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Messages - Kefka

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General Discussion / Re: blue elemental materia
« on: 2024-01-23 19:09:17 »
Welcome to the forum vin009.

The Elemental Materia needs to be paired with a green or red materia that has an innate element, and it changes effect depending on whether you equip it on a weapon or an armor.

On a weapon, it will add the paired materia's element to your physical attacks, which can be used to take advantage of an enemy's weakness.

On an armor, the damage from the paired materia's element will be reduced depending on the level of the blue Elemental Materia:

Level 1: half damage
Level 2: immunity (no damage)
Level 3: absorption (heals you instead)

The 4th Level of the Elemental Materia adds no additional effect and is just for multiplying the materia (all material create an additional copy of themselves once the materia reaches its max. level).

General Discussion / Re: FF7 Steal Rate
« on: 2022-12-11 09:54:31 »
There's 2 possible tools you can use to modify the steal chances for every enemy item individually: Hojo and ProudClod. They can be found here:

In each enemy's data, there's a section of 4 slots of items that the enemy has for steals/drops. There you can manipulate the probability of a successful steal/drop. The higher the number, the easier it is to get said item, with 3 being the highest possible number equaling a 100% success rate.

I suppose you already know all the other good FF games, so I won't mention any of them here right now and instead focus on other franchises. When it comes to deep storylines that carry important real-life messages and feature generally well-rounded characters, the best ones I've experienced in my many, many years of playing JRPGs so far include (in no particular order):

Xenogears - perhaps the only other JRPG story I'd place on par with (if not slightly above) FFVII, and that certainly means something. Developed by Squaresoft, before they fused with Enix.

Vagrant Story - another good old Squaresoft game. Short but good (if you can get used to certain gameplay mechanics, that is).

Chrono Trigger - yet another Squaresoft game, and an all-time classic for most people who know it, and for good reason. Only drawback is the silent protagonist, but all the other characters are well done.

Tales of Symphonia - don't let the colorful anime style fool you, the game is much darker than you'd think. The story's complexity with its many well executed plot twists and proper use of foreshadowing can certainly draw you in.

Tales of the Abyss - much in the same style as Tales of Symphonia. Again, if you don't mind the anime-like style, you'll be rewarded with a story featuring extensive World Building and intelligent plot twists.

Suikoden II - A highly political, yet also highly emotional story. Much more grounded and real life oriented than most RPGs. The only downsides being the silent protagonist and the really shitty translation.

The entire Wild Arms series. Much like Tales of, when it comes to World Building, thematic content and overall narrative, the Wild Arms team certainly had some talented writers.

There are certainly more, but those are my personal favorites.

WIP / Re: True Honey Bee Inn
« on: 2022-02-15 18:45:39 »
This is awesome, cloudiar! Very impressive work! I can't wait to try it out. Will it work for all language versions?

I know only about the status duration, which is in the ff7.exe file at offset 0x3B64F0 (at least in the German version, not sure about others).

It's 1 byte per status, 16 bytes total. The statuses are in the order: stop, paralyze, death sentence, slow numb, barrier, magic barrier, poison, sleep, regen, drain, shield, peerless (the last 4 bytes are unused). Just increase or decrease the byte you want to either increase or decrease the duration time of the respective status effect.

I don't know about your other questions, but I would assume that the damage calculation formulas are all somewhere in the .exe, too. (I'd be interested in this as well.)

EDIT: just found an old thread where nfitc1 posted the offset of the english version, which is at 0x3B60F0:

FF7 Tools / Re: [PC] Text editor - touphScript (v1.4.0)
« on: 2021-09-09 15:01:25 »
Though at this point I think I might prefer to use Makou Reactor for script writing as it's nice to have more visual references when you're editing dialogue. But I might still need this for editing the scene.bin file as I think that's the only way to edit combat dialogue like in the scorpion fight.

Actually combat dialogue can be edited with Proud Clod, the text is part of the respective enemy's AI script (in your example Guard Scorpion's).

FF7 Tools / Re: [PS/PC] FF7 Steam Translation to FF7 PS1
« on: 2020-08-27 16:19:28 »
Oh I forgot to put it there, the "This guy are sick" is fixed but I'm not sure about the "Off course" and "No, way". The thing that I cannot edit is the Battle Dialogue ("Attack while it's tail is up!").

Battle Dialogues are part of the respective monsters' AI scripts, you can edit that with Proud Clod.

General Discussion / Re: Question about shops FF7
« on: 2020-05-18 18:10:45 »
Hi and welcome to the forum! The Aurora Rod is always sold in Wutai, that shop doesn't update like a few others do on disc 2 (and they only update after obtaining the Highwind). The Umbrella and Princess Guard aren't sold anywhere. The latter is found in the Temple of the Ancients, so you'll likely find it on your way, and the Umbrella must be won in the Speed-Square in Gold Saucer by scoring over 5000 points. That one has to be done before obtaining the Highwind on disc 2, because afterwards prizes change in the Speed Square.


Alright, here's my 2 cents on some of your points. I've left the other points which we agree upon out since there won't be much more to say about them anyway.

1. Shinra/Domino: disagree. You see, what irked me since the beginning in the original game was that this superpowerful company had nothing so simple as a cam surveillance in its reactors and some modicum of (real) security in their HQ building, all of whom would've made Avalanche striking two important blows at Shinra impossible. The remake worked hard to make it believable, painting Avalanche as a more structured organization, Shinra as willing to play a charade, Wutai being (used as) a (perceived) threat and Domino as a double-agent rather than simply a moron. Granted it could've been executed better, but I appreciate the direction.

I see what you mean, I have been thinking that maybe part of the reason for the different approach in both games also stems from changes in the real world during the last 2 decades: Mass surveillance via cameras at every street corner wasn't around in 1997, it only started to gradually become a thing after 9/11. The 90's were that peaceful time between the Cold War and the new age of global terrorism, so there was no need for mass surveillance back then, which is perhaps why the developers of the original neglected it. Today we have it in every major city, so the developers probably wanted to include that in a modern version of the game as well so that the game's level of technological progress would still look futuristic. The original game did look futuristic for 1997 standards even without mass camera surveillance, but I guess it wouldn't look like that anymore today when even we have cameras everywhere in the real world.

