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FFT: Minimal - A Difficulty Hack ( v .01 )

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So while I was taking a break from working on CCP more than a few ideas floated past me that I thought might be interesting in a patch, but none of them fit for CCP. I just compiled a list of random things and after a while felt like a combination of those might make for an interesting difficulty hack. I have also shamelessly borrowed from other patch ideas for some of the formatting of things here, so if you see something familiar don't be too surprised. So without further ado, let's get into the meat of what will be my next hack- FFT:Minimal.

Minimal is a difficulty hack based around limiting player options. There are less jobs, less skills and less equipment choices available to the player but the AI will not be held back nearly as much. Not quite sure what else to preface this with so I'll just resort to lists of changes since I'm good at those.

- Players only get access to eight job classes (base-8), plus Mime for reaching Job Level 6 in all eight of the base classes.
- All of the base-8 are accessible from the start of the game.
- None of the base-8 have any innate skills.
- None of the base-8 skills require MP. CT is required on most skills (possibly all except item skills - I'll have to check.)
- All skills cost 200 JP to purchase.
- All Equip X support skills have been removed.
- Weapon types have been reduced to the following list: Sword, Axe, Mace, Longbow, Knife, Pole, and Staff.
- Permanent Brave/Faith alteration has been removed.
- Equipment costs have been standardized by chapter.
- Most status effects have had their CT durations increased greatly, whereas Death Sentence has been reduced from 3 to 2.

I'll put together a list of the ASM hacks I've applied at the bottom of this. That should cover most of the other smaller changes and things to watch for. For now though, this extremely early release will focus on the base-8, so I'll try to cover those a bit more in detail here.

"Hard to kill and bearing bladed weapons, the Fighter can take out multiple enemies with a single swing."

This class was designed to take damage and give it back in moderation. They only really have any functionality at close-quarters but they also get the most equipment access. They have some limited boosting skills as well. Built for the long haul, the fighter is likely to be the foundation of any successful party...but feel free to prove me wrong.
Equipment: Knife, Sword, Axe, Shield, Helmet, Heavy Armor, Accessories.

Spin Slash: Close range attack that strikes all adjacent panels.
Wave Slash: A short range linear strike that drives through enemies.
Big Swing: A wide, powerful swing that can strike multiple enemies directly ahead.
Inspire: Word skill that raises one unit's Brave.
Zealotry: Word skill that raises one unit's Faith.
Dragon Spirit: Gain Reraise status when dealt physical damage.
Defense Up: Physical attack damage is reduced by 20%.
Move Hp-Up: Recover some HP after moving.

"Skilled with the longbow, the Ranger is unmatched in ranged martial combat."

With an inverse design to the Fighter, the Ranger is built to hit hard, hit fast and hit from far away. However, they are much less able to withstand damage. If they do get up close with enemies they have skills to help damage multiple targets at once, but they will be best utilized from a distance sniping at individual foes. Also in contrast to the Fighter, they have a pair of debilitating skills.
Equipment: Knife, Longbow, Hat, Cloth Armor, Accessories.

Multishot: Short range skill that can hit multiple targets in a small area.
Piercing Shot: Fire a single arrow through a line of enemies.
Cover Fire: Choose an area of the battlefield to rain arrows upon repeatedly.
Insult: Reduces the Brave of one target.
Instill Doubt: Reduces the Faith of one target.
Counter: Counter with a physical attack when dealt physical damage.
Attack Up: Increase physical damage dealt by 20%.
Move +1: Increase Move range by 1 panel.

"Healers bring the means of restoring life to allies, tending wounds during battle and removing debilitating magics from allies."

One of the major support members of any team, the Healer will have skills indispensable to every party. Physically weak, they bring the means of restoring your team to full operating capacity as the battles wear on. They can also crack some skulls if desperate.
Equipment: Knife, Staff, Crown, Cloth Armor, Accessories.

Cure: White magic that recovers a small amount of HP.
Healing: A slower but more powerful version of Cure. Affects a wider area as well.
Remove Toxins: Removes harmful toxins from the body - Cancel: Darkness, Poison.
Remove Paralysis: Removes various forms of paralysis - Cancel: Don't Move, Don't Act, Silence.
Remove Madness: Restores mental stability - Cancel: Berserk, Charm, Confusion.
Restore Time: Returns targets to a normal flow of time - Cancel: Slow, Stop, Haste.
Restore Body: Returns a body to its natural state - Cancel: Undead, Petrify, Frog, Blood Suck
Restore Soul: Revives a fallen ally - Cancel: Dead.
Regenerator: Gain Regen status when dealt HP damage.
Magic Defend Up: Reduces magical damage taken by 20%.
Float: Float 1h above the ground.

"Magicians control elemental magic to destroy their opponents from afar."

