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Jarlaxle

Saiyuki Journey West Hard Mode (Started June 2017)

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I’ve started working on a Hard Mode for the PSX tactical RPG Saiyuki Journey West, which was a bloody fun and overlooked title that came out toward the end of the original Playstation’s lifespan. Some consider it a Final Fantasy Tactics clone, and it definitely has a lot of similarities. However, it lacks the customisation elements, as each character has their set class and special abilities. In my mind this is a lot more fun, not necessarily better than FFT but well worth playing in any case as a top TRPG. However, also similar to FFT, the game does become pretty damn easy, and the bosses tend to be pretty lacklustre when you’re overpowered.


Here’s a quick list of the main changes I’ll be making for this Hard Mode:

~ Tougher enemies and bosses (naturally).
~ ‘Mini-boss’ creatures in most battles that don’t have a boss.
~ A slight MP boost for each character as compensation.
~ You start the game with 6 Werepoints instead of 5, as above.
~ Dojo battles will also be more difficult.
~ I’ll try and make the sidequest random battles more fun, possibly with better rewards!
~ I just might sneak in a second Star Ore near the end of the game, if possible…
~ Archers in particular are more of a threat with increased movement.


I’ve already edited and tested all battles up to the ‘Advanced’ stage of the Dojo at Ko Lodge; so I’ve only really just started. Depending on dedication and other projects, it could take 6-12 months in the best case scenario, but likely longer. I’d really love to try my hand at making a Hard Mode for Legend of Legaia as well. Plus I’ve still got Warsong and Langrisser II hovering around 70%~ complete just begging for a second pass and project resumption… :bouncy

Unfortunately there is no bestiary for this game, so I’m slowly going through the game noting down base stats, and then making my changes per battle and testing them as I go. There is a high risk of burnout down the track, hence I might swap between projects here and there to limit any downtime. >_@ Anyhow, here are some early-days screenshots:

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^Sanzo's initial obstacle! Still a pushover compared to the mighty Centipedes.

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^The first Mini-boss Thief, with a higher level as a reward; and one less 'Move' to slow his aggressive charge toward Sanzo.
(Went from 5 to 4; not reflected in this picture).

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^These tough lackies have a taste for bacon, so be careful with 'guest' Hakkai in this one!

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^The first 'beginner' Dojo battle; I won't be too cruel with the easier matches.

 

Edited by Jarlaxle
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Project Update: Chapter 1 Complete!

~ 9 out of 9 Story Battles.
~ 6 out of 6 Dojo Battles.
~ 9 out of 9 Post//Sidequest Battles. (Includes Random Battle).

All 24 possible battles have now been given the Hard Mode treatment, and have all been tested and documented. The last story battle is definitely a worthy challenge and excellent end to the chapter (so to speak). The last two post sidequest battles are an excellent way to get Lady Kikka caught up in levels, and the final Dojo Master battle should get her and Sanzo up to level 20 with ease. No grinding has been required whatsoever; although I did fight the Post random battle a second time to get Kikka her first two levels.

While I haven't discovered how to add *new* treasure to battles, I can edit existing treasure (which is awesome). Probably even better news is that I can add new enemies to a battle, and they do appear properly! During the first chapter I've changed several enemies, but only felt the need to add one extra enemy in the final sidequest battle. The bandits now have a pet Centipede, and if you think that is strange then you've probably never played Vandal Hearts! If those bandits can have pet giant bats, then Saiyuki bandits can have a pet giant centipede, damn it!

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