[FE8] Fire Emblem: Curse of Lagdou (10 ch. finished, 25 playable) v0.4.42 hotfix

Hi, I’m Doin Thangs! You may know me as an active user on the FEU Discord. After [X] years of confusing the server with its unusual premise, CoL is ready for an initial release!

Download Here!

Versions

0.4.42: Fixed droppable door key in ch. 1x
0.4.36: Many bugfixes and improvements, overhauled ch. 7x and 8x, added Sparky
0.4.32: Statbooster usability and Elle recruitment bugs fixed
0.4.30-31: More playability hotfixes for ch. 5-8x
0.4.26-29: Hotfixes for ch. 1x door keys, ch. 3 endless ending cutscene

Join the Discord community! (with emojis)

battlesage CoL_4.26.emulator-0

CoL_4.25.emulator-1 (2) f swordmaster

CoL_4.25.emulator-0 (2) CoL_4.26.emulator-3

What is Curse of Lagdou?

Good question! People have been asking me this ever since the project started. CoL is best described as FE8 from an alternate dimension. While no characters are removed, the story is rewritten from the perspective of two new protagonists, and expanded into a more complex narrative with a different tone, plot, and themes. Meanwhile, every aspect of the gameplay has been completely remixed – heavily edited and new maps, many new and re-specialized characters, and, most impactfully, an unconventional but intuitive (and very fun, imo) weapon system.

This is a “rebalance” in the very loosest sense – every chapter is a wildly different experience from vanilla, and roughly half of them are new from scratch.

Act 1 features the prologue through Ch. 8x, covering the equivalent chapters of FE8’s Renvall arc with several new ones. The story deviates further and further as it goes along, before going in an entirely different direction around the halfway point.

At the time of this release, the rest of the game past 8x is playable in a first-draft state, but still needs revision before it can go live.

Major Features

  • Modern QOL and design
  • Player-phase-focused gameplay
  • Every vanilla map either replaced or heavily remixed
  • High-effort story with 12+ new playable characters
  • Many new battle animations, portraits, and sprites by me
  • Personal skills applied sparingly throughout, similar to FE5
  • New weapon system built for tactical depth (and some fun novelty)
  • :flushed: Joe Rogan boss encounter :bangbang: :flushed:
  • More Novala screentime LETS GOOO BABY

Story

Wars are complicated. A machine of kings, armies, and countrymen can be thrown into chaos by a single foreign element. Curse of Lagdou is an alternate take on FE8’s plot, making changes that quickly cascade into a new story unto itself.

Enter Isabelle Taylor.

The Carcino-born Taylor Textile Merchant Company leads the charge towards a Magvel-wide mercantile revolution – with all the gains and perils that may bring. The company’s young heiress is an airheaded ray of sunshine, content to drift along her destined path and pass life’s difficult questions by. Meeting Eirika by chance as they flee Renais, Isabelle unwittingly gains a friend, and power she may be unprepared to wield.

Meanwhile, the plucky Jeanne ekes out an existence in the company’s sharecropping village. Traveling east to investigate visions of the mysterious Lagdou ruins, she uncovers an ancient weapon and a Grado plot far larger and more disturbing than even the Demon King.

A deadly plague of unknown origin sweeps across the countryside. Renais’s bandits are not what they seem. Powerful artifacts are dredged in secret from deep beneath the earth.

Before the Demon King, there was Lagdou. What crimes did the leaders of this ancient empire commit, and how must Magvel change to put these crimes to rest?

Gameplay

So, what's this "new weapon system"?

While I’m an FE8 fan, the game is infamous for vacuuming up hordes of weak enemies in very long enemy phases. Particularly towards the lategame, maps like Darkling Woods can be a slog.

In CoL, weapon ranges are where it’s at. Now, if you plan to park yourself on a forest with a hand axe/javelin and expect to mop up all the enemies around you, you’ll be quickly swarmed – because javelins and hand-axes (now called thrownaxes :sunglasses:) have 2-3 range!

Many weapons (including swords) have had range adjustments such that turtling is much less productive and you’re better off playing aggressively. Rush enemies at ranges where they can’t hit you, and equip the right weapons so they can’t find holes in your defense either. While FE has always had a high skill ceiling, the tactical possibilities have made my head hurt during playtesting – but in a good way.

