How Does Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Stack Up?

Does Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes do enough to justify going from anime chess to the usual Musuo flavors?

On the latest episode of 99 Potions, Nerium and Imran sat down with Three Houses scholar LB Hunktears to have a spoilercast on Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Tune in to hear the crew talk about mercenary whistles, Elizabeth Holmes impressions, wine vs Gatorade, menu heaven and why October 2005 is Fanbyte’s 2022 Month of the year. It’s a lot, but I promise it’s a super thorough spoilercast on the game. Plus, we’ve got the entire transcript down below.

(You can also listen on your preferred podcast platform here!)


Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Spoilercast (feat. LB Hunktears) Transcript:

Nerium: Hello everybody, and welcome back to [slow and weird cadence] another review podcast, coming to you live to tape.

LB: Are you okay, Nere?

Imran: Technically all podcasts– well, no, very few podcasts we do are live to tape.

Nerium: I would say almost none of them, in point of fact.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: I’m fine. LB Hunktears, social media, Social Editor+…

LB: Got it.

Nerium: For I don’t remember my own title most of the time. The problem is though, LB, that I’m just feeling slow. I’m feeling logy. I need, I don’t know, like some kind of, some form of caffeine that could perk me up, something like a nice refreshing cup of tea. [crinkling noises] Is that you getting tea ready? I thought I heard something crumply. Is that like a teabag?

LB: Yes, that’s definitely what it is.

Nerium: Okay. [laughter]

LB: And not a mistake.

Nerium: Well, I’m also joined by Imran Khan, News Editor for, somebody who I know loves a weapon triangle.

Imran: I mean, I love a weapon triangle. I’m a big fan of weapon octahedrons.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

Imran: I think weapon squares are okay, but they’re a little uneven.

Nerium: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. What about a weapon diamond? What about a diamond weapon, if you will?

Imran: Like a weapon made of diamonds or like just a big diamond you’re holding that you’re hitting people with?

Nerium: Well, diamond weapon is a Final Fantasy thing, which is not what we’re here to talk about. I am Senior Managing Editor for, Nerium. I am here to talk about Fire Emblem: Three Hopes, a game with tea time and weapons and children piloting mechs. Nope, children killing each other. That’s true, at the very least. They’re killing each other with regular weapons and also swords that turned into whips and probably ’caused an apocalypse or something like that. I think there was a dragon involved. There’s some time travel, because this is a Musou game that is loosely based on the events of Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Imran: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: But it is made by those fine folks at Omega Force?

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Okay, great.

Imran: The workshop for all Musou games.

Nerium: Perfect.

Imran: Like, other people used to make Musou games. Now they don’t. Now it’s just Omega Force.

Nerium: Oh, hell yeah. LB Hunktears, have you played a Musou game before? Is this your first one?

LB: This is my very first one. I like it.

Nerium: But you are a huge Fire Emblem fan.

LB: Uh, I’m really just a Fire Emblem: Three Houses fan. I haven’t played any of the other Fire Emblems.

Nerium: Oh, okay. Well, you know, you got in.

LB: But I’m a huge fan of that.

Nerium: I mean, that is the one that–

LB: I would like to. I did download an emulator so I could play one of the Game Cube ones, or the only Game Cube one? I don’t know.

Imran: There’s only one, yeah. Path of Radiance.

LB: Okay. That Game Cube one.

Nerium: Yeah, there’s Game Cube and then a Wii one.

LB: And then I couldn’t get it to work, so. [laughs]

Nerium: Mm.

LB: And then I gave up, ’cause it was hard.

Imran: It should be easy enough to find a Game Cube and an actual copy. It’s only several hundred dollars right now, I think.

LB: It’s only– yeah, I think it was like $900. I looked.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: That Game Cube Fire Emblem game was expensive before used video games became way too expensive. Like I remember that thing going– ‘cause they just didn’t print many copies of it, because Nintendo was like, nobody gives a fuck about this Fire Emblem shit. And they would just kind of like, they didn’t even– there was a time there where they weren’t putting every Fire Emblem game out in English, and now Fire Emblem is like one of their biggest–

Imran: Right.

Nerium: It’s certainly their biggest on mobile, their biggest success with Fire Emblem Heroes, the gacha game and all that stuff

LB: Each.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: Each game.

Imran: Yeah, they put out every game since seven, I think?

Nerium: Okay.

Imran: So like, I think this game especially was like…well, it was on the Game Cube, so no one really cared, but also they didn’t print that many, and it came out the same– I don’t know if the same week, but the same month at least, of Shadow of the Colossus and I want to say Dragon Ball: Tenkaichi Budokai? And like those games basically just ate all the sales that month.

Nerium: Mm, I see. Dragon Ball: Budokai Tenkaichi, huh?

Imran: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: Those were big sellers?

Imran: They were! Everything– Dragon Ball is big.

Nerium: Dragon ball is big. That’s true. Fire Emblem has gotten big, I would say.

Imran: Yes.

Nerium: Especially after this…not this game specifically, not Three Hopes. Three Hopes probably sold well, but yeah.

Imran: Once they brought back fucking, like, it became big.

Nerium: Once they brought back fucking. They brought back fucking, and they put it in HD, and they put it in the palm of your hand. They brought back face touching, but they were like, no, Americans can’t handle the face touching. We’re taking that part out specifically. But now you can stare awkwardly at Edelgard’s chest while she like blushes and looks away while you drink tea together, because tea time is a big thing in these games.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: And it’s in Three Hopes, right?

Imran: Yeah, you can invite people to tea time in that game. And then like, if you have a perfect conversation, you’re, as you mentioned, allowed to stare at them.

Nerium: Okay.

Imran: Like at their face or at their chest.

Nerium: [laughs] So it’s a Fire Emblem game. It’s still…

Imran: You’re allowed to, like– there’s several things you can do. I think it’s like be charming, crack a joke, compliment them, and something else. But like– oh, tease.

LB: Tease.

Imran: Yeah, tease has literally never made anyone happy every time I’ve done it, and I don’t know why that thing is in there. Like, nobody likes to be teased.

LB: So they can go, “Aww.” ‘Cause you want to see them go, “Aww.”

Imran: Well, you do tease, and they frown and like, “Well, that’s unfair,” or whatever.

LB: [laughs] Yeah, it’s great.

Imran: I’m like, hey, I don’t know what I just said. I don’t know what I just teased you for.

Nerium: Not to completely derail us off of this specific conversation, but Imran, you brought up when this game came out and it coming out at the same time as Shadow of the Colossus and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi.

Imran: Path of Radiance, yeah.

Nerium: Path of Radiance, sorry. Then there’s the Radiant Dawn was the Wii one.

Imran: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: Anyway. So on a whim, that made me look up like, oh, I wonder if that’s true. It did come out just a few days after Shadow– no, literally the day after Shadow of the Colossus.

Imran: Right.

Nerium: 2005, October 2005 in video games was wild.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Fahrenheit, otherwise known as Indigo Prophecy to most people, not a great game, but put David Cage on the map.

Imran: You know how it’s like, what’s that old line like, the devil like convinces you that he’s one of the good– I remember the exact fucking line, but that’s how David Cage convinced people he was good.

Nerium: Uh huh.

Imran: Was the first chapter of Fahrenheit, actually really interesting.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

Imran: Everything else, just the most insane bullshit that would– if anyone had ever gotten that far, they would’ve been like, this man can never work again.

Nerium: Terrible, terrible, absolutely garbage.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.

Imran: Mm, yeah.

Nerium: Trauma Center: Under the Knife.

Imran: I’m starting to remember my trip to Toys R Us [Nerium laughs] for their buy two, get one free deal.

Nerium: Oh! They were so good about that stuff.

Imran: I think I spent a lot of money that this year, when I was doing that.

Nerium: We don’t have to spend a ton of more time on this, I just want– I’ll just rattle some of these off. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. Black & White 2. FIFA came out that month, obviously that makes sense. SSX On Tour. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney came out that month!

Imran: Oh wow.

Nerium: FEAR, First Encounter Assault Recon, fantastic game. The Warriors, the Rockstar licensed Warriors prequel. Quake 4, also not a great game but interesting.

Imran: Oh, yeah.

Nerium: Age of Empires 3. Jack X Combat Racing. Shadow of the Colossus. A bad Spyro game. Stubs the Zombie. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. X-Men Legends 2, great game, underrated. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, also underrated. Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix!

Imran: Oh, hell yeah. Waluigi was the villain in that game.

Nerium: [laughs] Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Metroid Prime Pinball, Nintendogs Best Friends, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, Call of Duty 2, Driver 3, Civilization IV, Gunstar Super Heroes. The list just goes on. Soul Calibur 3. Anyway. LB, tell me about Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. [laughs]

LB: You don’t want to hear about what I was enjoying in October 2005?

Nerium: Was it Resident Evil IV for the PlayStation 2?

LB: No, it was The Runners Four by Deer Hoof.

Nerium: Oh.

LB: I can’t believe that album came out that month. That was– what a month!

Nerium: What a month!

Imran: What a month.

LB: Actually– yeah, great month Animal Collective Feels? Oh my God. Amazing.

Imran: You know what, I’m nominating October 2005 for month of the year.

[celebratory music and applause]

LB: [laughs] For 2005.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Month of the year 2005.

LB: Or for this year?

