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[PSX/PC] Alternate Fantasy (v3.2 & v5.2)

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Tirlititi:
Final Fantasy IX: Alternate Fantasy is a mod aiming to increase the difficulty and, above all, to give a new experience of FF9 for those who already know the game well.

Here are different download links. You only need to download 1 of them, depending on your platform and whether you want the full mod or only the Beatrix incorporation.
Note that Beatrix is not recruitable in the PSX versions of the mod due to modding limitations.

┌─────────────────────────────┐
§  Alternate Fantasy v3.2 (PSX - US)  §
├─────────────────────────────┤
§  Alternate Fantasy v3.2 (PSX - FR)  §
├─────────────────────────────┤
§  Alternate Fantasy v3.2 (PSX - IT)  §
┌──┴─────────────────────────────┴──┐
§ Alternate Fantasy v5.2 (PC - International) §
└─┬───────────────────────────────┬─┘
§ Beatrix-only v5.2 (PC - International) §
└───────────────────────────────┘
For the PSX version, you install it by applying a PPF patch to the original game files. You can use the tool PPF-O-MATIC that is included in the mod archive.

For the Steam version, you must first install the Moguri or Memoria Engine mod, then install Alternate Fantasy (that is done mainly by moving the right files at the right place and registering it in "Memoria.ini" as explained in the Readme).

The following is a description of the Steam's latest version (v5.2).
Several features are not present in the PSX version of the mod.

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

Here is a list of the dialogs suppressed by the developpers and put back:
Spoiler: show• Extra dialog between Puck and Vivi over Alexandria's roofs, unmissable
• A small line in the ATE "Time To Escape", missable
• An extended dialog between Steiner and Morrid, unmissable
• An extra ATE in Cleyra's cathedral, missable
• A few lines in Pinnacle Rocks, after the first meeting with Ramuh, unmissable
• An extra minigame in the occupied Linblum Castle, unmissable
• A couple of lines in the base level of the occupied Linblum Castle, unmissable
• An extra minigame when controlling Vivi in Alexandria for the 2nd time, missable

Also, there are 4 new bosses that can be fought at the end of the game.
For that, speak to Hades after defeating Lich and obtaining a Pumice: he will challenge you with new fights.
Spoiler: show• The 3 Black Waltzes fighting together
• The 2nd opus of Tantarian, available only if you defeated it in Alexandria's Castle
• Meltigemini, with pieces of real twins inside
• The 4 Guardians fighting together

And Excalibur II can now be acquired by two different methods:
1) Reach and beat Hades in less than 14 hours,
2) Get all the collectable treasures of the game (there are 3 little mistakes allowed) to obtain the highest treasure rank.
Including a few Mimics, that makes 404 unique treasures to find.
The list is the same as in vanilla (for the locations at least) and can be found in this topic.


Gameplay-wise, there are a lot of changes. The battle system has been reworked, always with the aim of having more balanced mechanics and open to diverse strategies.

Here is a list of these changes: it is more or less written in decreasing order of importance, which allows you to stop reading whenever you don't want to know any more.


List of abilities (spreadsheet)

In particular:
• Some abilities are short-ranged, meaning that they are influenced by the character's row [in vanilla, only the attack command is] and back attacks. They also can't be used against out-of-range enemies.
• Some abilities can deal critical strikes [in vanilla, only the attack command can], which doubles their damage.
• Some abilities use the properties of the character's weapon, which includes its element (if the ability has an element, both are taken into account) [in vanilla, only No Mercy, Stock Break and Shock does that], the bonus given by killer abilities and the weapon's status if the supporting ability Add Status is enabled [in vanilla, only the attack command does that].

• With Bandit enabled, stealing all the 4 items of an enemy cannot take more than 10 attempts:
The super-common item is stolen at the 1st attempt,
The common item is stolen for sure after 1 unsuccessful steal,
The rare item is stolen for sure after 2 other unsuccessful steals,
The super-rare item is stolen for sure after 3 other unsuccessful steals.
When Master Thief is also enabled, only 1 unsuccessful steal can be done between each successful steals (so all the items are stolen after 7 attempts maximum), and the most rare items have the priority.
When Bandit is not enabled and the first steal's random check fails, the counter of unsuccessful steals is not increased [as in vanilla, the first random check is "Random(0, Caster's level + spirit - 1) ≥ Random(0, Target's level - 1)" ; this check is bypassed by Bandit].
Zidane can still steal items with luck, in which case the counter of unsuccessful steals neither increase or reset.

