[FE8] Ethereal Light (8/32 chapters)

Hi, I’m MintX (MinN on Discord). Been working on this hack for a while so I’m glad to share it here. Ethereal Light is a gameplay focused hack with the goal of revamping Fire Emblem’s gameplay and have three unique difficulties that are balanced and playable. Follow Princess Cieora’s journey to reclaim her homeland, and defeat bandits, monsters, cultists and dragons alone the way!


Features: (*s are important)

General Gameplay Information
  • This hack is much more player phase focused than vanilla FE. All player units have +1 mov including mounts, allowing you to quickly dispatch enemies before they can get to you.

  • You will receive more cool and unique weapons in the early game. You are the nobles, right? Feel free to use them to your heart’s content.

  • Maps in this game will feature different quirks and gimmicks similar to Conquest. Use your game knowledge to conquer these challenges!

  • No Ambush spawns, at least in Normal or Hard. Merciless mode will have some anti-turtle related stuff be ambush spawns, but you don’t have to face any of them if you are playing normally.

  • Capture is in this game, however items only sell for 1/4 of their original price, so you only need to capture what you need.

  • Prep shop sells steel weapons, javelins and some other consumables without a cost increase. Shops on the map sell more exotic weapons.

  • Infinite trading, and now you can trade targets you rescued or captured. All units have 99 aid, so they can rescue/capture anything.

  • Almost all skills used in this game are unique custom skills that will alter how you use every single one of your units. No +2 damage type of skills I promise.

Normal and Hard

Hard is normal with around 5 hard mode level bonuses on HP, strength, skill and magic. Enemies have the same speed, defense and resistance. Some enemies have more skills on hard mode. (currently only myrms get darting blow on hard)

Merciless Mode

Merciless Mode (or H2) is what this game is balanced on. It’s aimed to be a brutal experience similar to Conquest Lunatic. Designed for masochists only, you are warned.


Changes made in Merciless Mode:

  • All enemy types have slightly more strength, magic and skill. Some classes received new and deadly skill combinations, e.g. enemy pegasus knights get darting blow.
  • Enemy placements have been altered and some enemies have better weapons.
  • Chapter gimmicks are more pronounced.
  • Enemies receive more bonus from the weapon triangle.
Doubling System*

The doubling threshold is still 4, but some mechanic about it has been changed. FE4 Pursuit makes a return in this game, but this time there are alternatives to it. A new skill Adept only allows the unit to double on player phase, but they can double attack before enemy counters, similar to the desperation effect. Some units trade doubling for more powerful and unique skill effects.
HackRom-12 HackRom-14

Hit and Avoid

Most weapons’ hit rate have been buffed in this game. The hit/avoid formula uses a middle ground between DS hit/avoid and GBA hit/avoid. Defensive terrain gives more defense but less avoid. In general, hit rate should be reliable all around. Dodge tanking is still possible however, with the help of skills, special weapons, and the buffed weapon triangle, that is.
Hit = Skill * 1.5 + Luck * 0.5
Avoid = Speed + Luck

Weapon Triangle*

Weapon triangle is +/- 2 damage, +/- 20 hit on physical weapons. On tomes, however, the damage bonus is increased to +/- 5 damage. Having weapon triangle advantage also gives you 10 crit avoid.

Critical Hit*

The critical skill is required to perform a critical hit and you can only crit when initiating combat. The critical skill comes with killer weapons and some characters so don’t worry about that.

Status Effects

Most status effects in this game are permanent like FE5, excluding Freeze. Enemy controlled statuses are similar to Conquest and less powerful than the standard GBA ones. Panacea is also in this game so you have more options to restore status conditions.

AI Stuff

This game uses DS AI, meaning enemies will always try to do maximum amount of damage, ignoring counter, position and pretty much everything else. If you are familiar with DSFE, feel free to use this quirk to improve your gameplay experience. If you don’t, that’s fine, it’s not required by any means.

