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Sid Starkiller

So I FINALLY did Silver Snow...Wow...

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Yes, I know I'm late to the party. I'm giving my thoughts anyway.

So I already knew that I wouldn't be enjoying the route in general. All throughout Part 1, I felt like I was the one betraying Edelgard, and Rhea herself creeps me the fuck out with her (more or less) Oedipus complex. But I didn't think it would be that bad.

I was wrong.

I'll break down the big problems separately.

 

1: No Lord

I'd seen people say that Claude carries the very similar Verdant Wind by his charisma, and is generally considered better than SS for it. To elaborate on why I think that is: in the other 3 routes Byleth and the lord have a particular dynamic. The lord is the thematic focus: Edelgard's quest to create a new social order, Dimitri's quest for revenge, and Claude's quest to unite the people of the world. In each case Byleth acts as the straight man, the plain character by which the other character is made more interesting. Edelgard's retaining her humanity, Dimitri's coming back from the brink, and Claude's gaining the courage to go on the offensive all happen because of Byleth. Seteth has a similar role throughout Part 1, acting as the straight man to Rhea. Seteth's stern-but-caring behavior shows that Rhea is up to something by contrast. With no lord, Byleth as the straight man can only play off Seteth, also as the straight man. The game seems to try to make Byleth take the role of lord, but it fails because Byleth as the blank slate player avatar has no defined personality.

But hey, there's the 6 remaining Black Eagles to play off of! But that just leads me to...

 

2: The Black Eagles Problem

Firstly, if the Black Eagles have no problem following Edelgard on her crusade in every other route, why do they all of a sudden have a problem with her now? While I take issue with the inconsistent motives of all 6, Ferdinand stands out to me the most. Ferdinand protests that Edelgard stripped his father of power and placed him under house arrest, and opposes her for that, but here's the problem: Ferdinand knows his father is a bastard. In his ball Goddess Tower scene, he says that he dreads the day he becomes prime minister, because he will feel honor-bound to arrest his father for abuses of power. You know, exactly the same thing and for the same reason that Edelgard arrests him. So why is arresting him all of a sudden horrible?

Secondly, the longer the route went on, the more it seemed like the Black Eagles' presence was an afterthought. They quickly began appearing in fewer and fewer cutscenes, and with less dialogue. In their stead, several Church units had lines. Even Hanneman and Manuela, who I don't remember having any lines in cutscenes in any other route. I got the impression that they wanted to pull a Genealogy and start you off with a brand-new roster at Part 2, consisting of just Church of Seiros units (and possibly BL and GD students if you poached any), and got cold feet. They absolutely couldn't BS their way out of removing Edelgard and Hubert, but they quickly cobbled together reasons why the others would leave the Empire.

Quick detour on the subject of characters being forgotten: Dimitri and Claude are both basically thrown in the garbage. They do absolutely nothing with the characters, and they are unceremoniously killed off. Dimitri's brief appearance is all but outright stated to be a dream, and even then it seems like an afterthought, as if they were going, "See, here's Dimitri! We didn't completely forget he existed! He's not a repeat of Hinoka!" At least VW used his death to show the inevitable endpoint of his dark path.

Finally, the reunion (maybe I should've lead with this): first there's the oft-mentioned question of why the students return for a reunion they promised to Edelgard rather than the professor, but the weirder part to me was that Edelgard showed up. She's apparently 100% confident that none of them will join her side, and yet she still wants to see them? And she shows up alone, without even Hubert? How did she not suspect an assassination attempt, especially with her trust issues?

But all that pales in comparison to...

 

3: The Final Boss

So I knew in advance that the final boss was the Immaculate One, which already felt contrived. And I knew that the injuries she sustained in Shambhala would be the trigger. So I was expecting something similar to the middle of the first Avengers movie: Rhea would give her monologue to Byleth about their origin, then the Agarthan missiles are sent out, Rhea gets hit, and the pain causes her to "hulk out" and go on a rampage. Instead, the missiles are immediately launched just like in VW, Rhea has a month to recover from the fight, then she gives her monologue, THEN, APROPOS OF NOTHING, Rhea goes insane. The worst ass-pull I've seen in at least the last year, if not longer, and the single worst-written plot point in a game that includes the criminally underwritten "those who slither in the dark."

And that's still not the worst part...

 

4: Spread Too Thin

Clearly the devs were on a time crunch with the game, seeing as CF has so few cutscenes compared to every other route, and VW and SS being almost identical in their general plot structure and maps. In other words, trying to cram in a fourth route actively made two of the other routes worse.

