InvdrZim13

Staff of Ages (Version 1.7.2 is here!)

Which route will you play through?  

234 members have voted

  1. 1. Act 2 has a route split, which one will you play through first?



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Grats on getting out of concepts, dude!!

Edited by Alusq

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Hopefully I have a new version of some sort out before that

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Depends if it's about the wall of text or not

Either or works for me

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As another staff member of SoA, I'd like to read it aswell o:

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pffft.

you know what?

I'm pretty cheesed that you released 4 chapters and literally no one from SF seemed to have given you any feedback on it and its been like a few days.

So let's see here

Played the first 3 chapters so far:
Prologue-chapter 2 spoilers

Prologue:
something tells me that you're gonna insert a world map that can visually show us all of these countries?
Digging the fe8 tunes, and the portraits are neat. I like belle's and the peg knight lord is interesting
--
Okay, So I think the transition between cutscenes to scroll text is interesting. But the transitions themselves are a little too "in your face."
Also, I'm not exactly sure why this battle is going on outside the castle the Seneca just took over? Belle and Oona are sitting right outside of it, can't seneca just come outside and kill them right now?
You could pull an FE8 here instead and have Kalesta's castle be a map we haven't seen yet or soemthing. If I princess is on the run and a tyrant is trying to kill her, then you'd think that the rogue himself would kill her is what I'm thinking atm. How huge and how powerful are seneca's men? he wrecked fuckin' everyone lol. Pretty bad ass for a single dude who doesn't seem totally evil.
the village being locked is kinda sad :(, in fact... nothing is visitable. The kingdom just got taken over and people would have something to talk about! (assuming this map doesn't change)
Mercenaries are the strongest on foot generics in the game. Maybe throw in a fighter in place of the mercenary set to Guard? I think Kelan is a bit strong for no reason, he's not actually difficult to beat. Belle just needs to chip away and get healed until he dies.
I'm thinking that her lord weapon comes in later? If that's not the case, then give her something to end this dude quicker
If you get rid of the REMA at the end of the ending cutscene, then you won't see the units back on the map before the chapter ends.
These are knights of Fortuita, but no knights are actually coming from the castle :o. Again, I'm thinking that if they're on the run, then they should be getting chased by units coming from behind or something
------------------------
chapter 1:
put a FADU before blondie and purply talk, its more smooth.
Also digging the purple guy so far.
this map is biiiigggg for 2 mages lol.
Maybe Mustang should be called
"Mustang the assassin" or something. Bandits are just big bullies with axes. And yikes, these mages look fuck with all these melee units lol.
Okay, yeah. Saw that coming. I died lol.
Eagle's mug needs some work, its pretty muddy at the moment.
On turn 6, you should have Mustang change his AI to Pursue Without Heed. so you don't need to spend turns walking over to him after you kill those reinforcements. Because after you wipe out those 2 cavs its just like 3 turns to get to mustang when he could be dead by now without the playe's time being wasted.
Also, change the Unit Leader to Sawyer or Owen, that way, Belle won't show up as leader on the Status screen
Characters are written pretty well. I think it would hold more weight if these guys were more reputable than bandits, though.
-------
chapter 2
Okay, I love Belle. There are comparisons to be made with Belle/Oona and Eirika/ Seth. And a big problem I have with Eirika is that she doesn't actually seem to care that much that her father got killed and stuff.
Belle does seem to care, but maybe you can make her traumatized? Have Oona be like the caring mother replacement or something? Maybe belle's development can be her coming out of shock or something? Maybe she's so shocked that she can't speak? Just a passing thought.
But yeah, Belle is cool. Probs one of my more preferred hack lords already.
So, opening cutscene.
I think Belle and Oona should straight up realize that theyre being chased instead of being caught off guard.
Right now I find it hard to believe that they can be super caught off guard by bandits and stuff.
Grace's attraction for Nero should be a "show don't tell" type of deal. As we don't know who Nero is nor should we care atm :P
having a 1 range bow kinda makes no sense, maybe you can give archers a dagger or something? I like the idea of a one range item for archers for more usability i guess
Chapter had a nice challenge to it if you take the bottom route my healer died! but once that those enemies die, there's not much left to do but to kill the archer. Maybe give him 1 or 2 friends to back him up? Other wise its pretty solid IMO.
ending
be careful of text skips here. Most of what stark is saying has text skips. But its a pretty solid ending event. I need to sleep so I can't get to chapter 3. But I see potential in this!

good stuff so far, potential is clear
Edited by Ghastly

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If you insist, Ghast!

