Final Fantasy 8: Triple Triad Quick Reference Guide for Rules, Cards, Strategy, and Side Quests

Final Fantasy 8, the first appearance of Triple Triad.
Final Fantasy 8, the first appearance of Triple Triad.

Overview

Triple Triad is one of the very few mini-games available in Final Fantasy 8, and is accessible for most of the game and in most areas where non-player characters are present. Final Fantasy 8 eschewed the mini-game design of its predecessor, Final Fantasy 7, by going for quality over quantity. Triple Triad has become so popular among Final Fantasy fans, that it has been included in subsequent releases. Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn has a version of the game available at the Manderville Gold Saucer. The Final Fantasy Portal, a Japan-only mobile application, also contains a version of Triple Triad. In 1999, Bandai even printed a set of physical Triple Triad trading cards based on the in-game set from Final Fantasy 8.

Squall can get his first Triple Triad cards in the opening minutes of the game. Before meeting Quistis for the SeeD prerequisite inside the Fire Cavern, talk to the Garden student just before the elevator on the second floor. He will give you a starter card set. From this point on, Squall can challenge non-player characters by talking to them using a specific button. The PSX and PSN versions of the game, the default button assignment is Square. The default keyboard assignment for the PC versions of the game is 'A' and the joystick/gamepad assignment is Button 1. Not all non-player characters will respond to the challenge. If the non-player character does respond, then a card game will commence.

By playing Triple Triad, Squall and his party are able to build large collections of in-game cards. The Guardian Force Quezacotl can learn the ability Card Mod, which will then turn large stacks of cards into items. Some of the rarest items in the game can be obtained easily by playing Triple Triad. The rarer the card, the better the item will be. Some items obtained from cards are useless by themselves, but are able to be further refined into usable items, magic, tools, or ammunition. Some rare cards only have one copy in the early game, typically cards for Guardian Forces (level 8 and 9) or characters (level 10), so be careful before choosing to refine them. These cards can be replaced, but only in the final stages of the game and only if the Card Club side quest was completed. The card PuPu (level 5) is the only low-level card to have only one copy in the entirety of the game.

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Buy Final Fantasy 8 for PC (Steam) - Includes Magic Booster, Chocobo World, and Triple Triad

The Triple Triad board used in Final Fantasy 8.
The Triple Triad board used in Final Fantasy 8.

Rules

The rules differ for each area of the game. As Squall plays in different game areas and learns new rules, these rules are able to spread to other areas. A specific non-player character, the Queen of Cards, can also be paid to spread rules the player prefers to specific regions where she is found.

The game starts with standard rules in the Balamb region, which includes the town of Balamb and Balamb Garden. Balamb also starts with the rule "Open" which allows the player to see all five cards in the opponent's hand. When challenging a player, the game rules will be displayed before the game is accepted. If the player finds the rules non-preferable, the player can simply reject the game. If the area has more rules spread to it, the player can challenge again for a chance to get a different rule set, and either accept or reject the game once the rules are displayed.

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Squall's Triple Triad card. The card has a top side value of A (10), a right  side value of 4, a bottom side value of 6, and a left side value of 9. The right side and bottom should be protected while leaving the top and left side open for defense.
Squall's Triple Triad card. The card has a top side value of A (10), a right side value of 4, a bottom side value of 6, and a left side value of 9. The right side and bottom should be protected while leaving the top and left side open for defense.

Rules: Standard Rules

Triple Triad uses a game grid. The grid is 3x3, and one game card may be played in each cell. Regardless of the rules being used, the game grid does not change in size. Later in the game, once additional rules are

Each player will use 5 cards and a random player is chosen to make the first move. Each player takes a turn placing a card somewhere on the board. The opponent follows suit and places his own card. Each game lasts for 9 turns and ends once all cells on the grid have a card placed in them. Each card placed in a cell belongs to the player that places it initially. It can be captured during the course of the game. The player who controls more cards at the end of the game wins, including any left in the player's hand. A single card is always left in the hand of the player who moves second, since 10 cards are used in the game and the game grid only has 9 cells.

