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Messages - kethinov

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1
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 200118
« on: January 19, 2020, 08:49:36 pm »
@kethinov

Hmm.  I feel that Snowman would benefit a lot by NOT being a save point.  The whole save/load is the one that causes crashes, but for the most part (Upper Land, Ice Forest, Pure Land), there's already save points nearby.  In addition, you can put the Snowman in the paradise if he doesn't become a save point.  As you mentioned, it's the lack of healing points that's the issue.  I would personally want a healing point, but not saving point, since all the areas (except Ice Castle) have save points very nearby.

Maybe have a separate patch for non-saving snowmen?  Or maybe some snowmen saves, while others don't?

I stealth edited it again. Still 1.0 since RHDN hasn't posted it yet. Same download link in the post above.

This revision places a snowman in the following locations:

- Upper Land winter section.
- The resort town in Ice Country, only after liberating Salamando. (The one near Neko was reverted.)
- The middle of the Ice Castle.
- Pure Land winter section.

None will offer you the option to save except for the one in the Ice Castle.

2
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 200118
« on: January 19, 2020, 03:38:24 pm »
However, while saving in the Forest works just fine (saves as Icicle Forest), but when you save in the Ice Castle and load from there, the save file actually says, "Icicle Forest", instead of "Ice Castle" or "Ice Palace" (or whatever the name of that place is).

The Ice Castle doesn't actually have a name in the location names tables and is assigned to the "Frosty Forest" location name. There's actually a lot of empty space in the location names tables, so I suppose it would be possible to give the Ice Castle maps their own name distinct from the other Frosty Forest maps on the save screen, but I'm not sure how to map those things. I'd have to dig into it. For now I figured it was fine as-is since the Ice Castle is in the Frosty Forest. ;) But yeah, that detail bugged me too, so I'll put digging deeper into it on the to do list.

Also, the BGM doesn't play.

Doh. Thought I tested that before posting. I just stealth fixed it since RHDN hasn't posted the hack yet. Just redownload the original link and it should be fixed now.

And speaking of which, is it really necessary for the Snowman to exist right below the Snow area Neko?  I feel that it's not really necessary, since vanilla Neko provides the shop and save in the area above.

The main idea here is you might be tapped out of MP after the Boreal Face fight and it'd be nice to refill along with a free heal before heading into the Ice Castle without having to get gouged by Neko. I don't mind buying a few Candies or Chocolates from him, but his premium on Faerie Walnuts is extreme. Frosty can also resurrect you.

I feel it would be much better if the snowman save exists in one of the houses (or right outside it?) in the former paradise in the ice forest (after saving Salamando).  Dunno if that's even possible though.

I looked into this first, mainly because I felt it would be nice to make that map actually useful after the event is over, but it's infeasible for a few somewhat amusing reasons:

It's possible to place a Frosty on the outdoor map without too much fuss, but when you reload your save file there you get stuck in a tree. Notably basically every other map in the Frosty Forest suffers from the same problem. Saving and reloading in nearly all the other maps will put you stuck in a tree.

For the map inside the houses there are no spare NPCs nearby in memory that are convenient to convert to Frosty. Even if there were, all the doors are "return" doors rather than proper doors. Reloading inside a house would result in getting stuck inside the house forever, as when you exit, you have no place to return to so the game freezes. This is also why I can't offer a save point for the Neko in the Neko in the Underground City hack.

I feel that Pure Land can use that tiny Snowman heal/save (I know there's Neko save, if you enable that, but that's a different patch altogether so...).  Specifically, the same place where Neko and Watts are, except maybe replace the Jump pad thing (if Pure Land Neko patch is off, then the snowman will be surrounded by enemies, but that's fine, I think).  If not that, then how about in the cave, right after Axe Beak?  Well, the snow area in Pure Land would make more "sense", but it's too near the beginning of Pure Land, hence making it less useful.

I gave this some thought, but my thinking was a bit different than yours. I only considered snowy areas. With that limitation in mind, there are three locations besides the Frosty Forest and Ice Castle that are worth considering:

1. The Salamando paradise town which is infeasible for reasons noted above.
2. The winter section of the Upper Land.
3. The snowy section of the Pure Land just before fighting the snow dragon.

I had previously declined to put them in the Upper Land and the Pure Land thinking there would be diminishing returns or something, but on further reflection I think it would be useful for much the same reasons. In the Upper Land it would be nice to have a place to refill MP before fighting the Spring Beak. In the Pure Land it's a long slog, so getting a free heal in the middle would be nice too.

I'll issue an update later that expands the locations for Frosty to Upper Land and Pure Land accordingly. (Assuming it doesn't result in getting stuck in trees.)

January 19, 2020, 04:36:10 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Okay, dug into it. I stealth edited the 1.0 version again to add a snowman to the snowy part of the Pure Land. The Upper Land section is infeasible because the reloading your save file there crashes.

3
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 200118
« on: January 19, 2020, 02:22:07 am »
New hack: Frosty the Friendly Alchemist

This patch adds a small, friendly snowman to a range of wintery locations who will offer you a concoction to drink that will heal you and restore your MP. Though Frosty sometimes hides from the nearby monsters, so you might not always see him unless you clear the monsters first.

