Awful Emblem - Complete Act 1 Demo

Wow, I remember playing this hack back when it only had like 3 chapters made.
Hearing that it will continue being made,using the fe8 engine, is really amazing! Can’t wait to play it once again!

There is a patch you guys could use to outright disable the easy mode is you don’t plan on using it

1 Like

So I played this hack up to chapter 4 (left it on the prep screen of ch 4) and it’s good enough. I’m not sure how many chapters this has exactly. Here are some observations I made:

  • Some generic enemies are pretty weak, I assume you didn’t change the class base stats yet. This is most notable on Mages, Archers and Cavaliers.

  • Prologue’s player phase music fits, but the next chapters use either Distant Roads or Determination, which are too overused, at least for me, and it’s just annoying to hear them after a while. You could’ve imported some early game music from FE 6 and 7. For example, “FE 6: For the Commanders” fits Ch 3 much better.

  • Chapter 2’s boss moves when you’re in his range, so why doesn’t the same apply for Chapter 1’s boss? It’s not like he’s standing in a gate or something.

  • For being a survive chapter, chapter 3 is pretty easy. It’s small, clunky and fails to keep the pressure up. I spent the last two turns doing nothing because there were no more enemies. You should make the boss move when you enter his range. Also, a chest with a Steel Sword feels pretty underwhelming. You could’ve made the Steel Sword a droppable and put something better in the chest.

  • The Light Rune doesn’t have a description when selecting it in the “Item” menu.

  • Some text oversights:


I wish you good luck with the hack!

1 Like

Congrats on the demo release! It’s good to see this up and running again.

I remembered Judith’s shoryuken-swing

I finished the demo (on Hard) and filled out the form; here’s a few miscellaneous comments:

The map design is solid, if a little lacking in time pressure; chapter 5 was the closest I came to missing something with the Thief reinforcement. The Prologue and Chapter 1 are gimmes, if short ones, where XP distribution is the main concern. But these are early game Normal maps after all. Some of the later maps were definitely challenging: I had to restart Chapter 3 before figuring out how to manage the first three turns, even if the pressure lets up after that, and 5x was pretty tricky and a lot of fun with its low deployment limit and those Fighter reinforcements going after the NPCs.

Speaking of which, I finished the map with the NPCs alive…but without talking to them, so no reward was had, which probably isn’t intentional. Also, my gold displayed as 0 during 5x, but that went back to normal afterwards.

Some thoughts on characters I used regularly:

Judith: Solid lord, and a big help against Cavaliers and Knights which she could usually ORKO with Sagaris, which combined with her defense makes up for her middling STR and SPD.

Lily: One of the few units who could double and reliably deal damage from range. Didn’t get too much use out of the Longbow, but IIRC that mostly comes into play in the later chapters. She ended up with 13 speed on my run, just behind Clover’s 14.

Niccolo: His healing made him a must-have on every map; even on Hard he was sometimes too fast to just chip enemies, though his speed did come in handy on the tougher maps. His lowish defense made him a good lure.

Rowan: Decent filler. None of his stats were especially good; his combat was equal or only slightly better than the Cavaliers, but Martin’s first two levels were really bad so I though I’d give Rown a try this time.

Clover: Pretty strong against axemen, but otherwise I was disappointed. She usually doubles, and the Saber is a great help (unless you hand it off to somebody else), but I wasn’t really deploying her because of any inherent usefulness. I feel like she might be somewhat outclassed by Kate, who joins with comparable stats and weapon ranks in addition to Lockpicks and more Con / Move.

Rose: Good 1-2 range chip, but slow and frail. Maybe I had bad luck with her levels; I remember lots of Skill and not much else. Honestly I could have managed without her or Fia who I also deployed sometimes, but magic damage was handy on occasion.

June: A solid unit with a balanced statline, which when you have two weapon types and 7 Move is all the stats you need. She doubled sometimes but not always, could toss Javelins later on, and take a couple of hits, which is all that I expect from a Cavalier. Was shaping up to be one of my better units by the end of the demo. [/details]

Thanks for playing! Chapter 3 has always been difficult to balance because it’s an early defense map. It’s very easy to turtle at the top of the map and survive with no problem, but the challenge comes from getting to the boss and his item without getting a unit overwhelmed by too many enemies at once.

