What was your first experience with ROMHacking?

Exactly what it says in the title. What was the first romhack, be it FE or otherwise, that you ever played, heard of, etc.

In my case, it started when I was an innocent 6 year old kid who was about to make the most important choice of every man’s life: Pick your first Pokemon game. We went to a store and the guy said something among the lines of “Ok, so pokemon ruby is sold out, so your choices are Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, and, uh… “Pokemon Chaos Black”.”

At that point, I made the choice that ruined my childhood. I’m not joking, the very first Pokemon game I owned was a bootleg cartridge. For those who don’t know, Pokemon Chaos Black is basically just a reskin of Pokemon Red that introduces myriad glitches. I wouldn’t even be mad if at least the hack was complete, but the game was so buggy that you had to deal with bullshit, such as:

  • The game may freeze randomly, even while you are saving.
  • Your savegame might randomly decide “Your data just got deleted LOL” upon starting the GBA.
  • Even if you somehow make it through all the torture, there is an impassable river that softlocks the game at Mt. Moon. Meaning the game literally ends in the first gym.
  • Friendly reminder, I was charged full price for this flaming piece of garbage.

I got stuck. FOR MONTHS. TRYING TO GO PAST THE GODDAMNED IMPASSABLE RIVER, GRINDING AND HOPING ONE OF MY POKEMON RANDOMLY “LEARNS FLY OR SURF” ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT’S NOT HOW THE GAME WORKS. I discussed with my friend how tf was I supposed to get past that point, and he said “Hey that’s not the game I’m playing sorry.”

Turns out he was scammed too, as he got “Pokemon Quartz” from the same store (At least that one was more complete .-.) and saw the translation being so bad that even I could spot errors (I had very limited knowledge of english), I started suspecting that maybe, maaaybe, these games were not legit.

When I realized I was scammed, I was so pissed I didn’t set foot on that shop again. Mostly because it closed months after we found out. Presumably either because they found out that asshole shopkeeper was scamming children or because he made so much money by selling bootlegs and renting Smash Melee that he made an escape or something. 14 years later I still have the cartridge and a GBA, so I figured I should replay it and see if it was so bad. It was as horrible as I remembered.

Hopefully you guys had a better experience :sweat_smile:


This video right here was my entry into ROMHacking. Gotta admit, it’s a product of its time; I blame the Touhou aspect of it for capturing my heart. Of course, I didn’t actually start hacking until a long time after I saw this, but this video made me shit my pants when I saw it.

I guess before that I was also into Pokémon ROMHacking as a lil’ ‘mon-obsessed youngin’, but I never actually got a hack to work since I could never figure out Lunar IPS or whatever. Shame.


Heh, thankfully my first experience with Rom-Hacking was Pokemon Glazed…a considerably better made hack despite having a few issues of it’s own. Although that’s a newer but still a bit old one and kinda just show I’m kinda young, but still. I’m kinda obsessed with the idea of rom hacks in general and how they give fans a chance to make their vision a reality. Although I only really got into Fire Emblem Hacks a couple months ago when I ran across a playthrough of Justice and Pride on YouTube and thought “hey, that looks cool, I’ll give it a try” and I enjoyed it alot despite some of it’s problems (my only real personal problem with it was how cluttered the enemies on late game maps were and how it was kinda a slog to get through). Not really that interesting I think, but as long as we’re sharing, you know?

Sometime after finishing FE8, I somehow found probably the custom battle animation thread first (My memory is a bit hazy).But what I know is that my first romhack i played is a Universal Fire Emblem Randomizer run, TLP, Void Blitzare Adventure, and You Can (Not) Ban, and I was caught by surprise when playing Kokue’s romhack since the difficulty is really high and i was just a causal FE8 player who lost Arthur at the last chapter.

PS: Thank you Kokue for the romhack.

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I also lost Arthur early on. I lost several units before I realized they were permanently gone. That was quite a shock.

Anywho, I think the only romhack I ever played was Pokémon ShinyGold. I grew up with gen3 and gen1, so I was curious what gen2 was like. Played it a little and thought it was too bizarre to actually represent an official Pokémon game (like, slowpoketails are being amputated en masse, wtf?). Only once SoulSilver came out did I realize ShinyGold was actually faithful to gen2.

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TLP was my first time playing a romhack of any kind, though my first experience with actually doing the hacking myself was with FE6 randomizers. Specifically, my runs would keep getting hardlocked at the Roy promotion cutscene, so I learned how to use FEBuilder and fix it myself.

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I saw a video of some wacky things happening in FE8 and was like “Wow, can I do that?!?!”
so I did it.

It wasn’t really a close connection, but when I was around 8 or 9 or so I had a massive Pokémon obsession. I watched a lot of YouTube videos mostly, stuff like “don’t press the B button” or those weird awful sprite based fan vids that attempted to tell serious stories with Gen 3 overworld sprites.
A few of those vids, though, featured some ancient ROM hacks, stuff like Naranja, Shiny Gold, or the Ruby Destiny series. Those were extremely fascinating to me thanks to all of the “crazy” stuff they managed to pull off. I fell out of that but eventually after Fire Emblem became my next obsession the cycle happened again. I discovered Serenes Forest, and here we are today.

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I had the classic ROM Hacking introduction of TLP.

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My first experience with ROMHacking was MK404’s FE7 Reskin, it’s how I found out about units like Leif & Linoan, since at the point the only FEs I had played were FE6-8 and FE11.
The first custom hack I played was TLP, never finished it though.

