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Jotari

I kind of really like that this game has foreigners

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There's a difference between countries and civilizations. You can have multiple countries that are completely independent of each other, but still part of the same civilization. Think the Greek city states, which despite frequently fighting each other, always considered themselves Greek and different to the nonGreeks. Or for a more modern day example, the European Union. Among countless other examples. It's actually a pretty common. Yet, it's not something Fire Emblem has really done before Three Houses. In this game you have Fodlan, with it's three main nations that war, and then you have "beyond" Fodlan which are the "other." Most Fire Emblem games take place on one singular continent. The individual nations on the continent might be developed and characterized differently, but they're all viewed as the one overarching civilization. Even Valm doesn't feel like it's really a different place to Yllise (while in Gaiden it's essentially cameo characters and that's it). The one possible exceptions to this would be Elibe where Sacae feels very different to the other countries, and the Lycian Alliance is more like one unified civilization within Elibe. But the game (or at least Binding Blade as Blazing Blade is an atropical Fire Emblem story in this way) still goes down the route of making the entire game a continental war in which every nation anyone knows about is involved. Hatari also has a sense of otherness to it, though that could just be because it's underdeveloped and never visited, and not even mentioned until it's Queen randomly appears in the story.

What I like about Three Houses is that it gives a sense that there is a world beyond what our characters care about. Brigid and Dagda could be taken out of the game, it wouldn't influence all that much. But they're there, given a sense that Fodlan isn't the center of the universe. It's like when you first see the continent on the edge of Awakening and wonder what's out there, but then get really disappointed when you realize it's parts of Yllise copy, pasted and rotated. I like the idea that there's more out there rather than these conflicts involving every single known nation in the world where every country has to be involved in a very direct way. Of course you can still involve the foreign countries in the plot in minor ways, like Three Houses does. It's just it makes things kind of small when all of the conflict is happening on a single island with no known landmasses or peoples beyond it. 

As you can imagine I like Claude and his whole deal, though I really wish the plot wasn't identical to the Church of Serios route in every other respect (haven't played Dimitri's or Edelgard's true route yet by the by).

Edited by Jotari

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Have to agree. I really like this here. And I think it adds to the world building. Having other countries which have a political stance. I really like the part about Almyra and the relationship to Fodlan.

That is a part I really like about the Trails series. The world building really feels dynamic. With political Situations and "historical Events". They should keep it up. 

Sadly I think making some kind of a Sequel which would play in Almyra for example would be difficult, regarding the circumstances in Three Houses. But it always gives you the feeling that the world keeps rolling. 

 

 

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I know he's technically from Fodlan, but I kinda consider Dedue among the foreigner cast. Its clear from his supports that Duscur had its own culture, religion, etc. And since Duscur is essentially gone, it really feels like he comes from a place separate from the rest of Fodlan.

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I really like that each House has a foreigner in it. Not only that, but a foreigner who is from a land that had direct conflicts from that part of Fodlan.

The thing I wish was more prevalent though was more on that aspect. Only Dedue is really outwardly hated by other people at the Monastery for being from Duscur while a few people find Cyril suspicious because he's from Almyra and it's only really in his Supports (namely with Hilda) that you see any sort of discussion about their culture differences. While Claude says he's always treated like an outsider, we really don't see too much hostility towards him and Petra is treated like an exchange student when she's really

Spoiler

a hostage to make sure Brigid doesn't attack The Empire~

It would have been nice if we could have gotten that tension between Dedue and the Faerghus students in the other classes.

2 minutes ago, Jakkun said:

I know he's technically from Fodlan, but I kinda consider Dedue among the foreigner cast. Its clear from his supports that Duscur had its own culture, religion, etc. And since Duscur is essentially gone, it really feels like he comes from a place separate from the rest of Fodlan.

I don't think there's really any debate that Dedue is a foreigner seeing as most people at the Monastery distrust him for that very reason.

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Well, it helps that this time around, the foreign lands are quite close to the setting continent.

It mostly made sense before with previous games since the continents are gigantic islands, save for Tellius, who still has harsh terrain making travel not an easy task; and the technological levels, plus priorities of the countries, don't encourage making contact with faraway places. Constant contact at least.

Take Europe in the Middle Ages. Sense for them to know or be involved with matters in North Africa and the Middle East, limited contact with the Far East since the need of trade made them care for paying attention over there and go there... but how much they knew of Oceania, the Americas, the Asian steppes, or Africa beyond the Sub-Sahara? Not much to barely to none at all. Since they didn't had the means or the need. Eventually necessity drove them to; but for a long time, nope.

