Fire Emblem: War on Two Fronts (v0.2 Release, contains 7 chapters)

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."

Screenshots

FE8_clean.emulator_01 FE8_clean.emulator_02 FE8_clean.emulator_03 FE8_clean.emulator_04 FE8_clean.emulator_05 FE8_clean.emulator_06 !
FE8_clean.emulator_08FE8_clean.emulator_09
FE8_clean.emulator_07

Known Issues

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.

The Patch

Apply the patch to a clean FE8 US rom. You know where to get one. You probably have ten of them.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vzam9yffkul4pol/FE_WoTF_02-07-20.ups?dl=0

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
ExModularSave: Stan
FE8-Battle Stats with Anims off: Tequila
Capture Command: Tequila
Rogue Robbery: Tequila
01command_hack: 7743
48command_hack: Hextator
Anti-Huffman Patch: Hextator
FEditorCSASystem_FE8U: Hextator
Fix dodge to front glitch: Snakey1
fix_lz77decompress: Tequila
HPBars_with_warnings: circleseverywhere
HPBars_with_warnings Cache: Tequila
HPBars_simple: Zane
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
Stairs: Snakey1
UnitActionRework: Stan
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.

10 Likes

Well, it was entertaining enough that i finished the demo so that probably says something all by itself :v

But here's some more feedback.

WarOnTwoFronts_04 WarOnTwoFronts_15 WarOnTwoFronts_21

I do feel that your maps tend to be rather big and empty. There are large open areas without much in the ways of terrain. You also start the player off outside enemy reach so it feels a bit passive, you just park yourself and wait for them to come to you. I feel like making them more dense would be beneficial.

Most of them also don’t have a lot of reason to push forward, making it very easy to just set up and let the enemies break against your killingest units.

WarOnTwoFronts_02

Sally’s personal skill is extremely good. Along with the leadership stars, she’s frequently facing single-digit hit rates from enemies and… that means she’s always getting these benefits. That’s not really a complaint, but i do have one, which is the name. It doesn’t have any kind of indication of what it actually does!

WarOnTwoFronts_10

There is something wonky going on with the combat platforms during the boss fight, like they’re partly transparent.

Also, giving him an elixir to drop is a little odd this early, you’re not going to need it for a long while and it’s basically just several weapons’ worth of money.

WarOnTwoFronts_22

The knight with the exclamation mark has a horseslayer, which is apparently also effective on birds? You should probably go with another word if you want it to retain effectiveness (don’t some game call it Ridersbane?) or remove the effectiveness if it’s supposed to be anti-horse.

WarOnTwoFronts_27

A couple maps have a lot of mounted archers with a lot of range, and in some cases short bows so you kind of have to be very careful which isn’t much fun. Would suggest limiting the 1% crit restart potential.

(I mean Sally basically neuters them but…)

WarOnTwoFronts_33

Anna comes with Steal… on a map that doesn’t seem to have anything stealable on it. Maybe i missed checking the units in the houses but… it would be nice if she had something to do with it?

WarOnTwoFronts_36

Varis’ anti-cavalry sword doesn’t seem to anti this guy.

WarOnTwoFronts_38

All in all i did quite enjoy the characters, the lord who’s not really seeing reason and his increasingly frustrated retainer has a lot of potential going forward, and what little we see of the others is pretty good, they have charm. Story wise it’s obviously not going too deep with only a few chapters but it seems promising enough.

Difficulty wise it’s quite easy so far, partly because turtling is effective, but even the village/brigand map didn’t really make me push very hard to save the houses. And reinforcements were generally not very threatening from what i saw.

(And i’m bringing this up in every new thread but i’m really not fond of the colour coded growths, i think it looks awful, and it’s really not needed since you have the press select to see actual numbers function.)

2 Likes

Thanks for checking out the hack, I’m glad you got through it without incident.

The problems

You’re probably right on the maps not having enough terrain. I was trying to strike a balance between having enough to utilise without needing to drag mounted units across massive clumps of forest tiles. Enemy density and placement has also been hard to gauge on my own, so I appreciate the feedback.

I did intend to rename and rebalance some of the skills in the hack, so I should probably push that forward now.

The elixir is just supposed to be a sellable item, with the option of using it in an emergency or holding it for later. Also, I’m not sure if I’m just missing it, but I’m not seeing the problem with the battle screen. I’ll have to look into it.

The horseslayer and other cavalry-effective weapons are supposed to be effective against griffon riders and griffon knights specifically. The weakness to fire magic is called out in dialogue, but there’s no easy way to explain the cavalry weapon weakness in-game. I’ll probably need to change the tooltips on the weapons.

The short bows probably do need to go, so they’ll be gone by next update.

There was supposed to be an enemy with a Secret Book to steal, but I completely forgot to put it in. My bad.

The chapter 3 boss has Nullify, which prevents effective damage.

To be honest, I don’t like the colour coded growths either, but I had just flat-out missed the patch that lets you change the colour options. Again, my bad.

Other than those issues, I’m glad you enjoyed what you played.

1 Like

Haha, i totally blanked on checking his skills. V. smrt. As for the platform,

platform

it seems to have holes in the “front” part. You can see part of it sticking down in front of the guy’s nose, but the green stuff is the background.

wall

Compare to this where you can see the full “front” bit of the platform in front of Batta.

Edit: went back and captured video. Turns out it does have the wall part, it just looks a lot like the background when it goes past quickly.

wall2

I was sure that platform was supposed to be stone all over but apparently it just has a grassy bit to it.


All else aside, good luck with the rest of the hack, hopefully i'll get around to trying the next version too.
1 Like

The patch has been updated to 0.2, with 2 additional playable chapters.
Saves from the previous version are mostly compatible; changes to character base stats won’t be applied, but it’s compatible otherwise.

V0.2 Changelog

Changelog:
Now goes up to Chapter 6, for a total of seven playable chapters.
Nomads and Griffon Riders have had their Short Bows taken away.
Coloured growth rates are gone.
Some dialogue has been rewritten for better consistency.
The Griffon Rider description now mentions their weakness to anti-cavalry weapons.
Fixed an issue with the Griffon Rider and Griffon Knight map animations
The monk in Chapter 3 now has a stealable Secret Book.
Maple now has base D rank swords and +1 strength.
Godfrey has +2 speed.

Dialogue wrong: if they can barely scratch me (wtf i defeated him alr), Varden (its the lands name) (Varis shd be I think?) dont stand a chance against them
The mages have decent growths compared to non MC characters lol
And I think theres axe mercenery map sprite out there
Doesnt boromias appear too early? Or the goal is to defeat him with 2 effective hits?

I presume you’re referring to Salford’s dialogue at the start of Chapter 5. The dialogue is not wrong, he’s referring to the Varden army as a group.
You say that the mages have decent growths as if they’re not supposed to. Most characters range around a 240-270% growth total.
There’s a male axe mercenary sprite, but no female one. I don’t really have the talent with graphics necessary to make a convincing one myself.
Boromias shows up on turn 10, and you can be out by the time he appears if you focus on getting Varis to the escape point. He shows up quickly to apply some pressure, and to give the player the opportunity to see if they can kill him before getting out.

nvm it’s just their hp growth is pretty low (so their def have pretty high lol)
what can she promote to? if it’s warrior or hero u can just make her a female fighter
IKR but the cavaliers had to be dealt with or Varis might die so (although I can just ignore him and get Varis outta there anyways) then I heavy blade critted on that dude