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Romhacking => Personal Projects => Topic started by: zhade on July 13, 2015, 07:14:39 pm

Title: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 13, 2015, 07:14:39 pm
hi guys, im working on a hack of secret of mana to fix the common gameplay issues/abuses, add new gameplay elements, an option for the difficulty setting and various other things to hopefully make it more enjoyable and different in terms of gameplay.

heres the list of changes I have done so far:

- AI controlled characters don't get stuck
Actually they still do get stuck, but they don't stop the screen movements and get teleported back to the leading player if they go off-screen.

- MP is shown at all time
Still need some work to make it look better

- Binding magic spells to A,B,X,Y (now for all 3 players)
You can now cast spells without interupting the game. Thx to Piotyr for the idea ! First you have to go in the menu, put the cursor over the spell you want to bind, hold R then press A,B,X or Y to bind the magic the the chosen button. Then when in combat, pressing R will put you in "targeting mode" pressing left or right will make you select a target then pressing A,B,X or Y will make you (or the ally who have the chosen spell) cast the spell on the target, pressing R again will cancel. You can only target 1 character or enemy at a time, I still don't know if I'll make it possible to cast on all as it is kind of OP imo.
V0.3 : it is now possible to cast spells from the menu but you still have to pick your target during the action.

- Magic recharging time
After a character casts a spell he will have to wait some time (about 10seconds) before he can cast again. The face of the character on the botom of the screen will flash to show that it is currently unable to cast. No more chain-casting on bosses ;)

- Strong/Weak attacks (now for all 3 players)
There are now 2 different normal attacks for each weapons, attacking while pressing a direction on the D-pad will trigger the strong attack (a thrust with melee weapons) which is 25% stronger than the weak one but takes 25% more time to recharge. In order to not make the game easier and slower it is the weak attack which actually hits 25% less and recharges 25% faster than in vanilla.

Manual blocking (now for all 3 players)
Pressing the L button now makes your character block, he takes a "blocking stance" during a short time in which he will evade any physical attack. Blocking does not affect the power%, it is hard enough to have the right timing anyway. You can also block while charging but it will pause the charging for a short time.
V0.4: Human controlled characters can now only dodge manually.

- Enhanced bow
The bow now shoots twice as far and the power% starts recharging as soon as the arrow hits something. It also has a 99% hit chance.

- Reduced hit-recovery time
When you hit an enemy he will get up twice as fast as he did normally. This is to give a chance to enemies, normally by the time enemies get up you already have your 100% power back so you can hit them before they have a chance to move. This also works for playable characters preventing you to get stuck in a corner getting hit each time you get up until you die.

- Reduced damage/healing time
The time the players/enemies are immobilized as the damage or healing numbers are shown as been split in 2.

- 3 Difficulty settings
At the start of a new game, the player chooses the difficulty setting (easy, normal or hard). The difficulty setting affects how long the magic recharging time is as well as the enemies attack speed and how much damage the playable characters receive when hit by a physical or magic attack.

kown issues:

- Ghosts of dead characters and normally transparent enemies are not transparent anymore, this is not really a bug, it is there because when you are in "targeting-mode" your target become transparent to make it easier to know who you are targeting when characters/enemies are close to each other. Bosses wont flash when targeted tho.
- The character faces used as a cursor when targeting is always on the bottom of the enemies/characters, when enemies are flying it appears on the bottom of their shadow which looks odd. At least the target will be transparent so it is not confusing to know who you are targeting. The face-cursor will also be off if the target is at the edge of the screen or wanders outside the screen while being targeted.

Here is the latest Beta patch : V.10 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0)

It should be applied on an hearderless US rom, patching tool included in the zip.

here are some things I plan to add:

- Change the bosses HP at higher difficulty settings
- Reseting charge level to 0 if another character switch weapon with a charging character
(to fix the abuse where you can use charges over your current weapon lvl)
- Make weapons special effects less abusive
Some weapons have special status effect like balloon which are way OP, I would like to make it so the effect has a 20-25% chance to work instead of working all the time.
- Make stats boost spells last longer
- Make the charged attacks charge faster depending on weapon level
- Give a default level to spirits
Undine 0, Gnome 0, sylph 1, salamander 1, shade 2, lumina 2, luna 3, dryad 4
- Charge-locking
Pressing R while charging will stop the charge at the current level to give you time to position yourself
- Elemental weapons only work at random
element effects like snowman will have a 20-25% chance to work while still doing elemental damage all the time.
- Reduce the amount of HP healed by the luna elemental weapon
15-20% of the damage dealt would still be pretty powerful
- Make treasure chest give you another item if you are already full (healing items only)
For example, if a treasure chest would give you a chocolate bar but you already have 4 and have only 3 candies it would give you a candy instead. It will never give you a better item than what it would have given you in the first place. The only items that it could give you are candies, chocolate bar and honey.
- Equipment give stats boost
Equipement could boost some stats to give some stats customization options.

here are some ideas im still unsure about:

- Stat boost depending on weapon
For example the axe (which is just a sword with bad range) could raise the defense when equiped, the gloves could raise the evasion. The javeline could have a higher hit-rate (maybe even always 100%) to make it better compared to the new bow.
- Character dependent fighting skills
For example the girl could block/evade for a longer time (or maybe she could even do a counter-attack after a sucessful block?), the sprite could have an even faster weak attack. And other stuff like this that would give each character a bit of a different play style to make it more interesting.

Tell me if you have ideas of what I could add to make this great game better !
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on July 14, 2015, 01:53:32 am
Now THIS is a SoM hack I would be interested in playing!

I like 99% of your ideas--the only thing I would suggest revisiting is maybe some limited stat adjsutment.  I think rebalancing the equipment and spell power/mp costs (these were literally the only things I think the SoM hardtype hack did well) would actually go a long way towards making the game just hard enough so the improvements you have here don't allow us to easily break the game.

I'm glad someone is finally taking a look at all the games mechanics rather than just homing in on the stats--I look forward to seeing the final product!

EDIT:  I don't know if this is possible at all, but it might be interesting to try--as weapon levels increase, it decreases the time it takes to charge lower level charges, but the charge time is progressively slower for higher levels.  So, for example, if your sword level is 6, you might be able to charge lvl 1 pretty quickly, lvl 2 a bit slower, lvl 3 a bit slower, all the way up to lvl 6 which would charge at the base rate.  This might give players more incentive to play pure melee, as charge attacks would be slightly more useful.  Then again, this would probably take a metric ton of hacking depending on how the charging is coded--just something I thought of while reading, so feel free to totally ignore it too!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 14, 2015, 05:56:24 am
Now THIS is a SoM hack I would be interested in playing!

I like 99% of your ideas--the only thing I would suggest revisiting is maybe some limited stat adjsutment.  I think rebalancing the equipment and spell power/mp costs (these were literally the only things I think the SoM hardtype hack did well) would actually go a long way towards making the game just hard enough so the improvements you have here don't allow us to easily break the game.

I'm glad someone is finally taking a look at all the games mechanics rather than just homing in on the stats--I look forward to seeing the final product!

EDIT:  I don't know if this is possible at all, but it might be interesting to try--as weapon levels increase, it decreases the time it takes to charge lower level charges, but the charge time is progressively slower for higher levels.  So, for example, if your sword level is 6, you might be able to charge lvl 1 pretty quickly, lvl 2 a bit slower, lvl 3 a bit slower, all the way up to lvl 6 which would charge at the base rate.  This might give players more incentive to play pure melee, as charge attacks would be slightly more useful.  Then again, this would probably take a metric ton of hacking depending on how the charging is coded--just something I thought of while reading, so feel free to totally ignore it too!

I plan on making a stat hack too after im done with this. I want to make it seperate so you can apply other stats hacks like the hard som hack to this if you want to. I consider the game (even with this hack) to be easy so my stat hack would be like a 'normal' mode between the vanilla version and the hard som hack.

If you have some examples of what should be rebalanced without making the game too much harder, I will look into it.
The spells are already balanced diffently because of the 10sec time between each cast. I usually only used the 2Mp costs offensive spells because casting 2x 3Mp spells for a total of 6MP didnt do as much damage as casting 3x the 2Mp spell of the same element, but now that I have to wait 10sec between casts the 3MP ones are more useful against bosses since I want to do as much damage as possible everytime I have the chance to cast.

About the faster charging, I had the exact same idea actually :P I forgot to include it in my list of ideas but I already have looked at how the game process the charges and it should not be too hard to do, I already have been able to make it charge 2x faster. The game normally increases a value by 1 every frames, I could change this so it increases by (your current level less your current charge level) divided by 2 and rounded up for example, so if your sword is level 6 the first charge would charge at (6-0)/2 every frame so 3x faster, second one 3x, third 2x, fourth 2x, 5th 1x and 6th 1x. The only problem I see is that it will increase your damage per seconds making the game easier, I could make the charge attacks a bit less powerful to fix this but I think I will look to see if it is really an issue first.

If you have other ideas, even if they seem impossible to do, don't keep them for yourself, we seem to be on the same page  :thumbsup:

heres a list of things I thought about but still don't know if I will include or if I would be able to include:
- Using the L button as a dodge button, making you do the back-flip dodge animation and making you invincible to attacks during that time and bringing your power % to zero afterwards
- Using the A button to do the alternative attack so for example if you have the spear you would be able to do the thrust with B and the Slash with A so you can choose which attack to use depending on the situation. That would mean you can no longer run tho and might be hard do pull off.
- If I dont do the alternate attack thing, making it so you can change direction while running, this would make it a bit too easy to run past enemies tho.
- using the L button (if I dont do the dodge thing) to make you stop charging so if you want to do the wide area level 6 sword charge to hit a group of enemies you could press L after charging the 4th charge to lock your charge at 4 so you have all the time you want to position yourself properly (this would be even more useful with the faster charging thing)
- making the bow shoot farther. nobody uses the bow, its slow, only hits one target and its higher power doesnt make up for it. Giving it a better reach might help making it a real choice compared to other projectile weapons.
- making the MP appear aside the HP of characters since you dont have to go in the menu anymore to cast spells it would be better to be able to see MP at all time. This might be above my current asm skills but I knew nothing about asm a month ago so with dedication I might find a way to do this.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 14, 2015, 06:24:19 am
I love all of these changes except for the "Reduced speed while recharging power %" point. That sounds kind of annoying, but I guess I'd have to try it to see if I like it.

Regarding the percentage meter, maybe you could make it so that it's actually corresponding to the damage done, meaning if it's at 25% then you do 25% damage? IIIRC the damage is puny until 90-100%. But it might be OP in multiplayer.

The Secret of Evermore balance patch categorized various spells and weapons so that leveling them took less time, a very nice feature in that game. Maybe add something like that?

Finally the hit detection could be polished up a bit.

Other than that, I agree with the above regarding stat balancing (not sure about the weapon charge time though) and really want to play this.


Edit:
I finally got the chance to try this out and I gotta say that while the reduced speed while charging mechanic is fine when you're fighting, it becomes really annoying when you're simply moving around (running) and/or trying to avoid battle (hitting enemies once to stun them and move past). I think the reduced hit recovery and healing/damage times are enough of a balance fix for the fights already, at least in single player.

On the subject of moving around, would it be possible to tighten up the scrolling a bit? Because it's unusually loose in this game so it is likely that you'll run right into enemies and get attacked once in a while, as well as bump into walls here and there which reduces the flow of the game.

I have to agree with the cooldown time on spells being too long as well, IIRC it was set to the time of the power meter recharging in the balance patch for Secret of Evermore and that worked great for me. Otherwise I'd say split the current time in half or so, unless some spell animations need it to be longer.

Regarding the hotkeys, those worked great but I also felt that not being able to cast spells normally would turn into a bit of a chore, at least in single player, because four hotkeys is simply not enough unless you stick to 1-2 spells per sidekick. Would it be possible to also bind keys with the L button or does that interfere with something else? Been a while since I played with others in this one. I also agree that being able to see your MP at all times would improve this mechanic a lot since otherwise you'll often be waiting 10 seconds and then failing to cast a spell due to not knowing that you were lacking MP (or go into the menus which kind of defeats the purpose of having hotkeys in the first place).

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 14, 2015, 03:55:10 pm
Wow man you are on a roll with these SoM improvements/tweaks. Awesome job ;D.

One thing though: increasing the time post casting magic will make grinding the element's levels SO much more tedious, which already drags on for anyone not into mindless grinding.
My proposal(s): either make it easier to level up the magic (at least just a bit), speed up the animations so there isn't much of an opening to chain spells (like in the Mobile version), or make it so each spell locks the character in place until the spell is finished like when you cast fireball. For the last two, I am completely ignorant as to whether or not they would be possible.

Aside from that gripe this looks fun; it sounds like you are taking some parts of the mobile remake and implementing them, which is a good and bad thing if you ask me.
SoM has needed some Rom Hacking love and here we are finally getting it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 14, 2015, 07:00:23 pm
Quote
- Using the L button as a dodge button, making you do the back-flip dodge animation and making you invincible to attacks during that time and bringing your power % to zero afterwards

- Using the A button to do the alternative attack so for example if you have the spear you would be able to do the thrust with B and the Slash with A so you can choose which attack to use depending on the situation. That would mean you can no longer run tho and might be hard do pull off.

- If I dont do the alternate attack thing, making it so you can change direction while running, this would make it a bit too easy to run past enemies tho.

- using the L button (if I dont do the dodge thing) to make you stop charging so if you want to do the wide area level 6 sword charge to hit a group of enemies you could press L after charging the 4th charge to lock your charge at 4 so you have all the time you want to position yourself properly (this would be even more useful with the faster charging thing)

- making the bow shoot farther. nobody uses the bow, its slow, only hits one target and its higher power doesnt make up for it. Giving it a better reach might help making it a real choice compared to other projectile weapons.

- making the MP appear aside the HP of characters since you dont have to go in the menu anymore to cast spells it would be better to be able to see MP at all time. This might be above my current asm skills but I knew nothing about asm a month ago so with dedication I might find a way to do this.

1. That would be really interesting, though maybe it cuts power by 50-75%?  I think a full drainage could really lead to some horrible situations.

2. I love this idea, but what about changing it so if you have a spear: A plain would be a slash, but A + Up would be a Thrust.  That way you can keep the B button.

3. Probably keep as is imo.

4. LOVE this idea.

5. Yes, please, please do.  Anything to help the Bow.  Maybe add a possible enhancement where it can shoot two arrows or maybe a more 'rapid fire' type of thing?

6. I might be able to help with that if needed.  I'm pretty sure it's more-or-less just copying the HP routine and altering it so it reads for the MP values.  Though, it'd also have to decrease when spells and such are used and update, which I think SHOULDN'T be too difficult.

As for ideas, I don't know if it'd be good or bad, but what about each PC has their own specific trait that works for them?

Example: The Girl seems pretty darn agile, maybe she's able to dodge a lot more easily with less of a power drainage, but she lacks the power the Boy has.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 14, 2015, 11:54:07 pm
Thank you all for your kind words !

1) Regarding the percentage meter, maybe you could make it so that it's actually corresponding to the damage done, meaning if it's at 25% then you do 25% damage? IIIRC the damage is puny until 90-100%. But it might be OP in multiplayer.

2) The Secret of Evermore balance patch categorized various spells and weapons so that leveling them took less time, a very nice feature in that game. Maybe add something like that?

3) Finally the hit detection could be polished up a bit.

4) I finally got the chance to try this out and I gotta say that while the reduced speed while charging mechanic is fine when you're fighting, it becomes really annoying when you're simply moving around (running) and/or trying to avoid battle (hitting enemies once to stun them and move past). I think the reduced hit recovery and healing/damage times are enough of a balance fix for the fights already, at least in single player.

5) On the subject of moving around, would it be possible to tighten up the scrolling a bit? Because it's unusually loose in this game so it is likely that you'll run right into enemies and get attacked once in a while, as well as bump into walls here and there which reduces the flow of the game.

6) I have to agree with the cooldown time on spells being too long as well, IIRC it was set to the time of the power meter recharging in the balance patch for Secret of Evermore and that worked great for me. Otherwise I'd say split the current time in half or so, unless some spell animations need it to be longer.

7) Regarding the hotkeys, those worked great but I also felt that not being able to cast spells normally would turn into a bit of a chore, at least in single player, because four hotkeys is simply not enough unless you stick to 1-2 spells per sidekick. Would it be possible to also bind keys with the L button or does that interfere with something else? Been a while since I played with others in this one.

1) IIRC the game splits the damage in 2 if your power is not at 100% so for example if you hit with atk 100 and power 50% your attack will be 25, and then if the enemy has 20 defense the damage taken would be 5 or 25 if at 90% instead of 80 if you were at 100%.. I agree that this makes attacking under 100% kind of pointless. I think its a good thing that hitting at 90% does not = 90% damage as it encourages you to wait for the 100% but dividing the atk by 2 is too much. Ill look into it, I dont think this would make the game so much easier anyway as long as 2 hits at 50% is still less than one at 100%.

2) I played the SoE balance patch lately and I agree that this feature was great I didnt really notice it for the alchemy but for the weapons it was way better than in vanilla. I think the weapon leveling in SoM is OK but I could make it so when you cast a spell all elements gets the XP (or a fraction of it) so that when you obtain a new spirit it is not level 0.

3) I tried to find the hit-detection areas for bosses (hitting the beak bosses with weapons is really hard) but I can't seem to find it, ill keep it on my list of things to check

4) I agree that it can get anoying, when cutting herbs to clear the way for example, I thought of making it so that it only slows you down when you actually hit an enemy but I might also just remove it completely im still not sure about this one...

5) I had made a cheat-code a while back that made the camera always centered on the boy to fix this issue but it had some weird effects. Because of the way the maps are made this would make it possible to see farther on the edges of the maps because the camera doesnt stop when close to the edge. Using a no-clip cheat you can walk past the edges and see that the maps wrap arounds like if you go left past the edge you get to the far right so if I changed the scrolling you would see the other edge of the map...

6) I have set the recharge time to 10sec to give you the time to make a charged attack in-between casts, personally I would make it even longer, but if ppl think it is too much I could bring it down to 5. Even with 10sec magic is still very powerful against bosses.

7) I wanted to keep the L button for other features (like dodging or charge-locking). I think 4spells hotkeys is ok but I agree that it should be possible to cast normally too mostly because of the crystals.. Else you would have to go in the menu, bind analyzer, analyze the crystal, return to the menu, bind the spell to clear the crystal, cast on the crystal, if you didnt use the good spell wait for the cooldown and try another one then when the crystal is cleared go back in the menu and re-bind the spells you had on those buttons.. in the palace on the sunken continent where there is 7 crystals this could get annoying... Because of the way I messed with the casting routine and all it would not be easy to do, ill keep it on my list for later

1) One thing though: increasing the time post casting magic will make grinding the element's levels SO much more tedious, which already drags on for anyone not into mindless grinding.
My proposal(s): either make it easier to level up the magic (at least just a bit), speed up the animations so there isn't much of an opening to chain spells (like in the Mobile version), or make it so each spell locks the character in place until the spell is finished like when you cast fireball. For the last two, I am completely ignorant as to whether or not they would be possible.

2) Aside from that gripe this looks fun; it sounds like you are taking some parts of the mobile remake and implementing them, which is a good and bad thing if you ask me

1) I think sharing Xp between spirits would help to make it less of a chore to level up elements

2) I didnt play the mobile remake actually, I thought it was the same game but with gfx upgrade (I still prefer the snes gfx tho) and uncensored dialog. What else did they change ?

dodging
1. That would be really interesting, though maybe it cuts power by 50-75%?  I think a full drainage could really lead to some horrible situations.

alternate attacks
2. I love this idea, but what about changing it so if you have a spear: A plain would be a slash, but A + Up would be a Thrust.  That way you can keep the B button.

running
3. Probably keep as is imo.

charge-locking
4. LOVE this idea.

bow range
5. Yes, please, please do.  Anything to help the Bow.  Maybe add a possible enhancement where it can shoot two arrows or maybe a more 'rapid fire' type of thing?

showing mp
6. I might be able to help with that if needed.  I'm pretty sure it's more-or-less just copying the HP routine and altering it so it reads for the MP values.  Though, it'd also have to decrease when spells and such are used and update, which I think SHOULDN'T be too difficult.

As for ideas, I don't know if it'd be good or bad, but what about each PC has their own specific trait that works for them?

Example: The Girl seems pretty darn agile, maybe she's able to dodge a lot more easily with less of a power drainage, but she lacks the power the Boy has.

1) If I decide to include this feature ill look at how it goes and adjust how much power it cuts acordingly. Also I didnt mention it but it would not require you to have full power to dodge.

2) Yeah that would be better as it would save the A button (the B button is the normal attack button actually). Some weapons like the sword have a bad thrust attack tho so you would have to stop moving to do the slash most of the time, ill see how it goes if I include this feature (still have no idea if I would be able to pull this off)

4) I think I will include this one, it will help make the charge attacks more useful

5) I could make it fire faster (as in less time between when you press B and the time the arrow starts flying) but its what makes the javeline unique, making it fire 2 arrows is not a bad idea but hitting multiple targets is the boomerang's job, thats why I thought about the range.

6) I've actually looked into it today because I was trying to do the faster charging thing and found where the gfx of the charging bar are stored (making the charging faster turned out to mess things up in there) and that it is also where the power % numbers are written, I thought the hp would use something similar but it writes directly in the VRAM ,if I understand this correctly (a lot of sta $2118). Since I can write numbers in the rectangle where the charge-bar is I could write the mp there, it has space for 5 bytes so 99/99 would fit :) that would mean that the MP wouldnt be displayed if the character is charging or if his power is not at 100% tho and I have some palette problems too...
I guess I should use something similar to the HP displaying routine instead to make it "cleaner". Ill have to learn a bit more on how VRAM works. Ive seen some of your gfx hacks in the picture thread (pretty neat stuff !) so im sure you could help with this. Ill go read some articles on snesDev but for starters, is there a register to obtain the current VRAM adress ? like to know where sta $2118 will be put in the vram ? or do I have to find the last write to $2116 / $2117 ?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on July 15, 2015, 02:19:28 am
I'm glad someone mentioned the Secret of Evermore Balance hack--I was just about to bring up how that hack made the alchemy spells usable only after you let your guage fill to 100%, and then a cast drains it.  10 seconds sounded a little too long, but if you're going to map buttons for quick casting, I think using the guage might be a bit more useful.  Plus, to be honest, the casting animations in the original kind of already put about an effective 5 second delay on recasting anyways, so 10 might be a little punishing.  Then again, this probably worked so well for SoE because you only ever had 1 charcter to do anything with (since the dog was always just a tank)--it might need a littler bit of tweaking for SoM, where a single player may have to juggle 3 characters with different abilities at once.

if you want to adapt more of the SoE hack to yours, you could group weapons/magic by their similar features for the purpose of scaled leveling (ie swords/axes, boomerang/dart, spear/glove, bow/whip could level in tandem, and the same for Undine/Sylph/Wisp/Dryad and Gnome/Salamando/Shade/Luna).  This could, as mentioned, cut down on grinding skill levels pretty substantially.

Someone mentioned the low number of quick-cast button options, and while I slightly agree this is a bit limiting, I also think it will force players to plan out things ahead of time.  Chances are you won't keep the same 4 spells mapped the whole game anyways (except maybe Cure Water)---although one work around could be the ability to still menu cast spells.  I'm not sure how the hacking works, so I don't know if both options can coexist, but system-wise I think it could work to have the option to cast the old-fashioned way alongside the quick casting.

Another option for the making weapons to different attacks instead of mapping different buttons (since there are already so few free ones at this point) is to make it pressure-related if that's feasible.  Using the Spear example, a lighter tap of the attack button would trigger a swipe attack while holding it down a bit would produce a stab.  I might be wrong (it's been a bit since I fired up SoM), but I believe each weapon has 2 regular attacks, so this could theoretically make this an option without having to take up another button.  Again, provided the hacking is possible for this.

As far as magic balancing---I completely agree about the 3 Fireballs do not equal 2 lava waves problem with SoM magic.  However, I think you could work around thisby maybe changing the effects of some of the spells--for example, having lava wave be a damage over time spell rather than a straight damage spell, or perhaps have it decrease defense slightly in addition to its damage effect.  Then again, the only elementals that really need this balancing are Sprites Gnome (Gem Missile and Earthslide), Sylyph (Air Blast and Lightning Bolt), Salamando (all 3), and...that's it.  Every other elemental with attack spells have those spells do other things along with the attacks to jsutify the MP cost adjustment.  Maybe tweaking how those extra effects work might be something to look at?  Like maybe making them scale better with magic levels?

/endtextwall
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 15, 2015, 09:48:21 am
@zhade: I'll take a look today after work and see about the charge graphic issue as well as the MP numbers. I definitely want to see this keep going and improving.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 15, 2015, 10:23:34 am
Thanks, zhade for the detailed reply.
4 - I vote for removing it but if others disagree then I think your other solution sounds alright.

5 - That's a shame. Does it cause problems no matter how little the scrolling is tightened then?

6 - I can still choose to make a charged attack and wait so I think ~5 secs is better, though to be fair I've only tried your hack briefly. Let's see what others think.

I like the idea of dodging, actually being able to dodge spells manually would also be kind of cool if balanced right (it should be hard to do). Then you're taking the traditional RPG mechanics away and making a full fledged ARPG out of the game.
Perhaps the charge locking feature could be mapped to pressing the run button (B?) once while charging, since you can't run then anyway, and then you'll have L free for the dodge move.
Magictrufflez has a point about the benefits of a limit to spellbindings, though I would still want to be able to cast normally for cases where I just want to use a specific spell once or a few times and then go back to my previous setup as well as in the situation you mentioned. So I really hope that can be done.

Your solution for spell leveling seems fine, can't say for sure about the weapons as I'd need to play more to refresh my memory of it. Looking forward to the next update!

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: RetroHelix on July 15, 2015, 11:52:42 am
Wow, I like your improvements.
Some ideas for gameplay improvements were posted here: http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=7985 Please take a look.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on July 15, 2015, 06:12:54 pm
Another option for the making weapons to different attacks instead of mapping different buttons (since there are already so few free ones at this point) is to make it pressure-related if that's feasible.  Using the Spear example, a lighter tap of the attack button would trigger a swipe attack while holding it down a bit would produce a stab.  I might be wrong (it's been a bit since I fired up SoM), but I believe each weapon has 2 regular attacks, so this could theoretically make this an option without having to take up another button.  Again, provided the hacking is possible for this.

I was going to suggest something similar. The way you worded it won't work because the SNES didn't have analog buttons so it can't sense pressure.
However, what I was thinking was for it to do the different attacks based on how long the button is held. So tapping the attack button would use the weapon's first attack anim, and pressing it and letting go before a charge is complete could trigger the second attack anim.
So basically it could be programmed to choose the attack based on the amount of charge.
Something like...

if (charge variable < 5%)
{ execute attack 1 }
else
{ execute attack 2 }
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 15, 2015, 06:14:00 pm
Okay, for the faster weapon charging, this is the best method I could fine.

Code: [Select]
$00/B397 BF 1F E0 7E LDA $7EE01F,x[$7E:E01F] A:0000 X:0000 Y:0000 P:envMxdIZC
$00/B39B 3A          DEC A                   A:0000 X:0000 Y:0000 P:envMxdIZC

This is the main portion to look at.  A value is stored there and counts down until it hits the next level.  I had the BF 1F E0 7E moved to empty space and then I added ANOTHER 3A (DEC).  It cuts the weapon charge rate in half.

As for the MP.  It 'might' be possible to have the HP nudged up a block and then put the MP below it but then that's a little more wasted screen space.  Another idea I can think of is maybe cutting the weapon charge icon stuff in half.  Kind of a toss up.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 15, 2015, 06:52:36 pm
The mobile version changed quite a bit, but nothing really intense like including some of the beta content.
The game play is much more dynamic. Monsters are more aggressive. Your AI companions aren't completely retarded and can be programmed to have much more logical actions in combat (but still have problems). When you hit a monster, their recovery animation isn't nearly as long, and the same pertains to you. That being said, you will get basically "juggled" by some monsters because you have less invincibility frames. There is a little spark animation that shows when you hit a monster which is SUPER helpful, as well as there being a "miss" text animation that shows when you... miss. The magic animations, as I previously stated, are significantly shortened so it is very difficult to chain spells, but I was able to do it with rock slide. The game is much harder because of how aggressive the monsters/bosses are, but it still retains the core level of difficulty found in the original game. An example I can provide is as follows: fighting the Thunder Gigas he would go into his invincibility form, pop back into normal form, instantly cast thunderbolt, and then go right back into invincibility form. Normally there would be extra seconds of animation in between, but the game is streamlined so that everything just goes right off the bat.
That's pretty much the core game play elements that were changed. There others such as: you can run up/down stairs without the simulation stuff, the music doesn't cut out, there are shortcut icons on the right of the screen (they aren't there and are not accessible while playing on my Nvidia Shield TV), sleeping at an inn animation is shorter, and the frame rate is like around 15FPS (at least on the Nvidia Shield TV).

I recommend the original version over this version and, to be honest, it was a wasted opportunity to include some of the beta content that was cut and REALLY fix up the game.
But, hey, that's what rom hackers are for right?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 16, 2015, 01:05:22 am
I got the bow to shoot farther !
Ive double the reach, it might be a bit OP but it would be easy to change it at this point. The arrow flies faster (thats what actually increses the distance) so it also reduces the time between when you press the attack button and when the enemy gets hit. It also shoot a bit faster because normally the game waits for some time when the arrow hits something or the ground before starting to rebuild your power, ive changed it so it waits only 1 frame.

I've worked on the dodging thing,
ive been able to make the character do his dodge animation when I press a button, but I found out that the game doesnt work as I thought.. The dodge animation is just an animation to show that you dodged the last attack, you are not invincible during that time, the game also has 3 animations (block,dodge and back-flip dodge) which are used at random when that occurs. The block and dodge animations are quite fast. There is no dodge and back-flip animation that faces up/down so having a button making you dodge would look weird when facing up/down. With all that in mind I thought of a different way I could make it possible to dodge/block attacks. Holding the L button would put you in "dodge-mode" during that time you would have 100% evasion making you dodge any physical attack, you would move slower (as if you were charging an attack) and your power meter would slowly decrease. If your power reaches 0 you can no longer dodge and you have to wait for a certain amount of power (maybe 25% ?) before you can start dodging again.

On the subject of buttons:
L : to block/dodge
R (or L) : could be reused to lock the charge because you can not use spells/dodge when charging anyway and its easy to press L/R when holding B on a real snes controller
Alternate attack : I prefer the direction + B method to the tap and hold because when taping the attack would only start when releasing the button so it would be slightly off. Think of how in megaman X when you press the fire button the regular bullet is fired instantly, if it had given you the choice to charge instead and made it so the yellow bullet is only fired when the button is released after a tap, it would always be a bit late depending on how fast you release the button. I still think the A button could be a good choice, (I dont run a lot during combat personally) I could make it so when you are in town A runs but in battle A is the alternate attack maybe ? Anyway, I still havent looked at how the alternate attacks work ill try differents controls when(if) I get it to work.

Casting spells with the menu:
I have an idea for this that could make it easier for me to pull off. When selecting a spell in the menu and pressing B it could, instead of going to the target-selection thing, get out of the menu and automatically put you in targeting-mode and then pressing any A/B/X/Y would cast the spell you chose in the menu instead of the hotkey. That would make it so you still cant cast when magic-recharging, you still have to select your target during the action and let you keep the spells you use the most on your hotkeys. I think I will also make the R button a toggle so pressing it once puts you in tageting-mode and pressing it again cancels it.

PresidentLeever:
I dont know if changing the scrolling only a bit would work but I would have to look at every edge of every maps to be sure and I only have been able to make it auto-center on the boy and it could be alot of work to make it scroll a bit sooner so I don't want to spend time on this and then find out it doesnt work... I agree that it would have been nice tho.

About grouping XP for spells/weapons:
I think it is fine as it is for weapons, I usually change my weapon when I reach the max level to level up other weapons and to make the game enjoyable, then when I get to a boss I take my best weapon to make the most damage possible. When I reach the end of the game my weapon levels are all pretty high.
For spells I think giving a fraction (50-75%) of the XP to all other spirits is the best idea. I, and I guess most ppl, usually only use cure with the girl, maybe some salamando and lumina too, so grouping the spirits would make the spirits grouped with undine level up a lot more than the rest giving you no choice but to grind if you want to level up the others.

Justin3009:
Thx ! your method doesnt screw up the gfx. theres a problem tho, it can only make the charging twice as fast.
http://www.darkwoodinc.com/~enker/banks/som0.txt (http://www.darkwoodinc.com/~enker/banks/som0.txt) <-- the bank C0 asm
7EE01F is put to 01 at C0/B3A7
it then decreases each frame at C0/B39B
and when it gets lower than 0 (FF) it is put back to 01 and increase 7EE01A (which is the current charge % ranging from 00 to 2D)
decreasing 7EE01F twice makes it charge twice as fast but decreasing it any more still only makes it charge twice as fast.
Charging twice as fast could be enough tho and its still better than my method which screwed the charging bar :P
What would be the best for the MP is to put it after the HP like "523/523 MP 04", but there is not enough space... even if the characters block would be spaced there is only 1 block to gain so the mp would only fit right after the hp looking like : "523/52304". Putting the hp 1 block higher would make it better but like you said there would be wasted space and the guy doesnt have MP. Cuting the charge stuff in half sounds like a lot of work since the chaging animation and the % would need to be modified. I think the best way would be to have the girl and the sprite hp-and-charge box appear on the top of the screen like in Seiken Densetsu 3 :
(http://fantasyanime.com/images/series/slide-seiken4.jpg)
that would give space so the mp could appear below the box or after the HP and the charge icons would not need to be cut, only repositioned.
If you want to take a look at the HP VRAM writing routine it starts at C1/E369: http://www.darkwoodinc.com/~enker/banks/som1.txt (http://www.darkwoodinc.com/~enker/banks/som1.txt)

SageOwl:
I would have liked to make the enemies more agressive too, I would have to find and change every enemy AI tho and that would be way too much work.

RetroHelix:
Those are good ideas but it is more about expanding the game (new areas, new spells, new items and equiments) than what I am aiming at for this hack. Also, the turtle island IS visitable, its where you get the sea hare's tail to bring back water to the desert village to obtain the moogle belt and it changes the desert village music for "The little sprite" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv3MiEP-Oo8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv3MiEP-Oo8) as a kid me and my friend always saved at the Inn in kakkara just to listen to that song  :laugh:

Other ideas:
the luna elemental weapon is way OP, I should reduce the amount of HP recovered
Other elemental weapons with a special effect like snowman should only work a certain % of times. The weapons would still have their elemental property so hiting a water weak enemy with a undine elemental sword would still hit more even if it doesnt turn it into a snowman.

EDIT: that turned out to be another huge post..
--------------------------------------------------------------------
EDIT 2:
Ive got the alternate attack thing working !
There are actually 3 attacks for each melee weapons: A vertical slash, a thrust and an horizontal slash
3 different attacks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPvNlyUdErQ&feature=youtu.be)
All 3 attacks seem to do the same amount of damage, only the the hit area is changed
I could make the thrust attacks do more damage since it has a narrower hit area. It would be the "strong attack" I could also make it so the power is cut more than with the "weak attack" so it takes more time to recharge your power. It doesnt have a better reach with the sword and the axe (I think its even worse) so there would no reason to use it if it doesnt do more damage.
The vertical slash is a bit weird, it seems to have a very wide hit area when facing left/right but a small one when facing up/down, I think I might just not use it.
Vertical attacks with the axe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACbrwcPMxX4&feature=youtu.be)
Or maybe it could be the "weak attack" when the power is not at 100% ?

For the gloves, its 2 different punches instead of the slashes and a kick as the thrust (not sure if the hit area is different)
the whip has only 2 attacks, both with the same hit area

the 3 attacks are stored as 0 1 and 2, If I put higher values it starts to make special attacks, putting really high values make some unexisting/messed up combos:
Some look kind of cool (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPHjdLuOAHw&feature=youtu.be)
Some are just weird (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD7hvdQ_tQs&feature=youtu.be)

Oh and heres the bow's new range (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3_JwAEy6z0&feature=youtu.be)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 16, 2015, 06:57:04 am
Nice, that's interesting about the slash types. I think it's more logical that a vertical swing would do good damage with an axe or sword, and the most balanced to have the one that covers the biggest area be the weakest if it's as easy to do as the rest.
It's weird though how the vertical slash covers so much ground (visually) when facing all directions but south, like the character is swinging vertically and then changing the angle to a horizontal slash mid-way. Perhaps the animation + hit detection could be "cut off" where it starts covering a wider area than the south/down slash if you want to still use it.

Bow looks great now.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 17, 2015, 05:06:08 pm
Amazing work Zhade. These discoveries can REALLY flesh out the combat and definitely make it a lot more dynamic. I tried the 0.1 patch and it was pretty fun, albeit the magic targeting caught me by surprise when I cast Freeze on Randi, but it was awesome that you could actually do that (which brings to mind using it to bypass Wall like in Final Fantasy).

Keep it up man, you are giving me hope of seeing this game expanded to what the game could have possibly had.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KingMike on July 17, 2015, 08:33:18 pm
Okay, for the faster weapon charging, this is the best method I could fine.

Code: [Select]
$00/B397 BF 1F E0 7E LDA $7EE01F,x[$7E:E01F] A:0000 X:0000 Y:0000 P:envMxdIZC
$00/B39B 3A          DEC A                   A:0000 X:0000 Y:0000 P:envMxdIZC

This is the main portion to look at.  A value is stored there and counts down until it hits the next level.  I had the BF 1F E0 7E moved to empty space and then I added ANOTHER 3A (DEC).  It cuts the weapon charge rate in half.

As for the MP.  It 'might' be possible to have the HP nudged up a block and then put the MP below it but then that's a little more wasted screen space.  Another idea I can think of is maybe cutting the weapon charge icon stuff in half.  Kind of a toss up.

I'd say replace the max HP with MP. But I realize that since maybe the point of showing max HP was to know how healthy your character is, can the HP maybe be printed in a different color when its low?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 17, 2015, 09:26:27 pm
A custom palette or maybe just a slight palette modification would be needed.  There's no proper color for them to actually change if your HP is low.  I assume it'd be perfectly plausible though.  It seems like half of the selections I tried were pitch black, the other was a decent red but a bit too harsh and the other one was a REALLY obnoxious yellow.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 18, 2015, 02:08:22 am
Showing the MP instead of the max HP could work, maybe it could show the max hp by default but show the MP instead when in targeting-mode ? Or switch between the 2 every two seconds or something ? That way there would be no need for palette changes. The mp could be placed in the last two digits of the max HP so there a big space to avoid confusion example : "582/582" would become "582  12". Or it could use the extra space after the last maxHp digit to show a nice "582 MP12" That would require custom gfx tho...

I've got the alternate attacks working now,
the thrusts (strong attacks) do 25% more damage than the slash but recharges 25% slower. In order to not make the gameplay slower and easier, its actually the weak attack that does 25% less damage than normal but recharges 25% faster.
Ive look at the hit area of every attacks with the sword (its easy to see when on grass that can be cut) and the slash does have a wider hit area than the thrust but the same range, the vertical slash is as weird as it looks, a hit left/right does have a very wide hit area but when facing up/down it has the shortest range (and hits a bit on the back..). Since the vertical slash is different when hiting up/down and left/right it would be awkward to use so ill stick with the other 2. The computer players are not affected by the strong/weak attacks, they will have the same power using every attacks and use them as they normally do. Ranged weapons also have a strong attack even tho the animation is the same.

I found something I didnt know about the game mechanics while working on the alternate attacks:
the power% actually recharges faster if you have more agility. Its hard to notice because it increases gradually as you level up, but by switching between a game at the start and one at very high level you can see its almost twice as fast

EDIT: added version V0.2 to the first post and changed the list of things I plan to add and other ideas some new ones and some from you guys
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 18, 2015, 07:39:45 am
Sounds great and that's a nice find regarding agility. I knew it got faster but not why exactly. So is that something you can take advantage of with some specific equipment or spell?

Gonna try 0.2 asap.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 18, 2015, 10:24:32 am
Huh, that's really cool actually.  I didn't know they had that in-game.

As for the HP/MP thing.  I don't think there's much of a work around to go except custom graphics.  iirc, I THINK the numbers are decompressed in ROM along with the entireity of the bars when filling up.  Could probably just slap HP/MP into there as custom tiles.  Even still, doesn't leave much room..  I'm still trying to figure out a nice layout for HP/Mp on the PC's.  I don't think dropping the max HP would be a good idea especially for a game where you NEED to know at all times.  Only thing I can think of is shifting the graphics around like Seiken Densetsu 3's, but even then there's not much room still without taking up a lot of screen space.  Uch
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 18, 2015, 11:58:30 am
Just thought of something: making damage under a certain percentage endurable or not trigger the hit flip back and look forward animation. Would that be possible? It would definitely make it so you don't get stuck in an animation loop while getting beat in a corner. You can just have it not interrupt movement or anything like that, just keep on moving. I always thought it was silly when you're high leveled with some of the best gear and a monster hits you for 10-25 and you flip back like it was some devastating hit.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 18, 2015, 12:00:34 pm
So I don't know if it's the patch or my ROM (headerless US ROM) but the two attack types do the exact same amount of damage for me. Also the intro was a bit screwed up showing Chrono walking around where he should'nt have been on screen IIRC.

Another suggestion I have, and this is pretty minor but it would be cool if when you had a full stock of candy for example, chests stop giving you that item. Something to consider if it's easy to add.

I think I agree with the above by SageOwl as well, would have to play more.

Edit: Tried it with a different ROM and the damage is the same though the intro works like it should.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 18, 2015, 09:21:10 pm
I dont think anything raise/reduce agility, the speed-up spell raises evade/hit% directly (which are normally calculated form the agility).

SageOwl:
normally you get thrown in the air after a big hit, I dont know it is calculated tho, its most likely depedent on the power of the attack compared to defense, but maybe it doesnt take the equipement into account or is based on the level instead or maybe some attacks have an added knockback chance ? The mechanics in this game are a bit counter-intuitive for example to make the blocking work I had to change both the evade% and the defense. The animation is already twice as fast so there is less chance to get stuck but If I remove normal dodging for human players this could be an issue. It would make more sense to have it depend on the damage compared to the maxHp so that you only get knocked back if the attack is about 1/4 or 1/3 of your maxHP. Btw, did they keep the barrel item in the mobile version lol, who uses those really ?

PresidentLeever:
You are right, I messed up the attacks damage when doing the dodging... Ill try to fix ths today, I think I know what went wrong
For the item drops: The treasure chest are dependent on enemies, IIRC each enemy have a maximum of 2 different drops a normal drop and a rare drop. I could make it so the treasure chest doesnt appear if you are full of the item inside but personally I tend to use a candy if im full before opening the chest because it is the most common drop (at least in the first part of the game). Making the chest give you another item instead would make it a bit too easy to get the better healing items as well as cup of whises and seeds. maybe it could give you only worse items like if it would give you a choco bar but you are full it would give a candy instead ? That way if you know a certain enemy usually gives a choco bar you could use one before opening the chest and get your choco back but if you open it while full of choco but missing candies it would give a candy instead. It could be tricky to make this compatible with the 9items patch tho.
For the intro, you most likely pressed R while the intro was running, that is a know issue, it has something to do with the targeting.

justin3009:
yeah I agree that it would be best to be able to see maxHp and MP at all time, even with different colors it would hard to know if you should give a character a candy or a choco bar if his hp has changed color. heres the prettiest arangement I could come up with, compared to the original, its not in scale tho (not made of 8x8 blocks), I think it would only need 1 more block vertically with some gfx modifications
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/som_zpsoq7xxqic.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/som_zpsoq7xxqic.png.html)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 19, 2015, 06:55:44 am
Looks great and I like the item drop idea. :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 19, 2015, 09:09:21 am
Ive put up a new version again ! heres the list of changes:
- Fixed the alternate attack damage bug
- Everything now works for all 3 players, spells/blocking/strong and weak attacks
- It is now possible to cast from the menu without binding, you still have to pick your target during the action but any A/B/X/Y will cast the selected spell.
- Changed controls for the magic-targeting mode to toggle instead of having to hold R
- Fixed the intro bug where Randi could appear if you pressed R


EDIT:
I found something againg that I didnt know:
Did you know that holding L or R while charging locks your character so that he always face the same direction? Its weird that they chose to make this only work when charging.

Also there is no need to show the mp at all time since you can now cast analyzer on yourself  ::)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 19, 2015, 12:18:34 pm
Nice, but I don't see a donate button anywhere in your posts?

Is the analyzer infinite in duration?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Chickenlump on July 19, 2015, 04:01:58 pm
I found something againg that I didnt know:
Did you know that holding L or R while charging locks your character so that he always face the same direction? Its weird that they chose to make this only work when charging.
The thrust attack

I used to do this often, making the characters 'moonwalk' backwards. It was hilarious at the time.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 19, 2015, 09:28:52 pm
PresidentLeever:
No the analyzer isn't infinite lol, I was just being silly.

I only accept cookie donations :cookie:
I don't even have a credit card so I don't think I could make a paypal account.

EDIT:
Another version again heres the list of changes:
- AI controlled characters don't get stuck anymore ! Actually they do.. but they dont block the screen movement and they will get teleported to the player if they go off-screen. Heres a video showing this feature: Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qr0r3OHSQE&feature=youtu.be)
- Fixed a bug where you could block before finishing an attack, keeping your power% at 100
- Human controlled characters can now only dodge manually
- Fixed some other issues with dodging, you can not dodge anymore when moogled/petrified/small/barreled/ghost but can when poisoned/confused/tangled.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 20, 2015, 10:09:08 am
Humble, talented, and fast! I started playing 0.3 with my brother yesterday and we were enjoying it, but maybe we'll restart with 0.4.

Having tried 0.4 for a bit now I'm not sure I like having just manual blocking because the short time window and the fact that enemy attacks take priority over charged attacks (which you can't manually block during) makes the game much harder.

Another minor thing: Can you make charging carry over between different screens if you hold down the button?

Edit:
Are the tiger's melee attacks and the lizard before undine's swallow attack supposed to be dodgeable?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 20, 2015, 03:42:01 pm
PresidentLeever:
No the analyzer isn't infinite lol, I was just being silly.

I only accept cookie donations :cookie:
I don't even have a credit card so I don't think I could make a paypal account.

EDIT:
Another version again heres the list of changes:
- AI controlled characters don't get stuck anymore ! Actually they do.. but they dont block the screen movement and they will get teleported to the player if they go off-screen. Heres a video showing this feature: Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qr0r3OHSQE&feature=youtu.be)
- Fixed a bug where you could block before finishing an attack, keeping your power% at 100
- Human controlled characters can now only dodge manually
- Fixed some other issues with dodging, you can not dodge anymore when moogled/petrified/small/barreled/ghost but can when poisoned/confused/tangled.
You can make a PayPal account, but they limit what you can do unless you attach a card/bank account to it. I think you can still accept "gift" donations through it with nothing attached, but do not quote me on that.

They did keep the barrel item and I never used it up until I started playing the mobile version of the game. It isn't bad and is about as close to running from battle as this game gets... aside from just manually walking around them. I think it is pointless since I kill everything I see to maintain my leveling progress.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 21, 2015, 12:24:15 am
Having tried 0.4 for a bit now I'm not sure I like having just manual blocking because the short time window and the fact that enemy attacks take priority over charged attacks (which you can't manually block during) makes the game much harder.

Another minor thing: Can you make charging carry over between different screens if you hold down the button?

Edit:
Are the tiger's melee attacks and the lizard before undine's swallow attack supposed to be dodgeable?

I still havent tested the manual blocking very much, some attacks seem very hard to dodge and others are very easy (chobin hood arrows). All attacks that are normally dodgable are manually dodgable, I noticed the mantis ant blade throwing attack is dodgable. Ill have to test a bit more because some attacks might be too easy to dodge (like the tongue swallow thing) and others just too hard so the game balance could be broken.
As for the keeping charge between screens, I think it could be too good like for example you could charge up you attack to full before a boss fight. The faster-charging feature will help make it less of a problem, since you will be able to charge faster it wont be as fustrating when a cpu kills the last enemy in the room before you have time to unleash your level 8 attack.

oh by the way, your saves will work fine if you don't want to start over.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 21, 2015, 12:52:06 am
By stripping off auto dodges from players, it seems you shaked up the damage formula
Now physical attacks from enemies ignore any defense should it hit a player ( at least P1)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on July 21, 2015, 01:29:36 am

SageOwl:
normally you get thrown in the air after a big hit, I dont know it is calculated tho, its most likely depedent on the power of the attack compared to defense, but maybe it doesnt take the equipement into account or is based on the level instead or maybe some attacks have an added knockback chance ? The mechanics in this game are a bit counter-intuitive for example to make the blocking work I had to change both the evade% and the defense. The animation is already twice as fast so there is less chance to get stuck but If I remove normal dodging for human players this could be an issue. It would make more sense to have it depend on the damage compared to the maxHp so that you only get knocked back if the attack is about 1/4 or 1/3 of your maxHP. Btw, did they keep the barrel item in the mobile version lol, who uses those really ?


I think I can pretty well confirm from my experience with the hardtype hack that the animations are based on the damage of the hit as a percentage of your max HP.  Since everything was doing the massive damage animation to me for awhile, after my max HP hit a certain level, the same amount of damage was causing the regular hit animation.

I'm not sure of the exact mechanics/formulas, but it seemed to me that anything up to 30ish% of your max HP in damage triggers the regular hit animation, while anything abve triggers the massive damage animation.  I'm not sure how much this mechanic should change though, since getting hit is still getting hit.  Maybe using the current block animation for damage up to 10% of max HP and 10-30ish% be the regular hit animation?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 21, 2015, 03:20:17 am
For some reason, an "invisible block" is pressent on both, the v0.3 and the v0.4 that even enemies can't pass through

(http://imgur.com/jElRDua.jpg)
(http://imgur.com/H10gOup.jpg)

I don't know if wether a solid object is created or the collision detection gets screwed up on that specific spot

I used save states without changing map; one would assert that the map is loaded when you enter a door thus this is a collission detection issue, but considering the weird surprises this game has shown up, It wouldn't surprise me if the map is constantly being "recreated"
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 21, 2015, 04:57:18 am
Thx for the bug report ChemaRomHacking, I just tested it for myself and you are right about the invisible block, I really dont know what could cause this tho  :huh:. I also have noticed a missing tile in one of kippo village houses, I thought it might also be in the normal game but i just tried with a clean rom and the tile is there so I guess I messed up the the maps data or the map generation algorithm somehow.
As for the damage not taking defense into account the game must take evasion into account when calculating the damage, I basically just changed the evasion calculation routine so that if it is a player 0 is loaded instead of the evasion, I could find a better (proper) way to do this that wont change the evasion so that the damage is calculated normally.

EDIT:
Ok, I got the weird maps bug fixed, it was an error in my code (im relieved, I thought it was something worse), I wonder why It didnt mess things up even more lol It had the potential to screw up a LOT of RAM values.. Anyway, it forced me to rewrite some stuff more properly and ended up fixing some bugs, now the faces are placed correctly in the status bar even when having less than 3 characters. Fixed some targeting issues when characters leave the party. Also the faces dont appear in the center of the screen anymore when a character joins the party or when the boy picks up the sword at the start of the game. The faces also flashe when magic-recharging even when in spell targeting-mode.
I also fixed the damage to players bug. It might still be possible to dodge enemy attacks witouth manually dodging, the game has 2 conditions on when to dodge, one that involves the evasion of the victim compared to the hit rate of the attacker and another one when the damage would be 0 or lower. I made it so when an attack is 0 or lower it hits 1 instead of dodging (for human players), I didnt change the other condition yet but for some reason it seems it never happens for playable characters, or maybe im just very unlucky.

updated the first post with version 0.5
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 21, 2015, 11:33:18 pm
Just tried the new version on my Super Everdrive and for whatever reason I cannot input anything at the main menu, as in nothing I press on the controller does anything.
It isn't my hardware either because numerous other games, including your other hack, works fine. I can try the other versions and see if it is just the most recent one.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 22, 2015, 12:15:01 am
@SageOwl
I have had a similar, if not the exact, problem and it is related to the magic binding

Try with the start button, but don't be surprised if one of the casters go crazy on the boy just after loading the save file
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 22, 2015, 03:54:58 am
Damn.. I would like it to work on a real snes.. but I dont have a way to test it. I tried on many versions of bsnes and it works fine, on higans I get some controls issues but not in the menu and I think its mostly a problem with the emulator.

Since verson 0.3 there is a bit of code that nulifies all controls when you cast a spell to prevent you from doing the normal controls behaviour like for example if you press B while in target-mode to cast a spell it nulifes all controls until you release B so that you wont attack. In previous versions it did so only when you held R, It might be related to that somehow. I also initialize all the RAM I use to 00 when the game gets in the menu, the game (or maybe the emulator) initialize everything to 55 so I make a check to see if the first byte is 55 and if it is it puts everything to 00, maybe it isnt initialized to 55 on the real hardware. If you have a way to make cheatcodes on the super everdrive you could go look at the RAM adresses between 7ED700 and 7ED800 when in the menu, it should all be 00 or FF, if it isnt the problem is there.

Since I have no way to test this I most likely wont be able to fix it unless I find and emulator that replicates the behaviour.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 22, 2015, 07:46:23 am
Would it be possible to restore the "pause while casting a spell" when using the menu to cast one? We beat the fire gigas (sp?) yesterday and coupled with the long charge time for spells it was a huge difficulty spike in the game because trying to spell target him (and your chars with healing) with all the spells he throws himself is really stressful in multiplayer. I'd still say 5 secs is more than enough for the charge (sorry if this was changed in a later version).

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 23, 2015, 06:03:53 am
I did a bit of testing today, played up to upperland, the fire gigas was not very hard really. I had purchased the best equipement, had 4 candies,choco and cup of whises and 1 walnut and just used freeze level 0 every time I could and the boss was dead before I needed to use my walnut. Remember that when you target your spells the target always starts on the boy so pressing left on the D-pad will target the first enemy so when against a boss it can be done very quickly since there is only 1 enemy to target. This part of the game always have been one of the hardest imo, the witch castle, and the underground palace, after that everything is pretty easy until you get to pureland. The recharge time seemed ok, the wall face boss was harder tho, I had to be more strategic and let one of the eyes live or else it pushed me in the spikes before I had the time to kill it.

EDIT: I fixed a bug where using weak attacks with ranged weapons didnt recharge faster and im now working on showing the MP under the status box.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 23, 2015, 07:13:03 am
Oh, didn't realize that about the targeting mechanics. I guess that's alright then, though he's still hard if you weren't prepared with healing items to block his spells and if you use ice saber in the battle then you won't have time to use heal so he'll kill at least one char, esp. without the "hit all" ability for spells.

I also dislike how the long charge time slows down spell levelling. With shorter spell charge and kept auto-block, then it's pretty much perfect I think. Could be an alt easy mode patch I guess.

Edit: We ran into a more serious problem today at the facewall boss (0.3), it seems the .srm file got corrupted because I can't boot the game in snes9x anymore. It reezes at the Square screen, or when you die and it's supposed to reset.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on July 23, 2015, 08:03:55 pm
About the MP display; I was thinking that it would look better if the MP were directly under the HP instead of them being separated by the charge meter.
Also, is it possible to display current and max MP instead of having it labeled?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 24, 2015, 07:28:27 am
PresidentLeever:
I could restore the auto-blocking and reduce the time to 5seconds for the easy version,I would put them back for the hard version which would also include enemy stats-changes. The bug you encountered seems pretty serious :o in which version whas it ? and could you send me your .srm file so that I can investiagte ?

Vanya:
I think having it under the charge-box would look better because it would not really take more screen space, and since the boy has no MP it would always have a 0/0 under his HP or an empty space or his HP would be on a diffenrent height than the others. It would not be very hard to change from having it appear on the bottom or or under the HP (other than some slight gfx modifications) so ill try different things once I get it to work. Ive currently done new gfx for the numbers so that they merge with the bar a bit. The HP numbers' bottom 2 pixels are merged with the top of the box, im doing the same for the top 2 pixels of the numbers and "MP" that would appear on the bottom of the box. There is enough space to put :"MP 99/99" so there is no need to remove the max MP. It would also be possible to lower the face box and put the HP directly on top of it and the MP at the end on the same line which would look like : "486/486 99", the max MP would not be shown it this case tho and it would be a bit tricky to have the numbers over the face box because of the way the numbers normally have to charge-box frame in them.

EDIT: i've finaly been able to use my custom gfx in-game, it still doesnt show the real MP but heres some screens of different arangements i've tried so far (dont mind the 0 on the sprites face):

1(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic003_zpsvwszc6ba.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic003_zpsvwszc6ba.png.html)2(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic004_zpsodabuasv.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic004_zpsodabuasv.png.html)
3(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic005_zpsufnp6hxq.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic005_zpsufnp6hxq.png.html)4(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic006_zpsdmr1wsjk.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic006_zpsdmr1wsjk.png.html)
5(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic007_zpsu8wcofm9.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic007_zpsu8wcofm9.png.html)6(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic011_zpscxgan6rd.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic011_zpscxgan6rd.png.html)
7(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic008_zpsvb17zsnt.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic008_zpsvb17zsnt.png.html)8(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic009_zpswcitye1s.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic009_zpswcitye1s.png.html)
9(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic010_zpsnz0cjm1p.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Secret%20of%20Mana%20R-Magic010_zpsnz0cjm1p.png.html)

I think 2 , 4 and 6 are the best looking ones and my favorite is 2.
- 2 doesnt show the max MP but its not really needed because there is only 1 MP regenerating item and you will most likely only use it when you dont have enough mana to cast a spell regardless of the max MP, and it takes saves some space.
- 1 has the "/" sign aligned with the "/" sign of the HP but has some unused space at the right end so I prefer 4 which is centered.
- 5 and 6 are the ones which take the least screen space but they look a bit odd, especially 5...
- 7,8 and 9 would require different graphics so that there is no bar between the numbers, all 3 look kind of weird because the max HP is 3 digits long and the max mp is 2 so there is no way to align them properly. The boy would also either have a 0/0 always there or his HP would float above an empty space or it wont be aligned with the other characters HP
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 24, 2015, 03:20:47 pm
Do not put it at the very edge of any side.  Those sides, if I recall correctly, get cut off on TV so you wouldn't be able to see it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on July 24, 2015, 03:36:44 pm
Justin has a point, which is why you almost never see windows or borders on the edge of the screen in old games.

As odd as it may look, I kinda like 5. Is it possible to make a version of 2 where the MP sits on top of the HP instead of below it? That might look better and it wouldn't be cut off.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 24, 2015, 03:44:07 pm
Do not put it at the very edge of any side.  Those sides, if I recall correctly, get cut off on TV so you wouldn't be able to see it.
Maybe if you are using composite. I use SCART RGB through the XRGB-Mini and nothing gets cut off; it looks just as his screenshots do.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 24, 2015, 04:17:07 pm
It varies person to person and who does what.  For most things it'd be fine, but for authenticity it'd be a very bad thing.

If the game was forced to keep the charge bars... I like nine the most though might need some tweaking.  Not too sure.  Otherwise, maybe go a SOM2 route and have the characters icons be spread out in the corners?  It's really hard to get it to look just right.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 24, 2015, 06:32:22 pm
Ive looked at some tv screenshots and some seem to have the lower edge cut-off a bit indeed...
I cant really shrink the charge bar in height because it needs all 8 pixels to show when you charge level 8 charges.. it could be shrinked in width a bit tho.
here is some more:

(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/somStatus_zpso3a6rdqb.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/somStatus_zpso3a6rdqb.png.html)(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/somStatus2_zpsrat8g3li.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/somStatus2_zpsrat8g3li.png.html)

Ive made a new "MP" gfx so that it looks good without having to put a space before the numbers.
13 is my attempt at making it look like in som2 and and think its the best one I have come up with so far.

EDIT:
I also had an idea today while continuing my play-throught. Ive noticed that the equipements are kind of pointless as they are, when you get to a new town you almost always have enough money to buy the best equipments for all characters so I thought it would be more interesting to have something like in the seiken desentsu 3 hard-type hack where equipements also boost some stats. For example the bandana could give you more power and the headgear (2nd boy head equipment) would give only defense so you could choose to keep the bandana for the extra power. That would give a reason to keep old equiments like before fighting a boss you could choose to equip equipments which boost Magic defense even tho they have lower physical defense, you could choose to use a lower defense equipement on the sprite for added intelligence resulting in more spell power. That would give you small customization options on your characters stats and make the whole equiment thing more interesting than just buying the best equipements for each characters every time you arrive at a new town.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 24, 2015, 06:53:45 pm
13 looks the best to me by far.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 24, 2015, 06:58:47 pm
I somewhat prefer 11, a bit less cramped, but could go either way (11 or 13).

I like the equipment idea!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SunGodPortal on July 24, 2015, 07:04:11 pm
11's not bad but I think 13 looks the cleanest and the most well organized.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on July 24, 2015, 07:18:38 pm
I agree with 13 looking the best. Equipment idea also sounds great.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: vivify93 on July 24, 2015, 09:53:03 pm
13 would look better if you removed the colon between the MP tile and the MP number. :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SunGodPortal on July 24, 2015, 09:59:36 pm
Quote
13 would look better if you removed the colon between the MP tile and the MP number. :)

And if you do that, move the MP over rather than moving the numbers or leaving a gap*.

EDIT: *between the numbers and the MP, not the MP and the pic window. I think the latter would look fine, the former might look awkward..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 24, 2015, 10:37:53 pm
Actually the colon is in the same tile as the "P" so I cant move the numbers over the colon, but I can move the "MP" a bit closer so that the gap is smaller, there was a missing tile in the 13 actually, the box has to be 1 tile larger, hope you still like it :P :

(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/somStatus3_zps8szlbsem.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/somStatus3_zps8szlbsem.png.html)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on July 24, 2015, 10:39:59 pm
Still looks great to me. I'll have to try this out when you get done.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SunGodPortal on July 24, 2015, 11:06:53 pm
Looks pretty good to me.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on July 25, 2015, 06:36:15 am
I pretty much concur with everyone elses opinion---13 definitely looks the best.  Only thing I don't like about it is the charge counter being on the left side of the portrait rather than the left.

That's probably just due to my visual OCD though.  All the customizing looks great!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: RetroHelix on July 25, 2015, 09:36:23 am
I like 2 most. 13 looks so stuffed.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on July 25, 2015, 01:58:33 pm
I have to admit that 13 looks pretty rad. The only thing I feel is a tiny bit odd is having an MP label without an HP label.
The MP label seems a little superfluous since it's pretty obvious what that number is supposed to represent given that it is apart from the HP and the boy wouldn't have it at all.
I'm curious to see what it would look like without the MP label and another version with both MP and HP labels.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 27, 2015, 12:55:57 pm
I've made a playthrough up to PureLand to look for bugs and test the difficulty, I always bought the best armors as soon as I could but never stopped to grind and with the magic recharging time and the "enemies get up faster" the game really seemed harder. I even got killed during a boss fight in the tree palace (the one with a long tongue that swallows characters). Other boss fights were a lot harder than usual, I beat the light palace bosses with only 1 character remaining and no items left. Some enemies are much more of a threat, the ducks in the underground city for exmaple can cast exploder causing 100+ damage on the boy, normally its not that much of a problem but since they now get up faster they can cast while you recharge your power%. It seems I will now need to grind a bit before entering PureLand, the first enemy killed the girl and the sprite in one hit and the boy in 2.. I didnt have enough money to buy the best armors from neko on the re-sunken island and it seems once you talk to jema and leave you cant get back there anymore...

heres the bugs I found that I will need to fix before adding more stuff:
- Some gfx glitches (must be related to showing the MP somehow)
- You can cast spells while uncounscious and other status effects
- The AI sometimes teleport even if they are still in the screen (I think it has something to do with how the maps wrap around)
- Sometimes the charges restart to 0 even if you hold the button
- The MP is shown on the game-over screen
- Enemy attacks were are all considered weak attacks (25% less power, 25% less recharge time) oops..

Thoughts about the hard version:
I think only modifying the characters defense a bit and some slight enemies stat changes should be enough (as far as stats goes). Changing the enemies defense would result in them dodging your attacks more often which would only be frustrating. Giving regular enemies more HP would make fights more time consuming which would not be more fun. Bosses should have more HP tho, some more than others, for example the first fight with the robot in the hole in the dwarf village is a joke as it is now.

I played a bit of masterflow's hard som today (only up to the witch castle) and noticed that the most of the difficulty is about how low your DEF is, so its more about not making errors (getting hit). The problem is that once you get hit it damages so much that your character is thrown to the ground most of the time and then you get hit till you die before you have a chance to move. Its not that hard not to get hit when you know the enemies patterns but the AI keeps getting killed... I would like to have a different approach on difficulty so that its not about causing huge damage when you get hit but more about making it harder not to get hit.

Enemies like playable characters need to recharge their power% between attacks. When they are at 100% they start to move towards you and attack if you are close, I can make this recharge faster to make them more agressive instead of increasing their STR or reducing your DEF. I tried making them recharge their power twice as fast and it really makes them a lot harder to fight, the block button gets really useful and since the enemies get up faster after a hit the fighting gets pretty intense. That would increase difficulty in a fun way, making you change your fighting strategy in order the avoid getting hit instead of punishing you more when you do. Heres a video of me fighting some agressive goblins, the frame rate drops like crazy when I record AVI with my debugger even tho the resulting video frame rate is normal, it gets very hard to control so don't judge my poor skills :P Fighting Against Angry Goblins (https://youtu.be/77M9sw2ErbY)

Changing the equipment prices would only result in the need to grind for money and since I want to add stat boosts to equipments you might buy more and sell less. For example if a shop has two new helmets for sale for the sprite, one with higher defense and one which boosts INT, you might want to buy both and switch depending on the situation and might not want to sell your previous helmet which increased STR. So you will most likely have less money anyway.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 28, 2015, 10:24:44 am
Sorry if this has been explained before but I started replaying in 1-player (0.6, Easy) and I'm wondering how you reliably switch which character that the one you're currently controlling controls when quick casting spells?
Edit: Nevermind, I thought this worked differently and you had 8 hotkeys instead of 4.

As far as I can tell, it will switch to the one that you last bound magic to buttons with. But if you're playing as the boy, using the sprite's spells with R, and then switch to the girl to use her magic quickly (having bound spells to buttons previously), the game makes you use the sprite's spells instead even though the targeting portrait is the girl's, so it gets confusing. Is this the way it should be or am I missing something? Using the menu for the girl's spells is fine of course, but I think this should probably be documented so as not to confuse new players, playing in 1-player.

I'm making a list of suggestions trying to be as thorough as possible as I play through the game now. I'll post a few now and maybe the rest later as some of it is rather minor and I don't want to dilute attention from major things.
As for your list above I can confirm that there are minor graphical glitches every time I enter dialogue with someone.

-Would it be possible to add the "miss" message as seen in Secret of Evermore so you're sure that it's not the hit detection or the enemy casting a spell/being affected by one when your attacks don't hit?
-Could you add the "error" sound when trying to cast a spell while spell charging or without enough MP and make it so that the pointer doesn't disappear as if you cast the spell (instead it stays where it is and nothing happens, so you don't have to re-target).
-I still get annoying situations in cramped areas in 1-player where 2-3 enemies pummel a character and their hits add up with a delay on them so that the stun animation happens and then the char takes another hit, and then another. I would sugggest adding a small invincibility time after taking a hit to avoid this, or  shortening the delay between the hits so it's less frustrating to watch. The same could go for delays on your hits vs. enemies, unless you think that's OP.
-Considering that some enemies are hard to read (to see if they'll attack), maybe you could add the blinking animation to them while they're recharging their stamina? Just a thought for hard mode/manual blocking mode with more aggressive enemies.
-You can easily kill enemies that are off screen with the bow. Slow at first, but in emulation or with a levelled up bow it's tempting to exploit it.
-The bow still feels a bit weak in normal battle, since it only hits one target at a time and misses fairly easily. A problem I've found is that sometimes the arrow flies shorter and lands in front of enemies, and it seems to happen if you stand next to a wall (when I tested it I placed the character right below a wall).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on July 28, 2015, 12:09:31 pm
I was one of the Beta-Testers for MasterFlow's HardSecretOfMana.

It was a nightmare to get through of it in the early stages of the game.
The point were it got too hard was the moment with the snake boss.
Also the ice country was a nightmare for its own.

During my testing I learned how to master the game, becoming entirely pragmatic by exploiting the AI of the enemies, so I could finish them.
Surprisingly fighting against Gesthar's first Mecha Rider form, which was hard as ****, the spirits of my fallen comrades acted as shields against the homing rockets.

The closer I came to the end game the easier the game became, but still challenging as the enemies still were deadly.
Master Ninjas which had about 3000 HP could easly be taken down with Shade's Demi-like spell.

Also MasterFlow made some questionable changes, like giving certain monsters either a absolute immunity to magic or weapons, but it worked, as long you was prepared for it.
Nowadays if I introduce monsters with immunity to weapons, I would make sure to give bosses the ability to spawn foes which drop fairy walnuts.

Here a PDF file of my report.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/os0ipk4tnmipfln/Thanatos-Zero%27s%20Ergebnisse%20zu%20Hard%20Secret%20of%20Mana%20-%20SDC%20quiz.de.vu.pdf?dl=0

To note: It is in german, as such it also uses the german translation of the game.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 28, 2015, 12:45:36 pm
-OBSERVATIONS-
@PresidentLeever Spells are binded on the controller/player, not on the character

Some people, including OP, mention this game became harded, while that may be true it is not hard to the point where you need to grind, you just need to use the tools provided that you would otherwise neglect in the vanilla version; Stone saber spell is your best friend, cast it on your main character whenever you can and further on the game having 2 with stone and 1 with fire weapon helps a ton.
Doing the above, charged attack should become a situational tool, you should relly more on regular attacks and lvl 1 attacks

As for those boses that hit hard, the bull and the green lizard come to mind, use the fire bouquet spell, it makes them bearable

-GLITCH/BUG REPORT-

Copy Casting
There is a glitch where character A copies the spell of character B should B cast a spell while A is doing so
Some spells seem to have a higher priority over others, depending on the spell itself and the way they were casted (whether from the ring or a shortcut)
-Should the spells have the same priority, the first spell just disappears
-Should the first spell have a higher priority, both spells are casted without any issue
-Should the first spell hav a lower priority, it copies the second one
Spells casted from the ring menu and spells with projectiles seem to be the most vulnerable to copy casting

In pureland, when reaching the mana tree cutscene, the scrolling becomes messed up

When casting spells from the ring menu, you have to quickly tap the spells or it will be casted on the first target (the boy)

-SUGGESTIONS-
You have planned a shared exp for spells, while on paper this reduces grinding, it is a BAD idea for offensive spells
Offensive spells are quite competent at lvl 4 and anything above that is extremely powerful.

I suggest you just make lvl 4 as the starting lvl for Shade, Dryad, Luna and Lumina/Wisp

Analyzed no longer works on chests, making sylphid/jinn the most useless spirit for the girl

Increasing the length of stat up spells at low levels would be nice

Placing savepoints before major bosses would be nice as well
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 28, 2015, 03:09:55 pm
@President leever:
The magic binding is not character dependent so when you switch between characters your hotkeys are still the same. The face cursor always shows the character you are controlling so that when playing with more than one player if 2 player target at the same time there is no confusion, it does not represent the character who will cast the spell.

missing : enemy make a dodging animation when you miss them, if they dont its because they can't take a hit a this moment, I think enemies have no dodging animation in SoE so they must have added the "miss" to make it clearer. It would be a nice addition but Im already having trouble with showing the MP, I get graphics glitches, you might have noticed some when slimes multiply or enemies spawn other enemies or when someone gets engulfed some spriites are glitched for a small amount of time. So maybe later once I get more familiar with graphics stuff.

The error sound : that would be nice, I actually have been lucky that a sound is played when a spell does get cast, I just called a function to cast spell and the sound came along without me having to do anything else. I guess it would not be too hard to find how the error sound is played when you cant cast a spell. Making you stay in target-mode when you select a bound spell and the character cant cast makes sense and should be easy to do.

Invincibility frames : while playing with the enemies power% recharging time I tried making it recharge immediatly to see how crazy enemies would be to fight and the fight against the wolves to rescue the girl was completely impossible because they kept hitting me before I could get up. They were fun to fight if it was not for this so I found a way to make you invincible to physical attacks until you get up again, it also makes you invincible when casting spells and when unconscious (basically when you can't move) I will include this feature in the next version, it makes things easier, but I dont think anybody find it fun to die this way. It will also allow me to increase the speed at witch enemies recharge the power% in the hard version without this happening all the time.

The blinking on enemies: For players the blinking is done by changing their palette, IIRC each player has a different palette used when blinking so I would need to make one for each enemies to make them blink which would take way too much time to do. I tested many different power recharging time for enemies and 1/2 or even 1/4 seems ok, they get so agressive that they are easier to read, you basically can consider that they will always attack you when you get in range :P.

The bow: imo, it now shoots a bit too far and you are right its still not very good unless you are so far from enemies that they cant hit you back. I will need to find something else to make it better, maybe some added power or critical chances. I think the arrow flying shorter is because the arrow hits the wall, the arrow's height is not taken into account when calculating hit detection so basically if you are facing right and shoot an arrow the arrow doesnt get up and come down as it flies, it really goes to the left of your character and comes back so if there is a wall to the left of your character, the arrow will hit the wall and stop. Its how it always have been in the game, so not my fault :P.

@Thanatos-zero:

I think MasterFlow's hack is aimed at people who already beat the game several times and know every tricks to give them a challenge and it really works at that. I would like to have a different approach so that you dont have to exploit the AI or use tricks like healing a character when he gets targeted by a spell to prevent getting hit, I would also like to make it impossible to use some tricks like the healing thing. Ill have to try to beat masterflow's hack one day tho.

as for the report, I can't read german, I learned a bit of german a long time ago when I was working with a team consisting mostly of germans on an Unreal Tournament 2003 mod (that was never finished) so I recognize some words but not much.


@ChemaRomHacking:
thanks for the report !

copy casting:
Damn.. I thought I had this one fixed. When the spell is copied is the character targeting the target of the copied spell ? I can't seem to get the glitch to work, do you have to cast the 2nd spell before the spirit appears ?

Pureland scrolling, I guess this has to do with the AI characters teleporting, ill have to check this.

