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BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Things I found while reading SF2's code.

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby BigNailCow » Wed Jan 07 2009 4:59am

Discovery 7: I don't know if it's been done before, but I've finally confirmed exactly how the "special ability" value in characters' stats works (and by the way, I assume "???" in SF2Edit for class definitions is actually this special ability value.)

It's actually a bitfield, so if you don't understand binary you won't really know how to read the values. But long story short, it controls counter attack chance, double attack chance, and critical hit chance/severity. It's not really "special ability" at all so much as it is "dexterity" or something similar.

The lowest 4 bits (values < 16) control critical hit chance and severity, by referring to a table. Here are what the values mean:

0000 (0) = 1/32 chance of 150% damage
0001 (1) = 1/32 chance of 125% damage
0010 (2) = 1/16 chance of 150% damage
0011 (3) = 1/16 chance of 125% damage
0100 (4) = 1/8 chance of 150% damage
0101 (5) = 1/8 chance of 125% damage
0110 (6) = 1/4 chance of 150% damage
0111 (7) = 1/4 chance of 125% damage
1000 (8) = no chance of critical

The other 7 values all seem to be a 1/4 chance of 150% damage, but it doesn't display "heavy attack". This seems to be a "secret crit" option.

The next 2 bits (16 and 32) control double attack chance. It goes from 1/32 to 1/4 as you increase the value.

The final 2 bits work for counter attack chance in the same way.

The best possible value you could have is 246 (11 11 0110).
That's 1/4 counter, 1/4 double, 1/4 150% crit.
Quite impressive.

So let's look at some examples:

Most normal unpromoted classes:
3 = 00 00 0011 = 1/32 counter, 1/32 dbl, 1/16 125% crit
Most normal promoted classes:
67 = 01 00 0011 = 1/16 counter, 1/32 dbl, 1/16 125% crit
Baron class:
68 = 01 00 0100 = 1/16 counter, 1/32 dbl, 1/8 150% crit
Master Monk and Wolf Baron classes:
131 = 10 00 0011 = 1/8 counter, 1/32 dbl, 1/16 125% crit
Red Baron class:
132 = 10 00 0100 = 1/8 counter, 1/32 dbl, 1/8 150% crit
Ninja class:
148 = 10 01 0100 = 1/8 counter, 1/16 dbl, 1/8 150% crit

In conclusion:
- Baron has new usefulness as it gets better crits.
- Ever wonder why Lemon gets his own class? Because they wanted him to be better at countering than Barons.
- Slade is seriously badass.

Now some monsters:

- Several monsters seem to secret crit...
- Ever think Kraken Legs are a bit unfair? You're right. They have 1/16 counter, 1/16 dbl, and 1/4 150% crit. Several other monsters have this, but doesn't it always seem like Kraken Legs are particularly destructive?
- Particularly impressive bosses:
Zalbard, Galam = 1/4 counter, 1/8 dbl, 1/4 125% crit
Cameela, Red Baron, Zeon = 1/4 counter, 1/4 dbl, 1/4 125% crit
Odd Eye = 1/4 counter, 1/8 dbl, 1/4 150% secret crit
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby SirHedge » Wed Jan 07 2009 5:24am

Sweet.
A while back I was using the same concept of binary with the special abilities trying to find out what they did by comparing them with actual monsters. But I expected each one to be like a Boolean for stuff like poison, paralyze, and the like, and there wasn't consistency between the numbers, so I dropped the idea (not to mention I couldn't think of enough specials to fill the spaces some monsters had). I never once guessed that they would have handled "dexterity" like that. Glad to know how it works though!

Thanks again. Impressive work.

(and go Slade and Odd Eye!)
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Rusty » Wed Jan 07 2009 6:31am

Do you know where the Poison/Paralyze abilities are, then? I thought the Special Ability thing would be linked to that too. :/
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby BigNailCow » Wed Jan 07 2009 10:08am

Probably hardcoded.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Martin III » Thu Jan 08 2009 1:17am

Very interesting stuff. Lemon's definitely going into my party when I load up SF2 on the Virtual Console.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby DarkKobold » Sat Jan 10 2009 3:09am

Your notes that you gave me were great for developing some scripts for trying to brute force bot SF2.

Also, poision and flight, and etc may be hardcoded here
34-35 compound of 2 bytes (for monsters at least) ???

from your own notes.

Have you found any memory addresses that indicate which squares trigger a battle?
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Lord Kane » Sun Jan 11 2009 8:41am

Very interesting BNC!!! Can you also figure out, how the Critical Sword and Counter Sword push the chances? Maybe 1/32 --> 1/16 and 1/16 --> 1/8 ??
A complete list for all charakters (promoted and unpromoted) would be very interesting, too.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Rick » Sun Jan 11 2009 11:03am

I was thinking the same.

going off the discussion in the CG, is there any other reason to choose a Brass Gunner apart from the Defence and HP Bonus? Do they gain any extra chance for double of criticals or something?
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Drakonis » Sun Jan 11 2009 12:33pm

they do get a small bonus to the Attack stat (something that, somehow, nobody noticed since its a difference of 3 points or something).
I guess BNC stated all special character stats for the force in his post, I assume the gunners have normal special stats.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Tonberry2k » Mon Jan 12 2009 7:31am

Pretty great finds. Very interesting.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Special T » Mon Jan 12 2009 2:16pm

Tonberry2k @ Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:31 am) wrote: Pretty great finds. Very interesting.

