[FE8] [Complete] Fire Emblem Deity Device (Fully Updated "For the Pre/Sequel Edition" Available

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Hello, I’m new here, but I’ve come to share my now completed ROMhack, Fire Emblem Deity Device.

Firstly, this release is of a completed game that is playable from the Prologue to the Final Chapter. I started working on it in January of 2019, so it’s been in development for a few months over two years. It was made in FEBuilder using assets from the public repository (credits are listed in the README).

I’ll start off by explaining Deity Device’s main gameplay hook because, if you’re playing a hack, you’re probably looking for something different. Magic users all have unique spell lists along the lines of Gaiden/Echoes. Magic is meant to be an ability that the caster is performing, and in gameplay terms, this means that magic has limited charges that refresh between battles.

The three types of magic have also been reimagined. Light magic has great range but low power, Dark magic offers defensive utility but lacks range, and Anima deals effective damage to different unit types depending on the spell’s element. More information on this can be found in the README.

As far as the overall game, it is not designed to be extremely difficult, while also not being turn-off-your-brain easy. Though, certain things may take some getting used to such as utilizing and playing against magic or playing against the increased range of bows (see the README).

Deity Device is also a heavily story driven game. It is actually because of the amount of text in the game that I was forced to divide it into three patches. If you’ve played console RPGs from the late 90s to early 2000s, then you should be familiar with multi-disc games, and the way it works is similar to that. The player will need to apply each patch to a separate FE8 ROM and start playing in the Part 1 ROM.

As for the story, I tried to build it without frontloading too much lore and overwhelming the player. I will therefore leave it brief and say that the game begins with a young noblewoman on a pilgrimage with her band of knights, but she is diverted when her brother is kidnapped, gradually being drawn into the larger plot.

As far as story content, I don’t believe that there is anything darker than what has been portrayed in Fire Emblem before, and I would say that the game would probably receive a T rating. There is some minor cursing, but you won’t see any F-bombs.

I’ve included the text of the README below, if you would like to check it out before downloading.

README

Hello, I would like to briefly explain a few things about this game that may not be obvious from any past Fire Emblem experience.

-About the Patches & Setting Up the Game

There are three patches in the folder you downloaded. In order to complete the game, you will need three clean FE8.gba files (obviously, just copy your ROM to get two). You will need to patch EACH FE8.gba with ONE of the patches. DO NOT apply multiple patches to the same ROM. In order to keep straight which ROM is which, it is recomended that you rename the ROMs to something that will let you know which is which. You will start playing in the ROM that was patched with the Part 1 patch. After Chapter 10, the game will prompt you to start playing in the ROM that was patched with he Part 2 patch. In order to do this, you must find the .sav file with the same name as the Part 1 ROM and rename it to match the Part 2 ROM. If you are completely new to this and do not understand the previous sentence, then you should know that your emulator will generate a .sav file when you start playing, and it will be in the same folder as the ROM. What I just described is (what I predict) will be the way that most users will transition to Part 2. However, what you need to do may be different depending on how you have your files organized on your computer. For example, it is possible that your Part 1 and Part 2 ROMs have the same name and are in different folders. If this is the case, just move (or copy and paste) the .sav file from the Part 1 folder to the Part 2 folder. Basically, your .sav file must have the same name and be in the same folder as your Part 2 ROM in order to continue playing.

Another thing to be aware of is that, because I was forced to release Deity Device as multiple patches, it cannot be completed on repro cartridges and other media for playing on original hardware unless you possess devices that can extract and insert save data to and from cartridges. A Part 1 cartridge could not make progress beyond Chapter 10, and a Part 2 cartridge would be completely unplayable without save data from Part 1. Keep this in mind before deciding to create/commission any such thing.

-About Magic

Deity Device’s magic system is the most significant gameplay change from vanilla GBA FE. Firstly, each playable character who can use magic has his or her own set of learned spells (think Gaiden/Echoes or Three Houses if you’re familiar with those games). This is done by all magic being locked to a specific character. Even if two characters learn the same spell, the spells will not be interchangeable. Spell uses will be restored to maximum between battles even if the spell “breaks” because the spells are meant to be an ability that the character has and not a physical object like a tome or staff. Spells are learned through a variety of methods: main story events, engaging in optional Talk Events with other characters, sidequest rewards, and visiting churches (this mechanic is explained in game when it first becomes relevent, but basically, when there is a church on a map, mages can visit it to see if they can learn a spell) are all methods through which spells can be learned.

