Triple Triad is a card game created in the Squaresoft game Final Fantasy VIII. It was not an essential part of the game but provided light relief to the storyline, and allowed the player to interact with minor characters in a different way. Final Fantasy VIII is the first of the series to introduce a side-game with such interaction. Triple Triad is completely separate from the main storyline, and progression in the game does not affect achievement in the storyline, and vice versa. Triple Triad became so popular it has spawned several unofficial websites and programs that permit multiplayer gaming via the internet, allowing players to challenge each other to the game.
The game is quite difficult to attempt without the aid of computer-enforced rules, but this is not to say it hasn't been attempted. In 1999, following the release of the game, Japanese games company Bandai produced a full set of collectible Triple Triad cards. The set was made up of the 110 cards as seen in the game along with 72 artwork cards and a collectors edition playing mat. Because the set was only released commercially in Japan and was not generally available in America or Europe, the cards have become a rare collectors item with full sets selling for well over $350 (approx. £200) on the collector's market.
Triple Triad is played on a 3-by-3 square grid of blank spaces, where cards will be placed as the game progresses. Cards are traditionally pictured with various characters, monsters or other items from the Final Fantasy VIII game which are familiar to the player. More importantly, each card features four numbers placed in arrangement so each correspond to different sides to the card. The following image is an example of a traditional Triple Triad card:
The positions of numbers are often (but not always) referred to as compass points (north, east, south, west) to distinguish each. In the case of the card above, 9 is north, 6 is east, 7 is south and 3 is west.
In the game, the numbers on these cards relate to numbers on other cards. This is explained below. Numbers on the cards increase from 1 to 9, as well as use of the letter A to indicate the highest value possible (equivalent value of 10).
All cards differ in their numerical values. All cards have a blue and red variant, relating to which player possesses the card.
In a basic game of Triple Triad, each player has 5 cards each, with no player knowing what each others hand holds. A coin-flip decision is made to which of the two players begin, whom may then choose a card to play anywhere on the grid. A coin-flip decision may also be made on which player plays as red or blue. After the first card play, the opposition may play a card anywhere unoccupied on the grid board, and game continues with player's turns alternating in this fashion.
A card is played
When a card is played, it's values are assessed and compared to any cards which are adjacent on the grid. If no cards are adjacent, no assessment is made and game continues.
If a card is placed next to card already on the grid, the values on corresponding sides of the cards are assessed. For example, in the card play below (fig 2), the blue card is placed on the east side of the red card.
The two cards are assessed. The corresponding value on the resting card (east, 6) is compared to the corresponding value on the challenging card (west, 1). Because the challenging value is less than the resting value - (1 < 6) - there is no action made.
Should the situation be like in the one depicted above (fig. 3), the challenging value (A) is higher than the resting value (6). When this occurs, the losing card is changed in colour. In this situation, the challenging card will turn the resting card blue.
It is only when a challenging card is of higher value that a colour change is made.
Two or more challenges
If a card is placed in a position where it challenges two or more cards, the same rules apply, and each card challenge is assessed independently. In extreme cases, a card may be placed in a situation where it is challenging on all four sides, or none at all.
Gameplay continues until the entire grid is filled. Once the game is complete, the player wins whose colour dominates the game. Even the card not placed on the grid is included in the scoring. As all ten cards are involved, this allows the possibility of the game ending in a draw, which may be resolved by a Sudden Death scenario, or by playing until a winner is defined. The value of the cards does not play a part in the calculation of score at the end of the game.
In Final Fantasy VIII, the overall winner may claim a prize by taking one or more of the loser's cards from his collection. How many cards that are taken upon a successful game are decided upon before the game begins, and cannot be changed once gameplay has begun. In real-life game tournaments and online based variants of the game, these rules apply also. This could be a good way for a player to expand his card collection, or a quick way of losing his best and highest playing cards.
Triple Triad can be expanded by implementing a different set of rules. These additional rules merely expand on the basic set of rules, improving the complexity of skill (or luck) required for success.