Wow I didn't expect to see you over here, thanks for your help over at the Spriters resource.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Martin III » Wed Jan 14 2009 1:11am

Just had a thought... Since lemon has such a high rate for counters and criticals, and his criticals are so damaging, would this make it worthwhile to equip him with the Dark Sword? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think curses affect counters. And that 21 Attack points the Dark Sword has over the Great Sword becomes 31 Attack points when you get a 150% critical.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Aldur » Wed Jan 14 2009 1:21am

Are Lemons counter and crit the same as they are when he's Red Baron?
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby BigNailCow » Thu Jan 15 2009 12:56am

Aldur @ Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:21 am) wrote: Are Lemons counter and crit the same as they are when he's Red Baron?

Consider reading my post.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Zeon-Darksol » Thu Jan 15 2009 1:39am

Special T @ Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:16 pm) wrote: Wow I didn't expect to see you over here, thanks for your help over at the Spriters resource.

Well he does rip shining force sprites so he is obviously a fan of the games :D
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby DomingoRules! » Thu Mar 19 2009 11:12pm

BigNailCow @ Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:11 am) wrote: Sorry for the new thread, but I figured I'd dump all of the interesting things I found in my hacking (as I've returned to combing the SF2 code) here.

First.. promoted classes do 125% damage with spells.

This might already be common knowledge, but I had no idea. Found it hardcoded along with the code that divides up damage for SORC spells.

That's neat. Only time I ever noticed promoted characters doing more with spells is when I use heal and it recovers 18 instead of the 15 it recovers when the character isn't promoted.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby BigNailCow » Sat Apr 18 2009 6:29am

Discovery 8: Apparently the game caps base MOV at 9. Did we know this before? You can still get to 11 by equipping the Running Ring, but attempting to use a Running Pimento when your MOV is 9 will get you +0.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby xenometal » Sat Apr 18 2009 7:17am

I knew it capped at 9 (through natural means... :shifty:), though I didn't know the Running Ring could raise it to 11 on top of that.

Speaking of Movement, I've experienced with Movement Types in order to figure out just how much each type affected movement penalties in different kinds of terrain.

I gave all units a starting movement range of 10 (I wonder if it'll go over 11...) and each with equipped with a different movement type, I had them march over long stretches of terrains and counted how many squares they could cross. Here's the data I've gathered.

P = Plains
G = Grass
F = Forest
H = Hills
D = Desert
  • Warrior: P=10, G=6, F=5, H=6, D=6
  • Horse: P=10, G=6, F=4, H=4, D=4
  • Stealth: P=10, G=10, F=10, H=10, D=5
  • Gunner: P=10, G=10, F=6, H=6, D=6
  • Fly: P=10, G=10, F=10, H=10, D=10 Can cross Water. Can cross Mountains. Doesn't receive Land Effect bonus.
  • Float: P=10, G=10, F=10, H=10, D=10 Can cross Water. Cannot cross Mountains. Receives Land Effect bonus.
  • Water: P=0, G=0, F=0, H=0, D=0 Can cross Water.
  • Archer: : P=10, G=6, F=5, H=6, D=6
  • Ranger: P=10, G=6, F=4, H=4, D=4
  • Sniper: P=10, G=10, F=10, H=10, D=5
  • Mage: : P=10, G=6, F=5, H=6, D=6
  • Priest: : P=10, G=6, F=5, H=6, D=6

You'll notice that Warrior has the same penalties as Archer, Mage and Priest, that Horse has the same as Ranger, and that Stealth and Sniper are the same. The fact that there's a 'replica' of several movement types especially for Archer classes leads me to believe that their movement type could have something to do with these classes having a damage bonus against Flying (and possibly Floating(?)) foes. I have no idea what the purpose of the Mage and Priest movement types could be. Thoughts?
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby BigNailCow » Sat Apr 18 2009 7:51am

There are tables in the game that store the movecosts, of course, so I could have just dumped those out for you if you wanted to know. (It's always entertaining to me how you guys find so much data just through persistent testing/trial and error, since I have access to the game's guts and can pull it out easily, but, that's just a testament to your dedication!)

I don't know why there are duplicates. You can see the table, along with land effect for each terrain type, in the Terrain tab under the Battles section in Caravan 0.5. Each cell is color coded based on the movecost, ranging from gray = unpassable to red = very high movecost. I swear I'll get the Caravan documented someday.

I also renamed the movetypes in that based on the actual type of movement, ie, foot, tires, flying, etc.

---------------

New find:

Discovery 9: Wasn't the conventional wisdom that Kiwi's flame breath doesn't upgrade? Well, it does. At level 12, 20, and 30. I also found that the probability of him using it is 1/4, or 25%.

If you want to change the probability, the byte is at 0x240a7. The chance is 1/x, where x is the byte (default is 04). So to make it happen all the time, change the value to 0x01.
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Re: BNC's Interesting Discoveries

Postby Martin III » Mon Apr 20 2009 2:23am

BigNailCow @ Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:51 am) wrote: Wasn't the conventional wisdom that Kiwi's flame breath doesn't upgrade? Well, it does. At level 12, 20, and 30. I also found that the probability of him using it is 1/4, or 25%.

Sweet. And a bit surprising, actually... I think I had a feeling before this that it upgraded at one point, but I certainly never thought it did so twice(I never go up to level 30 promoted, so I wouldn't know about the third time).

So what are the values of the upgrades?
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