I didnt notice how you have to tap B quickly or else it targets the boy, ill have to fix this

I didnt remember that you could analyze chests  :o ill make them targettable

I think xp sharing for spirits would not really be needed, I kind of liked that some boss were harder because I didnt use their weakness element much but sometimes it was level 0 and ended up doing only 1 damage. Increasing the time of the stat up spells and increasing the level of spirits once you get them would be better than sharing XP, tho level 4 for shade an lumina is a bit too much imo. I think something like this would be fair : undine 0, gnome 0, sylph 1, salamander 2, shade 3, lumina 3, luna 4, dryad 4
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 28, 2015, 03:31:22 pm
@zhade:
Thanks, I should've tested it more before posting as I figured it out right afterwards :P It could be a nice addition for a 1-player only version to have two separate sets of four, but perhaps it's something for later on.

Missing - I don't know, it seems like for example the green slimes dodge attacks without an animation at times, such as the bow's arrows? And the "eyes in the wall" boss seemed to soak up hits in a strange way too. I was under the impression that if you miss (based on stats), then nothing happens, but if they dodge there is an animation and that perhaps stronger attacks caused this. But I guess not. It would be nice to have a direct indication of what went wrong with your attack, but not top priority I suppose.

Error - Very cool, looking forward to it!

Invincibility - Glad to hear you were already working on this, I'm sure most people will like it. :D

Blinking - You're probably right, and I guess it would've looked pretty dumb to have enemies blinking like that anyway hehe.

Bow HD - Yeah, I remember something to that extent happening with melee weapons in Evermore as well. Well, it's not a big issue for the most part, just happens occasionally in cramped areas. Maybe the bow could have a higher hit rate than usual? I agree that a slightly shorter range is probably for the best.

Thanks a lot for all your hard work!


Stone saber spell is your best friend, cast it on your main character whenever you can and further on the game having 2 with stone and 1 with fire weapon helps a ton.
Doing the above, charged attack should become a situational tool, you should relly more on regular attacks and lvl 1 attacks

Stone Saber? I don't know, it's kind of expensive, only affects one char and fizzles out rather quickly (which is an issue even with only 5 seconds of spell charging since you'll waste 10-15 seconds casting it on everyone). If it lasted a bit longer and maybe cost only 2 MP it would be a nice spell though, yeah.
Edit: Didn't realize how the duration works before, it's actually a very good, almost OP spell.  :-[

"When casting spells from the ring menu, you have to quickly tap the spells or it will be casted on the first target (the boy)"

Yes, this happens to me to. I just wasn't sure if it was how it is in the original or not.

Edit:
"I think something like this would be fair : undine 0, gnome 0, sylph 1, salamander 2, shade 3, lumina 3, luna 4, dryad 4"
I agree with this, and would also say that Healing Drop is too strong at levels 0-2 (I'm at Matango right now), it needs only be about 60-70% of its current strength in my opinion.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 28, 2015, 06:49:29 pm
Copy casting works as long as you cast before the spirit dissapears or before the projectiles (sabers, fireballs, wind blast, etc) hit the target

For instance try casting missile gem through the ring menu on an enemy then quickly cast healing drop through a shortcut on the boy

For some reason I don't seem to be able to replicate it with 2 shortcut spells, it must be a ring one followed by a shortcut one, however I DO remember being able to do so and that's how I noticed it

Moreover, during my trip on pureland there was a strange glitch that, no matter how fast I tapped the button, whenever I wanted to cast a spell through the ring menu it would always be casted on the boy, the targetting icon (current selected character's head) would only appear for a fraction of a second. Eventually the glitch went away, after beating 3 or so bosses... I think i did reset the game or something
Maybe they are related?

I wish I could provide video footage, saddly I can only play it on my phone since I am always on the go

EDIT: as for the analyze spell targeting chests, that is the only way to disable traps

Edit 2:
If you select a spell through the ring menu and cancel it on targeting mode, no matter which shortcut you use later, the canceled spell is casted instead
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on July 28, 2015, 07:22:23 pm
The bow: imo, it now shoots a bit too far and you are right its still not very good unless you are so far from enemies that they cant hit you back. I will need to find something else to make it better, maybe some added power or critical chances. I think the arrow flying shorter is because the arrow hits the wall, the arrow's height is not taken into account when calculating hit detection so basically if you are facing right and shoot an arrow the arrow doesnt get up and come down as it flies, it really goes to the left of your character and comes back so if there is a wall to the left of your character, the arrow will hit the wall and stop. Its how it always have been in the game, so not my fault :P.

What about just making them shoot straight like in Zelda? Being weaker than the other ranged weapons but offering the play a safe distance away from melee enemies. Of course then you'd have to re-balance the damage so that the player doesn't have an unfair advantage. Might make Chobin Hood encounters more interesting though.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 28, 2015, 07:55:55 pm
Edit 2:
If you select a spell through the ring menu and cancel it on targeting mode, no matter which shortcut you use later, the canceled spell is casted instead

Yes, just tried it and this happens on my end as well.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on July 28, 2015, 08:13:37 pm
I wonder if there's three separate variables in RAM for each PC to state which one is using what spell?  If not, that'd probably be the way to go.  And if the spell was cancelled, just zero out the RAM value so nothing's casted.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on July 28, 2015, 09:45:01 pm
Man this thread blows up with high school essay long posts.

As far as the otherwise useless equipment getting stat increases is concerned, you will REALLY have to make the stat changes matter because otherwise it will be all for naught. Think of those bland MMORPGs that offer next to no character customization where one person finds an amazing build for their respective class in a respective mode of play, posts it somewhere, and then all of a sudden almost everyone who plays the same class has copied that build. That is the problem: hivemind. If I were to play your hack and found the best gear to pass through each section of the game with ease, and then posted it into a walkthrough, then a lot of players would just copy what I did to easily pass through the game; rarely will you find people wanting to hinder their playthrough for entertainment, unless they are trying to get that Youtube money.
I do not know a workaround aside from creating chaos or randomness in the monsters, but with all the creative shit you have produced thus far zhade I am sure you can think something up.

Having iframes while knocked down sounds like a great idea as far as I am concerned. I welcome ANYTHING to circumvent that being beat in a corner problem. It should only be in fighting games, and even there it is fucking annoying.

Is there any way to tweak the AI to cure them of their mouth breathing in farts syndrome? Also, any way to fix them getting stuck behind shit? Like I said before, they did a good overhaul of it on the mobile version, but there were still sections where they were just as dumb. The best thing was you being allowed to walk off screen without them.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 29, 2015, 08:09:27 am
That's why it's so important to make the core mechanics of melee and magical battling balanced so as to make most strats equally viable.

I forgot to comment on this:
"use tricks like healing a character when he gets targeted by a spell to prevent getting hit, I would also like to make it impossible to use some tricks like the healing thing. "

I thought most people already used this in the vanilla game and after all it is the dodging of magic attacks, keeping the game out of the realm of turn based RPG battling. So while it could be better balanced I really hope it stays.

Edit:
"Placing savepoints before major bosses would be nice as well"
Perhaps a quicker alternative to this would be to allow the use of the magic rope during boss fights? Unless it screws things up.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 29, 2015, 12:07:18 pm
I found what caused the spell copy bug, its now fixed as well as the bugs when casting from the menu (taping B and cancel).

Moreover, during my trip on pureland there was a strange glitch that, no matter how fast I tapped the button, whenever I wanted to cast a spell through the ring menu it would always be casted on the boy, the targetting icon (current selected character's head) would only appear for a fraction of a second. Eventually the glitch went away, after beating 3 or so bosses... I think i did reset the game or something
Maybe they are related?
I couldn't find a way to trigger this bug but I think it might have been related to the taping thing so it should be gone now.

@justin3009
Each character do have its own RAM variables that state which spell he uses, as well as the target(s) and spirit. I found out that the copy spell bug was because the game writes at these RAM adresses depending on the last char who was in the menu when showing the spell name before casting, overwriting the values I had put there myself. The canceling was an error in my code, I just forgot to put back the "playerIsCastingFromMenu" value to 0 when canceling :P.

@SageOwl :
in version 0.5 the AI can't get stuck anymore, they get teleported to the player when they go off-screen. It has some strange behaviours in some maps tho and I think thats what causes the scrolling bug at the end of pureLand. I might just change it so AI characters can get off-screen but dont teleport when they do.
"tweak the AI to cure them of their mouth breathing in farts syndrome" lol you mean making them smarter right ? I don't think it would easy to do, personally I put their "ACT" to Attack (completely to the left) and put them to Approach if they have a melee weapon equiped, it makes them better and less likely to get killed, altho they are still pretty dumb they are way better that way. Maybe I could try to change their ACT depending on situation to make them smarter like when their power% is not full or when they charge they would act as Guard/Keep away and then when they are ready they would act as you have set them ? Their major problem is that they dont go far enough after they swing their weapons so they get hit easily.


Ill fix some other stuff and put up a new beta version soon

Edit: New beta version !
There is 3 patches, easy, normal and hard

easy : 5sec magic recharge time
normal : 10sec magic recharge time
hard: 10sec magic recharge time + enemies are 3x more agressive

- MP is shown in the girl's and the sprite's status area (only under the box for now)
- AI characters no longer teleport when they go off-screen
- Treasure chests can now be targeted
- Fixed a bug where strong attacks were considered weak if you released the direction before releasing the attack button
- Fixed bugs when casting from the menu
- Fixed the spell copy bug
- Fixed a bug that made enemies recharge their power faster
- Fixed the pureland scene scrolling bug
- Other bug fixes that I forgot about..

You can still get hit when on the ground/unable to move, Ill have to find another way to make this work because the way I did it bosses "special attacks" couldnt hit you..
The hard version only has more agressive ennemies for now but since you can get hit when on the ground some enemies (like the werewolves) might be very hard. Im not sure it affects bosses and didnt test it much, just thought you might want to try.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on July 30, 2015, 12:12:47 pm
- AI characters no longer teleport when they go off-screen

Just to be clear, they still teleport to where you are if they get stuck when you're moving around right?

Very pleased with the rest, thank you!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 30, 2015, 01:39:15 pm
While looking at a way to make equipment boost stats I found out the game already did it  :o only by 5 but still, I never had noticed. A power wrist for example boost your STR by 5.
The equpiments also all add Magic defense, evasion and magic-evasion
For some reason all equipents of the same type give the same amount of evasion and magic-evasion, for example all head equipements (all but bare-head) increase evasion by 23... thats kind of useless, Ill give the increase wether you have something equipped or not so that I can re-use those two bytes for stat boosts.

I would also like to show all affected stats when selecting equipments. So since all equpiments give defense and m.defense, both would always be visible and then there would be the bonus boosted stat.
The text box doesnt have a lot of space tho, maybe I would have to remove the item name..
istead of:
"Dragon Helm        66-> 66"
It would show:
"STR+ 8  MDF+ 50 DEF+ 66"

@PresidentLeever:
only if you press a switch/get close to a whip checkpoint. It caused some bugs, its a temporary solution.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 30, 2015, 02:37:31 pm
You didn't know about the hidden stats for equipement?
You should check the somedit page, there is some information you might find helpful

Taking off AI teleportation brought soft-locking issues, whenever a character is not on screen, should you trigger a gathering (rope leap, switches, entering a screen-scrolling door)
Also switching characters while one is offscreen, what is displayed doesn't match

On hard mode, did you made enemies more aggressive by increasing the hidden speed/agility stat for each one?
Or did you edit a global value?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 30, 2015, 03:37:00 pm
You didn't know about the hidden stats for equipement?
You should check the somedit page, there is some information you might find helpful

Taking off AI teleportation brought soft-locking issues, whenever a character is not on screen, should you trigger a gathering (rope leap, switches, entering a screen-scrolling door)
Also switching characters while one is offscreen, what is displayed doesn't match

On hard mode, did you made enemies more aggressive by increasing the hidden speed/agility stat for each one?
Or did you edit a global value?

I knew about the magic def and that some equipments give immunities to status effects but didnt know some could boost STR/AGI/INT/WIS/CON. What do you mean about the somedit page ? the blog or the forum ?

Teleport bug: oops.. I removed it to prevent some bugs but it looks like it ended up causing even more serious ones  ::)

For the hard mode, I didnt change any stats.
When enemies attack their power% has to refill like playable characters, I made it so it is 3 times faster by cuting the waiting time in 3. It works exactly like when you are doing a weak attack and your power% starts refilling at 25% instead of 0%, but for them it starts at 66%. The speed at which they recharge the remaining 33% is not changed tho so a rabite will still attack less often than a werewolf.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on July 30, 2015, 03:59:15 pm
The somedit blog
While I don't recommend using the editor on its current state, specially in your case due to the many customizations you have done, it is a good to tinker with and the blog itself is a good read
That person digs up some weird stuff from the game

I didn't know there was a somedit forum, gotta check that out

You have been doing a remarkably fast progress, it seems as if you had the source code or something
Keep up the good work
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 30, 2015, 04:42:07 pm
I don't have the source-code but I found a site which has the (almost?) complete dissassembly with a lot of comments http://www.darkwoodinc.com/~enker/banks.php (http://www.darkwoodinc.com/~enker/banks.php): , it really helps a lot for example heres the evasion/defense routine as it appears on the site:

Code: [Select]
[Evade/Defense handler]
C0/4FED: BDA4E1  LDA $E1A4,X [Load Evade]
C0/4FF0: 858E    STA $8E [Store into TempEvade]
C0/4FF2: 4A      LSR A [Divide it by 2]
C0/4FF3: 4A      LSR A [Again, by 2]
C0/4FF4: 85A6    STA $A6 [Store into TempEvade/4]
C0/4FF6: BDB0E1  LDA $E1B0,X [Load stat buff flags]
C0/4FF9: 8904    BIT #$04 [Check for Speed Up(Evade)]
C0/4FFB: F009 +    BEQ $5006 [Branch past evade addition if not present]
C0/4FFD: A58E    LDA $8E [Load TempEvade]
C0/4FFF: 18      CLC [Clear Carry]
C0/5000: 65A6    ADC $A6 [Add TempEvade/4]
C0/5002: 858E    STA $8E [Store back into TempEvade]
C0/5004: 800B ++    BRA $5011 [Branch past Tangle crap]
C0/5006: + 8908    BIT #$08 [Check for Tangle]
C0/5008: F007 ++    BEQ $5011 [Lower Evade if it's present, otherwise skip ahead]
C0/500A: A58E    LDA $8E [Load TempEvade]
C0/500C: 38      SEC [Set Carry]
C0/500D: E5A6    SBC $A6 [Subtract TempEvade/4]
C0/500F: 858E    STA $8E [Store back into TempEvade]
C0/5011: ++ A963    LDA #$63 [Load 99]
C0/5013: C58E    CMP $8E [Compare it with TempEvade]
C0/5015: B002 +    BCS $5019 [If > (also equal to?) 99, branch ahead rather than just storing it]
C0/5017: 858E    STA $8E [Store it in TempDef otherwise]
C0/5019: + C220    REP #$20 [8-bit emulation mode disabled]
C0/501B: BDA5E1  LDA $E1A5,X [Load Defense]
C0/501E: 8587    STA $87 [Store into TempDef]
C0/5020: 4A      LSR A [Divide it by 2]
C0/5021: 4A      LSR A [Again, by 2]
C0/5022: 85AE    STA $AE [Store into TempDef/4]
C0/5024: BDB0E1  LDA $E1B0,X [Load stat buff flags]
C0/5027: 890100  BIT #$0001 [Check for Defender]
C0/502A: F009 +    BEQ $5035 [Branch past defense addition if not present]
C0/502C: A587    LDA $87 [Load TempDef]
C0/502E: 18      CLC [Clear Carry]
C0/502F: 65AE    ADC $AE [Add TempDef/4]
C0/5031: 8587    STA $87 [Store back into TempDef]
C0/5033: 800C ++    BRA $5041 [Branch past Acid Storm crap]
C0/5035: + 890200  BIT #$0002 [Check for Acid Storm]
C0/5038: F007 ++    BEQ $5041 [Branch ahead if not present]
C0/503A: A587    LDA $87 [Load TempDef]
C0/503C: 38      SEC [Set Carry]
C0/503D: E5AE    SBC $AE [Subtract TempDef/4]
C0/503F: 8587    STA $87 [Store back into TempDef]
C0/5041: ++ BD91E1  LDA $E191,X [Load Status Effects high byte]
C0/5044: 890200  BIT #$0002 [Check for Pygmized]
C0/5047: F006 +    BEQ $504F [Branch ahead if it's not present]
C0/5049: A587    LDA $87 [Load TempDef]
C0/504B: 4A      LSR A [Divide it by 2]
C0/504C: 4A      LSR A [Again, by 2]
C0/504D: 8587    STA $87 [Store it back into TempDef]
C0/504F: + A9E703  LDA #$03E7 [Load #$03E7 (999)]
C0/5052: C587    CMP $87 [Compare 999 with TempDef]
C0/5054: B002    BCS $5058 [Branch ahead if 999 > TempDef]
C0/5056: 8587    STA $87 [Else, store 999 into TempDef]
C0/5058: E220    SEP #$20 [8-bit mode enabled]
C0/505A: 60      RTS [Exit Subroutine]

Its kind off understandable even without knowing asm !

Most of it is not commented and when it is, not as much as the example I showed you but its still very useful
I have no idea who made this site, I found no name on the site and the last update is dated 1-22-2012

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on August 01, 2015, 12:07:50 pm
Man this thread blows up with high school essay long posts.

If you think this is bad, I could upload the paper I had to write to finish my 2nd BA this Sping :P (~25 pages on Taiwan and China, if you're feeling sadistic)

While looking at a way to make equipment boost stats I found out the game already did it  :o only by 5 but still, I never had noticed. A power wrist for example boost your STR by 5.
The equpiments also all add Magic defense, evasion and magic-evasion
For some reason all equipents of the same type give the same amount of evasion and magic-evasion, for example all head equipements (all but bare-head) increase evasion by 23... thats kind of useless, Ill give the increase wether you have something equipped or not so that I can re-use those two bytes for stat boosts.

I would also like to show all affected stats when selecting equipments. So since all equpiments give defense and m.defense, both would always be visible and then there would be the bonus boosted stat.
The text box doesnt have a lot of space tho, maybe I would have to remove the item name..
istead of:
"Dragon Helm        66-> 66"
It would show:
"STR+ 8  MDF+ 50 DEF+ 66"


I totally agree with the stat boosts on the equipment--I know there were SOME stat-boosting equips, but you probably never notice them because the stat increases, while numerically seem big (I mean, 5 points is 5% of the max after all), in the gameplay really don't amount to much, since I believe outside of charge attacks the values increase output linearly (ie +5 strength = ~+5 damage).  I think something more useful to think about would be stat/elemental protection.  I'm not sure if different resistances could be coded, but maybe something like a 25/50/75% resistance or weakness depending on the equipment (or even type of equipment---gloves 25% any resistance/weakness, helmets 50%, and body armor 75%) could make for very interesting equipment management, especially with the item limits in the equipment rings.  IMO, the weapons tend to strike the right balances generally--most don't have stat bonuses, but have status procs and are type-killers.  I honestly can't think of a better way to rejig them other than maybe swapping around some of the current characteristics.

I like the redone item display so the stat bonuses display, but it might be confusing when you have equipment that looks the same on the same ring?  Maybe if you could make it so the name and the stat bonuses alternate displays?  Like a 1-2 second delay, display the other, 1-2 second display, switch, etc?

As always, I have no clue if any of this is even possible, but sweet jesus you are busting ahead on this faster than any other project I've followed here zhade!  I should convince you to work on creating an English editting tool for Romancing Saga 3 when you're done lol !
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: dejan07 on August 02, 2015, 09:33:27 pm
Is there a way to fix the camera problem too? In the Vanilla version the camera moves only when a player almost touches the borders of the screen which results in bumping into enemies.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 03, 2015, 12:45:10 am
magictrufflez:
The +5 stat change is very helpful at first, when the sprite joins the party he has 9 of str, if you buy a with a power wrist in the dwarf village it goes up to 14 so he gets a boost of about 50% which is very welcome, it becomes a lot less noticable later tho, even more so because of the way the damage is calculated. The hit% and evasion play a big part in the damage output, here is my current theory about how damage is calculated: Atk - def + random(from 0 to (attackerHit% - victimEvade%))
So if you have 50Atk, 80Hit% and attack an enemy with 30Def, 60Evade% you will hit between 20 and 40,
if the enemy evasion is higher than the hit% the random value will be negative so if you have 50atk,40hit% and attack and enemy with 30def,60evade you will hit between 0 and 20. The formula is most likely more complicated than that but basically a random number is generated depending on hit% and evade% which is then added to the damage so hit% and evasion play a big role in calculating the damage and the +5 to attack even tho it is 5% of the max atk doesnt really make you deal 5% more damage in the end.

Making the item name switch between the name and the stats is a good idea, I could make it timed but I think it would be even better to be able to switch between the two by pressing R so that when you compare different equipement stats the name doesnt show up. I don't think there are similar equipments tho, I think when the same graphic is used it always uses a different palette.

Since there is not alot of equipments in the game it might be hard to make the stats modifications worth it without making them OP. For example if a spicky suit obtained in the dwarf village would increase your ice resistance, when you get to the ice palace where you liberate santa claus, you might want to equip it since it since most if not all elemental damage will be ice but then maybe it wont be worth it if the def and/or magic def is too low. Putting high elemental resitance to make it more worth it could make bosses which only attack with spells of the same element very easy.. There would need to have a really good balance.

In games where equipments have alot of different stats increase and possible custumization like diablo II and path of exile there are alot of equipements and you can obtain the same armor but with different stats increase like an armor with 50def and +12% ice resist and the same armor with 50def but with 10% fire resist. In som there are so few equipments that you would have to sacrifice alot of def if you equip an older equipment to have the stat increase that you want. The def obtained from equpiments is more than the def obtained with levels so in a hard version with enemies dealing more damage you will need the def from equipments.. Im not so sure anymore if that feature is a good idea, maybe I should only change the equipements that already boost stats and make them give more than +5 so that late-game equipments with stats boost have a bigger effect.

I think that the weapons special effects are OK too, aside from the status effects working way too often. It could be fun to make them work a bit differently tho because I really dont see why someone would use the axe if the sword is available for example. Maybe making the axe stronger but slow down your movement or immobilize you for a small time after a hit or recharge slower. The glove could allow you to make a dodge by tapping a direction twice fast, the javelin could have a melee weak attack. Stuff like that would help make some weapons feel less like a worse version of another weapon.

dejan07:
I had made a cheat-code a while back that made the camera always centered on the boy to fix this issue but it had some weird effects. Because of the way the maps are made this would make it possible to see farther on the edges of the maps because the camera doesnt stop when close to the edge. Using a no-clip cheat you can walk past the edges and see that the maps wrap arounds like if you go left past the edge you get to the far right so if I changed the scrolling you would see the other edge of the map...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 03, 2015, 09:53:43 am
Few notes you might find useful.

I'd be very careful about adding elemental resistance to armor. It's already built into the game, the armor table has values for it, but dummied out.

It's like that for a reason. Adding elemental resistance to armor makes you part of the elemental wheel that enemies are subject to. (IE: Being resistant to fire will make you weak to ice). The game gets very confused if you try to resist two opposing elements. It's also impossible to be weak to either Luna or Dryad (though you can resist them), as the resistance loader will remove weakness to Luna & Dryad to anything that would normally have it. Also the armor loaded is bugged and doesn't loop enough times while applying stat buffs, meaning you can never get a Wisdom boost from armor, and there are several that are supposed to provide it. There's also a RAM Address you can set (7E0040) that will cause armor to provide a -2 penalty to stats instead of the +5 bonus.

Finally, assuming you don't miss, damage is calculated like this:
AttackPower: Strength + WeaponDamage.
BaseDamage: (AttackPower * {[Charge Level + Mana Magic Bonus + 4] * 2}) / 4 (+/- 25% For Attack Up/Down)
SaberBonus: (BaseDamage / 4) / (10-ElementalLevel)
Final Damage: [BaseDamage + SaberBonus + (ManaPower*ManaPower) + RANDOM] - DefenderDefense

The Mana Magic bonus is not applyed if the attacker isn't Randi or if Mana Magic isn't active.
The Saber bonus is only applyed if your elemental level is > 0.
Sabers don't do elemental damage either, just provide a flat damage boost. (And about half do nothing beyond this)
Damage is capped at 999.
A critical hit doubles your damage.
If type effective weapons actually worked they do double damage vs the correct type and half damage vs the opposing type.
Lucid Barrier uses it's own defense stat instead of your own. It's defense is calculated as [(Defense / 2) / NumberOfSpellTargets]
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 03, 2015, 03:26:16 pm
Thx for the infos Regrs !

I just made some test on vanilla.
Reducing the boy's evasion% (7EE1A4) really make enemies hit harder : Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lULcLpm7LjE&feature=youtu.be)
Reducing the boy's hit% (7EE197) makes his attacks weaker too.
It doesnt work as I thought tho, it doesnt seem to affect the random added power.

I made some stats change tests with a rabite to see how much he would hit depending on how much Hit% he has and how much evade I have
I changed the rabite atk to 50 and the boy's defense to 0 for the tests:
It seems that attacks can sometimes be partially dodged depending on evasion so attacks can deal low or high damage, each of the damage values also have a bit of randomness so the damage values are just the one that poped when I did the test. The high value happens more often if the hit% is high compared to the evasion. The hit% and evade% values are in hex but the damage is in base 10.
Note that the low and high damage are not the range of the damage so if the low damage is 12 and the high is 80 the attack will never deal 40 damage, it will be between 11 and 12 or between 81 and 85.

rabite hit% , Boy Evade% = low damage, high damage
0 , 0 = 0,0 (the boy dodges the attack all the time)
10 , 0 = 82, 84
20 , 0 = 83, 83
40 , 0 = 84, 84
80, 0 = 80, 84
10 , 10 = 12, 84
10 , 20 = 0,0
20, 20 = 25, 80
30, 20 = 38, 84
30, 30 = 38, 84
30, 40 = 38, 84 (the boy sometime dodges)
30, 50 = 38, 84 (the boy dodges most of the time)
40, 40 = 51, 82
50, 40 = 64, 84
80, 40 = 79, 84
FF, 40 = 84, 84
FF, FF = 81, 84

I then tried changing the boy's defense to 20 (or 32 in base 10)

10, 0 = 12, 84
10, 10 = 7, 77
20, 10 = 20, 78
20, 20 = 15, 48(sometimes 71 too?)
20, 30 = 10, 61
80, 30 = 48, 64
-----------------------------
Here is what I conclude from this:

-The chance for a strike to hit the high damage is higher if the hit% is higher than the evasion
-The low damage is higher if the hit% is higher (independently of the evasion)
-If the evasion is = to the hit% the victim has a chance to dodge the attack and the higher the evasion compared to the hit% the more chance he has to do so
-The defense is multiplied by the evasion somewhere because when evasion is 0 the defense doesnt affect the damage at all.
-The atk is multiplied by the hit% somewhere because when the hit% is 0 the attack always hit 0 which makes the victim dodge.
-If the hit% or the evasion is higer than 100 (in base 10) it will be considered to be 100.


Its interesting to know that sabers dont actually deal elemental damage, its something I could add since like you said some do nothing else than add a flat damage boost so they are kind bad compared to others. I only did some fast testing but you seem to be right. Its weird that it doesnt tho, the boss of the ice palace keep casting ice-saber on players, If the added damage is flat this means its actually a good thing to have ice weapons against him, unless maybe it casts it at level 0 so that it removes the boost you would have from higher level sabers ? I guess they must have removed it later or forgot about it. Do you know if the special effect of sabers also dont take elemental weakness/resist into acount ? like is there less chance when hitting an ice-resiting enemy with the ice saber to turn it into a snowman ?

Also, the value at 7E0040 doesnt seem to affect the stats, did you mean 7EE040 ? the boy's ram values are between 7EE000 and 7EE1FF so I thought you might have forgot an 'E' but it doesnt seem to work either. Maybe it affects an equipement in particular ?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 03, 2015, 05:33:31 pm
Hopefully this is all correct, lost most of my disassembly so posting this from fragments.

7E0040 is the correct address. I just forgot to mention how to set it properly. You have to set the correct bit that corresponds with a stat in order to turn all modifications for that stat negative.

Here's the values:
-0x10: Strength
-0x08: Agility
-0x04: Constitution
-0x02: Intelligence
-0x01: Wisdom

Note that Wisdom can't be used because of the bug I mentioned before. To fix that change the byte at C0/4B93 to 0x05.

About Saber Spells
Sabers provide just the flat damage. There's no elemental damage or bonuses/penalties to hitting weak/resistant creatures.

The fact Frost Gigas casts Frost Saber on you is probably a relic of an earlier time. Frost Gigas is ice resistant. Bosses in general are a good source of lost ideas. Minotaur has an animation for a jumping attack, Hexas has an unused (due to AI flaws) element, Aegagropilon can eat you, etc.

When you cast an elemental saber it's elemental -does- get stored in your character data at 7EE195. Though the only time that value seems to be checked is to determine is Moon Saber is active.

Sabers provide the following additional effects:
1) Stone Saber: Petrification
2) Ice Saber: Frosty Status
3) Fire Saber: Engulf Status
4) Thunder Saber: Nothing
5) Moon Saber: Converts Damage To HP (Unless Target Is Evil/Dead Type)
6) Light Saber: Nothing
7) Mana Magic: Equips you with the Mana Sword. Provides a bonus between 0x00 and 0x0F to your charge level based on a really stupid formula.

This is the formula for Mana Magic: 
Mana Magic Bonus = [(Total Experience Of All of Randi's Weapons / 100) + (Total Level Of All of Randi's Weapons / 8 )]

Also you mentioned you throught saber effects activated to often. For the ones that cause status effects, they cause it the same amount of the time as the status infliction rate of your equipped weapon. Which is 80% for every weapon except for the Mana Sword, which is 99%. Moon Saber is 100%, its checked for as part of resolving an attack and always activates if present.


About Hit & Evasion
Hit & Evasion do indirectly affect your damage, but only because a true miss is impossible.

Here's what's happening.
1) Your attack damage is calculated. Your Hit % is tested against a random number between 0.0 and 101.0. If the rolled number is less then your Hit % you scored a hit and your attack damage is calculated like I said above. If you "miss" (rolled > Hit). You take an additional step and use your calculated attack damage in this formula: ([HitRate * AttackDamage] / 100). The result of a "missed" attack hurts less the higher your Hit Rate/Attack is to begin with. This would probably be more effective if the Hit Up/Hit Down buffs weren't broken.

2) Your targets evasion is checked. This is similar to checking for Hit. Targets evasion is tested against a random number between 0.0 and 100.0. If the target fails to "evade" the attack the game drops their defense stat like so: ([CalculatedDefense /4) + CalculatedDefense] * Evasion / 100). On the other hand, if you successfully evade an attack the target gets a bonus to their defense between 0.00 and (CalculatedDefense / 16).

3) We test for a critical hit. Moon Saber forces a critical hit. Otherwise its your crit rate vs a random number between 0 and 255. Purim strangely gets a flat +10% bonus to her critical rate that applies at all times. Randi & Popoie likewise have a +5% bonus. A Critical hit will double attack damage.

4) If Lucid Barrier is active, it subtracts it's defense value from the current attack damage.

5) Defense is subtracted from Attack. If the result is greater than zero damage is applyed to the target. If the result is <=0 different things happen depending on if the target was a player. If it was a player one of the "dodge" animations will get played at random if the character is able to have an animation played on them at that point. For enemies it will just cause a "0" to flash over them.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on August 03, 2015, 07:13:05 pm
It's nice to know that all those times I eventually gave up trying to exploit elemental weaknesses with the saber spells I was on the right track...

I personally think you could do some kind of elemental resistances if you rejigged the numbers right.  ie maybe don't go so high as 25/50/75%, but something lower like 10/25/50%?  Or even 10/20/30?  The fact that there are corresponding weaknesses with those strengths actually could make things more interesting too, especially with some of the mid-late dungeons.  IMO, it'd really just be a matter of getting the numbers right
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on August 04, 2015, 02:36:07 am
Sounds like the game needs a pretty major formula overhaul, though it still seems less broken than FF1.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 04, 2015, 04:06:27 am
Regs:
Thx for the formulas, now everthing is clear !

I tried changing 7E0040 to 0x10 and the status bar moved up 16pixels, I also tried again with 7EE040 and it doesnt seem to work either (at least the stats is not changed when looking at the stats from the menu, even after switching weapons which calls the routine that sets the stats)

Even tho 7E0040 is not the value for the stat -2 thing I can use it to move the status bar up a bit so that the MP doesnt touch the lower edge of the screen without having to move everything up a whole block (8pixels) so thx, its gonna be very useful !
I wont use the stats down anyway so dont botter searching for it too much.
Ill use the +5 byte to specify what stat to raise and then change the use of the evasion byte for the amount to add

The mana saber formula really makes no sense lol, personnaly I switch weapons alot and by the end of the game most of my weapons are high level, maybe thats why the mana beast fight is always so easy.

Its good to know that the saber element is stored in the character data, its gonna be very easy to check for it and add a bit (maybe double the flat saber power) of damage when the target is weak to the element.

IMO sabers are not very fun as they are in vanilla, its not very useful against bosses and againsts regular enemy the effect rate (for those that have one) is way too high and makes it way too easy to just hit enemies once and pass by.

Its also good to know that the elemental effects and the weapon status effects have the same infliction rate, I want to change both so I most likely will only have to change it in one place. The mana sword is only used for the last boss so 99% seems ok. I could reduce the lunar saber rate too as well as reducing the amount that it heals.

Ill fix the hit up/hit down bufs too so that the spell that raises hit/evade will be better, since players can't evade in this hack the only use for the spell is to raise evasion to fail less often to "evade" attacks which is pretty bad compared to the spell that raises DEF and even worse compared to lucid barrier...

It seems the game has two ways to dodge for players, one that happens when the damage is 0 or less and one that probably involves evasion and/or hit% (maybe only for projectile attacks ?), the later doesnt seem to happen very often, I have kept it in the hack and I it only happened once or twice during my complete playthrough.


magictrufflez:
There is another byte in the weapons data that I can re-use (magic-evasion) so I could theoreticaly place the elemental defense there, I would not be able to use the game's weakness management tho because as Regrs said it causes strange things when you are weak to oposite elements, and I guess its only 1 byte that states which element you are weak against and not "how weak/resistant" you are to that element so I would need to make a new routine that reduce/increase the damage when you are hit by a spell. Also, should the resistance/weakness only effect offensive spells or does being resitant to ice mean you get healed less by cure too ? :P I guess it would  be more logical to only affect damaging spells but I thought it could be funny to reduce your resistance to fire so that your fire saber gets better for example. That could be too good tho because when fighting an ice resistant/fire weak boss you could increase your ice resistance to receive less damage and deal more damage with the fire saber too. Im still not sure about adding elemental resistance to equipments ill start with the other stats first and then see, I might find another use for the remaining byte in the weapons data like increasing crit rate or just make it possible to raise 2 stats instead of just one.


Vanya:
The formulas are not so bad actually even tho they are not very intuitive.

The evasion/hit% part makes evasion play a bigger role so its not only about not getting hit, I dont like how evasion in games is normally just a hit or miss. In games where you can choose what stats to increase at level up, increasing evasion is always kind of weak compared to defense because it only "works" when you do evade but defense always works. If you focus alot on rasing evasion instead of defense, when you do get it, it hurts alot and if you are unlucky you can get killed fast. At least in this game there is a kind of in-between, raising evasion not only increases your chances of doging the attack completely (at least if im right about how this works) but also reduces your chances to fail to "evade" which would reduce your defense. I think if would be nice if more games used something like this, personally I would make the roll twice so that for example if after comparing the accuracy of the attacker to the evasion of the victim the chance to hit is 60%, a roll is made between 0 and 100 , if the roll is higher than 60, the victim fails to evade the attack completely but another roll is made and if the second roll is lower than 60 the damage dealt is halved. I don't think it would make sense to include this in this game tho because you can't choose how you build your characters.

Everything else except the weird mana saber thing is pretty straightforward, the rate of the saber/weapons special effects is way too high and the spells damage are not balanced but its more about the values than the formulas themselves.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 04, 2015, 08:37:13 am
The value only affects armor stat buffs, not weapon stat buffs. The variables actual use seems to be a base offset for drawing the HUD and the armor thing is just a leftover. But set the value to 0x08 and equip a Quilted Hood to someone. That should cause your Agility to drop by 2 points instead of being raised by 5. (And move your status bars up to much).

With Mana Magic active unless you really haven't been leveling Randi's weapons your basic attack becomes at least the equivalent of a level 8 charge attack. The formula would be much improved if you changed the first divisor to 99 instead of 100.

As for Hit Up/Hit Down: These buffs are supposed to provide a 25% modifier like the others. Instead it provides a boost/penalty of either (HitRate/64) or (StatusEffects01/4) depending on if you have Tangle status or not.

Evasion cannot be used to "dodge" attacks completely. If hit boxes collide, damage is happening. The only thing you can do is try to have your defense high enough to soak all the attackers attack to register a "miss" that way. "Dodging" an attack with evasion simply raises your defense value for that attack.
Players will play 1 of 3 "dodge" animations at complete random when told to. They are: Weapon Guard, Leanback Dodge, And Cartwheel Dodge.

Who told you weapons have magic evasion? Because they don't. The weapon table has 12 byte rows and every byte is used except for Monster Affinity. (Which still gets loaded). If you like I can give you the legend for that table. Weapons already have a defined critical hit rate in that table too, though for most weapons its 0%.

Also you can't resist defensive spells. Everyone, players, enemies, bosses, are always considered weak to a defensive spell. Even if they'd normally be resistant to that element.

The resisting opposing elements thing doesn't break the game in a meaningful way I suppose, but it can get confusing. If for example something resists Fire & Ice and cast Analyzer on it, it would report that it is weak to both Fire & Ice. But if you cast a spell of either type on them you'd discover that the thing you cast on is actually resistant to both elements. It basically makes the game lie to you.

There's also no levels of resistance or weakness. Being resistant makes you take 50% damage. Being weak makes you take 200%.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on August 04, 2015, 12:22:24 pm
Spell binding glitch
Sometimes when binding a spell to a button, whatever spell was "selected" right when you opened the spirit, that spell will be casted regardless of which shortcut you use


1. Boot up the game (no save states, no reset, no soft reset)
2. Bind defense up on X button (it doesn't matter which button)
3. Now go visit the rest of the GIRL spirits menus once
4. Now try to use any shortcut and the girl will cast any of the sabers or reivifer

on step 3 you can go to the SPRITE's spirits instead to make thing even more clear of what is happening
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 04, 2015, 03:02:07 pm
Regrs:
I know that the value only affects the armors, I was talking about switching weapons because it calls the stat-reseting routine also called when you equip an armor or on level up and thought that it could be where the -2 would be applied. I made an error when I said "There is another byte in the weapons data that I can re-use (magic-evasion)" I meant equipments. Im not so sure about some of the values of the equipments and weapons data tho, IIRC the equipements first byte is the +5 byte but it always has a bit set (0x40) even if no stat is boosted, maybe just a leftover ? The weapons data also has a "critical hit%" byte acording to a doc on snesdev, but IIRC all the weapons have the same but the manasword so maybe its the special effect infliction rate instead ?

The value at 7E0040 (as far as the HUD goes) is read and stored in the BG#3 scrolling register every frame

ChemaROMhacking:
I can't seem to reproduce the glitch even if I follow your steps, It must depend on the spritis you have or something, but I think I know what the problem is, it must be something like what caused the spell copy glitch, I set the spell casting values of the characters before calling a routine that shows the text like "Revifier level 0", this routine is what normally sets the characters spell casting values depending on some values from the menu, ill change those values instead and let the routine set the characters spell data like it normally does so it should fix all possible glitch with casting.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 04, 2015, 04:24:06 pm
The routine in question begins at C0/4B90. Good to know what the HUD does with the value though. Thanks for that.

Here's the header for the weapon table:
TP STAT PJ PL MA CC AC PW S1S2 SR

And the legend to go with it:
-TP:   Weapon Type
-STAT: Stat Modifiers Provided By The Weapon
-PJ:   Projectile Type
--0x00: No Projectile
--0x01: Arrow Projectile
--0x02: Javelin Projectile
--0x03: Boomerang Projectile
--0x05: Chakram Projectile
-PL:   Palette
-MA:   Monster Affinity (Broken, Doesn't Work)
-CC:   Critical Chance
-AC:   Accuracy
-PW:   Power
-S1S2: Status Effect
-SR:   Status Effect Rate

The critical hit field -is- used. It is zero for most weapons but a few (Masamune, Nimbus Chain, Shuriken & Ninja's Trump) have a critical rate of 10%. Also for all the bow complaints, the Doom Bow has the highest critical hit rate in the game at 20%. Some monster weapons in the table also provide a bonus to critical hit rate. The Mana Sword has a 0% base critical rate like most other weapons. It does have the benefit of having 99% Accuracy and 99% Status Infliction Rate compared to every other weapons 75% and 80%.


Here's the header for the armor table:
SB DF EV MD MV EQ EL R1R2 ??

And the legend:
-SB: Stat Boost
--0x40: Always Set
--0x10: Strength
--0x08: Agility
--0x04: Constitution
--0x02: Intelligence
--0x01: Wisdom
-DF: Defense
-EV: Evasion
-MD: Magic Defense
-MV: Magic Evasion
-EQ: Equippable By
--0xE0: Everyone
--0xA0: Randi & Popoie
--0x80: Randi
--0x60: Purim & Popoie
--0x40: Purim
-- 0x20: Popoie
-EL: Elemental Resistance (Dummied Out, but functional if you alter the table)
-R1R2: Status Immunity
-??: UNKNOWN

0x40 is indeed always set in the stat buff section. No idea why, I can't remember if it's even checked for anywhere, but I don't think that it is. The last byte is indeed unused. Its always 0x00 and the armor loader doesn't even load it, it stops after status immunity.

The evasion & magic evasion stats are the same for every armor piece of the same type. But the values are coded into that table. I think a better idea would be to alter those stats to give each armor unique evasion stats instead of just capping it once you get a full set of armor.

Also don't mess with Bare Head, No, and Nothing. They are used internally by the game to tell that you have nothing equipped in that slot.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on August 06, 2015, 08:02:52 pm
Spell casting can crash the game If done under certain circumstances

1. Trying to use a shortcut when that spell belongs to an absent spell caster (i.e. on the desert ship)

2. When interacting with magic orbs, player characters take a neutral stance and player input is disabled for a short period of time, if during that period of time a player successfully casts a spell through a shortcut, the game crashes (Timing is required, but chances of pulling it off exponentially increases when playing with other people and the issue is very similar, if not the exact one, as #3)

3.Use a shortcut during the activation of the mana sword spell (pretty easy to pull off alone by accident)

4.Command a caster to perform a spell while said caster is shaking up a treasure chest
--------------------
The pureland event at the mana tree issue was fixed, however a new one appeared, now it overscrolls after the "look, the mana tree" dialogue
Added with the aforementioned issues I mentioned on a previous post, bringing back AI teleportation seems to be the best fix for now

suggestions:
on easy mode, 5 second cool down seems reasonable for the girl, however the sprite can chaincast long lasting spells such as lava wave, dark explosion and the overpowered burst
This can be circumvented by:
-Increasing the cool down for sprite spells overall (easiest solution and works)
-Increasing the cool down of certain spells only (Better, but would be a headache to implement)
-Increase the animation speed of spells (Dunno if this is even possible but would be the best solution)
-Shorten some spell animations (choppy but functional)

I noticed that doing either the stong attack or the weak attack it depends on the last input done by the directional pad and the B button
Disabling players from changing the button conficuration would save you a lot of work, else you woukd have to consider every button combination possible
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on August 07, 2015, 04:40:18 am
The spell delay per spell should be pretty easy actually. Just have it load a table that loads the wait time by using the spell number.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Gi Nattak on August 07, 2015, 06:24:22 am
Just wanna say incredible job on this improvement hack thus far, and thanks to you and anyone involved/helping out! It is vastly welcomed and appreciated, I'm super excited to try it out. A lot of these features I've always dreamed about, to make this game better & more balanced in general - so this is truly great. I'm not sure how I missed this until now, SoM being one of my favorite games of all time and all. :o Please keep up the good work.

EDIT: Just a quick and obvious observation after playing, I see the Boy is sporting a nice new palette, but his recovering power % frames is his old palette still... I doubt this is intentional, is it still something that needs to be addressed?

Oh and one other thing, a while ago I realized the R & L buttons did have a purpose of sorts and made a video about it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcpQq1eDmxg

With this patch that utilizes both shoulder buttons, this tactic is no longer possible. I'm wondering if there's a way to still include it by assigning it to a different button perhaps while charging? I'd imagine it would have to be the run or ring menu button, and only be triggered if the player is indeed charging up their attack... If this is not possible and it must be sacrificed, I understand lol. It is a pretty fun and tactical move though, albeit unknown to most.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 07, 2015, 02:48:20 pm
Regrs:
Thx for the info on the tables. Ive played with them a bit.

For the armors, ill change the use of the evasion/magic evasion bytes and set the evasion/magic evasion values elsewhere so you will always have the same evasion/magic evasion as if you had a full set of armor. I might use the elemental resist byte as it is, maybe only a few equipements could grant it and if you have 2 oposing elements you would resist both.

For the weapons, accuracy is the same for all weapons but the mana sword, I think I will increase it for the bow, maybe set it to like 100%, since it attacks slowly it will make it better. I might also increase all axes crit rate so that it has something better than the sword. The monster affinity thing really doesnt work ? So when in the weapon menu it says "effective against dragon type enemies" (or something like that) its actually a flithy lie ?

You mentioned that a boss can swallow you, I know the graphics are still there, but is it possible to make it work ?


ChemaROMhacking:
I can't get the game to crash in these conditions, but I changed some stuff with how the spells are cast, maybe I fixed it. Btw you said you are playing on your phone right ? Is it on an emulator also availlable on PC or based on one ?

About the cooldown, I think using a table like justin said would be the best, but since its only for the easy version, I think Ill use the lazy way and increase the cooldown for the sprite :P

Ill remove the controller icon in the menu (or make it do nothing), I dont think anybody really change the controls anyway.


Gi Nattak:
Thx for the kind words.

The boy palette is not changed, it least it should not be lol.

I found out about L/R beign used to strafe while charging recently, The L button is now used to block/dodge and I planned to use the R button to lock the charge at the current level but maybe I could use another button since the strafing would be better on a shoulder button since it needs to be held. I think the ring menu button (Y) would fit because you can't go in the menu when charging and its the button that is the most acessible while holding B on a snes controller IMO.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Gi Nattak on August 07, 2015, 04:07:14 pm
Gi Nattak:
The boy palette is not changed, it least it should not be lol.

I found out about L/R beign used to strafe while charging recently, The L button is now used to block/dodge and I planned to use the R button to lock the charge at the current level but maybe I could use another button since the strafing would be better on a shoulder button since it needs to be held. I think the ring menu button (Y) would fit because you can't go in the menu when charging and its the button that is the most acessible while holding B on a snes controller IMO.

D'oh! My mistake about the palette, I patched over what I thought was a clean ROM I had lying around, but it was an old semi-project ROM I was using with the SoM Editor about a year ago where I did that and forgot about it... Sorry about that. :-[

And that sounds real good about the L/R strafe, I'm glad to hear you knew about it and sounds like you can keep it implemented.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 07, 2015, 04:33:23 pm
"Effective Against" weapons do absolutely nothing. The game lies to you.

And yes Aegagropilon can eat you. In-fact he tries to do so every pass though his attack AI script but a flaw prevents it.

Here's a video I made to show it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ksDJhAp8zo

It's a bit glitchy because I just quickly hacked his AI to do nothing but that attack. (Note: He cast Burst because Aegagropilon cheats and casts spells with his movement script to by-pass his attack wait timer).

Edit: To explain better, Aegagropilon is supposed to swallow you the first chance he gets every time he re-grows his legs. The flag used to tell him to regrow his legs and swallow you are the same, the problem is the command that re-grows his legs resets the flag to 0 so he never gets the chance to actually eat you.

Most bosses have AI flaws that limit their effectiveness in one way or another and more then a few are utterly crippled by it.

The worst offenders are Metal Mantis, Tropicallo, Boreal Face, Mech Rider (All Versions, but 3 is especially bad), Hexas, and Dark Lich.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on August 07, 2015, 05:21:47 pm
This is the emulator I have been using
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.explusalpha.Snes9xPlus
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 10, 2015, 04:35:21 pm
Since there is no stat changes between the easy and hard version, I've made an event when starting a new game that asks for the difficulty setting. That way I wont have to make 2 seperate patches. There are 3 difficulties, easy, normal and hard, normal is the same as easy for now. If you want to load a save-state from an older version and want to play the hard version you will have to use a cheat-code : 7ECF64, 01 = easy, 02 = normal, 03 = hard. Since I used an unused event flag for the difficulty, it is saved with the in-game save. In hard mode enemies hit harder and you have less chance to evade, magic also hurts you more, enemies are more agressive (wait less between each attacks) and the magic recharging time is longer. I also plan to increase the bosses HP , maybe 2X or 1.5X.

I've finally fixed the pureland scrolling bug (I had fixed it before but forgot to save my changes -_-)
CPU characters now teleport to you when off-screen, sometime they are stuck after teleporting and in some places they teleport even if they are still in the screen. Its still better than the bugs it caused when they didnt teleport :P
The status bar is raised 4pixels so that the MP doesnt touch the bottom edge of the screen.
I fixed some stuff with the casting so it should have less bugs.

I still need write some code for the difficulty settings to affect all the stuff it should, but ill probably release a new version tommorow.


I've been trying to figure out how the text is written in the menu so that I can show the equipments stats up, this is actually the hard part about adding stats boost to equipment. From what I have seen the game reads the text from the ROM, stores it somewhere in RAM, transform it into graphics, then transform those graphics again (I think the second time it is to add the black border since it is not present in the ROM). Im able to change the graphics directly and update the textbox but using this method I would not be able to switch back between stats and the name because I can't get the game to reload and show the equipment name unless you select another equipment and I can't store all the gfx data because its 32bytes for each character and I don't have enough free RAM for that... Regrs did you by chance look at how the text is processed ? And about the AI, I thought it would have been a chunk of ASM for each enemy but it seems it has a kind of "language" like the events, do you have a document that I could get my hands on that describes the AI bytes ?

ChemaROMhacking:
since your emulator is based on snes9x I guess the casting crashes should be fixed in the next verision.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 10, 2015, 07:51:48 pm
Text is processed as part of the "Text" set of Event OpCodes (50+), don't know much beyond that in terms of font. I have an almost complete list of event codes though.

Bosses have 3 sets of OpCodes actually. One for their Init Headers, one for animation scripts and one for AI Commands.

The problem is that for no real reason there are two sets of AI Controllers for bosses. One is structured and very easy to follow. The other is custom and unique to that boss.

Custom AI bosses are: Tropicallo, Boreal Face, Lime Slime, Dread Slime, Wall Face, Doom's Wall, Jabberwocky, Hydra, and the Mana Beast.

Structured bosses will have a setup header that looks like this (Mantis Ant/Metal Mantis in this example)

Code: [Select]
C2/D080: 111C ;[?]
C2/D082: 0100 ;[7E:E670]
C2/D084: 483D ;Pointer to Boss Init Routine.
C2/D086: 5A3D ;Pointer to Boss Movement Routine
C2/D088: 8C3D ;Pointer to Boss Attack Routine.
C2/D08A: 0000 ;Pointer to Boss Damage Routine.
C2/D08C: 9AD0 ;Default Command Pointer.
C2/D08E: 9CD0 ;Death Command Pointer.
C2/D090: C9D0      ;AI Command Set Pointer.
C2/D092: 0400 ;[7E:E6A7]
C2/D094: 0000 ;[7E:E678]
C2/D096: E8FF   ;[7E:E662]
C2/D098: 0000 ;No Special Death Handler.

Pointer fields aren't required. 0000 is the value to set to not use that section. The only thing of note here is the Special Death Handler section. It should point to a list of pointers that handle what to do when the boss dies. Normally they just die. If something special needs to happen (IE: Mech Rider fleeing, Biting Lizard dying, etc) it's defined there. If a damage animation isn't defined, the death animation will be used.

After that you'll find a list of command scripts for the boss. These control what the boss is actually capable of doing. You can string multiple command sets together. FF is used as an end marker.
Code: [Select]
C2/D09A: 00FF ;Set Animation: Idle.
C2/D09C: 03FF ;Action: Death.
C2/D09E: 00FF ;Set Animation: Idle.
C2/D0A0: 04FF ;Movement: Walk Left.
C2/D0A2: 05FF ;Movement: Walk Right.
C2/D0A4: 06FF ;Movement: Walk Down.
C2/D0A6: 0E0C0FFF ;Movement: Jump Straight Up.
C2/D0AA: 0DFF ;Action: Guard
C2/D0AC: 0E110FFF ;Movement: Jump Up-Left.
C2/D0B0: 0E120FFF ;Movement: Jump Up-Right.
C2/D0B4: 07FF ;Attack: Double Kama Swing.
C2/D0B6: 0AFF ;Attack: Right Kama Swing.
C2/D0B8: 0BFF ;Attack: Left Kama Swing.
C2/D0BA: 0710FF ;Attack: Kama Throw.
C2/D0BD: 08FF ;Cast Spell: 'Gem Missile' On 'Closest Opponent'.
C2/D0BF: 13FF ;Use Skill: 'Acid Breath'.
C2/D0C1: 14FF ;Use Skill: 'Flash Beam'.
C2/D0C3: 15FF ;Use Skill: 'Fire Beam'.
C2/D0C5: 16FF ;Cast Spell: 'Lunar Boost' on 'Self'.
C2/D0C7: 17FF ;Cast Spell: 'Gem Missile' on 'All'.

After that you'll have a list of pointers to the actual commands:
Code: [Select]
C2/D0C9: 09D1 [00: Set Animation: Idle]
C2/D0CB: 11D1 [01: Set Animation: Left Head Turn (Broken)]
C2/D0CD: 19D1 [02: Set Animation: Right Head Turn (Broken)]
C2/D0CF: 21D1 [03: Action: Death]
C2/D0D1: 29D1 [04: Movement: Walk Left]
C2/D0D3: 31D1 [05: Movement: Walk Right]
C2/D0D5: 39D1 [06: Movement: Walk Down]
C2/D0D7: 40D1 [07: Attack: Double Kama Swing]
C2/D0D9: 48D1 [08: Cast Spell: 'Gem Missile' On 'Closest Opponent'
C2/D0DB: 52D1 [09: Movement: Walk Up]
C2/D0DD: 59D1 [0A: Attack: Right Kama Swing]
C2/D0DF: 5AD1 [0B: Attack: Left Kama Swing]
C2/D0E1: 61D1 [0C: Movement: Jump Up]
C2/D0E3: 74D1 [0D: Set Animation: Guard]
C2/D0E5: 7BD1 [0E: Set Animation: Pre-Jump]
C2/D0E7: 7FD1 [0F: Set Animation: Post-Jump]
C2/D0E9: 8DD1 [10: Attack: Kama Throw]
C2/D0EB: 97D1 [11: Movement: Jump Up-Left]
C2/D0ED: AAD1 [12: Movement: Jump Up-Right]
C2/D0EF: CBD1 [13: Use Skill: 'Acid Breath']
C2/D0F1: D9D1 [14: Use Skill: 'Flash Beam']
C2/D0F3: E7D1 [15: Use Skill: 'Fire Beam']
C2/D0F5: F5D1 [16: Cast Spell: 'Lunar Boost' On 'Self']
C2/D0F7: FFD1 [17: Cast Spell: 'Gem Missile' On 'All']
C2/D0F9: 09D2 [18: Dummied]
C2/D0FB: 09D2 [19: Dummied]
C2/D0FD: 09D2 [1A: Dummied]
C2/D0FF: 09D2 [1B: Dummied]
C2/D101: 09D2 [1C: Dummied]
C2/D103: 09D2 [1D: Dummied]
C2/D105: 09D2 [1E: Dummied]
C2/D107: 09D2 [1F: Dummied]

Finally after that you'll have the code for the commands themselves (I'm not going to list all of them)
Code: [Select]
[00: Set Animation: Idle]
C2/D109: 0A ;Clear Horizontal Flip
C2/D10A: 00 0A00 ;Play Animation 0x000A.
C2/D10D: 05 0C00 ;Freeze Animation for 0x000C Ticks.
C2/D110: FF ;End Command Subset.

[01: Set Animation: Left Head Turn (Broken)]
C2/D111: 06 ;Set Horizontal Flip.
C2/D112: 00 0B00 ;Play Animation 0x000B.
C2/D115: 05 0900 ;Freeze Animation for 0x0009 Ticks.
C2/D118: FF ;End Command Subset.

[02: Set Animation: Right Head Turn (Broken)]
C2/D119: 0A ;Clear Horizontal Flip.
C2/D11A: 00 0B00 ;Play Animation 0x000B.
C2/D11D: 05 0900 ;Freeze Animation for 0x0009 Ticks.
C2/D120: FF ;End Command Subset.

....

I sadly don't have a complete list of Boss codes anymore, a couple are unused and some are only used rarely, but here's the ones I do have:
Code: [Select]
00 {XXXX}              :: Plays a boss animation with an Id of XXXX. There are a total of x17B animations. This includes things like boss skills and set pieces like the crystals in the slime fights and the platform you stand on while fighting the Mana Beast.
05 {XXXX}              :: Holds the boss in the current animation for XXXX ticks.
06                           :: Sets Horizontal Flip.
07                           :: Sets Vertical Flip
08                           :: Toggles Horizontal Flip
09                           :: Toggles Vertical Flip
0A                           :: Clears Horizontal Flip
0B                           :: Clears Vertical Flip
0E {XX} {YY}          :: Casts a spell with an Id of {XX} with a targetting parameter of {YY}. Valid values for {YY} are:
--0x00: Target Closest Opponent
--0x01: Target All Opponents
--0x02: Target Self
--0x03: Target All Allies
0F {XX} {YY} {ZZ} :: Plays a boss skill animation with an Id of {XX}. {YY} & {ZZ} are the X/Y Coordinates to display the boss portion of the animation if it has one.
--Note that Cave-In, NoName, and Breath Wing are coded as boss skills, but their graphics are loaded as part of the Wall & Dragon graphic sets, making them specific to those bosses.
10 {XXXX}              :: Calls a routine. {XXXX} is the pointer. Routine must be in Bank C2.
11 {XXXX} {YYYY}  :: Updates the bosses character data. {XXXX} is the offset, {YYYY} is the value to be set.
13 {XXXX}              :: Equips a boss weapon. Boss weapons are stored seperately from player/NPC weapons and have a different structure.
15 {XXXX}              :: Jumps to a location in bank C2. The place it jumps to must contain more boss codes.
FF :: Ends the command set.

There's alot more I could say about bosses. Depends on how much you want to know. Its the area I know most about. If you examine their attack routines you'll see them loading pointers from Bank 1C. This is where the AI roulette for each boss is stored.

Other thing of note is that Kettle Kin is not considered a palette swap boss. He has his own AI setup just for him instead of borrowing Kilroy's. This is a leftover from Death Machine's removal during localization. (Note: Death Machine's graphics & sound effects are still in the ROM, his animation scripts and all but 3 of his frames have been removed though).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Zook on August 14, 2015, 12:00:25 pm
I'm not caught up on the whole thread, so I don't know if this has been requested yet, but pleeeeeease make it so in multiplayer, characters aren't locked to a very short distance from each other. This is the most annoying thing about playing this game with friends.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 14, 2015, 04:13:43 pm
Regrs:
Thx ! there seem to have a lot of stuff to play with, I don't think Ill change alot about bosses in this hack, but maybe ill be able to fix the CPU controlled playable characters AI since it seems to use the same AI opCodes. Im interested in bringing back the chewing attack of the boss (can't remember its name), the boss is not very good so maybe it would help making it a bit harder. Do you have the location of its AI and the codes you used to make it work ?

Zook:
While working on making the AI characters not block the screen I found a bit of code that managed how far characters can be from each other, I tried making it so players could be as far as possible while still being in the screen but it caused problems. The screen scrolling and maximum players distance is kind of seperate. The players start to make the screen scroll when they get close to the edge so if I just increase the max distance even just a bit, players can make the screen scroll even if an ally is at the very edge of the screen, making it possible that players go off screen. Basically the game stops you from moving if an ally is too far so that you can't get close enough to the edge of the screen to make it scroll. I read somewhere that they added the multiplayer feature only late in development, I guess it was the easy/quick way to do it. It would probably be possible to change this so you can keep on moving to the edge of the screen without afecting the screen scrolling. Ill see what I can do, I agree that its annoying, it keeps you from moving at about 1/5 of the screen !


New version !
- Some bug fixes: spell casting / pureland story event scrolling / probably others that I don't remember
- AI now teleport to you when off-screen
- Players can't get hit when recovering from a hit
- Difficulty choice at the start of a new game (the normal difficulty is not functional yet)
- In hard mode enemies now cause more damage
- Characters status bar is raised so that it doesnt touch the edge of the screen
- A bit longer magic recharging time in easy mode to prevent chain-casting when using spells with long effects
- The bow has its range reduced a bit but it now has 99% hit chance.

Download v0.7 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/14hjcdecf4mqgsg/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.7.zip?dl=0)


EDIT:
I'm not caught up on the whole thread, so I don't know if this has been requested yet, but pleeeeeease make it so in multiplayer, characters aren't locked to a very short distance from each other. This is the most annoying thing about playing this game with friends.
I've been looking into this today and I've been able to make it work ! It only works for left/right for now and still has some problems with wrap-around maps like the moon palace but its probably gonna be in the next version.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 17, 2015, 01:41:33 pm
@zhade
Can you share how to control the flight distance of arrows and the boomerang?

About Aegagropilon:
Here's the locations of his scripts:
Init: C2/5150.
Movement: C2/5193.
Attack: C2/51CD.
Damage: C2/526A.

Note that Aegagropilon cheats and uses his movement script to cast Burst 1/3 of the time to up his attack frequency.

Re-enabling his Devour attack is simple if you only want him to use it as originally intended. (That is: Once per form change)

At C2/DA25 you'll find a command code that looks like this: 11 7E00 0000
Change it to this: 11 7E00 0080

That's all you really have to do to allow him to Devour a character once per form change, however you should make some minor AI alterations to make him more likely to use the attack.

At C2/51F5 you'll find a CMP instruction that holds the max distance his target can be from him and still get devoured. Its set at 02. I'd suggest bumping it up to 04 or 05 so he doesn't have to be right on top of you.

At C2/51E7 you'll find this chunk of code:

Code: [Select]
C2/51E7: BDAB00  LDA $00AB,X ;Load [BossDirection]
C2/51EA: C90100  CMP #$0001 ;Test to see if Aegagropilon is facing South.
C2/51ED: D010    BNE $51FF ;Branch and do a normal attack if he isn't.

Just remove that whole thing. Aegagropilon's direction is irrelevant as he only has animations for facing South to begin with.


Of note is that Aegagropilon's Devour works like Biting Lizard/Snap Dragon's devour attack. The swallowed character is granted a free attack vs Aegagropilon.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 17, 2015, 03:26:48 pm
Thx for the Aegagropilon AI stuff !

Projectiles distance :
Code: [Select]
C2/C148: E220    SEP #$20
C2/C14A: BD9BE1  LDA $E19B,X
C2/C14D: 49FF    EOR #$FF
C2/C14F: 38      SEC
C2/C150: 690E    ADC #$0E
C2/C152: 990AD0  STA $D00A,Y

The same code is used for every projectile weapons, the lower the value stored in 7ED00A,Y the faster/farther the projectile will fly
7EE19B,X is the character's current attack charge level.
Y = 0x00 for the boy, 0x40 for the girl and 0x80 the sprite.
There is a 0x40 chunk of RAM for each character with other values related to projectiles close to 7ED00A,Y (not sure where it starts exactly)

There probably is a place where the default speed/distance is set for each projectile weapon since they don't have the same range but I stopped looking after I found this. I just made it jump to a sub that looks if the character's weapon is a bow and reduced the value to be stored at D00A,Y if it is.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 17, 2015, 05:09:38 pm
Thanks for the projectile routine.

I looked at it, you shouldn't have to jump anywhere. The default values are hard-coded into that routine. Your charge level + 0E seems to control the better part of the flight distance in D00A, but the other part in D009 is coded just after the snip you posted.

Code: [Select]
C2/C163: A900    LDA #$00 ;Boomerang Distance
C2/C165: 8006    BRA $C16D
C2/C167: A950    LDA #$50 ;Bow Distance
C2/C169: 8002    BRA $C16D
C2/C16B: A930    LDA #$30 ;Javelin Distance
C2/C16D: 9909D0  STA $D009,Y
C2/C170: 60      RTS
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Recklessly Impressionable on August 18, 2015, 12:45:39 am
Hey zhade i just had to pop in and thank you for this hack, it's super fun. Having the option to use the parry move to evade/block the 1st bosses claw attacks felt awesome This serious makes the game feel very much improved to the point where it excites me to play it again. Love it

I'm not far yet, but i'll report in if i notice anything weird by the time i finish this latest replay.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 18, 2015, 05:06:15 am
@Regrs
D00A seems to affect the angle of the projectile (tho the boomerang doesnt seem to be affected), putting it to 0x00 makes it shoot at 45degrees in the air and puting it to 0xFF makes it go at 45 degrees down which makes it fall right in front of you. It also makes it go farther if the angle is higher because it falls for more time tho if its too high like at 0x00 it falls vertically at the end which looks weird. I didnt know about this before you mentioned it, by using it I managed to make the bow shoot a bit more straight. :thumbsup:

Do you know alot about weapons attacks and animations ? I would like to make the javelin's weak attack a melee attack (kind of like the spear horizontal swing) so that you can hit many enemies up close or shoot it with the strong attack. I thought it would be easy, like fooling the game into thinking you have a spear by changing the weapon type value when you do a weak attack so it does the swing animation but with a javelin as the weapon... But it turns out its not that easy.. It seems every weapon has its own animations. IIRC 7EE018 and 7EE019 (and/or 7EE065 and 7EE066 ??) states which anims to use when attacking but if I use the values of the spear when a javelin is equiped it does other animations (like javelin charged attacks). Even when changing 7EE068 (weapon type) or 7EE1E4 (also weapon type..) or 7EE153 (weapon) or 7EE1E8 (also weapon..) it does nothing. Basically I would need to find a way to "manually" change the weapon so that the game thinks its a spear but keep the javelin sprite...

So yeah... thats kind of specific.. but I thought maybe you know some character data (7EE000-7EE1FF) that have something to do with weapons that might help me with this. Im planning on making a full data map of the characters data, I've got quite a few already but there is alot I still don't know so i've started at 7EE000 going up and im trying to figure out what each byte does to make it complete but its kind of a long process, i've only made it to 7EE01F but discovered some nice/weird stuff already that might be helpful later.

@Recklessly Impressionable
Thx ! :) Hope you will like the other features too. Don't hesitate to tell me if you have ideas of other things I could add/improve too.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 18, 2015, 09:38:07 am
@zhade

Character Data:
Code: [Select]
[7EE000] - Master Activator
-00: Inactive
-01: Active
[7EE002/03] - X-Coordinate
[7EE004/05] - Y-Coordinate
[7EE008] - Z-Height
[7EE00E] - Sprite Flags
-00: Default
-01: Horizontal Shake
-02: Vertical Shake
-40: Ghost Flicker
-80: Invisible
[7EE010] - Current Direction
-00: North
-01: South
-02: East
-82: West
[7EE014/15] - Boss Animation Timer
[7EE01A] - Weapon Charge Timer
[7EE01B] - Current Charge Level Redux
[7EE01C] - Action Type
-20: PC Basic Attack
-40: Dodging
-80: AI Attack/Charged Attack
[7EE021/22] - Screen X-Coordinate
[7EE023/24] - Screen Y-Coordinate
[7EE02B] - Boss X-Coordinate (16-bit, so includes E02C]
[7EE02C] - Current Controller
-00: AI Controlled
-01: Player 1
-02: Player 2
-04: Player 3
[7EE02D] - Boss Attack Wait Time
[7EE02E] - Active Animation Loop
[7EE032/33] - Boss Y-Coordinate
[7EE039] - Character Shake Timer
[7EE042] - Boss Attack Pattern
[7EE04A/4B] - Boss Death Script Pointer
[7EE050] X-Distance From Target 01
[7EE051] Y-Distance From Target 01
[7EE053] X-Distance From Target 02
[7EE054] Y-Distance From Target 02
[7EE056] X-Distance From Target 03
[7EE057] Y-Distance From Target 04
[7EE059] - Attacker Id
[7EE05A] - Defender Id
[7EE066] - Boss Z-Coordinate
[7EE068] - Weapon Type Id Redux
[7EE069] - Weapon Palette Id
[7EE076/77] - Boss Command Set Pointer
[7EE07E] - Boss State Flags
[7EE082] - Boss Attacking Flag
-00: Boss Attacking
-01: Boss Not Attacking
-02: Boss Being Attacked
[7EE085] - AI Automatic Charge State
-00: Not Charging
-80: Charging
[7EE098] - Boss Control Flags
-10: Personal Collision
-40: Horizontal Flip
-80: Vertical Flip
[7EE09A/9B] - Boss Animation Id
[7EE09C/9D] - Boss Animation Script Position
[7EE09E/9F] - Boss Animation Delay
[7EE0A0/A1] - Boss Frame Construction Pointer
[7EE0A2] - Boss Frame Construction Bank
[7EE0A9/AA] - Boss Current Target
[7EE0AD] - Boss Attack Timer
[7EE0B0/B1] - Boss Active Command Pointer
[7EE0B4/B5] - Boss Init Routine Pointer
[7EE0B6/B7] - Boss Movement Routine Pointer
[7EE0B8/B9] - Boss Attack Routine Pointer
[7EE0BA/BB] - Boss Damage Routine pointer
[7EE0BC/BD] - Boss Default Animation Pointer
[7EE0BE/BF] - Boss Death Animation Pointer
[7EE0FA] - Weapon Palette Offset
-02: Randi
-0C: Purim
-16: Popoie
-82: Enemy #1
-8C: Enemy #2
-96: Enemy #3
[7EE170] - Cast Spell Id
[7EE171] - Cast Spell Level
[7EE175] - Splash Numbers Activator
-D0: Damage HP
-D8: Restore HP
-E0: Damage MP
-E8: Restore MP
[7EE176] - Cast Spell Target Count
[7EE177] - Cast Spell Element
[7EE178] - Primary Spell Target
[7EE179] - Secondary Spell Target
[7EE17A] - Tertiary Spell target
[7EE17B/7C] - Splash Number Value
[7EE17D/7E/7F] - Experience Til Level
[7EE180] - Sprite Id
[7EE181] - Current Level/Crystal Orb Last Spell Id
[7EE182/83] - Current Hit Points/Treasure Chest Trap Avoided Flag
[7EE184/85] - Max Hit Points/Treasure Chest Trap Disarmed Flag
[7EE186] - Current MP
[7EE187] - Max MP
[7EE188] - Strength
[7EE189] - Agility
[7EE18A] - Constitution
[7EE18B] - Intelligence
[7EE18C] - Wisdom
[7EE18D/8E/8F] - Current Experience(Players)/Exp Per Kill (Enemies)
[7EE190] - Status Effects 01
-01: Stun #1
-02: Stun #2
-04: Tangle
-08: Paralyze (Dummied Out)
-10: Knocked Out
-20: Frosty
-40: Petrify
-80: Confusion
[7EE191] - Status Effects 02
-01: Balloon
-02: Pygmy
-04: Barrel
-08: Transform
-10: Moogle
-20: Poison
-40: Engulf
-80: Ghost
[7EE192] - Monster Type
01: Humanoid
02: Plant/Fish
04: Insect
08: Animal/Bird
10: Slime/Lizard
20: Evil/Dead
40: Ghost
80: Dragon
[7EE193] - Element
[7EE194] - Weapon Effective Against (Dummied Out)
[7EE195] Active Weapon Element
[7EE196] - Active Weapon Critical Rate
[7EE197] - Active Weapon Hit Percentage
[7EE198/99] - Active Weapon Status Effects
[7EE19B] - Current Charge Level
[7EE19C] - Active Weapon Level
[7EE19D] - Saber Spell Uses
[7EE1A0] - Weak Type (Dummied Out)
[7EE1A1] - Weak Element
[7EE1A2] - Strong Type (Dummied Out)
[7EE1A3] - Strong Element
[7EE1A4] - Evasion
[7EE1A5/A6] - Defense
[7EE1A7] - Magic Evasion
[7EE1A8/A9] - Magic Defense
[7EE1AA/AB] - Status Effect Immunity
[7EE1AC] - AI Physical Target
[7EE1AD] - AI Magic Target
[7EE1AE] - Weapon Buffs (Low Nibble - Saber Level, High Nibble - Moon Energy Counter)
[7EE1AF] - Damaged Sound Effect
[7EE1B0] - Buff Effects
-01: Defense Up
-02: Defense Down
-04: Evade Up
-08: Evade Down
-10: Hit Up
-20: Hit Down
-40: Attack Up
-80: Attack Down
[7EE1B1] - Misc Flags
-00: Default
-01: Knocked Out
-02: ???
-04: Partial Remedy Spell
-08: Dead
-10: Lucid Barrier
-40: Wall
-80: Treasure Chest
[7EE1B2] - Status Effect Timer 01 (Stun #2, Tangle, Paralyze, Knocked Out, Frosty, Petrify)
[7EE1B3] - Status Effect Timer 02 (Confusion, Balloon)
[7EE1B4] - Status Effect Timer 03 (Stun #1, Stun #2)
[7EE1B5] - Status Effect Timer 04 (Moogle, Transform)
[7EE1B6] - Status Effect Timer 05 (Poison, Engulf)
[7EE1B7] - Attack Up/Down Timer
[7EE1B8] - Wall Use Counter
[7EE1BA] - Hit Up/Down Timer
[7EE1BB] - Evade Up/Down Timer
[7EE1BC] - Defense Up/Down Timer
[7EE1BD/BE] - Lucid Barrier Hit Points
[7EE1BF] - Lucid Barrier Defense
[7EE1C0] - Glove/Sword Skill Level(Players)/Weapon Level(Enemies)
[7EE1C1] - Axe/Spear Skill Level
[7EE1C2] - Whip/Bow Skill Level
[7EE1C3] - Boomerang/Javelin Skill Level
[7EE1C4] - Gnome/Undine Skill Level(Players)/Magic Level(Enemies)
[7EE1C5] - Salamando/Sylphid Skill Level
[7EE1C6] - Lunda/Dryad Skill Level
[7EE1C7] - Shade/Lumina Skill Level
[7EE1C8] - Gnome Spells Known(Players)/Enemy GP Drop(Low)(Enemies)/Treasure Chest Trap Type
[7EE1C9] - Undine Spells Known(Players)/Enemy GP Drop(High)(Enemies)
[7EE1CA] - Salamando Spells Known(Players)/Death Style(Enemies)/Treasure Chest Dropped Enemy Id
[7EE1CB] - Slyphid Spells Known
[7EE1CC] - Luna Spells Known
[7EE1CD] - Dryad Spells Known
[7EE1CE] - Shade Spells Known(Players)/Treasure Chest Drop Rate(Enemies)
[7EE1CF] - Lumina Spells Known
-These fields control which spells Purim & Popoie know.
-This is how they lock out Mana Magic
-Purim:
--08: Spell 01 Known
--18: Spell 01 & 02 Known
--38: All Spells Known
-Popoie:
--01: Spell 01 Known
--03: Spell 01 & 02 Known
--07: All Spells Known
[7EE1D0] - Current Glove Experience
[7EE1D1] - Current Sword Experience
[7EE1D2] - Current Axe Experience
[7EE1D3] - Current Spear Experience
[7EE1D4] - Current Whip Experience
[7EE1D5] - Current Bow Experience
[7EE1D6] - Current Boomerang Experience
[7EE1D7] - Current Javelin Experience
[7EE1D8] - Current Gnome Experience
[7EE1D9] - Current Undine Experience
[7EE1DA] - Current Salamando Experience
[7EE1DB] - Current Sylphid Experience
[7EE1DC] - Current Luna Experience
[7EE1DD] - Current Dryad Experience
[7EE1DE] - Current Shade Experience
[7EE1DF] - Current Lumina Experience
[7EE1E0] - Equipped Helmet Id
[7EE1E1] - Equipped Armor Id
[7EE1E2] - Equipped Accessory Id
[7EE1E3] - Equipped Weapon Id
[7EE1E4] - Weapon Type Id
[7EE1E5] - Active Animation
[7EE1E6] - Mana Pointer
[7EE1E7] - Character Id
[7EE1E8] - Weapon 01
[7EE1E9] - Weapon 02
[7EE1EC] - Last Attacker Id
[7EE1ED] - Weapon Recovery Timer
[7EE1F0] - Attacker Id
[7EE1F1/F2] - Damage HP Value
[7EE1F3/F4] - Restore HP Value
[7EE1F5] - Damage MP Value
[7EE1F6] - Restore MP Value
[7EE1F7] - Active Weapon Status Effect Infliction Rate
[7EE1FB] - Character Type
-01: Shadow Clone.
-02: Balloon, Barrel, Engulf, Frosty & Petrify.
-04: Character Opening A Chest.
-10: Crystal Orb.
-20: Treasure Chest.
-40: Boss.
-80: Player Character.
[7EE1FD] - Enemy Black Magic Spell Power
[7EE1FE] - Enemy White Magic Spell Power

Still missing quite a few values, but maybe that will help.

