I'm not actively working on this (or any) hack at the moment, but since you asked, I'll share some ideas I might try implementing in the future.
(These are just ideas, I haven't even looked at the code that controls these yet.)
Enigma/Shuttle success modification:
No pieces: Always fail
1-4 pieces: (normal RNG + chance % behavior)
No pieces: Always fail
1-3 pieces: (normal RNG + chance % behavior)
4 pieces: Always success
This is what you most likely will get anyway, based on the game's chance rates. It would simply aim to shave off the rare chance of getting an accidental success when you're going for the worst chance on purpose, or getting an accidental failure after going through all eight stages within the 16 hours limit.
I'm of course thinking of what seems to me what you would normally be aiming for on a regular playthrough, not speedrunners or other edge cases.
The original's system is based on the boss' level, which is based on a sum of the "hours" left and your character's Rank (which changes based on performance, but Zero always starts higher than X). In practice, however, it comes down to wasting enough hours at the start of the game so you get a high enough level, so your Rank doesn't matter. On top of that, since you can only pick one of two each time (and the game doesn't have a New Game+), you can only get half of them at most on a single playthrough/savefile.
This is a very flawed system in my opinion, and almost impossible to decipher on a casual playthrough. Since it came down to simply wasting hours, removing the requirements altogether to always get everything seemed to me an improvement over the original game. But it's obviously not an actual solution. It takes away a lot of the potential fun of making an extra effort to unlock these.
My idea now is to ignore the boss Level/Rank system altogether and change the requirements to two separate straightforward conditions:
- The "Life Up/Energy Up" choice only affects the actual Life/Energy upgrade. You always get to chose one, regardless of performance.
- Get the Part assigned to "Life Up+" by completing the stage without losing lives (Boss included. Not counting revisits).
- Get the Part assigned to"Energy Up+" by beating the boss without using special weapons (X-Buster/Z-Saber only). Either that, or simply not using the boss’ weakness.
Get both Parts if both requirements are met.
Also, get acquired Parts immediately (not two hours/stages later).
Comments and different ideas are appreciated.