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Final Fantasy VIII

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Nathan Garvin

Idealistic, immature, spoiled and free-spirited, Rinoa is the only main character who isn’t associated with SeeD. Her lack of experience and grit makes her a liability to her companions, and when faced with adversity she’s prone to indecisiveness and defeatism. Her hobbies include using her pets to fight for her, dating mercenaries and their arch-rival, being the most damseled character in Final Fantasy history, and joining resistance movements she has no stake in.

Level HP Str Vit Mag Spr Spd Luck
Lv 11 653 11 5 15 9 22 17
Lv 100 4,181 67 31 63 39 36 22

Limit Break: Angelo

Rinoa’s the only main character who has two limit breaks, and while they’re both under the “Combine” heading, there’s a significant distinction between her “Angelo” limit break and her “Angel Wing” limit break, the latter of which is unlocked later in the game. Rinoa’s Angelo-based limits must be learned, much like Zell’s limits, and you can learn them by reading various issues of the Pet Pals magazine. Once you’ve read an issue of Pet Pals the ability will be listed in Rinoa’s status menu, but she still has to teach it to Angelo before it can be used in combat. Once an ability is set to be learned (select the ability in Rinoa’s status menu) it’ll accumulate XP as you take steps - simply running around in circles with Enc-None equipped for enough time will suffice.

Of the Angelo abilities Rinoa can learn, only four of them - Angelo Cannon, Angelo Strike, Invincible Moon and Wishing Star - are actual limits, while the others - Angelo Rush, Angelo Recover, Angelo Reverse and Angelo Search are passive effects that can occur at any time during battle.

Before getting into details about them, however, here’s where you can find all the copies of Pet Pals and which abilities each magazine teaches:

Pet Pals Issue Ability Taught Location
Pet Pals Vol. 1 Angelo Strike Obtained automatically after the first Laguna Dream on the train to Timber. Can also be purchased at the Esthar Book Store on disc 3.
Pet Pals Vol. 2 Angelo Recover Search Rinoa’s bed on the Forest Owl’s train. Can also be purchased at the Esthar Book Store on disc 3.
Pet Pals Vol. 3 Invincible Moon Buy from the Timber Pet Shop.
Pet Pals Vol. 4 Angelo Reverse Buy from the Timber Pet Shop.
Pet Pals Vol. 5 Angelo Search Buy from the Esthar Pet Shop.
Pet Pals Vol. 6 Wishing Star Buy from the Esthar Pet Shop.

And now for the actual abilities. These first four are not limits, but well worth discussing in their own right:

Angelo Rush: This ability provides a 6% chance for Angelo to counterattack when Rinoa is hit by an enemy.

Angelo Recover: This ability can only trigger if you have a character whose HP are below 25% of their maximum HP. Once that condition is met, Angelo Recover has a 6% chance to trigger when Rinoa is hit, or a 3% chance to trigger randomly as your ATB bars fill in combat. When it triggers, Angelo will heal the injured character for 62.5% of their max HP.

Angelo Reverse: Has a 1% chance to trigger as your ATB bars fill. Angelo Reverse will cause Angelo to show up and revive a KO’d character.

Angelo Search: Has a 3% chance to trigger as you ATB bars fill. Angelo Search will cause Angelo to show up and dig for treasure. For more information on how this works and what items you can get, check out The Angelo Search Grind section of the guide.

Next are the four limit abilities. When using Rinoa’s Angelo limit, one of these four may randomly occur, assuming you’ve learned them. Which one actually occurs varies depending on a variety of factors, how many HP she has left (as a percentage of her max HP), how many allies are KO’d, and if she’s afflicted by status effects… and a healthy dose of RNG.

Angelo Cannon: Damages all enemies (base power 72).

Angelo Strike: Damages one enemy (base power 120).

Invincible Moon: Makes the entire party completely invulnerable, similar to the use of a Holy War item.

Wishing Star: Hits all enemies eight times (base power 130).

As you can see, Rinoa’s got some decent limits, especially Invincible Moon and Wishing Star, the latter of which can deal significant damage. It’s not as powerful as Irvine, Squall or Zell’s limits, and since it’s random it’s even less reliable.

