[FE8] [Complete] Bandit Emblem

The duchy of Lansford is not in peaceful times. Its citizens are ravaged by bandit raids, the mighty Empire to the north marshals its armies for conquest, and a dark cult grows behind the scenes. Young Prince Adonis, son of the ruler Duke Athaulf, enters his first taste of adulthood as he sets out to return peace to his land.

You’re the bandits he kills in the Prologue.

Play through six chapters of unique level design, featuring inversions of common gimmicks, fourth-allegiance units, and loads of playable generics, as you discover what exactly happens after the player gets a Game Over.

Alternatively, send the patch to your friend and surprise them when Army of Verdane kicks in. That works too.

Design Notes

Bandit Emblem was intentionally made using the free-to-use Archetype Blitz portraits from Mugging Blitz 8. As they represent archetypes, I decided to lean into them to create an incredibly stereotypical Fire Emblem game (which you see from the other side).

One interesting note is that this hack was made at an incredibly fast pace: the whole thing took me just one week to put together, from start to finish. The minimal writing and free-to-use assets were probably a major part of that, but I’m still impressed at my own capability of pulling together everything, from map design to playtesting, in that little time.

Screenshots

BE Screenshot 1BE Screenshot 2
BE Screenshot 3BE Screenshot 4
BE Screenshot 5BE Screenshot 6

Credits
  • Armor animations: Team SALVAGED
  • Cavalier animations: Flasuban, Team SALVAGED
  • Fighter animations: Black Mage
  • Lord animations: DerTheVaporeon, Pikmin1211
  • Mercenary animations: Team SALVAGED, The Blind Archer
  • Paladin animations: Team SALVAGED
  • Armor map sprites: Team SALVAGED
  • Brigand map sprites: Flasuban
  • Cavalier map sprites: Team SALVAGED, Flasuban
  • Fighter map sprites: Alusq
  • Lord map sprites: Teraspark
  • Mercenary map sprites: Flasuban
  • Adonis portrait: Zaim
  • Alessia portrait: Flasuban
  • Athaulf portrait: Dave
  • Aveline portrait: Flasuban
  • Barbara portrait: LaurentLacroix
  • Caligo portrait: Auto
  • Davit portrait: Vlak
  • Eurwen portrait: Zaim
  • Jess portrait: Sme
  • Nekhris portrait: LaurentLacroix
  • Sheremi portrait: Feier
  • Taarg portrait: LaurentLacroix
  • Ulrich portrait: LaurentLacroix
  • Yanndahl portrait: Levin
  • Army of Verdane theme: Sme
  • Boss (Super Bomberman) theme: pandan
  • Clash of Two Virtues theme: Sme
  • Defense theme: MrGreen3339
  • Disquieting Steps theme: Hypergammaspaces
  • Enemy Attack theme: A_Reliable_Chair
  • Join Us! theme: Tristan_Hollow
  • March to Deliverance theme: Hypergammaspaces
  • Mount Crystal theme: A_Reliable_Chair
  • Roar of Dominion theme: MrGreen3339
  • Searching the Enemy theme: SurfingKyogre
  • Strike! theme: Sme
  • Updated Cave Tileset: Zoramine
  • Updated Village Tileset: Zoramine
  • Assorted FEBuilder Patches ASM: Agro, Alusq, Brendor, circleseverywhere, Hextator, Stan, Tequila, Zane, 7743
  • Fourth Allegiance ASM: Kirb

The download link for the hack is here. I hope you enjoy playing!

53 Likes

As of this writting I’ve only seen the first 4 chapters, but this hack is not just some simple gimmick, the cleverness and execution of this hack is something really special! You did great work Random.

5 Likes

please tell me you used my raid hack :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

2 Likes

As the bandits say,
RAAAAAARGH

3 Likes

Just finished it and I thought it was really good and unique. Very reminiscent of an FE8 hack that came out a few years back called Barry’s Bandits, another relatively short hack (8 chapters) where you play as bandits and control a lot of generics.

What I love about this hack is that it never got stale. Every chapter is a different fun challenge, and it knew exactly when to quit. The maps were clearly playtested and it never felt like I didn’t have enough options. Such a breath of fresh air in this current era of FE hacking.

Your hack doesn’t need to be 30 chapters long to be great. This hack accomplished what it set out to do and quit.

