[FE8] [COMPLETE] Host of the Dark 2.45 (25 main chapters, 4 gaidens) + 0%, Fixed, and Casual modes!

Hey thanks for taking the time to play this hack I’m really glad you enjoyed it! I mainly made the difficulty on the lighter side to keep it accessible and I’m glad that while it wasn’t difficult for you, you still had fun with it!

With regards to Christof and Hendrik, currently they are looking to be featured in the sequel however I am still debating on the exact nature of their role so I won’t make any promises.

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Playing this game, in chapter 10 now. Is there any reason why characters who were promoted in part 1 don’t retain their class in part 2?

Balance and creative freedom. The slate is wiped clean with them.

Hello everyone, Host of the Dark 1.8 has been released!
Some minor balance changes but overall this is a more quality of life update.
Including additions such as
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Silt actually using his fixed portrait by Serif for all of his appearances.

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An option to skip part 1 baked into the game.

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Talk is actually displayed as ‘Talk’.

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Near has a support now with Marley and an ending as well.

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A brand new ‘difficult’ mode. For those who have a fascination with Awakening Lunatic or Three Houses Maddening.

Now that that is out of the way I’d like to reflect a bit on Host of the Dark as a whole now that we’re nearing 2K (big thanks btw) downloads and the sequel is on the horizon.

Overall, I would say my biggest regret with this project has to be the fact that I basically started with it. Sure, I got a few chapters into an FE7 hack that I will not mention out of sheer embarrassment, but Host of the Dark was my first big project and it’s obvious with a lot of the early builds that I was very inexperienced in both writing and gameplay. This led to a lot of the potential following this project could have gotten kinda being lost due to its less than adequate start, which mind you isn’t a big deal, it just isn’t all that motivating to see 40 downloads for the majority of the project’s life.
If I were to go back, I also definitely would have better fleshed out part 1. Right now, it’s fine as it is with setting up Solum as a character, but it could definitely stand to have some more worldbuilding and characterization squeezed in there. I also probably would have addressed balancing a bit differently. Given how there has been quite a bit of backlash with part 1 units having their stats and items wiped heading into the timeskip. Given another attempt I definitely would slow down the pace of part 1 to allow for every unit’s stats to carry over between parts.

I’m overall happy with Sal’s journey as it is but if I were to change something it would definitely be the role of Tobias. Tobias is a character that really deserved more spotlight than what he got within part 2, especially with how DotD is turning out. His role is fine right now as just another returning part 1 character but getting more time with him to see his perspective on the war change and grow would have been majorly beneficial.
Chapter 10 in particular was also a map I feel I could’ve done better, right now I feel like it’s a bit too big and stands out from all of the other, more condensed maps in the package. Again, it’s fine right now, just something that sticks out.

Well, I think that’s all for now, thanks for taking the time to read this little thing. It’s been a great time making Host of the Dark and I hope to adequately follow it up with an even greater sequel, as well as finish the support list in Host of the Dark.

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Hey everyone, quick update! I would’ve preferred to wait until HotD’s FEE3 video, but this is an urgent update, chapter 15 was previously broken in 1.8 and has been fixed and is now beatable.

Along with that there are some other changes, mostly minor. The most major being a bit of a retune for chapter 7’s ending to make it feel more impactful and weightier. Other than that, it’s mostly small fixes with grammar and spelling along with map changes to make them feel a bit smoother.

Oh, and the part 1 convoy wipe was completely reworked but don’t worry about that

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Not sure if anyone else feels like this is happening, but it feels like my characters are underleveled for the point of the game I’m at.

I’m on chapter 15, and the average level in my army (the core 11-12) is 12 or 13. I have two who are at 16, but everyone else is between 10 and 13. Or is this about average? It might just be me feeling this.

Summary

Having my lord force-promoted at level 13 sucked. It might break the narrative, but I feel like it would be more helpful to the player to have Sal just pick up the Fire Emblem without using it right away. My Sal definitely could’ve benefited a huge amount by another 7 levels of growth.

