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Poll

Restored: ROM space allowing, should attacks be tallied for each weapon type used in combat? (support multiple weapon EXP for weapon swapping)

No. Restored already has passive growth, only end-of-combat weapon should receive bonus.
Yes. All weapons used in combat should receive this bonus credit.

Author Topic: Final Fantasy II Restored  (Read 180331 times)

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #500 on: April 17, 2021, 02:34:46 pm »
Submission posted.

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #501 on: April 17, 2021, 11:07:52 pm »
Submission posted.
:woot!: Thanks for handling this! Also, congrats on snagging reply #500 ;).

I grabbed the very first download
Eager beaver :laugh:.

And, it would seem I have an issue to relay before playing. I read through the extensive readme notes on the bugfix version, but for some reason, I'm not seeing any real detail there about the Restored version.
I've updated my old WIP readme based on the submission's readme with some spell check light editing and to include sections describing what's in the extra patches.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #502 on: April 18, 2021, 10:30:31 am »
Thank you guys. I've read over the Restored notes, and now I'm extraordinarily curious how this is going to feel with passive growth on unused spells and equipment. If you've managed to somehow get the balance right (not that I'm doubting you), I'll be extremely pleased. I played a little of the Bugfix version, but I'm now switching to Restored.

Also, redmagejoe, big props to your improvement of the ChaosRush translation. His scripts have always come across to me as unrefined, but I'm having a very different experience after your editing. I'm sure there are some notable exceptions, but I feel that it often takes two people to produce a good translation. One person whose mind is mostly on the Japanese, and another whose mind is mostly on the English. Thank you for taking on the editing role.  :beer:

And P.S., his translations of FF1 and FF3 could definitely use some editing too.  :laugh:
« Last Edit: April 18, 2021, 10:56:28 am by Chicken Knife »

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #503 on: April 18, 2021, 01:47:31 pm »
Thank you guys. I've read over the Restored notes, and now I'm extraordinarily curious how this is going to feel with passive growth on unused spells and equipment. If you've managed to somehow get the balance right (not that I'm doubting you), I'll be extremely pleased.
Personally, I found the passive growth to be a significant improvement over the original game; throughout most of my playthrough, my alternate weapon levels were usually only 1-2 levels behind my primary weapon level, which basically eliminated the desire to grind other weapons without eliminating the benefits of focussing on one weapon type. It also meant that switching to a better weapon of a different type wasn't so painful and I actually used most weapon types at some point during the game. Spells benefitted the most, though - I tend to use melee attacks most of the time and save my MP for when I really need it, which doesn't work out well in the original game since all my spells stay at level 1 and are thus basically useless. Having spells level up on their own meant that they were usually at an appropriate level for the area I was in and helped tremendously since I didn't have to sit around artificially extending battles in order to have enough time to cast level 1 spells over and over to expend enough MP for a chance to level up.

That said, I don't want to oversell anything - the current Restored patch isn't about rebalancing. It's still basically Bug Fix with just a few extra things. We wanted to get the old bugs fixed and the new features added before rebalancing, since rebalancing around broken mechanics while ignoring new abilities didn't seem to make much sense :P. Alas, Real Life kind of got in the way of that.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #504 on: April 18, 2021, 02:13:46 pm »
Quote
Personally, I found the passive growth to be a significant improvement over the original game; throughout most of my playthrough, my alternate weapon levels were usually only 1-2 levels behind my primary weapon level, which basically eliminated the desire to grind other weapons without eliminating the benefits of focussing on one weapon type.
Having your non-primary weapon skills lag 1 or 2 levels behind sounds just about right. The dynamic kind of reminds me of the small damage bonus coming from job level in FF3. It creates an almost perfect balance between the benefit of investing in a job vs the flexibility to jump around and still be successful. And regarding the passive growth on spells, I can't fathom how that would be a bad thing. Leveling up spells was the absolute worst thing about the original game.

Btw, one thing I wasn't clear on from the notes and will take me some time to determine in this play is whether or not the original growth barriers exist in the restored version or not. I'm not necessarily for or against them at this point, just more curious than anything else.

Quote
Alas, Real Life kind of got in the way of that.
Strictly out of curiosity, do you see the real life challenges being of a permanent nature? Or more specifically, do you see yourself being able to juggle a little of this stuff along with the more important things like health/relationships/career? Same question I keep asking myself, to be honest.  :laugh:

Special

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #505 on: April 18, 2021, 06:37:04 pm »
Really like the sound of the "FF2R - Restored.ips" changes EXCEPT for the weapons and spells passive experience part, I'm all for bug fixes and QoL changes, but I hate (usually) game-play altering/mechanic changes. Is there a way to remove that part out and keep the rest? If not, I'll just stick with the "FF2R - Bug Fix.ips" patch + "Chaos Rush v2.2b" combo for my "definitive way to play" this game for now on. :P

Good job on this!

