Player up to chapter 10 in both normal and hard modes, at least for me both difficulties are perfectly balanced, normal allows some mistakes and hard punishes you for them so it’s okay.Now that the issue is solved I have a suggestion, Have you considered implementing that patch to know who can talk with who? I want it for battle conversations rather than for recruitment, it’s a small thing but it can definitely improve the hack’s quality.
Hey! I just finished playing a full game. Firstly, I want to say congratulations on the release, and I want to say that this game is AMAZING!! You put lots of love into the game, and it shows.
Two improvement thoughts:
- Lower enemy bulk for promote enemies. Some weaker character have a rough time at the end. I agree with @Pandan and @meta4 on this point. Hope this is easy fix. Not bad now though.
- Enemy reinforcements on Ch26, 30, and 31 can be tones down some. I think the other maps were good. I think 30 was the worst for reinforcements. Though, I REALLY like this map. It has a lot potential to be good with better spawn enemies.
This was my 3rd time playing the game. I have kept up with the project, so I have good sense of the characters. Here is my tier list:
Will Carry Any Team: The bro tier!! Best boys! These guys rock and fun to use.
- Wise is the best ever. He is immediately useful and only gets better with the pierce ability. Agree with @FLR here.
- Joseph is amazing too with flying magic and good stats. Easily the best mage in the game with no competition. He is funny too!
- Boone and Silvan are the best foot units. Both have bulk and are go to units for kills. Silvan is my most liked character in the game. He is funny and fresh character.
- Myles is good dodge tank and good stats. Also good utility as assassin.
These guys support chain together! Wise and Joseph have amazing support bonus and are made for each other. Wise don’t need Wanda when he can have Joseph. I ship Wise and Joseph. Silvan and Boone support is so funny! Boone gets fat from hanging with Silvan. Myles also can support Boone and Joseph and provides great support. Myles is awesome and a good friend.
Great Addition to a Team: Characters that I found myself using a lot.
- Ariel is best healer in the game with lots of maps. She struggles at end though.
- Noelle is dancer, but she dies easy. I still use her. Not too interesting to me.
- Caden is easy archer to use, and I don’t like using archers sometimes. He seems good. Good beard!
- Shiloh is actually really good. I found it helpful to have another healer beside Ariel. Bishop is amazing with seraphim at end of game. Shiloh is a beast and doesn’t die.
- Edith is everything you need at the end of the game. Good healer and res tank. Loved her!
- Caspian is really, really good, but I don’t think you need him like some of the other characters. Good join and beast potential, but not as good as Silvan, because Silvan is the best.
- I like Liang’s utility and res tank potential. He is kind of the only archer that interested me, but he starts kind of bad. He is fun to use though.
- Atticus!! He is one of my favorite characters too. I just like using him and always exceeds expectations for a thief.
Solid Addition to a Team: These characters are good pickups to the team or only good for a few maps you have them.
- Pepper is a decent promote, but Silvan is better. Silvan is best axe in game.
- Amanda!!! She is so fun to use! Really hard to get, but I got her finally. Stick to the bro team and invest in Shiloh! Funny character and scary terrifying.
- Never used Queenie much, but she felt solid and can use seraphim at the end, so this felt right.
- Leah comes back kind of late and is hard to use, but she keeps up pretty well. Glad I am not forced to use her, but she is really fun to use. I like her a lot.
- Kathryn. Love her! She is actually really good, but I didn’t feel like I needed another healer with Lael being forced, Edith, Ariel, and Shiloh available. Curious if she is worth picking up though.
- Wyatt is kind of good for a couple maps, but becomes a liability. I would advise dropping him around Ch 20 as that is when he stopped being useful. He also stops being a Jagen when you have beasts like Wise, Joseph, Boone, Silvan, and Myles doing the heavy lifting.
- Roxie is best shaman in the game and could be a good secondary mage to Joseph. I just wish she got healing support on promotion. I love her design and character.
- Tarin. Another epic beard! You should use him for that alone. Tarin is pretty well rounded and nothing wrong with him. Good addition to the late game if other units are not doing good. Kind of a boring character personality. Love his design.
