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Bloodstained Hands v5.9.8!

This update has been ready for a while now, but I just never got around to releasing it. Regardless, here it is! Bloodstained Hands v5.9.8!

What's new?
- Added a new encounter mode, and ability to switch between modes
- Added two new Overdrive skills
- Intimidate now affects enemies with queued actions
- Updated some of the more challenging puzzles
- Modified the secret final boss

Here's a full breakdown of the update list, with the reasons behind each update. Spoilers ahead.

So, first and foremost, the encounter mode. A lot of the feedback I've gotten relates to the random encounters, which is a pretty dated system that doesn't hold up as well in the present day, but does have some nostalgic charm. It seems as though avoidable touch encounters are a preferred method for turn based battle systems, and I agree. So, to that end, I've implemented touch encounters similar to a style seen in Villnoire. However, since I personally like the random encounter system, and I'm sure there are lots of other players that do too, I've kept both styles, and added an option in the System menu to toggle which encounter type you currently have active. Now you get to choose! Bait has also been modified to work with either encounter type, and certain dungeons that don't support touch encounters will still have random encounters.

Next, the two new Overdrives. Major spoilers here. So once you get the two ultimate staves, you get access to the skills Fiend and Celestial. While these skills are certainly powerful and useful, they lose their significance once they've been triggered once. They're basically just a stat buff. What happens when you get another Overdrive ready, but you've already used those skills? You're left with the default character signature Overdrives. Well, not anymore. Now, if a character has either Fiend or Celestial already active, their next Overdrive will unlock Abyssus or Aether, respectively. This is a massive Dark or Light spell that targets all enemies and hits three times, all at no MP cost! Definitely powerful, but takes some preparation to truly pull off!

On to the next update, Intimidate. This skill was pretty useless unless your wait mode was set to Full, since it wouldn't affect enemies with queued actions. Now, it does. It will always drain enemy wait gauges if they're not completely full, but now it will also have a chance to cancel a queued enemy action as well. This could be pretty overpowered, but certain enemies will have a better chance at resisting this skill, although no enemy is completely immune.

And finally, the secret final boss! I've made some adjustments to this boss that make it more than just a simple damage sponge. It still has the same hooks it had before, but it also has a new conversion skill that swaps immunities and resistances to Light and Dark magic - for the player. In other words, while this skill is active, healing magic will damage you, but if you're hit with a Light or Dark spell from the boss, you'll be healed. You can cancel this status at any time, but... well, there is an incentive to keep it active on at least one of your party members. I won't say more than that.

Anyway, that's it for this update! I won't be adding any more content to this game, it's officially done now. I will update it if anyone finds a bug or glitch that needs to be fixed, but this is the final update for Bloodstained Hands. I've had this ready for a while now, but I didn't want to release it until I was sure that I was done with the game and that everything worked smoothly. Thank you to everyone who played this game and gave feedback, you've really helped me to become a better developer!


Bloodstained Hands v5.9.7 launch!

That's right, I've got one more update for you. What's new? Here's a brief list.

- Spells have lower usage requirements to level up
- Spells that inflict or restore status ailments now have 100% accuracy
- Spells that inflict or restore status ailments now have an increased charge time, which gets faster at higher levels
- Cauterize restores more HP
- Venom and Miasma deal more damage
- Shroud, Horrify, Sleep, Insanity, and Disorientation will last slightly longer
- Minor bug fixes and typo fixes

So, over the last several months, a streamer by the username of KingKobora has been doing a let's play of this game. This has given me the opportunity to see how other players respond to certain mechanics of the game, and has given me some insight regarding certain mechanics. The main point of feedback that I've gotten from several players, as well as from this stream, is the fact that Shroud has a hit rate.

Let me explain the thought process behind this first.

So when I first started making the magic leveling system for this game, I needed to come up with some way of leveling up spells that don't damage or restore HP. Basically, if a spell inflicts or restores a status ailment, but doesn't have a variable that I can increase with each successive level, then the spells would arguably become WORSE at higher levels, as they would simply cost more MP to do the same effect. My solution? Hit rates.

Initially, spells such as Shroud, Sleep, or Cure would start with a 50% hit rate, which would increase by 5% per level. At max level, they'd have near perfect accuracy, giving incentive to level them up. While this worked from a technical standpoint, the main feedback I've gotten is that this.


