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Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!




Final Fantasy is an old series. Final Fantasy, the game, was first released in 1987 and literally doesn't work properly.

We don't care about that.



Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls is a compilation of the first two games in the series. It was released in 2004 for the Gameboy Advance. But it's rather often criticized by many, including me, for being far too easy. This is mostly because it locks you into an equivalent of the Easy difficulty from the Origins (2003, PSX) release. And then it makes it even easier than that, for good measure.

So, we're playing a hack called the Mod of Balance (v3.5, specifically). This originally started out as a simple rebalancing hack, but it since has evolved into some overhauls of a few aspects of the game proper. We allegedly have 12 new classes and a removal of the class change mechanic (apparently, the sidequest still exists and gives something different).

Oh, right. Also this is a mostly blind playthrough. I've barely touched this hack before, despite having it sat around here for like 5 years or so. I like to think I'm relatively knowledgeable about FF1 as it used to be, though, so I should be fine.

Table of Contents

01. Welcome to Corneria
02. Not Very Chaotic
03. Pop-Up Pirates
04. No One Place Should Have All That Power
05. Obligatory 8-Bit Theater Reference
06. Treasure (That Is What You Are)
07. Lich, Please
08. Six Feet Blunder
09. Just Picture An Expanding Sigh Emoticon of Something

Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at 01:46 on Feb 9, 2021

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Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Reserved for... I dunno, something?

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


01. Welcome to Corneria



...Time to glitch? 0 seconds. That's an auspicious start. Of the 6 classes we start with, Priest is not one of them. Or so I thought at the time of playing. You see, we start with all 12 classes! Six aren't visible and must be awkwardly glitchscrolled to and don't display sprites or anything in the character selection screen.



I don't think much of the regular text, dialogue etc has changed but y'never know.









I don't think I've ever paid enough attention to realise that it only covers 3 of the "elements" and skips fire entirely. Odd but okay, I guess.









Them's the crystals, they are! They're very different from the Crystals, though. Capitalisation is important, you see.



And we're dumped on the world map. That's expected and normal.



We'll have a wander around Cornelia and see what the stores have... in store...



Weapon shop has vastly expanded its stock. I notice it has a lot some stuff that in vanilla was over in Pravoka. I'm sure this is fine. Lots of upgrades available too.



Armor shop is much the same. Expanded from vanilla, imported from Pravoka. We probably don't need to buy any of these, though.



Magic stores have expanded somewhat, too. Pain is completely new, and claims to do Dark damage. I get the impression it used to be the spell Dark, but that just inflicted Blind.

...And the Archmage can't use Black magic at all? Well that's what the game wants you to think here. It can.



In an incredibly stupid design decision, more classes can use spells here than is showable in shops. In fact, there are 10 classes that can use spells. Most of which draw from both Black and White to some degree.

I'll put a full rundown at the end of the update of all 12 classes, their baseline stats and what spells (if any!) they can use.



That the item store sells Mind Balms right off the bat is a worrying sign, to be sure.



Anyway, let's get on with the plot.







We'll skip through the regular plot where it's the same, I think. I'll still include just enough to keep track of what's going on.



So far, it seems completely identical to normal so it's not too big a deal. I'm not expecting it to diverge too much, though.



Tl;Dr: go north and knock Garland down.



We'll do that later. We need a real party first. Let's see what this rebalance thing is abou--



Hm. Not normally on the plains here. They're usually in the forest. Not much of a change but a noticable one.



That they now drop gloves... hell, that they now drop anything is a noteworthy change too. I think so, anyway. Especially when it's something, y'know, good.



Skeletons are way too far south! You don't belong here!



They're oneshottable, though. Goblins drop knives, which seem to still be utter trash. It's basically an extra like 2 gil.

Drop-rate seems massively increased too. Maybe I'm just lucky though.



Goblin Guards are hanging out here now too. In the forests, at least, if nowhere else.



...That's not my spell.



They can cast spells now! Protect being the most annoying one of the lot.



And they have Focus. It used to be single target and lower Evasion by 10. Now it's multitarget and lowers evasion by 25! To make up for that, its base accuracy is 64.



And they can cast Cure too.



Protect is the most annoying of the spells they used because it increases one target's defense by 10 (increased from 8). This means it just makes things take longer. None of these seem unfair, but we'll see I suppose. Who knows what lies ahead?























Note that these summaries are based off first impressions and the readme.txt provided with the patch for the mod.



Knights appear to be functionally original Fighters through and through. High HP, Strength and Stamina, good equipment selection. No spells.



