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Thane

Thorough discussion of the entire story and characters

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Hello chaps!

Having used up far too much of my free time to play through Three Houses these last few weeks, I finally feel I'm at a point where I can properly discuss the game. I was hoping to be as thorough as I can at the moment, even if I don't know every single detail or support. I posted this to Reddit yesterday, but now that I don't see a thread here discussing the story as a whole, I figured I might as well chip in with my own thoughts and opinions.

Needless to say, there'll be plenty of spoilers of the entire game here, so if you're not finished or you're sensitive to spoilers, please turn back now.

Spoiler

The beginning

To be perfectly honest, besides the amazing intro cinematic, the game starts off surprisingly shakily. You start talking to Jeralt, then *knock knock*, oh hey, it's the three little lordlings standing right there, all lined up and ready to go. You save them and a moment later you're a teacher and Jeralt goes back to being a captain of the Knights of Seiros without ever really explaining why he left or what reason he has to return. We later find out that nothing has really changed since he left, so his immediate return feels sudden, as does the entire intro. The developers clearly wanted to waste no time getting to the meat and potatoes of the game, and while that's understandable, some things are simplified and brushed over to accommodate for that. 

I also didn't really care for the immediate praising of Byleth. All lordlings want to recruit them immediately, even though they're just a run-of-the-mill mercenary who doesn't display any emotions - Dimitri even admits to having been creeped out by Byleth later on in the game, so it's a bit sudden. It would've been better to have this take place after the first mock battle.

Sothis is cool as hell though. She's funny, mysterious and a little creepy. The dark throne room is also a fantastic setting, and the music sells it well.

The academy phase

Some of the weird pacing persists throughout the game, like how you have to wait an entire month for events to actually start happening. Sometimes this makes sense, sometimes it doesn't - Jeralt wanting 15 minutes to speak with Byleth, who's having multiple tea parties a day, is one example where this doesn't make much sense. It's funny because before the release of the game me and a friend joked about Flame Emperor being forced to respect the students' exam schedules and only getting to cause mischief at the end of each month. We weren't that far off.

Another issue with the academy phase is that I think that some events are skimmed over, and not enough time is spent on the relationship between the house leaders. It would've given the war phase more gravitas if we could see the three interact more beforehand. They had a good chance of doing this after the Battle of the Eagle and the Lion, but they skip the dinner scene and focus only on your class, which I consider a missed opportunity.

Besides that, however, I'd say the academy phase is done exceedingly well. Garreg Mach feels alive, both NPC's and playable characters discuss themselves and the world around them, contributing to the most fleshed out world we've ever had in the series. Characters feel like they really belong and are a part of the world, and there are so many mysteries and questions surrounding, well, almost everything, and the history of Fódlan is viewed through different lenses, showing that not everything is black and white.

I think the first time I realized how much I enjoyed the setting and the story that was being told was when you were investigating Flayn's disappearance, and you could effectively accuse all the teachers - and that's what various students did. Had Sothis just not said anything about Tomas, this would've been even more tense. It felt unnerving to see all the students, and even knights, be confused as to what was going on and becoming slightly paranoid. I don't think we've ever had anything like this in the series before, and I loved seeing it here. 

Establishing mysteries is something the game does really well, too. The thought that an answer to a question that's plaguing you is always around the corner is what drives you to keep playing. Again, I don't think any previous game in the series has focused so heavily on mysteries and confusion amongst the cast that wasn't chalked up to "a dragon did it". Why was there a sword in Seiros' tomb? Why doesn't anyone know anything about Byleth or even Jeralt? What's so special about Flayn? 

There is something to be said about how well the game actually answers these questions (like how some of them could've been solved by simple follow up questions if Byleth had any agency), however, but we'll get to that later. What I will say is that I love how they set them up, and some of them do get really satisfying resolutions, particularly the identity of the Flame Emperor. As someone who started with Golden Deer, this comes out of nowhere, and I mean that in the best way possible. While the Black Eagles route drops a few hints, and the Blue Lions route more or less states it directly before the actual reveal happens, there is none of that in the Golden Deer. The final battle before the timeskip is also suitably tense, and so is the atmosphere before it. One of my favorite lines in the entire game is Ferdinand sounding utterly defeated and lost over his family being stripped of everything.

The war phase

The war phase starts off very strong, with Jeralt narrating the events that have transpired over the last five years with a map in the background showing the important players and where the important events are taking place. It set the tone and effectively portrayed the scale of the conflict.

Unfortunately, it's hard to really buy that five years have passed. Byleth wakes up, goes to the monastery and runs into the house leader they were in charge of, and then immediately reunites with the class. I realize this was the point of the promise earlier, but it makes it feel as though no time has actually passed, and the immediate return to Garreg Mach only cements that feeling. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and it would've been more impactful to play with fewer students without Garreg Mach for at least one map.

Now, to discuss the paths themselves...

Blue Lions

By far the worst one, in my opinion. For starters, it shares too much with the beginning of the Golden Deer route to its detriment.  You reclaim Garreg Mach (which should've been occupied by the Empire), get reinforcements from Rodrigue, and set out towards the Empire. However, unlike the Alliance, which was still mostly intact and actually had the strength and capacity to engage in warfare, we were told that most of Faerghus was absorbed by the Empire and Cornelia, and that houses Fraldarius and Gautier barely held on to what little territory remained of the Kingdom, and yet Rodrigue can personally deliver reinforcements and head down on a military expedition down south? I don't see how that's possible, and I don't understand why the group from Faerghus don't go to Faerghus and do Faerghus things. At first I assumed all paths had to have the battle of Gronder Fields, but then the Black Eagles route doesn't, so...what gives? 

Secondly, Dimitri's change is handled extremely awkwardly. Not only is his talk about the dead too over the top, but it's only fueled by the Tragedy of Duscur, not the loss of his homeland. Now, don't get me wrong here, I love that we've got a character suffering so much from a past event, and I love to see a non-traditional lord like this, but...this is way too cheesy. Other characters also skirt around the issue clumsily, ignoring his talks of death and vengeance and whatever else he says. Why aren't more people freaked out? Why doesn't Dimitri care about his country all of a sudden? 

But even worse than that is how he was so over the top that I was sure that he was under some kind of curse, which would explain the headaches and the like, but no, all it takes is one simple comment from Byleth and Dimitri switches back to what is effectively his pre-timeskip self. That's way, way too sudden, and just completely removes any of the tension from his behavior, and he can then go on to have support conversations just like before which just don't match his previous tone at all. Dimitri basically undergoes two jarring transformations within the span of a few chapters. Yes, he was carrying that shit with him even in the academy phase but he could still keep his negative thoughts to himself most of the time, and go on living as a regular human being. To put it bluntly, I don't buy it. I can see him becoming warped by all that he has gone through, but not to the extent that we saw, not without characters not being more put off, and not with such an overly simple return to his previous self.

