Final Fantasy VIII: The Trip to Timber

Table Of Contents

    Leaving Balamb Garden

    Selphie tells Squall meet at the front gate for their first SeeD mission. Squall acquiring the April Issue of the Weapons Monthly Magazine.

    Before leaving Squall’s new dormitory, pick up the copy of Weapons Monthly, April Issue. Weapons Monthly Magazines show the items required for remodeling new weapons. Note that if you have the items required for a new weapon, they will appear in Junk Shops regardless of if you have the Weapons Magazine in question or not.

    After this, follow Sephie’s instructions and head to the front gate. Here you will meet with Cid, Selphie, and Zell, and Garden Faculty members. Your first SeeD mission will be discussed. Cid will state specifically how you’re meant to respond when you rendezvous with your contact in Timber: “But the owls are still around.

    The Garden Faculty telling squall the secret phrase. Cid telling Squall the answer to the secret phrase.

    This will serve as a password for when you meet the contact. However, getting this wrong will only affect a very small portion of a sequence later on, so you don’t need to worry too much about remembering it.

    More importantly, when the discussion about the mission has finished, be sure to talk to Cid right away before leaving the area. The item he provides you within this optional dialogue allows you to obtain a very useful GF and it will be unobtainable if you don’t get it now. The item in question is the Magic Lamp. This item will allow you to fight the optional boss Diablos when you use it in the menu.

    Squall, Zell, and Selphie facing off against Diablos.

    If you defeat Diablos, it will become a junctionable GF for your party. Diablos has many worthwhile abilities for your party that are very useful throughout the game. It’s therefore strongly advised you fight and obtain Diablos as early as possible. Ideally, shortly after you obtain the lamp. Be sure to heed the item description’s advice and save before you use it and fight Diablos. You can save at the World Map when you leave Balamb Garden and face and Diablos there.

    Optional Boss: Diablos

    Diablos casting Demi.

    Level Range: 7-100
    Max HP Range:  6,400-80,800
    Draw:  Cure, Demi 
    Drops: G-Returner, Diablos Card
    AP: 20

    Note: Above Level 30, Diablos will also be able to have Holy and Flare drawn from him and will drop the “Hero” item instead of G-returners. 

    Diablos can be challenging but by inflicting Darkness on him, you can make the fight considerably easier. This is because the only attack he performs that can kill your party members outright are physical attacks, which are fairly strong.

    His other attacks, such as Demi and Gravija, deal Gravity-based damage. Gravity-based attacks will remove a certain percentage of your characters HP. However this means if a character is on low HP, the Gravity-based attack will do low damage and will deal zero damage on characters with one HP.

    Inflicting Darkness on him will likely take several attempts as he is partly resistant to it. Once inflicted, you can then deal damage with him using Limit Breaks as your characters can be left on low health here at minimal risk.

    Note though that he still has a small chance of hitting your characters with physical attacks with Darkness inflicted so be sure to have some means of revival here such as Phoenix Downs.

    You can draw and stock Demi from him. This is a useful spell against various enemies and worth stocking up on. You can also use it against him to deal large amounts of damage early in the fight.

    As an optional boss, Diablo’s level isn’t capped and will scale the average party level right up until 100. At higher levels, you must ensure your characters’ junctions are as optimal as they can be when going against him.

    At level 30 and above, Diablos will have much higher stats across the board but he’ll also yield Holy and Flare for your characters to draw as well as dropping the Hero item. However, in the interests of having his abilities available as soon as possible, it’s generally advised you defeat him as early as you can. You also find other ways of acquiring Holy, Flare, and Heroes throughout the game.

    Once defeated, Diablos will become a junctionable GF with a myriad of useful abilities.

    If you’ve defeated and acquired Diablos, you can start learning some of its useful abilities. For example, Mug replaces the attack command and allows the character to attempt to steal items from an enemy while attacking. His refining abilities, ST Mag-RF and Time Mag-RF, refine items into Negative Status Effect Magic and “Time” and “Space” magic, respectively. With the latter, you can refine Dino bones into the magic Quake. This makes for a very powerful junction, especially for the Str stat.

