This question is purely out of my curiosity.
In the early days, whether the excellent hack works, including TLP, EN, or Japanese version of FE7if, etc.; or important reference documents or patches, including Str/Mag split,AI discussion, etc., there was a lot of work based on FE7.
But looking at the current situation, whether it is an important function library, a large number of modified patches, or skillsystem are all already based on FE8.
I have studied and compared the difference between the two roms. Although there are indeed differences in the process on gfx or glyph and other processes, I have not seen significant differences in the system level such as battle (even, due to the large number of Fucking DemonKing judgments in FE8U, I actually feel that FE7’s combat system is better).
What is the opportunity that makes the current research work of FE8 finally surpass FE7 and become the mainstream?
My personal inference would be that it includes built-in support for things like branching promotions, a world map, rudimentary skills, etc. So, the initial allure was probably that there are more systems to play around with in FE8 than in FE7, even without adding any new ones. People wanted to have access to those systems when creating ROM hacks, so they set their sights on learning how better to hack FE8.
FE7, I think, got some of its popularity as a base ROM due to it being the first Fire Emblem game released outside of Japan. Many western fans are nostalgic for FE7 (and FE6, by extension, though to a lesser extent) in a similar way to many Japanese fans being nostalgic for FE1 or FE3. So, there was a lot of fondness for FE7 among western fans looking to hack Fire Emblem games, and perhaps that spread somewhat to the Japanese fan community as well, since western fans made a lot of tools and tutorials for hacking FE7 in particular?
I seem to recall that there was also some early difficulty figuring out how to hack FE8, as it was seen as less stable than FE7. Those days, at least, are long over at this point, though.
Not sure how big a factor this is, and I don’t know when FE8 hacking really took off, but both The Last Promise and Elibian Nights had fairly lengthy development cycles, and both started back when hacking FE7 was the most feasible option. So, part of them using FE7 as a base is likely due to the fact that it would’ve created a ton of extra work to restart development in FE8 so far along. Almost certainly a very small part, but maybe worth bringing up even so.
@circleseverywhere made the skills patch for FE8, and everything else ended up getting built around that.
Noob hackers like me only preferred FE7 because documentation and tutorials were better at the time. We didn’t understand FE8 events and there were lots of weird janky hardcoded things that couldn’t be worked around at the time so it got thrown into the too-hard basket.
I saw a LP of FEgirls and I thought FE8 had all the cool stuff already.
Plus the world map and monsters would be good for the RWBY hack idea I had, so I jumped in and started making ideaguy plans.
By the time I realised all the western doc was for FE7 I was committed already so I just spent my time porting things to FE8 and making new hax for 8.
idk about everyone else but that’s why i used fe8 anyway
My guess to why most doc was on FE7 is because people couldn’t get rid of the world map in FE8, which meant people had to actually make maps. And if you know anything about early FE hacking you know just what a herculean task that would’ve been.
At the time, I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the tutorial in FE7J, so I chose FE8.
Advantages of FE8
The parts that were forcibly extended in FE7 have been properly merged in FE8.
For example, you can see this in the implementation of the BAD STATUS name.
It was highly compatible with ASMC due to the availability of memory slots.
It was easier to analyze than others because it was released with the Proc name forgotten to be removed.(probably)
Also, ASM is not well optimized, so the code is easy to read.
For example, in FE6 and FE7, unnecessary push is omitted in the compilation optimization.
The event instructions were the same in FE8J and FE8U, so the results of both could be used.
Since it was probably planned from the beginning to release an English version, it has a better structure than FE7, which was extended later.
In FE7, the instruction codes are irregularly shifted between FE7J and FE7U.
Bigger is better than smaller.
Most of the features of FE7 are also present in FE8.
However, the evaluation screen is gone in FE8U. (It is still there in FE8J).
The author of FE8Girls, chap, left a lot of material for us.
I think he is a great pioneer of FE8 hack.
If there are many people using it, many useful patches and software will be created.
FE8 was compatible with ASMC because of its memory slot, and it was also compatible with libraries.
So I think a virtuous circle occurred where more patches were created.
I think FE7 was more popular at first because we couldn’t always insert custom portraits, animations, etc, so you had the choice of “Elibe fan fiction” or “Magvel fan fiction”. FE8/Magvel has a very self-contained story and setting, but Elibe has a lot of interesting places and plots in comparison (politics of Lycian League, tribes of Sacae, Black Fang, etc… FE7 itself is already a prequel!). There are also several custom lord animations to choose for main characters without having to insert new ones (Lyn Lord is cooler than Eirika Lord, Eliwood Knight Lord is cooler than Ephraim Great Lord, and you can have an axe lord with Hector’s animations).
Even after everyone got the tools to easily insert custom portraits and animations, FE8 had a reputation for being unfamiliar and hard if you’re not a super-haxor-programmer. But then several super-haxor-programmers themselves busted down that misconception and FE8 has been the norm ever since.
When I first started hacking in January of 2019, I picked FE7 as a base because I prefer its soundtrack. It’s much more varied, with tracks appropriate for many different types of scenes. Everything was new, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get into editing the soundtrack.
Then I saw that FE8 had SkillSystem and a wider variety of patches and decided to port my project over to FE8.
So there was once a one chapter, FE7 version of Deity Device, but it was lost to a faulty flash drive.
In my opinion, FE8 hasn’t won yet until it implements the dark druid mist effect into the necromancer’s crit animation.
Event data slots are much more robust; allows for more interesting things to happen on the event level (and the interaction between events and asmcs more dynamically)
FE8 was hindered by a lack of understanding of how its event engine worked. For a long time, it was just easier to make custom chapters in FE7 because that’s what Event Assembler was built for. Once those issues were resolved, FE8 became the dominant platform because it gave more flexibility for customization of the engine and more native options for chapter construction/conditional events.