Under standard rules, cards are captured by comparing the values of two cards that touch each other on a side. The values for each side of a card are displayed directly on the card. All values will range from 1 to 9, plus A. The value A represents 10. A card is placed on the Triple Triad board, and has a right-side value of 5. The opponent places a card directly to the right of the first, with a left-side value of 6. The right-side of the first card touches the left-side of the second, so these are the values that are compared. The second card captures the first, and now both cards are controlled by the same player. The game has different for capturing, which will be listed before a game begins, that alter how card captures are determined.

The game almost always begins with the Trade Rule "One." At the end of the game, the winner chooses one of the cards his opponent brought to the game and takes possession indefinitely. Like the other area rules, the Trade Rule can differ between regions.

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Rules: Special Rules

The following rules affect the flow of the game in some way. Most rules affect how cards may be captured. Others affect when a game can end and if the player can see his opponent's hand. These rules are spread from region to region by first learning them in their home region and bringing them to other regions.

(click column header to sort results)
Rule  
Effect  
Home Region  
Open
The player can see all card's in the opponent's hand.
Balamb
Elemental
Game grid is marked with element symbols. Card placed with a matching element receive +1 to all side ranks. Non-elemental cards and cards with non-matching elements receive -1 for all side ranks.
Dollet, Fisherman's Horizon, Esthar, Lunar
Sudden Death
Draws trigger a restart to the game, but any captured cards are used by the player controlling them.
Fisherman's Horizon, Lunar
Same
A card that is placed touching two other cards where the touching ranks are the same will capture both cards. At least one card must be in the opponent's control to trigger the rule.
Galbadia, Centra, Lunar
Same Wall
Same rule applies, and the outside wall of the game grid is considered a card with an A rank.
Esthar, Lunar
Plus
Similar to Same. A card that is placed touching two other cards where the touching ranks both add to the same number will capture both cards. At least one of the cards must belong to the opponent to trigger the Plus rule.
Trabia, Centra, Lunar
Combo
When a card is captured by the Same, Same Wall, or Plus rule, any other card touching the captured card with a lower rank is also captured.
Galbadia, Trabia, Centra, Esthar, Lunar
Random
The player must use a hand of 5 random cards from the player's collection.
Dollet, Trabia, Centra, Lunar

Rules: Trade Rules

Trade rules do not affect the flow of the game. Trade Rules only affect how many cards the player can acquire from the opponent when a game is won. These rules spread through the Queen of Cards or by making one region the dominant region for Triple Triad. Region domination is increased by playing games in that region. A dominant region has a chance to make games in other regions adopt the dominant Trade Rule.

Rule
Effect
One
Winner takes one card.
Difference
Winner takes 2, 4, or 5 cards. The number is obtained by taking the number of cards controlled by the winner and subtracting the number of cards controlled by the loser with a maximum of 5.
Direct
Any card captured on the board will go to the player who last captured the card at the end of the game.
All
Winner takes entire hand from the opponent.

Cards

The game has the card collection divided into 10 levels. Levels 1 through 5 are based on monsters found in the game. Levels 6 and 7 are based on boss fights within the game. All cards from levels 1 through 7 are not considered rare, with the exception of the level 5 card PuPu, and the player may obtain any number of these cards. Levels 8 and 9 are rare cards based on Guardian Forces in the game. Level 10 cards are rare cards based on main characters in the game, both party members and non-player characters. If rare cards are lost, the player must win the card back from the same player the card was lost to.

PuPu is the only card in the game that only has 1 copy available, ever. Level 8, 9, and 10 cards may be replaced or discovered late in the game aboard the Ragnarok, but only once the Card Club side quest is complete and only if the player missed or used Card Mod on these rare cards. The player will not have more than 1 copy of these cards in their inventory at any time.

