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Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.1.1

update includes faster enemy turns and a turn order viewer

Discussion about the original classic Genesis/Mega Drive game. Posts about the GBA remake belong in the forum below.

Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.1.1

Postby Siel » Fri May 11 2018 9:04pm

Download
Download Link
v2.1.1

How to Use
1. Download patch above
2. Get IPS patcher (e.g. LunarIPS)
3. Use patcher to apply patch to US version of SF1 ROM (choose to show all file types to make .bin files visible in LunarIPS's case)

===============

News

v2.0.0 and v.2.0.1 bug (Mar 18, 2019)

Save files started in v2.0.0 and v2.0.1 have Domingo, Mushashi, Hanzou, and Jogurt unplayable: they have heavily inflated stats and incorrect map sprites, and cause softlocks whenever they enter a battle animation.

This problem is fixed in v2.1.0, but v.2.0.0 and v2.0.1 save files will remain affected by it. This is a patch for those save files to reset the affected characters' stats and to fix the softlocking.
WARNING: SPOILER!

Save files started prior to v2.0.0 are unaffected.

---------------

An update is here! (Feb 03, 2019)

It's a pretty major update, so I took the opportunity to change the version numbering format as well. It mostly consists of new features along with a few balance tweaks and fixes.

v2.0 Changes

Ludicrous Speed has been added!
Ludicrous Speed is a mode that greatly speeds up the cursor, turn canceling, and enemy turns. This feature is active when the text display speed is set to 4.

Turn Order Viewer has been added!
The remaining order of the current turn can be viewed via the in-battle Map menu and pressing A.

Mass Revival has been added!
The priest can now revive everyone all at once. If refused, he also offers to check through everyone individually per usual.

Villain Dialogue Retranslation!
Dialogue involving major villains has partially been rewritten based on the original Japanese script. There's an extra patch available to undo these changes (apply it after using the main patch).

Currently done:
WARNING: SPOILER!

Non-combat EXP has been reworked!
Healing EXP now has a level difference modifier, so healers who have fallen behind can catch up faster. Detox is also similarly affected and Status spells now grant EXP as well. Healing EXP also no longer stacks up when there are multiple targets, which allows relaxing Aura and Will's high MP costs that were in place as a countermeasure to EXP going out of control.

Battle rebalancing and restructuring!
A few early game battles have been touched up, mainly with enemy mages being given better choices of spells and a slight boost in MP.
WARNING: SPOILER!

Other rebalancing!
Some characters, spells, and items received minor tweaks.
WARNING: SPOILER!

Other minor fixes or QoL changes!
WARNING: SPOILER!

===============
About

After playing a few other hacks, I tried making my own (again). It's not hardcore difficult, but I aimed to make it not boringly easy, without requiring grinding.

The intention behind this hack was to cut down on downtime (moving from enemy to enemy across heavy terrain) and increase time actually interacting with enemy units. Character and enemy stats have been rebalanced entirely and the weapon progression has been turned more into sidegrades rather than direct upgrades one after the other. Most outdoor maps had their layouts modified to get rid of stretches of nothing but forests and hills, and some indoor maps were edited as well. Essentially, there should be enough changes for it to be like a new game, just with the same story and look.


Below are lists of most changes, split up into categories

General changes
WARNING: SPOILER!

Technical changes
WARNING: SPOILER!

Misc changes (SF1 Editor options)
WARNING: SPOILER!

===============

Changelog
WARNING: SPOILER!

===============

Info&Data

Characters
WARNING: SPOILER!

Items
WARNING: SPOILER!

Spells
WARNING: SPOILER!

Chest Content Changes
WARNING: SPOILER!

Map Changes
WARNING: SPOILER!

Outfit Compatibility Chart
WARNING: SPOILER!

===============

Screenshots
WARNING: SPOILER!

Tools Used
WARNING: SPOILER!

Known Issues
WARNING: SPOILER!


Edit 20180513: updated download link to v20180513, added to list of changes and known issues
Edit 20180514: updated download link, added to item list
Edit 20180516: updated download link
Edit 20180529: updated download link, added changes to chest contents
Edit 20180613: updated download link
Edit 20180617: updated download link, updated item list accordingly
Edit 20190203: updated download link, added screenshot
Edit 20190204: updated download link, reworded Ludicrous Speed and Healing EXP, added outfit chart
Edit 20190318: updated download link
Last edited by Siel on Tue Mar 19 2019 3:27am, edited 46 times in total.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Remuko » Fri May 11 2018 11:42pm

This seems absolutely amazing. Gonna check it out soon. I've never patched a rom, hopefully I can figure it out.

