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Fire Emblem: Heaven's Bloom

Hack of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Description:

The story begins in the Kingdom of Adestria. Hundreds of years ago, Humans competed for survival with magically gifted beings known as ‘Fae’. Over time, a breed of ‘Half-Bloods’ emerged, descended from parents of each race. The Half-Bloods chose to ally themselves with the weaker Humans, and the Fae were destroyed. The Half-Bloods then turned on the humans, using the powers of their Fae blood to subjugate and enslave their magically-inert cousins.

A little over a hundred years has passed since the subjugation. Our main characters are two Half-Bloods: Lord Cassius Malberry and his sister, Fordra. Hoping to find the cure for a horrible disease, they hunt for an ancient Fae tome…

Features:

  • 19 chapters (inc. prologue and endgame)
  • patches for both easy and hard mode
  • the FE8 skill system, courtesy of circleseverywhere
  • a character-focused story which takes itself seriously
  • 37 unique support chains w/paired endings for some
  • original map, battle, & boss music, and some original cutscene music

See the Serenes Forest thread for further information.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • No-Intro Name: Fire Emblem - The Sacred Stones (USA, Australia)
  • (No-Intro version 20130720-015858)
  • ROM/File SHA-1: C25B145E37456171ADA4B0D440BF88A19F4D509F
  • ROM CRC32: A47246AE
  • ROM MD5: 005531FEF9EFBB642095FB8F64645236

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

User Review Information

Too many skills

Reviewed By: Darrman on 04 Dec 2019

Heaven’s Bloom is a hack that just showed up on Serenes Forest one day. It was already done, out of the box. The hack is a fairly recent hack, having been released in 2018, using FEBuilder as its tool of choice. I will note that I haven’t finished the hack, and that’s because I don’t think it’s a very good hack.

The hack itself focuses on the protagonist, Cassius, as he goes searching for a magical tome to cure his sister’s illness. Along the way, some bad guys are causing a problem in the Kingdom of Adestria, where the hack is set. (Any resemblance to Three Houses is completely coincidental, it wasn’t announced yet.) Society is split between the people with magical blood, who rule, and the normal humans, who are mere slaves. I don’t really remember much of the story, since it’s been quite a while.

Gameplay is the most important part of a Fire Emblem hack. Unfortunately, the gameplay is hardly what can be considered fun. Like many new hacks, it takes advantage of Circleseverywhere’s skill system. It does not put it to good use. Players and enemies get large assortments of skills, typically designed to be as annoying as humanly possible. To quote the author’s perception of difficulty…

“Regarding difficulty, I honestly have no idea how hard or easy this game would be considered relative to other FE games. My perception is skewed after playtesting it so much and learning the optimal strats for everything.”

In other words, it falls victim to “too easy for the author, too hard for everyone else”. The first six chapters aren’t too bad, but Chapter 7 is where things get annoying. My own playthrough was on hard mode, and it hadn’t seemed too hard. This chapter changed that. The chapter is set in a city, with civilians running all around the place. Enemy civilians. To make matters worse, annoying enemy reinforcements spawn from behind forcing you to rush, right into more reinforcements from the front. Killing the civilians denies the player a recruitable character, so they must be kept alive, while they constantly block the road. I ended up stalling out all of the reinforcements before doing anything. I should note that the game is designed like Gaiden or FE4 in that all your units are expected to be used. You cannot afford to miss anybody.

Chapter 8 ended up being worse, with your army trapped in a mountain pass while flying units flanked them from all sides. I was forced to use a glitch in the skill system to savescum unit deaths and low percentage hits. Chapter 9 made me quit hard mode, with spiders running around with the Seal Speed skill, which reduces already low speed stats even lower and taking a very long time to wear off. Combined with high enemy density and an out-of-the-way recruitable unit, the chapter became unbearable and I gave up for the longest time. After downgrading to easy and finishing the chapter, I find chapter 10 is a desert map. That’s where I’m currently located. In general, player units are fairly weak and enemy density is too high. I do not find it to be too fun, and I have a hunch that it was designed around save state usage.

The graphics can only be described as looking completely awful. The character portraits weren’t drawn from scratched or spliced together from pre-existing GBA portraits. They were instead generated with a portrait generator tool. This tool is not designed for hack insertion, and results in ugly portraits with strange skin tones and with random transparent pixels scattered all over the place. They are not very visually appealing. While I understand making art can be difficult, they have the potential to detract from the experience.

Despite being a relatively modern hack, it is missing several quality of life hacks that I consider to be vital, including Danger Zone and the hold L to toggle animations on the fly hack. The health and safety screen is also not disabled, making resets that bit more annoying. All of these factors add up to the point that I would recommend avoiding Heaven’s Bloom. If you really want to play it, play it on easy mode.

Version 1.1.2 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Too many skillsDarrman04 Dec 20191.1.2No