Weapon animations are stored in Bank D1. There's a large pointer table starting at D1/3040 that contains them all.

Beyond that I don't know much about how they work. I'll do some digging and see if I can figure out more.


Also, I'd suggest adding something like this to your hack. The all caps thing has always annoyed me. ;D
(http://i.imgur.com/7VsElz1.png)

Edit:
One other thing you can do to improve the bow, boomerang and javelin. They have half the critical hit rate of every other weapon.
Code: [Select]
C0/4A1E: A904            LDA #$04
C0/4A20: DDE4E1          CMP $E1E4,X
C0/4A23: B002            BCS $4A27
C0/4A25: 46A4            LSR $A4
C0/4A27: A5A4            LDA $A4
C0/4A29: 9D96E1          STA $E196,X
C0/4A2C: 60              RTS
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: vivify93 on August 18, 2015, 03:05:42 pm
Also, I'd suggest adding something like this to your hack. The all caps thing has always annoyed me. ;D
(http://i.imgur.com/7VsElz1.png)
How did you manage to get lowercase letters on the naming screen?! Or is this just a mock up? I've been wanting to add lowercase letters since I made my Proper-casing mod...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 18, 2015, 03:33:53 pm
How did you manage to get lowercase letters on the naming screen?! Or is this just a mock up? I've been wanting to add lowercase letters since I made my Proper-casing mod...

I modded the naming dialog.

It's a bit of work. You have to alter and move the naming dialog text, change the dialog layout, create button events for up/down movement and alter the closing event to read the new text correctly.

I also fixed a little known bug in the dialog that allows you to duplicate starting equipment.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ze10 on August 18, 2015, 03:43:54 pm
I've played this hack to the point you get Undine's powers and generally I am really impressed with what you've done with this and I've had a lot of fun playing it. The more dynamic battles make a huge difference. And the fact that you can't parry enemy attacks 90% makes the gameplay different than what I'm used to. :P
The only problem I have so far is with how magic is currently implemented. I didn't like how damaging spells can target allies. I'm not sure in which situation that can add to the gameplay... unless you're fighting an enemy that has wall effect and you have an ally with wall effect as well... but that is a very specific situation and it might not happen very often, considering not many enemies can cast wall, and you can easily destroy wall using dispel.
But if targeting allies with damage spell is something that MUST be implemented, at least make it so that the default target is an enemy, not an ally. I've target myself on accident many times because of that. The fact that picking a target doesn't pause gameplay like the original version only makes it worse.
By the way, that is the second problem I had. It's kinda hard to see which target is currently selected to have magic cast on. And, considering action is happening, it's kinda frustrating to have enemies beat you to death while you're struggling choosing a target for your spell. If the game won't stop for you to pick a target, then there should be a quick and easy way to pick a target.
My third problem lies to the restriction of not being able to multi-target spells. I understand why you did that, because multi-target spells are really OP in the original version. However, I can see this game getting way too hard in later stages where enemies and bosses can easily damage all your characters quickly and you having trouble keeping your characters alive because the lack of multi-target cure and the 5-10 sec delay between spells. You could use items, but since you are limited to 4 of each, you can easily run out of resources. Instead of forbidding multi-target, I'd suggest making it so that if you multi-target a spell, the effect is considerably lower. Like if you use cure on all your allies, you only heal like 1/5 of the amount of HP you'd heal if you only cast it on one ally.
And lastly, I think you should improve how the game deals with the interval after you cast a spell. I noticed the character face flashing at the bottom, but that is a very small sign and I constantly try to cast spells when I can't because I didn't notice that. I'd suggest disabling magic spells, like it happens when you're out of MP or silenced.
Those problems really discouraged me to use magic... I understand that this is a work in progress and you're still working on those things, so I figured I'd give my feedback.
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm a hater and I'm bashing on this. Quite the contrary, this is one of the best hacks I've played and I'm looking forward to the final version! Thanks for your hard work :D
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: vivify93 on August 18, 2015, 06:59:48 pm
I modded the naming dialog.

It's a bit of work. You have to alter and move the naming dialog text, change the dialog layout, create button events for up/down movement and alter the closing event to read the new text correctly.

I also fixed a little known bug in the dialog that allows you to duplicate starting equipment.
Oh, neat! Sounds like it's way beyond my capabilities though.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 18, 2015, 10:48:56 pm
@Regrs
That looks neat ! Im not very good at hacking stuff that includes graphics tho, I ran into alot of problems just to show the MP  :-\. I don't understand why the developers didn't include lower-case letters like this.. the game suports it already, I think it would also be better if the letters where not all on the same line (might not be worth the effort tho), the japanese version must have many lines since there is so much "characters" in japanese , I wonder why they went for a single line with only upper-case letters  :huh: Thx for the character data values, some of them where unknown to me. About the ranged weapon critical rate do you know if there is also this kind of hard-coded modification to the ranged weapons hit-rate ? It seems to me that the javelin doesnt miss much but the hit-rate is the same as all other weapons in the weapons data.

@ze10
The problem with the offensive spells targeting the allies is that there is no way to know when you press R and enter "targeting-mode" if you are gonna cast an offensive or a defensive spell so I had to make all targets available. Since I made alot of testing im now very used to picking target this way and I do it very fast tho I agree that it could be improved. At first I wanted to use the L button for defensive spells and the R button for offensive but then I used L for the parry and im out of free buttons now. The default target is always the boy so if you want to cast an offensive spell, press left so that it targets the first enemy, using this method you can cast very fast on bosses (since there is only 1 enemy target). Also, since allies are always targetable (even if they are dead so you can cast the revifiy spell) one tap right always targets the girl and two targets the sprite, so you can do it pretty quickly. I think I should make it so when you press Right it cylces throught allies only and when you press left it cycles enemies only (or targets none if there is no targetable enemies), even if im used to it sometimes I target my allies with offensive spells when a boss goes out of the screen when quickly pressing R + left + hotkey. It could be possible to make it so when you cast from the menu the target is an enemy by default when using an offensive spell and that you can only target enemies and the same for defensive spells since in that case it is clear which spell you will cast.

About the multi-targeting, personally I didnt need it in my last playtrought, it added some difficulty but was not that bad, but since there is now a hard mode I think it could be a good idea to bring it back, it could work by pressing L when in target mode and depending on if your target is an ally or an enemy it would target all allies or all enemies, and you could press left/right to switch from all allies to all enemies too. I plan on rebalancing the spells so cure for example would heal less so the penality when multi-casting maybe could stay the same or depends on the spell. Multi target would make the saber spells (and other defensive spells) better too, I don't use them much with this hack since it can only work on 1 character and I have to wait for the magic recharging time so I waste a chance to use cure. To be honest, I kind of removed it because I was too lazy to implement it :P

About the target not beign clear, at first the target didnt flash and the only thing that showed the target was the face icon and I got used to it so since now the target flashes I find it clear but like I said I tested it so much that I might not be the best judge about this, maybe I could make it so the target has some palette effects (like when you use a fire spell on them and the sprite have a kind of "burning" effect so that the targets pops up more.

About the characters not beign able to cast not beign clear, I could make it so the spells are greyed in the menu and I plan to make it play an "error" sound when you try to cast with a character that is currently recharging as well as make it stay in target mode because as it is now its not clear why it didnt work and you might try it again before figuring out the character is recharging or doesn't have enough mana. I don't know how I could make it clearer that the characters are currently recharging, using a palette effect would be too much and I can't make a palette effect on the character face only since the face and the character sprite uses the same palette. Using the same effect as when recharging power% could be confusing. I could make it play a sound when a character is done recharging tho (different from when your power% hits 100) so that you don't have to look at the face icon since as it is now you always have to look at the face icon of the sprite when fighting a boss to see if it stops flashing so that you can cast another offensive spell as quickly as possible so you can't stay focused on the character you control.

Im very open to feedback, I want to make this hack as good as possible, so you don't have to feel like a hater. Feel free to post any other sugestions or issues you might find and im glad you like it thus far :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 19, 2015, 12:44:18 pm
@Regrs
That looks neat ! Im not very good at hacking stuff that includes graphics tho, I ran into alot of problems just to show the MP  :-\. I don't understand why the developers didn't include lower-case letters like this.. the game suports it already, I think it would also be better if the letters where not all on the same line (might not be worth the effort tho), the japanese version must have many lines since there is so much "characters" in japanese , I wonder why they went for a single line with only upper-case letters  :huh: Thx for the character data values, some of them where unknown to me. About the ranged weapon critical rate do you know if there is also this kind of hard-coded modification to the ranged weapons hit-rate ? It seems to me that the javelin doesnt miss much but the hit-rate is the same as all other weapons in the weapons data.

You don't have to hack any graphics to modify the naming dialog. Menu text boxes are easy to modify. All you have to do is supply coordinates and height/width and the engine does the rest. Breaking the letter array down into more lines isn't overly difficult either. Biggest thing is to keep the length of every line the same. Otherwise you have to do a lot of extra work to make sure the cursor doesn't scroll outside of the selectable range. Though to really add anymore lines you'd have to remove the help text box (Which doesn't exist in the JP version).

As far as I'm aware hit rate doesn't have any special modifications. Critical hit is the one with a bunch of special handling.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on August 19, 2015, 04:39:37 pm
For the spell targeting would it not be simplest to have left cycle through enemies, right cycle through allies, up targets all enemies, and down targets all allies?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 19, 2015, 08:01:10 pm
@Vanya
You're right, that would be way more simple.  :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on August 19, 2015, 10:11:16 pm
OMG if you could fix the all caps nonsense I would fly to Quebec and hug you myself zhade--I'd also go where ever Regrs is and hug him too

But seriously, I take about a week or so off of keeping up with this thread and you guys have practically reinvented the wheel with this hack.  I'm really looking forward to the finished product--just please make sure FuSoYa's font/text patch is still compatible please!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: dn on August 20, 2015, 12:22:01 am
Did you figure out the text encryption FuSoYa was using? I was going to start on a retranslation effort years back but ran into a brick wall with that, and ended up abandoning it since I didn't feel like trying to write a new VWF routine. I had most of the menus done, as well as spell names, enemy names, and misc text. Was all text work and no assembly work though.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Hiei- on August 20, 2015, 09:10:18 am
I already have a SoM hack with a working VWF, which will be released soon with the old english script (just need to modify the title screen, to reinsert the english intro text and to do an auto-formatting of the text to take advantage of the VWF, as it actually use the line breaks of the old script, so right now, mostly only the left part of the text box is used).

So the only thing missing to get an english retranslation with a VWF and uncensored stuffs is just a japanese to english translator to translate the japanese script.

And I'm actually working with zhade to have this version (VWF+Uncensored stuffs) compatible with his hack. Basically, he used the expanded part of the rom (16 => 24 MB) to put his routines there and I did the same for my modifications so I started to expand the rom to 32 MB and move all my modifications to the end of the rom, to leave empty the part of the rom he need for his hack.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: mziab on August 20, 2015, 03:12:27 pm
For what it's worth, I managed to crack the text encryption in FuSoYa's Secret of Mana VWF edition some time ago. There was also a simple checksum routine, which short-circuited the game if you removed FuSoYa's credit from the SMC header. The encryption itself wasn't anything special, but it took some time to figure out the control codes and make a clean dump. It's one of those games which has the dialogue sandwiched between a ton of event junk. Worse still, some control codes reset the decryption state, while others don't, so there was a huge amount of trial-and-error involved before I got everything right. Lastly, the pointer table was also encrypted in a similar way as the text.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Gi Nattak on August 20, 2015, 07:44:12 pm
A couple wishful ideas I've noticed while playing :D:

- make the character's naming screens have set by default: Randi, Purim, and Popoie. These are the 'official' names that SoM veterans can agree upon, imo it would flesh them out a little bit more just by having them already come with these names by default, like most RPGs. The player could always erase it and name them whatever.

- be able to move in any direction when running.

- increase the screen scrolling to kick in a bit sooner (like 25-50%) when the character moves about. As is, the character (leading) needs to be practically at the edge of the screen in order for it to scroll ahead, often resulting in running head first into a monster and getting hit without even seeing them.

Or, would this restrict the range of movement for the other characters...? If so than I understand why the scrolling is the way it is.

- apparently the targeting feature in the ring menu, aside from showing the name of the monster, is supposed to make the allies attack and target that monster specifically, but it really seems hit or miss to the point where I can't tell if it's in fact working - they seem to ignore me most of the time unless the monster is close to them... If possible to improve on it so when you select a monster to target the allies drop what they're doing and actually run over and attack the hell out of it lol, that'd be cool.

- have entering the ring menu not pause everything for hard mode. Would be nice to have this outside of battle also for the other difficulties, especially for 2-player. I suspect this might be out of the realm of possibility without some serious re-programming, but it's fun to think about lol.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 21, 2015, 01:55:59 am
@Gi Nattak
The default names is a good idea, I always name them like this anyway and I could use lower-case letters so that it is "Randi" and not "RANDI".

I've already tried to make it so you can move any in direction whille running but ran (no pun intended) into some problems (if you released the D-Pad you would stop). I could probably make it work but it made it very easy to pass-by enemies, in seiken densetsu 3 you can't run while in battle so it's not a problem. Maybe I could lower the running speed but IIRC when you walk you travel at 1pixel each frame and when you run you travel at 2 so I don't know if it would be possible. I could probably make switch between 1 and 2 every frames but it might be noticable and look bad.

You are not the first to ask about the the screen scrolling starting sooner, the problem is that the maps wrap-around so if the screen start to scroll sooner you will be able to see farther than you normally can and will see the other side of the map... Im currently working on making player-controlled character able to be farther apart and found the place in the rom where the screen scrolling is handled. I tried making it sooner but, as I thought, when on the edge of a map you can see the other side sometimes.. Its kind of hard to explain so heres a video that shows what happens Video (https://youtu.be/Uyukyo_6i7Y), In the video the scrolling starts way too soon but It was only to make sure that it will happen, some maps are smaller than others so if I change when it starts scrolling I would have to test all the maps edges..  I could make the screen stop so that you it doesnt wrap-around but in the moon palace the wrap-around thing is used. I think its the only place that this is used tho so if I find I way to know the map you are currently on it might be possible. It would not really restrict the other players that much (at least with how I made it possible to be further apart) if its not too soon video (too soon) (https://youtu.be/weEdpT6HzRc). Normally the screen starts to scroll when you are at about 1/5 of the screen, 1/3 or 1/4 would make it easier to see where you are going IMO.

About the targetting feature:
I never really used it personally when I played the game as a kid, but I tried it while working on this hack and I found it to be more useful than I thought (still not very usefull tho..). I think it just sets the character's current target, but doesnt "lock" it so if the character is closer to another enemy its target will automatically change. AI characters normally only start to target enemies when they are close tho so you can use the targeting thing to make them attack an enemy that is far and the AI character will walk towards it and attack it even if its far away (altho most of the time he will get stuck on a wall trying to get close to it -_-). Locking the target on your selection could be a good idea but I doubt people would really use it because AI-controlled characters are so bad anyway, you can't really relly on them and make a good strategy by setting their target.. I think I should make them start to attack enemies sooner tho so they don't follow you most of the time and end up attacking the same enemy as you. I guess the developpers made it so they attack only when very close so that they don't end up attacking enemies when you just want to pass-by them, but with how they now teleport to you when they are out of the screen that wouldn't be a problem. I think it would make them look more like players if they would spread out and attack enemies sooner, it could also help them because it seems their main flaw is that they just dont attack enough, putting their AI more towards "attack" seems to make them way better because on "defend" they just stand there and take hits, maybe if they aquired their target sooner they would also react sooner.

I don't think I make the ring menu not pause, The menu uses alot of sprites and I think that you would get major slow-downs if it didn't stop the gameplay. The developers had to remove alot of stuff from the game (since it was first developed to be on the nintendo-sony CD console) to make it run at 60FPS. There is already some slowdowns noticable in some towns where there is alot of NPCs (empire city for example) in this hack because of the additional stuff. The fight against the shadow version of Randi, Purim and Popoie already has some slowdowns in vanilla and its even worse with this hack. I also think they greyed the enemies because the menu icons used so many palettes that they reached the maximum available.

@magicMufflez
I don't know if this hack is currently compatible with FuSoYa's VWF but like Hiei said, he is working on moving his hack to another bank so that it is compatible with this and from what I have seen the VWF is really nice, it makes things alot easier to read. I think the naming would probably still work with his VWF even if I implement something like Regrs did but im not sure, if it makes things too complicated maybe the naming could use the old non-VWF but then in the game when the character would talk his name would use VWF anyway. The uncensored patch also brings back the badass-looking and harder version (acording to Hiei-) of the robot bosses (I think the first one is named killroy ?).

@Hiei-
I guess that by "MB" you mean megaBit (Mb) and not megaByte (MB) right ? Cuz a 32MB som rom would be like more than 10 times larger than the originial XD. Thx for moving your stuff to another bank btw, It would have been a pain to move mine because of my poorly designed homemade assembler  ::)

I got the "players can be farther apart"  feature working now : Video (https://youtu.be/0xdPR9gUbco). The players can go all the way to the edge of the screen. If an AI character follows a player that is close to the edge he might move towards an enemy that is not in the screen and end up being teleported back to the player but I think that wont happen very often and its still better than blocking players at 1/5 of the screen. When players are close to the edge and enter the ring-menu the menu has some icons missing (out of the screen) but the selected icon is always in the screen altho it can be behind the textbox but its not really a problem because the textbox is semi-transparent. I made it so you can't go down as much as the other direction so you don't end up behing the status bars that would have make it hard to see where you are. I also fixed the bugs with the AI teleporting when they were still in the sceen in the moon palace wrap-around room and shadow palace (a room is so close to the edge that the sceen coordinate goes below zero and messed with how I calculated the AI characters distance). The bug with the Pureland event is back tho since it works with the scrolling thing lol, I still have to find a way to fix that (again).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: vivify93 on August 21, 2015, 02:33:28 am
make the character's naming screens have set by default: Randi, Purim, and Popoie. These are the 'official' names that SoM veterans can agree upon
The iOS/Android version actually names them Randi, Primm, and Popoi. :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 21, 2015, 02:41:44 am
personally, I prefer Primm to Purim but Popoi and Popoie sounds the same to me (I don't really know how Popoie is suposed to be  pronounced in english tho, I kind of think of it like it would be pronounced in french which sounds like "Poh-pwha". I guess I would keep Purim tho since its the "official" english name (at least in the snes version).

Edit:
I managed to fix the pureland scrolling bug, it scrolls a bit farther than it did in vanilla but its not very noticable.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 21, 2015, 07:55:23 am
Death Machine (Kettle Kin in the US version) is the boss they censored. He had a chainsaw originally instead of being a palette swap of Kilroy.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheMagician on August 21, 2015, 10:22:04 pm
First, I would like to say that this mod is very fun.  I'm up to Mandala at the moment and have not had any issues.  I really like the changes to magic.  The ability to target your own characters with offensive magic makes leveling magic super simple.  I have a couple of comments though.

1)  Could you attempt to make weapons that say, "Effective against [blank]" actually work?  If you do get it to work, you might also consider changing the order of some effects.  For instance, the Dragon Buster sword is supposed to be effective against dragons.  However, you can't even get that sword until all dragon bosses are defeated.  (I think Dark Stalkers and Ninja Masters are dragons though, correct me if I'm wrong).

2)  The block feature (pressing L) is a neat concept, but I ultimately ignored it after the Mantis Ant boss in Potos.  Blocking with L is very hard to time correctly, and most of the time you have enough going on with manually targeting magic and trying to attack the enemy.  Personally I think the feature would be better replaced with something else.  I would suggest some sort of invincible roll that distances you from the attack (I'm pretty sure animations for that exist).

3)  I saw you mention this before, but I would really welcome changes that differentiated the weapons a little bit more.  I love the idea you had with the Javelin; making the weak attack a melee attack and the strong attack a throw.  I can see this being hard to implement though, and even if you did wouldn't that make the real Spear just an inferior Javelin at that point?

The Glove is in some serious need of change too.  At the moment, its super short range just makes it completely subpar to every other weapon.  The Glove should be a fast hitting weapon too.  I suggest having it's attacks recharge very fast (start the stamina gauge at 50-75%), but giving it a reduction in power.  I feel like it should be a combo weapon with punches and kicks flying everywhere.  Also, in the original game the Glove attacks would randomly grapple and throw enemies.  Is there anyway you could still include that feature or maybe even make it executable on command?

The Axe is also another weapon in need of overhaul.  It's pretty much an inferior Sword.  I'm not sure what could be done to differentiate it though.  The easy thing to do would be to just give is a flat damage increase to make it more appealing than the Sword if you learn to get good with it.

4)  I like being able to choose between a strong and a weak attack.  However, I think the controls for them should be switched.  More often than not, I am pressing a directional button while attacking.  It's actually more difficult to position myself, then stop moving completely, and attack.  This makes the strong attack the default attack usually.  I feel like the weak attack should be default, and the strong should be harder to execute.  I suggest having the weak attack be Direction+Attack instead.  I'd be interested in hearing what others think though.

5)  It might be beyond the scope of this mod, but do you think you could fix the weapon orbs issue?  The Glove and Axe come up one orb short a piece by the end of the game.  Somewhere around mid game (when you get Flammie), they both seem to be missing an orb for the rest of the game.  Would it be very hard to change the contents of one of those 1000GP chests you find in the palaces to give you these orbs instead?

All in all, great job with this mod and I really look forward to more changes!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KillerBob on August 21, 2015, 11:28:12 pm
I already have a SoM hack with a working VWF, which will be released soon with the old english script (just need to modify the title screen, to reinsert the english intro text and to do an auto-formatting of the text to take advantage of the VWF, as it actually use the line breaks of the old script, so right now, mostly only the left part of the text box is used).

So the only thing missing to get an english retranslation with a VWF and uncensored stuffs is just a japanese to english translator to translate the japanese script.
This sounds pretty damn amazing! Is the English version of the title screen still the one used as a base in your hacks? If so, would you consider to restore the Japanese title screen? Perhaps difficult to accomplish, but the English version of it was IMO a bastardization.

(http://i.imgur.com/Yk7oxO5.png)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 21, 2015, 11:41:14 pm
@TheMagician

1) I would probably be able to make it work, the enemies have their type set and these weapons when equiped do set a value in the characters data that stands for which enemy type your weapon is strong against. So it would be easy to make it work. Ill look at the order too.

2) At first I wanted to make the L button a dodge that would make you do the back-flip animation, but there is no such animation when facing up/down so thats why I chose to make it block instead. Its hard to use against melee attacks because the attacks are praticaly instantaneous so you have to start to block before the enemy attack. I didnt use it much on my first playthrough but with the hard difficulty it gets useful because of how fast the enemies attack. It is very good against projectile weapons tho like the chobin arrows since they charge-up their bow before attacking and you can start to block while the projectile is traveling towards you.

3) I will try my best at making the javelin do a slash for the weak attack, Ill probably find a way to make it work somehow. I don't think it will make it a better spear since the spear is the weapon with the highest attack power and has a good range when using the thrust attack which can damage multiple enemies.

For the axe, since its pretty much the same as the sword, I thought of raising the critical hit rate to make it different.

It could be nice to have the gloves attack faster like you said. Normally when enemies are on the ground/uncounsious and you attack them you sometimes do a level1 charged attack instead of a regular attack. I think the gloves do the throw instead. The way I implemented the weak/strong attacks came in conflict with this, I thought it was OK because some level1 charge attacks are slow and you might not want to do it but I could find a way to make the throw work again.

4) I find it hard to do the weak attack too sometimes, you have to wait a bit after immobilizing yourself for it to work. I still think putting the strong attack on A would be better but its already used for running and people seemed to prefer that I keep it. I could make the A button run only when in places where you dont have your weapons drawn (like in towns), that way I could also make the "running in every direction" since it would not make it too easy to run from enemies. But if I keep the current controls, since the strong attack is a thrust for most weapons, I think it feels more natural for it to be on direction+attack.

5) All weapon orbs are obtainable (all but 1 for the sword). List of all orbs locations (http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/snes/som/weapono.shtml) . Some enemies in the last area give you the last orbs for all weapons and if you missed some you can get more from them.

Edit : I just noticed while looking at the link to the orb locations that I posted that for some weapons you have to get 2 from the enemies in the mana fortress, so I guess its what you meant. I could probably change some chests to give you orbs but I don't remember chests giving money other than the one in potos village and 3? in pandora. I think it would make the axe and gloves have 1 more orb than the other weapons for some time if you obtain them in pandora but since those 2 weapons are not used much, I think it would be actually be a good thing.

@KillerBob
Wow, the japanese title screen really looks nice  :o It looks to me like they didnt have the background image without the name so they just used the lower part of the image, stretched it and added "secret of mana"... I hope im wrong and the background is seperate from the name so that it is possible to bring it back tho.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KillerBob on August 22, 2015, 01:15:04 am
Wow, the japanese title screen really looks nice  :o It looks to me like they didnt have the background image without the name so they just used the lower part of the image, stretched it and added "secret of mana"... I hope im wrong and the background is seperate from the name so that it is possible to bring it back tho.
If I remember correctly, the logos aren't part of the background, they both move upwards in frame while the black frame opens up to reveal the Mana Tree (or it is the background that scrolls behind it). The orange part of the Japanese logo is animated as well, it looks very nice. No idea why the change was done. Perhaps they wanted to draw more focus on the characters of the game, but the zoomed in picture wasn't nice towards the artwork.

Btw awesome work on this, zhade!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on August 22, 2015, 04:53:27 am
This sounds pretty damn amazing! Is the English version of the title screen still the one used as a base in your hacks? If so, would you consider to restore the Japanese title screen? Perhaps difficult to accomplish, but the English version of it was IMO a bastardization.

(http://i.imgur.com/Yk7oxO5.png)

Isn't it sad, that our trio never gets that close to the unharmed Mana Tree, but instead see it from the horizont, while Thanatos blasts it to charcoal?

Atleast in Seiken Densetsu 3 you get to the tree once, before the big bad goes to destroy it later in the game.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on August 22, 2015, 07:38:53 am
5) All weapon orbs are obtainable (all but 1 for the sword). List of all orbs locations (http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/snes/som/weapono.shtml) . Some enemies in the last area give you the last orbs for all weapons and if you missed some you can get more from them.

Edit : I just noticed while looking at the link to the orb locations that I posted that for some weapons you have to get 2 from the enemies in the mana fortress, so I guess its what you meant. I could probably change some chests to give you orbs but I don't remember chests giving money other than the one in potos village and 3? in pandora. I think it would make the axe and gloves have 1 more orb than the other weapons for some time if you obtain them in pandora but since those 2 weapons are not used much, I think it would be actually be a good thing.

The missing Glove Orb (And a Sword Orb) are located in the Grand Palace. You have to no-clip though a wall in order to get them.

(http://i.imgur.com/uncCRpl.png)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheMagician on August 22, 2015, 10:25:58 am
The missing Glove Orb (And a Sword Orb) are located in the Grand Palace. You have to no-clip though a wall in order to get them.


Yea, that was kind of my point.  Those orbs are, for all intents and purposes, unobtainable.  And the Axe orb is simply MIA.


@TheMagician

5) All weapon orbs are obtainable (all but 1 for the sword). List of all orbs locations (http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/snes/som/weapono.shtml) . Some enemies in the last area give you the last orbs for all weapons and if you missed some you can get more from them.

Edit : I just noticed while looking at the link to the orb locations that I posted that for some weapons you have to get 2 from the enemies in the mana fortress, so I guess its what you meant. I could probably change some chests to give you orbs but I don't remember chests giving money other than the one in potos village and 3? in pandora. I think it would make the axe and gloves have 1 more orb than the other weapons for some time if you obtain them in pandora but since those 2 weapons are not used much, I think it would be actually be a good thing.


There are a lot of chests which give 1000 GP.  There's 1 or 2 in the Fire Palace and at least 1 in the Dark Palace.  However, if I remember correctly, I think they are coded to give you orbs if you are deficient in an orb, or 1000GP if you have enough orbs.  It's like if you skip the chests in Pandora, when you get to Santa's house the chest with the Spear orb will actually reappear and give you another spear orb so that you are up to par.

I always found it funny how the game could include fail-safes like that in order to make sure you have the correct number of orbs, but then completely ignore the fact that the Axe and Glove are always 1 orb behind everything else from about Flammie onward.

August 22, 2015, 10:32:29 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
"B for weak, Y for strong (X used for own menu and X again to change to other characters menu)"


This is the best option I think.  I always found having two menu buttons extremely redundant.  The new magic casting system also lessens the amount of times you actually need to go into the menu too.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on August 23, 2015, 08:10:53 pm
Hi all,
First, just wanted to say thanks you everyone working on this (especially Zhade) because SoM is one of my favorite games from my childhood and I love coming here every day to see what's happening!  :thumbsup: (I have been here, just never posted)

Anyway, don't know if this is possible but with the block button, (L isn't is?) it would be great if each weapon had it's own unique use for that button. For example, sword could dodge, axe could block, gloves could throw, that way each weapon has it's own characteristic and more of a reason to choose it. Some moves would obviously be better than others, so throw for example could have a much larger recharge, and block would have basically no recharge as it is now. Don't know if this can be implemented separately like that, but would be amazing if it was possible.

With running, as others mentioned, it would be great to move in any direction in cities. I personally think its better to make it run that way all the time  (like in Secret of Evermore). Some people are saying that you can just run past everything easily but I don't see that as a bad thing. If you run past everything, you just won't level up and be strong enough to beat bosses and also there are always parts which are narrow and hard to run past. It should be up to the players strategy if they want to run or not. People wont be able to run in attack and run out due to stamina being emptied after run is released. I don't really use run that much, only on a long straight. I think it will be more fun for people who have played this game multiple times. Perhaps you can make it so run is disabled on hard mode.

I think the menu should be changed to X only though as it would free up a button for any future ideas people might think of to implement.

Also, I'm not really feeling the quick attack. Just feels like it's a bit useless. I didn't really mind the original random attack, but this improvement doesn't feel better or worse for me. I don't see the worth for it taking up an extra button though so I think the direction is enough. I'm probably wrong here seeing that I haven't tested it much, but if I attack faster with less damage doesn't that mean that you are doing less damage in total due to the enemies armor being applied each time? I guess it's just useful for weak enemies that die in one hit?

I gave this a go on the Korean version but didn't work (as you probably expected)

But yeah, amazing work guys, can't believe you are able to hack so much of this, usually people just give up half way so I'm so glad you guys are so dedicated! I'm a multimedia developer specializing in graphics and video. Doubt I can help here, but if you need me give me a shout. I'll try to play the whole game again sometime.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ze10 on August 23, 2015, 10:16:46 pm
I voted for other, because I didn't really care about strong/weak attacks. I just wanted to attack, and during gameplay, I didn't see a reason to switch between those two types of attack.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on August 23, 2015, 10:57:40 pm
In my opinion, the best option would either be B + forward for weak and just B for strong, or separate them into B and Y.

B + forward for weak and just B for strong makes sense logically, if you were in a real life situation it would make sense if you had to stop moving and focus to hit harder. However I can see how this would cause problems in-game, for example trying to position your character just right for the strong attack.

Separating into B and Y would eliminate said problems, but there's one small issue. This might be a stupid question due to me not remembering the original mechanics, but if X switched to another character window, how would you exit out the menus? If I remember correctly, the only way to exit out of menus is to open your menu and hit the X button or use an item or something. Does the A button exit the menus as well?

Excited for this project and will definitely try it out once it's completed.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 24, 2015, 03:14:18 am
@DragonArk
Different blocks/dodge for each weapon could be a good idea, but unfortunatly, There is no animation for the back-flip dodge facing up/down and it automatically makes you move left or right when the animation is played which would not be practical. So I can't see alot of variations possible. Maybe if I can find a way to move the players properly I could use the dodge animation and make you move back I thought of making the glove do a counter-attack if you sucessfully dodge an attack, It could make you throw the enemy if you dodge a melee attack, since melee attacks are hard to block/dodge it could have no recharge time at all and make the gloves way better and make you feel like a karate master (tho it wouldnt work against bosses). Aside from that I think other weapons should have either block or dodge (if I can make it work), if all weapons had a diffenrent dodge/block it could get confusing and im running out of ideas anyway.

As for the running I think you have a good point, even if it makes it easier to pass-by enemies, you wont get experience that way and in hard-mode you will need it badly anyway so it could be kept.

@DragonArk and ze10
The weak attack doesnt seem to be very popular, personnaly I use it sometimes with the sword and the spear because the attack is wider and some enemies only attack straight so you can stand in diagonal from them an attack without beign in their range. It also can attack multiple enemies at once better if they are not all lined up. With the sword , and the spear too (I think) the attack is a bit faster. The damage is lower and even tho it attacks faster it doesnt make up for the power of the strong attack so the strong attack is better because it deals more damage per second but the weak attack can be useful too sometimes. The weak attack can also be used when you want to start charging an attack since the power recharging time is lower you will start charging a bit sooner. I admit its not very useful with ranged weapons tho, I plan to make the javelin do a melee attack to make this better, maybe I could make the bow shoot farther with the weak attack and the boomerang could also have a melee attack (the boomerang already have a melee animation that is used with some charge attacks so maybe it would not be hard to pull off).

The korean version (since it uses other characters) most likely has some stuff that come in conflict with this hack. Btw is the korean version an official version or a fan-translation ?. If its a fan translation they most likely expanded the ROM and used the same space as i do for their routines. I think it should work with other languages tho as long as it uses the alphabet.

Thank you for you support ! im actually the only one really working on this altho people in here have helped me alot with beta-testing as well as feedbacks and gave me good ideas of stuff to improve. Regrs also sent me his code so that I can implement the "naming with lower-case letters" as well as a way to make the "Agrsomthing" boss chew characters and helped me grasp alot of things about the game mechanics. Hiei- is also working on making his re-translation with uncensored content work with this hack which will help improve the game.

@TheZunar123
Altho as it is now its harder to do the weak attack it makes sense to change it for the strong attack but , like I said before, since the strong attack is a thrust is seems to me that it feels more natural to have it on forward+B.

Im starting to think the best idea would be to use Y for the strong attack as it would make it easier to do the weak attack without removing the ability to run.

I really didnt think about it when I got the idea and you are right, the Y button is normally used to get out of the menu so if X is the only button used for the menu you would get stuck in the menu because pressing X again would only switch to a different character  :D. I could use the Y button make you go out of the menu tho since you cant attack in the menu anyway.

Update:
I just implemented something that makes it so you can't get hit while performing a charge-attack, it bothered me that sometimes you charged for a long time but an enemy hitted you and your attack got canceled.. I happens alot against the serpent bosses and its just not fun.. I didnt use chage attacks much because of this. It only works for physical attacks. I remember someone asked for this, IIRC it was SageOwl tho he might not have make it throught this wall of text  :D

Edit:
I tried to make it so that the screen start scrolling sooner and make the screen stop at the edges of the maps so that you don't see whats on the other side but unfortunaly some maps also have some messed-up graphics that we normally can't see because the screen doesnt scroll enough and some maps have those messed-up graphics start right where we can't see so I can't make the screen start scrolling sooner even by a small amount :( I would have to edit the maps to make them look good everywhere but I dont think the current state of someEdt makes it possible to edit maps properly..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Piotyr on August 24, 2015, 08:44:38 am
Not getting hit while charging attacks seems kinda op really.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on August 24, 2015, 09:43:24 am
Strong attack on Y makes sense, so if Y also exits the menu, I'm all for it. :thumbsup:

I kinda agree with Piotyr on the charging though. Maybe you could make it where you can get hit, but you don't lose your charge?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheMagician on August 24, 2015, 01:45:57 pm
@Zhade

I would have to agree with Piotyr as well.  Not being able to get hit while charging would be vastly overpowered.

I'm not sure what triggers it, but sometimes when you get hit you retain your charge as long as your keep holding the button.  Other times when you get hit, it resets your charge.  This may have been an intentional thing since Dispel is also able to remove your charge, and enemy AI (Hexus and Dark Stalkers) actively cast Dispel on charging units.

If you can find out what triggers it, you could perhaps make it so that your charge is never reset when you get hit by physical attacks.  Honestly, I kind of like the way it is though.  Charging is a gamble.  The pay off is huge, but you move more slowly, and you can actually lose the charge.  The current risk/reward ratio is pretty good I think.

I did like your idea about having the charge levels increase faster though.  It would be nice to have earlier charge levels go faster once your weapon level becomes higher.

Another idea I was thinking about, is the ability to store a charge.  What if, while charging, you could hit R and store the current charge?  Then the next time you press the attack button, the charge would be released.  I could see this having some issues with weapon changing though.  Store a level 8 sword charge, switch to javelin (say at level 1) and then release.  Of course the easy fix there is to reset any stored charges any time a weapon is changed.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 24, 2015, 04:56:58 pm
You still can get hit while charging, its when you release the button and actually perform the charged attack that you are invincible.

@TheMagician
I think you always keep your charge as long as you hold the B button until your character can move again when you get hit (someone correct me if im wrong). I know there is a glitch that makes you lose your charge when you step on a deactivated "door" (what normally makes you change maps, so I mean not only actual doors but cave entrance etc.. too). I first noticed this glitch while fighting the minotaur in the light palace, when standing close to the lower wall the charge sometimes reset at first I thought it was a bug in my hack but it happens in vanilla too. Its easy to trigger this glitch in the first area of PureLand when standing close to the lower part of the area, I guess there is an unused door there maybe it you were originaly suposed to get there from a door instead of from the air and instead of removing it they just deactivated it.

About storing a charge, I think the charge-locking feature that I plan to impement is kind of similar. When charging you would press A (or another button) to keep your current charge level, you would still have to hold the B button tho and you would still walk slowly like you normally do when charging. Storing a charge charge could be a bit OP if it makes you walk at normal speed when you have a charge stored because you could charge your max charge when entering an area, away from enemies, and then unleash it when you see an enemy. You can already do this but at least  its a bit harder because of the slow walking speed. The game already has a bug that makes you able to switch weapons while charging that can result in you beign able to use a charge that you don't have enough weapon level for or even make you charge beyond level 8 and unleash a 1-hit-boss-killing blow. I plan to fix this already so that people can't abuse it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on August 24, 2015, 06:43:02 pm
That makes sense. I approve.

The switch weapons glitch mentioned is abused in speedruns of the game and it's neat to see them tear through bosses with it, though I understand fixing it for this hack, especially for hard mode.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on August 24, 2015, 07:09:23 pm
@DragonArk
Different blocks/dodge for each weapon could be a good idea, but unfortunatly, There is no animation for the back-flip dodge facing up/down and it automatically makes you move left or right when the animation is played which would not be practical. So I can't see alot of variations possible. Maybe if I can find a way to move the players properly I could use the dodge animation and make you move back I thought of making the glove do a counter-attack if you sucessfully dodge an attack, It could make you throw the enemy if you dodge a melee attack, since melee attacks are hard to block/dodge it could have no recharge time at all and make the gloves way better and make you feel like a karate master (tho it wouldnt work against bosses). Aside from that I think other weapons should have either block or dodge (if I can make it work), if all weapons had a diffenrent dodge/block it could get confusing and im running out of ideas anyway.

As for the running I think you have a good point, even if it makes it easier to pass-by enemies, you wont get experience that way and in hard-mode you will need it badly anyway so it could be kept.

@DragonArk and ze10
The weak attack doesnt seem to be very popular, personnaly I use it sometimes with the sword and the spear because the attack is wider and some enemies only attack straight so you can stand in diagonal from them an attack without beign in their range. It also can attack multiple enemies at once better if they are not all lined up. With the sword , and the spear too (I think) the attack is a bit faster. The damage is lower and even tho it attacks faster it doesnt make up for the power of the strong attack so the strong attack is better because it deals more damage per second but the weak attack can be useful too sometimes. The weak attack can also be used when you want to start charging an attack since the power recharging time is lower you will start charging a bit sooner. I admit its not very useful with ranged weapons tho, I plan to make the javelin do a melee attack to make this better, maybe I could make the bow shoot farther with the weak attack and the boomerang could also have a melee attack (the boomerang already have a melee animation that is used with some charge attacks so maybe it would not be hard to pull off).

The korean version (since it uses other characters) most likely has some stuff that come in conflict with this hack. Btw is the korean version an official version or a fan-translation ?. If its a fan translation they most likely expanded the ROM and used the same space as i do for their routines. I think it should work with other languages tho as long as it uses the alphabet.

Thank you for you support ! im actually the only one really working on this altho people in here have helped me alot with beta-testing as well as feedbacks and gave me good ideas of stuff to improve. Regrs also sent me his code so that I can implement the "naming with lower-case letters" as well as a way to make the "Agrsomthing" boss chew characters and helped me grasp alot of things about the game mechanics. Hiei- is also working on making his re-translation with uncensored content work with this hack which will help improve the game.

@Zhade
Thanks for the reply, I'll try to keep this short! Instead of using the dodge animation, what about the throw animation (they are invincible when it happens right?), like when using the whip. Might cause people to go through walls and access areas without the whip though so I'm guessing not. Yes I agree, I think throwing with the gloves would just feel awesome and would be fun to use.

Yeah I guess if there is more variation in light and heavy attack it would be useful as you said. I actually only had time to use the sword, but ill have a go at the other weapons when I get time.

Yeah the Korean version is a fan translation so that's probably why.

Well thank you again, I hope you stay strong and keep working on this. This game means so much to many people. Really look forward to following your progress with this! I will have another review of your changes when I get time!
 :thumbsup:


Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: thzfunnymzn on August 24, 2015, 10:14:33 pm
Played Hard Mode very briefly. Just up to Pandora. I like the inceased pace of combat, and how I can defeat Mantis Ant w/out dying if I get in his face and block his physicals.

Have noticed that, with good timing, I can still stunlock whatever I want. Takes a while to rack up damage, probably less effective once enemies start multiplying, but just noting it.

Idea, dunno if it's feasible: Exchange the charge system for a system where you press a sequence of buttons to get a certain attack (more attacks unlocked at higher levels). Think Fighting games or Sabin's Blitzes (FFVI). Charging up is nice for a big strong attack, but it's kinda redundant to have 8 charge levels, esp. when some of the attacks have more interesting properties besides just "big, strong attack." Also, prevents walking around with a charge level all the time just to smack whatever enemy pops up next on screen. Again, dunno if it's feasible, or if there's any real balance need for it: I've only played up to the first town, and stunlocking Rabites & Mushrooms doesn't exactly reveal a whole lot.

I support this hack 100%. SoM is a fun game, but needs a lot of improvement, besides just a generic "stat boosts to all enemies."
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 26, 2015, 06:35:37 am
Unfortunaltly I dont have much time to work on this hack anymore, Im now working full-time at a new job and when I get home Im very tired but that doesnt mean I will stop working on this, just dont expect fast progress like when I first started. Since im kind of tired when I get home and dont have much time to tackle big features I worked on maping the characters/enemies data, I now have half of the values mapped (7EE000 to 7EE0FF) tho there is stilll alot of values in there that are I don't know how to use exactly, at least I know most of what they are used for. The other half will probably take less time to do as I already know alot of it,I will post the complete data map on datacrystal when im done with it, maybe some other SoM hackers will find use for it.

@TheZunar123
I didnt knew about the over-powered attacks glitch before I saw a speed-run, at first its funny to see how how they can kill bosses very fast but after some time it gets boring because I would have liked to see how they would have beaten boss fast without it but every speedrun uses this (because its clearly the fastest way). They would have abused magic anyway if it wasnt there so it would not really have been more fun to watch... but anyway since its a bug more than a feature I think it would be better if I remove it.

@DragonArk
If you mean using the animation that is played when using the whip checkpoints, it might work, at least it has an animation for all directions, Its a kind of jump followed by rolling on the ground, maybe I might be able to use the rolling animation as a dodge animation. I have no idea how the game will handle it tho. Its not a problem if it doenst make you invincible while doing it, the normal dodge animation doesnt, I had to make it work and the way I did it should work with any animation.

@thzfunnymzn
by stunlocking you mean attacking an enemy repeatedly so it can't move ? If it is the case I think its not that bad because later enemies have more def and I think they will dodge your attacks more often if you attack will low power%. The resulting damage is also pretty low so when enemies have more HP it takes alot of time to kill them that way. I could prevent you from attacking when you don't have 100% (personally I never do) but people seem to like beign able to attack at any time.

About changing the charge attack system for a "fighting game style special attacks" It could make charged attacks way to powerful once you get the hang of it and would be too different from the original game which would remove some of the nostalgia factor.

EDIT:
I made the weapons affinity work so now hitting an enemy that is weak to your weapon results in 50% more damage, same goes for sabers, if you hit with a fire weapon against and enemy weak to salamando, you deal 50% more damage. It works both ways, if you hit an enemy that is stong against your weapon element you will deal only 50% of the damage. 50% more damage is kind of a lot, I still need to test to see if its too much, but tweaking it is the easy part  ;)

------------------------------------
Edit2:
I've managed to make the AI controlled characters more agressive, they start to attack enemies when they are farther and it really seems to help them. Here's a video that shows the difference : Video (https://youtu.be/unT7aiNoOwI) at first the AI is normal and then (when I load a state) I set it so they are more agressive.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on August 30, 2015, 08:16:10 pm
Regarding the video for the AI, it looks really good. Will you integrate it into the current AI system menu so players can choose how aggressive they want the AI to be?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on August 30, 2015, 09:59:47 pm
Great work with the AI, I am impressed. Weapons affinity sounds great as well.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 31, 2015, 03:33:56 am
@DragonArk
Yeah I thought about making it relative to the Approach/Stay away parameter, I still cant find where those are stored in the characters data tho. Theres still some problems to the method I used to make them more agressive, then have a tendency to try to attack enemies which are impossible for them to reach and get stuck in walls even more because of that. Making it relative to the Approach/Stay away could be enough, if the players find it annoying that they get stuck too much they could bring it down a little and if the players want them to attack as much as possible it could be raised even more than what was shown in the video.

I might be able to fix some other things too, the routine I changed to make them more agressive checks the distance between the character and a possible target and assign a value. for example the value is set to 01 if the enemy is close and that makes the character attack (if he has a melee weapon). The routine is used by enemies as well as AI characters and only has 6 different values so 6 different behaviours depending on the distance from the enemy. As far as I know the changes to the value makes those behaviour:

01,very-close : attack (melee weapons), get back (ranged weapons)
02,close : attack (sword, axe, spear), get back (ranged weapons), approach (gloves)
04,mid-close : attack (spear), attack ranged, approach (melee)
08,mid-far : approach
10,far : follow leader
30,very far : follower leader

In the video I changed "far" to "mid-far" so that they start to approach sooner
I dont know if you guys noticed but the AI always has over-estimated the range of the spear (as well as other weapons but I think the spear is the worst), I guess its because of how enemies and AI characters use the same distance checker so if the AI is at "mid-close" to its target he starts to attack even tho he could be too far. I think I could change the distances depending on which weapon the AI is holding so that they never overestimate the range (that way they would also know about the bow's new range).

I also noticed something kind of interesting about how AI characters attack their target, it seems that they calculate the number of steps needed to get close enough to attack before they start to move. So if the target is two steps aways, but behind a wall, they will do two steps into the wall and swing their weapon (even tho they cant reach the target since they didnt move because of the wall). So I guess If the enemy moves after they calculated their steps needed they will go where the target once was and swing their weapon at nothing. Its not so bad because they move pretty fast but it makes them look even more dumb when they swing their weapons at a wall again and again :P The enemies probably also work the same.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on August 31, 2015, 07:19:11 pm
That's interesting, I guess rewriting the AI to go around objects would be too much work. If you are worried about your team mates getting stuck, you could have them use the animation of when you step near a whip-jump spot when the player presses for example L+R or holding select or something.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KingMike on September 01, 2015, 03:22:30 pm
@KillerBob
Wow, the japanese title screen really looks nice  :o It looks to me like they didnt have the background image without the name so they just used the lower part of the image, stretched it and added "secret of mana"... I hope im wrong and the background is seperate from the name so that it is possible to bring it back tho.

It's a separate BG layer from the title/text.
But for some reason there's a blurry area that the Japanese logo covers up nicely.
(http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/sd2jpnotitlebg_zpsidazivtr.png)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on September 01, 2015, 07:06:04 pm
If anyone can dump the raw background from the Japanese version, I should be able to fix that blur.

[EDIT: if possible, no birds and titles :) ]
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 01, 2015, 10:54:53 pm
@DragonArk, thx but someone already beat you to it.  ;) ExL PMed me this fixed background:

(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/som%20title%20bg%20fixed_zps43esq3ve.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/som%20title%20bg%20fixed_zps43esq3ve.png.html)(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/som%20title%20bg_zpsrftrdbpk.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/som%20title%20bg_zpsrftrdbpk.png.html)

I think it looks pretty good, there seems to be some slight imperfections where the bluring was but with the title infront of it would look perfect IMO.

I don't know if its dumped from the originial japanese rom directly and if it could be inserted into the game easily, I never imported an image file to a ROM but I guess there are utilities for that. Im trying to find one right now, but cant seem to find one for SNES, do you guys know any good one ?

Edit: I managed to transform the image to the snes format but unfortunatly the game uses some compression on the title-screen so I would need to compress it before I re-insert it. There is a decompressor available here : Seikend densetsu 2 on snesdev (http://wiki.superfamicom.org/snes/show/Seiken+Densetsu+2) but no compressor so I will have to write my own using the instructions on the same webpage but Its not really well explained (at least for someone not used to working with compression)

Update:
I've worked on the charging-related features today, I've got the faster charging working and the charge-locking too. I also made it impossible to enter spell-targeting mode while charging so you can use R to strafe like in vanilla. The faster charging has 3 speed, 2x, 1.5x and normal 1x, right now you charge at 2x when your current charge level is below half of your max charge level, 1.5x if its half of higher and 1x if you are charging your last charge. I can't make the charging speed more than 2x unless I do some major gfx hacking but 2x is pretty fast anyway. The charge-locking works perfectly, at first I wanted to make it is so the charging bar shows your last fully-charged level when you press A to lock it but I think its better that it just freezes where it is and if you change your mind and press A again you can resume charging where you left off. Here a video showing the new charge features : Video (https://youtu.be/vywsIorXsek)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on September 03, 2015, 02:54:29 am
Some suggestions
Swap dark force and evil gate spell animations
Allow snowmen to be hit, making ice saber useful
Change thunder saber cost to 1 MP and let it inflict confusion
Change light saber cost to 2 MP and let it inflict sleep
Change flame saber cost to 3 MP

BTW, is there a ROM address I can edit on a hex editor so I can reduce only the cooldown of spells for the girl?
I wanna try something... Unusual
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 03, 2015, 03:15:39 am
@ChemaROMhacking

why swap the dark force and evil gate animations ? because evil gate looks cool and is not of much use usually ? Evil gates looks like a gate or some kind of portal so it makes sense to me that it uses that current animation.

Hitting snowmans would be nice, ill try to make this work, enemies wont be turned into snowman as ofter when I reduce the saber effects chance so it wont make things too easy anyway.

Thunder saber inflicting confusion is a good idea, I dont know how enemies behave when confused but at least they would also not be able to cast spells. I thought about making it raise the crit rate but no sabers give confusion and sylphid is the element that has the silence spell so it makes sense.

I dont think there is a sleep status effect but uncounsious is kind of the same and light saber has no status effect so it would make sense.

Flame saber is indeed better than others because of the added damage when engulfed and IIRC you can still hit enemies when they are in flames and unable to move so raising the cost seems logical.

About the cooldown, no the cooldown is set with the same instructions for all characters but It could be changed easily for you so you can try your ... unusual thing :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on September 03, 2015, 04:06:31 am
Well, the swapping has more to do with breaking redundancy than it looking cool
Burst it already a recolor of Explosion, that and the long animation wouldn't be present anymore
Sure you can just swap the damage formulas if it is easier on you considering text editing is not a good idea for now

I would be grateful if you do separate instructions for both characters, just make sure it won't be time consuming, or worse, bring up glitches
If so, the ram address will do nicely

I wanna try a test playthrough focused on multiplayer, teamwork and "character role"
Making scenarios where the boy is on the front line soaking the most damage and distracting dangerous enemies away from the sprite and girl; the sprite on the middle attacking and casting spells when available; and last but not least, having the girl on the back constantly buffing the other two so they don't die on 1~2 hits and healing when needed

From matango onwards only the boy would upgrade the body armor, sprite gets the helmets and girl the armlets

EDIT: confused enemies walk and attack on the opposite direction
For example, zombies and werewolves moonwalk away from you while chobbin hoods and mad mallards moonwalk towards, shooting their projectiles away from you in a desperate attempt to attack you

EDIT 2: Suggestion
Why not make character attack when you release the button?
That way we could go straight to charging weapon instead of having to swing on the air and wait for the stamina % to refill
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Da_GPer on September 04, 2015, 06:12:55 pm
I was wondering, are you guys going to be working with the group that is working on the retranslation and expansion? You can find there topic at http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,19920.0.html (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,19920.0.html).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 05, 2015, 08:49:57 pm
@ChemaROMhacking
Oh, did you mean change burst for evil gate ? You mentioned dark force in the other post.
Burst is a bit different from explosion because of how it "explodes" on Popoie and then on the enemy, it uses the same graphics tho
The Dark force animation is long indeed.
EDIT:
I will try to speed-up all spells animations if possible so that character and enemies are frozen for less time.

Ill set the girl and the sprite's magic recharging time seperatly so you can edit the ROM values if you want. Ill include this in the next version which I should post here soon, maybe later tonight. The magic recharging values are stored in RAM as a kind of timer that gets decremented every frame once set and when it hits zero the character can cast again, so if you modify the RAM values with a cheat-code you would only be able to remove the magic recharging time all together or make it last forever.

Its nice to know enemies actually get confused

About releasing the button to attack, I dont like it much because it would make the attack delayed a bit since it would only start to attack when you release the button instead of when you press it.

Update:
I found where the ACT values are stored. I thought it would be checked when an AI character aquire a target to know if he should attack or flee etc.. but instead it seems to change the AI script the character uses so I can't set it to higher values than what is normally possible or change it during gameplay. I wil be able to use the value to change when the AI characters start approaching targets tho.

I noticed something weird that I didnt know about ACT settings. Changing the settings make some changes to stats  :huh: For example if you set you ACT value to Approach/Attack (top left corner) you will have 1 bonus Strenght and Agility. It affects only STR, AGI and CON. If the ACT position is not on an edge no stats are changed. It works for players too so you can customize your stats a bit (1point doesnt change much tho).

The values are affected like this:
Attack (STR)
Approach (AGI)
Guard (CON)
Keep Away (AGI too)

If your act is located at max setting of a behaviour you will get +1 in the associated stat
If your act is located at min setting of a behaviour you will get -1 in the associated stat
since AGI is affected by both Approach and Keep away, you will get +1 if your act is located on the top or bottom line

So it seems you should put the ACT on the top or bottom line (max approach or max keep away) so you get a free AGI, you can then choose to go all the way left for a bonus STR but you will lose 1 CON or go all the way right for a bonus CON and -1 STR or you can stay in the middle 2 squares so that you only get the bonus AGI.

For players, the stats are only affected when the stats are refreshed like when you switch weapon, enter a new area or gain a level.
You can also switch character so that your character is controlled by AI which automatically sets the stats bonus.

I have no idea why they have put this in the game as it doesnt change much but I noticed the stats changing for no apparent reasons when switching characters some time ago but now I know why  :)

EDIT:
@Da_GPer
I don't think so, I already don't have as much time as I would want to work on this project.
I can provide them with information about the location of stuff in the ROM or RAM if they need it tho.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on September 05, 2015, 10:22:48 pm
I meant swap Dark Force and Evil Gate because:
A) Dark Force shares graphics with Burst and Explosion
B) Dark force slow animation

Sorry for being ambiguous

I suggest you give the "tap to attack, hold to charge" a try
It may delay your attacks early on, but latter on the game you rely more on charged attacks, specially during boss battles and Jock's cave

Thanks for giving each caster a separate instruction, I really appreciate it
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KillerBob on September 05, 2015, 10:33:55 pm
It's a separate BG layer from the title/text.
But for some reason there's a blurry area that the Japanese logo covers up nicely.
How weird, wonder what the reason for the blurry area was.

A side-by-side video comparison between versions for the curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7QjVcdC8sA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7QjVcdC8sA) The English one didn't just replace the background and replace the logo, it seems to have been reprogrammed from the ground up - different timing and pattern of the flock of birds flying past the screen for example. I recall the looping of the intro being slightly awkward in the English version as well.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on September 06, 2015, 08:28:04 am
I don't think so, I already don't have as much time as I would want to work on this project.
I can provide them with information about the location of stuff in the ROM or RAM if they need it tho.

I am still looking forward to the day, we will join forces and create a badass Seiken Densetsu 2 which will rock.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PhyChris on September 06, 2015, 01:36:04 pm
ever think of removing weapon charging entirely and replace charge lvl attacks with button combos like street fighter or mortal kombat 'learn a new combo each weapon upgrade or character lvl'
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on September 06, 2015, 06:47:25 pm
Another idea for charging could be using level or agi to speed up the charge rate or if you are really dedicated to this, you could put in a hit meter which charges when you hit or get hit.

Wish Nasir (SoM programmer) would come out of hiding and help, lol
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on September 07, 2015, 12:52:51 am
ever think of removing weapon charging entirely and replace charge lvl attacks with button combos like street fighter or mortal kombat 'learn a new combo each weapon upgrade or character lvl'
Sounds impractical.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on September 07, 2015, 07:34:26 pm
Sorry I posted this in the other SoM thread, just posting it here too because I want to make sure everyone is aware of this information!
-------
Hey guys,
a while ago I was looking into the missing content and found a few videos and pictures that most likely came from the beta or CD version. If you have a look at the Japanese manual, there is a world map picture that was probably made during when the CD version was being made. I have a physical copy of the Japanese manual if you want me to scan it so you can see the extra paths and areas they were going to create.

Here are some references to some extra footage of the game that wasn't included in the final game (some of it just looks like beta versions of used maps):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8ObmJ0x4_A (look at 1:45 for a quick example)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSWYkRJRSs4

Some pictures here too:
http://pantalytron.com/blog7.php/mein-kommentar-zu-definitive-ressource
http://pantalytron.com/blog7.php/definitive-ressource-secret-of-mana-2
http://www.flyingomelette.com/oddities/oddities25.html
http://www.unseen64.net/2008/06/08/secret-of-mana-snes-beta/
https://tcrf.net/Secret_of_Mana


I also made some quick observations for each map using Mop's secret of mana editor (They are very rough). You can see my 2013 post here - http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=7789
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 08, 2015, 02:30:09 am
(http://www.unseen64.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/sombeta02.jpg)

4 player option ! that would have been crazy. I thought they droped the idea when they switched to SNES but seeing as they talk about the mode 7 it must have been removed later (probably to keep the game running at 60fps).

The path to the water palace/neko is way shorter than what is shown on the map, there probably was some areas that were removed there. That would also explain why there is a canon that goes from potos to the water palace, because now its actually faster to walk if you dont attack enemies. Those shown in the video have the same tileset so it might have been it. It seems early in development tho so it might have been test-maps or other removed areas.

Did you guys ever notice the beaches on the map ? It seems like there was a water vehicle of some sort planned because of how they are connected to places where you can actually go. I made a (quite-long) post about my speculations of how it was suposed to work on the acmlm board : post (http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?pid=160475#160475).

-----------------------
EDIT:

New beta version ! heres the list of changes:
- players can be farther appart
- bosses have more HP on hard (twice as much, they)
- characters are invincible while performing a charged attack
- fixed the CPU teleport bugs
- working weapon affinity (+50% damage)
- saber damage is affected (+/- 50%) by enemies elemental type
- faster charging depending on weapon level
- charge-locking* (pressing A while charging)
- strafing (holding R while charging) now works

*I didnt implement resuming after charge locking yet

@ChemaROMhacking
Here are the adresses for the magic rechaging time:
There are 2 byte for each character that makes a 16-bit number. the first value is the high byte so for example if you set E0A18E to x05 and E0A188 to x0C the sprite (on easy) will have to wait x050C frames before he can cast again. The adresses are in snes highrom format, to convert them to "normal" adresses just change the first 'E' for a '2'. You probably wanted to play on easy but ill give you the adresses for hard too just in case.

Easy:
 Sprite: E0A18E, E0A188
 Girl: E0A1D6, E0A1D0

Hard:
 Sprite : E0A17A, E0A174
 Girl: E0A1C2, E0A1BC

@PhyChris
It would make it too easy to use high-level charges and deal alot of damage since you wouldnt have to wait for the charging.

@Killerbob
Hopefuly it wont make things harder to change the background, I have sent ExL's fixed background to -Hiei so he can try inserting it.
My guess for the blurry thing is maybe they had put the title in the background image at first but then didn't like how the title look (or wanted the title to appear on a black background before the tree background is shown) and made a new one but somehow didnt save the background seperatly and they had to fix it quickly so they removed the title, leaving a white empty space and since the new title didnt cover the empty space completely they blended the surrounding area to cover the empty space which resulted in the blurry area. Since the title covers most of it the blurry area the part that are visible dont look bad, but I guess thats why the english version used only the lower part of the image as the english title wouldnt cover it as much and it would have looked bad.
About the bird patterns, I noticed that in the english version they dont go behind the text, maybe they changed something and it caused trouble when the birds are behind the text ? (both version seem to use the same font tho..) Maybe its because of how the background is zoomed, the birds would have looked like they fly too low ?

-----
Edit 2:
Oops, heres the patch : V0.8 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/wc1a880wmtpryyz/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.8.zip?dl=0)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PhyChris on September 08, 2015, 11:08:07 am

@PhyChris
It would make it too easy to use high-level charges and deal alot of damage since you wouldnt have to wait for the charging.


This hack is great work. A friend and i tried to play this game coop a year or two ago but there are so many thing that slow the game down and charging is one of them. Later game it seems like all you do is wonder around the screen holding a button, steady dodging enemys. maybe put in an auto charge than when u hit the correct button you use the current auto charge attack lvl
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 08, 2015, 08:50:02 pm
@PhysChris
Auto-charge would make things too easy because you wouldnt be slowed-down like when you normally charge. I prefer the idea that someone posted earlier about making the charge bar go up when you hit enemies and then press a button to release it. The problem is that you would not see your power% since its in the same place as the charge-bar and during bosses you would have to hit the boss many times to get your charged attack and some of them can only be hit during a short time. I think something that would be cool is to have some kind of technique points that recharges over time and when you hit enemies and then you would use some points when performing fighting game-style combos so that you cant use a level8 attack at all time if you are good at making the button combination. Altho I think it would be too different from the normal game for this hack and it would be hard to make the AI characters

Later game it seems like all you do is wonder around the screen holding a button, steady dodging enemys.
Yeah the game is not very hard normally so it gets repetitive after some point, at least now you have to dodge manually and on hard enemies being more agressive and hit hard you have to be careful and use a differnt strategy.
-------------------

Update:
I've worked on making the shoping faster. I've removed the confirmation and the "thank you" so now you buy (or sell) an item on a single button press. The only waiting time is for the money transfer sound effect to be played. You can also hold the B button to buy the same item until you are full. Heres a video comparison: Normal (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O5oSS6i1Ss&feature=youtu.be) , Improved (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loErJOuS-Zw&feature=youtu.be)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on September 09, 2015, 01:14:29 pm
the improved video is set to private.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on September 09, 2015, 01:50:56 pm
Two new scrolling issues have popped up
1) When Elliot kicks the boy's ass at Potos
2) When Potos' gatekeeper tells you to GTFO

Rest assured, they are not game breaking and the first one results in a more hilarious (The BOY crying "plz stahp" offscreen) and more coherent (you don't see Elliot unnecessarily walk around BOY) scenario; I presume it has to do with the "players now can be farther"

On hard mode, did you create a table where enemies call up new values (HP, attack, etc) or did you apply a multiplier?

BTW, thanks a lot for the spell casting tweaks
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 09, 2015, 04:51:11 pm
the improved video is set to private.
fixed

@ChemaROMhacking
Ill have a look at the potos events.
Hard mode uses multipliers, but mostly on you actually. Def and magic def is reduced for playable characters and HP is doubled for bosses.
Enemies' power% also recharges faster using a multiplier.

------------
Edit:
lol, just looked at the event when the guy gets beaten by Elliot, the camera moves up as if the beating was censored :P
I found out that in potos village, elliot and the other kid seem to take the RAM space normally only used by the girl and the sprite so my routine thinks the girl and the sprite are there so they keep the boy from moving the camera which causes this bug.

I fixed it by removing the checks when the camera is moved during events but that makes the pureland event glitched again...

In the event in pureland they added 3 sprites that looks like the boy,girl and sprite and made the party invisible and then to make the screen scroll they make the invisible boy walk up. Normally the screen stops even tho the boy still tries to go up, because the other 2 (hidden) characters are too low on the screen so the screen wont scroll. In the intro they did kind of the same thing, the boy is invisible and walks so the screen moves but in pureland instead of using the normal "character moving event" that works like : "Move boy up 8pixels", they trigger an animation. The animation is only the boy walking up for some time, but since the animation event is more like : "Play animation number 123" I can't change the distance the boy is walking to make him stop at the right time -_-. I tried changing the animation for a normal walk event, but the normal walk event has the character stop on walls.. Since I tried this I now found out there is an event flag to make characters walk through walls tho so it probably will work. I guess it worked so they didnt care but they really were lazy on that one..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on September 10, 2015, 03:25:40 pm
In the event in pureland they added 3 sprites that looks like the boy,girl and sprite and made the party invisible and then to make the screen scroll they make the invisible boy walk up. Normally the screen stops even tho the boy still tries to go up, because the other 2 (hidden) characters are too low on the screen so the screen wont scroll. In the intro they did kind of the same thing, the boy is invisible and walks so the screen moves but in pureland instead of using the normal "character moving event" that works like : "Move boy up 8pixels", they trigger an animation. The animation is only the boy walking up for some time, but since the animation event is more like : "Play animation number 123" I can't change the distance the boy is walking to make him stop at the right time -_-. I tried changing the animation for a normal walk event, but the normal walk event has the character stop on walls.. Since I tried this I now found out there is an event flag to make characters walk through walls tho so it probably will work. I guess it worked so they didnt care but they really were lazy on that one..

The game does this all the time. There are cutscene versions of each character and the real characters are turned invisible and moved around to control the camera.

Also the normal movement command should work fine. No-Clip is already enabled while that cutscene is playing. (Randi actually uses the normal move/directional command to walk back into the cliff face).

Edit:
Just tested it. Change the animation command to a movement command that tells the lead character to move north 32 pixels and the cutscene will play properly again.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 10, 2015, 10:18:00 pm
Moppy has transfered his somEdit ownership to Enker so we might see some updates soon :) Enker is the guy who made the site with the game dissassemblies that helped do this hack, he seems to know a whole lot about the game inner-workings so he is probably the best person to continue the project !

@Regrs
You are right, it works fine, last time I guess I tried moving up 0xF and the (invisible) boy stoped right at the edge of the cliff so I thought no-clip was disabled  :banghead:.

--------------------------
Edit:
I Just found something interesting while continuing my mapping of the characters data, AI characters seem to have a "reaction time" value, its set to 0x0A or 0x05 (depending on the situation) by default and if I bring it down all the way to 01 the AI characters attack as soon as they are close to their target making them much better. They also get back faster and seem to evaluate their distances better. I think the same can be changed for enemies so I might be able to make enemies react faster too at higher difficulties so they would not only attack more often (what I call agressiveness) but they will also react faster so you will have to be quick when you are close to them because they wont hesitate to attack.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on September 14, 2015, 01:46:45 am
That sounds great! It would make gameplay a bit more interesting in hard mode. Hope that gets implemented :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Whedonesque on September 14, 2015, 07:20:45 am
Awesome to find this thread. I've tried tinkering around with Moppy's editor but it glitched too much for me, but then I'm not much of a coder.

I'm a good writer, however. I'd be extremely interested in refining the game's dialogue a little, if you sent me a file in a format I could tinker with. Then I would post my alternative script and people could vote whether or not they approved of it. :) I don't think a total rewrite would be popular, but giving everything a little more charm would be worthwhile. Feel free to email me, or I'll check back in this thread. I'm also very happy to help in a play-testing and stat-balancing capacity. I grew up on this game and must have played it through 20 times ;).
 
Apart from that offer, all I'd like to say is I would prefer that the implemented changes may be individually toggled 'on' or 'off'. That way someone who likes some of the changes is able to play with them without being forced to accept the others. :d
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on September 15, 2015, 10:06:10 pm
Awesome to find this thread. I've tried tinkering around with Moppy's editor but it glitched too much for me, but then I'm not much of a coder.

I'm a good writer, however. I'd be extremely interested in refining the game's dialogue a little, if you sent me a file in a format I could tinker with. Then I would post my alternative script and people could vote whether or not they approved of it. :) I don't think a total rewrite would be popular, but giving everything a little more charm would be worthwhile. Feel free to email me, or I'll check back in this thread. I'm also very happy to help in a play-testing and stat-balancing capacity. I grew up on this game and must have played it through 20 times ;).
 
Apart from that offer, all I'd like to say is I would prefer that the implemented changes may be individually toggled 'on' or 'off'. That way someone who likes some of the changes is able to play with them without being forced to accept the others. :d
You should look at the retranslation thread and read some of the links he has posted there about the backstory of Secret of Mana as it will give you insight into the project being done. Simply put: Secret of Mana was not initially intended to be what it ended up as. I'm sure if your writing is up to snuff then you could be of use there, especially if you can translate.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Whedonesque on September 16, 2015, 05:44:49 pm
I am actually a professional translator... Unfortunately I could only translate from European languages [German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English], and not Japanese ;). I had a look at the thread earlier and it looks like an admirable project. However, my own ambition lies more in the line of 'improving' the original game while fully allowing for artistic license, without any particular need to take into account the vision the original script-writers have. I think it's fair to say that even in the Japanese version, the story was never an especially strong point of the game, and I would aim to change that. Effectively, I think it would be easier and more successful to edit the script so as most conversations contain effectively the same meaning as they currently do but with radically different text, rather than attempting an alternative and superior translation.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 17, 2015, 04:27:18 am
I've been looking at enemies/cpu controlled characters AI scripts these days, I now understand how it works in general, Ive only looked at the green drop' AI as of now because it has a lot less scripts than the cpu characters but Ive got the most used opcodes figured out so Ill look at the characters AI and see what I can improve. I think the "reaction time" I was talking about is actually how much time to do an action, actions can be something like "attack", "move towards target", "stay idle" etc. Reducing the time makes the AI better because for example if an enemy is moving towards its target for 3seconds, but after 1second it is right next to its target, it will still continue to walk towards the target for 2sec and only then "think" of what it should do next and attack. No action take 3seconds tho so for the most part its not very noticable. I might change the cpu AI action times manually to make them as good as possible and use a divider for the enemies depending on the difficulty setting.
There is also a distance factor that changes how the AI behave. Its kind of what I used to make cpu characters attack enemies that are farther, but now instead of changing what is considered, close, mid, far etc.. I could change what the AI actually does depending on the distance factor. Its kind of hard to work with tho, I can really add more lines unless I move all the AI scripts to another bank so ill most likely do only small changes here and there.

