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  1. Around a week ago, I did a thread in reddit about the gameplay intricacies Three Houses has + how CF’s identity is defined by those, and one person commented I neglected the distribution of all the movies present through all routes. In spite of the point brought up there not having any connection to the topic at hand, it did leave me thinking on something. While the idea itself - overall movie distribution - has potential for a breakdown, it would be also criminal to not factor in as well how the game also uses fullscreen CGs (short for computer graphics) to supplement its movies. So in the end, I ended up accounting both for my analysis. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting to find much with it compared to my previous efforts (that, and sorting everything was kind of a pain). In spite of it, I do think what I noticed after comparing all the data has some merit worth sharing, which is why I ended up making this post and the titular theorem in the end. (Also, happy 4th 3H Anniversary everyone!) A Three Houses Animated Movie/Fullscreen CG Breakdown. (Click above to check the spreadsheet). Like always, context is king: Why are Animated Movies/Fullscreen CGs a Big Deal? Because they’re cool! They’re effective means for displaying important scenes and moments when used well. Those are also often used to argue just how much production values a game has (after all, hiring dedicated animation studios can’t be cheap), which in Three Houses’ case is a contentious topic due to their distribution and presence not being even. At all. Before moving on, please check first the movie/full screen CGs breakdown spreadsheet, as I’ll be talking about some notes listed in it explaining the Silver Snow Theorem. What IS The Silver Snow Theorem? As I was taking notes from how 3H spreads its animated movies and fullscreen CGs across the game, I began noticing that the game, intentionally or not, follows highly specific criteria to decide not only when specific movies/GCs would be used, but also which scenes would get them, and that’s highly relevant because Three Houses loves to recycle its own content whenever possible. It got so specific, as a matter of fact, that it reminded me of this quote the developers once made about the routes’ development, back in May’s 2020 Nintendo Dream issue: It was at that precise point that everything clicked to me. Thus, you can think of the Silver Snow Theorem as the unwritten rules Three Houses follows to a tee which determines how… cinematic, each of the four branching stories are by Part 2: If a story beat present in Silver Snow is shared with another route, then any animated movie used in SS, when possible, will also be present in it. If another route adds more content over the template Silver Snow provides, then it’s likely it will be able to secure an animated cutscene if required. If another route decides to deviate from Silver Snow and do its own thing however, then it won’t be able to get any animated movies for its unique moments unless those happen to be the route’s ending and the animated epilogue mural, thus forcing the path to rely on CGs instead. Thus, on broad terms, the Silver Snow Theorem consists on the following: The amount of movies and fullscreen CGs present in a route’s main story by Part 2, is directly and inversely proportional respectively, to how much the narrative follows Silver Snow’s story beats. Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at what Silver Snow - the base from which the other three stories spawned - does. Besides Part 1/White Clouds, from Chapter 12 onward, the key story beats which get their own animated movies, in sequential order, are the following: Ch. 12: The Empire invades Garreg Mach and Byleth protects it. Rhea turns into a dragon to help Byleth, gets overwhelmed, and Byleth is pushed down into a cliff. (Descent) Ch. 13: Byleth’s “reunion” with Edelgard. Both fight up until they reach a stalemate, and part their own ways (Reunion: Silver Snow). Ch. 17: Death Knight lures Byleth out of Fort Merceus after fleeing or being defeated. Then TWSITD blows up the fort with missiles (Javelins of Light). Ch. 19: Edelgard is defeated in her palace and Byleth gives her the coup de grâce (Death of the Flame Emperor). Ch. 20: After invading Shambhala and defeating Thales, dude blows up the base with missiles as a last-ditch effort to kill Byleth before debris crushes him. Rhea protects everyone, but gets lethally wounded in the process. (Courage and Tragedy). Besides these, there’s also the interesting case of the intro for the 2nd Gronder Field Battle (Rematch). While in Silver Snow, the battle does canonically happen but is skipped for story reasons, evidence points out the cutscene meant