My thoughts so far (only partway through chapter 2)

The prologue is alright, but the map is quite large. The boss is a bit tedious, he's fairly bulky and you only have 1 combat unit.

In chapter 1, your mages have good damage output and plenty of vulneraries, so the enemies could stand to be more aggressive. The boss in particular is too far away to have any impact on the chapter.

Chapter 2 is the best chapter so far, I like that the positioning reflects that you've been ambushed and the approaching cavaliers make the first part of the chapter fairly hectic. But again, the boss seems to be really far from the action.

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I'm gonna look over all this in a bit (read: when I get my ass out of bed), but yay feedback

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I'm playing my way through as well, up to Ch. 2. I had it earmarked to play anyway, but life has a way of putting things in the way.

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Prologue-chapter 2 spoilers
[spoiler=Feedback response stuff in bold]
Prologue:
something tells me that you're gonna insert a world map that can visually show us all of these countries?
Eventually yes, when we get one designed/figure out how to make the events work
Digging the fe8 tunes, and the portraits are neat. I like belle's and the peg knight lord is interesting
--
Okay, So I think the transition between cutscenes to scroll text is interesting. But the transitions themselves are a little too "in your face."
How so, admittedly the transition stuff is a weak point of mine
Also, I'm not exactly sure why this battle is going on outside the castle the Seneca just took over? Belle and Oona are sitting right outside of it, can't seneca just come outside and kill them right now?
You could pull an FE8 here instead and have Kalesta's castle be a map we haven't seen yet or soemthing. If I princess is on the run and a tyrant is trying to kill her, then you'd think that the rogue himself would kill her is what I'm thinking atm. How huge and how powerful are seneca's men? he wrecked fuckin' everyone lol. Pretty bad ass for a single dude who doesn't seem totally evil.
Fair enough, I'll talk to my map people about a redesign
the village being locked is kinda sad :(, in fact... nothing is visitable. The kingdom just got taken over and people would have something to talk about! (assuming this map doesn't change)
Those events were low on my list of things to get done :P, but since the map is going to change we'll have something different
Mercenaries are the strongest on foot generics in the game. Maybe throw in a fighter in place of the mercenary set to Guard?
Hmm, yeah. I'll try that out.
I think Kelan is a bit strong for no reason, he's not actually difficult to beat. Belle just needs to chip away and get healed until he dies. I'm thinking that her lord weapon comes in later? If that's not the case, then give her something to end this dude quicker
It'll come later. I think Kelan might just need to lose a few points in some stats.
If you get rid of the REMA at the end of the ending cutscene, then you won't see the units back on the map before the chapter ends.
So THAT'S why that kept happening
These are knights of Fortuita, but no knights are actually coming from the castle :o. Again, I'm thinking that if they're on the run, then they should be getting chased by units coming from behind or something
Kinda like FE1 style?
------------------------
chapter 1:
put a FADU before blondie and purply talk, its more smooth.
Will do
Also digging the purple guy so far.
this map is biiiigggg for 2 mages lol.
We're actually redesigning it right now :P
Maybe Mustang should be called
"Mustang the assassin" or something. Bandits are just big bullies with axes. And yikes, these mages look fuck with all these melee units lol.
Possibly, though I feel like "Bandit Lord" confers some sort of higher level of banditry, if that makes any sense.
Okay, yeah. Saw that coming. I died lol.
Eagle's mug needs some work, its pretty muddy at the moment.
Also being worked on iirc
On turn 6, you should have Mustang change his AI to Pursue Without Heed. so you don't need to spend turns walking over to him after you kill those reinforcements. Because after you wipe out those 2 cavs its just like 3 turns to get to mustang when he could be dead by now without the playe's time being wasted.
AI commands are a bit weird for me still, but I'll try to figure it out.
Also, change the Unit Leader to Sawyer or Owen, that way, Belle won't show up as leader on the Status screen
I think I did. I tried using Venno's ASM stuff for fixing that but I kept breaking it when I tried :|
Characters are written pretty well. I think it would hold more weight if these guys were more reputable than bandits, though.
-------
chapter 2
Okay, I love Belle. There are comparisons to be made with Belle/Oona and Eirika/ Seth. And a big problem I have with Eirika is that she doesn't actually seem to care that much that her father got killed and stuff.
Belle does seem to care, but maybe you can make her traumatized?
I'll pass it along to the writing peeps, but I think we can do that
Have Oona be like the caring mother replacement or something? Maybe belle's development can be her coming out of shock or something? Maybe she's so shocked that she can't speak? Just a passing thought.
But yeah, Belle is cool. Probs one of my more preferred hack lords already.
So, opening cutscene.
I think Belle and Oona should straight up realize that theyre being chased instead of being caught off guard.
This can also probably be arranged :P
Right now I find it hard to believe that they can be super caught off guard by bandits and stuff.
Grace's attraction for Nero should be a "show don't tell" type of deal. As we don't know who Nero is nor should we care atm :P
Hmm
having a 1 range bow kinda makes no sense, maybe you can give archers a dagger or something? I like the idea of a one range item for archers for more usability i guess
I was going off "short bow = short range", I think I need to remove the crit bonus though for less RNG fuckery
Chapter had a nice challenge to it if you take the bottom route my healer died! but once that those enemies die, there's not much left to do but to kill the archer. Maybe give him 1 or 2 friends to back him up? Other wise its pretty solid IMO.
Reinforcements can definitely be added
ending
be careful of text skips here. Most of what stark is saying has text skips.
Accursed text skips
But its a pretty solid ending event. I need to sleep so I can't get to chapter 3. But I see potential in this!
Thanks for the feedback!

