Final Fantasy VIII Magazines: magazine locations for Combat King, Pet Pals, Occult Fan and Timber Maniacs
There are a lot of complicated systems at play in Final Fantasy VIII, and a lot of different things to worry about and collect. One major element of this are magazines, varied collectibles throughout FF8 that give you new limit breaks, help you to understand weapon upgrades and fill in information on rewarding side quests.
On this guide we're going to list every magazine in FF8 in the order they're first available. But first, a quick primer. There are five types of magazine represented in FF8 and this guide, and they all do slightly different things. They are as follows...
- Weapons Monthly: these magazines show ou what materials you need to upgrade a weapon and will eventually light your way all the way to the ultimate weapons for each character. While we list the locations here, we highly recommend you check out our full guide on FF8 weapon upgrades, ultimate weapons and weapons monthly magazines for the full details on this system.
- Combat King: this series of magazines allows Zell to learn different attacks that add to his Limit ability Duel. Each magazine adds more to make his limit even more powerful and potent.
- Pet Pals: these magazines allow Rinoa and her faithful dog Angelo to learn new tricks that form new limit ability options for Rinoa in combat. After obtaining the magazine Angelo will still take some time to learn the move, but you must have the magazine first.
- Occult Fan: the Occult Fan series of books detail mysterious and supernatural goings on in the world. Gathering and reading these will help explain how to get the GF Doomtrain, which we cover in full in our FF8 GF Locations & Abilities guide, plus how to get the UFO sidequest started.
- Timber Maniacs: unlike the other types of magazine, Timber Maniacs doesn't have any real effect on gameplay, but they are another collectible and are in many ways closely linked to the story thanks to the fact that Laguna wrote for the magazine. Many of these are missable.
Final Fantasy VIII Magazine Locations: all magazines, including missables, in pick-up order
As previously mentioned, this page is going to list every magazine in FF8 in the order you can first find them. So the first magazine you can actively grab in FF8 is Occult Fan 1, for instance - so that kicks the list off. From there it just goes right through the game, avoiding any too-spoilery descriptions of in-game events to avoid spoiling too much.
Some magazines are missable, where if you don't grab them, they're lost forever. This is true of a lot of things in FF8 - even rare Triple Triad cards. We note which ones are missable magazines on this page, too, so we suggest you read a little ahead to make sure you don't pass one by during story events.
Occult Fan #1
You can grab this any time from the Balamb Garden Library, meaning it can be picked up from very early in the game - arguably making it the first you should grab in this game. There are two bookshelves clearly visible in the center of the library. Search the right-most side of the second bookshelf to find this magazine. So note this NOT on the zoomed-in screen with the draw point, nor the second screen on the far side of the library.
This magazine can also be purchased in the Esthar Book Store, but you'll require the Tonberry GF's 'Call Shop' ability to do so.
Timber Maniacs #l
This issue of Timber Maniacs is found on the 2nd floor of the Inn at Balamb Town, just up the street from Balamb Garden. That means it's accessible from very early on, as soon as you're allowed to leave Balamb and explore some of the world map a little.
It can also be found at Balamb Train Station, near the signal 0 so that's a second place you can pick it up. Interestingly, if you pick this magazine up before the first Laguna Dream Sequence, some of the sequence dialogue changes to reflect that.
Weapons Monthly March Issue
This one is nice and easy, and unmissable - it's rewarded to you after defeating the Elvoret boss at the top of the Dollet communications tower during your SeeD field exam mission.
Weapons Monthly April Issue
This is another magazine delivered to you on a platter - though you do need to actually take a moment to pick it up. It's on the table in Squall's new, bigger dorm room after you return from the SeeD ball.
Pet Pals Vol. 1
Zell will give you this when you chat to him on the train to Timber, en route to your first real SeeD mission. This magazine can also be purchased from the Esthar Pet Shop much later in the game. It teaches the Angelo & Rinoa Limit "Angelo Strike".
Pet Pals Vol. 2
When you board Rinoa's train to learn of your mission, you get a chance to explore. After learning about your mission with the train swapping, and before talking to Watts, head to Rinoa's room, where you first meet her. The Pet Pals magazine is on her bed. It's also available for purchase from the Esthar Pet Shop later on, and teaches Rinoa the "Angelo Recover" limit.
Pet Pals Vol. 3
The third Pet Pals is a rare magazine that you must actually purchase - it's only available from the shop, and can be grabbed from the Timber Pet Shop. It costs 1000 gil, which is peanuts in the grand scheme. It teaches "Invincible Moon", a Rinoa & Angelo limit that's a tribute to FF7's Red XIII.
