I go by Altani Oronira in the gaming/streaming world. Also planning on making a YouTube channel under the same name. In the real world, I’m a novelist, and am happy to talk about that, but I’m keeping my writing pen name and rom hack pen name separate for social reasons.
Anyway, I’m making a Sacred Stones rom hack tentatively titled Symphony of Elegance.
Full disclosure: I use ChatGPT and Sudowrite (basically a souped-up version of ChatGPT specifically for writers) to come up with ideas, stats for characters and enemies, and rough drafts for scripts to put in the game. So, if you don’t like writing-generative AI, you may not like my work.
Basically, Symphony of Elegance is meant to be a love letter to Sacred Stones. It features two adopted siblings, Linde and Freude, who are not biologically related, and are destined to fall in love with each other. The game is meant to feature a lot of cool, ornate, indoor maps in unique settings, and to be challenging without being too difficult.
Normally, in FE8, dancers/bards aren’t meant to attack. However, with a lot of work, I’ve managed to make it so that Linde (the dancer) and Freude (the bard) are able to attack. Furthermore, I’ve given them both galeforce, Freude locktouch, and Linde the ability to heal+live to serve. Freude doesn’t have animations turned on, but Linde is able to double attack using dark magic and her animations actually work. (Figuring this out took about three days of solid work, lol).
Naturally, Linde and Freude are broken as all get out. However, their squads aren’t nearly as broken, and the two of them will spend a fair amount of time apart from each other. Also, the enemies are planned to be strong enough that it will actually be a challenge even considering the siblings’ abilities.
I’m planning the hack to be thirteen chapters, with a chapter named after each of the main characters (the twins+their friends you recruit along the way).
I’m also toying around with the idea of being able to recruit slightly more generic units along the way. Maybe every two chapters, you get the option to choose between three named characters. However, you can’t just recruit them outright. You have to do some sort of D20 skills test that you can choose to do with one of your characters.
For example, maybe you have a 35% chance that the potential recruit will want you to prove your strength or a 65% chance that they will want you to beat them in a game of skill. Do you select a unit who has middling stats in both? Do you hedge your bets and go with a character with high skill? Or perhaps you’ll choose another strategy.
And then perhaps there’s an event that makes things more interesting. Say for example, the recruit wants to get to know you, and you come across a wagon that has food in it. The recruit wants to take the food. Do you A) take the food, hoping to gain favor with the recruit or B) Insist on leaving the food alone? Then maybe there’s a random chance the owner comes back, and they draw their sword. The recruit thinks you’re a chicken if you choose to back down. Do you A) Talk your way out of the situation with the owner and diplomatically calm the recruit down or B) Fight the owner for the food?
In this example, you might choose choice A, relying on your skill as a thief. Then if the owner comes back you might again choose choice A, relying on your charisma stat (which could be linked to your skill stat). Depending on your rolls, you might get injured, which could reduce your strength roll as well as your skill roll (since skill is linked to charisma, and you’ve lost face with your recruit). Alternatively, you could buff your charisma and gain strength from the food, increasing your odds of getting the recruit.
These units would be a little more generic, in that they wouldn’t have support conversations, but they would probably have a bit of dialogue between chapters.
I’d also like to make it so that when units are defeated, they’re basically disabled. So you can’t use them, but they are still a part of the story. Maybe they have different support conversations based on whether they’re disabled or not.
I’d also reduce the support conversations by having pre-selected S pairings, (i.e. one true pairings). You will be able to achieve the S rank at the end whether or not the unit is disabled, but the ending might be different–maybe one character agrees to care for the other one, and they live relatively happy lives, whereas if they both “survive,” they maybe live a more adventurous lifestyle.
The idea with the thirteen chapters is that each chapter brings you closer to the goal of overthrowing Victor Tyrannis (the siblings’ adopted father), but also develops each main character in their own separate chapter. Maybe in one chapter you have to gain the favor of X country, and Elena the paladin is your only link to that country. However, she has a dark secret she’s hiding–she killed her lover after a betrayal–and must clear her name by infiltrating the thieves’ hideout and capturing the boss, who’s the only one who knows the truth of the betrayal.
Anyway, I could go on for a while, as I’ve got a lot of ideas for the hack. However, I’m committed to making it 13 chapters, with 12 main characters including the siblings, and an epilogue. And then 3 “generic” units x 6 opportunities to recruit makes 18 minor characters, for a total of 30 characters. The “generic” recruitable units would probably only have a couple of voice lines per chapter though, expressing their opinion on the mission.
If you’ve made it this far, I first have to commend you on your masochism. Congratulations! I’d also point out that you’re probably interested in the game. If so, cool! I’m going to be needing playtesters to give feedback on any aspects of the game, whether that’s writing, or enemy stats, or any other things you can think of! I’m also really open to the idea of working with other people, particularly if you’re willing to VC over Discord and screenshare FeBuilder/the game when necessary. I’d love to get volunteers-- options could include co-writers, readers, anyone who knows how to do custom animations, anyone who knows how to balance stats between player units and enemy units, people who know how to program cutscenes and/or events, people who know other aspects of FeBuilder, and/or artist(s).
I am fully prepared to do the project on my own, but I think it’ll be better if I have help, or at least input from the Fire Emblem community. So, feel free to reply here if you want, or shoot me a message on Discord (I’m Altani Oronira there as well). Make sure to mention that it’s about the game if you do message me, and include a brief sentence or two (or more) about what you’d potentially like to do! Then we can set up a time to see if we’re a good fit. =)
I don’t really have a job at the moment, so my schedule is pretty wide open. I’m also pretty flexible on time commitments (this isn’t school and I’m not going to take attendance, nor is it a job, in the sense that there’ll definitely be goofs and gaffes along the way!) Anyway, if you got through this long message, thanks a million for your time and consideration, and happy rom hacking!