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Messages - Percival

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@FatherMcKenzie Thank you for the encouragement!  I hope you enjoy the mod.

Yes, whenever the modding tool are available for the Remaster, I will definitely make a compatible version of both my mods. But at this point, I have no idea how long that will be.

2
@miklol Hey, thanks for the kind words!

Hello dear Percival,
Any chance you might update this for FF8 Remastered, once the modding tools are out?
Yes, whenever the modding tool are available for the Remaster, I will definitely make a compatible version of both my mods. But at this point, I have no idea how long that will be.

3
After the dance Quistis sounded a little too needy imo, but it was fine in the end.
Yup. That was intentional.
I wanted to give the impression that she was Squall’s longstanding friend, and she was also interested in Squall, regardless of their rank. What I wanted to avoid was the sense that she was using her position as an instructor to prey on Squall, which is a valid (but not very charitable) way of interpreting the original.

If she is asking him, rather than ordering, it assists in lowering the barrier of rank that exists between them. And this is further developed in the next scene when she explains to him that she will no longer be an instructor.

Of course, I also wanted to give a stronger impression that Quistis felt threatened, and perhaps a little helpless, by the thought of Squall being attracted to some new girl (Rinoa). And she is absolutely justified in feeling this way, based on how the story unfolds.

4
Just finished watching your YT videos and I must say, its a new and nice touch to the story. You tried to keep their character on check and fixed some few plot holes (no one talked about you assassinating NORG after the fight in the original, every hatted staff just disappeared).

Yes!  There were many moments in the game that felt disconnected due to a lack of thorough exposition. I wanted to make sure that the characters spoke about events in a way that heightened the players sense of the characters' level of investment in what was happening.

I also wanted to provide the player with a good explanation for why it was happening.

5
@miklol:  Thanks!  I really appreciate that!

The only reason not to finish it would have been if no one was interested. I already have fairly comprehensive notes for the rest of the game. As long as I know people like it, I will definitely finish.

And it will still be a while before I get any feedback from anyone who has completed the mod up until the end of disc 2.

6
Mcindus, this looks killer!  I can't wait to give it a try.

7
Hey everyone!

I have just updated Martial Law, to coincide with the release of my new mod, Succession!!

The update includes a rebalance of the Magic Junction bonuses. I have also finally provided a direct download link, in case any of you don't have a nexus account.

8
  Also, it is important to note that this mod makes changes to the original story. Most are small, and a very few are large. The good thing about this is that I believe that all of these changes are quality, and have good reasons behind them. The bad thing about that is that anyone well aware of the original will invariably have to let go of their prior assumptions based on the original.

  As I said in the description, it would be better if you thought of it like an adaptation, like from a book to a movie. Everyone knows that Robert Downey Jr.’s depiction of Tony Stark is different from his depiction in the comics. But he handles his interpretation with respect for the original. And no one minds.

 Because he is just that damn good.

9
  Hey, I’m glad you guys noticed that fact!

  And you’re right, eXistenZe, it’s not obvious at all in the original, which can create issues with establishing proper character motivation.

  This is related to the trickle-down effect of removing the amnesia. All of the characters’ backstories and motivations have been fleshed out, as well as some other aspects of the plot. This is all in an attempt to bring harmony to parts of the story that otherwise do not work well together.

  I would go into more detail, but it would take longer than one post. It really is a better conversation to have after you have played through disc 2. And honestly, probably a good chunk of disc 3. It is also directly connected to the meaning behind the name of the mod: Succession.

  And you might consider those details to be “spoilers”.

10
I am also in the process of making more sample videos to highlight the extent of the mod.

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Also good feedback. Will do!

12
@eXistenZe

Also, you never gave your opinion on what I really wanted to know…textbox placement!

13
Some parts I liked, like reporting quistsis for flirting with a student. It goes in character with squall and it's funny.
  Thank you very much!

The whole game develops towards friendship between the students, even Seifer.
  I agree with you, but not with Seifer. Seifer is a very challenging character to write. He goes from not getting along with his peers, to willfully launching missiles at them, with the intent of killing everyone in Balamb Garden, including Raijin and Fujin. The only redemption he has is post-game, and we don’t have the opportunity to experience it.

Throwing teen insults at everyone fills his role. Superiority and indifference does not.
  You’re right. His given role is that of a schoolyard bully. Unfortunately, this contrasts very sharply with his apparent ability to lead an army of his own. I wanted to strike a balance between these two, with a character that was still petty and spiteful, but also had the grist to become a future general.

