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FF6 Beyond Chaos randomizer

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

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Thanks for letting me know. I'll try to have that fixed in the next version.


I love your randomizer! I'm a long time FF6 fan and a recent randomizer trend fan. So I searched for "FF6 randomizer" and I was surprised to find two! I was actually disappointed by both randomizers at first - I felt like they randomized too much and thus made the game too hard. But "zspeedcave" is awesome! So yours wins.

That said, regular Beyond Chaos is still pretty cool, and that's the perfect name for it. I'm playing with crazy (ugly) characters, many of which have skills that use a random ability, and I have no idea what each monster is/does. Every item is also new. The completely unpredictable monster elemental absorb is frankly unfair, and I dislike how rare healing items and the Phoenix Down tend to become, but it's all well done. It just doesn't feel like a FF6 randomizer. Instead it's like I'm playing a random (crappy) romhack. When you turn all the flags on it just doesn't feel like FF6 anymore.

But I'm loving speedcave! Especially zspeedcave, You turned the game into a half roguelike, which is great for a randomizer format. And second, it takes less time to play than a normal non-glitched playthrough. You said that speedcave was designed to be cleared in a single sitting, and I respectfully disagree, but it's close. I'd like it to take 2-3 hours and I'm usually only at the "3 switches" midpoint after 2-and-change. How you are beating this in 4 hours? I'm playing without save states or turbo. Is that it? Or do I need better strategy? What's a good time for zbspeedsave?

I also like racing the Zelda Randomizer that's out there, and I think AC mode has potential for races too. Which is funny, because the other randomizer claims to be better for races, but yet I don't see any races happening for it. (Anywhere besides srl?) I think that's because cutscenes and full playthroughs tend to suck. They take too long and several cutscenes drag on. (Like the Opera House, the Thamasa boat ride, and the whole Esperville sequence at least.) But AC is just pure exploration and collection, awwww yes!

This post is long. Here's my feedback on "speedcave" mode in list form:

