Amberstorm

Under Grey Skies: An FE8 ROM Hack

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Hey guys! 
I'm here to finally announce the first public release of my ROM Hack, Under Grey Skies! For those of you who haven't seen my ramblings on the FEU Discord, Under Grey Skies is a project I've been working on since early January. It follows the story of a young villager named Bruce, who sets out with some of his fellow villagers in order to fight in a civil war that, if lost, threatens to destroy their home and country. The gameplay of UGS is heavily inspired by the idea of hard hitting enemies with lower durability, while also utilizing the Circles Skill Patch (though unfortunately there have been some complications with skills due to classes not being able to learn multiple skills immediately upon promotion). This first version contain 7 Chapters, with 14 playable units as well as a completed arc of the overall story and supports (though at the moment many of the supports only go up to C in terms of writing). Attached to this are some basic screenshots from the game as well as links to the patch for you to download as well as the public discord server I have for the project if you have any questions or feedback. Keep in mind we are aware of a few non major but noticeable bugs, so I'll just list them here.

-The units Ray and Leanne are currently unable to be Shoved
-There is a minor spot in the battle screen that covers up that weapon name

That's all, I hope you enjoy!

http://www.mediafire.com/file/8vxqyq7csce8yy4/Under_Grey_Skies_v.1.0_Patch.ups
https://discord.gg/DmjnMHy

Title.png.9f9d84a3b020c6f38ff8cfa4dbe52c14.pngBruce.png.c8a4df23200866eb7624980cd0486403.pngMap.png.16426182fb97275052558e6ee2f77d54.png5b6647d259d50_BossKill.png.96061db32b03e12166c823ef545dab02.pngstory.png.7f5b52fa62b33183140f346cf79ce5df.png

Edited by Amberstorm
editing out mention of FE12 for exterior reasons

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Currently playing chapter one...

I like it so far. Just one question. So Fern and Cole are Lopez's children, right? That would make them Bruce's uncle and aunt, if I am not mistaken. Now don't get me wrong, the portraits are nice, and certainly hard work has been put into them, but it doesn't seem like there is much of an age difference between Fern, Cole, and Bruce. 

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3 minutes ago, Bhoop said:

Currently playing chapter one...

I like it so far. Just one question. So Fern and Cole are Lopez's children, right? That would make them Bruce's uncle and aunt, if I am not mistaken. Now don't get me wrong, the portraits are nice, and certainly hard work has been put into them, but it doesn't seem like there is much of an age difference between Fern, Cole, and Bruce. 

okay, I think you're misreading the story, Cole and Fern are indeed Lopez's children, however Lopez is not related to Bruce at all, he is a friend of Bruce's grandfather who was the one raised Bruce. Bruce is actually 2 years older then Fern and Cole. However I can understand how one could misinterpret this, I will look over ways to make it more apparent

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Now THIS is how to do an opening topic!

Were you planning on showcasing this in FEE3?

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seems legit. hope it finishes so there's another decent FE hack to play. never hurts to have more in case I ever need to scratch that itch for some GBAFE fun without replaying the official ones.

good luck~

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So... is it even possible to get the chests before the thief gets them in chapter 1-1?

I am playing in the intended difficulty and it gets me at least 4 turns to break the wall and the thief is already there.

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Sweet, I will definitely try it out, hope this reaches completion!

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I WOULD LOVE to see this in action. I hope it get's showcased at the annual FE E3, I like the concept and the screen shots make me interested to see more.

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On 8/5/2018 at 1:01 AM, Shiinoobi said:

 

So... is it even possible to get the chests before the thief gets them in chapter 1-1?

I am playing in the intended difficulty and it gets me at least 4 turns to break the wall and the thief is already there.

You have about 3 turns before the thief gets to the chests, to keep the thief from getting em you need to move someone into his range. He will target them over going for the chest.

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On 8/5/2018 at 2:01 AM, Shiinoobi said:

 

So... is it even possible to get the chests before the thief gets them in chapter 1-1?

I am playing in the intended difficulty and it gets me at least 4 turns to break the wall and the thief is already there.

Break the wall on turn 2 with Lopez, he can one-shot it with the Silver Axe under the influence of Bruce's Charm. With two shoves he can reach the thief on turn 3 and shoot him with his bow; then Bruce or Beo can move into range and take the kill on EP.

