite its flaws
I watched this into at least 100 times before the game came out. Probably the most hyped I’ve ever been for a game and ever will be. Halo 2, MGS4 and BOTW are the others that have come close.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,448
It's been a long time since I played VIII but I was thinking about it last night. I've still got the special edition box, albeit most of its contents have since disappeared (memory card went somewhere). Still have that ridiculous T shirt. 20 years later still not grown into it. Gonna replay it soon though. Wish it got the same treatment IX and VII got recently.
 
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Wazzy
Oct 25, 2017
2,203
I didn't screenshot it but at some point I kind of want to compile all the memory loss hints before the reveal. A lot unfortunately can be missed but it's really interesting when you see them. There is also a lot of moments that hint Cid knows Squall is responsible for defeating Ultimecia and that he is forcing him into all of the leadership positions. This is obvious once you finish the game but it's fun going back and seeing where he makes comments about it. The first biggest one is when you receive your exam report and he tells Squall they will talk in private one day.
 
I don’t have the time these days to replay old games, especially long RPGs, but I do like to reminisce about FFVIII. I got it for PC back in the day. I remember still being really apprehensive about the move from the medieval fantasy setting to more modern sci-fi. I might’ve liked VII more at the time for being more traditional, but VIII was really good in hindsight. I still listen to a lot of the music regularly. Character design is still some of the best in the series and I never really had a problem with the Junction system.

Fun story though, I had played the PS1 demo at a friend’s house. As you may know, Rinoa was thrown in with no dialog whatsoever. When you talked to her, she just said “...”. To me, this gave her a cool mysterious vibe that intrigued me. I really wanted to know more about her. Around the same time I had managed to save money and buy the Final Fantasy Pray album. A CD that contained a bunch of beautiful vocal renditions of themes from FFI-VI. One of the songs was based on Elia’s theme from FFIII (which I hadn’t played at the time because it wasn’t officially available). The song in the album was called “Once You Meet Her” with English lyrics


For the longest time I had associated this song with Rinoa. Even after playing VIII I thought it was, in some ways, a better ‘“Rinoa” song than Eyes on Me (though I do love that song too)

Speaking of EOM. Man it SUUUUCKS that the song has been scrubbed from official releases. I bought the FLV Orchestra album on iTunes not realizing they cut the song out. Even the ending music is cut so it jumps straight from the sad “Rinoa desperately trying to find Squall’ to the FF theme credits (which btw, I still think has some of the best final credits in the series next to VI and Tactics)

Also, Wazzy , surprised you didn’t use this artwork for the Itadaki Street section



Look at that smug smile! I played a game recently with her as a CPU on the Alefgard stage and she gushes about the romantic rescue of Princess Gwaelin
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,190
A couple good pieces written for FFVIII's 20th:

'Final Fantasy VIII' Was Too Honest and Unsettling to be Beloved, written by Cameron Kunzelman for Waypoint:

Final Fantasy VIII remains the outlier of the Final Fantasies. Released between the PS1 jump of Final Fantasy VII and the theatrical throwback nostalgia of Final Fantasy IX, this game about teen feelings and the end of the world has always felt like a middle child. Despite being a success by all the metrics that we generally measure, like high sales and good reviews, the game isn’t exalted in the same way that its peers are. Celebrating its 20 year anniversary this last week, the game still hasn’t been ported to every platform on earth like the rest of its brethren. And I think that might have to do with what it’s about.
and

Final Fantasy VIII makes high school’s life-or-death drama literal, written by Anthony John Agnello for AV Club:

Final Fantasy VIII gets it. Persona 4 might meticulously recreate the high school experience and Gone Home might capture the reality of enduring school while you discover your own soul, but Final Fantasy VIII is the only video game that manages to be both about high school and capture the essential feeling of that time in our lives. How it manages this is surprisingly blunt: All of its teenagers are either mercenaries or revolutionaries. Their daily life is as rigidly defined and contained as the average high schooler, infused with all the terrifying parochialism that comes with being forced to spend every day in the same small space with the same people, but with actual life-and-death situations thrown into the mix. At the end of the day, they still go to club activities after class, but class is beating a fire monster to death or repelling an invading army from a nearby city. And rather than feel overwhelmingly melodramatic, Final Fantasy VIII evokes something true.
Both resonated with me a lot.

The AV Club piece touched on one of the things I've always admired FFVIII for. Like, Persona 5 didn't even come close to capturing that feeling of adolescence so well. It recreated the high school life with more fidelity, yeah, but... Squall drifting through fucking space, filled to the brim with teenage hormones, seeking out this person he had fallen in love with, feeling time running out... and then all anxiety and fear and stress melting away into oblivion when they finally embrace...? That's real. (And one of the greatest scenes in video game history.)