- I didn’t need Lionel when I got him, but he has good stats. I saw nothing wrong with him. Did not provide as much to the end game as Edith.
Good but require work: Characters that become good with some effort and a couple blessed level ups.
- Kurtis has the best beard!! He joins at an awkward time when my team is being finalized, so it feels strange to use him. I tried him out and he was pretty good, but not a star. His strength was also bad.
- Vergil has yet another epic beard! I also really like his personality. I tried him on my two other games and he is good. Does require some work.
- Winifred is honestly one of my favorite characters in this game. She is a decent archer. I wonder if I am overrating her because I like her so much. She is at least around longer than Benji, so justification! I want to see her and Silvan together in support.
- I like Lael’s promotion at the end of the game a lot, and she is a good healer. She requires work to actually be good though.
- Helga is so funny! I don’t get why Helga hates Faith so much. I wish she was better, but Wise comes one chapter later, and it’s Wise! Helga sticks around in the mid game, but Wise just outshines, so Helga feels less fun. Maybe buff Helga?
- Travis has really cool promotion options and around for a while. He is fun to use, but can struggle with damage and being unlucky. Flame Knight rules though!
- I never really used Grant after the time jump, but he was amazing in the first part. I feel like he at least deserves to be there and is probably good.
- Parvati is really fun to use! I tried her on my previous run and she does her job well. She is just tricky to use and feels limited sometimes, so I can’t put her higher. Love her though!
- Brett was the powerhouse mage until Joseph came into the picture. Brett seems like a solid second mage, but his rejoin is kind of late and characters like Queenie and Roxie exist. Also, promoted Ariel and Shiloh could limit his need. Better than Tanya though.
- Wanda is really cool and her chapter is one of my favorites. She seems to become good with some work too, but she is weak strength and the high defensive enemies really limit her later on. She would be pretty good if you make enemies less tanky.
Probably Better Choices: These characters have other units that are strictly better and should be only used if you have no other option.
- Eliza is really fast and not much else to say. Atticus and Liang will serve this role better and Myles also works too.
- I might be being a little hard on Eamon, because he has really good growths and I had fun trying him out some. He just starts kind of bad when there are other lance users that I should be using instead: Wise and Helga. He might deserve to be in the tier above though. I’d like more supports with him. He seems cool.
- Shane is my least favorite character in the game. He is such a jerk! No wonder Wise constantly talk about his worth with a brother like him. I guess Shane is fine as a unit. I just don’t want to use him.
- Like Eamon, Faith can probably end up pretty good. She comes back real late and fliers like Wise and Joseph exist. Helga probably beats her out too.
- Irina is just kind of there, but her critical hit bonus is real sweet! She is really difficult to use, but she is fun! I like her!
- Tanya is really funny and I like her character. She is kind of bad though. I was considering in putting her into avoid. Why bother with her when you get Edith handed to you at the end? Edith can do everything that Tanya can do and comes with better staff rank. Use Brett or Queenie or Roxie or Parvati or promoted Shiloh or Ariel as a second magic option.
Avoid: These characters are the weakest in the game. Keep your expectations low.
- I never really used Benji. He never stood out to me, and his stat growth is weird for an archer. He could be alright. I might actually swap Benji and Tanya on the tier list, but it is a tough call.
- I can never write this girl’s name. I’ll call her S! I love her character. She is super funny and the magic sword sets her apart. Her problem is being sword locked and having too average stats. She also competes with the mounted Travis and Myles, a member of the best boi quintet, for a spot in the early game. Not too much reason to use S.
- Rob felt better to me this time around. Was he buffed? Anyway, Rob is an armor, and I don’t like armors usually. That’s why he is here. I can also see better potential in Grant and you use Amanda if you have Amanda because she is Amanda.
- Ozias is really difficult to get and he just doesn’t feel too worth it. He doesn’t have any stand out feature aside from good growths with okay to bad bases. Too late in the game to contribute. He is like an Est or Nino, but difficult to actually get on your team. I like his design and character though.
Unsure: Characters I have yet to experience.
