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Moonlit Knight

PSA - **Route Spoilers** Two Routes Are Essentially Identical

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So, as I’m sure everyone is aware by now, there are two different routes to take on the Black Eagles path - the Edelgard path or the Church path.

Just so everyone is aware, gameplay-wise, the Church route is a complete, watered-down copy of the Golden Deer route. It has the same maps, with the same bosses, in the same order with three notable exceptions: namely, you skip the big post-skip battle between the three nations, some gimmicks that are present in battles on the Golden Deer Route are removed in the Church Route, and the final map and final boss are completely different. But, other than that, they are completely identical in terms of gameplay (well, other than the fact that you mainly have the Eagles students and not the Deer). Story-wise, there is also a significant amount of overlap, but both routes reveal different information at the end.

I put this out there because this game is massive enough as it is, and since I know a lot of people have lives to get to, there isn’t much need to play both of these routes if you don’t have the time or energy. As someone who played the Golden Deer Route first, I highly recommend playing that route (as it felt more complete to me than the Church Route) and then watching the cutscenes from the Church Route on YouTube or something. But, I’ll leave that decision to everyone to make themselves.

Edited by Moonlit Knight

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Thank you for this information. Maybe I’ll still do the church route, but now I’m glad to know I don’t need to rush through it since I’ve already played Golden Deer.

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Since this is somewhat related, a question regarding the Church route - What students do you have to fight (and possibly kill) on the Church route?

If the battle dialogues are identical with them on either route, I may just try going for a "recruit them all" playthrough on my Church route (which is currently slated to be the last route I do, after Golden Deer). If there is some difference with the story, no matter how minor, then I'll probably just play normally.

Besides, I'm already missing my Black Eagle students... Doing Blue Lions right now.

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4 minutes ago, Sire said:

Since this is somewhat related, a question regarding the Church route - What students do you have to fight (and possibly kill) on the Church route?

If the battle dialogues are identical with them on either route, I may just try going for a "recruit them all" playthrough on my Church route (which is currently slated to be the last route I do, after Golden Deer). If there is some difference with the story, no matter how minor, then I'll probably just play normally.

Besides, I'm already missing my Black Eagle students... Doing Blue Lions right now.

I'm not quite finished with the Church path, but I believe I'm close to the end. Ashe and Lorentz are the only enemy recruitable students I've seen so far, and I'd be surprised to see more at this point.

Leonie and Ingrid were my only recruits; it's not impossible that they would have showed up as enemies, but it seems extremely doubtful.

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4 minutes ago, Ayra said:

I'm not quite finished with the Church path, but I believe I'm close to the end. Ashe and Lorentz are the only enemy recruitable students I've seen so far, and I'd be surprised to see more at this point.

Leonie and Ingrid were my only recruits; it's not impossible that they would have showed up as enemies, but it seems extremely doubtful.

Yes, I also think Ashe and Lorenz are it. Because you skip the big 3-way battle, and because you are mainly fighting the Empire with the Black Eagle students, there are few opportunities for the other students to enter the picture.

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Can someone put in spoilers what the church route reveals that the GD route doesn't?

I've completed BE and BL and I was planning to do the church route now but if it's true that they're almost identical I might as well just watch the juicy lore bits on youtube and play the GD route instead since that one has at least different students.

I really don't want to make the choice that puts you on the church path ;_;

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2 hours ago, Hekselka said:

Can someone put in spoilers what the church route reveals that the GD route doesn't?

I've completed BE and BL and I was planning to do the church route now but if it's true that they're almost identical I might as well just watch the juicy lore bits on youtube and play the GD route instead since that one has at least different students.

I really don't want to make the choice that puts you on the church path ;_;

I would highly recommend playing one of the routes first and then watching the lore, as both the Golden Deer and Church Routes are meant to be “answer routes” that focus more on solving the game’s mysteries than fighting the war. But, anyway,

Spoiler

The church route focuses more on the identity and motivations of Seiros and Rhea. The big, juicy thing is that it’s the only route where Rhea gets around to explaining Byleth’s origins.

 

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2 hours ago, Hekselka said:

Can someone put in spoilers what the church route reveals that the GD route doesn't?

I've completed BE and BL and I was planning to do the church route now but if it's true that they're almost identical I might as well just watch the juicy lore bits on youtube and play the GD route instead since that one has at least different students.