That being said, I’m still enjoying the game. Solum’s a much more complicated character than he lets on. I’m enjoying learning more about his backstory as the plot progresses.

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Hi thanks for playing the game so far I appreciate it!

I’m regards to your leveling issues, unless you were skipping chapters somehow or otherwise making a conscious effort in avoiding enemies you should be at the right place for this part of the game. Even if this isn’t the case you have crutches in Viskam, Max, and others who start with good stats for that point in the game right from the get go.

On the topic of Sal’s promotion, it would break the narrative in an interesting but difficult to fix way to allow him to promote whenever he wants. While yes this can lead to situations where Sal can be a bit underleveled he gets powerful tools later in the game to make up for this.
The game was also built around 13-16 promotions, level 20 promotions have never been the assumption.

No worries, it’s probably just me then. I’m so used to level 20 promotions that it’s just throwing me off promoting early.

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Heya, this is our now :tada:

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hello i havent finish the game yet but IM HOPING FOR SUBARU X GARTH ENDING SOON. </3 dis isnt even a review more like just expressing how i feel of the game! so anyway im at chap 13 and im enjoying it so far my fav part is playing around with alternate seals, and ders so many loots i looove looting. da characters also very loveable like max, fidem, sagi and and and… barugarth.

Summary

i think my subaru got really lucky with 13 str (i used one energy drop tho) and for garth… hes 17 str, idk how it happened with just 25% str growth lmao mvp duo tbh

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Hi thanks for the kind words! Honestly my favorite kind of feedback are just from people who enjoy the characters so this was nice to read I hope you enjoy the rest of the game :blush:

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hey all, didn’t think I’d have to bugfix so soon but uh
the final boss kinda broke lol

this has been fixed, if you’ve downloaded patches 1.8-1.9 please redownload 1.9 :pray:
I apologize for the trouble,

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hello! ive finished the game and i super love it! there are many things that made me annoyed both in story and gameplay but they are just small things like the forced promotions. overall i enjoyed playing. i wanna show my final team and smol blurb for each characterrrr

Summary

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absolutely cracked, he’s also my fav character now. i read both sagiita and sal supports for him and hes such a fine mannn
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12 movement is so funny, i still didnt waver with my ship even if they didnt get paired ending-- sunshine boi
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hes all-rounder tank!! dodge tank, magic tank, phys tank. baruuuuu
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everyone needs a bestie like sagii! her prf bow is also amazing and always saves me whenever someone on the other side of map is in danger <33
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i dont usually use promoted unit but i love max.
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i almost never used any other weapon for her until i got forseti and S earth tome!
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glass cannon for real lmao
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staff bot 1, but still able to attack and kill number of enemies
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staff bot 2, they are able to atk but barely kills
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dancerrrr i never got to use his ring lol
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and sal, tbh i probably just got rng screwed but he was a pain in the ass to use. thankfully it got better when he promoted so he just slay with resonance
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staff bot 3 and glass cannon 2, tobias literally the goat
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idk why but she felt weak i really wanna use her since she has funny personality but i just hav to baby her most of time
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uxo!! one of ogs <33 she used to be stronger in part 1 tho lol
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especially MICK… my mick back then is like subaru–
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late game unit very nice

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Hey thanks for playing I’m glad you enjoyed it! For future reference based on the portrait coloration you’re playing on an earlier version, since that version there have been numerous story improvements as well as more supports
The forced promotions were purely for the sake of story integration although I’ve come to accept that not everyone will be on board with promotions like that

Gave this a shot and finished Part 1 yesterday. I’ll wait till the end to leave more comments on the actual content of the story, but the ideas presented so far have been promising, albeit shaky in execution.

That said, I’m finding this to be a notably difficult hack for me to progress through. This is mainly thanks to the form in which it’s written, and that’s something which is severely impacting my enjoyment of the hack. The writing is incredibly clunky and chock-full of comma splices, awkward sentences, and weird A-press formatting—all of which drags down the content of the story by a fair bit. It also desperately needs a thorough proofread as it’s absolutely ridden with typos and missing punctuation. I was originally screenshotting them as I saw them, but I gave up after a while just because there were so many.

