Granny's Hand-Holding Guide to Cards in Final Fantasy VIII From: Sister ( November 15, 2000 This is copyrighted material. Feel free to use it for your personal enjoyment, but please don't try to make money off of my work. Updated February 19, 2001 --added info on erasing rules in Balamb and the fifteen game requirement of playing the CC group Updated September 12, 2001 --added new information in several areas based primarily on emails and information gleaned from the FF8 board. Thanks to WindCloud, Natedawg, Iggy9900, Jkrist, Mojoy, Mercurius, and Vilurum (as always) for their help. Please note that this will be the final update of this FAQ unless I learn something of truly momentous importance. RPGGranny, a friend of mine at the FF8 board here at Gamefaqs, convinced me to write this FAQ. She said she needed a guide that took her by the hand and led her through the card game, so that's what I've attempted to do. While I can't give you exact, step-by-step instructions on individual card games (since you never know which cards your opponent will use), I'll try to give you some general playing strategies. To make the game as easy as possible, I'll show you how to change the playing rules around the world to your advantage. Now, if you enjoy the challenge of playing Triple Triad with all the original rules in place (with Random and Plus in Trabia, for example), this is not the FAQ for you. My basic premise is that the easiest way to win at cards is to reduce the playing rules to just Open and overpower your opponent with better cards. That's the general purpose of this guide. I'll tell you where to go and who to play to most efficiently change the card rules, as well as where and how to get all the cards in the game. I'll explain the rules as best I can in areas where you must use them for a time, and I will tell you some cards to watch for with an eye toward refining magic from those cards. Before we continue, there are a few people from the FF8 board that I must thank: RPGGranny, for getting me started; Terence, for helping me better understand how the trading rules spread; Rage for his computer advice and constant encouragement; and Vilurum. I give Vilurum special thanks, not only for his wonderful advice on speeding up the Queen of Cards quest by using places other than Dollet for the exchange of cards and his insights into card playing on Disc Four, but also for his vast amount of assistance and patience in helping me actually get this FAQ constructed and submitted properly. As a FAQ writer, he also proofread it for me and offered several valuable suggestions, many of which I've included for your information. Thank you all. Now, if you're ready, let's play some cards. Disc One After you pick up Quezacotl and Shiva in the classroom, you'll bump into a new student from Trabia Garden. Whether or not you take her with you, stop and speak to the guy in green on your way to the elevator. He will give you your starter deck of cards. Don't try to play yet; you can't win. Update note: Iggy9900 emailed me to say that you can indeed win with the original deck of cards. After thirteen attempts, he won Minimog with the starter deck. I prefer having some stronger cards before I start playing, but I mention it for those who like a challenge. If you want to begin playing cards right away, choose Quezacotl's Card ability to learn first. You will also need to learn Card Modify and the various GFs' magic refine abilities (Quezacotl's Thunder Magic RF, Shiva's Ice Magic RF, Diablos' Status and Time Magic RFs, etc.) as you go if you intend to get a lot of your magic from cards. I learn these RF abilities early with my GFs so that I can start converting cards to magic early on, but that's entirely up to you. Once you have Card selected in Quezacotl's menu, head to the Fire Cavern. When you defeat Ifrit, you'll receive his card (your first rare card). Continue to fight enemies until you've learned Card. It only requires 40 AP, so it won't take long (note: if you're playing a no-level game, let Seifer learn Card for you in Dollet). As soon as Card is learned, junction it. To Card an enemy, beat down its HP (just don't kill it) then use Card. An enemy at full HP will not Card. When you Card an enemy, it turns into a playing card. You'll receive the normal amount of AP but no Experience. You can Card a few fish on the beach (their Fish Fins will give you Water magic with Shiva's Ice Magic RF) then head to the Fire Cavern and Card at least two Bombs (more if you want to use these cards for Irvine's Fire Ammo later). Now, head to the Training Center in Balamb Garden. Card T-Rexaurs and Grats until you receive a Shumi Tribe Card. If you do a lot of Carding, you'll occasionally pick up a Level 6 (like Shumi) or 7 card instead of the normal enemy card. It may sound a bit daunting to take on T-Rex with Squall alone, but it's really not bad because your level (and thus T-Rex's) at this point is so low. Let Shiva hurt him, and he'll usually Card after he's lost two or three thousand HP (sometimes much less). Just have plenty of Cures on hand. If you intend to do lots of Carding (for a no-level game, for example), collect five Shumi cards (here or as you play through the game) to teach a second character the Card ability. This will speed up your Carding considerably. Now that you have Ifrit, a couple of Bombs, a T-Rex, and a Shumi card (this should be your first hand), you're ready to play. Update note: JKrist asked that I mention that you can also pick up Jumbo Cactuar by carding Glacial Eyes. I didn't card many of these enemies, so I haven't received one myself. I do know from experience that you can also Card Buels in the Fire Cavern for Krysta cards. The only rule in Balamb Garden and in the town of Balamb is Open. All this means is that both hands are face up, so that you can see your opponent's cards and s/he can see yours. This is the best rule in the game because it allows you to plan your moves based on your opponent's cards. The trading rule (which determines how many cards are traded at the end of a game) is One. The winner will choose one of the loser's cards. The basic concept of Triple Triad is to turn over more cards than your opponent does. Where the numbers of two cards meet, the higher number wins. Your opponent's cards (and any he turns) will have a background color of light red/pink. Your cards will be blue. The numbers on the left and right of the card grid keep score. The left number tells how many cards belong to your opponent, and the right number tells how many belong to you. Head to the save point near the directory and save your game. Watch for a girl with either blonde or light brown hair who enters the screen. Either one will do - they both have weak cards. To challenge her to a card game, press the square button. My first game looked like this: Her cards: Anacondaur, Armadodo, SAMO8G, Abyss Worm, Creeps My cards: Two Bombs, Shumi Tribe, T-Rexaur, Ifrit _________________________________________ | 5 | 6 | 5 | | | | | | Her - 1st | Her - 3rd | Her - 5th | | | | | | 5 1 | 6 3 |4 6| | Anacondaur | Armadodo | SAMO8G | | | | | | 3 | 1 | 2 | |_____________|_____________|_____________| | 6 | 5 | 4 | | Me - 4th | Her - 9th | Me - 8th | | (game over)| | | | (I win) | | | | 4 5 |2 2|7 6| | Shumi | Creeps | T-Rex | | | | | | 8 | 5 | 2 | |_____________|_____________|_____________| | 2 | 7 | 9 | | | | | | Me - 6th | Her - 7th | Me - 2nd | | 3 7|5 2|8 6| | Bomb | Abyss Worm| Ifrit | | | | | | | | | | 6 | 3 | 2 | |_____________|_____________|_____________| In the above chart, you'll see the cards we played and the order in which we played them. Here's my first tip on strategy - zero in on the top-left corner. Notice the pattern of this game. You'll see it over and over and over again as you play Triple Triad. Weaker players (which are most of them) will always start in the top-left corner. You stay away from that corner (playing cards that can't be turned in other corners) until s/he boxes that top-left corner in (s/he can't turn it back after you turn it, in other words). After she boxed in the Anacondaur card with Armadodo, I turned Anacondaur with a card that she could not turn, so it's basically game over as long as I continue to play defensively. Always remember that you must only turn one card to win. Don't trade cards back and forth. Play defensively (Ifrit in the bottom right, which she can't turn, is a defensive play) and wait for one card. Pay attention to this pattern and you'll find your games going much more easily. If you happen to go first, just play the other three corners until that top-left card is boxed in - it works the same way. A slight derivation of this pattern would be to play beside the top-left card. If she plays a card that can't be turned (by her or by you) from the bottom in that top-left corner, turn it from the side, but ONLY if she can't turn your card. Otherwise, play defensively and wait for your chance. Also, if your opponent plays a card that can only be turned from the bottom, go in for the kill immediately with a card that can't be turned. After you win, you will choose a card from your opponent's hand. If the card name is printed in blue, this is a card you've never had before - a new addition to your deck. Yellow is a card that you have had but don't have now. White means you currently have this card in inventory. In the above game, I chose the Abyss Worm card (refines to Tornado magic). Choose Card on your menu to check your card inventory whenever you wish. More than anything else in Triple Triad, practice, practice, practice. The more you play, the better you'll get. I was completely lost with the card game the first couple of times I played FF8, but now I'm fairly competent only because of the sheer number of games I've played. If you're new to the game or don't feel comfortable with it, play a weak player like this girl until you see the pattern and start feeling more confidence in your game. Save often so that if something goes terribly wrong, you won't lose all the cards you've worked so hard for. After you've flexed your muscles a bit and had some practice, save. Now, hang around behind the directory and wait for the jogger to run in from the left. It's easiest if you can manage to block his path (so he can't run until you're done with him), but if you miss him, you can catch him again. He always runs the circle of Balamb Garden counter-clockwise, so you can find him easily. Challenge the jogger to a game. He has the rare card Minimog - the first card required for the Queen of Cards side quest. At this point, you shouldn't have any trouble beating him. You may have to play a few hands before Minimog shows up, but he's generally easy to win. The jogger will probably play Minimog in the top-left. Double-check the numbers on his cards to make sure he has no card with a 7 on the left side. If no 7, play Shumi right beside Minimog, and it's game over. Just keep defending. Now that you've gotten the hang of it, I'll mention a few cards to watch for as you go that will refine into magic. It's great having some of the stronger ones for your junctions early on. T-Rex/Armadodo = Dino Bone = Quake Blood Soul = Zombie Powder = Zombie Gesper = Black Hole = Demi Wendigo = Steel Orb = Demi Blitz = Dynamo Stone = Thundaga Snow Lion = North Wind = Blizzaga Mesmerize = Mesmerize Blade = Regen Belhelmel = Sawblade = Death Tonberry/Tonberry King = Death Abyss Worm = Windmill = Tornado Tri-Face = Curse Spike = Pain Gayla = Mystery Fluid = Meltdown Forbidden = Betrayal Sword = Confuse Elastoid = Steel Pipe = Berserk Funguar/Bite Bug = Magic Piece = Esuna/Cure/Fire, etc. Buel/Jelleye = Magic Stone = Haste, Slow, Cura, Fira, etc. Vysage/Imp = Wizard Stone = Curaga, Firaga, etc. Many items are great for other things like Steel Pipes for making Aura Stones or calling Doomtrain. You can pick up several items needed for upgrading your weapons, as well, such as Screws from a Geezard card. A few others to look for: Elnoyle - 10 = 1 Energy Crystal = 10 Pulse Ammo Iron Giant - 3 = 1 Star Fragment (also refines to 5 Meteors) Blue Dragon - 4 = 1 Fury Fragment (also refines to 5 Auras) Death Claw/Grand Mantis = Sharp Spike = AP Ammo Bomb = Bomb Fragment = Fire Ammo Cactuar = Cactus Thorn = Demolition Ammo Adamantoise - 2 = 1 Turtle Shell If you're looking for items to teach Quistis her Blue Magics, these are the ones you can get from cards (thanks to Vilurum for this list): 10 Behemoth cards = 1 Barrier = Mighty Guard 1 Caterchipillar = Spider Web = Ultra Waves 1 Creeps = Coral Fragment = Electrocute 1 Fastitocalon = Water Crystal = Aqua Breath 5 Fastitocalon-F = 1 Water Crystal = Aqua Breath 1 Gayla = Mystery Fluid = Acid 1 Gesper = Black Hole = Degenerator 4 Malboro = 1 Malboro Tentacle = Bad Breath 10 Ruby Dragon = 1 Inferno Fang = Fire Breath 1 SAM08G = Running Fire = Gatling Gun 1 Tri-Face = Curse Spike = LV? Death This is nowhere near an exhaustive list - just a lot of the cards I watch for as I play. Now that you have Minimog, we're ready to move on. Your next opponent will have better cards than you've met thus far so remember to play defensively. It is much better to play to a draw than to lose. If you lose, your opponent will automatically take your best card (Ifrit at this point). You can always start again from your last save, but if you've played several games and picked up several good cards, it's a pain. Don't be greedy. Play smart. After you save, head to the front entrance and play the old man at the window. He has level one, three, and five cards, so you can bulk up your deck if you wish. I'm looking for two cards in particular here - Malboro and Elastoid. These are both great cards for your playing hand. Once you have them, go save then head for the cafeteria. Go to the dining room to find two guys sitting at a table on the right (the one in back's behind a plant). Challenge the one in back to a card game. He has the Quistis card. Be aware that Quistis can turn any card in your hand, so be on your toes. Here's how my game went: His hand: GIM47N, Ruby Dragon, Iron Giant, Quistis, Malboro My hand: Shumi, Elastoid, Ifrit, Malboro, Bomb _________________________________________ | 5 | 7 | 6 | | | | | | Him - 7th | Him - 9th | Me - 8th | | | | | |4 5|4 2|4 5| | | | | | GIM47N | Ruby | Shumi | | | | | |______7______|______7______|______8______| | 9 | 6 | 6 | | | | | | Him - 3rd | Me - 4th | Him - 5th | | | | | |2 6|7 2|5 5| | | | | | Quistis | Elastoid | Iron Giant | | | | | |______A______|______6______|______6______| | 7 | 8 | 7 | | | | | | Him - 1st | Me - 2nd | Me - 6th | | | | | |2 7|9 6|2 7| | | | | | Malboro | Ifrit | Malboro | | | | | |______4______|______2______|______4______| Quistis is mine. Go to the dorm and save. At this point in the game, you have all the rare cards you can get, so you have a choice. You can continue to play and build up your deck or move on with the game and build your deck later. If you want to play cards, be sure not to change into your uniform at the dorm (you'll automatically begin the Dollet mission). If you decide you want to play for a while, you might want to run to Balamb to try and change the trading rule. The trading rule can be changed in two ways, both of which involve the Queen of Cards. Since you can't play in other places at the moment, we'll discuss the only available method for now. Leave Garden and run to the town of Balamb. Save your game in the hotel (you don't have to pay for a room - just run upstairs). Now go to the train station and find the woman in white on the steps (she'll be near the gift shop). This is the Queen of Cards. Challenge her to a game and see what trading rule she's playing with. There are four different ones in the game: One - Winner takes one card from loser Diff - Winner takes number of cards from loser equal to the difference in their scores (for example, if you win a game with a score of 3-7, you would choose four of your opponent's cards) All - Winner takes all of loser's cards Direct - Each player wins the cards that s/he turns in the game Challenge the queen to a game. If she's using the Diff rule, wonderful. She's very weak here, so just play and take her cards. Now run past her and challenge the train conductor. If he's using the trading rule Diff, perfect - you're done. Go save. If he's using One, challenge the queen again. If she uses Direct, quit and try again. I'm not positive, but based on games I've played, whether the Diff rule "takes" or not is random. I've had the queen use Diff then have others in the region use One (it didn't "take"), and I've played her one time with Diff and it spread. A note of caution about the All rule - it's great playing with All because you get all of your opponent's cards when you win. When you've played with a rule for a certain amount of time, however, the rule degenerates, so to speak, to the next rule in line. Thus, All will degenerate to Direct - the worst of the trading rules (thanks to Vilurum and Terence for explaining this to me). If you can get Diff, I would recommend that you stick with that. You will build your deck much faster with Diff than with One, so if you get it in place, go ahead and play some cards (either now or after the Dollet mission - it doesn't matter). We can't get any more rare cards until you're done with Dollet. When you're ready to start the Dollet mission, go change into your uniform. Update note: I have seen several messages from people distressed with having the Direct rule all over the world. From the ones I've seen, they've almost invariably started out with the All rule, so, again, I would urge people to stick with Diff. Once you've finished your mission in Dollet and are back in Balamb, you can play cards in earnest. First, save at the hotel. Establish Diff with the queen if you can, then get all of your other card playing out of the way before you play her again. You'll be sending her to another town, and there's the possibility that you could change the trading rule again before you want to if you play her before you're done playing cards here. We'll discuss other card-playing opportunities before we start the Queen of Cards quest. Go to Zell's house and talk to Ma Dincht. Now leave and return, and she'll play cards with you. Again, zero in on the upper-left corner. She won't give you any trouble, and you can pick up some good cards from her. Just be very careful about how you play when Zell's card finally shows up in her hand. You don't want to lose Quistis. I'll show you how our game went when she finally used Zell. Her hand: Zell, Turtapod, Grendel, Gayla, Jelleye My hand: Elastoid, Malboro, Shumi, Ifrit, Quistis _________________________________________ | 8 | 2 | 6 | | | | | | Her - 1st | Her - 3rd | Me - 4th | | | | | |6 5|7 3|7 2| | | | | | Zell | Turtapod | Elastoid | | | | | |______A______|______6______|______6______| | 4 | 2 | 6 | | | | | | Her - 5th | Her - 7th | Me - 8th | | | | | |2 4|4 1|4 5| | | | | | Grendel | Gayla | Shumi | | | | | |______5______|______4______|______8______| | 7 | 3 | 9 | | | | | | Me - 2nd | Her - 9th | Me - 6th | | | | | |2 7|7 2|8 6| | | | | | Malboro | Jelleye | Ifrit | | | | | |______4______|______1______|______2______| If you have to go first, play Malboro in the lower-left corner. She'll probably turn it with Zell, then you can turn it back with Ifrit or turn Zell's card and continue from there. Once you have Zell, go save. Remember for future reference that Zell must be in your party whenever you want to play cards with Ma Dincht. Now you can play more in Balamb or return and play in Balamb Garden. If you're trying to get Lion Heart on Disc One, you'll need twenty Elnoyle cards. Players who carry Elnoyle (level 5) include Ma Dincht, the old man at the window in Balamb Garden, Dr. Kadowaki, Cid, the cafeteria lady on the left, the Trepie in the cafeteria who had Quistis' card, and the guy standing at the first bunch of shelves in the library. Cid probably plays with Elnoyle the most at this stage of the game, but he's a better player than are all the others. Should you go for the Elnoyle cards now, just be aware of what you're in for. The one time I acquired Lion Heart on Disc One, I had exactly 1,021 cards in inventory when I received that twentieth Elnoyle card. You might as well settle in for the evening. If you're going to play a lot, you might as well get the Seifer and Diablos cards first. After receiving your Timber assignment, speak to Cid to get the Old Lamp. Leave the screen and return; Cid will be gone. Go to the save point by the directory. Save and use the Old Lamp to fight Diablos. When you defeat him, you'll receive his card. With Diablos to add to your hand, you're ready to try Headmaster Cid. Cid is one of the better players in the game, so be very attentive when you play him. Take the elevator to the third floor (after you save, as always) to find Cid in his office and challenge him to a game. The hand I use for Cid: Quistis, Diablos, Malboro, Elastoid, and Ifrit. Play until you win Seifer. Seifer is a very strong card. Once it's yours, your hand is pretty much unbeatable for most of the rest of the game. Seifer is a wonderful addition to your hand because he covers that top-left corner we've been discussing (as does Diablos in a pinch). Seifer can't be turned from the bottom or the right except by very, very few cards (none of which you'll see in normal game play), so once he's turned that boxed-in top-left corner, it's game over. If you're going to stay here and play Cid for a while (for Elnoyles, for example), replace the Quistis card with Seifer and continue. By the time you leave Balamb for Timber, you can have all the 1-5 level cards (except Pupu) plus the rare cards Seifer, Diablos, Ifrit, Quistis, Zell, and Minimog. Pupu requires a side quest later in the game; we'll discuss it then. Now let's start the Queen of Cards quest. The Queen of Cards has five rare cards that you can acquire through the course of the game. You must give her the card she wants. She will give this card to her artist father who will make a new card based on it. You will then acquire the new card. Here are the cards you'll need to give her, the cards created from each, and what the new cards mod into: Minimog = Kiros = Three Accelerators (teaches GF Auto-Haste) Sacred = Irvine = Three Rocket Engines (teaches GF Speed+40%) Chicobo = Chubby Chocobo = 100 LuvLuvGs (raises compatibility with all GFs) Alexander = Doomtrain = Three Status Guards (teaches GF Status Defense X 4) Doomtrain = Phoenix = Three Phoenix Spirits (teaches GF Revive) For a new card to be made, the queen must first give a specific card to her father in Dollet. She has eight regular locations around the world where she can be found (if you prefer to chase her everywhere). The easiest way to handle the queen, however, is to shuttle her back and forth between Balamb and Dollet. We'll start the quest by giving her Minimog. Save at the hotel. Challenge the queen and purposely lose Minimog to her. Her cards are very weak, so have Minimog and four level 1 cards in your hand. You must let her have Minimog to continue, so play to lose. After she's won Minimog, speak to her (X button). She'll tell you that the region is getting boring, so she's going somewhere else. If she says she's going to Dollet, go save. If she says she's going to Galbadia, reset and do it again. You don't want her in Galbadia because from there, she tends to travel to FH then to Esthar then to Lunar Gate. From Lunar Gate, you must search for her (she won't tell you where she's going from there). So, stick to Balamb and Dollet. You'll be resetting a lot as you change card rules, so I'll mention the soft reset feature. Pause your game (Select button). Press L1, L2, R1, R2, and Start all at the same time. While holding these five buttons down, hit Select again. The game will start over. This way you won't have to jump up and hit reset every few minutes. Play and reset until the queen tells you that she's going to Dollet. Now that she's on her way with Minimog in hand, you can head for Timber. One other note while we're in the town of Balamb: if at any time you accidentally spread rules in Balamb, you can erase them. Go to the docks and look for a man crouched down near the water with his back to you. He won't be here if Open is the only rule in Balamb. If there are other rules present, and he's not there, leave town and return and you should find him. If you play cards with him, he will erase ALL the rules in Balamb, including Open. Should you somehow really mess up the rules here, use this guy to wipe them out then return and spread Open. I forgot to mention this guy when I first wrote the faq because I'd never used him. I spread rules in Balamb a couple of times to see for myself how it worked (I'd read that he charged you 10,000 gil to erase the rules, but this isn't the case - just play). When I spoke to him, he was stuck in Balamb because he'd ditched class and Balamb Garden was gone when he got back. Whether this means you can't find him on Disc One, I'm not sure. He is definitely there on Disc Two after Balamb Garden is mobile. Hopefully, you'll never need him, but I thought I'd better mention him, just in case. After the Laguna sequence, you'll get on the train that serves as base for the Forest Owls. Save first (there's a save point up the stairs in the first room). Now challenge Watts to a game. This is the first time you'll change some rules. When you challenge Watts, he will say, "Mr. Seed, you seem to know rules unfamiliar to this region. Let's play a game with Balamb's rules and ours, sir." This type of phrase is an invitation to mix rules. You'll see it everywhere you go in slightly different form when you travel from one region to another. Mixing rules is what changes rules. You'll either spread a rule, abolish a rule, or the rules will remain unchanged. Never, and I mean never ever, mix rules in areas that you've already fixed. Since Balamb's only rule is Open, you NEVER mix rules in Balamb. Have you ever played in Balamb with Open, then the next time you visited, the rules were Open and Random? This means that you mixed rules and Random spread to Balamb. If you're happy with the rules in a particular place, never, never mix. Always answer No to the above question. You may have to say No twenty times, but keep saying No and eventually the person you're challenging will quit asking. S/he will just ask to play cards. Never forget this. In this case with Watts, we want to change the rules, so we must mix. When he asks to play with "Balamb's rules and ours," answer Yes. Now the mixed rules will appear: Open and Same (and whatever trading rule you're using). Instead of playing, choose Quit. After a hand or two, you should get the message "Open has spread to this region." If you don't get this message and Watts quits asking to mix the rules, then nothing happened, so reset and do it again. After you receive the message that Open has spread, you've successfully changed your first card rule. Go save. Now challenge Watts again and play him this time for the Angelo card. Galbadia uses the Same rule. This means that when the numbers match on two or more sides of a card (the numbers are the same, thus the name), you'll turn the matching cards. Here's an example: 2 1 7 3 7 6 6 4 Turtapod Blitz Turtapod's in the top-left corner; Blitz is in the top-right corner. If you place a Bomb card between them, you'll turn both cards. 