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ReCast FF3: War of the Magitek

Hack of Final Fantasy III

Description:

ReCast is a ’standing on shoulders’ half-hack that assembles various material created by members of the FF3SNES hacking community. Originally intended as a simple graphics patch to fix FF3’s combat art clash, ReCast has grown into a “vanillish” scenario adjustment, making Banon a more prominent character and adding a second story split to the latter half of the game to adjust Ruin pacing. Several characters are rewritten and some scenes are expanded or moved to different parts of the game (such as “Taming of the Gau” being moved to the World of Balance).

Additionally, spells were changed and natural magic was given to more characters. Enemies were made vulnerable to more status ailments and the Zombie status had its mechanics altered. This isn’t intended to be a major re-balance of combat or a hard-type patch, so the difficulty of the game should be roughly comparable to the original (it is slightly harder).

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Final Fantasy III (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180813-062835)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 4F37E4274AC3B2EA1BEDB08AA149D8FC5BB676E7
  • File/ROM CRC32: A27F1C7A

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
C. V. ReynoldsHackingBug Fix Compilation (Building Base)
Rodimus PrimalTranslationDialog Script (Building Base)
PowerPandaDesignScenario Pacing (Building Base)
MadsiurGraphicsGraphics Compilation (Building Base)
GrayShadowsHackingInventory UI, Gogo Magic
HatZen08HackingCombat fixes, wilder RNG
Gi NattakHackingFunctional Umaro
James WhiteGraphicsLocke, Edgar, Mog, Gau A, Biggs, some portraits, various enemies (GFX Collection)
BropedioHackingCombat UI (Informative Miss)
assassin17HackingBugfixes (CV Collection and Sketch Bug)
Leet SketcherHackingBugfixes and Combat UI
Leviathan MistHackingInventory UI
Master ZEDHackingB-Button Dash
AstarothGraphicsCeles, Cid, Sabin (partial), various enemies (GFX Collection)
ZozmaGraphicsCyan, various enemies (GFX Collection)
Poco LocoGraphicsClyde, Darryl, various enemies (GFX Collection)
KugawattenGraphicsTerra, various enemies (GFX Collection)
RjenyawdGraphicsTiny Moogle (actor graphic) (GFX Collection)
SmithyGCNGraphicsTiny Moogle (portrait graphic)
Novalia SpiritHackingBugfixes (CV Collection)
Terii SenshiHackingBugfixes (CV Collection)
SutebenuGraphicsRelm (partial), various enemies (GFX Collection)
CrumpledMedalGraphicsVarious enemies (GFX Collection)
ZeemisGraphicsVarious enemies (GFX Collection)
Dr.BlankGraphicsVarious enemies (GFX Collection)
FEOKGraphicsShiva, Cyan (partial) (GFX Collection)
B-RunHackingEdgar's cover mechanic
LockirbyProductionBug Reports
Alby4t5ProductionBug Reports
WarraxHackingBugfixes
SilentEnigmaHackingSoft Reset, Continue Prompt
CatoneHackingImbue's command menu

User Review Information

Great for people who want a vanilla-ish experience with some new twists

Reviewed By: Lockirby2 on 31 May 2020

This is a hack that I would recommend to somebody that is looking to play a hack that is “vanilla, but different”. I think the hack has accomplished its goal in that sense. It is advertised that the difficulty is about the same as vanilla, and I think that assessment is correct. While enemies do slightly more dangerous things when they do get to attack, it’s easier to defend your characters with equipment and buffs. In addition, I find that enemies typically don’t act as often to begin with.

While your damage output is typically slightly lower than in vanilla, and you generally need to be slightly more creative to obtain that damage output, most bosses still die before their second attack and don’t do anything threatening with their first. To give an example, I killed Kefka and the third tier before they moved; the enemies in the other two tiers acted once apiece (except Magic, who I disabled with Runic to spend time buffing, although said buffs were a complete waste of time).

Overall, I would have enjoyed the hack more if it was a tad harder, but that explicitly wasn’t a goal of the hack, so it would be unfair to really complain about that.

One philosophy of this hack is that it’s better for a mechanic to be OP than boring. Because of this, status effects are also extremely powerful. Full-party image basically makes enemy physical attacks irrelevant and Shell (which can also be applied to the whole party) cuts enemy magical damage in half now. In addition, casting a negative status in a random encounter will usually disable the entire enemy party. Bosses (up to and including the final boss) are pretty much always vulnerable to a status, which means that you can instantly win boss fights if you know what they are vulnerable to (or just win the guessing lottery). That said, I guess you can also pretty much “instantly win the fight” just by hitting the boss as hard as possible, so maybe that’s necessary for status effects to compete. If a boss can be hit with percentage-based attacks, there’s basically no reason to use anything else.