For balance purposes, the Trinity of Magic/Magic Weapon Triangle was removed. This is due to a combination of enemy distribution and that each school of magic is designed to fill a specific gameplay purpose. However, magic users will be subject to a penalty when attacked by a Sword, Lance, or Axe. This penalty does not exist when the magic user is attacking. In these instances, the attacker will have +20 hit vs Light, +10 hit vs Anima, and +5 hit vs Dark. The three schools of Anima, Dark, and Light magic have been reimagined both in terms of story and gameplay. Dark magic is defensive, often giving defense buffs or draining health, but it typically has low range. Light magic has great range and often high crit as well, but it has low base power. Anima magic is limited to specific individuals for story reasons, and each element deals effective damage to a specific type of enemy:

Fire is effective against infantry (anything that uses a weapon and is not armored or mounted such as a Mercenary or an Archer).
Lightning is effective against armors.
Wind is effective against fliers.
Earth is effective against cavalry.
Ice is effective against mages. Ice Magic also has +20 hit vs any non-Ice Magic.
Water does not deal effective damage but pierces resistance (though note that the Aqua Edge spell functions like Lightning, dealing effective damage to armors and not having a resistance piercing effect).

Some spells may be multiple elements. For example, the Eruption spell is both Fire and Earth, and so, it it deals effective damage to both infantry and cavalry. A unit may also have multiple weaknesses. Any horse mounted magic user will be weak to both Earth and Ice.

-About Classes and Promotions

Most of the classes that use physical weapons are the same as vanilla, but there are a few things to note:

Fighter and Warrior are not in the game. The Pirate class was renamed to “Ruffian” in order for it to not be strictly nautically themed, but both Ruffian and Berserker retain their ability to traverse water tiles.
Great Knight is also omitted, but Paladins regain their ability to use axes fromt the Elibe games.
Thief will promote to a class called Hunter. It retains all unique Thief abilities. The player will not need to worry about Thieves losing any abilities through promotion.
Wyvern Lords may wield Axes instead of Swords in order to differentiate them from Falkoknights.
Myrmidon is the only class with a branched promotion, having the option to promote to Swordmaster or Ranger. All other base classes will automatically promote to a preset promoted class when promtion is triggered.

Magic classes are quite different from vanilla. Setting aside unique classes, there are six magic base classes:

Light Rider is a mounted user of Light magic.
Dark Rider is a mounted user of Dark magic.
Sunrise Mage is able to use both Light and Dark magic but specializes in Light.
Sunset Mage is able to use both Dark and Light magic but specializes in Dark.
Deacon is a mounted user of supportive Staves.
Hex is a user of status inflicting Staves.

The promotion items have been slightly reworked. The Ocean Seal and the Orion’s Bolt have been removed. In general, infantry units promote with a Hero’s Crest. This includes the Thief and Ruffian classes. Knight’s Crest users are unchanged (Cavaliers and Knights). Fliers still use an Elysian Whip. However, the Guiding Ring is not in the game, and instead, magic users promote with either a Sun Ring or a Moon Ring. Which classes need which ring are named in game, but I will name them here as well. The
Light Rider, Sunrise Mage, and Deacon use the Sun Ring, and the Dark Rider, Sunset Mage, and Hex use the Moon Ring.

Aside from that, all of the main story characters promote through story events. There are two other units who will promote through story events in unlockable sidequests.

Promotion bonuses are generally quite high, more in line with the SNES Fire Emblems than later games. However, these bonuses generally focus on stats that a given character is unlikely to grow. For that reason, promoting early may stunt a character’s growth in their strong suits. And while timing of promotion is entirely up to the player, regularly used characters can easily reach 20/20 without grinding.

-About Sidequests

There are ten unlockable sidequests that have specific conditions and possibly require taking certain actions in the previous chapter in order to be unlocked. Meeting the criteria to unlock a sidequest will automatically take the player to it like in FE6 and FE5. Not all chapters that contain an x are unlockable sidequests. Some are mandatory chapters that have the story briefly switch to another character’s perspective (like Chapter 5x in vanilla Sacred Stones). Sidequests have some of the non-main characters step into the the starring role for a brief time. Therefore, specific sets of characters must be alive to reach each sidequest, and it will result in a Gameover if those characters die during their sidequests. Sidequests are typically necessary to outfit characters with their strongest spells or gear, and two characters will not be able to promote without reaching their respective sidequests.

-About Supports

All supports have a growth of ten points per turn because I know that players who want to build supports will idle on seize maps in order to build them up anyway.

Support bonuses are unchanged from vanilla.

-Other Mechanics and Gameplay Elements

Bows have had their range buffed. This varies by bow.

There is a set of 1-2 range Swords (Iron Knife, Steel Knife, and Silver Knife) that can only be used by Thieves and Hunters.

