After rigorous playtesting and about a month of slamming my head against a wall, I’m finally ready to release my first actually serious attempt at ROM hacking, titled War on Two Fronts. The current build goes up to Chapter 6, and contains 7 chapters.
About the developer
This is usually the part where people say they’ve been playing for about 15 years and discovered the series through Smash, but not me. I had absolutely no knowledge of the series until about 2017, when a few friends of mine started repeatedly posting about Fire Emblem in a Discord server we were in. Due to my only exposure to the series being random posts about Fates and Awakening, I naturally assumed the series was just for degenerates. However, I was eventually persuaded to play FE7, and after that I basically never stopped. I’ve played through every game in the series barring 1 and 2, in addition to a fair number of ROM hacks. Eventually, I resolved to try and make my own, and here we are.
I still don’t like Fates or Awakening. Well, except maybe Conquest.
Notes on design
It was tempting to try and go balls to the wall when making this, but I decided to limit myself to try and tighten up the design. 20 chapters are planned, with around 25 playable characters.
Anima magic is split back up into Fire, Thunder and Wind, with the basic spells in these categories being effective against cavalry, dragons and pegasi respectively. Cavaliers also sport single weapon types. You only get one of every playable promoted class, for the sake of making each character more unique.
Don’t expect to linger too long on any one chapter. Most can be beaten in 7 to 10 turns. No-one wants to spend 20 turns on a map before being forced to reset by a lucky critical. Playing quickly is recommended, even when there’s no explicit anti-turtling incentives. Effective and critical weapons are sprinkled in among enemies and available items, so pay attention to your own options and the enemy inventories.
Skills are distributed in a very deliberate manner, every class will have the same skills, with each playable unit having a personal skill to help define their usage or reference their personality. For example, every Shaman has Malefic Aura, every Archer has Poison Strike, et cetera. Enemies never have % chance skills, and only bosses that don’t move get any additional skills. Promoted units get the skill of their base class, as well as a promoted skill. You would do well to learn what classes get what, and everything is present for a reason.
Growths are low across the board and the game is perfectly playable without them, so try not to get hung up on any bad level ups.
The story so far
"20 years ago, war raged on the continent of Saristen, with the South fighting for independence from the royals in the North. Forced to make concessions, the queen grants the South their freedom, allowing the region to be governed solely by its four ruling houses: Varden in the center, Karadon to the west, Kylmire to the southeast and Stalfan to the northeast.
After much infighting, the borders of South Saristen were redrawn, and peace reigned once more. However, Karadon would never forget the land they lost to Varden.
This peace would last for two decades, until the agreements between the four suddenly broke down. High Lord Rowan of Varden is discovered missing, and mysterious soldiers march through the lands, leaving his son, Varis, with a strange set of instructions.
Now, the Varden army marches on Karadon, contending with incoming advances of Karadon’s troops, fear of the unknown, and a growing power struggle within the army itself."
There are placeholder graphics for certain things, namely the Prologue and Chapter 1 bosses. There’s also no title screen. I have absolutely no talent when it comes to graphics, so I apologise.
There’s a few graphical oddities related to screen transitions, but they don’t have any effect on gameplay.
Hard Mode hasn’t been balanced yet. Play on Normal instead.
Apply the patch to a clean FE8 US rom. You know where to get one. You probably have ten of them.
Credits (There's a lot)
16 Tracks 12 Sounds: Agro/Brendor
Fix CG Fade Glitch: 7743
Change Battle BGM by Chapter: 7743
Convert Chapter Titles to Text: circleseverywhere
Map Danger Zone: circleseverywhere
Remove Enemy Control Glitch: 7743
Display Escape Menu: 7743
FE8-Battle Stats with Anims off: Tequila
Capture Command: Tequila
Rogue Robbery: Tequila
Anti-Huffman Patch: Hextator
Fix dodge to front glitch: Snakey1
HPBars_with_warnings Cache: Tequila
Improved Sound Mixes: ipatix
Less Annoying Fog: Leonarth
Magic Sword Rework: Sme
Skip World Map Fix: Stan
Narrow Font: Scraiza
Remove Easy Mode: Nintenlord
Skills System: circleseverywhere (and the rest of the FE8 Skill System team)
Skip Opening World Map: 7743
Native Instrument Map: Alusq
Multiple units can seize: 7743
Wind Animation - Arch
Ephraim Sword Animation - DerTheVaporeon, Pikmin1211, ZoramineFae
Axe Knight - Primefusion
Bow Cavalier - Genocike
Griffon Knight - Blue Druid, Maiser6
Portrait Graphics - LaurentLacroix, P33RL355, GabrielKnight, Zmr_Maule, flasuban, CapibaraInSpace, BatimaTheBat, Yang Kai, Der, Zarg, BuskHusker, AmBrosiac, Phoenix007x, CanDy
Griffon Rider map sprites - N426
Long-Haired Mage - Solum
Sword Troubadour - TBA
Skill Animations: Mariode, Mikey Seregon
Master Knight - Stjack
Griffon Knight - Raspberry
Elthunder animation - Mikey Seregon
Elwind animation - Mikey Seregon
Hunter animation - Deranger
FE10 Soldier - flasuban
Tellius Fighter - MK404, Maiser6
Baron - Leo_link, Nuramon, Iscaneus, DerTheVaporeon
Wyvern Axe - Mikey Seregon, Alfred Kamon
If you find a bug, post it below. If you find a gamebreaking bug, you should probably PM me on Discord, under captainfisting#3093, for a more immediate response.
Expect fairly frequent updates (likely in 1-2 chapter increments). I’ll do my best to make previous saves compatible with later versions, but I can’t guarantee it.
I don’t think I need to explain anything else, but if multiple people end up airing the same grievance, I’ll add it to the original topic.