for it was conceived very early in development (to the point all 3 House Leaders used their endgame classes in its beta version), likely for the sake of having it used by the other routes in the future. Incidentally, the Chapter 13 Reunion scene (Reunion: Silver Snow) by concept can be tweaked/altered based on the fact Dimitri and Claude will be on it instead, so it was flexible enough for the 3H devs to do whatever they want with it. A relatively similar case can also be applied for Part 1‘s Flame Emperor reveal, mainly due to the mystery surrounding it needing slight changes in execution because either Dimitri and Claude will be your House Leader instead of Edelgard. Finally, the only CGs Silver Snow uses for Part 2, besides the Introduction Mural for each month in the War Arc, is the one where Rhea’s rescued (Event - Ambitions in the Dark), which is very fitting given the theorem. Thus, things for the Church route end up looking like this: Final animated movie count: 20 (+12, used for Ch. 1 - Ch. 12 intro murals). Exclusive animated movie count: 3 (Reunion Cutscene; Ending; and SS Epilogue Mural). Full screen CGs used: 8 (+ 8, used for Ch. 13 - Ch. 21 intro murals, as the route skips a month) Unique CGs used: Potentially 1, if the player assists to Edelgard’s coronation in Ch.11. Now it’s time to go over how things turned out for the other three routes. The winner of the theorem goes first: The Verdant Wind at Dawn As much flack Claude’s route gets in 3H over being “Silver Snow +”, the hilarious part of all is that building over its foundation paid dividends thanks to the theorem. Following Silver Snow’s template up until the second to last chapter meant that Verdant Wind: Could reuse every animated movie mentioned previously in Silver Snow (i.e: Descent; Javelins of Light; Death of the Flame Emperor; and Courage and Tragedy). In the case of “Courage and Tragedy”, this movie was also slightly tweaked for this route by having its name changed and the soundtrack used in it altered, both now going by the unifying name of “The Curse”. Could add its exclusive animated movies over SS’ story beats, namely*: one for Fort Merceus’ infiltration* (Citizens of the East); and another used after the “Shambhala + Thales go boom with Rhea getting wounded” scene (Resurrection). Add up Claude can also access the movie “Rematch” due to Gronder 2’s battle being visited for story reasons, and also get a proper reunion + ending movies for his final boss, and you get the most movie-tastic experience Three Houses offers. Lastly, Verdant Wind ends up not really having any need for fullscreen CGs besides the one where Rhea’s rescued. So… Final animated movie count: 23 (+12, used for Ch. 1 - Ch. 12 intro murals). Exclusive animated movie count: 5 (Reunion Cutscene; Almyran Reinforcements; Final Boss Awakens; Ending; and VW Epilogue Mural). Full screen CGs used: 7 (+ 9, used for Ch. 13 - Ch. 22 intro murals) Unique CGs used: 0 The negative is that Verdant Wind ends up coming across as too Silver Snow-eske, but as mentioned previously, that’s a big positive when accounting for the theorem. And since we’re done with the winner, it’s only natural to move towards the underdog: A Path of Crimson Flowers If there’s any proof of how much the Silver Snow Theorem can screw you over, it’s Crimson Flower. The source of the problems Edelgard’s route fares, as far the theorem's concerned, start with how it deviates from Silver Snow as early as Chapter 11, meaning: It can’t use “Descent” due to the story mandating the complete opposite scenario (Rhea’s the enemy now). It can’t use “Reunion: Silver Snow” because Edelgard isn’t the enemy. It can’t use “Rematch” due to story reasons. It can’t use “Javelins of Light” because the Death Knight isn’t an enemy, and due to story reasons. …You get the drill by now. Where does that leave it then? Well, besides having previously used a fullscreen CG for the Coronation scene (whose story event also has the same name), plus an unique ending and epilogue mural as movies, any other scene past Ch. 11 whose counterpart from other routes is an animated movie, end up using fullscreen CGs instead, meaning it goes by 5~ chapters without any animated movies. Not to mention, the route is also 18 Chapters long compared to the others paths, so any potential CF has for multiple story scenes worth having CGs is very much limited (case in point; the Edelgard’s route misses 4 fullscreen CGs the other routes get to introduce the months CF doesn’t use). As a result, its final count is the following: Final animated movie count: 15 (+12, used for Ch. 1 - Ch. 12 intro murals). Exclusive animated movie count: 2 (Ending; and CF Epilogue Mural). Full screen CGs used: 10 (+5, used for Ch. 13 - Ch. 18 intro murals, misses 4 months) Unique CGs