Author Topic: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2 & v4.3)  (Read 19741 times)

Tirlititi

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[FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2 & v4.3)
« on: 2015-08-26 18:21:40 »
Final Fantasy IX : Alternate Fantasy is a mod aiming to increase the difficulty and, above all, to give a new experience of FF9 for those who already know the game well.

┌──────────────────────┐
§  PlayStation Version (US)  §
└────┬────────────┬────┘
§ Steam Version §
└────────────┘

For the PSX version, you install it by applying a PPF patch to the original game files. You can use the tool PPF-O-MATIC that is included in the mod archive.

For the Steam version, you directly replace some of the game's files by the modded ones.

What are the modifications?
A lot of them. Most are gameplay related but a few of them are also scenaristical. There are two kinds of scenaristical changes :
1) A few dialogs that were suppressed during the game's development were put back in this mod. It includes the dialogs from the "Hidden Dialogs" patch plus a few others for which only the texts were kept.
2) Beatrix can be permanently recruited after getting the airship (optional). Cutscenes are changed from this point onward to include Beatrix in them (Steam version only).

The main things now.

Abilities, be it the player characters' or the enemies' ones, have been modified.
One of the point of the mod is too enhance the statuses. Some basic spells deal statuses additionnally to their damage.

Here is a list of the principal changes in the player's abilities :

Zidane
Trance skills deal much less damage
What's that?! inflicts Blind to everyone now
Annoy has been replaced by Free Energy : a regular attack with 100% accuracy and no backrow reduce
Sacrifice has been replaced by Regenerate : use an ether on the team
Lucky Seven has been replaced by Warm Up : increase Zidane's strength by 25%
Thievery has been replaced by Transcend : bring Zidane to Trance

Vivi
Fire spells have a chance to inflict Heat (base : 5%, 10% and then 20%)
Ice spells have a chance to inflict Freeze (base : 5%, 10% and then 20%)
Thunder spells have a chance to inflict Slow (base : 10%, 20% and then 40%)
Slow has been replaced by Annoy (80% of inflicting trouble)
Demi has been balanced from 30% of max HP with 40% accuracy to 25% of max HP for 80% accuracy
Death has been replaced by Gradual Petrify (75% accuracy)
Break is now an Earth elemental attack in addition to inflicting Petrify (30% accuracy)
Water sometimes inflict Shell to its targets
Meteor has been replaced by Waterga : Water damage plus Silence (50% accuracy)

White Magic
Panacea only cures Poison but is multi-targeting
Stona only cures Gradual Petrify but is multi-targeting
Confuse and Berserk are now magical attacks in addition to inflicting statuses
Most of status-inflicting spells have their accuracy upscaled
Holy sometimes inflict Regen to its target

Dagger
The full powered Ark now deal damage twice, allowing to deal more than 9999

Eiko
Fenril is a wind eidolon by default

Quina
LV5 Death has been replaced by LV5 Flare : inflict non-elemental damage to enemies with lvl multiple of 5
LV4 Holy has been replaced by LV4 Def-less : randomly decrease defence of enemies with lvl multiple of 4
LV3 Def-less has been replaced by LV3 Aerial Slash : inflict Wind damage to enemies with lvl multiple of 3
Doom has been replaced by Lightning : Thunder damage plus Silence to one target (50% accuracy)
Roulette has been replaced by Self-Destruct : convert Quina's current HP into damage on all the enemies
Aqua Breath has 75% accuracy instead of 50%
Matra Magic has been replaced by Zombie Breath : non-elemental damage plus Zombie on one target (20% accuracy)
Limit Glove has been replaced by HP Switching : switch Quina's current HP with an ally's ones
Twister has 50% to inflict Float in addition to its Wind damage
Earth Shake has 100% to inflict Slow in addition to its Earth damage
Frog Drop has been replaced by Devil's Snack : use a Dead Pepper on all enemies
Freeze has been replaced by Cocytos : Ice damage and inflict Slow on one target (100%)
Mustard Bomb has been replaced by Phlegethon : Fire damage and inflict Haste on one target (100%)

Freya
Lancer's damage are increased, as well as its MP cost
Dragon Breath has been replaced by Dragon Life : apply Auto-Life on Freya
Six Dragons has became single-targeting for 15 MP
Cherry Blossom is more powerful
Dragon's Crest has been replaced by Ikari : deal physical damage and Trouble to all the enemies (50%)

Amarant
Aura has been replaced by Starburst : deal 60 times an enemy's level as damage
Demi Shock's accuracy has been upscaled from 50% to 80%
Countdown has been replaced by Concentrate : increase an ally's Magic by 33% for 28 MP

