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Project - Eliminating Redundant Enemies

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EDIT: Project complete for now, here's the download - http://www.mediafire.com/file/7wg6rx67ut...t.zip/file

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I've taken notice that some enemies in FF6 are simply redundant, they do not need to exist. I'm thinking that by "merging" them with other enemies, it can free up enemy slots for hackers to use for other purposes and also free up enemy formations that appear on the Veldt, allowing some monsters that currently do not have Rages to be reassigned to slots and formations that can give them Rages.

My rough plans are as follows (note that I intend to test all of these before making any patch public): 

Merge #374 Cadet with #2 Templar - the Cadet is an enemy in one the battles at the Imperial Camp with the AI Cyan (it is also in a formation that is just the Cadet, #503, but it seems to be unused), the Templar is also faced in the Imperial Camp and has an identical sprite. The Cadet and the Templar are functionally identical with small differences in Level, Attack, Defense, MP, the power of their special attack (1.5 for the Cadet, 2 for the Templar), and the gil they drop (50 bucks). The only appreciable difference is their HP, the Cadet has 380 and the Templar has 205. But given that the Cadet only appears in a single battle that is partially scripted, this is barely noticeable. The other major difference is the Templar appears on the Veldt, the Cadet doesn't.

Merge #335 Grunt with #1 Soldier - The Grunt is in the same boat as the Cadet, a scripted enemy faced during the segment where Cyan is AI controlled. But unlike the Cadet, the Grunt is identical to the Soldier in even more ways, so much so I won't even bother listing the stat differences between them. The Grunt can be replaced with the Soldier and no one will ever notice or care. The Grunt also does not appear on the Veldt.

Merge #26 Doberman with #133 Vector Pup - The Doberman is another Imperial Camp enemy, fought when you hit the locked chest, and the Vector Pup is fought in the South Figaro secret passage. They have an identical appearance and similar stats, except the Vector Pup gives exp while the Doberman doesn't, and the Doberman has 465 HP while the Vector Hound has 166. But, given that the Doberman is fought one time in one scripted fight, who cares? The catch here is that the Doberman DOES appear on the Veldt, and is thoroughly unremarkable as a rage. It has two possible formations when opening the chest, these can be changed to formations of Vector Hounds and those enemy formations that appear on the Veldt can be given to other enemies to appear on the Veldt (see further down)

Merge #377 Soldier with #1 Soldier - This is one I will definitely have to test. The #377 Soldier is the enemy used in Terra's flashback where she fries the Imperial troopers, it has only 1 HP and no AI script. All the event data for this scripted fight is tied to the enemy used for Terra's script, so I believe the Soldiers can be swapped without harming anything, and the event will be fine. The normal Soldier only has 100 HP, so Terra will still certainly kill the trooper in the scene.

Merge #64 Chupon into #303 Chupon - This one I'm a little edgy about but I think it should be fine. #64 is the Coliseum Chupon, 303 is the Imperial Air Force sequence Chupon. My merger would create one Chupon at Slot 303 with the HP of the Coliseum Chupon and the AI script of the IAF Chupon, with the script changed so that the Sneeze that ends the fight triggers when Chupon takes 10k damage, rather than when he dies. Otherwise their stats are nearly identical save for Defense and Speed, but if Chupon's Coliseum stats were lowered a bit, who would even notice - at worst, Elixir farming from him is slightly easier, though given the random nature of the Coliseum I'd still not call it reliable. One thing of note is that this means the boss Chupon would have to have a Sketch list of Sneeze, but he can easily just be flagged as immune to Sketch and that shouldn't allow any Relm cheesing.

Merge the Tritoches - This is a little trickier and may not be possible, but I'm going to look into it. There are two cinematic Tritoches, one for the start of the game and one for Terra's transformation, and then there's the Tritoch you fight and unthaw. I think that if the three AI scripts are put in the same Tritoch, with event bits to trigger the two cinematic scenes, they can be made into one enemy.

Merge the Guardians - There's a Guardian for all the times it's impossible to defeat and a Guardian for the fight in Kefka's Tower. I'm not sure if the two event scripts on a single Guardian could reliably be set on an event bit, but if it can be these two can be merged into one. The invincible Guardian has 250 power but that can be lowered, he's still invincible so what does it matter?