When I started, I was just expecting Silver Snow to be a route that others might enjoy, but I wouldn't. Now I find myself genuinely wishing that the entire route had been cut, and the dev time given to CF and VW instead. I understand their worry that people might start BE and then come to not like Edelgard after the reveal, but I think they would have been better served ignoring that worry, because I feel that SS, both in its content and in giving the devs more work to do in not enough time and budget, actively holds Three Houses back.

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The only reason legit anyone should play the Silver Snow route is just to get Rhea's S support. Apart from that, it's silly to even bother with it. The other characters really don't develop so much, their character arcs is by far the weakest, it's a copy and paste.

Silver Snow WOULD have been better off had it been an original plot and story. Instead of having Seteth, have Rhea be like Julia. Suffer amnesia, and be the lord. She'd get her own class and such, and as she regains her memories little by little, it'd be a great way to explain the lore and missing pieces. 

Some people try to actually insist that Silver Snow is a great route, but it's obvious that liking Silver Snow and insisting that it's good is actually just an excuse and it's simply that they hate Edelgard and don't want to support her by any means.

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15 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Some people try to actually insist that Silver Snow is a great route, but it's obvious that liking Silver Snow and insisting that it's good is actually just an excuse and it's simply that they hate Edelgard and don't want to support her by any means.

. . .what?  Is this "let's make assumptions about people who aren't like me"?  It's one thing to have your own opinion.  It's not okay to paint those that don't agree with you like this.  Especially over something as trivial as a video game.

This is from someone who has zero opinion of Silver Snow.

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1 minute ago, eclipse said:

. . .what?  Is this "let's make assumptions about people who aren't like me"?  It's one thing to have your own opinion.  It's not okay to paint those that don't agree with you like this.  Especially over something as trivial as a video game.

This is from someone who has zero opinion of Silver Snow.

Oh no, I wasn't saying this about everyone that might like Silver Snow in general. What I said is strictly about the people I've seen that talked about it. 

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6 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Oh no, I wasn't saying this about everyone that might like Silver Snow in general. What I said is strictly about the people I've seen that talked about it. 

Lovely.

Still not cool.

You're free to NOT have a high opinion of everyone, either.  But don't assume that person X will like/dislike something for the same reasons.  I know there's multiple posters that have some appreciation for Seteth due to SS (thus implying that SS had some value).  I don't understand it, but that's their opinion, and they're free to have it.

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7 minutes ago, eclipse said:

Lovely.

Still not cool.

You're free to NOT have a high opinion of everyone, either.  But don't assume that person X will like/dislike something for the same reasons.  I know there's multiple posters that have some appreciation for Seteth due to SS (thus implying that SS had some value).  I don't understand it, but that's their opinion, and they're free to have it.

Perhaps I could have worded myself better, I admit.

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You guys...

I think we've found the true maddening mode.

Anyway, I think Ferdinand can still justify the seeming contradiction. Duke Aegir may be a bastard, but Edelgard isn't arresting him and replacing him with a competent, morally sound Prime Minister - rather, she's removing him (and leaving his position vacant, presumably) for the sake of solidifying her own power. It's a coup, basically in reverse of the Insurrection of the Seven. Not to say that Edelgard is wrong to do so, but Ferdinand may wish to preserve the current political order of the Empire. Meanwhile, for Ferdinand to arrest his father would be the PM doing his duty to address the crimes of a citizen. It's not a "Constitutional Crisis", so to speak, because his father would no longer be PM.

Anyway, still looking forward to this playthrough. Kind of disappointed they don't let Dimitri and Claude join you, in a sort of "screw Edelgard amirite?" silver ending. Thanks for the review!

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1 hour ago, Sid Starkiller said:

 

Firstly, if the Black Eagles have no problem following Edelgard on her crusade in every other route, why do they all of a sudden have a problem with her now?

Easy, it's just the same pandering to the player that is despised in Awakening and Fates. The characters literally say that they're choosing to follow the professor and while a select few of them can be seen as plausible (Petra for example since she's basically a hostage), each individual gives such a small explanation for their defection that it indeed makes it far-fetched.

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Tarrasque said:

Easy, it's just the same pandering to the player that is despised in Awakening and Fates.

Well, yes. I just didn't want to bring prior games up.

Minor addendums:

1: While I don't want to insult SS fans, there's two other vastly superior routes where you also oppose Edelgard. Why SS instead of those?

2: Rhea's death itself. I went on a journey across the continent to rescue her, I did, me, Byleth. And yet she still can't see me as anything more than her mother.