It essentially made some of the most useful spells in the game too unreliable to make them worth using. But I also couldn't simply have these spells be as strong as they are right at level 1. So I've been working on other solutions for a while, and I finally hit on something that seems to work. Charge rates.

Every spell takes a little extra time to fire off. Most spells have a charge rate of around 500% - 600%, which means you can charge a spell five to six times faster than it would take to fill your wait gauge. But, with this solution, status inflicting spells will start with a charge rate of only around 100%, but will increase by about 10% - 20% per level. At max level, they'll fire off very quickly, but at low levels they'll require quite a bit more time. The tradeoff is, now they all have perfect accuracy. If you're willing to take the time to charge the spell, it will be completely reliable. When inflicting a status ailment on an enemy, their resistances will still come into play, but you won't ever have to worry about the spells missing.

With this mechanic, Shroud becomes incredibly useful, as does the late game party member addition who focuses almost exclusively on status inflicting spells. Keep in mind, however, that enemies will also benefit from this. If an enemy casts a Sleep spell, it will definitely hit, but will take longer to charge. Fortunately, your party members do have natural resistances to these status ailments, so it balances out.

But that's not all that's new! I've also increased the duration of status ailments that last a set number of turns per enemy on the field. These include Shroud, Sleep, Insanity, Horrified, and Disoriented. They will all last one extra turn per enemy.

I also increased the spirit force of Cauterize, Venom, and Miasma to 100%, as opposed to the prior 50%. Basically this means the spells will deal more damage or restore more HP. Not by an enormous amount, mind you, but it does make a nice difference.

And finally, after several playthroughs, I realized that spells are taking way too long to level up. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent at a training dummy while watching anime or something to pass the time. I don't know how many times I've tried reducing the grind on leveling spells, but I think I've finally found a nice balance. With this update, each spell will take 100 less uses to reach max level from level 1, and some spells that don't get used very often will have even more uses taken away. Cure and Life especially have had their usage requirements reduced by more than half.

With all these updates, grinding has been noticeably reduced, spells are far more reliable, and the overall frustrations that most players experience should be severely mitigated. I hope you all enjoy this update, and happy playing!


Bloodstained Hands v5.9.5 Launched!

Okay, I wish I had done this two weeks ago with the last update, but it's fine, turns out there were some bugs in the last version that needed to be fixed anyway. So here's another update!

What's included? Here's a brief list.
- Modified the Party Selection screen
- Modified the final boss battle
- Concentrate now adds a 10% evasion bonus
- Battle Cry now adds an 8% critical bonus
- Fixed a bug where the side mission "Haunted" would not trigger
- Minor dialogue modifications
- Minor bug fixes and graphical enhancements

Most of these are just simple quality of life improvements, but I'll discuss why I made some of these changes in greater detail. First off, the Party Selection. If anyone has played this game before to the point where you end up with more than four party members, you'll remember the party selection screen. It was... well, maybe not bad, but old. It was entirely evented, it was slow, it was inconvenient, and a lot of players didn't even know how to find it. I got to thinking, what if you could just change your party from the menu any time you're on the overworld? Would that break anything? And honestly? No, it wouldn't. All it would do is save time, since if you're on the overworld, you can get to the place where you change your party without getting a single encounter. It would just be more efficient. Then I went even further and thought, what if I could create my own custom scene using everything I've learned about Ruby over the last decade? So I went ahead and did that.

I've modified player names, portraits, and sprites in the above screenshot to avoid any spoilers, but basically this is what the party selection looks like now. Selecting the grayed out character will send them back to reserve, and selecting a full-color member will add them to your party. You can't have an entirely dead party, or less than four members, but you can arrange your party any way you choose. And the game will remember your party order for any sequences where the player has to go solo. This can be accessed at any time during New Game Plus, or after a late-game mission in the base playthrough.

NOTE: There may be some minor bugs the first time you use the party selection if you've already progressed to this point on an existing save. Simply reset your party using this scene once and it will resolve any issues. None of the bugs should be game-breaking.

So, with the new party selection method, I thought of something else that I could do to spice things up. However, it has to do with the final boss, so I don't want to go into too much detail. All I'll say is that the final boss is about 5x more fun and creative than it was before. I'll leave it to you to figure out why!

