Return to Balamb Garden (Disc 2) - FF8 Guide
At the top of every page of my Final Fantasy 8 Walkthrough I will have a list of the most important GF Abilities for you to learn as well as my personal preference for who to junction GFs to for this part of the story. The game's auto order for GFs learning abilities is extremely terrible so it's strongly recommended you interfere and do the abilities in the order I provide here.
Throughout the game you can also refine Cards into Items and then those Items into magic. I've provided a list of the refinements that you can do for the cards that you will most likely have in your possession at this time during the story below as well. This same information will be provided at the top of every page during the full walkthrough, keep checking it as it'll change as the story progresses.
GF Abilities to Learn:
Diablos: ST Mag-RF, Time Mag-RF, Enc-Half, Enc-None, Boost, HP-J, Mag-J, Mug, Hit-J, Mag+20%, Mag+40%, Mag Bonus
Brothers: Str-J, Elem-Atk-J, Spr-J HP+20%, HP+40%, HP Bonus, Cover, Boost
Carbuncle: Vit+20%, Vit+40%, Vit Bonus, Boost, Mag-J, HP-J, Vit-J, ST-Def-J, ST-Atk-J, Counter, Recov Med-RF
Leviathan: Supt Mag-RF, Spr+20%, Spr+40%, Spr Bonus, Mag-J, Spr-J, Elem-Defx2, Boost, GF Recov Med-RF
Acquired at the end of this chapter.
Squall: Shiva, Diablos
Zell: Ifrit, Carbuncle, Leviathan
Quistis: Siren, Quezacotl, Brothers
(Or whomever you choose; Junction them as you would your usual party)
First thing you're going to want to do when you're back in control of Squall is Junction GFs to your party. Once you've done this head inside and when the guard bothers you tell him "I don't get it" for a battle. The kid on the next screen who is sitting down you'll want to speak to twice for a Mega Potion. Both these things are pictured above.
When you arrive in the main hall of Balamb Garden you'll find Fujin and Raijin - speak to them both to learn a little about what is going on here. Afterwards, what we're going to be doing is working our way around Balamb Garden, room by room. Every room has an event that you can participate in for a reward and you're required to do all of these things before being able to speak with Cid.
Note: Anytime someone asks you who you've sided with select Headmaster Cid and not the Garden Master.
Infirmary: Speak with Dr. Kadowaki for an Elixir
Quad: Speak with the Male SeeD in the back for an X-Potion
Cafeteria: Speak with the 2nd girl from the left twice for Gyshal Greens
Parking Lot: Speak with the SeeD who makes a hologram for a Tent
Training Center: Speak with the SeeD here for a Remedy
Library: Speak to the girl with pigtails for a Remedy or Mega Phoenix
In the library if you have Zell with you, you'll be rewarded a Mega Phoenix item as well which is part of the Zell's Love Quest. Otherwise you'll just get a Remedy. When you're done with the Library return to the main hall and go up the elevator, run down the hallway towards the classrooms to find Xu and speak with her.
Take the elevator up to the third floor after speaking with Xu to speak with Cid. Board the elevator again when you're done and ride it down to the MD Level. The elevator stops midway down, examine the control panel then the floor panel for a way out (pictured below).
Squall will tell the group in the sewers to Junction Fire to Elem-Atk which is good advice for this area since the enemies here are all weak to fire. The path you have to follow is fairly linear, down a hallway, down a ladder, eventually you come to the room shown in the screenshot above.
You'll have to turn this valve to open up the bottom of the previous room we were in and reveal another ladder for us to climb down. In the next room you'll find a large column with a Full-Life Draw Point off to the right hand side. Go to the left hand side for a scene where Squall has to decide who to send up the ladder, only the top two options work - it doesn't matter which you choose.
The ladder will break as you're climbing up it and you'll fall into a new room. Inspect the computer on the right hand side (pictured below) and then climb back down the ladder. Back on the ground with your group you'll notice a glowing light at the bottom of the screen, examine the area near it and Squall will clear the railing out of the way to reveal a ladder. Go down it to the next area.
In this area you'll find a Save Point with a lever right next to it that you're going to want to hit (it opens the large metal door nearby). When you approach the doorway you'll begin a "boss fight". These enemies are super easy, if you want to end things really fast hit them with Fira or Firaga spells.
After the battle follow the linear path until you reach another computer, examine it for a bunch of scenes. When you're in control of Squall again speak with Cid twice and agree to check on the others. Take the lift down then get on the elevator and take that down to the second floor of Balamb Garden. Follow the hallway down to the balcony then return to the hallway for more scenes.
When you gain control of Squall again you'll be in your dormitory. The crisis is over... for the most part and there is some optional content that is now available. You can begin the Card Club Side Quest right now if you want to, it's a very important quest to complete if you want high level cards.
If you had Rinoa in your party before she'll apparently still be with you, otherwise it's just Squall. When you go to the front of Balamb Garden you'll be told by one of the robed guards that the Garden Master wants to speak with you and to go down to B1. Head up the stairs to the elevator and ride it down, shortly after two of your party members will ride it down to join you. Junction everyone appropriately and make sure someone has Draw or you'll miss a GF.
Important Draw: Leviathan from NORG
Mug Tip: The Left/Right Orbs can be Mugged for stat boosting items
For this battle you will want to strike the two orbs periodically to turn them back to the color blue. If you let them get to the color red they will attack you with powerful magic. To beat NORG what you have to do is destroy the pod he is in first (the middle target) and then wait until he is vulnerable. Draw Leviathan, then defeat NORG while keeping the two orbs blue in color.
After the battle you will want to put Leviathan on the character with Carbuncle Junctioned to them. If you have a Rune Armlet item (Card Mod 4 Blobra Cards) use it to teach Leviathan Spr+20%, it'll save you time grinding AP. Or if you have a Force Armlet item you can teach Leviathan Spr+40% and save even more time.
This next part is a bit tedious so I have broken down each of the steps in list format as per usual.
1. Go to the Infirmary and speak with Kadowaki, tell her you need to see Cid
2. Ask Cid about all of his dialogue options
3. Go to the entrance of Balamb Garden for a scene with Xu
4. Go to the Balcony on the 2F (up the elevator, down the hallway by the classroom)
5. Head to the library on the 1F
6. Once back in your dormitory exit and go south for another scene
When you regain control of your characters you will want to ride the elevator down to the 2F and head through the balcony exit to Fisherman's Horizon. Alternatively, if you want to challenge another member of the Card Club you can do that now.