Magicians are designed to drop elemental damage on enemies from long distances. Predictably, they give up any real ability in close combat for that ability.
Equipment: Knife, Staff, Crown, Cloth Armor, Accessories.

Scorch: Black magic erupts in a blazing inferno. Fire elemental.
Zap: Black magic strikes down with a shocking lightning bolt. Lightning elemental.
Freeze: Black magic coalesces into a boulder of ice. Ice elemental.
Tempest: Black magic batters a target with violent wind. Wind elemental.
Tremor: Black magic tears the earth beneath a target asunder. Earth elemental.
Drench: Black magic drowns a target in a violent deluge. Water elemental.
Shine: Black magic pierces an enemy with searing light. Holy elemental.
Fade: Black magic crushes an enemy with pure negative energy. Dark elemental.
Counter Flood: Counter physical attack with Geomancy.
Magic Attack Up: Increases magic damage dealt by 20%.
Move MP-Up: Recover a small amount of MP after moving.

"Custodians bring beneficial magic to the aid of their allies and are hardy warriors as well."

The Custodian is in charge of keeping your team ahead of the curve with various buff spells. They're also no slouch when it comes to close-quarters combat, but they generally won't hold up as well as a Fighter. They also generally have the widest access to non-weapon equipment.
Equipment: Knife, Pole, Shield, Helmet, Hat, Crown, Light Armor, Cloth Armor, Accessories.

Defense: Grants a unit special defense against some attacks - Add: Defending.
Float: Distorts space and makes a unit float 1h over the ground - Add: Float.
Reraise: Grants temporary immunity from death - Add: Reraise.
Invisibility: Makes one target invisible - Add: Transparent.
Regen: Slowly restores one target's HP over time - Add: Regen.
Protect: Protects a unit from physical attacks with magical armor - Add: Protect.
Shell: Protects a unit from magical attacks with an invisible shield - Add: Shell.
Haste: Increases speed by accelerating time - Add: Haste.
Pray Faith: Fill a target's soul with faith - Add: Faith.
Reflect: Reflects magic by inverting space - Add: Refect.
Quick: Vastly increases the passage of time, hastening AT - CT = 100.
Damage Split: Shift damage from yourself to your enemy when dealt HP damage.
Wall: Start the battle with magical protection - Start: Protect, Shell.
Dash: Begin battle with speed boosting magic - Start: Haste.

"Doomsayers know how to place a variety of curses upon their enemies, making most battles little more than clean-up."

Having a mastery over bad status effects, the Doomsayer can quickly cripple an enemy's team with their skills. They don't present any amazing capacity in physical combat but they do have some skill there, much like the Custodian.
Equipment: Knife, Pole, Hat, Crown, Light Armor, Cloth Armor, Accessories.

Slow: Decreases speed by slowing the passage of time - Add: Slow.
Stop: Puts a target in stasis, preventing its AT from occuring - Add: Stop.
Blind: Blinds enemies and lowers the success rate of their physical attacks - Add: Darkness.
Immobilize: Breaks space apart, making it impossible to move - Add: Don't Move.
Paralyze: Magic that doesn't allow the enemy to take action - Add: Don't Act.
Lullaby: Immediately puts enemies to sleep - Add: Sleep.
Silence Song: Mutes enemies, making it impossible for them to cast spells - Add: Silence.
Poison: Creates a poison inside the bodies of your enemies, gradually lowering their HP over time - Add: Poison.
Blind Rage: Releases the desire to destroy in an enemy, turning them wild - Add: Berserk.
Zombify: Magic that brings bodily death - Add: Undead.
Confusion Song: Makes an enemy lose rationality and act confused - Add: Confusion.
Dispel Magic: Cancels positive status effects with a neutralizing energy field - Cancel: Float, Reraise, Transparent, Regen, Protect, Shell, Haste, Faith, Reflect.
Jinx: Counter with a curse of ill fortune - Random: Undead, Darkness, Confusion, Silence, Oil, Berserk, Frog, Poison, Slow, Stop, Innocent, Charm, Sleep, Don't Move, Don't Act.
Hexproof: Gain immunity to some status effects - Cancel: Darkness, Poison, Silence, Frog, Confusion.
Fleetfoot: Move faster, increasing your Speed by 1.

"The Forsaker is interested in little more than destroying the enemy's equipment - or just taking it as their own."

A very middle-ground sort of unit, the Forsaker doesn't excel in any particular field of combat. They only work well from close up, most of their skills focusing on either stealing or just plain destroying enemy equipment. The choice of whether to steal or just destroy is ultimately up to you.

