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Leviathan summoned
Guardian Force Leviathan.
A GF is an independent energy force. By combining it with para-magic, it is possible to control tremendous energy. Memory loss is a possible side effect, but this has not been proven as of yet.
Final Fantasy VIII Tutorial

Guardian Forces (GF) are the summoned creatures of Final Fantasy VIII, and they are used by junctioning them to a character.

Conceived and designed by Hiroyuki Ito, the GF govern major stat growth, elemental/Status Effect offense and defense, and the commands the character may use during battle. Each GF has a preset list of abilities they can learn, but through the use of certain items, the GF can learn additional abilities and forget those that were previously learned. A total of twenty-two abilities can be learned.

NatureEdit

Gf propaganda
Faculty Member warns Squall not to believe the GF critics.

The Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania[1] explains that each Guardian Force possesses special characteristics and can appear in multiple different forms as mighty autonomous energy bodies. Guardian Forces exist in specific energy fields and can reside within objects and living organisms.

When a Guardian Force is junctioned to a human, two kinds of beings are brought together, and if the junctioner possesses a comparable consciousness, the Guardian Force will lose its solid form and can only manifest for limited periods of time. Guardian Forces are also known for giving superhuman strength and enhancing the users' body functions.

It is stated in-game that long-term junctioning causes memory loss (as seen with Selphie and the unnamed GF she junctioned when she was a child), because the Guardian Force draws power from the same section of the mind that stores memories. This, however, is only a plot point; junctioning has no negative effects on the characters during actual gameplay. Memory loss is stated to be the reason the use of Guardian Forces is widely criticized, and within Garden, Balamb Garden is the only school where their use has been approved.

DesignEdit

When designing the Guardian Forces, Tetsuya Nomura felt they should be unique beings and not human-like, unlike the summoned monsters in many previous games. Ramuh, which had been the staple Lightning summon until Final Fantasy VIII, was thus replaced by Quezacotl, a bird-like entity, and Ifrit, who appears as a human-like being in Final Fantasy VII, was redesigned as a beast with lion features.

Even the most humanoid Guardian Force, Siren, was specifically designed to be more beast-like, wearing feathers to conceal her body instead of clothing, and having a pair of wings descending from her head substitute for human hair, not to mention her long and sharp toenails that resemble paws more than feet. Leviathan was the first Guardian Force created, which was included in a game demo. After receiving a positive reaction from players, Nomura decided to create the remaining sequences in a similar fashion.

Abilities and StatsEdit

Main article: List of Final Fantasy VIII Support Abilities
FFVIII GF Menu 2
Quezacotl GF's status in the menu.
XenomicAdded by Xenomic

Most Guardian Forces can be junctioned onto a character, although there are a few that can't. A character can junction an unlimited number of Guardian Forces, and when junctioning a GF, gains access to its abilities, such as command abilities, support abilities and stat boosting abilities. Final Fantasy VIII is the first game where summons have their own growth path, gaining levels and learning abilities.

Abilities are learned via accumulating Ability Points in battle. All Guardian Forces gain the same amount of AP from battle unless the GF or the character junctioning the GF is knocked out at the end of the battle. Experience Points, however, are a different matter: EXP is divided between all the GFs the character is currently junctioning, meaning the more GFs a character junctions, the less EXP each receives. Most GFs take 500 EXP to level up, however, some take only 200, and Eden takes 1,000.

The junctionable Guardian Forces also have their own HP stat which can be boosted by leveling the GF up and by learning HP boosting abilities on the GF. There are a number of GF medicine items in the game that heal a GF's HP, and similarly to the Move HP Up ability, a GF's HP is restored just by walking around on the field.

SummoningEdit

A Guardian Force can be called during battle with the GF Command every junctionable GF learns by default. After the summoning has been initiated there is a charge period whereupon the GF's HP replaces the character's, and every attack the character takes damages the GF instead of the character. This can be used for strategic advantage, whereupon the character may use a GF as a shield to survive strong enemy attacks. If the GF dies before the charge period is finished, the summon is cancelled.

