The Triple Triad is a popular card game in Final Fantasy VIII. Much like Tetra Master from Final Fantasy IX, the cards of the Triple Triad depict different monsters who have different stats. Designed by battle designer Hiroyuki Itō, Triple Triad is simply a side quest and is not needed in order to finish the game's story; however, all the cards obtained can be refined into items using Quezacotl's Card Mod ability. Many of the game's rarest items are most easily found by refining the cards.
Triple Triad is played on a three-by-three (3x3) square grid of blank spaces, where cards will be placed as the game progresses. The cards depict various characters, monsters, and bosses from the game. Each card has four numbers (known as Ranks) placed in top left corner; each number corresponds to one of the four sides of the card. These numbers range from one to nine, the letter A representing ten. On the top right of the card there is sometimes an elemental symbol representing the card's element. The elements are Earth, Fire, Water, Poison, Holy, Lightning, Wind, and Ice. There are two card colors, pink (the opponent's cards) and blue (the player's cards).
In a basic game of Triple Triad, each player has five cards. A coin-flip decision is made to decide which of the two players will begin. The player who wins the coin toss may then choose a card to play anywhere on the grid. After the first card is played, the opposing player may then play a card on any unoccupied space on the board. The game continues with players' turns alternating in this fashion.
To win, a majority of the total nine cards played must be of the player's card color. To do this, the player must capture cards. To capture a card, the player must place cards adjacent to an opponent's card, whereupon the 'Ranks' of the sides where the two cards touch will be compared. If the Rank of the opponent's card is higher then the player's card, the player's card will be captured and turned into the opponent's color. If, however, it is the player's rank that is higher, the opponent's card will be captured and changed into the player's color instead. Note that capturing can only occur during that player's turn, and no other opponent can capture a card during said turn.
Sometimes a 'Draw' will occur due to the player and the opponent possessing equal numbers of cards in their color on the board. This is usually defined by a "Sudden Death" scenario where the first person to capture a card in a new game wins, or by playing until a winner is defined. The winner claims a prize of taking one or more of the loser's cards, depending upon the rules in effect.
There are ten card levels in the game. Level 1 cards have low ranks like 1's and 2's and 3', while level 10 cards have 8's, 9's, and A's. The seven cards that Squall gets for free near the beginning of the game are all level 1. All the cards in level 1 to 7 can be obtained multiple times, whereas the GF and Player cards are rare, once-only finds.
|Levels 1 through 5 are monster cards, usually possessing fairly weak numbers. There is no limit to how many of each of these cards exist.|
|Levels 6 and 7 are boss cards, depicting various unique boss enemies met throughout the course of the game. Like monster cards, there is no limit to how many such cards exist.|
|Levels 8 and 9 are GF cards, which the player can obtain by beating the corresponding GF's or by finding them from certain players throughout the world. Most GF cards have two strong ranks and two weaker ranks. Note that the player may acquire two of each the Odin and Bahamut cards but will only retain one of each. This may only occur if the player does not acquire the GFs until disc 4, after having won their cards from the CC group aboard the Ragnarok before hand.|
|Level 10 cards are player cards, depicting playable characters like Squall, Laguna, Seifer, etc. Most of these cards are held by someone who is connected to that person in some way; for instance, Zell's card is held by his mother in Balamb, and Rinoa's by her father General Caraway. For others like Irvine, who have no obvious connections to other characters in the game, their cards can be harder to find. The player cards typically have three strong ranks and one weaker rank.|
There is a series of special rules in the Triple Triad game. Wherever the player starts playing (which is probably Balamb/Balamb Garden), they will start with the rules in Balamb, which are relatively simple. As they get out and challenge people in other parts of the world, new rules will be offered to be added to the game. After playing one person in a new region, the player might see a message that says "This rule has spread throughout the region" or that the current rule in their region has been abolished. The region in which the player last played a game of cards will determine what rules are passed on to the next one.
