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The Mysteries of the Tent Screen

#1
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When you use a tent, the character is actually brought to a special map, $003. On this map, there are 2 event tiles, 1 tile apart. The second tile plays the cutscene that shows Kefka and Gestahl summoning the floating continent. It is used in some glitch speedruns to skip most of the World of Balance. The only question is, why is it there?

I had used up every event tile pointer in the game, and I needed one more, so I removed that event. As it turns out, after Kefka attacks Thamasa, and you board your airship for the first time, you are actually placed on this map, on top of this tile. If you have moved or removed the event, you will never be able to access the Floating Continent. I have searched through banks CA-CC (The Event Code) and cannot find a place where that map is loaded, so it's happening somewhere else in the code.

Anyway, long and short, don't touch that event tile!


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#2
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I'm looking at map $003 in Zone Doctor, and it looks like the Tent function (Nighty Night) is at CA/015E... at least for the world map call of it. The field map call of it seems to be CA/00EA, or possibly CA/00EB. For the field version, there's a restore from fade that might be related to closing the menu, I'm not sure. The event trails the end of another event (defeated Doom Gaze), much like the standard Nighty Night is followed by the first approach to Kefka's Tower. Both end with a map load terminus which makes them look like they're combined events, even though they're not.

The event pointer of the other trigger spot is going to CA/5ADE.
The floating continent breakaway itself is at CA/5BE1.
Code:
CA5BE1: {D2-8B-25-08-07-40}   Load map $018B (Floating Continent Breakaway 1), position (8, 7), mode $40
My guess is they handled it as an event square placement because of how boarding the airship works. Had the event been called immediately after the Thamasa scene, the player wouldn't have been able to wander and save before boarding the airship. The airship itself puts you in different maps based on the event bits in play when boarding, so the developers must have plopped the Floating Continent trigger in map $003 since there wasn't much else going on there and the map wouldn't even be seen.

If you absolutely need to harvest that event square, you might be able to just trigger $CA5ADE as a guaranteed branch or a subroutine, following the scene where the Returners leave Thamasa. It might have some consequences, though, since right after the event the player is placed on the deck of the airship... I'm not sure. The player would also lose the opportunity to save before the cutscene, leaving their nearest save in Esper Mountain behind a wall of events... a big ouch if they accidentally try to fight the IAF and fail.

EDIT: It occurred to me after I posted that you weren't referencing the load of the floating continent breakaway, but the load of map $003. Yeah, it's probably in the $EE bank with the rest of the world map stuff. The Tent might load it in $C3, or maybe it just sets an event bit that gets referenced in $EE.
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#3
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I was able to harvest a different event square, and restore this one, so there's no worries. I posted it here because:
1. It's a mystery that's brought up during speedruns, and
2. It's a change that you can make without noticing any consequences until 15 hours in.


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[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to PowerPanda for this post:
  • C-Dude (05-06-2021), madsiur (05-06-2021)

#4
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Oh, it's most definitely worthwhile having posted it here; I too was considering some save screen shenanigans and it's good to know there's a landmine in there. It's also interesting how the game handles boarding the airship; I thought it was just constrained to the 'grounded' sections but it makes sense that they'd trigger airship cutscenes the same way.
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#5
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Sounds like you got everything working, but here's my understanding of how that sequence of events works.

When you enter the Blackjack when it's grounded ($1EB7.2 set), the game jumps to an event at CA/0059. This event address is hard-coded at EE/B26F and loaded by bank EE code here:

Code:
EE/2092: AF 6F B2 EE  LDA $EEB26F     ; CA/0059 (enter blackjack, ground entrance)
EE/2096: 85 EA        STA $EA
EE/2098: AF 70 B2 EE  LDA $EEB270
EE/209C: 85 EB        STA $EB
EE/209E: AF 71 B2 EE  LDA $EEB271

Here's the event:

Code:
[ Blackjack Ground Entrance ]

CA/0059: B9        If ($1E80($09D) [$1E93, bit 5] is set) and ($1E80($09E) [$1E93, bit 6] is clear), branch to $CA5AD4
CA/0061: D2        Load map $0007 (Blackjack, below decks, all rooms except Celes' prison), position (08, 35), mode $00
CA/0067: FE    Return

The event at CA/5AD4 loads map 3 and places you on that event trigger:

Code:
CA/5AD4: C8        Set bit $1E80($02BD) [$1ED7, bit 5]
CA/5AD7: D2        Load map $0003 (Darkness (briefly on many occasions, inc. Tent use on the world map)), position (08, 09), mode $C0
CA/5ADD: FE    Return
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