12/5/2014 -Demo Released, covering up to just before the Underworld. Now with various bug and oversight fixes.Final Fantasy IV: Combat Boost! v0.19
WARNING: Must Be An Unheadered Rom!
NOTE: All pictures come from earlier test builds and will be updated when that point in testing is pertinent
To those who pay attention to the Rom Hacking Discussion area of the forum will know that I've been releasing patches that are meant to be part of a grand project... well that project is FFIV:Combat Boost! This patch aims to increase the challenge, but also give the player more options as well. All too often a hardtype hack will not do much to level the playing field, but instead just makes the foes or obstacles more difficult to bypass and there is little feeling of reward or achievement, this is especially true in RPG's.
So while I flirted with the idea of making a straight FFIV hardtype I got to thinking that it is a relatively boring idea that has already been done before to pretty good effect so why fix what isn't broken? To those who like the base game hardtype can play that to their heart's desire. What my hack aims to do is give the player more decisions to what to use in battle.
For instance in the normal game, it's pretty much a given that A: Whips are useless, B: Strongest Armor is normally the best to equip. C: Most Commands are Worthless.
My hack takes cues from later and earlier Final Fantasy games to give a unique experience to FFIV's combat system, hence the aforementioned "Combat Boost!" name.
It also uses Vivify93's incredible Project II as a base so all of the text will be using his terminology (which is Great by the way)
A Modified Basic Battle System! - Now certain weapons will randomly use a spell when you attack or may even use a Command!
11 New Commands from Scratch - Including several significant changes to normal battle like Dragon Speech, which enables Kain to learn spells from Wounded Dragons and Hunt which allows Rosa to Hunt wounded Beasts and gain unique items and opens up its own little sidequest (nothing too massive, but one large noticeable change in Troia), and Rydia loses White Magic, but does gain Geomancy, which works as you'd expect it to in an FF game.
The New Commands are as follows...
Dragon Speech - Dragoon Kain speaks to critically wounded dragons to learn wisdom from them, and in thanks let's them go.
Bardsong - Taking a cue from FFIII NES and DS - Bardsong uses a Song dependent on the Harp you have equipped and in addition raises the attack of party members, used by Edward and Paladin Cecil.
Advance - Cid increases his attack in proportion to his Strength stat, but loses defense in the same proportion.
ItemLord - Looks at the first usable item in your inventory and splits it or makes it a single target attack. A Command for Cid.
Caption: A Couerl Whisker is Split to hit all Foes.
Hunt - Inspired by FFT's Poach System, Rosa will automatically slay critically wounded Beasts (a new enemy type replacing, but including, Reptiles) by using this command, which dependent on the enemy's level can yield up to 24 different items.
Caption: Rosa slays a Basilisk with Hunt and earns an Item in doing so.
Arrow Barrage - Inspired by FFIII, Rosa will use two arrows to attack Twice. Dependent on her Strength she can shoot more.
Caption: Rosa Prepares to Fire.
Elemental Weapon - Tellah draws in the elemental power around him, endowing his weapon with random elements. (Note: Tellah can equip Swords in this hack and is more akin to a Red Mage in his equipment set-up)
Coat Weapon - Looking at the First Inventory Slot, Cid uses his knowledge of Chemistry to reverse the healing powers of herbs and solutions and applies this to his weapon (example: Antidote - Poison Weapon).
Geomancy - Rydia can call up the powers of the Earth to assist her (with a chance of failure) and dependent on the background of the battle the effect will differ.
Item Seek - A Weapon Only Command. When this Command activates on the enemy it hits, the enemy's drop percentage will jump from 5% to 25%.
Katana Soul - Inspired by FFT, Edge can call forth the latent powers hidden within his Katanas to use various effects on his friends and foes, there is a chance of the weapon breaking on use.
Caption: Only Katanas may be used in this command.
The power of this Katana is a Full Party Psych!
And every command that hasn't been radically changed has a new effect (except for Jump and Cover) and every school of magic has a couple of new spells, with an entirely new school in the Break Skills, inspired from FFT and several Dragoon skills, unique skill that Kain will learn from the Five Dragons should he use Dragon Speech at the right time.
Dark Wave is now Dark Omen - A Spell is cast dependent on Wisdom that Curses all foes and damages them a fair amount but deals 1/8 of Cecil's HP and turns him into a Zombie for the remainder of battle, meaning that HP healing will hurt him. So be ever cautious with its use.
