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Author Topic: New FF4 Advance Editor  (Read 3315 times)

Everything

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New FF4 Advance Editor
« on: January 21, 2020, 08:19:55 pm »
I'm working on an editor for FF4 Advance and I wanted to share some screenshots and gauge folks' interest.

As anyone who has attempted to hack this game quickly learns, FF4 Advance is actually a Gameboy Advance port of FF4 for the WonderSwan Color (released only in Japan), which in turn is a port of the Japanese version of FF4 for the Super Famicom. But although the GBA and WSC versions are roughly the same, they are drastically different from the SFC/SNES versions of the game. And unlike FF5 and FF6 Advance, it's not just the things you notice (like the updated graphics, bonus dungeons, and improved dialog), the data formats are almost all completely different!

I've managed to work out some of the details and I'm starting to add support for FF4 Advance to my editor, FF6Tools. The changes aren't live yet, but they will be once I get things working a little better. So far I have implemented the following:

  • Map Editor (No world maps yet)
  • Event Editor (Most event commands are not implemented yet)
  • Battle Editor (Monster stats/scripts can't be modified yet)

If anyone has any experience hacking this game and would like to compare notes, please let me know. Other than a short doc by PKT Paladin (from 2009) I haven't been able to find much info. If you are interested in using the editor, please let me know what types of features you would be interested in.

Spoiler:






fedorajoe

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2020, 09:24:15 pm »
To quote Young Master Alucard: "I am interested in this!"

Are you familiar with FF4kster, the quite comprehensive hacking utility for FFIV on the SNES? Ideally, your tool would include all of the same features. FF4kster includes sub-editors for:

* Spells and spell sets
* Weapons, armor, and items
* Shops
* Characters and jobs
* Commands (limited editing ability)
* Text
* Events and event triggers
* NPCs
* Tilesets (limited editing ability)
* Location maps and map settings
* Monsters, monster formation, and formation encounters
* Auto-battles and solo-battles

Other features that FF4kster does not include, but which are desirable:

* Overworld map, event, and location trigger editing
* Graphical editing of tiles
* Ability to import/export data (maps, level-ups, location-based text, etc.)

Very much looking forward to more news about your project!

Grimoire LD

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 08:29:29 am »
One large thing I have to suggest is to make this compatible with the European version of FFIV:A. FFIV:A has so many weird bugs and glitches in its battle system that it overshadows a lot of the good that it does, those are mostly fixed in the European versions... mostly.

Aside from that FedoraJoe has the right idea. FF4kster is an incredible tool! But has been left aside, it can be updated, but it requires knowledge of Basic if memory serves right, which is something many people aren't well versed with these days.


The idea to import and export materials would be amazing.

Everything

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2020, 07:28:16 pm »
@fedorajoe

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I'm familiar with FF4kster! That and the old Yousei editors were what sparked my interest in ROM hacking in the first place. I've been working on FF6Tools and slowly adding support for the SNES/SFC versions of FF2/FF4 in order to make sort of an alternative to FF4kster. That's all live on my GitHub site if you'd like to try it out. FF6Tools is written in pure javascript, so hopefully it will be more portable and age a little more gracefully than FF4kster.

@GrimoireLD

Yes, I do plan to implement support for the European and Japanese versions of FF4 Advance. I've already done this for FF6 Advance and it went pretty smoothly.

I'm not sure if there's a standard format for importing or exporting maps. What did you have in mind? It would not be too difficult to import and export maps to and from the same version of a game. It could simply spit out a file with a header and the raw binary map data. But every game uses a different map format, so it would not be possible to copy, say, a map from FF4 Advance to FF2us or vice versa. Something like that would most likely require some more serious asm hacking.

Celice

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2020, 10:34:29 pm »
This looks really cool! I tried working on my own project with FF4kster, and while it was fairly robust, the GUI was way too clunky and hard to work with. Especially the map editor. Your program already looks way easier to navigate.

Looking forward to more progress :)

Grimoire LD

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 10:19:47 pm »
@fedorajoe

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I'm familiar with FF4kster! That and the old Yousei editors were what sparked my interest in ROM hacking in the first place. I've been working on FF6Tools and slowly adding support for the SNES/SFC versions of FF2/FF4 in order to make sort of an alternative to FF4kster. That's all live on my GitHub site if you'd like to try it out. FF6Tools is written in pure javascript, so hopefully it will be more portable and age a little more gracefully than FF4kster.

@GrimoireLD

Yes, I do plan to implement support for the European and Japanese versions of FF4 Advance. I've already done this for FF6 Advance and it went pretty smoothly.

