Jump to content
blindcoco.studios

Bad GBAFE Maps - Gameplay/Pacing

Recommended Posts

I have been pretty invested in studying older FE games and experimenting to see what makes a map work or not.

Which maps do you think have bad map feel ?
Is there anything that you'd consider changing on them to make them more interesting to play? 

Personally, I'd vouch against FE6 Chapter 5. Either you take the long way around through a pretty dense forest that takes forever to crawl through safely or you force your entire squad through a 1 tile chokepoint while brigands clumsily dodge your attacks on mountain tiles due to low average hit + terrain bonuses. 

Not to mention that the boss has a killer axe and 19 strength & a hand axe ON CHAPTER 5. (hard mode) So there's no way to engage him safely aside from Marcus/Rutger/Dieck who, while still having a favorable matchup, still risk a chance of death unless you bait the hand axe before going in. 

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that's a pretty annoying map, and I'm gonna vouch against the next map too: FE6 Chapter 6. While the enemies are certainly easier, there are two major nails in the map design.

1. There are eight treasure chests and one recruitable character scattered across eight locked rooms. You can skip some of the rooms (three are duds) but they're of the roofed-over variety so you may well open up one along the way, and these rooms contain enemies or reinforcement zones that can kill your one thief. Speaking of which, said thief is your only way of opening the chests; and unless you visited the Chapter 5 vendor your only other key is a single door key. This isn't helped by Cath's recruitment being multi-chapter as if to mock you. By the way, three of these chests are money; three of them.

2. The Hard-only reinforcements. They appear on turns 8, 12, 16 and 20 from the stairs flanking the boss; and chances are you're going to be fighting the boss around that time on a more casual run. I'm pretty tolerant of same-turn reinforcements but introducing entirely new reinforcement groups on Hard is a poor use for them. These are right there with the Echidna police squad for worst reinforcements in the game.

As for how to improve this... replace the Chapter 4 door key with a chest key and add door keys to the vendor. Have a reinforcement trigger zone in the upper hallway that opens the top and bottom chambers and on Hard summons the stair reinforcements all at once. If the stairs repeat it's for one or two turns immediately after. One turn or two later the rear guard shows up. Add a left-right cross-section for faster travel between the two side halls.

This isn't the first map that'll come to people's minds when thinking bad map design but I wanted to bring it up because I think it's worse than some of the more conventional options and would've flown under the radar otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapter 7 of Binding Blade is infamous, and for good reason I think. There are just too many enemies that you simply cannot kill quick enough, with NPC units who will die almost instantly and enemies that come up your rear that will destroy you. Getting through the opening turns of the map unscathe is basically luck, as hit rates are low and you can't afford to miss a single attack, nor can you really afford for every enemy attack to connect. It's been a long time since I've played Normal Mode Binding Blade, so maybe it's more tame there and just poorly balanced against hard mode stats, but Chapter 7 in my experience is just awful. The other maps in Binding Blade's early game, which others have mentioned, can be pretty cancerous, but at least for them if I know what I'm doing and take things slowly they should provide too much trouble. Chapter 7 just feels like Russian roulette with five bullets in the chamber.

On 4/24/2022 at 2:50 PM, X-Naut said:

Yeah that's a pretty annoying map, and I'm gonna vouch against the next map too: FE6 Chapter 6. While the enemies are certainly easier, there are two major nails in the map design.

1. There are eight treasure chests and one recruitable character scattered across eight locked rooms. You can skip some of the rooms (three are duds) but they're of the roofed-over variety so you may well open up one along the way, and these rooms contain enemies or reinforcement zones that can kill your one thief. Speaking of which, said thief is your only way of opening the chests; and unless you visited the Chapter 5 vendor your only other key is a single door key. This isn't helped by Cath's recruitment being multi-chapter as if to mock you. By the way, three of these chests are money; three of them.

2. The Hard-only reinforcements. They appear on turns 8, 12, 16 and 20 from the stairs flanking the boss; and chances are you're going to be fighting the boss around that time on a more casual run. I'm pretty tolerant of same-turn reinforcements but introducing entirely new reinforcement groups on Hard is a poor use for them. These are right there with the Echidna police squad for worst reinforcements in the game.

As for how to improve this... replace the Chapter 4 door key with a chest key and add door keys to the vendor. Have a reinforcement trigger zone in the upper hallway that opens the top and bottom chambers and on Hard summons the stair reinforcements all at once. If the stairs repeat it's for one or two turns immediately after. One turn or two later the rear guard shows up. Add a left-right cross-section for faster travel between the two side halls.