Usually when the player kills enemies it affects their SeeD ranking in a positive way, but enemies killed by Guardian Forces do not count toward this.

Charge Time and CompatibilityEdit

FFVIII Status Screen 2
The compatibility of each GF with Squall.
XenomicAdded by Xenomic

The charge time depends on the compatibility between the character and the GF and the Battle Speed, which can be adjusted in the config. The greater the compatibility, the less time it takes to summon. The initial compatibility is around 600 for most characters, but Edea has higher compatibility with Guardian Forces than the other characters.

Compatibility can be boosted with compatibility boosting items, by casting magic that is the same element as the Guardian Force (E.g. casting fire magic boosts compatibility with Ifrit) and by summoning the GF during battle. Boosting one GF's compatibility reduces another one's; Shiva, the ice-elemental GF, loses compatibility when a character uses fire magic, and also when Ifrit is summoned. Using compatibility items boosts the compatibility with the assigned GF, but slightly reduces (by 1~2 points) the compatibility with all other junctioned GFs.

Many junctionable GFs have another GF that is "opposed" to them that when summoned, reduces their compatibility with said character the most. Eden in many ways is an exception to the rules, with only minimal boost in compatibility when summoned to both itself, and, curiously enough, all other GFs the character has junctioned as well.

This game mechanic is obviously made to make players think which Guardian Forces to assign to which character, and to avoid switching junctions between characters regularly, however, as the charge time is never very long, compatibility doesn't actually have much impact on the gameplay.

Compatibility = 6000 - 5 * ShownCompatibility[2]

Charge time is calculated by:

Duration = Compatibility * BattleSpeed * 0.9143 / 32[2]
Compatibility Charge Time
0 ~16.8s
500 ~10.2s
1000 ~2.8s
[3]

GF Compatibility ChartEdit

FFVIII GF Compatibility Icon

The exact compatibility values in this chart are from Absolute Steve's Final Fantasy VIII Walkthrough.

