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Final Fantasy VIII Reloaded Level 1 Game

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Hi everyone been sometime I didn't post an LP, but I think this could interest some.

So sometime ago I did a full LP in French of FFVIII Reloaded a French Mod of Final Fantasy VIII, recently due to an idea of my part of willing to do a LV1 Run of this mod using a save editor to reset my level before each boss (without abusing it to get mid and high level stuff) mexico recently developped a alternate version of his mod where ennemies and bosses don't give any experience (Bosses give experience in the regular version of the mod) and characters start at LV1 this means we will not be able to Level Up but also GF will not be able to level up either so there will certainly be some major gameplay difference as some abilities might not be available, mexico also did some balancing so that LV1 playthrough can be done with minimal grinding, so before starting some few points to talk about :

-Knowing how FFVIII works you might think that this would make the game easier ? And you might be right, I want to say however that from the regular version of his mod mexico did a an excellent job at making sure that there is no way to get extremely powerfull magic before intended (or leveling up like crazy) and as such preventing the player to get overpower balancing the game's difficulty a lot (as well as providing a different experience between playing normally, avoiding experience and LV100 challenge (yeah because someone did it ^^)), however as this LV1 version is freshly new this will allows me to test out if the mod is indeed balance enough to maintain some challenge through the entire game even without leveling, so considere this as a testing LP as well as I will provide feedback to mexico which will lead up to potential updates.

-As mention on my previous LP this mod provide brand new sidequests with the original games content, so I will do them to.

So let's start out.

-As usual with this mod Summons start with no ability learned meaning we have to learn the Magic, Draw and Item abilities in order to being able to do anything than attack, it took 5AP each I'm using the Bite Bugs to learn them, have to be carefull tough we start with very low HP (223 for Squall and 216 for Quistis) so fighting 3 Bite Bugs can be dangerous at first, once we got the Magic ability things speed up as we start with 50 Fire, Thunder, Ice and Cure spells one Ice can one shot a Bite Bug, so learning Magic, Draw and Item (we could grind more but that would ruin the point, this version of the mod is made for no need to grind more than necessary each Junction to stats take 100AP so we're not going to worry about them for now).

-First change however to the regular version of the mod the Sources have been change as such the Source near the exit of the BGU has been change to contain Life spells, one of the source of the Training Part of the BGU has been made invisible and now contain Regen (not as usefull in this game as other FF but will have some uses), and one of the sources of Balamb now contain Blind spell (will prove usefull because we are in FFVIII ^^)

-After I go to sell the Occult Fan found in the BGU's library and Magic Stone that I have no use for now to buy some Potions (by the way Balamb shop only contain Potion, Phenix Down and Antidote)

-Time to go to the Fire Cave but before that I use a random encounter to cast Blind on Squall and Quistis.

Now this LV1 version of the mod has 4 major changes to the Fire Cave compare to Vanilla :
1- We can't choose the time, we have 20 minutes by default
2- We can't run from Random Encounters
3- The source that contains so useless Fire spell now contain Shell if you didn't grind for HP-J those are MANDATORY
4- We can save in the area just before Ifrit (just make sure to not save on your out of Fire Cave save cause we never know)

Now time to our old fellow Ifrit :

He has 1352HP at LV1, Ifrit serve as a tutorial to show you how bosses can be different from Vanilla FFVIII while he doesn't have much HP he is tough boss, this fight is in 2 phase :

-For the first half of his HP he will only use Fire which deal 70-75 damage and his Jump attack which deals around 90 damage, this first phase he isn't to fast and his attacks aren't to damaging, so just keep one character to heal and one to attack him with Blizzard spells, I throw some Scan to check his HP and don't risk limit to not trigger his second phase to early, when I'm about to trigger the second phase I put Shell on both character.

