Balamb is a town located on the country of the same name in Final Fantasy VIII. A peaceful seaside town, Balamb is a popular tourism spot and is connected to the Galbadian continent via a transcontinental railway.
The town was founded by those in pursuit of a rare type of fish named the Balamb Fish. Considered a delicacy, the Balamb Fish attracted fishermen and seafood chefs to the area, and a community began to take root. The town's harbor was the perfect home base for fleets of fishing vessels, as well as commercial passenger ships. Before long, word spread among Galbadians about Balamb's beautiful coastline and refreshing atmosphere, as well as its top-notch food.
Balamb blossomed into a resort destination, hosting tourists from all over Galbadia. An underwater railway was built to aid the transport of both people and supplies, and the Balamb Hotel was built to house vacationers and serve the best Balamb Fish dishes the town had to offer.
Balamb town's dominance on the island was diminished twelve years ago when Balamb Garden, a training center for the elite military force SeeD, was erected. Because of its isolated location, Balamb residents often revel in their ability to ignore military conflicts going on in the rest of the world, and to some extent, resent that the Garden's presence serves as a reminder of those problems. The townspeople respect those who choose to attend the Garden, which they see as a school for the gifted.
Balamb's role as a haven for peaceful existence is shattered during Sorceress Edea's rule of Galbadia. Edea, under the control of Sorceress Ultimecia, orders Galbadian troops to seize the town and hold its residents hostage while they search for a woman named Ellone. The military overruns the Balamb Hotel, barring the owners from entering the town and using it to house their troops. The Galbadians cut off supply lines, diverting food and other shipments to the troops at the hotel, denying local shops and people access to necessities. The military leaders threaten to burn the town to the ground if anyone protests their actions or attempts to subvert their authority.
A group of SeeDs from Balamb Garden, led by Squall Leonhart, infiltrates the town by claiming to have information which could lead to Ellone's capture. Once inside, Squall, along with Balamb native Zell, find and defeat both the Galbadian commander, Fujin, and the Galbadian captain, Raijin. With their leaders in retreat and no sign of Ellone, the Galbadian troops withdraw from Balamb.
After the war against Ultimecia is over, Seifer Almasy returns to Balamb to fish with his friend Fujin and Raijin as the mobile Balamb Garden soars overhead.
The town of Balamb is located on the south-western edge of the Balamb continent. It is a small port town to the south west of Balamb Garden. It is connected to the transcontinental railroad of Galbadia.
- Car Rental
- Residential District
- Draw points - Thunder
- Train Station
Linked to the transcontinental railroad that leads to Galbadia, this train features a special cabin for SeeD use.
- Balamb Hotel
The Balamb Hotel, the tourists' destination overlooking the sea. Laguna Loire once stayed here during his travels and wrote about it in an article of Timber Maniacs. A location involved in Zell and Pigtail Girl's sidequest.
- Items - Timber Maniacs magazine (disappears if the player reads the magazine at the station), Combat King 003
- The Dincht's
Home to Zell Dincht and his mother. The ground floor is free to travel, but Zell is protective of his room, located upstairs from the main room. He reluctantly allows the party enter after it is discovered the Galbadian army has occupied the hotel. A save point can be found in Zell's room.
- Items - Spd Up (under Zell's pillow after talking to the Big Bad Rascal hiding at the parking lot next to the dock)
The Balamb harbor is a public facility, allowing Balamb Garden to dock its water-based vehicles here for missions, exams and other events.
- Draw points - Cure (After the player has witnessed a G-soldier drop money in the water during the time Galbadian forces occupy the town, this draw point also gives gil).
The junk shop can be found opposite of Ma Dincht's house, and the item shop is outside the train station.
Balamb Store Edit
People associated with Balamb Edit
- Zell Dincht, grew up downtown.
- Ma Dincht, local resident, mother of Zell.
- Queen of Cards, often found outside the train station.
- Big Bad Rascal, local resident, friend of Zell.
- Fujin, Galbadian Commander during occupation.
- Raijin, Galbadian Captain during occupation.
- Hotel Owner, owner of the Balamb Hotel.
- Hotel Owner's Wife, wife of the Balamb Hotel owner.
Optional scenes Edit
When Squall, Zell and Selphie are heading for Timber, the player can talk to a mechanic at the car rental to trigger a scene where Zell boasts of having done a hundred pull-ups on the gas station sign. He appears if the player returns to the car rental after progressing deeper into the town.
If Zell is in the party, repeated trips to Balamb Town and his house will trigger scenes involving the Big Bad Rascal highlighting his admiration for Zell (see next section).
During the quest to liberate Balamb (see Liberating Balamb) entering Zell's room activates a series of short discussions between the characters that reveal more about Zell. Which discussion occurs depends on who is in the party.
After Balamb has been liberated, if the player talks to a chef at the harbor with Selphie in the party, she will talk to the chef and reveal her favorite food, inspiring the chef to come up with a new recipe.
After Balamb has been liberated the party can get an optional scene with Zell and his crush by staying at the hotel with Zell (see Combat King 003 section).