2 | 2 | 1 | | 7 3|3 7|7 6 | | 6 | 6 | 4 Turtapod Bomb Blitz Because the Bomb card matches the 3 on the left and the 7 on the right, it turns both other cards. This matching can be in a horizontal line (as above) or a vertical line. Most commonly, however, it will be a corner play. 2 | | <- Play Blue Dragon here 7 3 | | 6 6 | 3 2 Turtapod | 7 ____________|_____________ | 7 | |5 2 | | 3 | | Abyss Worm The Blue Dragon card will turn both of the others. One thing to watch for as you play - if you see a player leave his normal pattern (instead of playing in a corner, he puts a card in the center, for example), he is probably trying to set up a Same play. This is the great strength of the Open rule - you can compare his cards to yours and break up the play by putting a card of your own in the slot. Even if you must play a card that can be turned, it's better to have one card turned than two, even three (if it matches on three sides). Always break up these plays. You won't have to concern yourself much with Same. Since you'll normally be playing with high-level cards that your opponent can't match, Same isn't usually a problem. Just don't forget it's there. Quistis and Zell both have weak sides when it comes to matching. That's one of the reasons I rarely use their cards. There's only one card "incident" in Timber. When you fight the two soldiers in front of the pub, you'll receive a card. Mention this card to the drunk blocking the door, and he'll give you the card and another one (he'll also move out of the way). While in Timber, be sure to pick up the magazine "The Girl Next Door" from among the stacks in the first room of the Timber Maniacs building. You'll need it for a rare card later. When you're done in Timber, it's time for us to once again visit the Queen of Cards. After you leave Timber, you'll head to East Academy. When the train stops, don't get off. The train will now take you to Dollet. The rules in Dollet are Random and Elemental, but you don't have to understand either one right now because we're getting rid of both. Let's change some card rules. Update note: Natedawg tells me that he has had better luck abolishing if he wins a few games against the person first. I haven't tried this myself, but I thought I'd pass it on for those of you who'd like to try it. In the same vein, WindCloud has found that it seems to improve your chances of abolishing if you abolish first and then spread Open. This would probably help. Just keep in mind that the game won't let you abolish all the rules in a region (with the exception of erasing rules in Balamb). I once spent a very long time indeed in Dollet trying to abolish both Random and Elemental before I spread Open. The first rule went quickly, but after hours of trying, I realized that the game would not let me leave Dollet with NO rules. When you get down to one rule left, you'll need to spread Open before you try to get rid of that last rule. Save outside town. When you enter Dollet, you'll see two girls standing at the car rental place. Challenge the one on the left to cards. She will say, "So like, you seem to know rules unfamiliar to this region. So like, let's play a game with Galbadia's rules and ours." (meaning Mix rules?) You say Yes. Now the rules will appear (Open, Random, Elemental, Same, and the trading rule). Choose Quit (quitting allows you to combine and change rules without having to play so many games, and, in this instance, you don't risk your rare cards to the Random rule). After a hand or two, you should get the message "Open has spread to this region." If she quits asking to mix rules and you never got a message, reset and try again. It shouldn't take long to spread Open. If you happen to get a message saying "Random (or Elemental) was abolished from this region," even better, but this rarely happens. As soon as Open spreads, go outside and save. To change another rule in Dollet, we must go in with a rule they don't have (Same), so we'll run to Timber. If you stay on the road, you won't encounter any enemies. When you enter Timber, you'll see two guards at the front gate. Challenge the one on the left. He'll say, "You seem to know rules unfamiliar to this region. Let's play a game with Dollet's rules and ours." Say NO. Remember, the secret to manipulating rules is to never spread any rule except Open (which we've already spread in Timber/Galbadia). This man will probably suggest that you mix rules several times. Say NO every single time, and eventually he'll just say, "How about a game of cards?" Say Yes. When the rules come up (Open and Same), you can either quit or play. It's up to you. Now head back to Dollet. Save outside before you go in and go challenge the same girl to a game. Follow the exact same procedure you did before: "Galbadia's rules and ours?" Yes. Quit. There are five possible outcomes here: "Open was abolished from this region." "Random was abolished from this region." "Elemental was abolished from this region." "Same has spread to this region." Nothing happens. You are interested only in Random and Elemental. If any of the other three occur, reset and try again. DO NOT abolish Open and DO NOT spread Same. Just keep at it until either Random or Elemental is abolished. Now go outside and save again. Don't become discouraged. Of all the players I've tried in Dollet, this girl changes rules the most readily, but it can still take time. Which rules spread or abolish is random, so you just keep resetting until you get the one you want. After ridding Dollet of Elemental or Random and saving outside, head to Timber one last time. Keep saying No to the guard until you're carrying Timber's rules of Same and Open. Return to Dollet, save outside, and challenge the girl again. Mix, Yes, Quit (resetting as you need to) until you abolish that last rule. Go outside and save. Congratulations! You have just established Open as the only card rule in Dollet, and you just made your life and the Queen of Cards quest much, much easier. Now that Random and Elemental are gone, head to the pub. Go upstairs and save (you'll need Siren's Move-Find junctioned to see it). You'll see the Queen of Cards standing in the center of the room, but ignore her for now. Speak to the man on the left and agree "to start." You'll play cards. Defeat him, and he will take you to his private room. Speak to him to receive several level 1 cards as a gift then challenge him to cards. Play him until you win the lovely Siren card (unless you were lucky enough to get her the very first time you played him). Siren is a wonderful addition to your playing hand - she greatly strengthens the lower-left corner, so she'll replace the Malboro I've been using. On your way out, stop at the pile of magazines right beside the door and hit the X button to search it. You'll get lots of worthless coupons and often the message "Nothing of interest here." Ignore these and keep hitting X until you receive three items. This stack of magazines is interesting because it's an unending supply of free stuff. After you receive three items, leave the room and return then search the magazines until you receive three more items. It never ends - collect as much stuff as you want. Things I've received from this pile include Occult Fan II, potions, softs, antidotes, phoenix downs, and Geezard cards. When you're done in the private room, return to the queen and save at the top of the stairs. Speak to the queen and ask about her artist father (the fourth choice). The queen will tell you that she gave Minimog to her son and that the Kiros card (the new card created from Minimog) is in Deling City. She'll also tell you that she wants to get her hands on a Sacred card. We've discussed before one way to change the Trading rule. Now, we'll talk about the other way. Thanks again to Terence for explaining this to me. When you speak to the Queen of Cards, there are three responses to choose from (four in Dollet when you add in her artist father). For changing the trading rule, concentrate on the second option - "The current trend of trading rules." The last time I played, I was using the One rule until I arrived in Dollet (which had the Diff rule). I spoke to the queen about the current trend of trading rules, and she told me, "Currently, the trading rule is based on Galbadia's rule. There is some trading taking place. Trading rule One will spread out from this region." What this means is that Galbadia is the dominant region at the moment or "king" (to use Terence's word). You can change the dominant region by playing in another one. Since Dollet was using the Diff rule (and I'd already reset the playing rules to Open, making games easy), I played several games of cards in Dollet to establish it as the dominant region. You must play at least ten games somewhere to make that region dominant. After playing about a dozen games, I returned to the queen and asked her about the current trend again. This time she told me that the trading rule was based on Dollet's rule, and that Diff would spread out from that region. Hallelujah! That's what I wanted. This is the second way to change the trading rule. I don't play the queen here right now, because I don't want to take the chance that she'll change the rule (which she randomly does, as we discussed before). I still don't know everything about the trading rule; it sometimes changes on its own. If you hit a place where you don't like the rule (like Direct), go to another region to play and try to spread a rule from there. If this doesn't work, send the queen to the region and play her until the rule changes. You don't need to do this until you've finished her quest, however, so we'll talk about that more later. Okay, the queen told you that she gave Minimog to her son. When you leave the pub, run down the street to Squall's right. You'll see a boy in a green shirt standing outside a door. Speak to him, and he'll run inside. Follow him. This is the queen's son (he's in trouble with his grandpa at the moment). Challenge him to win back your Minimog card. From now on, any card that you give the queen at her request (this does not include any other cards that you might lose to her) can be reclaimed from her son. When you lose the card she wants, it goes automatically into her son's hand (so long as you're shuttling back and forth from Balamb to Dollet) so that you can get it back. Just remember that if you let her go anywhere else (from Balamb to Galbadia, let's say), the card will not go to her son right then. She can't give it to him if she's not in Dollet. By shuttling her back and forth between Dollet and Balamb, she's always in Dollet at one end of the shuttle or the other. After you have Minimog and you're done in Dollet, head for Galbadia Garden. When you arrive (after another Laguna sequence) at this Garden, you'll hit a large circular room with a save point. Save then head to the hallway on Squall's right (if he's facing the center of the room from the save). You should see a man in a wheelchair on the left side of the hall. Go through the door directly across from him to find three students talking about cards ("We're too old for cards."). The girl has all of the level 6 cards in her hand for you to add to your collection. If you have the Diff rule, it will go fairly quickly, but even with One in play, it doesn't usually take too long. Here's a typical game with her: Her hand: Caterchipillar, Red Bat, Jelleye, Trauma, Grand Mantis My hand: Diablos, Seifer, Siren, Ifrit, Elastoid _________________________________________ | 4 | 6 | 3 | | | | | | Her - 1st | Her - 3rd | Her - 5th | | | | | |3 2|2 1|7 2| | | | | |Caterchipillar Red Bat | Jelleye | | | | | |______4______|______1______|______1______| | 5 | 6 | 6 | | | | | | Me - 4th | Me - 6th | Her - 7th | | | | | |3 A|4 9|4 8| | | | | | Diablos | Seifer | Trauma | | | | | |______8______|______A______|______5______| | 8 | 5 | 9 | | | | | | Me - 8th | Her - 9th | Me - 2nd | | | | | |2 9|3 2|8 6| | | | | | Siren |Grand Mantis | Ifrit | | | | | |______6______|______5______|______2______| You notice that she blocked in the top-left corner then the top-middle, so I won this game 3-7 and took four of her cards with the Diff rule. When you're done winning all the level 6 cards (or as many as you want), go save your game. Now, return to the same hallway, but this time turn in the opposite door (beside the wheelchair). You'll find yourself in the Hockey Rink. Run left through a second door to find the locker room. There's a student here in a red sweat suit (thanks to Rage for telling me about this student). He's a transfer student from Trabia Garden, so he uses Trabia's rules (Random and the horrible, horrible Plus rule). You can't get to Trabia for a long while yet, but we're going to go ahead and change Trabia's rules now, using this student. Do this exactly as you did in Dollet. After you've saved, challenge the transfer student to a game. He'll ask to mix Trabia and Galbadia's rules. Say Yes. When the rules come up (Open, Same/Plus, Random), choose Quit. Open will probably spread first (if you luck out and abolish Random or Plus first, even better but don't hold your breath). When Open has spread, go save. Go back to the girl with the level 6 cards. When she asks to mix "Trabia's rules and ours," say No. Keep saying No until she quits asking to mix. Then play her to make sure the rules are Open and Same. Now you're carrying Galbadia's rules again, so go save. Return to the transfer student. Mix rules? Yes. Quit, resetting until he abolishes Random or Plus. Just as in Dollet, DO NOT abolish Open and DO NOT spread Same. When you've abolished one of the rules, go save again then head back to your friend with the level 6 cards (Mix rules? No. Mix rules? No, etc.) Save again then head back to the locker room. This is the last time. By now, Open should have spread and either Random or Plus has been abolished. You only have one left to go. Continue the routine (Mix? Yes. Quit.) until that last rule is gone. When I played this guy, he spread Open on the first hand. I went and picked up Same and returned, and in the very next hand, he abolished Plus (lovely creature!). I won't tell you how long it took to then abolish Random (don't want you to be discouraged), but he finally got rid of it. You have now reset the rules in Trabia from Random/Plus to just Open. Believe me, when you arrive later at Trabia Garden and play for Selphie's card, you'll be very glad you did. With the rules changed, go save one last time (don't want to lose all that work) and continue with the game. Our next stop in this card playing adventure is Deling City. When you arrive in Deling City, go first to the Shopping Arcade. Look for a guy in black on the left side of the street. He has your Kiros card. After Kiros is yours, it's up to you what you do with it. I always mod Kiros immediately so that I can give my three characters Auto-Haste on Disc One. Many players, however, prefer to keep Kiros as a playing card. Vilurum takes exception at my modding Kiros here because Kiros is one of his very favorite playing cards for the rest of the game. On the other hand, Auto-Haste is my absolute favorite ability - it doubles a character's speed without casting Haste, and the Kiros card lets me give all three of my characters this ability right now. I automatically double my speed for drawing, fighting, and Carding - that's why I love it. Only you can decide which is best for you. With Kiros won, go save at the hotel. Across the street