Fire Emblem: Dark Stone - FE8, but you play as the bad guys! [Overhaul with a new story]

To be fair, the lord usually IS the best unit, by default.

He has to be deployed on every map, so gotta make it worth it.

1 Like

In my experience the map flows a lot better if you’re aggressive and try to gain ground rather than hole yourself up in the throne room with its giant 3-tile entrance. Are you in the latest version? I made a few adjustments to the map, as well as added a bit of text to nudge the player towards playing aggressively.

Hey again. Yep, I did just that and I managed to beat the map. Thanks for the tip!

1 Like

I really love The Princess’s Lament, so I got excited when this dropped. Completed it today, and yep, it was fun but I think the last few chapters were just a bit too difficult for me on Hard mode. I probably could of made it easier on myself if I didn’t view every single talk convo I could read, but I didn’t want to miss any of the script since your writing is really good.

Thoughts on plot/story changes

There were times I had to stop playing and step outside just because of how sad the game could get (this is a good thing!), I knew I’d feel guilty killing a few of my faves, but geez some of them especially hurt. All the trainees, Garcia, Franz and Cormag hit me pretty rough. At first I thought Natasha and Rennac got spared, but then Lyon finally broke McGregor’s last bit of hope by telling the truth and I think Rennac’s ending spoke for itself. Almost feel like I should of let the guy stay rerecruited with L’arachel, he at least might of died a happy fool instead of a sad drunk. Her death was probably the saddest, by the way. She’s a fan favorite so it’s to be expected, but is that also why you have to actively get a gaiden chapter in order to actually fight her? Either way, love the drama there.

Went with Lyon wins ending, but I saved on another slot right before the split, so I can get the other ending easily when I want to.

Units of Note

I had screenshots but I don’t know how to post them here.

Lyon:
Lyon might be one of the most powerful lords in any romhack I’ve ever played. Good starting stats, easy access to 1-2 weapons, and amazing offense… and those are only the first few things that I think make him the top tier in this game. He gets summoning later on, so that’s another powerful tool he gets, but all of that pales in comparison to his ace in the hole: Convoy Access and S rank Staves. You have to build it up from E, but when you do his high magic and convoy access mean Lyon can do almost ANYTHING you need him to by using the convoy to put any Staff in supply into his inventory. That with his easily capped magic means his range with status staves is incredible, and hitrate almost always 100%. Fomortiis never really stood a chance, did he?

Tiffani:
She capped everything but Defense. What else can I say, she was an absolute monster, especially to the monsters themselves. I headcanon that Lyon convinced her to go Monk to Bishop in the event Fomortiis overpowers him. She might have been able to defeat him, too.

Riev:
Please stop praying to my grandpa, he’s getting too strong and the police can’t catch him. He stole everyone else’s defense growths and was one away from capping and I can’t even be mad because It’s so funny. Went Druid with him, that convo he had with Selena about how he wanted to blend Light and Dark was interesting to me. Their friendship was a huge highlight of this hack IMO.

Aias:
I found his hidden promotion option, and I just gotta say my dude was pretty fly after that. Traded some strength for it, but it was a good deal.

Medusa:
I love her??? I picture her pinching big 'ol Fomortiis’s cheek like a big sister and the mental image made me laugh. I was tempted to give her the boots for the funny. Liked her so much she got a Juna Fruit I saved up.

Melina:
Since Snipers get peirce now, they’re really good against foes with a lot of defense, especially enemy generals. I had to use her against a lot of those. Huh, my eyes are watery, is that part of the hack too?

Overall, love this one just as much as I loved TPL, which is saying something since I think that’s my favorite Fire Emblem Romhack. If you ever make another one, I’ll be first in line to play it! Hopefully it won’t crush my heart as badly as this one did, hoo boy.

1 Like

I did mean for him to be pretty powerful. He’s essentially a prepromote with unpromoted EXP gains and growths, extra levels to grow and none of the availability shenanigans the rest of the army have. Dude can snowball into a serious juggernaut, though his terrible defense and unremarkable speed and con should hold him back from taking on armies by himself.

Thank you for your kind words on my hacks!

