Fire Emblem: Three Houses, or: 3 Fires, 3 Emblems, 3 Houses

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a turn-based strategy RPG developed by Koei-Tecmo Games, with assistance from series creator Intelligent Systems, and published by Nintendo on July 26th, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. In Three Houses, players take control of Byleth, a mercenary in their father's group, who ends up being recruited by the Church of Seiros, the dominant religion in the region of Fódlan, to teach at the Officers Academy, located at the Church's headquarters, Garreg Mach Monastery. Byleth is offered the opportunity to teach one of the groups representative of the three countries that rule Fódlan: the Black Eagles, the house of the Adrestian Empire, led by the imperial princess Edelgard von Hresvelg; the Blue Lions, the house of the Kingdom of Faerghus, led by the royal prince Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd; and the Golden Deer, the house of the Leicester Alliance, led by Claude von Riegan, heir to the ruling seat of the Alliance.

Three Houses represents a radical departure from many series traditions. In-between story missions, players now deal with having to schedule a finite amount of in-game time between the start of the game and the end of the game, analogous to a far less micromanagement-heavy version of Persona or Atelier—though, oddly, the time-limited elements were apparently inspired by Pikmin. How players can spend this time ranges from exploring Garreg Mach Monastery and interacting with the students under their tutelage, to hosting and attending seminars by Garreg Mach faculty, to participating in optional battles.

In terms of mechanics, Three Houses simplifies many series mechanics, and borrows a few from Fire Emblem Gaiden, a title notable for its unique and strange mechanics. Gone is the weapon triangle, a series tradition, replaced by abilities that can be learned through mastering a given weapon type. Gone is magic that can break like weapons—instead, units get a low amount of magic uses per map, but they refresh once the battle is over. Returning from the GBA and GameCube/Wii Fire Emblem games is weapon weight, a mechanic that makes players balance stronger weapons with their units' attack speed. Returning from Gaiden is equipment, non-weapon items that units can equip to gain extra offensive or defensive capability.

Very big thanks to the Fire Emblem Hacking Discord, members of whom provided the script text dump and character portraits I use in this LP. Hacking my Switch is a scary prospect, so they saved me some anxiety.

Very big thanks also to Serenes Forest, which provided an easy resource of datamined info, and also clarification on some in-game vagueness. In particular, the Combat Art descriptions used in the LP are borrowed from them, rather than using the sometimes-lacking in-game ones.

If you wanna discuss the LP with me and other people who somehow like my stuff, join the EO LP Server. I know the name points to another series, but it's also just sort of the de facto server for even my non-EO stuff.

  • The fact that there is a timeskip in the middle of the game is not a spoiler, nor are the post-timeskip character designs except for Byleth. However, anything beyond mentioning its existence and speculating about it is not allowed. This includes discussing gameplay implications of it.
  • Do not discuss support scenes we have not seen yet.
  • Do not talk about plot that we have not seen yet.
  • Absolutely do not talk about plot from the other routes that we have not played yet.
  • I reserve the right to say "this is a spoiler, please edit your post" about anything, even if it is not explicitly mentioned in this policy.
Also, one thing: Three Houses contains characters who are canonically bisexual, and several character relationships between characters of the same sex that are not textually represented as romantic, but could be subtextually interpreted as such. I expect there to be discussion of LGBT+ topics and analysis in this thread, as such. Please do not be a bigot in response to this, or yell at people for having interpretations that you do not share. Don't get angry that someone ships Mercedes and Annette, or yell about how anything non-heterosexual is all just The Gays Shoving Their Lifestyle Down Your Throat.

Debating the quality of the representation in Three Houses, or problematic elements thereof, is also forbidden. It's a valid discussion, and one I've thought a lot about as a bi person myself, but it's not one I particularly care to have in the thread.