-Now the second phase begin and he starts by casting Haste on himself, so now he is way faster and able to act 2 time between our turns, not only that but he can now cast Fira, Fira is the reason why we need Shell without Shell it deals around 300 damage so that's a one shot and due to Haste giving him a high speed bringing back a character to life is very hard to do, now his Fira may give us one advantage with the Darkness statut to boost our Crisis Level we may have a chance to use our Limit Break, as for the healing if he does Fira I heal with Potion the reason being due to Shell reducing the power of Cure I need 2 Cure to heal Fira but I can't allow myself to lose potential Damage as the Shell can wear off Potion heal all the damage of Fira constantly, if I can't use Limit Break I simply use Blizzard, don't rely on Limit break tough as we haven't much time to trigger them before Ifrit's act again, if the Limit Break don't come up just forget about it and heal as we can't allow a death.

So basically the second half of his health is tough to take off I got really lucky at the end that he didn't cast a Fira just after the Shells wear off and that Quistis's Limit Break was strong enough to finish him off.

And so we got Ifrit and end this part.

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Continuing :

After dealing with Ifrit, I stay a little in the cave to found some Bats, reason being we can draw Aeros spell from these Bat now, the problem is being LV1 and with extremely low Magic Stat drawing Aero is actually quite hard, but I only need a few of them not 100, so now I exit the Fire Cave I do some combat with Bite Bugs again to learn Magic, Draw and Item to Ifrit and finish learning Thunder and Ice refine with Golgotha (Quetzacoalt in English) and Shiva as the refine abilities will be our main way to get magic (Note : Card Mode is not available until the final dungeon in this mod), starting learning HP-J for Golgotha and Shiva and Fire Refine for Ifrit (again I could grind but I'm trying to grind as little as possible).  

And so we go back to our school and can now start our exam, Quistis goes off of the party and we get Zell and Mr Seifer Motherfucker (if that's not clear I hate this character ^^) in our team, I junction Shiva to Zell who just like Squall and Quistis start with 50 Fire, 50 Blizzard, 50 Thunder and 50 Cure spells (he will be the last character to have starting spells) and gives Quistis's magic and Junction to Seifer (which will automatically be transfer to the next character later as this is the only time Seifer will be in our party) and so we go now for Dollet for our exam.

Not much to say about the mission, the Galbadian Soldier that we face can be killed easily just throw one spell and attack with either Seifer or Squall (for the Critical by pressing R1) be aware tough that sometime they counter with Fire, Thunder or Blizzard spell which deal 100-110 damage to us so with the counter + their actual they can actually kill a character tough this is rare, they also drop Potion which is nice and we can the basic spells if needed, after reaching the place were we are suppose to stand by we quickly realise that this is pointless and so decide to fuck off our order and a group of Galbadian to the Communication tower.

On our way we have to fight a snake, nothing interesting here his attack aren't threatning and he is weak to ice so just spam Ice spells and heal if necessary. Later Seifer as the dumbass he is decide to charge the tower alone and so he quit us but just after we are join by our 4th character Selphie, which will prove usefull as of now she has the best Magic Stat among our character and her Limit Break is really good early game (note : Selphie's Limit Break has been extremely nerf compare to Vanilla as it was possible to get spells like Meteor or even Ultima right from the beginning this is no longuer possible however her Limit Break is still very valuable as we are in a LV1 game and so we will not have definitive access to -ra spell for quite a while and so Selphie will be the only way to cast these, also Full Cure and Wall are usefull (Wall being one of the only 2 abilities in the mod that can inflict Aura)).

And so we enters the Tower the source that contain Blind Spells in Vanilla and Life in the regular version of the mod now contain Shells which will not be usefull for the next boss but for the boss after, so we save we go up and we face our second boss :

We start off with Biggs alone he is a joke his attacks aren't threatning his Thunder Spell can deal respectable damage but we have 3 characters so no worries, after a while he is join by Wedge now the only thing dangerous is if they both cast a spell on the same character, but this is very unlikely as at this point just one last spell on Biggs will be enough to make Sulfura (Elvoret in English) the real boss appears.
Elvoret isn't to bad as his most dangerous attack Haleine Putride (don't remember the english name) which deals around 190 and can inflict poison is predictable as he uses it every 3 turns, so it basically goes like this during the first 2 turns he will either attack, cast Fire or Thunder or Sleep if he deals damage just use one character to heal or attack to awake the target of sleep and attack by casting Aero (as he is weak to wind) with the 2 others, once we know Haleine Putride wait for him to launch the attack, I then use Zell to cast a Cure just to make buy time, use Squall's Renzokuken and try to get a Full Cure out of Selphie to heal the damage, on the second cycle he should be at low health so instead of casting Full Cure cast a -ra spell with Selphie that should finish him off if he isn't dead yet by now. Of course don't forget to draw Ondine (Siren in English) from him as she is a very valuable GF, and I also put Darkness on Selphie to set up for the next boss.

