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Topics - chillyfeez

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Hi, everyone.

The first official release of my magnum opus has finally dropped. I've been working on this since about 2012 (if you've been around that long, you might remember a thread I started about this probably five years ago or so). It's only part one of (at least) four, but playthrough can take probably 4-10 hours, depending on how much you're into sidequesting and secret hunting, and it's designed to have considerable replay value (which hopefully comes across as much as I intend).

Anywho, here are the deets...

This is a sequel to the original FFIV (and to The After Years). The main character is Edge's son, Furio. Furio is the newest member of the Royal Eblana Mercenary Army and while carrying out routine missions he begins to uncover a sinister plot to wipe out mankind.

In addition to a brand new story, this hack also seeks to check a lot of the boxes on my list of "wouldn't it be cool if FFIV had this feature?" Many of which are features from later games in the series, but in a way that fits nicely into the FFIV universe. Among them:
A. Mercenary Characters: Mercs are playable characters who do not participate directly in the plot. Mercs represent a variety of fighter classes, each with different abilities that can help the party in various ways. Mercs are hired by speaking with Namingway at their home barracks. The player can choose to have any available merc in the party, as long as s/he has the right Job Card. Job Cards can be purchased in shops, and occasionally won in battle or found in treasure chests. Job Cards can be expensive, but are not expended when hiring a new merc, so it is only necessary to have one of each Job Card in your inventory at any time. Mercs will also charge for their services, taking a flat rate every day (every time you sleep in an inn or a tent or cabin), which varies depending on the class. If you do not have enough GP to pay your merc, s/he will leave the party. Mercs join the party unequipped, but will leave all equipment behind if they leave or are dismissed.

B. Limit Skills: When a character is weakened during battle, s/he has a chance to perform a special technique known as a Limit Skill. You will know a Limit Skill is available because a message saying, "LIMIT BREAK!" will appear at the top of the screen, and the character's Fight command will be replaced with LIMIT. Limit does not need to be used right away and it will remain available even if the character is healed. Once the Limit skill is used, it becomes unavailable to that character for the rest of the battle, and the Fight command returns. Each different character class uses a different Limit skill.

C. Epic Choices: At certain points in the game, the player is given the ability to decide how the story will progress. Epic choices may carry consequences such as what boss monsters the player fights, what characters join the party, and more.

D. Chocobos: Chocobo forests no longer exist, but chocobos are still available as a means of transportation on the world map. In order to ride a chocobo, the player must catch it. Chocobos appear randomly among other monsters on the world map. The player must defeat all other monsters quickly without damaging the chocobo. If you take too long or hurt the chocobo, it will run away. Once you have caught a chocobo, you may dismount or re-mount it at will, as long as you do not walk too far away. When a chocobo is far enough away to be out of sight, it will run away. Chocobos are capable of reaching parts of the world map that are otherwise inaccessible, as they can cross streams and travel through shallow parts of the ocean.

E. Backpack: Though the Fat Chocobo is no longer around to store extra inventory, Furio does carry a backpack which enables him to store extra items. To access the backpack, choose "Cache" from the menu.

Here are a few random screenshots:






















Here's a link to the project page if you'd like to give it a try. I'd be excited to talk about it with you. We can do that here, or over at the FFIV Ultima/TfW discord:
https://discord.gg/tznd27E

Enjoy, and stay tuned for Part 2, coming in hopefully less than eight years!
 :thumbsup:

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Gaming Discussion / Problem with FFVIII emulation
« on: November 14, 2018, 12:16:13 pm »
Hi, putting this up here in case anybody might have some insight.
So I'm playing Final Fantasy VIII on my PC. I'm using pSX (http://coolrom.com/emulators/psx/55/pSX.php), which up to now seemed to work best on my machine.
But now I've run into a critical problem on Disc 3...
So, I'm on the lunar base, Rinoa has just "woken up" and started to unseal Adel's tomb. I run to the hallway to get the space suit on, and the FMV plays where the lunar cry starts (the really cool looking one where you actually see the huge horde of monsters start moving towards the earth)... and then all controls cease to function. the FMV ends, I'm back in the hallway, but I can no longer control the game. A soft reset still works, so the emulator still recognizes controller input, but I can't make Squall walk or go into the menu or anything.
Anybody have any thoughts?
I can provide a save state upon request if that makes it easier to figure out.
Thanks.