Playthrough #1: Black Eagles — Silver Snow
Update 0: I Fear the Edge of Dawn
Update 1: This Beloved Place
Update 2: Battle of the Nestling and the Kitten
Update 3: The First Actual Month
Update 4: CANYON.MID
Update 5: Rebellion
Update 6: But Why
Update 7: Very Normal Days (Content warning: abuse and neglect of a child by a parent, kidnapping)
Update 8: If He Hits Ya, It's Gonna Hurt
Update 9: Really Wanna Guillotine Count Varley (Content warnings: a character suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and PTSD-induced nightmares, vivid flashbacks of trauma. Violence against a child.)
Update 10: Corruption
Update 11: Vanished (Content warning: a character remembering being involuntarily imprisoned and used for human experimentation.)
Update 12: How the Hell Did This Guy Not Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb
Update 13: Dimitri's Getting Lonely
Update 14: Fire Emblem: Two Lances
Update 15: Cat
Update 16: Uncertain Path
Update 17: Orb!
Update 18: Glenn Gimmadome, Owner of the Gimmsdale Gimmadome
Update 19: Sssssssssss
Update 20: Field-Tournament-Style-Up-and-Down-On-the-Ground etc. etc.
Update 21: extremely Vinny Vinesauce voice FiiIIIIiiIIiiiIIIIIIiiiISH
Update 22: The Sound of No-one Caring
Update 23: I Should've Saved the Big Ball Joke for This Update
Update 24: Damn
Update 25: I almost put "Couldn't Think of a Good Title" for this update's title, but that felt too glib for what I'm going to discuss. (Content warning: discussions of loss, grieving, death, and the emotions that come with each.)
Update 26: The Subtitle of Another Fire Emblem Game
Update 27: Notphica
Update 28: Stuff Goes Down, as Predicted
Update 29: Hmm.
Update 30: Cold are the hands that grasp at your soul, 'fore the graves are dug and the death knells toll.
Update 31: From Cradle to Grave
Update 32: Adjacent Mol Iloh
Update 33: The Binding Coil of Supports - Turn 1 (Content warning: A character mentioning her old desire to die, with suicidal ideation implications.)
Update 34: Please Do Not Attack My House
Update 35: Troublesome, isn't it? And untidy, too!
Update 36: Linear Bounded Something-something
Update 37: Dog
Update 38: Blemphis
Update 39: That Noise Armored Xemnas Makes When You Beat Him
Update 40: Why Would You Set These Traps Oh Gods Help Me
Update 41: Hell Man
Update 42: Causing Problems On Purpose
Update 43: Dick "Dastardly" Richard
Update 44: I Gotta Have My Tools
Update 45: It's Always Sunny in Fódlan: Fort Merceus Got Nuked
Update 46: extremely Yiazmat voice LIKE A HOT KNIFE THROUGH BUTTER
Update 47: The Mole, The Mob, And The...Nukes?
Update 48: The Crown of the Immaculate
Update 49: The Dying Gasp

Playthrough #i: Ashen Wolves — Cindered Shadows
Update 50: Sewer Children
Update 51: Did Someone Order a Bunch of Reinforcements?
Update 52: A Nice Camping Trip in the Great Outdoors
Update 53: Rea Gets the Shakes
Update 54: Rats, We're Rats, We're Verrats
Update 55: I'm Ver-giant-rat That Makes All of the Rules
Update 56: Let's See What Kind of Trouble We Can Get Ourselves Into

Playthrough #2: Golden Deer — Verdant Wind
Update 57: The Moon
Update 58: Unchanging, Ever— Wait, Nope, Still Unchanging
Update 59: How Many Times Do We Have to Teach You this Lesson, Old Men?
Update 60: The Bone of Gautier
Update 61: Rude Man Who Kidnaps, Please Call
Update 62: Jelly! Fruit Preserves! Jelly! Fruit Preserves! Fruit Preserves! Jell— There It Is!
Update 63: "Jelly is Bones." It's Not Bones!
Update 64: Reality Coprocessor
Update 65: My Large Agarthan Sons
Update 66: Ohayo, Lemming-san!
Update 67: Crossbar Switch
Update 68: CCCool
Update 69: No, I'm Not Gonna Say It
Update 70: Fódlan Summer
Update 71: The Binding Coil of Supports - Turn 2
Update 72: Fatebreaker
Update 73: Fog of...bad. Yeah, gottem.
Update 74: Wow! President Big Number!
Update 75: The Binding Coil of Supports - Turn 3
Update 76: Dry, Dry Desert
Update 77: Rematch
Update 78: Time Kompression
Update 79: Shambyela
Update 80: From the Heavens

