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Secret of Evermore 25th Anniversary Balance Patch

Hack of Secret of Evermore

Description:

Secret of Evermore was originally released on October 1, 1995. 25 years have passed since, during which time people have called it on its share of issues, one of which is broken balancing. Focus on its problems, however, while they are significant, is ultimately a gesture of people being glass half-empty, something you just know is the case when I’m pointing out as much, and it shows when Secret of Evermore still has its share of inspirational gameplay.

The 25th Anniversary Balance Patch is designed to highlight this very same inspirational gameplay to the best of its ability while curbing the game’s biggest balance issues with the design philosophies in mind. There’s even some core changes involved; try out the Axes, for example, because their damage output against defensive brick enemies might just surprise you.

This is only for the non-headered US version (as the ROM Information below would indicate), and compatibility, effective or otherwise, with other patches such as the 2 Player Edition Patch has not been tested. (It’s likely the 2 Player Edition works simultaneously without issue, but better safe than sorry.)

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Secret of Evermore (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180813-062835)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 79E7738630FFF5699217EF58ECC421BC8FCBCD89
  • File/ROM CRC32: A5C0045E

Links:

Screenshots:


RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image

Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Master Knight DHDesignPrimary hacking and ASM work
assassin17Original WorkCertain patches used

User Review Information

Hurts more than it balances

Reviewed By: xxshadowflare on 22 Apr 2022

I’ll admit, a few of the changes aren’t that bad, however it’s fair to say the balance patch does more harm than good, especially when it comes to alchemy.

Pros: Faster Sniffing - Not a lot of general use, however still a welcomed QoL upgrade in my opinion. Axes Pierce Defence - Adds more reason to use each weapon type, rather than just spears (Even though alchemy to stun + axe was always better in my opinion) Improved Drop rates / Other Misc changes - Balances some of the more annoying elements of SoE, improved drops grant somewhat better drop rates of ingredients and allow for a more renewable supply of healing items rather than being capped to a max of 6 (6 cap is still there but you generally gain them as you consume them)

Faster Alchemy levels - Much quicker to get out of the first few levels where spells are almost worthless. Note: After reading the readme again, the concept is a pro but the execution is a con. Turns out level 9 in the balance patch is equal to level 5 in vanilla, both in terms of spell usage to reach the level, and damage once at it. So it would be a pro if it actually meant spells grow stronger quicker, given:

Cons: Increased Alchemy Costs - Really big negative in my opinion, the amount of ingredient for spells have been increased, some spells will only increase one of the ingredients by 1, which is somewhat balancing, meanwhile others will double the costs for both ingredients. This can result in what was 1:2 cost spells, going to 2:4 cost. Given spells still need to level up to be worthwhile, having a 4 cost item in the list almost kills any worthwhile use of the spell.

Note: This combined with faster spells levels wouldn’t be bad, if not for how faster spell levels isn’t accurate. If spells cost more, had the same damage output as before per level, but levelled up quicker, then that’d balance the concept of allowing the player to cast fewer spells at the same damage output decreasing overall spell damage you can do. Combined with a lower damage cap however, it’s overkill on nerfing alchemy.

Charged Weapon attacks still over shadow alchemy - One of the problems with the original game is that, outside of abusing a certain glitch, charged attacks were always far more damaging and worthwhile to use compared to alchemy. Not only are they not a consumable resource, but they do insane amounts of damage too. I feel that this romhack does nothing to combat the balance between charged attacks and alchemy as, unless you abuse quick casting, alchemy damage is still pretty under shadowed by charged attacks, at-least as far as I’ve played so far.

In terms of raw time playing the game, it’s far quicker to get a tier 3 weapon than a tier 9 alchemy spell. Meanwhile a tier 3 weapon does 2-3x the damage of a tier 9 alchemy spell from the same point in the game. Kind of makes it feel like there’s no real reason to invest into alchemy, especially given the increased costs associated with it, meaning it’s hard to grind alchemy without also grinding your weapons.

Put simply, the game takes too many measures to try and balance alchemy, making it inefficient in terms of costs to use and frankly too expensive to get it to the point where it’s worth using over charged attacks. (Especially when to get enough money to buy the ingredient to rank up the spell, you’ve already maxed your weapons)

Version 1.0 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommend
Hurts more than it balancesxxshadowflare22 Apr 20221.0No
A great, sensibile rebalancing but the alchemy tweaks hurt itdbbbb15 Aug 20211.0Yes
Good ideas but still poorly balanced.Frostyn22 Jun 20211.0No
Needs more work.Echoherb25 May 20211.0No