Judge 1: Darrman
This hack is very much inspired by FE5 Chapter 4. You’re in prison, and you’ve got to get yourself and everyone else out of prison. Many obstacles stand in the way between you and the escape point. In addition, there are also plenty of secrets hidden throughout the chapter. They’re completely optional, but I found five out of six of them. In common with FE5, the lord must escape last, and there are several other game over units that must escape. The guide details several mechanical differences, including “Canto-dropping”, which lets you rescue and drop a unit during the same turn. This is vital for moving quickly and keeping everyone alive. About the only detracting factor is the rapier not actually being effective against cavalry, instead having a debuffing effect. This caught me off-guard at one point.
All the character mugs are reasonable. The map doesn’t have any blatant tile cutoff, and the music choices are good. The custom animations are of good quality. There’s even a voice clip played at one point.
There’s not too much in the way of story here. Soldiers of a revolution have been captured, and they must break out. Along the way, they set free various other prisoners, and the head of the revolution comes to bail the party out. The ending leaves more questions than answers: it’s naturally setting up for a plot beyond this single chapter.
Total Score: 13/20
Judge 2: MCProductions
I like Prison Break maps. This is a really fun prison break map, however there are three issues that prevent it from scoring high.
1. Weapon Durability is too low, BOTW has more durable weapons.
2. The path required to take for full recruitment basically requires you to not play it as an escape map and instead a rout map.
3. (though this isn’t huge), the character Maev is required to escape and is a gameover condition if she dies according to her skills, except she isn’t, the game just keeps going if she dies, respawning her with zero HP, only for her to vanish again after taking an action, softlocking the map.
Really good animations, music, and map layout. Only issues are the Mugbox is way too cluttered and, while I’m grateful the platforms in the battle animations I’ve never liked from GBAFE, the perspective is all kinds of fucked and does not look natural
It’s a prison break map. Your revolt needs to break out your revolutionaries. Go do it.
Total Score: 13/20
Judge 3: 2WB
I did not have much fun playing this chapter.
I ended up having to run through the what ended up being the same strategy three times before actually getting the numbers to work out, due to enemy autolevel randomness causing, for example, Kiffe to get one-shot unless both Maev and Emily were in range. Which was pretty unfeasible as a set-up due to how fast I had to be running people forward, but also killing the pursuers.
One of the reasons for my difficulty finding some things out was because Gareth’s Defang says it affects enemies in three range. It doesn’t, it affects enemies up to four tiles away.
I do not see the point in having so many leadership stars on both sides. I don’t get the design this achieves because it mostly feels like it causes random 80s that should be 70s or 90s, which further increases strategical unreliability in what is set up to be an extremely overly tight chapter, more than 50% critical does.
On that note: Don’t do that. It sucked. A lot.
Because it was 50%, I felt miserable watching Maev get less than five criticals in over twenty combats, while enemies scored eight criticals in ten attacks. It felt miserable to watch unfold, felt, overall, pretty miserable, and was made worse by not really…having any units that I could actually go have face the killer weapons without Gareth making them stop being killer weapons. (And this still left some units facing 2% crit rates! Please don’t make me fight crit rates like that!)
15 defense on Jagger is impressive, but not enough to blunt the 12 damage criticals alongside the 8 damage other attacks: The man was frequently dying in three hits even outside of effective weaponry because I had no way to stop all the enemies from getting triangle advantage on him because nobody else could tank a hit with him.
Which…sucked. I mean, it’s an escape map, I feel like it sucking a bit to play is the point, I just want to emphasize.
I enjoyed a lot of the ideas that the chapter had for movement, there was a lot of things that I felt like I could have done better that would probably have made it more enjoyable; so that’s what’s reflected in this score.
It took me just over three hours to play the chapter. I felt completely exhausted from this experience. This can be good, I’ve definitely spent that realm of time on actual mainline FE mid-game chapters before. It was made worse by this being one chapter with all sorts of mechanical swap-outs, instead of in a game, so I’m not super peeved about it?
Everything was fairly harmonious. Some of the battle palettes could’ve been better but none of them were bad: The worst is things like Riffe’s brightest hair tone being just a tiny tint darker than her 2nd so it looks flat, the pink of Sara’s armor having too little contrast.
No element stood out too much that it hurt, in my opinion, besides the minimug box’s crampedness.
I thought the little iconography next to the little stat labels was super adorable; the music choices were good and the songs used weren’t badly crafted.
Overall, I felt like I was playing a weird FE chapter. Which, y’know, it was, and nothing threw me for a loop. The thing that weirded me the most was the decision to mix the old Iscaneus-Nura Knights with the SALVAGED knight map sprite.
the Mage sprite used lacked…any motion? and the full-narrow font item names that i can barely read, and the removal of the battle platforms look so bad. all of these things, i personally hate. but i’m nitpicking with this line, and it’s not part of my scoring.
The story was sensible, decently written, and didn’t feel gapingly flawed except for… well, the joke secret items. Defender’s Idol was nice because it wasn’t painfully cringe-filled, but Lightning, Steel Blade, Dummy definitely detracted from my enjoyment here.
But they’re jokes. I did laugh when I read the guide entry about “Tome of Become Horse”.
Nothing was superbly excellent, but I feel like that’s pretty standard for not having much event time to work with. There was a lot of talking that all felt pretty in-place; the story beats worked and didn’t overstay their welcome.
Total Score: 15/20
Judge 4: theghostcreator
This is just mean. A pretty big map with the escape point seemingly in front of you but surprise! You have to get THREE lord units to the escape point! ALL with ZERO healing items! Not to mention the 50+ crit weapons that can only be negated by the frail thief who in of themselves is almost a lord because they’re necessary to get one of the lord units out of jail. Even on easy mode this is hell with how strong the enemies are and how every weapon is 5-10 uses. The reinforcements also sucked with how strict they are. Overall the enemies are just too strong with how many lords there are, with how little healing there is, and how low the weapon uses are, it didn’t feel well tested and certainly wasn’t made with the “no save states” clause in mind.
Really good, just a few minor portrait hiccups, especially with the guard lady.
Pretty solid, nothing was too difficult to understand and was mostly explained.
Total Score: 12/20