Author Topic: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition - A gameplay mod (Aug 4: v1.11)  (Read 4079 times)

Clem Fandango

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Going forward I will also list smaller updates at the top of the OP. Each version of the mod will also include a listing of changes in previous versions.

1.11 Notes (Aug 4)

I've been taking a look at the very early game, something I have not done in quite some time, and there's a number of mistakes and just little things that bugged me. 1.11 is meant to solve some of the issues there.

Download Link:

https://mega.nz/file/d0hXVQzQ#vDGv2q3nENA9Hm57_8BkYdStlDLXW1f1JiS1b825XGA

- The first screen after the airship in the Evil Forest (where you control Zidane solo) has been toned down, since it's entirely possible for solo Zidane to get almost immediately killed by a Fang if you're unlucky, kind of goes against the mod's tone.

- For some reason, ages ago, I made the Mage Masher as weak as the dagger, which was an extremely weird idea that really doesn't work well given how enemies now have more HP overall. It's now been changed and now has Add Status, so you can actually take advantage of it being able to silence enemies.

- A few monster formations were cleared up, they were technically functional but looked really strange.

1.1 Notes

After a long hiatus, I've just finished version 1.1 of FF9 David Bowie Edition! The download link is as follows:

https://mega.nz/file/59oAGShb#m6yORsBwFxBATzq4cEhycHburS2NykaoEc0tRv4l1pE

Little heads up if you downloaded this version before July 22nd, after I uploaded the mod I almost instantly realized an oversight and corrected it, reuploading the mod once I was able to. So if you got 1.1 before that time, maybe grab it again. It's a pretty embarrassing oversight but won't break anything and might not be obvious.

It should be possible to continue playing from a previous save, but a few things will wind up looking kind of funny. I'd recommend starting from scratch if possible, but no big deal if you can't. You can also start the mod part way through a vanilla playthrough but it will be weird and probably unbalanced, I don't really recommend it.

NEW FEATURES

- Memoria has been completely revamped, with new monster formations. The encounter rate has also been raised slightly, closer to what it was in the PS1 version. This is partially due to self-indulgence since I made a bunch of new fights, but also because I found it was kind of weird to be able to pretty well just sprint through the final dungeon with like two random fights total. Every area with random battles will have at least one new monster formation. I won't lie, some of it is a wee bit janky, but it's all playable and I think the new fights are fun to figure out.

- Skills have been changed for some characters, with a few new skills and some others shuffled around. For instance, some Thief Swords have a variety of buffs for their status effects and you can use Soul Blade to buff party members.

- There are a variety of equipment and item changes, some minor, some major, some more for flavor.

- A bunch of bugs and oversights in previous versions have been fixed, for example it's now possible to actually target dispel tonics on enemies, something that has been bothering me for weeks now! Hopefully I have not produced too many more issues.

So have fun, let me know if there are any bugs.

Spoiler: show
And watch out for Warmech!




Final Fantasy XI: David Bowie Edition

What is this?

Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition (DBE) is a gameplay mod that is meant to function as a rebalance, or better yet a remix of the original game. This mod includes new skills, items, enemy behavior, Chocograph locations and a number of smaller tweaks. I've been working on this on and off for around nine months.

What's with the name?

There's two reasons. First is that Zidane has a physical resemblance to a young David Bowie and that's always been hard for me to ignore. Early on in the planning for this mod I wanted to double down on the resemblance as much as I could, to the point that there are minor references to Bowie's music and associations in the mod and more overtly, all of Zidane's basic skills are named after different songs by Bowie.

Secondly, I also just really like David Bowie. Also I found it funny to name the mod after what amounts to a tiny part of it.

Is the mod complete?

Pretty much! There's a handful of things I might add in the future, but otherwise it's more or less complete, barring any bugs I probably haven't noticed.

Is this meant as a hardmode mod?

