Old Fire Mumblem
Episode 1: The Solution Is To Stand Still And Do Nothing
Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to.
An unchanged title screen!
So sometime in the 2000's, I was really into making custom levels in beloved games of my childhood. Fire Emblem 7: The Blazing Sword happened to be one of those games and, despite being a game on a relatively new gaming system at the time, I had hopes that there would be editors for it, and holy cow was I both surprised and excited when I discovered Puchiko's thread on Fire Emblem Universe presenting the Nightmare Editors.
Unfortunately, these editors weren't particularly intensive; to put it broadly, you could only edit stats, ranging from character strength to unit placement to an extent. I didn't care though, and I proceeded to make my first ever Fire Emblem hack, Super Hard Lyn Mode. It started out as an ambitious attempt to rebalance Fire Emblem 7, but by the time I had reached Eliwood mode, I got bored and moved on. Both BuringPenitentEngine and I have LP'd Super Hard Lyn mode, and neither of us look upon it with delight. Someday, I hoped I would be able to make something better, but the current tools at the time just wouldn't cut it, so I quit.
Years passed and I eventually went back to check on how the Fire Emblem community progressed. I believe it was 2008 or 2009 at that point, and that's when FE hacking became extensive and accessible enough that some bloke like me could make completely custom chapters.
Many squees were had.
... As well as many pleas (for help).
It's worth noting that this wasn't my first custom map in Fire Emblem. That would be the unfinished, unreleased final chapter of Super Hard Lyn Mode, which would replace FE7's chapter 10. In it, you would face off against "The Fooker", which I'll basically summarize as a serial rapist Eliwood combined with Cornholio from Beavis & Butthead.
... And THAT should give you an idea of what sense of humor I had back in these days. But anyway, let's look at what we're doing in this map.
It's a 14-turn survival mission.
On a 20x20 map with one enemy.
With terrible stats.
What a concept.
Okay, so obviously I wouldn't just toss a single enemy onto a map and call it a day. Expect some reinforcements.
But will it matter?
Let's take a look at our team, shall we?
MHP: 60% (-20%)
STR: 60% (+20%)
DEF: 40% (+10%)
RES: 30% (-5%)
LUK: 30% (-15%)
Eli mah boy!
Aside from Skill and Speed, Eliwood's growths were changed quite a bit. In particular, that strength growth looks promising!
As for his base parameters, they're about as underwhelming as in vanilla FE7. However, there's two minor changes here that are actually pretty big game changers. He's got a light brand, and a high enough sword rank to use it! Here's a fresh reminder on how the Light Brand works. Unlike most swords, it attacks the enemy's resistance stat instead of defense. Also unlike most swords, it has extra range, allowing for indirect attacks. However, from a distance, the user's strength is halved (rounded up). The weapon is obtained usually by the mid-game where your units are already strong enough to one-round KO most enemies, and the extra range's strength penalties make it generally less effective than magic, hand axes and javelins.
Here in the early game however, where Eliwood's humble 5 strength recieves a mere 2 strength penalty, this weapon is a force to be reckoned with! With all of these parameters, I generally find Eliwood to be among my best units!
MHP: 85% (-5%)
DEF: 55% (+5%)
RES: 20% (-5%)
I can't say I've ever been a fan of Hector, both in personality and in gameplay. I generally don't gravitate to the tough, stoic types and he just seemed way too good a unit. I felt that was kind of unfair to Eli, so besides that barely noticable +5% to defense growth, Hector only got nerfs. Serves him right for somehow having both more speed AND skill than my Eliwood in this one playthrough I did, even despite being lower leveled! I mean come on Hector, how dare you be a hapless recipent of the RNG's love!?
*sigh* And yet, despite his overall worse parameters, Hector is still good. He's going to be the MVP for an upcoming chapter, and further down the line he gets an especially good weapon. I'd like to say Eliwood is better, but given Hector's contributions, I'm honestly not sure.
Also that Red Gem will come in handy, but not now.
You'd think that with my fetish for extremely long hair, I'd totally dig Lyn and that sexy flowing ponytail she's got, but not even my hormones allow me to look past just how boring a character she is. Vanilla FE7 spent ten chapters making her seem important and special, letting her pull out a sword that "chose" her as its owner and revealing that she's royalty to the
irrelevant Lycian territory of Caelin. You'd think that when Eliwood/Hector mode came by, she would have contributed something more to the plot than just... finding the Black Fang HQ. But no, and that just serves to make her and the first ten chapters of the game more ingratiating. It all just ends up making her unrelatable, and even my young teenage self with his non-existant standards in writing did nothing but mock her for having few appealing qualities besides her attractive looks.
