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Manall's FF1

Hack of Final Fantasy


This mod brings you a fresh and harder Final Fantasy with greater depth and tactics. More than just a raw difficulty increase, the mod aims to add interesting new choices in combat and expand class synergy. That said, even with some new items and spells care has been taken to ensure the game still “feels like FF”.

Along with the game you will find comprehensive charts and maps valuable to any new adventurer. Think of them as your guide like the original paper charts which came with the NES cartridge (except they’ll be correct!)

Some key overview features:

  • Greater challenge & rewards from battles
  • The Archer and Green Mage replace the original Black Belt and Red Mage
  • Thief role greatly improved, Fighter role brought down to mere mortal status
  • Graphics have received extensive improvements
  • Ports have been removed - the SHIP can now dock at any shore
  • Dirt Roads added near most towns, which help protect you from those random battles
  • New (and familiar) items, spells & monsters
  • Redesigned all useless items & spells
  • New secrets
  • Bonus patches allow for further gameplay customization

Combat Overview

  • New reactionary battle system - actors take their turns one at a time
  • Weapons can have powerful elemental, creature or status effect bonuses
  • Added Regeneration, a new status condition which recovers HP every turn
  • Poison is stronger, works on monsters, displays damage, visuals & sound
  • More monsters utilize spells, have more diverse & strategic spell scripts
  • Extended spell names to 5 letters, spells also display icons showing their element
  • Increased and added to the thematic presence of all eight magic elements

…and numerous bug fixes and quality of life improvements.

Notice to returning players:

  • Version 2.2.2 adds a new optional patch that disables flashing colors during spellcasting. This should greatly aid players for whom this is too harsh an effect
  • Always unequip party members on existing save files before updating to a newer version
  • The password was changed in 2.04 to be more intuitive, based on the context it is received in

A detailed changelog can be found on the website.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Final Fantasy (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180803-121122)
  • File SHA-1: 80CE108FBC066C985D4FB541BD68E9A7C8994FEB
  • File CRC32: AB12ECE6
  • ROM SHA-1: C9CFBF5455085E198DCE039298B083CD6FC88BCE
  • ROM CRC32: CEBD2A31



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Manall LockhartHackingCreator
JiggersHackingHelp w/ systems, assembly, insight and development

User Review Information

Almost great, but far too punishing

Reviewed By: PokeFaize on 31 Jan 2023

This mod has some very incredibly good changes to FF1, such as making useless spells actually worth slotting in. I’m not too keen on the change to battle where it mimics Dragon Quest 11 as it makes most of your decision making entirely reactionary instead of allowing some room for careful planning & coordination, but it does speed up combat by making the Ineffective Attacks impossible to happen with this style of turn-by-turn combat.

Unfortunately, these good changes are held back by a number of questionable design choices. The Green Mage is a unique Job focusing on status effects, which are fantastic for shutting down random encounters… or she would be, if Status Effects were much more reliable at landing, and if “minibosses” who later appear as standard enemies, such as Marsh Cave’s infamous Wizards, weren’t completely immune to status effects. I was initially excited to play with Green Mage, however, by the time Marsh Caves came up, I realized that she cannot keep up with the number of encounters that need to be put to sleep, blinded, silenced, or what have you, and the Marsh Cave Wizards thoroughly crushed any hope of her offering strategical options against miniboss normal enemies like Wizards.

The Archer is interesting on paper, however she struggles tremendously in practice. She misses far too often, she doesn’t crit often enough to make up for how frequently she misses, and she isn’t anywhere near durable to allow her to be a substitute for a Warrior or Thief. She doesn’t even get any spells to make up for her shortcomings! Unlike the Monk she replaces, there’s not many reasons to put her in your party. Perhaps she becomes more reliable at higher levels, however the middle stretch of the game is far too difficult to really justify her hypothetically good endgame.

Judging by the (wonderfully thorough) documentation, the Bonus Jobs locked behind a password hidden in the game, Blue Rose and Cat Tail, seem to fix the problems Green Mage and Archer face. Blue Rose being able to pick more useful spells over underwhelming status spells to stay useful even against enemies immune to status effects, and Cat Tail having better stats across the board compared to Archer, along with seemingly more reliable hit rates & actually able to hold her own in the second party slot or even the lead slot. It’s just a shame that these are locked behind a password as I’d much rather use them over Green Mage and Archer (or even just Cat Tail over Archer because Archer really is just that bad)

One of the other reviews for this mod says that blanket damage (as in spells that hit all enemies) isn’t always the best option, and I both agree and disagree with this statement. Far too many enemies are immune to status effects to justify Green Mage’s (near) total lack of direct damage over Black Mage, while spells have such comically wide damage ranges that they often are more useless than useful (Harm, for example, has a damage range of 20-80, and Harm 4 & Pearl have a damage range of 80-320). Healing Spells (especially the Heal Spell line) are near worthless as they barely heal off the damage you take from enemies. Regen isn’t strong enough to justify buying Regen 1 (it only regenerates 5% HP per turn, while Poison deals 16% HP Damage per turn), so your White Mage is better off slotting in Mute over Regen 1, which takes away some of Green Mage’s value.