Superiority and indifference does not.
  Superiority and indifference are definitely aspects of Seifer's vanilla character, especially toward Zell. Remember his “Swatting at flies” comment? Not to mention him ditching his team, both during the mission, and afterward with the car.

Removing amnesia is not a bad concept, but you will need a huge plot change for the trabia scenes. It's sort of the game story twist.
  Trust me, I am well aware of this. I’ve already finished rewriting that scene. It took more than a month…

  I really do value the feedback, and will continue to make tweaks for a future update. I have already finished the entire story, every single scene, up until the end of disc 2. That’s well over half the game in terms of story.

  I am not interested in forcing my mod to become anyone’s new head-cannon or anything. If you do ever play it, let me know. After all, isn’t that what this forum is for?

14
  No worries, man. There are a lot of fans who prefer the original gameplay or graphics, too. As with any mod, I appreciate the feedback. And it is still a work in progress.

  After playing the game so many times myself, I was just looking to create a more nuanced experience. Squall still maintains his personality, but in a manner that better suits a young man with the potential to lead an army.

  Seifer is definitely the one who’s been altered the most. He has a greater sense of superiority and indifference, rather than pettiness. He insults both Zell and Squall. He just says it to Quistis. He even threatens Zell with violence if he doesn't follow his orders. My goal was to make him as intimidating in the story, as gameplay mods have made him in battle.

What did you think of the video of the inauguration dance with Rinoa and Quistis?

15
  Aww, man! Where was this patch around 8 years ago, when I was still using emulators. Now I spend all my time on the Steam version.

  I might have to find an ISO of FF8 just so I can try this out.

16
Callisto!

  I don't want to gush, but let me take a moment to compliment you on this mod. I recently finished my second time playing through Ragnarok, and I love just about everything you've done. Rebalance is a perfect word to describe it.
  It is far more challenging, but is never overwhelming. There were times when the difficulty took me by surprise (like those damned Esthar cyborgs in the Laguna dream) but no challenge ever felt cheap.
  I'm particularly impressed with how well you nerfed the card modding. You didn't make the cards worthless, but eliminated all the classic shortcuts to becoming OP.
  I also really appreciated all of the extra scripted battles. I only wish the game presented good opportunities for even more...
 
 I was just beginning to make plans for a similar type of mod, but you've done such a great job, I don't feel the need to try reinventing the wheel. I'm truly impressed with all the hard work.

17
“I think it will be a shame if we won’t be able to cry as we play our own games.” – Nobuo Uematsu


If you can create an HD remaster of the graphics, can you create an HD remaster of the story? 

Yes, you can…and in honor of this game’s 20th anniversary, that's exactly what I've done.



Final Fantasy 8: Succession v0.5

Download from the Nexus: Here

Direct download link: Here

- About FF8: Succession –
Spoiler: show

  This is not a gameplay mod, this is a story mod. This mod is designed to be the companion piece to my gameplay mod, Martial Law.

  The goal of this mod was to enhance the overall quality of the game’s dialogue, by improving on the English localization, and enriching the characterization of the main cast. Beyond that, this mod seeks to improve both the plot of the game and how that plot is told.

  This mod is not a fan fiction, or a way to insert speculative theories into the narrative. Instead, it is an attempt to enhance the story that already exists. In that sense, it is closer to an adaptation. Any changes to the story have been made for one of three reasons: to clarify the characters’ motivations for their actions, to eliminate apparent inconsistencies in the plot, or to enhance the themes already present in the original story. The aim was to change as little as possible of the story, while changing as much as necessary to how that story is conveyed.

  With that said, there have been a few big changes made by this mod. The greatest change is in the effects of the Guardian Forces. Let me be clear: in this story, none of the characters HAVE AMNESIA. Many people will be happy to hear that, and I agree with them. But a change as large as that does have ripple effects in the story, and a number of other things have had to change as a result.

  There are several similar, but lesser changes that have been made, and each of these comes with its own ripple effects. I have done my best to weave these changes together in a way that is both believable and compelling.

  The original integrity of the characters has been maintained, for the most part. The characters subjected to the most change have been Seifer, Rinoa, and Headmaster Cid. Each of these characters have had their motivations refined. As a result, their presence in the story is more pronounced, and their effects on the main character carry more weight.

  My hopes for this mod is that it will improve the quality of the game, without taking away anything that made it good in the first place. For anyone who loved the original game, this should only make you love it more. And for those of you who took issue with the game due to its story, this mod is definitely a reason to give the game a second chance.

