Final Fantasy VIII is the eight installment of the Final Fantasy series. The game is by right owned by Square Enix(during that time it was called as Square Soft). Zahasuki Harikuni liked Tetsuya Nomura's(graphic designer and director of several Final Fantasy series) ideas of the main characters being a student in a school that trains them in combat and magic.
Zahasuki used some of the unique features in Final Fantasy VIII in School Fare, but only using them as base ideas. Although some was a bit hazy and disapproving of his choice for somewhat 'copying' other's ideas, they agreed that such unique features shouldn't really be 'exclusive'.
There are few very inspiring features in Final Fantasy VIII that made Zahasuki very intrigued of implementing them in School Fare. Some are quite obvious, while others are rather 'shadow of their facade'.
Gardens as Combat AcademiesEdit
Combat Academies like Azure High and Vermilion High are literal allusions to the Gardens like Balamb Garden and Galbadia Garden in Final Fantasy VIII.
Guardian Forces as Soul LinkEdit
The key element in Final Fantasy VIII, Junctioning Guardian Forces with characters is obviously implemented in School Fare. Unlike in Final Fantasy VIII where the characters may Junction themselves with as many GF as possible, characters may only Link themselves to only 3 monsters at a time.
Unlike in Final Fantasy VIII, Linked monsters have specific Link Skills to bestow upon the character, instead of increasing their stats. For example, if Marryl Link herself with a Minxie, she'll obtain the Manafest and Fleetfoot skills. Some Link Skills are identical to Innate Abilities, in which some Linked monsters may bestow upon their linker.
Rather similar to Guardian Forces, to Link a character with a monster, they must Extract their Souls. The chance of obtaining their Souls is similar to catching a monster, when they have already been weakened. When their Soul has been successfully extracted, the monster will disappear, and will turn Soulified or Mistified. Catch their souls by simply interacting with them, but to hold onto newly catched Souls, the Soul must be Linked to a character first. To store them, simply use the Mastery Crystal.