Furthermore, physical weapons have received stat boosts based on type: Lances give DEF and axes give RES, while swords have low weight and a wide variety of effects. Throw in a fully rebalanced cast and enemies, new characters with their own unique gimmicks and feel, custom skills, and totally redesigned enemy placements, and you’ve got a much, much different experience from classic FE8. Guaranteed!

Other Stuff

Feedback/Suggestions

Please submit feedback/suggestions in the Discord or reply to this thread! Please also join the Discord if you’d like to help playtest future releases – this is a HUGE help.

Credits

Created in FEBuilderGBA, an amazing tool by god-king 7743, glory to his name
Created using SkillSystems by the Skillsys team, with modifications by me
All custom assets were either created by me or borrowed from the free-to-use repo
Please don’t use any of my custom assets without permission, unless they’re in the free-to-use repo

Magic
Luna and Impale animations - Mikey_Seregon
Sol and Adept animations - Mariode
Wind Sword/Secula animation - Me

Music
FFTA Pub Theme - A Reliable Chair
FFT Trisection - Alusq
FE4 Verdane Remix - Pandan

Battle Animations
Wyvern Rider Helmetless Repal - eCut
Generic Necromancer - Eldritch
(F) Merc - Russel Clark
Axe Paladin - Me
(F) Assassin - Me
Mystic - Me
Battlemage - Me
Battlesage - Me
(F) Swordmaster - Me
(F) Thief - Me
(F) Brigand - Me
(F) Highlander - Me
Halberdier, Soldier, and Axe Cavalier - SALVAGED team

Map Sprites
Axe Wyvern - Flasuban
(F) Monk - Teraspark
Axe Cav - SALVAGED team
Axe Paladin - L95
Sword Cav - Agro
(F) Merc - Flasuban

FAQ

“What difficulty should I pick?”
95% of people who managed to find this hack should probably play on Normal. The hack is designed for Normal and playtested on Normal. Easy is for people with little FE experience who just want to enjoy the story, and Difficult is for crackheads who don’t care that they’re playing an unsupported difficulty. Please don’t submit feedback about Difficult mode.

“Why not just make a completely original hack?”
CoL began life as a rebalance for my personal enjoyment and snowballed from there as I fell in love with the tools, community, and creative process. I wanted to make something really weird and unique that would let me explore every aspect of hacking, and so far I’m really happy with the product. Writing within an existing story was also a fun challenge and helped me grow my skills a lot.

“Why am I gaining supports so fast? What is happening?”
I made support-gain proximity much larger (5 tiles) and removed the limit on the number you can have per character, making it much easier to see all the supports you want in a single playthrough. The bonuses have been drastically reduced, though, and mostly just add crit-avoid for a smoother lategame experience.

“Are there proc skills in this hack?”
Nope! Some skills replace your unit’s critical hit with a different formula or effect. If you see a proc skill, that’s what’s happening.

“Why are there so many girls?”
i like them :moyai:

What are your credentials? How do I know you’re based and not cringe?
Play the hack and find out!
I’m a gay nerd artist and writer, with many years of experience in each. I got FE8 when I was in gradeschool. I’ve played FE4-11, TRS, Berwick Saga, and I’ve made mods for several other RPGs. I’m an FE5 enjoyer. I have two adorable cats.

Bonus Art

jeannepeek background color edit


Potential Future System Changes
  • Earlier in development, I aimed to solve the low-percent critical problem by turning random crits into a second attacking mode (like a combat art, but universal to player units) that traded some accuracy and attack speed for crit chance. This would give more reliable crits with +crit weapons while giving a small boost to non-crit weapons. I eventually scrapped this idea because I couldn’t properly balance it, but I’d love to hear suggestions on how to make this work.
28 Likes

Are there male characters in this hack

1 Like

Seth lol

2 Likes

Do we need them?

5 Likes

I have to give this hack a try for a lot of reasons. The amount of work put into the art and characters is tremendous, and the updates I see posted on the FEU discord show that this is a major passion project. Even though it’s set in the FE8 universe it very clearly stands out as it’s own game, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where this new story goes. Also, DoinThangs just posts stuff all the time that makes me laugh. I know a lot of work has gone into the dialogue of this game, so I’m hoping for some really humorous and witty bits. Excited to play the first public build!

