Many of you may remember this project when it went under the name "The Divine War" on Serenes Forest. You may also have assumed the project was cancelled when I abandoned the topic and left the website. It wasn't, I just didn't want to be on Serenes anymore.
Maiden of Darkness (Named both for its legacy status as a subtitle for FE6 and because it abbreviates to Mod which is what this is) is a remake of FE6 in FE6. Why? Because I hate myself that's why. Actually, originally the remake was my simple attempts to touch up the game when Super Luigi's FE6 in FE7 hack was underway, I figured when it was done, there would be no reason to ever play FE6 again, so I'd give it a quick send off.
5 years later, things have changed. But why make the topic now? It's because on January first 2016 (Or December 31st really whichever comes first) Maiden of Darkness will be launching with its first demo. It wont be in quite the completed state that I wanted when setting out to do this project, for one, the project animator has gone MIA and several characters may be unplayable due to my own desire to not see them in the game until they can be perfectly in the game.
But talk is cheap, so lets give a short round up of the things needed for the project to reach its 'release' state.
14 Chapters to Event/Re-event.
1 more PC portrait to finish (Nino)
4 Boss Portraits to work on (Barigan, Elimine, Hanon, Hartmut)
There's lots of ASM work still being done including work on paired endings and adding in new spells, making Roy's mother pickable for all those people slavishly devoted to their personal canon, skills, the list of vanity ASM being worked on is long and not that interesting when we should be looking at the things that are new to the hack that you haven't seen.
The base was not inspired by My Castle, it was actually inspired by the base menu from FE9/10. You see, FE6 doesn't allow you to use items while in the menu, and editing that menu is a tedious pain that could break a lot of things. As well, I wanted supports to be consistent and to progress with the story and feel less like a generic conversation told in a void. To that end, the Base is a map visited after every chapter, where your units are all deployed.
Spread about the castle they can initiate talk topics that may have them comment on the current chapters or just have playful skits, they can support, and indeed, you may ONLY support in the base. With support points built up through the progression of the game, not the act of parking your ass next to one another until space time collapses.
There is an arena, where a limited number of fights (5-10) can be fought for some extra cash and experience, and there are shops, with 1 constant shopkeeper (Merlinus) 1 uncommon shop keeper (Anna) and an undecided third who will be a secret to add to the base.
And most importantly for some of you, the base does NOT count towards your total turn count, meaning a player can feel free to relax between chapters and get all the plot experiences and supports without worrying about their turn rank being ruined.
~Edited Chapters with new victory conditions
Some of the chapters in the game are unfun, others simply didn't do the job I needed them to do, or wasted space. Rather than leave them as is, hard work was put into redesigning these maps to make them more enjoyable or to serve new purposes. And it's not just a new look. These maps also have new victory conditions as shown by Chapter 3's Escape. Escape functions like FE5 and 9's escape (minus losing your whole army if Roy runs first) FE6 has a reputation for being about Roy's joy ride on the back of Marcus, Thany, Miledy and Zeiss. The armored car approach will no longer always work.
Chapter 5 is an entirely new take on what was previously a complete filler chapter, dedicated to fighting the 'Bandits' currently besieging Thria and hunting down Brother Saul the Monk and his bodyguard the Soldier Dorothy. These Bandits however hold a sinister secret, which better connects the plot from Chapter 4 to 6, without what essentially amounted to filler.
Chapter 8 challenges you with control of two groups of allied units, to defeat Leygance in 15 turns, or suffer as Berns army reinforces the rebels and wipe your forces out. As you can see, the map has been altered significantly to reduce the exhausting winding corridor, and rather than starting as a Prisoner, Lilina starts off with her own force. Perhaps she's been off having her own adventures.
And the Finale well... who could ever be pleased with murdering weak dragons and then one shotting the final boss? And what even is the final boss of an SRPG? a random unit either ridiculously tough to kill or pathetically easy? No, it's the map itself. The final exam of all you've experienced, the ultimate pay off to all your accomplishments.
This should do the trick.
And don't worry about picking your route splits, they no longer exist. The game follows one narrative, taking you through each country as you fight the Bern army in the name of liberation.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? Please point out any chapters you feel are tediously boring or unfun. Examples may include Chapter 20x, which essentially is just smacking walls with no real interesting design, surely something better could be done. These maps will be reworked after the release of the demo.
~New chapters added, some removed and a whole new story arc
Chapter 8 does not end the Lycia arc, after all, would Cecilia really arrive so conveniently from Etruria? No, you'll have to defend Ostia with your lives as you face Narciens forces. After finishing this chapter, then the player will go to the already existing 8x, now of course renumbed to 9x. But that's not all.
The game never makes it quite clear what happened to Lycia during Etruria's defection, I mean wouldn't Bern have taken over while Roy was away? That is the Return to Lycia arc, also called Lycia Redux or some other name because I can never be consistent, the goal is simple however, you travel to each of the unvisited provinces that didn't appear in FE6 or FE7. Each one has a chapter gimmick designed to change up the game, Take chapter 17 for example, those walls are usually complete, however catapult enemies will spawn on the map, and unless you have forces outside to take care of them (or have particularly powerful archers on Ballistae, or have Siege tomes) you'll find your walls destroyed and reinforcements piling through to ruin your defensive position. Or chapter 18
A property battle straight out of Advance Wars. Be the one to capture the houses and secure the most property before your foes torch the city. A battle that tests your ability to move and take hold of assets while fighting off your foes.
However, another thing that bugged me, is even considering skipping what happened to Lycia because fair enough, it's not that important, we go from the border of Etruria to straight into the castle, with no look at the country itself. The arc following Return to Lycia is the expanded Etruria arc. Starting with Chapter 21, a freshly promoted Roy leads his forces against Arcards advanced army.
Followed by a battle through the capital of Aquleia, protecting the civilians still on the street as Etruria allows Berns forces in to take your army down.
After pushing through however, the army is confronted with Hells gates themselves, the impenetrable fortress that is Castle Etruria lies in the distance and the keeps of the three generals and their combined forces stand in your way.
From there with the end of Chapter 23, the game rejoins the existing plot.
~New Characters, Skills, Classes Weapons and Event Supports
The total recruits in the game has been raised to 63, previously unthinkable if not just for the fact it spoils you for choice, but because the games save data simply cannot handle more than 52 units in an army, and any excess would be deleted on a hard reset. Well not anymore. We fixed that pesky bug, now you'll have all 63 options available and you can play on a mobile device or a flash cart without save states. But New Characters are nothing if they really are all the same, which is why Skills have been added to the game, from Renewal to Luna to Sol as personal skills, to some units having access to weapon ranks outside their class, to Class skills like Pick giving you a good reason to promote your thieves. Which of course is another noted addition. New classes, such as old favorites the Halberdier and the Rogue had been added to the game, other classes, such as the Bard, have received new promotions and Lords Guinevere and Lilina have their own classes, rather than just being a generic Soldier and Mage. And with new classes comes new weapons, from personal weapons to class weapons to just a variety of new toys for everyone to mess with, I'm a big fan of providing new ways to slaughter your way through the armies of Bern. But some of these weapons can't be gotten through shops or treasure chests, some can only be received through supports. Supports are now eventable in Mod, so not only will you receive some nice character development but also potentially a new item. Not only does the tactical benefit of being friends help in the battlefield but that new unique axe certainly helps too.
I am very proud to finally be able to share this information with all of you, to have a demo so close to release and to finally release the project I've spent 5 years putting together. I hope you all remain excited and mark New Years down for that release.