- GFE is short for 'Guardian Force Extension'. PAE is short for 'Physical Ability Extension'. 'Extensions' are metallic accessories developed by Esthar as a replacement for Junctioning Guardian Forces, and are called 'Extentions' because they are an 'extension' of a Guardian Force's power, and a PAE is an extension of a person's natural power.
- Although a GFE erases all memory erasure caused by the junctioning of GF, it means that their full power can be used (no more Summonings, sorry- plot device!). Because of this, a number of SeeD had continued to still dominantly use GF's.
- PAEs were developed to compensate for this removal of power and grant the user new power. Equipping new PAEs can change their skill list to something elemental or status based, but the core of a PAE rests in its user.
- PAEs, essentially, are the definition of classes. The 'Class' tab is used to name the character's PAEs. For example, Squall's is Relentless Revolver.
- GFEs accumulate in levels, and the higher the level, the closer the Extension is to the real power of the GF. However, it can never be fully replicated.
- For ease of databasing and equipping, 'special' members still use PAEs.
- Additional GFE slots can be gained, and there is an additional PAE slot gained later in the game to allow 'sub-classes' such as Thievery (adding Mug and/or Steal) or Medic (Adding Recovery and/or Treatment).
- As demonstrated above, GF additional skills can be added through PAE, but they can also be accessed by higher level GFE, and some are GFE exclusive (for example, Diablos's Encounter-None).
GROWTH AND ABILITIES
Growth is handled mainly by the story. As it progresses more items become available and PAE’s become stronger (more items means higher GFE levels are creatable). The player can equip up to a maximum of 3 GFEs by end-game and ‘two’ PAEs- one character dependant (Such as Relentless Revolver for Squall) and one class-type (divided as Saber, other student classes as listed during the attack during Disc 2). The amount of skills PAEs and GFEs impart is different depending on levels. Like in FF8, players must equip commands, except this time it’s also limited to what skills the player can actually bring into a battle. Depending on GFEs equipped, the passive amount (normally 2) can be increased to 3 or 4 (Diablos, Bahamut and Eden GFEs so far possess this ability). The amount of skills a player can bring into a battle will most likely cap at 8 total. This is to ensure two things- strategy, disabling the player from loading up on GFE and PAE skills, and difficulty, for the same reason. For example, limiting passive count is crucial. Squall gets two passive abilities in his PAE- advancing versions of ‘Cover’ (taking damage for allies) and ‘Regen on Defend’. The player can choose to use both Passives- or they can use other passive granted by GFEs or sub-class PAE. For example, the medic-type subclass has Pharmacist (double item effectiveness) and Mag 20%+ (advances on level) and other GFE classes have elemental and status boosts. The player can probably have up to 10 passives to choose from. It’s up to them to choose one that suits current situations and the character’s strengths.
Level progression is required to be able to USE higher level PAEs and to grant access to the Synthesis of higher GFEs. More items of higher grades are needed for GFEs.
Each character has several GF’s they’re compatible with moreso than others. This is an underlying mechanic which grants boosts based on the character’s predetermined class, the level of compatibility and the GF itself. This can give stat or elemental boosts that the player doesn’t see in ordinary menus and only contributes to skills of that GFE type. GFE compatibility can reduce GFE skill cooldown.
Along with PAE and GFE characters also have slots for their Weapon, which determines their overall attack damage and effectiveness with either PAE or GFE type moves (different weapons are more compatible with either types- so basically, STR or MAG derivatives). Depending on how the player decides to use their character different weapons will be more appropriate.
Along with weapons characters can also equip one accessory. These can provide singular immunity to status affects without the need of a GFE, as well as lowering PAE skill cooldowns, affecting Material Power costs and levels, and increasing GFE compatibility (granting bonuses to damage output when using GFE attacks).
A Conditional Turn-Based system influenced by characters SPD and skill cooldowns. The system also has a reliance on mini events inspired by others in the Final Fantasy series- FFX being one of such, as well as FF8 itself (almost every limit break was a minigame of some sort!). Both enemies and characters are animated on the screen. Enemies generally have high amounts of health and require the player to make the best choices possible and take advantage of both their PAE and GFE skills in order to end the battle quickly and effectively. High numbers of both types of skills feature multi-hit, so taking advantage of enemy weak points, passive states and character classes is the key to coming out on top in Final Fantasy VIII: Sleeping Lion Heart.
FIELD AND DUNGEONS
SLH’s mini events do more than influence your skill effectiveness. In SLH, dungeons operate on effective co-operation of your player characters. Each member has different abilities that can open new paths, solve puzzles and help you progress. Each of these abilities is controlled by a mini-event. Majority of dungeon exploration in SLH is optional but either way it combines strategy in both field and battle scenes.
Enemies on the field engage in combat when they touch your party. When alerted of your presence, they will immediately chase after you. Later parts of the game will require you to avoid this at all costs.
Squall, being part of a military organization, tends to end up putting even normal tasks into the order of a mission in his head. Missions, viewed in the Menu screen, have a certain criteria of objectives that need to be finished before the mission can be dubbed complete. Squall can only take on one mission at a time, and in later stages these missions will require completing before the player can progress the story any further or choose a new mission- due to Missions requiring Squall and his entourage to be deployed into War Zones. There’s no cancel option on the battlefield, my friends.
The thoroughness of completion in each objective will determine Squall’s overall ranking, his monetary bonus and the effect the mission may have on further missions down the road. Everything you do has consequences- like in your SeeD exam, you are judged on Judgement, Spirit, Attack, Attitude and . Depending on your rank, rewards will be different. Of course, doing the best you can is the key to getting the best stuff!