Edited by InvdrZim13

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A lot of this might end up being redundant since I already responded to Ghast, but oh well.

If you insist, Ghast!

My thoughts so far (only partway through chapter 2)

[spoiler=Feedback responses in bold]

The prologue is alright, but the map is quite large. The boss is a bit tedious, he's fairly bulky and you only have 1 combat unit.

We (now) plan on redoing that map

In chapter 1, your mages have good damage output and plenty of vulneraries, so the enemies could stand to be more aggressive. The boss in particular is too far away to have any impact on the chapter.

Yeah, tweaking the enemies is definitely happening

Chapter 2 is the best chapter so far, I like that the positioning reflects that you've been ambushed and the approaching cavaliers make the first part of the chapter fairly hectic. But again, the boss seems to be really far from the action.

Boss needs some AI changes for sure, and I think we need to figure out more of a reason to get players to go up top aside from a free talisman.

Will definitely work on the event stuff once I get this homework out of the way, and I'm already giving everyone else the info they need.

Edited by InvdrZim13

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see the thing is for me, is that i don't actually think the prologue's map is that big of a deal in terms of size.

its big, yeah sure. But you have a flying lord and a mounted healer. So while its big, you have the assets to deal with it.

its moreso the enemies being what they are that pads out the chapter

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Yeah, I'll have to take a look at reworking the enemies a bit to make it a bit less tedious

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Yeah, the map itself isn't bad, but with only four enemies it's a bit empty.

I actually like the generics being tough, Belle isn't a combat veteran. In fact, I feel it makes more sense plot-wise for Belle to fly past them, since reinforcements could come from the castle at any minute.

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true...

Belle is a nooby fighter it seems. Her not being in the front lines would make sense plot wise.

