This page provides detailed information about the gameplay changes and randomization effects of Free Enterprise. A summary of the most important information can be found by talking to the NPCs in the Training Room.
- On the load/save game screen, there is a 4-symbol code displayed near the top-right of the screen, along with the seed's flags. These four symbols form a hash/checksum used to verify that the randomization matches the randomization of another seed.
- You can hold Y to dash. This also works on the world maps.
- You can set dashing to be automatic instead from the in-game Custom menu.
- Holding Y will also slow down the movement speed of airships and increase the movement speed of the hovercraft and yellow chocobos.
- In the Item menu, double-selecting the trash can puts you into "quick trash" mode. In this mode, selecting an item once will discard it (be careful with this!).
- When checking a treasure chest, you can press R to immediately discard the item if you don't want it. If you do this by mistake, you can retrieve the item by checking the chest again; this "undo" grace period lasts until you leave the area.
- Most NPC dialogue has been replaced by basic gameplay tips and assorted general silliness. (Thanks to riversmccown for writing the lion's share of the text.)
- Behind the Pass door in Toroia is a shortcut that leads directly to Zeromus. This is a one-way path; you cannot return from it.
- You can reach the Tower of Zot by speaking to the soldier with the Toroian Clerics. You do not need the Earth Crystal to enter the tower, but you will need the crystal to complete it.
- You can reach the Giant of Bab-il by speaking to the soldier on the bridge of the Big Whale.
- Both the Tower of Zot and the Giant of Bab-il may be revisited after they are completed.
- The Airship Hook is earned by destroying the Super Cannon in the Tower of Bab-il (ie. not by speaking to the engineers in Baron). After destroying the cannon, you must trigger the cutscene from attempting to leave the Tower.
- The Big Whale is earned by bringing the Dark Crystal to Mysidia; the event where the Dark Crystal is lost/stolen does not happen.
- Yang's wife will not give you the Pan (or other randomized key item) until you have found (and spoken to) Yang in the Sylph Cave. She will also not give you the Spoon (or other randomized key item) until you have used the Pan.
- The Enterprise starts with the hull reinforcement allowing it to fly over magma.
- The Falcon, when discovered, comes with the reinforced hull and drill already installed.
- The Big Whale can land on craters on the Moon; you do not need to hike the Lunar Path to reach the palace.
- Any character can use the Crystal to transform Zeromus; it does not have to be Paladin Cecil.
- The Imp, Bomb, Cockatrice and Mage summons have been removed to make room for the items that grant the five quest summons (Asura, Levia, Baham, Odin, and Sylph).
- There is no fire at the base of Mt. Ordeals.
- A bridge has been added to the river south of Toroia to help people get airships unstuck from Toroia after finishing Zot. (There is a chocobo forest south of Toroia that can also be used to cross the river, but people often don't know about it.)
- Dark Matter does literally nothing except occupy a slot in your inventory that you can't get rid of.
- riversmccown has created an excellent newbie guide outlining a lot of information that will help you out when playing Free Enterprise.
- It's recommended you stick with K1 until you've gotten the hang of the "scavenger hunt" aspect of the game; K2 and K3 add many more potential paths you may have to explore.
- Characters do not leave your party as a result of story events. Tellah will not die in Zot. Palom and Porom will not turn to stone. Etc.
- If you attempt to gain a sixth party member, you will be asked to dismiss someone. You will be given a chance to remove the departing character's equipment before they leave.
- You cannot have the same character more than once. If a character would join your party when you already have them in your party, nothing happens.
- Characters join your party in the form that they first appear in the original game. Acquiring Kain in the Giant of Bab-il will give you the same low-level version of Kain you get at the start of the game.
- Your entire party is present for the Fabul gauntlet battles.
- Your entire party is present for the mirror Dark Knight battle on Mt. Ordeals.
- In the Golbez/Shadow fight, Shadow will Demolish your party at random until you only have two surviving members. The fight then proceeds as usual.
