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Three Houses Route Order discussion

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1 hour ago, Sid Starkiller said:

I've been thinking about this myself. The problem for SS is the Gronder Field is one massive reference to the mock battle from Part 1, which was a battle between the three lords and their forces. In SS, you're not allied with any of the three lords, so thematically there's no reason for you to be there. In CF, Dimitri being allied with Rhea seems to have caused him to take up a more defensive role, so he doesn't leave Kingdom territory. Since Gronder Field is in the Empire, in CF there's no way for Dimitri to be there, and the impact wouldn't be the same if you were just fighting the Alliance.

I will never understand why people say shit like this. GETTING EDELGARD'S ROUTE IS NOT HARD. You get it by building support with her and talking to her in the monastery, in other words, by spending time with her. How is being able to join someone's side by befriending them "moon logic?"

yeah that hit me after i played. 

There's no reason for the Gronder-Field (as it is) on either path - but i just feel that there was something EPIC missing. (though i won't lie. CF makes up for it w/the 2nd to last battle in the Plains. that was like. holy moses with all the twists and turns that did).  - I will point out. I do not like Edelgard at all. (and I didn't play Blue Lions first). I simply... don't understand her at all.  but that's a huge debate/discussion for another thread

 

I will also agree with you - unlocking the CF path was insanely easy and when I keep seeing people going they missed it i'm like how. at that point you should have a C+ relationship (on my SS route i just didn't bother w/Edelgard at all because I knew she'd split with Hubert), so actually - i'll point out without the C+  - the split doesn't trigger at all. but considering that she's the Lord, theoretically you should have this. you talk to everyone once a month (minimum). but yet still. people miss it. i dunno. 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

Except I barely even understand what the sides are by that point. The focus on Those Who Slither until now has left precious little time to really explore what the flaws of the church even are or why I'd go to such an extreme as to think it should be destroyed. Golden Deer only explored it a little bit more but those added scenes really, REALLY helped and should have been in Black Eagles.

They implicitly beat you over the head with forshadowing for most of the game. She explicitly says she hates crests, the nobility system, and she thinks the Church supports it, she flat out says she'll pull a Lonato. She loves it when you tell Rhea to fuck off, she'll support up when you answer her (Red canyon) question with "ancient dead culture" or "subterranean beings" hinting that their influence still exists. She hints over and over that she's going to war with the Alliance and Kingdom, its obvious she and Hubert are up to something, and it should be obvious by Remire that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor if you didn't get it spoiled with Hubert's fight dialogue with the Death Knight. It will even hint at Edelgard's and Dimitri's relationship if you get her for the Goddess Tower. They are not subtle, at all.

I mean, damn, one of the first things Edelgard Says is "You'll prove a lacking ruler if you cannot see the truth behind a person's words" which should be enough to prep you to start paying attention to what she's actually saying.

 

Also when a game throws up Hazard lights, says this choice will affect the story, and she's explicitly asking you to go with her, its pretty obvious if you want to saty on her route you should go. If you aren't spending at least one week at the monastery and it isn't new game plus, you're playing the game poorly. You should be doing that anyway if you care about the story, because the game makes clear that the context of the story is in the conversations and supports. That's like complaining a TV series makes no sense when you only watch every other episode.

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11 minutes ago, CyberNinja said:

They implicitly beat you over the head with forshadowing for most of the game. She explicitly says she hates crests, the nobility system, and she thinks the Church supports it, she flat out says she'll pull a Lonato. She loves it when you tell Rhea to fuck off, she'll support up when you answer her (Red canyon) question with "ancient dead culture" or "subterranean beings" hinting that their influence still exists. She hints over and over that she's going to war with the Alliance and Kingdom, its obvious she and Hubert are up to something, and it should be obvious by Remire that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor if you didn't get it spoiled with Hubert's fight dialogue with the Death Knight. It will even hint at Edelgard's and Dimitri's relationship if you get her for the Goddess Tower. They are not subtle, at all.

I mean, damn, one of the first things Edelgard Says is "You'll prove a lacking ruler if you cannot see the truth behind a person's words" which should be enough to prep you to start paying attention to what she's actually saying.

 

Also when a game throws up Hazard lights, says this choice will affect the story, and she's explicitly asking you to go with her, its pretty obvious if you want to saty on her route you should go. If you aren't spending at least one week at the monastery and it isn't new game plus, you're playing the game poorly. You should be doing that anyway if you care about the story, because the game makes clear that the context of the story is in the conversations and supports. That's like complaining a TV series makes no sense when you only watch every other episode.

