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In an effort to rip off three unrelated-but-personally-inspirational phenomena - The recent trend of Fire Emblem romhack playthroughs on SA, a round of correspondence FE playthroughs on 4chan's Fire Emblem General board (AKA /feg/), and apparently the Dwarf Fortress Let's Plays from over a dozen years ago (and here I thought I was ripping off GuavaMoment's X-COM narrative playthroughs from the same period) - I've decided to combine all of them into my own bizarre spice - namely, a trade-off playthrough of a romhack recreation of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones...'s Japanese regional version.
Anyone reading this is almost certainly familiar with how easy Sacred Stones is. The ability to grind from the World Map was the biggest factor to this easiness, but there was also an issue with how weak the enemies actually present in the story levels tended to be, to the point that - at least in Normal Mode - when promoted enemy units started regularly appearing in the lategame, they could end up looking absolutely pathetic:
This is supposed to be a promoted enemy in the penultimate chapter of the game, by the way. I've also seen things like 24HP Berserkers and 28HP Warriors in Chapter 17. And even on Hard/"Difficult" Mode, the game's enemies still tend to feel weaker than they should've been. Combine that with an incredibly reliable crutch unit given to the player from the very beginning, and FE8 is now commonly known as "Seth Emblem".
As it turns out, the reason enemies were so weak was a byproduct of the localization. As some of you know, there is a hidden "bonus leveling" system in FE games that helps to boost the stats of enemies even further than their level should theoretically allow them. That same system can also be turned backwards, though - majorly diminishing the threat posed by enemies and turning them into glorified XP pinatas. FE8's Normal Mode had this dial tweaked in localization so that, rather than enemies being as strong as their level should indicate, they're actually all around two levels weaker than normal. And somehow, whatever de-leveling system got applied to them also led to the utter embarassment of its promoted enemies.
So I decided to try and counter this issue by looking for a romhack that restored the Japanese bonus-leveling setup, and also all the other localization changes to the game while I was at it, and I found it in Flock of Geese's FE8 Gameplay Reversion Hack, claiming - and mostly succeeding - to revert all gameplay-related changes from localization to be just like the Japanese experience. So that means modified growths, modified base stats, modified item loadouts, and of course, modified enemy stats. The full list is on the Fire Emblem Wiki.
And because I want everyone to experience this with me together (and wonder aloud if it's still Seth Emblem in this format), I'm deciding to make this a correspondence playthrough. When I've beaten Chapter 2, I'll dump my game's save into a convenient Mediafire link, so that anyone can pick up from where I leave off. Then when whoever lays claim to continuing is done with the next two chapters, they can leave their save in another Mediafire or Dropbox link. When the run reaches the route split after Chapter 8, we'll decide whether or not to maintain the pace at two chapters per turn, or lower it to one. Repeat until we're done with the game, and then we either find some other FE romhack to show off, or I start uploading a Mystery of the Emblem playthrough as a follow-up.
-Downloading the Reversion Patch will be necessary to play this game.
-Post as much or as little story cutscenes and/or dialogue as you like.
-Grinding and using the arena is allowed, just don't go overboard.
-This is an Ironman run, or at least mostly Ironman. No resetting if a non-mandatory unit dies, but for the sake of wanting to see this run finished, resets are allowed if a Game Over occurs.
-Unit choices are up to personal preference of the player. If you want to grind a trainee unit while in the middle of Chapter 12, be my guest.
-I'd like to see as many different people get a turn as possible. Consider carefully whether it's too soon after your last turn to call dibs on another one.
-Eirika vs Ephraim Route decision is still pending. We may end up doing both if enough posters want to try it, similar to how Crosspiece is doing a Pokemon Black run behind the scenes of their Pokemon White run, but I'm fine with only going one route.
With that out of the way, good luck, and happy gaming!
Update 1 (Greener223224)