Imran: For this year.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: Damn. This year already failed. [laughter]

Nerium: No! The month of the year? Like, if we are– we’re just looking back and remembering how great a month that was.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Ohh.

Nerium: ‘Cause this month, this year made us think of it.

LB: Interesting. Okay.

Nerium: Ratchet Deadlocked. Lego Star Wars, the video game. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Imran: The first one, wow.

LB: I played that one.

Imran: You played that one?

LB: You’ve mentioned two games that I’ve actually played.

Nerium: Oh, interesting.

LB: Incredible. That’s very impressive for 2000s games.

Nerium: [sighs] Anyway, LB, tell me about Fire Emblem Warriors, colon, Three Hopes.

LB: You mean this game that I played all three routes of?

Nerium: It’s fucking bananas to me that–

Imran: It is absolutely insane. Like, this game is as long I think as the actual Three Houses, like each route.

LB: It’s not. It’s not.

Imran: It was like 30 hours, I feel like, for one path. No, I think 40 hours.

LB: But New Game Plus goes by much faster.

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: Okay. Fair.

LB: Because…so, remember in Three Houses, how there wasn’t really anything to spend renown on?

Imran: Yes.

LB: Well, there wasn’t really anything to spend– you do remember, okay.

Imran: Yes.

LB: They actually introduced something in this one for you to use your renown on, and it’s mercenary whistles. [laughter] So you go into your tent, and you open up your journal, you spend your clout on whistles. And then, instead of having to do all the little battles to get to the big battle per chapter, you can just go “Doot doot!” and then skip them. [laughter] So it actually goes by really fast.

Imran: Just walking through the battlefield with a whistle in your mouth, going “doot doot!”

LB: Like, oh, this guy means business! I’m out of here!

Imran: Everyone’s like, “Right this way, Sir!”

LB: [laughs] Exactly!

Nerium: They literally made a warp whistle that kills. [laughter]

LB: Yeah, they did. It’s really good, and it made it much faster, and like…because okay, I did enjoy the stack of boys that I– [laughter] you get to just like stack ‘em up and kill ’em. That is, I guess, the Musou MO, right?

Imran: The Musou MO, yeah. The Musomo.

LB: Are they like that? The MMO. That’s what that stands for. [laughs]

Imran: The MMO.

LB: The Musou modus operandi.

Nerium: [laughs] If this was a normal episode of the show, that’d be such a great episode title.

LB: I’m also– I didn’t know this wasn’t gonna be a regular episode. I still haven’t made my 99 Potions debut. I still have to wait.

Imran: I mean, it’s still in the 99 Potions like brand.

LB: You didn’t do the– we didn’t– it’s not a– you didn’t say it was 99 Potions. We don’t get to do the clink at the end. I love that.

Nerium: Oh, we can still clink at the end.

LB: I love this show. I love this show. This is my favorite RPG podcast.

Nerium: LB, you’re coming on next week too, to talk on a normal episode.

LB: To talk about what?

Nerium: I don’t know. I’ll find something. I’ll mail you something.

LB: Okay. [laughs]

Nerium: I’ve done that to other members of this staff before.

LB: [laughs] Yeah, you have done that! So this game, yeah, three routes. I played all of them. Each route has two sub routes, so you play as…basically like the setup is what if Three Houses Byleth hadn’t met the kids, and it was instead a different overpowered mercenary with a god inside them?

Imran: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: [laughs] What if?

Nerium: It’s a boy god this time, right?

Imran: Yeah, it’s a little kid.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: A little kid, okay.

Imran: Essentially. Like, I don’t know what their actual age is, but they’re coded as like a small kid voice.

Nerium: Oh, interesting. Okay.

LB: They kind of sound like Elizabeth Holmes?

Nerium: [confused] Okay.

LB: From Theranos?

Nerium: Don’t elaborate one bit.

LB: [laughs] Wait, Imran, am I wrong? Am I making this up?

Imran: I don’t rem– my only like physical memory of Elizabeth Holmes is like the weird eyes, so I don’t know what she sounds like.

LB: Oh. [laughs, starts imitating] It’s kind of like a person who has a higher voice who’s trying to pitch their voice lower, like this, to sound serious and adult.

Imran: I mean, that’s a good– that’s definitely an approximation of Arval, the actual–

LB: Yeah, that’s what Arval sounds like! Like Elizabeth Holmes.

Imran: I don’t know that I can agree with Elizabeth Holmes yet, ’cause I don’t know.

LB: [laughs] The vocal fry is not there, but it’s very similar. Yeah, and you…

Imran: Oh. So, this is the thing, since we’re talking about Arval.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: This is the thing we talked about in the initial First Byte we did. His voice actor sounds very familiar, but none of us could place it.

LB: Oh, yeah.

Imran: It’s Clementine from Walking Dead.

Nerium: Oh! Really?

Imran: Yes.

Nerium: Interesting. LB– that means nothing to you, LB, I assume.

LB: Nothing to me.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: Absolutely nothing. No, I’m sorry.

Imran: Go ahead, LB. I just wanted to bring that one up.

LB: No, but that’s very meaningful to probably most people.

Imran: Yes.

LB: Except for me, who I refuse to engage in culture.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Melissa Hutchinson, I think is the name of that voice actor.

Imran: The voice actress, yeah.

LB: Cool. Well, she did a great job of sounding like…

Imran: [laughs] Elizabeth Holmes?

LB: Like a little kid trying to sound like an adult!

Nerium: Which is Elizabeth Holmes.

LB: Well, I mean, if Arval is this like…so, this is a spoilercast, spoilers.

Nerium: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This game has been out for long enough to, I don’t know, beat the game three times. So I think this is totally fine to talk about.

LB: I could have beat it more times than that too, honestly.

Imran: Also, nothing ever happens to the podcast. If you came back this later, it would be fine.

Nerium: That’s true too.

Imran: You’re not gonna be out of date.

LB: Imran, which route did you play?

Imran: I chose Black Eagles for this game.

LB: So you did Scarlet Blaze. Did you get Byleth?

Imran: Yes.

LB: Okay.

Imran: But I got Byleth ’cause– I initially did not get Byleth. So, Nerium, do you remember when like, we went to a retreat basically.

Nerium: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Imran: And I was like, hey, there’s a weird mission in Fire Emblem that tells you the story’s gonna change if you do this or whatever decisions you make in this mission, and I have no idea what they actually wanted from me.

Nerium: Yeah. Mm-hmm. I do remember you saying, like, “I don’t know what’s going on here, both in person at this Portland thing that we’re doing and also in the video game.” [laughs]

Imran: Yeah. And then like, I played a couple more hours, like in my hotel room, and I was talking to LB the next day. It’s like, “Yeah, I don’t know what decisions were, like where– what happened?” and LB explains to me, “Oh, yeah, you did the wrong thing. [laughter] Like, if you want the true ending–”

Nerium: You fucked up.

Imran: Yeah, if you want the true ending, you should have done this, this, and this. So I had to go back like a couple hours to go do that. [laughs]

Nerium: Ahh.

Imran: So, I did recruit Byleth, for what I’m guessing is the true ending?

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: Okay.

LB: So basically, like in that ending, it’s revealed that Arval is like the Sothis equivalent of Those Who Slither in the Dark, kind of, like this big overpowered god type person, I think? Imran, is that what you got from that?

Imran: Yeah, he was like a god. It’s what Those Who Slither in the Dark would have worshiped. Like, they were the initial like progenitors of humans, like they existed before humans, they ruled the earth, and at some point humans took over. So like, the thing that Arval is was like a– not a spinoff, like a growth on one of those things.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: That like eventually somehow got its way into your main character…how do you pronounce that? Shay? Shez?

Nerium: Shez, right?

LB: [laughs] Shez, but no, it’s Shay now. [Nerium laughs] Like a French house.

Imran: Yeah, like chez.

LB: Like chez.

Imran: Like chez Fire Emblem.

Nerium: Ah, yeah.

LB: [French accent] Chez Fire Emblem, ah, bonjour.

Nerium: Ahaha, oui oui!

LB: [French] ???

Nerium: [French?] ???

LB: The first Fire Emblem protagonist to be French. This is huge.

Nerium: That can’t be true.

LB: Actually, I don’t know if that’s true.

Nerium: There must be a French accent Fire Emblem character. That must exist.

LB: A protagonist?

Nerium: Protagonist?

Imran: Ike’s original name was Paris, but that was an Odyssey reference.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: [laughs] Not a French thing.

LB: Damn. Well, this is– congrats to Shay.

Imran: I can’t think of anyone that I’d be like, that guy is French.

Nerium: Gatrie.

Imran: Like as far as protagonists go.

Nerium: Okay, sorry, I do need to point out– okay, I just googled “French Fire Emblem character.”

LB: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: And I think it’s just pulling up this character because the SEO for their French voice actor is really good, but [laughs] their French name is Gatorie.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: Which is very funny to me because it looks like Gatorade.

LB: That is funny.

Nerium: It looks like the character’s name is Gatorade.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Anyway. Sorry, I’m interrupting again.

LB: [French accent] Le Gatorade ???

Nerium: [French accent] Le Gatorade.

LB: [French accent] It is time to be a ??? eh, you understand?

Nerium: [laughs] Oh my God.