Re-read what you quoted. I'm talking about why I should hate the church, not whether or not the game properly foreshadows that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor. The first concrete "this is fucked up, it's worth going to war against them" thing the Black Eagles route ever says about the church, that they're an ancient literal shapeshifting reptilian conspiracy controlling the whole continent from behind the scenes for centuries, isn't even told to you until after you make the decision. That's why I said the stuff in Golden Deer should've been in Black Eagles. That creepy scene where Seteth is revealed to act as a sort of Ministry of Truth and tries to confiscate contraband reading material from you even while denying that's what he's doing, that's a better hint that the church is screwed up than anything that happens in the Black Eagles route. Not even Jeralt's journal gives even the tiniest inkling of exactly what's so fucked up about Rhea, only vague statements of her being creepy, which we already knew. There is their rather ruthless attitude towards dealing with members of the Western Church, but the entire conflict there is kept way too vague and there's also a blatantly evil organization involved that makes it much harder to disagree with the central church in that instance.

Edited by Alastor15243

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10 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

Re-read what you quoted. I'm talking about why I should hate the church, not whether or not the game properly foreshadows that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor. The first concrete "this is fucked up, it's worth going to war against them" thing the Black Eagles route ever says about the church, that they're an ancient literal shapeshifting reptilian conspiracy controlling the whole continent from behind the scenes for centuries, isn't even told to you until after you make the decision. That's why I said the stuff in Golden Deer should've been in Black Eagles. That creepy scene where Seteth is revealed to act as a sort of Ministry of Truth and tries to confiscate contraband reading material from you even while denying that's what he's doing, that's a better hint that the church is screwed up than anything that happens in the Black Eagles route. Not even Jeralt's journal gives even the tiniest inkling of exactly what's so fucked up about Rhea, only vague statements of her being creepy, which we already knew. There is their rather ruthless attitude towards dealing with members of the Western Church, but the entire conflict there is kept way too vague and there's also a blatantly evil organization involved that makes it much harder to disagree with the central church in that instance.

Honestly, even though it'd make the White Clouds phase even more similar, I believe that they should have had the route specific scenes happen in all routes and open the support system to Byleth of all houses. As for your statement, my point is that you should know Edelgard's motivation, and if you know that you should have eough to work with on whether or not you actually want to side with her, the point being that you should be choosing on whether or not you care more for Edelgard than the church, and not on whether you hate the church or not.

There's a reason why the church route was considered the default, and its not because Edelgard's is hard to get, its because you're just as likely to blame her for TWSITD as you are to be personally invested.

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17 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

Re-read what you quoted. I'm talking about why I should hate the church, not whether or not the game properly foreshadows that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor. The first concrete "this is fucked up, it's worth going to war against them" thing the Black Eagles route ever says about the church, that they're an ancient literal shapeshifting reptilian conspiracy controlling the whole continent from behind the scenes for centuries, isn't even told to you until after you make the decision. That's why I said the stuff in Golden Deer should've been in Black Eagles. That creepy scene where Seteth is revealed to act as a sort of Ministry of Truth and tries to confiscate contraband reading material from you even while denying that's what he's doing, that's a better hint that the church is screwed up than anything that happens in the Black Eagles route. Not even Jeralt's journal gives even the tiniest inkling of exactly what's so fucked up about Rhea, only vague statements of her being creepy, which we already knew. There is their rather ruthless attitude towards dealing with members of the Western Church, but the entire conflict there is kept way too vague and there's also a blatantly evil organization involved that makes it much harder to disagree with the central church in that instance.

 

i don't think you're supposed to hate the church if you are Byleth. that's up to you to decide. at that moment - your decision is to actually think yourself for the first time in the game. (okay maybe the 2nd time because you get to choose your house). for the majority of your life (as we're told) Byleth basically goes where  they are pointed. There is the bad guy. kill them. do what your told and that's it. so that that moment - it's really, the first time you go "you know what. i might not understand everything/get everything - but i'm not going to kill this student that i've grown fond of." (note - in every path - when Rhea screams "Professor kill Edelgard." Byleth never nods or reacts. (because Edelgard splits - but you never see Byleth actually decide to take action). even in the split - it's 

"Yes i must kill Edelgard." or (If you trigged the split)
"No i must protect edelgard." if you didn't it's

"....." 

either way  Byleth knows it's wrong but it's the first time their heart starts beating, and she makes a decision on her own. 

on the CF route (nothing makes sense to be dead honest w/you) - but i never got the point that Byleth was like anti-church. I feel that they just wanted to help free Fodlan from tyranny (which by Byleth leaving, was created because Rhea went Seiros mode). but it's never Byleth vs. the Church. it's that Byleth cares more about the individual, than supporting the ideals of the church.It's why Byleth always questions Rhea. (Why do we execute bad people? why do we have to keep things secret). Shamir, Alois, Catherine all follow the party line. Byleth questions everything.