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I played the demo and enjoyed it! Here are my thoughts:

[spoiler=crits]
Ch0

·If you have no use for the tactician planned, just open the rom in a hex editor, go to 0a0734, and change the 01 to 02 to disable it
·The game starts on Lyn Mode, so I can't turn off auto-end turns... If Belle Mode is actually the equivalent of Lyn Mode, I hope you're changing the perspective ten chapters through the game for a real reason and not just because FE7 did it
·The queen appears to be accidentally framed in FE6 format, moving between non-smiling and smiling frames as she talks
·Why do Seneca's eyebrows move when he blinks?
·Belle is ADORABLE ( `≧ω≦´)


Ch1
·Owen and Sawyer both are Lords with Mage map and battle sprites, and they both use the same type of magic. Give them custom animations/map sprites and preferential tomes in the future to differentiate them?
·You should give the cavalier re-inforcements in the top-left lances only so it's plausible to send Elijah to deal with them. The place where he's loaded already means that he's stranded on the left half of the map for several turns until he can reach the bridge across the main river anyway

·Mustang appears to just have Gerik's blinking frames
·Why don't enemy bosses have battle palettes?


Ch2
·I know that Belle's description says she's a rebellious princess, but she's unusually perky for having witnessed her mother getting killed right in front of her. You'd think she would have major PTSD from that. "I have no time for grieving" is a pretty poor excuse for a young girl who watched her mother killed to be unfazed. Have an FE8-style opening where Belle flees before the queen is killed and she hears of the death later?
·How are Belle and Oona instantly surrounded by the mercs with no time to react? This is especially odd when in the prologue they ran away from Fortuita Keep easily
·Don't use the two lightest skin colors in the middle of the mouth during talking frames unless you want the character looking like they're baring their teeth
·Our saviors rush to our aid extremely fast. I would expect that distance to have to be covered in gameplay and for them to start as ally (green) units before being talked with
·I know it's been around, but this project is the first time I've seen the non-Dei female merc battle sprite. I've got to say, I really like it: it looks a lot more in line with Fire Emblem design than the burly re-skin of the male one
·Grace's R-button description is a little strange when we haven't even met Nero yet. Make it say something about her personality instead (it's kind of weak when a character's defining characteristic is that she has a crush on some dude we'll presumably have to support her with anyway) and show the player her attraction in action when Nero is actually introduced?
·Stark looks like he's always smiling. Give him a straight face in his non-smiling frames
·The amount of enemies the player has to clear out of their immediate vicinity on turn 1 is a little harsh, especially in comparison to the dearth of enemies anywhere else on the map
·You may want to have Oona remind the player in the cutscene how deadly an archer is when you have a pegasus knight lord
·Or, better yet, Belle could pull out a preferential sword that's barely better than an iron one but has the Delphi Shield effect! The boss's reaction to this when he realises that the weapon he thought would kill her won't do jack would be hilarious
·We just recently saw Seneca overthrow the Fortuitan queen and take over Fortuita: would word of the coup really spread faster than Belle and Oona have been fleeing? Fortuita must have an excellent messenger system working behind the scenes, but it's strange that we don't hear about the remarkably fast spread of the news
·This map is GIGANTIC and has two possible paths when the player only has four units. Even with Belle, I had multiple turns of just moving my units to the boss because it's so sparse
·Moreover, those cavaliers with lances are pretty deadly when all of our weapon triangle-enabled fighters use only swords. Just because they're cavaliers doesn't mean each one of them should absolutely have both weapon types
·The talisman is a welcome goody to get from an enemy when it's ch2 and we're still just expecting the usual vulneraries. Kudos for that
·"And you must be Oona, if I'm not mistaken?" Speech bubble is in the wrong place
·"Unfortunately not." Text skip
·"And besides, we'll have a better chance of getting enough allies to retake Fortuita" Text skip
·"That is your end goal, is it not?" Text skip


