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Final Fantasy VIII
Refer to the following page to learn more about all of the various locations in Final Fantasy VIII. All of the main locations are listed and locations that are important to the game.
Balamb (バラム,Baramu) is the town nearst to Balamb Garden before the Garden becomes mobile. You can mainly get there by boats and an underwater train connected to the Galbadian continent. The islandís sole town, Balamb Town, itself is surrounded by Balamb Islandís varied landscapes, including sandy beaches, thick forests and mountains. It is also the hometown of Zell.
Dollet (ドール公国,Dōru-koukoku) is the name of a small, independent city and itís the place where Squall, Zell, Seifer and Selphie have to complete their SeeD Field Exam. It is also one of the few locations in the game that has broadcasting technology, which makes Dollet important for the world. Squall, Zell and Seifer arrive in Dollet, while on their SeeD Field Exam, and their mission is to get the Galbadian Soldiers out of the occupied town. However, after fighting some of the soldiers, Seifer bedomes impatient and spots some soldiers up at the cityís radio tower. He goes after them, disobeying a direct order from Balamb Garden. On their way to the radio tower, they meet up with Selphie, who joins the team after Seifer runs ahead. On top of the tower, Biggs and Wedge are reactivating the tower and a fight starts. In the middle of the battle, an enemy called Elvoret appears and blows them out of the battle. Now you have to defeat Elvorat and after the battle, youíll have to escape to the beach within 20 minutes. Biggs does activate the tower and sends a mechanical enemy after them. Youíll have the option either to defeat it or run away. For more details on this refer to the SeeD Rank section. If you run from it, Quistis will open fire and destroy it, whereafter you escape by boat.
Timber (ティンバー,Tinbā) is a city that is under martial law by the Galbadian Army and it has many resistance groups struggling to regain Timberís independence. Timber has many train tracks and a television broadcasting studio, both important to the plot of the game. Timber is also the home of Timber Maniacs, a publishing company. SeeD members are sent to Timber as part of an early mission to help out the Forest Owls, a resistance group. During the mission, Squall meets Rinoa for the second time. They have to aid them to kipnap the Galbadian President, Vinzer Deling. However, the mission fails when they find out that he is a fake and they learn that the real President is inside the TV station to broadcast something. They head to the TV station and they see that he just made Sorceress Edea the new ambassador of Galbadia. Suddenly, Seifer appears and holds the President hostage. Seifer is lured into Sorceress Edea's service. The party arrives too late and are afraid of the consequences of Seifer's actions. Seifer is announced to be executed by the Galbadians, which upsets Rinoa who had a short relationship with him. After this, they are hired by Galbadia Garden to execute the Sorceress.
Galbadia (ガルバディア共和国,Garubadia-kyouwakoku, lit. Republic of Galbadia) is one of the biggest political powers, a military dictatorship, under the command of the President Vinzer Deling. Laguna, Kiros and Ward were all Galbadian soldiers once. As of the start of Final Fantsy VIII, Galbadian territory spanned the entire western continent, but thatís not always how it was. About 4000 years before the game events, the civilisation of Centra created two major empires; Dollet and Esthar. While Dollet, in the West, began to excel in military force, Esthar, in the East, grew scientifically advanced. 3920 years later, after the destruction of the country of Centra, Dollit split into three countries: Dollet, Timber and Galbadia. 18 years before the game starts, Sorceress Adel, the ruler of Esthar at that time, made a bid for world domination. However, she was opposed by the growing military of Galbadia, then under the leadership of Vinzer Deling. Galbadia, in an effort to bustle its forces, attempted to invade and conquer its neighbours: Dollet and Timber. Sorceress Adel was eventually disposed of by her own people, but Vinzer Deling continued to conquer. Eventually, the entire western continent came under his command, even though there were rebel factions fighting against the oppression, most of them in Timber. When President Deling announced that the Sorceress Edea would became the new ambassador of Galbadia, great unrest followed. On the day of her inauguration, she ended the life of President Deling, leaving the Galbadians in disarray. Nearing the end of the game, most of the Galbadian soldiers, including Biggs and Wedge, quit the Galbadian army.
Fishermanís Horizon (フィッシャーマンズホライズン,Fishāmanzuhoraizun), also known as FH, is located in the middle of the world, between the eastern and western continents aside the large intercontinental bridge. The town is filled with fishermen and skilled mechanics, some of which helped to build Balamb Garden. Itís a neutral town and fighting is not allowed. Mayor Dobe fears that the SeeDís will start trouble when they crash into FH, so he orders them to leave. He lets his mechanics work on Balamb Garden to make it fully controllable. However, some Galbadian soldiers came into FH to ask about Ellone. Mayor Dobe then tries to reason with them, but he is threatened instead so Squall and the others come to rescue and fight of the Galbadians. Squall then meets up with Selphie and her teammates, who went to the Missile Base. Later in the game, Squall and some party members use the abandoned railway that connects to Galbadia to get to Esthar.
Esthar (エスタ, Esuta) is one of the main political powers and itís located on the large continent to the East of Galbadia. Refer to the Galbadia section above to learn more about the political powers. Esthar is Galbadiaís major rival in terms of world politics, but little is known about it for much of the game. Esthar is an extremely technologically advanced society and Laguna is president here. Since the Sorceress War, Eshtar has hidden themselves from the world using a cloaking device.