Rogues are fast, like original Thieves. Except even moreso. Default 2-hit chance and 99 Evasion is frankly disgusting and makes me think they're gonna suck and crumple if they get hit. Probably not early on though! No spells.



Masters are more in-line with the original Monk than the original Master, it seems. Well, kinda the same thing really. They get no spells or anything, punch dudes extra hard, high Defense. The readme says they get "Monk-based abilities," whatever that means.



Paladins are warrior/spellcaster hybrid. Warrior first, spellcaster second. This can be noted from them being recolored Knights and having MP but the inability to cast any spells at all yet. Eventually gets some White Magic, of course.



Ninjas are, well, Ninjas. They're fast, but not amazingly strong. Eventually gets Black Magic. Seems pretty simple to me.



Rangers are Red Mages, weirdly. Not just because they're the Red Mage sprite but green. No, they apparently do a bit of everything but aren't as great at any of it as the specialists. Better at stabbing than spelllslinging, for all the nothing that should matter.



Enchanters are the first of the spellcaster/warrior hyrids. Yeah, the former White Mage sprite is now someone who casts first, stabs second and is decent at both. Spells are mostly White Magic, of course. At Corneria, they can learn every White Magic spell and Sleep. For variety.



Battlemages are apparently tanks. They can't dodge for crap, but get heavy armor. Can cast Black Magic too. Don't seem as good at either as the more specialised classes, but level 1 is bad at differentiating anyway. At Corneria, they can learn every Black Magic spell available along with Protect and Blink.



Monks are.. Monks are slightly worse Masters offensively but they get spells. A bit of Black and a bit of White. They're basically unarmed Red Mages, but are here because they allegedly focus more on the spellcasting aspect. Can't help but notice they have the highest HP of every class at least. At Corneria, they can learn every White Magic spellavailable along with Sleep and Focus.



Priests are outright old White Wizards and their sprite is not a lie. Garbage defense, but very tanky from being primary White Magic specialists. At Corneria, they can learn every White Magic spell available but no Black Magic.



Archmages didn't even bother to recolor their Black Mage sprite, and for good reason. The cast the spells that make the peoples fall down. At Corneria, they can learn every Black Magic spell available but no White Magic. Makes sense.



Sages are the spellcasters spellcaster. Defensively they suck, but can apparently cast almost literally every spell in the game. At Corneria, they can learn everything available.

So those are our classes. All 12 of 'em. Pick whichever four you want (no doubles) along with possible names. I'll probably use the four that end up the most individually popular.

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?



sage
battle mage
Paladin
Monk.


Seems like a decent mix of the new stuff

Bellmaker
Oct 18, 2008

Chapter DOOF




I started playing this and then got distracted by something. Probably FOMO-Class anxiety

Paladin because base Fighter is just boring, we want to see the new stuff and I want to see if they get cool holy-element swords like FF3 NES Red Mages did
Master I think has more going on then meets the eye from my very limited playthrough (I only got to Elftown)
Ranger because I want to see if Red Mage is still ridiculous, the best class in NES FF1 by far (oh no, no level 8 magic )
Sage for all the spells no one else can use, let's be real we want to see the spell balance, not sword balance

e: oh you want names? Uhhhhh Smitey, Fighty, Brighty, and Ignitey?

Bellmaker fucked around with this message at 03:15 on Jan 20, 2021

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






Sage
Master
Knight
Enchanter


I'm curious about the "monk abilities", and I'm assuming the Knight would be able to use most weapons you find. Sage to show off all the spells and Enchanter because eh, survivability.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



don't have much of an opinion on the others, but I'd like to see Paladin and Sage

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

Hubris

Fun Shoe

Battlemage, Monk, Enchanter, and ???

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


Rogue, Master, Battlemage, Enchanter

Xerophyte
Mar 17, 2008

This space intentionally left blank


Zidane the Rogue, Cecil the Paladin, Firion the Battlemage and Bob the Sage.

Names are hard.

Jade Rider
May 11, 2007

All the pages have been censored except for "heck," and she misread that one.




Cecil the Paladin, Hamon the Master, Faris the Ranger, and Strago the Sage sounds like a good mix.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


Let's go with... Cecil the Paladin, Sabin the Master, Vivi the Archmage, and Fran the Ranger.

By stunning coincidence, these are my four favorite Final Fantasy games.

ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.

Fusoya the Sage, Kiros the Ninja, Ovelia the Enchantress and Blank the Warrior. That's right, it's Forgotten Guest Characters' time to shine!

TravelLog
Jul 22, 2013

He's a mean one, Mr. Roy.