Couple of spoilery thoughts

For the record, if you take longer than the gaiden turn requirement in chapter 26, she appears on the map and until you kill her seizing the throne does not work. So you are forced to kill her either way, though both Dozla and enemy Rennac (he returns to L’Arachel’s side if not hired at Taizel) can be spared…

…Though it doesn’t do much. I anticipated some might attempt to save their pretties where they could, so any missable bosses that aren’t killed appear at World’s End. That’s why the map is a rout!

Thanks! I was fully intending on doing the predictable “good generals / bad generals” split, but when I got to chapter 9 I decided it’d be more interesting to challenge myself to a more unconventional mix of generals for the two routes. The Selena/Riev and Caellach/Glen dynamics ended up being some of my favorite parts of the hack to write.

Probably allergies. Surely it wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain general clad in red and yellow.

Not sure if this was said before so forgive me if it was but there should be some indicator before chapter 6 starts that lets the players know to bring out Dussell. I usually bench my jaigans as soon as i can and the cutscene about her happens on turn 2 i think?

2 Likes

Nope, it’s not been brought up before. With the monster stuff I was afraid it’d make the opening of the chapter feel a tad bloated, but perhaps I can find a better place to fit it. I’ll take a look.

1 Like

Thats very fair. It also helps that its in the guide but im doing a bit of a blind run lol

1 Like

Hello, will there be further updates in the future

1 Like

If i may give one piece of criticism

Chapter 16 has way too many wyverns

1 Like

The hack is finished. Anything’s possible, of course, but expect future updates to consist of bug fixes, minor tweaks and, at most, special conversations if I come up with any that I want to add.

At least you can see them coming, unlike in vanilla. Silver linings…

1 Like

Chapter 16 was probably one of the chapters I had the most trouble with, but I also could have prepared a little better

1 Like

This romhack convinced a lurker like me to create an account in order to review it.

Overall, this romhack is among my favorite romhacks I have played so far. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this romhack to play. (I mainly did so because FE8 is my favorite FE game, and it has some of my favorite boss characters.) However, this hack blew my expectation in every way. Story, check. Gameplay, check. Character, check. The change you made makes this game feel like a completely new game, not just another FE8 game. I can also see that you did a very thorough job with this romhack, since I see a lot of minor changes that would otherwise doesn’t affect much, but by doing so is an icing on the cake. There are some parts that aren’t to my liking, which is just my preference, but overall, this is a solid hack that’s worth playing.

Story

Short Summary: This game is the true crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei we need, but didn’t deserve.

Long Explanation: The story of this game is amazing. The ‘route split’ makes sense, and characters don’t break their immersion, with the exception of the subplot of Valter and Medusa. The story became exponentially better from Chapter 20 onward. I really love the bleak feeling of the world engulfing in despair as Grado managed to take over more and more parts of Magvel, and more and more playable characters from Vanilla Sacred Stones being killed off, especially the part when Eirika and Ephraim learnt about their friends and family’s death and had no choice but to leave more and more of them to die as they could do nothing but to run away as less and less of Magvel is safe for them.

I did play through both endings, and this is the main part why I said that this game is like a crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei. In SMT series, the game took place in a post-apocalypse world with gods, demons, and humans fighting among each other. This game already gave off the SMT feeling with the whole Magvel becoming unsafe and vanilla playable characters dying (as well as the subplot about Valter and Medusa). The endings, however, is where the similarity to SMT becoming very apparent. In SMT, the game usually have 3 endings, being the Law Ending, where you sacrifice personal freedom for peace, the Chaos Ending, where you sacrifice peace for freedom, and Neutral Ending, which is the balance of Law and Chaos. In this game, the Lyon Won ending is literally the Order Ending, where Lyon became the ruler of the entire Magvel, and though he aimed toward peace and prosperity, he has no qualm in getting rid of anything that could threaten his ruling. Meanwhile, the Fomortiis Won ending is literally the Chaos Ending, where Magvel became the world where only the strong survives, which is Fomortiis as he and his monsters and any humans who submitted to him destroyed the entire Magvel. And I really, really love both endings.

Characters

First, our beloved protagonist Lyon. You did very well to combine the aspect of Lyon in Vanilla Eirika Route and Lyon in Vanilla Ephraim Route, though you did lean more toward Lyon in Ephraim Route, which is the more interesting version of him. While you used the Eirika Route version of the scene when Lyon destroyed Renais Sacred Stone, which is always a controversy scene in Vanilla Sacred Stones, you made it so that the action of the twins giving Renais Sacred Stone to Lyon make more sense. Though I did find Lyon in the beginning when he became anxious about getting the bracelets from the Renais twins a bit out of characters, it’s still understandable for him to act that way, so I don’t mind it too much.

