[FE8][Complete(ish)] Guard of Avelon (5 Chapters)

Download Guard of Avelon

Hey everyone, so this release has kind of been a long time coming since i showed it in fee3 in 2021, like many hack projects life got in the way but, it’s in a state now where it’s good to release.

This hack is based around extreme stat deflation, sort of a concept hack to play around in the design space to see how far I can push down the stats and still have a functional, fun fire emblem experience with everything stripped back.
It also has a plot but I can’t promise a groundbreaking narrative in 5 chapters!
Hopefully for the denizens of FEU this should be an interesting little project to waste an hour on, I hope people find it fun!
As always, feedback is greatly appreciated and always a treat to get so feel free to leave your thoughts below.

If you’re interested in helping out, I still need some assets for the hack, primarily portraits for some playable characters and one of the bosses.

DeFElation-3 DeFElation.emulator-8

DeFElation.emulator-4 DeFElation.emulator-6

DeFElation-0 DeFElation-4

Credits

Development and Writing:

  • Kyrads

Patches and ASM:
01command_hack - Hextator, 7743
16 tracks 12 sounds - Argo, Brendor
Actions After Support (Contemporary Style) - circleseverywhere, 7743
Actions After Talk (Contemporary Style) - circleseverywhere, 7743
Add Event: Get/Set Unit Status - 7743
Adjust Mode Coefficient Experience Gain - VennoBennu
Anti Huffman Patch - Hextator, 7743
Cavalry Rescue Value for Men - 7743
Cavalry Rescue Value for Women - 7743
Change Easy and Normal Mode Penalties into Bonuses - Shuusuke
Change formula of automatic growth auto level of enemy - stan
Change image in upper right of the preparations - 7743
Change Maximum Luck Cap - 7743
Change Minimum Damage From 0 to 1 - midori patch
Changing the Universal Doubling Threshold (attack speend) - macplustrees
Convert Chapter Titles to Text_ver2 - circleseverywhere, 7743
Disables the Prep Store for a Particular Map 7743
drumfix - circleseverywhere
Fe8 Battle Stats with Anims Off ver2 - Vesley, Tequila
FE8 Display Growths - Tequila
FE8 Null Move Display - stan
Fix CAM1/CAMERA2 going out of bounds = TR143
Fixed Growths Mode - TR143
HPBars_with_warnings - circleseveywhere, Tequila
Limit Weapon Rank Display - jjl2357, Blademaster, Hexator, Tequilla
Limitless Trading - aera
Map Danger Zone (Select: Toggle) - circleseverywhere
Modify Number of Supports - Brendor
ModularMinimugBox 2018 (VisionQuest Style with ItemList) - Pandan, Scraiza, ZaneAvernathy
Multi Class Pick Skill - kao, 7743
Multi Tile Marker Display multiple exit markers on the map - 7743
Playable Character HP Limit - 7743
Prevent Freeze for Camera Event 0x26 - 7743
Remove arrow wiggling advancing RN - Crazycolorz5
Remove Support Viewer - Aera
Remove the menu that displays the support list from the preparation screen - Shuusuke
Set Default Option “Animation” - 7743
Set Default Option “Cursor etc” - 7743
Set Preperations Store Pricing - aera
Set Staff Experience - 7743
Show Heal Amount - Tequila
Skip Intro and Class Roll - 7743
Skip World Map Fix (Remove World Map Completely) - 7743
Skip: Game Opening Demo - Fati
Skip: Opening (OPENING_CUT) - 7743
Sound NIMAP - circleseverywhere
Sound NIMAP2 - Alusq
Sound Room 100% Unlocked - 7743
Stat Bar Max Length - 7743
Toggle Difficulty Select Skip - Stan, 7743
Toggle New Game Intro Cutscene - circleseverywhere
Toggle New Game Text - circleseverywhere
Toggle: Health & Safety Warning - circleseverywhere
Upper Limit of Moving Power - beikehanmu
Vulnerary Heal Amount - 7743