My votes go to Sarda the Sage, Beatrix the Paladin, Gilgamesh the Master and Zidane the Ninja.

MatchaZed
Feb 13, 2010

We Can Do It!




Tellah the Sage
Shtola the Enchanter
Sabin the Master
Lulu the Battlemage

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


code:
Knight     ||
Rogue	   ||
Master     ||||||
Paladin	   |||||||
Ninja      ||
Ranger	   |||
Enchanter  |||||
Battlemage |||||
Monk	   |||
Priest
Archmage   |
Sage	   |||||||||
I might've miscounted something near the end there, but this looks right so far.

Oh right, and I should've specified names have a 6 character limit. The only ones that go over that so far are easy to shrink at least, so it's not a big deal or anything though.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




I'm for Vyvian the Paladin "don't worry, it's nothing some violence can't solve!", Mike the master" that's alright, I've got a plan ", Neil the sage "nobody ever listens to me" and Rick the enchanter " HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT ME"

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



It definitely feels like the hack's suffering from the original game's limitations here. Can only show so many classes on menus, can only have so many classes in the first place (the upgraded classes are likely out because all 12 classes are in use from the get-go, and the game isn't programmed to have 24 classes). And I feel the classes aren't that well distinguished here, definitely not as much as they'd be in later games, but maybe there's more to this than meets the eye. But if it can do some cool stuff even under that paradigm, great!

Aerdan
Apr 14, 2012

ACTUALLY, DID YOU KNOW IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BEING GIGANTIC DOESN'T CAUSE ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS? IT'S EITHER THAT OR I'M AN IDIOT!


If there's an enchanter, he must be Tim.

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






Blaze Dragon posted:

And I feel the classes aren't that well distinguished here, definitely not as much as they'd be in later games, but maybe there's more to this than meets the eye. But if it can do some cool stuff even under that paradigm, great!

If I'm reading the descriptions correctly, there's three "pure physical" characters (Knight, Thief and Master) who boil down to "Tank, Speedy, and Naked Tank" (though with "Monk abilities"?), three flavors of "pure magical" who boil down to "Milk, Coffee and Latte" flavors (assuming the Sage can use all spells, I'm assuming that the only major difference is going to be maybe armor selection and HP/MP pools), and then SIX varieties of "Hybrid physical/magical" characters, which... seems a tad excessive.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


I love FF1, as you might be able to tell from my forgotten delayed-by-2020-being-2020 LP of FF1 NES, so I am in.

Bellmaker posted:

Paladin because base Fighter is just boring, we want to see the new stuff and I want to see if they get cool holy-element swords like FF3 NES Red Mages did
Master I think has more going on then meets the eye from my very limited playthrough (I only got to Elftown)
Ranger because I want to see if Red Mage is still ridiculous, the best class in NES FF1 by far (oh no, no level 8 magic )
Sage for all the spells no one else can use, let's be real we want to see the spell balance, not sword balance

Jade Rider posted:

Cecil the Paladin, Hamon the Master, Faris the Ranger, and Strago the Sage sounds like a good mix.


It does seem interesting that so far, the first changes are so seemingly-minor ("oh, these enemies spawn earlier") then immediately become more obvious ("Oh, they also drop cool things and- did that goblin just cast Cure?"). Kinda neat.

Bellmaker posted:

Red Mage... best class in NES FF1 by far
Black Belt and FF1 NES's ridiculous crit mechanics say hi. I'd genuinely call Red Mage either first or second best for a solo run, though, after Fighter, depending on how much you prefer access to AFIR vs. the Ice Shield, etc.

PMush Perfect fucked around with this message at 19:09 on Jan 20, 2021

Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017

Thank gooness we all get along so well!


How about Solo the Paladin, Morrie the Master, Rab the Sage and Nevan the Enchanter?

wait what do you mean this is the wrong series

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


Epicmissingno posted:

How about Solo the Paladin, Morrie the Master, Rab the Sage and Nevan the Enchanter?

wait what do you mean this is the wrong series

I dunno, Erdrick's Sword Ye Olde Sword of Erdrick Loto's Sword was in Final Fantasy XII (as the Wyrmhero Blade), so there's plenty of crossover material!

(How is that getting localized these days? I think the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII calls it "Ye Olde Sword of Erdrick.")

Raitzeno
Nov 24, 2007

What? It seemed like
a good idea at the time.



Snorb posted:

I dunno, Erdrick's Sword Ye Olde Sword of Erdrick Loto's Sword was in Final Fantasy XII (as the Wyrmhero Blade), so there's plenty of crossover material!