Locations:

- Upper Land winter section.
- The resort town in Ice Country, only after liberating Salamando.
- The middle of the Ice Castle. This Frosty will allow you to save too.
- Pure Land winter section.

Frosty is useful in these areas because they are generally fairly long and without many good places to rest. This hack also makes use of the not widely seen "pygmy snowman" graphic, which while not technically dummied out (it's possible to see it in the original game under very specific circumstances) is almost never seen under normal circumstances.

Likewise, the snowman's dialog is unused dialog that always existed in the game but had never been used before: "Drink this medicine! It'll fix ya right up!"

The original Japanese version of the event indicates that it was supposed to be used in Tasnica in place of an Inn, but this was probably scrapped because it is fairly pointless to have an Inn in Tasnica; even a free one. Instead, this hack uses that story event in a more useful way.

Important things to note:

- Known issue: When saving in the Ice Castle, the save file will say "Frosty Forest."
- How to combine this with the Variable Width Font hack: 1. Apply VWF, 2. Remove header, 3. Apply this hack, 4. Apply this hack's VWF support hack.
- How to combine this with Relocalized: 1. Apply Relocalized, 2. Apply this hack, 3. Apply this hack's Relocalized support hack.
- In order to make room for the snowmen, some non-unique NPCs were removed: a Moogle from the Upper Land, a Steamed Crab from the Upper Land, a Mushboom from Elinee's Castle, a Specter from Ice Castle, and a Needlion from the Pure Land.

Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4886/



One thing that has always bugged me about the original game is the frequent sound cutouts in the music, when you're fighting or just even running around.

Based on an ingenious tool made by zeldix.net user emuandco, I was able to adapt his script to convert the official original SPC soundtrack that is available with the Secret of Mana Remake PC Version (required for this to work!) to an MSU-1 soundtrack that (obviously) sounds exactly like the original SPC from the ROM, but actually uses MSU-1 to free up the sound channels.

The result: pristine SPC music as originally intended by the composer on original SNES hardware.

This sounds awesome.

I wonder about compatibility with the music hacks I've written, such as Restore Unused Fanfares, Different Boss Music for Buffy and Dread Slime, Upbeat Elinee's Castle, Sad Moogle Village, and Echoey Matango Caves? Will further work be required to make your work and mine compatible?

4
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 200102
« on: January 04, 2020, 04:26:15 pm »
@kethinov

Hot damn.  It seems you are able to change bosses' behaviors.  I took a look, but it was beyond my ability.  Nice work.

Do you think you can make Dark Lich (underground state) actually chase sideways too? (in addition to vanilla's vertical chase)  That would make that guy MUCH scarier.  Of course, it may enable Head Bang Glitch again, but I think many people would prefer seeing Dark Lich's sideway chase (and if they screw up the Head Bang, then PC'll die, since underground grip wave causes sleep).  Well, I do, at least.  I love scary, menacing bosses.

It's probably doable, but it'd take some significant effort to figure it out. I'll put it on the to do list, though I'm not sure how long it'll take me to get to it (if ever... my SoM to do list is still quite long).

I know you already said you have no intention of making manual guard auto-disengage after # seconds, but would you be willing to make it unable to be activated while the stamina meter is not 100%?  Or make the guard be ineffective (eva = 0%) while the stamina is recharging?  That way, it would punish players if they disengage guard too early, since guarding right after disengaging won't do them any good -- and this would encourage/reward players if they have good timing with the guard.  I was playing against Dark Lich (hard mode), and man, all his physical attacks were joke with the manual guard (he seemed to use physical attacks more frequently than magic).  I'll take anything to make the manual guard a bit less OP.

That is a good idea. I would certainly enjoy playing a version with manual block having restrictions like that.

A related idea that's been on my to do list for a while is I've been interested in exploring ways to block swinging your weapon until stamina is either at 100% or at least >50%. I looked into this once and didn't see an easy way to do it, so that too likewise ended up buried on my "maybe some day" part of the to do list.

5
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 200102
« on: January 02, 2020, 06:13:15 pm »
That was my original approach to the problem, but I couldn't get it to work for some reason. Coulda swore I tested the exact same code you wrote and it didn't work. In my tests, it would work only until he cast a spell, then after that it appeared to revert to the original logic. I became convinced something after the spellcasting code that I couldn't locate must've been doing a goto to C262E5, thus why I ended up writing that crazy branch up thing at that address.

But I just retested it again using your implementation and it does seem to work correctly. I must've been getting some bad RNG during my original tests that I mistook as a pattern rather than random chance.

6
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191230
« on: January 01, 2020, 10:21:01 pm »
Steps to reproduce:

1. Do a Turbo build with the .ini settings from this zip file: http://kethinov.com/images/linked/som/SoMTurbo.191230.whip.posts.bug.zip

2. Load the last (bottom) save file from the zip file.

3. Fly to Lofty Mountains.

4. Use the whip posts.

7
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191118
« on: January 01, 2020, 07:30:47 pm »
Changes:
- Implemented Quality_of_Life\No_Whip_Tile_Gather, makes whip posts less annoying
- Implemented Bug_Fixes\Flight_Waits_For_Events (should prevent the Mana Fortress barrier skip), this needs serious testing as it's in very fragile code related to flight (summoning Flammie) and cannon travel; if something goes wrong, you'll probably get stuck or the game will hang, buuuut, I think I got it working right
- Rewrote Bug_Fixes\Whip_Post_Fix, this may have finally solved all major whip post bugs and exploits I was aware of, though admittedly I haven't tested the trick where people use spell casting and the whip post to walk through walls, so maybe that can still happen

Something in these changes is causing lockups at whip posts. The scenario I tested was the whip posts on the Lofty Mountains.

