If you’re playing Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, you’ll probably want to track down all the summons. We’re here to help with this Final Fantasy 8 GF guide.
Known as Guardian Forces, these powerful beings aren’t just dynamic explosions of power that can be summoned to aid you in battle or shield you from an attack, they are the very source of your magical skill within this world.
GFs don’t just provide access to their soldier’s sorcery, they allow for players to junction magic to their core stats and augment them in a variety of ways that can bolster their strength, resistance, and vitality. Several of these GFs are easily obtained throughout Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, but some of the very best of these beings require some investigative work to find in the field and even liberate from the individuals that they are linked to.
So to help you out, here’s a guide to show you where to find GFs and why they’re absolutely essential to Squall Leonhart’s adventure across space and time.
FF8 Shiva GF
Every journey starts somewhere! Squall’s first available GF is the mighty mistress of ice, Shiva. Able to provide a Swiss Army knife’s array of junctions across attack, defense, and vitality, Shiva can also refine Ice and Water element spells for players and allow them to use the Doom ability to zap foes with an automatic death sentence countdown.
Location: You’ll be able to recruit Shiva at Squall’s desk, right before you join Quistis to take on Ifrit in his fire cave lair. Just activate the console, navigate to available GFs and you’ll soon have an elemental powerhouse at your beck and call.
FF8 Quezacotl GF
The second of your starter GFs, Quezacotl is a mighty Lightning elemental who can call forth the thunder on any enemy unfortunate enough to be caught within its massive attack range. Outside of battle, Quezacotl allows players to junction their magic towards their overall health, while also providing various Triple Triad-related abilities that allow you to not only refine acquired cards into useful items but even transform your enemies into usable additions to your deck.
Location: The same story as Shiva, Quezacotl will be available just before you embark on your trip to Ifrit’s cave. Once again, just pop the console open, navigate to available GFs and the majestic thunder bird will be added to your roster.
FF8 Ifrit GF
Once you’ve beaten him in battle, Ifrit functions superbly as an attack-heavy ally who allows players to boost their strength parameters with power-boosting junctions. Ifrit can also learn Str Bonus, which will grant a permanent strength boost to their overall stats every level up. Beyond that, players can also teach Ifrit how to refine ammo for Irvine from various items, the Mad Rush ability, and how to create powerful fire element magic.
Location: The first GF you’ll face in battle, Ifrit will need to be defeated as part of the main narrative of Final Fantasy 8. The Fire Cavern can be located to the East of Balamb Garden, right on the edge of the Gaulg Mountain that is situated above the Albatross Archipelago.
FF8 Diablos GF
A devilish GF who can unleash dark gravity magic upon your enemies, Diablos is a demonic lord whose true power lies not only within his ability to boost magic and health for any player junctioned to him, but to also mug foes of valuable items. If you’re tired of running into random encounters, Diablos can even learn abilities which allow him to cut those surprise showdowns out entirely, while his ability to refine time and space magic comes in handy when you’re dealing with titans who have a staggering amount of health.
Location: Right before you embark on your first official SeeD mission to Timber, make certain that you talk to Headmaster Cid before you leave. He’ll hand you a magic lamp that contains Diablos, and a mighty fight will occur once you use the item. Diablos may seem intimidating, but he’s actually deceptively easy to defeat. His gravity warping magic may reduce your overall health to single digits, but so long as you can cast Blind on him, he’ll be unable to finish off your party with his devastating physical attacks.
Cast Blind, don’t worry about the effects of his magic and go to town with your limit breaks. Within a few minutes, you’ll have worn Diablos down and you’ll have earned a powerful new ally.
FF8 Siren GF
While she may not have much power in the summon department, Siren is still an invaluable GF whose true talents lie within her ability to cast Silence on foes. Outside of battle, Siren is able to junction magic to player defense and status attacks, and is brilliant at creating restorative magic with her refinement ability. Having an ally who can grant permanent magic stat increases with the Mag Bonus ability is incredibly useful.
Siren’s usefulness is further amplified by her ability to junction the Move-Find ability to her wielder, allowing players to spot hidden save and magic draw points across the world.
Location: Once you’ve begun your SeeD field exam, it won’t be too long before your mission takes you to the top of the Dollet Radio Tower. You’ll face Elvoret in a boss fight, and you’ll need to draw Siren from him before you put him down for good. If you miss that opportunity, you’ll have one more chance to grab Siren from the Tri-Point boss lurking in the Ultimecia castle wine cellar, near the end of the game.