Imran: Do you think if somebody had never tasted wine [LB laughs] and you put Gatorade into like a wine glass, would they be like, “This is not wine. This is Gatorade.” Or would they be like, “Yeah, wine tastes kinda like how I expected.” [LB laughs]

Nerium: Here’s the thing. I think Gatorade tastes a little bit like wine already. [LB and Imran laugh] I think– I’ve had both, and I, if you put both in front of me…I could tell the difference, but.

Imran: I mean, I can tell the difference, because I don’t like wine.

LB: Well, wine is blue.

Imran: Only Gatorade blue is blue. There’s different colors of Gatorade.

Nerium: There’s different colors of Gatorade, and they have different flavors, and some of them are more wine-like than others.

LB: I’m gonna just fall to pieces right now. [laughter]

Nerium: Do you need some electrolytes? Are you about to pass out? I can get you something to drink! [LB laughs]

Imran: The thing is, I want to try this now. I want to do like Wine or Gatorade as like a test.

Nerium: Mm-hmm,

Imran: Like the old Pepsi challenge.

Nerium: Mm-hmm. Next time we’re in person.

Imran: Yes.

Nerium: Fanbyte Outside 2. We’re doing Wine or Gatorade.

LB: It’s gonna be in the Fanbyte Cup. We gotta tell Niki to add it to the literature. [laughter]

Nerium: What the fuck were we talking about?

LB: French Fire Emblem characters.

Imran: Shez!

LB: Okay. Something I did do is I commissioned my friend Remus to draw Sylvain Gautier who’s French– a little French-coded, Gautier, you know?

Nerium: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: As French Formula One driver Pierre Gasly from two of Pierre Gasly’s Instagram posts. [laughs] And they’re really good, but you can’t see them. But you have to trust me.

Nerium: [laughs] Yeah, ’cause it’s an audio medium.

LB: You can trust me. You have to trust me that this– that it’s very funny, because Pierre Gasly is the Sylvain of Formula One. And Paul, who’s producing, you need to trust me that Sylvain is the Pierre Gasly of Fire Emblem. So, everyone laugh. Hahahahahahaha. [laughs]

Nerium: So that gives me a great pit lane, you might say, because it lets me kind of divert over to ask about, okay, so who are your…like, who are your powerhouse characters in this one? Everybody, when you play these like Musou games, especially the modern spinoffy ones where the characters tend to play a little bit more differently, like Zelda plays very differently than everybody else in the most recent Fire Emblem Warriors games, that sort of stuff. Who were your like MVPs? Who do you just keep rolling with?

Imran: For me, it was Lysithia, who is like basically a nuclear weapon in magic little girl form. Like, she has a magic stat that goes probably well beyond anyone else in the game, so all you really do is like you point her at the enemy and just start shooting, and you’ve pretty much won everything.

Nerium: LB?

LB: So you liked playing as a magic user?

Imran: I brought her in when I needed magic users and like, she would pretty much destroy everything. It’s like, I think the most like actual broken character is Shez.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: Because Shez is just like, they have a–

Nerium: Yeah, like Byleth was.

Imran: Yeah. They’re twins. Actually, Byleth is not– like, Byleth is is pretty broken, but Shez is just like so much faster without giving up literally any strength.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: So you can just tear through…the trap you could fall into very easily in that game is just using Shez for everything, and I tried to only limit Shez to like story chapters, because they are so much better than everyone else.

LB: Yeah, that’s– Shez is way, way too strong. And in New Game Plus, that gets…it just, it gets silly.

Nerium: Does the game get harder in New Game Plus? Or is it just like the same difficulty?

LB: No. [laughs]

Nerium: Okay.

LB: No, you can– I amped the difficulty, but it was still like…because the levels didn’t reset, so everyone’s just incredibly over leveled and has like–

Nerium: Wait, so you’re just like level 99 and they’re level 1?

LB: Yeah, basically.

Nerium: Great. Good. Good job, video games! [laughter]

LB: So, my powerhouses were…so the first route I played was Azure Gleam, which is the Blue Lions route.

Nerium: [French accent] Azure, hon hon.

LB: Like, my perfect little baby Felix was just as overpowered and broken in Three Hopes as he is in Three Houses. [Nerium laughs] Are you laughing ’cause you’re remembering the cake that I sent you?

Nerium: I am laughing because I remembered the cake that you sent me. [Nerium and LB laugh]

LB: It’s really good.

Imran: Okay, I don’t know anything about this cake. I feel like now it needs explanation.

LB: Okay. Uh, we were in a huddle on Slack the other day. I mentioned this cake someone had made of Felix Fire Emblem.

Imran: Oh, right. Okay. I thought you literally sent Nere a cake.

LB: Yeah, I sent Nere… [laughs]

Nerium: Oh my God.

Imran: Of Felix.

LB: [laughs] That would be amazing.

Imran: Just like, out of nowhere, just like, “Happy birthday. Here’s Felix.”

Nerium: Okay. So…

LB: Did you see the cake, though?

Nerium: Imran.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: That’s what it was.

Imran: Okay.

Nerium: It was cake made to look like Felix Fire Emblem.

Imran: All right.

LB: Oh, wait, you didn’t see the cake?

Imran: I did not see–

LB: Imran.

Imran: I did not actually see the cake. [Nerium laughs]

LB: Okay, I’m putting it in Slack in Standout, without any explanation for the rest of the people we work with.

Nerium: Now, I need the listeners to know, because this is an audio medium. I need them to know that this is a picture– this is like a post-impressionist painting of Felix Fire Emblem in cake form. [laughs] This is not like those things where it’s like, oh, look at this TikTok where somebody made a cake, or here’s somebody like driving a car, but they step outside of it, and it’s actually made of chocolate cake and fondant. No, this looks like a…

LB: It’s so good.

Nerium: [laughs] This looks like a Homestuck character.

Imran: I need to also look up Felix Fire Emblem, [Nerium laughs] because like, I need to know, like, is the thing at his crotch a thing like in the character design?

Nerium: Mm-hmm!

LB: That’s his cape. That’s the back of his– that’s his cape showing through at the bottom.

Nerium: Imran, that was the first thing I asked LB!

LB: Nere asked me the same question, yeah. [laughter]

Nerium: Why is there a big white mass between Felix’s legs?

LB: What everyone needs to know is that it’s just kind of a cake in a kind of vague boy shape with a big frowny face.

A vague boy shape. [laughs]

LB: Holding kind of like a silver baseball bat, it looks like. [laughter] In like kind of a cookie monster colored outfit, with some detailing, and then what looks like just a bunch of cream cheese between his legs.

Nerium: His legs like really spread far apart.

Imran: Yes.

LB: Yeah, he’s manspreading a lot, ’cause that’s what he does.

Imran: He looks like he’s about to leap up and be like, “You can’t catch me. I’m Felix.” [laughter]

LB: It’s a really good cake, though! Like it gets his vibe perfectly. [laughter] He was my powerhouse character in Azure Gleam.

Imran: Great.

LB: In Scarlet Blaze, it was Ferdinand, my other best boy. And who was it in Golden Wildfire? Was it…oh, I really like– playing brawlers was actually really, really fun in this.

Nerium: Who’s your brawler?

LB: Like, punch– uh, Balthus. You can get, like, you can get the Ashen Wolves.

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Gray wolves? Ashen Wolves?

Imran: Ashen wolves.

LB: In all the rats?

Nerium: They’re the DLC characters from Three Houses, for people who don’t know.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: It’s so fun!

Imran: And I also didn’t know who any of them were, so they were all just weirdos.

LB: [laughs] They’re really great, though!

Nerium: That’s what they are in the base game.

LB: They are, yeah! I feel like I got a better sense of them in this game than I did in the DLC for Three Houses.

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: Okay.

Nerium: They literally like live in the sewers, right? Like that’s their whole vibe?

LB: [laughs] They live in the sewers.

Imran: They’re the goth kids. Like, they’re like, “Oh, we’re from the Abyss. We live for the Abyss,” kind of thing.

LB: Well, they’re all like– okay, so, Yuri is like a mob boss? He’s the head of their house. Balthus is a…he’s Hilda’s brother’s bestie, but he’s on the run from bounty hunters, ’cause he has so many gambling debts and is constantly offering to take off his shirt to improve people’s day.

Imran: Also, while we’re talking about Balthus, [LB: “Uh huh”] he’s a student, right? ‘Cause he looks 45 years old.

LB: [laughs] It’s unclear. No one’s quite sure. I think he is a student, yeah, but you can be a student at the officer’s academy and be an adult, like Hubert.

Nerium: Eh, Byleth is kind of that, in reverse.

Imran: Wait, is Hubert an adult?

LB: Hubert’s like 21, 22 at the start of the game.

Imran: I assumed him and Edelgard were like born around the same time. They’re like, “You work for her now.”

Nerium: Eh, probably. I mean, Edelgard’s at least 17.

LB: I think she’s like three years younger. Yeah.

Nerium: Yeah, when the game starts.

LB: And they were like, “Hubert, see this baby? You have to take care of it.” And he was like–

Imran: “I’m three.”

LB: Little boy Hubert, like, “Yes, I will. I would be honored to have this task of protecting this baby with my life.”

Nerium: I’m sorry, again, derailing, but it’s at least about Fire Emblem at this point, like that.

LB: Uh huh?

