Sunday, 1 March 2020

Final Fantasy VIII - Triple Triad Strategies

Whatever you think of Final Fantasy VIII, it's undeniably complicated. From it's complicated Junctioning system, to its complicated game-within-a-game, Triple Triad. While there's plenty of guides on where to find rare cards, or the rules of the game, but I couldn't find a guide anywhere that explains the basic strategies of actually playing (aka "why do I keep losing?!").

So I thought I'd put together a simple guide that might help you understand how to play, and even enjoy, this popular mini-game.

The first thing you need to know is that this is less about strategy, and more about having good cards. When you start the game you do not have good cards, so you are very likely to lose, which is a very frustrating way to start the game.

In short, don't even bother playing until you at least have the Ifrit card (which you get by following the main storyline).

But even once you have good cards, you will still need basic strategy for how to play. So here it is. It's incredibly simple, and once you've got it, you'll wonder why it was so difficult to begin with.

There are three acceptable moves to make, in order of how good they are. At the very least you should always be able to play a #1. If you can't, you're going to lose.

Move #1: Play a card that your opponent cannot flip.
EVERY card you play should adhere to this rule. Never place a card that your opponent can then flip. Using the sides of the play area, or other cards, is essential. There are no cards that are strong in every direction, so the most basic move you should always strive for is playing a card that your opponent cannot flip to their colour.

Remember: Equal numbers do not flip.

Move #2: Play a card that flips your opponent's card(s), but which they can flip back.
This is a slightly better move than the one above. Basically it's a little petty, but you flip a card of theirs with your move (and remember: always checking that the card you play cannot be flipped by your opponent). You will flip their card, but they will then flip is back to their colour on their move. This forces your opponent to focus to play defensively, and often play their cards poorly.

Move #3: (The best move) Play a card that flips your opponent's card(s), so that they cannot flip back.
Just like the above, but done in a way that your opponent is powerless to flip the card back to their colour. (Again, ensuring that the card you play cannot be flipped by them.)

Again, so simple once someone points this out, but when you're starting it can be baffling.

So your first move should nearly always be placing a card in a corner of the play area, in such a way that your opponents cards cannot be used to flip it. Your opponent will do the same. As you get further into the game, you will eventually be forced to clash. Follow the above rules and you will be fine -- provided you have strong enough cards. (It really is about the cards you hold.)

So there! A simple (and probably unnecessary) strategy guide for Triple Triad! :)