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Topics - Kea

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1
Personal Projects / Final Fantasy 1 DoS: Remix
« on: July 25, 2018, 06:26:56 pm »
After far too long in development, I've decided I have enough progress in this Dawn of Souls hack to start its own thread. This hack is a fairly comprehensive overhaul of the Final Fantasy 1 half of DoS, with the aim of making gameplay more challenging and interesting without sticking cheap shots in there.

This hack takes the game closer to the NES version in some ways - the MP system has been replaced with the old Vancian casting (at more generous allotments of charges), characters and monsters are relatively low-power, random encounters are tougher, that sort of thing. I've cut way back on the encounter rate too, both because monsters are stronger and it was just obnoxiously high to begin with.

The hack is just about finished in that everything up to Chaos has been tinkered with, but I'm looking for beta testers to play through it to give feedback and report bugs. You can't really balance a game just based on your own experience; it'd be helpful to see how somebody without any foreknowledge going in handles it.

For a detailed (though not exhaustive) list of changes, you can check the readme in the download package. The patch can be found here.

And now for some screenshots:

A couple of examples of the new formations, and of the unrunnable battle alert.


I added a item-viewing screen so you don't have to check an external document to see what every weapon or armor does.


One of the edited maps. This was the first map I made with Tiled, and I went a little overboard on the size. Good thing I can adjust encounter frequency by map!

2
ROM Hacking Discussion / FF3j MMC5 conversion
« on: December 25, 2015, 11:34:22 pm »
I've made an IPS patch (link) for FFIII on the Famicom that changes the mapper from MMC3 to MMC5. I haven't playtested the whole game to check for errors but am 99% sure it works correctly. I made this patch to challenge myself, but maybe others will be interested too.

Original message in the spoiler; I've since fixed the problems described inside.
Spoiler:
I'm attempting to convert FFIII from the MMC3 to MMC5 (mostly for the extra PRG-ROM and the challenge); it mostly works perfectly but I've run into a snag with battle scenes. When they begin, instead of the battle music the victory music plays at several times the normal tempo and the screen looks like this:
Spoiler:
The BG goes crazy and displays garbage data or correct gfx in the wrong places; the player character sprites function normally at first but are slowly overwritten by garbage pixels. The battle itself is fully functional - you can input commands like normal and once the battle finishes you return to the map screen with everything looking as it should. It's just the audio and graphics that are wrong. I haven't been able to pin down exactly what's causing the problem but I believe it to be related to the NMI interrupt used for battle*:
Code: [Select]
$07FB67 - NMI interrupt (battle scenes)
1F:FB57 48 PHA
8A TXA
48 PHA
ADF37C LDA $7CF3
F012 BEQ $FB71
20CBF8 JSR $F8CB @Storing some values from ($06,$09,$0C,05) -> ($2000,$2001,$2005,$2005)
A503 LDA $0003
8502 STA $0002
8D0352 STA $5203 @Set scanline target #
A501 LDA $01 @Load byte indicating whether to enable IRQs
18 CLC
6A ROR
6A ROR
8D0452 STA $5204 @Enable IRQs if bit was 00 set, or disable if clear
1F:FB71 A900 LDA #$00
8505 STA $0005
68 PLA
AA TAX
68 PLA
40 RTI

The unmodified routine looks like this:
Spoiler:
Code: [Select]
$07FB67
1F:FB57 48 PHA
8A TXA
48 PHA
ADF37C LDA $7CF3
F012 BEQ $FB71
20CBF8 JSR $F8CB @Storing some values from ($06,$09,$0C,05) -> ($2000,$2001,$2005,$2005)
A503 LDA $0003
8502 STA $0002
8D00C0 STA $C000 @Set scanline target #
8D01E0 STA $C001 @Reset IRQ counter
A601 LDX $0001
9D00E0 STA $E000,X @Enable IRQs if bit 00 clear, or disable if set
1F:FB71 A900 LDA #$00
8505 STA $0005
68 PLA
AA TAX
68 PLA
40 RTI

If I change the STA $5204 to a LDA, or never set bit 07, the battle screen looks like this:
Spoiler:
Menu BG is missing and there is some garbage in its place, but everything else functions perfectly.