used: 5 And with it done, only one path remains: Beneath the Azure Moon Azure Moon is by far our most fascinating case, as under the Silver Snow Theorem, Dimitri’s story does both right and wrong. Here’s what it does right: It built over Ch 11’s Flame Emperor’s reveal with its own animated movie: “Loathing”. It can use “Descent” for Chapter 12. It can get its own reunion movie. It can use “Rematch” due to story reasons. And here’s where it erred; It diverges from Silver Snow as soon Gronder 2 ends in late Chapter 17: It can’t use “Javelins of Light” because of story reasons. It can’t use “Death of the Flame Emperor” due to story reasons. It can’t use “Courage and Tragedy” because going to Shambhala isn’t part of the main story. As a result, the theorem impacts Dimitri’s path the following way: besides having 2 exclusive fullscreen CG which elaborate more on his past around Part 1, the route eventually goes 4~ chapters without any animated movies after Ch. 17’s main story mission, the second longest besides Crimson Flower’s. To fill this void, more fullscreen CGs were called upon, and this route stands from the others in how it uses slight variations of its illustrations twice to form a sequence of events, namely, during Rodrigue’s sacrifice (Event - Revenge), and the “Dimitri’s in the rain” scene (Event - A Reason to Live). So overall, for Azure Moon we have: Final animated movie count: 19 (+12, used for Ch. 1 - Ch. 12 intro murals). Exclusive animated movie count: 4 (Flame Emperor Reveal; Reunion; Ending; and AM Epilogue Mural). Fullscreen CGs used: 13 (+ 9, used for Ch. 13 - Ch. 22 intro murals, and excludes 2 slightly tweaked CGs used for sequences). Unique CGs used: 7 (see above for the multiple frames thing). And counting all four routes, their overall amount of movies and CGs look like this: It's intriguing how the theorem shows Silver Snow casts a lingering shadow over Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude’s stories, with some routes clearly benefiting more from its foundation than others. It’s highlighted as well just how narrative-driven Three Houses is overall, and how it will go above and beyond to have important scenes happen one way or another, regardless if turning them into animated movies is not an option for one reason or another, as seen with Crimson Flower and Azure Moon. And while jury’s up as for how intentional Silver Snow’s effects on the other routes were during the planning stages, I do believe KT learned something from 3H development given that for Warriors: Three Hopes, they wasted no time it getting rid of the Silver Snow foundation by swapping Byleth for Shez and using the pre-timeskip phase as just the prologue for all three routes (a genius move IMO, since it meant the stories wouldn’t need to be bound to any sort of structure established by a template, not unlike one certain route from 3H does). Before closing things up, I wanna briefly go into why skipping some animated movies in a route would be a big deal for the theorem, as I was admittedly a bit vague when stating omissions happen “because of story reasons”. Feel free to stop reading now if you don’t really care about it (many thanks for reading up until this point tho!), but if you wanna stick around, then… Let’s go!: Rematch: The Plot Reaper The Second Gronder Field Battle between all 3 factions as a plot point is vital to the Silver Snow theorem and the routes which benefit from it. The main reason is due the battle’s losers determining who will go and fight the Empire in the second half of Part 2: If the Alliance loses during the fight, then Dimitri & the Kingdom will get this responsibility (Azure Moon). if the Kingdom loses, then it’s all up to Claude and the Alliance to get the job done (Verdant Wind). If both the Alliance and the Kingdom lose, then Byleth’s Resistance Army is the only hope left (Silver Snow). In spite of the movie used for this scene being set in a way Byleth could support any of the three factions like it's Part 1 counterpart, as a plot point, the Empire winning doesn’t serve any purpose to the narrative. So in hindsight, it's not surprising the battle straight up never happens in Crimson Flower. Javelins of Light: The Ticket to Shambhala Long story short, in Silver Snow & Verdant Wind, the Death Knight - and by proxy, Hubert - being aware that TWISTD it will blow up Fort Merceus to smithereens serves as a way to have Byleth/Claude’s gang go to Shambhala after Edelgard’s death, thanks to Hubert’s foresight and unexplained futuristic-missile-detecting abilities. As a result, if going to Shambhala doesn’t have any narrative purpose in the story the route is trying to tell, then the movie just isn't gonna be reused. Faeghast went a bit more in-depth about how 3H uses the missiles in the plot for