8
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191230
« on: December 31, 2019, 10:40:23 pm »
Might I suggest another thing?  Again, I don't know if it's even possible, and I'm terribly sorry for being such a never-satisfied-guy, but here we go.  Up to the part where Shellblast replaces Water Thug looks great (after Jabberwocky boss), since Luka wisely upgrades her security.  However, after the Aegagropilon boss, can you keep the part where she gets locked up in the dungeon?  But after the Mech Rider 3 (and Pure Land opens up), she returns to the top (whether you save her or not), and in the jail, there would be both Turtlance AND Ice Thug?  Most of Ice Thug's spells work when he has an ally near him, and having two guards (with both spear and javelin) sound awesome.  Thank you.

I think it's possible to tweak it to be that way but I don't quite buy the idea of her keeping pet monsters as security. The progression doesn't make a lot of sense to me. When the Water Palace is invaded, the palace is overrun with Water Thugs that are presumably hostile to Luka. Given that, I would presume her pet monsters would be hostile to her too, thus why she keeps them in a cage. It's like owning a tiger or something. You never quite let your guard down no matter how much you bond with it because ultimately it's a dangerous animal at its core. A monster is still a monster.

Or... maybe she eats them. I mean, just look at her face!



Those eyes! Those red eyes! And that sinister smile!

Yes, she's definitely eating them. And her flesh-eating desires only grow ever more exotic as the game progresses as the ebb and flow of water brings her news of the arrival of more and more tasty monsters from around the world. They don't guard her... they're her victims! ;)

I'm also not keen to restore the Luka-in-jail event. The original reason I made this hack was specifically to eliminate that event. The dialog is weird and nonsensical. There's no prize for freeing her, so there's no reason to ever bother with it. And after you free her, she just... stays in the jail cell every time you visit again until the story advances.

My first attempt at this hack tried to repair the broken jail event, but I couldn't find an elegant way to do it. I'm not a big fan of dummying out content, but this content was just too dumb to be saved, so I ditched it in favor of Luka having silly dangerous pets for no particular reason. Also I quite like how Luka's pets are similar to Spekkio from Chrono Trigger in that there is exactly one to fight and they grow more dangerous over time.

All that said, reasonable minds can disagree since it's entirely a matter of taste. If you're determined to make this happen, I can work with you on it, as I believe it could be done. But I'm not inclined to do a lot of work testing it or doing a formal release. Let me know if you want to take a stab at it and I'll get some notes together and show you how to get started tinkering with it.

As for Later Midge Mallet, I know you already made it so that it activates after the Metal Mentis boss, but could you make it so that it activates after Mech Rider 2?  I know you already said you'll get to that, but I'm just reminding you.  Sorry for the nitpick.

It's an easy change but not very easy for me to test because I don't have any good save files. I'll email you a version to test with. Can you test it for me to ensure that I hit the event targets correctly?

Thank you for the Stardust Herb update.  I took a look at the description page (https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/snes/patches/4781readme.txt), but the arrow doesn't seem to display right.  Maybe it's just my browser.

Yeah that's a browser issue. Should render okay when you pull up the text in most text editors.

January 01, 2020, 01:51:15 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Updated hacks:

Adjust Enemy Difficulty 2.1: Added support for high HP (new max 65535) and MP (new max 255) values. Thanks to Queue for providing additional code that makes this possible. Obviously no expectations that this hack bundle will be imported into Turbo since Queue provides his own implementation that takes into account existing values in the ROM rather than basing the calculations always on vanilla, but my implementation could still be useful to people as a way to hard reset values against an existing ROM or if you want to adjust stats Queue doesn't support, so I'm going to continue to maintain it as-needed. http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4435/

Harder Final Boss 1.4: Increased MP of the two bosses to 255. Also fixed Analyzer glitch. Thanks to Queue for providing additional code that makes this possible. http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4412/

Note, Harder Final Boss needs compatibility fixups for "Inferno Barrier" support, so I uploaded a separate version for that here: http://kethinov.com/images/linked/som/hardfinal/SecretofManaHarderFinalBoss1.4InfernoBarriersupport.zip

Later Midge Mallet 1.4: Slight change in code to prevent acquiring Midge Mallet during Empire Castle events. http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4382/

9
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191230
« on: December 31, 2019, 06:35:59 pm »
Updated hack: No Missable Monsters 2.1: Luka no longer has monsters as pets. This was spun off into a separate hack called Luka's Pets. Also bundled "Revisit Kakkara" hack by Queue to make it possible to revisit the southern part of Kakkara desert and reverted Sand Stinger changes accordingly. http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4555/

New (sort of) hack: Luka's Pets 1.0: This was spun off from No Missable Monsters and expanded. This hack gives Luka a series of monsters as pets locked in her dungeon basement.

