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Low-key challenge run ideas


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I've gotten into low-key challenge runs with other games. I was thinking of doing some with the Fire Emblem GBA titles. Does anyone have ideas?

I did an Eliwood & Marcus only run about 100 years ago. I remember some people would do no-exp runs. Is that easy to set up?

I haven't put much thought into it yet, but some ideas I considered are:

  1. No-exp
  2. No promoted units
  3. No buying weapons
  4. No healing

I'm not looking to punish myself; just breathe some life back into the games a little. Like a Nuzlocke I guess.

Edited by Wist
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  1. We Forgot The S-Potions: As soon as you don't deploy everybody to a fight anymore, characters aren't allowed to deploy on two successive maps.
  2. I'm Really Worried About My XP Rank: You're only ever allowed to deploy the lowest-leveled characters possible. For BinBla and BlaBla with their bigger casts, you could allow yourself to retire unpromoted characters when they hit level 20.
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One broad approach is "limiting the units you can use". This can vary by class (i.e. "Cavaliers/Paladins only"), gender (i.e. "girls only"), or even hair color (i.e. "redheads only"). Taken to an extreme, we get a solo run.

One potential tool is a "sabotage wheel", using an online spinning wheel application. Spin the wheel before each chapter, to figure out what "sabotage" you have to deal with. This can be stuff like "throw out your most valuable weapon", "deploy your weakest unit", "rescue-ferry your best unit all of next map", and so on. If you get a 'Game Over' or else have to reset, you can keep playing... you just have to spin the wheel a second time next chapter!

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4 hours ago, Wist said:

I remember some people would do no-exp runs. Is that easy to set up?

No-Exp runs would require some hacking, or a patch. I don't know if a patch for that challenge run is already floating around, but I suspect that it wouldn't be that hard to setup with the hacking tools available on the GBA. People have even done both 0 growths run, which I suspect are fairly similar, and even negative growth runs, so that type of run is probably doable.


4 hours ago, Wist said:

I'm not looking to punish myself; just breathe some life back into the games a little. Like a Nuzlocke I guess.

Ironman runs (where you don't reset for deaths) are the Nuzlockes of Fire Emblem, although FE7 is uniquely difficult to ironman if you are strict with you rule-set.

One interesting challenge run I did on FE6 once was a Succession game soft Ironman, which is a multiplayer challenge run, where each player did two chapters then pass the save off to the next player in a rotation, where you didn't reset for deaths, but could for full on game overs. That was a rather fun and interesting run, but organizing it was a pain...

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Thank you for your ideas! This is exactly what I was looking for. All of these will probably keep me going for a year and I'm excited to try them out! Thanks everyone!

@ping For your XP rank challenge, is there a big concern about running out of unpromoted units? Or maybe balancing your team usage to last the run is just part of the challenge?

@Eltosian Kadath I would have expected FE6 to be the hardest. What makes FE7 harder to Ironman than the others?

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7 minutes ago, Wist said:

What makes FE7 harder to Ironman than the others?

I will note that I was thinking specifically of HHM with no Lyn mode when I said that. If you loss Matthew you miss out on a vast majority of the promotion items, and likely miss out on Legault as well, which will likely lead to a reset. This isn't helped by the first map being just Hector and Matthew, plus having to steal the first guiding ring from a boss with Luna, and its nasty crit rate, which could potentially one shot even Marcus. With no-Lyn mode, you have a good chance of a dead Lyn on her return map if you have an unlucky miss or two with her crew on the few turns they have to survive before Marcus can reach them. Having three units that can trigger a game over is just more dangerous in general, especially with how low deployment slots are in HHM. Chapter 13x can surprise you, as it has fog of war, is one of the few maps with ambush spawns, and if you dropped Merlinus into the wrong spot he might just trigger a game over to the nomads that come from the bottom right hand corner. There are two maps where there is a small chance of getting a game over due to NPC bad luck with no fault to the player (if Pent doesn't dodge some of the Wyverns he can die on the desert map, and the rarer instances where Jaffar takes enough damage to use his elixir early enough, while heading far enough to the left the last of the sword-reaver axers will aggro Zephiel instead of Jaffar and kill him before you can reach him). Genesis is a real death trap as well if you are crazy enough to risk that nightmare. Maxima's bugged stats are also rather scary as well (if you head that direction at all).

FE6 is a harder game in general, but it gives you a LOT of replacements, you can more easily access its promotion items without a thief, you never really have any NPC game-over conditions, and you only have to babysit one Roy.

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I appreciate you taking the time to elaborate. With everything you mentioned FE6 does sound more lenient. I love FE7 and I want to give it a go sometime. But I think I'll use this as an excuse to return to FE6 first. Thank you!

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In FE6, there's quite a few fun ideas I can suggest


Oops all sophias replaces every playable character with a sophia of the same level. It's surprisingly fun, and after a rather rocky first five or so chapters on hard mode is actually quite reliable. It's an interesting challenge for sure. I enjoyed playing it a lot, definitely breathes a fresh air into FE6.