2 Likes

Hotfix for several progression-blocking bugs now live! Should not require new savegames.

Aww, thank you! Much appreciated and I hope you enjoy the hack!

2 Likes

New 4.32 patch, fixing stuff found by Streudelmuffin in our playtest last night!
Statboosters were usable in preps for infinite stat boosts which was a little problematic lol, so that’s been fixed, and Elle is also now properly recruitable in Ch. 5.

So, I’ve played this hack, and, surprisedly, it’s a pretty good hack. I kind of like how you changed the system of triangle
weapons, which is more fun than vanilla.

Also, MC and these new characters in this hack are quite nice and great.

1 Like

Adding a new custom skill to Isabelle (big thanks to @GigaExcalibur for help on this) to make her a mobile Hoplon Guard platform, as well as a small portrait update!

New version with this stuff plus balance changes and other fixes based on feedback coming soon.

image

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Hello, sweet Thang:

Why would you name it Trickle-Down Effect. :sob:
Isabelle’s delusions are strong…!

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sparky blink

New patch is live, with a reworked Ch. 7x featuring Sparky! Ch. 7, 8, and 8x have also received adjustments, and the first act should be more or less complete with this. I’ll continue working on Act 2 (ch. 9-15) and hopefully get that out pretty soon. Thanks for playing and giving feedback so far, everyone!

8 Likes

I don’t know why but the chapter is skipped from the prologue beginning cutscene to suddenly chapter 7

finally a deserved fegirls sequel

1 Like

Sorry, I forgot to disable my debugging event. New version (0.4.38) that starts at the beginning is up now!

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If I had a nickel for the number of times I left a line from testing in a release that completely messed with the game… I’d have like 15 cents.

Anyway, looks great and I can’t wait to play in the expanded universe you’re building for all the Sacred Stones Fan boys and girls <3

1 Like

Thanks for the kind words! So far the reception has been super positive which is awesome to see!

I picked up CoL recently for a change of pace; I’m normally not one to play reduxes or the like most of the time, but the splash art and emphasis on the weapons system got my attention. I’ve just finished the end of Act 1, so I’d like to give feedback while everything is relatively fresh in my mind.

Story

This is the part I was most curious about; the splash art makes it very clear that the story will deviate from the original fe8, while also playing along with its plot. It was an interesting idea, but ultimately I think it’s a bit rough.

As things are it just kind of feels like normal fe8, but Isabelle chimes in about economics every now and again. Frani at least added some depth to Novala and Bazba, but largely the OCs just kinda felt… out of place. The art style clash in mugs is VERY evident and it ends up making the story a bit harder to take seriously.

Another thing I think hinders the story quite a bit is just… the insertion of real people like Joe Rogan and… Ben Shapiro? It makes it a bit hard to take seriously. Like, extremely. Your goal is meant to be “fe8 from an alternate dimension”, but these characters showing up, Ronald Reagan references, and even just OCs throwing quips such as “haha it’s Mike” really make the story had to feel immersed in. I would go so far as to compare this to OC Emblem redux (which I would recommend checking out btw) and its identity crisis; it tries to build a (somewhat) serious world, but it kind of falls apart for some when one of your main villains is Heinz Doofensmirtz, who also just so happens to work with Todd Howard.

The mugs and their immense stylistic difference is something that is more achievable to fix, but these additions to the plot and setting feel at odds with what is meant to be a more complex and seemingly rich narrative, if what is set up in things such as Pablo’s conversation with Benneth and Eirika’s comments throughout several chapters are to be believed.

Given all of this, along with the immense effort put into building these characters, I would almost argue that would likely benefit more from an original setting more than anything. As of right now, despite the tie-ins, both plot-lines feel like they’re entangling each other and dragging each other down a bit. This isn’t necessarily entirely the fault of your writing, either; fe8 was ultimately built a certain way story-wise, and your changes will on some level ultimately be at odds with that as opposed to starting from scratch.

That said, I do enjoy delving more into the Fucked Up Stuff Grado does, and how the war affects Magvel beyond just surface-level “we gotta kill the big bad”. I think that is at least something to lean into, perhaps sans, well. Ben Shapiro, maybe. He can leave.

Gunther was certainly the boss of all time relative to his story.