Which pet monster she has will change over time as the game progresses. The progression is indexed to Whip orb acquisition:

1. Water Thug (Whip orbs 1, 2, and 3)
2. Shellblast (Whip orbs 4 and 5)
3. Turtlance (Whip orbs 6 and 7)
4. Ice Thug (Whip orbs 8 and 9)



Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4860/

As you suspected, I've updated the list again.  Specifically, the shop went through a MAJOR overhaul, at least, in programming sense, and will definitely not work with other shop mods (it changes the # of items available in the shop, from D8FC32).  And I changed a bit of the drops (so that at least one enemy drops Stardust Herb in each new area, after Gaia Navel).  I'll send you the IPS very soon (the list is below).  I don't know how to apply the Mint Flavored to the IPS, so I'll leave that part to you.

EDIT:  Okay, sent.  V1.3

This is up on RHDN now as 1.4 since a version 1.3 was already posted before. The "Mint" option works the same as in Turbo. Your blue is the default, but the "Mint" hack can be applied afterward to override it. https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4781/

I don't know about you, but I thought Gigas disammbling made them more difficult.  Specifically, against Fire Gigas.  When they disassemble, my magic misses, and with limited MP pool (and no Faerie Walnut), that can become a problem.

Yeah it's interesting how it changes his behavior. Personally it felt harder to me because if he's not disassembling, then he's spamming spells at you and you could die very quickly, but YMMV... to be honest I'm not sure whether or not I will apply either of those two hacks I just wrote in my own personal builds because the Gigas fights are hard enough already, but since I did the work to make them I figured I'd release it so others can play with it and see how they like it.

- Added Switch_Requires_R sub-feature to Equip_2nd_Weapon (Off by default)
- Equip_2nd_Weapon now works while blocking with Manual_Block

This is so awesome!

10
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191227
« on: December 29, 2019, 07:35:15 pm »
For anyone who might've seen an earlier version of my above post, I've edited it like a gazillion times as I've finished more hack updates. But I'm done with that marathon for now so it might be worth another look now.

I hadn't thought about it in a while but mulling it over it should be fairly painless now. Well, and it was painless, so it's already added as an option for the next release. It took a couple minutes to make it fully compatible with (and without) Manual_Block but some quick tests seemed to show it behaving (and now weapon switch is simply allowed during a Manual Block). Arguably it "feels" a little better with Manual_Block enabled since it helps avoids X triggering the buddy menu if you release R before X, but it's definitely usable without it.

Cool! I'm definitely looking forward to trying that.

11
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191227
« on: December 28, 2019, 11:25:50 pm »
It looks like kethinov is also taking extended leave to work on other things.  I will get back to reviewing his mods as well, at some point.  Wouldn't be surprised if he comes back with a whole new package of mods someday, again... hehe.   :D

Indeed. I took a break, but I'm working on things again...

New hacks:

Gigas Bosses Disassemble Less Often: This roughly halves how often the Gigas bosses disassemble into orbs. This will increase difficulty somewhat by making them slightly more aggressive.

Gigas Bosses Never Disassemble: Gigas bosses will never disassemble into orbs. This will increase difficulty considerably by making them significantly more aggressive.

Download both: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4857/

Updated hacks:

Stardust Herb 1.3 now includes the "Mint Flavored" option and hmsong's latest updates: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4781/

Suicide Burst 1.3 refactors the code to use Queue's standardized Wall bypass technique: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4731/

Turbo version of Suicide Burst 1.3 (makes it compatible with spell system extensions): http://kethinov.com/images/linked/som/burst/SecretofManaSuicideBurst1.3Turbo.zip

Balance Spell MP Cost 1.4 reverts Moon Energy price reduction from 2mp to 1mp but makes it multi-targetable: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4556/

Herbal Burst 1.2 reverts Herbal Boost price reduction from 2mp to 1mp but makes it multi-targetable: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4557/

Fix Barrel Frame Glitches 1.2 matches Queue's latest update: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4514/

Remove Barrels On Run 1.2 matches Queue's latest update: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4515/

Echoey Matango Caves 1.1 matches Queue's latest update: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4776/

Watts in the Haunted Forest 1.3 matches Queue's latest update: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4511/

I don't know if kethinov's Frosty change has side effects, I haven't gotten to trying it; my guess is that it should, but it would be great if it doesn't.

I didn't see any in my testing. Frostied enemies remain stationary and don't move. Casting spells on them does damage without causing graphical issues. If they die, they show their normal death animation.

- Added kethinov's Neko and Watts in the Pure Land, slightly altered positions to prevent the player from getting stuck in walls (hoping you swing by kethinov so we can discuss this; I tried to move them as little as possible)

Changes to Neko and Watts in the Pure Land look good to me. Updated on RHDN: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4766/

So while catching up with the thread I got thinking given that you've heavily rewritten some older stuff like quick spell hotkeys, have you given any further thought to modifying equip 2nd weapon to require holding the "R" button and pressing "X" to switch weapons so the original behavior of the "X" button need not be sacrificed? I know you said before this would be a lot of effort because of how intertwined things were, but I'm wondering if the refactoring you've been up to changes this situation at all.

