Favorite Hack Units

Thinking through some unit design stuff for something I am working on.

Curious to hear community thoughts - who are your favorite hack units and why? What makes you like a unit?

Started jotting this down to see if I noticed any trends for my own biases (definitely noticed a pattern), but also to gauge what I liked about each unit. This list is unordered.

Top ~20 that come to mind for me personally, curious to hear your favorites too
  • Garath - Dream of Five
  • Seren - Dream of Five
  • Rakel - Souls of the Forest
  • Aenny - Souls of the Forest
  • Feeler - Sword of Heaven & Earth
  • Tsagaan - Sword of Heaven & Earth
  • Kevin - The Last Promise
  • Malcolm - Bloodlines
  • Wolt - JP Hack
  • Condor - Sun God’s Wrath
  • Boleslav - Order of the Crimson Arm
  • Franck - Order of the Crimson Arm
  • Kristie - The Heroes We Deserve
  • Lily - Staff of Ages
  • Darius - Staff of Ages
  • Ava - Road to Ruin
  • O’Riley - Road to Ruin
  • Keiran - Requiem
  • Don - Journeys
  • Brian - TNH
I tend to think of units in terms of (in no order).
  1. aesthetic (portait & palette)
  2. overall performance (how well do they work in their role? Are they too good/bad?)
  3. character writing
  4. concept/uniqueness/memorability/fun (does this character execute an archetype well or subvert it in a cool way?, do they have a niche that is fun to use in-game, etc.)
  5. How I felt about the unit at a particular point in time / personal experience (Did I have a great run with this unit? Were they an influence in how I designed? etc)

Thanks all, keen to hear opinions on this.

11 Likes

Definitely agree on Kevin, bulky knight with Treck’s face is hilarious.
Also gotta cite Cia - she’s like Lilina, but with an actual Speed stat.

As for other hacks, Japanese hacks tend to be great at making every unit feel unique, even when they’re severely underwritten. Arden from Midori stands out with his comically high MOV growth. Even as a General it’s not uncommon to see him outpacing almost your entire army, and he might even cap his MOV if you make him a Great Knight.

Credit to a vast number of characters from Queen’s Sword too, but I’ll give a shoutout to Max, a Journeyman you get in Chapter 5 who comes with a Hatchet with 50 crit attached to it. His HP is terrible, but he has Defense and Resistance growths of 70% each, so if you can get him levels (and spare a Master Seal for him since for some reason he won’t auto promote at lvl 10) he is practically invulnerable until you reach the late-late game.

As for what makes a unit good… combat viability’s a pretty big one, but I like when a unit feels distinct. I’ll love even the most gimmicky unit if they’re not completely useless.

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you forgot brian tnh

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Midori. Arden.

crap i knew i forgot someone important

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Interesting and fun thread :+1:, from the top of my head and from the hacks that I’ve played, I’d say these are my favorite units:

Possible spoilers for a lot of hacks

Kelik, Liquid and Leopold - The Last Promise
Sakura and Lars - Sun God’s Wrath
Luigi, Ganymede and Trevor - Justice & Pride
Ambrose - Justice & Pride Gaiden
Cajon and Anwen - Vision Quest
Roeil, Meshelan and Russell - Souls of the Forest
Aaron - Road to Ruin
Regis and Cielo - The Four Kings
Jackson and Eluon - Queen’s Sword
Wayland - Order of the Crimson Arm
Khan and Darius - Dark Lord and the Maiden of Light
Bethany - 2 Princesses
Enya - Journeys

2 Likes

I guess I can throw in my two cents.
I tend to find units with interesting stat spreads and builds to be memorable, skills, unique weapons, etc.
I also tend to favourite characters that aren’t terrible gameplay wise (gee, what a surprise).
Characters with actual roles in the story helps, and a unique and/or compelling backstory and interesting personality is definitely a game changer.

After reviewing my list, I can see that I have an obvious bias towards archers and armours, given how dogged they were in FE.

