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Final Fantasy VIII

If you're undecided and unsure, stay that way, and follow through with your indecision.
Quote by: Headmaster Cid

Garden

There are three educational institutions in Final Fantasy VIII, called Gardens. Every Garden will train students into becoming a specialized military force and is head by two individuals: an administrator, referred as Master and a Headmaster. The idea of Gardens was originally started by Edea Kramer as a haven for orphanages for the future. Cid Kramer, her husband is intrigued with the idea and he began seeking beneficiaries for financial support. The Shumi NORG gave major contributions into building the first Garden, which was Balamb Garden near the town Balamb. The facility itself was built by the technological masterminds of Fishermanís Horizon.

Cid became the Headmaster of Balamb Garden, while NORG administrated it. NORG suggested dispatching elite mercenary forces called SeeDs around the world, due to the funding needed to run Garden, so it will benefit from the enormous funds flowing it and ever since, it has been a training facility. Later, two more Gardens were built: Galbadia Garden and Trabia Garden. Galbadia Garden had the Headmaster Martine, until Edea took control over it when she was possessed by Sorceress Ultimecia. The headmaster of Trabia was never revealed. The Gardens were made to train SeeD, an elite mercenary force completing missions around the world, in wait for their ultimate goal of defeating Sorceresses. Dr. Odine created the system of the Guardian Forces, which let the SeeD junction magic to themselves to increase their strength as well as the use of Guardian Forces in battle.

The Gardens were initially Centra Shelters before they actually became what they are now. In the past, Centra travelled around the world using these Shelters after the Lunar Cry devastated their homeland. The MD Level is where the control system for the Shelter is located, where the oil stratum fuels the system that moved the Garden. Eventually, when they were the Gardens as you know them at the beginning of the game, the engineers from FH had remodelled the Shelter and the MD Level strictly forbidden, though the original structure was left intact. Most of the students didnít even know the real past of the Garden and thus that the MD Level existed.

The Garden Code

Among the articles and text-based lessons that every student at Garden had to learn, was the Garden Code. It is a series of articles that informs the student on the possible actions that could or should be performed during specific situations. For example: Article 8, Line 7, dicates: 8:7 "ÖIn the event that returning to the assigned Garden is not possible, report to the nearest Garden."

SeeDs arenít allowed to use weapons or magic in the Garden, apart form the Training Center. The rules also say that one may not bring animals into the Garden, however Angelo, Rinoaís dog is seen wandering around in the celebratory ball in the ending, thus either it means that she is an exception or the rule has been dropped in Balamb Garden. Loitering, eating in classes and the library, violence and sexual abuse is strictly prohibited. T-Boards (a floating type of skateboard) and similar forms of transportation are also not allowed. Cadets must also obey these rules, as well as respect a curfew. Students may not leave their dorms post-curfew unless at the training center or with special permission from Garden faculty. Cadets must also abstain from purposefully injuring fellow cadets while training. Cadets who break the rules may be reported to SeeD or Garden Faculty. The student-run Disciplinary Committee also oversees cadet behaviour. SeeDs that break Garden rules will be referred to their superior officer, and may face demotion or court martial.

Facility Rules

Classroom:

- Student's should be in their seats and waiting for the instructor 5 minutes before class.
- When class is over, proceed quietly to your next class.
- Food, weapons and magic are prohibited.
- Study panels are shared. Handle with care.

Training Center:

- Proceed with caution. There are real monsters in the training center.
- It is open 24 hours. Entering the ground for reasons other than training is prohibited.
- Do no engage in battles beyond your abilities.

Infirmary:

- Visit the infirmary if you have any health concerns or problems.
- No items may be taken from the infirmary without permission.
- Follow the doctorsí instructions.

Library:

- Open Hours: 9.00 am-lights out.
- Library usage: All materials are open to public. You may check-out materials at the desk.
- Remain quiet at all times.

Dormitory:

- Everybody is welcome to apply.
- SeeDs have priority for single rooms.
- Going out after-hours for reasons other than training is prohibited.
- Do not leave personal possessions in common areas.

Cafeteria:

- Open Hours: 9.00 am-9.00 pm.
- Keep the area clean.
- If late-night meals are required, order them before hand.

