Author Topic: Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition Version 2.0, now with Moguri support  (Read 20341 times)

Clem Fandango

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Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition

What is this?

Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition (DBE) is a gameplay mod that is a remix of the original game, aiming to keep the overall essence and feel of FF9, but with some new options for the player and an overall higher difficulty. The mod is now up to 2.0 after years of off-again, on-again iteration.

This mod requires the latest version of Memoria and is compatible with Moguri. The mod has been fully playtested with Memoria's Turn-Based Difficulty option, which is pretty fun if you want a slightly different flavor than usual. Downloading and installing the mod is done through the Memoria mod manager, more on that below.

As of 2.0, nearly every battle has been altered further, character abilities/stats have been tweaked, various bugs have been squashed and there's a wide variety of minor changes beyond that.

What's with the name?

I like David Bowie.

Is this meant as a hardmode mod?

It's meant to be harder than FF9, but not so hard that it no longer resembles FF9 at all. Combat is meant to be more substantial on a per-fight basis compared to the original game, largely due to the lower encounter rate of the newer releases of FF9. The idea is that the game should have some degree of friction throughout, especially if the player is not grinding.

The level of difficulty I was going for would be similar to FF4, specifically the DS version of FF4, but without the infamous "got ambushed by a bunch of dogs that were on fire and got instantly wiped" kind of thing.

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 you can still totally do that if you want.

- 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.

- Enemies generally hit harder, hit faster and are more durable. In some cases they gain new abilities, elemental traits, classifications and so on. Nearly every encounter from the Evil Forest onward has been modified, generally to make enemies more dangerous than before.

- 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.

- 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.

- AP requirements for abilities are cut down across the board, to encourage both experimentation in using different characters (doesn't take as long to build someone up), as well making it easier to shift around pieces of equipment as needed.

- 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.

- The final dungeon has a number of new random battle formations, with larger enemy counts per battle.

- 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.

Known Bugs

Presently the area around the Village of Dali sometimes softlocks the game upon loading a battle. It's not 100% guaranteed to happen and I've not been able to figure out the cause of it. It's the only major bug I've been able to replicate.

That being said, please let me know of other issues that you may encounter.

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. Also a big shoutout for showing me how to make the mod compatible with Moguri, as well as allowing it to be listed in the Memoria Mod Manager. 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. Also a big thanks to anyone out there who has provided feedback and pointed out bugs to me.


Standard Installation

1. Download and run the latest version of the Memoria patcher from this page: https://github.com/Albeoris/Memoria/releases. Note that when you run the patcher, Windows may pop up a dialog saying the file is unsafe; this appears to be a false positive and is probably not unexpected given how the patcher works. If you've got an older version of Memoria, make sure to update to the newest version.

2. Launch FF9. You should now see a different looking screen from what you would normally see, what you'll want to click is the "Install Mods" button in the upper right-hand corner. From there, click the Browse Catalog tab and you should see the mod listed.

3. Select David Bowie Edition in the mod manager and install it. Should be good to go from there.

4. Note that this should not be used with existing save games, unless updating from a previous version.

Additionally, you can download mod data at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/k5o64e3g8iyah63/FF9%20DBE%20v1.16%20Memoria.zip?dl=0

It says 1.6, but it is 2.0. I'd recommend installing the mod through Memoria instead.

Moguri Installation

This is largely the same as the standard install, but you've got an additional step before doing starting the process. First install the newest version of Moguri from here: https://www.moddb.com/downloads/mirror/216757/127/bfacb6ef7e75fa89cd9b57b3d09a2a23

Once you finish installing Moguri, proceed with the steps seen in the Standard Installation section. At the end you can enable whichever Moguri components you'd like to use in the Mod Manager. I don't think load order should matter, keeping David Bowie Edition loading before Moguri will work fine.

Updating

To update the mod, simply uninstall it in the Memoria Mod Manager's Installed Mods tab, then redownload it in the Browse Catalog tab. Also make sure to be running the latest version of Memoria, as DBE makes use of features from the most recent release.
« Last Edit: 2022-09-14 00:32:05 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 »