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is introducing a whole new generation of players to GFs (and their locations and abilities), just an example of innovative but misunderstood features in one of the most underappciated games in franchise history. The GF system is extremely pisive among fans, with opinions ranging wildly between assertions it’s one of the best or worst summon mechanics in Final Fantasy. A design that allows players to accidentally miss some of the most powerful summons in the game is sure to invite some less-than-favorable feedback.
As is often the case, though, the truth about the FF8 GF system is somewhere in between. FF8 Remastered is in an interesting position. A re-release two decades after its initial launch could be disastrous, but it’s also a chance at redemption. One of the first things players will notice about FF8 Remastered is that many of its gameplay elements that were targeted as flaws during its time on the PlayStation One have aged miraculously well. In fact, as JRPGs have gotten more complicated and storytelling has gotten more ambitious, it’s well worth considering whether or not FF8 Remastered is better suited for 2022 than it ever was for 1999.
Related: Shadowbringers Is Great, But It’s Not The Highest-Rated Final Fantasy Game
Controversial opinions aside, FF8 Remastered GF locations and abilities are a fundamental element of the game that isn’t necessarily explained well. Squall’s turn in the remastered spotlight of FF8 Remastered‘s improved graphics has been criticized as somewhat obtuse about many of its features, and FF8 GF locations and abilities are unfortunately a very real part of that. Luckily for those who don’t want to miss out on a summon or a chance to use them in a really fascinating – or sometimes broken – way, Screen Rant has compiled a guide to help players navigate FF8‘s choppy summoning waters like an expert JRPG navigator.
FF8 GF Locations & Abilities
This will be player’s first GF and, as a result, Quezacotl is unmissable. It’s either obtained automatically during the trip to the Fire Cavern for the SeeD Exam mission or any time Squall accesses his study panel before that mission. Quezacotl is the Thunder-based summon in FF8 Remastered and has one of the most important abilities in Card and Card Mod, two useful options that will help players obtain cards outside of Triple Triad and convert them into useful items later.
Shiva is also unmissable, and can be obtained early by using Squall’s study panel and watching the tutorial on GFs. Otherwise, Quistis will give Squall Shiva before leaving for the Fire Cavern. Shiva is the Ice-based FF8 GF that allows players to unlock Doom as an ability. Otherwise, she offers two key stat bonuses after meeting the requisite AP requirements during battle training.
We promise that some FF8 GF locations are important to know and can be missed, but Ifrit is yet another that will be simply given to the player for progressing through the game’s first real mission at the Fire Cavern. Ifrit is fought as FF8‘s first boss and will then be added to Squall’s roster of GFs once he is defeated. Ifrit has a unique ability in Mad Rush that has been abused by some party builds that focus heavily on physical attack damage to push through difficult enemies.
Finally, a FF8 GF that can be missed! Siren is actually available very early in the game and is thus one of the most commonly missed GFs in the game, as players are still acclimatizing to the many complex systems in FF8 and might not think to cast Draw on a boss monster. Siren is held by Elvoret, one of the bosses during the Dollet SeeD Exam mission that players fight at the top of the communication tower. Players simply need to Draw Siren from Elvoret before defeating it. If Siren isn’t obtained during that fight, it will be available as a Draw from another boss – only during the game’s final dungeon, which severely hinders Siren’s potential effectiveness over the game.
Diablos is one of the reasons the FF8 GF system is so heavily criticized. The extremely powerful summon resides in a magical lamp that headmaster Cid gives Squall before he leaves Balamb Garden for Timber, warning him not to use it until he’s properly ppared and powerful. Using the lamp summons Diablos, who must be beaten before he joins the party as a GF. The issue is that it’s significantly better for players to attempt to beat Diablos as soon as he’s available rather than waiting until later in the game. FF8 uses a system that sees enemies scale in strength with the player’s level, so waiting until late game makes Diablos a much more difficult fight overall.
Diablos can be cheesed early, too. Diablos’ best attacks are all physical, and if he’s struggling to land them, players can take their time and ensure they’re tackling him safely. Diablos has some incredible abilities for players willing to go the extra mile to acquire him as quickly as possible, including massive stat bonuses, the ability to damage enemies while thieving from them with Mug, and Enc-Half and Enc-None, two abilities that reduce the encounters players have with enemies or outright pvents them altogether. It’s worth noting that FF8 Remastered has built-in cheats that allow players to disable encounters whenever they like, which does make Diablos a little less appealing but nevertheless useful.
Brothers is found in the Tomb of the Unknown King, but is buried deep inside the location, much further than players are required to navigate during the FF8 narrative. The tomb first becomes accessible when Squall reaches Deling City for the first time.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to do once inside the tomb: go right, left, right, left, right, straight, and interact with the statute. Battle Sacred until Sacred flees. Then leave the room and go straight, right, left, right, left, right, straight. Pull the lever on the left side of the room, then leave and go straight, right, left, right, left, right, and straight again. This will have players exit the temple. Immediately turn around, go straight repeatedly, and eventually enter a battle with Sacred and Minotaur, collectively known as Brothers. Defeating them earns the Brothers GF – it’s actually ptty easy, too. Casting Float on the party renders nearly all of Brothers’ Earth damage inept.