You then spend one chapter to effectively liberate all of Faerghus. Cornelia says something about Dimitri's stepmother organizing the Tragedy of Duscur, but we don't get any details about it. In fact, that is a running theme in the Blue Lion routes: unlike the other two routes - especially Golden Deer - all the mysteries that the game set up in the academy phase remain unanswered. Nevermind questions about Rhea or Byleth or Sothis, you don't even find out enough about the Tragedy of Duscur, which had dire consequences for at least half of the cast of the Blue Lions. I understand saving some questions to the other routes, but this one answers effectively nothing. Hell, you don't even get to speak to or even see Rhea, only finding out that you saved her in the credits.

That's not to say the route didn't have good things going for it. The relationship between Edelgard and Dimitri was really interesting, for one, and the last cutscene was pretty powerful. It just leaves you with more questions than answers, and even more so if you've played the other routes where Those who Slither in the Dark are featured more prominently, and you start wondering what'll happen to the world next considering you make no moves to stop them.

Golden Deer

Unlike the Blue Lions path, the Golden Deer one actually answers some questions, such as what the Heroes' Relics and Crest Stones actually are and what those mole people are actually about. I think this route has an issue with wanting to do too much and answer too many things, ironically enough, and I wonder if they realized that once they understood the Blue Lions route didn't answer much of anything at all. You kind of believe the game is over twice before the actual final battle. 

There are also a few...odd moments in this route. 

Quote

Hilda: Sothis Christ, Claude, the enemy has nukes! The fortress is just gone!

 Claude: Here's my plan on how to end racism...

A noble goal, but...the enemy just revealed they had nukes, and Claude starts talking about something completely unrelated to that without knowing whether or not they could be launching more. This dream of Claude's is also hard to relate to without meeting more Almyrans, and more nobles should probably oppose this. Hell, chances are you've already driven off Almyrans attacking the Alliance once in Hilda's paralogue; besides Nader, we've got no connection to someone who actually currently lives in Almyra to offer their view on the situation. 

Regardless, the route is satisfying in how it actually settles the most pressing matters and keeps you guessing while doing so. I think everyone here was shocked at seeing something like Shambala in a Fire Emblem game. Futuristic mole people with nukes, magi-tech and necromancy? A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. I just wish we had gotten more time to get to know the slitherers; I get their motives, but not where all their weird powers come from - hell, we still don't know what exactly Solon was trying to achieve or what they needed Flayn's blood for, which I believe remains unanswered in every route. 

It's kind of funny how the meme house is kind of the one which thoroughly saves the day with the power of friendship - and ends racism to boot! 

Black Eagles

To be honest I just finished this route today and I haven't played the church path myself, but only seen some of it on YouTube. I know there's plenty of overlap with the Golden Deer route, however.

I really enjoyed Edelgard and her quest. I've longed for less traditional Fire Emblem lords and settings for a while and she sure delivers. What I think this route lacks, however, is more fleshed out reasons for why people are rising up against the church. Don't get me wrong, the basic reasoning I understand, but it feels strange to have someone with a supposedly strong sense of justice like Caspar being alright with invading other nations, even if it is for an alleged noble cause. 

This route is probably the strangest one to recruit other students for - Ignatz seems cheerful that Deirdru falls, Felix doesn't seem concerned about killing his dad and Dimitri, and so on. The fact that the path splits and you get the Black Eagles members regardless whether you side with Edelgard or Rhea kind of means that everyone's motivations have to adjust to your choices, rather than their own, and that creates a certain dissonance. Now, obviously, that happens in other routes as well, but if you're on the Golden Deer route, students from the Empire can disagree with Edelgard and join you, or be afraid of what Dimitri has become, giving them a reason to stay. In a Blue Lions route, you still only fight the Empire and not the Alliance, so the Golden Deer students don't feel like they're betraying the Alliance, and students from the Empire probably see it as them saving their homeland from an evil dictator.

The Black Eagles path doesn't really offer that kind of excuse for the majority of the cast (there are exceptions, like Lysithea), and having more students be unrecruitable would've helped - it's not like they were worried about perfect symmetry, because Catherine and Hilda are unrecruitable, and Flayn leaves you if you join Edelgard, so I wish they would've taken it a step further.

It would've also helped if the characters discussed the church's failings more in depth. Everyone's upset about Rhea not being human but they don't really explain why. Now, we have seen some of the church's failings ourselves, like Rhea's rapid execution of the Western Church members, and Edelgard discusses the system of the nobility and Crests as an issue, but I don't know, I would've liked the cast sitting down and discuss the topic. 

Miscellaneous and final thoughts

Overall, I'm very impressed with the worldbuilding, the quality of the supports and voice acting, and many other aspects of the game, but I can't help but feel like the three split routes did cause the game to become a little unfocused or take a few too many shortcuts. Some issues are skimmed over, and some conflicts are settled blazingly fast (Claude just disbands a whole country and everyone kind of goes along with it - what is it with Fire Emblem and doing this?). 

I'm not the biggest fan of silent protagonists, and it feels odd to have all these people cheer over their zombie professor with all the charisma of a wet sponge. What I do appreciate, however, is that their messed up emotional range, as well as all their strange powers and specialness, doesn't directly come from themselves, but rather what Rhea did to them as a kid. It's easier to accept a protagonist being super special and divine due to some messed up Fullmetal Alchemy business, rather than them just being born a special snowflake.

Another thing I appreciate is how this conflict is strictly a Fódlan thing. There's no threat of the entire world exploding or entering a new age of darkness, it's all internal Fódlan affairs. If you went to Morfis, Almyra or Dagda, then it would've been business as usual. It feels incredible to have a whole world confirmed to be out there, and who knows, the next game in the series might be set in one of those other countries (I doubt we'll revisit Fódlan simply because, with four different routes, it'd have to be either a prequel or a sequel set in the distant future).

Somehow it still feels as though there are many mysteries left unanswered. Why did they want Flayn's blood (and why couldn't she reveal their identities once it had been confirmed that their enemies knew who she and her father were)? What happened to Dimitri's stepmother? When and how did the mole people manage to substitute all those people (and is Lord Arundel someone they created or did they substitute him as well)? Will Sothis actually take over Byleth's body and mind at some point, or return in some other form? 