Guardian Force Summon Effect Compatibility Items Casting Magic
Quezacotl Quezacotl +20, Leviathan -10, Every other GF -1.6 Dynamo Stone +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Thunder +1, Thundara +2, Thundaga +2.4, Aero +0.2, Tornado +0.6, Water, -0.8
Shiva Shiva +20, Ifrit -10, Every other GF -1.6 Arctic Wind +1.6 (-0.8 for others), North Wind +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Blizzard +1, Blizzara +2, Blizzaga +2.4, Fire -0.8, Fira -1, Firaga -1.2
Ifrit Ifrit +20, Shiva -10, Every other GF -1.6 Bomb Fragment +1.6 (-0.8 for others), Red Fang +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Fire +1, Fira +2, Firaga +2.4, Blizzard -0.8, Blizzara -1, Blizzaga -1.2
Siren Siren +20, Carbuncle -10, Every other GF -1.6 Silence Powder +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Silence, +1.6, Berserk +0.6, Blind +0.6, Break +0.6, Confuse +0.6, Pain +0.6, Sleep +0.6, Slow +0.6, Stop +0.6, Esuna -1.2, Dispel -0.8
Brothers Brothers +20, Pandemona -10, Every other GF -1.6 Dino Bone +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Quake +2, Apocalypse +0.2, Flare +0.2, Meteor +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Aero -0.2, Float -0.4, Tornado -0.8
Diablos Diablos +20, Every other GF -1.6 Steel Orb +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Demi +2, Apocalypse +0.2, Flare +0.2, Meteor +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Esuna -0.2, Protect -0.2, Dispel -0.4, Shell -0.4, Reflect -0.6
Carbuncle Carbuncle +20, Siren -10, Every other GF -1.6 Dragon Skin +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Aura +1, Double +1, Haste +1, Holy +1, Protect +1, Reflect +1, Shell +1, Triple +1, Cure +0.2, Cura +0.2, Curaga +0.2, Esuna +0.2, Full-Life +0.2, Life +0.2, Regen +0.2, Berserk -0.2, Blind -0.2, Break -0.2, Death -0.2, Pain -0.2, Silence -0.2, Sleep -0.2, Slow -0.2, Stop -0.2, Zombie -0.2, Dispel -1.2
Leviathan Leviathan +20, Quezacotl -10, Every other GF -1.6 Fish Fin +2 (-1 for others), LuvLuv G +20 Holy +1, Water +1, Apocalypse +0.2, Flare +0.2, Meteor +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Thunder -0.4, Thundara -0.6, Thundaga -0.8
Pandemona Pandemona +20, Brothers -10, Every other GF -1.6 Shear Feather +1.6 (-0.8 for others), Windmill +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Tornado +1, Aero +0.6, Apocalypse +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Water -0.8
Cerberus Cerberus +20, Every other GF -1.6 Dragon Fin +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Triple +2, Double +0.8, Haste +0.6, Apocalypse +0.2, Aura +0.2, Dispel +0.2, Esuna +0.2, Protect +0.2, Reflect +0.2, Shell +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Berserk -0.2, Break -0.2, Blind -0.2, Confuse -0.2, Pain -0.2, Sleep -0.2, Silence -0.4, Slow -0.8, Stop -0.8
Alexander Alexander +20, Doomtrain -10, Every other GF -1.6 Moon Stone +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Holy +2, Apocalypse +0.2, Curaga +0.2, Full-Life +0.2, Life +0.2, Regen +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Bio -1
Doomtrain Doomtrain +20, Alexander -10, Every other GF -1.6 Poison Powder +1.6 (-0.8 for others), Venom Fang +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Berserk +1, Blind +1, Bio +1, Break +1, Confuse +1, Death +1, Silence +1, Sleep +1, Slow +1, Stop +1, Zombie +1, Apocalypse +0.2, Ultima +0.2, Holy -2
Bahamut Bahamut +20, Every other GF -1.6 Shaman Stone +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 Apocalypse +0.2, Flare +0.2, Holy +0.2, Meteor +0.2, Quake +0.2, Tornado +0.2, Ultima +0.2
Cactuar Cactuar +20, Every other GF-1.6 Cactus Thorn +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 No spells change compatibility with Cactuar
Tonberry Tonberry +20, Every other GF -1.6 Chef's Knife +3.2 (-1.6 for others), LuvLuv G +20.2 No spells change compatibility with Tonberry
Eden Eden +2, Every other GF +1 LuvLuv G +20 Apocalypse +0.4, Flare +0.4, Holy +0.4, Meteor +0.4, Quake +0.4, Tornado +0.4, Ultima +0.4, Aura -0.2, Blizzard -0.2, Blizzara -0.2, Cure -0.2, Cura -0.2, Curaga -0.2, Dispel -0.2, Double -0.2, Esuna -0.2, Fire -0.2, Fira -0.2, Full-Life -0.2, Haste -0.2, Life -0.2, Protect -0.2, Reflect -0.2, Regen -0.2, Shell -0.2, Slow -0.2, Thunder -0.2, Thundara -0.2, Triple -0.2

Damage Calculation and the Boost abilityEdit

Every GF except for Diablos, Carbuncle, Cerberus, and Cactuar learns the Boost ability. During the summon animation, the player can tap the Square-button button to increase damage; however, it has a drawback - if the player fails to boost the GF properly, it may end up dealing less damage than it otherwise would have. The damage ranges between 75% and 250% of the normal damage. The percentage rises when the player taps the Square-button button correctly, but drops to 75% if the player presses the button during a time a red cross appears over the cursor. GFs with longer summon animations are the easiest to boost.

With battle speed set to medium, the list below displays the approximate length of time allowing the player to boost and the approximate value of % increase for summon damage.

GF Summon Time DMG Potential
Quezacotl 13.3s 180%
Shiva 12.9s 180%
Ifrit 13.0s 180%
Siren 17.6s 200%
Brothers 19.3s 220%
Leviathan 21.4s 230%
Pandemona 22.8s 240%
Alexander 22.1s 230%
Doomtrain 22.9s 240%
Bahamut 22.1s 230%
Tonberry 14.0s 190%
Eden 72.6s 250%
[3]

Each GF uses the following formula for determining the amount of damage they deal. The Boost modifier is equal to 100 if the player does not attempt to boost the damage or does not have the ability learned. The LevelMod and Power values vary per GF.

