FF6 - Brave New World
Hack of Final Fantasy III
FF6 - Brave New World
Hack of Final Fantasy III
|Released By||BTB, Synchysi|
|Patching Information||No-Header (SNES)|
|Hack Release Date||01 January 2020|
|Last Modified||11 January 2020|
What started out with my initial desire to properly case everyone’s names turned into a rather innocent discussion between a co-worker of mine and I about ways to improve/fix the original game, which in turn (somehow) became this.
FF6 - Brave New World is a fairly complete overhaul of Final Fantasy VI, featuring…
- Character-based esper restrictions & new stat boosts that promote greater diversity and allow for customized development.
- Esper leveling system that disassociates esper bonuses from traditional levels.
- New and reworked formulas which rescue everything that isn’t magic or magic evasion from the dump-stat heap.
- Rebalanced equipment, items, spells, and skills that aim to remove dead weight and give players more (and better) choices.
- A complete overhaul of enemies from their stats to their behavior to better challenge veteran players and newcomers alike.
- Tons of bugfixes, as well as remedies to many of the game’s more annoying aspects (such as rage hunting taking a lifetime).
- And much, much more, detailed in the Readme (particularly section 4).
One thing BNW is not is a difficulty mod. While it is harder than vanilla FF6, we wanted to keep it accessible to newcomers while at the same time giving veterans a new experience. Hopefully, we succeeded.
Curious about what other people are saying about BNW? Like the mod and want to let us know? Hate it and want to tell us how much we suck? Completely indifferent and just bored? Feel free to drop by what’s become the official forum for discussing BNW:
ROM / ISO Information:
- Final Fantasy III (USA) - NOINTRO
- CRC32: A27F1C7A
- MD5: E986575B98300F721CE27C180264D890
- SHA-1: 4F37E4274AC3B2EA1BEDB08AA149D8FC5BB676E7
- SHA-256: 0F51B4FCA41B7FD509E4B8F9D543151F68EFA5E97B08493E4B2A0C06F5D8D5E2
|Contributor||Type of contribution||Listed credit|
User Review Information
A Fantastic And Fresh FF6 Experience (long review)Reviewed By: PokeFaize on 11 Mar 2021
This mod revamps and fixes so many of FF6’s core flaws and oversights that it’s become the best way to play FF6 by far. Characters all feel unique and their unique commands stay relevant from beginning to end, unlike in vanilla where you forget they exist after you first get Espers.
I’ve played through this mod twice (once in 1.9 and again in 2.0) and reached just before Kefka’s Tower in both, and I can confidently say 2.0 is a significant improvement over 1.9, though it still has a few issues here and there.
First, the positives! The reduced HP Pools of most enemies in the game was a much needed change as battles used to last far too long in 1.9, with normal battles in the Cultist’s Tower being unbearably dangerous and long. Now, they’re far more manageable and over far more quickly while still posing a threat if you’re not careful.
The new addition to how the Weakness/Resist/Null system handles multi-element spells made them far more worthwhile to use than before, as now they’re no longer fully negated unless one or both elements in the spell are absorbed. Likewise, Element Blocking equipment are no longer drastically better than armors with higher defense value or passive buff (like Auto-Shell), which was a very much needed tweak to keep Element Blocking Equipment in check while still keeping them useful.
Phys and Magic Evade working correctly is a huge improvement, but not quite as massive of a change as Stamina actually being a functional stat is. Stamina being a very Defensive Stat is great as it gives a better way to resist status effects (the newly added Fail pop-up message for Stamina-based save checks is a huge help in showing Stamina doing its job), and it being used for some abilities is also a huge improvement as even characters like Edgar can heal for a solid amount of HP through stamina-based healing spells, such as the Remedy Spell.
The massive overhaul to Gau’s Rages is GREATLY appreciated (especially since he’s my favorite character in FF6), as now more than one or two of them are incredibly useful. He does still end up being very Magically-inclined, even with the few tweaks done to give his Physical Rages a boost. A small couple of tweaks I suggest would be perhaps giving him at least one purely Physical Rage, and combining the Magic Club with the Bone Club since it’s hard to really justify constantly swapping between his weapons (especially since the only way to get him to change Rages is by KO’ing him, outside of a vaguely alluded to means of (I think?) keeping control of Gau during his Rages mentioned in the readme file). Overall, Gau has been greatly improved from how he was in vanilla FF6, and improved even more in 2.0 as now several of his Rages are much more useful. Not to mention the incredibly important tweaks of letting him Leap outside of the Veldt, and getting him back immediately after battle making filling out his Rage List far less tedious.
Likewise, the improvements to Mog and the new feature to the Moogle Charm make Mog an incredibly potent and versatile Mage-ish character. Beyond that, Mog is by far the easiest character to build, and I feel they do the best job of showcasing the benefits of the new EL system. They can go all-in on the Dance’s Magic “spells” and make good use of their access to X-Magic by spending their ELs in to Shoat/Maduin, or go all-in on being a small fluffy little Dragoon with Dragoon Seal + Dragon Helm and dumping all of their ELs into Palidor. Overall, Mog is now fantastic, and I strongly encourage people checking out BNW to give Mog a try at least once (and to get all of their Dances).
