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Part 0: Foreword Hello, everyone! It’s been…a few years, huh? Back in the day, I posted a Lord-Only run of FE7, then lost interest in it - and didn’t even let anyone know it was abandoned because I was too ashamed to show my face. Thankfully, I’m…a bit more mature about things now, I’d say? At the very least I don’t think I’ll dip out without any warning this time. I might end up doing the Lord-Only run again at some point, because it’s a fun one, but I’m instead doing something…a bit different. As the title expounds, this is The Most Normal Run of FE7 - but what the hell does that mean? Well, if you want a shorter name, you could call it a ‘Normalized’ run - but that implies that I’ve done something to the game in some way. And unless you count emulating it and using savestates, this is all-natural on the game’s part. What this run is about will take a bit to explain, so I’ve devoted a full post to it. It is a bit technical, and I’m hardly the biggest expert on how FE works in all its aspects, but I believe I know all I need to for this run. There will be a TL;DR at the end of the foreword if you want to skip to that. The main thing we need to talk about for this run is a little thing called RNG manipulation. Some of you may already know about this, but bear with me. Here, we have a scene from the end of FE7 Chapter 3 - in fact, the same one I ran in the preparation for this very run. As you can see, everyone but Migal has been dealt with - and as you can’t see, Migal has been run down to 4 HP on the prior turn. Now, the character I’m going to be using to illustrate this point is Florina (hence why I got Migal’s HP so low) as Pegasus Knights not only have high movement, but no obstruction to that movement for the most part (as you can see). Now, first of all, let’s attack Migal with a Slim Lance. As you can see, this will kill (although Florina may take some pretty hefty damage in the process). We finish him off, take that hefty damage I mentioned, and level up - I believe this is a fairly standard level for Florina, although the lack of strength is disappointing. Now, instead of proceeding, let’s use a savestate (which will not be featuring too heavily in this run itself, though the prep I do will involve quite a bit of it) and head back a step. Let’s say we want to finish him off with the Iron Lance and avoid taking any damage, even if the chapter is about to end. Like so, and… …Would you look at that. A different level. Better in some ways (hello strength), worse in others. Now, this may seem fairly standard - doing things differently ends up with different results. But now, let’s head back again, and this time…do something special. There’s multiple ways to do this next step, but the one I prefer is to head all the way out to the edge of Florina’s movement range, and then go beyond it, so that my cursor is outside. Then, we bring the cursor up a couple spaces and back into her movement range. Now, the game has a decision to make - what is the shortest path that arrow can travel? ‘Does it matter?’ you ask. Not really - but the game thinks it does. So, in order to make that decision…it rolls a random number. As you can see, it can end up fairly straightforward, like this… Or all squiggly, like this. ‘So?’ you ask again. So, that random number I mentioned just rolled - what do you think would happen if we went back and attacked Migal again? …yet another different level. See, by basically forcing the game to roll a random number before the attack, we’ve shifted everything out of alignment - meaning the result of the random rolls are now different. And, of course, if we decided the level wasn’t good enough, we could always fiddle around some more… Hmm…better, but what if we wanted some strength? (Note: this can also backfire, as seen above) Aha, there we go! Now that’s a nice level! And now, you know how to manipulate the RNG in a GBA FE game. Congrats! …and now that you know that, say goodbye - because you’ll never be seeing this trick again (at least in this run). ‘...Well then what the hell was the point?!’ you ask. …Man, you’re doing a lot of that. The POINT, you see, is that while many don’t do this RNG manipulation on purpose, it does often happen on accident. Like I said, this is one of multiple ways - another is to fold the arrow in on itself so it recalculates. So what, I ask, would happen…if we never let that happen on accident? Because FE7, as it happens, is not really random. Not truly, you see. Because while it does roll a random number over and over, those numbers are always rolled in the same order - hence why, if you go back to a previous savestate and take the same action, you will get the same result, the same level-up. Furthermore, FE7 always starts on the same 'seed' - meaning, if you boot-up a brand-new game, and take the exact same actions as you did last time, making sure not to let any accidental RNG manipulation happen - you will get the exact same result. So what do you do with that knowledge? Well, if you’re me, you’ll find that intensely interesting, and wonder how far you can take it. Could you, perhaps, make a walkthrough of the game, that if someone followed it exactly, could always get you all the way to the end with no casualties? Maybe, maybe not - as the game goes on, things will get more complicated, definitely - and I might tire of this concept before long. (And I don’t know if it would work on, say, FE6 or FE8 - or even outside of Lyn Normal Mode) But until then, I might be able to show you some interesting things - like, for example, a way to get through the first few chapters without taking any damage, guaranteed (barring tutorial fights, as…FE7 has a lot of those). If you follow along with this walkthrough exactly, you should be able to get the exact same outcomes (though I would like confirmation on this. Having someone else at the very least try out the first chapter following my guide on an emulator, or hell, even on a real GBA, would help a lot) Now, would you want to do this for the full thing? …Admittedly, probably not. You can still have a lot of fun with a game even if you follow the basic steps a walkthrough provides, FE included (I know this from experience) - but already knowing the outcome before you start would take the fun out of it, if it isn’t already sucked out entirely by having to follow step-by-step so meticulously. Still, I won’t stop you from doing it, just…be warned. Now, if this isn’t going to be fun to follow, why do it? Well, it has been somewhat fun for me to check out on my own, at least so far. Messing around with RNG this way is somewhat fascinating to me. And I hope that the rest of you will at the very least have fun reading my experiences. TL:DR - RNG abuse is a thing, but what if we went all the way to the other end and removed any chance of randomness entirely?