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Author Topic: DragonAtma's mods: Gemfire, Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, 7th Saga, and more  (Read 17296 times)

DragonAtma

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Hello, everyone! I've been modding on and off for close to a decade, so I've made a few projects over the years. So why not share them?

Furthermore, since some people use headers and some don't, I generally try to include two IPSes, one of each. Sure, many people here have no problem adding/removing a header, but why not help those who can't?

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So far I've released one Gemfire mod, Dawn of Ishmeria. It takes place a generation before the vanilla game, so most of the officers have been replaced, and the remaining officers are noticeably younger. Naturally, the scenarios have also been changed!

Fifth units have also been rebalanced. The wizards are a lot closer to each other in power, and other fifth units have been adjusted so all of them are usable (no more paying 50 gold for a 100-HP ogre!).

As of only a few days ago, I removed the fame requirements from 5th units. Now, you don't have to worry about 5th units deserting you.

There's a copy on the newest version of RHN; you can find it here:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5551/

Special thanks go out to Gamefaqs’ Gemfire board.

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Most of my game modding has been with Romance of the Three Kingdoms II; therefore, most of this post is about RoTK2 mods. My first real mod, NameStatFix, was for RoTK2; as the name suggests, it fixes names (Hain Fu -> Han Fu, Jia Xue -> Jia Xu, etc.) and stats (Liu Zhang the incompetent will no longer have higher stats than Cao Cao's elite generals, Yue Jin and Yu Jin).

I should add that stats are based off of real life stats where feasible (obviously I couldn't do that for fictional officers!). The one exception is Yang Ping; since he comes neither from real life nor Luo Guanzhong's novel (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) but from Eiji Yoshikawa's Japanese-only version, I was forced to stick with original stats.

As a bonus, everyone is playable, and the game now allows up to 16 players instead of 12. Scenarios 1 and 2 have a minor glitch: New Ruler defaults to province 2 wherever you picked, but during the ruler editing you can pick your preferred province and it'll stick.

There's a copy on RHN; you can find it here:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5561/

Special thanks go out to Gamefaqs’ RoTK2 board.

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You know what's better than NSF? Building another mod on NSF. You know what's better than six scenarios? Twelve scenarios. That's what RoTK2: Parallel Universes gives you: six fictional scenarios to enjoy.

191 — The Failed Alliance: Thanks to the constant bickering between them, the coalition against Dong Zhuo has utterly collapsed. Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, and Sun Jian are all dead, and Yuan Shu was driven south. Afraid of Dong Zhuo’s power, Han Fu and Kong Rong are contemplating a call for a second coalition.

195 — Lord Yuan Shu: Although Sun Jian was defeated in the battle of Xiangyang, his forces mortally wounded Huang Zu in the process. Looking east, Yuan Shu conquered Shouchun, crushed Tao Qian, and added Lu Bu’s forces to his ranks. Even now, he sees himself as the next emperor!

198 — Jia Xu’s Cunning: Even though Dong Zhuo’s partisans won the Battle of Changan, both Li Jue and Guo Si were killed in action. Jia Xu was tapped as the new leader, and turned out even better than they hoped. But will Ma Teng and Zhang Lu’s submission be enough?

202 — Brotherly Hate: Thanks to Yuan Tan’s reinforcements, Yuan Shao’s invasion of Guandu was a success. Cao Cao’s forces have been crippled, and Cao Hong, Yue Jin, and Xu Huang are all dead. But Yuan Shao died soon after, and infighting between Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang gives Cao Cao one last chance.

216 — An Unexpected Succession: With Cao Cao’s sudden death, Wei is thrown into turmoil. Both Cao Zhang and Cao Zhi contested Cao Pi’s elevation, splitting Wei in three even as Shu and Wu were poised to attack.

220 — Guan Yu’s Vengeance: Cao Ren and Pang De are dead. Xu Huang was routed by Liu Feng’s reinforcements, and Yu Jin reluctantly submitted to Shu. Wu is doing no better; most of Jing has fallen to Shu’s onslaught, and neither Liu Bei nor Guan Yu show any signs of stopping.

As luck would have it, a fan submitted PU to RHN, so it's been on the site for some time now:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2170/

Thanks go out to everyone on Gamefaqs’ RoTK2 SNES board, and especially to Kawaiifan/Cutefan, ServantOfMagnus, and Marsil79.

