[FE8] Fire Emblem: Wrath of the Crusade (v0.1.3)

Hey everyone, I’m PhantomSentine and I’d like to present a project that I’ve had in the works for a little while now, Fire Emblem: Wrath of the Crusade! This is a work-in-progress FE8 ROM Hack, and was only made possible thanks to the incredible resources put out by this community, in particular the amazing Skill System. This project is still very much still in its early stages, and I hope to keep improving it with feedback from the community to make it into something special. So, without further ado, here’s what you can expect from Wrath of the Crusade!

Screenshots:
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WotCScreencap3 WotCScreencap4
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Features:

  • Playable through chapter six, including a prologue. The current plan for the completed hack is roughly 25-32 main-story chapters.
  • This hack is balanced around the “Difficult” setting, and is intended to be fairly challenging after the introductory chapters. “Normal” and “Easy” currently features lowered enemy stats but no other changes.
  • A Fates-style weapon triangle, where Swords/Tomes > Axes/Bows > Lances/Daggers. Tomes are further broken up into the trinity of magic, where White > Dark > Anima.
  • Fates-stlye weapon triangle bonuses, which are based on the advantaged unit’s weapon rank. Units also gain weapon rank bonuses, but lose these bonuses while at weapon triangle disadvantage.
  • Light magic and staves have been combined into white magic. Staves are used through the relabeled “W.Magic” command.
  • Fates-style battle calculations
    Hit: (Skill x 3/2) + (Luck x 1/2)
    Avo: (Speed x 3/2) + (Luck x 1/2)
    Crit: (Skill - 4) x 1/2
    CrEv: Luck x 1/2
  • The doubling threshold has been increased to 5.
  • Weapon rebalancing based on Fates. Weapons have infinite durability, but more powerful weapons have various drawbacks (i.e. attack speed penalties, after-combat debuffs, etc.).
  • A reworked WExp system, where units only gain 1 WExp per combat. Weapon rank WExp thresholds have been generally lowered to compensate, resulting in slightly slower but more consistent WExp gains between units.
  • Thieves (and certain promoted classes when they become available) use daggers. Daggers can attack at ranges 1-2 and apply debuffs to their target after combat.
  • Con, Aid, and weapon weight have been removed. Player units can rescue any blue unit, but can’t rescue green units.
  • Adjacent allies provide each other with a +10 Hit bonus, but these bonuses are halved if there is more than one adjacent ally (i.e. 1 ally = +10, 2 allies = +10, 3 allies = +15, 4 allies = +20). All factions gain these bonuses, including enemies. This bonus is part of a reworked support system that will be expanded upon in the future.
  • Fates-style skills! All playable units, and some enemies, have unique personal skills. Unpromoted classes learn skills at levels 1 and 10, while promoted classes learn skills at levels 5 and 15.

Plot:
In the heart of the Empire, a long shadow is cast by a rising army calling itself the Crusade. Endorsed by the Church of Khairn, the crusade marches across the land, conscripting those who submit to their rule and eradicating all who stand in their way. An enigmatic warrior known as Ashatiel leads her crusade in their conquest, claiming to serve the will of the gods.

Quickly establishing their dominion, the crusade begins to spread to even the furthest corners of the Empire. When the crusade reaches the isolated village of Westhaven, two friends, Alain and Skylar, find themselves drawn into a conflict that will shape the future of their nation and beyond.

