RPG Hack Showcase: Final Fantasy 2: Born of a Dragon (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.

Created by MGE and his team, this is a difficulty hack of the US Final Fantasy 2. For the record, I’m not that big of a fan of these types of hacks, but I gave it a chance for review purposes. No storyline changes were made in this, but it intends to be tougher than the vanilla game where you’re forced not to grind to really high levels in areas, turning leveling sluggish when you reach the right levels for that area. Bosses are tougher with new moves, sometimes having commands such as jump, and they may have one big weakness. Items were revised as are gear to be more specific for heroes and their need, meaning you’ll be running out of inventory space often, but you can call the Big Chocobo with Cache on the menu screen, eliminating chocobo items.

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.

SO HOW IS IT? As I said, I decided to give this a try even though I’m not a big fan of difficulty hacks. Either way, this is quite well done and true to its word. Difficulty is the name of the game, and the readme includes a mini-walkthrough up to Kaipo of what you should and shouldn’t do. Gives you a great way to start off and start rethinking how you’ll play this version of FF2. 3 biggest changes with this are the difficulty, not being able to run in caves, etc, and the improved and new gear. 

This hack you can’t just grind your way through the whole game. It’s set up so you can gain a few levels at boss checkpoints and then trying to level becomes very slow. You’ll find yourself having a tough time at first till you gain levels, then you can possibly breeze through places. This definitely will make you rethink how you play this. Low amounts of gold and xp gained from defeating enemies encourages this. Many enemies and bosses behave differently than in vanilla also, so you’ll need to change your strategy than from the original game too. Talking to NPCs is more important in this hack cause some in inns and cafes may give you a clue as to what to do or what not to do. Some enemies will inflict a heavy attack on you if you don’t defeat them at first, like the swordrats in the beginning of the game.

Not running in caves/mountains is another feature of this that may turn players off. MGE states his real-world reasoning behind it in the readme file, and it does make sense. So with this hack you can’t run from all battles to raid chests, you have to fight for every step to unlock chests and even monster chests. Be sure your magic and items are stocked up beforehand or you’re going to really have a tough time of it. This feature took getting used to, but i worked through it, limping my way out to use much needed tents.

New and revised gear is planted in this hack as well, and gear may have new uses in battle, like DK Cecil’s Shadow Sword can be used in battle to cast Blink. Always check if gear has an additional use. You’re going to find some new items in your journey too that can be used to defend against certain enemies as well. With all this it’s good to know glitches weren’t fixed, so the item duplication trick will be used to get extra money for consumables.

In general I do recommend this if you’re looking for a challenging FF2 hack. Difficulty hacks aren’t my cup of tea, but this one was worth giving a try.

I GIVE BORN OF A DRAGON 4 OUT OF 5 DRAGON EGGS!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

LINKS: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/362/ – Born of a Dragon on RHDN

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