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Cards: Level 1 Monster

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Geezard
1, 4, 1, 5
None
1:5 Screw
Funguar
5, 1, 1, 3
None
1:1 M-Stone Piece
Bite Bug
1, 3, 3, 5
None
1:1 M-Stone Piece
Red Bat
6, 1, 1, 2
None
1:1 Vampire Fang
Blora
2, 3, 1, 5
None
4:1 Rune Armlet
Gayla
2, 1, 4, 4
Thunder
1:1 Mystery Fluid
Gesper
1, 5, 4, 1
None
1:1 Black Hole
Fastitocalon-F
3, 5, 2, 1
Earth
5:1 Water Crystal
Blood Soul
2, 1, 6, 1
None
1:1 Zombie Powder
Caterchipillar
4, 2, 4, 3
None
1:1 Spider Web
Cockatrice
2, 1, 2, 6
Thunder
1:1 Cockatrice Pinion

Cards: Level 2 Monster

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Grat
7, 1, 3, 1
None
1:1 Magic Stone
Buel
6, 2, 2, 3
None
1:1 Magic Stone
Mesmerize
5, 3, 3, 4
None
1:1 Mesmerize Blade
Glacial Eye
6, 1, 4, 3
Ice
1:1 Arctic Wind
Belhelmel
3, 4, 5, 3
None
1:1 Saw Blade
Thrustaevis
5, 3, 2, 5
Wind
1:1 Shear Feather
Anacondaur
5, 1, 3, 5
Poison
1:1 Venom Fang
Creeps
5, 2, 5, 2
Thunder
1:1 Coral Fragment
Grendel
4, 4, 5, 2
Thunder
1:1 Dragon Fin
Jelleye
3, 2, 1, 7
None
1:1 Magic Stone
Grand Mantis
5, 2, 5, 3
None
1:1 Sharp Spike

Cards: Level 3 Monsters

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Forbidden
6, 6, 3, 2
None
1:1 Betrayal Sword
Armadodo
6, 3, 1, 6
Earth
1:1 Dino Bone
Tri-Face
3, 5, 5, 5
Poison
1:1 Curse Spike
Fastitocalon
7, 5, 1, 3
Earth
1:1 Water Crystal
Snow Lion
7, 1, 5, 3
Ice
1:1 North Wind
Ochu
5, 6, 3, 3
None
1:1 Ochu Tentacle
SAM08G
5, 6, 2, 4
Fire
1:1 Running Fire
Death Claw
4, 4, 7, 2
Fire
1:1 Sharp Spike
Cactuar
6, 2, 6, 3
None
1:1 Cactus Thorn
Tonberry
3, 6, 4, 4
None
1:1 Chef's Knife
Abyss Worm
7, 2, 3, 5
Earth
1:1 Windmill

Cards: Level 4 Monsters

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Turtapod
2, 3, 6, 7
None
5:1 Healing Mail
Vysage
6, 5, 4, 5
None
1:1 Wizard Stone
T-Rexaur
4, 6, 2, 7
None
2:1 Dino Bone
Bomb
2, 7, 6, 3
Fire
1:1 Bomb Fragment
Blitz
1, 6, 4, 7
Thunder
1:1 Dynamo Stone
Wendigo
7, 3, 1, 6
None
1:1 Steel Orb
Torama
7, 4, 4, 4
None
5:1 Life Ring
Imp
3, 7, 3, 6
None
1:1 Wizard Stone
Blue Dragon
6, 2, 7, 3
Poison
1:1 Fury Fragment
Adamantoise
4, 5, 5, 6
Earth
3:1 Turtle Shell
Hexadragon
7, 5, 4, 3
Fire
3:1 Sharp Spike

