The Last Promise (FE7U)
By Blazer (Posted by Darrman)
Posted On: 04/28/2019 12:46:54 PM
Average User Score: 5.0 (1 reviews total)
View Count: 545
Download Count: 12
A millennium ago, on the continent of Blaine, humans and dragons fought. Humans, unable to match the power of the dragons, gathered together and saved themselves from the brink of extinction by relocating to Solum.
On this new continent, the people were divided–and over time, each territory formed its own way of life, choosing how its people would live and what ideals they would carry.
However, this all changes when Magnus, an empire with the greatest military on the continent, begins to invade the other territories. Though their campaign is time-consuming, they are successful in every way imaginable, quickly dominating Alicia to the north and Atheya to the east.
But across the continent, there are people ready to fight back to their dying breath. One of them is Siegfried, a former Knight Commander who has been in hiding ever since an injury he received from ten years ago. With his pain serving as a reminder of the vow he made that fated day, he and his son, Shon, take up arms to gather allies and do whatever it takes to stop Magnus from dominating the continent.
…Because some promises, are just worth dying for.
Posted on: Nov-10-2019 2:35:56 PM by Darrman
The Last Promise - Still worth a play,
(This review has been copied from my Romhacking.net review of TLP.)
The Last Promise is the first completed fully custom English Fire Emblem hack. TLP’s oldest incarnations date back a decade at this point, so I’ll open this up with some history.
Originally known as Tactics Universe, the characters were largely self-inserts of members from a previous incarnation of Fire Emblem Universe, running amok in Elibe. Eventually, the various forum users stopped working on the hack, and Blazer took over development himself. Some were angry that he “stole” the hack, and others defended his actions. The years wore on, and as disputes rose up over portrait usage and rights to the self-inserts, the hack still edged closer to completion. Blazer was dedicated, and after a re-branding to the final title, version 1.0 of The Last Promise was released on the 17th of August, 2012. At the present date, TLP has reached version 2.1.
The raw gameplay itself still holds up. As TLP is a hack of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, its basic gameplay mechanics are the same as the vanilla game. These are simple and uncomplicated. Unlike most traditional Fire Emblem games, The Last Promise also has a series of long running sidequests the player can optionally attempt to complete, along with powerful rewards for doing so. Some of these sidequests are often criticized for being too obscure, but most of the secrets later on in the game are alluded to by the fortune teller, including an infamous conversation in the “gaiden chapter” following Chapter 23. I will admit that many of the first act’s secrets are too cryptic, with no hints given at any point.
In terms of quality of life features, The Last Promise does show its age. Many features improving gameplay experience have been added to Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem games, and added to Blazing Sword’s successor, Sacred Stones. TLP’s latest version, dating to 2013, predates these features. In my personal playthrough, I found myself missing the ability to push Select to bring up every enemy’s range (known as the Danger Zone hack) and the hack that displays combat stats when battle animations are disabled. I don’t hold their absence against Blazer or the hack, considering they did not exist at the time, but I do feel it is a point worth noting.
It would not be fair to mention TLP’s technical limitations without mentioning its technical accomplishments. The vast majority of the music in the hack has been replaced with new arrangements from all of video gaming. Gone is Winds Across the Plains, and in its place comes a great variety of tracks. Giving the GUI a palette swap gives the game a new coat of paint. Yellow health bars and purple movement arrows serve to refresh the player, and shows that they aren’t just playing yet another standard hack with green health bars and unchanged graphics. Under the hood, some small amounts of assembly have been worked into the hack, with one of the main characters having a permanent healing skill. The custom battle animations could use some work, but they tend to improve as the game goes on, with the final boss’s animation having some impressive hacking work worked in.
The Last Promise’s story isn’t fine literature, but neither will you want to claw your eyes out in despair. The story of the first act is fairly simple. Siegfried, once the highest-ranked knight in the land of Regalia, is leading a rebellion against the evil empire of Magnus. Along with his son Shon, the commander of Solum’s Rebellion meets two other pivotal characters, dozy Anakin and edgy Kelik. These form the main cast of the hack. However, as unforeseen circumstances cause the second act to begin, the stakes start to rise. And in some of the most important scenes of all, the greatest of all of The Last Promise’s achievements makes itself known. The addition of a few lines of voice acting in key scenes is the most impressive of all, and TLP is still the only completed hack to have dedicated voice recordings created for it. To quote, “This divine lightning shall pierce the skies!”
I find that people either like TLP or hate TLP these days. It isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it still deserves respect, and I quite like it. The difficulty is reasonable, and I completed it without using savestates or turbo. Do be aware of difficulty spikes as the game goes on. And don’t let the cutout mini portraits get you down. They may be regarded as lazy, but there’s more to the world than miniature portraits. Blazer put a lot of time and effort into the game. Take a trip down memory lane and play the first completed Western Fire Emblem hack. It’s worth it.