Lunatic mode is made by the same person and is not for the faint of heart. It removes all bugs from FE6, including double HMB from the first five chapters, along with HMB for player units. It starts giving enemies forged weapons, along with a semiforced time limit for each chapter, which, if not met, spawns an 8 move flying dark dragon with a brave nosferatu 1-10 range dragonstone and 50 in all stats. I'm in the middle of a run right now and it's quite entertaining. The dropbox link contains a readme with all changes.


As for self-imposed challenges, ironmans can typically make a run pretty fun. FE7 isn't as hard as FE6, as enemies typically can't hurt your juggernauts even on HHM with a bit of planning, but they're all pretty fun.

No-xp sounds like a slightly harder 0% growths run, where any unit who joins under level 10 cannot promote, instead of just having no obtainable stats from levels.

I tried a no promoting no prepromotes run of fe6, and it went pretty well. It ended on chapter 20x Ilia when the phone I used stopped working.

The biggest issue a no shops run can reach is lategame, when hordes of enemies demand weapon uses.

no healing sounds... not very fun. It seems like an rng check for most games, where you'll just have to get lucky dodges.

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All Sophia's sounds hilarious. I'm definitely putting that on the list!

Thanks also for the Lunatic mode link. It looks a bit much for me right now. I'll keep it bookmarked for the future!

Your point about no a shops run makes sense. Have you had the chance to try one before?

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2 hours ago, Wist said:


Your point about no a shops run makes sense. Have you had the chance to try one before?

I know  @A Boy posted about his No-Shop run of FE6, and FE8 before, but it looks like the videos they used to record them have become unavailable. I don't know how much help just the threads will be without the videos, but in case you are curious


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On 6/12/2022 at 5:00 AM, Wist said:

@ping For your XP rank challenge, is there a big concern about running out of unpromoted units? Or maybe balancing your team usage to last the run is just part of the challenge?

I have to admit that I never finished that challenge run :whistle: I started it for SacSto right after doing the S-Potion one (which I thought was kinda nice, if only to balance when to use and when to bench Seth) and it fizzled out around the midgame.

The idea with "bench at Lv.20" wasn't to disallow using promoted characters, but to give the option to use a promoted char over a capped unpromoted one - i.e. making the entire thing a bit easier. But I don't really know how exactly the level curve for BinBla and BlaBla would look like. Looking at the numbers from my ranked HHM run, I'd expect promoted characters on the field in the lategame.

For reference, the last bookkeeping I did for the SacSto run looked like this:


Chapter 13 - Hamill Canyon

Eirika	- 15.54  -> 17.37
Ewan	- (6.86) -> 10.00
Tethys	- 6.01   -> 6.91
L'Arachel 7.03   -> 8.49

Amelia	- 8.34   -> 11.08
Marisa	- 10.31  -> 11.62
Lute	- 12.14  -> 14.55
Joshua	- 12.14  -> 14.47

Colm	- 12.25  -> 14.34
Tana	- 12.31  -> 13.20
Ross	- 12.33  -> 13.99
Franz	- 12.42  -> 13.92

Cormag	- 11.00  -> 12.41

Natasha	- 7.63		Moulder	- 9.49		Artur	- 12.43
Kyle	- 12.65		Garcia	- 13.09		Vanessa	- 13.16
Forde	- 13.17		Gerik	- 14.02		Neimi	- 14.04
Gilliam	- 14.19		Dozla	- */1.00	Saleh	- */1.24
Innes	- */1.45	Seth	- */1.53

Chapter 14 - Queen of White Dunes

Eirika	- 17.37
Ewan	- 1.00
Tethys	- 6.91
Natasha - 7.63

L'Arachel 8.49		(to recruit Rennac)
Amelia	- 11.08
Marisa	- 11.62
Kyle	- 12.65

Artur	- 12.43
Cormag	- 12.41
Garcia	- 13.09
Vanessa - 13.16

Rennac	- 

Moulder	- 9.49		Forde	- 13.17		Tana	- 13.20	
Franz	- 13.92		Ross	- 13.99		Gerik	- 14.02
Neimi	- 14.04		Gilliam - 14.19		Colm	- 14.34
Joshua	- 14.47		Lute	- 14.55		Dozla	- */1.00
Saleh	- */1.24	Innes	- */1.45	Seth	- */1.53


As you can see, I'm still some ways away from hitting Lv.20 with anybody. From what I remember, Ross and Amelia (yes, really) were doing quite well for themselves because the trainees actually have somewhat higher stats than "normal" characters at the same level :lol:

...actually, I still have the save file. I might finish the run at some point. SacSto is a fzb challenge if you don't out-stat the enemies as heavily as Seth does in a regular playthrough.

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I haven't, but I'll do a search! It sounds like another fun way to shake things up. I think that's most what I'm looking for. I want to enjoy replaying these games. And I don't want to steamroll my way with teams or strategies I'm used to.

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