Damage = LevelMod * Level / 10 + Power + PowerMod[2]
Damage = Damage * (265 - TargetSpr) / 8
Damage = Damage * Power / 256
Damage = Damage * Boost / 100
Damage = Damage * (100 + SummonMagBonus) / 100
Guardian Force Attack Power Power Mod Level Mod Element
Quezacotl Thunder Storm 44 0 60 Lightning
Shiva Diamond Dust 43 0 62 Ice
Ifrit Hell Fire 45 2 61 Fire
Siren Silent Voice 35 0 55 N/A
Brothers Brotherly Love 46 4 60 Earth
Leviathan Tsunami 47 10 63 Water
Pandemona Tornado Zone 46 14 65 Wind
Alexander Holy Judgment 48 20 63 Holy
Doomtrain Runaway Train 45 10 58 Poison
Bahamut Mega Flare 55 30 70 N/A
Tonberry Chef's Knife 60 4 45 N/A
Eden Eternal Breath 70 250 100 N/A
Phoenix Rebirth Flame 30 50 254 Fire
Gilgamesh Excalibur 50 100 100 N/A
Gilgamesh Masamune 100 100 100 N/A
Boko ChocoFire 40 100 100 Fire
Boko ChocoFlare 60 100 100 N/A
Boko ChocoMeteor 80 100 100 N/A
Boko ChocoBocle 100 100 100 N/A
[2]

Eternal Breath and ChocoBocle's damage cap is 60,000. Eternal Breath and Mega Flare also ignore enemy Spr.

If the Guardian Force is elemental, the target's elemental defense attributes affect the damage outcome.

Damage = Damage * (900 - ElemDef) / 100[2]

Elemental Defense starts at 800 (0%), 900 nullifies damage and 1000 absorbs it. If an enemy is shown to be weak against an element, its Elemental Defense is below 800. If damage becomes negative (due to high Elemental Defense), the target is healed by that amount.

List of GFEdit

There are sixteen GFs that can be obtained, junctioned and summoned by the summon command, and six that cannot be junctioned, and appear either randomly or are summoned with items. There are also two GFs, Griever and Tiamat, that only appear as enemies under Sorceress Ultimecia's control.