Only to alterone so far but its fun. It feels brutally hard right now though. Everyones defense is so low, doesnt really make up for the HP boosts IMO and stats arent really growing and the lack of incrementally better weapons is showing. Almost no one on the force can upgrade to the Power weapons in town because they can barely take hits as is.

Tao feels super strong and I LOVE Mae as a Sword using Centaur (CAV is Cavalier I'm guessing?).
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Sun May 13 2018 9:09am

Yup, CAV is cavalier. I thought there was an overabundance of knights and lance users in the game, so I changed it up a bit.

As for Tao, I was actually worried she would've initially seemed too weak, especially with the slight abundance of goblins early on, so I guess that's nice to hear.

I updated the download link with some minor fixes: some enemies in the first battle would unintentionally just stand in place with no purpose in certain cases, and a terrain data change I made recently didn't go well with battles 2 and 3 (beaten path tiles were much harder to traverse than intended). I also added to the list of changes some things I had forgotten about (attack animation changes).
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Runesamurai » Mon May 14 2018 12:09am

Looks pretty sweet. I don't remember the option to change how often Double Attacks happen being there before. Have you learned how to modify the editor? We really do need someone who can pick up where rubixcuber left off.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Remuko » Mon May 14 2018 2:03pm

So I think I've found some bugs.

I got muddle staffs for Tao and Lowe. Firstly, they have no sprites when equipped, that was confusing. Second, their "Attack" command becomes the muddle spell (which idk if its been fixed iirc, it did nothing in the original unmodded SF1) and if you "use" the muddle staff it "attacks" (dont know if it does a normal attack using their attack stat or not as when I tested it lowe did 1 dmg, but he was hitting a high def enemy. the staff cracked after that single use so I couldnt test it again, too expensive to lose). I uh went to use a healing item in this battle in Alterone and the range is MASSIVE, your original post said they were self only IIRC? So thats a bug, but it gets worse, you can ONLY HEAL ENEMIES, not allies. I healed a Goblin for 20 hps. Was funny as hell.

Now for some general feedback. Tao feels good because Blaze only costs 1 MP so she can spam it for 10 consistent dmg (15 to dwarves...for some reason?) but Blaze 2 costing 4 feels quite bad, especially since everyones stats seems to be growing SO SLOW. She has 16 MP and between spamming blazes on the dwarves (more on them later) I can barely afford to use her AoE at all right now (level 6). Now to the dwarves. They feel massively overtuned. Tao is the only person that can hurt them. Their def is way too high. Especially in this alterone battle where theyre all using Guard Axes. Theyre rocking 18 Def when only like 2 people on my team have more Atk than that, and even then its only by 2-3 points tops, and thats because at least one of those cases is because of someone using the POWER weapon. Enemies are also hitting way too hard. Everyone enemy and ally having more hp is cool, but the heroes have like no def. Lug started with like 2, even with a Guard Axe he's taking over 10 dmg a hit in this fight which makes his 33HP pointless. Enemies have about the same attack as the force, but other than Goblins they all have way more Def so they take AGES to kill even with the whole force wailing on them. It feels like Tao is often the only person who does any damage to anything.

Oh yeah one last bug. I gave Hans a Doom Arrow (i think thats what its called?) and when he uses it he has no attack animation at all. Not just a missing sprite like Tao and Lowe with the Muddle staff but no animation period.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Mon May 14 2018 5:33pm

Having the spell/attack for the staves reversed is intended, mostly so that enemies can use the spell effect as well (in fact, the spell cast is their main intended use, while having the ability to attack with them was just tacked on), but cracking shouldn't be happening. They're not set to crack and they didn't seem to after some quick testing, so I'm not sure what's going on there. As for Muddle's effect... I was under the impression it causes accuracy to drop (at least it does in SF2?), so I left the spell in, but I'm not sure either.

For the healing items, I must've seen a range set to 0-0, thought it was therefore an unused default setting, and repurposed it for something else, while it was actually used for those healing items. I actually realized this and fixed it once before, but it looks like I did it again after that. Oops.