FF8 Brothers GF
Two GFs for the price of one summon, this tag team of earthquake-causing powerhouses excel at increasing defense and boosting your overall HP. They’re also able to learn the Cover ability, which allows party members to absorb damage meant for another character provided that they’re adjacent to them in battle. Their Defend ability allows for physical damage to be shrugged off when activated.
The most valuable skill that the Brothers have to offer comes in the form of HP Bonus, which will give your party members another permanent stat boost to their HP every time they level up.
Location: Before Squall and friends are allowed to meet with General Caraway, they’ll have to prove their worth with a quick detour to the Tomb of the Unknown King. The ancient burial site can be located North of Deling City in Galbadia. Exploring the tomb, Squall will need to navigate to the Watergate and Water Wheel rooms so that he can open the path to the main chamber where you’ll face both brothers.
The easiest way to navigate through the tomb is turn right on every screen, which will take you around the location in a counter-clockwise direction that also allows for each room to be visited in the correct order. Cast Float on them to prevent them from having healing access to the ground, hammer hard, and you’ll soon beat the fearsome duo.
FF8 Carbuncle GF
The cutest GF around, Carbuncle is a support-class ally who’ll cast Reflect on your party when summoned, perfect for when you’re dealing with spell-slinging enemies. Like the rest of its brethren, Carbuncle has valuable skills beyond battle which allow it to learn handy new Defense, Status Attack, and Vitality junctions, while also being capable of maximising your chosen character’s reflexes with Counter and Auto-Reflect skills.
Throw in a Recovery Medicine refinement ability, and Carbuncle is an adorable medic and pharmacy who can help you whip up valuable healing items out of enemy loot.
Location: Near the end of the first act, it’ll be time to face Sorceress Edea for the first time in Deling City, provided that you can get past her deadly Iguion sentries. Carbuncle can be drawn from one of the Iguions before you defeat them, as well as from Krysta in Ultemicia’s Castle near the end of the game.
FF8 Leviathan GF
A serpent who specialises in drenching the battlefield with a tactical tsunami, Leviathan is your go-to GF for balancing your elemental offense and defense, perfect for junctioning your magic for some of the toughest fights around. Leviathan is also a handy ally who can learn the Recover ability that allows for a party member to fully restore their health. Its unique ability to refine support and medicine items for your other summons makes it an essential part of your squad if you’re focused on maximising your GF options.
With the added bonus of a permanent increase to your Spirit with every level up, Leviathan is a natural at maximising your longevity in and outside of battle.
Location: After the Galbadian attack on Balamb Garden, Squall and his party will be summoned before the master of the military academy, NORG. Leviathan can be drawn from him, but if you miss your chance, you can snatch it up from Trauma within Ultimecia’s Castle near the end of the game.
FF8 Pandemona GF
Do you like massive wind damage, being able to junction magic to your strength and speed stats, and a crazy ability that allows you to devour enemies in one big gulp? Then you’re probably going to want to get your hands on Pandemona, the wind elemental GF who specialises in hitting hard and fast.
Location: With Galbadia occupying the nearby town of Balamb, Squall and company soon find themselves fighting against former allies in the local hotel: Fujin and Raijin. Pandemona can be drawn from Fuijin during the fight, but if you accidentally KO her before you can do so, you’ll have a second chance at obtaining the GF from the Red Giant in Ultimecia’s Castle.
FF8 Cerberus GF
While the vast majority of GFs can be summoned to deliver some form of damage, Cerberus is different. This three-headed hellhound will instead cast Double and Triple on your party. Useful for tough battles, Cerberus can also learn an absurd amount of junction abilities, quadruple your status defense, and add auto-haste to a party member.
For those players who rely on magic, Cerberus also reduces the toll of dual-casting spells and its unique ability allows for your party to avoid being attacked from behind.
Location: During the battle of the Gardens, Squall’s infiltration of Galbadia Garden will see him run into Cerberus where it awaits players right in the middle of the atrium. An optional fight, defeat Cerberus and it’ll join your party.
FF8 Alexander GF
Holy… well, holy elemental damage Guardian Force! Outside of being a handy summon in case you face the undead, Alexander’s real talent lies in its ability to learn Elemental Defense x4, give your party members the skill to revive fallen comrades, and Med Data, which doubles the efficacy of your medicine. Alexander can also learn High Magic Refinement, but it’s the power to level up your medicine that you’ll want first, especially if you’re looking to acquire Doomtrain later on in Final Fantasy 8.
Location: All roads lead to Edea in the Battle of the Gardens, and when you finally face her for a rematch, Alexander can be drawn forth from the deadly sorceress. If you miss your window of opportunity to do so, fret not, as Catoblepas also contains the GF when you encounter that beast within Ultimecia’s Castle.
