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[hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Rebalanced classes, higher difficulty, visual improvements, better story

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Tue Jul 17 2018 10:41pm

Thanks for this first retelling, MXC :) The difficulty should ramp up a bit more after the first few battles on Parmecia, I'll be interested to hear if its still a cakewalk for you then. Maybe you guys are cut out from a tougher cloth than I am...

MXC wrote:The dock area changed while fleeing Granseal. Was this intentional?

No, but the "Escape" map is one of those which break when edited in the Caravan, sadly.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Wed Jul 18 2018 4:37pm

I've played this game a lot, and done many challenges/ played hard mods before, so I've got the experience ;) Don't get me wrong, it has been tough in places, but nothing I can't handle...yet. I am very curious to see these promotions though! I was going to post after I got to that point but my workload just skyrocketed, so I'll have to take a bit of a break. My update is below.

WARNING: SPOILER!
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Thu Jul 19 2018 7:00am

MXC wrote:Don't get me wrong, it has been tough in places, but nothing I can't handle...yet.

Mh, I'm curious to see how you'll fare in the final battles after the return to Grans (cue theme music). Although I'm not sure it'll get tougher than the Kraken, higher ATT scaling of enemies without weapons and all.

MXC wrote:lol at Playbird

I hid most of the stupid humor in books. There should be some more coming :)

MXC wrote:I'm getting really tired of poison taking my kill exp though! This battle was tough, and not for the usual zombie reason (I think I only let one get an attack off.) Slade's poison killed two enemies, which resulted in Kazin not getting a level and getting taken to 1 HP. Easily could have lost him.

Uh, you're not doing a zero deaths run as well, are you?
Yeah, that aspect of the poison is a bit annoying - but then again, if a monster died from poisoning, it means that it was about to take another turn, which can end badly ;) I also believe you're about to reach the point where kill XP stops mattering all that much since you never gain the full 49 anyway.

MXC wrote:Ready to get my first Running Pimento aaaaaaaand it's an accessory that hurts my defense. Not cool!

Couldn't make it even easier for you, could I? ;P
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Thu Jul 19 2018 9:47pm

Yeah, I'm trying to avoid having any deaths. When a monster dies from poison, it means it just went, which should mean that I have a while until it goes again and can get EXP to someone that needs it. Oh well, all part of the strategy!

WARNING: SPOILER!


Stopping before Creed's for now :)
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Thu Jul 19 2018 11:02pm

I like your detailed reports. It's really cool to read whatever caught your interest in each battle.


WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Fri Jul 20 2018 5:28pm

WARNING: SPOILER!


I'll stop here for now :)
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Sat Jul 21 2018 12:06pm

MXC wrote:I was also able to bait a Queen into hitting just Jaha while the King and remaining Bishop were far off. Then I managed to lure the Bishop alone??? Did you change how the AI performs in this battle? The King wasn't being an aggressive asshole.

No, I believe the AI should be the same as always, although the king might appear less aggressive due to his lower range (I think 4 instead of 5?). Maybe you just got lucky? I'll have to check in the Caravan, I might have changed this and forgotten about it.


MXC wrote:Aw, the Running Ring isn't as good :(

My quest against the MOV stat continues :D


MXC wrote:Looks like I'll be ditching Chester this time, though I plan on adding Rohde in for May (Janet is already in the caravan lol).

I don't think Rohde will do a lot for you... he's the better option if you have trouble keeping your archers alive or need somebody wo can soak up hits, both which certainly doesn't seem to apply to you.


MXC wrote:I'm having fun putting people to sleep with Kazin's attack though.

It's a class thing - most spellcasters can do that now, including enemies as well as the WZRD class.


MXC wrote:Cave battles are stupid. Kraken Arms! Nice!

Credit goes to Sir Hedge, I stole this idea from his hack :)
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Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Sat Jul 21 2018 5:07pm

I can usually get the Chess battle done the same way, but end up having the last 5ish enemies come in at the same time, so maybe I just used a slightly different tactic or that range really did play a big role.

The issue with May is that, while I haven't let her get hit often, that will change in some of the upcoming battles for various reasons. Essentially, I'm getting ahead of the curve with her. Not to mention, I actually like gunners :) My only gripe is that SF2 shoves most of them in relatively closely (Elric joins before B21, Janet before B24, and Rohde before B25. It's kind of dumb and I think swapping Janet with Skreech would have worked well. Of course, they both suck so whatever :lol: I anticipate having this group through Moun since vanilla SF2 has such poor selection in North Parmecia (4 bad, 1 decent, 1 good character). I'll still check the stats of course :)
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Sat Jul 21 2018 10:00pm

I agree, it's a lot of archer types stacked onto each other at this point in the game.

MXC wrote:I anticipate having this group through Moun since vanilla SF2 has such poor selection in North Parmecia (4 bad, 1 decent, 1 good character). I'll still check the stats of course :)

Don't depend on stats alone, unless you also consider crit probability. Both the BDBTs and the SNPRs have a high crit rating and can be quite deadly.
I'd like to say that all classes have been rebalanced and therefore you shouldn't write off the rest of the North Parmecians, but since Chester & Rick didn't win you over Higins and Jaro probably won't either.