It won't be available until after the train SeeD mission, so it's not there on your first visit to Timber, but you can easily backtrack there afterwards.
Pet Pals Vol. 4
Much as with the previous Pet Pals volume, this issue must be ordered from a store rather than just found. It's also available from the Timber Pet Store, but again won't be there until after the train mission. It unlocks Rinoa the "Angelo Reverse" limit.
Girl Next Door
This one-off magazine is a naughty one, but you can use Girl Next Door to make Zone very happy and get yourself a rare card in for the bargain.
Pick up the Girl Next Door from one of the stacks of magazines on the floor of the Timber Maniacs building in, you guessed it, Timber. You'll then need to hold on to it until you meet Zone, either on the Train or much later on the SeeD ship, where he'll trade it for a Shiva Rare Triple Triad Card.
Timber Maniacs #2
Once you finish the SeeD Train mission, you'll be back in Timber. Head back to the Timber Maniacs building - and this is an ideal time to grab both this issue of Timber Maniacs and the Girl Next Door. At the back right corner of the room you'll find this magazine.
(Optional: Once you get world map access, you can head to Dollet and pick up Timber Maniacs #8 and #9 now, as well as Occult Fan #2, if you want. Once you finish the second Laguna scenario, you can backtrack to Timber and get Timber Maniacs #6)
Timber Maniacs #3
When you reach Deling City, don't run straight to your latest mission - instead, visit the Deling City Hotel. This issue of Timber Maniacs is hiding away under the bed in the room you'll be given if you stay the night.
Weapons Monthly May Issue
This magazine is totally missable, so be careful. You must grab it on one of your two trips to the Deling City Sewers during the assassination SeeD mission. You go there twice - once as Squall and once as Rinoa, and either can find this. It's a sewer behind the presidential residence, entered through a manhole near the boxes you're meant to climb up.
Combat King 1
Combat King will grant Zell new Limit Break techniques, and the first is found in the Desert Prison where you end up after events in Deling City. You must get this magazine before you go to rescue Squall, or you'll lose your chance. It's on the very bottom floor of the prison, so just head all the way down.
If you miss it here, you can later buy it in the Esthar Book Store. It teaches the "Dolphin Blow" limit, a nod to FF7's Tifa.
Weapons Monthly June Issue
Another freebie, this upgrade magazine is given to you as a drop when you beat the BGH251F2 boss at the missile base.
Occult Fan #3
Yes, I know, we haven't picked up the second Occult Fan mag yet - but it just so happens the third issue is available first. Events will take Balamb Garden to Fisherman's Horizon, aka FH. This one is completely missable, so beware.
When leaving Garden to enter FH, look for a ladder leading down on the second screen. Climb down the latter and follow the path until you find the master fisherman - a guy you actually see in a couple of cutscenes of Garden's dramatic arrival. Talk to him and when prompted say "...what are you talking about?" He'll hand over the magazine.
Timber Maniacs #4 & 5
Issue 4 of Timber Maniacs can be grabbed from Fisherman's Horizon. Stay in FH and head to the inn. You don't even need to check in - just run upstairs and you'll find it near the bookcase in the hotel room, free to grab.
For issue 5 of Timber Maniacs, stay in FH. It's inside one of the houses near the railway tracks that run through FH. It's Grease Monkey's house, and isn't tough to find.
Timber Maniacs #6
Once you can move Garden around, head back to Timber and pay a visit to the hotel there. This is another one hidden away in a hotel guest room - grab the issue of Timber Maniacs and leave.
Timber Maniacs #7
This one can be grabbed pretty much any time after you have world map travel, but the earliest is once Garden is moving around, thus its placement here on this list. Head to Shumi Village, a non-story critical location, and visit the Artisan's house - the issue of Timber Maniacs is inside.
Note: Collecting this issue of Timber Maniacs causes Ward to be absent in the Laguna scenario at the start of Disc 3. You can hold off and grab this issue later, after that Laguna scenario, if you wish. The only required battle in that Laguna scenario is one against a Red Dragon, otherwise whether or not Ward is present doesn't affect anything else.
Occult Fan #2
Remember Dollet? Once again, this is a magazine tied to revisiting an old location. You can now return to a peaceful Dollet for cards, side quests and magazines.
