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FF 1 and 2 DOS: Mod of Balance

Hack of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls


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

ROM / ISO Information:

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




ContributorType of contributionListed credit

User Review Information

Interesting? Yes. Definitive? Ehh...

Reviewed By: BlazeHeatnix on 16 Jun 2019

(Note: since v3.0 and up is almost an entirely different game, I’m going to stick to v2.2. I’m also only focusing on the FF1 half)

I searched high and low for what the best version of Final Fantasy is to play, but with each version you make some sacrifices. You could play the NES version with the “Restored” hack, but you miss out on the upgrades made to the Origins remake and beyond. You could play Origins, but it doesn’t have the best script and is missing the extra content from DoS. You could play the GBA/PSP versions, but the difficulty is ruined.

And then there’s this hack. This hack claimed to bring back the original difficulty of the NES version. That’s what it said on the tin, and that’s what I played it for. You wouldn’t think it’d be that hard: just add a Vancian magic system and tweak the stats to be how they were in Origins. Because some of us aren’t looking to “fix” problems that were never there in the first place. Some of us just want to play these games as the designers intended, just with new graphics and content.

Well, while the hack might be closer to the NES version in terms of challenge, too much of it was changed. Boss strategies are different, spell weaknesses are different, equipment is different, and class balance is different. And that last part is probably the only reason I can’t recommend this hack to someone wanting to play FFI for the first time. Part of the fun in FFI is choosing your jobs at the start, and if you wanted to, you could go through the game with crazy combinations like 4 knights, 3 knights and a red mage, 4 white mages, and so on. But with this hack, you NEED a balanced party. Parties now have checks and balances now, to where if you don’t have a proper setup balancing magic, speed and physical power, you’re pretty much boned. In the old days, using 4 white mages was an epic challenge, but here, anything outside the norm is nearly impossible to beat Chaos with.

I want to say this hack is perfectly fun on its merits, but I don’t care about that. I’m mainly concerned with the claim that this brings back the original game I know and love, which it didn’t.

Version 2.2 Recommended - No

User Reviews
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