Promotion items can be bought from regular venders.

Characters come with unique skill builds along the lines of FE4 and FE5.

There is an FE5 style Leadership system. For those that do not know what this is, certain characters have “Leadership Stars” noted on their status screens. Whichever army has the most Leadership Stars gets a small passive boost to hit and avoid for each star that it has more than the opposing army. This boost affects all units of the army with more Leadership Stars.

There are many extra Talk events in the game with only a few chapters not having any. Most of these are just to expand on story points that may not have fit into a main story event or to give non-main characters a chance to weigh in on what has been happening. However, some yield items or spells or are necessary to unlock sidequests. A character’s status screen will name characters who he or she is able to Talk to in a given chapter. However, this display does not take into account any prerequisites that a conversation has. Sometimes a conversation is not possible until certain other events have been viewed, so keep this in mind. During movement, characters who can be spoken to will have speech bubbles displayed over them. These only display if a conversation will actually be possible.

There are general quality of life improvements such as being able to toggle stats and growths on the status screen with the select button, and the Talk and Support commands will not consume a unit’s turn. Enemies will also have markers indicating high crit weapons or effective weaponry when the player is moving units. Also, support compatibility may be viewed at any time by opening the status screen and pressing the L button (this is not referring to the character status screens but rather the screen reached by selecting “Status” on the menu that appears when selecing an unoccupied tile).

-Known Bugs

None of these are gamebreaking, and most are harmless graphical hiccups.

Rarely, the critical hit animation of the Crusader class will appear glitchy. This seems to happen after dodging an attack while in melee range, but I can’t find any issue with the class’s animation script that would cause this to happen.

The Guardsman class will never display the full animation when targeted by a status staff, and the map animation will always be used regardless of settings.

Glitchy pixels appear before any story promotion. Again, I’m not sure what causes this as I have the event script set up the same as when Eirika and Ephraim promote in vanilla.

The status screen for player units will always be displaying growths if viewed after an inserted magic animation plays. Just press the select button to view stats.

The Spell Sculpt skill can cause a game crash in specific instances. This skill gives +1 range to all spells. If a character with this skill targets an enemy with the Nihil skill (disables all enemy skills) from maximum range (a range that utilizes the +1 from the skill), the battle forecast will display all zeroes for the player’s attack. Confirming the battle will carry out the battle with the useless attack. Backing out (pressing the B button) will crash the game unless the unit has a spell that can target the opponent without needing the skill. This crash most likely occurs because the game applies Nihil, and after backing out, the player should be taken back to weapon selection, but the game does not find any valid weapons. Thankfully, this crash is not dangerous as resuming the chapter will return the game to the state before the selections that triggered the crash occurred. Nihil is only on a handful of bosses and is not something that must be constantly watched for.

-Closing Remarks

That covers everything that I can think of at the time of release. I would like to express my thanks to everyone who develops utitlities and assets for use in ROMhacking. It’s because there are so many things made available that someone like me who doesn’t know anything about coding and isn’t much of a graphic artist could put together a functional game like this. With that, I hope that if you read this far, you will enjoy experiencing my game.

-Credits

Battle Animations: FEGirls; Mikey Seregon; Aviv; GabrielKnight; Skitty; Seal; Sacred War; Eldritch Abomination; N426; Leo_Link; L95; flasuban; Lisandra_Brave; DerTheVaporeon; Pikmin1211; Teraspark; Nuramon; Jj09; Aruka; Kenpuhu; Blademaster; Shin19; SHYUTERz; Spud; TBA; seergiioo; Luerock; MrNight; Alusq; Maiser6; Mycahel; Alusq; ZoramineFae; Temp; sniper_zero; St jack; Feaw; Team SALVAGED; Leo_link; Ayr; Arkth; SqRtofPi; Sme; Ukelele; SD9k; Black Mage; Wan

Map Sprites: HyperGammeSpaces; Unknown; RobertFPY; Alusq; Teraspark; Leo_Link; L95; Ash3wl; Dominus_Vobiscum; Pikmin1211, Nuramon, DerTheVaporeon; Smug_Mug; Author_Pendragon; RobertFPY; Ayr; Seal; Ryn; Eldritch Abomination

Music: SurfingKyogre; A_Reliable_Church; Dolkar; MrGreen3339; Pikmin 1211; SaXor_the_Nobody; Sme; GratedSchtick; Mycahel;

Spells: Bonzai; Blazer; Alusq; BwdYeti; Mikey Seregon; Sme; 7743; SHYUTERz; HIROTO; MisakaMikoto; Compile; Seal; Sacred War; Arch; Orihara_Saki, Bonzai, Blazer

