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Tales of Phantasia SNES (Enhancement) (Slow WIP)

Started by justin3009, September 06, 2011, 07:33:56 PM

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Incoming wall!

I've barely been able to work on this due to my partner deciding to have his friend's kid over for the entire month of June.. which kind of destroyed any kind of time either of us had for anything.  But with the time I've had, I THINK I've been able to finish off most of the Save Screen officially now!

1. Removed the colorization of saves.  It was too much of a limiting factor and was causing ludicrous amounts of bugs that just was not worth to be worked around.

2. Location names all work now!  Some will still have to be worked on for the final names, but I found a cheaper (somewhat space consuming) way to do it.  There are 39 save points in total in the game that I've counted.  If there's more, I'll have to import more text to make it appear.  But with that, saved game locations are based on what map you are on (326 officially but overworlds are 400, 401 and 402) which is saved into SRAM.  It does that, loads a table with the map number you have, loads a SINGLE byte from that table then doubles it to load ANOTHER table to get the pointer for the text.  Basically just a sequence of events.  With that though, I've made a special text for values '00' in the pointer table to dictate 'Impossible Save!' for anyone who decides to allow saving ANYWHERE.  Basically shows that they're cheating :P

Onto bugs!
1. Load screen works but a few kinks need to be worked out due to how I messed with the save screen.

2. There's a couple sprite bugs when PC's are dead in the save screen which won't be too much of a problem to fix.

3. There's a bug that sometimes randomly appears on the Save Screen causing screen flicker.. haven't encountered it more than twice and I have no clue what sets it off.

4. It might have been from when I had bad code loading for sounds but I'll have to do another playthrough to be sure.  A lot of instruments on the overworld, voices in battle, etc.. were broken and it effected through the ENTIRE game.  I'm hoping it was just some bad code I had early on that went with my saved game, otherwise I'm in for a hell of a ride trying to fix what caused it.

Possible Ideas
1. My friend and I have discussed it a bit and we figured, if I'm going to end up redoing half the battle system, sprites and what not, might as well go all out and redo as much as possible.  What I mean is basically almost a 'reimagination' of the game while keeping the MAIN plot yet trying to fix/add more details so it doesn't feel so out of  whack and completely random.  With that, I'm HOPING to add in more events and story on Rhea (Hopefully I'm able to pick up notes from the novel with Winona/Rhea) to help explain on why she was there instead of just a random event that happens with barely anything to explain it.  I know it does later in the game being like, SHE WAS WITH MAGITEK!  But.. that's not really a 'big' story event if it just happens casually out of the blue to never be heard of again.  Also with that, I'm hoping to add more story with Winona as well since she was a BIIIIIIIIGGGG part of why Dhaos was doing what he was doing, minus the king of Alvanista(?) I think it was being a douche.

With that, a brand new art style may come into play.  Mainly due to the stupid palette limitations to allow reflections and such but hopefully used as well to make it feel.. 'fresh'.

2. Multiple side-quests with cameo battles and such.

3. I'm planning to possibly either COMPLETELY drop Arche learning spells from books, or at least having a few 'special' spells be learned.  It's honestly a bit nit picky and annoying at this point with how things are learned.  I'd rather go a TOTA route where most of her generic spells are learned through leveling while some extremely powerful ones will be discovered.  Though for a heads up, her spell list will be heavily revamped with spells from TOP, later titles and even some brand new ones.

4. Trying to figure out some way to have Klarth NOT be another spell caster.  I want him to do so, obviously, but I want him to have more of an active role in battle instead of, ya know, STAY IN BACK AND SPAM WHOMEVER.  It's repetitive, extremely outdated, klunky and slow for the SNES.

5. Klarth will have a couple new summons.  One will be one that's in basically every Tales of.. game now and the other I'm trying to see if I can make work into the story.  Kind of like Gremlin Lair in a sense.

6. Cless, as I said before, will have a MASSIVE overhaul on his arte list.  I do plan to have specific artes be usable in the aerial battle with Pegasus so that'll help out a lot there.  Though, I'm possibly thinking of having all his 'Time/Space' artes be specific to the Eternal Sword UNTIL you master every. single. one. of his artes.  Then that'll unlock his ability to use it with any weapon.

