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FF6 Beyond Chaos randomizer

Started by abyssonym, November 17, 2014, 12:29:00 AM

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Grimoire LD

Quote from: abyssonym on May 01, 2015, 01:09:56 AM
Hey all! Updates haven't been as frequent as they were, but I've been quietly working on BC in the background. Version 54, released today, has a lot of minor adjustments based on user feedback. Here's a summarized changelog:

I am always glad to see an update, it is interesting that you made the credits shorter to match up with the Japanese Version, did any English version ever try that before?

abyssonym

Good question. It looks like the music syncs up correctly in the GBA version, but not in the PS1 or mobile versions. As for whether there are any other mods out there that shorten the ending, I'm not aware of any. It was a simple change, I modified the two bytes at C3/CF93, but it did take me a while to find them.

abyssonym

Hi again everyone. I'm here to present a Beyond Chaos spinoff project. Remember the final dungeon in Beyond Chaos? Remember how long and aggressively obnoxious it was? Wouldn't it be great if the whole game was just one really long, aggressively obnoxious dungeon? Me too!

Presenting... Final Fantasy VI: Beyond Chaos: Ancient Cave! When you select a new game in FF6BCAC, you start with level 1 characters at the top of Kefka's Tower and jump straight into the action. Cut out those thrilling, skillfully dramatic cutscenes! Cut out all of that lovable character interaction! Cut out a compelling story about the pointlessness of war and postwar Japan's struggle to reconcile its cherished traditions and its animist beliefs with rapid modernization and western cultural hegemony! No one wants it! Just give us a ton of random encounters!

FF6BCAC has two modes, "ancientcave" and "speedcave". The "speedcave" mode is designed to be completed in one sitting, after about 3-4 hours, and you start with enough characters to make three full parties. The "ancientcave" mode is crazy long and you only start with a handful of characters, so you gotta find your friends in the dungeon itself. In both modes you will find espers and precious loot scattered throughout the dungeon, as well as inns and various kinds of shops.

But there's more! Let's say that you're a glutturn for punishment. Well, good news! FF6BCAC is compatible with all of the randomization mods usable in a standard FF6BC randomization! Want to explore the cave with nonsensical, garishly colored characters? Hideously difficult, garishly colored enemies? Garishly colored, garishly colored environments? You have the capability. That's on you.

Anyone still reading this? FF6 Beyond Chaos Ancient Cave, available in version 56, now!
https://github.com/abyssonym/beyondchaos

Grimoire LD

#43
Quote from: abyssonym on May 28, 2015, 01:57:12 PM
Hi again everyone. I'm here to present a Beyond Chaos spinoff project. Remember the final dungeon in Beyond Chaos? Remember how long and aggressively obnoxious it was? Wouldn't it be great if the whole game was just one really long, aggressively obnoxious dungeon? Me too!

Presenting... Final Fantasy VI: Beyond Chaos: Ancient Cave! When you select a new game in FF6BCAC, you start with level 1 characters at the top of Kefka's Tower and jump straight into the action. Cut out those thrilling, skillfully dramatic cutscenes! Cut out all of that lovable character interaction! Cut out a compelling story about the pointlessness of war and postwar Japan's struggle to reconcile its cherished traditions and its animist beliefs with rapid modernization and western cultural hegemony! No one wants it! Just give us a ton of random encounters!

FF6BCAC has two modes, "ancientcave" and "speedcave". The "speedcave" mode is designed to be completed in one sitting, after about 3-4 hours, and you start with enough characters to make three full parties. The "ancientcave" mode is crazy long and you only start with a handful of characters, so you gotta find your friends in the dungeon itself. In both modes you will find espers and precious loot scattered throughout the dungeon, as well as inns and various kinds of shops.

But there's more! Let's say that you're a glutturn for punishment. Well, good news! FF6BCAC is compatible with all of the randomization mods usable in a standard FF6BC randomization! Want to explore the cave with nonsensical, garishly colored characters? Hideously difficult, garishly colored enemies? Garishly colored, garishly colored environments? You have the capability. That's on you.

Anyone still reading this? FF6 Beyond Chaos Ancient Cave, available in version 56, now!
https://github.com/abyssonym/beyondchaos

Oh man, oh man, oh man!! This is a dream come true! I had hoped ever since you announced this project that you had something like this in the work! This is the FF Randomizer I have been waiting for! I cannot wait to give this a spin a little later today!

EDIT: Well I've given it a shot for the last three hours or so, but it seems near impossible to get off the ground in a full settings mode.  While it is a really neat idea you're thrown to the wolves with nothing, even FFVAC gives the player 10 Potions and 5 Ethers when you begin, you may be finished as soon as you begin due to the randomness of your outfit, but if you're given a bit of a fair start with a decent supply of potions then there's a chance. As it stands it's all a matter of luck in reaching the first inn, in addition how do you switch your party? I've collected party members from Inns, but they don't actually join said party unless there's a place later on when all three parties meet and allow for party exchange?


magictrufflez

I have a question--I get that this hack randomizes a metric ton of things, but what DOESN'T it randomize?  I'm a huge fan of the original FF6 and 1 or 2 of the more prominent hacks, so this one piques my interest.  However, there are definitely things I don't exactly want to see changed a lot (plot) or that could end up as a bloody massacre if done wrong (espers).

