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My little ideas for a Final Fantasy VII sequel

I’ve been replaying my favourite game of all time; Final Fantasy VII. I replay it every few years because I just get to a point where I miss being told the story. That might sound weird? But Final Fantasy VII is my all-time favourite story ever.

I’m excited as heck for the remake of it, but I also really hope that one day Square do a Final Fantasy VII sequel. Not in the same vein as the Final Fantasy X or XIII sequels, but more of a completely full and brand new Final Fantasy game, just set in the same world as VII.

Being the loser fan that I am, I have some ideas of how I think it should go, and I just want to talk about my ideas for a potential Final Fantasy VII sequel.

The setting

In my head the best time for a Final Fantasy VII sequel to take place is around 15-ish years after the original game? Cloud and the gang would be fairly older, but it’s enough time for the events of VII to have changed the world enough that we get to see what life is like after meteor.

We could see how the world handles electricity now, would there be electricity? If so – how do they get it now? I’d assume mako is out of the question, but we’ll get to this in the story bit later.

Playable characters

I’d steer clear of using the same cast as the original Final Fantasy VII. They’ve been through enough, okay? Instead, I would like to see new characters take the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be characters we already know?

How about Marlene as the main character? Barnet’s daughter takes up the role of narrator in the Advent Children movie, she’s clever, and she’s someone the fans know and like. 

Marlene’s companions would include adoptive brother Denzel from the Advent Children move, and because we want characters from more places than just Midgar we could also bring Priscilla in the mix. Priscilla would be bound to have some badass Dolphin-blow like move.

If any Final Fantasy VII characters were going to be playable characters, it makes sense for Red XIII to be – his age-span means he wouldn’t really be much older at all 15 years later, and he has unfinished story from the first game. Where did he find others of his kind to make those cute little wolf kids we see in the ‘500 years later’ part? Maybe a Final Fantasy VII sequel could answer that!

The story

If there was a Final Fantasy VII sequel, I really wouldn’t want another Sephiroth/Jenova based story. I’d want new heroes and new villains.

Having Marlene and Denzel around for story-telling purposes would be great, because they are both orphans and don’t really know anything about their parents. Marlene could find out about Dyne when they visit the Corel area. Who knows where Denzel comes from?

In terms of a ‘main villain’ and real threat, I’m not too sure, but thinking about what we know from the end of Final Fantasy VII and Advent children – Sephiroth had a big following, someone crazy, but new could easily show up.

Are those monsters in Mt Nibel’s reactor still there? What if they got out, or someone set them lose? And their mako poisoning created some kind of zombie effect. I’m just spitballing ideas now, but there’s potential in the world Final Fantasy VII left behind. 

Other little ideas

It’s my assumption that the Final Fantasy VII world is pretty much in darkness for a while after the first game because mako was used to power anything electric. The original game was filled with messages about being green and the environment, so I think the sequel would still focus on some similar morals. 

I think older characters, like Cid and Barret might be working together on renewable energy, I mean, that map has a LOT of water. 

Gold saucer would still exist, and either be totally screwed because of the electricity situation, or if that wasn’t a factor it would be thriving, depending on which; the area would either have exactly the same mini games or brand new fancy ones. 

The WEAPON monsters should make an appearance, but in Final Fantasy VII they only appear when the planet is under threat, so how would they show up? Maybe this bad guy I can’t think of wants to find them, wake them up and destroy the planet that way? That’d be pretty bad-ass.

The Highwind would still be in use, because why would the characters travel in anything else? 


I think I’m out of my ideas now, I was just playing along and coming up with ideas for a new game whilst I played. I’ll probably rush back to add more as I progress!

TL;DR – Final Fantasy VII needs an awesome sequel. I don’t know if many fans would like my ideas, in fact, someone actually has a lot of the opposite ideas to me. But give their post a read too for some other ideas!

And finally, a link to my favourite blog article about my favourite game, just because fellow fans should really read it. 

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How to mod Don’t Starve on a Mac

I wrote this tutorial a while ago but things have since stopped working and tools I previously used are now paid for resources. So! Here’s an up to date guide on how to customise your Don’t Starve characters.