- Sterling is a character I haven’t seen, so I can’t rank him. I am not too excited about his join time and growths. My guess is that I’d place him in avoid or probably better choices tier.
- I am excited about Riley and think he can be really good. I will try him out when I play this game again later. Though will be sad to not have Shiloh too. I think Riley will be either great addition or solid addition to a team. Probably below Caspian but above Pepper. Can you make it so I can have Shiloh AND Riley and Tanya AND Wanda on second play throughs?
I am sorry for the long text. I just wanted to talk more about the characters as that is my favorite thing in Fire Emblem. Overall, amazing hack, character writing, and story.
I will leave you with my end game team: Boone, Lael, Silvan, Wise, Joseph, Myles, Kurtis, Shiloh, Liang, Ariel, Amanda, Edith, and Noelle. Atticus was also good, but I didn’t deploy him on last map.
I got A supports with Boone + Silvan, Wise + Joseph, Shiloh + Kurtis, Atticus + Liang. I wish Ariel had more support options too.
Finally found the solution for chapter 21 black screen on the emulator John GBA lite. I wondered if the problem was exactly that, and I was right. After trying my sav file in Visual Boy Advance in my pc, the rest of the cutscenes played out (I never got to see Devante talking to Queenie or anything in the ship), finally got to save on chapter 22 and then I reverted the sav file back to John GBA lite. I can continue my walktrough now on my phone!
…And then I was like… I’m not going to be able to finish it, because it’s not the complete version, so maybe I should try to play from the beggining again? XD
Nice tier list, @paintedknight!! Also, thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed analysis on every character in the game. It was a good read.
I am happy you enjoy most all the characters, and I appreciated your insights. I noticed that Wise, Joseph, Boone, Silvan, and Myles are all doing well on the character poll too. I am happy you enjoyed playing Shiloh too. He was added in this release, and I wasn’t sure if people enjoyed him. His addition was mostly due to feedback about not having a second healing option for a long stretch of the game.
I thought this comment in particular was really great. I never considered characters with lower power like Wanda and Kurtis would have a rough time due to the high defenses of promoted enemies. I will definitely play around with this, and see if it improves some of the balance.
I am not entirely sure if there is a way to make a New Game+. I know the original Fire Emblem 8 has the creature campaign, but not sure if there is a way to set a global flag for cleared game. I would be open to allowing both optional characters for second playthroughs as a bonus if I can figure it out. Not sure if anyone has any insight.
On Tier Lists:
I never planned on creating my own tier list as I didn’t want to influence other players with my perspectives. I’ve seen a couple so far, and I am definitely seeing a pattern. Maybe I will put together a tier list of the average placement. That would probably be most accurate anyway.
Haha, yeah… I don’t want Normal mode being a Maddening mode 2.0. Sometimes having a lower stakes play through is more fun.
There isn’t a way to get promotional items that late in the game. I didn’t think people would want to promote anyone so late. That being said, I can certainly add Master Seals to the Secret Shops. I have no problem with that.
No, if you clear Ch30 without recruiting Lionel, you will miss him. To recruit him, first move Lael orthogonally or diagonally away from the cyclops named “Lionel.” There is only one cyclops. After, you can move Boone or Ariel to initiate the Talk. Hope this helps.
I am happy to hear the difficulty is better balanced now, @DBAV.
I would love to add quality of life improvements such as the talk icon patch and showing dangerous weapons on enemies. As far as I know, that seems to be coupled with the skill system, which is something I did not want to have for this game. I am not sure if there is a way to only have the small improvements patched easily.
Oh, I didn’t realize that you were playing the game on an older version. You might experience some issues unfortunately if you update the ROM to the current version.
I did figure the problem was likely with the emulator that you were using. I was experiencing issues on other emulators too. I find it curious that that particular scene is causing such a problem. There really isn’t anything special about it compared to how most other scenes are built.
On-map talk bubbles and effectiveness warnings are actually bundled in with HP bars. This can be installed independently from the skill system by either grabbing the ASM from the skill system buildfile to put into your own buildfile, or by installing the “HPBars_with_warnings Cache” patch if using FEBuilder. Obviously, both methods will also implement HP bars. As far as I know, these hacks should not conflict with any other standard engine hacks.