Variants (V flag)
- A variant modifies your path to victory. Multiple variants cannot be combined.
- V1 is the "Forge the Crystal" variant. In this mode, the Crystal is not found in the key item pool, and can only be earned by bringing the Legend Sword and Adamant to Kokkol the smith. (Conversely, the Excalibur can be found in the key item pool.)
- V2 is the "Giant%" variant. In this mode, the game is won by completing the Giant of Bab-il. Zeromus cannot be fought in this mode, and the character recruitment slot normally at the end of the Giant of Bab-il does not exist (reducing the number of discoverable characters by 1).
Japanese Content (J flag)
- At J level 1, the items from the original Japanese version of FF4 that were dummied out in the US release are restored.
- Shop manifests, treasure chests, and drop tables are also restored to the original Japanese version, and used as a basis for randomization when used with the T1 or S1 flags.
- At J level 2, the missing battle commands and spells from the Japanese version are also restored. Characters learn spells at the levels they would in the original version.
- English names for the restored items/spells/commands are taken from the PS1 release of the game.
- You can't get Smut; it was hacked out to make room for another call orb.
- The J flag does not revert any other US version changes, such as enemy stats, enemy back rows, graphics changes, etc.
Key Item Randomization (K flag)
- The randomized key items are the Package, SandRuby, Legend Sword, Baron Key, TwinHarp, Earth Crystal, Magma Key, Tower Key, Airship Hook, Luca Key, Dark Crystal, Pink Tail, Rat Tail, Pan, Spoon, Adamant, and the Crystal used to transform Zeromus (yes, you have to find it.)
The locations where key items can be found are:
- from Baigan in the opening cutscene
- in the Antlion's nest
- completing the Fabul gauntlet*
- the mirror room atop Mt. Ordeals
- defeating Yang in the Baron Inn
- defeating Kainazzo*
- speaking to Edward in Toroia
- defeating the Dark Elf
- completing the Tower of Zot
- defeating Dr. Lugae
- destroying the Tower of Bab-il super cannon
- from Luca after defeating Calbrena/Golbez
- in the Sealed Cave
- in the Rat Tail chest in the land of summoned monsters
- talking to Yang's wife after finding Yang in the underworld
- returning the Pan to Yang's wife
- trading the Rat Tail to the mini in the Adamant Grotto
- The randomizer should ensure that no item is unattainable (for example, putting both the Magma Key and Airship Hook underground). If you encounter a situation where a key item is unattainable, please contact me.
- Because the Legend Sword is included in the randomization, Paladin Cecil will come with a Silver Staff equipped instead.
- At K levels 2+, the key item pool is mixed with the pool of rewards from the five quest summons (Sylph, Asura, Leviatan, Odin, and Bahamut) and the Lunar Subterrane bosses. For example, you may earn the TwinHarp by defeating Bahamut, or you may receive the Crystal Sword from Luca.
- At K levels 3 and up, the key item pool is additionally mixed with trapped treasure chests. So you may find the Rat Tail in Eblan, or you may defeat Wyvern and get an Elixir (womp womp). The randomization is weighted to avoid having an excessive number of key items in trapped chests.
- At K levels up to 3, there is guaranteed to be a path to the underworld that does not first require going to the moon. K4 has no such guarantee.
Pass (P flag)
- The default behavior (P flag off) is for the Pass to appear in exactly one shop. (If the S flag is on, this will be a random shop.)
- At P level 1, the Pass instead becomes another earned key item. If key items are randomized, the Pass may replace another non-essential item in the pool (Adamant, Spoon, Legend Sword, or Pink Tail), or it may replace a treasure reward in the pool at K levels 2+. (If key items are not randomized, the Pass is earned by defeating Kainazzo.)
- At P level 2, there are exactly three Passes, placed in three random treasure chests. None of these chests will be on the moon.
- At P levels 1 and 2, the Pass cannot be sold.