Ch3
·There is no fade between the player units coming into the map and the scene background appearing
·"As am I." Text skip
·"I think so." Text skip
·Bandit McKee yells at Marques, then we go straight to the gameplay: it's a bit abrupt. Have a generic bandit alert the leader that strangers have arrived or something?
·I like the perspective switching each chapter: it's a novel way to go about doing that sort of thing
·The enemy units who drop items are named Fortuita, not Bandit. Mistake?
·Why do we start so far away from the fortress's door when there's nothing standing between us and it? I guess we're meant to enter via the cracked wall, but...
·Darius's description telling us about his past rather than his personality is a little strange: there are still a variety of ways he could act even if he can't talk. My headcanon is that he's an unrealised genius
·The Soldier class's description is still "An average soldier, who has no special abilities.". Does this still hold true even though they're now playable?
·"I guess it's time... to meet..." Axel's death quote seems unchanged from Legault's
·1-range-only short bows... That's new. At first blush, it just seems like giving archers a choice of whether to get wrecked by melee units or by mages, though. Give archers a preferential dagger weapon for if they get cornered?
·Marques has a strange battle palette: his cloak appears to use a skin color
·Why the enemy merc with the armorslayer? Darius is already bad enough against the first swath of enemies with its mages and axefighters. If anything, I would suggest giving that guy a mage-slaying weapon to encourage the player not to use the magelords for everything
·The bottom end of the throne room's carpet has no border

Ch— aw it's over? Well, it was very enjoyable so thanks for making it! ^ш^ I look forward to more progress.

Edited by Alusq

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I played the demo and enjoyed it! Here are my thoughts:

[spoiler=crits]

Ch0

·If you have no use for the tactician planned, just open the rom in a hex editor, go to 0a0734, and change the 01 to 02 to disable it

Ily

·The game starts on Lyn Mode, so I can't turn off auto-end turns... If Belle Mode is actually the equivalent of Lyn Mode, I hope you're changing the perspective ten chapters through the game for a real reason and not just because FE7 did it

Possibly? Not 100% sure yet

·The queen appears to be accidentally framed in FE6 format, moving between non-smiling and smiling frames as she talks

Hm... I'll let the spriter know

·Why do Seneca's eyebrows move when he blinks?

Yes Toa, why do they do that

·Belle is ADORABLE ( `≧ω≦´)

Ch1

·Owen and Sawyer both are Lords with Mage map and battle sprites, and they both use the same type of magic. Give them custom animations/map sprites and preferential tomes in the future to differentiate them?

Custom animations and map sprites are planned but not made yet. Prf tomes for both of them were tested but broke the balance that early. Owen may get moved to dark while Sawyer keeps Anima, but we'll have to play around with it.

·You should give the cavalier re-inforcements in the top-left lances only so it's plausible to send Elijah to deal with them. The place where he's loaded already means that he's stranded on the left half of the map for several turns until he can reach the bridge across the main river anyway

Sounds good to me

·Mustang appears to just have Gerik's blinking frames

Will let artist know

·Why don't enemy bosses have battle palettes?

Priorities! They'll be done later, don't worry!

Ch2

·I know that Belle's description says she's a rebellious princess, but she's unusually perky for having witnessed her mother getting killed right in front of her. You'd think she would have major PTSD from that. "I have no time for grieving" is a pretty poor excuse for a young girl who watched her mother killed to be unfazed. Have an FE8-style opening where Belle flees before the queen is killed and she hears of the death later?

Possibly. We're reworking the ch2 dialogue to make it make more sense.

·How are Belle and Oona instantly surrounded by the mercs with no time to react? This is especially odd when in the prologue they ran away from Fortuita Keep easily

...Plot magic? I'm actually not sure, I just try to stick to the script.

·Don't use the two lightest skin colors in the middle of the mouth during talking frames unless you want the character looking like they're bearing their teeth

Which character is this?

·Our saviors rush to our aid extremely fast. I would expect that distance to have to be covered in gameplay and for them to start as ally (green) units before being talked with

I'll mess around with this when I get a chance, that could be a better option than what we have.

·I know it's been around, but this project is the first time I've seen the non-Dei female merc battle sprite. I've got to say, I really like it: it looks a lot more in line with Fire Emblem design than the burly re-skin of the male one

·Grace's R-button description is a little strange when we haven't even met Nero yet. Make it say something about her personality instead (it's kind of weak when a character's defining characteristic is that she has a crush on some dude we'll presumably have to support her with anyway) and show the player her attraction in action when Nero is actually introduced?

Yup, already noted, gotta talk to the person who thought of Grace about it

·Stark looks like he's always smiling. Give him a straight face in his non-smiling frames

Will let artist know.