Back when I was a youngster I saw this sick-ass bwdyeti FE-style Bleach animation, when I was still reading the part of Bleach that wasn’t complete shit. Afterwards I couldn’t find it again for years and it was only recently that I thought to try looking it up on YouTube. Not a ROM hack per-se, but my first experience with the idea.

The Last Promise.

Every 2-3 years I replay the GBAFE and Golden Sun games (and sometimes the odd Pokemon game makes it in), and I finished my run of FE6-8 a few years ago but still wanted more. Somehow stumbled upon The Last Promise, and I eagerly downloaded it and played it within a week or so. Then I discovered that there was an entire world of these hacks, so I pretty quickly played Requiem, OCA, R2R, and a few of the other earlier/classic hacks. I didn’t know about FEU - so I was only played what was easily found/talked about on Serenes.

I discovered FEU about a year ago, but I spent most of the time since working on my own hack rather than experiencing the many more hacks on here. A big part of the issue is that the workaround used to install the GBA emulator on my iPod was patched by Apple late last year - which stopped my VQ playthrough in its tracks only around a quarter of the way through or so. Still haven’t found a good substitute workaround. Damn Apple.


If I had a dollar for every time I’d rewatched MarkyJoe’s early Ragefest videos, I’d buy FEU. I don’t know how much money that would take, but I’d surely be able to do it.

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That’s a difficult question for me. It all started I think 6 years ago if I remember correctly. I got into FE with Shadow Dragon and liked it very much. When I got myself an emulator on my phone, I wanted to check if there is any GBA FE and then I found FE7 and 8.

When I searched for FE videos I somehow find MarkyJoe’s ragefest videos and I liked them really much even so my english skills were not as good as they are today. This was my first encounter with FE hacks. Long time after that I wanted to make hacks myself but damn I was to stupid to understand what to do. MarkyJoe’s event video helped me a lot to understand how to event. After that i was able to do more than just edits with nightmare or Feditor. And today I am helping some people of a german community with events or anything else I can do.

I am glad that it turns out as it is now. Also MarkyJoe’s old Ragefest videos were the best in my opinion.

I think the first hacked game I ever played was Pokémon Shiny Gold, that little hack made to turn the Gen III Kanto games into remakes of Johto before HGSS was announced.

I remember back then I was looking for something close to Pokémon Thunder Yellow XD

My first fire emblem romhack experience was through a ragefest entry called “The Corruption of Roy”. I did not even know it was a ragefest entry, only that it was supposed to be challenging. Suffice to say I had a bad time.

It was definitely not a fun experience. I put that shit down, quickly. It also somewhat turned me away from the fe hacking community. I thought that if that is how hackers give a game artificial difficulty, then I want no part in that. Haha.

I had a much better time when I tried out Midnight Sun, at least.

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A decade or so ago, I found and watched some videos of Proton Jon playing Super Mario World hacks and was amazed. After Jon stopped playing SMW hacks, I was directed to raocow, of whom I’ve been a regular watcher on and off through the years… but it’s only recently that the guy started really branching out with ideas to play more different games. Years and years after the zeitgeist moved on from SMW with the belief that everything had already been done, that hacks are all samey garbage, etc, there are still people out there making groundbreaking stuff with the same rom. That, to me, is the magic of modding.

I put two and two together and realised that if there are whole new games made out of Super Mario World out there, there might be the same for Fire Emblem. I don’t remember which FE mod it was that I played first, but I want to say it was either Decay of the Fangs (didn’t age well) or Tactics Universe (a forum hack by some old defunct site called Fire Emblem Universe).

Shout-out to FE404 mucking up the YouTube search results because everyone just called it “Fire Emblem Hack”.


As a young pokemon obsessed child, I discovered a rom hack named Victory Fire, likely through searching lets plays and finding an LP of it on someone’s channel (most likely shofu) and that was my first time ever interacting with a rom hack. I’d been emulating gba games since like four or five years old, but I was floored by the idea that someone had made their own entire pokemon game. Years later I became an FE fan after playing Awakening, and thought “hmm, if pokemon games have rom hacks, what about Fire Emblem?” looked up fire emblem rom hack, and found TLP. I still have not beaten TLP, but I remember enjoying the first few chapters and thinking it looked cool as shit.


Back in the much simpler year of 2009, skipping through youtube recommended videos a young Sme came across both this series of videos on a Super Mario World hack and this video of an EarthBound hack at some similar point in time. By this point emulation was something I was already doing regularly, and this then as a natural extension of that idea made sense. This was still about four years before I would be introduced to Fire Emblem (which was also in a manner intrinsic to romhacking, with the same friend who introduced it to me attempting to hack FE7 at the time though their project ultimately went nowhere and died after a few weeks)
Pokemon rom hacking was definitely a thing I tried at some point in between these two points in time, I have distinct memories of using an old Windows 2000 PC to hack FireRed at some point in between those two events


Hackromming was not really discussed a ton when I first got into Fe around 2003, but I used to run splicing contests on forums as far back as 2005. I actually made some art that I used as concepts for VQ (specifically Anisa, but there are a few others that were referenced). Technical hacking hadn’t really taken off yet and most of it was theory crafting with art and custom maps.

I played Tactics Universe in like 2010ish as well as ostian princess. TU was only sieg mode at the time and took place in Elibe. This was the first time I had played a romhack and I thought they were neat albeit not particularly well designed.

My first attempts at hacking were foiled by my lack of understanding how to use feditor, and the first hack I made was a 2012 randomizer where I rolled RNG to determine classes and then manually edited in nightmare.

I’d revisit TLP and also Bloodlines in 2017 and that’s when I got back into FE and properly started hacking.