Not at all, though it is definitely meant to be a bit more challenging than vanilla is. I wanted DBE to be less Final Fantasy Tactics 1.3 and more Final Fantasy 7 New Threat, so accessible, but not something you can necessarily sleep through the whole time. The objective is for it to be engaging.

Features

- All characters have been looked at and rebalanced, with more of an emphasis on buffing characters rather than nerfing them. Abilities that range from "mostly useless" to "literally does not work" have been either improved or completely replaced. Character skill sets in general have been reworked, with an emphasis of characters having a wide variety of possible uses at all parts of the game, for instance I didn't want Steiner to just turn into a Shock-bot like he does in Vanilla (although it's still possible to do that, albeit a little bit harder).

- Some characters can actually play quite different from they do in vanilla. For instance, Dagger now has Red Magic and Amarant has a particular focus on his Trance abilities that he never had before.

- Almost all enemies are modified from vanilla. For the most part, enemies are more powerful than in vanilla, but not to a dramatic degree, just enough to keep you on your toes. These changes include stat changes, but it can also include changes to enemy behavior, what attacks they can use as well as the properties (status effects) of those attacks too. There's a few enemies that go unchanged, largely early game story battles that don't have much options available to the player yet. Also Tantarian, because frankly I think that fight is perfect already.

- Random encounters are designed around some of the unique features of the Steam version. Because the encounter rate is lower in the Steam version, I wanted fights to feel more substantial since the player will be having fewer of them overall. This means that you're not going to be having lots of single round fights against individual Skeletons in the middle of no where, instead fights will be a bit more involved than that. I wanted the fights to not exactly be super difficult, but more something that you do have to think about.

- Weapons and armor have been modified, sometimes with different stat changes, other times with new names and effects. The abilities learned by equipment have been changed quite dramatically as well. End game weapons have been changed quite a bit, since I wanted there to be multiple potential options for a character to use at end game. I didn't want it to be a case of Zidane getting the Ultima Weapon and having no reason for him to use anything else, for example.

- Support abilities have different AP costs and characters don't necessarily have the exact same options as in vanilla. For instance Quina can learn Long Reach and actually learns it far earlier than other characters, which can give them some unique options should you want to gamble with their physical attack. Additionally the effect for some skills has changed, for example Stone Killer is now gone and replaced with Armor Killer, which now applies to various enemies with natural armor like shells and carapaces, which winds up being a much more numerous crowd than the three monsters Stone Killer works on in vanilla.

- Ability Up is now available much later in the game. However, the AP costs for skills are now much lower than in vanilla. I did this for a couple of reasons, the first being that I imagine most players slap on Ability Up on all of their characters as soon as it is available (thereby robbing the player of some magic stones for the sake of convenience). The second reason is that I wanted the player to feel more free to switch between different pieces of equipment as the situational called for it, rather than thinking to themselves "I'm 10 AP away from learning Beast Killer, I'll stick with this terrible Broadsword a little longer."

- Incidentally the Broadsword is actually gone.

- Chocographs now have different rewards, with them largely being more incremental improvements rather than the sometimes over the top upgrades that they can be in vanilla. For the most part, a player getting Chocographs as soon as they can will be better off than a player who is not playing the mode at all, but it's less "Freya gets the Holy Lance early and now skips like three of her spears" and more "Freya gets a really good and cool spear, but it's not going to be a total blow out."

- The specific Chocographs that allow Choco to change his form are available at different times. Basically what this means is that Choco is no longer able to go from his Mountain form to his Sea form over the course of like, ten minutes, instead this can only occur if the player has already completed the events at Mount Gulug.

- There's a number of little quality of life changes to make parts of the game feel a bit better. Dagger no longer has performance issues half way through the game (although I admit I like that whole thing as a concept). Vivi no longer asks for a card during the festival of the hunt and asks for something that's actually worth getting. If you're catching frogs you only need to get 69 frogs to finish the end of the sidequest, which is Nice, and also makes the whole thing drag considerably less than it normally does. Frog Drop is not a thing anymore so you don't really need all of those frogs anyway.

What is next?

