The much-anticipated newest entry in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, releases this Friday on Nintendo Switch.
To prepare for the release, here is a compilation of major elements, information, and game play tips to help you hit the ground running in this expansive entry.
The Three Houses
The story takes place on the continent of Fódlan. The history of the continent is torn by war with three kingdoms existing today: The Adrestian Empire, The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and The Leicester Alliance. The Church of Seiros is a neutral territory within the continent.
Garreg Mach Monastery is the headquarters of the church, and within it lays the Officer Academy, an elite training facility that teaches students the art of combat. The nobility of each of the three factions send their heirs to the Officer Academy, and the student body is divided into three houses:
The Black Eagles
The house from students from The Adrestain Empire. The students here are proficient with axes and black magic, and consider the Blue Lions as rivals. As the oldest kingdom most students value their rich history. The house is led by Edelgard von Hresvelg, the heir of Adrestian. If you play style favors using magic for damage and healing, this could be the house for you.
The Blue Lions
The house for students from The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. This kingdom is known for its knights, so naturally many students here are excellent with spears and lances. This house is led by Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd – The prince of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. If you like sturdy powerful units that fight up close, this is the choice for you.
The Golden Deer
The house for students from The Leicester Alliance. Bring from an alliance of smaller territories, there is a larder population of commoners in Golden Deer. Most students favor bows. The house is led by Claude von Riegan, the future head of the Leicester Alliance. If your strategy is to chip away at the enemy from a distance, then look no further.
Byleth is the avatar for the player in Three Houses. Byleth was raised in his/her father’s mercenary troop. Through many battles Byleth gained infamy for their prowess becoming known as the Ashen Demon. Byleth is chosen to be a professor at the Officer Academy by the archbishop Rhea. As a professor, Byleth must choose one of the houses and guide those students as they learn the ways of combat.
Calculating and thoughtful, Edelgard is the type to always plan out her moves and favors strategy over most things. Her cold demenor often intimidates those around her. Edelgard uses axes.
He is chivalrous to the core; however, he doesn’t stand on ceremony and treats everyone as equals. He values strength of body, and mind. Dimitri uses lances to fight.
Claude has an easy-going personality that belies his cunning tactical mind. Claude is not above using dirty tactics if it means protecting his friends and allies. However, Claude is opposed to killing and, if possible, will always uses his brilliance to incapacitate rather than kill. Claude uses bows.
Rhea is the archbishop and leader of the Church of Seiros. Upon recognizing Byleth’s skill she summons them to become an instructor at the Officer Academy. Rhea is kind and caring to all those around her, and fiercely protective of the church.
Jeralt is Blythe’s father. Once leader of the Knights of Seiros he gained a reputation as the strongest knight in the world becoming known as the “Blade Breaker”. He left the knights to form his own mercenary, and when Byleth is recruited to teach at the Officer Academy he is forced to rejoin the Knights of Seiros.
Sothis is a mysterious girl that appears to Byleth through visions. She grants Byleth the ability to use her Divine Pulse skill to manipulate time. Sothis speaks and acts much older than her appearance lets on, and has no memory of her past except.
Combat and Game Play
- The game will feature the deep strategy that is expected of the series. There are some tweaks to game play and additions to game play that players should watch out for.
- Those that played Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia on Nintendo 3DS will notice that, like Echos, Three Houses doesn’t have a weapon triangle with a combat arts system replacing it.
- The ability Divine Power replaces Mila’s Turnwheel alowing the player to rewind the game during battles to correct mistakes.
- Weapon durability makes a return, However, rather than the weapon shattering forever upon breaking it is still usable but with reduced stats until it is repaired.
- Mounted units are able to use any leftover movements after battling at enemy during a turn. This ability hadn’t been seen since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
- Mounted units will have a command that allows them to dismount for terrain where they might be at a disadvantage as a mounted unit.
- Fog of War makes a return. On maps with Fog of War vision is greatly reduced requiring the player to be extra careful with tactics, lest they be attacked by enemies hiding in the fog.
Tips and Tricks
- The Skill stat from previous Fire Emblem games has been renamed Dexterity in Three Houses. It still has the same functions.
- Magic spells have a set number of uses per battle rather than relying on weapon durability. So be sure to keep track of how many times you can use a spell during battle.
- There is an online feature that can be turned on/off that allows the player to see the spaces where other players died, or killed an enemy unit, and standing on those spaces can grant rewards.
- There is an auto-battle feature similar to the one from Fire Emblem Heroes
- As you play through the game if you meet certain conditions you can recruit students from other the houses.
- The game will have a day/night and a 12 month calendar system that can have an impact on battles as well as interacting with students.
These are just a new elements to whet your whistle. The game will be incredible deep and complex. With well-near 80 hours of game play, your in for quite the epic adventure.