This page provides detailed, comprehensive information about the gameplay changes and randomization effects of Free Enterprise; it is not intended as a tutorial for new players. A summary of the most important information can be found by talking to the NPCs in the Training Room.
(Please note: this page is still in the process of being rewritten from version v0.2.x and may contain some outdated information.)
On first startup, instead of the normal load game screen, you are presented with the pregame menu. This menu will show you:
From this screen you may access the Custom menu to set your preferences before the game starts, as well as a pregame naming screen to set your characters' names in advance.
If a character's sprite does NOT appear beside their name on the pregame naming menu, that means that character has been specifically excluded from the seed with
-no flags. (Note that with
Cn enabled, even if their sprite is visible, they may not necessarily be findable in the seed.)
Enabling "name distinguishers" will uniquely modify the name of each character that joins your party; this is meant to help disambiguate duplicate characters in your party without requiring a Namingway visit, if desired.
You can dash on all maps. Dashing is on by default, and you can hold Y to walk at normal speed; this setting can be reversed in the Custom menu.
Holding Y will also slow down the speed of airships to assist with landings, and accelerate the movement 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Most NPC dialogue has been replaced by basic gameplay tips and assorted general silliness.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.)
Game music can be disabled from the in-game Custom menu. This will silence all songs (except Edward's harp song), leaving sound effects in place. This feature is intended for players who want to listen to their own music while playing.
MSU-1 soundtracks are supported; if your ROM has been configured to use a custom MSU-1 soundtrack, it will automatically play those tracks in place of the normal soundtrack. For more information, see the integrations page.
Bright screen flashing effects can be disabled in the in-game Custom menu for players with photosensitivity concerns. This toggle also removes the visual distortion caused by walking while poisoned.
As with the music toggle, there is no time advantage gained by enabling/disabling these effects.
Note that when disabled, damage floors and poisoned steps have no visual indicator whatsoever, and can only be detected by sound effects.
In race settings, note that Zeromus' death animation does not flash while this toggle is active, so you may need to listen for the sound cue to mark your endgame time instead.
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 Earth 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 (or other randomized reward) 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 reward) until you have found (and spoken to) Yang in the Sylph Cave. She will also not give you the Spoon (or other randomized reward) until you have used the Pan.
The Legend Sword does not come with Paladin Cecil; it is awarded/randomized among the other key items. (Paladin Cecil instead starts with a Silver Staff equipped.)
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.
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. (If you dismiss a character holding the Legend Sword without taking their gear, you will still keep the Legend Sword.)
Characters join your party in the form that they first appear in the original game. For example, acquiring Kain in the Giant of Bab-il would give you the same low-level version of Kain you get at the start of the game.
There are no solo story battles; your entire party is present when defending Fabul and in the mirror room fight atop Mt. Ordeals.
In the Golbez/Shadow fight, Shadow will Demolish all but two members of your party. The fight then proceeds without the scripted "rescue" appearance of Adult Rydia.
Variants modify your path to victory. Multiple variants cannot be combined.
Ji flag restores the items from FF4j that were removed from the US release; they will appear in shops, treasure chests, and enemy drop tables.
Js flag restores the Armor, Shell and Displ white magic spells to the game. Under this flag characters will also learn spells at the levels they would in the original Japanese version (generally at later levels than the US version).
Ja flag restores the special character battle commands from FF4j that were removed from the US release (Dark Knight Cecil's Dark Wave, Tellah's Recall, Edward's Medicine, Rosa's Pray, Yang's Bear & Focus, Palom's Bluff, Porom's Cry, and Fusoya's Regen).
English names for the restore content are taken from the US PS1 release of FF4.
You can't get Smut; it was hacked out to make room for another call orb.
The J flags do not revert any other US version changes, such as enemy stats, enemy back rows, graphics changes, etc.
The 17 key items are:
The 17 randomized key item positions are:
* (These locations should be noted as they do not correspond to locations of key items in the unrandomized version of the game.)
The randomizer should ensure that all key item locations are reachable by some route.
Because the Legend Sword is distributed in the key item pool, Paladin Cecil instead comes equipped with a Silver Staff by default.
Kq allows key items to appear as the rewards for the summon sidequests (where you normally learn the Sylph, Asura, Levia, Odin, and Baham summons). In turn, the rewards from those quests may appear in key item positions. For example, you may earn the Twinharp from Bahamut's Cave, or you may receive the Leviathan summon from Luca.