Nerium: I still have like just unfiltered, un-dealt-with rage [LB: “Mm-hmm”] over the fact that Yuri is not a non-binary character, in the same way that a lot of other people get mad that Claude is not a bisexual romance option in these games. The fact that Yuri is like this androgynous weirdo who lives in the sewer with purple hair is not like the first N-B Fire Emblem character is…it’s enraging to me, ’cause I’m looking at pictures of Yuri again right now. Anyway, that’s my soapbox. Hello, goodbye. [Imran laughs]

LB: I mean, you gotta– I think they were looking, they were doing looking at the market research, right? at Fire Emblem HQ, back in 2019. They were looking at market research. They were in the meetings. They were, you know, looking at the PowerPoints, opening up like video– like anime hotties industry weekly, whatever the like Variety, you know, is for that industry. And they were like, “We didn’t– we forgot to put a femboy in. We fucked up.”

Imran: Mm.

LB: So they did that. ‘Cause like, that’s the…they went for that mode, and they never do that right. None of these games do.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: They never make them non-binary. They’re always just like, “I’m the most feminine boy you’ve ever seen!”

Nerium: That’s what I’m saying, though, but like–

LB: “I’m beautiful!”

Nerium: After the way that this game– like that original game, not Three Hopes, a game that we’re still not talking about, despite the fact that this is a Three Hopes, spoilercast. [laughter]

LB: We’re talking about it!

Nerium: The fact that…like, the way that that like took over the internet by storm or whatever like that, the amount of like attention that DLC would have gotten I feel like would’ve been way, way higher. Like, ’cause most people I feel like did not play that DLC, because like me, they put 175 hours into the base game and were like, “I am never touching this video game again.” [laughs]

Imran: Yeah, same. I was like, I had grand plans. I was going to do like everything and then like I would bring it around to the DLC at some point. Never happened. It was like, I’m good. I don’t think I need to go through Dimitri’s or in Edelgard’s path.

Nerium: Right, yeah.

LB: I mean, I played it and said–

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: “I need to go to the sauna immediately!” But that’s me.

Nerium: That’s you.

LB: And I was captivated by this game, and was once again with Three Hopes, because I played–

Nerium: Yeah, despite the fact that it’s very different gameplay.

LB: Very much, very different game play. I missed– I missed anime chess so much.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: So much that I went back and tried to play Three Houses again, but I’m still so sick of every one of those battles.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: ‘Cause I played each of them so many times [Nerium: “Yeah”] that I tried to figure out how to emulate Game Cube, and it didn’t work, but that’s how desperate I was for anime chess.

Nerium: Oh, I’ll set up, LB, after this.

LB: Thank you, Nere. Thank you. I definitely wasn’t complaining strategically [Nerium laughs] in front of my smartest friends.

Imran: That’s the real anime chess.

LB: [laughs] I knew Imran and Nere would help me. Exactly, the real anime chess. And then who…so yeah, Balthus is verified in Golden Deer, because he’s got him and Holst, Hilda’s brother, but Holst is also really fun, Hilda’s older brother who shows up and is just this like pink-haired skull man. He looks kinda like if John Cena had pink hair. [laughter] He’s very John Cena-like.

Imran: Yeah, I saw him occasionally, and I’m like, who the hell is this? And like, he doesn’t come up much in the Black Eagle route.

LB: No, he doesn’t. He’s great, though.

Nerium: I’ve never heard of this guy.

LB: Okay, so you remember Hilda?

Nerium: I remember Hilda.

LB: Claude’s friend?

Imran: Do you know John Cena from Fortnite?

LB: [laughs] John Cena from Fortnite?

Nerium: Oh, John Cena from Fortnite.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Yes, but I’ve never seen him, weirdly enough.

LB: [laughs] That’s very good. And that’s why you didn’t see him, that’s why Imran didn’t see him much in Scarlet Blaze.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Right. Yeah.

LB: [singing John Cena’s theme song] Doo doo doo doo! [Nerium laughs]

Imran: I just couldn’t.

LB: Doo doo doo doo! Yeah. I think those were my– I found out I had a hard time with archers. I had a hard time with magic users, like actually playing as them. I really liked sending them off to do things, though.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: I loved the amount of this game that’s like delegating.

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: Yeah, you’re in menus for like half the game.

LB: And menus. Ah! I love menus. Shocking. I love menus. I had so many menus to play with. They have– oh my gosh, and there’s like, you can upgrade the whole camp, so there’s menus for that. There’s menus for upgrading all your unit’s different skills and abilities. There’s menus for different supplies you have, to build things and trade them for other things. Yeah, it’s menu heaven.

Imran: Yes. There are so many menus that you– like, there’s a menu so you don’t even have to walk around the camp.

Nerium: Oh.

Imran: Just like, just press this menu and go right to the place.

Nerium: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I feel like a lot of games are kind of getting around towards that too, in the last couple of years. Monster Hunter does that same thing.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: It’s great. I never want to walk around.

Imran: It’s fun to walk around the camp…once.

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: After that, I just care less and less, to the point where by the end of it, I wasn’t even talking to anybody. It’s like, all right, I just gotta go increase the supply depot so I can get more things from them.

Nerium: Right.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: So, the actual gameplay of this game does not sound like it’s super, super difficult.

LB: Very easy.

Nerium: But it sounds like there’s a lot to do if you just want to do it for the sake of doing it. You can– so, I remember a lot of these games having almost like a—and I think it was even literally the last Fire Emblem Warriors game that they put out—having like almost gacha-like mechanics. Not gacha in the sense of like you pull for characters, but like the idea of like, I’ve got 600 rusty swords, I’m just gonna feed all these rusty swords to my good sword, and that’ll level it up. Is there like a lot of equipment and managing your characters in that way and like kitting them out so that they’re like good? Or are you just mostly worrying about their levels and their skills?

Imran: I mean, you can do that. What I did is like, I was earning enough good weapons that like, I just hit optimize every so often, and things worked out.

Nerium: Mm, mm-hmm.

Imran: Like, if you want like the stronger weapons, you can go through and just, you know, improve your thing and like make sure your blacksmith has better resources and all that jazz. But like, at the end of the day, most of that game is I’m going to swing sword at guy and he’ll die, and it works out regardless of– as long as you’re not using the starting weapon, it’s probably gonna kill him eventually.

LB: I powered up Hilda’s crest ax, her hammer, her big disgusting weapon.

Imran: Mm-hmm.

LB: So much that she was, I think, eventually a better character than Shez.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: Just because of the weapon?

LB: Just in terms of like damage done. Also, I had her on a wyvern, so she was really fast.

Nerium: Mm. Oh, so they do that. You have flying units and stuff.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s flying units, and there’s stuff that you can only access if you’re a flying unit.

Nerium: Interesting.

LB: There’s traps that you can, you know, avoid if you’re a flying unit. There’s…

Nerium: Is that just like a hover? It’s not like you’re actually like, you know, going Lair style, just moving around the whole battlefield, I assume?

Imran: Oh yeah, it’s a hover.

LB: It’s a hover, yeah.

Nerium: Okay.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: You can kinda glide sometimes. It’s nice.

Nerium: 2005, the release date of Lair. That’s not true. Anyway, that’s a joke for like six people who remember Lair.

Imran: That’s before the PS3 came out, so.

Nerium: Yeah. Yeah, it is. Yeah. Ah, Lair.

Imran: Let’s just talk about Lair. The original Musou game.

Nerium: Oh, we should do a– we should stream Lair. Anyway, so I think like, more so than the gameplay and stuff like that, I think– like, okay, we can get that out of the way. What people care about with the Fire Emblems and their little kids and their paper draws that they mush together and make kiss. How’s the kissing? How’s the support conversations? How’s all that stuff?

Imran: There’s no kissing.

Nerium: What?

Imran: There’s zero smooches in this game.

Nerium: What?

Imran: You get an item that will like solidify your bond with someone, but all that does is like, you give it to them, and they’re like, “Wow, we really are bonded,” and then you get their special skill. And there’s kind of no reason to give it to anybody besides to Byleth, [Nerium laughs] because Byleth has like the best special skill period.

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: But like, that’s pretty much it. I held onto that item, ’cause I was assuming that like, oh yeah, I will give this to Edelgard and she’ll love me. And like, then we’ll– I’ll be the emperor. [laughter] But no, it’s just that you get their skill. That’s it.

LB: [laughs] No.

Nerium: Hmm.

Imran: She writes you a letter afterwards and says, “War’s going good. I miss you. I’m so glad we’re pals.” [laughter] Like, Shez kisses no one. I think you can flirt a little bit in some of like– in some of the supports, Shez can kind of flirt, and some of the characters will flirt back.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Not all of them. And then again, like some of the supports you can get with like other characters, they can feel kind of flirty, but most of them aren’t, and there’s no like ending epilogues like they have in Three Houses.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: That’ll say like, “And they got married!” There’s no marriage.

Nerium: Why do you think that is? Like, that seems like such a weird omission, when that’s like the thing that people push through 175 hours of mostly- I would say there is more not great combat in Fire Emblem, just because of the way the difficulty curve goes, than there is good combat in Fire Emblem, the new one.

Imran: Hmm. I would guess, like if I had to guess on some– like, probably Intelligent Systems is like, “Hey, you can do a lot with this, just don’t do your own romances. Like, we don’t want that–”

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: “We don’t want that out of our control.”

Nerium: Okay.

LB: Mm.