* Open and Random are rules that affect cards before gameplay.
* Same, Plus, Combo and Same Wall expand on the basic card capture rules.
* Elemental changes the gameplay by involving varying card values.
* One, Direct, Difference (Diff) and All are rules that affect the prize rules after gameplay.
All rules are explained below.
Alternate card rules
* When the rule Open is included, cards are dealt but then are not hidden from the opposing player. This reduces the chance factor of the game as each player can now prepare and plan their moves based on which cards the opposing player possesses. As when this rule is not apparent, the cards will be flipped over during gameplay to prevent using the knowledge of your opponents cards to your advantage.
* Using the Random rule, cards are not decided upon by the player. All cards are chosen randomly, which means the game cannot be pre-judged by deciding the strength of cards. Players must play with whatever five cards are dealt and achieve victory without aid of their better cards. This is often used to even out handicaps between players if one player has a low-value collection of cards while the other has a lot of high-valued cards.
Alternate card capture rules
The basic rule of card capture is a higher value defeats a lower value. The following rules provide different ways of card capture in the game.
The Same rule allows capture of two or more resting cards if the challenging card has the same value as the challenged card on two adjacent sides.
The Plus rule involves a card being placed adjacent to at least two resting cards. Should the value of adding the values of any of the two challenges equal the value of adding the values of the other challenge, the Plus rule comes into effect and both challenges are won by the challenging card, as shown below (fig. 4):
In the scenario above, originally, the blue Eden card is the challenger, and the Elastoid and Armadodo cards are the challenged. As you can see, on both of the challenging sides of the Eden card, the sum of both values involved in the challenge is the same (6 + 4 = 10 on Eden's north and the Elastoid's south, and 6 + 4 = 10 on Eden's east and the Armadodo's west), so in turn, the Plus rule comes into action, turning both challenged cards (Elastoid and Armadodo) into blue.
With the Combo rule, any card that captures another, captures any card which that has any dominance over. When a card is placed, any captures are made, then any cards that are captured are assessed using their values against their adjacent cards. If the captured card has values greater than any of the already resting cards adjacent, they are captured also, resulting in a combo. An example of this is below (fig. 5)
In the scenario above, the challenging red Angelo card captures the card above it. The captured card has values which are higher than its own adjacent cards, so they are captured also. Combos are a great way to suddenly sway the scores from lead player to the losing side.
Same Wall rule
When a Same Wall is used, it acts equivalent to a "Same" except all sides of the grid have a value of "A" (i.e. a card placed on the side of the grid with an "A" touching the wall can "Same" any appropriate cards around it). A similar "Plus wall" also exists in some versions of the game, but this was not in the original.
The Elemental rule adds a unique style of play to the game. The game values can now be changed in a positive or negative way dependant on the elements at play.
When setting up a game, elements may or may not be assigned to one or more squares on the grid. There are eight elements that may be involved: Thunder, Earth, Ice, Wind, Poison, Image:Triple Triad element fire.gif Fire, Water and Holy. Grid squares which have a specific element display the relevant image in the middle of the square. Cards which have a specific element display the relevant image in the top right of the card.
The card shown above (fig. 6) shows Phoenix which is a fire-based element.
When a card is placed on a grid square which is elemental, the values of the card may be increased or decreased by 1.
* If the element of the card matches the element of the square, the value of the card is increased by 1.
* If the element of the card differs from the element of the square, the value of the card is decreased by 1.
* If an elemental card is placed on a non-elemental square, no change is made.
* If a non-elemental card is placed on an elemental square of any type, the value of the card is decreased by 1.
The Triple Triad game was so popular, other similar games have been a feature of some later games in the Final Fantasy series. Tetra Master was the card game created for Final Fantasy IX and was popular enough to get its own standalone online game from PlayOnline. Sphere Break is another example of a game to feature in the series, in Final Fantasy X-2.
All info gotten from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_...Game_structure