- "SeeD... (...A code name, for Balamb Garden's elite mercenary force... SeeD... Combat specialists...) ...Don't you already know?"
SeeD (シード, Shīdo?) is the name of a mercenary force founded by Cid and Edea Kramer in Final Fantasy VIII. SeeD was started shortly after Edea received the dying Ultimecia's powers and met Squall Leonhart from the future who told her about the SeeD. To the outside world, SeeD is a mercenary force for hire, conducting missions around the world as battle support and undercover operatives. Their services are requested by governments and civilians; their tasks range from providing military support to protecting civilians. Its true purpose, however, is to ensure Squall Leonhart among other students will be trained to become strong enough to take on Ultimecia in the future, according to the encounter Edea had.
Balamb Garden, the first Garden, is responsible for training SeeDs. Only Balamb Garden trains SeeD cadets, but members from the other Gardens can transfer to Balamb for the field exam, because all SeeD are stationed at Balamb. The SeeD specialize in high-level para-magic by the use of Guardian Forces. They are in high demand by groups requiring a small force of undercover specialists, and commissions made through such dispatches are an important part of the Garden's income.
- See also: Information.
- SeeD (1)
Balamb Garden's mercenary force. Students 15 and older can participate in the written and field exams. They must pass both exams to become SeeD. SeeD members are paid by the Garden according to their rank. In the Garden, their status is no different from that of the other students.
- SeeD (2)
SeeD conducts missions around the world. Most missions involve battle support and undercover work. SeeD is in high demand by groups requiring a small force of undercover specialists. Commissions made through such dispatches are an important part of Balamb Garden's income.
- SeeD (3)
SeeD battle operations are noted for their skillful use of para-magic. Balamb Garden researches the use of GF in conjunction with para-magic. For this, Balamb Garden SeeD members master the most powerful forms of para-magic.
To Become a SeeDEdit
SeeD candidates must be between 15 years to 19 years old. At 20, they can no longer apply. They have to pass a written exam, a field exam, and they have to be accepted by the Headmaster.
This exam can involve many things as it is usually in the form of a live mission assigned to the Garden. While there are active SeeD members at hand during the exams to ensure the mission success, SeeD candidates are expected to conduct themselves positively and strive to complete their group assigned missions to pass the exam.
Sometimes (usually due to difficulty of the mission) a prerequisite is required before a student can participate in the exam. Either the obtainment of a Guardian Force, or the completion of a low-level mission, is the required prerequisite. In such circumstances, the student must be accompanied by a SeeD member for support and safety reasons.
Garden Instructors are SeeD members who have been promoted to (or assigned) teaching positions at Garden. It is not known if any non-SeeD instructors exist at Garden, although it seems unlikely that there would be. Since Instructors are SeeD as well, they are capable of accompanying their students on the prerequisite missions, such as Quistis Trepe supporting Squall at the Fire Cavern.
The exam is graded via observations made during the mission. Each candidate is judged upon:
- Conduct: How the candidate behaves within the mission and within their team. In the game, the score is determined by how fast the player can escape the Dollet Communications Tower.
- Judgment: The decisions the cadet makes and the effect of them upon the mission. In the game, the score is determined by how much time is left at the end of the Fire Cavern mission when Squall defeats Ifrit. The less time left, the higher the score.
- Attack: How aggressive and skillful the candidate is during the mission. In the game, the score is determined by how many enemies are killed during the field exam.
- Spirit: How brave and/or determined the candidate is during the mission. In the game the score is determined by how often the player flees from battle.
- Attitude: Judges the candidate's moral and professional behavior during the mission. In the game, various individual actions determine this score, such as how many people they speak to.
The grading also includes any additional actions and/or events that the examiners deem noteworthy.
The highest SeeD rank obtained depends on the difficulty of the mission where the exam was held, but usually the highest rank obtained is Rank 8, although some exceptions have been made.
The initial rank is calculated as such:
- Initial Rank = ([500 + Sum of Modifiers]/100) + Bonus
- Min & Max Rank = 1 & 10
The tables below show SeeD Scores and Modifiers; the SeeD Scores are what are displayed in the in-game report card.
Perfect Exam ScoreEdit
The score is determined by how fast the player can escape the Dollet Communications Tower.
|Time Remaining||SeeD Score||Conduct Modifier|
|25:00 or more||100||80|
The score is determined by how much time is left at the end of the Fire Cavern mission when Squall defeats Ifrit. The less time left, the higher the score, the best score given at 7 or fewer seconds remaining. The player can allow the game to remain in the screen where the player names Ifrit and let the time run out during it to get maximum score.
|Time Remaining||SeeD Score||Judgment Modifier|
The score is determined by how many enemies are killed during the field exam.
|Kills||SeeD Score||Attack Modifier|
The score is determined by how often the player escapes from battle. The best score is given if the player only has one escape - the mandatory one from X-ATM092.
|Escapes||SeeD Score||Spirit Modifier|
Various individual actions determine this score. The score is determined by how many deductions the player suffers from their attitude during the exam, and some violations are more severe than others.