Imran: And granted, I guess Koei Tecmo actually did, but Intelligent Systems I believe wrote Three Houses. So.

Nerium: Yeah. Right, right. They just like did the part where they had to make a video game.

Imran: Yeah. But that would be maybe my guess. Otherwise, I don’t really know why there’s no romance in that game. It seems like a weird omission.

LB: I have a theory.

Imran: Mm.

LB: Which is the people who are diehard diehard diehard into Three Houses are the primary market probably, or a primary market for Three Hopes, right?

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

LB: Or an important market? I don’t know. They’re somebody they don’t want to get mad. Most of those people are very invested in their Byleth romances from Three Houses.

Nerium: Huh.

LB: And those are the ones that feel like true and canonical and important to them, and they don’t want anything getting in the way of like Byleth and Edelgard, for example.

Imran: I can see it.

LB: That’s my guess.

Imran: But also, Shez romancing any of these people is way less creepy than Byleth doing it, wherein the power dynamic alone, real weird. But also the fact that Byleth is several years older than pretty much all these people.

LB: Yeah, I mean…

Nerium: I mean, in this universe though, like Byleth was never their teacher either, so it’d be less weird in this version of that game.

LB: Right, that’s–

Imran: Right, that’s what I’m saying.

LB: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think it turned out…so the thing is, I got fed, right? [laughter] Like I was fed, so I’m happy.

Nerium: Okay.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: What fed you?

LB: Like, the Hubert Ferdinand A supports, fantastic. The…oh my God. The Dimitri Felix A support is insane. Literally Felix carries Dimitri to bed in that one.

Nerium: Okay, that’s really good. That’s really good.

LB: And his– but because of the height difference, Dimitri’s feet are dragging on the floor. [Nerium laughs] Edelgard has like a girl stalker.

Nerium: Uh huh.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Who at first I was like, “Oh wow, they put like a– that’s amazing, they put this queer character in.” I’m like, no, it’s not really that she’s a queer character, it’s that she’s insane.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Uh huh.

LB: [laughs] She’s an insane character!

Imran: I mean, they were a lot less like–

LB: But I’m like, wow, they put this in insane character, and that’s great! [laughs]

Imran: They’re a lot less subtle about Shamir being queer in this game.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: Like, she is straight up like, yeah, this– “I have a lady stalker too. She’s been trying to kill me. Also, I’m in love with Catherine.” And like, that’s it. There’s– I think also they didn’t want you to romance characters who are very unambiguously gay in this game.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: So yeah, there’s…it’s just not that…there’s a lot more like friendly. I think that the like Lysithia Hubert A support or their support line is wonderful.

Imran: Mm.

LB: And is mostly about– I mean, it’s about a lot of things that includes Hubert sneakily, like, sneaking vegetables into the food?

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

LB: Like Hubert, like mega spy super murderer.

Nerium: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

LB: What he’s very concerned with is making sure this little girl eats her veggies. [laughs]

Nerium: That’s really good. That’s really fucking good.

LB: She’s very good at magic, but she hates vegetables, and she needs her vitamins.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: So he’s like–

Imran: You give her a cookie and you point her at an army, and she kills everybody.

LB: Yeah. So he’s like, she literally catches him like scheming with the cooks and shit. Like, “Hahaha, she didn’t know she was eating vegetables.” It’s wonderful! [laughs] Like, it’s adorable.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: And like, yeah. There’s a lot of stuff like that that I really really enjoyed. But yeah, it’s less romancey and more just like buddies.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: I think the reason that kind of throws me off a little bit is because if you’re gonna do stuff like that– they’ve made Musou games like this that are spinoff games where it’s just like, okay, we’re gonna have like another– not necessarily the continuing adventures of these characters, but another adventure that is kind of a side story to what they were doing, and we’re gonna get to have some fun little moments with the established stuff that we’ve already had. Persona 5 Strikers I think is a really good example of this, of a game that is like, yeah, it’s kind of a sequel, but really it’s just more of a, you know, it’s Persona 5 ??? kind of thing. And we get to just have these characters just kind of goofing off and doing stuff, but not necessarily pushing the major plot forward. This is like, we created our own unique timeline with our own unique characters where we’re going through basically all those events again in a multiverse of Fire Emblem and not really doing anything particularly– I mean, it sounds like it’s doing good stuff with it, but it’s just like not doing anything like different with it.

LB: I mean, every route, someone kills a family member.

Nerium: Okay.

LB: That’s pretty big. Ferdinand kills his dad.

Imran: Yeah. Actually, I was like, “Oh, I can’t wait for this scene to pay off later.” It was like, no, it just doesn’t come up again. Ferdinand kills his dad, and that’s the end of his arc. It’s like, I did some shit.

LB: It comes up in his supports if you do his supports.

Imran: Oh yeah, it’s one more support thing of him like just working too hard, and Shez is like, “Hey, uh, you just murdered your dad. Maybe you take a break.”

LB: Yeah.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Did his dad have bad vibes?

LB: His dad–

Imran: His dad betrayed the crown.

Nerium: Okay.

LB: Yeah, his dad overthrew Edelgard’s father and like helped enable the Crests experimentation [Nerium: “Ohh”] that killed all of Edelgard’s siblings and shortened Lysithia’s life.

Nerium: Yeah, I remember this stuff. Yep.

LB: And yeah, all that stuff. And collaborated with Those Who Slither in the Dark, whether he did it knowingly or unknowingly. And yeah, it’s great. Claude kills his half brother, who is an incredible character design, the cuntiest character in the game by far, which is saying something, ’cause there’s some very cunty designs.

Imran: There’s a lot of cunty characters in this game.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: Like, every single story mission, it’s like, “Hey, we’re here to rescue this guy. He’s a bitch. [laughter] Like, he will run at the first sign of anything. We need to make sure he does not die.”

LB: [laughs] Acheron of Phlegethon, baby! My man’s back! We’re talking about him again! Second podcast appearance on Fanbyte in 2022, let’s go! [laughter] House Phlegethon! Yeah, I love that guy. And Bernedetta’s dad is also like a super coward.

Imran: Yeah, also kind of like seemingly abusive to Bernedetta, [LB: “Yeah”] ’cause she does not want anything to do with him.

LB: Well, I mean, that’s revealed in Three Houses.

Imran: Right, yeah.

LB: He would lock her up and stuff.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: So. Yeah, you can let him die also, with no consequences to you. [laughs]

Imran: There’s a lot of fraternal regicide in this game, basically. [laughs softly]

LB: Yeah. And Dimitri beheads his uncle in his route. He’s still a teenager when he does that, actually.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: That’s real early on.

Nerium: Well, I mean, this sounds great, actually.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: So I take back everything I said.

LB: [laughs] So, I mean, like there are these, you do you get these big moments. It’s interesting to me that Edelgard doesn’t– I guess she doesn’t have any family members left? Or, yeah, she doesn’t have any like real family members left.

Nerium: Not really.

LB: Because her uncle who was the Regent is actually an imposter.

Nerium: Oh!

LB: And the final battle’s against him.

Nerium: Wait, is he one of…blah blah blah, slither, dark?

LB: Yeah, he’s a…Those Who Slither in the Dark.

Imran: Do you think when they first localized Those Who Slither in the Dark, they thought they’d have to say it 300 times over the next two games? [laughter] ‘Cause it’s like the worst that like– it’s never not stupid when they say it.

LB: They just need a cute nickname.

Imran: Like, when Hubert is giving this like very impassioned, [LB: “Yeah”] “We’re gonna take over this country, but also we must watch out for Those Who Slither in the Dark,” I’d be like, hey, hey, question: what the fuck are you saying?

LB: [laughs] I mean, at least it works for him, ’cause he’s like that, but when other–

Nerium: Yeah, he’s like that, yeah.

LB: When like Shez says it, it’s like, you would never say this! You’re a normal person. [laughter]

Nerium: Shez is a weird little fucking…I don’t know. I love the Shez designs in this, ’cause like it is just like them leaning all the way into just like overdesigned bimbo type character archetypes. Like Byleth is always like very stoic to me, in a way that is like very funny sometimes, and if you like– mostly in fanart, I will say. A lot of characters like to present Byleth as like unphaseable in a way that is very fun, and Shez just seems like way more of an idiot.

LB: Well, Byleth mostly is just learning how to feel human emotions when they get to Garreg Mach in Three Houses. The first time they cry is when their dad dies.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Ever.

Nerium: I forgot about all that.

LB: ‘Cause they don’t have a human heart.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: They have a Crest Stone in there instead. And Shez is just like normal, [laughter] is a normal person with just a god in them. So it’s like, they’re very fun, and their supports with like the rowdy boy characters are very fun, because they’re just like, “We’re rowdies together! Yeah! Let’s fight! Let’s do it! It’s fun!” Like Caspar and Shez are very fun together.

Nerium: Ooh, yeah, I bet.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: ‘Cause they just want to work out.

Nerium: So, story-wise, I have also heard that there’s maybe like the game goes some places, and then pulls back from actually doing anything with the places that it attempts to go?

Imran: I’ve only done one route, but that’s accurate for the route I have played, where in the true ending, you find out all this stuff with Arval, and it goes to like this weird thing where like literally Shez and Edelgard and Dimitri and Claude all like go to like a weird pocket universe.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Imran: Where it’s just those four alone, fighting like the weird alien god thing that is like pulling the strings the entire time. And then you do that, and then the next battle is just like, okay, we’re going back to Garreg Mach, and we’re gonna kill Rhea. It’s like, okay, that feels like a step down, pacing wise, I think.