One nice thing about this hack’s balance is that magic is typically less powerful and more in line with your other options. Surprisingly for an FF6 hack, attacks with weapons are often the best way to put on the hurt, though usually the attacker needs to be in the front to do so effectively.

Characters are also designed “not to be boring”, and this is followed fairly consistently with the exception of Clyde; his only special ability deals mediocre magical damage to a single target, his magic is only slightly better than the lowest common denominator, and there are usually better options for attacking physically as well. I also find Cyan somewhat unusable unless you’re fighting a boss that can be cheesed with the percentage-based TetraSlash. Cleave and TetraSlash take a long time to activate, so usually all the enemies in a random encounter are dead before these skills are even used. And because TetraSlash isn’t a standard heavy-hitting attacking move anymore, Cyan has no option to achieve more than a couple thousand damage in most end-game boss fights. And in this game, that’s pretty bad.

In terms of the script and thematic changes, I find them to be a mixed bag. For example, Celes was intended to sound more like a general. Sometimes this effect was achieved, but at other moments she seemed more like a fifteen-year old trying to sound tough on the internet. Several songs were also swapped around. Catastrophe starts playing on the WoB overworld when the Floating Continent is raised, making the situation feel more dire. Since this situation should feel dire, I think that’s a good change (despite the jank, which I’ll discuss later). On the other hand, Awakening plays when riding a chocobo, making it feel more sad instead of fun. This feels out-of-place when riding a giant bird across the plains and waltzing straight past all of your enemies.

ReCast has a decent degree of polish, but interesting changes are often prioritized over polish when the two come into conflict. For example, when Catastrophe is playing on the world map, there are quite a few different ways to break the music so that the wrong song plays until you re-board your airship. Furthermore, Terra’s Aether skills mostly absorb HP since they have the effects of black, white, and gray magic rolled into one. This makes Terra pretty much invincible for the first third of the game since she will never die if she spams these skills. Not to mention just about anything to do with the invisible monster that indicates the enemy status effects. If you’ve played a lot of hacks and you’re fine with the jank, these things probably won’t bother you much. If you’re looking to play a game that feels like it could have been made by Square, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like the smaller enemy sprites, but for the most part they’re pretty cute and it’s fun to see how the more iconic enemies were minified. The humanoid sprites are especially nice and have a lot of effort put into them. There are a couple inconsistencies like the canonically enormous seahorses in the Serpent Trench, but 98% of enemies are reasonably sized in comparison to the party. Some of the enemy sprites were simply downsized; this is generally amusing when an enemy goes from small to tiny, but it doesn’t look as nice for enemies that go from large to medium. The Malboro in particular looks kinda gross, and not in a way that’s appropriate to the enemy type. But again, note that this is only a minority of the enemies; most of the designs look good in my opinion.

Most of the character sprites have also been changed to varying degrees as well. I like that the general trend is to give people (and Espers) more practical clothes. Personally, I find vanilla’s leotards and loin cloths ridiculous, and most other hacks tend to go the opposite direction and be even more “uncensored” with their designs. Sabin is the only character whose clothes seem out-of-place; I’m not sure how he’s able to do martial arts while wearing those bulky robes. Some of the sprites still have their flaws though. WoR Gau looks like he’s flailing his arms around when he walks vertically, and Relm’s animations look awkward when she does something like blinking repeatedly or nodding her head.

This is my first time playing a hack based on PowerPanda’s Divergent Paths mod. The changes improve the pacing of the WoB dramatically. Terra’s scenario is still somewhat shorter than the other two, but it’s a far cry more even than before. It’s hard to tell exactly what writing came from PP and what came from C-Dude, but the scenarios are much better written than in vanilla IMO. The enemies that are normally in Sabin’s scenario give less EXP than the enemies from Locke/Terra’s scenarios, so I wish EXP yields were adjusted to account for this.

The scenario split in the WoR is fantastic as well. If you’re one of those people who didn’t like the way that the WoR lets you go anywhere at anytime (I’ve heard people say that they couldn’t bring themselves to finish vanilla because of this), then this hack’s WoR is structured more to your liking. Story-wise, the changes aren’t quite as solid as the WoB scenario split. Among other things, Gau sends letters to Lola instead of Cyan, which isn’t as fitting for a dozen reasons. But if you know the usual story inside and out, it’s still fun to see how it has been changed.

Overall, while I wouldn’t say that this is one of “the” definitive FF6 hacks by any means, it’s still a solid hack to recommend to people who want to play a different version of FF6 despite not being experienced with the game. It’s also nice if somebody wants to relax with a chill romp or see what surprises the game has in store.

Version 1.07 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Lots of Great Ideas Worth Your TimeBearamedic24 Oct 20202.2Yes
Great for people who want a vanilla-ish experience with some new twistsLockirby231 May 20201.07Yes