9 Likes

Will give it 10/10 if it has ma boi Varosh

1 Like

Torag and Varosh were in the much earlier draft of this basic concept (play as early-game FE bandits), but due to that game’s more normal-FE style of gameplay, it required more filler player units, which this doesn’t. Really, the only parts of that original game that survived into this released version (beyond the vague overall concept) were Zylvin, Galan, and the bandit lair map layout. If you want, you can pretend Torag and Varosh are somewhere in the first map’s generic group.

2 Likes

Would people be interested in playing a version of this hack from the normal player perspective? As in controlling Adonis, going along the normal storyline, the works. I don’t expect the gameplay or story to be incredibly special from that, but I’m curious if anyone would want that sort of intentionally generic experience.

6 Likes

Blitzed through the whole hack in something like 2 hours, I had quite a bit of a fun.
The whole ‘subversion’ to regular Fire Emblem gameplay was rather well executed, and managed to make the chapters continue to be enjoyable despite how different it is.
Each chapter felt distinct quite distinct, with its own gimmick, I particularly liked the appearance of the 4th faction in the tunnel which allowed for some ‘interesting maneuvers’.

1 Like

Wow thats some great hack
Except the talk option is absolute troll
Might be better if the boss requires less luck to kill (hell lots of restarts 4 me)

1 Like

One of the best hacks I have played so far.

SPOILERS Ahead :warning::

Gameplay

Gameplay-wise, this Fire emblem is truly a masterpiece to play, you have to be careful and have a proper strategy to win, I also enjoy how simple It is, but yet offer multiple possibilities thanks to generics. My only small gripe about this is the fact that you pretty much have to exploit the CPU to win because, with a perfect play from both sides, there is no way in hell that you can win.

Mission 1: Kill Adonis. For the first timers, this mission is probably hell. You begin to loot the villages to gain a red ruby, an armorslayer, and an elixir. Then, you need to stay out of range of his soldiers and wait for Adonis. Once Adonis is in range, you should burst him with all your units and you should get him If done right. The swordreaver helps a lot. Cool level.

Mission 2: Survive. This mission isn’t hard, you literally have to survive. There is a huge chokepoint at the top right of the map that you can exploit by putting all your units in and you should be able to consistently survive and even kill a few units.

The left side of the map is so easy to win, I don’t have anything special to say.

The hardest part isn’t surviving, It’s looting the 2 chests on the map. It’s certainly possible because you can open one chest with the thief and using a knight to bring him to the other side of the map. The timing is quite tight, though.

Another thing: One of the soldiers has a Zanbato, a very good weapon. You should definitely take it with you for the next mission because It will help you for the next missions. It’s definitely a noob trap because most beginners probably wouldn’t take this weapon.

Mission 3: Escape. In theory, you should have been able to escape with either Vathel or Taarg, but due to a bug, It seems that you can only escape with Vathel. There is another bug where It seems like dropping off Vathel to the exit point doesn’t trigger the escape, so you will have to wait another turn, quite annoying to be frank.

There is Galan (the axe armor guy) blocking the escape path. You should kill him with Caligo equipped with an armorslayer and just walk away. There is something that I love about this level ;).

You can loot the 3 chests, but you have to not waste time, If you want to be able to loot the last one

Mission 4: Kill Hypatia. They are the tents that we should protect, I admit that I didn’t protect them and there might be some secret or something happening If I do, for all I know. The same pattern as usual, gather all your units at the bottom, don’t attack the paladin and wait for Hypatia, and burst with as many units as you can. The Zanbato will help you a lot to kill Hypatia more consistently.

Mission 5: loot. First hilarious thing, enemies shouldn’t destroy villages, but they should close them when they get in range, It’s probably unimplemented because It’s too hard or due to a bug. The trick isn’t hard, get Vathel near the exit, extend all your other units pillaging far away villages, and when things get hot or you are done, simply leave with Vathel. With optimal play, you should be able to loot everything. I don’t think that Arena abuse is easy (or even possible), because there are A LOT of reinforcements coming in.

Fun mission and the loot is good!

Mission 6: The Final mission. First of all, here’s a fun thing: Sadeas, the strong wyvern king sitting at the gates of the castle will leave at the second turn. If you tried to rescue him before, then you will crash the game by pressing on the R button to see details. By pressing “drop”, you won’t drop shit, but at the very least Ulrich won’t have to carry his weight.