    Diablos' Mug ability. Diablos' Time Mag-RF ability.

    Cid will return to his office on the third floor once you leave the Balamb Garden area and can be challenged here for Seifer’s Card along with high-level monster cards. If he doesn’t play Seifer’s card immediately, keep challenging him until he does. If you defeated Diablos, then you can use the Diablos card you obtained alongside any other unique cards you have to give you the upper hand.

    Squall, Zell, and Selphie in the Balamb Garden elevator. Squall challenging Cid to a game of cards.

    With Card Mod, you can create items that can be used to create new weapons, including Squall’s final weapon, the Lionheart. You can also create items that can be refined into powerful magic for your junctions much earlier than you would be able to otherwise.

    When you’re ready to go to Timber, return to Balamb Town.

    Balamb Town

    There are several things you can do here in Balamb Town and it will be a while before you can return here again. You can now begin the Disc 1 portion of the Queen of Cards side quest.

    The Queen of Cards introducing herself in Balamb Town. Squall, Zell, and Selphie enter the Junk Shop in Balamb Town.

    If you have procured the right items from combat and from refining cards, you can also remodel your weapons at the Junk Shop. You’ll need 3000 Gil for a ticket to Timber so consider this when buying items from the Shop.

    Squall purchasing a train ticket for 3,000 Gil.

    When you’re ready to leave, head to the train station and purchase your ticket from the conductor. Once on the train, proceed with the dialogue and enter the cabin. Continue the dialogue with Zell and Selphie.

    Once you’re in the private cabin, Zell will give you a copy of Pet Pals Vol.1. These magazines pertain to a character who will join your party later. Zell will ask Squall if he knows much about Timber and you can decide if you want to find out more about it or not. After talking with Zell, you’ll soon realize something strange is afoot…

    Squall wondering what's going as Zell and Selphie become unconcious.

    What’s Going On?

    Kiros asking Laguna if he knows the way as mysterious "voices" question what's going on.

    Your perspective will be transported to a new place with a new party. They will shortly be introduced as Laguna, Kiros, and Ward. Note that apart from their limit breaks, they are functionally identical to the characters you were using before, and all your previous characters’ junctions, stats, and levels will be directly transferred to a corresponding character in this place. This also means that any items or magic obtained here will be transferred back to your previous characters. Any EXP or levels these new characters gain will also be transferred back.

    Laguna drawing 6 Cures.

    The first area you’ll progress through with this party is a forest in Galbadia. You can encounter enemies here but nothing should pose a threat to your party and all enemies can be carded. You’ll also come across two Draw Points. The first one holds Cure while the second holds Water.

    Laguna drawing Water from a draw point.

    Keep proceeding until you find a car. Press the confirm button to enter it. Laguna will then drive the others to Deling City. Once there, you can go straight to the Galbadia Hotel by heading right. If you head up towards the Archway, you can enter the sewers for a Save Point and the chance for random encounters, but this isn’t necessary or particularly useful at this stage.

    Laguna and the gang waiting outside Galbadia Hotel.

    Once at the hotel, you’ll see another save point, as well as the receptionist. Proceed downstairs and talk to the waitress there. After this, progress through the dialogue as normal.  Any choices made here will only affect the current dialogue and won’t have an effect on anything afterward.

    After this, Laguna will meet Julia in her hotel room. Certain parts of their encounter will depend on if you picked up the first installment of the Timber Maniacs from the room in Balamb Hotel previously or not. Either way, their meeting will be cut short.

    Julia telling Laguna that she will await him in her room in Galbadia Hotel. Julia telling Laguna that she can come up with a song thanks to him.

    After this, you will return to Squall, Zell, and Selphie on the train. The sequence you just experienced appeared to be a shared dream of some kind. But there’s no time to dwell on that now as you’re about to arrive at Timber.