from the hotel is a lady in a green dress. She's in from Fisherman's Horizon (FH) and carries FH's rules (thanks to Rage for telling me about his lady, too). You can play with her just as you did the Trabia student in Galbadia Garden, but before you do, we'll jump ahead a bit and talk about why it's important to leave some rules alone for now. On Disc Three, you will travel to the Lunar Station in space. On the ground, Lunar Gate and the Lunar Crash Site both use Lunar Rules. The Lunar Rules include every rule in the game, so technically, you should not be able to change any of them. For some reason, when you play in space, one rule will always be abolished. When you return to earth, you will then use this abolished rule to get rid of all the others at Lunar Gate (and the crash site). Here are the rules as they exist worldwide before you change any of them: Balamb: Open Dollet: Random and Elemental Galbadia: Same FH: Elemental and Sudden Death Esthar: Elemental and Same Wall (hidden) Trabia: Plus and Random Centra: Same/Plus and Random Lunar: Open, Same/Plus/Same Wall, Elemental, Random, Sudden Death (all rules) We have already changed the rules in Trabia and Dollet to Open, so there's only one place left in the world that has Random. That's Centra. If I should abolish Random in space, I'll need someplace on earth that still has Random so that I can pick it up and use it to abolish all the other rules at Lunar Gate. So, I'll leave Centra alone now until Disc Three. There are two places left with Elemental - FH and Esthar. I leave Elemental alone in FH at this point because Elemental is often the rule abolished in space, and FH is the most convenient place to get it. You can still get it in Esthar, but it requires a lot more running. FH is also the only place with Sudden Death. I always spread Open and abolish Sudden Death now in FH (if I abolish Elemental, I reset and do it again), but be aware that if you do, you don't need to abolish Sudden Death in space. In the same vein, I don't abolish Same in Galbadia. I leave it alone so that I can use it to abolish rules later. Just keep this in mind as you play. Whether or not you use the lady in green to abolish rules, go ahead and use her to spread Open. That way, Open will be established when you get to FH. Go to the hotel and save then run downstairs to the bar. Challenge the girl. Mix? No. Mix? No - until you reset Galbadia's rules in your hand. When you're done, head to General Caraway's to get your assignment (the test) then leave town and go to the Tomb of the Unknown King. After you've defeated the Brothers, you'll receive both their cards - Sacred and Minotaur. The queen is waiting for Sacred in Dollet. Run back to Dollet. Stop at the car rental place and challenge the girl again (thanks to Vilurum for reminding me). We're doing this simply to save time with the queen (you don't want to Mix? No. Mix? No. with the queen just to have to reset when she doesn't go to Balamb). When the car rental girl asks you to mix rules ("Galbadia's rules and ours?), say No until she quits asking. You don't want to spread Same here after you've cleared the rules. Once she quits asking, go save in the pub and lose Sacred to the queen. Speak to her to find out where she's going. If she says Galbadia, reset and do it again. You need to lose Sacred and send her to Balamb. Once she has Sacred and says she's going to Balamb, save. Head down the street and get Sacred back from her son. Sacred and Minotaur become part of my playing hand now. My usual hand at this point contains Seifer, Siren, Ifrit (or Diablos), Sacred, and Minotaur. Now return to Deling City to continue with the game. We won't play cards again (unless you just feel like playing in Deling City) until we're in prison. Disc Two When Disc Two begins, you find yourself in Galbadia Prison. There are three card players here (all prisoners), two of which are of particular interest. Once you're in control of Zell and party (after defeating Biggs and Wedge), don't follow the Moombas upstairs. You should go all the way to the bottom to pick up all the goodies in the cells along the way. There's a Combat King on the first floor in one of the cells (nothing to do with cards - I only mention it because you're here and the magazine is hard to see if you're not looking for it). As you start back up, we'll start playing cards. On the fifth floor, you'll find a prisoner who charges 500 gil per game. I always ignore this one. If you choose to play him, he'll give you different items if you win, but his price is pretty steep. You'll run into a guy selling items on the eighth floor. If you have a lot of potions, you should sell about half of them now. You'll meet this person later (I call him the items guy) in the Training Center of Balamb Garden. Remember him. The player on the tenth floor will charge you 300 gil. When you defeat him, he'll upgrade your Battle Meter. He won't give you anything else, so don't bother playing him anymore. Go to the other cell on the tenth floor (the one near the stairs) and save your game. Now go to the eleventh floor. Here's the man we're looking for. The card player on the eleventh floor will charge you 200 per game. He'll give you various items when you win, mostly potions and eye drops with an occasional good item thrown in. What makes him so valuable is that you can win Rosetta Stones from this man (thanks to whoever at the board first told me this - Vilurum, I think). A Rosetta Stone teaches a GF Ability X 4 to increase your junction slots. There are only two Rosetta Stones to be found in the normal course of the game. You can make more yourself, but at 100 Curse Spikes each, it can be a bit tedious. If you want an extra Rosetta Stone (or two), this is the best place to get it. This guy isn't your typical "upper-left corner" kind of guy, but he's not bad. The hand I used to play him included Minotaur, Sacred, Ifrit, Seifer, and Siren. He didn't give me any trouble. The only thing you have to watch for with this player is when he tries to set up a Same play. Here's an example: _________________________________________ | 3 | 6 | 5 | | | | | | Him - 8th | Me - 9th | Me - 3rd | | | | | |3 4|4 9|9 1| | | | | | Belhelmel | Seifer | Sacred | | | | | |______5______|______A______|______9______| | 8 | 5 | 9 | | | | | | Me - 5th | Him - 2nd | Me - 7th | | | | | |2 9|4 3|8 6| | | | | | Siren | Mesmerize | Ifrit | | | | | |______6______|______3______|______2______| | 5 | 3 | 9 | | | | | | Him - 4th | Him - 6th | Me - 1st | | | | | |2 2|5 5|9 5| | | | | | Creeps | Tri-Face | Minotaur | | | | | |______5______|______5______|______2______| Notice his first two plays. I played Minotaur, then he played Mesmerize right in the middle. This doesn't follow his normal pattern (that should tip you off). I played Sacred in another corner (defensive playing - he can't make a Same play with any of those 9's). He then played Creeps in the lower-left. Looking at his hand, you'll find Belhelmel with a 4 on the right and a 5 on the bottom - he's setting up a Same play in the left-center slot. Since Creeps and Mesmerize are his cards, it doesn't really matter - none of my cards are in danger in this particular play. What you have to watch out for are combos. Same and Plus both have combo plays; turning one card leads to a chain of turned cards. This is what's most dangerous. He's setting up this slot for Same then he would wait for me to put cards around them so that he can catch them in a chain. I play Siren instead and break up his Same play before it gets started. You'll see another Same play in here with the Seifer card. I didn't plan it - it just happened to work out that way, but I turned Belhelmel with Seifer with Same. As I mentioned before, Same isn't a major concern because your rare cards can't be matched except on their weaker sides (which shouldn't be open to play). Just don't forget Same completely. Since I was writing this guide, I played this prisoner for a long time in the name of research. I decided to play him 125 times just to see what I'd receive. I played him to a draw once, so I received 124 items: sixty-four potions, twenty-six eye drops, twelve remedies, ten Hi-Potion+, seven holy stones, two mega-potions, one HP-Up, and two Rosetta Stones. I received my Rosetta Stones on the thirty-eighth and forty-fifth hands. When you get a Rosetta Stone is random. The first time I did this, it took me 75+ games to get one. On the board, I've seen people who claimed to get one as early as the sixth game and others that had to play 120+ games for one Rosetta Stone. How long you play just depends on how badly you want those stones. Once you're done here, we won't play cards again until you've cleared Balamb Garden. Update note: WindCloud did a lot of work experimenting with this prisoner. I haven't had a chance to try it for confirmation, but he said that after he'd played this man for a very long time, he decided to see if waiting between games would help. After he finished a game, he waited for five seconds before challenging the man again. He won a Rosetta Stone within ten hands. He tried it again and won another Rosetta within twelve hands. Whether this is coincidence or truly works, I'm not sure, but I appreciate the work that went into trying it (over 200 games). Thanks, WindCloud. I have also seen on the board (thanks to whomever posted this) that someone got sick of playing after many, many games and went out to kill a few monsters. When he returned to play again, he won a Rosetta Stone immediately. Again, I don't know if it's just coincidence or truly helps, but I wanted to pass it on. After you've escaped from prison, finished the missile base, and rid Balamb Garden of all those pesky monsters, Balamb Garden will be drifting in the ocean. When Squall leaves his room and nears the directory, he'll receive a summons from NORG. Ignore this for now (you won't lose SeeD rank or anything by not obeying immediately). Instead, we'll begin the second side quest involving cards: The Card Club (CC). The Card Club of Balamb Garden has seven members whom you must play (and defeat) in order. This is a very nice quest because it can be done quickly and the rewards are enormous. We'll play the first four members before going to the basement to see NORG. All of the CC members have level 7 cards - watch for them as you play. The CC members get progressively better as players (except Joker - he's not very good), so remember to play defensively. None of them should give you any trouble, but it's better to play to a draw than to lose and have to start over. Just be sure to save every now and again, especially after you pick up Leviathan and start collecting your level 7 cards. Play the members in this order: Jack: Find him standing beside the directory or walking into the screen which contains the directory. I've caught him coming in from all three directions. Challenge Jack to a game, and he'll say that it's almost time. Challenge him again and he'll play you. The last time you played cards was in Galbadia, so Jack will keep asking you to mix in Galbadia's rules. No, no, no. Don't play him until he quits asking. All that's then required is that you win. Note: You must play/win at least fifteen card games in Balamb Garden before Jack will play you. If you've found Jack, but he won't play (he'll tell you what an honor it is to be challenged by the CC group but won't challenge you), go play a few games with other people and try again. If he says, "It's almost time," then he's ready to play. Just speak to him again. Club: This guy walks a regular circuit between the cafeteria, the dorm, and the parking lot. You'll either catch him coming out of one of the entrances or walking around between them. He has black hair, and it shouldn't take long for you to find him. I normally catch him coming out of the dorm or walking between the dorm and the parking lot. Joker: Remember the items guy from the prison? He's taken up residence in the Training Center. He still sells items, but he's also a member of the CC group. He's Joker. Junction Enc-None and run in and out of the screen with the wooden bridge until he appears at the dead-end of the bridge. When you defeat him, he'll upgrade your Battle Meter. He also has the rare card Leviathan. Play him until you win it. You can actually play Joker anytime between Jack and King. I just do him here because he's on the way back to the directory. For whatever reason (a bit of Triple Triad Trivia here), Joker is the only member of the CC group who will not kneel in defeat when you beat him for the first time. Diamond: The two girls standing in front of the directory make up the Diamond Duo. They have no rare cards, but I usually play them until I have all of the level 7 cards. All the CC members use level 7 cards, but of the players you've met so far, Diamond uses them the most frequently, and you can get them all in a fairly short time if you just stand there and play. Now go see NORG (don't forget to draw Leviathan after NORG's pod breaks open). When you're done with him, take the elevator to the second floor and find the guy in green that gave you your first set of cards. This is Spade. You may have to run back and forth between the elevator screen and the one leading to the classroom a few times, but he'll show up before long. Once you've defeated Spade, we're done with cards until we get to FH. After you've crashed into FH, save at the railroad track. If you spread Open with the lady in Deling City, go on to Mayor Dobe's. If not, go back to Familiar Face #3 (he's wearing black and standing at the railing not far from the lift). Play him until you spread Open then save again. You'll be playing with Elemental and Sudden Death here if you didn't abolish them earlier, so let's talk about these new rules. Elemental simply means that there will be elemental symbols in random squares on the card playing board. You'll notice the same symbols on different cards in your deck (Ifrit has the fire symbol and both Brothers have earth, for example). If you play a card on a square with a symbol, all the numbers on your card will either go up one or down one. If you match the symbol on the board to the symbol on your card, you'll see +1. If you don't match, you'll see -1. I always put Minotaur in the bottom right