Steiner
Iai Strike has been replaced by Quadraslash : a physical attack using the elemental power of Fire, Ice, Thunder and Water
The accuracy of the 4 break abilities have been upscaled
Thunder Slash now inflict 21% of target's max HP as thunder damage
Climhazzard has been replaced by a weaker Shock : deal 2 times the physical damage on one target
Shock has been replaced by Sword Dance : deal 2 times the physical damage on all enemies ; it's a magical attack

Marcus
Added 2 abilities for the time he is with you on the disc 2 : Strong Hit (more damage but harm Marcus) and Contaminate (100% to inflict Poison)

Also,
Ragtime Mouses Quizz has been refreshed
The enemies are stronger and more resistant
The most frustrating bug of the game has been corrected : the last Tetra Master rank displays properly
Few weapons can be used by several characters (for instance, Dagger can use the... dagger)
The ultimate weapons give a big boost to main characteristics (Strength, Magic, Speed and Spirit)
Enemies' spells have been modified using similar principles as the player's spells
Phoenix Pinions now cure Doom ; they also cost and sell cheaper
A mini-game has been re-added at the beginning of disc 3. It was half present in the game's code and had the following comment in the japanese version :
Quote
また制作途中なのでバグレポート不要で〜す
Which means in short that it was too much buggy and boring to be in the final game. While the bugs have been corrected, it will likely not keep you on tenterhooks for hours ^^"
Excalibur II can now be acquired by two different methods :
1) Reach and beat Hades in less than 14 hours,
2) Get all the treasures of the game (there are 3 little mistakes allowed) to obtain the higher treasure rank. Some particular cases don't count (Stilzkin's sells and Ragtime Mouses's/Ozma/Hades rewards mainly). Kupo Nuts don't count by theirself but all the one-time rewards count (roughly 1 per disc from disc 2). Similarly, Chocographs don't count when you unearth them but the treasure themselves count. Also, Mimics count. In the end, that makes 404 unique treasures to find.

And much more... I won't tell you everyting but let you discover it by yourself  :mrgreen:


Enjoy !
« Last Edit: 2017-02-27 19:56:08 by Tirlititi »

Kefka

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.0)
« Reply #1 on: 2015-08-27 08:35:01 »
Nice work, man! Is this mod only for the english version of the game or also for others?

Some of your new abilities sound interesting, but I'm worried about Zidane's ability to go into trance automatically. That seems way overpowered to me (unless you really downgraded the power of his dyne skills a lot and/or increased their MP cost).

I'm curious about having weapons be usable by several party members, does their "stance" in or their attack movement in battle really support that? I've never tried that myself because I thought the in-battle models might look awkward (imagine Eiko holding a big sword and attacking with it, lol). I'm trying to imagine how Dagger would look holding a dagger.

I didn't even know about a dummied-out minigame in the original! What exactly is it and when and where can you play it?

I'll look into it as soon as I find some spare time.

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.0)
« Reply #2 on: 2015-08-27 17:31:47 »
Thanks.
Yes, Dyne abilities also cost more MP. Transcend is also made available only late in the game.

The usability of weapons for other characters is not abused of, that's the only thing I'll say ^^

The minigame is at the beginning of disc 3, in Alexandria, while controlling Vivi. You'll hardly miss it.

gorildo

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #3 on: 2015-11-06 15:59:15 »
I would like to ask you some things. But first of all just wanted to let you know, I own both the original release of the game and the Square-Enix re-release. I correctly dumped my copies and they're perfect according to the latest Redump data.

The .ppf file works just fine on version 1.0, but on 1.1 it gives a binblock error, so I'm unsure what could happen. In the latest release they fixed the gold chocobo bug though, and I don't know what else. Just a heads up.

Anyway:

- Is this the final version?
- Have you changed item locations, chests and what is in the steal/drop slots?

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #4 on: 2015-11-06 17:51:06 »
Hum...
I was not aware of a 1.1 release from Squaresoft. I heard about the Gold chocobo bug (it is the fact that you can enter Ipsen's Castle before the Mount Gulug segment, right?) but didn't know it gave birth to 2 versions of the game.

I've no idea if the patch would work with both versions then... It may or may not depending on the amount of changes.