For FE proper, it's mostly the same. Even Archanea and Valentia, despite their relative closeness, still have limited contact. Though then compare it with how it is by the time they're Ylisse and Valm. Things have certainly changed, as technology progressed and priorities changed. As such, it makes sense that Fodland, having so much other lands around them, for contact to exist.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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I'm a very big fan of it. Just the inclusion of outside regions makes the world seem bigger which is always a good thing. 

The presence of the other nations adds a lot to the geopolitical situation. All three kingdoms seem to have a certain rival outside Fodlan. For the Alliance its Almyra, for the Kingdom its Streng and for the empire its Dagda. These hostilities in turn affect the cast. Sylvain's family is so obsessed about crests because they guard the border and Caspar feels very awkward about his father killing Dagdans and Brigidians. 

Its a small touch but it adds a great deal. 

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Nobody's mentioned Nardel yet? He's cool. Although his "who's this handsome fellow" if you play as male Byleth and his design made me go "Oh my god the bara artists are gonna have a party with this one". He's apparently important enough to appear in the opening video too, blink and you'll miss him, he's riding a horse.

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13 minutes ago, Jakkun said:

I know he's technically from Fodlan, but I kinda consider Dedue among the foreigner cast. Its clear from his supports that Duscur had its own culture, religion, etc. And since Duscur is essentially gone, it really feels like he comes from a place separate from the rest of Fodlan.

On that note, where the hell is Duscur? They keep talking about it and it's obviously very relevant for the story, and yet I have yet to find it on the map or understand where it might be.

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5 minutes ago, timon said:

On that note, where the hell is Duscur? They keep talking about it and it's obviously very relevant for the story, and yet I have yet to find it on the map or understand where it might be.

Now that you mention it, I don't think it was ever shown. I just assumed it was somewhere in Western Faerghus. Though considering how hateful many Fodlanese people are to Duscur, I wouldn't be surprised if they just scrubbed the place from their official map.

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24 minutes ago, Jakkun said:

Now that you mention it, I don't think it was ever shown. I just assumed it was somewhere in Western Faerghus. Though considering how hateful many Fodlanese people are to Duscur, I wouldn't be surprised if they just scrubbed the place from their official map.

Just have read again.. its said to be a small peninsula to the west of Sreng. Sreng is the north eastern country bordering Faerghus. So it should be somewhere north outside of the map.

fodlan-world-map-v1.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Stroud said:

Just have read again.. its said to be a small peninsula to the west of Sreng. Sreng is the north eastern country bordering Faerghus. So it should be somewhere north outside of the map.

Thanks for the info and the map, this one's a lot easier to read than the vanilla map with all the fancy font. It could be that unnamed "isle" just north of Kleiman, actually.

Also...is that place above Arianrhod actually called Rome?

Edited by Jakkun

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10 minutes ago, Jakkun said:

Thanks for the info and the map, this one's a lot easier to read than the vanilla map with all the fancy font. It could be that unnamed "isle" just north of Kleiman, actually.

Also...is that place above Arianrhod actually called Rome?

Well we've had Valentia, Macedonia, Crimeia and a bunch of other real world places randomly strewn about. Why not Rome? It's probably a bit better known than the other examples, but no less fitting really.

Also Albinea totally looks like Australia.

1 hour ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Well, it helps that this time around, the foreign lands are quite close to the setting continent.

It mostly made sense before with previous games since the continents are gigantic islands, save for Tellius, who still has harsh terrain making travel not an easy task; and the technological levels, plus priorities of the countries, don't encourage making contact with faraway places. Constant contact at least.

Take Europe in the Middle Ages. Sense for them to know or be involved with matters in North Africa and the Middle East, limited contact with the Far East since the need of trade made them care for paying attention over there and go there... but how much they knew of Oceania, the Americas, the Asian steppes, or Africa beyond the Sub-Sahara? Not much to barely to none at all. Since they didn't had the means or the need. Eventually necessity drove them to; but for a long time, nope.

For FE proper, it's mostly the same. Even Archanea and Valentia, despite their relative closeness, still have limited contact. Though then compare it with how it is by the time they're Ylisse and Valm. Things have certainly changed, as technology progressed and priorities changed. As such, it makes sense that Fodland, having so much other lands around them, for contact to exist.

It makes sense (though your example of Europe is self defeating as they very much did have contact with North Africa and Asia wihle most Fire Emblem continents are completely isolated islands), but those were intentionally design decisions on the makers part as opposed to doing this.

Edited by Jotari

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I almost think Kleiman would make sense. If Duscur is close to strength, maybe I have not read much. But Sreng should be involved with Duscur somehow if that's the case.. and the part of land in north of Kleiman looks too big for the description. But also would make sense.. 