I want two things a lot right now: one, a collection of fun FFVIII writing, ranging from deep analysis to personal anecdotes to fanfiction; and two, a Switch port that I could be playing in this exact moment while laying in bed.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,468
I didn't screenshot it but at some point I kind of want to compile all the memory loss hints before the reveal. A lot unfortunately can be missed but it's really interesting when you see them. There is also a lot of moments that hint Cid knows Squall is responsible for defeating Ultimecia and that he is forcing him into all of the leadership positions. This is obvious once you finish the game but it's fun going back and seeing where he makes comments about it. The first biggest one is when you receive your exam report and he tells Squall they will talk in private one day.
That'd be a great idea because there is a ton of very subtle foreshadowing and when you see it all in the proper context it really spells it all out pretty clearly and sensibly.

Damn if I'd thought of doing that I could've screenshot'd them too, I just went through the beginning of the game. I'm trying a boss and triple triad only run because I've actually never played too much triple triad before. It's very fun, the reputation is well-deserved.
VIII still gets no respect. I have no hopes for Square ever porting it forward. Enjoy your broken PC release~
With all the mods and shit the PC release is actually pretty cool, runs well, looks good, orchestrated music etc.

And I think the port or even remaster is an inevitability, this was one of the best-selling games in the franchise, you don't just ignore something like that. Square is a business, not an entity subject to the same irrational likes and dislikes as the average gaming forum member.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,250
Both resonated with me a lot.

The AV Club piece touched on one of the things I've always admired FFVIII for. Like, Persona 5 didn't even come close to capturing that feeling of adolescence so well. It recreated the high school life with more fidelity, yeah, but... Squall drifting through fucking space, filled to the brim with teenage hormones, seeking out this person he had fallen in love with, feeling time running out... and then all anxiety and fear and stress melting away into oblivion when they finally embrace...? That's real. (And one of the greatest scenes in video game history.)
Hi five.
 
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Wazzy
Oct 25, 2017
2,203
That'd be a great idea because there is a ton of very subtle foreshadowing and when you see it all in the proper context it really spells it all out pretty clearly and sensibly.

Damn if I'd thought of doing that I could've screenshot'd them too, I just went through the beginning of the game. I'm trying a boss and triple triad only run because I've actually never played too much triple triad before. It's very fun, the reputation is well-deserved.
Definitely. I love that VIII is extremely rewarding for taking your time and speaking with people. The diary entries are amazing and seeing them update over the course of the game was a neat surprise.

Two screenshots I DID take so far that are very in your face about Cid + are part of the main story:




He then wonders what would happen if he just quit and left but realizes he has nothing else which I thought was very realistic.


Also, Wazzy , surprised you didn’t use this artwork for the Itadaki Street section



Look at that smug smile! I played a game recently with her as a CPU on the Alefgard stage and she gushes about the romantic rescue of Princess Gwaelin
Haha I do love that picture but I tried to keep it VIII only in the banners. :P

I always wanted to see a proper interaction between Rinoa and Aerith since they are very similar role and personality wise but with obvious little differences. Maybe Opera Omnia will give me something since I doubt Dissidia will.

VIII still gets no respect. I have no hopes for Square ever porting it forward. Enjoy your broken PC release~
Since you can easily mod the proper music back in + add HD backgrouns and so far I haven't encountered any notable bugs I honestly think the Steam version isn't that bad. It would be a problem when released to a console since you can't add those fixes in.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,404
México
And I think the port or even remaster is an inevitability, this was one of the best-selling games in the franchise, you don't just ignore something like that. Square is a business, not an entity subject to the same irrational likes and dislikes as the average gaming forum member.
I'd believe that... if it weren't the only one of the PSX games that never got a rerelease.

With all the mods and shit the PC release is actually pretty cool, runs well, looks good, orchestrated music etc.
Since you can easily mod the proper music back in + add HD backgrouns and so far I haven't encountered any notable bugs I honestly think the Steam version isn't that bad. It would be a problem when released to a console since you can't add those fixes in.
I actually have no idea what mods are "required" for the PC release... I know they exist, but that's about it.

But still, the fact that mods are needed to begin with, is not great.
 
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Wazzy
Oct 25, 2017
2,203
I'd believe that... if it weren't the only one of the PSX games that never got a rerelease.



I actually have no idea what mods are "required" for the PC release... I know they exist, but that's about it.

But still, the fact that mods are needed to begin with, is not great.
I'm only using the music mod and it's like a minute fix and then you don't have to do anything + you get achievements, Chocobo World and boosters on the Steam version. It really doesn't require anything.

I agree it shouldn't have been released that way but it's not a big concern for me considering it is so easy to fix versus the console games where a bug that can't be fixed without a patch from SE.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,791
One thing I love about ff8 is that it establishes that Gilgamesh is canonically stronger than Odin.
At least the Odin of the FF8 world

Then again we don't know how old that Gilgamesh is either since he is the same guy in a majority of his appearances


That said, how BS it was of Seifer to just have a technique to reverse Zantetsuken
 
Oct 27, 2017
979
It wasn't until XIII-2 that Square made a Final Fantasy game with as much heart as VIII. Gorgeous locales, heartfelt characters, amazing soundtrack...VIII was a total package. And it still has the most impressive final dungeon I've ever seen in an RPG, and not just because the one in the game before it is arguably the worst.