I’m not sure why the prisoners on 5x didn’t give you the item for saving them all but not talking to them. I even coded a conditional for that instance and made sure to test it. Were any of them rescued when the chapter ended? I’m not sure how the game handles rescued units when it calls CHECK_OTHERS. I should probably make all three of them un-rescueable because I got some feedback from another player that rescuing them and then trying to talk to them leads to a big mess and glitchiness as the game tries to move someone it can’t even if they’re alive.

Unit comments::
Judith’s got a 55% growth in strength, but I’ve definitely had her miss it a lot before and end the demo with only 8 str. Her offensive stats are kind of a coin flip honestly, but she’s statted pretty similar to Hector, since his baseline was the original inspiration for her. I keep being surprised that we only gave her 20 base HP. We actually lowered the Mt on Sagaris after switching to FE8 because being able to output 35 damage against a level 1 cavalier was a little ridiculous. But we gave it +10 hit instead so even though it’s the same Mt as an Iron Axe, now you can use it to offset her kind of low Skill. We might honestly give her a couple extra points of skill because I’m surprised at how low hit rates she’s pulling even after getting some levels in.

Lily got a speed base buff after getting added to the Prologue to make her able to reliably double Soldiers, who actually had a speed base nerf recently. Those changes helped her be able to shine so much more since being able to hit for 8x2 instead of just 8 means she can chip to low damage for others early on or two round things she gets into a fight with. She’s got really nice coin-flip offensive stats which is good for someone stuck with Bows only.

Nick’s stats are garbage because they have to be since being able to output 13 or 13x2 magic damage against mostly 0 or 1 Res enemies would be a bit strong. But it does mean he’s consistent in output at least and can be good for occasional chipping. He did get a full 20% boost to his Magic growth bringing it to 65% since the move to FE8, and combined with the higher staff xp gains if you choose to keep him around even after getting Beatrice you’ll be rewarded with a unit that can deal a fair bit of damage and use special staves at high ranges. He’ll never be as amazing as other units could be, but that’s what happens with crutch prepromotes.

I’m glad Rowan turned out ok for you since we keep getting really bad ones in testing. We’re thinking his problem is that even though he’s supposed to be speedy, having a 60% growth in it, there are no real slow sword users in GBA FE. We even dropped Merc speed a little bit to make them more distinct from myrmidons but it hasn’t really helped him out. Maybe he needs a bigger speed base or we need to drop merc speed even more. We’ll have to see.

Having a bad Martin is unfortunate though since he keeps turning out incredibly for me and others. He’s basically a knight on a horse sometimes, or Sain with defense, or Lowen with strength.

Clover’s in that weird myrmidon place where she needs to get Strength to excel because her Saber isn’t going to help her forever. The Killing Edge in chapter 5 helps, but she doesn’t start at rank C, so you have to use her to get to that point first.

Kate might turn out better than her in the end, but she has a lower speed growth and will probably be focused as a utility unit for a while. The next thief isn’t slated until probably…Chapter 15 or so. That said, she’s meant to be the more fighting-capable thief, so if you choose to use her outside her thieving capabilities, she probably won’t disappoint. I’d love to increase the amount of xp gained for stealing, and maybe even find a way to give small xp for using Lockpicks since when she’s on utility duty she’s not really gaining any xp otherwise.

Rose is meant to be the slightly bulkier of the pair between her and Fia, with high damage output too. But yes, she’s slower by design since we’ve seen what she can do if she starts too fast and it’s basically doubling the whole map for unmitigated dark damage. Beautiful to watch, but definitely not good for balance.

Fia will be more interesting to keep an eye on. She was moved all the way back from chapter 7 to chapter 2 with the story rewrites and had to get adjusted multiple times to fit her new join time. Having her around for chapter 3 is greatly beneficial. She’s definitely meant to get a speedy mage though, almost myrmidon-esque in her stats and growths. I’m a little worried about her prospects as we go onlwards but once we get our expanded magic system added to the game she might fare a little better since she’ll have access to a Saber-like tome of her own, and much later in the game access to tools like Thoron (killer anima) and Blizzard (FE5 sleeping included, though not siege, will require much testing and balance once added).