To answer your questions, I don't think the version 3.2 will be the final version of all times. However I won't update any 4.0 version soon (not before 1 or 2 years, being optimistic). Also, I modified few of the treasures (about 10 of them) and a bit more concerning steals and drops. That's not the core of my mod (though it may be more important in future versions).

gorildo

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #5 on: 2015-11-10 01:57:46 »
That's good to know, some 2 years will do wonders for helping forgetting a few things about the game and refreshing my memory. There's some things I'd like to suggest:

- First, I'm personally very bothered by the way the stat bonus system in this game works. I think it would be best if there were fixed stat growth. I'm paranoid about leveling up until much later in the game.
- Faster frog spawning.
- Having to ignore the items on the fourth slot really hurts my OCD, it would be better if there were none in that slot until you get Thief Cuffs, OR...
- Enable it earlier, on Disc 2, along with Rat's Tail. I honestly doesn't see this affecting the game balance at all.
- I checked out your Beatrix vs Beatrix vs Beatrix video on the other thread, it's pretty cool, I wonder if you have any ideas for it, would be cool.

I can already do some of that with some cheating or some basic editing here and there, but anyway.

I'll eagerly await for more.  8)

iloveyou771

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #6 on: 2015-11-14 09:06:15 »
Beatrix replace Steiner as a full playable character...love beatrix

Stellary

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #7 on: 2015-12-24 14:48:34 »
Hello!

Where the hell is Tiger Racket in this mod?

I've just gotten dark-blue chocobo, looked everywhere for it and no sight of it.

Please tell me the location or at least if I can only get it in Disc 4.

Vir

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #8 on: 2016-01-16 01:21:49 »
Hi Tirlititi,

I didn't know HW could fix the card score glitch; I'm surprised I overlooked that when you first released this mod! Is there much to it? My mod fixes what bugs it can, so if I can do this one, I suppose I shall. Thank you for your input.

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #9 on: 2016-01-16 09:31:30 »
Hey Vir. Unfortunatly, it can't fix the card glitch ; I fixed that glitch directly by hex-editing. That and the name switching of Eiko's Fenrir were the 2 things I've done by hex editing (though you can modify summoning names without problem now).

I still don't understand where this card glitch comes from. I guess it's some issue with the MIPS code (a kind of ASM). You can see in Hades Workshop that the card menu's texts begin with the different ranks, and "Would you like to discard this card?" comes right after in the list. The only thing you can do using HW is exchanging the last rank with this discard text, that is the first 2 steps of the instructions detailled here.

For the third step, however, it would need more features related to the menus UI to make it feasible with HW.

If you hex-edit the files, you can add them to your patch made with HW, though :
1) create your patch without the glitch fix,
2) duplicate your game file and apply the patch to one of them,
3) hex-edit the patched file to fix the glitch,
4) use the program MakePPF to create a new .ppf patch containing all the fixes.

Vir

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #10 on: 2016-01-16 14:57:15 »
As always, thanks for the info!

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #11 on: 2016-02-25 22:36:52 »
Hey Tirlititi, I've been playing your mod and so far things seem pretty tame and same to the normal game. Just beat Black Waltz No 1 ad Sealion on my first attempt.  Although I am grateful that this isn't quite as grueling as the Insane Difficulty "Unleashed" mod, I am curious if there is a noticeable difficulty curve at some point?

But regardless, the changes you've made sound very intriguing and I will see this through to the end. I was just wondering if there are any difficulty spikes. Don't want to get complacent now.
« Last Edit: 2016-02-25 23:02:24 by Nikkolas »

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #12 on: 2016-02-26 09:18:45 »
Are you sure you applied the patch correctly? Because Black Waltz 1 is kinda not the same as the normal game and changes should already have struck you more.
If Vivi's Mage Staff doesn't teach MP+20%, for example, then you're playing vanilla game.

Other than that, the difficulty curve is quiet smooth ; the Alexandria rescue part is a bit more difficult and the end of CD 2 is a bit more relaxing. No difficulty spikes anywhere.
Also, besides maybe Necron and Ozma, it was thought to be beatable with no grinding at all.

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #13 on: 2016-02-26 12:08:24 »
Yes I have the patch on. I was just lucky and had Trance ready to go right at the start of the BW #1 fight so I killed him pretty fast. lol I guess I didn't get to appreciate the changes to the boss.

But man, your Beatrix fight is harder than even Unleashed's. Actually making you have to beat her to a certain point instead of just running out the clock was a welcome surprise.  The only grinding I've done is for a bit of extra money and even then it wasn't too much. But man, I am ever thankful I thought to let Freya win the Festival of the Hunt. Without that Coral Ring and Cover, I can't imagine how I would have ever won. Even with those two, it wasn't easy. She hits so hard and so fast, even with Silk Shirts on everyone to reduce Thunder Slash's damage.

