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Final Fantasy VIII is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, developed and published by Squaresoft. Final Fantasy VIII is set on a fantasy world with science fiction elements, and focuses on Squall Leonhart, a young SeeD mercenary hired out to various missions by Balamb Garden. The gameplay makes a departure from many series standards. 50 million from sales in the United States, making it the fastest selling Final Fantasy title at the time.
15 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2003. The gameplay differs from previous titles, the draw and junction systems being the most notable changes. Instead of leveling up to learn new spells and abilities via weapons or a job class, the player must draw the spells from enemies and draw points, hotspots scattered throughout the game containing random numbers of a specific spell, or create them from items. Enemies are randomly encountered on the field.
There are three members to a party, and unlike in previous entries, Final Fantasy VIII doesn’t differentiate between front and back row and any party member can attack any target. Summoned monsters are known as Guardian Forces, often abbreviated to GFs. They require junctioning to characters to be used, as well as to use their inherent abilities. Similar to the aeons used later in Final Fantasy X, the GFs have HP and can take damage, shielding party members while being summoned. During the summon charge time, if the GF’s HP drops to 0, they get knocked out and the summon is canceled.