The Road To 100%: Final Fantasy VIII
Last week, I wrote a review of the Square Enix classic – But those of you who’ve followed this website long enough will know full well that I love to completely beat a game, not just complete the story. Steam achievements are something I go absolutely nuts for, even though there’s barely any reason to do so. This time around, I decided to get my RPG game on, which considering the last big RPG I 100%’d was Skyrim, this would have been a doddle by contrast… Or… Would it?
Normally, when I set on a path to obtain every achievement of a game, I know a lot about the game beforehand. However this is a title I went into knowing basically just the main story, with very little else. I’m not ashamed to admit that this time around, I had to rely on a lot of Google-Fu, which still didn’t bring the time taken to get these achievements down. Indeed, I am still working on the achievements, with two in particular that sound like they’re going to be dreadful to obtain: Namely the achievements ‘Top Level Boko’ and ‘Contrived Finish’.
To talk briefly about those two troublesome achievements, ‘Top Level Boko’ makes you grind away on a mini-game called Chocobo World, which was something us here in the UK didn’t have access to originally. I’m currently about level 7, which sounds great, but you need to get to level 100 to get this achievement. A level can be as little as 3 battles, or as many as 5 – And many of these battles, you’ll fail until you get a better weapon. All of these are completely random events and you can’t even leave it running in the background. The other troublesome achievement is ‘Contrived Finish’, where you beat the game with Squall at his starting level. There’s a third tricky achievement, where you must defeat Omega Weapon, who is insanely tough, but that’s something that I can do with some patience.
If I were attempting this with Final Fantasy IX, which I will do in the future, then this would have been a much easier task. I know where all of the good Tetra Master cards are; I know how to get the rare-r items in the game, I know about the Bounty Hunter ranking. In Final Fantasy VIII however, I knew none of what the side-quests are. I didn’t even know where the Islands Closest to Heaven/Hell were! As such, this game has taken me a lot of Googling – And all in all, it’s helped me find more charm in the game; one that I already knew pretty well, but nowhere near well enough to say I was an expert at it.
I was speaking to Kevin from The Mental Attic about this to begin with; I explained how I really enjoyed Final Fantasy VIII, but I never did the side-quests. Kevin said he was the opposite to me; he knew everything there was to know about VIII, but little about IX. It’s interesting that this is a franchise with so many differences of opinion between the games. Normally, a title in a typical franchise will be met with a sort of universal acclaim, with a few offshoot comments. So normally, if someone finds a particular title good, just about everyone else will. Final Fantasy meanwhile is in a league of its own – Everyone has their favourite Final Fantasy, which I think is pretty cool.
At the time of writing, I’m 67% through the achievements and after I finish this article, there’s no doubt I’ll be heading back into it. The last Road To 100% article was about a freefalling game, called AaaaaaAAaaaaAAAaaaAAAAaaAAAAAaAAAAAA!!! For The Awesome – And that one I’m still stuck on those last two achievements. One of them is a very long grind achievement, which Final Fantasy VIII has a few of too – But I occasionally go back, so I can grind some more towards those achievements. The longer achievements on this game are the Top Level Boko achievement and the kill 10,000 enemies achievement – Hoo boy, this one’s going to take a while to grind out. Arguably more time than it took me to grind out Skyrim.
What Final Fantasy game is your favourite? Share with us any ridiculous grind sessions you’ve had in the franchise (Sorry, Adamantoise in Final Fantasy XV doesn’t count– Ah who am I kidding, of course it counts!) Share your thoughts below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.