  • This is the shorter mode? Whew! Doesn't feel short.
  • The tools command is crap with zero starting tools and thus Edgar spends the most time on my airship. You basically have to find the tools shop, but what if you don't? What if by the time you find it everyone else is level 20 and Edgar is level 1 and not needed? Can you at least put the Auto Crossbow or Flash in a shop on the airship? Maybe with a few other staple items?
  • On the other hand, the slots command is nuts. It's basically how I heal. It's also MT damage when I need it. And of course if Joker Doom abuse is allowed then that's great too. The thing that actually breaks slots though, is Gogo. Because now two teams have access to the best skill in the randomizer. Basically all of my runs start with Setzer in one party, Gogo in another, and lots of slot use every round until I find some equipment. Feels kind of same-y.
  • Why did you remove all the save points? If you're playing without save states (and turbo) it sucks big time to get annihilated. I've lost a run because of it. I've since started save-stating, but just at the inns. I know that leaving the save points on any map which they naturally occur would allow for Tent abuse, but so what? Tents and Sleeping Bags are basically useless right now.
  • The "flashback Kohlingen" map may be bugged. One out of two times I encountered it there was a glitched sprite 3x2 tiles large in front of Daryl's house, which blocked a door. I'd say ban it, because you don't need 3 copies of Kohlingen in the randomizer anyway.
  • Does the Ragnarok esper miss 100% of the time or what? I have tried it in a few runs on many different enemies and not once has it worked.
  • Some of your random "music" choices are terrible. The ocean sound for the encounter-free area of Kefka's tower is alright, but I'd prefer any random song. Other maps tend to use the "burning building" bgm, or the "windy" bgm a lot. Why not just stick a random character theme on some of these maps?
  • I like how maps from Kefka's tower are excluded from the randomization process, and are instead forced in at certain points to show you that you're going the right way. Never change this!
  • What item does the Death Note replace, and why bother? Cool secret though.
  • It's very frustrating when a door takes me more than one map backwards. I've had a door take me to an inn which I found on another map 3 maps previous. It sent me at least a minute backwards, besides the encounters. Please try to keep the doorways connected. It's more fun that way. If you need to dead end a path then just have the excess doors lead back to another door in the same room.
  • Related to the above, please ban South Figaro. On one hand I like all the treasure chests on that map, but I also go "ugh ick" every time I see it because a huge map like South Figaro with random encounters is no fun. Also, doorway-choice paralysis. Also, huge maps with this many doors seem to indirectly cause the disconnected door problem.
  • When leaving a town, is the door you're taken to instead supposed to be the correct one? Often I find it is, but I don't know if it's a bug or not. Is it just random?
  • I can still get a Nightshade rage sometimes if I'm lucky. I know it's busted as heck, but it's sometimes the only way I can win.
  • Sometimes there just aren't enough treasure chests in the later, "high tier" maps. As a result my party is short on late game items. Yes, you can beat the game at level 20, but you pretty much need good gear to to it. Likewise, with crappy gear the final battle will be difficult even at level 45. I once had a run with NO Aegis, Force, Thundr, Fire, Ice, Cursed, or Paladin Shields. Often I get fewer than 3.
  • Why leave only the two dragons in Kefka's Tower? I noticed they actually summon two random dragons, which is cool, but fighting them still does basically nothing except maybe give you a useful drop. Why not leave the other dragons on their maps too? Even if I'm lucky enough to find a seed with all 8 reachable, and I kill them, and I get a second copy of Crusader, so what?
  • You cut out a lot of event code. I understand, for example, cutting out the craziness from the Zone Eater. It's definitely for the best that none of the switches in Umaro's area or the Phoenix Cave work, too. But why not let me hop on the stones in the Phoenix Cave to reach more doors? Why remove all the recovery springs?
  • I love the random inns, with a random shop, and the random free espers. That's so well done. I'd say put a save point in there, too.
  • Maybe start with 9 party members instead of 12? Because I tend to use the same starting strategies all the time. Can the found members be added directly to my current party if I have room?
  • Related to my previous complaint about never finding the shields, I have not seen the Offering once in 6 completed runs. I've seen tons of Gem Boxes and Economizers though. Is this because of the item tiers?
  • Once in awhile I think it would be fun to find a powerful item early. I know you spent a lot of time sorting things into tiers for balance. But other game's randomizers just let the easy seeds happen (where you get powerful items early) and it doesn't seem to be a problem.


To 95% of your complaints the answer should be: they are all the pro and cons of a well randomized hack... good or bad luck, if not what randomization should it be?

- Scan exists for a reason;

- There are no save points because BC ancient/speed cave are by all means 90-100% roguelike versions of FF6, so you must decide to  backtrack to save point or going on deeper rooms of the dungeon... heaven or hell :P

- "Random music choice"... lol, it's random! it's not like he can deal with any minor flaw from randomization, it's time consuming, nasty and depends on player's tastes: do you know how much would i love to hear "Johnny C. Bad" song, while fighting final form of Kefka?  :laugh:

- What's the deal about wrong doors that makes you return back in the dungeon? those kind of trap doors are a clichè in dungeons, especially in roguelike ones, so it would be very bad removing them... besides you can use them to return faster to the airship(unless you already have teleport)  if you hate them so much, just use savestates;

- Since when big dungeon rooms(like cities) are bad? that fits with "Beyond Chaos" meaning btw. more and big rooms = more doors and chests, which means more randomization, which is the theme of the hack, on a side note it's not so bad all that extra fighting... there are more chances to make appear the 1/16 chance encounter, without being forced to go back and forth inside the room without a purpose, in the case you want to find the rare encounter;

- Probably a second Crusader might crush the game, if you already had all the espers before... it's not wonderful not being able to fight all dragons, but i'm afraid that dealing with an hack like that, there are much more chances of glitches leaving stuff there, instead of removing them  :(  but i like the idea of a more intense boss fight 2X  - what i didn't understand is what do you mean by "but fighting them still does basically nothing except maybe give you a useful drop"? all dragons drop good stuff, in BC maybe even better stuff... Ice Dragon in particular, you were complaining about a lack of endgame chests and good loots, right?
Just remember to finish all dragons with a single AoE attack, or you might miss the drop from the dragons which survives but are eliminated from boss death's animation(no drop)

- All unnecessary events would probably cause some nasty problem to roguelike version; Springs would destroy the roguelike concept;

- 9 instead of 12? If you want few characters and giving the chance to shine to all allies and a variety of strategies, then i guess Ancientcave is the answer, or just change seed(don't forget all BC flags)...