But then again, wouldn't a camera network in the Shinra headquarters make Mayor Domino's work for Avalanche even more difficult, or impossible? It's not that I'm against expanding his character in general, I just found the location he uses as a base for his Avalanche support to be somewhat ridiculous.

On a funny side note, the original DID have a camera surveillance system in the headquarters (you see it in a brief FMV when first riding the elevator to the 60th floor), but the dude responsible for watching the monitors was just sleeping on his job, lol! ;D

2. Terror strategy: disagree 95%; on a personal sidenote, I am italian. It has happened in the history of our country that intelligence-service and corrupted politician allowed their own citizens to be bombed, painting others as the culprit. And sadly, it also happened and was recorded, of managers to celebrate when an earthquake or similar destroyed whole cities, as they were worried that too little space was left for builders to profit. Two popular strategies are at play, "unite people with terror" and "if there's no demand, someone has to create it". It's not such a long stretch of imagination that an evil huge company who is willing to build its third megalopolis (after Midgar itself and Junon) would pull off such a trick. Fantasy -yes- but not that unbelievable. Bombing reactors is a very good way also to slow down the mako exhaustion and paint Midgar as an obsolete model to be replaced with the improved Neo-Midgar. Of course all of this holds together if Wutai is still depicted as a surrendered and inoffensive nation, as in the original, because if it will be portrayed as a serious force to be reckoned then bombing two reactors is a lot less credible. So I 5% agree.

I agree that uniting people with terror might be a viable strategy for Shinra, but I also think they could've achieved that without blowing such a huge whole into their own wallet. We're never given exact numbers as to how rich Shinra really is or how long the reactors have been around, but Cid mentions that they discovered Mako energy sometime after the failed rocket launch. We don't know how many years ago the launch was, but Cid was already an adult back then and he's now 32, so the reactors must've accumulated Shinra's enormous wealth over a very short time frame (a decade perhaps). From this I conclude that each reactor must be worth an unimaginable fortune, one that an intelligent company wouldn't sacrifice so easily. Even if Shinra managed to kill all of Avalanche in such a reactor explosion, they still couldn't consider that a victory, as the financial damage to themselves would likely outweigh the strategic gains.

Especially since their problems would likely not end after Avalanche's destruction: history has shown us repeatedly that wherever there is an oppressive regime, resistance movements against them will form eventually, some of them going as far as engaging in a military conflict with the regime. So after getting rid of Avalanche completely, it would only be a matter of time until the next Anti-Shinra-group emerges. (The original even hinted at the existence of other rebel groups by implying that such a group sabotaged the Corel reactor, so the possibility of a repetition is there.) I doubt that the company could continue the reactor-blowing strategy every time such a group hits the scene, even with the Neo-Midgar plan as a backup.

Neo-Midgar is probably still a long way off, considering that it relies on them first finding the promised land (and at the time of the bombings they didn't even have Aerith yet), and building such a gigantic metropolis would surely take some time as well, possibly decades. Hojo's research on the Ancient would probably also be a factor on their time table (although the 120 years stated in the original were probably too much, lol). Therefore nuking the reactors seems risky to me considering that the availability of Neo-Midgar is not yet certain.

Their Wutai-plan will depend on what the developers decide to do with Wutai in general, but I imagine there'll be some changes as well. In the original Godo says at the Pagoda that Wutai had lost the war, but in the remake (I don't remember the exact moment, help me please) it was stated somewhere that they only have an armistice, and that fighting could break out again if tensions should rise. One can only speculate where this will go.

3. Good Vs Evil: actually, disagree. The Shinra does the bombing, correct, but the group knows not, yet it doesn't stop anyone except Tifa from being willing to bomb again. Tifa suggests later that turning lightpower off will hurt the people of the slums, Barret rebuffs, Tifa complies. And since the damage done is a more stressed point, I'd say the only one who got a character expansion in this case is Tifa, and the group is still painted somewhat negatively, not to mention Cloud being a lot more merciless. Shinra on the other hand is expanded as well, with people being more clearly on Shinra's side than before, Cloud outright stating that Mako did indeed improve the life of many, and pres.Shinra speaking for his case twice, all provide some added layers.

The group doesn't know it, but the PLAYER knows it. My point here was that the original game had ethics and morality as one of its core themes by urging the player to think about Avalanche's actions and – since the player is the one controlling Avalanche – even scrutinizing their own role in the game. By making it clear to the player that Avalanche is not responsible for civilian deaths in the city due to Shinra causing the larger explosion, they removed the need for the player to question his party's actions. Avalanche is still in a moral gray area, but they're no longer murderers themselves, presenting them as more innocent to the audience. The theme of ethics and morality may still be present in the overall game, but not to the same degree anymore, imho.

4. Pres.Shinra: agree and disagree ... pres.Shinra is actually handled better, as a character. In the first time he makes the point that his actions are still supported by many consumers. And in the second occasion he says that without Shinra's man-power nobody could help anyone. Instead of being just a snobbish bastard, he makes a few good points. Granted though, the second chance he gets to throw his speech is quite an ill-written scene overall.

The President's first speech at the reactor sounded more sophisticated, I agree. And yeah, his death scene was the writers' fault.

7. Bad pacing: agree and disagree. The train graveyard and the underplate were added dungeons for sure, but at least they were expansion of interesting concepts in the original. Unlike the deepground lab, to mention one. And since Tifa and Cloud don't actually believe Corneo much, it is somewhat justified that they aren't in a hurry until they see the shinracopters going toward the pillar. A couple of times it gets trite, I agree with this. The "Drum" is a good idea (later on this) and the Deepground and second Sewers are atrocious.