I also modified some class skills that only give stat boosts to give an additional bonus. The idea behind this is, why would you use a stat boosting skill if you've already maxed out your character stats? This kind of thinking is only for the really hard-core players, but now Concentrate will give a boost to evasion, and Battle Cry will give a boost to critical hit chance. These stats can't be maxed out with tonics, so it's the only method of increasing them other than through equipment.

And there are a plethora of other bug fixes and quality of life improvements as well! I hope you enjoy this latest update, and happy playing! I likely won't be releasing any more content for a while, unless a serious bug comes up that needs to be fixed. All saves should be backwards compatible, simply move them from the old game folder into the new one. If anyone experiences any bugs, please let me know and I will fix them ASAP!


Bloodstained Hands v5.9.4 launched!

The latest version of Bloodstained Hands is now available!

"Another update? Come on, you said it was finished seven updates ago, give it a rest-" NEVER.

Jokes aside, this game has turned into my main creative outlet, and whenever inspiration strikes, I get so motivated to implement a new feature or test my scripting knowledge that I can't put this down. The last few weeks have seen some of my more creative moments, and I've put a ton of work into some new features and mechanics that I'm really excited to share with you all. So, without further ado, here it is! Version 5.9.4!

What's included in the new version? Here's a brief list.
- Modified cutscenes dialogue, pacing, and on-screen interaction
- Modified Inventory sorting for more distinct "pockets"
- Herb bushes in the Caeli Forest will now replenish
- Added "Tonic Leaves" as monster drops at level 99
- Updated the Mission Log to display category names
- Updated the Monster Log to make it easier to switch between Stats and Gallery
- Remodeled the Guide to a similar style as the Mission Log. Added multiple categories for easier sorting, and a new section on skill data
- Added an extra reward for defeating the secret final boss
- Added a gauntlet match to the Sapphane Arena on New Game Plus
- Added a Window Skin changer alongside the Window Color changer in the System Menu
- Replaced one unreadable font with a retro game font
- Updated NPC dialogue and added alternative dialogue
- And various other bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements!

There are a few things I'd like to explain in greater depth here. No real spoilers ahead, I just want to condense the post size, so I'll put it in a hide tag.

So over the last several weeks, I've been working on a number of new systems to address various issues that came up during a casual playthrough of the game. First, I realized that the game basically loses all draw after you hit max level. I addressed this in a previous blog, so check that out for more details, but with this update I've included the Tonic Leaves!

These seven items will drop from any random monster at level 99, with a 1/3 drop rate (regardless of what that monsters previous drop rates were). Unique items that a monster would normally drop won't be changed, but any common item will be replaced. These items give a very small stat boost to whichever ally you use them on. With this mechanic, even after you hit max level you can continue to grow your characters! And you can direct their growth at your discretion! And finally, the Celestial Leaf will only have a 0.5% drop chance, but grants a significant boost to all stats, essentially creating a legendary drop. Maxed out your character and don't need any more EXP? That's okay, there's still an incentive to fight random encounters now!

What next? Well, you remember the Guide? That menu option that detailed various aspects of the game? Honestly, it kind of sucked. The concept was good, but the implementation was awful. It was just a series of text boxes that were difficult to sort, difficult to categorize, and broke the flow of the game in an effort to barely explain some basic game mechanics that most players are already familiar with. So, I went ahead and changed it.

This screenshot is slightly outdated. There is actually a fifth category, it's just not displayed here.

I was doing some work to clean up the Mission Log and Monster Log, making them easier to sort and understand, and I realized that the Mission Log script would be perfect for representing the Guide. I needed to make some heavy modifications, but I basically duplicated the script, cleaned it up, altered a significant amount of the functionality, and re-created the Guide! Now, the Guide will open up a scene that shows five different easily sortable categories, with every guide entry cleanly listed on a sidebar. The Guide content is much more readable and easier to display, and allows for more in-depth descriptions. In addition, I added an entirely new section to the Guide that displays every skill in the game, their statistics, special modifiers, scope, damage, hit rate, etc. But to avoid spoilers, the skills will only be revealed in the Guide if you have a party member that knows that skill or one of its successors. Want to know if a specific Overdrive skill is capable of scoring a critical hit? You can check that. Want to see the hit rate of Flurry? It's there. Want to see just how powerful your best spell is compared to your weakest? All the formulae are listed. It's actually pretty neat.

Okay, so that's Tonic Leaves and the Guide, now what? How about a little more customization in the System Menu?

