Hi guys, I was messing with the savefile (zsnes .srm file) for secret of mana and I found a way to make it so you start (by loading the game) at the first village but with some events already done so that you never encounter one or both of the other characters. In order to not get the sprite in your party, the boss in the dwarf village is skipped (I can make you start with the boomerang, the bow and the orb that you usually obtain after the battle tho). For the girl, she just won't be attacked by the wolfs once you enter the forest and you start with the gloves. For now I didn't find the value for the event where you get attacked by goblins so in theory it is still possible to get the girl that way but it should not be a problem to find the event data.
I tried playing with only the boy (to make it challenging) but it is nearly impossible, I made it until the boss in the cave in the dwarf village. The boss magics can hit 180 damage while I have only 157 max hp.. and with only 1 character there is no way to revive...
I tried changing the stats of the boy (directly in the rom this time) but I had to make the magic defense stat almost to the max to survive one "exploder lvl4" or double the max hp which I guess would make it top to 999 pretty fast. I then thought I should change the boss stats instead but that would mean change all boss stats and alot of work... I also found it was pretty anoying to be the only target of magics during the wall-with-eyes boss, I kept being stopped every 2seconds and I guess some bosses later would make that even worse.
btw it is funny how normally the sprite needs to stay alive or else you can't fight this boss.. but if he isn't in your party he is considered "not dead" so the event goes like normal but with the sprite being invisible and being named "gogogogogogogogogogogogo" which is way more characters then normally possible so it screws up the text...
I can rename characters directly in the file tho and the same happens with all the other events at least for what I tested, I thought the game would crash or something but it doesn't seem to bother at all.
I am now testing a game with the boy and the girl only, alot easier, but at least I can't abuse the bosses with attack magic.
anyway, I would like to know if anyone would be interested in playing this, I know there is already a difficulty hack for the game, but this is a different kind of challenge.
I still need to work on it before it is fully playable because of all the crystals in the game blocking the path unless you use a certain magic on them, which you might not be able to have if the character is missing from your party. I need to find the event value and make the path open by default for every one of them.