Playthrough #3: Blue Lions — Azure Moon
Update 81: Strength
Update 82: Baelsar's Brick Wall
Update 83: Mist Ache
Update 84: He's Bigger, Faster, and Stronger Too
Update 85: No Nerds! Fight Milk
Update 86: An Abundance of Crow Eggs
Update 87: Underground Spring Water
Update 88: Cats Are Nice
Update 89: Bloodied and Only Moderately Broken
Update 90: They'd Be Out of Business In a Week's Time
Update 91: Roxas, that's a stick.
Update 92: I'm Not Sure Anyone Pays Attention to These Titles
Update 93: PROTIP: To clear the map, kill enemies until you win.
Update 94: Chivalry, much like Rodrigue on my failed attempts at this paralogue, is dead.
Update 95: Professor SSSSnake
Update 96: Wait a minute, I should've done a Windows 95 joke last update. Dammit.
Update 97: Flayn Day
Update 98: Spherical
Update 99: The Level Cap
Update 100: Break
Update 101: Lemme get this straight, you just realized you have two ears?
Update 102: The Most Painful High School Reunion
Update 104: My House Has Now Been Attacked Three Times
Update 105: I'll Add It to the Heap
Update 106: Why Do They Call It Oven
Update 107: Complete Global Saturation
Update 108: All the Giant Bats
Update 109: Astro Dorks at 12 O'Clock
Update 110: Master's Mend
Update 111: Welcome to the Magic Show
Update 112: Arianrhod Island
Update 113: March On
Update 114: The Lime Knife
Update 115: Perfect calculations deliver perfect results.
Update 116: LAST CALL

Playthrough #4: Black Eagles — Crimson Flower
Update 117: The Extreme

Unit Overviews
Image Image Adan/Abby Eisner
Image Edelgard von Hresvelg
Image Hubert von Vestra
Image Ferdinand von Aegir
Image Linhardt von Hevring
Image Caspar von Bergliez
Image Bernadetta von Varley
Image Dorothea Arnault
Image Petra Macneary
Image Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd
Image Dedue Molinaro
Image Felix Hugo Fraldarius
Image Sylvain Jose Gautier
Image Ashe Ubert
Image Annette Fantine Dominic
Image Mercedes von Martritz
Image Ingrid Brandl Galatea
Image Claude von Riegan
Image Lorenz Hellman Gloucester
Image Raphael Kirsten
Image Ignatz Victor
Image Lysithea von Ordelia
Image Marianne von Edmund
Image Hilda Valentine Goneril
Image Leonie Pinelli
Image Seteth
Image Flayn
Image Manuela Casagranda
Image Gilbert Pronislav
Image Alois Rangeld
Image Catherine
Image Shamir Nevrand
Image Cyril
Image Yuri Leclerc
Image Balthus von Albrecht
Image Constance von Nuvelle
Image Hapi

Universal Skill Learn List

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Hell yeah, ground floor! Wait a second...

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There she goes, there she goes again...

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Well, I'm certainly going to keep reading!

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artificially inflate activity by sparking vitriolic edelgard discourse y/n

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also n

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thirding that n

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Hello I am a refugee. I need a home. I choose here.

Huh, looks familiar somehow

how ironic that we move to a purple board once we move out of a purple route

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theshim wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:20 pm
No that's from my LP

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And now we move onto Claude and Hilda's Excellent Adventure.

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Hooray! I'm glad this place exists now! Looking forward to the rest!