Kiyoshi Aman

Huh. So I generated a portion of the Zone-Eater cave in FF5BCAC and I can't seem to jump between platforms.

abyssonym

Quote from: Grimoire LD on May 28, 2015, 02:37:06 PM
EDIT: Well I've given it a shot for the last three hours or so, but it seems near impossible to get off the ground in a full settings mode.  While it is a really neat idea you're thrown to the wolves with nothing, even FFVAC gives the player 10 Potions and 5 Ethers when you begin, you may be finished as soon as you begin due to the randomness of your outfit, but if you're given a bit of a fair start with a decent supply of potions then there's a chance. As it stands it's all a matter of luck in reaching the first inn, in addition how do you switch your party? I've collected party members from Inns, but they don't actually join said party unless there's a place later on when all three parties meet and allow for party exchange?
I'll be straight with you, this was mainly designed to be used with vanilla settings. Since no other Ancient Cave type mod exists, I figured that was a niche that needed to be filled so that's what I focused on. However, I've noticed that some users like to randomize characters but not enemies, and some of the randomized abilities can actually help you get a run started because a lot of them are easy damage or healing.

I didn't feel it was necessary to include potions to start with, because returning to the airship revives and heals all party members (but doesn't refill MP). This is also how you can change party members and, if you're playing the long version, you can save your game on the airship. If you're playing the short version, you're mainly expected to just soldier on and use Lagomorph or something until you reach the first rest stop. Also in the long version, you're guaranteed to encounter at least one item shop near the start of one of the three paths.

Quote from: magictrufflez on May 29, 2015, 04:45:57 AM
I have a question--I get that this hack randomizes a metric ton of things, but what DOESN'T it randomize?  I'm a huge fan of the original FF6 and 1 or 2 of the more prominent hacks, so this one piques my interest.  However, there are definitely things I don't exactly want to see changed a lot (plot) or that could end up as a bloody massacre if done wrong (espers).
You have a lot of control over what to randomize and what not to randomize, so if you don't like something, you can just not include that flag. That said, there aren't any changes to the plot or dialogue. Espers can be randomized, but the power levels stay in the same ballpark (i.e. Kirin will mainly have low-level spells and esper boosts).

Quote from: Kiyoshi Aman on May 29, 2015, 05:29:28 AM
Huh. So I generated a portion of the Zone-Eater cave in FF5BCAC and I can't seem to jump between platforms.
That's right. All kinds of events have been removed from the maps in the cave, except for the events you'd normally find in the final dungeon of FF6. However, the randomizer takes this into account; you should still be able to reach the end of the cave even though you can't traverse all of the maps.

Tenkarider

Oh, yeah... you recover yourself in the airship, knowing that, there's no real need of having healing items at the beginning.

Grimoire LD

...Because so many events were removed I had thought you would be unable to get back to the airship, unless I missed it somewhere (fully possible) you may want to add that little tidbit of info. to the README as I'm sure it will make future runs much more enjoyable.

abyssonym

Yeah. I think I'll have to move the save point too. I like having it at the bow of the ship though, it's like Titanic lol. But since it's just off-screen, it's easy for people to miss.

chillyfeez

You know, abyssonym, I don't think I ever noticed the postwar Japan allegory in FFVI's story before.
Weird, considering how many times I've played the game through.
And the fact that the empire's soldiers resemble Nazi foot soldiers so closely and that the Empire's continent is basically an exact copy of the island of Hokkaido... Those things probably should have been dead giveaways, huh?
Ongoing project: "Final Fantasy IV: A Threat From Within"

Latest Demo

Tenkarider

I believe that people should just learn to explore better: you're alone in miserable conditions and you don't have anything... the survival istinct should be activated in this situation... the first thing my bro did was going to extreme left and found the save(without even thinking it), sure it wasn't something hard, like finding Demonica or other legendary items...

abyssonym

Yeah, I'd like players to start feeling their survival instinct, but since it's missable at the very beginning, their instinct might not have kicked in yet. I don't want to deliberately mislead players about being able to save either, since the difficulty of the cave is balanced on the assumption that they'll use it. I'm not above throwing some nasty surprises into BC, but my favorite ones are those that I discover along with the player. :)

Quote from: chillyfeez on May 30, 2015, 12:16:24 AM
You know, abyssonym, I don't think I ever noticed the postwar Japan allegory in FFVI's story before.
Weird, considering how many times I've played the game through.
And the fact that the empire's soldiers resemble Nazi foot soldiers so closely and that the Empire's continent is basically an exact copy of the island of Hokkaido... Those things probably should have been dead giveaways, huh?
Haha, well, I might be bullshitting a bit for dramatic effect. But I do think that the story of FF6 is informed, at least in part, by the zeitgeist of Japan following WWII (and maybe some of the Cold War and nuclear proliferation too). Also, I never noticed that the continent was shaped like Hokkaido before, but yeah, it totally is.

tvtoon

Loved that, and the fact that you can choose to not have a timer! It almost closes the random dungeon issue, going to test soon! ;)

sushi

I've been playing with this the past few days, and I love it!