Also you should update the description of Revisit Sunken Continent to reflect bridge auto extending.

12
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 13, 2019, 02:44:10 am »
Stardust Herb updated: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4781/

I was trying to keep the Day Night stuff subtle and fun (except the werewolves, intentionally evil there), rather than purpose-driven, so don't want to sacrifice that just to tick things off a list, but I'm open to other suggestions (and a reminder of past suggestions).

I completely agree that Day/Night Cycle shouldn't be abused to restore missing monsters, but to the extent that it already does that as a byproduct of its existing choices, I think it's sufficient to scale back some of the restorations in No Missable Monsters wherever there is overlap and both hacks are applied. As you said before, the choice of which monsters come out at night should be thematically appropriate for the region. Trying to wedge stuff in just to make stuff not missable would be awkward, so yeah, no need to do that.

On a related note the Grave Bats in Upperland is pretty vicious too. I think they're a lot bigger of an intentionally evil choice than the Werewolves since when you first visit Upperland, if it's night time you're likely to get wiped out really fast.

"yo there is a 8 byte solution you could've used,"

lol still fairly facepalmy. I banged my head against the debugger for hours and you appear to have solved it in five minutes.

That solution works well. I ran some dialog events and boss battles and didn't see any side effects.

I also removed the "Window Edit" screen as it is no longer relevant.

No text boxes looks surprisingly good. I'm gonna apply this in my next full playthrough to see whether I prefer Better Default Text Boxes or No Text Boxes. I lean towards the latter just because it declutters the screen so much to make more room for the artwork and the action. It also makes buying stuff from shops much less claustrophobic. And I think it pairs well with Turbo HUD. Minimalism!

Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4791/


13
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 12, 2019, 10:11:26 pm »
Updated hack: Alternate Karon: Unused NPC variant will now wander, displaying more previously unused graphics. http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4546/

Updated hack: Remove Empire Castle Gate Permanently: King Truffle will now wander when he rescues you, displaying previously unseen walking frames. http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4549/

Question for Queue:

I'm working on a new hack that will permanently hide the textbox borders and background (and remove the Window Edit screen) so that all text is just free floating. I have a working prototype that accomplishes this by editing a couple dozen story events, but it occurs to me that it would probably be cleaner to just edit event command 50 and rig the code that sniffs for event flag F8 being set to 1 to always be true rather than conditionally true. This would prevent the need to edit story events and improve compatibility with other hacks.

The trouble is I've spent a fair amount of time with the SNES debugger now and I can't for the life of me locate where that code is. To be honest I'm not even sure there is code in event command 50 (or the subroutines that process text) that sniffs for this, but I presume there must be since several story events alter that event flag to set dialog box visibility before calling event command 50.

Notably I already explored just creating a transparent dialog box option in the Window Edit menu, but this is infeasible because the dialog box opening animation still renders, thus my interest in permanently setting event flag F8 to 1 (my current approach) or short-circuiting the check in event command 50 to always think it is 1 (probably the better approach).

I could release the version I have now, but I have a feeling if I do that, you will examine the code then say WTF and be like "yo there is a 1 byte solution you could've used," so I figured I'd just get that out of the way now. What do you think? Should I release the version that edits a dozen events? Or is there a better way?

Hmm.  Why is Neko (in Mana Fortress before Dark Lich) floating in mid-air?  I can't even talk to him.  Or is this happening because of combining with Turbo patch?

My mistake. Fixes available:

Neko and Watts in the Mana Fortress 1.4: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4413/

Equipment Progression Balance 1.6: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4422/

I like your new Luka's monster thing.  I wish she also had Shellblast/Turtlance too, instead of just Water Thug/Ice Thug (you receive Spear from Luka after all, and Javelin is from Undine).  In any case, the current one is good too, no doubt.

Good idea, I'll work on it.

Have you thought about combining No Missable Monsters with Emperor Castle Gate patch?  That would also make Dark Ninja, Magic Book, and Emberman to be unnecessary for No Missable Monsters.

Yeah, I thought about that. But it seemed wrong to me to try to do too much in one hack. I can conceive of groups of people that would like one but not the other, so I felt it appropriate to keep them separate, despite some small overlap.

I know you wanted Evil Sword and Polter Chair to be next to Watts, but I thought it would be neat to have them right outside the Witch's castle, instead of the forest.  After all, she needs some kind of defense in her castle (and the ending makes us think that she can still control non-sentient monsters).  And maybe Chess Knight too (it is supposed to be a "Knight").

Not in favor of that. When the castle is cleared, it's implied that Elinee actually can't control any of those monsters anymore because she doesn't have the magical herbs for it anymore. That's why they all disappear from inside and outside of her castle. The appearance of the Polter Chairs in the ending could be interpreted as Elinee finally getting her magic back after the defeat of Thanatos, who may or may not have corrupted her magical herb supply to get her under his influence. Moreover, even if Elinee did have her magic, she wouldn't sanction her enchanted chairs attacking you after you clear the castle, as we're all friends now. And she never had any association with the Chess Knights, so that makes even less sense.

