Final Fantasy VIII Weapons guide: weapons monthly magazine locations, ultimate weapons and upgrade materials
In the more modern-styled world of Final Fantasy VIII the print business is booming, with a variety of magazines and publications out there for Squall and his party to read and collect. One of the most important of these are the Weapons Monthly Magazines, special issues that are scattered across the world. Each magazine holds details on new weapon upgrades and refinements for each of the main characters, from early upgrades right up to ultimate weapons.
Despite having a somewhat different system to most FF games - you don't actively buy and equip new weapons, but rather instead 'refine' and 'remodel' your character's main hero weapon, upgrading it over time at weapon upgrade shops. There's a variety of different upgraded wepaons each character can forge on the way to their ultimate weapon, and for protagonist Squall working through the various gunblade upgrade tiers will also unlock more varied and powerful finishers for his limit break.
On this page we list everything you need for mastering FF8's weapons - the weapons monthly magazine locations, every single weapon upgrade, plus the materials needed for each upgrade and where to find them. Simple!
Weapons Monthly Magazine Locations: all magazines for the ultimate weapon upgrades
By figuring out the weapons monthly magazine locations and grabbing the magazines you'll be able to find out what materials are needed to upgrade to every new tier of weapon for each of the main cast - but keep in mind the weapons monthly magazines aren't actually a requirement.
If you have the necessary materials to forge a weapon upgrade at a junk shop, the upgrade will be available regardless of if you've found the corresponding magazine or not. The advantage of the magazine is it tells you a little about the weapon upgrade, but also it tells you the needed materials to upgrade it. For ease of use, we list those on this page alongside each issue of Weapons Monthly - so if you'd rather skip the magazines and just get together the materials and do the upgrades without it, you can.
A list of the required item locations is also at the very bottom of this article. Getting a lot of those materials will require use of GF abilities to do things like turn Rare Cards into items, so be sure to check out our FF8 GF guide to getting and using all of the summons. If you need to know about other magazine locations like Pet Pals, Occult Fan, Combat King and Timber Maniacs, we've got a guide for that.
With that said, here's the weapons monthly locations - and the weapon upgrade requirements:
Weapons Monthly March Issue Location
The first Weapons Monthly magazine you'll get your hands on is the March issue - so when you get this, don't panic, you haven't missed January or February.
This Weapons Monthly magazine is practically unmissable - it drops from the flying demon boss Elvoret at the top of the Dollet Communications Tower during the SeeD field exam mission.
It has the blueprints for these weapons...
- Chain Whip (Quistis): 12 STR, 103 HIT / Requires x2 M-Stone Piece, 1x Spider Web
- Flail (Selphie): 12 STR, 98 HIT / Requires 2x M-Stone Piece, 1x Bomb Fragment
- Metal Knuckle (Zell): 12 STR, 98 HIT / Requires 4x M-Stone Piece, 1x Fish Fin
- Revolver (Squall): 11 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 6x M-Stone Piece, 2x Screw
Weapons Monthly April Issue Location
The April issue of Weapons Monthly magazine appears in Squall's new dormitory once you've attended the SeeD ball and been issued your new, bigger dorm. It's just sitting on the table - simply interact with it to grab it. This issue has blueprints for the following:
- Vailiant (Irvine): 12 STR, 105 HIT / Requires 4x Screw, 1x Steel Pipe
- Maverick (Zell): 15 STR, 99 HIT / Requires 1x Dragon Fin, 1x Spider Web
- Pinwheel (Rinoa): 11 STR, 99 HIT / Requires 3x M-Stone Piece
- Shear Trigger (Squall): 14 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 4x Screw, 1x Steel Pipe
Weapons Monthly May Issue Location
May's Weapons Monthly is in an area you only explore in a limited capacity - the sewers of Deling City, explored twice during the mission to assassinate Edea there - once by Squall, once by Rinoa. It's just on the ground in one section of the sewers behind the Presidential building. This issue contains the blueprints for...