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Gaming Discussion / PS3 Controller on Win 10 PC
« on: January 13, 2018, 08:42:28 pm »
I just got a new laptop, first computer I've owned with Windows 10.
Previous machines I've had, I didn't really care about, so downloading a bunch of crap until I found what works wasn't really an issue, but I'd like to keep this one as clean as possible for as long as possible, so I'm turning to the community I trust the most with this info.
What would be the best driver to get to run my (sixaxis) PS3 controller on my new computer?
Bluetooth connection would be ideal, but I'd be OK with plugging it in if that's what I'd have to do.
Thanks!

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Gaming Discussion / Heretic Schmeretic
« on: November 10, 2017, 01:36:20 am »
I named Ramza "Schmeretic" so I could get these gems of in-game dialogue...
https://www.dropbox.com/s/052dsl7ojgeqtpj/Screenshot_2017-10-25-09-04-44-1.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qimv18bp5w1jwum/Screenshot_2017-10-24-23-29-52-1.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/je5xn6t9dx538py/Screenshot_2017-10-24-21-56-59-1.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y25cg9nwnai6xh0/Screenshot_2017-10-26-03-01-59-1.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7i6pel1ohybsnup/Screenshot_2017-11-08-23-02-28-1.png?dl=0

And, by the way, I'm totally a 38 year-old grownup.

Anybody else so familiar with a game's dialogue that you give characters specific names in order to create goofy results when the dialogue comes around to the right lines, or is that just me?

Edit:
Sorry, apparently I don't know how to embed images from dropbox.  :-[ I'll work on it and get back to you. In the meantime, you can click the links, I guess.

5
Gaming Discussion / The Implications of Super Mario Maker
« on: September 02, 2015, 09:04:10 am »
I first became aware of this "game" last night. I'm probably late to the party, but I don't really buy new games anymore, so that's to be expected.
So anyway, the similarities between playing this and ROM hacking are obvious, which got me wondering:

Was the creation of SMM inspired by ROM hacking? It seems that this would be the case. Obviously it's not the first time a game has invited players to design their own levels (come on, best part about Excitebike, right), and Nintendo has seen its competitor(s) in recent years enjoy a fair amount of success with titles that do (Little Big World comes to mind). But unlike those examples, this is a game whose main focus is level creation, and in a way that resembles a very streamlined, user-friendly Mario level editor one might find on this site. So...

Was SMM created as a way to quell the creative impulses that generally give rise to a new ROM hacker and instead channel them into a licensed creation? I mean, we all know Nintendo's stance on the very existence of emulation, and while it is far more unwavering than that of any of its rivals, their desire to protect intellectual property is clearly justified and understandable. I've always considered ROM hacking, strictly speaking, to be more of a moral gray area, in that the Hacker is not necessarily encouraging illegal copies of a game, despite the fact that playing a ROM hack basically requires at least one of a handful of game copying actions that Nintendo opposes. The actual hack itself, though, generally is more akin to fan fiction - while copyrighted material is surely being used, it serves as a backdrop for what is produced, and what is produced is a showcase of the ROM hacker's creative interpretations of the source material, usually to others who are already fans and in many cases (okay, that may be a stretch...) owners of a legitimate copy of the source material. And of course, the fact that the hacker neither profits from the hack nor expressly distributes the illegal copy provides the indemnity that allows ROM hacking to continue. Still, the use of this supposedly ethical fan fiction does require prohibited, and in most cases illegal, practices by the user. While I have never seen a direct comment by Nintendo about its stance on hacking, the legal page of its site is very clear about its stance on copying and emulation, and it can therefore be assumed they do not look very highly upon the practice. So then, we arrive back at the question, are they attempting to provide a legal avenue for those who might otherwise become ROM hackers or ROM hack (for lack of a better term) consumers? And perhaps the more important question,

Could this be effective? I submit that it cannot. While ROM hacking has grown in recognition over time, it is still far from a mainstream form of entertainment. One has to search to find its existence. Without a game like SMM, many casual video game fans might never even think about acting on the impulse to create a new Mario level. Doesn't it stand to reason, though, that conversely people might play SMM and think to themselves, "wouldn't it be great if they had this for Mega Man, too?" a thought that might eventually lead to the discovery of rhdn by a gamer who would otherwise be blissfully unaware of the very existence of emulation?