Agreed on the interesting concepts, I actually love the train graveyard and would've wished that it was longer in the original game (looked so cool!). I would often spend my time there farming Ethers from Deenglows and Striking Staffs from Eligors for sale later on. The longer dungeon itself didn't bug me, it was only the characters' slow and time-wasting behavior during the cutscenes there. Even if they doubt Corneo, as long as even a small possibility remains that he said the truth they probably shouldn't risk being too late.

Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me about the Deepground lab, 100% agree with you there. There wasn't any reason to even go there other than rescuing Wedge, who should not have survived in the first place.

8. Falling plate: it stands to reason that, even in the original, not just everyone in the slums died, since some were thinking about running away. It also stays true in the remake that hundreds of people died still. Showing the most important characters in the slums (Betty, Marle, Wymer) all alive and well, though, is admittedly too much mercy on the audience.

True, we never get exact numbers about the death tolls in either game, so some of it is left up to imagination. Since the original never mentions any survivors (doesn't mean that there weren't) and the remake shows you a lot of them, my assumption is that in the original the majority died, while in the remake the majority survived.

9. Biggs, Wedge and Jessie (yes, she too: notice the gloves in the desk beside Biggs) alive in the ending. This I consider to be the most serious offense. The events of their deaths were written and executed brilliantly, and preceded by due character developement to give them more impact. And bam, they bring it to this childish, unimaginative and dull conclusion. Everyone lives, whoooo-hooooo. Dunno if it was the Whispers' defeat or not, I don't care. How can you build everything up to such a beautiful goodbye sequence and then ruin it like this. I am shocked really, I think this is the worst of all the remake. Worse than Zack, and hinting at a very negative direction they could be taking this. I was speechless at such a waste of good narrative. Not going to go the route "I bet Kitase wrote the deaths and Nomura wrote their return" because I cannot be 100% sure about it. But you get my meaning.

Wow, I didn't notice that at first, thanks! I had to watch some scenes again to verify that they do indeed look like Jesse's gloves. So if every single Avalanche member from Barret's group survived, it makes the entire plate drop feel even more meaningless. Wholeheartedly agree.

10. Hojo spilling THAT bean: 95% agree with you. I understand why they did it. Kitase said that Sephiroth's build up as a character was inspired by Spielberg's Jaws: you feel there's a threat but you don't see it. Good idea, but hard to play again once every player and their grandma know who Sephiroth is. They had to consider a new way  to play plot points, along with the fact that it had to get interesting since the first part of the Remake compilation. Thus they went guns-out with foreshadowing. I get it. Along the interesting points of the game was Cloud's unreliable character, so they wanted to throw in a bit of that. I get it. But that line at that point in time was criminal. A very bad idea indeed.

13. Jenova: 100% agree. Once again, I understand throwing Jenova in the mix earlier, but that execution is craptacular. Another thing which was easily solved with a few lines. There are four phases of Jenova's charaterization, at first you don't know at all what it is, second phase you think it's Sephiroth's human mother who was mutated by experiments, third you think is a Cetra of sorts, fourth you learn its true nature, much later, at Icicle Inn. Just go straight up to phase two and say it's Sephiroth's mother and there you have it, there's at least a cause for Jenova to be there. The fact they didn't need to do that proves how little they care for the comprehension by new players.

Hojo's line and Jenova: Yeah I get it too why they did both. I think their decision to make the first game Midgar-only was already a mistake, as that seemingly created more problems than it solved. They wanted to include important stuff from the FF7 story, but Midgar was simply too early for some of that. Had they decided to make Part 1 longer (cargo ship at least), they would've had more room for those story elements and could've avoided many narrative problems. And in Hojo's case, I'm sure Nomura just wanted another opportunity to show off his beloved fate-ghosts, lol. ;D

16. chap18 isn't the only problem: here is where we most disagree. While other changes we can discuss of how good or bad they were, this is the one that poses the serious problem. I don't know if you've red my long list of plot points in the spoilerblock, but chap18 is where the damage gets serious. Because chap 18 isn't re-proposing or re-imagining the story themes for better or worse, it's straight-up contradicting them. There are a few way this could still get back on track (one of the most smartest is, the whole FF7R is actually happening during the "Cloud's Mind" section of the original game) or use the new plot points somewhat in service of the classic themes (there are a few youtuber theories on how that could work) but all in all it would still be needless contrivance, and that is still assuming optimistically that they DO recognize diverting from the original as a problematic choice, which I wouldn't be that sure. Chap18 is at an entirely different level of every other change, I'm convinced of it.

Actually we DO agree on this one! I too think that the whole whisper-fate-time-travel-nonsense was the worst crime to the story. I merely wanted to bring up some points from other chapters as well because everybody on the internet seems to be talking primarily about chapter 18 when judging the story's writing. I did read your analysis on the game's themes (original and remake), and found it very reasonable. Chapter 18 is the most serious problem indeed, just not the ONLY one, that's all I wanted to say.

The problem is not just chapter 18, though. There have been bad or at least meaningless changes to the plot throughout the entire game, some of which deeply affect the overall tone of the narrative, or are detrimental to the story as a whole, or sometimes even outright ignore common sense. There have been good changes/additions as well, but the list of the bad changes/additions is arguably way longer even without mentioning chapter 18 at all. Here's some examples that disturbed me the most:

1: Shinra blowing up their own reactors – we've already talked about that one a few pages earlier. Not only is it retconning the original plot, it also makes ZERO sense for Shinra to do that. Imagine if you were the owner/manager of a factory, and there's a rival you want to get rid of. Now, competition has always been rather harsh in the business world, and sometimes certain companies go a little out of their way to damage a rival/enemy, even with illegal methods in some cases (happens in the real world as well). But would you really go as far as blowing up your own factory just so you could get back at your enemy? No, you wouldn't (I hope). After all, who in their right mind would nuke away their own income?