Skills: SHYUTERz; Mikey Seregon; Mariode

Patches: Argo; 7743; Brendor; circleseverywhere; Kaito; Stan; Tequila; Hextator; Circles; Zane; ipatix; Scraiza; Monkeybard; Black Mage; Blaze; Rossendale; StanH Leonarth, Teraspark, sd9k, Kao, blademaster, Snakey1; Primefusion; Alusq; Gryz; Aera, Blazer; jjl2357; hypergammaspaces, Scraiza

Portraits: Citrus; LegondofLoog; hypergammaspaces; knapepicer; DainnOfGungnir; RandomWizard; Sterling_Glovner; MrGreen3339; Shin19; Blade; CapibaraInSpace; GabrielKnight; Zarg; MonkeyBard

Class Cards: Melia; Pikmin 1211; Eldritch Abomination; L95; Unknown; DerTheVaporeon; Ghast; Seal; ZormineFae

Status Screen Base: Kirb

With all of that said, I don’t think there’s anything left other than to say thank you for reading this far, and I hope that you will give my a game a try and enjoy it.

The Download Link is:

Note: 2.0 Saves work with the current version but 1.0 Saves do not.

Current Version

These Links are just left for archival purposes. I recommend playing with the Current Version

Deity Device 1.0

Deity Device 2.0 In Progress Version (Not a full Game)

Old Guides

34 Likes

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My first thought when you said two patches.

This is really cool and even if it is a technical limitation, I love the call back to old games where one disc or cartridge couldn’t handle it.

I appreciate the detailed description of gameplay changes. Looking forward to trying this out sometime.

Congrats on release and welcome!

11 Likes

I would recommend using this ASM by jjl2357, which allows weapon locks to be applied to staves (and also items!). Note that this is for the vanilla weapon locks; it won’t function with weaponlockEX, if you’re using that.

2 Likes

I have to say, I’m really enjoying the banter between Helen and Arachne, as well as Olga and Ivan.

Scratch that, I’m enjoying all of the writing.

3 Likes

4 disc hack when for the authentic PS1 RPG vibes

2 Likes

So I played from Ch1 to Ch10(which I haven’t beaten yet) and I must say that I’m actually pretty impressed with the writing of the hack. Gameplay’s rough, but the characters carry it. Which doesn’t happen commonly at all for me. I get serious FE4 vibes with how the game works, in both the good and the bad (with good story but sloggy play).

Feedback, spoilers ahead:

General Feedback:

  • Maps tend to be too large.
  • Difficulty seems to be pretty easy. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I think it’s a thing to note. Given this hack seems to focus on story I’d say having an easier game makes it more accessible.
  • The magic ranges are surprisingly decent at balancing units, since dark mages with range would get to be pretty broken.
  • The text is long, but surprisingly few of it I’d call filler. Most of the things have meaning. However I’d say the characters can repeat themselves a bit too much (Like Helen and her romance quirk).
  • Artwise, the hack is rough, in both portraits and maps. I won’t be harsh on this since I know not everyone can make pretty pictures, but it is something to note.
  • Enemy unbreakable status staves are a pain in the ass, please change that I beg you.

Prologue:

  • I feel the map size could be cut in half for what you want to accomplish. The multi-seize gimmick catches you off-guard, but it defintively sets the standard of the hack, so I fully agree on it staying.
  • I’d suggest refreshing the turns of every playable unit after a seize, since the enemy placement occurs right when you seize, and it could screw you over. This applies to every map with multi-seize by the way.

Ch1

  • For the most part, the map is pretty functional. The little secret red gem is fun, but I’d suggest moving the house closer to the start, else it’d be really easy to miss it.

Ch2

  • Thank you for the unbreakable torch oh my god.
  • The bow ranges really wreck you turn 1, I’d suggest adding either a warning that there’s archers or just giving normal units a bit more vision to not get shot to death.
  • The axe secret is nice lol

Ch3

  • The map should not be rout. You need to walk up to every ballista to beat the map. Defeat boss would work fine IMO.
  • The bows near the outer walls really limit who can move in. especially since some of your deploy slots are set near the outside house. I’d suggest moving the archers somewhere less threatening to the outside or moving all unit deployment slots closer to the gates.

Ch4

  • The map is huge and enemies come toward you in block-like formations, much like FE4. it’s not all that interesting to play against.

Ch5

  • A very weird map. It’s mostly empty but you suddenly get heavily overwhelmed with enemies. I’d suggest removing the enemies inside the castle and cutting the southern portion of the map (since those enemies spawn way too close to your units if you try going for the chests).
  • Also, I feel this map should be survive X turns, it’s currently rout which takes a LONG time to do.

