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Poll

Which control scheme would you prefer for the weak/strong attacks

B for Weak, forward + B for strong
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B for Weak, A for strong (running only available in towns)
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Forward B for weak, B for strong
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B for weak, Y for strong (X used for own menu and X again to change to other characters menu)
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other (please post your suggestion)
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Total Members Voted: 0

Author Topic: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack  (Read 196830 times)

TheZunar123

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #140 on: August 24, 2015, 09:43:24 am »
Strong attack on Y makes sense, so if Y also exits the menu, I'm all for it. :thumbsup:

I kinda agree with Piotyr on the charging though. Maybe you could make it where you can get hit, but you don't lose your charge?
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TheMagician

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #141 on: August 24, 2015, 01:45:57 pm »
@Zhade

I would have to agree with Piotyr as well.  Not being able to get hit while charging would be vastly overpowered.

I'm not sure what triggers it, but sometimes when you get hit you retain your charge as long as your keep holding the button.  Other times when you get hit, it resets your charge.  This may have been an intentional thing since Dispel is also able to remove your charge, and enemy AI (Hexus and Dark Stalkers) actively cast Dispel on charging units.

If you can find out what triggers it, you could perhaps make it so that your charge is never reset when you get hit by physical attacks.  Honestly, I kind of like the way it is though.  Charging is a gamble.  The pay off is huge, but you move more slowly, and you can actually lose the charge.  The current risk/reward ratio is pretty good I think.

I did like your idea about having the charge levels increase faster though.  It would be nice to have earlier charge levels go faster once your weapon level becomes higher.

Another idea I was thinking about, is the ability to store a charge.  What if, while charging, you could hit R and store the current charge?  Then the next time you press the attack button, the charge would be released.  I could see this having some issues with weapon changing though.  Store a level 8 sword charge, switch to javelin (say at level 1) and then release.  Of course the easy fix there is to reset any stored charges any time a weapon is changed.

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #142 on: August 24, 2015, 04:56:58 pm »
You still can get hit while charging, its when you release the button and actually perform the charged attack that you are invincible.

@TheMagician
I think you always keep your charge as long as you hold the B button until your character can move again when you get hit (someone correct me if im wrong). I know there is a glitch that makes you lose your charge when you step on a deactivated "door" (what normally makes you change maps, so I mean not only actual doors but cave entrance etc.. too). I first noticed this glitch while fighting the minotaur in the light palace, when standing close to the lower wall the charge sometimes reset at first I thought it was a bug in my hack but it happens in vanilla too. Its easy to trigger this glitch in the first area of PureLand when standing close to the lower part of the area, I guess there is an unused door there maybe it you were originaly suposed to get there from a door instead of from the air and instead of removing it they just deactivated it.

About storing a charge, I think the charge-locking feature that I plan to impement is kind of similar. When charging you would press A (or another button) to keep your current charge level, you would still have to hold the B button tho and you would still walk slowly like you normally do when charging. Storing a charge charge could be a bit OP if it makes you walk at normal speed when you have a charge stored because you could charge your max charge when entering an area, away from enemies, and then unleash it when you see an enemy. You can already do this but at least  its a bit harder because of the slow walking speed. The game already has a bug that makes you able to switch weapons while charging that can result in you beign able to use a charge that you don't have enough weapon level for or even make you charge beyond level 8 and unleash a 1-hit-boss-killing blow. I plan to fix this already so that people can't abuse it.

TheZunar123

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #143 on: August 24, 2015, 06:43:02 pm »
That makes sense. I approve.

The switch weapons glitch mentioned is abused in speedruns of the game and it's neat to see them tear through bosses with it, though I understand fixing it for this hack, especially for hard mode.
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DragonArk

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #144 on: August 24, 2015, 07:09:23 pm »
@DragonArk
Different blocks/dodge for each weapon could be a good idea, but unfortunatly, There is no animation for the back-flip dodge facing up/down and it automatically makes you move left or right when the animation is played which would not be practical. So I can't see alot of variations possible. Maybe if I can find a way to move the players properly I could use the dodge animation and make you move back I thought of making the glove do a counter-attack if you sucessfully dodge an attack, It could make you throw the enemy if you dodge a melee attack, since melee attacks are hard to block/dodge it could have no recharge time at all and make the gloves way better and make you feel like a karate master (tho it wouldnt work against bosses). Aside from that I think other weapons should have either block or dodge (if I can make it work), if all weapons had a diffenrent dodge/block it could get confusing and im running out of ideas anyway.