Lastly, June seems to turn out good no matter what. We didn’t adjust her bases or growths any since the last demo, just her join time. She’s a much speedier cav than Martin is, but at the cost of lower growths compared to him in most other places. That doesn’t mean worse, just more balanced, such as having 30%s in both Def and Res compared to Martin’s 40% def and 10% res.

Didn’t mean for this to go on so long but I felt like responding in full. Glad you had fun with the demo!

Thanks for giving the hack a shot. Hopefully you were able to go back and finish the demo (it goes to chapter 5x) at some point. I just wanted to respond to your observations.

I’ll agree that a number of classes could maybe use a point or two here and there in their stats but overall I’m not looking to make too many adjustments since the game’s overall difficulty is meant to be pretty average. I’ll definitely consider mages and archers for getting buffs in places, but I’m hesitant to boost cavaliers because they have high movement and other than their base Skill they’re really not that bad off for bases.

I’d love to add music from other FE games but we’re using Buildfiles and so I can’t just use FEBuilder’s easy import feature to pull tracks from one game and put them in another. And no one has made soundtrack rips of FE6 and FE7 for use with buildfiles that I can find yet. I tried to do it myself but I appear to be far too dumb to understand what I’m doing there. But yeah I would like to add new music to the game, it’s just a low priority right now.

I really want to make it so units/bosses that don’t move show a – for their Move stat to avoid confusion like in Chapter 1 and 3. Chapter 1’s boss doesn’t move because it’s just Chapter 1 and keeping him static allows the player to choose which unit to use to whittle xp from him and get the final hit without pressure. Again, mostly in the interest of keeping the difficulty relatively low.

As I mentioned to Venno, CHapter 3 is hard to balance because I’ve seen it when it’s much harder and that level of difficulty doesn’t fit our overall difficulty curve. It’s not meant to be a particularly difficult survive chapter since it is just chapter 3 of probably 25+. That said, I can definitely look to add a DefeatAll condition to end the chapter early if you beat everything before the turn counter is over. As for the Steel Sword, it used to be a Rescue Staff but due to something planned for an upcoming chapter we couldn’t include it this time. But I’ve been thinking about how to handle that chapter and I might decide to make some changes that could allow it to return.

I didn’t realize that about the Light Rune so I’ll get it fixed up. Same with those text errors. I’ll get them mended.

And last, we don’t have plans at this time to fully implement the skill system. If we do use it, it will be very sparingly, more along the lines of how FE8 did class skills, except with actually useful skills beyond Slayer this time. And I think the growths display is attached to that system right now so similar answer there for the moment.

Thanks for playing and thanks for the feedback!

1 Like

Awful Emblem Act 1 Demo
Hi there, it’s been a while since we last posted about this on here. Turns out, we’re still on our bullshit. But this time we have a new demo for you so keep reading! I asked the other project leader, Artix, to put together an effortpost detailing what we’ve been up to and what’s in the demo:

Guess what boys and girls? That’s right, it’s time for another ~Awful Emblem demo release~! After a year and a half of long, hard work, we’re proud to present the next checks notes four chapters of the game.

Wait, come back! I’m serious. This release covers the complete Act 1 of Awful Emblem, prologue through Chapter 8, plus an intermission chapter to close out Act 1 and do some setup for Act 2. It is, admittedly, a glorified cutscene, but we let you skip it so we can indulge a bit, right? :v: There’s also a bunch of under-the-hood changes and updates that you may or may not notice as you go along. The biggest and most important one is Tequila’s Text Engine Overhaul which allows us to do a lot of text-related changes like 1- and 3-line text boxes, personalized text boops, adjusting text speed and formatting on the fly, etc. We also have an overhauled magic system, inserting a bunch of new spells to flesh out all three schools of magic, and the customary new classes, units, etc. We’re really proud of the work we’ve done, and I hope you guys enjoy as much as we have making it.

It is highly recommended you make a new save file if you still have an old one lying around.