Now, the Grado Generals… I didn’t expect you to give a hidden depth to Riev and Caellach, as well as their friendship with Selena and Glen respectively. This makes their characters a lot more likable. I also like how you write Glen in this hack, since you don’t get to see much of him comparing to other Grado Generals in the original game. Selena is also well-written here. And Valter’s… Valter, which is perhaps a good thing on what you did to him.

I imagine that it isn’t easy to derive the personality of most characters when they only have 2-3 lines in the original game, which might result in some characters end up being one-noted, especially Beran, Breguet, Saar, Murray, and Bazba. Though some like Bones and Aias ends up with a hidden depth that I enjoy. Also, I love how you dedicated an entire chapter for Gheb. xD

Now, about the ‘OCs’, what amazed me is how most of OCs added in this game is the characters that do exist in the vanilla Sacred Stones that’s only briefly appeared or mentioned. This is a good way to implement OCs to not make them feel out of place, and I can see that you did a good and thorough research about those characters based on how you implement them, like Jude and his obsession over the Obsidian title.

Now… what I don’t like is how some OCs got too much screentime comparing to characters who appeared in the original game. The main contenders of that are Tiffani and Zabba. It makes sense for Tiffani to appear, join, and become close to Lyon, but I don’t like how she’s the one, of all people, to get A Support with Lyon when she’s barely presented in the original game. Zabba, meanwhile, got a lot of screentime and even got her own subplot with Bone and Saleh/Gerik, which gave her a personal weapons and a character development. This is a lot more than characters who appeared in the original game.

Now, for monster characters. I love monster characters due to how unique they are. Too bad with how they are unplayable in vanilla Sacred Stones, and barely any romhack makes them playable. This hack, however, makes all monster classes playable, giving you one playable monster for each class (including Mogall summoned by Medusa.)… Except for Cyclops. Is there any reason why there’s no playable Cyclops in this game while the rest of monsters are playable?

Gameplay

It’s pretty much a law that FE romhack must be harder than the original. Some hack chose to outright significantly increase the difficulty from the start, which I hate. Some hack, like this one, gradually increased the difficulty of the game as more and more chapters went on, which I like because it gives me time and chance to adapt, learn, and experience about the game. I also like how you modified some annoying chapters to be a lot more fun to play, like 5x becoming a defense chapter, 14 having you start indoor, and 15 having more open space to navigate. The final battle is strangely easy, however, especially with how Duessel fight in 28x is a lot harder. Either way, what I love the most about the gameplay is how you handle the route split, where you get to play the chapters on both routes, which each route having certain available characters while also letting you use all characters outside the main story battles. This gives you an opportunity to train and use variety characters that would otherwise remain benchwarmers, especially with how many characters this game has. There are other minor changes that I really like, like how Sniper got Pierce, Warrior got Sure Shot, and Wyvern Knight got Bow. Removing Staff from Summoner is a shame, though I understand why you did so.

Now, I do have a mixed feeling with how you handle supports in this game. The fact that each character have fixed support means that you don’t have to worry about missing out. On the other hand, having to deploy certain characters on certain chapters is too rigid for my liking since it lowers the flexibility of team building. This problem is very apparent on Chapter 22 that, if you want all talk conversations, then you will not have any free deployment slot left at all.

And, that’s all! Thank you so much for making a great game, and I will be sure to root for any romhack you are going to make in the future!

P.S.

If it’s possible, could you make it so that, when you chose the Fomortiis Won ending, the overworld sprite of your army is Fomortiis instead of Lyon, please? Like in vanilla Sacred Stones where the overworld sprite changed from Eirika to Ephraim if you go on Ephraim route instead of Eirika Route, with Ephraim getting the Convoy access instead of Eirika. Here, if you go with Fomortiis Won ending, then Fomortiis will permanently get the Convoy access from Lyon, effectively making Fomortiis the main protagonist of the game instead of Lyon. Plus, it’s nice to have a Demon King walking around Magvel.

5 Likes

This hack convinced me to log back in after never using this account.

I was playing around with febuilder doing one of those “swap the playable units and bosses” as like, a hobby project.

