granz' gaming corner

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Projects

— Nobunaga's Ambition (GB) - de-iconify hack —

Here's a quick graphics hack that replaces Nobunaga GB's iconified menu items with descriptive text elements. This hack was done with ease-of-use in mind, for those players who have difficulty remembering the icons' functions.


Download patch: Here (v1.0 - updated 04/09/17)

Apply the patch to a dump of the English-language ROM

  (e.g. "Nobunaga's Ambition (U) [!].gb")

— SaGa 2 (Final Fantasy Legend II) text cleanup and de-localization —

Here is a simple hack that cleans up some of the typos and translation errors in Final Fantasy Legend II. The patch additionally attempts to revert some localization changes, such as censored text and the rebranded title screen logo.

This hack originally started out as an addendum / bugfix to vivify93's earlier "text restoration" hack, but has since evolved into a whole new project.

Special thanks to towerreversed.org for locating the hidden "GP" string in the main menu.

Download patch: Here (v1.0 - updated 10/31/15)

Apply the patch to a dump of the English-language ROM

  (e.g. "Final Fantasy Legend II (Sa-Ga 2) (U) [!].gb")


— Makai Toushi SaGa (Final Fantasy Legend) - "Boss Hardcore" hack ( + bugfixes) —

(Note that the F.F. Legend text / bugfix project I was hosting earlier is now merged with this project, and there will no longer be separate patches.)
This is a rebalancing hack for Final Fantasy Legend, or
Makai Toushi SaGa. This hack is also merged with various bugfixes and text edits contributed by different ROM hackers.

The purpose of this hack is to offset some of the imbalance caused by oversights in character design. For example, esper and monster stats are capped at 99, but humans can have their stats increased beyond this value, all the way up to 255. This makes it possible for humans to exceed the damage cap with some weapons. Considering that the game's major bosses normally have maybe 2000 - 4000 hit points at most, they don't stand a chance versus parties with even a single fully-powered human.

These imbalances are most noticeable by the time the player reaches the fourth world, as by this point, it's extremely easy to grind for money and buy max stat-up items for human characters. With that in mind, most of the (major) statistical changes I've made affect bosses encountered in the later areas of the game.

I had to take into consideration the possibility that players may not use humans at all. With some specific strategies in mind, it's entirely possible to play through the hack with parties consisting only of espers, or mixed parties of humans, espers and monsters.

Download patch: Here (v3.0 - updated 04/20/16)

Huge thanks to towerreversed.org for the helpful editing
tools used to create this hack.

Apply the patch to a dump of the English-language ROM

  (e.g. "Final Fantasy Legend (Sa-Ga) (U) [!].gb")

Overview of Changes...

 — Edits / bugfixes —

 - Edits to the text (mostly items, equipment and abilities) to reflect their respective names in Japanese.
     (Some liberties were taken for clearer context, so the scope isn't entirely literal.)
 - Lots of overruning and broken text strings fixed.
 - Improved item icons.
 - New custom title screen based on a (loose and intently spirited) translation of the Japanese title.
 - Most bugs fixed, courtesy of towerreversed.org
and Skygor.
 - De-censored enemy bitmaps courtesy of towerreversed.org.
 - Most of the quirkiness fixed, such as the "shoe" item that
previously lacked a name.


 — Rebalancing —

 - New items: A "Clear" spell book, which remedies all status ailments; additional shoe-type armor that can be purchased early; and additional curative items for humans, such as a potion that can restore HP to the entire party at once. I had to orphan a few existing items to make room for these changes, but this was limited to arguably less useful remedial items. The lack of a remedy specific to Curse status might be noticeable in the fourth world, but the Clear spell book is available for purchase here.

 - A
rranged items: HP200, HP400, etc. are condensed into a single "Stamina" potion to save time. This approach is also more economical. Grinding during the first world will be a bit more costly, however. The HealRod now restores HP to the entire party, but is slightly less powerful and much more expensive. Since its effectiveness is based on its user's Mana, it's still not very useful in the hands of human characters.

 - None of the transformable monsters' stats have been modified, nor do humans or espers receive any kind of statistical changes. This hack is mostly a rebalancing of the game's major bosses. Some of the minor bosses found in the first world have been powered up a bit. The fiends received twice as much HP in some cases. Various statistics were increased to make boss attacks more powerful.

 - The Def power of major bosses (that are encountered after the chainsaw weapon normally becomes available) has been adjusted to subvert the infamous saw glitch. This makes the bosses much more vulnerable to being damaged by normal weapons, but the aforementioned HP boosts help to compensate for the decreases in Def. Since the monster version of the Saw ability can become available earlier than world four, you can still exploit the glitch against some of the earlier bosses if you feel like going out of your way to do so.

 - Some bosses were given target-all attacks. Of particular note is the final boss, who no longer wastes the first few rounds doing nothing. Be sure to bring along an esper with a Blood sword!


