15 Best Fire Emblem ROM Hacks & Fan Games

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With each release, the Fire Emblem series seems to get better in terms of aesthetics, story, and characters. Regrettably, the gameplay changes and modern level design have left some old-school fans wanting a more… challenging experience.

Some great alternatives come in the form of ROM hacks and fan-games, improving the classics or presenting something entirely new for Fire Emblem fans.

Lead your ragtag group of warriors to victory with some of these fantastic fan-made FE games, hand-picked with true FE fans in mind.

 

15. Fire Emblem: Souls of the Forest (GBA)

Fire Emblem: Souls of the Forest ROM hack

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We’ll begin the ranking with a relatively recent and pretty awesome FE8 hack by creator Scraiza.

Souls of the Forest features three difficulties and many custom game options such as fixed growth, 100% chance of criticals, and even a reverse mode.

While the hack consists of 16 new playable chapters and three sidequests, only half of these follow a storyline.

That said, the excellent level design and smart balance tweaks would make it an awesome hack, even without a story.

 

14. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Full Content Patch (NDS)

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Full Content Patch ROM hack

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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon on the DS is an excellent way for non-Japanese fans to experience the origins of the series, as it’s a remake of the original 1990 Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.

This Full Content Patch makes it even better with several modifications meant to let you access everything the game offers with little to no extra effort.

As such, you can recruit all units, play all chapters, and even access the Online Shop items without having to play the game multiple times. Or even connect to the Internet.

This is the best way to play Shadow Dragon so far.

 

13. Fire Emblem: Elbean Nights (GBA)

Fire Emblem: Elbean Nights ROM hack

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The continent of Elibe and the characters that inhabit it are among the most beloved for international fans of Fire Emblem.

After all, they were the first to ever utter a word in English in the entire franchise.

This fan-made sequel tries to give fans more time with these characters by introducing entirely new chapters featuring an “after-story” for many of them.

All chapters can be accessed individually, and there’s no single progressive campaign.

With solid writing, fun bonus content, and 19 achievements to get, this is sure to delight fans of the original GBA game.

 

12. The Path of the Midnight Sun

The Path of the Midnight Sun ROM hack

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Another amazing fan-game that began its life as a ROM hack is The Path of the Midnight Sun.

While the game has shed “Fire Emblem” from its name and profoundly altered its gameplay mechanics, the FE influence is evident in the story and its characters.

Not only that, but the Visual Novel-like storytelling is just like the most recent 3DS/Nintendo Switch FE installments.

If you want to have a look at the original ROM hack, don’t miss the trailer.

 

11. Void’s Blitzarre Adventure (GBA)

Void’s Blitzarre Adventure Fire Emblem ROM hack

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One of the most remarkable achievements featured in this list is Void’s Blitzarre Adventure, designed in under one week as part of Fire Emblem Universe’s Chapter Creation Blitz.

It features a whopping 31 chapters, complete with a relatively simple storyline full of little jokes and fun details.

The quality of the hack’s levels is also surprisingly good. Even without considering all chapters were made in less than seven days.

 

10. Fire Emblem: Order of the Crimson Arm (GBA)

Fire Emblem: Order of the Crimson Arm ROM hack

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FE: Order of the Crimson Arm is a hack of FE7 that keeps the same basic gameplay mechanics, but expands upon them immensely with the addition of new unit classes, plus a customizable playable tactician like the one in FE: Awakening, and more.

Its story, which follows mercenary leader Algimas and his foreign tactician’s adventures, is probably the hack’s best feature.

The writing is excellent and it captures what Fire Emblem is all about.

 

9. FE7x Immortal Sword

FE7x Immortal Sword ROM hack

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FE7x is a fantastic fan-game meant to serve as a prequel to the original Fire Emblem on the GBA.

This unsung epic takes place in Elibe 20 years before the Black Fang incident, following the challenges faced by a group of heroes trying to stop the continent from descending into chaos. It features strange alliances, political intrigue, and everything we love from the FE franchise.

Since the game runs on the Microsoft XNA engine, it’s optimized to work on PC. And you won’t need to set up an emulator to enjoy it.

 

8. Fire Emblem: Requiem (GBA)

Fire Emblem: Requiem ROM hack

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If what you want from a ROM hack is an excellent story, there’s no need to look further than Fire Emblem: Requiem.