The tutorial will cover simply re-designing the artwork for your character, I’m not going in to customising items and stats. Your character will end up with the same stats as Wilson.

Things you need

Before you start there’s a couple of things you need to prepare:

You’re also going to need to install the following via command line. To get started, open up ‘Terminal’ on your Mac:

  • Install brew by opening up your Terminal screen and typing this command: 
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

  • Install ImageMagick by typing in this command next:
brew install imagemagick

Note you might have to update Xcode and agree to some terms and conditions before ImageMagick will install. In the past I went through using CMAKE to make the commands easier for editing the files for your custom character, but apparently that no longer works. So:

Next we need to grab our mod files, to do this you need to access a hidden folder path, so open up Terminal and enable hidden folder viewing:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  • Restart finder, and navigate to: /YourUsername/Library/Application Support/Steam/Steamapps/common/dont_starve
  • Right click the ‘Don’t Starve’ app and go to ‘Show package contents’
  • Go to ‘Mods’ > ‘workshop-265459745’ > ‘anim’

In this folder there is a ‘Sample dude.zip’

Copy the zip into your desktop/downloads or anywhere easier to access. Now unzip the folder and you will be given a file called ‘Atlas-0.tex’

Move Atlas-0.tex into ‘Downloads/ktools-4.4.0’

Then open up Terminal, and type   cd Downloads/ktools-4.4.0 to change directory so you are in the ktools folder within Terminal.

Now, you can use tools to convert .tex files into .png files, and vice-versa as follows:



./ktech atlas-0.tex

This will dump an atlas-0.png file in that folder. You can then open this .png file with your preferred image editing software, I used Photoshop for mine.

When you have the file hoe you want it, use:



./ktech atlas-0.png

To convert the file back to a modified atlas-0.tex

Now you just need to go back to your unzipped Sample_Dude zip file, and replace atlas-0.tex with your new version of the file. Zip it back up and put the zip file back where you found it: YourUsername/Library/Application Support/Steam/Steamapps/common/dont_starve ‘Open package contents’ mods/workshop-265459745/anim

Important: The program you use to zip the files back up matters a lot. Unarchiver for example does not work properly, it encodes the zip file in a way that is unreadable and the mod will not work. A better zip program is ‘BetterZip’ or ‘Extractor’ from the App Store, both worked for me. 

If you give this tutorial a go let me know how you get on, and any issues you face during. I would like to improve the guide as required.

Thanks!

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IVAN & What makes ‘Roguelikes’ fun

Roguelikes are a sub-genre of RPG games. They are typically dungeon based, with either ASCII style graphics or very simple pixel tile art. They tend to be turn based games with procedurally generated dungeon maps, random spawning items, weapons and skills. What really makes roguelike games fun however is their difficulty. In most roguelike games when your character dies you go right back to the start of the game.

Why are roguelikes fun?

I’m going to ramble a little about why I love this game genre. I think it’s mostly because these days games are pretty easy. This is me generally speaking as someone who grew up playing Spectrum, SNES and Mega Drive games. Saving your game wasn’t as easy as it is now, some consoles didn’t even support save states. So there was that sense of weird adrenaline when you were getting pretty far in a game and you just knew YOU COULDN’T DIE. Starting again would suck at this point!

Roguelikes bring that back for me a bit. The best rogue likes start you off with a completely nekkid main character, no weapons or armour, and an unfair amount of player statistics to train up. You spend four hours carefully dungeon crawling – you take your time because no stone must be left unturned. Every square, every corridor could have that piece of armour or rare weapon you need to stay alive. 

You reach the second dungeon, fully kitted out with some pretty decent finds. You feel like you can let your guard down ever so slightly. Let’s kick that door down. YEAH. Wait, wait no, there was a booby trap. Crap, now my arm is severed. I have to use the arm I have not been training stats on, and I now can carry less because I’m missing a freaking arm. Damn it, I just got killed by stray cat.

Your luck can turn so quickly. You feel a huge sense of achievement by reaching anything that comes after the first boss. 

