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Final Fantasy VIII - Guardian Forces / Summons / Basics

Category: Final Fantasy 8


This section explains all the basics about guardian forces. If you are looking for each individual guardian force and the abilities they learn etc. then visit the GF In-Depth page. Here

About
Guardian Forces are spiritual beings, some of which represent the basic elements e.g. fire, ice, earth etc. You can progress through the game without each GF, but this can prove very difficult. they are a essential when playing the game. You need them for their support in battle by either healing, causing status effects, attacking, reviving or for their individual abilities like Mug or Card Mod. Without GF's you cannot junction magic to your characters statistics or even increases their stats.

Can be summoned to provide help in battle by either attacking enemies with physical, elemental or by an status effect. They do not spend your characters magic.
Learn abilities, which help the party and enable various techniques.
Can be junctioned to a character to learn abilities and increase stats.

Junction
In Final Fantasy VIII, characters do not change their armor or weapons but instead upgrade them, increasing stats is usually done by changing equipment etc in other final fantasy games. this game is different. junctioning plays a huge role in character development and learning of abilities. You equip your characters with Guardian Forces.

Obtaining Them
Some GFs help you in battle randomly, and most of them are to be junctioned. They can be obtained by various means:

Drawing them from an Opponent in battle
Fighting them
Using special items or a combination of them
Completing a particular event
Using the PocketStation

Using GFs
Most of using GF's is part of using abilities, so if that's what you are looking for, then check that part of the website. You can access Guardian Forces from the following Main Menu headings:
Junction In the Sub-Menus following this choice you can have your characters junction GFs, magic and abilities.
Items Use items on your guardian forces to heal them, erase abilities, learn abilities, increase compatibility on a character and to forget abilities to make room for new ones.
GF   See the picture of the GF, it's stats, and the abilities which you can choose to learn next and see the progress on a ability that is being currently learnt.
Tutorial   Websites aren't the only source of information, in the game are tutorials which take you step by step through how to use GF's efficiently explaining all the do's and don'ts.

Preparing GF's
First of all, click on the junction heading on the main menu, then select a character. After that click on the GF heading at the top to choose from the list of guardian forces you currently have. After selecting one, another list will come up of all the abilities that GF has learn. you can equip these major abilities to your character. They are usually ones like Draw, Magic, Item etc. If you want to use a GF in battle, it is best to junction the "GF" ability.

GF Development
GFs develop as your characters do. Junctioning GF's means they will gain experience and AP points, but this will significantly rise if you actually use them in battle. It is best to junction all the GFs you have as soon as you start, so that they all develop together at the same rate. When choosing abilities to learn use he lists I have included on the "In Depth GF" Page of the site. they will tell you which ability leads to what. You will want to learn the abilities that lead on to another first as if you don't and learn single abilities like Card Mod, then theres a chance that you may miss some abilities and not learn them.

Taking Care of Guardian Forces
GFs can die in battle whilst you are waiting for them to appear. It is best to  carry alot of healing items that you can use on them. Once out of battle, their HP slowly gets restores as you walk places. Try to summon them lots in regular battles so they appear quicker, which when fighting more powerful enemies, there will be less time in which the enemy can attack the GF. There are some item that will increase compatibility with GFs but i find it best to do it manually as these items can be hard to pick up, and you can water endless amounts of time looking for them.
At a compatibility of 0, A GF will take roughly 17 seconds to appear. At a compatibility of 500, summoning time will be reduced by 10 seconds. At 1000 compatibility it will appear within 3 seconds.
Summoning a Guardian Force increases the compatibility wit that GF and the character that summoned it by 20 points but decreases the compatibility with all other GFs by 1-2 points. Also that summoned GF with other character decreases by a few points.
Using the magic related to a certain GF will increase its compatibility. For example casting Blizzaga will increase Shiva's compatibility but could decrease Ifrit's a little.
Using items will increase the compatibility by 1-3 points.
Using the item: LuvLuv G increases the compatibility of a certain GF with all characters by 20 points.

Boosting GF's
Basically, you need the ability Boost first, then you can increase the damage a GF deals during battle. Hold Select button and keep pressing Square. You can boost a GF to a maximum of 255 within the time limit. Stop pressing the square button when the cross appears over the hand, or the number you are on decreases to 75.

Distribution Of GF's
The best thing to do is to distribute your GF's onto different characters so that opposing GFs are not put together.

First Example:
 

Character 1

Character 2

Character 3

Quezacotl

Shiva

Ifrit

Brothers

Siren

Carbuncle

Cerberus

Diablos Leviathan

Tonberry

Pandemona Alexander

Bahamut

Doomtrain Eden
  Cactuar  

Second Example:

Character 1

Character 2

Character 3

Quezacotl

Shiva

Ifrit

Brothers

Leviathan

Carbuncle

Tonberry

Siren Cactuar

Eden

Pandemona Cerberus

Bahamut

Alexander Doomtrain
Diablos


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