As for the running I think you have a good point, even if it makes it easier to pass-by enemies, you wont get experience that way and in hard-mode you will need it badly anyway so it could be kept.

@DragonArk and ze10
The weak attack doesnt seem to be very popular, personnaly I use it sometimes with the sword and the spear because the attack is wider and some enemies only attack straight so you can stand in diagonal from them an attack without beign in their range. It also can attack multiple enemies at once better if they are not all lined up. With the sword , and the spear too (I think) the attack is a bit faster. The damage is lower and even tho it attacks faster it doesnt make up for the power of the strong attack so the strong attack is better because it deals more damage per second but the weak attack can be useful too sometimes. The weak attack can also be used when you want to start charging an attack since the power recharging time is lower you will start charging a bit sooner. I admit its not very useful with ranged weapons tho, I plan to make the javelin do a melee attack to make this better, maybe I could make the bow shoot farther with the weak attack and the boomerang could also have a melee attack (the boomerang already have a melee animation that is used with some charge attacks so maybe it would not be hard to pull off).

The korean version (since it uses other characters) most likely has some stuff that come in conflict with this hack. Btw is the korean version an official version or a fan-translation ?. If its a fan translation they most likely expanded the ROM and used the same space as i do for their routines. I think it should work with other languages tho as long as it uses the alphabet.

Thank you for you support ! im actually the only one really working on this altho people in here have helped me alot with beta-testing as well as feedbacks and gave me good ideas of stuff to improve. Regrs also sent me his code so that I can implement the "naming with lower-case letters" as well as a way to make the "Agrsomthing" boss chew characters and helped me grasp alot of things about the game mechanics. Hiei- is also working on making his re-translation with uncensored content work with this hack which will help improve the game.

@Zhade
Thanks for the reply, I'll try to keep this short! Instead of using the dodge animation, what about the throw animation (they are invincible when it happens right?), like when using the whip. Might cause people to go through walls and access areas without the whip though so I'm guessing not. Yes I agree, I think throwing with the gloves would just feel awesome and would be fun to use.

Yeah I guess if there is more variation in light and heavy attack it would be useful as you said. I actually only had time to use the sword, but ill have a go at the other weapons when I get time.

Yeah the Korean version is a fan translation so that's probably why.

Well thank you again, I hope you stay strong and keep working on this. This game means so much to many people. Really look forward to following your progress with this! I will have another review of your changes when I get time!
 :thumbsup:



thzfunnymzn

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #145 on: August 24, 2015, 10:14:33 pm »
Played Hard Mode very briefly. Just up to Pandora. I like the inceased pace of combat, and how I can defeat Mantis Ant w/out dying if I get in his face and block his physicals.

Have noticed that, with good timing, I can still stunlock whatever I want. Takes a while to rack up damage, probably less effective once enemies start multiplying, but just noting it.

Idea, dunno if it's feasible: Exchange the charge system for a system where you press a sequence of buttons to get a certain attack (more attacks unlocked at higher levels). Think Fighting games or Sabin's Blitzes (FFVI). Charging up is nice for a big strong attack, but it's kinda redundant to have 8 charge levels, esp. when some of the attacks have more interesting properties besides just "big, strong attack." Also, prevents walking around with a charge level all the time just to smack whatever enemy pops up next on screen. Again, dunno if it's feasible, or if there's any real balance need for it: I've only played up to the first town, and stunlocking Rabites & Mushrooms doesn't exactly reveal a whole lot.

I support this hack 100%. SoM is a fun game, but needs a lot of improvement, besides just a generic "stat boosts to all enemies."

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #146 on: August 26, 2015, 06:35:37 am »
Unfortunaltly I dont have much time to work on this hack anymore, Im now working full-time at a new job and when I get home Im very tired but that doesnt mean I will stop working on this, just dont expect fast progress like when I first started. Since im kind of tired when I get home and dont have much time to tackle big features I worked on maping the characters/enemies data, I now have half of the values mapped (7EE000 to 7EE0FF) tho there is stilll alot of values in there that are I don't know how to use exactly, at least I know most of what they are used for. The other half will probably take less time to do as I already know alot of it,I will post the complete data map on datacrystal when im done with it, maybe some other SoM hackers will find use for it.

