Chapter 13x of Elys route is finally done! For how small of a chapter it is, it took me way too long to get around to actually finishing it lol. Some other slight tweaks have been made elsewhere, as usual. As always, enjoy, and please leave any and all feedback to help me improve the game!
- Caught and fixed some mistakes with certain classes’ EXP gains.
- New portrait for Maliz, some smaller fixes to other portraits.
- Various small adjustments to various chapters.
New chapter is here: Chapter 14 of Elys route! As usual, some other small updates have been made, such as a new portrait for Tenshi, Shining Bows and the Transmute tome now having 1-2 range (the former was a decision I changed, the latter was an accident I fixed), some music updates, some added and adjusted dialogue, and the catch-all “I probably tweaked some small numbers here and there”. As always, please leave any feedback you have as you play it, and I hope you enjoy the game!
As usual, I’ve been pushing out a handful of smaller changes since my last post, most prominently a substantial rework of Chapter 5’s layout, a new portrait for post-timeskip Jasper, and applying some patches that should reduce enemy-phase lag. I’ve also just gone through all of my older maps on a quest to make them slightly less ugly, fighting against my old height errors, tilespam forests and grass, and so on, and while they’re still far from perfect they should look a lot better.
EDIT: I have caught and fixed a fairly significant bug in chapter 8 with a warning not appearing and reinforcements spawning early, and also tweaked the behavior of green unit Lysithea in that chapter so she’ll use her healing item more often.
EDIT2: Have now also fixed a mistake in chapter 8x with the dark mage not having enough weapon rank for their weapon.
Much smaller update, but one I feel like announcing anyway: I’ve made a custom battle animation for BEST BOY MYSON! He still uses the generic Summoner map sprite for now, but that will change soon. EDIT: His map sprite has now been updated! He’s now a Summoner with a hat!
New QoL update! I have added the Danger Radius and Droppable Item Marker hacks by Huichelaar and Mkol. Enemies that drop items now have a little green “item bag” symbol marking them on the map, and in non-Fog maps, enemy ranges can be marked to be continuously highlighted! Press Select over an individual enemy to highlight them, or press select over no enemies to highlight/clear all – do note that highlighting everything will cause lag. (Additional shoutout to Contro for pointing me to these.) Please report if there are any bugs, this is my first time installing a hack that isn’t a Builder patch.
Fix: I forgot the opening cutscene flashback used fog when adding danger radius, have now restored its proper palette.
Update: New portrait for pre-timeskip Jasper!
EDIT: Additional update: I have slightly changed the hit rate formula. Luck now gives 1 hit per point, instead of 0.5. This will result in slight accuracy increases across the board, most noticeable on lategame enemies and Willow.
Having discovered that the Counter and Countermagic skills cannot actually kill the attacker by default in vanilla SkillSys, I have now changed this so that they do. However, doing so revealed a bug where the wrong death quote would play when one of those skills killed a unit with animations on. As such, Taiyo, the one boss to have those skills, now has no animations to avoid that, as the ASM wizards and I were unable to find how to fix it otherwise.
Also, some portraits have been updated, and various other small changes have been made as usual. As always, have fun and please let me know how things go!
I’ve just done a substantial overhaul of Chapter 10. It is now no longer fully symmetric, and should both look and play nicer. (Also, the main boss is no longer on a pillar tile, since she’s already really hard to kill without an avoid buff.)
I’ve also buffed Mogalls a bit. They’re no longer weighed down by their weapons, and while their stats are mostly still the same, their weapons now have crazy high hit rates, making them hyper-accurate threats. Fitting for the magic floating eye creatures.
I’ve now also done a bit of a rework of chapter 4 to improve its previously-slow and linear pacing a bit. In the process, I also finally decided to make a Repeater obtainable, and slightly buffed Ashley’s Strength and Magic growths – no, I don’t have a favorite lord, why do you ask?
Chapter 3 has now also been edited a bit – the layout’s been adjusted a bit (mainly on the left), Kalin can now be recruited by either Ashley or Elys instead of just Ashley, and it now has access to the preps screen. I’m finally at a point where I’m reasonably happy with the earlygame. I’ve also done some cleanup work on a handful of portraits, improving on my old anti-aliasing and other small fixes like that, and fixed the weird slide in Elys’s promoted dodge animation.
I’ve now done a bit of rewriting – specifically, replacing the boring opening exposition dump, and finding better ways to work in a few details.
