How to Defeat Diablos in "Final Fantasy VIII"

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Shortly after defeating Granaldo and Raldo in the Balmb Garden training center in "Final Fantasy VIII," Cid hands Squall a magic lamp. If you try using it out of curiosity before preparing properly, you're in for an almost certain death: The moment you use the lamp, you get attacked by the Guardian Force Diablos. Although Diablos seems impossibly strong for how early in the game you fight him, using Demi and your limit breaks makes it possible to capture the GF and access his extremely valuable skills: Mug, Ability x3 and Enc-Half, which leads to Enc-None, allowing you to disable random battles entirely.

Set Up Your Party

  • The fight with Diablos relies on two main tactics: physical attacks with limit breaks and casting Demi from Diablos' own draw pool. Before you use the lamp, add the "Draw" command to Squall, Zell and Selphie. Junction your strongest magic to the Str stat of both Squall and Zell to power up their physical attacks as much as possible. If you don't have any particularly strong magic to junction, head to the beach near Balamb Garden to collect fish fins and refine them into Water magic. If you have the patience, build up 100 Water for each character for a significant boost to Str. Due to the nature of the fight, your other stats -- even HP -- are relatively unimportant. To revive downed characters, give each party member either the "Magic" command and a stock of Life, or buy several phoenix downs and give your party the "Item" command. Save your game and use the lamp to start the battle.

Attack Diablos with Demi

  • For the first several turns of the battle, use "Draw" and then "Cast" to cast Demi on Diablos. Drawing from Diablos has a high chance of failure, but when it works, Demi does damage based on the target's current HP, so neither your Magic stat nor the enemy's defenses affect its power. The lower you bring the enemy's health, however, the less of an effect Demi has. If your fight is going well, you can also Stock some Demi for later battles or to junction, but enemies later in the game provide a safer source of the spell. Continue casting Demi until one of your characters is injured enough to turn their HP number yellow.

Follow Up with Limit Breaks

  • Just as your use of Demi affects Diablos' health proportionate to his current HP, his attacks with Demi and Gravija take a percentage off your team members' health. Although Gravija is obscenely powerful, it places its victim at the perfect health range to use limit breaks. Once a character's health falls into the yellow, rapidly switch between party members until the choice to use "Limit" appears. There's no limit to how many times you can use a limit break -- just keep cycling through your injured party, activating "Limit" over and over on each party member to finish off Diablos.

Survive Diablos' Attacks

  • To beat Diablos quickly, you'll want to remain at low health to use limit breaks. Staying at low health is safer than it seems, because Demi and Gravija cannot deliver a killing blow. If your entire party has low health simultaneously, however, you risk getting wiped out by the GF's physical attacks. Once your whole party is near death, cycle through the spells in Selphie's limit break to find and cast Full Cure. Healing stops you from using limits for a few turns -- go back to casting Demi in the meantime -- but it's best to only have one or two characters at low health. That way, if they die, the remaining character can use Life or a phoenix down.

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