Maps

This is the big one. I always like to get invested in the story, but maps will determine if I have fun half the time. I do find your comment on chapters being vastly different from vanilla interesting; in my playthrough, they really did not feel all that different at all.

Some of the maps created from fe8’s original maps can be loosely described as “what if it was a bit longer?”. Ross’ map is just an extension that forces you to rush down so Fran doesn’t explode, as opposed to a slower rout. Accursed Woods essentially just adds a second boss in practice. You get the idea. I’m not expecting every change to be of extremes, but nothing really makes me rethink any strategies I had from fe8, either. Sure, I can’t Javelin my way to victory as easily… but I could really just give Isabelle a fire tome and achieve much the same effect half the time. The map design and enemies not be all that different means I can just kinda… give Seth the appropriate weapon for the enemies ahead, and he’ll still kill 80% of them anyway. Mages have 3 range, and there’s a bunch of axe cavs downstairs? No problem, just get the axereaver spear; not like the enemies are even remotely threatening regardless.

I do also think that in a similar vein, the maps weren’t very player-phase-focused at all. I do think PP focus is a bit of a misnomer as opposed to instead calling gameplay proactive, but the point more or less still stands. It’s fe8; nothing pressures you to go all that fast, and you’re mostly just enemy phasing a bunch of mobs that have fuck-all stats or weapons. My problems were more or less completely solved by giving Isabelle the hold-able stat boosters, a Fire Tome, and just letting her end turn.

It’s not like this is a problem specific to fe8’s maps either; Taylor Manor ended up being basically a Seth and Gilliam montage. There weren’t any fun gambits I could make, and the best play was just to wait around so I could dispose of the cavs easily, and then Distant Sword the monks that remained.

At the very least, 7x and 8x fell less into these traps, but they both had their shortcomings; 7x was extremely messy as a chapter (especially given greens could target snags, meaning the top left village can get compromised fairly quickly), and was kind of a slog in general; you just trudge through forest terrain while fending off the occasional brigand and monsters. Meanwhile, 8x is a literal box with non-threatening enemies, as otherwise the map’s intent would probably just not work since you have no room to move around. The droppables idea was interesting, but it really only resulted in having to manage inventory for a bit and wishing I had Thracia trading again like in most modern hacks.

By far my biggest gripe, however, is how at the end of chapter 1x Jeanne and Estelle can just fuck off with your items. My Isabelle went prf-less as a result of this, since I gave the bosskill to Jeanne.

All that said, I did like chapter 8’s idea a lot actually; it was an interesting remix that played well into the current story, and remixed the map in a new way that I’ve never seen before. I enjoyed it, though I think Bazba’s group ends up charging in such a way that it turns the left side into EP spam.

Finally, on a side note, I really dislike how Eirika has to seize. It’s basically just paying a tax half the time (similar to how thieves can feel); you’re just kinda forced to give up a slot because Yeah. At least Light Brand/Distant Sword make her pretty useful.

Weapons System

This was the most interesting part from a gameplay perspective. Ultimately I think it’s kinda cool, actually! But it really, REALLY falls apart in larger skirmishes with multiple enemies. In general, I think this is another thing that really does not benefit from being attached to fe8; the maps very evidently not built for this for the most part, and there haven’t been many changes to account for this. It also just kind of ends up making ep ranges confusing to look at since they tend to be scattered fairly randomly; 3-range in particular ends up doing this a lot.

Characters (Original)
  • Isabelle: By far the most interesting character of the hack. Generally funny enough, but really (and I mean REALLY) is held back by the fact that she has to play second fiddle to Eirika the entire time; she essentially just becomes an attachment when she could be a lot more interesting with a bit more agency. I’m sure later deviations may build on this, but Isabelle alone makes me think attaching the story to fe8 may be more of a hinderance than a benefit. She also was my juggernaut (what happens when you give 1-2 range to a unit with good magic and defense, mostly) so I’m admittedly a bit attached now. Also bo-

  • Estelle: Cool gameplay wise as a Jagen. Physic was a nice choice. I too would like to own over 30 lizards.

  • Elle: Overall alright; I liked her playing into more of the overaching economic themes set up through CoL, and her presence actually giving a chance for more interesting interactions with Isabelle. Good enough unit, but hardly outstanding, and was more or less just a second Neimi.