As already stated in earlier posts, Shinra has plenty of other options to deal with Avalanche. They've got the world's largest military at their disposal, they control politics and the media. A handful of amateur rebels is certainly no serious match for them, even though they made Avalanche bigger in the remake (but that's another story altogether). A few search-and-destroy-missions throughout the slums should do the trick. As for their plan to raise the people's patriotic spirit for another war with Wutai: if they wanted to fake some Avalanche bombings for that, they could've used targets of lesser importance. Administrative buildings for example, or maybe a train station... anything OTHER than a reactor! In fact, if they're striving for another war with Wutai, that'd be one more reason NOT to bomb their reactors. Surely no country would seriously consider crippling their own finances and economy on the eve of an important war, would they? Shinra has always been portrayed as evil and reckless in the original, but never as dumb, and nuking their own reactors is just that.

The point is that (imho) even in a fictional world and story, the various characters' behavior still has to be somewhat believable and comprehensible, like how people in the real world might behave if they found themselves in a similar situation. Believability is arguably the most important point when it comes to successful immersion into a fictional world. If the world's believability is lost due to a character's incomprehensible actions, the immersion breaks. Simple as that.

In addition, this plot change also sheds an entirely different light on the story in another aspect: In any conflict, it's usually difficult to claim that one side is purely good and the other is purely evil, as it all depends on different points of view. What some people call terrorists, others call freedom fighters. What some people practice as their religion, others call heresy. Some people say that abortion is murder, others say that it's the woman's right to choose her own fate (not Nomura's kind of fate, lol ;D). It's the same with Avalanche vs Shinra: The Shinra may be the bad guys (for the most part), but that doesn't automatically make Avalanche the good guys. The point from the original game was that Avalanche was doing the wrong things for the right reasons, but it also made clear that the end doesn't justify the means. Much later in the game, when Cait Sith/Reeve confronts them about it, both Barret and Tifa show remorse for their actions in the early game, admitting that what they did was wrong and “can never be forgiven.” The lesson here was that people can learn from their past mistakes, grow and evolve through them to find a new path in life, and maybe even try to redeem themselves through their actions now. The original game did a really good job at conveying that message. The remake, however, discards that thoughtfulness in favor of a much more simplistic black-and-white labeling, which (imho) robs the story of a certain layer of depth.

2: I actually liked the overall idea of visiting Jesse's parents. More background stories for the Avalanche members is certainly neat. And looting a Shinra warehouse... seems reasonable as well. Shinra probably holds a monopoly on all weapon types, so Avalanche would have to get their equipment by stealing from them. So yeah, this is something that I could actually picture Avalanche doing, that chapter is probably their best example of a meaningful expansion of the original plot, and I even give them probs for that.

But when it comes to the actual implementation of that idea, we get... Roche... not once, but twice... Who is this guy? Why is he always looking to pick a fight with someone? Is he just some random adrenaline junkie? We get no background information about him, his origins, his reasons, or whatever, all we get are some crazy over-the-top motorbike stunts, and after he's gone, he's never even mentioned again for the rest of the game. Not exactly the proper way to introduce a character, is it?

Now one might argue that Roche's character will eventually be explained in future episodes, but I think from what we saw it's kinda obvious that he's only in here as fan-service. They wanted someone to do motorbike duels with Cloud because someone at SE (insert name of your “favorite” writer here) thought it looked cool. To me, it simply was yet another immersion breaker. That dude has the word “obsolete” stamped in bold letters all across his forehead.

3: The Sector 7 plate drop. The battle at the pillar itself was actually fine and all, and it even featured a rare IMPROVEMENT over the original plot by showing Tseng and captured Aerith over a monitor rather than in a helicopter on site. That one always bugged me a little bit in the original, Tseng's chopper was still there when the bomb at the pillar exploded, and some of the debris actually got dangerously close, lol! So the approach from the remake with Tseng contacting them from a safe distance seems more reasonable indeed.

So what am I criticizing here? Well, the whole scenario before, during, and after the drop, actually. It's no secret that SE was desperately trying to stretch the game at every possible (or impossible) opportunity, otherwise they wouldn't have managed to make Midgar 40 hours long. But the whole plate drop chapter was definitely the wrong place for that. Ever since Don Corneo revealed Shinra's plan, the party knew that they didn't have any time to lose, yet somehow they manage to waste valuable time at several occasions:

They chat around with various ghosts in the train graveyard as if they were just taking a relaxing walk in the park...  After defeating Eligor, they just dilly-dally there staring at the beautiful sight of the souls that were freed, seemingly forgetting that they have something important to do... Really, SHOULDN'T THEY BE IN A HURRY??? And after reaching the slums, Aerith is supposed to go fetch Marlene, and FAST, right? Well, except she's anything but fast. When she warns Tifa's landlady and her friends about the impending plate drop, she again just stands there and has a nice little chat with them... upon hearing the news of the imminent danger, they should run for their lives immediately, right? Except, they don't... they just stand there and dilly-dally some more before finally agreeing on an evacuation... Honestly, is this realistic, believable behavior here? No. A believable, realistic scenario would've been Aerith simply running past them while shouting out loud “The plate's about to drop! Get out of this sector! Run for your lives, RUN!!!” She shouldn't have stopped even for a moment! Later on, she rescues another little girl, which is fine and all, except that it's one of those instances where the developers force the player to WALK SLOWLY! And Aerith even comforts the girl by telling her that there's “no need to rush”. Like, seriously? THE GODDAMN PLATE IS COMING DOWN ANY MOMENT, FOR GOD'S SAKE!! If this is no time to rush, then when is it? Really, the game's padding feels much more detrimental here than in any other chapter. The developers must've been truly desperate when they stall for time even in a scenario where TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

Finally, the whole plate drop itself is undermined by the fact that Biggs, Wedge and most slum residents survive due to a successful evacuation. Here I cannot help but wonder: what was their reasoning behind this? Are they really that afraid to depict death in a video game that they think they have to go out of their way and completely rewrite parts of the story? In the original, Biggs, Wedge, and Jesse died here, along with pretty much everyone else in the slums. Wham! Now THAT is how you deliver a shock to the audience. See, the main reason why I liked the idea of fleshing out the Avalanche members and giving them more background was that their eventual death would feel that much more devastating then. Only that doesn't happen, except for maybe Jesse (and even in that case we can't be too sure, maybe SE miraculously brings her back in the next episode, who knows?). Biggs is still alive, so his long dramatic dying speech at the pillar was all for naught, and feels obsolete in retrospect. Same with Wedge. As a result, it's not surprising that the plate drop in the remake didn't have nearly the same impact as in the original. They may show you the destroyed sector later on, sure... but at the same time they tell you that most people made it out alive anyway, so it never feels like the catastrophe which the original game presented.

