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Angelo

Introduced as a Rinoa's four legged partner, Squall first meets Angelo at Timber's Forest Owl Head Quarters during his first mission as a SeeD. As a strategist for the Timber Forest Owls, Rinoa had her hands full in her continued attempts to free Timber from Galbadian rule. Her role later evolved into a love interest and comrade for Squall. Although Angelo does not have a pivotal role in the unfolding of the Final Fantasy VIII storyline, her appearances in the game mainly revolves around Rinoa's Combine Limit Break.

Though one should not be critical when it comes to the aesthetic appeal of Final Fantasy Limit Breaks, one may question the various dog tricks Rinoa can teach Angelo in Final Fantasy VIII. Angelo's initial Combine battle skills include a rush attack which is initiated when Rinoa is repeatedly hit. This gives the appearance that Angelo is a loyal dog and is willing to attack those who harms her owner. However, the Combine skill in question is Angelo canon where Rinoa commands Angelo to lay above her arm to perform a dog projectile attack which borders upon animal abuse.

As the game progresses, Angelo can learn new tricks as players collect various volumes of the Pet Pals Magazine during Squall's travels. These new tricks are useful and they range from teaching Angelo to search for items on the battle field to Angelo Strike which displays her prowess and vigor. Rinoa must be one hell of a dog trainer if she is able to have a Black Tri Australian Shepard grab hold of an enemy and flip them several times in 360 degree circles in the air before using the enemy to brace her fall.

The most bewildering tricks are learnt in the last two Pet Pals magazines in the game. Although useful in the end game, skills such as granting temporary invincibility to battle party members by feeding Angelo a dog treat is a great asset to have. However, the idea of Angelo being able to hold the weight of a grown woman on her back in the Shooting Star combine skill is far from baffling. Regardless, Angelo is a great addition to the assortment of skills featured in Final Fantasy VIII as she brought a variety in aesthetics to the usual Limit Breaks which feature magic casting or flamboyant but yet iconic swinging of the sword. — Chloe Kung



Interceptor

Few RPG dogs are quite as iconic as Interceptor, the loyal companion of the enigmatic assassin Shadow. He is introduced as a dangerous animal that supposedly eats strangers, but events prove that he is an incredibly loyal and friendly dog. More than that, Interceptor is the one thing that ties Shadow to the past he has otherwise cast aside. At every turn Interceptor acts as Shadow's friend and conscience, saving the ninja's life and dragging him into doing the right thing. Shadow may claim to have cast aside all his emotions, but his affection for Interceptor still stands out. Why else would asking for "just enough to feed his dog" as payment for his services be so expensive?

In addition to his role in the story, Interceptor is an invaluable asset in battle. Sadly, he isn't directly controllable in any way, but he fights alongside Shadow in every battle. He will jump in the way of physical attacks to protect his master and can follow that up with a powerful counterattack. His support boosts his master's already considerable offensive and evasive abilities to almost unmatched heights. However, one of the game's bugs makes it possible to permanently lose Interceptor's support, so players should be careful to take care of the brave pup. — Nathan Schlothan

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