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Poll

Which control scheme would you prefer for the weak/strong attacks

B for Weak, forward + B for strong
0 (0%)
B for Weak, A for strong (running only available in towns)
0 (0%)
Forward B for weak, B for strong
0 (0%)
B for weak, Y for strong (X used for own menu and X again to change to other characters menu)
0 (0%)
other (please post your suggestion)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 0

Author Topic: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack  (Read 151174 times)

dudejo

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #520 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
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 07:34:27 pm by dudejo »

WeebeeGeebee

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #521 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.

talos91

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #522 on: August 14, 2018, 06:00:29 am »
So dudejo how the secondary weapon works?

dudejo

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #523 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.

lightninghunter

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #524 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?

SageOwl

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #525 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.

Stremon

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #526 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  ;)

lexluthermiester

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #527 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".
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 03:53:27 am by lexluthermiester »

Stremon

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #528 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

lexluthermiester

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #529 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!

pleasejust

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #530 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.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 07:03:40 am by pleasejust »

lexluthermiester

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #531 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.

NiggelMyNiggel

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #532 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?

SageOwl

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #533 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.

Queue

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #534 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
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 03:34:05 am by Queue »

SCO

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #535 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.

acediez

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #536 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

Queue

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #537 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:

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:


Edit 2:
Added an (optional) deblocking filter to title screen image decompression:

That should do it for the title screen, time to do other stuff.

Queue
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 03:38:44 pm by Queue »

OMorty

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #538 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?

Queue

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #539 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.