7. Brambard will be playable, clearly, with his own spell list and acquiring many unique spells of his own.  His arrow artes will NOT be elemental whatsoever.  I want to differentiate him from Chester who's artes tend to be specific elements.  With this though, his damage will be based on the enemies defense and physical resistance.  Though, having spells will help narrow that gap down a bit.  He WON'T be a master of spells though.  He'll have most intermediate to weak spells and a couple very strong ones on a specific element.  Though in which case, his magic damage will be heavily weaker than Arche's to make him more of a weaker all around character.

8. Chester will have a few new artes, though, voices may not be able to be made for them considering he has very little to work with in any regard on games.  As said before, I do plan to add 'Shishisenkou' as one of his artes but maybe a specialized version just for him.

9. Lilith WILL make an appearance in the arena, though with the randomized possibility of multiple forms.  This will be explained in more detail further down the road.

10. As Brambard being a new character, there will be a special little cameo character as well that doesn't have much significance to the plot, but rather just a fun bit to use.  Think Welch from Star Ocean.  The character will be recruitable by a decision you make.

11. Huge changes to spells in-game.  Many will be converted to being sprite based which will allow for a quicker battle system.  I will retain spell pause on some spells but I'll try to make it Narikiri Dungeon 3 style where it's ridiculously quick and allows for quick battles still.

12. Two very special battles that will occur possibly as a side-quest or may be part of the final story.  I'm unsure on which to do at the moment, but I'll give a hint later on what one of the battles will be.

13. New Game+ with grade screen options.

14. Enemy resistances will be play a MUCH bigger role.  This will be mandatory considering what the characters all have so I want to make the battles a bit more distinctive and almost force you to use different characters, but not completely.  They can be won either way but using the right characters will make battles much easier.

These are just some of the basic ideas I hope to do!  It's going to be a long, long journey but I hope I am able to do a chunk of what I hope to do with this game.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


I love everything about this thread. Love the proposed skill flow changes too. Are you planning map/town edits as well to allow for more detailed events when filling in the novel elements?


Yep yep!  I'll start taking extremely heavy notes when it comes down to that point where I have to map edit and create new events.  I want to keep the original feel of the game but improve it so as much as possible.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


I saw this from a Tales of Phantasia X Edition video, Klarth was able to summon Pacman, I think all it does is heal all to characters.  I doubt you'd be able to add that in the game. Though it would be funny if you did.
I  support Pandora's Box!
Released Hacks: FF6 Hard Challenge and Chrono Trigger Ingame loading
Coming Soon: Matsumi - Saga 1


I must say I was super excited about this when you first announced it thinking it would become the definitive way to play Tales of Phantasia when one was feels that itch to do so similarly how Ryusui's BoF2 is IMO the definitive version of BoF2, but it seems to me like way to much is changing now and this is becoming a totally different beast, straying much to far from the original with almost everything getting overhauled. I know the PSX version ain't going anywhere and this is really all fascinating with just how much can be accomplished hacking the SNES version but I'm still slightly disappointing that it's no longer Tales of Phantasia.


It's still Tales of Phantasia, it's just a very different take on it. And if you've played the original, you can see this as a remix version, so to speak.


It's definitely still Tales of Phantasia.  The whole storyline will still exist, all the characters will as well, cities, names, etc..  Everything will still remain.  What I'm hoping to do is essentially EXPAND on it.  There honestly was A LOT more to the story but 2/3rds of the game got cut.

Winona and crew (The ones you see in the beginning of the game) were a gigantic portion of the story and Rhea as well was a HUGE portion too.  They got cut down to almost nothing due to space constraints (Which is actually really frikin whack considering 90% of the game is backtracking and yet it's this large?)

What I AIM to do is add more of their story into the game so everything makes more consistent sense.  I want to keep the main plot but I want to add more to the characters, their past, who was who and why everything is going on.  Right now, the game just feels like everything is slapped on you without warning and without a very clear reason why.  Even when they do state 'Oh because so and so', it just feels really forced and not exactly important.  There's not really any build up.

What skyrunner14 said, this is more or less going to be a 'remix' version.  Obviously none of that major plot stuff will happen until much, much farther down the road.  So the likely thing that WILL happen is that Brambard will be thrown into the game with his own dialogue and being fully playable then being able to go through the game with him.  That would be 'THE' very first thing I'd even consider doing.  The story editing and graphics editing will be the final thing I will do.  Everything else needs to be done first.  So two versions will most likely exist if I finish this project.

1. Basic SNES version with much better looking menu, Brambard playable, new voices to a point, new skills to a point (Brambard's and adding in Dhaos's new ones, Lilith in the Arena etc..) and yeah.