corner. If it has an earth symbol there, his 9's would now have the value of A's. If there's no symbol, his card doesn't change. If there's a different symbol (like fire), his 9's would be the equivalent of 8's. For the most part, you can ignore Elemental. In all the games I've played, I think I've matched a symbol only once. Just play your regular game, but check your opponent's cards to make sure none of the values can change enough to hurt you. Elemental isn't a bad rule compared to Random or Plus, but I find it annoying because a lot of games I would normally win will wind up as draws because of the changed values. Sudden Death is another rule that's more annoying than anything else. With Sudden Death, the game doesn't end until someone wins. The only thing that's really bothersome about it is that you trade cards with your opponent as the game progresses. If you play to a draw, whichever of your opponent's cards you turned will transfer to your hand and vice-versa for the second round. This can mess up your strategy, but it's usually not too bad since you have such strong cards. The only time it can really kill you is when there are lots of rare cards trading back and forth, but you won't hit anyone in FH that can do this to you. Go play Mayor Dobe now. He has the rare card Quezacotl. He can be extremely slow about playing this card, but don't get discouraged. Quezacotl is definitely there; you just have to wait for it to show up. If you go first, put Diablos or Seifer in the top-left corner so that none of your cards will be vulnerable to Quezacotl's strong sides (right and bottom). Once you have Quezacotl, challenge Mayor Dobe's wife Flo to a game. If you gave Sacred to the Queen of Cards, the Irvine card was created. Flo has it. She, too, can take her own sweet time playing it, but persevere. Irvine's worth it. If you've been playing Sacred in the top-left corner up to now, Irvine should now take his place in your hand; Irvine's a stronger card for that position. The only other person you need to know in relation to cards in FH is Martine, the ex-headmaster of Galbadia Garden. When you come out of Mayor Dobe's house, run off the screen to the right. You'll see Martine sitting there. You don't need to play him now unless you just want to (he has level 6 & 7 cards if you missed any). Just remember where he is; you'll need him later. Save again at the railroad track after you've collected your two rare cards before continuing on. Once you've finished in FH, we'll complete the CC quest. When the repairs on Balamb Garden are complete and you've become mobile, you can now complete the CC quest. Save your game in the dorm. Now go to the bridge and challenge Xu to a card game. She's Heart. Remember to keep saying No when she wants to mix in FH's rules. Play her until you win her rare card - Carbuncle. After defeating Xu, speak to Nida. He'll mention not knowing that Xu was a member of CC. Now go challenge Dr. Kadowaki to a game. She will tell you that she turned her post as King over to another girl four years ago. Now, go to the dorm and rest (no, you don't have to be alone). Just keep resting until King shows up to challenge you. Defeat King to complete the quest. If she doesn't use the Gilgamesh card (the only reliable source of Holy Wars in the game), play her on the bridge until you get it. You have now finished the CC quest! Now that you've defeated the CC members, they will all be on the Ragnarok on Disc Four. Between them, they will have all the rare cards in the game that you miss, mod, or lose to another player (except for the queen's cards and Pupu). If you decide to mod Angelo for 100 Elixirs, you can get his card back from one of the CC members on Disc Four. Modded Gilgamesh for ten Holy Wars on Disc Three? One of the CC members will have him on Disc Four for you to win again. On the Ragnarok, each of the CC members will use the card rules of a different region - all the more reason to abolish rules as you go. We'll talk more about the CC group when we get to Disc Four. Your next stop is the town of Balamb. After you defeat Raijin and Fuijin (don't forget to draw Pandemona from Fuijin), the man standing in front of the hotel (the owner) will have the Pandemona card to add to your collection. Vilurum tells me that you if you do the small side quest with Big, Bad Rascal sneaking out of town, the hotel owner's daughter will have his deck, and you can get Pandemona's card from her. I've never bothered with Big, Bad Rascal, so I can't give you the particulars, but that's another option if you're interested. Once you have the Pandemona card, head back to Balamb Garden. Since you're now mobile, we have several card-related errands to run. If you didn't give Sacred to the queen in Dollet previously, do that now. Remember to save and reset until you send her to Balamb. Irvine will now be with Flo in FH. Before you go to FH, head to Deling City (remember to pick Sacred up from the queen's son first). Save outside Caraway's mansion. Go in and speak to General Caraway and ask about cards. Now, play Caraway and intentionally lose Ifrit. Make certain that Ifrit is the only good card in your hand because Caraway's cards are VERY weak (I once beat him when I was trying to lose!). After you've lost Ifrit, play Caraway normally until you win his Rinoa card (strangely, his cards magically improve when Rinoa's up for grabs). If you then speak to him again, he'll tell you that he lost Ifrit to Martine. Vilurum pointed out to me that you can also do this quest as early as the Galbadia Missile Base. When Selphie is leading your party to the missile base, you can detour to Deling City for Rinoa's card if you wish. I had never thought about this one, so thanks, Vilurum. If you still use Ifrit a lot in your hand (Rinoa's a lousy trade as far as playing cards go), you can wait until Balamb's Garden's mobile as explained above. It's up to you. Head to FH and get Irvine's card from Flo if you didn't before and pick up Ifrit from Martine. Again, do not mix rules here. Keep saying No until s/he quits asking to mix. You can now go to Centra Ruins and get Tonberry and Odin if you wish (you can do this anytime between now and the end of the game - it's up to you). When you defeat Odin, you will receive his card. If you're doing a no-level game, you can't afford to get Odin at all because you can't control the experience points with him popping up all the time. In this case, just wait until Disc Four and get Odin's card from the CC members - they'll have it. To continue the Queen of Cards quest, we now have to tackle the Chocobo Forests. I've got them written here in the order that I do them (I like to get the hard ones in Centra out of the way first), but the order of the first six doesn't matter. If you want to start with the easy ones in Trabia to get a feel for what you're doing, that's perfectly fine. The Chocobo Sanctuary in Grandidi is the only one that isn't optional - it must be last. I won't go into a great deal of detail here, but I'll try to guide you in the right direction. So, here we go. Near the Kashkabald Desert, you'll find a little domed forest (all the Chocobo Forests look alike - the small, round ones) in amongst the larger patches of forest (it's quite near a mountain). When you enter, you'll meet Chocoboy. Pay him 1,000 gil for his lecture, and he'll give you a whistle with which to catch chocobos and an explanation of how to use it. Chocoboy will be in every forest, by the way, so it truly doesn't matter which one you start with. Basically, to use your whistle, choose either the radar (ChocoSonar) or the caller (ChocoZiner). Start with the radar (it tells you where the chocos are). Press the square button, choose ChocoSonar, then walk around pressing the triangle button until you get a reaction on the sonar. Watch the red stripe in the lower right corner of your screen. If the red jumps far to the right, you're in a choco spot. You'll hear a different sound, too, but I always have to turn my television way up to hear it. Stop and sound the radar again to make sure you're in the right spot (it should jump to the right), then press square and choose the Ziner. Press the triangle button to call the chicobos. Chicobos will fall out of the trees. Your goal is to leave only one chicobo on the ground. Remember to switch back to the radar (if you blow your whistle anywhere except on a choco spot, you'll lose it and have to pay 800 gil for a new one) and keep wandering around looking for spots. As you call the chicobos, they'll either fall from or rise back to the trees. When you have only one left on the ground, speak to it, and its mother will come to find it. Then you've caught a chocobo. To complete the forest, you must then find a hidden item. Just walk around blowing the whistle (the Ziner, not the radar). When you find the right spot, the mama chocobo will dig up a prize for you (various stones). When you receive this gift from the chocobo, the forest is complete. If you leave without receiving the stones, you'll have to do the forest again. Save outside each time you complete a forest before you move on to the next one. Vilurum reminded me that if you use Gysahl Greens (summons Chicobo "GF"), chocoboy is the best place to buy them. If you don't want to spend the money, you can mod your Chicobo card AFTER the queen's done with it. I never use Gysahl Greens, but if you do, just keep it in mind. Back to our forest near the Kaskabald Desert. Go around the edges to different spots and blow your whistle until you have all four chicobos on the ground. There are so many spots that I won't try to tell you exactly where they all are. Just keep trying different combinations until you have those four on the ground. Now look for a spot right in the middle and sound your whistle. Three of the chicobos will rise, leaving the one you want. After you speak to it and its mother comes, walk around blowing your whistle (ChocoZiner) until mama walks over and digs for you. Then you're done. I next do the forest near Edea's house. Pull the chicobos out of the trees until you have four on the ground on the right and one on the ground on the left. Again, there are several spots. Just keep trying until you get your four. Look for a spot near the one on the left (close to chocoboy) and sound the whistle to watch "choco bowling," and you'll have one left. Find the stones in the right corner of the clearing. There's another forest near the Centra Ruins. Travel northward from the ruins and look for a small mountain off by itself with a path running around it on the left side. Take this path to find another chocobo forest tucked in behind the mountain (on your map, it will be south of FH). This one is the tricky forest. There's only one spot and it will bring down the one chicobo you need, but you must be in the EXACT spot. Have Squall standing to the left of chocoboy (almost touching). The bottom of Squall's feet will be just about even with chocoboy's shirt cuff. This is the general area. Now hold down the button on the radar and walk around in small steps. Hold the button continuously and watch for the red stripe to jump. It's very quick because the spot is so small, but with this method, it shouldn't take you long to find it. After you speak to the chicobo and mama appears, challenge chocoboy to a game of cards. Choose "Forget it, just move." Blow you whistle where he was standing to get the stones and complete the forest. The worst ones are now out of the way. Head for Shumi Village in Trabia. You'll find our next forest to the left of the village. This one's easy. Use your radar to locate a spot behind and to the right of chocoboy (it's on the left side of the clearing). When you sound your whistle, only one chicobo will fall. When mama comes, go to the far right and blow your whistle for an Aura Stone. I love these easy ones. The next forest is on the main Trabia Continent - just keep checking your map and go south from Shumi Village. You should find the forest sitting off by itself. Use your whistle in front of the big tree right in the middle in the back to bring down two chicobos. Run straight south about halfway and whistle to bring down three more (be sure to check these spots with your radar first). Continue straight south until you can't walk anymore. When you whistle here, four will rise back to the trees. Remember that you'll still be standing in front of that same tree the whole time, just different distances from it. The three spots are pretty much in a straight line. The item is in the little pocket on the far left. From this forest, follow the mountain range to the right. At the corner, swing left and continue to follow the mountains. You'll go straight to Trabia Garden (you should see it through a space in the mountains). Pass Trabia Garden and swing left around the mountain to find the last regular forest. This forest will start with two chicobos on the ground. Look for a spot right near the center of the clearing. This will bring down a third chicobo for a moment before all three rise into the air. Now run toward the entrance. Use your radar to look for a spot in the hallway-looking area (there's a tree leaning over from the left - it's around there). This will bring down the one you need. The items are clear in the back on the left side. When you have your stones, go outside and save. All the regular forests are now complete. All that's left is the Chocobo Sanctuary. Go back into the chocobo forest there at Trabia Garden and get your chocobo. You're going to ride her out. On your map, you'll see a long, thin peninsula (Heath Peninsula) sticking up out of the Trabia continent - head that way. Cross the sandy peninsula and follow the shallows (shallow water is a lighter blue). Look for a beach into the Grandidi Forest (Grandidi is solid trees with cliffs rising out of them). Hit the beach and bear to the left. Hug the cliffs and shoreline and you should go straight to the sanctuary - another little, round forest sticking up out of the trees. Here, watch the chocobos dance then speak to the chicobo to receive the Chicobo card. You have just finished the Chocobo Forest side quest. If you leave the sanctuary to save your game or look for Malboros in Grandidi, a chocobo will be waiting for you when you return. Just ride it