Now we have 30 minutes to escape but we are chase by a Spider like Robot named Goliath (or X-ATM92 in English) now you have 2 choices either run away from him or kill him, of course we are going to kill him as the rewards are worth it ^^

So Goliath is quite a unique boss in the sense that he has 5072HP however once we take 20% of his health he will go to the ground and self-repair once is reparation are over he will be back at full health and it will do so 5 times so we actually have to take out 10144HP and our best source of damage is without any question Selphie's Limit Break (Squall's limit sucks against Goliath as it is fix to only 4 hits, Zell limit break but we also have the time issus and Zell's Limit take time + Selphie's limit outdamage them easily), now the biggest threat of this fight is Onde de Choc (Schockwave in english) it deals around 300 damage and it's a wipe if you don't have Shell on so here's the plan :

-At first we put him on the ground by just spamming Thunder spells (this can be tricky as if he pull off Shockwave to early this might result in a game over)
-Then while he is on the ground I reduce Selphie's HP and try to get a good cast on her Jackpot (basically any -Ra spell cast at least 2 times will do) I can take advantage of these moment to draw Protect spells with Zell and Squall then once Goliath go up I immediatly cast the spell with Selphie to put him on the ground immediatly reapeat this process 4 times (if we get really bad RNG on Selphie's we can still try cast Thunder with Squall and Zell to put him on the ground.
-The fifth time he is put on the ground I cast Shell on my party, try to get a good cast with Selphie once he goes up I cast with Selphie use a character to heal her with Potion, as it is impossible that we will not see at least one Shockwave regarding the Schockwave not really sure how it works exactly bu I realise that after Krush he will always follow up by Schockwave but it also that he uses it after a regular so it is somewhat predictable but not entirely, anyway at this point it's just a matter of killing him as fast as possible (Selphie's Limit Break really help doing so).

As a result we get 50 AP and one item (random between the ones that teach Vgr+10%, Dfs+30%, Mgi +30% and Psy+30%) now here the sad part in this video I got the item that teach Mgi+30% which would have been perfect, sadly I run into a glitched random fight in the town that have make the game crash T_T so I have to redo the all fight and got the one that teach Dfs+30% instead.

So the mission is complete and we go straight back to the BGU, after becoming seed and learning that the BGU has money issues and will be enable to give us our Salary (YES that means no Seed Salary for getting money will have to found other way to get money), we go to a Ball Squall gets to Dance with a random unknow girl and then Quistis order us to change our outfit and go to the Training section with her, here I grind a little AP as the Grat gives 2 AP each and are easy to kill to finish learning the Refine ability on Ifrit and Siren (I used the 50AP of Goliath to start learning Junction to stat (that cost 100AP) as learning the Refine cost only 30AP and so would have make a lot of these AP wasted), after some scene where Squall tell Quistis to go talk to a wall, we found an unknown girl attack by a monster which is our next boss.


Now this fight for now the first one that is actually really easier on LV1 than Regular version this fight as a lot of difference compare to Vanilla :

-First off the Cujos are now active they attack you and they are quite fast so be carefull as if they focus one character and Lygus follow up with a spell that can kill a character but we learn HP-J just before this fight so this shouldn't happen.
-Now the thing with this fight is if you kill the Cujos first Lygus will start casting powerfull spell like Water and Bio that are very damaging, but if you kill Lygus first then he will cast Mad Rush on one of the Cujo inflicting Protect, Berserk, Haste and worst of all Regen and you definitly don't want that to happen.

So the idea is to kill one of the 2 Cujo then start damaging Lygus and the remaining Cujo and try to kill them back to back starting with the Cujo so that Lygus don't have time to cast his stronger spells, this is easy as Lygus has only 500HP and is weak to wind so 2 Aero will kill him. (Note : In a recent update mexico boost his HP to 700 but still not enough to make a difference, but from what I've understand he has some trouble coding this fight and run into issue that prevented him to do all he wanted to do, so sadly seems like for the moment this boss is stuck at being a joke).

