, the defaults should leave most of the game fairly easy, especially if you make use of the block ability, and pin enemies down with melee. The very beginning of the game is harder than vanilla intentionally to convince you to block, with the tutorial boss being extra good at killing you so you get the in-game instructions on how to block (and once you start blocking, he can be defeated without taking any damage).
I, at least, don't want to manage keeping different preset config files up-to-date as new features are added, because I won't use them, and I don't want to be saddled with something as abstract as balancing difficulty for an infinite possibility of players.
, those mock-ups are really nice looking, but as-is wouldn't be feasible to put in game.
Each of the three heroes has a tile budget of around 1024 8x8 tiles. Each of those tiles is assembled into 2x2 sprites, where tiles are often flipped (horizontally, vertically, or both) to save on video memory (and ROM) usage. An arbitrary number (usually 2 to 4) of those sprites are then placed to display the character.
Each hero has something like 228 frames of animation.
Each hero has a 15 color palette (plus transparent), so all tiles for a given hero must all be designed to those 15 colors.
Here are the three basic standing poses, plus those 3 mock-ups, showing sprite and tile boundaries. The girl's head is two mirrored halves, and the sprite is entirely mirrored. Light fuchsia tiles are empty. Light red tiles highlight pixels that overflow boundaries. They're hard to spot, but the 5 light green tiles highlight mirroring failures.
Your pictures were JPG, so colors got at least a little eff'd up by compression.
The boy is off-centered to make him fit boundaries better, but it'd potentially help animations if his eyes were centered.
, those pictures are great, thank you for sharing!
That sound issue is a mixture of SNES hardware limitation, and design decision by the SoM developers (it's not specific to your setup).
The SNES has 8 sound channels. To let SoM's music be as rich as possible, they allow music to use all 8 channels, but then temporarily let sounds override channels on demand. Other games have a fixed split of the channels for music and sound (say, 6 music, 2 sound effects), or they use a similar override mechanism but limit music to 4 or 6 channels in the first place so that overrides aren't as common.
Using MSU-1 music tracks frees up all 8 sound channels for sound effects. But if music is done by SNES native sound hardware, there's no way around this hardware limitation / design decision. It can be mitigated (remove common sounds like footsteps, or heck, entirely disabling sounds), and I can imagine a huge effort could be made to change some music's sound channel use organization so less major parts of the music cut out (but that's unrealistic), but there's no magical fix.
, while the animation is a mess, casting spells on them intentionally vaporizes them without granting a drop; someday I'd like to rework them so it's snow puffs flying apart. Honestly it's a miracle that enemy works at all; was a serious hack job to even make them work as they do currently.
The Dark Lich thing is a goofy vanilla flaw. I enjoy ending the fight at the top edge of the room. Harmless though as you get repositioned after that.
Mana Beast item ring colors is a hardware limitation. The SNES palette just runs out of room for a totally full item ring plus
Mana Beast mode 7 text box
at the same time. The game normally grayscales enemies while the ring menu is open to free up palette space, but
that mechanism isn't suitable for the Mana Beast fight that doesn't free up palette slots used for the mode 7 text box
. Visit a merchant in a combat area (like Lofty Mountains Neko), and note that enemy colors get mangled instead.
Edit: Was misremembering why the ring menu is discolored. Note the grayscaled ground platform; during mode 7 boss fights (Slimes, Mana Beast), the environment and text box is composed of sprites and the boss is drawn on the background layer, so the ring menu grayscales the environment instead of the enemies. The HUD switches the bottom edge of the screen back to mode 1 so if you look carefully, you'll see the Slimes and Mana Beast cut off near the bottom screen edge.