But yeah, it does look like your mod is more relaxing, as you say. I was used to Unleashed which threatened to kill you at every turn even with random encounters. Not so much here. off course, it lulled me into a false sense of security from which Beatrix rudely awakened me.

But in the end I won! And I even managed to get all 3 Steals.

I am enjoying myself a lot. Your mod is a lot more balanced than what I had previously seen in FFIX mods. I think it's the fact you kept in Attack increases on equipment. Unleashed removed that. It basically made Focus Spamming Vivi the real member of the team while everyone else was support. But in your mod, everyone is pretty useful so far.

I am eager to start Disk 2 later today and then hopefully beat the game within the next week.
« Last Edit: 2016-02-26 12:14:33 by Nikkolas »

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #14 on: 2016-02-26 19:32:33 »
Glad you found some consistency in the difficulty :)
Indeed, that's a lot easier than Unleashed ; my goal was not a difficulty mod but more a "renew the Final Fantasy IX experience" mod.

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #15 on: 2016-02-27 02:53:08 »
Question.

What determines Beatrix using Stock Break in the third fight? Is it time?

If you go to town on her, you can deplete her health really fast between Magic Sword and Zidane's physical attacks w/MP Attack.
HOWEVER, I am one of those FFIX players who thinks it is mandatory to steal all items from bosses. It's part of the challenge of the boss fight, as far as I'm concerned.  But whenever I spent too much time trying to get that Survival Vest, she inevitably busts out Stock Break. There's no healer at all in this fight and your party will have low HP due to a combination of Doom and Shock KO'ing everyone. In short, there's really no way to deal with it as far as I can see.

Also I hope you don't mind Save States. I only do them before bosses so I don't have to rewatch cutscenes over and over.

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #16 on: 2016-02-27 09:38:22 »
Yes, it's time. I think it's after 8 turns that Stock Break gets enabled. The battle becomes really tough from this point, but you can get to back row to tank a little bit more.
Also, you can actually displace your characters inside the menu to choose which ones should be placed on the sides. This way you choose which characters will inevitably take Stock Break and which will have a chance to avoid it.

I don't mind the way you play your game ^^
I'm not sure you ever asked Mr. Sakaguchi about save states :p

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #17 on: 2016-02-28 04:07:45 »
I'm glad to hear that. I just recall reading how one modder somewhere removed save points in a game because he felt being able to save so often meant you didn't try as hard during boss fights.

Out of curiosity, can you change the success rate of Steal? I am convinced this...unpleasantness with the Fairy Flute and Hillgigars is some kind of mistake on the developers' part. I could easily destroy the boss - Focus + Drain = 2000 damage a pop just from Vivi - but I've spent the last couple hours and countless attempts trying to steal from this giant jackass and I'm so tired.


Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #18 on: 2016-02-28 09:22:34 »
I did change the steal rate of Hilgigar's and Beatrix 1's rare steal. They are 6.25% rate steals instead of the normal 0.39% rate. This at least has been changed the same way in my mod and LandonRay's Unleashed. I guess you were just unlucky.

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #19 on: 2016-02-28 12:15:21 »
Yeah, I didn't have this much trouble with getting it in Unleashed. I did finally get it here, though. Then I couldn't get the Poison Knuckles from Amarant because that's just a waste of time. With him constantly inflicting Slow on Zidane, it's just a needless waste of time. One-on-one fights in these types of games are almost always tedious, nothing you or anyone can do about that.

Now I'm at the start of Disk 3 though. Game is soon gonna open up at last. For Unleashed, I went with a party of Zidane/Freya/Amarant/Eiko. It worked pretty well. I have already seen some of the differences for your Zidane Freya compared to Unleashed's but I dunno if I want to rock the same team, even if they are different. I want to try and make more use of  Quina and collect all your unique Blue Magic.
« Last Edit: 2016-02-28 12:18:32 by Nikkolas »

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #20 on: 2016-02-29 16:02:39 »
Well this isnt my first game over but its the first one that just made me put down the controller.

Desert Palace. I ferning hate it.

But this isn't Unleashed. I didn't spend hours getting Garnet, Eiko, Vivi and Quina Half MP.. I didn't stock up on 60 Ethers.  I didn't think I needed to be super prepared or to worry about random encounters.

And what happens? I go into a random encounter with those two floaty jackasses. I see things are looking grim as Vivi is dying and losing MP and not moving which I hadn't noticed. I tell Garnet to just summon them to death. CAN'T CONCENTRATE. fern, now she's dead. Okay, Eiko, Fenrir them. Nope, now she's Frozen. And then she and Quina died to Bio.

ferning status effects. I have a lot of my AP sunk into  Auto Haste for everyone. AI should care more about Antibody or even Body Temp but there are otehr things I wanted. I thought I could handle it. I was handling it, up until this fight. fern.