(How is that getting localized these days? I think the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII calls it "Ye Olde Sword of Erdrick.")

It's something of a gamble with localizing that name. Sometimes you win the loto, other times you get erdricked over.

AweStriker
Oct 6, 2014



Raitzeno posted:

It's something of a gamble with localizing that name. Sometimes you win the loto, other times you get erdricked over.

Now I want to see the Erdrickroll.

Bliss Authority
Jul 6, 2011

I'm not saying it was witches

but it was witches



AweStriker posted:

Now I want to see the Erdrickroll.

I think that's in Dragon Warrior III.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


code:
Knight     ||
Rogue	   ||
Master     |||||||||
Paladin	   ||||||||||
Ninja      ||
Ranger	   ||||
Enchanter  ||||||||
Battlemage |||||
Monk	   |||
Priest
Archmage   |
Sage	   ||||||||||||
Sage is a pretty clear runaway winner at this point, with Paladin and Master not too far behind. Enchanter has a decent fourth too; seems a bit White Magic heavy with only Sage really picking up the slack, but there's enough crossover between the two for now for it to not be an issue. That this ends up being one from every apparent category is a nice bonus too.

Ah well, let's go with it. Might work out well if this ever veers into real Hard Mod territory.

Truthkeeper
Nov 29, 2010

Friends don't let friends borrow on credit.


I played an earlier version of this mod, before the new classes, but didn't get too far in, and even less far with this version. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


In that case, I vote for the names Cecil the Paladin, Hamon the Master, Strago the Sage, and Krile the Enchanter.

I'm not letting go of my vote for an FF5 reference that easily.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


02. Not Very Chaotic



So, here's the party we'll be going with:
  • Gilgamesh the Master (from basically the entire series at this point but originated in V and named after his incarnation in XIV),
  • Cecil the Paladin (IV, of course),
  • Princess Ovelia Atkascha the Enchantress (Tactics), and
  • Rab, our... Scottish Sage (Dragon Quest XI).
Sure, why not.



After talking to the King and being told to go beat up Garland, we'll do some shopping. Not buying any weapons or armor though; any armor we need we can get for free and our weapons are more'n good enough here. So, magic! Let's buy some. Ovelia's getting Protect and Cure from the White Magic store. Nothing yet for Rab; Cecil needs to level up before he can learn anything.



Ovelia also gets Sleep, just in case. It has a base accuracy of 24 though, so it probably won't help much. This is the same as in vanilla, even. In fact there is one change made to it. It used to cost 3MP. It now costs 5. Yay.

Rab gets Fire. Damage spells (right now) are massively buffed, so this'll do nicely for a while. Int works like it should, yes, but it did in vanilla Dawn of Souls too. They are a step above that.

Changes to spells here: no Level 2 spells were available this early before, and all Level 1 spells used to cost 50 Gil. The Level 1 spell selection itself is identical to normal; their effects, as seen already, might not be.

(We'll never see it on-screen but the Inn cost is reduced from 30 Gil to 20.)



Physical damage is more than enough for most of our party, at least. Rab's physical output is... dire. If he's using melee it's because I'm lazy and holding down the A button.



Let's burn an upgraded Goblin.



...That did 47 damage. At level 1. In the base game, it's capped at 40 damage. Here it does roughly 8+(2Int). That's a bit of a simplification, but it's how it works out anyway. Of course, that's before stuff like target's MDef, weakness/resistance, random variance etc.

Oh and it costs 4 MP vs the 5 it used to cost. Yep. Stronger AND cheaper!



Oh and Goblin Guards drop Leather Armor. That's pretty nice.



Ovelia can use it, even. She started with a Robe, but she can use some real armor too it looks like. This has 6 Defense (upped from 4) and 3 Weight (reduced massievely from 8). Weight just reduces Evasion by the same value, though sometimes it's offset by inherent Evasion increases.



This is definitely worth giving to Ovelia, since it'll double her Defense. -2 Evasion is basically a non-issue, all things considered. If we want her to dodge she can learn Blink after all.



I'm not trying to grind or anything, but I notice that we're still gonna be getting quick level ups. To say its been rebalanced to bring it closer to the NES version, this should be taken into account.



...Weirdly, Gilgamesh now has more MP than Cecil. Can't do anything with it, though. I guess that's gonna be needed for "Monk-based abilities" later. FF1 doesn't have abilities in the same way they exist from IV onwards, so this's probably the only way to make it work.



Here's the most interesting enemy right outside Corneria. Crazy Horses are usually on the upper-end for the area, and you could get one immediately. They used to generally come in large packs too, but this is the only one I ran into.