- Actually i can remember to having seen really often some quite good item early in the game, best chances are monsters in a box or vanilla game super chests, like clocks and stuff in basements, etc... 

There's one thing i'm quite agree with you: races among players!!!
AC mode is very unlikely though, speedcave mode fits much better for races... said that i'd love to see something like a race between 4 players which stream their run on a splitted screen of Twitch stream!!  :crazy:
I might even imagine the rules... Abyssonym picks a random seed with determined flags/codes and they are sent to the 4 racers, so they start the race after a while; or they just randomize the seed on their own and the most lucky starts advantaged  >:D
Savestates allowed... maybe only at Inns or whatever
Just tossing ideas now... i'd be available for that only after July in any case, still i'd not mind to be a watcher.
The idea might be spreaded here, in site and Insane Difficulty site... how 'bout that, Abyss??? 


Hey Catastrophe. Thanks for taking the time to write out all those notes. You've been very perceptive... a lot of your suggestions are things that I've already considered in development, but struggled with.

  • I may have understated the time it takes to complete speedcave. Four hours requires good luck and knowledge of both the original game and the randomizer itself. Since I have considerable experience speedrunning FF6 and I made the mod, my times might not be representative of most players. Two hours was my original target, and I think I would like to bring down the time a bit to accommodate people who would want to race the game, but there isn't anything I really feel good about cutting. I think reducing the size of the overall dungeon would throw off the exp curve, and the player would have access to less treasure, so I'd have to skew the exp curve even further to compensate.
  • I think that attempting to make all of the characters equally balanced is a fool's errand. Edgar, at least, has access to some very good endgame equipment and the potential to find tools early on. I'm more concerned with Strago, who doesn't seem to have any good points in the cave. The current design of the cave is somewhat reliant on having access to slots early on for healing and damage. I like the idea better than, for example, providing an item shop on the airship. Having access to unlimited healing items early on removes a lot of tension, and the objective of speedcave is to discourage return trips to the airship. As for reducing the number of characters, the original concept for the cave would have had automatic party member pickups, but I wasn't sure how to approach it with the three-party system in effect.
  • Save points were removed from speedcave to foster the roguelike feel. Using savestates is perfectly understandable and I don't have any problem with players who want to do that, but I encountered some players who expressed a desire for a "truer" ancient cave that had no save points. Regardless, I left a save point on the airship in ancientcave because I felt like the the return trips to the airship were an interesting mechanic. Tents and sleeping bags are useless though, well, until you reach the final bosses.
  • The glitched tiles you found probably aren't related to Kohlingen, but to the original map it replaced. These tiles are a serious problem because they can block entrances, as you mentioned. Every time I think I found them all a new one pops up. I'm not sure how to find them except through trial-and-error requiring long playthroughs.
  • Ragnarok should be working fine. It had a pretty low success rate in vanilla.
  • There's an issue with the music that I haven't been able to figure out. On certain maps, it will restart every time you load the map, even for something as simple as exiting the menu. This gets really irritating with actual songs, so I changed most of the bgms to ambient noise. The other solution I considered, is to allow the music to run through battles, which might make the constant restarts less irritating.
  • Death Note is one of several items that can replace the Dirk, if you set enough flags to unlock it. It's hidden somewhere in the game as an easter egg.
  • The purpose of trap doors is to resolve dead ends, as you inferred. They're a last resort in the algorithm but I do think they add gameplay value because they require you to remember the layout of the dungeon, or take appropriate notes. Trap doors aren't caused by large maps, but they might often show up on large maps instead of other maps because they have a lot of entrances.
  • I agree with Tenkarider, that the large maps serve a useful purpose. They act as a hub world and help prevent the dungeon from sprawling out too far, and they have very effective landmarks for taking notes (ex. Albrook relic shop -> inn). I'm reluctant to cut them out.
  • I don't think leaving a town takes you to the right exit in the cave modes. However, that is certainly the case in the regular randomization, so you inadvertently discovered an exploit that applies to a completely different circumstance.
  • I'm okay with players using anything at their disposal to win. Finding Nightshade every once in a while can be an interesting experience too. Imagine discovering it in the middle of a race.
  • I take it that you've been playing ancientcave in addition to speedcave? In speedcave the treasure levels are the same on all maps (pretty high). In ancientcave, there are enough maps that I figure you'd have to be really unlucky to not get any good treasure. Not to mention that you can often meet bosses as random encounters and farm their treasure that way.
  • Dragons, "jump" points, etc. are missing because the randomizer removes all events from reused maps as a precaution. I could leave some of these events in, but it would require a thorough analysis of of which events are "safe", and I'd have to record that information and update my "reachable exits" table to reflect the new areas that can be accessed through events. I agree that it would be cool, but it would involve a lot of work for fairly low payoff, I think. Regardless, dragons can often be met as random encounters, so there's that.
  • Offering is ranked the same value as Gem Box and only a bit higher than Economizer, so it sounds like a coincidence.
  • It is possible to find powerful items early in both modes. In ancientcave, the treasure level on the surface of the tower is extremely random. In speedcave, treasure level is not determined by how deep in the dungeon you are, it's simply random on all maps.