2.  Everything from before, brand new graphics style, completely overhauled battle system (Which this may be knocked up to #1 possibly), expanded story, etc..


- Save screen is done so working on the Custom screen at the moment!  Nothing is final anywhere, just getting a basis setup for all the VWF text and such :3
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


Don't get me wrong I'm still looking forward to this hack, I'll keep following these updates because they are all fascinating to me, and I think the extra story stuff is probably the best feature here being added to the game, as someone who has watched the anime there is a ton of stuff not being explained in the game so expanding the story is very much needed. What has me frowning are things like 'completely overhauled battle system' and changing the way skills are learned, changing Klarth to be different, these things go to far IMO, it starting becoming a 'Balance hack' and not an 'Enhancement hack' that it was originally set out to be (maybe I'm just forgetting the original post :o), but we'll see. I think that if you're able to load up some random GameFAQ's walkthrough and still be able to follow it then the hack is staying pretty true to the original but if you have to skip character sections of the guide because they are now very much different or things like (go to 'place' check 'this' gain 'power') are now invalid sections of the guide then maybe you've went to far. Just my two cents don't hate.

EDIT: Here is the original post from what I remembered, I guess #7 was listed but it didn't sound so bad from that description.


My $2 : I agree, there is nothing as frustrating than ROM hacks that starts to be really great, but then their author(s) wants to hack absolutely everything in the game just because he can, even if this degrates the quality / experience of the game and make it unfaithful to the idea of the original game.

Grond's Final Fantasy and Biqswit's Simon's Quest hacks clearly fall in this category. They started as great improvements, but as versions kept increasing, they both ended up being almost a complete rewrite of the game with many random stuff that has nothing to do with the original game added, and I really mean stuff that really makes absolutely no sense, exept showing off the hacker's incredible skill - which I am not against but then call it a "complete" hack not an "improvement" one.

At least I could keep the old versions on my hard disc which are better. I hope this TOP hack won't end up like this, especially since the "old" versions are kept private so I can't keep them on my hard disc.


The battle system will still remain pretty much as it is.  Think more 'Narikiri Dungeon 3' style in fast paced movements and such.  THAT'S my biggest goal.  Otherwise there's a few features I do want to add into the battle system to flesh out characters a bit more.  The spell pause bit and such obviously will be removed as much as possible, which is what I mean by making spells more 'sprite based', but there are a couple other things I want to add into the battle system that relates more to the future titles of the Tales of.. series.  I don't want to say much more as it'd ruin the surprise that I had in mind but it'll add A LOT more to each character indirectly. (Of course, this would be in the total overhaul and not the 'SNES' one)

The reason I suggested Klarth to change is mainly because he would be the FOURTH spell caster in the game which gets really god damn slow.  The idea that someone suggested was essentially to make him more actually 'playable'.  More-so, he can still summon but they'd be weaker variations of the spells they do AKA Efreet summoning for a quick fireball or two instead of his 500.  The only real time he'd get a 'full' summon is I suppose if we had overlimit in this or something to set it off.  I don't want to alter him from who he is but having him literally be a spell caster using books (Which is weird considering he has to use pact rings) and calling it 'summoning' is really hackney and I do not want to add more slowdown to a game that runs on slowdown.  Obviously it's a possibility but if there's a lot of negative reaction then I'll have to leave it out.

And the ONLY changing thing on skill learning would be Arche's spells.  It is honestly ridiculous to find every. single. spell. through a bookshelf, some random person that has it for no reason, etc..  I could remove this possibility as well but I honestly do not like how the game handles it one bit.  Maybe if it was more of an 'adventure' finding but right now it's just so frikin random that it's almost intolerable.

As for all of this happening, the battle system will be slightly altered no matter which version as I want to have it more sprite based to be quicker.  But spell/skill learning, play styles etc.. will remain in the same for the most part in the 'SNES' version I guess you can say.  Like I said previously, I'm probably going to have to release two versions of this.  One where it's basically just Brambard with some of the tweaks I've done and then the other release would be the complete game overhaul. (If I even do that)

Honestly I just might do numerous tweaks all over and end up releasing updates here and there.  The game overhaul would take a significant amount of time, event editing, graphics editing etc..  I'm pretty sure I've said it before but I want to at least have a quicker battle system with Brambard playable for the first major release.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


I was thinking about ideas that could make Klarth a more interesting battle partner and playable character. My idea may not be feasible to do via hacking, but i'll mention it anyways in case it helps trigger any ideas on your end.

