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Progress Report

Blackmoon Prophecy 1.21

Following is available now instead of later because I had to mix a massive boo-boo that I caused with my last update that was brought to my attention. Thanks to Swish for notifying me of an issue that needed to be fixed ASAP.

Version 1.21
- Added a new low level optional summon for Vera, Kirin. Obtainable in Meksicburg Port at any time in the game.
- Added a trophy for Sapphire Weapon in the trophy room.
- Added NPCs/treasure to some previously empty houses.
- Added variety to what is available from moogles who sell raw materials.
- Finally fixed a several year old issue where many pot graphics were replaced by that of a broken/cracked one. The prevalence of broken pots throughout the game was not intentional.
- Fixed a few typos.
- Fixed a tile passability issue in Mohadmal Pyramid.
- Fixed an issue caused by last update that prevented player from leaving Lindblum Castle throne room at one point in the game. I had caused this problem with my last update. Oops.
- Fixed description of Opal Necklace item.
- Increased movement frequency of dancers in Lenadia City cafe.
- Lowered MP cost of Nobumasa's abilities.
- Moved chest in Gryphon Mountain containing a Thunder Shield to a location before the Quetzalcoatl boss fight rather than after it.
- Rebalanced enemy spells in the first few hours of the game to tone down the damage they were capable of.
- Removed Monk's Glove item from the game. Replaced it with the Sengoku ninja sword.

Progress Report

Blackmoon Prophecy 1.20

I just updated Blackmoon Prophecy!




But really, these were some long overdue fixes that I noticed LPers experienced. Some of these I meant to fix ages ago, but didn't. Anyway! New changes! Fixes!

Version 1.20
- Added ATB Mode (Active/Wait) to the menu.
- Added Echo Temple to the overworld map. Includes a new super boss (Sapphire Weapon).
- Added new equipment: Chocobo Hood, Houlou Shield, Magitek Armor, Tonbogiri, Ultra Soft.
- Added several new chests throughout the game containing elemental resistance relics to let players strategize more against resisting certain elements.
- Changed name of spell tomes back to traditional naming (Fira to Fire 2, Blizzaga to Ice 3, and so forth).
- Corrected issue with Hermes Sandals that caused it to increase magic when it was supposed to increase speed.
- Corrected text of a chest in Hillsdale Passage that informed players they received an item that doesn't exist (Berserk Ring).
- Fixed a bug that caused the Whelk boss to turn into an Archareon.
- Fixed an issue that would cause the wrong battle music to play in Cid's Laboratory.
- Increased attack power of several ninja swords.
- Increased initial attack power of Nobumasa.
- Increased several stats of the behemoth monster.
- Lowered price of Phoenix Pinions from 500 to 250.
- Made it impossible to backtrack to Branch without using Gozmodan's Grotto after visiting Mysidia.
- Made the return to Branch Castle after the Lindblum portion of the game non-mandatory.
- Updated the title screen.


You can head on over to the downloads page to grab the updated version. See you guys in 2025 with the next update!



NINJA UPDATE: I forgot to include battles in Echo Temple. The version available for download now has battles in that location.

Progress Report

Let the rewrite begin!

Well, I've started!



The dialogue rewrite that I'm working on will cover essential plot points throughout the early Branch, Ivalice, and Lenadia portions of the game. For those who aren't new to the game, these are the parts I'm looking at...

1. Intro with Braak in Branch Castle's dungeon and Darius outside.
2. All dialogue sequences in Branch Castle's throne room.
3. Water Shrine encounter with Archareon and then Darius.
4. The encounter with the dragon Surt.
5. Conversations in Trei (mostly with Doctor Cunnings, Maria and Oalston).
6. Dio encounters.
7. Mystic Mysidia confrontation with Ivalice's generals.
8. Malacore and Darius cutscene at the Fire Crystal.
9. Party's encounter with Malacore at the Fire Crystal.
10. Everything that happens during Hans' solo adventure.
11. Conversation with Mohadmal Village's elder.
12. First encounter with Nobumasa.
13. First encounter with Cid.
14. Party's encounter with Malacore at the Wind Crystal.
15. Small dialogue sequences with minor NPCs and such up until Lindblum.
16. Any glaringly obvious typos that I come across.