Caption: Dark Omen is effecting all foes.
Focus has lost its defense dividers, and can deal full damage to foes in the Back Row.
Kick now has a special conditional, if you are not wearing any armor while using it it will deal double the damage (as an FFI reference)
Gird works entirely differently. Gird, when used, will change Yang's Level into his Defense and with a rare Master's Headband Speed is also added onto that amount. (Another FFI reference where the Absorb of the Monk was dependent on his Level.)
Twin can target allies or enemies. If allies are the target a Healing spell will be used on the party.
Steal's chance has been increased by 10% and will steal the fourth item in the table, rather than the first, meaning that the Rare Items are 1/32 rather than a 1/64 as they were before. In addition with the Thief Gauntlets, Steal becomes Mug and using it will give you a free attack!
Regen is now a Spell, rather than a Command, but even there it is changed. The amount of healing done is dependent on the Spirit of the Caster.
The new spells are as follows...
Break Skills - Dark Knight Cecil/Tellah/Paladin Cecil (White Spell Menu)
Seal Break - Reduces an Enemy's Magic Defense by 25%.
Power Break - Reduces an Enemy's Attack by 25%
Speed Break - Reduces an Enemy's Speed by 25%
Armor Break - Reduces an Enemy's Defense by 25%
Mind Break - Reduces an Enemy's Spell Power by 25%
Regen - (Explained above)
Piercing Sight - Inspired by FFIV:The After Years, Piercing Sight will get rid of an Enemy's status buffs and will randomly change their weakness, and use Scan at the same time so you can know what it has changed to.
Aura - Inspired by FFII. Aura will, dependent on the Caster's Wisdom, give the Target ability to deal Extra Damage to Enemy's depending on their Type.
Example: Rydia has 40 Wisdom and casts Aura on Cecil. Cecil will then have x4 Damage to Zombie, Mage, Slime, Giant, and Spirit. At 10 Wisdom though, if this spell were to be used, only Zombie would have x4 Damage applied. At 60 Wisdom all enemy types have x4 Damage. (Thanks to Chillyfeez for helping with the routine)
Taunt - Edge can taunt a single foe into attacking him.
Dragon Skills (White Spell Menu)
Reis' Wind (Or WindR) - Will restore all Allies HP by 1/3 of their Current HP.
Gale - Can deal good damage against flying enemies. Air Elemental.
Dragon Breath (Breth) - Deals damage to foes dependent on Kain's current HP.
Lancet (Lance) will do a normal attack with Kain that is Absorb Elemental, restoring 1/2 of the damage done.
Sky Rave (SkyRv) - Kain Jumps into the Air and shoots Lightning down, dealing massive damage to all foes. Holy/Air Elemental.
But wait, there's more!
By equipping a certain helmet and ring you can emulate Item Lore and Chemistry from FFIII and FFX.
By equipping the Scholar Helmet you will deal double damage with attack Items (more important in this then they ever were before due to enemy Magic Evasion being fixed... for once in an FFIV release)
By equipping the Chemist Ring all healing you do with Potions will recover x2 their amount.
Finally by equipping Odin's Armor on Paladin Cecil his Cover command will act like Dark Omen!
Normal Cover command, nothing different there.
Yet by equipping Odin's Armor...
Paladin Cecil can use Cover as if it were Dark Omen!
And this doesn't even cover the sidequest that is accessed through Hunt!
Nor does it cover the many different new weapons that one can find, or the completely revamped Item Tables.
Stay tuned for further updates! All that is realistically left on my part is maybe a couple more code routines, but the biggest part remaining will be changing enemy's stats and maybe some AI.
EDIT: 2/16/14 - Completed up through the Old Waterway, Octomamm can be a bit tricky now. He sports a new weakness, but he also has a new strength. Also in this battle, Cecil (or Tellah) may be his own worst enemy, use the Shadow Blade judiciously...
Staff now has a new spell called "HolyBeam" which deals a little less damage than the Rod's MageDart, but it has the potential of hitting twice, making it more powerful than MageDart. And true to its name it is Holy Elemental which might make taking out the Zombies (which you might want to do for their unique rare item) a bit of an easier time.
Here is where Dark Omen stops tearing through everything that moves. They have enough magic evasion or magic defense to mitigate the damage. That does mean now that the full power of Curse can be seen however...