While she's completely unchanged, Lyn is worse than she was in vanilla FE7. The original game gave her plenty of trees and axe-wielding adversaries to allow her to flex her dodging muscles, but this hack puts her up against a wider palette of enemies who point and laugh at that 9 speed and those pathetic durability stats. And there's just not enough terrain to really make her speed and luck meaningful.
At least she comes with the Mani Katti, but Lyn does poor against Knights, and cavaliers are few and far between in this hack. Sucks for her.
MHP: 50% (-5%)
STR: 55% (+5%)
SPD: 55% (-5%)
DEF: 25% (+10%)
RES: 45% (-5%)
When I was fourteen, I had a bit of a crush on Nino, making her a rare breed of markyjoe crush that didn't have really long hair. The reason I found her so appealing came from how sad and tragic her character was, and she is the first of many of my fictional crushes that would have this trait. The others being Misuzu Kamio and my current and longest lasting crush, Reisen Udongein Inaba.
Despite my affection for her - which has become more like a big-brother kind of affection because too young do not want - she got nerfs, and I am retroactively patting myself on the back for that. Putting vanilla Nino at the start of FE7 would have made her pretty crazy broken. Knowing this, I nerfed all of her bases, except Con, which got buffed because losing speed from a basic fire tome is dumb. You can see I got sneaky with the growth rates though; the growth total is the same, but I invested some of it into defense. This makes Nino a bit better against physical units at very little cost, so her growths are probably better than they were in vanilla FE7.
The level design in this hack generally favors Nino, and if you want to "complete" Episode 7 within a sane amount of time, you need her. Badly.
Nino moves here, Lyn moves there, and Hector guns for the shop. End turn.
Bandit-man is hungry for beaten puppy. A regretful mistake!
Then every fort on the map spawns a fighter and it's our turn again. This is more or less the chapter's pattern. That's not to say I didn't throw the player a few curve balls.
Let's see what the stores have in store... for us.
... Uh, that pun was NOT intentional.
Eh... If you wanted the Lords to not waste their personal weapons, buying some of these weapons would be a good idea, but there are better weapons down the road that we could be using our money on instead, so I'll just sell the Red Gem and call it a day at the market.
My goal with Nino is to get her to those mountains immediately, since they grant +30% avoid and +1 Defense. They're also conveniently near the fort spawning enemies. This all makes the mountains an ideal grinding spot for Nino.
You COULD leave Nino at the fort, which gives +2 defense, +20% avoid and heals her each turn, but then the enemies are more likely to go for someone else.
Lyn heads for the trees, serving as Nino's cheer leader as Nino prepares to toast many lumberjacks and devour them for EXP.
What's nice about this positioning is that it's out of the range of the fighter, while still being close enough to the mountains that Nino will be able to stand on one by turn 3.
Eliwood never needs to leave his throne. The numerous enemies that approach are never strong enough to kill him even with their combined power, so Eliwood basically gets free EXP each turn so long as he stays there. #Challenge101
I'd move Hector but... he's gonna get plenty of play time in the next chapter. I want Eliwood to get stronger.
To demonstrate just how good the Light Brand is, it's more powerful than the Rapier, even at distance. More than enough damage to two-round these losers.
I don't wanna waste the Light Brand though, so I'm just gonna Rapier this guy.
Nino's gonna chug a vulnerary and park on this mountain. If the stars align against her, both axeman are gonna hit and kill her, but c'mon. That's not gonna happen! They've got 29 hit on her. That's 17.11 True hit for you casual plebs. For both to hit, that's a 0.029% chance of happening.
You see, rocky, unstable terrain makes you better at dodging large metal objects. Basic logic.
Looking to even the odds, I see.
Sadly for you, the RNG Goddess loves me (And hates every other LPer, apparently.)
And this is more or less how most of the turns are gonna play out. Nino and Eliwood show off their dance moves and level up while Hector waits for Episode 2 to happen and Lyn sets up camp at the trees and tells ghost stories to herself because she has no friends.
So yeah. With 3 defense, these fighters now have to hit Nino three times to kill her (Two hits leaves her at 1 HP). We just went over the odds of her getting hit twice in a turn, so the unlikliness of three in a row should be self explanatory.
Despite this, she gets hit by an axe larger than she is and gets a concussion, but that's okay. Builds character.
Off to a good start.
Oh, but here's where thing's get interesting. Not only do I spawn more fighters, but I spawn a monk and an archer!
From here, Nino will continue to not give a fuck since no more fighters will be able to get onto the mountains before she kills them.
Nice day out...
... Night. I meant night.
Man, that monk can't even hurt Eliwood.
1 damage? Why would you even bother, Archy?
... Well I suppose it is because you were told to by... uh...
Who the hell is commanding this group of soldiers anyway?
Oh snap! Just when you thought I was out of ideas, I switched up the reinforcements!
I bet you're on the edge of your seat.