A few examples

weird formatting, inconsistent ellipsis length


double comma splices

“blunt manner of speaking”?

punctuation error

capitalization

having a comma after the all caps laughter rather than an exclamation point feels very out of place

Stuff like this is rampant all throughout the game. I’d highly suggest grabbing a few pairs of eyes to help you scrub these out, as it’s the hack’s most crippling flaw so far.

On a tangential final note, I popped off when I saw the fucking Matoran language of all things pop up in Tobias’s crit animation. idk if this was made custom by you or not, but I got a good kick out of it nonetheless.

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Hello

With all due respect your comment is quite useless to me, I am well aware of the fact that my grammar is imperfect and that there are some flubs with capitalization and the like, however as this is a one man project (with exception of course to playtesters and everyone who created the wonderful assets used) such errors will persist.
Of course over time they will get better however as is inherent to the beauty of fan work and passion projects there will always be imperfections and I choose to tend to more pressing and important matters such as adding more support conversations and fixing bugs, as well as create a sequel.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the game and if you choose to leave more feedback I ask that you make it more substantial :slight_smile:

Thanks for the response. I see what you’re trying to get at, but this is far beyond a mere few typos here and there. Like I said, there are so many errors that it genuinely makes the story difficult to read. I know I might be speaking prematurely here, as I’m not finished with the hack yet, but I feel like this is the most pressing issue with the game at the moment. I believe it to be the biggest weakness of the hack so far, especially when it’s diluting the story (one of the focuses of the game according to the top post). I’m honestly a bit puzzled as to why you would work on a sequel instead when this huge issue is left neglected and unaddressed.

I get that this is a fan work with a relatively limited team behind it, so there’s only so much that can be expected. And I understand that the occasional typo can slip past proofreaders every now and then, especially if the project is made by one person. If this felt like the case for Host of the Dark, I would’ve sent a couple screenshots of the typos in my final story commentary and left it at that. But this hack’s script reads like it was never proofread or quality-checked at all past its first draft—and that’s part of why I think this is such a big problem.

In terms of being more substantial, I suppose I could’ve catalogued more errors to help improve the hack, but screenshotting all of the things I would change or fix about the script would essentially amount to taking screenshots of every third or fourth line of dialogue.

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Hello. First, I apologize for my limp and clumsy english, definitely not to your liking.
Sorry to butt in, but since I have finished it I would like to give my opinion. Then the author, who is always open to discussion, will respond.

This is an unfair exaggeration. I, too, had noticed the formal and substantive errors you mention, but they are all in all minor: one can follow the storyline and dialogues without major problems, although they may be imperfect or annoying to a exigent connoisseur of the english language like you.

On this I can agree, however, if the author had an artistic inspiration, it is good that he put it into practice immediately, before his artistic vein runs out and he loses inspiration and interest. I don’t think he wants to leave his previous work as it is anyway, without adjusting it here and there, time permitting.

Listen. I surmise that you are a native english speaker: if so, I can see why the less than perfect or contrived structure and form of sentences might bother you. If so, why don’t you correct it directly, grammatically and formally, using a hex editor and making the appropriate changes directly on the patch, subject to the author’s consent? There is no point in asking the author to do this, since his knowledge of english, which is not his language (I surmise), is as already demonstrated and can never be at your level (at least within a short time). However from my point of view as a non-english gamer (with good scholastic knowledge of english) dialogues and narration are good and fully understandable, but if you or others would like to help make them more fluent and natural with constructive advice, it would be very nice.
Despite the flaws mentioned, it remains one of the best FE hacks around, as plots and gameplay.

Hi

I don’t appreciate the comments about proofreading, I don’t know how you think that’s substantial. Anyway, I’m moving on and choosing to look back and update the project in small bursts because you’re the first and at this time only person who’s has such a deep and troubling time with the dialogue, especially if we’re not considering those who only brought it up once in passing.

So forgive me for not spending time I could spend creating new experiences on making the dialogue “readable” for you and you specially.
Worry not, I do intend to comb through the script as I’ve done before but that will be on my own terms and will be a slow process.

