Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to play the game and provide feedback, I really appreciate this a lot! Making an account just for this is so awesome of you. When you get a demo up, please be sure to let me know :)
I'd like to address each of your comments in order now just so you know where I was coming from in terms of game design and the pressure of the game contest itself. For my second game ever, I think this came out pretty good but I know it is riddled with flaws.
First, you mention the difficulty. I didn't have hardly any playtesters so the balancing is off, just plain and simple. This was something I could have fixed but nobody was really willing to play my game much in the development stages. I hadn't even thought of the subreddit at the time, so it is what it is. However, I did rigorously test myself so I know that it is very beatable, but different minds and all that.
You mention counterattack on easy, that was a last-minute choice that I didn't realize spiked the difficulty artificially. I thought it would make the game easier for the player. That's 100% on me but it is really good to know for sure. Truth be told, I've never played Fire Emblem in my life so that probably plays into part of the current shortcomings here.
The stats do increase some on normal, but there might be something going on if you are finding them to be so much higher. I'm not sure what's going on here. I made some of the opening combat challenging on purpose, I enjoy tough games, but it sounds like maybe this is a bit too hard. I don't see the ranged characters as too much of an issue, there just needs to be some slight rebalance from what I'm hearing from you. The idea was that the player would have to make carefully weighed declensions each turn, sometimes that would mean doing something that didn't necessarily seem optimal. Like I said, I played this thing a lot and can consistently beat it so I know it is winnable in the current state. However, the way other people's minds work is a factor and the lack of testers didn't help.
RNG can totally screw ya. I made the saves convenient so you could roll back if you wanted. It is super rare though, but it sounds like you got a fringe case where it was happening an abnormal amount. I haven't heard this specific issue from others, so that is just my best guess. Still, it is noted, and ties back into what I was saying about a rebalance. As for enemy priorities, you can do some neat tricks to interrupt that with your positioning and only a few of them really go for her. From my perspective, there are clearly right and wrong ways to approach the maps, so if you make the, "bad" choice it is harder. Maybe that's just bad game design though? It goes back to the kind of older games that I am pulling from here that have some trial and error, but I toned it down a lot so this wouldn't be overly frustrating, or at least that was the intent.
I have no clue how money was an issue for you. May I suggest a restart because you should have around 200 gold by the end of everything. I'm trying to think of how you could have dipped so low because the least you should really ever have to start with is 100. Clearly I made a mistake somewhere though. I know if you had the money for any armor or potions, then the game is MUCH easier.
As for other issues, like spelling and such, I did my best but things slip past. Surprised to hear you saw some because I did a big sweep before release but I get mixed up on words pretty easy. While English is my first language, I learned a few more during the years and my words/grammar gets confused fairly often. It leaves me with an odd pattern of speech and phrasing.
I am very happy to hear that you liked the writing and could feel the old school adventure book vibe I was going for! I love those very much but wish you could be more involved with those types of games. I was going for that so hearing you realize that is great! Sadly, you were not able to beat the skeletons so you didn't get to really see the story kick into gear, which kind of sucks, because my favorite part comes right after. I think you would go, "Wow!" from how things ratchet up. Anyway, you totally got the right vibes here, so glad at least something was good!
The music wasn't made by me at all actually. Some of it came from a composer I work with, some from some dev packages I own, and others from some other composers who put their work out for anybody to use (with credit of course). The tiles are much the same, I didn't make any myself but I also have tricks to make the normal ones seem fresh and interesting. I am bad at art and code, so I compensate XD
No worries on not being able to finish. I would love to put up a play online but I am not really good at video making. Not sure how to really do that and am very poor lol. It is a good idea though. My brother makes videos and does streaming, so maybe he will do that and I can comment to you later with a video if he does that. I'll have to ask him, he is so very busy with schooling right now though so he may not.
Again, I am very appreciative of your sharing my game on Discord and providing all of this valuable feedback. Even though you couldn't finish, I hope you had some fun. If so, then I say that the contest was a big success for me! I wanted to challenge myself, and since I have no job right now, this seemed like a very good idea.
I will certainly look into Discord. I am not a big fan of it, but maybe I will come just so I can meet all the wonderful people in the SRPG Studio sphere. Everyone I have talked to making games with the engine and such have been very nice and helpful. You are included in that as well!
Thanks once again,