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Final Fantasy VIII

Galbadia Garden

Nathan Garvin

From the forest where you head your second Laguna dream head north past some mountains, then turn west to find Galbadia Garden. Not too far away, all things considered. Enter the Galbadia Garden and you’ll be treated to a short movie showing off the technological superiority of Galbadia Garden, which transitions artfully back to the actual in-game graphics.

(1 of 2) Galbadia Garden is just beyond the forest

Galbadia Garden is just beyond the forest (left), When you arrive, Quistis will suggest you leave the talking to her (right)

Exoneration and Execution

Head forward through the first screen, then keep heading up following a circular path in the second to reach the turnstiles of Galbadia Garden. Quistis will volunteer to talk to the headmaster, leaving your party and possibly forcing you to reorganize your group. Switch around junctions and party members if necessary, then pass through the turnstile and enter Galbadia Garden.

You’ll find yourself in the Galbadia Garden hall, where a Save Point conveniently awaits. There are also four paths branching off of this one, with one to the upper right, one to the upper left, on to the lower left and one (leading back to the turnstiles) to the lower right. You should see some text at the top of the screen summoning you to the “2F reception room”.

There’s little point in goofing around, so head over to the upper left exit and into the hallway beyond. In the next screen ascend some stairs and enter a door near which a burly man in a tracksuit stands… Galbadia Garden’s faculty might be mundane, but at least they’re not as creepy as Balamb Garden’s faculty.

Once in the room, talk to Zell to move things along, after which Quistis will arrive with some good news… for Zell, at least. Not so good tidings of Seifer. Next talk to Rinoa, then walk north of Quistis to have Squall throw a juvenile tantrum. Go to leave the garden and when you return to the hall (the room with four exits) you’ll be intercepted by Raijin and Fujin, who inform you of some new orders from Balamb Garden (without actually disclosing them) before running off in search of Seifer.

(1 of 2) After some news regarding Siefer, Squall will throw a tantrum

After some news regarding Siefer, Squall will throw a tantrum (left), before being intercepted by Fujin and Raijin (right)

Introducing Irvine Kinneas

You should get another announcement telling you to head to the Galbadia Garden gate, so head down to the turnstile area, talk to Quistis, then head down again to meet with the rest of the squad. Talk to Rinoa and the headmaster of Galbadia Garden - Martine - will arrive and give you new orders while Rinoa foolishly plays at being a SeeD. Why wasn’t she just sent outside? Oh well… Speaking of which, to complete your next mission you’ll be assigned a “sharpshooter” by the name of Irvine Kinneas. A “sharpshooter” whose primary weapon is a shotgun. This is going to end well.

In any event, Squall will read out their new orders: you’ll need to head to Deling City and meet up with General Caraway to discuss details for your ultimate goal - to assassinate Galbadia’s new pet sorceress. As you go to leave, Irvine will try to work his way into a party with a favorable female-to-male ratio. It doesn’t matter what you choose here, you can reform your party however you wish the moment you leave Galbadia Garden. You’ll even get a tutorial on switching party members and junctions via the Switch command in the menu.

(1 of 3) Challenge a girl in a classroom

Cards in Galbadia Garden

Exit Galbadia Garden and from here you’ll want to go west to reach Deling City… but first, there’s a bit of business you can take care of in Galbadia Garden. Namely, you’ve got some cards to play! A certain student in Galbadia Garden just so happens to possess all the Level 6 Boss cards, which are a step up in quality from the Level 5 Monster cards you may still be using.

To find this student make your way to the hall - the large room with four exits and the Save Point just beyond the turnstiles - and take the upper right exit. In the hallway beyond, simply enter the classroom on the right and you’ll find three students. Challenge the girl and with any luck she’ll play one or more of the new cards you’re after. Galbadia Garden - in fact, all of Galbadia - uses the same rules as Timber, so you shouldn’t have to fidget with rules here. What these cards can Card Mod into can be found in the table below:

Cards Card Mod Items
Abadon 1 = Dark Ammo x30
Elvoret 1 = Death Stones x10
Fujin, Raijin 1 = X-Potion x1
Gerogero 10 = Circlet x1
Granaldo 1 = G-Returner x1
Krysta 1 = Holy Stone x10
Iguion 1 = Cockatrice Pinion x1
Oilboyle 1 = Fire Ammo x30
Shumi Tribe 5 = Gambler Spirit x1
Trauma 1 = Demolition Ammo x30
X-ATM092 2 = Turtle Shell x1

As you can see, there’s a lot of junk on that Card Mod list. Ammo can be useful at times, but isn’t the sort of power-boost that’d make it worth going out of your way to grind those cards. Likewise, Death Stones (which refine into Death magic), X-Potions, Cockatrice Pinions and Turtle Shells aren’t worth your time either, as they can all be obtained more easily by using Card Mod on lesser cards.

This leaves the Circlet, which can be obtained by using Card Mod on ten Gerogero cards and teaches GFs the Mag +20% ability when used as an item, and it can also be refined into Aura Stones. Not terrible, but again, not worth your time. G-Returners (Card Mod Granaldo) are… fine, but not something you’re going to find yourself wanting all the time. Finally, Gambler’s Spirit (Card Mod five Shumi Tribe cards) will teach a GF the Card ability, which you probably don’t need two of.

(1 of 2) You can acquire ever Level 6 Boss card in Galbadia Garden

You can acquire ever Level 6 Boss card in Galbadia Garden (left), although as far as Card Mod goes, the only clear winner is Krysta’s Holy Stone to Holy magic refinery (right)

The best thing you can get here are the Holy Stones (one Krysta refines into ten Holy Stones), which each refine into one Holy spell via the L Mag-RF ability. Holy junctions well into Strength, being only a tad weaker than Flare, but a few points higher than Tornado. If junctioned to your Status Defense Holy will increase your Berserk, Confuse, Curse, Death, Drain, Poison, Sleep and Zombie resistances by 40% each. Overall it’s a slight upgrade that, while nice, probably isn’t worth the time to get.

Suffice to say, this shouldn’t be a too involved card-playing session. Just get at least one of each of the Level 6 Boss cards to fill out your collection and replace any Level 5 Monster cards you’ve still been using and move on.

Monsters Around Galbadia Garden

One last thing before you head off to Deling City - there are monsters you can fight around Galbadia Garden, and while there’s precious little incentive to do so, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least discuss them a little bit. The most common monsters you’ll find in this region are the familiar Geezard and Thrustaevis, joined by the Blood Soul and Belhelmel enemies.

Being familiar enough, the previous two don’t warrant further description, but the Belhelmel and Blood Soul are worth covering a bit. The Belhelmel commonly drops Saw Blades (which are easily obtained via Card Mod) and the three scaling “stone” items - M-Stone Piece (levels 1-19), Magic Stone (20-29) and Wizard Stone (30+), which are also easily obtained via Card Mod. As for spells you can draw Thunder and Sleep (1-19), Thundara and Berserk (20-29) and Thundaga and Confuse (30+). perhaps more interestingly the Belhelmel has roughly a 5% chance to drop Laser Cannons at level thirty or higher, making them a very, very tedious way of getting Pulse Ammo if you fit the very narrow criteria of being high enough level to do this, while also having not done so with the Elastoids earlier.

Blood Souls are less interesting, typically only dropping Zombie Powder and either M-Stone Pieces or Magic Stones (and the latter only at levels thirty or higher). You can draw Zombie and Float from them (1-19) and they later gain Silence (20-29) and finally Dispel (30+). Perhaps not the most interesting of enemies, but at least they’ve been covered to some degree.

Anyways, with all that out of the way, it’s time to head for Deling City!

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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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