Just how hard is 7th Saga? If it is true that you have to level grind so much, then I just might consider putting this patch on... :/
The difficultly curve looks like a flight of stairs. You'll get overwhelmed from the very first random encounter. You grind for a few hours and are finally able to make it through the first dungeon and kill the boss. You take one step towards the next town and you'll get annihilated by the first random encounter. You grind for a few hours...and repeat. The enemies spike in difficulty after every dungeon. It's pretty brutal.
You forget the two (one?) forced encounters against the other characters. I swear Olvan (dwarf) vs. Valsu (priest) is only winnable with blessing from the RNG. They gain levels when you do, except they're not crippled by the level-up bug, making them pretty unbalanced.
Except Lejes. If he's your second forced encounter he's pathetic. He'll only hit you when have halved defense.
The first forced encounter is the easiest.. you just have to make sure you are at or ahead in the equipment department.. and use tge standard strategy.. which is wait out their MP usage so you can eventually muster enough health to defend+strike.
The second encounter is optional
. You can mess around with the RNG to the point that they can join you with the Sky Rune
. Unfortunately it has a low probability of occuring, but it is very doable. The nicest thing about it is that you don't insta-fight, but must challenge them.
I love 7th Saga. One project I'd like to do sometime is translate the Japanese version (Elnard) into English, since they made so many stat/number changes for some reason when they localized it. Probably wouldn't even need to actually re-translate (though it wouldn't hurt I guess), just hack the Japanese version up a lot. Mostly I'd want to do it for myself, because it's one of those games I just like a lot and it'd be fun to work on it. I don't know how to ASM hack SNES games though.
Go figure on the stat changes.. but I love the increased difficulty. Maybe I'm one of the few that prefer this version of the game (I haven't gotten around to play Elnard to see how much of a difference there, but I love 7th's Saga's challenge a lot more).