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Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth

Started by Bosola, September 10, 2012, 09:45:56 am

Bosola

FFVII: Rebirth is a strategic mod and comprehensive rebalance of the PSX classic Final Fantasy VII.

Disc One Demo (NTSC PSX) | ModDB Page

What's it all about?

Wooing millions since its release in 1997, inspiring fanart, fiction, a series of spinoff games and even a full-budget movie, it's tempting to fit Final Fantasy VII with the title 'Greatest. Game. Ever'. And I'll agree, it's an awesome game - but, as much as I love FF7, as much I enjoy playing through it over, and over, there's always been a nagging suspicion: could it be... better?

Let's be honest. The battles can get a little too samey, there's little incentive to experiment with materia, and the game can all to easily be bested by simply attacking and spamming Cure-All. We've all heard horror stories about players who have managed to push themselves to the Northern Crater without even grasping the basics of the materia system.

This mod - this rebalance - seeks to address these issues, altering battle mechanics and creating new enemies, nerfing overpowered skills whilst promoting others that have been neglected, introducing new tactics, creating cunning and entertaining creatures, and overall making battles far more exciting and engaging. You won't be able to mash attack to get through REBIRTH. You'll have to keep your wits as sharp as your sword, and think carefully about every choice you make through the entire game.

I think you'll love it.

So what, specifically, have you changed?

Lots of things - but of particular note:

       
  • A fleshed out elemental system, where each monster belongs to a class with consistent elemental affinities. Use Holy, Water and Wind magic to decimate your foes

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  • A revised status system, with debuff spells actually worth using, a more dangerous Poison status ("Disease") and memorable patterns of enemy vulnerabilities

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  • Equipment that offers double-edged 'sidegrades' rather than simple 'upgrades'. Weapons that trade in damage output for situational advantages; armour choices that matter.

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  • More distinct characters with stronger differences in stats and roles.

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  • Double-edged spells and limits that can be compounded with accessories to create killer tactics. Will you use a Headband so you can use Lullaby (sleep on all) without putting yourself to sleep? Or would you rather keep the slot for a Zombie Ring, that doubles strength at the cost of preventing healing? These are the sorts of challenges Rebirth will constantly throw at you.

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  • Faster, more dangerous enemies

Here's an example of the 'tactical gameplay' I'm talking about - Rebirth's revision of the Materia Keeper battle:



OK, I'm interested. What next?

I released a Disc One demo for the US PSOne release earlier this year. You can find it here. Alternatively, keep an eye on the mod's ModDB Page to find out when the finished version is finally ready to play.

Xifanie

September 10, 2012, 10:23:32 am #1 Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 02:49:11 pm by Xifanie
I played this... always use savestates and be cautious of things like Cosmo Memory/All creation which were tried to be moved to lvl2 limits but will essentially cause major graphical glitches at least, and freeze/crash your game at worst, and there's no telling when it will happen... A lot of bosses will have a buggy script, notably the big machine when you motorcycle escape Midgar gave me a lot of trouble, and since I wasn't able to manually beat it before encountering a bug in what, 5-6 tries, I just hacked its HP to 1 and smacked it. Never play this on a console. Yeah, some of the newer materias are buggy too.

Overall the changes are very interesting IMO and the difficulty's good, but damn, for me all the bugs ruined my experience.

Poison/Disease is a BITCH. You can't heal yourself in any way until you cure it.
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Bosola

...I wasn't aware of any issues with the limit breaks. This is quite concerning.

What emulator did you play on?

QuoteI just hacked its HP to 1 and smacked it.


If it's a Data Error, there's no need. Just hit R1 + L1 + Select and you'll continue to the next scene, as though the battle was won.

These issues should be fixed in the next release, however.

Xifanie

September 10, 2012, 07:15:19 pm #3 Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 07:22:17 pm by Xifanie
Oh wow, I had no idea; I thought it would reset the game XD

I played on pSX 1.13

Yeah using those limit breaks did things like having the whole VRAM appear on the visible screen for a few moments, or worst, just freeze on a black when loading a town after using such a limit. The only thing I found to fix it was to save on a MC and reload after resetting the game. And Cosmo Memory/All Creation still use the original limits graphics/sound, but with a buggy camera.