  • Jeanne: Kinda normal and unremarkable, but future events what with Hrunting may change things.

  • Bo/Zara: The disguises were a bit much, but I do kinda like these two at least. They perform their tasks well enough as units.

  • Frani: Kinda cool, but not that great unit-wise. Her potential crit is let down by her base skill and very shaky hit that I didn’t use her beyond killing Novala for theming. Do like what she contributes to the bandits story-wise though.

  • Sparky: cool design, that’s kinda it. Fair.

  • Marshe: Barely any details on them really. Couldn’t use Capture though, so.

Characters (Vanilla)

Not going to go over all of them because most of them are functionally the same anyway.

  • Eirika: Ranged swords make her pretty alright. Who could’ve guessed.

  • Franz: Seems to be able to snowball pretty easily with his Paragon Sword. Now if only I still had it. Surprisingly solid.

  • Neimi: Very cool now, thank you.

  • Lute: Weird decision to nerf her magic growth so much when it was one of her main defining traits as a unit, honestly; she still is quite functional and at least doubles a lot more now, but I do wonder why you changed her identity so drastically.

  • Kyle: God himself. Wrath is real, real nice. Thank you for this.

  • Ross: Actually great. I need to ask if Ross seemingly having 100+ extra hit out of nowhere is intentional or not though; at base he somehow had 188 hit with an Iron Axe? Not complaining though, but you can kind of see why Frani hit the bench. Chaos Crit is… why? It’s a detriment half the time.

  • Seth: Seth

  • Colm: He’s just himself. But it stings how on some maps I’m now obligated to resign two slots to him and Eirika.

  • Joshua: Remember how Eirika is essentially a forced staple? Yeah, he’s surprisingly benched now. What a world we live in.

Misc. (Skills, Crits mostly)

The skills here are… weird. Isabelle’s crit immunity was the most immediately useful; none of the crit skills are particularly reliable anyway. Elle only really gets away with it due to having range to fall back on if she doesn’t get any crits she needs.

I’m not a huge fan of this personally; skills are mostly boiled down to proc skills but re-contextualized as crits. You can’t rely on them for strategies since they’re ultimately rng, and as a result they don’t feel particularly satisfying to utilize in combat. Luna & Critical Force are unreliable at best, Chaos Critical is an active detriment half the time and Capture is seemingly unusable. The only skill I really strategized around was Wrath, since it was something I could guarantee and actively control. Staff Savant and Rally Move were cool, though they never got to reach their full potential due to the map design.

Nevertheless, these skills are just reskinned proc skills for the most part. Granted, I haven’t seen any units beyond chapter 8 as nothing beyond is really finalized as per the game.

Also please fix 1x item troubles somehow.

3 Likes

Thank you so much for the detailed feedback! This is super valuable for ironing out issues, and I’ll definitely be referring back to it as I continue working.

Story
Based on what you said, I think you’ll like what’s coming. The political meta-jokes are a relic from when this was basically just my own personal meme hack, and I’ve been really on-the-fence about them myself (Benneth being the final instance). The story gets progressively more serious, less like FE8, and more about Lagdou as it goes on, and Ch. 9 is the last one where Eirika leads the plot rather than Jeanne and Isabelle. I’m definitely going to revisit Ch. 5 and see if I can make it less disruptive without taking away the fun. Benneth can go, too, since I wasn’t super happy with how that portrait turned out anyway.
I also DO have a fully-original second project I’ve been planning, though I’m giving CoL my undivided attention until it’s done!

Maps/Gameplay
This is tough! This is where feedback is absolutely invaluable to me, since I personally am not a particularly good FE player nor connoisseur of hacks. :sob: I think Hard Mode will have to be a part of the final release for sure, since right now the base difficulty is kinda split between casuals like myself and hack veterans who find it a bit too easy.
The weapon system is also still not set in stone. I agree that 3 range is a problem in some cases and I’m planning to tone down the 3-range and 1-2 range options, as well as boosting enemy quality. I’m pretty confident I can make it feel good with more testing and tweaks, so thank you for being a part of that process!
That issue with 1x will also be fixed for sure. I’m honestly shocked that never came up in all the playtesting of that chapter, so another huge thank-you for pointing that out.

7 Likes