[HIATUS] Fire Emblem: Lady of Masks [0.1.0 - Act One Complete!] {LT REMAKE ALPHA AVAILABLE!} (14/06/2023)

Putting out a quick update after some 0.0.2 playtesting. Most of the changes are focused on some minor map flow tweaks, unit balance, and some experimental economy changes to try to push a few gameplay concepts.

  • Cylean has had her speed slightly increased and has had her starting inventory totally changed. She now comes with a new prf, and her javelin has been replaced with a magic lance. (Don’t get too attached to the PRF, it may end up being removed and added later into the game, but this is a sort of… experimental update :sunglasses: )
    Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-0
  • Vera has had her sword rank increased to C at base, and there’s a new droppable C rank sword for her to play around with early on.
    Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-1
  • Price has had his sword rank reduced to D at base, and his offenses have been slightly buffed.
  • Gregory has had his defense based increased significantly, and Ramm has had his defense growth lowered.
  • Malgrave has had his defense and speed growths reduced slightly.
  • There are probably other miscellaneous changes I’m forgetting, but are mostly along these lines; trying to focus units into where I want them to be relative to the rest of the cast.
  • The 1-3 convoy now drops a Flame Brand in place of a Steel Sword. Price has historically struggled to get experience unless you drop a hefty chunk of change on buying him a Flame Brand before you can even be sure how strong he’ll be with one. Now, he gets a freebie.
  • The 1-4 armory has had its contents adjusted; the Slim Sword and Wyrmslayer have been removed, and in its place is a Storm Point and a Quicksilver Sword. The Wyrmslayer was a hard to justify purchase with how strong your archers are, and the Slim Sword… I mean, who’s buying Slim Sword, really?
  • Minor script tweaks to 1-5 and 1-6.
  • The Tyler1 requant has been removed from the game’s files…

UPDATE: I have literally already removed the Cylean PRF. Experiment complete :sunglasses:


It’s been a while, huh?

So, 1-7 and 1-8 are both just about done and are ready to go public. I’ve been struggling to get them feeling juuust right, but after multiple months of fiddling with it I’m just hitting diminishing returns, so I’m settling for “good enough” instead. This should be out very soon, as all that remains is to finish one of the portraits (or, worst case scenario, release with a WIP portrait instead) and do the text insertion.

The actual work I did

After a brief time skip, the resistance has expanded into a slightly larger operation, with a tip from your network of informants kicking off the hunt for Karth in earnest. The first map is a combination kill boss / escape map, with a new recruitable locktouch pirate who’ll help you to secure intel on where Karth is.



The second is a confrontation with Janus, running concurrent with an objective to escort a caravan to safety as you flee from your hideout in the city, where you can recruit a lance user with very high speed, as well as find your first promotion items – a Holy Seal, used to promote one of your healers, and a Master Seal, which can be used on, of course, anybody you like.



I’m also going to be releasing this patch with another pass over the script, this time primarily adjusting a few scenes that drag on too long, like parts of 1-2, 1-4, and 1-6, while also adding a few new talk conversations to the game and adjusting some character relations now that more parts of act 2 are written and certain characters have been more fleshed out. A lot of these changes are just to make characters more consistent, especially characters I hadn’t quite figured out yet such as Ramm, with their later appearances, or else they’re to rectify parts of the script that were left somewhat vague (such as the disparity in how Ileana behaves between the prologue and 1-2). Ideally, these changes will trim more of the fat, preventing dialogue from going on for toooo long while also giving it more weight and meaning, especially once the second act starts to really develop the themes at play.

Some bullshit about myself

On a more personal note, sorry I’ve been so busy! I got really into FF14 last month, and that ate up a couple hundred hours of my time (game is good), so I didn’t really spare any time for hacking for a while. I’ve also felt a bit stuck in a rut on some of the assets I’ve been trying to create, especially Scarlet’s portrait, so I really needed a break to clear my head and stop feeling like I was banging my head against the wall getting nothing done. I’ve also been involved in the creation of other projects, as well, which while they don’t take up a ton of my time, they do take up some of my mental / creative bandwidth, so to speak. After my nice refreshing break, I’m feeling pretty energized to get back to work – I just needed time to let the motivation come back and get all the engines revving up again.

One of the things I’m learning is that I’m frequently dramatically underestimating how much time I’m going to spend finishing my chapter playtesting process. A lot of the maps I’m designing now how several moving parts, tight timers, and can easily be tipped into being too difficult with minor things like a couple enemies having too strong weapons or a turn having one too many problems to deal with. When I set out to finish a chapter every couple weeks, I did technically succeed – 1-7 and 1-8’s map design and unit placement process were both very quick, and their scripts already exist. However, I didn’t account for the amount of other factors that go into each chapter – playtesting for these chapters is much more time consuming than playtesting for the community projects I’m participating in, as the sandbox is much tighter and the scope of the maps generally much larger.

These maps, in particular, aren’t even particularly complex maps, but they required far more scrutiny than I’d expected, and I found that after intermittently testing each chapter several times, I felt no closer to nailing the feel I was going for each time. This makes it really difficult for me to provide an ETA on the work I do – if I nail the feel the first time through, then all it takes is playtesting to solve the easy parts like difficulty tuning and map pacing. If I miss the mark, then it can require a lot of restructuring to get things where I want them again, and that takes time; time that I can’t always predict will be needed; time that I may not be willing to spend right now. Delays compound into further delays, as the fun part of hacking gets sapped away by the need to redo the same things over and over again to get it right.

