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1  The Community / Introductions / Re: Greetings, everyone! on: April 03, 2019, 12:26:24 AM
Hey there, welcome to the forum! Hope you enjoy yourself here. :P

I'm looking forward to seeing those charts!
2  Golden Sun Games / General Golden Sun / Re: Some Questions about Formulas on: April 01, 2019, 07:11:38 PM
Lol, well I was mainly referring to this part:

I have a bunch of questions about RN too.

But yeah, that should help.
3  Golden Sun Games / General Golden Sun / Re: Some Questions about Formulas on: March 31, 2019, 02:58:46 PM
Haha, yeah it's pretty neat! We've already talked about the Dullahan thing over Discord, but I'll reiterate here for anyone else who reads this topic:

Dullahan has a linked moveset that draws abilities from three enemies. When sealed, it will skip psynergy due to the way the AI works. It's not really a second move pool, so much as the game cutting some actions out under the right conditions (the same would happen in a hypothetical scenario where Dullahan has 0 PP). Action selection is also slightly bugged, because the way the AI is set up means that an enemy will always use Defend if it is unable to select a valid action within x number of code loops; this is why Dullahan sometimes uses Defend despite not having it in its move pool.

Critical boosts are indeed additive! I'm not sure how helpful I'd be about random number stuff though; you may have better luck asking someone from the speedrunning community.

As for battle mode, it's up to you! I can always answer questions over Discord, although we could use a topic that goes over some things too; I don't think a lot of people have given it much thought.

4  Golden Sun Games / General Golden Sun / Re: Some Questions about Formulas on: March 30, 2019, 06:42:16 PM
Hey there! I'll answer as best I can:

1. I'm not sure; this is just for Dark Dawn though, for the record.

2. Do you have a link for that? I ask because that doesn't feel accurate, but it's entirely possible we need to double check some code. I *think* it might actually be tied to ability formula used (Effect Only may have a higher rate?) but I'd have to verify that.

3. You should be able to check in the editor for that one; Poseidon and Dullahan have sequential patterns, but they are set up a bit differently than other enemies. Poseidon links to a second moveset that it draws from on every second turn, and Dullahan has a random starting point but otherwise chooses moves in a sequential order using three enemy slots. It also uses Defend occasionally, which is a bug with the AI that I haven't fully worked out yet (Defend is what the AI defaults to when it is unable to select a move).

4. Unleashes take precedence over everything else; crits come either after that, or after miss rates. Both critical and miss rates are 1/32 if I recall correctly, though crits are also boosted by crit-boosting gear (not only unleashes).

This spreadsheet project sure sounds interesting!

And it's not a problem at all! Ask away. :P
5  The Community / Introductions / Re: Hi everybody! on: March 30, 2019, 06:33:01 PM
Sweet! As for your questions, that's one of the best places to post aside from the subforums under "The Editor."

I'll check it out!
6  The Community / Introductions / Re: Hi everybody! on: March 26, 2019, 06:30:31 PM
Oh hey, that's pretty cool! Do you have any questions you'd like answered now?

We also have a Discord page if you'd like to catch any of us in there; I tend to be pretty inactive on the forums these days.
7  The Community / Introductions / Re: Hi everybody! on: March 23, 2019, 06:57:27 AM
Hey there, welcome! Let us know if you have any questions you'd like answered. :P

What's your project?
8  Golden Sun Hacking Community / News & Announcements / Re: Golden Sun The Lost Age Editor Open Sourced (Dev alpha v0.5 download inside) on: March 23, 2019, 06:56:46 AM
Haha, sweet; looking forward to seeing you in there!

Sounds good about the screenshots.
9  Golden Sun Hacking Community / News & Announcements / Re: Golden Sun The Lost Age Editor Open Sourced (Dev alpha v0.5 download inside) on: March 22, 2019, 09:55:45 PM
Hey there! I have no idea what the PS2 thing is, but hopefully we can figure it out; do you have any screenshots? It almost sounds like you may have had a PS2 emulator installed on your computer at some point in the past, even if one isn't there now.

As for general TLA Editor stuff, that program is defunct at this point. It isn't getting updated anymore unless someone else picks up development on it; Atrius retired, Teawater is focusing on gsmagic these days, and I have little interest in editor development outside of very specific applications. I don't even know if anyone else is interested either. :(

Artifacts: Multiple items can also share an artifact slot. So, if for example you have the Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter Star items all using the same slot, selling one of them to a store will allow stores to sell all four in the artifacts section. However, buying one will then remove the rest. Think of it like trading items!

