Final Fantasy VIII was the first game in the series to introduce an overarching mini-game. Called Triple Triad, it’s a collectable card game of sorts. I’ve heard that excelling at it yields some nice rewards but on earlier play-throughs I’ve ignored it completely. Now I remember why.
The game is played on a 3×3 grid. Players take turns laying down cards. Each card has a number assigned to its four edges. When a card is placed next to another the card with the higher number flips the lower numbered card to owners color. The player with the most cards his color when all the spaces have been filled wins and gets to take a card from his opponent. For the most part it’s a fun little distraction. It’s this last bit that turns into an exercise in frustration.
Most of the cards exist in abundance. There are, however, rare one-of-a-kind cards based on the game’s main characters. They are very powerful with high numbers on their sides and can win games easily. But, if you were to lose while playing with one, the opponent is going to take it. I hope you saved your game before hand because you’re not going to get that card back.
Today, I was doing good. I had won a bunch of good cards and had even stolen the Quistis card from one of her students. I was now aiming for the Zell card. It was in the nearby town of Balamb, owned by his mom. My first game against her resulted in a loss and, without fail, she took the Quistis card. I’ll just steal it back when she plays it again, I thought to myself, and in the meantime I’ll win the Zell card. Zell was mine within a few minutes but after an hour she still hadn’t played Quistis. By this time I was thinking that maybe the Quisits card had reverted back to the student I had first won it from. I made my way back to Balamb Garden, challenged the student again, and lost my Zell card to her. I jammed that reset button so hard I broke my finger.
Now all I have to show for my troubles is an hour of playtime lost and a snapped middle phalanges. Thanks, Triple Triad.