Life Drain: Steal the very life out of a target and make it yours. Absorbs HP.
Steal Helmet: Steal an enemy's equipped helmet.
Steal Armor: Steal an enemy's equipped armor.
Steal Shield: Steal an enemy's equipped shield.
Steal Weapon: Steal an enemy's equipped weapon.
Sunder Helmet: Destroy an enemy's equipped helmet.
Sunder Armor: Destroy an enemy's equipped armor.
Sunder Shield: Destroy an enemy's equipped shield.
Sunder Weapon: Destroy an enemy's equipped weapon.
Weapon Guard: Parry attacks with equipped weapon.
Maintenance: Equipped items become immune to theft or destruction.
Uncanny Dodge: Cannot be flanked. Retain 'front' evasion from the sides and back.

"Armed with a plethora of trinkets, the Chandler assists allies from near and far."

Last but not least is the Chander, our resident item user. The sole unit capable of using Maces, they can deliver dangerous blows to the enemy's defenses as well as keep your allies in the fight with their trinkets, some of which will be familiar.
Equipment: Knife, Mace, Shield, Hat, Light Armor, Accessories.

Potion: Recovers 50 HP.
Phoenix Down: Revives dead units - Cancel: Dead
Antidote: Neutralizes poison in the body - Cancel: Poison.
Soft: Used to cure petrified state - Cancel: Petrify.
Echo Grass: Lets you cast magic again - Cancel: Silence.
Maiden's Kiss: Returns you to your original shape - Cancel: Frog.
Holy Water: Restores life to the undead - Cancel: Undead, Blood Suck.
Eye Drop: Restores sight - Cancel: Darkness.
Hermes Shoes: Allows faster movement for a short time - Add: Haste.
Steel Curtain: Protects from physical damage - Add: Protect.
Shining Curtain: Shields from magic damage - Add: Shell.
Moon Curtain: Turns aside magic spells - Add: Reflect.
Auto Potion: Use a potion in response to HP damage.
Throw Item: Allows you to toss items to your allies from a distance.
Move-Find Item: Discover hidden items at your location.

So there are the new classes. As you can see, they each have only one Reaction, Support and Move skill and some of those that persist from Vanilla aren't all exactly the same as they were. Since I started typing all this my brain has gone kinda numb so I'm just gonna list the ASM hacks here and post the PPF for now.

- ARH v1.2 for weapon restricted skills. (Fighter, Ranger)
- ALMA 3 for various skills.
- No Starting Items.
- Undead take 25% MaxHP Damage from Phoenix Down.
- JP Scroll Glitch Fix v1.1.
- Attack Up/Magic Attack Up/Defense Up/Magic Defense Up effect becomes 20%.
- Weapon Strike Fix.
- Remove permanent Brave/Faith alteration 2.0.
- No Gil received after battles.
- FDC's Weapon Routine Rewrite ->
- Axes and Maces use formula Rdm((PA/2)...PA+(PA/2))*WP.
- Swords use formula (PA+SP)/2*WP.
- Longbows use formula PA*WP.
- No JP Spillover Hack.
- Raven's Shop Inventory Hack.

Another technical note: this does NOT use a restructured ISO and still contains only the vanilla sprites (except for some palette swaps on the Archer which doubles as the Ranger for now - they should be very distinguishable.) Hopefully this will cut down on some of the issues I was having with making PSP eboots of CCP among other issues.

For now v.01 only implements the base-8, new equipment costs per chapter and new loot rewards for event battles until the end of Chapter 1. ENTDs are otherwise mostly unedited. The opening battle at Orbonne has had all but one unit removed so players can more quickly start Chapter 1. You will start with a team of 6 generics, each with a different class and equipment. Ramza starts as a Fighter and the only job not represented as an option at Gariland is the Chandler (which was left out since you start with no items.)

As always, questions, comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. If they weren't I wouldn't be posting this, now would I? :3

So I was trying this out.. In the opening battle, I got to my first turn with Ramza, and as I was looking around at skills, I checked out Big Swing, and the game crashed as soon as I selected a square. Any idea why this might happen?

I'm glad axes made the cut :) looks good!

@Zaen: I had that same thing happen to me when I was first testing the skills to see if they worked at all. Crashed psxfin 1.13, I loaded it back up, used the skill again and there was no crash. I have no idea what that's about. While testing in ePSXe 1.7.0 though I've had no problems. I can only assume its a conflict with one of the other hacks (either ARH 1.2 or the Weapon Routine Redesign since that skill is affected by both) that the emulator just doesn't care for but I didn't find it to be a consistent problem. Since I can't recreate the error I'm not sure how to handle it. If worst comes to worst I can loosen the restrictions on that skill later so it doesn't get affected by those hacks.

Hmm... ok. I've been using ePSXe 1.6.0 due to conflicts in the past, but I might feel persuaded to try again soon with the updated version.


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