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Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode (COMPLETE)
04-08-2014, 12:10 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2017 01:24 AM by Jarlaxle.)
Post: #1
Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode (COMPLETE)
Lufia Hard Mode <-- Patch Download Link. (100% Complete!) YouTube Preview Playlist: https://tinyurl.com/lou9okf

[Image: 3cqx.png]
^ "Huh? We'll actually need to heal?!"

Features:
~~~ Tougher enemies and bosses.
~~~ Better Item-Drops to help you out.
~~~ Certain items are cheaper to encourage use. No point hoarding!
~~~ A prologue which is actually somewhat challenging rather than a joke.
~~~ Battles which require actual strategy rather than click-click-victory!
~~~ Manageable difficulty; not really a grind-fest.

Thanks to JCE3000GT’s Lufia Editor, I was able to begin work on a more challenging version of Lufia; no more bloody one-hit-kills! “Ah, a new area with tougher oppponents.. *kills three in a row in one hit each* Erm…” – Yep; those days are over.

All enemies will have tougher stats, and as you progress and gain the other members of your party, naturally the challenge will be increased to compensate. All of the ‘boss’ encounters will be much more difficult, where you will indeed need to heal often, at times with more than one character. Did you never really use the attack items like Arrows and Bombs that you used to receive? Well now they are more important than ever to deliver a boost to your attack capabilities, likewise with temporary stat-boosting items and buffing/de-buffing spells.

This will be a Hard version of Lufia, but definitely not an Insane version (perhaps at a later date someone else might make the latter). You need to employ actual strategy against even regular enemies, particularly varied groups as you learn to take out the biggest threats first where in the past it didn’t really matter. Boss encounters will require even more clever thinking, where using the initial safe round to cast buff/de-buff spells and making use of similar items is important. You might just have no choice but to use that rare Miracle you were saving to keep someone alive and refresh their MP.

I wouldn’t say any ‘grinding’ has been required in my current play-through (where I am editing as I go; and making changes if I’ve made certain enemies too deadly or weak), but I never skip any battles and if I’m close to a level-up I’ll make sure I get there before visiting an Inn or whatever; standard RPG tactics. I assume the player knows where all the secret treasure is, and there’s an awesome walkthrough by Sleipnir2000 at GameFAQs besides.

Currently this is just a progress thread, but I’ll eventually edit this post with the patch when it’s complete. I’ll also need to re-play the start of the game after I severely reduce the over-generous item quantities of the prologue characters! Glad that is now possible, as even though I made the initial enemies and bosses tougher, it’s a bit cheap with semi-unlimited Miracles which can restore your HP and MP completely. >_>

[Image: ij59.png]
^ Rush into battle without preparing properly at your own peril.

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^ These little Goblin bastards needed some tweaking!

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^ A new rare item-drop at Northwest Tower.

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^I ran out of MP, had hardly any healing items left, and only one Hi Magic to get me safely back to town to heal up and restock properly. Difficulty toned down. >_>
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04-08-2014, 03:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Awesome. I love to see quality hard and even "lite" or easier mods for RPG's. Especially when there is thought and strategy involved to beating said mod. Grin

You beat me to it on the hard mod, was going to do it. Now I can concentrate on modifying my easy mod for Lufia to have more content rather than stats.

To contribute further I've got some of the monster AI data mapped so it will be possible to edit the existing monsters' AI in the editor. Just later rather than sooner. Let me know if you want any of the raw hex offset and data documentation.

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04-10-2014, 12:52 AM
Post: #3
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Yeah I saw the editor at RomHacking.net when you recently added it and pretty much got stuck right into it; has been a blast so far replaying it with a higher difficulty, and just in general since I haven't played Lufia in yonks and never actually finished it. Guess I just lost interest, and I probably know why!

I look forward to any other advancements you make to the editor, but it'll take me ages to get through the game and edit it as I go anyway. I think I'll redo the start now that you've made it possible to edit their items, and perhaps make the bosses they fight even more durable; without being excessive, I hope. I haven't touched a hex editor in years, and the most advanced thing I've ever done with one was edit MP in the PC version of Langrisser//Warsong, haha.

I recently had a lot of trouble with the 'Apprentice' fight as I made him way too powerful since I forgot it's a 1-on-1 battle. >_> Has since been fixed, although he can still take you down if you're not careful. I left his AGL untouched as he can raise that stat with a spell and the little bastard was pulling off way too many double-hits. The Northwest Tower doesn't seem so daunting anymore now that I know you can freely use up most of Lufia's magic and not need to rely on Hi Magic drops; although I made them even more generous.

