This week, Famitsu has another big article about Fire Emblem: Three Houses, with tons of new details and pictures for the game (over 100!). And once again, that article is already available online, ahead of the release of the magazine!
Missed the previous report? Click here to check it out!
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Omens of Unrest
First, two new characters are introduced: they are evil beings found at Garreg Mach, who attack students of the Officer’s Academy and members of the Church of Seiros. They have open hostility against the Church, though their ultimate goal remains shrouded in mystery. One thing’s for sure: their very existence is a threat to peace.
- Grim Reaper Knight: there are rumours about a mysterious Knight killing people at night, in Garreg Mach. But this stopped being a mere rumour when said Knight suddenly appeared in front of the protagonist! The Grim Reaper Knight looks like a rather lonesome being, that isn’t of this world;
- Flame Emperor: a mysterious person who operated in the shadows the Monastery. They wear a long cloak, their face is hidden behind a mask, and their identity is completely shrouded in mystery. It looks like the thieves who attacked the students of the Officer’s Academy, at the beginning of the game, were doing so under the orders of the Flame Emperor.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Story segments
As mentioned several times before, the protagonist becomes a teacher at the Officer’s Academy, and at the beginning of the game, you have to choose which one of the three classes to teach. This does have an impact on the story, because while the events that occur at the end of each section are the same, those that occur before and after are different. You will sometimes get to see a certain story segment from a completely different point of view depending on the class you picked.
For example, there’s a story segment about serious incidents occuring near the Church of Seiros, which revolves around characters from a given class. And it looks like only one character knows the truth…
Another story segment is about a revolt led by Lord Ronat. In the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, Sir Ronat (Lord of Gaspar) raises an army against the Church of Seiros. The protagonist and their students are then tasked with culling that rebellion, which will bring to light disturbing elements surrounding the Church.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Bonds, Adjutants, Field, etc.
The game features the traditional turn-based gameplay fans of the series know and love, but it also introduces various new gameplay systems.
Just like in recent entries, the bonds between units is key: the stronger it is, the better they perform in battle if they are close to each other (physically) thanks to various bonuses. The bonds between units can be depeened via various interactions at the Officer’s Academy, but also by taking part in battles together. Of course, the usual support conversations are back, and if the Support Level increases after one, then the bonuses will be increased.
Here’s some of the bonuses:
- Joint Attacks: when attacking an enemy, if the ally is in a position where they can also attack the same enemy, then a Joint Attack will trigger. Not only will that gives you a Hit and Avoid bonus, but when specific units attack together, the power of the attack is also increased. If you can launch a Joint Attack, then an icon will be displayed on the left side of the screen;
- Joint Strategems: you can have units use Joint Stratagems, which gives you a Power and Hit bonus based on the numbers of units taking part, as well as their Support Level. Since Stratagems can only be used during battle, it’s important that you put certain units on standby at key points on the map so that you can use Joint Strategems when you need to. Naturally, it’s important to put units with a high Support Level close to each other! By the way, taking part in Joint Strategems is a way to deepen the bonds between units: you can see a heart displayed above their head when that happens.
Once your teaching level has reached a certain point, you can set an adjutant to certain units. Each unit can only have one adjutant, and the number of units that can have one increases based on your teaching level.
When a unit has an adjutant, they always perform Joint Attacks in battle, and one of the Support effects listed below will be triggered. It turns out there’s no real drawback to having an adjutant, so it’s highly recommended to set one to as many units as you can!
Here’s some of the Support effects you can get from adjutants:
- Adjutant Follow-up: at the end of battle, the adjutant occasionally performs a Follow-up attack
- Adjutant Guard: the adjutant protects the main unit from Follow-up attacks, and lowers damage taken
- Adjutant Recovery: the adjutant occasionally heals the main unit at the start of a turn
As you can imagine, the stronger the bond between the unit and their adjutant, the more effective the Support effects will be. The deeper the bonds between units, the stronger your army becomes! By the way, adjutants are not just “ghosts” relegated to menus: they also get to appear during the battle scenes!
Another key element of the adjutant system is that when the main unit takes part in battle, and gains EXP, so does the adjutant! It’s a great way to train weak units, allowing you to set them as adjutant to a stronger one so that they can level up safely.
Fire Emblem fans are pretty familiar with Terrain effects, which are back in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. But in this game, there’s something else to pay particular attention to during battle: gimmicks. You can check details about each one by selecting them on the map; it’s recommended to check every corner to avoid nasty surprises during battle!
Here’s some examples of gimmicks found on the map:
- Doors: can only be opened with a key, or by a unit that has the “Open Key” Skill. You know you will not be able to leave those locked doors alone!
- Treasure Chests: just like doors, they can only be opened with a key, or by a unit that has the “Open Key” Skill;
- Drawbridge: if lowered (only possible from one side), allows units to cross over water, gaps, etc.. This could very well change the tide of battle if use correctly!
Finally, we have details about Drop Items: items dropped by enemies once they have been defeated. Those are displayed in green letters on the status screen, allowing you to see which enemy unit may have what you’re interested. Make sure to check that before the battle begins…
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Classes
This time, we get details about intermediate classes, that you can choose for units that have reached Level 10 and passed an intermediate exam. Speaking of classes, there are skills and techniques that can only be learned by maximizing a given class, which is nothing new for long-time fans of the series!
But first, some details about Class Change. Once units have passed an exam, they can switch class at any time without any sort of restrictions. You can then make many changes to your army without having to spend a single item, unlike past Fire Emblem games. What’s more, units can equip the same weapon even if they switch class (with some exceptions, though). That being said, keep in mind that changing classes means a unit will lose access to its Class Skills.
