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You could remove the Church route and lose nothing of value *spoilers*

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1 hour ago, timon said:

Yes burning Fhirdiad is obviously the worst part, but even before that, the whole chapter 17 is Rhea manipulating the complete Kingdom army (+ the king himself) as bait for her attack, and when that fails she uses them as meat shields for her retreat (instead of turning dragon and attempting to save them).

Now I'm not saying she's a monster everytime, because it's pretty obvious that CF!Rhea is a lot more lost than her other iterations (that goes for Edelgard as well), but I still find it difficult to see her as anything more than a villain, if only a minor one. She does have her redemption in other routes, but I still don't feel like it's enough to delete everything she did. Same deal with Dimitri btw.

I might be wrong, but I am pretty sure, she didn't use Kingdom army as bait. Irc it was supposed be pincher attack, but bad weather make coordination difficult. 

But yeah, she did use remains of Kingdom army as shield to retreat when Dimitri fall. 

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10 minutes ago, timon said:

Another thing that I really, really can't comprehend is why before he returns sane they put him in charge and ask for his order on every single thing. I get that he's the rightful heir, but the guy just wants to slaughter people, I wouldn't exactly refer to him for crucial decisions on leading an underdog army in a complicated war campaign.

Thats because he is the king and in a medieval world the word of the king is not questioned. The dialogue ith rodrigue made that quite clear.

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

 

I'm not sure what you mean by a "true" route; it's a vague phrasing. If you mean that you're of the belief that this game has a single, canon story, and Church route comes closer to it, then I won't argue with you on that one (I don't agree but only in the sense that I think worrying about which route is "canon" misses the point of this game).

If you mean that it's the one the developers intended or preferred you to play for Edelgard, then I strongly disagree. Crimson Flower provides you with seven unique maps, plus two unique paralogues, while Silver Snow provides you with one map. Crimson Flower is the only way to see the A supports (and several B's) of both Edelgard and Hubert, two pivotal characters in the game, while Silver Snow has no unique characters and only a single S support with Rhea which is unique to it (I think?).

And finally, consider that this is a game that asks an open-ended question as to whether revolution is justified. If all three routes had forced you to give the same answer, the game would be far poorer for it. I see the reaction to the Crimson Flower route in my social circles, and look at articles like this one being written about it. (I don't link this to start an argument as to whether Edelgard is justified or not. That's not the point. The point is that the game asks the question, and that giving consideration to that question, even if one feels strongly on their answer, is something that players everywhere are doing.) Its existence is extremely important to the game. It goes without saying that the Silver Snow route is not having the same impact.

Well, you're free to disagree. And no, if I thought there was a true path, it would be the BL or actually yeah maybe the church route. Simply because- it's the one that feels most like a Fire emblem- You got the young prince having his kingdom taken away by an evil empire and the main goal is to get it back. It's very character driven and people go through growth. It's just very typical Fire emblem. (And they do defeat those who slither in it just like the others.) Or the church route which is like how Corrin is the main lord. 

 

I see CF as an alternative path to let you be the "villlains". And before you say anything- plenty of the villains had good intentions and siding with them doesn't make them heroes. Which is how plenty of people see it. Basically siding with Arvis. Are you saying that pov is non valid? 

But, plenty of people see it another way. Though I will point out that just because it provokes thought doesn't mean people come to the intended conclusion. There are articles like this about literally anything. Anything.  But agree to disagree I guess. 

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As I said I don't have much interest in which path is most "true" as you seem to be defining it.

14 minutes ago, Zelda2120 said:

I see CF as an alternative path to let you be the "villlains". And before you say anything- plenty of the villains had good intentions and siding with them doesn't make them heroes. Which is how plenty of people see it. Basically siding with Arvis. Are you saying that pov is non valid? 

As I said, it's fine if you feel strongly about the answer. (Personally I lean the other way, but I don't feel strongly about it, because I think the game convincingly made a case for all the major characters to believe as they do. This game is great.)

15 minutes ago, Zelda2120 said:

But, plenty of people see it another way. Though I will point out that just because it provokes thought doesn't mean people come to the intended conclusion.

I will take exception with your implication there is an intended conclusion. If they'd wanted an obvious good-vs-evil story where taking one side is objectively correct, they'd have written one (goodness knows Fire Emblem has experience with those!). The writers obviously chose to write a conflict with shades of grey, in which the morally correct side was up for debate. The near-constant string of discussions this has spawned are, I suspect, exactly what the writers were hoping would occur. Possibly even for self-serving reasons (raising the publicity of the game), but I'm happy it happened anyway.