Its so cool that you use what you can do on these Screenshots. Definitly unique compared to your standard placeholders - At least from what I’ve seen and read I guess you wanna go for the GBA style at some point/your own artwork is WIP. I understand you wanna go for the GBA Style but it was definitly cool to see something different than usual on the screenshots. It is great that you published it that way, a WIP doesn’t need to be perfect.
And your battle animation looks amazing! Did you use a base or was it done from scratch?
Thank you! The Myson animation, as with most of the other animations I’ve made for the hack, was made entirely from scratch. Here, I’ll show some of the other ones:
Unpromoted Elys (Lord)
Promoted Elys (Agastya)
Unpromoted Ashley (Lord)
Promoted Ashley (Wind Lord)
The Engineer class
This one, as you can probably tell, used the generic Mercenary as a base for the still sprite, but the rest, including the movements, was custom.
Female Swordmaster reskin (for planned character Ava)
Some major villains (warning: spoilers!)
Beta (Blood Lich)
Drazal (Pirate King)
The screenshots at this point are somewhat outdated. I have been slowly working towards redoing all the portraits, though while I’ve made a good amount of progress on them there’s still a lot more to do. The placeholders are mostly just cropped and scaled down from my original drawings of the characters lol, and while I do intend to eventually have everything redone in the GBA style now that I can do it, I’ve had enough people express their appreciation of my old placeholders that I plan to also release a “legacy” (hah) version with the old portraits once the hack’s finished – but for now, maintaining two different versions is unnecessary work while there’s still so much to be done.
Here, this is roughly the current state of the playable roster's portraits. (Warning: some are spoilers)
If you play the hack, please let me know how it goes! I’m always looking for any and all feedback on any and every aspect of it!
I think such a “Legacy” version would be cool to have xD
I definitly support that thought.
I’d like to test it out, the only thing that kinda shackles me is time. If I do play it I’ll let ya know!
I have now put out a slight update to chapter 13 of Alexander route, designed to 1. better convey the Big Story Moment and force it to actually happen (barring Warp staff shenanigans), and 2. make the Big Story Moment have a bit more direct warning so it’s less player-hostile.
Is ares worth a reset, plus a whole bunch of selling?
If you’ve already got a solid team, he’s mostly just filler as a unit – decently usable at base/instapromoted, but usually not that impressive outside of his high Res stat. The biggest thing if you aren’t in need of replacement/filler units is that missing out on him means missing out on a Lancereaver and a Hero Crest, which together make up for a large portion of his recruit cost, though the Hero Crest can be stolen from him if you bring Jay and don’t want to spend the money to actually recruit him. (There is a shop on the map to be able to sell stuff to pay him if you need to without resetting, as well as an enemy that drops a Red Gem, but it’s a bit tricky to reach both in time.)
Hope you’re enjoying the hack, if you have any other thoughts/questions/etc. please let me know!
It’s been pretty fun so far
I downloaded and started playing two days ago. I went with Normal & Classic. I’m currently at Chapter 8, but I think I want to prioritize finishing Engage. In case I end up not returning to this, I wanted to share my thoughts so far.
One of my favorites things about FE is splitting your army up to complete objectives. This hack seems to ask the player to frequently do that, so I had a good time on that front. I also appreciate the lower skill distribution, especially now that I’m playing through Engage. If your goal was to make a chill experience without completely stripping maps down, I’d say you succeeded.
If you wanted to have a more challenging experience, I have a few thoughts on where the gameplay could improve. My main criticism is that the bulkier units are too bulky for the enemy units. The more frail playable units are sometimes threatened by enemies, but the sturdier units are rarely in any serious danger. Regardless of how effective the enemy units’ offense is, they’re also not very durable; it’s easy to either ORKO them or do significant damage with the 1-2 range tools available to you. Elys is the biggest offender of these circumstances; there were several times where I either left her by herself or “assigned” less units to group up with her because of how much she can handle. Even though my Elys is probably better than average, I don’t think that much would change.
However, I recognize that this isn’t a simple problem to tackle (assuming you view it as an issue). If you decide to change your hack with this in mind, there are other problems that would become worse because of this kind of change. Enemy placement and quantity would probably have to be adjusted, but there are other aspects of the gameplay that would be negatively impacted.
- There are a lot of 1-tile wide corridors. Currently, if you have enough units, you can force your group through before they get impeded. If the enemies were more threatening, keeping these routes intact would easily slow the gameplay down, so if you decide to beef the enemies up, I think it’d be best to change the maps so that these routes are a lot more rare, or at least reducing how much of the path(s) is 1-tile wide.
