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Crimson Mors

Amateur Hacker attempts to Hack

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Longtime lurker and novice hacker here. I've decided to make my first FE hack using the FEBuilderGBA tool, FE8. 

The Hack as it stands:

Title: Undecided
Current Length: Chapter 1

UPS Patch: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1voZC9xeNSymjCJRL6-mtLK8CfDobxQry/view?usp=sharing

Gameplay Footage: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAWmnAj0jCMSYhUzjQKBVNk4dGveqDpN6

^ The link is to an unlisted playlist of my progress in terms of gameplay. Includes various chapter situations like death quotes, battle quotes, cutscenes, events, talk conversations/recruitment, etc.
As seen in the footage I'm using the basic assets found in the game, while using photoshop to edit some pre-existing art such as making Merlinus a wyvern rider wearing a recolored version of Heath's armor, from FE7.  The main characters are Tethys and Forde at the moment. Their likenesses are stand ins until I get around to creating unique art for all the characters. I've kept people's names the same for that reason as well. I felt those two characters' pre-existing personalities were a rough mold for what I intend to go for.

Prologue Story: Ludinia is a nation being invaded by Kalisia. 

Prologue: Eirika is a general in service to Ludina, she is deployed to Fort Vedan to repel an attack from Kalisia. She take command of a group of nameless (and disposable) soldiers for a 10 turn defend map. Gerik is recruited by the villagers to take to the field and can be recruited by Eirika for a price (disclosed in their talk conversation). Visiting houses gives some goodies like a vulnerary and a heavy spear, useful for the many armor knights of Kalisia. The village conversation prompts Vanessa to show up on turn 3 as a green unit, being pursued by a small contingent of Kalisian troops. Eirika has to move quickly to recruit her. In the houses is also Colm as his default thief class, but a bit more vulgar personality. Vanessa can recruit him by talking. If Eirika is felled early the chapter ends with the soldiers surrendering; on Turn 7 the enemy general in the form of Seth appears with a ludicrous number of soldiers to overwhelm Eirika's forces. If you manage to keep Eirika alive until turn 10 she will surrender as more troops arrive to the fray. All named units: Eirika, Gerik, Vanessa, and Colm will be recruitable in the future if they survived the map.

Tip: Colm is assumed dead if his house is not visited. Vanessa will be assumed dead if the village event is not triggered and her arrival therefore prevented. If Eirika dies, she will not be recruitable later.
Vision: This chapter is meant to be difficult. If Eirika dies it doesn't trigger the game over, but instead a hasty end scene directly into Chapter 1's opening. There is meant to be pressure as the odds quickly shift from Ludinia's favor into Kalisia as more and more enemies arrive. To recruit Vanessa is a venture in haste as she arrives on turn 3 with a sizable group of enemies and on turn 7 it is unexpected for the player to continue pushing across the bridge to save her. Colm can only be recruited by Vanessa and will stand around like an idiot and die if not recruited. The idea is that the player rushes the river after visiting the villages to secure Vanessa a safe area to be recruited before retreating to safety and trying to keep everyone alive until the end of the 10 turns. The player is meant to understand the situation dissolves rapidly and that Ludinia's plight is urgent going into Chapter 1.

Chapter 1 Story: Queen Tethys receives news of Eirika's failure to hold the river and holds a war counsel. Generic formalities and all that; the counsel is made up of Dozla the chief of military affairs, Pent,Duke of Orlanis, Gilliam Count of Tenpa and Lute, Commander of the Mage Core; and presumably some other characters I may retcon into the story later. The Kalisian army led by Seth is targeting Orlanis and Tenpa with a rapid march and the plan is to dispatch a force to delay the immanent attacks. After the counsel Tethys shares a tender moment with Forde in which she is reassured their allies in Norba are arranging a relief army. It is implied that Forde, the prince-consort, is married to Tethys as part of a political alliance; Tethys being Queen of Ludinia and Forde being one of the royal princes of Norba.

Chapter 1: Gustav (discount Merlinus) is deployed to Tenpa valley to intercept the Kalisian advance. He is accompanied by, you guessed is, faceless disposable soldiers. On turn 2, Forde will appear with his two courtiers Christina and Justin (My sister and her boyfriend, both avid FE fans and wanted to cameo with their personalities i have lovingly paired up to pink haired child Guinevere and blue haired Innes). They manage to fight their way through a pretty large "scouting" party to defeat Baguette (Breguet, reclassed to trainee amelia). Upon defeat the chapter closes with some banter between our named units and the arrival of Seth in the valley. Forde & co. make their retreat.