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So this is how I played my SS route a few months ago.

I only used characters from the Church of Seiros. For a while I was soloing maps with Byleth until I recruited Shamir and the others. It was fun using units that I didn't use a lot in previous routes. Most of all I enjoyed using Shamir and Dancer Flayn. I never gave these two a chance on other routes so the SS route was my chance to use them. Plus, I only recruited Lorenz and Ashe in this route because of their circumstances in the time skip.

Still, the other BE characters felt out of place spending benched for the majority of the run. I made Byleth look like a teacher that is overprotective but still follows her ideals.

I didn't feel any good or bad feeling after playing this route. It was basically to kill time since I already spent and enjoyed playing the other three routes.

In short the Silver Snow route is basically to kill time or to give other units you barely used a chance. You won't miss a lot since it is like a Pseudo-Golden Deer Route because it has almost the same maps minus the battle at Gronder Field (sorry if I misspelled this since it has been a while) .

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sid Starkiller said:

4: Spread Too Thin

Clearly the devs were on a time crunch with the game, seeing as CF has so few cutscenes compared to every other route, and VW and SS being almost identical in their general plot structure and maps. In other words, trying to cram in a fourth route actively made two of the other routes worse.

When I started, I was just expecting Silver Snow to be a route that others might enjoy, but I wouldn't. Now I find myself genuinely wishing that the entire route had been cut, and the dev time given to CF and VW instead. I understand their worry that people might start BE and then come to not like Edelgard after the reveal, but I think they would have been better served ignoring that worry, because I feel that SS, both in its content and in giving the devs more work to do in not enough time and budget, actively holds Three Houses back.

Interesting review. I'm still in the middle of my first playthrough; said playthrough being Black Eagles. A few things I would like to note:

1. Yeah; it is very clear that the developers (particularly the writers) were on a time crunch, though to a lesser extent than Fates. The thing I find strange is how. Not only was the game pushed back from its originally-planned 2018 release date, but they brought in help from Koei Tecmo to do the programming so the IS dev team could focus more on the larger picture. It's really strange that, even with all that, this game still feels like it could've used another month or two.

2. One thing that would've helped them ignore their worry would be if they handled the Flame Emperor reveal and Byleth's decision moment in the Black Eagles route a lot better than they actually did. I brought this up in my review of the CF route:

Quote

Speaking of the Flame Emperor reveal, the big decision moment that decides whether you side with Edelgard or the Church has to be one of the most disjointed plot events I have ever seen!

So, you've just defeated Edelgard, and Rhea is demanding that she be killed for basically committing acts of rebellion against the church. Okay; I'm invested in this moment; thinking as Byleth, my student I went to that tower with after the ball and whose coronation I attended has just turned on me and turned out to be the Flame Emperor, who I know was working with the people who killed my dad. But she's my student, and nothing about her motivations has so far been stated or made clear. Right now, what I want is answers; I'm screaming for answers; "Why, Edelgard; why?!" I'm desperately wanting to tell Rhea, "She's my student! I will hear her out first." 

But, I'm not allowed to ask for answers; the game is forcing me to decide now, without any information. How am I supposed to decide? I have nothing to go on! All I have is that it turns out that Edelgard has been attacking the church and helping Those Who Slither in the Dark for currently unknown reasons. It is then that I notice that the other students, who were all shocked by Edelgard's seeming betrayal, have not only gone silent, but disappeared entirely. They're not screaming, "Why, Edelgard; why?!" They're not offering their input on the situation. They're not even just standing there looking horrified; they're just not there. They're always there in every other important scene where they're present, but not this one. I just can't tell what's going on! How am I supposed to choose! I experienced three big problems with this:

  • Had I not known already that I need to choose "side with Edelgard" to play the Crimson Flower route, I might have picked the other option; thinking it was the intended route; not the secret route, and I can't imagine that I'm the only one. I can only imagine how many players may have accidently chosen the Church route and thought they were playing Edelgard's route.
  • The fact that I had to think of which route I wanted to go down in order to decide killed my immersion. I couldn't think the way I would in Byleth's position; only as what I wanted to do as the player. This may not sound so bad, but immersion is important for any amount of emotional investment in a story.
  • I was so busy going, "What's going on?!" and not getting any answers that literally every subsequent scene leading into the next chapter were deprived of their emotional resonance for me. All the students choosing to side with Edelgard could've been fantastic, but I spent the whole thing going, "Why are you all giving exposition of where you were when the choice happened? At least now I know." The scene where you stand beside Edelgard as she asks the students if they'll stand with her could've been very moving, and I wanted to be moved, but I was too busy thinking, "Can you please tell me what we're actually doing and why?" When Edelgard personally thanks me for siding with her, that should've been the heartwarming moment that potentially dispelled any lingering doubts about siding with her. Instead, I'm thinking, "Okay... I only sided with you to play this route of the game; I had no idea what was going on."

