[FE8][15 Chapters] Fire Emblem: Attempt 3

(I promise that this is a placeholder name)

What is this?
This is part 1 of a FE8 romhack I have been working on since December. Part 1 features 11 chapters with 4 side chapters and 39 new characters in a completely original story set on the continent of Rechul following the coup of the royal family of the Kingdom of Balyra. It is titled Attempt 3 as it is my 3rd attempt at a romhack that is to my liking.

At this point I need playtest feedback on part 1 of the hack and with that motivation to dive into part 2.

Download

Features:

  • SkillsSystem (though the number of skills in this hack is relatively low)
  • Str/Mag Split
  • Splitting your army into smaller units for spilt chapters
  • Daggers, shields and ring items
  • Trainee units and unit flexibility
    • Growth Rates are Unit Growths (lowish) + Class Growths (high). This enables most units to function in a diverse set of rolls.
  • Maps with dynamic objectives
  • A plethora of new classes and items
  • QoL stuff
  • Secrets
  • Lots of balance changes
  • A more punishing magic triangle ±20 to hit and ±2 dmg
    • Anima triangle (Wind>Thunder>Fire>Wind) with water as neutral
    • Light is effective against monsters
  • Map palette changes
  • Third faction green units (sometimes)
  • A lot of other features!

Difficulty:
This hack is significantly more difficult gameplay than FE8 (which is not that hard to do, but worth pointing out).

  • The hack is meant to be played on normal mode
  • Easy mostly normal are the same, but on easy mode causal mode is engaged and you get access to two jaigen units who will help you out from chapter 2 onwards.
  • Hard mode is still in development and only Ch.0 and Ch. 1 have a hard mode.
  • I think this hack is ironmanable, but like what do I know, I don’t ironman things.

Other Stuff:

  • Weather events mostly doesn’t affect infantry units, but do affect mounted and flying units more severely.
  • Support range is increased to 2.

Skills:

  • Each character has a personal skill
  • Trainees all gain a skill at level 10 and the skill is unique to the specific trainee character, so you can think of it as a second personal skill
  • Most T1 foot-locked classes have a movement skill (shove, smite, pivot, etc…) learned at level 1
  • At level 10 and level 20 T1 classes learn an additional skill, with the level 20 skill being like a mastery skill
  • T2 classes learn skills at level 5 and level 15
  • This does mean that some units may have to unlearn skills at higher levels
  • Bosses/named NPCs will also have personal skills.
  • Some weapons and/or items may grant skills when equipped.

Story:
Part 1 tells the story of a group of young villagers, brigands, mercenaires and other miscreants recruited by a squire to fight to restore the royal family to power, as they make their way to a resistance stronghold.

The first chapter of part 2 is also included which tells the story of the fall of the royal family and features the prince of the royal family as the main character.



Future Plans:

  • Completing a public playtest of part 1
  • Support Conversations
  • Part 2 the fall of the royal family
  • Part 3 featuring a thief lord
  • An introduction to setting before ch. 0
  • A choice to start the hack on either ch. 0 or ch. 11 (part 2)
  • Probably 30 story chapters in total

Known Bugs:

  • Thieves can steal from party members. This is a bug from the “Allow the player to steal from NPCs (green units)” patch. I’m unsure how to fix it/if it needs to be fixed.

Download

14 Likes

I get a game over on turn 1 enemy phase of Ch. 1 after an enemy moved.

Summary



You have to prevent the enemy units from getting to the inn. If they end their turn on a tile adjacent to the inn you get a gameover.

It seems that happens even if you kill them when that occurs, which was not intended.

That tile was not adjacent to the inn. I think if the area you’re supposed to defend is that wide, it should be marked more clearly, because I assumed it’d function like preventing a house being raided (ie: prevent the enemy from reaching the entrance).

1 Like

Fair enough :slightly_smiling_face:, I’ll edit it so that it works as intended.

Looking cool so far

1 Like

Alright I’m playing through this, and I had to re-read the post to realize… The jagens are locked to easy mode?! That’s ridiculous. Given how weak all of the player units are so far, not having a jagen is a terrible decision. Please make them join on the other difficulties.

No.

This story is not about the jagens. Part 1 is about a scruffy group of villagers who start as inferior to their foes and grow over time. The jagens are locked on easy mode because the only differences between easy and normal mode are the presence of jagens and causal mode being on.

Part two will feature a jagen and be a more traditional fire emblem story about a prince and his retinue.

That said I’m still working out the differences between difficulties and how I want that to show, hence the play test. But for normal mode the jagens will not be present at this point in the story.

2 Likes

Then you’re prioritizing story at the expense of gameplay, which you really shouldn’t do. You can have jagens and not have them be important to the story, you know. Just anything more than a bunch of 4 move scrubs. At least give them 5 move or something! It’s painful to deal with 4 move, especially when all the enemies have 5 move (and generally better stats too).