With the route split, it's hard to get a complete overview of the questions that remain unanswered - still, I'm glad that we *have* questions and mysteries to discuss at all, since that's rarely a feature in a Fire Emblem story in the first place. I wish the payoff was a little more impactful, but overall, I had a lovely time with the game, I really like most of the characters, the lack of over the top fan service and pandering makes the game feel like it respects itself, and I'm very intrigued by the world they created and now kind of want to see more of it. It does make me wonder what the story DLC next year will be about; will we go to other parts of the world, will we deal with entirely new threats or contend with old ones? Will it be something closer to a golden route? Only time will tell, but I'm excited to see more.

 

 

Edited by Thane

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Ye didn't comment on Silver Snow(saw Crimson Flower, Azure Moon and Verdant Wind there) route from what I've seen so I take it that is the one ye haven't finished yet?

Anyhoo, game definitely avoids confirming all details. Like on Arundel, we know that on year tragedy of duscur happened he abrusply stopped donating to the church and Lysithea wonders on Blue Lion route after he dies on why did his personality change so radically at one point to really cruel. So considering that all kill & replace victims have had characters comments on their personality changing, it is likely Arundel was also replaced around that time. That doesn't answer to what happened to Patricea though or why Thales didn't want heroes to examine Kronya's body despite the fact nobody in the cast apparently practices autopsies since nobody notices anything strange about Arundel or Cornelia 😛

 

But yeah, I agree that Black Eagles route seems to feel odd in sense it doesn't make sense for all students to be joining that path and it kinda has to bend the writing backwards to make it make more sense.(Like why the heck does Sothis' creststone dissolve on this path but not Silver Snow? Especially since you can still s support Sothis so she isn't permanently gone)

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There are only a few of the sub-topics I feel qualified to discuss given my lack of progress thus far.

The Beginning

The setup of the game was always an obvious contrivance, but one I let slide because it's one borne of the young adult target audience of the series. It seems extremely improbable that the immediate heirs of three realms - which are the only three realms of the continent - happen to be about the same age and are enrolled at the same place in the same year. All three of them, three of the most important people in the world, are then travelling with no meaningful escort when beset upon by some ordinary bandits who overwhelm them. Uh huh.

Then Jeralt is all too willing to be conscripted back into the church forces after being on the lam for 20-plus years. Though not for any effort on the church's part in tracking him down - one of their most important men went missing and they simply assume he's gone, despite him forming a famous mercenary company using his real name and travelling throughout the continent. We are forced to infer here that there's something going on behind the scenes here - a Godfather offer - with how easily and immediately it all happens. What happened to out mercenary company by the way? Dozens of men to feed and pay ...oh, they're just handwaved away and made into a battalion that you keep in your pocket for the rest of the game. Who are they? Who cares. The job we were en route to? Forget about that. All we need is a vehicle to get Jeralt and Byleth to the monastery, damn the details. I'm not asking for Jeralt's Mercenaries to be explored in as much detail as Greil's Mercenaries, but to not even make the slightest effort is poor.

So yeah, everything that happened before you become The Professor is all rather rushed and contrived, a fig-leaf justification to enable later events. I feel that more off-screen buildup was required here. What leverage Rhea has, at the very least. I don't think Jeralt's status as a mercenary here works, instead I imagine him being in hiding, a wanted man. A simple misfortune in the prologue leads to his discovery. Alois' invitation, while on the surface friendly, is in actuality more of a demand, or indeed an arrest.

Despite all that, it still makes a lot more sense than Echoes gigantic prologue plot hole, where apparently shipping away Celica meant that the rest of the inhabitants of Ram Village were now completely safe and would not be questioned at all by the tyrannical authorities for the next decade. Nope.

 

Academy Phase

As just about everyone has pointed out, the one-to-one month-to-chapter narrative structure where everything important happens on the final week of each month is manifestly silly. There aren't even any technical reasons to why major plot elements can only happen once per month, on the final week of that month, or that a month must end immediately after the main story battle of that month (y'know, that weird chapter 6 event). The argument that the dialogue in the explore phase wouldn't make sense if it happens after the mission doesn't hold water, because you could simply move forward the next month's dialogue to the weeks that follow the chapter battle. Like the inability to move the starting position of mandatory units in pre-battle preparations, it's an issue that could be easily resolved if there was even the slightest willingness to do so.

The concept of time passing is extremely nebulous here. In one day, you can fight some monsters in the extreme north-east of the continent then make your way across to literally the other side to fight some bandits. Meanwhile, it supposedly takes some days to travel to the site of the mock battle, but we have a feast to celebrate it ending, at the monastery, before the battle even happens. Just ...what?

It's also slightly ridiculous to me that each week's events are essentially chained together and that you can only save and or use the menu in any way once it hits the weekend. Want to pop by the shops to buy some gifts for a student to get their motivation up before teaching? Nope, if you didn't do it during the explore phase, you're screwed. Even something like getting tea for someone's birthday party is arbitrarily barred.

Finally, as I've mentioned in the General Question thread, not being able to preview the next month's event is just terrible. I get that they have just the one calendar per month and that simply showing it as-is would lead to story spoilers, but just strip it of the non-recurring events and we'd be golden. I only want to see the instruction days and the activity days, and maybe the birthdays, is that too much to ask? Or at least just make it bloody consistent so we know that every single Monday is an instruction phase and every weekend is an activity phase instead of having random unexplained gaps there, seemingly just to troll the player.

Edited by Humanoid

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I really appreciated this game’s writing improvements. All of the tropes that had dragged down awakening and fates were more or less dealt with.

That said, the mechanical and technical challenges this game faced did create a lot of “awkward” moments. But I’m impressed enough with what is there to overlook what isn’t for the most part.

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18 minutes ago, dragonlordsd said:

I really appreciated this game’s writing improvements. All of the tropes that had dragged down awakening and fates were more or less dealt with.

That said, the mechanical and technical challenges this game faced did create a lot of “awkward” moments. But I’m impressed enough with what is there to overlook what isn’t for the most part.

Yeah, I agree with this more or less (though I don't feel like Awakening should be lumped together with Fates while previous entries are ignored). While I have some criticisms of Three Houses, both major and minor, the overall worldbuilding and script are raised to a whole new level for the series.

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14 minutes ago, Thane said:

Yeah, I agree with this more or less (though I don't feel like Awakening should be lumped together with Fates while previous entries are ignored). While I have some criticisms of Three Houses, both major and minor, the overall worldbuilding and script are raised to a whole new level for the series.

True. I think there were larger problems with older games that more came to a head in those entries specifically (though in different ways)

I think the awkwardness of some situations was more pronounced because the world building was so good.

Edited by dragonlordsd

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I was interested to see how you felt about this game. You always have rather interesting posts on some FE games. Good post that does bring up some rather good points.

I’ve finished BE and BL route but I’m still going through GD so I’ll come back here later. I feel like there’s still some important GD stuff I need to see before I get into this.