I do recognize that the appearance of the Polter Chair and especially the Evil Sword in the forest is quite contrived too though, but I decided it was worth doing both because it was funny to give Watts a chair and a sword (a mini-armory?) that appear to have been haunted by the Haunted Forest. And in the scenario when you play without Watts in the Haunted Forest, but keep "No Missable Monsters" applied, it's still entirely plausible for some of Elinee's haunted creatures to have escaped the castle and remain hostile because they're out of her range or something. Plus it is a haunted forest, after all. ;)

Plus since the chair and sword are both decoy-style enemies (like the Lullabuds), it makes sense to pair them regardless of Watts' presence. And if they're gonna be anywhere in the forest itself, the least bad place for them I think is next to the whip post. Aside from the obvious utility of how often the whip post gets used making it the main attraction, the area is also the most obviously man-made infrastructure in the forest, so it fits the theme of that part of the forest best since chairs and swords are also man-made. Who knows, maybe the sword is leftover gear from Dyluck's ill-fated venture into the forest that happened to become haunted on the way after an encounter with an escaped Polter Chair, then the two haunted items teamed up to decoy troll any passerbys forevermore...

@kethinov, @Queue

Could you also add the following for Stardust Herb?  I realized that the final Neko can be used rather often (Underground City, Grand Palace, Pure Land, Mana Fortress):

If you send me an IPS with the new changes I can update the RHDN version.

Okay, so here's what I propose for a data-driven Wall bypass for inclusion in IPS patches:
Code: [Select]
@OFF $D04CB3 ' 0x104CB3
BIT $1842 ' target type
BVS $EA ' $4CA2
BRA $01 ' $4CBB
NOP
LDA+Y $E170 ' CAST_SPELL_ID
Code: [Select]
@OFF $D0DAEB ' 0x10DAEB
LDA #40 ' Spell.Target.BoyWithSword
CMP $1842 ' target type
BNE $0F ' $DB01

The first change makes target type bit 0x40 bypass Wall, but leaves the hardcoded Dispel Magic test; while it's slightly inelegant, it avoids conflicts with Turbo spell changes to Dispel Magic (because they do happen to change its target type =P), so that any IPS patches could be applied either before or after Turbo and still work / not conflict.

The second change makes the "boy with sword" target type explicitly 0x40, instead of bit 0x40.

The idea would be any spell hack that wants to bypass Wall would include the above code; they'd all write the same thing to the same two spots, so no conflict. It wouldn't allow for making Dispel Magic not bypass Wall, but tough cookies, this way means no conflicts with patches that do change Dispel Magic otherwise.

(Edit: the above does not work as-is in ZPS due to a shortcoming of ZPS BVS instruction support; what's actually in the Turbo ZPS will work, of course.)

I'll update Suicide Burst to use this technique instead of the manual fork.

hmsong, I've been messing with the desert on and off. Have it to the point where landing in the southeast puts you in the maze (on various screens depending on where you land), the entrance screen no longer ejects you, and going to the sandship does eject you back to the normal desert.

There's an event on the screen south of the sandship where the characters complain about being near death that plays every time you enter it that I haven't dealt with and would make sense to not repeat.

That sounds cool. I had been looking into this as well, but I couldn't decide on a method of re-entry. My first instinct was to make the screen which takes you to the sandship take you to one of the post-sandship desert screens after you clear the sandship to connect both desert map grids into a single large desert grid, but that would've required editing map pieces to create a new south exit somewhere and door logic in a way that made my eyes glaze over so I gave up pretty quickly.

I hadn't considered the angle of just keeping them separate map complexes and letting Flammie land on the "old" maps. Less elegant, but better than nothing. Still being able to enter the sandship entrance map but just getting kicked out for some reason seems kinda hacky to me though in the way that revisiting Goblin Village gets people asking questions like "why do you enter from the south instead of the east" and "wait, where's the exit?" and of course the several questions we've seen now about the lack of compatibility with Day/Night Cycle. Hopefully you come up with a better answer to the doors problem than I did...

kethinov, any objection to me having some No Missable Monster changes omitted if certain other features are enabled that provide the monsters elsewhere? Namely, Sand Stinger if Revisit_Kakkara_Desert is On, Emberman if Day_Night_Cycle is On, the Werewolves if Day_Night_Cycle is On, etc.

Assuming no hard ZPS dependency or other problematic side effects described above, I think simply making Revisit Kakkara Desert part of No Missable Monsters would be a good way to eliminate needing to add a Sand Stinger.

Conditioning the reappearance of certain monsters based on whether Day/Night Cycle is applied makes sense too. I have no objection to that.

Specifically, this would eliminate the need to reintroduce:

- Werewolf: Haunted Forest.
- Sand Stinger: Kakkara Desert. (Possibly covered by Revisit Kakkara Desert depending on whether or not the design is elegant enough to graduate from experimental status.)
- Emberman: Kakkara Desert.

Possibly others... The remaining list from No Missable Monsters is:

- Goblin: Gaia's Navel.
- Chess Knight: Matango Caves.
- Mystic Book: Ice Country.
- Specter: Ice Country.
- Robin Foot: Kakkara Desert.
- Dark Funk: Kakkara Desert.
- Red Drop: Moon Palace.
- Dark Ninja: Mana Fortress.
- Tomato Man: Mana Fortress.
- Wizard Eye: Mana Fortress.
- Ghost: Mana Fortress.