Roguelikes are typically wonderfully random as well. Not only is every level randomly generated, so no two games are the same, but if you experiment with that you can do in-game you can get some fun results. For example, in a game that I play, I have player abilities like ‘kicking’, ‘drinking’, wielding’ and a whole bunch more. I learned I can train my dexterity by wielding bananas and sometimes if I kick chests instead of searching for keys I can have some luck. Or they could have a mine in and I blow up. Whatever.

My favourite roguelike games

I have three favourite roguelike games, a close fourth would be Pokemon Mystery Dungeon – but its roguelike features are fairly limited and it’s a little more of a fun dungeon crawler with less impending doom surrounding it.

  • 3. Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup – Mac/PC

I found this game fairly recently when I was looking for some kind of dungeon game to casually play. Dungeon Crawl – Stone Soup is really fun because it has so many character options and different statistics and magic based on those. As well as the usual dungeon filled with danger and randomness.

It’s the best roguelike I’ve found so far that you can play on Mac without any hax or emulation. And it’s really hard! So far I’ve only managed to get up to around floor 7. 

  • 2. Azure Dreams – PSX

Azure Dreams is one of my favourite Playstation games. It’s a weird mix of Harvest Moon and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. You live in a remote desert city which needs fixing up. At the top of the city is a 50 floor tower you need to climb, if you die, you go right back to the start.

The tower is filled with treasures and more importantly – monsters! And monster eggs! You can take eggs home and then bring your monsters in to the dungeon to help you. It’s really fun to play. 

You also find treasure and gold in the tower which can be used to upgrade your city with new restaurants, bigger homes and mini games such as bowling and monster racing.

The tower is really difficult to beat, as your level also reset when you get kicked out of the tower. But it’s worth the effort and has a lot of cool things to do in there. The game was originally on the gameboy, but I never played it until it was released for the Playstation.

  • 1.  IVAN – Iter Vehemens Ad Necem

IVAN is the perfect roguelike. I found this game when I was a member of a gaming ‘abandonware’ website. Basically a website with a database of dying games nobody ever heard of, hidden gems. 

IVAN – Iter Vehemens Ad Necem 

Translated to ‘a Violent Road to Death’, Iter Vehemens Ad Necem is everything I like in a roguelike game. Without anything missing. 

You start the game, totally unequipped with anything, the only item you carry is a scroll. Not the best thing to keep yourself alive. There are several dungeons in the game, the furthest I have ever gotten is the final floor of the second dungeon. 

You have a familiar – your loyal dog Kenny. Don’t get attached though. He doesn’t last long. Well, you can train him up but it’s not worth it.

What makes this game so good is the intricacy of the stats training and impact every interaction has on your character. You can wield any item in the game, and depending on what you choose it might train a different stat. You can pray to Gods – and depending how they feel they might send you a powerful ally, or they might take one of your legs. 

You can get diseases, good or bad. Polymorph into any creature in the game, cast a wide range of magics, and maybe watch them backfire when you realise all your armour conducts electricity. 

It takes some getting used to. But with every attempt you get a little further. You learn new things, and because every game is different it’s strangely addictive. Last time I played I was pretty far into the second dungeon, but I was desperate for food. I kicked a locked door down hoping to find a can of something, but instead I found a room of angry wizards who blew me up. So sometimes it’s a case of making the best decision you can.

IVAN is totally free, and can be installed on Windows, and Mac if you know how (instructions below).

Download IVAN from here: http://ivan.sourceforge.net/index.html

Installing IVAN on a Mac

Because I love this game so much I almost partitioned my Mac just so I could play it. Luckily it’s easy enough to port without having to do anything drastic.

First, you need Wineskin: http://wineskin.urgesoftware.com/tiki-index.php?page=Downloads

Download the windows install of IVAN from their website. Update Wineskin to the latest version and then you’ll get the option to ‘Create a new blank wrapper’.

Name it ‘IVAN.app’ – or whatever you want, really. Follow the promos and press ‘Okay’ until you get to ‘IVAN.app’ created.

This puts the IVAN.app in your applications. Click on it and then click on ‘Install software’. You can to select ‘Choose setup executable’ and then navigate and select ‘IVAN.exe’ from the downloaded game files.

This links IVAN.app to that .exe and runs it. You can then re-open the game from IVAN.app without needing to do anything else. It runs perfectly and saves just fine.