To get Occult Fan issue 2, first challenge the bar owner to a game of cards and win. This will get you access to an elite card players' private room. The magazine is in a stack of books in the private room. It's the pile closest to the exit. Keep clicking it and you'll have a chance to gain Occult Fan #2, alongside random potions, antidotes, softs, etc. Note, you can only get 3 random items at a time. After getting three items, simply leave the secret office and come immediately back and try again.
If you're not very good at cards, you can use Tonberry's Call Shop ability in the Esthar Book Store to get it later.
Timber Maniacs #8 & #9
While you're still revisiting Dollet, there are two more Timber Maniacs issues you can grab. Issue 8 is the first and is - you guessed it - in the Dollet Hotel guest room. You know the drill by now.
Timber Maniacs issue 9 meanwhile is in the Dollet pub. Head up to the second floor, where somebody has left it on a table for you to have.
Combat King 2
Zell's second Limit teaching magazine is recieved as part of the story - after fighting a pair of pesky fellow Garden Students in the Balamb Hotel upon your return there, you'll get this magazine. It teaches the "Meteor Strike" limit, and also shows up later in the Esthar Book Store.
Timber Maniacs #10
When you visit a somber Trabia Garden, keep an eye out for this issue of Timber Maniacs simply sitting atop a grave in the cemetary. Somebody really loved this magazine, it seems.
Weapons Monthly August Issue
When you visit Trabia Garden, this magazine is barely visible but is about four or five steps south of the Gargoyle Statue, among the cracked concrete and rubble, near the bottom of the screen.
Weapons Monthly July Issue
After the clash between the Gardens, at the start of Disc 3, you'll once again be able to explore. Head to the Garden training area and take the left-hand path - on the second screen this magazine is hidden away, laying on the floor near the wooden planks.
Combat King 3
First of all, to get this latest Zell Limit you must actually have Zell in your party. After the clash between the Gardens, at the start of Disc 3, you have the chance to return to Balamb.
When you do, talk to the girl in the red skirt near the Balamb Town entrance with Zell in your party. Then take yourself to Zell's home and talk to his mother. Finally, go to Balamb Hotel and actually stay overnight. A story sequence will take place, and Zell will get the magazine as part of it.
Alternatively, this is available from the Esthar Book Store later on. It teaches the "Meteor Barret" Limit.
Timber Maniacs #11
When visiting the Orphanage, you'll talk about the White SeeD ship while standing on the beach. Head inside the Orphanage and this issue is just waiting for you.
Timber Maniacs #12
Speaking of the White SeeD Ship, this issue of Timber Maniacs is actually found on the SeeD ship itself. It's on the top deck, in the room where Zone and the Captain are. If you don't pick this up before leaving the ship, the chance is lost forever - it's missable.
Weapons Monthly 1st Issue
Despite the name, this is the final one of these books in the game. It can be grabbed during a Laguna Dream Sequence - it's inside the Lunatic Pandora Research Center Lab.
Note: This can be bought at the Esthar Book Store with Tonberry Skill 'Familiar' unlocked.
Pet Pals Vol. 5 & Vol. 6
The final two issues of Pet Pals are both only available for purchase. Both are found in the Esthar Pet Shop - they're 1000 gil each and teach the "Angelo Search" and "Wishing Star" Limits to Rinoa and Angelo.
Occult Fan #4
The fourth and final Occult Fan magazine will unravel the mystery of Doomtrain if you haven't already, but it's completely missable. Worse still, the way of getting it is actually a little obtuse.
When in Esthar, find and speak to the Presidential Aide character. He's near the air station. Then return to the Esthar Presidential Palace and find the Secretary, who is standing outside the meeting room where you left Rinoa. Talk to him, and he'll move away. Where he was standing, this magazine is on the floor. Weird!
Combat King 4
The chance to get this one for free is only during the Lunatic Pandora attack. Talk to the Esthar soldier on the bridge near the Esthar Air Station, he'll hand it over. Alternatively, this is available from the Esthar Book Store via Tonberry's various shop-based GF abilities. It teaches the "Different Beat" Limit to Zell.
Combat King 5
This issue of Combat King magazine is actually grabbed from inside the Lunatic Pandora. It's on the path that heads left from the elevator labelled 03. This can actually only be found if you triggered the red detonator during the second of the Laguna Dream Sequences way earlier in the game. If you didn't, this is also found in the Esthar Book Store via Tonberry's haggling abilities - but it costs a huge amount of gil. It teaches Zell's ultimate "Final Heaven" Limit.