FF8 Tonberry GF
One of the best and worst GFs around, Tonberry may be lacking in attack power but its abilities that extend beyond the battlefield more than make up for its weaknesses. Able to increase player evasion and luck stats with its junction options, Tonberry is also a travelling merchant who allows for item shops and weapon upgrade stores to be called up from the menu no matter where you are.
Even better, Tonberry can learn how to haggle, resulting in steep discounts and profitable sales for your party. If you’re looking for rare items from defeated monsters, Tonberry goes the extra mile with a Level Up ability that allows you to enhance the beasts roaming the land, increasing the risk and the reward.
Location: Once you have full access to Balamb Garden’s travel mode, you’ll be able to pilot the ship to the Centra Ruins. Within the crumbling remains of this once mighty civilisation, you’ll face the smaller Tonberries, heavily-armoured creatures who can deal devastating damage with a single stab of their butcher’s knife. Keep defeating these creatures, and eventually the Tonberry King will challenge you. Defeat him, and you’ll have a Tonberry of your own to assist you in your adventure.
FF8 Cactuar GF
Speed, luck, and evasion. That’s what makes Cactuar special, and with a summon that allows it to do damage proportional to the level of its wielder, Cactuar makes for a specifically interesting GF. It’s also the very best ally to have for maximising all of a party member’s stats, as Cactuar can learn abilities that allow for permanent bonuses to HP, strength, vitality, magic, and spirit every time you level up.
Location: Cactuar Island, just off the coast of the Kashkabald Desert in Centra, is where you’ll find the little guy once you gain access to the Ragnarok spaceship. But to obtain you’ll need to defeat the Jumbo Cactuar. Not too much of a threat, Jumbo Cactuar has an insane amount of health and you’ll need to focus on its weaknesses against water if you want to chop it down to size. Persevere, drop some heavy attacks and eventually Jumbo Cactuar will be defeated, rewarding your party with a nice and shiny new GF.
FF8 Doomtrain GF
If you ever wondered what would happen if Thomas the Tank Engine had a bad acid trip, Doomtrain would be the answer. The most useful GF around for striking your foes with a range of debilitating status effects, Doomtrain can leave your targets open for massive counterattacks and is perfect for farming experience points from the dangerous monsters lurking in locations such as The Island Closest to Hell.
When it comes to junctioning, Doomtrain focuses on status attack and defense, while also being capable of learning Forbidden Medicine which can be used to craft the best recovery items.
Location: You’ll need various items in your inventory before you can acquire Doomtrain, such as:
- The Solomon Ring, which can be found at Tear’s Point in Eshtar, beneath the statue of the woman holding a harp.
- Six steel pipes, which can be acquired from Wendigos in the forests of Timber or in the wild plains of Galbadia.
- Six Marlboro Tentacles, which can be earned from defeated Marlboro that lurk on The Island Closest to Hell, The Island Closest to Heaven, and within the Eshtar Grandidi Forest.
- Six Remedy+, which can be acquired by using Alexander’s Med Lvl Up ability to turn ten Remedy items into one Remedy+.
- Once you have all those items, use the Solomon ring in your inventory and Doomtrain will join your team.
FF8 Bahamut GF
The greatest of all dragons, Bahamut’s Mega-Flare can light up a battlefield and leave your enemies scorched. Able to learn boost your strength and magic stats by 60%, Bahamut also offers an Auto-Protect buff, the Rare Item ability which comes in handy for weapon upgrades and can help you refine forbidden magic.
Location: Once you have access to the Ragnarok spaceship, navigate your way to the Deep Sea Research Center which is located all the way in the bottom left corner of the map. When you enter the first room of the DSRC, you’ll notice a blue pillar that periodically begins to power up and flash light at your party. Do not move when the pillar pulses, unless you want to engage in a random encounter. When you eventually reach the pillar, a voice will ask you a series of questions from which you must pick the right answer or you’ll have to do battle in a random encounter.
Once answered correctly, each question will result in your party fighting a Ruby Dragon. The answers to the questions are:
Q: So you wish to challenge me?
A: It’s not our will to fight
Q: Begging me for mercy?
Q: Damned imbeciles. Why do you wish to fight?
A: The actual answer is hidden below the first two, and is revealed to be “It’s our nature”.
With question time over, Bahamut will appear and challenge you for a tough fight, but once defeated he’ll join your team.
FF8 Odin GF
A god amongst GFs who can strike down all who stand in your way with a single swing of the Zantetsuken blade, Odin operates a little bit differently when compared to other summons. While you’re ordinarily able to call upon a GF if you have them equipped to a party member, Odin will instead appear randomly once a battle begins, instantly killing an enemy so long as you have his Triple Triad card in your possession.
