[FE8] Fire Emblem: Drums of War <v. 2 - COMPLETE! 22 chapter campaign!>

Sorry to hear that. I appreciate the reasoning for it not appealing; and yeah, I think if by C8/C9 the hack’s rhythm isn’t clicking for you, I don’t think it would suddenly start to in the second half of the game. Thanks for giving it a shot, regardless, and taking the time to outline your thoughts.


Please don’t get discouraged by this, I do think that you made a good hack. I just wanted to be honest.

And it’s funny, because FE4 is one of my most played FE games, so you’d think I would enjoy this one. The map stuff happening all in one sequence instead of being segmented was a big deal, though.


love all of the act 3 chapters. The siege one specifically

End spoiler

Was expecting we have to fight Micah a second time as a dragon like the traditional fire emblem “BBEG Is a monster that fills the entire screen when you fight them”

But that didn’t bother me tbh

oh yeah uhh not really the reviewer type, I feel like analysis from other people are more accurate.
But I do want to say this, this is the only hack that I replay past chapters only because of the story.


Hi mate, just popping in to tell you a couple of things.

  1. This is probably the best romhack out of the forty or so I’ve ever played.

  2. Clio seems like a fine unit but I’ve decided to bench her purely because of her death quote. I absolutely can’t handle hearing that several times a playthrough.

hoo roo, have a good one


It is patchday. With a devblog alongside it!

Now, note that if you’re past C11, the Temperstone is going to revert to 0/50 durability. So it’s going to be useless to you (unless Hammerned, presumably). But it was useless before, so hey, you aren’t losing out. If you haven’t yet received the Temperstone, it will function fine on arrival.

Unfortunately, given that I’m travelling cross-country on a laptop and a lot of my files are, uh, on an unattached solid state in my ex’s glasses case rattling around in a messenger bag, adequately testing the game has been a lot harder than it normally would, as has getting ahold of assets. So changes in this patch have been limited to being relatively safe ones. Even so, I’m paranoid as hell something’s broken… but then, I always am.

As regards gameplay, I’m adding deployment slots to a bunch of maps. As I said earlier, I’m kind of happy to have to be making this change. The one I dithered on most was E-2, which now offers 20 slots. Feels excessive, but there’s definitely plenty for them to do. The others affected were mostly ones that deliberately left the player a little shorthanded, probably to excess.

So this and pretty much all other changes have had a tendency to make the game easier over time. I’d like to… eventually push back against that, but the trouble is that making things harder really needs to be tested. I’m not in a position to do that for a bit. Suffice to say that the current hack is something of a hybrid of the eventual Normal and Hard modes; the timings are slack like Normal’s will be, but there’s going to be a removal of some of the enemy density in both modes, that in Hard will be compensated by enemies being stronger. But in order to do that right, I need to play this final Hard mode. And that’s probably a month or two off. I need a break from playing DoW, let alone serious design. So we’re in something of a maintenance cycle for now.

Two characters were in line for buffs; Karolas now has better resistance to let him properly be the well-rounded, ready-for-anything partisan he is in-story. And Catsidhe… has always been a troublesome unit to use. Myrrh With Better Numbers doesn’t really function in DoW; she needs to level slower because the enemies are far stronger and the chapters beefier, and that dynamism of regular massive levels is a lot of Myrrh’s appeal. There’s enough of the good dragonstone to basically always use, the other stone is useless… so she isn’t really a terribly interesting or fun unit, which is a pity. Nor is she a particularly interactive unit. You just… use the good stone, not the shit stone, unless it’s finishing a guy.

So I’ve taken the decision to give her two actually relevant stones, each with 50 uses (should be plenty); the Glisterstone is now weaker, 1-2 range, and hulks up her resistance, the Temperstone is now 16-might melee and bulks up her defence. I have… no idea how this balances, having not had the chance to try her out, but she was weak enough before that I can’t imagine this will make her overpowered overnight. So now she has tactical depth, and should hopefully be a more appealing unit to use, in line with her story significance.

Cat was really the last of the problem children, so if this change sticks, I’m honestly pretty happy with cast balance. The boss recruits are still very strong, but a tightening of the economy - largely following Pandan’s suggestions - should make it more of a sacrifice to fill your squad with them. In the few tier lists I’ve seen, placement of the bulk of the cast tends to have a fair degree of variance; I think I’ve seen every unit be taken to endgame at some point, and that at this point, every unit has a clear place. Even if some places are better than others.