Late game dialogue isn't being tampered with too much since, from what I've been told, things improve dramatically at that point (which makes sense because the end was made in 2011/2012 while the parts I'm trying to fix are 2003-2007).

This is a pretty big endeavour. There's A LOT of dialogue to cover, so I might delay all of this dialogue until a bigger update later on and just throw out the stuff I've already completed in the next update (everything I listed I'm doing for the next update has been completed so it's ready to go).

The early game dialogue has always been what I've been most upset by in the finisehd game. I've tried to improve it by rewriting bits here and there over time, but I've never tried to cover ALL of the dialogue before. Whenever I finish this big task, I'm hoping that the people who play for the first time will enjoy the dialogue more than older players!

Progress Report

Blackmoon Prophecy Plus! Patch

A few days ago, this wasn't planned AT ALL but, after checking out a few DynRPG patches, I got myself all worked up and excited and decided to incorporate DynRPG into a new update for Blackmoon Prophecy. My "Plus!" patch for Blackmoon Prophecy does a few neat things thanks to DynRPG and, to make the update seem like more than just a bunch of DynRPG patches thrown at the game, I've improved the colours of some sprites, edited dialogue here and there (I'm doing a quick test play through early portions to iron the dialogue out further), added a few little goodies like an extension to the arena, and more. This blog post is meant to detail everything I'm doing with this patch, and I hope to give people playing Blackmoon Prophecy for the first time the best experience they can have with it.

Arena Extension: The arena has been expanded (see images for a picture) and now includes a new NPC who offers the player the ability to take part in a gauntlet. The gauntlet throws endless random battles at the player until they either lose a battle or decide to quit in between battles. There is no opportunity to heal in between battles, you simply get a prompt to stop or move onto the next fight. Monstrously difficult special encounters have a chance of showing up in the gauntlet. Getting the greatest rewards from the gauntlet is not an easy task, but considering how they are going to be very, very good items? Totally worth it.

Character Specific Events: I'm planning on adding a few events for specific characters late in the game that will shine a little more light on them. Ami's past will be explored a bit after she's located on the third world map, and there very well may be some stuff for Oalston and Darius as well. I'm not going to do anything for Siegfried since there are bread crumbs about him and his past throughout the course of the game and hidden away in some random strings of dialogue.

Faster ATB Bars: ATB bars now fill up at least twice as quickly as they used to, and running shoes no longer feel like they're absolutely mandatory to have in order for battles to run at a decent rate. I've conducted a lot of battle tests and they've never felt faster or smoother!

Improved Sprite Palettes: I haven't redrawn any sprites or anything, but I've taken some sprites of several party members and have increased the amount of colours on them greatly. Oalston's hat as an example, originally possessing only two colours, now has five. Ami, Elina, Oalston, and Vera have received this treatment so far and I intend on doing Bosche and Nobumasa as well. Darius, Godot, Jasmine and Siegfried look decent enough as they are and may not receive this treatment. I may extend this to some NPCs, like making some look more unique such as Doctor Cunnings in Trei.

Misc. Graphics Updated: Mostly just a few item glyphs and the system skin at the moment, but I may tinker with a few chipsets. We'll see where this one goes, but I don't expect too many graphical changes. I'm just changing a few little things that didn't sit well with me, like random dots on the system skin borders, or a few item glyphs not looking the way I'd like them to.

Play Time Counter: I can't wait to see how high this thing tallies for someone playing from the beginning! This was a nice DynRPG addition and simply records your play time in much the same way as any commercial Final Fantasy game.