Character Randomization (C flag)
- There are 12 distinct characters in the game. Dark Knight and Paladin Cecil are considered the same character, as are child and adult Rydia.
- At C level 1, Edge and Fusoya (the most powerful early-game characters) will not be in your starting party, nor will they be one of the freely-available characters at the Watery Pass, Damcyan, Mysidia, or Mt. Ordeals.
- At C level 2, any character may appear in any position without restriction.
- At C levels 1 and 2, each of the 12 characters will appear somewhere in the game. At C level 3, there are only 5 distinct characters (randomly chosen) available throughout the world.
- When C3 is combined with S2, Cure2 potions are guaranteed to be available for sale at a "non-gated" shop, and Cure3 potions are guaranteed to be available for sale at a "gated" shop. ("Gated" means you need at least one key item to access it).
- Character randomization is not 1-to-1. One character may replace Tellah in the Watery Pass, and a different character may replace him on Mt. Ordeals.
- Due to technical restrictions, there will be only five characters who can be found more than once. These five are chosen at random. If any of these characters leaves and later rejoins the party, they will return with the same stats and gear as when they left (but notably different, they will not gain EXP while they are absent).
- Before completing Mt. Ordeals, Cecil will always be a Dark Knight. Completing Mt. Ordeals will change Cecil into a Paladin, even if you haven't encountered him yet.
- Similarly, Rydia will always be a child before defeating Calbrena in the Dwarf Castle. Completing that task will cause Rydia to age to an adult, even if she's not with you. At this time she will also learn the level 2 black magic spells and summons that Rydia returns with in the original game.
- Completing Mt. Ordeals will cause Tellah to remember his spells and learn Meteo, even if he's not with you. Similarly, Rosa learns Exit from the Tower of Zot, and Edge learns Flood and Blitz from the upper Tower of Bab-il.
Treasure Randomization (T flag)
- At T flag level 1, the contents of untrapped treasure chests are shuffled amongst themselves. That is, anything you can find in a chest is something you could find in a chest in original FF4; it will just be in a different location. Overworld chests are biased towards remaining in the overworld, and vice versa for underworld/moon chests, though there is some cross-polination.
- At T flag level 2, untrapped chests contain random items, balanced to a curve; higher-level chests will tend to contain better items.
- At T flag level 3, untrapped chests may contain any random items except for key items, and items normally received as fight/event rewards (eg. Excalibur, Adamant Armor).
- At T flag level 4, untrapped chests may contain any random items without restriction (except key items).
- At T flag level 5, all untrapped chests are empty.
- At T flag level 1, the contents of trapped chests, the quest summons (Asura, Levia, Baham, Odin, Sylph) and the prizes won from Lunar Subterrane bosses (Murasame, Masamune, Crystal Sword, White Spear, Ribbons) are shuffled amongst themselves, with no bias to location. (Note that this pool can also be mixed with the key item pool according to the K flag level.)
- At T flag levels 2+, the contents of trapped chests, the quest summons and the prizes won from Lunar Subterrane bosses are replaced with random items of comparable rarity, and then shuffled among each other without bias. (Note that this pool can also be mixed with the key item pool according to the K flag level.)
- At all T flag levels, trapped chests are moved to a random location within the dungeon where they appear.
- Randomizing treasures does NOT change the location of the Rat Tail chest; that is always in the same place.
- Similarly, the two Ribbon chests reached by defeating D.Lunar do not move (though their contents can change according to the K and T flag randomization).
Shop Randomization (S flag)
- When playing with randomized shops, every shop has a unique manifest. This is in contrast to original FF4, where for example Baron has the same item shop as Kaipo (and several other towns).
- Even when randomized, weapon shops will still sell only weapons, and likewise for armor and item shops. (There is one shop in Fabul that sells both weapons and armor.)
- Shop randomization includes the Pass shop in Toroia. This means you can find items to buy there, but also that you will have to hunt down where the Pass is being sold if you want to take the shortcut to Zeromus (if playing with the P flag off).