Regarding enemy defense, the idea was to have some enemies weak to all sorts of physical attacks while being relatively less affected by magic (high HP, low defense), and some enemies the opposite (low HP, high defense). To emphasize the latter's vulnerability to magic, I even made them take extra damage from magic, but I sometimes wonder if that was overkill. Some enemies were set to an even further extreme with Guard weapons, which are meant to be countered with your own Power weapons or just magic as usual. They have low attack, so they can usually be considered a lower priority to deal with and be left for later when it's safe to take out the Power weapons (or again, magic).

On the Force's side, I tweaked the numbers so that regular frontliners can survive about 2 or barely 3 hits (and succumb to the next) from the average enemy. Characters like Mae trade some offense for defense and can survive a bit better, while Lug's meant to be a glass cannon doing the opposite, so he'll need to be a bit more careful with timing and positioning. He does fare a bit better against mages though, thanks to his high HP, similarly to the enemy goblins.

Speaking of mages, for their costs, level 1 spells were set to 1 MP so that the mages could have something akin to a regular attack to fall back on. Level 2 spell costs remained high-ish so that they can't afford to bring out their full power willy-nilly on every single turn, but that's where those 1 MP-cost spells come in.

As for stats growing slow, growths are generally around as high as the original or higher, except for defense, but super early rapid growth types were taken out (e.g. Ken gaining 7 HP in one his first few level ups, or Tao gaining 15 AGI). I guess the latter and one stat lacking can lead to the feeling that stat growth is slow, but it was also somewhat intended for each individual level up to not be massively influential to prevent weaker characters from falling even further behind. On the flip side, the pace of level ups should be slightly faster than the original.

---

I updated the download link again with fixes for these:
-missing weapon sprites: muddle staff, doom arrow, and one more staff
(consequently, Hans should now have an attack animation with the doom arrow)
-healing item use ranges: they now properly target the user rather than distant enemies!

I also updated the description of the special staves in the opening post to make it clearer that their use/attack are reversed.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Morath » Mon May 14 2018 10:13pm

Hi Siel. I have nothing but praise for this mod. Glorious. Beautiful. You've come up with creative solutions and I'll state it clearly: this is easily the best shining force game I've played. I even skipped sleep for this; didn't want to stop playing hehe.

bugs already mentioned

  • battle 2 and 3: road land effect 25%
  • muddle staff, doom arrow, dispel staff, throw axe (on gladiator lug) image doesn't show
  • medical pouch, medical herb, healing bag, cure bottle can only heal enemies in 3-5 range; this was unexpected haha

possible bugs not yet mentioned

  • battle 5: there are 2 tiles with relative (x,y) coordinates (north positive and east positive) (0,-2) (1,-2) from the bridge that are grass with land effect 25%
  • angel wing is not consumed on use; not sure if intentional
  • the dispel indicator on the character sheet seems to disappear a turn early; not sure if this is a problem with the base game or the mod
  • uncurse doesn't work: wielded an evil amulet on main character and uncursed it at the church for 20 gold still can't transfer it to another character (remedy doesn't work either, detox 1 didn't work either)
  • shellfish attack area indicator is kinda messed up: showed 2 spaces when attacking left or right and showed another space (-1,1) when attacking up but didn't damage the second character in (-1,1). so, the area of effect indicator for the shellfish attack and the longinus weapon when attacking up or down is wierd but the attack seems to be fine

balancing

  • I completely support the individuation of characters in the various ways (stat development, spells, class, etc.)
  • as for muddle: it's rarely effective: I've been using it sparingly and the only positive was when an enemy went into the attack screen but nothing happened. at least it's working; I haven't used it enough to say whether it's properly tuned.
  • sidegrade weapon system is fun: allows the player to customize characters other than predetermined stat growths as well as allowing tactical play (adapting to battle conditions)
  • difficulty: I would describe the difficulty in this CL mod as: the difficulty gently ramps up which is friendly to new players and does after a few fights get to a point where the fights are not boringly easy. Different players will of course prefer different challenges: if I had to say too easy or too hard for myself, I would say too easy only in certain fights (all fights with puppets, all fights with pegasus knights except elliot, all fights with gargoyles) and for the most-part your strategy of ramping up the difficulty is the best solution I can think of. So if some players are saying too hard and some are saying too easy, that's a good indicator. In other words: you nailed it and all that's left would be polishing specific things. For reference, fights that I thought were nice and challenging were shade abbey, elliot battle, second ship, ramladu.
  • all my characters were experience capped after promotion even with force swapping and promoting at level 20. I think this is fine. Maximum unpromoted as 20 and minimum to promote as 18 worked and the inflection point in experience is a not unwelcome interruption and it gives flavor to promotion.
  • in general, having spawn points not known to the player before the fight can be very disruptive if they are too close. I think you have a good handle on this and when there are spawns, you give the player a turn or two to prepare.