Cards: Level 5 Monsters

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Iron Giant
6, 5, 6, 5
None
3:1 Star Fragment
Behemoth
3, 6, 5, 7
None
10:1 Barrier
Chimera
7, 6, 5, 3
Water
10:1 Regen Ring
PuPu
3, A, 2, 1
None
1:1 Hungry Cookpot
Elastoid
6, 2, 6, 7
None
1:1 Steel Pipe
GIM47N
5, 5, 7, 4
None
1:10 Fast Ammo
Malboro
7, 7, 4, 2
Poison
4:1 Malboro Tentacle
Ruby Dragon
7, 2, 7, 4
Fire
10:1 Inferno Fang
Elnoyle
5, 3, 7, 6
None
10:1 Energy Crystal
Tonberry King
4, 6, 7, 4
None
1:1 Chef's Knife
Wedge, Biggs
6, 6, 2, 7
None
1:1 X-Potion

Cards: Level 6 Bosses

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Fujin, Raijin
2, 8, 8, 4
None
1:1 X-Potion
Elvoret
7, 8, 3, 4
Wind
1:10 Death Stones
X-ATM092
4, 8, 7, 3
None
2:1 Turtle Shell
Granaldo
7, 2, 8, 5
None
1:1 G-Returner
Gerogero
1, 8, 8, 3
Poison
10:1 Circlet
Iguion
8, 2, 8, 2
None
1:1 Cockatrice Pinion
Abadon
6, 8, 4, 5
None
1:30 Dark Ammo
Trauma
4, 8, 5, 6
None
1:30 Demolition Ammo
Oilboyle
1, 8, 4, 8
None
1:30 Fire Ammo
Shumi Tribe
6, 5, 8, 4
None
5:1 Gambler's Spirit
Krysta
7, 5, 8, 1
None
1:10 Holy Stone

Cards: Level 7 Bosses

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod (Required:Received)  
Propagator
8, 4, 4, 8
None
1:1 G-Mega Potion
Jumbo Cactuar
8, 8, 4, 4
None
1:1 Cactus Thorn
Tri-Point
8, 5, 2, 8
Thunder
40:1 Jet Engine
Gargantua
5, 6, 6, 8
None
10:1 Strength Love
Mobile Type 8
8, 6, 7, 3
None
1:10 Shell Stones
Sphinxara
8, 3, 5, 8
None
1:1 G-Mega Potion
Tiamat
8, 8, 5, 4
None
1:10 Flare Stone
BGH251F2
5, 7, 8, 5
None
1:10 Protect Stone
Red Giant
6, 8, 4, 7
None
1:5 Meteor Stone
Catoblepas
1, 8, 7, 7
None
1:5 Rename Card
Ultima Weapon
7, 7, 2, 8
None
1:1 Ultima Stone

Cards: Level 8 Guardian Forces

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod  
Initial Location  
Chubby Chocobo
4, 4, 8, 9
None
1:100 LuvLuvG
Man on bench outside library in Balamb Garden. Must have completed the Card Queen quest.
Angelo
9, 6, 7, 3
None
1:100 Elixir
Watts, aboard Timber train during President kidnapping mission or White SeeD ship.
Gilgamesh
3, 7, 9, 6
None
1:10 Holy Wars
Quistis, must meet Quistis as Card King in dorm.
MiniMog
9, 3, 9, 2
None
1:100 Pet House
Jogging child in Balamb Garden.
Chicobo
9, 4, 8, 4
None
1:100 Gysahl Green
Chocobo Reserve in Grandidi Forest after manually solving all Chocobo Forest puzzles.
Quezacotl
2, 9, 9, 4
Thunder
1:100 Dynamo Stone
Mayor Dobe, Fisherman's Horizon during arrival.
Shiva
6, 7, 4, 9
Ice
1:100 North Wind
Zone, exchange for "Girl Next Door" from Timber Maniacs office.
Ifrit
9, 6, 2, 8
Fire
1:3 Elem Atk
Defeat Ifrit in battle in Fire Cavern.
Siren
8, 9, 6, 2
None
1:3 Status Atk
Master of Cards in Dollet Pub
Sacred
5, 1, 9, 9
Earth
1:100 Dino Bone
Defeat the Brothers in battle in the Tomb of the Unknown King.
Minotaur
9, 5, 2, 9
Earth
1:10 Adamantine
Defeat the Brothers in battle in the Tomb of the Unknown King.