Icons: I will say that there is a tool for it, but you still need to be skilled with hex editing to make effective use of it. We may be able to help you with that if you're able to pop into the Discord server; I find it tricky to help with that sort of thing on a forum.
10  The Community / Creative Works / Re: Bloodlines - Legacy of the Lost Dragoon on: March 13, 2019, 04:17:11 AM
Oh hey, you're alive! Cool to hear about the book; I like the character designs!
11  Golden Sun Games / Golden Sun: The Lost Age / Re: Is Djinn Storm Overpowered? on: November 07, 2018, 04:45:01 AM
Lol, it absolutely is; it's a pretty bad ability overall. It's a lazy move that was made because Camelot was running out of time and needed to create a move that would create artificial difficulty for the end of the game, rather than balancing late-game bosses to have some natural challenge to them.

Doesn't stop me from joking about making that Dullahan's counterattack move though. :P
12  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Enemy AI Research (answering questions plus abuse tips) on: October 13, 2018, 12:28:41 AM
Okay, so I finally got off my butt and researched how IQ affects targeting.

There's a global rule that targets are chosen at rates of 6/5/4/3, depending on how many targets are around. This is done by calculating a random 16-bit value, shifting it around, and comparing it to thresholds of x05, x0A, and x0E, again depending on how many targets are around; the end RNG will be capped at x11, x0E, or x0A, yet again depending on how many targets are around.

How targets are assigned varies.

For IQ 0, the rules are:
- Targets are assigned from 0-3 based on their current HP;
- The enemy's top priority target will be whichever of the two left-most targets has the most HP; after that, it will look at everyone and rank them based on current HP, from most to least.
- This changes throughout battle, generally by getting damaged or through stat fluctuations caused by class changes.
- In a situation where two characters have the exact same HP, the enemy will prioritize the left-most of those characters.

IQ 1 works the same way, except that it compares max HP.

Let's take a look at a couple examples, using an enemy with IQ:1.

In this instance, Garet has the highest HP so he is Agatio's primary target. Felix becomes his second, Jenna third, and Sheba fourth.

However, in this case Jenna is prioritized as his top target because Garet is not in one of the two left-most slots. Garet therefore becomes his second pick.

In both scenarios, Sheba is the least likely to be chosen because she has the lowest max HP. Agatio is twice as likely to pick Garet in scenario 1, or Jenna in scenario 2, than he is Sheba.

However, if Agatio had an IQ of 0 instead, then Sheba would become his top priority in scenario 2 because she has the highest current HP out of the characters in the first two slots.

Everything above is ignored if:
- The chosen ability does not target enemies/the opposing party;
- If the ability is multi-target;
- If its formula is above #5 (base damage);
- The enemy has an IQ of 2, which I think just makes their target selection entirely random.

Stay tuned for more info at some point in the future I guess.
13  The Community / Open Discussion / Re: Site is back up? (test) on: July 21, 2018, 09:21:38 PM
Oh sweet, it's good to be back!

I just uploaded the "EXP Gain when Downed" patch to celebrate. :P
14  The Community / Open Discussion / Re: How to tell a good story in a video game: Episodes or no episodes? on: March 30, 2018, 05:08:27 PM
Having played a number of RPGs, I personally feel that the GS games rank among the lower end of them in terms of story. They generally have simplistic plots, character motivation that is either missing entirely or is handled so poorly as to be unbelievable, bland personalities if they even exist, and a huge amount of effort put into things that, while amazing, have @#$% all to do with the story itself. If I give Camelot any credit at all, it's that they are amazing when it comes to their attention to detail, and they are good with maximizing the capabilities of whatever hardware they are working with. At least for these games anyway. Even simple things, like how walking in shallow puddles will create little splashing or ripple effects, or how using Douse in most cold places will make it snow instead, or how virtually every single generic NPC in Dark Dawn uses a unique model—which sucks, because Dark Dawn is so bland and the story so nonsensical that I bet less than 1% of the people who played that game actually noticed—are good. GS2 actually has battle animations that use legitimate 3D effects and look amazing, yet story-wise that game is the most rushed of the three and there are several subplots that are either botched or are never given the attention they deserve (looking at you, Sheba). I'll go into more detail on this another day.

Yet, of the three, I'd actually say that the first game has the worst story because of how boring it is. DD is much worse overall, yes, but at least there are some potentially interesting things that are alluded to. GS1 utilizes a number of classic tropes that are borderline cliche at this point, and on the whole is the least inspired of the three when it comes to story. It is easier to remember than DD because it is very pretty, which the second game does better anyway.

