Final Fantasy VIII: how to get Odin by completing the Centra Ruins quest
Guardian Forces are a major part of Final Fantasy VIII, but one of them is not like the others: Odin. This classic, staple FF series summon beast can't be summoned on command and doesn't show up in your menus - but he is nevertheless obtainable via a special side quest at the Centra Ruins.
Once obtained, Odin has a random chance to interrupt a battle and finish off enemies - and there's one story-mandated battle where he always shows up, if you get him early enough.
This Centra Ruins side quest is unique and difficult - though in this day and age exactly how challenging you find it will largely depend on which version of FF8 you're playing. In the original game, there's nothing to help you, which makes the requirements of this quest stringent and difficult. However, if you're playing the modern FF8 Remastered port on most modern gaming devices, things can be made much easier if you want them to be so - the power-up and encounter-avoiding battle functions and enhanced pause abilities (through returning to a console dashboard etc) mean you can be a bit more manipulative about the quest.
On this page, we'll give you a step-by-step guide to the Centra Ruins quest and its puzzles, guiding you through it right from how to reach the quest on up.
Obtaining Odin from the Centra Ruins side quest in FF8
First of all, let's talk a little about the quest requirements here. Getting Odin isn't as simple as just waltzing in, fighting a few battles, and leaving. In fact, in this quest your biggest enemy is in fact time, as there's a twenty-minute time limit, inside which you must navigate the Centra Ruins location, solve a couple of puzzles, and then defeat Odin. If you run out of time, you'll have to start over.
Here's the key things you'll need to know before even starting the quest:
You can access the Centra Ruins as soon as you have the ability to drive Balamb Garden around the world map. It's located in the continent just south of the center of the map. As soon as Balamb leaves FH, you can drive there - or you can come at any point later in the game. See is location in the screenshot above.
Once you enter the Ruins, a 20 minute timer will appear. Here's the thing: it's basically impossible to complete the quest within 20 minutes while dealing with random encounters. This means you'll need to avoid random encounters to successfully complete the quest.
- The official way to do this, and the only way in the original versions of the game, is via another GF - Diablos. Diablos has Enc-Half and Enc-None abilities, which respectively half or completely zero the number of random encounters you get into. The quest is completable with Enc-Half, but it'll be a squeeze. Enc-None will make the quest more leisurely, which we recommend.
- If you need help obtaining Enc-Half and Enc-None, check out our FF8 Guardian Force summons guide for more on how to get Diablos. For AP farming to learn the abilities, we recommend the shores of Balamb where you can use Quezacotl's 'Card' ability to turn Fasticolon enemies into cards for 6AP a battle, or later in the game, Cactuar Island near the furthest-east tip of the right of the southern-most continent, where Cactuars offer 20 AP a time.
- Alternatively, in modern versions of the game, you can simply click in both sticks to use the cheat function to turn random encounters off. Naughty!
Once you enter the ruins, the 20 minute timer begins. First, head through the arch and up the stairs. Keep following the path up - around the fountain, up the floating stairs, and then into the building. Inside the building, small staircases lead to a block. Hop onto the block and it functions as an elevator, carrying you to the top of and then out of the room.
When you get off the block, you'll see two stone ladders in front of you. Take the left-hand ladder, climbing all the way to the top of it. When you first hit the top on a new screen, a second ladder is right in front of you. Take that to reach a ledge with an entranceway.
Once on the ledge, head inside the dark entrance here. Within this room, there's a sort of control panel with a blue, glowing interface. Interact with it to turn on some machinery. Now backtrack, right the way down the ladders.
At the base of the ladders, you'll now notice that the machinery in between the two ladders now has a blue glow, just like the interface up above. Interact with it to cause a staircase to appear on the right-hand side of the screen. Climb up that staircase, and keep moving until the actual end of the staircase.
At the end of that first staircase you created, you'll find another enticing staircase, but don't take it. Instead, on the far left of the screen, there's another ladder. Hop up, and then to the right to where there's a statue that has a sinister glowing red eye. Interact with the statue to be given a choice - choose to 'Take out the left eye'. When done, climb back down the ladder, and now take that next set of stairs on the right of this screen.
At the top of these stairs there's a draw point on the right and another ladder on the left that leads to another huge gargoyle-like statue. This also has an eye - the opposite to the one you just took from the other statue. Head up the ladder, and interact with the statue to be given a choice about if you want to put in the Left Eye that you just took.
Choose to put in the left eye. But before you do, read this next part: Once you put in the eye, the Gargoyle will give you a code. This is random every play-through of FF8. As such, we can't tell you what your code is: once it appears, write it down and remember it, as you'll need it next step.
Remember that code. Once done, dismiss the code message and then interact with the statue again. Now we want to remove both the right and left eyes.
Head back down to the statue we took the first eye from. Now you want to insert both eyes to this statue. When you do, numbers will appear, baked into this one of FF8's CG background. You can adjust the numbers up and down. All you need to do here is insert the code that the statue up above gave you. Insert it top-to-bottom instead of left-to-right. When done, press the menu button to cancel out.
If the code is correct, it'll be accepted and a door will open.
Head down and into this newly opened door to encounter Odin. He'll greet you, then tell you that if you can defeat him in battle, he'll join you.
The battle with Odin is actually a very easy one - he's a punching bag. He doesn't hit you back - which makes sense as in the lore Odin would just one-shot you. Rather, he's testing your strength. You just need to deal enough damage to him to 'defeat' him before your real enemy, the clock, expires. Depending on your level Odin can have up to 31,000 HP - which ultimately isn't a lot. He's got some spells you might want to draw, but otherwise just let rip on him. If you've been keeping battle encounters to a minimum or better still have them disabled entirely through Enc-None, you'll have plenty of time to beat him.
Doing so unlocks Odin as a random-chance GF that can appear, earns you Odin's Rare Triple Triad card, and completes the Centra Ruins quest. Congratulations!