Tenkarider, I'd be happy to see a race of the speedcave. I don't think I need to be involved for it to work, though.  :) I also don't think I'll have the time to make any updates to the randomizer any time soon.


Oh, now i'm curious: what's Nightshader rage, and what it does? According to what you said looks quite strong...

Oh, it's not like i wanted to drag you in some kind of unnecessary role  :thumbsup:
I guess myself might be good as you as a judge, or maybe the guy who generates the rom could be changed each time(assuming there will be more than one race)


I see you've put a lot of thought into this! I'm impressed.

I like your goal of a 2 hour completion. And I agree, cutting maps to reach it would have a negative effect on the playability of the game. I don't know what I would do to lower the completion time either. Everything I can think of right now just raises more problems.

I still think that at least one save point is needed for speedcave (SC), like AC mode. I know the rule in roguelikes is that death is permanent, and I think that's fine if SC really does take 2 hours to beat. It's one sitting either way - either you die after an hour, or you win after (hopefully) less than 3 hours. But even speedcave currently takes longer than that, and you kind of do need to save. I've been wiped out by Absolute 0 and Level 5 Doom out of nowhere. I like being constantly afraid of the next random encounter, but I don't want the penalty to be a complete reset. (I don't want to abuse save states either, racing or not. That's just cheating.)

On second thought, I agree that trying to balance the characters isn't worth it. Although you picked Strago as the worst? I picked Relm. Strago I've actually gotten some use out of Level 5 Doom and Stone. He'd be better if MP restoration wasn't so rare. But Relm's Sketch command is pretty useless. Maybe if I could find a FakeMustache? Her high magic power stat doesn't mean much when I don't spend time grinding spells for her. (Because MP is so limited in SC anyway.)

Which is another point I've come to realize. Grinding is long, and not as useful as finding more treasure. If I stop to grind spells and levels then my run takes 7+ hours (on the game clock) with turbo. (And turbo is cheating.) I once hacked the game to give everyone 2x Exp Egg as default equipment and then played SC on that rom. It worked, and I sure did gain a lot of levels, but I still wasn't streamrolling the random encounters and I was still pretty fragile despite the additional HP. However a high-tier item often did give me a noticeable power boost. The only spell I found to be worth the time investment was Meteor at 10x, and even then only with a Gold Hairpin or Economizer, since MP restoration is rare.

