Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
11. THE SECRET METHODS FOR ACQUIRING CARDS & GUARDIAN FORCES
Final Fantasy VIII suffers from the same problem that affected VII and IX. Squaresoft was heavily involved in the strategy guide business, which is why their games included secrets that no sane individual would ever find on their own. Would anyone work out on their own how to breed a Gold Chocobo or meeting all of the friendly enemies that you need to encounter in order to hit Ozma?
Final Fantasy VIII might be the worst in this regard, especially when it comes to finding specific cards and Guardian Forces.
In order to win specific Triple Triad cards, you need to lose certain cards to the Queen of Cards. This will allow you to win different cards from other individuals. The player is given no indication that you need to do this.
There are a few optional Guardian Forces which the game doesn’t tell you about. In order to get the Tonberry King, you need to defeat around twenty Tonberries, while the Cactuar requires you to seek out the Jumbo Cactuar and defeat it.
I understand the frustration behind Scott’s point. It’s been a bad habit since the 90s of all video game developers to code hard to figure out challenges. It only prevents players from guessing how to acquire certain items and unlock new areas.
Same principle here with the Queen of Cards. It’s counter-intuitive to lose against your opponent. Along with not knowing where to go and what to do, the player can miss some secrets. And when you encountered so much in this big world, it can be daunting to simply catch up. And X7Strife agrees:
guardian forces are easily obtainable without internet (except for tonberry) but it is true some cards (Kiros or the card queen sidequest) and some sidequests (obel lake) are simply very hard to find or just simply impossible to solve
But developers don’t have to cut secret methods for acquiring cards and GFs. Just find a way to make the challenges just a little bit easier to figure out. While Dazz316 agrees:
This stuff is part of the final fantasy. Why would you take it out!? Side quests to get extra stuff? It’s an FF tradition.
This is what the Final Fantasy series, is all about: exploring until we discover a massive secret. The joy we get when making this discovery is well worth the price of keeping them in.
Besides, we live in the internet age; this information is readily available to us now. We don’t have to wait until we get enough money to purchase a strategy guide.
So how do you feel about hidden items in Final Fantasy?