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FF 1 and 2 DOS: Mod of Balance

Hack of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls

Description:

This mod aims to improve the gameplay of both Final Fantasy 1 and Final Fantasy 2.

The current download here contains two versions… v2.2 and v3.5 (all other versions are available at the author’s website). Version 2.2 is the most up-to-date version of the mod with Final Fantasy 1’s class change event intact. Version 3.5 does away with the class change completely, allowing the player to choose their party from 12 differing (and some entirely unique) character concepts.

The Final Fantasy 1 mod was originally intended to restore the difficulty of this GBA version of the game to the difficulty of the original NES version, so it can be enjoyed with all of the modern trappings of the GBA version. Version 2.0 was a step beyond the previous one, and was intended to provide enhancements to the gameplay and address user criticisms of version 1.2. Version 2.2, therefore, is mostly a bugfix version.

The ambition behind the Final Fantasy 2 portion of the mod is simple: “unbreak” the character development mechanics. The GBA version already fixed the select-action-cancel-action-and-gain-skill-ad-nauseam bug, but still required players to grind in all the wrong ways. Unlimited actions should increase slower than actions that are limited by mana or resources. I hope I have succeeded in making Final Fantasy 2 play much more smoothly. Secondarily, weapons were much too underpowered in the endgame as enemy defense rendered them mostly useless versus spells. Warrior-heavy and magic-heavy party builds should have the potential to be equally successful.

As putting a full changelog here would make for a needlessly long entry, you can read the readme (link above), or view a comprehensive changelog with screenshots at http://jeffludwig.com.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • 1805 - Final Fantasy I & II - Dawn of Souls (UA).gba
  • CRC32: 1B39CDAB
  • MD5: 5D29999685413C4D2BEC10D3160F6EE6
  • SHA-1: 6472695D69661490F78245E2982E1E676C080BE7
  • SHA-256: BBAFB77D2BE577CA0A4BFCBEC9FC3004B589F24478EC5E406D61645296449422

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
ludmeisterHacking

User Review Information

A few fresh changes but nothing drastic.

Reviewed By: SPennLUE on 06 Apr 2014

{This review only applies to the FF1 half, since I did not play the other game}

The main reason I wanted to try this is the revamped class system for the FF1 portion, and this hack does deliver. The new classes all feel unique and have their own strengths. But I don’t feel Mod of Balance lives up to the author’s claims of restoring FF1’s difficulty. Part of this is due to the changes made by the GBA port itself, but in this hack I rarely took more than two turns to beat any fight - boss or mook - and it was even more rare to get a game over. This is absolutely not true of my experience with the NES version; I always struggled just enough to feel like the game is challenging me, encouraging me to regroup and rethink my approach, without resorting to cheap shots.

Here, my “Master” consistently overwhelmed bosses, and my “Sage” took out large groups with magic. My “Enchanter” was pretty good for healing and buffs, so no complaints there. The “Ranger” was unable to keep up in damage, healing, or support, and just took up space. However, the final boss presented a huge and unfair spike in difficulty, which was not matched by even the combined healing efforts of the Ranger and Enchanter, plus item buffs. At that point I wasn’t terribly interested in the game anymore, so after about 10 deaths I had lost interest and wasn’t keen on whatever grinding I would have had to do (my party was in the late 40s at that point). While I was able to revise my strategy with each death, nothing was changing the fact that I simply could not survive certain combinations of attacks if my own party members’ turns were randomly executed in certain permutations, and the fight devolved into “pray that the computer doesn’t implement a string of magic spells and place the boss’ attacks at the end of one turn and the beginning of the next.”

This hack has been updated past the version linked here, and according to the author’s site’s changelog, it seems to address a lot of what I didn’t like (check the author’s site to see both the new patch and the changelog). The graphical updates look nice too. I can at least suggest you check out the newest revision. But skip this one.

Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Breathes new life into the game!Necromas05 Sep 20203.5Yes
Interesting? Yes. Definitive? Ehh...BlazeHeatnix16 Jun 20192.2No
Excellent (with update)theknowerseeker03 Oct 20193.5Yes
Final Fantasy II for Sane PeopleZeLoz (akaBill)01 Apr 20152.2Yes
A few fresh changes but nothing drastic.SPennLUE06 Apr 2014N/ANo