Merge the Hidonites - I'd release this as a separate optional patch and it is super-easy, merge the four kinds of Hidonite into one. The Hidonites have different elemental affinities but otherwise they just attack over and over and occasionally have a chance to use their special attacks which are different. And their Defense and MDef are slightly different too. Not that most players will notice because they'll kill the Hidonites in a turn or two, if they don't just nuke them all with Ultima on the first round. This isn't like the Tentacles where the four have appreciable differences that make them a tricky opponent, the Hidonites are just Hidon's window dressing and if they got merged into one single enemy that accompanies him in a quartet, I doubt most players would notice.

Finally, there are some unnamed Guard enemies that I'm not sure what they're used for. I'd appreciate if anyone can let me know what they're for so I can clarify if they're unused and mark them as dummied enemies. The numbers are 368, 375, 376, 380, 382, and 383. They all have just normal attacks in their AI scripts except for 368, which has a two-turn script that includes a chance to use Joker Death, curious indeed. I've no doubt that one of these is used for Shadow but I'm not sure which one, and am not about the others. 

There is also 282, which has data for shifting between the final battle tiers - I'd heard this enemy is leftover from when it was gonna be a hidden enemy alongside them and triggered the shifts, but in the final product they do it another way. Can someone clarify that or not?

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So, these plans would mean:

Slots 274, 276, 277, 335, 374, and 377 would be DUMMIED enemies available for hackers to make use of. With the Hidonites merged too, that's 352, 353, and 354 also open - 9 new enemy slots to use for custom enemies. And what actually kind of excites me here is that this opens up so much space in the enemy roster, we have room for the Dragons' Den Eight Dragons, if anyone would want to recreate them in the SNES version and find a place to fit them in the game.

With Slot 26 empty the two monster formations the enemy is a part of could be reassigned to other enemies. If the Chupon plan works well, then Slot 64 is also vacant, and we could look at moving two enemies that don't have Rages into these slots to make them available as Rages. Possible candidates are - Mega Armor (fought at the Imperial Outpose and Palace, the orange Magitek Armor enemy), Prometheus (TunnelArmor palette swap fought in Kefka's Tower), ProtoArmor (normal enemy in the Magitek Factory, it actually appears on the Veldt already and just has no Rage), the Spectre (monster-in-a-box on the Phantom Train), and the Naughty and the Nerapa (enemies fought when fleeing the Floating Continent). I'm not really sure myself which lucky two should get added to Gau's Rage list.

There is also the possibility, though perhaps controversial, of relocating the Holy Dragon, SrBehemoth, and Guard Leader to just swap with some of these enemies so they can have Rages.

So, what I'm looking for - feedback on these suggestions, pointing out any oversights I may have overlooked, suggestions on merging the Chupons, Tritoches, and Guadians (or letting me know it can't be done), let me know if you know what those unnamed enemies at the end of the list are used for or if they're unused, and give opinions on which two enemies in the "doesn't have a Rage" list can be relocated to allow them to have Rages and appear on the Veldt. I'll also say, I recognize this means a lot of changes to enemy formations and encounter groups will need to happen, and again, I plan to thoroughly test each and every change before I release any public patch.
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  • NPCnextdoor (11-08-2020)

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Quote:Finally, there are some unnamed Guard enemies that I'm not sure what they're used for. I'd appreciate if anyone can let me know what they're for so I can clarify if they're unused and mark them as dummied enemies. The numbers are 368, 375, 376, 380, 382, and 383. They all have just normal attacks in their AI scripts except for 368, which has a two-turn script that includes a chance to use Joker Death, curious indeed. I've no doubt that one of these is used for Shadow but I'm not sure which one, and am not about the others.

see http://masterzed.cavesofnarshe.com/GameDocs/monster.txt
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Unfortunately that just mentions what one of them does, 368 for Cyan's AI time. The rest it doesn't mention.
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(11-08-2020, 02:29 AM)DrakeyC Wrote: Merge #377 Soldier with #1 Soldier - This is one I will definitely have to test. The #377 Soldier is the enemy used in Terra's flashback where she fries the Imperial troopers, it has only 1 HP and no AI script. All the event data for this scripted fight is tied to the enemy used for Terra's script, so I believe the Soldiers can be swapped without harming anything, and the event will be fine. The normal Soldier only has 100 HP, so Terra will still certainly kill the trooper in the scene.

