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Final Fantasy VIII
What am I gonna do? No ring, and now no more candlelight dinner. I'm never gonna be able to get married.
Unlike other Final Fantasy games, you do not earn Gil by winning battles, in Final Fantasy VIII, you earn Gil after Squall becomes a SeeD and afterwards, Balamb Garden will pay him a regular salary. The amount he's paid is based on his SeeD Rank, which is a numeric ranking based on his actions taken throughout the game. See the SeeD Rank Salary Chart for details off the amount of money paid per Rank.
The Dollet Field exam at the beginning of the game, will determine Squall's initial SeeD Rank. There are seven categories Squall is rated on during the exam. Every one is worth the same amount, but the scores are determined differently. On this page, you can view the details on every category and how the scores are set.
As the game progresses, Squall's SeeD Rank will fluctuate depending on his actions. It can rise or fall depending on the decisions you've made, your actions during some battles and how man enemies you've defeated. It may take some time before your SeeD Rank increases to the well-paid Ranks, but you can raise it quickly by taking a few of the SeeD Written Tests.
Written Tests can be found in the submenu under the Tutorials. Every test is comprised of 10 true or false questions based on the world of Final Fantasy VIII. In order to raise Squall's SeeD Rank by one, you must answer all of the 10 questions correctly. There is no penalty, however, for failing a Written Test, you simply have to do the Test over and you won't have increased a Rank yet. There are a total of 30 Tests and you can only pass every Test once, do don't take nay tests you don't have to when maxing out Squall's salary. You may want to save some tests for later if Squall's SeeD Rank takes a sudden dive. Also, there's a big chance that you'll drop a few Ranks if your Rank is too high at the beginning.
SeeD Ranking Chart
Below are the seven categories as to how Squall's SeeD Rank is determined. SeeD Rank fluctuations are not all based on similar parameters.
The Dollet Field Exam will determine your Conduct score. The points are determined by how much time will remain on the clock when you reach the beach during the evacuation. During the evacuation, you'll be chased by X-ATM092, a spider-like enemy, who seems to be invincible as it can restore his HP. Read the part stated under Spirt to know how you can either escape the enemy with a minimum of fighting times so you can reach the shore as fast as you can to get higher Conduct score. You can, however, also beat this enemy and gain 400 AP, but bear in mind that you'll lose some points on your Conduct score and thus you SeeD Ranking.
The Fire Cavern Test will determine your Judgement score. The less time there is on the clock when you have defeated Ifrit, the better your score will be. Squall will be asked to choose a time limit for the Test once he approaches the entrance to the cavern. The choices are 10, 20, 30 or 40 minutes. Obviously, the more time you have, the easier the test will be to complete. However if you'd want to get a high SeeD Rank at graduation, you'll want to have as little time left on the clock as possible at the end of the battle with Ifrit. Ten minutes should suffice. It may look like it's not enough, but it's more time than it seems. Ifrit isn't tough if you know his one weakness: Ice. Plus, you only need to reach the end of the cavern and defeat the Boss in the time that you chose before entering the cavern. You can take as much time as you like exiting the cavern.
How to get there quickly? Don't pay too much attention to Quistis' comments as you run through the cavern. She doesn't say much that you really need to hear, and you'll need to save some time for the Boss fight. Also, try to avoid long, drawn-out battles. Summon Shiva (with full compatibility to save time and the short animation set in the Help Menu) or use Blizzard to eliminate the enemies quickly. Also, avoid to draw any spells from the enemies or Draw Points, you'll have plenty of time to do that on your way out. And lastly, set Blizzard to our elemental attack and Fire to your elemental defence if your GF's already have learned the skill. During the battle with Ifrit, summon Shiva with one character and make sure she's learned her Boost ability to increase the damage. Use Scan to check his HP from time to time. When he's almost out of HP (around 100 HP left), wait a while so you can finish him off with only a few seconds left on the clock to get the highest score possible. You can wait until there are around 20-25 seconds left and quickly finish him off with Shiva, Blizzard and some physical attacks.
The number of enemies your party has defeated during the Dollet Field Exam will determine your Attack score. This number doesn't include enemies defeated by Guardian Forces. Also, with the fight of X-ATM092, you may be able to let the enemy's HP reaches zero more than once, but only the first time will contribute to the total. To get the highest score possible, you simply have to count the battles fought, once you've reached 75, you can continue and you don't have to worry about your Attack score!
The number of times you have escaped from X-ATM092 during the Dollet Field Exam will determine your Spirit score. It is possible to escape it only once, this has to be the initial escape at the Communications Tower. Afterwards, run for two screens (use the D-pad, not the Analog Stick as Squall tends to get hung up on the curved path and with the D-pad the game automatically compensates this and pushes Squall and the others around the obstacle). When you reach the screen with the downward slop, press to walk instead of run. This will prevent you from losing your balance when the Boss' heavy footsteps leave the party immobile and vulnerable and thus a second battle is avoided. The third tricky spot is on the bridge, where X-ATM092 will leap over the party to cut them off. When this happens, run back the way you came, but careful not to go to fast because X-ATM092 will jump back again. Turn back around and keep going toward the shore. Otherwise, if you want to kill it, the bridge is the only place where you can, so you have to escape the Boss once!
There are many things that will determine your attitude score. Here's a list:
If you are able to completely destroy the X-ATM092, you will receive a bonus of 100 points. It has anywhere from 5500 to 6500 HP, depending on your level. Please note, that it's only able to destroy it on the bridge.
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