those interested, but this is more or less the gist of it. And finally: Death of the Flame Emperor: But Dimitri…? This one’s more easy to tell, but regardless: The main reason the movie isn’t reused thrice with Azure Moon is due to the heavy focus the Dimitri & Edelgard relationship gets in its main narrative. Plus, Dimitri vs Edelgard being set up as the very final fight of the story would require a different (and most importantly, “ending-like”) movie to take place instead, more so if Edelgard isn’t gonna be in her Emperor Class… And while there’s an enough solid argument to say the cutscene has no place in Verdant Wind (which I 100% support btw), the reality of the situation is that, as far the Theorem’s concerned, Claude’s route is not different enough to justify not using it. Like always, many thanks to everyone who reached the end of this post! Let me know if you think the Silver Snow Theorem might actually be onto something, if it’s just something I imagined one day, or if you have some feedback or anything to add to the topic. BONUS (since it doesn’t really have a place in the theorem post) Gonna mention this here since I couldn’t find a way to make it fit into the Theorem, but oh man Part 1 has so many animated cutscenes it's insane. There are 47 movie files in total, and from those, 27 are used only in White Clouds (with one being exclusive to Blue Lions).
  2. A few weeks ago, I did a keen analysis on how Three Houses manages difficulty for every one of its four routes which I’ve been slowly improving thanks to the feedback I’ve received on it (many thanks to those who helped btw!). From all the notes I’ve gathered, something very interesting stood out about how the game handles challenges with each path, which reminded me of a certain possibility I raised a past post I did in reddit surrounding Black Eagles’ development and the hidden intentions lurking within. And you know what? I think it’s time I make it into an actual theorem because it’s really bugging me out that much. After all the stuff I’ve seen about 3H’s gameplay and how it handles challenges per route, I am convinced that “fixing” Crimson Flower isn’t as straightforward as people make it up to be. Before getting into why gameplay evidence of all things has convinced me of such, I wanna cover all my bases first just in case someone (and somehow, ‘cause a part of me finds it unlikely) has no clue what I’ll be talking about. So… Here's context: Why “Fix” the Odd One? ...Also known as Crimson Flower. Three Houses has four routes overall. From those, Crimson Flower is the only one which has 18 story chapters while the others get 22 (or 21, in Silver Snow case). Saying this made people mad back when the game was new would honestly be an understatement given there’s a youtube video called “Edelgard deserved better” done sometime after its launch which has over 250k views as of this post. Incidentally, the idea of “fixing” CF is far from new, and the go-to direction most attempts I’ve seen, do it by crafting a small 4 chapter arc after the main plot (so it can reach the 22 Chapter quota Dimitri and Claude’s routes follow, which the idea inherently assumes it was the original goal of the route), eventually leading Edelgard and co. fighting “those who slither in the dark” in their headquarters, something which is mentioned it will happen a few times during the route, but as a very distant… thing, due to Edelgard’s n°1 enemy being not them in the main plot. This gets to the point that an S-Support and even a few solo endings touch upon it in a way that might or might not be mean spirited from the devs’ POV???. Anyways, now that’s out of the way, it’s time to jump into the actual meat of the theorem: No House Stands Equal - Three Houses' Difficulty from a Design Perspective The key findings of my exhaustive attempt at analyzing 3H’s difficulty (which you can check by clicking on the title above) is that Three Houses, from a gameplay perspective, handles difficulty by messing with factors like: Average Enemy Level between Chapters (+ their Suggested Level, which is directly related to the AEL). Available resources, and the timing in which new ones are unlocked and/or lost. When the game stops using Intermediate Classes for enemies (in a more conventional Fire Emblem context, this would be like saying “when the game stops throwing Unpromoted Enemies at you). And more. Thus, at a macro/superficial level and, according to the info at hand, Three Houses does the following: The Average Enemy Level almost always increases by 2 per Chapter, regardless of the chosen difficulty. The Armory/Vendor/Battalion Guild stock is updated 3 times; first in Ch. 3, then in Ch. 8, and last in Ch. 14. Part 1 ends in Ch. 12 with a Suggested Level of 23. Your chosen House Leader gets