Sidenote: I look forward to trying your Mystic Quest difficulty enhancement. I remember seeing your videos of it a while back. I found the original game pretty fun, although I only play-tested it, meaning I moved on and forgot about it. Will definitely give it a whirl some time.
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04-10-2014, 01:09 AM
Post: #4
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
If you want to touch a hex editor let me know and I will try to help you out with the monster AI. :)

And if the Mystic Quest Reborn/HardType is too hard I've got a "Lite" version that I haven't released yet that I could use a beta tester on. Let me know.

I'm looking forward to your Lufia hard mod release. Sounds like a bunch of work is being done to add challenge and new strategies.

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04-10-2014, 09:38 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2014 11:34 AM by Jarlaxle.)
Post: #5
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Battlelog: Epic. Just had a pretty crazy encounter in the Ghost Cave near Kirof, where I was up against two seperate pairs of 'Crazy Pot' foes (which can use a hit-all Frost spell, where you want to cast Shield on at least Aguro) and a Spooksword. I thought I'd take out a pair of the Crazy Pots first, but then whenever I killed one or two the other group would Call another one; I had to kill about 10 of them before I finally won the battle. >_>

[Image: zxwe.png]
^Smarmy little pricks.

They aren't all that strong but you really need to make sure you injure each of them at least a bit before you try and finish them all off. Perfect example of the strategy required now that enemies are more durable! A lot of these kinds of things wouldn't really have the chance to come up much in a normal game, so it has definitely made things more interesting.

I ended up changing the ultra-rare drop of the Spooksword (which was like 1%~) from a Scimitar (which was too powerful, changing the dynamic of future battles, to be sure) to a Power Ring with a realistic chance of dropping before the dungeon is complete; you already attain one earlier on in the game. It won't be of much use in the Ghost Cave since the Ghost Ring is more effective, but should be a nice compromise once you leave the cave.

I've collected most of the treasure, so I'll see how the impending boss battle goes. So far I have made every single one of them overpowered, so we'll see if I guessed some manageable stats for once!

Edit:
[Image: yc4k.png]
^Finally putting a Hi Potion to good use...rather than waking up Lufia. She earned a rest. ;)

Well, the boss battle was pretty easy even with enhanced stats, so for once I was able to increase them further rather than embarrassingly have to reduce them. I'll try the fight again tomorrow and see if it's more appropriate; technically this is your first proper boss battle with the main party, so it should be a good one. Only downside is said boss often puts you to sleep or confuses your party; more annoying than challenging.

Looking ahead at the walkthrough I'm using, it would appear I'll be in an awkward position since some powerful weapons can be found as treasure coming up, which pretty much makes ones like the Broad Sword/Scimitar/Axe useless, in favour of a Long Sword. I hate it when that sort of thing happens, but I guess I'll have to factor it into the challenge. Gamers were way too spoiled and babied with this game. >_>
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04-10-2014, 12:27 PM
Post: #6
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Wow, that Crazy Pot battle must of been a pain in the ass for sure! The game did spoil you on equipment, to see some balance you've put in there.

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04-10-2014, 10:44 PM
Post: #7
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Originally I increased the Phantasm's HP to 1,500 from 640 as well as a boost in all other categories, and it was still pretty easy, where my characters were only put to sleep a couple of times before it was defeated; and not one Confusion. Increase the stats slightly and up the HP one last time to 2,140, and it became a much more serious fight. I was put to sleep twice as much, and the boss used confusion successfully several times; making the fight much tougher without being excessive i.e. two hits later and you go from full HP to nearly dead. In saying that, I had to actually use two Revives in this battle to bring the hero and Aguro back from the brink! I had 10 at this point, so that's not bad; better strategy such as more frequent healing and casting Shriek on Aguro the second he becomes confused (since he hits your allies very hard) would have prevented the need to use any Revives, so I think the balance is perfect.

I've been keeping a separate save file right before bosses, so I can make some videos for YouTube at a later date; and when the game is fully complete I'll play from the start again anyway so I can make it through the entirety and see if the challenge remains the same; because battles can play out quite differently every time, now.