The scale of LoM itself, as a project, has steadily increased as well. As of the time I’m writing this, my best estimate is somewhere around the 36 chapter range, with both act 2 and act 3 needing far more time to resolve than I’d initially planned. When I started this, I had only planned it to be 10 chapters, encompassing the hunt for Karth and ending on an open-ended note so I could continue dev if I felt like it. It became very clear that I very much felt like it, but even then I only predicted around 24-26 chapters. By now, what was once going to be the end point for the whole project is now just 1-E, the first of three endgames, barely over a quarter of the way through the hack. I’m not put off from finishing it by that idea, but rather just grappling with trying to find a workflow that allows me to make progress as a steady pace, rather than in fits and spurts, in order to do so comfortably. My workflow when the game was younger and less plotted out was very unhealthy, generally made up of shutting myself in my room for weeks, leaving only to eat meals, mostly ignoring discord messages from friends, and doing nothing but work, finishing several portraits, music pieces, and chapters in just a handful of days before needing months to decompress each time. Now, I’ve found a way to avoid having those manic fits of productivity, but I haven’t found a way to decompress in a more timely fashion in order to keep working consistently.

Part of this stage of development, and why things have been so slow, has been me trying out different ways of approaching those issues and seeing what works. I can officially confirm that dumping 200 hours into an MMO does NOT help your productivity :sweat_smile: but I can also confirm that hacking hasn’t felt overwhelming for me in a long time so much as it’s just felt somewhat frustrating as I’m reaching a point in a lot of my various skills where I can recognize in deficiencies in my work very easily, but I can’t recognize how to actually fix them, leading to me shelving portraits and music pieces for weeks or months, unable to confront actually finishing them.

If all goes well, this patch should be ready to go before the end of the month. If I fail to reach that deadline, just know that I’m probably wasting my time on a silly MMO and will be back to work before long :sweat_smile:


Hey there! I said it’d be out by the end of the month, and I consider this to be meeting that goal. 0.0.3 is here! With TWO NEW CHAPTERS, the first steps in a major visual overhaul of the game, a slew of balance adjustments, and some small changes to the script, we’re that much closer to the end of act 1!

You’ll be seeing some new item icons, a couple UI tweaks, and a few more palettes added to the game, with the rest hopefully ready in time for the next update: 0.1.0, when we finally finish the first leg of the game and can dig in to the real meat of the story.

Some screenshots:

Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-24 Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-38

Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-35 Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-37

Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-40 Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-39

In the next update, you can look forward to seeing a new stat background, a full set of brand new custom weapon icons, an updated soundtrack, and the conclusion to Fane’s hunt for Lord Karth. Afterwards is the part of the game I’m most excited to show you guys: act 2, and the many, many complications therein. I’m energized, I’m excited, and I’m ready to get right back to work and bang out the last of the work necessary to reach that point… as soon as I get to the end of the FF14 story :sweat_smile:

A quick but important aside: I have to give a huge shout out to the people in my discord who’ve been keeping me sane and focused as I work on this project. All the little stories and in-jokes we’ve built up through hours upon hours of playtesting, iterating, and retooling have formed the heart of this project for me, and this update goes out to all of y’all ^.^ Thank you so much for keeping me company and providing me with feedback, support, and assistance.

Known Issues
  • Scarlet still uses default pirate anims.
  • Sometimes, icons will appear on units during prep screens for no reason. I don’t know what causes this.
  • Talk conversations will sometimes linger on a black screen; usually, pressing B resolves this.
  • With promo items now in the game, you may notice broken palettes, improper master seal availability, or uneven promo gains/caps; I haven’t finalized these things, and a lot of things aren’t where they’re meant to be.
  • 1-7 and 1-8 are still using Spirit of Rebellion as their map OST. There is a new song, Old Man’s Legacy, which is meant to replace them, but I have to do some hard drive spelunking on a drive that’s no longer plugged in to do so, and then I have to retool it to make it actually insertable. This will probably just be done alongside the soundtrack rework, where I’m gonna be reorchestrating a few tracks, generally making them a bit quieter and less in your face.

Please let me know, either via Discord or here on the forum, if you encounter any issues not listed here; There’s a lot that can slip through the cracks, so this is likely not an exhaustive list of oversights.


I’ve had a fire lit under my ass.

1-9 is more or less complete, with nothing but playtesting left – every other part of the chapter is implemented and ready for release as soon as I’ve ironed out any kinks in the level design.

In this map, you’ll meet some more familiar faces from the prologue as Fane’s noose tightens around Karth. With the hour of his vengeance drawing nearer, Fane’s intentions become murky, and both Maeve and Karth grow closer and closer to uncovering a vast conspiracy in their homeland…

Along with this new chapter, there’s also new characters and items. For the former, meet Kakama, a Haloseian soldier experiencing a major crisis of faith. He comes with canto+, and a very handy Armorslayer.

Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-67

For the latter, the Quicksilver Sword is joined by her siblings, a Lance and Axe equivalent, exclusive to the Hoplite and Brigand classes respectively.

Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-65Lady of Masks v0.0.3.emulator-66

There are also several new, enemy exclusive weapons; I’ll leave those as a surprise :wink:

I’m sharing all this a bit early, bc I’m likely to be somewhat busy for the next while on community projects, so I’d like to give a nice teaser of what’s to come. I’m not sure if I want to release this chapter on its own or stick to my previous plan of releasing it alongside 1-E; Maybe I’ll leave it up to public opinion?

  • Release 1-9 on its own
  • Wait until 1-E is finished and release both

0 voters

Whenever this update comes out, it’s very likely to include some changes to the convoy in preparation for act 2, and that’s gonna involve breaking existing saves. I may include with the patch a save file that picks up from 1-8? Not 100% sure how I’ll handle that, we’ll have to see.

If all goes well, I’ll have done enough testing to call this chapter [COMPLETE] within a couple weeks, but you know what I’ve said about deadlines; I’m not promising anything until it’s actually finished, so you’ll hear from me again when the patch is ready.