back to Trabia. If you're not ready to take on Malboros, just speak to chocoboy to have him call a chocobo for you. Now go to Trabia Garden. After you've finished the long orphanage scene, you'll automatically be sent back to Balamb Garden. Park Garden to exit and save. Now go back to Selphie's friend sitting at the fountain and play her to win Selphie's card (very, very easy since you've already changed the rules here). Since you had to challenge chocoboy to a game to get him to move in that one forest, you'll be carrying Centra's rule. Whatever you do, DO NOT MIX. Centra has both Random and Plus which you've already abolished here. Don't let anything spread. Just keep saying No to mixing until she quits asking. Before you go to Edea's house, go to Balamb to give the queen the Chicobo card that you worked so hard to obtain. Save at the hotel first and reset until you send her to Dollet (she has to go to Dollet to give her daddy the card). Head to Dollet and retrieve Chicobo from the queen's son. Stop and ask the queen about her artist father (don't play her - you want to leave in her Dollet) and she'll tell you the card is in Balamb Garden. Return to Balamb Garden and go find the guy sitting on the bench across from the library. He'll have Chubby Chocobo - the third rare card created in the Queen of Cards quest. We're done with cards on Disc Two except for Cerberus. You'll pick up his card when you defeat him in Galbadia Garden. Disc Three At Edea's house, you can get Edea's card from her now, but I recommend that you wait until later in Disc Three. We need to leave Centra's rules alone for now (until we're done in space), but if you enjoy the challenge of really hard rules combined with a really good player, then Edea's your gal. Save outside first if you want to try it. You might go a few rounds with her just to get an idea of why I hate the Plus rule so much (and why we're abolishing all these rules). Before I figured out how to abolish rules, Edea would take me ages because even after I won her card, I had to play and play to try and get all the rare cards I'd lost back. If you play and decide you don't like it, you can reset. It's up to you. For the purpose of this guide, however, we won't play Edea just yet. To find the White SeeD Ship (make sure you have Edea's letter before you go looking for it), go up the western coastline of the continent Edea's house is on. The island straight north of her home is shaped roughly like a fat horseshoe (the bottom part of the shoe is really fat). At the top-left edge of the horseshoe, turn straight south (you're almost doing a 180 here) and you'll find the ship in that little bay. It rides very low in the water and is easy to overlook, so watch for it. After you run into Zone and Watts, Zone will get mad and run upstairs. Follow him. Speak to him until he mentions "The Girl Next Door." Now you have a choice. You can give him the magazine for free, and he'll give you a rename card and the Shiva card in exchange, or you can sell him the magazine for 25,000 gil and get Shiva's card from the CC members on Disc Four. I usually get Shiva's card, but I've done it both ways. The choice is yours. Vilurum asked me if you could just play Zone for Shiva here, but I don't know. Since he won't play earlier in the game, I've never challenged him here. To see, just challenge him. If he starts talking and doesn't mention cards, he's not a player, so go ahead with the magazine. After finding the White SeeD Ship, go visit Rinoa to send Squall and company to Esthar. After the Laguna sequence, you'll meet Odine. Challenge him to a game. If you played Edea and are carrying Centra's rule, DO NOT MIX. If you're still carrying Balamb's rules, go ahead and mix to spread Open. Play Odine until you acquire Ward's card. Odine also has level 6 & 7 cards if you want to pick up more of those. The presidential aide in this room is someone for you to remember. He'll have the Phoenix card later in the Queen of Cards quest. Our next card playing will be in space. After Squall and company arrive at Lunar Station, Squall will carry Rinoa to the Med Lab. Save right here. Now challenge Piet (the blonde guy on the left) to a game of cards. He won't ask to mix rules because Lunar Station has them all. Now choose Quit. Keep doing this until he abolishes a rule. If he abolishes Open, you should reset and do it again. Since we'll be using whichever rule he gets rid of to abolish at Lunar Gate, you don't need to abolish Open. It always wants to spread rather than abolish something else. It can be done, but it's a headache. Remember Sudden Death, too. If you've already abolished Sudden Death at FH, DO NOT abolish it here. If you do, you will have no way to abolish rules when you get back down to Lunar Gate. Piet tends to abolish Elemental, but he can abolish any of them. There are two rare cards at Lunar Station - Alexander and Laguna. You have two ways to go here. Firstly, you can abolish the rule of your choice (just keep challenging, quitting, resetting until Piet abolishes the rule that you don't want to play with - Plus would be my choice) and then play Piet and Ellone at Lunar Station for their rare cards. Or, you can abolish any rule that will let you abolish on earth (anything but Sudden Death or Open) and wait and get these cards later. After the Lunar Cry, Piet will be at the Lunar Crash Site and will play with Lunar rules. Once you finish abolishing at Lunar Gate, however, the Lunar rule will be Open only, so he's much easier to deal with then. You can still get Alexander on Disc Three in time to finish the Queen of Cards quest. This will be your only chance to play Ellone for Laguna, but she's a very tough player with these rules. If you tried Edea, you know what to expect. Ellone's the same way. If you don't want to mess with it right now, just wait and get Laguna from the CC members on Disc Four after all the rules are gone. Should you decide to play, I'll go ahead and explain the last of the rules for you. Plus works exactly the same way as Same except instead of matching numbers, you add them together. If the totals are the same, the cards turn. As you can see, this makes for a much greater possibility of getting "comboed" since there are numerous ways to make matching sums. 2 | 6 | 2 4 9 | 2 1 | A 6 9 | 1 | 9 Quezacotl Red Bat Irvine Plays like the one in this example are the ones that make you want to pull your hair out. Let's say you play Quezacotl in the upper-left corner then Irvine in the upper-right. With the Plus rule, Ellone can turn both of those high-powered cards with a Red Bat because 9 + 2 = 11 & 1 + A = 11. Random just means that the computer randomly selects your cards for you instead of letting you choose which cards you want to play with. In my experience, the random process gives the advantage to your opponent. Edea and Ellone seem to have cards that will let them make Same and Plus combos all over the board while I can't make a single one. Same Wall is an extension of Same. In Same Wall, the outer edges of the playing board are all equal to A. Out of thousands of games of Triple Triad, I've only seen this rule enforced twice (both with the Queen of Cards on Disc Four). Same Wall is only in effect if Same is a rule in the region, too (thanks to Vilurum for pointing this out). If it says Same Wall in the trading rules instead of Same/Same Wall, Same Wall will not be used. I need to mention one other thing about rules here. Whenever you have Elemental and Same/Plus in the same place, don't let it throw you off. When I first started playing and hit this situation, I would try to match/add cards based on the new (Elemental) value (+/-1). Don't do that - it doesn't work. All Same/Plus plays will be based on the number actually printed on the card, not on the changed value of the number. I am not going to go into a lot of detail on playing here because so much of what happens in your card games at Lunar Station has more to do with plain luck than skill. Don't get me wrong. Skill helps, but Ellone always seems to have the advantage in the cards when it comes to Same/Plus, so a lot of this is just luck as to how your cards come up. Eliminating Plus will make her easier to play, but you'll still have to deal with Random. Abolishing Random lets you choose your own cards but leaves Plus in play, and Ellone always uses it to great advantage. Just remember that if you play with the Plus rule, always try to play in straight lines. Avoid corner plays as much as possible. The problem comes up when your opponent sets up corner plays. Just try to break them up whenever you can. The killer is when Ellone sets up a corner play that she can win from either side (she can Plus combo from either of the two slots). If you play Ellone, don't be surprised if you have to play several games before she uses Laguna. If she takes lots of your rare cards, you can stand there and win them back (and Laguna), but it can take a while. Or you can just reset and wait for Laguna on Disc Four. Laguna mods into 100 Heroes, but since you already have Gilgamesh for Holy Wars, you don't really need the Heroes here (unless you just want them). The choice is yours. Back on earth, you'll now have Ragnarok, and we're going to finish off the rest of the rules in the world. If you don't intend to play the CC group on Disc Four, this isn't really necessary. If you plan to play them a lot (for boosting stats, hoarding Holy Wars, etc.), abolishing rules now will make your work with them go much faster. Each of the CC members uses a different region's rules (thanks to Vilurum for this list): Jack -> Balamb Joker -> Centra Club -> Dollet Diamond -> Trabia Spade -> Esthar Heart -> FH King -> Lunar Adjust my advice as it best suits you. I abolish everything, but abolishing just Random and Plus everywhere is almost as effective. Elemental and Sudden Death are more annoying than dangerous, so just abolish based on your personal preferences. When the Ragnarok lands, you'll be just outside the Kashkabald Desert. When Rinoa leaves, junction Enc-None and go out the way she did. We're going to start the Alien side quest now for the Pupu card (that blank space in your level 5 card list). Run around in the desert until you have an alien encounter - you'll see a spaceship carrying a pyramid (you won't have to fight). Now fly to Winhill (don't you love Ragnarok's auto-pilot feature?). With Enc-None still junctioned, run circles around the village until you see the spaceship go by with a cow. Save your game. Enter Winhill from the end closest to the Desert Prison. You'll see two mercenaries standing there. We're going to start abolishing Centra's rules now. In case I haven't been clear enough before, I'll go step-by-step. Go to the first mercenary and press the square button to challenge him to a game. He'll say, "You seem to know rules unfamiliar to this region. Let's play a game with Lunar's rules and ours." Choose Yes. The rules will appear: Open Sudden Death Random Same/Plus/Same Wall Elemental Trade Rule: One Choose Quit. The guy tells me, "The Same Wall rule has spread to this region." That's not what I want, so I reset. I go back and try again. Mix? Yes. Rules. Quit. This time, he tells me, "The Open rule has spread to this region." Great. I go outside and save. I am now carrying Centra's rules. I abolished Random at Lunar Station, so I must use Centra's rules at Lunar Gate because I've already gotten rid of Random everywhere else. If you abolished Plus in space, you'll need Centra's rules, too. If you abolished Same in space, go to Timber and pick that up. If you abolished Elemental, go see Martine in FH to pick that up. Just keep saying No to mixing rules so that you will carry the rules of that region. Now that I'm carrying Random, I'll fly to Lunar Gate. At Lunar Gate, save outside then go in and challenge the girl standing on the right to cards. She'll say, "I don't think those rules exist in this region. Let's play a game with Centra's rules and ours, O.K.?" Say Yes. When the rules appear, choose Quit. On the first hand, she said, "The Random rule has spread throughout this region." No, no, no. Reset and go back in. Challenge. Centra's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. This time, I get "The Elemental rule was abolished from this region." Yes, yes, yes. Go outside and save. Fly back to Winhill. Save outside. Go back to the same man. Lunar's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. "Same Wall has spread..." Reset. Lunar's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. "Same Wall has spread." Reset. Lunar's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. "Sudden Death has spread." Reset. Lunar's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. "Sudden Death has spread." Reset. At this point, I'm seeing a pattern I don't like, so I'm going to try a different rule. Often, your chances of knocking out a rule at a certain place are better if you're carrying only one different rule (just Elemental instead of Same Wall and Sudden Death). Sometimes you get lucky and knock one out right off, but it's not working, so I'll head to FH. If you've already abolished Sudden Death in FH, you're all set. Just challenge Martine when you land in FH. When he asks to play with Centra's rules and ours, say No. He asked me five times (though I have had players ask me as many as twenty times) - say no EVERY TIME. Eventually, he'll just say, "A game of cards you say?" Choose Yes and you've set FH as the rules you're carrying. Play or quit then head back to Winhill. If you haven't abolished Sudden Death in FH yet, go to Timber and pick up Same. Now go to FH. Save your game at the railroad track first (you don't want to risk spreading Same). Now challenge Familiar Face #3 (the guy who doesn't like Squall) until you abolish Sudden Death. Timber's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. If you abolish Elemental, do it over. Keep on until Sudden Death is gone. Now you'll be carrying Open and Elemental. Head back to Winhill. You know the drill. Save outside. Challenge the mercenary. FH's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. Nothing happened (no message), so I challenge him again. If he doesn't ask to mix rules this time, the rules remained unchanged, so you'll need to reset. If he does