Km allows key items to appear as the rewards for defeating Lunar Subterrane bosses (where you normally find Murasame, Crystal Sword, White Spear, Ribbons, and Masamune). In turn, the rewards from those bosses may appear in key item positions. For example, you may receive the Package from the first Lunar Subterrane altar, or you may receive the White Spear atop Mt. Ordeals.
Kt allows key items to appear in trapped treasure chests. In turn, those chest rewards may be awarded in the key item positions. For example, you may find the Rat Tail in Eblan, or you may receive an Elixir in the Sealed Cave (womp womp). The randomization is weighted to avoid putting too many key items in the same dungeon.
The randomizer normally guarantees a path to the underworld that does not require first going to the moon. The
K! flag disables that safety check.
When not randomized, key items are found in the same locations as in the original game, except the Legend Sword (which is awarded atop Mt. Ordeals and not with Paladin Cecil), and the Pink Tail (which is not available). The Crystal is given immediately before the final battle.
Ps will make the Pass available for sale at one random item shop.
Pk flag will include one Pass with the key items when randomizing key items.
If playing only with
K (and not any of the flags that mix key items with other rewards), then the Pass will replace either the Pink Tail or the Spoon.
If playing with flags that mix the key items with other rewards, then the Pass will replace one of those other rewards.
If playing without randomized key items, the Pass will be awarded by defeating Kainazzo.
Pt flag will place three Passes in three random untrapped treasure chests throughout the overworld and underworld (ie. not the moon).
If none of the
P flags are set, the Pass will not be available in the game.
The Pass cannot be sold, unless
Ps is set.
There are 12 distinct characters in the game. Dark Knight Cecil and Paladin Cecil are considered the same character, as are child and adult Rydia.
The locations where characters are received are the same as in the original game:
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.
You may have duplicate characters in your party; each duplicate has its own stats, spells, etc.
-nodupes, then there is at most only one unique instance of each character, and if a duplicate attempts to join your party, instead nothing happens.
The randomizer attempts to ensure that every character that can appear, will appear somewhere in the game. The
Cn flag removes this guarantee.
The starting character can be manually specified using one of the
-startkain, etc. flags.
Characters can be excluded from appearing in the randomization using the
-nokain, etc. flags.
-noflag, then the character will be your starting character, but not appear elsewhere in the game.
Dismissed characters are gone forever, unless:
If you are playing with
-rescue, dismissed characters can be retrieved from the Mysidian crystal room and atop the Tower of Wishes.
If you are playing with
-nodupes and you encounter a character that you had previously dismissed, this will be the same character as you had previously dismissed.
Cx flag is a small challenge flag that prevents Edge and Fusoya (the strongest early game characters) from appearing in the starting character positions, "free" character positions, Hobs, and Baron Inn.
C5 is a challenge flag that restricts the number of distinct characters in the world to five; if playing with duplicates, you will still be able to acquire duplicate characters. (This flag exists so that it can be combined with
-nodupes to emulate a challenge mode from a previous version of Free Enterprise.)
-hobs flag allows Rydia to learn a random summon spell (any except Levia or Baham) by approaching the ice wall at the base of Mt. Hobs (rather than learning Fire1).
Before completing Mt. Ordeals, all Cecils are Dark Knights. Completing Mt. Ordeals turns all Cecils into Paladins, whether they are in your party or not.
Before completing the Dwarf Castle, all Rydias are children. Completing the Dwarf Castle turns all Rydias into adults, whether they are in your party or not.
Completing Mt. Ordeals restores the spell sets and teaches Meteo to all Tellahs, whether they are in your party or not.
There are six options for treasure randomization:
T1, the contents of trapped chests, summon sidequest rewards (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 flags.)
T4, 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 flags.)
Tr causes trapped chests to be relocated; trapped chests remain in the same dungeon as before, just in a different position.
Note that the Cave Eblan trapped chest may end up in the Cave Eblan hospital treasure pot.
Due to technical restrictions, the trapped chest in Upper Bab-il will always appear somewhere before the drop down to the underworld.
Tg replaces the contents of chests with low-quality items with an equivalent amount of GP earned from selling those items.
The Rat Tail chest is not affected by any randomizations; it always remains in the same place.
The two Ribbon chests in the Lunar Subterrane (behind the D. Lunar boss position) also do not move under any randomization (though their contents can change according to the K and T flags).
