First, just note one thing: If you have the Steam version of Final Fantasy VIII Chocobo World is a far faster way of earning these items than Angelo Rush. If you have access to Chocobo World, there’s really no need to bother with Angelo Rush.
Angelo Search Setup
With that out of the way, let’s talk about how this works: Angelo Search requires Rinoa to be in your party and have learned the Angelo Search ability (Pet Pals Vol.5). This works best as an idle grinding endeavor, which means if you set things up right you don’t need to pay attention to it. Seriously, leave the game running, go do something else, check in periodically (every few hours) and see your gains.
As you participate in battle there’s a chance that Angelo Search will trigger during idle time - generally whenever the ATB bars would be filling up. The way to optimize Angelo Search, then, is by getting into a fight and disabling an enemy so it can’t hurt you, then leaving the game running - the longer, the better. If you have Angelo Recover or Angelo Reverse learned they might interfere with Angelo Search, so it’s best not to learn them yet. Also, if you acquire the Giglamesh GF at some point (you must have the Odin GF, first, and advance to disc 4) he’ll pop up randomly during battle, which pretty much eliminates Angelo Search as viable strategy. If you acquired Odin previously you’ll need to do all your Angelo Search grinding now, otherwise you should be fine. If you don’t acquire Odin before disc 4 you’ll never acquire Giglamesh, hence he can never become a pest that interrupts Angelo Search.
Anyways, let’s recap:
You must have Rinoa in your party.
She must have learned Angelo Search. If she hasn’t learned it, set it to learn via the Status option in the main menu, then run around a safe area or with Enc-None on, or go farm Cactuars - she learns as you take steps.
Do not learn Angelo Recover or Angelo Reverse.
Do not acquire Odin.
If you do have Odin, do not complete Lunatic Pandora, as Giglamesh will join you near the end of disc 3.
When all that’s out of the way, it’s time to find a target and… well, let the grind begin! First, some final preparations: You need some stocks of Confuse, if you’re low level you’ll need LV Up, and if you want to avoid gaining XP you’ll need LV Down. Finally, make sure you set up a character so their Strength is low, as you may need to whack your target monster a few times to get it to do what you want - just unjunction magic from Strength and remove Str+60%, if equipped.
The Turtapod Grind
With that done, the ideal enemy to target are Turtapods, which at this point in the game (assuming you’re following this guide chronologically, you should possess the Ragnarok and the Lunar Cry should have occurred) you can find Turtapods in the city of Esthar. Fly over there and run along the roads on the world map - don’t actually enter the city - and you should encounter a Turtapod, either alone or in the company of an Imp. In the latter case, kill the Imp off (use LV Down to reduce XP gained, if desired) and when the Turtapod is alone it’s time to go to work.
Turtapods have a habit of defending themselves when attacked, drawing up their spiky fringe into a shield. They only seem to do this if they’re of sufficient level, however, so use LV Up if you’ve kept your own levels low until the target Turtapod is level 30+, then attack it. If it goes into defensive mode, immediately have another character cast Confusion on it. If it fails, try again - you can draw Cure/Cura/Curaga from Turtapods to heal them if necessary, so there’s no reason why you can’t try indefinitely. When the Turtapod is afflicted with Confusion (it’ll start spinning around) while in its defensive mode, congrats - you’ve just managed to start a bout of passive grinding via Angelo Search.