Facility Rules

Garden Precepts:

Work hard. Study hard. Play hard.

Attire:

In general, there is no dress-code in Balamb Garden. However, dress accordingly if instructed to do so by your superiors.

Reward and Punishment:

- The Headmaster presents official commendations to outstanding students.
- Students who engage in violent acts, sexual promiscuity, or who fall behind in their curriculum, etc. may be expelled from Garden.

Conduct:

- The skills acquired in Garden must never be used for personal gain.
- Refrain from committing acts that may damage the Garden's reputation.
- Take time to think things through before starting a relationship.

Procedures in case of an emergency:

- If you are on 2F, use the emergency exit next to the classroom. If you are on 1F, exit through front gate. All students must take care of junior class men during emergencies.
- Do not use the elevator during an emergency.

Evening Outings:

All students should be in their dorm rooms before after-hours unless at the training center.

Admission and Graduation Info

Admission:

- Applicants between ages 5-15 are admitted.
- All hardworking and confident youths are welcome.
- Ambitious overachievers are also welcome.
- Applicants are admitted only after passing a final interview.

Graduation:

- Must be between 15-19 years of age.
- One must have all the required skills and knowledge taught through Garden courses.
- One must have the Headmaster's approval to graduate.
- At age 20, regardless of graduation, all students are released from the Garden.

Opportunities for Alumni:

- The Garden supports a program that helps graduates enlist in armies all over the world.
- Instructors and SeeDs are permitted to remain at the Garden. However, SeeD-ship must be attained before the age of 20.

Uniform

You donít have to wear the cadet uniforms, casual clothes will be fine. However, for formal occasions or external operations where the Garden is represented, Garden does require students to wear cadet uniforms. These uniforms are in similar design to each other with patterned shoulder pieces and silver linings. The Garden logo appears partway down the right sleeve. The main difference between the uniforms is the color scheme; Balamb Garden's consists of a navy blue base with yellow accent, Trabia Garden's a light blue base with Blue accent and Galbadia Garden's black base with red accent.

Students in Garden

When you are between the ages of five and fifteen, you may apply to become a Garden Cadet. To actually become a student, you must first pass an interview. Students are allowed to stay with their family and commute if they do not wish to live in the Gardenís dorms. Cadets take classes in general education, athletics, combat, magic and Guardian Force use (though GF use only in Balamb Garden). When you are 15, you may attempt to become a SeeD at an exam given every spring. Students from the other Gardens transfer to Balamb each spring to take part in the SeeD exam. Students have until the age of 20 to pass the SeeD exam before they are required to leave the Garden. During schooling each student is assigned to a group that reflect upon what they are studying and/or in accordance to their chosen profession.

  • Indirect Magic Operative: Students who specialize in indirect magic.
       They're usually MG level 1.
  • Fire Platoon: Students who specialize in the Fire element.
  • Sabers: Students who specialize in bladed weapons such as swords, spears or knives.
  • Medics: Students specialized in healing techniques and spells.
       Organized into rescue teams.
  • The level of competence in their studies is reflected by a level 'ranking' featured after their group title. (eg. Fire Platoon Lvl 3, Indirect Magic Operative Lvl 2). By logic, there are more specializations, but they went unmentioned throughout the game, for example, the existence of the Indirect Magic Operative belies the existence of a Direct Magic Operative class.

    Faculty

    The staff or Garden is responsible for the administration and overseeing conduct and ethics. Every Garden has their own set of faculties with different uniforms. Faculties from Balamb Garden are dressed in white and red robes with a yellow, face-covering headgear. Faculties from Galbadia Garden are dressed in tracksuits, and Faculties from Trabia Garden are dressed in standard military garb. Faculty classification systems within the Gardens follow that of a standard real-world school (example: Principle, Instructor, Faculty, Doctor, Psychiatrist, etc.) However, there are a few extra ranks:

  • Headmaster
  • Faculty/Instructor: Instructors and Faculty must first be SeeD members to obtain a
       job in a Garden.
  • Doctor
  • Funder/Garden Master: The position held by the major income source and contributor
       to a Garden.
  • Alumni

    All Gardens support a program which helps graduates enlist in armies all over the world. This program was created by Martine, who is the Headmaster of Galbadia Garden.

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