Limit Break: Angel Wing

Acquired late in disc 3 (after returning with Rinoa from the Esthar Sorceress Memorial), you can choose to select this instead of one of the random Angelo abilities when Rinoa has access to her limit. When using Angel Wing, Rinoa will afflict herself with sort of a berserk status effect (assuming she’s not immune via effects like Holy War or Invincible Moon); you’ll lose control of Rinoa, but she’ll gain a 5x boost to her damage output and will focus on casting offensive spells. The spells she’ll cast are random, but Rinoa won’t expend spell stocks while in Angel Wing status. A list of spells she can cast in this state are as follows:

Aero, Berserk, Bio, Blind, Blizzard/Blizzara/Blizzaga, Break, Confuse, Death, Demi, Dispel, Drain, Fire/Fira/Firaga, Flare, Holy, Meltdown, Meteor, Pain, Quake, Scan, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop, Thunder/Thundara/Thundaga, Tornado, Ultima, Water and Zombie.

While Rinoa’s damage output is increase by 5x, she still can’t break the damage limit on any attacks, which makes the multi-hit Meteor spell the best option for damage output with Rinoa’s Angel Wing. Since Meteor hits ten times, Rinoa can potentially deal nearly 100,000 damage with a single cast of Meteor via Angel Wing, making it the fourth most powerful attack in the game (ignoring Selphie’s The End, which technically doesn’t deal damage).

The only way to get Rinoa to cast what you want, however, is to remove unwanted spells from her inventory, which means everything not named Meteor in the list above. This naturally includes almost all of the best junctioning spells in the game. Then again, Rinoa probably won’t be hurt too much by leaving Triple junction to Mag-J and Full-Life on HP-J, which will ensure she’s got a decent Magic score and plenty of HP.

While using Angel Wing Rinoa is immune to Berserk, Confuse and Silence. If she’s KO’d or petrified while using Angel Wing, the Angel Wing status will end when she’s revived.

Weapon: Blaster Edge

Rinoa fights with some… forearm attached projectile weapon. No idea how that works, or how it hurts anything, but if we’re accepting that a gunblade is a viable weapon, or that fists and whips can kill a dragon, then anything passes. Rinoa is the only character besides Squall to get more than four weapons, and her ultimate weapon has the second highest Strength bonus, exceeding most other ultimate weapons by a whopping… 3 points.

Weapon Materials Cost Str Hit%
Pinwheel M-Stone Piece x3 100G 11 99%
Valkyrie Magic Stone x1, Shear Feather x1 200G 14 101%
Rising Sun Saw Blade x1, Screw x8 400G 18 103%
Cardinal Cockatrice Pinion x1, Mesmerize Blade x1, Sharp Spike x1 800G 24 104%
Shooting Star Energy Crystal x2, Force Armlet x1, Regen Ring x1, Windmill x2 1,000G 28 107%

How to Obtain Shooting Star: Rinoa’s Shooting Star is a bit of a resource hog, and aside from the Strength boost, there’s little reason to bother going out of your way to get this over her far more easily obtained Cardinal weapon.

That said, Windmills can be obtained from various foes (the Abyss Worm, Death Claw, GIM52A, Thrustaevis), but you can easily obtain them by refining the Abyss Worm Card via Card Mod. Likewise, Regen Rings can be obtained from the Chimera, Lefty, Mesmerize, Torama and Turtapod, but there’s no reason to wait when you can just refine 10x Chimera Cards into the Regen Ring you need.

he Force Armlet and Energy Crystal are more difficult to obtain, with the latter requiring you to refine 20x Elnoyle Cards (10x for each Energy Crystal) while Force Armlets are a rare drop from high level Forbidden and Ochu foes. The earliest a low-level party can get a Force Armlet is as a random drop for defeating X-ATM092, but failing that you’re waiting until the first encounter with Edea at the end of disc 1, who will drop a Force Armlet. Failing all of those sources, you’ll be waiting until disc 3, where they can be purchased from the Esthar Pet Shop… but even then, only if you’ve acquired the Tonberry GF and learned its Familiar ability.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS1, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 March 2019
  • Last Updated
    4 June 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Follow the exploits of Squall, a resident of Balamb Garden and SeeD aspirant whose first contract as a professional mercenary expands into a fight to save the world from an evil sorceress.

This guide will cover the main quest-line chronologically, giving advice on leveling (and how to avoid it), where to find the best spells, how to acquire all GFs and defeat all bosses. In addition the guide will cover all side quests and will also include in-depth mini-guides for Chocobo World and Triple Triad. By following this guide you can aspire to the following:

  • Complete walkthrough of the main questline.
  • All side quests and optional content.
  • How to defeat both of the game’s superbosses.
  • Information on how to acquire each GF and a discussion of their abilities, including where to assign them.
  • Information on Triple Triad, including the location of every card in the game and how to best use them.
  • Low-level run information.
  • Information on min-maxing stats.
  • A mini-guide for Chocobo World.
  • Information on all characters, including stats and how to acquire all their weapons and limits.
  • Triple Triad guide.

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