Download it here!
Wrath of the Crusade v0.1.3

Previous Versions
Wrath of the Crusade v0.1.2
Wrath of the Crusade v0.1.1
Wrath of the Crusade v0.1

Changelog
  • Version 0.1.3
    -The prologue through chapter four have recieved minor reworks. Some enemies will now spawn without their default class skills. Chapters three and four have reworked enemy placement and reinforcements, and chapter four has had a slight map overhaul.
    -WExp has recieved a major rework. Units can now only gain 1 WExp per combat (i.e. doubling does not grant 2 WExp, no bonus WExp for kills). WExp required to attain each rank has generally been lowered to compensate.
    -Implemented method to spawn units without their default class skills
    -Gil has recieved 2 more HP at base (up to 20) to make him just a little less squishy.
    -Wall HP during Chapter Three has been incresed to 30 (from 25).
  • Version 0.1.2
    -Chapter Five now has no village requirement before escaping due to unresolved bugs causing a game over even when the victory condition had been met. The visit-three-village requirement before escaping will be restored in a future version.
  • Version 0.1.1
    -Missed a NoFade in the prologue, whoops.
    -Changed canto to not trigger on seize (and by extension, escape + arrive) which fixes a bug where a unit with canto that has a rescuee escaping last durring Chapter Five would get stuck in a loop where they can’t end their turn.
  • Version 0.1
    -Initial release!

Credits:
(If I missed anything, please let me know!)

Tech Stuff
Big thanks to everyone who contributed to the Skill System!
Battle Animations by Character - Tequila
Status Staff Modifications - Datagne
Remove Unused Weapon Ranks on Promotion - Venno
Murder Sticks - Zeta, Gilgamesh
DSFE Style Healing - Venno
Modular Minimug Box - Zane

Battle Animations
Vanilla Knight w/ Axes - TBA
Female Fighter - Black Mage
Archer Repalette - flasuban, DerTheVaporeon
Male Pegasus Knight - SixThousandHulls
Wyvern Rider w/ Axes - Mikey Seregon, Alfred Kamon
Improved Soldier - Alusq
Male Mage Lord - Eldritch Abomination
Female Mercenary - TBA
Male/Female Thief Repalette w/ Knife - Pikmin1211, Maiser6, Skitty, GabrielKnight
Princess Celica - Red Bean, Jeorge_Reds

Map Sprites
Priest Improved - flasuban
Knight w/ Axe - Agro
Female Fighter - Alusq
Alt Soldier - Alusq
Female Mercenary - Agro
Priestess Celica - blood
Wyvern Rider w/ Axe - flasuban

Conclusion:
I really hope you enjoy Wrath of the Crusade! I’ve done my best to bug test but I can’t promise I’ve caught everything, especially in the later chapters. Please let me know if you find any bugs. And of course, thanks for checking out my project!

6 Likes

When I saw your hack title the first thing to come in my head was this

Summary

LOL

1 Like

Played the first few maps on hard mode, and they’re pretty good! They’re challenging without being unfair, for the most part. Growths are pretty high, but I haven’t seen enough to say if it scales well or not. Portraits could use work, but not everyone’s an artist. I do want to say that seal defense on soldiers is super super obnoxious, especially since skillsys seal skills activate even if the unit with the skill didn’t counter (unlike in 3H), and with GBA stats being generally lower compared to Fates, that -6 defense absolutely ruins a unit’s defenses for a few turns, which really hurts early on when you only have a few people. I’d recommend either dropping how much of a debuff is inflicted, or making it so that seals only trigger when the user actually got an attack in (I notice that you have some custom skills, which is super cool).
To give an example, in Chapter 3, if Gil attacks either of the soldiers at the start, that puts him in one-shot range of the nearby archer. You can mitigate this by putting Alain adjacent, of course, but it really does turn the pressure up very hard.

1 Like

Thanks for commenting! I did realize pretty early on during playtesting that seal defense would need to be used judiciously and tried to design around it accordingly, but I may very well still need to make adjustments. I’ve tried to make stats adhere closer to Fates than GBA, but given Fates’ first few chapters are taken up mostly by the prologue I had to do a fair bit of guesswork regarding low-level stats for playable characters. One thing that’s easy to miss (and admittedly I don’t signal it very well) is that unlike the vanilla skill system, seal debuffs do not apply in this hack if the skill-carrier is defeated (which is how Fates does it). Using a ranged attacker to deal chip, especially Alain, who has garbage defense to begin with, and then finishing soldiers off in melee proves pretty effective in my experience. That said, seal defense might still be too much for those early chapters. I’ve considered making soldiers start with swap and then learn seal defense at level 10, but in general I try to adhere to vanilla unless I have good reason. Also, thanks for leaving feedback! I’m glad to hear you’ve mostly enjoyed the early chapters.

