Romhacking.net

Romhacking => Personal Projects => Topic started by: Ok Impala! on January 02, 2022, 12:46:27 am

Title: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 02, 2022, 12:46:27 am
After finishing up Zelda II - Amida's Curse (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/6292/) and Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers (https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5514/), I started work on my third extensive ROM hack. Today I can reveal my new project:

Ember of Mana

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/pjnsqe/ember_of_mana_-38.jpg)

Ember of Mana will be a brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy. This Rom hack is based on Final Fantasy Adventure (also known as Mystic Quest or Seiken Densetsu). This will be an extensive ROM hack with a new world, new graphics, new music, new dungeons, new gameplay, new story, custom events and a full colorization.

This hack is still in its very early stages, so planned release is somewhere in 2023. I will use this topic to share progress and new screenshots. Would be great to discuss ideas with you all!

More information can also be found on my website: http://www.okimpala.net (http://www.okimpala.net)

Changes:
- New overworld design
- New dungeon design
- New town design
- New story
- New graphics
- New soundtrack
- New partners
- Custom events
- New gameplay elements to make dungeons more interesting
- Focus on the fun of exploration
- Colorization

Progress:
- Story: 50%
- Graphics: 5%
- Gameplay changes: 20%
- Overworld: 80%
- Dungeons: 10%
- Towns: 10%
- Custom Events: 5%
- Detail management: 0%
- Dialogue: 5%
- Palettes: 0%
- Music: 0%
- Colorization: 1%

Special Thanks:
- Arathron123 (Mystic Editor)
- Xenophile (ASM, Colorization, FFA Gender swap improvements)
- MojoDodo (ASM, Colorization)
- KKzero (ASM, Colorization)
- PowerPanda (Font Title Screen)
- WaxPoetic (Graphics Ripping)

Screenshots:

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/lmjmbw/ember_of_mana_-28.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/hki3mt/ember_of_mana_-43.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/iadfjw/ember_of_mana_-16-1.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/lbkh41/ember_of_mana_-23.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/9tc82a/ember_of_mana_-19.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/ch99q2/Ember_of_Mana_Title-1.png)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/ember_of_mana_melt_away.gif)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/2ah1v3/ember_of_mana_-46.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/tdrmd1/ember_of_mana_-40.jpg)

Arathron123 and Xenophile did an amazing job mapping out the ROM. This makes it possible to change a lot of things. Colorization is currently being worked on by Xenophile, MojoDodo, KKzero and Daid. If people are interested in joining them, feel free to let me know!

We are able to extract all music data from the game to a MML format. With some patience it's possible to change the music. I'm very interested to get in contact with people that worked on music hacks before. So if you are that person, let me know!

Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on how to improve upon Final Fantasy Adventure!  :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on January 02, 2022, 12:51:27 am
This looks excellent! Seems well enough along as well.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 02, 2022, 12:59:24 am
This looks excellent! Seems well enough along as well.
I finished up the first area, using it mainly as a test to see what's possible. FFA is way more flexible than Zelda II, so there are many possibilities to make Ember of Mana a truly unique Mana game!  :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on January 02, 2022, 01:02:03 am
Is the story going to be a unique experience or a side story to the original?
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 02, 2022, 01:05:20 am
Is the story going to be a unique experience or a side story to the original?

Completely unique with new characters and a new world. It will be a story about Mana though.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Rabite890 on January 02, 2022, 04:42:30 am
Using one of my two favorite games to make a new game in a series that Squeenix has butchered for years? Yes please. I look forward to seeing more on this.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Titney on January 02, 2022, 05:22:23 am
This looks very promising, looking forward to see it progress!
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on January 02, 2022, 06:00:49 pm
Completely unique with new characters and a new world. It will be a story about Mana though.
Cool!
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: erinsjennings on January 02, 2022, 07:41:06 pm
Amazing, ambitious project. I can't wait to see it coalesce. I've seen a lot of people looking for a colorized Seiken Densetsu hack. Any chance y'all might fork the colorization off for the original?
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Bonk on January 02, 2022, 09:59:01 pm
This looks great so far.
I feel like the E in Ember should be bigger like the M in Mana to make the title consistent looking though.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 03, 2022, 01:46:37 am
Amazing, ambitious project. I can't wait to see it coalesce. I've seen a lot of people looking for a colorized Seiken Densetsu hack. Any chance y'all might fork the colorization off for the original?

Sure! The original game will be playable in color too. There is a lot to look forward to for Mana fans!  :)

This looks great so far.
I feel like the E in Ember should be bigger like the M in Mana to make the title consistent looking though.