Quite difficult...

Interestingly we also don't see Dagda on the map. But I guess its just the land south to Enbarr. Dang writing about it I realize that its quite a lot of stuff happening outside. So far I have been focused on Almyra. Maybe because we get to know Nardel. So I can imagine more of them. Ok Brigid also has some relation thanks to Petra.

 

Edited by Stroud

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5 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Well we've had Valentia, Macedonia, Crimeia and a bunch of other real world places randomly strewn about. Why not Rome? It's probably a bit better known than the other examples, but no less fitting really.

This is true. I guess it just threw me off since its a seemingly irrelevant location in-game (unless there's a paralogue that takes place there or something). The other locations you listed were relevant in the stories of their games so just seeing Rome slapped in there for flavor just stood out to me.

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21 minutes ago, Jotari said:

 

It makes sense (though your example of Europe is self defeating as they very much did have contact with North Africa and Asia wihle most Fire Emblem continents are completely isolated islands), but those were intentionally design decisions on the makers part as opposed to doing this.

Eh, no. I quite clearly stated:

Quote

Sense for them to know or be involved with matters in North Africa and the Middle East,

 

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12 minutes ago, Stroud said:

I almost think Kleiman would make sense. If Duscur is close to strength, maybe I have not read much. But Sreng should be involved with Duscur somehow if that's the case.. and the part of land in north of Kleiman looks too big for the description. But also would make sense.. 

Quite difficult...

Interestingly we also don't see Dagda on the map. But I guess its just the land south to Enbarr. Dang writing about it I realize that its quite a lot of stuff happening outside. So far I have been focused on Almyra. Maybe because we get to know Nardel. So I can imagine more of them. Ok Brigid also has some relation thanks to Petra.

 

IIRC Dagda is a whole other land west of this map, Petra mentions how Brigid is between the two, and Shamir tells you to travel west to understand her origins or something like that.

It's a bit weird though, with all of these names you'd expect the map to be a lot more relevant to the story. It's one of the downsides of this game, map variety is lackluster, the reuse sometimes is a joke (half the Faerghus paralogues are in the same exact walled city map!), and the regions explored are always repeating (bridge, capitals, arianrod).

It's just another thing that points to development time having been cut quite heavily tbh.

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1 hour ago, Stroud said:

Just have read again.. its said to be a small peninsula to the west of Sreng. Sreng is the north eastern country bordering Faerghus. So it should be somewhere north outside of the map.

fodlan-world-map-v1.jpg

Looking at the map in this way more would seem, to the surprise of noone, to confirm that Fodlan is indeed based on medieval Europe.

