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Fire Emblem: The Road to Ruin

Hack of Fire Emblem


Pandosia, created by the four goddesses, has seen its fair share of war and peace. Now is not a time for peace. A war has begun between the neighboring countries of Aksum and Sybaris. Sybaris has ambushed Aksum’s close ally, the small country of Mora, without warning, massacring many.

A group of mercenaries finds themselves caught in the middle of this war where not everything is as it seems and the events of the past collide with the present…

This is a complete mod. The final chapter is chapter 20.

Including the prologue and two “gaidens” that gives you 23 chapters of content. Runs on FE7 engine.

Never dead, always underground.

The Serenes Forest thread contains growth rates and support listings.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • •Fire Emblem (USA, Australia).gba - NOINTRO
  • •CRC32: 2A524221
  • •MD5: F1A1B9742FCD467A531DD4314C4E7D19
  • •SHA-1: C735FDBB9E8ABE19E0C6A44708DF19ACC962E204
  • •SHA-256: F1200D19771B366B6EAD15DEC0EEE4A7785B538D894C069C36F7592321EE799B



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


User Review Information

An overlooked hack. Give it a go.

Reviewed By: Darrman on 04 Oct 2019

Fire Emblem: The Road to Ruin is a member of the “old guard” of Fire Emblem hacks, along with hacks like The Last Promise and Elibian Nights. However, I find it often gets overlooked among the community. This review will explore the hack and give it a fair hearing.

History: Development of the hack first begun in 2009, presumably on the old Fire Emblem Universe forums. The first release on Serenes Forest was in 2011. Although the chapters were custom at this time, the cast then consisted of Elibian characters lead by an early Vance, then known as “Vex”. The hack soon acquired custom portraits as Primefusion revamped the project, eventually moving it away from Elibe entirely to an original setting, the continent of Pandosia. Progress was slow but steady, with the catchphrase “Never dead, always underground” being applied to it. Road to Ruin emerged from underground, reaching completion on the 26th of November, 2017 with its 3.0 update.

Gameplay: The gameplay is rarely particularly complicated. Being an old FE7 hack, standard Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem rules are in effect. Little in the way of complicated assembly hacks are present, though a small amount of it is present. Deployment slots usually allow around ten units or so to be used at a time. The most prominent deviations from standard gameplay are the hack’s frequent usage of generic units.

Generic units are exactly what they say on the tin: generics one gets for a chapter. The concept originates from Chapter 13 of FE5, and is used frequently here. Two early gaiden chapters are dedicated entirely to usage of generic units, and many chapters in the second half of the game have some generics to take the hit for units with faces. This serves to make things a bit easier for the player in otherwise difficult chapters: just let the generic take the hits instead of the players. I like the concept: it gives the hack its own unique spin on things. A common criticism of them is that any experience given to them is wasted, and the special generic chapters have no impact on the rest of the game. This is true.

Plot: The story is generally alright. Vance, the protagonist, is the leader of a group of mercenaries. Two countries, Aksum and Sybaris, are at war, with the latter being accused of attacking the small state of Mora. Vance’s mercenaries are initially under contract with Aksum, but soon they defect to Sybaris’s side after they perform some investigations into the state of affairs. Things proceed in the vein of fact-finding until about the game’s halfway point. Vance runs into an edgy swordsman who then proceeds to alter his personality. Now more irritable, Vance goes and makes some bad decisions and travels quite far down the titular Road to Ruin. I won’t go any further into the plot to not spoil anything else.

On the topic of optional dialogue, each character has exactly one support. Primefusion took this decision to avoid getting burned out from writing large amounts of rarely-seen dialogue. I personally do not value supports much and would not mind their complete exclusion, but I understand that some consider them essential. Earlier chapters have optional conversations between characters, but these fade away as time goes on, and as units begin to be benched. Of note are special Interlude chapters that occur after important plot events, which are entirely composed of dialogue, without any gameplay.

Graphics and Music: Road to Ruin presents itself well. The title screen has been changed, complete with a new arrangement of the Fire Emblem theme. The unit status screen has gotten a makeover as well, with dark grey clouds hovering behind it. Map palettes have also been altered, with some late game maps having a completely new tileset. Some custom music for combat scenes has been included as a replacement for the vanilla theme. Most of the vanilla music remains in place, however. The earlier character portraits are quite pleasing to the eye. Later on, their quality does give way to rougher splices, but that doesn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things.

Conclusion: As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Road to Ruin is somewhat overlooked. Once the final release came out, a well-known Fire Emblem youtuber (I won’t name any names) released a video for the purpose of simply criticising it and refusing to do a Let’s Play. Without the exposure from being played by a prominent youtuber, word didn’t really spread too far. I do not consider that video a fair hearing of the hack, and consider it to have been treated badly. Around two years have passed since Primefusion completed the hack. It’s completed with over 20 chapters. There aren’t too many of those hacks around. Go on, play it!

Version 3.0.3 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Super easy, map design interestng but lacking of something, but overall pretty solid hackzuda01 Jun 20213.0.3Yes
An overlooked hack. Give it a go.Darrman04 Oct 20193.0.3Yes
A masterful Fire Emblem hack.Recca20 Dec 20173.0.3Yes