That's a great suggestion. I'll keep that in mind when I update the title screen to its definitive form.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: ProstatePunch on January 04, 2022, 12:01:47 pm
This looks like a cool project.  Excited to play the finalized release whenever it's ready!
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: MetalSmasher86 on January 19, 2022, 07:57:55 am
I never played Final Fantasy Adventure before, but I have played both of its SNES sequels, and you've proven your ability with Zelda 2: Amida's Curse, so I'll be following this project too.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: aqualung on January 19, 2022, 01:09:25 pm
Final Fantasy Adventure was the first action/rpg I played and also the game that made me discover Square (I loved the original game so much that I started another playthrough right after finishing it), so I'll look forward to this hack with anticipation! Thanks for your work!
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 20, 2022, 08:28:22 am
Final Fantasy Adventure was the first action/rpg I played and also the game that made me discover Square (I loved the original game so much that I started another playthrough right after finishing it), so I'll look forward to this hack with anticipation! Thanks for your work!
Thank you! FFA was also my first Square game as a kid. I have very strong nostalgic feelings for it. And it is still a fun game to play!

As for a small update on the progress. I'm currently working on the new overworld. Halfway finished with that. New screenshots will be posted when I'm done.  :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Farlight on January 20, 2022, 10:20:16 am
Wow!  This looks absolutely excellent.  FFA remains one of my all-time favorites and holds a special place as it was one of the few action RPGs i had access to on the GB. 

Very much looking forward to this.

I have been enjoying Amida's Curse :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 22, 2022, 11:15:36 am
Wow!  This looks absolutely excellent.  FFA remains one of my all-time favorites and holds a special place as it was one of the few action RPGs i had access to on the GB. 

Very much looking forward to this.

I have been enjoying Amida's Curse :thumbsup:

Thanks! It's good to hear there are more fans of FFA around here!  :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on January 23, 2022, 02:52:02 am
Thanks! It's good to hear there are more fans of FFA around here!  :)
Oh yes, there are plenty of us.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Greyfield on January 28, 2022, 03:12:20 pm
Oh yes, there are plenty of us.

Just to add in my encouragement, and to echo others.  This is one of my favorite original gameboy games, and I'm excited to see you're working on a new adventure.  I'm also looking forward to your colorization of the original, which will add a lot to modern players.

Great job with Amida's Curse as well! 
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: the_grobe on January 28, 2022, 05:01:40 pm
This project looks fantastic.  And I'm so glad it's coming from you.  Amida's Curse was fantastic, and I'm beyond excited to see what you do next :beer:
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on January 29, 2022, 12:42:33 am
Thank you all! Since the last update I've been mostly working on a new design for the overworld. Currently all new outside areas are finished, though a lot of details and secrets will be added later. I'll share some more screenshots of new areas when I'm done with the details. Experimentation with color palettes has also started. Right now that's done with Super Gameboy / Emulator palettes, but these screenshot should give a good indication of how the game will look when we are done with colorization.  :)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/bjuarp/ember_of_mana_-14.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/j96j3z/ember_of_mana_-15.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/mgkja0/ember_of_mana_-16.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/qt2t90/ember_of_mana_-17.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/lzpi1h/ember_of_mana_-18.jpg)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on January 29, 2022, 04:08:50 am
Nice work!  :thumbsup:  Colour palettes seem to be spot on for the areas they represent.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: travel27 on February 01, 2022, 02:42:25 am
has butchered for years?
What do you mean by "butchered" for years? Disagree. Aside from Dawn of Mana which, yes, was pretty bad (still looked good though) I don't think Square has butchered anything.  Sword of Mana was pretty good/fun, Children of mana was alright, Legend of Mana was easy but still a blast to play.  But other than Dawn, none of those 'butchered" anything.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ligeia on February 01, 2022, 04:47:09 pm
This looks absolutely stunning ! Seiken Densetsu is one of my favourites games ever, so I can't wait it try this hack ! I'm willing to do some beta testing if this can be of any help.

Sure! The original game will be playable in color too. There is a lot to look forward to for Mana fans!  :)

OMG finally ! Thank you so much.

What do you mean by "butchered" for years? Disagree. Aside from Dawn of Mana which, yes, was pretty bad (still looked good though) I don't think Square has butchered anything.  Sword of Mana was pretty good/fun, Children of mana was alright, Legend of Mana was easy but still a blast to play.  But other than Dawn, none of those 'butchered" anything.

I also think Sword of Mana was a mess. I could never even bring myself to finish it. Sadly in the SD series only the first 2 games are really good. It all went downhill afterwards starting with SD3. I really wanted and tried to love that game but the gameplay is too much of a mess. At least they improved it on the 3d remake.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on February 02, 2022, 12:41:02 am
This looks absolutely stunning ! Seiken Densetsu is one of my favourites games ever, so I can't wait it try this hack ! I'm willing to do some beta testing if this can be of any help.

Thank you! I'll put you on the beta testers list. Will still be while though.  :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on February 27, 2022, 01:43:33 am
A small update today. One of the main points I'd like to do with Ember of Mana is to create interesting dungeons. As players of Final Fantasy Adventure might remember, the dungeons in that game where pretty bland. Most likely that happened because the developers where on a strict time limit. Creative use of the game engine opens up several possibilities to make the dungeons more "Zelda" style. Here's one new gameplay mechanic I just got working. You can melt away Ice Statues with your Fire spell. There will be several grand dungeons in Ember of Mana with unique Dungeons mechanics like this.

