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Drop Table Balance

Hack of Secret of Mana


This hack overhauls the monster chest drop table in order to help ameliorate a number of annoying issues in the original game, such as:

  • The very beginning of the game requires too much grinding to get decent equipment.
  • Monsters drop obsolete armor too often.
  • Some armor is never encountered because it is too rare.
  • Generally speaking there is too much armor in the game.
  • There is little incentive to fight and defeat many of the game’s monsters due to how useless the prizes are and how difficult they can be to kill at times.
  • Some armor is permanently missable, including the best helmet in the game for the hero: the Griffin Helm.
  • Getting the level 9 weapon orbs is too much work to be worth it because they are too rare.

These problems create a propensity for unfun grinding in Secret of Mana if you want to acquire all the best equipment. In playthroughs you will hit level 99 on all characters long before you get all the best armor and weapons.

What this hack does:

  • Which monsters drop which items has been rearranged significantly.
  • Early enemies drop more money now via chests to make early equipment sold by vendors actually affordable.
  • Monsters will now generally drop armor that is better than what you have.
  • The best equipment (top weapon orbs/top armor) drops more easily now.
  • The following armor has been deleted from the game: Cocatrice Cap, Amulet Helm, Guardian Ring, Dragon Ring, Watcher Ring, Imp’s Ring. There was no place to put them that didn’t make them too rare, or too powerful, or recur later at times when they’d be obsolete.
  • A typical playthrough should now result in acquiring nearly all pieces of the remaining armor at some point. You should miss very few pieces now. And they will be acquired at times that are useful rather than useless.
  • No items are permanently missable now. If you miss something, you can either get it in the Mana Fortress, or in an old level that is revisitable. Notably, the Griffin Helm and Faerie Cloak are easier to acquire in the Pure Land, but both can be gotten as rare drops in the Mana Fortress now.
  • Faerie Walnuts and other useful consumables will drop more often from more monsters now.

Consider alternatives:

This hack was created before the explosion of dozens of new SoM hacks some years later. Since then, a number of better approaches to solving the problems this hack attempted to solve have been created. Some hacks worth trying instead:

However, one benefit of using this hack instead of the other more comprehensive overhauls is this hack only alters the drop table and nothing else, so it can be layered on top of other hacks somewhat cleanly, including the other overhauls. Your mileage may vary.

Important things to note:

  • This hack is not compatible with the following hacks, which alter the drop table in an incompatible way: Masterflow’s Hard Mode, Kethinov’s Equipment Progression Balance, and Timbo’s Equipment Overhaul.
  • This hack is compatible with Faerie Coconut, but only if Faerie Coconut is applied after.

Specific details of changes and full rationale for them listed in the README.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Secret of Mana (U) [!].SMC
  • Header: NO
  • CRC32: 229BA7E4
  • MD5: 759A3837E5C16AF31464EF6192731EEB
  • SHA1: 4E214F3C987F842C2C68E77B99FC9760F6BB753D




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