- Slaying Tail (Quistis): 15 STR, 104 HIT / Requires 2x Magic Stone, 1x Sharp Spike
- Ulysses (Irvine): 15 STR, 108 HIT / Requires 2x Screw, 1x Steel Pipe, 1x Bomb Fragment
- Valkyrie (Rinoa): 14 STR, 101 HIT / Requires 1x Shear Feather, 1x Magic Stone
- Cutting Trigger (Squall): 18 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 8x Screw, 1x Mesmerize Blade
Weapons Monthly June Issue Location
This is another issue of Weapons Monthly that drops from a boss, meaning it's thankfully not one you can miss out on. It drops from BGH251F2, the manned mech you do battle with at the Galbadian Missile Base. June's issue has the blueprints for...
- Morning Star (Selphie): 15 STR, 99 HIT / Requires 2x Steel Orb, 2x Sharp Spike
- Gauntlet (Zell): 20 STR, 101 HIT / Requires 1x Dragon Skin, 1x Fury Fragment
- Red Scorpion (Quistis): 20 STR, 105 HIT / Requires 2x Dragon Skin, 2x Ochu Tentacle
- Flame Saber (Squall): 20 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 4x Screw, 1x Turtle Shell, 1x Betrayal Sword
Weapons Monthly July Issue Location
This issue is found in Balamb Garden Training Center, but only after events: you'll want to visit the training center after you've seen Balamb and Galbadia Gardens go to 'war'. It's simply laying around in the training area waiting to be picked up. The July magazine contains blueprints for:
- Bismarck (Irvine): 25 STR, 115 HIT / Requires 18x Screw, 2x Dino Bone, 2x Star Fragment, 1x Moon Stone
- Crescent Wish (Selphie): 20 STR, 100 HIT / Requires 4x Sharp Spike, 1x Life Ring, 1x Inferno Fang
- Rising Sun (Rinoa): 18 STR, 103 HIT / Requires 8x Screw, 1x Saw Blade
- Twin Lance (Squall): 22 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 12x Screw, 2x Red Fang, 1x Dino Bone
Weapons Monthly August Issue Location
Despite having several months left, August is the last named monthly issue of the magazine. It's found in Trabia Garden. Go to the area with the ruined fountain and gargoyle statue; the issue is on the ground just a few steps in front of the statue. It's quite hard to see. The August Weapons Monthly has blueprints for:
- Ehrgeiz (Zell ultimate , god bless the ring): 25 STR, 103 HIT / Requires 4x Dragon Skin, 1x Adamantine, 1x Fury Fragment
- Cardinal (Rinoa): 24 STR, 104 HIT / Requires 1x Cockatrice Pinion, 1x Mesmermize Blade, 1x Sharp Spike
- Save the Queen (Quistis ultimate): 25 STR, 107 HIT / Requires 4x Energy Crystal, 4x Sharp Spike, 2x Malboro Tentacle
- Punishment (Squall): 24 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 8x Screw, 2x Star Fragment, 1x Chef's Knife, 1x Turtle Shell
Weapons Monthly 1st Issue Location
It seems the publishers of Weapons Weekly started the show with the showstopper, as a lot of the characters' ultimate weapons are found within the vintage very first issue of the magazine. This one is found during a Laguna Dream Sequence. Look out for it in the Lunatic Pandora Lab when exploring that area with Laguna. It contains the following blueprints:
- Exeter (Irvine ultimate): 25 STR, 115 HIT / Requires 18x Screw, 2x Dino Bone, 2x Star Fragment, 1x Moon Stone
- Strange Vision (Selphie ultimate): 25 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 3x Star Fragment, 2x Curse Spike, 1x Adamantine
- Shooting Star (Rinoa ultimate): 28 STR, 107 HIT / Requires 2x Energy Crystal, 2x Windmill, 1x Regen Ring, 1x Force AmuletCard
- Lion Heart (Squall ultimate): 30 STR, 225 HIT / Requires 12x Pulse Ammo, 4x Dragon Fang, 1x Adamantine
Key Weapon Upgrade Material Locations: where to find all weapon upgrade materials
One vital part of all the weapon upgrades listed above is the items needed to upgrade. Unlike in most FF titles where you simply buy weapon upgrades, in Final Fantasy VIII you simply upgrade your starting weapon over and over again in an ongoing path to the ultimate wepaon. Doing that will require specific items and a small amount of cash each time.