I just don't understand how this moment was so botched. All I needed was the opportunity to ask Edelgard "why?" or even for Edelgard to give her reasons unprompted, or at least in response to Rhea's angry remarks, and for the students to at least be there. Every other plot-relevant scene has had these so far; why is this, the most important moment in part 1, the exception? 

Side-note: after Rhea explicitly states, "Her rebellious heart cannot be allowed to keep beating", I really wanted to have Byleth say something like, "You mean like how my heart doesn't beat at all because of what you did to me?" That maybe could've been another reason to side with Edelgard if the game had let me say anything like that. 

 

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6 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

1. Yeah; it is very clear that the developers (particularly the writers) were on a time crunch, though to a lesser extent than Fates. The thing I find strange is how. Not only was the game pushed back from its originally-planned 2018 release date, but they brought in help from Koei Tecmo to do the programming so the IS dev team could focus more on the larger picture. It's really strange that, even with all that, this game still feels like it could've used another month or two.

I like to believe that not getting a second delay was either due to scheduling (I don't remember what other 1st-party games were coming out in July, they may have wanted to avoid a drought) or budgeting (they may have needed more money to continue working that Nintendo was unwilling to give for some reason).

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Just now, Sid Starkiller said:

I like to believe that not getting a second delay was either due to scheduling (I don't remember what other 1st-party games were coming out in July, they may have wanted to avoid a drought) or budgeting (they may have needed more money to continue working that Nintendo was unwilling to give for some reason).

What I wonder is why it feels like it could've used a second delay. They already delayed it once and they brought in help. I guess I just find it strange; one thing I did not expect this game to feel, was rushed. 

Anyway, about the other point, I do feel that the developers could've ignored their concerns about the player having to side with Edelgard if the player was actually able to get some information about why Edelgard was doing all this before the decision moment. 

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17 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

@vanguard333

I actually made a thread as to why I felt Byleth could only choose Edelgard's route only after seeing the coronation. 

 

Here is the major problem: until this point the game painted Edelgard as chief villain pulling all the work, including murdering Jeralt.

Byleth (player) didn't learn about Slithers until much later in Part 2, nor that Edelgard didn't directly ordered the assassination against Jeralt. Edelgard also hasn't explain her motives or justify her action yet (again, only in CF part 2), but simply showed up as Flame Emperor, demanding everyone to surrender to die.

It's hard to see why would Byleth sided with the Flame Emperor who "alleged" killed their father, kidnapped Flayn, and threatening death over grave robbing.

 

In fact, the cutscene in part one makes Flame Emperor aka Edelgard, seem to have same level of command as Thales as they argue against each other and Thales need "authorization" to deploy Death Knight.

Edited by Timlugia

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1 minute ago, Timlugia said:

Here is the major problem: until this point the game painted Edelgard as chief villain pulling all the work, including murdering Jeralt.

Byleth (player) didn't learn about Slithers until much later in Part 2, nor that Edelgard didn't directly ordered the assassination against Jeralt.

It's hard to see why would Byleth sided with the Flame Emperor who "alleged" killed their father, kidnapped Flayn, and threatening death over grave robbing.

 

In fact, the cutscene in part one makes Flame Emperor aka Edelgard, seem to have same level of command as Thales as they argue against each other and Thales need "authorization" to deploy Death Knight.

Not at all. I mean, Flame Emperor tells you straight up that they had nothing to do with Remire.

And then with Jeralt, Edelgard is the one that helps Byleth get revenge against Kronya and Solon in Chapter 10. 

So in the moment of how she was not even willing to kill Duke Aegir, a man that she had every reason to hate despite having every reason to, and how Edelgard is doing everything she can because she wants to help Fodlan change for the better, Byleth chose to BELIEVE in Edelgad.

It's a leap of faith.

He chose to believe that the student he taught, and the Edelgard that he had witnessed i the coronation and had gotten to know overall, was not that monster that would savagely destroy Remire, nor would be someone that would have had Jeralt killed. 