Since the Turtapod is Confused and in defensive mode, it will just sit there and spin indefinitely, never attacking and never recovering from its debilitation. Whether it’s wise to leave your hardware running for extended periods of time we leave to your discretion, but if you want sweet, sweet idle gains, set the game aside, play something else, go to work, eat a sandwich, and when you’re ready to make good on your gains, kill the Turtapod, save the game, then check what items you’ve obtained. The items you can acquire via Angelo Search (and their odds) are as follows:
|Angelo Search Items|
|Adamantine||2/288 (~0.6%)||Hi-Potion+||16/288 (~5%)|
|Aegis Amulet||1/288 (~0.3%)||Holy Stone||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|Antidote||2/288 (~0.6%)||Hungry Cookpot||1/288 (~0.3%)|
|Cactus Thorn||8/288 (~2%)||Jet Engine||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|Circlet||2/288 (~0.6%)||Magic Scroll||1/288 (~0.3%)|
|Combat King 004||4/288 (~1.3%)||Mega Phoenix||32/288 (~11%)|
|Cottage||21/288 (~7%)||Moon Curtain||2/288 (~0.6%)|
|Curse Spike||4/288 (~1.3%)||North Wind||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|Dragon Fin||4/288 (~1.3%)||Occult Fan II||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|Draw Scroll||1/288 (~0.3%)||Pet House||1/288 (~0.3%)|
|Elixir||2/288 (~0.6%)||Phoenix Down||16/288 (~5%)|
|Energy Crystal||2/288 (~0.6%)||Potion||48/288 (~16%)|
|Force Armlet||2/288 (~0.6%)||Potion+||16/288 (~5%)|
|G-Hi-Potion||7/288 (~2%)||Protect Stone||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|G-Mega-Potion||7/288 (~2%)||Rune Armlet||2/288 (~0.6%)|
|G-Potion||14/288 (~4%)||Shell Stone||2/288 (~0.6%)|
|G-Returner||7/288 (~2%)||Sleep Powder||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|GF Scroll||1/288 (~0.3%)||Status Guard||1/288 (~0.3%)|
|Gold Armor||2/288 (~0.6%)||Steel Orb||4/288 (~1.3%)|
|Healing Ring||1/288 (~0.3%)||Tent||8/288 (~2%)|
|Hero||2/288 (~0.6%)||X-Potion||16/288 (~5%)|
Note: In the Final Fantasy VIII Remastered version of the game (released in 2019 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam), various items normally exclusive to Chocobo World were added to the Angelo Search list. These items include Friendship, Mog’s Amulet and Ribbon, the latter of which arguably being the most useful.
Angelo Search Gains
Now, let’s discuss the loot, focusing on some choice items that’ll teach GFs useful abilities or otherwise help with min-maxing… certainly we don’t have to point out that basic curatives are always welcome and Hero and Hero-Trials are fantastic, right? No, of course not. Anyways:
Adamantine: Teaches a GF the Vit+60% ability. Eden’s GFAbl Med-RF can allow you to acquire these by refining Vit-J Scrolls into Orihalcon, and Orihalcon into Adamantine. Vit+60% isn’t your goal, however, instead 20x Adamantine can be refined (again via GFAbl Med-RF) into a Steel Curtain, which teaches the coveted Auto-Protect ability. Probably better to just buy Vit-J Scrolls and refine them up instead of hoping for the 2/228 chance that Angelo digs up the metal you need twenty times.
Aegis Amulet: Teaches a GF the Eva-J ability. Since Cactuar and Eden can learn it natively, you only need one, and you can acquire one via an upcoming side quest. Ideally, then, you don’t really need to score one via Angelo Search. Can’t hurt, though.
Hungry Cookpot: Teaches the Devour ability, which can help speed up stat-boosting via Devour. Not vital by any means, but it won’t hurt to spread Devour around.
Moon Curtain: Teaches a GF the Auto-Shell ability. No refinement needed. You’ll want to score two of these if possible, but you can also purchase Force Armlets, refine 10x of them into a Magic Armlet, then refine 20x Magic Armlets into a Moon Curtain, or refine the Alexander Card into three Moon Curtains.
Status Guard: Teaches a GF the ST-Def-Jx4 ability. Can be learned natively by the Cerberus and Doomtrain GFs, and another can be acquired via the Shumi Village sidequest involving the sculptor. You shouldn’t need a third one, but if you get one… well, it can’t hurt.
Whether the gains are worth the effort is up to you. Most of these items (save the Hungry Cookpot) can be acquired other ways, but if idle grinding suits you, it’s worth a shot.
In any event, it’s time to collect some rare items by finishing up some side quests. First up is the Obel Lake Quest, followed by the UFO Quest and finally we’ll tie a bow on the Queen of Cards Quest.