Portraits:
Aria - Levin64
Eloisa - (Placeholder)
Dariel - Knabepicer
Simone - RandomWizard
Six - (Placeholder)
Milo - RandomWizard
Kale - (Placeholder)
Eileen - SSHX
Bryan - (Placeholder)
Reena - Laurent Lacroix
Saami - Levin64
Luke - Scottythebody
Eli - Levin64
Baldrick - Toa
Mavis - MournfulRelic/Kyrads
Georg - Avalon
Gaum - (Placeholder)

Animations:
Fencer - GabrielKnight
Knight (Sword) - TheBlindArcher
Mercenary Repalette - Eldritch Abomination, Knabepicer
Berserker - DerTheVaporeon
M!Pegasus Knight - SixThousandHulls
F!Mercenary - TheBlindArcher
Thief - Skitty, GabrielKnight, Pikmin1211, Maiser6
F!Fighter - Black Mage

Weapon Icons:
Javelin, Hand Axe, Dagger, Iron Poleaxe, Steel Poleaxe:

  • Kyrads

User Interface & Other Graphics:
Stat Screen - feels

Music:
All FE3 Music - Sme
FE5 Squadron B - Dolkar
FE12 Before Battle - Scraiza

Playtesting:

  • Leche
  • Pandan
  • Sdaht
  • Bpat
  • Godspetturtle

Special Thanks:

  • 7743 for FEBuilder
  • FEU community for all the amazing resources and support for hacking!
26 Likes

Cool hack, congrats on release! Was fun to playtest.

1 Like

i remember really enjoying the two maps i tested forever ago, very fun game, check it out!

1 Like

I recognized this one. This one is from FEE3 2021 which presents a video about it. Guess I have to watch it in the meantime.

1 Like

@Kyrads

This was a pretty nice hack with decent story and pretty hard difficulty with the reduced stats, shame its so short!

2 Likes

Appreciate that you enjoyed it, glad you had fun!

I’m a tad late, but as a playtester I can say that I had a blast with this project and its shorter form factor makes it a high possibility that I’ll revisit the hack at some point. Kyrads has done a really great job on this so I hope that everyone else enjoys GoA as much as I did.

1 Like

Finished it this evening, it was a nice experience! I really enjoyed it.
I wrote some notes while playing & after finishing it. Sorry in advance for the wall of text, but hopefully there’s something useful here.

General notes
  • The concept of inflated stats was super cool, and quite unlike any other hack I’ve played.

  • I really appreciated it being only 5 chapters long - I tend to rarely finish hacks due to their length, so a hack I could finish in 2 days was pretty nice.

  • Even though there was only a minimal plot, it was enjoyable. I liked Six and Reena, and it had some nice moments, like the old man at the end of chapter 2. The dialogue itself, while a bit unpolished at places, also helped give it a unique identity - I think I will forever associate “gods” with this hack now :slight_smile:

  • I liked the use of (almost) solely FE3 music for this hack, especially as it had strong FE1 vibes. However, by the final chapter the map theme became a bit annoying - I wonder why you didn’t use Holy War (which was in the sound room) for it?

  • While using fixed growths was obviously super important for this hack, as someone who never used it before, I didn’t really understand it at first. It became clearer after the first few level ups, but it felt weird always only getting HP with units on the first level, then an amazing level-up on the second. Also, once some auto-levelled units like the fighters joined, it became even more confusing - would they get an HP only level-up, or an amazing one? I know this is more about the fixed growth patch than this hack, but since every stat point matters here, it would be nice to have an explanation somewhere.

  • Speaking of growths, there’s a minor bug where the HP label doesn’t appear next to the HP growth.

  • Does this game use 1RN? Because I missed an absurd amount of 80-90 hit rates, including missing both attacks of an 88% hit once. Maybe I was just super unlucky, and I did manage to recover from these misses in most cases, but it was pretty annoying.

  • I did like the use of Gaiden-style minimum damage of 1, though - especially considering the HP stats in this game.

Chapter by chapter

Most of my nit-picks are super minor and probably my fault for not paying attention/misreading stuff, but I still thought I’d mention them.

Chapter 1:

  • It was quite easy, but served as a nice introduction to the unique mechanics of this hack. I liked it.

  • However, I quickly forgot about the 6 turns thing and turtled the entire chapter. This is mostly on me for not paying attention, but perhaps a reminder 1-2 turns before the 6th turn would help?

