[FE8] [WIP] Host of the Dark 0.5 (14 main chapters, 2 gaidens)

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Story

Beings of pure magic, also known as demons have long been warring with the other three races of the continent of Cloigeann every time they appear with the resurrection of the demon king. After many conflicts over generations the continent eventually found some stability in its systems.
The dragons residing in the western mountains, kept together under the banner of a theocracy.
The elves hidden from public eyes in the forests to the east, separated yet still connected through a near universal love for magic and knowledge.
The humans, who rule most of the continent over on sheer numbers alone, not having the strength of dragons, nor the magical capabilities of elves. Humanity has long since ruled through an interconnected system of lords ruling over territories, however, this system is not meant to last.

The winds of change blow throughout Cloigeann, all blowing towards one young man, Solum.

Note on the Story

While story is not the focus of this hack I have strived and will continue to strive to make the story of this hack as enjoyable and quality as possible. The story lightly covers dark topics such as prejudice and grief, thus the 13+ rating. On a scale I’d say that this story is generally carried with the same seriousness and as The Sacred Stones. No one in this story is without their faults, just as every real person isn’t without their own faults, some playable characters will have a very morally incorrect view on certain topics due to their upbringing or nature, just be aware of this when going in.

the views of characters within this story do not reflect my own views.

Note on the Gameplay

This hack was designed to be mildly difficult but overall manageable to complete in an ironman setting. The rewind feature was not and will never be used while playtesting, however it is an option that is available to those who are not comfortable with the difficulty of the hack or simply just wants an easier time.

There will be notes about most unique gameplay objectives either before or after the brief description of the area at the start of the battle.

There will not be ambush spawns.

Weapon triangle is about 2x as effective meaning that it will heavily impact your hit rates and overall damage.

Canto now works like it does in the Jugdral games (canto after attacking).

Some units will be better than others however none will be unusable.

Promotion items are generally intended to be used from levels 10-13, it is recommended that you do not wait until level 20 to promote.

History of Host of the Dark

April 19th 2021:
The first public thread about this hack.

Since then I have built upon the base, originally wanting to just create a simple hack with a simple story, after I got tired of working on an FE7 hack.
However, as I went along… something changed, I began to enjoy writing the character’s journey I got invested in the idea of the story so near the end of the game I tried to do something more, something unique.

However, it was built upon the base of a novice hacker’s first real project. After a fantastic review by @JeyTheCount, who I can not thank enough for doing, I decided to rebuild it, from almost scratch.

October 27th 2021:
The fifth day of FEE3 2021, and the showing of Host of the Dark
The first public release of Host of the Dark’s complete overhaul.
this is a complete overhaul of nearly every aspect of this hack, the only map remaining intact from the original being the prologue. I now feel the drive to do something unique with the story, develop the characters, make the gameplay feel good, make the maps look good.
So without further adieu, I give you, Host of the Dark: RELIGHT

March 22nd 2022:
Host of the Dark 0.3 releases

May 3rd 2022:
Host of the Dark 0.4 releases

Secrets

I’ll never tell

Credits

note: not all of the people credited have their work used in this version, this is a list of people whose works have been used in the past or in any future versions.

portraits:
NICKT
toogee
A Working Man
Capibarainspace
Levin64
Damo
Its_Just_Jay
XVI
SeaLion
MeatOfJustice
BoneManSeth
Alusq
Tobiki
Lenh
AmBrosiac
L95
Flasuban
RandomWizard
Smug_Mug
Sphealnuke
Melia
LaurentLaicrox
cravat
Der
Peerless
CobyTheGoober_Ace
Matthieu

Classes:
Jotari
ML
Flasuban
Victor Pouderoux
Aruka
Kenpuhu
Itranc
FlyingAce24
Primefusion
Xenith
Temp
Pikmin1211
Pushwall
St jack
Alusq
jj09
TBA
mercenary lord
nycgamer
team SALVAGED
SqRtOfPi
SHYUTERz
shadowofchaos
JeyTheCount
miguel-rojo
Leo_Link
Spud
MeatOfJustice
Retrogamer
7743
Circleseverywhere
Kao
Marlon0024
L95
Derthevaporeon
Redbean
Zelix
Greentea
RoberyFPY
Itrane
Asael
Nuramon
Obsidian Daddy
GabrielKnight
SamirPlayz
MrNight48
Iscaneus
Jeorge Reds
IscaneusRevamped
Sax Marine