@Whedonesque
-Hiei is working on a retranslation of the game, I beleive he uses most of the original english script but brings back some dialogues that were cut and some that were censored.
Thanatos-zero and RedScorpion are working on a retranslation and expansion of the game and they would like a retranslation from japanese to english, I beleive -Hiei has a translation from japanese to french that is close to the original and translated the bits that were cut to english from it. French is an european language so I thought you might know some even tho you didnt list it ?
Personally french is my first language but even tho im not bad in english, I dont think I would do a really good job translating it.
One of my friends is a professional translator from english to french but he never played the game so It could turn out wrong and I don't know if he would be interested anyway.
If you only want to use the english script and make it better I think using -Hiei's version of the english script would be better because of all the cut content.
I didn't really want to touch the script for this hack because I wanted to focus on improving gameplay stuff and I would like it to be compatible with -Hiei's project because of the cut content that include not only new text but other stuff like a boss and a nice-looking variable-width font.

as for the toggling off the changes, it might be possible for some changes like I did with the difficulty, but it would be a pain to make it for every single changes and It would be hard to balance the difficulty.  like if you toggle off faster charging and play on hard, bosses might be too hard because of their added HP because it was tested with faster-charging. Some stuff like the magic-binding and spell targetting would be way to much work to make it possible to toggle it on and off. I prefer to try to make sure everything I add can be considered an improvement on the original game, but I know I cant please everybody about everything and that everybody dont agree about what is an improvement so thats why I like to have feedback but ultimately I have to choose one way or the other. Btw, did you think of a feature in particular that should be "toggleable" (not sure if thats a real word..) ?

as for helping with play-testing, like I said, I always like to have some feedback so feel free to try the beta patch and post your thought on it here ! I didn't have alot of feedback on the hard version yet, I myself only played it up to upperland, the difficulty seemed ok, hard but not too hard, I got killed twice by spikey tiger but after grinding 1 level for each of my characters I made it with 1cup of whishes and some chocolate left. I dont know if I should add an "insane" difficulty for people who really like it HARD. Im also not 100% sure if enemies hit too hard or not hard enough and if bosses having twice as much HP is too much or not enough  :D
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on September 18, 2015, 08:33:23 pm
-Hiei is working on a retranslation of the game, I beleive he uses most of the original english script but brings back some dialogues that were cut and some that were censored.
A little misunderstanding.
Hiei cannot translate japanese to english, as he told me in the thread, but he can restore the cut content, like the chainsaw of the Kettle Kin.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on September 19, 2015, 12:16:04 pm
A little misunderstanding.
Hiei cannot translate japanese to english, as he told me in the thread, but he can restore the cut content, like the chainsaw of the Kettle Kin.

Something I never see anyone talk about, do you plan on restoring Minotaur's jump attack?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on September 19, 2015, 01:23:28 pm
Something I never see anyone talk about, do you plan on restoring Minotaur's jump attack?

If it was cut, it will be restored for the retranslation and the expansion.
Remember, I ain't no programmer, but a graphic designer with lots of ideas.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on September 21, 2015, 01:15:40 pm
I tried v0.8 but there are issues when moving the characters, like when there is the earthquake at the beginning...the NPCs move, but the screen doesn't move so you cannot see the scene.

This wasn't a problem, as the game progressed...until I defeated Tropicallo.  Once I got the axe and Watts tried to open the secret door my characters would get stuck and cannot progress.  Watts would move, and the screen wouldn't move to the right completely.  This caused my characters to get stuck.

From what I have seen so far, though...I like the blocking mechanic a great deal and when you reach higher levels of charge (like level 2 sword), the level 1 charge is full very quickly. Would it be possible to do increased damage on an attack after a counter, or have it increase the charge bar?  Just spitballing here.

I hope the movement bug is fixed soon because it is very fun so far.

I don't know if any of these suggestions would be implemented but you had mentioned before about making different weapons give passive bonuses.  I see that the 2nd level sword boosts agility.  Is evade only done now through active input?  If so, does this sword passive have an effect?

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 22, 2015, 03:44:40 am
@theonyxphoenix

I fixed the screen movement thing, It will work in the next version, Ill post the next version soon, I just have to repair something I screwed while messing with AI  :-\.

By "after a counter" do you mean after you block/evade ? Raising the charge bar can't really be done because it uses the same space as the power% so you would not be able to see the power% once you have some charge accumulated.

As for the weapons bonuses, the bow now has an increased chance to hit (it actually always hits now) and I plan to raise the axe critical hit rate. For players, the only way to dodge is by using the block/dodge button, the AGI increase still has its use tho, the more AGI you have the faster your power % goes up after an attack, altho the 2nd sword only adds 5 to the AGI so you probably wont notice the difference. AGI also raises the evade rate, which still has its use because the evade rate doesnt work as it usually does in games. When you get hit by an enemy, depending on your evade% there is a chance that you will be delt less damage, normally when the resulting damage is equal or lower than 0, the character automaticaly dodges, now you receive 1 damage. AGI might also raise your hit% altho im not sure. Hit% works kind of the same way, if you hit an enemy the higher your hit%, the less chance you have to "miss" which would result in less damage.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on September 22, 2015, 09:42:02 am
So, I've been absent from this thread for awhile now, but it sounds like the patch is coming along well--zhade, how much more work are you doing with it?  Or is it practically in its beta form right now?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on September 24, 2015, 03:15:25 am
New version:
- Fixed the screen scrolling bug
- Fixed the pureLand bug (for good this time)
- Faster shopping
V0.9 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/ae4hx0j268cx7ho/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.9.zip?dl=0)

So, I've been absent from this thread for awhile now, but it sounds like the patch is coming along well--zhade, how much more work are you doing with it?  Or is it practically in its beta form right now?

There is still alot of stuff I want to add and stuff Im not sure about here's my todo list :
The ones with a "?" are the ones im still not sure about.
It doesnt use proper english because its only notes but I guess you'll figure out what it means.

Code: [Select]
-- Magic binding
- Error sound when can't cast (look at event that plays sfx)
- Stay in taget-mode when can't cast
- Multiple targets (up/down)
- Left/right only target players/enemies
- Better way to show target(s)

-- Magic rebalancing
- Increase stats-up bufs time
- Spritit default levels
- Elemental status effects chance
- Sabers: thunder = confusion, light = uncouscious, flame cost more, change costs

-- Weapons
- axe crits
- javelin slash ?
- gloves faster/weaker ?
- gloves counter-attack (throw) ?
- bring back the gloves throw
- boomerang melee attack ?
- bow weak attack better range ?
- sword dodge ? (move backward)
- Weapon status effects chance

-- AI characters
- change reaction time ?
- change attack distance ?

-- Enemies
- change reaction time ?

-- Difficulty
- Normal
- Insane ?

-- Misc
- Strong attack on Y ? make it an option ?
- Resume charging after lock when you press A
- Treasure chest not giving already full items
- Prevent ultra-super-powered-attacks
- Agr(something) Boss chew you (regrs)
- Lower-case naming (regrs)
- Equipment stats-up ?

Im calling it a beta since the first version because its not finished yet but I guess its more of an alpha because there is some features that still need to be implemented. I guess it should be called a beta when everything is done but it still needs testing and tweaking, right ?

Its getting closer to be finished but there is still some things I need to add like the stuff about magic binding, magic rebalancing, the normal difficulty and make my mind about the insane difficulty (because of the way I made it, if I implement insane difficulty and you load a game on the current patch, the difficulty would go up, like if you played on easy it would be considered normal). I guess I should add the insane difficulty for people who like to die alto, it wouldnt change anything if you chose another difficulty anyway. The rest could be added in a later version because if people start to play, their game wont have a problem if they update to a later patch.

If someone suggested something and its not in the todo list, please tell me again because I might have forgotten about it :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: magictrufflez on September 25, 2015, 02:37:53 pm
Im calling it a beta since the first version because its not finished yet but I guess its more of an alpha because there is some features that still need to be implemented. I guess it should be called a beta when everything is done but it still needs testing and tweaking, right ?

That was what I meant by a beta yeah (sorry if I didn't clear that up)--the hardtype SOM patch left a bad taste in my mouth, so I'm looking forward to this quite a bit.  I just don't have time to help test the real problems that are cropping up while you implement things (if grad school would stop the beatings for a few days, maybe I could though), but once it gets to that actual beta stage, I'm very OK with doing a bit of "testing" for sure!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on September 26, 2015, 05:42:01 pm
@theonyxphoenix

I fixed the screen movement thing, It will work in the next version, Ill post the next version soon, I just have to repair something I screwed while messing with AI  :-\.

By "after a counter" do you mean after you block/evade ? Raising the charge bar can't really be done because it uses the same space as the power% so you would not be able to see the power% once you have some charge accumulated.

As for the weapons bonuses, the bow now has an increased chance to hit (it actually always hits now) and I plan to raise the axe critical hit rate. For players, the only way to dodge is by using the block/dodge button, the AGI increase still has its use tho, the more AGI you have the faster your power % goes up after an attack, altho the 2nd sword only adds 5 to the AGI so you probably wont notice the difference. AGI also raises the evade rate, which still has its use because the evade rate doesnt work as it usually does in games. When you get hit by an enemy, depending on your evade% there is a chance that you will be delt less damage, normally when the resulting damage is equal or lower than 0, the character automaticaly dodges, now you receive 1 damage. AGI might also raise your hit% altho im not sure. Hit% works kind of the same way, if you hit an enemy the higher your hit%, the less chance you have to "miss" which would result in less damage.

Thanks for fixing that bug. I'll have to repatch and try it out.

As for the the blocking mechanic and changing the charge bar.  You mentioned that agility increases the rate of the charge bar.  Since blocking is manual would it be possible to utilize the more interactive move-block-attack mechanic to increase agility for a short burst with a successful block, thereby giving an increase to charge speed?  Right now, blocking is useful but only if you can time things right, which can be difficult.  If there is a way to add an incentive to blocking, or somehow making the timing a little more forgiving.

Now that I will be able to progress a little more, I can probably provide further data. I'm trying to play it as a charge in/block/attack/repeat with Randi instead of trying to dance around.

I like the idea of having the bow increase accuracy, etc.  I also look forward to having the glove throw implemented.  I think that the up close weapons like Glove, Axe, Sword, and Spear should have more bonuses from the blocking than Whip, Javelin, Boomerang, and Bow.

I really like what you are doing. Keep up the good work.  This project has the potential to make one of the best SNES games, and one of my favorite of all time, even better.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Hiei- on September 26, 2015, 06:20:53 pm
A little misunderstanding.
Hiei cannot translate japanese to english, as he told me in the thread, but he can restore the cut content, like the chainsaw of the Kettle Kin.

I could if I wanted but for those two reasons, I won't :

- I'm not a native english speaker so the english would be far from perfect.
- I don't actually have the time to translate a ~500K script (Actually working on a japanese to french translation of Phantasy Star Generation 1 for PS2, after since we already released a translation of the sequel a while ago).

I think what he meant is the new french script is perfectly accurate with the original japanese script, so if a native english speaker with a good french knowledge would translate it, it would give a pretty good english script (far better than the actual one) and probably not so far from an original japanese to english translation. And finding a native english speaker which understand french might be easier than finding a native english speaker which understand japanese.

By the way, couldn't answered you in pm because your inbox is full, but I'm not really a programmer (I'm a translator with some basic romhack knowledge) at all so I wouldn't really be able to help at all.

Actually, I'm working on a uncut patch with english script yeah. It's not over yet, but it's near over. Just need to rework the linebreaks of the script to make full use of the VWF. I also need to finish to move a few things in the room to make the patch compatible with zhade work.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on September 26, 2015, 11:28:13 pm
I could if I wanted but for those two reasons, I won't :

- I'm not a native english speaker so the english would be far from perfect.
- I don't actually have the time to translate a ~500K script (Actually working on a japanese to french translation of Phantasy Star Generation 1 for PS2, after since we already released a translation of the sequel a while ago).

I think what he meant is the new french script is perfectly accurate with the original japanese script, so if a native english speaker with a good french knowledge would translate it, it would give a pretty good english script (far better than the actual one) and probably not so far from an original japanese to english translation. And finding a native english speaker which understand french might be easier than finding a native english speaker which understand japanese.

By the way, couldn't answered you in pm because your inbox is full, but I'm not really a programmer (I'm a translator with some basic romhack knowledge) at all so I wouldn't really be able to help at all.

Actually, I'm working on a uncut patch with english script yeah. It's not over yet, but it's near over. Just need to rework the linebreaks of the script to make full use of the VWF. I also need to finish to move a few things in the room to make the patch compatible with zhade work.

I see. I cleared my inbox for new messages, still I wouldn't mind you joining the project, even if it is just your two cents.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on September 30, 2015, 08:26:06 pm
Hey guys, thought this would relate seeing that SoM was originally for the Snes CD. One console has been found and an unmarked cartridge is also sitting in it. It's the only one known in the world so it's worth a fortune, probably 6 figures at least. They haven't booted it up yet for safety reasons, but they will soon, so keep a look out at his channel!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCV6RusogAk

Hope everything is going well with the improvements, been coming here every day but has seemed to die down a bit.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on October 01, 2015, 01:48:46 am
I wonder if this is the real deal.
And anyways... It was told that the data of the original Seiken Densetsu 2 went lost with the cancelation.
Nobody knows where the lost project cds and cartridges are.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on October 01, 2015, 02:08:42 am
It has been confirmed real and he will be going to RetroHK soon, to show it off and to get some pros to have a look at it. Yeah I know there would be no chance that SoM is on it, seeing that it was used/found in America, I just thought people would want to know.

Here's the other videos he has posted

Update1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7t3_yrIxV4
Update2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7r4yFvQNsI

Sorry going off topic.

Back to Secret of Mana, anyone heard anything from Eikigou / Enker who took over from mop doing the secret of mana editor? I hope he's doing something with it. If that was done, I can imagine people putting a lot of time making their own games!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 01, 2015, 10:36:00 pm
I dont think the cartrige will be SoM, I think it was canceled when they were still in the planning phase, I dont think they had anything really playable when the console was canceled. I think the cartrige is probably some kind of demo that shows the console's power to show developers what is possible with the hardware. This console would have been so great tho.. The gaming industry would have been alot different if it were not canceled, sony + nintendo would have had no real competition aside from the sega CD which would have been obscured even more than it was. I think nintendo has always been great because they make good games, sony because they make good hardware, if both would be put together it would have been gamer's paradise, all the great psx rpg with CD audio quality and videos and all the great nintendo classics like zelda, mario, donkey kong and metroid on the same console !

I've not been working on this hack in the last 2 weeks or so, im very busy with work and since im working night shifts, I live mostly at night in a small appartment where I cant make any noise so when I have a day free of work I have to do all my cleaning, go buy food, and try to go see a friend. When I get back from work im very tired so I dont always feel like working on this. I also got a new computer so now I can play games, Ive had an old computer for years now so there is alot of games I never have been able to play. I have a tendency of not finishing projects that I start and I don't want this to be another of these so Ill try to find time to finish it, I think ill start with the most important stuff to make sure that if I ever get tired of working on it, It'll at least be in a state that I can be proud of. I probably wont get tired of it soon tho, I started this project because I wanted to play the game with the improvements but now I enjoy hacking even more than actually playing it lol so even tho I might not update as often ill probably continue to work on it from time to time after the first "offical" release or official beta realease.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on October 02, 2015, 06:47:41 pm
I dont think the cartrige will be SoM, I think it was canceled when they were still in the planning phase, I dont think they had anything really playable when the console was canceled. I think the cartrige is probably some kind of demo that shows the console's power to show developers what is possible with the hardware. This console would have been so great tho.. The gaming industry would have been alot different if it were not canceled, sony + nintendo would have had no real competition aside from the sega CD which would have been obscured even more than it was. I think nintendo has always been great because they make good games, sony because they make good hardware, if both would be put together it would have been gamer's paradise, all the great psx rpg with CD audio quality and videos and all the great nintendo classics like zelda, mario, donkey kong and metroid on the same console !

I've not been working on this hack in the last 2 weeks or so, im very busy with work and since im working night shifts, I live mostly at night in a small appartment where I cant make any noise so when I have a day free of work I have to do all my cleaning, go buy food, and try to go see a friend. When I get back from work im very tired so I dont always feel like working on this. I also got a new computer so now I can play games, Ive had an old computer for years now so there is alot of games I never have been able to play. I have a tendency of not finishing projects that I start and I don't want this to be another of these so Ill try to find time to finish it, I think ill start with the most important stuff to make sure that if I ever get tired of working on it, It'll at least be in a state that I can be proud of. I probably wont get tired of it soon tho, I started this project because I wanted to play the game with the improvements but now I enjoy hacking even more than actually playing it lol so even tho I might not update as often ill probably continue to work on it from time to time after the first "offical" release or official beta realease.
I agree wholeheartedly. It definitely would have been stellar, especially with a game like Maru Island aka the OG Secret of Mana being a launch title. It'd be like "Here's an amazingly expansive action RPG, and this is just the beginning of what we can do with this add-on". The sky would have been the limit, and Sega definitely would have been in trouble. It is just too bad that they waited so damn long to even come to some kind of agreement on it. Just yet another example how business stifled creativity.

On the topic of your progression on the hack, I say do whatever you have to do to keep working on it. It's a big project and you're a 1 man team for the most part, so if it is overwhelming then just take breaks. No need to force inspiration if you do not have a set deadline to reach. Everything you have done so far has been more than enough to wow the crap out of a regular shmuck like me. It's all for the greater good of realizing just what is under the rust that is the vanilla game.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 03, 2015, 06:38:18 am
I've worked on magic binding/targeting related stuff today

I've found how to plays sounds ! so now there is a sound that plays when a character is able to cast again. I used the sound that is played when you save your game or after you sleep at an inn, I think it fits and its not used in combat so it wont be confusing and it keeps you from having to look if the face icons stop flashing. I also made it play an error sound when you try to cast but have no MP or try to cast with a character that is not able to cast atm, have no target or the hotkey has no spell bound to it. And also, the "cursor" sound is played when changing target(s), it makes targeting a bit less confusing.

Pressing right in target mode now only cycles through the allies and pressing left cycles through the enemies, chests or crystals. If there is no enemy in the screen, you will target nothing, so if you fight a boss and press R, left + hotkey quickly but the boss jumped out of the screen you wont target the boy with your attack spell. This should make it so you will never target your allies with attack spells or enemies with defensive spells by mistake anymore.

The face cursor now takes the height of the target into account so it appears under the enemy instead of under the enemy's shadow.

Im now working on mutlitargeting, I got it to work for all enemies when pressing up, I only need to make the same thing for allies. After that ill be done with all things magic-targeting related, other than maybe try to find a better way to highlight targets like a palette effect instead of flashing.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on October 03, 2015, 12:50:28 pm
Confirmed that the camera bug has been fixed. I made it up to Undine. My thoughts so far...

- The extended range on the bow is amazing and brings it's usefulness way up, although sometimes it can be hard to hit when horizontal to an enemy.

- Spikey Tiger was very difficult (of course I'm playing on hard anyway).  I used all of my CoW, Candy, and Chocolate and still barely managed to beat him.  He just decimated the Girl and Sprite for most of the battle. I just used the CoW to give him extra targets.  I didn't feel like I was too underleveled, but Spikey can be hard on a normal game.

- The targeting system is still taking some getting used to.  When you select a spell and then have to scroll through all of the moving enemies to find your right target, and not having multi-target capabilities (heal, mainly) is making it tough. I'm already having trouble keeping the CPU controlled characters alive.  I try casting from the menu and it doesn't pause the action to cast or select targets.  I haven't tried binding the spells, yet.

Looking forward to progress and keep up the good work! 


October 04, 2015, 04:14:25 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I find that it is really difficult to level up your spells when you cannot multi-target and you have a timer. I think that some adjustments would need to be made, especially at higher levels where you need to cast 100 times to reach the next level.

It is nice that you can stay at the water temple and level up both the sprite and the girl's magic.  This, has the side effect of being able to kill your own characters with the sprite spells.  This causes you to gain levels extremely fast. I gained 10 levels in just a matter of minutes.  This could pose a problem in the future if you are trying to increase the weapons to 8:99.  Of course, you could just avoid casting on yourself, but it is something that may want to be examined.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 05, 2015, 02:24:22 am
Confirmed that the camera bug has been fixed. I made it up to Undine. My thoughts so far...

- The extended range on the bow is amazing and brings it's usefulness way up, although sometimes it can be hard to hit when horizontal to an enemy.

- Spikey Tiger was very difficult (of course I'm playing on hard anyway).  I used all of my CoW, Candy, and Chocolate and still barely managed to beat him.  He just decimated the Girl and Sprite for most of the battle. I just used the CoW to give him extra targets.  I didn't feel like I was too underleveled, but Spikey can be hard on a normal game.

- The targeting system is still taking some getting used to.  When you select a spell and then have to scroll through all of the moving enemies to find your right target, and not having multi-target capabilities (heal, mainly) is making it tough. I'm already having trouble keeping the CPU controlled characters alive.  I try casting from the menu and it doesn't pause the action to cast or select targets.  I haven't tried binding the spells, yet.

Looking forward to progress and keep up the good work !

Thx for your feedback !

The bow, when shooting left/right is trickier to aim because of the way the arrow is affected by gravity, I managed to make it shoot a bit more straight but I can't make it shoot straighter or else it affects the distance the arrow will travel. Remember to place yourself a bit higher when shooting targets that are far. I would need to find something for the javeline.. I wanted it to have a melee attack but it looks like I would need to create a new animation for it and I really have no idea how to do this... The boomerang could have a melee attack as a weak attack since there is already an animation for it when doing the first charge but the javeline only has a "whirlwind" animation on the level 8 charge (IIRC) and the animation takes too much time for it to be used as a weak attack. Using the melee attack with the boomerang would be useful when attack enemies that are close because it would be faster that throwing it and waiting for it to come back. The axe is gonna have higher crit rate to make it different from the sword, and the glove would need something too..

Yeah , spikey tiger is hard to beat sometimes. He has a kind of random chance to go up on the sides and cast spells and is only vulnerable to ranged weapons when he does. When I tested hard mode, I leveled up a bit (1 level for each char IIRC) after dying and when I fought him again he stayed on the ground for most of the fight and I managed to beat him without using any CoW or chocolate. When he is on the sides the AI are bad at attacking him and he keeps using his flame spells which paralyzes you so its hard to deal good damage to him. So you got to have a bit of luck.. He is still beatable even if he keeps going up on the sides but its not gonna be easy. he always has been a tough boss, as a kid I used to level up alot before fighting him so I like how tough he is since its predictable because of the way the stats are changed by multipliers that its not gonna be an easy fight and it brings back memories.

About the targeting system, im working on changing it right now, and im adding multi-targeting. If you dont want to go through all the targets, remember that the cursor always starts on the boy so if you want to target an enemy, press left and press right if you want to target an ally, that way you will at most have to press 3 times to get to your target.

About leveling up spells, I already plan to have elements start with a higher default level than 0 depending on when the spirit joins, so for example undine would start at level 0 but dryad would have level 4 so you wont have to grind levels for it to be usable which would make it less tedious to level-up. I might change the exp given on each cast too, in my playthrough I didnt grind any magic level and it wasnt a big issue as attack magic are really strong even when not fully leveled but I might increase the exp gain and reduce the damage of attack spells and the healing power of cure so that you dont finish the game with spells at level 5-6. Grinding spell levels is easy but time consuming and that is not fun.. I like how you gain exp for the spirit you use tho, its fun to be specialised in an element so when a boss weak to this element shows up you can kick his ass. I think increasing the exp gain would be the best way to deal with this so you would still have a speciality or can choose to grind all elements if you want but only then it would really be time consuming.

About getting exp when killing allies, yea that is kind of broken, especially if you level up your attack spells at an inn or somewhere where you can heal fast. I already planned to fix this but forgot about it, ill look at it, it should not be really hard to do. The exp that a character has is located at the same place as the exp an enemy will give you if you kill it so I guess it gives you all the exp that the character has accumulated when you kill him which is ALOT. This was possible to abuse in vanilla if you casted spells on an enemy which had a wall so it would bounce on your allies, but having to possibility to target your allies makes this way too easy and I guess it was more of a bug than a feature in the first place anyway.

Update:
I finished implementing multi-targeting, I fixed a bug that could mess things up when casting a spell too at the same time. Right now, if you press left to target enemies but no enemy is present, you will target nothing, the face cursor will return back to the status area which can be confusing because you are still in targeting mode, I dont know if I should make it so that if you target nothing you get an "error" sound and get out of targeting mode. It is possible to cast revify on all characters so if the girl is the only one left alive it will revive the other 2 party members. I dont think its really a bad thing tho, revify costs so much.. The other spells dont seem to have any problem beign cast on all, you can cast mana magic on all if you want but it only works on the boy if he has the sword anyway.. I cant think of other spells that can normally only be cast on 1 target so I guess it should be alright. I still need to make it work for all 3 players and will try to fix the bug that lets you get exp when you kill allies and then ill post the new version.

--------------------
Edit:

Ok, heres the new version : V0.10 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0)

Changes:
- sound when changing target
- sound when can't cast (not enough MP, recharging, hotkey not bound etc..)
- a sound is played when a character can cast again
- a sound is played when binding a spell to a button
- multi targeting
- target cursor appears under the target instead of under the target's shadow
- new magic targeting controls:
   left for enemies, right for allies, up for all enemies, down for all allies
- No exp is gained when killing allies
- some bug fixes
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on October 06, 2015, 09:50:28 am
Alright. I'll have to check it out.

I like the idea of starting the elementals at different levels based on when you obtain them.  It should help them to scale without grinding.  Especially with the Lumina-Luna-Shade portion of the game where leveling up those spells to equal Undine or Gnome is very tedious.

So what are the current weapon bonuses (or prospective bonuses)?

Sword: Increased Agil
Axe: Increased Crit
Bow: Increased Distance and Hit%
Glove: ?
Javelin: ?
Boomerang: ?
Whip: ?
Spear: ?



Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 06, 2015, 07:34:43 pm
I have not thought of a bonus for every weapons. At first I only wanted to make the bow better, but then the javelin looks bad compared to the new bow so it would need something too. Then I figured I should also do something with the axe since it pretty much works like the sword but has lower damage and reach. The gloves also dont seem like a good option compared to the sword. The boomerang is pretty good since it can attack multiple enemies at a distance (the whip also can but it cant attack enemies that are on higher/lower ground) but I would like to give it a melee attack to make the strong and weal attacks different. So heres my current ideas about the weapons:

Sword : nothing (its good as it is)
Axe : Increased Crit
Bow : Distance and Hit %
Glove : Attacking drains less power%
Javelin : ?
Boomerang : weak attack is a melee attack
Whip : I like the whip as it is, I don't know if it already is that way, but it would be nice if the damage was higher if the enemy touch the "slash" instead of the rope portion of the attack
Spear : nothing (it already has the best attack power and a good range)

----------------------
Edit:
Im looking at weapons animations right now, I knew that values 01 02 03 were normal attacks like slash/thrust etc. depending on the weapon type and then higher value were charged attacks animation, puting even higher values results in buged/weird animations so I stoped looking because I thought it would only be more of this but it seems that after a certain point it start to play other animations, some that were unused like a cliff hanging animation that faces left/right, and other "mood" animation like "yes", "no" , "laugh" , "sad", "yay!" etc.. I think it could be interestion for ppl who would want to play coop on the net to be able to use these animations. There is still the lack of unused buttons problem but maybe it could be done by holding select or start + a D-Pad direction. That way if a player is heading in the wrong direction another player could use the "no" animation to tell him thats the wrong way or use the "sad" animation if another player dies and there is no cup of wishes left. It would not really be a big useful feature but I think it could be fun to be able to use those animations.

Regarding weapons, there seems to exist more attack animations than I thought, the javelin actually has a "slash" animation that the game never uses and it works (actually attacks enemies, and can attack more than one if they are grouped) it didnt play a swing sound automatically but I managed to make it play one. The attack doesnt have a big hit-box so you have to be very close to the target, it was suposed to be the weak attack but unless two or more enemies are close together there would be no reason to use it so I made it the strong attack, makes sense since its harder to hit with it that it deals more damage.
Here is a video of it in action : Javelin Melee attack (https://youtu.be/MCbEllBOxzs)

I thought it would be nice if all ranged weapons had different strong and weak attack effects other than the damage dealt and the power% so I changed the bow and the boomerang too:
Bow : strong : greater distance, weak: shoot 2 arrows
Boomerang : strong : slower animation with greater distance, weak : normal boomerang attack
Video : Bow and boomerang new attacks (https://youtu.be/uWTBxuqbUMs)

I've changed the bow double arrow range a bit after I uploaded the video, it shoots a bit farther that what is shown.

The whip has 2 different animations but it does pretty much the same thing, I think I should try to find something for it too.

Regrs told me that the axe actually have more attack power than the sword, its still not as good tho so I still think increasing the crit rate would make it more enjoyable to use.

I also managed to change two chest in pandora castle treasure room, instead of giving 50GP they now give a glove and an axe orb, the glove and the axe always had a missing orb so they were always 1level lower than the others until the mana fortress where you can obtain orbs from enemies. I still need to change all other glove and axe orb chests because right now they wont appear because since your level would be higher than what it should normally be. It should not be too much work since most of the orbs are obtained after fighting bosses anyway.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Gi Nattak on October 07, 2015, 01:37:38 am
Another superb update! Thanks man. I'm really looking forward to dedicating some real time playing soon. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on October 07, 2015, 02:05:49 am
The gloves always had those random martial arts and throwing animations that never really seemed to do anything (maybe they were for crits?) aside from leave you open for an attack. Would there be any way to tweak those into an upgrade for it?

Aside from that, great job uncovering those Javelin animations; that video got me actually wanting to use it. I'm liking the weapon upgrades and your direction with them. So much stuff is buried in there isn't there?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 07, 2015, 03:56:20 am
The gloves always had those random martial arts and throwing animations that never really seemed to do anything (maybe they were for crits?) aside from leave you open for an attack. Would there be any way to tweak those into an upgrade for it?

Aside from that, great job uncovering those Javelin animations; that video got me actually wanting to use it. I'm liking the weapon upgrades and your direction with them. So much stuff is buried in there isn't there?

The glove throw is used when an enemy is uncouscious or on the ground after a strong hit in the same way that level 1 charge normally are. I think the gloves have a random chance to do the throw instead of the level 1 charge but im not sure. I remember beign able to use the throw easily, but that might be a false memory because I can't seem to trigger it easily now. I think I should make it so you throw an enemy whenever you try to hit one that is currently not able to move, wether he is uncounsious or just received a hit.

I just looked at it and there is actually 4 different throw animations  :o
I've been able to trigger them with some hacking but right now it always grabs the closest enemy, even if he might be way too far
heres a video of the 4 animations : All 4 throws (https://youtu.be/MjzhmAV9YxU)
I think I never saw the last 2, Ive seen some post on forums somewhere where ppl said some only were triggered if you were charging and release the button when close to an enemy, but I dont remember ever seeing that happen.
It doesnt deal any damage to the target, but it can damage other enemies if the enemy is thrown at them. I guess I should make it deal damage or else its kind of pointless because the other enemies have to be really close to where the target lands in order to deal damage.
some enemies are normally not possible to grab, like the things in the pit sands in the desert and bosses, the game starts to act strange if I allow it and the target doesnt become automaticaly stunned when grabed so allies can kill it while its in the air which results in garbage graphics so it will require some work before it works properly, but it can be done. I guess it should replace one of the two attacks if the target is currently stunned but I still dont know if would be OP to have it deal damage because you could possibly do it over and over again without the enemy beign able to move..

------------------
Edit:
So ive been trying to make the throws work, I made some progress but I still have some problems.. Some enemies wont stand still when grabed (like the bees for example) and will just attack the player instead of beign thrown around. I don't know if its because these cant normally be thrown, but I cant find any adress that states if an enemy can be thrown or not. There is also some graphics problems, I dont know if it happens in vanilla as it is really hard to make it happen normally, but sometimes when the character jumps in the air with the enemy, the character and the enemy go behind trees and other stuff that you can normally walk behind.
Here what it looks like : video (https://youtu.be/Aj-ISyoCfso). The first 2 throw animations dont lift the player into the air and the enemy seems to appear corectly in front of stuff. There is also some problems when grabing enemies, they sometime are not where they should be like with the animation in the video sometime the enemy is like 4foot above the guy instead of following him properly. I remember that sometimes the enemy would not be thrown in the right direction in the normal game so it might be the same kind of bug but since I cant trigger this animation in vanilla (and it doesnt happen all the time) I cant test to see if im doing something wrong or if it is a bug in the game.. It could be possible to use one of the throws as an attack because it has a big are of damage but unfortunatly there is no animation for it when facing up/down :video (https://youtu.be/MqC-6HowxKc).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on October 10, 2015, 02:43:13 pm
I remember triggering those 3 usually unseen throws in the mana fortress
They need to be a certain level charged attack while an enemy is pinned down just like the one seen by everyone

Try with the yellow heads or with the book, it was one of those
I seem to notice the throws mostly works against enemies who gain invincibility frames while pinned down
Perhaps the developers planned to give gloves the advantage of being able to inflict damage on such scenario
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Digitsie on October 17, 2015, 07:39:26 pm
Off-topic, but has anyone ever hacked the Secret of Mana title screen to be Seiken Densetsu 2? It's always kinda irritating to see the 'There is no Secret of Mana 2!" when I look at Seiken Densetsu 3.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Enker on October 19, 2015, 08:24:40 am
Out of nowhere, hi =P I still need to look back through the previous pages...been kinna burnt out for awhile, but, now seems like an auspicious enough time to get back in the swing of things. Site for the disassembly that I at LEAST saw linked to on the first page is down, but I'll get the server owner to pull it back up. I got so behind on keeping those versions of the bank files current, and I never did convert them to a properly reassemblable thing...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on October 20, 2015, 12:41:06 am
Well I can confirm that the hack is working perfectly on the SD2SNES flash cart  ;D. Not sure if anyone mentioned this earlier in the thread.
Not sure why the Super Everdrive didn't want to work, but oh well. SD2SNES is vastly superior if even because of the MSU-1 support.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 20, 2015, 03:11:45 am
Off-topic, but has anyone ever hacked the Secret of Mana title screen to be Seiken Densetsu 2? It's always kinda irritating to see the 'There is no Secret of Mana 2!" when I look at Seiken Densetsu 3.

I dont think anyone ever did, but the japanese title screen is "seiken densetsu 2" but yeah its in japanese.. The first one is called final fantasy adventure outside japan anyway so there is no seiken densetsu 1 either :P There is a hack that changes sd3's title screen for secret of mana 2 tho, seiken densetsu 1 is alot different from the other 2 since it was on gameboy so I think it makes sense to seperate it from the other 2.

Out of nowhere, hi =P I still need to look back through the previous pages...been kinna burnt out for awhile, but, now seems like an auspicious enough time to get back in the swing of things. Site for the disassembly that I at LEAST saw linked to on the first page is down, but I'll get the server owner to pull it back up. I got so behind on keeping those versions of the bank files current, and I never did convert them to a properly reassemblable thing...

I downloaded all the banks disassemblies just before the site went down :P Glad that I did.
Even if the files were old it helped me alot and 99.9% of the time the disassembly was acurate.
To me its not much of a problem if its not reassemblable, I use it as a reference and its pretty good at that.
I wish you good luck with somedit, its a pretty ambitious project, hope you will be able to make it shine so people can start making nice som hacks with all-new maps and story ! Btw, will you use the somedit blog to post news ?

Well I can confirm that the hack is working perfectly on the SD2SNES flash cart  ;D. Not sure if anyone mentioned this earlier in the thread.
Not sure why the Super Everdrive didn't want to work, but oh well. SD2SNES is vastly superior if even because of the MSU-1 support.

Nice ! :thumbsup: I dont really understand why it works tho, I thought that since it doesnt work with bsnes and higan I must have messed something and real hardware would have the same problems but if it works with SD2SNES on a real snes, I guess my code is not that bad after all :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on October 20, 2015, 11:24:09 am
Yeah it surprised me quite a bit. Actually, I have to point out that when I only had Randi and pressed the R button the game basically froze. Not sure why aside from maybe he couldn't target anything with the magic that he doesn't have. Also, after some testing I cannot seem to get the magic binding to work too well

Technically Secret of Mana is the black sheep of the series since it was not originally intended to be a Mana title and was only reworked into one after the original project fell through. Seiken Densetsu was built to be a side story to the Final Fantasy games of the time hence why it's full title name is "Final Fantasy Gaiden: Seiken Densetsu". I say that each is their own experience much like how Final Fantasy post 5 is.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KillerBob on October 20, 2015, 04:05:32 pm
I dont think anyone ever did, but the japanese title screen is "seiken densetsu 2" but yeah its in japanese.. The first one is called final fantasy adventure outside japan anyway so there is no seiken densetsu 1 either :P
Maybe I'm weird but why would anyone sane even want the title to say Seiken Densetsu when you can translate the title into perfect English instead. It's not like you would change the title screen of a Super Mario Brothers game to say Sūpā Mario Burazāzu.

There is a hack that changes sd3's title screen for secret of mana 2 tho, seiken densetsu 1 is alot different from the other 2 since it was on gameboy so I think it makes sense to seperate it from the other 2.
How ironic, fans keeping the naming shenanigans of Square/Nintendo USA in the '90s alive.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Xenesis on October 27, 2015, 11:47:23 pm
Yeah , spikey tiger is hard to beat sometimes. He has a kind of random chance to go up on the sides and cast spells and is only vulnerable to ranged weapons when he does. When I tested hard mode, I leveled up a bit (1 level for each char IIRC) after dying and when I fought him again he stayed on the ground for most of the fight and I managed to beat him without using any CoW or chocolate. When he is on the sides the AI are bad at attacking him and he keeps using his flame spells which paralyzes you so its hard to deal good damage to him. So you got to have a bit of luck.. He is still beatable even if he keeps going up on the sides but its not gonna be easy. he always has been a tough boss, as a kid I used to level up alot before fighting him so I like how tough he is since its predictable because of the way the stats are changed by multipliers that its not gonna be an easy fight and it brings back memories.

Spiky Tiger is one who it might be worth making the battle routine of his a bit more predictable. Perhaps force him to do ground attacks/tower attacks every so often rather than always rolling random for next attacks so you don't get stuck on a horror match where he just constantly casts spells! :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on November 11, 2015, 04:11:24 pm
Man WOW
just found this.
If you ever release a stable V1 including some "Very Hard" difficult me and my friends will surely play your hack.  :woot!:
(we even finished hard mode lol)

Keep it up!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on November 16, 2015, 02:35:40 pm
Man WOW
just found this.
If you ever release a stable V1 including some "Very Hard" difficult me and my friends will surely play your hack.  :woot!:
(we even finished hard mode lol)

Keep it up!
Yeah it's amazing the more I play it. Awaiting an update with bated breath.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on November 18, 2015, 04:23:40 pm
So I have been trying out v.10 and find that the multitargeting fix is definitely needed and working well.  I still find myself rarely using the hotkeyed spells, though.

Playing on the hardest difficulty, Wall Face was tricky.  I saved all of my MP to cast level 2 gnome spells on the eye when it was about to crush me.  Even with leveled sword attacks. My characters may be a bit overleveled (since their levels were inflated while killing my characters for XP before this was fixed).

Some things of note so far:
- I really look forward to when the elementals join with a higher level. Getting Sylphid and having to grind becomes very annoying.
- The idea of having different buffs for different weapons is great. Is there a way to display it? Like "Balloons enemies - Crit Hit up". It would show on each leveled weapon but this way we would know and have a reason to switch weapons.
- Does the action gauge increase with each level gained?  I noticed a big increase when I got the level 2 charge but not on the level 3.
- Is there a way to have the armor display their status blocking properties?

Keep up the good work and I look forward to future updates!


EDIT: Any chance of having the block button be a "hold-to-block" instead of a certain number of frames?  I started blocking when I first did the hack but now with the enemies getting tougher I find that if I block and don't time it right it does a considerable amount of damage and isn't worth it to try to time the block correctly.  Don't get me wrong, I love the mechanic.  I just feel like the benefit doesn't equal the cost.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Meteor7 on December 15, 2015, 03:30:28 am
Hey, thanks for all you're doing with the hack. I'm actually finding this game playable, now!  :woot!:

If I might strongly suggest making the screen scroll much earlier, before the character reaches inches away from the screen's edge. As it is now, exploring is exceedingly uncomfortable and enemies seem to appear from nowhere, giving me a few frustrating game overs.

Anyhow, I've only just started, so I don't have very much input yet. All I can say is, the blocking mechanic saved this game single handedly by giving the player the ability to skillfully nullify otherwise unavoidable attacks. (looking at you, 1st boss... >:()
I haven't picked up any spells yet, but if they still pause the game and are largely unavoidable, I'd suggest doing something to give the player an out with these as well. Unavoidable attacks are, to me, one of the few deadly sins of gaming. Also, game mechanics that tell the player to "not play" for any length of time are pretty putrid as well, which I seem to remember the spells in this game doing, so if they're the same as I remember, I'd say that would be the biggest thing in need of changing.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on December 16, 2015, 04:00:25 pm
I hope this is still being developed.  But in any event...

I've made it to the Tower of Light and my observations so far:

- Vampire was very difficult. Drain spells, sleep, no access to the weak element.  Doable, and done without resting and restocking after the Wall Boss. Of course I am playing on the hardest difficulty

- Keeping lower powered weapons with status effects on Purim and Popoi and a powerful weapon on Randi is a good combination. Confuse + Balloon lets me get through most dungeons.  The enemies hit HARD, even with the best armor.

- The distance on the Bow makes it amazing.

- I cannot wait until Elementals are leveled when you obtain them.  Now is the part of the game where getting multiple elementals in succession makes grinding annoying.

- Enemies are so powerful that I find myself having to heal often which eats up my MP.  It would be nice if level-ups restored MP as well. 

- I wish that the non-offensive spells actually did something. They just don't seem to have the duration or power to make a difference when I need the MP for healing and attack.  It would be nice if they kept their duration until you were killed or rested.  Stacking defender, speed up, and sabres is a lot of MP but should be worth the effort. 

- Silence seems to have been very useful on magic-casting enemies.  I never used it in vanilla. 

- Still requesting that the block button keep you blocked until released.  It is too punishing as time goes on to miss a timed block when you can just stay back and fire arrows.

- Adding effects to the weapons like stat boosts to increase magic, agility, etc. may help to vary the effects.  It doesn't seem like the "good against x monster" is really worth the trade off from something like confuse/sleep/balloon.

- I really like how the charge bar speed increases as you gain more levels in the weapon.  Level 3 2-shot with the bow is awesome.

- Allies teleporting to you when they get stuck.  Wow, I can't go back to vanilla with this.

- Hot-keyed cure magic has saved me more times that I can count.

That's about it.  I hope to see more development.  This is making the game much better!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 20, 2015, 05:23:38 am
Its been a while, I started to work on a 2D game so I didnt touch this project in the last 2 months or so. I want to make sure I finish it someday so I think ill cut on some features from my list for the initial release. Ill try to find some time soon to finish what I started for the next beta patch since I noticed when looking at my notes that I didnt release the new weapon attacks (javelin melee attack, bow double arrow on weak attack (with reduced range). heres what I have for the next patch:

- javelin melee attack
- bow weak attack shoots 2 arrows with reduced range
- boomerang strong attack shoots farther and has a different animation
- changing direction while running
- New Insane difficulty setting (need balancing/testing)
- Normal difficulty (need balancing/testing)
- AI controlled characters have more chance to evade and receive less damage from attacks (in progress, need balancing/testing)

Introducing the insane difficulty proved to be harder than I thought, using a stat multiplier has its limits, even if on insane the enemies hit really really hard its not really harder compared to hard. Hard already increased the enemies "agressiveness" alot, so even if it is maxed out there is not much of a difference because lets say an enemy decides to attack every 0.5 second, on hard it is halved so 0.25, if the enemy's attack animation has a duration of 0.30 second it will only be able to attack every 0.30 seconds so reducing the "agressiveness" (which is the time to wait after attacking before attacking again) more wont have any effect because enemies cant attack while attacking ::)... players cant be attacked while recovering from an attack anyway so finding a way to change their animation speed to make them attack faster would only make blocking unusable if an enemy attacks faster than the block animation speed..

Because of that I thought that increasing the HP would not be so bad. I didnt want it to increase with the difficulty because I thought it would just make combats last longer and that it would not really increase difficulty. If you think about it using the extremes, compared to a normal vanilla rabite, having to fight a rabite with 1000 000 hp does not test your skills as much as it tests your patience...

But because the higher difficulties increase the enemies power and makes it harder not to get killed in general, the player will probably want to level up a bit more than he would on easy so his levels will be higher than what it would be on easy so he will hit enemies harder and that breaks the balance because the enemies hp and players attack dont change with the difficulty settings as a way to make fights last as long as it usually does in vanilla independently of the difficulty. Instead the player's power should be expected to be higher depending on how high the difficulty setting is which means the enemies HP should be higher to make fights last as long or else at some point the player could hit hard enough to kill an enemy that has enough str to hit him for half of his HP in one hit even tho its the first time he encounters it.. increasing the hp of enemies seemed like it would work first but it had its problems too:

If enemies have more HP because the player is expected to have more power, at the start of a new game the player will still start at level 1 so lets say that on insane the game would expect you to be 5 levels higher, the fights will last longer until the player has reached level 5 which means the player has more chances to get hit and since the enemies hit really hard he will probably want to grind a bit.. but the grinding will take more time.. then theres also the problem of knowing how much to increase the enemies HP.. The stats for each level are stored in the rom seperately, so the str of the player doesnt go up at a constant pace acording to the level, so the difference between your attack at level 1 and level 6 is lower than between level 10 and 15 even tho both have a difference of 5 levels.. (basically higher level-ups are raise stats more) so expecting the player to be 5 levels higher doesnt tell you how much more HP the enemy should have unless you know the level at which the player would normally be but that is different for each enemy.. So it cant work this way.. I kind of stopped working on the hack when I couldnt find a way to work around this that wouldnt involve changing enemies stats one by one for each difficulty setting

I think I could maybe use the enemy's level stat instead, im not sure it is always set correctly by the game since I dont think it is ever used but if it does I could increase the HP according to the enemy's level so enemies would have less added HP% at the start of the game than enemies at the end which might work just right.

Theres is also the problem of the partners AI beign what it is.. on higher difficulties they die way too much, they are just not good at not getting hit and with enemies hitting harder and faster they dont stand a chance. I thought of increasing the cpu controlled allies defense and/or evasion to make it so you dont always have to babysit them and also as a way make it easier to balance difficulty because right now the game is much harder with CPUs than with other players so if I balance things for 1 player it might be too easy for 3, I had a hard time balancing it for each difficulty and it would be kind of weird to see you ally get hit 50, switch for him, get hit by the same attack and receive 100 damage 0_0 It could also be abused if you somehow know you are gonna get hit and quicklky change character control with the AI to receive less damage.. also I dont want it to work for spells since a player is not better at avoiding getting hit by spells than a CPU, but some bosses use instant-hit spell-like attacks which dont count as spells and since those usually freeze the player and have a long animation before the damage is set it would be easy to switch control to AI. Im not sure if you actually can switch when targeted by a spell/special attack, but even if you cant the spell-like attacks will count as normal attacks so will be reduced even if they are not avoidable so bosses would be easier with CPU than players :banghead:

It takes alot of time to test the stat balancing stuff because of the way I use a mutliplier, I have to test at different parts of the game because each small change affects all the enemies in the game and that is what made me lose interest, too much testing is needed and I doesnt really progress because even if I find that a boss was exactly as hard as I want him to be, later if another boss has way too much magic attack power, ill have to reduce the multiplier and then that boss might be ok but the first boss is too easy so I cant aim for something that will be perfect for a specific enemy and instead have to find the value that will best fit the whole but that means I have to test the whole game each time if I want to be sure there is not one enemy somewhere that will be way too hard or way too easy.. I have a set of save states at different parts of the game to test a bunch of enemies faster but I dont like the feeling that I dont really know if its gonna be ok throught the whole game and since my save-states are from the easy difficulty, I dont have a real representation of how the enemies are strong because I would normally be leveled up a bit more.. its all too much guessing and testing and I dont even know if the testing part is accurate  :-\

Ill post again soon to on what you guys posted
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on December 20, 2015, 08:55:47 pm
alot

Frankly, I find hard to be about the right amount of difficulty.  I just finished up Sage Joch.  The tower of light bosses were very difficult.  The Minotaur boss took me 7-8 tries.  His melee attacks were doing 250 damage, followed by Level 8 earth spells I just couldn't survive. I ended up running from him while casting Level 4 Sylphid spells and healing with the Undine after every attack.  Just about every boss is a 2HKO.  The allies' AI just puts them in harms way and they die...alot.

Maybe with the defensive spells they can be made to work on a per-hit basis, which seems like how the other Wall-like spells last.  Now that I have Lumina and I can defend against physicals with magic I think my survivability will go way up.  If nothing else, please release a version that Elementals are gained at a certain level or that their power increases another way, like when you gain power from a mana seed.

With few recent posts, I was afraid that the project was abandoned.  I, as I am sure many others do...look forward to future updates.  I will continue to post on my experience and if you have a request for a specific area of testing I can try to help.  My play time is hit or miss some days but I would be happy to help on this project as I believe it has great potential. 
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Recklessly Impressionable on December 20, 2015, 10:30:21 pm
Hell yeah zhade, I goddamn love this hack. Those improvements you've listed look great
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 21, 2015, 09:31:36 am
about playing the game on a real snes:
Actually, I have to point out that when I only had Randi and pressed the R button the game basically froze. Not sure why aside from maybe he couldn't target anything with the magic that he doesn't have. Also, after some testing I cannot seem to get the magic binding to work too well

I dont remember what caused the crash exactly and the details but when working on multi-targetting a similar crash happened often, it had something to do with targetting something that shouldn't be targeted, like if a player had its face cursor over an enemy and another player killed the enemy, the game would crash because the enemy RAM area where the player cursor is getting its location coordinates from has been overwritten by the death animation data and now contain unknown stuff . If it was only the cursor location that got its data from there it would only appear in the wrong place and/or seem to move randomly but the "target RAM adress" was reused without checking all the time because it was checked for validity before beign assigned so it was assumed that it would stay valid.. (yea I somehow forgot when first writing the routine that enemies have that tendency to die that I then remembered probably could have had some of it due to how the players spend most of their play time trying to swing big sharp objects at their face as hard as they can in order to make it happen  :-\)

About the hotkeys not working properly, this might actually be good news ! I was not able to make the hotkeys work when I tested on bsnes (or was it higan ?) either, hopefully it might be that (bsnes or higan) does emulate the game perfectly after all, or at least accurately enough for me to spot and remove bugs that would happen on real hardware, but dont show up on snes9x or zsnes like this. :thumbsup:


1- I really look forward to when the elementals join with a higher level. Getting Sylphid and having to grind becomes very annoying.
2- The idea of having different buffs for different weapons is great. Is there a way to display it? Like "Balloons enemies - Crit Hit up". It would show on each leveled weapon but this way we would know and have a reason to switch weapons.
3- Does the action gauge increase with each level gained?  I noticed a big increase when I got the level 2 charge but not on the level 3.
4- Is there a way to have the armor display their status blocking properties?

5-Any chance of having the block button be a "hold-to-block" instead of a certain number of frames?  I started blocking when I first did the hack but now with the enemies getting tougher I find that if I block and don't time it right it does a considerable amount of damage and isn't worth it to try to time the block correctly.  Don't get me wrong, I love the mechanic.  I just feel like the benefit doesn't equal the cost.

1 - I think ill try to do this next, it shouldnt be really hard since I would only need to set the level of the spirits to their default values at the start of a new game and once you would get the spirit it would be at that level (unless when you obtain a new spirit it sets its level to 0 but I dont see why it would really..). I could instead make it so each spirit have a level at least = to its (new)default , every so often, like when loading between screens so that if you have a saved game on an earlier version it would automatically set all spirits to their default level if its lower.

2 - I decided to give up on buff on weapons and armors because I had trouble writing there actually, I couldnt find the way that the game send raw text to transform it into gfx.. I could change the textbox content but only by writing raw graphics data to ram.. if I wanted to write some text, I would need to have the gfx of each letter lined up one after the other, I could get the letters gfx data from weapons or anything that is written in the upper textbox, letter by letter and store them in the rom, kinda like a bitmap font and then I could have a routine that gets text and writes it to the textbox.. but that would take ages.. and the game must have a way to do it but I searched for it for a long time and couldnt figure it out : / Adding buffs and all doesnt really make sense it cant be seen in-game.. the game actually already does that so it would have been nice to at least be able to see the stats boosts that certain armors gives and the weapons effectiveVs. and status effect and level / maxlevel, instead of having to go in the menu (for weapons) and going to the stats back and forth when equiping armors to see if any stat has changed XD the weapons crit rate also never appears..

3- IIRC the gauge has 3 possible states, slow,medium,fast. all charges equal or below currentLevel/2 (rounded down), are fast, all others are medium but the last one (the current level) is always slow. So on level 2 you get charge1 at fast and charge2 at slow, on level 3 you get 1 fast,2medium,3slow.  Btw the "slow" speed is the game's normal charge speed.

4 - see "2"

5 - having the block on hold is what I wanted to do at first, I just couldnt find a way to stop animations so that you would take the block position, keep it, and on release do the rest of the animation "putting down weapon".. I could make it so you stay in blocking mode but, you would not do any animation (altho wont be able to move) and if something was to hit you, you would do the block animation and receive no damage. Altho there would need to be some kind of penality for dodging or else you could just stand surounded by enemies and hold block and if they only have physical attacks you would never get hit. I thought of making it drain you power% so the more you hold it the more you will have to wait to attack and if your power% reaches 0 you cant block anymore for like 3seconds. I kind of prefer how it is right now because since you have to time you block well, there is no need for a penality compared to if you were auto-blocking when holding the block button. but I think it might be possible to mix the 2: once you would press block you would be auto-blocking, if something hits you during that time, you do the block animation and become invincible during the animation but then you have to wait a small bit to block again, if you release the button before getting hit, you will do the animation. So you could tap the block button for a timed block or hold it and wait for the attack, if you get hit before releasing the button (which mean you will auto-block) you will lose 25% of your power or some other amount so that if you want to attack an enemy and when getting close to it you see that it will attack you might want to try a timed dodge so you can counter-attack right away or play it safe and hold the block button if your priority is not getting hit.

 
1) If I might strongly suggest making the screen scroll much earlier, before the character reaches inches away from the screen's edge. As it is now, exploring is exceedingly uncomfortable and enemies seem to appear from nowhere, giving me a few frustrating game overs.

2) I haven't picked up any spells yet, but if they still pause the game and are largely unavoidable, I'd suggest doing something to give the player an out with these as well. Unavoidable attacks are, to me, one of the few deadly sins of gaming. Also, game mechanics that tell the player to "not play" for any length of time are pretty putrid as well, which I seem to remember the spells in this game doing, so if they're the same as I remember, I'd say that would be the biggest thing in need of changing.

1 - Since I played it alot I didnt see how much that was a problem but when I picked it up again lately I noticed how weird it looks it would be nice if I could find a way I've already looked alot into it and it seems impossible to do unless garbage portion of maps can appear because nothing in the game tells the screen to stop moving, it always follows the players, the only reason you cant see farther on any map is because your character is blocked by a wall and cant push the screen. If the screen starts moving sooner, it means that the screen will get stopped later so you would be able to see beyond where you normally should and the level designers didnt bother with the areas you can't see so the map graphics might be complete garbage, or it might even reach the end of the map on which case you would see the other end.. Altho it could make the gameplay better, seeing odd tiles here and there would look like you were playing an unfinished game.

2 - Yeah when it comes to spells, som is basically like a turn-based rpg you pick a traget, watch the animation and see the damage.. altho the gameplay is not stopped during spells unless its a level 8+ spell (basically maximum level). The magic cooldown time and magic hotkeys makes the whole spellcasting slowdown the gameplay alot less but it would have been nice if the game had a magic system that targets areas instead of directly targeting players and monsters, so you could throw fireballs infront of you or heal nearby allies instead of having to stop moving and pick a target but since square decided to have magics target people directly for every single spell, it would be pretty hard to fix that.. it would need new spell effects too since they were made to target people  :o


1- Keeping lower powered weapons with status effects on Purim and Popoi and a powerful weapon on Randi is a good combination. Confuse + Balloon lets me get through most dungeons.  The enemies hit HARD, even with the best armor.

2- Enemies are so powerful that I find myself having to heal often which eats up my MP.  It would be nice if level-ups restored MP as well. 

3- I wish that the non-offensive spells actually did something. They just don't seem to have the duration or power to make a difference when I need the MP for healing and attack.  It would be nice if they kept their duration until you were killed or rested.  Stacking defender, speed up, and sabres is a lot of MP but should be worth the effort. 

4- Adding effects to the weapons like stat boosts to increase magic, agility, etc. may help to vary the effects.  It doesn't seem like the "good against x monster" is really worth the trade off from something like confuse/sleep/balloon.


1) I plan on reducing the weapon status effects chance actually  ::) those 2 are pretty much why :P

2) recovering MP is a good idea it could keep you from having to go to the nearest village a bit more, but I think recovering it all is a much, especially for Purim, a level up normally heals your HP as a bonus, and most of the time if you have a decent undine level with 2 MP you could fully heal someone(and is probably what you will use the MP for), so if you recover 20 MP you basically have 10x the normal bonus :P Once ill get into magic rebalancing, which is the big part of what I need to do before V1.0, I might add automatic mana recovery, and I also thought of making spells cost more if the spirit is higher level so it would give a reason to use the other spirits if you dont need the power of your high level spirits and dont want to waste the MP.

3)I plan on changing purim's magic alot, especially those with a time duration, and look into how they change stats because some of them are kind of obscure.. I would also like to make them more kinda visible, or affect the gameplay more instead of stats. like speed up instead of.. raising your evasion I guess ? (which is useless in this hack actually..) it could raise your movement speed, making you run without pressing the run button and without reseting the power% for a short time, level ups would increase the duration and the MP cost. maybe lunar boost could make the magic cooldown faster so you would want to cast it on the magic casters during boss fights and re-cast it when it worns off giving Purim something really worth casting other than cure. I think all buf-type spells would need something, like moon energy i doesnt appear at all in-game other than in the increased damage. Maybe just a sound that would play when you hit something and have the buf could make it so you would associate the sound with a "powerful attack" and notice the change in damage more and when the buf ends.

4) in fact effectiveness against monster types is really hard to use, most places have monsters of many types so it wil probably work only on 1 or 2 different enemy in an area and its hard to tell the types of monsters. At least the game is not telling your that a weapon is effective against something while it is not :P It might be usefull against bosses if you know their type but I have never tried really XD and status effects on weapons happen too frequently too
I don't know about adding stats to armor and weapons, there are so few of them and its where you get most of your defense and magic defense, using an armor which  has lower defense but increases a certain stat could work at first but after 2-3 new armors the defense will be too low unless the stat bonus is very big so its worth it, but if its on a low level armor it means you would obtain this early in the game so when you would first obtain it the stat boost would be way too much..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ChemaROMhacking on December 26, 2015, 02:38:05 am
I cam assure you spirit levels don't change back to zero
I have set them to certain levels with AR codes, turn them off and when I get the spirits it shows the values I used on the codes
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on December 26, 2015, 07:28:44 pm
1. I look forward to the release with the Elementals' levels increased.
2. What about changing the block to just reduce damage instead of nullify it?  This way you could hold a defensive position but not be completely invulnerable.
3. I cannot wait to see what you do to upgrade Purim's magic. Right now she basically just spams cure.

4. Some form of healing on level up would be nice. Alternately, you could increase the carrying capacity of Faerie Walnuts.  Money doesn't seem to be troublesome.  Also, especially if Purim's spells become more useful you don't want to be casting a lot of buffs and have no MP for cure spells. Speed Up (increasing movement speed), Defender, and the Elemental Sabers suffer the most, I think. 

Later spells like the barriers are very useful, especially on hard.  Even Salamando's spells have a niche of being attack spells.  The earlier elementals are acquired gradually and most of the early spells aren't useful whereas when you get the latter elementals quickly and most of their spells are useful (once you level them up). 

I'm not crazy about the idea of having more powerful leveled elementals' spells cost more. Where is the incentive then to level them up if 1 or 2 casts will deplete your MP whereas you could get the same damage from more smaller casts.  I don't know if I like that idea, personally.

5. I now notice that my charge bars are faster as I level them more.

6. What about making the "good vs enemies" multiplier greater. Yeah, they are kind of niche right now and they are only effective vs. a few enemies in the area. This would make it more worthwhile to switch to that weapon if the damage increase was larger. Also, right now it seems like they all get the same affinities right around the same time.  What about changing those so that you don't have "good vs beasts" on all of your weapons, forcing you to vary your weapon selection.  It could cause you to switch to a weapon you have been neglecting so that you get the better power boost on some of the enemies.  Again, it would have to be a good boost, like x1.25 or 1.5 (balance testing req'd.)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 27, 2015, 01:14:41 am
Quote
Frankly, I find hard to be about the right amount of difficulty.  I just finished up Sage Joch.  The tower of light bosses were very difficult.  The Minotaur boss took me 7-8 tries.  His melee attacks were doing 250 damage, followed by Level 8 earth spells I just couldn't survive. I ended up running from him while casting Level 4 Sylphid spells and healing with the Undine after every attack.  Just about every boss is a 2HKO.  The allies' AI just puts them in harms way and they die...alot.

hum.. from what you say, it seems hard me a little bit too hard.. since I want to make weapon status effects happen less often, it would be even harder.. I guess ill wait after modifying the spells to start balancing again but the insane difficulty might not be needed after all.. or maybe It could be the same as hard but with enemies having more HP or something instead of modifying all stats like other difficulties. If bosses kill you in 2 hits on hard already, making them stronger seems like a bad idea.. the insane difficulty would only be for insane people who REALLY like it hard but I think anyone is masochist enough to have fun getting killed in 1 hit..

1. I look forward to the release with the Elementals' levels increased.
2. What about changing the block to just reduce damage instead of nullify it?  This way you could hold a defensive position but not be completely invulnerable.
3. I cannot wait to see what you do to upgrade Purim's magic. Right now she basically just spams cure.

4. Some form of healing on level up would be nice. Alternately, you could increase the carrying capacity of Faerie Walnuts.  Money doesn't seem to be troublesome.  Also, especially if Purim's spells become more useful you don't want to be casting a lot of buffs and have no MP for cure spells. Speed Up (increasing movement speed), Defender, and the Elemental Sabers suffer the most, I think. 

Later spells like the barriers are very useful, especially on hard.  Even Salamando's spells have a niche of being attack spells.  The earlier elementals are acquired gradually and most of the early spells aren't useful whereas when you get the latter elementals quickly and most of their spells are useful (once you level them up). 

I'm not crazy about the idea of having more powerful leveled elementals' spells cost more. Where is the incentive then to level them up if 1 or 2 casts will deplete your MP whereas you could get the same damage from more smaller casts.  I don't know if I like that idea, personally.

5. I now notice that my charge bars are faster as I level them more.

6. What about making the "good vs enemies" multiplier greater. Yeah, they are kind of niche right now and they are only effective vs. a few enemies in the area. This would make it more worthwhile to switch to that weapon if the damage increase was larger. Also, right now it seems like they all get the same affinities right around the same time.  What about changing those so that you don't have "good vs beasts" on all of your weapons, forcing you to vary your weapon selection.  It could cause you to switch to a weapon you have been neglecting so that you get the better power boost on some of the enemies.  Again, it would have to be a good boost, like x1.25 or 1.5 (balance testing req'd.)

1- Ill probably include this in the next patch, altho it might take some time before I can release it because I left it in a bad shape.. I think ill have to hack my hack to find the values I used for the stats multipliers because I didnt think about writing it down before starting to play with values to try to balance things. In the meantime, if you want to continue your game but dont want to have to grind magic levels, you could use cheats for the elemental levels. I found these adresses that correspond to the characters spirit levels, heres it works:
basically each code sets 2 of the character's spirit levels, in the same order as they appear in the menu where you can see your spirits experience/levels.
To use them as gameshark or AR codes, you have to type the adress first then the level of the 2 spirits that this adress corresponds to, each spirit level only take 1 digit so for example if you wanted the girl to have gnome at level 3 and undine at level 2 you could use : 7EE3C432.
After the code is activated, return to the game, check if it worked, then deactivate the code(s), or else your levels will stay the same forever.

purim:
7EE3C4
7EE3C5
7EE3C6
7EE3C7

popoie:
7EE5C4
7EE5C5
7EE5C6
7EE5C7

If you are finished with sage joch, you probably only have dryad left to aquire so just use : 7EE3C6x4 and 7EE5C6y4 replacing x with purim's luna level and y with popoie's luna level and you should have dryad start at level 4. Thanks a lot for the testing, ideas and feedback in general btw, its really apreciated !
Oh btw, chemaROMhacking, are these the same codes you used ?

2- Having the block only reduce the damage instead of nullifying would make it so you would have to wait for the "getting hit" animation so you wouldnt be able to use it right before attacking. I think people would use it even less too if you receive damage anyway and would try to just move out of the way of the attack instead to receive no damage. That said, it might be a good idea to have the normal dodge stay the same, but if you keep holding the dodge button after the animation is finished you would still be blocking, but you would receive a reduced amount of damage if hit. So you could still use well-timed blocks and receive no damage, or keep pressing block if your stated to block too soon and block only part of the damage. I think I prefer this as a penality compared to draining the power%.

3- yea, cure always has been her best magic, or at least the one people probably used the most.. but now with the magic cooldown time using any other spell during a boss fight seems like a bad choice since its a wasted oportunity to heal and from I get from what you said, on hard you can't afford to waste any oportunity to heal and even if you could, you would rather keep the MP to heal later. It always bothered me since I was a kid (as a kid I always played as Purim, we kept Randi as the CPU because he had more def and hp so died less) that most of her other spells are useless, don't seem to do much or are just not worth the MP.. Popoie's spells will probably stay the same aside from MP costs and maybe removing drain MP, because well.. once you have drain MP, you basically have infinite MP -_-. It might not be as abusive as in vanilla with the magic cooldown tho, I actually didnt use it at all on my playthrough on the easy difficulty so like all spell-related stuff right now its not at all set in stone.

4 - I didnt stuff to cost more money because unlike in most rpgs, there are only a few recovery items and all of them are acessible at the very beginning of the game (if you dont mind getting robed by Neko) so If a walnut costed 10,000 instead of 500, it would make it impossible to buy some when you first gain magic abilities but by the end of the game 10,000 would look like spare change .. And yes there will need to be a way for Purim to have more MP or something or else even with better spells most people would rather keep the MP for cure..

6 - IIRC, the damage delt on an enemy which is vunerable to your weapon is 1.25x or 1.50x (I think its the same as the elemental sabers) so It should be noticably higher than normal. Maybe I could make a sound play when you hit an enemy's weakness  so you could know when it works instead of having to compare the damage all the time.. It would make it easier to remember enemies types too, since there is no way to know enemy types unlike elemental weakness which can be known using analyser and like I said before, trying to deduce an enemy's type by how it looks can be really hard..


You said purim's magics which suffer the most include sabers ? Even with how it now increases the damage on weak enemies ? I personnaly only tried using ice saber against fire gigas but even tho the damage multiplier is 1.5x, it didnt seem to help very much.

About spells costing more MP as the level increase, Im still not sure if it is a good idea since spells costs are very low in vanilla so if I wanted the cost to increase by 1 each level a 1MP cost spell would cost 9 at level 8 altho a 2MP cost would cost 9 so instead of one costing half of the other, both would appear to cost pretty much the same... I thought about this with MP regeneration in mind but the more I think about it the more it looks like it would be hard to balance and having cure level 7 cost more than cure level 6 would make it so you would be disapointed when you get the level-up because level 6 already healed enough and now it will heal more than you need at a higher cost and a rpg which penalyses you for leveling-up is kind of missing the point.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: WeebeeGeebee on December 27, 2015, 08:03:18 pm
Something I would like to see, if it has not already been mentioned ~ modify the dashing so that, rather than having to waste a charge each time you dash, it just works the same way it would in Chrono Trigger or Teranigma. You just hold down a button and you can run and keep running in whatever directions you like. You aren't forced to keep running in the same direction you were facing. Also, a map indicator for Flammie Mode like there is in Seiken Densetsu 3 would be nice, and would make getting to places easier, probably.

Oh... and dumb idea maybe, but... the ability to have multiple characters use the same weapon? Like, if I wanna give the Sprite and the Girl both the whip... >.>
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 28, 2015, 10:48:52 am
Something I would like to see, if it has not already been mentioned ~ modify the dashing so that, rather than having to waste a charge each time you dash, it just works the same way it would in Chrono Trigger or Teranigma. You just hold down a button and you can run and keep running in whatever directions you like. You aren't forced to keep running in the same direction you were facing. Also, a map indicator for Flammie Mode like there is in Seiken Densetsu 3 would be nice, and would make getting to places easier, probably.

Oh... and dumb idea maybe, but... the ability to have multiple characters use the same weapon? Like, if I wanna give the Sprite and the Girl both the whip... >.>

I managed to make it so you hold A and can move in any direction while runnning but you never stop advancing until you release A. You still needs 100% power to run and have to recharge after, but you can always attack while running if you dont want to wait for your power% to recharge. I didn't know about this until a minute ago when I tried running on my current build and tested to see if something would make it go wrong, at first I thought it was my hack that somehow allowed attacking while running since I never heard of that beign possible, and it seemed like a pretty good attack too so why didnt I hear of that  ? I tried on a clean rom and it turns out it is also possible to attack while running in the original game, altho theres a major difference with the hack... Out of nowhere a free new feature magically was created, enhancing something I didnt even know existed in the first place  :huh:

Heres my theory about how this blessed bug happened (followed by what it actually does :P): Each weapon has a "main attack", basically the attack you see when pressing B in vanilla is the "main attack", all other attacks normally only happen when close to an enemy altho pressing B when able to attack always triggers a "main attack" first, which might then be changed for an alternate attack if some criterias are met and/or some coin flips are won (which could be a "sword thrust" but also the ocasional free level 1 charge attacks as well as throws and wrestling attacks with the gloves and probably some I dont remember). Since the developers wanted you to stop moving when attacking, they made it so you lose all momentum and is considered not-running each time you trigger a "main attack", checked before it could be changed into something else, so basically any attack possible... But when doing strong attacks with my mod, the attack animation is set right at the start, so its never considered a "main attack" so doesnt stop you from running. The result is that if you run and press forward + attack, you will do the thrust attack but keep moving in the direction you were going for the duration of the animation. All thurst attacks fit perfectly with moving forward as you do them because they already have that forward motion feel to them and are already set to forward+attack so I dont have to change a thing :P Weapons with no thurst animations somtimes look silly tho like the whip and it makes no sense with projectile weapons, with the bow you basically shoot an arrow while sliding, making aiming almost impossible and getting you closer the the enemy.. But for melee weapons its very good, probably too powerfull as it is now because I think it does the normal damage as if you had 100% power but you do it while running so it gives less time for enemies to react before you attack and give you an increased mobility to dodge attacks too and since you move while doing the attack , it has more potential to hit multiple enemies too. Im not 100% sure I want to add this but its nice to know it would be easy if I wanted just because the game decided to give me this one for free :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: WeebeeGeebee on December 28, 2015, 01:24:56 pm
Nice, and thank you for taking the suggestion into consideration. ^_^
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on December 29, 2015, 04:51:28 pm
I used the code to push Level 7 on all of my Elementals, which helps.  However, even general enemies attacks are WAY too powerful.  I'm about level 49 with Randi and, even with fully upgraded equipment, the enemies in the Pureland OHKO me.  This actually was a problem in the Grand Palace as some of the creatures there were just too powerful.  The Lizard boss that eats you with an almost unblockable attack was a OHKO every time. 

Randi just can get a few hits in, but I cannot ever get any more than 1-2 charges, even at maximum speed.  Battles are usually:

1. Cast shield spells before battle.
2. Go into battle and have sprite use magic.
3. Waiting for magic to recharge...either Popoi or Purim usually are dead by this point.  Cup of Wishes.
4. Repeat while Randi runs around trying not to get hit.

I have still been able to defeat the enemies at this point and have had to use shield spells. There is no other way to survive.  I am stuck on the serpent in the Pure Land at the moment.  His earthspells are OHKO and he moves too erratically and quickly for physical attacks.   I think that they could stand to have a power decrease and possibly an increase in HP.  A few powerful weakness-targeting elemental spells can take out most bosses, but you have to revive almost after each cast because you cannot survive 1 hit.  Of course, this is much more challenging than chain-casting in vanilla.  It just needs a bit of tuning.  The spell delay makes for a much more interactive game.

I also realized that Stone Saber petrifies enemies for an almost instant kill and how powerful this is.  I was researching about the actual effects of the sabers and they may be more powerful than I had thought.  I 25% boost to power, plus status effects which are good for common enemies.  Was it ever determined that the Thunder Saber increases critical hits? 

Being able to multi-target Revivify and Moon Energy is awesome.

Randi has really fallen off the radar at this point in the game.  Is there any way to make him have advantages that the other two do not have?  Like have all of his weapon charges be "fast" speed?  Like Vanilla, physicals just do not do much late game.  If you can hit with a Saber and Moon Energy you can deal good damage...but I think it stems from balance.  You don't want to get close because you WILL get hit and die if trying to physically attack because the enemies hit so hard.  Ranged attacks are tough to target. 

Would it be beneficial to increase Purim's MP pool growth?  This would allow her to cast more spells before a battle and between Inn visits.  Right now you want to save MP for curing but if you have a bigger pool it might help/be a partial solution to balancing.

One big issue is being knocked unconscious.  It happens rather frequently and spells certain doom at this point.  Since Lumina provides decent physical protection, is there a way that Defender could be replaced to provide status protection?

Are bosses immune to all status ailments or is it possible to use Silence?  I feel like I was able to use it early game or it just may have been my imagination.  Of course some things like slow don't matter because enemies don't have much evasion.

I do see the increase in damage from "good vs x" on weapons but there isn't any way to tell what group the creatures belong to. 

I also noticed that I cannot assign spells with the most recent patch.  I have been so busy using mapped cure spells I tried to map the shield spells and I get the noise, but it doesn't seem to stick.

Hope the input helps and keep up the good work.  I love what you have done so far.

EDIT: Ok, so the Dragon Worm/Snake in the Pure Land is ridiculous.  I may need to do some grinding and level up.  Hard mode definitely inflates his HP because I see he has over 7,000 where normally it is about 3500.  I can usually do about 2-3k damage to him before I die. His erratic movement and the capability to damage me by running me over.  I have about 500HP for Randi and around 300+ for Purim and Popoi and he can plow through all three characters doing about 280 damage.  Level 8 earth spells do about 250-300 damage.  Even with shield spells (which don't work 100% of the time) he can use Balloon Ring and Petrify Gas which gets around those.  Maybe grinding will help. He is about 10 levels higher than me at this point. 
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Gi Nattak on December 30, 2015, 03:04:11 pm
Sounds like Hard Mode might be a bit more practical for 2-3 human players, to avoid the attacks a bit more. For single player it's more like Hell Mode.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 02, 2016, 01:24:46 am
I thought pureland sure was gonna be a problem, its the hardest part of the game after all because of the huge difficulty leap you face once you first get there...

I used the code to push Level 7 on all of my Elementals, which helps.  However, even general enemies attacks are WAY too powerful.  I'm about level 49 with Randi and, even with fully upgraded equipment, the enemies in the Pureland OHKO me.  This actually was a problem in the Grand Palace as some of the creatures there were just too powerful.  The Lizard boss that eats you with an almost unblockable attack was a OHKO every time.
It really seems like hard mode should actually be the "insane" mode as it is right now, having 4 difficulty settings is probably too much anyway, normal, hard and insane should be enough

Randi just can get a few hits in, but I cannot ever get any more than 1-2 charges, even at maximum speed.  Battles are usually:

1. Cast shield spells before battle.
2. Go into battle and have sprite use magic.
3. Waiting for magic to recharge...either Popoi or Purim usually are dead by this point.  Cup of Wishes.
4. Repeat while Randi runs around trying not to get hit.

