Fire Emblem: Dreams of Twilight (Gameplay-Focused FE8 Hack)

So, after my first trek into Fire Emblem ROM hacking (Which didn’t go so well…), I’ve been working on a project that I’ve called (surprise surprise) Fire Emblem: Dreams of Twilight

Dreams of Twilight-0

Currently, the hack is in its very early stages, but here is some info about the hack
PS: The following can also be seen in the in-game Guide under the “Hack Info” section

info about the hack
  • Dreams of Twilight is - as the title of the topic implies - a gameplay focused hack of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. I poured all my effort into making the maps, so the story as a result is very simple and easy to follow, for my sake and yours.
  • In the demo provided below, the first 3 chapters are playable. Please leave any and all criticism you have.
  • The goal of this hack is to provide and fun and challenging experience that rewards strategy
  • This hack took a lot of inspiration from Scraiza’s Souls of the Forest, my personal favorite FE hack.
Features
  • 3 Chapters out of 30 planned (24 main chapters + 6 Gaidens. But Gaidens will likely come much later into development.)
  • Lance, Sword, and Axe Cavaliers/Paladins.
  • 2-3 range bows.
  • Tons of item and class rebalancing (Example: Knights have 5 move. Axes are less heavy and more accurate).
  • Tons of quality of life changes, such as sped up healing and level ups, ability to view growths, enemy range, and health bars.
  • Tons of gameplay changes, which you can view in the in-game Guide under “Gameplay Changes”.
  • A repurposed Guide which now includes brief descriptions of units, as well as offering tips for each chapter.
Screenshots

Dreams of Twilight.emulator-3
Dreams of Twilight.emulator-1
Dreams of Twilight.emulator-2
Dreams of Twilight-2
Dreams of Twilight-3

Current version: Demo 1.3 (3 Chapters playable)
Download Demo 1.3 here

Download all versions and view credits here:

If for whatever reason you want to talk to me (You want to help with the hack, discuss the hack with me, etc), my Discord is Moris#9269

8 Likes

Just played through the demo. Overall, I really enjoyed what I played and see a lot of promise in this hack, altough there are some things which I think you should address in future updates so here’s a gameplay review of each chapter and each unit.

Chapter 1: A good start to the game. The difficulty felt just right for me, and the pacing is handled well. There are no real anti turtling incentives besides the 2 cavalier reinforcements (by the way, lance cavs use infantry movement sound effects), so maybe that could be slightly improved. Also the whole western part of the map felt kind of pointless and isolated from everything else, maybe you could add a village or something else to incentivize the player to send their units there. The boss only being able to be attacked at 1 range from a single tile makes him slightly tedious to kill, especially since by the time you get to him most of the map has been cleared. When I killed all the enemy units a cutscene played which I think might make the boss move, but by then I had him surrounded and making the boss move only when the rest of the map has been routed is a bit odd for a defeat boss map.
As for the units that you start out with, Marius is a pretty typical sword lord with mediocre bases and balanced growths. He can’t do much with his iron sword, but his brave rapier prf goes a long way to making him usable. Altough I’d actually suggest adding a reaver effect as well because
the buffed weapon triangle’s +/- 3 MT becomes +/- 9 attack when dealing with effective weapons, making the royal sword really crappy against armor knights, which are already pretty hard to kill. My lord shouldn’t be dealing 4×4 damage with an effective weapon. Altough I understand that a brave effective reaver weapon would be a bit excessive, the royal sword is pretty mediocre as an effective weapon as is. Aside from his prf, Marius seems mostly fine, he’s your typical low bases good growths lord.
Colton, on the other hand, is a pretty interesting Jagen. His bases are… not spectacular, with him having good strength, HP and defense and low speed, and his growths reflect his bases, being really high on the physical side and downright terrible in every other aspect. He is your best tank but is far from being invincible, and can very easily die in the next chapter if you get careless. My main issue with him is that your Jagen is supposed to be a strong unit you can rely on when in need, but his low speed means that he can’t double and one round enemies (not even armor knights), and his hit rates are pretty bad against dodgier enemies. I’d at least suggest giving him an iron axe for the extra hit and maybe buffing his stats a bit.
Dante is a pretty straightforward unit. He’s a sword cav with average bases and good growths, altough they seem a bit too far on the high side. According to the guide section, they’re supposed to compensate for being sword-locked, but 1-2 range weaponry seems to have been nerfed so I don’t know if that’s really necessary. My only real complaints are that he relies on getting a speed level up in chapter 1 to double the enemies in chapter 2 and that his base luck is quite low causing him to face some low % crits against certain enemies, so maybe I’d give him an extra point of speed and some extra points of luck at base. Also, he doesn’t have Canto in the current build.
Finally, Lagertha is a pretty decent armor knight. She can tank well in the first chapter but she notably struggles against brigands due to the buffed weapon triangle and her
low speed getting her doubled by some of them. This especially hurts her performance in chapter 2, where you have to face 2 brigands in the central area during the most hectic turns of the map. Also, she has low luck just like Dante, which puts her at risk of being crit.