This has always been my least favorite dungeon in this game. I was right near the end, too. Goddam.

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #21 on: 2016-03-02 08:43:00 »
Luck was on my side I guess. I beat Silver Dragon, Garland and Kuja all on my first try, and got all their steals very quickly. That one attack of Kuja's was nasty though, that reduced everyone's HP permanently to 1. Luckily I got the Light Robe before he had managed to inflict it on more than Zidane and Quina.

EDIT:

Very interesting gimmick with the Tiamant fight. Thank goodness I got; the Grand Helm early. Now I need to grind for Hades. Everyone is only around Level 50 and I don't think thats enough.

EDIT 2:

Okay I beat Hades without grinding although I dare say there was a lot of luck involved. If he starts with Powering Sword and steals Remedies than uses Curse, you're just plain old screwed. I don't think there's anything you can do there.

Fortunately for me,  on my successful run,  he just used Freeze and Mustard Bomb and his sword attaks. Between Zidane having Trance right off the bat, Steiner's Sword Dance and Garnet's Bahamut, we beat him pretty fast.

I gave up on stealing the Robe of Lords. You cannot screw around in this fight or risk losing all your best items. Besides, I can Synth one anyway, or steal it from Quale. At least I could in the old game, dunno if you changed this.
« Last Edit: 2016-03-02 13:10:10 by Nikkolas »

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #22 on: 2016-03-02 16:31:26 »
Congrats ! If you keep winning, then it can't be all about luck :p
I'm quiet sure I didn't change the different ways to get the Robe of Lords ; I did that for the Protect Rings but not for the Robe.

That's a good thing you can beat Hades without grinding too much. When I changed the Excalibur II requirements, I admit that I didn't think a lot about the feasability of "beating Hades before 14 hours". It seemed possible but since I don't speedrun and I don't have a good idea of how much time the difficulty increase would demand, I'm not sure it's actually possible ^^"

Next come Kraken and Lich :D

Nikkolas

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #23 on: 2016-03-03 00:03:29 »
Yeah, I don't much like speedruns either. It feels like it defeats the point of RPGs, which, for me at least, is to give you something to do for like a week.

Out of curiosity, how does your Ozma stack up to Unleashed's? I could never beat Ozma there. It was all that damned Curse's fault. It did crazy damage and 9/10 wiped my party straight away. My poor Level 77 party was no match for him. If we could ever survive, damaging it wuldn't have been an issue but we just couldn't.

Is Lich's Final Sentence dependent on someone having Auto Haste on? That's a nasty surprise.

Trance Kuja was a fairly simple affair. Necron beat me, though. He's just so fast and Grand Cross' status effects can really pile on you. Still, I'm pretty sure he's beatable. Just need to be more prepared. No real way to protect against Zombie or Berserk but I can at least guard against Body Temp. I'll try him again later.

EDIT:

I wish I had my original team... Maybe sub out Freya for Quina but otherwise, Eiko is WAY better than Garnet for t his and Amarant' support abilities, plus Throw, would be really handy.

As it is, I'm at the mercy of waiting for Mighty Guard to dissipate so I can do real damage and I have to pray I get Reflect on him before he uses Regen on himself. If Eiko was here, I could Dispel all of that and this fight be so much simpler.

I also don't understand the turn order. Sometimes he just gets no less than four turns in a row. What can I do about a Blue Shockwave followed by a Meteor? The answer is nothing.
« Last Edit: 2016-03-03 13:06:00 by Nikkolas »

Tirlititi

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Re: [FF9] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2)
« Reply #24 on: 2016-03-03 20:27:13 »
Ozma can still be very random and say "no" to a perfectly prepared team. There are however a few tricks possible to lower that random aspect and make him more accessible. Still a tense fight (contrary to Necron, I didn't increase his HP).

Yeah, I thought it was a shame that Dispel was so useless in the normal game, so here it can take care of a few problems ^^
Necron's ATB is a bit tricky since he actually has 4 ATB bars. The main one is the fastest and casts Blue Shockwave and Grand Cross (and Neutron Ring in vanilla ; here it became a counter). The other ATBs use respectively the -aga spells, the Cure/Buff spells and the Flare/Holy/Meteor megaspells. So yeah, you can't do a lot if he gets several turns at once ^^
But knowing that, you can care a bit more of the ATB trick : it's not always a good idea to let the ATB run while Necron is casting.