Squall Leonhart is one of the contenders as the “Poster-Boy” for the Final Fantasy Series. Hailing from the 8th installment of Final Fantasy, Squall is one of the most famous protagonists in the series. He was only 17 years old during the events of Final Fantasy VIII and stood at 5 feet and 10 inches. Squall’s signature weapon is his gunblade, a sword with a revolver attached to it. Before we begin our complete overview and Squall Leonhart guide, let’s look at his design.
Squall Leonhart’s Desig
Tetsuya Nomura designed his first-ever Final Fantasy character in the form of Squall Leonhart. Nomura said he took inspiration from the late character River Phoenix. Initially, Squall sported a long hair and feminine-like appearance; however, Yoshinori Kitase, director of Final Fantasy VIII, objected to the design choice. Nomura decided to add a scar to Squall’s face to induce a recognizable trait for his character.
Squall’s clothing design involves black, white, and silver motif complementing his unsympathetic character. With white fur lining on his jacket and belt, the development staff further reinforced Squall’s “cool” aspect.
Nomura also took the initiative to design Squall’s gunblade accompanied by silver accessories. Although it has a revolver as its component, the gunblade cannot fire projectiles like a regular gun. The gunblade has a mechanic that every time Squall strikes an enemy, the player can press R1, inflicting additional damage.
Squall Leonhart’s Story Overview
Relationship With Other Characters
At the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall starts as a loner and estranged from almost everyone. Although most of his superiors find him difficult to deal with, his leaders still highly regard him for his natural talent.
During a fight with his rival Seifer Almasy, Squall sustained a scare on his face. After the battle, Squall wakes up at the Balamb Garden Infirmary.
Squall first meets Rinoa as she forces him to dance with her during the SeeD graduation ball. Throughout the game, Squall expressed himself more due to Rinoa. Eventually, the headmaster of Balamb Garden, Cid, assigns Squall to be the academy’s leader.
As much as Squall is a talented individual, he carries the burden of being an isolated individual, which is evident when leading the team. It took Squall a considerable time before he could have a particular connection with other characters and a romantic relationship with Rinoa.
Squall’s Supposed Father
Throughout the game, there were a lot of implications showing that Laguna Loire is Squall’s father. Flashbacks involving Ellone, Squall consistently embodies Laguna.
Ellone also mentions that Raine, Laguna’s other half, died while giving birth to a child. The child was a boy. The child also grew in an orphanage, similar to Squall’s backstory.
The Moomba also keeps referring to Squall as Laguna, in which the Moomba recognize people based on their blood—further reinforcing the ties between Laguna and Squall.
Squall Leonhart’s Most Powerful Equipment
Squall’s most powerful and iconic weapon is the Lion Heart. It rocks a blue-white gradient, dark blue at the edge, and gradually gets lighter until it reaches a pure white near the sword’s handle. It looks like an actual blue-flame version of his original gunblade.
The Lion Heart is Squall’s ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy VIII; players can craft this weapon by acquiring some of the rarest materials found across the world. Here is the list of items needed to craft this weapon:
- 1x Adamantine
- 4x Dragon Fang
- 12x Pulse Ammo Rounds
How To Get The Lionheart in Disc 1 (Final Fantasy VIII: Remastered)
Who doesn’t like being overpowered in an RPG game? We’ll be teaching you how to gain the ultimate weapon for Squall in the first disc of the game for this tutorial!
Keep Your Party’s Levels Below 20
A very crucial step is to keep your party’s level below 20. This step is essential because if one of your party members reached level 20, some rare items needed to craft the Lion Heart would not drop from specific enemies.
If you found this guide too late and you’re nearing the Level 20 mark, you can then use Quezacotl’s card ability. This ability will let you defeat enemies with zero experience gained. However, you will still be gaining AP (Ability Points).
Acquiring Quezacotl GF and Necessary Abilities
The Quezacotl GF will be given to you by Quistis. Don’t worry if you miss that in the opening sequence. After acquiring the Quezacotl GF, you need to prioritize learning the “Card” ability, which takes up to 40 AP to learn. After learning Card, you need to prioritize learning “Card Mod” ability which needs 80 AP.
The Card ability can transform your enemies into Triple Triad cards (more on this later). Much like the pokemon game, the lower the enemy’s hp, the higher chance you’ll be able to capture the monster.