All my remaining points cover events in the Shinra headquarters. Boy, what a mind-bendingly stupid mess this whole chapter was, but one thing after another:

4: So Mayor Domino is now a secret Avalanche member operating directly from the Shinra headquarters, right under their noses without them realizing it? Yeah right... Another instance of SE depicting Shinra as downright dumb. I'm gonna quote the remake's Reno on this one: “If you're gonna bullshit me, at least try to make it believable!”

5: Hojo blurting out that Cloud wasn't a Soldier... just like that... Now let that sink in for a moment and think about how this affects one of the most important plotlines of the original:

A LARGE portion of the game's story revolves around unraveling Cloud's past and who he is, why his memory seems to be fuzzy and inconsistent from time to time, and what really happened five years ago. The original game did a wonderful job at successfully deceiving the player for most of the game about Cloud's identity, and it only worked so well because the players simply accepted Cloud's version of the Nibelheim incident which he tells at Kalm. And why wouldn't they, as there's no reason to distrust the main character at this point, so it is taken as fact until well into disc 2. Cloud having been a Soldier was NEVER pulled into question until both Sephiroth and Hojo claim at the Northern Crater that Cloud's just another Sephiroth clone, and that's the point where the player starts to doubt. The big reveal which clears up everything isn't made until you're about two-thirds into the game, and it was one of the most brilliantly executed plot twists ever precisely BECAUSE the player was left in the dark and led down a wrong path for so long. In the remake, this whole deception obviously won't work anymore now. Rather, new players will now question Cloud's version of the Nibelheim events from the get-go, since they've already been told that Cloud wasn't a Soldier right at the story's beginning.

Of all the violations to the original plot that they pulled in this remake, this one has probably got to be the most serious. The game's biggest plot twist – one of the most famous in JRPG history – ruined in one single sentence... Wow... just... wow...

6: Hojo again. This time, he locks the party in his lab and tells them that he'll only let them out if they help him to collect “valuable combat data” by fighting some of his stuff... Come on, do I really have to elaborate on why this is garbage? On to the next one.

7: President Shinra's death scene. That one definitely stood out as the pinnacle of bad writing. Why is President Shinra hanging there? Was it Sephiroth? If so, why didn't he finish him off right away? When Barret and President Shinra go inside, why are the others not following them? Like what are they doing, gazing at the stars for several minutes without realizing what's going on inside, just a couple meters away from them? Why would President Shinra even bother threatening Barret when he knows that other Avalanche members were waiting behind him? Several units of his troops already failed at taking them down, so what are the chances that this middle-aged man without combat experience could accomplish that on his own? And why isn't Barret simply aiming back? Machine-gun beats colt any day.

Honestly, not a single character in this entire scene acts in a comprehensive way. Remember what I said about the importance of believable behavior even for fictional worlds? Well in this scene here, any and all believability goes completely down the drain.

In this case that's especially sad because this particular scene - and much of the Shinra headquarter before it - was a vital part of Sephiroth's introduction in the original. Most of the Midgar portion was dedicated to depicting Shinra as this seemingly insurmountable Titan that Avalanche cannot seem to overcome, no matter how hard they tried. After having half of their members killed in the plate drop, it ends with them being thrown in jail in the Shinra headquarters, unable to do anything but wait for their likely execution. Had they not received outside help from a so-far unknown third player, their little adventure would've ended right then and there. Enter Sephiroth... and all of a sudden Shinra doesn't look so unbeatable anymore.

The fact that they changed the entire Shinra building scenario completely in the remake (and omitted both the prison part and the bloodbath part) leads me to believe that Nomura and his fellow writers failed to understand the importance of this scene for Sephiroth's character building, even though he's never actually shown there in the original. So they think President Shinra's death scene is better in the remake because now you actually see the stabbing? Think again, because the point of this scene in the original was not to show to the player that President Shinra was dead. It was to make the player aware of the appearance of a new villain, one that even Shinra is helpless against, thus ushering in a new chapter in the narrative. While Shinra still sticks around as an enemy for most of the game, the role of the true threat has now clearly passed on to someone else.

In the remake, though, this entire message fails due to several bad decisions made previously: The plate drop didn't hit Avalanche as hard as in the original because Biggs and Wedge survived, the party never gets jailed, they make it through the entire building on their own without anyone else's help (no, Wedge's short appearance doesn't really help anyone), and in the end, they have the company leader in their hands. President Shinra is at their mercy now (quite the opposite tone of what the original game was trying to convey here). As a consequence, the president's death doesn't feel nearly as shocking anymore because he pretty much was already beaten before that.

8: This next one is actually part of the scene above. Barret getting killed and then revived immediately afterwards because “this death was not the one destined for him”. Don't even get me started on this... Nomura may call it a clever, unexpected plot twist. I call it a brain fart. 'Nuff said.

9: Boss battle against Jenova: way too early, with absolutely no context given. Who is this creature? What does it want? Why is Sephiroth carrying it around? Why do we have to fight it? The game never even bothers to explain anything about her, it simply assumes that the player already knows that from the original game. Didn't the developers claim that this remake was for both old fans and newcomers alike? Please explain to me how a newcomer who hasn't played FF7 before is supposed to make any sense of this boss battle.