At this point, you can head to level 4 of the Old Cave, where you can find a Long Sword; surpassing the as-yet-unattained 'Brone' Sword/Scimitar/Axe, as mentioned, so I'm thinking it would be good if I could change that to a Scimitar, remove the axe as a purchasable item where it becomes available, and then when you get to the town where you can purchase Long Swords, swap them for Axes. But it's not worth doing unless that treasure chest Long Sword can be swapped. In the meantime I'll just assume the player skips ahead to purchase a pair of Axes before heading to the next level of the Old Cave; meaning enemies will be very overpowered to those who don't. Best way to solve that dilemma, for now.
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04-11-2014, 12:42 AM
Post: #8
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Sounds like you've got some good progress in getting the strategy perfect on the bosses and etc. I'm getting excited reading your progress reports. Grin

Also, when you get done with the playthrough do you mind if I grab your saves? I could use them myself for some beta testing.

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04-11-2014, 11:09 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2014 11:11 AM by Jarlaxle.)
Post: #9
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Yeah, I'm loving how differently the battles can play out, and while some of them can be slightly annoying (like a trio of Mud Man foes which can heal each other), I haven't really needed to make any serious changes lately. The bosses are tough but not in a cheap way, and the regular enemies can be dealt with so long as you pay attention and learn which should be taken out first depending on the unit-type density, and naturally making sure your characters' HP is restored between battles!

I'm using an SNES emulator on my Xbox, although I think the saves are compatible with the PC equivalent, otherwise I could track down the non-savestate saves if those end up on one of my Xbox hard drives. Shouldn't be a problem.

Seeing the way stat evolutions seem to be going, I'm now betting the enemies you face in the prologue will actually be underpowered in certain statistics. It will take a while, but I'll definitely wait until they reappear in the main part of the game before re-editing the start with those new item changes you added. I'm guessing it will take a month or two, perhaps slightly longer before I've made my way through the game entirely, playing and editing as I go. I'll release the patch here at that stage, and then play it from the very start without all of these editing pauses to double-check. There will always be haters, but I reckon I'll nail the perfect balance.
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04-11-2014, 02:18 PM
Post: #10
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
I didn't think of the prologue's enemies situation. I'm wondering what the average player's level is for your characters on a normal play through and if you could that information to adjust Maxim's party level / equipment? Since Lufia is unique in how it deals with a new game letting you play the end game first in the prologue and then arrive later using another different party finding a balance between the two parties might be tedious...

Oh and thanks for the saves, if not compatible not a huge deal, more of a convenience really.

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04-12-2014, 06:53 AM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2014 06:55 AM by Jarlaxle.)
Post: #11
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
[Image: b25y.png]

Cannot believe how awesome an experience the most recent boss battle I faced was! It was against the ‘Follower’ at Northwest Tower, and while it seemed fairly manageable and tame even though I increased its statistics quite significantly, everything changed once I had whittled away about half or two thirds of its HP; then it seriously went into overdrive. It started using much more powerful attacks, frequent status-changing spells so that it would have time to heal itself twice in a row, very angry ‘Jolt’ physical attacks and Bolt spells for double damage, and basically just flipped a switch from defensive to offensive. I doubt many people would have the chance to have seen this drastic change, as they were probably strong enough to wipe the creature out in 2-4 turns. It’s a whole different experience, where some people will probably think I tampered with more than just the stats. >_>

The only changes I made after that battle was to increase its attack statistic by +5 and magic strength by +2; considering this is a single opponent, basic attacks of 40-50 HP aren’t really much of a threat; and if you use Shield you’ll be able to damper the Follower’s magic spells as well. This will make the first half of the fight a tiny bit more engaging. I might even have a go at recording the battle right away just so you can see what I mean. Hopefully I witness a similar experience!

Oh, and I suppose the game's prologue was always supposed to be a walk in the park, so I'll be happy if I can make it at least a bit more challenging; but the main fun will come beyond that little opener anyhow. ;)
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04-12-2014, 12:29 PM
Post: #12
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Wow, that battle sounded intense! Funny how that happens, just change a stat here or there and a whole new battle experience rears its ugly head!

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04-17-2014, 02:38 AM
Post: #13
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
[Image: t8r1.png]
^ I. Hate. These. Guys. <_<

I have progressed all the way to Elfrea, at last. The boss battle against the Dark Ghost was pretty awesome as well, but it didn't go as crazy as the last one after taking a lot of damage; it just started healing itself and using its special ability which can rob a character of every last drop of MP. >_> Makes the battle a bit more challenging though, so it will force people to mix it up a little and rely more on items. Originally there wasn't much HP difference between the Dark Ghost and the Follower boss, although naturally I made the former tougher and more durable now since it's the last boss you face for a really long time, unfortunately. Not sure why they cheaped out on the bosses beyond Elfrea!

[Image: kzgl.png]
^ Prick!

