Hello! I’m Saint Rubenio. With my first hack more or less finished, I began to feel the itch to make something again. After some deliberation, I remembered the FE5 boss recruitment hack, and I thought I’d try and do something similar for FE6, a game whose array of throwaway bossmen I’ve always been fond of for nebulous reasons. I decided to go one step further and rewrite the story as well. Then it got all sorts of out of hand. The end result is a sort of soft overhaul of FE6’s mechanics and maps with a brand new cast and story.
Basically, this hack answers the age-long question: What if Narcian hadn’t been around to ruin everything for Zephiel?
- Every single playable character from the game has been replaced by a boss. Hurray.
- The story has been rewritten in its entirety. Follow Zephiel and his jolly cadre of war criminals as they conquer the entirety of Elibe in a tale that is sometimes humorous, sometimes dead serious. I may or may not have gone too far in a few places. The way I treated Eirika in my other hack pales in comparison to what I’ve done to our boi.
- To fill out the roster, I threw in some NPCs, as well as a few surprise additions from other games to top off the roster. Every game gets a rep. They will put your bossman knowledge to the test. There’s even a secret character! See if you can figure out how to get them.
- Conversely, every boss is now a former Elibean playable or ally. Hope it won’t be too heartbreaking taking the fight to them.
- Certain characters have had their classes changed or tweaked to avoid having 10 identical generals and zerkers. Don’t worry, though, there’s still a lot of generals and zerkers. A couple of new classes have also been thrown into the mix. You would be surprised if some of them weren’t already visible in other screenshots.
- A bunch of QoL changes, ranging from small to medium. Don’t expect massive, game-changing modifications - this is still intended to be a similar experience to base FE6, just with a few of the more annoying aspects hopefully polished out.
This includes: Ambush reinforcements and hard mode bonuses have been removed, seize tile bonuses have been reduced, weapon experience has been increased to 2 when killing an enemy, staves give more experience when used, accuracy has been increased slightly across the board, light magic has been buffed, certain maps have been tweaked slightly (primarily to make them a little less linear or cut down on the amount of boring walking a bit), enemy pegasi have been somewhat improved so Ilia is hopefully less of a joke, supports are faster (but weaker) and the main character promotes sooner.
That’s right - this hack is another FE6 rebalance in disguise. I tricked you, I bamboozled you. What are you going to do about it?
- While supports can be obtained, I was unable to write support conversations due to unexpected technical difficulties. To compensate, sprinkled throughout the game are a number of optional conversations that will hopefully give the characters a sufficient amount of characterization. The game will let you know when they start to pop up, and which ones you can get on each chapter. You can also see a list of the conversations in the guide.
Speaking of the guide, I made a seriously in-depth guide! Check out them spreadsheets. Aren’t they beautiful? You might find something… unexpected in there.
Roy is in this hack.
See? There he is.
Apply patch to a vanilla FE6 ROM.
Inside the ZIP file, you will find the following contents:
- Two patches. The standard one has all UI colors swapped from blue to red and viceversa for flavor (you are playing as the bad guys, after all). However, I know a lot of people hate when hacks do that, as it can be difficult to get rid of the “blue good, red bad” muscle memory from regular FE. Therefore, for those of you who prefer convenience over flavor, I’ve also included an alternate version of the patch that maintains vanilla’s overworld sprite palettes and battle forecast colors.
- The guide. Self-explanatory enough.
- A folder with screenshots of all the character endings, in case any issues occur or you simply want to bypass FE6’s annoying “only the units in the final chapter get full endings” gimmick. Obviously spoilers both here and in the guide, if you care about that.
- Readme. Basically just the three sections below, but in a text file.
Things to note:
- Units will start to disappear when you have more than 52 recruited characters! I got a bit carried away adding characters, you see. Don’t fret, the game will warn you when you get there, as well as tell you how to minimize losses and be able to continue the Zephiel experience unimpeded. I made the warning unskippable, so don’t worry about a thing.
- Some reinforcements are still ambush reinforcements because they work with magic and I can’t edit magic. That’s hacking FE6 for you. Watch out for the lower room reinforcements nobody ever triggers in chapter 6, all chapter 21 reinforcements and the manakete reinforcements in the final two chapters. Nothing I can do, I’m really sorry.
- The animations of playable manaketes don’t play the fancy transformation enemy manaketes do. It’s the best I could do - simply using the same animations causes playable manaketes to turn into disembodied heads.
- Disregard the ending text crawls. I made an attempt to edit them and only succeeded in glitching them out. Since glitches aside they do not reflect the different story, I decided to leave the glitch in because it’s funnier that way. Still, it looks pretty sloppy. I wish I knew how to remove them outright.
- The new water affinity slightly glitches the stat screens of units that have it. It’s not a major bug, merely a cosmetic one. I suggest you just ignore the hearts.
- Remember that useless village in Sacae’s first chapter that was incredibly difficult to save, and then rewarded you with an eclipse tome of all things? Yeah, it has a better reward now. Much, much better. Consider that when picking your route.
- I urge you to yell at me about any issues you encounter - if there’s something I learned in my first hacking experience, it’s that no matter how clean you think your hack is, someone else will always end up finding something you overlooked. The hack has been playtested in mGBA, VBA and John GBA.
Special thanks to
Shaky Jones at Serenesforest for the original round of playtesting, as well as tons of feedback and suggestions. The hack wouldn’t be where it is without him.
Jotari, Pengaius, Ranger016 and Bad_at_Fire_Emblem at Serenesforest for the final round of playtesting, where they uncovered a myriad issues I never would’ve noticed, and provided some more feedback and suggestions.
Shuusuke the Fool at the FEUniverse discord for helping me to fix Sommie’s animation.
Vesley at the FEUniverse discord for helping me to fix the “enemy talks to Zephiel to recruit themself” recruitment event.
7743 for creating FEBuilder, without which making hacks would be a far, far more difficult undertaking. Thank you so much, you are so cool.
Gringe, for his awesome FE6 localization, which I’ve played more times than I can count and used as a base for my hack.
All the awesome folks in the FE community, credited below, for their gracious contributions in art assets and the like.
Credit where credit is due:
Chain sword general by Knabepicer
F Warrior Reskin Repal by Temp
F Warrior map sprites by FEGirls
Short haired F fighter by Black Mage
F Fighter map sprites by Alusk
Axe and Handaxe wyvern rider by Mikey Seregon, Alfred Kamon
Axe and Handaxe wyvern lord by TheBlindArcher
Player dragon animations by SHYUTERz
Units that do not apply hard boost patch by Tequila
FE6 battle stats with anims off patch by Phanfan (original by Tequila)
Insert a contiunation judgment in battle BGM by 7743
Playable Demon Dragon animations by SHYUTERz
Fixed FE7 fem sage by Shin19
Anything not listed here, including all custom portraits and Sommie’s animation, was made by me. I’m no big-shot artist, so please excuse the quality of these. I just enjoy making portraits from time to time.