I implemented the patch, and it seems to be working. Of course, I am paranoid that nothing else broke, so I will have to play through the game some.
Thanks for the lead, @WarPath. I hope I can have this request added to a future update now.
I downloaded the game on December, so it may not be a version too distant from the final release. My current plan is to finish this version, so I get a feeling of the rest of the chapters and units. Then I’ll restart with the current full version.
About chapter 23… I hated it. And at the same time, I loved it. I’ll explain myself. I absolutely hate the infinite reinforcement spawn in this map. The fact that after 3 turns I had an horde right after me when I just finished killing the rest of reinforcement in that turn made it so difficult to advance through the dessert. The fact that this chapter is a dessert map, and that there’s hidden objects that you want to get made it so much worse. In my playthroughs, I don’t let anyone die, and I have to save every village or hidden item, so this was a problem. I only had 3 promoted units in the team (Boone, Myles, Queenie and Pepper) because I was finishing leveling up the rest of the units (most from level 18 to 20) or their supports. Having Faith just return in the team can be really punishing (despite the lance she weilds, she will die against almost anything). To make things worse, I only had Lael as a healer (and the elixir Pepper brings with her).
The worst thing about this 3 turn spawn loop nightmare? Those enemies won’t give you a single point in experience. I get that you didn’t want people to use those unlimited spawns as a way to level up everyone and break the game balance, but not giving a single point of experience was too much. I never got into programming or modding, but I would change so only units whose internal level (level prior promotion + current level) were above 20 wouldn’t receive any experience. Hell, I’d give those units 5 exp at least, because they are also using all their weapons, so they might as well get something in return. Those units whose level were under 20, I would still give the exp (Faith made me think about this. She only leveled up from 10 to 13, and she killed enough people to be on level 18). I just think that would be a little bit more fair to those units.
What else did I hate about this level? How it deplets your inventory. I talked about me wanting to promote every unit in the game in another post, and how I didn’t think it was possible if an arena was not added to get that money. Well, I am currently in the game with 300 and some gold. I have not bought anything expensive, only Iron Weapons (so all my characters have 3 weapons each) and I have been selling everything that could give me some money (potions, elixirs, silver weaponry). I didn’t buy weapons for the supply. The chapter drained my weaponry and my money.
What did I love about the chapter? Storywise, it feels awesome. You are swarmed by an endless horde of enemies and you can barely advance to your goal. When you live a unit behind to fight some monsters (and hopefully survive) it totally gives you a feeling of “Keep going! Don’t let his sacrifice be in vain!”. No unit is ready for this, no matter how good they are. You need to run and survive. Only Lael talking with Edith will end this nightmare, and even that is no easy task. You’ll feel like Lael is crawling in the dessert trying to desperately reach Edith while all your units are been destroyed, and you can’t do it faster because you are exhausted, bloodied and almost to the point of crying for mercy. Really inmersive in that aspect.
That’s my take on that episode. Don’t take anything too personally, I’m just here to help. As you probably know by now, I really love the game, so I’m doing my best to give some advice from another player (who may be playing the game way different than others, such as leveling up every character at the same time, grabbing all items, wanting to promote everyone, etc).
I really enjoy your perspective @TheAnyel, because you seem to play Fire Emblem games very different that me.
I have never had too much of a problem with Ch23 depleting my inventory because I typically try to rush clear this map. However, I do understand how this can happen if your goal is to grab all the treasure and level up as much as possible.
My intention with the three spawn loop was to signify to the player to finish up the chapter as story wise, I wanted to put pressure on the player. I do understand your sentiment about wanting to receive experience here, and I am inclined to agree with you. Getting 0 exp does feel lame; it does suck to waste weapons when you get nothing. I wonder if there is a way to offer reduced exp after a certain turn. That might be a happy balance as I don’t like when Fire Emblem games present you with grinding opportunity. I will think on this.
This feels kind of low for number of promoted units at this point in the game. Do you try to keep everyone around the same level? I am assuming you made Queenie into an Oracle because you mentioned Lael as your only healer.