general comments

  • different level versions of the same enemies is fun; clever solution to presumably staying within the limited number of enemies set in the game
  • joocy experience gains and attack damage hehe
  • light arrow is awesome lol
  • awesome heavy shell animation
  • earnest and lug are strong especially against mages; defense bottoming out at 0 helps them (in combination with power items)
  • there's just something satisfying about an axe wielder cracking open shellfish and conchs
  • evil ring doesn't seem to do anything, maybe it's just a cash item
  • almost the whole game done without healing items: it's a data point, at least
  • I enjoyed that you put different weapons on enemies; it spices things up

possible improvements


I didn't want to write a completely biased review just saying all the awesome things you've done (there's lots) so I wracked my brain trying to think of what could be improved. I, of course, defer to your judgement since you know better what's possible in the game and with the tools but here are some possibilities for consideration:

  • giving the characters more thematic stat distributions. I know you've done a lot of this. there may be more room for specialization: amon vs balbaroy (it's pretty rare to want a flying tank), hans vs lyle (not sure what hans offers), hard to use plain centaurs (pelle, ken, mae) when there are combo options (centaur + range = lyle, centaur + magic = arthur, mae + crit = musashi + mobility ring). To be fair, maybe some characters get things later on that I don't know about.
  • I don't know what kind of magic you used to achieve the different AoE indicators (prison, longinus, etc.) but there could be some more combinations (O is character, X is targets, . is a tile)
    Code: Select all
    ..X .... .X. ..... ...
    O.X O.XX O.X O.X.X XOX
    ..X .... .X. ..... ...
  • not sure if it's possble but weapons that also affect the moves stat; I know items can effect, for example, (attack and defense) and probably (attack and agility). or armor that breaks after being attacked?
  • more spells for characters and enemies? there are slots on some characters and on (all, I think, enemies). when enemies only have attack and spell as their options in combination with their AI that says "make a straight line to the enemy" it's easy enough to guess how enemies behave but if they had more spells it wouldn't be so easy. of course, I don't know how the engine handles multiple spells on enemies.
  • increase costs and damages of level 4 spells (and enemy mana)? I pretty much never find myself thinking about what level of spell I should cast when I have learned level 4; it's either save mana by casting level 1 or cast level 4 to have more effectiveness
  • more spawns on easier maps? if the player goes into a map and only 6 enemies are visible then it's pretty easy to guess there will be spawns. I really enjoyed how you not only had a balanced approach to this but even made enemies walk down ramps and stuff, just adding intuitiveness to the game, in addition to redesigning the maps to reflect their battle backgrounds better.
  • certain force characters regenerate? (some modest amount of health? mana?) similar to how some bosses do
  • different tiles provide different modifications? (+2 attack, -5 health per turn etc.) (this may be a stretch)
  • some characters unable to enter certain tiles but strong on others?
  • character with high counterattack rate?
  • character that burns down trees?

This maybe a lot of text but you obviously are putting a lot of work into this mod and I wanted the review to be adequate. I just died in the ramladu fight so it's a good time for a break but I can't wait to finish this off. Thank you for working on this awesome mod.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Tue May 15 2018 5:29am

Oh boy, I wasn't expecting someone to have already nearly beaten the game and such a detailed and long review. I'll try to reply to most individual points.

WARNING: SPOILER!


I updated the download link again with the fixes for battle 5's terrain.

---
Runesamurai wrote:Looks pretty sweet. I don't remember the option to change how often Double Attacks happen being there before. Have you learned how to modify the editor? We really do need someone who can pick up where rubixcuber left off.

Edit: Sorry, I accidentally let this post slide by.

