If you ever wondered how older games handled random numbers, it is an interesting thing to look into. As these games are not purely random, this allows for some manipulation. For example, holding down start as you boot up Final Fantasy 3 means that the game will always put out certain values, meaning the game can be manipulated. This is a gross simplification, but still neat.
So I have been playing Breath of Fire[ref]For someone who considers himself a big RPG fan, I have some glaring holes in my history![/ref] over the weekend. There are several games that I would love to just sit down with and read over their source code, and BoF is quickly climbing onto the top of that list. Most of all is the Flea Market segment, hosted by Gobi or Manillo (マニーロ) in Japan.
There are two, as far as I have found, spots in the game where your fish-man can walk up to a counter and start buying things from other fish-people. Or sell your stuff. I did not realize that at first and without paying attention ended up selling half of my inventory. Whoops. Reset. So if you are thinking “Hey, that would be the perfect place for some sneaky developers to put in items you can only get by them being sold to you.” then you are either evil or have played this game before.
Took me a couple of hours to get the DarkDR/Dark Dagger(あんこくのナイフ)[ref]Thankfully I had some Japanese flash cards to study. Go, Anki![/ref].
So I kept shop for a while. A few other rare items came in but the powerful DarkDR never showed up. So I kept on trying. And trying. Then it was time for family stuff. The Super Famicom went off and I went about my business. Thinking back to FF3 as I booted Breath of Fire up again later in the evening, I began pressing start as fast as I could to get my save loaded. A few minutes later I have my DarkDR.
Did I manipulate anything? I highly doubt it. Luck might have just been on my side. I tried it again but could not get another one. I did some searching but could not find much on it other than lists of what is available to get in the Flea Market and at what times.
So if anyone has played around with the guts of Breath of Fire I would love to know more! I never did get into ROM-hacking myself.