About the 0 exp thing… maybe you can spawn the same enemies, but from certain turn you just lower their level while keeping their attributes the same? Isn’t the amount of exp gained tied to the level of the enemy defeated? That way you’d be able to spawn the exact same enemies but the experience gained by killing them would be reduced. Maybe I am mistaken with this idea, I don’t know XD.
Yes, I try to keep everyone at the same level, and I also level them up to 20 vefore promoting them. At that point my promoted units were those I mentioned before (Queenie as an Oracle, yes) and Kathryn, Grant, Ariel and Wyatt. I didn’t use any of them because I had already completed their supports and I needed to level uo some other characters (in regards to exp and support level). I realized too late I only had Lael as healer, but I didn’t wan’t to to through it again.
Anyway, in chapter 24 I had to sell all the attribute increase items I was saving (I usually save them until the last 3 chapters. Selling those and some expensive items (like the Brave Lance provided in the house in that chapter, or the Elixirs I had to steal from the enemies) allowed me to get around 13 Master Seals (Silver Card helped a lot). I promoted all the units I was using on that chapter (Vergil, Atticus, Travis, Joseph, Rob, Silvan, Eamon, Tanya and Kurtis. They were already level 20 or reached it here). After that, I promoted Liang too, who was also level 20.
By now, I only need to promote Brett, Faith, Roxie, Caspian, Winifred, Helga, Benji, Saoirse, Wise (all of them close to level 20), Caden (level 20 already), Lael (who I think promotes on its own like Boone and Leah) and Parvati and Noelle (and I think neither if them can promote). That would be a total of 10 Master Seals, and I have 8 in my supply, plus another one available by killing one enemy in chapter 25. It looks to me like promoting every unit in the game is possible, despite me thinking otherwise in the past. It’s really hard, but it looks like can be done, so I applaud you for that.
Now, about chapter 24. I don’t think I like the enemies spawning from the forts when you cross certain point in the map. It makes it look empty in the beggining, when storywise there is an attack against Amanda happening. I’d deploy more enemies from the start and then I’d spawn them as reinforcements after your own units have crossed a point in the map (that point in the map would not be before the forts, but after, so you get the feeling that reinforcement were sent after your units and deployed on your back). I hope I’m explaining myself. As always, just a suggestion.
Another thing in that chapter. I think the Silver Card should not affect the cost of the growth improving item. I think it is too good, and since I was able to get 13 Master Seals, someone else could prioritize that item and completely destroy the balance of the rest of the game.
And last thing. The sage who drops the Master Seal in that chapter… Man, I had to run to kill him, because he was going to either kill Amanda or he was going to get killed by her and making me lose that Master Seal.
Congratulations for making a full FE game! I really like the story and memorable characters! Amanda is my spirit animal lol
This is actually a decent way to handle this. Honestly it would be the simplest solution even if it may not be perfect. I will play around with this idea.
That is pretty cool that you are actually promoting all characters in one play through. I am quite curious who are your stand out characters and who are not ending up that great. It’s rare to have everyone around the same level and looking at average stats can only tell me so much.
Also, Parvati can promote, so you may need another Master Seal. I believe you get another one on Ch25.
You are full of great ideas today, @TheAnyel. I think this could be a really great change to the map and may make it flow a little better. I will look into this too.
The wind sage on Ch24 is definitely the most difficult enemy on that map. Having a good res tank to draw him early is usually the best way to handle it. Queenie or Liang are probably the best for the job.
Thank you, @Arvaxhi! It still feels a little unreal to me that I made a full game. It was an insane amount of work for a “solo” project. I did have some help on many support conversations and a couple art pieces.
I am happy you enjoy the story and characters! Amanda is awesome; though, it is tough for me to choose a favorite character. There is a certain fun factor to recruiting Amanda, and it feels great to use her. There is a certain joy in watching her get doubled by a meteor and survive!
I will have something fun related to a “certain character” in The Lonely Mirror for tomorrow!
Character Spotlight: Joseph
Congratulations to Joseph who has placed first in the character popularity poll and narrowly defeated Myles.