The Card Mod ability will allow you to transform Triple Trial cards into items. This ability is vital to crafting the Lion Heart. Card modding a specific Triple Triad Card will yield into the Pulse Ammo rounds, a required material for the Lion Heart.
If you want to grind for AP for your Card ability, the best monster to battle would be the Fasticolon Fish enemies near the Balamb Garden and Town.
Get Used To the Minigame Triple Triad
Triple Triad is a simple card game made for Final Fantasy VIII as a minigame to give players a break from the story. It’s a simple card game that involves monsters you capture through Quezacotl’s ability “card.”
The rules are simple, you and your opponent have a 3×3 grid to fill with monster cards. Each card has four numbers on the upper left side of the card. These four numbers indicate the rank per side of the card. The cards you lay on the field would battle the card your opponent lays on the adjacent side.
The battle’s winner depends on which card has the higher ranking level. (i.e., Opponent Monster 1 has a power level of 5 on the left adjacent field, and you place your card with a power level of 6 on the right adjacent side.
The result is your opponent’s monster card would be flipped, and now you have control of that card.) To win the game of Triple Triad, you would need to have the most monsters on the 3×3 grid. The winner takes all of the loser’s cards used in the round of Triple Triad.
That’s just the basics of the game; various rules can change the way you play the game. How is this game tied to getting the Lion Heart? Well, a specific card, Elnoyle, if modded through the ability “Card mod,” can yield the Pulse ammo round.
For now, we’ll leave this be as we need to start building up your Triple Triad deck.
Get The Ifrit Guardian Force And Also The Ifrit Card
At a certain point in the game, you will be exploring the fire cavern where you have to defeat Ifrit. Successfully beating Ifrit will give you its GF card.
Once you’ve beaten Ifrit, a vital ability you have to learn from this card is Ammo-RF. Grind for enough AP to learn Ammo-RF, and you’re good to go.
Build Up Your Triple Triad Deck
A good tip for building up your Triple Triad deck is challenging stronger opponents. However, to speed up the process of acquiring cards, you need to talk to the queen of cards first (located at the train station of Balamb Town.) Each region has a different set of rules, and for this region, the trading rule is either one or difference.
Fair warning, don’t challenge the queen; she will instantly blitz you at this stage of the game. Just keep talking to her, entering the screen where you can see the trading rules. If you don’t see the trading rule set to all, quit the screen and talk to her again. Do this until you can see the word “all.”
This rule means that you’ll get to take all of your opponent’s cards in her deck if you win. Doing those steps also means that everyone now in the region has a chance of having their trade rule set to all; you have to keep talking to them until “all” shows up as their trade rule.
One final tip before battling anyone is constantly save your game. If ever you lose a Triple Triad game, you’d lose all of your cards as well. At least with a saved game, you can just reboot the save file and try the Triple Triad battle again.
Acquire 20 Elnoyle Cards from Zell’s Mother
Once you’ve gathered enough strong cards for your deck, it’s time to challenge Zell’s mother. There are other NPCs in the game that uses Elnoyle cards. However, most of them are far from the save spot.
Do take note as well that Zell’s mother doesn’t use the Elnoyle card all the time, so it might take you a few tries before she uses one.
Use The Card Mod Ability To Gain 2 Energy Crystals and Refine Them To Pulse Ammo Rounds
Once you’ve garnered 20 Elnoyle cards, use the Card Mod ability. This process refines the 20 Elnoyle cards into 2 Energy crystals. After the card mod ability, use Ifrit’s Ammo-RF, which should refine these two energy crystals into 20 Pulse ammo rounds.
Hunt Grendels For Their Dragon Fangs
Go to the far east area of the map, near the Galbadia Garden. The best chance for the Grendels to spawn is by hugging the mountain walls. Run up and down until you can encounter a Grendel. These Grendels don’t drop them all the time, but at least 70% of your encounters with them, they’ll drop one dragon fang.
Acquire four of those, and you’re ready to proceed to the following process.
Kill The Brothers Guardian Force To Acquire Adamantines
There are multiple ways to gather the adamantine; unfortunately, there’s only one method viable since we advised you to have your party on a low level.
You need to head to the Tomb of the Unknown King and beat the guardian forces called The Brothers. After defeating them in battle, they will reward you with two cards.
The first one is the Sacred’s Card, and the last is the Minotaur Card. Once you’ve gotten the Minotaur Card, use the card mod ability to transform it into ten adamantine.
Go To The Junk Shop To Forge LionHeart
After acquiring all of the items, you need to head over to Deling City and the shopping center. Once there, you can now synthesize the necessary materials for the Lion Heart, and now, you’ll be overpowering the enemies right at the first disc.
The Lion Heart comes with the limit break as well, go forth and break the game!
Best Setup for Squall in Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)
Squall is a mid-tier character in the original Dissidia Final Fantasy for the Playstation Portable. He can quickly drain your Brave Points; however, his HP attacks can’t follow this attribute. His EX is one of the best in the game, providing him with better range, critical hits, and also 2x the amount of hits per attack.
In order to utilize him properly, we need to build his EX meter fast. Here are the accessories required for that.
- Gravitorb (EX intake range +3m)
- Pearl Necklace (EX Force Absorption +30%)
- Gold Hourglass (EX Mode Duration +20%)
- Champion Belt: (Physical Damage +25%)
- Close To You (EX Force absorption during attack, EX Force absorption when dealing damage, EX force absorption after summoning use.)
- You should equip the rest of the accessory slots with booster accessories.
His equipment should also complement his playstyle, which is up-close and personal.
- Lionheart (Of course. Provides ATK +66, EX Core Absorption +30%, and Minor Sneak Attack Effect)
- Adamant Shield (Def +73, 1/3 Adamant Chains)
- Adamant Helm (BRV +249, Def +1, 1/3 Adamant Chains)
- Adamant Vest (HP +2717, 1/3 Adamant Chains)
- Adamant Chains Effect 3/3 (BRV Boost on Dodge +30%, Midair Evasion Boost)
This build will provide Squall with an Endless EX Mode, ideal since his EX mode is the strongest of all the Dissidia characters.
Best Setup for Squall in Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy (PSP)
Fans highly regard Squall as an A+ tier character in the following sequel to Dissidia Final Fantasy. He has a higher learning curve, meaning you can’t just spam attacks to win.
Like the previous game, Squall still suffers from the same weaknesses, such as a viable HP link attack in midair, easy to punish HP attack, and short-ranged attack set.
For basic actions, players should always equip these on Squall if they want him to be competitively viable.
- Ground and Midair Evasion + Respective Boosts
- Ground and Midair Block
- Aerial Recovery
- Recovery Attack
- Controlled Recovery
- Wall Jump
- Ground Dash/Omni Ground Dash
- Free Air Dash + Boost
- Assist Gauge Up Dash
- Speed Boost ++
- Jump Time Boost +
- Descent Speed Boost
- Always Target Indicator
- EX Core Lock-on
- Assist Lock-on
- Sneak Attack
- Assist Critical Boost
- Disable Counterattack/Sneak Attack
- EXP to HP/Assist
- Solid Barrel (Ground)
- Thunder Barret (Ground)
- Upper Blues (Ground)
- Beat Fang (Aerial)
- Heel Crush (Aerial)
- Fire Barret (Aerial)
- Blasting Zone (Ground)
- Revolver Drive (Ground)
- Fated Circle (Ground)
- Aerial Circle (Aerial)
- Rough Divide (Aerial)
- Kuja– Decreases the difficulty of landing an Aerial Circle and Heel Crush. High capabilities of punishing and dealing damage as support.
- Yuna– Yuna is a great follow-up support since most of Squall’s ground moves launch the opponent into the air.
Other viable supports/assists:
- Lionheart (ATK +68, EX Core Absorption +30%, Slight Sneak Attack Effect)
- Lufenian Dirk (ATK +1, DEF +72, 1/3 Seal of Lufenia)
- Lufenian Headband (HP +327, BRV +290, 1/3 Seal of Lufenia)
- Lufenian Vest (HP +2973, 1/3 Seal of Lufenia)
- Seal of Lufenia (EX Gauge Depletion +5%)
- Hyper Ring (DMG +5%)
- Muscle belt (Physical DMG +7%)
- Dragonfly Orb (EX Core Absorption +10%, Assist Gauge Duration -30%)
- Battle Hammer (Assist Gauge Depletion +5%(
- BRV ≥ Base Value
- Summon Unused (1.3x multiplier to accessory buffs when the player hasn’t used summons.)
- Pre-EX Mode (1.4x multiplier to accessory buffs when the player hasn’t activated EX mode.)
- Pre-EX Revenge (1.3x multiplier to accessory buffs when the player hasn’t activated EX Revenge)
- Aerial (1.3x multiplier to accessory buffs)
- Summon Unused (1.3x multiplier to accessory buffs when the player hasn’t used summons)
Other Notable Appearances in Final Fantasy Games
- Final Fantasy VI (Loading Screen Cameo Appearance. A sporadic occurrence where fans of the series believed this was an early version of Squall. See the video here.)
- PocketStation Memory Card Icons
- Final Fantasy XIV (Triple Triad Card)
- Dissidia Final Fantasy
- Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade
- Final Fantasy Artniks
- Final Fantasy All The Bravest
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper
- Final Fantasy Explorers
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
- Chocobo racing
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
- Triple Triad (Final Fantasy Portal App)
Guest Appearances in Non-Final Fantasy Games
- Kingdom Hearts
- Itadaki Street
- Puzzles & Dragons
- Monster Strike
- Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wabble
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Did Squall Die At The End Of Disc 1 in Final Fantasy VIII?
Answer: This theory was prevalent back then for Final Fantasy VIII fans. The theory goes that Squall died at the end of Disc 1 when he faced Edea on a parade float in Deling City. After seemingly beating Edea, she conjured an ice shard that pierced Squall’s chest. According to the theory, the following sequences from Disc 2 until the second half of the movie’s ending are just a dream.
In 2017, Kitase directly mentioned that this is not true. The ice that seemingly “killed” Squall only pierced his shoulders. However, Kitase did note that it is an exciting theory, and he’ll keep that in mind if ever the time comes for a Final Fantasy VIII remake.
Question: Who is Squall’s Father?
Answer: Heavily implied through flashbacks and remarks from certain characters in Final Fantasy VIII, fans speculate that Laguna Loire is Squall’s father. However, this speculation is not directly confirmed nor denied by Square Enix.
Question: Who is Stronger? Squall or Cloud?
Answer: I think it would be a draw if they fought in a one versus one battle. There are lots of factors that can edge either Cloud or Squall. On one side, we have Cloud with his Ultima Weapon, which grants bonus attack when Cloud’s HP is full (Attack bonus decreases when Cloud’s HP falls.) On the other hand, we have Squall with his Lion Heart which does not have that same restriction.
For their limit breaks, it seems as if Cloud will be able to out damage Squall due to Omnislash’s property to auto-critical hit each attack. Then again, Squall can use the junction mechanic from Final Fantasy VIII to immensely improve his defense statistics from physical attacks.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to draw a fair conclusion since both of these warriors have different skill sets, different strengths, and weaknesses, and most of all, they live in two separate worlds.
Question: What does GF Stand For in FF8?
Answer: GF stands for Guardian Forces and are creatures that a player can summon through junctioning them to a character. From this concept, characters can have exceptional passive buffs granted through the junctioning system, depending on the creatures they use as GFs.
Question: What is Squall’s Role in Kingdom Hearts?
Answer: In Kingdom Hearts, we see Squall as an older version of himself. He also calls himself Leon in this game. Squall is already 25 years old in Kingdom Hearts, meaning that it took place after the events of Final Fantasy VIII. Yuffie, Aerith, and Cid Highwind accompanied Leon when he fled to Traverse Town when Maleficent took over the castle.
Leon serves as the tutorial NPC for the game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as he teaches the player the basic ins and outs of the game. Meanwhile, in Kingdom Hearts II, a direct sequel to the first game, Leon is the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee leader as he strives to restore the Hollow Bastion.
Although Seifer, Squall’s rival, appeared in Kingdom Hearts II, they never interacted with one another. The player can also opt to fight Leon in the Coliseum cups from Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts II. Beating Leon and Cloud as a tag-team in the Hades Cup in the original Kingdom Hearts, the Lion Heart keyblade will serve as a reward.
Squall is one of the most recognizable characters in the series. With Square Enix having the pressure to follow up after an iconic character, Cloud Strife, they needed someone as relaxed and intimidating as him.
Square Enix delivered with Squall Leonhart, a badass and relentless fighter on the battlefield.