Believe it or not, project is not dead! :partying_face:

1-E is done, with all text inserted and only awaiting the eventing process, but I’ve been focusing on other projects for the last little while and haven’t been prioritizing Lady of Masks. There’s a few reasons for that, which I’m going to get into, but I just wanted to clarify for anyone still interesting in the hack that no, I’ve not lost motivation for the project, nor am I feeling stuck or anything else like that. Rather, much of the work I’ve done has been outside of game, planning things out and trying to figure out some details about the future of the project as I set the stage for act 2, and the wild changes that will come with.

Before I explain some of what’s been going on behind the scenes, here’s some screenshots of some snazzy new stuff I’ve been working on.

Lady of Masks v0.1.0-0maeve

Just for a spot of fun before a big wall of text ^.^

To be plain, I’ve been feeling for a while in developing Lady of Masks that I’m making a worse game than I could be making. This is due in large part to a few factors:

a.) Builder’s limitations as a tool preventing me from easily implementing / experimenting with the more advanced ideas I’ve come up with over time.
b.) Dissatisfaction with the default builder SkillSys setup that has since become outdated.
c.) Frustration with some elements of the default FE sandbox and how difficult it is to radically change it due to the above two points.

I don’t want to spoil too much, though if you’ve been paying attention in the FEU discord you’ve probably heard me talk about some of the details already, but before I feel comfortable designing act 2, I want to change a great deal about how magic units work in order to make them feel unique in a meaningful and satisfying way. I also want to push the FE sandbox in a direction that allows for a different kind of encounter design, honing in on the resource management side of the game by adding more micro-scale, map by map considerations – think 3H gambits, but with far more limitations and much greater impact. More tools, with more power attached to them, can lead to encounter design that begets creative use of those tools, asking the player to make tougher decisions than just “is it worth using a killing edge here?”

I also want the freedom to experiment with a few ways to limit the sting of having to reset a map on death – nothing is more demoralizing than getting to the end of a long or difficult chapter, only to make a mistake and lose a unit on the last turn. I would even go so far as to call it a fatal flaw in FE’s design – losing isn’t fun, and it’s too punishing, leading to a design space where the correct move is to try to make sure a player never loses. The issue is that it’s difficult, then, to make the game truly strategic without also making the player rely on save states or else replay huge swathes of the game until they get the perfect run.

I think about Slay the Spire a lot, and how that game manages to make losing fun where many strategy games fail. It achieves this through procedural generation and by very precise encounter design, which isn’t quite something that FE can replicate, but nonetheless I find myself considering the ways that the game encourages experimentation, learning, reassessment of your assumptions, etc. at every turn. I also think about modern CRPGs, with their more tactics-driven combat, and how the ability to save at any time allows for greater freedom for the player. While their encounter design is often skewed too far in one direction or the other, the extremely sandbox nature of these games allows for this kind of design. Once again, FE is more limited; the games are linear, and so any challenge must be beaten now, but the ability to try different strategies to test your assumptions about what is and isn’t possible with the toolset provided to you due to the ability to quicksave makes for a game where you’re able to try bolder strategies rather than falling back on whatever option is always safest, most reliable, most easily executed.

Save states approximate this, but can be seen as cheating; the RNG nature of the game also means save states encourage a very “whatever” approach to the game – just do something stupid and hope the numbers work out, and if it doesn’t just rewind and do something less stupid. I appreciated the turn saves in Absolution’s dev build, where you could load a map from the start of any of the last few turns without having to manually make a save and where the game was challenging enough that I was using this feature mostly to reassess my strategies rather than try to execute the same strategies but with different RNG.

It’s a delicate balance to hit, and one I’d like to hit. I think FE nails the RPG aspect of the SRPG equation in terms of player engagement – it’s exciting to level up, to get a new powerful item, to promote a unit and see what new abilities they gain, to see how far your units have come since you first got them. FE pushes all the right buttons in this equation. As a strategy game, even with all the changes I’ve already made to the sandbox, it feels too fragile – not in that it’s too easy, but that it’s extremely simple to detect and exploit simple strategies that lead to boring play patterns that are difficult to design maps around while also designing around more active and engaging gameplay.

My hope is that, by expanding the capabilities of what enemy units can do (and, for that matter, what they can be), and by also expanding player capabilities, I can push the FE formula further into the S half of the dichotomy without sacrificing the satisfaction of the RPG half. This will require a lot of work, but plain and simple, I can’t work on the game and not do this; as I said before, while I like LoM and think it’s great and love working on it, I’m also acutely aware that it isn’t the game I could be making – the game I should be making – and that, if I want to look back on the project and feel satisfied with what I’ve done, I’m gonna have to go further.

For those reasons, I’ve been using my experiences in certain group projects to learn the buildfile format, while also talking to a few users who are particularly knowledgeable in how to use them, and setting the stage for some big moves. Once act 1 is finished and released, I’m taking the plunge and porting the project over to prepare for the sandbox changes that will allow me to make the act 2 I want to make.

I wanted to give an in-depth explanation of some of my thought process, because I know a lot of people view buildfiles porting as a hack killer, and I wanted to try to explain why, for me, this is something that very quickly went from “thing I’m considering doing” to “thing I absolutely have to do.” Working in buildfiles has felt very intuitive to me so far, and I’m eager to learn how to do more and more ambitious things with my project. Far more than that, though, is that I want LoM to be a project I can be proud of, and I don’t have a timetable within which I plan on accomplishing this – the game will be in dev for a long long time yet, and I have plenty of free time with which to continue development that likely won’t be interrupted for quite some time. With the amount of time I have on my hands, I see no reason to half-ass anything; I can devote the time necessary to port the game over, and the game will be better for it – or, at least, more satisfying as a creative outlet, which is, to me, far more important – if I do so early.