BTW, I notice in the "FF2R - Restored" section it says you added B-Button Dash, but Chaos Rush's translation already has B-Button Dash already in, does the overlap hurt anything?

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #506 on: April 18, 2021, 07:51:47 pm »
It was discussed and decided that the passive weapon and spell growth was going to be incorporated into Restored over the course of this thread, and at least until such time that Restored could be updated to rework the entire spell and weapon leveling curve, it would probably be best to leave the passive growth in. While I am in the same boat as you regarding being something of a purist when it comes to altering game mechanics, if I'm being purely objective, the design of weapon and spell experience is fundamentally flawed and prohibitive to "good design". While I don't think passive experience gain is the best solution, in its current WIP state, it is a stop-gap for Restored.

Ideally, we would approach the experience system in the way that future releases of Final Fantasy II went about it, where growth was much faster for lower levels rather than using a strictly linear experience gain which mandates hours of grinding under very specific criteria. Were it simply powering through battles as quickly as possible, it would be one thing, but because of the mechanics, you would actually have to artificially prolong battles and jump through all sorts of hoops to actually achieve any weapon or spell experience whatsoever. To summarize, Square's system was not good, and our solution is not perfect, but it is something while the experience system remains unchanged.

The B Button Dash patch in Chaos Rush's translation actually comes as a separate IPS within the download. I would recommend not applying the lone B Button Dash ips and using Restored instead if you want the dash. I believe we moved some code around and that one may or may not play nice with the current patches, but it's been so long I honestly cannot remember. An IPS compatibility checker would likely get to the bottom of that.

ScarabEnigma

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #507 on: April 18, 2021, 08:11:37 pm »
I sure hope the list of bugs I know isn't too greatly duplicates of others.

player hp and mp can exceed 9999 and 999 respectively, both can reach up to 65535, exceeding resets values. (already know this is known though)

enemy hp and mp can similarly overflow to above, if enemy hp or mp reach close enough to 65535 and cure is casted, it may overflow their hp, thus the next hit would kill.

attack stat can overflow if it hits above 255, it could be achieved if a weapon had 205 or greater attack and user's strength is 99 while not equipping a shield, it could more easily happen in battle if berserk is used while at high enough level.

its possible to overflow weapon/spell growth if you target cancel or do the same action 256 consecutive times in a single battle (though have not confirmed it can occur with magics), the end result is leveling up every battle afterward automatically.

if Starfall is put into enemy AI outside of final battle, it will not be used at all, if used forcibly via player using item magic, the spell animation will freeze the game.

the wall bug is the result of wall forcing the animation of whatever spell directed at the target to play in full, and since instant death spell animations remove the enemy graphic from field, it works as the vanish/doom of ff2. If it was possible to instead have wall force a specific animation like how absorb forces cure animation, that could fix?

having any status effect that does not wear off at end of battle, at end of battle, prevents any growth in any used skill or spell, rather than just for petrify, toad, and KO.

The graphic of the final battle Emperor is missing a tile in battle, Tile EA. However, it is a blank tile, a quick hex edit of the name table location (which fortunately is not compressed), will fix it. :P

any status effect afflicted by weapon will hit whether your equipment has resist to spells that inflict that ailment or not, the only prevention of physical attack afflicted debuffs is high magic defense, gained either naturally or via shell spell being stacked in battle. The bugfix of later versions of ff1 treated their counterpart of this instance as a bug while ignoring the ff2 version in later ports, enabling ancient sword to inflict curse with ease, or if killer bow was accessible, one hit kill any enemy in the game.

another issue with Wall is it blocks exclusively black magic category spells, even beneficial spells like berserk or haste get blocked, future ff2 ports allow buffing black magic to be unaffected by wall, but also disallow wall from blocking white magics (presumably because it would be far too powerful a spell when it blocks even ultima).


Well, that's all I can think of right now, if i can recall any more, i may post.

Special

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #508 on: April 18, 2021, 08:26:28 pm »
Alright, thanks for the reply.

I forgot that the B-Button Dash came as a separate download with the translation, I only just looked at my already patched version of it, which I left a note saying "(Refurbished) + B-Button Dash (Translation of Final Fantasy II v2.2b)".

For the "FF2R - Bug Fix.ips" patch though, can I use the above combo and have everything working well? So...

"Chaos Rush v2.2b" + "B-Button Dash" = ROM1

ROM1 + "FF2R - Bug Fix" = ROM2

ROM2 = Good?

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #509 on: April 18, 2021, 10:03:36 pm »
That load order should work fine, I think. Again, I'm not certain if we changed the B Button Dash addresses, but I can do a quick check.

