FF8's SeeD rankings are actually pretty stressful for players, successfully mimicking how it must feel for Squall and the rest of the candidates from Balamb Garden. The mercenary organization is a major player in the FF8 narrative but will also form a basic foundation for how Squall experiences the world around him. A higher FF8 SeeD ranking will give players a better salary, and that's determined by completing a series of field exams and written tests that will help determine Squall's SeeD Rank.
FF8 Remastered is the best way to play an underappreciated classic in the Final Fantasy franchise, and part of its appeal is the way it explores complex gameplay systems. Part of the reason FF8 has often been neglected by some fans is because it follows what many consider to be the best Final Fantasy game ever made in FF7, a game that will be the first in the series to be completely remade for modern systems in FF7 Remake. Another reason is that FF8 takes many of the systems that were experimented with in FF7 and stretches them as far as it can, creating some mechanics that, while compelling and innovative, also require a significant amount of time put in on the player's side of things to truly understand and employ effectively.
One of those systems is FF8's SeeD Rank, which is pretty obtuse at the beginning of the game and is only explained thoroughly after the player has already committed several actions that could influence it greatly. Luckily, many players have walked the road to the best FF8 SeeD Rank possible before, and their wisdom is what has culminated in a guide that will help future Squall fans achieve the same. Here's a quick rundown of FF8 SeeD Rank, from a basic rundown to solutions to its most problematic elements.
How FF8 SeeD Rank Works
FF8's SeeD Rank is determined by the player's decisions while doing the Dollet mission early in the game (just after the Fire Cavern). While that's the initial measuring stick for a player's SeeD Rank, it's not the only one - a player's conduct during other moments in FF8's story will also influence their rank. Essentially, choices that fit the narrative of Squall's slow acceptance of being a hero and looking out for everyone will often be correct in-game, although mileage will vary. These choices don't matter as much as using the Dollet mission to establish a strong initial rank or the written tests, however, so make sure to focus on those first.
The benefits of a high FF8 SeeD Rank are mostly tied to money. Squall will be paid a salary at specific points in FF8 that is determined entirely by his SeeD Rank. The difference in salary is also pretty extreme - rank 1 pays a meager 500 gil, while rank 30 pays out 20,000. Squall will be paid based on distance traveled, which means Squall gets paid automatically just for exploring the world. Traveling by Chocobo or by car also means that Squall gets paid faster, but wandering around without actually doing anything will hurt the player's SeeD Rank, as Squall will slowly be penalized with reduced SeeD Ranks for doing nothing.
How to Get The Best FF8 SeeD Field Exam Score
The FF8 Dollet SeeD Field Exam is a crucial juncture in the game that can help fatten Squall's wallet early, when it matters most. The test will gauge player ability based on their performance during the mission - and, as it turns out, during the previous mission, too. That's right - FF8 pulls a fast one and actually uses the Fire Cavern mission to determine a player's SeeD Rank as well. Interestingly, though, it's highly exploitable. The Fire Cavern mission has a timer and the closer to 0:00 a player is when they finish it makes their score much higher. The thing is, the timer runs while players have defeated Ifrit and are giving him a name. As long as a player gives Ifrit a name and moves from that screen in between zero and seven seconds remaining, they'll get a perfect 100 point score. That's the Judgment SeeD Field Exam Score sorted; now here's the other four.
Conduct SeeD Field Exam
Conduct is basically a carbon copy of the Fire Cavern conceit - players compete with a timer in-game and their score is based on when they complete the mission. Conduct has to do with the Dollet exam, however, and inverts the requirements. The more time on a player's clock, the better they will do with the Conduct Exam. Here are the tiers:
- 25:00+: 100pts
- 24:59-24:00: 90pts
- 23:59-23:00: 80pts
- 22:59-20:00: 70pts
- 19:59-19:00: 60pts
- 18:59-17:00: 50pts
- 16:59-15:00: 40pts
- 14:59-10:00: 30pts
- 9:59-6:00: 20pts
- 5:59-3:00: 10pts
- 2:59-0: 0pts
Attitude SeeD Field Exam
Attitude is certainly something Squall has been criticized for by fans, and it's no different during his SeeD exam. Attitude actually begins at a 100 point score and then slowly degrades based on player decisions that are considered inappropriate from a SeeD candidate. Here's how deductions work:
- 0 deductions: 100pts at mission end
- 1-8 deductions: 80pts at mission end
- 9-13 deductions: 70pts at mission end
- 14-17 deductions: 50pts at mission end
- 18-24 deductions: 30pts at mission end
- 25+ deductions: 10pts at mission end
And here's a quick run-down of the possible deductions players can suffer during the mission:
- Ignoring Seifer's instructions while inside the ship en route to the mission is 1 deduction
- Talking to anyone during the Field Exam results in 1 deduction, even characters Squall is working on the mission with like Seifer and Zell. Talking to Biggs after defeating him earns a whopping 2 deductions, presumably because discussing a battle with an enemy who just tried to kill Squall is considered poor form.