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After PU was finished, I decided to work some more on improving RoTK2 -- and with help (including darkmoon2321 and Team-Wu as coders, seeing as I don't know SNES programming), it's been repeatedly improved. So here are the improvements:

* With one exception, every officer's int/war/charm have been updated -- historical officers are based on historical data, while fictional officers are based on the novel. The one exception is Yang Ping, as he only exists in a Japanese-only work of fiction.
* Names have been corrected, plus repeated names have been adjusted to prevent total repeats (so Zhang Yi, Zhang Yi, and Zhang Yi are now Zhang Yi, Zhang Ni, and Zhang Junsi). Note that RoTK2's limitations (no 8-letter names, max of 13 characters including the space) mean that Dongtuna (formerly Dong Tuno) is Dong Tuna and Jinhuansanjie (formerly Jinhuan Jie) is Jinhuan Sanji.
* As with NSF1, every single force is playable.
* The hidden stats (Duty, Virtue, and Ambition) have also been updated. No longer will Liu Biao sit like a log and vegetate -- as in real life, he'll be surprisingly active!
* Every single generic officer has been given a unique face, from mighty Zhu Ran down to nobodies like Cai He.
* Birthdates have been adjusted to the best of my knowledge. Some, such as Zhang Shusi (formerly Zhang Xiou) are notably younger; some others are notably older.
* Death dates have been adjusted as well. If an officer historically died of natural causes, then starting in that year they have a 25% chance per year of dying -- which means some officers (such as Zhou Yu) may die surprisingly young. Of course, those who died of unnatural causes (war, execution, etc.) retain the usual age of 67+ years -- which means people like Sun Jian and Sun Ce may last far longer than in the original version.
* Officers have been moved and assigned for accuracy reasons. Everybody know that Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei started together, but not everyone realizes that Jian Yong came from the same town -- which means Jian Yong is with them as early as scenario 1.
* Autojoins have been updated. If you want Zhang Hu (formerly the lesser Zhang He) in your force, now the surest way is to recruit his father, Zhang Liao, and hold on to him! Furthermore, via special dragon powers, Sun Quan, Sun Yi, and Sun Huan auto-join Sun Jian in scenario 1 but Sun Ce in scenario 2 (and, in Sun Huan's case, Sun Quan in scenario 3).
* Yong Kai was the original rebel in Nanzhong, not Meng Huo. Therefore, Yong Kai is the starting Nanman ruler in scenarios 5 and 6. Of course, if he dies, nothing prevents Meng Huo from succeeding him...
* Loyalties have been updated as well. For example, Liu Pan is Liu Biao's nephew, so there's no reason for him to have only 85 loyalty.
* Soldier counts were tweaked for every scenario; just because two forces have the same number of officers, it doesn't mean they're the same strength! It even reflects power structures; in scenario 1, for example, while Liu Biao has only 80 soldiers, "common officer" Huang Zu has a full 50 soldiers under his control.
* There are no longer any surrender-proof rulers. If you beat them down enough, you can even convince Liu Bei, Cao Cao, and Sun Quan to surrender to you!
* Starting hostilities have been added, courtesy of darkmoon2321's coding. Liu Bei and his friend Gongsun Zan have a mere 20 hostility in the scenarios they both show up, while in Dong Zhuo's only scenario, most forces hate him with a passion!
* Starting trusts have been added, again courtesy of darkmoon2321's coding. Dong Zhuo's starting hostility is naturally 0, while Li Jue's isn't that much better. Trust even changes from scenario to scenario for a couple rulers.
* The number of active officers has been increased, courtesy of darkmoon2321. No longer will you have to execute low-stat officers or wait for old officers to do to get new ones!
* Provinces 39 and 41 have been redrawn on the world map; I got tired of province 41 having a long shoreline province in battle, yet being fully landlocked on the world map.
* Province ownership has been edited in some scenarios (especially scenario 5) for historical accuracy.
* Officer join dates have been edited for accuracy as well; naturally, this somewhat affects which officers start in each scenario.
* Seven new officers (He Qi, Shi Ziyu, Lu Mao [brother of Lu Xun], Lu Ju [son of Lu Fan], Zhu Cai [son of Zhu Zhi], Zhu Ju, and Sun Shao [Gongli]) have been added to Sun Quan so he won't spectacular implode in the last couple scenarios.

Now, NSF2 had issues when I released it; enough issues, in fact, that I put it Back In Beta[TM]. After going from 1.beta.1 up through 1.beta.7 it's finally updated to 1.RC1; with proper testing (I really don't want to shove it back in beta AGAIN), I can finally release it.

I should add that on very rare occasions, the delegate command causes someone to interact with province 255 even in vanilla; there's a report of that happening in NSF2, so only testing can confirm that it really is a freak occurrence from vanilla and will not happen more often here.