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6 hours ago, Tenzen12 said:

 It doesn't really ask if revolution is justified though, quite opposite actually. Crimson Flower keep hammering you made mistake and ended on wrong side of history.

So I know others already commented on this, but could you give us some specific examples so we can actually judge your statement?

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2 hours ago, CyberNinja said:

So I know others already commented on this, but could you give us some specific examples so we can actually judge your statement?

I can't recall the exact words, but at the very end of Crimson Flower Edelgard tells Byleth she feels they both somehow broke destiny 5 years ago when Byleth chose to side with her back at the Holy Tomb. Edel's basis for her theory is that Byleth's hair becoming green was a signal they and Rhea were related by blood, and since at that point they were nothing but loyal to her, Edelgard assumed Byleth siding with the church instead of the empire during war was a foregone conclusion (which in hindsight also explains why the Flame Emperor reveal in her route is anti-climatic in-universe; she was 100% expecting to be betrayed once the truth came to light).

Edited by Moltz23

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That line says far more about Edelgard's trust issues and fear that nobody would take her side. I don't think it was meant to be the writers lecturing the player; if it was, it's a terribly ineffective way to do it. Nothing in the ending of Crimson Flower suggests Edelgard or Byleth regret their choices, nor is there any suggestion that Fodlan is a worse place.

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

That line says far more about Edelgard's trust issues and fear that nobody would take her side. I don't think it was meant to be the writers lecturing the player; if it was, it's a terribly ineffective way to do it. Nothing in the ending of Crimson Flower suggests Edelgard or Byleth regret their choices, nor is there any suggestion that Fodlan is a worse place.

id say the issue here is less writer intent, because im actually inclined to agree with you on the writers intent, and more the effectiveness of it all which i would call into question in regards to edelgard. certainly shes written to be sympathetic, regardless of which route you chose, but her actual motivations come off as confused and poorly thought out and even dictatorial to an extent.

for instance the clearest possibility of why she hates the nobility system in particular would be the revolt of seven which would make her actions afterwards make sense in the idea of it being a power grab/centralization of power to maintain stability, get back at the nobles who did her family wrong, and ease her own insecurities about power, but this would also be clearly authoritarian and we have plenty of examples of real life authoritarianism ending badly for human rights, thus it could be said that they try to side step this by making her motivation almost entirely stem from the experiments she suffered as a child and well this makes sense to an extent it also makes her seem a little dopy that she decides to go about it via allying with those most directly responsible for her suffering and starting a war that will unquestionably kill thousands and a purge of religion that will add even more bodies on the pile. and theres only so much that can be explained away as 'shes paranoid and doesnt trust people' until she starts looking like a paranoid idiot who simply expected opposition to roll over for her, instead of a traumatized and dictatorial but brilliant leader building a dream on broken bodies, making the idea of everything just turning out fine after she took over feel questionable especially when her motivation feels so flimsy.

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I agree. Saying Crimson Flower was never intended to be a thing only because the main lord of that path wonders about their possible fate without Byleth is kinda unjustified considering the multiple-path nature of this game. Even Dimitri wonders the same thing on his own route.

Also, from a narrative standpoint I get the feeling every route was always meant to be in the game from the start, mostly because every one of them brings something new to the table lore-wise:

- Crimson Flower explains why Edelgard causes the war and the kind of alliance she has with the Slitherers that led to the huge event in the first place.

- Azure Moon explains Dimitri's relationship with Edelgard and why the former usually goes crazy and vanishes unceremoniously after the time-skip.

- Verdant Wind explains the nature of the Slitherers and why there's so much dissonance between what the Church claims vs how things actually are.

- Silver Snow provides some extra lore about Rhea and more or less confirms some info that's just implied in the other routes.

Considering how little the Church route provides content-wise, I get the feeling the whole reason the Black Eagles split exist in the first place was because the devs predicted that not everyone would get behind Edelgard's ideas and actions (which is pretty understandable considering how she's currently most discussed character of the game because of those reasons).

Edit: My bad, I mixed the names of the Blue Lions/Church routes. Now it should make more sense.

Edited by Moltz23
I messed up the name of 2 of the routes.

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2 hours ago, Moltz23 said:

I agree. Saying Crimson Flower was never intended to be a thing only because the main lord of that path wonders about their possible fate without Byleth is kinda unjustified considering the multiple-path nature of this game. Even Dimitri on Silver Snow wonders the same thing.