  • This will obviously get fixed in the future, but having 3 different characters using the same placeholder portrait in the intro was super confusing.

Chapter 2:

  • It wasn’t super memorable.

  • At first, I assumed both paths had a similar difficulty, so I sent equal sized “armies” there. However, it quickly turned out that the bottom part had much more enemies, due to enemies in the bottom charging you while the top had mostly only move to attack AIs. This led me to almost losing units in the bottom path while the top ones just sat around turtling, before diverting almost my entire army to the bottom. It wasn’t a huge problem, just felt a bit weird.

  • I thought that the ruins explanation included the small house ruins and tried “visiting” them too, before realizing you only meant the ruined villages. I only wasted one turn on that, but still.

Chapter 3:

  • A lot was going on here, especially compared to the first two. It was quite fun.

  • The NPCs had terrible AI, even for green units, and especially for recruitable ones - Bryan committed suicide by attacking an enemy with 1 HP, even though Aria was only a few tiles away from him… Reena only survived because an ~80% attack missed her. I also had 2 turns where Aria was 1 tile away from being able to talk to them, but due to Bryan committing suicide and Reena running away from her, I couldn’t recruit them. I only managed to recruit Reena on turn 6…

  • The mercenary moves before the boss. This is super minor but prevented me from killing them - I placed Simone to bait the boss, but accidently baited the mercenary instead, who blocked the boss from attacking Simone. I should’ve probably accounted for that, but didn’t think about it until it was too late (it was turn 7).

  • Using torches on the fighters to mark that they’re attacking the villages was a cool idea, but I didn’t really understand why you didn’t just use brigands - especially since it was only these two fighters. I forgot about that gimmick by turn 4/5, and almost lost a house because of that.

Chapter 4:

  • I really enjoyed this chapter. I always love it when chapters encourage you to split your army, and catching up to the thieves was both non-trivial and doable. The pincer reinforcements were also really good - I lost two units to them (Luke and Eli), but that was entirely my fault for trying a bad manoeuvre and spreading my units too thin. Overall, this was my favourite chapter in the hack.

  • This felt like a pretty big difficulty spike compared to the previous levels - as I’ve said, I lost two units here, where I never felt anyone was at a risk of dying in the previous ones (except for the suicidal NPCs, but that was out of my control). But that’s more of “the previous levels could’ve been slightly harder” problem than a “this level was too hard” one.

  • This was also the first level where I really felt the deflated stats - nobody in my army except for Simone could survive more than one hit.

  • One thing that I noticed in this chapter is that Aria can’t access the supply, which could potentially cause a soft-lock if someone sends the door key to the supply and lets Eli die. I assume most people won’t do that, but still.

Chapter 5:

  • I had to restart once in this chapter, so I’ll start by talking separately about my two attempts. In general though, the main problem for me was that I had no way of opening the left door without Eli (who died in the previous chapter).

  • First attempt:

    • I split my army again, with my three best units (Six, Simone and Saami) on the right alongside Nell, and everyone else on the left. After a few turns, I realized that nobody dropped a door key on the left side, so most of my units (including Aria) were just stuck there.

    • Around that time, the bottom reinforcements arrived. At first, I tried killing all of them, but after a few turns realized they were infinite (and way too powerful to actually defeat), and tried retreating to the breakable wall, but it was too late. Slowly and agonizingly, all my units died, before an archer finally killed Aria and freed me from this suffering.

    • While this massacre was happening in the left side, my other team defeated everyone on the right side and opened the door to the boss with little resistance. It was a bit absurd.

  • Second attempt:

    • I just completely ignored the left side, and just sent everyone to the right. This led to most of my units sitting around uselessly for the first half of the map, as there really weren’t that many enemies on the right side.

    • Around the time that I reached the hallway before the door, the bottom reinforcements started reaching me, so I baited them one-by-one mostly using Dariel.

    • Eventually, I was stuck between the armours and the reinforcements (it was at that time that Milo missed two 88% attacks against an armour…), so I started actually killing some reinforcements with most of my army, while Six, Simone and Milo killed the guards of the boss.

    • In the end, I managed to defeat the boss and seize just as the reinforcements were about to overwhelm my army. It was very tight, but also super satisfying to beat the chapter with zero casualties.

