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

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.

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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!!!

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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Bro that c3 update looks so good

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helps that the original was ugly and dated

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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!

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now i just need to add random boosters :weary:

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rout
oops

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That’s a big map right there.

brb questioning life and existence

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For personal reasons I will not be participating in this year’s FEE3. This also means the FEE3 build will come when it is ready, which is likely well after the event. Seems last minute, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Apologies for the inconvenience.

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No worries! We look forward to its release and your updates! Project looks sick and please take it easy as well :smiley:

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It’s been a bit so it’s time for another bit of a development update :slight_smile:

I’ve been very on and off working on the hack (with productivity only going back up these past few weeks tbh) and a lot of time has passed since I last updated, so it’s hard for me to keep track of what’s changed since then. Frankly a lot of it are miscellaneous graphics stuff and general polish - check out the new title screen tho
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(yes it’s still the Windows XP wallpaper)

To the surprise of nobody ever, it turns out that giving out a ton of brave slims early on in the game led to a ton of free ORKOs. I enjoy strong offensive options but even this was too much for me, so I dialed back a lot on slim weapon availability in the earlygame, with the plan making them more readily available in the midgame. ORKOs are definitely not out of the question, especially for defensively frail enemies like goombas or mages, but you should expect more of combining 2 units to secure kills and/or utilising support bonuses to potentially ORKO. Oh also they’ve been renamed lol
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Another weapon subtype that have been revamped are blades. Originally I only used them to make enemy Mercenaries have comparable statlines to other enemy types (especially nerfing their speed) but I wanted to make more interesting generic weapons. So, they’re now locked to foot units and receive a firesweep effect thing. Oh and they’re also renamed lol
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Axes and lances also get their own equivalent, each with their own gimmick but at the cost of being even heavier than blades.
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Yeah these icons are placeholders lol

It turns out that 0.2 will probably include 1 additional map. I would’ve liked to do like 1 or 2 more, but motivation really does come and go haha. This is the first map for the game’s second route, following Ayrton and his besieged forces (I’m not showing screenshots of him since he’s still using a f2u mug right now :p):

Some units also get a✨fancy✨ skill too:
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Anyways that’s about as much progress as I made, along with a bunch of other misc stuff I probably forgot lol. I hope y’all had a nice FEE3 2021 too! A lot of hacks showcased there were pretty bangin ngl. You can expect 0.2 to drop in early December since I’d be moving around that month and I want to push the update out before then. Everything mentioned here and the previous update will be in 0.2, along with as much script as I can stuff into the game (hopefully all the way until Intermission 2). Additionally, I released a playtesting patch for Ayrton’s map in the hack’s Discord (could also test out the rest of the game too since the current build is so much different than the public build anyway lol), so check that out if you wanna. That’s all gamers

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so much for early december lol

Q: Where have you been?

Like I said in the last post, I was moving places earlier this year, and long story short there has been some, let’s say, outstanding personal issues since then.

Q: Is the hackrom *gasp* dead??

It is not! There hasn’t been much progress in the intervening months because (as people in the hack Discord already know) I took a hiatus for most of it, but I never intended to drop the project out (though I came close at times), and I’ve just started inching away at it again recently.

Q: So you're alive, but more importantly, the ROM is still being hacked, what now?

There’s quite a number of things I want to show off since the last post, but I think I’d rather save the meat of it for FEE3, so here’s a few snippets:

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Q: Wait, FEE3? Last time you dipped at the last minute!

Yes, this hack will be on FEE3 this year, for real this time. Why? Because I’ve already committed to working on the showcase early, and sunk cost fallacy will carry me through to completion :wink: So stay tuned!

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And yes the new version will come at FEE3, and in the meantime I’m taking down the hack download on the thread because that version is so outdated it’s pretty sad, and there are still a lot of things to iron out in the current build that I don’t feel comfortable releasing (and damn it I’m so close to FEE3 so I might as well capitalise on the hype if I want to make big updates).

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