That's basically the thing about Edelgard. It's not about logic or reasoning. Hell, even Edelgard felt that Byleth shouldn't have sided with her under normal circumstances, hence why she asks multiple times if he's sure that he wants to do this. But in the end, she chose to believe in him as he believed in her. It's the real beauty behind it. 

And yes, Edelgard did give Thales the Death Knight. She made a mistake. Maybe it was the only way to give the least casualties as she cannot exactly control the Agarthans, but it doesn't change that she screwed up. But she was the one that helped lead us to Jeritza, and is the one to stop Jeritza from killing us. She made a mistake. Everyone does something that goes wrong, and Edelgard does regret it herself. 

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17 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

@vanguard333

I actually made a thread as to why I felt Byleth could only choose Edelgard's route only after seeing the coronation. 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Well, that certainly does give me more respect for the writing in part 1 of the Crimson Flower route.

That said, I still think the decision moment is very jarring, and the story in chapter 11 still rushes to it. If Byleth and/or the students asked Edelgard why the lies and the rebelling against the Church, and Edelgard got to give a quick explanation, then Rhea angrily yelled out that Edelgard's rebellious heart cannot be allowed to keep beating, then the player would be better able to think back on what they saw of Edelgard's motivations and leadership and compare it to Rhea's and think along those lines. As it is now, it is jarring. 

 

2 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

And yes, Edelgard did give Thales the Death Knight. She made a mistake. Maybe it was the only way to give the least casualties as she cannot exactly control the Agarthans, but it doesn't change that she screwed up. But she was the one that helped lead us to Jeritza, and is the one to stop Jeritza from killing us. She made a mistake. Everyone does something that goes wrong, and Edelgard does regret it herself. 

The way the dialogue is written in that scene, it comes across like a deal, with Edelgard loaning TWSITD the Death Knight as her end of the bargain; presumably in exchange for something TWSITD already did for her, given the way she says it. However, there's nothing TWSITD did yet at that point that would be part of Edelgard's agenda, unless recruiting the Western Church to raid Seiros' Tomb was their favour to Edelgard. But I still don't understand that one either; it's made clear that they (Edelgard) didn't know that the sword was there; they genuinely thought that they'd find Seiros' corpse (Edelgard only knows that Rhea is The Immaculate One). 

 

10 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

He chose to believe that the student he taught, and the Edelgard that he had witnessed in the coronation and had gotten to know overall, was not that monster that would savagely destroy Remire, nor would be someone that would have had Jeralt killed. 

That's basically the thing about Edelgard. It's not about logic or reasoning. Hell, even Edelgard felt that Byleth shouldn't have sided with her under normal circumstances, hence why she asks multiple times if he's sure that he wants to do this. But in the end, she chose to believe in him as he believed in her. It's the real beauty behind it. 

The student that has lied to the professor and literally told her men to kill if the professor resists the tomb robbing when of course the professor is going to resist the tomb robbing.

To be clear, I like the Edelgard character, and I wanted to side with her for in-universe reasons based on how I felt about what was going on, and, in that moment, I felt hurt and wanting to know why she did this. The buildup to the moment within those requirements is good, but the actual buildup to the moment within the scene itself is insufficient. 

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Quote

Not at all. I mean, Flame Emperor tells you straight up that they had nothing to do with Remire.

And you as Byleth, believes a mask antagonist with who you saw ordering Death Knight around earlier?

 

The game even let Byleth to state that they don't trust Flame Emperor when Edelgard asked later.

Again, in part one there is no distinguish between Flame Emperor and Slither, you saw them hanging out together all the time in cutscenes. Knowing they belong to two groups is clearly a hindsight knowledge.

 

Quote

And then with Jeralt, Edelgard is the one that helps Byleth get revenge against Kronya and Solon in Chapter 10. 

This argument could easily go the other way, that "Edelgard tried to get Byleth killed since it turn out to be a trap"

Unlike two other lords who knew nothing about Slither, Edelgard knows Solon and Kronya, and that Byleth is no match against high level Slither. Even if she didn't know the detail of Solon's plan

Had Sothis didn't intervene by sacrifice herself, which Edelgard couldn't possibly foreseen, Byleth would surely died in the forest.

And it could work both way for Edelgard actually: If Byleth died, then she got rid of a potential threat; if Byleth lives, they proved themselves capable fighting Slithers later

Which, in chapter 11, Byleth could totally recall this event as a betrayal (sending them to a trap), especially if they also viewed Flame Emperor as an associated with Slithers.

 

Also, another problem is that you injected your own morality as in assuming Byleth objects Rhea executed her enemy while praising Edelgard sparing the duke, but the game never clearly made out what Byleth thought about the execution (since the conversation cuts before Byleth makes a statement) It's a player determinant situation, Byleth could either pro or against the execution.