Rewritten Dialogue: I've been going through early portions of the game after watching another Let's Play of the game and am trying to fix up some typos and rewriting lines I just don't like. A lot of them seem to involve conversations in Branch Castle's throne room. I haven't gotten around to touching Trei yet (when Oalston is recruited), but that is a sequence that I want to change greatly as well.

Transparent Windows: These aren't the default 2k3 transparent windows, as they're not selected in the database. I'm not sure if these transparent windows (which I think came from DynRPG?) have anything special about them or not, but I've taken a liking to them.

Visible In-Battle MP Gains: Did you just use an ether and wished that you could see how much MP it restored? Now you can, thanks to DynRPG. It also displays how much MP you lose upon casting a spell. Stat gains from spells such as protect are also shown.



A few changes not worth making individual notes of above? I'm removing the bosses from the Tower of Babil (except Atma), pathways have been updated a bit on the world map, rivers have been made less straight on the first world map, and a lot of houses from the start of the game which were previously empty now have NPCs and/or treasure chests in them. A few buildings in the early portions of the game are also being made smaller. I'm also thinking about adding some NPCs and/or lore bits that will tie into the sequel that I want to try and start next year sometime. I may even add another summon or two for Vera to learn, and am currently thinking Asura and Ixion. Also, I have to tip my hat to Cherry for making DynRPG as well as PepsiOtaku since most of the scripts I've decided to use were made by him. Those two guys are awesome, so I decided to stick them into my "special thanks" portion of the credits during the game's intro.


I plan on having this update ready sometime this month, but I'm not sure when yet since I don't know if I will incorporate anything else other than what's listed above, though I'm not ruling it out. I'm aiming to have this patch up sometime between the 25th and the 30th.

Progress Report

Version 1.17c

I actually updated this? Yessir!

Version 1.17c
- Changed title screen.
- Corrected phasing issue with Deckar and Eva in Mystic Mysidia.
- Fixed issue involving BGM failing to change when exiting Trei Vault.
- Fixed issue that allowed Palumpu Post to be completely bypassed.
- Greatly reduced HP of Calcabrina.
- Greatly reduced HP of Dr. Lugae.
- Included a backup/spare RPG_RT in the "Help" folder.
- Included David Patch in the "Help" folder for anyone who wishes to make edits of any kind.
- Included developer save files in "Help" folder.
- Included font patch in main download.
- Increased Vicks' MP pool significantly.
- Minor changes to the world maps to make certain pathways less annoying to walk.


The new title screen in question is the one on the game's media page by alterego. The only problem? I had to downsize it because of 2k3's lousy resolution, but it's in there now!

Updated download is available in the downloads section. There is also a secondary download hosted on Mediafire that does not contain any added clutter to the game's folder such as the fan made stuff, the help folder, etc.

Request

Improving Blackmoon Prophecy's Early Portions

I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that you CANNOT please everyone who plays your game, but... if someone seems to enjoy your game but points a finger at an area of a game (or even an entire portion) and says "this sucks" then steps should be taken to make that part of the game as fun as the portions that do seem enjoyable.

So here is my situation. The first several hours of Blackmoon Prophecy are clearly less enjoyable than the latter portions of the game. While I've taken a few steps to make some parts better (reducing the number of maps in some of the early caves, making dialogue more coherent, etc.), there is only so much that I can do without feedback because Blackmoon Prophecy is MY baby, so I'm going to love it regardless of any issues and will obviously overlook imperfections that you guys pick out pretty easily just because I won't see them as easily.

What I want to do is improve some areas of the game to make the story flow better and to prevent players from getting bored or frustrated. Here are my current ideas that I might implement in addition to anything that you guys may pitch.

1. Make the Hillsdale quest (killing monsters in the desert and then using the underground passage) completely OPTIONAL. This would result in a new path being cleared in the mountains southwest of town for the player to pass straight through. The whole Hillsdale chain of events would instead end in some pretty useful treasures and perhaps a cutscene or something. Maybe interactions between Elina and Nobumasa to flesh out their stories a little more.