I'm not sure if there's a standard format for importing or exporting maps. What did you have in mind? It would not be too difficult to import and export maps to and from the same version of a game. It could simply spit out a file with a header and the raw binary map data. But every game uses a different map format, so it would not be possible to copy, say, a map from FF4 Advance to FF2us or vice versa. Something like that would most likely require some more serious asm hacking.

Oh, haha! No, no nothing like that. The idea is similar to what FedoraJoe suggests of making exportable sections such as... let's say weapons, you export that for one project so you can use it for another, and especially level-ups which are kind of annoying to set-up. Maps should be able to be exported and imported from the same game, of course.

Kea

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 11:14:14 pm »
Hello,

I no longer hack FF4 Advance, but I do have notes on various data structures, routines and GFX for the European version that you may find useful, along with some script dumping presets for use with Atlas/Cartographer:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/blzzzsks16llt83/FF%20IV%20Advance%20%28E%29%20Documentation.zip?dl=0

(also hi Grimoire LD! Good to see you still around)

Rudy

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 09:18:41 am »
Might want to look at the PSP version too, I believe a lot of the data is the same as the GBA version.... an editor for the PSP version would be beyond awesome

Everything

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 11:26:16 pm »
@Kea Thank you for sharing your files! They will be very helpful.

@Rudy I didn't even realize there was a PSP version of FF4. Thanks for the heads up! Maybe some of the data structures are the same? The graphics are very different.

I'm working on adding a few new features, mostly for editing characters and items. I still have some work to do before I make this live, but here are some screenshots of the level progression editor so far:

Spoiler:



Grimoire LD

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2020, 06:35:09 am »
Oh, that looks nice! The level-up lists in editors are always rather messy, but this looks quite clean and readable. Great work!

Also Kea it is great to see you're still around. I am glad to see someone managed to save their notes and data. Once this editor is up and running it may even be better to move to FFIV:A for general hacking.

The PSP version of FFIV would be great to deal with. I imagine that the program is much more streamlined and getting some of the additional stuff from TAY into a modded FFIV would be terrific. Or even modding The After Years itself for a different experience.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 06:45:52 am by Grimoire LD »

WingCloud8

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2020, 07:41:46 am »
What about HP/MP tables of characters and HP/MP limit greater than 9999/999?

Rudy

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2020, 08:41:48 am »
@Rudy I didn't even realize there was a PSP version of FF4. Thanks for the heads up! Maybe some of the data structures are the same? The graphics are very different.

Yea anything for the graphics I'll assume is very different. Glad to hear you'll look into it. An editor like yours could really open up some cool hack for the PSP version

Everything

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2020, 09:11:13 pm »
@WingCloud8 I'm thinking about adding an option to compare two characters' stats by plotting them on the same graph, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The tables for total HP/MP are not stored directly. Instead there are HP/MP increments for each level. I could add an option to print the computed HP/MP tables to the javascript console, but keep in mind that the increase in HP/MP at each level can be anywhere from 100% to 125% of the increment value, chosen at random. You can see this in the editor as a shaded region that shows the minimum and maximum values that can be attained at each level. So there is no strict table, but rather a table of minimum, maximum, and average values.

Stats above the maximum values allowed by the vanilla game are outside the scope of FF6Tools. Maybe there's a hack out there that allows larger values? I could potentially add an option to increase the maximum values, but it probably wouldn't work without some pretty extensive assembly hacking.

February 10, 2020, 08:51:07 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
The level progression editor for the SNES/SFC versions (US/J) is now live! It's a pretty tedious to make major changes but I am planning to eventually add some standard math functions (linear, exponential, quadratic). I also need to add a plot legend - right now it's hard to tell which curve is which.

Some preliminary functionality for FF4 Advance is also live (US version only, European and Japanese versions coming soon!). A lot of things will corrupt your ROM if you save, but you can try it out if you want. The map editor saves changes to the map backgrounds, but triggers are still a little iffy. You can also edit character and monster stats.

If anyone has feedback, please let me know. Keep in mind that I'm still working on the FF4 Advance support, so you can expect some crashes and bugs, especially when saving.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 08:51:07 pm by Everything »

Madsiur

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 10:38:27 pm »
That's awesome work as usual Everything!  :thumbsup:

Everything

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Re: New FF4 Advance Editor
« Reply #14 on: Today at 12:06:07 am »
FF6Tools now supports the North American and European versions of FF4 Advance. Maps, triggers, battles, monsters, characters, dialog, shops, and some event commands can be edited. Still working on world maps and lots of other details.

Here's a shot of Yang's level progression with fixed HP curve that actually goes up past level 60.