JunctionableEdit

FFVIII GF Junctioned Icon
GF Image Obtaining
Quezacotl Quezacotl Squall's default GF. It uses a lightning attack called Thunder Storm. Quezacotl is fairly weak and is primarily used for its Card Mod ability, which allows the player to modify Triple Triad cards into items, and the Card command, which can turn weakened enemies into cards (which can be used to refine). Quezacotl is able to refine items into Thunder/Wind magic and low-level magic to mid-level magic.
Shiva Shiva Squall's default GF. Her attack is an ice-based attack called Diamond Dust. She is also fairly weak but her Doom ability can be used to kill stronger enemies that are vulnerable to instant death. She is able to refine items into Ice/Water magic.
Ifrit Ifrit A GF who lives in the Fire Cavern, not far from Balamb Garden. It is the objective of the pre-SeeD exam to defeat Ifrit within a chosen time limit. Ifrit is the strongest GF the player gets for a while. He uses a fire attack called Hell Fire. Ifrit is useful due to its Strength increasing abilities such as Str+40% and Str Bonus. He can refine items into fire magic (plus Flare) and items into ammunition for Irvine's Shot.
Siren Siren The first GF that can be drawn from an enemy. The player can draw her from Elvoret during the battle atop the Communications Tower in Dollet, or from Tri-Point in Ultimecia Castle if missed. She uses a non-elemental attack called Silent Voice that does moderate damage and induces Silence upon the enemies. Her Move-Find ability reveals hidden save/draw points and her Mag Bonus boosts the user's Mag stat upon leveling up. Her Treatment ability cures all status ailments. She can refine items into Life magic, Life medicine, or tools (for upgrading and refining).
Brothers Brothers A pair of GF named Sacred and Minotaur that make their home in the Tomb of the Unknown King. If the player defeats Sacred in combat, he will call Minotaur to help him and both must be defeated before they will join the player. The pair use an earth-based attack called Brotherly Love that will not affect flying enemies. Their top abilities are HP+80% and HP Bonus, but also have Defend, which makes a character immune to physical damage, and Cover, which allows a character to defend an ally in low health. Brothers is the first GF that cannot refine anything.
Diablos Diablos A powerful GF that lives in a magic lamp. When the item Magical Lamp is used, the party will be transported to a battle with Diablos. Upon defeat Diablos will join the player. He uses a gravity attack called Dark Messenger that does damage equal to Diablos's level in percentage to the enemies' max HP. Notable abilities are Darkside (sacrifice some HP to increase Str.), Mug (steal when attacking) and Enc-Half/None (decreases amount of random encounters). Diablos can refine items into Time or Status magic.
Carbuncle Carbuncle Can be drawn from the Iguions in Deling City before fighting Edea just before the end of the first disc, or from Krysta in Ultimecia Castle if missed. Carbuncle's attack, Ruby Light, casts Reflect on the party. Carbuncle's important abilities include Vit Bonus, Counter (enables counter-attacking), and Auto-Reflect, which automatically casts Reflect on the junctioned party member. It can refine recovery medicine from items.
Leviathan Leviathan Can be drawn from NORG after opening his pod, or Trauma in Ultimecia Castle if missed. It uses a water elemental attack called Tsunami, which is also capable of ejecting enemies from the battlefield. Leviathan's boost option is easier to get to max than the previous GFs'. It has useful abilities including Spr Bonus, Auto-Potion, and Recover. It can refine items into support magic or GF recovery medicine.
Pandemona Pandemona Can be drawn from either Fujin during the battle with Raijin and Fujin in Balamb or Red Giant in Ultimecia Castle. She attacks with a Wind-based move called Tornado Zone. Though not as powerful as other GFs, she is the first GF to give Speed increases. She also has Absorb, which takes HP from the enemy and gives it to the caster, and Initiative, which lets the junctioned character start the battle with the attack gauge full. Pandemona cannot refine anything.
Cerberus Cerberus Can be found in the Galbadia Garden main hall during the Battle of the Gardens. He must be defeated in combat for him to join. If the player misses him, he can be drawn from Gargantua in Ultimecia Castle. Cerberus's attack is called Counter Rockets and casts Double and Triple on all party members. Because of his Auto-Haste and Spd Junction abilities, he is useful for quick magic users. His Expendx2-1 ability makes Double only use one spell instead of two. Along with these, Cerberus also has the Alert ability which makes the party immune to back-attacks (bar fixed encounters). Cerberus cannot refine anything.
Alexander Alexander A giant machine that must be drawn from either the second fight with Edea in Galbadia Garden or Catoblepas in Ultimecia Castle. He uses a holy attack called Holy Judgement, which is useful against undead enemies. Alexander has Revive, Med Data (doubles recovery items' potency), and Med LV Up (levels up medicine). It can also refine mid-level magic into high-level magic.
Doomtrain Doomtrain A GF that must be assembled by acquiring six Remedy+'s, six Steel Pipes, six Malboro Tentacles and the Solomon Ring. Doomtrain's attack, Runaway Train, does minor poison-based damage, but also inflicts every status ailment. It has the abilities Darkside and Absorb (from Diablos and Pandemona, respectively) plus Auto-Shell and Junk Shop, which calls the weapon upgrading shop from the menu. It can also refine items into forbidden (powerful) medicine.
Bahamut Bahamut A powerful GF that must be fought in the Deep Sea Research Center to acquire. He'll ask two questions, and when the player gets them right a Ruby Dragon must be fought for each, and at the third question a hidden option, "It's in our nature...", must be selected . His attack, Mega Flare, inflicts major non-elemental damage on all enemies. It has Diablos's and Cerberus's abilities Mug and Expendx2-1 as well as Auto-Protect, Move-HP Up and Rare Item, which increases the chance of getting rare items from battle. He can also refine items into powerful forbidden (the most potent) magic.
Cactuar Jumbo Cactuar Acquired by defeating the Jumbo Cactuar on Cactuar Island. His 1000 Needles attack does 1000 extra non-elemental damage for every ten levels he gains. He is notable because he has HP, Str, Vit, Mag, and Spr Bonuses. He also has Pandemona's Initiative, Leviathan's Auto-Potion, Cerberus's Expendx2-1, Bahamut's Move-HP UP, Brothers' Defend, as well as his own Kamikaze. He also has Eva and Luck increases.
Tonberry Tonberry King Joins after the party defeat Tonberry King, but to fight him, the player must defeat 20 Tonberries in Centra Ruins. His Chef's Knife ability does minor non-elemental damage. He has the LV Down and LV Up abilities which decrease or increase the power of the enemy for decreased or added bonuses. He also has Initiative, Move-HP Up and Auto-Potion from previous GFs. He has four shop related abilities: Call Shop (visit a shop from the ability menu), Haggle (get a discount at shops), Sell-High (increase selling price), and Familiar (buy rare items in shop).
Eden Eden Can be drawn from either Ultima Weapon in the Deep Sea Research Center or Tiamat in Ultimecia Castle. She is the most powerful GF in the game. Her attack is a galactic scale attack called Eternal Breath, and she can easily exceed 9,999 points of damage. Due to the attack's long duration, maxing out Eden's Boost is relatively easy. She has the previous abilities Mad Rush and Darkside as well as a new one, Devour, which can be used to eat enemies. She also has Expendx3-1, which only uses one magic instead of three for Triple. She can refine items into GF ability items.