Cards: Level 9 Guardian Forces

Card
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)
Element
Card Mod
Initial Location
Carbuncle
8, 4, A, 4
None
1:3 Glow Curtain
Xu, part of Card Club quest, Xu must reveal she is CC member Heart, bridge of Balamb Garden.
Diablos
5, A, 8, 3
None
1:100 Black Hole
Obtain Magic Lamp from Cid, use the item, defeat Diablos in battle.
Leviathan
7, A, 1, 7
Water
1:3 Doc's Code
CC Joker, part of the Card Club quest, Joker randomly appears in the Balamb Garden training center.
Odin
8, A, 3, 5
None
1:100 Dead Spirit
Defeat Odin in battle in the Centra Ruin.
Pandemona
A, 1, 7, 7
Wind
1:100 Windmill
Hotel Owner in town of Balamb, after Galbadia invasion.
Cerberus
7, 4, 6, A
None
1:100 Lightweight
Defeat Cerberus in battle in Galbadia Garden.
Alexander
9, A, 4, 2
Holy
1:3 Moon Curtain
Piet, at Abandon Plains in Esthar after Lunar Base incident.
Phoenix
7, 2, 7, A
Fire
1:3 Phoenix Spirit
Blue clothed man at Esthar President's building, must have completed Card Queen quest.
Bahamut
A, 8, 2, 6
None
1:100 Megalixir
Defeat Bahamut in battle at the Deep Sea Research Center.
Doomtrain
3, 1, A, A
Poison
1:3 Status Guard
Timber Pub Owner, must have completed Card Queen quest.
Eden
4, 4, A, A
None
1:3 Monk Code
Defeat Ultima Weapon in battle at Deep Sea Research Center.

Cards: Level 10 Characters

(click column header to sort results)
Card  
Ranks (Top, Right, Bottom, Left)  
Element  
Card Mod  
Initial Location  
Ward
A, 7, 2, 8
None
1:3 Gaea's Ring
Doctor Odine as Esthar Palace/Laboratory
Kiros
6, 7, 6, A
None
1:3 Accelerator
Man in black in Deling City, must have completed Card Queen quest.
Laguna
5, A, 3, 9
None
1:100 Hero
Ellone at Lunar Base
Selphie
A, 8, 6, 4
None
1:3 Elem Guard
Selphie's best friend, in front of fountain, at Trabia Garden.
Quistis
9, 6, A, 2
None
1:3 Samantha Soul
Trepe Groupie #2 inside Balamb Garden cafeteria.
Irvine
2, 6, 9, A
None
1:3 Rocket Engine
Female station master at Fisherman's Horizon.
Zell
8, 5, A, 6
None
1:3 Hyper Wrist
Zell's mother, Zell's house in Balamb Town, Zell must be in your party.
Rinoa
4, A, 2, A
None
1:3 Magic Armlet
General Caraway in Deling City. Must lose Ifrit card to Caraway first. Ifrit can be won back from Martine at Fisherman's Horizon.
Edea
A, A, 3, 3
None
1:3 Royal Crown
Edea, in front of her house.
Seifer
6, 9, A, 4
None
1:3 Diamond Armor
Cid, office in Balamb Garden or Edea's house.
Squall
A, 6, 4, 9
None
1:3 Three Star
Laguna, Esthar or Ragnarok, must be before Lunatic Pandora.

Strategy

Strategy in Triple Triad comes down to three items:

  • Rule selection
  • Hand selection
  • Card placement

Each stage of choosing your strategy will either boost your chances of winning lots of cards or harm it. The final choice is always with the player.

