FF6 Hacking
FFVI: Divergent Paths - Printable Version

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FFVI: Divergent Paths - PowerPanda - 11-23-2017

Final Fantasy VI: Divergent Paths is a complete hack that will allow longtime fans of the game to experience it in a new way, without added difficulty or extensive gameplay changes. It will feature storyline and event changes, including the entire “Divergent Paths: The 3 Scenarios” hack. In addition, Definitive Edition will be rewriting the events of the Imperial Banquet through the Floating Continent in a similar fashion to Divergent Paths. The central change will be an alternate story where Banon is killed in Thamasa, and Leo joins Celes in trying to stop Kefka and Gestahl. Changes in the World of Ruin will be made so that Leo can be recruited.
 
In addition to storyline changes, Definitive Edition will include every bugfix that I can fit in without causing conflicts. (I have tried to fit in C.V.Reynold's Bugfix Comp, but have run into conflicts with the map, text, and event edits that were included, so I'll be hand-applying the edits.) It will also include over a dozen gameplay improvements made mostly by members of the community. I have made around a half-dozen patches to fill in the holes for my vision for the game. The backbone of this project will be the Full Roster Hack, which is a combination of B-Run's MMMMMagic 2.0 patch and some unfinished work from HatZen08, Madsiur, and m06 that I am working on compiling in a separate thread. This allows a full roster of 16 characters who are able to learn and use magic (though Umaro will not, for obvious reasons).
 
I envisioned this hack after playing Fauntleroy/FedoraJoe’s “General Leo Edition” hack. It was the hack fans were looking for, but it had some questionable decisions, such as removing Shadow as a playable character, having a random soldier fill Shadow’s place on the Floating Continent, and having a dud of a storyline for Leo that did not leave any room for character growth. It also had some gameplay flaws, such as having WAY too many swords, having Leo's stats be way too high, and not taking into account that the Shock ability is the equivalent of a non-elemental Fire3/Ice3/Bolt3 that can be cast every turn for no MP. I owe a debt of gratitude to FedoraJoe for showing my how this project could be done, but when I looked at improving upon his work, I made the decision to simply start over.

Below are some of the changes I will be making. I'm using scrollable "Code" boxes simply so the post doesn't get too long.

STORYLINE CHANGES
   80%


Code:
====The 3 Scenarios====
This portion of the story is already complete, and has been released to the public as the “Divergent Paths” hack. It changes around the 3 scenarios as follows:

SABIN and EDGAR: The brothers wash ashore next to the military camp, and witness Kefka's poisoning of Doma. They aid CYAN, and then must travel through the Phantom Forest to get to the Nikeah ferry, hoping to deliver warning to Narshe in time.

TERRA and BANON: These two are knocked off course by Ultros, and are sent over Barren Falls. They wash up on the Veldt, where they must befriend GAU and travel the Serpent Trench so that they can get TERRA to the Esper before the Empire invades.

LOCKE: Locke infiltrates South Figaro, where he meets CELES, who is defecting from the Empire. Locke must sneak CELES OUT of South Figaro and IN to Narshe to deliver information that might save the city. SHADOW tags along for reasons that he does not disclose.

During Sabin/Edgar’s scenario, they meet Leo at the Military Camp. He has a short conversation with a soldier named Dak about not throwing his life away for the Empire, and then is named by the player.

====The Imperial Banquet====
When you arrive in Vector to find it burning, Arvis explains that Banon has already been escorted inside the Imperial Palace. When you talk to Gestahl, Banon will appear with Cid and explain that he has been asked to be an ambassador to the Espers, and encourages you to convince as many guards as you can to accept peace. Banon is present at the banquet, sitting in the middle seat as the official representative of the Returners. When the team decides to go to Crescent Island, Banon will briefly re-join Locke and Terra until they reach Albrook.

====Crescent Island====
On the ship to Crescent Island, the party divides into 2: Terra/Leo/Shadow, and Locke/Celes/Banon. Leo explains that this way, there is a General and a Returner on each team. Locke protests, but is re-assured by Terra that she trusts Leo. Leo takes Locke’s place in the burning house and the Esper’s Cave.

====Kefka’s Betrayal====
When Kefka shows up to torch Thamasa, he knocks out everyone, as before. Banon is the one who musters strength to get up and fight Kefka. Kefka toys with Banon for a little while, and then reveals that they lured him to Crescent Island on a mission of peace so that he would not be protected by the Returners. Banon explains why he founded the Returners shortly before Kefka kills him.