Also, from a narrative standpoint I get the feeling every route was always meant to be in the game from the start, mostly because every one of them brings something new to the table lore-wise:

- Crimson Flower explains why Edelgard causes the war and the kind of alliance she has with the Slitherers that led to the huge event in the first place.

- Silver Snow explains Dimitri's relationship with Edelgard and why the former usually goes crazy and vanishes unceremoniously after the time-skip.

- Verdant Wind explains the nature of the Slitherers and why there's so much dissonance between what the Church claims vs how things actually are.

- Azure Moon provides some extra lore about Rhea and more or less confirms some info that's just implied in the other routes.

Considering how little the Church route provides content-wise, I get the feeling the whole reason the Black Eagles split exist in the first place was because the devs predicted that not everyone would get behind Edelgard's ideas and actions (which is pretty understandable considering how she's currently most discussed character of the game because of those reasons).

You got Silver Snow and Azure Moon mixed up, mate

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Having just finished the Church Route, it wasn't bad (except for Seteth), but it would have been nice if it wasn't basically Golden Deer with less Deer. They could have done something that branches off Claude's basic gist before the last battle~

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5 hours ago, NobodiePichu said:

id say the issue here is less writer intent, because im actually inclined to agree with you on the writers intent, and more the effectiveness of it all which i would call into question in regards to edelgard. certainly shes written to be sympathetic, regardless of which route you chose, but her actual motivations come off as confused and poorly thought out and even dictatorial to an extent.

for instance the clearest possibility of why she hates the nobility system in particular would be the revolt of seven which would make her actions afterwards make sense in the idea of it being a power grab/centralization of power to maintain stability, get back at the nobles who did her family wrong, and ease her own insecurities about power, but this would also be clearly authoritarian and we have plenty of examples of real life authoritarianism ending badly for human rights, thus it could be said that they try to side step this by making her motivation almost entirely stem from the experiments she suffered as a child and well this makes sense to an extent it also makes her seem a little dopy that she decides to go about it via allying with those most directly responsible for her suffering and starting a war that will unquestionably kill thousands and a purge of religion that will add even more bodies on the pile. and theres only so much that can be explained away as 'shes paranoid and doesnt trust people' until she starts looking like a paranoid idiot who simply expected opposition to roll over for her, instead of a traumatized and dictatorial but brilliant leader building a dream on broken bodies, making the idea of everything just turning out fine after she took over feel questionable especially when her motivation feels so flimsy.

Her motivation was from being raised by Thales. Everything she believes is directly counterdicted when you learn the truth about crests and Rhea in the Church and GD. Her sense of history was literally warped to be there master piece above even Nemesis. That's what makes her actually sympathetic she's doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. I agree everything being exactly the same and ok as the other routes is odd. But that's because CF in general was very rushed storywise. Dimitri is sane with implied kids for one. The Alliance being ok with El despite having many religious conservative lords ect.

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Just now, Julian Solo said:

Her motivation was from being raised by Thales. Everything she believes is directly counterdicted when you learn the truth about crests and Rhea in the Church and GD. Her sense of history was literally warped to be there master piece above even Nemesis. That's what makes her actually sympathetic she's doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

She was definitively lied to, but I don't believe Thales was the one who did it. I recall Edelgard mentioning at some point in CF that her version of the "Nemesis vs Seiros" story came directly from Adrestia's first emperor and Seiros herself, meaning Rhea's distortion of history ironically ended up causing Edel's beef with her in the first place.

how it went down according to the empire.png

Also, you can see both Edelgard and Thales believe in very different takes of the conflict as soon as chapter 4, with the latter (disguised as Arundel) calling Nemesis a thief and the former (as the Flame Emperor) reacting to that statement like "you sure about that?" before shrugging it off.

Edited by Moltz23
Added some proof

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6 minutes ago, Moltz23 said:

She was definitively lied to, but I don't believe Thales was the one who did it. I recall Edelgard mentioning at some point in CF that her version of the "Nemesis vs Seiros" story came directly from Adrestia's first emperor and Seiros herself, meaning Rhea's distortion of history ironically ended up causing Edel's beef with the church in the first place.

Also, you see both her and Thales believe in very different versions of the same event as soon as chapter 4, with the latter (disguised as Arundel) calling Nemesis a thief and the former (as the Flame Emperor) reacting to that statement like "you sure about that?" before shrugging it off.

