FFVIII Crystal is a gameplay mod designed to give a new way to play Final Fantasy VIII by making each playable character more distinct, strengthening and redesigning enemies, and adding new content.

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Download (2013 Steam version)

Download (Remastered version)

Introduction

FFVIII Crystal is a rebalancing mod for FFVIII that began as a self-imposed class-based challenge playthrough roughly 10 years ago and still retains some of its features. It attempts to make each character more distinct, dial back some of the overtuned mechanics and abilities of FFVIII, and make the game more challenging while keeping the "flavor" of the original game. This mod is intended for both the English 2013 Steam release of FFVIII and FFVIII Remastered and is playable from start to finish, though there are a few differences between the two versions (see below).

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Characters
Basic stat junctions have been removed in favor of more meaningful gains through leveling. Junctions for Elem-Atk, Elem-Def, Status-Atk, and Status-Def are still available, and the values that spells add to each have been adjusted. Additionally, each character joins the party with a GF tailored to their abilities.

This mod is designed around limiting which spells can be used by characters who possess the Magic command. This information is provided below as well as in the in-game Information section, but as it is not hard-coded into the gameplay, you can ignore this aspect of the mod if you wish.

Squall
- Knight archetype that borrows from the Paladin and Dark Knight classes
- High Vit and solid physical damage, low Spr and Spd
- GF: Bahamut
- Usable spells: All spells included in the WHT-RF 1 ability (Cure, Esuna, Dia, Water, Scan, Float, Blind, Confuse, Sleep, Silence, Berserk) + Regen and Zombie

Squall's Limit Break damage has been lowered and all finishers but Lion Heart now inflict a status effect. New finishers are now gained according to blade type, so the Cutting Trigger is the first gunblade to give Fated Circle and Twin Lance is the first to give Blasting Zone.

Quistis
- Blue Mage with solid stats all around, but low Spd
- GF: Shiva
- Usable spells: N/A

Blue Magic is generally weaker in order to balance it around regular usage. Degenerator has been removed and some Blue Magic spells have had their properties changed with the aim of making as many of them useful as possible.

Zell
- Monk archetype with High HP and Str, weak defenses, high Spd
- GF: Ifrit
- Usable spells: N/A

The button combinations for Duel attacks have been changed, the timer has been shortened, and the move sequences are simpler. Some of Zell's Duel attacks now have an elemental property.

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Selphie
- Black Mage archetype with a hint of Red Mage
- High Mag and Spr, low HP, Str, and Vit
- GF: Tonberry
- Usable spells: All spells included in the BLK-RF series of abilities + Dispel, Meteor, Ultima, Apocalypse

Full-cure is no longer in Slot, but Percent has been added to Slot and deals 50% HP damage to all enemies. The End now deals massive damage instead of inflicting Death. Additionally, healing/defensive options have been removed from Slot in favor of more offensive ones. Selphie's weapons now deal magic-based damage.

Rinoa
- White Mage archetype with high Mag and Spr, middling Str and Spd and low Vit
- GF: Carbuncle
- Usable spells: All spells included in the WHT-RF series of abilities, Apocalypse

Angelo's attacks are Str-based, Angelo Strike inflicts Confusion, and Invincible Moon now grants Regen and is the only source of Invincibility in the mod. Angelo Search has been removed, but all other Angelo passives remain. Angel Wing's damage multiplier is x2 instead of x5 and now uses JWP's Angel Wing Patch, which makes Rinoa cast only certain spells regardless of whether they're in her inventory. She has a chance to cast the following spells during Angel Wing, grouped in order from most to least likely: {Holy, Waterga}, {Flare}, {Doom, Meteor, Tornado}, {Pain, Quake}, {Blizzaga, Firaga, Thundaga}, {Curaga, Slow}, {Ultima}, {Haste}, {Wall}, {Aura}, {Apocalypse}

Irvine
- Middling Str and Mag, low defensive stats, high Spd and Luck
- GF: Cerberus (2013) / Cactuar (Remastered)
- Usable spells: N/A

Each of Irvine's guns have unique properties instead of being straight upgrades like other characters' weapons; additionally, each gun requires only one item to make, all of which can be bought in shops. Weapon properties are as follows:

Shot is generally weaker to account for more regular usage and the timer is shorter. Dark Shot now inflicts Poison damage. Hyper Shot is now the powerful attack it always should've been, but there are a limited number of Pulse Ammo in the game.

Enemies
Most enemies now have a fixed level in order to accommodate the changes to characters and leveling, though bosses and certain enemies still scale in some fashion. Many enemies use abilities they didn't before, and some are new. Enemy AI scripts have been adjusted to make them smarter and less wasteful of their turns, with some having new AI scripts altogether. Bosses have been made more challenging and given new abilities and mechanics. Undead status has been removed from enemies, and formerly undead enemies now tend to have high Vit and a weakness to Holy and Fire. Sleep now halves an enemy's Vitality for the duration. Curse can be inflicted on enemies and reduces their Str and Mag by 20%.

Magic
Offensive spells have been strengthened across the board while curative spells have been weakened slightly. Demi, Aura, Double, Triple, and Meltdown are now enemy-only spells. A low-level Holy-element spell, a low-level Earth-element damage spell, and a high-level Water damage spell have been added. Pain now deals Poison-element damage, effectively making it a high-level Bio. Death has become Doom, which inflicts Doom and deals non-elemental damage.

Command Abilities
In an effort to make FFVIII's special commands more interesting, worthwhile, and distinct from other abilities, almost all of them have been replaced outright and most of the remainder have been altered in some way.

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Miscellaneous
- New items and battle items have been added.
- Several new sidequests have been added and existing ones have been adjusted to give more significant rewards, including abilities not learned by the characters' GFs.
- There are now more choices that can lower the player's SeeD rank points.
- Shops have been given more unique inventories.

FFVIII Crystal Remastered Version 1.0 includes the same content additions, changes to enemies and abilities, etc. as 1.4 of the 2013-Steam version of the mod with the following exceptions:

- Unlike pre-1.3 releases of Crystal, Edea remains a party member despite the GF unequipping fix not yet being in place for the Remastered version.
- Irvine's GF is Cactuar instead of Cerberus.
- Jumbo Cactuar is spawned by killing at least 5 Cactuars and winning a battle in which only a single Cactuar is present.
- The contents of certain Draw Points has been changed.
- The Draw resistance of all spells but Meteor, Ultima, and Apocalypse has been reduced to 0.
- Characters start out with more spells stocked.
- Draw, Auto-Potion, Cover, Darkside, and Return Damage use their default behaviors/properties.
- Angel Wing has its default behavior and damage multiplier and inflicts Vit 0 and Slow on Rinoa.
- Minimog has its default price and Mog's Amulet is not sold by Chocoboy.
- SeeD level payouts are at default values.

I hope to restore these changes to the Remastered version of the mod as soon as possible.

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