I have still been able to defeat the enemies at this point and have had to use shield spells. There is no other way to survive.  I am stuck on the serpent in the Pure Land at the moment.  His earthspells are OHKO and he moves too erratically and quickly for physical attacks.   I think that they could stand to have a power decrease and possibly an increase in HP.  A few powerful weakness-targeting elemental spells can take out most bosses, but you have to revive almost after each cast because you cannot survive 1 hit.  Of course, this is much more challenging than chain-casting in vanilla.  It just needs a bit of tuning.  The spell delay makes for a much more interactive game.
again, altho this does not seem to make the game impossible, it looks more suitable for insane and should be reduced for hard

I also realized that Stone Saber petrifies enemies for an almost instant kill and how powerful this is.  I was researching about the actual effects of the sabers and they may be more powerful than I had thought.  I 25% boost to power, plus status effects which are good for common enemies.  Was it ever determined that the Thunder Saber increases critical hits? 
I didnt knew about the stone saber until recently too, it is way too powerful compared to other sabers tho.. its practicly the same as ice saber but you can still hit the enemy while it is petrified and its an instant-kill.. Thunder saber has been said to increase critical hit many times, I guess its an old rumor that still appear on some FAQs, I read somewhere that it actually does nothing at all, IIRC regrs confirmed that here previously. Oh just checked my sources, and actually regers is also the one who informed the guy who made the spell guide on gamefaqs : link to faq (http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/588646-secret-of-mana/faqs/57697) The faq also contains other errors here and there so should not be thought as always acurate, but its still a good reference. There is already moon energy that garantees critical hits for some time (or a number of hits ?) so I think making thundersaber deal confusion or balloon (altho it would still be another paralyzing effect...) would make sense since they are sylhphid's status effects. Or maybe lumina could confuse/silence (as if the enemy was blinded ?). Still there is alot of balancing to be done in this area because right now, all sabers cost 2 have the same chance to cause the status effect but some are just better than others.. Ill probably reduce the status effect chance overall and increase the ones which are worse and also maybe add a bit more damage to the engulfed status. Even tho the satus effect will happen less frequently the damage increase when attacking enemies weak to your sabers element will always work, so It might help to make you choose the saber you want to use depending on the area's principal elemental weakness instead of always using stone saber./b]

Being able to multi-target Revivify and Moon Energy is awesome.

Randi has really fallen off the radar at this point in the game.  Is there any way to make him have advantages that the other two do not have?  Like have all of his weapon charges be "fast" speed?  Like Vanilla, physicals just do not do much late game.  If you can hit with a Saber and Moon Energy you can deal good damage...but I think it stems from balance.  You don't want to get close because you WILL get hit and die if trying to physically attack because the enemies hit so hard.  Ranged attacks are tough to target.
Yeah, randi layer in the game, even tho has more power, def and HP, it doesnt seem to make him the strong warrior he is in the beginning, normally he still can take more damage which is welcome but if enemies one-hit kill you eventually, his stats are useless.. So again, this sounds insane, not hard :P 

Would it be beneficial to increase Purim's MP pool growth?  This would allow her to cast more spells before a battle and between Inn visits.  Right now you want to save MP for curing but if you have a bigger pool it might help/be a partial solution to balancing.
Yeah, in fact it could help balancing, since you need to wait for the cooldown anyway, max MP affects only how much you have to use walnuts and go to the INN instead of beign able to spend it all at once chain-casting on a boss so it should not make things easier anyway, just more practical. I just hope ill be able to use a multiplier and wont have to change all the max MP values for each of her levels :P

One big issue is being knocked unconscious.  It happens rather frequently and spells certain doom at this point.  Since Lumina provides decent physical protection, is there a way that Defender could be replaced to provide status protection?
Hum, I like the idea, I really dont like beign uncousious either.. Im not sure if it should replace defender, be an added effect or be applies to another spell, but ill keep this in mind.

Are bosses immune to all status ailments or is it possible to use Silence?  I feel like I was able to use it early game or it just may have been my imagination.  Of course some things like slow don't matter because enemies don't have much evasion.
I think they are immune, maybe they are not immune to their weak type's status effects ? but that would surprise me and some boss only use magic so silence would make them a target practice so they probably kept that from happening.

I do see the increase in damage from "good vs x" on weapons but there isn't any way to tell what group the creatures belong to. 

I also noticed that I cannot assign spells with the most recent patch.  I have been so busy using mapped cure spells I tried to map the shield spells and I get the noise, but it doesn't seem to stick.
hum thats weird, is it when you cast that you hear the "ok" sound but notthin happens ? or when setting the hotkey ?

Hope the input helps and keep up the good work.  I love what you have done so far.
Thats for your continued testing, even if the difficulty is crazy :P

EDIT: Ok, so the Dragon Worm/Snake in the Pure Land is ridiculous.  I may need to do some grinding and level up.  Hard mode definitely inflates his HP because I see he has over 7,000 where normally it is about 3500.  I can usually do about 2-3k damage to him before I die. His erratic movement and the capability to damage me by running me over.  I have about 500HP for Randi and around 300+ for Purim and Popoi and he can plow through all three characters doing about 280 damage.  Level 8 earth spells do about 250-300 damage.  Even with shield spells (which don't work 100% of the time) he can use Balloon Ring and Petrify Gas which gets around those.  Maybe grinding will help. He is about 10 levels higher than me at this point. 
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 02, 2016, 02:21:30 pm
I'm not sure I agree with the default levels for the spirits(I guess it wouldn't hurt though), you can already level them insanely easy just by a speed button and casting them, even for the sprite, since now you can target anyone with anything. As for the stats on weapons it might be nice, but for the axe instead of defense I suggest adding more attack. Axes are generally considered to be weapons that deal more damage than swords, so more damage on axes would make more sense to me(or if it ever becomes possible you could make it ignore defense by a % but I doubt it ever will be unless there are already stats like that). As for the javelin, if you increased it's hit% to 100 wouldn't that make the bow obsolete then, unless one had more damage and the other had less? One suggestion I could have is to give one a higher crit rate(again if possible, or you could give that to axes if you didn't want to give it more attack). If it's possible another nice stat bonus would be increased movement speed, but again I'm not sure that's possible. For the stat boosts, are you planning on doing it per level per weapon, or just change the stat bonuses depending on the weapon? (I dunno the hit rates btw and I'm sure the hit rates are higher than this, this is just an example) For example, say all weapons have 50% or lower hit rate. Give bow a 60% hit rate and then have it increase in hit rate per level, etc. I haven't tried the patch yet, just were my thoughts on what you already had. As for the main character, the hack seems to highlight the other characters much more(since he doesn't use spells). I have some suggestions for that, but I'll save them until I play through the hack(Though I will say basically it's giving him some of the less useful/used spells that the others have, since imo the SPRITE at least, has too many spells that don't have as much of an impact as the most damaging ones), because I can't remember some of the spells. As for the binding spells. Would it be possible to also bind items? This would make the hack completely remove the need to interrupt the game at all, and it'd also benefit the main character since he has no spells, although it would benefit everyone so he'd still have no real impact on the hack.

After playing the hack I've realized a few things that could use some improvement.

One, the whole getting hit and not being able to get back up thing, still happens. At least in normal mode, I don't know what the modes actually determine, whether it be getting up time, attack timers, or what, but I've noticed a lot of times I'll just be stuck into a wall when there are at least 2 enemies and being stuck there until I die. I suppose this could be counteracted by using spells and switching characters, but as Carlie being stuck is certain death unless you can do something about it with another character. I'm not sure if it's worse or better than it was before, but it's certainly still a pain. If possible, an invincibility frame would be awesome, or an automatic guard as soon as you get up/while getting up.

Two, sometimes I forget which spells I've binded to which keys and end up casting attack spells on my allies and healing spells on my enemies. It'd be nice if you could possibly show the ring menu with those four spells in certain positions(without pausing the battle, and unable to move them, only there to show which spells were binded to which keys, for example if you put Cure on B, it'd show the cure icon on the bottom, for A it'd show whatever spell was binded to A on the left, etc), and then when you press the binded key, it disappears. If not, it may be better to just make spell targeting dependant on the spell, only enemies for attack spells and only allies for the support ones, although I'm guessing in order to do what you did you may have had no choice but to put them the way they are now, so I dunno. Also had another suggestion for a stat on weapons. the attack rate% could be increased for one of them. I'd suggest this on gloves, or sword, or maybe even boomerang.

Three, It seems to be like the bosses are WAY more powerful than before, and the thing before you get gnome seems to be able to chain cast spells like crazy, including AOE ones. Every time he appears, I'm pretty much unable to do anything because of a spell he's cast, then he just casts another single target spell on a party member and goes untargetable again. Is this a bug or intentional?

Four, I read you saying something about testing something with MP regeneration in mind and spells costing more as you leveled. Maybe you could increase the MAX MP for each character, give them MP regeneration and higher costs per level up altogether(and possibly increase base costs as well, since the Max MP would be increased). Doing this would make it so that while you will be able to regenerate MP and cast more spells between inn visits/ magic walnuts, the magic walnuts would give you the MP regeneration right away to recast your spells, while waiting for MP regen would be less effective. As for the MP cost fixing, if you could alter the actual costs per level per spell, you could make something like a 1 MP spell increase by 1 MP per level, while a 2 MP spell could increase by 2 per level, or a rounded 1.5, and then a 3 MP cost could be 3 per level, or 2 if you did rounded 1.5 for 2 MP spells. A 1 MP spell at level 8 would cost 9 MP, a 2 MP spell would cost 14, and a 3 MP spell would cost 19 with the 1/1.5/2 increases, and with the 1/2/3 increases it'd be 9, 18, and 26. Just some thoughts. Although the way you talked is it possible that spells have a maximum cost of 9? If so then that makes this idea kinda useless. Either way some MP regen would be amazing, even if it's slow.

Five, there was one thing that always annoyed me in SoM. if you were fully charged, and tried to hold the attack button to do a charge attack, you'd attack and then have to charge it all the way back up. Would there be a way to remove that and make it so that if you held charge, it instantly started charging? Also does ANYONE even use attacks that aren't at 100%? It does practically no damage no matter what % you are at unless it's 100%. You could also maybe remove the possibility to attack if it is less than 100% if not, since that always resets the charge% and causes you to have to wait longer to attack if you were to accidentally do so, or maybe make it so that it actually does a % of the total damage it'd do if it were at 100%, like if you were gonna do 20 damage at 100%, it'd do 18 if you were at 90%, 2 if you were at 10%, etc. I could be wrong and it actually did that, but I've never seen much damage from doing an attack that wasn't at 100% so I dunno. I'd prefer if the possibility to attack were just removed if it wasn't at 100% though honestly because if you were at 80% and your attack was gonna do 100 damage, it'd do 80 so you might as well wait until 100 anyways since that would hinder your damage potential.

I was wondering also, would it be possible to do something similar to Seiken Densetsu 3? It'd be nice to be able to map spells and cast them instantly, especially considering every character has skills in it, and they're used a lot more frequently(and I always loved Seiken Densetsu 3 more than the original, even though they got rid of the weapon levels/skills).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: MittensTheHero on January 02, 2016, 11:36:47 pm
Hey, loving the hack so far. Although i found a glitch right at the start, if you press R and then Down it freezes the game, cant seem to fix it.

This glitch is working with just the boy, and the boy and the girl in the party, i have not tested it when you actually get spells yet.

This is in the patch V0.10, It does not happen in V0.07

Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo2Tqx1dagA
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 03, 2016, 04:15:59 am
I'm not sure I agree with the default levels for the spirits(I guess it wouldn't hurt though), you can already level them insanely easy just by a speed button and casting them, even for the sprite, since now you can target anyone with anything.
In fact it is easy to gain spell levels anyway, altho its a bit longer with the cooldown, with a fast-forward key its still just like a second.. Its actually one of the reasons why I want to do this, since it doesnt require any skills (other than patience) to level up spells, why not make it less of a burden ?
As for the stats on weapons it might be nice, but for the axe instead of defense I suggest adding more attack. Axes are generally considered to be weapons that deal more damage than swords, so more damage on axes would make more sense to me(or if it ever becomes possible you could make it ignore defense by a % but I doubt it ever will be unless there are already stats like that). As for the javelin, if you increased it's hit% to 100 wouldn't that make the bow obsolete then, unless one had more damage and the other had less? One suggestion I could have is to give one a higher crit rate(again if possible, or you could give that to axes if you didn't want to give it more attack). If it's possible another nice stat bonus would be increased movement speed, but again I'm not sure that's possible. For the stat boosts, are you planning on doing it per level per weapon, or just change the stat bonuses depending on the weapon? (I dunno the hit rates btw and I'm sure the hit rates are higher than this, this is just an example) For example, say all weapons have 50% or lower hit rate. Give bow a 60% hit rate and then have it increase in hit rate per level, etc. I haven't tried the patch yet, just were my thoughts on what you already had.
For the axe I have increased critical hit in mind right now, denfence sounded cool at first but then I realized it would make it the kind of weapon you would give to your little brother (or to AI allies). Its kind of admitting you are bad at the game to choose this instead of another weapon with a stat boost that would increase something more offensive
As for the main character, the hack seems to highlight the other characters much more(since he doesn't use spells). I have some suggestions for that, but I'll save them until I play through the hack(Though I will say basically it's giving him some of the less useful/used spells that the others have, since imo the SPRITE at least, has too many spells that don't have as much of an impact as the most damaging ones), because I can't remember some of the spells. As for the binding spells. Would it be possible to also bind items? This would make the hack completely remove the need to interrupt the game at all, and it'd also benefit the main character since he has no spells, although it would benefit everyone so he'd still have no real impact on the hack.
Altho it is possible to make the boy cast spells using the hotkeys' way of "triggering a spell cast", it seems modifying the menu so each character has its spirits and spells shown correctly might be really hard tho. I havent been able to make the boy have a spirit selection menu, even with nothing in it or anything, it seems he doesnt have a spirit/spell selection menu like the others, or that it was removed and not just standing there for me to reactivate it. He also doesnt gain MP with his levels, altho that can be changed and he can cast just fine if you cheat-give him some MP. Im not sure he get elemental levels too or how hard it would be to have the spirit level page in the lvl menu to be accessible. And then I would have to make the cooldown and other things work with him too so yea  ::) ill skip this one. Altho I have to admit that would make some spells way more used, if he had sabers for example, there would be no reason not to use sabers almost all the time since it doesnt keep you from curing or casting offensive spells.. altho that could worsen the problem with Purim focusing too much on cure :| still I would have liked to have the boy cast some spells and around with who has which spell. Another thing I thought about some time ago was to have the boy the "item owner", at first I thought the key binding to only be a fast way to cast your character's spells, so you would have had to have purim to use cure for example, that left the boy with nothing so I thought he could be using items using same targeting system as spells that doesnt stop the action since its the second thing that makes you need to go into the menu the most

After playing the hack I've realized a few things that could use some improvement.

One, the whole getting hit and not being able to get back up thing, still happens. At least in normal mode, I don't know what the modes actually determine, whether it be getting up time, attack timers, or what, but I've noticed a lot of times I'll just be stuck into a wall when there are at least 2 enemies and being stuck there until I die. I suppose this could be counteracted by using spells and switching characters, but as Carlie being stuck is certain death unless you can do something about it with another character. I'm not sure if it's worse or better than it was before, but it's certainly still a pain. If possible, an invincibility frame would be awesome, or an automatic guard as soon as you get up/while getting up.
While it is still possible that you get stuck in a corner with enemies all around, get hit, fall and the very moment you are up and take control, get hit again repeatedly tho I think you can hold block and you character will block as soon as he possibly can which can help give you an oportunity to run away. at least now you "cant get hit when you are not in control" when doing falling/recovery animations, nothing can hit you. In the normal game at some point during the animation you become vunerable again even tho you are still unable to do anything to avoid getting hit. The "ninja-like-warewolves" are very good at doing this to you when you are low level and alot more on hard difficulty because they attack more often. Its when I was playing with enemies agressiveness and found out that made the wolves attacked so fast that if you let them hit you once, its over, you are never gonna have control of your character again, which after a while its like that moment when the game goes : "just drop your controller and wait patiently for your HP to be depleted and make sure to remember not ever getting hit next time. As I remember it, it made a huge difference and was noticable, but I was testing on the dual wolf fight. after which Purim joins. with increased enemies agressiveness maxed, which means the time the enemies have to wait before attacking again is 0, I wanted to see if it could be used for an insane mode but the fight against the wolves was impossible and having more hp or def wont really help when you cant move after 1 hit
I think its possible it didnt work because of the difficulty, normal difficulty is not yet implemented, in theory it should do the same as the other 2 with some different stat multipliers but nothing really balanced, but since I didnt bother to test on it I dont know if it somehow causes strange behaviours.


Two, sometimes I forget which spells I've binded to which keys and end up casting attack spells on my allies and healing spells on my enemies. It'd be nice if you could possibly show the ring menu with those four spells in certain positions(without pausing the battle, and unable to move them, only there to show which spells were binded to which keys, for example if you put Cure on B, it'd show the cure icon on the bottom, for A it'd show whatever spell was binded to A on the left, etc), and then when you press the binded key, it disappears. If not, it may be better to just make spell targeting dependant on the spell, only enemies for attack spells and only allies for the support ones, although I'm guessing in order to do what you did you may have had no choice but to put them the way they are now, so I dunno. Also had another suggestion for a stat on weapons. the attack rate% could be increased for one of them. I'd suggest this on gloves, or sword, or maybe even boomerang. Showing the current hotkeys is a good idea, but in-game I think it could cost too much on the framerate and end up causing slowdowns. I could see it appear when you are on the ring menu any ring menu of any character as long as you are the one who controls, like a smaller circle inside the ring so you would have a clear view of your current hotkeys when you assign them to spell and can return there if you forget. Altho Im very bad with graphics stuff really.. I wouldnt know where to start


Three, It seems to be like the bosses are WAY more powerful than before, and the thing before you get gnome seems to be able to chain cast spells like crazy, including AOE ones. Every time he appears, I'm pretty much unable to do anything because of a spell he's cast, then he just casts another single target spell on a party member and goes untargetable again. Is this a bug or intentional?
He always had that general behaviour, altho maybe the normal difficulty makes it weird. Usually waiting for his "balls" to start garthering and get ready casting spells as soon as he appears is my strategy, he hits hard but doesnt have so much HP.

Four, I read you saying something about testing something with MP regeneration in mind and spells costing more as you leveled. Maybe you could increase the MAX MP for each character, give them MP regeneration and higher costs per level up altogether(and possibly increase base costs as well, since the Max MP would be increased). Doing this would make it so that while you will be able to regenerate MP and cast more spells between inn visits/ magic walnuts, the magic walnuts would give you the MP regeneration right away to recast your spells, while waiting for MP regen would be less effective. As for the MP cost fixing, if you could alter the actual costs per level per spell, you could make something like a 1 MP spell increase by 1 MP per level, while a 2 MP spell could increase by 2 per level, or a rounded 1.5, and then a 3 MP cost could be 3 per level, or 2 if you did rounded 1.5 for 2 MP spells. A 1 MP spell at level 8 would cost 9 MP, a 2 MP spell would cost 14, and a 3 MP spell would cost 19 with the 1/1.5/2 increases, and with the 1/2/3 increases it'd be 9, 18, and 26. Just some thoughts. Although the way you talked is it possible that spells have a maximum cost of 9? If so then that makes this idea kinda useless. Either way some MP regen would be amazing, even if it's slow.

Five, there was one thing that always annoyed me in SoM. if you were fully charged, and tried to hold the attack button to do a charge attack, you'd attack and then have to charge it all the way back up. Would there be a way to remove that and make it so that if you held charge, it instantly started charging? Also does ANYONE even use attacks that aren't at 100%? It does practically no damage no matter what % you are at unless it's 100%. You could also maybe remove the possibility to attack if it is less than 100% if not, since that always resets the charge% and causes you to have to wait longer to attack if you were to accidentally do so, or maybe make it so that it actually does a % of the total damage it'd do if it were at 100%, like if you were gonna do 20 damage at 100%, it'd do 18 if you were at 90%, 2 if you were at 10%, etc. I could be wrong and it actually did that, but I've never seen much damage from doing an attack that wasn't at 100% so I dunno. I'd prefer if the possibility to attack were just removed if it wasn't at 100% though honestly because if you were at 80% and your attack was gonna do 100 damage, it'd do 80 so you might as well wait until 100 anyways since that would hinder your damage potential.

I was wondering also, would it be possible to do something similar to Seiken Densetsu 3? It'd be nice to be able to map spells and cast them instantly, especially considering every character has skills in it, and they're used a lot more frequently(and I always loved Seiken Densetsu 3 more than the original, even though they got rid of the weapon levels/skills).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: secondcircle on January 03, 2016, 01:50:29 pm
Hey guys, just found this mod seems great so far. Me and two friends played up to undine and it felt pretty good. Going to hit it harder and come up with a bigger post with suggestions and bug that we find. One thing quick though. Is .7 the newest version? It's the only one I can see to download on the main page, but when I was reading through the post I noticed references to a .9 and  .10 but I don't see where to download those. Thanks
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 03, 2016, 03:24:16 pm
Hey guys, just found this mod seems great so far. Me and two friends played up to undine and it felt pretty good. Going to hit it harder and come up with a bigger post with suggestions and bug that we find. One thing quick though. Is .7 the newest version? It's the only one I can see to download on the main page, but when I was reading through the post I noticed references to a .9 and  .10 but I don't see where to download those. Thanks
V0.10 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0)
I am sure zhade will be releasing a new version soon though.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: secondcircle on January 04, 2016, 01:17:59 pm
V0.10 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0)
I am sure zhade will be releasing a new version soon though.

Interesting, might just wait for that before we start our new run then.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 04, 2016, 04:43:08 pm
Well if giving the guy spells were an option my idea was to give him the weaker spells of the group like remedy and the sprites weaker spells. I was thinking about that issue with the spells. What if pressing the button showed the icon of the spell and you could still move the target around and whatnot and releasing it casted the spell?  Can that be done?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 04, 2016, 08:41:40 pm
Well if giving the guy spells were an option my idea was to give him the weaker spells of the group like remedy and the sprites weaker spells. I was thinking about that issue with the spells. What if pressing the button showed the icon of the spell and you could still move the target around and whatnot and releasing it casted the spell?  Can that be done?
I'd endorse that. It'd be like Cecil from Final Fantasy 4 getting low tiered healing spells when he becomes a Paladin. They are basically useless inside of battle, but help in saving MP of other characters outside. Of course, I'd just like to have the guy's casting animation implemented in just because it's a useless asset.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 04, 2016, 11:24:33 pm
Well in SoM Remedy could actually be used in battle and be pretty useful. All those times you start burning, get poisoned, confused, etc, instead of always having four of those status recovery items and running out of those quickly(in some areas), the main character could use remedy, saving up some wasted spell room for the girl. Same with the sprite. I always only used the highest MP costing spell with him(except for maybe the HP drain spell but I rarely used that after I got more spirits and just used the girl's cure spell on everyone). I dunno though, he could also instead get the saber spells and have them target only himself, that'd make him more useful as a melee character I'd think, since he'd have an advantage in physical damage. Only thing with that is, it wouldn't really allow the female to use her status affecting spells considering she's still gonna be casting cure most of the game, so those spells would likely still be overshadowed. Although Zhade said it'd be really hard to do most likely so he's gonna pass on it anyways.

Although...you could give the female the weaker damaging spells, and the sprite some status spells to maybe balance it out, making them both able to support and deal damage with their magic. This might make the female use more than just cure, and the sprite more than just damaging spells. For example, for Undine, the female could get Cure Water, Remedy, and Acid Storm, while the sprite could get Freeze, Energy Absorb, and Water Saber. Other than doing that and giving the girl more MP, the only other thing I can do to take her off of the healing rampage you have to use her for is give them both Cure Water. Honestly though I can't really see any real remedy for the situation though. If it were easier to give the main character magic then it'd honestly be perfect(Sure the girl would still be focusing on curing, but at least the other spells would have a use). It'd still be basically having the sprite use his strongest attack magic as fast as possible and having the female cure as fast as possible no matter what you do pretty much.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on January 05, 2016, 09:54:02 am
instead of always having four of those status recovery items and running out of those quickly(in some areas)
There is a patch that increases your item space to 9 of each item instead of 4. It's extremely useful.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DaSilentMac on January 05, 2016, 11:50:21 pm
There is a patch that increases your item space to 9 of each item instead of 4. It's extremely useful.

Yeah, the item patch is very useful, especially for hard mode. I can confirm the 9 item, Proper casing, and SD2 Improvement patches all work with v0.10. Only the VWF patch does not seem to work with v0.10.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on January 06, 2016, 10:38:57 am
I suppose that the issue with Purim's Cure magic, at its root, is that we don't want to have an overdependence on it.  Right now, it is so powerful and catch-all that there is no reason not to use it.  To deter from this, I suppose it can be fixed in a few ways.

1. Reduce it's power.  A full heal for 2MP for all party members when appropriately leveled and can be used repeatedly is, by most game standards, overpowered.
- How to make up for it: Increase the defensive capabilities of the other spells like Defender to provide much better coverage. Possibly an increase to Def/Magic Defense.  You wouldn't want immunity because that is where the wall spells kick in.  This would also make casing Defender-> Wall more appealing because once you have Wall up then Cure Water cannot be used.

2. Increase it's cost.  If you make it less attractive to spam then you would find other ways to compensate.  Of course this wouldn't directly improve on the other defensive spells.  Without some other way to defer damage it would make the game much more difficult. 

3. Make the other spells that much better...which may throw other things out of balance.  For the sabers...is there a way to increase damage with spell level but have it last longer from the start. Casting Ice Saber for 1 attack is a bit of a waste, especially early on.  Purim's question should be...why should I waste MP and casting time on this instead of just casting another cure? 


As for giving Randi Sabers...I'm actually like the idea.  Giving him access to sabers would kind of fit the theme of him being the mana sword wielder...even allow him to cast them for reduced mana cost...but it would take away from Purim and make her more of a cure-machine.   But seeing as how that is extensively difficult to code I don't think that it is worth exploring in too much detail.


Popoi's spells should be a bit more varied.  I think that elementals should have a low-damage/low-cost spell for randoms and a big-damage/big-cost spell for Bosses.  Typically with bosses you want to do as much damage to them as possible in the shortest amount of castings before they kill you/you run out of cure items.  With the delay in casting, having a more powerful expensive spell would be more attractive and help differentiate between the spells.   I think it would also help to tweak the enemies' immunities.  If you have a boss that is only weak to a certain elemental and strong/immune to others it would make analyzer a bit more necessary and require you to focus on all of the elementals equally.  Some of Undine's spells are just as powerful, if not moreso than later elementals like Shade.  (Evil gate just needs to be a more powerful direct damage and not use the strange damage formula it uses now.).  Also, many of the enemies have no weaknesses at all.  For example very few enemies are weak to Dryad.  It is one of the more powerful spells, but not enough to offset hitting a weakness.  I think that Popoi has a lot less to balance than Purim, but there is still room for improvement.

I have seen links to this thread around and I like that it is picking up steam.  The more suggestions and play-testers there are can only help improve this already great hack!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: acediez on January 06, 2016, 12:06:30 pm
Yeah, the item patch is very useful, especially for hard mode. I can confirm the 9 item, Proper casing, and SD2 Improvement patches all work with v0.10. Only the VWF patch does not seem to work with v0.10.

Great! I'm very interested on replaying this game with this hack, and being able to mix it with those other improvement patches would be beyond awesome.

Sorry if it has been asked before (skimmed through the topic and I didn't see it), has anyone tried to make it work with the MSU-1 patch?

Also, for the people who are testing it at the moment, is the patch in its current state (v0.10) playable for a full playthrough?

Btw, thanks for working on this! It pretty much covers everything that I would rather have differently on this otherwise great game.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 06, 2016, 12:48:27 pm
Imo a 9 item patch would just make remedy more useless than it already is (well not useless but less useful than all of her other spells if you have the items). I kinda like where we're going with cure water but also don't at the same time. If cure water becomes less useful it'll just go to item spam and only be used when you're out of items. I think the issue with cure isn't it's effectiveness but moreso the ineffectiveness of the other spells and the limited mp. Although chain casting spells would also get a little tiresome if the time stop when it kinda stops the flow of battle. Would it be possible to remove the whole being unable to move when being the target of a spell thing? If you're being hit you'll be knocked back anyways so it's kinda unnecessary.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on January 06, 2016, 04:33:44 pm
Imo a 9 item patch would just make remedy more useless than it already is (well not useless but less useful than all of her other spells if you have the items). I kinda like where we're going with cure water but also don't at the same time. If cure water becomes less useful it'll just go to item spam and only be used when you're out of items. I think the issue with cure isn't it's effectiveness but moreso the ineffectiveness of the other spells and the limited mp. Although chain casting spells would also get a little tiresome if the time stop when it kinda stops the flow of battle. Would it be possible to remove the whole being unable to move when being the target of a spell thing? If you're being hit you'll be knocked back anyways so it's kinda unnecessary.

I think that 9 items may be too many as well.  I think that an increased MP pool for the girl is a good idea. I definitely agree with the other spells becoming more useful is paramount.  The benefit that Cure Water over the other items is that it is multi-target.   Playing on hard difficulty I find that if one character gets hit hard then I use an item and reserve full cure for other situations. 

I have been able to get up to the Dragon Worm in the pureland by utilizing all three healing items (whereas in Vanilla I hardly used any at all).  Dragon Worm just dishes it out too fast.

@ Azulo, I am playing on Hard and have almost completed the game so I think that it should be fully playable on Normal.  Unfortunately I cannot attest to any glitches or bugs after the Pure Land.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 06, 2016, 04:40:25 pm
All the other spells are multi target as well though aren't they?  Sabers at least were iirc. But wasn't that unavailable with the targeting thing? Were you using the menu for the multi target cures?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 06, 2016, 06:24:52 pm
Great! I'm very interested on replaying this game with this hack, and being able to mix it with those other improvement patches would be beyond awesome.

Sorry if it has been asked before (skimmed through the topic and I didn't see it), has anyone tried to make it work with the MSU-1 patch?

Also, for the people who are testing it at the moment, is the patch in its current state (v0.10) playable for a full playthrough?

Btw, thanks for working on this! It pretty much covers everything that I would rather have differently on this otherwise great game.
I have not used the MSU-1 on an emulator, but I am sure it would work fine for the ones that support it. I have however used it with the SD2SNES Flash Cart and this hack works perfectly even in conjunction with the 9 item patch. In fact, I doubt I can go back to the original any time soon after using it because it makes the experience that much better. I actually had already downloaded the album most of the tracks came from and really wanted them implemented into the game, so my wish came true.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on January 06, 2016, 06:35:28 pm
All the other spells are multi target as well though aren't they?  Sabers at least were iirc. But wasn't that unavailable with the targeting thing? Were you using the menu for the multi target cures?

All spells are multi-target and can target allies or enemies.  So Moon Energy, Revivify are multi-target.  I only mentioned Cure Water as multi-target as it's value over just using items for healing.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 07, 2016, 12:58:36 am
I haven't played very far recently and I don't remember all the spells. Was there a regen spell? If not, changing Cure Water to a regeneration over time spell might actually be more beneficial and completely remove her pure healbot tendencies. If it's possible to do such a thing anyways. You could either give it a time limit, or a limit on how many ticks it regens, and then modify the time limit or amount of ticks per spirit level. Doing this, you could combine Cure Water + other defensive spells to keep the heal at relevant stages while not making it over powered.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on January 08, 2016, 02:38:20 pm
There is no Regen spell. A one byte change will make Cure Water single target if people think its overpowered.

Moon Energy is a single target spell in the base game. Making it multi-target breaks it even more then it already is. It ignores the fact it was cast on multiple targets (since it can't be normally) so every character gets a full strength version of the spell. Edit: I was wrong. It does actually take the targets into account, still overpowered to mult-cast though.

Also Randi has all the base lines to have the ability to cast spells. He has animations and his own (unused) arrays in RAM for the values and there is three unused "Spells Known" bits that are probably meant for him. The "Heal Party" event code also has a unused operand to heal Randi's MP, even though he doesn't have any. The spell menu however has no coding relating to Randi, the first thing it does is check to see if the ring menu is open over him and if it is, it exits. The status menu also does a check for Randi to remove the MP: XX/XX part from the screen.

But good luck modifying that menu in the first place. That thing has so many gotchas and stupid things about it to play those animations and split the spell list it isn't funny.

Quote
Are bosses immune to all status ailments or is it possible to use Silence?  I feel like I was able to use it early game or it just may have been my imagination.  Of course some things like slow don't matter because enemies don't have much evasion.
I think they are immune, maybe they are not immune to their weak type's status effects ? but that would surprise me and some boss only use magic so silence would make them a target practice so they probably kept that from happening.

Bosses are immune to every status ailment except for Stun #1, Stun #2, and Ghost. Shadows are the exception (and technically aren't bosses), they are immune to everything but Ghost.

Quote
I didnt knew about the stone saber until recently too, it is way too powerful compared to other sabers tho.. its practicly the same as ice saber but you can still hit the enemy while it is petrified and its an instant-kill.. Thunder saber has been said to increase critical hit many times, I guess its an old rumor that still appear on some FAQs, I read somewhere that it actually does nothing at all, IIRC regrs confirmed that here previously. Oh just checked my sources, and actually regers is also the one who informed the guy who made the spell guide on gamefaqs : link to faq The faq also contains other errors here and there so should not be thought as always acurate, but its still a good reference. There is already moon energy that garantees critical hits for some time (or a number of hits ?) so I think making thundersaber deal confusion or balloon (altho it would still be another paralyzing effect...) would make sense since they are sylhphid's status effects. Or maybe lumina could confuse/silence (as if the enemy was blinded ?). Still there is alot of balancing to be done in this area because right now, all sabers cost 2 have the same chance to cause the status effect but some are just better than others.. Ill probably reduce the status effect chance overall and increase the ones which are worse and also maybe add a bit more damage to the engulfed status. Even tho the satus effect will happen less frequently the damage increase when attacking enemies weak to your sabers element will always work, so It might help to make you choose the saber you want to use depending on the area's principal elemental weakness instead of always using stone saber.

lol, I remember contacting that guy, but I never heard back. Didn't know he updated the document.
Moon Energy lasts for (ElementalLevel / NumTargets) + 1 attacks.
Confusion (Holy crap this spell needs renamed) would be annoying on a Saber I think. Sure it prevents them from spell casting, but it also makes them wander off like an idiot.

Quote
One big issue is being knocked unconscious.  It happens rather frequently and spells certain doom at this point.  Since Lumina provides decent physical protection, is there a way that Defender could be replaced to provide status protection?
Hum, I like the idea, I really dont like beign uncousious either.. Im not sure if it should replace defender, be an added effect or be applies to another spell, but ill keep this in mind.

Fyi, there is 2 versions of "Knocked Out". The most common one comes from a sleep spell and has the field message "XXX is knocked out!"
The other one has no message and happens when you lose > 25% your max HP in a single attack. For players it only lasts a single tick. For enemies it can last up to 6, depending on damage inflicted.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 08, 2016, 04:43:44 pm
While cure is pretty high on the scale of power,  I think the main issue being talked about it is the female being forced into a healbot position due to it being the most useful spell she has and wasting any chances to cure can spell death on hard mode from what I hear. That is why I suggested it be changed into a regen instead if possible. She wouldn't have to continuously cast cure and could focus on other spells.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on January 08, 2016, 05:47:01 pm
While cure is pretty high on the scale of power,  I think the main issue being talked about it is the female being forced into a healbot position due to it being the most useful spell she has and wasting any chances to cure can spell death on hard mode from what I hear. That is why I suggested it be changed into a regen instead if possible. She wouldn't have to continuously cast cure and could focus on other spells.

Ah well there isn't a lot you can do. Adding new spells would require a rewrite. There's space for one more item if you replace the ? item. Adding it to a shop would be a little difficult though. Or you could buff the power of the current healing items.

Also if your having trouble, due to a bug, with proper timing you can use a Royal Jam as a Cup of Wishes.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Panzer88 on January 09, 2016, 03:02:43 pm
I don't think you should ever design a game around the assumption that someone is going to use fast forward. Assume they are playing it on hardware with a flashcart and balance the game appropriately.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 09, 2016, 03:31:25 pm
Ah well there isn't a lot you can do. Adding new spells would require a rewrite. There's space for one more item if you replace the ? item. Adding it to a shop would be a little difficult though. Or you could buff the power of the current healing items.

Also if your having trouble, due to a bug, with proper timing you can use a Royal Jam as a Cup of Wishes.

With that bug, you can use pretty much any healing item as one, can't you? Although Royal Jam would be full health, but I'm pretty sure you can even use candies with it. While it'd be extremely rare, I'd imagine even cure water could do so(Actually it might not be so rare, I forget how long it takes to cast cure water).

It's too bad there were no forms of HOTs in the game, this could have fixed cure water easily I think. I guess the only thing you can really do is try to make the other spells better without breaking them too. I mean if Defender and the other spells make you not even need to cast cure, then it'd be even more of a problem, lol. Hmmmm.....Was there a defense penetration stat in the game? If so, you could make one or two boss attacks for every boss have defense penetration so that Defender wouldn't be a catch-all and she'd have to use Cure Water for those specific attacks.

Still though, considering the girl has only buffs/sabers/heals, she's bound to be a healbot I think. I think swapping some spells between the sprite and the female would do better. You could give the female all of the buffs/debuff attack spells/heals, while the sprite could get the sabers/attack spells. Then maybe remove some boss status immunities to make the debuffs a tempting spell for the girl. Though, depending on how much damage she'd do with the status attack spells(and of course factoring in that the status effects themselves could be really good), you may wanna lower her magic if you did this.

As for the confusion rename. Honestly, confusion makes TOTAL sense to me. The enemy just runs around randomly not knowing what the hell they're doing, lol.

As for the patch, yeah V0.10 I can't assign spells at all. Or rather, you can assign them, but they don't work when you press the keys. At least if the sounds are an indication of the spell actually being assigned. Basically what happens is you hold R, hit your button on the spell, it makes the confirm sound. But when you go to use the spell itself, it does nothing.

Btw Zhade, just played the boss before gnome again. Apparently he can cast spells WHILE turning into orbs. That was what made him so difficult(well and the fact that I never equipped my sprite with any armor hardly, forgot about doing that >>). He'd just cast those AOE spells on my team and become orbs at the same time, making any spells cast on him not landing, or, not even allowing him to become a target. I pretty much had to ONLY attack him with weapons and use items(the spell system you made kinda makes me panic cuz I dunno if I'm hitting allies or enemies with so many targets around, lol. Pretty sure I had my sprite casting energy absorb on the lead character a few times...).

Also, this modification patch is supposed to make the game more actiony right? I was wondering, would it be possible to make the action thingy never go down at all, and just lower character physical attack stats to compensate for them being able to attack(full damage) all the time? I find that waiting around for 100% is half the game honestly, and causes more game disruption than the ring menu, lol. I think if you could always attack. Then again that'd make you able to pretty much make enemies never able to get up...Hm...maybe make it recharge a lot faster, or something? Also, why is the spear pretty much ALWAYS better than the sword, in every way? Lol. It gives more distance and more damage throughout the game until you get mana magic, lol.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Regrs on January 10, 2016, 04:15:15 am
With that bug, you can use pretty much any healing item as one, can't you? Although Royal Jam would be full health, but I'm pretty sure you can even use candies with it. While it'd be extremely rare, I'd imagine even cure water could do so(Actually it might not be so rare, I forget how long it takes to cast cure water).

It's too bad there were no forms of HOTs in the game, this could have fixed cure water easily I think. I guess the only thing you can really do is try to make the other spells better without breaking them too. I mean if Defender and the other spells make you not even need to cast cure, then it'd be even more of a problem, lol. Hmmmm.....Was there a defense penetration stat in the game? If so, you could make one or two boss attacks for every boss have defense penetration so that Defender wouldn't be a catch-all and she'd have to use Cure Water for those specific attacks.

Still though, considering the girl has only buffs/sabers/heals, she's bound to be a healbot I think. I think swapping some spells between the sprite and the female would do better. You could give the female all of the buffs/debuff attack spells/heals, while the sprite could get the sabers/attack spells. Then maybe remove some boss status immunities to make the debuffs a tempting spell for the girl. Though, depending on how much damage she'd do with the status attack spells(and of course factoring in that the status effects themselves could be really good), you may wanna lower her magic if you did this.

As for the confusion rename. Honestly, confusion makes TOTAL sense to me. The enemy just runs around randomly not knowing what the hell they're doing, lol.

Candy & Chocolate check to see if your in that "dying but not dead yet" phase of zero HP. If so they cancel the healing action. Royal Jam forgets to make this check so you can heal yourself off the floor with it if you can use the item before the Ghost status effect is applied. (You lose the ability to target the item at that point).

There's no armor penetration either. One option would be to raise Lucid Barrier's defense. It uses it's own defense stat when it's active. (Which I think is 1/4 the casters defense).

In game the spells name is "Silence". Which it does do, but is clearly not it's primary effect. Always confused me when I was younger. lol
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 10, 2016, 11:59:29 am
Yeah, after looking at all of the spells in gamefaqs(It's been a long while since I've played SoM as I've mentioned) I saw it named Silence. Definitely would make more sense to be named Confusion, if there's enough space in char limits. Also I notice some spells completely negate other spells effects. Overshadowing older spells is kinda bad. =/ Hopefully something could be done to fix that.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 11, 2016, 05:41:11 am
About the "silence/confusion" thing, I have to admit it took a while for me and my friends as kids to figure out its the same thing :P Sometimes we thought the game was bugging when we couldnt cast.. only later we realized that our spell that confuses is called silence. I still prefer silence as the name between the 2 because its the only way to know that it actually does silence since the only message you get is "[character] is confused". Another name would probably better tho :P something that accounts for the 2 states like eh.. dazed ? can't focus ? numb ? subdued ?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 11, 2016, 07:00:16 pm
About the "silence/confusion" thing, I have to admit it took a while for me and my friends as kids to figure out its the same thing :P Sometimes we thought the game was bugging when we couldnt cast.. only later we realized that our spell that confuses is called silence. I still prefer silence as the name between the 2 because its the only way to know that it actually does silence since the only message you get is "[character] is confused". Another name would probably better tho :P something that accounts for the 2 states like eh.. dazed ? can't focus ? numb ? subdued ?

True, although if you were to be confused I don't think you'd be able to cast spells properly either, so maybe just keep using confused as the status effect. I don't think many RPGs allowed confused enemies to cast spells anyways, I could be wrong though, I rarely used status effects in RPGs(bar FF13 where it was a NECESSITY).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on January 13, 2016, 11:41:01 pm
Wow, i've played secret of mana so many times, and I didn't even know what silence actually did. Although I have to admit I never used the girl for anything other than heal and ensuna (whatever its called). Well I lie, i might have used some of her elemental weapon buff every so often for a boss or two, or before I use an inn. I think her other skills either need a buff or she needs to have that mp skill like the sprite. I always found it strange that she could never do that.

If you do make one of magics into mp steal, I suggest using the same as sprites but pink (and maybe weaker). But the problem that arises is that then you have unlimited heal. I'm guessing that's why they may have left it out in the first place.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 14, 2016, 11:45:09 am
Wow, i've played secret of mana so many times, and I didn't even know what silence actually did. Although I have to admit I never used the girl for anything other than heal and ensuna (whatever its called). Well I lie, i might have used some of her elemental weapon buff every so often for a boss or two, or before I use an inn. I think her other skills either need a buff or she needs to have that mp skill like the sprite. I always found it strange that she could never do that.

If you do make one of magics into mp steal, I suggest using the same as sprites but pink (and maybe weaker). But the problem that arises is that then you have unlimited heal. I'm guessing that's why they may have left it out in the first place.
At the end of the game when you fight that dark blob you pretty much have to use Lucent Beam with her otherwise you're in for a long fight. So yeah, Cure Remedy and a light beam is all she is good for.

I figured Silence was only there to fuck with the player by reversing your controls. I think by default I believed that it shut your magic down simply because Final Fantasy had drilled that into my brain as an alternate meaning to the word "silence", but I had never actually tried to cast anything while afflicted by it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 14, 2016, 04:06:56 pm
Balloon is actually another one of her best spells, or so I read. Since it's 1 MP cost and balloons your enemies making them do nothing but stand there like buffoons while you either run away or hack away at them until they're dead. I think it's multitarget too. And yeah, I don't think she needs the MP Absorb ability just because that would make her insanely broken since she'd always be able to cure, unless the bosses could 1 shot a member of the party and then that'd just be bad game design. with the extremely limited amount of revives you can have between store visits. Then again she could just MP absorb and cast Revivifier, at least that'd give her a reason to use Revivifier, but in such a case I think it'd just make your party unstoppable. If Zhade is actually adding MP regeneration though(I think he said something about testing it), I think that would fit much better anyways, the sprite could still keep the MP absorb spell though in such a case for the "right now" spellcasting effect, and the girl could just regen mana over time so she wouldn't be broken. The mana regen on it's own might actually make her more than a healbot since some of her spellcasts are pretty cheap. Remedy I read is another good spell of hers, apparently when an enemy is casting a high damaging spell on your party, you can remedy all and the animation is long enough to block the damage.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on January 15, 2016, 11:51:59 am
RE: The girl and MP...I think the best bet so far is just to have her MP growth be much higher.  By the time you should reach the mana fortress at level 40 or 50 her MP pool should be about maxed.  It would be nice to incorporate a Leaf Sabre that absorbs limited MP, but I don't know that adding spells is within the realm of capabilities. 

I really need to try to go through the game under normal difficulty or just gameshark past dragon worm and see if the game can be completed as-is (- Dragon Worm). I think my opinion of magic spells is a bit skewed by the difficulty.


EDIT: So the Dragon Worm...ended up having to use the game shark.  The biggest problem, I found, with this boss was his movements and his ability to just run you over dealing critical damage to all three characters simultaneously. 

As for the rest of the Pure Land.  I was able to defeat all of the bosses so far and I am up to the last dragon.  Using a combination of level 7 weakness-targeting magics combined with Moon Energy/Elemental infused weapons.  I had to resort to some Midge-Mallet Shenanigans to avoid some of the special attacks like Blitz Breath, etc.  I don't know if these could be evaded or not, but I found these to be the most deadly as they cannot be avoided, however they can be blocked, with the right timing.

I found that as soon as one of my allies was targeted I would press SELECT to switch characters and then target them with the Midge Mallet (Remedy works too, but Purim is too busy casting).  The battles would begin with me prepping with Moon Energy and the appropriate weakness element.

Putting the AI on attack/but not approach and have them select a charge 2 less than their maximum.  When they can charge to 4-5 and unleash a boosted physical once Popoi's magic animation stops helps me dish out damage.  Surviving later bosses is more of a blitz on damage because you cannot survive if the battle goes on too long.

If Speed Up would provide more evade/agility and the special attacks were adjusted accordingly then this would make a SpeedUp/Wall/Lucid Barrier a good trio of defense.

Having to strategically manage Cup of Wishes and Revivifier is good.  It actually makes the spell useful. You go through the CoW and you cannot waste them on anyone else other than Purim at this point and she can multi-target Revivifier (low HP multi-target or full HP single target).

- using saber-empowered weapons on normal enemies is beneficial with a bigger MP pool. 
- MP/HP absorb...why do some enemies not produce absorbed MP/HP

I am almost level 60 and I think that I could be more liberal with Sprite magic, especially since I have MP absorb.

With bosses I am never in need of MP with Popoi because they are dead before I get close to the end of my MP pool.  As I mentioned before, I think having one spell in each element be cheap and weak crowd control and the others like Evil Gate and Exploder cost much more, but do more damage with the intention of them being saved for bosses.  It would give you a reason to use the multitude of attack spells.


EDIT 2:  FINISHED HARD MODE!  Yay.  Finishing up the Last Pure land dragon wasn't hard when using the same strategies.  The Mana Fortress vampire boss wasn't bad.  The MF is made much better when your allies cannot get stuck.  Even with Lucid Barrier and Stone Saber I still found myself getting KO'd a few times.  You have to leave and restock after each boss, though which is a bit annoying.  It would be nice if the Magic Rope worked here.

For the Dread Slime...Wall and Popoi's Shade spells went the distance. I used the Bow because of it's distance and hit rate and enchanted it with Moon Energy and Lumina but with all of it's spells bouncing off of the Wall it didn't do much else.  Was kind of a pushover actually.

The final two bosses battles were much more prolonged than Vanilla.  I used Dryad with Popoi and Lumina with Purim.  Whenever the spell effects ended, I would let loose with my Moon Energy charged attack which usually amounted to 3-4 levels of damage. 

The most difficult part came from doing two bosses back to back.  If you don't know about cast-cancelling the final boss WILL kill you.  Popoi is all but useless.  It would be nice if it was weak to Dryad magic and you could use Dispel to eliminate the Wall.  Right now, Popoi doesn't do much.  The nice thing is that with the exception of Lucent Beam most of the attacks are physical and can be stopped with a well timed block.  Unfortunately the AI doesn't do this. Most of the attacks are near-lethal so you need to block them because you need your magic for cast-cancelling/healing.  Midge Mallet went the distance again and allowed me to avoid many of the attacks.  Mana Magic ST on Randi with Moon-Energy lets me dish out damage quickly in the short phase that I can.  Otherwise you need to do a 6+ weapon charge to do much damage.

I ended up with no healing items, no walnuts, no barrels, and no MP by the end of the battle and was relying on the MM to survive.  It was close but satisfying. 
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on February 07, 2016, 08:01:27 pm
I'm very excited to see a Secret of Mana mod. I'm playing through Secret of Mana for the first time with a couple friends currently and really enjoying it.

Your mod seems really cool. Thank you for working so hard to make it.  :thumbsup:

I started my current playthrough on an unmodded version of the rom, but I managed to load up my save state from my current playthrough of the game on a version of the rom that has been patched with your mod.

My one question is if I created the save state on an unmodded game and loaded the save state on a modded version of the game, what is the difficulty setting on my current game?

February 10, 2016, 01:44:40 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
So my friends and I tried out your mod for about a half hour . First off, I want to say that from a technical aspect, what you did was really impressive and kudos to you for putting the time and effort into the mod! Now here are our first impressions to the mod changes:

- AI controlled characters don't get stuck
A nice quality of life change. Really helps at certain points in the game.

- MP is shown at all time
Another great change. The visuals could obviously be tweaked a little bit, but definitely useful to have.

- Binding magic spells to A,B,X,Y (now for all 3 players)
Most controversial change you made. We really liked the idea of a quick cast, but the other players had problems with the way it was implemented. I was playing the fighter, so I can't really comment on what casting felt like, but I liked being able to continue to attack during the spell casting portion. My friends felt very vulnerable during fights because they could be attacked while casting a spell, but couldn't move at all to avoid the attacks.  They hated losing the cast on all option, seeing it as a HUGE nerf. The healer in particular, hated having to heal each of us individually. They had trouble figuring out how to cast spells without having to bind them. They also had trouble figuring out how to quit out of the casting menu. Maybe quick casting should only work while continuing to hold R instead of requiring them to press R again to quit out, or maybe my friends just needed to spend more time learning the new casting system. Perhaps there should be a brief invulnerability period when you start casting a spell, so you aren't so vulnerable. Overall though, it was the changes to magic spell casting that caused the other players to demand that we revert back to the standard game.

- Magic recharging time
My friends didn't mention noticing this change.

- Strong/Weak attacks (now for all 3 players)
I liked having a different type of attack, but it wasn't really clear to me in what situations a Strong or Weak attack would be better. I thought it was cool, but its purpose needs more clarity.

-  Manual blocking (now for all 3 players)
Cool in theory, but not so much in practice. This might have to do with my playstyle because I have played through entire video games that have a block button, in which I have never bothered to use the block button. I generally don't like having to worry about blocking and I liked that Secret of Mana handled that for me. 2 out of 3 players completely forgot that blocking was manual and didn't bother blocking the entire time. I would rather just concentrate on trying to land my attacks. As I said I'm not really crazy about this change, but maybe it would be better if you added something more satisfying to the block like the ability from the Soul Calibur games to create an opening against the attacker with a well timed block (plus a direction) or the ability from Smash Bros. games to deflect projectile back at the shooter with a really well timed block. As it stands now though, it just one extra thing for me to forget.

- Enhanced bow
The most universally beloved change. We REALLY enjoyed this one!

- Reduced hit-recovery time
I didn't really notice this change, but it seems fair.

- Reduced damage/healing time
Again, I didn't really notice this change, but it seems fair.

- 3 Difficulty settings
We had continued from a save state from the original game, where we didn't pick a difficulty setting, so I have no idea what difficulty we were even on.

- Misc.
We were playing on the Snex9xGx 4.3.2 emulator on a soft-modded Wii (this is a great way to get three controllers setup for this game). We used a rom that was patched using Lunar IPS. Anyways, every so often the screen would flash bright green for a second. I think it happened more often when talking to people, but I'm not sure. The glitch was kind of sporadic. It wasn't game breaking, just kind of annoying. This doesn't happen on an unmodified version of the game.

- Changes that I would be interested in seeing in the future:

- When I go to the weapon level screen, I kind of wish it was more obvious which weapons need to be leveled without having to review how many orbs I have for each weapon. When there is a weapon that needs to be leveled, maybe there can be an icon next to it or maybe it could be a different color or just have 00 xp next to it as soon as I give the dwarf an orb for that weapon.

- I think it would be nice if the characters could walk further from each other and walk closer to the edges of the screen.

- But most importantly, the ability to cast spells on all needs to be returned and spell binding needs more refinement.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on February 10, 2016, 04:52:40 pm
Interesting read. I wanted to start a game with my friends tomorrow. Lets see if i come to the same conclusion.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on February 10, 2016, 07:35:20 pm
Good work guys, I have yet to try the new mod yet, but the new magic system sounds a bit annoying as it stands. At the same time, I do like the idea of having shortcut to spells. Not sure how this can be solved, any ideas?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 11, 2016, 08:23:00 am
Pizzano:

First, are you sure you have the latest version ? (V.10) ? Some of the things you talked really about should not happen on the latest version and since you quoted from this thread's first post I went back to it and noticed I stopped updating it after version 0.7.. well actually I did continue to update it, but I still left the patch download link unchanged.. :laugh:
which means that anyone that is new to this mod who just try it right away have an old version that confusingly doesnt work like the description says...  :laugh: Ain't that brilliant ? :thumbsup:...  :banghead:  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

If you got the patch there, im sorry to have wasted your time... updating to V.10 should fix most of your friends concerns with the magic system and alot of what you talked about in general.  :-\

Since I think it's probably what happened i'll comment as if you had 0.7
If you did use V.10, when you played with your friends


The main goal of the magic binding/targeting/cooldown, which at first was the only thing I wanted this mod to do, is to remove the annoying cut to the menu that casters need to do each time they cast a spell, making it alot more fun to play with more players because you don't get the game flow cut by the other or the feeling you are annoying the others each time you cast a spell. It also makes magic alot less abusable in general.

If the reason your friends prefered to play the original is the magic system only.. my job was not well done lol, hopefuly updating will fix most of the issues but then you would have to convince your friends to try again so ill tell you when an issue you spoke of is not one anymore .



-My one question is if I created the save state on an unmodded game and loaded the save state on a modded version of the game, what is the difficulty setting on my current game?
I don't remember exactly, but I think it should be  easy or "none", you should notice the enemies attack power if its on hard, easy doesn't do anything of the stats modifications so it should be the same as none but its risky, I changed how it works in my current build and it should put your game at easy by default, which would make your game have the same difficulty in general.

- Binding magic spells to A,B,X,Y (now for all 3 players)

-My friends felt very vulnerable during fights because they could be attacked while casting a spell, but couldn't move at all to avoid the attacks.
They hated losing the cast on all option, seeing it as a HUGE nerf.
The healer in particular, hated having to heal each of us individually.

I don't think I changed anything to vulnerability while casting, its probably before casting, when targeting. it takes some getting used to, but the new version makes it easier to make it fast so you are not vulnerable for long.

pressing R enters target mode
then a UP on the D-pad targets all ennemies,
down targets all allies,
left targets a single enemy
right targets a single ally


-They had trouble figuring out how to cast spells without having to bind them.
Its done by using the spell menu normally only when a spell is chosen it puts the player in target-mode with any A/X/B/Y resulting in casting the spell selected in the menu.

to bind a spell, when the spell has the menu cursor on it, hold R and A, B, Y or X to bind the spell to the button. A sound is heard on my current version but im not sure if it was in V.10.. it always works anyway but that lilttle sound

-They also had trouble figuring out how to quit out of the casting menu. Maybe quick casting should only work while continuing to hold R instead of requiring them to press R again to quit out, or maybe my friends just needed to spend more time learning the new casting system.
At first you only released R to end target-mode but by casting from the menu the target-mode would stop right away because you dont hold R, so I needed to make it so you need to press R in that situation and it became confusing if one time you had to hold and the other time it was toggle so toggle all the time seemed like the best option.
Perhaps there should be a brief invulnerability period when you start casting a spell, so you aren't so vulnerable.

- Magic recharging time
My friends didn't mention noticing this change.
This might be because you loaded a game from the unpatched game and have "none" as a difficulty, normally with v.10, casters have to wait a bit between each cast, their face-icon on the bottom flashes during the time they can't cast and a little sound is played when they are able to cast again,

- Strong/Weak attacks (now for all 3 players)
I liked having a different type of attack, but it wasn't really clear to me in what situations a Strong or Weak attack would be better. I thought it was cool, but its purpose needs more clarity.
Yeah its how they seem to me as they are now too. SoM has alot of animations for each weapon's attacks so I tought it would be nice to be able to use them but they are pretty similar in practice so having 2 attacks with 2 diffenrent animations doing the same damage and all seemed kind of pointless so I thought I could increase the damage of the "thrust" ones because they are a bit harder to aim. I couldnt make it hit too much compared to the other because its not that much harder to land a thurst, otherwise the other attack would be unused, so I made it recharge faster / make you start at about 25-30% instead of 0. But still I don't know how I could make them more different since they are so similar but I liked to have the option
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on February 11, 2016, 01:58:14 pm
Pizzano:

First, are you sure you have the latest version ? (V.10) ? Some of the things you talked really about should not happen on the latest version and since you quoted from this thread's first post I went back to it and noticed I stopped updating it after version 0.7.. well actually I did continue to update it, but I still left the patch download link unchanged.. :laugh:
which means that anyone that is new to this mod who just try it right away have an old version that confusingly doesn't work like the description says...  :laugh: Ain't that brilliant ? :thumbsup:...  :banghead:  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

If you got the patch there, im sorry to have wasted your time... updating to V.10 should fix most of your friends concerns with the magic system and a lot of what you talked about in general.  :-\

Since I think it's probably what happened i'll comment as if you had 0.7
If you did use V.10, when you played with your friends

You are correct. I was using the 0.7 version. I didn't realize there was a newer version available. I seriously suggest updating your original post with a link to the most recent version of the patch (and the new patch notes) so other people don't make the same mistake.

The main goal of the magic binding/targeting/cooldown, which at first was the only thing I wanted this mod to do, is to remove the annoying cut to the menu that casters need to do each time they cast a spell, making it a lot more fun to play with more players because you don't get the game flow cut by the other or the feeling you are annoying the others each time you cast a spell. It also makes magic a lot less abusable in general.

If the reason your friends prefered to play the original is the magic system only.. my job was not well done lol, hopefully updating will fix most of the issues but then you would have to convince your friends to try again so ill tell you when an issue you spoke of is not one anymore .

I will try to convince my friends to give your mod another chance!  :laugh:

-My one question is if I created the save state on an unmodded game and loaded the save state on a modded version of the game, what is the difficulty setting on my current game?
I don't remember exactly, but I think it should be  easy or "none", you should notice the enemies attack power if its on hard, easy doesn't do anything of the stats modifications so it should be the same as none but its risky, I changed how it works in my current build and it should put your game at easy by default, which would make your game have the same difficulty in general.

What are the differences between easy versus normal? At this point in the game, we are finding it to be pretty easy as is. We're around level 20 and we just got our third type of magic. Unless the game gets significantly more difficult, I think defaulting to normal difficulty would probably be alright.

- Binding magic spells to A,B,X,Y (now for all 3 players)

-My friends felt very vulnerable during fights because they could be attacked while casting a spell, but couldn't move at all to avoid the attacks.
They hated losing the cast on all option, seeing it as a HUGE nerf.
The healer in particular, hated having to heal each of us individually.

I don't think I changed anything to vulnerability while casting, its probably before casting, when targeting. it takes some getting used to, but the new version makes it easier to make it fast so you are not vulnerable for long.

You're right. I meant "while targeting," not "while casting." That being said, I think there should be a brief grace period where you are invulnerable when you start targeting a spell, so magic casters aren't so vulnerable.

pressing R enters target mode
then a UP on the D-pad targets all enemies,
down targets all allies,
left targets a single enemy
right targets a single ally[/b]

-They had trouble figuring out how to cast spells without having to bind them.
Its done by using the spell menu normally only when a spell is chosen it puts the player in target-mode with any A/X/B/Y resulting in casting the spell selected in the menu.

to bind a spell, when the spell has the menu cursor on it, hold R and A, B, Y or X to bind the spell to the button. A sound is heard on my current version but im not sure if it was in V.10.. it always works anyway but that little sound

I will try to explain that to them next time I start up the mod.

-They also had trouble figuring out how to quit out of the casting menu. Maybe quick casting should only work while continuing to hold R instead of requiring them to press R again to quit out, or maybe my friends just needed to spend more time learning the new casting system.
At first you only released R to end target-mode but by casting from the menu the target-mode would stop right away because you dont hold R, so I needed to make it so you need to press R in that situation and it became confusing if one time you had to hold and the other time it was toggle so toggle all the time seemed like the best option.

Makes sense

- Magic recharging time
My friends didn't mention noticing this change.
This might be because you loaded a game from the unpatched game and have "none" as a difficulty, normally with v.10, casters have to wait a bit between each cast, their face-icon on the bottom flashes during the time they can't cast and a little sound is played when they are able to cast again,

Okay. I see.

- Strong/Weak attacks (now for all 3 players)
I liked having a different type of attack, but it wasn't really clear to me in what situations a Strong or Weak attack would be better. I thought it was cool, but its purpose needs more clarity.
Yeah its how they seem to me as they are now too. SoM has a lot of animations for each weapon's attacks so I thought it would be nice to be able to use them but they are pretty similar in practice so having 2 attacks with 2 different animations doing the same damage and all seemed kind of pointless so I thought I could increase the damage of the "thrust" ones because they are a bit harder to aim. I couldn't make it hit too much compared to the other because its not that much harder to land a thrust, otherwise the other attack would be unused, so I made it recharge faster / make you start at about 25-30% instead of 0. But still I don't know how I could make them more different since they are so similar but I liked to have the option

I like the option too, but it still needs more work.

So, was anything done about the glitch about the screen randomly flashing green? What are your thoughts on the other changes that I would be interested in seeing in the future?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on February 11, 2016, 02:39:24 pm
I never had any problems with the screen flashing. I was using SNES9x on android.

As for the magic.  It took me a while to get used to the binding system (and later on I couldn't bind additional spells for some reason). Being able to quick-cast cure was a godsend on hard since it can be done even while your active character is stunned, etc.  The improvement to multicast has very helpful. Although not sure if it was doable, but binding targets as well as spells would be handy. Like binding Cure Water-All to a specific key.

I found myself not really using the block or varying attacks later on. With the accelerated charge and invincibility frames while releasing a charged attack...it is better to at least charge 1 attack. 

Blocking just was too much of a gamble later on as the enemies would 1-shot me anyway.  Occasionally I could block a boss special and you can even block a physical from the final boss with it.  Even more difficult to learn than the magic.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: f4ll5mui on February 11, 2016, 09:15:33 pm
Awesome hack! So I am having a problem. I loaded a save state I found just to see how the binding of magic works. I can get the first spell I bind to cast, but if I try recasting it again (after the face stops blinking and the noise plays) It plays that error click noise and nothing casts. Am I using it wrong? I tried using zsnes and retroarch. version .10
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheZunar123 on February 11, 2016, 09:40:38 pm
You shouldn't use save states, use hard save files. Save states tend to screw things up with hacks like this.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SunGodPortal on February 11, 2016, 09:46:28 pm
Quote
You shouldn't use save states, use hard save files. Save states tend to screw things up with hacks like this.

For real. The save state may have come from a ROM that has incompatible differences.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: f4ll5mui on February 11, 2016, 09:52:42 pm
Okay I just used an srm. Same problem. Here are my steps

1. go to spells, go to cure, hold R, and press A.
2. Now I am out of the menu. Press R, select team, press A, cast
3. Wait for cool down, press R, select team, press A, try and cast.....nothing.....
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 12, 2016, 01:21:20 pm
Pizzano:
sorry, I was very sleepy when I wrote my last post, I ended up falling asleep in front of my pc and when I woke up I noticed I still was writing the post so I pressed post before I went to bed to make sure I don't lose what I had written but It ended up not having the v.10 link and messed up in general..

I modified the thread first post with the link to the latest version now.

- About difficulty
normal is not yet implemented, you should not use it as it might have unsuspected behaviors
Im still not sure about the difficulty that you get when you load from an unpatched game in V.10 , but I think it could be causing problems with magic cooldown so I would recommend not to do so or to manually modify the difficulty in the RAM, the next version should have this working and set your difficulty to easy.
the adress for the difficulty setting is : 7ECF64, I don't know the values for each difficulty but its either 0 - nothing 1 - easy 2 - normal 3 - hard or 0 - easy 1 - normal 2 - hard so you can make cheats and try different values and see what happens before the next version.

- About blocking
I don't really use it much too, alot of enemies have almost-instantaneous attacks so you have to block in advance so its not very practical.. Im thinking of removing it if I can't think of a feasable way to make it more usable.. that way the L button could be used to bind more spells or maybe bind spell and targets like theonyxphoenix proposed so you cast "cure on all allies" with just 1 button for example.
Giving some invincibility time when targeting spells could end up beign exploitable and I kinda like to have to move back a bit a be quick about selecting the target to avoid beign hit.

- About flashes
I never have seen these, it might have something to do with loading from an unpatched rom maybe? Other than it might be the emulator you are using altho it works fine on Snes9x on windows maybe Snes9x on the wii has problems with it for some reason..

- misc. stuff I forgot last time
in v.10 players can move all the way to the edges of the screen before they block the others !
I had the same idea about the weapon levels screen showing the orbs at all time instead of only when selected, but I gave up on trying to change text in the menus as I couldnt figure out how to do it after trying like crazy for a good amount of time. Hopefully there could be a way like you said to just have an icon or a color change that would indicate it without having to modify menu text. Ill keep it in my notes for later but I have alot of high-priority stuff that needs to be done
to make a first non-beta version and I to finish those before I start looking for other stuff I could add.


Since english is not my first language it takes me alot of time to write in here, in the last months i've spent more time writing here than actually working on the hack which doesnt feel right, so I think I'll keep quiet for a bit and come back when I have something new to show and answer futur posts then.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on February 12, 2016, 03:45:47 pm
I'm not sure that the final boss would be able to be defeated on hard were it not for the block mechanic.  It really only has physical attacks and 1 spell.

However, if the enemies were balanced down the road then the block could easily be replaced as this is the only time that I found it very useful end game. The final bosses' attacks are very predictable. 

A thought on another use for the L button is to have it somehow govern weapon charges.  Again...just spouting off ideas, but what about hold L to charge so you can save it later.  Release L to stop or press L to continue charging. This would free up your regular attacks and the ability to access menu items, etc. without worrying about firing off your charge prematurely.

I think that we are all looking forward to what you come up with next.  (I hope it includes elementals leveled up when you obtain them ;)) 
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on February 13, 2016, 03:06:48 pm
Pizzano:
sorry, I was very sleepy when I wrote my last post, I ended up falling asleep in front of my pc and when I woke up I noticed I still was writing the post so I pressed post before I went to bed to make sure I don't lose what I had written but It ended up not having the v.10 link and messed up in general..
Haha... damn. Didn't mean to make you do that.
I modified the thread first post with the link to the latest version now.
Cool  8)
- About difficulty
normal is not yet implemented, you should not use it as it might have unsuspected behaviors
Im still not sure about the difficulty that you get when you load from an unpatched game in V.10 , but I think it could be causing problems with magic cooldown so I would recommend not to do so or to manually modify the difficulty in the RAM, the next version should have this working and set your difficulty to easy.
the adress for the difficulty setting is : 7ECF64, I don't know the values for each difficulty but its either 0 - nothing 1 - easy 2 - normal 3 - hard or 0 - easy 1 - normal 2 - hard so you can make cheats and try different values and see what happens before the next version.
I'm going to admit that I don't really know how to do this. I tried hex editing the srm and the frz file, but I don't think either file went as high as 7ECF64. Are you saying that I'm supposed to use a game genie or modify the game itself? I just don't know that much about this kind of stuff. I might have to wait until you release a new version of the mod that addresses this game difficulty issue before I try it again. It's a shame because my friends want to play Secret of Mana again Monday night.
- About blocking
I don't really use it much too, alot of enemies have almost-instantaneous attacks so you have to block in advance so its not very practical.. Im thinking of removing it if I can't think of a feasable way to make it more usable.. that way the L button could be used to bind more spells or maybe bind spell and targets like theonyxphoenix proposed so you cast "cure on all allies" with just 1 button for example.
Either one of those ideas would be a better way to use the L button in my opinion.
Giving some invincibility time when targeting spells could end up beign exploitable and I kinda like to have to move back a bit a be quick about selecting the target to avoid beign hit.
You're right - the invincibility frames would need a separate cool down in order to avoid being exploitable. Otherwise, you could keep going into targeting mode.
- About flashes
I never have seen these, it might have something to do with loading from an unpatched rom maybe? Other than it might be the emulator you are using altho it works fine on Snes9x on windows maybe Snes9x on the wii has problems with it for some reason..
Next time I try your mod, I will see if that glitch comes back. Maybe it was just a one time thing.
- misc. stuff I forgot last time
in v.10 players can move all the way to the edges of the screen before they block the others !
Cool!  8)
I had the same idea about the weapon levels screen showing the orbs at all time instead of only when selected, but I gave up on trying to change text in the menus as I couldnt figure out how to do it after trying like crazy for a good amount of time.
Hopefully there could be a way like you said to just have an icon or a color change that would indicate it without having to modify menu text. Ill keep it in my notes for later but I have alot of high-priority stuff that needs to be done to make a first non-beta version and I to finish those before I start looking for other stuff I could add.
Okay. Cool. I understand.
Since english is not my first language it takes me alot of time to write in here, in the last months i've spent more time writing here than actually working on the hack which doesnt feel right, so I think I'll keep quiet for a bit and come back when I have something new to show and answer futur posts then.
No problem. I totally feel you.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on February 14, 2016, 05:00:55 am
So we just started the game on hard difficult (3 humans). I will give you some feedback while playing.
We also played trough the "Hard Mode" Mod together, so i can compare and give some balance feedback.

First we noticed the shortened hit-recovery cool down for enemies. Its a good change overall making the game a bit more difficult.
We died several times in the beginning but once you get some defense gear and level its fine. This is one major difference to the "Hard Mode", the equipment there is so expensive that you have to farm A LOT. But still I would suggest that you raise the prices for equipment a bit, especially for cup of wishes, walnut and all the defense equipment!     

Up to now we made it to the witch castle but couldn't defeat the tiger but its only a mater of tries.

- About blocking
I don't really use it much too, alot of enemies have almost-instantaneous attacks so you have to block in advance so its not very practical.. Im thinking of removing it if I can't think of a feasable way to make it more usable.. that way the L button could be used to bind more spells or maybe bind spell and targets like theonyxphoenix proposed so you cast "cure on all allies" with just 1 button for example.
Giving some invincibility time when targeting spells could end up beign exploitable and I kinda like to have to move back a bit a be quick about selecting the target to avoid beign hit.

pls dont remove this block feature. We really like it a lot, because it gives something completely new to the game and its a fun mechanic.

The new bow is very nice. But it might be a bit overpowered. The are several spots where you can outrange enemies and farm like crazy without getting hit. So maybe shorten the range or buff the enemy range (if possible).

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on February 16, 2016, 01:15:48 am
This could possibly be the best hack ever for snes
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Maeriden on February 23, 2016, 07:15:56 am
About the strong attack, I don't know if it has been suggested before, but one option could be B for weak and A+B for strong.
The idea is that you charge at the enemy running.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 24, 2016, 03:29:04 am
About the strong attack, I don't know if it has been suggested before, but one option could be B for weak and A+B for strong.
The idea is that you charge at the enemy running.

I totally forgot that because of how my code that makes it so you can hold A and run in every direction is done, it makes it possible to do charge-attack : Video (https://youtu.be/4tyGao8uat0)

In fact, that would make the strong and weak attack less alike, and would save a button, Ill have to find a way to make it less abusive tho, maybe make you move slowly for a bit of time after you do the move or fall to the ground or something like that, I don't see why someone would choose to do a weak attack otherwise.


I've been thinking of a better way to deal with stats multipliers / difficulty settings.. actually.. IIRC justin suggested it earlier but I didn't grasp how much less of a chore it would actually be and just dismissed it as "the proper way to obtain the same result" instead of "the way to not make easy to manage, test and edit".
basically, I need to use a table so that instead of having my multipliers in different routines on different asm files for each difficulty, ill just have it all at one place and can easily make backups, see the difference between difficulties all at once and even make it easy if anyone wants to try an edit those to their liking wihtout any need for asm knowledge. Its kind of like If you had to fill your fridge and went to a different grocery store for each item instead of buying it all at one place.. sure the fridge ends up with the all same things in it but you are not just doing it wrong, you(me) waste so much time going from one place to the other that once finished you realize the bread you bought at the first store has started rotting and so you have start it all over again :crazy:

I probably still won't be working on this for a while tho because Regers and Enker are working on making a more complete disassembly and understand the things still unknown about the game, I think I'd better try to help them with that first, get to know more about the game's inner workings and then start working on the mod again with brand new magic powers at my fingertips
I'ver started to make an enemy AI script viewer to understand more about how AI works and most importantly make it readable by human beigns, hopefully ill be able to make it edit it too later and mess with AI at will
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on February 24, 2016, 11:37:33 am
That charge attack is awesome. Definitely need to keep that in the game.

Take as much time as you need if it will make the mod that much better.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on February 24, 2016, 05:41:34 pm
I think that might be a good idea, could save you a lot of time in the long run if you help them out and learn more magic so u can do (lv. 8 ) dragon fireballs  ;) .

