Final Fantasy VIII Forum  /  RTA/SS and other fun questions

Hello all,

Once again I just want to say it's great to see so many people running this game still and all of the new strats and guides are amazingly useful to someone like me who's coming back to this after a long time.

I've been looking up differences between RTA and SS runs and have been reading a lot of contradicting explanations so was wondering if you guys could shed some light for me. In regards to FF8 am I correct in thinking RTA includes Caraway skip and turbo fire buttons for card manipulation (and text skips maybe) where SS does not?

I plan to do runs with the above strats included but wanted to make sure I have what is and isn't allowed in each run properly understood before practising. In particular are turbo buttons/controllers allowed for general text skipping? Never used it in my segmented run but that was for SDA so yeah...

I've also seen the fantastic step counter guides and as I noticed they were for SS runs only why would the RTA run have different steps?

Finally, are there any other places you guys chat about runs or is it mainly on twitch?

Cheers all and keep up the good work.


Turbo controllers are not used for either category. The "early Quistis card" strat requires you to hit a 2 frame window, which might require some resets but it is doable without turbo, I have roughly a 30% hit rate on it.

The differences between RTA and SS are very small, that's why the are not separate categories I imagine. RTA can reset before Deling City train to always have the same (052) code at Caraway manor whereas the SS run uses a website/excel file to predict the code by counting poles during the train ride to Deling City. You can find the link to this website in the resources section. You can also check the NPCs in Deling City to have a backup confirmation for the pole counting strat but I find the pole counting consistent once you get used to it.

RTA also has 1 less encounter than SS. Because of that, the step counter is slightly different. I'm not sure if anyone has a guide for the old RTA step counter anywhere. The new SS step counter is incredible. Not only does it make us skip random encounters but it also lets us get very specific battles in Esthar during the 5 minute timer to gain 7 AP in 2 battles in order to learn Initiative for Pandemona. That wasn't needed previously as people didn't skip Cerberus and therefore had more AP, but for the Zell card-less and Cerberus-less run this AP gain is a very nice time save. The other option is to do the first 2 Propagator battles without initiative which can be scary and can waste a lot of time.

The second place there RTA and SS differ is before Ultimecias Castle. RTA can once again save and reset here to manipulate the starting party in the last battle. There's a guide on how to do this on Luzbelheim's twitch channel.

The amazingness of the step counter continues, though: Those two battles in Esthar that I mentioned happen very fast one after the other, and after those two encounters there's a large gap before the next battle. This means that you can safely remove Enc-None (if you want to in your strats) before entering the screen in which the party manipulation happens and you will not get a battle even though the screen is a long one.

I know some people have discord servers of their own but I don't use Discord. I do most of my discussions on twitch, yes.
Feel free to message me on twitch if you want to ask more about the run.


Hey Windows, thanks a lot for the reply. I did a mini test run of disc 1 along with your any% notes yesterday just to flesh out my own notes and gain more of an understanding of some of the new strategies that have appeared since I last did this. Had to work out a few of them as I couldn't find the discussions that led to the changes!

Will send you a quick message on twitch with a few specific questions, thanks for the offer.


As an aside from the questions I sent Windows in Twitch message (thanks again Windows), how do people put in Zell limits in 0.3 seconds each time? I find that it's really picky with the entries and therefore it's quite tough to get them in quickly and registered.

Also: what do you do if Zells inputs start with Up/Down rather than Right/Left?


Zell limit starts with Up/Down if you get a 9s or 12s duel, in that case you do the Up/Down first, then continue as normal (Right/Left and onwards). Doing the inputs fast is just practice, you need to get a feel of when is the earliest youcan start inputting the limit and how fast you can actually give the inputs. The 15 FPS in battles makes the inputs harder than on console where battles are 30 FPS. Just practice, as with everything 🙂


actually if you get 9 or 12 second duel, you can start with Meteor Strike