I got some feedback about the crispness of the menu options, and I went ahead and added a little more customization to choose from. In the last update, you could freely change the window color to whatever you wanted, but I realized that the way I created that script also allowed for you to change the window border and backdrop image while keeping whatever color you chose. So I added four additional window skins to choose from! There's the classic skin, as well as a light, fancy, medieval, and retro skin. And to keep the retro theme, I replaced the last font in the list (which was barely readable anyway) with a retro game font for that classic SNES feel.

Alright, that's pretty good for an update. Anything else?

Sure, how about a new reward for beating the secret final boss? Sure, you can get the save file trophy, but it doesn't give anything more than bragging rights and a way to say "Yep, I beat the game. Did it all." So now, there's a special item that you can get for beating this boss that basically breaks the game. It's not really a spoiler, but basically you can learn a skill that one-shots every enemy in the game, even the final boss. Because why not? By this point, you've done all there is to do. Why not have an item that breaks everything, but is just fun to use?

And while we're at it, why don't we add something fun to do for when you've mastered the combat system? Do you remember the Battle Square at the Gold Saucer in FFVII? You could face a gauntlet of monsters that got progressively more difficult, with modifiers between rounds that could alter your strategy, finishing with a powerful boss. The further you go, the better your reward, but you fight solo. I loved that concept, and found a way to implement it here. After completing the side mission "Death Games," you'll unlock the Special Match on New Game Plus. Speaking to the Orator will give access to this special battle type, where you'll be faced off against a random enemy from each region in the game, scaled to the level of the party leader. Only the party leader can fight, so it's a solo battle, and enemies get stronger after each round. The last round will be a random boss from one of ten different bosses throughout the game. And there are modifiers! In between rounds, you'll roll two dice. Based on the total on the dice, you can get all sorts of different modifiers, such as having your Overdrive locked for the round, to getting an extra ally for the rest of the match! It's a serious challenge for hard-core players, but the rewards are worth it, and more importantly, it's a lot of fun! Test yourself. See how well you do, and how well prepared you are.

And finally, the last major part of this update has to do with dialogue. If you read the article I posted a little while ago titled "Excellence in Narrative: Pacing," you'll see that I've been working on altering the in-game dialogue. Very little of the actual text has changed, but the way that dialogue is paced out is dramatically different. You can still breeze through cutscenes by holding the dash button if you want, but if it's your first time playing, you'll have a much deeper experience. And if you think it's not a big deal, try it with the message sound effect enabled. That one mechanic highlights just how much of a difference this makes. It's hard to explain, but the result is definitely noticeable. In addition to the text pacing, I've also added a little bit more character interaction during cutscenes, as well as custom character sprite expressions during emotional scenes. All of this contributes to a much deeper story, more emotional characters, and an altogether more immersive experience.

And I almost forgot to mention, NPC dialogue has been updated as well. Civilians will now talk about current events, religions, beliefs, geography, even the main character, rather than simple placeholder text such as "Hi! Nice day isn't it?" In addition, almost every NPC has a secondary set of dialogue that they'll alternate between, so be sure to talk to everyone at least twice! You might learn something interesting.

So that's it! There's a ton of cool stuff in this update, and it should all be backwards compatible. I did some pretty thorough testing to make sure that old save files will still work, but if anyone gets any crashes or bugs, please feel free to comment below and I will do my best to fix them as soon as possible! Thanks so much for playing and for all your support!

Game Design

Post-Post-Post Game

So in my continuing efforts to create a game that someone can basically play forever, I've been working on a little something. This game already has a New Game Plus mode, which allows for several playthroughs, allowing you to have all your characters hit max level, with the best possible gear, and scaling difficulty. There's even a superboss that's only available when you've hit level 99. But where do you go from there? You've got the best gear, all spells have been mastered, you've beaten every boss, your characters can't gain any more levels, so now what?

I noticed a little while ago that there isn't much point in random encounters after you've hit max level. You likely have all the gold you'll ever need. You've most likely obtained 99 of every type of droppable crafting material. And you certainly don't need any more EXP, since you can't gain any more levels. Really, at this point in the game, the only real challenge comes from boss battles, and there's no real incentive to continue fighting mobs. So why bother with them?