This mission isn’t too hard. Rescue Ulrich with either a Wyvern rider or a knight and you can go all out on them.

The most dangerous units are Eurwen and Sheremi, make sure that your heroes don’t die to them. I could kill Sheremi on the first turn with Caligo and rescue him to safety :slight_smile:

Besides this, just hammer the boss with the halberd held by Ulrich (rescue and heal him after each hit), when It hits, Zylvin is as good as dead.

I also really wished that the AI would try to seize the castle because It would force me to keep a few units near it.

Story

Story-wise, I don’t have much to say, It’s good but I wish that we could learn more about Aveline, we were left in the dark at the end and still don’t really know who she is. We don’t know that much who is Caligo either, arggggggh so frustrating. But I guess that we don’t know If there is going to be a part 2 to the story :open_mouth:

All the little details like having the enemy music during the player’s turn is nice.

This hack is good and I’m waiting for the “good guys” playthrough.

5 Likes

Underrated hack

2 Likes

@RandomWizard

Thank You for this short hack, really liked playin as the bad guys!

1 Like

I would enjoy seeing a version of the hack from the perspective of Adonis. It doesn’t have to be super long or anything, I think it would be fun to see the alternate timeline where Adonis didn’t die. I’m rather curious about what Duke Sadeus was planning, and what would happen

Ending Spoilers

Like what happened in Duke Athaulf’s past, what would happen between the cult and Aveline, and Caligo if they had the protection of Lansford, and what would happen if Jess and Sheremi actually reunited. I just think the characters are neat.

.

2 Likes

I just finished the rom hack, I had fun with it. I thought Taarg talking with Nekhris was bugged, but it just didn’t have the talk symbol between them.

2 Likes

You know what I think would be interesting? Take the existing game, and expand on the concept, with more chapters split across multiple parts. Like, 6 chapters where you control the imperial army with Ulrich as the main character, managing his men, or another 6 chapters where you control Nekhris as he works to resurrect the dark dragon. I feel like there’s the possibility to tell many self-contained stories that could all come together to make a complete narrative, like a Quentin Tarentino flick.

The core minute to minute gameplay of Bandit Emblem is what makes it one of my favorite FE hacks out there, and I’ve got plenty of ideas regarding where you can take that too.
Let’s say there’s a weak generic deep in enemy lines, wielding something valuable, like a brave weapon or white gem. If you manage to make the right move to get that generic out of danger, your reward is that inventory item they possess.

2 Likes

This hack was awesome. I really liked how it turned FE tropes on their head. Got tricked into talking with the myrmidon the first time around.

2 Likes

I gotta admit, I was really blown away by this hack. I knew it existed and thought “ha that’s clever” but didn’t expect to play it.

I expected something lower effort and something that made all the heroes over confident and unlikable but instead no, you really did try and push for trying to make a consistent world that does feel like it could have been a generic but not that boring of a story had uh, things not gone terribly wrong as of ch1.

You really did just take opposite scenarios that the heroes would be in for map objectives. Not to mention you really do need to approach maps differently due to the stat differences present. Throwing away brigand lives just to secure one more kill or buy one more turn is really unique.

And just the unneeded flavor is great too.

Getting people recruited to the opposite side via talks?

Continuity/leading us to feel there’s more to this world than what we’re just seeing?

And to top it all off there’s somehow a dark cult behind it all?

Much higher effort riffing on “standard” hackromming than we deserve.

Not to mention (spoilers ig?)

This is probably the first and only time someone saying “Fuck” in a hack will be hilarious, deserved and perfectly fitting.

4 Likes

Absolute gem of a hack. Both the concept and execution are brilliant, and the ending, while unexpected for me, it was rather logical conclusion. They were bandits, criminals, in the end, so of course, it makes sense that the karma ended up catching them.

1 Like

My only complaint is that the hack is so short, I’d love to continue playing as vathel, maybe eventually join up with the cult and help bring about the reign of their dark god, or opposing them and becoming the unlikely heroes of the realms after killing the real hero.

I realize part of the appeal is it’s short and sweet, but I’m actually curious about the story, and think continuing to be the villain would put a fun twist on it, For example if you went the “unlikely heroes” route and the legendary weapon rejects the party so they need to resort to devil axe spam to win

Either way, 10/10 love it.

1 Like