Chapter 2: Oh boy was this chapter challenging. It took me roughly 5 attempts to clear without any deaths. I feel like what really makes this chapter so hard is having to have to charge into a very diverse group of enemies to catch the Angelic Robe thief. The buffed weapon triangle means that none of your units can really tank all the different enemies effectively, and even if they could the archers make it really hard to set up a chokepoint. You really need to rely on all of your units to make it through this chapter safely, which makes avoiding the 2 brigands in the starting area ideal until you can safely deal with them later on. I’m not a huge fan of the reinforcements: the 2 brigands that spawn in the top-left can block off whoever you sent to cover the stairs from reaching the southern portion of the map. The swordreaver guy in particular is really scary and can absolutely slaughter Dante and Ren. Maybe making them spawn in a bit later would be better, or maybe making the spawn in from the north. Also the shaman reinforcements are REALLY hard to take down. They have high defence, higher than their resistance actually, but you don’t have any mages at this point so you can’t take advantage of that. They don’t have much speed but neither do your heavy hitters so you can’t count on doubling them for tons of damage. And to top it all off, they can 2 shot most of your units and come in a group of 3. None of your units are really suited to fighting these guys. Maybe lowering their magic or giving the player access to a pure water and/or ward staff could help make them more manageable.
The map’s layout could also use some improvements. You need to send your thief south to unlock the door and recruit Gwen, but if you want to catch the thief you’re going to have to send your strongest units north not really leaving anyone to deal with the armor knight blocking the door. Also, once you do recruit her, you need to send Ren up north to open the boss room. I don’t see why the room needs to be locked, especially since if Ren dies you will essentially be softlocked. Also I don’t get why the enemies in that room are stationary, altough it would be nice if this hacked displayed enemies that don’t move as having 0 move. The boss is mostly fine, altough Lagertha and Colton are the only units who can take him on efficiently.
Now onto the units:
Ren is a pretty basic thief: low bulk, high speed, his 1 base luck but 100% luck growth is unusual tough. He comes with a sleep edge, which seems like a nice weapon on paper, but in practice its hit rate is way too low for me to consider using it. I think bumping up its hit in exchange for some durability would be fair, because I just don’t see myself using this thing.
Gwen is your typical staffbot. Not much to say about her really. She has really high res and is actually kind of useful to bait the shamans I guess?

Ended up writing a lot more than I though I would. I hope none of these criticisms end up discouraging you, because despite everything, I still had a ton of fun. I’m really looking forward to the next update, so I hope you continue working on this project!

2 Likes

I released an updated build of the demo in the mediafire folder, nothing new, but I made some adjustments to both of the playable chapters. Many thanks to Bloopy, Scraiza, and PMAlex2 for providing feedback.

Changelog:

General
  • Buffed Colton’s skill and speed base
  • Buffed Lagertha’s speed base
  • Buffed Dante’s speed base
  • Buffed all playable characters’ luck
  • More item/class/etc rebalancing
  • Bosses and playable units now have proper *death and battle quotes
    *Playable units don’t actually have death quotes yet, my b
Chapter 1
  • Less 1-2 range weapons on enemies
  • After a while, the boss moves and all enemies will begin to charge you
  • Buffed the boss a small bit
Chapter 2

Made this less insufferable… hopefully

  • Nerfed the Shamans that spawn on turn 5
  • The brigand reinforcements spawn one turn later, neither have a swordreaver anymore
  • The Angelic Robe thief now spawns one turn later
  • You get easy access to a Pure Water to make tanking the Shamans easier
  • Added 2 droppable door keys so you can beat the map without Ren
3 Likes

Version 1.0 of the demo is here! This one actually added some new things!
Download here:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/urawnswh2kxplar/Dreams_of_Twilight_Demo_1.0.ups/file

Changelog:

General:
  • Marius has a portrait now, it’s still something of a WIP, so ignore any magic brown rectangles that’ll show up when he’s on screen
  • Added Chapter 3: Menace (Although it hasn’t been playtested much, so it’s subject to change, the ending event also isn’t written and sends you back to Chapter 1)
  • Added player death quotes
Chapter 1:
  • Added a village (Which the Pirate will destroy)
  • You can now visit the house
Chapter 2:
  • Rewrote the ending event (And the starting event, I think, I’m not sure)
  • Made some minor adjustments to enemy placement
Chapter 3:
  • It exists now
2 Likes

Really minor update, but it makes Chapter 2 better
http://www.mediafire.com/file/oa93csdu7tb7wyk/Dreams_of_Twilight_Demo_1.1.ups/file

Changelog:

Chapter 2
  • Moved the top archer inside the boss room and took away his door key (dummy kept opening the door turn 1)
  • Added a stationary armor knight outside the boss room with a door key
1 Like

Demo 1.2 is out, and the mysterious brown box that’s there whenever Marius is on screen is gone (Hopefully… It was when I playtested but idk)!
http://www.mediafire.com/file/7kpz8vnvx6f46e9/Dreams_of_Twilight_Demo_1.2.ups/file

Changelog:

General
  • Marius’ portrait has mouth frames. Still no blinking frames, but I’m working on it.
  • Replaced the battle prep and shop music
Chapter 3
  • Added more enemies
  • Nerfed Mercutio’s base HP by 6
  • Benvolio has a battle conversation with the boss

Not an update, but one of my friends who is playtesting DoT did a funny and managed to promote Lagertha in Chapter 3 and her stats are :ok_hand:
Dreams_of_Twilight_1585198154043

Hey there, just blasted through the demo. Gonna give my thoughts on the gameplay. For the record, I played on hard mode.