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Erisin wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:10 pm
artificially inflate activity by sparking vitriolic edelgard discourse y/n
I mean, we're on Claude and Hilda's Excellent Adventure now, so it'll be a while before we get any fresh Edelgard content to even work with.

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Edelguard did something.

(the centrist reply :p )

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Can't wait to see more of the Golden Deer house.

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Back in!

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Yay, now I get to technically be on the ground floor of the thread! And right when we get started on the best lord's house!

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Erisin wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:10 pm
artificially inflate activity by sparking vitriolic edelgard discourse y/n
Artificially inflate by posting fanart instead y/n?


Have a Flayn Fish!

Grumpy wrote:
Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:07 am
Artificially inflate by posting fanart instead y/n?


Have a Flayn Fish!


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jumping on the fanart train

source: ... 72832?s=20

Eager to see more war college adventures, with or without best archer Bernie.

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Here are the Ashen Wolves's main game writeups! I'll be posting the writeups for the Golden Deer kids we didn't recruit last time (Claude, Lorenz, Raphael, Ignatz, Leonie) along with the next update.

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I think you pinned down Balthus' biggest issue: he's meant to show off a class that he absolutely never wants to be in. In comparison to the other Wolves, Yuri can make very good use of Trickster, Constance shows off just how devastating a highly mobile Bolting user can be in Dark Flier (even with her personal skill's drawback), and Hapi fits into Valkyrie perfectly well even though she kind of works better in Dark Knight or Gremory. Balthus just simply is better off in Grappler or even War Master, because those two classes play towards his strengths much more.

I can kinda see some reason for giving Hapi Seraphim? Sort of? It mostly just reads as an excuse to give her something other than Aura or Abraxas at A Rank Faith for people who really want to make her a Bishop or Holy Knight.

And yeah Balthus just seems kind of jank for the class he's meant to be in, I'm not sure I could be more underwhelmed by that overall spell list/magic growth combo if I tried.

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Oh dear, your Raphael seems to be starting off like mine did. Hopefully he doesn't end up like mine did.

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This fantasy game is testing my suspension of disbelief. People demanding to be given a college lecture.

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Ah yes, time for my motley crew of dorks. The Golden Deer crew are wonderful and definitely bounce off each other well. The best way to sum them up is like a sentai team (which given their multi-colored setup, is quite spot on), where personalities clash and silly quirks reign supreme. But at the end of the day, they know to come together and get the job done. Even though the Golden Deer don't get a fancy team finisher, no matter how much they deserve one.

But from a mechanical standpoint, some shine better than others. Ignatz is very helpful thanks to innate +20 Hit and a few good rallies, but can trail off especially if you poach other students. Raphael is probably one of two people who can make armored classes work (Dedue is the other, but that's for Azure Moon), but will drastically drop off unless you invest in him. Leonie is by far the most solid unit you'll find in the game. She may not wow the crowd like other students can, but give her a path to walk (usually Bow Knight), and she'll get it done. where the praises have to stop. He's a multi-tasker in a game where specialists reign supreme, made worse by being in a house where everything he can do is handled better by someone else. Want Lorenz to do magic, here's Lysithea and Marianne to do the job better. Want Lorenz to go Paladin, oh hey it's Leonie doing doughnuts around him. Want Lorenz to do stuff with battalions, nope sorry here's Claude/Adan/Abby to blow him out of the water. About the only units Lorenz does not directly compete with are Ignatz and Raphael, and even then, those two know what they want to do while Lorenz is a blank slate. Basically, if Lorenz was in a different house (or even a different game), he might be able to shine; but as it stands, Lorenz has to hit the jackpot and have no less than 4 other classmates tanking hard to succeed.

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I didn't expect Hapi to still use 'beautiful' for Adan here (never played male myself), but I think I like it. And that she doesn't take you that seriously in her intro.

I'm curious as to what other differences we'll get from PC gender here going forward, too. Claude certainly still reads as possibly-flirtatious to me.