@TheZunar123
I didnt knew about the over-powered attacks glitch before I saw a speed-run, at first its funny to see how how they can kill bosses very fast but after some time it gets boring because I would have liked to see how they would have beaten boss fast without it but every speedrun uses this (because its clearly the fastest way). They would have abused magic anyway if it wasnt there so it would not really have been more fun to watch... but anyway since its a bug more than a feature I think it would be better if I remove it.

@DragonArk
If you mean using the animation that is played when using the whip checkpoints, it might work, at least it has an animation for all directions, Its a kind of jump followed by rolling on the ground, maybe I might be able to use the rolling animation as a dodge animation. I have no idea how the game will handle it tho. Its not a problem if it doenst make you invincible while doing it, the normal dodge animation doesnt, I had to make it work and the way I did it should work with any animation.

@thzfunnymzn
by stunlocking you mean attacking an enemy repeatedly so it can't move ? If it is the case I think its not that bad because later enemies have more def and I think they will dodge your attacks more often if you attack will low power%. The resulting damage is also pretty low so when enemies have more HP it takes alot of time to kill them that way. I could prevent you from attacking when you don't have 100% (personally I never do) but people seem to like beign able to attack at any time.

About changing the charge attack system for a "fighting game style special attacks" It could make charged attacks way to powerful once you get the hang of it and would be too different from the original game which would remove some of the nostalgia factor.

EDIT:
I made the weapons affinity work so now hitting an enemy that is weak to your weapon results in 50% more damage, same goes for sabers, if you hit with a fire weapon against and enemy weak to salamando, you deal 50% more damage. It works both ways, if you hit an enemy that is stong against your weapon element you will deal only 50% of the damage. 50% more damage is kind of a lot, I still need to test to see if its too much, but tweaking it is the easy part  ;)

------------------------------------
Edit2:
I've managed to make the AI controlled characters more agressive, they start to attack enemies when they are farther and it really seems to help them. Here's a video that shows the difference : Video at first the AI is normal and then (when I load a state) I set it so they are more agressive.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 03:52:07 am by zhade »

DragonArk

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #147 on: August 30, 2015, 08:16:10 pm »
Regarding the video for the AI, it looks really good. Will you integrate it into the current AI system menu so players can choose how aggressive they want the AI to be?

SageOwl

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #148 on: August 30, 2015, 09:59:47 pm »
Great work with the AI, I am impressed. Weapons affinity sounds great as well.

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #149 on: August 31, 2015, 03:33:56 am »
@DragonArk
Yeah I thought about making it relative to the Approach/Stay away parameter, I still cant find where those are stored in the characters data tho. Theres still some problems to the method I used to make them more agressive, then have a tendency to try to attack enemies which are impossible for them to reach and get stuck in walls even more because of that. Making it relative to the Approach/Stay away could be enough, if the players find it annoying that they get stuck too much they could bring it down a little and if the players want them to attack as much as possible it could be raised even more than what was shown in the video.

I might be able to fix some other things too, the routine I changed to make them more agressive checks the distance between the character and a possible target and assign a value. for example the value is set to 01 if the enemy is close and that makes the character attack (if he has a melee weapon). The routine is used by enemies as well as AI characters and only has 6 different values so 6 different behaviours depending on the distance from the enemy. As far as I know the changes to the value makes those behaviour:

01,very-close : attack (melee weapons), get back (ranged weapons)
02,close : attack (sword, axe, spear), get back (ranged weapons), approach (gloves)
04,mid-close : attack (spear), attack ranged, approach (melee)
08,mid-far : approach
10,far : follow leader
30,very far : follower leader

In the video I changed "far" to "mid-far" so that they start to approach sooner
I dont know if you guys noticed but the AI always has over-estimated the range of the spear (as well as other weapons but I think the spear is the worst), I guess its because of how enemies and AI characters use the same distance checker so if the AI is at "mid-close" to its target he starts to attack even tho he could be too far. I think I could change the distances depending on which weapon the AI is holding so that they never overestimate the range (that way they would also know about the bow's new range).

I also noticed something kind of interesting about how AI characters attack their target, it seems that they calculate the number of steps needed to get close enough to attack before they start to move. So if the target is two steps aways, but behind a wall, they will do two steps into the wall and swing their weapon (even tho they cant reach the target since they didnt move because of the wall). So I guess If the enemy moves after they calculated their steps needed they will go where the target once was and swing their weapon at nothing. Its not so bad because they move pretty fast but it makes them look even more dumb when they swing their weapons at a wall again and again :P The enemies probably also work the same.

