Denizens of FEU, why do you hack?

After playing FE7 and FE8, I wanted more. I heard about a hack (I think it was called Will of Elimine or something), but as I recall I couldn’t find a link to it. However, it got me thinking about hacks in general, and I decided to try to make my own. Of course, it would be a massive endeavor and require loads of features that didn’t exist, so I started out by making one (the text color/text background color changing hack) after several stops and starts. Then it turned out making assembly hacks was more fun then all the other aspects of hacking, and people wanted me to make things, so here I am today, and I still haven’t made a hack (although I’ve made a few single-chapter things for MAFC and Ragefest, yay me).


I love Fire Emblem.
I love level editors in games like Advance Wars, Mario Maker, and heck, even Super Mario 63.

So hacking puts the two together, plus I get to create my own story. It’s a really cool endeavor.

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I suppose for me it’s fairly simple: I just find it fun.

It’s a nice way to spend free time, I think, making a game/hack; It’s fun to do among friends too. Maybe not to have anything to show off all the time, but just because. It’s nice to just cool down after studying or working, for instance, and just fuck around with this stuff.


I’ve been playing Fire Emblem since a friend showed me FE8 back in highschool;

I’ve been a tabletop roleplaying DM/player for like 5 years now.

Hacking an FE game allows me to combine two of my favorite hobbies. After watching Mangs’ 50k sub special I was inspired to try it out. After some googling I stumbled upon both FEUniverse and FEBuilder.

The FEU community is great, when I first posted here (like a month ago) I was afraid of getting ousted for being a scrub hacker; turns out people were more than happy to help by providing constructive criticism and being helpful in general.

~2 months later I have 22/25 maps done, 16/16 playable character completed, a basic timeline with descriptive notes for each chapter, and a boat load of other miscellaneous things. We’re getting there!

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[quote=“shadowofchaos, post:1, topic:4382”]
Why do you hack? [/quote]

Because writing a game engine from scratch sounds like work. v:

Besides that, because there’s just this mystical charm I always had towards the gba as a console, I really felt-- and still kind of do-- that it was all you really needed for anything?

And I played a lot of FE, so I was very much interested in seeing what else like it existed, and if maybe I could make something good with the set up.

What do you enjoy about it? And any comments about the hobby?

For me, it’s just enjoyable to watch everybody go by and think. I like watching people propose and debate something, it’s quite fantastic to see what ludicrous ideas people can come up with or even implement.

I keep trying to think of ways to expand this, but I think everybody else has come up with words a million times better than I could really imagine.

I came to dream, and I have yet to find a nightmare.

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I like hacking because, well, it’s something I find very intriguing. Being able to modify a game to do things it was once not able to or visually changing something such as graphics is just interesting to me. Well, actually, I think there’s a lot more to it than that, and I’ll explain it.

The Tools

As time moved forward, more and more tools (such as Emblem Magic, FEBuilder, and Buildfiles to name a few) came along to make this small hobby much more accessible to those who were too intimidated at first, myself included.
[BETA] Emblem Magic

The Hacking Community

As much as I like making minor changes such as a map or event for a joke or two between friends, I like seeing others hack as well. I know that a few may not agree with some of these, but events such as FEE3, PMEs (Pick My Edits), MAFC, Chapter/Resource Blitzes, and Ragefest (the list goes on, trust me) are more or less a collage of talents from different people who happen to share the same hobby, be it a contest or collaboration effort. I’ve also met some great friends through this, so I have my personal thanks to throw in for that.
FEE3 2018: Can't stop, won't stop!
Void's Blitzarre Adventure: Blitz Tendency (Earlygame Polish Released)
Ragefest V: The Enragement Ring OFFICIAL THREAD

The Potential

I believe another thing I like about hacking is that Fire Emblem itself is a goldmine of (nearly) infinite possibilities and potential, and many people see that. The various mechanics introduced throughout the series’ history are something that a few brave souls dared to implement to the GBA titles, such as the skill system, Pairups (into FE8), and Quality of Life changes to name a few. That isn’t all, either. There’s also original mechanics that were implemented as well, such as leveling down, or even ice puzzles. I recommend looking into the list of things I listed in the second spoiler (The Hacking Community) to get an idea of what I mean.
[FE8] Skill System v1.0 - 151 skills done, more on the way

Although I did not say much about FE6 or 7 here, that doesn’t mean they don’t play a large part even today. There are people who do work in these games as well, two big examples being Maiden of Darkness (FE6) and Elibean Nights. There may be more support for one thing over the other, but that doesn’t stop some from doing what they love.
Elibean Nights - Final Version (Gamma Testing)
Fire Emblem: Maiden of Darkness. Check the OP for updates I do them everytime I achieve now

Custom Engines

There’s no way I could leave this out without feeling dissatisfied. Besides the normal ROM hacks, there’s quite a few engines that were made to simulate FE with varying results. FEXP, Lex Talionis, and FEXNA (2020? Let’s pray) are just some I can name off the top of my head. There was also a new one introduced here not too long ago as of writing this, which is pretty cool.
FEXP Download
FEXNA (Currently in Private Beta)


