Hello, everyone, and welcome to our Fire Emblem: Three Houses review! We didn’t get early codes for the game from Nintendo (which is entirely our fault, actually, since we forgot to request them until the last second)… So we don’t have a traditional point-by-point breakdown for you. Instead, three members of the Fanbyte staff have decided to discuss the game from three different perspectives.
That is to say, each of us picked one of the three different houses in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and is seeing the game through their eyes. And now that we’ve had time to see those routes through, we’re going to talk about our different experiences every day this week. Below are our initial thoughts (based on about 20-25 hours with the game) about the many playable characters. Take a look, and then stick with us for the rest of the week as we address things like the combat and main plot!
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merritt k, King of Blue Lions:
So I started playing Three Houses on Friday and wow, I’d completely forgotten a. how long and b. how emotionally investing these games are. I’m about 20 hours in and completely in love with all of my kids, which is par for the course for FE titles, but I’m surprisingly also interested in the story. There are still a lot of question marks at this point, and I suspect a lot of them will be resolved in typical fashion — e.g. that your dad is actually a dragon.
Still, the medieval Hogwarts setup is very cool, and feels substantially different from the last two entries in the series. I’m curious about Lady Pope in particular — she knows where it is, but also asks you to do a bunch of war crimes. What’s her deal? How do you feel about being a teacher slash professional heretic executioner so far?
John Warren, Duke Buckworthy of Golden Deer:
I’m about 20 hours in and my life has been enriched by dumpster diving around this old school for fish and tea leaves I can give to my Golden Fawns. Claude’s maybe a little too detached for me but he’s also the most even-keel. I was immediately drawn to Hilda because she started our conversation by saying “please don’t make me fight people” but is, in-fact, the most efficient killing machine I have. Marianne is cool. You have to draw her out. By lying about believing in God. But.
I don’t know. I’m sure I did that in college.
Leonie rules. Sylvain joined me immediately because I’m a woman, I think.
I haven’t recruited many other folks yet, how about y’all?
Steven Strom, Bad (but Proud and Supportive) Black Eagles Bitch:
I think I’m a little bit behind the two of you! That’s mostly because I’m endlessly grinding battles to maximize my stats and manipulate all your kids into joining me. That feels very Black Eagles, though. So far the kids in JRPG Slytherin are sad and don’t like fighting much — except Caspar who only likes fighting, so of course he’s my weakest unit. I have him leading around a bunch of monks who pump everyone else up into running good. Between this and my endless personal training, I think I’m transforming the Black Eagles from political predators into sports goths.
That’s gonna be a tough transformation for Linhardt. He is, as you may know, the only male-male romance option in the game. His whole deal is that he’s super fucking lazy — so much so that he’s a healer because it’s less work than fighting. Anyway I’m gonna kill a thousand bandits so he doesn’t have to until he loves me.
You’re right that Rhea (the lady pope) sure seems evil, though, merritt. I’ll have to get around to figuring that out after I’m done getting so, so ripped.
merritt: The Blue Lions don’t have much need to talk ourselves up, as it’s rather unbecoming of nobility. But since you two have been praising your students, let me tell you about mine.
I would die in real life for Annette, the keener par excellence who loves to eat. She was the first of my students to hit an Advanced class and is currently blasting Hive left and right with Chaos Reach as a Warlock. Sorry, my weekend was basically just powering through Three Houses and grinding in Destiny 2.
Dedue’s one of those characters you can’t really interact with if you’re not in Blue Lions, so you might not know much about him. He’s from Duscur, a region that was accused of regicide against Dimitri’s family. In response, the Holy Kingdom did a genocide on them. Dedue has pledged himself to Dimitri, who actually treats him well and sees the Duscur people as humans, unlike most in his kingdom. They’re definitely going for some kind of commentary on ethnic conflict and discrimination with this stuff, and so far it’s actually been handled okay. We’ll see if that keeps up moving forward.
Honestly I’m really happy with my upstanding normie class. So much so that the only student I’ve recruited so far is Leonie, because I love her. She’s obsessed with Byleth’s dad and is basically this rough and tumble girl who wants to show up all the rich kids around her. Of course I also brought Manuela on as soon as possible, and it’s a tossup as to which of these two wives I’m going to make Byleth marry.
John: Do you have any unruly kids? Ignatz is kind of an underachiever and I’m not sure what to do about it. Hilda is such an overachiever it’s tough not to compare the other kids to her.
What class you riding with Byleth? I kinda dig the sword stuff just because all of my Golden Fawns are archers, mages, or lancers. I can’t decide if I’ll lean into REASON AND FAITH like the game says I should with Byleth, but I’m guessing it’ll unlock some wild gameplay possibilities so who knows. I definitely set my kids up with more than one weapon. Do y’all do that or is that like packing two Lunchables in case one gets ruined somehow?
Steven: My children are perfect, mascaraed angels, so I don’t know what you’re doing wrong. In all seriousness, though, Golden Deer looks like the least “traditional” team. The Black Eagles are from a country that seems pretty strict — your typical dark empire that you’d usually fight in a Fire Emblem game. Although none of them seem actually evil. Well, except for Hubert… One of his lost items (these gifts you can give back to specific characters) was a chloroform-soaked rag.
I was extremely worried it actually belonged to Sylvain, at first, and that the game was making some kind of bad joke about how he can’t get girls. But no! It belonged to Hubert, my faction leader’s weird secret police lieutenant who wants people to think he might murder them. He’s really just very tired, though. He drinks lots of coffee and has bags under his eyes and honestly same.
My Byleth is currently a Myrmidon (with a nice big sword), but I need to make him a Soldier at some point. They get to use more weapons! And the more weapons I use, the more I can steal your children away from you in the night! Long live my dark empire and its well-behaved army of sports goths, mwuhahaha! I guess we’ll see how things develop once we start talking about the main story a bit more.
This concludes part one of our Fire Emblem: Three Houses review letters! Stay tuned this week for even more of our thoughts on the game. And check out our very many guides elsewhere on the site!