FEE3 2021 is right around the corner and so I’ve been perusing old playlists and watching videos from the past 10 years. You can view links to all of the playlists here or below.
Thought it’d be neat to share a few highlights from years past in this thread to build anticipation for the event next month.
One aspect of FEE3 that I’ve come to appreciate is that it also serves as an archival of old projects, projects that have progressed, available tech, and the general design trends and meta of the time. It’s pretty neat to see how far the community, as well as individual projects, have come over the years.
I’ll be sharing and posting some of my favorite FEE3 videos from past years here, and encourage y’all to do the same. FEE3 is a big reason why I got into hacking and I’m looking forward to its 11th show.
I’ll kick off w/ 2011:
Nothing quite gets me as jazzed about romhacking like Tactics Universe trailers, when TLP wasn’t TLP and it took place in Elibe. Pretty cool to see some of the beta artwork and dialogue here, and Blazer’s music choice for the trailer is unsurprisingly on point.
As someone who was what you would call an illegal-toaster-user in 2011 it’s cool to see footage of such a well known hack in such an early stage, really makes you think about how lucky this community is that we’re able to document such things, I know for sure that other hacking circles don’t have anything like this, I can only really think of the Sonic and Pokemon hacking community as other communities that have any sort of hacking showcase like FEE3.
Nice! Some of the first couple fee3’s are harder to find videos for so this is pretty nice.
The early days of FEE3 up to now.
Hard to overstate how iconic some of these animations are, especially the centerpiece of the showcase - Halberdier 2.0.
It’s one of my favorite animations we have. It feels so much like it belongs in vanilla. I don’t think there is a single community asset that is more widely used than the H2.0.
Thank you TBA and team
Wow, I can’t believe these animations are that old! I use a few of them in my own hack and finding out that they are that old is extremely interesting!
My goodness! It feels like only yesterday when people would get surprised at playable soldiers and wyvern knights with axes appearing…
Can’t believe it’s been that long…
Why is this old video so hype and has such good editing
The old video is mostly from the early days of FEE3.
Two videos here I want to show - the 2011 and 2013 Dream of Five showcases. I’m sure no one is surprised that I liked these two.
LPs w/ dev co-commentary are my favorite type of FEE3 showcase, since it gives us a rare window into how the developer thinks and often provides insight into their influences, inspirations, thought processes, and how they’ve learned over time.
Following projects over multiple years through FEE3 is neat since you’ll often see the project’s humble beginnings and how it ends up.
Last year we saw the final version of Sun God’s Wrath, which premiere 10 years prior in 2011 as “Sun God’s Challenge”, for example. I enjoyed thumbing through an old Staff of Ages showcase from when it was in FE7, too.
While I lament that Dream of Five is not [complete], it’s still a great project and it’s cool to see how it came together between 2011 and 2013.
Dreams always end before the story concludes.
I’ve always been partial to Death or Glory. While I didn’t enjoy its brand of difficulty (big maps with lots of enemies), NYZGamer did a great job of establishing tone through the use of color in mugs, music, and dialogue. Sometimes it was a bit too edgy, but it all was to show off how much things sucked for the protags.
Death or Glory stands out to me as one of the few projects that really explores the brutality of war, with its opening Lord being a common soldier who has to deal w/ the whims of nobles and navigating a mostly crappy situation. There are few hacks that establish such a bleak world as its backdrop.
I’m still surprised there haven’t been other hacks that explore the brutal aspects of war more, and its one of the reasons I think DoG is still worth looking into today.
Either way, I think DoG explores this pretty well and there are def some cool takeaways with regards to presentation and how it helps enhance your overall narrative. Those battle frame skulls are very cool.
Overall, it’s a nifty window into the priorities and preferences of the time and stands alone in terms of its narrative and character focus.
Inheritance of Ash is probably the coolest looking project to never get a public release. It also has a sick trailer.
This hack oozes aesthetic appeal and feels like a window into a lost time. I am a big fan of old school romhack aesthetic and Inheritance of Ash probably embodies this better than anyone - the FE7 mug styling, the funky angles, the lizard people, the custom choppy animations and edits - all serve to make me think “Yeah this is 2014 romhacking”.
On a more meta level though, it really highlights how far we’ve come as a community. So much of this had to be built from scratch because there were so few F2U assets. It makes me wonder if we would’ve gotten a release if Siulor had tried their hand at hacking just a few years later, or if the development priorities were different. I can’t even fathom how much time it took just to get this to chapter 4 with all of the custom work it had done. The level of aesthetic polish is pretty remarkable.
Although we never got to see the full demo promised in the thread’s OP, I very much enjoyed this small window into what could’ve been.
KelssFE also never had a release (to my knowledge), but this showcase is incredibly well-done and embodies a lot of the aspects of what I appreciate about FEE3 and LPs in general.
It’s entertaining, informative, and snappy.
There’s so much admiration and knowledge of what’s on display. Hearing a bit about the technical changes, why they matter, and how they’re done is super insightful, while also giving the viewer some ideas they can explore for their own work. It feels like a showcase or presentation, and less like a video part in a broader LP.
Seeing the appreciation for a job well done and having the understanding of the effort and skill needed to achieve it adds a lot of weight to how the info is presented as well.
I always appreciate having a knowledgeable LPer talking through what they’re seeing and helping the viewer appreciate some of the items that may go unnoticed or unappreciated by an untrained eye. It’s one of the reasons I tend to go back to the old Ghast and MK404 showcases - always cool to see hackers appreciate hacks.
Not to mention, this hack is pretty and does do some cool stuff I’d not seen before. Worth a watch.
Very nice retrospective on the early years of FEE3, I’m quite impressed by the animations made Blind Archer. Didn’t though that they were already ten years old !
All those ancient projects, were peoples had to do mostly every assets, are already very impressive. But, Inheritance of Ash is really the one that caught my eyes ! It seems like they were trying to create from scratch a High-Fantasy setting in Fire Emblem, with lot of non-human peoples. Nowadays it would already be a very ambitious project, but in 2014? Wow
Seeing stuff from the first FEE3 just makes me feel so old now! The community has come a long way…
FEE3 2016 may have some of the showcases I’ve re-watched the most, but none gave me chills like this one.
“Today I am going to talk to you about the future of romhacking”
Watching this in 2016, I didn’t really understand what I was watching. This is like the romhacking equivalent of watching the first automobile or steam ship. It’s a rare thing, but you don’t realize how important it was until later on.
Buildfiles and Builder completely changed hacking, and the growth of FEE3 from 2017 to the present highlights both the accessibility of the newest methods shown here, but also the birth of so many other gameplay innovations we take for granted.
Big thank you to Circles and everyone else who made buildfiles a possibility.
You can see the impact of the above video in practice here.
Mel’s enthusiasm is contagious and the moment where the chat sees “press select to view growths” is wild. Again, it’s amazing how something we take for granted today was such a big wow factor not that long ago, and shows how heckin’ spoiled we are.
Lots of the gushing around the project highlights some of the aspects of modern hacking we’ve come to expect - proper movement display, viewable growths, and other QoL that are table stakes for pushing out a project today.
Staff of Ages does a great job of showing these off. It’s also worth noting how different the project looked 1-2 years after its debut when it ported over to FE8. Lots of great art and this map was one of my favorites to play in the old GBA version.
Ah yes, Staff of Ages. It’s a shame that they had to convert the game into XNA Build like the Immortal Sword. I’m wondering about its progress itself, like percentage wise or is Act 2 completely finished and secretly working on Act 3 without any kinds of leaks?
You could join the SoA discord to ask. Afaik they’re on Act 2.