Status Screens:
Feels
Kirb
Knabepicer

playtesters:
splinterocke
LeonNote
knabepicer
Areynor
Markex133

CGs: Fenreir

Full game reviewers:
JeyTheCount
Jackofblades1991
JrpgAddict

battle BGs:
HeartHero

map sprites:
FEgirls
Dominus_Vobiscum
Snewping
FaerieFruit
Warpath
Archerbias
FireEmblemier
Pushwall
Peerless
Alusq
Rexacuse
Siuloir
Rasdel
StreetHero
blood
SHYUTER
DerTheVaporeon
RobertFPY
Robert1211
AnnoyingAnon
L95
Huichelaar
Nuramon
Aruka
Kenphu
MeteorSR23
Flasuban
Its_Just_Jay
Pikmin

Magic animations:
SHYUTERz
MisakaMikoto

Icons:
Camtech075
Purple
Ereshkigal

Music:
Sme
Pikmin1211
Dolkar
RandomWizard
Mycahel
RSflame

Special Credits:
The FEE3 2021 team.
The FEU Discord server.
JeyTheCount
IntelligentSystems
Salty_Ralts

Screenshots

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Supports progress

Part 1 does not have support conversations, instead, supports are built automatically based on story events and the occasional optional talk conversation.

Part 2 will have support conversations, however most are not yet implemented.

patch notes

0.5 overhaul:

  • added two new chapters
  • revamped two early game chapters
  • Mick rebalancing
  • story revamps
  • Sagiita starts with C bows instead of almost maxed D rank
  • Max rebalancing
  • Sal’s part 2 prf weapon now reflects its intended use
  • Fidem now gets a prf in part 2
  • increased Avaal’s level
  • added gameplay and story notes at the beginning of most chapters

0.41 overhaul:

  • fixed a bug with chapter 12’s end event not triggering

0.4 overhaul:

  • minor bug fixes
  • part 2 now has chapters 11-12 fully implemented
  • class tweaks and rebalances
  • part 1 made more difficult
  • palette changing
  • UI tweaks
  • added a bunch of custom music
  • character buffs/nerfs

0.3 overhaul:

  • major bug fixes
  • part 2 now has chapters 8-11
  • part 1 unit balancing
  • weapon triangle buff
  • class changes

0.2 overhaul:

  • minor bug fixes
  • part 1 is complete
  • minor character growth tweaks

0.1 overhaul:

  • Completely overhauled chapters prologue-6 with one gaiden map

0.7:
-added two new chapters
-boosted Near’s magic growth
-replaced some ui elements with FE6 ui
-minor growth changes
-+10 hit to all 1 range axes
-pirates have a new battle animation
-edits to various shops
-fixed a solftlock in chapter 3
-slight dialogue tweaks

0.9

  • The game is now in a completable state
    -fixed a few bugs regarding chapter 4
    -New title screen!
    -swapped main theme
    -dialogue tweaks
    -map balancing and tweaks
Legacy Patches

Legacy patch 0.9

Host of the Dark: RELIGHT 0.1
Host of the Dark: 0.2
Host of the Dark 0.3
Host of the Dark 0.4

Current version:

Host of the Dark 0.5

Streaming/LP rules
  • ask beforehand
  • be honest with any criticisms
Discord Link

Click Here

I am very excited to hear feedback and constructive criticism, please enjoy the hack! It’d be much appreciated if you’d send screenshots of your final team so I can gauge interest in certain units!

21 Likes

Gave the game a quick run. Prologue-6x were pretty whatever, very weak enemies and not really much in the way of interesting objectives to pursue. Chapter 7 was actually pretty cool, I liked having to get the keys from each promoted enemy and then bringing them to the doors to open the path to the throne.

But then after chapter 7, everything went downhill. You’re stuck with one frail unit for two maps with extremely limited healing, and then after that is a really boring survive map. I wish I could’ve just continued with the party I had back in chapter 7, and have more maps of that quality.