This could be a bad idea, but about the run attack thing, and in general, the way your character goes from 0%-100% after attacking, would it be a good idea to make the character move similar to that when you are charging an attack during that time? Or would that too annoying?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 26, 2016, 02:39:18 pm
This could be a bad idea, but about the run attack thing, and in general, the way your character goes from 0%-100% after attacking, would it be a good idea to make the character move similar to that when you are charging an attack during that time? Or would that too annoying?

Actually, in the very first version, it did exactly that, you walked slowly, with the charging/tangled animation, but in fact it did get annoying. I liked how it made it harder to not be touched by ennemies coupled with the reduced recovery time, but it was annoying when you just needed to swing your weapon to cut the tall grass in your way. It would have been better if it did like in sd3, like when there are no more ennemies in the area, you can move without restraints. But I don't know about sd3 but in som ennemies spawn when their are about half a screen away from the screen sides, and I guess the maps in sd3 were made with that mechanic in mind compared to som where in gaia's navel for example, there would almost always be an ennemy spawned somewhere.

I think it would be a good idea for the run-attack tho, since you could use the weak attack to cut grass anyway it shouldnt be as annoying and it would make the player vulnerable so you might think twice about run-attacking into a group of ennemies.

It doesn't really make sense with ranged weapons tho so those could keep the B / direction B controls controls I guess apart from the javelin which could use the melee attack when dashing making up for its small hit-distance.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Amarantheus on March 14, 2016, 11:43:30 pm
Hi zhade, first off, let me say amazing work! This is what I was looking for when I was trying the HardSoM hack -- without being extremely grindy, and imo, underhanded with difficulty.

With that said, I do have one request (should you find the time/interest): Given the magnitude of this patch, could you provide optional decoupled ips components to mix and match?

That is, in addition to your standard patch, could you provide something like the following in an archive of sorts:
BetterAI.ips
MPAlwaysVisible.ips
BindableMagic.ips
RechargeRebalance.ips
StrongWeakAttacks.ips
ManualBlocking.ips
BetterBow.ips
StunRebalance.ips
FasterDamageDisplay.ips
CustomDifficulty.ips

I understand if some things cannot be separated (eg dependencies, inconsistencies, general breakage), so implementing the above would be strongly dependent on your understanding/expertise on the inner workings.

My reasoning in this being a good idea is three-fold:
1) Better compatibility with other authors' work, should more patches come out.
2) Much higher reception/popularity as players can more carefully customize their experience.
3) Easier development/testing on your part (if you are not already doing this privately). That is, if something breaks unexpectedly interactions would be much easier to track.

Please let me know your thoughts. :)

EDIT:typos

March 15, 2016, 12:56:41 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
On a similar note, this mod breaks FuSoYa's VWF patch. Behavior is as follows: game starts normally and accepts input until New Game/Load Game. Nothing else seems amiss, just no input is accepted.

That said, on a positive note, the following hacks are verified compatible:
SD2 Improvement
Item Limit "9" Patch
Secret of Mana Proper-caser

Install path was:
Using Secret of Mana (U) [!].smc (2,097,152 bytes) --
1) Add header
2) Apply "SD2 Improvement"
3) Remove header
4) Apply this patch
5) Apply "Item Limit "9" Patch"
6) Add header
7) Apply "Secret of Mana Proper-caser"
8) Optional. Remove header

March 20, 2016, 10:56:32 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Even with just applying this patch, bindable magic does not work. That is, I'm only using this patch.

Worse yet, due to disabling the traditional 'happy path' for casting a spell, I can't cast magic at all!  :( At this point (after getting Undine) this hack is unplayable...

March 21, 2016, 12:24:50 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Just an update, I had a custom binding for attack ('A'), setting back to 'B' allowed me to cast spells one off, but binding still does not work.  :-\
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on March 25, 2016, 08:00:05 am
While playing together with two friends we encountered some serious bugs which stoped us from playing the mod.
The magic system doesnt work for us. I think it has something to do when playing with three human players.

First you can now target dead characters with all spells. Bug?

Damage spells can be cast on allies! very annoying in fights.

Quick cast magic only works for player 1.  If player 3 binds heal spell, player 1 can quick cast that spell for him.

At some point in the game (around lvl 17) all the spells always hit the boy, no mather who was selected. We dont know how this happend, but from there on game was unplayable.


Maybe if you can fix these bugs we'll give it another try because this mod has some great potential. We realy like some of the ideas you came up with and the increased difficulty :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 25, 2016, 11:24:54 am
I need a break from making my AI script editor, so I figured I should get back to this mod and fix the most important stuff.
One thing I really don't like about how I did this mod is that I sometimes just hex-edited stuff directly into the rom and thus there might be some stuff I forgot about in there which might end up causing problems that would be hard to find... so Im thinking about starting again using a clean rom and modify my assembler so that instead of directly writing on the rom, it writes on a copy to make sure nothing is forgotten. This means ill have to re-implement each feature one by one but at least the asm code is already written and I could also try to make seperate patches like Amarantheus said for some stuff like showing MP and other general features while im at it.

PerryR:
damn, does that bug that makes everything target the boy still happen after you reset/load a game from the menu ? if so, send me your .srm and ill look into it, maybe its a simple mistake that could be fixed quickly.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on March 26, 2016, 09:15:22 am
Word take all the breaks you need bro. Everyone is waiting for the ultimate rom hack for SoM can't wait. If you need a tester or if there is something I can do to help let me know. I'm sure there is nothing I can do other than help beta test it. I wish you the best bro!!!!! Thanks for choosing secret of mana!!!!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Wolfric on March 28, 2016, 06:20:04 pm
Well, this mod seriously offers a whole different way of playing Secret of Mana. So far it's been a blast!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on March 28, 2016, 09:58:01 pm
... so Im thinking about starting again using a clean rom and modify my assembler so that instead of directly writing on the rom, it writes on a copy to make sure nothing is forgotten.....

I was thinking this a few weeks ago, I recommend starting again, I think it will be annoying at first but I'm sure you'll definitely be glad in the long run! And yes, great idea about making it so we can apply hacks separately as honestly, I'm pretty happy with the vanilla magic. The only thing that annoys me about the vanilla is that the magic can be abused and cast repeatedly to destroy bosses with ease.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on March 30, 2016, 04:28:55 pm
My friends and I got around to trying out v .10 of your mod, so I wanted to give you our feedback.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Ligeia on March 31, 2016, 01:25:18 pm
  • At times I have gotten two orbs of the same type at once (spear and sword orbs I believe). This happened after returning to vanilla Secret of Mana after playing an earlier version of your mod. I have read on the gamefaqs forums that this happens when you miss an earlier opportunity to get that type of weapon orb. I'm not sure if that's true or if my game is just glitching out. If that is true, I was wondering if your mod that adds an extra glove and axe orb will give you double axe/glove orbs later on if you miss the earlier glove or axe orb?

This is not a glitch, it is a feature of vanilla SOM. By using it you can get the level 9 Sword : skip the fight against Mantis Ant (use a cheat code to get Flammie at the beginning for instance), and you'll get two Sword orbs in a row when you open the chests in Pandora. Then go fight Mantis Ant and you're set !
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 31, 2016, 03:35:01 pm
pizzano, I tried your .srm, and I get the same results, I thought it would be easy to fix by copying the RAM area that the mod use for everything spell related from a working game.. but it still didnt work, so it seems more serious. Its probably what happened to PerryR too. I really have no idea atm on what could cause this, ill look it up while re-building the project using my now Oh-so-much-better assembler. Sorry, I thought I could fix your .srm and send it back to you without even knowing where the problem was, but I should have known better than to think it would be that easy :P That .srm will surely be helpful at tracking that bug tho. Other than the difficulty nothing is saved so any .srm should load fine (well.. in theory)

About making seperate patches, it could get troublesome to make them compatible with each other, but i've got an idea on how to do it. The patches would have to be applied following a strict order tho which will surely get alot of people to end up having problems. Also, the "gameplay" stuff should probably all be in the same patch or else the difficulty would be affected. So ill try to make some general stuff into different patches like showing the MP, CPU not getting stuck, walking to the edge of the screen and probably other stuff I don't have in mind right now. Feel free to suggest stuff I could make into a seperate patches, since im just starting to re-work my code and later it could be troublesome

Ligeia : Should be fun to wait until you have the 8th orb to go back and beat the crap out of mantis ant and receive the ultimate sword as a reward for this pathetic boss fight :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on March 31, 2016, 06:05:23 pm
pizzano, I tried your .srm, and I get the same results, I thought it would be easy to fix by copying the RAM area that the mod use for everything spell related from a working game.. but it still didn't work, so it seems more serious. Its probably what happened to PerryR too. I really have no idea atm on what could cause this, ill look it up while re-building the project using my now Oh-so-much-better assembler. Sorry, I thought I could fix your .srm and send it back to you without even knowing where the problem was, but I should have known better than to think it would be that easy :P That .srm will surely be helpful at tracking that bug tho. Other than the difficulty nothing is saved so any .srm should load fine (well.. in theory)
I'm just happy that I was able to help at all!
So ill try to make some general stuff into different patches like showing the MP, CPU not getting stuck, walking to the edge of the screen and probably other stuff I don't have in mind right now. Feel free to suggest stuff I could make into a separate patches, since im just starting to re-work my code and later it could be troublesome
I would add to that list the improved bow (that can fire twice as far) and the extra glove/axe orb in the Pandora Castle treasure room.
4. I was wondering if your mod that adds an extra glove and axe orb will give you double axe/glove orbs later on if you miss the earlier glove or axe orb?
Zhade, I don't think you answered this question. Also, if I start using the mod again, is it possible to return to the Pandora Castle treasure room to get the extra glove and axe orb if I've already passed it at this point in the story?
5. A friend of mine had an interesting idea that I'm not sure if anyone else suggested. His idea was that instead of binding specific magic spells to different face buttons, it would be cool if you could bind a whole school of magic to a face button. Then once the face button was pressed, you could press one of three different face buttons to cast each one of the spells from that school of magic.
Zhade, what did you think of my friends idea for an alternative magic quick cast system?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on April 01, 2016, 08:12:07 am
BetterAI.ips
MPAlwaysVisible.ips
BindableMagic.ips
RechargeRebalance.ips
StrongWeakAttacks.ips
ManualBlocking.ips
BetterBow.ips
StunRebalance.ips
FasterDamageDisplay.ips
CustomDifficulty.ips

Of these, I don't necessarily see what you would want to leave out.  Especially since the balancing and difficulty scaling will be based on the inclusion of many of these. Better AI, Faster Damage Display, MP Display, Optional Difficulty, Stun Rebalance, Recharge Rebalance...I think that these have made improvements overall.  The magic binding, blocking, and strong/weak attacks I can see being a change from vanilla, however the game is perfectly normal without using any of those things.

While the magic binding is handy, especially on the harder difficulty...it doesn't fundamentally change the game.  Truly, the few things that I see being my personal favorite ideas implemented or talked about are:  teleporting party members not getting stuck, the increase in difficulty option, elementals joining at higher levels based on when you obtain them (to avoid having to grind them), and potential magic/weapon rebalancing to make all the spells useful.  Of course, the latter would be the biggest move from vanilla as you are changing the properties of the spells/weapons themselves from the original game instead of just enhancing them.

I suppose you could categorize the changes into "enhancements" to vanilla which don't change the mechanics or attributes but allow for improvements that don't affect gameplay and "overhaul/changes" which would require more rebalancing and would need to be used in combination with one another (i.e. gameplay difficulty and anything changed to balance around that).

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Amarantheus on April 01, 2016, 03:37:19 pm
[...]
Of these, I don't necessarily see what you would want to leave out. 
[...]

For me, the biggest advantage is the ability to provide meaningful feedback (QA). As I'm not the developer here, this would be the closest way I'd be able to provide technical bug reports. That is, the ability to tease out which aspect (read: IPS patch) is breaking between versions and the ability to 'rollback' aspects to continue testing would be incredibly useful to me (and I hope to zhade). Moreover, people generally have different opinions on how the game should function -- why exclude people with a rigid vision if it's not necessary?

At any rate, I recommended these patches be provided in addition to the regular 'combined' patch.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 03, 2016, 05:03:35 am
pizzano:
"I would add to that list the improved bow (that can fire twice as far) and the extra glove/axe orb in the Pandora Castle treasure room."

-Improved bow is added to the list ! About the orb in pandora : I'm not even sure it really is there in V0.10, I know I managed to make it work but can't remember when lol.. it is a good idea for a seperate patch either way tho.

I think I only modified the chests in pandora, chests have a kind of target level and keep reappearing until you have the right orb level so I guess one of the chests for each weapon won't appear at all later.. altho I might actually have edited the other chests too.. hum.. that one of the things that would be easy to know if I didnt just edit stuff straight in the rom without taking notes :P But yea, when I will be done with it, if you skip the treasure room, the next chest will give you 1 extra orb

"A friend of mine had an interesting idea that I'm not sure if anyone else suggested. His idea was that instead of binding specific magic spells to different face buttons, it would be cool if you could bind a whole school of magic to a face button. Then once the face button was pressed, you could press one of three different face buttons to cast each one of the spells from that school of magic."

-I had a somewhat similar idea, but the problem with it is that once you have selected the school of magic that you have previously bound to a button, there would be no way to know which spell each button will cast, unless you have tried it already and remember it by heart. The best would be to have little spell icons appear around your character showing you what A/B/X/Y will cast. I'm currently trying to decipher how the graphics/sprite animations are handled and I think I could manage to make the icons appear but seeing how the game makes every ennemy black and white when you enter the ring menu, I think the palettes might be limited and also more sprites on the screen might make the game start to have slowdowns. If it is possible, I will try to do something similar. My idea was to add a kind of second layer to the button bindings, so instead of binding Undine to A and the casting cure by pressing A, B for example, you would have to press 2 buttons when binding a spell so you could group spells that have similar effects together like 4 sabers spells on A, 4 attack spells on B etc.. it would make it easier to not make a mistake and cast an offensive spell on your party and give you a total of 16 hotkeys instead of 4, at the expense of having to press 1 more button to cast spells. It would be hard to remember all the buttons when continuing a saved games after a while tho so having some visuals is probably the only way to make more than 4 spell binding practical.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Ligeia on April 03, 2016, 10:48:06 pm
Okay, so I finally got around to test your hack and started a new game. I must say I love all the changes, except one : the magic biding feature. What I would want is the same hack but with the vanilla magic system. I'm gonna go in detail :

- AI controlled characters don't get stuck
Great idea, of course, and well executed.

- MP is shown at all time
Nice touch, and useful.

- Binding magic spells
My main issue with the new magic system is that choosing a spell doesn't interrupt the game anymore. But since you can now target allies with black magic and enemies with white magic, you need to be extra careful and take time to choose the target with a glitchy head-cursor which doesn't help either. I could not use the biding system as it felt too confusing in battle and always ended up casting on the wrong target. This new system kinda ruined the whole thing for me. That's why I didn't get very far (I stopped playing after getting Gnome)

- Magic recharging time
This is a nice idea to add some difficulty, it takes some time to get used to, but I like it.

- Strong/Weak attacks
Very good, the control scheme is perfect for me (B for weak and forward+B for strong)

Manual blocking
I love the idea, it's a bit hard to get it right in-game, but when you do it it feels very rewarding. It definitely adds something in terms of challenge.

- Enhanced bow
Awesome, now the bow is actually useful, and even becomes one of the best weapons of the game.

- Reduced hit-recovery time / Reduced damage/healing time
Great idea ! Adds some challenge, now you actually have to pay attention to enemies' routines and be careful when moving around them not to get hit.

- 3 Difficulty settings
Very good idea. I played on hard, didn't get very far as previously mentioned, but it definitely felt more challenging than the original without being cheap or unfair.

Here's an idea : why not adding a sword ord as well, so we can finally get lv.9 sword without cheating ?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on April 04, 2016, 02:55:21 pm
"Here's an idea : why not adding a sword ord as well, so we can finally get lv.9 sword without cheating ?"

Put it in the lighthouse. Give that place some purpose, at least.  :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on April 04, 2016, 04:22:39 pm
"Here's an idea : why not adding a sword ord as well, so we can finally get lv.9 sword without cheating ?"

Put it in the lighthouse. Give that place some purpose, at least.  :P
Not a bad idea.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 05, 2016, 02:21:12 pm
I could try to make the whole Magic binding/targeting system into a seperate patch altho that one might be hard to do because the magic recharging time is kind of hard-coded in the same places :P I have to redo how magic works anyway (because of that weird bug that pizzano made me aware of) so I'll keep that in mind and see what I can do.

About the Strong/Weak attack controls:
I am so used to it now that I dont think it would make sense to change it. Changing it for Y (the poll's favorite) would make it annoying to switch between character menus.

About the sword Orb:
Only adding a chest to obtain the lvl9 sword would make the game very easy.
The level9 sword has a power of 127, compared to the level8 sword which has 52 and the level9 spear with 56.. it would increase your damage output way too much lol. And I can't just reduce it either because the last boss has an insane amount of defense that only an insane amount of power can get through. It should be possible to instead increase the boost that the mana magic grant to the boy or something so that the sword is obtainable before the final fight, but I personally don't mind not having the level 9 weapons since they don't have a new charge-attack :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on April 05, 2016, 05:46:06 pm
I like the idea of having the extra sword orb available. And if it can give an otherwise pointless area of the game a purpose, then all the better.
Also, I agree that rebalancing the weapon's power and Mana Magic boost to compensate would be needed.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on April 05, 2016, 06:15:48 pm
I don't remember if I've suggested this before or not but instead of character faces if you could make the icon over the target the spell icon it'd be a lot more readability.

As for the level 9 sword thing,  couldn't you edit the boss himself to make him more difficult? That should solve the problem of it being too easy. You could also shift some of his defense into hp or another start so that you could nerf the damage on the sword to something a bit less op. I was also thinking about the charge attacks. Would it be possible to make them into button combos and maybe only allow the boy to use them? Also if so, what do you think about that?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on April 05, 2016, 10:19:53 pm
About the sword Orb:
Only adding a chest to obtain the lvl9 sword would make the game very easy.
The level9 sword has a power of 127, compared to the level8 sword which has 52 and the level9 spear with 56.. it would increase your damage output way too much lol. And I can't just reduce it either because the last boss has an insane amount of defense that only an insane amount of power can get through. It should be possible to instead increase the boost that the mana magic grant to the boy or something so that the sword is obtainable before the final fight, but I personally don't mind not having the level 9 weapons since they don't have a new charge-attack :P
I take it you cannot add objects into the game like a wall and/or one of those magic orbs right? The idea would be take the lighthouse and change it into say a "Mana tower" where the last sword orb would be on top and each level underneath would require a level 8 magic spell from each of the 8 Spirits to pass through.
Basically, you would need to grind each spirit to max before you could get the Mana sword. The lighthouse doesn't have to be the location, but it would give it some use.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on April 06, 2016, 08:54:17 am
I know that going off on the Lvl 9 sword orb tangent may not pan out to anything...but I like the idea of some kind of prerequisites to obtain the orb...or have it as a particularly difficult to obtain secret.  Like hiding it somewhere and/or making it require Lvl 8 magic (like previously mentioned)...or an optional boss (wishful thinking).  I know that addressing the current issues and getting that solidified would take precedence over adding content...but I feel like this has the potential for SoM that Brave New World does for FFIII. 

I haven't seen anyone else attempt this kind of alteration to SoM besides increasing difficulty/changing fonts and am hopeful for what is in store for one of my favorite games of all time.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Ligeia on April 07, 2016, 12:32:31 pm
I love the idea of a new Mana Tower in the Light House to obtain the level 9 sword orb. I don't know if it's possible to make with the hacking tools available, though. If it's not, maybe the Mana Sword could be obtained by defeating a Mana Fortress boss for example ? You could also edit the Mana Fortress enemies' stats to make it much more difficult, to make the lv9 sword more relevant.

If making a seperate patch for the magic system means having the magic charge time binded to it, then go for it. I'd rather lose a feature than playing with the magic binding system (sorry...).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on April 07, 2016, 11:42:46 pm
Ok I know this will never happen, but it would be awesome if the lighthouse was more like a dungeon where each level you go up, you need to fight a boss in order of appearance, excluding maybe the last few bosses. At the end you get the 9th orb.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pape on April 11, 2016, 03:35:29 pm
I am looking forward to the complete version, keep up the good work. In the vanilla version, the Mana Sword doesn't do that much more damage compare to the other weapons. Roughly around 100 HP more damage (around 300 damage per swing at 100% at level 99). It's nothing overpowered or gamebreaking. If you think it is too much, simply increase slightly the HP of all enemies in the fortress. This is coming from a player who always got the ninth orb after Pureland.

If you are planing on inserting the ninth orb. You must look out for this. The reason that I always got the ninth orb after Pureland is because if you get it before finishing Pureland. At the Mana Tree scene, the sword is powered up by the Mana Tree (Quote from the game; "Sword power at maximum!"). This makes the sword go to level 8 regardless of the sword's current level. So, having the level 9 sword makes the game decrease it to the level 8. A forged ninth sword (Mana Sword) will display Energy Orb 9/8 on the weapon screen. If a player gets the ninth orb and does not forged it and finishes Pureland, said player will lose the ninth orb. I just tested this with save states found on the internet. If your planing on inserting the ninth sword orb, it would be better to get it from the Mana Tree event. I doubt it would be much of an hassle to swap 8 to 9. Just need to make the event give you up to level 9 sword instead of level 8. Plus, it fits the story-line of "Sword power at maximum!" part.

Now, one of the reasons I am posting today is I would like to alter this in my own game to make it push up to level 9 sword instead of level 8 sword in this event. It fits perfectly there. I am wondering if you could find the offset that forces the sword's current level to change to level 8? Or maybe a separate patch could be release for those like me who would like to have this in their own game without using the trick or cheat, etc.

The Ruby Armet is an helmet that is unused, would you mind putting it back into the game in a shop. The Ruby Armet is a helmet for the girl and Mandala seems like the likely place where this helmet would belong since it lacks a helmet for the girl while the boy and sprite get the Circlet. The Ruby Armet's stats are in the range of the Circlet. I'm pretty sure that Candy is no longer sold and are replaced by Chocolate in the second part of the game, except for Neko who acts like a convenience shop. It might have been a developer oversight by placing Candy instead of Ruby Armet within the shop menu. If your interested, the offset for Mandala's shop starts at 18FCCE.

I'm also putting this link here since it help me figure some things out and might help others: wiki.superfamicom.org/snes/show/Seiken+Densetsu+2
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 11, 2016, 07:28:38 pm
About the lighthouse:
I prefer the idea of a special boss fight or something like that to requiring all spirits to be at level 8 which would just force grinding magic levels, altho I have not experienced with it I think it shouldnt be much of a problem to add a boss inside the lighthouse, the hard part would probably be keeping the doors from taking you back out until the fight is over and maybe keeping the boss from giving you the orb it normally grants when beaten, as well as keep it from reappearing after you first beat him and obtain the mana sword. The room inside the lighthouse is not very big IIRC so I would have to find a boss that can fight in such a place. I dont really know if it would be possible to add the boss to the map data like the game normally does but there should be a way to know the ID of the map you are currently on and from there just spawn the monster when entering and then alter its stats to make it harder. I will probably just start looking into this much later so hopefully I will have a better understanding of how maps and bosses work by then.

Pape:
I was thinking about only making the 9th orb available once pureland is completed so that event would not be a problem, but now that I think about it.. tha means the lighthouse should be locked until then which might be troublesome to do..
Thx to your description of the event and the the text that comes with it and to somedit's text-searching capabilities, I found the address you were looking for in no time: CA/828A, set it to 09 instead of 08, I have not tested the actual event, but the event command is "set event flag 0xC1 to 0x08" and knowing the event flags start at 7ECF00, I tried setting 7ECFC1 to 09 and when I looked into the levels menu I had 8/9 under sword so im almost certain it will work perfectly.
As for the Ruby Armet, I do would like to make it available since it just sits there in perfect working condition, I never looked at shop inventory data but I think it should be rather straighforward to change one of the items for another at a given shop.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on April 12, 2016, 02:44:03 pm
As for the Ruby Armet, I do would like to make it available since it just sits there in perfect working condition, I never looked at shop inventory data but I think it should be rather straighforward to change one of the items for another at a given shop.

I'm excited for this. Sounds cool and fairly straightforward to implement.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pape on April 13, 2016, 10:58:11 am
I was thinking about only making the 9th orb available once pureland is completed so that event would not be a problem, but now that I think about it.. tha means the lighthouse should be locked until then which might be troublesome to do..
Thx to your description of the event and the the text that comes with it and to somedit's text-searching capabilities, I found the address you were looking for in no time: CA/828A, set it to 09 instead of 08, I have not tested the actual event, but the event command is "set event flag 0xC1 to 0x08" and knowing the event flags start at 7ECF00, I tried setting 7ECFC1 to 09 and when I looked into the levels menu I had 8/9 under sword so im almost certain it will work perfectly.
As for the Ruby Armet, I do would like to make it available since it just sits there in perfect working condition, I never looked at shop inventory data but I think it should be rather straighforward to change one of the items for another at a given shop.

Thank you for your assistance, but still need your help. I've change the value of CA/828A to 9. Just changing this value doesn't alter the outcome of the event. But here is where I get confused and hit a roadblock. Trying to find the offset 7ECF00 is not contained within the file using HxD. The last offset is 1FFFFF. I know when others have mention these 7E offsets, I couldn't never find them with the HxD editor. Had to use the entire line of byte to find what I needed to change. Is there a place or do you know how to convert 7ECF00 into an offset lower than 1FFFFF? Something like headers and non-headers with the add/subtract 200 byte differences. I've tried googling it, but came up with nothing but colors and wheel converters sadly... Sorry for derailing the topic at hand.

Yeah, I though as much about the lighthouse myself. It's a good idea, but would be hard. That much I know. Maybe you could add two treasure chest there that contains the 8th glove orb and axe orb there?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: justin3009 on April 13, 2016, 12:51:12 pm
Anything 7E:0000+ to 7F:FFFF is RAM addresses.  Meaning they're memory when the game is going on, not actual editable ROM addresses.  Of course, if you can trace what happens in RAM you can modify what happens to it in ROM.

Basically anything 7E:0000+ is technically the 'Game Genie' area.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 14, 2016, 11:43:55 am
Pape:

Oops I made an error, set CA/828D to 08 instead. There are 2 event flags (the one I gave you last time 7ECFC1 , and this one 7ECFB2) that are updated one after the other during the event right after "Sword Power At Maximum !", the one I gave you last time is what the orb chests use as the "current-level", Even tho your sword will be 1 level higher there is no point in increasing it too since there is no sword level 9 orb chest anyway so setting CA/828D to 08 should be all thats needed. You can't have a level 0 weapon, the minimum is level 1, so thats why the value 08 is used for level 09.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pape on April 17, 2016, 10:12:32 am
zhade:

Thank you for your assistance, it works perfectly. I can't believe that I didn't notice it at first now that you mentioned it, I should stop thinking decimal while hacking. 00 is 01 and 08 is 09. Now, good luck in you own mod/hack zhade, looking forward to it.

justin3009:

Thanks for the information justin300. I learned something new today. Now that you mentioned it, I did used a lot of game genie when I was younger to give myself characters/weapons/armor/etc and other crazy stuff with RAM.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: LancerECNM on May 25, 2016, 11:23:29 am
Just noting that I'm also having issues with the hotkey spells working. I've been playing using the menu instead, which is way safer anyway. I'm playing on the android SNES9x port, it could be related to what emulator players are using.

That said, this hack, particularly blocking and light/heavy attacks, has taken a game I feel is pretty weak and made it waaaaay better. Heck, with just those changes and the AI teleporting dealio, you're basically playing a completely different, very satisfying melee game. To improve the feel of the combat any further, you'd really have to completely rehaul the way magic works in the game (making them things you can dodge and don't stop the gameplay, adding a charge time, etc), which is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond the scope of this or any hack really.

Well... I mean, I guess the AI could attempt to manually block sometimes, but balancing that would be insane, I imagine.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on May 26, 2016, 08:30:11 am
Would this be compatible with this hack:

http://www.fantasyanime.com/mana/somdownloads.htm

Which changes the font and expands the dialogue?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on May 26, 2016, 08:53:37 pm
Would this be compatible with this hack:

http://www.fantasyanime.com/mana/somdownloads.htm

Which changes the font and expands the dialogue?
If that is the variable width font hack then no because that hack requires a header while this one does not... unfortunately.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: LarsofArcana on May 26, 2016, 10:53:33 pm
Alright so I just wanted to say this is a super great patch especially with the increases in difficulty, changes to the stun and hit mechanics etc. Really makes the game a lot more fun and immersive. However, the only problem I really have is the targeting system. it was working completely fine until I reloaded my last save state. now for some weird reason, none of the "all" targeting functions work. I can only single target spells for some reason. If I try to target all my allies with the girls buffs she will only buff the boy and if I try to attack all the enemies with the sprite he will  ATTACK the boy. single targeting works fine though. its super frustrating because i'm already pretty far in the game and now have to probably start over again. is there any way to fix this? better yet, can you just add a rom that doesnt have the targeting system? for multiplayer i can understand it being good but for single player it doesnt really matter to me or break the gameplay. the spell cooldown system is awesome and i feel like it basically remedies all those issues. however, its really frustrating when it breaks on you just because you load a state. I've tried repatching and everything. once again thanks for the great hack, one of the best gameplay improvements i've seen for a snes game

edit: actually figured out its not my save states causing the problem, it only screws up the targeting when i reset my rom and load the actual game. so as long as i just save and load with states, its fine.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on June 06, 2016, 08:02:28 am
While playing through my "Initial Equipment Only" run (ugh, Spikey Tiger)...I had an idea on developing Purim's magic, in particular her Gnome Magic.  I also started looking through the Armor/Weapon FAQ on Gamefaqs that details the inclusion of status element blocking and Stat increases.

Speaking of Defender moreso than any other...what about reducing the defensive power of armor and using Defender to supplement it with more defense.  You could also assign/adjust the armor to compensate for the loss of power. 

For example: You could have an armor set for Purim/Popoi that has reduced defensive capabilities, but increases Int/Wis do help with spell casting.  You could then couple this with Defender to give you multiple options with equipment.  You could also concurrently offer a no-bonus/higher defense set of comparable price.

This would help alleviate the more linear path of consistently increasing defensive armor.  With the possibilities of status defenses, it could also add a new layer to the equipment process.  All the while having Defender cover the gap.

My second thought was that if Speed Up's level was an extension of duration and not power then you could use it to gain an ability similar to the Energizer Alchemy from Secret of Evermore.  Give you a great boost in speed (and weapon charging since IIRC that is tied to Agility), and the duration would last longer the higher the spell level.

EDIT: I have 7/8 of the elementals now on my "Initial Equipment Run" and it is a lot like the hard mode on the mod.  Basically any physical attack will almost kill you outright.  Bosses/enemies that can plow through and hit multiple characters are particularly dangerous.  I have found the Girl's fire magic to be a good supplemental damage source when paired with Sprite.  Defender/Speed Up never really stacked up to the power of plowing through enemies with Stone Sabers.  Perhaps making a balance between Frost Sabre (High % rate, enemies cannot be damage) - Flame Sabre (Mid% rate, enemies take fire/poison damage) - and Stone (Low % Rate - Petrify Enemies)...I'm just not sure where Thunder Sabre fits in to the equation.  Confuse is supposed to prevent enemy spellcasting...that would be beneficial...(which Silence working on some/most bosses would not be overpowered...it is an effect that is only temporary and you normally are better off casting offensive spells, but this on a Thunder Saber would make it worthwhile).

Another thought...could defender be made to prevent status ailments?...especially knockout/unconscious? ><.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: GoldenJoe on July 30, 2016, 05:00:35 am
Registered just to comment on this hack. It sounds really cool. Not sure what you're already working on, but one of the big pain points of the original for me was grinding weapons and magic. If you can cut that down, it'd be awesome, especially in the late game when leveling up a new elemental takes so long.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 31, 2016, 08:49:22 am
Hi guys, I finaly started making something with my new assembler, altho its not really something new, Its the "mp appearing in the status bar thing", I made it way better than the first time, I guess the way it was done before could have been a cause of slowdowns and weird behaviors (and even worse things on a real snes). It is also way more flexible, I can move the subs easily to make it compatible with other hacks. I think I could make my assembler into some kind of patching program, its actually kind of what it already does really.., but instead of using multiple asm files, all the files could be squeezed into a custom patch file format to make it more simple to use. That would also help with some issue I have with the "showing mp" thing right now which is that Its easier for me and faster for the CPU to have have all the tiles the HUD uses at the same place so it can all be sent to VRAM in 1 block, but because of lack of space where the gfx usually are, I cant add just add my custom graphics in there so instead I copy the normal graphics into an expanded region of the rom and insert my graphics there. That means an ips patch (correct me if Im wrong), would contain the copy of the usual graphics which is copyrighted material..  altho many hacks available here probably have little bits of copyrighted stuff like that I would like to avoid it completely just as an added challenge. A custom patcher could go get these graphics from the ROM to be patched instead like my assembler does. There are probably some patch formats that can handle this easily tho.. right ?

I still have to think about all this many-patches thing, Ill try to make each feature not dependent from others as much as possible as it helps keep it all organized anyway and easy to add to other mod projects I might have in the future (instead of having to start from scratch like im doing now), but I might end up doing a single patch that contains the complete mod and release small stand-alone single-feature patches like this one so that people who would like play "regular secret of mana" with only some slight changes can do it as well as the asm code if other hackers need to modify it a bit for it to work with their project.

I think I should make another that sets the default level of spirits next, that one should not conflict with anything anyway as I dont think it would require any new subroutine so it could be used with the latest version of the improvement Hack

As I was talking about "other mod projects" I might have, there is this one that I think might be fun: A monster battle arena in which 2 players select a monster and face each other or in single player, one could fight waves of enemies and unlock new controllable monsters as they progress. I already have been able to make monsters controllable :  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQoAuGmV92I) and altho the control response time needs improving it works pretty well. The only problem is I don't know if it would be possible to change playable characters like randi into a monster so that monster vs monster fights are possible, the game tends to seperate playble characters form enemies on many things... I could instead make enemies be able to hit (friendly fire) other monsters,  but then the non-player monsters AI would need to be changed so they target one of their own.. At least the 2player versus mode should be possible I guess.. Hit-detection is actually the next thing im gonna be looking at figuring out in the disassembly since I know understand character sprite frames which have a flag that states if the character is hitable during the frame and weapon/attacks frames (monster's non-weapon attacks are actually weapon frames but with an invisible weapon sprite ;)) which have a flag that states if the weapon causes damage on the frame, so hit-detection looks like its just checking when the 2 collides basically.

Ill then probably go look into spells, visual effects as well as actual effect (altho that last one seems rather straighforward) so ill have a better idea of what I could do with them. Then getting to understand ranged attacks could be nice, I might be able to mix the 2 and have spell effects for projectiles in order to make spells that dont target enemies directly or have say the fire saber spell make so your sword slashes then shoot fireballs ;)

Im sorry for the bugs that are present in the last patch, my new assembler is based on the one I used before (which I didnt keep a backup) and wont compile my old files anymore so I can't fix it 0_0 You will have to wait until I rewrite it all but since I want to continue getting to know the game better and working on tools to make it all easier to work with that might take a while.. sorry
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on August 02, 2016, 01:29:16 am
I agree with the separate patches, but if it's too much trouble then I'm fine with a 1 patch for all. When you said about the idea of fighting arena style, that's actually a really cool idea. Perhaps 2 people vs 1 monster, all controlled by people? Sounds interesting. I pretty much only visit this site for this thread, so just want to say that I really appreciate all your hard work!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on August 04, 2016, 02:01:25 pm
I'm glad to hear that this mod is still being worked on!

Looking forward to checking out whatever you release next!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Kosayn on August 04, 2016, 02:08:30 pm
This seems really neat.  I only had to get a few lines in to remember the nightmarish experience of menu management in a multiplayer game of Secret of Mana, and getting the AI characters stuck before Elinee.  Kudos! Back to reading about it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: reconstructingmana on August 04, 2016, 09:41:54 pm
I've been following your work for awhile, zhade, great job.  There have been references in this thread to retranslation projects.  I too, am working on one, although I don't know any Japanese.  It's by accident---I've been gathering everything I can on the development of SoM for my blog.  There seemed to be a lot of information scattered, and I wanted to compile it all in one place.  Since I don't know the language, I'm probably missing some details, but I have managed to uncover quite a few things that did not make it into the English script.  At this point, I have translated virtually all the major dialogue, and might get to the rest if a need arises.  I have no programming expertise, but if you need me for anything else, let me know.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on August 06, 2016, 11:58:30 am
I'm always good at spotting bugs. You guys are doing great keep up the good work. If you need help spotting them let me know.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on August 24, 2016, 05:49:16 am
If that is the variable width font hack then no because that hack requires a header while this one does not... unfortunately.

Can't you add the header after patching this hack, then patch the VWF (or opposite)?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 25, 2016, 02:43:25 am
Can't you add the header after patching this hack, then patch the VWF (or opposite)?
If it was only for the head/no-header thing, yes it would work, but the VWF patch changes all story events in which there is text to change the line breaks since the text takes less space and the gameplay improvement patch uses 1 event for the difficulty selection. I guess it could still work but the difficulty would be set to the default, can't remember which one that is.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on August 25, 2016, 06:43:10 am
Ah, yes...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: FungusFoot on October 13, 2016, 01:16:44 pm
Just wanted to say that this hack is the best thing I've ever seen and thanks for making it!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on November 13, 2016, 05:39:36 pm
Zhade shared this elsewhere but I thought some of you would want to see this. Mop (creator of secret of mana editor) is currently working on a SoM project, looks amazing! https://www.twitch.tv/moppleton/v/97515314
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on November 13, 2016, 09:52:44 pm
Zhade shared this elsewhere but I thought some of you would want to see this. Mop (creator of secret of mana editor) is currently working on a SoM project, looks amazing! https://www.twitch.tv/moppleton/v/97515314
Instant twitch follow. That looks so damn cool. I'd love to stream it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KishPrime on November 22, 2016, 10:08:52 am
Still think this hack's potential is exceptional, though can't get the targeting to work right. The combat is glorious. Would love updates or to know how we could help test!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on November 25, 2016, 04:08:41 am
Question; What version of ROM is needed? Secret Of Mana (U) [!].sfc is the one I used.

Asking because after the Undine cave the use of magic is problematic. The selection cursor is the same icon as the boy's charge meter face. Doesn't seem to be a way to select all, for enemies or party. Tried repatching with a fresh ROM and still no luck.

Is this a common problem or is a different ROM required?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on November 28, 2016, 02:39:06 pm
The rom should be headerless and have a CRC32: D0176B24 (the most common US rom to my knowledge)
As for targetting, IIRC in the lattest patch pressing up while targetting selects all enemies, down is for all party members. Many people seems to have had trouble with the targeting system not working properly, it might be because it has been aplied to another version of the rom or maybe the emulator used ? The code for targeting is the first bit I did and I gotta admit it looks horrible.. Hopefully there wont be problems when i'll rewrite the code for it.

About that, even tho this project has been on hold for quite some time now, I still am working on romHacking tools and digging into the disassembly. I finally have a satisfactory assembler, as well as a nice assembly development environment app, well-suited to keep things organized and make it easy to keep features seperate from one another and some very usefull debugging tools. I started rewriting some stuff, not much right now:
- MP visible in the status area
- decreased "stun" time.
- I also modified the threshold that triggers the longer "knocked back" animation. It normally happens when a character/monster is hit 1/4 of its max HP, now raised to 1/2.
- Strong/weak attacks, javelin melee attack (animation plays faster now)

I am looking for a way to make enemies move faster in general which I think would make fighting more interesting.
I found a way to lock a character into an animation frame, meaning Ill be able to make the blocking "holdable"

Even tho I still have lots of code to rewrite.. Im thinking of new game mechanics that could be implemented since I now have good knowledge of animation codes... re-writing stuff that I already did is just so much less fun so I thought getting into some new stuff might be a good way to have me get back to work on this project to then get motivated to do the boring bits so heres what I have been thinking lately:

I thougth it could be interesting to, instead of charges, have special moves that dont need warming up but cost "Technique points, TP" instead. TP could grow back with time and a bonus amount recharged each time you hit an enemy as well as decrease slowly when you hold block. special moves would be triggered by simple button combinations, im thinking it could be d-pad paterns while holding the attack button, like back,forward "release". That would make weapons more usable against bosses altho I guess it could need a cooldown time like magic so you start every boss fight by lining up special moves until you run dry of TP.. The regular charge-attacks could be used as special moves but I think I could manage to make new attack animations as well (or instead). Each character could have its own set of moves and each move learned (learned like charge-attacks normally are) could be used with similar-styled weapons ! So for example, if you learn the sword's level1 move then switch to the axe, you would still be able to use the move you learned, encouraging you to change weapon in order to learn new moves instead of sticking with your favorite.. Anyway, Im still just throwing ideas into this,I dont have a clear idea yet about any of this, and I thought you guys might have good idea to throw in too or spot problems with this system that I missed so.. what do you guys think of this ?

KishPrime:
I had to start again from nothing because of the way I just modified the same rom directly and in the end lost track of some changes I made and because of how my home-made assembler made it hard to keep things organized.. As soon as I have something new to show ill post a patch here for testing/feedback, even tho it will most likely lack some features that are present in the "old" patch that still need to be rewritten. just come check here from time to time, I will probably have something in need of testing soon..ish and very much appreciate getting feedback / bug reports and im always open to new ideas !
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: thzfunnymzn on November 28, 2016, 06:58:35 pm
Special moves seems like a solid way to truly differentiate the different weapons & give the player mechanical reasons to gain EXP with one weapon over the other. Also sounds, on paper, more fun than charging.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on November 28, 2016, 07:22:28 pm
Yeah I think special moves would be interesting especially if they also have extra effects (aoe/stuns/guard breaks) and even more so if you make custom attack animations(arrow rain for bow please!) I don't remember if we discussed this but also some weapons could specialize in different things. There are already various statistics added to weapons as you upgrade them, but what if instead of changing the weapons' effects constantly, upgrading caused the base effect to be stronger? Perhaps for example let's assume swords are good against bugs, but early on they're only moderately good against them, and as you upgrade them they become much more powerful against them. This power might have to be gated though. Maybe, using the same example, to get exp for the sword you have to kill bugs with it rather than just anything. Although weapon abilities might be enough for weapons and if used on bosses it'll leave a clear indicator of what weapon you want to use against them. What about stats? Maybe make a way to upgrade your stats as you level up instead of it being automatic? Similar to SD3 possibly? Shame SoM didn't have a class system like SD3. That was by far my favorite thing about the game. You had so much control over each character and it was like a blank canvas every game. It gave so much replay value too.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on November 30, 2016, 09:20:43 pm
Yeah I like that idea, sounds sweet but difficult to add. This idea is a bit different and probably harder to do but it would be great to be able to go into a 'rage' mode where you basically move, attack and use skills faster, think similar to kingdom heart II's 'drive form'. If you couldn't speed the main character up, perhaps you can slow all the enemies down, if that is possible, to give it that slow mo look.

I was talking to mop before, he said he separates his hacks into individual C# source files. They basically dumps code in starting at 0x60000. You prob already talk to him but if you were to do the same I'm sure he could add your hacks into what he's currently doing now. Would love to see that collaboration! :D
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on December 01, 2016, 12:10:12 pm
What if instead of button combinations to do skills or maybe in addition to it you could make combos. For example push b to attack normally then b again to chain into combo 1, or x to do combo 2.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 04, 2016, 02:33:37 pm
Atrushan:
-Really like the 'arrow rain' idea, altho it's really more related to projectiles than attack animations, it got me looking into how projectiles work in the last few days, I still have lots to discover in there, but I think it should be possible to make such an attack, it would be nice compared to just firing 3 arrows in a row, since it would have the potential to hit many enemies at once but only if their are at a certain distance. I Guess I could also make a 3way spread shot as another bow attack.

-As for combination, I thought that since in SoM enemies get knocked and have a small invincibility time each time they get hit, you want the first strike to be as powerful as possible. Combos could still be cool for the gloves tho, for example (theres 2 punch and 1 kick animation IIRC) pushing B alone could make you do a punches and forward-B kick (which also pushed you forward). Each 3 attacks would only be possible once in a combo so you could choose to do : kick-punch1-punch2 or punch1-kick-punch2 or just kick-punch1, each attack doing the normal damage, but then your power% would drop by some amount for each attack in the combo, so a shorter combo will let you hit your 100% power back faster.

-As for 'good against X enemy type', its really hard to tell which type an enemy is sometimes, I suspect this is why they chose to just leave it out, I for one had always thought that the game was not lying to us and that there was a small damage boost against certain enemy types until Regrs pointed out that it just doesnt do anything. For example the haunted spell-casting books, as well as haunted chairs are of type plant/fish :P Also color-swap enemies sometimes dont have have the same type, like the gray wolf "Heck Hound" is type animal/bird, but the pink wolf of gold tower "Beast Zombie" are type undead.. very confusing..

-Stats is also something I would leave as-is because there is no way to change class, raising intelligence (magic power) for the boy would be useless for example. I think stats-altering equipments would be a better way to give the mean to customize you character stats instead.

Dragon Ark:
-I guess there could be a 'special move" costing TP that would make you go into rage-mode, letting you attack without having to recharge your power% and run all the time instead of walking for a short time, or it could a good replacement for the speed-up spell effect

-I really would like to be able to play mop's mod along with my changes, because of the versatillity of my new assembler, I can move my code wherever I want easily so it should be possible, it looks like each of our mods touch different parts of the game so in theory it should be possible, it depends on how much free space there is tho, since all these new big maps take lots of space, but I think mop decided to reduce the total number of floor.


About new attacks in general one of the biggest problem, that I forgot to take into consideration, will be AI.. I don't think its a good idea to let the AI use TP-costing attacks since it would make poor use of its TP.. But that means you would have to switch character during a boss to make use of each character's TP, and since lots of people will play solo that could get hard to manage. That makes me wonder if I should just replace the charging by a cooldown and forget about TP.. That way even tho an AI-controlled character use a special attack in a stupid situation, it would not be so bad, it just wont be able to do another one for a short time. I guess it would make AI a bit better too cuz now, when they have a charge-level set, they just keep charging until they have their charge and release it. At least now they would help out with regular attacks most of time and throw out a special attack at random when they are able.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on December 05, 2016, 09:40:38 am
I had no idea those actually didn't work. Might as well remove that flavor text then if ya don't mind. I always used weapons that said they were good against certain types.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on December 05, 2016, 04:56:47 pm
I am glad to see that this is still being worked on.

I agree that something needs to be done about weapons, as they just can't hold up late-game, especially on higher difficulties as the enemies just deal too much damage when you have to get in close.

While special moves would be an exciting and interesting addition, I definitely think that getting a sustainable block mechanic would be wonderful.  Also, finding ways to make all of the spells useful and/or have meaningful effects.

The unconscious at 1/2 HP is definitely going to be a blessing.  Hopefully the idea of having elementals join at default higher levels is still in development.

I don't know if a block/counter attack system would be able to be implemented? Like...critical hit if you attack right after a block?

Perhaps just give Randi TP and techs to separate him from the other two characters. Give him something that makes him unique over the spell-casters. This could also help alleviate the problems with the AI. I don't know if you would be able to single him out, though.  Also an idea, maybe make his gauge fill faster with increased agility? Speed up is supposed to do that, right?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 06, 2016, 01:03:26 pm
Zhade,

Had an interesting thought. Have you considered releasing each of the features in this hack as a stand-alone patch? The companion players not getting stuck feature is a very worthy hack all by itself! You could then release a new features one at a time, letting folks test it out and give you feedback. It would also enable folks to pick and choose which ones they like. This would also help you to stay interested in the process and focused on the end goal as each step along the way would be a much shorter. Just an idea..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on December 08, 2016, 05:27:02 am
Zhade,

Had an interesting thought. Have you considered releasing each of the features in this hack as a stand-alone patch? The companion players not getting stuck feature is a very worthy hack all by itself! You could then release a new features one at a time, letting folks test it out and give you feedback. It would also enable folks to pick and choose which ones they like. This would also help you to stay interested in the process and focused on the end goal as each step along the way would be a much shorter. Just an idea..

I think that this was talked about earlier in the thread.  A number of the options would have to be released as one, since they rely on difficulty balance and changes that are more far reaching throughout the game...or ones that have minimal impact on the overall...like having the characters not get stuck behind objects every 2 seconds.  Some could likely be add-ons, though.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KishPrime on December 09, 2016, 05:34:33 pm
Thanks for replying Zhade! Since I posted, my brother played through the whole game with his two sons with your patch and loved it. :)  Sadly, though, targeting never worked properly.

Keep posting updates and I'll try to keep up. Wish I could help on the coding side!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: MKnightDH on December 11, 2016, 05:41:46 pm
Just played the hack last night, and I will say that the strong/weak mechanic is DEFINITELY a boon for variety. I'm definitely noticing it as early as right after being exiled from Potos, where Lullabuds surprisingly encourage weak attacks and positioning to get them under control, when strong attacks are still useful to snipe enemies like Buzz Bees.

That said, I do have my complaints about balance, and they crop up as early as Gaia's Navel. Plenty of my complaints are actually about weapon balance. The Bow has become one of the better weapons as a result of the range since it can lame out enemies every chance it gets, even outranging Chobin Hoods in all their own annoyance factor. However, I don't think it's an innate problem with the buff so much as the other weapons having key problems. I notice because the Bow has more ATK than the freaking Boomerang. With this in mind, here's what I would recommend with the weapons:
*Give the Bow minimal ATK values
*Buff the ATK values of the Sword, Spear, Axe, and Boomerang
*Give Gloves improved recharge. Whip as well at the cost of having minimal ATK.
*Have Axe ignore half the enemy's DEF value (assuming this wouldn't be stupid against the Mana Beast)
*Make Javelin basically a Mighty Glacier--not sure how, though.

There's also two monsters that do need to be highlighted for needless difficulty: Green Drop (OF COURSE!) and Polterchair. Green Drops like to evade everything ever, have obnoxiously high DEF, and then simply multiply to spawn themselves. Polterchairs are just as sadistic because they can combo your entire party to an early, easy demise if given the chance, and I'm speaking having been overleveled with full equipment and still having been chained all the way from about full health for everybody. I guarantee Polterchairs will need to deal less damage so as to make their shenanigans more survivable.

Hopefully, things like this would help.

Addendum: talking to a friend on Skype, since he mentioned about charge attack usability, I thought of an idea for how that issue could be fixed if the idea can be implemented: have them ignore a fraction of the enemy's Evade, at a rate of 1/8 for each charge level. This would make it useful to charge up to higher levels because they won't care about Evade much at all.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: thzfunnymzn on December 11, 2016, 08:37:15 pm
Some other brainstorms on weapon balance:

*Spear, like the Whip, requires sweet-spotting. Balances out having good range, recharge rate, & atk power.
*Axe, as MKnightDH said, could ignore some defense. Balance with not having a parry option and/or poor recharge rate.
*Gloves keep weak attack & range, but have high recharge. Throws would be cool too.
*Sword, I guess, is standard melee.
*Bow, alternatively, could have a low recharge rate. (Drawing & aiming an arrow takes more time than swinging a sword).
*Boomerang could hurt foes on the return. Can hurt multiple foes, unlike other ranged weapons.
*Javelin could have both a melee (weak) and a ranged (strong) attack.
*Whip is ???

Take it with a grain of salt. I've followed this hack, but have barely played it. Still basing most of my comments on what little I've played + vanilla SoM.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on December 12, 2016, 02:17:33 pm
I think most weapons especially the bow might be crappy with a low recharge rate. Don't remember if this was already done or not but the strong attack could be the long range and the weak be the short range (original range). If the range is a problem then having it only be strong attack to give it that pseudo extra recharge time. If it's still too strong then I'd go further somehow
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 14, 2016, 08:56:37 am
Ok ! Here's the first version of the the new thing:
SoM New Gameplay Improvement V0.01 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.01.zip)

It's in a special patch format (.zps), so you need to use the patcher that comes with it, the patcher will let you choose the features you want to use from:
*Strong and weak attacks (actually both do the same damage/take the same time to recharge as of now..)
*CPUs dont block the screen (they don't teleport to you yet tho..)
*Quick recovery
*MP in status area

The patcher will check if the Filesize and checksum (CRC32) of the chosen rom is what the patch requires, if something lights up red, try another rom.

There is not much features yet but I wanted to see if the patcher was working correctly.
Later versions will come with an updated patcher, make sure you always use the patcher that comes with the patch or else it might not be compatible (ill probably put a version checking thing that will keep you from trying to patch with the wrong patcher later)

oh and google chrome might tell you that the file is 'not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous', my domain just doesn't get much traffic..

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Zeikar on December 14, 2016, 10:26:10 pm
Ok ! Here's the first version of the the new thing:
SoM New Gameplay Improvement V0.01 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.01.zip)

It's in a special patch format (.zps), so you need to use the patcher that comes with it, the patcher will let you choose the features you want to use from:
*Strong and weak attacks (actually both do the same damage/take the same time to recharge as of now..)
*CPUs dont block the screen (they don't teleport to you yet tho..)
*Quick recovery
*MP in status area

The patcher will check if the Filesize and checksum (CRC32) of the chosen rom is what the patch requires, if something lights up red, try another rom.

There is not much features yet but I wanted to see if the patcher was working correctly.
Later versions will come with an updated patcher, make sure you always use the patcher that comes with the patch or else it might not be compatible (ill probably put a version checking thing that will keep you from trying to patch with the wrong patcher later)

oh and google chrome might tell you that the file is 'not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous', my domain just doesn't get much traffic..
I love SOM, man this hack looks so darn tempting right now :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: MKnightDH on December 15, 2016, 01:55:08 am
So I played through a bit more and let me tell you that Spikey Tiger's hurtbox is a load. Javelin seems to have sexy usability right now though thanks to the generous hitbox.....seriously, why isn't that available for Spikey Tiger and his dumb hurtbox. Oh right, because Spikey Tiger has to be killed to trigger the event flags that allow for getting the Javelin.

My suggestions for the melee weapons, the bow, and the whip are unchanged. However, I'd be for making sure the Boomerang and Javelin are well differentiated. Actually, come to think of it, perhaps the Boomerang could simply go ahead and half-ignore DEF while keeping its current attack power, but that's just an idea.

Also, please fix hitboxes/hurtboxes. Spikey Tiger was needlessly frustrating because of bad hit detection.

Looking at monster stats, it doesn't look like any monster stats were changed, and I'm noticing with viewing via an editor that to begin with, basically every monster has their Evade and Magic Evade at either 0 or 99 for each one. That's awfully binary. We would want monster stats to be vibrant, right? Plus the way the damage formula is handled ATM, why is (Magic) Evade needed to have *ANY* working (Magic) DEF stat?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 15, 2016, 11:16:41 am
MKnightDH:
Yea, Spikey Tiger can be frustrating, he is invincible while doing his rolling attack and keep going up on the sides.. I never noticed a problem with his hitbox personally tho. What is the difficulty setting you chose ? On hard he is quite something.. sometimes you get bad luck and he just wont come down.. other times he stays down most of the fight and is easier to beat.

As for the weapons:
The javelin and boomerang are actually quite different, the boomerang passes through enemies and walls and can hit more than 1 enemy in a single attack, the javelin only can damage 1 enemy when thrown, the same goes for the bow. The bow and the boomerang have a little delay between when the attack button is pressed and the projectile starts flying, the javelin doesn't. The bow having both flaws, it makes sense that it normally gets an increased attack power. I think the ranged weapons are actually well balanced in vanilla, the augmented bow range breaks the balance tho, actually, I guess I overdid it, even with a low power, beign able to attack enemies from so far away is too much of an advantage. I'd like to find an alternate attack for each weapon, instead of it just beign weak/strong, then ill adjust the stats accordingly.

I think "rain of arrows" would be cool as the 2nd bow attack.
Also, I had an idea for the axe: enemies each have 2 "knocked back" animations, a short one an a long one, the long one is normally used when they receive damage higher than half their max HP, it might be cool if the axe always triggered the long animation, it would feel nice to knock enemies far away and immobilize them longer (don't know if it would have an effect on bosses tho)

As for monsters stats:
In the "old" patch the stats are not changed directly, but they are multiplied by some value depending on the difficulty setting.
IIRC, Magic evade is not really "evasion" it is used in a formula which also takes the caster's magic accuracy into account and ends up lowering the inflicted damage. (Ill make a document with stats/damage etc. formulas)

I think ignoring some defense would be similar to raising the attack power, but well see when I dig back the formulas


thzfunnymzn:
The whip can hit multiple enemies at once and attacks as far (or almost) as ranged weapons instantly, no projectile need to travel the distance. It can hit enemies that are close too even tho it doesnt look like it from the animation. it also is used for those annoying jumps (which reminds me I got to those jumps automatic instead of having to switch weapon each time..) I don't have any idea for the alternate attack for this one.. there is a usable 2nd attack animation.. but its very similar.

Ill put some pages on my site with notes of your suggestions/todo list /formulas so its easier to keep track of the state of it all.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: D MAS on December 15, 2016, 09:27:30 pm
Digging it so far. One thing I'd change is making the dodge maneuver unavailable if you're still recovering from an attack. This would make players think before attacking, and encourage defensive play.

Remappable spells in particular sound freaking awesome, and I love the faster combat.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on December 16, 2016, 11:04:09 am
Are you going to use the melee attacks for the Javelin as it's second attack?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on December 16, 2016, 02:48:53 pm
Are you going to use the melee attacks for the Javelin as it's second attack?

yes, altho I might use a different animation than the current melee attack. The javelin actually has lots of unused frames for melee attacks (Javelin Animation Frames (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/weaponFrames/Randi-Javelin.html))
Right now I use the frames (52- 5A), but I think (95-9A) would be better/feel more natural.

here are the frames for all weapons if you guys are curious : Weapon Animation Frames (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/weaponFrames/weaponFrames.html)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on December 17, 2016, 05:01:40 pm
This could be the best hack ever. Happy to see activity on this. Can't wait to play this my friends always asking about this. Keep up the great work  :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: D MAS on December 19, 2016, 08:59:38 pm
If you don't mind me asking what do you think of my idea a few posts back? Maybe it's stupid but I'm really proud of it...

But yeah, SpRoUt I like it too, Seiken Densetsu 2 felt a bit slow especially compared to later Mana games where you don't have to wait for 100%.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 21, 2016, 10:49:45 pm
Ok ! Here's the first version of the the new thing:
SoM New Gameplay Improvement V0.01 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.01.zip)

It's in a special patch format (.zps), so you need to use the patcher that comes with it, the patcher will let you choose the features you want to use from:
*Strong and weak attacks (actually both do the same damage/take the same time to recharge as of now..)
*CPUs dont block the screen (they don't teleport to you yet tho..)
*Quick recovery
*MP in status area

The patcher will check if the Filesize and checksum (CRC32) of the chosen rom is what the patch requires, if something lights up red, try another rom.

There is not much features yet but I wanted to see if the patcher was working correctly.
Later versions will come with an updated patcher, make sure you always use the patcher that comes with the patch or else it might not be compatible (ill probably put a version checking thing that will keep you from trying to patch with the wrong patcher later)

oh and google chrome might tell you that the file is 'not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous', my domain just doesn't get much traffic..

This is a cool utility! Well done!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on December 25, 2016, 01:46:26 pm
Ok ! Here's the first version of the the new thing:
SoM New Gameplay Improvement V0.01 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.01.zip)

It's in a special patch format (.zps), so you need to use the patcher that comes with it, the patcher will let you choose the features you want to use from:
*Strong and weak attacks (actually both do the same damage/take the same time to recharge as of now..)
*CPUs dont block the screen (they don't teleport to you yet tho..)
*Quick recovery
*MP in status area

The patcher will check if the Filesize and checksum (CRC32) of the chosen rom is what the patch requires, if something lights up red, try another rom.

There is not much features yet but I wanted to see if the patcher was working correctly.
Later versions will come with an updated patcher, make sure you always use the patcher that comes with the patch or else it might not be compatible (ill probably put a version checking thing that will keep you from trying to patch with the wrong patcher later)

oh and google chrome might tell you that the file is 'not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous', my domain just doesn't get much traffic..

This is awesome. I hope the next tweaks you add are: walk to the edge of the screen and the improved bow.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KishPrime on January 04, 2017, 04:04:57 pm
Was there any success in figuring out why targeting was only sporadically working in the original patch?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 06, 2017, 08:15:17 am
KishPrime:
I think this is probably because it was not patched on the right version of the ROM (CRC32: D0176B24), It always worked for me.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on January 06, 2017, 10:32:37 pm
Does the bow get extra distance? the bow is one of the coolest weapons i think you could make it bad ass. Zhade how many patches will be added to this game?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 07, 2017, 12:05:19 pm
He didn't mention the bow patch being in there so I'm assuming it isn't. If you're asking if the original patch had additional distance on the bow then yes it did and it made the bow so much more useful (I used to prefer other weapons when using ranged weapons).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 08, 2017, 09:39:14 am
D MAS:
It's not a bad idea, there needs to be something that prevents you from blocking all the time or else it would be way op (in the new thing, you will be able to hold the button). Altho beign able to hold block as long as you like when at 100% would make it so you can always hold block and wait for the enemy to attack, then attack safely as the enemy is recharging its power%. So that gave me the idea that, as you hold block, your power% decreases and if it gets lower than 25% (or something) it goes to 0% directly, and while it is between 0 and 25 you can't block but, if you are at 100%, you can hold it for a small amount of time before it starts decreasing meaning you can try to time your block well and have the opportunity to counter-attack, or play it safe and hold it longer in times of danger where not beign hit is more important.

Sprout:
The bow does not yet get extra distance, but it will (altho probably less then it did in the old patch), I'd like it to have a '"rain of arrow" attack as well
As for the number of patches, if you mean patch files, only 1, but with many different selectable options :P As much as I thought that keeping each feature seperate from each other would make it harder for me, it actually makes it so much easier to keep it all organized.. And makes it easier to keep compatibility with other patches, like for instance, The "MP visible at all time" thing, is not compatible with Mop's ancient cave because of how he placed his custom graphics used to display the time and floor at the same spot I used for the MP graphics. Since you can disable it, other features can still be used without the need for a different patch. It also makes it possible to include WIP features and stuff that needs testing. If you meant of many of those options there will be.. no idea, probably lots of them, but at the same time, you won't be able to choose aspects of a feature.. like say, "strong and weak attacks" will include all alternate attacks for each weapon, so the javelin melee attack and the bow's rain of arrow are both in or out.

Heres what my baby, my project development program called "Snes Asm Studio" looks like (just had to show it.. im kinda really proud of how I managed to make it all work to be honest  :-[) :
an ASM file:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio_zpsappklror.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio_zpsappklror.png.html)

a definition (adf) file:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio4_zps9kgfblxi.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio4_zps9kgfblxi.png.html)

Once compiled, its possible to view each line's offset of an ASM file:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio_zpsifr0d7hf.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio_zpsifr0d7hf.png.html)

Project options manager:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio2_zpsqndpvho9.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio2_zpsqndpvho9.png.html)

An asm file which will have some lines included only if some option is chosen at patching-time
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio3_zpshaysmcnu.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio3_zpshaysmcnu.png.html)

It has some cool useful features like auto-completion:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio5_zpsvkgm8uod.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio5_zpsvkgm8uod.png.html)

Fast navigation: middle clicking a subroutine name (like after a JSR) will navigate to the sub-routine's code:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio6_zpszyodww6i.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio6_zpszyodww6i.png.html)(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio7_zpssths7d1t.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio7_zpssths7d1t.png.html)

named(defined) addresses appear in yellow, named values appear in blue. middle-clicking an address or value name will navigate to the definition file where it is defined:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio8_zpsd1tnuot8.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio8_zpsd1tnuot8.png.html)(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/Snes%20Asm%20Studio9_zpsg6t82bac.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/Snes%20Asm%20Studio9_zpsg6t82bac.png.html)

Compiling Technicality:

The compiler first reads a definition file called DEF.adf in the root folder, which will have some "FILE" instruction that tells the compiler to include other reference files.
Reference files can have a "REQ 'some option'" instruction meaning it will only be included if the specified option is used.
Reference files are responsible of specifying the path of each asm file to be added to the list of asm files that will later be processed (usually done with "DIR" instruction that will include all asm files in a directory).
Reference files can act as folders (those blue folders) so for example each feature is within a reference folder that starts with a "REQ" instruction with the feature's option name, then a "DIR <>" instruction meaning, "add all asm files in this directory (or any of its sub-directory) to the list of asm files to be processed"
Reference files can define address or values name using "/", which basically mean "if you encounter this word in an asm file, treat it as if it was this address or value"
Reference files can declare "relative" 24-bit address names (usually used for sub-routines) by using the "!" prefix : "!someRelativeSub" these will be bound to the last "relative block" (defined with the "@" prefix ie: "@E00000") but will have an undefined value until later (more on this later)

Once the compiler is done with reference files, it start processing the .asm file list
.asm files have a special instruction "@OFF 'someAddress'" that basically sets where, in the ROM, the assembled code bytes will be written.
If a @OFF instruction address is an undefined relative address like say "@OFF someRelativeSub", the value of the "relative address" will be set to the matching "relative block's offset", so using the same example as above,its value would be $E00000 so "@OFF someRelativeSub" would become "@OFF $E00000'". Then, until another "@OFF" is reached, each assembled byte will increase the relative block's offset by 1.
So if later another @OFF instruction address is an undefined relative address which is bound to the same "relative block" (@E00000) lets say.. "@OFF someOtherRelativeSub" its value will be set to the block's offset which has been increased by the number of bytes in "someRelativeSub" so, say "somRelativeSub" had 2 instructions: JSL $C00000 and RTL, so 5 bytes total, "somRelativeSub" would be set to $E00005.
Relative Addresses once set act exactly like defined addresses names, so whenever they are encountered, they are repalced by their value ie: "LDA someOtherRealtiveSub" would be replaced by "LDA $E00005".
In the case where a relative address is encountered before being defined, it is replaced by a temporary dummy value "$000000" (or any 24-bit address, doesnt matter)
 
Once the compiler is done processing all .asm files in the list, it starts over and do it again once more. Since all relative address should to be defined by now, no undefined relative address should be encountered and replaced by a dummy value this time, if an undefined relative address does appear, a compilation error is thrown and the programmer is judged guilty of having made illegal use of an undefined address with no possibillity of appeal.



January 13, 2017, 03:42:55 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Ok, time for version 0.02 :  V0.02 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.02.zip)
it includes a new version of the patcher, the old version wont work with the new patch. The patcher now shows a little description for each option.

New features:
* Walking to the edges of the screen
* Faster Enemies (WIP, testing needed)
  This makes enemies move faster/attack more frequently
* Faster chest openning
  Mop asked if there would be a way to skip the "chest openning" animations, since chests drop so much more often in Ancient Cave, I found a way to make it work, and thought I should add the feature in my mod too.
* Manual blocking (well.. not really)
  For now, it only shows the character blocking animation as you hold L ... it won't block attacks or anything tho :P

Changes:
* strong and weak attacks:
  the javelin melee attack is now a thrust instead of a slash


I've changed the location where my routines are written in the expanded region of the rom from E0/0000 to F0/0000, this makes it compatible (at least some of the features..) with Moppy's Ancient Cave. It is now possible to change this location with the patcher's "definitions.." button
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on January 13, 2017, 09:21:53 pm
Awesome! I'm glad you added the ability to walk to the edge of the screen.   :thumbsup:

I'm not sure if improved range on the bow is part of the weak/strong attacks, but any chance you can add the increased range on the bow as a separate option?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 14, 2017, 11:28:43 am
Awesome! I'm glad you added the ability to walk to the edge of the screen.   :thumbsup:

I'm not sure if improved range on the bow is part of the weak/strong attacks, but any chance you can add the increased range on the bow as a separate option?

It took me quite some time to get the "walking to the edges" thing to work actually, my old code was full of nonsense lol. I remember there was a bug in pureland related to it at the cutscene where the tree is seen. the screen would scroll too far because it normally stops because of the other characters, ill have to fix that later.

About the bow, it will be included in the strong and weak attack option, im working on this right now, just added some code that gives the axe an increased knockback so each hit pushes enemies around. For the next version ill focus on "strong and weak attacks" and "manual block", there probably still will be some weapons lacking some attacks, but the bow's increased range should be there, IIRC it was just a small change.

While working on this I had "faster enemies" on, and I don't know if it's because I had just woke up, but on my first try, I got my ass kicked and died at the very first rabite lol. You guys should try this one out, really makes the enemies much more aggressive !
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 14, 2017, 11:38:28 am
For some reason it isn't working on my sd2snes, but fine on emulator.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 14, 2017, 11:52:26 am
For some reason it isn't working on my sd2snes, but fine on emulator.

Damn.. Ill have to get my hands on one of these someday..

What happens ? just wont run at all ?

Could you try without "MP shown below status area" ?

Also, does anybody know if these special cartriges care about the rom checksum ?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Lancalot117 on January 14, 2017, 08:04:13 pm
I don't know why, but I used the new patcher and the hack wont work on any rom for Secret of Mana for me. I made sure it was showing green for file size and CRC32 also. Using Snes9X v1.5.4.1. Am I doing something wrong?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 15, 2017, 05:22:28 am
Lancalot117:
I just tried (with all options on) using the patcher and the patch in the zip file and it worked.

* Are you sure you used the patched rom ? I mean, the patcher doesn't patch over the rom you select, it creates a new file in the directory where your rom is (named "patched.smc" by default). I must say its not really obvious.. the box on the left of the "apply" button is where you set the name of the file that will be created.

if you did use the newly created rom:

1) What happens when you load the rom ?
2) What is the size of the created rom (should be 4mB)
3) Did you select all options ? If not can you send me the "debug.txt" file that is in the same directory as the patcher ?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Lancalot117 on January 15, 2017, 09:55:26 am
wow, well I found the patched.smc file in the same directory as the original rom, I had no idea it was there.
Just a suggestion, I think it might be better to have your patcher in later updates let the person know there was a new
patched rom added to the directory. Everything works fine as it should.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 15, 2017, 11:19:48 am
wow, well I found the patched.smc file in the same directory as the original rom, I had no idea it was there.
Just a suggestion, I think it might be better to have your patcher in later updates let the person know there was a new
patched rom added to the directory. Everything works fine as it should.

Haha, yea sorry, like I said, its not very obvious, the button beign labeled "Apply" kinda suggests the patch will be applied over the selected rom.. :crazy: my bad. Ill change it in the next version. Im glad it was only that, thought I might have broken something major in the patching process :P
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 15, 2017, 02:00:16 pm
I'll futz about with it later and see what is breaking it for you. Really want to try it on there.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: D MAS on January 15, 2017, 11:33:56 pm
Thanks, zhade. Honestly I'm happy with the evade as is. But, maybe you could tap 'L' to evade (full immunity) and hold it to guard (take about half or a third damage or something)? I'm not sure how easy or hard it would be to modify damage like that in Seiken Densetsu 2. Just throwing it out there. And I like a lot of your ideas, like the spell mapping, spell cooldown (even though I'm spam-happy af SD2 desperately needs something like that), and I can't express how much better the increased speed of combat makes things, Seiken Densetsu 2's vanilla combat is fine, just lacking. The spell cooldown idea reminds me of the Star Ocean games, actually.

EDIT: So, are there any ideas for balancing the spells themselves? Some of them are f***ing broken. XD

Sorry for being obnoxious with my question. XD
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on January 17, 2017, 10:56:49 am
It goes to a black screen and nothing else. I tried all of the patches and none of them work. In fact, I even tried patching the ROM with just the patcher and that wouldn't load either. I cannot imagine it is the ROM I am using since the CRC and filesize matches up and it works on an emulator.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 19, 2017, 10:38:59 am
Oh ! I just noticed the rom is actually 1 byte larger than it should.. The real hardware probably doesn't like this at all.. You can try to just remove that last byte using an hex editor or wait and ill post a link to an updated version of the patcher which will expand the rom to the proper size.
note to self.. in vb.net arrays have elements 'up to' the specified value so Byte(10) is 11 bytes, byte(0) to byte(10)... :laugh:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Zeikar on January 19, 2017, 10:57:44 pm
I need to find the time to try this out
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: dejan07 on January 21, 2017, 10:47:27 am
Sorry to bump here this way but is it possible to exchange the backround image in the intro sequence from this:

(https://s29.postimg.org/8sdse83oz/image.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/8sdse83oz/)

To this:

(https://s29.postimg.org/vfa9c0abn/image.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/vfa9c0abn/)

The intro looks so much better in the jap version.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on January 22, 2017, 10:40:10 am
The problem with that is that the title text is part of the background image IIRC.
So it would take some effort to translate it properly without butchering the image.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: RetroHelix on January 22, 2017, 11:42:46 am
I remember Mop writing about the titlescreen:
http://somedit.blogspot.de/search?updated-max=2013-06-25T19:44:00-04:00&max-results=7&start=28&by-date=false
http://somedit.blogspot.de/2012_05_01_archive.html
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on January 22, 2017, 12:55:45 pm
ExL sent me a fixed version of the origninal background, without the blurry area a while ago:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/som%20title%20bg%20fixed_zpsvm5o1h7h.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/som%20title%20bg%20fixed_zpsvm5o1h7h.png.html)
Original:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/som%20title%20bg_zpsnlb1pxpe.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/som%20title%20bg_zpsnlb1pxpe.png.html)
Mockup Of how it could look like with the US title over it:
(http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/Guillaume_Beauchesne/som%20title%20bg%20fixed%20with%20title_zpsrfmehjoz.png) (http://s1045.photobucket.com/user/Guillaume_Beauchesne/media/som%20title%20bg%20fixed%20with%20title_zpsrfmehjoz.png.html)

The real problem is my inabillity to insert it back into the game : /
For one, it needs to be compressed and im really bad when it comes to compression, only had to deal with it to decompress weapon graphics to view them properly in my animation viewer, but those used a very simple compression algorithm. Then, what I have is a png, it would have to be transformed into the proper graphic format before beign compressed.

Hiei, who was working with a team on retranslating the game from japanese to french have sent me some code a while ago, he said at first they tried inserting their new graphics uncompressed, skipping the decompression part, but it ended up making some visual errors, so they ended up compressing it. He sent me a patch so I could see for myself, and it did work. The hard-som patch also had a custom title-screen, so it sure is possible.. it all depends on my abilities at this point :P

somEdit manages to uncompress the title screen, so I might be able to find how it does it looking at the code.

But I guess my best hopes would be that mop helps me a bit with it. But anyway, since this might end up taking lots of time, because it will require me to learn stuff about graphics and compression etc.. I probably wont get into it until later, focusing on gameplay elements first. But it surely is something I would like to have in the end.