There are a number of other spells that are still rather useless despite the changes. One of them is Haste, a Level 1 Black Magic. Your immediate thought is understandably an excited “Wow! Haste this early?! I’m gonna get it immediately!” so you buy it for your Green/Black Mage, and try it out in battle, only to realize it only works on the caster. And now you’re stuck with a useless spell in the Level 1 slot when the Green Mage could’ve used Ruse to function better in the 2nd party slot, and the Black Mage could’ve slotted in Sleep for crowd control, or Thunder. Now, Haste IS useful on Ninjas, but Ninja requires clearing the Citadel of Trials for Bahamut to promote the girls, and even then, you may have not chosen a Thief for your team. Sap and Rasp are also oddities, having damage ranges of 16-64 and 25-100 respectively, but Sap is exclusive to Green Mage, while Rasp is exclusive to Black Mage. I don’t understand why this is the case instead of both being available to both, or both being Green Mage exclusive, never mind the fact that both of these a buff to their “bottom” number range as the hilariously low base number makes them too weak & unreliable.

Now, onto the big thing that killed my enjoyment of the mod: the random encounters. Early on, they’re fairly manageable, but shortly after getting the boat, large enemy encounters become far more and more common, demanding more and more casts of Sleep, Blind, Stun, and/or Mute to keep them from freely beating up your team, or Fire/Thunder/Blizzard 2 to clear them out much faster. The clear point of things going rapidly downhill is Marsh Cave. The trek there alone is pretty exhausting on your health and likely MP, and the cave itself is packed with poisoning enemies as usual, demanding you bring a tremendous amount of Antidotes/Pures, or to run from every encounter. You’re likely going to run from encounters anyway to save your spell charges for the Wizards miniboss, who are FAR deadlier than in vanilla as they boast actual spells including Healing spells. And because they’re “minibosses” you cannot run from them and they’re immune to status effects. If you thought they were tough, then good news! They reappear later on as regular enemies, still impossible to run from and still impossible to slap with status effects! It’s incredibly taxing to fight them and other enemies with the “Impossible to Run From” property, especially with how common some of them are (such as WizOgres in Mt.Gulug), which makes reaching the boss with a decent amount of health and spell charges incredibly difficult if not impossible. I suspect these are incredibly common as the dev forsaw people fleeing from battles to rush to the boss in as peak condition as they could, but this decision ignores the bigger problem of enemy encounters being designed as if you either constantly have full MP, or as if this game used the GBA & PSP versions’ MP system. Most of them require you lock them down with a status effect or two (which aren’t guaranteed to land) or apply defensive buffs to the party (with Fog 1 being the only reasonably spammable one via one of the weapons you get in Mt. Gulug), which just isn’t feasible for every encounter.

The difficulty curve is also so harsh that any sequence breaking you CAN do (which is still incredibly limited despite the boat being able to dock wherever) is so incredibly dangerous that you’ll likely suffer a total party wipe before you can even act. It took multiple attempts in the Citadel of Trials to grab the Rat’s Tail to promote my party before Mt. Gulug so that my Warrior could get some low level White Magic to help out with team support, with many runs ending just because the enemies got to act first and cast Thunder 2 repeatedly.

I gave up trying to beat the mod after getting stuck in Mt. Gulug due to how frequent and how DANGEROUS random encounters are despite being of appropriate level for the area.

My suggestions to the dev for improving this mod’s experience are Remove status immunities from everything, especially minibosses, and make them much more accurate. Green Mage’s worth hinges entirely on status effects, and she becomes useless if her spells struggle to land reliably, or if the enemy is outright immune to her status spells. The Four Fiends and Chaos (and other superbosses that may exist in the game) having some means of resisting her status spells is perfectly fine, however everything else being immune greatly limits her usefulness and the player’s options to strategically handle tougher encounters. Also, I highly recommend incorporating the MP Cap raise found in FF++, as they used letters for spell charges above 9. This will greatly alleviate much of the strain of dungeons and especially inescapable enemies.

As for readers, I do not recommend this mod unless you love to grind endlessly just to be able to handle the next dungeon. And before I get an “It’s supposed to be hard”, I would have loved the increased difficulty if we were also given appropriate means to handle said increased difficulty. If the dev updates the mod to incorporate better balancing and the suggestions I provided, then I’ll try this mod again and possibly change my opinion.

Version 2.2.2 Recommended - No

User Reviews
Almost great, but far too punishingPokeFaize31 Jan 20232.2.2No
New and Mostly Improved!SuperBen04 Sep 20222.2.1Yes
Best FF1 Hack I've seenretrohacknerd02 Mar 20222.04Yes
Really fun boost in challengeCeldia04 Oct 20202.02Yes
Nice mostly subtle treatment for the classicMindflower02 Jul 20202.02Yes