Not really a whole lot. I think I might at some point overhaul all of the equipment in the game, but it's a massive undertaking and a balancing nightmare so I'm not really sure I will wind up doing it. On top of that, there's a couple more optional fights I have in mind, but I'm not sure when that will come about.

Download

The mod can be found at the following links:

1.1
https://mega.nz/file/A9ZFSSqB#9u0k80RmKWfU0XQQ8RATO4aOJYw1wFCid8xmMDrOGt8

1.03 (in case 1.1 is somehow insanely broken)
https://mega.nz/file/1toxGDLB#C-zK5PwMoB0QwzcbRX0cNYhLnY00WeORZTB3T7uS_6E

To install, you need only copy the StreamingAssets and x64 folders to the root of your FF9 directory. The download also contains documentation to help with installing the mod, provide some basic gameplay tips, and also some much more detailed lists of character changes.

I'd recommend starting a new game entirely to play the mod. You can install it and play with a pre-existing save but it's definitely not intended. It's also not meant to be played in US English, any other language settings and the descriptions of various things will look a little strange.

If you notice any bugs (and I highly doubt I've been able to make this free of those), please let me know in this thread with as many details as possible (where were you, was it in combat, what were you fighting, etc).

Special Thanks

I just want to throw out a shout out to Tirlititi, for not only developing the Hades tool and its various documentation, but also for answering the mountains of questions I had while I was working on this. None of this would be possible without Tirlititi's work. Also thanks to Caledor for providing some solutions for some issues with Chocobo Hot and Cold, it was a huge help.

« Last Edit: 2020-08-04 23:20:36 by Clem Fandango »

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #1 on: 2020-02-02 17:16:07 »
I'm still mystified by Gighee existing, easily one of the weirdest monsters in FF7. I didn't ever know there was a connection until maybe a couple of years ago.

Vir

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #2 on: 2020-02-27 04:23:53 »
Well done! I'm lucky I stumbled in here today.

From reading your documentation, I like your thoughtful take on balance over all. Multicast Protect, Shell, and the efficiently-simple earlier Power Up and High Jump seem like especially good ideas. From what I can tell there, my favorite idea is your giving Healer to David Bowie. I was interested to imagine him doing focusing on party support and Soul Love crowd control. If only Healer healed through Trouble!

I wonder what is "Lightbringer," which you mention in Steiner's writeup? I must have overlooked it.

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #3 on: 2020-02-29 18:19:59 »
Lightbringer is gone, it seems I missed that reference in that part of the documentation. Basically it was a holy attack that was replacing Iai Strike, could be obtained in the later stages of the game. I wound up scrapping it because it didn't bring much to the table, I was feeling like Steiner already had a lot of potential elemental options in his kit and that it really just became a "use this on undead" button for him, which is fine, but other characters already had that kind of thing but in more interesting ways.

So that instead got changed into Shadowblade, which is a totally different idea (self-heal that can maintain combat momentum) and way more niche, but in practice it felt much more interesting to play with. I think that might actually have been the very last ability change before I posted this.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-29 18:40:24 by Clem Fandango »

Vir

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #4 on: 2020-02-29 22:46:33 »
Good show.

strife98

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #5 on: 2020-03-07 06:13:06 »
I've just started this mod so I haven't gotten too far, just to the Ice cave, but I've got a few things to note. I'll keep you updated on what else I find as I find it.

Garnet can learn the skill "None" from the Moonstone that you get for the top reward in the dual minigame from Brahne. Using it only targets an enemy and heals them for about 2k at level 1.
Some enemy's have weird camera angles. The Fang in the Evil Woods and the Python outside Ice Cavern are two examples. Fangs "Fang" attack and Python's "Rapid Fire" attack trigger the weird camera. Like pythons camera looks at one character before attacking a different character, and it clips under the ground a bit.

Just a warning the twitch clips aren't that "Family friendly." I curse like a sailor during streams haha.