What this all means is that, after the final act 1 release, you probably won’t hear from me for a little while. I’m gonna be at FEE3, of course, and the next patch will likely be out before then or, at the very latest, on the same day as whenever my video goes up, but other than that I’m going to be working on setting up a foundation for which to build LoM into the game I’ve wanted it to be for a long long time now. Hopefully, the end result will be a game that’s bolder, more engaging, and more vibrant on a moment to moment basis.

I’ll be seeing you guys soon-ish with a new patch, so look forward to it :sunglasses:


Really like your explanation on the development of Lady of Masks, to take inspirations from very different games (like roguelike games) and trying to push Fire Emblem out of it’s very classical boundaries !
I’m looking forward to future updates of your project :smile:


NEW PATCH! Check the thread’s OP for the download link!

1-E is here, and with it concludes act 1! If you read my last post you’ll know why, but I haven’t cleaned up all the rough edges on this one – the eventing is very barebones and likely looks pretty janky, but all the text is inserted now, and there’s a few bugs that I haven’t been trying to solve that are still in. However, it’s still the end of act 1!!! I gotta give a big thanks to everyone who’s helped me with the project thus far!

If there’s anything gamebreaking, let me know and I’ll patch it right away – if you have feedback, please let me know as well, so I can get those changes ready for the buildfile version of this release. As always, either in here, in my DMs, or in my development discord is the best place to leave these reports.

Some known bugs:

Keio’s promoted animation breaks at melee range. I’d recommend just playing with animations off, or at least off for her, if you intend to promote her.
Both Coinneach and the librarian have no portrait. Yes, they both use Moulder; no, they aren’t the same character.
Some events will probably load to the map over and over again right now, and text formatting is inconsistent across text entries. This, too, will be fixed in… the Xilfile.

If you catch anything else, let me know and I’ll add it here + in the thread OP. Thank you!


If anyone downloaded the original patch and noticed an AoE command showing up on all units, please redownload the patch to fix the issue.


Hey! I encountered a bug in 1-7 at the beginning of the chapter, where after any move, a game over sequence is played and restarts the chapter. The game is broken for me. I believe the cause may be related to the death of Lionel. But you’d be able to figure out more effectively. Thanks!

Ah shoot, I know this one. This is because I forgot to reset Fane’s health before the cutscene battle, and if he dies it trips the game over flag. If you know how to use builder cheats to turn flags off, you can fix it through that – I’d offer to do it but I’m not at home for the weekend :confused:

this is horribly off topic but you’re at crunchyroll expo aren’t you.

It is, and I’m not :sweat_smile:


oh shit it’s that time of year again!!!


Alright, I didn’t have a forum post ready in time for FEE3; it’s been a tumultuous time in my life! LoM progress has been slow, as I recently moved out of my old place into my own and have been focusing on the more pertinent IRL issues.

Despite this, however, progress is being made; I’ve, at this point, long since officially decided on doing an LT port in order to take advantage of the more advanced capabilities of the engine; while the things I wanted to do would certainly be possible in GBA, they are easier in LT, and some of them are even baseline. A lot of time was spent importing, and then adjusting, the numbers from base LoM. Several of the assumptions LoM makes about the relative value of stats are less accurate in the new sandbox I’ve been working on. Most of these numbers have been figured out and just need testing, which means I’m starting to move into actually getting maps in-game to start doing so. At the moment, the main goal is to get 1-1 working (not the prologue, for the time being) as a sort of vertical slice, with everything working just the way I want it to work in regards to the starting cast.

As for release plans, I don’t think I plan on making a public release of the LT version until I have each of the original chapters re-implemented. This is a somewhat more complex process than just porting the maps over exactly, since several of them will require inventory and unit placement tweaks, and the item economy will have to be substantially adjusted to account for base features. I’m also going to be adding some additional sections to act 1, including at least two free roam sections, the aforementioned base segments including base convos, and potentially some new units? The weapon system is more complicated than it used to be, and I may end up wanting to add units in to fill the gap there. I suppose we’ll just have to see!

In terms of actual ingame implementation, it’s still slow going, but I have a couple things I’m playing around with – mostly experimental ideas that I wanna see if I like before I write them off entirely.

Pictures below

As always, not making an ETA on how long this’ll end up taking; I’m working on it, when I’m afforded the time to do so, and I’m pretty eager to get some of the cooler ideas I’m thinking of in game. There’s afew things I wanted to talk about, which I showed off in my discord but not here:

The LoMr Design Doc

This text is from a while ago and not all details have remained / will remain the same.

Lady of Masks 0.1r.0 Design Notes

This is, essentially, a list of things I want to include in the rebuild of LoM. Not all of these are mechanics that I’m necessarily certain are going to remain all the way through to release, but I want to at least try them to see how well they work. In essence, there are a few major design goals I want to hit.

1.) Powerful tools, and maps that demand them.

I like the way units feel powerful in LoM, but the maps tend to fall over in front of them without much thought. This is fine, mostly; the game is fun and I enjoy it, but when I think about other SRPGs I really like, they often have a similar power disparity but have it hinge on player decision and choice. You have to work for that power, it isn’t just innate and always active. This will tie into point 2, but for now; the goal I want to hit is decoupling unit power from just their stats and their raw combat (except for when appropriate) and shifting it, instead, to abilities.

These abilities may include things like

  • Aoe magic; every mage already has a PRF tome in 0.1.0. These would be replaced with an AoE tome, regenerating every map and upgrading periodically, which can be used to handle much larger groups of enemies more easily. Scary enemy formations, like the 1-5 bridge, the 1-6 bosses, or the 1-9 armour knights can be made far more approachable this way. You may also be able to buy new AoE tomes that don’t regenerate; maybe these would have equally limited uses but far greater effect, so I can make them expensive. This would apply for healers as well; Zoey’s Barrier, for instance, would become her personal staff rather than a generic one, and it would be beefed up to encourage creative application and her deployment.