Types of rules are as follows:
|Open||Enables the player to see which cards the opponent is using.|
|Same||When a card is placed touching two other cards (one or both of them have to be the opposite color) and both the ranks of the card are the same as the opposing sides of the first two cards, then both cards will be turned. It's much easier to explain with the diagram.|
|Same Wall||An extension of the Same rule. The edges of the board are counted as A ranks for the purposes of the Same rule.|
|Sudden Death||If the game ends in a Draw, a sudden death occurs in which a new game is started but the cards are distributed on the side of the color they were on at the end of the game.|
|Random||Five cards are randomly chosen from the player's deck instead of them being able to choose five cards themselves.|
|Plus||Similar to the Same rule. When one card is placed touching two others and the ranks touching the cards plus the opposing rank equal the same sum, then both cards are captured. Combo rule also applies.|
|Combo||Of the cards captured by the Same or Plus rule, if they are adjacent to another card whose rank is lower, then it is captured as well. Note that this is not a separate rule; any time same or plus is effect, the combo will result.|
|Elemental||In the elemental rule, one or more of the spaces are randomly marked with an element such as fire, ice, wind, etc. Some cards have elements that the player can see in the upper-right corner of the card. Ruby Dragon, for example, is fire elemental, and Quezacotl is thunder elemental. When an elemental card is placed on a corresponding element, each rank goes up one point. When any card is placed on a non-matching element, each rank goes down one point. This does not affect the Same, Plus and Same Wall rules, where the cards' original ranks apply.|
Trade rules are rules that dictate which and how many cards the winner can take from the loser. They are as follows:
|One||The most common rule in which the winner takes any one of the opponent's cards.|
|Difference||The winner takes as many cards as there is a difference between pink cards and blue cards.|
|Direct||Players take cards that are their color at the end of the game.|
|All||Winner takes all.|
The current Trade Rule can be changed by speaking to and challenging the Queen of Cards. After winning a game with a different rule, speak to her and check what the current trend of the trade rule is, and that rule will spread. It may take a couple of incidental games for the rule to catch on in the region. After awhile the rule may revert back to One but will randomly change between them.
In Balamb Garden there is a group of elite Triple Triad players that call themselves the Card Club. The best players in the Garden, their identities are a mystery until they reveal themselves to players they deem worthy. Their identities range from random NPCs wandering the Garden to people the player already knows.
The Queen of Cards can be found in Balamb in the first disc, and in random towns around the world during the second and third discs. If the player finds her and take her side quest, they can go out and find even more rare cards from people that didn't have them if they played with them before talking to the queen. However, the Queen's sidequest involves first losing a rare card to her before the other rare card becomes available.
PuPu is a little blue alien that the player can encounter in a battle in select areas around the world. Several things must be done in dealing with the alien to get its card. It is Level 5 and it's the only rare card below Level 8.
|List of Cards|
|Level 1||Geezard||Funguar||Bite Bug||Red Bat||Blobra|
|Level 2||Grat||Buel||Mesmerize||Glacial Eye||Belhelmel|
|Level 3||Forbidden||Armadodo||Tri-Face||Fastitocalon||Snow Lion|
|Ochu||SAM08G||Death Claw||Cactuar||Tonberry||Abyss Worm|
|Level 5||Iron Giant||Behemoth||Chimera||PuPu||Elastoid|
|GIM47N||Malboro||Ruby Dragon||Elnoyle||Tonberry King||Wedge, Biggs|
|Level 6||Fujin, Raijin||Elvoret||X-ATM092||Granaldo||Gerogero|
|Level 7||Propagator||Jumbo Cactuar||Tri-Point||Gargantua||Mobile Type 8|
|Sphinxara||Tiamat||BGH251F2||Red Giant||Catoblepas||Ultima Weapon|
|Level 8||Chubby Chocobo||Angelo||Gilgamesh||MiniMog||Chicobo|
The Triple Triad theme song is known as "Shuffle or Boogie". It is played whenever the player is engaged in a Triple Triad match.
