Kain: I'm aware of this one. It's surprisingly difficult to fix. I gave up after a while and figured it was minor enough to leave alone. I might take another stab at it before releasing version 2 but no guarantees.
Rosa: I was sure I fixed that. Since you mentioned you accepted a character into an already full party and since no one else has reported this, I'm going to blame it on that for now, but I will look into it.
Yang: This is definitely the result of trying to take him into a full party. It causes all sorts of untold strangeness. This will not be possible to do in the next version as it will be able to automatically detect your party size and will not even present you with the choice.
Maybe I'll add a short line at the end of the twins scenario.
The T is a mistake. It will be fixed in the next version.
The new character swapping will actually be removing the yes/no boxes. All those triggers are pretty near a save point, so if you don't like the result you can reset and not lose any progress worth speaking of.
I did the NPC thing in FF - 1 but that one had a lot fewer armors. Also I don't know of a way to have them say that without it sounding cheesy. The little girl in Toroia says something about blood/cursed equipment but that's about as good as I can do. I think Grimiore is working on a text file that lists all the items and their properties. I can package that with the next version.
Draghinazzo: I've also seen some odd things happen with boss forms from time to time but I can't seem to trigger them consistently enough to be able to debug.
Expanded inventory: I've found the main inventory in combination with the Fat Chocobo to be enough. I know it's not as nice as the "infinite inventory" of FF5 and up but I didn't think it was a big enough problem to be worth inventing a patch to address it. There should be plenty of room in the main inventory for all your potions/medicine, shurikens/bombs, and a few secondary weapon or armor options at any given time. You can always swap stuff with ol' fatty between quests if need be.
Displaying defenses: I agree this would be a nice feature, even in the original game. Unfortunately, short of creating a patch that modifies the menu in that way, I don't see an easy way of accomplishing this.
NPC hints: There is someone who gives a hint to where Rosa is, actually, in the main lobby of the Dwarf castle. The people of Fabul I think tell you where Yang is, Edward is in the first place you'd probably think to check, so is Cid, you already should know where Rydia is, and the next version will have the doctor in Toroia's hospital tell you where Tellah is, but suffice it to say, he didn't go far. People in Agart should give you some hints about a couple of things too. To get rid of the twins and/or Kain, and to get the Paladin, you will have to get the Floater stone first.
Stat progressions: Some characters are the same and some are different. The most notable differences are Edge, Rosa, DK, and Tellah. Edge has fewer HP, DK has more, and some MP progression; Rosa has less MP and more HP; Tellah's HP is mostly the same but his MP grows very slowly at first but gradually accellerates and eventually overtakes even the other devoted mages. The other characters' progressions were pretty much left alone. (EDIT: Most likely due to an oversight, Yang's progression is missing any HP growth after a certain level in the original FF4. I gave him a sensible HP progression after that level.)
Get the Floater stone and give it to the Elder of Mysidia. He'll open the way to Ordeals for you as well as unlock the Serpent Road. You'll also then be able to raise the Lunar Whale and go to the moon if you so desire.
Cecil's magic: The black effect spells are based on Wis if I'm not mistaken. What you may find though is that certain monsters are immune to certain statuses. Undeads, for example, tend to resist a lot of things. Blind is pretty generally useful, as a lot of monsters just attack a lot and blind works on most of them most of the time. Poison is good at taking out slimes and large groups of small enemies in the early game. Mute is only useful against certain enemies, but when it is, it's a complete game-changer. Berserk, in addition to its usual use, is good against monsters with special techniques that can't be muted (for example, you can berserk the ToadLady to stop her from commanding her toads to croak). Sleep can shut down a monster completely (it won't even wake up when attacked!) but many things resist it. Drain has obvious uses; its advantage over the blood sword is that it doesn't reduce all your stats. Bio allows Cecil to actually dish out some decent magic damage when needed. Charm mostly does what it sounds like, but not all monsters have charm scripts currently. I'm working on that. The ones that do can do some interesting things sometimes when charmed. Dispel removes most of the statuses that Esuna does not, most notably, Reflect! This can even make some of the endgame monsters like the EvilMask end up hitting themselves. If you level up DK Cecil to needlessly high levels he even learns things like Death (I might reduce the level of this one in light of the Deathbringer) and the multitargetable insta-kill Break (Petrify).