The party is devastated at Banon’s loss, thinking that the Returners died with him. Locke convinces them that they must carry the torch and continue the fight. Leo renounces an Empire that would kill its own ambassador, and joins your team.

====Dak, the Wounded Soldier====
Dak, the soldier from the Military Camp, is central to a side-quest. He shows up in the town of Mobliz after the battle in Narshe, and the sidequest for delivering letters can be triggered with Leo at the head of the party. Dak explains that when Leo was dismissed, and Kefka gave the order to poison Doma, he ran after Leo to try to call him back, but was stopped by Kefka loyalists, who beat him up and threw him into the river at Barren Falls. This foreshadows Leo’s development in the World of Ruin.

====Leo, the Letter-Writer of Zozo====
In the World of Ruin, Leo takes Cyan’s place on Mt Zozo, where you find that he has been writing correspondences as his own idea of penance for the men who lost their life following the Empire under his command. He started with Dak, who died during Kefka’s destruction of Mobliz. His letters with Lola convinced him to put off the past and seek a better future. He rejoins your party.

====The Tortured Dreams of Cyan====
Cyan’s recruitment scenario is now in Doma, where you find him in bed being tortured by Wrexsoul. The sidequest continues as usual, but you now have 4 characters instead of 3. Cyan does not learn his sword techs at the end.

====Gau’s Father====
The scene where Gau meets his father was originally triggered by having Sabin and Gau in your party. This has been changed to Cyan, who tries to teach Gau how to be a proper boy. This brings a bit of closure to both of their storylines, and serves as a catalyst for Cyan learning his SwdTechs and Gau learning the Fight command.

====Kappa the Imp====
When you fight the Dirt Dragon in the Opera House, there is a defeated Imp lying next to it on the stage. Upon defeating it, this Imp reveals herself to be Kappa. She's trying to become strong enough to defeate Kefka, but couldn't beat one lousy dragon. She begs you to help her locate the legendary Imp's armor. If you do, and talk to her, she will join your team.

====Leo's Backstory====
Why did Leo refuse a Magitek Infusion? The Ancient Castle underneath Figaro has been changed to a character-specific sidequest that dives into this. It requires Leo and Terra to complete.

====The Ending====
I hope that the ending will be able to cover all 16 characters. I have not yet tested this, but the idea would be to roll Kappa into Umaro's ending scene and Leo into Terra's (the reason for this will be clear once you have played the Ancient Castle sequence).

MICRO-CHANGES
There are a host of micro changes to the storyline, such as added lines if characters are present during certain events. I am also looking to add some NPCs to the Falcon, such as Interceptor, Arvis, Cid, etc.

SYSTEM CHANGES
   90%
Code:
1.    The title screen will be changed to Final Fantasy VI.
2.    Characters will auto-run. You can hold “B” to walk. The Sprint Shoes have been repurposed into a new relic.
3.    Incorporating a hack that lets you switch between Equipment and Relics with the “Y” button.
4.    A new menu and dialog font will be used.
5.    In order to make room for new spells, there will be 1 Desperation Attack named, simply, "Desperation".
6.    All party characters will have expanded sprite sheets for riding Chocobos/Magitek. This will be accomplished by relocating the sprite data for Gestahl.
7.    Character classes will be displayed.
8.    Mog will no longer be permanently locked out of Water Rondo if you didn’t think to take him through the Serpent Trench. He will be able to learn Water Rondo in the World of Ruin. (Aquatic Caves Patch)
9.    Odin and Raiden will be combined into a single Magicite. The extra spot will be used to add Leviathan.
10.    The character will receive both a Genji Glove AND a Gauntlet in the Returner’s Hideout, not one or the other.
11.    You will not have to choose between the Magicite Ragnarok or the Weapon Ragnarok. You will get both.
12.     You will not have to trade the Ragnarok sword to get the Illumina. Instead, you will get the Illumina from Banon's grave when one of your characters has the Paladin shield equipped.

CHARACTER CHANGES
   90%

Code:
Definitive Edition will fill up the roster to a full 16. The “main event” in this patch will be the acquisition of Leo Cristophe into your ranks. In addition, a 16th character, Kappa the Imp, will be available in the World of Ruin.