  • Adrestian Empire: Rome (specifically, the Eastern Roman Empire under Justinian, aka "the Byzantine Empire"). A once continent-spanning empire to which the other main nations owe their genesis. It is still wealthy and powerful, steeped in tradition, but it is a shadow of its former glory and its influence over the continent has waned. The current Emperor seeks to reacquire lost territory through warfare. Its capital, Enbarr, seems to be located on a pseudo-peninsula that corresponds roughly to Athens, Greece in location and design, an obfuscated analog to Constantinople. The antagonistic relationship between it and the Church may be an analog to the Great Schism and division between Eastern Orthodox Christianity (headed essentially by the Emperor of the ERE, here Edelgarde) and Western Roman Catholic Christianity (headed by an independent and powerful Pope, here Rhea).
  • Leicester Alliance: Holy Roman Empire. Like the real life HRE, this is not really a unified empire/nation but more a coalition of individually strong landed nobles who owe nominal allegiance to a suzerain elected from among themselves. The fact that not all nobility is invited to vote on the next leader of the Alliance reflects the fact that only certain counts/dukes were afforded elector status in the HRE. It has dealings with Almyra at its farthest eastern reaches, mirroring the Mongolian incursions of the later middle ages. The mountains that circumscribe much of its territory may be an analog to the Alps.
  • Faerghus: Francia (specifically, the Carolignian Empire at its greatest extent, somewhat prior to the Treaty of Verdun, but not including Aquitaine (which shows up in game as Oche, Hevring and Fodlan's Fangs (Fodlan's Fangs being the Pyrenees), all of which are under ERE/Adrestian control). A large composite nation located in what was once the Western reaches of the Adrestian Empire. It is closely tied to the Church, mirroring the close ties between the Frankish Kingdom and the Catholic Church (see the practice of crowning Frankish kings, like Charlemagne). The Leicester Alliance essentially split off from it, just as the HRE (as Francia Orientalis, later Germany) "split" from the Carolignian Empire (with the "true" successor state being Francia Occidentalis, later France). 
  • Albinea: England. We don't know much about this place, but it's location relative to the mainland and its name (essentially Albion, aka Great Britain) can't be ignored.
  • Almyra: The Mongolian Hordes (specifically, a composite between the Golden Horde and the Ilkhanate, circa 1350). "Outsiders" that are seen as intrinsically warlike, they worship different gods, have a darker complexion, and seem poised to invade the Leicester Alliance. Claude's design, and especially his concept art, seems to reflect an Islamic motif (the Mongols by 1350 had converted to Islam), and Cyril's post-timeskip portrait seems to be based on a Mongolian horse archer; further, both Claude and Cyril lend themselves naturally to a horse archer role, with Claude even having a unique horse (technically wyvern, because it's fantasy) archer class. 
  • Brigid: Muslim Spain and Morocco (specifically, the Umayyad Caliphate circa 1100). Like Almyra, Brigid worships its own gods, and the people are of generally darker complexion. It's geographically located where Spain and Morocco would be (albeit in the form of islands). In Three Houses, it has recently lost a war to the Adrestian Empire (reflecting Justinian's successful western conquests, although in our world those would not have coincided with the the Umayyad Caliphate's existence but rather Visigothic Spain). 
  • Sreng: Scandinavia (specifically, the various pre-Christian chiefdoms/petty kingdoms circa 800). We don't know really anything about this place. Seems to me they just took the "cold wasteland" concept of a pre-Christian Scandinavia and inverted it to a "hot wasteland" concept.
  • Garreg Mach: Rome (specifically the Papal States, now known as the Vatican). An independent theocracy that exerts great influence over the ostensibly secular politics of the continent. Almost every native Fodlan believes its teachings, and otherwise powerful lords may cowtow to the "requests" of Rhea (the Pope), or at least seek her favor. It is at odds with the Adrestian Empire, reflecting the Catholic/Orthodox Great Schism, and its detractors decry it as suppressing information for its own gain, while its proponents laud the relative stability it provides (at least until now) to the continent. 

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I don't know why I can't edit my last post, it's spitting a weird error, so sorry for the double post. Just wanted to note that Morfis probably corresponds, at least in shape and location, to Turkey (probably Seljuk or possibly Ottoman - we don't know much about this place either).

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32 minutes ago, magnetic_cactus said:
  • Adrestian Empire: Rome (specifically, the Eastern Roman Empire under Justinian, aka "the Byzantine Empire"). A once continent-spanning empire to which the other main nations owe their genesis. It is still wealthy and powerful, steeped in tradition, but it is a shadow of its former glory and its influence over the continent has waned. The current Emperor seeks to reacquire lost territory through warfare. Its capital, Enbarr, seems to be located on a pseudo-peninsula that corresponds roughly to Athens, Greece in location and design, an obfuscated analog to Constantinople. The antagonistic relationship between it and the Church may be an analog to the Great Schism and division between Eastern Orthodox Christianity (headed essentially by the Emperor of the ERE, here Edelgarde) and Western Roman Catholic Christianity (headed by an independent and powerful Pope, here Rhea).
  • Leicester Alliance: Holy Roman Empire. Like the real life HRE, this is not really a unified empire/nation but more a coalition of individually strong landed nobles who owe nominal allegiance to a suzerain elected from among themselves. The fact that not all nobility is invited to vote on the next leader of the Alliance reflects the fact that only certain counts/dukes were afforded elector status in the HRE. It has dealings with Almyra at its farthest eastern reaches, mirroring the Mongolian incursions of the later middle ages. The mountains that circumscribe much of its territory may be an analog to the Alps.

That's a really neat list of comparison but I personally reached somewhat different conclusions. 

I think the Leicester Alliance is more supposed to represent the Italian city states rather than the Holy Roman Empire. While indeed disunited the Holy Roman Empire was still a major power on par with the other great powers of Europe. I think Italy is the better comparison because Leicester is a relatively minor power compared to the Kingdom and the Empire. The various lords are so disunited that they throw in their lot with various superpowers to improve their own positions and this causes the alliance to fall. This strikes me as more similar to how the Italian city states were all smaller powers than Spain, The Holy Roman Empire and France and how they allied with the various powers to survive and improve their own position. The Alliance also has a closer connection with the merchant class than the other nations just like how Italy had the trade hub of Venice or the banking city of Milan. 

