[FE8][Complete] Bells of Byelen (24 Chapters)

Mission accomplished then, like I said before I wouldn’t want it to be unclear. Not that I think people wouldn’t have asked anyways but you can never be too careful.


Congratulations on the sweet fruit of your teamwork.
After patching F.E.8 (U) using UniPatcher it gives me a final checksum error; yet the game runs fine on My Boy! (emulator for Android). I hope it also works on real hardware, via flashcart: have you tried it on GBA or DS Phat/Lite?

I haven’t tried it on real hardware since I usually only play hacks on my PC. Glad to hear it is working well on Android, though.


When trying to patch I’m getting “Error: File have the wrong checksum after it was patched” Not sure what to do about that, never ran into the issue before and I’ve played a good amount of projects on here.

The fact that the checksum turns out to be altered could give problems on real hardware; which would be a shame, since all the other available full F.E. Hacks work there without problems. I will check as soon as I can. :wink:

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This… ROM hack came out of the blues. Did not see this one coming at all. From the looks of it, mostly based on Thracia 776. Probably need to practice doing it and understanding the mechanics.

Quite a surprise release ! I really liked Call of the Armor so I will be sure to give it a try :smile:


can make a proper post!

So first off, I’m proud of what the team put together. It’s unlike anything else I’ve played and I think the degree of polish is remarkable given its relatively short time in development.

Going to share a bit of my thoughts on the project as a whole for those curious a bit more in how it was built and some of my feelings on the gameplay, especially since a lot of it uses mechanics not often seen in GBA romhacks.

When we did Call of the Armor last year, the big question was “Can we make a strong group project quickly using this new telephone method?” We had strict rules about adhering to everything vanilla FE8 offered since we wanted to ensure everyone had comfort with the base design.

We learned a lot from those 4 months and were able to ask a more ambitious question for our next project: “Can we use the same method to build around a more complex base?” Thracia quickly emerged as the most novel inspiration and we got to work.

Gotta say, the project made me a buildfile convert. While it was tough to learn at first and slowed many of us down, it was ultimately way better for collaboration on the back-end and made getting art assets, music, and most importantly, fixes, through a lot faster. My first chapter was not great, but by the time my turn came around again, I felt much more comfortable navigating and building this way.

The other important change from CotA is that we ditched the “script is sacrosanct” rule. CotA has some narrative fallacies that resulted from this, and between those issues and the flexibility of buildfiles, it made it a lot easier to edit. I’d say ultimately we used telephone to build our draft and then rigorously reworked it to make it all “fit” into a more consistent experience.

This took more time and made it a little less true to telephone, but the core of what makes telephone works was still present: The chapter creator got to own their portion of the game and build onto the story. While things were often reworked or retrofit, very few things that got built got outright removed or rejected.

I firmly believe the success of this kind of “Community” project hinges on everyone involved feeling a sense of ownership and being able to contribute to the narrative and overall fabric of the game (a map, plot development, new characters, etc.) without having to build to accomplish something specific or because the lead said it needed to be done a certain way. The main “issues” one might have with the hack are those inherent to the format that enabled its success. A hack built as a telephone project is tough to make feel as smooth or consistent narratively and in gameplay as one built by a single person, but we were able to move much faster. For us and this project, that tradeoff was worth it.

In short, I think the changes we made to how we built the hack made for a better product at the cost of 4x development time. It was a worthwhile tradeoff, but did create a lot of extra work for Loog. However, a lot of that work was also because of the gameplay mechanics, which I’ll talk about next.

The game uses Thracia as a base, so it has many of the trappings of FE5 - fatigue, PCC, capture, dismount, janky classes and weapons, and others Loog laid out in the top post. While w/ CotA, we were firm in “sticking to FE8”, with this, we adjusted over time and made tweaks to the mechanics to make them work better than they did in FE5. For example, tome WT was changed to mirror weapon WT. Additionally, the EXP formula was changed to facilitate unit rotation from fatigue, making it easy for underleveled units to catch up. Weapon stats and class numbers were adjusted in places where it made sense. We felt more comfortable making tweaks if it made for a better game, rather than slapping band-aids in post to fix things like FE8’s horrible bow hitrates or the WT of steel weapons by adding in other items to replace them.

A lot of time was spent building new systems and hacks. Loog and Pikmin really went wild making all of this stuff and make it fit better with the game. Big thank you to them for dedicating so much time to this part of the game, especially given the number of bumps in the road to smooth it all out.

Designing around the mechanics was a good challenge. I think many of us struggled to get into the groove of designing around something more removed from vanilla mechanically. I know I did. While some things I’d say many of us grew to dislike, there were other things that ended up working out really well. Fatigue worked better for the hack balance than I think any of us would’ve bargained for. The EXP formula helps a lot for this. I found it easy to swap units around constantly without any of them falling too behind unless they got benched for like 10+ chapters. Overall, it plays unlike anything else out there, and while the Thracia vibes exist, calling it a “love letter to FE5” would also feel disingenuous.