Edited by daisy jane

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5 minutes ago, CyberNinja said:

As for your statement, my point is that you should know Edelgard's motivation, and if you know that you should have eough to work with on whether or not you actually want to side with her, the point being that you should be choosing on whether or not you care more for Edelgard than the church, and not on whether you hate the church or not.

I just re-watched Byleth's pre-timeskip supports with Edelgard to see if there was anything I missed. There wasn't. Not a single mention of the church, her only stated beef was with the corruption in her own empire. Thus the impression I got of what she wanted to do, first and foremost as emperor, was reform her own corrupt country, not declare war on the church.

Keep in mind, I ignored basically all of the pre-release information in the hopes of playing the game blind. If there was something in the pre-release materials that put you in a mindset to assume she had goals of world conquest, I didn't see that.

I guessed early on that she was the flame emperor due to the clear "woman with a voice morpher" voice she had, but I had no idea why for a while. Initially I had this weird pet theory that the flame emperor and the death knight were Edelgard and Dimitri from some kind of bad future, but that theory fell apart pretty damned fast.

Edited by Alastor15243

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I know, and read a lot of people unable to play Crimson Flower after playing other routes first, or they hate it so much they just speed run it. So that should be taken into considerations.

I would go Crimson Flower, Verdant Wind, Azure Moon, Silver Snow, so we avoid dilemma above; not playing two BE together; and not playing Wind and Snow together.

 

I would also argue that if you played blind on BE as first route, there is a good chance you would pick church first

Because Edelgard gave you no defense or explanation at all, not until 5 years later(and some were quite weak anyway).

While game gave some sketchy cutscene about Rhea, the game paints her as a traitor, an antagonist and murder of Jeralt. (since you don't know about TWISTD yet)

Even many of your students calls out on her, such as Petra.

Edited by Timlugia

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17 hours ago, Knight of Spear said:

Hello there, I've seen this topic on other sites but couldn't find one here on THE Fire Emblem site. This is just a thread to talk about what order someone should play Three Houses routes for maximum story, gameplay and spoiler-free enjoyment. What order would you reccomend to someone considering the game?

 

Spoilers allowed here, should have put that down the first time.

Black Eagles > Blue Lions > Golden Deer > Church

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Completely ignoring the Church route, I've seen the argument made either go BE>BL>GD or GD>BL>BE.

It also depends if you are going into it completely blind, or are aware beforehand about what the stories are like, how the Lords are handled.

I went GD first, and while you get all this lore given to you, Edelgard and Dimitri's roles are pretty paltry. Especially with Dimitri. He got done so dirty in the GD route. Then there's Edelgard. She's the villain, but the emotional weight the game tries to throw on you with her and Byleth feels completely unwarranted. 

BL feels like a good middleground experience, you get to see Dimitri's full character. He's basically a deranged murderous lunatic in the GD and BE routes. Playing his route before or after the BE-E route might make you appreciate or at least understand his character better? I know he has a lot of haters from the hardcore Edelgard stans who are steadfast on never changing their opinion of him after playing his route. Yet if you do BL first, then you have to experience him being that deranged murderous lunatic for the next two routes. It might be kind of a jarring experience? idk.

also, in the BL route, Claude at least has more of a presence in the route, ch.19 is basically dedicated to him. In BE-E, you quickly eliminate the Alliance and have the option to kill Claude off if you want to. So if you go GD>BL>BE you will have gotten the full Claude experience before killing him and all those dearest to him in BE-E. Where as if you go BE-E first, you might not care as much about Claude and co. since you barely got to know him pre-time skip. Then by playing the other routes you get that full Claude experience. I have noticed that some folks who go BE or BL first, are more indifferent towards Claude since he doesn't have such a deep emotional relationship with Byleth as Edelgard and Dimitri do? 

I'm glade I started with GD. Doing my BL run now, but I think I'm gonna have to take a good long break before doing a BE run. I'm already feeling the burnout doing the monastery phase again in BL. Having to do that ALL over again in BE run. Nah. I have more or less willingly spoiled myself about everything that happens in the BE route, and read all the lengthy detailed discussions about Edelgard and so on. So I'm not completely in the dark. I also recruited all the BE students besides Hubert of course, so I can at least experience all the supports btw the BE students. I know they behave differently when not in their BE house, but eh, I don't care. 