I really don't want to make the choice that puts you on the church path ;_;

I did Church and GD route, and the GD route explains all the mysteries WAY better than the Church route. Honestly I don't think there is something that is mentioned in the Church route that isn't mentioned in the GD route, except maybe a small bit of info about Byleth's parentage and birth circumstances. If you want some heavy plot spoilers here they are:

Spoiler

Rhea was implanting the the crest stone of flames taken from the sword of the creator into people, so they could make a connection with the dead goddess'(Sothis) soul and so she could revive Sothis. However all her attempts failed. During a difficult birth Byleth was born stillborn and was essentially dead, and his mother who had the crest stone of flames implanted into her heart begged Rhea to transfer it to Byleth's heart. Rhea did so and eventually Byleth lived, while his mother died. Jeralt almost died protecting Rhea once upon a time, and Rhea gave him her blood to keep him alive, this made him basically manifest the major crest of seiros and also made him age really slowly if at all. The reason why Byleth made a connection with Sothis' soul was the combination of having the crest stone of flames implanted into him and also having inherited Rhea's(who is a child of the goddess) blood from Jeralt.

 

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15 minutes ago, Zoderos said:

I did Church and GD route, and the GD route explains all the mysteries WAY better than the Church route. Honestly I don't think there is something that is mentioned in the Church route that isn't mentioned in the GD route, except maybe a small bit of info about Byleth's parentage and birth circumstances. If you want some heavy plot spoilers here they are:

  Reveal hidden contents

Rhea was implanting the the crest stone of flames taken from the sword of the creator into people, so they could make a connection with the dead goddess'(Sothis) soul and so she could revive Sothis. However all her attempts failed. During a difficult birth Byleth was born stillborn and was essentially dead, and his mother who had the crest stone of flames implanted into her heart begged Rhea to transfer it to Byleth's heart. Rhea did so and eventually Byleth lived, while his mother died. Jeralt almost died protecting Rhea once upon a time, and Rhea gave him her blood to keep him alive, this made him basically manifest the major crest of seiros and also made him age really slowly if at all. The reason why Byleth made a connection with Sothis' soul was the combination of having the crest stone of flames implanted into him and also having inherited Rhea's(who is a child of the goddess) blood from Jeralt.

 

 

27 minutes ago, Moonlit Knight said:

I would highly recommend playing one of the routes first and then watching the lore, as both the Golden Deer and Church Routes are meant to be “answer routes” that focus more on solving the game’s mysteries than fighting the war. But, anyway,

  Reveal hidden contents

The church route focuses more on the identity and motivations of Seiros and Rhea. The big, juicy thing is that it’s the only route where Rhea gets around to explaining Byleth’s origins.

 

Ah, I see. I'll play through the GD route and then check the posts.

Thanks for the info.

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So I just finished my 3 playthroughs with BL, BE & GD and unfortunately had read this with Golden Deer being my final playthrough. I still wanted to know more about what the main differences are and got some of it from this post, but I think I was still curious enough to get the full picture. There's a pretty solid video on youtube "Three Houses the Movie: Church Path" if you skip to the middle of it and just watch the dialogue & cutscenes it becomes super clear that it is nearly identical as OP says. I'll post my additions to the spoilers below of the differences I had found between GD and church. 

*SPOILERS for GD route are also included in here.

Anyways -  I hope this gives a better idea of what happens between the two. But seriously if you've done GD - SKIP this route. GD is a much better route to play through information and plot wise. 

Spoiler

In the church route you don't fight at Gronder field again, but allow Gilbert and the Kingdom forces to pass through it once you capture the bridge. You'll learn that Dimitri is killed, Edelgard retreats and Claude just disappears? (Never gets resolved - super weird?). Dimitri comes back as a ghost for no reason for like 2 seconds to talk with only you. You still reclaim Enbarr & fight the imperial army killing Edelgard. You learn that Seteth and Flayn are also children of the goddess (probably should have been a given) but lost their powers to transform into similar beasts as Rhea can. Rhea tells you at the end how you're born, (can see full details from Zoderos's post) and Rhea basically just loses her shit for some unknown reason; you fight her instead of ever even dealing with Nemesis or the mention of him, but you don't actually end up killing her just giving that bitch a chill pill basically. 

 

 

 

 

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