EDIT: Yes, according to LSAs Patch Checker, the B Button Dash and Bug Fix are 100% compatible. And while I was at it, I did crack open both Restored and B Button Dash in TinyHex, and sure enough, we did incorporate the B Button Dash differently, meaning that you do not want to patch B Button Dash on top of Restored. Bug Fix, it should be fine.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2021, 10:12:35 pm by redmagejoe »

Special

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #510 on: April 18, 2021, 10:42:47 pm »
Good to know, thanks for looking into things.

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #511 on: April 18, 2021, 11:12:08 pm »
And regarding the passive growth on spells, I can't fathom how that would be a bad thing.
Off the top of my head:
  • it can be desirable to keep certain spells at a low level (e.g. if you like having fine-grained control over Warp or want to minimize the chance of not being able to cast Teleport in an emergency);
  • many spells stop becoming more effective after level 8, so if your success rate is high enough that the extra success chances aren't actually useful, paying extra MP for a spell you were already getting the maximum effect from is a waste;
  • extending the above points, I like having Cure at different levels on different characters so that I can decide how much MP I want to spend when healing outside of battle instead of having to use Cure 12 on somebody who's only missing a few HP;
  • while it would be fairly odd behaviour, if you have spells but never cast them in battle, you'll never gain MP and eventually the spells will level up enough that they cost more MP than you have, which from a game design point of view is probably pretty bad :P.
It's not a perfect system, it's just more fun and less grindy/annoying than the original.

Btw, one thing I wasn't clear on from the notes and will take me some time to determine in this play is whether or not the original growth barriers exist in the restored version or not.
Restored still has the original growth barriers, so if you want very high skill levels, you'll still have to grind for it. The passive skill growth just allows growth with 0 uses, so you benefit from the EXP bonus from monster ranks, but that won't get you past level 8 for weapons or 10 for spells.

Strictly out of curiosity, do you see the real life challenges being of a permanent nature? Or more specifically, do you see yourself being able to juggle a little of this stuff along with the more important things like health/relationships/career? Same question I keep asking myself, to be honest.  :laugh:
Fairly permanent, I'm afraid. I can still juggle a little bit, but it is highly unlikely that I will be able to devote a block of several hours to any of this any time soon, which severely limits what I can accomplish.

Really like the sound of the "FF2R - Restored.ips" changes EXCEPT for the weapons and spells passive experience part, I'm all for bug fixes and QoL changes, but I hate (usually) game-play altering/mechanic changes.
You're really going to hate it if somebody gets around to implementing dual wielding then >:D. There were several other mechanic alterations planned for Restored, so it sounds like that might not be the patch for you - but hey, that's why we included multiple options :beer:.

Is there a way to remove that part out and keep the rest? If not, I'll just stick with the "FF2R - Bug Fix.ips" patch + "Chaos Rush v2.2b" combo for my "definitive way to play" this game for now on. :P
If you feel very strongly about it, the fully reassembleable code for both Bug Fix and Restored is available here; the code for levelling up weapons and spells starts at $05:$A55C in the original game, and copy/pasting that over the corresponding section of Restored would probably do the trick (you might also need to add/remove NOPs to maintain addresses the translation depends on).

We are definitely in the market for a better skill levelling system, so if you've got ideas, let us know!

To summarize, Square's system was not good, and our solution is not perfect, but it is something while the experience system remains unchanged.
On that note, did we ever talk about simply pumping up monster battle ranks? At the moment they top out at 7, but if they went up to, say, 15, that would also greatly reduce the amount of grinding required, wouldn't affect anything else, and stays within the structure of the original system. Battle ranks as stored as a full byte, so we could even get crazy and give rare monsters a ridiculously high rank (e.g. Iron Giants could have a rank of 120). Maybe a hybrid system where only weapon skills get passive growth? Or where if you use any spell, all spells get passive growth?

Good to know, thanks for looking into things.
One extra thing to note is that Restored's dash also works on the world map (there's a lot of long-distance walking in this game). I haven't checked lately, but I seem to recall the other patch only makes dashing work in town/dungeon maps.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #512 on: April 19, 2021, 10:15:37 am »
Quote
it can be desirable to keep certain spells at a low level (e.g. if you like having fine-grained control over Warp or want to minimize the chance of not being able to cast Teleport in an emergency);
many spells stop becoming more effective after level 8, so if your success rate is high enough that the extra success chances aren't actually useful, paying extra MP for a spell you were already getting the maximum effect from is a waste;
extending the above points, I like having Cure at different levels on different characters so that I can decide how much MP I want to spend when healing outside of battle instead of having to use Cure 12 on somebody who's only missing a few HP;
while it would be fairly odd behaviour, if you have spells but never cast them in battle, you'll never gain MP and eventually the spells will level up enough that they cost more MP than you have, which from a game design point of view is probably pretty bad :P
Compelling points. But I don't think any of these present too much of an obstacle for a typical playthrough with normative behavior. With the higher spell levels / MP cost, your characters will be more likely to drive up their MP totals through spell usage. And MP totals are generally a pretty easy thing to manipulate upwards with a bit of grinding. (a relatively painless grind compared to driving up spell levels individually) Furthermore, in a case like wanting Cure spells at different levels, wouldn't it be possible to delete a character's Cure spell, buy a new one, and reset the level to zero? Maintaining at different levels isn't the most sustainable scenario regardless since usage will always perpetually drive them upward. So, good points as a devil's advocate, but I still feel very confident of the positive value of passive spell growth, even when triggered by things like regular attacks. I just need to get a sense from my play of how it all paces. I think the fact that you left the normal growth barriers in the Restored version will end up being a good thing.