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Strategy: Rule Selection

Rule selection is the most important aspect of choosing when to play and when not play Triple Triad. The game's rules will be shown before accepting the game. Once the rules are accepted, there is no turning back. Using the game's mechanic of spreading rules to new regions by mixing the rules, it's possible to bring the most advantageous rules to the player forward into games that would otherwise be disadvantageous.

If you do not like the rules being offered, do not accept the game. Decline to play, and then challenge the player again. Do this as many times as needed to see a rule change. Each time you initiate a game with a non-player character, there is a chance the rules offered will be different.

Balamb generally has the most straightforward rules in the game. These rules are advantageous for players who have a number of rare cards. It's possible to obtain Ifrit, Quistis, Seifer, Zell, and Diablos before leaving for Timber. This hand will defeat most players in Balamb without much effort. Straightforward rules that don't allow Same, Plus, and Combos benefit this hand while the presence of those rules gives your opponent a better chance of beating you. For this reason, get the Trade Rule All spread to Balamb and do not mix any game rules. If you keep this in place for the entire game, you can use Balamb to abolish rules you don't care for in other regions. Balamb must have at least one rule the other region does not have. Open fits this category nicely, as Balamb is the only region that starts with this rule.

If you find a region that has a rule you don't like, decline the game. Travel back to Balamb, and tell the player not to mix any rules. Play the game, then head back to the region you want to abolish a rule in. Save your game, and then challenge the player. There is a chance that one of the region's rules will be abolished. There is also a chance that nothing will happen, or Open will spread without abolishing the region's rules. If you did not abolish one of the region's rules, or Open spread and there is still a rule you need to abolish, reload the game and try again from your save file. By manipulating the rules like this, you can get advantageous card games that benefit your rare cards instead of hindering them.

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Strategy: Hand Selection

Hand selection is directly affected by the rules used in the card game. If the player has been successful in carefully spreading only the rules that benefit him while abolishing the ones that do not, then feel free to select your strongest cards. If the rules in place are not optimal, you may wish to select lower level cards.

Keep in mind that no matter what level cards you wish to play with, you need a variety of cards that are strong on different sides. No one card is strongest on all sides. For example, Ifrit is strongest when played in a corner that only exposes his top and left sides. Very few cards can capture Ifrit from this position. If you select a number of cards that are all strong on their top and left sides, then your entire hand is weak to the right and bottom. It's good practice to choose a hand that will give you cards strong in all four corners, and then an extra card that has high ranks on both sides or both top and bottom. With this hand you can alter your play to match your opponent's moves and avoid being forced to make a play that directly benefits your opponent.

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Strategy: Card Placement

Card placement is affected by both rule selection and hand selection. If you have a rule set that is straightforward, you can often play defensively. Avoid having your cards captured, capture at least 1 card before the end of the game, and you win. When Same, Same Wall, Plus, and Combo enter the rule set, things get trickier.

The first thing to do is analyze the situation. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What cards do you have left in your hand?
  • What cards does your opponent have left?
  • What move would I make as my opponent?
  • Can my opponent capture my next card?


The first two questions deal with what cards are left in your hand and your opponent's. Note, if you're playing without the Open rule, you are at a severe disadvantage. The Triple Triad AI seems to be aware of what cards are in your hand whether or not this rule is active. By taking an inventory each turn, you should be aware of what your strongest cards are and what your opponent's strongest cards are.

Next, by asking yourself what would you do if you were playing on the side of your opponent, you may become aware of a very good move the opponent has waiting that is not immediately obvious. This becomes apparent when the Same, Same Wall, Plus, or Combo rules are active. It also surprises players during the last move, when a final card can be captured with no way to stop it. By playing the other hand, you are challenging your own strategy and making sure it will stand up to your opponent's assault. A simple change in your placement strategy is often the difference between a narrow victory and a narrow defeat.