Unfortunately, Brothers isn’t exactly the best FF8 GF in the game. Earth damage sometimes matters and for completion’s sake, it’s worth grabbing, especially since many players will have missed it during playthroughs without guides.
Carbuncle is obtained by using Draw on Iguions, two lizard monsters that are revived from their statue state and attack Squall and company during the Deling City Parade. Carbuncle has some amazing abilities that can make party compositions very flexible, so make sure to grab it. If missed, Carbuncle can be gained from using Draw on Krysta in the final FF8 dungeon.
Leviathan is obtained by using Draw on NORG, a boss during the Civil War event. If missed, Leviathan is also available as a draw from Trauma in the game’s final dungeon.
Another Draw FF8 GF that can be easily missed. Pandemona is in Fujin, the blue-garbed friend of Seifer that players will fight in their return to Balamb Garden. If missed, Pandemona is available as a GF Draw from Red Giant, another boss in FF8‘s final dungeon.
Cerberus is an optional boss in Galbadia Garden. It’s found in the Atrium, in the middle of the yellow beam there. Beating Cerberus automatically recruits him as a GF, and he can be obtained as a Draw from the Gargantua boss in the final FF8 dungeon as well. Gargantua has Auto Haste, which is an extremely useful ability that can build out some interesting party compositions.
Alexander is available as a Draw from Edea, who is fought in Galbadia Garden as well. If missed, Alexander is available as a draw from Catoblepas in the final FF8 dungeon. Holy damage is a nice complement to party comps and Alexander also offers Revive, which makes it a great GF for the healer of the party.
Easily in contention for being one of the best Final Fantasy names ever, Doomtrain is a gigantic train possessed by a demon that is summoned by using clues found in the Occult Magazines players can collect while playing. The game doesn’t differentiate between those who have collected Occult Magazines and those who have not, though, so following guide requirements without the Occult Magazines is fine. Players will need Solomon’s Ring, 6 Malboro Tentacles, 6 Remedy+, and 6 Steel Pipes, and will then need to use the Solomon Ring. This will acquire the powerful GF, which has several unique abilities, and is the only way to get Doomtrain in FF8.
Cactuar can only be obtained once players get the Rangarok Airship. Fly to a desert island east of the Centra Ruins. Occassionally, something green will spawn on the island. Coming into contact with it will start a fight with the Jumbo Cactuar, and defeating it obtains the Cactuar GF in FF8. Cactuar has some really nice passives that are worth investing in.
Bahamut, perhaps the most iconic summon in Final Fantasy history, is in the Deep Sea Research Center. Bahamut is only available once players have acquired the Ragnarok Airship, and then they’ll need to fly to the bottom-left corner of the map and land there to access the center. There’s a blue light in the middle of the room that players need to access – after engaging in battles throughout – and then answer three questions correctly. Here are the FF8 Deep Sea Research Center answers:
- Question 1: It is not our will to fight.
- Question 2: Never.
- Question 3: There is a “hidden” third option – choose that.
Answering a question will summon an enemy. The final question will summon Bahamut, which will need to be beaten before it is acquired as a GF. Bahamut is, pdictably, one of the most powerful GFs in the game and nearly all of its abilities are worth picking up.
Eden is only accessible before the final dungeon after acquiring Bahamut. Bahamut’s defeat opens up a deeper section in the Deep Sea Research Center that contains Ultima Weapon, which Eden can be Drawn from. Ultima Weapon is an incredibly difficult optional boss, however, and Eden can also be obtained by using Draw on Tiamat in the final dungeon as an alternative method.
Tonberry is also in the Centra Ruins, but it’s much easier to acquire once Odin is defeated and the time limit on the ruins is removed. To get Tonberry, players need to beat 20 Tonberry enemies while in the ruins. Tonberry enemies are not the easiest in FF8 by any stretch of the imagination, so come ppared with healing items ready. After the 20th kill, the Tonberry King will appear. Defeating it will have it join the team as a GF and offer up some of the weirdest and unique GF abilities in FF8.
Phoenix a non-junctionable summon that can be summoned randomly by using a Phoenix Pinion item in battle. Once it’s summoned for the first time, Phoenix has a random change to appear and pvent a Game Over. Phoenix Pinions are acquired from the 5th Floor Card Player in Prison, the Vase Pieces in Winhill, the Shumi Tribe sidequest, or by refining Mega Phoenix items with Med Lv. Up.
The popular FF5 villain Gilgamesh is also a non-junctionable FF8 GF. To get him, players need Odin before entering Lunatic Pandora and fighting Seifer. Having Odin causes an event and gives another turn after the event to summon Gilgamesh. Like Odin, Gilgamesh can randomly appear during battle, but unlike Odin, Gilgamesh has several different potential attacks upon being summoned – some of which are significantly more useful than others.
Chocobo World Summons
These summons are obtained through the Chocobo World mini-game. All of them are non-junctionable.
- Boko the Choboco – summoned by using Gyshal Greens during battle
- Minimog – obtained using the Mog’s Amulet item acquired in Chocobo World; revives and heals all the party’s GFs
- Moomba – summoned using the Friendship item, obtained via Chocobo World; attacks an opponent to leave them at 1HP, or deals 9,999 damage to an enemy with more HP than that
Next: Don’t Expect A New Final Fantasy MMO Soon
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