This isn't the first map that'll come to people's minds when thinking bad map design but I wanted to bring it up because I think it's worse than some of the more conventional options and would've flown under the radar otherwise.

And if you do miss sue because you just don't have any keys, well then say bye bye to Shin too, who's one of the best units in the game imo. Also say bye to Sacae route, but that's not as big a loss.

Edited by Jotari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh boy. You guys are never going to believe what I have to say about Binding Blade chapter 8!

It's okay, actually. I think the indoor maps of Binding Blade can actually be pretty interesting, since you usually end up carting your thieves around the map using elaborate rescue chains to open chests and steal lockpicks. That said, Chapter 8 is one of the weakest of those types of maps, in part because it's so long and winding. The final chest room is about as long of a trek from the starting point as you can reasonably squeeze onto a map of that size.

Edited by AnonymousSpeed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did I accidentally start a ''Let's dunk on FE6 map design one chapter at a time?'' thread? 

...

Because Chapter 9 isn't great. Having two recruitable with killer-esque weapons chilling in fog of war is certainly an idea. 

I wish the village thingy for the route split was more well established as well. It really arbitrary. 

Aside from that, it's a nice place to train Roy before benching him until he promotes due to the sheer number of piorate reinforcements that come from the forts on the tiny islands. 

6/10 would recommend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually you missed 8x. 
WHich also kinda sucks. TL;DR: All map gimmicks that the gaidens have are poorly executed or unfun to play against in their current form. 
The fire in 8x has no real meaning as the tiles are placed randomly and easy to dodge, whereas the enemies do not make a distinction between tiles and just randomly take damage. 

The boss is on a throne and is not fun to deal with as well. 

12x Has inconsequential poison that robs the player more of their time than of their units'health. Poison is a nonfactor.

14x Gives no indication of which tiles will turn into water. It would be better with a small event that plays before the chapter where a tile or two Roy would try to step on suddenly vanish. And instead of going Normal Tile > Water it would better show the player by having a Normal tile > Wet, but still traversable tile > Water tile. 

16x The arrows hardly matter. The random falling also doesn't help. 

21x Trap tiles that do not matter once again. Also, great for warp skips, tedious to walk through. 

The gaiden gimmicks don't warrant more than an afterthought or a simple rule to live by. It's not engaging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FE6: 

-Chapter 8. A long and winding map that is a tedious slog to go through.

-Chapter 8x. While the gimmick in this gaiden map is mostly a non-issue, especially compared to most other gaiden gimmicks, the boss is way overtuned, and throne bonuses being obnoxious doesn't help.

-Chapter 11A: This is where the lack of enemy drops proves frustrating. There are 8 villages to visit, with the furthest two being a stone's throw away from bandit reinforcements. Also, there are three characters to recruit here, all of whom have the potential to be frustrating to recruit, especially Echidna, who can potentially die before you can do anything about it (this isn't helped by Echidna having a steel axe, which, with its combination of poor hit and high weight, is one of the worst weapons in the game, as her only weapon, which weighs her down significantly). The other two recruits start as enemies and come with their own reinforcements, which wouldn't be too much of a problem... if it weren't for the fact that the characters in question might not even move, which makes recruiting them even harder than it already is. And that they, just like pretty much every other reinforcement in this game, come before enemy phase. That's bad enough, but then you realize that you NEED to keep all their escorts alive (when they are recruited or, in Tate's case, become an NPC, they become green units as well) because doing so gets you promotion items. If you didn't get the memo already, this chapter is a massive exercise in frustration.

For improvements this chapter would massively benefit from, giving Echidna a steel sword instead would make her significantly easier to recruit. Also, make Klein and Tate show up at the end of the turn, as well as make it such that Shanna can recruit Tate straight up.  

-Chapter 12: Another winding map, but this time with a time limit. 

-Chapter 14: Fog of War AND Desert. Enough said. Oh, and there's a time limit. You are also forced to field two deadweight units, one of whom needs to survive to access the gaiden after this is over. Also, said deadweight unit is needed to find a Guiding Ring not too far from the boss's location.

-Chapter 14x. This is where the gaiden chapters start using really obnoxious gimmicks. In this case, you have to deal with disappearing floor tiles. and there are two Bolting mages in the center area, one of whom is the boss.