Oh regarding the materia bugs... I mainly noticed things like materias keeping their original Add Status materia effects. Elements seems to be handled differently and those were fine. I think some materias were missing stars or something... can't remember well.
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Eternal

Perhaps I'll try this when it's updated. Bosola, any idea when that'll be?
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL
"You, no less human than we? Ha! Now there's a beastly thought. You've been less than we from the moment your baseborn father fell upon your mother in whatever gutter saw you sired! You've been chattel since you came into the world drenched in common blood!"
  • Discord username: eternal248#1817

Bosola

Quote from: Xifanie on September 10, 2012, 07:15:19 pm
Yeah using those limit breaks did things like having the whole VRAM appear on the visible screen for a few moments, or worst, just freeze on a black when loading a town after using such a limit.


Strange. That shouldn't really be anything to do with the mod - if the animation pointers are broken, you'll get a Data Error, but nothing that should cause issues on the field like making loading a town crash. I've never seen an issue like that in testing. Have you played the original on that emulator without any problems?

The animations themselves are untouched besides being re-assigned to different limits, so the graphical errors are puzzling too. I haven't tested the limits on pSX, however, so I'll look into this.

QuoteAnd Cosmo Memory/All Creation still use the original limits graphics/sound, but with a buggy camera.


Hmm, I probably forgot to update all the camera angles. That's something I can definitely fix.

QuoteOh regarding the materia bugs... I mainly noticed things like materias keeping their original Add Status materia effects.


I will look into this. It's possible that there are text changes that still need to be made for some materia.

QuotePerhaps I'll try this when it's updated. Bosola, any idea when that'll be?


Probably around December time. I need to fix up these bugs and start finalizing the changes to discs two and three.

Xifanie

September 11, 2012, 08:32:01 am #6 Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 11:57:30 am by Xifanie
I've beaten the game on that emulator not with the original version, but with Hardtype, which doesn't really touch anything else other than very basic stuff. Got my level 4 limits for everyone and encountered no problem. The only thing I have ever encountered was an AI bug (something which wasn't even altered), something which seems very frequent in Rebirth.

Bosola, I don't know if you're the one that made those ASM hacks, but you have to be careful. If some things don't work on pSX 1.13, they likely won't on the real console, and other emulators. If it works on ePSXe, it likely means your hacks were not coded properly because ePSXe will bypass some things which will normally bug on the real console. You have to follow some guidelines which you can find here: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=7346.0

What I meant by the limits using original limit animations/sound is that for me, Cosmo Memory (lvl 2-2 limit) used Stardust Ray's animation/sound and also the damage data because it was multi-hit, and I suspect, Cosmo Memory's camera. Out of the 4 times I tried that limit, only once did it not cause fatal glitches afterwards.

It's not like you can just tell people to use ePSXe either, I run on Linux and pSX is the only emulator I know for sure I can use.
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Bosola

Quote from: Xifanie on September 11, 2012, 08:32:01 am
I've beaten the game on that emulator not with the original version, but with Hardtype, which doesn't really touch anything else other than very basic stuff. Got my level 4 limits for everyone and encountered no problem. The only thing I have ever encountered was an AI bug (something which wasn't even altered), something which seems very frequent in Rebirth.


Enemy AI is exactly the same as vanilla; only player AI scripts have been changed. Are you talking about Data Errors? They're an exception raised when there's issues with an animation. AI issues in VII usually mean that characters stop acting, but no errors appear and ATB bars fill as normal. Is that something you've seen?

Quote
Bosola, I don't know if you're the one that made those ASM hacks, but you have to be careful. If some things don't work on pSX 1.13, they likely won't on the real console, and other emulators. If it works on ePSXe, it likely means your hacks were not coded properly because ePSXe will bypass some things which will normally bug on the real console. You have to follow some guidelines which you can find here: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=7346.0


There's not much ASM work in that demo except Gemini's MDef fix. I wouldn't expect any issues with things like undocumented BIOS calls tripping up in certain emulators.

