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Final Fantasy VIII
Strategy Guide

First Published: 15-03-2019 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 05-09-2019 / 10:09 GMT
Version: 1.1 (????) 17-09-2019 / 05:11 GMT

Final Fantasy VIII Guide

2 weeks ago · Guide Information

Side Quests

Queen of Cards Quest

The Queen of Cards questline is easily the most complicated quest in the game, running through most of the game’s duration. You’ll be able to start it after your SeeD exam, during your visit to Balamb City en route to Timber. To make this quest easier, you should endeavor to gain an understanding how how Triple Triad works, especially when it comes to spreading and abolishing rules - this quest will be much more difficult if you spread rules like Random or Same/Plus, and you can delay its progression somewhat if you allow the Queen of Cards to travel to distant lands before you yourself can reach them. Much save/loading is involved, and you’ll have to acquire rare cards from various sources to satisfy the Queen of Card’s demand for new cards.

Warning: You must complete this quest before disc 4. You can’t actually complete it until late in disc 3 when you acquire the Ragnarok, giving you a somewhat narrow window of time to resolve things. Basically, once you can fly around in the Ragnarok, avoid Lunatic Pandora until you complete this quest.

The Queen of Cards can be found in several cities throughout the world, typically - but not always - in hotels, pubs or other public places. While she herself has no rare cards (her cards aren’t even particularly strong, in fact), if you lose specific rare cards to her she’ll give them to her artist after, who will - in a fit of inspiration - create new cards. After this new card is created it’ll be distributed to a specific character somewhere on the world, waiting for you to win it. Your old card will end up in the deck of the Queen of Card’s son, who resides with her father in his house/studio in Dollet.

Before we get to discussing the cards you’ll need to win, then lose, then win back again, and the new card created by this process (which you’ll also have to win), a quick note on the Queen of Card’s wandering ways is in order. After losing or winning a rare card from the Queen of Cards she’ll grow weary of the current region she’s in and move to a new location. Where she’ll move to is dependant upon her current location, and while there are typically multiple locations she can travel to, the odds for each one aren’t equal. To make things easier on yourself, after you win or lose a rare card, make sure she goes to Dollet (if she’s in Balamb) or Balamb (if she’s in Dollet). Keeping her bouncing between Balamb and Dollet should make it easier to complete this quest, since her son will be easilly accessible and she shouldn’t pick up too many foreign rules. This will be immeasurably easier if you abolish Random and spread Open in Dollet.

In any event, here are the locations she can travel to:

Current LocationDestination
BalambDeling City or Dollet
Deling CityBalamb, Dollet, Fisherman's Horizon or Winhill
DolletBalamb or Deling City
EstharDollet, Fisherman's Horizon, Lunar Gate, Shumi Village
Fisherman's HorizonDollet, Esthar or Winhill
Lunar GateRandom
Shumi VillageBalamb, Dollet or Fisherman's Horizon
WinhillDeling City, Dollet or Fisherman's Horizon

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the cards you’ll need to get from other players, then lose to the Queen of Cards, and the new cards created by this process and where to find them. A list immediately follows, and after that you’ll find each such transaction detailed further below:

Card Lost to QueenCard CreatedLocation
Mini Mog CardKiros CardDeling City. In the shop-lined street left of the Galbadia Hotel. Find a man in black on the left-hand side of the screen.
Sacred CardIrvine CardFisherman's Horizon. Win from the mayor's wife, Flo.
Chicobo CardChubby Chocobo CardBalamb Garden. Win from a student sitting on a bench outside the library.
AlexanderDoomtrainTimber. Win from the man in the upper right corner of the pub.
DoomtrainPhoenix CardEsthar. Win from the Presidential Aide in the Presidential Palace.

Challenge the blue shirt-wearing kid running around the hallway
and defeat him to win his MiniMog card

Queen of Cards - MiniMog and Kiros Cards

The first card the Queen of Cards seeks is the MiniMog Card, which can be found in Balamb Garden. Before you try for it, you should make sure your deck is built up somewhat - completing the field exam and acquiring the Ifrit Card is a good start. When you’re ready, enter the 1st Floor Lobby (the screen with the save point) and wait for a kid with a blue shirt to run through. If he doesn’t show, or if you miss him, leave the screen and return and she should respawn. Challenge him to a game of cards and win the MiniMog Card.

Play a game with the Queen of Cards including a bunch of junk cards and MiniMog
and throw the game to lose your MiniMog card
After sniping your MiniMog card, the Queen of Cards will leave Balamb - make sure she heads to Dollet.

After the operation in Dollet, head to Balamb and find the Queen of Cards standing outside the train station. Challenge her to a game of cards and make a dummy deck with four junk cards and MiniMog, purposefully lose the game, and the Queen of Cards should take MiniMog if it’s the only rare card in your hand. Afterwards, make sure she says she’s going to Dollet.

If you lose the MiniMog Card earlier, the Queen of Cards will inform you her father created the Kiros Card
and will dream of getting her hands on a Sacred Card, which will inspire her father to create another new card
Challenge the boy in the painter's house
and win back your MiniMog Card

After the events in Timber, take a detour to Dollet and find the Queen of Cards in the pub. She should tell you that the MiniMog Card you lost is now in Deling City, and you can also ask her about the next card she’s looking for - something to keep in mind. Also keep in mind that the Queen of Cards’s son can be found nearby in the painter’s house, and he’ll end up with whatever cards you lose to the Queen of Cards. That being the case, win back your MiniMog Card.