Well, anyway, lots of you guys know a lot more about the stuff I'm talking about here, so what do you think?

6
Gaming Discussion / Legend of the Mystical Ninja
« on: July 02, 2015, 12:13:07 am »
Did anybody out there love this game as much as I did?
What a brilliant mixture of gameplay styles and variety of experiences all blended so well together.
Has anybody ever seen another game like this? I remember another game for SNES that looked like it was trying to be along the same lines... The main characters were like a girl and a raccoon or something... But when I actually played it, it didn't come anywhere close to LotMN (I seem to recall it lacked the hours of mini-game madness).

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Hello!

This has been in the works for years now, and I finally have enough that I feel comfortable putting up an official demo...

Final Fantasy II: A Threat from Within


(watch it animated)

This is an original story set in the world of Final Fantasy IV, 40 years after the events of the original game (so, approximately 20 years after the events of The After Years).
The action centers around Edge's son, Furio, who has just completed his training and is a new member of Eblan's Ninja-for-hire force, REMA.
The Game itself will contain many nods to The original, as well as other classic Final Fantasy Games, but the story is original. As the name would imply, the earth now faces a crisis that has originated on the planet, as opposed to The Moon. The story will also rely heavily on the struggle between 'light' and 'dark' within oneself.
At the risk of giving too much away in the first post, I'll stop talking about the story for now. Download and play the demo if you want to know more!

The game is built on the engine of Final Fantasy II US, but contains a lot of custom material, including new playable characters with new abilities.

Some of the more noteworthy additions to game mechanics:
  • Limit Breaks - When a character is in "critical" condition, there is a 25% chance of a Limit Break. This will turn the character's "Fight" comand into "LIMIT" for one use per battle (does not have to be used right away). Most characters have a unique limit skill, as will be discussed later.
  • Party Variety - Whereas the original game has a set party throughout, there will be 28 possible party combinations by the endgame, which leads me to...
  • Optional Hireling Party Members - a la Final Fantasy Tactics, the player can hire one of six different characters to take along, each a different class with different abilities. You can only have one at a time, though, and once you hire a new party member, the old one is lost (you can rehire them, but equipment and stats are reset)
  • Optional "Secret" Character - Most of the hirelings are found in towns they would logically inhabit, but the sixth one requires work to unlock...
  • Chocobo Catching - The chocobo forests are gone. Instead, chocobos now roam the land with groups of monsters. Defeat the monsters before the choc escapes to catch a ride. There's even a sidequest built around this!
  • Terrain-Dependent Encounters - instead of a set group of encounters depending on what area of the map you're in, the encounters will also vary depending on whether you're in fields, forests or deserts.
  • Monsters Level Up - a la FFVIII, monsters get stronger as your party does. EXP and GP awards will increase, too!
  • Epic Choices - There will be several points in the game where a choice the player makes affects the following events, including what battles are fought and which characters join the party when. There will never be a "right" choice in these instances, but the varied experience will add replay value (or so I hope)

A Brief Overview of Playable Characters
Furio

Edge's son (see the resemblance?) and the main character of the story. One of the two characters that MUST be in the party at endgame, and the only one there throughout.
Class: Ninja
Limit Skill: Quick Hit - Attacks the enemy and has the effect of Haste on all allies and Slow on all foes

Palom

All grown up now, but still as much of a jerk as ever. Great Black Mage, though. He and Porom have grown inseparable, though they still bicker.
Class: Black Wizard
Limit Skill: Plague - Like Virus, but much, much stronger

Porom

Age was a bit kinder to the fairer twin  ;)
Class: White Wizard
Limit Skill: Cure-Z - Super-powerful cure spell

Ceo (I haven't figured out how to make names longer than six letters)

Cecil and Rosa's son. He has harnessed the power of light and dark (which Palom and Porom have discovered are technically the powers of the Earth and Moon, respectively) to become a versatile and powerful knight.
Class: Knight
Limit Skill: Dark Holy - Like Holy, but Dark Elemental

Rydia

She has spent quite a bit of time in the Feymarch and has aged noticeably quicker than the rest of the original cast. Still a powerful Black Mage, but her control over the Summoned Monsters has mysteriously waned recently...
Class: Caller
Limit Skill: Phoenix - Summons Phoenix to revive all fallen party members and attack the enemy with fire

Ursula

Yang's daughter has kept up her training and has fists of steel!
Class: Karate
Limit Skill: Rally - Inspires all allies to use "Fight" immediately

Kella

The only truly original character in the game. Raised in the wilderness, but of... familiar parentage.
Class: Wild (Blue Mage)
Limit Skill: MegaNuke - Like what Bahamut casts on you when you fight him. Extremely powerful, but watch out for enemies with reflect status!