 — To-do —

 - Fix some of the awkward cases and tenses found in the battle text. Character limits are proving to be a challenge.
 - Test additional party setups, and maybe balance the final battle with an all-monster party (or maybe even a solo character) in mind.
 - Maybe: A proper retranslation of all character dialogs. Again, character limits are difficult to work with. At the very least, I may try to clean up some of the awkward grammar and translation quirks.
 - Maybe: Find a way to uncap the damage display without also uncapping character attribute displays. I suppose it's not important since few attacks can reach or exceed the damage cap, and the exceeding value is only 30 or so points higher than the cap.

— Tips for Survival —

 - Try to have at least one or two humans in the party for the fiend battles. (Although, this isn't absolutely necessary - any party can survive.) If you're using an all-monster party, then try to have two or more slime-class monsters available. Be sure your human / esper characters are using weapons that work with their stats. e.g.Humans with high Str should be given Str-based weapons like swords, while espers should have Mana-based weapons or spell books.

 - Most any party setup should work, although some setups will be more difficult than others. Solo challenges may not be possible anymore due to the final boss having a non-resistable instant-KO skill. I'm not sure if an all-monster party can survive this battle, for that matter. If you've been playing with an all-monster party up to this point, then you may want to consider swapping your party members out for other character races at the guild.

 - Don't fret the first few areas of the game. World four is when things really start to get hairy. Try not to leave the third world until you've outfitted your humans and espers with Dragon armor, as you'll definitely need the resistances. (Note that the Dragon helm is called a "Circlet" in my translation.) Be careful about using monsters with elemental weaknesses.

 - Remember that human stats max out at 255, not 99. You should have no trouble grinding for money in the fourth world, so try to max your humans by then. Bosses start to see the most substantial boosts around this time.

 - Have your characters fitted with potions, Cure books or other curative items before heading into major boss fights. You'll probably need to have the party dedicate a few rounds to recovering from attacks like Whirl and Flare. Humans can equip and use Tonics, Potions, XPotions and Curealls during battle, but Elixirs and Revives can be used only on the map.

 - You may need to keep duplicate weapons equipped for some boss fights, as you may run out of weapon uses mid-battle.

 - Sun swords will make quick work of the revived fiends since they're undead.

 -Espers with Blood swords and 99 Mana will prove invaluable against later bosses. Monsters with drain attacks will also be useful. Humans may struggle to stay alive because their curative potential isn't so great, and late-game bosses will be spamming a lot of devastating target-all attacks.

 - If you're up to the challenge, barrier Su-zaku is now the game's version of a superboss with a whopping 10,000 HP and the ability to use FLARE. You can find him roaming the ruins of world four before you've dispelled the barrier. Of course, you can still flee the encounter and just proceed with the story instead. Remember: Once you dispel the barrier, Su-zaku can no longer be fought in the ruins. If you take too long to wear his HP down, he may in fact run out of ability uses and decide to flee.

 - Remember that some of the most useful items are bought from earlier worlds, such as Karate technique from world two, and the Blood sword from world three. You can use the Door item or an esper's Teleprt ability to warp back to any previously visited floor. The second world is accessible from floor 5, while the third world is accessible from floor 10, and the fourth world is located on floor 16. Note that these worlds are still accessible after you've defeated Ashura, but you'll have to warp to them.


— Burntime - text cleanup project —

This is a modification of the dialog files for Burntime that attempts to clean up some of the typos and broken English present in the game.


Simply extract and copy the TXT files to the game's BURN_GFX directory, overwriting the original files in the process.


Download modified files: Here (v1.0 - updated 10/31/15)

— Soldier Force - settings dialog translation —

Soldier Force is a freeware, Windows-only enhanced remake of the classic arcade-style shoot 'em up Star Soldier for the NES. The game's startup configuration dialog was in Japanese only, so I modified the executable and inserted English translations of each of the strings.

Download the English .exe here

Simply copy and paste the .exe file into the game's directory, overriding the original .exe in the process.

If you aren't sure where to download the actual game itself, try
The ISO Zone. I don't think the official developer's site is still around.



—The TI Files —

This section is dedicated to TI-83 projects that I have neither the time nor the programming skills to finish. I decided to archive all of my project assets here for anyone who may want to adopt these projects, rework them into their own projects, or use them for whatever other purpose.
No permissions needed. Click the titles below for the download links.
The Legend of Zelda 83

This was an attempt to port the original LoZ to TI platforms. Many assets are completed, and could probably be adapted for 82, 83 and 84 models. Included is a full tileset, all sprites, most dungeon maps and some
design documentation.
Super Mario Bros. 83

Like Zelda, this was an attempt to port the original SMB to TI platforms. Assets are somewhat scarce,
but most graphics are available. I got around to designing a few of the levels, along with notes about
enemy placement, events, etc.