Nerium: Right. I mean, to like, it honestly feels like the exact opposite of– again, maybe a– maybe not a totally weird comparison, because they have some shared DNA, but like the Persona games usually do the exact opposite, where it’s like, [Imran: “Yes”] we’ve taken down…

Imran: The human enemy.

Nerium: The human enemy, and oh, it turns out that actually the human enemy was working for like the physical personification of suicidal depression or something like that. [laughs]

Imran: Right.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: Who lives as a meteor who’s about to hit earth.

Imran: I can see why they wanted to do it this way, ’cause like if you did it first where like Edelgard kills Rhea and Those Who Slither in the Dark and just like, “Okay, all my goals have been accomplished. Oh no, it’s the evil god guy!” Like, it feels like there’s no real motivation anymore. But also it’s just so weird that literally you are in like magic space, and you’re fighting like the clone versions of yourself, and like everyone’s commenting on like maybe we should just fight each other, like fight ourselves, and like, so we don’t accidentally kill each other. Like, you’re– and then you fight like the fake Byleth and a fake Shez and all that. It feels so final bossy.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: It does.

Imran: And then, all of a sudden like, okay, we’re back. And Edelgard’s like, “Hey, Shez, uh, you seem real evil, but we’re gonna forgive you ’cause we still have some shit to do.”

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: And it just–

LB: Yeah.

Imran: It’s so weird and out of sorts.

LB: It’s very weird. And that is the– that’s the true ending for all the routes.

Nerium: So it doesn’t do anything where it’s like, and it connects back into the main universe or whatever. It’s just total like, nope, this is just our spin on what could have happened that didn’t.

Imran: There’s like a weird line Edelgard has once to, I think, Monica, where she’s like, “I feel like in another universe we would’ve lost you.” So like, it seems to imply this is just an alternate universe and that’s it.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: That’s all that’s happening.

Nerium: That’s kind of a bummer. Not that everything needs to be like a multiverse type stuff.

Imran: Marvel, yeah.

Nerium: But also at the same time, like…I don’t know. At that point, just make a different game with different characters. [laughs] Or again, make it a side story. Make it canon and just like have different stuff going on.

Imran: I don’t know how much of Age of Calamity you played, but it kind of pulls the same thing. where it like all the marketing sort of implies this is a prequel to Breath of the Wild that shows you how Breath of the Wild like came to be.

Nerium: Right.

Imran: But as you get further and further to that game, you realize what actually happened is some like, the little robot from the beginning of the game came back in time and has basically created a separate timeline, where–

Nerium: Right. The robot came back and saved John Connor, and now Terminator 2 happens.

Imran: Yeah. So like, Link never fails. He actually like succeeds in defeating Gannon before he’s revived.

Nerium: Right. Weird. That’s just, I don’t know. There’s something about that that just feels like weirdly, like…I guess that’s just like fanservice to a certain degree, and like Fire Emblem is no stranger to fanservice, and like, I think fanservice has like a place too.

Imran: I also think it’s Nintendo going, “Hey, this is a spinoff. Don’t fuck with the main story.”

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: That’s just also another thing that like, Nintendo is notorious for being like, “Hey, don’t play with our toys too much.”

Imran: Yeah. You can have your own story on the side. It’s just not the same thing as our thing.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

LB: Yeah. I don’t mind, honestly, I have no issues with this being a different canon and a different continuity.

Imran: Yeah, same.

LB: I just would’ve liked the ending to be more satisfying.

Nerium: Right.

LB: Because I did play all three routes, and I was hoping like I would get…like, in Three Houses, what makes playing all the routes and sinking all of that time into it…

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: What makes it worthwhile is that you have to play all of them to get the full story. And in Three Hopes, you don’t get anything different really.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: In the three different routes.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: You get the same information about Those Who Slither in the Dark. I played as Azure Gleam without Byleth, and in that one, you don’t go to the pocket dimension.

Nerium: Mm.

LB: And you just…you just fight the empire, as led by Ferdinand’s dad and Edelgard’s fake uncle, while she’s in kind of like a fugue state, and kind of save her and leave her just kind of…but the ending is like kind of open ended to that one.

Nerium: It’s a bad ending is what it kind of sounds like.

LB: Yeah, it’s a bad ending, which is fine.

Nerium: Capital B, capital E, Bad Ending.

LB: But then also the true ending. [laughs] The true ending of what happens after the wars to like the continent is also a very unclear.

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: Does that one not go into like the monster Edelgard stuff that the Three Houses route did?

LB: You see her for a second. She shows up at one point, but then she’s normal again? It’s very confusing.

Imran: Hmm.

LB: Maybe if you– maybe if I had done the true ending with that, I would’ve gotten something more? ‘Cause you do get slightly different things, like in Azure Gleam in the bad ending route, like the plot diverges a few chapters before the ending. So like, Rodrigue dies in that one, and I assume similar characters die in the other two routes depending on like…I don’t know who that character would be for those. Maybe Holst for Golden Wildfire? I could probably look this up, but I’m not going to, ’cause the typing sounds would destroy the microphone. But yeah, it’s like there are these really big emotional moments in each of these routes. They all have them. And the story’s really good, and the writing for the paralogues and a lot of the supports is excellent, but it just feels like, yeah, at the end, it kind of fizzles out.

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: There’s not really much of a story, I think, for Three– like it kind of counts on you having played Three Houses.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: ‘Cause if you play through Edelgard’s path, it’s not really told to you why you really want to kill Rhea. You just–

LB: [laughs] It’s completely unclear!

Imran: Like, honestly, it feels mean spirited at some point, like we’re gonna hunt this lady down. Like, why? Why are we trying to kill her? And then at the end, she turns into an evil dragon, which like, okay, fine. But like, it’s weird that the whole game is pursuing her, and you’re never told why in any capacity.

LB: Yeah. For some– in the Golden Deer route, it’s actually much clearer why he wants to kill Rhea.

Imran: Hmm.

Nerium: Oh, weird. The Golden Deer route is the one with all the answers.

LB: Yeah. Well, it’s that she invented racism, so I mean, that’s a pretty good reason to want to destroy the church. But like, that felt like a more– like, that route, the reasoning felt more compelling. Also that it would like stop the war and it’s more…it makes like more sense strategically.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Yeah. Sure.

Imran: But like, when you’re not told anyone’s motivations, everyone seems like a sociopath.

LB: Mm-hmm. A little, yeah.

Imran: Like everyone feels like Hubert, which like, it’s fine when Hubert’s doing it, but nobody else– like, somebody else should go, “Okay. Here’s why we need to kill Dimitri and Rhea.”

LB: Yeah.

Imran: And like, even with Dimitri, it’s especially strange, because you don’t really kill him in that route. I don’t know if you kill anybody else in the other routes, but with Dimitri, after you do the pocket dimension thing, everyone just kind of agrees to like, all right, we’ll see you later.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: I mean–

LB: I don’t know if they kill– if you kill Dimitri in the bad end. I’m very curious about that.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: And it seems weird to me too, ’cause like one of the things that Fire Emblem actually does well, and maybe doesn’t not always understand that it’s doing as well as it is or doesn’t care that it’s doing as well as it is, is that a lot of the pieces, especially after you explained some of this stuff to me during that First Byte, LB, it’s like a lot of these pieces like fit together really neatly. And it’s like, oh, that character hates this person because his country was, you know, a spinoff of this country that like had this political difference 500 years ago, and everybody thought that country was gonna go away and die, but actually they found like minerals over there, and they became like a genuine rival. I’m making this up, but I mean, there’s just like a lot– there’s a lot more lore and backstory to the way that the like logistics of the Three Hopes or Three Houses world works than you would necessarily expect.

Imran: Mm.

LB: Yeah, and I think they could have reminded us of more things. I think Scarlet Blaze actually like had this problem more than the other two. Maybe they were, they assumed like more people played that route or they just fucked up?

Nerium: Maybe.

LB: I think less was explained there, and I think that was the weakest route in terms of like overall storyline, as much as…partially because it did just give Ferdinand like a really good storyline, and Edelgard didn’t really get one?

Nerium: Huh.

LB: I mean, am I– did you– Imran, do you think Edelgard got like as good of a storyline as Ferdinand did in…?

Imran: Not really. Ferdinand has a whole arc.

LB: Yeah!

Imran: Edelgard feels there to like support everyone else’s arcs and just doesn’t really have– she doesn’t have much on her– like they occasionally go into the, “It’s very hard to be a leader. I am doing this for X reasons.” Like, she has like bio data, but she doesn’t have any like real plot or anything beyond that. She’s just like kind of cool looking, and that’s the flag, the banner in which you go to war on.

LB: Yeah. I absolutely agree with that. Whereas Claude like has much more of a route– or, a route. Like, an arc. Dmitri has a really good arc, I think. Yeah, I thought like the Azure Gleam bad end story was really good. [laughs] Even like…with the exception of the way it just kind of fizzles out sadly, but actually even the way it just kind of fizzles out sadly like very much worked for me, as kind of this melancholy like sad thing of missed opportunities.

Nerium: Cosmic indifference type thing? Yeah.