|Squall Leonhart - Quistis Trepe - Zell Dincht - Selphie Tilmitt - Rinoa Heartilly - Irvine Kinneas|
|Seifer Almasy - Laguna Loire - Kiros Seagill - Ward Zabac - Edea Kramer|
|Sorceress Adel - Instructor Aki - Angelo - Biggs - Boko - Cactuar - Chocoboy - Headmaster Cid Kramer - President Deling - Demon King - Mayor Dobe - Ellone - Flo - MiniMog - Fujin - Garden Faculty - Fury Caraway - Julia Heartilly - Dr. Kadowaki - Koko - Library Girl with a Pigtail - Ma Dincht - Martine - Master Fisherman - Mr. Monkey - Moomba - Nida - NORG - Dr. Odine - Piet - PuPu - Queen of Cards- Raijin - Raine Loire - Ultimecia - Watts - Wedge - Xu - Zone|
|Balamb - Dollet - Timber - Galbadia - Fisherman's Horizon - Esthar - Centra - Trabia|
|Balamb Garden - Fire Cavern - Balamb Town - Centra Excavation Site - Galbadia Garden - Deling City - Tomb of the Unknown King - Winhill - D-District Prison - Missile Base - Trabia Garden - Edea's Orphanage - White SeeD Ship - Vienne Mountains - Great Salt Lake - Esthar City - Lunatic Pandora Laboratory - Lunar Gate - Lunar Base - Sorceress Memorial - Lunatic Pandora - Ultimecia Castle - Art Gallery - Tears' Point - Centra Ruins - Obel Lake - Islands Closest to Heaven and Hell - Scary Mountain - Shumi Village - Cactuar Island - Deep Sea Research Center|
|Centra - Human - Moomba - Shumi|
|Ammo - Anarchist Monthly - Angel Wing - Battle of the Gardens - Blue Magic - Card Club - Chocobo - Chocobo Forest - Chocobo World - Combine - Crystal Pillar - Devour - Draw Point - Duel - Fan Club - Forest Owls - Game Over - Garden - Garden Festival - Gil - Great Hyne - Griever - Guardian Force - Gunblade - Hotel - Junction System - Junk Shop - Limit Break - Lion Heart - Lunar Cry - Moon - Motorcycle - Occult Fan Magazine - Para-Magic - Piano - Ragnarok - Rail Transportation - Refine - Revolver - Renzokuken - Road Transportation - Save Point - SeeD - Shop - Shot - Siege of Dollet - Siege of Esthar - Slot - Sorceress - Sorceress Power - Sorceress War - Study Panel - Tempest - The End - The Waltz - Timber Maniacs - Time Compression - Trepies - Triple Triad - Weapons Monthly Magazine - White SeeD - World Map|
|Original Soundtrack - FITHOS LUSEC WECOS VINOSEC - Piano Collections
|Abilities/Command/Support - Chronology - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Guardian Forces - Items - Magic - Merchandise - Walkthrough - Wallpapers - Weapons - Translations|
|Sidequests & Minigames|
|Final Fantasy I|
|Labyrinth of Time - Soul of Chaos|
|Final Fantasy II|
|Arcane Labyrinth - Soul of Rebirth|
|Final Fantasy III|
|Mognet - Sunken Cave|
|Final Fantasy IV|
|Adamant Isle Grotto - Feymarch - Geryon - Lair of the Father - Lunar Ruins - Namingway - Proto-Babil - Sylph Cave - Whyt|
|The After Years|
|Final Fantasy V|
|Fork Tower - Great Sea Trench - Istory Falls - Phoenix Tower - Sealed Temple|
|Final Fantasy VI|
|Auction House - Dragons' Den - Dragon's Neck Coliseum|
|Final Fantasy VII|
|Ancient Forest - Battle Square - Gold Saucer - Wutai|
|Final Fantasy VIII|
|Centra Ruins - Deep Sea Research Center - Dollet - Obel Lake - Omega Weapon - Shumi Village - Triple Triad - Winhill|
|Final Fantasy IX|
|Blackjack - Chocobo's Air Garden - Chocobo Hot and Cold - Frog Catching - Jump Rope - Mognet - Stellazio - Tetra Master - Treno Auction House|
|Final Fantasy X|
|Baaj Temple - Blitzball - Butterfly Hunt - Cavern of the Stolen Fayth - Celestial Weapon - Dark Aeon - Monster Arena - Omega Ruins - Remiem Temple|
|Final Fantasy X-2|
|Blitzball - Cavern of the Stolen Fayth - Coliseum - Gunner's Gauntlet - Chocobo Ranch - Omega Ruins - Sphere Break - Via Infinito|
|Final Fantasy Tactics|
|Zodiac Brave Story Sound Novels|