Non-JunctionableEdit

GF Obtaining
Odin A warrior who appears on a six-legged horse at the start of battle. His attack, Zantetsuken, kills all enemies instantly. Odin can be found in the Centra Ruins. He must be defeated within a time limit or else he will use Zantetsuken and kill the party. It is believed that the probability of Odin appearing at the start of a battle is determined by the number of Dead Spirit items in the players inventory, as well as the party's Crisis Level. If Odin is acquired before the end of disc 3, he will be replaced by Gilgamesh during the last fight with Seifer.
Gilgamesh Gilgamesh replaces Odin after the final boss of disc 3 if Odin was acquired before this point. He has four attacks: Zantetsuken works the same as Odin's attack; Excalibur does medium/strong non-elemental damage; Excalipoor does just 1 damage and Masamune does high non-elemental damage. He appears at random although, unlike Odin, he appears during battle and not before it. He can also appear in boss fights.
Boko A chocobo summoned using Gysahl Greens and leveled up through the Pocket Station device. Also, the first time the party goes to a Chocobo Forest and catches a chocobo, the Chocoboy will give Squall Boko as a gift and it will follow the mother chocobo ridden on the world map.
Moomba Moomba is another GF that can only be acquired through the Pocket Station. It is used in battle by using the Friendship item, attacks one opponent leaving it in 1 HP, or, if the enemy has more than 9,999 HP, deals full damage instead.
Phoenix A fire-elemental GF that can be summoned by using the item Phoenix Pinion in battle; it deals fire damage to all enemies and revives KO'd party members. It may also appear when the party has been KO'd to save the player from a Game Over.
MiniMog Another GF that can only be obtained by using the Pocket Station. The item Mog's Amulet teaches a GF the command ability MiniMog, which summons the Mog to the battlefield to revive and heal all of the party's GFs.

TriviaEdit

  • Only three Guardian Forces are obtained during the storyline - Quezacotl, Shiva and Ifrit. All others are optional.
  • The crystals of Final Fantasy Type-0 work in a similar fashion to Guardian Forces, able to grant powers and extraordinary abilities and powers to their wielders, but at the cost of their memories.

ReferencesEdit

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