I didn't know that you were replacing maps. I assumed that what you were doing was leaving the map data alone, erasing all events/npcs/actors/triggers/etc, and reprogramming the doorways yourself. Which is why I was surprised to see that one glitchy sprite blocking a door. (I'll try to dig up the seed.) Instead it sounds like you're taking the map data from one map and copy/pasting it over other maps?

I see the music problem in the rest stops. I don't know how to fix it either, but I find listening to the ambient nose tracks for hours at least as annoying as the music restarting. I guess flag every non-boss formation as "no music, continue existing" then use the game's (good) real music? Or remove ALL music from the game, but leave the sound effects. (Zelda Randomizer will offer this in the next version.)

I didn't realize the treasure actually WAS totally random in SC. That's what I wanted. I guess I read the FAQ for AC and assumed it applied to SC, because I've never finished an AC run. I definitely prefer random non-tiered item drops so I must be having terrible luck. My last seed (43214321) gave me a Rename Card in the first chest and 3 Bone Clubs elsewhere. That's 4 useless chests! I'm not asking for tons of Economizers or powerful swords. If you give me DragonBoots, DragonHorn, SnowMuffler, and a decent shield, then I can try to do the Mog SCC (+LLC?) and beat the game with only that. That's not so much to ask for is it? I'm not even getting that.

Tenkarider - Nightshade uses the Charm ability, which is a permanent confuse status that no enemy or boss can resist. Also, look at (SRL) for an example of how to do races. You don't need an umpire or authority. First, everyone meets in an irc channel to discuss the game, settings, and goal. (So, FF6 BC "speedcavez".) Then they pick a seed. Everyone runs the randomizer with that SAME seed and sits on the title screen. Then when everyone is ready everyone starts at the same time. Everyone is required to stream on Twitch. And yeah, multitwitch is a thing. It's pretty great for spectating.


Cutting to half the time and so spending just 2 hours... how 'bout placing a magic door on the deck of the airship?(only in speedcave) it might lead to one room which is more or less in the middle of the dungeon and so you might risk your life and go there as soon as you start the game, or eventually use it to reach faster your previous last room before backtracking? just an idea...

I believe that a good mod shouldn't be focused on grinding, i mean... in BC grinding is your last resort in the case you can't progress further, right?

Oh, Nightshade! now i remember, pink flowers in the portrait...  but why, is that monster/rage unchanged in BC?

Since i never did anything like that, i wonder how twitch/multi streaming work...? (settings, requirements, etc...)


Hey all, I know I said I wouldn't update, but I started to feel bad about leaving everyone hanging. So I compromised, and did a minor update, mainly focusing on ancientcave and speedcave stuff. I didn't get everything accomplished that I wanted to, but here's a short changelog:

Quoterandomizer can automatically scan directory for valid roms
add save points to every rest stop (but this feature comes at a cost...)
ancient cave/speed cave modes no longer have tents or sleeping bags
ancient cave/speed cave modes now use dungeon-appropriate music
you can unequip your party at any rest stop
add proper challenge modes (natural magic, natural stats, llg)
some spells added to the Death spellset
better enemy name generation
umaro is now unequippable if the 'q' flag is set

I mainly just knocked out the really easy stuff, and stuff that I felt was important for meeting the expectations of ordinary users.

Tenkarider, I don't think I'd be able to make the "magic door on the airship" idea work, while keeping the 3-party dungeon format. I could put shortcuts on the surface of the tower, but I have the feeling that the new rest stop save points might achieve the same desired effect. Maybe I could make certain entrances into "toll roads" that require you to pay a certain amount of GP to pass... that would be a hassle, though.


It's a good improvement! I hear the music reset now and then, but I still like it better that way. A few random battles still play the normal battle theme, dunno if that was intentional?

The saves are very nicely done too. I played for about 90 minutes just to test, and I didn't need them yet. I tried to die on purpose and I realized - oops - I never used the saves that I paid for. >_< Still have to actually save after you pay...

I agree on removing the Sleeping Bag and Tent, and I like how you did it.

My last two speedcave seeds have had a megalixir in the secret room, including this one. I also saw a Dirk for the first time in this version?

