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Hapanpappa

Didn't believe it could get any better

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I never played these legendary jrpg's as a kid, but despite having no nostalgia for them, they've still become my favorite games of all time. If I had to name one negative thing that probably stems from getting into these games as an adult, it'd be that they tend to lack any significant challenge. I used to end up not ever using a single elixir/megaelixir because I wanted to stockpile 'em for the real hard bosses that never came. In hindsight, it kills the incentive to fight battles and explore if there aren't any challenges ahead that you'd need to get stronger for. Other than that, Chrono Trigger, among others of its kind, is perfect. Well, suffice to say that that circle has finally closed.

Scatterbrained comments incoming. 

This mod was indeed the fulfillment of the Chrono Trigger experience. Balance-wise, somehow you hit a spot so sweet it made me drool honey. I never once had to grind to beat a boss or a section. On the other hand, I even forgot there ever was a runaway option; all the way through, it felt completely natural to fight every battle. It never got tedious because near every battle and enemy formation required specific tactics or threw something different in your way that kept it engaging. I finally had an incentive to explore the game inside out. Although, I got a little worried about overleveling and had to keep that wallet around; I'd prefer it if there was an option to just turn exp off.

Finally there's a legit reason to use different party setups because triple techs are powerful and overall every character seems to hit the spotlight at one point or another, rather than using Crono+sidekick 1 and 2 and spam luminaire all game long. This is all I ever wanted from an rpg - I experimented with all kinds of party setups for hard bosses and my strategies developed naturally by process of trial and error. No googling it, no spamming op moves, only you and your mind vs the game; ****ing beautiful. Seriously. 

Some doubletechs still way weaker than 2 single techs combined, mainly some Ayla ones. In black omen, too many random encounters felt like gear-checks; they weren't hard, you just had to know which elemental attack they're spamming. Without using savestates, this required a lot of running back and forth and reconnaissance trips just to know which armor to wear for each encounter. 

Bosses were a thing of absolute beauty. I could tell a long story about each of the bosses and how I managed to beat them in different funny ways after a lot of experimentation and weird happenstance. Every victory was satisfying, thank you for that. One odd thing I'd recommend changing is probably the first boss of the game, who was also the hardest. I damn near stopped playing because I thought I'm not up for this kind of cheap challenge. Maybe I just had bad luck, I dunno, but his counters at least were absolutely random. I got so pissed that I started checking using savestates, and indeed, there was no rhyme or reason to his counters. I ended up having to beat him using savestates, which is something I make a point NOT to  do ever, so I almost quit playing. Fortunately, I had the will to muscle on and I never had to resort to that again.

I get why you wanted to nerf dark matter, but man... It did less dmg than darkbomb, haha. Maybe delete the whole spell at that point. Otherwise, Magus is in a great place. So glad Ayla wasn't forced on me all game long, though you still miss a lot of good items (even tabs) by not bringin her everywhere. Suppose there's no way around it. I made up for it by farming the hell out of a pseudo-boss in black omen (or ocean palace?)for speed tabs. You know, the one who countered everything with a physical hit that, if fatal, triggered another counter in the form of an instant partywipe. Loved the mechanic, btw, took me forever to realize how it worked.

Giga Mutant was the one who gave people the hardest time, apparently. Personally, I thought it was among the best bosses in the game indeed, but not the hardest; maybe I was lucky that my A-team consisted of Crono, Frog and Marle so developing the winning strategy happened naturally and intuitively. I only read through the old forums after beating the game, and the guides had pretty much the same strategy as the one I had used to beat him in a few tries only. I actually felt like a god.

Anyways that's just the tip of the iceberg. I know I'm about 68 years late to the party, but if you ever read this, know that your work continues to entertain&bring new satisfying gaming experiences to people around the world. You have my thanks, I'll never forget this mod and will return to it in the future. 

 

Edited by Hapanpappa
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Just chiming in to say, that was a great read. As a modder myself I would be delighted to get this kind of praise. I've played the hack and I agree with most of your points, and you've articulated them better than I'd be capable of. Now I actually feel like going back and replaying it! Zombero did a great job here... I've been thinking of getting this on cartridge so I can enjoy it on console; just need to find a suitable script hack to go with it (can't remember if CT: Lavos' Awakening included text edits). Anyway, yeah -- great read, great mod.

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What I found great about bosses so far it's not the mechanics, the mechanics where for the most part already present, but what Zombero did here is balancing bosses stats and the power of their attack to make the player having to realise and seek each boss feature and forces the player to strategize around this mechanic and while I'm at it : 

Quote

One odd thing I'd recommend changing is probably the first boss of the game, who was also the hardest. I damn near stopped playing because I thought I'm not up for this kind of cheap challenge. Maybe I just had bad luck, I dunno, but his counters at least were absolutely random. I got so pissed that I started checking using savestates, and indeed, there was no rhyme or reason to his counters. I ended up having to beat him using savestates, which is something I make a point NOT to  do ever, so I almost quit playing. Fortunately, I had the will to muscle on and I never had to resort to that again.

Yakra the first boss is actually the perfect introduction to that design philosophy, it requires the player to pay attention because unlike vanilla CT his counter attack hurt a lot (in Vanilla they didn't even reach 20 damage which was laugheable) so Yeah I struggle to at first until I attack him at a point and the game said "Too close, can't counterattack" that's when it ticks that you just have to wait for Yakra to be close to a character to attack with this character with no risk of counter, I must say this has been a great introduction boss and since then I always seek if the boss have some "hidden" mechanics like that turn of them most of them have and unlike Vanilla where for most bosses you could just ignore these mechanics (or even never found about them) this mod encourage you to seek and exploit them and the stats increases of bosses are all design around that and I congrats Zombero for succeed in that at least so far (just beat Magus).

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@the_E_y_Es_o_0 Kinda surprising to hear you liked my random musings; looking back on it, I feel it came out extremely opinionated and not eloquent at all :D I guess it does make it feel more genuine, though.

@Nesouk I may have failed to convey my point with my ramblings, so I'll try to reiterate. I do understand that what you said must be how it's supposed to work, but for me, didn't. The "Too close, can't counterattack" actually happened at random, and only about 33% of the time regardless of his position on the battle map, proximity to my party members, or the type of attack used. I checked and doublechecked multiple times using savestates at different points in the battle because I got so frustrated.. So either it was a truly weird combination of bad luck and technical hocus pocus that made the Great Yakra bounce around no matter when&where I hit him, or there's something amiss with the code. Only Zombero knows.

But holy hot damn, were the other bosses in the game rewarding and satisfying. Hands down, this mod has some of the best boss battles I've ever played in any game, period. Makes me wanna play this again just to relive those experiences..

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That's weird I did fight Yakra like 2-3 times before recording and the "Too close can't counter-attack" was always happening when he was at the right position, weird glitch maybe an emulator or ROM issue.

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