Ignoring Isaac being mute, which is also one such cliche that is used horribly, I can think of a number of things just in the prologue/tutorial part of the game that are taken directly from other games that performed well:
- Isaac is woken up out of bed;
- By his mother/parent/guardian;
- During a really bad storm;
- He meets up with his childhood best friend;
- He loses a parent/guardian;
- Time skip: He, his childhood best friend, his other friend/love interest, and his teacher enter a forbidden/sacred area and unwittingly steal the precious artifacts there;
- His love interest gets kidnapped;
- Disaster [almost] befalls his quiet, peaceful village;
- He is tasked with stopping Saturos & co. from lighting the elemental Crystals of Light lighthouses.

And I want to be clear, I'm one of the few people on this site who doesn't mind mute protagonists. You just need to put more effort into giving them a personality, and depending on the style you go for that can be really hard to do. The Mario & Luigi games generally do a really good job with the personality thing despite the fact that it's Mario, and both of the titular characters only ever speak in sound clips like Link in the Zelda series; they have no written dialogue to speak of (not counting when Luigi cross-dresses of course), yet the way they react to situations and show their emotions goes a long way. A much more recent example is some game I found on Steam called Iconoclasts. I found the story to be fairly average on the whole, but the one character I actually liked was the silent protagonist; she reacts to situations and demonstrates emotion, all without dialogue. Yet another example would be Link in Wind Waker; that kid is very emotive!

I also don't mind episodic plots, provided they can be justified. It's often just a variation of the classic 3/4 act structure that has been tweaked to fit gameplay needs. GS does it too, but the first two games rarely justify it while DD's actually decent attempts at justification are still marred by the mixed intentions of the designers. You are supposed to explore to find things, like Haures, Crystallux, etc., yet you are also supposed to follow along with a plot that has the gall to throw in some points of no return without warning you.

Episodic formats are not a problem. Poor or inconsistent justification for why you're doing the things you are doing is a huge one, however.

Let's look at another example. I'm going to talk about a game I first played in 2015. It's a certain RPG that captures some of the same spirit that EarthBound had (another fantastic RPG). It is a game in which your choices matter, unlike in GS. It also stars a certain character who is lost in a land of monsters and wants to return home, and it boasts a colourful cast of quirky characters that are generally quite memorable.

I'm talking about LISA: The Painful. This game is essentially broken up into three broad sections and is almost episodic on its own. The main thing that ties everything together is that you always have one primary goal; find your surrogate daughter, who is possibly the last women in a world of perverts. There's a real motive there, and almost everything you do ties in to accomplishing your goal or is related to the central themes of the story.

Contrast this with the GS games:
- GS1 has two main reasons for doing what you are doing. Stop the end of the world (snore), and rescue Jenna. The Jenna angle is completely dropped by around Mercury Lighthouse, and the last person to even remember that you have the star is Alex. Before you leave Mercury. This was one of a few characters who proposed taking Jenna as a hostage for said star, and nobody even remembers the trade proposal when you're there. Then you go to Altin, Fuchin, Xian, etc. because a bridge is out... Yeah. In fact, GS1 doesn't even try to justify the middle third of the entire game, aside from a bridge south of Vault being ruined. The text never explicitly tells you that this is why you're bothering with not-China, aside from a very brief mention during the Hammet escape sequence that, again, has nothing to do with the main plot despite the setup given to it. It would be intuitive to think that you should go after Ivan to help rescue Hammet at the start of the game, because you just helped him recover the Shaman Rod, you have been informed that Hammet went north to Lunpa, and you are not given any other answers for what to do next. Later still, Layana tells you about Hammet's hostage situation when you visit her in Kalay.

Hammet is relegated to being an optional sidequest that you can't do until after Colosso.

- GS2 has a few. Rescue your parents (which is stated as if that nuke was already established), to save the world, and because Alex and his party are suggesting you consider lighting the lighthouses in the next year or two. Kraden or someone also suggests doing it to replenish civilization. Okay. The parent revelation, while poorly handled, is at least a more interesting reason for doing things than simply saving the world. I question if this was even intended when they first released GS1 though, but I can go into that another time.

The biggest issues with this game, however, are that it's very directionless and incredibly rushed. I've been working on an essay to go into more detail on the rushed aspect, which I'll save for later.