Out of curiosity, who do you consider to be the two decent/good characters in vanilla SF2?
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Sat Jul 21 2018 10:53pm

Rick is fine, but Chester certainly wasn't doing enough for me. I'm feeding him apples (lol) to see how he'll compare at level 10 though. Only Frayja and Gyan are worth using in vanilla. And Frayja is a huge stretch. He doesn't gain spells fast enough at all for me. I really shouldn't have included him. And Gyan is outclassed by the other warrior characters, but not always.
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Mon Jul 23 2018 12:12am

MXC wrote:And Frayja is a huge stretch. He doesn't gain spells fast enough at all for me.

Agreed, his spell progression is really weird. Personally, I feel that his healing capabilities would be sufficient to have him in the party, and the attack spell is certainly an argument for that, but I still never use him.

I have sometimes used Taya, though. Her stats may be inferior to other SORCs, but less def or HP only matter so much when all you need is to DAO stuff into oblivion.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Tue Jul 24 2018 2:15am

My beef with her is her crappy spell progression too. But hey, if you happened to miss the Secret Book, she's great to have.

WARNING: SPOILER!


And I'll stop there for now so I can recover!
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Tue Jul 24 2018 10:22pm

MXC wrote:But hey, when the hell is Sarah going to get Heal 3? She probably would have as a Cleric, and I'm beginning to wonder if that would have been a better idea. I'm still not struggling but it has made an impact on my kill strategies a few times!

Actually, she should have already, unless she is still below level 4 which seems unlikely given where you currently are in the game. I think this might be a bug. Do you remember at which level you promoted her?

EDIT: A patched version of the .ips has been uploaded (link on the frontpage remains the same) which should fix the problem (not for you, MXC, unfortunately - I'd like to encourage you to use SF2edit to edit Sarah's spells so she'll learn Heal 3 whenever she gets her next level up). In one of the last updates of the hack I have apparently added Heal 4 to the spell list of MMNKs on a whim, not realizing that it will mess up the spell progression.

MXC wrote:Also, spawning worms? From what, the wood?! These aren't termites!

They crawled up from below the bridge, Cameela summoned them, they rolled a natural 20 on a stealth check, take your pick ;P

MXC wrote:The ONLY reason I survived that battle is because I muddled and put a bunch of stuff to sleep. Glad those spells have some use finally! By far the hardest battle so far.

Bwa ha ha, finally! I spent a lot of time testing what would be the perfect point to spawn worms for a pincer movement. Given that they all have unarmed attacks, it's not surprising that this was a difficult trap on Super. I hope you at least had some casualties! :D
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Fri Jul 27 2018 7:26pm

Actually, no deaths on Pangoat. When I say "survive" I mean that I almost lost someone :lol:

I was going to point out the MMNK spell progression to you since I dug into it, but I took so long posting this update that you already got to it :)

WARNING: SPOILER!


Not much of an update but I'm swamped again. Still, I have a new looking party for the first time in long time!
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Sat Jul 28 2018 9:23am

MXC wrote:Battle 30 - Pretty normal battle, but these Orc Lords take forever to kill. Nobody died, though Luke should have on 2 occasions. Do you bump up his dodge rate?

Nope, I wouldn't know how one could do that. Seems you got lucky :)

MXC wrote:Actually, no deaths on Pangoat. When I say "survive" I mean that I almost lost someone :lol:

I'll have to put my faith in the Greater Devils, although since you've apparently already disposed of Zalbard without much trouble... I had expected that he'll be more of a challenge, given his Bolt magic and the fact that he does unarmed attacks.

MXC wrote:Taya joins and I'm pretty sure I'm going to put her in my party, without even looking at her stats. Kazin has been a lifesaver when it comes to taking out pesky high-DEF units.

Do you feel that the SORCs are too powerful? And do you use Aether Essences / Fairy Tears, btw?
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Sat Jul 28 2018 1:08pm

I don’t typically have issues with Zalbard. He cast Bolt one just Jaha and Gerhalt, so they ran away to get healed. He did try to kill Luke, but he dodged. Other than that, he just got picked apart.

Sorcerers seem fine since their spells are so expensive. I’ve used a few restoring items but I mostly just conserve MP
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Mon Jul 30 2018 6:30pm

When I played this hack on a regular difficulty I found Zalbard challenging (when trying to keep everyone alive) because of his double turns alone, and I assume that on SUPER everyone but the tanks might be in danger of getting one-shotted... Cameela shouldn't pose much of a problem for you, then. I guess the next candidate for trouble might be Geshp, but let's see how you'll fare until that point.

MXC wrote:Sorcerers seem fine since their spells are so expensive. I’ve used a few restoring items but I mostly just conserve MP

Good to know. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the classes once you've finished the playthrough.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby DiegoMM » Mon Jul 30 2018 9:53pm

Your hack is not easy, its MXC that is a super pro. lol
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby Jonesy_Pants » Tue Jul 31 2018 1:51am

has anyone tried this with gensplusdroid on mobile phones? all of my sf2 time is on my phone whilst travelling or waiting for things. I only jump on a PC when doing the team effort so i can save etc.
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Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Tue Jul 31 2018 5:38pm

DiegoMM wrote:Your hack is not easy, its MXC that is a super pro. lol

Yeah, but still, I mean playing on SUPER and he hasn't lost anybody yet? Black magic's gotta be involved there, I'm telling you :D

Jonesy Pants wrote:has anyone tried this with gensplusdroid on mobile phones? all of my sf2 time is on my phone whilst travelling or waiting for things. I only jump on a PC when doing the team effort so i can save etc.

I can confirm that this hack works on mobile emulators, I've been playing it on MD.emu as well as RetroArch and whatever the mobile version of GENS was called. No experience with GENPlusDroid, though.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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