If you’ve been around the block a few times, you know what a randomizer is. It mixes up various aspects of a game to create a different experience. A lot of people find fun in this, as it gives them a reason to go back and play their favorite titles that have a program made to do this. Circleseverywhere managed to do this for FE8: a self-randomizing hack, which, as the name would imply, allows you to randomize FE8 without anything other than applying the patch itself, which means you don’t need a new rom for every playthrough.
[FE8] Self-Randomizing Rom v1.1

Revisiting Old Relics

This one may be even more rare (and for novelty in some people’s eyes), but let’s be real here: how would you feel if someone went outside of the normal routine of hacking FE6-8 and did something like… FE5, Or even FE1? It’s really impressive. They went out of their way to do something with probably minimal tools/documentation, and that is both respectable and admirable.
A short FE1 hack by Darrman (For MAFC 3)
A concept for FE7 in FE5, by Zane Avernathy (For FEE3)

Translations and Translators

I don’t know if anyone thought about this one, but I include translations with all of this as well. It’s a very important part of Fire Emblem’s history (that includes the Tear Ring Saga series), as it lets us see the content that would otherwise be lost behind the language barrier. Props go out to folks like Bookofholsety for being awesome. Yes, before some of you say it, there’s a few translations out there that are subpar, but we have to start somewhere. If anything, I consider those a base for future translators to further work on/use as an example of what NOT to do when proceeding, that being errors that can freeze the game (hi Thracia 776), or glitchy text.
An FE5 Menu Translation
Project Naga’s FE4 Translation

This also includes non-official material. we got a menu translation for FE Girls and FE Midori (the second of which spawned inspiration for REDFE by Mystic, be sure to check that out, it’s cool.)
Midori + Girls English patches and fixes
REDFE - Yes, Roy is in this game

Foreign Communities

You may asking what I count as “foreign” here, and that would be non-english speakers. Nothing to do with where you are in the world, but the language you speak, but I digress. We usually get some folks from other places, such as 7743, the creator of FEBuilder. If you look around long enough, you’ll see others as well, and it puts a smile to my face to see them communicate. We can learn from them, and they can learn from us.
NGMansion’s forums
FE Latino
Fire Emblem [Latino] 2.0 ~ You Can (Not) Ban (Last Update 20/07/2018)

Something to Put Out There

It doesn’t always have to be about quality:tm:, really, but just an end result that shows someone out there was, or still is, hopefully, passionate about hacking Fire Emblem. This could either be an expansion to an already existing tale, a crossover of sorts, demakes, or to present new ideas altogether. The motives of these individuals can vary (for fun vs for glory), but at the end of the day, it’s just a thing people do.
GFE1R [Generic FE1 Remake]
[FE8] Staff of Ages (V2.1 is here!)

I may have missed some things, but these are the reasons why I like hacking, some less so for why I personally hack, and more so what I like about the hobby as a whole.


This is almost exactly why I hack. I want to go into a career in genetics, and the more I think about it, the more I can relate ROM hacking to genetics and biology. It’s like a science. I can research how an ASM function works and why it works, and I can tell it in its own language to do my bidding. I find this incredible, and it’s so similar to genetic engineering.
This kind of process just makes me immensely happy. I love to figure out how abstract things work.


I sometimes feel the need to create a game instead of just playing a game. This urge tends to appear when I look at other FE hacks or play FE hacks. Though I have made maps already, I think it would be cool to have something for the community to play, as thanks for all the knowledge and help everyone provides (and hopefully add one more mod to the list of things to play).

As for what I enjoy about hacking, it feels really satisfying to see something that you’ve been working on…work, especially if you had to do some troubleshooting. All the time that you pour into that feels worth it, whether it’s as small as a chapter’s map, or a mechanic that’s present for the whole game.


ROM hacking is fun!!! Im starting out small, like writing about what it is I have dreamed! Each character is unique…but how??? It helps me to expand my imagination, even if naming characters is the toughest part.

It puts me in the perspective of the creator, instead of the player. This is why i LOVE ROM hacking!

[details=Backstory]I used to be avid reader when I was younger, but as I got older and moved away from books, I found myself spending time on my DS, then eventually mostly my laptop. While I did have a Gameboy when I was younger, I had one of those cartridges with like 100 or something games on it which pretty much shared one save for the entire thing, so saving in another game would overwrite any save data from another game, so when I played Pokemon and then try something else, I would lose my progress. For whatever reason, my parents’ computers had an emulator and some GBA games(Pokemon is one I remember the most), but for whatever reason, the emulator and games/saves were lost, so I pretty much forgot about the emulator until my father picked up Days of Ruin on the DS I gave him(a hand-me-down), then found an emulator on the computer to play as well(he was way better than I).
I played Minecraft on my laptop for a while first before “re-finding” emulators and GBA games.[/details]
When I was younger, reading about the different worlds contained within books fascinated me. Of course, being young and imaginative, I thought it would be cool to actually get to be in some sort of fictional world(or at least experience). Several years later, I stumble upon FE12, which is the first to have a customizable player unit that participates in the story as well(or at least the first game I played that featured something of the sort).
Thus, when I somehow stumbled upon Fire Emblem hacking, I knew this would be the right pastime for me. It took me a while(perhaps too long) to acquire a decent understanding and then a true comprehension of more than just the basics. In fact, I still have many unfinished hacks sitting around(with myself and @CM9 as the protagonists) in my folders that I started years ago but then stopped due to knowledge limitations then(tilechanges, tile configuration corruption, etc.).
However, before we knew about screen-sharing, I would have @CM9 video record himself testing whatever I had sent his way and receive feedback that way.