1 Like

I personally find having inferior units fun to work with, and I like the gameplay and narrative to align, but I understand your criticism.

That said if you want access to the jagen units, they are available starting in ch2 on easy mode, which is mechanically identical to normal in every other way.

3 Likes

I’m going to agree here, I’m only a little ways in so far and every single unit having 4 mov is painfully limiting when enemies have better stats, more numbers, and more movement. I get the idea of keeping your units weaker but it feels really awful for every unit to barely be able to get anywhere. Would appreciate a higher movement stat on every player unit or even a few even if their other stats are kept the same, I think it wouldn’t really take away from having inferior units, since their stats are already so bad.

2 Likes

Went through a tiny bit of this. Will go through more later, but wanted to drop initial thoughts.

Misc

Please install MMB and the patch that automatically sets text/unit speed to fast.

In general, I really dislike the tutorials here. They feel forced and out of place in a game that is so above vanilla difficulty that it would easily destroy anyone who needs them (the difficulty is not a negative). I’d get rid of all of it as there’s no good reason to have them, even if in the grand scheme of things they’re relatively harmless. I don’t think much would be lost from removing them, either.

Ch0

Going to be mentioning this a lot, but the 4 mov is a problem here. The map just forces you to turtle with almost 0 mobility until everyone but the boss is dead, then bait. Not much to say about the map other than it exists. It doesn’t play badly or anything but it’s not exciting.

Ch1

Fine enough chapter, but the 4 movement again really makes it feel like there is one specific way of clearing it. In general, it slows the maps down and makes me more likely to turtle. I enjoy the soldier unit, though, it’s very nice to have someone halfway competent, even if his movement is bad like everyone else’s.

Generally the 4 movement just makes it very hard to actually engage with enemies like you want to, especially with forests being important as they are. If there’s a forest between you and the enemy, that unit’s out of commission for 2 turns, at least. I really get why these units have 4 mov, but I really really think the game would be better with your player units at 5 movement. Please at least consider it.

I suppose an alternative would just be removing a lot of terrain, but I think it’s used in an interesting way here, it just… takes half your movement to travel a single forest tile. Doing that and/or making enemies 4 mov as well here would probably be a good alternative, though I think this should be a last resort if 4 movement is just so fundamental of a game element that it cannot be changed at all, which I really don’t feel is the case here.

Not a fan of the back reinforcements here since htey’re not telegraphed. I was able to barely deal with them, but it feels very unfair to have this stuff show up in a difficult chapter so close to the player. If you’re struggling and aren’t prepared for something you had no idea would show up, then you’d die.

Ch2

I’m playing on normal, so I don’t have the jagens, so I can only assume this was designed around them, because it’s stupid hard. The map is putting pressure on you from all sides with no warning while you are going suuuuper slooowly because no unit can live more than 2 enemies, meaning you want to bait-and-switch one enemy at a time. The fact that enemies outrange you really lends to this, since it’s extremely difficult for your units to cover the positions they ideally should to be able to handle enemy phases, and so you have to settle with suboptimal positioning and slowing down.

The map ends up boxing you in pretty badly while forcing turtling play. The abundance of forests doesn’t do much to help the map feeling sluggish at all, either.

HUGE fan of the healing being 1-2 range, I’m glad you recognize the importance of that.

In chapter 1, I wasn’t really able to keep up offensively besides the soldier, I felt. Now that my units have grown a bit, definitely feel that fading away, though they’re still more fragile than wet tissue paper with no really reliable tank. The rally strength sword is a huge godsend, love that. The soldier guy takes hits well but he has very low mov and can only be in one place at a time, for me that was going to recruit the cleric and pupil, so he was pretty much useless for most of the map.

I noticed that the boss is displayed as moving when they… don’t move. I looked in the rom and this is “attack when adjacent” AI, but the boss just didn’t move at all. This is really bad on such a hard map, because the player is being given straight up false information.

Also not a fan of the reinforcements that appear behind her that pincer you with the guys behind, it feels really mean when they appear just as I am getting close to the boss.

I often felt I was relying on dodges, which was pretty cheap. Both here and in ch1. Though the solution is NOT to remove dodging, please don’t. The reason it feels vital is because the maps put pressure on you while you have none of the tools available to deal with that pressure, and it doesn’t help that the reinforcements aren’t telegraphed well at all.

Writing

I noticed that this plot is… pretty much a carbon copy of FE2/FE15’s plot. There’s nothing technically wrong with that, but I feel like it’s very boring for that reason. The premise is somewhat unique, with a party of trainee characters being your starting army. We only really have 1 or 2 stories like that in all of vanilla FE + hacks, so it should be a chance to do something new, I feel. Instead the story treads old ground and doesn’t end up feeling very original at all, even if it differs in small ways. The execution feels fine to me, though.

Not a huge fan of “fuck” being thrown around so much by every character, either, it makes the writing feel more juvenile and repetitive. Sticks out since vanilla + most hacks don’t really use that word this often, which is good, I suppose, but it’s very uncanny feeling.