As for substantiality the only thing you mentioned were the errors in the dialogue, not the writing quality itself, what you thought of the plot so far, or anything outside of writing even though you said it was your biggest complaint. While it may seem vain of me to say on my own thread, feedback isn’t just about saying what doesn’t work, it’s also about talking about what does, otherwise you come off as only disliking the hack despite clearly stating otherwise.

Edit: I realize this can come across the wrong way and for that I apologize, I have trouble getting across things like this in a way that doesn’t seem pissy. I am taking the feedback to heart and I truly appreciate it, I just found the way it was told to be a little over exaggerated and I hope you can understand how questioning why I work on other things can result in a… Strong reaction.
I’m not the best writer, I know that, but I do seek to improve and I find comments on grammar and spelling unaccompanied by anything else to be strange because of this.

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No worries, you’re all good. I wouldn’t have been able to tell that you weren’t a native speaker if you hadn’t specified. Even then, clunky English on something like a forum post or any other place of casual discussion is very different from clunky English in a piece of media that is intended to be read and enjoyed. So don’t worry about it.

You’re right that each individual error is relatively minor and doesn’t affect my understanding of the actual story. But when the hack’s script has so many of them, they collectively impact the script in a pretty negative light. When the hack reads like it was never quality-checked, it gives me the impression that the writer did not care to polish their script—and that makes it feel like the story was an afterthought during development. And when it feels like the writer doesn’t have passion for the story they’re making, it weakens my own investment in reading—because if it looks like they didn’t care, then why should I?

If this was a hack like Doubled or Nothing or Myrm Emblem where the story literally is an afterthought, I’d agree with the developer that this is not a substantial problem at all. But as I said, the hack post states that the story is an important priority of the game, which leaves me confused considering the number of errors present. The quality of the prose is something that can’t be neglected in any medium that involves reading, regardless of the actual content of the story.

(I should note that when I say this, I am speaking specifically from the lens of examining the hack, not the creator. I absolutely do not mean to assume that the developer genuinely doesn’t care about the story they’ve made. It’s just that reading a story which looks like it wasn’t proofread at all feels that way to me, and that’s a vibe which I think should be avoided regardless of theghostcreator’s actual feelings about their product.)

Assuming that the rest of the game’s script is in a similar state to Part 1, I suspect it would essentially require adjusting at least a third to half of the game’s script, if not more. This is why my suggestion to the dev was to find people to help proofread rather than proofreading themself, as I’d imagine it would take a lot of time and effort for one person.

If I finish the game and end up hooked on the story, I may very well be motivated to do it myself at some point. But it would likely take a hell of a lot of time and investment, and I think it’s a lot to ask a random player to undertake such a huge effort to fix things the dev should have addressed already (unless the player wants to, I suppose).

I thought someone mentions it in one of the earliest posts in this thread? Even if I’m misremembering, it’s such a prevalent aspect of the hack that I’m kind of surprised any playtesters or beta readers you had didn’t say anything about it while you were developing it, especially if you advertised it to them as story-centric. I feel like a lot of the things that bothered me were the type of issue that felt impossible for a beta reader to miss, and I would’ve pointed them out immediately had I been editing or playtesting this for you.

I’m sorry if I come across as hostile or aggressive as well, as I didn’t mean any malice from my initial comments to the hack. But as I said prior, I don’t feel properly equipped to leave any major thoughts on anything else in the hack right now, especially when I’m still so early in the story. I’m going to wait until I’m done with everything to leave any comments on the story—but the grammar is something that I felt comfortable bringing up even without seeing the entire hack.

Either way, thank you for rebounding with me nonetheless, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the hack turns out. I do think prose is a vital ingredient in telling a story—but it’s also only one aspect of narrative presentation. So despite how critical I’ve been about the form in which it’s written, I’ve been approaching the actual content of the writing with an open mind. One particular detail that’s caught my eye was a certain character’s complete lack of a magic growth, and I’ve been eagerly waiting to see what the story does with that beat.

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