Focus and Pray now work, I haven't tested them super thoroughly, but they behave mostly how I expect now.
Pray will not message what its doing... but it will do something useful, when it does something at all. Since you can't Guard and Pray at the same time, a little squiggly praying icon shows up where the Guard shield usually is. The character crouches, so I figured, it should look different from being paralyzed... but it needs to look MORE different. What kind of icon best represents praying??
If praying while Mute, it will just try to cure the Mute ailment, along with any other ailments. Honestly, the AI for this is pretty robust enough, I didn't want to add in ANOTHER round of "what ailment of however many they have should be healed if only one ailment is healed?" so just... heal 'em all except
What! No Stone?! NO. It's GONE. Its been replaced by Stop! It behaves the exact same way, but now you just freeze! You still turn grey on the main menu... working on that. In fact, a lot of backend stuff is still a little broken with the change of names regarding Soft and the Wakeup Bell. Instead of a Soft, I figured... for the magic, Flow sounded good. Time flowing. So there's a Flowing clock with the clock being the icon for Stop, and then I was like, well, there's a clock now, why have a bell?
With Stone no longer needing to keep the fourth sprite palette static, I was able to set up a third character palette. I gave the Thief some brown hair and dark leathers, the Ninja gets a nice darker outfit instead of his jimjams. While poking around there, I figured out how to give the map sprites more character, and went and fixed some colours there as well. Instead of everyone needing to be pink-skinned, you can now set both colours in lut_MapmanPalettes in Bank 12. I gave the thief a slightly lighter shade of yellow than the battle sprite since he looked weird. The browns don't really compliment each other that much. But the Black Belt and Master look GREAT.
I also went and re-ordered the palette colours a bit, and swapped the sprite bits, so all skin tones are on the right side, just in case I figure out some way to make you able to choose what palette a sprite uses, they'd be less weird...?
What else... Oxyale spring now actually shows the dialogue. I added another colour or two? (maybe just one) to the battle background options. Added another option for the battle message speed and reset it back to almost-vanilla settings. I remembered that while 2 seconds may be a lifetime for most players, there will be people who will appreciate having time to read the battle messages. Learning the language, or just slow readers. SO many games I can't play because of issues like that.
Also made even MORE room in Bank C by moving the magic message LUT into the magic data, since the last byte of each spell was unused. Oh, yes, and there's 16 special Battle Spells - while I can't expand normal spells without a significant re-write of menu mechanics, I CAN make more spells available to be used for items and other neat effects. So the planned Battle Spells are:
Heal, Heal 2, Heal 3 - used by Pray. I will swap them back with Regen soon, so that Regen is special, and Heal can be used in the main menu again.
Counter - so that an item can give you the retaliate-like-a-black-belt thing, and so enemies can use it as well (scary)
Reflect, Reflect 2 - Single target and party-wide Reflect, the way it works in the other games, once I code that in somehow.
Scan - Yeah, everyone wants Red Mage/Wizard to have Runic instead, and until I get to the point where there's so many battle skills that I need to make the Skill submenu return, I'd rather not just ditch Scan entirely! So putting it in a battle item is a good way to keep it around.
What other spell effects can I code in? Get real crazy! Animations are real limited, but what would you like to see outside of the game's usual structure? CONTROLLING ENEMIES???? DOING ENEMY ATTACKS?????
Update on Runic: What a headache ability! But its coming along.
Things get more complicated when Confused magic comes up.
* Requires an equipped weapon to use
* When any spell is being prepared, it checks to see if any character is using Runic, and sets a flag if so
* Does not activate for enemy special attacks, or the Counter battle spell which counts as a special attack in this case
Trying to get the logic to be like this:
Enemy > Single Enemy = Activate a Runic user at random
Enemy > All Enemies = Activate a Runic user at random for one hit of the spell, for each Runic user
Enemy > Single Player = Try to activate the target first; if not using Runic, activate another user at random
Enemy > All Players = Runic will only activate when the spell hits a Runic user
Player > Enemy = No activation
Player > All enemies = No activation
Player > Player = No activation
Player > All Players = No activation
Confused Player > Enemy = Activates a Runic user at random (but not if the Runic user is the caster!)
Confused Player > All Enemies = Activates a Runic user at random for one hit of the spell, for each Runic user (but not if the Runic user is the caster!)
Confused Player > Player = Try to activate the target first; if not using Runic, activate another user at random (but not if the Runic user is the caster!)
Confused Player > All Players = Runic will only activate when the spell hits a Runic user (but not if the Runic user is the caster!)
It's a lot of different variables to account for, and going to take a while to get it all right. I don't think this is too complicated, and I don't want to simplify it any more. The idea is tactical usage. The cases for using it while needing to cast your own spells are more important than absorbing the next spell cast by anyone at all in any circumstance, I feel.