These are all issues that basically give this game an involuntary shelf life. Honestly, the reason I started making this game in the first place was so that I'd have something that I could play when I'm bored, a game that actually catered to most of what I wanted to see in a classic RPG. Nowadays, I don't even really play other games. I simply don't have as much time as I used to when I was a kid. So this game has turned into a way to pass the time during my work breaks. If I wanted this game to continue to be fun and playable even past this point, I would need to resolve these issues. So I looked towards several other games for inspiration, and how they resolve similar problems.

Ever played Final Fantasy VII? Of course you have. If you're a hard-core gamer, you probably looked up guides to master every type of materia, get your characters to max level, then absolutely obliterate the optional superbosses in the game. If you were REALLY hard-core, you'd even go as far as maxing out the stats of every single character using a method called "source farming." I looked at this and thought "Huh. Maybe hitting level 99 doesn't have to be the end of that characters growth." Diablo does this in a similar way, using Paragon levels.

So to that end, I decided to create a special set of items. In this game, there are items called Tonics that will boost a characters stat by 10 points, based on the type of Tonic. I thought about making these items droppable by enemies at level 99, but thought that might be a little too much. So instead, I created six new items called Leaves. These items have the same effect as Tonics, but at 1/10 the potency. These Leaves will drop from any random enemy once the main character has reached level 99, meaning that stat growth can continue even past max level.

There were a couple issues I needed to address in order to make this work. For example, I needed to completely rewrite the script that generates monster drops. This took place in multiple phases, but I'm satisfied with the end result. Now, if a monster or boss has an item that they'd normally drop that SHOULDN'T be replaced by a leaf, it won't be. They'll still drop their specific loot at the normal drop rate. But if a monster would normally drop nothing, or drop something insignificant, that monster's drop rates would be overwritten, giving them instead a 1/3 chance of dropping a random leaf. Each monster can drop up to 2 leaves, and the drops are completely random. RMVX normally only allows for a monster to drop two specific items, but with this script those same monsters have an exponentially larger potential loot pool. I thought about modifying this script and sharing it with the community, as a way of creating highly customizable and massively expanded loot pools, but who really uses RMVX nowadays anyway?

But this didn't feel like enough. What's the fun in just grinding out for a minor stat increase with each monster killed? It would get monotonous, and fast. So, I looked towards two other games, and how they break the monotony. Those games were Diablo and Borderlands. What do you do in those games when you've hit max level? Is there a point to farming enemies? Absolutely! Why? Because every enemy you kill, no matter how weak, has a chance to drop something truly special, something worth grinding for. Legendaries.

Now, this isn't a game that can really emulate that same mechanic, but the new script I'd just developed had an interest perk. Variable drop rates. I could, in essence, create a special item that would only have maybe a 1% chance of dropping, and would be far more valuable and useful than any of the other drops. Something fun to watch for while still being rewarded along the way. So that's exactly what I did.

I created the Celestial Leaf! A special item that literally only has a 0.5% chance to drop from any given enemy, although every enemy does have the potential chance of dropping two of them. This item combines the effects of all the previous six leaves, but has five times the potency of any of them! Will you see these often? No. But when you do, it's exciting, and rewarding! With these improvements, you can continue playing at level 99, and continue improving your characters, while getting the chance to customize their growth past this point!

So yeah. I can't seem to put this game down when I come across another new idea I want to implement. This isn't live yet, but I'll be releasing an update relatively soon with this mechanic introduced, as well as some other minor improvements and bug fixes. Keep an eye out for Bloodstained Hands v5.9.4 in the near future, for all you hard-core gamers that simply want to keep on playing!


Thank You!

I was going to just comment on the game page, but this is too important for that, and ultimately there's way too much to go over for just a simple comment.

I just wanted to thank everyone who nominated and voted for Bloodstained Hands in the 2021 Misaos for the Everlasting Journey award! I honestly never expected a nomination, and I have no idea what the votes will look like when tallied, but I genuinely appreciate the support that this game has garnered over the last six months! I'm not at all expecting to win the Misao, there's some stiff competition and some far more deserving games in my opinion, but I'm humbled and honored nonetheless.

To show my appreciation for those of you who have played, reviewed, nominated, voted for, and given feedback on this game, I've decided to release one final RMN exclusive update. I won't be releasing this particular update on any other hosting sites, this one is just for you guys. I know I said I wouldn't be releasing any more game-changing updates, but I've been inspired by the community here, and I wanted to acknowledge that. I was planning on fixing a few minor bugs anyway, so why not throw in a bunch of cool stuff along the way!

