[FE8] Fire Emblem: Home By Winter v0.1 (WIP, 10/? chapters)

woahw story

When the continent of Auron was unified under the Ofanian Empire, Emperor Kalaios sought to rebuild the land broken by the hands of the countless warlords that ruled it. Yet with his sudden death, the drums of war beat once more, as his firstborn Hassur called upon the empire’s legions to pacify the continent’s northern tribes. With promises of everlasting peace shattered in an instant, the people of Auron took it upon themselves to revolt against their Ofanian overlords.

Stuck between a fruitless war in the north and open rebellion in the south, the sun is setting just as quickly as it had risen on the Ofanian Empire. Yet as the rebellion’s highly-regarded General Aslena plans her offensive on Ofanian legions, the shadows of Auron’s past have already begun clamoring at the twilight cast by Ofana’s setting sun…

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Hi, all! I’m jellyunicorn and I’m happy to present this project I’ve been working on since around December of last year. Truth be told, this was a project born mostly as a means to familiarise myself with FEBuilderGBA, but it has evolved to so much more since its original… conception.

the funny

spaghetti FE-0

While the game is still lagging far behind in terms of writing (only Prologue has an actual script at the moment) and graphics (most units past Chapter 1 still use F2U mugs and remain palette-less until they get custom mugs), I figured it would be best to release what already exists into the public so that I can iron it out even more before moving forwards. In fact this was supposed to come out a few weeks ago, but some stuff happened irl yadda yadda won’t get into detail.

I hope that what I have available is substantial enough of a showcase for what is to come, and of course, fun to play! And please, feel free to leave feedback, either in this thread or the hack discord.

Sorry, the download to the patch is NOT available currently! Please read through this post for details.

About Me

i makea the hack

Okay iunno what to put here other than that for a while I’ve been wanting to make an all-too-ambitious Fire Emblem game with an inclusive cast - drawing a lot of inspiration from the She-Ra reboot - and many disparate Kaga mechanics without all the general… weirdness that usually comes shipped with his games. Kaga this is the 6th time you brainwashed a little girl, no kaga no why did you make durability RNG

Content Rating

Probably 13+. Contains slightly stronger language than you’d find in the vanilla games and depiction of alcohol. Story details are still very much up in the air right now (obviously), but there are plans to include heavier themes.

Features & Mechanical Changes
  • 7 main story chapters and 1 optional side chapter, with 16 playable units plus 4 optionally recruitable units hired with upfront gold.

  • 2 freely explorable town maps with numerous events that confer the player various bonuses - some large, others not so much. (One of the town maps is much more fleshed out than the other, and I plan to rework this in the near future)

  • Only 1 chapter’s worth of dialogue, unfortunately :frowning: Do still pay attention to the dialogue of the other maps, though, as gameplay details not immediately obvious are conveyed via redtext.

  • Infantry units can now climb cliffs! Regular infantry gets 3 movement cost on cliffs and brigands get a reduced 2, while armour knights still being unable to scale them because imagine having good knights. Mounted units cannot climb them normally, however…

  • They can dismount! Don’t worry, you can still use your horse indoors. This is mostly to let them climb cliffs, albeit at a higher movement cost of 4.

  • The support system been completely reworked! They are now innate, and cannot be increased except by specific talk events in town maps. Affinity has also been standardised - all supports now give +10 hit/+5 Avo/+1 Dmg/+1 Def/Res per rank.

  • Increased terrain bonuses in order to emphasise overcoming them by stacking support bonuses and utilising the weapon triangle (which also now gives +/- 20 hit). Gates and thrones still give vanilla bonuses though (minus the Res).

  • Changes to stats: Growth rates are deflated, hovering around 10-30% for the most part. Resistance is now globally 0 (besides some statboosters much later on) and HP highly deflated in the hopes of making magic extremely potent. Luck is also globally 0, and Crit no longer scales off of Skl, because dying to 1% crits suck.

  • A playable Fleet who can only traverse water and bridge tiles, and is undeployable in maps without water. He also has Canto+. Why? No clue.