their unique battalion in Chapter 13. The most number of bosses you’re forced to take down to clear main story missions is 4 in Ch. 16 once (3 if you play carefully), and then 2 for other maps that do this. The game stops throwing Intermediate Class enemies around Ch. 18~ for main story maps (17 for Silver Snow, 16 for Azure Moon, and 18 for Verdant Wind, for those curious). Your chosen House Leader’s paralogue is unlocked around the second half of Part 2 (Ch. 19 for Dimitri, and Ch. 17 for Claude). The difference in enemy levels between the successive Enbarr invasion missions is always 1. And finally, the route ends in Ch. 22 (or 21 if you’re in Silver Snow) with a final Suggested Level of 42. This pattern is followed religiously in all the routes which happen to share a lot of content up until Chapter 17 (or 16, in Silver Snow’s case) due to story reasons, yet despite this, there’s still many quirks exclusive to certain routes which make one experience different from the other. Silver Snow, for example, is meant to be really hard according to the devs, and as the spreadsheet reveals, it does this by handicapping the heck out of the player (very squishy starting cast with no Relics besides Byleth’s; one deployment slot less, far less resources; losing your House Leader + N°2 midway through the game; etc). Due to this, Azure Moon and Verdant Wind by design are more beginner friendly by simply having none of that (AKA more balanced casts that stays with you; more Hero Relics; more resources, etc), while still deviating in other areas. Azure Moon for one, gets the most resources between all routes to play with, still gets their exclusive units handicapped in other ways, and in the late game, it has a “turret & mage infestation problem”, for a lack of a proper term. Conversely, Verdant Wind gets just a pretty decent amount of tools, has no actual handicaps for their cast, and their late game isn’t so overly specific in enemy variety as Azure Moon’s. Fairly straightforward stuff so far. But as you might have noticed, I haven’t mentioned Crimson Flower once, and that's for a reason. Crimson Flower, by design, is not built like the other three routes. ♫ One of these is not like the others ♫ To explain what makes CF challenging, I need to go back again into into how 3H manages its difficulty, because unlike the other three paths, this one follows its own set of rules: The Armory/Vendor/Battalion Guild stock is updated one third and last time in Ch. 12. Part 1 ends in Ch. 12 with a Suggested Level of 25. Edelgard & Hubert get their unique battalions in Chapter 12 (is Hubert a lord too…?). The most number of bosses you’re forced to take down to clear story missions is 4 in Ch. 15 once (3 if you play carefully), and then 5 for both Ch. 16 and Ch. 17. The game stops throwing Intermediate Class enemies in Ch. 14 for main story missions. Edelgard’s paralogue is unlocked in Ch. 15, midway through Part 2. The difference in enemy levels between successive story missions goes as follows: Ch. 11 to Ch. 12: 4 in Normal & Hard, and 3 in Maddening. Ch. 17 to Ch. 18: 2 in Normal & Hard, and 3 in Maddening. And finally, the game ends in Ch. 18 with a final Suggested Level of 37. And this isn’t even considering how every story mission from Ch. 12 onwards is exclusive to it for story reasons, or even factoring the other tweaks exclusive to CF, such as: having one Chapter less to receive funds and recruit students/teachers; having 2 units that join in Part 2 with innate access to Mastermind; its second half of the game being full of enemy pegasi/wyvern riders; its last chapters having a high number of monsters with anti-magic barriers, and with weapons used in no other route; and more stuff which I won’t cover here for brevity’s sake. Dedue's Monster form is legit the strongest Giant Demonic Beast in the game in both raw stats and weapon. Everything mentioned so far about Edelgard’s route highlights that, compared to the other three paths: it scales up the difficulty earlier; makes its resources available earlier as well; and raises the challenge of its last two chapters considerably. Incidentally, this in turn explains why the path is a viable option to obtain the “Yellow Title Screen” after finishing it on Maddening difficulty despite having fewer Chapters; it's because its difficulty was optimized to work with that specific length in mind. Here is where the crux at hand lies. Why “fixing” Crimson Flower isn’t just adding more chapters to it and calling it a day. Edelgard’s route, structure-wise, does not feel it was meant to be as long as the other three paths. This is important because, as well-intentioned the idea of “fixing” the route is, adding more chapters over what’s already there would completely throw off its balancing and potentially