So without further ado, here it is! Bloodstained Hands v5.9.1, an RMN exclusive. I've made a ton of changes with this update, which I will also list in the Bug Fix and Update Log (check the blog section), but I'll go over why I made these changes in this blog post. I'll hide them in a tag to condense the post size, but there aren't really any spoilers ahead.

First and foremost, combat has been significantly balanced. In most of my testing, I realized that I wasn't fully testing all the ATB modes. This was a huge oversight, because I realized that I had made most enemies way too fast. The agility of almost every enemy has been decreased by about 25%, and some bosses by more than 50%. In addition, enemies will give more EXP, since I had reduced the encounter rates several updates ago without balancing the level grinding. Certain bosses will have more HP, but their AI is fixed so they won't immediately heal every time they reach critical health. The overall result is that combat should feel like less of a grind, and is more playable on all ATB modes.

Along that same vein, I've also simplified the ATB modes in the System Menu. Where before there were four ATB wait modes, there are now only three. The first two were nearly identical, and there wasn't really any benefit to having the first one, so I eliminated the first mode. In addition, I made the names of each mode a little easier to understand. Instead of Attacks, Skills, Actions, and Full, there are now only three modes, Active, Moderate, and Full. If you want a more detailed breakdown of how they all work, the in-game guide has also been updated with plenty of new information, including the new ATB modes. I've also made the default mode for starting a new game set to Moderate, since this is by far the most playable mode from my own experience.

I've also modified the damage of almost every Overdrive skill. They will deal considerably more damage now, and some of them even have a critical hit chance.

There are three new cutscenes that take place upon entering Cyana (after the first mission), Amethyne, and Topale. Note that the new cutscenes may take place if you're already past the point in the game they would normally occur if you are updating from a previous version. In addtion, characters will appear on screen during cutscenes where they have dialgoue. Pacing of cutscenes has been modified.

The Status menu has also been modified and re-arranged to display the actors current Overdrive gauge.

I added a Target Selection window for skills that only target the user, or for skills that target all. The purpose of this was to resolve a bug that sometimes happens when selecting a skill while someone takes slip damage. What will happen is that the skill window will refresh, causing the cursor to return to the skill that was used previously. With bad timing, this can cause you to select the wrong skill, and if it doesn't have target selection, you're hooped. The skill will automatically trigger, and you won't have an opportunity to back out and re-select your skill. That's somewhat resolved with this fix.

The monster log has been updated to display that yes, there is in fact a gallery mode. The text says to press the X button, but don't be fooled. That's the X BUTTON. Not key. The default key on the keyboard to open the gallery mode is A. The gallery mode has also been updated with a rather unique feature. When gallery mode is entered, the elemental resistances of the monster you are viewing will be replaced with Status Ailment resistances. Now you can fully view exactly what ailments affect which enemies and bosses, so you're not guessing and you can strategize around their weaknesses.

Battle music for random encounters was sort of shoehorned in on the last update, so now it's a little more fleshed out. If you have battle BGM enabled, the battle theme will be randomly selected from one of three different themes, instead of playing the same one over and over.

The random encounter algorithm has been re-written. Before, if an area had an average encounter rate of 30 steps, that meant you'd encounter a monster every 1 - 61 steps. That sucked. So now, that same area has an algorithm where you'll encounter a monster every 22 - 38 steps. You won't encounter two monsters within two steps of each other, but you can't walk across the entire world without an encounter either.

The Forge has been updated to actually show the stats of the weapons and armours you are crafting, and the Alchemy Kit has been updated to show item effects and hide the 0 gold cost for crafting potions.

The Tome of Leveling in New Game Plus has been highlighted, and given a new feature. You can now transfer EXP from one party member to another. Worried that one of your party members is getting over leveled, but you don't want to sub him out? Worried that the one party member you never use will be practically unplayable before long? You can donate some EXP from your higher level characters to your lower level characters. You cannot have the receiving party member surpass the giver, but you can balance them out. Also, level 99 characters still gain EXP, but can donate the extra EXP without losing any levels as long as they stay above the threshold.

I've added several more character sprites, including some custom ones around the Sanctuary. The civilians of Ilythea will be a little more diverse now.

I updated the BGS files with some more high-quality sounds, so it's not just a 3 second loop of waves, or wind, or rain. Hopefully that'll be a little less monotonous.

