[FE8] Fire Emblem: Heavens Fall (Beta 1 - 4 Chapters)

HeavensFall.emulator_01
From the idiot developer with the funny name who brought you War On Two Fronts comes the sequel that doesn’t have much to do with the original, but is hopefully much better. This is the first release, with 4 playable chapters and 14 characters.

Taking place two years after the events of the original, Heavens Fall chronicles the tribulations of the wartorn city-state of Venami, caught in a vicious tug-of-war between two superpowers vying for control over it and access to the secrets buried at the depths of its catacombs. You follow Rodion, leader of the largest rebel group in Venami, working to break the hold that its illegitimate government has on the city, and secure its freedom forever.

There’s a few returning faces and references to what’s been happening on the other side since the events of WoTF, but this is mainly a self-contained story. People who have played the original may get more out of certain scenes, but the plot is meant to be enjoyed in isolation.

Features (Eventually)
  • 28 planned chapters, most with their own chapter-specific gimmicks that actually encourage you to complete them quickly, meaning no fog or moronic weather effects
  • 35 playable characters with their own support conversations (Sidenote: All the support conversations have already been written, so you’ll be able to view any supports with new characters as new chapters are added)
  • FE9-style deployment based supports with rebalanced gains
  • A large and varied OST with unique battle tracks for different factions within the same chapter, pulled from a variety of sources
  • Conservative use of skills; don’t expect to see them on most units, never on generic enemies and almost never on bosses
  • A story that jumps off from the themes of the original, but doesn’t require you to have actually played it to be fully experienced
Screenshots

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Project Link

I bundled in the credits with the UPS, because why not. Patch over a clean US FE8 rom.
Dropbox - Heavens Fall - Simplify your life

Discord Link

I thought it might be cool to have a hack discord. You’d probably get a much faster response contacting me about something game-breaking on there than on here.
Heavens Fall Discord

Useful Information

There’s a guide available from the menu in every chapter. I recommend reading it, if you don’t want to be bamboozled by some chapter elements.
Also, a fun side note. Chapter 2 will crash if you complete it while the bridge closest to the escape point is inactive. This is very difficult to do and will probably lead to disaster anyway, but I’m just warning you. If you want to gimp yourself to hear the worst sound ever and crash the game, feel free.
Some cutscenes aren’t big fans of being skipped. Hitting B should fare much better than hitting START, at least.

Note From The Dev

First, the non-shilling bit. To those of you who played through WoTF, I thank you. There’s been over 1k downloads since the 1.0 release, and all the kind words said about it despite its occasional dubious quality have made this new project possible.
Now the shilling bit. If you’re one of those people who played WoTF, you’ll probably know that I suck the big one when it comes to art assets. If any of you have anything lying around, or play this and see some potential in it, please get in touch, because I’m eager to get some good-looking custom art in here. I’ll honestly take anything. I’ll take splices scraped up off your bathroom floor, as long as it’s different. A lot of the art in here is meant to be placeholder stuff, and I need your help to get it looking better.

The part I said in WoTF’s OP about frequent updates turned out to be a massive lie, but I mean it this time. I have a lot already prepared, so updates should be pretty frequent. I don’t see any future changes much impacting pre-existing content, so you can hang onto your save file and gradually work your way through as I release more of it.

17 Likes

Good luck, looks great!

Gave the demo a run. Primarily gonna give gameplay feedback, but I do have to say, fantastic choice with all the Minish Cap music.

Units

Most units were good enough, but I wanna single out Artem, Xanthe, and Signe right now. Artem felt really underpowered, being the only bowlocked unit while also having very unimpressive combat meant that I benched him the first chance I got. He barely even fought during his free deployment maps because other people killed things fast enough that he never got to do anything. I recommend giving him higher base speed so he’ll actually double a lot at base. He really needs something to make up for being the only bowlocked unit.

As for the cavs, I’m not sure what you were going for with these two. Xanthe has higher stats than Signe in everything except strength (and Signe’s strength lead isn’t super huge). Why does Xanthe have high skill, speed, defense, and res? It’s really weird. Also, they both have proc skills which are generally pretty lame. I’d rather they have more interesting skills than these.

One last thing for units, I think it would be nice if Rosa had a weapon that couldn’t crit. Literally the first action I did of my first chapter 1 attempt was to have her chip a dude with the wind edge and she crit him. Which was funny, but I’d rather not have that happen.

Maps

One thing that stuck out to me a lot was how many units I received for the first three maps, contrasted with not receiving battle preps until chapter 4. Chapters 2 and 3 really would’ve benefited from battle preps, since I felt like certain units weren’t starting where I wanted them to. And it would’ve helped with general item management, since I got a couple stat boosters early.

Chapters 1 and 2 were overall solid. Chapter 3, I think the gimmick with opening the door was a bit awkward, since I didn’t get it to open until the turn that the peg/wyvern reinforcements spawned from the right (it opened at the same time they showed up). I think it would be better if the door could be opened some other way, like standing on a switch or something. It would probably improve the pacing.

Chapter 4 I didn’t really engage with, since I just flew Rosa across the river to kill the boss while everyone else hung out on the bridge near spawn. There is no reason not to do this, since the map has no other objectives and it’s extremely safe (the silver sword bonewalker moves before the boss, so he can be baited away from Rosa with Aleyna by standing on the bottom right corner tile (this tile is out of range of the hand axe soldier).


I guess technically the stealable is meant to prevent you from just killing the boss like this, but a body ring didn’t seem that valuable, and it still doesn’t really encourage you to go anywhere else on the map. I think you should move the stealable to the top center of the map: as it’s currently structured, fly skipping like this will still be the best option, but moving the stealable up there will at least give the rest of the army a better objective to pursue and make the map overall more engaging.

General Stuff

I noticed you cut the avoid formula. Personally I don’t like this for a few reasons, but I know this is largely a preference thing (I like the ability to dodge things, and I like having to be more proactive about improving my hit rates). That said, I still think you should try this with regular GBA avoid if you haven’t yet. Given that you’re using pretty fast and easy supports, those would work perfectly for boosting hit rates. And you already increased base weapon hit rates and cut terrain bonuses anyway. It feels like you went overkill with ensuring things don’t miss, but I find that boring, since it means that most of the tools to boost reliability for both hitting and dodging don’t matter because stuff almost always hits regardless.

Though the main reason I say this is because you have a secret book and goddess icon early. Cutting avoid makes these things completely worthless, since you’re not missing or dodging stuff anyway (but you also cut their sell price by a ton, so they’re doubly worthless). If you’re keeping avoid cut, then replace these with something better.

Thanks for the feedback.

Some notes

I was actually getting good results from Artem during my testing, but I’ll probably bump him up to C rank bows, so that he can at least use the chapter 3 hunting bow without heavy investment. Xanthe and Signe were supposed to take certain elements from one another, with their affinities being the opposite of what you’d expect and them having skills that mirror one another’s strengths (luna for signe’s attacking power and sol for xanthe’s better defenses), but the skills are mainly flavour. I was experimenting with Signe having the speed lead, but I thought leading in both atk and spd might be too much. Chapter 3 in general was one I was having trouble getting to work exactly how I envisioned, and I’ll probably go back and make a few changes, along with making there be more to do in 4 other than flying over it.

Having an offensive cav vs. defensive cav can definitely work. And given how you currently don’t really have any dedicated tanky units, this seems like it’d be a good idea. You should give it a try.