  • An overhaul of 1-2 range weaponry, with 1-2 axes and lances having their uses greatly reduced and weight massively increased. Swords, meanwhile, get magic swords, because those were cool in FE1, but their damage can only be increased via support bonuses.

  • An arsenal of personal weapons that will only continue to grow as the player completes character-specific side chapters.

  • DSFE-style save points! Unfortunately, this means you can no longer manually suspend anymore.

  • Slim weapons are now brave in exchange for much lower Hit. Also, weapon types that didn’t have a slim equivalent now have them. Quads ahoy!

Screenshots

(Screenshots are still from the cringe old build)

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Upcoming Features
  • Probably somewhere around 20-30 total main chapters (yes that is a large range), plus 10+ side chapters and 4 town exploration maps.
  • More custom graphics for a more cohesive overall look and feel to the game.
  • Custom skills once I stop getting scared of ASM hacking :v
  • More personal weapons, including a Legendary Hero Bat lookalike from the hit video game Like a Dragon: Like a Dragon, out now on Steam, for our good man Faust.
  • Actual dialogue lmao
  • A diverse cast that carry out said dialogue.
  • Probably (maybe) custom OST.
  • A polycule.
Known Issues
  • Ending a chapter dismounted will carry over to the next chapter
  • Standing on a specific tile in Chapter 6 (left and below the stairs) may cause the game to crash. I have not been able to reproduce this bug in any other save, so it should probably be safe most of the time.
Credits

This hack would literally have not been possible without the extensive resources and accessibility provided by this community. I’m just the idiot who managed to put the pieces together and make a functioning hack, and I am not alone in one of the many who stand on the shoulders of giants. If I’ve missed anyone please contact me ASAP either here or on the hack’s Discord server (and I probably did because I am hilariously bad at documenting)

FEBuilder creator and resident report7z fixerperson: 7743

Patches: 7743, Agro/Brendor, laqieer, circleseverywhere, aera, Stan, Tequila, Hextator, HyperGammaSpaces, Zane, ipatix, Sme, Scraiza, pikmin, Monkeybeard, Black Mage, Blaze, Rossendale, Leonarth, Teraspark, SD9k, Kao, blademaster, Snakey1, Primefusion, Alusq

:sparkles:Custom​:sparkles: graphical stuff: ArcherBias, Selk

Tilesets: ZoramineFae

Animations: GabrielKnight, Skitty, helmfried, Sephie, belle, St jack, Nuramon, Alusq, Team SALVAGED, Pikmin1211, DerTheVaporeon, ZoramineFae, MeatOfJustice, BatimaTheBat, FireEmblemier, flasuban, fe7if, SSHX, ArcaneEli, circleseverywhere, Sme, Teraspark

Mugs: Alusq, flasuban, LaurentLacroix, Smokeyguy77

Music: Sme, RSFlame, Pikmin1211, Mycahel, SaXor_the_Nobody

Item icons: Ereshkigal

Playtesting: KrashBoomBang, SubwayBossEmmett, dysenteryMD, Psyche, ArcherBias, Dainn, epicer

30 Likes

You have me at playable fleet.

4 Likes

still need to make a chapter where rescuedropping with the boat is the optimal strategy

4 Likes

Nice, the hack has a thread now. It’s a cool project, and I especially appreciate any hack that incorporates dismounting into its design. Good luck. I’ll be sure to test whatever progress you make.

4 Likes

This is extremely Gaming and Epic

4 Likes

this shit is banger btw you better play it (threat)

5 Likes

this looks p drugs

1 Like

Windows XP HYPE

2 Likes

Took me to a bit to finish the current build, because those 7 chapters are some BIG 7 chapters and I got whopped.

The hack was fun.

Maps

Home by Winter starts strong with a unique prologue set up. The sacrifice of faceless soldiers is more memorable when you get a whole turn to send them to death gloriously.