Terra – Sorceress
Ability: Trance
Equipment:
Changes: Trance, as an ability, allows Terra to double her attack or magic for a limited amount of time. It’s not the best ability, gameplay-wise, so we will change it to be useable once per battle. The hack will be similar to "Resilient Morph", but will be custom-coded from scratch to use the high nibble of the summoning byte as a tracker.
Hacks Used: 
Useful Morph - PowerPanda

Locke - Adventurer
Ability: Mug
Equipment: Locke loses all abilities to equip heavy armor and swords, but gains the ability to use Shadow's dirks.
Ability Changes: There was a bug in the original game that caused weapon special effects to not be used during Mug. We will be using Assassin’s “Recapture The Glory” patch to fix this.
Hacks Used: 
    Recapture the Glory - Assassin

Edgar - Machinist
Ability: Tools
Equipment: Edgar loses the ability to use spears, and gains the ability to use flails and Locke's non-thrown special weapons.
Changes: Edgar will gain his Tools in a different order in the World of Balance. He starts with only Noise Blaster and can purchase Bio Blaster immediately. During his scenario, he gains Flash. After the battle in Narshe, he will be able to purchase Auto-Crossbow and Drill. The rest can be gained in their normal order. The rest is unchanged. This is to give players a reason to use Edgar’s weapon attack, rather than relying on Auto-Crossbow for the first third of the game. Many enemies you encounter absorb the Bio Blaster, so it must be used carefully.
Hacks Used: 
    Anchors Aweigh! – Imzogelmo, Lenophis

Sabin - Monk
Ability: Blitz
Equipment: None
Changes: "Pummel" was always a strange secret technique for Vargas to get mad about. Since the Desperation Attacks are being cut, I am replacing Pummel with the name and animation of Sabin's D.A., Tiger Break. The attack strength will remain the same.
Hacks Used: None

Banon - Mediator
Ability: Control
Equipment: No changes
Changes: Banon will be seeing 3 significant changes. First, he will no longer be under-leveled when joining your team. Second, you will not get a game over upon him being Wounded. Third, the “Health” ability will be changed to “Control”. I've always been intrigued by Banon's wild beard, and thought that his design should inform his gameplay a bit. So, I have modeled him after the "Mediator" class from Final Fantasy Tactics, and given him the "Control" ability. His "wild mane" gives him dominance over the animals. Enemies that Banon encounters will have curing abilities that he can control. As a side-note to this, Relm's relic that changes "Sketch" to "Control" has been renamed from the "FakeMustache" to the "Fake Beard". I will also be writing Banon into character slot $0C instead of $0E. That way, people who are traumatized by his death in Thamasa can convince themselves that he came back from the dimensional rift as Gogo.

Cyan - Samurai
Ability: Bushido (Rename of SwdTech)
Equipment: None
Changes: Sword Tech is a useful bank of abilities, but it is not fun to use. The basis for changes to Cyan will be the “Sword Tech Ready Stance”, which drastically speeds up the Sword Tech wait bar and turns it more into a mini-game of trying to “catch the bar” on the right tech. This means I will put the least-desirable Sword Tech, Slash, as the first one, with Dispatch as the second. The third, Retort, will be changed to stay activated until it is used. 
Hacks Used: 
    Sword Tech Ready Stance – HatZen08
    Runic Forever – HatZen08

Celes - Valkyrie
Ability: Jump/X-Jump
Equipment: Celes will gain the ability to use all spears, and may see a reduction in other equipment accordingly.
Changes: Celes’s is undergoing a class change to accommodate for Leo being added to the party. She will be getting the “Jump” ability as an exclusive ability (excluding the Palidor summon). The “Dragon Horn” relic will be exclusive to Celes/Gogo, turning “Jump” into “X-Jump”. I would like to see a hack similar to “No X in Fight” that changes the wording of “Jump” to “X Jump” when the relic is equipped. This class change has been tested up to the end of the World of Balance, and works very well with the character. Since Jump is just as defensive as it is offensive, it allows Celes to stay safe from full-party attacks and land to heal at the right moment.
Hacks Used:
    Manual Rebalancing of Jump – PowerPanda
    Jump Megafix
    No X in Jump (expanded version of "No X in Fight") – GrayShadows

Shadow - Ninja
Ability: Throw/GP Toss
Equipment: It is possible that I will make Shuriken an equippable weapon. The animation works correctly, but balancing will be needed to make sure they are not too strong for when you get them in the game. Shadow will take over the sub-ability "GP Rain" from Setzer, as it seems to fit Shadow a bit more.
Changes:
Hacks Used:
       Shadow's GP Rain - PowerPanda
 