A lot has changed under the hood, we’ve taken feedback from the previous demo to adjust Chapters 1-5x, and in general you never know what’s gonna go wrong with old saves. Use an old file at your own discretion.

What’s new in this release

Chapters 6, 7, 7x, 8, and the Act 1 Intermission
The magic expansion, featuring new spells in all three families
Tequila’s Text Engine Overhaul
The Halberdier class makes its debut, one of the promotions for Soldier.
You can press select on the stat menu to see people’s growths. No more blind guessing at who’s good!

What’s coming down the line

Act 2 (Part 1) will (hopefully) not take another year and a half to put out! We’ve done a lot of work in the downtime before release to reduce that workload now, the largest chunk of it being supports. Did you know Supports are a fuckton of work to write? It’s true! If you want a point of comparison for just how much work, the entire Act 1 script, start to finish, is 80 pages long. The complete Act 2 script (which is also 12 chapters, including an intermission) is 118 pages long. Our master support file, which is ~90% the Act 1 characters? 120 pages and counting. :shepicide:

As always, a special thanks to everyone who plays the demo. When you’re done, we have a survey to get some quick feedback, although we appreciate posts, tweets, and everything else as well. Thanks for your time, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Demo staff (in no particular order):
FPzero, Artix, Tyty, PoorlyWrittenNovel, ddinkins, nine-gear crow, Blastinus

Special thanks:
2wb/Eliwan, Arch, Blind Sally, Circles, Cirvante, CanOfWorms, Captain Fargle, Faerie Fortune, Kirb, Leonarth, Luigimariokog, Mysticblade, Onmi, Ryushikaze, SCBracer, Shiny777, Smiles, Tanks, Temp, Tequila, TactHack, VennoBennu, vilkacis

Here’s a few screenshots from the new demo:

Download the Demo by clicking here.

There’s also a proper readme that goes into a bit more detail included in the archive. And like Artix mentioned, we’ve made a feedback survey like last time to get feedback from players on how we’re doing. If you can spare some time to fill it out after playing, that’d be great.

Hope you guys have fun with it!


I’m going to stream this sometime within the next couple of weeks. Definitely looking forward to trying it out (despite the fact I’ve helped out, I don’t actually know how the story goes, since I was mostly fixing bugs and adding features).

Is awful b. bad part of this hack?

I don’t understand what you’re asking.

1 Like

Just a meme. A character from some bad kinda obscure kidsshow is called awful b. bad

A post was split to a new topic: “Text Engine Overhaul” release?

Question: are halberdiers supposed to take effective damage from bows?

They are not, but I bet I know why that’s the case. I’ll be sure to fix it. Thanks for noticing it.

Welcome back.

‘Ey! Glad to hear this is still alive! Interested in the mechanical changes. Especially growths display so my friends and I can fact-check how bullshit our luck is on the spot XD In any case, good to know you’re still plugging away.

I played this! Lots of little improvements here and there I noticed, and the maps play better than in the last demo. Some thoughts follow since this was getting a little long for the feedback form:


Chapter 3: The first two turns are the toughest by a good margin; Ferris can handle the right on his own, two units are good for the left side, and the rest can wall up in the center. Enemy reinforcements arrive too late to apply much pressure; by Turn 4 you should have all the initial enemies wiped out, making the newcomers a nonissue. The Physic is very welcome and came in handy a few times down the line…but I miss the Rescue staff! It was fun!

Chapter 4: Not a very exciting chapter. I had everything but the Priest routed on Turn 8, so the Mage reinforcements were nothing to worry about, but at least they spawned right were my guys were so it wasn’t a bother to pick them off.

Chapter 5: Thief arrives a little late. What with the breakable wall being there now, you could almost start him on the map and still have time to catch him. Similarly I think the Cav reinforcements could be moved up a turn, or have more threatening weaponry - by breaking through the wall you can pretty easily get the chests with Kate and leave a turn or two ahead of them. Or just leave like Ferris behind to hold the chokepoint. Basically two Iron Lance Cavaliers on T8 are basically free XP. The breakable wall is a nice addition but it definitely speeds up the chapter by a couple turns compared to when you had to come into the prison from above.