Here’s some of the intermediate classes found in Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
- Lord: Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude are the leaders of their respective House. In order to make the most of their Charisma skill, it’s recommended to go with a formation centered around a Lord;
- Class Skill: Charisma. During battle, any allies in adjacent spaces get Damage +3 when they attack enemies.
- Thief: they have great skills and speed. They can also steal items from enemies;
- Class Skill: Steal. Allows units to steal items from enemies that are slower than them (excludes weapons);
- Class Skill: Open Key. Allows you to open locked doors or chest without a key.
- Knight: they do not have any Class Skills, but they boast really high defense. Can be used as tanks during battle;
- Pegasus Knight: female-only class. Can fly over rivers, mountains, etc.
- Class Skill: Repositioning. If unit has “movement power” left after taking an action, then unit can use it keep moving after taking it;
- Class Skill: Avoid +10. Self explanatory!
- Archer: raliable units that can use bow to hit enemies from a distance;
- Class Skill: Bow Range +1. Increased the range of the bow by 1.
- Priest: a unit favouring white magic, and who generally serves as healer.
- Class Skill: Heal. Allows unit to use Heal. If it’s already been learned, than you can double the number of times you can it;
- Class Skill: White Magic Recovery. Grants White Magic Recovery +5.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Weekend activities
In the previous report, we were given details about the various activities you can take part in during the week. This time, the focus is on how you can spend your free time during the weekend.
If you select Shop, then you can check out the market where weapons can be bought and sold, and where various accessories can be purchased. If you select Skip, then you can skip to any date on the calendar. If you choose that option, then the game will automatically select activities for you. Also, it looks like there’s special events to take part in!
During the weekend, there’s 4 activities for you to choose from:
- Stroll: you can take a stroll in the Garreg Mach Monastery. There’s various facilities for you to check out, but keep in mind those use some of your time. As the story progresses, more and more facilities become available. You can discuss with the other students and various people at the Monastery, and save your strength in preparation of the battles ahead;
- Conversations: you can discuss with the various people at the Monastery, including fellow teachers. You can also set self-study sessions and various other teaching elements during the weekend;
- Quest: you can help people by clearing quests. Those are available from the bulletin boards found all over the Monastery. You can earn rewards by clearing specific battles, including exclusive Knights!
- Teaching: by talking to fellow teachers or Knights, you can improve one of your skills. The skill improved depends on who you decided to talk to;
- Fishing: in-between battles and teaching sessions, you can go and relax with a little bout of fishing. The fish caught can be used as ingredients for dishes to eat in the cafeteria, or you can sell it to shops. It looks like there’s rare fish to catch!
- Cafeteria: you choose one character to cook with, with the dishes granting a temporary power up to all units. You can then invite two characters and eat together;
- Greenhouse: there, you can grow various plants and crops. The crops can then be used as ingredients for cooking, and the flowers can be given as presents.
When you take a stroll, a mini map is displayed on the upper right of the screen. This not only allows you to see where you are, but also spot where characters related to Quests are located. By pressing the R button, you can open up the map screen, which shows where each character is located. You can also move instantly to any place you have already visited!
- Short Courses: you and your students can attend classes held by other teachers, knights, and even the protagonist. Up to 6 persons can attend one, including the protagonist. The students attending those are automatically selected based on their motivation level and the skills they’re trying to improve. The protagonist can be one of the lecturers, but if they’re not, they attend the class as student;
- Sortie: you can take part in “Free Battles”, that are not part of the main story. Since your level needs to be high enough to tackle those, it’s recommended to do so at the end of a month, once the characters have been properly trained. Battles for some quest do appear in Sortie. Also, if you’re playing on Normal, then Free Battles that do not consume any time appear, which is perfect to train some more without having to worry about wasting precious free time. But that’s not all: there’s also special “Gaiden Battles”, only available for a limited time, featuring scenarios and battles centered around specific allies. If you clear those, you will get items and Knights related to those allies.
- Rest: training, teaching, battles… all those are important, but so is taking some time to rest! If you choose to rest, then you can improve your skills in your own room without doing anything. The students will also get some free time, which will improve their motivation levels.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Characters
Finally, some more characters and their personal skills + crest are revealed/showcased:
- Ferdinand (voiced by Taito Ban)
- Personal Skill: Confidence. When HP are full, grants Hit +15 and Avoid +15;
- Crest: Cichol’s small crest. A small crest said to have been passed down by Saint Cichol.
- Bernadetta (voiced by Ayumi Tsuji)
- Personal Skill: Paranoia. When HP are not full, grants Attack +5;
- Crest: Indech’s small crest. A small crest said to have been passed down by Saint Indech.
- Mercedes (voiced by Yumiri Hanamori)
- Personal Skill: Pleased to be of Service. When she heals an ally using white magic, she also recovers some of her own HP;
- Crest: Lamine’s small crest. A small crest said to have been passed down by Lamine, one of the 10 Heroes of Fodlan.
- Ash (voiced by Yuuki Inoue)
- Personal Skill: Life Wisdom. Allows you to open doors and treasure chests without a key.
- Raphael (voiced by Takaki Ootomori)
- Personal Skill: Pick Up. At the start of a turn, can recover up to 10% of HP.
- Lysithea (voiced by Aoi Yuuki)
- Personal Skill: Genius. Doubles the amount of Skills EXP received in battle;
- Crest: Charon’s small crest. A small crest said to have been passed down by Charon, one of the 10 Heroes of Fodlan.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch) comes out on July 26th worldwide.