Location: In the Centra Ruins where you battled the Tonberry King, you’ll be able to embark on an optional quest that needs to be completed within twenty minutes. To complete the puzzle, you’ll need to:
- Retrieve two red gemstones
- The first gemstone can be found in the eye of a gargoyle that watches over the entrance to Odin’s location
- The second gemstone can be found at the top of the ruins in another gargoyle
- Place both gemstones in the eyes of the second gargoyle, which will then activate a five-digit code that you’ll need to memorise
- Take both gemstones, head back to the first gargoyle and insert the gemstones once more
- Enter the code, and the entrance to Odin’s chamber will open
While Odin will not attack you with whatever time you have left, he will wipe your party out with Zantetsuken if the timer reaches zero. Hit him with your strongest blows, and you’ll gain access to Odin. Or he’ll lend a hand whenever he feels like it, at the very least.
FF8 Gilgamesh GF
Odin may be nigh-unstoppable, but he finally meets his match by the time you face Seifer once again on Lunatic Pandora near the end of the third act. So long as you still have Odin’s Triple Triad card, the battle will start with Odin attacking Seifer and being slain in the process. Zantetsuken will vanish into the heavens above, and once the fight is complete a new GF will emerge to fill the void left by Odin: Gilgamesh!
Unlike Odin, Gilgamesh follows no rhyme or reason in when he chooses to attack, as he appears randomly in the middle of a fight. Gilgamesh will randomly utilise one of four weapons to deal damage: The pathetic Excalipoor which deals a single hit point of damage, the more powerful Excalibur, the legendary Masamune, and Odin’s own instakill Zantetsuken.
Location: Gilgamesh will join your party after the final battle with Seifer on Lunatic Pandora and will remain with you as long as you possess his Triple Triad card. You must unlock Odin before this battle.
FF8 Eden GF
By this point in the game, you’ll have gained access to dragon kings, gods and elemental avatars within Final Fantasy 8. Eden on the other hand, is a GF who trumps them all. Able to break past the 9,999 damage barrier and inflict catastrophic attacks on enemies, the mightiest of all Guardian Forces is also the hardest to acquire.
Eden is well worth it though, as it can augment your Evasion, Hit, and Speed junctions. It also has the Devour ability which allows you to gobble up enemies, and can refine items that allow your acquired GFs to learn new abilities.
Location: In the Deep Sea Research Center where you fought Bahamut, you’ll now be able to descend further into the facility. To do so you’ll need to use the last remnants of steam power to climb down:
- After defeating Bahamut, climb through the hole in the floor that a giant vine has created.
- You will now need to use reserve steam pressure to open doors to the lower levels, while reserving 10 of these units top open the excavation site
- Use 4x RSP to open the door to Floor 2
- Use 2x RSP to open the door to Floor 3
- On Floor 3, activate the terminal beneath the stairs to open the door to your left and use 4x RSP
- Inside that room, you can recover 7 x RSP
- Use 1x RSP to open the door to Floor 4
- Use 1x RSP to open the door to Floor 5
- Use 1x RSP to open the door to Floor 6 and take the elevator down
- On Floor 6, some machinery will be in your way and if you have Zell in your party he’ll offer to brute-force the way open
- If you feel up to it, having Zell open the way will result in a series of unavoidable monster encounters
- Otherwise, use 4x RSP to open the path to the excavation site
- Now that you’re here, you’ll be able to descend through the ruins for the final part of this mission. If you used Zell earlier, prepare for a LOT of Tri-Face monster fights. If you didn’t, equip your Enc-None ability if you have it and stroll down to the bottom. There’s a hidden save point here, and trust us you’re going to need it.
- Take a look at the nearby machinery, use 10 RSP to activate it and prepare to face the dreaded Ultima Weapon. This ancient titan houses the Eden GF, so whatever you do make certain you draw it first thing and then focus on surviving the battle ahead. Ultima Weapon does not pull any punches, and it can easily wipe your party out in a single round if you’re unprepared.
Your best bet here is drop its vitality down to zero, cast Aura on Squall and pray that he finishes his Renzozuken limit break with a Lionheart finisher. After the mother of all battles, Ultima Weapon will finally be defeated and you’ll have earned the very last and most powerful Guardian Force in all of Final Fantasy 8. Congratulations!
Alternatively, you can always wait until the very end of Final Fantasy 8 when you invade Ultimecia’s Castle and grab the fella from Tiamat in the Clocktower.