At first I was alarmed by the high enemy HP everywhere, though this ended up not being as bad as I initially thought since defenses were low and player units tended to hit pretty hard. I will say that Marius without the Royal Sword felt kinda worthless since he didn’t double and did little damage while getting 2HKOd in return. And he was right next to Dante who is otherwise better than him in every way. I’d at least give Marius a better HP base, since 18 base HP is pretty pathetic. I’d also make the Royal Sword a reaver so that it can actually kill armors decently well. The increased weapon triangle bonuses make it very underwhelming against armors.

As for enemy offenses, I can see what you were going for, having very accurate enemies who hit hard, but Colton just shits on all of that because his base bulk is so high and he can 2HKO pretty reliably with steel axe or counter on EP with hand axe (except archers who would deal a whopping 1 damage to him). I think if you’re going for an FE12-esque game, you may want to jack up enemy offenses further. Alternatively, lower Colton’s base bulk so that Lagertha has a more defined role as the one tanky unit early game. As is, Lagertha was just a chip damage bot for the most part.

I don’t have as much to say about the thief, cleric, fighter, and monk since they weren’t around for long, and Colton and Dante were steamrolling over everything. I do like the sleep edge on the thief, though I think it should be given more accuracy so it’s more reliable. You can give it more weight and/or less uses to counterbalance this if you want.

Now for the individual chapters:

Chapter 1 was okay, probably the best chapter of the three. The village is annoyingly out of the way, and the reinforcements who spawn next to it aren’t very threatening either. I think you could make this map smaller by cutting off a lot of the left side and moving the village closer. Currently that village is way too big a detour. Otherwise, enemy placement in the main part of the map felt solid.

Chapter 2 and 3 both have the same big problem: reinforcements show up from the back of the map with valuables, which grinds the pace of the maps to a halt. This forces you to stop whatever you’re doing and wait for them to approach you so that you can grab their loot, which is just tedious. I think you should place this loot somewhere else that’s more interesting to grab. For instance, in chapter 2 you had a thief spawn with an angelic robe on the right side of the map. That was good since he’s close to your path while still requiring you to catch him. Maybe throw the chapter 2 red gem into chapter 3 as a stealable on some random enemy, and have the shaman squad be a bit stronger to push the player to seize faster. Perhaps spawn even more waves of them to again incentivize fast play. I also noticed a lot of enemies in both of these chapters who are stationary, but because you’re not using Skill Systems, they aren’t marked with 0 movement. You should probably get Skill Systems so you can do that.

Lastly, one bug I found was with the chapter 3 master seal. My Dante was level 10, but he could not use it to promote.

1 Like

Hello everyone! I’m happy to announce that Dreams of Twilight is finally finished! Here’s a list of changes:

  • Since I had several people suggest I change the Royal Sword, it is now a Brave Reaver 1-2 range Uncounterable Magic sword that negates crits
  • I decided that Jagens are stinky and steal EXP, so I changed Colton into a much more suitable class
  • I realized Chapter 1 wasn’t hard enough, so it is now a snow chapter with 1 tile vision fog of war. It is also the only chapter in the game now.
  • I realized what made Marius so busted: His growth rates! So I cut them in half. Except for luck of course.

Download the final version here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/ipmnz1t75lg2f3q/Dreams_of_Twilight_Final_Release.ups/file

1 Like

You finished a hack in 13 days? Excuse me for being doubtful, but how long is this? I doubt the possibility of making a full length hack that’s decent in that timespan by a single individual.

Do you mean to say that the 3 chapters of the demo are complete?

Check the date on which that was posted and also what’s actually in the content of the post lol

1 Like

What’s concerning me is the use of the word “final”. I did read the OP.

I was just doing a funny haha april fools joke

lmao i got april fools’d on april 2nd
it’s fair because it was posted april 1st

Demo version 1.3 is out now. The main thing that was updated was Chapter 2 (Again)
Download here

Changelog:

General
  • Buffed Marius
    • Base HP increased by 3
    • All growths increased by 10% bar Defense and Resistance
  • Royal Sword now has the Reaver effect
  • Increased the Sleep Edge’s hit to 60%
  • Sword and Axe Cavaliers can promote now
  • Lowered Colton’s defense growth to 50% and his base to 9.
  • Buffed Lagertha’s base defense to 10
  • Map palette changes
Chapter 2
  • Chapter was completely re-designed
Chapter 3
  • Moved the Druid’s Master Seal to the boss