Hans is a little rude with his 10 Crit. A trained Clover can handle him fine, but the rest of your units have trouble hurting him or have lowish Luck, so without her I could see a player having issues. Maybe Elfire (and dropping Hans’s Magic score) instead would work better? OH WAIT I looked at the convoy later and remembered you get a Barrier staff on this map, that would have made things waaay easier if I had used my brain.

Chapter 5x: This was my favourite chapter in the previous demo, and I liked it this time around too. Got to be very careful with your positioning, and the reinforcements do a good job of forcing you to move quickly (was the second set of Fighters replaced by the Cavaliers? IIRC the Fighters used to go on for multiple turns). I was surprised when the boss moved, and a little dismayed when she started attacking the prisoners - would have been a reset if not for Niccolo’s Physic. Although I didn’t seem to get any reward for saving them? When I beat the chapter it went straight to Beatrice asking Judith to continue her story, perhaps because I didn’t talk to the prisoners since the boss was in the way.

Chapter 6: A fun chapter. There’s a few neat things you can do on the first turn, like rescue-dropping Judith in range of the Cavaliers or killing the three nearest enemies on Player Phase, that help a lot to speed things up. Trying to push through the center of the map is pretty difficult, and the Brigand keeps you honest so you can’t totally turtle, but I found the Cavalier reinforcements to be very late.I had my units practically in front of the gate when they began. They’d have more impact if the left one started two turns earlier and the right one a single turn earlier. Otherwise, it’s a nice touch how Melanie is pulled in two different directions - north to the armory, Swordreaver guy and baiting the enemy Pegs, and southeast to save the village more easily - so it’s not a no-brainer to use her for the village.

Also, it would have been cool if the huge army that’s shown in chapter 7 shows up if you take too long. I mean you are breaking through siege lines here.

Chapter 7: I remember liking the original chapter 7, which had you charging up north, fending off or outrunning increasingly dangerous waves of reinforcements as you went. This version has a similar pace if you go for Strickland, and on my run I would have lost a character or two if not for coinflip dodges. Obviously the reward for hurrying up is just an Energy Ring instead, well, beating the chapter before you’re overwhelmed, although the map is open enough that playing aggressively is probably the best solution anyway.

It’s relatively easy to go fast enough that the Turn 3 reinforcements spawn almost on top of you; this isn’t necessarily a problem since you do have to devote units to killing them, which makes responding to future waves harder. If these were ambush spawns I’d have a very different opinion. Since I was trying to get to Strickland I managed to clear out everything by Turn 7; on the one hand I’d say there could be more waves, but on the other hand I did need that free time to gather my units to kill Strickland, him being so fast and bulky. Fia and Rowan in particular did good damage without being doubled and were essential to the bosskill.

Strickland’s another boss who had crit on pretty much everybody. I guess it makes having high Luck actually notable, but it is worrying to stare down multiple 1-3% chances of having to reset at the end of the chapter…

Chapter 7x: Short and sweet. Playing around with some endgame-capable prepromotes is good fun. Surviving is fairly simple; reaching Pietro is pretty difficult, and killing him is really tough, probably because you’re not supposed to be able to do it lol

The S-Rank Lance whose name I forget doesn’t have animations at 2-range BTW.

Chapter 8: I like the atmosphere of this chapter, and the map itself is pretty, but it’s super easy. Everything has iffy hit, lowish attack and no AS; coupled with simple AI settings this is basically a training map ala Lagdou Ruins. You just move forward at an easy pace and bait in monsters for whoever needs experience. There’s no reason to visit the northeast portion of the map except more experience. IMO the monsters should be a lot tougher on the offence, and maybe attack in groups. The chapter end text mentions that the Nicaeans are in pursuit, so some reinforcements from the starting zone might make sense. Maybe the 7x generics can reprise their roles?

I know I’m always saying “this should be harder” with these chapters, but I did actually enjoy them! Just because it’s a hack doesn’t mean it has to be brutal, although that is where my tastes lean. It’s just chapter 8 that seems out of place difficulty-wise considering its position.

In regards to the plot: I liked it! The new direction for events works better than before and gives the characters more room to breathe. Recruitable Cassandra was a surprise but it makes sense.