I’m curious though, who is your favorite male/female character?

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I don’t get it how BL and GD routes being similar is a flaw of the BL route only. Shouldn’t it be held against the GD route as well? Plus the Church route is the one that is practically the same as GD. 

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1 hour ago, Hekselka said:

I was interested to see how you felt about this game. You always have rather interesting posts on some FE games. Good post that does bring up some rather good points.

I’ve finished BE and BL route but I’m still going through GD so I’ll come back here later. I feel like there’s still some important GD stuff I need to see before I get into this.

Haha, thanks, I'm happy that people want to hear my thoughts on something. 

You're welcome back when you're done with Claude's bizarre adventures! 

1 hour ago, Hekselka said:

I’m curious though, who is your favorite male/female character?

Good question. I rather like most characters with only some exceptions, but even they tend to add something. 

I have a very big soft spot for Marianne, I must say, and Lysithea too. Ashe is also too wholesome for this world. 

27 minutes ago, Water Mage said:

I don’t get it how BL and GD routes being similar is a flaw of the BL route only. Shouldn’t it be held against the GD route as well?

The main problem I see is twofold. 

1) All things considered you really should try to liberate Faerghus first

2) Faerghus is completely messed up, with house Fraldarius and Gautier barely even hanging on to their territory, and yet Rodrigue can personally deliver enough troops and supplies to allow you to invade the Empire? I just don't see how that's possible given the situation up north, and with Cornelia amassing an Imperial army. 

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40 minutes ago, Thane said:

 

The main problem I see is twofold. 

1) All things considered you really should try to liberate Faerghus first

2) Faerghus is completely messed up, with house Fraldarius and Gautier barely even hanging on to their territory, and yet Rodrigue can personally deliver enough troops and supplies to allow you to invade the Empire? I just don't see how that's possible given the situation up north, and with Cornelia amassing an Imperial army. 

But liberating Faerghus first would go against Dimitri’s current revenge obsessed personality. And it really isn’t impossible for troops to be delivered, some NPCs in Monastery mention that the supplies and troops delivered by Rodrigue was barely enough, plus Rodrigue left his brother in charge.

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46 minutes ago, Water Mage said:

But liberating Faerghus first would go against Dimitri’s current revenge obsessed personality. And it really isn’t impossible for troops to be delivered, some NPCs in Monastery mention that the supplies and troops delivered by Rodrigue was barely enough, plus Rodrigue left his brother in charge.

I think it’s more of a practical issue than character dissonance.

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20 hours ago, Humanoid said:

The concept of time passing is extremely nebulous here. In one day, you can fight some monsters in the extreme north-east of the continent then make your way across to literally the other side to fight some bandits. Meanwhile, it supposedly takes some days to travel to the site of the mock battle, but we have a feast to celebrate it ending, at the monastery, before the battle even happens. Just ...what?

That feast is to celebrate the ending of the War of Eagle and Lion, which is what the mock battle commemorates. Not the mock battle itself. 

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1 minute ago, Mandokarla said:

That feast is to celebrate the ending of the War of Eagle and Lion, which is what the mock battle commemorates. Not the mock battle itself. 

Fair enough then, turns into mostly a quibble about location, though I imagine having the feast after the battle still would make more sense.

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So, I have finished BE, BL, and GD routes. I'm only left with the church route which I heard is basically the same as GD route. 

Spoiler

Black Eagles

 It's my most favorite route. As I explained before in a different topic, El made me love this route. Her character, writing, dreams, ambitions were so well-done. I'm, however, seriously disappointed that it felt kinda rushed. I keep saying it would have been the best route (for me at least) if they included a fight against TWISTD especially after hearing Hubert and El mentioning they wanna deal with them after the unification of Fodlan. It left me with an unsatisfied feeling afterwards. I honestly wish we had the last chapters of GD in this one. This is the only ending where I feel so happy for Byleth. Him regaining his humanity was so heart-warming. I definitely didn't want to see another Rhea-like figure. Also, I wanted more cutscenes

Blue Lions

This was the worst one imo. I really, really didn't like Dimitri's development at all. It was all too predictable, and Dimitri himself was kinda stupid tbh. Blaming El for The Tragedy of Duscar when she was only a 10 year-old(which she denied being involved in. Plus as the Flame Emperor he heard her say "there will be no salvation for those who are involved in what happened in Duscar" or smth like that yet he suddenly decides she's responsible for everything) and not even trying to look for the truth or investigate it. He's just dumb. Plus, he leaves Fhaergus(?) for an entire 5 years and goes on a murder spree just for revenge on BASELESS claims. Then what bothers me the most is that when he becomes the good guy again, he learns the truth about The Tragedy of Duscar and he doesn't even feel anything. Like, he spent all his life dedicated to this purpose and then when learns the truth he's like "oh, the past in the past, I'm a good guy now, I love my kingdom". I honestly thought it would break him and make him get some of his darkness back if he learned the truth, but that was utterly disappointing. I preferred him as a villain, as the "Delusional King" -based on him going crazy because of his stupid misunderstanding- which is far much more better than the bad-turned-good guy handled in a dull/boring way. 
Other than Dimitri, the route annoys me because we're basically back at square one. We don't fight TWISTD, we don't learn anything, we don't get rid of the crests(besides Byleth being an Archbishop which sucks), we don't do anything "impactful". We just defeat the present threat and ignore everything else in the game. It was really underwhelming.

Golden Deer 

This route is actually good. I feel like this is the "normal/good" ending route. It answers all of the questions related to TWISTD and Fodlan's history. Claude has never caught my attention, but after playing this route, I actually started liking him. I was impressed by his curious personality and the fact that he always wants to know the truth no matter what -which both El and Dimitri didn't do-. Them last 2 chapters made me enjoy this route a lot because I finally understood the lore. I don't have complaints about this route besides having Dimitri dying off-screen.

In the end, I honestly love this game a lot; it may actually be my most favorite in the series. I love the story, world building, and writing but I also agree with you on most of the points you have made regarding the flaws and the plot holes. As for most favorite characters story-wise, it would be Edelgard and Lysithea. Sylvain and Claude for males.

 

Edited by Spectrum

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@Spectrum 

Really good point about the difference between Claude and the other two.

In that light, I think it would have been a good idea for the writers to allow Dmitri to mirror Edelgard and go full villain. A slow breakdown of him going completely insane Luca Blight style would have made for a really interesting route.