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5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

All I can say is that playing Black Eagles first made me feel completely lost and confused in a maze of telling without showing. I had no idea a huge alignment decision was even coming up, the ability to even choose was gated behind a moon logic puzzle, and by the time I was forced to choose I knew next to nothing about the motivations, merits and flaws of the two sides I was choosing. I wound up hating the story on my first playthrough, and playing Golden Deer second has been marginally improving my opinion of it as I progress, but Golden Deer contains a few scenes I really think should've been in Black Eagles to better flesh out why the player would want to oppose the church beyond a vague and general air of the church being creepy. Edelgard's core beef with the church isn't even revealed until after you choose to oppose it and side with her, which annoyed the hell out of me, and for the rest of the story it felt like the game was just brushing over things it was assuming I already knew, like what Edelgard and Dimitri's post-timeskip deal was, or why any of the places we were visiting mattered.

I mean, it's your fault if you decide not to do things like initiate/read support conversations, or talk to your students at least once a month (you ARE restoring their motivation periodically, right?).

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Only important thing is to not play Church and GD back to back.

I personally think BL should be played first if for no other reason than that the Flame Emperor reveal is much better there than every other route. It's like...highly underwhelming everywhere else.

Blue Lions also has the most character driven story, but it doesn't have any lore, so if you care about the most "complete" route, I'd play Golden Deer first since it doesn't really leave anything unanswered.

I personally played it in this order: BL --> GD --> CF --> Church

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14 minutes ago, eclipse said:

I mean, it's your fault if you decide not to do things like initiate/read support conversations, or talk to your students at least once a month (you ARE restoring their motivation periodically, right?).

I read all the support conversations I got, and I did manage to get the Edelgard route on my first playthrough (mostly because I wanted to hear Edelgard's reaction to Byleth going super saiyan mint). My beef is with the fact that when it told me to choose wisely, I had absolutely no idea what the hell I was even choosing, and when my friend later told me what I just did was the only reason I could join Edelgard at all, I felt that was as arbitrary as the requirements to keep Birthright Kaze alive. And again, those supports I saw that allowed that "choice" to happen told me nothing of her motivations to attack the church, just why she hated the people in charge of her empire.

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1 minute ago, Alastor15243 said:

I read all the support conversations I got, and I did manage to get the Edelgard route on my first playthrough (mostly because I wanted to hear Edelgard's reaction to Byleth going super saiyan mint). My beef is with the fact that when it told me to choose wisely, I had absolutely no idea what the hell I was even choosing, and when my friend later told me what I just did was the only reason I could join Edelgard at all, I felt that was as arbitrary as the requirements to keep Birthright Kaze alive. And again, those supports I saw that allowed that "choice" to happen told me nothing of her motivations to attack the church, just why she hated the people in charge of her empire.

Her B support is her having nightmares because of the crest experiments done on her.  Meanwhile, the crests supposedly came from a bunch of ancient warriors or people who have their statue erected in the cathedral.  IMO it's not too hard to put two and two together, and figure out that the church has a positive view on crests, while Edel doesn't.  I thought it was fairly obvious once the second choice was presented to me, and I had no reason to decline the first one (as "do you want to see a pivotal moment in Empire history" screams story relevance).

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Just now, eclipse said:

Her B support is her having nightmares because of the crest experiments done on her.  Meanwhile, the crests supposedly came from a bunch of ancient warriors or people who have their statue erected in the cathedral.  IMO it's not too hard to put two and two together, and figure out that the church has a positive view on crests, while Edel doesn't.  I thought it was fairly obvious once the second choice was presented to me, and I had no reason to decline the first one (as "do you want to see a pivotal moment in Empire history" screams story relevance).

All of her anger and blame in that conversation is placed on the people in charge of the empire. That is a wildly bold assumption to make about her motivations from that conversation, that she's willing to destroy the church simply because they have a high opinion of something that tangentially motivated an unrelated party to traumatize her.

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If someone asked me, going in blind, the proper order, I would say.

Pick Black Eagles, but don't support Edelgard. Then Golden Deer, Blue Lions, and Black Eagles, but support Edelgard.

Playing Silver Snow and then Golden Deer is not as bad as people say. The repetition of maps is somewhat undesirable but you are always going to repeat maps because of the entire first phase. There is probably an ample amount of time between the two playthroughs that it doesn't get overly stale, and there are many differences that help tide you over. Playing with a different cast of characters, new paralogues (Macuil one is the best by far), and new plot revelations makes it an interesting enough play through.