- At S level 1, the contents of shops are shuffled amongst each other. That is, anything you can find in a shop is something that could be found in a shop in the original game; it will just be in a different shop. Items from overworld shops are biased to stay in the overworld, and vice versa for underworld/moon shops, but there is some cross-polination.
- At S level 2, shops sell a random selection of items, balanced to a curve. Underworld shops tend to sell better items, and very strong items will be unavailable in shops and may only be found as treasure. Life potions are guaranteed available on the overworld, as are StarVeils at J levels 1+.
- Additionally at S level 2, the Smithy shop that appears after forging the Excalibur will contain three random high-level items of any type (ie. not just weapons).
- At S level 3, shops can sell any randomly-chosen items, except for key items, items normally received as fight/event rewards, and Apples/Soma Drops.
- At S level 4, shops can sell any randomly-chosen items without restriction, except key items.
- At S level 5, all shops sell nothing but Cabins. (At P level 0, there will still be an item shop that sells the Pass.)
- At S levels 2+, shop items are unique — no item can be found in more than one shop. (The exception is item shops, which may have one or two duplicates in order to make sure every shop sells at least one item.)
Boss Randomization (B flag)
- When a boss replaces another boss, its stats are scaled to match those of the original boss as closely as possible. For example, if you encounter Rubicant in the Misty Cave, he will have the stats of the Mist Dragon, but retain his battle behaviors.
- When a boss battle with multiple targets replaces one with a single target, or vice versa, the total HP/GP/XP of the original battle is distributed proportionally among the targets of the new battle. For example, if Antlion replaces the Calbrena, it will have the cumulative HP of three Cals, three Brenas, and a Calbrena.
- The stats scaling, as you might expect, is highly imperfect, and a MegaNuke can still wreck your face, so save often.
- At B level 1, it is guaranteed that there will be a path to the underworld that does not require defeating Golbez, Wyvern, Valvalis, or the boss in Odin's position. (Additionally, when combined with N2+, D.Knight will also not gate this path.) B2 has no such restrictions.
- You recruit Yang by defeating the boss at Baron Inn (ie. not by hunting down and defeating Yang, wherever he is).
- The Dark Elf in Cave Magnes will transform into its replacement boss after the TwinHarp is used.
- The Tower Key is acquired by defeating the boss in the lower Tower of Bab-il (ie. not by finding and defeating Dr. Lugae, wherever he is).
Fusoya Challenge (F flag)
- At F level 1, Fusoya starts with a small random set of low-level spells instead of his usual full set, as well as only 900 HP. Completing Mt. Ordeals will restore Fusoya's full spell set and grant him 1000 more HP.
- At F level 2, Fusoya starts with a small random set of low-level spells instead of his usual full set, as well as only 500 HP. Each boss defeated grants him three more spells and 100 more HP, up to a maximum of 1400 HP. Bosses defeated before finding Fusoya count towards this progress.
- Note that F levels 1 and 2 are distinct challenges; F level 1 does not progress Fusoya by defeating bosses, and F level 2 does not progress Fusoya by completing Mt Ordeals (aside from the bosses defeated there).
"No Free Lunch" Challenge (N flag)
- This flag removes the "free" characters at the Watery Pass, Damcyan, Mysidia, and Mt. Ordeal; it also removes the "free" key item from Edward in Toroia.
- Rydia's mother becomes a new key item location. She appears in Mist after defeating the Mist Dragon. (Note that this does not mean defeating the boss of the Mist Cave, but specifically defeating the Mist Dragon, wherever it appears.) If key items are not randomized, this is where you receive the TwinHarp.
- Note that if you are playing without randomized characters, this flag will make Tellah, Edward, Palom, and Porom completely unattainable.