The original once again handled this a whole lot better by describing Jenova's origins and background in detail first: we learn that she's a 2000 year-old Cetra discovered by Shinra's scientists, and that her genes were prenatally infused into Sephiroth, making her his “mother” in a metaphorical sense. Granted, some of that information turns out to be wrong later (her being an alien rather than an ancient), but that's beside the point. What matters is that by the time the first Jenova battle occurs, the player immediately knows that this battle is an important one because of all the information he received about her before. But in the remake they just throw you into battle with her without further ado. A newcomer can only think: “Big scary mutant thingy, it's probably evil, so we gotta kill it.” Good writers don't introduce important figures in such a way.

10: Chadley. Yes, it's Hojo's assistant that wants you to keep fighting in a simulator for some odd reason. And he reveals that reason after finishing the toughest optional boss in the simulator. And boy, what a reason this is: so Chadley is actually not a human, but an android, but his AI somehow developed a conscience (yes, like Skynet from Terminator, lol!) and now he wants to break free from Hojo's control. And watching humans battle in the simulator apparently allows him to rewrite his AI to accomplish just that...

The first time I watched this, I simply fell out of my chair laughing as I couldn't believe that level of nonsense, lol! ;D

Come on now, there are quite a few more than that, which were good.

Granted, most of the "normal" dialogue scenes between party members, Avalanche members and most NPCs were actually well done. I liked the Avalanche dynamic, Barret's "Mr. T style" (I've always imagined him like that), Aerith's flirting with Cloud, and the Turks were also pretty cool (I especially liked Reno).

The arena in Wall Market was interesting as well, fitting for the overall atmosphere of the location.

And I quite liked that you could sabotage Airbuster, thereby influencing the fight's difficutly depending on which components you select.

So you're right, I guess there were certainly several good and enjoyable moments, I'll admit that. There's still quite a few bad story changes they pulled (mostly towards later in the game) that tend to overshadow the good parts. You've already said yourself that the remake undermines and devalues several important themes and plot points from the original, and I whole-heartedly agree with you there.

It's a remake, and everyone should know that remakes tend to change things up and add new concepts and ideas, which is why I think the hate for the ending is overblown. People should expect it.

Except for the fact that Square Enix has already done faithful remakes of FF games in the past (think FF3 and FF4 on the DS), and unlike this remake here, they stayed VERY faithful to their original stories. They merely tweaked a few gameplay mechanics, and added names and a slight glimpse of personality to the FF3 protagonists, but the stories were otherwise untouched. So it was only natural that many players expected a similar approach here, especially since the developers stated in interviews multiple times over the years that they only plan on EXPANDING the original story, but not ALTERING it altogether (and if that wasn't a flat out LIE, then I don't know what is). Take for example this interview from March 2020, merely weeks before the release:

Also, I think most people aren't upset that there are changes to the story per se, but rather due to the fact that most of these changes were for the worse (that list is VERY long indeed), and in the whispers' case even pretty much openly declared the story of the original to be null and void now.

As others have already stated, there are certain steps and rules that authors must follow if they want their plot device to work properly. a) They have to set it up in advance by leaving hints all along the way before the plot twist happens to make sure that it doens't feel arbitrary or contrived, and b) they have to make sure that any new additional elements still fit within the overall world and lore of their respective story, or it will feel wierd and out of place to the audience. This latter point is especially important when dealing with a world and lore that have already been firmly established and well-defined for many years! In the whispers' case, they apparently did neither.

A plot device in a remake is simply not good when the possibilty of it's existence has never even been hinted at anywere in the original game (nor in any of the compilation material) and was only just made up for this remake, thereby creating the feeling that it came completely out of nowhere, for no logical reason.

A plot device is even worse when it clearly and openly contradicts elements from the original plot.

And a plot device is the worst imaginable when it even contradicts its very own reason for existence, in this case "keeping time/fate on track", because sometimes the whispers do the exact opposite of that: They attacked 7th Heaven until Jesse broke her ankle, making sure that she and Wedge wouldn't come along on the second bombing mission, when in the original timeline, they did come along. They saved Wedge from the plate drop by teleporting him away even though in the original timeline, he died there. Indeed it seems like Nomura has a hard time following even his own premises!

So the problem with the whispers was not only that it was a new and bad Deus-ex-machina-like plot device, but that it was also implemented in a very clumsy and poor way.

Nearly all the major plot beats are the same.

I beg to differ, as that's exactly where they screwed up most of the time. Even without the whole time-travel-stuff, there's illogical, badly written scenes all over the place. The instances where their additions/changes were for the better are the exception rather than the rule. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two: visiting Jesse's parents, and having Tseng talk to the party over a monitor rather than being present only seconds before the plate falls. Pretty much all other changes/additions they made were either unnecessary or even detrimental to the story (and as I said, that list is LONG).

Alright, after watching the entire 15 h cutscene marathon on youtube from start to finish, here's my 2 cents on their new take on the story: most of the normal dialogues with NPCs and such were actually fine, and I liked most of the additional talk between the party members and Avalanche, it was kinda fun spending a bit more time with them. I didn't have a problem with the voice acting either, but maybe that's because english isn't my native language. Either way it was fine by me. The added/changed content is where most of their narrative problems lie. Some of it was good, some of it was meaningless, and others make you just shake your head in disbelief.

Now, I'm absolutely fine with adding more background to side characters as long as it is still in line with the original story and doesn't contradict it in any way. In Jesse's case, they got this right. In other cases, unfortunately, not so much. The game starts out faithfully enough, but here and there they start to roll off the track, and these moments become more frequent the further you progress in the game. And I'm not even talking about Nomura's fate-ghosts or the time-traveling Sephiroth, for even if you were to delete them from the game, there'd still remain a whole bunch of other logic errors and plotholes, some of them with a severe negative impact on the overall story. And those are simply difficult to overlook for me. I could write a long list of all the illogical, contradicting, and sometimes downright hilarious story changes that ruin the atmosphere, but that might take a while. And it's often some major plot points where they fail, sadly.