Most of the swords at that part of the game are holy swords. However, DK can stay competitive with the Avenger, and if you take him into the final dungeon as a dark knight, he will get dark equipment instead of holy in there, including Deathbringer in place of the Lightbringer.
The only reason you're warned about people joining is to prevent the game from exploding, which it won't do when a character leaves. In future versions, it won't even ask you for characters joining as I think I know how to get it to automatically track your party size. There's a save point near all those triggers though, so if you decide you didn't want that to happen you can just reload.
Cid's options: The main advantage of the axe option is that it's one handed. This allows you to equip a shield, getting extra evade from that, and even a much-needed (certainly for Cid) defense multiplier. So really the options are a tank/defense build where you use axe and shield or an attack build where you use a hammer in both hands, sacrificing defense for more attack.
No healer: There's really only three dungeons where you necessarily lack a devoted healer. Of those three, two have easy access to towns and thus supplies. Items are much more of a thing in this game in general, but especially at this part. When you get to the town you should stock up on Hi Potions and maybe Phoenix Downs.
Magus sisters: Very good points. Not sure what I'll do to fix it, if anything, but thank you for bringing it to my attention.
Rosa: This is an artifact of (a) having something else planned for that scene at an earlier stage in development and then going back on it, and (b) trying to make room for Kain at that part as well. It's deliberately left up to the player's imagination (and Cecil's for that matter ^_^) exactly what happened there.
Coral sword: On mine it sounds like a lighting bolt. It's how that animation sounds in the original rom, I didn't change anything in that regard. If it sounds like an explosion on yours, I wonder if something may have gone screwy in the patching process...
Bats: They're annoying but they do have a lot of weaknesses (fire, holy, air, having low HP). A good tornado should take them out, maybe with the help of a couple of attacks or a Cid-tossed FireBomb. I can maybe slow them down a little if they're too brutal.
Party-changing events: They are one-time permanent events. No backsies. If you're not sure whether you want to ditch/gain a character or not, my suggestion would be to keep a separate save file (or just play through multiple times; you'll have to make different choices for your party to see the different ending details anyway).
I might remove some or I might not. Float will probably be learned a little earlier, but either way, the general mechanic is staying, and you will not be able to Float over it on your first pass through these dungeons without a lot of grinding.
How about this as a compromise: Currently, the Ice cave doesn't have many damage tiles, and the ones it does have are not strictly required to progress the plot, just to get treasure. Bahamut's Lagoon has very few required damage tiles as well. Most of the damage tiles are around treasure. The Feymarch is the real killer for damage floors. So what I'll probably do is remove a bunch on the main route through the Feymarch and make it so that the main route is a long, winding path, whereas the damage floor path is a quick shortcut route. That way you have an interesting choice: take the short path and deal with the healing and the risk of being back-attacked by a pair of Arachnes, or take the long path and fight lots of monsters and take a longer time, but at least you won't be forced to deal with healing every five steps. In addition, I'll probably remove a lot of the damage floor tiles from the treasure route of Bahamut's Lagoon. The treasure floor itself might still be completely full of damage floor, but maybe not the other, like, three full floors leading up to it. It will still have some, just not as ridiculous.
I think Draghinazzo is probably fine as is. The tradeoff for not grinding is using more resources and/or coming up with clever strategies. I posted the strategy I use but that doesn't mean it's the only viable one. In any case, the game is absolutely beatable without grinding in its current state, but that's not to say there won't be some parts that are going to be difficult.
There is no party change menu or anything. How it works is that for each character in your party when you
drill back up to the overworld
there is an optional scenario you can do which will cause that character to leave your party, and for each character that isn't, there is an optional scenario you can do which will cause that character to join your party.
