Fire Emblem: The Lonely Mirror (Full Game - FE8 ROM Hack)

Having Part 1 finished and moving onto Chapter 11, I have this to say…

Part 1 Thoughts

Chapter 10 was a slog.
The switches are fine- the ascent to them is not.

For one thing, that fighter on the left with a hand axe- for god’s sake, give him a fucking Killer Axe instead like the bloke on the right. I already have a mage breathing down my ass who can blow apart most of my party- why are you adding to the pile?!

And the boss of Chapter 10, the boss! He’s got so much HP, defense, and avoid on Maddening, that fighting him comes down to stall warfare with the Majestra and hoping for a crit to shorten things. Why, just… why?!

No, thr mages don’t help either when the strongest ome has less than 50 hit (Brett with Elfire), and the most accurate (Joseph with a wind) does jack all to him! Not even Caden with the Shining Bow is any help because his hit rate isn’t good enough to cut it!

Like I think the boss needs to be nerfed in the speed, res, and defense departments- if you do that, you could create a boss that you’d have no choice but to effectively kill in one turn or else he destroys the vast majority of your army in 1 v 1 combat.

Meanwhile, all the way back in Chapter 2, recruiting Parvati on Maddening is basically ‘pray to RNG Leah doesn’t die’, because Parvati can and will die if she isn’t recruited within the turn from where she spawns, while recruiting her exposes Leah to a unholy amount of enemies.

Seriously, move her someplace closer to where the player starts, like one of the houses in the starting area; that would help so much!

And Chapter 11. Ohhh, Chapter 11.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t train Caspian in Part 1… but he’s COMPLETELY FUCKING USELESS!

In fact, Caspian on this chapter, with his level 3 ass, perfectly sums up everything wrong with Maddening mode from what I can tell, which is, to wit:

Your units don’t do enough damage to kill at a consistent rate when that becomes important.

90% of your army constantly needs to dodge in a meta where your units have a higher chance of getting hit, because most of them die within two hits, and in general, getting anything done requires a far healthier dose of RNG than I’d prefer (as well as a unholy amount of stalling at times).

If there are side objectives with bandit time limits, they become RNG fests because the safe way to doing them usually results in something getting wrecked because you can’t deal with the enemy fast enough to get to them.

Also the reason why Caspian didn’t get trained much in Part 1 was because he gets outclassed by Vergil after the Prelude. This is because, at this point, Vergil has several levels on Caspian in all likelihood, as well as likely higher stats (and certainly more utility and mobility) than Caspian, meaning that the player is more likely to use Vergil than, say, Caspian.

I would personally recommend buffing Caspian in Part 2 to rejoin at at least Level 6 (same as Ariel) and with higher stats all around- mainly he needs at least enough speed to not get doubled by the wind mage, and either a hammer or an increase in strength so that he can hit the Armor Knights hard enough to where he isn’t doing scratch damage. Heck, I wouldn’t mind a buff to his defense and HP either so that he can take some more damage, or even just a luck buff so that he can dodge a bit more reliably.

As a note, I also did Chapter 11 after installing the newest patch; which did buff Caspian, but not enough to where, I think, he can handle whatever happens on Maddening.

Because as it stands right now, he’s a liability that I can’t let die, and he’s underpowered- so much so that I’m currently at a loss as to how to clear Chapter 11 while saving all the villages and not getting anyone killed without a serious amount of luck.

Because what it FEELS like is that Caspian is supposed to be a far bigger key to the chapter than he currently is- and as a result, the chapter’s balance gets completely screwed.

Also, on a lighter note, I can’t look at ‘The Proclaimers’, without thinking of this:
(Which also sums up my Maddening mode experience more or less).

Also Ariel’s line at the end of Chapter 10 was hilarious.

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picked a difficulty called Maddening
complains about difficulty being too frustrating


yes, because a mode being called maddening is clearly an excuse for not having good balance/design

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Yes because the name means we cant criticize obviously bad things, big brain logic

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y’all, i’m just saying, for your first playthrough, maybe don’t pick the one called “Maddening” and then complain that the game is too hard and it’s not possible to get every single village without luck, etc… like, if you want it to be easier… there are other difficulties…

And this wouldn’t really be an issue if the feedback was only constructive, but it’s a whole other thing when you’re cussing out the hack creator. If you think it’s that bad of a hack, there are tons of other ones on the site.

edit: Plus, design-wise, units are supposed to die in Fire Emblem (unless you’re both really good and very lucky). It’s not a fault of the game for being especially brutal on the hardest difficulty.

