- "Audire, discere, loqui. -2139"
- ―Printed on the Dedication Plaque of Balamb Garden, which translates to "To listen, to learn, to speak."
Balamb Garden is one of the three Garden military facilities, located in the region of the same name, and was the first Garden founded. It was founded in February 2139, one year before the founding of Galbadia Garden and two years before Trabia Garden. The current Headmaster of Balamb Garden is Cid Kramer, and the current Garden SeeD Commander is Squall Leonhart.
Balamb Garden is part of the Garden Organization, as founded by Cid Kramer. It is also a part of the O.S.I.R.I.S Information Storage Network.
Balamb Garden was founded in February 2139 by Cid Kramer, husband of Edea Kramer. The two had the idea of founding the Garden as a means of preparation for combating Sorceresses. As the Garden was founded near the end of the Sorceress Wars, led by Adel Harbinger, this seemed a feasible option. With help from a Shumi named NORG, Cid founded the first of the three Gardens in the Garden Organization, specializing in the use of Guardian Forces and para-magic in combat through a method called junctioning.
In 2151, the Garden would find itself in combat with a Sorceress - ironically, the wife of Cid Kramer herself, Sorceress Edea, who had received powers from Ultimecia, a Sorceress from the future. A SeeD and future SeeD Commander, Squall Leonhart, led a team of six into combat with Edea, defeating her after a large conflict between Balamb and Galbadia Gardens. However, the conflict came with a price. Balamb and Galbadia suffered heavy loss of life during the conflict, both SeeD and staff, and Trabia Garden fell victim to a missile strike ordered by the Sorceress that devastated the Garden. Trabia Garden would be rebuilt the following year due to aid from Darius Elric DeValle, Sr. of House DeValle, and Galbadia would shortly thereafter find itself in an investigation that culminated in the removal of its Headmaster, Martine. Galbadia Garden would split with the Galbadian province soon after, renaming itself to Esthar Garden and finding shelter within Estharian borders by decree of Laguna Loire.
Balamb Garden has since introduced several reforms to the SeeD program that have by and large been accepted by the other two Gardens, one of the largest among them being the Accelerated SeeD Training Program.
Balamb Garden, like any military organization, has a firm chain of command and seniority in place for organizational and instruction purposes. Entry members study and train for years in order to earn their commission as field officers. Balamb Garden's command hierarchy has largely stayed the same through the years, only adding the position of SeeD Commander in recent years to allow for more fluid control of the educational and militaristic aspects of the facility.
Balamb Garden's population is the smallest of the three Gardens by far, both due to its design and limited funding. However, the Guardian Force specialization at Balamb makes their SeeDs extremely capable in combat, even in small numbers.
- Total Students: 3,200 (100%)
- Full-Time Students: 1,760 (55%)
- Cadets: 960 (30%)
- SeeD: 480 (15%)
The bottommost level of Balamb Garden, the MD level hosts the drive system. After the Sorceress conflict, the drive system was upgraded substantially and a new engineering division was created to service the drive when required.
Access is restricted to the Engineering Division.
The Dark Facility is Garden's psychological operations center, specifically in charge of the interrogation of captured targets. At Esthar Garden, it is seperated into three rings, with two entrances. The first ring only offers access in to the inner two rings, as well as the exits.
The first inner ring offers access to the communications room, the security office and the research offices. This ring also has access to the Dark storage area. Finally, it offers access to the low security interrogation cells, as well as the observation rooms for the interrogation rooms.
The second inner ring has the only access to the highest security rooms, which are reserved for high priority targets. Entrance is restricted to the highest clearance levels of Garden, and those they alone clear for access. Access to the Dark Faciliy (beyond the inner sanctum) is restricted to the highest levels of the security department. The existence of the Dark facility is classified also to the highest levels of Garden.
The first floor is the main floor of Garden.
The second floor of Balamb Garden is where the majority of classroom learning happens.
The third floor is the command division of Balamb Garden.
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