and unintentionally make it the hardest route of the four by numbers alone (and this is is still accounting that you would have to fight even more bosses later on…). To illustrate what exactly I mean by this- I'm going to propose 2 experiments. First, let’s imagine an hypothetical scenario where KT and Intelligent Systems listen to the fan uproar over Crimson Flower’s shortness and add more chapters to it. The catch? There won’t be any other changes done to the base game. As a result, CF’s unique scaling stays due to the assumption it's presence is unrelated to its short length, meaning: There's still 4/3 levels of difference between Chapter 11 and 12, for Normal & Hard/Maddening). The level scaling remains consistent with no alterations unlike the other routes, up until the Last Chapter in Maddening Difficulty where the Average Enemy Level increases by 3. This is how the route’ Suggested Levels' would look like for its chapters, compared to Dimitri and Claude’s stories, as well the Church's. Now everyone's finally- Wait a second... (Click here if you wanna check it on the spreadsheet) (Note: Suggested Level is the value shown when you're about to start a mission. In-game, it's used as an indicator of the map's difficulty and the level the game expects you to be in order to beat it) From my understanding, the whole point of the idea of “fixing” CF comes from the desire of making it a proper equal to Azure Moon and Verdant Wind, not unlike how in Warriors: Three Hopes, Scarlet Blaze, Azure Gleam and Golden Wildfire are equal in length and difficulty scaling (at least by the time the game ends). From the get go, we can see how this experiment has failed, because now Crimson Flower has the highest average enemy levels for its late game. To properly “fix” Crimson Flower in this instance, we would need to either redo its difficulty scaling from scratch to make it match the other routes, or just simply give it one Chapter less like Silver Snow, in which case, it still fails the experiment's purpose. As a result, we now move to our Second Experiment: We will make Edelgard’s route unfinished. To do this, we will assume CF was meant to always have 22 Chapters, and as logic dictates, it's unique difficulty scaling would serve no purpose. This means that, as far difficulty parameters go, there's now a 1 level difference for enemies between Chapters whose missions are played back to back, impacting now both Ch.11 to Ch. 12, and Ch.17 to Ch. 18. Here’s how the Suggested Levels' would look like in this case: (Scaling it for Maddening wasn't easy...). (Click here if you wanna check it on the spreadsheet) These numbers look far more harmonious, yeah? Not only that, in this one you can clearly tell by the sequence the numbers follow that something is very off with Edelgard’s path- Not only it's somehow easier in Normal and Hard, something which is meant to come after Ch. 18 clearly isn’t there. Will it come around later as free DLC, as the rumors say? The evidence says it’s likely, though we dunno if it will happen yet. This isn’t our reality though, and I have a big hunch on why it was never on the cards in our case. Both interviews which speak about the route’s development always coincide on one vital area: ——————————————————————————————————————————————— From all four routes, CF was the only one which was meant to be a secret. Picture this: you’re developing a video game with four routes that happens to love recycling its own content a lot, and you even have solid in-universe reasons for it too! And yet, you decide to hide one of the four just because. The reasoning here isn’t important. What is, however, is its secrecy. You want people to play the game, and have some of them stumble across it by accident and be surprised. Under this train of logic, I ask the following question: Would it work to its benefit, if it was very similar to the other three routes regardless? The answer to this question would be probably not. From then on, it becomes important to have that one route be different. Not follow the same rules the others do. Otherwise, what is the point of having it be a secret? Edelgard’s route, as the theorem, proposes is the odd one out on purpose. Its identity stems from how it was conceived as the route which would be super hard to access, before the plan changed because Silver Snow was received poorly by KT’s testing team + devs. And because it’s the odd one out, trying to make it fit a very different mold isn’t gonna be an easy job, to the point you have to wonder if it would be best to just redo the whole thing from scratch instead. In my humble opinion, this very well explains why the route is so different in both gameplay and outside of it, but I'll digress on the latter since that one's not the point of this post...