2. Teleport the player back to the start of the majority of dungeons after completing them (except for those that are pretty short).

3. Remake some of the early caves. The newer caves that I've been adding lately, such as Bafsk Subterrane and Mt. Figaro, have been significantly more interesting than the early caves of Blackmoon Prophecy. I may remap some of the older caves to give them added personality and make them more enjoyable to pass through. The Cave of Surt and Trei Catacombs are probably massive borefests for a lot of people. That needs to be fixed for sure and I intend on doing just that. Having multiple cave dungeons is fine, they just can't all look identical and have no interesting features. That's the problem with the early caves of Blackmoon Prophecy.

4. Give Vahn a little bit more to do. I think I want to give him an attack called Armor Breaker or something, and an increase of about 10 to his max MP at the start wouldn't hurt either.

5. More cutscenes. When there's nothing AT ALL to break up the endless roaming from point A to point B to point C I can understand how some players may lose focus a bit. I may add a few cutscenes here and there to remind players of what is happening in the story, where they're going next, or how the characters are feeling. These events increase in frequency as the game progresses, but the early portions rely too much on the player drawing their conclusions about what's happening and how the characters are feeling.


Those are a few of my ideas. I want to know what issues you guys have with Branch and early/middle Lenadia portions of the game so that I can work on them and make them more enjoyable.

Now, I'm not looking to do anything REALLY major like completely change the dialogue or personality of any of the characters and I don't want to scrap any parts of the game because this beast is finished, I don't want to go back to the drawing board and feel like the game isn't done. This is all about improving parts of the game and making them better.

So please, fire away. I'd love to hear all suggestions that you guys may have.

Progress Report

Time for something new. Augments!

I was sitting here trying to think of ways to make characters in Blackmoon Prophecy a little more customizable and I decided that one way to do so would be by adding a new accessory type called augments.

What are augments?
Slightly more expensive than regular accessories, augments are character-specific equips that increase stats in a way that is relevant to the characters equipping them. For example, Godot's augments will boost defense and speed a little, magic will be boosted drastically, and vigor will receive no bonus. Siegfried's augments, in comparison, are pretty much the complete opposite.

Aside from just boosting stats, each augment accessory will allow characters to use a brand new ability while the item is equipped. These are abilities that the characters cannot obtain in any other way.

So this sounds pretty dandy! Stats and cool new abilities! There is a catch though... once an agument is equipped, it cannot be removed.

How do we take an augment off, UPRC!?
Why, by using an item called Augment Off! This is a one time use item, but they are relatively cheap. An Augment Off item will unequip the accessory slot of all characters.

Where do we find augments and Augment Off items?
Augment shops! I'm sure that a lot of players have found pretty useless houses in some towns that contain either an NPC with pointless dialogue or absolutely nothing at all. These filler houses will become augment shops. Towns that don't have any such useless buildings will instead have augment shops added to them. If I don't want to bother increasing the size of some towns to add an augment shop (I'm looking at you, Palumpu!) then the augment vendor will be roommates with the accessory or item shop vendor.

What kind of abilities do augments teach characters?
Each character can learn four different abilities. Here's one from each character as an example.

Ami - Mustard Bomb (Fire damage, berserk, and gradual HP loss on one enemy)
Darius - Vampire (Absorbs a moderate amount of HP from a target)
Elina - Magic Breath (Heavy non-elemental damage to all enemies)
Godot - Acid Rain (Water damage and inflicts poison on all enemies)
Jasmine - Quasar (Massive non-elemental damage to one enemy)
Nobumasa - Sosei (Heals KO and approximately 100 HP)
Oalston - Ultima (Massive non-elemental damage to all enemies)
Siegfried - Pulsar (Massive non-elemental damage to all enemies)
Vahn - Jet Stream (Air and water damage to all enemies)
Vera - Fantod (Greatly increases her magic stat and restores MP gradually)

Bosche has no augments because his accessory slot is already locked.