Quote
What I meant by the limits using original limit animations/sound is that for me, Cosmo Memory (lvl 2-2 limit) used Stardust Ray's animation/sound and also the damage data because it was multi-hit, and I suspect, Cosmo Memory's camera. Out of the 4 times I tried that limit, only once did it not cause fatal glitches afterwards.


But the issues occurred out of battle? Hmm, that's very, very puzzling. I will have to investigate this. Thanks for raising it, anyway.

Xifanie

Depends, for the limits, issue-wise one time the VRAM popped up for a few seconds at the victory dance, and usually I can't enter any location after the battle is over.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot... but there's an item with a glitched name you can sell for 2 billion gil, which you can steal from the first boss at the reactor notably. I'm rather a completionist when it comes to stealing, and got 3 of them before I stopped playing. The name itself glitches the game and I've had the game freeze when trying to use a tent once; but this might have been caused by the limit break bug, I'm not 100% sure. It's not the easiest item to get rid of since you can pretty much only sell it, and for 2 billion, it's kinda game killing. I'm pretty sure you're already aware of this though.

Did you change the limits through an editor?
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Bosola

September 11, 2012, 02:32:48 pm #9 Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 02:39:06 pm by Bosola
Quote from: Xifanie on September 11, 2012, 01:44:51 pm
Depends, for the limits, issue-wise one time the VRAM popped up for a few seconds at the victory dance,


Stupid question, but are you sure you didn't hit the VRAM key by mistake? pSX allows developers to see the state of the video ram at any time by hitting a key (F12 in the Windows build, maybe something else on the Linux version). Because I cannot see any way the limit modifications could have caused an issue like that - I changed no animations, just a few indices. And I cannot replicate the issue (at least on Windows).

Quoteand usually I can't enter any location after the battle is over.


Again, I can't replicate this, and I haven't heard of anyone else having this issue.

Did the pSX console (as in, the output terminal) give you any errors or warnings?

QuoteOh yeah, I almost forgot... but there's an item with a glitched name you can sell for 2 billion gil, which you can steal from the first boss at the reactor notably. I'm pretty sure you're already aware of this though.


Yes, I'm well aware of this. It's just a bad steal reference giving you item 0xFF. Just leave the item alone, it won't do you any harm.

Quote
Did you change the limits through an editor?


I wrote the editor.

Limit break data is stored in an executable fragment named LIMTMENU.MNU . The limits themselves are simply blocks of attack attributes including animation and camera action indices. The animation data itself is completely separate; the rest of the executable is simply the logic behind the 'Limit' menu you see when you hit triangle.

I did, however, uncover a pretty stupid mistake I'd made - I'd swapped the animation and camera data for Stardust Ray and Cosmo Memory, AND swapped the limit skill positions in the character progression data (part of a file called the KERNEL.BIN). The result is an early Cosmo Memory with Cosmo's camera but everything else from Stardust Ray, and vice-versa. That's pretty derptastic on my part, and should be straightforward to fix.

Xifanie

pSX = emulator
PSX = console

Sadly, I can't test on console as my CD/DVD burner has been long dead. I won't deny the possibility of something else causing those fatal glitches, but I've only experienced them after using those limits (coincidence or not). Can you link me to your editor? I'll try messing a bit with the limits and see what I can do. Sadly I lost my Rebirth saves, overwritten by the other version of the game.

I didn't activate the VRAM display, it actually appeared right on the display screen, partially covering it, but not entirely, for a few seconds. It is POSSIBLE it was an emulator bug, because I've never seen such a thing in my life, but how would anyone trigger something like that?
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Bosola

September 11, 2012, 03:33:41 pm #11 Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:49:26 pm by Bosola
QuoteCan you link me to your editor? I'll try messing a bit with the limits and see what I can do. Sadly I lost my Rebirth saves, overwritten by the other version of the game.


Certainly. You can find LiBrE (Limit Break Editor) here. Do be aware I modified Red's limit skills in the KERNEL.BIN character data too - to modify that, you'll need WallMarket.

QuoteI didn't activate the VRAM display, it actually appeared right on the display screen, partially covering it, but not entirely, for a few seconds. It is POSSIBLE it was an emulator bug, because I've never seen such a thing in my life, but how would anyone trigger something like that?


I don't know. It's very odd. Did you see it with a particular limit break, or all of them?