Is that white magic from fire emblem echoes?? Does it have every light spells and staves from echoes?
(Like invoke nosferatu ect.)it will be lovely to have that spells especially the invoke.Or is it from fates i didnt have time to play FE fates a dunno everything about fates

The closest approximation would probably be faith from Three Houses. Primarily white magic consists of healing, status, and movement staves as well as a handful of chip-damage offensive spells. Compared to anima and dark magic, white magic will ultimately have fewer offensive tomes but a lot more utility. Nosferatu isn’t available yet but will remain the purview of dark magic. While I do really enjoy the invoke spells in Echoes, they create a very different style of play where baiting enemies out of position and leaving your allies exposed is no longer quite as risky a proposition so I don’t plan to include summon-type abilities for players.

2 Likes

I visited all 4 houses in chapter 5 & escaped with all units, still its a game over.

Thanks for letting me know. I haven’t been able to replicate the issue on my end, so could you give me a few details regarding what happened during your playthrough of that chapter? Did anyone die? Did anybody escape early? Did you fight Rahm, or even defeat him? Anything that might trigger an event could theoretically mess up the ending condition.

1 Like

Until I can resolve the bugs regarding Chapter Five’s victory condition, I’ve decided to remove it. You can now escape as soon as the map begins to end the chapter, if you do so desire (although you’ll still probably want to grab some of the items and EXP the chapter provides first). Once I get it figured out, I will restore the three-village minimum, but for now I don’t want to ruin anybody’s experience with that chapter.

I’ve gotten up to chapter 4, and whew, this is pretty hard.

Enemy cavaliers are kind of ridiculous. They already have a great statline in vanilla gbafe, which doesn’t seem to have changed much, except now they almost always have +3 str, enough speed that no one doubles them except Joanna and Sterling on PP, and pretty tanky to boot. In addition, they come in groups, and not many people can survive more than 1 attack. Ch3 is especially bad because one has a javelin and is next to an iron lance cav, resulting in getting a hit bonus, meaning they almost never miss even with WTD.

Soldiers with Seal Def are another annoyance, especially combined with the aforementioned cavaliers or Quick Draw archers. Can you make it so it the seal only takes effect if they actually hit, or only on EP?

You mention that there are weapon rank bonuses, but don’t mention what they are. I assume the C lances gives +1 damage, since Sterling does 1 more damage than I can account for. Perhaps a readme if you don’t want to put the info the in the weapon ranks screen?

Lastly, and most importantly, please give everyone a vulnerary. Ch3 required quite a few restarts because I had to figure out who had a vulnerary and could trade it to those in need, and Alain is usually needed for combat stuff (and even if he’s healing, he’s just 1 person).

Otherwise enjoying this hack so far!

EDIT: Did you change the AS formula/doubling threshold? Sterling with 10 speed and darting blow (15 AS) isn’t doubling pegs in his join chapter (11 AS).

1 Like

Thank you for pointing out the issues you’re having with cavaliers. I’ve played my hack so many times that I think I’m starting to develop a second sense for matchups, and it can be difficult for me to judge the line between tricky enemy placement and straight up just being unfair to unfamiliar players. In my experience, I’ve found Esther and Mischa do a pretty good job of baiting cavs, and I wonder if that matches up with your playthrough. Additionally, I’ve balanced around the assumption that Johanna is being used fairly agressively, so if players are using her more cautiously that might also artificially inflate the difficulty. Johanna is very strong so she might be somewhat centralizing, which is not really my intention.