- Talking to anyone apart from the fellow squad members Zell and Seifer from the moment Squall has his cadet uniform on gives 1 Deduction per each time Squall talks to them. Even talking to Cid or instructors is penalized.
- Disregarding Seifer's order in the vessel gives 1 Deduction.
- Moving toward the radio tower before Seifer orders it gives 1 Deduction per try.
- Talking to Biggs after defeating him gives 2 Deductions.
- Jumping off the cliff like Selphie does gives 5 Deductions.
- Failing to save the dog from X-ATM092 gives 10 Deductions. If the player destroyed X-ATM092 before the time square, the dog is automatically saved.
- Hiding in the pub when X-ATM092 passes gives 20 Deductions.
|Deductions||SeeD Score||Attitude Modifier|
When escaping the radio tower with a time limit there are two ways the player can deal with the robot spider: evading it, or destroying it; only the first battle is mandatory. In the screen where Selphie jumped down to follow Seifer, the party must cross as fast as they can. When coming down the mountain trail, the ground is shaking so the party must walk down. If they run, they are stopped by the shaking ground and X-ATM092 will catch up. On the bridge the party must run until X-ATM092 jumps over the party; the party must then run the other way until X-ATM092 will jump over them again, then turn around and run toward the town; the X-ATM092 won't have time to jump again. In the the town area evading X-ATM092 is easy; the player just needs to keep heading toward the beach.
If the player destroys the X-ATM092 they get a bonus score of 100 points and thus one whole rank to their starting rank. X-ATM092 cannot be destroyed in the initial battle, but if the player engages it in any time after it can be.
Uniform and MannerismsEdit
Although casual attire is usually worn specifically due to the covert nature of SeeD missions, SeeD does have a formal uniform that is issued to its members upon graduation. Worn during ceremony or due to the SeeD's own choice, the uniform is renowned enough that the SeeD is identified nearly everywhere in the world.
Both uniforms are reminiscent of Japanese school uniforms. The male uniform, modeled after the Japanese Gakuran, has a standing collar buttoning down from top-to-bottom. The collar is part of a black tunic with gold trim and maroon cuffs. Pants are straight leg and tucked into black knee-high boots. A black Sam Browne belt is worn with the tunic and a blue and silver designed shield is worn over the shoulders. The shield tapers to a double point at the back.
The female uniform, modeled after the Japanese seeraafuku, consists of a black blouse with dark blue shoulders that echo the design of the sailor-style collar. Attached to the collar are two gold-trimmed "wings" that hang over the chest; a maroon tie is also worn with a metal clasp possessing the SeeD logo. The ensemble is completed with a straight skirt cutting off just above the knees. Although the original design appears to include black knee-high socks and black shoes, in the game, female SeeDs wear black knee-high boots instead for their full SeeD uniform, with the shoes and socks reserved for the SeeD trainee uniform.
All students in the Garden who are training to be SeeD and have yet to graduate are considered SeeD Cadets.
SeeD field operatives have a numeral ranking system from 1 to 30 (1 being the lowest rank and 30 being the highest). They can increase their ranking by successfully completing written tests that cover a variety of subjects they may encounter.
The game uses 'SeeD Experience' to calculate the player's SeeD Rank. The formula is [SeeD Exp/100] = SeeD Rank. The formula is rounded down. SeeD Rank 'A' is equivalent to 3100 SeeD Exp and the maximum is 3110, mere 10 points above the threshold. This is why the player's rank often drops from 'A' to 30 when the salary is paid; to prevent this the player should kill 10 enemies before receiving the next salary.
Gaining SeeD ExperienceEdit
For every one enemy defeated the player gains a point of SeeD Experience. Enemies killed by Guardian Forces don't count. Every time the player's salary is paid they lose 10 SeeD Experience. When passing a written test the SeeD Experience is rounded to the next level. Several in-game events can increase or decrease the player's SeeD Exp. If the player handles all events perfectly, they can increase their rank with a total of 4.7.
- Showing off Squall's gunblade to the two students sitting on the floor outside the 2nd floor classroom lowers the player's rank by one; even if the player isn't a SeeD yet, it will later be deducted.
- Trying to sneak out of Balamb Garden during the night of the SeeD graduation lowers the rank by one; if the player tries to leave three times, the rank will drop.
- During the Timber train mission, if Squall is never detected by the guards he gains a SeeD rank. If he is detected less than 10 times it has no effect on his rank, but if the guards spot him over 10 times, his rank will drop.
- The rank drops by one if the player escapes the Tomb of the Unknown King with the option available from the map.
- The events in Missile Base can gain the player two ranks. See details here.
- After defeating NORG there will be a male student outside the 2nd floor classroom asking Squall to show him magic. If the player complies the player's rank decreases by one.
- Completing the Master Fisherman quest in Fishermans Horizon will earn 20 SeeD Exp, 0.2 of a SeeD rank.