And some thoughts on units I used regularly:

Judith was pretty OK. Not the best stats, but enough to hold her own, and Sagaris was a great tool for getting rid of those pesky Knights and Cavaliers. Niccolo was essential once again, whether healing, chipping or ORKOing the occasional slow enemy. It feels like his combat is a little worse compared to the last demo, but he’s still more than strong enough to be useful.

Clover was pretty consistently doubling, but generally fell short of an ORKO outside of a crit or when facing axemen. Not at all like Rowan, who took off around chapter 4 and became a beast of a man. I gave him a Dracoshield to let him fight on Enemy Phase more effectively and it was well worth it

Last time I used June and Rose so I benched them right away here to focus on these two. Martin rarely one-rounded enemies, but his ability to draw in a group of enemies and laugh as they failed to injure him more than made up for it. 13 Defence stops more enemies cold than you’d expect! Fia was the opposite sort, going from chipping, to one-rounding Knights, to one-rounding Mercenaries and Cavaliers as she went up in levels. A+ unit.

Kate was deployed for chests and as a decent filler unit. Didn’t bother giving her much XP since Clover was doing well, but a Thief with C Swords could do some work. Lily on the other hand got no speed at all and was eventually benched outside of a brief outing on chapter 7 to fire ballistae.

Angus was…ok I suppose. He can hit hard, which is nice for OHKOing mages when I have spare deployment slots, but overall I found him a little lacklustre. At least Judith has the Sagaris and good Defence to support herself. Melanie was a late joiner but very useful during her time, both for flying utility and general combat.

Well done on the demo, and I’m looking forward to the next one! If you all ever need some extra ASM work I can dust off my tools and see about making some things.

1 Like

Thoroughly enjoyed this hack. There were a few spelling and grammar errors (which I’ll put in Discord), and a few QoL hacks that I found myself sorely missing, but overall, it was very fun.


Solid lord. Good enough speed to double things, tanky enough to take a blow. Well, physical blows, at least. The slide back on her animation seems a bit fast.

Deleter of Things. He seemed to gain exp faster than my other units (probably has class coefficient of 2, while others have 3), and boy oh boy did he put work in. He did die to a combination of unlucky hits (3 ~30 shots) and poison (had 3 hp left and got hit for a 3) on 5x, but he got better.

FE8-Awful_Emblem_05 FE8-Awful_Emblem_06
The next best units after Rowan. In fact, June might be even better at his level. Gave Angus the speedwing, which he used to hit things hard twice.

FE8-Awful_Emblem_02 FE8-Awful_Emblem_13
Melanie…may have gotten some favoritism? Just a bit? Like, a dracoshield, angelic robe, and energy ring? Definitely worth it, though. Didn’t have Cassandra for very long, but she looks like she would be a very good unit.

FE8-Awful_Emblem_03 FE8-Awful_Emblem_07

The healbots. Beatrice got magic blessed, I think; she’d be a solid unit when she promotes. Niccolo chipped occasionally (and killed Poison Claw!Baels on ch 8), but otherwise didn’t do much. Good unit in a pinch, though.


Thief.png. Pretty bad speed growth for a thief, but she has a solid base. I normally like and train thieves, but as soon as I saw Cassandra, I felt Kate was going to be on lockpick/bench duty.

FE8-Awful_Emblem_09 FE8-Awful_Emblem_15

I tried. They weren’t awful units, and they were good for chipping, but they weren’t spectacular compared to June and Rowan, so I didn’t use them as much as I wanted to (I like shamans).

Did knighty things, like not take damage when people took offense to his face. He might look like a potato in a suit in armor, but he’s a tanky potato in a suit of armor. Benched as soon as I got Sigmund.


Another unit I tried to raise and failed. I really like archers. I like early-game longbows. I like buffed early-game longbows. But she got 1 speed and no strength in 4 levels, and I decided that would not do. Brought her out to use the ballista in ch6, and she barely damaged anything. Pretty sure she got screwed.

Didn’t really use the other units. Was intrigued at Selia being a mage tank instead of a physical tank, but I had Melanie, who was better in all ways. I used Martin for a while early on before June proved to be better. Clover got a couple of kills, but I’m not a fan of myrmidons.