  This mod was inspired by the desire to have a story worthy of its OST.




- Text Boxes -
Spoiler: show

   Another aspect of the game that this mod seeks to address was the placement of the text boxes. In the original, there were many times when the dialogue box obstructed something crucial to the scene. This was usually some action taken by the characters, or the faces of those speaking. This issue is present in nearly every scene in the game. It can be incredibly distracting, and makes it more challenging to connect with both the events taking place and the emotion of the characters.

  It is possible that this was not as much of a problem in the original Japanese, since the length of the text will ultimately determine how much of the screen it obstructs. It is very likely that none of the boxes were changed following any language translation. But along with edited text, most of the text boxes in this mod have been edited as well, solving most of these issues.

  This change is the sort of quality of life improvement that I believe makes this mod worth having if only just for that.


Original                                                                Succession


- How to use this Mod -
Spoiler: show

  This mod requires the steam version of Final Fantasy 8. It may also work for the older PC version of the game, but I have not tried it for myself. To use this mod, simply copy the three files, field.fi, field.fl, and field.fs to your FF8 steam folder:

  data>lang en.

  Replace the original field files with the ones from the mod. And I always recommend making a backup. That’s it!




- Mod Progress -
Spoiler: show

  This mod is a work in progress. So far, this mod covers the entire game up to the end of disc 2. This has already been a surprisingly large undertaking.

  The original script for this game is around 75,000+ words, and that only includes the main story. That is the size of a small novel. For this mod, I have already personally rewritten over 44,000+ words. And I still have 2 discs left to go…

  My main goal is to finish the main story, but there are several smaller changes I would still like to make on disc 1 & 2. I have not yet made any significant changes to the Laguna sequences. There is also a number of NPCs, especially in Balamb Garden, whose exposition should be improved.

  Look for an update for disc 3 & 4 in the coming months!


  For a sample of the many improvements made, check out the videos:

Youtube Playlist


- A Word to Other Modders –
Spoiler: show

  If you have already played through this game multiple times, like me, and the original narrative is becoming stale, this is definitely the mod for you. It will provide you with an interesting and refreshing take on a story already familiar to you.

  If your goal is speed, and you tend to mash through the text as fast as possible to get to the battles, then this mod is definitely not for you. Due to the many changes in dialogue, the script is roughly 10% longer than the original, and will take a bit more time to get through. (Though I would still recommend experiencing it just once.)

  The changes in this mod are to the TEXT ONLY. No changes have been made to either the game scripts, or the animations. My hope was to minimize any compatibility issues with other mods.


- Tools used -

Deling - by myst6re



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Yup, all my own work. It's not nearly as much work as something like Ragnarok, though. And, of course, all the modding tools were made by their respective authors.

19


Final Fantasy 8: Martial Law v1.1

  This is NOT a difficulty mod.
  This is a rebalance mod that primarily changes the Guardian Force Abilities, Character Stat growth, and stat bonuses for Magic Junctions.

  The purpose of this mod is to make GFs and characters more unique, and to reduce the role that magic junctioning plays in trivializing any challenge.

  This mod falls very short of a full gameplay overhaul. I did not edit any enemies or refining recipes at all. That doesn't mean I might not in the future. But for now, I am convinced that other mod creators like Sega Chief will eventually do a much better job in much less time. This mod was mainly meant as a proof of concept, and I hope that my ideas influence the design of future mods.

  This mod was originally designed as a companion piece to my main mod: Succession, which is a total dialogue overhaul for the entire game. That mod is not yet finished, but the first 2/3 or so is currently available. In the meantime, I present to you: Martial Law!

  This mod has recently been updated to v1.1, and includes a redesign of the junction bonuses for all magic. For more information, reference Section 3 - Magic Junctions.

Download from the Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/finalfantasy8/mods/2
Direct download: here.


List of Changes:

1 - Guardian Forces –
Spoiler: show

  GFs in FF8 are the most unique mechanic in the game, and the changes here offer the greatest improvement in the mod by far.

  Each Guardian force now has a core stat that governs the nature of their abilities. This was already the case to a certain extent in the vanilla game, but I have made it far more systematic and comprehensive. Each GF now comes with the junction for their core stat already learned by default. There are 16 total GFs, and there are 8 core stats in the game. This allows for each stat to have 2 corresponding GFs.