Joseph is second in line to the throne of Celyste behind his brother, Caden. He is shown to value his family and Celyste above all else. His pride for Celyste causes him to openly criticize other nations – particularly Ametona – on their disappointing military and nonsense decision making.
During the Celyste-Ametona War, Joseph is very calculating in his plan to take down Devante by leveraging Ametona. After the war, Joseph is shown to have a lot more confident in his strength and is determined to restore his father and his country. He relies less on calculated tactics and tends to favor headstrong, aggressive measures.
Joseph has a difficult time making friends with his companions due to his reserved and intense nature, and most believe him to be intimidating. Additionally, he has a difficult time trusting people and is the first to question Queenie’s intention for joining the group. Despite his image, Joseph shows great compassion and understanding to those he lets in.
Joseph gradually begins to open up to Boone over the course of the journey and while he occasionally disagrees with Boone’s decisions, he respects Boone’s will to do the right thing.
Joseph immediately respects Myles’ for standing alongside him to save Municro and considers Myles his real first friend. Joseph also sees through Wise’s outward persona and understands and relates to the pressure he must feel to live in his brother’s shadow.
Joseph’s color scheme is mint green and purple. After the time skip, he wears a beard like most men from Celyste as a coming-of-age tradition.
Thanks to solid stat growth in Speed and Luck, Joseph will be double attacking often and able to deal good damage with his decent power growth. He is also able to exploit super effective damage from wind tomes to easily deal with thunder mages and Pegasus units. Joseph is a solid candidate for the Energy Ring found on Ch10 to boost his offensive capability further. While Joseph’s Skill growth is below average, his accuracy is not usually a problem due to the reliable hit rate on wind tomes.
Even though Joseph’s class options are relatively squishy, and the dark griffin class must strategically play around the super effective bows and fire magic, the combination of Speed and Luck gives Joseph high avoid, which can allow him to escape harm during enemy phase. Joseph also possesses solid growths in Res and a surprisingly decent Defense growth for a mage to allow him to tank most magic users and survive a hit from physical weapons. Even still, Joseph possesses low HP and a low HP growth and therefore should be placed carefully.
Overall, Joseph is the only wind magic user in the game (not counting specific promotion options), has great availability, and fantastic promotion options to work great on any team. With proper investment, you can expect him to be a dependable magic unit on any chapter he is available. Having access to Forseti and a flying class gives him a reliable offensive range greater than any character in the game.
Joseph’s affinity is Wind; hence his ability to excel with wind magic and has the following support options:
- Caden - Thunder
- Myles - Fire
- Wise - Fire
- Queenie - Dark
- Shiloh - Light
- Faith - Light
- Tanya - Thunder
Joseph really appreciates supports that provide extra damage output to offset the chance of not leveling in Power. Fire and Light support bonuses work best with Joseph’s growth and role on team.
Wise appreciates the wind affinity bonuses and is able to keep up with Joseph if he is promoted to dark griffin. Myles is a great support option if Joseph promotes to a wind sage to provide both offense and healing.
Faith or Shiloh can also be good support options for Joseph to focus on defense rather than avoid. Like Wise, Faith will have the ability to keep up with Joseph if he promotes to dark griffon.
I intend to continue doing character spotlights for a while on a monthly cadence depending on the character’s popularity. Can Myles even be beat right now? Vote for your favorites and tell me why you like them.
Just finished the maddening mode which was justifiably very very very hard…even tho there were certain chapters that brought me despair multiple times i really enjoyed the game…its been long since i had so much hardship in a fe game…really liked the story…the maps n the mugs…everything was excellent…it took my some days to finish it with all the despairing in between so i ve forgotten by now some things i wanted to mention on certain chapters…so all in all great work, looking forward to playing the most refined state of the game once you are done with it…keep up the good work!
First post here but I just finished the hack and wanted to give some thoughts! I got super into rom hacks during lockdown 2.0 in Toronto because, well, looking for new things to try.