None and Python Camera two in one clip: https://clips.twitch.tv/TubularApatheticDugongPraiseIt

Plant Brain has a 2nd "Thunder" move that doesn't actually do the Thunder spell
https://clips.twitch.tv/SeductiveInquisitiveCheetahChocolateRain

And I was told that this was a normal bug in FF9, but I figured I'd post it just in case. I got into a normal battle encounter in the forest next to the Ice Cave and it didn't get past the black screen after the battle swirl. It didn't crash it just kind of hung there soft locked.
« Last Edit: 2020-03-07 06:14:57 by strife98 »

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #6 on: 2020-03-08 18:15:00 »
I'll see if I can replicate any of that. Dagger's spell should be called Dia, odd that it's not coming up with the correct name, I've actually never had that happen during testing.

The soft lock though seems to be (at least from my experience) something that the PC version just kind of does. I had that happen even before I started modding anything.

Edit: Are you sure you copied the x64 and StreamingAssest folders in their entirety when installing the mod? I just tried installing the mod from a fresh install and it looks normal for me, stuff like the Dia problem and probably the Plant Brain thunder thing might be due to not every file being copied over.
« Last Edit: 2020-03-08 18:26:55 by Clem Fandango »

FFIXFAN

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #7 on: 2020-03-08 23:30:38 »
I downloaded this Mod last night and been playing it most of the day.  Few things are each characters attack influenced by a secondary stat?

Steiner at lvl1 was hitting for 130 whilst zidane hits for 80. Am loving the changes to Garnet. Cant wait till see what else has changed.

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #8 on: 2020-03-09 01:02:05 »
For the most part I didn't make many changes to weapon damage calculations, the lone exception I can think of is that Zidane's last dagger takes his Speed into account when dealing damage, but that's about it. The most major change at the start of the game is that Steiner now starts with the Iron Sword outright, no need to deal with the Broad Sword's middling damage at all.

Glad you're enjoying it, more major changes come up the further in you get.

FFIXFAN

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #9 on: 2020-03-09 13:10:48 »
I am at the point where you get your Chocobo currently. Just learnt White Wind from an Ironite instead of Angel Snack lol. I have to completely forget my current knowledge of what monsters teach which Blue Magic now lol.

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #10 on: 2020-03-09 21:34:27 »
Yeah I felt the need to mix those up a bit, mostly towards the early game. I wanted White Wind to be more readily accessible early on due to the fact that enemies typically do more damage than they used to and as handy as potions and Reis' Wind are, the player doesn't have many options for group healing at the start.

Having said all that, I wish I could change White Wind's formula around a bit. It always heals 1/3 of the caster's max HP and the amount is hard coded in for the formula. Kind of a bummer, it's not bad when Quina is first introduced, but as characters gain more and more HP and monsters get tougher and tougher, it doesn't really hold up all that well. I tried it as a more traditional Cure style formula at one point and it stopped feeling all that unique and still had scaling issues. Not sure if there's a good solution for that.

Caledor

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #11 on: 2020-03-09 23:40:26 »
I'm sorta working on a rebalance myself and yesterday i realized the very same thing about the Holy Lance i'm only reading here now. Already downloading to look at the detailed documentation.

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #12 on: 2020-03-10 00:02:55 »
Yeah I found there's a lot of Chocograph treasures that are similar to the Holy Lance, but I don't think any of them are as nearly significant a boost. I found it really hard to balance what exactly you get in Chocographs, it's surprisingly tricky to predict what exactly will mess up player progression, especially once party composition is opened up.

strife98

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #13 on: 2020-03-10 01:10:25 »
I'll see if I can replicate any of that. Dagger's spell should be called Dia, odd that it's not coming up with the correct name, I've actually never had that happen during testing.

The soft lock though seems to be (at least from my experience) something that the PC version just kind of does. I had that happen even before I started modding anything.

Edit: Are you sure you copied the x64 and StreamingAssest folders in their entirety when installing the mod? I just tried installing the mod from a fresh install and it looks normal for me, stuff like the Dia problem and probably the Plant Brain thunder thing might be due to not every file being copied over.