I'll have augments ready in my next update.

Progress Report

Let's plug more content into this sucker!

So I cut a lot of things from the game in order to finish it (because I was getting tired of working on the game for so long). I'm looking at some of the things I cut that I liked and am adding them.

So far...

1. A new missable party member, Jasmine, who is sort of a cross between Oalston and Siegfried.
2. Temple of Kas'ion, a dungeon on the third world map. Omega has to be beaten to access it.
3. Cave of Memories, a dungeon on the third world map that mimics cave layouts from the first six Final Fantasy games.
4. An obtainable black chocobo that you can nurse back to health and then ride. Will work like the black chocobos in FF4 (can cross mountains but not oceans). Some locations will only be reachable via black chocobo.
5. Obsidius Hollow, a dungeon in the Underworld.
6. FF9 Chocograph styled minigame on the third world map. I was really eager to do this one before, but I got lazy when I was finishing the game and decided to cut it.
7. A few more optional locations (like the remote houses and such) on the world maps.
8. Another summon or two for Vera.
9. Other little things I can't think of, need to look at my old Blackmoon Prophecy documents for more ideas.

I'll add these now because I really want to have all of my original plans in the game. When I finished Blackmoon Prophecy and put it up for download, it still didn't feel "complete" to me because I cut a lot of ideas simply because I wasn't motivated enough to include them. Now that it has been a few months, I AM motivated enough to throw some of the cut ideas back in.

I will probably have all of this (along with the usual bug fixes) ready in time next week since I will be on vacation and will have lots of free time starting this Friday. Also because of these changes I'm adding, I'm taking down the hard type download because it will already be horribly out of date by next week, so anyone who downloads it with the new update I'm working on will end up with a very wonky game that doesn't want to function properly.

http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/210/locker/BlackmoonProphecy11Pic1.png
http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/210/locker/BlackmoonProphecy11Pic2.png
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http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/210/locker/BlackmoonProphecy11Pic4.png
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http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/210/locker/BlackmoonProphecy11Pic6.png
http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/210/locker/BlackmoonProphecy11Pic7.png

Feel free to leave any ideas/suggestions below.

Miscellaneous

Cut! That's a wrap! Wait, what about all of that unfinished stuff?

Kind of inspired by a blog post Ocean recently made detailing things that never made it into his game. I decided that it might be fun to do, so I'll give it a go as well! Here are things that I didn't add to Blackmoon Prophecy. Also note that there are some spoilers below.

1. MogNet
Similar to the location in FF9. I intended for it to be located in Ivalice and I even started to map it out (it's probably still in the map tree somewhere), but I just had no real solid ideas for what to do with it and decided not to bother with it.

2. Esper World
A few drafts before I finalized the story, I had planned for the party to visit the Esper World to take the fight to the Archareons head on. A second reason for Vahn and friends to be in the Esper World would be to stop Malacore from absorbing the Holy Crystal and Dark Crystal. The Holy Crystal eventually ended up becoming the Life Crystal and I scrapped the Dark Crystal entirely. It's probably a good thing that I didn't go this route because making a fourth world map probably would have killed me.

3. Mog Has Joined The Party, Kupo!
This was tossed out at the LAST SECOND. Mog was going to be a secret recruitable character who would perform similarly to his FF6 incarnation. What stopped me from adding him? I didn't want to run through the entire database adjusting item/spell properties just for the sake of one missable character.

4. Branch Liberated
There was going to be this epic assault on Branch Castle by the player to take the castle back from the Archareons. This would involve overcoming dragoons transformed into lizard creatures, defeating (killing) Hans, and then helping Adder escape only for him to betray you. Branch Castle was going to serve the same purpose as the Rift Shrine, but I decided that I didn't want to do this.