·The amount of enemies the player has to clear out of their immediate vicinity on turn 1 is a little harsh, especially in comparison to the dearth of enemies anywhere else on the map

Gotta look into that

·You may want to have Oona remind the player in the cutscene how deadly an archer is when you have a pegasus knight lord

Probably a good idea

·Or, better yet, Belle could pull out a preferential sword that's barely better than an iron one but has the Delphi Shield effect! The boss's reaction to this when he realises that the weapon he thought would kill her won't do jack would be hilarious

That's an interesting idea!

·We just recently saw Seneca overthrow the Fortuitan queen and take over Fortuita: would word of the coup really spread faster than Belle and Oona have been fleeing? Fortuita must have an excellent messenger system working behind the scenes, but it's strange that we don't hear about the remarkably fast spread of the news

I think there needs to be a more explicitly stated time skip for this

·This map is GIGANTIC and has two possible paths when the player only has four units. Even with Belle, I had multiple turns of just moving my units to the boss because it's so sparse

Gotta sprinkle some more baddies/reinforcements in

·Moreover, those cavaliers with lances are pretty deadly when all of our weapon triangle-enabled fighters use only swords. Just because they're cavaliers doesn't mean each one of them should absolutely have both weapon types

Will do

·The talisman is a welcome goody to get from an enemy when it's ch2 and we're still just expecting the usual vulneraries. Kudos for that

·"And you must be Oona, if I'm not mistaken?" Speech bubble is in the wrong place

·"Unfortunately not." Text skip

·"And besides, we'll have a better chance of getting enough allies to retake Fortuita" Text skip

·"That is your end goal, is it not?" Text skip

TEXT SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPS

Ch3

·There is no fade between the player units coming into the map and the scene background appearing

Whoops

·"As am I." Text skip

·"I think so." Text skip

TEXT SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPS

·Bandit McKee yells at Marques, then we go straight to the gameplay: it's a bit abrupt. Have a generic bandit alert the leader that strangers have arrived or something?

I like that idea

·I like the perspective switching each chapter: it's a novel way to go about doing that sort of thing

Sadly it doesn't last

·The enemy units who drop items are named Fortuita, not Bandit. Mistake?

Yuuuup

·Why do we start so far away from the fortress's door when there's nothing standing between us and it? I guess we're meant to enter via the cracked wall, but...

I think that door just needs to be removed.

·Darius's description telling us about his past rather than his personality is a little strange: there are still a variety of ways he could act even if he can't talk. My headcanon is that he's an unrealised genius

Will take a look

·The Soldier class's description is still "An average soldier, who has no special abilities.". Does this still hold true even though they're now playable?

Didn't get around to changing it.

·"I guess it's time... to meet..." Axel's death quote seems unchanged from Legault's

WHOOPS

·1-range-only short bows... That's new. At first blush, it just seems like giving archers a choice of whether to get wrecked by melee units or by mages, though. Give archers a preferential dagger weapon for if they get cornered?

Are these such animation things for archers?

·Marques has a strange battle palette: his cloak appears to use a skin color

I think it does...

·Why the enemy merc with the armorslayer? Darius is already bad enough against the first swath of enemies with its mages and axefighters. If anything, I would suggest giving that guy a mage-slaying weapon to encourage the player not to use the magelords for everything

Also a good idea.

·The bottom end of the throne room's carpet has no border

Noted!

Ch— aw it's over? Well, it was very enjoyable so thanks for making it! ^ш^ I look forward to more progress.

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

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Soooooooo

I'm porting this to FE8, for a couple reasons. Mainly because it'll be more of a challenge than hacking FE7 and that makes it more fun. Also because it was supposed to be an FE8 hack outright.

Also because I think there should be more FE8 hacks. Actually more hacks in general but shh that's not the point

Because I hate myself

Because FE8 is cooler

I don't actually know when I'll have the FE8-ified version of the demo done because of schoolwork and work work, but hopefully within a week or two, depends on how long the events take to put together/when I can put the events together, and get all the assets and such ported over.

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I think with what the writing team has in mind it'll work a lot better for us than 7, but it's too early to share any of those details :P

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