I made a modification to the Terra flashback scene in my project and ran into some issues with swapping out #377 for a similar enemy.  #377's battle script is completely empty so it does not fight back, while #1's battle script has an Attack command in it.  Therefore, if I put a different enemy in #377's place that did not have an empty battle script I was finding that it was often able to take a turn and attack Terra before she got the chance to kill it.  It can't kill Terra, but it still breaks the flow of the scripted flashback if the enemy actually takes a turn.
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(11-08-2020, 09:23 AM)DrakeyC Wrote: Unfortunately that just mentions what one of them does, 368 for Cyan's AI time. The rest it doesn't mention.

it does identify the final 2 as unused.

also, i believe that #383 is a Null indicator for enemies in formations, so you'd never want to try putting a valid monster in that slot.
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  • DrakeyC (11-08-2020)

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(11-08-2020, 09:45 AM)Fast Moon Wrote:
(11-08-2020, 02:29 AM)DrakeyC Wrote: Merge #377 Soldier with #1 Soldier - This is one I will definitely have to test. The #377 Soldier is the enemy used in Terra's flashback where she fries the Imperial troopers, it has only 1 HP and no AI script. All the event data for this scripted fight is tied to the enemy used for Terra's script, so I believe the Soldiers can be swapped without harming anything, and the event will be fine. The normal Soldier only has 100 HP, so Terra will still certainly kill the trooper in the scene.

I made a modification to the Terra flashback scene in my project and ran into some issues with swapping out #377 for a similar enemy.  #377's battle script is completely empty so it does not fight back, while #1's battle script has an Attack command in it.  Therefore, if I put a different enemy in #377's place that did not have an empty battle script I was finding that it was often able to take a turn and attack Terra before she got the chance to kill it.  It can't kill Terra, but it still breaks the flow of the scripted flashback if the enemy actually takes a turn.

Noted, thank you. I wonder if perhaps speed could help with that, like making Terra really fast with Auto-Haste to ensure she acts first.

EDIT - Nope. Hm. Yeah may have to give up that one sadly.

EDIT x2 - Success! And probably the secret to other mergers too - the "If enemy is in formation" script. I added a script to the normal Soldier that if they're in Formation #485 (the Terra cinematic battle), they give themselves Stop status. Ran through that scene a dozen times, they never attacked, and ran through the Imperial Camp where the Soldiers have also been added and they attacked fine.

A question - does anyone know if Formation 496 is used for anything special? It's the Soldier from Terra's flashback scene, but just one of him.

In good news, the Cadet and Grunt were replaced no problem, just a matter of changing them in enemy formations. And I merged the Soldier from Terra's flashback into the normal Soldier as described above. I also merged the three versions of Tritoch and the two versions of the Guardian - their AI script checks the formation to determine what happens. The Guardian I had to take a liberty with though, because it needs the "can't run" flag for when it is faced in Kefka's Tower. Since the party cannot run from it anymore in other encounters where it is invincible, it now Sneezes the party away one by one.

The Doberman has been replaced with the Vector Pup in the Imperial Camp, and the Doberman itself has swapped slots with the Mega Armor, turning the Doberman into a Dummied enemy and the Mega Armor is now a Rage. And as proof, here it is on the Veldt and in the Rage menu - the two packs that had the Mega Armor were changed with the Doberman's accordingly, causing Mega Armor to appear on the Veldt when you encounter it in the Imperial Base or the Palace.

[Image: 8gtoGNW.png] [Image: 0QLymfw.png]
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Okay, have tested and double-checked stuff, I think it's good, so a download link will be added to the OP with a Read Me attached.

In this released version of the mod, there are 7 new enemy slots emptied, and as part of this the Mega Armor is now a Rage for Gau, its special ability is Missile.

I didn't replace the Hidonites because that's so easy anyone could do it in usME, no one needs a patch or tutorial to do that. I could not merge Siegfried or Chupon because they need to be available to fight in the Coliseum, and I could merge the "boss" versions into those versions but again, that is easy for people who wanna do it. I'm good with this for now, releasing it.

The patch is for a 1.1 unheadered, unexpanded Rom. But if you have an expanded rom and wanna make use of these merging techniques, the Read Me file in the download is comprehensive on what was merged and how, so you can reference the Read Me and the new AI scripts and do it yourself, it isn't overly complicated with the steps explained.

Additionally I've had an idea making this that will take more time to look into and be a much bigger project, but I'll cover that in a separate thread in the future when I have something to show.
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