Ch6

  • Mostly fine gameplaywise, can’t say much against it.
  • This is where I feel my interest picked up, I found the Calista-Glenn-Marius thing to be very interesting.

Ch7

  • EVERY FLIER COMES AT YOU AT ONCE, PLEASE CHANGE THAT.
  • Also the rear reinforcements really destroy you, especially since you are REALLY busy trying to not die to the flier hordes.
  • I feel the ballistae at the end of the map don’t really do much, I’d honestly remove them.

Ch8

  • Probably the roughest map on the hack, the boss really breaks the map with his unlimited sleep staff spam. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to get a restore staff but I missed it and the map was complete hell.
  • Once you seize, enemies can spawn really close to you, which doesn’t help since they also spawn near sleep staff range.
  • The chest placement is really bad for the thief, she can get sleep staved and she needs to travel the ENTIRE map, which has a hard turn limit which the player isn’t told about until you’re near to reaching it.

Ch8x

  • Gameplaywise nothing was too bad. I guess there’s a bit too many enemies and the map is too large to make an interesting two-man map, but nothing unmanageable.
  • I feel people could take Orville the wrong way. He’s attracted to men, wears pink and is pretty flamboyant, and all of these things are made obvious on his first map. I skimmed through his supports in builder and I can tell he’s a pretty good guy, but I’d be more careful about making him look like an offensive character. First impressions matter.

Ch9

  • Map is HUUUUUGE, you could cut it in half and you’d still have room for all the castles with their enemies.
  • Speaking of enemies, after the inital castle, nearly none of them move, which creates a bait and switch gameplay on a massive map. Nothing really happens while you slowly kill guys and seize each castle.

Ch10

  • Yet to beat lol

Overall despite the rough gameplay I actually really liked what I’ve played of the hack. Looking forward to getting to the second patch.

7 Likes

I played from the prologue to Chapter 8 and decided to drop a bit of feedback on the hack. Overall, I’d say that I thought the story was good at times, but the amount of dialogue made it difficult to keep track of everything going on. As for gameplay, it felt very rough to me and kind of like a steamroll, generally. How magic is handled was fairly interesting, but I wasn’t a big fan of 4 range bows.
Specific feedback beyond this:

Chapters

Prologue - I think the idea of the map is somewhat interesting, but the map itself plays in a very mindnumbing way. This isn’t helped by your jagen being frankly ridiculous at combat. He gets tinked by enemies and one rounds them reliably. Even without him, the two mage cavs alone destroy the map. Large portions of the map (and maps after it) consist of rescue chains to get your lord to seize points at a reasonable time because of how large they are. The abundance of Hand Axes is particularly annoying since the only unit that can counter them is your light mage cav, and the overreliance on 1-2 range and EP is kind of a running theme that I’d suggest cutting down on.

Chapter 1 - An okay map. Still steamrolling, but it’s smaller which is good. Probably one of the better maps, in my opinion.

Chapter 2: This one’s a bit annoying due to fog and 4 range archers lurking right around your starting position, but Torch + thief vision range made it okay. I think the Junk axe could be telegraphed a bit more in how you use it (I just assumed that it would be fixed later, and due to one way talk convos, never found a great time to have Ivan talk to the thief). Overall, okay.

Chapter 3: Taking away your healer for the first turn only is a strange thing that doesn’t do much but mildly inconvenience the player. You could have just as easily had the lord’s brother tell him all that before they left to avoid it, and I didn’t feel it added anything meaningful except faking out the player that they’d lose their healer. Third, spawning reinforcements where the player is, with zero warning, is not cool, and it happens many times after this. Please telegraph your reinforcements so this doesn’t happen.15 range ballistae is suffering. It zones out many of your units extremely hard or forces you to attempt to dodge tank with them to have any meaningful contribution. This map would be significantly better if the ballistae had 10 range as they do in vanilla. Not a fan of rout either, I’d consider making it defeat boss.

Chapter 4: Another map I didn’t really enjoy. Enemies are mindless to take down (Arachne is disgustingly strong). I am also not a fan of this seemingly being the only place Arachne can get a dark tome that isn’t Vamp, primarily because the lord seems to specify that she should visit it (which is kind of a trap given how large maps are), and Chapter 8’s gimmick makes it so Arachne will struggle if she doesn’t get Dark Sphere here. Overall a pretty mindless, huge, and open map where only your mounted units will meaningfully contribute.

