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Author Topic: Looking to get into FFIV SNES hacking, running into some walls.  (Read 1628 times)

ArkthePieKing

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Hello hello! I've been around for a minute but I've never done anything really at all when it comes to actually hacking. I usually just give encouragement to hacks that interest me and try to be a positive person around here. But hacking is something I've always wanted to do, but it's been a little daunting to get into. I did some pretty good stuff with Final Fantasy Tactics a while back, but I'm wanting to do a couple of sizable hacks, and they're both with Final fantasy IV SNES.

The first one is simpler, and more or less practice to get my feet wet. I want to make DK Cecil playable until the end of the game. The numbery bits are easy. Change up equipment post Paladin change, improve DK Cecil's stat gains for late game, bam. Easy peasy. But I'm finding the event editor to be really difficult to work around. I just spent the last hour or so trying to change the event where Cecil changes into a Paladin to skip that and continue with DK Cecil, and it's being SUPER stubborn about it. I've ended up with two scenarios here: The first is that for some reason the game changes him to the mini status sprite, then it tries to start the battle and it crashes. The second, which was even weirder, is that it changes to the mini status sprite, then it continues like normal, but Cecil's overworld sprite is mini from that point on. It's proving to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated and of someone who's familiar with the program could assist me that'd be just dandy.

The second hack is going to be a lot more extensive once I get into it, but I plan on using FFIV to tell a new story about new characters. I'm less concerned with this one at the moment because unless I can handle the first one, this one will be far out of my scope, but essentially its going to be about mine and my girlfriend's DnD characters, Jago the Hexblade, and Zaida the Vestige. Plans on this are for Jago to be sort of a dark assassin type, changing the spears in the game to knives and changing jump to backstab along with giving him some dark magic. Zaida is more nature-y/holy so I'd be going in that direction with her. Like before, I'm not worried about statting up the characters and equipment. That's easy stuff, but events are terrifying and don't get me started on sprite editing. That's an entirely different beast altogether.

Anyway, that's what's going on over on my end. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Bahamut ZERO

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Re: Looking to get into FFIV SNES hacking, running into some walls.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 04:21:36 pm »
Kind of replying as I read your post, so bear with me here.

For your playable DK Cecil and editing events: When your character sprite shows as a Mini it's most likely from the party member not currently being in the party. What I'd do here is:

1:Delete the "add Paladin Cecil to party" command since you aren't using him.

2:Delete the "Remove DK Cecil from party" command that happens shortly beofre the Paladin adding.

3:Delete the "Change sprite to Paladin Cecil" Command. If this is still there but you don't have Paladin Cecil in the party, it'll cause the Mini problem you're experiencing here.

4:Look through all the main story events after getting Paladin Cecil, and anytime you see "Change Sprite to Paladin Cecil" chcange it to change the sprite to DK Cecil. Should only take like 20 minutes or so to sift through em.

Also, a little tip: you can hit the / key when looking at any list in the editor to make the list numbered. This helps save a LOT of time, since you can jot the number of the event command you're messing with so you can find your spot again quickly when testing stuff out.

As for your other hack idea: working on your first idea first will definitely help you get a grasp of things! As for event editing, I'd say make a backup of your project and just fuck around with event commands a bit. Interesting ideas can pop up when you're intentionally trying to see what makes the game fall apart!  :)

Using the Namingway's event for testing out event-related ideas helps a LOT as well, since you can usually find a naming way pretty quickly.

As for editing sprites, I'd grab YYCHR. since you can use ZNES savestates to see palettes easily, it REALLY helps take some of the stress out of graphics editing. I like to use 2 instances of the program at once: one with my project, and the other with some random rom I blanked a shitload of space out of. I'll copy/paste what I want to mess with to the blank rom, do my editing there, and copy/pate it back to my project when I'm ready to see it in action.

I'd also suggest taking a look at the Slick boards, as there's a section of the forum dedicated to FF4 Snes which has a SHIT TON of useful info. There's usually a few regulars that check the boards each day. I also have a graphics thread there where I share what I'm currently working on. There's a handful of patches of said edits throughout the thread (though I definitely need to edit the first post so I can link to them without people having to sift through pages of stuff).

Didn't mean to write a novel, but hopefully this helps you out a bit!
Like Super Mario Land? Then you'll love my first completed Rom Hack: Maniac on the Run!

pinkpuff

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Re: Looking to get into FFIV SNES hacking, running into some walls.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 06:51:37 pm »
I can't really help much with graphics, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you have regarding events.

On that note, Bahamut Zero is 100% on the mark with regard to the "mini Cecil" problem. This is caused by the "change character graphic" command. If the game encounters this instruction and the person it's supposed to change to isn't in your party, it will change you into something strange (usually a mini but I seem to recall seeing pigs before as well). Delete that command and you're good to go.

Events can be a little tedious, especially if they involve a lot of moving dudes around the screen. In the map editor, you can check the (x, y) coordinates of different tiles and that can help somewhat, but for the most part, you kind of have to just imagine the actions playing out in your mind, and that may or may not line up with how they actually move around when you run it. It can also complicate things when you have to move multiple characters at the same time using the "do the next x actions y times" instruction, especially if you go back and delete or insert some movements, as you have to make sure your parameters are still accurate.

Despite all that though, I found that when making new events, it was fun and rewarding to see them in action.

Oh, another tip for later is to set aside an event to use as a sort of "debug event" that you can use to warp your party right next to an event you want to test and set up all the appropriate plot flags, inventory, etc. that are expected for that event. It saves a lot of time when testing events in the middle of dungeons. You can also do things like use the map editor to drop a save point right before the event you want to test and then delete it when you're done if you prefer to play through normally rather than warping straight there.
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ArkthePieKing

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Re: Looking to get into FFIV SNES hacking, running into some walls.
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 12:47:17 am »
Oh gosh, thanks so much for the advice! All of that is really, really helpful. I didn't realize there was a board for FF4 hacking. I mean it makes sense, I just never really thought to look for it. Next chance I get I'll mess around with it and see if I can work around the mini sprite problem. I'll take a look over there as well and see what I can come up with. Truth be told, I'll probably have to end up finding someone to work with on the graphics front. I just flat out, do not have a mind for graphics. Even if I were to just, like, try and make sprites in a program like Paint they'd come out looking all screwy. I'm not an artist, ha ha. But the good thing is that those things can always come last, and if I put in my work and get the crunchy bits done I think it'll be easier to find someone to work with me on the graphics.

And I never even thought of setting aside a debug event for testing, but looking back it makes sense. I mean look at the plethora of debug rooms in games for exactly that sort of thing. I think I'll try working on actually getting my first even actually working before I try anything more complicated than that. I honestly don't think my first hack idea will be all that difficult to do (comparatively) and it's really something that I think others would want to play and would be a good addition to the site. :D