Overall, I really enjoyed the hack. The overall story motif has overall been done before, but I feel with the mixed motives/grey morals of the Proclaimers made it feel fresh. I also really enjoyed the fact that unlike most regular Fire Emblems, all the characters aren’t in agreement on the best course of action, or who’s in the wrong and in the right. I didn’t end up using Queenie, but I wish during the main game we saw a little more interaction between her and Joseph, Myles, and Leah; perhaps it’s seen in her supports but I think Joseph questioning her actions and motives could’ve been seen more. The Proclaimers heel turn into quasi-“good guys” also felt perhaps a little rushed - especially Devante.
I liked the dialogue but I did find that there was an overabundance of stuttering used, the “I-I don’t know what to do!” I understand it shows hesitancy, but it feels like every character does it all the time, I noticed it at first during chapter 18 where the queen (whose name escapes me) does it like three lines in a row.
As for the characters themselves: my favourite is Amanda, hands down. We stan a thirsty queen. She’s actually a sociopath. Joseph, Myles, and Ariel were also standouts for me story wise. I wish Leah saw a little more involvement post-time skip because I really liked her drive in the first part and she felt more like a tag-along post-time skip but I still enjoyed her arc.
In terms of visuals, major kudos to you for developing two portraits for like every character. I’m digging all the beards. I think you could do a bearded-run which would be interesting. The only mug that felt out of place is Lael post-time skip; she still looks like she’s 5, I dunno.
Gameplay wise I played on hard mode and felt it had a pretty good difficulty curve and for the most part felt hard, but fair; meaning if you just rush in you’re gonna die pretty fast, so if you’re not careful and thinking ahead you’re gonna have a rough time. I really enjoyed chapters 16, 18, 19 and pretty much the whole end game after Lael promotes.
That being said, I felt there were 3 chapters in particular that were unfairly difficult and essentially subject to RNG, those being Prelude 3, Chapter 23, and Chapter 26.
Prelude 3: Trying to get both the body ring and the jail is incredibly tight timing wise and essentially forces you to split up Joseph and Myles. If you’re like me as well, Myles has to rely on getting the Wa Dao from that random myrm because he’s running incredibly low on available weapons. You essentially are forced to put Myles in dangerous range of several myrms, and someone with a killer bow in the hopes that he dodges some hits so he can get the body ring. Furthermore, there’s a lot of choke points but frankly the characters you get this chapter aren’t exactly tanks minus Vergil who’s decent but also has axes and so has to be wary of being doubled easily. Faith is almost a handicap because she’s so fragile. And perhaps my Travis turned out poor but the dude was doing like no damage and doubled nothing. You’re essentially relying on the thieves that are released to be dodge tanks for you so the enemy is distracted so you can place yourself better and escape, but you still have to take out some enemies or you’re going to get overwhelmed very fast. In several of my attempts the thieves died within the first 2 turns of being released which pretty much signaled a no win scenario. You almost have to be aggressive against the boss on the right because if you try to run to the left without choking you end up in the middle of the field with reinforcements coming from below and the boss on the right so one of your characters will die. I had to replay this chapter a bunch of times in the hopes that Myles would dodge effectively and not get crit by the random killer bow, and for the thieves to play nicely and dodge and hopefully block up some space. It just felt way too RNG heavy.
Chapter 23: Perhaps I have bad luck but Edith died twice down there solo. From my understanding, if characters other than Boone or Lael entered within a certain range they’d become berserk, so I don’t think I could’ve even gotten there in time. Like I said, maybe just some bad luck, but the fact that it can happen is frankly annoying because you don’t really have much to any control of it as a player. I also had Pepper join this chapter who is a godsend but I think if she weren’t there I would’ve struggled a helluva lot more. You can’t really rush down to Edith because the reinforcements are so many, and many of them have much better movement than your units that you often get “trapped” for several turns in the same areas because you have to defeat the onslaught so you don’t get picked off on enemy phase. I loved the concept of this chapter but I think even just slightly fewer enemy reinforcements would still keep the difficult alive without it being frustrating. Also, Faith is just kind of a liability in hard mode. She had 19 hp in my game and essentially died to literally everything. Trying to keep her alive was a challenge in itself. It’s why I’m Team Helga because she’s anti-Faith.