Again, nothing technically wrong with it being there, I’d just tone it down a bit at the very least, personally.

Don’t really have much issue with the writing itself besides these two rather minor nitpicks. Sorry if I came off as harsh here, I don’t really think the writing or story itself is bad, just very obviously derivative of a vanilla game.

I might have been overly negative in my thoughts here but I think this game has good potential and a somewhat unique concept, just hindered by a couple frustrating choices. I felt like these maps were really well designed, honestly, but let down by the 4 movement and few other things. Feel free to ask any clarifying questions.

3 Likes

Hi @Relic thanks for playing what you have thus far and for the detailed feedback! I don’t think you have been too negative and feedback like this is super useful :slight_smile:. I will reply to individual notes below.

Misc

Thank you for saying the name of the UI patch! I had wanted to use it, but couldn’t find the name of it anywhere. :sweat_smile:

Movement speed should go up when you hold A, but I will look into a patch that increases the text speed.

To be honest the tutorial text was mostly for my friends who have never played FE before playtesting. I will definitely consider removing some of it in the future.

Ch0

Fair. Initially the boss of this chapter started moving on turn 3, but that felt unfair so I may have overcorrected and made them start moving too late, after all their goons are dead. I will be changing when the boss starts moving.

Ch1

I do find your argument for 5 movement compelling, and I definitely will consider it.
I am curious how you played through chapter 1.

I definitely struggle with telegraphing reinforcements, and I will definitely put more effort into telegraphing them in the future.

Ch2

This chapter wasn’t built around the jagens, though yeah its very hard. I will tone it down, especially with regard to the reinforcements from behind the boss. I mentioned above, but telegraphing reinforcements is something I need to work on, and I will.

The boss was originally intended to move, but she was changed, and that is a holdover from then. I will change that.

I’m glad you are making use of both the rally str and the 1-2 heal staff. I want to also say that only heal’s range has been increased to 1-2, mend is still 1 tile range.

Writing

I have never played fe2/fe15 :sweat_smile: so ironically any elements that are similar are coincidental or were picked up to cultural osmosis. I imagine that as you play through the story things diverge more, but I can’t say they will since I don’t know the plot of those games. (If anything I thought ch2 was too derivative of ch5 fe7, but I wanted to homage it sooo)

The bandits do like to say fuck, this is true. This is toned down as the plot progresses since, there are less bandits soon. I’ll give it a read over and see if there is too much swearing, but I think the only swearing by a playable character is when Silas steps over a bandit corpse.

Thanks for playing what you have thus far and for the feedback, I’m glad you like the maps.

I will consider definitely consider 5 movement and work on making reinforcements more telegraphed and adding UI changes to speed things up.

4 Likes

I updated the first few chapters with feedback from Relic. These are minor changes, most telegraphing reinforcements in those chapters and adding MMB and it should be compatible with the saves from the previous version.

3 Likes

Uh, with a lot of struggling. I’m not really sure how else to say it but I spent a long time in the beginning area turtling and taking out the enemies very slowly and then slowly inched my way over to the boss as the soldier took care of the upper house and village.

Wow, I’m surprised to hear that, it’s uncannily similar for never having played those games. I was convinced they were your main source of inspiration. I do recommend playing them, though, for this project, just because the concept is so similar and it might be useful to see how another game does it.

3 Likes

On the topic of FE15, I think playing that would be really good for seeing how it handles having a bunch of trainees early. In that game, you have Alm, Lukas, Grey, Tobin, Kliff, and Faye. While you do have four villagers, only Kliff and Faye are actually super weak. Grey and Tobin are pretty self sufficient at base. In general, trainees work best when you have a small number of them compared to self sufficient units. Alm, Lukas, Grey, and Tobin can handle the bulk of the work, while you only need to baby Kliff and Faye. When every single unit needs to be babied, it results in a lot of turtling.

2 Likes

Gotcha, I asked because I play Chapter 1 hyper aggressively with Silas and Luin, but that’s likely because I know about the upcoming events in the chapter, so I wanted to know how someone on their first playthrough handled it.

I think I’ll try fe15 at some point then.

I mean in this hack you have 4 villagers that need to be babied in chapter 0, but in chapter 1 you gain 2 much more competent units. The first level is hard due to juggling multiple trainees, but I find it gets much easier as they level and you gain access to more units.

I do also feel that the hunter is a very good unit, who can self heal and do high damage once he get’s a proper bow.

I’ll look into playing through fe15 at some point.

1 Like

I think you’re overestimating the f!myrm trainee’s combat potential, haha. She’s quite weak and frail, same as the rest of them, so you’re left with 5 units that need to be babied a lot and one very good unit. By chapter 2 their offense does hold up somewhat, but they still do need to be babied cause of the lack of any substantial bulk.

She may be in need of buffs then. :thinking: I actually had to tone her down because in previous test runs of mine she was the carry unit, but maybe I toned her down too much.