Guardian Forces (GF) are the summoned creatures of Final Fantasy VIII used by junctioning them to a character.
Conceived and designed by Hiroyuki Ito, the GF govern major stat growth, elemental/status effect offence and defence, and the commands the character may use during battle. Each GF has a preset list of abilities they can learn, but through certain items, the GF can learn additional abilities and forget those that were previously learned. A total of twenty-two abilities can be learned.
When designing the Guardian Forces, Tetsuya Nomura felt they should be unique beings and not humanoid, unlike the summoned monsters in many previous games. Ramuh, which had been the staple Lightning summon until Final Fantasy VIII, was thus replaced by Quezacotl, a bird-like entity, and Ifrit, who appears as a human-like being in Final Fantasy VII, was redesigned as a beast with lion features.