  Many GFs have very few other base stat junctions besides their primary core stat. The exceptions to this are Quetzecoalt, Shiva, and Ifrit, which all have the ability to learn HP, Vit, and Spr junctions. They do not, however, ever obtain the junctions for the core stats of the other two initial GFs.
  My goal was to make Speed, Magic, and Strength the defining stat junctions, and their presence or absence will determine how that character functions in battle.


GF:           Primary Stat       Secondary Stat

Quetzecoatl:     Speed
Shiva:              Magic
Ifrit:                 Strength

Siren:  (S)         Vitality           Magic    (locked until Lvl 18)
Brothers: (S)     Health            Strength (locked until Lvl 18)
Diablos:  (S)      Evade            Speed    (locked until Lvl 18)

Carbuncle:        Spirit              Speed       
Leviathan:        Health            Strength
Pandemona:     Luck               Magic

Cerberus:          Vitality           Speed
Alexander:         Spirit             Magic
Tonberry:  (S)    Luck              Strength

Bahamut:          Strength
Doomtrain:        Speed
Eden:                Magic

Cactuar:            Evade


  The reason why I have divided the GFs into groups of three is because you will usually have three characters in your party, and I tried to organize the ability distribution with that in mind. They are in the approximate order of how they are introduced in the game, and therefore how you will add them to your characters.

  This mod heavily favors splitting up the first three GFs, like the vanilla game, but tries to increase the ability to customize your loadout with each subsequent GF. The second set of GFs grants another set of speed, magic, and strength junctions. The next set of three does as well, meaning that the earliest time you will have access to one of each for three characters is after acquiring Pandemona. By the time you get Alexander and Tonberry, you will have 4 options for each of the primary stats.

  I also paired the Speed Junctions with the Status Junctions, which helps to increase the value and versatility of speed-based characters, and makes it less likely to accidently set up a character that doubles up on these junctions.

  I recognize that this does tend to funnel the player into creating a default loadout for your junctions, and then simply switching these loadouts from one character to another. I see this as a good thing and as a bad. On one hand, it lessens the individuality of the characters. But on the other hand, it highlights the strengths of the given game mechanics, and reduces the amount of tedium in the menu screen, constantly changing your junctions.




2 - Shield Guardian Forces –
Spoiler: show

  The other feature I added is a concept I call the Shield GF. This is perhaps the most unique feature of the mod, as well as the one with the most potential change to overall gameplay experience.

  Siren, Brothers, Diablos, and Tonberry fall into this category.

  The Shield GF is an attempt to use of the GF HP mechanic in the opposite way of the other GFs. Shield GFs have a ton of HP, more than double that of a normal GF. But their charge time is slow, and they don't attack for high damage (except for Diablos, who remains the same). Their purpose is instead to offer protection for a character if they are about to die, and give them a chance to be healed. To make use of this strategy, a Shield GF's compatibility with a character GOES DOWN, not up, each time it is cast. This is both a blessing, and a curse. It provides you with protection for a progressively longer period of time, but also ties up your character's turns, and allows the enemy more turns to KO the GF.




3 - Magic Junctions – *UPDATED*
Spoiler: show

  For magic, I generally halved the total bonus given by magic to every stat by half. This may sound extreme, but the vanilla game was quite easy, and once again, the increase in character stats help mitigate the loss.

  One of the few stat bonuses I raised was the bonuses to Speed stat. Most early game spells now give a greater bonus to Speed. This is in order to provide greater benefit to a character with a Speed-J, but no Str-J or Mag-J. I also slightly lowered the default speed stat of each character to compensate for this bonus.

  Beyond that, almost every stat bonus was altered either up or down. The main variation I made was to status and elemental bonuses. Now a lot more support magic will offer a variety of defenses, allowing for more options than simply an all or nothing junction with specific status and elemental magic.

  I also lowered the draw resistance of every spell. This will save some time, and prevent you from only being able to successfully draw with the character with the highest magic stat.

!!!!New as of 1.1 update!!!!

  As of the latest update, I have rebalanced the stat bonuses gained from junctioning magic. In order to provide some much needed structure to the overall quality of junctioned spells, each spell is now arranged into a tiered system.

  There are 6 tiers total, and the magic is roughly arranged according to how early you gain access to it, with 1 being the earliest, such as fire and cure, and 6 being the latest, flare and full-life. Generally speaking, a spell of one tier will always be inferior to a spell of a tier above it. While there is a small amount of overlap, every tier 4 spell will almost invariably provide a much better bonus to every stat than a tier 2 spell.

