Time to head Trabia Garden. If you did the Chocobo Forest quests you should know where this is, as it’s just south of the Bika Snowfield Chocobo Forest. If not, you’ll need to head north from the island of Balamb (fortunately there’s a beach north of Balamb’s eastern edge) to reach the larger landmass. When you make land to the north, fly the garden east around some mountains, then north through some forests to find Trabia Garden lying nestled between some mountains.
This place has seen better days, and that’s obvious enough from the map. Enter the garden, and if you didn’t bring Selphie, she’ll show up and after some chatter she’ll climb into the garden. Follow her up the wall and you’ll be pestered by Irvine and Rinoa, who do little more than waste your time. Follow Selphie up the blasted road and change screens. In front of a fountain you’ll find a Thundaga draw point along with Selphie and some other girl. Draw if you want, then talk to the two girls and pick the option “Just play along with it”. Once done, head to the draw point and walk down to near the bottom of the screen and search around to find a very well-hidden Weapons Mon Aug issue. This one details the Punishment, Ehrgeiz, Cardinal, and Save the Queen weapons.
Head up and to the right to exit this screen, then head forward to find a Zombie draw point. Fitting, given the locale, but a bit on the nose. Search a grave stone to the left of the draw point to find Timber Maniacs 6.
Leave the cemetery and return to the fountain square where Selphie is relentlessly chatting with the other girl (at least if she’s not in your party) then exit to the upper left. Ignore the bums, exit to the right and use the Save Point if you need to, then continue right, interact with a terminal to the upper right to get a brief image of Selphie’s profile, then return to the screen to the left to witness Selphie consoling some brats. Keep going left to the next screen, walk past two people standing in the way and head up some stairs to find an Aura draw point near a missile. See? Galabadia’s bombs aren’t all bad!
Aura is a pretty nice spell, junctioning well to HP-J (5th-best junction), Str-J (3rd-best junction) and Hit-J (3rd-best junction), but it’s one of the rare spells that’s even better for casting, as it’ll allow a character to use their limits no matter their HP. Worthy drawing with your character with the best Magic score, a task made easier if you acquired good stocks of Ultima back at the Shumi Village.
Continue left to reach a shattered basketball court, where the gang will gather, sans Selphie. After some chatter, Squall will muse to himself; attempt to leave (head right) to get Selphie to show up. Selphie will ask for a shot at revenge, after which Rinoa will will again be melodramatic, insufferable and will frankly make a good case for why she shouldn’t be in the party at all. After this, Irvine will chat and the game’s plot will jump the shark. Ugh. In any event, after that’s over with you’ll have a new destination - Edea’s House.
You’ll find yourself back in Balamb Garden, and before you leave the Trabia area, land Balamb Garden and return to Trabia Garden. Return to the fountain square to find Selphie’s friend sitting by the fountain and challenge her to a game of cards. If you softened the area’s rules earlier by playing cards in the Shumi Village, great. If not, you’ll probably want to abolish Trabia’s obnoxious Random and Plus/Same rules and spread the Open rule. You know how this works by now, so take care of it if you need to, then play cards with her until she loses the Selphie card to you.
The Selphie card is an excellent playing card, with two reasonably strong top (A), right (8) and a decent bottom (6). She can also refine into three Elem Guard items, which is the elemental equivalent to the Status Guard, teaching a GF the Elem Def-Jx4 ability. You’ll get two GFs that can learn this ability, but to get a third you’ll need an Elem Guard item, and Selphie is one way to get them. Other than that, an end-game boss can drop one, but you probably don’t want to wait that long. In that case, you’ll be able to refine them via a convoluted process - five Silver Mails can refine into one Gold Mail, five Gold Mails can refine into one Diamond Mail, and five Diamond Mails can refine into one Elem Guard. You can get Silver Mails as a rare drops (roughly 10%) from Snow Lion enemies… and since you’ll need an absurd 125x Silver Mails, this is not going to be a fun process. Yikes. If you want a reasonable way of getting a third Elem Guard before the end of the game and don’t want to waste hours of your life getting one, Card Mod the Selphie card.
Note: Been a while since we talked junctions, but if you Card Mod the Selphie card and teach some GFs the Elem Def-Jx4 ability (just get rid of Elem Def-Jx2 on Ifrit, Quezacotl and Shiva - not like they’ll need it if they have the superior version) you might want to know what’s worth equipping. Here are some noteworthy spells you can junction to Elemental Defense (numbers below assume all stocks are at 100):
- Ultima - +100% all resistances.
- Flare - +80% to fire, ice and thunder.
- Protect - +20% to fire, ice and thunder.
- Shell - +20% all resistances.
- Life - +30% all resistances.
- Full-Life - +40% all resistances.
Ultima is simply too powerful to use here, and it’s also hard to part with Flare (which at this stage is still a candidate for HP-J, Str-J and Mag-J), although it’ll be obsolete eventually. Full-Life is also great for HP-J and Spr-J, but other spells can get your HP boosted high enough and as for Spirit… well, it’s just not that important of a stat - Curaga will suffice.
When you’re ready to confront Edea, you’ll need to head to her house, which is on the eastern-most end of the southern-most landmass on the map. If you completed the Chocobo Forests, this is near the Lenown Plains Chocobo Forest. Head over to this stone building - the orphanage of your youth - and press the [TALK/CONFIRM] button (default [X]) for Squall to talk about something… huge nearby. Turn northeast to spot Galbadia Garden looming over a forest nearby. If you’ve done all the side quests you care to do for now, all that’s left is to engage Edea in Galbadia Garden, in which case, continue with the following section War of the Gardens. Otherwise, avoid Galbadia Garden, as there’s still one last area you can explore - Winhill.