I've included a secondary option to open the menu. Instead of the D key, you can now also use X, esc, num-0, or whatever you have the B button assigned to on your keyboard.

Combat items such as shuriken, toxins, and smoke bombs are way cheaper. So is Bait, and Stimulants.

Dashing is properly disabled in certain areas where it wasn't before now, namely the Tower of Bestia.

And a plethora of other minor bug fixes and graphical enhancements!

Thanks again to everyone who played this game, I look forward to seeing what this next year brings! If you discover any new bugs with this update, please let me know and I will happily fix them. As always, this update is compatible with previous saves, simply move your save files into the root folder of the new game. Thank you, RMN community, and happy playing!

Progress Report

Bug Fix and Update Log

Just to keep things simple, I've created a bug fix and update log right here, so that it's available on the home page of the game and you don't have to dig through the comments to find it. I'll update this as I release updates, and any future updates can be found here.

Included as of 5.9.3:
- Fixed a bug where Imperial Mages would only ever cast Life
- Fixed other minor graphical and utility bugs
- Modified the Menu System Options for a more consistent UI
- Expanded the window color changer in the Menu System Options
- Modified Toxins to apply Poison status ailment to weapons

Included as of 5.9.2:
- Fixed a bug where certain party members could rejoin your party when they shouldn't
- Fixed a bug where the mission log would update at times when it shouldn't
- Added item icons to enemy loot drops

Included as of 5.9.1:
- New cutscenes and on-screen character interaction
- Fixed a bug where dashing would not disable in certain locations
- Modified Overdrive skill damage and capabilities
- Added a unique cursor when allies have a full Overdrive meter
- Added target selection for skills that target the user or target all
- Simplified the ATB wait modes in the System menu
- Updated the in-game guide
- Updated NPC character sprites for greater distinction and variety
- Balanced combat and boss battles
- Updated BGS effects with higher quality sounds
- Rearranged and modified the Status menu to display Overdrive gauges
- Updated button inputs for opening the menu
- Updated item costs
- Updated encounter rate algorithm
- Included two additional battle themes, and randomized battle music
- Updated the Monster Log to display status ailment resistances
- Updated Alchemy and Forge to display all weapon and armour stats, as well as item effects
- Added an option to transfer experience between party members in New Game Plus

Included as of 5.9:
- Added Battle BGM to random encounters
- Added an option to disable random encounter BGM in the system menu
- Updated the shop scene and the forge scene to properly display stat changes
- Improved cutscenes with more on-screen interaction

Included as of 5.8:
- Modified dash speed in outdoor dungeons
- Expanded cutscenes during and after the mission "The Test" to better explain character backstories
- Added "Bait" to certain item shops to decrease encounter rates
- Replaced Overdrive skill "Execution" with "Gamble"
- Modified "Lethality" to become an Overdrive skill with 100% accuracy and crit chance
- Added a secret final boss for level 99 characters and accompanying special reward
- Updated graphics for Sleep and Insanity badges
- Added Necro, Horrify, Light, Dark, All, and Clear badges
- Updated item drops for two raid bosses to include new badges
- Added chests to certain dungeons with more loot

Included as of 5.7:
- Updated the Status and Equip screens to display Hit Ratio, Evasion, Critical Hit rate, and resisted elements and status ailments
- Added a method of earning money during "Bombs Away"
- Added a method of tracking progress through the Nox Catacombs
- Added an explanation of how Spell Tomes work at the Amethyne magic shop
- Minor graphical and bug fixes

Included as of 5.6:
- Fixed a game-breaking bug during the mission "Vengeance"

Included as of 5.5:
- Fixed a bug where the skills "Imperil" and "Bane" would not function properly
- Minor graphical fixes
- Replaced the "Pickaxe" with an "Iron Pickaxe" and added a "Bronze Pickaxe" to Mount Fulmen. Iron Ore can be mined much earlier now

Included as of 5.4:
- Minor bug fixes
- Fixed broken files
- Adjusted opponent AI for dice game in pubs
- Fixed skills that weren't functioning properly
- Balanced combat

Included as of 5.3:
- "Intimidate" now affects all enemies, instead of just one
- Added Overdrive, plus 29 new Overdrive skills!
- Enabled critical hits on most physical skills (Flurry, Power Attack, etc.)
- New dice game available at all pubs
- Increased JoiPlay compatibility for certain visual aspects
- Minor graphical enhancements and bug fixes
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