Every shop in Free Enterprise has its own independent item list. This is in contrast to the original FF4, where for example Baron has the same item shop as Kaipo and several other towns.
Even when randomized, weapon shops still still weapons, armor shops sell armor, and item shops sell items.
Shop randomization includes the vanilla Pass shop in the Toroia Cafe, which is considered an item shop.
There are seven shop randomization settings:
Psis not enabled.
S2only, the Smithy shop sells strong items, and can sell weapons, armor, and/or items.
Ps is combined with
Sx then there will still be a shop that sells the Pass.
A specific kind of weapon or armor will not be sold in more than one shop. Some items may appear in multiple shops.
S4, the game makes the following guarantees for safety:
S!flag removes the guarantees listed above.
Sf makes all items cost 0 GP (and also sell for 0 GP).
-noapples prevents AgApples, AuApples, and SomaDrops from appearing for sale in shops (normally only available with
-nosirens prevents Sirens from appearing for sale in shops.
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 HP/attack/defense/magic/etc. stats of the Mist Dragon, but retain his battle behaviors, elemental weaknesses, etc.
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.
Normally, the randomizer guarantees that a path to the underworld is available without encountering one of the most difficult bosses. These are:
B!flag removes this guarantee.
The Dark Elf in Cave Magnes transforms into its replacement boss after the TwinHarp is used.
Wyvern normally begins each battle by casting MegaNuke, which suuuuucks. This behavior can be altered:
-whyburnremoves the opening MegaNuke, but also removes the delay that normally occurs after that opening MegaNuke before the regular battle script begins.
-whichburnreplaces the opening MegaNuke with another random enemy attack. Usually what you get is not as bad as a MegaNuke. Usually.
When enabled, at the start of the game, Fusoya has 500 HP and a small selection of random spells.
Each boss defeated grants Fusoya 100 HP and three random spells, up to a maximum of 1400 bonus HP and his full spell set. These bonuses apply whether Fusoya is in your party or not.
With duplicate Fusoyas, each one shares the same spell progression.
Nc flag removes the "free" characters found at the Watery Pass, Damcyan, Mysidia, and Mt. Ordeals.
Nk flag removes the key item position at Edward's bed in Toroia. Instead, this key item position is found at Rydia's mother, who only appears in village Mist after the Mist Dragon has been defeated. (Note that this does not mean the boss of the Mist Cave, but rather the Mist Dragon itself, wherever it is located.)
Nb flag removes the alternate win conditions from the D.Knight, Karate, K/Q.Eblan, and Waterhag fights, meaning those bosses must explicitly be defeated. It also applies the "boss bit" to all enemies in boss battles (which, among other effects, largely prevents status conditions from being applied to them).
Et flag allows random encounters to be turned on and off. This toggle can be found in-game in the Custom menu, and defaults to "Off".
Er flag reduces the random encounter rate by roughly 50%.
Ex flag disables all random encounters.
Ef flag, when combined with
Ex, applies the effects of those flags additionally to the TrapDoor fights in the Sealed Cave and the forced Behemoth fights in Cave Bahamut.
Ec flag removes the ability to run from all encounters.
Xs is enabled, earned EXP from battle is not divided among the living party members as normal. Instead, each surviving party member earns the full amount of EXP.
Xk is enabled, earned EXP is doubled if you have collected at least 10 key items.
Xb is enabled, and your party is full, then individual party members receive:
Xx removes EXP gains from all non-boss encounters.
By default, the following major glitches from FF4 are patched out of Free Enterprise, but can be individually re-enabled with the indicated flag:
FF4 normally scales battle timing according to your "agility anchor" character, which is Cecil (if present in your party), otherwise the first "occupied" slot in your party (in middle-top-bottom-topmiddle-topbottom order). The
-aa flag removes the Cecil check and forces the anchor to be the first occupied slot even if Cecil is present.
-noadamants prevents Adamant Armor from appearing in the game.
-spoon allows Edward to equip the Spoon, because memes.
-fab randomizes the palettes of your characters' battle sprites, to assist with distinguishing duplicate characters, and also to be fabulous. (Map sprite palettes are unchanged due to technical limitations.)
-huh replaces the bomb sprites that emerge from the Package with another random FF4 sprite. This has no gameplay effect.
-z replaces the Zeromus sprite with another random sprite.