I had originally started a thread about this on the Slick Productions forum, but that site seems to be having issues for the past little while so I thought I'd cross post something about it over here.The Goal
Basically, the idea is to make a "randomizer" of sorts for FF4, except instead of the type of randomizer you usually see that randomizes the treasures and character abilities/appearances and maybe some things about the monsters while leaving the plot and dungeon layouts the same, rather, it would leave the characters and equipment alone for the most part and completely scrap all the plot and original dungeons in favor of a giant dungeon-delve with randomly generated floor layouts, much in the style of roguelike games such as Crawl or Nethack.Content Patches
At the beginning of the game, you construct a team consisting of up to five of any of the characters in the game (except FuSoYa, for a variety of reasons). Once you commit to your choice of team, there's no going back; that's your team for the game, short of resetting and starting a new game. In the finished version, there will be several options to choose from in terms of how you prefer the setup of the characters, spells, equipment, monsters, and other game content:
- Pure Vanilla: The characters' abilities and progressions, all the equipment, spells, monsters, item prices, all that will be left more or less exactly as it is in vanilla FF4, with the exception that "dummied" items and abilities will be resotred, the characters' starting equipment might be changed, and probably Yang will be given some late-game HP gains. This means the characters will probably be unbalanced, so you can take Edge for an easy time especially through the earlier floors of the dungeon, or dark knight for more of a challenge, especially in the mid to late floors.
- Vanilla-Inspired: (Default) The characters will stay more or less true to their original strategies and setups; the only changes made to them and to the equipment will be for the sake of balancing them out so that they will all be somewhat viable from beginning to end, and to help balance them with each other. For example, Salve will be able to use any item for its full effect (or most of it anyway) on the entire party, not just the first potion. Likewise, there will be equipment options for characters like the bard and dark knight to help them throughout the later parts of the game, and the ninja and chief will be brought back down a few levels to start them on par with the rest of the cast.
- Unprecedented Crisis: The characters and equipment (and probably the monsters) will be more or less lifted wholesale from Unprecedented Crisis. This means a more radical departure from the original, and some changes that were motivated purely by my own whims rather than necessity, but if you prefer this character setup, the option will be there.
- Randomized: This option will let the randomizer shuffle up character abilities and equip skills and deal them out to the characters. You might end up with a Rydia that has Dark Wave, Salve, and Gird. You might have a Paladin that has Cry and Black magic and equips harps, katanas, and spears. The possibilities are endless. Safeguards will be put in place so that if a character is dealt an ability requiring a certain equipment type, it will be guaranteed to have the corresponding equip skill. Otherwise, the sky's the limit.
There is a somewhat playable demo available, but it is still very raw, as I have really only just begun this project. Currently, the only content option is "Pure Vanilla", as I want to get the basic mechanics of the randomizer working 100% or close to it before I start branching the rom off into other versions to create the patches required for the other content options, because if I need to make any changes to the rom for the sake of the randomizer after I've made those branches, said changes will have to be applied to each
In its current state, the roguelikeifyer will allow you to set up a team at the beginning. The descriptions it gives of the characters are for the "Vanilla-Inspired" content, but that hasn't been implemented yet, so you can ignore those descriptions for now.
It will create 11 "segments" of 20 floors each. Each floor in the segment is randomly constructed and randomly littered with treasures and the odd NPC. Each floor has an "exit" door and a "warp" door, except the first floor of each segment which has a save point instead of a warp back. Each segment ends with a boss fight. The random encounters gradually increase in difficulty as you progress from one floor to the next.
Currently, the dungeons are a little sparse and all have the same tileset, so it's a little dull in that respect right now, but remember it's still in the sort of proof-of-concept stage; I plan to add more content and tilesets after I get the underlying mechanics all working correctly and debugged.
Anyway, here it is for what it's worth:http://www.timecave.net/ff4roguelikeifyer/ff4roguelikeifyer.zipInstructions
Apply the patch "FF4RL Base" to a FF2US v1.1 UN-headered rom. Then, rename the resulting rom file "test.smc" (I'm a very lazy puff). Finally, run the executable "FF4Roguelikeifyer". A black screen may flash up briefly; ignore it. The resulting test.smc rom should then be randomized and ready to play around with.
Any feedback and/or ideas or input are appreciated. Thanks!
The character selection screen.
A randomly genereated dungeon.