DragonArk

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #150 on: August 31, 2015, 07:19:11 pm »
That's interesting, I guess rewriting the AI to go around objects would be too much work. If you are worried about your team mates getting stuck, you could have them use the animation of when you step near a whip-jump spot when the player presses for example L+R or holding select or something.

KingMike

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #151 on: September 01, 2015, 03:22:30 pm »
@KillerBob
Wow, the japanese title screen really looks nice  :o It looks to me like they didnt have the background image without the name so they just used the lower part of the image, stretched it and added "secret of mana"... I hope im wrong and the background is seperate from the name so that it is possible to bring it back tho.

It's a separate BG layer from the title/text.
But for some reason there's a blurry area that the Japanese logo covers up nicely.
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DragonArk

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #152 on: September 01, 2015, 07:06:04 pm »
If anyone can dump the raw background from the Japanese version, I should be able to fix that blur.

[EDIT: if possible, no birds and titles :) ]
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 07:11:08 pm by DragonArk »

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #153 on: September 01, 2015, 10:54:53 pm »
@DragonArk, thx but someone already beat you to it.  ;) ExL PMed me this fixed background:



I think it looks pretty good, there seems to be some slight imperfections where the bluring was but with the title infront of it would look perfect IMO.

I don't know if its dumped from the originial japanese rom directly and if it could be inserted into the game easily, I never imported an image file to a ROM but I guess there are utilities for that. Im trying to find one right now, but cant seem to find one for SNES, do you guys know any good one ?

Edit: I managed to transform the image to the snes format but unfortunatly the game uses some compression on the title-screen so I would need to compress it before I re-insert it. There is a decompressor available here : Seikend densetsu 2 on snesdev but no compressor so I will have to write my own using the instructions on the same webpage but Its not really well explained (at least for someone not used to working with compression)

Update:
I've worked on the charging-related features today, I've got the faster charging working and the charge-locking too. I also made it impossible to enter spell-targeting mode while charging so you can use R to strafe like in vanilla. The faster charging has 3 speed, 2x, 1.5x and normal 1x, right now you charge at 2x when your current charge level is below half of your max charge level, 1.5x if its half of higher and 1x if you are charging your last charge. I can't make the charging speed more than 2x unless I do some major gfx hacking but 2x is pretty fast anyway. The charge-locking works perfectly, at first I wanted to make it is so the charging bar shows your last fully-charged level when you press A to lock it but I think its better that it just freezes where it is and if you change your mind and press A again you can resume charging where you left off. Here a video showing the new charge features : Video
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 12:03:06 am by zhade »

ChemaROMhacking

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #154 on: September 03, 2015, 02:54:29 am »
Some suggestions
Swap dark force and evil gate spell animations
Allow snowmen to be hit, making ice saber useful
Change thunder saber cost to 1 MP and let it inflict confusion
Change light saber cost to 2 MP and let it inflict sleep
Change flame saber cost to 3 MP

BTW, is there a ROM address I can edit on a hex editor so I can reduce only the cooldown of spells for the girl?
I wanna try something... Unusual

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #155 on: September 03, 2015, 03:15:39 am »
@ChemaROMhacking

why swap the dark force and evil gate animations ? because evil gate looks cool and is not of much use usually ? Evil gates looks like a gate or some kind of portal so it makes sense to me that it uses that current animation.

Hitting snowmans would be nice, ill try to make this work, enemies wont be turned into snowman as ofter when I reduce the saber effects chance so it wont make things too easy anyway.

Thunder saber inflicting confusion is a good idea, I dont know how enemies behave when confused but at least they would also not be able to cast spells. I thought about making it raise the crit rate but no sabers give confusion and sylphid is the element that has the silence spell so it makes sense.

I dont think there is a sleep status effect but uncounsious is kind of the same and light saber has no status effect so it would make sense.

Flame saber is indeed better than others because of the added damage when engulfed and IIRC you can still hit enemies when they are in flames and unable to move so raising the cost seems logical.