Speaking of story, I’ve received some very in-depth and as a result extremely useful feedback over te past month or so. Part of my thought process going in was that people aren’t really going to dig into the corners of a hack; play it once, put it down. That assumption was incorrect… which is a good thing, but there’s definitely aspects of the hack that could have stood to be expanded on, that I’ve rightly been pulled up on. While a perk of the boss recruits in my mind was that they could largely be fire-and-forget, there’s definitely occasions post-recruitment at which they really should say something. Also, there are some dynamics that are slightly undercooked, or at least could benefit from a bit more expansion.

Trouble with this is, it’s a pretty dense hack as-is. Finding places to slide in significant scene additions is tough. But there’s avenues which weren’t explored much in 1.0, and it’s been pointed out that boss conversations were badly underutilised as an arena to let characters interact without bloating pre- and post-chapter scene counts. So a few more of those have been added, and a few that were meant to work but were ordered incorrectly have now been rectified.

Honestly, there’s pretty much no way to fully explore all the aspects that feel they could do with full exploration - the story is, ultimately, a little too big for a 22-chapter hack’s own good - but the hope is that it will feel less stretched or wasteful in places, and to hopefully patch over the sense that this hack was largely written on the fly without much detailed planning from the top. Because, uh, that’s exactly what happened.

What’s the roadmap going forward? We’re getting very close to the definitive edition of DoW, in part because I’m experiencing more and more the immensely frustrating experience of ‘fixing something is leading to errors elsewhere’ (just look at the v. 1.05-era mega-prepromotes infesting Act 2, as a result of what should have been a clean bugfix). I do aim to formally make the Normal / Hard split once I’m situated in Australia, and all the various other patches, and at that point I’ll be done with sweeping changes, given that… I’ll have to apply them to several different ROMs.

And then there’s other plans, beyond DoW, but you’ll have to wait until FEE3 to find out what…

1.15 Patchnotes
  • Fixed misplaced tile changes
  • Blades reduced in price to standard sword levels (though slightly more expensive per use)
  • Pavel now begins game with Ruby Gem instead of Lapis
  • Master Seal sell price reduced from 1250 to 500
  • Steel swords and ash longbows now correctly give double WEXP
  • Iron blade WEXP reduced to 1
  • Boss music now plays correctly for all bosses
  • Corrected Sagittary having a weakness to Kreshnikeve
  • Some scenes and conversations added
  • Karolas: +2 Res / +5% Res growth
  • Catsidhe: Stone effects overhauled significantly
  • C4: Fixed issue where door key backup on right flank could be lured at range
  • C5: Replaced Ecorcheur pseudotimer swordmasters with future Ecorcheur bosses
  • C12: Fixed issue where Purge adept would move
  • C10, C12, E-1, E-2: Added two deployment slots
  • C13: Added deployment slot
  • C15: Stealable Lapis Gem on swordmaster downgraded to Ruby Gem

Are you trying to patch to a clean rom?

That’s why it does not work. Make sure you’re applying the patch to a clean rom.

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I’m on E-1 at the moment, how many maps are left? The game feels like it’s telling me it’s the last couple of chapters, which is terribly sad as I’m still enjoying the hack hugely

goes to E-3 (so 2 more)

Blast, but thanks

Just finished it. Great hack, great experience, probably the best out of the dozens I’ve played, as I mentioned before. Sad to see it go, but I leave you with my end-game Roxy

What a fucking beast


Just got to Chapter 11. I was going to wait until I’d finished to say something but couldn’t help myself. From a gameplay perspective it might be amongst my favorite projects to date. From a story one it most certainly is. When people talk about wanting more “mature” themes in their Fire Emblem, this is what I envision. You do a fantastic job of capturing the world’s perspective from the soldiers fighting on the frontline. The writing has often times reminded me of Glen Cook’s The Black Company, which I consider to be at the height of the genre. I love that so many of the initial characters continue to have speaking lines and comment on current affairs, something I’ve always found sorely lacking in other games. The codex entries are also an extremely nice touch, and one I was happy to find when I was looking to see if the game had any mechanical information.

The initial party aren’t the only ones I’ve enjoyed getting to know either. I think I may have recruited bosses just as often as liquidating them solely because they looked interesting and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s one of the more original mechanics I’ve seen, and so far I think it’s been genius. I’ve hardly had anyone die, but I could see how it’s helpful for less-experienced players to bolster necessary spots in their army, and for others to acquire some much needed gold. From an economical perspective, even with all my recruiting I haven’t been streched too thin. But I appreciate that the convoy armory has been expanded, while shops on the map are generally carrying more interesting equipment to purchase.