Probably for the best, considering they got this sneaky upgrade. They used to just use their 10 Attack to deal decently high damage and that's it.

This used to only be used by Nightmare, the upgraded late-game version of the Crazy Horse. It inflicts Blind/Darkness, which is fairly good as an ailment since it affects both Accuracy and Evasion. It has no impact at all here, so we'll cover what Blind does now later when it matters. It has been made significantly more powerful though.



Oh and it used to be called Snorting, not Snort. Because Snort is an ability that usually inflicts Instant Death, so I had a split-second of panic when I saw it here.

That's all the Crazy Horse got to do here, though. The Bestiary says they can drop Mind Balms, but this one didn't.



Oh yeah, Dawn of Souls has these bonus dungeons that open by killing the Fiends.



Earthgift Shrine here requires us to beat Lich and get the Earth Crystal back to normal. That much doesn't appear to have changed. I hope the stuff you can do and get in these has, though, because they utterly destroyed the difficulty curve before. Like, even more than the other Dawn of Souls changes.

Biggest thing here is that in the vanilla DoS, enemies in these dropped permanent stat boosters. Yeah. I'm expecting that to not be the case any more.



Anyway, Chaos Shrine! Didn't run into anything new between Earthgift and here. No Black Widows, no Wargs, not even a Werewolf.



We could just hold up to go fight Garland, but there's three pieces of treasure we can find here.



This is completely identical to before, though. That won't hold true for too long, though.



...Rather notably, everyone can wear it. Except Ninjas. Ninjas cannot wear hats. Ninjas do not know how to put on a hat.

Rab gets it, for the +3 Defense. Upped from +1 in vanilla. It does have 2 Weight to make up for it, which is also upped from 1 before.



The enemy formations here remind me that we should get Dia at some point. It'd be very handy to clear out fights like this after all.



Well this is new! This used to be a Potion. Yep.

The other chest is still a Tent.



Since this is proper heavy armour, only Cecil can use it as far as we care. This used to be 15 Defense/15 Weight, but it's been nerfed significantly here. Down to 9 Defense/8 Weight which is still more than enough for now.



Oh yeah and I noticed here that we got a Leather Shield from a random drop too. Ovelia can use this as well. She seems to be an even better tank than I expected, wow. This used to grant 2 Defense and do nothing else. It still gives 2 Defense, but it also has a +5 Evasion now too. Cecil gets this one, and we'll likely get a second one to drop before we're done here.

Gonna take a quick trip back to Corneria to get Cecil Cure and Dia. While we're there, Rab picks up Thunder and Focus.



Buncha new things in the Chaos Shrine, too. Zombies... exist. None of them get turns ever here, so I have no idea how they're changed.

Well, they drop Leather Armor. There's that. We don't need it, though.



Gigas Worms are the indoor version of the Crazy Horse, really. Stronger than everything else here, conceptually, but Dawn of Souls'... Dawn of Soulsness puts us above it already. Oops.



There's two Mystic Key doors in here still. We'll be back later for these, then.



Black Widows are... here. They also appear outside Corneria. If you run into one there, they can poison you. Yep.

They drop Spider Silk now. Multi-target Slow in item form! Very good if we get it here (we don't).



Ghouls are weak to Fire. It's already doomed.



But they have very high accuracy. 3-hitting this early should be deadly, but Cecil has really good defense. They paralyse still. That's not new.

They can drop Chain Mail. Literally everything for sale in Corneria's armour store is a random drop in the area.



Pop outside, use that Tent (so Rab can get his MP back) and now we fight Garland.

Inside a Boss Battle



So, Garland threatened to knock us all down. Let's put that to the tes--



...That shouldn't work. But it does anyway! Cecil's Int is pretty bad and Garland has good MDef. Not an ideal setup; Ovelia would be better.

Still multitarget, but it affects Undead and Evil enemies now. It costs 8MP (upped from 5) and does roughly 20+(5*(Int/2)) damage. Garland's MDef dropped it a lot, though. To make up for its very niche use it formerly did 20-80 damage (the other tier 1 damage spells thus far being 10-40, naturally).



But, yeah, Garland's quite different. Sorta. His HP is reduced from 212, but his Attack is upped from 15, Accuracy boosted from 27, Defense up from 8, Evasion raised from 12 and Magic Defense increased from 64. As you'd expect from a Dude In Armor, he had no weaknesses originally and Dia would do nothing.

Oh and we get very slightly less Gil (formerly 250) but more EXP (130) when we crush him.