- During Galbadian occupation of Balamb, depending on which method the player uses to find the Captain, they will earn SeeD Experience: if they board the train they get 65 Exp, if they use the dog to sniff him out they get 100 Exp.
- Completing the Shumi Village stone collecting quest will earn 50 SeeD Exp.
- Defeating Ultima Weapon gives a whole SeeD Rank.
SeeD rank tests are multiple choice and must be answered 100% correctly to successfully rise a SeeD rank. Note that these tests can only be taken up to Squall's current level (i.e if Squall is level 7, the player will only be able to take the tests up to #7). Ranking is decreased by misconduct in the field or if the operative is seen lagging behind.
1. Y N Y Y Y N N Y N N
2. Y N Y Y Y N Y Y N N
3. N N Y N Y Y Y N Y N
4. N Y Y Y N N Y Y N N
5. N N N Y Y N N Y Y Y
6. Y N Y Y N N Y Y N Y
7. Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y N
8. N Y N N Y Y N N Y N
9. N Y N N N N N N Y Y
10. Y N N N N N N N Y N
11. Y Y N Y Y N Y N N Y
12. N Y N N Y N Y N Y N
13. Y N N N Y N N N N N
14. Y Y Y Y N Y Y N Y N
15. Y Y N N N N N Y N Y
16. Y N N Y N Y N N Y N
17. Y N N N Y N N Y N N
18. Y N N N Y N N N N N
19. Y N N Y N N N N N Y
20. Y Y N Y N Y Y Y N N
21. Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N
22. N N N Y N N N Y Y N
23. Y N N N N Y Y Y Y Y
24. Y Y N N Y Y N N N Y
25. Y N Y Y Y N N Y N N
26. Y Y N Y N Y N Y N N
27. N Y N N N N Y N Y N
28. Y N N Y Y Y N Y N N
29. N N N Y Y N N N Y N
30. N Y N N N N Y N N N
Above the 1 - 30 ranks lies the A-class SeeD (or Class A Elite SeeD). This is the highest ranking for a SeeD field operative. It can be reached via special consideration or through the written tests.
- Commander: A recently created military rank awarded to Squall Leonhart allowing him full command over the Garden and all SeeD members. This rank is deemed to be the official leader of SeeD.
Rank and PayEdit
A SeeD's income is dictated by his/her rank.
Rank 2: 1,000G
Rank 3: 1,500G
Rank 4: 2,000G
Rank 5: 3,000G
Rank 6: 4,000G
Rank 7: 5,000G
Rank 8: 6,000G
Rank 9: 7,000G
Rank 10: 8,000G
Rank 11: 9,000G
Rank 12: 10,000G
Rank 13: 11,000G
Rank 14: 12,000G
Rank 15: 12,500G
Rank 18: 14,000G
Rank 19: 14,500G
Rank 20: 15,000G
Rank 21: 15,500G
Rank 22: 16,000G
Rank 23: 16,500G
Rank 24: 17,000G
Rank 25: 17,500G
Rank 26: 18,000G
Rank 27: 18,500G
Rank 28: 19,000G
Rank 29: 19,500G
Rank 30: 20,000G
- Main article: Balamb Garden
Balamb Garden is located east of the town of Balamb. Students (usually orphans) attend this Garden in hopes of becoming SeeDs. It is one of the three Gardens in the world, and it is where SeeDs are trained and stationed.
- Main article: Trabia Garden
While not responsible for training SeeDs, Trabia and Balamb Garden carry out an exchange program to train SeeDs, by allowing would-be SeeDs from Trabia to take the SeeD Written Test there.
- Main article: Galbadia Garden
Does not train SeeDs. However, contact is maintained between the two Headmasters of Galbadia and Balamb Gardens whenever there is a joint operation between the two.
Played during the various battle meetings between the SeeD, the musical extract "SeeD" is considered to be the theme of the elite mercenary group.
- Main article: Squall Leonhart/Dissidia
The SeeD Uniform appears in Dissidia Final Fantasy as an optional outfit for Squall Leonhart. Little to no changes were made to the uniform's design for the game, and Squall can be seen wielding either the Revolver or the Lionheart while wearing the formal military uniform.
An official Zippo Lighter with the SeeD logo was released in 1999. With only 400 pieces ever manufactured, the lighter is considered extremely rare. A collector's item, the lighter comes in a metal container with blue padding and includes a certificate of authenticity.
- In Balamb Garden, SeeD members have their own, private dorms.
- The transcontinental railroad express from Balamb to Timber houses a private cabin for SeeD members only.
- There is an off-shoot mercenary group called White SeeD who are charged with the protection of Ellone in Squall's timeline. The White SeeD are shown to have continued on into Ultimecia's timeline where bodies of White SeeD soldiers are shown littering the ground before Ultimecia's Castle.
- During Zell Dincht's intro FMV, the SeeD symbol seen behind him has been flipped.