“Squall is a noble warrior with the pride of a lion. He is on his lonely path when he sees his comrades under attack by the manikins. But to him, perhaps they are not comrades at all. They may be mere strangers accidentally born in the same world. Without any hesitation, he plunges into battle.”
Destiny Odyssey VIII, titled The Lion Stalks the Savannah(獅子は荒野を越えて, Shishi ha kouya wo koete?) or Resolve for Seclusion, is a storyline in Dissidia Final Fantasy and its prequel. This storyline follows Squall's search for his crystal and has a difficulty rating of three stars.
After saving Zidane and Bartz from a tight spot, Squall rejects their offer to join their party and continues on alone. Before they go, Bartz gives him a chocobo feather as a good luck charm, and promises to get it back from him later before running after Zidane. Squall continues on, wondering why Bartz would entrust such a valued possession to someone else. During a break in the fighting, Cosmos appears to him and asks if he doubts his decision to reject their invitation. Squall claims that the sympathy of others is just a burden to him, but says it wouldn't be a bad idea to know he has someone to watch out for him. Cosmos assures him he made the right choice, as he must face his chosen enemy alone to claim his Crystal. Squall agrees and keeps going, not knowing Cosmos is secretly Ultimecia in disguise.
As Squall continues on, Kuja appears before him, wishing to capture him as bait to lure Zidane to him. Squall mocks Kuja and the two fight. Squall wins, and Kuja departs, realizing that a lone fighter like Squall isn't what he needs. Squall worries about what Kuja has planned for Zidane and Bartz, but decides to prioritize finding his Crystal over them and continues to search for Ultimecia. As he travels Squall senses the presence of light approaching and encounters the Warrior of Light. The Warrior asks why Squall insists on traveling alone when their enemies are united, but Squall refuses his help. The two battle and Squall prevails, telling the Warrior he and his friends can still support each other without being together. The Warrior realizes he has misjudged Squall's relationship with his allies and departs, telling him eventually their paths will all become one.
Cosmos appears before Squall again and reveals herself as Ultimecia, taunting Squall's determination for leaving Zidane and Bartz behind to Kuja's whims. She accuses Squall of being selfish and not caring for or trusting them, and challenges him to show her the strength that has carried him this far. Squall lowers his weapon, and Ultimecia departs, believing him too afraid to fight, and invites him to find her again when he has the courage. Squall disagrees though and follows her. At her castle, Squall tells Ultimecia he has come to fulfill his promise and defeat her to rejoin his friends. Garland appears and tells Squall he and Ultimecia shall battle him together. Squall is undeterred, when Zidane tackles Garland to the side and tells Squall to leave Garland to him. Squall battles Ultimecia and prevails, the Sorceress fading. Zidane runs up to him afterward and tells him Bartz has been captured. Squall tells him they'll rescue Bartz together, and his Crystal appears as he admits Bartz is his friend. The Chocobo feather reacts to the Crystal's appearance and sends a beam of light into the air, and the two set off to follow the light to find Bartz.
"A lone soldier, devoted only to duty. But there are several lights that guide him..."
In this stage there appears to be only one battle piece, however many more will appear as Squall defeats it. All subsequent stages in this storyline follows this general pattern. The player begins with 5 Destiny Points.
To finish the stage with the most DP, move to C4 and defeat the Transient Lion at C3, then the Ephemeral Vision that spawns at C5 in a chain. This spawns the Transient Witch at E5, which when defeated spawns the Capricious Thief at F3. Defeating him will open the path to the Stigma of Chaos, allowing the player to finish with three DP. Alternatively, the player can defeat the Transient Lion without fighting the Ephemeral Vision, then move to D1 and chain the Delusory Knight at C1 and the Phantasmal Girl at E1 to spawn the Capricious Thief. Either way results in the player ending with three DP max.
"No matter how faint, when given a small clue... There is nothing to do but accept one's fate."
This stage is similar to the previous one. Be aware that the Strange Battle Piece encountered here starts with an exceptionally high bravery, and an HP attack can defeat Squall in a single hit. The player begins with five Destiny Points.
Earning the most DP from this stage requires careful consideration of where Battle Pieces spawn. Move to C1 and engage the Fallacious Tree at B1, causing the Capricious Thief to appear at D1 immediately after in a chain. Defeating it causes the Delusory Knight at C3 and the Fallacious Wanderer at E3 to appear, allowing the player to move down to D3 and chain the two of them and earn two more DP for a total of six. This spawns the Transient Witch at C5, defeating it opens the locked area blocking the path to the Stigma of Chaos, allowing the player to finish the stage with four DP.
"A grand dragon perched on a lofty summit... Its strength calls forth a new source of courage in the warrior."
In this stage the pattern in which the enemies spawn as they are defeated is more complex, making it difficult to chain enemies and conserve DP. The automatic version of Bahamut can be obtained here. The player begins with six Destiny Points. Squall fights Kuja at the end of the stage.
To earn the most DP, defeat both the Delusory Knight at E3 and the Ephemeral Vision at A3, spawning the Imaginary Champion at D1 and the Fallacious Wanderer at C5. At this time the player still has six DP. The player should now defeat the Fallacious Wanderer to spawn the Phantasmal Harlequin at B1, and defeat it to open the locked are at F5 - since the Imaginary Champion has not been defeated the Transient Witch at E5 will not appear and the path is clear. The Imaginary Champion is the only Battle Piece in the stage to not give a DP bonus, so facing it is a waste of DP. At G5, the player can either take the Potion and move to the Chaos Piece to end the stage with four DP, or if they have the Jump skill use it to jump over the Potion and end the stage with five DP instead.
"To others, the bonds of friendship are light as feathers. But he knows the weight of those chains..."
There are many enemies in this stage, but their placement makes chaining them much easier than before. The False Stalwart that opens the locked area before the boss is much stronger opponent than the normal Battle Pieces fought up until now. Squall fights the Warrior of Light at the end of the stage. The player begins with five Destiny Points.
To end the stage with the most DP, defeat the Capricious Thief at B3, then move to D5 and chain the Ephemeral Phantom at C5 with the Ultimate Battle Piece Transient Witch at E5. Move to E3 and defeat the False Stalwart at D3, causing the Transient Witch to appear at G3 in a chain. This gives the player eight DP, allowing them to move to the Cosmos Piece and end the stage with seven.
"A prideful will... Even if his words withhold the truth, a warrior shows his light through his actions."
As before, more enemies spawn as the player fights their way to the Chaos Piece. The placement and spawning patterns of the Battle Pieces will often force the player to chain several enemies at once. Unlike past stages where a specific enemy needed to be defeated to open the locked are blocking the end piece, in this stage defeating any five enemies will unlock it. At the end of the stage the player fights Ultimecia. The player begins with five Destiny Points.
To finish the stage with the most DP, defeat the Imaginary Champion at G1 first, then move to D2 and chain all three adjacent enemies to earn four DP, for a total of eight. Move to F5 and defeat the Fallacious Wanderer at G5, then the Phantasmal Girl that appears at E5. This defeats the minimum of five enemies need to unlock the locked area at C3, letting the player move to the Chaos Piece and end the stage with seven DP.