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FF 1 and 2 DOS: Mod of Balance

Hack of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls

Description:

This mod aims to improve the gameplay of both Final Fantasy 1 and Final Fantasy 2.

The current download here contains two versions… v2.2 and v3.5 (all other versions are available at the author’s website). Version 2.2 is the most up-to-date version of the mod with Final Fantasy 1’s class change event intact. Version 3.5 does away with the class change completely, allowing the player to choose their party from 12 differing (and some entirely unique) character concepts.

The Final Fantasy 1 mod was originally intended to restore the difficulty of this GBA version of the game to the difficulty of the original NES version, so it can be enjoyed with all of the modern trappings of the GBA version. Version 2.0 was a step beyond the previous one, and was intended to provide enhancements to the gameplay and address user criticisms of version 1.2. Version 2.2, therefore, is mostly a bugfix version.

The ambition behind the Final Fantasy 2 portion of the mod is simple: “unbreak” the character development mechanics. The GBA version already fixed the select-action-cancel-action-and-gain-skill-ad-nauseam bug, but still required players to grind in all the wrong ways. Unlimited actions should increase slower than actions that are limited by mana or resources. I hope I have succeeded in making Final Fantasy 2 play much more smoothly. Secondarily, weapons were much too underpowered in the endgame as enemy defense rendered them mostly useless versus spells. Warrior-heavy and magic-heavy party builds should have the potential to be equally successful.

As putting a full changelog here would make for a needlessly long entry, you can read the readme (link above), or view a comprehensive changelog with screenshots at http://jeffludwig.com.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • 1805 - Final Fantasy I & II - Dawn of Souls (UA).gba
  • CRC32: 1B39CDAB
  • MD5: 5D29999685413C4D2BEC10D3160F6EE6
  • SHA-1: 6472695D69661490F78245E2982E1E676C080BE7
  • SHA-256: BBAFB77D2BE577CA0A4BFCBEC9FC3004B589F24478EC5E406D61645296449422

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
ludmeisterHacking

User Review Information

Mod of Imbalance

Reviewed By: nacho_chicken on 03 May 2021

NOTE: This review is solely for the FF1 portion of the game

As much as I would like to, I simply cannot recommend this hack. It ends up doing the opposite of what it intends, albeit in subtle ways that aren’t completely obvious from the outset. Namely, just how spammy the combat gets, and how the negative changes to overall game balance made in Dawn of Souls are still present.

I’ll start with job balance, since that is a major selling point of this hack. Despite the initial feeling that you’re given more choice in how you want to build your party, it hardly–if ever–affects your overall strategy. Jobs good with weapons are going to be spamming attack, unless they have access to AoE magic, in which case they’ll spam that until very late game. Jobs with healing magic are going to be relegated to healbots in tough fights, especially considering the still-absurd variance in unmitigable damage from special attacks. Jobs with access to buffs and debuffs are going to be buffing the physical hitters once at the beginning of the fight, and then doing something else for the rest of the fight. Most mitigation-based buffs are completely pointless. Very few random encounters last long enough for them to take effect, and bosses have such low HP and such a variety of moves that it’s incredibly rare for them to be more useful than just healing the damage afterwards. Debuffs and status ailments are completely pointless past early-game, since they’ll miss all the time. Elemental weakness scaling from magic is still extremely weak, meaning black mages are free to ignore elements and spam whatever their highest level spell is.

Late-game, you get access to spells that make combat even more spammy. Destroy does 1500 flat damage to any single target. That’s almost as much damage as a buffed physical attacker. Healaga is more than enough healing for a single turn in basically any fight. Rarely does any enemy do enough single-target damage to warrant a single-target heal, but in those cases, your highest level Cure does the job. For some reason, this mod adds a completely superfluous 5th level of single-target heal.

Resource management retains its botched nature from vanilla DoS. Ethers are plentiful and cheap, and you can still save anywhere. Conservation of MP is irrelevant because you can just restore your mage to full MP after every fight throughout an entire dungeon.

Enemy groups vary wildly in power. Most are pure trash fights, doing nothing but weak physical attacks and rarely a status ailment attached to that attack. The harder enemies do AoE damage, but those are still a pushover unless you’re dealing with a very large group of them. Even then, the over-saturated MP economy means these fights are a non-issue and end the same way as everything else: spamming your biggest nukes.

Bosses die in 3 or so turns if you’re utilizing buffs properly (Haste+Temper/Enchant+Zeal). They’re honestly easier than every other fight up to them. The only fight I would say breaks this is the final boss, but he’s so much harder than anything else in the game up to that point. I would say he downright requires either grinding or doing the bonus dungeons first.

Overall, I feel like this hack’s additions created more imbalances than it fixed.

Version 3.5 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Mod of Imbalancenacho_chicken03 May 20213.5No
Breathes new life into the game!Necromas05 Sep 20203.5Yes
Interesting? Yes. Definitive? Ehh...BlazeHeatnix16 Jun 20192.2No
Excellent (with update)theknowerseeker03 Oct 20193.5Yes
Final Fantasy II for Sane PeopleZeLoz (akaBill)01 Apr 20152.2Yes
A few fresh changes but nothing drastic.SPennLUE06 Apr 2014N/ANo