- Jumping off a cliff with Selphie to take a shortcut results in 5 deductions and is a repeatable offense.
- Moving toward the communications tower before Seifer tells Squall to adds 1 deduction and is also a repeatable offense.
- Not saving the dog (which is monstrous, by the way) from the X-ATM092 in the town square adds 10 deductions and should add more.
- Hiding from the X-ATM092 in the pub results in 20 deductions.
Attack SeeD Field Exam
Squall's Attack portion of the exam is the easiest one to figure out. It's simply a matter of how many enemies are defeated during the exam. There are some massive discrepancies at the top of the ranking, so it's best to aim for at least 25 enemies but to avoid trying for 75, which will take too much time.
- 75+ enemies defeated: 100pts
- 25-74 enemies defeated: 80pts
- 15-24 enemies defeated: 50pts
- 10-14 enemies defeated: 20pts
- 0-9 enemies defeated: 0pts
Spirit SeeD Field Exam
The Spirit section of the Dollet FF8 SeeD Exam is directly related to X-ATM092, the gigantic insect-like mech that chases Squall and company. The points total is determined by how many times players need to escape from the mech. It's possible to only fight X-ATM092 once during the communications tower section. Using the walk command on the screen with the downward slope three screens after will let the party slip an attempted stun and avoid the second battle against X-ATM092. Of course, there's an alternative: there is a 100 point bonus for beating X-ATM092, which can't be beaten the first time but can be beaten the second time around. That's naturally worth more than 2 escapes required or more.
- 1 escape: 100pts
- 2 escapes: 70pts
- 3-4 escapes: 50pts
- 5-9 escapes: 30pts
- 10+ escapes: 0pts
That's the FF8 SeeD Field Exam in a nutshell. Players concerned with their final score have the ability to change it, though, thanks to the other consistent method to raise SeeD Rank in FF8.
FF8 SeeD Test Written Answers - Every Level Explained
Players can take a SeeD Test at any point. Simply open the menu, select the help option, and the SeeD Tests are located in the sub-menu there. There are 30 tests players have access to, and each of them asks a slew of questions about the FF8 game world, characters, and mechanics. Completing a FF8 SeeD Test raises SeeD Rank. Here's a full list of SeeD test answers by level - luckily, they're only presented in yes or no questions, so even if a player doesn't want to use a guide, they've got a 50/50 chance of getting each one right.
- Level 1: Yes/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/No/No
- Level 2: Yes/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/Yes/No/No
- Level 3: No/No/Yes/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/No
- Level 4: No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/No/No
- Level 5: No/No/No/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/Yes
- Level 6: Yes/No/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/No/Yes
- Level 7: Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/Yes/No
- Level 8: No/Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/No
- Level 9: No/Yes/No/No/No/No/No/No/Yes/Yes
- Level 10: Yes/No/No/No/No/No/No/No/Yes/No
- Level 11: Yes/Yes/No/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/No/No/Yes
- Level 12: No/Yes/No/No/Yes/No/Yes/No/Yes/No
- Level 13: Yes/No/No/No/Yes/No/No/No/No/No
- Level 14: Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/No
- Level 15: Yes/Yes/No/No/No/No/No/Yes/No/Yes
- Level 16: Yes/No/No/Yes/No/Yes/No/No/Yes/No
- Level 17: Yes/No/No/No/Yes/No/No/Yes/No/No
- Level 18: Yes/No/No/No/Yes/No/No/No/No/No
- Level 19: Yes/No/No/Yes/No/No/No/No/No/Yes
- Level 20: Yes/Yes/No/Yes/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/No
- Level 21: Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No
- Level 22: No/No/No/Yes/No/No/No/Yes/Yes/No
- Level 23: Yes/No/No/No/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes/Yes
- Level 24: Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/No/No/No/Yes
- Level 25: Yes/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/No/Yes/No/No
- Level 26: Yes/Yes/No/Yes/No/Yes/No/Yes/No/No
- Level 27: No/Yes/No/No/No/No/Yes/No/Yes/No
- Level 28: Yes/No/No/Yes/Yes/Yes/No/Yes/No/No
- Level 29: No/No/No/Yes/Yes/No/No/No/Yes/No
- Level 30: No/Yes/No/No/No/No/Yes/No/No/No