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2 hours ago, barrett627 said:

You have about 3 turns before the thief gets to the chests, to keep the thief from getting em you need to move someone into his range. He will target them over going for the chest.

 

2 hours ago, X-Naut said:

Break the wall on turn 2 with Lopez, he can one-shot it with the Silver Axe under the influence of Bruce's Charm. With two shoves he can reach the thief on turn 3 and shoot him with his bow; then Bruce or Beo can move into range and take the kill on EP.

Thanks.

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I'm up to 1-3 now and I figured I'd give my thoughts of the game so far.

Spoiler

5b68bd40d8dec_UnderGreySkies_001.png.6804f814f055eca60ba4bbcf4ec3abaf.png5b68bd428f41a_UnderGreySkies_002.png.29186fffbd05c4d52c9d1e6c148667e4.png

we tearring saga now apparently

Rather harmless visual bug and it barely gets any screentime but it's there.

 

5b68bd457cd94_UnderGreySkies_004.png.b75703998536ac04677ac1ebb25f3808.png

Now I can tell the main focus of this release was getting the gameplay down, and you did a great job on it. But since you also seem intent on good writing, I'd recommend double-checking your script because it's riddled with typos (also it's forest, not forrest). The bandit leader Wiley is referred to as Willy in the prologue boss's description and the Cutthroats still work under Bazba.

 

5b68bd46a0b17_UnderGreySkies_006.png.c7d55503b42cb170f5467963195b3f2a.png5b68bd47c7979_UnderGreySkies_008.png.ff820cc525207949623f4b661180a2fa.png

Thank god the weapon triangle is now +/-3 Atk with all the high numbers being thrown around.

From what I've played so far you found a great sweetspot between New Mystery, Fates, and not being too one-shotty. Every character's skills have come in handy at one point or another and universal Shove is very convenient for fixing one-tile situations. My one concern is the 0 Luck enemies, but part of that might be personal bias and to be fair it screws with hit rates in the GBA Hit/Avoid formulas.

 

5b68bd48be440_UnderGreySkies_010.png.f4d7734f0e236696b9d4be88c9c4eaa4.png

cute

So far I've noticed there's very little 1-2 range on enemies, just bosses and one brigand in 1-1 that drops his Hand Axe. Not that I have much more than said Hand Axe and a cleric who instantly dies to any opposition.

 

5b68bd4f75e1c_UnderGreySkies_022.png.cd19bc291ae41aebe09c925dd63594ac.png5b68bd4c3081a_UnderGreySkies_018.png.d9e4109a676e6bf3ca5b1d1df56ce2ed.png

Highlight of the playthrough so far

But it does highlight my problem with 0 Luck enemies in that it makes it easier for unexpected OHKOs to happen. It's fine here since Lopez makes great use of boss EXP but it could also result in overexposure where a character shouldn't have been. Maybe add weapons or even a hold item that prevents the wielder from scoring critical hits? Food for thought.

 

5b68bd5295a15_UnderGreySkies_027.png.ae65e8d46a74fe0e654e7aec134b3c31.png

It's interesting how 1-2 gives you two options. I thought the northern route would be quicker but it ended up letting a free-roaming archer in the south move towards the NPCs and ORKO the cleric once that spot was clear. It took a second try but I stuck to the northern road and made it with liberal rescue-shoving strats.

Also the character portraits were another beta attribute that stuck out to me, the soldier and the dancer are static portraits. Speaking of the dancer,

 

5b68bd53d74a3_UnderGreySkies_028.png.dd5cb666c7d5cc6bc0315e02cd16edaf.png

CANTO DANCER'S GONNA BE SO MUCH FUN

 

5b68bd54b8118_UnderGreySkies_029.png.86e91202ce5752200b3fd78a623cdb26.png

So Bruce's dog isn't going to be the only one. Beo's been a fun character so far, 7 pseudo-flying movement, high speed and no weapon triangle but no 2-range and being unable to rescue. Makes me wonder if there will be other unorthodox units. It'd be nice if you could disable the monster weapon's stat-hiding though.