  • Orders; Fane, Maeve, and Raphael would have access to “orders” starting at 1-6 onwards. These orders would be powerful effects decoupled from the action economy, with either a long range centred on the commander or just global range; these effects could be buffs that affect the entire army for a turn, or debuffs that apply in an area, or more powerful directed buffs on individual units. They could even be a commander’s own, more versatile version of AoE magic, with a rain of arrows or a piercing shot for Fane, a spinning slash for Raphael, or some kind of anime teleporting nonsense for Maeve. As the army shifts perspectives, you may lose these orders, or perhaps your other commanders will retain them in a lesser capacity (maybe only a few, or maybe in a much smaller area? unclear), and you would gain new orders throughout the game.

  • Special actions; some units may have their generic effectiveness reduced to instead centre them around greater spikes of effectiveness, where they get to really fulfill their niche to the utmost or tap into an effect that shores up their weaknesses. Vera, for instance, could become substantially less bulky, but have an ability that allows her to treat every combat for a turn as though she was initiating – essentially, Vantage+ for a turn, but with the added benefits of getting her avoid buff, being able to utilize quicksilver weapons on defense, etc. Gregory could become also less tanky, but have an ability that halves both his and enemy damage for a turn, or perhaps swap his offensive and defensive stats; These special actions, like the others, would likely be limited to once per map, or perhaps lower impact ones would simply have a cooldown, to encourage thoughtful use of specific abilities at specific times; they can be used proactively, to get ahead of a map and gain an advantage for future turns, or reactively, to get yourself out of a bind when things go south.

  • William rework; with a plan to have a dance option as an order, and a general distaste for the ways dancers are more or less an auto deploy, William would be reworked; with almost 0 combat effectiveness of his own, William would operate as more of an offensive support to a healer’s defensive support capabilities, inflicting statuses on enemies, offensive buffs on allies, and using a variety of limited-per-map abilities to make big plays; a “powerslide” that stuns enemies (stunning makes them inactive for one combat, such that they can’t counterattack or dodge? wears off at start of turn? make it work like sleep?), or a more powerful version of rally move to account for the limited uses (more range?), or maybe a cooldown refresher for special actions. This way, he can fulfill a more creative, less binary role in the army.

  • More powerful consumables; for units who don’t have access to these fancy tools, or who do but want to supplement their lessened combat effectiveness with more reliable tools, consumables gained as treasure or purchased at a shop can be a way to increase consistency even further. Low use fixed damage explosives, defensive smoke bombs, potions to refuel any special actions you might have.

Of course, maps and stats would all have to be adjusted to account for these changes. As units become capable of more extreme things that the enemy is not, the enemy has to become more powerful; however, I want to keep that feeling of your units being more powerful than the enemy, on average. Likely, the result of these changes would be thus;

  • Player speed will likely be reduced across the lower end of the cast, with the fast units having the majority of their power placed in their actual combat ability. Think XCOM 2 snipers vs grenadiers; one is focused on basic attacks that are extremely effective, the other is focused on cooldowns and consumables.
  • More units and lowered exp per unit. With AoE being around, enemy formations can afford to have an extra unit or two in them to force you to either get creative or use one of your AoEs. So long as they’re placed such that they generally line up for the AoEs the party has access to, this should make the more powerful tools the player has access to necessary. Alternatively, you can have far more powerful minibosses, where the use of AoE is less to deal with tons of enemies and more to free up actions to focus on killing the much more powerful enemy.

2.) Unit individuality and player expression

As I’ve designed units for LoM, I’ve run into a lot of roadblocks with making units feel as distinct as I want. Attempts to balance and design items / skills for them to use has felt inadequate, and it’s a big thing I want to address moving forward. I also dislike a lot of the base FE mechanics for unit stats, especially in regards to weapon usage – con and weapon ranks both feel pretty bad in my opinion, and I’ve been looking for ways to adjust them all. Support bonuses are another avenue of dissatisfaction for me, as my options are to make them completely non-existant or else boring and lame. So, here are my solutions

  • Weapon rank matters with a twist; weapon ranks are going to work very differently, with all units having a base aptitude with weapons that is extremely rigid to modify, requiring either promotion or a rare item. However, several units will have an additional, more specialized aptitude – this would likely display as a skill. For instance, while Raphael may have D swords as a t1 unit, he may wield blades as though his aptitude were two ranks higher, limiting his access to lighter weight weaponry while still allowing himn to make use of the heavy stuff. Price may also have D swords, but be able to use higher level magic swords, and Cylean may have a similar aptitude; Vera may be the inverse of Raphael, or she may have a higher baseline aptitude but without the specialization.
    Magic would also be reworked into this aptitude system, with there being a universal magic aptitude that all casters draw from (except Ileana); this way, Keio can fulfill her dream of being a lightning mage, and I don’t have to design so many tomes that are near duplicates of each other.

  • New skills; units right now use primarily builder skillsys default skills, or else skills that are just lightly modified versions of those skills, like how Warpath is modified Focus or how unconditional Desperation is just Assassinate without the damage buff. Skills I would add wouldn’t just be these kinds of binary on-or-off statistical improvements; while units like Vera and Fane have skills I enjoy due to their conditional nature, units like Ramm and Samantha bother me, and I’d much prefer the skills to be something you have to lean into that actually affect what that unit does and what they’re capable of.
    Ramm, for instance, may replace his Intimidate with a more powerful effect that triggers in an AoE around him upon getting a killing blow, encouraging him to get right in the thick of a fight and make the first move; Keio might “shock” units she attacks, priming them to take extra damage and/or be stunned by the next attack that hits them during your turn; Peter might lose stats as he takes damage in a map, his cowardice overwhelming him… but perhaps as he progresses as a character, he may instead find resolve in those moments and become more powerful instead? In general I want units to have skills that are flavourful, powerful, impactful, and unique.

