[FE8] About the Demon King's <Nightmare> "staff" item

There’s something odd about the “staff” called Nightmare (Item ID 0xA5) (used by final boss)
which is typed as “Staff” (0x04) and Ability1 as “Staff” (0x04) again like all other staves.

However I can’t make it usable from the player side no matter the various parameters or classifications.
Even when given to a monster class or
a regular human class with the Ability3 to use 0x04 - Monster Weapons
or even to a player-controlled Demon King class unit
the “staff” cannot be used or triggered (despite being highlighted as usable in the menu screens).

What’s the deal with this item?
Is it possible to make it usable/triggerable by a player/ non-AI unit?

The nightmare staff has a large amount of hardcoded elements, so it’s not surprising that you can’t use it. Don’t know the details of not being able to use it, but there’s certainly a hardcoded range check.

Ah, that’s just sad.

I don’t really mind the range check, but mostly to availability limitation
since it seemed to have only a map animation and not being tied to the DK’s animation.

On the topic of what items are usable by what class,
it seems the dancer rings too go through some weird situations:


  • Setting the rings as some type of weapon (physical or magic)
    will allow them to be used by specific classes or characters (though as expected the ranged battle animation will look weird)

  • Setting the rings as Staves
    will make them work naturally.

  • However, if the battle animations are off, no matter the case, the game will crash.
    The map animation for the rings “demands” the dancer map sprite.

Part of the Demon King AI is hardcoded to search the inventory for the Nightmare item ID.

Its usability check, if I recall correctly, is set to just “return false”.

Interesting notes on rings though.

So the Demon King doesn’t actually use the item/staff
instead it “activates” some sort of skill/ ability that doesn’t appear as a command like “dance”?

Not even. The AI routine searches the inventory for the Nightmare item, then decrements a use, and then branches to its effect.

Also I may have misrememebred and the usability routine might be “char ID = demon king” – this is for the purposes of it appearing as usable in his inventory.

So only the AI 0xBE (Demon King) can use it?
Because a player controlled 0xBE with 0x66 (DK class) can’t use it… what a waste.

Fun trivia:
AI1 0x14 can be used by enemy summoners to summon the same things DK’s summon does.

Is it known where those summoned enemies are in the ROM so we can edit them?

Any enemy with the demon king AI can use it (though animation glitches may occur). It just won’t appear as usable on the R-menu.

The summoned units do have a known location; they’re just normal event UNITs. Venno’s notes have them somewhere, but that’d be getting off-topic.

Crazy’s correct, the usability routine always returns false. There’s a check in the ‘can use staff’ routine, iirc, specifically checking for Nightmare and the demon king’s class (not character) ID. EDIT: This is incorrect; it’s actually a check embedded in the function that returns range for mag/2 staves (why? who knows).
I tried changing the usability routine to point to Sleep, which makes the staff menu pop up, but the game hangs after selecting a weapon. I suspect it’s because Nightmare doesn’t have a proper target pointer, but I’m too lazy to repoint and the expand the table to confirm/deny this.

No idea of those complex stuff. In fact you only need to change one bit to make it available to the player. Add 1 to the ability 1.

Give Seth a Nightmare.

Let Seth attack an enemy with it. Though it says that the dmg is 8, but it does no damage to the target in fact.

Then all enemies in the range (1-3) will fall asleep.


Ok, i played around with this:

It seems different for the US version as it does DMG to the target
(physical as Ability1 0x1 and magical as Ability1 0x2)

Sleep effect will never proc during a counter, only DMG.

During player phase, if the hit lands on the target, all enemies in range will go to sleep.
If it misses, no one will be affected.

Map animation plays smoothly, battle animation looks bad, enemy can’t counter during player phase.

Setting Ability1 as 0x7 (weapon + magic + staff) with 100HIT:
Sleep can still miss. It seems it still follows the original 70%.
Otherwise everything’s the same as above.

Magic is unnecessary. Mine is 0x5 = weapon + staff.

This reminds me of a request I made for enemy-only mass status effect staves in FE8, like much earlier this year.

Haha, time flies.