1 Like

I see thank you for your feedback

spoilers (in case any person decides to skim through the comments before playing)

part two was meant to hit you out of nowhere and kind of force you to be careful with your frail lord, if you missed the two chests in chapter 8 then you won’t have the modified shamshir that raises avoid and the angelic robe, the defend map is something that I do think I’ll overhaul for the next patch
I do think that I need to bump up enemy strength for part 1, part 1 only gives you two promotion items (not counting the lord’s two) and on repeat playthroughs you may even send the master seal to the convoy to give one of your units in part 2 an early promo, much like how the wyrmslayer was meant to be in the convoy for the part 2 draco-zombie.
The lord of part 2 should get a boost to hp and a little to defense though.

again, thank you for the feedback, it is truly appreciated

You should just have the wyrmslayer be guaranteed in part 2. I never even got it because the boss who was supposed to drop it used it to attack me on enemy phase and he dropped a different weapon. Also maps where you only have one unit are not very fun (in the fog map, I could not recruit the nomad and thief, so I only had the frail lord). Especially in chapter 8, it was extremely tedious to walk around the map and grab the chests after talking to the boss and pacifying the enemies.

1 Like

yeah the wyrmslayer thing while not necessary would’ve made things easier, I may want to have the nomad and thief recruitable that chapter to make things easier. Chapter 8 could use some ironing out, while I do think a solo chapter is necessary for the story (maybe have Tobias tag along then leave) story shouldn’t sacrifice gameplay so I will fix that up, thank you for the feedback, it was really helpful.

0.6 has been unveiled! Two new chapters, bug fixes, complete chapter 8 overhaul!
I have also submitted Host of the Dark to FEE3 so be on the lookout.

3 Likes

Host of the dark has been updated! 0.7 release raises the chapter number up by two and brings us ever closer to the climax of this story! Still feels like I’m just starting the hack if I’m being honest, progress has slowed down recently but I’m slowly chipping away at it no matter how slowly!

6 Likes

Oh boy, the hack’s almost done! This has been an amazing hack to work on and I’m excited to get it to 100% with supports!

It’s important to note that this hack IS completable all the way to the credits, the only thing missing are the support conversations! So if you’re going to make a fair critique of the story then I advise to wait for the 1.0 release, I intend to fill in a few plotholes in various support convos, excited to write Fidem and Sagiita supports, those two were fun to write!

4 Likes

How many chapters is this going to have? I tried looking for a number but couldn’t find one. Congrats on an almost release!! Supports are gonna take awhile and of course take your time with writing them and fleshing them out, no rush. Always good to see a rom hack come to fruition. Good luck with the rest!

1 Like

oh yeah, this hack has 20 full chapters with 2 there for story reasons, forgot to mention it in the post since my previous title had the chapter number.

1 Like

Hi there !

I realise this question might be a little selfish, but is there any recruitment or gaiden chapters guide ? (Granted that there is any Gaiden chapters.)

Thanks !

2 Likes

at the current point there is no recruitment or gaiden guide but there are no gaiden chapters with requirements and most if not all recruitments are told pretty blatantly to you, if you’re unsure of it’s requirement try the lord first then Fidem and Sagiita, if you still can’t then reread the dialogue carefully to see if you missed anything.

I may make a recruitment guide to go along with the game’s 1.0 release so if you really can’t play the game without knowing how to grab every character then wait until then but as I said the recruitments are pretty straightforward.

1 Like

Ok, then, the review.

Part 1: Characters

You use F2U portraits. At that’s OK, if you don’t feel skilled enough to make your own. However!
Your hack includes a timeskip. It makes it very hard to determine which character is who.
Compare younger and older Sagiita:
image image
Apart from being female, they look nothing alike.
Suggestion: Recolor the mugs so that the younger and older versions of the characters look a little more alike.
Either this:
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Or this:
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Now they can at least pass as the same character.

The palletes are also very ugly.
Compare this:
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To this:
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This is a very basic alteration but it goes a long way into making the hack look less visually jarring.

Another complaint: Add character description. It’s nice you write who made which chracter, but some of flavour text would be nice. It adds characterisation to the heroes.