If it would help, I have a .zip folder here which contains all my notes on the mapper-related routines plus notes on the changes I've made so far, an IPS patch for the conversion to apply to the translated ROM, a movie file demonstrating what happens when you enter battle, and a savestate just before the first battle of the game.

*FF3's NMI and BRK interrupt vectors point to $100 and $103 in memory, respectively, allowing the program to modify them at runtime. They're either just RTI or a JUMP to some other code in the fixed banks.

Okay, I figured out the problem: I forgot to modify the BRK interrupt (at $7FB40) to use MMC5 registers; figures it'd be a silly mistake like that. Now battles display properly and sound plays back at the normal speed. However, I still have the problem where regular battles play the victory music instead of the battle music. Not sure what to do there...

Edit: Hah, and in boss battles the Tozas music plays. Looks like all battle music is getting their ID shifted for some reason.

Turns out I missed a one-time bankswitch routine used to load music banks. Swapped it to use MMC5 registers and params, and now the right tune plays!

3
Personal Projects / Final Fantasy IIIj Rebalanced
« on: March 17, 2012, 01:46:08 pm »
This is a little hack I've been working on for the Famicom FFIII. There's nothing groundbreaking in here, but it hopefully improves class balance and makes the game have a smoother difficulty curve. All of the weaker classes and weapon types have been improved, while everything from the Forbidden Land Eureka has been toned down so that they fit in better. Enemies have also been altered to make them more vulnerable to Black Magic yet more threatening overall.

So far I've altered:
-Class statistics
-Weapon and Armor statistics
-Magic, Summon and Terrain attacks
-Enemy Magic
-Basic enemy statistics
-Shop selection

The mechanics of the hack are essentially done, but I'd like feedback on my rebalancing efforts; I'm not sure I didn't make the Ninja underpowered, and I'd appreciate what people think of how weapons work now.
You can find it here:http://www.mediafire.com/?7cm7qcb8r9od27w

The patch comes in both .ips and .ups formats, and has a list of the stuff sold by equipment shops.

Enjoy!

Edit, March 23: Updated patch and readme for various alterations.

4
Newcomer's Board / Changing class equipment selection in FF3j
« on: March 10, 2012, 07:11:09 pm »
I've been fiddling with Final Fantasy 3 (with A.W. Jackson et al patch) in a hex editor, but I'm having trouble figuring out how a weapon or armour determines which classes can equip it.

Each piece of equipment has a byte which tells the game which classes can equip it. Fists have a value of 00, but a Claw-type weapon has a value of 38. It can be wielded by the Karateka (who can only use claws) and Ninjas (who can equip almost anything). I thought that it may have something to do with the first byte of the classes' base stat data (at$7201), but the Karateka has 28, and the Ninja, FF in these bytes - I don't see how those combine to get 38.

As another example, the Headband (9E) can be equipped by those two classes plus the Monk, who has an "ID value" of 77. All equipment is grouped by the slot that you equip it with (hands, head, etc), so I don't think where you can equip something affects its class byte. I'll continue to experiment with this, but in the meantime I'd appreciate it there was somebody who could enlighten me on this.

Edit: Well, I've made lots of progress in other areas, such as filling out the addresses for the stat growth of all classes. Each class has two bytes for every level: one for primary stats, and another for spell charges. There's actually 2156 bytes devoted just to stat growths, making it a very flexible system. I've also discovered that spells have a class equip byte, just like weapons and armor. I still haven't understood this byte, though, so I may have to bite the bullet and start experimenting with it.

Maybe I could upload my notes on addresses and what they do to the site. I have a decent list of the things.

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