Titus, Helga and Vagelis - Vision Quest
Titus is a lord with actual ambition beyond saving the world, which is nice, but more importantly he is a mage armour.
Helga is a beefy flier whose personality contrasts nicely with her lord, Titus.
Vagelis is a beefy archer (sorry, bow fighter), that’s all I need to say.

Don and Ron - Journeys
Father and son cav duo with more role in the story than the lords. They should have been the lords.

Shawn and Bradley - 4 Kings
Two cavaliers with pretty polarised stat spreads, and fun niche in magic swords and longbow+ effectively.

Condor and Lex- Sun God’s Wrath
The former is a bow armour with +2 move indoors, the second is a galeforce double lion archer. What more can I say?

Rakel - Souls of the forest
I like the design of a high utility jeigan that never gets stronger offensive wise but holds up very well.

Dante and Ivy - Dreams of Twilight
Two cavaliers again, one is a down to earth regular guy with good stats, the second one is… eccentric. The contrast helps them stand out.

Serini and Zoey - Aletheia
Serini’s magic sword pegasus niche is fun. Not nearly as broken as magic fliers tend to be, but with similar benefits.
A jeigan that’s younger than the party is quite unique, and mercy bow range sniper was a fun build.

Ava - Road ro Ruin
One can debate if a jeigan really needs a promo, but seeing it was exciting for sure. Ties into her role into the story as well.

Jerome- Void’s Blitzarre Adventure
Just the worst. But he has galeforce!

Linda (award for worst archer I’ve ever seen) and Josie- Requiem
Linda is complete trash. I haven’t seen a unit this bad in a long time, damage comparable to GBA archers against bulkier enemies, can barely 2 round pegasi, awful stats everywhere, its kind of incredible.
On the other hand, Josie is a prepromoted flier with what looks like end game ready stats for the entirety of Lyn mode, with mega growths.

Every unit in Storge
Proof that unique classes make my monkey brain go brrr.

Bijou and Rickard - Frozen Throes
Two armours with armour march? I’m sold.

Jane - Legacy of Sorrow
A four move armour with decent speed, defence and res. Works out surprising well.

2 Likes

I’ve only played a few chapters of The Last Promise, so my list is

  1. Corben

Vision Quest:
Vagelis, Storch, Titus, Helga

TLP:
Kelik

The Eligor’s Spear:
Skylar, Camian

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Let me introduce these beast to you:
o12 o3 o1
Bn LA KAR
AR
AA BB BX SAM

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Khan from DLATMOL and Haas from TLP are some of my favorites. They both just have fantastic bases and get access to really good bows. So even though their games aren’t very kind to bow users, they’re still pretty useful. And for Haas in particular, he’s got a horse, and that huge base luck.

When it comes to picking my favourite units from a hack/fangame, it boils down to how useful they are in battle, and how they are written for me. When they have interesting concepts and good art, that adds to the unit, and makes me like them more. I like seeing units develop further in the hacks/fangames that i play.

Here are some of my favourite characters from some of the hacks/fangames I have played:

Vision Quest: Lera, Gunnar, Onisim, Nazar, Kir, Surya, Bulan, Kusuma, Bosco, Cygnus, Vagelis, Anisa, Sigrid, Waluyo
These were all solid units for me on my VQ playthroughs. Lera and Gunnar are my two favourite units out of the set. Lera because of her great stats and usefulness from Chapter 1 onward, Gunnar because he is not only a balanced fighter, but he has excellent RES as well. Kir also gets special mention since he is the best General unit in the game. He was written well too.

TNH: Audrey, Isaac, Olson, Wolf, Berkus, Rem, Joel, Ferris
Audrey is literally made of glass, but she hits like a truck and crits a lot. I always use her when play TNH. Isaac is probably the strongest Lord in any ROMhack I have played, lol. The rest of the named units are formidable, get good level ups, and are great in battle.

Hiraeth Legacies: Endymion, Halcyon, Aelia, Neptune, Romulus
These characters from Hiraeth were great. Endymion is probably my favourite character.

Sacred Echoes: Clair, Alm, Lukas, Valbar, Kliff, Faye, Silque, Gray, Mathilda
These favourites kinda reflect my Gaiden favourite characters. Silque & Mathilda are the MVPs though. Excellent units.

