Final Fantasy limit breaks that involve investing in the attacks outside of battle aren’t exactly a new thing. These sorts of methods were exceptionally popular and prevalent in an installment like Final Fantasy VII, where you have to get manuals for level four Limit Breaks, and Final Fantasy X, where characters had to do things to earn new Overdrives. (You had to get really good at Blitzball if you wanted a viable Wakka.) With Final Fantasy VIII, we had one that was a little more special. Rinoa’s dog, Angelo, doubled as a great in-battle asset and a mechanic to help you get more invested in exploring. Now that Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is around the bend, more people will be able to see how this unique furry friend (and mechanic) works.
Upon first meeting Rinoa in Final Fantasy VIII, she might call to mind a past Final Fantasy hero. Like Shadow from Final Fantasy VI, she has a near constant companion. Sant Angelo di Roma is to her what Interceptor was to the ninja. Just like the past dog, Angelo appears throughout the story alongside Rinoa. She’s a devoted pet owner, introducing Squall to the dog, bringing Angelo on the journey and caring for the puppy. Likewise, the dog is similarly attached to her, following alongside her and staying devoted even during more harrowing events.
One of Interceptor’s hallmarks in Final Fantasy VI was occasionally stepping in to aid Shadow during a fight. This was a passive action that just happened. As Angelo grows and learns new tricks, this good dog behaves in the same sort of way. Angelo Rush is a counterattack that she knows right away and can trigger when Rinoa is attacked. Angelo Recover is another skill that can trigger to help Rinoa or a party member, healing them. Sometimes, Angelo Reverse will revive a fallen ally passively, acting as a Phoenix Down. There’s also Angelo Search, which brings her in randomly to look for an item, which she then gives to Rinoa.
All of these passive abilities and Angelo-related Combine limit breaks are considered tricks. Which means if you want Angelo to be the best Final Fantasy dog ever, you need to search for Pet Pals. Different pet stores are scattered around the world, each with manuals for new tricks. (There are six extra tricks total that can be acquired and learned.) Once you get the manual, you use it to teach Angelo the trick. Then, you have to have Rinoa in the party for as many steps as it takes for Angelo to master it. Once she does, you get that extra passive or active skill. Since all of the passives, though infrequent, are quite handy, you want to try and get Angelo Recover, Angelo Reverse, and Angelo Search as soon as possible. But also, learning Angelo Strike, Invincible Moon, and Wishing Star can be important too.
Once you are able to use Rinoa’s actual Combine limit break, Angelo becomes even more useful. There are four different tricks, with Angelo Cannon being the most basic, Crisis Level one attack that damages all enemy when fired off of Rinoa’s wrist like a chakram. The second attack, Angelo Strike, is good against a single enemy and could be very helpful against a boss. Invincible Moon is the third level ability and is a support that makes everyone briefly invincible. Finally, Wishing Star is the rarest attack, which is insanely powerful and will have you hoping it triggers against actually strong enemies and not come up when facing more minor minions.
Angelo can be quite a beneficial party member, one that helps make keeping Rinoa around at all times a possible strategy. This is one of the many good dogs that has appeared in the Final Fantasy series over the years. Once Final Fantasy VIII Remastered appears, more people will get a chance to be Pet Pals with her.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will come to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 3, 2019.