  3. I know Dedue is absent between Chapter 13 and 15. In Chapter 15 we have a many paralogue available so in my opinion it's recommended to level Dedue to level 28 between timeskip
  4. Never play Gronder Field again ! It's make me very ANGRY ! Disgrace !
  5. Hello everyone! I'm currently on chapter 17 of the Blue Lions/Azure Moon route. Since I have the tendency to be a perfectionist, and wanting to complete every single support on one playthrough, I'm hurt to admit that this won't happen this time. Therefore I'm looking to finish at least the most important supports, ones that add to the story and character's backstories and the world of Fódlan more. So, which ones do you think are the most interesting? No spoilers, please! Note that I've finished all the supports amongst the original Blue Lions students. Thanks!
  6. I don't know. + : Have 36 characters Can have many relic and Bataillon 17 paired ending TWSITD all eliminared - : Dimitri can't learn until chapter 14 to 17 Dedue absent in Chapter 13 to 15 Hardest final map Might cutscene
  7. I've never been the biggest fan of Dimitri, and always had issues with him, particularly with his ending. Now, this isn't about whether he dealt with the Agarthans or not, as that's another separate issue, I've always had an annoyance of never understanding the type of reforms he wanted or made. Dimitri's Solo Ending: It's so incredibly vague that it's a wonder what exactly he did. With Edelgard, I knew that it was to abolish the nobility and install a more meritocratic government. With Claude, it was to tear down the borders between races and allow cultural exchange to end racism (even if Claude's story really didn't follow his goal as a theme). This makes Dimitri the big question mark. A lot of people, mostly on reddit, try to praise Dimitri as the best type of reforms, and think that he created democracy. However, I feel that such a thing is impossible, as the ending with Annette makes it clear that this is still a dynasty. And we know that the nobility system still exists. This is cause in all the routes, only one route ever actually works to abolishes nobility as a whole, being Crimson Flower, Edelgard's route. The other routes don't focus on that, nor have the endings that indicate a change that goes with that nature. Hence why I feel it simply can't be a democracy or anything resembling one. So then... what does this participatory government mean? What does it do? Does it even actually give commoners any power at all? I kept wondering. Kept trying to think deeper into it. What exactly was Dimitri seeking to accomplish? In order to better understand, I decided to look at two points in the story where Dimitri ever talks about his own ideals, being after the Miklan incident during Part 1, and the talk with Edelgard near the end of Part 2. I'll break down and talk about the major points Dimitri mentions in the conversation and clarify the meaning behind them and how it connects together to help understand what the reforms he makes. First off, this actually makes it clear that Dimitri is not personally against the concept of Crests or nobility. In fact, he insists that they existed for so long for a reason, and that a world without Crests would lose the "metaphorical blade" that is meant to protect people from threats. What he is against is the "extremes" that people take with Crests, thinking that it's wrong for Gautier to disown Miklan for not bearing a Crest. Keep in mind that disowning kids without Crests is stated by Seteth to be common practice in Faerghus. Dimitri is obviously against that, which is good. While he acknowledges that one's ability is not measured through Crest along, he simply doesn't believe that the nobility system or the Crests should just lose their worth and must still continue to hold value in the world. Why? Well, this goes on to how he explains about House Gautier: This is very interesting. It's a case of how he speaks of the nobility being "granted" special privileges as a result of their service, where House Gautier protects the northern region of Faerghus from Sreng invaders, which is very much a known threat, as stated by Sylvain, and how the Lance of Ruin is an absolute necessity to holding back said invaders. And then comes to Dimitri's personal belief during the time: So he basically wants the nobles, commoners, races, Crests, and Crestless to just all learn to get along. However, he concedes that some people cannot accept this. This overall comes to the case of when he clashes against Edelgard during their talk near the endgame. Most notably is how