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3 hours ago, Spectrum said:

 

  Hide contents

Black Eagles

 It's my most favorite route. As I explained before in a different topic, El made me love this route. Her character, writing, dreams, ambitions were so well-done. I'm, however, seriously disappointed that it felt kinda rushed. I keep saying it would have been the best route (for me at least) if they included a fight against TWISTD especially after hearing Hubert and El mentioning they wanna deal with them after the unification of Fodlan. It left me with an unsatisfied feeling afterwards. I honestly wish we had the last chapters of GD in this one. This is the only ending where I feel so happy for Byleth. Him regaining his humanity was so heart-warming. I definitely didn't want to see another Rhea-like figure. Also, I wanted more cutscenes

 

Agree with everything you say really, I think it's truly the best possible ending for Byleth as he can finally be free to be himself, and it's probably the best ending for the continent itself (note that I've only read the other paths, as I've played just one run). Agreed on Edelgard's character and especially agreed on the "too rushed" part. You can basically see Hubert's hatred for TWSITD, reading through Edelgard's supports (and Lysithea, if you get her) gives you extensive background of their actions, every interaction with Arundel makes you hate him more and more, there's all the basis for at least a closing chapter, an epilogue, whatever. And by doing that they could've added in some explanation so that you're not forced to look stuff up/play other routes (especially about byleth's origins, but also about the so loathed crests). And yeah, the amount of animated cutscenes is a bit ridiculous, though the only one there is is actually very good.

Also seems fitting to ask here: is the GD route actually THAT similar to the Church? Would playing one make the other boring?

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3 hours ago, Spectrum said:

So, I have finished BE, BL, and GD routes. I'm only left with the church route which I heard is basically the same as GD route. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Black Eagles

 It's my most favorite route. As I explained before in a different topic, El made me love this route. Her character, writing, dreams, ambitions were so well-done. I'm, however, seriously disappointed that it felt kinda rushed. I keep saying it would have been the best route (for me at least) if they included a fight against TWISTD especially after hearing Hubert and El mentioning they wanna deal with them after the unification of Fodlan. It left me with an unsatisfied feeling afterwards. I honestly wish we had the last chapters of GD in this one. This is the only ending where I feel so happy for Byleth. Him regaining his humanity was so heart-warming. I definitely didn't want to see another Rhea-like figure. Also, I wanted more cutscenes

Blue Lions

This was the worst one imo. I really, really didn't like Dimitri's development at all. It was all too predictable, and Dimitri himself was kinda stupid tbh. Blaming El for The Tragedy of Duscar when she was only a 10 year-old(which she denied being involved in. Plus as the Flame Emperor he heard her say "there will be no salvation for those who are involved in what happened in Duscar" or smth like that yet he suddenly decides she's responsible for everything) and not even trying to look for the truth or investigate it. He's just dumb. Plus, he leaves Fhaergus(?) for an entire 5 years and goes on a murder spree just for revenge on BASELESS claims. Then what bothers me the most is that when he becomes the good guy again, he learns the truth about The Tragedy of Duscar and he doesn't even feel anything. Like, he spent all his life dedicated to this purpose and then when learns the truth he's like "oh, the past in the past, I'm a good guy now, I love my kingdom". I honestly thought it would break him and make him get some of his darkness back if he learned the truth, but that was utterly disappointing. I preferred him as a villain, as the "Delusional King" -based on him going crazy because of his stupid misunderstanding- which is far much more better than the bad-turned-good guy handled in a dull/boring way. 
Other than Dimitri, the route annoys me because we're basically back at square one. We don't fight TWISTD, we don't learn anything, we don't get rid of the crests(besides Byleth being an Archbishop which sucks), we don't do anything "impactful". We just defeat the present threat and ignore everything else in the game. It was really underwhelming.

Golden Deer 

This route is actually good. I feel like this is the "normal/good" ending route. It answers all of the questions related to TWISTD and Fodlan's history. Claude has never caught my attention, but after playing this route, I actually started liking him. I was impressed by his curious personality and the fact that he always wants to know the truth no matter what -which both El and Dimitri didn't do-. Them last 2 chapters made me enjoy this route a lot because I finally understood the lore. I don't have complaints about this route besides having Dimitri dying off-screen.

In the end, I honestly love this game a lot; it may actually be my most favorite in the series. I love the story, world building, and writing but I also agree with you on most of the points you have made regarding the flaws and the plot holes. As for most favorite characters story-wise, it would be Edelgard and Lysithea. Sylvain and Claude for males.

 

I'm not sure if you just skipped through a lot of the dialogue or just spammed A in Blue Lions route because the route was pretty explicit on what was going on with Dimitri?

-There wasn't really any incentive for anyone to believe what the Flame Emperor said at the time was true? I mean it's a suspicious character you just met with ties to the Death Knight and the last person you saw at Remire Village, so the characters (except Hubert and Edelgard ig) had no reason to trust the Flame Emperor

- Dimitri tells Byleth that he joined the monastery to seek revenge, which basically means that he wants to find the truth behind the tragedy. Saying he just doesn't make an effort to look for the truth is pretty false.

- Agreed that it was dumb for him to blame Edelgard but, like I said there isn't much of an incentive to trust the Flame Emperor in that given scenario, even if it is pretty absurd "truth" since as you mentioned, Edelgard would have been 10 years old and she definitely had no power at the time. Also Dimitri's character shows him as more proactive (act before thinking) so I mean at least he was in character 

- This is the part that concerns me since the game was most explicit about. Anyways, Dimitri was forced to flee Faerghus because he was framed for killing the temporary king. There was a scene with Gilbert and Cornelia before Chapter 13 which basically shows Cornelia implying she killed Rufus (Lambert's brother who became a temporary king since Dimitri was too young to rule) and blamed it on Dimitri since apparently both Rufus and Dimitri didn't see eye to eye a lot. The dialogue before/after (forgot when) Chapter 13 reveals that Dimitri escapes with the help of Dedue during his execution day, where Dedue takes his place (and survives if you did Dedues paralogue since the people of Duscur he saved helped him escape). The empire also took over half of the Kingdom, including the capital which was ruled by Cornelia.

- Dimitri goes on a killing spree, one to escape the soldiers guarding Faerghus who were loyal to Cornelia (so it was an act of defense), and he kills Imperial Soldiers that tried to investigate the monastery out of rumors of a powerful thief living there (also as an act of defense, considering I highly doubt they would've just let Dimitri go since the Empire was after him). He never goes on a killing spree of a baseless claim because he couldn't even leave the monastery and if anything he was more or less defending himself for 5 years. He never went out of his way to just randomly kill people at the time.

-Dimitri never learns the truth about the tragedy, it was mostly speculation and even the talk with the one guy that was involved didn't say much other than he was ordered not to attack Patricia's carriage. Rodrigue and Gilberts theory on what happened was still mostly speculation at the time so there wasn't a hard truth from what they know.