So that will do it for today.

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Alright been a while I haven't update this topic so time to do it, so basically I completed the entire Disc 1 ^^ so yeah quite a lot of things happen since then.

So last we left we had basically becomes Seed and so we will directly be send on our first mission which is going to Timber help some resistant before going Cid gives us 2 thing :

-3000 gils to buy the train ticket (as I remind you no Seed salary in this mod)
-The Grimmoforce (I don't know the English name) which will be the only way to lear G-Force also yeah that mean you can have only 1 character that can summon in the all game.

People that knows FFVIII might think but "what about the Magic Lamp in which Diablo is ?" Well it's not here we will get it later in this mod.

So time to go to Timber while we are on the train our character collapses and lose consciousnes, we then transport into our first dream sequence with Laguna, Kiros and Ward.

Nothing special to say here, this first dream is very straightforward, we notice a Life and a Slow (it's a Demi source in the regular version of the mod), and as we go into our truck we meet the first new surprise boss of this mod an Ochu.

This isn't a tough oppenent as he is weak to Slow, however be aware that he can inflict Slow on the all party (which we can't heal now), he can also use but most importantly he can use Thundara which will most likely one shot the target, so don't hesitate to play defensivly, he is weak to Fire and Ice so use these spells it shouldn't be hard.

After that dream, encountering the resistant, meet our futur next party member Linoa (or Rinoa in English), and a stupid train mission to capture the president Deling, we succeed at capturing the president..... except that's not him and we fight a boss.

Now this video isn't relevant as since then Selphie's Limit Break and I think you can definitly see why ^^, I haven't record the fight after the nerf sadly because like an idiot I didn't keep a save before this boss, but basically fighting him normally the biggest threat is Cyanure and his attack called Dissection, Cyanure will most likely one shot the target without Shell, Dissection don't do that much damage but inflict Slow, he is weak to Fire and healing as he is a Zombie (he is immune to Death however so now Phenix Down) you can inflict him Regen it will act as a Poison for him.

After that Rinoa joins and we go to Timber, lot of stuff to do :

-At the entrance of the town you will see Timber's cops arguing with Galbadian soldiers, defeat the Galbadian you will be reward with a Mega Potion quite nice at this point.
-There is a new sidequest in the house of an old man (the one where you can drink water to heal everything) which involve defeating a Coeurl which isn't hard as he hits hard with Ra spell but is weak to slow
-Before entering the Pub instead of facing only 2 Galbadian we face them with a Pikasso (don't remember the english) the only dangerous thing is the Pikasso as an AoE that hits quite hardbut he doesn't use it often.

Then we go to the studio, Seifer try to attack the president, Edea takes him her and she left us with, SURPRISE a new storyline boss :

Without a doubt the hardest fight at this point, hope you are prepare, the Sorceress is a tough oppenent capable as you can guess to use quite a lot of spell, she can use Ra spells these still hit hard, Curse which inflict Poison, Silence and Darkness but more importantly Death spell which we have no protection against at this point (fortunatly she doesn't use it often), I let Squall deal with her with his Limit Break as she has a very good Magic Defense but a poor Physical Defense however it's not that easy as there is a second phase.

Once the second phase she will counter every attack throws at her by Maëlstrom which take off 1/3 of our HP and inflict Curse which prevent us to use Limit Break, this move is what make this fight had as it let us with low HP enough for her to kill our character with Ra spell, but Curse prevent us from using our best source of Damage which are Limit Break we can't heal curse but the around it is to kill off the character and revive him with low which is what I do with Squall, however the Sorceress has a slight advantage in speed so that makes thing tougher.

Now after that there's nothing left for us at Timber so let's go elsewhere, the game open up a little at this point and so we have a bunch of new sidequest to do :

First thing we go to Dollet as we have 2 Sidequest to do here :

-The first one involve tracking a dog, when we catch him we see that he has a Bite Bug in his mouth which we are going to fight :

Now on the contrary to the Zombie boss, this fight have been made easier since I record this video, back when I record this this fight is extremely unbalance and very luck base, this Bite Bug was no joke first he buffs himself like crazy and then he was attacking 3 time in a row (which wasn't intended) making the fight extremely luck base basically if you didn't have a good starting ATB this fight was near impossible, now it has been fix and should much more manageable.