This hack makes me so happy. The humor is perfect. The execution is incredible, idk how you implemented half the improvements you did.

I think it might be perfect, dawg

2 Likes

THE FORDE ORSON BOSS DIALOGUE ISS STILL HERE!! That shit is so peak!

1 Like

Wow, that’s quite the lengthy review! Thank you so very much for taking the time to write up all of this.

Some thoughts

That’s interesting. While I’m aware of SMT’s existence, I have never played any of them nor am I familiar whatsoever with them. Perhaps I should, by the sounds of it it’d be right up my alley haha.

I may have mentioned this earlier in the thread, but I fully intended to do the predictable “good generals / bad generals” split. But then I got to the route split and I thought it’d be more interesting and challenging to mix things up. Their weird little blooming friendships ended up being some of my favorite parts of the hack to write.

I did try not to give the OCs much main story importance if I could avoid it, but yeah I’ll admit I did in some instances get more excited to write about my little pretties than Generic Bossman #4 haha

Glad you liked the monsters! Truth be told, I was trying to be careful not to bloat the character roster to much so as to avoid bugs derived from too many characters present. As such, I limited myself to the most interesting and unique monster classes. I cut mogalls (because every other hack has one), gargoyles (just a worse wyvern rider) and cyclops (just a worse berserker).

As you could see, I ended up finding a different way to implement mogalls and gargoyles, but cyclops were sadly reduced to a postgame gag.

Yeah, I understand that. Ideally there’d be a “base” where you can get convos, but I’m not a coding wizard, I’m just some guy with FEBuilder. I did what I could - I didn’t really intend for people to go out of their way to get all the convos haha.

Sadly, I wouldn’t know how to implement that. The world map is… delicate to work with, and I straight up don’t even know what the events for spawning in the postgame even are or if I can edit them with FEBuilder. I actually had to stealthily spawn Lagdou on the map before the postgame, on the last world map narration, so it’d be available in the postgame!

If you don’t mind, would you share your endgame team? I always enjoy seeing those.

Haha, well, I don’t know if I’d go as far as to call it “perfect,” but I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

I’m a little sad I couldn’t keep Kyle’s because of Orson’s timing, but… eh, that one’s more generic anyway.

2 Likes

Thanks for the answer! I always enjoy seeing the developer sharing the insight of their own work. And no worry about the overworld stuff. Using Lyon to walk around the world map is perfectly fine for me.

I planned to insert my endgame team in my previous post, but apparently, my account isn’t old enough for me to post images since I only created it recently to post the review. So… I’ll return when I can post images with my endgame team.

Edit: I reached Trust Level 2 as soon as I posted this, so… I can post images now.

Endgame Team

I am a guy that enjoy training my characters to make them strong, so… I ended up spending time training most characters, and I try to go with the canon promotion for the characters who was in Vanilla Sacred Stones. I decide to use different team for each ending to spice things up, with my main team being the one used for Fomortiis Ending.

Lyon Ending

First, the protagonist himself. Training his Dark Magic rank and Staff rank really worth it.

I made a mistake with her promotion. I read on the guide back then that a Monk can promote to Bishop and Druid, so I plan to make her a Druid, but that’s for Riev only. And with Riev, McGregor, and Mansel being Bishop, I made her a Valkyrie instead. (If I knew that she cannot promote to Druid beforehands, I would promote her into Mage and then Sage instead.)

She’s the obvious Pegasus Knight > Falcoknight of the game.

I am not a fan of female Fighter/Warrior, and with the lack of Sniper in this game, I made her a Sniper. (And I did make sure that she’s the one who lands a killing blow on the boss of Chapter 17.)

Bishop usually has high Luck and Resistance but low Defense, so he is a bit unusual, but he still performs exceeding well.

Based on her growth alone, I knew that she’s gonna turn out amazing, and I wasn’t disappointed.

He was the main candidate to be my main Armored Knight due to his amazing growth, but I don’t really like his personality that much.

She has talk conversations on several endgame map, and unlike Dara who has staff utility and Jude who has Rescue+Canto utility, Ismaire can’t do much on her own, so I decide to train her up. She turns out a lot better than I thought. (Also, thank you so much for giving 24 Strength cap to female Swordmaster. I always hate that 22 Strength cap on vanilla Swordmaster.)

A mage-killer Hero. Didn’t use him much.