I'll have more to say once I've played it further and pulled that unfortunate mutt's teeth, but I've been enjoying it so far. The map layouts aren't too straightforward and the situations require some thought to get around.

 

Edited by X-Naut

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2 hours ago, X-Naut said:

I'm up to 1-3 now and I figured I'd give my thoughts of the game so far.

  Reveal hidden contents

5b68bd40d8dec_UnderGreySkies_001.png.6804f814f055eca60ba4bbcf4ec3abaf.png5b68bd428f41a_UnderGreySkies_002.png.29186fffbd05c4d52c9d1e6c148667e4.png

we tearring saga now apparently

Rather harmless visual bug and it barely gets any screentime but it's there.

 

5b68bd457cd94_UnderGreySkies_004.png.b75703998536ac04677ac1ebb25f3808.png

Now I can tell the main focus of this release was getting the gameplay down, and you did a great job on it. But since you also seem intent on good writing, I'd recommend double-checking your script because it's riddled with typos (also it's forest, not forrest). The bandit leader Wiley is referred to as Willy in the prologue boss's description and the Cutthroats still work under Bazba.

 

5b68bd46a0b17_UnderGreySkies_006.png.c7d55503b42cb170f5467963195b3f2a.png5b68bd47c7979_UnderGreySkies_008.png.ff820cc525207949623f4b661180a2fa.png

Thank god the weapon triangle is now +/-3 Atk with all the high numbers being thrown around.

From what I've played so far you found a great sweetspot between New Mystery, Fates, and not being too one-shotty. Every character's skills have come in handy at one point or another and universal Shove is very convenient for fixing one-tile situations. My one concern is the 0 Luck enemies, but part of that might be personal bias and to be fair it screws with hit rates in the GBA Hit/Avoid formulas.

 

5b68bd48be440_UnderGreySkies_010.png.f4d7734f0e236696b9d4be88c9c4eaa4.png

cute

So far I've noticed there's very little 1-2 range on enemies, just bosses and one brigand in 1-1 that drops his Hand Axe. Not that I have much more than said Hand Axe and a cleric who instantly dies to any opposition.

 

5b68bd4f75e1c_UnderGreySkies_022.png.cd19bc291ae41aebe09c925dd63594ac.png5b68bd4c3081a_UnderGreySkies_018.png.d9e4109a676e6bf3ca5b1d1df56ce2ed.png

Highlight of the playthrough so far

But it does highlight my problem with 0 Luck enemies in that it makes it easier for unexpected OHKOs to happen. It's fine here since Lopez makes great use of boss EXP but it could also result in overexposure where a character shouldn't have been. Maybe add weapons or even a hold item that prevents the wielder from scoring critical hits? Food for thought.

 

5b68bd5295a15_UnderGreySkies_027.png.ae65e8d46a74fe0e654e7aec134b3c31.png

It's interesting how 1-2 gives you two options. I thought the northern route would be quicker but it ended up letting a free-roaming archer in the south move towards the NPCs and ORKO the cleric once that spot was clear. It took a second try but I stuck to the northern road and made it with liberal rescue-shoving strats.

Also the character portraits were another beta attribute that stuck out to me, the soldier and the dancer are static portraits. Speaking of the dancer,

 

5b68bd53d74a3_UnderGreySkies_028.png.dd5cb666c7d5cc6bc0315e02cd16edaf.png

CANTO DANCER'S GONNA BE SO MUCH FUN

 

5b68bd54b8118_UnderGreySkies_029.png.86e91202ce5752200b3fd78a623cdb26.png

So Bruce's dog isn't going to be the only one. Beo's been a fun character so far, 7 pseudo-flying movement, high speed and no weapon triangle but no 2-range and being unable to rescue. Makes me wonder if there will be other unorthodox units. It'd be nice if you could disable the monster weapon's stat-hiding though.

I'll have more to say once I've played it further and pulled that unfortunate mutt's teeth, but I've been enjoying it so far. The map layouts aren't too straightforward and the situations require some thought to get around.

 

 

 

Thanks for the review, I really appreciate it, and there is some good stuff in here! Just for a bit of reference into what we are doing currently that will more or less serve as a universal update on progress.