Also the story of the original was clever and had a lot of adult themes.  Most of all you cared about the characters and could suspend disbelief.  There's none of that with the Demake - it's an out of control, totally unbelievable hack n slash.  The original wasn't perfect, but it got an awful lot right.  Also, I'd point out that the English translation of the original was the main reason FF7 is seen as more convoluted than it was.  You can't use the flawed original translation as a hammer to beat the original with.

Indeed, certain mistranslations completely changed parts of the background story around, or at least made it sound rather obscure. My absolute favorite mistranslation is still what Vincent says when you first open his coffin:

Vincent: "So Sephiroth knows he was created five years ago?"

When it should be more like: "So Sephiroth learned about his creation five years ago?"

What's interesting is that this very same mistranslation is also in the german version, so it looks to me like the german translators didn't translate the original japanese script, but rather the already flawed english script, thus carrying over all the mistakes from there, plus adding new ones.

FF8 Tools / Re: [PC] Enemy editor - IFRIT (0.11)
« on: 2020-04-24 18:57:57 »
Regarding the the AI editor, there are a couple of known issues:
Alignment issues (the sections should be aligned to the next power of 4)
Some code does not get decompiled correctly and will actually change behaviour - this is typically around the tests in if statements. Some of the code that decompiles to self.x should target other entities.

I've been working on a new version from scratch because the code is such a mess and I've managed to get it to compile all the existing monsters correctly with the exception of two: G-Soldier and Tri-Point.
The former seems to be because the AI was coded incorrectly and the latter is because the code cannot handle negative offsets at present.
The new version also has an option to graph the AI and show the bytes (mostly to aid debugging).
Hopefully I'll have something that I can release within the next month or so.

That's awesome news, man, I love you! The buggy AI editor was in fact the ONLY reason why I never bothered seriously modding this game!

Welcome to the forum! The only way I can think of is using Ifrit, Quetzacotl and Doomtrain to change each and every name by hand, which would be quite tedious. I'm not sure that using the kernel.bin file of another language version would even work (I doubt it), and even if it did, you'd have more text in that language than just item/magic/attack names.

General Discussion / Re: Text editor
« on: 2020-04-11 05:28:14 »
Hello, and welcome to the forums! There are actually several text editors for this game, all of which can be found in the "Tools" section. The best one imo is Makou Reactor as it allows you to edit so much other stuff as well, but if text is all you want, then Loveless and Tough Script should do the job, too.

Did you even play the original?
Cause Shines 100% blows up reactor 5 as well as the pillar that supports sector 7.
The first explosion is hinted at being caused by Shinra as well by the very same scene you mentioned...

LOL, you're not really serious about that, are you? I could return that same question.

For reference, here's Barret's exact words when they first meet president Shinra in reactor 5:

Barret: Don't give a damn 'bout none of that! This place's goin' up with a big BANG soon! Serves y'all right!

Avalanche DID place a bomb in reactor 5, in case you've forgotten. Just the timer wasn't visible this time for gameplay reasons (there was still a cutscene and a boss battle coming up, so they probably didn't want to pressure the players too much), but the original game never left any doubt that this was Avalanche's bomb.

And on a side note, it wouldn't make any sense for Shinra to blow up the reactors themselves. They are ruthless, yes, but like any company their prime objective is earning money, and as an electric power company the reactors are their main source of income. If they wanted to denounce Avalanche as evil-doers, they could've easily done so in other ways. From a business point of view, demolishing your own production is devoid of all logic. (And I'm actually surprised that Nomura, who is also among the leadership of a big company, seemingly doesn't understand that.)

And Jesse wondering about her bomb's strength isn't really a "hint" for any sort of conspiracy from Shinra. It's far more likely that she just made a mistake when constructing her bomb. Everybody makes mistakes from time to time, that's normal, and Jesse even made another one with Clouds ID card on the train, so we already know her work isn't always the most reliable.

Oh, and to answer your initial question, I've played the original more times than I can count over the past 22 years.

Attention, another spoiler coming up! I just read on some other forum that:

Spoiler: show
this time it is actually the Shinra themselves who are blowing up the reactors to blame it on Avalanche. This was apparently done to make Avalanche look "nicer", and less terrorist-like, to make it fit into today's time, and to draw a much clearer picture of good guys vs evil guys (ugh!)...

And it gets even more hilarious when they argue that "the original game already hints at that", lol! Maybe some of you remember: in the original game, in the Avalanche hideout, Jesse was a bit surprised that her bomb's explosion was stronger than intended, and she wonders whether she made a mistake. Now I (and any sane person too, I presume) always figured that she simply miscalculated, since she's an amateur, afterall. But Nomura (or Nojima?) apparently interpreted that as Shinra being behind this with a bomb of their own.  :o

Honestly, what on earth were they smoking when they made up stuff like this?

General Discussion / Re: FF7 remake discussion time!
« on: 2020-04-05 08:51:11 »
Alright, so this game is not at all what was expected after reading some of the early leaks, and the marketing has been completely deceptive. Massive spoilers, of course.
Spoiler: show
So, the "remake" is essentially a sequel to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII that involves a future Sephiroth traveling back in time to undo what lead to his demise in the original game, including undoing Zack's death in the outskirts of Midgar.  The "ghosts" seen in the trailers are there to prevent the original timeline from being disrupted, and any action Cloud takes that influences a divergence in the timeline, like almost dealing a fatal blow to Reno in the Sector 5 Church, is physically prevented. They're present because Sephiroth has already arrived in the timeline at that point, and the game ends with Sephiroth tricking Cloud and co into killing these Watchmen and severing the chains of fate, leading to an unknown future, and in turn entirely different sequels post-Midgar.

OMG... just as I was thinking my opinion of Square Enix and this remake couldn't possibly drop any lower, they prove me wrong yet again, lol. I couldn't believe this at first, but several other sites seem to confirm this, so I assume it is indeed true:

Also, the ending of the first episode is already on youtube, showing
Spoiler: show
Zack's survival

OMG... this isn't even a remake at all, it's a poorly written, totally ridiculous fanfic, lol.