LB: Yeah! Which I like. But like his whole thing is like, he’s not…he has both his eyes and never became a feral crazy person. [Nerium laughs]

Imran: Yeah. His chest got an eyepatch.

LB: Yes, it did!

Nerium: Like Luffy.

Imran: Like the lion on his chest got an eyepatch.

Nerium: Interesting.

Imran: Because girls are watching, and he needs to look cool. [Nerium laughs]

LB: He has a little ponytail too. It’s very cute.

Nerium: Aw.

LB: It’s so tiny. It’s like the babiest ponytail. Like, you know when you’ve like cut your hair too short, [Nerium: “Yeah”] and you’re like, ugh. And then you finally grow it out long enough to just put it in like the babiest little ponytail, but you’re so proud of it that you do it?

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

LB: That’s his ponytail. It’s amazing.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: I’m sure Imran knows exactly what we’re talking about. [LB laughs]

Imran: He looks like a Los Angeles yoga teacher.

LB: [laughs] No! Dimitri, I’m so sorry! [laughter] He kinda does, though. It’s true.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

LB: He gets a really good, like, he gets a really good arc about like learning how to take care of himself and– I’m a dork, so I am, I love like, “You need to depend on your friends. We’re all in this together,” stories. I’m like, yeah, you’re right!

Nerium: Mm.

LB: But that cursed image thing of everybody holding the milk, you know? That says like, that really like, Shonen protagonist: “How am I ever gonna hold all this milk?” Shonen protagonist’s friends: “Together, we can hold all the milk!” [laughter] That gets me every time. Do you know– do you have any idea what I’m talking about? Do you know that meme?

Imran: I’ve never seen it, but I got enough from the description of it, I think.

LB: [laughs] Okay.

Nerium: No, I’d never seen it either, but like, the second you said “meme about holding milk,” I’m just like, I know exactly where this is going and how this must work, [LB laughs] because I just know how– because my brain is poisoned, and I know how the internet works and what the internet latches onto. And I googled it, and it’s exactly what I pictured.

LB: [laughs] Okay, good. Yeah, I mean, that’s basically the Blue Lions route, which…or arc, whatever, which I really like. I always respond well to that. I mean, I wrote about the laundry thing. [laughs]

Nerium: Is it fun? Oh, the laundry. Okay, so what about– let’s talk about the side stuff a little bit. Like, there is tea time. There is…is there anything else really?

LB: Well, they’re technically excursions.

Nerium: They’re excursions.

LB: They’re picnics.

Nerium: Picnics, okay.

LB: Yeah, where there happens to be tea.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Where they’re like– so they’re like–

LB: But they don’t call it– you don’t get a message that says “perfect tea time,” is the thing.

Nerium: What?

Imran: The thing is, when you take a tea set with you on an excursion, the other person knows what’s up. [LB laughs]

Nerium: That’s tea time.

Imran: They know the expectations they have here.

LB: That’s true.

Imran: No one’s confused about what’s going on. We’re all adults.

LB: [laughs] That’s a very good point, Imran. We’re all adults here. We know what a teapot means. We don’t need to just say it.

Nerium: I love– I’m writing in my head now the fucking fanfic of like Edelgard seeing Byleth like packing the tea, like the tea set before their excursion in like 20 minutes, and Edelgard has to go find like somebody to go talk to. Like, wait, the– she’s bringing the fucking tea set. What am I supposed to do? Petra, you have to tell me what to do! Like, what do I– how do I react or whatever? Like, the expectations are so high!

Imran: You’re writing a Seinfeld episode about Fire Emblem: Three Hopes. [Nerium and LB laugh]

Nerium: Exactly.

LB: It’s like you planned it yourself.

Imran: We’ve only been dating a week! What kind of tea do I get ‘em for their birthday?

Nerium: What I’m actually in my head picturing is an episode of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War where characters were going to ascribe way too much meaning to a thing that is actually not that important to the other person, but they think it’s some kind of trick, but that’s a joke for me and nobody. So we can move on from that. Is there Amiibo gazebo?

LB: No. There’s no gazebo.

Imran: There’s Amiibo support.

Nerium: Oh.

Imran: You can just like scan Amiibos, and it’ll go like, here’s some gold.

Nerium: Here’s some gold.

Imran: Here’s some items.

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: I don’t think Nintendo really cares about Amiibo anymore.

Nerium: No.

Imran: I think they’re just like, well, we might as well put the thing in. We’ll unbalance the economy, who cares?

Nerium: Right. We can pack this in with a special edition of this game, maybe.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: And that will sell an extra $20 on this many copies somewhere.

Imran: The last cool Amiibo thing I saw was playing Bayonetta 2, where if you scan Amiibos, it’ll give you like a message based on the series that Amiibo is from.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

Imran: Just like, hey, we got this thing from Hyrule. I wonder what’s up with that.

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: Like, that stuff was cool.

Nerium: It’s the fucking Psycho Mantis, “You like Super Mario Sunshine.”

Imran: Pretty much, yes. For Fire Emblem, not so much fire. Fire Emblem is just like, all right. If you scan Marth or Mario, does not matter.

Nerium: God, what can you imagine if they gave like Shez a fucking like the Bayonetta Star Fox costume or something like that? You remember that stuff?

Imran: That would be great. I would love if they like just had a– they have alternate costumes in this game.

Nerium: Okay.

Imran: But as far as I can tell, it’s mostly like, this is the character with the hat. This is them without the hat.

Nerium: Mm.

Imran: Or you can make them look like their teenage versions, which always looked a little bit creepy to me, but…

Nerium: Hmm. Well, there’s no romance really, right? So.

Imran: There’s no romance, yeah.

Nerium: Yeah.

Imran: So dressing people up like teenagers, totally fine.

Nerium: Totally fine.

Imran: Very normal, in fact.

Nerium: [laughs] Yeah. Is there anything else major we want to hit?

Imran: Hmm.

Nerium: LB, it sounded like you were thinking, you were pondering, but we’ve been going for probably closer to an hour now, so.

LB: I’m still pondering.

Nerium: Hmm?

LB: I’m still pondering. I mean, it’s good. I liked it.

Nerium: It’s fun. Yeah.

Imran: I liked it too. I think it’s–

LB: But I wish it was a little better.

Imran: I think it’s probably the best Musou game. It’s still very repetitive, especially if you’re gonna do every single battle like I did.

Nerium: Okay. You didn’t use the fucking mercenary– the murder whistle.

LB: Well, you could only use the–

Imran: Only on New Game Plus.

LB: You can only toot your way out on New Game Plus, yeah.

LB: [laughs] Okay, I see.

Imran: But you can just skip battles if you didn’t want–

LB: Yeah.

Imran: Like, if you don’t want to do every single thing on the way to the next story battle, you don’t have to do that.

Nerium: I see.

Imran: I chose to do all of that and the paralogues and every like fucking hidden aside and all that stuff. And a lot of them, shockingly, very similar.

Nerium: Mm, mm-hmm. Yeah, just like in Three Houses, actually, like a lot of those fights are just basically the same.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: Yeah. Yeah.

Imran: It’s the same problem, honestly, as Three Houses, where like, at some point in Three Houses, you get to the point of I don’t need to be on campus anymore. I just– just skip to the end of the month.

Nerium: Right.

Imran: I’m done. I don’t need like…we’re a nuclear weapon of a classroom right now. We don’t need any of this. That kind of happens, I want to say, like halfway through Three Hopes.

LB: Mm.

Imran: Not to the same extent, like, ’cause you still need to do some things like facility upgrading and stuff like that, but largely you don’t need to really focus on any of it or a lot of it does feel time fillery.

LB: I get– I don’t feel that way about the– I never felt that way about Garreg Mach, and I didn’t feel that way about camp.

Imran: Mm.

LB: But if I have to see those same fucking maps again in the battles?

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: Like, that’s what gets me, is like in Three Houses, like, oh great, it’s this lake again.

Imran: Yeah.

LB: On the right, there’s some mages. In front of me, there’s water, and you can go over it if you’re flying unit, and if not, you have to go across these stupid paths. And there’s a chest that you can’t get into, ’cause you can only get into it in the paralogue battle.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: And you’re just there over and over and over again, and they do the same thing in…

Nerium: There’s nothing to explore. There’s no new tactics to think about at all.

LB: They could– yeah. I mean, and it just is boring.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Yeah. There’s no good auto battle in that game, so you just have to– the fucking auto battle thing where it’s like, you press the auto battle button, and it plays it at like normal speed.

LB: Every turn.

Nerium: But you have to do it for every single turn, so why am I even doing this? It’s almost as much work to just like press the buttons normally.

LB: I mean, what is nice about this, especially in New Game Plus, is if you are doing a battle, like auto battle works really well. [laughs] You can just– like, especially if your characters are leveled up enough, you can just go into the map menu where you tell people what to do and tell them to go do it. And if they’re strong enough, you can just kind of vibe. [laughs]

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Nice.

LB: And they’ll just do all the work for you.

Imran: ??? problems sometimes where I was like, “Hey, go stop this guy,” and then they killed them. It was like, oh, not what I meant.

LB: Yeah.

Imran: So I had to like…

Nerium: Ohh.

Imran: That only mattered in one battle where I needed to delay someone without actually killing them, so I understand somebody who they were, uh, strong miss on the weapon triangle, so my guy was basically just like play fighting. [laughter] Like, eh, whatever.