Gau - Beastmaster
Ability: Rage
Equipment: Gau will gain a single equippable weapon when he learns the "Fight" command.
Changes: Gau will be changing entirely as a character. He will not need to go to the Veldt to learn Rages; he will simply learn monster attacks as he fights monsters. The Veldt will still be useful to encounter enemies you may have fought without Gau in your party. Once he meets his father, he will gain the “Fight” command.
Hacks Used:
    Learnable Rage – HatZen08
    Alphabetical Rage Patch
    Command Change - GrayShadows

Mog - Moogle
Ability: Dance
Equipment: None
Changes: Water Rondo will no longer be exclusive the World of Balance, allowing you to complete his dance list in the World of Ruin. There will be a new battlefield used in the cave to the Ancient Castle which will allow him to learn the last Dance.
Hacks Used:
    Aquatic Caves - PowerPanda

Setzer - Gambler
Ability: Slots
Equipment: None
Changes: There are two existing hacks for Setzer. One makes the slot skill less deterministic and more skill-based. The second balances out the damage from the dice weapons.
Hacks Used:
    Lucky Slot – HatZen08
    Better Dice

Leo - Templar
Ability: Runic/Shock
Equipment: Leo will be limited to swords and knives, but he will be able to use some knives previously exclusive to Locke and Shadow. 
Changes: Leo will have “Runic” as his default ability, explained by NPCs to be how Leo rose so high-up in the Empire without Magitek. He neutralizes the enemy’s magic, forcing a physical battle. The “Dragon Boots” relic will be repurposed into the “Shock Bangle”, which will be found in the Ancient Castle. This will allow Leo to change “Runic” to “Shock”.  Runic will stay active until it is used. In order to gain a magic list, the MMMMMAgic patch will be used.
Hacks Used:
    Runic to Shock – PowerPanda
    Runic Forever
    MMMMMagic – B-Run
    Leo will be taking Character Profile $0D, previously assigned to Umaro. This will include manual edits for not buzzing the Esper/Equipment menus for Character $0D, already finished. The rest will be accomplished by FF3usME.

Strago – Arcanist
Ability: Lore
Equipment: Strago will gain the ability to use Locke's thrown weapons.
Changes: None
Hacks Used: None

Relm – Pictomancer
Ability: Sketch/Control
Equipment: None
Changes: Sketch bugs will be fixed. I considered graying out "Sketch" if a brush wasn't equipped, but opted instead to make all brushes increase the effectiveness of Sketch.
Hacks Used: 
    Sketch Fix

Gogo - Mimic
Ability: Mimc + Others
Equipment: Gogo will gain access to all command-changing relics, brushes, and the Beret.
Changes: Gogo will be able to assign “Jump” from Celes and “Morph” from Kappa.
Hacks Used: 
    Gogo’s Yellow Streak – HatZen08
       Gogo's Menu Scroll Hack - GrayShadows

Umaro - Yeti
Ability: Fight, Tackle, Toss, Blizzard
Equipment: Umaro will gain the Cat Hood, all of Relm and Strago's "suits", and the "Bracers" (aka Genji Gloves)
Changes: It is possible I will give him the ability to equip Espers so that he can get the level-up bonuses. The addition of the Cat Hood and the Tabby/Nutkin/Moogle/Chocobo Suits should allow him to be more versatile for situations other than the Fanatic's Tower.
Hacks Used: 
    Full Roster Hack - This will be used to move Umaro to Character Slot $0F.

Kappa - Imp
Ability: Morph - This ability allows Kappa to morph an enemy into an item, like the Ragnarok summon. It's not very reliable though.
Equipment: Imp Set, Genji Set, Ragnarok, all standard relics.
About Kappa: Kappa is very limited on equipment, and can be either a powerful fighter or a powerful magician, but not both at the same time. Use the Imp Spell to toggle between paradigms. If you want to use both at once, you must use the ultra-rare Genji Equipment and Ragnarok sword. Even then, Kappa's base stats are fairly low, so that equipment might be better-used on another character...
Hacks Used: 
    Full Roster Hack - Kappa will be added as character $0E
       Equipment Check - Madsiur
MAGIC CHANGES
   100%
Code:
With the addition of MMMMMagic, 10 new spells can be added. There are a few more spells/abilities that will be tweaked as well.