In short, for those interested in telephone projects, some recommendations:

  • Use a buildfile. It’s so much easier for collaboration than builder. We all still used builder of course, but not for making chapters.
  • Use spreadsheets for organizing all essential information. This was great upfront for discussing ideas and alignment, but also as a project tracker throughout development. I don’t think we can get this done without a good spreadsheet that captured all the essential info, from stuff like characters and classes to plot hooks and global flags.
  • Decide upfront on all “structures”: classes, base set item numbers, gameplay mechanics, etc. We allowed creators to add items throughout, but the base set was reworked before we started. Knowing we were working w/ Thracia gave us a clear vision to work from.
  • Don’t be afraid to rework stuff and pass off parts to others. Towards the end it wasn’t uncommon for one person to write and another person to do gameplay or for someone to come in after a draft was made and rework it. It’s really hard to be a 5-tool romhacker (tech, gameplay, art, writing, music), so use the strengths of the group.
  • Change what doesn’t work. We adjusted a lot from Thracia’s implementation of mechanics and weren’t afraid to make tweaks that moved us further from that base. Playtest, have discussion, and make adjustments.
  • Strong leadership is essential. Loog was highly visible and involved in every single chapter. His commitment made it much easier for everyone else to stay motivated and keep working through it, even during some of the harder periods of development. If you want to lead a project, you will need to be the person to “figure it out”. Additionally, if you are leading, you need to be a dictator and a stickler for the rules. Be clear in what those are and follow them. Nothing will ruin project progress like poor leadership and petty squabbles over whether something is a meme or not, endless extensions on chapter creation, or what the class tree should look like. Be firm and decisive to keep momentum, but also know when to relent. Sometimes your judgment is good, other times you need to listen to those around you. Being a leader is being a good judge and decision maker.

Good luck with your own projects and I hope you enjoy BoB. My contributions were relatively small, but I’m proud of the work the team did here.


Hello all, I updated the patch with a few more minor fixes and a larger one in fixing the checksum problem that’s come up. It seems like it may be an issue on my end, as other members of the team have said that the automatic patcher works fine for them if they build it themselves. For now, I just manually made the patch with FEBuilder which seems to have addressed the issue. @viz @Nikokaro It should be good to go for you and anyone else who’s not using NUPS or the like to patch the hack.

Edit: Patched a quick fix to resolve a Chapter 12 enemy placement error. If you’re on an older patch, I would update to the new one when you approach this chapter or earlier.


I’ve been away for a while, but it’s awesome to see BoB finally release! Looks even more polished then when I last saw it as well. I had to step away from the project in the last 3rd or so of its development (for some irl reasons mostly), but I’m proud of the team and Loog for getting this complete! I hope people enjoy it (and my own chapter too of course :wink:).


another telephone project done, buildfiles, cool stuff-



Telephone game

1st guy to 2nd: i love icecream!!!
15th guy to 16th: give me all ur money or ill kill ur entire family!!

yes we played this at school LMAO! :joy:


Your classmate may be hard of hearing


The sound room hack looks amazing :pray:


Some bugs that cropped up in Chapter 6 came to my attention, so I uploaded a new patch to fix them. The most consequential one was changing an event so that you could properly leave the arena after going in instead of getting locked in, since that can be a significant problem, and fixing Iskra’s skill so that it properly applies to enemies. Hopefully, there won’t be too many more hotfixes needed :sweat:

Edit: This should also address some other general bugs caused by debuffs, like getting strange ones when a high amount of units load in (the first instance of this being a problem is in 7). After checking and fixing a couple more things, it seems it’s safe to use an old save with the newest, up-to-date patch.

Edit 2: There’s an issue with the recruitment of units in Chapter 9, due to some global flags not being properly set in Chapter 1. A patch fixing this issue should be uploaded shortly, but it won’t help if you’re past Chapter 1 already. If you still want to recruit these units, the easiest way is going into FEBuilder and adding an event that sets two flags, 78 and 79. Otherwise, neither are huge losses, so it should be fine to play on without them.


Hello there ! A little thing I noticed in the early chapters. it’s not really an issue, but I would like to point it out.

When you escape with your characters, the game doesn’t count them as out, which means the turn continues after all your moves have been done. It’s not major, but something that stresses me out, because it always makes me think I forgot someone !

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Yes, this is something I plan to change, along with the talk bubbles still showing up for a bit after a unit escapes. The default Escape hack doesn’t have this issue, but due to a conflict with it and Fatigue, I had to make some modifications that caused this. Once I have time though, it should be a fairly quick fix.

I will say this has been a fun run so far. Up to Chapter 10 and looking forward to how the rest of this goes. (Honestly getting drops like this is always a nice thing)


why is Loewe gettin almost no exp like a prepromote?? but Cleo gets normal exp.
also why does he look like a female?? very jarring


Loewe is somewhat higher leveled so he gets lower exp gain.