Are any of those possible to eliminate via Day/Night cycle as well?

I assume you left the Ghost in the Mana Fortress because it's not stuck like the Whimper in the same spot is?

Yes. I disliked an unreachable Whimper, especially given that he has a weapon orb chest if you haven't gotten the orb yet. Killing him and seeing a chest spawn on that little island is quite cringeworthy. Plus he's not really a threat over there anyway. But the Ghost can follow you around, so I liked that replacement regardless of Pure Land access.

Careful eyes will notice I got rid of another inconveniently located monster by replacing him with a Neko in Neko and Watts in the Mana Fortress. (The first of the two Mana Fortress Nekos.)

Similarly, what are your thoughts on splitting the "out of bounds" enemies to a separate feature? Or the repositioned monsters?

I thought about that but wasn't sure why anyone would want to sever these things from each other.

Reintroducing missable monsters, restoring out of bounds enemies, and repositioning badly placed monsters all strike me as both 1. pretty uncontroversial things basically everyone could agree should be on by default (so long as the placements are tasteful) and 2. conceptually serving the same purpose: out of bounds monsters are obviously missable and badly positioned monsters are easily missed, thus fixing this stuff strikes me as part of the mandate of an effort to make monsters no longer missable. I too am wary of mission creep conflating too much stuff into one hack, but I don't think this is an example of that.

14
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 10, 2019, 01:04:22 am »
Updated hack: No Missable Monsters

This is a significant overhaul:
  • Tomato Man moved to prevent bug causing crystal orb to not spawn.
  • Sand Stinger was still missable and was added to new spot in Kakkara desert.
  • Adding an extra Imp and Nitro Pumpkin was unnecessary and that was reverted.
  • Dark Funk, Red Drop, Dark Ninja, and Wizard Eye were moved into slightly better spots.
  • Bug fixed causing Wizard Eye to be pushable.
  • Luka's Ice Thug will now be a Water Thug until you attain Pure Land access.
  • Incorporated "Revisit Sunken Continent" and "Revisit Pure Land" hacks by Queue to provide more elegant way to render Fierce Head, Steelpion, Ghoul, Gremlin, Griffin Hand, Mushgloom, Ice Thug, and Ghost revisitable. Queue: I refactored the code in "Revisit Sunken Continent" to auto extend the bridge to prevent the needing to irrelevantly talk to the girl. I don't believe there are any significant side effects to my revised code, but this should be reviewed just in case.
  • Unstuck a few more monsters from walls: A Water Thug in Matango Caves, a Howler in Ice Country, and a Fierce Head in Palace of Darkness.
  • The Shadow X enemies can now be refought if you visit them again in Joch's Cave.
  • Moved a few more monsters around to make them better positioned:
  • Some Chobin Hoods were moved from those weird pits/islands outside of Elinee's Castle to the ramparts of the castle instead. This pairs well with Accessible Ramparts.
  • A Red Drop in Fire Palace has been moved from a useless dead end to a place where you are more likely to have to fight him.
  • A Dark Ninja in a dead end of Palace of Darkness was changed to an Imp so that he might pose a threat to you via his long distance attacks whereas the Dark Ninja would not.
Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4555/

OK perfect that's what I was hoping for. Even at 7x HP/MP enemies and bosses don't last very long with level 99 maxed out party, so with the Enemy_Stat_Changes that'll give them even more HP for me to whack away at, thanks for the reply.

Not sure if this is normal or not, but second room in the Pandora Ruins with the two Chess Knights, if I poison them the text window that pops up displays the "po" from poisoned at the end, then a second text window pops up that just has "isoned" dispalyed. Is that correct or should the complete word poisoned appear on the second window?

EDIT: Looks like it might be having Relocalized on, it makes the Chess Knight's name longer so any info about status ailments or buffs pours into a second text window.

A probably not related but similar bug I've seen is sometimes when targeting the Dark Lich or the Mana Beast, instead of saying "Dark Lich" or "Mana Beast" it will say "Dark Lichin" or "Mana Beastin." Not sure what could be causing that. This was with the vanilla script, not Relocalized.

I think I already have something for the Wall bypass, though I want feedback on the logic / choice of data.

The gist is, use the spell's target type, specifically overloading the "boy with sword" bit, 0x40, to mean bypass Wall, with a small tweak to targeting code so if the target type is ONLY 0x40, do the "boy with sword" target restriction for the two Mana Magics. So Dispel Magic's (vanilla) target type would change from 0x81 (enemies, multi-targetable), to 0xC1 (enemies, wall-bypass, multi-targetable). Then any other spell could have 0x40 added to let it also bypass Wall.

This only presents a limitation for Moon Energy, since it's ally, single-target (0x00), where adding 0x40 would just make it 0x40. Two unused bits, 0x08 and 0x04 (and technically 0x10, but I use that for the enemy / ally Turn Undead / Dispel on allies feature) could be harmlessly tacked on for Moon Energy (so 0x48 or 0x44) to make it skip the "boy with sword" code, though I may give them a use later so not the safest choice (I also sorta use 0x08 currently in some QuickSpell logic, though that can be rewritten to not need that bit). It seems like a harmless limitation given the benefits of no longer needing a hardcoded list of Wall bypassing spells.