Staff of Ages: Axel, Darius, Belle, Owen, Sawyer, Stark, Harold, Lily, Nero
It is impossible for Axel or Darius to be bad units. Every time I use them, they get good level ups. It also helps that the aesthetic of this game is executed really well, all of these characters have great portraits and palettes. Them being good in battle too is another plus.

FE7x: Madelyn, Cybil, Hassar, Uther, Harken, Isadora, Roeis, Eliza, Zephyr, Toni, Fargus, Bennet, Eiry, Magnus
Every unit in this game is useful to an extent, it was hard to pick some favourites. They are written well, designed well, and fight well.

Fractured Realms: Sugari, Ulir, Palla, Cander, Clark, Clara, Flecca, Crioxe, Adriano, Kiante
These were some of my best units in Fractured Realms. Got good level ups, mostly balanced stats, Palla and Cander were known to crit a lot, same for Adriano. The rest of the units are useful in battle. Also the palettes and portraits in this game are amazing.

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you lads be forgettin honeydew and RTR captain

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If I had to name a few it would be Vision quest Vagelis, Helga and Sigrid, not only are they fun to use as units but I also really like them as characters. There’s also Staff of Ages Darius who i thought was kinda bad until i tried him out and damn is he fun to use, you give that guy an early promotion and he’s basically taking no damage from all enemies on the game.

Also a special mention to the Jagen in Hiraeth Legacies Charon who might not exactly be my favourite character-wise but I just think it’s so funny how he can almost one-shot literally every single enemy on the game with a fire tome (I counted the ones that didnt get oneshot/one rounded and found 3 enemies)
charon chad
They should change his name to Chadron (also this one is perfectly average)

Based Corben.
I think my favorite unit in Fire emblem hacks are the villagers in sacred echoes.

(Be wary of spoilers)