- Dimitri changes after Rodrigue dies (Im assuming he changes since he reached like a bursting point or something which is why it was sudden, and this happens after Chapter 17 or whatever Gronder Fields chapter was), and Cornelia reveals what happens after she dies in Chapter 19 and he interviews the guy involved with the tragedy before Chapter 21...? Also Rodrigue and Gilberts speculation talk was done in private away from Dimitri. So Dimitri couldn't have changed because of learning the partial truth because he learns half of the truth after his change???? You only understand the full story if you played Edelgards and Blue Lions route.

-He really is forced to suck up and make decision and leave the past in the past because so many people have died for him, and with Byleth (and lowkey Felix's since he wanted Dimitri to show some sort of action) support he decides to reclaim Faerghus to not let their sacrifices be in vain. Also Dedue surviving kind of eased him into the transition of his change (though I can see why the change would be sudden if you Dedue doesn't survive)

- You do technically fight TWSiTD since you do kill Volkhard/Arundal/Thales in Chapter 19 and also Cornelia in chapter 18 (who worked with TWSiTD to bring about the tragedy and was basically sent to fk up the Kingdom from within). though the organization is probably still well and alive but we don't know.

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3 hours ago, Spectrum said:

So, I have finished BE, BL, and GD routes. I'm only left with the church route which I heard is basically the same as GD route. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Black Eagles

 It's my most favorite route. As I explained before in a different topic, El made me love this route. Her character, writing, dreams, ambitions were so well-done. I'm, however, seriously disappointed that it felt kinda rushed. I keep saying it would have been the best route (for me at least) if they included a fight against TWISTD especially after hearing Hubert and El mentioning they wanna deal with them after the unification of Fodlan. It left me with an unsatisfied feeling afterwards. I honestly wish we had the last chapters of GD in this one. This is the only ending where I feel so happy for Byleth. Him regaining his humanity was so heart-warming. I definitely didn't want to see another Rhea-like figure. Also, I wanted more cutscenes

Blue Lions

This was the worst one imo. I really, really didn't like Dimitri's development at all. It was all too predictable, and Dimitri himself was kinda stupid tbh. Blaming El for The Tragedy of Duscar when she was only a 10 year-old(which she denied being involved in. Plus as the Flame Emperor he heard her say "there will be no salvation for those who are involved in what happened in Duscar" or smth like that yet he suddenly decides she's responsible for everything) and not even trying to look for the truth or investigate it. He's just dumb. Plus, he leaves Fhaergus(?) for an entire 5 years and goes on a murder spree just for revenge on BASELESS claims. Then what bothers me the most is that when he becomes the good guy again, he learns the truth about The Tragedy of Duscar and he doesn't even feel anything. Like, he spent all his life dedicated to this purpose and then when learns the truth he's like "oh, the past in the past, I'm a good guy now, I love my kingdom". I honestly thought it would break him and make him get some of his darkness back if he learned the truth, but that was utterly disappointing. I preferred him as a villain, as the "Delusional King" -based on him going crazy because of his stupid misunderstanding- which is far much more better than the bad-turned-good guy handled in a dull/boring way. 
Other than Dimitri, the route annoys me because we're basically back at square one. We don't fight TWISTD, we don't learn anything, we don't get rid of the crests(besides Byleth being an Archbishop which sucks), we don't do anything "impactful". We just defeat the present threat and ignore everything else in the game. It was really underwhelming.

Golden Deer 

This route is actually good. I feel like this is the "normal/good" ending route. It answers all of the questions related to TWISTD and Fodlan's history. Claude has never caught my attention, but after playing this route, I actually started liking him. I was impressed by his curious personality and the fact that he always wants to know the truth no matter what -which both El and Dimitri didn't do-. Them last 2 chapters made me enjoy this route a lot because I finally understood the lore. I don't have complaints about this route besides having Dimitri dying off-screen.

In the end, I honestly love this game a lot; it may actually be my most favorite in the series. I love the story, world building, and writing but I also agree with you on most of the points you have made regarding the flaws and the plot holes. As for most favorite characters story-wise, it would be Edelgard and Lysithea. Sylvain and Claude for males.

 

I'm not sure if you just skipped through a lot of the dialogue or just spammed A in Blue Lions route because the route was pretty explicit on what was going on with Dimitri?

-There wasn't really any incentive for anyone to believe what the Flame Emperor said at the time was true? I mean it's a suspicious character you just met with ties to the Death Knight and the last person you saw at Remire Village, so the characters (except Hubert and Edelgard ig) had no reason to trust the Flame Emperor

- Dimitri tells Byleth that he joined the monastery to seek revenge, which basically means that he wants to find the truth behind the tragedy. Saying he just doesn't make an effort to look for the truth is pretty false.

- Agreed that it was dumb for him to blame Edelgard but, like I said there isn't much of an incentive to trust the Flame Emperor in that given scenario, even if it is pretty absurd "truth" since as you mentioned, Edelgard would have been 10 years old and she definitely had no power at the time. Also Dimitri's character shows him as more proactive (act before thinking) so I mean at least he was in character 

- This is the part that concerns me since the game was most explicit about. Anyways, Dimitri was forced to flee Faerghus because he was framed for killing the temporary king. There was a scene with Gilbert and Cornelia before Chapter 13 which basically shows Cornelia implying she killed Rufus (Lambert's brother who became a temporary king since Dimitri was too young to rule) and blamed it on Dimitri since apparently both Rufus and Dimitri didn't see eye to eye a lot. The dialogue before/after (forgot when) Chapter 13 reveals that Dimitri escapes with the help of Dedue during his execution day, where Dedue takes his place (and survives if you did Dedues paralogue since the people of Duscur he saved helped him escape). The empire also took over half of the Kingdom, including the capital which was ruled by Cornelia.

- Dimitri goes on a killing spree, one to escape the soldiers guarding Faerghus who were loyal to Cornelia (so it was an act of defense), and he kills Imperial Soldiers that tried to investigate the monastery out of rumors of a powerful thief living there (also as an act of defense, considering I highly doubt they would've just let Dimitri go since the Empire was after him). He never goes on a killing spree of a baseless claim because he couldn't even leave the monastery and if anything he was more or less defending himself for 5 years. He never went out of his way to just randomly kill people at the time.

-Dimitri never learns the truth about the tragedy, it was mostly speculation and even the talk with the one guy that was involved didn't say much other than he was ordered not to attack Patricia's carriage. Rodrigue and Gilberts theory on what happened was still mostly speculation at the time so there wasn't a hard truth from what they know.

- Dimitri changes after Rodrigue dies (Im assuming he changes since he reached like a bursting point or something which is why it was sudden, and this happens after Chapter 17 or whatever Gronder Fields chapter was), and Cornelia reveals what happens after she dies in Chapter 19 and he interviews the guy involved with the tragedy before Chapter 21...? Also Rodrigue and Gilberts speculation talk was done in private away from Dimitri. So Dimitri couldn't have changed because of learning the partial truth because he learns half of the truth after his change???? You only understand the full story if you played Edelgards and Blue Lions route.