A few suggestions for the next version:


  • My ROM name stays the same, so it would be nice if after the first randomization, BC remembered its name and checked to see if it was still there before asking me for the name again. Not a big deal, just a hassle to type it every time.
  • On that note, it's also a hassle to type all the randomization options every time when I want something other than all or none. It would be nice to be able to save them as a code. Like if I want partypartyancientcaveowzmciqfspa, I can save that as "sushi" and just type that as a code instead of having to go through that list of flags.
  • Also, I'd like to be able to control battle abilities a bit more. For example, I never want Sword Tech or Runic, but I enjoy Rage and Lore. It would be neat to set that as an option, so that Sword Tech and Runic will be replaced by new abilities, but Rage and Lore will not.
  • And a few new flags I'd like to see: Natural Magic Game and Natural Stats Game. NMG would just remove all spell-teaching abilities from espers and equipment. NSG would remove stat boosts from espers and equipment. That way I could play a challenge game without worrying what I equip, even after things have been randomized. Oh, and it would also be cool to have a flag that renders character names in regular capitalization, rather than all-caps mode.  :)

But yeah, BC is a great tool. It really breathes new life into the game. Thank you for that :)

Tenkarider

I don't wanna be annoying, but some suggestion is a bit too much demanding or pointless:

- All that checks for tracking down your previous name inputs?? does typing a rom name/seed again take so much effort? Besides each new version will totally change the randomized new rom even if you write the same name/seed;

- I believe it's barely impossible to find a way to have shortcuts for mixed uses of flags and codes(without mentioning to have update the whole algorythm each time some flag/code is added/removed)... i can understand asking before if you want an ancientcave/speedcave instead of beyond chaos standard version as choice before inputing flags, so that you don't have to type all flags manually for a full randomization in the case you wanna try the new modes;

- Same thing for deciding to force/deny some commands: how much different combinations would have something like that? there's an insane amount of possible random commands! (most of 256 spells are commands + new R-spells packs + those 20-30 standard commands  :laugh: )

sushi

I'm certainly not demanding any of this. It's just some ideas that I felt would make things more user-friendly.

No, it doesn't take a lot of effort to type the ROM name once, but what if I'm randomizing more than once? I know I've randomized several times until I got settings that I wanted -- and every single time I had to type the ROM name over again, as well as all of the flags.

It's not a lot of effort the first time, but it's ten times as much effort if you do it ten times.

And I don't see why it would be impossible to do shortcuts. What if it saved stuff like that to an external configuration file, and just checked that file at the appropriate points? Or just asked if you'd like to load a profile. I don't really care how it's done. I just think it would make things a lot easier on the user if it were.

As for the commands, perhaps you're right. I don't know what the code actually looks like. It's just something I'd like to see, if it's not difficult. :)

abyssonym

Hey sushi, thanks for the feedback. The truth is, when I personally use Beyond Chaos, I don't go through the interface every time. I actually designed Beyond Chaos to be a command line program first, so it will accept command line arguments. So I just run a script that contains something like:
python randomizer.py ff3.smc 56.ancientcaveznb.1234567890
And it starts up the randomization immediately without asking any questions. I'd like to make the interface quick and easy for other users too, but I think making assumptions like filename could backfire, and there have also been requests to make the interface more explicit.

I do have ideas. One idea is to search every file in the directory for a vanilla FF6 rom, since I should be able to identify those fairly easily. The other is to allow BC to use a configuration file, which would enable things like saving flags and restricting certain abilities, but I don't think the configuration file would see widespread use and might end up just confusing people.

If you're so inclined, I recommend hacking at the python version of the randomizer. Check out this code from the top of randomizer.py:
NEVER_REPLACE = ["fight", "item", "magic", "row", "def", "magitek", "lore",
                 "jump", "mimic", "xmagic", "summon", "morph", "revert"]
RESTRICTED_REPLACE = ["throw", "steal"]
ALWAYS_REPLACE = ["leap", "possess", "health", "shock"]
FORBIDDEN_COMMANDS = ["leap", "possess"]

These are the lists that specify which commands can/will/won't be replaced by BC. If you put "swdtech" and "runic" in ALWAYS_REPLACE, then they will always be replaced.

As for natural magic/natural stats modes, those are pretty good ideas and not difficult to implement, so I'll probably add those into the next version.

sushi

Thanks abyssonym! That's exactly what I was looking for. I use linux, so I'm already running it from the command line. I just didn't know you could do so much from it. And taking the code there works well for me too.

Thanks again. :)

sushi

I think I've found a bug.

Using flags and codes: zllg, seed: 12939, (I don't think the seed matters, but better safe than sorry) "llg" doesn't seem to be working at all, at least in the opening sequence. I actually thought that code was broken, or at least experience was handled differently in that sequence or something, until today when I tried some different flags and was surprised to see llg work.

After some experimentation, I've found that "m" seems to be the magic flag that makes llg work. In flag combinations with "m", llg works, and in combinations without, llg doesn't.