RPG Hack Showcase: Final Fantasy 4 Ultima v2022+ (Updated 11/12/2022) (SNES)


Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

(Note: review and hack showcase video on yt based on version 2022+ as of June 2022.)

Long time Final Fantasy fans know the US release of FF2 on the SNES was a dumbed down version from the original project of FF4.FF4 Ultima fixes all the issues in the easytype FF2, along with later ports prior to the 3D versions of FF4. You can call it the FF4 Deluxe Collector’s Edition package. FF4 Ultima by 8-bit fan, Chillyfeez, and their team team keeps the plot going and makes TONS of changes to everything. The plot script is cleaner and makes more sense, the maps of the overworld, underworld, and moon are even changed! You’ll be surprised when you see the world map coming out of the Cave of Mist! Expect to get lost if you try to take the normal way to the Towel of Bab-il in the underground from the Dwarf Castle! Look out for new areas in familiar dungeons and caves too! Lots of new equipment to mess around with too!

List of features, additions and changes:

  • Party Swapping among 11 different members at Endgame!!
  • Dark Knight Cecil now available at endgame!!
  • A Full-Featured Bestiary!! A Brand New Title Screen!
  • A VERY Challenging BOSS RUSH Mode unlocked at endgame!!
  • New Game+ mode with higher MAX level/stats!!
  • 58 New Weapons! Including Magically Imbued Weapons!
  • 62 New Spells/Summons! Also revamped existing spells!
  • 38 New Bosses! Brand New Boss at Endgame with Randomized AI!
  • New Achievements Feature at: https://retroachievements.org/game/1072
  • New Status ‘Aura/Color’ for buffs/ailments during battle!!
  • Damage Limit increased to 14999! Can turn Encounters On/Off!
  • New Areas! New Side Quests! New and Upgradable Commands!!
  • New Enemy Graphics! New Events! New Endgame Scenarios!
  • New Equipment/Spell Menus with DETAILED info!!
  • New attack/swing/spell animations!
  • New weapon graphics!! New sound effects! New items!!
  • New maps, new areas and new edits to overworld maps!
  • New events! New enemies!! Sprint with the Y button!!
  • New commands for characters. New Armors and Gears!
  • Revamped shops/equipment and balanced their progression.
  • Dark Knight Cecil now dual-wields and is 2-handed!!
  • Edge is now buffed offensively! Can steal Rare items!
  • Rydia has new summons!
  • Cecil has been buffed as a tank.
  • Rosa can use more combative gears and new spells.
  • Kain has new offensive buffing spells.
  • Yang, Edward, Palom, Porom and others have also been buffed!
  • Lots of secrets that can lead to early acquirement of better equipment!
  • Few minor tweaks to the base game such as save points, etc.

With most romhacks, strongly suggested to check out the readme files for advice on the changes to hacks and any gameplay tips, especially with rpgs. Readme files for rpg hacks can contain additional gameplay advice, etc, and it’s worth subscribing to hacks you like on RHDN to keep up with updates for bug fixes, additional content, etc.

I had a blast with this, this is the best version of FF4 ever! The game’s difficulty stays about the same as it was in vanilla, jumps up some at the underground, then takes another jump when you hit the Giant and the endgame stuff on the moon, with and without the optional superbosses. Some of the new bosses feel organic like they should or could be there, such as the boss fight at the start of your first trip to the Tower of Bab-il. Some enemy groups you’ll have to play more defense with at times until your level enough unlike the original too. Traveling around the new maps in your airships and the Big Whale and there’s always something new to find be it a mountain pass or a cave that you didn’t notice before. The Hovercraft is more useful too as there’s more places to travel with it around the overworld! The new gear added to the game throughout it is great too, and doesn’t feel like random placeholder equipment. A lot of it you’ll want to save for endgame and more party members can use various gear too! The new equipment screens are a lot more useful than in vanilla and you can really see hoe equipping something will help or hurt your stats. It’s also easier to see what special features that equipment will give you such as elemental resistance or weakness, or if you’re immune to any types of debuffs. You’ll find some maps in caves and other places somewhat different too, and more save points added between distances! It’s advisable to do so, cause there might be a surprise lurking on the next screen or two. I was surprised by the cleaner script going along and during important events. Did I mention playing Ultima is the first time I EVER got a Pink Tail from the Pink Puffs after all the years playing snes FF2 and the PSX FF4 port? XD

