Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title
Published Title Score Editor's Choice
Published Title Score

Final Fantasy VIII


Nathan Garvin

A brash, energetic loudmouth who has trouble keeping his emotions under control. Probably because, you know, he’s a seventeen year old boy. Has a bad knack for blurting sensitive information out at inopportune times and is easily provoked by juvenile insults, particularly by being called “chicken-wuss”. He also likes hot dogs, which are apparently some sort of delicacy in Balamb Garden.

Level HP Str Vit Mag Spr Spd Luck
Lv 8 544 7 5 6 4 21 15
Lv 100 4,018 47 33 42 27 35 20

Limit Break: Duel

Zell’s limit break, Duel, allows him to attack with a variety of maneuvers, which are performed by entering a specific button combination. The duration of Zell’s Duel is timed (the time varies depending on a variety of factors, including having a lower percentage of your max HP, having allies KO’d, and being afflicted by negative status effects), but the timer stops during each maneuver’s attack animation. Since none of Zell’s maneuvers break the damage limit, you can maximize your damage by simply spamming simple moves like Punch Rush, Booya and Heel Drop.

Despite this, Zell can also learn new moves by reading issues of Combat King which can be found during your travels. You’ll never really want to use them in combat, and any you miss can be purchased at a store near the end of the game (two of the magazines can’t be found until after you have access to the store, at that!), but for the sake of completionism their locations are as follows:

Combat King Issue Maneuver Taught Location
Combat King 001 Dolphin Blow D-District Prison, Floor 1. In the right cell.
Combat King 002 Meteor Strike Defeat Fujin and Raijin in Balamb in disc 2.
Combat King 003 Meteor Barret At the start of disc 3, have Zell in your party. Talk to a “Library Girl with a Pigtail” in the library of Balamb Garden. Return to Balamb town and talk to a girl in red skirt by the gas station to learn about some pigtailed girl who was at Zell’s house. Head to Zell’s house and talk to Ma Dincht, then head to the Balamb inn and rest. Zell should be talking to a girl downstairs when you wake up, who will give him this magazine.
Combat King 005 Final Heaven During the second Laguna Dream, you’ll need to use the detonator to move boulders an open hatches. Much later in the game, if you did things correctly as Laguna, you’ll be able to find this magazine on the ground of Lunatic Pandora.

…or failing all that you can just buy all the issues of Combat King for 750G (save for Combat King 005, which costs 22,500) from the Esthar Book Store. No reason you shouldn’t be able to get infinite money by this point, anyways, and it saves you quite a bit of bother.

In any event, now that you know where to get all of Zell’s limit maneuvers, here’s a list of them all and their effects:

Maneuver Effect
Punch Rush Damages one enemy (base power 16).
Booya Damages one enemy (base power 18).
Heel Drop Damages one enemy (base power 20).
Mach Kick Damages one enemy (base power 24).
Dolphin Blow Damages one enemy (base power 28).
Meteor Strike Deals damage equal to 25% of target’s HP, capped at 9,999 damage. Counts as gravity damage.
Burning Rave Damages all enemies. Finisher (base power 48).
Meteor Barret Damages one enemy. Finisher (base power 52).
Different Beat Damages one enemy. Finisher (base power 72).
My Final Heaven Damages all enemies. Finisher (base power 50).

Weapon: Gloves

Matching his straight-forward personality, Zell… well, Zell just likes to hit things. Despite doing a mix of different strikes during his limit breaks, his weapons - if you can call them that - are limited to gloves. Zell has the weakest ultimate weapon in the game, having the standard base Strength of 25, but with a lousy 103 Hit%.

Weapon Materials Cost Str Hit%
Metal Knuckle Fish Fin x1, M-Stone Piece x4 100G 12 98%
Maverick Dragon Fin x1, Spider Web x1 200G 15 99%
Gauntlet Dragon Skin x1, Fury Fragment x1 400G 20 101%
Ehrgeiz Adamantine x1, Dragon Skin x4, Fury Fragment x1 800G 25 103%

How to Obtain Ehrgeiz: The earliest Adamantine can be practically obtained is by refining the Minotaur Card into 10x Adamantine, which you can earn in the Tomb of the Forgotten King. You can refine 4x Blue Dragon Cards into the Fury Fragment you need, leaving only the Dragon Skin. Sadly, this is something of a chore to obtain, at least if you’re low level. It’s rarely dropped by low level Grendels, but commonly dropped (and in great quantities!) but high level Anacondaurs, which can be found throughout the forests near Timber. Given its scarcity at lower levels, low level parties should just wait until they obtain the Tonberry GF so they can use the LV Up command. Higher-level parties (30+) should have little trouble acquiring this component whenever they please.

No Comments
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

Share this free guide:

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.

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: