FF8: The Hardest Non-Boss Enemies, Ranked

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Everybody knows about bosses in Final Fantasy games.

They’re typically story-driven, tough enemies that push the party to the limit. Final Fantasy VIII has its share of devious bosses, but why let them have all the attention?

The game also has a lot of normal, everyday, world map variety enemies that will also provide a challenge to the party on the same scale as a boss fight.

What enemies should you be on the lookout for as you wander the planet fulfilling your SeeD duties?

There are quite a few game-ending creatures out there, but today we’re going to look at the top six baddies that can really put a damper on your journey.

Here are the toughest non-boss enemies you’ll end up facing in Final Fantasy VIII.


6. T-Rexaur

T-Rexaur enemy in FF8

When it comes to what monsters they stock their training halls with, Balamb Garden spares no expense.

Walking among the many Grats are the terrifying T-Rexaurs, giant Jurassic sharpteeth that hunt out SeeD candidates and gobble them up.

The odds are good that most people will encounter a T-Rexaur within the first hour of gameplay, and quickly learn either how to fight in Final Fantasy VIII, or what the game over screen looks like.

T-Rexaurs have an unusual amount of strength.

It very much likes to start the battle with a nasty Tail Whip that either severely cripples a party member, or knocks them out completely.

At higher levels, the T-Rexaur will counter attacks against it with a fierce bite that always deals critical damage.

The T-Rexaur is the strongest enemy on the Balamb Continent, and its chaos is something the player and their party should always be aware of.


5. Blue Dragon

Blue Dragon FF8 enemy

Roaming the forests of the Galbadia Continent, Blue Dragons are always on the prowl for unsuspecting prey, which usually comes in the form of low-leveled SeeD parties.

These dragon folks will be a present threat during your time walking around Galbadia, ready at a moment’s notice to spray the team with their high-damage breath attack and then inflict status effects like break, poison and blind.

They also have a Grab Claw attack that 100% of the time deals critical damage, often enough to one-hit KO a party member.

Always be ready for a tough time when a Blue Dragon enters the chat.


4. Ruby Dragon

Ruby Dragon enemy in Final Fantasy VIII

The other primary colored dragon you should be aware of, the Ruby Dragons are an even bigger threat than their cerulean siblings.

Ruby Dragons occupy the majority of the southern Centra Continent as well as the Great Plains of Esthar.

You’ll also find a few especially dangerous specimens in the Deep Sea Research Center, should you choose to brave it.

Ruby Dragons also have a Breath attack, and it is super punishing.

They usually follow it up with a vicious Firaga, or if you’re unlucky, Meteor.

If they’re feeling playful you just get a claw swipe and a Flare, but when put together it’s most likely enough to take out a party member.

Ruby Dragons are the beefiest non-boss dragons, and are best dealt with by putting them to sleep and/or blinding them.


3. Chimera

Chimeras FFVIII enemy

After your bold escape from the Galbadian desert prison you’ll find yourself in a large desert.

Most of the time you’ll be encountering Abyss Worms.

But on the rare occasion, a Chimera will show up, and oh boy.

Chimeras usually reside on the stupidly high-level Island Closest to Hell, which is an endgame area packed with tough creatures.

So having one show up so early can really make your life tough.

As is tradition, the Chimera will blast the party with Aqua Breath and unprotected parties will most likely wipe from the attack.

And if you don’t, then prepare to get confused or turned to stone. And never mind the strong physical attacks!

They say that discretion is the better part of valor.

And while running from battles might be antithetical to the core mechanics of an RPG, if you’re fighting Chimeras without preparation, I’d say it’s the smarter move.


2. Behemoth

Behemoth enemy in FF8

Behemoths in Final Fantasy VIII absolutely live up to their status as the poster boys for tough enemy encounters.

You won’t see too many Behemoths (Behemii?) until later in the game. But when they show, they show up.

Behemoths roam the plains of Esthar, as well as the Islands Closest to Heaven and Hell, and cause trouble for anybody who dares stand before them.

The minimum hit points a Behemoth can have is thirty-five thousand, and that can go all the way up to double that.

And they have strength to match!

A single assault horn can bring you to the yellow (or worse)!

Behemoths also have heavy duty magics in their repertoire such as Meteor, Flare, and Tornado. They also use Mighty Guard to bolster their defense, making them even tougher to take down.

The Behemoth is a true challenge and something to be feared, should you encounter one somewhere along your journey.


1. Malboro

Malboro FF8 enemy

The Malboro is the scariest of all enemies you can encounter while traveling the overworld.

They roam the Esthar Continent with their only worry being whom they can snack on next.

There are many parts of the Malboro to worry about, but the thing to worry about the most is their terrible breath.

A Malboro’s Bad Breath attack is well-known for being a harbinger of death. Not because of its damage, but because of the incredible amount of status effects it can cause.

Odds are very good that any Malboro you encounter will start (and probably end) the battle with Bad Breath.

Being confused, berserked, blinded, poisoned, silenced, and doomed all at once is, in fact, bad.

The best thing you can do is either junction the best you can against some of those nasty effects, or hope that you either get a turn in beforehand (or can run away before dying).

No, neither of those are great choices.

But when dealing in Malboros it’s the best you’ve got.

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Brian Conley

Brian knows more about RPGs than he does world history. Combine with his love of writing and you get somebody who can, and will, go on forever about every nuance of every game he's played.