I thought to make Klarth into some sort of blue mage style of battle character. Specifically a party member who can learn the movesets, powers and even use weapons from certain enemies. That way he would have access to some varieties of magic as well as physical attacks but wouldn't feel like a complete clone of Arche and would take more of an active role in combat. I actually think it could fit his character fairly well, as he even already has a rather exotic ranger-looking design to him. Perhaps even have him learn some regular monster attacks (non-spirits) for when he's not summoning.

I don't know how easy it would be to program him to be capable of using certain enemy moves though. I guess it would be possible, but I don't want to make assumptions as I don't know jack about programming or hacking.

You could also adapt this idea for use with the elemental spirits he makes pacts with. Instead of the spirit itself doing the attacking, now Klarth himself is granted direct control over their weapon and powers for a short amount of time. He'd act as a sort of controllable summon in a way and even be able to fight directly. Like you said, he just feels like another spell caster as he is now.

So instead of summoning Undine for her to cast her spell and slice past enemies, she instead appears and bestows HIM her sword and powers to use as his own for a short period of time. He can use her weapon in melee combat (which is elementally enchanted to be strong against some enemies and weak against others) and has access to some of her magic powers (executed the same way as Cless' artes with dpad button combos).

As for Arche, I can see both sides of the coin. Having her learn spells by leveling up does sound less tedious and more logical. But on the other hand I did rather enjoy the "Easter egg hunt" of seeking out and finding her many spells. Even if I didn't use the spell I found I still liked the search and finding it. Again this is only an idea which may not be possible to hack in, but I had a thought on how to have her learn spells via leveling but optionally retain the spellbook hunting. Instead of teaching you a new spell, they level up one of your spells and increase its effectiveness in combat. Something kind of similar to the magic levels in old Final Fantasy games. So for example, Arche learns Indignation naturally and is able to cast a Level 1 version of the spell. If you find a spell book for that spell, it increases the spell's level which improves its effectiveness in various ways. I could think of a number of things the level up could improve- shorter casting time, lower MP requirement, the spell either lasts longer or has more/faster projectiles, greater amount of damage, larger range, hits more enemies, etc.


I actually REALLY like both of those ideas. Someone did mention before maybe infusing Klarth with the element of the spirit with abilities. I really LOVE that idea and it is quite feasible, but it depends on how people would react to such a radical change.

The spell level up idea I adore as well. I wonder how difficult it'd be to do it. It doesn't seem too difficult overall but I'd have to see how well it'd work in game.

Edit: - Customize screen done!  The text isn't quite final as I still have to change a lot of junk later on as the project progresses, but here's a comparison of before and after with changes I made and what not.  QUITE a difference!

Also the BLANK's are commands that go unused now.  I believe they were 'Event Voices' and 'Combo Count'.  Event Voices is now just in general 'voices' and Combo Count is moot as it's always on at this point.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


I think execution is key to getting people to accept change, often a fine balance between new and nostalgia to help ease people into the changes (it's rather difficult to find that balance). As it stands though Klarth really doesn't do much besides basically cast spells just like Arche. The summons do all the work. I think people would be open to having him play more of an active role in battle and it would further enhance his role and importance as a main character. It would also be more fun to control him in battle too. I'm a huge fan of the original game but i'm not opposed to making Klarth less of an Arche clone and making some substantial changes to him if they make sense to his character and the plot. I think the thought of making him a vessel for direct control over a spirit's power is a pretty enticing thought and would interest a lot of people.

If anyone was against such radical changes though, maybe you could find a middle ground that satisfies both nostalgia and people who want something new. One possibility is to use the idea I stated above where Klarth gains the spirit's power for a certain amount of time, but end the sequence with the spirit performing a finishing move. For those finishing moves you could simply use the summons from the original game. That would perhaps satisfy purists. Granted a lot of these changes would require not just clever hacking, but also i'd imagine some substantial balancing to his stats. Klarth could easily become overpowered and break the game by making it too easy by introducing these new ideas. So tweaks to the attack stats and perhaps raising MP costs of summons would be required.

I again get the complaint about spellbook hunting being a hassle for Arche. I didn't personally dislike it much because again I like treasure hunts (i even like collectathon type games in general). I'm aware some people don't like that sort of thing though, and I do definitely prefer to learn spells the natural way regarding this genre of game. But I do think it might be worth it to find some sort of middle ground, so I pitched the idea about spellbooks leveling spells up. That way it doesn't have to be a requirement to learn new spells, but will still reward players with optional upgrades if they do go exploring.