Ask yourself if your opponent can capture your next card. This is a quick question, but can become an analytic chore in the presence of Same, Same Wall, Plus, or Combo rules. Put your opponent's hand, one at a time, up against all your exposed cards. See what cards the opponent can capture, and either change your placement or move to guard these positions with cards that have stronger exposed ranks.

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Side Quests

There are three side quests in Final Fantasy 8 that involve Triple Triad cards.

  • PuPu the Extraterrestrial
  • The Balamb Card Club
  • The Queen of Cards

Each side quest involves multiple steps. The rewards all involve rare Triple Triad cards. Some of the side quests here involve losing rare cards, so be sure to have a strong collection before attempting those steps so that the card's absence will not bring down your game and so that you have a good chance of winning the card back after the quest is completed.

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PuPu, as seen in battle during Final Fantasy 8.
PuPu, as seen in battle during Final Fantasy 8.

Side Quests: PuPu the Extraterrestrial

PuPu is an alien present in the world of Final Fantasy 8. He has his own side quest. The reward for completing this quest is the PuPu card, the only rare level 5 monster card. It is only possible to obtain 1 copy of this card in the entire game. Killing PuPu or modding the card ensures that the player will never again have the chance to acquire it. This quest can be completed once the player has access to the Ragnarok airship.

The Occult Fan magazines in the game may be used to get hints on where to see UFOs, among other secrets in the game.

  • Occult Fan I - Balamb Garden library. This issue can be picked up before the player leaves with Quistis for the Fire Cavern.
  • Occult Fan II - Challenge the Dollet pub owner to a game of Triple Triad to get access to his private room. Repeatedly examine the magazine rack.
  • Occult Fan III - Obtain from the master fisherman in Fisherman's Horizon during the first visit.
  • Occult Fan IV - Obtain from the Presidential Aide in the Esthar Presidential Palace.

Read the magazines, and note the locations. You can use the Enc-None ability for this quest. Head to the locations listed and walk around until you spot a UFO.

  • Winhill Bluffs: Area outside Winhill
  • Mandy Beach: Northeast of Timber
  • Heath Peninsula: Small island east of Trabia Garden
  • Kashkabald Desert: East of Cactuar island.

You need to spot the UFO in all four locations. Once that is completed, locate Grandidi forest, surrounding the Chocobo Sanctuary. Land at the top of the canyon, and again walk around until you are attacked the by UFO. Fight it and destroy it. The UFO encounter will trigger even if Enc-None is active.

Make sure you have 5 Elixirs in your inventory and head to the original site of Balamb Garden. It's now just a dirty hole in the ground. Walk around here until you meet the alien PuPu. He survived the crash, but needs Elixirs. Use 5 on him, and he will reward you with his card.

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Side Quests: Balamb Card Club

The Balamb Card Club is a group of players that think they are the elite card players at Balamb Garden. Their membership is secret. Early in the game, one of the students at Balamb Garden mentions the existence of the Card Club to Squall if you speak with him. You can learn of the Card Club as early as leaving to complete the Fire Cavern SeeD pre-requisite.

In order to meet the members of the Card Club, you have to challenge them to games. You also have to be considered a worthy opponent, and with the exception of Jack, you must defeat a specific lower rank Card Club member before the higher rank members will acknowledge their membership. Squall must win a number of Triple Triad games in order to be considered worthy enough to face the members of the Card Club. In these matches, Leviathan, Carbuncle, and Gilgamesh may be obtained. The order each member may be played is shown below.

If you complete the Card Club side quest, you will find all the members aboard the Ragnarok at the end of the game. You may challenge them to games. At this point, they will use level 8, 9, and 10 cards the player has missed throughout the game. Never got that character card? You might pick it up here. The Card Club makes it possible for a player to use Card Mod on rare Guardian Force and Character cards for the valuable items and then replace them from the Card Club games. At this point in the game, the Card Club members will each adopt the rule set of one of the regions in the game.

The first Card Club member to face is Jack. He is located in Balamb Garden near the directory in front of the elevator in the first floor. Challenge him to a game and he will reveal his membership. He has no rare cards.

