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Here's how I would improve the Black Eagles story *Massive Spoilers*

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I've been thinking about Edelgard's Route a lot lately and I had an idea how to improve it.
Most people, myself included, have complained that Edelgard's Route is too short with only 18 Chapters and that a huge plot point (the Slither Buddies) are dealt with off-screen in the epilogue, even if there would be four more chapters of leeway to deal with them. Here's how I would add these four Chapters:

- Chapter 19: After Rhea is dealt with and Fodlan is united under Edelgard's rule, it is now time to wage war on the Slither Buddies. Since Arianrhod had recently been nuked, the group heads there to investigate the ruins of the place, only to find Cornelia there (in this version of the story, she wasn't killed off-screen prior to the battle with Rhea) with a group of weirdly dressed mages. Here, we find out some of the Slither Buddies' motivation for why they do what they do: they've actually been banished to the underground by the children of the goddess who saw them as a danger (which they were, because the Slither Buddies' ancestors were skilled scientists who weren't opposed to conducting experiments on living beings with no regards as to whether or not they'll survive those experiments). You fight and kill Cornelia in the ruins of Arianrhod and Hubert vows to find out where the hideout of the Slither Buddies is.

- Chapter 20: Arundel visits the monastery to talk to Edelgard and subtly threaten her with more nukes, because he is secretly Thales, the leader of the Slither Buddies (which is not revealed yet). He drops a few hints that "something might happen to Fort Merceus" and disappears again, prompting Edelgard and crew to go there. The battle of Fort Merceus plays out as normal, only this time, Arundel is the boss, not the Death Knight. He gloats that Edelgard walked right into his trap, but Hubert counters that this is a calculated risk to get rid of "unsavory elements", namely Arundel himself and he laughs, saying they didn't come unprepared. In that moment, the Death Knight appears as reinforcements for the Imperial Army, backed by a few other Green Units (this is to parallel the Almyran reinforcements on the Golden Deer Route). From there, the battle goes on as you would expect; after a few turns, Arundel flees and the cutscene plays where Fort Merceus gets nuked. Of course, Edelgard and crew miraculously survive the whole ordeal, even though nuclear fallout would have said otherwise in real life, but this is Fire Emblem. Everyone is stunned by the super weapon the Slither Buddies possess and are on the verge of throwing in the towel, but Hubert says that this second nuke drop was a fatal mistake on their part, because he could trace the magical energy back to the source: Shambalah (or however you spell it). After this battle, the Death Knight formally reveals himself as Jeritza and joins your party with insane base stats (because we don't have a Gotoh yet).

- Chapter 21: The battle against the Slither Buddies in Shampoo happens as it does in every other route, but a few things are different this time: Arundel finally reveals himself as Thales, having posed as Arundel all these years to manipulate Edelgard into doing his bidding and, being the villain that he is, gloats to her that she fell for his every word. In the same vein, he reveals that it was the Slither Buddies who created the Crests and Relics in order to use their power to kill Those Who Shamble Through The Light and the Children of the Goddess and that the Sword of the Creator was created from the remains of the goddess Sothis and that Nemesis was in fact their pawn in acquiring these things.
The battle proceeds as normal, Thales gets his ass kicked by your chosen unit and in a final act of defiance, Thales gloats: "This isn't the end. I have one final ace up my sleeve!" He does the thing with the glowing symbol as in Golden Deer and Church, but instead of nukes dropping from the sky, we get the cutscene of Nemesis and the Ten Elites awakening from their coffins somewhere deep underground. For Edelgard and the gang it looks like nothing happened, though. Thales dies, saying that Fodlan is finished and the group leaves Sha-la-la-land with an uneasy feeling.

- Chapter 22: The group learns that Sham-bamba-lamba-bam-bam has collapsed, and that an unknown army has been tearing through the land on the way to the monastery and that the assailant looks strikingly like Nemesis and his Ten Elites from distant past. Byleth visits his parents' grave and decides on a spouse. From here, everything plays out as it does on the Golden Deer Route with your army battling Nemesis and the epic final cutscene, after which your chosen S-support and the ending happen.

Of course, this means we must make some adjustments to the other Routes, as well. Here's what I would do: Fuse the Golden Deer and Church Routes together. Have the explanation as to who Byleth actually is and how they were born happen on the new Golden Deer Route, as well as the final battle against the insane Rhea. In order to make this seem less out of left field as it does, we of course need to drop some hints in the story leading up to this point that Rhea's powers might go out of control some day and that she's going bonkers because of it.

What do you guys think? Makes sense? Would you play through this version of Edelgard's Route? Discuss away!

