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  1. I'll be brief. I haven't played past the parts with more obvious changes to the narrative (ie, not past Chapter 2), but a quick peek into Chapter 3 suggests that the difficulty increase continues beyond that (swordreavers? a halberd? On the earlygame bandit bosses?). I'm really not sure what else to say about it, mostly because I haven't gotten that far (I'm only writing because there is a distinct lack of information in the original post, for now, and I would have appreciated knowing a little more about the hack to begin with). The difficulty has been increased, but it hasn't been impossible to deal with on normal, I guess? Other than the difficulty raise, the other two obvious changes are some of the portraits, and most of the writing (again, with respect to writing, the changes only seem to go up until Chapter 2). I really don't have anything to say about the portraits, but as for the writing: if I call it reminiscent of GhebFE, does that explain it?
  2. I feel that quantity over quality would definitely help with the sluggishness, since it would feel like more is happening (read: more and faster killing, yay!). In retrospect, though, I rather like the idea of fighting armies composed of units that are more or less the equal of my own, but I’m not sure how well that can be executed in a game like Fire Emblem while only working with the basic functions. Chapters 3-5 are where the unpleasantness hits the hardest, in my opinion, probably because of the time limit. Of those three, 3 is probably fine since it’s more or less a surprise, and for me it was just sort of like “whoa, okay I figured that’d happen, but still. Yikes.” 4 is a little less fine because now it’s confirmed that you’re basically in a guillotine, and the pressure’s on. 5 is where it hits worst: you’re in a guillotine, there are items to get all over the place, the boss is basically unkillable in a timely fashion without using particular weapons, and who knows where any of the units who use those weapons are by the time the death bell tolls. It may have been your intention for this to be so, but I finished all three of those chapters literally on the last possible turn, which I don’t like but that’s just me (and obviously that isn't necessarily indicative of bad design or anything). The feeling is also sort of in chapters 6 and 7, but for them, I think, it’s more impatience. For 6, I'm pretty sure it’s just that defense aspect, and I don’t imagine you could do anything about it without completely changing the chapter (and as I’ve already said, I like that chapter in particular D:). For 7, I’m not sure. It might be the layout of the map? All that business being said, I hope this is useful, and I really hope I’m not coming across as too hard or anything. I rather like the hack, and am just excited to see it become more polished.
  3. I felt a need to make a thought post, of sorts, which I've never done before. I'm sorry if 1) it's unwanted, and 2) if it comes off as rude, as that isn't my intention. I'm also sorry if I've done this wrong. Maps: -Certain ones (the 1st and 7th come to mind) felt twisty for the express purpose of extending time spent on the level. -The artificial time limit on particular maps (imposed by a certain unstoppable force) felt at least one turn too short, especially on levels with shops. Although, that’s probably more my own problem because I like to be overstocked on weaponry, so long as I can afford it. -The way you set up the maps, along with the imposed time limit, forced me to play a very specific way for around at least half the hack. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. -Ch. 6, though the one that made me most uncomfortable gameplay-wise, was probably my favorite since it plays like a defense level. It was also a far cry from the chapters immediately preceding it because, rather than relying on speed (like the 3 or 4 previous ones), it required patience, so it was a nice change of pace (although I’m not sure about putting a defense level immediately after a bunch of speed levels). Character Balance: -Mages have almost no combat utility. Of course, most of their time is spent healing anyway. But, generally, they were too squishy to fight anything with ranged weapons, and too slow to be safe attacking at almost any time. If that makes sense. -Needing 2-3 friendlies to murder 1 enemy (on average) is fine, but almost never being able to fully kill a single enemy with one friendly, just to clear off some pressure, is somewhat debilitating, particularly on the time limit levels (only Claudio and Calem were capable of that, against cavalry and armors. Those with bows were utterly incapable of ORKO-ing fliers without the brave bow). I admit that I’m used to playing on the easiest sort of difficulties in Fire Emblem games, whenever possible, so really I’m just unused to not having a team of gods. -Claudio ended up being my most reliable character. -Thank you for the game-start convoy. Story: -A very standard Fire Emblem plot, so if that’s what you were going for you succeeded. It’s functional. Overall: I mention the time limit a lot, so I might be subconsciously annoyed by it. I honestly don’t know, but take from that what you will? I found that the primary strength of this hack is that it is, for all intents and purposes, balanced (in my opinion, obviously. Nothing was impossible, and it wasn’t Sacred Stones easy). However, as DuwaShuwana said, it plays rather sluggishly. When combined with the pressure of needing to get places quickly, there is a weird sort of impatience. The feeling wasn’t altogether pleasant. As a whole, the hack felt surprisingly complete for only being 8 chapters (and actually trying to tell a full story). Despite what I’ve said that could be viewed negatively, I enjoyed myself more than not, as it forced me to play with cautious speed instead of my usual way (which fully agrees with Carlyle’s basic strategy). If you keep working on it it's a great start.
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