I'm 100% sure yeah. It might be because I tried putting it on top of Moguri and it might've changed somethings. I'll do a redo without Moguri.

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #14 on: 2020-03-10 02:05:56 »
Yeah for what it's worth I've never really tested the mod when used in conjunction with Moguri, or anything else for that matter. Strange things may happen.

Caledor

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #15 on: 2020-03-11 15:22:47 »
Hi. I was wondering... how did you change the contents of chocograph trasures? I tried dumping World map script from the vanilla game and a DBE patched one (from HW) and they're identical...


EDIT: Nevermind, looks like i forgot to paste a few files, now they're different.

EDIT2: I managed to document all the treasure changes, one thing i still don't know is how you made some chocograph's available later. Is it in the field script?
« Last Edit: 2020-03-11 15:44:24 by Caledor »

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #16 on: 2020-03-11 21:42:41 »
Tirlititi was able to help me out with changing when the different Choco changes are available. Basically it involves changing some figures in different Barrel functions in each field script. Check this post for more info:

http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=14315.msg268867#msg268867

Caledor

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #17 on: 2020-03-11 23:39:40 »
Thanks, did it!

strife98

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #18 on: 2020-03-12 21:31:47 »
Hmm, I've completely uninstalled and reinstalled FF9, and for some reason it still has None as a spell. I've re-downloaded the latest update as well so I have no idea what's wrong lol.

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #19 on: 2020-03-12 23:03:59 »
This is kind of a long shot but where do you have Steam installed? My understanding is that you can run into problems with overwriting files if it's located in Program Files (not the x86 folder), with many games, not just FF9. Then again I've heard of other folks that don't have the problem so it's a bit of a stretch.

My best guess is that some of the files are successfully copying over while others aren't, that would explain why there's changes but they aren't showing up quite right.

strife98

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #20 on: 2020-03-12 23:27:21 »
I have all my games installed on another hard drive. I'll try to see if moving it to the C drive works

Edit: Nope, even on C it still says None >.<. I don't know what's happening. I'm not changing anything. I'm extracting the files into the root of the FF9 folder, and replacing the files. Nothing else.
« Last Edit: 2020-03-12 23:43:17 by strife98 »

Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #21 on: 2020-03-14 17:32:45 »
I've tried to replicate the issue myself and I haven't had a whole lot of luck. I'm sorry, but I don't really know what's going on there.

MysticLord

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #22 on: 2020-03-14 19:28:16 »
I always wanted a Red Mage in FF9. Might pick this up.

FFIXFAN

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #23 on: 2020-03-17 21:01:43 »
Hey me again lol

Just a few things. I am at disc 3 got chocos mountain ability the forest hasnt displayed the no chocograph messgae but cant seem to find any more chocographs. I read about not evolv8ng to sea till after mt gulug does that mean not being able to find it via forest?

Also Daggers performance issue is still there occasional get the message command failed couldnt concerntrate. Still enjoying this mod thou


Clem Fandango

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Re: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition
« Reply #24 on: 2020-03-18 00:47:52 »
The way it's set up the Chocograph to grant the Sea ability can't be found at all until after the first airship is acquired, so once you get that you'll be able to find the Chocograph. I ran into the same issue with Mene not mentioning that you can't find any new Chocographs as well, never got around to fixing it though.

Weird about the Dagger thing though! I could have sworn I had that working, I'll see if I can't fix it up quick and upload a new version of the mod.

EDIT: I've uploaded a new version of the mod that should fix the issues with Dagger, I've updated the link in the mod's description so you can download it from regular location, simply copying the files over from the new version should fix it. Note that Dagger will probably still have command issues at least initially, since the game checks for that state at four points. Depending on exactly where you are it should clear itself up once you go to Esto Gaza, assuming you haven't gone there after the Desert Palace already.
« Last Edit: 2020-03-18 02:51:26 by Clem Fandango »