Dimitri seems to overall perceive Edelgard and what he thinks her goals for the future is, as a result of Edelgard not actually explaining her goals, sadly. While the Edelgard and Dimitri talk have a lot of issues, I do notice some things that Dimitri is trying to say. He's overall speaking his belief that the people are weak and will suffer under Edelgard, due to how she is trying to rely on war to change things, and instead believes that people all have to come together to change. However, this is still the case of how both parties are at a state of mind and belief that neither can accept the other, so they have to destroy one another as a result, which is just as Dimitri mentioned in the Miklan conversation. And this all comes together to what Dimitri said way back then in the trailer: The classic strong vs. weak argument. Now simply adjust this to the nobles and commoners, with the nobles being the strong, and commoners being the weak, then the strong trampling the weak is overall the problem of corrupt nobility. Corrupt nobility have been one of the one of the biggest sources of problems in Fódlan. Them abusing their power is the very thing that caused many people, nobles and commoners alike, to be harmed as a result. So if you take how he views the case of House Gautier, with how they are granted privileges for their service in protecting the land from invaders, or how the Crests are the "metaphorical blade" that protects others from threats, things start to become clear. Dimitri believes that nobles exist, born with Crests or just political power, are born for the purpose to use that very power in the service of the people. The strong should protect the weak. So how does this translate to his government reforms? His ending is that he is known for "listening to the voices of all". Now recall how Dimitri claims Edelgard's war made her "deaf" to the cries of its victims. If that's the case, then commoners being able to be freely participants of the government means that they have a "voice," and thus can be heard to the king and nobles, the ones that hold the power. If the commoners can be heard, then the nobles that have the power to act can surely use their power to help the people. While yes, there are still flaws in this system, where commoners still don't have any actual powers politically, and relies too much on trusting those in power, let's understand that no reformations in the other routes are entirely perfect and each have their own flaws. However, the reforms here very much follows into what Dimitri believes in, in how the weak can speak and come together, and the nobles can try and use their power to help the people when something happens. It'd be a system that can have the potential to help better combat corrupt nobility that might abuse their powers by being able to rely on those that have power to help. And we know that at the very least, there are plenty of nobles in the current generation that genuinely can help the people if any corrupt nobles try to abuse their power. The irony in this is that had Dimitri and Edelgard actually managed to truly work together, had they been actually been able to understand one another, it'd have been a far more powerful system. Combine Edelgard's beliefs where anyone can rise to attain power through their own merit, and Dimitri's beliefs that those with power should protect the weak, and I would daresay that that could possibly be a true path to a democracy. Such a shame that there were just too many circumstances surrounding the story, and a lack of development for the major characters that could have helped bridge the gaps between one another. Which only pushes the tragedy of this war more than previous games. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Now, while I am a personal fan of Edelgard's reformations more, I believe that there is some actual merit behind Dimitri's efforts in his reformations, and I hope this helps better clarify to what I believe Dimitri's reformations are ultimately meant to be about, and thus give anyone that is a fan of Dimitri and Azure Moon a clearer picture in their head as to what Dimitri's reformations are like, which might help better appreciate his route as a result. I know this at least helps me better understand, which I sorely needed. Of course, feel free to disagree with me, since this is just what I believe is the case from analyzing Dimitri's words, but that doesn't mean I'm exactly right, since again, the game does not make it clear what his reforms are meant to entail.
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