It follows the exploits of the noble house of Olva and its heroes, who have to defend themselves from the attacks of a rival house as a bigger threat looms over the horizon.

The spritework is unremarkable, and the difficulty is pretty lax outside of Hard Mode.

Still, the level design is pretty good here. And the story will keep you wanting more for the entirety of its 26 chapters.

 

7. Fire Emblem: The Road to Ruin (GBA)

Fire Emblem: The Road to Ruin ROM hack

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If you ask any FE ROM hack enthusiast what games you have to play, they’ll mention The Road to Ruin nine out of ten times.

It’s no surprise, considering the level of polish and fantastic level design featured in this hack.

The story is also pretty solid, and it engages with themes of politics and war in a pretty realistic way.

The Road to Ruin also features some high-quality custom assets, including sprites and new music, to bring each of the 20 chapters to life.

 

6. Fire Emblem: Staff of Ages

Fire Emblem: Staff of Ages ROM hack

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Two millennia ago, the legendary item known as the “Staff of Ages” was used to banish the darkness that threatened to end humanity.

Now with the demonic threat long gone, a new conflict brews between the kingdoms of Arynden and Fortuita – the first in 2000 years.

That’s the story behind this fantastic fan-game, featuring over 40 playable characters that’ll help you get through its 42 chapters of classic Fire Emblem geopolitical fantasy.

Other than the usual Quality of Life improvements, the game shines for its wonderful spritework and expansive story. It also has a Hard Mode for the hardcore tacticians out there.

While it began as an FE8 ROM hack, this game now runs in a different engine, requiring no emulator.

 

5. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Redux (Wii)

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Redux ROM hack

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Most of the hacks covered in our list are built on top of the classic GBA FE games. Partly because it’s the most accessible platform, and therefore, the most popular.

That said, some exciting projects venture beyond that.

One of them is Radiant Dawn Redux, which endeavors to give FE’s tenth installment fresh gameplay that presents more of a challenge than the original.

It’s an excellent alternative to the vanilla game’s Hard Mode, which removes mechanics such as the Weapon Triangle to make the game artificially difficult.

 

4. Fire Emblem: The Last Promise (GBA)

Fire Emblem: The Last Promise ROM hack

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One of the first FE hacks to gain traction was The Last Promise – in significant part because it was the first proper “complete” project.

In it, you’ll take control of retired Knight Commander Siegfried and his son Shon as they fight to resist the Magnus Empire and their conquering stride.

While it doesn’t feature any major graphical improvements, the renewed soundtrack and superb level design make this a milestone in FE ROM hacking.

 

3. Fire Emblem: The Four Kings (GBA)

Fire Emblem: The Four Kings ROM hack

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Newer ROM hacking tools usually mean better hacks, so our top three spots go to relatively new projects.

The Four Kings began as simple roleplaying on Reddit before creator KrashBoobBang decided to write out the rest of the story. Years later, he turned it into an FE8 hack – because why not?

It features 40 playable characters you’ll recruit over 29 chapters of the excellent branching storyline.

If you’re serious about strategy and wish for a more significant challenge, you can also tackle the seven post-game trial maps once you’re done with the primary campaign.

 

2. Fire Emblem: Justice and Pride (GBA)

Fire Emblem: Justice and Pride ROM hack

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Taking place in the continent of Irona, Justice and Pride’s story features several events from the continent’s history leading up to Princess Aderyn and her revolt against the tyrannic Emperor Pereus.

While the narrative is one of the game’s stronger points, each of the 30 chapters features superb level design geared around the title’s rebalanced skill system.

There are also eight post-game trial maps to test what you learned throughout the campaign.

 

1. Fire Emblem: Vision Quest (GBA)

Fire Emblem: Vision Quest ROM hack

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Fire Emblem: Vision Quest has a lot of love. Plus plenty of recognition among the ROM hacking community in a relatively short time.

Its absorbing storyline follows a young farmer and his friends who turn to banditry to survive in the harsh, tyrannically-ruled rural state of Belaro.

With 34 main story chapters and seven optional scenarios, it’s one of the longest FE8 ROM hacks in existence – and each of these levels goes toe-to-toe with the best ones in the official games.

The story is very engaging, the spritework is fantastic, and creator Pandan chose some excellent music tracks to go with each situation.

So I say stop reading and get to playing this one!

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.