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Chrono Trigger - Valeria Re-Balance Mod

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Posted (edited)

Chrono Trigger is considered easy for vetarans due to core characters having high speed making random encounter and boss fights becoming less challenging especially with haste for 24-26 Speed (excluding +3-6 speed items buff).

This re-balance mod will focus on utilizing roles based on utility and speed. I'll fix other issues too so let's address issues aside the speed with each character unit in Chrono Trigger below.

Crono
Issues: His magic is low so Luminaire has OP power to compensate and can be broken with Magic tab. Some gameplay can be easily be done with magic tab and Crono spamming Luminaire with GoldenStud.
Resolution: Fix his magic inefficiency by adding +4 Magic to one of his Sword like Frog and reduce Luminaire power.

Marle
Issues: Her heal is very strong to the point where Cure 2 isn't needed at all in late game. Her saving grace Haste will be obsolete with HasteHelm. She's the only one who doesn't have AoE heal too.
Resolution: Reduce healing power and make Cure II as a party heal with reduced power. Make HasteHelm with reduced armor and +2 Speed instead.

Lucca
Issues: She's slow and her early abilities aren't really useful enough so people often use her has dual tech linker or item user.
Resolution: Buff magic a bit so her usefulness will improve a bit and make buff affecting whole party.

Frog
Issues: His Heal ability is too OP. Aural Whirl needs Crono and Marle to perform with 2+1 MP and he can do that with only 2MP alone and can act fast.
Resolution: Increase MP consumption and reduce healing factor to balance things out with Aura Whirl.

Robo
Issues: He have slow speed (just like Lucca) and abilities to compensate for slow speed is too OP especially healing. Not to mention he'll gain +3 speed in later side quest making him faster than Marle.
Resolution: Reduce his speed by 1 so he'll truly be the slowest unit and nerf his healing teches with magic tab in consideration.

Ayla
Issues: She doesn't have major issues to deal with except Kiss that can make her a bit OP with magic tab. Her dual teches are quite OP too.
Resolution: Reduce healing factor and other based teches for reducing dual tech damage a bit.

Magus
Issues: He's a solo unit without dual tech so he's pretty balanced. Nothing to be fixed
Resolution: No need though I'll nerf his Dark Matter a little.

 

Character speed re-balance

If you group characters based on speed into slow/normal/fast, the pacing will be 6/8/12 making fast characters being too fast and make the game unbalanced.

I will reduce speed on fast characters to make the game moderately more challenging with balanced pacing with 5-6/7-8/9-10 instead.

Spoiler

Crono: 10 (-2)
Marle: 8 (0)
Lucca: 6 (0)
Frog: 8 (-3) 
Robo: 5 (-1)
Ayla: 11 (-2)
Magus: 9 (-3)

It took me a long while to find optimal speed re-balance in various scenarios. I find it has pretty good pacing through the game without imposed difficulty.

 

Character teches re-balance

It always troubled me why Frog's Heal ability can perform healing as effective as Aura Whirl with just 2MP while Aural Whirl needs Crono-2/Marle-1 to perform the similar effects when dedicated healer like Marle needs someone to perform party heal.

Robo's healing teches will easily be over powered with some speed and magic tabs so healing re-balance is the the main reason I started this mod. Slurp and Kiss can be over powered with some magic tabs too.

While working on teches re-balance, I find dual malee teches being more effective than dual malee + magic teches as tier 2 spells are under powered too much. So I'll re-balance between malee and magic attack power for dual teches better.

