Does anyone have knowledge of the history of Fire Emblem hacking?

Weird question I know. Long story short I have a school project where we can talk about anything so I chose ROM hacks as the subject. I already have an idea of where I want to go with this but I need more info if possible.

Some things I want to know are:

How it all began. (The spark that lead to the community we have right now. The closest thing to the spark I have is The last promise but maybe there is something else that came before it.)

What was before FEbuilder or even Feditor

How FE ROM hacking evolved over time (Like I know fe7 was the base before fe8 because it was more understood at the time but was there something else that I would need to know?)

You get the idea. I essentially want some kind of timeline of events. Who knows? Could be fun to read through memory lane especially for those like me who are quite new here.


Head on over to the dev lounge and you’ll get your answer. We pretty much got historians down over there

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on discord I assume?


Well getting the link as source might be a bit of an issue…

if you want to learn about history, you look at the following posts.

There are two major community: the JP community and the EN community.
Until the advent of the FEBuilderGBA, the two community progressed separately.
Sometimes it was unfortunate due to cultural differences.
Recently, the CN comunity has been producing interesting work and I think there might be a big comunity there as well, but I don’t know much about it because not much information is disseminated.
//The JP community is not very active these days.

I don’t know much about the earliest comminities.
Probably the very first step in FE Hack is cheat codes.
That is, cheat codes that increase your possessions or make your units invincible.
From there, the code has been analysed and various data structures have been found.
Once you know the structure, you develop the technology to modify it to your liking.
This is the same as with technology.
Humans discovered fire and advanced civilisation by controlling it at will.
Once you understand the principles, you can apply them.


Thank you! That’s pretty much what I needed.

Hacking for non-translation GBAFE projects really started in earnest probably around 2005, 2006ish if I remember correctly? Translation projects for FE6 and older predate that though. By that point, there was enough of an audience to try fiddling around with the GBA ROMs, editing stats and graphics, etc. Events would come later once they were figured out, the tutorial events in FE7 were disabled, etc. Once those hurdles were surpassed, then you started getting projects that weren’t just following the vanilla game structure because they were forced to do so.

Raw hex editing followed by the Nightmare 1.0 and 2.0 modules, to my knowledge.

If @Celice is still around, maybe they’ll remember more things in detail than I do? They predate my involvement in the community. It’s been a very long time and my memory is definitely full of holes since I was not overly involved in actually doing things that weren’t just graphics until later.

I know for GBAFE there was research into how the portrait graphics were aligned that VincentASM did and they did one of the early tests of importing brand new portraits into the games, NomadicTrooperGirl and others were able to independently figure out editing CGs around the same time that Blazer did, Hextator was instrumental in figuring out the beginnings of custom battle animations (beyond editing over the existing data and being constrained to the existing animation frames and slots), but I don’t know much about the early efforts for the translation patches (or any of the other hacking endeavors aside from FE404) aside from some of the old memes that used to float around IRC during FE6’s original translation effort about having to recompile the .bin files and reinsert them back into the ROM for the opening intro text and the turn counts at the end of the game and stuff (because the TL team member that was doing them never wanted to actually put work into doing it, despite the daily nagging).