Centra (セントラ, Sentora) is the name of a once flourishing civilization, but which was destroyed after an instance of the Lunar Cry. The Centra Ruins, Edeaís Orphanage and the mobile shelters are the only remaining artefacts of Centraís civilization. Its history began 4000 years agoÖ The civilization spanned two continents found south-most of the World Map. As evident from its mobile shelters and controlling two landmasses, the Centra people were nomadic and would travel distances to explore the world. In their exploration, Centra founded two more civilizations: the Dollet Empire to the West and Esthar to the East. They also built mobile shelters; only three are known to have survived: Balamb Garden, Galbadia Garden and Trabia Garden. These mobile shelters transform into moving structures powered by kinetic energy. A giant ring encircles the mobile shelter, seemingly powering the structures. However, all of this couldnít protect them against the Lunar Cry. Some time ago (not known how long) the Centra had discovered the Crystal Pillar and viewed it as a source of divine power. They moved it to their own capitol, unaware that the Crystal Pillar was really a tool that reacted with the moon to ait in the Lunar Cry. 80 years before the game starts, Centraís cities were hit by the Lunar Cry, which annihilated the entire civilization from the World Map. The only structures left were the Centra Ruins and Edeaís Orphanage. In the wake of the Lunar Cry, Esthar took over fact of being an advanced civilization and Dollet was split into Galbadia and Timber. As seen from examples of the Ruins in Centra Region, they held the Sorceress and the Sorceress Power in high regard. Wether they regarded her as a holy or malevolent force is unknown, however flattering statues and murals have been erected in her image. Such images can be prominently seen in the Centra Ruins. It is possible that the story of the Great Hyne, the origin story of the Sorceress Power, originated from Centra.
Trabia is the continent located North-East of the World Map. It is an icy and cold region with a white snowy landscape. A curious crater separates the Trabia continent from Esthar's Mordred Plains; it is the result of the previous Lunar Cry from several years before.
Balamb Garden is an important location in Final Fantasy VIII. It is located East of the town of Balamb. Students (usually orphans) can attend Garden in hope of becoming a SeeD. At the start of the game, Squall, Zell, Seifer and Selphie live and train here and Quistis even works as an instructor here. It is one of the three Gardens in the world. The Gardens are founded 12 years before the game events by Cid and Edea Kramer, and NORG funded Garden. Balamb Garden is actually an ancient Centra structure, and can be transformed into a Mobile Garden to fly low over the ground. Just after Balamb was created, two other were created: Galbadia Garden and Trabia Garden, though Balamb is still the largest one of the three and the main base of the SeeD's. Balamb is specialized in the use of Guardian Forces and Para-magic. And Balamb is the only Garden authorized to let students undertake the SeeD Field Exam, which all Garden cadets must pass in order to join the ranks of SeeD. So if you're a student at another Garden, you must transfer to Balamb to take your SeeD Field Exam.
At the beginning of the game, Balamb Garden is celebrating when four SeeD's have passed their exams and Garden throws a Graduation Ball. However, the Garden's serinity is broken, when Seifer threatens the life of Galbadian President Vinzer Deling. Garden attempts to distance itself from the incident, but Galbadia Garden's power is soon directly threatened by both Deling and the rise of his ally, Sorceress Edea. The Galbadian Garden Headmaster, Martine, orders your group to go on a new mission, to assassinate Sorceress Edea along with their sniper, Irvine. The Mission fails and the enraged Sorceress vows revenge. She takes command of Galbadia Garden herself and launches Missiles against Balamb and Trabia Garden. Trabia Garden is hit and destroyed, but Balamb manages to escape by activating the ancient Centra technology to let Balamb Garden become Mobile to evade the Missiles. However, they don't know how to control it yet and Balamb passes Blamb Town at close range and heads to the sea. Its navigation and piloting system is malfunctioning and the Garden crashes into FH. The mechanics there fix the Garden since they are familiar with the Centra technology. At the same time, Headmaster Cid appoints Squall as the Garden's commander before he goes off to hide in the Orphanage. When the Mobile Balamb Garden has been repaired, Xu becomes the navigator and Nida becomes the pilot.
Shortly after this, the Battle of the Gardens start and they have to deal with another combat between SeeDís under Squallís command and Galbadian Soldiers under the command of Sorceress Edea. Balamb receives heavy damage, and part of its Quad is completely destroyed. Galbadian paratroopers and motorcyclists board the Garden, breaking classroom windows and wreaking havoc on Balamb Garden's interior as SeeDs and cadets attempt to defend their home. The conflict is finally resolved when the party boards Galbadia Garden and finally defeats Sorceress Edea, though not before Balamb suffers heavy casualties. Balamb's inhabitants, however, immediately focus on repairing damage to both the Garden and each other.
Balamb Garden Layout
The Training Center
Continuing up the Lobby ring counter-clockwise, the eastern corridor leads to the Training Center. Known by students as the "Monster's Lair," it is open 24 hours a day, even after curfew. There are real monsters there, mainly Grats and T-Rexaurs, to challenge students' fighting skills. A Save Point and draw point for Blizzard can be found inside, as well as the boss, Granaldo. The Training Center also contains a hidden section called the "Secret Area," where students go to socialize or otherwise meet in private after curfew under the noses of the Garden Faculty.
Items: Weaponís Monthly Magazine (July)
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