Later in the game, Byleth has options to executed captured students from enemy faction. If they could execute (at least considered) their own students, they could very well also agreed to Rhea's decision to execute a group of "traitor/assassins".

 

Furthermore, Edelgard had Demonic Beasts in Chapter 11 which also casting negative light to her, as Byleth knew by this point that demonic beasts were humans forced into transformation to monsters as Jeralt pointed out just prior to his death.

Plus what @vanguard333 mentioned Edelgard ordering her men to kill any resistance(Byleth and her fellow classmates, who called her a sell out), I found it troublesome saying Byleth will only choose Edelgard at this point just because she spared the duke.

Edited by Timlugia

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2 hours ago, Timlugia said:

And you as Byleth, believes a mask antagonist with who you saw ordering Death Knight around earlier?

 

The game even let Byleth to state that they don't trust Flame Emperor when Edelgard asked later.

Again, in part one there is no distinguish between Flame Emperor and Slither, you saw them hanging out together all the time in cutscenes. Knowing they belong to two groups is clearly a hindsight knowledge.

 

This argument could easily go the other way, that "Edelgard tried to get Byleth killed since it turn out to be a trap"

Unlike two other lords who knew nothing about Slither, Edelgard knows Solon and Kronya, and that Byleth is no match against high level Slither. Even if she didn't know the detail of Solon's plan

Had Sothis didn't intervene by sacrifice herself, Byleth would surely died in the forest, which Edelgard couldn't possibly foreseen.

And it could work both way for Edelgard actually: If Byleth died, then she got rid of a potential threat; if Byleth lives, they proved themselves capable fighting Slithers later

Which, in chapter 11, Byleth could totally recall this event as a betrayal (sending them to a trap), especially if they view Flame Emperor as an associated with Slithers.

 

Also, another problem is that you injected your own morality as in assuming Byleth objects Rhea executed her enemy while praising Edelgard sparing the duke, but the game never clearly made out what Byleth thought about the execution (since the conversation cuts before Byleth makes a statement) It's a player determinant situation, Byleth could either pro or against the execution.

We have to remember that the game sets in a pre-modern context, that modern legal/law of war did not apply, the monarch has the absolute judicial authority, and executing prisoners, especially those perceived as traitors and oathbrakers were generally acceptable practice and viewed far less unjustly than in modern days.

 

Furthermore, Edelgard had Demonic Beasts in Chapter 11 also casting negative light to her, as Byleth knew by this point that demonic beasts were humans forced into transformation to monsters as Jeralt pointed out just prior to his death.

Plus what @vanguard333 mentioned Edelgard ordering her men to kill any resistance(Byleth and her fellow classmates, who called her a sell out), I found it troublesome saying Byleth will only choose Edelgard at this point

Kind of one of many reasons why I don't like Crimson Flower's story. It takes leaps in logic to even get going.

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I wish church route let you use members of the church before chapter 12. But instead you're faced with Crimson Flower restrictions until then. So annoying, especially for a route where you're expected to recruit more team members to replace the two you lose. Not being able to recruit Cyril was heartbreaking for me. And Flayn proves they could have just have him leave the party if you choose to defend Edelgard.

*looks out at the Edelgard Bad/Good discussion

Fine, I'll come back later.

4 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

What I wonder is why it feels like it could've used a second delay.

But it was delayed twice. Nintendo first insisted on a vague 2018 release date. E3 2018 trailer told us "spring 2019". February 2019 is where we got the actual release date. And those are just the delays we know about.

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THEN, APROPOS OF NOTHING, Rhea goes insane. The worst ass-pull I've seen in at least the last year, if not longer, and the single worst-written plot point in a game that includes the criminally underwritten "those who slither in the dark."

Haha, yes, this was absolutely ridiculous. One way that I've enjoyed Fire Emblem over the years is by not taking its (almost always at least in part) silly and convoluted storylines very seriously at all. So for me this was an eyeroll, but I also got a genuinely big laugh out of just how incredibly STUPID it was. So personally, I had a lot of fun with the moment. But I can see how people who want a serious story that actually hangs together and makes sense would find this utterly enraging!

I will say that from my perspective I found SS to be fun and interesting to some extent, but it certainly could have been better. I think that sadly both of the Black Eagles routes are the worst written and least developed in the game. I don't know why that is, if the team assigned to that part was simply less competent or if the had less time/budget.