Vision Quest
  • Titus - Mage Armor is a cool concept, and he’s an incredibly interesting character with a unique personality for an FE lord.
  • Esfir - The first time I was genuinely interested in a rom hack character since Merovech. Pass Thief Jagen is very epic and having a unit that I could rely on for the entire game was very much appreciated.
  • Lera - I hate this unit so much because she’s so bad but she’s so likable I could never bring myself to bench her and she ended up killing the final boss so here she is.
  • Vagelis - I like his personality and a strength focused archer that promotes into a Warrior is a really fun idea.
  • Gunnar - Brooding old mercenary built like a Dread Fighter, how could I not love this guy?
  • Cassius - :chicken:
  • Lajos - I love Lajos gameplay wise for the same reason I love Archanea’s Jeorge, pre promoted snipers that you get relatively early are cool.
  • Helga - Bulky wyverns are the way to my heart. Also she’s a really fun character with a good dynamic with Titus.
  • Kir - He’s like Dalsin.
Road to Ruin
  • Vance - I know he gets a lot of crap but I’ve always had a soft spot for Vance’s character arc and his family struggles, especially as someone who struggles with a lot of things Vance struggles with.
  • Ava - Swordmaster Jagen with a no-crit sword is cool. Also, her metaphorical promotion to main character and literal promotion near the late game was a really cool twist and made her a lot of fun to use.
  • Torie - Having only one flier is not a decision I would’ve gone with but it turned Torie from a good unit to the best in the game.
  • Melusine - Melusine kicked ass when I played and for some odd reason I like how she doesn’t get staves when she promotes to sage which I know drives you crazy.
  • Lanora - Staff locked unit that promotes to Druid is epic.
  • Aaron - Speed/Def focus? Check. A nice character arc scattered across the game? Check. Cool mug? Check. Obtuse second promotion? Check.
  • Merovech - Merovech is one of the best written characters in any Fire Emblem hack that is on par with some of vanilla FE’s best villains and I will die on this hill.
Souls of the Forest
  • Rakel - I really like how her combat falls off but she remains an extremely useful utility unit throughout.
  • Brynnel - I’m a sucker for early-ish pre promotes.
  • Troy - Funny devil axe luck man
  • Lumn - Having a unit I can rely on for practically any scenario in a game as hard as SotF is really nice. Also he’s a funny atheist man so stop trying to nerf him Scraiza it’s never gonna work.
  • Beryl - A man of many talents: Bows, staves, mount utility. A fun lord.
The Last Promise
  • Kelik - Kelik
  • Siegfried - I think the intention with Siegfried was for him to act as a Jagen who could keep up due to high growths until his he inevitably got borked. But what ended up happening was Sigurd 2 Electric Boogaloo and I’m all for that.
  • Anakin - Dancers are fun, early game dancers are funner, early game dancers that refresh by giving super compressed motivational speeches are even funnerer.
  • Kevin - It’s Kevin
  • Gary - Something about how Gary is such a “Who?” and yet acts as your super jacked Gotoh is so funny to me.
  • Lyam - Unique class and bugged EXP gain makes my goopy goblin brain go awooga
  • Levion - I really like it when FE games just throw you a bone and give you a really good paladin in the lategame.
  • Asch - See Brynnel and Lajos
Justice and Pride
  • Luigi - not only is he a somewhat early pre promote, which alone would make him one of my favorites. But he has A rank staves, a very high magic stat, and POWERSTAFF. This unit was basically made for me and its no wonder he has a literal cult following.
  • Donovan - The Strongest Man in Irona. He can curb stomp the first 10 or so chapters, then just as he’s about to slow down, you can give him Bow Range +1 in chapter 15 and an A rank Aderyn support and he just won’t stop.
  • Nestor - Nestor the Bestor. Really, any of J&P’s magic fliers could go here, but Nestor was the only one I used during my first playthrough.
Four Kings
  • Shelby - Tanky shaman who promotes to Summoner, AND his prf is a TLP reference? Yes please.
  • Sally - hehe funny small mage girl with big magic go brrrrr
  • Cindy - Bow Armor
  • Shaun/Bradley - Probably my favorite take on the Cain/Abel archetype in an FE hack, having polar opposite stat spreads that complement each other well as opposed to the red one having +5 skill growth and the green one having +5 luck.
  • Walter - As insufferable as he is as a character, I can’t deny how nice it is to have a unit who can handle basically any situation with his high defense, attack, and acceptable speed.
  • Regis - I just think sages are neat
Bloodlines
  • Dewey - Doggy :slight_smile:
  • Malcom - Flier with bows is neat, plus, he’s a really likable guy.
Misc.
  • Condor (Sun God’s Wrath) - Funny bow armor with +2 move indoors
  • Garath (Dream of 5) - Bow Warrior Jagen Bow Warrior Jagen
  • Sawyer (Staff of Ages) - A fun character, kinda bummed that his route is more or less being cut, but oh well.
  • Blair (Dark Lord and the Maiden of Light) - I just like his portrait tbh
  • Boleslav (Order of the Crimson Arm) - Fat archer fat archer
  • Helios (Midnight Sun) - It was fun how ridiculously strong he is, and the plot twist with him at the end of the last release of Midnight Sun genuinely shocked me when I was younger and left me wanting more. Though, sadly, we all know how that ended. At least Path of the Midnight Sun exists.

I’m probably missing some but oh well

5 Likes

God your mention of Melusine reminded me how angry I got when I promoted her on my first playthrough and she didn’t get staves. I saw a monk and thought “oh good, you’ll become a bishop so I can use you as my main staffer instead of one of those clerics.” Only for her to not gain staves and for me to get really annoyed. This forever made me hate her. I also didn’t use Samuel on my first playthrough, so it was extra rough.

That reminds me of Black Fang where you get like 4 different unpromoted magic units except none of them get staves for some reason

Ava from Road to Ruin is awesome. I like Anakin for a similar reason listed above, him being a dancer who encourages is funny. I like Kelik unironically, his interactions with Siegfried in the midgame are actually pretty engaging and well written. Cajon from VQ I like because he was hands down the highest performing unit for me. I like Dewi and Sri as well.

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