In any case, I'll be careful to increase the enemy statistics more slowly now so that I don't hit the max 255 wall in either Attack or Defense, which wouldn't be hard to do. Magic strength should be fine since once foes use powerful magic spells; they are already pretty deadly so there's plenty of room to supplement their damage.

[Image: xg0q.png]
^ Bloody stoners.

[Image: 7744.png]
^Be very careful when you run into four of these Flamefreaks for the first time; it's quite possible that they'll elicit your first Game Over screen, so to speak.
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04-17-2014, 04:34 PM
Post: #14
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Ouch, those Flamefreaks look dangerous. Check your PM, I've determined you can safely go beyond 255 on attack and defense. I'm coding that and what I believe to be magic defense as well. Should have it done before this weekend.

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04-17-2014, 07:52 PM
Post: #15
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Niiiice. At this stage in the game your characters don't even have any fancy armour, and the Dark Ghost boss could use a slight tweak in strength (currently 165, but I didn't want to go too high to balance out the progression for bosses) since it only does around 40-50 damage to the Hero; while you get four turns to smack it down. That would be a big help for bringing on the challenge and maintaining it throughout the whole game, with the last areas hopefully getting some uber-tough enemies! I toned down the Flamefreak's magic strength slightly, although four of them will still be deadly if you don't get to healing right away until you've killed a few of them; and the Gargoyles can be a worry in a large group if they successfully use Stone on all characters, which I assume means Game Over. >_>

Still having tons of fun editing and playing Lufia as I go, so no burn-out as yet. I did play a bit of Final Fantasy ZZ (Hard Mode of the original NES game) and that hack is pretty brutal but awesome (four high-HP Ogres in the first dungeon at the start of the game? Really? NICE! >_>). Will be good to see and compare if I'm being too generous from time to time, which I don't think will be an issue. I look forward to the updates, that will be a big help since I don't think I'm even halfway through the game.
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04-17-2014, 10:07 PM
Post: #16
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
My advice is to not make an insane difficulty but one that allows the player to progress normally with maybe 1 game over per couple game play clock hours or so.

Or the solution is to make your insane difficulty but also offer a toned down "lite" version. Though I would stay away from needless game overs. LOL

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04-17-2014, 11:51 PM
Post: #17
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Nah a Hard Mode is always nicely in the middle between 'Normal' (original game) and Insane. I've been playing for 20~ hours or so and only came close to dying once, so if anything I'm being way too generous. >_> I still find it pretty easy, but it's definitely harder than the joke the original was. No bloody one-hit-kills or magical group-slays! I've probably made item drops too kind, but it'll help people who struggle and like to give up too quickly. There will always be haters and babies, but I'm loving it so far and that's all that matters. ;)
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04-18-2014, 02:15 AM
Post: #18
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Look at it this way, any modification to this great game will be brilliant I think. I wouldn't worry about being generous with item drops and the like I got faith in the game strategy you're developing. Grin

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04-21-2014, 09:53 AM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2014 09:54 AM by Jarlaxle.)
Post: #19
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Yeah it should balance things out anyhow since you'll really need to heal after most battles to be safe, so being generous should avoid the need to grind for money. My extra-long weekend is just about over, and I'm up to the part where you get your first ship; by then most people will be very close to level 30 if not already. Which means players will gain access to the final level of the Old Cave...where you run into most of the enemies from the prologue! However, they don't appear as regular enemies for quite a while yet, so I think I'll make them very deadly, where you probably won't be able to handle them until around level 40 (which is about when they appear in other places). Folk will be in for a nasty surprise if they think they can tackle it right away. ;) I will check the place out before I do any edits though, just to see if my team could survive the edits I made for the prologue.

Of course, things get very interesting right when it's time to go back to work! Since I work 12-hour shifts Sunday-Tuesday, it means I'll only be doing one shift before I'm back on my regular four days off. >_> Love it! Progressed several hours into Final Fantasy ZZ (Nes Hard Mode), where it can be somewhat brutal but a bit in a cheap way, where you suffer constant annoying status ailments where your whole party is often put to sleep or paralysed. I prefer the kind of challenge where the enemies are tougher overall when it comes to stats rather than being given such abilities, but hey; it's still fun.

Thanks again for making this possible.
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04-21-2014, 05:23 PM
Post: #20
RE: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom - Hard Mode
Cool beans.

I'd be curious to see how the prologue plays out now. LOL Grin

And, I'm a little behind on getting the monster editor tweaked. Had a busy week last week. I'm hoping to get some time in front of the computer to get that done in the next few days. :)

Glad I could help. I'd gratifying to see people give good games attention like Lufia.

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