As previously mentioned, while the weapons monthly magazines do give you tips and information on each weapon and the required items needed to refine and forge the new upgraded weapon, you actually don't need the magazines: if you have the relevant materials, a weapon upgrade shop will happily perform the upgrade for you even if you haven't read the relevant magazine. This means you can do crazy stuff like get Lion Heart, Squall's ultimate weapon, on disc 1 - but it requires very specific grinding.
To help with that and getting the weapons in general, here's a full list of every weapon upgrade material in FF8 and different ways you can get it. Many can drop from enemies or be stolen from them, but in that instance you're at the mercy of random chance most of the time. The Card Mod GF ability that Quezacotl gives you early on is vital here, as one of the most reliable ways to get items it through sacrificing cards. A few other GF abilities can come in handy here for similar reasons. Here's the list:
- Drops from Adamantoise. Can be stolen from the BGH251F2 boss, but only the second time you fight it.
- Also found through Rinoa's Angelo Search limit break.
- Card Mod: 1 Minotaur Card = 10 Adamantine
- Medicine Refine (GF Ability Med-RF): 10 Orihalcon = 1 Adamantine
- Betrayal Sword
- Drops or can be stolen from the Blitz & Forbidden enemies.
- Card Mod: 1 Forbidden Card = 1 Betrayal Sword
- Bomb Fragment
- Steal from or obtain as a drop from Bomb enemies.
- Card Mod: 1 Bomb Card = 1 Bomb Fragment
- Chef's Knife
- Drop or steal from Tonberry.
- Card Mod: 1 Tonberry Card = 1 Chef's Knife or 1 Tonberry King Card = 1 Chef's Knife
- Cockatrice Pinion
- Drop or steal this from a Cockatrice. Shocker!
- Card Mod: 1 Cockatrice Card = 1 Cockatrice Pinion, or 1 Iguion Card = 1 Cockatrice Pinion
- Curse Spike
- Drops from Forbidden, Grand Mantis, Imp, Malboro and Tri-Face enemies. Can also be stolen from Tri-Face.
- Also available randomly through Rinoa's Angelo Search Limit.
- Card Mod: 1 Tri-Face Card = 1 Curse Spike
- Dino Bone
- Drops or can be stolen from the T-Rexaur enemy.
- Card Mod: 1 Armadodo Card = 1 Dino Bone, 2 T-Rexaur Card = 1 Dino Bone or 1 Sacred Card = 100 Dino Bone
- Dragon Fin
- Drops or can be stolen from Grendel. Also drops from SAM08G enemies.
- Sometimes found via Rinoa's Angelo Search Limit.
- Card Mod: 1 Grendel Card = 1 Dragon Fin
- Dragon Skin
- Drops from Anacondaur and Grendel.
- Dynamo Stone
- Drops from Blitz, Cockatrice, Creeps and GIM47N. Can be stolen from, but does not drop from, Elastoid.
- Card Mod: 1 Blitz Card = 1 Dynamo Stone or 1 Quezacotl Card = 100 Dynamo Stone
- Energy Crystal
- Drops from Behemoth, Elnoyle and Ruby Dragon.
- Card Mod: 10 Elnoyle Cards = 1 Energy Crystal
- Fish Fin
- Drops from Fastitocalon and Fastitocalon-F enemies. Can also be stolen from them.
- Force Armlet
- Drops from Forbidden, Ochu, X-ATM092 and Edea (2nd encounter).
- GF Ability Med RF: 10x Mag-J Scroll Items = 1 Force Armlet
- Fury Fragment
- Drops from Grendel and Ruby Dragon. Drops or can be stolen from Blue Dragon.