HackRom-11 HackRom-13
HackRom-15 HackRom-17
HackRom-19 HackRom-22
HackRom-21 HackRom-20

Huge thanks to 7743 for FEBuilderGBA, Leonarth for walking me through the basic ASM stuff and pikmin1211 for Basefile


Event Assembler by Nintenlord and CrazyColorz
C2EA/N2C by CirclesEverywhere
TextProcess V2 by CirclesEverywhere
TMX2EA by CirclesEveryehere
S2EA by CirclesEverywhere
MID2AGB / Midfix4AGB by ipatix
Animation Assembler by CirclesEverywhere
Pal2EA by Teraspark
FEBuilderGBA by 7743

Basefile by Pikmin1211
Battle BGM per Chapter by 7743
Casual Mode by CirclesEverywhere
Contemporary Talk and Support by CirclesEverywhere
CSA System by CirclesEverywhere
Danger Zone by CirclesEverywhere
Show Heal Amount by Tequila
Show Weapon Rank level up by Tequila
Promotion Weapon Rank display fix by Leonarth
Battle Stats with Anims off by Tequila
Item Range fix by StanH
Walking Sounds fix by Tequila
NIMAP by Agro
HP Bars by CirclesEverywhere
Individual Animations by 7743
Less Annoying Fog by Leonarth
L Toggle Animations by Tequila
Melee and Magic fix by Hextator
Modular EXP by Snakey1
Modular Minimug Box by Zane
Poison Rework by Snakey1
Portrait Height fix by Eliwan
Shop BGM per chapter by 7743
Skill System by CirclesEverywhere, Monkeybard, BlackMage, Blaze, Tequila, Rossendale, StanH, Leonarth, Teraspark, SD9K, Kao, Blademaster, Snakey1
Chapter Names as Text by CirclesEverywhere
Various Fixes by 7743, Hextator, Venno, Brendor, Nintenlord, Gryz, Agro
Magic Split by Kirb, RobertFPY, Snakey1
Chapter Help Text by Leonarth
Various Event Scripts by 7743

Mercenary: Salvaged
Armored Hero: Flasuban, Nuramon
Linus: DerTheVaporeon, Nuramon, Greentea
Soldier Improved 2.0: Alusq
Deserter: Alusq
Halberdier 2.0: TBA, Spud, MeatofJustice
Hunter Improved: Leo_link, Spud, MeatOfJustice
SALVAGED Cavalier: Team SALVAGED, Flasuban
Helmetless SALVAGED Paladin: Leo_link, Pikmin1211, Team SALVAGED, The_Big_Dededester, Flasuban
Master Knight: St jack, Mycahel
Gold Knight: Nuramon
Helmetless Wyvern Rider: Flasuban, eCut
Helmetless Wyvern Lord: Flasuban, TBA
Eliwood +Weapons: IS, Spud, PrincessKilvas, Mercenary Lord, Vilkalizer, Jj09
Light Mage: Leo_Link, L95
Hatless Mage: GabrielKnight
Cleric Awakening-Style BatimaTheBat
FE7-Style Troubadour +Sword, Magic Pikmin1211, Maiser6, Lisandra_Brave, TBA
Phantom: TBA, Arch, Skitty, Temp
Wight: Teraspark, Wan
Dancer Tethys +FE7, Staff, Sword: IS, Circleseverywhere, Kao, Marlon0024

Map Sprites:
Deserter: Alusq
Soldier: Flasuban
Mercenary: Flasuban
Ballistician: DerTheVaporeon
Mages: Leo_Link, L95, Pikmin1211, Ash3wl, Dominus_Vobiscum
Cavaliers: team SALVAGED, Pikmin1211
F!Paladin: Tordo45
Sword Pegasus Knight: Sephie

pandan, DerTheVaporeon, Sme, SurfingKyogre, Tristan_Hollow, MrGreen3339, Pikmin1211

Various Item Icons:
GabrielKnight, Ereshkigal, LordGlenn

Thanks for checking out this hack! Feel free to tell me your thoughts. The story and art are still pretty basic so please don’t mind.