Nerium: Cool. Well, honestly, that sounds like a Musou game. Like, to me, it sounds like the modern thing of Musou games. It sounds like they got a lot of stuff right in this one though, which is always fun.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: About like the characters and like, they played with the rope that they were given and took it as far as they could, and I think that sounds really interesting and fun, especially as somebody who really likes– I forgot how much I like Three Houses and those characters. Like, I didn’t stick with that fandom the way that I think like a lot of other people just like stuck with that fandom for like years. But like, I was really into a lot of those characters and those dynamics when that first happened, just like everybody else was, and this has reawakened kind of how much I was into like that world.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: And honestly, that’s kind of interesting, like maybe that’ll get me back in, at least to try it out.

Imran: Yeah. I don’t know if they plan to do DLC for this game. I’m assuming they don’t, but they did do DLC for Age of Calamity.

Nerium: Sure.

Imran: I would like to see like some more…like a more interesting like small story campaign, like one or two chapters, if you wanted to.

Nerium: Mm-hmm. Sure.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: [laughs] They could patch in a true ending, like they’ve done– I mean, they did that basically with Fire Emblem Fates, right? That was the thing where it’s like, you had to play both games or play one of the games, and then there was like the DLC that merged the two campaigns, ’cause they sold it as like a red versus blue version.

Imran: Yeah, but the DLC was terrible. Like, nobody likes it. It is like, of the three campaigns, everyone considers it like the worst one.

Nerium: Interesting. I’ve never played those.

Imran: Also that game is not great in general, but yeah.

Nerium: Yeah. And I remember that Fates I think like was very hyped, and people kind of fell off of it.

Imran: Yeah. I think…I wouldn’t call it a stinker, but of the recent Fire Emblem games, it’s probably the closest to a stinker.

Nerium: Hmm. Cool. Last question I think, because we are– I don’t know if you’ve noticed this. I don’t know if you’ve looked outside. I don’t know if you’ve checked your sundials. It’s almost August.

Imran: Mm.

Nerium: Fucked up.

Imran: Yeah, it is fucked up.

Nerium: August is pretty close to game of the year season. It’s close enough to game of the year season that I’m thinking about like, what is gonna be on my game of the year list? And what I’m realizing is so far, there are very few games where I feel like that has to be on my game of the year list. [laughs] It’s like Elden Ring, and ehhh. Where do you feel like this falls on your game of the year list right now? If at all.

Imran: I think if I put it on my top 10, it’ll be towards the back. Like, it’s– I don’t think it’s a bad game. I think it’s probably the best Musou game. If I can’t find 10 better games this year, that’s probably not like a super great year, probably, but that’s just like my own personal preference.

Nerium: Yeah. It’s not an October 2005 type of year.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: Not that caliber.

Imran: Not an October 2005, like, which is the month of the year.

[celebratory music and applause]

Nerium: Right, yeah. The month of the year 2022: October 2005, the year and the month that The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge came out on the Playstation 2 and Xbox.

Imran: I mean, we all knew where we were when that happened.

Nerium: I actually do. Anyway. LB?

LB: [laughs] Um, it’s pretty high on mine.

Nerium: Pretty high.

LB: ‘Cause I mean, Lord forgive me, it’s time to go back to the old me!

Imran: Yeah, uh huh.

LB: That’s where I’m at right now! Like, I’m in it!

Nerium: Yeah! Embrace it!

LB: I’m in it!

Nerium: Embrace it!

LB: Yeah, no, I love these kids.

Imran: Hell yeah.

LB: I love these characters. I spent so much time in this game, [laughs] and like, it got me. And nothing else is like, nothing else has got me like this, this year.

Nerium: Nice.

LB: What else did I play this year? I don’t remember.

Nerium: Yeah, I…

LB: What else was new this year? I don’t know. Elden Ring, which I returned very quickly, ’cause I didn’t like it. [laughter]

Nerium: Monster Hunter?

LB: [laughs] ‘Cause I fell in that hole!

Nerium: Yeah, ’cause you got tricked, you got duped.

LB: I got duped into falling into a hole! Yeah, Monster Hunter, like I’m gonna play some more of that. It’s fun. I like it. But like…

Nerium: Yeah. No, honestly, LB, I’m envious of you.

LB: These are my blorbos, like…

Nerium: Yeah!

LB: I love these guys. I love these kids. They’re…yeah. I’m a freak about these kids.

Nerium: Watching you be a freak about these kids like makes me wish that I was a freak about these kids in the same way. [LB laughs] Like, I wish that I had that kind of experience in a video game or something right now, ’cause I really don’t have a blorbo game at the moment. I wish I did.

Imran: Mm.

LB: No? Not even Final Fantasy XIV?

Nerium: Uh, yeah, I mean, to a certain degree, but like, my blorbos from Final Fantasy XIV are not necessarily a going concern in the ongoing story of Final Fantasy XIV anymore.

LB: Mm.

Nerium: So I’m just kind of like, yeah, okay. I’m curious where things are going, but like, we haven’t really reached the next phase of the story and stuff there. So just like, you know.

LB: So you didn’t get to help Emet-Selch kill his own dad or anything like that recently?

Nerium: No. Well…that’s a different spoilercast to have a conversation about. [laughter]

Imran: Yeah, Emet-Selch, the guy from Fortnite.

Nerium: Uh huh. [chanting] Put Emet-Selch in Fortnite! That will get me to play Fortnite!

LB: I’m imagining him flossing. [Nerium and Imran laugh] He’s got the really big butt from the edit picture.

Nerium: [laughs] Yes, from Natalie’s version.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: The fucking dump truck Emet-Selch.

LB: Yeah.

Nerium: Oh my God, yes. Put Emet-Selch and fucking, uh, Xenos in there, the actual person they’ll put in there. They’ll put Y’shtola in there eventually. I’m calling that now. She’ll be playable at some point, but not Emet-Selch. And that’s a problem. I will say, okay, my version– now that you said that, LB, I don’t have a video game necessarily that does that, but they do have that like Academia Eorzea manga that they’re putting out only in Japan that I’ve been reading scanlations of, which is the what if all the characters from Final Fantasy XIV went to the same high school together in modern day Japan. [laughs]

LB: Fantastic.

Nerium: And Emet-Selch is their teacher. [laughs]

LB: Fantastic.

Nerium: It’s really good.

LB: Oh, that’s beautiful. I’m so happy for you that you have that.

Nerium: Anyway. I am so happy that all those listeners out there have this episode of 99 Potions, this here Fire Emblem: Three Hopes spoilercast. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did enjoy it or any other show that we do or any other episode of any thing we do, you can tell a friend. That is still one of the best ways to support us. We don’t really do any advertising for Channel F or Fanbyte or 99 Potions or anything, ao y’all should just let people know that that’s a good thing. And you can go to, read our stuff. That is the number one way you can support us in terms of like monetary value right now. You know, open up an article, leave it open, and I get ad revenue. It goes directly into my pocket. It pays for my cat’s medication, my antibiotics for Ramba that we gave him in case he had a fungal infection, but I don’t think he does.

Imran: I had to spend so much money on cat shots today.

Nerium: Oh, it’s terrible, isn’t it?

Imran: They’re so expensive. Why is it cheaper for me to get a shot than it is for my cat?

Nerium: It’s wild.

LB: Mm, they have to make the special smaller needles.

Nerium: That’s true.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: It costs more.

Nerium: Yeah.

LB: Like a computer chip.

Imran: Also, my cat should get a job, so something subsidizes her insurance.

LB: That’s true, yeah.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: You can click on Fanbyte cat content right now. We have an article about where we showed– we have a YouTube channel, in point of fact, where we put up a video where we showed all of our cats the cat game Stray a little while ago. You can go to and watch our videos.

Imran: Yeah.

Nerium: We also had a Three Hopes, which is maybe a bit of a smoother segue, but whatever. We had a Three Hopes First Byte that you can go watch now, if you want to see this game in action. And you can go to to follow us on @fanbytemedia to see all the action that we have for every different thing. I’m playing a lot of No Man’s Sky right now, writing a bunch of stuff, be posting that on there. Where can people follow you if they want to specifically see LB action, LB Hunktears?

LB: You can follow me on Twitter at @hunktears.

Nerium: Fantastic. And how about you, Imran Khan?

Imran: You can follow me on Twitter at @heartimecia.

Nerium: Uh huh. [LB laughs]

Imran: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: ZOMG, that’s such a wild name pick.

LB: ZOMG, that is such a good Twitter name.

Imran: Go there, and make sure to drag my ass about vaping pepper spray.

Nerium: Well, you heard it from @heartimecia himself. Just definitely go there and tweet at that account. You can follow me on Twitter at @neriumstrom, N-E-R-I-U-M-S-T-R-O-M. And you can follow our wonderful producer Paul at @polimayo on Twitter. And that is gonna do it for us this week. But this is going up on the 99 Potions feed, which means [LB: “I’m so excited”] this is enough of a 99 Potions episode, a real 99 Potions episode, God damnit!

Imran: Yeah. Yeah!

Nerium: ‘Cause we get to decide that together as a crew, win and lose, that we are going to walk up to the bar, [LB: “Yes”] grab ourselves a tall winding blown glass made of fulgurites like in Sweet Home Alabama. And we bring it up to each other, and we give it a nice tasty: [in unison] clink! Bye!