...And the Hirelings

Blank

Class: Ninja
Limit Skill: Quick Hit (same as Furio)

Cinna

Class: Black Wizard
Limit Skill: Plague (same as Palom)

Ruby

Class: White Wizard
Limit Skill: Cure-Z (same as Porom)

Lando

Class: Dragoon
Limit Skill: Attack Barrage - uses "Fight" five times with no wait time in between

Avon

Class: Bard (but not spoony)
Limit Skill: Invincibility - For a brief period of time, the entire party becomes untargetable, while slowly regenerating HP

Spoiler:
Mog

(The Hidden Character)
Class: CopyCat ("Mime")
Limit Skill: Picks one of the above limit skills at random

The linked demo is far from complete, and many of these characters are not acquireable yet (though if you want to try them out, you can DL the earlier demo by clicking the link in my signature below - there is less game, and the mechanics were still in development, but there is a full character trial at the end).
There's about 1.5 hours of playable content so far, but I am anxious to hear what folks have to say about what I've got.

The following are known issues and/or bugs. Please don't tell me about them unless you know how to fix them or know someone who can:
  • The image of the Earth in the opening scene (one of the first things you see, damnit) is messed up. I have no idea how to fix it  :(
  • Some character graphics leave something to be desired. I like to think I'm a pretty good ROM hacker, but a sprite artist I am not. Specifically, I am willing to accept new versions of: Portraits of: Porom, Ursula, Ceo; Map Sprites for: Kella; Battle Sprites for: Rydia. I will accept constructive criticism for all others, but retain veto power.
  • There's new music in a particular spot. You'll certainly notice it. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to hack the music in this game. I think what I have is pretty OK, but I recognize that it could be better. Let me know if you have musical skill and want to write something for me.

That's all I know or can remember for the moment, but I will add to this list if/when other stuff comes up.

So, if you're at all interested in any of the above, Please download the demo and let me know what you think!
The patch should be applied to a clean, non-headered ROM of Final Fantasy II US, version 1.1

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Personal Projects / Final Fantasy IV User Options
« on: November 26, 2014, 02:12:40 am »
Hello, this thread is for discussion of the hack I recently put up on RHDN, Final Fantasy IV User Options.

I started this thread mainly to respond to some feedback I go on a different thread, in the interest of allowing that one to stay on its original topic. I guess it's not the end of the world if this gets my hack more exposure either  ;D

Just tested that out chillyfeez. Works okay, but it doesn't patch cleanly with Project II. Seems to cause a title screen error. It works with vanilla FFIIUS 1.1 headered, though. The L button toggle is odd too. It doesn't seem to turn off and I had to press L a couple of times before it turned on. The X deferrment works well.

Thanks for the feedback, Rodimus Primal. I've never played Project II, but I think it may have some custom coding, which might unfortunately interfere with that of User Options. I know it's generally compatible with hacks done solely with FF4kster (because I use FF4kster a lot), and it has been successfully implemented into Grimoire LD's Combat Boost hack... Is it just the title screen that's messed up when patching into Project II?

I've never had any problems getting the dash toggle to work, but you do have to do it while you have control of movement (no messages on screen, no events taking place), and dash does get cancelled when entering a battle. The other weird thing about it is that it stays toggled on when an event happens, so if the event toggles running on, it instead makes you slow down. I've been toying with the idea of an update that cancels dash at the onset of any event in order to fix that issue.

My favorite part, personally, is the ATB meter, though that has a quirk as well. When a battle yields over 1000 exp and/or GP, the digit in the 1000s place will display oddly if ATB meter is turned on. I will be looking into a fix for that as well at some point.

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