Spoiler

 

Crono
Reduce Cyclone power (10->9)
Increase Lightning II power (14->16)
Reduce Confuse power (29->27)
Reduce Luminaire power (50->38)

Marle
Provoke will affect all enemies with success rate reduced (80+10->60+10%)
Reduce MP cost of Haste (6->5)
Increase Ice power (11->12)
Increase Ice II power (14->16)
Reduce Cure power (14->10)
Reduce Cure II power (24->12) and increase MP cost (5->8) to heal whole party

Lucca
Protect will cast to whole party with MP increased (6->15)
Increase Fire power (11->12)
Increase Fire II power (14->16)
Reduced Mega Bomb power (35->32)
Reduce Flare power (42->35)

Frog
Reduce Slurp Cut power (11->10)
Reduce Heal power (6->5) and increase MP cost (2->4)
Reduce Leap Slash power (18->16) and add 60% chance to Slow an enemy
Increase Water power (11->12)
Increase Water II power (14->16)
Reduce Cure II power (24->18) and heal status
Increase Frog Squash power (10->11)

Robo
Reduce Rocket Punch power (11->10)
Reduce Cure Beam power (14->10)
Increase MP cost of Laser Spin (3->4)
Reduce Heal Beam power (10->8) and increase MP cost (3->6)
Reduce Area Bomb power (30->27)
Reduce Shock power (40->32)

Alya
Reduce Kiss power (14->10)
Reduce Cat Attack power (20->18)
Reduce Rock Throw power (30->27)
Reduce MP cost of Charm (4->3)
Reduce Tail Spin power (40->36)
Reduce Triple Kick power (37->35)

Magus
Black Hole to also cast Stop with success rate 60+10 if not instant death
Magic Wall will cast to whole party with MP increased (8->20)
Reduce DarkMatter power (38->36)

 

After a few test runs, I believe this tech re-balance shouldn't break the original game mechanics and improve usefulness of Marle/Lucca through the game better with improved crowed control teches.

You can still beat the game with any party combination but using proper strategy and planning will be more important to win the game without imposed challenge.

 

Items Re-balance

The main reason I started items re-balance started from fixing HasteHelm that makes Marle's Haste ability being useless. I later added some bonus in some weapons helping the game balance and bring back removed items as enemy's drop at appropriate time.

Spoiler

-DarkSaber will be dropped from defeating Magus in his castle with increase attack power when allies are dead
-VedicBlade has Magic +4 bonus added
-Rainbow has damage reduced (220->180) and critical rate reduced (70->30) but will deal 4x damage on critical hit
-Sage Bow has Magic +2 bonus added
-PicoMagnum will be dropped from Guardian
-Graedus will be dropped from Azala
-Wondershot has damage reduced (250->220) and critical rate increased (40->50)
-BraveSword does 2.0x damage to magical creatures with Stamina +2 bonus added
-Masamune II has damage reduced (200->170) and critical rate increased (23->50) so reforged ones won't need Hero Medal anymore so you can use other accessories on Frog
-MirageHand has Speed +1 bonus
-StarScythe has chance to inflict Poison status
-Ayla's Fist has 5% critical chance increased except IronFist and BronzeFist
-MistRobe has Magic +4 bonus added
-GlowHelm has Strength +4 bonus added
-HasteHelm has reduced defense (35->25) and change effect from Haste to Speed +2
-GoldenEarring can only be worn by male and GoldenStud can only be worn by female
-SeraphSong will be dropped from defeating Ozzie in Magus castle regenerating 5MP every 10 seconds
-Power/Magic/Speed Tab can no longer be used and you can sell for good price

I tried to fix stats abusing but the only way to proper fix is removing them. I made some adjustments in items to help the game instead of those boosted stats.

 

This mod isn't hard type mod so any player can enjoy this mod without feeling challenged or have grinding required. Please apply this IPS patch below on original unheadered ROM file to play. :)

Download: Chrono Trigger Valeria 1.0

Edited by Windows X
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Ok, this is an interesting little thing here.

However, you haven't mentioned whether the IPS file is for headered or unheadered game roms. That is something you will need to make clear for new players.

Anyways, I'm gonna have fun checking this out though, so thank you for it.

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It's unheadered. I'm having fun with higher replay value now. I hope you'll enjoy my mod. It's re-balance so there's no challenge like hard type but it removes easy mode out.

I'm thinking about bringing stats tabs back and reduce speed further. It'll make early game's difficulty harder and may need to plan for character's growth properly.

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