The options to change Double Attack frequency are in the Class and Mechanics tabs of the editor. Unfortunately, I've made no modifications to the editor itself, nor do I know how to.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Runesamurai » Tue May 15 2018 7:33am

Siel wrote:The options to change Double Attack frequency are in the Class and Mechanics tabs of the editor. Unfortunately, I've made no modifications to the editor itself, nor do I know how to.

When I run a normal rom in the editor it looks like this:
Image

But when I tried the rom with your patch it looks like this:
Image

How do you get that to show up?
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Wed May 16 2018 2:01am

Image
help.html wrote:Fix Double Class Setting
If checked, a dropdown will be added to the class editor for selecting the frequency of double attacks. In order to mimic the default behavior, Max / Hanzou should be set to 'Level Bonus'
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby xenometal » Wed May 16 2018 8:05am

I've been playing this over the last few days. :) :thumbsup:

Speaking of double attacks, I noticed you put a rather low 1% there and I was wondering whether you'd rather take them out entirely at this point?
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Runesamurai » Wed May 16 2018 11:08am

Siel wrote:Image
help.html wrote:Fix Double Class Setting
If checked, a dropdown will be added to the class editor for selecting the frequency of double attacks. In order to mimic the default behavior, Max / Hanzou should be set to 'Level Bonus'

Ah thank you very much. I still have not mastered the editor yet.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Wed May 16 2018 11:57pm

xenometal wrote:I've been playing this over the last few days. :) :thumbsup:

Speaking of double attacks, I noticed you put a rather low 1% there and I was wondering whether you'd rather take them out entirely at this point?

I guess lowering them completely to 0 is a possibility instead of trying to retain some of the original game's unpredictability. 1% instead of the default 7% just seemed low enough to make unlucky streaks much less likely while still throwing a wrench at the player from time to time.

Edit: updated download link with a really minor fix: there was a late-game item whose icon I left as a placeholder and forgot to draw for
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby stefanos2k10 » Thu May 17 2018 10:36am

defo gonna give this a whirl when i get time
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby xenometal » Tue May 22 2018 5:33am

Siel wrote:
xenometal wrote:I've been playing this over the last few days. :) :thumbsup:

Speaking of double attacks, I noticed you put a rather low 1% there and I was wondering whether you'd rather take them out entirely at this point?

I guess lowering them completely to 0 is a possibility instead of trying to retain some of the original game's unpredictability. 1% instead of the default 7% just seemed low enough to make unlucky streaks much less likely while still throwing a wrench at the player from time to time.

Edit: updated download link with a really minor fix: there was a late-game item whose icon I left as a placeholder and forgot to draw for

Gotcha. Well, it may have been the fact that you took out damage variance that led me to believe you weren't too fond of randomness. ;)

It certainly did throw a wrench at me anyway; 2 out of 3 deaths so far have been caused by them. (R.I.P. Gort, Arthur and Anri, I'll miss you guys...)

FYI, lowering the odds to 0 won't actually eliminate double attacks; that'll still leave a 1 in 101 chance of them happening, believe it or not! :fear:
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Erikin84 » Tue May 22 2018 5:49pm

Looks cool
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Wed May 30 2018 1:33am

I updated the download link with mostly a few changes to some chapter 6 battles. Other changes are noted in the changelog.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Sniper Lyle » Wed Jun 13 2018 6:20am

Been playing this over the past week or so and having a lot of fun with it.


During the Chaos battle, one of his robots turned into this at some point:

Image

And any time he's involved in an attack the game crashes on the transition. That's a new one for me.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Wed Jun 13 2018 7:16pm

You didn't happen to re-patch the ROM and then load an in-battle savestate, did you? That seems to usually cause this sort of problem.

If you didn't, I guess I'd have to replay up to that battle to see for myself. Nothing seems wrong viewed from the editor, though, and I haven't touched the battle since the initial release.

---

I updated the download link to a newer version with an unrelated fix: some enemies in the last chapter were missing weapons.
Last edited by Siel on Wed Jun 13 2018 7:56pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Runesamurai » Wed Jun 13 2018 7:56pm

Sniper Lyle wrote:Been playing this over the past week or so and having a lot of fun with it.


During the Chaos battle, one of his robots turned into this at some point:

Image

And any time he's involved in an attack the game crashes on the transition. That's a new one for me.

I had something like this happen to me as well with a different rom and mod. You have to be careful not to tamper with certain things.
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