  • Expanded items and inventory; with the limits of the old game removed, I could return to the previous plan for high impact equippables that you can only ever have one of equipped at a time. If possible, this equippable would go into its own inventory slot such that the only opportunity cost for using one is not being able to use another one – perhaps, when you gain one from an enemy drop or chest, instead of equipping, it goes to your standard inventory instead, preventing those moments where you get a stat booster you don’t want and it nerfs your unit?
    I would also, to go along with the weapon rank and classification changes, dramatically change what items are available and how they’re balanced relative to each other. With less concern about how X character might abuse items designed for Y character with the same weapon type, I can get more creative with what the weapons you have access to do and how powerful they can actually be. This means that, through your inventory, your units could get much more powerful… depending on what you buy, that is, as this would extend to shop inventories, which would hopefully make use of a limited stock to prevent the playing from loading up on one item several times over.
    Also, bc idk where else to put this, there would be a base system as well a la Tellius, to help organize the various additional complexities behind unit and inventory management between maps.

  • Support links; idk what I’d call this system, but essentially; Instead of the traditional support system, supports would be radically overhauled to be higher impact and more customizable. For starters, you can now do as many supports as you want, with no limit as to how many you can get to maximum rank. Furthermore, their effects, instead of being a numerical improvement, are instead “skills” (again, like before, this is mostly bc it’s the easiest way to explain what I mean within the existing framework) that become active based on support rank.

  • In the base or the preps screen, you can go to a support links screen, where you’ll be able to choose a unit, then select up to two supports from all the ones that unit has unlocked. These supports will become “active,” granting the benefits of the chosen support skills to that unit. Currently, the plan is that the first skill unlocks at C, then the second at B, then an A rank intensifies the effects of the first skill. Then, for the purpose of things like paired endings, which I know the masses love, you can “lock in” any support that’s reached A rank, which will intensify the second skill. This cannot be undone, and will lock in the support link for both characters.

  • These skills will generally be passive benefits rather than anything as active as the personal skills – for instance, Raphael and Vera may grant each other skills that increase their aptitude for the opposite sword type by one stage, or Keio may grant somebody the ability to apply shock that only she can activate, or William might grant somebody a second charge of their special actions. However, the important thing is that these support links would be high impact and allow you to customize a unit beyond their base capabilities, even adjusting them should a specific map call for it.

  • Supports, in this system, would grow by being deployed with each other on the same map, entering combat while near each other, and through base conversations. The first and third avenues would increase it dramatically, while the second would be more minor, more of a bonus on top of the existing generation than anything. Support conversations would also be viewed in the base, though ideally support rank would go up regardless of whether or not you view the support conversation such that you can view them at your leisure rather than as soon as you get them.

support link mockup

None of the above is an exhaustive list; some of it is subject to change, many changes I’m playing with haven’t been implemented yet, many things I plan to implement might be removed as testing reveals them to be too powerful, too complicated, not fun enough, etc. While much remains the same, it in many ways feels like starting from scratch; it’s exciting!

If you’re curious about any of this, I encourage you to join me in the discord, where I can answer questions and also show off anything I’m working on. There’s a lot of work yet to do, and I’d love to share it with you! I don’t think I’m going to be making another forum update like this until I have something to actually release, so if you want to stay informed, this is going to be your only ticket. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their FEE3!


Lady of Masks LT version is officially playable!!! Very vaguely!!! Without dialogue! :partying_face:

The dropbox link in the main post should now also include a zip file containing the LT version of the game, with some placeholder music, extremely minimal dialogue, and likely a couple oversights, bugs, overtuned/undertuned elements, and all kinds of other jank. It’s an alpha release, but a playable one.

If you want to give it a try, feel free! Though, don’t go in expecting much in the way of polish. If you do play, please give me your feedback and report any mistakes you find so I can address them while I work on reinserting and, in the process, rewriting the script.


Several units have new skillsets to try out, new PRF weapons, or other tools to give them more defined niches in your army.

The weapon rank overhaul allows for some units or classes to specialize in one particular kind of weaponry, often sacrificing their base weapon rank in exchange for unrestricted access to their specialization.

Some units are made to be more complex than others, so people who wanna flex some brain muscles can do so while others can keep things simple and straight forward. Even in the cases of these complex characters, however, effort has been made to try to keep the number of options available to them at once limited and, once experienced, intuitive.


Glad to see the project still doing well ! Those new skills mechanics looks really great, can’t wait to try it to see how much it can affect players tactics and habits :smile:


New update to the LT Alpha!

This update includes several updated portraits as the art in the game goes through a minor overhaul, as well as numerous minor bugfixes and some experimental balance changes primarily targeting bosses and promoted enemies. That’s not to say the experience is bug free quite yet, but hopefully it’s less so :sweat_smile:

Next update will focus on getting a few more updated portraits in game, as well as the rest of the bugfixes and some more substantial balance changes. At some point I’ll start working on updating the script and inserting it in game, but right now my focus is on getting the gameplay in a state I’m happy with.

For fun, I’ve also included some silly difficulty options in case anyone wants to screw around with some challenge runs. These are, of course, totally and completely untested. Might keep this updated and even tested as time goes on, might not. As always, please let me know if things have gone wrong!

To make this post look less boring here are some pictures of enemies.

and some funny “”“lunatic”“” screenshots for clout.

Kom’s big moment!