Challenge a black-clad man on the street
and win the Kiros card from him.

After the events at Galbadia Garden, head to Deling City, go to the Galbadia Hotel and from there exit to the left to reach another street. Run down (you’ll be on the left side of the road) and look for a man in black standing next to the road, just above where the bus stops. Challenge him to a game of cards and play him until he plays his Kiros card, which you should endeavor to deprive him of.

Create a losing hand of cards including Sacred
then drop the Sacred card to the Queen of Cards
Challenge the kid in the painter's shop
and win back your recently-lost Sacred card
Much later on, play Flo - the wife of the mayor of Fisherman's Horizon - and win the Irvine Card

Queen of Cards - Sacred and Irvine Cards

This one is somewhat simpler than the last, but there’s still a good bit of time between losing one card and winning the next. The next card the Queen of Cards needs is the Sacred Card, which you can obtain if you defeat Minotaur and Sacred in the Tomb of the Forgotten King. You’ll be sent here automatically during the story, shortly after arriving in Deling City, although Sacred and Minotaur are optional bosses.

Once you have the card, lose it to the Queen of Cards, send her back to Balamb, then win the Sacred Card back from her son. It’ll be a good long while before the next phase of this quest.

After Balamb Garden reaches (read: crashes into) Fisherman’s Horizon in disc 2 you’ll be able to continue this quest. Play the mayor’s wife, Flo, and win the Irvine Card from her.

Complete the Chocobo Forest quest
then talk to the chicobo to gain the Chicobo Card.
Assemble a weak hand
and ensure you lose the Chicobo card.
Learn about the next phase of the quest by talking to the Queen of Cards in Dollet
then win back the Chicobo card from her son
Challenge the student on the bench near the library
and win the Chubby Chocobo card.

Queen of Cards - Chicobo and Chubby Chocobo Cards

After the events at Fisherman’s Horizon you’ll be in control of Balamb Garden. To continue this quest, you’ll need to finish the Chocobo Forest quest (in itself a rather involved quest with a lot of travel) to obtain the Chicobo Card. Once done, lose the Chicobo Card to the Queen of Cards, send her back to Dollet, then win the Chicobo Card back from her son.

For a change of pace, you can win the card inspired by your Chicobo Card immediately. Head to Balamb Garden and find a student sitting on a bench outside of the library. If he doesn’t appear, exit the screen and return until he spawns. When you find him, win the Chubby Chocobo Card from him.

Challenge Piet to a game of cards
and claim his Alexander Card.
If you didn't win the Alexander Card from him on the Lunar Base, find Piet's crash site south of Esthar. It's not marked on your map.

Queen of Cards - Alexander and Doomtrain Cards

You won’t be able to advance this quest again until disc 3. When you reach the Lunar Base, win the Alexander Card from Piet. If you don’t win this card from him on the Lunar Base, you’ll have to track Piet down after you acquire the Ragnarok. To do this, fly to Esthar, more specifically, Tear’s Point, but don’t get too close, as the monolithic Lunatic Pandora now hovers over the site. From here, fly south over Esthar’s fence to find an isolated peninsula. Land and proceed on foot to the south, then to the west to reach the end of the peninsula, where you can find the landing site of Piet’s escape pod. It’s not marked on the map, so you’ll just have to wander around blindly until you run into it (see image provided). Here you should find Piet sitting on the ground, and he’ll still play cards with you - with the Lunar Base’s rules - if you challenge him.

Lose the Alexander Card to the Queen of Cards
then play the man in Timber's pub
and win the Doomtrain Card from him.

However you manage it, once you possess the Alexander Card it’ll be time to track down the Queen of Cards again. Return to Balamb/Dollet, challenge her to a game of cards, make a junk hand including the Alexander Card, then lose Alexander to the Queen of Cards. Make sure she goes to Balamb/Dollet after the game, as usual. You’ll need to play her again soon enough.

After losing Alexander and ensuring the Queen of Cards goes to Balamb, find her son in the painter’s shop and win back your Alexander Card from him, then leave Balamb/Dollet and fly to Timber, of all places. The new card that the Queen of Card’s father was inspired to make after you lost Alexander can be found here.

Enter Timber and head to the pub, where you’ll want to challenge the man in the upper right corner of the pub. Play him and win his Doomtrain Card, although be wary, as he won’t play this card often - it may easily take over a dozen games before you even see it.

Lose the Doomtrain Card to the Queen of Cards
Challenge the Presidential Aide to a game of cards
and win his Phoenix Card.

Queen of Cards - Doomtrain and Phoenix Cards

As soon as you win Doomtrain, it’s time to lose it again. Return to Balamb/Dollet and lose Doomtrain to her. Aagain, make sure she goes back to Balamb/Dollet, then follow her there and talk to her in the pub to find out that her father created the Phoenix Card after being inspired by Doomtrain, which now is held by an official in Esthar.

First things first, let’s win back Doomtrain from the Queen of Card’s brat, and rejoice! You don’t have to waste time playing him ever again!

Leave Dollet and fly to Esthar, enter the city and make your way to the Presidential Palace. Once inside, enter the first doorway you come across to return to the room where you were first brought after entering Esthar. Here you’ll find a Presidential Aide, whom you can play cards with. Win the Phoenix Card from the aide.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms
    PC, Switch, PS1, PS4, XB1
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    15 March 2019
  • Last Updated
    5 September 2019
  • Guide Author

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