January 24, 2017, 06:14:39 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Alright ! I finally managed to make the game run anims in other banks, meaning I can now make my own animations instead of having to rely on tricks like what I did with the javelin..
Heres my progress with the rain of arrows attack : Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POBf4AxeG58&feature=youtu.be)
Its hard to use right now, ill have to change the range and stuff.. I think ill also make all arrows fall at the same time with a different pattern.
I've changed the regular axe attack too, the slash now is wider and the axe now pushes enemies when it hits.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on January 24, 2017, 02:00:10 pm
Nice!! That animation is wicked. I can see that as an awesome charge ability.
Also, nice to see the title screen has made some good progress than last I heard.
I was going to mention the compression thing, but I don't know much about that other than I don't know much.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on January 25, 2017, 10:00:12 am
Is the rain of arrows an aoe or does it just hit one enemy?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: CaoMengde777 on January 27, 2017, 09:22:10 pm
THIS IS SOOO AWESOME!!!! :woot!:  :crazy: :laugh: :cookie:
Secret Of Mana is like THE BEST GAME!! and youre making it EXTRA EPIC!!  THANK THANK THANK YOU!!!  :cookie: :cookie: :cookie:
ill have to play this in a few months or so when youre even more further along!
i just wanted to say AWESOME !!!! you are A GOD!!
the spell abuse is like the biggest problem with the game and its awesome you fix it!!

Just whatever ideas...
* is it possible at all to add more areas to the game??
is it possible to add like more places to land with flamie?? .. theres like alot of unused map space..
cause thatd be AWESOME! if it was possible... guess itd be ALOT more work though..
iam thinking of just more random places to fight, just cause lol, although, sure the game is pretty big enough anyways.. and i dunno how itd effect balance of leveling up or anything.. although itd be cool to maybe just add more places to go at the very end of the game, make the new areas like flying fortress level of enemies or something??
or like you can refight bosses from earlier in the game in the new areas?? i dunno ... just thoughts..

* LOL itd be awesome if you could have a spell i guess where like flamie flys by and attacks enemies on the screen.. maybe all of em? lool
like it just does that fly by it does when you call flamie, but instead of picking you up it does damage hehe

* LOL would it be possible to start with all 3 characters?? .. but meh you get the characters pretty fast anyway.. itd probably just be weird, but yeah, when wanting to play with a buddy its just a little annoying it can take maybe little under an hour?? to get a 2nd character? .. that was always a minor gripe i had with the game.. a little gripe

*is 3 players possible?? is it in normal game? i dont think so .. ?? but there was a hack that made it 3 players i think.. itd be cool to have that part of this hack.. or is it possible to multihack??

...uhhmm... dunno what else lol

ROCK ON!!!

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: D MAS on January 27, 2017, 10:53:45 pm
Just whatever ideas...
* is it possible at all to add more areas to the game??
is it possible to add like more places to land with flamie?? .. theres like alot of unused map space..
cause thatd be AWESOME! if it was possible... guess itd be ALOT more work though..
iam thinking of just more random places to fight, just cause lol, although, sure the game is pretty big enough anyways.. and i dunno how itd effect balance of leveling up or anything.. although itd be cool to maybe just add more places to go at the very end of the game, make the new areas like flying fortress level of enemies or something??
or like you can refight bosses from earlier in the game in the new areas?? i dunno ... just thoughts..

* LOL itd be awesome if you could have a spell i guess where like flamie flys by and attacks enemies on the screen.. maybe all of em? lool
like it just does that fly by it does when you call flamie, but instead of picking you up it does damage hehe

* LOL would it be possible to start with all 3 characters?? .. but meh you get the characters pretty fast anyway.. itd probably just be weird, but yeah, when wanting to play with a buddy its just a little annoying it can take maybe little under an hour?? to get a 2nd character? .. that was always a minor gripe i had with the game.. a little gripe

Let's not bite off more than we can chew...for something like this it's best to start small. He wants to make the gameplay better, not expand the universe and lengthen the game. Though, if we get far enough I'd enjoy seeing SD2 totally remixed.

*is 3 players possible?? is it in normal game? i dont think so .. ?? but there was a hack that made it 3 players i think.. itd be cool to have that part of this hack.. or is it possible to multihack??

...uhhmm... dunno what else lol

ROCK ON!!!


You can play 3-player in original SD2. I remember seeing a TAS utilize 3 player-controlled characters. As for the hack...I don't see any immediate reason you wouldn't be able to.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: MathUser2929 on January 27, 2017, 11:15:48 pm
I haven't been following this project, but I'll read the hack page when this goes up. Anyway, I wanted to say I agree with what was just said. Having 3 players at the beginning would be a real improvement. If that could be worked in somehow that would be nice. It could either be a optional patch or a option you trigger.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: CaoMengde777 on January 28, 2017, 01:11:56 am
ooh yeah i guess you CAN do 3 player with a multitap in the original SNES cart ... mustve been some other game I seen that had a hack that made it 3 players...

Quote
Let's not bite off more than we can chew...
yeah i totally agree, i was just throwing up whatever ideas i could think of  :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on January 28, 2017, 06:36:23 am
ooh yeah i guess you CAN do 3 player with a multitap in the original SNES cart ... mustve been some other game I seen that had a hack that made it 3 players...
yeah i totally agree, i was just throwing up whatever ideas i could think of  :)

That would likely be the Secret of Mana 2[Seiken Densetsu 3] 3 player patch and is found here; http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/179/

It might also have been Secret of Evermore which was a 2 player patch, found here; http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/24/

I've played both and they are quite well done. Which reminds me..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DaSilentMac on January 28, 2017, 09:58:49 am
I am not entirely sure if this was already answered, but will the new version of the gameplay hack be compatible with the rest of the Secret of Mana hacks on Romhacking?

I was able to combine the older v0.10 with SD2 Improvements to recolor some sprites, Item Limit "9" to get more item capacity, and Proper case to properly capitalize words. I was never able to combine VWF Edition together.

Will the the new version work with all the other existing hacks? Or even better incorporate them into a super patch?


Thanks,

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: CaoMengde777 on January 28, 2017, 04:33:33 pm
I havent even played your hack yet! .. iam just thinking of stuffs! :)
just another idea:
*what if the "Boy" had spells.. like 3 or 4 spells or something? ...like hes a warrior but he has special moves.. dunno if thats even Possible?
and he has like longer spell cooldown, less mana, i guess
like iam thinking,
- he has the flamie attack spell i mentioned, it like takes TONS of magic maybe All his magic, but it attacks all enemies on the screen - flamie flys by and all the enemies on screen get hurt.
- and he has like a new weapon enchantment spell, the "Saber" spells, just buffs damage a little, or accuracy .. its like not "magic" its just like he focuses skill or like trains/ encourages his friends to fight better
- maybe like a block buff "spell"? it like extends the blocking timing window maybe?

something like that... so like if a person Were to play 3 players, the boy player gets a couple spells to mess around with

* lol dunno if this is even possible, but itd maybe be cool to like be able to "summon" an enemy monster, and it fights for you on your side?
lol i was thinking, cause itd be cool if like you could summon one of those flying sword monsters, as if like the boy's sword is like a living thing that the boy can send to attack for him.. idk just thinking of special move "spells" for the boy

but yeah idk its just ideas  ;D :laugh:
all the stuff youve done already is like above and beyond!!  :woot!: :cookie:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 01, 2017, 05:24:00 pm

February 01, 2017, 06:11:03 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Is the rain of arrows an aoe or does it just hit one enemy?

Each arrow can hit a single enemy, so.. kinda ?


Just whatever ideas...
* is it possible at all to add more areas to the game??
is it possible to add like more places to land with flamie?? .. theres like alot of unused map space..
cause thatd be AWESOME! if it was possible... guess itd be ALOT more work though..
iam thinking of just more random places to fight, just cause lol, although, sure the game is pretty big enough anyways.. and i dunno how itd effect balance of leveling up or anything.. although itd be cool to maybe just add more places to go at the very end of the game, make the new areas like flying fortress level of enemies or something??
or like you can refight bosses from earlier in the game in the new areas?? i dunno ... just thoughts..



* LOL itd be awesome if you could have a spell i guess where like flamie flys by and attacks enemies on the screen.. maybe all of em? lool
like it just does that fly by it does when you call flamie, but instead of picking you up it does damage hehe

* LOL would it be possible to start with all 3 characters?? .. but meh you get the characters pretty fast anyway.. itd probably just be weird, but yeah, when wanting to play with a buddy its just a little annoying it can take maybe little under an hour?? to get a 2nd character? .. that was always a minor gripe i had with the game.. a little gripe

Adding more maps is not really possible for me without an editor sadly.. I might be able to reuse existing maps and insert new stuff in them tho. Changing the NPCS/enemies is not really hard so I might be able to add an extra "quest" or some special boss with modified stats.

A flammie spell should be possible, altho I would have to find a way to fit it in the magic menu or something, and im not really familiar with how the ring menu works, all I know is that it didnt look very flexible..

As for starting with 3 characters: In itself it's not hard to do, but the story events would make no sense in the first areas and if I recall correctly, some might actually end up so bad that it wont be possible to continue lol. Also I think that when the characters would join (even if they are already in the party..) the character would reset to level 1. Prior to this project, before I learned ASM, I had made a patch that let you choose your party at the beginning, and modified all the story events so purim and popoie don't appear or say anything during cutscenes. I guess it should be compatible with this since it only changes story events. The story is butchered a bit tho like.. for some reason Randi cares about dyluck and knows Phanna and stuff lol but you do have the possibility to start with all 3 characters, or try to beat the game with less characters in your party even with randi alone (not recommended tho lol)

I am not entirely sure if this was already answered, but will the new version of the gameplay hack be compatible with the rest of the Secret of Mana hacks on Romhacking?

I was able to combine the older v0.10 with SD2 Improvements to recolor some sprites, Item Limit "9" to get more item capacity, and Proper case to properly capitalize words. I was never able to combine VWF Edition together.

Will the the new version work with all the other existing hacks? Or even better incorporate them into a super patch?

I think most should work, if the 9 items thing don't I could add it as an option. the VWF edition probably won't tho, fusoya modified all story events in order for the text to occupy the whole text box.. It might still work because of how I pushed all my code further into the rom so the E0 bank is free which is probably where he has some functions. But if I need to modify some story events later it might break compatibility... Hiei and his team had made a different working VWF, maybe I might be able to borrow it to add it as an option.. I wouln't try to make one myself, seems like too much work and I still have so much other things to work on :P.

CaoMengde777:

About adding spells for the boy:
Again the biggest problem would be the ring menu, once im done with some of the stuff im doing ill go see if I can manipulate the ring menu so it becomes more flexible, I don't really know enough about it to tell what could be possible.


Thx for the enthusiasm btw  :thumbsup:

summuning a monster can't really work as there is a maximum of 3 monsters spawned at once, and also the enemies AI target the party and can't hit other enemies.. the most that could be done with big modifications is transforming a party member into an enemy for some time altho I doubt that anyone would want to do that  :laugh:



About CPU-controlled allies : I found a way to make them way less retarded.. turns out between each of their actions they play the "idle" animation for some frames.. so like if an enemy comes close they just look at him a bit.. then move forward to get closer, wait a bit.. then attack.. By reducing the amount of time the idle animation is played they react much faster. I think enemies also have this behaviour so they might end up always attacking first or at least have an advantage over them. They still miss their target and try to retreat into walls and stuff.. but at least they do it sooner instead of standing there waiting to get hit  ::)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DaSilentMac on February 02, 2017, 02:02:45 am
Thank you zhade for considering compatibility with other hacks. Make sense to use existing assets to minimize work.

I am getting super pumped for the final product. Secret of Mana is a rare type of game with a nice balance of 3 players, couch coop, and sophisticated RPG elements. Other than Secret of Mana 2 (with hacks) and Secret of Evermore (with hacks), I have not seen another game quite like the trilogy among retro or modern games.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on February 02, 2017, 10:13:24 pm
Actually, having a polymorph type spell that turns an ally into a monster sounds like it could be really fun.
...or...
Having a some new armor type items that let me change them as long as I like might be better and easier.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on February 02, 2017, 11:02:38 pm
Oh ! I just noticed the rom is actually 1 byte larger than it should.. The real hardware probably doesn't like this at all.. You can try to just remove that last byte using an hex editor or wait and ill post a link to an updated version of the patcher which will expand the rom to the proper size.
note to self.. in vb.net arrays have elements 'up to' the specified value so Byte(10) is 11 bytes, byte(0) to byte(10)... :laugh:
Any progress with this?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 15, 2017, 02:55:00 am
Ok, here's version 0.03, the patcher will now make a rom that has the right size.
There is not so much new stuff in terms of features because I had to modify the engine to make it possible to play animations from other banks as well as make it possible to make projectiles work as I want.
List of new stuff:

(strong_and_weak_attacks)
- Bow rain of arrows attack (for now it is the weak-attack), the strong-attack is a normal shot with increased range
- Axe has a wider weak-attack, enemies hit by any axe attack get pushed farther, take more time to recover.
- Modified Javelin melee animation, a thrust instead of a slash (similar to the spear thrust)

(better cpu allies)
- cpu react faster, can be modified in the "advanced" settings before patching, tho it is already set to the best value possible by default which is 01, game's default is 05 and 00 wont make it better.

(Faster chest opening)
- cant remember if the last patch had this one.. skips some chest-opening animations, basically, the chests open (or the trap gets triggered) instantly.

(manual block)
- removed for now since it doesnt work anyway :P

Download V.003 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.03.zip)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on February 15, 2017, 10:47:50 am
Ok, here's version 0.03, the patcher will now make a rom that has the right size.
There is not so much new stuff in terms of features because I had to modify the engine to make it possible to play animations from other banks as well as make it possible to make projectiles work as I want.
List of new stuff:

(strong_and_weak_attacks)
- Bow rain of arrows attack (for now it is the weak-attack), the strong-attack is a normal shot with increased range
- Axe has a wider weak-attack, enemies hit by any axe attack get pushed farther, take more time to recover.
- Modified Javelin melee animation, a thrust instead of a slash (similar to the spear thrust)

(better cpu allies)
- cpu react faster, can be modified in the "advanced" settings before patching, tho it is already set to the best value possible by default which is 01, game's default is 05 and 00 wont make it better.

(Faster chest opening)
- cant remember if the last patch had this one.. skips some chest-opening animations, basically, the chests open (or the trap gets triggered) instantly.

(manual block)
- removed for now since it doesnt work anyway :P

Download V.003 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.03.zip)
Awesome man! Will check it out when I get a chance later on.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on February 15, 2017, 11:32:24 am
Awesome man! Will check it out when I get a chance later on.

Me too! Gotta find time with my own mods and whatnot..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 16, 2017, 01:24:53 pm
Fixed some issues with rain of arrow not showing properly on some maps, as well as issues when controlling purim or popoie:
V0.04 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.04.zip)
Manual Block (altho selectable) only works for Player1 controlling randi..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 27, 2017, 04:32:52 pm
Heres another new version:

CPUs_Dont_Block_Screen
- CPUs now teleport to player if they go off-screen

Strong_And_Weak_Attacks
- Fixed some issues with rain of arrows hit-detection
- Added sounds to all new attack animations
- Slight modification to the javelin melee attack animation

Manual_Block
- Holding L to block now works
- Blocking for more than (about) 1 second resets the character's power%

No_Automatic_Blocking
- Players won't block attacks automatically
 I thought some people might not like "Manual_Block" to remove auto-blocking so here it is as an option

Download link:
V.0.05 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.05.zip)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: acediez on February 27, 2017, 05:29:55 pm
Great! I'll give this another go!
I kind of lost track of this project's progress, and got a bit confused skimming through the thread.... Did you catch up with all the changes done before you re-started from scratch? (that "v0.09" patch back in page 10)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on February 27, 2017, 06:54:50 pm
Wow amazing work, can't wait to try these :D
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on February 28, 2017, 02:49:51 am
Heres another new version:

CPUs_Dont_Block_Screen
- CPUs now teleport to player if they go off-screen

Strong_And_Weak_Attacks
- Fixed some issues with rain of arrows hit-detection
- Added sounds to all new attack animations
- Slight modification to the javelin melee attack animation

Manual_Block
- Holding L to block now works
- Blocking for more than (about) 1 second resets the character's power%

No_Automatic_Blocking
- Players won't block attacks automatically
 I thought some people might not like "Manual_Block" to remove auto-blocking so here it is as an option

Download link:
V.0.05 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.05.zip)

<channeling Bill & Ted's Excellent Advanture>
"Excellent!!"
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 04, 2017, 06:30:39 am
Great! I'll give this another go!
I kind of lost track of this project's progress, and got a bit confused skimming through the thread.... Did you catch up with all the changes done before you re-started from scratch? (that "v0.09" patch back in page 10)

No, there are still some features that were in the "old version" that are missing, the most important one being spell binding /casting without having to go into the menu. Actually, aside from that, I think the only missing things are the 3 difficulty settings, the reduced chance of inflicting status effects with weapons and the increased damage from elemental sabers when hitting enemies that are weak to the element as well as decreased chance (normally 100%) of inflicting the saber's status effect.

Also missing (but coming in the next beta version) are "magic-recharging" and "spirits default levels", the later which will be fully customizable in the "avanced" options so you can choose the stating level of each spirit.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: acediez on March 04, 2017, 03:22:30 pm
That's a lot to look forward to!ç
Thanks again for this project, it's going great!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on March 07, 2017, 07:43:46 am
I'm a big fan of this project. I'm wondering if this works on top of the Secret of Mana Variable Width Font Edition patch, though, as well as the Secret of Mana Scroll Hack.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 08, 2017, 08:16:05 am
I'm a big fan of this project. I'm wondering if this works on top of the Secret of Mana Variable Width Font Edition patch, though, as well as the Secret of Mana Scroll Hack.

I think the variable width font should work, and the scroll hack too altho you'll have to uncheck "Walking to the edges of the screen" for that one. I would suggest to apply the variable width font first, then the scroll hack and then use my "zps patcher", don't know if it would change much but thats how i'd do it :P Im too lazy to try it myself right now but tell us if it works ;)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on March 08, 2017, 08:19:21 am
Haha. I don't really care about the scroll hack anymore, so it should be easier now.

Although I discovered the VWF patch conflicts with your hack (not header related).

But I absolutely need both 😢
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 29, 2017, 08:43:40 am
I can confirm that the 9 item patch still works. Very cool indeed!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 04, 2017, 05:48:54 am
Ok, heres the next beta version:

Magic_Recharging
Characters have to wait some time after casting a spell before they can cast again.
A character's face icon will flash to indicate he is currently recharging.
A sound is played to indicate that a character is ready to cast again.
This should make boss fights more interesting

Spirits_Default_Levels
Spirits will start at different levels, depending on how late you aquire them in order to reduce grinding.
Default values are :
Undine, Gnome : 0
Salamando, Sylphid : 1
Luna, Lumina, Shade : 2
Dryad: 3

Fully-customizable in the "advanced" options

Bufixes/misc stuff
- Fixed bugs with new attack animations not reseting the power% correctly
- Improved rain-of-arrows animation
- Modified the Axe slash attack so it has a wider range
- Modified the Bow's normal shot range
- Fixed a bug with cpus being stuck when teleporting to the player

Download Link:
V0.06 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.06.zip)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: theonyxphoenix on April 06, 2017, 08:42:18 am
YAY! I am so happy to see default spirit levels implemented!

Out of curiosity, can we get a running block of things implemented and what is still being worked on?

So far we have:

CPUs_Dont_Block_Screen
- CPUs now teleport to player if they go off-screen

Strong_And_Weak_Attacks
- Fixed some issues with rain of arrows hit-detection
- Added sounds to all new attack animations
- Slight modification to the javelin melee attack animation

Manual_Block
- Holding L to block now works
- Blocking for more than (about) 1 second resets the character's power%

No_Automatic_Blocking
- Players won't block attacks automatically
 I thought some people might not like "Manual_Block" to remove auto-blocking so here it is as an option

Magic_Recharging
Characters have to wait some time after casting a spell before they can cast again.
A character's face icon will flash to indicate he is currently recharging.
A sound is played to indicate that a character is ready to cast again.
This should make boss fights more interesting

Spirits_Default_Levels
Spirits will start at different levels, depending on how late you aquire them in order to reduce grinding.
Default values are :
Undine, Gnome : 0
Salamando, Sylphid : 1
Luna, Lumina, Shade : 2
Dryad: 3
Fully-customizable in the "advanced" options

Bufixes/misc stuff
- Fixed bugs with new attack animations not reseting the power% correctly
- Improved rain-of-arrows animation
- Modified the Axe slash attack so it has a wider range
- Modified the Bow's normal shot range
- Fixed a bug with cpus being stuck when teleporting to the player
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: darthvaderx on April 11, 2017, 08:16:30 pm
I saw this screenshot on *a* website, is it a hack?

(https://r.mprd.se/media/images/35232-Secret_of_Mana_(USA)-3-thumb.jpg)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 12, 2017, 11:54:49 am
I saw this screenshot on *a* website, is it a hack?

(https://r.mprd.se/media/images/35232-Secret_of_Mana_(USA)-3-thumb.jpg)
The text background looks filled in the image, which is not one of the window appearance options. My Guess us that it i the low image compression quality that gives this effect.


theonyxphoenix here:
Dumped from options' descriptions, still need to fill/update some of these descriptions but thats whats in for now.


Manual_Block ( Complete )
   Hold ' L ' to block
   
   -  Blocking makes the character invulnerable to physical attacks.
   -  If the block button is held longer than (about) 1 second, the character will have to recharge it's power once the button is released.

No_Automatic_Blocking ( Complete )
   Players won't automatically evade attacks
   
   -  Doesn't apply to AI-controlled party members

Quick_Recovery ( Complete )
   The party, as well as enemies, recover faster after taking a hit / getting healed.
   -  Each character performs its shortest 'getting hit' animation
   -  Damage and healing numbers disappear faster

MP_Shown_Below_Status_Area ( Complete )
   Purim and Popoie have their current MP amount shown under their status bar
   
   TODO:
   -  Raise the layer on which the status area is drawn so that the MP don't touch the lower edge of the screen (possibly an issues on real hardware / some TVs)

Walk_To_Edges_Of_Screen ( Complete )
   Party members can walk up to the edges of the screen before being blocked because of their distance from each other.
   -  Works as it should with 'CPUs_Dont_Block_Screen'

Faster_Chest_Opening ( Complete )
   - Characters 'Lock-Breaking' animation is skipped
   - Chests 'Lock-Breaking' animation is skipped
   - Chests 'Disappearing' animation is shorter

Spirits_Default_Levels ( Complete )
   

CPUs_Dont_Block_Screen ( Implemented / Need Testing )
   CPU controlled party members don't stop the screen from scrolling
   
   - They get teleported back to the leading player if they go off-screen
   
   TESTS:
   -  Do CPUs get teleported to the player in a state where they can't move ? (Ex: Targeted by a spell, Uncounsious)

Magic_Recharging ( Implemented / Need Testing )
   

ACT_Defaults ( Implemented / Need Testing )
   

Strong_And_Weak_Attacks ( Work-In-Progress )
   Players can use 2 different attacks with each weapon.
   -  Weak: Stand Still + (Attack)
   -  Strong: D-Pad + (Attack)
   
   Gloves:         Punch / Kick
   Sword:          Slash / Thrust
   Axe:               (large) Slash / Thrust , enemies are knocked back / have an increased recovery time
   Spear:           Slash / Thrust
   Whip:            Both are kind of similar.. need to find an idea for this one
   Bow:             Rain Of Arrows / Long shot
   Boomerang: Both are kind of similar.. (a spread out 3 shot like the ninjas could be nice)
   Javelin:         Melee Attack (Thrust)  / Throw
   
   [ TODO ]:
   -  Make weak attacks deal less damage than the strong with decreased power recharge time.
   -  Bommer: ninja 3x
   -  Gloves: combos ?
   -  Whip: find something..

Better_CPU_Allies ( Work-In-Progress )
   - CPU-Controlled party members decision-making time is reduced greatly.
   
   They will start to attack or flee faster when an enemy is close, helps them not getting killed so often.
   
   (Highly recommended if [Faster_Enemies] is On)
   
   - The decision-making time can be changed
   

Faster_Enemies ( Work-In-Progress )
   (WIP) Enemies move faster, attack more frequently.
   -  Movement Speed is increased by 1
   -  Animation Frame Time is reduced by 1 ( If possible ), to keep enemies from walking too far (in theory at least..)
   -  Power % Recharging time is halved
   
   Issues:
   -  Makes them walk too far / have trouble aligning correctly to attack

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on April 12, 2017, 11:58:02 am
Now we only need compatibility with FuSoYa's VWF hack, so we can play this game with BOTH gameplay improvements and a sensible translation.

I still choose the VWF hack over this one. Would be amazing if it were possible to combine both.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 13, 2017, 01:04:47 am
Now we only need compatibility with FuSoYa's VWF hack, so we can play this game with BOTH gameplay improvements and a sensible translation.

I still choose the VWF hack over this one. Would be amazing if it were possible to combine both.

I tried looking into Fusoya's VWF to see where the conflit is but strangely all should be fine..
I either forgot that my patch does use a certain area or messed something in the patching process..

@lexluthermiester: did you apply the 9 item patch before or after the zps patch ?

I it got me looking into how .ips patches work, I didn't know it was that simple.. ill probably include a way to apply them with my "zps patcher". I'm thinking of something like a "patching list" in which you would specify multiple patches in the order you want them applied and also for each patch, if it targets a rom with or without an header. That way it would be easier to try a different patching order. I could even make those patching lists savable so if someone finds a working order for a set of patches he can reuse it later if he want to try switching on/off different options or gets an updated version of the gameplay improvement hack.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: RetroHelix on April 13, 2017, 04:27:33 am
There are some tools out there which can compare IPS patches. I only found this one: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/1080/ Maybe this will help finding the reason for the incompatibility.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Bregalad on April 13, 2017, 06:21:55 am
Quote
   CPU controlled party members don't stop the screen from scrolling
   
   - They get teleported back to the leading player if they go off-screen
Amen. This bug really is/was a huge problem.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 17, 2017, 02:43:31 pm
Now we only need compatibility with FuSoYa's VWF hack, so we can play this game with BOTH gameplay improvements and a sensible translation.

I still choose the VWF hack over this one. Would be amazing if it were possible to combine both.

I tried using a rom with VWF pre-patched : CRC32: 816FF0BB
Just applied the V.06 patch over it with all options ON and everything seems fine !
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on April 17, 2017, 04:06:15 pm
Many thanks for trying it out and letting us know!
These two hacks make for the best SoM experience!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 18, 2017, 07:44:09 pm
I tried looking into Fusoya's VWF to see where the conflit is but strangely all should be fine..
I either forgot that my patch does use a certain area or messed something in the patching process..

@lexluthermiester: did you apply the 9 item patch before or after the zps patch ?

I it got me looking into how .ips patches work, I didn't know it was that simple.. ill probably include a way to apply them with my "zps patcher". I'm thinking of something like a "patching list" in which you would specify multiple patches in the order you want them applied and also for each patch, if it targets a rom with or without an header. That way it would be easier to try a different patching order. I could even make those patching lists savable so if someone finds a working order for a set of patches he can reuse it later if he want to try switching on/off different options or gets an updated version of the gameplay improvement hack.

I should have been more clear, sorry about that. I applied the 9 item patch AFTER using your utility. Not sure if it's critical to do it in that order. It might not be. But as your utility checks the rom beforehand, it seemed like a good idea to do it after.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheChristoph on April 18, 2017, 09:54:09 pm
Oh my. This is brilliant. Fantastic work, thank you so much for sharing this with the world.

I wish there were more control changing hacks out there. ALTTP could use one too.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 18, 2017, 10:24:43 pm
I tried using a rom with VWF pre-patched : CRC32: 816FF0BB
Just applied the V.06 patch over it with all options ON and everything seems fine !
Really? Trying it! I tried the VWF and the 9 item after your utility and it didn't work, but that was V0.04...

EDIT:
Ok, just tried 0.06 then VWF then 9item. No go. Tried VWF then 9item then 0.06, no go. 0.06 then 9item, works. Figured out what the problem was. The VWF needs a headered rom and the 9item needs unheadered.

So here's the method how to make them both work with this utility;

1. Get a headered rom[2049kb file size, CRC32 = 229BA7E4] and apply the VWF patch as per the norm. The rom file will now be 3073kb in size.
2. Use a snes rom utility[I use Snes Rom Utility 2.10] to remove the header. This step creates a new rom file with 3072kb file size.
3. Apply the 9item patch to the new rom as per norm. Files size will not change.
4. Use SOM Improvement Utility to apply any of the patches you wish. This step also creates a new rom with 4096kb file size. The utility should show the CRC32 in red as 21A1731F.

If the CRC32 matches and you get to the naming screen without the game crashing, you're golden! Have fun!

I suggest backing up the rom after step 3 for future SOMIU versions that come out.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on April 19, 2017, 04:24:01 pm
I actually did that thing, and last time it didn't work.

I might have done wrong something else, who knows...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 19, 2017, 07:09:01 pm
I actually did that thing, and last time it didn't work.

I might have done wrong something else, who knows...
There are several different roms floating around the net, make sure you get the right one to start with. Updated the above post with CRC32 data for the rom I used to get a successful result.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 20, 2017, 07:17:13 am
Heres a new version:

The patching utility now has what I came to call a 'Chain patching' tool, it basically allows adding any (.ips) patch and apply them (as well as the .zps patch) to your liking, all in one place.
- The added patches (as well as the zps) are put in a list, when clicking 'Apply' the patches in the list are applied one after the other from top to bottom
- Each time a ips file is added, the user is asked if the patch 'normally' requires an headered rom, if the user chooses yes, the ips patch will shift everything down 0x200 bytes so it patches properly on a non-headered rom.
- Patches have an upcase '(H)' if they require a header, lower  '(h)' otherwise

I tested using a clean rom with 'proper' CRC32 (all lights green), adding Fusoya's VWF and it worked perfectly  :)
Heres what the "Patch Chain" looked like:

  (H) SoM_VWF
  [ZPS]

Basically, you just have to put the VWF on top so it applies first and not forget to specify that it requires a header (H).
For the 9 item, using what lexluthermiester said, im pretty sure this would work:

  (H) SoM_VWF
  (h) 9Item
  [ZPS]



As for the new Gameplay Improvement content:

ACT_Defaults ( Implemented / Need Testing )
   Party Members position on the ACT grid is set so they are offensive (instead of mostly avoiding combat) by default
   
   TODO:
   -  Allow Default position to be customized

No_Exp_When_Killing_Allies ( Implemented / Need Testing )
   (Bugfix)
   
   - (Bug): When casting an attack spell on an enemy who has 'wall' it gets reflected towards a party member, If the spell ends up killing him, an insane amount of exp is awarded.
   
   - (Fix): Killing friends don't give any reward, preventing easy fast-leveling exploit (and teaching better morals to the kids..)


It's not much, but the new patching utility stuff wouldn't work with the last patch



------------------------
Edit:

Good thing I was too lazy last time to upload the new version and post the link.. I missed some quite stupid bugs ::)
Download V.07 (http://www.zhadegames.com/romHacking/gameplayImprovement/downloads/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.07.zip)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on April 24, 2017, 05:41:39 pm
Glad to see you are back at modding the game.

If bugs with the new quick cast magic system are fixed this time we might give it a new try  ;)

As a little reminder in what you maybe want to take a look:

"While playing together with two friends we encountered some serious bugs which stoped us from playing the mod.
The magic system doesnt work for us. I think it has something to do when playing with three human players.

First you can now target dead characters with all spells. Bug?

Damage spells can be cast on allies! very annoying in fights.

Quick cast magic only works for player 1.  If player 3 binds heal spell, player 1 can quick cast that spell for him.

At some point in the game (around lvl 17) all the spells always hit the boy, no mather who was selected. We dont know how this happend, but from there on game was unplayable."
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 25, 2017, 06:15:07 am
"While playing together with two friends we encountered some serious bugs which stoped us from playing the mod.
The magic system doesnt work for us. I think it has something to do when playing with three human players.

First you can now target dead characters with all spells. Bug?

Damage spells can be cast on allies! very annoying in fights.

Quick cast magic only works for player 1.  If player 3 binds heal spell, player 1 can quick cast that spell for him.

At some point in the game (around lvl 17) all the spells always hit the boy, no matter who was selected. We don't know how this happend, but from there on game was unplayable."

I'll rewrite that part from scratch so it shouldn't have the old bugs. It is the first bit of asm I ever wrote so there might be some stuff I didn't back then+ the code is a mess and horrible to look at.
I'll make sure to do it properly this time and also remember to test with 3 human players.

Dead Characters had to be targetable in the case you wanted to cast Revify


I'll also try to use the spell's Icon Gfx (maybe even animated) and modify targetting so the spell have their usual target possibilties and fix other issues :

First: Instead of each player having a set of hotkeys, each character (except Randi) will have their set of hotkeys


- Press R to enter targeting mode
  * The Cursor is shown above the player's character
  * The Cursor shows the face of the last used Caster

- Use Up / Down to toggle Caster between Purim and Popoie if available ( Characters are only available if controlled by the player or AI, and not dead, stones etc..)
- Select one of the 3 Hotkey set Using Left/Right ( Defaults to the 'middle' set each time a Caster is selected)
  * The Cursor is above player's head, shifted a bit to the left/right if the left/right hotkey set is selected
  ( maybe the cursor image could alternate each of the hotkey set's spell icons and the caster's face )

- Select the spell by pressing its hotkey
  * The Cursor Alternate between the character's face icon and the spell's icon
  * The Cursor is placed on the first valid target if any

- Select the target using the D-Pad ( With Up/Down to toggle between All/Single

- Press B to Cast the spell, Y To go back to spell selection step


That way you could check which spell is bound to which button when loading and also make sure that you don't end up casting the wrong spell
It could also cancel if you don't have enough mana for a spell by showing the Spell Icon 'Greyed' over your character's head for a short time and make an 'error' sound
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on April 25, 2017, 12:53:15 pm
Seems like a good system for quick cast. Really looking foward to the mod  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 26, 2017, 04:06:25 am
I'll also try to use the spell's Icon Gfx (maybe even animated) and modify targetting so the spell have their usual target possibilties and fix other issues :

First: Instead of each player having a set of hotkeys, each character (except Randi) will have their set of hotkeys


- Press R to enter targeting mode
  * The Cursor is shown above the player's character
  * The Cursor shows the face of the last used Caster

- Use Up / Down to toggle Caster between Purim and Popoie if available ( Characters are only available if controlled by the player or AI, and not dead, stones etc..)
- Select one of the 3 Hotkey set Using Left/Right ( Defaults to the 'middle' set each time a Caster is selected)
  * The Cursor is above player's head, shifted a bit to the left/right if the left/right hotkey set is selected
  ( maybe the cursor image could alternate each of the hotkey set's spell icons and the caster's face )

- Select the spell by pressing its hotkey
  * The Cursor Alternate between the character's face icon and the spell's icon
  * The Cursor is placed on the first valid target if any

- Select the target using the D-Pad ( With Up/Down to toggle between All/Single

- Press B to Cast the spell, Y To go back to spell selection step


That way you could check which spell is bound to which button when loading and also make sure that you don't end up casting the wrong spell
It could also cancel if you don't have enough mana for a spell by showing the Spell Icon 'Greyed' over your character's head for a short time and make an 'error' sound
Not sure I'm a fan of this idea based on the way it's described. The ring menu/Magic selection is one of the things I feel Square nailed perfectly. But hell I'll give it a try, who knows. It might work better, right?
 
BTW, for those wondering, version 0.07 still works with VWF and 9item patches using the method described earlier[April 18th].

Given the popularity of the VWF and 9item, have you thought about reaching out to FuSoYa and Masterflow and seeing if they'd mind you including them with your utility as selectable options? Fairly certain they'd be cool with it as long as they were given their proper credit/recognition. Doesn't hurt to ask.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: jeremythille on April 28, 2017, 12:22:51 pm
Man, this hack is (almost) awesome! I tried it as soon as I discovered it.

The characters who are not being blocked behind every tree and stone anymore is an absolute relief.
The extended bow range is almost cheat and makes me grin :)
Seeing the magic gauges at the bottom of the screen is very useful.
The increased difficulty makes a better challenge overall.

Then, I got Undine. And all of the pleasure was lost.
First, you can cast offensive spell to your allies. Not only this, but any magic targets your allies by default, making it very easy to accidentally kill them.
Second, the game does not pause anymore when choosing the spell target. Since you really don't want to hurt your allies, you take your time to be sure to target a foe. Meanwhile, the foe attacks and hurts.
Third, introducing a cooldown is somewhat frustrating. Magic bashing was part of the pleasure of this game. Besides, most bosses are completely insensitive to weapons (like, weapons just go through them like ghosts) so, magic is the only way to beat them.

Then, I got Gnome, and things went haywire.
Even when I target an enemy, the game is bugged and one of my allies gets hit by the spell, making magic not only useless but deadly. So I stopped playing.

Do you reckon a new version will be released soon, fixing the magic's bugs?

Other than that, great job, congratulations :) And thank you very much
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on May 01, 2017, 12:12:42 pm
Has he even released the magic system yet? I know he had it on the old patches but now he's redoing everything and I haven't seen him actually say a new version was released with the magic system.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: morphlogic on May 16, 2017, 03:13:32 am
Hi zhade and all,

First of all, many thanks for your work on this project. Not only are we seeing numerous significant improvements to the game, but also a means by which to pick and choose which such improvements to apply. Excellent job!

I've recently begun playing through V0.07, and while the good far outweighs the negative (this game is challenging again!), I wanted to share with you my findings thus far.

Manual_Block seems to invite a hardlock scenario if used frequently. This can be triggered by starting a new game, making your way to the first rabite, then blocking with L repeatedly. The results I've found to vary from a black screen, to a garbled image, to a frozen image, but in all cases the game audio continues while input seems to no longer be processed.

This issue I've reproduced on SD2SNES and zSNES V1.51, with and without the FuSoYa VFW patch applied per your instructions using the Chain Patching tool. However, I've tried persistently to reproduce the issue on a ROM patched with V0.05 and was unable to do so. Re-applying V0.07 without Manual_Block and No_Automatic_Blocking has presented no similar issues.

CPUs_Dont_Block_Screen has one quirky (but useful) aspect - if a CPU character is unconscious, I can (ab)use this to flee from a battle I ordinarily might have to fight by walking away with the player character. I really don't mind this, and in fact appreciate it as a way to get out of annoying enemy encounters, but wanted to be thorough in case this was not your intention.

Overall, I am loving this hack. Will continue working my way through V0.07. Can't tell you how enjoyable it is to be able to appreciate this game with renewed difficulty and some of its old nuisances removed.

Please let me know if I can help by providing any additional details.

morphlogic
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on May 16, 2017, 03:57:56 pm
Has he even released the magic system yet? I know he had it on the old patches but now he's redoing everything and I haven't seen him actually say a new version was released with the magic system.
Not yet. Based on previous posts, it seems to be giving zhade a few issues which are taking time to figure out.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on May 20, 2017, 02:46:47 pm
Yeah, still no spell binding in the new version.. ive been trying to find a way to have the spell icons appear it seems it would be harder than I first thought.. but anyway, im working on other stuff right now, a som project in colaboration with manaRedux http://manaredux.blogspot.ca/ (http://manaredux.blogspot.ca/) and also ive been trying to find an interesting way to have equipments modify stats.. heres my current idea:

instead of just increasing some stats by a certain amount like say.. attack + 10 or magic def + 20, I thought it would be more interesting to modify stats using % so that the stat boost doesnt become insignificant later. But then, the way SoM calculates damage/defense etc includes hit% and agility.. the boy cant use magic so the magic attack stat is useless to him (at least I think ?) but anyway.. I thought it would be better to use "new" stats instead that affect the end result directly:

Each of these new stats would act as %, start at 100% and could (in theory) range between 0-200
Each piece of equipment would increase and decrease many different stats instead of raising the defense.

DMG   -   DAMAGE      - Physical Damage Infliction             
ENDU   -   ENDURANCE   - Physical Damage Endurance             
AURA   -   AURA      - Magic Defense / Elemental DMG Ratio   
WILL   -   WILLPOWER   - Magic Power / Elemental DMG           
SPD      -   SPEED      - Power% Recharge Rate             
PREC   -   PRECISION   - Damage Difference Between Min and Max

Every time the character deals physical damage, the resulting damage is multiplied by DMG%
Every time the character is dealt physical damage, the resulting damage is divided by ENDU%
Every time the character is dealt magic damage, the resulting damage is divided by AURA%
Every time the character is deals magic damage, the resulting damage is multiplied by WILLPOWER%

The speed at which the power% goes from 0% to 100% is multiplied by SPEED%
   
each weapon strike can deal elemental damage as well as physical damage, elemental damage is not affected by enemy defense
the ratio of physical vs elemental damage is determined by the aura stat, ie: at AURA = 100 or lower, all damage is physical
if AURA = 150, half of the damage is elemental. Elemental damage is multiplied by WILLPOWER the same way physical damage is multiplied by DAMAGE

PRECISION is applied at the very end to the result of Physical + Elemental Damage
it is multiplied by a random number between (PRECISION/4) and 100%
so for example, at the default value (PRECISION = 100), if the calculated damage dealt is 200 the damage would end up being between 150 and 200


Heres some example of what equipments could modify:

Overalls : +10 ENDU, +10 AURA, -10 SPD, -10 PREC     - boosts def and m.def, but less
Wristband: +10 PREC, +25 DMG, -30 WILL                     - increases physical damage and precision, reduces magic power/elemental damage
Bandanna: -20 AURA, +25 SPD, -50 PREC                      - reduces attack recharge time at the expanse of precision

the late game equipments probably would have higher numbers to both the boosts and handicaps, so youll want them if you want to boost a specific stat as much as possible but early equipements might do fine too until the end if you want something more balanced..
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on May 20, 2017, 06:45:40 pm
Yeah, still no spell binding in the new version.. ive been trying to find a way to have the spell icons appear it seems it would be harder than I first thought.. but anyway, im working on other stuff right now, a som project in colaboration with manaRedux http://manaredux.blogspot.ca/ (http://manaredux.blogspot.ca/) and also ive been trying to find an interesting way to have equipments modify stats
Damn! You HAVE been busy. LOL! That project looks excellent! Is this going to be applied to complement the VFW hack or more a replacement?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: BobNewbie on May 24, 2017, 05:19:08 pm
Hey, zhade. Thanks for all your hard work on Secret of Mana!

I'm really interested in what you're doing with manaRedux. I'm guessing it's a new translation for the game. As the story goes, Ted Woolsey's English translation of Final Fantasy VI had to be halved twice to make it fit. Plus, it was allegedly stated that some of SoM's story was lost in translation, but, since no one's made a new translation for the game in 20+ years, few know for sure.

I have a question. I know NES games are frequently moved to new mappers for better hacking capabilities. Can something like that be done to an SNES game like SoM to make it accommodate a larger script?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on May 26, 2017, 08:33:07 pm
I have a question. I know NES games are frequently moved to new mappers for better hacking capabilities. Can something like that be done to an SNES game like SoM to make it accommodate a larger script?
The mapper for the 8bit Nintendo system existed because of the limitations of memory addressing within the system itself. The mappers got around that limitation by mapping addresses into chucks that could be managed individually, thus allowing more storage than the system could technically handle on it's own.

With the 16bit Nintendo system, there was a lot more address space and the mappers were no longer needed. If you needed more space you simply used a larger rom chip or set of chips. In the case of rom hacks/mods, if you need more space for added content/features, you just expand the rom.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: BobNewbie on May 28, 2017, 11:44:34 am
Thank you, Lex. That's really good info. :beer:

zhade's post got me to read through manaRedux's blog, and it's been really nostalgic learning about a game that really fascinated me all those years ago. (I wasn't even a teenager when the SNES came out.) I knew about Secret of Mana's transition from CD-ROM add-on to cartridge, but I never realized how rushed/splintered the game's development was. At the end of the day, it's not just the translation that left stuff out -- The game's "incomplete" state means that story content never made it into the final game in the first place!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on May 28, 2017, 07:15:33 pm
Thank you, Lex. That's really good info. :beer:

zhade's post got me to read through manaRedux's blog, and it's been really nostalgic learning about a game that really fascinated me all those years ago. (I wasn't even a teenager when the SNES came out.) I knew about Secret of Mana's transition from CD-ROM add-on to cartridge, but I never realized how rushed/splintered the game's development was. At the end of the day, it's not just the translation that left stuff out -- The game's "incomplete" state means that story content never made it into the final game in the first place!
You're welcome. Yeah if they add a ton of that content back in it is going to be bad ass!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: reconstructingmana on June 14, 2017, 01:50:24 am
You're welcome. Yeah if they add a ton of that content back in it is going to be bad ass!

There's no game content to add back in; no one really knows what's missing.  There are some translation woes, but that's a different story. 
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Vanya on June 15, 2017, 06:39:19 am
Indeed. In order to restore cut content we would need an actual prototype to get that content from. Unfortunately none has ever been found. If any even still exist.
Not to mention that we don't even know how much of that content was even implemented. Cut content could just mean unused concepts that were never actually created.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: BobNewbie on June 25, 2017, 05:58:45 pm
It's nice to see this topic hasn't been abandoned. I hope that zhade has some news to share soon.

It's true, though; Very little is known about SoM's cut content, especially compared to what the game's design hints at. Like Vanya said, there aren't really any interviews, betas, or development documents to go on either. Stuff like extra cannon travel points only implies a longer progression process for the player. Basically, an elaborate hack would have to be fan-reimagined. If it's executed really well, I believe fans will take to it, but we don't even know what the goals are for this hack. Either way, I'm rooting for zhade and manaredux! The patches we've seen so far have been really promising!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 09, 2017, 09:43:45 am
I finally managed to have the spell icons appear and play their animation properly when in "spell targeting mode", it has been way more difficult than I first thought.. Im still far from finished with the whole "casting spell from outside the ring menu" thing, but the rest doesnt include anything new so im certain I'll be able to have it all work as I wanted.

Heres how it will look and how the controls would work:
  First, instead of binding spells to A,B,X,Y you will bind them to D-Pad positions: Up,Down,Left,Right or Up-left, Up-right, down-left, down-right, for a total of 8 different hotkey
  Also, the hotkeys will be assigned to the spellcaster instead of the player, so all players will use the same shortcuts

R : enter/exit spell-targeting mode

when spell-targeting(spell selection):
  The icon of the currently selected spell will appear over the character
  The small face icon of the currently selected caster will appear around the spell icon, relative to the D-Pad position
    So, for example, if you hold left-down the face icon will appear to the bottom left of the spell icon

  Pressing Y will change the current caster to Purim
  Pressing X will change the current caster to Popoie
  Pressing B will select the current spell and put you in "target selection" mode, like it normally does when casting from the menu


anyway, ill make a small video once I have more of it done, kinda sounds more complicated in text hehe.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: 2tack on August 15, 2017, 04:51:07 pm
I registered just to comment how excited I am about this hack. Hope to see that video soon!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Imaynotbehere4long on August 16, 2017, 10:22:01 pm
I have a suggestion: can you make it so that magic attacks are avoidable? The main thing I hate about the game is when a boss starts spamming magic attacks, which causes your full-HP characters to freeze in place and die (and that's on top of all the other things I hate about the game, like the lack of invincibility frames after you get hit, giving you no time to recover from enemy attacks, and the enemies that will repeatedly spawn more enemies at a seemingly infinite rate).

EDIT: Also, compatibility with the scroll hack (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2913/) would be nice.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on August 18, 2017, 09:24:13 am
Seems you guys are still going good on this. My only question is for the Dark lich fight. Could you possibly make his hands chase you faster and give the hands more range so you have a good chance at dying. This is the best fight in the game and we all know it. So I have to put this out there. Because me and my friends play this on 3 players and....it's just to easy of mechanics to avoid his attacks. I know I shouldn't throw requests on people so I'm sorry for my ignorance but this is more of an idea that I just have to put out there. ::)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 18, 2017, 09:50:04 am
I have a suggestion: can you make it so that magic attacks are avoidable? The main thing I hate about the game is when a boss starts spamming magic attacks, which causes your full-HP characters to freeze in place and die (and that's on top of all the other things I hate about the game, like the lack of invincibility frames after you get hit, giving you no time to recover from enemy attacks, and the enemies that will repeatedly spawn more enemies at a seemingly infinite rate).

EDIT: Also, compatibility with the scroll hack (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2913/) would be nice.

- I dont really like how magic attacks freezes your character either, but I can't think of a good way to make them avoidable.. It would be too easy to just be able to block them like regular attacks because of how we can see in advance that an enemy is about to cast a spell and all. And also, a low level spell would be as difficult to block as a high level one.. and cpu-controlled characters wouldnt be capable of doing it.
Also, characters who are targeted by spells use their "weapon gfx space" and "weapon palette slot" for the spell animation so even if it would be possible to at least let them be able to move until the spell hit, they wouldnt be able to use their weapon.. I found out how to speed up spell effects tho, ill see how fast I can make them go so the freeze time is reduced.
 
- About the invincibility frames, I have an option for that in my current build, it basically makes it so unless you have control of your character, attacks cant hit you. Still needed to have it work properly with status effects.. Enemies still can hit you repeatedly right at the moment you take control and leave you unable to move if you are unlucky, but holding block while recovering will make you block at the very first frame that your invincibility ends.

- Enemies that spawn other enemies (or copies of themselves) basically roll a dice each AI cycle (I think slimes have something like a change out of 4 or 8) and spawn a creature if there are less than 3 monsters on screen.. I guess it would make sense to force it to at least wait some time between spawns instead of just having a low chance. Ill definately will go back into enemy AI someday, but probably not soon, still got lots of less engaging featurettes to add.


I registered just to comment how excited I am about this hack. Hope to see that video soon!

I have made progress with the spell selection outside of the menu thingy, but unfortunately, it really doesnt look good with some of the spell icons, Ill have to make some kind of background gfx to put under the icon.. It seems all spell icons work correctly with the proper palette and animation tho  :)
Ill post the video as soon as I have something satisfying :P


Seems you guys are still going good on this. My only question is for the Dark lich fight. Could you possibly make his hands chase you faster and give the hands more range so you have a good chance at dying. This is the best fight in the game and we all know it. So I have to put this out there. Because me and my friends play this on 3 players and....it's just to easy of mechanics to avoid his attacks. I know I shouldn't throw requests on people so I'm sorry for my ignorance but this is more of an idea that I just have to put out there. ::)
Im not really informed about boss AI, and to be honest, its been a while I fought this boss and cant even remember those hands lol. but still, ill try to keep that in mind. im always open to sugestions and with the way my patcher lets you selects which "feature" you want, even crazy-weird ideas that you doubt other people would want might be interesting enough for me to add them  :laugh:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: koerli on August 22, 2017, 02:22:25 pm
Hello zhade, i greatly appreciate your work you are doing here.
I wasn't able to test all your modifications but noticed at the very beginning that strong and weak attack dont differ from on another (crc D0176B24, SoM NewGameplayImprovement V0.07). They both do the same dmg.
Also, don't know if people already posted this but the blocking bug is still present (the screen goes black after a sucsessful block).
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: CVReynolds on August 24, 2017, 09:44:39 am
Hello. :3

I like to collect bug-fix patches for games. I downloaded this to obtain the fix for the bug involving Wall-spelling an ally to death. I then noticed that other changes are done to the game as well even if you uncheck all options in the custom patcher.

I'm far out of the loop on this project, I'm sorry to say. If you'd please, I'd like a list of all changes made to the game if you uncheck every option in the custom patcher. Are the other changes also bug-fixes? I'd enjoy that if so. :3
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on August 25, 2017, 12:07:03 pm
Also, don't know if people already posted this but the blocking bug is still present (the screen goes black after a successful block).
Did not encounter that problem myself. That CRC seems to be a valid one. Did you remember to remove the header before patching?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: gamerdude535 on August 27, 2017, 10:23:12 pm
Nice ideas! Would the patch possibly work on top of Secret of Mana Enhanced? And would it be possible to make a modular patch where you could pick which parts you want to use and modify things about the features?? Much like some PC game mods.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SpRoUt on August 31, 2017, 09:06:14 am
As long as this can be played on the homebrew I can't wait  :thumbsup: Can't wait to fight thanatos again with extra HP hope you fix the hands of his to kill you where you stand cuz like I said. He is very easy when you know the mechanics. Unless those hands can touch you...then not gunna be so easy. maybe give his spells a boost in damage to. This is just the best advise/IDEA I can give you from playing this game a lot. Again not a request. But you can youtube the battle and you can tell he was simplified =( the only boss you get pumped to fight...then we all know the last boss is way to easy also. but he isn't as cool as thanatos. The music alone speaks a thousand words. Also the spells change when you're lvl 100 and have a random chance when you're lvl 90 I hope there is a way you could test to see if this works for this hack. All and all great job you are making history with this hack  :beer: :thumbsup: :beer: THANK YOU
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: martinpulido on September 19, 2017, 12:43:14 am
Zhade,

This is a most excellent look at Secret of Mana and how to improve the game. I have been very impressed with what I have seen so far. A couple other ideas:

(a) Weapons bindings or "quick shuffle" button. Similar to your spell bindings, I think it would be fun to be able to quickly switch between certain favorite weapons (or when a particular weapon is useful in a given scenario, whip is common) without accessing the ring menu. You might bind with L, instead of R, press one of the keys and then you are set to swap to that weapon. Recognize you use L already for the evade function, so that might pose a problem. Another option might be a "quick swap" of unassigned weapons, so you aren't stealing from another human player on the fly, but browsing through the other weapons.

(b) "Easy" pathing for younger human players. I've started introducing SoM to my young son who's just getting into video games (6 year old), and one common annoyance is the difficult pathing in the game for him, and how that often can be a hold up as we try to traverse across the screen. Could you create some button activated, or system activated setting from within a menu that makes the other human player (much like you've done with an AI controlled player) teleport straight over to the other human player (fine if default is to P1)? Just an idea. I know I need to be patient too!

Marty
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: 2tack on September 20, 2017, 12:49:19 pm
With the announcement of the PS4 remake, I hope it doesn't slow you down. It appears the remake is literally just a face lift. Nothing more, nothing less.

With that said, I wanted to throw an idea out there that I think could make the game a little more interesting, and bring even more uniqueness to this 3 party team.

Characters that can only use specific weapons. Hear me out. Each player being able to use each weapon is cool, but I think it could bring a certain degree of difficulty by locking them into certain characters. Also, change what stats are boosted for a weapon. Different weapons would increase one or more stats on top of it's attack rating; strength(S), agility (A), or intelligence (I). For examples:

Randi: Heavy/Mid/Close Range Melee weapons only. Sword gets a double boost, because our boy doesn't get magic, and it's the Mana Sword!
Sword (S+/A+) - Spear (S/A) - Axe (S+) - Fist (A+)

Purim/Primm : Close Range Melee/Ranged
Fist (A+) - Whip (S/I) - Bow (I) - Javelin (A/I)

Popoi: Why Axe? Well, Popoi is a dwarf.
Boomerang (A) - Axe (S+) - Javelin (A/I) - Spear (S/A)

If it were possible, changing the Boomerang (already loaded with ranged weapons) to more of a staff would be cool. Super low attack but huge boost to Intelligence. This would change bow to more of an agi boost given the circumstances. I'm sure some graphic replacements using images from SD3 would satisfy that. Then we'd have:

Randi:
Sword (S+/A+) - Axe (S+) - Fist (A+) - Spear (S/A)

Purim/Primm :
Fist (A+) - Whip (S/I) - Bow (A) - Staff (I+)

Popoi:
Staff (I+) - Axe(S+) - Javelin (A/I) - Bow (A)

Just make Popoi come with the staff, instead of the boomerang. That feels more canon, what with all the pictures of him holding a staff!
https://assets.vg247.com/current//2017/08/secret-of-mana-artwork-1.png
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: JordanParks on September 30, 2017, 04:43:46 pm
I'm very excited about this project and hope everything is going smoothly.

I just tried this game on my SD2SNES(A way to play on the SNES using an SD card to hold the ROM files) after patching it with your Version V0.10   I was playing on NORMAL mode. I had just made it into Potos village and while in the item shop (Before going to see the Elder) I was fooling around with the Binding option (Pressing R), I pressed R and then started moving the little face around and it stuck on the far right of the screen and the game froze. The music was still going but I could not move or do anything, I tried pressing all buttons on my controller and eventually just reset.

I'm just wondering if anybody else has had this problem or if I did something wrong? I know the binding is for magic and the boy doesn't have any magic to choose so maybe that had something to do with it? I will try the game again in the next couple days and see if I can recreate what happened or figure out why it happened.

Keep up the good work, I can't wait to do a full playthrough  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 03, 2017, 08:58:31 pm
First, I've created discord server for this project: https://discord.gg/cMYx3RH (https://discord.gg/cMYx3RH).
Its seperated into multiple channels: announcements, current progress, suggestions, questions and general discussion.
It should make it easier to manage for me, as I want to answer to everyone and end up having to write giant posts in here.
It will make it easier for you to follow the development too, especially for those who are new to the project since this thread is now 23 pages long I can't expect people to have the time to read through it all and end up answering the same questions multiple times.

I've been busy working on what I now call the "quick spell menu" I still have lots of things to do and some bugs to fix but I have enough working to show you how its gonna look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6Q6_XqXOyI&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6Q6_XqXOyI&feature=youtu.be)
(note: youtube screws up how randi flashes, in-game he looks transparent like ghosts of dead characters)
(also note: the selection finger is blue, pink or green depending on the character of the player who is targeting so it doesnt get confusing if 2 players target at the same time)
- Right now, binding is not done so purim and popoie have temporary hard-coded spell shortcuts. Thats why popoie has cure for example.
What still needs to be done (aside from binding) is multiple-targeting, as well as "proper targeting" like not beign able to target an ally with attack spells for exemple, also, targeting only dead allies with the regeneration spell etc.. basically make it the same as when you do it from the menu.
- The fact that targeting is "live" also add some stuff that needs to be dealt with like switch to the next available target if the current one dies/goes out of screen etc.. cancel targeting if the caster doenst have enough mp anymore or dies or anything that would prevent it from being able to cast the chosen spell. failing to deal with some of these can have results ranging from exploitable glitches to crashing/freezing the game completely so I have to make sure I think of everything that could cause trouble, howerver unlikely some situations might be.
- I also want to make the spell icon greyed if the caster doesnt have enough mp or is magic-recharging.
- And then.. make it so the character actually cast the spell lol.. but that shouldn't be a problem since I still have the code for the old version.

Anyway, im going back to work on this so I'll post again soon to answer your questions/suggestions, or you can come on the discord server if you want to chat about it
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ventuz on October 03, 2017, 09:08:52 pm
How long is the video? I've been refreshing every minutes, it is still unavailable...

I'm guessing you set it private.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on October 13, 2017, 11:17:25 pm
(a) Weapons bindings or "quick shuffle" button. Similar to your spell bindings, I think it would be fun to be able to quickly switch between certain favorite weapons (or when a particular weapon is useful in a given scenario, whip is common) without accessing the ring menu. You might bind with L, instead of R, press one of the keys and then you are set to swap to that weapon. Recognize you use L already for the evade function, so that might pose a problem. Another option might be a "quick swap" of unassigned weapons, so you aren't stealing from another human player on the fly, but browsing through the other weapons.

(b) "Easy" pathing for younger human players. I've started introducing SoM to my young son who's just getting into video games (6 year old), and one common annoyance is the difficult pathing in the game for him, and how that often can be a hold up as we try to traverse across the screen. Could you create some button activated, or system activated setting from within a menu that makes the other human player (much like you've done with an AI controlled player) teleport straight over to the other human player (fine if default is to P1)? Just an idea. I know I need to be patient too!

(a) I like the idea of a hotkey to change weapon altho I think setting mutliple weapons would not be so useful and having to select the weapon (with a menu similar to the quick-spell menu) would make you vulnerable during the time you search for the one you want. I think having 1 weapon set as secondary that can be swaped with the currently equiped weapon would be enough. For example, while climbing the lofty mountains on the way to josh, you could equip the sword and set the whip as you secondary, then switch instantly for the whip for those whip post and back to the sword once crossed. Also during the fight with spikey tiger, you could have a melee weapon equipped and a ranged weapon as secondary and switch to it when the boss goes on the sides. I think using the X button to swap weapons could work be nice. I personally always use Y to open the ring menu and only then press X to open an ally's menu.

(b) Hum, a button to "regroup" wouldnt be hard to add. Altho I would have that feature "uncheked" by default as It could be used to "cheat" jumping to P1 to avoid damage while uncounscious for ex.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Atrushan on October 16, 2017, 12:19:21 pm
Since there's always been a struggle to find something to make the main character special the changing weapons could be exclusive to him. It also fits thematically.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Gi Nattak on October 18, 2017, 02:25:48 am
I noticed a possible bug and I hope nobody minds me re-posting it if it is a known one. Anyway, I noticed when you press the R trigger button when you're playing solo as the boy in the beginning, the game will freeze if you press directional button to the right afterwords, because I assume it's trying to select another party member for that new feature and they're not recruited yet? So to elaborate, if you press R Trigger your character flashes, and pressing a direction button with solo boy freezes the game from what I can tell, I can't seem to get out of that selection menu in other words and the map animations/monsters all freeze. Again, sorry if this is a known issue. If not, I'm wondering if it may be a patching blunder on my part but I don't believe it's that.

Also, I like that idea there, Atrushan. Something to make the Boy feel more unique sounds nice, and that would be quite fitting indeed.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: kethinov on November 04, 2017, 08:54:35 pm
(also note: the selection finger is blue, pink or green depending on the character of the player who is targeting so it doesnt get confusing if 2 players target at the same time)
- Right now, binding is not done so purim and popoie have temporary hard-coded spell shortcuts. Thats why popoie has cure for example.
What still needs to be done (aside from binding) is multiple-targeting, as well as "proper targeting" like not beign able to target an ally with attack spells for exemple, also, targeting only dead allies with the regeneration spell etc.. basically make it the same as when you do it from the menu.
- The fact that targeting is "live" also add some stuff that needs to be dealt with like switch to the next available target if the current one dies/goes out of screen etc.. cancel targeting if the caster doenst have enough mp anymore or dies or anything that would prevent it from being able to cast the chosen spell. failing to deal with some of these can have results ranging from exploitable glitches to crashing/freezing the game completely so I have to make sure I think of everything that could cause trouble, howerver unlikely some situations might be.
- I also want to make the spell icon greyed if the caster doesnt have enough mp or is magic-recharging.
- And then.. make it so the character actually cast the spell lol.. but that shouldn't be a problem since I still have the code for the old version.

Just tried out this hack today. It's amazing work. But as you mentioned, the spell targeting system still has some kinks to work out.

For me the most frustrating behavior (as some have mentioned) is offensive spells do not seem to target enemies by default. Plus it seems pretty hard to get the targeting cursor to actually move off an ally to an enemy. Ideally offensive spells should target an enemy by default and healing spells should target an ally by default. Even more ideally, repeat casts should favor the last target they were casted to.

Targeting issues aside though, the changes to weapon combat are very smooth and impressive! I was blown away by how much that improved the game. As such, is there any chance you could release a version of this hack with no changes to how spells and targeting work but keeping all the other non-magic changes, just temporarily until the spells/targeting kinks are worked out?

Edit: for anyone reading the thread, I was testing V0.10.ips, not the newer V0.07.zps. Only just now became aware of its existence.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on November 06, 2017, 01:09:03 pm
As such, is there any chance you could release a version of this hack with no changes to how spells and targeting work but keeping all the other non-magic changes, just temporarily until the spells/targeting kinks are worked out?
Version .7 has the options selectable, which means you can deselect the ones you don't want and apply the changes to the target rom without them.
That version was posted by Zhade in this thread in Reply #104 on: August 14, 2015, 04:13:43 pm. AFAIK, that is the most current version of the utility so far.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: kethinov on November 06, 2017, 08:50:31 pm
How? I don't see a way to deselect anything when applying either 0.7 or 0.10 via snesROMUtil.exe 2.1.0.0.

Edit:

If you're referring to this post http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=20093.msg334213#msg334213 the download link is 404ing now... :(
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on November 08, 2017, 04:49:47 am
How? I don't see a way to deselect anything when applying either 0.7 or 0.10 via snesROMUtil.exe 2.1.0.0.

Edit:

If you're referring to this post http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=20093.msg334213#msg334213 the download link is 404ing now... :(
Link removed.

You've been using the wrong utility. It does come with it's own, and it's easy to use! Enjoy!

Note to Zhade, sent you a private message. Let me know if that's a thing.

Edit; Zhade has updated the link in the original post, and that version is newer that this link, some I'm taking mine down. Here is the latest; https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: kethinov on November 08, 2017, 07:05:00 pm
Sorry, I get back to you right away. Here is the link to that version; https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfv0wzfn2qdx13r/SOM-NewGameplayImprovementV007.7z?dl=0 The password to the file is " somisdabomb ", without the quotes of course. I passworded it to keep Dropbox, or anyone/anything else from falsely flagging it. As a general rule do scan with your preferred AntiVirus/AntiMalware, not that there's anything there.

You've been using the wrong utility. It does come with it's own, and it's easy to use! Enjoy!

Note to Zhade, sent you a private message. Let me know if that's a thing.

Ah that was it... 0.10.ips and 0.07.zps with the custom patching tool are totally different things following two different version counts. I get it now. That custom patch selector is awesome!

I don't know if this has been mentioned elsewhere yet but I found a couple bugs in 0.07.zps with the custom patching tool (tested in SNES9x 1.53):

Manual Block: Crashes a lot.

Faster Enemies: Enemy walking is isn't always smooth. For example, Rabite look great, but Mushbooms walking looks janky, as do Lullabuds.

Edit:

Also the moderators here just approved my very first ROM hack, a hack to SoM that rebalances the drop table: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3732/

I have successfully tested it in combination with this hack. They are compatible. :) My work on the drop table hack pales in comparison to the amazing things the rest of you have done, but I'd like to think this is a hack that adds value. In fact I tested my drop table hack in combination with several others, including the variable width font hack, propercase hack, item9 hack, and both variants of zhade's gameplay improvement hack (the 0.10 ips and the 0.07 zps). When applied in the correct order, they all work well together. :D

A poster earlier in this thread had suggested making it possible for a chest to give you a lesser item if you are already maxed out on the main prize. I think my drop table hack solves that problem indirectly because it increases the odds that you will get useful consumables from every monster. Now it won't feel like so much of a waste if you get an item you're already maxed out on because nearly all commonly used items (healing items and faerie walnuts in particular) are easily restocked from monster chests now. This will decrease your inhibitions to use them and your frustration that you could've used one just prior to opening the chest in order to get a freebie. (Especially if you apply the item9 hack too.) I spent many, many months playtesting the drop table changes and slowly refining them to make sure that even with repeated playthroughs and a lot of random chance thrown in it still feels well balanced, or at least better balanced than the original.

One point to note about it though is by itself my hack will decrease the difficulty of the game slightly, which may not be your cup of tea if you're looking for increased difficulty mods. But my emphasis wasn't on difficulty so much as natural progression. My focus was minimizing occasions where monsters drop obsolete equipment and reducing how often you have to do grinding. But if you're looking for increased difficulty, you could always apply zhade's "hard mode" hack from this thread on top of my drop table rebalance since they are compatible. I think they work well together.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on November 28, 2017, 05:55:41 pm
Well I went back to Mana series, but I cannot find the patcher Zhade is constantly mentioning. All that's in the download zip is the ips patch and snesROMUtil.exe

Also I don't really like the new forum layout :(
Finally, the drop table hack looks worth trying out  :thumbsup:

EDIT: Found out about the 0.07 version having the patcher.
And no, it still isn't possible to patch this hack over the VWF prepatched rom :(
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BxpOTX44l8
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Pizzano on November 28, 2017, 10:49:43 pm
I'm really glad to see this mod is still being worked on. Very excited to try it out again. :thumbsup:

Bufixes/misc stuff
- Fixed bugs with new attack animations not reseting the power% correctly
- Improved rain-of-arrows animation
- Modified the Axe slash attack so it has a wider range
- Modified the Bow's normal shot range
- Fixed a bug with cpus being stuck when teleporting to the player

Are these changes automatically added to the game or part of the weak/strong attacks option or something that you can separately turn on/off??
I only ask because my friends and I loved the longer bow range, but didn't really like the strong/weak attacks. I tried asking this question a while back, but I never got a clear answer.

Also the moderators here just approved my very first ROM hack, a hack to SoM that rebalances the drop table: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3732/

I have successfully tested it in combination with this hack. They are compatible. :) My work on the drop table hack pales in comparison to the amazing things the rest of you have done, but I'd like to think this is a hack that adds value. In fact I tested my drop table hack in combination with several others, including the variable width font hack, propercase hack, item9 hack, and both variants of zhade's gameplay improvement hack (the 0.10 ips and the 0.07 zps). When applied in the correct order, they all work well together. :D

Your mod also sounds really cool.  8)
BTW, what is the correct order to apply the hacks??
Would you consider giving Zhade permission to include your hack in his patcher by default?? I figure Zhade could give you credit for your work and more people would be able to add your nifty hack to the game since they wouldn't have to look for it separately or have to worry about the correct order to apply the different patches. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 01, 2017, 07:13:06 pm
EDIT: Found out about the 0.07 version having the patcher.And no, it still isn't possible to patch this hack over the VWF prepatched rom :( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BxpOTX44l8
Yes, it is possible. You have to do it in a certain order. If you don't do it correctly, the result is a corrupt rom. The process of doing it correctly is stated, by me, earlier in the thread. So to be clear, both the 9 Item and VFW patches are completely compatible with Zhades patches and his utility.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on December 02, 2017, 02:19:34 pm
Oh I see. It works with the 0.07 version but not with 0.1
Thanks!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: acediez on December 05, 2017, 11:46:50 am
I'm pretty sure the file in the first post (dated February 2016) is the latest version is his first version of the hack (named "SoM GameplayImprovementV0.10"), before he started from scratch. It's the new version he made afterwards the one with the modular approach and the patching utility, which he started naming "SoM NewGameplayImprovement V0.0x". As far as I can see here, the latest one is v0.07, the one with the broken link. I'm not sure what happened after that, did they move updates to the Discord channel he opened up? I haven't been there.

So if anyone has the latest version of the "NewGameplayImprovement", the one with the modular patched, please reupload! I'm stuck at "SoM NewGameplayImprovement V0.05", I missed v0.07 back when the file was up.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the correct patching chain to get it working with the VWF and 9 max items patches:

- Patch VWF into a Headered clean rom (that's the version that patch was made of)
- Remove header with snesROMUtil (I THINK. I happened to have a prepatched rom VWF which already had the header removed, for some reason).
- Patch the 9 items limit patch into it.
- THEN FINALLY open up with the "NewGameplayImprovement".


Edit:

Nevermind! I had skipped the last few posts and realized everything I said was already covered.
If anyone comming here has any confusion left, I suggest downloading Kethinov's Drop Table rebalance hack and follow the readme. It has a guide to make all relevant patched compatible, including links to both versions of the improvement patch...

I hope he doesn't mind (if he does, I'll edit later), but I'll just quote that section of his readme here:

Quote
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
==========================
Combining with other hacks
==========================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This hack is compatible with a range of other fantastic SoM hacks. In particular, I recommend combining this with:

- Variable Width Font hack: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/18/
- Proper-caser hack: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1105/
- Item Limit "9" hack: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/672/
- Gameplay Improvement hack (not yet finished as of this writing, but very cool!): http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=20093.0

If you want to apply this patch with all of those to a ROM, the recommended procedure is as follows:

1. Use the following ROM: Secret of Mana (U) [!].SMC
    Header: YES
    CRC32: 229BA7E4
    MD5: 759A3837E5C16AF31464EF6192731EEB
    SHA1: 4E214F3C987F842C2C68E77B99FC9760F6BB753D
2. Download Lunar IPS tool: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/240
3. Download SNES ROM Utility: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/593/
4. Using the Lunar IPS tool, apply the Drop Table Balance hack.
5. Using the Lunar IPS tool, apply the Variable Width Font hack.
6. Using the Lunar IPS tool, apply the Proper-caser hack.
7. Using SNES ROM Utility, remove the ROM header.
8. Using SNES ROM Utility, apply the Item Limit "9" hack.
9. Last but not least, the Gameplay Improvement hack. This is a bit trickier, see below...

As the Gameplay Improvement hack is not yet finished as of this writing, there are actually two mutually exclusive versions of it you can try out:

- The "bundled" version (latest is V0.10): https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0
- The "split" version (latest is V0.07): https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfv0wzfn2qdx13r/SOM-NewGameplayImprovementV007.7z?dl=0 (the password to the file is somisdabomb)

Both versions offer a range of improvements, most notably tweaks to weapon combat that have been widely praised.

The bundled version is notable for having an overhauled magic system which is a bit more controversial.

The split version offers a tool to cherrypick which patches from the bundle to apply. You can for instance choose not to apply the manual blocking patch or the faster enemies patch, but keep the other combat changes. As of this writing, the overhauled magic system is not available in the split version.

Presumably the author zhade intends to supersede the bundled version with the split version by offering all the changes in the bundled version as options in the split version.

As of this writing, my personal recommendation is to play the split version with the following options disabled:

- Manual Block: Crashes a lot.
- No Automatic Blocking: Gotta disable this if manual blocking doesn't work.
- Faster Enemies: Enemy walking is isn't always smooth. For example, Rabite look great, but Mushbooms walking looks janky, as do Lullabuds.
- Magic recharging: This one is a personal preference, but I personally dislike how it slows down magic grinding.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 07, 2017, 11:55:02 pm
Oh I see. It works with the 0.07 version but not with 0.1 Thanks!
It's compatible with the newest version as well.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on December 13, 2017, 06:40:15 am
Welp, my game crashed as soon as I tried blocking a Rabite's attack.
Using 0.07 of this patch along with FuSoYa's VWF patch...

Patched exactly as instructed. It did work but not for too long...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 13, 2017, 07:12:26 am
Welp, my game crashed as soon as I tried blocking a Rabite's attack. Using 0.07 of this patch along with FuSoYa's VWF patch... Patched exactly as instructed. It did work but not for too long...

Did you follow the method I described in a post previously in the thread? I'll quote myself below..

Ok, just tried 0.06 then VWF then 9item. No go. Tried VWF then 9item then 0.06, no go. 0.06 then 9item, works. Figured out what the problem was. The VWF needs a headered rom and the 9item needs unheadered. So here's the method how to make them both work with this utility;

1. Get a headered rom[2049kb file size, CRC32 = 229BA7E4] and apply the VWF patch as per the norm. The rom file will now be 3073kb in size.
2. Use a snes rom utility[I use Snes Rom Utility 2.10] to remove the header. This step creates a new rom file with 3072kb file size.
3. Apply the 9item patch to the new rom as per norm. File size will not change.
4. Use SOM Improvement Utility to apply any of the patches you wish. This step also creates a new rom with 4096kb file size. The utility should show the CRC32 in red as 21A1731F.

