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Final Fantasy VIII

But now... Squall, you're the one who gives me the most comfort. Comfort and happiness... And annoyance and disappointment, too!
Quote by: Rinoa

Guardian Forces

Since Final Fantasy II, there were magical creatures in the game that you can summon when fighting a battle, that will aid you. In Final Fantasy VIII, you can summon creatures called Guardian Forces or just GF. They are really something special. They aren't just creatures you can summon, they are the main guideline in the game, according to battles. They are still just as powerful as they were in the previous games, but this time, they will determine the vital stats and abilities of the characters that are Junctioned with a GF. Without a Junctioned GF, you will be just a normal person with a weapon trying to stand against pretty powerful enemies. However with a GF Junctioned, you'll be more than twice as powerful and you'll be able to use some neat abilities and magical spells.

There are 16 basic Guardian Forces to acquire as the game progresses. Some must be fought, some must be drawed from enemies and other will only be obtained by completing a quest. However, that's not all, there are also a few other Guardian Forces that will act on their own and cannot be Junctioned. In this section, we're gonna tell you all you need to know about the Guardian Forces in Final Fantasy VIII.

However, we do advise you to start off with some principles, like Junctioning a GF, how to advance a GF and the relation of the GF to a character.

Click on the pictures on the right of any Guardian Force to see detailed information.

Junctioning a GF

It might sound very complicated and something you may think you'll never learn, but actually it's quite simple when you get the hang of it. Open the Main menu and select the Junction option and select a character. In the beginning, only the Junction option will be highlighted, because a GF must be Junctioned to a character before the other options become available.

Now choose Junction and select a GF. A list of all of the GF's you've obtained so far will show. The GF's in white are available for Junction, the ones in gray are already Junctioned to the character you've chosen and the ones in opaque are already Junctioned to another character. These cannot be selected until they have been removed from the character they're currently junctioned to.

After selecting a GF, go back a screen by using . Now it's time to junction magic to your character's stats using the GF's Junction abilities, assuming that the GF has at least one. Junction abilities increase a vital stat by enabling you to Junction stocked magic to the stat. Different types of magic have different effects on the various stats. You don't have to Junction magic yourself. If you want, you can select the Auto option, and then choose to have the game prioritize increasing a character's Attack Power (Atk), Magic Power (Mag) or Defence (Def). The game will then automatically choose from the character's stocked magic, and make appropriate Junctions based on what you've chosen. Be sure to always double-check the game's decisions when using the Auto Junction option. The game doesn't make any decisions based on your surroundings, and may equip spells to your attack or defence that you'd rather it didn't.

Now, set the character's abilities. The top three abilities are Command abilities, which are the options that a character will have during a battle. You will start the game with the attack ability, but you have to give them additional abilities yourself. Be very careful when setting these abilities. You'll almost always want everyone in your party to have the ability to Draw Magic to stock up upon magic. Also, it's important to have at lest one character who an use Magic, one who can use Items and one who can summon a GF. The abilities below the Command abilities are the Character abilities. These will give the character additional bonuses to vial stats and other benefits. You can eventually have as many as four Character abilities equipped on a character, but at the beginning of the game you'll have to do it with just two.

Now, your character is ready for battle. While setting the GF Junctions, you'll get more used to Junctioning and you'll be a pro in no time to take full advantage of the abilities you've chosen! Refer to the Junction System section for more details and some pictures.

Junctioning a GF

Throughout the game, the Guardian Forces will get stronger just as you will. The characters will gain Experience Points to go up levels, so do your GF's. A GF will only gain Experience Points when Junctioned to a character, equal to what the character they're Junctioned to receives. However, if more than one GF is equipped on a character, the Experience Points will get divided into equal shares between the GF's.

Aside of Exp (Experience Points), GF's will also gain AP (Ability Points) after a won battle. These are used to teach GF's new abilities and comes in much smaller portions than Exp. AP is earned after any battle during which a GF was Junctioned to a character in battle. If more than one GF is Junctioned to a character, the GF's still receive the full amount of AP rather than having to split it among them equally.

Items can also teach GF's some abilities. In fact, you can only get some abilities by using these rare items. Overall, it's much more effective to use an item to learn an ability than to wait for a GF to earn the required AP. As GF's grow in strength, their Attack Power and HP also grow.  The maximum level for all of the GF's is 100. Teaching a GF certain GF Abilities, like HP + 10%, can alter both a GF's Attack Power and HP. The effect of these abilities is cumulative, so its best to teach a GF as many of these abilities as possible.

GF Relationship

Guardian Forces are like any pet: the more they like a character, the quicker they'll respond to a call. This is known as a Guardian Forces' Compatibility. If a GF gas a particularly low compatibility with a character, it may take an eternity before the GF shows up in battle. While waiting for the GF to appear, it will absorb any damage done to the character that is summoning the GF. In tougher battles, a low compatibility is a mark for death. You should try to get all of the GF's you use regularly up to at least a compatibility rating of 800, but try hard to get the rating closer to 1000, which is the maximum.

The compatibility rating can be raised in many ways. The easiest and best way is by just summoning a GF. This will raise the compatibility rating in most all cases by 20 points. If a GF is an elemental, you can also raise the compatibility by having a character cast magic of the same elemental type as the Junctioned GF. Healing GF's using curative GF Medicines will also raise a GF's compatibility slightly. And lastly, you can find and use lots of items outside of the battlefields as a sort of sacrifice that will boost a GF's compatibility with a character, mostly this is done by one or just a few points.

A GF's compatibility rating can also be lowered. This is typically due to the fact that you haven't been using a Junctioned G, and have been using other Junctioned GF's regularly. GF's are as jealous as they are loyal.

Teaching a New Trick

Every GF begins the game with its basic set of abilities. Some abilities will have already been learned, while other swill need a little work. There will also be some abilities that you can't even see until you've taught a GF some of its starting abilities. Only one ability can be learned at a time, so teaching a GF a full 22 abilities can take up some time. In some cases, you may no longer need an ability as it nay have lost its effect. For example, one a GF learns the ST-Def-J x2, the ST-Def-J ability no longer has any effect. You can use an item known as Amnesia Greens to make the GF forget the ST-Def-J ability which in turn enables you to replace it with a new ability by using an item whenever you choose to do so.

You can guide your GF's on what they learn by accessing the GF section in the Main menu. Play close attention to every GF and try to personalize them to fit your style of play. In the beginning, focus on SumMag+ abilities and Boost to strengthen the GF's attacks. Then focus on Junction abilities to Strengthen you party's vital stats.

For more info on GF Items and how Junctioned Magic affects character stats, check out the Items and Magic pages.

The Guardian Forces

Click on the pictures on the right of any Guardian Force to see detailed information on any of the other Guardian Forces.


Quezacotl

Shiva

Ifrit

Siren

Brothers

Diablos

Carbuncle

Leviathan

Pandemona

Cerberus

Alexander

Doomtrain

Bahamut

Jumbo Cactuar

Tonberry King

Eden

Odin

Phoenix

Boko

MiniMog

Moomba

Gilgamesh

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