She believes Paul is Nemesis which is a lie definitely not spread by Rhea or the church. I interpreted that scene as Arundel messing with her. If not that brings the whole motivation into question because it litterally came from no explainable place in the story.

Edited by Julian Solo
Came not come

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I have to admit that, while I knew the Church route skipped the battle at Gronder Field, I was shocked when the game went ahead and skipped the entire fourth month/April as well. It also seemed like, reading between the lines, it might have been planned that you could choose one of the sides to join with (or at least, choose to side with Claude or Dimitri since Gilbert outright asks you to join them and Claude gives you significant aid before he disappears).

Having played both the Church and Golden Deer routes, I think that the progression of the routes fits more naturally with the Church route. I think the Golden Deer should have gone off more to do its own thing. I keep thinking that it might have been more natural to follow a more archaeology-type adventure (once the alliance had been solidified and united and assuming that Edelgard and Dimitri reach a stalemate so you can ignore fighting the war directly) with a more direct and prolonged clash against TWSITD. This I think would better set up the battle with Nemesis, and you could more easily demonstrate Claude’s ambitions with the outside world and set up the conflict between safety/isolation and openness. It could also more naturally reveal the true history of Seiros and Nemesis rather than just have Rhea dump all the info on you right at the end.

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41 minutes ago, Julian Solo said:

Paul

Paul?

Anyway, having now started the church route. I can say without a doubt the statement in the title is wrong, the loss of the route's flag would be an irredeemable loss.

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as great as the Nemesis battle was in GD, it did feel like kind of an asspull moment in the story. He is so built up throughout the story, and then just shows up after ch.21. and is the endgame boss. We don't even know how TWSITD were keeping him entombed that entire time, if it was explained I missed it. Then you just kill him and that's it. I WISH SO MUCH Rhea could have assisted you in battle against Nemesis. The story made the relationship btw Rhea/The Church and TWSITD/Nemesis such a big deal, but it didn't really pay off imo.

Then there's Rhea at the end of ch. 21. She dumps a bunch of exposition on the player and then completely disappears to recover from her injuries. I seriously thought I was missing something. No blurb of text about what happens to Rhea in the epilogue, nothing. I guess you really have to play the Church route huh? 

I'm kinda mixed on the last couple chapters of GD as a whole, and like others have said here, I think the story would have been better if some of the Church route elements had been added in Ch. 21 or 22. I also expected Claude to have more of a confrontation/serious talk with Rhea about the Church and everything else considering he was so hellbent on getting answers from her. Yet Rhea just gives Claude a quick history lesson, and he takes her word for it and it goes no where after that. Then Nemesis comes back and Claude and co. know they have to stop him,  the game ends, and Claude goes off on his journey to end racism. It all just felt kinda incomplete

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3 hours ago, CyberNinja said:

Paul?

Anyway, having now started the church route. I can say without a doubt the statement in the title is wrong, the loss of the route's flag would be an irredeemable loss.

Wilhelm Paul Hresvelg forgot it was his middle name. Fe characters usually don't have full names xD.

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12 hours ago, Moltz23 said:

Considering how little the Church route provides content-wise, I get the feeling the whole reason the Black Eagles split exist in the first place was because the devs predicted that not everyone would get behind Edelgard's ideas and actions (which is pretty understandable considering how she's currently most discussed character of the game because of those reasons).

 

Personally, I think Silver Snow was made first, then Verdant Wind was added later by reusing same resource with added one unique level:

If you look at cutscenes, they almost always fit to Silver Snow much better because in Silver Snow Byleth developed deep bound with both Rhea and Edelgard, the emotion attachment isn't the same in Verdant Wind

- When Edelgard attacks you with her massive army, Rhea stops you from charging forward and told you she would not let Red Canyon happens again.

- When Byleth executes Edelgard, (Death of Flame Emperor) she told you that she wish to walk with you, this makes far less sense with Golden Deer since you never really know her and never had choice to begin with. Claude is also completely missing in this cutscene. More ironically, Claude told you to spare Edelgard just before the fighting, yet there is no mention of this in the cutscene. This cutscene was very likely made without Golden Deer in mind.

- Before assaulting Shambala, Rhea told you that she will die for you, and later blocks orbital strikes to save you. Again, this feel different between Snow and Wind path because the relationship.

- Final cutscene in Silver Snow is a direct reference to the opening cutscene which was probably made first since we saw it as early as 2018. Both set in early dawn. With reversed roles between "Sothis" and Rhea (Rhea carries remain of Sothis, then Sothis incarnated Byelth carries Rhea). Rhea even has blood on the same spot in both cutscenes.