I like to think I’m at least an experienced FE player, even if it quite mediocre, and the difficulty was definitely up there. I barely made it out by the skin of my teeth on the timed escape chapters and I thought I was playing well. This is not a hack where one saves the good weapons.

I felt the chapters that didn’t have escape chapters wwere a lot more lenient (surprise). The maps felt pretty distinct, with gimmicks such as the booze and boat ballista as fun mechanics to work around.

I felt the hardest map was paralogue 1, that top right wagon was hecking fast.

Nothing really comes to mind of some point in the map feeling ‘unfair’. The design feels really tight in the sense that there are definitely many points that I feel If I was even just 1 unit down or 1 important prf down, things would have gone exponentially more poorly.

Units

I can only assume FE8’s auto ‘0 level reroll’ helped keep things in check because my units grew decently, with only a few blank levels.

With what little info I have, I feel like that the infantry melee units may not be that competitive compared to the mounts since they are able to dismount to get around cliffs and effectives, and don’t seem to have significantly better stats.

The Jeigan remained my most powerful unit until the Lord began to really hit those speed and strength growths and reliably one rounded almost anything.

My favourite unit was probably Faust, his stats seem awful in the long run but his prf has come in clutch more than once.

Funny enough, the peg spent most of the run not doubling because slim lances are now divine gift and I did not want to waste them on a 2x2, and she gets weighed down by seemingly everything else.

Intermissions

Even without the ‘writing’, I was a huge fan of intermission 2. Quite a few things to do, with minor things like the firedrake upgrade being quite neat. Look forward to more of them with the writing completed.

I thought I had enough cash to last for the rest of the game, but hiring the units from 6 cost so much that I think for me it seems more economic to do without unless you’ve lost a unit (exept funny 2000 crit bishop of course).

Cliff climbing

I appreciated how many of the maps make good use of cliff climbing as a feature. It didn’t really cause any problems for the cavalry since they can dismount and infantry have to spend basically a full turn crossing the cliff anyways so there’s no lost time for doing so.

Boss fights

The use of leadership AI does make the boss fights a package deal rather than a singular meat sack which does seem more interesting. However, this took me quite a bit of time to adjust to the fact that the displayed range of enemies doesn’t correlate to their action which creates a bit of awkwardness. A interesting way to make boss fights more engaging.

Support stacking

Supports gameplay wise are usually a whatever thing for me, but here felt like it was a do or die mechanic. I think it’s pretty easy to not really notice them and then get fucked by a monk, though that’s not really an issue that came up but I can see it happening to others.

Really taught me to appreciate 2 stat level ups.

3 Likes

really glad you enjoyed!!

the plan™ is that as more footies promote, there’d be more opportunities for them to shine because they’d have 2 mov climbing cliffs as opposed to 1 (except duren :v). whether or not that’d be a thing in actuality, well, i hope it’ll be :frog:

faust is meant for a greater purpose in the future (and by greater purpose i mean a cooler bat)

yeah honestly mikhail is in a bit of a tragic state rn :frog: the intent was that he starts off weak besides flame lance, and grows into a capable combat unit once he gets (proper, non-:sailboat:) support partners and strength from promotion, but yeah he is overly reliant on flame lance in the current build. at least he’s guaranteed to ORKO mages :v

yeah i can see how the other 3 non-bishop chumps could seem overpriced atm. i intended them to be somewhat mutually exclusive such that you can never actually hire all four of them in a given playthrough, but the chumps are probably not worth like 5 slim weapons especially the swd cav :frog:

yeah i really wanted supports to be powerful haha, in the future it’d probably be cool to have support ranges display when you hover over units ala berwick saga though, but i’m no wizard :frowning:

anyways again i’m really glad you enjoyed it, thank you!!!

1 Like

This feature if it managed to be implemented would be a HUGE deal in terms of telegraphing to the player that these mechanics matter enough to have an always-present display. As is, having such a huge chunk of player power locked behind an invisible set of aura buffs is a bit less than ideal.