Quote
Fairly permanent, I'm afraid. I can still juggle a little bit, but it is highly unlikely that I will be able to devote a block of several hours to any of this any time soon, which severely limits what I can accomplish.
Ah well. We can always dream about being retired on a tropical island one day, with all the time in the world to disassemble 1980's role playing games on our laptops.

**EDIT

I have something much less frivolous to share. Bugs, unfortunately.

The below pics were taken of the text popping up while talking to the NPCs in the item shops in various towns.




redmagejoe & I went back and forth a bit on this via PM, both of us testing various patch configurations, and nothing has been reproducing it. Even when I reloaded that same patched ROM, it did not reproduce. Somehow in the course of walking around, talking to NPCs and battling monsters, this item shop text got borked.

I'll keep an eye on whether or not it reoccurs and hopefully be able to glean what might be causing it, but I wanted to provide a heads up on the issue here in the meantime.

**EDIT 2

I figured out what's causing it. When I talk to other NPCs and then go to the item shop, the item shop text is bugged. (I tested with a few various ones and they all triggered the bug)

**EDIT 3

More details. This effects the text in all shops. Also, I started a new game to see if the bug would also occur at the beginning of the game. The answer is yes, but I realized that not all NPCs trigger the bug. Ninja Paul and Prince Gordon do not trigger it for example, but the blonde haired NPC near the fountain in Altair whose text starts: This is the town of Altair. Etc.... will always trigger the shop bug.

Also, if it matters, I'm playing on Mesen.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 11:00:37 pm by Chicken Knife »

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #513 on: April 20, 2021, 11:03:56 am »
As a note, this appears to be a Restored bug. I hope this doesn't happen with every Item Shop every time an NPC is talked to prior. :-\

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #514 on: April 20, 2021, 12:36:18 pm »
It would seem that it happens with every shop in every town, including magic, weapon and armor shops. Only certain NPCs trigger it. Mostly the generic ones. It's easy to temporarily solve by saving, restarting the game, and then making the needed purchases. But this is obviously annoying, of course.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #515 on: April 20, 2021, 12:41:26 pm »
I'd say it sounds like a faulty pointer to the NPC text lookup table, but the fact that it is only triggered by particular NPCs and is not consistent does indeed suggest that an incorrect value is being stored to memory for, what I'm assuming, is the next NPC text lookup.

EDIT: Upon further testing with the given trigger, this happens in all versions of our release, not just Restored. I'm not sure how we managed to miss this. :(

It's been a LONG time since I've sifted through the disASM, so I'm a little out of sorts. I've found where the code for reading the Life Spring is, where the NPC interaction data is for the Life Spring, though none of the breakpoints relevant to that work. I'm assuming that it's not calling interaction data so much as calling message lookups, which I'm still navigating through.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 01:21:34 pm by redmagejoe »

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #516 on: April 21, 2021, 12:02:58 am »
Oh, so *that's* what NPC IDs > #$C0 are for. This was a casualty of the code changes to only show the Ask/Learn/Item UI for NPCs that could react to something. Dangers of mucking around with code you haven't fully figured out yet, and shows how often I bother with stores in this game :P.

Thanks for the report and extra thanks for tracking down a way to reproduce this! I've uploaded a fix for this in both Bug Fix and Restored; it's only been minimally tested, however, due to lack of time on my end.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #517 on: April 21, 2021, 02:53:03 am »
Thank you, abw! I'll test the fix thoroughly and let you know if there are any further issues.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #518 on: April 21, 2021, 02:55:30 am »
I'll update the submission as well, once this has been thoroughly tested.

Direct link to abw's updated IPS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16RBZBdJi1GKq0xwcU1oBL03FXVIUQLnM/view?usp=sharing

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #519 on: April 21, 2021, 03:00:40 am »
Quesiton: this is only one patch called bugfixes & improvements. Is this the Restored version that I've been playing or the Bugfix version?