- DD also has a few. Isaac and Garet need to do research, and lacked the foresight to keep some spare gliders around. Mt. Aleph is huge, do they seriously take turns? You go to Southern Angara because the bad guys put a roadblock up and you needed to rescue a friend; actually a good justification. Everything you do, at least up until the Eclipse, ties in to your two central goals of finding Kraden or going to Kolima for the feather. Even if the inciting incident, the reason the story begins after the intro, is dumb. However, when the Eclipse happens, your goal shifts to stopping the apocalypse.

This apocalypse, by the way, is completely mitigated by light. Three entire towns survive relatively unscathed because of ancient lighting in their walls. Many of the citizens of Belinsk, the town where it started, also survive. Obaba survives in a town that is free of monsters because they lit some things on fire. In Kaocho, the generals and the town's children presumably survive by going in the main palace where it is lit up. On that note, everyone else here dies, yet most people in Belinsk survive? What?

All Matthew really needs to do is just go to each town and tell them to keep everything lit up, since it's implied that the Eclipse will end when enough light has been absorbed anyway. Barring that, they could at least discuss the possibility of evacuating people with the boat they have at this point. This game also adds a tonne of lore that, again, has @#$% all to do with the story. Much like how Camelot was great at giving considerable attention to detail in the GBA games, they gave it to lore and backstory at the expense of the story we're supposed to care about. Which we can't anyway, because none of the characters we would want to care about are in any real danger. It's a shame too, because the potential for having everything stand out was really high with this one.

So while the story and gameplay are masterfully interwoven with each other in LISA, they are much less so in GS. It is worth noting that DD is perhaps closer to being a classic 4 act structure than either of the GBA games, yet that still didn't save the mediocre story from bad design principles. As an aside, DD tries to balance mildly darker themes and lighthearted humour together and fails. LISA manages to blend lightheartedness and some genuinely messed up themes together and succeeds. DD even sterilized some of the themes it wanted to cover some time after footage of the E3 press demo came out, and it suffers immensely for that. They had some genuinely interesting ideas too, like Tyrell being emotionally stunted from losing his mother at a young age, and people at large distrusting adepts because of the Golden Sun and perceived power imbalances. Played well, and that second one could have served as an interesting allegory for racism in a genre that generally misses the mark.

I feel like they were planning something like that with the lore about the Jenei and Fori, but I would also be willing to bet that the story went through some rewrites at the last minute. Especially given how the story gets far worse in the last quarter of the game.

I hope this isn't too much to take in! It's also worth highlighting that, if the first two games were structured better story-wise, they could have served as an interesting deconstruction of the classic JRPG. The first game adheres to a number of tired tropes and cliches, while the second actually subverts a lot of them while also introducing the revelation that the GS1 party was in the wrong. Every game in the series also has a pretty consistent theme regarding loss and/or abandonment, especially involving loved ones. It's a shame they never do anything with that theme, but it is there.

This is a very interesting subject that I've been thinking about a lot lately; thanks for posting it!

Edit: I just realized that I forgot to say something. LISA's "story and gameplay are masterfully interwoven with each other" in a cool way. Everything Brad can do is based on his current state. If he loses a limb, then he loses a button he can make combos with. If he's suffering from withdrawal, then his stats suffer. Every enemy you fight, barring some exceptions, is unique; they are either just ordinary people who are in your path, sometimes just as bystanders, or they are the mere shadows of their former selves.

GS does this to a lesser extent, in that you do have psynergy both in and out of the field but they are relatively disconnected. Jenna can learn Flare in her base class, yet can't use it to light things on fire? She has to get Blaze, which is basically just a Deku Stick with limited range. Garet's worse off because he can't even get that despite being otherwise eligible.

I would argue that the best way to tell a good story in a game would be to make the gameplay and the story linked together. EarthBound does a bit of this too, as do the other games/series I've mentioned. GS is fun because it does this to a point, but it doesn't fully commit to the idea; psynergy is generally just a means of solving puzzles, like in Zelda, but 90% of the time the puzzles only amount to matching pegs to their respective holes. One of the few times it ties in directly with the story, it is an automatic anti-Tret barrier that only works there and is autonomous, directly contradicting the idea that psynergy needs intense training to hone. Otherwise, you have Mind Read and Ply as the standard cutscene powers; Ply in particular is bad because it's not the only healing skill you have access to, yet the story treats it as if it is (even when in a class that doesn't have it).

Contrast with the abilities you get in Superstar Saga, where anything you learn in the field translates directly to a thing you can do in battle. Same deal with several Metroidvania games, where that is generally one of the main features of that genre. Or LISA, which I just talked about.