In terms of experience, Silver Snow gives the best first playthrough experience imo. The Flame Emperor reveal is more out of blue than Blue Lions. It also hits way harder because you probably dumped a ton of exp into Edelgard and then losing it makes it a wilder ride. It also seems to give the least amount of lore so if you like figuring out connections between things, going from least information to most information is the best.

The reason I'd say don't support Edelgard period is so the player doesn't learn about Edelgard's two crests. The reason that's cool is because in Golden Deer you learn that crest transplantation turns its subject hair white, and then you learn in Blue Lions that Edelgard used to have brown hair. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, unusual diaeresis said:

If someone asked me, going in blind, the proper order, I would say.

Pick Black Eagles, but don't support Edelgard. Then Golden Deer, Blue Lions, and Black Eagles, but support Edelgard.

Not supporting Edelgard is church route. Doing church and GD back to back I still don't think is the best because its not just the maps but the story that is very similar. 

Overall, I don't think theres a best order to experience the routes. Picking the house whose Lord you are most interested in is perfectly valid. Peoples favorite route tends to mirror their favorite lord. I find that people that love BL love Dimitiri and people that love BE love Edelgard. I have yet to find a person pick a route as their favorite without the lord also being their favorite.

Edited by wissenschaft

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6 hours ago, wissenschaft said:

Not supporting Edelgard is church route. Doing church and GD back to back I still don't think is the best because its not just the maps but the story that is very similar. 

Overall, I don't think theres a best order to experience the routes. Picking the house whose Lord you are most interested in is perfectly valid. Peoples favorite route tends to mirror their favorite lord. I find that people that love BL love Dimitiri and people that love BE love Edelgard. I have yet to find a person pick a route as their favorite without the lord also being their favorite.

I did.  Edelgard isn't my favorite, but thanks to some Heroes shenanigans, I played BE first.

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1 hour ago, eclipse said:

I did.  Edelgard isn't my favorite, but thanks to some Heroes shenanigans, I played BE first.

But is BE route your favorite route? If you like another route more than my point still stands. That people's favorite route tends to be the same as their favorite Lord.

I didn't mean that your first route is your favorite. 

 

 

Edited by wissenschaft

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i'm very biased with my choices but 

Blue lions > Black eagles > Golden deer/Church > Church/Golden deer

i feel like going with Blue lions first heavily impacts the first part of the game since each student is involved in someway, unlike BE and GD, and also it reveals the least about the lore of Fodlan so it can be explored in other routes.

Black eagles as the second choice works because you can see why edelgard did what she did and get some glimpses of TWSITD and what they're up to.

Golden deer as last because it reveals a lot of lore that frankly really does feel like something you should experience last.

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17 hours ago, wissenschaft said:

Overall, I don't think theres a best order to experience the routes. Picking the house whose Lord you are most interested in is perfectly valid. Peoples favorite route tends to mirror their favorite lord. I find that people that love BL love Dimitiri and people that love BE love Edelgard. I have yet to find a person pick a route as their favorite without the lord also being their favorite.

My favourite route is BL because I think it tells the most coherent, emotionally resonant story. But my favourite lord is Edelgard, because I think she's super-compelling and interesting and the game is fundamentally about her and the morality of the path she walks. So I guess I'm a counterexample.

Full disclosure that Crimson Flower and Dimitri are strong second places to both of those respectively, so it's not like it's a grand reversal.

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4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

My favourite route is BL because I think it tells the most coherent, emotionally resonant story. But my favourite lord is Edelgard, because I think she's super-compelling and interesting and the game is fundamentally about her and the morality of the path she walks. So I guess I'm a counterexample.

Full disclosure that Crimson Flower and Dimitri are strong second places to both of those respectively, so it's not like it's a grand reversal.

That just make me wish even more that Edelgard route was fleshed out more. I'm similar in that I like the GD students most but I like Edelgard best.

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17 hours ago, wissenschaft said:

But is BE route your favorite route? If you like another route more than my point still stands. That people's favorite route tends to be the same as their favorite Lord.

I didn't mean that your first route is your favorite. 

 

 

I'll decide when I play all three, but given the descriptions, it looks like it'll be BL, while my favorite lord is Claude.  So yeah. . .

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At the end of the day, I think it's most important to pick the house that interests you first since that's the fun of the first-time-player experience and the only really absolute rule is to not play Silver Snow and Verdant Wind back to back.

Also wow, I'm pleasantly surprised to see all the Azure Moon love in here! I had originally intuited that the Blue Lions route would be a sleeper hit but not overall super popular, due to having less surface-level appeal than the other two houses (unless you're me because I love knights and honor and justice), but I'm glad to be wrong here!

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