God, Elfire is so satisfying to look at.
Poor level up, but given she got defense last time, I'm okay with this.
You see, once a mage passes a certain threshold of defense and HP, they're basically better than all other foot soldiers.
Eliwood gets ready for a kinky gang bang.
He is pleased with the results.
NOTE: With 8 speed, he can now one-round KO the fighters and gain EXP even faster.
Poor Hector doesn't get to show them his S Rank Penis.
... I'm gonna stop making sex jokes, a'ight?
With Elfire equipped, this Myrmidon can double Nino, but since it kills him in one hit and he can't KO her, I'd rather use it instead of Fire.
Despite standing on a throne, Eliwood has no problems flashily swinging his sword, thrusting, then doing an enormous backflip
... That backflip is fucking awesome~
The Little Archer That Couldn't and his monk friend Sir-Tinks-Alot continue their hopeless assault on Eliwood.
Oh crimeny! A prepromoted warrior!?
... Hey Batta.
He holds a Steel Axe, which has 15 weight to his 11 Con and 4 Speed.
He has 0 Attack Speed.
Way to go.
Now with that said, he still has JUST enough attack power to kill Lyn in a single hit, but since Lyn's on a tree, that extra +1 Defense leaves him just shy of one-hit KOing her. She can easily take him on by herself, but hmm...
I wanna get Nino more level ups, so we're gonna try and deviate from the Classic MarkyJoe Strat (TM).
There's really no point approaching this fort with Nino alone. Her hit rate's not good, and even if she KOs this myrmidon, another will spawn in his place before she has a chance to plug it up with her bum.
Pirates are still too fast for Eliwood to double, but it's not like he's in a hurry or anything.
The Beast approaches.
As much as I want to give Nino more vulneraries so she can fight Batta with enough HP to survive a single attack, I'm too greedy to bring Lyn close to her and trade hers. Must not give Lyn A SINGLE chance to swing that sword.
Eliwood now has as much Speed as Lyn, and better everything else.
Nino, you must stiffen your body! That 3 defense isn't gonna take you far!
20 HP isn't bad though.
Instead of camping in the forest, Lyn decides to rent a room in the nearby hotel.
She lays quietly in her bed, staring somberly at the empty spot next to her.
Man, what the heck was I thinking with this chapter? Eliwood has every advantage in the world. You'd think I would have designed it so that you'd want your separated units to join together to fend off the enemy threat and-
Oh wait, that's what I intended to do.
And failed miserably at.
Eliwood gained another level up and...
Uh yeah, now he's got more defense than Hector.
This is what I've been waiting for.
Moment of truth.
Nino Vs Batta
Can Nino make it happen?
You have 0 Attack Speed.
YEAH!!! DODGE THAT AXE!
It helps that the boss theme is Rise To The Challenge. So hype~
Oh, I didn't even think to mention that more Monks and Archers showed up.
And to switch up the fort reinforcement patterns again...!
... I changed them back to fighters.
You're finished, Batta-boy! Or should I say, Batta-BING!
That joke kinda sorta works if you don't think about it.
Here's a little fun fact for y'all.
You can block the stairs with Lyn and never have to fight Batta.
So yeah... "Full of hax"
More defense! Nino's been drinking her milk!
And how convenient too, because now neither the myrmidon nor the fighter can kill her even if they both hit!
Anyway, this chapter is pretty much done. PastJoe1990 is outta tricks.
Eliwood's DEFinitely showing some progress.
... *Sigh* Ephraim225, you suck.
So within a single chapter, Eliwood was able to max out his sword rank.
Oh... more pirates and myrmidons.
Eliwood ran out of his Rapier, so he's forced to use his Light Brand now. Don't worry. This isn't a big deal.
I read some screenshot LPs, and the thing I don't understand is why they feel the need to show us every single level up they get. Ah well, might as well mindlessly join that trend like an unthinking sheep.
So yeah, once he was forced to use his Light Brand, Eliwood wiped out every enemy that was dog piling him before. That should give you an idea of how strong a early-game Light Brand is, especially now that Eliwood now has the strength and speed to one-round KO the monks with it.
Have I driven my point home yet? That was ALL of the fighter's HP, gone in a single blow.
Since Eliwood has enough strength to One Hit KO the axe guys now, I'm actually using up less uses than I would if I had used it to deal with the annoying ranged units early in the chapter.
Last turn... My god, this feels like a decade!
If Eliwood stays on the throne, some of these enemies won't be able to reach him and give him their precious EXP!
We can't have that!
We move Eliwood in their range, he wipes them out and...!
... it kinda just ends.
So what is the moral we have learned from this experience? What advice does Fire Mumblem's Episode 1 have for us when we are faced with danger coming from all angles, ready to close in and overwhelm us?
... Sit in your chair and do nothing.