...His increased Attack and Accuracy don't really show. Damage is bad and he only does 1 hit despite having the Accuracy for more.



I had Ovelia cast Protect on Rab, just in case, but this was very unnecessary.



And not just because Rab can drat near two-shot the guy singlehandedly.

Yeah that just did 80 damage. Without a weakness. It used to be capped at 40 damage just like Fire. In fact, they used to be different flavours of the exact same thing. Now Thunder is stronger, doing approximately 10+(5*(Int/2)) damage. And it costs 5MP, same as it originally did.



Gilgamesh is very straight-forward, by the way. Since we don't have any of his mysterious Monk abilities yet, he just punches things. He punches them quite hard. We could buy him a weapon but if he's as Monk-like as he should be, that'd be a downgrade.



So, yeah, Garland gets one turn and used to hit Cecil for 10 damage. Then we knocked him down and he dropped a Scimitar. This used to be a Longsword, which was only buyable in Melmond... a town that is several bosses away. Naturally that made it a bit of an upgrade, if you could get it. Which you probably would; it was a 12% drop.



Now it's just a Scimitar, which we can buy at Corneria. I think it's a guaranteed drop, though, since I ran this fight a few times to see if Garland would do anything interesting (no), and to hit him with Dia. He dropped it every single time. It used to have 10 Attack and 10 Accuracy; now it has 9 Attack and 10 Accuracy. Presumably to make up for it being available one town earlier.



We're just going through the motions now. We get exposited at about a prophecy, get told where to go next and a bridge is built to allow us to go there.



We'll also get a lute. If we tried to leave, this'd be forced on us anyway. It's very important we have it now so we can access the last dungeon way, way later.



I don't even know why we get to see the bridge being built, honestly. I like it as an idea but in practice it just feels like padding. It's not a long scene either, so that's kinda weird.



But hey we have a bridge now. Let's go to Pravoka!





Corneria sure ended up seeming easier, to me, than regular Dawn of Souls. For a game that bills itself as a return to NES difficulty, it seems to have missed the mark by just a tiny bit so far. There's enough here for me to safely guess it's not going to stay that way for too long, at least...

Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at 01:08 on Jan 22, 2021

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


Huh, yeah so far things seem easier than base DOS. And given this is earlygame I doubt class combos really affect that too much unless it's all supports. Wonder how long that'll hold.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


FF1 NES's first real difficulty spike doesn't come until you cross the bridge, so we're right at the threshold of the moment of truth.

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

Oh hey! I just started this mod! With the same party! Only a Battlemage instead of an Enchantress!

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007






Dragonatrix posted:

Ovelia also gets Sleep, just in case. It has a base accuracy of 24 though, so it probably won't help much. This is the same as in vanilla, even. In fact there is one change made to it. It used to cost 3MP. It now costs 5. Yay.

The NES game had a Vancian magic system. An MP-based system is so much easier that it feels a bit gauche to complain about tweaks to it.

Bellmaker
Oct 18, 2008

Chapter DOOF




ultrafilter posted:

The NES game had a Vancian magic system. An MP-based system is so much easier that it feels a bit gauche to complain about tweaks to it.

Not to go full "I hate MP" rant but I really wish there was a better way to do magic in games besides use MP. FF3 gave enough charges you could use spells in encounters while still having some for bosses.

Grandia at least gave you three tiers of MP pools for stronger and stronger spells.

Aerdan
Apr 14, 2012

ACTUALLY, DID YOU KNOW IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BEING GIGANTIC DOESN'T CAUSE ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS? IT'S EITHER THAT OR I'M AN IDIOT!


Bellmaker posted:

Not to go full "I hate MP" rant but I really wish there was a better way to do magic in games besides use MP. FF3 gave enough charges you could use spells in encounters while still having some for bosses.

Grandia at least gave you three tiers of MP pools for stronger and stronger spells.

I like the system Chrono Cross uses, where you have to make some physical attacks to be able to use skills.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Aerdan posted:

I like the system Chrono Cross uses, where you have to make some physical attacks to be able to use skills.

Exerting yourself to cast spells isn't a bad idea, aside from if you happen to get hit by a lovely status that either slows your stamina regen, or cuts your chance to hit in half.

Or the fact you can't cast a slot more than once in battle unless you use a consumable or use a someones special tech that you might just use once in the "huh, so that's what that skill looks like... it didn't do poo poo!" and never again.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


ultrafilter posted:

The NES game had a Vancian magic system. An MP-based system is so much easier that it feels a bit gauche to complain about tweaks to it.