Speaking of the EL (Esper Levels), the changes to the Espers are by far the greatest thing in this mod. While some overlap still exists among some characters, no character can truly fully replace another character, which is a huge deal. Even more importantly, the Esper Levels are truly a god-send as you no longer need to stay at lower levels to get the most out of Esper Growths. The mod and included readme also do a fantastic job of explaining how the new Esper-related systems work, and even give you an “Undo” option for your Esper Levels in case you messed up your build or wish to try something new. The changes to the Espers alone is such a fantastic feat that these alone make Brave New World an absolute must-try for FF6 fans.
Setzer’s Slots also work correctly! No longer are they determined by vanilla FF6’s “RNG”! The changes to his slots were absolutely needed to help him find his place in the party.
There’s so many good thing to say about this mod, but most of them are best experienced yourself instead of being told about them.
However, with as many good things in the mod as there are, there are a few things I want to point out, ranging from things that are just nitpicks, small observations, and sorta suggestions.
The included Printme is by far an incredible live-saver for players like me who like to know exactly What The Thing Does to effectively plan out battles and builds and such. However, for as informative as it is, there are also some things left out of it, whether intentionally or simply forgotten to be added (such as the Slim Jim item). One such item, the Multiguard, I found entirely by accident while using the FF6 Editor to see how much HP Atma weapon has (I had gotten stuck fighting that thing for a bit), and it’s nowhere to be seen in the Printme. I strongly encourage the dev of this mod (or whoever was in charge of the Printme) to be more thorough with listing items/equipment and what they do. An additional segment of “Where To Get” for Lores and Rages would also be a huge boon for future updates, especially for players who don’t have the time to comb through several encounters to find new Rages and Lores. Overall, the included Printme is absolutely fantastic, I hope that, in addition to being more complete in future versions, more gameplay mod devs include similarly detailed files to ensure players know what does what and such.
This one isn’t so much of a complaint, but more of a funny detail I noticed: Strago has both Osmose and Raid (Lore spell that drains HP and MP). I’m not sure if this was an oversight, but it’s kinda silly to give Strago Osmose when he already has a way to drain MP. I feel that maybe Terra, Celes, or Locke could use Strago’s Osmose more.
I feel that most characters not named Sabin don’t have enough HP to handle the amount of damage enemies can quickly throw at the party, especially later in the World of Ruin. However that could also just be a result of most of my characters being a tad underlevelled. Perhaps moving some of the HP Growths from later levels to the earlier levels would help alleviate this problem?
One small downside to the new Espers system is that the Life 1 and Remedy Spells are now far more scarce. Remedy being scarce is much less of a problem as Gau and Mog have access to Harvester to perform the same effect, and Remedy Items are really cheap, but Life 1 being as limited as it is pushes you to have one of four (five if you include Edgar with his Defibrillator) characters (Terra, Celes, Locke, and Cyan) in your party at all times just to be able to revive characters with more than 1HP (Not counting Phoenix Tears with how rare they are). Perhaps Life 1 could be tossed onto Golem and/or Zoneseeker to make reviving more accessible?
Edgar seems really underpowered from my experiences with him at later levels, as his tools are hilariously outperformed by Sabin and his Blitzes. Most notably, his Mana Battery Tool feels incredibly weak compared to Sabin’s Chakra Blitz. For me, Edgar’s Mana Battery restores less than 30MP to one character, while Sabin can restore roughly 50MP to the rest of the party. Edgar being underpowered may be yet another result of him being underlevelled, but I do think his Mana Battery should restore more MP as it’s single target. Maybe having his Mana Battery scale with his stamina (at a stronger rate than Sabin’s Chakra, since the Battery is single target) would help it greatly in making Edgar stand on par with his brother.
I think spell-teaching equipment is heavily underutilized in this mod (only the Memento Ring teaches a spell), which is kinda sad since this could easily be used to help flesh out characters’ spell lists without giving them too many Espers or giving them Espers that would screw a lot with the balancing carefully put into this mod. One example that comes to mind is sticking Fire 3 on Relm’s Light Brush so there’s reason to have her keep it instead of immediately replacing it with the Monet Brush, and giving her access to a solid attack spell for World of Ruin before you get Bahamut.
This is a small request for future versions, but seeing as there are far more adult jokes in this mod (such as the comment made about the Innkeeper in Vector), I strongly encourage aging up Gau and Relm to at least 18 so these jokes don’t become incredibly uncomfortable when they can be directed at these two, who are 13 and 10 years old respectively. (Thankfully the game explicitly has their ages in the script, so you could simply bump up those numbers to 18 and 17 respectively and call it a day).
I also have a couple of suggestions for accessibility purposes in future versions: The more important of the two would be to remove rapidly flashing lights from animations that have them (Bum Rush is the most notable offender) for the sake of people who are epileptic or otherwise have photosensitive related problems. The other suggestion I have is to perhaps slow down Setzer’s Slots and/or recolor the Chocobo Icons to Red or Purple. This would really help people who have visual problems with using Setzer’s Slots so the Chocobo Icons and the Airship Icons don’t blend together.
With so much going for it, it’s hard to give this mod anything less than a 9/10. There are still some balancing issues with enemies (most notably Atma Weapon and Ultima Weapon), but it’s overall been greatly improved from 1.9. This mod absolutely is a difficulty mod though, as things can get really hard really fast around the Floating Continent and onward (though it can be greatly mitigated through things like Golem). Even still, I absolutely recommend giving Brave New World a try. Now back I go to grinding so I can finish the game and open the Unlockme folder!