If the CRC32 matches and you get to the naming screen without the game crashing, you're golden! Have fun! I suggest backing up the rom after step 3 for future SOMIU versions that come out.
This method still applies. It's a bit rigmarole, but it works with both 0.07 and 0.10
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on December 13, 2017, 07:20:53 am
Yes I followed these exact instructions. It didn't work for 0.1, judging from my experience, and yeah... it crashes with 0.07...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 13, 2017, 07:34:03 am
Yes I followed these exact instructions. It didn't work for 0.1, judging from my experience, and yeah... it crashes with 0.07...
I just tried it on a fresh rom out of curiosity. Works fine in both SNES9x and ZSNES. What are you running the rom on?
EDIT; Keep in mind I'm talking about 0.07 and 0.10, not 0.1, which was a different patch. Zhade's naming convention is a bit hard to follow and took some trial and error.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on December 13, 2017, 07:50:41 am
Ah, in the case of 0.1 VS 0.10 it might have been an error on my part, I might have mixed up the two.

I play on SNES9X, and the crashing on 0.07 still remains a thing...
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 13, 2017, 07:58:12 am
Ah, in the case of 0.1 VS 0.10 it might have been an error on my part, I might have mixed up the two.

I play on SNES9X, and the crashing on 0.07 still remains a thing...
Where is it crashing?

EDIT; Just realized/remembered that 0.10 is a glitched patch where magic casting is all messed up. The 0.07 ZPS based patch is, AFAIK, the most current of the released patches.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on December 13, 2017, 10:27:22 am
It crashed as soon as I tried blocking an attack from a Rabite, right after slashing with my sword.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 13, 2017, 11:37:54 am
It crashed as soon as I tried blocking an attack from a Rabite, right after slashing with my sword.
Ah! That's a known problem. Reapply the ZPS patch but uncheck the blocking features.
I personally uncheck the "Strong And Weak Attack", "Manual Block", "No Automatic Blocking", "Faster Enemies" and "Act Defaults"
These feature are not yet perfect, but Zhade is working on them, AFAIK. The rest work great and really make the game better.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: metalnerdmikey on January 09, 2018, 11:26:11 pm
Hey. Just a random dude here. Ive played SOM, no joke, like over 250 times. Its my favorite game and I goto it about 3 times a year. Id love to help give some critique on the versions released and to help work towards completing a solid version for everyone to enjoy because I am NOT stoked about the remake at all and this seems (if it continues to be worked on and doesnt go vapor) like the SOM game I want to play.

Ive read a little bit about what the versions currently have but can someone give me a nutshell explanation about current new improvements, and where they are having trouble (coding/balance/whatever) and what features are still yet to be implemented? Also, just throwing this out there because I havnt seen very much on it but, how hard coding wise would it be to implement a stamina system to replace the percentage recharge. In theory it should be possible to use only a certain % per action with the % system it already has correct? A dodge mechanic as well maybe?

Great work so far, people should probably get some video stuff up showcasing what is being done, id gladly edit it for anyone and if this ever gets finished id be damn sure glad to make some graphic artwork to go with the project to promote it (albeit cant be promoted for monetary gain since square is square). Graphic artist 15+ years here. Just let me know how I can help. 100% serious about this. This game is one of my passions.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Omedru on January 10, 2018, 10:15:06 am
Hi all! Another random dude here.
I 'finished' playing the game with the patches, but I couldn't continue after the party reaches the Mana Tree. When they've had their emo talk (about being so glad to have met each other etc :p ) the camera scrolls up to show more of the tree.. but then it keeps scrolling up. The music continues but nothing happens. Normally there comes a beam down from the Mana Fortress to destroy the tree.. but it just locks.

Have more people encountered this? I can't continue the game like this. Btw.. I played on my SNES Mini using retroarch plugin, because the VWF-patch made my menus blurry by just using the standard emulator on my Mini.

As you might imagine.. I'm totally not in the mood to try playing the game again using the standard emulator on the Mini or to try it on pc or something like that.. first I'd like to know if more people have encountered this problem. Switching back from retroarch to the standard emulator makes it so that I can't load my save, since retroarch seems to use another saving system.

One other (far less important) problem was the fact the customized starting levels of the elemental spirits didn't work at all. So every spirit started at lv 0.

Edit, I used the quoted instructions I found in this topic. But I must say I never found the rom with the exact same CRC32/MD5/SHA1 codes.

Quote
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
==========================
Combining with other hacks
==========================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This hack is compatible with a range of other fantastic SoM hacks. In particular, I recommend combining this with:

- Variable Width Font hack: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/18/
- Proper-caser hack: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1105/
- Item Limit "9" hack: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/672/
- Gameplay Improvement hack (not yet finished as of this writing, but very cool!): http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=20093.0

If you want to apply this patch with all of those to a ROM, the recommended procedure is as follows:

1. Use the following ROM: Secret of Mana (U) [!].SMC
    Header: YES
    CRC32: 229BA7E4
    MD5: 759A3837E5C16AF31464EF6192731EEB
    SHA1: 4E214F3C987F842C2C68E77B99FC9760F6BB753D
2. Download Lunar IPS tool: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/240
3. Download SNES ROM Utility: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/593/
4. Using the Lunar IPS tool, apply the Drop Table Balance hack.
5. Using the Lunar IPS tool, apply the Variable Width Font hack.
6. Using the Lunar IPS tool, apply the Proper-caser hack.
7. Using SNES ROM Utility, remove the ROM header.
8. Using SNES ROM Utility, apply the Item Limit "9" hack.
9. Last but not least, the Gameplay Improvement hack. This is a bit trickier, see below...

As the Gameplay Improvement hack is not yet finished as of this writing, there are actually two mutually exclusive versions of it you can try out:

- The "bundled" version (latest is V0.10): https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2feqmgr9b0d83f/SoM%20GameplayImprovementV0.10.zip?dl=0
- The "split" version (latest is V0.07): https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfv0wzfn2qdx13r/SOM-NewGameplayImprovementV007.7z?dl=0 (the password to the file is somisdabomb)

Both versions offer a range of improvements, most notably tweaks to weapon combat that have been widely praised.

The bundled version is notable for having an overhauled magic system which is a bit more controversial.

The split version offers a tool to cherrypick which patches from the bundle to apply. You can for instance choose not to apply the manual blocking patch or the faster enemies patch, but keep the other combat changes. As of this writing, the overhauled magic system is not available in the split version.

Presumably the author zhade intends to supersede the bundled version with the split version by offering all the changes in the bundled version as options in the split version.

As of this writing, my personal recommendation is to play the split version with the following options disabled:

- Manual Block: Crashes a lot.
- No Automatic Blocking: Gotta disable this if manual blocking doesn't work.
- Faster Enemies: Enemy walking is isn't always smooth. For example, Rabite look great, but Mushbooms walking looks janky, as do Lullabuds.
- Magic recharging: This one is a personal preference, but I personally dislike how it slows down magic grinding.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: TheCape on January 11, 2018, 11:22:32 pm
I'll have to download this to look at. I loved this game as a kid!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: BuscemiS19 on February 11, 2018, 09:07:06 pm
Does anyone know a way to contact Zhade?  I really want to play this game again with a friend.  And the ability to use hotkeys as spells seems awesome.

Version 10 seems bugged.  I cant seem to set the spells as hotkeys.  When it randomly does work, it always is an attack spell vs my party.

However.. version 7 works pretty well.  But I can only use magic on 1 person.

Wondering if I am the only one.  Also surprised this game isn't on the rom hack list.

I hope I'm patching it right.  I can tell it works, because the MP, and Bow shows.

Version 10-  I hear the sound when I hold R + select a spell, -hold R- + hit A.  But then when I leave the screen and hit R, and pick a person, nothing happens.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on February 17, 2018, 08:40:11 pm
Does anyone know a way to contact Zhade?  I really want to play this game again with a friend.  And the ability to use hotkeys as spells seems awesome.

Version 10 seems bugged.  I cant seem to set the spells as hotkeys.  When it randomly does work, it always is an attack spell vs my party.

However.. version 7 works pretty well.  But I can only use magic on 1 person.

Wondering if I am the only one.  Also surprised this game isn't on the rom hack list.

I hope I'm patching it right.  I can tell it works, because the MP, and Bow shows.

Version 10-  I hear the sound when I hold R + select a spell, -hold R- + hit A.  But then when I leave the screen and hit R, and pick a person, nothing happens.
Use version 7 it's the most up to date. Zhade has been very busy with real life and other things. He'll get back to this.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 28, 2018, 11:02:02 am
Finally, here's v0.08, virtually all bugs that I have been made aware of have been fixed:
Download (https://www.dropbox.com/s/fp5ih3scjs9dgta/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.08.zip?dl=0)

As always, if you want to load a game from an earlier version, use the in-game save (no save states).

Sorry I don't have time to anwser to your replies right now, hopefully, most issues will be resolved by updating to the new version.

Information about each features are available when using the patcher (erm.. aside from the quick spell menu)
All features that are available to choose work. (some like strong and weak attacks are still a WIP.. but nothing bad should happen :P)


If you want to contact me here is the Discord Server for the project : https://discord.gg/cMYx3RH


Just one thing: can't find the post but someone said he had trouble in pureland where a scene soft-locks. I think this has something to do with one of the features that deals with the screen scrolling: try using an in-game save, or try a "safe save-sate": saving while exiting the ring menu, as the icons are scaterring but still visible.. (it might cause a crash anyway tho.. in-game is more safe..
repatch your rom with Walk_To_Edges / Cpu_dont_block_screen turned Off and try again.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 02, 2018, 11:23:47 pm
Finally, here's v0.08, virtually all bugs that I have been made aware of have been fixed: Download (https://www.dropbox.com/s/fp5ih3scjs9dgta/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.08.zip?dl=0)
(channeling Bill & Ted) Excellent!!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: G061 on March 03, 2018, 01:52:12 am
Could someone please tell me what the order is to apply these patches along with the gameplay improvement patch?
Secret of Mana Variable Width Font Edition
Item Limit "9" Patch
Secret of Mana Proper-caser
Secret of Mana Scroll Hack

I've tried doing Gameplay improvement Hack -> VWF -> Proper Caser -> Item Limit Patch but it ends up corrupted.
And then does the MSU-1 hack work with this as well? That one's not necessary but it'd be nice to know.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: vivify93 on March 03, 2018, 07:15:49 am
(Edited for clarity; also, scroll hack actually requires no header, from what I can tell, despite the site saying the opposite.)

It's probably a header issue. Item Limit 9 patch requires no header, and the other mods (I'm not sure about zhade's gameplay improvement mod) all require a header. Use TUSH to add or remove headers. http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/608/ Try applying the others in this order:

1. Remove header (if needed)
2. Apply Item Limit 9
3. Apply Scroll Hack
4. Add header
5. Apply Proper Caser
6. Apply VWF Patch
6. Apply Gameplay Improvement
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: G061 on March 04, 2018, 01:12:11 am
It's probably a header issue. Item Limit 9 patch requires no header, and the other mods (I'm not sure about zhade's gameplay improvement mod) all require a header. Try applying the others in this order:

1. Remove header (if needed)
2. Apply Item Limit 9
3. Add header
4. Apply Scroll Hack
5. Apply Proper Caser
6. Apply VWF Patch
6. Apply Gameplay Improvement

Edit - Scroll hack actually requires no header, from what I can tell, despite the site saying the opposite.
This worked! Thanks so much.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Guadozoku on March 07, 2018, 05:54:33 am
Can this be used with the MSU1 patch? I'd love to use party members don't block scrolling, MSU1 and scroll fix. Also the Japanese version but I kinda doubt that one.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 07, 2018, 05:45:05 pm
Can this be used with the MSU1 patch? I'd love to use party members don't block scrolling, MSU1 and scroll fix. Also the Japanese version but I kinda doubt that one.
It'll only take a few minutes to try out. Make a copy of your rom, then apply the block scrolling, then scroll fix, then MSU1. If that doesn't work try another combination until one works or you run out of options.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DrDimension on March 11, 2018, 03:12:13 am
Is there a patch available with just the code that stops the AI from getting stuck? I think that's the thing I want to apply most!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 12, 2018, 08:49:03 pm
New version, fixing a bug from last version
Download V0.10 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/xzro15nhob1qle4/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.10.zip?dl=0)

Is there a patch available with just the code that stops the AI from getting stuck? I think that's the thing I want to apply most!

The patcher that comes with the patch lets you select which feature you want, so just uncheck all the others ;)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on March 13, 2018, 08:18:44 pm
Thanks for all the updates, thought I'd try playing this again now. I've tried to mention it in any forum discussion since the remake was released. :)

A few questions:
-Can you explain your reasoning behind the "no default equipment" feature?
-What is the magic recharge time on Easy?
-Spirits default levels - what does fully customizeable mean here?
-How did strong/weak attacks work in the original again, was it just a random animation change?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 14, 2018, 07:13:37 am
Thanks for all the updates, thought I'd try playing this again now. I've tried to mention it in any forum discussion since the remake was released. :)

A few questions:
-Can you explain your reasoning behind the "no default equipment" feature?
Just making the very beginning of the game a little more challenging and make it so shops are not selling a useless item
-What is the magic recharge time on Easy?
There is no difficulty setting right now, the magic recharge time is 10sec. I plan to make some spells take less or no time otherwise in the case of Purim, using spells other than cure can be risky
-Spirits default levels - what does fully customizeable mean here?
-How did strong/weak attacks work in the original again, was it just a random animation change?

March 14, 2018, 07:15:56 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Thanks for all the updates, thought I'd try playing this again now. I've tried to mention it in any forum discussion since the remake was released. :)

A few questions:
-Can you explain your reasoning behind the "no default equipment" feature?
Just making the very beginning of the game a little more challenging and make it so shops are not selling a useless item
-What is the magic recharge time on Easy?
There is no difficulty setting right now, the magic recharge time is 10sec. I plan to make some spells take less or no time otherwise in the case of Purim, using spells other than cure can be risky
-Spirits default levels - what does fully customizeable mean here?
In the patching program, click on "Advanced", a bunch of variables can be customized in there, including the starting level of each spirit
-How did strong/weak attacks work in the original again, was it just a random animation change?

March 14, 2018, 07:22:12 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Thanks for all the updates, thought I'd try playing this again now. I've tried to mention it in any forum discussion since the remake was released. :)

A few questions:

-Can you explain your reasoning behind the "no default equipment" feature?
Just making the very beginning of the game a little more challenging and make it so shops are not selling a useless item

-What is the magic recharge time on Easy?
There is no difficulty setting right now, the magic recharge time is 10sec. I plan to make some spells take less or no time otherwise in the case of Purim, using spells other than cure can be risky

-Spirits default levels - what does fully customizeable mean here?
In the patching program, click on "Advanced", a bunch of variables can be customized in there, including the starting level of each spirit

-How did strong/weak attacks work in the original again, was it just a random animation change?
If by in the original you mean the "old ips version", it was kind of similar, pressing forward + attack resulted in a Strong attack that has a "thrust" animation, pressing attack alone resulted in a Weak attack (less damage, but power% drop to 30% instead of 0%). Now both attacks deal the same amount of damage/take as much time to recharge but the animations have been changed to make is so both have their situation where it is preferable

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on March 14, 2018, 08:13:27 am
Thanks, I didn't realize you had started over in a way. No I meant before patching at all in regards to strong/weak attacks.

Some impressions after playing to gaia's navel with the latest version, all features included:
1. Not sure this has anything to do with the hack and it's a minor thing but I noticed rabites sometimes getting locked into an "escape" behavior and repeatedly moving into walls, making them sitting ducks.

2. There was some discussion about changing direction while running earlier, did you decide against it after all?

3. I'm not finding the manual block very useful on its own, which is a shame because I like the idea of replacing auto-block.
Fighting the early enemies, I go up and hit them and if they manage to attack too their hit takes priority, and there's no chance to block manually. If I managed to hit first, I'm better off just moving away and coming back since most attacks are too hard to read in the short window you can block without wasting stamina (understandable since the original wasn't designed with this in mind). If you hold and waste stamina then you can't retaliate effectively so there's not much point really. 
Against the mantis ant, its projectile was kinda glitchy (snes9x issue?) meaning it would sometimes become invisible while moving towards me, so I couldn't block that attack consistently without holding the button down for longer.

There's also the issue of charged attacks not taking priority over regular enemy attacks (at least not at the beginning of the animation?). I don't remember how it worked in SoM without the hack exactly but in Evermore, you would still perform the attack after an auto-block if you kept pressing attack which helped make this less annoying. I read through most of the thread again and I agree you should be able to take damage while charging but having the attack itself misfire completely is pretty annoying, maybe it could hit at the same time as you also take a hit?

If manual blocking without auto-block is to be a good alternative I think the timing should be more lenient (like 1-2 more seconds at least) so you can have this attack->block->attack rhythm without moving away as much. And if this is too easy then maybe the block should only cover the front of the player sprite, provided that's actually doable.

4. I played through SD1 recently and I felt the player's attack power was better scaled with the stamina meter there. We discussed this early on and you talked about looking into it, so is there any update on that?
The flow of battle gets a bit better with an ally and with them acting faster now (although with more aggressive enemies the girl is getting killed very easily), but maybe for the future Easy mode or if you don't want to change how blocking works, a more proportional system (or just a faster default charge) would be nice.

5. Don't think this is related to the hack either but I've noticed the archers in the forest can't be hit in succession like previous enemies, you'll always miss if you don't wait until they're not stunned anymore, whereas with other enemies you'll generally hit after a bit of a delay. Maybe something to look into.


March 14, 2018, 08:42:18 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
(Edited for clarity; also, scroll hack actually requires no header, from what I can tell, despite the site saying the opposite.)

It's probably a header issue. Item Limit 9 patch requires no header, and the other mods (I'm not sure about zhade's gameplay improvement mod) all require a header. Use TUSH to add or remove headers. http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/608/ Try applying the others in this order:

1. Remove header (if needed)
2. Apply Item Limit 9
3. Apply Scroll Hack
4. Add header
5. Apply Proper Caser
6. Apply VWF Patch
6. Apply Gameplay Improvement

Do you need to remove the header again before applying zhade's hack? I just got a glitchy mess after picking new game in snes9x.

Edit: Removing the header after step 6 made it work, except the scroll hack doesn't have any effect. Not sure if everything else is intact but it seems so.

Edit 2: But applying the scroll hack again after all the steps seems to have worked, so I would suggest this order:

1. Remove header (if needed)
2. Apply Item Limit 9
3. Add header
4. Apply Proper Caser
5. Apply VWF Patch
6. Remove header
7. Apply Gameplay Improvement
8. Apply Scroll Hack
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: ExL on March 15, 2018, 03:35:10 am
Haven't played in SoM for a long-long time, so it's like a new game to me with all changes, still wanna wait some time until playing at fullest.
Thoughts about manual block.
In complex scenario: move slowly while blocking, guard only from frontal attacks, gain energy with each blocked hit('til which level?), overcharging causes dizzy, releasing button triggers charged attack.
In less complex scenario: if done quickly defence triggers auto-counter lvl1 attack, on regular use  as is with ability to move slowly while defending.
Don't have a clue what limitations are in this case, but as is most daunting is staying for sometime before moving - can't hide, can't counter.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 16, 2018, 02:33:45 am
Thanks, I didn't realize you had started over in a way. No I meant before patching at all in regards to strong/weak attacks.

Some impressions after playing to gaia's navel with the latest version, all features included:
1. Not sure this has anything to do with the hack and it's a minor thing but I noticed rabites sometimes getting locked into an "escape" behavior and repeatedly moving into walls, making them sitting ducks.
This is normal behaviour, in their AI there is something that makes them do this when their HP is below a certain amount

2. There was some discussion about changing direction while running earlier, did you decide against it after all?
No, I plan to include this in a latter version

3. I'm not finding the manual block very useful on its own, which is a shame because I like the idea of replacing auto-block.
Fighting the early enemies, I go up and hit them and if they manage to attack too their hit takes priority, and there's no chance to block manually. If I managed to hit first, I'm better off just moving away and coming back since most attacks are too hard to read in the short window you can block without wasting stamina (understandable since the original wasn't designed with this in mind). If you hold and waste stamina then you can't retaliate effectively so there's not much point really. 
Against the mantis ant, its projectile was kinda glitchy (snes9x issue?) meaning it would sometimes become invisible while moving towards me, so I couldn't block that attack consistently without holding the button down for longer.
Indeed, im finding the manual block to be kind of useless in lots of situation lately.. altho Giving a longer window would make it OP IMO. I still use it sometimes in very specific situations like if there is an enemy using ranged attacks in a narrow corridor or if I end up in a corner / have nowhere to move away while recharging stamina, especially since the enemies get up much faster with "faster enemies". I think it is ok like this, so you still have to use the normal strategy of moving away as you recharge stamina, but have a little extra ability if needed. I guess I could increase the window just a little bit tho.

There's also the issue of charged attacks not taking priority over regular enemy attacks (at least not at the beginning of the animation?). I don't remember how it worked in SoM without the hack exactly but in Evermore, you would still perform the attack after an auto-block if you kept pressing attack which helped make this less annoying. I read through most of the thread again and I agree you should be able to take damage while charging but having the attack itself misfire completely is pretty annoying, maybe it could hit at the same time as you also take a hit?
Yeah, in the old ips patch I added something that made you invulnerable while unleashing a charged attack, I think i'll add it again. It is just so frustrating to have wasted time charging for northing

If manual blocking without auto-block is to be a good alternative I think the timing should be more lenient (like 1-2 more seconds at least) so you can have this attack->block->attack rhythm without moving away as much. And if this is too easy then maybe the block should only cover the front of the player sprite, provided that's actually doable.

4. I played through SD1 recently and I felt the player's attack power was better scaled with the stamina meter there. We discussed this early on and you talked about looking into it, so is there any update on that?
The flow of battle gets a bit better with an ally and with them acting faster now (although with more aggressive enemies the girl is getting killed very easily), but maybe for the future Easy mode or if you don't want to change how blocking works, a more proportional system (or just a faster default charge) would be nice.

5. Don't think this is related to the hack either but I've noticed the archers in the forest can't be hit in succession like previous enemies, you'll always miss if you don't wait until they're not stunned anymore, whereas with other enemies you'll generally hit after a bit of a delay. Maybe something to look into.

March 16, 2018, 02:43:55 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Thanks, I didn't realize you had started over in a way. No I meant before patching at all in regards to strong/weak attacks.

Some impressions after playing to gaia's navel with the latest version, all features included:
1. Not sure this has anything to do with the hack and it's a minor thing but I noticed rabites sometimes getting locked into an "escape" behavior and repeatedly moving into walls, making them sitting ducks.
This is normal behaviour, in their AI there is something that makes them do this when their HP is below a certain amount

2. There was some discussion about changing direction while running earlier, did you decide against it after all?
No, I plan to include this in a latter version

3. I'm not finding the manual block very useful on its own, which is a shame because I like the idea of replacing auto-block.
Fighting the early enemies, I go up and hit them and if they manage to attack too their hit takes priority, and there's no chance to block manually. If I managed to hit first, I'm better off just moving away and coming back since most attacks are too hard to read in the short window you can block without wasting stamina (understandable since the original wasn't designed with this in mind). If you hold and waste stamina then you can't retaliate effectively so there's not much point really. 
Against the mantis ant, its projectile was kinda glitchy (snes9x issue?) meaning it would sometimes become invisible while moving towards me, so I couldn't block that attack consistently without holding the button down for longer.
Indeed, im finding the manual block to be kind of useless in lots of situation lately.. altho Giving a longer window would make it OP IMO. I still use it sometimes in very specific situations like if there is an enemy using ranged attacks in a narrow corridor or if I end up in a corner / have nowhere to move away while recharging stamina, especially since the enemies get up much faster with "faster enemies". I think it is ok like this, so you still have to use the normal strategy of moving away as you recharge stamina, but have a little extra ability if needed. I guess I could increase the window just a little bit tho.

There's also the issue of charged attacks not taking priority over regular enemy attacks (at least not at the beginning of the animation?). I don't remember how it worked in SoM without the hack exactly but in Evermore, you would still perform the attack after an auto-block if you kept pressing attack which helped make this less annoying. I read through most of the thread again and I agree you should be able to take damage while charging but having the attack itself misfire completely is pretty annoying, maybe it could hit at the same time as you also take a hit?
Yeah, in the old ips patch I added something that made you invulnerable while unleashing a charged attack, I think i'll add it again. It is just so frustrating to have wasted time charging for northing

If manual blocking without auto-block is to be a good alternative I think the timing should be more lenient (like 1-2 more seconds at least) so you can have this attack->block->attack rhythm without moving away as much. And if this is too easy then maybe the block should only cover the front of the player sprite, provided that's actually doable.

4. I played through SD1 recently and I felt the player's attack power was better scaled with the stamina meter there. We discussed this early on and you talked about looking into it, so is there any update on that?
The flow of battle gets a bit better with an ally and with them acting faster now (although with more aggressive enemies the girl is getting killed very easily), but maybe for the future Easy mode or if you don't want to change how blocking works, a more proportional system (or just a faster default charge) would be nice.
Yeah, hitting before 100% is pretty useless as it is.. I dont remember the equation, but at 50% there resulting damage is more like 15% or something.. since the enemies get up faster and all, I guess I could make it more proportional maybe something like 30%. It still cant really be actual % or else it would be too easy to just attack repeatedly and stun-lock enemies to death

5. Don't think this is related to the hack either but I've noticed the archers in the forest can't be hit in succession like previous enemies, you'll always miss if you don't wait until they're not stunned anymore, whereas with other enemies you'll generally hit after a bit of a delay. Maybe something to look into.
Didnt notice this, ill check this out


Sorry for the last 2 posts, some keyboard shortcut I made keeps triggering "back" on my browser for some reason lol
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on March 16, 2018, 10:26:18 am
Thanks, not a problem! I restarted and have made it to the underground palace, playing with auto-block on as well as manual block and I'm having fun - it's a much smoother experience with your hack and the scroll hack.
In a way I think I was a bit unlucky the last time; the girl did better now and with a full party, how the stamina bar works is a smaller problem. But at the same time, the game is very heavily focused on this kind of low tempo combat and that might get tedious. Hopefully it balances out well with spells and weapon levels.

Gonna test out spellcasting with hotkeys and get a few more dungeons into it, see if I have anything new to say about it.

Edit:
Beat the gigas. Would it be possible to put Neko at the gaia's navel entrance after entering the underground palace? It's a bit of a trek back to his shop if you need to resupply here.

Hotkey casting has worked pretty well, although I'm finding it annoying that it gets interrupted when the boy is hit by something. Menu casting is safer in narrow areas or against bosses. Also, how long should it take to get cure water to level 2, and does it need to actually heal HP to gain exp? I used it like 30 times to check but it didn't level up.

There might be a bug where when you reload, hotkeys are removed. But it could be because I've also used savestates.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on March 22, 2018, 07:49:48 am
Beat the gigas. Would it be possible to put Neko at the gaia's navel entrance after entering the underground palace? It's a bit of a trek back to his shop if you need to resupply here.
Isn't he there at this point ? like in the cave entrace to the right that leads to the shortcut to watts ?

Hotkey casting has worked pretty well, although I'm finding it annoying that it gets interrupted when the boy is hit by something. Menu casting is safer in narrow areas or against bosses. Also, how long should it take to get cure water to level 2, and does it need to actually heal HP to gain exp? I used it like 30 times to check but it didn't level up.
You can view your current exp/progression towards the next level in the "level" menu by pressing R. Note that there is a maximum level that goes up when you touch a new mana seed so when fighting gigas for example, the maximum level of undine is 1. It doesnt matter if the spell has any real effect, like you can cast remedy without having any status effect or cure while already at full HP. You gain more spell exp in "combat maps" tho, which I learned just a little while ago, so instead of casting cure in repetition in a INN, try going just outside the village or any map in which weapons are out and you will get twice as much exp.

There might be a bug where when you reload, hotkeys are removed. But it could be because I've also used savestates.
Hotkeys are not yet saved when using the normal game save, it will in the future tho, i've disassembled the saving code and found that there is actually lots of space for more data to be saved so it should not be a problem. Im just waiting to make sure I dont have some other data that I would like saved or else you possibly wouldnt be able to load your game from a previous version
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PresidentLeever on March 22, 2018, 10:08:41 am
1. He wasn't for me and I moved past there twice. Could be the order of applying the hacks maybe? Guess I could upload the rom and savestate if you want.

2. Thanks, didn't know that about the combat maps. I guess what happened was that I got a "Undine reached level 1" message around this point and thought it meant I could level up the spells or misread it as level 2 as I was doing something else when it happened. What do you think about invincibility time for the boy while picking a spell though?

3. I see, thanks!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SCO on April 15, 2018, 06:47:40 pm
Isn't it time this hack had a page?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 15, 2018, 07:07:44 pm
Isn't it time this hack had a page?
Agreed. This utility is stable and high quality enough to justify a entry in the utility section of RHDN.
@Zhade Give it some thought.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 18, 2018, 12:41:34 am
First heres V0.14 : Download V0.14 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/hzewqxxlajcle3s/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.14.zip?dl=0)

Im actually almost finished with this mod, only need to fix some bugs and do some polishing.. then i'll have something that I find satisfying enough to call it a V1.0
I still have some ideas of stuff that could be improved so I will most likely add more stuff later...

I have a tendency to forget to keep info up to date (like you can see with the first post of this thread that I used to update some years ago..) so I guess Ill make a page on RHDN once I have done all I want to do for V1.0. That way ill write some readme file and a nice description at the same time and then if I update it later on there should not too much that changed so the description of each option visible when using the patcher would do.
I want to wait till its ready also because it will be a kind of big moment for me since I worked on this for so long to finally post the finished thing on a page on RHDN lol  :laugh:

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: DragonArk on April 23, 2018, 08:25:17 pm
Congratulations Zhade, I've been following your progress from the start. I'm really happy that you have pulled through and created basically the greatest mod for my most favorite childhood game. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Special on April 23, 2018, 10:05:19 pm
Pre-grats on the soon to be released v1.0, I've been following your progress for a long while now, secretly in the shadows, the itch now is almost unbearable. I can't wait!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: OmegaBlazerX on April 25, 2018, 06:16:21 pm
zhade you are a genius i love this game for so long and with the upgrades i love more but there is something wrong every time i use the patch i play normal but every time i try to save the game it goes black screen i do not know want causes but i think its something on your patch. Keep the good work and please see if you can fix my problem thanks sorry for my bad English.   :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on April 26, 2018, 03:03:34 pm
zhade you are a genius i love this game for so long and with the upgrades i love more but there is something wrong every time i use the patch i play normal but every time i try to save the game it goes black screen i do not know want causes but i think its something on your patch. Keep the good work and please see if you can fix my problem thanks sorry for my bad English.   :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Oh it seems I have let an error slip into my SRAM saving routine when Equip_2nd_Weapon is OFF, ill have it fixed in the next version, thx for the info  :thumbsup:
Just set Equip_2nd_Weapon to ON if you want to save using on SRAM.

State-saves have a very high chance of not working on a ROM with a different version / different option choices and crash the game badly (if not the emulator too..)
To work around this, I have made a "safe pause" state that you activate by holding B and pressing Start
During the time the screen is flashing, save-states saved will work on any other version/option choices.

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KingSolir on May 09, 2018, 05:06:56 am
just wondering if you ever thought about doing something like this for seiken densetsu 3?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on May 12, 2018, 02:09:28 am
just wondering if you ever thought about doing something like this for seiken densetsu 3?

No, I am only focusing on som. There is a "Hard Type" mod by 3Praetarius for sd3 on insane difficulty that fixes many bugs, balances the classes , makes the 3rd class less of a chore to obtain and more.. (note that there is also an easy version)
SD3 Hard Type on insane difficulty (http://ngplus.net/InsaneDifficultyArchive/www.insanedifficulty.com/board/index301a.html?/topic/7651-sd3-hard-type-patch/)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: KingSolir on May 13, 2018, 10:45:12 am
ill look into that, im mostly interested in the part where you can bind spells to buttons so you don't need to interrupt combat. your mod has that and it sounds great. do any of the mods you mentioned do that for sd3? or do you know of any that do? my friends and i are about to play secret of mana with your mod and after that were gonna move on to sd3 it would be very helpful.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on May 23, 2018, 04:34:46 pm
ill look into that, im mostly interested in the part where you can bind spells to buttons so you don't need to interrupt combat. your mod has that and it sounds great. do any of the mods you mentioned do that for sd3? or do you know of any that do? my friends and i are about to play secret of mana with your mod and after that were gonna move on to sd3 it would be very helpful.

I don't think there is any spell binding mod for SD3. Even tho its fun to not have to interupt (especially when playing with a second player), during a fight you have to be very fast at picking your spell/target(s) since 1st: you are a sitting duck, an enemy might hit you. 2nd: no interuption means that timers are still running.. IE say a boss could have a timer set to 20 seconds that goes down and once it reaches 0, the boss casts an attack spell and restarts the timer.. the time you spend selecting spells/target(s) should be the least possible. I personally probably think too much about this and overdo it.. So I end up casting cure on the character with full HP instead of the one with critial health. So in harder fights I think its wiser to use the menu anyway and IIRC in SD3 you dont cast as much as in SoM so I dont think its really needed.

btw, on my som mod, if you use magic_recharging, it will take 25% less time to recharge if the spell was cast from a hotkey, giving you something for taking the risky choice

V0.16 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/988wq3uzdke63np/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.16.zip?dl=0) <--- this has the saving issue fixed
It has some known bugs in it that I already fixed for futur V0.17 which ill post very soon.. along with the list of changes for V0.16 and V0.17
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on May 26, 2018, 11:01:33 pm
Looking forward to the new version. Been having a ton of fun with 0.10. Been busy with work and have missed out on the newer versions. Again Zhade, Thank You for all your work and dedication to this excellent effort. Great fun!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: selodaoc on June 17, 2018, 09:54:07 pm
Hey

I tried to download the patch but it seems to be down.

Anyone that can reupload it? :)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: assassin on June 18, 2018, 07:43:32 am
protip: try downloading from the most recent post by the author (v0.16), or the newest relevant one before that (v0.14), as opposed to the very first post in the thread.

anyone want to explain to this character what a header is?  i had a premonition that'll be the next question.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: saldite on July 05, 2018, 02:13:40 pm
I did a quick search through the thread and didn't see anything, so I apologize if this has been mentioned (or is already known since I know a 0.17 was mentioned with bugfixes), but in 0.16, I seem to be getting an issue where opening a chest after the inventory/item amount is full seems to freeze my controls. My guess is it's related to the "Don't Despawn Chests When Full" hack.

Currently selected patches are below. Playing on real hardware with an SD2SNES.

Spoiler:
(https://i.imgur.com/TKqmBgH.png)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on July 05, 2018, 06:15:14 pm
My guess is it's related to the "Don't Despawn Chests When Full" hack.
Correct. And that will be one of the fixes in .17. Don't use that option until the new version is out.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: saldite on July 05, 2018, 06:30:36 pm
Correct. And that will be one of the fixes in .17. Don't use that option until the new version is out.
Sorry again if that's already been reported. I actually just finished with some of my own testing with various options and came to the conclusion for certain, and was going to edit my original post. Thanks!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on July 20, 2018, 06:01:51 am
I have not been very active here recently but here's  v0.18  (https://www.dropbox.com/s/p0pakt420fms1r0/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.18.zip?dl=0)
I'll

Changes from v0.17:

[ Updated Features ]:

- "Saving to SRAM"
    Fixed a bug causing popoie top left hotkey to not be saved

- No_Damage_While_Recovering
    Fixed a bug causing AI to not attack uncouscious characters
    Enemies will target characters even if they are recovering

- Dont_Despawn_Chests_When_Full
    Fixed a bug that made this feature completely broken

- Reduce_Moon_Saber_Healing
    The character doesnt play the yayy animation after each hit
    Healed HP is 1/2 the damage dealt (from 1/4 in 0.16)

- Better_CPU_Allies
    (test) Increased the AI view distances
    (test) Modified some of the allies AI behaviours

- Dont_Despawn_Chests_When_Full
    Fixed a bug that made higher level enemies always give bandanas..

Changes from v0.18:

[ Updated Features ]:

- Better_CPU_Allies
    (test) Completely re-wrote allies AIa


The new allies AI doesn't take the ACT settings into account. Its still a WIP but I personally really enjoy the way they engage more into fights. They approach enemies/attack if their power% is at 100, otherwise they flee. They will also flee (even with 100%) if their target is currently attacking (it seems to only work with some enemies/attacks, and it can falsely take some other animations for attacks ie. sneezing goblins). They wont come back to your character if you are getting too distanced if there is still an enemy close to them... running makes them stop what they are doing and follow the leader.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: PerryR on July 30, 2018, 01:59:28 am
Hi,

is the bug solved when playing with 3 human players that you can self-target your friends with damage spells? And that Quick cast magic only works for player 1.  If player 3 binds heal spell, player 1 can quick cast that spell for him?

Thanks for your continuous work.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 02, 2018, 09:49:47 am

is the bug solved when playing with 3 human players that you can self-target your friends with damage spells?

I don't remember a bug beign caused by playing with 3 human players but I rewrote the quick casting thing from scratch and in the old ".ips" version you could cast any spell on any target(s)... The new system have you chose the spell before the target so it only allows picking between the right target(s) for the spell like when casting from the ring menu.

And that Quick cast magic only works for player 1.  If player 3 binds heal spell, player 1 can quick cast that spell for him?

In the new system, all players use the same "hotkeys", there is a quickspell ring for purim and one for popoie so 8 spell can be bound for each magic user: video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6Q6_XqXOyI)
In the old version a player couldnt force a character controlled by another player to cast a spell.. I think there is no such restriction in the new version.. I thought I would let the players decide and just not do it if they think its annoying..

The new version uses a ".zps" patch that comes with a patcher that lets you select which features you want.. If you were indeed talking about this and not the old ".ips" patch, these are bugs I wasn't aware of.. I didn't test everything with 3 players so it wouldn't surprise me if I missed somehing

Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: talos91 on August 06, 2018, 08:42:03 pm
How do you select difficulty? I start a new game but it doesn't give me the option, I am on latest patch.

August 08, 2018, 07:16:35 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Nevermind, the patch is awesome especially for multiplayer, any plans on reworking the spells leveling up? It is still to grindy and too little mp.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: WeebeeGeebee on August 11, 2018, 10:18:20 pm
Is there an option to have a different setting for number of items you can have? In the HD remake they have 4, 8, and 12. Odd, number choices. There was also a patch for the rom (by Masterflow) that made it so you can have 9 of each item like in Seiken Densetsu 3's inventory. Having more of an item obviously makes the game easier (depending on the cost of the item in question). Perhaps a way to balance would be by making certain items cost more than usual. Candies should stay cheap, but really important items like Cup of Wishes and Faiery Walnuts should stay pricey so that you have to kill more enemies to be able to afford them.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on August 12, 2018, 11:25:23 am
Nevermind, the patch is awesome especially for multiplayer, any plans on reworking the spells leveling up? It is still to grindy and too little mp.

Yeah, with the magic cooldown stoping you from casting spells one after the other it's even more grindy to level up spells..

Altho I liked that it made it harder to grind levels at first.. Sometimes you just want to reach the next level.. like if you got killed by a boss who is weak against a certain element, you might want to just reach the next level of that element before giving it another try..
The thing is.. even for just 1 level it can take forever..

I think one way would be to decrease the amount of exp needed to level up but also decrease all spells powers to compensate.
Attack spells, even with the cooldown, are way OP anyway and reaching level 8:99 is normally only possible if you grind like crazy.


Until then, heres some stuff that can help make it less tedious:

- Enable [Spirits_Default_Levels] so spirits obtained later don't start at level 0
- Casting a spell in a combat map(any map where weapons are out) grants twice the spell experience (From vanilla).
- There is 3 spell cooldown lengths: the Longer ones (attack spells / Cure Water) take 3x more time to recover from compared to Short Ones (Sabers, Buffs/Debuffs)
- Casting a spell using a quickspell hotkey reduces the cooldown time a little compared to casting from the ring menu (Risky, but useful during boss fights)

Casting a low cooldown time spell with a quickspell hotkey makes the cooldown last something like 1 second, finished before the caster can move..


Is there an option to have a different setting for number of items you can have? In the HD remake they have 4, 8, and 12. Odd, number choices. There was also a patch for the rom (by Masterflow) that made it so you can have 9 of each item like in Seiken Densetsu 3's inventory. Having more of an item obviously makes the game easier (depending on the cost of the item in question). Perhaps a way to balance would be by making certain items cost more than usual. Candies should stay cheap, but really important items like Cup of Wishes and Faiery Walnuts should stay pricey so that you have to kill more enemies to be able to afford them.

The 9 items patch is compatible with this mod if you want. I think 4 of each items is OK personally.
Raising the prices would only make a difference in the beginning of the game when you have less money. I remember how in Masterflow's hard SoM cup of whishes costed so much I had to grind a bit just so I have 2 to fight against spikey tiger. It was fun, but Later-on its only spare change tho..

Hum.. I have an idea, It could be interesting if items cost goes up depending on how much you carry.
Say you buy a cup for 150, then the next costs 300, then 600, then 1200 for the 4th etc. doubling each time !
That should keep you from having 9 of each items until very late in the game.

I have no idea how it could be explained that the shop keepers set their prices that way story-wise tho lol:

- "I'd like a candy"
- "20 dollars !"
- "No, wait, make it two !"
- "60 dollars then ! Oh.. but.. I see you already have 1 in your pocket.. it'll be 140 in that case.."
- "What the..?? ... hey, don't look in my pockets ! How about I sell you my candy then ?"
- "Ohhh... ohh.. I already have a hundred.. I wouldn't be able to afford another one even if I sold my house.. (unless maybe if I sold it to watt's.. he already owns at least 4 houses himself.. so..)
- "Hum.. Sure.. I see.. well good luck with your business.. i'll go try dealing with that cat-person again instead.. should be less weird.. even with the cat puns.."




Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: dudejo on August 12, 2018, 11:52:43 am
I have no idea how it could be explained that the shop keepers set their prices that way story-wise tho lol:

- "I'd like a candy"
- "20 dollars !"
- "No, wait, make it two !"
- "60 dollars then ! Oh.. but.. I see you already have 1 in your pocket.. it'll be 140 in that case.."
- "What the..?? ... hey, don't look in my pockets ! How about I sell you my candy then ?"
- "Ohhh... ohh.. I already have a hundred.. I wouldn't be able to afford another one even if I sold my house.. (unless maybe if I sold it to watt's.. he already owns at least 4 houses himself.. so..)
- "Hum.. Sure.. I see.. well good luck with your business.. i'll go try dealing with that cat-person again instead.. should be less weird.. even with the cat puns.."

You are the only buyer in the entire world of those items and the manufacturers induce artificial rarity to ramp up the price :P

August 13, 2018, 08:28:54 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

(nm I figured out the secondary weapon thing...about that)

Is there a way of creating an audio or visual pointer to confirm that the secondary weapon is successfully equipped? I thought it was broken until I discovered by accident that it actually worked
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: WeebeeGeebee on August 13, 2018, 09:52:54 pm
"Hum... I have an idea, It could be interesting if items cost goes up depending on how much you carry."

That would definitely work, but how to implement it would be the trick.I don't know how it would get the inventory data to be able to pull it off.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: talos91 on August 14, 2018, 06:00:29 am
So dudejo how the secondary weapon works?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: dudejo on August 14, 2018, 07:31:01 am
So dudejo how the secondary weapon works?

It works as the description says in the patching program included with the mod.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lightninghunter on August 17, 2018, 02:00:35 pm
Just want to say I am really looking forward to the 1.0 release of this!  Secret of Mana, although still one of my favorite games, has been boring for a long time now due to how easy it has become.  I also never liked how unfair the spell casting system was.  My only question is, will this work on real hardware?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on August 18, 2018, 02:32:13 am
Just want to say I am really looking forward to the 1.0 release of this!  Secret of Mana, although still one of my favorite games, has been boring for a long time now due to how easy it has become.  I also never liked how unfair the spell casting system was.  My only question is, will this work on real hardware?
Works like a charm even with all the other patches added as well.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Stremon on November 25, 2018, 12:02:13 am
Hey guys!
It appears that the link to download this patch is broken...
Does anyone still have it somewhere and can upload it for us?
Thanks  ;)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on November 25, 2018, 02:53:18 am
Hey guys!
It appears that the link to download this patch is broken...
Does anyone still have it somewhere and can upload it for us?
Thanks  ;)
Are you sure? I just tried and it works;
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p0pakt420fms1r0/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.18.zip?dl=0
You have to click the Download button in the upper right corner of the page, then select "Direct Download".
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Stremon on November 25, 2018, 04:46:35 am
Are you sure? I just tried and it works;
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p0pakt420fms1r0/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.18.zip?dl=0
You have to click the Download button in the upper right corner of the page, then select "Direct Download".
Ohh I see, I thought the link in the first post was updated to the last version already :D
My bad, thanks for the link I will use it  ;D
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on November 25, 2018, 05:14:45 am
Ohh I see, I thought the link in the first post was updated to the last version already :D
My bad, thanks for the link I will use it  ;D
I see what you mean. Yeah, Zhade has updated the utility recently and I thought that was link you were referring to. Enjoy!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: pleasejust on December 15, 2018, 05:26:57 am
So I downloaded the thing, inside the folder is a zps file. What is zps? I would be better to use a standard format so anyone can just use some third party patching utility for their system. I'm on a mac, the included patcher is useless to me.

Also, I was wondering if this project is working on a re-translation or is that a separate project? Will the two be compatible? Thanks.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on December 19, 2018, 12:58:07 am
So I downloaded the thing, inside the folder is a zps file. What is zps? I would be better to use a standard format so anyone can just use some third party patching utility for their system. I'm on a mac, the included patcher is useless to me.

Also, I was wondering if this project is working on a re-translation or is that a separate project? Will the two be compatible? Thanks.
Hate to say this, but you do need Windows to use the supplied utility.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: NiggelMyNiggel on December 29, 2018, 12:33:19 am
Hi everybody. I just started playing through SOM with this patch and thought maybe I should stop. I played this game as a kid but never beat it and this is my first time playing it since then. So this is virtually my first playthrough. Should I play thorough the game without the patch first? Or is it okay to play this game through the first time with this patch?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SageOwl on December 30, 2018, 10:46:36 am
Hi everybody. I just started playing through SOM with this patch and thought maybe I should stop. I played this game as a kid but never beat it and this is my first time playing it since then. So this is virtually my first playthrough. Should I play thorough the game without the patch first? Or is it okay to play this game through the first time with this patch?
Well playing through vanilla will and then this will give you an appreciation for everything this hack improves. I'd say go vanilla then this.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Queue on January 21, 2019, 03:26:54 pm
I've been impressed with both your changes made to the game itself and with your patcher. As an experiment of sorts, I've migrated my modifications to the game (along with some by other authors) into the ZPS file, and had good results getting everything working. Buuut, I have lots of questions about the ZPS file's format, so I guess I'll go from top to bottom:
1) How are options in the [Options] section at the top of the file defined?
2) In the block of text that defines the checkboxes, the first number indicates whether the checkbox is visible, the second whether it defaults to on or off (though this seems to not work if the checkbox is visible, only if invisible). What is the third number?
3) What assembler syntax is this? I've figured it out well enough to use, but if documentation exists somewhere, it'd be nice to be able to reference. Searching the internet has only yielded 65c816 ASM with fairly different syntax than occurs in your ZPS file.
4) Do DEF's in the assembly code work? They don't seem to...
5) Is ? the only comment character?
6) Does your original ASM have comments that were stripped during ZPS concatenation and that's why there are huge blank areas?
7) Like RAW and ADR, is there an assembler directive (or pseudo-opcode, or whatever) for ASCII text (or other data not in hex form)?
8) In MULTI_gameplayControls(), what were you trying to do with WDM? Those instructions crash the Canoe emulator, so I had to burn some time figuring out why an SNES Classic was imploding after trying to start a New Game. After figuring that out though, your mod works beautifully on it.
9) Does anything rely on FPS_DEBUG? I'd like to disable it without side-effects, and I'll eventually double check any variables it sets, but figured I'd ask to save myself the trouble.
10) What's the purpose of the SRAM Checksum Bypass? With it enabled, any empty saves show garbage (and hang if you try and load one). Disabling it has seemed harmless, but also figured I'd just ask.

Some bug reports for the patcher:
1) IPS patching (via your patcher) seems timing sensitive: sometimes IPS files applied after the ASM patch fail to apply, sometimes if applying IPS files before the ASM patch causes the ASM patch an access denied issue, etc.
2) Setting a checkbox to initially unchecked (1 0 X) doesn't seem to work.
3) Changing the FREE_BLOCK value value doesn't seem to work well.

And bug reports for the mod (some of which I've fixed for myself but I don't really have stuff in a state to share yet, unless you want a real mess of a ZPS file):
1) [Strong_And_Weak_Attacks] don't honor status effects that disable the character. For example, if you're engulfed, you can still press a direction and attack, but it scrambles graphics. Axe Thrusts also lack a sound (I suggest 4C).
2) [Better_CPU_Allies] don't seem to use the weapon charge level defined in ACT settings. They also don't seem to honor status effects that disable (though I haven't double-checked that, it may just be related to attack code).
3) [Run_Freely] doesn't honor status effects that disable the character, or even the basic stunned by damage state. If you get hit while sprinting, you'll keep sliding along the ground while playing the animation for taking damage.
4) [Equip_2nd_Weapon] always uses the Boy's weapon levels. In equipWeaponFully(), add:
STA _temp1
TXA
ORA _temp1
between
AND #00FF

TAY
(which are lines 14 and 15 of the function, so near the beginning)
It also lacks a sound effect when setting in the menu (not really a bug, but trivial to change and a good usability improvement).
5) charControl_confirmSpell() seems to be missing a SEP #20 before STA+X char.DPAD_needRelease. It doesn't seem to break anything, but I think it's technically wrong, unless I'm just confused or it was intentional.

To what degree are you okay with a mod release (by me, in this case) that includes most of your work? It would include your patcher as well as your modifications to the game (with minor alterations, primarily involving a difference in hotkeys). If that's not okay, no big deal, I'll just keep it to myself; if it is, I want to start getting attributions in order so the proper people are credited for what they did. What I'm envisioning is each option in the patcher listing its author, with patches divided up into categories (Combat, Balance, Quality of Life, Bug Fixes, Text Changes, etc.). I already did an initial pass on categories using dummy checkboxes for section headers and blank lines; would be even better if the patcher lets checkboxes be inactive (or where the text shows but the checkbox itself isn't visible).

Queue
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: SCO on January 22, 2019, 02:44:08 pm
My librarian soul extremely dislikes romhack patches that do the 'select mix and match' approach (the patches don't have a single stable checksum).

If this is ever released on the main site could you also do a 'dumb' version that just applies the better options all at once? I'm also applying the retranslation and update to the game and compatibility would be nice.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: acediez on January 23, 2019, 02:13:14 pm
Personally I love having a tool to pick the specific modifications I want, specially considering there will never be a consensus on which set of modifications is "best". Though I agree with SCO, that an official release should be accompanied by a preselected set on a single patch for easier distribution. Is what I did in my project anyway, publishing the "preselected" patch and the patcher tool as separate things

@Queue, please consider making a well documented list with all your fixes (address, bytes modified, for what purpose) so the author of the patcher can add them easily if he wants, and so other people can implement them manually in the meantime
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Queue on January 23, 2019, 03:34:12 pm
What impressed me with zhade's patch format is it's effectively self-documenting as long as you define constants with descriptive names. For example:
/$C7C0E0 INS_titleScreenLogo_map_compressed
and then elsewhere when you need to make changes at that address, it's clear what you're changing (though in this case, the data at that address is compressed so it's not especially reasonable to "explain" what each byte being changed there does).

If you do something a little obscure, you can just put a comment:
? letterbox thickness
LDA #08
STA $7ED394

It's much more pleasant to work with than just a hex editor especially when trying to make small adjustments and test. I have a batch file set to apply the patch, move the patched file, and launch an emulator to aid in rapid testing (of the title screen, incidentally).

The following would've been more involved to set up via hex editor and IPS patch because I needed to write some code to apply fixups in memory after the compressed code related to the title screen was decompressed:
(http://i.imgur.com/1vk9dYE.png)
And it took lots of little adjustments to get everything right, which would've been extra tedious without a patcher that handles assembly and automatic data placement.

Editing the compressed data to shift the logo up (there's a large blurry region in the background image that the Japanese logo covered, and the normal position of the English logo was too low to hide it) was all hex editor though. Or it was, but I changed how I was shifting it to be done as a memory copy after decompression.

Edit 1:
Re-purposed the title logo palette animation (which went unused in the US version, and was arguably ugly anyway) to make the sky shimmer:
(http://i.imgur.com/qLd0VHA.gif)

Edit 2:
Added an (optional) deblocking filter to title screen image decompression:
(http://i.imgur.com/fpQqeIR.png)
That should do it for the title screen, time to do other stuff.

Queue
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: OMorty on February 03, 2019, 05:58:20 pm
If this is ever released on the main site could you also do a 'dumb' version that just applies the better options all at once? I'm also applying the retranslation and update to the game and compatibility would be nice.

I echo SCO's sentiments on patch compatibility. I'm admittedly a bit confused on which of the countless other Secret of Mana patches are compatible with this one (aside from the ones discussed earlier in the thread by G061 and vivify93). I'm particularly interested in having this Improvement Hack work in tandem with the aforementioned patches, plus the Relocalization hack, the Drop Table Balance hack, the Earlier Midge Mallet hack, the Level 9 Weapons Progression Balance hack, and the Restore Unused Fanfares hack. Because I am unsure of how drastically the Gameplay Improvement hack moves things around in the ROM, sitting down and fiddling with all the patches to see what patches cooperate with each other would be a nightmare, especially since there are many possible combinations of patches.

For convenience's sake, this is one order of patches that, according to vivify93, works fine:

1. Remove header (if needed)
2. Apply Item Limit 9
3. Apply Scroll Hack
4. Add header
5. Apply Proper Caser
6. Apply VWF Patch
7. Apply Gameplay Improvement

Though, I do have one question about that combination of patches done in that particular order: should the header be removed prior to applying the Gameplay Improvement patch, or not?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Queue on February 03, 2019, 10:23:40 pm
zhaDe's Gameplay Improvement always expects a headerless ROM. Also, the Scroll Hack has to be applied after Gameplay Improvement if you have [Walk_To_Edges_Of_Screen] enabled. Almost all patches work together if you apply FuSoYa's VWF Edition first thing, any others after, then zhaDe's Gameplay Improvement last, with the exception of Scroll Hack, as a general rule.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: zhade on February 08, 2019, 04:40:02 am
my keboard is having trouble, ill have to make it short

1) How are options in the [Options] section at the top of the file defined?
I use an assembler I made with multiple asm and def files and others that outputs all that crammed into the zps file. "options" is what I call the different features that can be picked. Looking at the zps of the v0.18 right now I see that theres [options] followed by [end options].. at the top of the file.. the options are defined in project.aps maybe it used to be different i dunno
2) In the block of text that defines the checkboxes, the first number indicates whether the checkbox is visible, the second whether it defaults to on or off (though this seems to not work if the checkbox is visible, only if invisible). What is the third number?
its the how close to being complete/well tested the option is. the patcher doesnt use it tho
3) What assembler syntax is this? I've figured it out well enough to use, but if documentation exists somewhere, it'd be nice to be able to reference. Searching the internet has only yielded 65c816 ASM with fairly different syntax than occurs in your ZPS file.
My assembler has its own syntax, I can help with it if you have questions
4) Do DEF's in the assembly code work? They don't seem to...
they define a replacement , maybe the code in the zps already has the code replaced ?
 like the original code could be :" ;x2(LSR) , which is then interpreted as 2 LSR. because ;x2 has been defined to be replaced by :
%1
%1

(%1 is replaced by 1st argument, in that case LSR)


5) Is ? the only comment character?
6) Does your original ASM have comments that were stripped during ZPS concatenation and that's why there are huge blank areas?
yes, and "?" is used for description of a function, like if you put the mouse over a function youll have a box poping with the description
7) Like RAW and ADR, is there an assembler directive (or pseudo-opcode, or whatever) for ASCII text (or other data not in hex form)?
not really.OP will take an operation and write its coresponding opcode value.
8) In MULTI_gameplayControls(), what were you trying to do with WDM? Those instructions crash the Canoe emulator, so I had to burn some time figuring out why an SNES Classic was imploding after trying to start a New Game. After figuring that out though, your mod works beautifully on it.
I wanted to use WDM which usually do nothing as "start" and "end" and count the cycles in-between with some modification to geiger's snes9x debugger. I must have forgot to remove it
9) Does anything rely on FPS_DEBUG? I'd like to disable it without side-effects, and I'll eventually double check any variables it sets, but figured I'd ask to save myself the trouble.
It should really be off by default actually, and Setting it off should make it do nothing so there should be no side effects
10) What's the purpose of the SRAM Checksum Bypass? With it enabled, any empty saves show garbage (and hang if you try and load one). Disabling it has seemed harmless, but also figured I'd just ask.
At some point I wanted to be able to edit sram in an hex editor but each time I had to update the checksum or the game would be treated as corrupt, so I added a thing that bypass the check when the checksum is set to "ffff". It didnt seem to cause trouble 

anyway, if you want to edit my code or use the zps format to make your own stuff, it would be much easier with the assembler and the original code with comments and all. we should chat on discord so I can send it to you and explain how it works a bit.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Duran on March 30, 2019, 11:00:37 am
Is this hack complete, or is it still going to be updated?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 30, 2019, 09:46:10 pm
Is this hack complete, or is it still going to be updated?
While I'm sure Zhade is not finished with this project, the latest version of the utility is bug/glitch free and is considered stable.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Duran on March 31, 2019, 09:25:00 am
While I'm sure Zhade is not finished with this project, the latest version of the utility is bug/glitch free and is considered stable.

Are the thing that were planned to add for this hack, in the latest version?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 31, 2019, 09:48:46 am
Are the thing that were planned to add for this hack, in the latest version?
That is something Zhade will have to confirm. As far as I know, the current version of this utility, V18(see link below), has all of the features intended to be working and are actually functional.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p0pakt420fms1r0/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.18.zip?dl=0

@Zhade
It might be a good idea to edit the original post and update the link to the latest version as people might be incorrectly thinking that it's the latest.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: pleasejust on April 09, 2019, 03:34:13 am
How about a list of confirmed changes in a readme file or something?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 09, 2019, 04:39:37 am
How about a list of confirmed changes in a readme file or something? Sloppy...
That is an opinion, not shared by everyone. Please just lose the passive-aggressive insults. They are not welcome here.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: pleasejust on April 09, 2019, 09:22:17 pm
Sorry, my bad. When you apply the patch, you see all the changes it's applying anyways.


April 11, 2019, 09:24:21 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
zhaDe's Gameplay Improvement always expects a headerless ROM. Also, the Scroll Hack has to be applied after Gameplay Improvement if you have [Walk_To_Edges_Of_Screen] enabled. Almost all patches work together if you apply FuSoYa's VWF Edition first thing, any others after, then zhaDe's Gameplay Improvement last, with the exception of Scroll Hack, as a general rule.

The (possible) problem here is that the Scroll Hack expects a header. So apply FUSoYa's vwf, remove header, apply GI0.18... add header back in and apply scroll hack? Will that work? I wish all these things could be implemented into this hack. Maybe talk to the authors and combine everything into one and rule the universe as fathers and sons?

Never mind. Found it.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: rmcin329 on April 15, 2019, 09:15:43 am
Hello, i just found this great sounding hack for Secret of Mana. I've successfully applied the patch already and had a quick question. I thought there was supposed to be an option to select a difficulty upon starting a new file? I just got the standard enter name, then it went straight into the game, never saw any choice for selecting a difficulty, so i'm kinda confused.  On a side note i've only read the first 2 or 3 posts of the topic here, as I don't really feel like reading 28 pages worth of posts.

EDIT
Forgot to mention I used a headerless US rom, and i'm using snes9x version 1.53
EDIT 2
Ran another test this time using bsnes 107.1, still did not see a difficulty select option upon starting a new game.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on April 22, 2019, 03:41:45 am
I don't really feel like reading 28 pages worth of posts.
At least read through the last few pages as they contain links to the latest version of the hack.
Ran another test this time using bsnes 107.1, still did not see a difficulty select option upon starting a new game.
Wasn't aware there was one. Never had one before. I think that was planed feature that was abandoned.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: rmcin329 on April 22, 2019, 12:43:40 pm
For now i'm continuing my first playthrough of the game, unmodded. I was mostly looking into this hack for a possible replay of the game, and will probably use it for that purpose at a later time.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: brimby on May 18, 2019, 04:19:43 am
I just downloaded V.18 and patched my rom with it. Now that I'm playing, I'm having an issue where my x button doesn't do anything. I've tried changing the controls so that different actions are on the x button, and none of them work. I also went back and loaded up an unpatched SoM and confirmed that the x button works fine on there.

Has anyone else had this bug happen to them, and is there a fix?

May 20, 2019, 05:03:21 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Ok so this is extra weird. I switched emulators to see if it would help, and now my x button works (yay) but various parts of the improvement patch are inactive now. For instance, I can't block anymore, but other patch options like "magic recharge" and "mp points always visible" are still active.

I know this probably doesn't make any sense and I don't blame you if you're doubtful, but I'm just calling it as I see it from over here.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on May 28, 2019, 02:28:44 am
I just downloaded V.18 and patched my rom with it. Now that I'm playing, I'm having an issue where my x button doesn't do anything. I've tried changing the controls so that different actions are on the x button, and none of them work. I also went back and loaded up an unpatched SoM and confirmed that the x button works fine on there.

Has anyone else had this bug happen to them, and is there a fix?

May 20, 2019, 05:03:21 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Ok so this is extra weird. I switched emulators to see if it would help, and now my x button works (yay) but various parts of the improvement patch are inactive now. For instance, I can't block anymore, but other patch options like "magic recharge" and "mp points always visible" are still active.

I know this probably doesn't make any sense and I don't blame you if you're doubtful, but I'm just calling it as I see it from over here.
What emulator are you using?

For me, SNES9X and ZSNES work perfectly in Windows and on Android SNES9x EX+ works perfectly as well.

Just so you're aware there is another project similar to this which uses this as a base can be found below;
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=27890.150
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: MattKimura on June 14, 2019, 11:19:52 pm
Hello, just found out about this patch and I'm really interested in this for the quality of life features. But would you guys recommend this to someone who never played the game before? I'm unsure whether to play the untouched original or with this patch.

Also I'm having a bit of an issue with it. I want to use this patch alongside the relocalization patch but when I use the gameplay patch then the relocalization patch, the game results in a black screen. But if I patch a clean rom in the opposite order, the game works. However something very strange happened. After getting the sword I was able to get through the bushes by cutting them down. I let an enemy kill me on purpose later on and it brought me back. Now there was a part where you have to cut downward to get passed some bushes, but no matter how I tried, my character would not cut those bushes. I face down and the character does horizontal facing swings instead. Making it impossible to progress, even though I got through it before I died. Perhaps this patch isnt compatible with the relocalization patch. The zps rom patcher is green for CRC32, and I used Flips for the relocalization patch. I have a collection of patched games so I'm not partuclarly new to patching. Not sure what's going on here.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on June 16, 2019, 03:48:40 am
Hello, just found out about this patch and I'm really interested in this for the quality of life features. But would you guys recommend this to someone who never played the game before? I'm unsure whether to play the untouched original or with this patch.
I personally would HIGHLY recommend playing through the original at least once. It's a grand experience and will help you understand and appreciate not only why this game is so revered and loved by it's fans but also the changes offered by this project and the many others that have been developed recently.

Also I'm having a bit of an issue with it. I want to use this patch alongside the relocalization patch but when I use the gameplay patch then the relocalization patch, the game results in a black screen. But if I patch a clean rom in the opposite order, the game works. However something very strange happened. After getting the sword I was able to get through the bushes by cutting them down. I let an enemy kill me on purpose later on and it brought me back. Now there was a part where you have to cut downward to get passed some bushes, but no matter how I tried, my character would not cut those bushes. I face down and the character does horizontal facing swings instead. Making it impossible to progress, even though I got through it before I died. Perhaps this patch isnt compatible with the relocalization patch. The zps rom patcher is green for CRC32, and I used Flips for the relocalization patch. I have a collection of patched games so I'm not partuclarly new to patching. Not sure what's going on here.
Thanks!
That's kinda strange. It might have something to do with the rom having a header. The Relocalized patch, requires a ROM with a header were as this utility requires a ROM without a header. So it's best to follow this sequence of steps;
1. Apply the Relocalized patch.
2. Use the SNES ROM utility[ https://www.romhacking.net/utilities/593/ ] to remove the header. This generates a new ROM without a header.
3. Apply the desired effects of the utility in this project to the new ROM.
4. Play

There is also another utility that has kinda of become the spiritual successor to this project that you might find interesting.
www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=27890
With that project, the Relocalized patch included and can be applied with all of the other effects in one step.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: gadesx on June 26, 2019, 05:45:59 am
For me the worst idea of this game was made some labyrinth parts like the forest,
atleast the owl sprite could be made to indicate the correct path.

Same with the area exiting with the dog from castle. You can spend hours.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: hmsong on August 29, 2019, 10:10:19 pm
Hi zhaDe.

I read the topic and what you posted, and I feel like it's something that I'd like to try.  Unfortunately, the link (v1.0) seems to be broken.  Can you fix that?

Alsol, I heard (from Kethinov) that you have hack patches for the following (these were all created by you):
- Spell Power Tweaks
- Saber Elemental Damage
- Lower Weapon Status Infliction
- Extend Buff Time
- Acid Storm - Magic Def Down
- Speed Up - Faster Recharge

I can't seem to find that anywhere, even when I used google.  Can you send me those patches? Or post it somewhere (Not sure if they work with Relocalization or other patches, so I'll be sure to read the readme)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Piotyr on August 30, 2019, 03:17:38 am
Hi zhaDe.

I read the topic and what you posted, and I feel like it's something that I'd like to try.  Unfortunately, the link (v1.0) seems to be broken.  Can you fix that?

Alsol, I heard (from Kethinov) that you have hack patches for the following (these were all created by you):
- Spell Power Tweaks
- Saber Elemental Damage
- Lower Weapon Status Infliction
- Extend Buff Time
- Acid Storm - Magic Def Down
- Speed Up - Faster Recharge

I can't seem to find that anywhere, even when I used google.  Can you send me those patches? Or post it somewhere (Not sure if they work with Relocalization or other patches, so I'll be sure to read the readme)
The secret of mana turbo hack is an unofficial continuation of this hack and you don't need to enable the new stuff if you don't want to. Go check that out
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on August 30, 2019, 04:07:01 am
Hi zhaDe.

I read the topic and what you posted, and I feel like it's something that I'd like to try.  Unfortunately, the link (v1.0) seems to be broken.  Can you fix that?

Also, I heard (from Kethinov) that you have hack patches for the following (these were all created by you):
- Spell Power Tweaks
- Saber Elemental Damage
- Lower Weapon Status Infliction
- Extend Buff Time
- Acid Storm - Magic Def Down
- Speed Up - Faster Recharge

I can't seem to find that anywhere, even when I used google.  Can you send me those patches? Or post it somewhere (Not sure if they work with Relocalization or other patches, so I'll be sure to read the readme)
Actually these thing you've mention have been address by the following project, as mention above by Piotyr;
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=27890.0
It's kinda the spiritual successor to Zhade's work and is great fun. Check it out!
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: hmsong on September 01, 2019, 03:19:22 am
Thank you.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 07, 2019, 06:51:44 pm
Thank you.
:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on May 16, 2020, 12:24:55 pm
Heyo, I was wondering what happened to the download file behind the link on the first page. It seems to have been taken down. Is there any other place for us to download it?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: nosynose on May 17, 2020, 12:07:13 pm
From the previous page:

That is something Zhade will have to confirm. As far as I know, the current version of this utility, V18(see link below), has all of the features intended to be working and are actually functional.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p0pakt420fms1r0/SoM%20NewGameplayImprovement%20V0.18.zip?dl=1

You may also want to try SoM Turbo, the unofficial continuation of this one by Queue, with its separate topic, also on this Personal Projects.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Thirteen 1355 on May 17, 2020, 03:25:51 pm
Oops, I had forgotten. I'm already following that one  :-[
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Bazzy on May 26, 2020, 01:43:24 pm
Hi guys i'm new here!
So sorry if this is a question that was answered somewehre in those 26 pages or so before.
I want to do something very simple (at least that is what i thought that it was simple at first)
The aim is to combine this gameplay improvement hack with the relocalized hack form the main site.

https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4324/

Now.. the first issue i ran into was making sure my SoM rom was a headlerless using the tush tool it did confirm that its hearderless, so that should be the first step. Now i tried to patch the rom named "Secret of Mana (U) [!]" with the zps / snes patching tool included in v0.18 of this hack as well as for good messure the version included in the "som turbo hack" (which to be perfectly clear sounds like a massive overkill for just wanting to try out how the improvement hack and relocalization patches work in this game and maybe afterwards playing the full game, or not.

So now that we have the basics out of the way here is what i did.
First i tried to only use the zps patcher version of the turbo hack (falsely) assuming it should be a newer version and afterwards used that rom with the ips patcher tool, the result was the relocalization patch seemed to just be missing form it, the file size for just doing the improvment hack alone and combining both this way was also completly identical 4.96 kb is the rom in both instances.

The diffence in using zps and then ips patcher was the following:
Where as the relocalization patch seemed to just somehow be "missing" if i only use zps / snes patcher itself via the "edit chain" function and then putting the .ips file into it, something kind of strange happens. The rom does load in bnes and snes9x until i get to the title where you can name your character. I do hear the menue music, but i do not have any video output anymore, as in a black screen right after the into sequence (i didn't try to just let the full into play out, granted, but i doubt just skipping to the beginning of the game could change anything).

So.. long story short i'm very much at my witts end aside form just putting this process into a vm with windows 7 and praying to god that it somehow ends up with a working game this way. Feel free to point out anything i might've missed here. I just find it very weird that i seem to only be able to choose between either or, or even the full on "turbo hack", which as i said i would like to avoid until it is further on in dev.


(I'm on windows 10 btw, my buddy bought up that could maybe also be part of my problem.)


May 27, 2020, 06:35:10 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Well.. this took a whole day to get approved, so in the meantime i did not only figure out my problem. Which was the "load order" in the snes patcher, the relocalization patch comes on top of the new gameplay improvement hack. I also played a save file up to the pandora ruins with level 22, so in that sense this was very fun already. Sadly that is not all it was..

I also had a boatload of weird glitches bugs and even was able to delete characters multiple times by now via the X button (which to my understanding should not do anything in combat and yet it acts like i have the knuckle epuipped on all characters and the movement is also bugged to hell, that is some very strange behaivior.

I might have made the mistake to apply the .zps patch as is. Not thinking about conflicts it could cause, or bugs for that matter. But among all the little issues i had, there is one i'm not even able to wrap my head around. The weapons seem somehow to be used by diffrent party memers "twice" ?! As in i get the weapon swap animation for stuff nobody should have eqipped. For example i'm not able to equip or unequip the whip with any member anymore. Has anybody an idea which hack could cause those problems, or is this save just effed up already? Would be a crying shame..

Also something kind of related. Is there a tool to just check the rom and see which hacks are applied to it and maybe also remove just single patches by themselves?
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: nosynose on May 28, 2020, 11:59:12 am
Bazzy.
Dude, what are you doing? SOM Turbo includes both the Relocalization and all (or most) features of this hack, built-in. Use that instead, and in your case, just make sure that Relocalization & GI features (& bugfixes) stay checked, and uncheck the rest. SOM Turbo patcher would automatically resolve/avoid all those incompatibilities and glitches obviously plaguing your current attempt. It is that good.
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: Bazzy on May 31, 2020, 10:42:04 am
I will give it a go in time. For now i'm nearly done with a playtrough on this version. And frankly i don't like some of the changes turbo does to the gameplay (the complete removal of stamina for instance. Just sounds like it will make the game prone to spamming attacks with no end in sight). The remake did some things like the nearly complete removal of i-frames on the enemies as well, but it still knew something that could be done with the stamina system at least. I wanted an enhanced vanilla game, not a changed game entierly. That is the reason why i insisted on trying this version first. (aside form the fact that turbo has so many things / changes in it i do not really feel the need on having in the first place).

Anyway back to the new gameplay improvement hack here. It sure has some really baffling bugs left still. I was shocked by things like having two whips all of a sudden, flying party members (player controlled and not) and of course dissapearing ones. The status effects, specfically ice and fire seem to be the prime reason for the game to do those things. (i really have no idea how i got two whips and also was never able to replicate that after the moogle village). Its unfortunate...  because all in all this hack would be ideal if it was way less buggy. What a damn shame.

Edit: Tbh i would also include a .text file in the download clarifiying the spell binding and double use weapon mechanic. It took me a bit to figure out the fact that the .zps file has descriptions for nearly every important mechanic / change in it. But i doubt everybody will be this persistant in getting this hack to work before they quit and just call most of the intended changes bugs. Like i did at the start. Also a big kudos on using the quickspell idea for four spells (unlike the remake, that only had two shortcuts regardless if weapon or spells). And of course the weapon change mechanic via a single button press. Once i got the hang of it that might've been the biggest positive in the whole thing. :-)

(Turbo is on the list, just need to sort out most of the bigger gameplay changes first. And maybe even test diffrent configurations of that for a while..)
Title: Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
Post by: nosynose on June 01, 2020, 09:48:49 pm
@Bazzy
You combined Zhade's Gameplay Improvement (GI) & Timbo's Relocalized to get enhanced vanilla gameplay, and instead you get bugged/glitched gameplay. It's obvious that they are not compatible with each other. Why then you keep playing it? And why you keep reporting your experience here? Zhade is not even active for a long time, let alone updating his patch/patcher.
Now, I already shown you that there are faster, easier, and less painful way to get what you want, bug-free: by using SoM Turbo (FYI, I am not SoM Turbo author) It supports Zhade's & Timbo's out of the box: you don't even need their original patches. And all of its supported patches are OPTIONAL, you can tick/untick their boxes to enable/disable them as you wish in the patcher menu before executing the patching. So in your case, you simply tick Relocalized patch and all Zhade's patches (usually marked as NGI or GI) in the patcher menu and untick the whole rest, and BAM! there goes your enhanced vanilla gameplay, unbugged!