Quote from: justin3009 on July 03, 2014, 10:32:33 AM
Customize screen done!  The text isn't quite final as I still have to change a lot of junk later on as the project progresses, but here's a comparison of before and after with changes I made and what not.  QUITE a difference!

Now that you have the space are you going to make the stereo/mono switch consistent with the rest of the options?


More than likely.  Completely forgot about the inconsistency even though it was right in my face.  I'll hop on that later on once I figure out another random bug that's occurring then probably head into finishing the Tactics screen.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


Oooo.  This remix idea makes the game hack much more interesting to me.


Either the idea I suggested on Tales-Cless, or any of the others that are mentioned here sound like good ideas.  I just am REALLY hoping for a more active Klarth.  After all, you look at his design and he's in pretty good shape.  He looks as if he could fight as well as magic.  I kinda like where Klarth can channel some of the spirits for elemental attacks, but perhaps we don't want the MP to be TOO high, or it would make him useless again.  Now if you do something like hold the A button to finish off the elemental combo or whatever with a full summon might cost more MP, I could see that. 

I'm just extremely excited at the prospect of being able to enjoy playing as Klarth.


By the way justin, maybe I missed it from your original post but are there any plans to implement Suzu as a playable character or any of the other extras from the later GBA/PSX versions for that matter?


I stated earlier that Suzu would not be playable but I may change that down the road depending.  Right now she just doesn't really add anything to the story which is what's kind of killing it a bit for me.  Even in later versions of the game and their 'sequels' she doesn't really have THAT large of a role.  We'll have to see how much room in RAM I have to add her though in the long run.

As for like Rondoline and such, no.  I would LOVE to have her but she doesn't do a damn thing to advance the plot whatsoever.  As far as I know of, she actually breaks the plot more-so than it already is and just.. appears.  I love her but she's just not for this project.

July 11, 2014, 07:18:21 PM - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Maybe a merged post?  Just an update essentially that'll take forever to happen :D

I'm more-so looking at future game titles to see how a few things are done and boy oh boy I have A LOT of work to do.

There is going to be a HUUGE revamp of most of the menu stuff :'D  I've completed the Main Menu, Status, Custom, Save/Load Game and the Formation menu initially but I'm going to have to redo a few things on quite a few various menus.

The Main Menu will have the option to replace characters, much like future Tales of.. games.  So that'll drop the 'Formation' menu to a point.  If I can somehow fit all 4 PC's and their tactics into the 'Formation' screen, I can make Formation into 'Strategy' and I'll end up dropping the 'Tactics' menu COMPLETELY.  The biggest problem I have right now is figuring out how to do layer scrolling on the main menu.  The Customize screen does it so I'm going to see if I can figure out how it does that and mimic it to work on Layer 1 instead of 3.  I have NEVER done that before on any game so I'm very curious to see how it works yet scared ;w;

Item Menu will get overhauled to be Tales of Vesperia esque.  That being, there won't be a single menu for 'all items'.  It'll load items depending on the category you're on.  So 'New' will load new items, 'Weapons' will load Weapons, etc..  In doing that, the 'Treasure' menu will be dropped and put into a category.  In doing this, I will NEVER have to worry about running out of VRAM room for item names and such.  A lot more secure, easier to organize, a LOT easier for players to find 'exactly' what they want, etc..

Since the Tactics menu will most likely be dropped, I'm probably going to add in the 'Load Game' option to keep the menu height as it is.  Allowing a bit more versatility so players can do whatever whenever.

Edit: Front page edited slightly.

Edit 2: Taking a new step!  I've got the main menu scrolling somewhat now and have 5 PC's loaded.  I've decided to take a look at ALL PC bytes and see what's used and what isn't for them inside and outside battle.  From what I saw just INSIDE battle, a HUGE amount of each PC's bytes goes completely unused.  If that truly is the case, then I'll have to start going through the game and shuffling all PC's data and crushing them down a bit.  If there's as many as I already have then I may be able to shrink the PC stats in RAM by a possible third or even HALF of what they are.  If that's so, then I'll probably be able to have room for at least 7-9 PC's instead of 5 and a possibly barely 6.  (Plus, more RAM room is always a plus :D)
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


do we really need that many characters? I can see Rambard and Suzie.. but 2 more as well?
I  support Pandora's Box!
Released Hacks: FF6 Hard Challenge and Chrono Trigger Ingame loading
Coming Soon: Matsumi - Saga 1