General Discussion / Re: FF7 remake discussion time!
« on: 2020-04-04 21:01:52 »
It's funny (or rather, sad) how my expectations have declined over the years, not just regarding the FF7 remake, but Square Enix in general. There was a time when I actually wished for a remake of FF7 with modern graphics and voice-acting, but that was in the early 2000s (looong ago, I know). Back when Sakaguchi was still in charge, I never had any doubt that a new Final Fantasy game would fulfill all the prerequisites that I expect from a good rpg.

Part 10 and 12 deviated from this traditional approach, which was disliked by some players, but they were still good rpgs overall, so my expectations hadn't dropped that much by then, even though I found it a bit sad that Final Fantasy had strayed from its roots. Up until this point, I had always tried to avoid spoilers for any new FF game as much as possible, never reading any news or watching any videos about it, since I wanted to discover everything (including who the cast of the player party was) on my own. For the previous games, all I ever knew about them before buying them was maybe the name of the main character, but beyond that... nothing. And I liked it that way, because the games could surprise me so much more than if any content had been spoilered to me.

But then came the big bummer... FF13. As usual, I avoided any and all news, and thus bought it without thinking twice, and started my playthrough completely unbiased, and... The first 2-3 hours of combat were still somewhat enjoyable, as I was convinced that I would reach the first town any time now. Further hours of non-stop battling followed... my mood got a bit worse, but I kept going, still hoping that the seemingly endless chain of battles would eventually end and I would get to the first town to do something other than battling for once (Go shopping, talk to the people, maybe play a minigame or discover a sidequest or some such. After all, an rpg lives on variety, right?)... but the further I progressed, the more it dawned on me that the variety I was seeking would not be forthcoming anymore...that the entire game was indeed just one long battle marathon from beginning to end, with nothing else in-between... my initial excitement over a new FF game had gradually diminshed, and during the final third or so of the game it became a chore rather than a fun freetime investment. I merely wanted to get it over with. This had never happened to me before: at first I was looking forward to getting to play a new FF game, but towards the end I was actually looking forward to not having to play it anymore!

FF13 was the game that lead me to change my approach towards new rpgs. From now on, I would carefully inform myself before I would even consider spending money on any new FF game, despite being spoilered that way. That was the last time that I blindly bought an FF game, as my faith in Square Enix had been deeply shaken. In fact, I haven't bought anything from them ever since except for the steam versions of the PS1 games. I didn't buy the two sequels to 13, and also not FF15, even though I got my hopes up again when they initially announced a world map for it. But following news dampened my expectations for FF15 again, such as scraping the world map idea again, a retarded action combat system, and worst: spreading the story over several media (the game, a movie, an anime series, DLCs), so that those who only played the game itself wouldn't even be able to grasp it. Thus I also ended up skipping FF15, once again being dissappointed in a main FF game, but at least not wasting money on it this time.

When the FF7 remake was finally announced, it was at a time when my trust in Square Enix had already hit rock bottom, so my expectations for the remake were never high to begin with, but Square Enix still managed to lower them even more with stuff like:

splitting it into multiple episodes
Certain gameplay contents only available if you pre-order the game (and pre-order a specific version on top of that! WTF?)
adding totally out-of-place story content (those Whispers that control Fate? WTF?)
Probably some more story nonsense from the compilation
Most likely, no world map

I cannot comment on the combat system since I haven't played a demo yet. Some say it's definitely better than that of FF15, and that there is at least some depth to it, so we'll see.

I for one don't plan on getting it anytime soon, or likely not at all. MAYBE if they ever release all episodes including all content on pc, and even then it'll probably be used copies from the secondary market at a cheap price. And that's a HUGE maybe...

General Discussion / Re: FF8 All mobs set to lvl 100
« on: 2020-01-09 10:27:08 »
I don't know if a mod exists, but you could easily make what you want using Cactilio. It allows you to edit all monster formations in the game including the levels of the enemies therein. Refer to the Cactilio thread for details.

Unfortunately JeMaCheHi hasn't been on the forums for almost 4 years now, but I suggest reading the thread first, that should answer most of your questions.

Oh, and welcome to the forum, btw!

Congrats on finishing FF1 in its original form, it's nice to see that at least some people are still playing the original FF games instead of the remakes (glad I'm not the only one, lol). It's true, the NES version is way harder than any of the remakes. These have been intentionally watered down since it's commonly assumed that today's player base is rather spoiled/effeminate compared to the 'hardcore' RPG players of the 80's and early 90's, so the remakes contain a lot of features to make the player's life easier (quick-save function, lower shop prices, infinite inventory space and auto-re-targeting are just some examples, FF1 in particular didn't allow you to cure Stone status or revive dead party members during battle, as I'm sure you've noticed. All of the remakes made that possible).

So yeah, you can be proud of yourself for being one of the few people to beat a hard 'old-school' game like that in today's age. Do you plan on playing the other parts of the series in their original versions as well?

FF8 Tools / Re: [PC] Enemy editor - IFRIT (0.11)
« on: 2019-10-27 14:52:45 »
Hey guys, I was just playing around with AI editing for some monsters, when I tried to save my changes and then received this error message in Cerberus' AI:

"Syntax error on line 30: no viable alternative at input 'if(unknown)'".

Whatever the mistake is, it must be present in the vanilla AI already, as I get this error message even when I didn't edit anything. Does anyone know what to do in this case? I'm hoping there's a way to get around this, because this error message prevents me from saving any changes I'd like to make. It's the same for a few other enemies as well (the Propagators, Sorceress No.1, and Granaldo). If anyone could point me in the right direction, that'd be great.

General Discussion / Re: [FFVII-R] 03.2020 - New Trailer
« on: 2019-09-25 15:18:36 »
Am I seeing right that the Elemental Materia now only gives a 2-5% damage boost when used in the weapon? In the original game the damage doubled when taking advantage of an elemental weakness, but 2-5%? Why even bother? At least the armor effect remains unchanged, so the Materia will now be restricted to defensive purposes only, too bad...

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