My first pass implementation only requires changing 10 bytes (including the byte for the Dispel Magic target type), and fits in place (it actually leaves 8 bytes free where the hardcoded spell numbers were before).

Another option for maximum compatibility could be to leave Dispel Magic as a hardcoded bypass, so its target type wouldn't need changing, but also with bit 0x40 letting any other spell bypass Wall. There's code space to do this, just seems less elegant than simply changing Dispel Magic's target type.

Very clever. I have no opinion as to which bit to reserve. It sounds like you've thought it through pretty well.

15
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 09, 2019, 12:33:42 pm »
In vanilla, if you stand in the position that I am in the screenshot when he's underground and his head is up, the Dark Lich goes into an unbreakable loop of moving up and down and will never attack you, so long as you don't move either. You can swing your weapons and cast spells on him with impunity and he won't fight back. The "head bang" glitch is the preferred exploit of SoM speed runners when fighting Dark Lich.

16
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 09, 2019, 12:38:40 am »
Dead players. I was fighting Dark Lich, had Wall up, he killed Popoi, I cast Revivifier on him, it reflected to Dark Lich, doing damage to him and not resurrecting the ghost. Repeatedly casting Revivifier on the ghost eventually wears down the Wall and it resurrects the ghost.

17
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 08, 2019, 07:38:03 pm »
It's pretty involved. The code that controls whether a spell goes through Wall is basically a spell whitelist (the two Mana Magics and Dispel Magic) and it isn't easy to expand the list. I had to fork the Wall bounce logic into buffer space and write a new subroutine that expanded the list of exceptions to Wall from 3 to 4, then jump back to the original subroutine from where it left off. I thought about altering the logic to make it so the list could be expanded to an arbitrary number of spells in the process, but it would've required a lot of effort to design something that would support a large number of disparate hacks adding or removing exceptions willy nilly being mixed and matched, so I punted the problem.

On a related note, I found a bug: Wall will reflect Revivifier cast on a ghost. (Wall status is preserved on ghosts.)

November 08, 2019, 10:08:07 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
New Hack: Fix Dark Lich Head Bang Glitch

This patch prevents Dark Lich from being pinned using the "head bang" glitch. Side effect: he will no longer chase you when he is underground, but this was easily avoided in the original AI logic anyway by staying to his left or right.

Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4780/

Updated hack: Harder Final Boss

- Fixed crash Queue pointed out.
- Dark Lich spell list changed from the rather nonthreatening Freeze, HP Absorb, Earth Slide, Thunderbolt, Dark Force, Evil Gate, and Dispel Magic each against a single target to the much more vicious combination of Blaze Wall against all targets and MP Absorb sometimes against all targets, sometimes against one target.
- Dark Lich will attack more aggressively and go underground less often.
- Incorporated "Fix Dark Lich Head Bang Glitch" hack.

Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4412/

Requires special variant to be compatible with Inferno Barrier: http://kethinov.com/images/linked/som/hardfinal/SecretofManaHarderFinalBoss1.3InfernoBarriersupport.zip

Also Stardust Herb is on RHDN now: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4781/

18
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 08, 2019, 04:30:58 pm »
When importing Harder Final Boss 1.2, I spotted something wrong with the patch to Mana Beast code at 0x0293D0. Looks like instead of writing... honestly not totally sure what the exact plan was, but instead the 24-bit address ($C293D0, in big-endian order) is written there which results in garbage code. I haven't tested to see if it crashes but if it doesn't, it's a lucky miracle.

You're right, that's a mistake. Fix posted below.

19
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 08, 2019, 12:35:23 pm »
The item handler code was written to the same block of memory as Magical Herb. It is technically possible to make Magical Herb and Stardust Herb compatible, but it would be a fairly big waste of limited buffer space for the few (to none?) people who would want to combine them for some reason.

Presently, the available combinations look like this:

1. Medical Herb (dispels negative status effects) + Faerie Coconut. (Vanilla + Faerie Coconut.)
2. Medical Herb (dispels negative status effects) + Stardust Herb (dispels positive status effects). (Vanilla + Stardust Herb: This is Timbo's WoB proposal.)
3. Magical Herb (dispels positive and negative status effects) + Faerie Coconut. (My preference and Queue's.)

It's unclear why anyone would want:

4. Magical Herb (dispels positive and negative status effects) + Stardust Herb (dispels positive status effects only making it rather redundant compared to the more useful Magical Herb if both were in the same ROM).

But if some sudden upsurge of demand emerged to make them compatible for some reason, it could be done.

Speaking of which, Stardust Herb is available to play now: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4781/


20
Personal Projects / Re: Secret of Mana, Turbo - Beta 191106
« on: November 08, 2019, 02:44:55 am »
I sent you an email, but Stardust Herb (and therefore probably Magical Herb) doesn't completely dispel Lucid Barrier -- it has one hit left.  Maybe that's due to high level of Lucid Barrier (I used Lv7).

Fixed that. 1.3 update to Magical Herb: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4426/

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