Same gladiator as up above!

Looking swole today lads!

Okay play my hack

Editing bc I forgot the most important part of this update:

Eyes :eye:


Development has been proceeding steadily since the alpha was posted, including some early rewrites and bugfixes / balance updates. Won’t be making a post for each one of them, but rest assured, progress is being made slowly and steadily.

There’s also been work on replacing a few placeholder art assets, including some early drafts for Ceres and Lisbet courtesy of @Goldblitzx
At the moment, my current goal is to try to add a slightly slower early game, to ease players into the more complicated sandbox and try to get them thinking about how to use skills earlier. I’m also working on rewriting/reinserting the script to account for some updated plans. At some point soon, however, I may take a break from working towards parity and instead make 2-1 for the purposes of an FEE3 video.

Progress won’t be particularly fast, though – I’m currently busy job searching, and I’m involved in some other projects, so while LoM is still chugging along, it isn’t a priority like it was in 2021. I wanna give a shoutout to anyone playtesting the alpha build, your feedback and bugtesting has been invaluable, and has really helped me focus my dev time on the important stuff.

I’ve so far been extremely satisfied with what I’m seeing in early playtests. While I may need to adjust some stats and tune a few difficulty spikes, I’m very pleased to see how important the usage of your abilities has been to success, and unit individuality feels very strong at the moment. I know not everyone will enjoy this newer, more complicated sandbox, but for me it’s shaping up to be exactly what I wanted out of the systems I’ve implemented, and I’m extremely excited to see how things look once the jank is ironed out.

Hopefully before too long I’ll have some bigger news to share. In the meantime, feel free to test the alpha version and let me know your thoughts – or, if you want a more polished package, check out the GBA version and let me know your thoughts on the story while I’m thinking about rewrites. I can’t stress enough how valuable feedback is for the process!

Might be working on updating the thread OP as well, and I forget if that bumps or not, so if this thread starts haunting the recently updated page like a spectre, that’s why.


So this is probably as unexpected for you as it has been for me, but I have an unfortunate announcement:

Lady of Masks is going on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

This does NOT mean it is cancelled, however.

I don’t have a timeline on when I’ll be able to get back to work on this project, but the long and short of it is that I’ve been offered the chance to write for Dark Deity 2, which is a huge opportunity for me. I won’t gush about it here, but being able to work in this space, as a writer, is the exact goal I’ve been working towards for so many years, and I’m beyond thrilled to see where this leads me. As you might imagine, this requires me reconsidering a lot of my priorities, and that’s involved making some difficult decisions.

While I love LoM like a baby, and want to see it through to the end, I simply can’t justify calling it “in-progress” when I have less and less time to work on it every month. At this point, I can’t even find the time at all; I have too many obligations, even besides this new and very large one, that I have to prioritize over something that is, primarily, my personal pet project. If you’ve been following the project for a long time, I can’t thank you enough for all your support. It really means the world to me, and even beyond the confines of Lady of Masks, my time in this community has been overwhelmingly positive. I would not have been afforded the opportunities I’ve now been presented were it not for the many wonderful people I’ve met here that have helped build me up, both as a creative and as a friend, into somebody deserving of them. Truly, truly, truly, I cannot even begin to express how important y’all are to me, and if it turns out that this is the end of the road for LoM, I really wanted to be able to make that much clear, at the very least.

I’ll still be around; if you’re in the FEU discord, you’ll still be able to find me there, and if there’s any news about this project, I’ll be sure to share it here. Sorry to be the bearer of potentially sad news for anyone who was looking forward to the completed LT port.

I want to say one last time, thank you to all the people who helped playtest / create art for / just listened to me rant about this game. If you enjoyed LoM for its writing, I can only recommend you keep an eye on DD2 as development progresses, and if you enjoyed it for its gameplay, I have a few recommendations to make!

If you enjoy the LT version of LoM, I’d recommend checking out:
Cerulean Coast by @Rivian
TLP 4 by @RandomWizard
Deity Device by @Permafrost
Eternal Winter by @Devisian_Nights
Each of these games, in its own way, was an inspiration for LoM (yes RW I know I still haven’t played TLP 4 I promise I will some day), and you may enjoy spying the ways they’re similar vs the ways they differ.

If you enjoy the GBA version of LoM, I’d recommend:
Vision Quest by @Pandan (if you haven’t already)
Journeys by @Relic
Both of these games were major design inspirations for how I handled the overall pacing of maps, with an emphasis on maps that feel harder than they necessarily are.

If you just want to see some other games I’ve worked on, consider checking out Embers Entwined and Bells of Byelen, both of which I was heavily involved in and would wholeheartedly recommend.

And if you enjoyed both, I’d recommend:
XCOM 2 by esteemed hacker Firaxis Games
Both versions of LoM are heavily inspired by XCOM’s objective design sensibilities, and the LT version in particular takes several design cues from the consumable system and how it allows for decisive and exciting moments.

If LoM re-enters development, this will be the first place I announce it. Until then, please assume that the answer to any questions about ongoing progress are “none yet.”



No, this isn’t me announcing that LoM is exiting hiatus, although it’s not not that per se.

It’s FEE3 time, and LoM is gonna be absent from the show. In lieu of a showcase, I figured I’d poke my head in here and give y’all a heads up on how things have been going and confirm that yes, I do still have plans to go back to LoM, and I even roughly know when I’ll be able to do so.

Starting with stuff relevant to y’all; LoM will be returning to active development in spring/summer of 2024. :partying_face:

I’ll also confirm briefly that no, the project has not secretly progressed while on hiatus. It’s remained entirely untouched since I started working on DD2, though as I’ve progressed on that project, I’ve gotten a better sense of the timeline for how I’ll be able to progress on LoM and when.