One other thing with SS in Maddening is that the difficulty curve at endgame was a bit... Unexpected. It was totally doable, but it wasn't a cakewalk like the rest of the maps and took a while. I suppose the rest were so easy in part because one plays versions of them in Verdant Wind.

Overall, I wish they had delayed the game further and written BE better AND made more maps but oh well, maybe the sequel will be more polished due to the good reception 3H had overall despite its faults.

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12 hours ago, Sid Starkiller said:

1: No Lord

I'd seen people say that Claude carries the very similar Verdant Wind by his charisma, and is generally considered better than SS for it. To elaborate on why I think that is: in the other 3 routes Byleth and the lord have a particular dynamic. The lord is the thematic focus: Edelgard's quest to create a new social order, Dimitri's quest for revenge, and Claude's quest to unite the people of the world. In each case Byleth acts as the straight man, the plain character by which the other character is made more interesting. Edelgard's retaining her humanity, Dimitri's coming back from the brink, and Claude's gaining the courage to go on the offensive all happen because of Byleth. Seteth has a similar role throughout Part 1, acting as the straight man to Rhea. Seteth's stern-but-caring behavior shows that Rhea is up to something by contrast. With no lord, Byleth as the straight man can only play off Seteth, also as the straight man.

You know, I was wondering what was bothering me so much about Silver Snow (aside from missing Gronder Field 2, which does have an acceptable explanation, but it's still a damn shame) and this sums it up very well. As you say, Seteth and Byleth fulfill the same role and purpose for other characters. Putting them together in the lead didn't really work that well because of this, which dragged the story of the route down by a lot.

Still, I like that the route gives Seteth and Flayn more spotlight, because they are actually my favorite characters in the game. But it is by far my least favorite route, as well for similar reasons (mostly the nonsensical Final Boss and no Gronder).

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8 hours ago, Timlugia said:

And you as Byleth, believes a mask antagonist with who you saw ordering Death Knight around earlier?

The game even let Byleth to state that they don't trust Flame Emperor when Edelgard asked later.

Again, in part one there is no distinguish between Flame Emperor and Slither, you saw them hanging out together all the time in cutscenes. Knowing they belong to two groups is clearly a hindsight knowledge.

I mean, literally Edelgard tells you not to trust the Flame Emperor as well, remarking that if they truly did want your help, they need to be able to see you without the mask, hence why when you face her in Chapter 11, she never wears the mask. And Flame Emperor telling you that they hate the Agarthans too, and even how in that private conversation, they want the Agarthans gone, it's rather clear that there's animosity between them.

And at the end, Byleth has to make the decision to trust Edelgard, to believe that she isn't lying when she said that.

8 hours ago, Timlugia said:

This argument could easily go the other way, that "Edelgard tried to get Byleth killed since it turn out to be a trap"

Um... what? 

Quote

Edelgard: Professor, I know I'm the one who insisted we come here, but don't doubt for a moment that the enemy is waiting for you.
-
Edelgard: What other objective could they possibly have? We have no clue what kind of trap is waiting for us. Please be careful, my teacher. We can't afford to lose you...

Like, right there, Edelgard makes a clear warning to Byleth that there's no doubt that a trap is waiting for him. If she really was trying to send him to a trap, wanting him to be killed, then she made the biggest mistake by saying that it's a trap.

8 hours ago, Timlugia said:

Also, another problem is that you injected your own morality as in assuming Byleth objects Rhea executed her enemy while praising Edelgard sparing the duke, but the game never clearly made out what Byleth thought about the execution (since the conversation cuts before Byleth makes a statement) It's a player determinant situation, Byleth could either pro or against the execution.

I'm not denying that it's an interpretation, but at the same time, why would the coronation be so important for Byleth otherwise? To see how Edelgard is when she grabs power, her words, her actions, it's kind of clear how Byleth NEEDED to see this to have the choice to wanting to protect her. Hence why the choice is "protect Edelgard".

8 hours ago, Timlugia said:

Later in the game, Byleth has options to executed captured students from enemy faction. If they could execute (at least considered) their own students, they could very well also agreed to Rhea's decision to execute a group of "traitor/assassins".

The only ones that he has the "option" to spare is Claude and Lysithea. The other case is Byleth needing to converse with Flayn and then defeat her. But that's basically going along with the same case of how Byleth can enact things with Edelgard. Kill someone that is in your way, or spare them because the choice exists. It's literally how Edelgard is. To make choices. Hence why only in CF can you spare people that don't join you.