-He really is forced to suck up and make decision and leave the past in the past because so many people have died for him, and with Byleth (and lowkey Felix's since he wanted Dimitri to show some sort of action) support he decides to reclaim Faerghus to not let their sacrifices be in vain. Also Dedue surviving kind of eased him into the transition of his change (though I can see why the change would be sudden if you Dedue doesn't survive)

- You do technically fight TWSiTD since you do kill Volkhard/Arundal/Thales in Chapter 19 and also Cornelia in chapter 18 (who worked with TWSiTD to bring about the tragedy and was basically sent to fk up the Kingdom from within). though the organization is probably still well and alive but we don't know.

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7 hours ago, Lunarly said:

I'm not sure if you just skipped through a lot of the dialogue or just spammed A in Blue Lions route because the route was pretty explicit on what was going on with Dimitri?

 

  Hide contents

-There wasn't really any incentive for anyone to believe what the Flame Emperor said at the time was true? I mean it's a suspicious character you just met with ties to the Death Knight and the last person you saw at Remire Village, so the characters (except Hubert and Edelgard ig) had no reason to trust the Flame Emperor

- Dimitri tells Byleth that he joined the monastery to seek revenge, which basically means that he wants to find the truth behind the tragedy. Saying he just doesn't make an effort to look for the truth is pretty false.

- Agreed that it was dumb for him to blame Edelgard but, like I said there isn't much of an incentive to trust the Flame Emperor in that given scenario, even if it is pretty absurd "truth" since as you mentioned, Edelgard would have been 10 years old and she definitely had no power at the time. Also Dimitri's character shows him as more proactive (act before thinking) so I mean at least he was in character 

- This is the part that concerns me since the game was most explicit about. Anyways, Dimitri was forced to flee Faerghus because he was framed for killing the temporary king. There was a scene with Gilbert and Cornelia before Chapter 13 which basically shows Cornelia implying she killed Rufus (Lambert's brother who became a temporary king since Dimitri was too young to rule) and blamed it on Dimitri since apparently both Rufus and Dimitri didn't see eye to eye a lot. The dialogue before/after (forgot when) Chapter 13 reveals that Dimitri escapes with the help of Dedue during his execution day, where Dedue takes his place (and survives if you did Dedues paralogue since the people of Duscur he saved helped him escape). The empire also took over half of the Kingdom, including the capital which was ruled by Cornelia.

- Dimitri goes on a killing spree, one to escape the soldiers guarding Faerghus who were loyal to Cornelia (so it was an act of defense), and he kills Imperial Soldiers that tried to investigate the monastery out of rumors of a powerful thief living there (also as an act of defense, considering I highly doubt they would've just let Dimitri go since the Empire was after him). He never goes on a killing spree of a baseless claim because he couldn't even leave the monastery and if anything he was more or less defending himself for 5 years. He never went out of his way to just randomly kill people at the time.

-Dimitri never learns the truth about the tragedy, it was mostly speculation and even the talk with the one guy that was involved didn't say much other than he was ordered not to attack Patricia's carriage. Rodrigue and Gilberts theory on what happened was still mostly speculation at the time so there wasn't a hard truth from what they know.

- Dimitri changes after Rodrigue dies (Im assuming he changes since he reached like a bursting point or something which is why it was sudden, and this happens after Chapter 17 or whatever Gronder Fields chapter was), and Cornelia reveals what happens after she dies in Chapter 19 and he interviews the guy involved with the tragedy before Chapter 21...? Also Rodrigue and Gilberts speculation talk was done in private away from Dimitri. So Dimitri couldn't have changed because of learning the partial truth because he learns half of the truth after his change???? You only understand the full story if you played Edelgards and Blue Lions route.

-He really is forced to suck up and make decision and leave the past in the past because so many people have died for him, and with Byleth (and lowkey Felix's since he wanted Dimitri to show some sort of action) support he decides to reclaim Faerghus to not let their sacrifices be in vain. Also Dedue surviving kind of eased him into the transition of his change (though I can see why the change would be sudden if you Dedue doesn't survive)

- You do technically fight TWSiTD since you do kill Volkhard/Arundal/Thales in Chapter 19 and also Cornelia in chapter 18 (who worked with TWSiTD to bring about the tragedy and was basically sent to fk up the Kingdom from within). though the organization is probably still well and alive but we don't know.

 

 

No trust me I read all of the dialogues, but I was never convinced with Dimitri's development.

Spoiler

People blame El for not trying to reason or explain her actions, but Dimitri is not any better. When he found out she was the Flame Emperor, he would have understood that she was too young to be responsible for this or at least, she couldn't do it alone. He didn't bother to hear her or even ask. It was just dumb. I wish he stayed more on the villain side. Also, again, he never found out who were responsible for Duscar or even try to investigate like Rodrigue and Gilbert. Sure he was seeking revenge but I didnt see any effort in trying to look for clues or consult anyone about  it. That's why I didn't like him

Edit: By the murder spree I meant that he was always after El's head and ignoring basically everything.

 

Edited by Spectrum

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16 minutes ago, Spectrum said:

No trust me I read all of the dialogues, but I was never convinced with Dimitri's development.

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People blame El for not trying to reason or explain her actions, but Dimitri is not any better. When he found out she was the Flame Emperor, he would have understood that she was too young to be responsible for this or at least, she couldn't do it alone. He didn't bother to hear her or even ask. It was just dumb. I wish he stayed more on the villain side. Also, again, he never found out who were responsible for Duscar or even try to investigate like Rodrigue and Gilbert. Sure he was seeking revenge but I didnt see any effort in trying to look for clues or consult anyone about  it. That's why I didn't like him

Edit: By the murder spree I meant that he was always after El's head and ignoring basically everything.

 

I mean if you paid attention there’s a reason for all of that. The whole point of Dimitri’s arc is that he is irrational. An irrational beast consumed by grief and despair that lusts for nothing but revenge for those that made him suffer. In his mind the flame emperor was responsible for the tragedy of duscur and when their identity is revealed instead of thinking about it rationally he goes balistic. He’s so wrapped up in his trauma, despair, and hatred that he can’t and won’t listen to reason no matter what holes exist within his logic. Cause he’s not thinking logically and that’s the point. Your entire argument basically boils down to “oh Dimitri isn’t thinking logically therefore he’s poorly written” when that’s not how that works. Cause again that’s the entire point. Just because you don’t agree with a character’s actions or words does not mean it’s bad writing. It just means you don’t agree with it which is fine but it is not bad writing. Dimitri is so wrapped up in revenge that he isn’t thinking rationally that’s why he doesn’t question anything. He’s convinced himself that he’s right and is blinded by his own hate. It is only after Rodrigue dies at the hands of someone trying to kill him out of revenge(like he was once doing) that he begins to realize the faults in his hate-filled line of thinking and change for the better.