If you want to test it, you can find a copy here:
https://download1337.mediafire.com/ws7p3imaxhvg/pt7in9ux31e0cjb/NSF2_1_rc1.zip

Special thanks go out to darkmoon2321, Team-Wu, Kawaiifan/Cutefan, and the rest of Gamefaqs’ RoTK2 SNES board.

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RoTK2 is fun. Modding is fun (if occasionally aggravating). Therefore, modding RoTK2 is definitely fun. I actually started on a brand new story in a brand new land for a future mod, the Darro mod. Although it's playable it's certainly not ready for release yet (coding will be needed, specifically the name lengthening coding).

Yes, I've been sidetracked by other projects (such as my 7th Saga mod), but it's only a matter of time before I return to it!

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So I recently started work on modding 7th Saga. I'm sure some of you remember the second quest from Zelda 1; this'll be somewhat similar. The maps will be the same, but enemies will be carefully shuffled and balanced (and increased in number; through palette swaps we're currently looking at 127 enemies, up from vanilla's 71 enemies).

Character stats and levelling are given a once-over. All characters will be balanced, and experience gain will be streamlined grinding should be minimal.

We'll have more armors; both heavy and light armors will have two choices (plate vs mail, robe vs cloak, shield vs helm, mask vs crown); one has higher defense, while the other has higher spell resistance. Furthermore, armors vary in resistances (e.g. Psytech armor has +10 debuff resistance compared to other armor, while Kryonic armor has +10 Vacuum resistance). They're consistent, as well (so Psytech mail and Psytech shield also have +10 more debuff resistance than standard mail/shields).

We'll also have more weapons; they'll be stronger than in vanilla. Right now we'd need coding to give weapons more than simply power and cost, but ideally a coder can get that done. One easy idea is adding accuracy (if a weapon has +10 accuracy, then it determines hit rate as if your speed was 10 points higher), while another idea is adding elemental damage (if a sword is fire elemental and has 20 magic, it does an extra 20 damage... reduced by the enemy's fire resistance, of course!)

Everyone has been given a top piece of equipment; purely by chance it's similar to Nati's top equipment, but not identical!

We'll also have more spells to cast; right now, my plans have 46 spells instead of vanilla's 32. If all goes well, coding will let apprentices learn up to 24 spells (or 32 if it's no extra work) instead of vanilla's 16.

Ideally, an item drop tables will increase; instead of 16 sets, hopefully we'll have 32 (or more!).

I intend on shuffling Trick locations. VGMaps will not protect you!

So far I've done the following things:
* For all weapons, I assigned powers, names, and tiers (general areas -- say, "This sword will be first sold in tier 2, so either Bonro or Zellis" ). I have twenty tiers of equipment, so some (such as Bone) are exactly one spot and, therefore, are definitely located.
* Powers, names, resistances, and tiers are assigned for all armors.
* Spells have been decided, along with how strong they are. I've also decided what spells are learned by each apprentice and at what levels.
* I've determined what experience levels a reasonable playthrough would be at every area; grinding should be minimal.
* I decided on locations for every monster. I started on palettes for new monsters; twenty-seven are done so far.
* Abbreviated monster names have been changed (Brain, S. Brain, N. Brain -> Brain, Mind, Prodigy). If this is unpopular, I'll revert the changes. R. Pison and M. Pison keep their old names for obvious reasons.

Right now it's not playable, but I can certainly show you some of the new monster graphics if needed.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 01:57:36 am by DragonAtma »
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Ok Impala!

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Really looking forward to your 7th Saga work! Are your 6 opponents better scaled, so you can actually win when you try to combat them?

DragonAtma

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It's still in the early stages, but Elnard levelling will certainly be gone. They'll be on par with you whether they're your ally or your enemy.

Of course, Lejes' Defense2 obsession will also be gone, so he won't be a joke anymore.
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

MysticLord

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Got any Ogre Battle mods? I think I remember you were active there.

DragonAtma

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I certainly started on one, but I wound up putting it on hold since (like so many mods) it required coding. I may return to it one day, but not when I have so much on my plate.
This is a mockup from what I worked on:


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While we're at it, I probably should post an image of the RoTK2 Darro mod I've been working on, so here you go (it is NOT a mockup):

Technically it's fully playable (to the point where you can unify Notchina), but it's not ready for release for multiple reasons.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 05:45:30 pm by DragonAtma »
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Red Soul

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7th Saga should be interesting with these modifications. Some palette touch ups would be great too (I always felt the game was oversaturated and some palette choices for buildings and the ground in cities were frankly horrible).

DragonAtma

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The graphics seemed fine to me. Where exactly would you change the palettes?
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Red Soul

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I think the color choices are really bad in general, and way too saturarted; it's mostly opinion so it's hard to be objective, but stuff like the blue/green walls of the palace, the retina burning red of the carpet, that kind of thing.

