How Fire Emblem Three Houses Reinvigorated the Franchise


Elite Gamer
Dec 31, 2019
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Dranreb Pabilona
Before Awakening, it was sure enough that the series is not faring well in terms of sales and popularity, it was close to being cancelled because of those reasons and yet Awakening, the first Fire Emblem game in the 3DS came back with a bang that ensured the series to stay and create more games for the franchise. Finally, with their latest installment, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the series have strode from the former and rose up to become one of the most popular and top rated games in the year of 2019, what made the game so spectacular that even those who were not playing the game has been hooked as well? Let's find out.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses was sixteenth Fire Emblem that started production since 2017, Nintendo shown a trailer in their Nintendo Direct in 2018 and released the game in 2019. At first, Three Houses was met with criticism as it did not appeal to the fans until they changed their mind in the E3 trailer of the game which shows plot points that amazed the fan base and anticipated the release of the game.

Three Houses is set on a continent of Fodlan where it is governed by three ruling states, the Adrestrian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus and the Leicester Alliance. It also features a campaign that has 4 playable route, one for each house except for a certain house which lets you divert into a new faction with different agenda than the original one. You play as Byleth, son of a mercenary named Jeralt which in the beginning was sought help by the main three faction leaders of each houses. Edelgard of the Black Eagles, Dimitri of the Blue Lions and finally, Claude of the Golden Deer. After aiding them, you become a professor in the Garreg Mach Monastery led by Lady Rhea, the archbishop of the Church of Seiros. From this point on, you choose a House which sets your path as you teach the house members how they should tackle their combat ability and more. Each house as well have their own story line that you will see through until the end, so be careful of your choice as to who you ally with. The game has deep correlations to politics and society without making it look forceful which amazed a lot of fans including myself. The brutality and realism of war is also seen as you play along the campaign which, I advise you all to prepare yourself.

Characters are deeply fleshed out with their own side-stories that can be relatable and you can feel empathy with as you delve right into their story. While they vary from nobles and commoners each have their own belief system which makes them stand out to each other than seeing them as a trope from various cliches of the past. Only your main character, Byleth can S-support or romance someone but the game does offer paired endings to others if they reach certain support levels.

Gameplay-wise, Three Houses, features two phases, School Phase which lets you do various tasks around the monastery which includes fishing, eating alongside students, tea time, sparring alongside them and many more. This helps you to acquire Professor Levels which help you teach students better and achieve better results. In the early parts of the game, you can also recruit other students in their houses as long as you satisfy their criteria like a certain stat, weapon proficiency, or your level. Moreover, teaching your students can lead to advance their classes to the next step, if you level their weapon proficiency to a certain degree, you can make them apply to certifications (this also works for you) which they can promote or reclass to another class based on their abilities, furthering their growth and power.

Combat Phase is the classic Fire Emblem Battle System but with a lot of variations from the past and new innovations from their own as well. The Weapon Triangle is no more and also all classes can use more weapons besides their favored weapon, as long as their weapon proficiency is enough for it. Battalions are also added to the game which lets you empower the unit with their battalion and boost them even further with Gambits, which have an effect to the enemy if successfully used. Gambit Boost can also be used if certain characters are close together to make the effect more powerful. Reason and Faith skills are needed for Magic to be learned, albeit characters are limited to the magic spells they learn from the game, all of the characters can learn magic.

Other than the game, the music is spectacular that it is almost if not criminal that the soundtrack was not nominated at all in the Game Awards. The music invokes a sense of magic that sets you off to Fodlan itself and the beat of the instruments spark an immersive feeling as you play along the game, whether it's Fodlan Winds which plays as you battle enemies or Edge of Dawn which invokes the feelings and hopes of Edelgard, the game's soundtrack is worth the listen and includes to the grand experience of the game itself.

With the game's final addition to the story coming soon which players hope for a 5th path and a high game score in both players and critics, it is no surprise that the game has reached apex level of praise on both ends, some people say it has reached mainstream even more obvious before Awakening. With it's newfound fame let's see where Intelligent Systems, the creator of the game, take the series to a whole new level. For those who have not played the game, we recommend you to play and experience this one of a kind experience in the Switch.

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