ask to mix, continue. Mix? Yes. Quit. Nothing happened. Mix? Yes. Quit. "Random was abolished from this region." Yes!! Go outside and save. Return to FH and pick up Elemental from Martine (no, no, no to mixing). Back to Winhill. DO NOT abolish Open and DO NOT spread Elemental. Reset if you get either of those messages. After several resets, I abolished Same this time. Now I can either get Elemental from Martine or Same from the guard in Timber to use for abolishing Plus (the last rule left in Centra). Once Plus is gone, Centra's rules have been reduced to Open. All right! With Open as Centra's only rule, you're now ready to play Edea (she uses Centra's rules) if you didn't previously. You won't have any trouble winning her card from her. If you missed Seifer previously, you can get him from Cid here, too. I always put the Edea card into my playing hand as soon as I get her. She would replace either Siren or Selphie (whichever you're using). This is completely subjective. I use Siren and Selphie interchangeably up to this point. I like Edea because she's impossible to turn (unless she gets caught up in a combo play, which we've eliminated with all those rules). Edea and Alexander make a wonderful combination. I always play Edea first in the bottom-left corner (my anchor card, if you will). Then when a player boxes in that top-left corner, I use Alexander. With a 9 on top, he can turn many cards that Seifer can't, and Edea provides protection to Alexander's vulnerable 4 on the bottom. Then I use Seifer to turn the next boxed-in card (if it happens to play out that way). This is just a matter of personal preference though. You need to use the cards you feel most confident in playing. My good friend, Vilurum, plays from the top down while I play from the bottom up. Your personal style of play will best dictate which cards you use. Now, back to abolishing. Since I've already abolished Elemental in Lunar Gate, I'll return to Martine in FH to pick it up. He won't ask you to mix this time because you're only carrying Open. Just play a game with him, and you've got the rules. Just keep flying back and forth between FH and Lunar Gate until all the rules at Lunar Gate are gone. I know I've said it a million times, but I'll say it once more. Each time to go to Martine and he asks to mix Lunar rules with ours, say NO. Since I've already gotten rid of Random and Elemental, that leaves Sudden Death, Plus, Same, and Same Wall at Lunar Gate. If you knock out Same, you can forget Same Wall because it will no longer be enforced, so concentrate on eliminating Sudden Death, Plus, and Same. Note on Same Wall: DO NOT abolish Same Wall in both Esthar and Lunar Gate. You can abolish either one, but don't abolish them both. You'll need the Same Wall rule in one of these places to get rid of the last rule in the world. Once you've reduced the Lunar rules to Open, it's time to go get Alexander if you didn't get him in space. Fly past Tears' Point (be careful not to run into Lunatic Pandora), over the fence, to the end of that long stretch of land (the Abadan Plains). Land Ragnarok and just run around at the end of the peninsula until you hit the Lunar Crash Site. The location changes from game to game, but it's always in this general area. You can't see it, so you'll just run until you hit it. You will find Piet here beside the crashed escape pod. Take Alexander off his hands. We've neglected the Queen of Cards for a long time. Now that you have Alexander, head to Dollet. Remember to save at the top of the stairs in the pub. Lose Alexander and make sure she's going to Balamb. If she says Galbadia, reset. Remember, too, that if she uses a trading rule you don't like (like Direct), quit and challenge her again to try and avoid spreading Direct where you are (the trading rule will be reflected with the CC memebers, too). I had to reset seven times this time to send her to Balamb, but she finally went. Run down the street and retrieve Alexander from the queen's son. You might as well do the dog bone side quest now if you haven't before. Look at the bone on the painting then find the dog and look at the bone on his collar. You can do this three times for three items. While you can do this earlier in the game, the items are much better on Disc Three. The last item you get will be an Elixir, which you'll need for Pupu. Now go to Timber. Park Ragnarok near the front gate then run up and over the railroad tracks to Mandy Beach (it's not far from the railroad tunnel there by the ocean). Run around on the beach until you have your third alien encounter. Save, then enter town and go to the pub. Play cards with the bartender on the right (he's under that weird cat/woman sign). This man has the Doomtrain card (the one created from Alexander). I'll be honest - this guy can be a royal pain. He's very easy to beat, but he's unusually slow using the Doomtrain card. I usually have to play him upwards of twenty games before I ever see Doomtrain. Just keep at it. Doomtrain will eventually appear, and this card is definitely worth the trouble. At this point in the game, I'm using Seifer, Edea, Alexander, Ward, and Irvine. This will be my normal hand for the remainder of the game. Now that you have Doomtrain, head to Balamb. Doomtrain is the last card that the queen wants. Save at the hotel, lose Doomtrain to the queen and make sure she's going to Dollet (she can't give her father the card if you let her go elsewhere). Reset until you send her to Dollet with Doomtrain. Now you go to Dollet. Get Doomtrain from the boy then stop in and speak to the queen about her artist father, and she'll tell you that the presidential aide in Esthar has the new card. This isn't strictly necessary, but it might speed up how soon the aide uses Phoenix when you play. At this moment, if you've abolished all the rules we've talked about, there are very few rules other than Open left in the world. You have Elemental in FH, Elemental and Same Wall in Esthar, maybe Same Wall at Lunar Gate, and Same in Galbadia. We're going to use Same/Same Wall to knock out Elemental. Head to Timber and pick up Same from the guard. He won't ask to mix since you're carrying Open. Now fly to Esthar. In Esthar, when you come out of the air station, you'll be at an intersection. Go up then straight ahead through the next screen. Continue straight to the right, and you should enter the screen with the presidential palace. Run past the palace to the right and you'll see a broken lift in the next screen. Junction Siren's Move-Find to see the save point. Save your game and return to the palace. Esthar is interesting because it has a hidden rule (Same Wall). Since Esthar doesn't have Same, Same Wall is not enforced, so it doesn't even show up in the rules when you play. It is still there, however, and you will carry it with you when you leave. Challenge the first guard to cards. Mix Galbadia's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. Play him until you abolish Elemental (if you didn't spread Open with Odine, you'll need to do that first, then head back to Timber for Same, then return to Esthar to knock out Elemental). Now go back and save again. Enter the palace and go see the presidential aide in that first room. You won't have any trouble winning Phoenix from him. Congratulations! You've just completed the Queen of Cards quest. Now that we've finished the queen's quest, you can send her other places if you need to. If the Direct trading rule is in force somewhere and you haven't been able to get something else to spread there from another region, try it with the queen. She has a specific location where you can find here in each region of the world: Balmb: On the steps of the train station Dollet: Upstairs in the Pub Galbadia: In the Deling City Hotel Trabia: In the Shumi Village Hotel Esthar: In the presidential palace FH: On the train tracks near the save point Centra: In the Winhill Hotel (she's right beside the front door but you have to turn to the right into that main room or you can't see her) Far, far away: At Lunar Gate (she's easy to miss, but she's standing inside the building, kind of in the back) Let's say you've got Direct in Esthar and you can't get rid of it. We left the queen in Dollet. Go see her. To send her to a new location, you must lose a rare card (level 8-10). Just give her a card that you never use for playing or that you don't plan to mod (I use Minimog, but it doesn't matter which one you use). Ask her where she's going. If she says Galbadia. Let her go. Follow her to Deling City. You can play her until you win back Minimog or you can lose another card to her to speed it up. I don't know why, but in certain locations, it's almost impossible to win your card back. I once played her thirty games in Deling City, and she never once used the card I'd lost to her. In Centra, she used that same rare card on the very first hand. I don't know if this is random or not, but I have terrible trouble getting my cards back from her in Deling City. A rare card must change hands for the queen to move (whether you lose one or win it back), and the only rare cards the queen will have now are the ones you lose to her. Play the queen in Deling City then ask where she's going. She'll usually say FH, but sometimes she'll go straight to Esthar. Either one's fine. From FH, she tends to go to Esthar, too. If she goes to FH, follow her there and send her on to Esthar. If she mentions any other location when you speak to her, reset and do it again. She almost always goes to Esthar from here, so you shouldn't have to reset more than a time or two to get her to Esthar. She usually uses rare cards faster here in FH, too, if you want to win one back. Now, she's where you need her to be. We want to get rid of Direct. Save, then challenge the queen to a game. If she's playing with Direct, quit. Challenge her until she uses a trading rule you like then play. When you're done, go challenge the presidential assistant to see if the trading rule changed. If not, play the queen again. Just keep playing her until you change that rule. Normally, you wouldn't need to bother with all of this. With all the rules gone, you can pick and choose the CC members you want to play later for modding purposes (I'll explain that to you on Disc Four), so you could just avoid whomever has Direct unless s/he has a rare card you need. You would only use this method in extreme cases. Let's say you've had a bad run of luck with the trading rules and Direct has spread everywhere (I had this happen once). You should first try playing ten games somewhere where the direct rule is not used and try to get a different rule to spread. The Queen of Cards is just a last-ditch option that I wanted you to be aware of. Now, we'll finish with Pupu. Fly to Trabia. Look for Health Peninsula (the long, sandy area you crossed during the Chocobo quest). Land Ragnarok on the small island just beside Heath Peninisula and run around for the fourth alien encounter. Fly east from this little island. You'll see two large, dark green islands. The second one is the Island Closest to Heaven. Land on the cliffs near Heaven. You should see the Chocobo Sanctuary here, too. The cliff you're supposed to be on will be directly between Heaven and the choco forest. Run around in the open areas (not the trees) until the alien appears. You'll fight him this time, but he's very easy. When he's defeated, you only have one step left. Fly to Balamb. Make sure that you have five elixirs in your item inventory. Give all three of your characters the Item command, then run into the crater where Balamb Garden used to be. Here, you'll find Pupu. Feed him five elixirs, and he'll give you his card. Pupu is unique. If you mod it, you can never get it back. I usually mod it anyway, but if you want all the cards in your inventory, you can't mod him. Keep in mind that all you get for all the cards is a star by Card in your menu (besides the satisfaction, of course). As a long as a card HAS BEEN in your inventory, you'll still get your star. There are very few cards left until your collection is complete. Before we go get them, head to FH. Since you last played in Esthar, you should be carrying Same Wall. Save at the train tracks then go play Familiar Face #3. Esthar's rules and ours? Yes. Quit. Challenge and reset until he abolishes Elemental. DO NOT abolish Open and DO NOT spread Same Wall. With Elemental gone, we have only one rule left to go. The only enforceable rule in the world that we have left is Same in Galbadia. Since none of the CC members will use Galbadia's rules on Disc Four, it isn't necessary that you get rid of it. I do (I know, it's a pride thing). If you want to, return to Esthar to pick up Same Wall (or Lunar Gate if you didn't abolish it there). Go to Timber and play the guard until you abolish Same. The first time I did this, it took me an hour (he kept wanting go abolish Open or spread Same Wall). The second time, it only took three hands. You just have to decide if it's worth it to you or not. Vilurum prefers to use Same to knock out Same Wall since the CC members don't use Galbadia's rules. I don't care about Same Wall because it's never used. Do it whichever way you like the best. If you abolished Same in Timber, then... Congratulations! You've just established Open as the only card rule worldwide. If you didn't abolish Same in Timber then...Congratulations! You've still established Open as the only rule used by the Card Club. Once you're satisfied with the card rules around the world, it's time to move on with the game. When you're called to Esthar and meet Laguna, the first thing you should do is challenge him to a card game. Do this before you agree to the mission or he'll leave (well, you'll all be transported to Ragnarok). Win the Squall card from him. If you end up on Ragnarok before you play him, be sure to get Squall's card before you hit Lunatic Pandora. On Disc Four, Laguna won't be on Ragnarok. The only cards left are Bahamut (defeat him at Deep Sea Research Center to obtain his card), Eden (defeat Ultima Weapon at Deep Sea to obtain Eden's card), and Odin (defeat him at Centra Ruins to get his card). If you're no-levelling, you'll have to obtain Odin from the CC members on Disc Four. My friend, Vilurum, doesn't fight Ultima Weapon because he wants