As a reward we get the Magic Lamp to face Diablo but not yet.

-We also have the possibility to return to the Mountain where we have to face a Sulfor :

Shell are mandatory for this boss as his Cyanure spell hits hard and his special attack Tourment will deal near 400 damage if you don't have shell, but also before dying he will cast Meteor which can hit hard, other than that not much to say about that fight, he is weak to wind so Aero are good to use here.As a reward we get an item that allow one of our GF to learn HP+30%

After that we face Diablo :

Now this fight is a little technical he start right away by casting Death on one character, after that he can still use Death, Demi, Gravija or Attack outside of Death his attack doesn't seem that dangerous, however you have to maintain your character healed unlike Vanilla where you could spend this all fight without healing (just reviving) here that's not the case, after dealing with around half of his HP Diablo will start using Soupir an physical AoE that can actually kill, it deals 110-120 damage not much however if he happens to cast it after a Gravija that can be dangerous, so I suggest going the safe maintain your characters at high health and attack him with Aero spells as he is weak to wind (Note : I tried Linoa's Limit Break cause her second attack Angelo Strike can inflict Vit 0 which would have speed the fight a little).

After that we can now start the main sidequest of this mod the so called "Special Monsters Sidequest" this is a sidequest that we will be doing through the entire game it consist of beating 15 Strongest version of already existing monsters, and we have to kill them in a specific order, one NPC at Balamb will tells us the order but as his memory isn't good he will only remember part of the order through the game for now he only remember the first 3 and we will be fighting the first 2 :

The Special Fungus

This fight is short but can prove challenging, this stronger version of Fungus will directly start the fight by using Transcendance which will give him the Aura statut as well as Protect and Shell then follow up directly by Explosion which inflict physical damage as well as curse and Doom. So the hard of this fight is actually to survive due to the Aura statut he have some really powerfull AoE I got lucky he only did Explosion here but he has other that are more dangerous, try to keep Squall alive and low HP, eventually his Aura statut will wear off and he will lose a turn to reapply it this will be you're chance to strike him with Squall's limit and hopefully kill him.

We are reward with an item that learn the ability Schweitzer which double the efficiency of item 

The Special Bogomile

The gimmick of this fight is we have to fight him with 1 character if you have 3 Characters he will use Mega Ankou (All Death), if you have 2 he will use Force de Dragon and all his attack will one shot you, now this fight one unbalance thing and that is Berserk thing is unless grinding it's unlikely that you will be immune to it, other than that I choose Linoa because she has the best Magic stat, the biggest threat is his Fira which hurt, but also before dying he will cast Firaga, which will deal 400 damage, so have to put Shell, Double and Double Aero.

So after that we got our second Laguna's dream and some thing to say about it :

-Do everything open all the doors, get the old keys, push the boulders in the right order, trust me this will be usefull, one of the special monsters of this mod will be permanently miss if you don't
-The first mandatory fight of this sequence put you against 4 Esthar Soldier who caught you off guard their first can indeed hurt as a result
-I highly recommend to learn Piller (Mug in english) and to try to mug every single Esthar Soldier in the way as well as every Elastos (don't remember their english name the blue robot) to get as much healing item as possible
-The last battle oppose you against 2 T-Borg and 1 Elastos who join them as oppose to vanilla, nothing to dangerous tough except the Elastos can cast Degenerator which will permanently kill but it is extremely rare.

After that we progress the story, go to the Galbadian Garden where there is some interesting Sources to found (Haste, Anti-Barr and Bio), we then go to Deling but have to found a code to enter in some old king Tomb which contain 2 bosses

Carnidéa Speciales

Now yeah these are making a lot more easier than they are, each of this act 2 times per turn and can potentialy screw your day they also have Auto-Reflect, now the gimmick is you have to kill them back to back if you don't the last survivor will start casting strong AoE spells like Tornado and Quake needless to say that at LV1 it's not possible to survive these.