One other thing to point out is that stats tend to be more in-line with Fates than GBA across the board. For example, enemy stats are calculated using their class bases (which have been updated to their Fates values) and fixed growths (from Fates’ enemy unit growths, which are class-based), with hard mode granting up to four bonus levels.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, weapon rank bonuses are the same as in Fates. So, yes, C-rank in lances grants +1 damage. The only real change is that anima magic use the tomes/scrolls values from Fates, while light uses sword values and dark uses axe values. Putting that information in a readme is a good idea, thank you for suggesting it.

I do also tend to notice the dearth of vulneraries, and Alain being both a healer and attacker is indeed something of a double edged sword. Starting with chapter four you can buy them, but having a few more for chapter three in particular would probably be a good idea.

Lastly, yes and I completely forgot to mention it! The doubling threshold is indeed 5, not 4. It was a very early change I made and it completely slipped my mind to mention it in the description, so thank you for reminding me. I honestly forgot that 5 isn’t the default doubling threshold in GBA.

I’m very glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying my hack, and I appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback!

EDIT: In fact, I’ll throw up the weapon rank bonuses here for posterity’s sake until I put together a readme:

Sword/Dagger/White
C: +1 damage
B: +2 damage
A: +3 damage
S: +4 damage, +5 Hit

Lance/Bow/Anima
C: +1 damage
B: +1 damage, +5 Hit
A: +2 damage, +5 Hit
S: +3 damage, +10 Hit

Axe/Dark
C: +5 Hit
B: +10 Hit
A: +1 damage, +10 Hit
S: +2 damage, +15 Hit

Version 0.1.3 is now out and with it comes some important changes! Enemy skills and WExp have recieved reworks this release, so let’s dive in and see what’s new.

WExp
Weapon Experience (or WExp) has recieved a major overhaul this release. With the new mechanics, a unit will only gain 1 WExp per combat (or staff use), regardless of if they doubled or defeated their opponent. To compensate, WExp thresholds for each rank have been lowered across the board (except S-rank). Overall, units will gain WExp a bit slower than before, but with more consistency between units. The new weapon rank thresholds are 21 WExp for D-rank, 51 WExp for C-rank, 96 WExp for B-Rank, 161 WExp for A-Rank, and 251 WExp for S-Rank (unchanged).

The second important change to WExp is that each class now has weapon rank caps. In general, unpromoted units will not be able to exceed B-rank. Skylar’s villager class is an exception, capping out at C-rank in lances, but in my experience she’s not at risk of reaching the cap before she promotes. Unfortunately, there is currenly no UI indication that a weapon rank has been capped. Hopefully in the future I will be able to get weapon ranks to glow green when capped like vanilla GBAFE does with S-ranks.

Enemy Skills Rework
Some enemies will now spawn without their default class skills. This is done on a case-by-case basis in order to better balance maps and enemy quality. For some classes, this is done across the board to remove skills that are useless in enemy hands or recieve only marginal use (for example, the fighter’s shove skill and the mercenary’s second wind skill). More importantly, however, is that certain classes of enemies have been toned down and made more managable for the early chapters, such as soldiers who will no longer always carry the seal defense skill.

Enemies with these skills have not been completely removed, however, so make sure you pay attention to enemy skills and plan accordingly. This has the consequence of making the early chapters easier, but the overall experience should still be a reasonable challenge. My hope is to cut down on the more frustrating forms of difficulty to make space for more interesting forms of challenge, and open up more design possibilities in the future regarding enemy skills.

So far, these changes have only been implemented through chapter four. Chapters five and six remain unchanged, as I am planning to more thoroughly rework those chapters in the future. Chapter four has also recieved minor adjustments to its map, which has been slightly altered to accomodate better reinforcement placement.

2 Likes

Hello @PhantomSentine, I’m letting you know that I’m downloading your hack. Thank you

1 Like