I don’t understand choosing the hardest difficulty and cussing out the creator when it’s too hard. It’s great to share feedback, but c’mon, don’t be mean.


Look, there’s a fine line between actual difficulty, and just plain fucking bullshit.

Difficulty means that you have options to solve a problem that don’t just boil down to ‘pray you dodge here’. Difficulty, in the case of Chapter 11, would mean that every enemy that’s on there has a unit in the player army that can deal with them within at least a round or so of combat without getting killed.

Even on Maddening mode, where the enemy has higher base stats- that’s fine, so long as, again, that same above condition can be met, or else there’s at least some way to stall them.

You can even have timed objectives too to add to the difficulty (like a village threatened by bandits), provided the player has a reasonable amount of time to save said village.

Chapters like Chapter 11 are like a kind of ‘first chapter’- that is to say, they should be reliably beatable with nothing more than what you have on you currently, and they should have any side objectives they have be reliably securable, regardless of difficulty.

Complete fucking bullshit on the other hand is what happens when there’s no reliable way to deal with the enemies being thrown at you- where even with a plan in mind, your own stats can’t deal with the enemies in a timely manner in a mode like Maddening, where that seems to become even more important.

Also, regarding how units are supposed to die- the answer is yes and no. (And certainly a no in the later games such as 3H where you’re encouraged to keep your units alive via the turnwheel).

Yes, they are designed with units being meant to die- but what that’s supposed to be is more of a safety net that allows you to win the game even if you, say, lose one or two units. Designing around something being iron-manned is fine, but if you’re going to do that, you need to make sure that when you put in replacements, they can at least kind of pick up where the unit they’re (for lack of a better term) meant to replace left off, and do their job with a reasonable amount of competence.

In this case, using Chapter 11 as an example, losing even a single unit here can seriously screw you up since you only have a total of four units to start with; and only three of those can fight (and they all use different weapons, too).

Even if this wasn’t my first time playing the game, I would likely still be having these same problems with Maddening, simply because in this case, Maddening here has there be more than just enemy stats buffed in terms of changes.

Because of these changes, and without knowing what exactly they are until I play the map for the first time, you still go in there more or less blind on a gameplay level. Hell, even your previous strategies for a map on a lower difficulty cannot necessarily apply to a higher difficulty because of the change in enemy stats.

Also, again, RNG strikes here- because it seems like the majority of your playable units on this map are supposed to have been trained to a degree, it also means that their stats can vary between playthroughs- which again can affect a strategy. Statboosters also only work so well- and I don’t have access to them in Chapter 11 (as the end of Part 1 makes any you have unavailable).

EDIT: Even if I did use them in the previous chapter, that doesn’t necessarily solve the problem; for that matter, outside of something like 0% growths, I shouldn’t even have to use the stat-boosters to begin with in order to beat the game, let alone a chapter like this where you don’t really have a lot of resources to work with.


So you’re saying that our first playthrough for The Lonely Mirror should start out on Normal mode instead of hard or maddening. It would be a better choice to start off on for beginners who are eager to try out the ROM hack. Not everyone has to be hardcore at Fire Emblem.

Think of it as a positive and wise advice for everyone.


Actually, I’d personally recommend Hard for people familiar with Fire Emblem who want a challenge(most people on this site), normal difficulty for people who enjoy the characters, supports, stories etc more than strategy rpg tactics and difficulty, and maddening for people who have played Lonely Mirror itself first and want more challenge.

Jumping into Maddening is an unpleasant experience. But to be fair, I wouldn’t play Lunatic+ first in any of the games, I wouldn’t pick Maddening first in Three Houses- that kind of difficulty is much more appropriate when you’re not going in blind. I think that the same goes for Lonely Mirror.

Originally, these difficulties were named Easy, Normal, and Hard, like in Sacred Stones, but the creator of Lonely Mirror changed it to Normal, Hard, and Maddening so that people would hopefully not pick the hardest difficulty by default like we know many fire emblem fans do.


Even disregarding he played maddening first, that still doesnt get rid of the possible issues, saying just play the other 2 doesnt help said mode in the long run even for experienced players

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Well, I feel like things really blew up in a couple comments.