There's an item description bug. If an item normally has no description then it seems to inherit whatever item description is at the top of your list.

Thanks for doing the easy things!


Oh, stupid me... that cannot work with 3 parties, why haven't i thought that before?
If they enter before splitting the group the whole 3 party system collapse!  :laugh:
The only chance would be place 3 mystic doors at the first room of each group pattern, but i guess that would start to become too much messy...
My suggestion is... if you can access to extra save points, then make pay real money for them: at least it will become a relevant choice deciding if buy some good equip piece or save your progress and the player will save only when strictly necessary.


Quote from: Tenkarider on July 02, 2015, 07:32:31 AM
My suggestion is... if you can access to extra save points, then make pay real money for them
One step ahead of you! That's exactly what I did.  8)

Quote from: CatastropheA few random battles still play the normal battle theme, dunno if that was intentional?
They shouldn't be. I thought my method of modifying all of the random encounters was fool-proof but maybe not. For MiaBs, I'm okay with leaving the normal battle theme. Figured it out, it was a dumb mistake. Patched now.

Quote from: CatastropheMy last two speedcave seeds have had a megalixir in the secret room, including this one. I also saw a Dirk for the first time in this version?
You have to set a certain bunch of flags in order to unlock the secret item, to ensure that it doesn't drop from enemies or show up in chests, etc. Otherwise it stays a dirk, and a megalixir is put in the secret room instead.


I've enjoyed this a lot in the months since I've acquired it. It gives FF6 a pretty roguelike quality and every run feels fresh, nicely balanced, and fun. I keep coming back to my choice FF6:BC ROMs and neglecting other games.
I coded my IRC robot to invoke beyondchaos.exe and re-randomize a lot of the content (like the txt files with the names) even further while making up player challenges to boot.
This randomizer's fun enough that I quit playing my favorite version (FF6 Advance) and went back to the SNES version. It would be nice to be able to do some ability assignment, though. I made the bot stuff partly because I was trying to get a ROM where Locke had Steal. Everything I steal is a Shuriken!  :laugh:
Thanks for this. A great hack for a great game. Makes me wish something like this existed for Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, etc.


Sorry for the super bump, but just wanted to chime in that I've been playing this and love it so far. As a long time FF6 fan, it's nice to have a new challenge and reason to play through the game. I've been playing on twitch (coolpantsbaker) if you ever want to check out someone playing through for the first time. I'm about to head to Vector for the meeting as of today.

Thanks for all of your hard work!


Thanks for natural magic and natural stats. :)

Something seems to be wrong though. It's been a while since I played, so I downloaded the latest version from the github, and it doesn't seem to be working quite right.

As I recall, the o flag would shift abilities around, so Setzer might get Steal, and the w flag would replace old abilities with new ones, so Slots might turn into Poison.

The w flag seems to be turning on the o flag whether I wanted the o flag or not.

I run from the command line:
python ff3.smc 62.ancientcavew.1234567890
Then the intro sequence says both O and W are on, and Terra has Sketch and Morph, Edgar has Throw and Mimic, and so on.

Edit: Actually, looks like this was deliberate. I see in the code:
    if 'w' in flags and 'o' not in flags:
        flags += 'o'

Was the old way not working right or something?


Also, I don't think it's possible to beat Ultros with LLG on. No matter what, Ultros says " frighten me!" and attacks Banon. The attack is stronger than Banon can survive, even if he's at full health and defending. (And I only even survive up to this line about one in ten times.) The only way to survive it is if Banon is randomly given Jump or something similar in place of Health, or if you somehow win the fight before then. To do that, you need to inflict about 500 damage per round. I was making about 200 per round with R-Pearl, Autocrossbow, and Magic. Banon himself, unfortunately, got R-Water.


I managed it in a game where both Edgar and Banon had R-Bless. I just had them spam it through the whole battle. You might get lucky with Palidor, which carries Banon away for a while.

Haven't been able to shuffle the vanilla abilities either. I get a thoroughly mixed bag every time... but, it's fun!