  • All in all, it was a nice chapter and I enjoyed it in the end, but the lack of a door key on the left side kinda ruined it for me.

Endgame team

Aria
She was a pretty underwhelming lord - having just 1 strength, terrible strength growth, and using the weakest weapon type (swords) led to her being borderline useless, especially once Saami joined. She was still usable in the first three chapters, but in the last two, she was almost completely dead weight.

Six
My favourite character in the game, both personality wise and gameplay wise. Too bad they don’t have a portrait…

Simone
My other MVP. I don’t think anything in the game ever did more than 3 damage to her, and 90% of the time it was only 1. I’m a weird person that likes using archers and armours even in vanilla, but Simone is definitely one of the best armours I ever used, even compared to other hacks which usually buff them - and giving her more than 1 weapon type (and especially negating her weakness to axes, the only weapon type that could potentially deal damage to her) made her borderline broken, in my opinion. She truly carried the team for me the entire game.

Saami
Saami was pretty good, especially once I gave her the Iron Blade. She one-rounded most enemies, and could take a hit. She made Aria look even worse…

Reena
I love axe users, and since Reena was my only one, I probably invested too much into her. While she had an annoying tendency to leave enemies on 1-2 HP even with Steel Axe, she was still very useful, and being basically the only character in this game that could deal double digit damage is obviously a big plus.

Dariel
Dariel was okay, but felt a bit outclassed by the rest. Still, I enjoyed using him.

Milo
Milo was obviously super useful as the only playable mage in the game, but was pretty unmemorable.

Elosia
Elosia was a pretty underwhelming Jagen - her stats were pretty terrible, and her only use was the Silver Lance, which I only used a couple of times. I kept expecting her to be a decent tank like most Jagens, and was disappointed every time. She still managed to survive to the endgame somehow, though.

Kale
Kale… existed, I guess.

Eileen
The 0% defence growth was disappointing - what’s the point of giving exp to healers if I can’t tank with them?
(Not really, although I do enjoy tanking with healers)

Nell
Two healers are better than one.

TLDR; I liked the mechanics, Six & Simone MVPs, chapter 5 was really annoying without Eli. Great hack!

2 Likes

Hey sorry for the late reply, wow lot of thoughts here, just wanted to say I really appreciate the thorough feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed it, it means a lot!

RE: General Notes

I definetly feel you regarding long hacks, always burn out and don’t always finish them so glad this scratched your itch!

  • Glad you liked the FE3 music, I really wanted that retro kind of feel to the game and I felt FE3 had the perfect music. Regarding the last map, I did consider Holy War however I felt given the final boss was just a bandit it felt like it didn’t match the tone and I couldn’t really find anything else that worked for me, but I get where you’re coming from on that. Might take another look for a different tune to use maybe from fe4 or fe5.

  • Good point about the fixed growths, it might’ve been worth mentioning it causes some funny starting levels.

  • Regarding HP growth display I believe that’s just part of the growth display patch I used, and unfortunately I don’t know anything about MSS to fix it.

  • The game does not use 1RN, did consider it but ended up passing it up, guess you just got unlucky there I’m afraid.

  • Yeah the gaiden damage was suggested to me and it made the game so much better since, given the deflation there was originally an annoying amount of 0 damage flying around.

RE: Chapter By Chapter

Chapter 1:

  • Glad you liked the difficulty, it used to be a bit harder but I felt it might’ve been a bit too tight for players.

  • Good point about the turn thing as well, I’m pretty forgetful myself so it def wouldn’t hurt to have some kind of little reminder for the player.

  • Def get what you mean about the portraits, hopefully will be addressed soon!

Chapter 2:

  • Honestly I agree with everything you say here, the map was a bit of a dud and probably too early for me to try and introduce a split. Might try move some enemies around and see if it improves things. I will also see about changing the text to make it clearer that it’s full size villages and not houses that have items.

Chapter 3:

  • I must’ve been getting lucky with the Green AI to not run into the same kind of issues, I’ll have a look at making them behave a bit better, Bryan suiciding is particularly bad.

  • Understand the point about the mercenary, it is a tad frustrating. I’m not sure if I’ll change the order but I’ll bear it in mind.

