Fire Emblem has had plenty of map gimmicks, from shoveling snow to lava-shooting geysers. Many gimmicks, like both of the aforementioned, serve only to stall time and slow gameplay, though not all map gimmicks are bad. What is your favourite map gimmick from any Fire Emblem game, including romhacks and fangames?
Jokes aside, I really enjoy a well thought out tilechange. Maps which develop and evolve as you play them have always been a favorite of mine. It’s just tricky too pull a player towards one thing and then pull them towards another without them feeling betrayed. (ambush spawns are an example of how not to do this.)
That said, a door which opens to reveal a room with contents, or a bridge you activate with a lever, these are “gimmicks” i really enjoy in my FE levels.
I enjoy 2-P from Radiant Dawn - a pure aerial map. If I were to release a game, I would love to mix this with Advance Wars DS’s sky fronts so that you could have aerial units in one area (and they could move between them) and land units (normal FE maps) in another.
Can I toot my own horn and say the tower on the east of Dream of Five Chapter 12A which can be destroyed and leaves rubble behind if you do
Chapter 5 of Absolution has a confluence of two gimmicks, both of which are super unique on their own, and combine to make the chapter an absurdly fun and memorable one.
First and foremost, your party starts out split. Four units - the lord, and three of your choice - are stranded on the right side of the map (a higher floor of the building, in the story), at the bottom just by the stairs. Meanwhile, the rest of your party is down at the entrance to the building in the bottom left. The doors are closed behind the lord’s party; the only way for them to make it back down, or for allies to make it up to help them, is to unlock the door at the top left and use the Stairs command from Fates to send units through. The actual objective is to defeat a boss on the throne in the top right; this is made difficult, however, by a band of enemy mages on the upper floor - who form the second half of the map’s gimmick.
You see, the enemy mages - consisting of every enemy on the right half of the map - are all receiving major stat bonuses. These bonuses are given by a set of statues on the left half, which are on the five dark orange tiles. Each statue is associated with a specific stat, and the player units on the left side can destroy that statue to remove the mages’ bonus to that stat - which they’ll need to do to give the party on the upper floor a fighting chance. In effect, the player needs to keep moving forwards on both sides at once in order for either side to accomplish anything.
While all this is happening, there are enemy reinforcements charging from behind, thieves robbing chests, loads of tools for the player units on the right side to push past the mages’ power before the statues fall (from resistance-boosting food to an archer capable of outranging the mages to a pegasus knight with terrifying offensive capabilities), and some generally really fun enemy placement and level design. Chapter 5 isn’t just a well-designed chapter, though; it’s a well-designed chapter with two memorable, unique, and engaging gimmicks that elevate it to the very top of a game already full of cool levels. In conclusion, play Absolution by ZessDynamite, even if it’s just to see this one map in action.
My favourite map gimmick was one in the late game of Dark Lord and the Maiden of light:
spoiler for the gimmick
where basically the map changes entirely in the middle of a chapter, from a bunch a platforms on waters with narrow bridges to big alleys in the middle of a volcano and you have to rush to kill the boss while in the first part you could take your time.
It’s very well designed, because it address a big problem that could come from it (like the player could feel “betrayed” if the units they take for the first map are not adapted for the secret second), due to the design of the first map (lot of disconnected platforms with few bridges) the player are incentivized to take flyers on this map, to not be bothered too much by the water and drop units all around. And then when they arrived in the second map, the same flyers are still useful to take with them slower units and drop them closer to the goals.
I was really amazed by the level design of this chapter !
In general, like FlamingZelda said tilechanges when do well are a very fun and memorable gimmick for a map !
Terrain manipulation is indeed always the hypest of hype. It can serve like twenty different purposes. When it’s used for dramatic effect/story reasons AND as anti-turtling or maybe even puzzle mechanics… awesome…
In vanilla, I like the gimmick in FE6 where the river freezes and becomes passable.
With Kaitou, I think the defense map in a much later chapter is interesting.
It is a map where you defend a city, but the enemy brings out huge cannons and bombards it.
This causes the city and walls to collapse, and the enemy comes pouring in.
The point of bombardment is notified to the player, and the player must escape the unit from that position.
If the unit does not escape, it will be reduced to 1 HP and will be defeated by the enemy.
Starting point Defend this city
Enemy cannon appear.
Cannon fire destroys the city.
The city walls are collapsing and the enemy is entering through the gaps.
The LOMA can also be used to expand the map.
Once you reach this village,