Chapter 5: This map has even more cases where enemies will spawn right on top of you (particularly the ones in the bottom middle of the map). The thieves are annoying because they prioritize attacking over opening the door, so if you have a unit next to it that can counter, they are liable to be obliterated without ever opening it. If you don’t have a thief at this point (say, the only one you have dies), then this is a softlock that requires you to restart the map. The enemies on the right and left side exemplify the same problems already shown: too much none 1 range and low enemy quality = heavy enemy phase gameplay.

Chapter 6: Aside from the obvious (too much 1-2 range and extremely low enemy quality), this map is okay. It’s more or less a straight line, and the silence druids are annoying, but it isn’t as huge as some other maps. The house on the left is nigh impossible to reach if your peg is dead (as mine was), so I would consider opening up a path from the right so it’s at least manageable to get. Beyond that, relatively okay chapter.

Chapter 7: This chapter was relatively light on 1-2 range besides on bosses, so that was a noticeable improvement. Besides that though, enemy quality was still poor, and the high number of archers + two ballistae was not fun to deal with. Cavalier reinforcements had no warning beyond the pre-chapter mention and box you in when combined with the ballistae. I didn’t find cutting down swathes of fliers particularly engaging, and honestly the ballistae feel like they shouldn’t be here. Okay map overall.

Chapter 8: I find the concept of the chapter somewhat interesting, but this is the one that ultimately got me to quit playing. The boss has massive range with an infinite sleep staff and very high accuracy, in fog… assuming no thief, you’re completely screwed. You need torch + thief to even get close to seeing this guy without being in his range for sleep. On top of that, the right seize point is even in his range, so if your lord is slept, you just lost 5 turns, and given you lose one of your units automatically if you reach 20, that is a very high price. The regular enemies are even more of a cakewalk than usual, but due to liquid ooze, Arachne (assuming she didn’t visit the chapter 4 church) and Glenn (high, high chance of proccing Sol and losing oodles of health) are somewhat sketchy on this map. Top this off with sleep spam, and you’re in for a rough time. At the very least, the boss’s range should be significantly nerfed on sleep so that you can actually progress as a blind player. On top of this, the player has zero access to Restore at this point, making each unit essentially useless for 5 turns if they’re hit. In its current state, the map was very frustrating.

Story

While I find the general beats of the story interesting, the hack is so overflowing with dialogue that it’s difficult to keep track of what’s going on. Here, the balance of story and gameplay was completely out of wack, and at some points, I was just wishing that the story would end so I could get to the map already. I would suggest cutting down the dialogue significantly if you can. Even if you keep the same amount of scenes but drastically improve your dialogue efficiency (i.e. don’t go on about something that could be said within a few lines), it would massively improve the experience and make the story more digestible.

Also, please make your talk convos go both ways. Having a specific unit initiate feels very restricting for gameplay and made me not want to do many of them.

Graphics

One of the more minor points, but I found map aesthetics and portraits to be a bit rough. Frequently, portraits didn’t have the same outline color, so I’d suggest standardizing that. There were some things like straight rivers and maps having large amounts of the same tiles on them. These are points that aren’t ultimately that high of a priority, but I just thought I’d mention it.

I found the hack overall to have some unique concepts so far, but there are some rough patches that could use improvement. Will probably continue playing if I can get through Chapter 8, lol

5 Likes

I played up to ch4 so far, and i gotta say, i really enjoy the character writing… which i for me a first for a hack.

Gameplay needs some polishing up imo. I am fine with the long range bows, but i do think Ballista need some kinda nerf. They have 15 range, which is a bit much imo. Reducing to 10 like Vanilla should be good.

Also i think Calista should get +1 MoV considering most of the army is on a horse, would make seize maps more manageable/faster to beat, instead of using the Jeigan as a transport device XD

I will keep playing and post my feedback every few chapters :wink:

2 Likes

okay but the magic names are amazing

blast
vamp
photon burst

did Owain name that last tome or what?

in all seriousness this hack looks incredibly unique and almost like a whole different game with how much it looks to be changing the gameplay.

4 Likes

I feel like I have to echo with his point

I’ve played up to ch8 for now, and generally, most enemies have very weak hit stat, some got like 1X hit rate with weapon advantage. (idk if it’s because of the leading star system)
and it felt like you’ve put too many skills for everyone, some units have 4 skills right off the bat.

and I think there’s a move range patch you can use to alert players that some enemy will be stationary.

ch7, flyers are quite too much in numbers
the only effective strategy I found is have Ivan to dodge tank/Arachne to def tank everything, but that would require your entire team stand back and let Ivan handle stuffs, then the rear reinforcements will instantly screw some units, especially the paladin boss with silver axe + 15 spd + no con penalties being able to one turn/one shot quite a number of your units.

ch8, S-ranked staff + unlimited staff use… even the staffer got slept easily, restore probably don’t have any uses here lol
difficulty of the mid-bosses seem fine, but the sleep staff is the main problem.

also, there’s a bug where if ooze body kill a unit, the unit won’t be harmed after the battle (full hp in my case)

1 Like

I’m afraid I’m not able to play the full hack, as I use a browser emulator and I can’t save the game… I’ll play until ch10 and give my feedback anyways

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Regarding the hack hitting the rom limit size, it seems the culprit was not text, but music. The custom songs seem to have been directly imported from other roms with all of the instrumentation and samples also imported (as opposed to being tracks imported with NIMAP), which will fill up the rom very quickly, especially if it’s a lot of custom tracks.

