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Final Fantasy I DoS Maeson

Hack of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls


Like other hacks of this author, FF1 DoS Maeson makes an extensive number of tweaks to a game he has played more than a fair number of times, in order to get a different experience from it.

The overall changes are these:

  • First of all, this Hack is based on Kea’s own work: The Vancian Magic System Hack, which reintroduces the Spell Charge system from the NES/PS1/WS releases.

Further changes were made to the Vancian System to gel well with this Hack, such as MP Progression, MP Limits, the strength of MP-restoring Items and such. Classes that gain Spells upon promotion gain MP from the very beginning, albeit slowly, to make their new casting abilities useful right when they promote.

  • The original DoS had the Experience curve of the PS1 Easy Mode, making it so you grew in Levels too fast. Thus, it slows down the curve and brought back the original Level 50 Limit. The Level progression is not as slow as the NES/PS1 versions, though.
  • Original DoS had you reach much higher Levels, but Monster Stats stood the same, making an already big gap even bigger. Modified Monsters to be stronger, and some have new tricks, different resistances and such. Enemy drops also changed substantially.
  • This results in an overall more challenging game, putting some focus on the use of the elemental protection Spells, a mechanic that the author finds rather important on this particular title, to deal with Bosses specially. Shields also are useful for this.
  • Tweaked Weapons in an attempt to make the different types more or less equally useful. Daggers grant Evasion and hold great Accuracy, granting extra Hits at the cost of Power; while Axes have great Power and even raise HP of the wielder but their heavy nature makes them not too accurate and have an Evasion penalty.
  • Tweaked Defensive Gear with the same intention. Gloves, specifically, have been altered to be less exclusive, and offer bonuses so you may want to swap between them depending on the situation.
  • Rather large tweaks to Spells. A number of redundant Spells have been changed for new stuff. Status Effect Spells have been improved, damaging Spells scale in power much better than before, and some new Utility Spells have been added. Monster skills have also suffered tweaks.
  • New elements are used. Earth is something more than another way of inflicting Death now. Poison and Mind are also damaging elements that you and your enemies can use. Resistances and Weaknesses were changed accordingly.
  • Tweaked Stat Growths, Spell availability and Equipment availability of each Class. Class roles are more or less the same, but offer a bit more versatility.
  • Shops and Treasure chests throughout the main adventure have been tweaked in order to give better things at better points of the story. Shop prices are generally higher, so there’s a higher importance in how to manage your money. MP-restoring Items are no longer purchasable, for example.
  • Dawn of Souls dungeons had their random chests changed. Monsters there offer no Experience, in order to not derail Level progression with the main game, but offer Gil and useful Items. Bosses have received hefty changes, and their rewards too, now being more useful and worth seeking.
  • Certain other aspects have been tweaked. Random Encounter Ratio has been lowered a tad, a cap has been imposed on the extra Attack and Defense you can get from Spells and how Haste works has been changed too, in order to avoid exploits. The way Physical damage scales throughout the game has changed because of it, there’s less focus on raw Defense on enemies in order to balance better Magic VS Physical damage. Intelligence is a lot more important now for damaging Spells.

Text has been edited accordingly for all the changes made to the above.

The hack has been updated to version 1.3a. Changes are as follows:

Fixed a mistake in one of the floors in Earthgift Shrine, now it can be played normally.

  • The Mage Staff now casts Confuse, Wizard’s Staff now casts Fira. The power of Fira and Blizzara when cast through equipment has been slightly lowered.
  • A couple of Treasure Chests’ on Mt. Duergar had their content swapped.
  • Minor tweaks to a handful of Monsters.
  • Several typos fixed.

Changes made in Version 1.1:

  • Garland now always drops a Weapon as a reward.
  • The Scourge Spell from the Black Robe now acts as a less powerful version of the original, like other Spell Effect equipment. Scourge no longer can be learnt by Black Mage, now it needs to promote to Black Wizard to be able to learn it.
  • Encounters have been brought back to Chaos Temple B5.
  • Turbo Ethers no longer exist. In their place, Silver Bags have been created, Items you can find from some monsters and can be sold for a moderate amount of Gil.
  • Ninja had its HP slightly increased on late Levels.
  • Four Fiend rematches grant higher experience.

Saves from previous versions are compatible.

Changes made in Version 1.1:

  • Crystal Equipment got a slight increase in Defense.
  • Several Gloves got reworked, including Stats, which Classes can use it, and descriptions.
  • Along with the above, a few Chests were changed.
  • Fixed a small issue with a shop showing Phoenix Down twice.
  • Equipment that Casts damaging Spells got changed. Multi-Targeting Spell effects like the Mage’s Staff now have a weaker version of the real Spell, for example.
  • The encounter ratio of some dungeon floors got lowered, like the Cavern of Earth L1, Mount Gulg L2, and some Soul Dungeon floors.
  • Adjusted a couple of weapons’ Stats.

It was also added an optional patch with a few more Magic Charges for Levels 1 to 4, mostly intended for not very balanced or, simply put, more gimmicky party setups.

This Hack is compatible with Kea’s “Unrunnable Battle Notifications” and “Improved Equipment Stat Viewing“.

A few optional patches were added. One lowers slightly the difficulty of the Hack, in case it proves too much for some people. Another extends a bit the HP of Bosses a bit. The third is a palette edit to make the Ninja red-colored again.

Final Fantasy II got some very small changes, but it’s not the focus of this project, though. With that said, attached to its readme there’s a small number of Rom Hacking related information, as that portion of this collection has very little information out there.

There’s the usual large Readme on the package detailing lots of stuff.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Final Fantasy I & II - Dawn of Souls (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Game Boy Advance (v. 20210227-023848)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 6472695D69661490F78245E2982E1E676C080BE7
  • File/ROM CRC32: 1B39CDAB



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
KeaOriginal HackingVancian System

User Review Information

User Reviews
Fun rom hack that restores challenge of NES version.sekuza00923 Feb 20221.3Yes
The fun restoredexline12 Oct 20211.0Yes