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Herbal Boost

Hack of Secret of Mana

Description:

This hack swaps the positions of Moon Energy and Revivifier in Primm’s spell list to make the overpowered Luna elemental a bit less awesome and the underutilized Dryad elemental a bit more useful.

Accordingly, the Moon Energy spell has been renamed to Herbal Boost and it has been rehued green instead of yellow to suit the theme of Dryad better. Aside from being green and having a new name, the new Herbal Boost spell functions exactly the same as the old Moon Energy spell. Likewise Revivifier (and Cup of Wishes) has had its target palette changed to yellow to reflect it now being a Luna spell, but otherwise behaves exactly as before.

The cost of Revivifier has also been decreased from 10mp to 4mp to make it more useful. Likewise the cost of Herbal Boost has been decreased from Moon Energy’s original cost of 2mp to 1mp.

The balancing effects of this hack are even more pronounced when this is combined with Early Luna.

Note: To combine this with Proper-caser, apply Proper-caser and this hack first, then apply the companion Proper-caser compatibility hack last.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Secret of Mana (USA).sfc - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: D0176B24
  • MD5: 10A894199A9ADC50FF88815FD9853E19
  • SHA-1: 8133041A363E3CC68CEDEF40B49B6D20D03C505D
  • SHA-256: 4C15013131351E694E05F22E38BB1B3E4031DEDAC77EC75ABECEBE8520D82D5F

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
KethinovHacking

User Review Information

A totally organic experience!

Reviewed By: zoolgremlin on 06 Nov 2019

Tested as part of the ongoing Secret of Mana Turbo Project, by Queue (with various resources provided by zhaDe as part of Secret of Mana: New Game Improvement). Latest version used.

This is a phenomenal idea. It is much to be regretted that commercial game developers generally can’t/won’t put this much thought and effort into the design of their games. There are a number of criticisms that can be levelled at the Magic System in SoM Vanilla, but here only the problems with Luna vs. Dryad are relevant:

LUNA

  • Luna has five spells that are useful, for much longer in the game if combined with the Early Luna mod, by the same Creator… more on that in another review.
  • Luna spells, for the most part, are less costly than those for Dryad, making them easier to level up Luna, as well as more cost-efficient for the power they grant you.
  • The only exception to cost-effective vs. powerful/useful for Luna, not counting Lunar Magic, is Lunar Boost. Which costs the same as Moon Energy, but grants you less power.
  • Moon Saber is one of the Saber spells, that has an additional effect that makes it more than worth the cost. Dryad has no equivalent except Mana Magic, far more powerful and needed, but only unlocked in the final battle.
  • Moon Energy is a very powerful AND very cheap spell all at once, and the use of it only hurts the player if reflected off a Walled PC, onto a monster or boss. Which basically never happens unless the player is careless, or wants a real fight. In the Vanilla game, this gets way more use than anything Dryad has, with the possible exception of Burst. Which is not really a comparable spell due to its different function.
  • Lunar Magic is not being actively considered in this comparison, since it is too costly for the uncontrollable nature of its function. Even despite it’s utter uselessness (most comparable to Evil Gate in Vanilla), it does not redress the imbalance between the two Elementals sufficiently.
  • Magic Absorb speaks for itself, if you are in any way a veteran of this game. Change Form is not vital, but it is quite crippling, assuming the target has no immunity to Transform. That and its relatively high cost offsets its power. At least, that’s the intent of the original Spell System.

VS. DRYAD

  • Dryad, for the most part, has more costly spells for the power granted by them, the only exceptions being Sleep Flower and the two Mana Magic spells. The latter of which are sealed until the final battle, and also very important spells. But they are underused by their very nature, as determined by both the story and the gameplay, and thus do not fall under the same balance considerations.
  • That leaves four spells that a player will potentially get plenty of use out of, Sleep Flower being the choice for leveling up Dryad with the Sprite for example, but not being generally useful beyond that. It causes the Sleep status defect, which raises Hit Chance and/or Critical Hit Chance, but allows the target to take action again. Balloon, Frosty and Engulf do not have that deficiency.
  • Revivifier, although being both powerful and potentially quite vital, is both high-cost and underused, at least in Vanilla. A Hard Mode hack, such as the one by Masterflow, is one consideration that ups the utility of such a spell, since that’s one way a player could be dying far more often, than is otherwise the case.
  • Wall, despite being a very different class of spell than the above, suffers from exactly the same problem. High-cost, underused, only needed for defense purposes if hostile Spells are something to be genuinely feared. Which in Vanilla, is not the case.
  • That leaves only Burst, as the Dryad spell that is arguably cost-effective, powerful AND generally useful all at once. The only spell in Dryad’s domain to be all three.

________________________________________

That’s… pretty lopsided, all things considered. With a mod like this, not all issues are addressed, but they don’t have to be. Because with a simple swap, Dryad suddenly becomes far less underused, and Luna less overused, as the Creator has noted was his intention.

But not just that, we now have a revised version of Revivifier which is far less costly, and could easily be considered more vital in a playthrough. That’s especially true in a Hard Mode hack, but even without, it’s worth using just for the reduced cost alone. Cup of Wishes? Who needs that anymore?!

I don’t know exactly how the Creator reworked the palette for this Spell, to fit in with Dryad’s theme better. But I will say this… it looks stunningly gorgeous, given it has to work with antiquated 16-bit graphics. Green with a bluish hint, just right!

The only thing I as the reviewer would consider changing, is the name of the spell. To “Herbal Essence”, har har. But this is purely for the humor value, and is in no way required to enjoy this mod!

I do go on quite a bit, better finish up. Love this game, but hate the Spell System inadequacies? Download this mod, use it, love it to bits. You’ll be praising the ground kethinov walks on in no time!

Version 1.1 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
A totally organic experience!zoolgremlin06 Nov 20191.1Yes