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I would like to start by saying thanking everyone who has taken the time to leave feedback or even just play the game.

As far as criticisms of the character portraits, I’ll admit that I’m not really a graphic artist, but I hope that each was still able to convey something about the character.

I appreciate the various compliments about the story. It probably won’t surprise anyone to know that it is the area that I was most passionate about and confident in. Other areas of the game, such as the magic system and even the general build of each character were approached as integrating the story and gameplay. That being said, I don’t have any plans to abridge the story. I was upfront that the amount of text was the reason the game was split into two patches. If you’re the type of player who likes to get straight to gameplay and doesn’t need much story pushing you along, then this probably isn’t the game for you, and that’s fine. It would be kind of pointless for me to heap compliments on my own story and try to say why you should enjoy it.

As for me, I’m the type of player who is annoyed that Nintendo only put the abridged version of Radiant Dawn in the English version. And as much as I love the Jugdral Saga, I have to admit that really appreciating the story requires a lot of outside reading. Most of what is on screen in FE4 is just Sigurd talking to Oifey or Seliph talking to Lewin. The game only does a bare bones job of actually presenting what is happening to the characters. And so, for Deity Device, I wanted to fully articulate the trials that the characters endure. Many more characters than just the main “Lords” have their own story arc going on, and I don’t intend to change that.

I’d like to take the time here to address what was brought up in regards to Orville (mild spoilers):

Summary

As far as him wearing pink, I decided on his color scheme of pink and black in order to blend the color schemes that Eldigan and Raquesis are typically depicted with. If you understand the references in his starting inventory and have perused his supports in Builder, then it should be fairly obvious why. I would also say that he makes a more sober first impression than a character like Radiant Dawn’s Heather, whose personality doesn’t go beyond “is a lesbian.” And he doesn’t come across as flamboyant as the Echoes incarnation of Leon. I’m not trying to say that Heather and Leon are low bars where any character who passes them is fine (I don’t really have a problem with either of them, and I quite like Leon). I am saying that Orville was not designed as an offensive stereotype, and if you stick with the hack, you will come to see how little bearing Orville’s attraction to men has on his place in the story.

I would like to start off my response to the feedback about gameplay with a few general comments. I will never claim that I designed Deity Device in such a way as to be satisfying for a hard core LTC player. In fact, there are conscious design choices that may be punishing for common strategies employed by efficiency players such as low-manning (more on this when I talk about the now infamous Chapter 8). Please don’t take this like I’m stubbornly claiming my game is perfect and the gameplay couldn’t possibly be tightened, but at the same time, there are some pretty significant changes from vanilla gameplay. Therefore, it should not be expected that the game will play like vanilla. For example, it was said that there are too many 1-2 range enemies. That is because Arachne would be unbeatable in the early game if only a handful of enemies could attack at range. It is best to think about how your units can be used together (Helen can one round enemies in the Prologue at base when boosted by Calista’s Mana Radiance skill). Beyond that, pretty much everyone has some form 1-2 range attack, so I don’t really see it as all that oppressive.

I am open to reimagining some maps as smaller, but that will take a long time, so I would not expect a change in the immediate future.

For some criticisms, I’m honestly not sure what a solution would look like. For example, simultaneously complaining that a chapter is mindless and that the side objectives were too much bother. But I also love FE4 (seriously, I own a boxed copy of it).

It is possible to prevent the reinforcements in Chapter 3 by advancing far enough before they arrive. The reinforcements will be intimidated and refuse to come out when called on.

Chapter 5 is a rout map because the player army is not waiting for some other force to arrive and bail them out. They are on their own and under siege.

As far as criticisms of enemy quality, I’m not sure what a fix would look like beyond raising enemy growths. Enemies are already much closer to expected levels of player units than they would be in vanilla GBA FE games. It is also fairly common for the player army to have a Leadership advantage in Part 1, but it becomes much more rare in Part 2.

Talk events go one way because the character who wanted to talk to another initiates the conversation…that’s it. If it really dampens the experience, I can think about changing it, but I just set it up the way that makes logical sense.