-Chapter 16: Another tedious slog of a map. The part where there's a powerful enemy General that you must NOT kill is also annoying, but not too bad compared to the layout. Also, one of the enemies that can be recruited starts on the opposite side of the map as Roy, who needs to recruit him.

-Chapter 16x: This time, you have to deal with randomly firing arrows of light. That can kill your units. Whoopee. It's rather telling that this was revisited in Sacred Stones as the final map of the Tower of Valni, and it's not nearly as bad. Oh, and it's yet ANOTHER winding map.

-Chapter 18 Sacae: The nomad reinforcements near the boss only serve to foster paranoia - something this game excels at, if you have not caught on already. It's either you devote almost all your units to blocking them or risk losing a unit to a cheap shot.

-Chapter 20 Sacae: Multiple long-ranged menaces that harass the player from positions they cannot reach, including two Bolting Sages in the center area. In a game where most units have shit for resistance. It's also a fog of war map with a time limit.

-Chapter 20x Sacae: The setup is just ridiculous. 6 objectives, but only one completes the chapter, with the other 5 being ambushes.

-Chapter 20x Ilia: WALLS, WALLS EVERYWHERE

-Chapter 21: More bloated maps, but this time with zone-based reinforcements and a time limit.

-Chapter 21x: Whoopee, more long, winding maps, but this time with fog of war. And manaketes in treasure chests, because screw you.

-Chapter 22: Yet another bloated map that is tedious to traverse. But this time, it requires two units to kill enemies in the corners of the map before Roy goes to the room where Zephiel is. Speaking of, because Roy was stuck unpromoted until right before this chapter, he's well behind everyone else you've been using at this point, and thus likely in danger from the enemies inside. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me, seeing all the beating of FE6: "Stop, stop, he's already dead!"

I've been playing Project Ember lately, and it changes some map elements up, so I probably shouldn't say anything about the originals right now.

Instead, I'll complain about Chapter 19 of Sacred Stones, the Rausten defense map. It's either a tiresome slog of endless reinforcements, or a "blink and you'll miss it" ordeal, because you warped somebody in to kill Riev. Which doesn't even matter, because Riev shows up in the next chapter regardless. The fog is annoying, and the green units disappoint as ever. Also, the "optimal" way to win has you leave various chests on the map unopened, which is always bad map feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Vicious Sal said:

Actually you missed 8x. 
WHich also kinda sucks. TL;DR: All map gimmicks that the gaidens have are poorly executed or unfun to play against in their current form. 
The fire in 8x has no real meaning as the tiles are placed randomly and easy to dodge, whereas the enemies do not make a distinction between tiles and just randomly take damage. 

Nah Henning is super fun to deal with. In fact I think they should have went firther and given him Durundal (not sarcasm). What I don't like about that map is how they toss a random killing edge mercenary at you when your guard is down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Instead, I'll complain about Chapter 19 of Sacred Stones, the Rausten defense map. It's either a tiresome slog of endless reinforcements, or a "blink and you'll miss it" ordeal, because you warped somebody in to kill Riev. Which doesn't even matter, because Riev shows up in the next chapter regardless. The fog is annoying, and the green units disappoint as ever. Also, the "optimal" way to win has you leave various chests on the map unopened, which is always bad map feel.

Counterpoint:

The fog of war music is cool in SS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

It's either a tiresome slog of endless reinforcements, or a "blink and you'll miss it" ordeal,

Yeaaaaah. I do like having some agency in how to tackle defense maps other than just holding chokepoints, but this map overcorrects with it being either a hallway filled with 60 generals OR a turn 1 skip. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it FE8 bashing time? FE8 bashing time. And I'll bring forth even a hottake too: Phantom Ship, aka Ch11 Ephraim Route, is one of the worst chapter in the franchise, let alone just for the GBA games. This chapter doesn't have anything going for it, instead it's an amalgam of elements that alone wouldn't be really be that bad (except for maybe the FoW), but put togheter show exactly the worst weaknesses of IS in terms of making a "hard map" and in general map design. Like, who the hell thought making a rout map with FoW and extremely restricted movement was a fine idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Quell said:

Is it FE8 bashing time? FE8 bashing time. And I'll bring forth even a hottake too: Phantom Ship, aka Ch11 Ephraim Route, is one of the worst chapter in the franchise, let alone just for the GBA games. This chapter doesn't have anything going for it, instead it's an amalgam of elements that alone wouldn't be really be that bad (except for maybe the FoW), but put togheter show exactly the worst weaknesses of IS in terms of making a "hard map" and in general map design. Like, who the hell thought making a rout map with FoW and extremely restricted movement was a fine idea?