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/ember_of_mana_melt_away.gif)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on February 27, 2022, 07:48:26 am
That looks like a fun mechanic! Getting very excited about this project!
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ligeia on February 27, 2022, 08:40:19 am
Sounds fun !  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on March 16, 2022, 06:36:24 am
One thing that really hindered the gameplay in Final Fantasy Adventure was the constant swapping of things in your "equip" slot in order to use them. For example, if you wanted to open a door you'd have to first select the key from your inventory to equip it and only then could you open the door. On the other hand, if you'd have a key in your equip slot, the door would open automatically, using up the key without warning. The second problem was that closed doors kept respawning, making it possible for players to get softlocked.

I wanted to fix this in Ember of Mana. Finally I succeeded in creating a script that asks you to use a key. And even better, the game now uses 1 key, even when you haven't equipped it. Lastly I added a "flag", so doors stay open forever once you've opened them. So, now I can make it so that the player has to search for a key, in order to progress in the dungeon. Using doors as a gameplay obstacle, instead of an annoyance. And there is no way the player can softlock himself anymore!  :)

I'm looking more and more into creating these unique gameplay elements for Ember, so it will get an improved gameplay experience compared to Final Fantasy Adventure.

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/9tc82a/ember_of_mana_-19.jpg)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Farlight on March 16, 2022, 01:06:05 pm
Those sound like GREAT improvements.    So many times i remember having to backtrack, find a skeleton, and farm them for a 'Key' drop. 

Really looking forward to this in the future  ;D
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: njosro on March 21, 2022, 01:30:15 pm
This is super cool!!
Looking forward to seeing this progress.
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on March 23, 2022, 06:14:03 am
This is super cool!!
Looking forward to seeing this progress.

Thanks! I'll keep you all posted.  There are some other gameplay improvements I'd like to add in the future! :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on May 06, 2022, 11:15:10 am
Lot of work has been done since the last update. The Ice Dungeon and Snow area are now completed. New gameplay mechanics introduced here are the melting of ice with the Fire spell, one-time keys to open doors (that stay open) and help from your partner to overcome obstacles (by using ASK). The aim is to make Dungeons way more interesting to explore.

Xenophile is making step by step progress on figuring out the colorization process. Please note that all screenshots currently have emulator added colors. We are not as far that we actually have these colors running yet in the game itself (but we will get there). The colors used in the screenshots fit the limitations of the GBC, so they are a realistic interpretation of the end result.  :)

Screenshot time!

Moogle Town of Hui
(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/lbkh41/ember_of_mana_-23.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/hbjhwt/ember_of_mana_-24.jpg)

Snow Area
(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/g02bpv/ember_of_mana_-26.jpg)

Ice Dungeon
(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/scaf4h/ember_of_mana_-30.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/gk5r3k/ember_of_mana_-33.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/06qovz/ember_of_mana_-34.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/ez316i/ember_of_mana_-35.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/bulcxc/ember_of_mana_-36.jpg)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/x9ff9m/ember_of_mana_-37.jpg)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: radimerry on May 06, 2022, 02:46:48 pm
Very promising with lots of innovation! :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: werewolfslayr925 on May 07, 2022, 09:04:07 pm
This looks amazing! I just finished Amida's Curse and loved it (I'm a huge Zelda II fan). Can hardly wat for this release! Thank you and your team for making excellent quality hacks. Will you be getting the same composer for Ember as for Amida?
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on May 08, 2022, 03:39:27 am
This looks amazing! I just finished Amida's Curse and loved it (I'm a huge Zelda II fan). Can hardly wat for this release! Thank you and your team for making excellent quality hacks. Will you be getting the same composer for Ember as for Amida?

Thank you for the kind words!  :) Bentglasstube is unfortunately too busy to help out with Ember of Mana, but I'm in contact with some amazing people to help out on the music side of things!  :)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: Ok Impala! on June 01, 2022, 04:04:24 am
A small update regarding partners. In vanilla FFA partners didn't really do that much when you asked them for help. Some were useful with healing your HP or MP, but others only gave advice or changed the background music. In Ember of Mana the ASK function will be used more often. That way every partner can help you in unique ways. For example, the Chocobo can dig up hidden stuff.

Also note the new water animation, thanks to Xenophile!  :)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/ember_of_mana_chocobocompressed.gif)
Title: Re: Ember of Mana (A brand new Mana adventure for Gameboy)
Post by: lexluthermiester on June 01, 2022, 10:22:45 am
A small update regarding partners. In vanilla FFA partners didn't really do that much when you asked them for help. Some were useful with healing your HP or MP, but others only gave advice or changed the background music. In Ember of Mana the ASK function will be used more often. That way every partner can help you in unique ways. For example, the Chocobo can dig up hidden stuff.

Also note the new water animation, thanks to Xenophile!  :)

(https://f.eu1.jwwb.nl/public/v/d/o/temp-dnsbtwlrbhpjejiyzhiw/ember_of_mana_chocobocompressed.gif)
Nice!