 

Furthermore, during the interview in France, dev said Edelgard was the first character they designed. It makes sense her related paths were also the first ones being made. The problem is they "forgot" to go back and add unique levels for Silver Snow later.

Edited by Timlugia

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I love Golden Deer to death, but I won't deny that it feels like a Diet Silver Snow. Moreso Diet Strawberry Silver Snow since you have a different cast to play around with.

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Well, I'm currently playing the Blue Lions route and I often forget that the Church is on our side. Also, pretty much Catherine/Cassandra (outside of Gilbert/Gustave) is the only relevant character from the Church on this route since she has connections to Faerghus. I haven't been using other non-student characters much, other than Gilbert and Catherine. The other characters kinda seem out of place compared to when I saw them on the Golden Deer route. 

In short, I am often forgetting that I have to rescue Rhea on the Blue Lions route as well. 

Good thing I found this thread. It was something I wanted to point out. 

Edited by Cron

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On 9/3/2019 at 2:05 AM, Timlugia said:

Personally, I think Silver Snow was made first, then Verdant Wind was added later by reusing same resource with added one unique level:

If you look at cutscenes, they almost always fit to Silver Snow much better because in Silver Snow Byleth developed deep bound with both Rhea and Edelgard, the emotion attachment isn't the same in Verdant Wind

- When Edelgard attacks you with her massive army, Rhea stops you from charging forward and told you she would not let Red Canyon happens again.

- When Byleth executes Edelgard, (Death of Flame Emperor) she told you that she wish to walk with you, this makes far less sense with Golden Deer since you never really know her and never had choice to begin with. Claude is also completely missing in this cutscene. More ironically, Claude told you to spare Edelgard just before the fighting, yet there is no mention of this in the cutscene. This cutscene was very likely made without Golden Deer in mind.

- Before assaulting Shambala, Rhea told you that she will die for you, and later blocks orbital strikes to save you. Again, this feel different between Snow and Wind path because the relationship.

- Final cutscene in Silver Snow is a direct reference to the opening cutscene which was probably made first since we saw it as early as 2018. Both set in early dawn. With reversed roles between "Sothis" and Rhea (Rhea carries remain of Sothis, then Sothis incarnated Byelth carries Rhea). Rhea even has blood on the same spot in both cutscenes.

 

Furthermore, during the interview in France, dev said Edelgard was the first character they designed. It makes sense her related paths were also the first ones being made. The problem is they "forgot" to go back and add unique levels for Silver Snow later.

This honestly seems very likely. I do wish they's gone back and made some changes to SS, but oh well. I can't wait to play it in full!

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Previous posters pretty much summed up my thoughts but GD isn't that much better than Church. Both have story issues, elements that shouldn't be there, and the end falling off a bit. Rhea losing it is no more nonsensical than Nemesis randomly appearing again. Anything related to Almyra should have stayed in GD while Rhea and Twsid get the focus in Church. Losing one of the lords in favour of Seteth isn't a negative, at least to me. He's an interesting character that only really gets to shine in Church. 

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Just now, ChickenBits said:

Previous posters pretty much summed up my thoughts but GD isn't that much better than Church. Both have story issues, elements that shouldn't be there, and the end falling off a bit. Rhea losing it is no more nonsensical than Nemesis randomly appearing again. Anything related to Almyra should have stayed in GD while Rhea and Twsid get the focus in Church. Losing one of the lords in favour of Seteth isn't a negative, at least to me. He's an interesting character that only really gets to shine in Church. 

Agreed. In hindsight there are oddities in both paths which makes very tricky to say which one was developed first.

As for hating Seteth for replacing the lords, I can get behind that argument but only from a gameplay standpoint because character-wise I really like him as well.

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I'd say Church was developed first just because the nobody soldiers don't look like Alliance forces, and they're in the grand total of two unique cutscenes you have in GD.

I think it would have been better if GD had more Alliance politicking and trying to resolve inner conflict so they could face the Empire at greater strength. Have the Slitherers infiltrating and messing up their politics, too. Can't imagine that'd be difficult in a nation known for their squabbling. Maybe include Judith or Claude's mom in it, to give Claude greater personal investment beyond simply being the appointed heir and having the presumed responsibility to manage that tempest. Have Holst and Lorenz's dad show up somewhere.

But that may have been too Game of Thronesy to pull off for a tactical RPG, I dunno. I don't think BL pulled off what little they attempted very well lol. The Slitherers just kind of... die.

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