About the cooldown, no the cooldown is set with the same instructions for all characters but It could be changed easily for you so you can try your ... unusual thing :P

ChemaROMhacking

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #156 on: September 03, 2015, 04:06:31 am »
Well, the swapping has more to do with breaking redundancy than it looking cool
Burst it already a recolor of Explosion, that and the long animation wouldn't be present anymore
Sure you can just swap the damage formulas if it is easier on you considering text editing is not a good idea for now

I would be grateful if you do separate instructions for both characters, just make sure it won't be time consuming, or worse, bring up glitches
If so, the ram address will do nicely

I wanna try a test playthrough focused on multiplayer, teamwork and "character role"
Making scenarios where the boy is on the front line soaking the most damage and distracting dangerous enemies away from the sprite and girl; the sprite on the middle attacking and casting spells when available; and last but not least, having the girl on the back constantly buffing the other two so they don't die on 1~2 hits and healing when needed

From matango onwards only the boy would upgrade the body armor, sprite gets the helmets and girl the armlets

EDIT: confused enemies walk and attack on the opposite direction
For example, zombies and werewolves moonwalk away from you while chobbin hoods and mad mallards moonwalk towards, shooting their projectiles away from you in a desperate attempt to attack you

EDIT 2: Suggestion
Why not make character attack when you release the button?
That way we could go straight to charging weapon instead of having to swing on the air and wait for the stamina % to refill
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 05:24:00 pm by ChemaROMhacking »

Da_GPer

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #157 on: September 04, 2015, 06:12:55 pm »
I was wondering, are you guys going to be working with the group that is working on the retranslation and expansion? You can find there topic at http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,19920.0.html.

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #158 on: September 05, 2015, 08:49:57 pm »
@ChemaROMhacking
Oh, did you mean change burst for evil gate ? You mentioned dark force in the other post.
Burst is a bit different from explosion because of how it "explodes" on Popoie and then on the enemy, it uses the same graphics tho
The Dark force animation is long indeed.
EDIT:
I will try to speed-up all spells animations if possible so that character and enemies are frozen for less time.

Ill set the girl and the sprite's magic recharging time seperatly so you can edit the ROM values if you want. Ill include this in the next version which I should post here soon, maybe later tonight. The magic recharging values are stored in RAM as a kind of timer that gets decremented every frame once set and when it hits zero the character can cast again, so if you modify the RAM values with a cheat-code you would only be able to remove the magic recharging time all together or make it last forever.

Its nice to know enemies actually get confused

About releasing the button to attack, I dont like it much because it would make the attack delayed a bit since it would only start to attack when you release the button instead of when you press it.

Update:
I found where the ACT values are stored. I thought it would be checked when an AI character aquire a target to know if he should attack or flee etc.. but instead it seems to change the AI script the character uses so I can't set it to higher values than what is normally possible or change it during gameplay. I wil be able to use the value to change when the AI characters start approaching targets tho.

I noticed something weird that I didnt know about ACT settings. Changing the settings make some changes to stats  :huh: For example if you set you ACT value to Approach/Attack (top left corner) you will have 1 bonus Strenght and Agility. It affects only STR, AGI and CON. If the ACT position is not on an edge no stats are changed. It works for players too so you can customize your stats a bit (1point doesnt change much tho).

The values are affected like this:
Attack (STR)
Approach (AGI)
Guard (CON)
Keep Away (AGI too)

If your act is located at max setting of a behaviour you will get +1 in the associated stat
If your act is located at min setting of a behaviour you will get -1 in the associated stat
since AGI is affected by both Approach and Keep away, you will get +1 if your act is located on the top or bottom line

So it seems you should put the ACT on the top or bottom line (max approach or max keep away) so you get a free AGI, you can then choose to go all the way left for a bonus STR but you will lose 1 CON or go all the way right for a bonus CON and -1 STR or you can stay in the middle 2 squares so that you only get the bonus AGI.

For players, the stats are only affected when the stats are refreshed like when you switch weapon, enter a new area or gain a level.
You can also switch character so that your character is controlled by AI which automatically sets the stats bonus.

I have no idea why they have put this in the game as it doesnt change much but I noticed the stats changing for no apparent reasons when switching characters some time ago but now I know why  :)

EDIT:
@Da_GPer
I don't think so, I already don't have as much time as I would want to work on this project.
I can provide them with information about the location of stuff in the ROM or RAM if they need it tho.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 09:33:21 pm by zhade »

ChemaROMhacking

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #159 on: September 05, 2015, 10:22:48 pm »
I meant swap Dark Force and Evil Gate because:
A) Dark Force shares graphics with Burst and Explosion
B) Dark force slow animation

Sorry for being ambiguous

I suggest you give the "tap to attack, hold to charge" a try
It may delay your attacks early on, but latter on the game you rely more on charged attacks, specially during boss battles and Jock's cave

Thanks for giving each caster a separate instruction, I really appreciate it