to leave the fixed encounters (Tri-Faces for Curse Spikes, Behemoths for Magic Ups, etc.) alone. If you do it this way, you'll get Eden's card from the CC members and draw the GF Eden from Tiamet at Ultimecia's Castle. I always go get Ultima for the Ultima spells, but it's just personal preference. You'll also get Laguna from the CC members on Disc Four if you didn't play Ellone in space. With the possible exceptions of Odin, Eden, and Laguna, your collection is complete! All we have left to discuss now is card playing on Disc Four. Disc Four After defeating Adel and entering Time Compression, you'll end up at Edea's house. A giant chain runs from the ground to the castle. You'll notice three portals to the left of the chain. Face the second one and press X to enter it. It will take you to the Serengetti Plains of Centra. Run left. Stick to the shoreline on Squall's right, and it will lead you to the mountain that hides a choco forest. Go in and get a chocobo. When you leave the forest, cross to the other side of the continent and look for the beach just beyond Centra Ruins. Follow the shallows across until you get to Edea's house (it's sealed off now). From there, run the length of the continent to the red dot flashing on your world map. You'll find Ragnarok in the Kashkabald Desert. Now, you're ready to go. We'll first discuss the Queen of Cards. Update: This is MAJOR new information. Since writing this FAQ, I have learned that there are actually three ways to get the Queen's cards. Her original card quest and Abadan Plains on Disc Four are already in the FAQ. What I didn't know was that you can bypass the queen completely and get all of her cards from Diamond on Disc Four. This came out on the FF8 board and no one that I've asked seems to know who first posted this information. Mojoy thinks it might have been him, but even he's not sure. Thank you very, very much to Mojoy and whomever else may have contributed this information. I have not myself bypassed the original quest (I always get Kiros on Disc One for Auto-Haste), but I'm assured that it can be done. I do know from personal experience that Diamond will have all the QoC cards you've modded no matter when you modded them. I modded Kiros on Disc One and Doomtrain on Disc Three then went straight to Diamond on Disc Four - Diamond had them both. This is much, much easier than playing the queen on Disc Four. Another very important thing I've learned was to always play the girl on the left when playing Diamond. I have always had a horrible time getting Diamond to give up her Queen of Cards cards, but I've always played the girl on the right (for whatever reason). Mercurius wrote me and said that I should always play the girl on the left. Three different times, he modded all (or most) of his QoC cards. After twenty games, the girl on the right hadn't played a single one of them. Then he tried the girl on the left. Within about a dozen hands, she had used them all. He also noticed that she always plays them one at a time and in a specific order: Chubby Chocobo, Phoenix, Doomtrain, Kiros, Irvine. I have tried his strategy with great success. The girl on the left plays the QoC cards very quickly. Many, many thanks to Mercurius for sharing this with me. I have left in the following section on the queen in Abadan Plains just in case someone wants the challenge of playing her on Disc Four, but I would recommend skipping it and going with Diamond. Any of the queen's cards that you've modded up to this point will be with the queen at the Lunar Crash Site, and you can win them from her again. If you modded Kiros to three Accelerators on Disc One, for example, he will now be in the queen's hand. Go to the crash site and save before you go in. The queen is very tough here. The first time I abolished the rules worldwide, it was mainly to see if it would affect the queen on Disc Four. It does not. She will play with her own rules here ("Permit me to play with whatever rule I desire"). She will use all the rules in the game EXCEPT Open. This is a killer for Plus plays because you don't know which side of the play to break up (since you can't see her cards). Though logically, she can't see your cards either, I sometimes have my doubts. If you got tired of it and didn't finish the queen's quest, whichever of her cards you didn't get will be with her as well. If you skipped her quest entirely, she will have all five of her rare cards here but that makes for one tough hand to beat, especially with these rules. Luckily, she always uses the trading rule of One here, so you don't have to worry about losing all of your cards at the same time. I have won all of the queen's cards here, but it wasn't a great deal of fun. There are a couple of ways to make it easier though. Save first. Then if she starts taking a lot of your cards, you can reset and try again instead of trying to win them all back. An easier method (that I only discovered while working on this guide) is to not worry about the cards you're losing. Every time you win one of her cards, go save. When you're done, all the rare cards you lost to her will be with the CC members on Ragnarok. It's much easier to win them back from them than from the queen. Now, what if you want to mod her cards again? I have played FF8 ten times; I had the CC group on Ragnarok nine of those times. Out of all of those games, I never once saw a Queen of Cards card with the CC members. I would have told you without a doubt in my mind (and I have told people) that you could only get the queen's cards twice - once through the quest and a second time from her on Disc Four. Someone at the FF8 board, however, said that he won Chubby Chocobo from Diamond, so I decided to test it. I went to the crash site and won back all the queen's cards that I'd modded prior to Disc Four. I went out and saved my game then modded all five cards again. I returned to the queen, and she never once played any of her cards. The queen will only have her cards that you missed, modded, or lost prior to Disc Four. So, I reset my game and went to Ragnarok. Standing with Xu, I modded all five of the queen's cards again. I went all over Ragnarok, playing all the members as I looked for the queen's cards. I found and won back all the rare cards I'd lost to the queen in the plains, but I didn't find any of the queen's cards. So, I kept playing. Lo and behold, after dozens of games with the various members, Diamond finally played Chubby Chocobo (please remember the update - girl on the left). The fact that I had to win back all the non-QoC rare cards first may or may not have been coincidence (Mercurius, too, had already won back the other rare cards). I just don't know. I went back and tested it again and finally came to the conclusion that Diamond is the key. I modded all the Queen of Cards cards (standing with different members of the CC) and every last one of these cards ended up with Diamond. She's usually very slow to play them, but if you want to pick up some Speed Ups with the Irvine card, Diamond's the one you need to play. Update note: I have seen it mentioned several times on the FF8 board lately that if you'll stand and play the same person long enough, s/he will play all the rare cards you've lost (except Pupu and the QoC cards which we've talked about). I always go among the different members because the rare cards tend to show up in the first hand or two, so I've never tried this. If you're having card/trading rule problems, however, it might be something to try. Now, let's talk about the rest of the CC group. If there are any rare cards that you missed, they will be here. Couldn't get Odin because you're no-levelling? He's here. Took the money instead of Shiva from Zone? She's here. Lost a rare card to the boy outside Balamb Garden then never saw him again? It's here. Modded Bahamut for Megalixirs? He's here. The seven members are spread out in Ragnarok. Just play them all a few hands (rare cards usually show up within two or three hands if a player has one) until you win back all the cards you want. To play Quistis, have her in your party and drag her with you to the airlock. Turn to face her and hit the square button to play. Unless you're missing lots of rare cards, each of the rare cards will be with a different player. So, if you win a rare card from Xu, move on to another player to look for the next one. The cards I normally use when playing the CC members are Doomtrain (or Irvine), Edea, Alexander, Seifer, and Ward. I use Doomtrain while I'm still looking for rare cards because he can't be turned. Normally, Irvine can't be turned either, but a rare card with an A on the top could do it. A few of the CC members will follow the normal upper-left corner pattern, a few will not. Diamond's a good example of a pattern that shows up quite a bit with the better CC players. Here's a typical game: Her hand: Tri-Point, Fastitocalon, Red Giant, Adamantoise, Hexadragon My hand: Doomtrain, Edea, Seifer, Alexander, Ward _________________________________________ | 7 | 6 | 3 | | | | | | Her - 2nd | Me - 5th | Me - 3rd | | | | | |3 5|4 9|A 3| | | | | | Fastitocalon| Seifer | Doomtrain | | | | | |______1______|______A______|______A______| | 8 | 4 | 6 | | | | | | Her - 4th | Her - 6th | Her - 8th | | | | | |8 5|6 5|7 8| | | | | | Tri-Point | Adamantoise | Red Giant | | | | | |______2______|______5______|______4______| | A | 9 | A | | | | | | Me - 1st | Me - 7th | Me - 9th | | | | | |3 A|2 A|8 7| | | | | | Edea | Alexander | Ward | | | | | |______3______|______4______|______2______| Diamond doesn't always use this, but I've seen it enough that I thought I'd mention it. She'll start in the upper-left corner (if she goes first), but she won't box it in. She'll go from there to the upper-right corner then start jumping around. Your goal is to fill in the left side and the top then turn cards in the four blocks that are left. Ward is an especially good card for this because he has three strong sides, so he can usually turn a card on any side except the bottom. If you decided not to abolish all the rules on the ground, be aware that rules will spread among the CC members in the same way that they did between the towns. You can say No to mixing or you can go ahead and let them spread. It's up to you. You can abolish in the same way by going between different CC members, too. If Same Wall is all you have left, go ahead and let it spread. Because Same is gone, Same Wall will never be used. It won't even show up in the rules. Once you've got all of your rare cards back, you can begin modding in earnest. Choose a CC member. Standing beside that player, mod a card (this only applies to rare cards). Your rare card will go directly into the hand of the person you're standing beside so that you can win it again. In this way, you can mod a card and win it back over and over and over again. This will work with any of the CC members, but I prefer to use Xu because she tends to play the card again immediately. Some people seem to have better luck with Quistis, but I've had her take as long as six hands to use a card I modded with her. Xu will normally (not always, but usually) use the card immediately. Just keep in mind that if you're modding the queen's cards, only Diamond will have them. Here are some of the cards I normally mod many times: Eden = 3 Monks Codes = 3 Strength Ups Minotaur = 10 Adamantines = 2 Vitality Ups Ward = 3 Gaea's Rings = 3 HP Ups Gilgamesh = 10 Holy Wars You can get Spirit Ups from the Rinoa card and Magic Ups from Edea's card, but you have to win each card four times for one Up, so Devouring is probably as fast. Playing cards is just another option. If you're raising money to buy and convert items to Ups, you can mod Bahamut to Megalixirs, sell them for 750,000 gil then win Bahamut back and do it again. These are just a few things you can do with cards on Disc Four. I'll go ahead and list all the rare cards and what they mod into just in case you want to mod some I didn't list above. Remember, the Pupu card is an exception. Once it's been modded, you'll never see it again. Chubby Chocobo = 100 LuvLuvGs (raises character's compatibility with ALL GFs) Angelo = 100 Elixirs (full cure/heal for one character) Gilgamesh = 10 Holy Wars (makes your entire party invincible) Minimog = 100 Pet Houses (GF version of a tent - I've never used one) Chicobo = 100 Gysahl Greens (summons Chicobo "GF" - very weak) Quezacotl = 100 Dynamo Stones Shiva = 100 North Winds Ifrit = 3 Elemental Attacks (teaches GF Elemental Attack) Siren = 3 Status Attacks (teaches GF Status Attack) Sacred = 100 Dino Bones Minotaur = 10 Adamantines (teaches GF Vit+60% or 5 refine to 1 Vitality Up) Carbuncle = 3 Glow Curtains (teaches GF Auto-Reflect) Diablos = 100 Black Holes Leviathan = 3 Doc's Codes (teaches GF Med Data) Odin = 100 Dead Spirits Pandemona = 100 Windmills Cerberus = 100 Lightweights (refines to one Accelerator = Auto Haste) Alexander = 3 Moon Curtains (teaches GF Auto-Shell) Phoenix = 3 Phoenix Spirits (teaches GF Revive) Bahamut = 100 Megalixirs (full cure/heal for all characters) Doomtrain = 3 Status Guards (teaches GF Status Defense X 4) Eden = 3 Monk's Codes (teaches GF Counter or refines to 3 Strength Ups) Ward = 3 Gaea's Rings (teaches GF HP+80% or refines to 3 HP ups) Kiros = 3 Accelerators (teaches GF Auto-Haste) Laguna = 100 Heroes (makes one party member invincible) Selphie = 3 Elemental Guards (teaches GF Elemental Defense X 4) Quistis = 3 Samantha Souls (teaches GF SumMag+40% or refines to Triple) Irvine = 3 Rocket Engines (teaches GF Speed+40% or 5 refine to 1 Speed Up) Zell = 3 Power Wrists (teaches GF Strength+40% or refines to Aura Stones) Rinoa = 3 Magic Armlets (teaches GF Spirit+60% or 10 refine to 1 Spirit Up) Edea = 3 Royal Crowns (teaches GF Magic+60% or 10 refine to 1 Magic Up) Seifer = 3 Diamond Armors (teaches GF GFHP+40%) Squall = 3 Three Stars (teaches GF Expendx3 or refines to Triple) Pupu = 1 Hungry Cookpot (teaches GF Devour or refines to a Shaman Stone which can be further refined to a Rosetta Stone) Well, I think I've managed to tell you all I know about Triple Triad. I hope Granny's pleased. If I've missed something, I apologize. Hopefully, I didn't miss much. I hope this guide has made the card game easier and more enjoyable for you. Happy card playing! -- Sister