  • Can’t take credit for the torch thing, I cribbed that from Sacred Echoes so thanks Gamma. I didn’t use brigands because I was using a minimalist class list since given how small the stats were there just wasn’t much need for multiple classes with the same weapon types. However you make a good point. Might give them one of those flashing objective icons or something.

Chapter 4:

  • Fellow split map appreciator, love it. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Means a lot, especially since I had been kind of unsure about it and it had gone through a lot of revisions.

  • Good to know about the difficulty, I always thought it was harder but not that much harder than 3, I think I did intend for the game to slowly ramp up the difficulty with each subsequent chapter though so this works for me.

  • You make a good point about softlocking there, I generally prefer no supply on lord but I may have to reconsider with the softlock potential.

Chapter 5:

  • Probably worth me adding a droppable door key on that side, Eli is quite a crucial unit to lose unfortunatley, plus it’d be easy for someone to not pay enough attention and send Eli right.
    It’s probably worth noting that this hack isn’t really intended for permadeath and is more meant to be played resetting for deaths. I didn’t want to do game over on every unit though because that feels pretty unpleasant. I may want to add something to the opening chapter explaining this.

  • Yeah those reinforcements are intended to be a soft time limit to the map, I may want to either make them lesser in number or indicate them better before the map.

  • Glad you enjoyed it, I hope the flow of reinforcements wasn’t too early, would you think it should be pushed back or was it good difficulty?

RE: Endgame Team
  • Interesting thoughts on the units, I’ve been hesitant to buff Aria but perhaps she should have an extra point of strength or something if she’s underwhelming. A few people have said similar.

  • I’m really glad you liked Six’s personality! He was probably the most fun to write so I’m glad it came across well in such a short hack, especially while lacking a mug.

  • I like armour’s and archers a lot even in vanilla too so I feel you there. While I can definetly agree she is powerful, she is restricted by that 4 mov and I think without the power she has/dual weapons she would probably be a pretty unattractive option for players. Particularly as she would get wrecked by fighters without swords. However I may consider adding a few more anti armour weapons into maps to balance her out a bit.

  • Surprised at your take on milo, most people think he’s the best unit in the game lmfao. Also I’m curious but what is giving him the +4 res in that screenshot?

  • Surprised Eloisa wasn’t too good for you, I def nerfed her bulk a few times to stop her being a snowball but maybe I went too hard doing that?

  • Kale does exist honestly

  • I do love healtanks true, gonna give her 10 defence. And two healers sure is a thing that is good.

1 Like
Replies

Glad you enjoyed it, I hope the flow of reinforcements wasn’t too early, would you think it should be pushed back or was it good difficulty?

No, I think it was good difficulty, but indicating them better before the map would certainly help.

Surprised at your take on milo, most people think he’s the best unit in the game lmfao. Also I’m curious but what is giving him the +4 res in that screenshot?

I think it was a mixture of personal bias and there being enough offensive characters that I didn’t really need another one - especially one as fragile as him. Six and Reena could defeat most enemies that Milo could, while still having 2 range and being able to take a hit. I actually found myself using Dariel - a character I didn’t much care about either - more than Milo, simply due to me needing more tanky units than offensive ones. Milo was still very useful for armours and mages, though.

The +4 res in the screenshot is from a Pure Water I used before luring the mage near the boss (I took the screenshots on the turn I seized).

Surprised Eloisa wasn’t too good for you, I def nerfed her bulk a few times to stop her being a snowball but maybe I went too hard doing that?

Like Milo, Eloisa was just yet another offensive character in a cast filled with them. I didn’t really need her in the early game except for weakening and some rescuing, and by the later chapters she was outclassed by pretty much all the other melee characters. Sure, her Silver Lance was powerful, but it still could only one-round mercenaries, and I think I used it only 4 times in the game. Eloisa was basically a marginally better Kale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, though - I’m just used to more tanky Jagnes, and Eloisa wasn’t one.

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback again, all super valuable stuff. Interesting perspective about offensive vs defensive characters, not an angle i’d really considered it from. May consider buffing Eloisa’s buff as I do like bulkier jagens, I was just worried about her being too good given that she never actually has an opportunity to fall off.