Ultima also brings back Japanese only items from FF4 such as the silver and golden apples for increasing hp, sirens for rare enemy calls, the moon and starveil items, and more! Stealing is more fun now and doesn’t feel like a chore, and steals can stack too! You’ll also find some spells omitted from the US FF2 here for Rydia and Rosa, and later in the game you’ll gain some new ones as well as new Summons for Rydia! Even Palom and Porom get their magic beefed up! There’s also tremendous rewards for beating the superbosses as post-game content in the form of gear and new spells! Expect to die a lot fighting the new bosses and superbosses till you figure out a strategy and their scripts. Expect new areas on the Moon too! I love how some party members in what becomes your end-game party have new abilities and can equip new stuff! Having Rosa using something other than a bow and arrow is so much fun. It’s worth noting that many of the bosses, regular and optional endgame bosses are hard, but manageable. Think of them like a puzzle 9as I mentioned in some other hack reviews). You’ll probably die a few times till you figure out their patterns, when to attack and not to attack, how to buff, etc. After that it’s a matter of defeating them and moving on with the story. When it comes to many of the super bosses at endgame, you don’t have to fight them to win Ultima, but it’s a fun challenge. Though there are some mandatory on your way to Zeromus.

Another new feature is the party swapping! Instead of taking the usual vanilla party (Cecil, Kain, Rosa, Rydia, and Edge) to the moon and back, you can swap them out at endgame for any of the party members you had along your journey. That includes Yang, Palom, Porom, and even Edward! You can even swap back Cecil as a Dark Knight!Fighting a new boss on the moon will allow you to switch between Paladin and Dark Knight, and there’s certain equipment one version can use that the other cannot. Hope you hoarded some of your old stuff too! One the best things about the party swapping is the spoony bard Edward himself. He’ll start at a low level unlike everyone else you can swap (their levels seem to stay around your current party’s) which means you gotta level him a lot. But he can use some great near and endgame equipment to make him a badass. Best thing about him is the salve ability, which lets you use a consumable in battle for healing or recovery for the whole party! Need to heal half the party of debuffs or get their hp up? Have Edward salve one your items! It also works on items like lightveils and decoys too! So if you’re a rpg hoarder, you’ll enjoy it! I love this idea, and reminds me a lot of how party building works in Free Enterprise!

Remember the New Game+ feature on Chrono Trigger and some other games where you can start over at your endgame stats? Well now you can do that in Ultima! Bulldoze your way through and have a blast doing it too! Not saying if any new bosses will be easier or harder in NG+ though. 😉 In NG+ level and stat caps are broken! You can go above level 99 to level 149 and raise your stats above the normal cap! Who doesn’t love a good boss rush in a rpg? The boss rush is a true test of your party’s skills, opened up after defeating an optional superboss. Defeating said boss also opens up some high end equipment if you also have the item needed. the boss rush is divided into separate waves, each wave going more or less down the line of the bosses you faced, and some from trapped chests too. Finishing a wave earns you some extra equipment and you can heal and save after each one. The boss rush is not easy and you may find yourself fighting multiples of one boss in some cases.

Really only downsides I could find in this is the difficulty of the optional superbosses and mandatory bosses near and at endgame might not be fore everyone. Even after solving the puzzle of how to defeat them. The invisible maze is in a hidden area on the moon after another superboss will try your patience as well. Best advice is to join the Ultima discord to get the map. Even them you may still get lost.




https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4134/ – romhacking.net page
https://discordapp.com/invite/4MqjwJt – FF4 Ultima Discord server
http://www.8bitfan.info/ – main website
http://www.8bitfan.info/RomHackingWiki/index.php?title=Final_Fantasy_IV_-_Ultima – Ultima Wiki

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2 thoughts on “RPG Hack Showcase: Final Fantasy 4 Ultima v2022+ (Updated 11/12/2022) (SNES)

  1. Anybody know what the crystal does? The one you get when you beat the dragon for the apocalypse sword, and the crystal flies to the center of the Lunar Palace. I watched a review that showed it as a shop, with some great gear… But when I go to it, it says “prove yourself”, and allows me to use an item. Ive tried a lot, including those useless lunar gems. Nothing works. Anybody know this version of the hack?


    • Lunar jems aren’t useless. Take them yo the guy in the underground to exchange thrm for m-potions. Guy is off to the side of the underground south of the slyph cave.


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