Sphealnuke Reviews Some Hacks

Hey, sometimes while hacking I take a break and play some stuff. Thought it would be fun to make reviews, so I’m putting them right below here:

-The Seven Keys
-Vision Quest
-Dark Lord and the Maiden of Light
-War on Two Fronts
-Sword of Heaven and Earth
-Call of the Armor
-Justice and Pride
-Justice and Pride Gaiden: Clash in Estria

If you want to see a hack reviewed by me, suggest it. I can’t guarantee that I’ll have it done quickly, but I will consider it.

-Please only suggest completed hacks. If its development is in progress, I’d rather take my notes right to its maker than post it here.
-I only play hacks on the GBA engine. No LT or stuff like that.


I will ask you to review mine after I finish it. :v

four quest and vision kings


I have now played and put up a review for Pandan’s Vision Quest. Please check the OP for the link and enjoy.


Thanks for playing. Review was thoughtful and fair. Honestly feel similarly about a lot of it, looking back. Glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Side note, I forget why I never did a third peg, but my assumption is that I forgot. I think at one point I thought about making Maelle a pegasus, but that it wouldn’t make sense narratively.

In general, earlier on I was more concerned with making units viable against their competition and the enemies, so a lot of units are fairly similar. As I went on, I added in new units to fill the gaps and those units I find tend to be a touch more distinct (Cashew, Gunnar, and Lajos come to mind as late adds that “feel” more distinct)


I have played and reviewed an new hack in Dark Lord and the Maiden of Light, dipping my toes into the world of FE7 hacks. You can read it in the OP. Enjoy.


I’ve added a new review for the hack War on Two Fronts. I feel like this one fell through the cracks a bit and deserved a look. Read about it at the top of the page and enjoy.

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Can’t say I expected to find a review of my own hack while browsing today. Haven’t read it yet, but thank you for it, in any case.


-Accessing the support listing from the main menu can display a nameless child among all of the units. Selecting him crashes the game. Thankfully I did not run into any game-breaking bugs just playing through.

That’s a new one.

I find it hard to disagree with anything you’ve written about it, which kind of hurts when a fair amount of it is negative. Things definitely do begin to fall apart around the midgame, and quite a lot of it comes from it becoming more about getting the hack done than making it as good as it could be. Some of the midgame chapters were made in a blind panic when I decided to postpone the hack to rewrite a lot of the story; there were days when I only worked on the hack, only breaking for food and the bathroom, and the only thing I talked to people about was the hack. It consumed my life. As for the reason it was rushed, I’m actually going back into education tomorrow, so this review was rather conveniently timed, as I write this reply on my phone in an empty room.

I can live with it going under the radar, though. At least I finished it. Learned quite a lot, too (and not just how useless I am when it comes to graphics editing), so hopefully it’ll lead to something better in the future.


Well take in what you need to better things in the future and live on. I wouldn’t have gone so in depth if I didn’t enjoy what was there.

And good luck with your education!


I’ve added a new review for Sword of Heaven and Earth, a Japanese hack that was recently translated by Nasaelo. Enjoy.

Liked the review. My argument around it being innovative is largely couched in the time that it was made, and that very few of its contemporaries even attempted to do some of the map objectives or eventing tricks.

The largest issues in its design is what you called out - giving too many turns on specific maps and the random difficulty spikes w/ Black Dragons. Because it emulates vanilla well, it suffers from many of the same issues.

Yeah it’s definitely a let down that Lyn is not a Gotoh unit. She would’ve made everything after ch19 much easier if she kept her stats.

Glad to see more people playing it.


You’ll have to delete that “I don’t play a lot of Fire Emblem games” part eventually ; at this point you’ve probably gone through more than most FE fans :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s been a bit but I’ve finally completed another thing with a review. This time it’s Call of the Armor, which is certainly something much different from the usual hacks I run through. Check the OP for the link and enjoy.


Good review, thanks for playing and sharing your thoughts. I agree w/ you that’s it hard to evaluate as you would a “normal” hack, especially when you consider the way it was made.

As you mentioned, it doesn’t have too many bugs and plays okay - we took close to a month (roughly 20% of the total dev time), just playtesting. With 12-15 people working on it and aligning on adjustments, we were able to fix just about everything before release. While stuff like difficulty and pacing is disjointed (by nature of the format), we did attempt to smooth out most of the biggest spikes, but generally we let chapter creators get the final say unless something was egregious. I think a big reason the format worked at all was that everyone had a degree of ownership not only in their chapter, but in the overarching narrative.

I’m a big fan of the format and think it has lots of potential to execute cool ideas quickly - always happy to chat and share details on how we made it work.

With the people involved, many sections were dedicated to referencing community memes or hack styles. In particular, there was a lot of jokes based on Vision Quest with food talk and loads upon loads of edgy swordmasters trying to take pages out of Kitozawa’s book. Some of this is funny, some of it was just tired, and some is stuff you may not get if you haven’t played many hacks. Sometimes for me the references got a bit grating, but it largely depended on the effort that the map maker put in.

It’s funny to see this interpretation, because we had a pretty strict “no meme / overt references to hacks” rule.

I’d say there was some inspiration (Shale is very much Do5 Garath inspired, Sjoerd/Youngblood your typical Bord/Cord, etc), but it’s a reach to say edgy swordmasters and food = Vision Quest reference.


In regards to your last point, I don’t mean to generalize things in a demeaning way. It’s simply easy to group this stuff into one umbrella once it’s happening enough. Food dialogue and edgy swordmaster bosses admittedly became a lot more common after VQ came out and used those concepts in ways that people enjoyed.

I just mean to point out stuff other people were doing that seemed like references to other creators to throw you off on who made what parts. The easiest example I can think of is Youngblood and Dark Sunwing’s names being very much in the style of what you’d see in RandomWizard’s Of Sand and Sabres, when both (At the very least D. Sunwing) were actually made by other people. Just tongue-in-cheek references to other people’s styles.

But Sunwing is from one of RW’s chapters :open_mouth:

Oh. Whoops.

Is there a list of who made what by the way so that I’m not spouting nonsense with this?

Yeah I posted it in the cota thread


I’ve put out a new review for Justice and Pride, what I’ve heard to be a very big hack in the community’s history. Find the link in the OP and enjoy.


I’m continuing the Mr. Green saga with his follow-up to his classic hack: Justice and Pride Gaiden. Check out the link in the OP and enjoy.