Sylph costs 0 because a bug from the original causes it to not consume MP even if it is assigned an MP cost. It is not currently known how to fix this efficiently so I just gave it a long casting time.
I'm aware of the text bugs. I'll try to have them fixed for the next version if possible. No promises.
Float: sorry if it makes it boring for you but if you have access to float before the damage floor ever shows up then there's no point to damage floors in the first place.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Glad to hear people are enjoying it overall.
Pleasing everyone is difficult, if not impossible. Different people look for different things when it comes to hacks. Some like more challenge, some don't. Some only like it if the challenge is insane, some won't even play it if the challenge is insane. No matter what I do, there will be someone out there who doesn't appreciate it, and will not like this hack as a result. Thus, I simply made what I found myself to be more fun. I attempted to make it more challenging than the original, but without bringing it to the point where you have to do everything perfectly one specific way, or do a lot of grinding, in order to get anywhere. If you're familiar enough with the FF4 game mechanics, you should be able to beat everything (even both Ciriatto forms) without grinding. There's lots of good treasure in the underground and the characters should have many viable strategies.
This game also does contain a certain exploration component. There will be parts where you are not hand-held through and told at every step of the way where you need to go. Even the original had at least one part like this. Just explore. Try going everywhere you can. Worst comes to worst you get a few more levels and a little more treasure and maybe find a few other hidden things. By process of elimination you will eventually figure out where you need to go. Here's a vague hint for the floater:
The Elder may not know where to find a floater stone, but he hasn't played FF1.
The dialogue, I tried my best to mimic the style of the original translation. There's a lot in that which, if you were to read it for the first time now, would also be pretty cringe-worthy. That said, I'm not much of a writer to begin with so I don't really know what makes good dialogue from bad in the first place. Same goes for plot. My goal with the new plot scenes was less about making a "better" plot, and more about making it "different", and I'm sure there will be details that I like that other people don't; that's just how these things go.
If there's anything in the game you would like done differently, there's a great hacking tool called FF4kster which you can use to edit the hack to your liking ^_^. PM if you want a copy of the Unprecedented Crisis config files so that everything will be correctly labelled (well, most things; I was a little lazy sometimes with labelling).
That said, I am planning on eventually releasing a 2.0 version eventually, and while it will probably be more bugfixes than anything else, I am certainly open to ideas for improvements. Not everything will make it in of course, just the ones I think I would like as well and that don't involve a lot of work (I've moved on to other projects and FF4 is only a secondary focus for me right now).
As far as the Fiend battles go, here are the strategies I use/reccommend if you don't want to grind (there are probably others as well):
Vs. Scarmiglione 1:
Ifrit, if you have it, should take out the zombies on its own or with very little help. If you don't have it, a lucky Help! can get you Ifrit or Leviathan or Bahamut; even Mist might deal a nice chunk to them. Cid and Yang both have a lot of HP and, if you can keep them healthy, they can toss FireBombs for a decent amount of damage as well. When you have Scarmiglione alone, you basically want to deal as much damage as you can as quickly as you can. Oddly enough, it should be ok to Rage with Cid at this point. I wouldn't worry too much about HP healing; Rydia, Ed, and even Cecil will probably be one-shot by Bio, even at full, so just keep enough people alive with phoenix downs to keep your momentum going. Ed is fast and won't autohide from this battle so he can be on item duty. If Calcify becomes a concern, Rydia can save on remedies with her Wooden Staff, if you kept it, as it removes Calcify and Petrify.
Vs. Scarmiglione 2:
Split is faster than Life song and will probably provide more HP to your weaker characters. Ifrit deals a ton, as can a lucky Help!, or you can have Rydia help heal Petrified people with her Wooden Staff. Scarmiglione has a fairly short cycle, so if you can time it correctly, Ed can hide from Quake. Seeing as he's probably your main healer, having him healthy at all times is nice. Speed song should also help a lot if you can get one out between heals.