I feel like this is the same reason for why a lot of people hated the execution of HMs in Pokemon games too. Not only were they abilities that are difficult to remove, you also can't use your Pokemon to do other things in the field most of the time. GS is the same.
15  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Ability Effects 48 and 52 on: September 28, 2017, 05:17:30 AM
Okay, so these two effects are only assigned to one ability each:

48 is assigned to Sidestep; the effect comes right after two damage reducing effects (one for 50% and the other for 90%) in the effect list, while the ability is just before Total Defense (which uses the 90% reduction) and Stand Ready (50% reduction). Like Total Defense and Stand Ready, Sidestep is also a non-elemental ability that is single target, uses the utility formula, and can only be used by the user on themselves.

52 is assigned to Crazy Voice, which is a PP damaging move used exclusively by Harridan. This ability is right between two other sound-based abilities that dabble in turn reduction (one inflicts stun, the other is a guaranteed 1-turn stun). The effect for this is also right beside the 1-turn stun effect in the ability effect list, and the ability shares some similarities with the other two sound-based abilities it is grouped with.

We have tried to figure out what these effects are, but haven't had any luck et. Research so far hasn't turned up any concrete evidence of them even being referenced or checked for in the second game's code, let alone actually doing anything. It is therefore likely that these two effects are variants of other effects (Sidestep of 50/90% damage reduction, Crazy Voice of stun/1-turn stun) that were planned for the first game but not programmed, and then carried over to the second game while also unfinished. This would make them similar to Charm/Confuse and Reflect.

We haven't confirmed 100% that they don't do anything, but I make this post simply because there has been no evidence to support otherwise yet and the arguments above might explain why.

Have a good day. :P
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 232
May 22, 2019, 09:32:43 PM
radzo73: is there a patch that skips dialogue? Interested in making a TAS...
May 12, 2019, 12:15:01 PM
raijinken: Hey there guys. Been a long time. But has anyone found out how to make a hard mode of Dark Dawn?
April 18, 2019, 01:18:08 AM
Fox: Thinking.... meme topics.....    Isaac: Stop calling me a sack! Also, don't call me sick either!
April 03, 2019, 08:24:45 PM
Fox: Really don't see the point in the Crystal or even the crown conversation, but whatever... (I mean, if you want to do it, then just do it. - Doesn't need to be at GSHC, because there are no longer clan leaders at GSHC.)
April 03, 2019, 03:59:33 AM
squizzy44: We all need to band together to take down Crystal.
April 02, 2019, 12:00:09 AM
Fox: Your clan?  You can't edit it manually, so you have to tell an admin so they can do it. There's actually a topic for when you pick a clan... but uhh... I've no idea if an admin will see it via that, though. (Kain will certainly see id you ping him on GSHC Discord.)
April 01, 2019, 05:28:42 PM
squizzy44: How do I change my position on my profile? I haven't used the site in nearly 10 years...
March 31, 2019, 10:10:15 PM
Fox: I still wonder if a Tret glitch for speedrunning exists... I don't think I looked into if the PC was on one of the other layers. (Which basically the second layer edits @-0x200 instead of @-0x100... in the event you are going up (y-axis) out of bounds.) Hm.
March 31, 2019, 06:18:43 PM
Fox: Not me.
March 31, 2019, 02:59:38 PM
Salanewt: I don't know of any, although if there were then we'd have to send it as a patch file. I think someone is working on it at least!
March 29, 2019, 07:51:48 PM
MaxiPower: no such thing exists
March 26, 2019, 03:38:42 AM
reeZ931: I would really appreciate it 
March 26, 2019, 02:39:38 AM
reeZ931: Anyone have a golden sun rom where you can play as saturos and menardi properly? 
March 25, 2019, 09:31:15 PM
Fox: It would explain why everyone leaves so quickly after taking our bananas.
March 24, 2019, 10:36:10 PM
Fox: Wouldn't bananas increase agility the more you have? Like... Diddy Kong Racing reference.
March 22, 2019, 11:19:11 PM
Average Wind Seer: Banana: Restores 50PP to user. Restores 40PP to Isaac if Jenna uses this item.
March 22, 2019, 09:57:53 PM
Salanewt: Lol. I mean, I am thinking of adding a banana item to GS so...
March 22, 2019, 09:48:42 PM
Fox: Ooh! Sala's back!  I think he wants a banana.  All this banana talk must have attracted him.
March 22, 2019, 08:56:52 PM
Fox: :O I just notice I have no Coins to buy bananas with! (You know, the coins feature this forum has.)
March 04, 2019, 08:45:44 PM
Fox: Aw.  I kind of want to suggest dressing up in a banana costume.  No wait, that's a bad idea.

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