Chapter 26: Similar problem to Edith, Ozias regularly died for me on turns 3-5, which makes rushing to get him time wise very very tight. I also wanted to recruit Amanda and so I used only dudes, the only male healer is Shiloh, who some players might not even get. My Shiloh didn’t have the weapon rank to use psychic so that wasn’t really an option to heal him. I had to kind of hope that my characters dodged the mages and archers around the door so I could push through on time. I also have issues with the bolting user in the top left. I love the concept of Amanda chasing you down, and I feel like in order to actually push through to the throne the intention is to have one small squad kind of lead her on a loop-de-loop around the map, while the other squad pushes through the enemies. I feel like due to the starting placement and time wise you essentially have to loop her around the left side, but the bolting dude literally has range of like half the map, and because there’s enough reinforcements that you have to clear through, your characters are likely gonna be at least slightly damaged. It just makes them easy pickings for the bolting man, so, if you’re like me, you cleared him out first turn he arrives. But there’s the troubadour with the sleep staff and Amanda approaching that can really screw you over. But you kind of have to take him out or there’s a strong chance he’ll kill one of yours. I liked the menacing presence of Amanda chasing you but man this map felt just unfairly difficult in terms of the early portion, you essentially have to split your army in three from the get go: one to get the treasure in the upper left and take care of bolting man, one to defend/take out the cavalry from the south, and one to push through to save Ozias. Trying to save Ozias in time in hard mode just had me hoping that he dodged a hit or two so I could get to him in time and I don’t know if there’s a way I could have reached him faster.
Sorry for the essay! I really liked the hack and wish you luck on polishing up the final details. : )
Happy that you had a fun time with the maddening difficulty, @Rigas. There are certainly some chapters that can destroy you if you don’t have a solid team of characters. I am working on refining some of the enemy placements and reinforcements, so in a future iteration enemies will not feel as bulky near the end.
Happy for the essay, @Minnnt. You have a lot of great insight.
Happy you liked the portraits. I am actually still doing some refining on them. I am color blind, so pixel art can be tricky. Also, I really want to do a bearded-run or someone else to do it. If someone does this, let me know how it goes. Legal characters include: Vergil, Boone, Caspian, Myles, Joseph, Caden, Rob, Silvan, Riley, Wise, Kurtis, Tarin, and Lionel. Good luck!!
Prelude 3: I agree with you that Prelude 3 can be a little RNG heavy, and based on what happens with the green units can really change the dynamic of this map. I find to really prevent the RNG factor, you might have to forgo grabbing the body ring with Myles and take a defensive stance - especially if your Myles didn’t gain levels on Prelude 2. In any case, I acknowledge that this particular map is a not for everyone, and it does feel a little unfair in some ways. Though that is the feeling I want for a map titled “To Conquer Death.” In any case, this map is quite exciting on future play throughs. It is alway wild!
Chapter 23: I noticed Edith can get really unlucky and die early, but I have only seen it happen once to me. Still, I know this is possible. I think I will tone down the enemies near her to prevent this from happening. Yes, Faith can indeed be a liability on this map, but she can also be an asset. It depends on how much she is leveled in part 1. Her HP is always going to be not so great though… I am actually doing some work on this chapter and will be reducing the number of reinforcements on this map. Hopefully it won’t feel as much of a grind next time.
Chapter 26: One of the reasons I added Shiloh into the game was to provide a character that could make Amanda easier to recruit. That being said, Amanda is supposed to be a challenging character to recruit, and as a reward, you get Amanda! If you get Riley instead of Shiloh, Amanda will be harder to recruit, but not impossible. Side note: I will say that Shiloh is really, really great should you use him. His HP growth is the best in the game, and he can destroy monsters with seraphim at the end after promotion. I hope more people will try him out. Also, I am happy you like Amanda. I find her to be a very fun character to write and a fun unit to use.
Overall, I do agree with you that Chapter 26 could use some work. Ozias is incredibly difficult to recruit, and he really isn’t that great of a unit, at least, in my opinion. I actually buffed him in the previous version, but I might need to buff him again.