• The trance of any ally can be manually triggered using Zidane's Transcend skill provided that the gauge is already at 50% at least.
• Added a double-cast-like trance to Beatrix.
• Scan cannot miss anymore [in vanilla, it misses against most bosses and several special enemies],
• Summons are special for 3 reasons:
 1) As in Vanilla, their power increases with the number of jewels that you own (except for Odin for which it is a penalty), up to a +49 bonus [+99 in vanilla],
 2) Their power increases each time you cast them, up to 50 times for a bonus of +50,
 3) The first time you cast a summon in a battle, it gets priority over the other commands: it is summoned before the other commands in queue, even if the ATB gauge was filled after. When Dagger and Eiko are both in the battle, summons get priority once for both of them.
• Stellar Circle 5 and Meo Twister increase the critical rate on the enemies, adding a 33% chance to the default critical chance (non cumulative).
• Gravity damage are now effective against all the enemies, including bosses. Their power is divided by 4 against bosses [in vanilla, Gravity spells always miss on most bosses].

Note that some weapons get a special power bonus with the Attack command (thief swords and knight swords are empowered by spirit, rackets are empowered by speed and Save The Queen is empowered by level). As in vanilla, this bonus only applies when using the Attack command.

Supporting Abilities

Auto-Shell, Auto-Protect and Cheat Fate (immunes against Doom) are added to several characters.
Bright Eyes, Restore HP and Reflectx2 are removed.
Accuracy+ now immunes against Blind [in vanilla, physical attacks cannot miss with Accuracy+ even under Blind, the only effect of which is then to remove the character's evasion against enemy attacks].
Protect Girls triggers anytime [in vanilla, it triggers only under 50% of Max HP].
Cover triggers under 50% of Max HP [in vanilla, it triggers only under 17% of Max HP (yellow HP)].

The way that most damage modifiers work has changed:
• When accumulated, the damage bonuses give +50%, +100%, +125%, +150%, +162%, +175%, etc... (the theoretical limit is a bonus of +200%, which is 3 times the base power),
• For Steiner's trance, these bonuses are doubled to +100%, +200%, +250%, +300%, +325%, +350%, etc... [in vanilla, Steiner's attack command gets a +200% bonus instead of the usual +50% given by Trance; it is not the case anymore],
• The damage penalties cancel damage bonuses,
• If there are more damage penalties than bonuses, the damage are halved that many times.
Damage bonuses include Killer abilities, elemental equipment boosts, target's elemental weaknesses, Berserk or Trance, target's Sleep, target's Mini, back attack, special supporting abilities (High Jump, Concentrate, Power Throw) and MP Attack (Attack command only).
Damage penalties include Mini (for most of magic attacks), short-ranged attacks from back row, multi-targeting a spell that can be single-target, target's elemental resistances, target's defend, target's shell or protect.
Critical strikes (damage x2), summon short forms (damage x0.67) and physical attacks under Mini (damage drastically lowered) are not concerned by the above.
[In vanilla, the damage are multiplied by 1.5 for each bonus instead, except that killer abilities, elemental boosts, weaknesses and resistances are applied no more than once each.]

Fixed Return Magic non working on Necron or behaving differently than in the PSX version of the game (multi-target spells are now multi-target returned).

Statuses

The duration and speed of statuses has been reworked.
They are now independant of the fighter's spirit, except for Doom and Gradual Petrify (the more spirit you have, the longer it takes).
Haste and Slow respectively decreases and increases the status duration and respectively speed up and slow down the ticks of Poison, Venom and Regen.
[In vanilla, the more spirit you have, the longer statuses last, except for Doom and Gradual Petrify that are running faster with higher spirit. The ticks of Regen are also faster while the ticks of Poison and Venom are slower.]

