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Mega Mirror: Top Ten Tips for Final Fantasy VIII; .. and a chance to win the game.

FINAL Fantasy VIII is one of the most challenging video titles ever.

The epic role-playing game, out for the PC this week, even takes hardcore fans 100 hours of thumb-numbing play to finish.

The complex plot revolves around the heroic Squall Leonhart and his fellow students at The Garden, an elite training academy.

Squall and his mates are drawn into a war between neighbouring countries, started by the evil sorceress Edea. Here are Mega's top ten tips to help you complete Final Fantasy VIII:

THERE are eight playable characters and you can play up to three at once. By changing frequently you can discover their abilities and get to grips with the complex magic system.

THERE are endless items and magic to help you in your quest, so take time to experiment. The system revolves around Guardian Forces, creatures that represent the elements such as Fire, Ice or Earth.

TALK to the characters you meet because many will give you valuable information. Go back to them after new events have taken place and remember to talk to your team, too.

THE game uses the idea of "junctioning", which means equipping a character with Guardian Forces, special abilities or magic via the menu system. Mastering this is the key to your success.

YOU can increase Squall's physical attack power by pressing R1 just before he strikes the opponent. But as you progress through the game physical attacks alone will not defeat enemies. You must combine them with magic.

LEARNING how to use your Guardian Forces is essential. Fighting gives them experience, attack power and ability points which can help Squall and his friends.

HIT Points indicate the character's life force and should be restored before they drop to dangerous levels. But you can use Limit Breaks THE Limit Breaks vary for each character. For instance, Squall can launch more attacks during a Limit Break and has a better chance of landing punishing blows.

SQUALL and his pals meet many hostile creatures. However, you can draw magic and gain items from monsters and find out which kinds of attack are effective in different situations.

SAVE your game early and keep saving. In most cases Save Points indicate danger ahead. It's also wise to save when you have acquired a new Guardian Force or item. Mega is dishing out 25 copies of Piggyback's Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide, plus 25 copies of FFVIII for the PlayStation.

The book, which costs pounds 12.95 and is available from most good book and computer game stores, includes a complete walkthrough of the game and is jam-packed with essential hints on how to complete it.

For a chance to win just name the hero in the FFVIII and phone 0901 380 1812 with your answer. You must be 11-18 years old to enter.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Parker, Fiona
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2000
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