From what I’m seeing, Chapter’s 7 and 8 seem to be the biggest points of contention so far, so I’d like to talk about them. For Chapter 7, I’ve seen a mix of both “the fliers are overwhelming” and “the fliers posed no challenge,” so I don’t think there would be a solution that pleases everyone. For those that find them overwhelming, every time that I’ve played this chapter, I’ve just sent physical units to deal with the pegasi and magic units to deal with the wyverns. One thing that no one has brought up is Bertram’s effectiveness against the pegasi. He deals effective damage with his Wind Sword, and if he takes a hit or two, he will enter Vantage range and likely one shot any pegasi who attack him. Arachne and Gregory handle the wyverns pretty easily. I actually find the current incarnation of Chapter 7 much easier than it once was because Glenn used to be much weaker and keeping him safe was a pain. As for the northern reinforcements, the chapter opening has the enemy commander spell out his plan to surround Calista’s army on all sides. I would be open to delaying it or adding an event where someone hears horses approaching before the reinforcements arrive, but I don’t agree that they come out of nowhere.

As for Chapter 8, the pain that is the boss’s sleep spell is the way that the chapter was designed (believe it or not, I did endeavor to give each chapter an identity). The revenants aren’t really very threatening, and the boss has pitiful combat once you get to him. But the enemies slow down progress through the hallway south of the boss’s room. And yes, this chapter can be troublesome if the player has been overly reliant on tanking with Vamp. It’s not too unusual for a game to have a level that takes away strategies that the player may have come to rely on and force them to try something else. If complaints persist that Chapter 8 is a huge roadblock, I will consider lowering the boss’s magic, but I don’t really think that the overall design of the chapter needs to be changed.

And again, Deity Device is not meant to deliver an extremely difficult experience where any misstep spells death. The only other person to have played it before I released it here had only ever played FE 7, 8, & 9 on normal mode. So yes, it is something of a more casual experience driven by its story. Thank you for reading if you made it through all of this.

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That’s pretty interesting.

I named the text as the culprit because that was the one thing that FEBuilder would not find free space for. I was literally trying to proof one of the very last bits of text in the game, and it cut me off. It would find free space for other things, such as events, at the end of the ROM, but it refused to add to the text area. I’m not sure if this is because all of the text needs to be in one continuous place or not, but Builder refused to let me edit text unless I deleted a lot of other text (I tried to delete the entire dictionary, but that didn’t help). Perhaps someone who knows how to hack the game beyond using FEBuilder could have expanded the text area, but for my purposes, text was the culprit.

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My assessment was based on looking at what was actually taking up rom space. Having not had to deal with rom size issues personally, I’m not exactly sure why it wouldn’t allow you to add text (but the fact that I’ve seen hacks with as much text/more than this one, makes me disinclined to think it’s the culprit).

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That talk requires certain stuff to happen first, just continue playing.

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I agree with knabepicer, importing music with sappy’s “Import from another game” function takes massive amounts of space, especially compared to text.
I used that function with only 3 songs from Yggdra Union, but just those three increased my total ROM size by around 0.65 MB.
The ROM cannot exceed 32 MB of space, and by default the base game already takes 16MB of that space, so it’s easy to exceed the limit if you import too much stuff. Music and animations are usually culprits.

That said, it’s good that you found a creative way around that restriction :sweat_smile:

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This is exactly the issue. there’s SO MANY enemies that you either have a unit that can tank all of them, or die horribly on enemy phase because you lack that one unit that can tank. There’s no other way to approach it. The results are extreme in either direction due to not having many options to deal with the enemy spam

The issue is the sleep staff. everything else about the map could be workable. but the sleep staff just takes away one of your very limited unit count every turn for about 4 turns, is unavoidable to step into its range, and if the lord gets slept it’s pretty close to being a game over. There’s no way to counter the sleep staff.

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Again, I’m not trying to be difficult, but this has not been my experience with this chapter, nor was it the experience of my IRL tester. I typically have all of Bertram, Victor, Ivan, and Olga handling the pegasi (Olga can pretty easily take out the falco boss with the Wind Lance on player phase) while Helen, Arachne, and Gregory take on the Wyverns. I’ve never felt like I was forced to rely on one unit to handle everything. But yes, this is very much a matchup based level. I would compare it to something like Chapter 25 of FE7 where each castle spams a particular enemy type or the Pirate Ship chapter in the same game where Lucius has a strong matchup against the left ship because it’s full of Shamans. That isn’t to say I won’t consider this feedback in a future balance update, but a lot of what has been described is quite different from my own experiences.

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how do i utilize the “junk”?

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