As a reward we get a Vierge which will allow Quistis to lear Great Guard

Then the GF bosses of the tomb

Now you have to be fast in this fight and put Float ASAP reason is after like 3 turns they will use Vache Folle a really powerfull earth attack that hit extremely hard (over 700), the rest of the fight isn't that bad, just be aware of Taurux's Attila which hit a little hard, attack them with Double Bio as they are weak to poison.

And so we return to Deling City, not going to enter in the detail we're going to do try to assassinate the Sorceress, but Linoa decide to act on her own, Quistis, Zell and Selphie get trap and have to go through the Sewer, but first we get to control Squall and Irvine which are going to save Linoa except unlike Vanilla we are on a time limit and have 30 minutes to reach and save her, but we have to fight a boss fight.

The 2 main threat of this fight is Resonance that does around 250 damage on everyone and Magma that can inflict Gradual-Petrify which is dangerous as we have low Spr the time will be short, they have the GF Carbuncle to draw from, best way to attack is to have Squall attack them with his Limit with Irvine as a support, Shell helps a lot against Resonance.

Then we got back to Quistis team same we have 30 minutes to reach the exit of the sewer, except at the exit we are meet with a new fight.

The incube is a classi Elemental changing boss, he has Auto-Reflect to beat him we have to attack him he will then counter by changing is weakness and attack with an elemental attack he will be weak to the opposite element of that attack cast Double on your best caster (here Selphie) before attacking put Reflect on one character attack him and cast Double time his weakness that shoudl kill him, as he will take Triple Damage and have low HP.

After that we trap the sorceress Edea, Irvine miss his shot so Squall have to go fight her head on but first we have a One VS One fight with our dear old friend Seifer.

Unlike Vanilla he actually put up a fight, he star directly by casting Shield on him which we can dispel with Anti-Barr, then his main way of attacking our physical and Fira, Fira deals high Damage and so I recommend having Fire Protection and Shell, attack him with Bio spell getting low HP to do a Limit Break isn't safe, after some HP taken he will cast Malediction which inflict Zombie, Curse and Poison now your priority is the Zombie heal it with Holy Water, continue to attack with Bio and heal with Potion.

After that we have the option to save, to redo all our Junctions before the Disc 1's Final Boss Edea herself

Now this is an hard fight, however note that it has a glitch that can make Edea's skip some phases if you're doing to much damage that's why I attack her with only Bio to not provoke this boss as I wanted to show how this fight truly is, Mexico is currently working on fixing this.
So now this fight is actually tough, the difficulty will increase during the fight there is basically 3 phases :

-Phase 1 : She will only use basic spells nothing dangerous, I highly recommend you take advantage of this easy phase to Draw Cura spells from her they will help for what comes next, as I say I attack her with Double Bio to not risk to glitch her otherwise I woul have set up Squall to use his limit as she has an high Magical resistance, also if you try to infllict Vit 0 she will automatically cure it, and if you try using Reflect she will eventually use Regen on you to put it one herself, so NO Reflect.

-Phase 2 : Now this is where the real fight begins she will initiate this phase by using Maelstrom and the cast Double on herself, she will now start using Ra spell which hurt a lot over 250 damage with Shell, also use Bio which do only 100 damage but inflict poison, your main source of damage is Squall so try keeping him low health and try to keep the other 2 alive, Double Cura will help, as well as reviving item, Edea is also suprisingly fast and Double Blizarra or Thundara on the same character can easily result in one character dead to revive, so attack her with Squall's Limit try to keep shell on before Phase 3.

-Phase 3 : Now here's the hardest part she start this phase by casting Tornado, Tornado deal over 2000 damage even with Shell you can't survive it your only way is having Shell and Wind resistance, so I hope you learned Def-Ele-J and junction Aero otherwise you will not survive this, now she can also cast Double Firaga needless to say that this is extremely dangerous the Firagas deals over 400 damage even with Shell so if your character HP aren't high enough they will die, fortunatly this phase doesn't have to much HP and should end rather quickly but as you can see in the video things can ge wrong pretty easily.

Now outside of video I manage to draw 100 Curas for each characters from her, these will be usefull for later, and so we end Disc 1.

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