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(hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Better story, visual improvements

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby DiegoMM » Sun Dec 11 2016 12:23am

just defeated the red baron.

The dialogue in dwarf town is very good, I noticed you add a shop there right? I dont remember a item shop in middle of town.

I have some questions/suggestions
1 - Why you didnt change the dark sol, dark dragon/lucifer dialogue? You prefer the english version of this story?
2 - Why you didnt correct the jar enemy with the proper name of Jaro?
3 - I see you are using the poison percent patch in this hack, that is great, but you could use the 3-digit hack and search in battle fix too, I miss those.
4- Did you change some music?
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Mon Dec 12 2016 1:44am

DiegoMM wrote:I noticed you add a shop there right? I dont remember a item shop in middle of town.


I don't think I added the shop... there were only two places where I wanted to add an item shop, which are in the Desktop Kingdom and on the ship after reaching Parmecia, but neither worked out.
As far as I remember, there always was an items dealer in the Dwarven Town, wasn't there?


DiegoMM wrote:Why you didnt change the dark sol, dark dragon/lucifer dialogue? You prefer the english version of this story?


Actually, I wasn't aware that there was an alternate version of the lore. I just checked on it. If I ever make an update of Return to Grans, I'll probably change it!


DiegoMM wrote:Why you didnt correct the jar enemy with the proper name of Jaro?


I believe that it messed up some other stuff for some reason, without me knowing why or what to do about it. So I just left it as it was.


DiegoMM wrote:I see you are using the poison percent patch in this hack, that is great, but you could use the 3-digit hack and search in battle fix too, I miss those.


Personally, I prefer the regular "???"-way of displaying 3-digit stats, because I think it looks more special, and in Return to Grans its a rare thing to have stats exceed 99 anyway.
[EDIT: except for enemies, I guess. I only thought about party members. It's useful alright. But I still like the "???"-style better :D ]
When it comes to the search in battle option, I made sure that the Life Ring can be found by normal means, and for all other intents and purposes I feel that its just a gimmick.
So... no additional hacks, I'm afraid. Sorry.

I'd encourage you to simply patch your version of Return to Grans if the battlesearch and the 3-digit-hack are your thing, but I guess the fact that you're asking me to add those hacks is that you probably tried that and it messed up stuff.
Well, thing is that I pretty much know jack about 'really' hacking the ROM, all I had is the editors and a lot of determination. So I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to do anything anyway :/


DiegoMM wrote:Did you change some music?


I believe I changed the music for one or two areas for which I thought that another track would be more fitting (although I can't recall which ones... I think one was at Creed's? I don't remember). But there are no custom tracks.


DiegoMM wrote:just defeated the red baron.


Seems like you're closing in on the finish. Good luck :)
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby Di.H » Fri Jan 06 2017 10:25pm

Oh, hi there.
I really like the idea and realization! If you do not mind, could you add another upgrade?
Always thought that a one promotion is not enough and this idea will fit perfectly into your concepts. Of course, if this is interesting you and it is possible to do, I can try to make battle sprites and faces.
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby Oppolo » Sat Jan 21 2017 7:34pm

I haven't played SF2 for many years, but will give this a go now for a replay because it sounds like a fun experience! Thank you for creating it.
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Mon Jan 23 2017 12:33pm

Di.H wrote:Oh, hi there.
I really like the idea and realization! If you do not mind, could you add another upgrade?
Always thought that a one promotion is not enough and this idea will fit perfectly into your concepts. Of course, if this is interesting you and it is possible to do, I can try to make battle sprites and faces.

I agree that it would be cool to have multiple promotions per character, but there's only so much you can do with the basic structure of SF2. I think that it's not really possible to add new classes which aren't just a variation of something that already exists within the game - for example, if we could give Bowie an alternative to his HERO promotion, we could make him a mage or an archer, but there's already other characters for this role.

If it was possible to for example add new magic spells to the game, I would want to take a look at adding new promotions, but as it stands I feel it wouldn't improve the experience of the game. Also, I'm not sure if it would even be possible to add new promotion paths without taking away those of an already existing class.

Oppolo wrote:I haven't played SF2 for many years, but will give this a go now for a replay because it sounds like a fun experience! Thank you for creating it.

Thanks! I hope you'll enjoy it :)

DiegoMM wrote:
Why you didnt change the dark sol, dark dragon/lucifer dialogue? You prefer the english version of this story?

greyskies wrote:
Actually, I wasn't aware that there was an alternate version of the lore. I just checked on it. If I ever make an update of Return to Grans, I'll probably change it!

I've finally looked into this, and it turns out it's not possible to make this change. The caravan editor doesn't accept certain words (I have no idea why), so I can't spell out "Lucifer". Random fact: One of the books in Astral's basement (I think it was there) was supposed to read "Quantum Mechanics for Dummies", but the best I could get was "quantum Metaphysics" as the editor accepts neither the capital Q nor mechanics nor dummies. Bummer.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby DiegoMM » Mon Jan 23 2017 8:19pm

I forgot to write here after finishing the game. I really enjoyed all the text changes and the ending feel more apropriate.
WARNING: SPOILER!


I finish the bonus battle too.
Congratulations again.
Last edited by DiegoMM on Tue Jan 24 2017 4:29pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Tue Jan 24 2017 9:54am

Thanks again for your feedback, DiegoMM! Do you mind putting your comment on the balance of certain endgame enemies in a spoiler tag?

WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby SirHedge » Wed Jan 25 2017 11:33pm

greyskies wrote:The caravan editor doesn't accept certain words (I have no idea why), so I can't spell out "Lucifer". Random fact: One of the books in Astral's basement (I think it was there) was supposed to read "Quantum Mechanics for Dummies", but the best I could get was "quantum Metaphysics" as the editor accepts neither the capital Q nor mechanics nor dummies. Bummer.

Shining Force 2 compresses text by converting everything into two character combinations. Thus for the game to correctly display the text, the two character combination must exist in SF2's list of acceptable combinations. This means that rarer combinations don't exist and can't be printed. BNC said he could have made a text editor that would have told you what combinations were acceptable without you needing to play the game, but there didn't seem to be much interest for it at the time. I'm fairly certain you can't extend the number of possible combinations, but you could replace unused ones, if you had unused ones. I'm sad to hear that "Lucifer" is not valid.
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Thu Jan 26 2017 10:17am

SirHedge wrote:Shining Force 2 compresses text by converting everything into two character combinations. Thus for the game to correctly display the text, the two character combination must exist in SF2's list of acceptable combinations.

Ah, interesting. I assumed it had to be something like that, as many words with "rare" letters such as Z or Q wouldn't work (but some did).

SirHedge wrote:BNC said he could have made a text editor that would have told you what combinations were acceptable without you needing to play the game, but there didn't seem to be much interest for it at the time.

Well, the editor promptly informs you if a text string isn't working, so it's not that bad... the real problem is that there's already so many other restrictions, in particular the (low) number of letters per dialogue. It's quite annoying if you finally come up with something short and pregnant, only to find out that one of the words doesn't work.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby Oppolo » Thu Jan 26 2017 1:08pm

I have been playing a bit and have just finished Mitula's shrine and recruited Taya/Skreech.

I'm really enjoying the dialogue changes so far, they make talking to the townsfolk much better (especially for a replay!) - the new bookshelves are interesting to read too. I've noticed some of the Headquarters quotes seem to have changed - has this been the case for lots of people? I'm considering rotating everybody into / out of my party, so I can read what everybody says.

For general feedback, I've found the new battles very enjoyable. I have found that the battles have become easier as I've progress through the game, though maybe I've just got a nice thing going (usually Kiwi or Jaha on the front lines, then lots of ranged attack to dispatch enemies quickly).
Though I'm anticipating the battles to come will be very difficult.

The Kraken battle was fine (I went to get the sword for Rhode first, so had that EXP in my pocket), but the chess battle was a nightmare. First time I did it, I used most of my healing items and then Bowie got smashed in. So then, I had no healing items for it! My tactic was to carefully go up the right edge of the board, where the enemies were more sparse, but I still ended up getting defeated about 2 more times before I won by just targeting the king when he got close. The chess battle has been my only failure so far, and it was a failure multiple times!!

Zalbard was a walkover; his support didn't stand by him so I could pick them off before he attacked. He did decide to walk over and Bolt me just before his last minion died, but it was too late by then - all it meant was that he walked within range of my dogpile.

I'm putting my thoughts about the force members I'm using behind spoilers;

WARNING: SPOILER!
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Re: (hack) SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Thu Jan 26 2017 2:14pm

Thanks a lot for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

Oppolo wrote:I've noticed some of the Headquarters quotes seem to have changed - has this been the case for lots of people? I'm considering rotating everybody into / out of my party, so I can read what everybody says.

Yes! There should be new banter for (if I recall correctly) about 3/4 of all force members, both active and out-of-party.


Oppolo wrote:For general feedback, I've found the new battles very enjoyable. I have found that the battles have become easier as I've progress through the game, though maybe I've just got a nice thing going (usually Kiwi or Jaha on the front lines, then lots of ranged attack to dispatch enemies quickly).
Though I'm anticipating the battles to come will be very difficult.

That's great to hear, I hope the game will remain (or rather become more) challenging for you! If there's any battle which seemed to be particularly easy (or tough) in your opinion, I'd be happy to hear it, so I might perhaps modify it.

In my opinion, it was always true for SF2 that difficulty decreased the further you progressed in the game. Of course, one could make it even easier with the leeway when to promote, but for the most part I think it comes down to the fact that in the early game you're operating with a smaller party.

If you look at the first battle in Galam, the one where Slade joins afterwards, you are faced with 3 enemies right at the start, while you yourself only command 5 guys. Where the difficulty comes from just has to work out different when you're suddenly running around with 12 people, and it's not so easy to reconcile this. I tried my best, but I think it's always a fine line between tough, powerful enemies and an unfair challenge. I hope it worked out in some way :)


Oppolo wrote:The Kraken battle was fine (I went to get the sword for Rhode first, so had that EXP in my pocket), but the chess battle was a nightmare.

Aw dang, I tried my best to keep the difficulty of the chess battle in an acceptable region. I would SO have wanted to just place an item dealer somewhere in desktop kingdom to make sure the player can't get stuck too heavily, but if I recall correctly the whole region is just a no-go for editing and will crash everything if modified.
On the other hand, I also didn't want to make the chessboard fight easy as it's just such an iconic battle. As I said, fine lines...! :D


WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

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