Most of the games in the Final Fantasy Series are famous for special monsters or entities that help you in battles. Final Fantasy 8 is no exception to this and they are called GFs or Guardian Forces. Let me share to you how to acquire them as you go along through the game. There are a total of 16 Guardian Forces and some other special GFs. Also, please take note that there are spoilers in this guide.
The first 2 Guardian Forces that you can acquire would be Quezacotl and Shiva. You can find them right at the beginning of the game in Squall’s study table computer. Access it immediately when you have control of Squall for the first time. Just a side note; GFs are vital in your survival throughout the battles in the game. They give you the stats and abilities that will give you an edge. Without them, you can only use normal attacks.
The next GF would be Ifrit. You can’t miss it. You’ll automatically acquire Ifrit after you’ve beaten him in the Fire Cavern at the beginning of the game.
Next would be Siren. Now, this is a special case. You can’t acquire Siren by defeating it. Instead, you’ll encounter Elvoret on top of the Dollet Communication Tower and you have to draw Siren from it.
Diablos will be the next GF that you can acquire, however, he is a special case. Before you head for Dollet for your first mission as a Seed (right after the scene where Squall, Selphie, and Zell are in a meeting with Cid and a Garden Faculty confiscates Zell’s T-Board), before you go anywhere, talk to Cid and he’ll give you a Magic Lamp. Use the item later and you’ll have to fight Diablos. Just a note, you can beat Diablos at low levels since you can draw Demi and use it against him. But of course, it would be hard to draw at low levels so I recommend fighting him at around level 15 or so.
For GF Brothers, when you visit the Tomb of the Unknown King for the passcode for General Caraway, go further inside. If you take a look at the map, there are 4 important places to go to. To the right is where you fight one of the brothers, and the top and the left for the floodgate and a save point. The trick here is when you reach an intersection, always go right and you won’t miss them. Save your game and if you were able to open the floodgate, go to the center of the map (the trick here is to go north from the screen where you got the code for caraway). You have to fight the 2 Brothers to acquire them. Use float but the trick is to concentrate your attack on one.
After that you can acquire Carbuncle next. When you fight Iguion during the assassination sequences, you can draw it from them.
The next GF would be Leviathan. It’s another easy acquisition. Draw it when you battle Norg. Take note that you need to draw it from Norg himself and not the barrier.
Pandemona will be the next and again, you can draw it from an enemy. When you battle Fujin and Raijin in Balamb Town (while it’s under Galbadian control), draw it from Fujin.
And then, when you raid Galbadia Garden, you can acquire 2 GFs here. You can get Cerberus by fighting it in the center of the main hall of Galbadia Garden. It’s just to the north of the main save point in Galbadia Garden. It is where you found the Haste draw point. Examine it and defeat it. The next GF that you can get here would be Alexander. Draw it from Edea later on.
For the next batch of GFs, you can acquire them anytime on Disc 3 and 4. It would be much easier though (and it’s required for some of them) if you have the airship Ragnarok.
GF Cactuar can be acquired in, well, Cactuar Island located south of Esthar near Centra. You have to fight and beat the big Cactuar. On the island, you will see a Cactuar appear randomly throughout the sands in the island. You have to catch it so that you can fight it.
The next would be Tonberry. You can acquire Tonberry in Centra Ruins (the one that looks like a diamond) by beating around 20 regular tonberries. After beating the 20th, or so, tonberry, the big tonberry will appear and will become one of your GFs after beating him.
The next one to get would be Doomtrain. The most important thing to do is to get the Solomon’s Ring at the center of Tear’s point. Then, you’ll need to acquire some items in order to acquire Doomtrain. You need to have 6 Malboro tentacles which you can Steal or receive from Malboros (Heaven and Hell Islands). You’ll also need 6 Steel Pipes which can be stolen from Wendigos near Galbadia train station. Finally, you’ll need 6 Remedy+ which you can get by upgrading regular Remedies (You need 60 Remedies. 10 remedies = 1 remedy+) using Alexander’s Med LV Up ability. Once you have all the items, examine the Solomon’s Ring to get Doomtrain.
Next would be Bahamut. You can acquire it after defeating it in the Deep Sea Research Center. The Center is located on the lower left corner of the map. You need the Ragnarok airship to gain access to it. You can also acquire GF Eden in this facility. After beating Bahamut, go further down into the research center and you’ll have to fight Ultima Weapon. Draw it from Weapon. The catch is, Ultima Weapon is the second toughest enemy in the game. Make sure you’re at least at Level 100 and use the Meltdown, Aura, Renzokuken combination.
Those were the 16 main Guardian forces. There are also some very useful special GFs that you can acquire. You have Odin which randomly appears in your battle after acquiring him. You can get Odin by beating him inside the Centra Ruins. You also have Gilgamesh; which automatically replaces Odin during the battle with Seifer.
Also, since some of the GFs can only be acquired on specific parts of the game (i.e. GFs that you draw from bosses which are Siren, Carbuncle, Leviathan, Pandemona, and Alexander), you can still acquire them in Ultimecia’s Castle in Disc 4. But again, it would be much better to use their abilities early on.