It kind of plays like a defense chapter too. Only not like the later actual defense fog of war chapter. A defense chapter where you're completely exposed tonflyong enemies without and choke points. From what I remember the best strategy is to just deploy Ephraim and Dussel alone stocked up with Elixers. Keeping anyone else alive is just a chore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jotari said:

It kind of plays like a defense chapter too. Only not like the later actual defense fog of war chapter. A defense chapter where you're completely exposed tonflyong enemies without and choke points. From what I remember the best strategy is to just deploy Ephraim and Dussel alone stocked up with Elixers. Keeping anyone else alive is just a chore.

Seth can hold up fine there, too. And a flier can be desirable to take out the Mogalls sooner, even if they all have frailty issues.

Come to think of it, what's stopping a Mogall from just sitting in a corner and making the map unwinnable for anyone who didn't bring a flier? "Boat Map with a Rout Condition" seems flawed from the get-go. At the very least, establish an "if we survive 12 hours - I mean, turns - the sun will rise and scare the monsters away!" So that there's a Survive condition.

4 hours ago, Quell said:

Is it FE8 bashing time? FE8 bashing time. And I'll bring forth even a hottake too: Phantom Ship, aka Ch11 Ephraim Route, is one of the worst chapter in the franchise, let alone just for the GBA games. This chapter doesn't have anything going for it, instead it's an amalgam of elements that alone wouldn't be really be that bad (except for maybe the FoW), but put togheter show exactly the worst weaknesses of IS in terms of making a "hard map" and in general map design. Like, who the hell thought making a rout map with FoW and extremely restricted movement was a fine idea?

I'm tempted to think it'd be cool to add a ballista to the map, to simulate a "cannon" you're firing at the various monsters. Especially the Gargoyles, who have an arrow weakness. This runs into certain problems, however - Neimi is your only unit who can use the ballistae (she's frail and may be dead by this point), and the fog means even seeing potential targets is tricky without Thief/Torch support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Seth can hold up fine there, too. And a flier can be desirable to take out the Mogalls sooner, even if they all have frailty issues.

Come to think of it, what's stopping a Mogall from just sitting in a corner and making the map unwinnable for anyone who didn't bring a flier? "Boat Map with a Rout Condition" seems flawed from the get-go. At the very least, establish an "if we survive 12 hours - I mean, turns - the sun will rise and scare the monsters away!" So that there's a Survive condition.

Well I'm sure the flying enemies are coded to seek out and attack your party from the moment they spawns.

One funny thing you can do in a similar map. I think Shadows of Valentia's chapter 6 boat maps are survive x turns. Or at least one of then is, the one with the dragons. But it's possible to clear the map of all enemies and then use the retreat function before more enemies spawn. After you retreat back to the world map the chapter is just gone. Since the game remembers how many enemies are on the map you retreat so of you retreat when their are no enemies it just assumes you beat the chapter or something and let's you pass. So you can beat the chapter without ever seeing the victory screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2022 at 10:38 AM, Jotari said:

Chapter 7 of Binding Blade is infamous, and for good reason I think. There are just too many enemies that you simply cannot kill quick enough, with NPC units who will die almost instantly and enemies that come up your rear that will destroy you. Getting through the opening turns of the map unscathe is basically luck, as hit rates are low and you can't afford to miss a single attack, nor can you really afford for every enemy attack to connect. It's been a long time since I've played Normal Mode Binding Blade, so maybe it's more tame there and just poorly balanced against hard mode stats, but Chapter 7 in my experience is just awful. The other maps in Binding Blade's early game, which others have mentioned, can be pretty cancerous, but at least for them if I know what I'm doing and take things slowly they should provide too much trouble. Chapter 7 just feels like Russian roulette with five bullets in the chamber.

And if you do miss sue because you just don't have any keys, well then say bye bye to Shin too, who's one of the best units in the game imo. Also say bye to Sacae route, but that's not as big a loss.

Believe it or not I actually didn’t have a whole heluva lot of trouble with ch 7

 

Ch 10B on the other hand gave me a fit all day Sunday. Thought I figured a workaround since theres a secret shop later and I got 200 large  worth of gold in the til. Yeah Im an arena abuser lol. But 11A gives ya the same damn issue to hafta deal with

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...