Vs. Ciriatto 1:
Harm is your friend if you have it. If not, Flame Sword, Ashura, Fire 2, and charged Holy or Fire arrows should all deal some nice chunks of damage, and you can try taking them out one at a time. You can also try getting Cecil to toss FireBombs if you can keep his HP up. Also don't attack Ciriatto himself until you take out his army. Stop is a bitch. Also for that reason, when you get him alone, you want to deal as much in a single attack as you can. For Cecil, this is probably the Avenger (you can swap into it during battle, you just can't swap out of it) or Chaos blade (despite being the Shadow Fiend, this form has no resistances or weaknesses, much like his Earthy counterpart). Edge throw Fumas, Rosa charge, Palom Bio if you have it, or he can help heal, Porom can heal.
Vs. Ciriatto 2:
You kinda do want Cure 3, but if you farmed all the treasures from all the dungeons first and are taking on Ciriatto last, you ought to have it by that point. Barring that, if you have Yagyus, toss them. Don't worry about saving them up; this is as good a place as any to use those. They should deal roughly 5000ish per shot. This is also a great time to throw away that Throwing Axe you may have picked up from the treasure in the Dwarf castle. Again, Edge's Ashura and Rosa's Holy arrows wreck him. In any case, the real key to victory here is time magic. Slow him at the first opportunity, and you may even want to haste your guys (especially Porom; if Ciriatto lives long enough, he will eventually cycle back around and sing the angel song again). Also you can probably let Cecil stay down; he doesn't really contribute much to this battle, being a dark knight and all. If he happens to live, he can help heal with Phoenix downs and X Potions.
Oh crud. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'll put up the latest version soon.
Basically, to fix it on your own, the problem is with the type of tile next to it. In FFHackster, the wrong type of tile is next to the ROD tile for activating the rod. Probably the same for the LUTE. I think you just swap the tile types but it was a while ago when I fixed this on my own local copy so if that doesn't work, you may have to experiment a little, but that was the essential source of the problem.
The Twins can be unstoned once you get back from the Underworld with the optional sidequest to get a Supersoft (Old rumor from back in the day, referenced in FFIX I would like to include it)
Ha! I remember that old rumor! Though when I heard it, they called it the "Basilisk's Eye", though thinking about it now, I'm not sure how they would have fit something like that into an item name. Then along came the discovery of some very revealing game genie codes such as the "Gunslinger Code" which allowed you to cycle through every item in the game, and that basically put a stop to that rumor ^_^
The reason it's not working in the "normal" dialogues could have to do with the DTE. "Normal" dialogues use a compression technique that assigns certain combinations of two symbols to one hex code. So for example there's a single code for a space " " followed by an "e". When FF4kster sees that code it prints " e". If you assigned one of your squish tiles to something from the DTE table it might cause that kind of mess up.
Cactuar using 1000 Needles is rather easy to set up, just have whatever your HP of the Cactuar to be a multiple of 1000 and use a spell slot (DullSong is unused) to use the Damage = Max HP/Spell Power (as used in Blaze, Blitz, etc) so say Cactuar has 4000 HP, you'd set that to /4 and you're done. 1000 Needles created.
The "damage based on caster's HP" routine only looks at the caster's current HP. The "damage based on target's Max HP" routine only looks at the target's Max HP. So 1000 Needles would work as long as he's at full HP but once he's damaged it will be fewer needles...
Maybe he could give himself barrier at the start somehow and have it so that you have to do somehting specific for him to react to and drop the barrier and/or suicide or something...
I second the vote for arachne. Another monster sprite that I for one wouldn't miss is the "sitting dragon" (green and yellow dragons); there are a bunch of other dragon sprites so they could just be changed to use one of the others and you could hijack that one.
Also I think most of the crystal room maps just use transparancy for the floor and use the "crystal room background" as the background map, which is a map consisting entirely of those glass event trigger tiles; since it's just a background they don't actually try to trigger events.
I have to say, the Damcyan crystal room does look really cool the way you have it there! Though it might need some more wall around the top where the crystal altar is, among a few other minor touch-ups... but otherwise looks awesome!