1 Like

maybe this time i’ll get to learning ASM hacking…haha this time…

Wait wait save points are a thing in gba now!? My goodness I need to check here more often. The last thing I remember is being blown away by combat arts and split convoy. Now all we is tearring saga’s save staff.

2 Likes

If you’re into save states, there’s a really polished hack called The Four Kings you can check out by KrashBoomBang

4 Likes

Even if it is no priority, but I would like to provide a likable world map. If you need it, i would be happy to help

i’d need to finalise story first haha

i also may or may not have some wacky idea for world map stuff so idk

Oh hey it’s been a bit. I guess it’s time for cool monthly hackrom development update.

The few weeks since the hack’s release was a rather life moment, so sadly not that much progress has been made. I’ve started getting back at hacking full speed in about the last 1.5 weeks, and, well…

Productive use of time

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I guess you could say there has been progress :frog:

(Okay these aren’t meant to be completely joke items. I wanted weaker statboosters in order to 1) replace some of the existing vanilla boosters you obtain in the game right now, since I felt that getting one of each booster in the first 5 maps of the game is really busted; and 2) giving Alphie more stuff to do by potentially having some of these as stealables.)

A bit of fun trivia, I named these after some Three Houses gardening boosters with some… creative liberties:
Rocky Burdock → Rocky
Premium Magic Herbs → Dubious Herb
Speed Carrot → Carrot
Miracle Bean → Baked Beans

On a slightly more serious note, I’ve gotten some feedback that cliff climbing (and dismount) isn’t utilised very much. This was something I added around when I made Chapter 4, which is why that’s the first map that makes use of it at all in the current build. So I turned the end of Chapter 2 into an introduction to the mechanic of sorts:

image

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I’m also looking into having a much better introduction to supports, probably somewhere in the Prologue, because it’s such an important mechanic that isn’t very obvious from the get go.

If you’ve been following my other thread for whatever reason you’d also have seen Chapter 3 finally getting a visual revamp. It also plays slightly differently now (less enemy lance users, because god axes are already so good in this game currently).

cool ch 3 gif

Also check out the cool new title screen BGM, because the current one has like, 2 instruments and doesn’t even loop properly:

Last thing I wanna show off are some custom graphics stuff. I felt like the current build still looked like dogwater so I did stuff to make it look less like dogwater, such as custom item icons and a fresh menu palette (everything is now purple, because yes.) It’s still a work in progress, but this is what it looks like atm:

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Someday I’ll dive headlong into messing with TSA, but today is not the day, because…

---------FEE3 2021!!!---------

I already mentioned in the OP that I’d be participating in this year’s FEE3, but I’ll also release a new update at around the time this hack gets showcased. No solid plan right now (and I prefer not to have one), but in addition to all the stuff above I am hoping that I can put in the script for all the main chapters currently in the game, hopefully with proper eventing (except Intermission 1, as I have yet to make a new map for it, and want to hold off doing so until I do) but that depends on how motivated I’d be :v

There will also be at least 2 new maps in the game: One being another paralogue map during Intermission 2, and the other one being a sorta Chapter 5x-like for the 2nd lord of the game (or technically 4th, since Aslena and :sailboat: are force deployed lol), probably sandwiched somewhere between Chapters 4 and 6, because story reasons and another breather map between those is prooobably needed.

Lastly, since this hack is probably on the higher end of the spectrum WRT difficulty, I’m also looking into adding Normal Mode, mostly by way of making enemy formations less airtight. This is a lesser priority than the other additions though, so it’s a coinflip on whether or not Normal Mode will make it into 0.2.

Again, nothing is set in stone because I am very bad at committing to deadlines, but I hope you’re all as excited for v0.2 as I am!

10 Likes

Bro that c3 update looks so good

2 Likes

helps that the original was ugly and dated

1 Like

This looks fantastic so far. Love to see that my off-handed comment about +/- boosters ended up inspiring some real development! :stuck_out_tongue:

Ch 3 map looks WAY better, and I love the new UI elements. Excited to see what you’ve got in store for the next update!

2 Likes