With both Carlyle and Ismaire as Swordmaster and me keeping Rennac as a Rogue, she ended up being the only Assassin in the game, and thanks for the Assassin Strength cap increase too.

I like how you write him in this game, and I did make sure that he lands a killing blow on the boss of Chapter 22 and 24.

I know that her canon promotion is Wyvern Knight, but I decided to make her a Falcoknight instead because I always use Valter as Wyvern Knight anyway. I almost regretted my decision after seeing what happened in Chapter 25, but the postgame made it okay with the return of the Wyvern Knight.

I didn’t use him that much, but his subplot with Zabba made me like him a lot more.

He’s my least favorite of the 3 Armored Knight. Ironically, I think he turned out the strongest of 3.

A lategame character who’s solid until the end.

Fomortiis Ending

When I looked at the guide, I saw you list a Gargoyle in the Base tab but not anywhere else, so I thought that the Gargoyle character would be a temporary character in Chapter 25, which is a shame since Gargoyle is among my favorite monsters. When I see what really happened in Chapter 25… It was a big surprise, but a welcome one.

His character grew on me a lot, and he’s a beast in a battle too.

Glen has always been my favorite Grado General, and he’s a very strong too.

The true warrior of the game. He’s among my top favorite of the generic boss.

I like how the fact that he’s among the least fought boss of the vanilla Sacred Stones (Due to being exclusive to Ephraim route and you don’t really have to fight him in his chapter.) is translated to the lack of his presence in this game. A solid bow user.

A solid character with both solid depth and solid combat prowess. I didn’t make him a Falcoknight because he’s the only Great Knight I have. (I promoted all 3 Armored Knight to General for Triangle Attack, and Duessel’s… Duessel.)

I didn’t plan to use him much, but his combat capability gradually grew on me to the point that he earned a spot in my final team.

All the training really paid off, and I really love his character arc in this game.

I was deciding between him and Bazba on who’s gonna be my main Berserker, and he won because of his subplot with Deni.

I did train him but didn’t expect to get to use him in the final team with both Riev and Selena as my staff users already, but… You know what happened.

A solid character and the only obtainable Summoner in this game. A bit disappointed that he cannot use Staff as Summoner, but Summon utility is already godsend.

Goodest girl in the game. The easiest Chapter 6 decision ever. And she’s a beast, figuratively and literally.

He would be my Chapter 6 pick if Penelope didn’t exist. Still, the easiest Chapter 9 decision ever.

I didn’t really use him much because of his limited weapon, but I did make sure that he lands a killing blow on the boss of Chapter 27.

Trained characters who didn't make it to any of the final teams

I usually don’t train Priest/Cleric > Bishop character that much since it took forever for them to reach high Light rank, especially comparing to Monk > Bishop characters, but I do train him after realizing what happened on the Fomortiis route.

The staff bot. Nothing else.

I was planning to use him in the final team, but he lost his role to Nate.

He’s probably my favorite Armored Knight of 3. Solid Armored Knight with solid personality.

A solid healer and a solid Valkyrie from the start to the end.

I was planning to definitely use him, but his personality is a huge turn-off.

My decision on Chapter 22. Didn’t use him much.

Not a fan of spider, so he’s the final of 4 that I recruited.

… I am just gonna leave these two alone in their own world.


I only used him in the chapters that he has a talk conversation.

I trained him as a joke, and I received a joke in return.

Any characters I didn’t list there are the one that I didn’t train at all.

… Oh, one last thing.

Postgame

… What have I done?


… Yep. Magvel is truly doomed.

1 Like

I’ve enjoyed every bit of this hack so far. Sacred Stones I probably one of my favorite games in the series, and seeing it overhauled like this is amazing.
The only question I have is…
Is Deni’s E Rank Dark magic just a meme, or is there an actual way to increase it?

1 Like


are they suppose to be able to spawn with legendary weapons?

1 Like
Spoiler

There’s a way to increase it as the game proceeds.

1 Like

Why Morva is so underpowered ?.. Like he gains exp so slow and the major problem is that his weapon has limited uses. This is the same problem that affected the utility of Myrrh but it was still ok because she was overpowered.

EDIT :

Spoiler

If you can break the HP cap of 60 then you should increase Demon King’s HP. Something like 100 would be good. Breaking HP cap is possible.

1 Like