Another random thing I found wierd: why don’t you use the Moloch battle animation for Tobias? His portrait was literally made for it:
image

Characters are super broken too, but I think that was on purpose so OK.

Part 2: Maps

The maps are… poorly made.
Look at the second map (“Flee insanity”)


The maps lack any detail, are big and empty.

Adding some detail helps.

The later maps are also waaaay too big.


Most time I’ve spent on this map was just moving my units and that’s not fun.
You can narrow it to this no problem:

When it comes to FE maps, smaller is better. If you ever played FE4, you should be aware of this.

I also found a hilarious bug. On map 4 (“Redemption”), there’s a house. It gives a free secret book and you can visit is as many times as you want, efficiently giving you infinte secret books. Just add a completion flag.
On map 17 (“The First Floor”) you need to seize only one throne to win, which was not the point (I think).

Part 3: Story
The idea is cool but the execution… leaves a lot to be desired. It’s all over the place. Of course, too much exposition is bad, but you have little to no exposition. Add an intro where you explain the conflict between men and deamons as this is never properly explained. Go through the dialogues once more. Fix all the lower caps, add comas and so on. Also split the senences a little. The character sometimes have like three or four lines of a single sentence. Not a lot to talk about here, the story is pretty basic and I’m not a biggest fan of it but there’s nothing I can do about it.

Conclusion:
The hack is bad. I congratualte you on making it nonetheless, that’s an achievement in on its own. Now you learned how it is to make a hack and let’s hope your next work will be better.

2 Likes

but isnt this hack not done yet? how can u give a review when its not done?

The only thing that’s not finished is the supports. Also the creator recommended me to play it and I promised to leave a review, so… yeah.

2 Likes

think imma try it for myself too now then, btw what about the difficulty, u didnt say anything about that.

It’s stupidly easy.

Thank you for this review, even if it’s all criticism it’s the first review I’ve been given so it’s good to see that I can improve from here, thankfully small things like portrait coloring and animations can be fixed along with the support update, maps however I’m still determining whether or not I should change those up, I probably will.

Anyway thanks so much for the review it was very helpful!

2 Likes

Ok, i gave this a fair shot and quit at defending those two villages. Not gave up, quit, and i don’t do that lightly.

This was mostly due to being both bored and confused.

It feels like there are somehow both too many and too few enemies on each map due to how rough everyones starting stats are. Chapter 4 is horrible because you can end up starting enemy phase after getting a house event spawning 30 dudes in an ambush spawn with a general who can/will one shot everyone moving 6 spaces when all but two of your units can move 5. and almost every enemy has strangely high speed. Like a level 4 fighter with 10 speed strange. Hell on chapter 5 once eagle spawned the boss suddenly went from 9 luck to 29 luck making hitting him annoying.

Not a single character has a proper description, they’re all just named “portrait by blank” which is awful for giving me any reason to care about these characters. In game i don’t even think the continent your on is named. This story isn’t even coherent since since so many characters change so radically that its impossible to identify them.

This hack is in really rough shape.

1 Like

Thank you for the feedback, I’d like to clear up some things that may help a bit with your issues

okay, I understand your complaint here but I would like to point out that the dialogue clearly stated that there was something off about things, the win condition also clearly said to defeat a character which was no where to be seen, along with that the village is the only one not destroyed within that box of villages, one can assume that there would be something up with that house, it’s also no guaranteed that you visit the village at the end of your turn, the enemies also pop out after a certain number of turns if you take too long to reach the village.

this puts you on a time limit, you also forget that this general has to cross two corners in order to reach the army in the villages, where the main action is, this can also be circumvented entirely with Tobias’s summons/

that’s a glitch I need to fix

okay, this was a decision made when I first started hacking, I did this more to make sure I was properly crediting everyone, I most likely will do create proper descriptions once 1.0 is done

I didn’t think the name of the continent was necessary, I found no way to naturally fit it into the story, this story isn’t about the continent, or the powers of the continent.

can you explain this? If your talking about that one point where Cory drops his speaking quirk, that was intentional, if you can provide examples I’d be grateful.

regardless thank you very much for the critique, I’ll take your criticism into consideration for potential reworks and future projects I will work on, I appreciate the honesty, it doesn’t sound like you pulled any punches talking about it, which I am thankful for.