- Before Chapter 6, you only have 1 staff user. Thanks to how sturdy the better units are, however, I don’t remember having to extensively stop and heal with Vulneraries. If the enemy quality improves, having another staff user for the earlygame would help keep the gameplay smooth. Changing the amount that Vulneraries heal is also worth considering. Regardless of whether or not you change Vulneraries, I recommend including how much these items heal in their descriptions.
- If the enemies do more damage, there may be side objective timings that have to be adjusted, as the player would have to take more time to reach them, especially when you consider the two points above.
I’m not sure how I feel about the Supply change (Elys cannot access the supply, but adjacent allies can). It adds a bit more tension to Chapter 7 and slightly discourages juggernauting a little bit, but I missed having that flexibility.
She’s incredible in every situation except the beginning of Chapter 7. Having a magic unit with a 55% def growth is already insanely good, but she’s also the only staff user until Chapter 6. Once she gets a few levels, it’s really easy to start juggernauting with her.
He has a bit of a poor first impression; he often faces WTD, having the standard armor+horse effective isn’t unique to him, and Arthur & Felakhos are much better on enemy phase. However, I got lucky with his Spd, so it made sense to keep using him.
She’s alright, I guess. There are some fliers for her to take care of, but being a useful enemy phase unit is important in this hack, so I wouldn’t say she’s a crutch. Additionally, quite a few of those fliers are Pegasus Knights with Javelins, so other units can easily ORKO them. As far as being a player phase oriented unit goes, I would also say she’s outclassed by Caitlyn.
A really great unit to rely on. Even though effective weapons have started showing up, enemies that lack those weapons struggle to do damage to him. Thanks to his high HP, he can also survive magic attacks if needed.
Having high accuracy from her capped Luck is nice, but she’s outclassed by most of the other magic users. Elys is Elys, Kalin has superior bulk and a Summon, and Caitlyn has better offense and resistance. She could theoretically dodge tank better than all of them, but it’s more practical to instead use a unit that is guaranteed to survive through HP+Def/Res, which is easy enough to find.
Really solid offensive stats and can avoid WTD thanks to having access to all 3 tome types. She outclasses Sophia by being immediately useful (while having solid enough offensive growths), Willow by having similarly high accuracy in addition to her other strengths, and Ashley by getting access to 3 range earlier than she does.
She’s a flier, so I fed her some kills here and there. I don’t remember if that paid off, but regardless, she’s pretty useful, even in Chapter 7.
His bulk and cursor summon are really useful. I wouldn’t say he’s better than Elys, but it’s hard to argue he’s not a top 5 or so unit.
He’s good. There are bulkier units available, but I definitely wouldn’t say that he’s frail.
He’s okay. Summoning Buddy as bait (which mostly came in handy during the early parts of Chapter 6 and the later half or so of Chapter 7) was a lot more useful than anything that he could as far as combat goes.
By this point in the hack, I wasn’t expecting a Myrmidon to be good, but he’s important for clearing Chapter 6. There’s also enough slots to bring him along in Chapter 7, and he didn’t disappoint.
Other Units (0-1 level ups)
Felakhos- The Jeigan being strong is to be expected, but even with that in mind, he’s a bit too strong. He can kill enemies even while equipping Bronze weapons, and he generally takes even less damage than Seth does in FE8.
Sophia- With how the enemy stats are compared to player stats, I don’t really see a need/have a desire to train her. She struggles to do useful damage, even against enemies you’d expect a monk to be good against (knights/shamans). Her bulk is also horrendous, but how much of an issue this is varies by map; in chapters where units are confined to 1-tile wide corridors, this isn’t a big issue, but in the more open maps that also tend to feature reinforcement enemy fliers, I don’t want to make things even harder on myself by babysitting her. 1-2 range physical weapons are also somewhat common in this hack, so it’s hard to safely deal the 6 or so damage that she does.
Jay- There’s not a lot of stuff for him to steal, and he doesn’t show a lot of promise for contributing to combat.
Tinker- Pretty similar thoughts to Sophia. If I had to pick between the two, I’d train Sophia. 4 mov and even lower offensive growths doesn’t give me a good impression.
Lily- Troubadour good. Next.
Seteth- He’s at least decent, but I can’t confidently say how great he is compared to the rest of the team. If there’s going to be a ton of archers from this point forward, he’s not gonna be as bulky as some of the better units. On the other hand, he still has 8 mov. Even though he has low growths and EXP gain, enemy stats are also low, so his stats could be solid enough to pull through for a while.
The Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 6x don’t have much to them, so I don’t think there’s a lot for me to say. I wouldn’t say they didn’t hampered my experience, but I definitely see them as missed opportunities.
On my first attempt, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t reach the Blue Gem until Turn 6, so I reset. Because of how easy it is for the left route to get clogged up by enemy units, I decided to send everyone but Elys that way (Felakhos rescued Rhea after doing a Turn 2 Sophia talk with her). Elys started the chapter with 8 Def, so combining that with the pillar made her survival almost guaranteed. The only thing I missed out on was the droppable Steel Lance. I don’t think having droppable items (or stealable items, except for like Vulneraries) on reinforcements is a good idea, especially since the game forces the map to end on Turn 8.
Chapter 3 (8 turns)
There’s a lot of 1-tile corridors, but unlike Chapter 2, the enemies are a lot more spread out. Additionally, you have a pretty generous amount of time to do side objectives. I forgot about the Knight Crest until sometime after finishing the map.
The NPC cavaliers didn’t really do much in my run. I thought they might block me off from the boss, but I was able to stay ahead of them.
Chapter 4 (12 turns)
After Turn 1, I had Jahid rescue Kai and go into the top right mountain. If I knew about the pegasus knight reinforcements I probably would have sent them down to my group to help out with them.
Since I was able to keep the new units from harm, there wasn’t much to the chapter. It felt like it dragged on and on, unlike the previous chapters.
Chapter 5 (13 turns)
If I had to pick a favorite chapter, I’d probably pick this one. Turn 5 has two thieves ready to enter the treasure room, but there’s at least two other enemies in range. It’s not an impossible challenge, but this situation was interesting to think about. Shortly after that turn, however, there’s at least a few turns of just moving units.
Chapter 6 (7 turns)
I didn’t realize how much help the SE group needed, so I reset on Turn 3. I decided to keep Elys by herself so that Arthur could support that group. Even with this change, she had less trouble dealing with the enemies she encountered than the SE group.
Since I sent Elys to the bottom right, I tried to get the top right group to reach the Red Gem. After seeing how frequent the reinforcements are, however, I changed my mind sometime during the chapter. I didn’t think it was worth another restart.
The chapter lets you deploy your entire group, but I benched Jay and Tinker (Sophia was on shopping duty, but now that I think about it, I should’ve swapped Jay with her). Not only is the the map fairly open, there’s a lot of enemies with at least 6 movement. I was already struggling to keep units like Ashley and Willow out of harm’s way, so I didn’t want to add more frail units into the mix.
The frequency of brigand reinforcements (especially the ones in the center) was pretty annoying, so I didn’t mind ending the chapter early. Because of all of the reinforcements, Yuri wasn’t able to help with Kostas like I was hoping. Thankfully, I already had Jasper and Caitlyn in range, and Jasper got a crit on one of his Twinblade attacks, so I had a relatively smooth fight vs Kostas.
Chapter 7 (11 turns)
My experience with this map was somewhat smooth, but I definitely got lucky, as there’s a lot that can go wrong in this chapter. 1v1 fights aren’t a strong suit in FE gameplay, and I don’t think Elys vs Chiron (plus the Bael, I guess) shows otherwise. Chiron doubles Elys if she hasn’t gained any Spd, and it’s incredibly unlikely that Elys will have 15 Luck at this point in the game, so there’s a chance that he’ll get a Luna crit.
However, even with this in mind, I wouldn’t blame players that want to take some caution. Not only are there several archers, there’s also some enemies with horse slaying weaponry (one of which being a Halberd fighter close to Alexander’s spawn), so rushing to Elys’s aid may not even be something the player wants to attempt. There’s also a Killing Edge myrmidon and a Nosferatu shaman, who hits pretty hard compared to the usual magic enemies.
Lastly, instead of Felakhos being able to participate, Seteth makes an appearance. Seteth’s offense is solid, but it’s not clear how much you should be relying on him because of the all of the archers hidden by the fog. I didn’t have anything important on Felakhos, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for being mad if they happened to leave their Pure Water with him.
The map might be too big, but I appreciated having the extra space between enemies since there’s fog (though the standard vision range could probably be a little higher). Having the main boss be visible is also a nice touch. I didn’t want to look for the Secret Shop, so I skipped out on that.
Thanks for the hack! I had a pretty fun time with it, even though I put a lot of criticism in there. Good luck with the rest of development.