"Ignatz: My studies are paramount. I shall always uphold my duties as a student of the Officers Academy! Whereas art is...a hobby of mine, you might say. Everyone has hobbies, right? I'm sure you have one.
Adan: Nothing comes to mind.
Ignatz: Oh! Well, perhaps it's different for you, Professor. But it's perfectly normal for people to have hobbies."

This is a good exchange. I like how Ignatz has to patiently explain the concept of "fun" to his weirdo professor, one of the instances where the game riffing on their blank-slate personality works out okay.

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Thank your for including the level up screens. :3

Also, I've played deer route twice, never as m!Byleth because Claude is my husbando, so that'll be an interesting perspective!

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AradoBalanga wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:27 am
Basically, if Lorenz was in a different house (or even a different game), he might be able to shine; but as it stands, Lorenz has to hit the jackpot and have no less than 4 other classmates tanking hard to succeed.
Lorenz is the Deer's born dancer.

As for Claude, I find his value comes from the fast that no one in the game can threaten as much of the map as he can. He can still use all his combat arts in his unique class, he can still equip longbows, and he makes bow knights look like they're standing still, especially if there's any kind of terrain. I typically wind up using Claude as my troubleshooter, scooting all over the map to pick off enemies I couldn't get to or finish enemies I couldn't quite seal the deal on. He's not a beatstick like the other lords, no, but I find him a pretty valuable unit all the same.

For my money, the Deer are the best house mechanically in the game. So many of their units are just absolute killers and of their weaker characters Ignatz still has a role as a rallybot and Lorenz, well, he sucks, but what can you do?

I don't think I could disagree harder on Claude being underwhelming as a Lord. He's the best Lord in 3h by a very long way off the back of how powerful his personal class is. (I presume I'm not allowed to speak in detail about it until it shows up, so I'll wait!)

I can't really get more into comparatives without spoilers elsewhere actually, so I'll table this for a while.

Another note is that if you're actually going to run with all the Ashen wolves on every playthrough then recruiting them early is fine and dandy. But if you're not I'd recommend recruiting them as late as possible to make your life easier.

The only other one I've got to comment on is Leonie who the game tells you is meant to be an archer but is secretly the best sword character in the game for reasons that will become apparent once we actually hit the meat and potatoes of Verdant wind.

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Hell yeah, time to see what the deal is with Claude and co. I've been pretty blind about everything past the Church route, so it'll be fun to see where Golden Deer do and do not differ from that.

Cythereal wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:09 pm
AradoBalanga wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:27 am
Basically, if Lorenz was in a different house (or even a different game), he might be able to shine; but as it stands, Lorenz has to hit the jackpot and have no less than 4 other classmates tanking hard to succeed.
Lorenz is the Deer's born dancer.
A bit more polite than I would've put it but yeah. Having easier access to Movement +1 does help his case there.

Also Claude is great, yeah his hits aren't as meaty as Edie's or Dimitri's, but in a world where Death Blow and relatively easy stat correction in case of getting shafted exist I've found myself struggling to care in practice. I definitely would agree that he's worse than Edelgard (because everyone is worse than Edelgard and her One Weird Trick) but I do think he's ahead of Dimitri once all the intangibles are counted for (although I respect disagreement there since Dimitri is Just That Good at killing things).

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Really the main thing is that no particular tool in Claude's kit is as amazing as what Dimitri or Edelgard can pull off. In most other FE games he'd be almost certainly be the best character, but Dimitri's ability to come out the other side of a mob is so far above everyone else in the game it really stands out, and Edelgard... well, we'll get there. Claude's very well balanced and almost certainly a top 5 unit in the game, it's just the other two approach some "Genealogy Holy Weapons" absurdity.

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Natural20 wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:09 pm
The only other one I've got to comment on is Leonie who the game tells you is meant to be an archer but is secretly the best sword character in the game for reasons that will become apparent once we actually hit the meat and potatoes of Verdant wind.
I made her an Assassin once, it turned out great.

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