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10 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

I mean if you paid attention there’s a reason for all of that. The whole point of Dimitri’s arc is that he is irrational. An irrational beast consumed by grief and despair that lusts for nothing but revenge for those that made him suffer. In his mind the flame emperor was responsible for the tragedy of duscur and when their identity is revealed instead of thinking about it rationally he goes balistic. He’s so wrapped up in his trauma, despair, and hatred that he can’t and won’t listen to reason no matter what holes exist within his logic. Cause he’s not thinking logically and that’s the point. Your entire argument basically boils down to “oh Dimitri isn’t thinking logically therefore he’s poorly written” when that’s not how that works. Cause again that’s the entire point. Just because you don’t agree with a character’s actions or words does not mean it’s bad writing. It just means you don’t agree with it which is fine but it is not bad writing. Dimitri is so wrapped up in revenge that he isn’t thinking rationally that’s why he doesn’t question anything. He’s convinced himself that he’s right and is blinded by his own hate. It is only after Rodrigue dies at the hands of someone trying to kill him out of revenge(like he was once doing) that he begins to realize the faults in his hate-filled line of thinking and change for the better.

I understand. As I said, I love him as a delusional villain and I believe it would have been so much better if he retained some of his villain-y side. I'm not trying to say he was poorly written,  I'm just saying he's simply boring after he becomes a better guy. But most of the things that annoyed me on his route, is how irrational he is. I understand that he was meant to be this way so I would say they successfully wrote him. If they had kept him as a villain or anti-villain, he might have been a favorite tbh. But then again, it's just my preference for villains.

Edited by Spectrum

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57 minutes ago, Spectrum said:

No trust me I read all of the dialogues, but I was never convinced with Dimitri's development.

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People blame El for not trying to reason or explain her actions, but Dimitri is not any better. When he found out she was the Flame Emperor, he would have understood that she was too young to be responsible for this or at least, she couldn't do it alone. He didn't bother to hear her or even ask. It was just dumb. I wish he stayed more on the villain side. Also, again, he never found out who were responsible for Duscar or even try to investigate like Rodrigue and Gilbert. Sure he was seeking revenge but I didnt see any effort in trying to look for clues or consult anyone about  it. That's why I didn't like him

Edit: By the murder spree I meant that he was always after El's head and ignoring basically everything.

 

Spoiler

But you see him investigating? 

One time you actually meet Dimitri in the middle of the night researching church donations, a thing which leads him to suspect something isn't quite right regarding his uncle. Furthermore (I'm sorry if this is inaccurate), Dedue says multiple times that Dimitri hasn't been sleeping and is up all night.

 

8 hours ago, Lunarly said:

I'm not sure if you just skipped through a lot of the dialogue or just spammed A in Blue Lions route because the route was pretty explicit on what was going on with Dimitri?

 

  Hide contents

- You do technically fight TWSiTD since you do kill Volkhard/Arundal/Thales in Chapter 19 and also Cornelia in chapter 18 (who worked with TWSiTD to bring about the tragedy and was basically sent to fk up the Kingdom from within). though the organization is probably still well and alive but we don't know.

 

 

I agree with everything you said here, I've just got a little question:

Spoiler

Wasn't it implied that Cornelia was actually replaced by TWSITD, just like Tomas and Monica? So the Cornelia we meet isn't actually the Cornelia that saved Faerghus from the terrible plague some time before the start of the game. I believe Hanneman talks about this in one of his talks in the monastery.

 

And just to add my own thoughts on the routes:

I'm playing BE just now so I can't say anything to conclusive there but I really enjoy the characters. Really loved what I saw in the Caspar and Petra support, makes the characters feel so much more alive when they are directly influenced by happenings in the world.

Blue Lions:

Spoiler

My first house and easily the strongest in my opinion, I loved that the route focused solely on the war, the struggles of Faerghus and Dimitri's issues. What really sold me were the characters and their pre-established relationships. Seeing the supports between Felix, Dimitri, Sylvain and Ingrid was just so wonderful. Dimitri is a definite stand out for me, as a lord in the series and a character in the game. It was absolutely heart wrenching to see his journey.

To address some issues people have written here: Regarding his fixation on Edelgard after the reveal of the flame emperor, I'd argue that it has less to do with his rational deduction skills (it is obvious that she herself wasn't responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur) but rather that she was the last family member he had, resulting in Edelgard's actions hitting that much harder for him and thus him latching on to her and her betrayal. Moreover, I have seen some argue that Dimitri changes too abruptly after the timeskip. I don't think that is the case, mostly because according to Dedue he was always like this, while Felix repeatedly warns you about his violent outbursts.

Lastly, I couldn't really imagine how the first few chapters would work with the other houses because they are so intertwined with the BL students.

 Golden Deer:

Spoiler

I'd argue that it was a good choice to start a GD playthrough after the BL, mostly because Claude's perspective on things was refreshing to see and the increased focus on the lore of Fodlan and especially the relics was interesting to see after the BL just accepted most of the happenings in the Kingdom (Miklan and the Lance of Ruin for example) because the relics/crests are a part of their tradition. Meanwhile Claude questions the very foundations of that system, which definitely provided a wholly new perspective to the early game.

All in all this route was a really satisfying follow up to the BL, sadly the characters didn't really catch my attention the way the BL did, but after a few supports I quickly learned to love them too. I especially loved how they were basically a group of people that were thrown together at the beginning but seemed like a group of friends that could rely on each other after the timeskip. Claude, Lorenz, Lysithia and Marianne are my favourites from this group, however I never truly warmed up to Raphael.

Edit: Oh yeah and the last boss came out of nowhere... but it was amazing.

 

Edited by Crushie

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The passage of time in this game also makes Fodlan feel really small. It's not just that you take Fhirdiad in one chapter, you basically do it in one day. And it's not just in BL, all the capitals are within a day's march from the monastery.

Edited by UNLEASH IT

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Someone on a Reddit made a nice route infographic that seems appropriate for this thread. Credits to SolvanderLyn on Reddit. It sums up the routes very well.

 

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Having just got to the Blue Lion time skip on NG+, I'll always be a Black Eagle purist.

 

But Edel's route definitely just shafted dimitri and made him a bland pawn for Rhea. Blue Lions route time skip makes him a proper crazy murder hobo

Edited by Tribute

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