Other information

Then during one Christmas break, I decided it would be more fun if we worked together on some hack to kill time and have some fun with hacking and Fire Emblem(we even set some rules/guidelines to prevent clashing with one another and to differentiate our work[in a sense]). We encountered some obstacles along the way(battles failing to work properly, thus forcing me to redo the entire hack up to that point), had our fair of arguments over various aspects, and made some questionable decisions(we lacked maturity then, for one, since we were younger then). But in the end, even if the hack is mostly rejected and our reputations tarnished, we still had some fun with it- insulting one another, getting revenge(in a friendly way), being a bunch of immature, foolish teenagers, etc.; we learned some as well throughout the process, developing our hacking skills.

I still hack today because I enjoy the aspect of creating alternate universes where I can work/aspire to be something more than just an average person or to live out something that I would be unable to otherwise in the real world. I have tried getting other friends to hack with me, but we have made minimal progress in the span of a year, though I may try again sometime. Plus, creating something that others can enjoy and critique can leave a sense of satisfaction and something to be proud of.

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my love with Camus :slight_smile:


Why I hacked in the past:

  1. I wanted people to acknowledge me.
  2. I wanted to fulfill my childish dream of making my own game and play it on my GBASP.
  3. I wanted to give life to my characters and my story.

Why I hack now:

  1. I’m probably a masochist.
  2. I want people to quit acknowledging me.
  3. Hacking sucks, see point 1.

Jk I don’t even hack anymore, don’t mind me and forget this post xoxo


Haha, yeah you said it buddy.




I hack mainly because it’s a stress reliver and it’s an output for my creative imagination. I also like the community a lot so there’s that

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I started hacking because, not unlike probably a lot of people, I had a stupid concept in mind and wanted to make it a thing. About 2 years later; This concept has long been thrown where it always belonged (in the trash) yet somehow I’m still here doing stuff (sometimes).

Having been into various kinds of programming for a while; I kind of “naturally” got into doing some asm things. I was confused about some of the existing documentation on something (namely, the “Spell Association Table/Editor”), and wanted to know more; So I silently followed @circleseverywhere (:wave:) helping someone else (@Solum (:wave:)) learn debugging and did my own thing. This led into me making my first asm hack (the “Class-based Alternative Spell Animations” one, which is really just a generalization of the whole javelin thing; but details).

The more I started looking into how the game actually worked, the more I grew even more fascinated by all of that; I eventually ended up looking into things that weren’t properly documented anywhere and wrote (and shared) my own doc; And suddenly I was being helpful to other people.

And that being helpful to other people part is probably one of the big reasons why I’m still hacking FE8/GBAFE specifically. Seeing your stuff being used and referenced by fellow hackers; and being able to answer asked questions about the game’s internals feels good (I love you all).

But even without the community thing; figuring out how something works internally to the point where you feel you can mix it up however you want feels very rewarding even if I don’t end up doing anything with what I learned. This is why I also ended up delving into other games at some occasions (the biggest one probably being Harvest Moon (M)FOMT which I actually never played seriously; aka vtables and dynamic memory allocation hell (hell can also be kind of fascinating)).

I also find interest in looking at “the way we hack”; aka the “methods” if that makes sense. The whole history of hackers starting with hex editors into nightmare + FEditor + other tools into either EA Buildfiles or FEBuilder is fascinating to me. And I want to participate in that; invent better ways of doing some of the things we do. This is what led me writing lyn and putting the whole make+EA thing together (in the form of CHAX) for example.

So tl;dr: I like understanding how shit works, and I like the feeling of being helpful.


Conquering hell is the most rewarding feeling, and is one of the things that keeps me interested in things even when they seem too complicated to work with.


More Power to the mod hacker :slight_smile: hope to have more FE mod hack…

Love FE as a story telling mechanism and also for gameplay. The game by nature is ripe for customization, and it’s always been enjoyable to think of all the possibilities.

For myself, I like to think I have unusal taste in FE and stories and am motivated to make things that wouldn’t be made commercially. Figuring out how the game works and how to build stuff is also a rewarding feeling, especially if other people enjoy it.

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Wew, >18 days notification
I really hate the university :c i don’t have time for nothing.


I ever wanted to create my own videogame, and my favorite genre is tactic, FE is one of my favorite games and have a good engine for creating games, when I discovered the FE Hacking Community, I wanted to do my own Fire Emblem.


I do it mostly because it lets me put my sprites in something usable, rather than just being stagnant sprites. Gives me a giddy feeling whenever I see someone using something I’ve worked on, personally.