  • Fixed ch3 reinforcements bug
  • Added several skill icons

I’ve playtested some chapters here and there, and I think it has some of the most interesting uses of skills in a hack, with many custom skills.
I fully recommend people giving this one a shot.
(P.S. The hardest difficulty isn’t called ‘merciless’ because it looks cool.)


Looks great, Later I’ll patch it…

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This sounds like a lot of fun! i think ill try this out today

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Thanks to @KrashBoomBang’s LP and @bpat’s feedback, I decided to make the following changes to smooth out the gameplay experience. Hope you enjoy!

  • Chapter 1 chest room enemies now display their range, but still won’t move until you open the door.
  • Chapter 1 throne room enemy density reduced, no challenges there, effectively acting as a cutscene.
  • Chapter 3 Calvin now has boss AI with no range displayed.
  • Recruiting Calvin causing green units to spawn is indicated clearer in the turn 1 text box.
  • Chapter 3 reinforcements timing is now indicated in the turn 1 text box.
  • Merciless Mode is no longer endorsed by me, with in game text to reflect that.

Chapter 2 reinforcements will be changed to better fit the flow of the map in a future release.


So I tried this today but it crashed with an error “jumped to invalid address FFFFFFC”
Edit… False alarm. My Rom was not as clean as I had thought. Were all good now :slight_smile:

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Have you even playtested this mode? I’ve done modes like lunatic+ before just fine, but the prologue in your game is unfair. Enemies ambush spawn on all forts on the 5th enemy turn and just kill you. Not a fan of an arbitrary time limit via ambush spawns. I tried a 2nd time and covered some of the forts but not all, and all my units are at low hp by that point.

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It’s playtested so that it’s as bullshit as possible. Although it’s fair in the sense of fe12 Lunatic Reverse is fair
Don’t play this mode.
If you do, try go right and tank some things with the archer.

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It’s not good design to have it so you need to specifically only block the center fort on turn 5 so the archers on the other two forts aren’t aggro’d until then. You made the myrm on the center fort change his AI after a couple turns, why not be consistent? I was just going to wait it out, but he moves, but blocking the first two forts is easy.

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You are supposed to beat the map in 5 turns (you can do it in 4 btw) so they charge you within the turn limit. Also most enemies in this game have the stall AI so they will eventually charge you in every map.

I enjoy a challenge, but I don’t like it much when I’m tunneled into an overly specific way to complete the chapter. I cleared it in 6 turns, I think, but why have dialogue saying “defeat the boss asap or block the forts asap” if only the former works? I don’t think it’s realistically possible (without rng abuse) to actually cover all the forts with your own units within that time limit.

That’s why you should not play merciless, try hard mode, it’s a lot more enjoyable without any of these bs.
Also you don’t have to block all of them you just have to not die.

If a strategy is not viable on merciless, do not tell the player that it can win the chapter

I know someone captured like 2 silvers on this map so it’s possible.
Also the chapter is doing it’s perfect job of deterring people from playing merciless :slight_smile:


That isn’t the same thing. I specifically said:

  • Block all the forts with player units by turn 5

Which is what the dialogue is suggesting is a viable strategy.

I absolutely believe you can let a couple of them spawn and capture them for their silvers. I have more trouble believing that it is a viable strategy to instead block all forts with your own units with that time frame. I am telling you that your game feels very unfair when you suggest two strategies, but have the latter (fort blocking) not really work unless you cheese it in some way (enemies blocking, or letting some of the powerful reinforcements spawn out of range giving you the 1st strike to kill some of them and finish off the boss to escape if anyone’s in danger). I was really enjoying the gameplay and felt the difficulty was great, but I find it very offputting to be misled by the dialogue. I would ask that you please playtest both ways that you suggest in the dialogue. :sweat_smile:

I am not telling you to make the game easier for me. If I wanted that, I would select a lower difficulty mode. I don’t appreciate repeatedly being told “if it’s too hard for you, don’t play that mode”. The difficulty isn’t the problem here. I cleared the chapter, but I felt like I cheated it, so it isn’t satisfying. :pensive:

Yeah I could remove the fort thing from Merciless Mode. Sorry I misunderstood what you were getting at and was a little bit impatient.

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