I’ll likely be starting to slow down in terms of work in the new year, and with a couple months to devote to less time sensitive stuff and some projects I’m already involved with, I should be able to get back to work some time after winter, with a couple months of wiggle room just in case I’m underestimating certain things.

I’ll probably be accepting more help than I did in the past, this time around, so if you’re one of the various artist pals who’s excited about the project and kept getting turned down to help out, I’m almost certainly going to be focusing on getting the gameplay and story done, and letting others help out on the presentation front, so feel free to DM me and ask about it. I no longer have all the time in the world to work on LoM, and I want to be able to get as much done in 2024 as is reasonable before I become busy with whatever my next contract is. That means helpers!

I couldn’t make a video in time for FEE3 due to how busy I was leading up to the deadline, so I just wanted to make sure I had an opportunity to touch base with anybody following the project from the forums - people who I talk to on Discord have likely already heard a lot of these plans already, and I don’t really have news for y’all. Summer of the Mask is coming, baby, same as it ever was, but that’s all I really have to share about LoM.

As for non-LoM related stuff, I’ve been spending some of my free time away from work doing these write-up / essay / review type things about some of the games I’ve been playing or that mean a lot to me. FEU isn’t really the place for them, but I’ve also been thinking about extending those to the romhacking scene, and maybe even making videos about them. If I did, I’d probably start sharing those in Writes n’ Sprites, so if anything progresses on that front, I’ll update that thread with it. I’ve also, vaguely, been working on a tutorial about writing supports, so that’ll go in there too.

Finally, Dark Deity 2. Click if you want to read some light shilling.

It’s weird: I’ve poured a LOT of creative energy into DD2 over the last long while, but between the NDA and the weird monetary incentives surrounding my talking about the game, it’s difficult to talk about the game in a way that conveys my enthusiasm without coming across as blatant shilling or a thinly veiled ad - “buy our game, guys, it’s so cool that you should pay us about it” is a lot weirder to do in the very personal context of FEU, where a lot of us know each other and talk regularly. However, for anyone bummed out that the DD2 project means less Xil J. Rite content, a quick update on how that game’s been going:

After they hired me for that project, the scale of my involvement grew very quickly. I was always intended to be one of the primary writers for the game, but within a few months, it was decided that I would be the sole writer, as well as the general narrative lead of the team. That means that, while the broad strokes and world-building weren’t mine, the majority of DD2’s script is a genuine Xil piece of work. I’ve had a lot of freedom and creative leeway in the writing process, and a lot of the game’s narrative has shifted dramatically since I entered the process.

I don’t mean any of this to imply the other people working adjacent to the script didn’t contribute - indeed, some of the best ideas in the current script came from them, and I honestly adore the rest of the DD2 team for how their work can elevate mine and vice versa - but it does mean that, if you were into LoM for the writing, DD2’s script is extremely close to being as much my creation as LoM has been.

All this to say; if you think I’m cool, you should check it out. :sunglasses:

With that out of the way, sorry to anybody who was super excited for the LT version of the game, or who’s been itching to see act 2. I promise, I still think about LoM a lot, and am very excited to get back to work. I’d initially planned to start working on it again in the new year, splitting the workload with DD2 as I came to realize I had more runway than I’d expected, but we recently made some changes that necessitate I work faster, so :person_shrugging: it’ll have to wait a few months. Otherwise, if you aren’t on discord with me already, I’ll see you in 2024 :saluting_face:

The last thing I wanted to talk about, bc it’s been bugging me; I’ve said in the past that LoM is my baby, and I’ll basically never let it die if I can help it. However, that was when I figured any employment I got would be, like, writing clickbait articles online, or flipping burgers. The reality is, my current job scratches more or less the same creative itch that working on LoM did, which puts me in a weird spot. I really do want to work on LoM - I have plans for it, I know what I want to do, and I have people I know who are excited about the game and want to see more of it.

But there’s a chance that, assuming no catastrophe looms in my future, the DD2 project signals the end of my tenure as a hobbyist game dev and the beginning of my tenure as a professional one. If that happens, it’ll be difficult to justify going back and working on my pet romhack project from when I was stuck inside with covid, no matter how much faith I have in it.

This isn’t really a point with a conclusion; I’ve spent a long time talking about how LoM will get finished no matter what happens, and now the project is staring down the barrel of an especially silver-lined gun. Having to bin LoM because I couldn’t finish it before entering the scene professionally is a good problem to have, but it’s a problem I’d like to not have at all.

I’m gonna reiterate from earlier; if you’re one of the many people who’s offered to help create assets for LoM who I’ve turned down over the years, or if you’ve never offered but would like to, get in touch. Every asset I get is another set of days or even a week that I can spend on materially progressing the game forward instead, and with an actual job to my name, I can even actually pay people for their help. If I have to make LoM alone, I will, but it will almost certainly never get done if this is the case, forced to exist between contracts as it is - especially since, presumably, I’ll want to find other contracts to fill that space eventually (assuming I don’t just become an employee. Do writers become employees ever? How does that work? Real adults of FEU, please let me know.)

That includes before I’ve started working on the project myself, mind you, so no need to wait for Summer of the Mask to get your summertime vibes going. We can hit the proverbial beaches even in wintertime; none of us go outside, anyway, how would we tell the difference? :sunglasses:

Regardless of that particular bit of doom and gloom, LoM’s execution date certainly won’t be any time soon (unless there’s secretly a line up of devs just waiting to hit my line once I’m done my work for DD2), and unless I get hit by a bus or something, 2024 is going to breathe some life back into this project. I hope y’all enjoy FEE3 this year, even without my lovely voice accompanying it, and you can look forward to hearing from me again soon. Until then, uh, stay mask-y, maskheads?