Vision Chapter 1: On turn 1 it is very likely that at least one of Gustav's fliers gets picked off by one of the two archers positioned early. Archers + Fog is a really rough situation. Forde showing up on turn 2, with his infantry effective ax to take out the armor knight on the fortress is supposed to ease some of the burden. Christina is a mage so she's pretty useful against armor as well and can counter 1-2 range. I've also given her access to staves; in the footage she has a torch i have since replaced with a torch staff. Justin will prove useful against the many spear users in this chapter; pegasi from the east edge and soldiers as reinforcements. By the time the player makes it to the midpoint of the chapter just beyond the second fort/wooded area the player will have gained a few levels for one, but also have two solid axe users in Forde and Justin, a decent magic user in Christina, and Gustav + 2-3 surviving wyverns to scout the fog. The nameless guys are disposable for a reason; to scout with. They can tank the Mercenaries that only move when in range that hide in the fog; as well as the myrmadon reinforcements that appeared earlier. They do not lack vulneraries or forts to recover on either. When in range of Baguette he calls on some final reinforcements which are easily taken out by Forde's weapon. Archers arrived though to pick off presumably the final few nameless guys. Defeat boss is the goal so the player could either stick around to route the last enemies or finish off a very very weak Baguette.

 

That concludes my progress as far as gameplay. Conceptually I am a bit further but I would like to receive some feedback from the community. 
Chapter 3 will feature Tenpa, guarded by Gilliam and some faceless allies.
Chapter 4 will feature Orlanis, guarded by Pent and some more faceless allies. 
These two chapters are happening in tandem. The events that unfold in chapter 3 are therefore unbeknownst to the units in chapter 4. There are some plot twists in these chapters i will not spoil just yet. From chapter 5 on, the two main lords Forde and Tethys will feature leading up to the route divergence which I intend to implement. Norban reinforcements will show up at some point in there to fill out the cast some more. Tethys will have some courtiers of her own join. By the time of the route divergence nameless allies will be relegated to Green units if they're needed.

Names and artwork, like I said, are placeholders until I get around to making my own or hire someone else to work on it for me. Battle animations for Eirika are a bit funny since the female hero uses the male hero animations. Forde will get unique animations for his unique Prince class; and Tethys for her Queen class when she appears.

 

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I watched the playlist and I think this hack has some potential. Having controllable faceless units is an interesting mechanic that few hacks use (in fact, this is making me want to revisit my own long abandoned hack that used this concept). I can tell you put a good amount of work into these chapters, and for a first hack it's definitely not bad. Much better than my first hack lol. Here are some constructive criticisms: I think the prologue's map could use some improvement, as it's a little clunky especially at the river. Of course, rivers are hard to do right, due to how their tilesets are put together. I would suggest looking at how other hacks that are known for good maps make their rivers and try to learn from that. The writing is good for a first hack, and the only problem that sticks out is a few minor grammar errors (which isn't super important, it's just better to fix those early on rather than wait and have to go back through your entire hack once development is finished). Those are just off the top of my head, I could probably give more feedback if I went through and played it myself, but unfortunately I don't have the time right now. Anyways, keep up the good work

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4 hours ago, CM9 said:

I watched the playlist and I think this hack has some potential. Having controllable faceless units is an interesting mechanic that few hacks use (in fact, this is making me want to revisit my own long abandoned hack that used this concept). I can tell you put a good amount of work into these chapters, and for a first hack it's definitely not bad. Much better than my first hack lol. Here are some constructive criticisms: I think the prologue's map could use some improvement, as it's a little clunky especially at the river. Of course, rivers are hard to do right, due to how their tilesets are put together. I would suggest looking at how other hacks that are known for good maps make their rivers and try to learn from that. The writing is good for a first hack, and the only problem that sticks out is a few minor grammar errors (which isn't super important, it's just better to fix those early on rather than wait and have to go back through your entire hack once development is finished). Those are just off the top of my head, I could probably give more feedback if I went through and played it myself, but unfortunately I don't have the time right now. Anyways, keep up the good work

Thank you so much! I've been waiting for pretty much any feedback.

I agree that the map design in the first chapter is a bit awkward. I was trying to make it a "defend the throne" chapter akin to how FE7's Ostia chapter functioned but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to program the fortress gate tile and to make the enemy target it. It would make it so you couldn't just hide in a corner or move as a blob. The whole flank on the western part of the river was therefore going to be more threatening since it's so close to the fortress. If you've got any tips on how to make that functional I would very much appreciate the information. I do think looking at how other people do river chapters would be beneficial.

I've actually hit the snag of not knowing how to work around the world map events. I probably should've done more research before I started, but I enabled the skip world map fix but have no idea how to actually disable the world map with it. *shrug* I might import what I have into an FE7 hack to just not deal with it but I still wanted to do branching promotion and skills so it's a bit of a loss. 

Again, thank you for the feedback! 

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