Big Bad Rascal Edit
Several scenes involving the Big Bad Rascal can be viewed if Balamb Town and Zell's house are visited repeatedly with Zell in the party. The scenes can be watched as soon as Zell becomes available and include:
- The Big Bad Rascal running out of Zell's house with the mother chasing after him before she stops to talk to the man sitting outside the Junk Shop. Talking to the mother and the man will cause them to point out how everyone respects Zell's mother and how rowdy Zell can be.
- The Big Bad Rascal pushing over the hotel owner's daughter outside the hotel. Leaving and re-entering the screen and then talking to the hotel owner will cause him scold Zell due to how he and the Big Bad Rascal act similarly.
After these two scenes occur, the player can find the Big Bad Rascal hiding behind some crates by the parking lot next to the dock. Talking to him will cause him to speak some nonsense that confuses Zell. After this, if the player examines Zell's pillow, a Spd Up can be found. This scene can be seen before departing for the mission in Timber, but the item cannot be gotten until the player gains access to Zell's room during Balamb's liberation.
Additional scenes can be viewed before leaving for the mission in Timber. After Balamb's liberation, they cannot be seen but are not needed to find the Spd Up mentioned above. They involve Zell's mother and the mother of the Big Bad Rascal talking to each other in Zell's house. If the player goes to the back room of Zell's house, the player can talk to the Big Bad Rascal who will mention finding a frog, signing something, or leaving something under Zell's pillow. Depending on what the Big Bad Rascal says, the player can examine the umbrella holder near the front door to find a frog, the painting between the stairs to Zell's room and the door to the back room to find the Big Bad Rascal's signature, or Zell's pillow to find the Spd Up mentioned above.
Liberating Balamb Edit
After the events in Fishermans Horizon the party learns that Galbadia has occupied Balamb. Zell is a mandatory party member for this part, and will force himself into the formation if he is not already in the party when the player enters Balamb. Talking to the guard lets the player into the town.
The Galbadian forces will not allow Squall and friends to leave Balamb once they're in, but there is a sidequest that allows the party to exit before concluding all the events there. The player should talk to the Big Bad Rascal in Zell's house twice, and speak to Ma Dincht, then go to the hotel and talk to the guard, who will tell Squall to look for the captain.
At the harbor, the player must wait a few minutes, then head to the house next to Zell's, and talk to Big Bad Rascal and go to the town exit. The player must talk to the guard who won't let them leave, and keep the text window open so that Big Bad Rascal can sneak to the Hotel Owner. Back in town the player can can now exit with the help of Big Bad Rascal. This way the player can get the Pandemona card slightly earlier, as the girl in Zell's neighbor's now has her father's cards.
The guards outside the hotel will tell Squall to look for the captain. There is an NPC called Tabloid Guy behind the cars at the docks, but his hints are pricey and unnecessary.
Since the group can't stay in the hotel Zell will let the crew in his room. If the third party member is Selphie and Squall implies Selphie is being annoying, she deducts a SeeD rank from Squall. Quistis will note Zell's T-board and relate a humorous story where Zell crashed the girls' restroom with it. Irvine marvels at the guns Zell has hung up on the wall and wants to try one. Rinoa is simply impressed Zell's room is so tidy.
On the docks the guards have a dog and after talking to them and returning to Zell's house there is smoke coming from the door. Ma Dincht will tell the party the captain was there cooking fish. There are two options of finding the captain, either by boarding the train, or using the dog from the docks. Using the dog gives a higher SeeD ranking.
To board the train the player must go to the train where the soldiers are knocked out. After talking to a knocked-out soldier enough times he'll move away from the stairs that lead to the train. Boarding the train in this manner awards 65 SeeD Exp.
To use the dog, the player should head to the docks and talk to the dog and follow it to the train. This gives 100 SeeD Exp.
Whichever way the player uses to find the captain, they must return to the hotel for the boss fights.
Combat King 003 Edit
The player can get the Combat King 003 magazine for Zell by staying at the hotel after Balamb has been liberated. In the morning Zell will be gone and the player will find him downstairs, where he receives the magazine from the Library Girl with a Pigtail. The player can trigger various scenes concerning the two by visiting the Balamb Garden library. The dialogue is more complete the more scenes in the sidequest the player has witnessed.
The town of Balamb uses Balamb rules, of which the default rule is just Open. Playing the student found on the docks of Balamb clears the rules the player is carrying with them, stopping rules from spreading when playing new opponents.
- Zell's card can be won from Ma Dincht.
- Pandemona's card can be won from the hotel owner after the town has been liberated from the Galbadians, or from the little girl in the house next to Zell's if the player performs the Big Bad Rascal sidequest during the time time Balamb is occupied by G-forces.
Musical themes Edit
Played upon entering the town; "Breezy" is considered Balamb's theme tune. During Galbadia's occupation the tune "Intruders" plays.
Other appearances Edit
- The town is famous for two types of fish; the first is the Balamb Fish, a large fish with turquoise scales, which is a delicacy; the second is the Badamb Fish, which numbs its victims and makes consumers ill when eaten.
- The Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania guide reveals that due to the Balamb Fish's amazing flavor, it is known as one of the three Great Delicacies of the World. Among the other three Great Delicacies of the World are the Wind Cacti that dwell in Galbadia's arid regions, also known as the famous West Cactus. The sweet pulp of its flesh is highly valued in the desert region. The third one is never named.