Final Fantasy VIII: The Forest Owls Mission

Final Fantasy VIII Remaster

Table Of Contents

    Arriving in Timber

    The Train from Balamb stopping at Timber. Squall, Selphie, and Zell arrive at Timber.

    Once you arrive in Timber, you’ll see the contact for the resistance’s forces at the bottom of the station stairs. You’ll need to give them the password here, which was “But the owls are still around.” Additionally, picking an “incorrect” option will only result in a small change in a scene later on.

    Squall responding with the password to the resistance contact at Timber Station.

    You can view some optional dialogue at both of the stalls on either side of the stairs. Note the stall on the left is the Pet Shop. It’s currently closed but it will reopen again after this mission. You can’t explore Timber further at this stage, as your contact will lead you directly to the Resistance’s Carriage, where your first mission begins.

    The Train Mission

    Squall, Selphie, and Zell board the resistance carriage with Watts.

    When you’re in the Carriage, you’ll be introduced to Zone and Watts. Zone will instruct you to “wake the princess,” who’s up the stairs and at the end of the corridor. Before you do this, you can win Angelo’s Card from Watts. If you wish to save before this, there is a Save Point in the first room on the left of the corridor.

    Squall challenging Watts to a game of cards. The Save Point in the resistance carriage.

    Note: As this is likely your first game outside of Balamb Garden, you’ll be offered to mix rules with the rules from Balamb. This means that certain rules will spread and, once this happens, it can be difficult to undo. This can sometimes be problematic. You can prevent rules from mixing by declining an offer to mix rules. If you do this repeatedly, then the challenger will eventually ask to play cards without mixing rules. This will result in you playing with the local rules only.

    In this case, you’ll play with the “Same” rule as well and if you mix rules, you’ll play with the “Open” rule, which is actually helpful in this case.

    Winning the Angelo card.

    Once you’re ready to proceed, head to the princess. You’ll recognize her as the girl who attended the ball. Assuming you don’t decide to rename her, this is Rinoa and she will become a member of your party from now on. Rinoa will explain her limit break, “Combine.” Combine calls upon her aforementioned dog, Angelo, to do tricks that she has learned from different Pets Pals magazines.

    Note that the trick Angelo decides to do is based on chance, but you can decide which tricks Angelo learns and which she doesn’t learn. By avoiding learning unwanted tricks, you can increase the odds that Angelo will perform the trick you want.

    Rinoa recognizing Squall. The Angelo Rush Limit Break.

    After you’ve received the explanation from Rinoa, proceed back to where Zone and Watts were. Follow everyone else into the meeting room for the mission briefing. This briefing will include a step-by-step explanation of the mission at hand.

    Zone discussing Vinzer Deling, the President of Galbadia. The instructions for the train mission.

    If this mission seems complicated, don’t worry—it will be a lot simpler in practice. If you return to Rinoa’s room after the briefing, you’ll notice her bed has been converted into a sofa. More importantly, a copy of Pet Pals Vol.2 will be on it for you to obtain. With this, Angelo can learn “Angelo Recover.”

    Squall receiving Pet Pals Vol. 2.

    When you’re ready to start the mission, speak to Watts as instructed. When your mission begins, you’ll have five minutes to complete it.

    Proceeding across the 2nd Escort will be easier than planned, as both sensors will malfunction. This means you can run straight across the carriage here as soon as you get there.

    Squall sneaking across the top of the train.

    Next, you must uncouple the 1st escort carriage from the president’s car. This means you must input the codes as previously instructed, with Zell and Selphie keeping an eye out on the guards. Note that the red guard will approach the door more quickly than the blue guard. If they get to the door directly underneath Squall, they’ll raise an alarm which will give you a prompt to choose between lowering your SeeD rank (“It’s nothing”) or a Game Over (“Ahh It’s All Over!”).

    You can avoid this by pressing up after you have completed a code. Note you can only go up after you have finished inputting a code so, in a pinch, inputting the incorrect code deliberately can help you avoid detection by allowing you to climb up the train sooner than you otherwise would.

    Zell and Selphie helping Rinoa and Squall navigate the roof of the train without getting caught.

    With all this in mind, try not to be too greedy when inputting codes. You’ll have plenty of time to input all the codes, and it’s important that you don’t get spotted.

    The 2nd escort carriage will require you to be on the lookout, as Zell and Selphie cannot assist you here. It’s recommended that you check at least once in between inputting each code.

    Once you’ve successfully decoupled the president’s carriage, you’ll head back into the resistance carriage. Before starting the “serious negotiations,” you can use the Save Point again or obtain the Angelo Card or Pet Pals Vol. 2 if you missed them before.

    Rinoa asking Squall if they are ready for serious negotiations.

    Once you’ve set up your party and are ready to confront the president, speak to Rinoa. You’ll then enter the President’s Car. However, you’ll quickly realize something is wrong…

    Boss: Fake President

    The Fake President attacks the party.

    Level Range: 7-12
    Max HP range: 388-788
    Draw: Cure
    Drops: N/A
    AP: N/A

    Despite his unnerving nature, the Fake President is a minimal threat here, only dealing out physical attacks for little damage. Other than drawing Cure, there’s little to do in this battle other than to quickly defeat this strange being.

    Once the fake president has been defeated, a new enemy will be revealed…

    Once defeated, the Fake President will reveal himself as Gerogero.

    Boss: Gerogero

    Level Range: 7-12
    Max HP range: 2,150-3,650
    Draw: Esuna, Double, Berserk, Zombie
    Drops: Zombie Powder
    Mug: Phoenix Down

    AP: 20

    Gerogero can be considered the true boss fight here. As an undead enemy, he can be quickly dispatched with reviving magic and items such as Phoenix DownHealing spells will also inflict damage on him, and Fire-based magic and attacks will do increased damage to him as well.

    Keep in mind that he can inflict Curse, Slow, and Darkness with his vomiting attack “Brrawghh!” which also inflicts non-elemental damage. He can also cast Berserk and Silence on your party. All of these can be removed with Esuna, which you can draw from him.

    His arm attack can inflict considerable physical damage, so be sure to keep your party healed up when needed. The damage can be mitigated further with Protect if you have any to use here.

    Stocking up on Double and Berserk can be useful, although Gerogero is immune to Berserk so don’t bother casting it on him. Double can be used to increase the rate your characters cast Fire and Healing magic on him which can speed up the fight considerably if you’ve opted not to use Phoenix Down on him.

    After you’ve defeated Gerogero, Squall and the others will then discuss the next plan and the real president’s location. Proceed through this dialogue as normal. You’ll then be asked to select a third member of your party. Note that Rinoa and Squall are mandatory members at the moment.

    Switching members on the menu. Watts giving the location of the TV Station.

    You can’t return to the Resistance Carriage once you leave, so be sure to obtain all you need here. You won’t be able to obtain Angelo’s Card or Pet Pals Vol. 2 for a long time after this.

    Once you’re ready to leave, speak to Watts to leave the carriage. The small scene as you depart will depend on if you gave the right password earlier or not. After you have left the train, it’s time to head to the TV Station.