8 hours ago, Timlugia said:

Furthermore, Edelgard had Demonic Beasts in Chapter 11 which also casting negative light to her, as Byleth knew by this point that demonic beasts were humans forced into transformation to monsters as Jeralt pointed out just prior to his death.

And like I said, whether Edelgard actually wanted that or not is something that Byleth has to choose to believe or not. And we get CF, where the Empire doesn't make use of the Demonic Beasts. 

9 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

That said, I still think the decision moment is very jarring, and the story in chapter 11 still rushes to it. If Byleth and/or the students asked Edelgard why the lies and the rebelling against the Church, and Edelgard got to give a quick explanation, then Rhea angrily yelled out that Edelgard's rebellious heart cannot be allowed to keep beating, then the player would be better able to think back on what they saw of Edelgard's motivations and leadership and compare it to Rhea's and think along those lines. As it is now, it is jarring. 

I mean, this is Rhea we're talking about. First off, Edelgard won't bother to make excuses for her actions. She knows what she did, and accepts her own sins. And second, Rhea immediately demands for Edelgard's death. Byleth's not even getting a chance to even ask questions, nor is Rhea allowing questions to be asked. She wants Edelgard dead, and when you choose not to kill her, Rhea goes ballistic.

9 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

The student that has lied to the professor and literally told her men to kill if the professor resists the tomb robbing when of course the professor is going to resist the tomb robbing.

Edelgard's never once actually lied to Byleth. Ever. Her keeping her identity a secret and not telling everything isn't her lying to him. 

Unless the "kill them" is the lie, which it is. If any BE student faces Edelgard, she states this:

Quote

Edelgard: Despite what I said, I have no intention of killing you. So why not stand down and get out of my way?

She was bluffing and just wanting them not to actually get into the fight. 

9 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

The way the dialogue is written in that scene, it comes across like a deal, with Edelgard loaning TWSITD the Death Knight as her end of the bargain; presumably in exchange for something TWSITD already did for her, given the way she says it. However, there's nothing TWSITD did yet at that point that would be part of Edelgard's agenda, unless recruiting the Western Church to raid Seiros' Tomb was their favour to Edelgard. But I still don't understand that one either; it's made clear that they (Edelgard) didn't know that the sword was there; they genuinely thought that they'd find Seiros' corpse (Edelgard only knows that Rhea is The Immaculate One). 

No idea. That's a rather interesting point you brought up. Her wanting to uphold her own end of the deal. 

---

Anyways, I think we should stop here. 

5 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

*looks out at the Edelgard Bad/Good discussion

Fine, I'll come back later.

As this person makes it clear, I'm steering this topic in the wrong direction. Sorry about that.

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Someone mentioned Catherine and Cyril earlier, which reminded me that I forgot to address them. Just as it felt like they meant to strip all the BE from you and chickened out, it's really odd that they wouldn't let you recruit them normally and just have them leave with Flayn should you go CF. It severely handicaps them in SS because you have much less time to build up their skills, and Cyril in particular is forced to level as a Commoner, with his horrible growths.

And what the fuck is up with Hilda? She's never shown to have strong opinions on the general state of Fodlan. Why can't she be recruited in CF when Ingrid, the character I'd say believes most strongly in her ideals and her country, can be? And since she can't be given gifts in SS until Chapter 12, you have exactly two weeks to build support with her to ease her recruitment requirements. Hope you stockpiled gifts in anticipation, or built up Byleth's axe skills, or you're screwed.

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3 minutes ago, Sid Starkiller said:

Someone mentioned Catherine and Cyril earlier, which reminded me that I forgot to address them. Just as it felt like they meant to strip all the BE from you and chickened out, it's really odd that they wouldn't let you recruit them normally and just have them leave with Flayn should you go CF. It severely handicaps them in SS because you have much less time to build up their skills, and Cyril in particular is forced to level as a Commoner, with his horrible growths.

Imagine, working SO hard to build up Flayn, Seteth, Cyril, and Catherine, only to choose Chapter 12, and all four of them ditching you.

4 minutes ago, Sid Starkiller said:

And what the fuck is up with Hilda? She's never shown to have strong opinions on the general state of Fodlan. Why can't she be recruited in CF when Ingrid, the character I'd say believes most strongly in her ideals and her country, can be? And since she can't be given gifts in SS until Chapter 12, you have exactly two weeks to build support with her to ease her recruitment requirements. Hope you stockpiled gifts in anticipation, or built up Byleth's axe skills, or you're screwed.

It's even sillier when Hilda can join you in Blue Lions. Like, what the hell? Why?

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