CHANGES
*Rasp and Osmose are now classified as Black Magic
*Safe and Shell are now classified as White Magic
*Quake only damages enemies
*W Wind has been changed to Trnado, a Wind-Elemental copy of Quake. Unlike Quake, it can be blocked.
*Merton has been changed to the effect of W Wind, dropping all members on the battlefield to 1/16th of their health.
*A single Desperation Attack is shared by all characters. I have chosen Sabin's old Blitz "Pummel" to fill this spot.

NEW SPELLS
* (black) Flood (GBA) - Water-Elemental copy of Quake. (credit to B-Run)
* (black) Octant (GBA, aka "Gravija", "Grav 3") - All enemies go to 1/8th of health. (credit to B-Run)
* (black) Virus, aka "Bio 3" - Lvl3 version of Poison/Bio (credit to B-Run)
* (black) Rasp 2 - A significantly stronger version of Rasp.
* (gray) Blind - blinds target (credit to B-Run)
* (gray) Blink - grants Image status (credit to B-Run)
* (gray) Sap - inflicts Sap
* (white) Wall - grants safe/shell status (credit to B-Run)
* (white) Rfresh - recovers MP
* (white) Purify - removes Zombie, Condemned, Petrify, Freeze, and restores a miniscule amount of HP (so that curing Zombie doesn't leave an alive character with 0 HP).



RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - B-Run - 11-23-2017

This sounds pretty great. I've heard good things about Divergent Paths. I won't lie, pretty stoked my MMMMMagic patch is getting put to use, and getting an FF6 itch. Might go ahead and do this one once it's done. I don't know everything thats in the giant bugfix patch, so you may want to look out for conflicts since MMMMMagic makes a bunch of changes in C2 where I know a lot of the bugfixes exist.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - madsiur - 11-23-2017

I like the changes planned! Moving Umaro to Guest Character is a better option than removing Shadow to make place for Leo.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - GrayShadows - 11-23-2017

This looks awesome, and I can't wait to play it. ;) Also, I'm kind of amused, because while we're implementing it very differently, you and I have some similar ideas around Leo not having magic/a Magitek infusion. Can't wait to see how yours actually plays out. :D

Out of curiosity, did you need assistance adapting No X in Fight to work with Jump/X Jump as well? Or is that within the scope of your ASM abilities? I'd be happy to help if you do need it.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - PowerPanda - 11-23-2017

My ASM skills are slim to none. Are you interested in coding the X-Jump improvement? Could also be released as a standalone.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - GrayShadows - 11-23-2017

Assuming you're already using No X in Fight, I figured it'd be easier just to hook Jump/X Jump into that. Either way, it's easily done working off of that code -- no need to reinvent the wheel.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - PowerPanda - 11-23-2017

(11-23-2017, 09:43 PM)GrayShadows Wrote: Assuming you're already using No X in Fight, I figured it'd be easier just to hook Jump/X Jump into that. Either way, it's easily done working off of that code -- no need to reinvent the wheel.

Yes, I am using that hack.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - PowerPanda - 11-25-2017

Thanks to GrayShadows, I now have an expansion to LeetSkeetcher's "No X in Fight" that also applies to Jump/X-Jump. It works great.

I've finished event editing through Banon's death, and have confirmed that Leo shows up correctly in the party screen (This was a bug in General Leo Edition).

I'm also considering doing a command edit. Since "Leap" is no longer being used, I'm looking into changing that into "Morph" (short for Metamorph. I'd rename Terra's ability to "Trance"). This ability would act like the Ragnarok summon, but would have a lower hit percentage. To implement it, I'd simply build it as a normal spell and call it using the same style code as Shock (which calls Megahit). If anyone has some pointers on Command Editing, let me know. My previous attempt failed miserably.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - Scorcher - 11-28-2017

This is probably just me, but I think some of the class names you chose are a little... not Final Fantasy. For example: I think Strago's class name should be Blue Mage, to give it that extra Final Fantasy feel. And maybe, since Leo kind of has a few similarities with Cecil from FF4, his class' name should be Paladin, instead of Templar.


RE: FFVI: Definitive Edition - GrayShadows - 11-28-2017

Well, to be fair, Arcanist is literally a class in FFXIV. Laugh

I agree that it may not be the best fit for Strago, though -- Blue Mage would be traditional, but I believe some translations have him as a Loremaster? Which is thematically appropriate, given his ability name, and carries similar connotations of a scholarly nature that you'd get with Arcanist.