Float gives a +30% evasion bonus against physical attacks if the attacker doesn't float.
Remedies cure Poison, Venom, Silence, Blind, Stop, Mini, Gradual Petrify, Confuse, Heat and Freeze [in vanilla, it doesn't cure Confuse, Heat and Freeze].
Phoenix Pinions cure Doom (they also cost and sell cheaper).
Vanish is efficient against more attacks (all the short-ranged physical attacks).
Defending protects against many negative statuses: Silence, Blind, Confuse, Berserk, Sleep, Heat, Freeze and GradualPetrify.
Confuse triggers a back attack bonus half of the time [in vanilla, only back attacks at the start of battles and running away can trigger a back attack bonus].

Poison and Doom can now be inflicted to several bosses.
For Poison, the damage per tick on bosses is 1/64 of Max HP instead of 1/16.
For Doom, a boss doesn't die at the end of the countdown but looses 1/5 of its Max HP instead.

Heat and Freeze last only a short time. Freeze lasts 1.5 times longer than Heat.
Vanish and Sleep last longer.
The ticks of venom are 1.5 times slower than the ticks of Regen or Poison [in vanilla, they are 2 times slower].

Steiner's Break abilities can be used against bosses but are less effective [in vanilla, they are just as effective as usual]:
• Power/Magic Break: bring to 80% of the boss's normal stat, instead of 67%.
• Armor/Mental Break: bring to 67% of the boss's normal stat, instead of 50%.
These can be used again if the enemy somehow changes its stat through a special ability.

Enemies

Reasonably increased the stats of enemies and made them harder through their AI.
The Max MP of the enemies have been drastically lowered in order to get emptied in a decent amount of time through MP damage.

Changes to the party's abilities reflect on the enemies' abilities.
More statuses are inflicted by enemy attacks and spells.
More abilities can be critical strikes, especially the physical attacks [in vanilla, a non-missable physical attack, like Ark's Boomerang, doesn't have critical] or the breaths.

The class of several enemies has been changed. Enemies are not automatically "birds" as soon as they are floating or flying, and there are more "humanoids".
Classification is less restricted by gameplay constraints [in vanilla, a few bosses are not "stone" or "zombie" despite the evidence because it would mean a free win; it is no longer the case].

Ragtime Mouse's questions are modified.
Quina may eat humanoids [in vanilla, they are non edible, like most bosses].

Miscellaneous

A few chests have a changed content. In particular:
• The Dragon's Hair and the Kain Lance are switched, making Dragon's Hair only available in late game,
• The Tiger Racket is only available after the return of the mist and seeing a cutscene with Quan (this specific optional cutscene is thus delayed),
• Several Hammers can be obtained; Hammers can be used by Vivi, Eiko and Dagger to improve their strength,
• Several acclaimed prices in Treno's Auction House have a delayed availability (Dark Matter in particular).

The elemental weakness given by pieces of equipment are now given in their description [in vanilla, they are hidden].
The Cotton Robe money trick was removed (they sell a bit less).
A couple of weapons can be used by several characters (for instance, Dagger can use the... dagger).
The ultimate weapons give a big boost to main characteristics (Strength, Magic, Speed and Spirit).
A few minigames have been tweaked.


Note about the version "Beatrix-only"

That version is meant to provide additional content without changing the difficulty or the gameplay of the vanilla (non-modded) game. It includes:
• Recruitable Beatrix (with cutscenes, abilities, trance etc.),
• Hidden scenes cut by the devs,
• The optional stuff that Hades offers (4 extra bosses and their rewards; the extra bosses are slightly easier since they inflict less statuses, but their damage and HP are the same as in the main version of the mod),
• Thunder Slash fix (that's the only non-optional gameplay aspect I kept in that version).


Enjoy!

Kefka:
Nice work, man! Is this mod only for the english version of the game or also for others?

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

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

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

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

Tirlititi:
Thanks.
Yes, Dyne abilities also cost more MP. Transcend is also made available only late in the game.

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

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

gorildo:
I would like to ask you some things. But first of all just wanted to let you know, I own both the original release of the game and the Square-Enix re-release. I correctly dumped my copies and they're perfect according to the latest Redump data.

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

Anyway:

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

Tirlititi:
Hum...
I was not aware of a 1.1 release from Squaresoft. I heard about the Gold chocobo bug (it is the fact that you can enter Ipsen's Castle before the Mount Gulug segment, right?) but didn't know it gave birth to 2 versions of the game.

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

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

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