-The writing is going to be receiving a major overhaul, it's just that our head editor and my assistant writer was busy with some IRL things

-Likewise, our Art-Team has already done some of the blinking and mouth frames for Ray and Audrey

-0 Luk enemies is just a quality of life feature, as all of our design team believes that having enemies with Luk can potentially lead to some hit issues. As per Lopez critting, our plan was to have Bronze Weapons be unable to crit, however our ASM guy found that there was something different in the ROM, likely due to patches, that made this unable to happen. As such, the only compromise aside from greatly lowering Lopez's Base Skl, which none of us liked the idea of, was to just have to deal with the occasional stray crit.

-The logic behind the lack of 1-2 range was a suggestion by one of my assistant game designers in lowering the amount of Javelins/Hand Axes the player gets to further promote the use of bows, as there is no 1-2 range bows. Hand Axes and Javelins available to player units will be rarer then most FEs and thus gives incentive the use of bows and conserve the valuable uses of Hand Axes and Javelins

-As for enemy hounds, we found a common thread among our players was that Beo was a bit underwhelming as he had no enemies the Fang was effective against until 1-4 where Cavaliers show up. As a result we have gone back and rebalanced some enemy placements and added some more enemy hounds and made Beo's fang, not all hounds, just Beo's base Fang, effective verses then, to give Beo a more specialized niche

-The freeroaming archer killing Leanne was something we have never seen before. This is quite and issue and we will look into it because as your only healer in this part, having Leanne be so vulnerable if you don't play in a certain way is harmful to the more open-ended nature of the chapter, which we aren't a fan of at all.

 

Overall, thank you for the feedback, your support and critique is very much appreciated!

Edited by Amberstorm
Forgot to quote

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On 8/5/2018 at 3:01 AM, Shiinoobi said:

 

So... is it even possible to get the chests before the thief gets them in chapter 1-1?

I am playing in the intended difficulty and it gets me at least 4 turns to break the wall and the thief is already there.

We have reduced the HP of Walls to 20, this should make it much easier to progress quickly through the map!

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How would enemies with some luck cause any sort of issue? 

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7 hours ago, Enaluxeme said:

How would enemies with some luck cause any sort of issue? 

Hi, I'm a designer on the hack. Amber is busy with irl stuff atm so I'm handling responses to stuff for him. In the hack we want things to be very reliable, low (not none) rng. Luck gives the enemy increased avoid (alongside speed) and in quite a number of cases having luck increases their avoid to a point where it's more RNG heavy than we want it to be. 

 

20 hours ago, Lord of Gabriel Knight said:

I noticed the item icons have some parts that could be improved. If you want, I can fix them up for you.

Sure! We'd love to have your help with this! Just join the discord up top and ping me when you are in it.

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If your concern is hit rate, give every weapon a 5% hit boost and lower enemy skill. This way you didn't change the hit rate of playable nor enemy units but the critical rate is lowered. Unless of course, you do want to keep a high crit rate for playable units, in which case you do you.

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While you could increase hit rates I don't think the developers want to inflate weapon hit rates too much. The best solution would either be to implement more hit-boosting skills or change the Hit/Avoid formulas. Be it scaling down Speed or Luck's contributions to Avoid or outright changing them to the DS formulas.

Also having played the rest of the patch I can provide some more feedback:

  • The 1-2 boss shows Bazba's portrait during his battle conversation, and only that one. His death line has the proper portrait.
  • 1-3's recruitment scenario and what followed was pretty interesting. It was also a neat idea to give the playable Knight Seal Speed as a means to make him a bit more relevant.
  • 3-use statboosters that give +1 (or +2 HP) is a cool concept, and I like the idea of being able to push individuals to a benchmark without using the whole booster.
  • One of the Paladin reinforcements on 1-E didn't auto-level properly:

5b6c77ff50162_UnderGreySkies_014.png.f6e90b7b3432f996d7e47c817e4733ac.png

Ah well, free EXP for Cole!

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Quick Progress Update: We have finished the first draft of 2-P and have basic ideas of designs for 2-1 and 2-2, and our writing team have been working extra hard to refine the script! All the nitty gritty changes can be found on the discord's public change log. I'll just leave you guys with an image of someone briefly seen in the final moment of Part 1 I'm sure many people will be appreciating far more very soon...

 

Tobias.png

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