Sure, and reverting back to spell slots would be a cool change that I'd love to see but it'd probably require a massive code overhaul so I can get why it wasn't done. I can really only work with what I'm given, after all, and using Dawn of Souls as a base for the mod mean it's MP base no matter what.

In this particular case, the point was less "increasing this is bad" and more "changing just this is lazy" but if that didn't come across properly that's totally my bad.

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


03. Pop-Up Pirates



So, today we've got a pretty light schedule ahead of us. Before we carry on ahead, I remembered to double back and picked up Pain for Rab. Poisona's nice but not needed just yet.

This is not foreshadowing.



First fight was against a Crazy Horse. Singular. It actually got to take a turn and hit Gilgamesh with its basic attack. Garbage damage, but it has a Blind rider now too. I guess that's something.



Considering heading up to Matoya's Cavern, but decided to not bother just yet. Going out of our way for that would give us more fights, sure, but it'd also load us up on even more EXP.



Well, these guys shouldn't be here. Cool! They're normally a... I'll be generous and call them a miniboss. We'll cover their changes when we get there, but they're still weak as hell and drop to a single attack.



This dude is ostensibly the big singular enemy threat in the area. It's weak to Ice, still, but we can't use that yet. Sadly, we're still offensively capable enough to sweep it before it even gets a turn.

It drops a whole new item called Elven Balm. Don't get one so no idea what it does yet.



Oh now a Warg turns up. I think I was just getting unlucky before, but it's hard to tell. Judging from the Bestiary, it's not buffed enough to primarily be back here.



Didn't get any other new stuff en route to Pravoka. At some point I'll probably go back to see how things have changed in the area too, but it's not really all that interesting in itself normally.



Really, I just wanna get to the first "real" dungeon because that things normally an infamous difficulty spike.



Let's check out the stores in the area first. The weapons here are mostly new. Not counting the repeats from Cornelia, only the Broadsword was here originally. Saber's normally from the next town (or a local random drop!) and Falchion used to be at Melmond.

The Venom Dagger is completely new, and only Ovelia can use it here. Bloody expensive though, so we won't see it for a while (no, I'm not gonna grind).



Black Magic store has been greatly overhauled. It used to be all four level 2 Black Magic spells and nothing else. Blizzard, Slow, Dark and Temper were here originally and cost 250 Gil each. So the 3 level two spells we've seen so far are all cheaper, at least.

Dark and Temper DO still exist; Dark is here renamed as Blind and made level 3. We'll see Temper shortly, but it's not level 2 either.



White Magic store has similarly been modified. NulShock is the one level 2 spell that's more expensive, Gil wise, at least. Though it's important to note that they originally, in the NES version, cost 400 Gil.

The original level 2 White Magic selection was Blindna, Silence, NulShock and Invis. Heal used to be a level 3 spell, so that's more accessible now. Silence is here as Mute and is now replacing Heal as a 3rd level spell. Blindna appears to have been replaced with a better variant. As far as I can tell so far, Invis is just straight up gone.



Finally, the armor store has some upgrades... all exclusively for Cecil (as far as we care). And out of our budget. Iron Armor is normally here, but more expensive than even the 800 Gil it cost in the NES version. Helm is from Elfheim normally, and used to top out at 100 Gil. Bronze Gloves (just offscreen) are from even later.



Anyway, I bought Slow for Rab and spent the 25 Gil the Inn now costs (formerly 50) to heal. Let's take on the... miniboss?



It used to be 9 Pirates. This is technically harder, but also not really.



Sleep's not something we've used yet, so let's give it a look see.



I was sorta hoping the Buccaneer's wouldn't crumple to Thunder. I was misguided.



Well, that worked alright.



So, Pirates are... Pirates. Their HP is increased from 24 (no, really), Attack is increased from 10, Accuracy upped from 2, Defense used to be 0, Evasion used to be 12. Magic Defense used to be... 35?! Why reduce that so much...?

Drop wise, their Gil is reduced from 40, EXP is identical and treasure used to be a Leather Shield. Either way, it's vendor trash at this point.



Buccaneers meanwhile are not too dissimilar either. Their HP (50), Attack (14), Accuracy (13), Defense (6) and Evasion (24) are all increased. Magic Defense, likewise, has been reduced from 37. That's a less sharp decline at least.

Gil halved from 120, but they're still bags of money as far as we care. EXP upped from 60 though. Exact same item drop, but its less meaningful now since it'd save 400 Gil here.



Weakness for both used to list None. Ailments were listed where applicable, but neither was weak to anything. Buccaneers used to be Resistant to Quake (a variant of Instant Death) but not any more.