- Card Mod: 4 Blue Dragon Cards = 1 Fury Fragment
- Inferno Fang
- Drops from Hexadragon and drops or can be stolen from Ruby Dragon.
- Card Mod: 10 Ruby Dragon Cards = 1 Inferno Fang
- Life Ring
- Drops from Lefty, Mesmerize, Torama and Turtapod. Can also be stolen frm Lefty.
- Card Mod: 5 Torama Cards = 1 Life Ring
- M-Stone Piece
- Drops from many enemies including Bite Bug, Buel, Jelleye, Geezard and Caterchipillar.
- Card Mod: Funguar & Bite Bug cards mod into 1 M-Stone Piece each.
- Magic Stone
- Drops from many enemies, but drops from and can be stolen from Abyss Worm, Armadodo, Bite Bug, Blobra, Buel and Righty.
- Card Mod: 1 Grat Card = 1 Magic Stone, 1 Buel Card = 1 Magic Stone, 1 Jelleye = 1 Magic Stone
- Malboro Tentacle
- Drops from or can be stolen from Malboro enemies.
- Card Mod: 4 Malboro = 1 Malboro Tentacle
- Mesmerize Blade
- Drops from Mesmerize, surprise! Also can be stolen from Mesmerize
- Card Mod: 1 Mesmerize Card = 1 Mesmerize Blade
- Moon Stone
- Drops from Imp and Torama enemies. Can drop or be stolen from Elnoyle.
- Ochu Tentacle
- Drops and can be stolen from Ochu (ouch!)
- Card Mod: 1 Ochu Card = 1 Ochu Tentacle
- Pulse Ammo
- Refine using Ammo-RF GF ability. 1 Laser Cannon = 5 Pulse Ammo. 1 Energy Crystal = 10 Pulse Ammo. 1 Power Generator = 20 Pulse Ammo.
- Regen Ring
- Drops from Chimera, Lefty, Torama, Turtapod and Vysage. Can be stolen from Biggs (2nd encounter) and Torama.
- Card Mod: 10 Chimera Cards = 1 Regen Ring
- Red Fang
- Can be stolen or drops from Chimera or Hexadragon enemies.
- Card Mod: 3 Hexadragon Cards = 1 Red Fang
- Saw Blade
- Can be stolen or drops from the Belhelmel enemy.
- Card Mod: 1 Belhelmel Card = 1 Saw Blade
- Drops from Geezard, GIM47N, GIM52A. Steal from Geezard.
- Card Mod: 1 Geezard Card = 5 Screws
- Sharp Spike
- Drops from Armadodo, Death Claw and Grand Mantis. Can be stolen from Grand Mantis.
- Card Mod: 1 Grand Mantis Card = 1 Sharp Spike or 1 Death Claw Card = 1 Sharp Spike
- Shear Feather
- Drops from the Thrustaevis enemy.
- Card Mod: 1 Thrustaevis Card = 1 Shear Feather
- Spider Web
- Drops from the Caterchipillar enemy.
- Card Mod: 1 Caterchipillar Card = 1 Spider Web
- Star Fragment
- Drops from a variety of enemies including Chimera, Hexadragon, Ruby Dragon, T-Rexaur & Tri-Face. Also drops or can be stolen from Iron Giant.
- Card Mod: 3 Iron Giant Cards = 1 Star Fragment
- Steel Orb
- Drops or can be stolen from GIM47N & Wendigo.
- Card Mod: 1 Wendigo Card = 1 Steel Orb
- Steel Pipe
- Drops or can be stolen from GIM47N & Wendigo.
- Card Mod: 1 Elastoid Card = 1 Steel Pipe
- Turtle Shell
- Can be Stolen (does not drop) from Adamantoise and Armadodo.
- Card Mod: 3 Adamantoise Cards = 1 Turtle Shell or 2 X-ATM092 Card = 1 Turtle Shell
- Drops or can be stolen from Abyss Worm, Death Claw or Thrustaevis
- Card Mod: 1 Abyss Worm Card = 1 Windmill or 1 Pandemona Card = 100 Windmill