For the Adrestia I think its the Holy Roman Empire that served as its inspiration. Both are successors of nations that once ruled the known world. The Holy Roman Empire wasn't very Roman but it sure pretended to be Rome's successor. I suppose you could argue Adrestia could also mirror the eastern Roman empire because the world dominating power they claim descent for is....well its the past version of the empire itself. But I think the Holy Roman empire is the better comparison. Like the electors the 7 nobles of the empire all have hereditary positions of great power and they can constrain the emperor if they want. But most of all its their relations with their respective churches. Relations between the Holy Roman Empire and the church were really rocky and they waged war on each other several times. In Fodlan Edelgard is deeply hostile to the church and a scholar claims the entire empire is rather cold towards the church after the Southern church tried to pull a coup. 

I fully agree with you on Faergus being France and Albinae being England. Personally I'd say Almyra is more akin to the middle eastern empires than the Mongols. Their name sounds very middle Eastern and while they do like to fight I don't get the feeling they are barbarians either. I think the Turks are a more likely inspiration than the Mongols as they share the horse archer trait while more commonly being seen as Middle Eastern unlike the definitely Asian Mongols. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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17 minutes ago, timon said:

IIRC Dagda is a whole other land west of this map, Petra mentions how Brigid is between the two, and Shamir tells you to travel west to understand her origins or something like that.

It's a bit weird though, with all of these names you'd expect the map to be a lot more relevant to the story. It's one of the downsides of this game, map variety is lackluster, the reuse sometimes is a joke (half the Faerghus paralogues are in the same exact walled city map!), and the regions explored are always repeating (bridge, capitals, arianrod).

It's just another thing that points to development time having been cut quite heavily tbh.

Oh dang, I see. yeah this makes more sense why we do not see Dagda on the map.

But I agree. The reuse of map has been a shame. While I find the recycling of some maps interesting like using one half for some mission and the whole map for another mission, other cases have been more disappointing. Especially the paralogs in Duscur and Brigid have been some kind of a bummer for me. You expect to see at least some part of their culture maybe..but nope.

On the other side with the rush its just to be expected. And I think they overwork enough. Also for FE standards the maps are a step forward in design with the different perspectives. 

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44 minutes ago, magnetic_cactus said:

...

Interesting post as I've also been looking at the historic inspiration behind the game. I do agree that it pulls heavily from Medeival Europe, but I think you can see a lot more sides to it if you ignore the geography but focus on culture and "flavour".

- I'd say Adrestia is definitely the HRE here. True, they have an "absolute" ruler and not an election, but everything else fits in. The banners and the colors, the german names all point to it. Most importantly there's the fact that its very creation is tied to the church.

- On Faerghus I agree, but I think the France inspiration is much heavier. France is the most typical "kingdom" in history after all and a lot of the names are straight up french, and France was known for its knights. That said I think there's also maybe a bit of Russia in there? Cold nation and poor terrain, plus Dimitri's name.

- Meanwhile the Alliance feels a lot more like the "underdog", so I wouldn't put them as HRE. They're more of a small force that tries to get by, their names obviously reference England and I guess you could say it is kind of a "parliamentary monarchy". It's also a very small nation which matches England. There are probably some inspirations from arabic countries as well, looking at Claude's attire and the importance of commerce. Maybe greek city states? Doesn't fit with the time though. Also maybe a bit of Switzerland? Small nation with votes and lots of mountains, though the core idea is practically the opposite (with nobles at the top, whereas Switzerland never even had the concept of nobility).

- Everything else I wholly agree, except Brigid. I think it's VERY heavily based on native americans, specifically pre-colombian caribbeans. Petra's timeskip outfit is very telling on this, almost explicit, but even her dialogue feels like your typical (not necessarily accurate) depiction of natives in movies. The religion based on nature spirits also seems to draw heavily from mainland native spirituality (eg. Sioux, Navajo, Apache, you name it). Through Petra we also learn of their deep realtionship with plants, animals and hunting which is all pointing towards those populations.
Also there's a fun line with this interpretation, Petra says she had never seen a wyvern as they're not in Brigind, but she's good at flying and an amazing Wyvern Lord in general. If we say Almyra is Mongolia and horses are wyverns, then it's the same as the native american who became incredibly skilled with the european imported horses.

Edited by timon

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3 hours ago, timon said:

On that note, where the hell is Duscur? They keep talking about it and it's obviously very relevant for the story, and yet I have yet to find it on the map or understand where it might be.

There's a book in the library about the regions outside Fodlan. It mentions that after its destruction the Duscur territory was awarded to house Kleiman and that its a peninsula west of Streng. With this in mind Duscur is probably the region on the map that's now under the Kleiman name. It has a convenient mountain range separating it from the rest of the Kingdom which could be where the border once was. 

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