It almost feels like the developers went and said "Oh my, the SNES has such a huge palette, let's show off to those Megadrive owners and their paltry 64 simulaneous on screen colors! and 9 bit palettes!"

Jokes aside, things seem colored without a rhyme or reason in the game, there doesn't seem to be a consistent style;
The characters are mostly fine, though, as is the overworld map.

My problem is really with the colors used in cities and interiors. I know, early game, so I'm not trying to bash, but yeah.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 02:31:11 am by Red Soul »

Dulcineax28

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The 7th Saga changes sound amazing already, would love to see some WIP soon! The spritework might be a pain, but have you considered also adding an extra character or two? I suppose that would make it 8th Saga though  :thumbsup:

DragonAtma

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Well, when I get a chance I'll take a look and see if the colors look better muted; they don't bother me, but I'm not the world. XD

In the meantime, I've been working on my mod:



As you can see, I've been busy with graphics for the new monsters. Thirteen families only use eight colors instead of sixteen, so I  started on upgrading them to 16 colors. Obviously, they're not all there yet!

I did talk to slidelljohn a bit on Gamefaqs, but RHN is probably more convenient. Since Produce! was very fond of obfuscating their code (compressed graphics, non-standard palette data, etc.) it's not the sort of thing I can do alone, but with help I'm sure we can make the mod a reality -- especially since some of the steps (such as uncompressed graphics) are already done.

EDIT: I should add that palettes are done for all the 40-ish new monsters, but for 8-color monsters I've only started upgrading them to 16 colors.
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Red Soul

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I think a combination of efforts on this game will make it quite great, I look forward to hearing more about it!

MysticLord

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I certainly started on one, but I wound up putting it on hold since (like so many mods) it required coding. I may return to it one day, but not when I have so much on my plate.
This is a mockup from what I worked on:
Is that a custom stage?

What else did you have planned?

DragonAtma

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It is indeed a custom stage (I did not show the hidden cities/loot!); when I return to OB I plan to add a dozen or so stages and roughly double the number of classes (most people -- including unique classes -- will have another tier to upgrade to, e.g. Knight -> Paladin -> Champion). Naturally there'll be more bosses, more balance, and so on.

But right now it's on hold until I'm less busy with other projects (and I find a coder).
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Red Soul

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Regarding 7th Saga, it would be great if you could make your changes compatible with Elnard as well, since I prefer the smoother difficulty curve of that one.

DragonAtma

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No need; I'm planning on sweeping changes (stat progression changed, new exp/level list, etc.), and since Elnard levelling will be gone, there's no reason to make it compatible with the japanese version.

As for difficulty, I'll make sure it's nice and smooth (although when it's done I may make a hard mode...)
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Red Soul

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Nothing against difficulty increases as separate patches. I just abhor hacks that fix mechanics while introducing "challenge", so I applaud your approach on keeping things separate.

DragonAtma

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Don't worry, I've never been fond of modders deciding "Oh, let's add challenge for no reason!".

I once did some work on an FFMQ hard mode mod, but I got sidetracked; much like OB and Actraiser, I may return to modding it when I'm less occupied.
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

Red Soul

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I wonder if it would be possible to recreate Ogre Battle: The Prince of Zenobia on the SNES if map and event editors exist for the game
(it is a spinoff originally released on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, of all places; no complete English patch as far as I know).

DragonAtma

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Undoubtedly, but we'd need (at minimum) a coder and a japanese translator -- and, of course time to work on it!
In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more

MysticLord

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I wonder if it would be possible to recreate Ogre Battle: The Prince of Zenobia on the SNES if map and event editors exist for the game
(it is a spinoff originally released on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, of all places; no complete English patch as far as I know).
Much of the class data is known, but the event scripting isn't, there aren't any tools, the few people who did share assembly hacks disappeared, and the guy who pointedly did not share assembly hacks (and whom was offended that people asked, and whom IIRC obfuscated his admittedly impressive hacks so people couldn't just diff a patched rom to figure it out*) stopped posting without finishing his magnum opus. I think the map data (tiles and the layouts, plus tables for terrain and cities) was found. The enemy and random encounters were found.

There are nightmare modules for I think some of th class data, and an VB.NET editor that I think doesn't work and for which there is no public source code.

If you're a competent programmer the field is ripe for entry.

I can give you links to much of what's known if you'd like.

*If I ever get around to making tools for Ogre Battle SNES and I reverse his hacks, I'll be sure to credit him when I release it and provide all known contact info for him, along with an invitation for people to pester him with questions since he helped me so much.