Money from this gets spent in part on Blizzard for Rab. Focusing on Black Magic, yeah, but that's for a simple reason. White Magic keeps you alive, sure, but...







And now we could go to a few areas. Dwarves are tempting, but as far as I remember we can't do anything there without the Mystic Key.



So let's go sailing! Gonna take a quick trip back to Cornelia first to get Poisona for Ovelia. Having that should be very nice indeed for what's coming up shortly.



Boat enemies! Almost all weak to Thunder, of course, but yknow what?



We got Pain and haven't used it yet. 5 MP, Dark elemental, multi-target... Most importantly, it's original!



...Yep, that's good enough for me. Roughly 6+(2*(Int/2)) Dark elemental damage. Bigeyes are weak to it, so there's that I guess.

Oh yeah, they try to use Gaze still. It missed everytime though, so it's not threatening despite being a form of Paralysis.



Buccaneers are here as per normal. Pirates sometimes come along too. They made more sense paired up with that random Goblin, as far as actual effectiveness goes.



Oh hey Sharks! They give ludicrous EXP and are weak to Thunder!



Since I haven't upgraded armor at all, they're a thing that's meant to hit hard that actually kinda does!

They have a new drop here. I didn't get one but I kinda want it. It used to only be available much, much later. I'm sure it's massively nerfed to make up for it, but I wanna know for sure.



I'm not heading east of Pravoka yet. That should still exist, but would be either a boring wipe or a boring win and make everything else easy. Not worth it.



...Might still take a look later. Curiosity is gonna get the better of me, I know it.



Got one fight between the port and Elfland Elfheim. It was a bunch of regular wolves.



The weapon store is closest so we'll look there fir-- 8000 GIL?! Needless to say, there's a bunch of upgrades here and we can't even pretend to afford it. The Rune Blade is only the second most expensive weapon, even!



So what about the armou-- Oh my. Oh my! That price tag is hefty but cheaper than it used to be. Elven Cloak was new to Dawn of souls (being only obtainable in two of the bonus dungeons, and only buyable in the last one). It used to be 9 Defense, 1 Weight, +1 Agility and Intelligence. Conspicuously, Masters could not equip it before and Paladins could. That's been swapped here.

There's some straight up original gear in here too. It's all cheaper than this cloak, but still far, far out of our price range.



Spell-wise, Elfheim has two Black and two White stores. One was for level 3 spells and one was for level 4. Fire and Thundara were moved to Pravoka, so that's fine. Hold was removed wholesale from the looks of things and Focara is gone from here too. Warp used to be a level 5 spell, but it's exclusively a spell of convenience so that being dropped makes sense. Blizzara and Confuse were formerly here so that's fine. Sleepra's not here and Haste has been replace with Temper.



White magic is entirely 4th level here. That's kinda weird, right? After all, this implies there's only 3 level 4 Black Magic spells...

Anyway, Poisona used to be here as a level 4 spell. Yeah. That being level 2 is more sensible at least. Healara used to be level 5. NulFrost is here, the same as it ever was. Clarity is new, though. It's a bunch of ailment cures rolled into one; it clears Sleep, Paralysis, Blind and Silence. Mind Balm in spell form; this takes Vox's spot pretty nicely since it replaces that and Blindna from what we've seen so far. Fear's entire line seems to have been removed and replaced with Aero, which is wholly new. A regular White Magic damage spell sounds odd, but Aero is sometimes treated as White for some reason.

Level 3 magic used to cost 1000 Gil (1500 in NES) and level 4 used to cost 2500 (4000 in NES).

We can't use any level 3 or 4 magic yet, by the way. Nowhere near a high enough level for that.

...But hang on, there was two of each spell store originally. These are the former level 3 stores. What's in the level 4 ones?



Why, Monk stuff of course! Gilgamesh is able to use level 1 "magic" now. Which in this case is the actual Blink spell. Chakra is new, of course, and... only Ovelia can use it right now. Uhh, okay. She's not getting it.

And not just because I can't afford it either, though that doesn't help.



The Black Magic one is more damage oriented, of course. Gilgamesh could pick up Focus, but that'd be pointless since only one person needs it. He did buy Blink at least.



So, yeah, pretty chill so far. Let's go fix this curse, and you all know what that means. We gotta dive into the Marsh Cave!

Incidentally, I have literally no items since I've been spending all my money on spells. I'm sure this'll be fine. What could possibly go wrong?

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PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Oh, no. Don't tell me you went into Marsh Cave without antidotes?

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