5. Blue Dragoon Can't Jump
But he used to be able to! There used to be an actual jump command for Vahn a long time ago. We're talking three or four years ago. I loved having the command in the game, so where did it go? I accidentally caused some kind of catastrophic error in 200+ monster formations. Rather than going through and fixing each of them one by one, I just decided to get rid of the Jump command and replace it with individual jumping attacks.

6. Vahn + Vera = Love
It happens after the game ends, but the original plan was to have the two become lovers during the story. Why didn't this happen? Because it seemed sappy. Plus one character chasing the other for their affection for the entire game is sort of Final Fantasy tradition, so the route I went was probably for the better.

7. Ultima
I had this spell in the game up until a few weeks (or maybe even days) before I finished the game and uploaded it to RMN. I never included the spell because I couldn't settle on a battle animation that I was happy with. In some ways I guess the Armageddon spell could count as Ultima (even though Armageddon is earth elemental).

8. Gangsta Hans
I almost made Hans a black guy. ALMOST. The role of ethnic character was given to Elina instead. Hans kept his unique dialogue and he was instead changed to be a countryside hick of sorts.

9. Buried Treasure Everywhere!
I mentioned this in a past blog post once. One of the planned minigames was going to be similar to FF9's chocographs. Vahn's mother would give him a map that belonged to his father which would point towards Branch's lost artifacts. The player would look at a picture of the mini-map that would show a very vague area that a treasure is hidden at and the player would then have to go search that area for it. Why did I scrap this? I basically just said, "Nah, I don't feel like doing that anymore."

10. The Original Final Boss
After watching some Let's Play videos and listening to feedback, I found it interesting that a lot of people suspected Lord Adder of having a hidden agenda. A lot of players picked up on some hints that perhaps there was more to Adder than meets the eye and, well, those players would have been correct... once upon a time. For the longest while, I had the intention of making Adder grow more and more curious of Malacore's power, and he would eventually see draining his power as a way to defeat him. Malacore's power would then end up inside of Adder and he would then essentially follow the same footsteps that Malacore does. The plan to make Adder the final boss was scrapped when I came up with Zeul's character.

11. Dungeons Ahoy!
I tossed about 4-5 optional dungeons out the window. These would have been accessible after getting the airship on the third world map. I didn't make these dungeons because I just wanted to finally finish the game.

Announcement

Blackmoon Prophecy Hard Type Version

While I let ideas for new projects slosh around in my mind, I'm going to revisit Blackmoon Prophecy by making a second "hard type" version of the game to address the "game is too easy" complaints in a really frightening and vicious way.

Now, I could just drastically reduce the stats of the playable characters and call it a day, but that would be too easy. I'll make several changes such as...

- Complete removal of some items to eliminate abusing some wearable items such as the Wolf Ring.
- Dumbed down effects on some items (running shoes will increase agility, NOT grant haste).
- Far fewer treasure chests.
- Greatly reduce the damage dealt by tier 2 and tier 3 weapons.
- Increase levels that spells are learned so that it takes longer to obtain more powerful abilities.
- Increased stats for monsters (except agility for the sake of everyone's sanity)
- Increased MP costs for blue magic, summons, and X-Magic.
- New attacks for many monsters which will mostly all be non-elemental and/or inflict status ailments.
- Possible removal of item upgrading (still debating this one).
- Reduced experience and gold from all monsters.
- Reduced power for damage and healing on usable skills and spells.
- Reduced healing effect on all items that recover HP and MP.
- Reduced stats for all playable characters.
- Remove multi-hitting from all weapons.

I intend on making every single boss a true battle to the death. Yes, even the first boss.

When the hard type is finished, I'll post it as an update styled download containing only maps and database files since there will be no changes to the game's resources. This will cut back on the download size by... a lot.

Also feel free to leave ideas and suggestions!
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