  Within each tier, magic has been further arranged into 2 categories, attack and defense magic, usually with three spells for each category. Attack spells provide a greater bonus to Strength, Magic, and Speed. Defense spells provide a greater bonus to Vitality, Spirit, and Evade.
 
  As an example, in tier 3, the attack spells are Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara. Thundara is the best spell in tier 3 to equip to the three attack stats, followed by Blizzara then Fira. This structure harmonizes with the GFs, who are already divided by these same stats, in order to offer strategy to how you set up your team. Instead of finding the most optimal spell for each stat, you must choose which stat you want to favor most, and which one you favor least. This is also true for the defense magic.

  My goal with this design is to help foster a strategic approach to junctioning, as well as minimize the game-altering junction bonuses from early game spells (such as protect and shell). Also, each spell still maintains a degree of variety and individuality that shouldn't eliminate the sense of satisfaction when acquiring a new spell.


4 - Refining and other Abilities –
Spoiler: show

  I did not make any changes to the refining process. Making any changes to that system is probably the most challenging task of any FF8 mod. What I have done is alter how soon you are able to unlock them. This does not keep you from exploiting the system, but it does keep you from making use of it before you even leave the Garden.

  Most of the abilities are still with their initial GFs. But the level requirements have been raised to anywhere from 8-20, depending on the ability.

  Card Mod has been moved to Siren, and she doesn't unlock it until level 20. The Card command is unlocked after learning Card Mod, preventing you from using it to farm AP without gaining levels. (At least, not right away.)

  I recognize that this is a disincentive to play cards right away. I guess I think that may be the point...I don't know...

  The AP cost for many abilites have been tweeked. The only major difference, however, is the cost of base stat junctions. All of these have been reduced to either 30AP, or 40AP. This will allow you to make use of them within a reasonable amount of time.

  Also, regarding Encounter abilities, Diablos has Enc-Half, and Cerberus has Enc-None. This means that you won't be able to learn Enc-None until the opening of Disc 3.




5 - Characters –
Spoiler: show

  I gave each character one core stat at which they surpass any other character. For their other stats, I made them either more or less well rounded based on their perceived 'class'. I also gave a modest boost to higher level stat gains, to compensate for lowering bonuses from junctions.

Squall:    Vitality
Quistis:   Speed
Zell:         Health
Selphie:   Spirit
Rinoa:     Magic
Irvine:     Attack

  It is obviously more in-depth than this, but this gives you a general idea of how the characters will play.




*Note: While I did not include any instructions on the .exe game file hex edit hacks, particularly how to raise the magic draw limit above 9, I do use them with my own copy. They are not necessarily a part of this mod, but I do recommend them, and will link to a description if necessary.

Tools used:
Doomtrain - by alexfith
Quetzacolt - by alexfilth
Deling - by myst6re

Thanks to all the hard work by the creators of these tools, as well as the combined work of contributors on the Forum!

20
There are no fundamental story or dialogue alterations planned at the moment, but I've been thinking of some script changes that make the game more faithful to the original Japanese version (such as changing Edea's speech during the Deling City parade, fixing Samantha Soul mistranslation or adding back other things that were lost in translation). The currently corrected typos refer to simple spelling errors like "Disolving Acid", an attack used by Malboro, or spacing mistakes between words (which are quite common), so nothing too major.

As for the mod in general, I think there are still quite some kinks that need to be ironed out, but are difficult to deal with due to how the game is programmed. For example, I'm still quite disappointed with what can be done to weapon customization at most - I'd wish there was more than just bonuses to Strength, Hit and crit rate to make them stand out more. Besides that, the late-game would really benefit from a Double Cut Ability, which is likely hard to implement, and of course, the game needs more different enemies.. Nevertheless, I am quite satisfied with what I have been able to accomplish with this mod so far, but there's still room for improvement and things you could do differently compared to this mod (at least it appears to me that Klit's mod is quite different from this one, even though they share the same goals), so better don't give up on your own :)

  Thanks for the encouragement! I agree about the weapon limitations. I found the most value in altering the GF's (abilities and attacks), since they are actually the primary mechanic in the game.

  I love the creativity in Klit's mod, but I was also moving in the other direction. It made more sense to me to try to make the 6 main characters a bit weaker, rather than make every enemy stronger. For example, the first thing I did was lower the stat bonuses for almost all junctioned magic.

21
This mod looks great! I have been working on my own mod, with the aim of making the game more balanced but not hardcore. It looks as though you beat me to the punch. I am exited to play this!

One question, does this mod change any of the story or dialogue? I thought I read that you fixed some typos.

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