I’ve put about close to 18 hours in so far. The maps are dense with plenty to do, which is what I prefer. Large deploy counts, with multiple objectives. They’re difficult and interesting, but not to the point I’ve felt overwhelmed. The map where I had to defend Micah was the one that required me to activate the majority of my brain cells and retry it.

I really don’t have anything bad to say here. Slim Weapons being upgrades over Iron was discovered later on, forcing me to undo generations of Fire Emblem programming instilled in me. I appreciate that looking at growth rates is disabled. I think it detracts too much from who I want to use. I also thought a certain paladin would rejoin with his boss stats, only to be disappointed that they were his original Level 1 stats instead!

Looking forward to finishing the rest of this as soon as I’m able to.


So it’s been a while since a last devblog! I was considering waiting for three weeks until the last (a lucky 21 days), or for 1000 link-clicks in the OP (well, close-ish), but at the end of the day impatience got the better of me. So, good news, this one turned out especially long-winded.

I’m not going to take the effort of scrolling through the thread to check, but I don’t think we’ve gone this long without a patch in a good long while. The final versions of the Act 1, 2 and 3 patches all stuck for a while, while I worked on the new version, but even so this is different, because I… haven’t really been working on the ROM.

Four main reasons for this:

  • moving country is really exhausting
  • I left behind my old desktop and the solid-state that has all my assets on it - though it did make the trip - is detached
  • secret new project (though progress is slow for above reasons)
  • right now, nothing really seems… wrong?

I was always pretty firm that I wanted DoW to be done, properly by FEE3 '23, but now we approach that arbitrary cutoff and I find myself pretty low on appetite to change things. In part because I’ve spent well over a hundred hours playtesting the game and kind of just want to let it lie. But also in part because, at present, it all just seems to… work? I’m content with this being out there, and reports of things being broken have winnowed away.

So instead I’ve spent the last couple of weeks playing FE5 for the first time in over a decade (turns out I really just fundamentally don’t like FE5, bar a stretch of decent maps in the midgame, but on the bright side Eda has 11 movement), rereading webcomic archives, waking up at 4am and staring blankly at walls a lot. Recharging, in other words.

On reflection, these characters’ dynamic almost certainly subconsciously influenced Estrelle and Roxelana.

But! After FE5 (and I’m on C23, so that won’t be long), I’m going to get back to it. I think item balance and distribution is… pretty much what it is, and map design won’t change substantially. But there is, to my mind, one final dragon to slay: the balance of enemy quality and quantity. For various reasons, things ended up slanted more towards the latter than the former, and that… was never really the idea.

One of the key documents in DoW’s creation was, for a reason I have honestly forgotten, that stat-spreads of classes were the topic of discussion somewhere and so I put together in a note document my own interpretations of what statspreads were Correct for each class, in my mind (I have weirdly strong opinions about this). The /10 scale I picked actually pretty much just worked fine for in-game, so there’s very few changes (bar to HP) to what was never actually meant to be a design document. But it’s succeeded very well at making different enemy types feel like they demand different solutions - in my view, anyway.

But inherent to that document was an assumption, one of many grandfathered in from the 2011 meta I spawned from like Uruk-hai out of a vat. Remember those guys in FE12 with 20 STR/SKL/SPD, 3 DEF and forged silver weapons? Okay, so that’s an extreme, but it was considered a good way - along with reliable but pathetically weak throwing weapons (which you’ll note DoW also has!) - to dissuade purely EP-dependent gameplay.

And it… isn’t really the solution I want? DoW enemies hit about the right amount of hard to my tastes, but the idea never was that they were meant to be easy to take down. Basically, one-rounding is just significantly easier to come by than I really envisioned. But if enemies got a bit tankier and a bit faster and nothing else changed, I think we’d be left with a slog. At least in some places.

Honestly, just assume Roxelana is making this expression at all times and you’ll be right more often than you’re wrong.

DoW’s enemy placement is, I’ve heard, unusual for its focus on formations. And you kind of need a bare minimum of guys to… form… a formation. My natural inclination as a designer has consistently been to make a map that’s too big and put too many guys in it, and while I don’t think it’s a massive issue, there could stand to be a handful fewer goons per map. So, I’m going to try and find those guys to pluck, beef up what’s left (not by a whole lot), chiefly or exclusively in spd/def, and hopefully that’ll be the end of it.

