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Core Gameplay Changes

Free Enterprise is based on the US version of Final Fantasy IV (originally released as Final Fantasy II), version 1.1. Many Japanese version features are restored or can be restored using flags, but otherwise the gameplay matches this version, aside from the changes detailed in these docs.

Open world

You begin the game with the airship Enterprise, offering you immediate open access to the entire overworld. The game has been extensively modified to allow dungeons and events to be experienced in any available order.


In order to make all dungeons and key items accessible outside the normal story flow of FF4, the following progression changes have been made:

The Pass

  • 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.

Tower of Zot

  • The Tower of Zot is accessed by speaking to the green guard in the Clerics' chamber in Toroia Castle.
  • The Earth Crystal is not required to enter the Tower of Zot, but it is required to complete it.
  • The Tower of Zot may be revisited after it is completed.

Tower of Bab-il (upper)

  • You may jump back up to the overworld after falling through the crystal room trap door.
  • You may revisit this area after completing it (the guard who blocks the way in vanilla FF4 has been removed).

Giant of Bab-il

  • The Giant of Bab-il is accessed by speaking to the guard on the bridge of the Big Whale.
  • The Giant may be revisited after it is completed.
  • You can leave the Giant by speaking to the sparkle at the entrance.
    • Setting the -vanilla:giant flag will remove this sparkle, forcing you to complete the Giant in order to leave. (The player must take care to ensure they do not become trapped in the Giant with no way out.) Once complete, the sparkle will reappear.

Big Whale

  • The Big Whale is earned by bringing the Darkness Crystal to Mysidia.
  • The Big Whale can land on moon craters.

Yang's wife

  • 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.

Legend Sword

  • The Legend Sword is found as a key item, and does not come with Paladin Cecil (who begins with a Silver Staff instead).


  • The Hook is found as a key item, and not installed by the engineers in Baron.

Character progression

  • Upon completing Mt. Ordeals, all Cecils become level 1 Paladins, regardless of whether or not they're in your party.
  • Upon completing Mt. Ordeals, all Tellahs gain their full spell sets, regardless of whether they're in your party.
  • During the Dwarf Castle battle cutscene, all Rydias will become adults and gain their adult default spells, regardless of whether they're in your party. Note that the 5 summons she learns will be randomized unless -vanilla:growup is enabled.
  • Upon completing the Tower of Zot, all Rosas will learn Exit, regardless of whether they're in your party.
  • Upon defeating the first Upper Bab-il boss, all Edges will learn Flood and Blitz, regardless of whether they're in your party.

Minor progression changes

  • The Toroia Castle treasury may be accessed once you have found the Earth Crystal.
  • There is no fire at the base of Mt. Ordeals.
  • The Enterprise begins with the enhanced hull allowing it to fly over magma.
  • The Falcon comes with the enhanced hull and Drill already applied.
  • Any character may use the Crystal to transform Zeromus; it does not have to be Paladin Cecil.
  • 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.)
  • You cannot swim down the Waterfall.
  • The Pass door remains open after it is unlocked; you do not need additional Passes to reopen the door.

Story events

Most event cutscenes have been reduced to shortened versions. Some cutscenes have been removed entirely.

Characters will not leave your party due to story events (eg. you will not lose Kain if you burn down Mist).

There are no solo story battles; your entire party is present when defending Fabul and in the mirror room fight atop Mt. Ordeals, unless Chero is enabled.

The SandRuby cutscene in Kaipo no longer includes the nighttime boss battle.

Recruiting/dismissing characters

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.

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.)

Dismissed characters can be retrieved later from the Tower of Wishes in Mysidia (unless the Cbye flag is enabled).


Many items from the original Japanese version of FF4 were removed from the US release. Most of these items have been restored; these items use the names given to them from the PS1 English release of FF4.

Most item prices have been altered to suit the balance of Free Enterprise. For full details, refer to the item stats tables.

The Imp, Bomb, Cockatrice and Mage summon orbs have been removed to make room for the items that grant the five quest summons (Asura, Levia, Baham, Odin, and Sylph).

The Medusa Sword has been removed from the game due to softlock risks.

Since the Pink Tail is a key item in FE, PinkPuffs now directly drop Adamant Armors instead of Pink Tails.

The Black Robe has been corrected to raise Wisdom instead of Will.


By default, map movement is 2x the speed of vanilla FF4. Hold Y to walk at original speed. You can change the “Dash” setting in the Custom menu to invert this behavior.

While riding airships, holding Y will reduce movement speed, to help make precise landings.

While riding the hovercraft or yellow chocobos, holding Y will increase your speed.

Extended item info

Pushing Select in either the item menu, equip menu, shop menu, or post-battle treasure menu will display a panel showing detailed info about the highlighted item, including stats/properties for weapons and armor. Push Select again to hide the window.

Treasure Discard

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.

Key items and GP cannot be discarded in this manner.

Quick Trash

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!).


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.)

The training room dialogue covers the raw basics of the changes in Free Enterprise.


Speaking repeatedly to Rosa's mom in Baron will tell you what potential key item locations you have not yet checked. This is to assist players who've gotten stuck and aren't sure where to look next.

  • If playing with hidden flags, Rosa's mom will always hint at all theoretically possible key item locations, to prevent the player from determining which key item flags are active.

Agility anchor

FF4 scales combat speed according to the party member designated as the “agility anchor”.

Vanilla FF4 selects the agility anchor as follows:

  1. If there is at least one Cecil in the party, select the first Cecil in party slot order (ie. middle first, then top, bottom, top-middle, bottom-middle) to be the agility anchor.
  2. If there is no Cecil in the party, choose the first character in party slot order to be the anchor.

By default, Free Enterprise removes the first check, so the anchor is always determined by party slot order regardless if Cecil is present. The original logic can be restored by applying the -vanilla:agility flag. As noted in hero_challenge, -vanilla:agility overrides the changes that would take place when the hero challenge is enabled

EXP distribution

Unlike vanilla FF4, battle EXP is not divided among party members in Free Enterprise; each surviving party member receives the full amount of EXP from defeated enemies. This is intended to both accelerate the grinding process and reduce the need to control EXP growth by taking down your own party members.

Additionally, two EXP bonuses are in place:

  • To speed up the late game, earned EXP is increased by 100% once 10 key items have been found.
  • To help later-game recruits catch up to the rest of the party's growth, when your party has a full five members, any party member with a level at least 5 below the median party level receives a 100% increase in earned EXP.

To disable the experience sharing and bonuses and return EXP distribution to its vanilla behavior, use the following flags:

  • -exp:split restores vanilla EXP splitting.
  • -exp:nokeybonus removes the 10 Key Item EXP bonus.
  • -exp:noboost removes the low-level EXP bonus.

Note that characters outside your party never receive EXP in Free Enterprise. (In vanilla FF4, characters that leave and later rejoin you continue to receive EXP while in the “shadow” party.)


Refer to the Glitches page.


By default, the “FuSoYa Challenge” is enabled; for more details see FuSoYa changes.


The Golbez fight is normally a very plot-based battle featuring the return of Rydia. In order to support facing Golbez at any position with any party combination, the opening events of the battle have been changed to the following:

  • Golbez uses HoldGas to paralyze the party.
  • Golbez summons Shadow.
  • Shadow attempts to Demolish all but two of your party members. (It will make a maximum of three attempts to do so.)
  • Shadow retreats.
  • Golbez unparalyzes the party.
  • The battle proceeds as normal.
core_gameplay_changes.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/26 20:45 by A User Not Logged in