- At N level 2, "No Free Bosses" is also enabled. This sets the "boss bit" on every boss battle enemy, and it removes the alternate win conditions from the D.Knight, Karate, K/Q.Eblan, and WaterHag fights, meaning those bosses must now explicitly be defeated. (Dark Cecil is the new Wyvern.)
Encounters (E flag)
- At E level 1, a random 60% of the trap door battles in the Sealed Cave will be disabled. The doors will still be there, but will not trigger battles when opened.
- At E levels 2 and up, all trap door battles in the Sealed Cave are disabled.
- At E levels 3 and up, the three forced Behemoth battles in Bahamut's Lair are removed.
- At E level 4, all random encounters are disabled. This obviously affects your ability to grind, so only select this if you have a plan (finding Alerts, CPU battle grind fight, just a lot of careful math, etc.)
Experience Acceleration (X flag)
- At X levels 1 and 2, earned EXP is not divided among your party members; each character will receive the full amount (unless they are dead/incapacitated at the time). However, characters must be in your party to receive EXP; the "shadow party" does not level up.
- At X level 2, after you have collected at least 10 key items, EXP you earn is doubled.
- At X level 2, Party members who are at least 5 levels below the median party level receive 2x the EXP, and members 10 levels below the median receive 3x the EXP. This bonus only applies when you have a full party of five members, and is intended to help mid-game joining characters catch up to the party faster.
- This flag is on by default in all presets; it is intended to reduce grinding time and remove the need to kill off your own party members to grind others faster. The option can be disabled for players who enjoy these elements.
Money ($ flag)
- At $ flag levels 1 and 2, treasure chests containing low-level items instead contain an amount of GP approximately equal to that item's sale price. $2 is slightly more aggressive about what items are considered low level. These flag levels are intended to slightly reduce the inventory management burden from collecting worthless items.
- At $ flag level 3, all items in shops are free. This is for players who want to live the duping life without actually duping.
Turbo (Y flag)
- Even if disabled, you can still hold Y to dash.
- At Y levels 1+, your battle speed and battle message speed will default to 1 at the start of a new game. You can still change this later as you normally would.
- At Y level 2, dashing is automatic, and holding Y will make you walk instead.
"Glitchless" (G flag)
- When enabled, item duplication glitches and the MP underflow glitch will not work.
- You can still Warp from the Dwarf Castle Throne Room back into the Crystal Room, but you can no longer receive the Sealed Cave key item that way.
Why Burn? (W flag)
- At W level 1, this flag removes the opening MegaNuke from Wyvern's battle script. (It also removes the two turns it passes after using MegaNuke, so it will begin its normal battle script slightly sooner.)
- At W level 2, this flag replaces the opening MegaNuke from Wyvern's battle script with a different random command. Usually you get something that's better than a MegaNuke. (Usually.)
Zeromus (Z flag)
- This flag causes Zeromus's battle sprite to replaced with another random sprite.
- Zeromus's battle behavior and stats remain unchanged; this is a purely cosmetic change.
- It is also silly.
- Nothing is random about Edward's harp, you must be imagining things.
The changelog is now available here.
Special thanks goes out to:
- PinkPuff for developing ff4kster, which has been an invaluable resource
- Grimoire LD and Chillyfeez for their pioneering FF4 hacking work
- riversmccown for play design, working out the balance curves, and inspiration
- Dravenheart for setting up and moderating the Free Enterprise Discord
- SchalaKitty for sweet graphic design work
- Netara, penguin8r, Neerrm, and fcoughlin for administering and supporting the weekly FE events
- Randomania, SpeedGaming, and RPGLimitBreak for hosting our races and other competitions
- Couch_23, BenshowSly, philosoraptor42, catastrophic4, Jaylow7, Aexoden, TwitchMasta123, mrdgnr8r, gameboyf9, fusoyaff2, SuperPiccolo, and SoulStealer5000, for alpha playtesting, bug reports and feedback
- ...and everyone who streamed FF4 during the past several months, because chances I had your channel open in the background at some point while working on this. :)