(Related, reinforcements throughout the hack are kind of a weak point. That’s probably what’s going to see the most change.)

The result of the next round of tweaks is going to be Hard Mode, Intended Difficulty, Whatever. I’ll kick that out to the public, see in what ways I’ve inevitably fucked up, fix those and then push out the variant patches, most prominently Normal Mode; slightly weaker enemies, more generous economy, softer timers (aka, the current timers, while Hard will sharpen them). In fact, I’ll probably just revert the stat changes Hard makes, and also go around weakening enemy weapons here and there. The existence of two modes allows for one mode to be a bit sharper, a bit more tailored to my pace and personal taste. Everyone wins if I can be fucked to put in the effort, and given that Normal Mode will already be going off the existing timers and enemy strengths, working off a firm foundation, I’ll know it’s functional.

Why does Normal Mode get its own patch? Because I want room to change things besides just making enemies weaker and without fucking around with a bunch of ‘check mode’ conditionals that I have zero appetite to go backfill. But from a user perspective, it adds a significant upside: if you find Hard Mode too rough, you can load your existing playthrough into a Normal Mode ROM and retain the progress you’ve made.

Final things I didn’t really find a way to segue into but wanted to address:

  • I’ve thought about a few different ways to talk about the patches in the ROM (e.g. communicating to the player stuff like 'hold such and such a button to speed up animations), but there’s so much text in the Prologue already there just isn’t a good place to put it, and I don’t think it fits in the Guide. Instead, I’ll put it in the OP.

  • This entire time I’ve assumed the ‘press L to enable animations’ was a toggle, not an RD-style ‘hold down on initiation and this and only this battle will get full animations’. Well, that animation’s wrong, apparently, so it’ll be in the next patch. I’ll probably turn off the force boss animations patch; this will have the advantage of clearing the minor bug where Support Anims Off didn’t stick for former boss’ staff animations.

  • Similarly, holding A to speed through battle animations is a great patch but it also speeds through boss conversations. I’m going to switch the button to R. Now L and R are your battle animation keys. Nice and intuitive… to me, anyway.

  • I don’t foresee difficulty changing boss stats. Partly for the obvious ‘you recruit most of them’ angle, but also because fighting the guy on the throne just isn’t an interesting tactical challenge. We already got a glimpse of that when removing Bolting from Lasker made it immediately apparent that Lasker’s stats were psychotically high, just trivialised by the siege tome weighing him down to oblivion.

tl;dr - it’ll be a while before the next patch because I need to play it through again as quality control, but it’ll be a big patch, the proper v. 2., and changes after that point will be very minor; we’re still on track for that to be well before FEE3.

If you’re an adult, the source is Oglaf. If you’re a minor, we never had this conversation.


Oglaf… is frighteningly in-character, I think. Like, that’s the queer fantasy gamer nerd webcomic all cuspers strive for. It’s more iconic than Gunnerkrigg Court to me, despite the fact that I have read none of Oglaf and about half of GKC. what the heck

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Thank you for making(in the future) a normal mode that’s totally different! I have a hard time with, well, hard mode, so I’m very thankful whenever easier modes are seriously thought out, instead of just leveling down enemies

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Hi guys,

after chp. 4 my screen is black.

Any idea to prevent this bug from showing up?

I use visualBoyAdvance emulator

Greets Auge

For a brief time there was an issue where skipping the scene at the end would lead to a black screen at the recruitment choice, since it wasn’t yet set to disallow skipping through that part. It’s fixed in my copy, but might not have been in the current released version.

From memory it still functioned fine, just the visuals were blacked out. Hit A to recruit Ramond, or hit right then A to reject him. Or just resume the chapter and go through the scenes without skipping.

If you didn’t skip the scene, try hitting A a few times anyway. If it isn’t that, then I’ll have a more in-depth look tomorrow.

Hmm after revealing the plan the window is still black. I cant use any buttons. Until now i didnt have any problemns with this emulator.

If button-mashing doesn’t work, then try mGBA; it’s what the ROM was tested in throughout. If that doesn’t work, I’ll upload a new patch tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Ok i used mGBA to prevent the bug from showing up, then resume palying on vBA.

Thx for the advice and the great game so far :slight_smile:

Greets Auge