@Telos, @Sage, @Rye_on_Speed, I do value feedback to try to make the hack and best I possibly can; however, I am having trouble understanding and digesting some of your comments because of the angry frustrated tone. Again, I apologize for making your experience so frustrated. I do not want The Lonely Mirror to have ruined your day. :frowning:

Next, @Telos, I would ask that you refrain form using profanity and angry comments when you post in the future as some people may find it offensive. I am one of those people, because I have put a lot of effort into this hack, and your writing comes across as hurtful - even if it wasn’t your intention.

For example:

Instead you can write something like:
“Caspian feels underwhelming as a character, and when you are forced into situations like Chapter 11 where you must rely on Caspian to proceed the game gets frustrating and not fun. Maybe you should buff Caspian’s base stats or provide more or better units to make the experience better.”

@Telos, @Sage, @Rye_on_Speed, I’d be more than happy to speak with you offline in greater detail about each and every enemy placement in the game, the weapons they all carry, and the enemy stats for every difficulty so you can have a hand at balancing the game to your heart’s content. Hit me up.


I personally recommend and enjoy playing on Hard mode for a first time. I think it feels good for experienced Fire Emblem players. Maddening mode is good for a second time after having some familiarity of what to expect in the game.


Hey @Slenderkai,

This is your first time posting on FE Universe, so WELCOME! :grin:

I am happy you enjoyed the story in The Lonely Mirror. It was a lot of fun to write and bring all the characters to life. You are right that some characters don’t have a huge purpose in the major story like Noelle. I did try to give every character “their special moment,” but it is difficult with a huge case. Noelle is supposed to represent an innocent bystander who comes along for the journey.

Both of these are good points. I actually considered having Dracbolla weak to more of the S ranked weapons that you received near the end of the game, but defeating him was very easy. In fact, I find the final boss of the game pretty easy all things considering, because you can camp for him near one of his spawn points and destroy him with your party in one round. I may return and play around more with the final battle at some point.

Thank you! I wrote some of the supports, but @meta4 wrote a good amount, including the one’s you mentioned. He’s a good writer. Actually, I think I wrote Ariel x Saoirse, so I got the B support. More supports will be coming.


(Sorry for slight off topic) Which build of RetroArch are you using? My PS3 crashes a lot playing GBA games.

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I’m using V1.9.0 I got from Brewology(it’s not on the official website) and using the VBA Next V1.0.2 850a9af Core Emulator. I’m also running rebug cfw with V4.86 CEX Cobra 8.2 so not sure which cfw you’re running or if you’re using HEN. Once you do have it installed, I would recommend using the online updater to update all of the cores if you can’t find that specific build of VBA Next. Let me know if that worked for you at all.


Wise X Eamon finallyyyy!!! Oh and btw Caladrius, I remember you said before about how you was thinking about wanting to let us use both Shiloh/Riley and Wanda/Tanya in 1 playthrough. Is that still an option that we might be able to look forward to in the future?. Or is that out of the question now.


It is possible to recruit all of Shiloh, Riley, Wanda, and Tanya in one playthrough as long as you are playing on Maddening. You just need to follow the steps to access Ch17x.

Be warned though, I still do not let you keep every playable character on one run. There are always 2 characters that you will have to leave off your roster.


Do you mean any 2 characters or specific ones?

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Well, if you wanted all of Shiloh, Riley, Wanda, and Tanya recruited, you would 100% not be recruiting Danika on Ch17x. The other character you’d miss, or rather give up, is a little more variable and depends on who unlocks 17x between Caspian, Travis, or Winifred. Ch17x is quite a complicated chapters and has a lot of scenarios.

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So the two that can not join are Danika and someone else who leaves the party? I’m still a bit confused. Great hack btw. I highly recommend it. (Almost 500 comments!)

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Yes, it is a little confusing, but I think you pretty much have it.

Basically, as long as you are on Maddening, you can have 4 of the following: Shiloh, Riley, Wanda, Tanya, and Danika as long as you are alright with either Caspian, Travis, or Winifred leaving your party.

  • Example 1: You could recruit Shiloh, Wanda, Danika, and Riley at the cost of Tanya and Caspian leaving the party.

  • Example 2: You could recruit Riley, Tanya, and Danika at the cost of Wanda and Shiloh, while keeping Winifred (the character that triggers 17x)

Ch17x was a bit of a headache to make work too. Probably the most complex chapter in the entire game.