The second Card Club member is Card Magician Joker. He is located in the Balamb Garden training area. This is the same screen as the draw point. He is randomly on the center platform, so exit the area and re-enter if you don't see him. He carries the Leviathan card, so continue playing him until you win it. He will also upgrade the Battle Meter if the party obtained it from Cid early in the game.

The third Card Club member is Knight Club. Knight is outside of the Dormitory area, walking from the left end of the screen to the right. He uses no rare cards.

The fourth Card Club member is Princess Diamond. This is actually a pair of non-player characters. It is the two girls that like to stop in front of the Balamb directory in front of the elevator, the same area as Jack. You have to wait until they stop walking to challenge them. They use no rare cards.

No other Card Club members will reveal themselves until the Fisherman's Horizon portion of the story has been completed.

The fifth Card Club member is Knight Spade. This is the man who gave Squall his starter set of cards at the beginning of the game. He is still just outside the elevator on the second floor. He uses no rare cards.

The sixth Card Club member is Queen Heart. This is Xu, and she is on the bridge of Balamb Garden. She uses the Carbuncle card, so play her continually until you win it.

The final Card Club member is the King. After Xu reveals herself as Queen Heart and is defeated, talk to Dr. Kadowaki in the Balamb Garden infirmary. Dr. Kadowaki reveals she used to be the King, but has since passed the title to someone else years ago. Head to the dormitory and take a nap. Randomly during a rest, the current King will reveal herself: Quistis! Defeat Quistis once in the Dormitory, and you will then be able to challenge her at any time on the bridge. She uses the Gilgamesh card, so make sure you win that before you are through with her.

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Side Quests: Queen of Cards

The Queen of Cards is first met at the train station in the town of Balamb. She introduces herself and talks about traveling the world and playing cards. When she is in a region, she is able to introduce rules not native to the region. When playing her, be careful not to spread rules to the region she is in if you like the established rule set. The Queen of Cards must be played in order to obtain the cards Kiros, Irvine, Chubby Chocobo, Doomtrain, and Phoenix. If you missed the Queen of Cards but defeated the Balamb Card Club King, you may still receive these cards on board the Ragnarok when playing Card Club members.

The Queen of Cards does not use any of the rare cards listed in her games. The player must lose a specific rare card to her, and her father will use that card as inspiration to make a new card. That card will then appear in the world and can be won by the player. In order to get back the original rare cards lost to the Card Queen, the player will have to play her son in Dollet.

Each time a rare card is lost to or won from the Card Queen, she will move between locations. It is easy to complete this quest if she moves between Balamb and Dollet. Some players advise to save the game before playing her each time and then reloading the save if she makes a move the player does not want. She can be found in the following locations.

Area
Location
Balamb
At the train station in Balamb Town.
Dollet
The second floor of the pub.
Galbadia
Deling City hotel.
Fisherman's Horizon
On the railroad tracks.
Trabia
In the Shumi Village hotel.
Centra
In the Winhill hotel.
Esthar
Outside the elevator in the Presidential Palace.
Somewhere far away...
Lunar Gate

After finding the Queen of Cards, make sure you lose the following cards to her. They will spawn new cards once you ask the Queen of Cards about her father the artisan. The player will then have to track down the new card and win it in a game. The original card lost to the Queen of Cards will be with her son in Dollet.

Lose Card
Card Made
Location of New Card
MiniMog
Kiros
Deling City, man in black across from Weapon Shop.
Sacred
Irvine
Mayor Dobe's wife, Fisherman's Horizon.
Chicobo
Chubby Chocobo
Man outside Balamb Garden library.
Alexander
Doomtrain
Owner of the Timber pub.
Doomtrain
Phoenix
Presidential Aide in the Presidential Palace.

Once all the new cards are created and won, and all the original cards are won back, the Queen of Cards side quest is completed.

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