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But... Arianhrod was only nuked BECAUSE Edelgard killed Cornelia. If Cornelia is still alive, there is no reason to nuke Arianhrod.

Also an important point: How would we deal with Divine Pulse since technically we shouldn't be able to use it anymolre after the battle with Rhea.

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6 minutes ago, Hauke said:

But... Arianhrod was only nuked BECAUSE Edelgard killed Cornelia. If Cornelia is still alive, there is no reason to nuke Arianhrod.

I forgot about that one... In that case, you could replace Cornelia with the other named member of the Slither Buddies: Myson, I think it was.
OR: We add a chapter where you fight Cornelia before going to fight Rhea, upon which Arianrhod gets the old nuke treatment.
OR: We go to fight Cornelia after dealing with Rhea, THEN Arianrhod gets the nuke.
I admit, that part completely slipped my mind.

6 minutes ago, Hauke said:

Also an important point: How would we deal with Divine Pulse since technically we shouldn't be able to use it anymolre after the battle with Rhea.

True, this is an important question. The most simple explanation would probably be that you can't use it anymore because Sothis is gone. But since it's a game mechanic that some people like to make use of, I believe we could potentially say that Byleth has absorbed some of Sothis' power due to being connected to her for so long and so they can still use it, albeit slightly less effective than before, like only be able to go back one turn at most or cut the uses in half. Something like that.

Edited by DragonFlames

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Aside from the Cornelia thing, I feel like the best TWSITD boss for CF would be Thales instead of Nemesis. Not only you differentiate it from GD, but he's the first and most important enemy in Edelgard's life. Against Rhea it's an ideals problem, against him it's personal.

To make this work with divine pulse AND to keep the last epic battle I'd put the TWSITD arc after ch17.

Reasons for that: after the nuking Edelgard considers them too dangerous, also make it so the confrontation with Dimitri convinces her to eradicate the cult at once. It would also make for a more impactful scene against him (have him realize she has nothing to do with the tragedy, and ask her to avenge it for him).

As for the Church, in the meantime just make them retire to the capital to lick their wounds after the beating in the plains battle.

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I'm strongly opposed to extending the game after the defeat of Rhea. She's such an effective symbolic antagonist and it was a great end to the route already. Making the route longer just so she can deal with a cult that basically everyone agrees was poorly-written would actively make the game worse. Crimson Flower is about Edelgard's revolution against an autocratic church and a stifling culture of bloodline obsession. A proposed extension would dilute those themes.

I'm personally not bothered by saying "the cult was dealt with in the epilogue", but if you're the type to really hate that, I suggest that it would be better to throw in a secret ops assassination mission against Thales between Cornelia and Dimitri's maps, than to extend the game with a pseudo-epilogue which would lessen the impact of Crimson Flower's story.

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At the very least, the battle of Gronderfield should have been present. BLs and GDs had their own, so I don’t see why BEs don’t get anything. 

As for Sothis’s power, maybe the excuse could be that Byleth as her existing in her soul, so he/she can now use her power without the crest Stone?

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The battle of Gronder need to be edited a bit. Ashe can't be in the position of Bernadetta if he has to appear again later(Not that Dimitri in his KELOOT persona would not sacrifice a fellow student.)

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While I agree that Edelgards route was a small letdown - considering it was the shortest, had the lowest number of cutscenes and the simplest maps - I would not like that they add another chapter after the fight with Rhea. Rhea is her arch nemisis and her entire character resolves around abolishing the church, which she sees as the root of the crest system (which we know is wrong but she never finds that out.) Leave the destruction of TWSITD to the Golden Deer Route, then all of the routes have their pieces of the story. If we really wanted to tell a story were every problem is dealt with, there should be a golden route where the house leaders stick together and everyone gets a happy ending - not just Edelgard alone.

Also while your presented route is surely fun to play, it feels a little bit to much "enemy of the week" for my taste. Edelgards route would then be like: Oh theres Claude .... and hes defeated.... wait now comes Dimitri ... also dead..... and Rhea ....... gone .... But now Thales ...... yeah .......

So instead of making another "defeat the next enemy" arc out of TWSITD I would propose to use the extra chapters the highlight her "hate, but need them" relation with them.

For example the fight for Deirdu could be made more interesting if we would have those demonic creatures as allies and the first part of the missions could be to escort them to the walls to knock down the gates (I always wonder why they never have gates in FE). Then at the end we learn that TWSITD captured some of the citizen (e.g. Students from other houses, Lysithia) to make crest related experiments. Edelgard then orders us to follow them to their lab and sabotage the action which would then be the next mission etc.

 

 

Edited by Nihilem

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