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Palettes in FE8

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Recently I downloaded a class randomizer for FE8. After some edits to it to make it more correct (allowing the Recruit, Journeyman, and Pupil classes to be selected, and randomly picking one of the two possible promotions for already promoted units rather than defaulting to just one of them all the time) I found it's still kinda boring to play with all the units using the default palettes, so I decided to figure out how to make units retain their palettes across classes.

Before anyone says anything, I already know FE8's palette system is much different (and more annoying) than FE7. From what I understand, the palette system works something like this (I'm probably not using the best terms for explanation):

  • Check if the unit has an associated palette, which is assigned to it from a list of palettes, which starts at 0x00EF9000 with Neimi (Archer), then Amelia (Knight), then Gilliam (Knight), etc.
  • If the unit's class matches the class of the unit's associated palette, use it (i.e. if I have Eirika as an Archer and her associated palette is Neimi's Archer palette, she'll appear with that palette)
  • Otherwise, use the default palette for this class (I'm not quite sure how it finds this, Nightmare tells me the default palette is at 0x000032E0 but this seems to be just one of many default palettes. This is probably the starting address of a list of palettes, similar to the associated ones from earlier, but I can't find specific class palettes here). So if I have Eirika as a Lord with the Neimi (Archer) palette, Eirika will use the default one, since her class doesn't match her palette's.

I can edit the associated palette list easily and assign them to each unit, but the annoying part is the class specificity - I don't know how to edit that. So I've got a couple of questions:

How do I edit a palette's assigned class? (For example, making the Neimi (Archer) palette usable by a Lord, or a Pegasus Knight).

How do I find the default palette for each class? I might be really dumb and they all come from the same one at 0x000032E0, but that doesn't appear to be the palette Eirika as a Lord uses.

I've been searching around trying to find if anyone's figured this out, but it seems most people give up at about this point.

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Fe8's palette system is pretty simple actually. It's only different so as to accommodate branching promotions.

Under "Battle Palette Editors" in the FE8 Nightmare module package, there should be two modules: "FE8 Palette Association Editor" and "FE8 Palette Association Editor Part 2". The first defines which classes the unit should be in for each class position, and the second defines which palettes to use for each class position (Unpromoted 1, Unpromoted 2, Promoted 1, Promoted 2, Promoted 3, etc). If the unit's class doesn't match the class that they should be, the generic palette is used to prevent color vomit from mismatching palettes.

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As long as a character's class pointers matches their in-game class (and potential promotion classes), you can use any palette you like. However, be mindful of palette entry orders, or it will look horrible, but you can easily edit these with tools like Advanced Palette Editor (APE), or Palette Assembler.

Here are a few pics for more clarity;

Here are the two modules Venno mentioned you should have in your palette association folder.

This is the first module, which you should set to whatever class each unit is.
Originally, Eirika is set to nothing since she uses no personal palette whatsoever, but if you set it to whatever class she is, even if she remains her own class, you can actually edit her palette. You can look at the other characters' entries to see the order of each class's promotion options (especially useful for the trainees since they have 4 promotion options and two tier 1 options).

And this is module part 2. This is where you set the actual palettes, and these will be the ones you will edit (or the table you insert new palettes in), to give any character any palette you'd like. The class listed here doesn't have to match the class in the first module to work, but as I mentioned before, palette index entries are a thing, and...

...you'll get something terrible like this. But that's where palette editing comes in.

One last note is, if you wish to edit palettes, you can find the offsets in the module called "FE8 battle palette reference" module, found in the "Animation" folder. These offsets you can enter in APE to edit the palette (be sure to check compressed palette).

Hope that helps ^^.

Edited by Feaw

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