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Silver-Haired Maiden

Best Starter/Beginner Route

Best Route  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. To play first?

    • Crimson Flower
      6
    • Silver Snow
      5
    • Azure Moon
      19
    • Verdant Wind
      15
  2. 2. For a beginner to FE?

    • Crimson Flower
      2
    • Silver Snow
      2
    • Azure Moon
      26
    • Verdant Wind
      15


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So I have a couple of friends that picked up 3H after hearing me talk about it. One has played FE before but this is her first time playing 3H and the other has never played a FE game before. It got me thinking, which routes does everyone here consider the best for people in those situations? I know my personal thoughts on it, but I was curious if other people agree with me.

Basically I would pick Azure Moon for both as in my experience the Blue Lions are easier as a group to start with, have an easier time recruiting all the possible characters, and is the easiest route to get into in terms of the overall story.

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I would pick Crimson Flower, even though it's generally not the way one would expect. Sure, but I would say that given how people are generally easily finding Edelgard's motives to be wrong and quick to demonize, I generally feel that people need to see her story first. Of course, even if someone played her route first, they might not like her later on still. It happens. 

It's only rare times do I find people play her route last or later and like her. 

However, though I recommend CF, I think the intention was BL first, simply given how Part 1 was all like. With Edelgard's reveal being so dramatic.

But from a story lore perspective, BL is the absolute WORST route to go for, given how Part 2 of BL shafts all lore entirely.

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Personally I'd go with CF > SS > BL > VW but really no matter what route you do first the most important thing is that you don't follow up the SS route with VW or the other way around because those two routes are very very similar. 

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Just now, Strullemia said:

Personally I'd go with CF > SS > BL > VW but really no matter what route you do first the most important thing is that you don't follow up the SS route with VW or the other way around because those two routes are very very similar. 

Oof, I personally would not recommend SS as anyone's route. So perhaps switch SS with VW.

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2 minutes ago, Strullemia said:

Personally I'd go with CF > SS > BL > VW but really no matter what route you do first the most important thing is that you don't follow up the SS route with VW or the other way around because those two routes are very very similar. 

This was the order I played the game and I didn't regret it, I liked in SS Seteth as lord.

For beginners I would recommend VW since it was very easy, but on the other hand is CF story wise the best to play first.

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1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

Oof, I personally would not recommend SS as anyone's route. So perhaps switch SS with VW.

Yeah, both work and depending on what interests the player more they can go with either.

My final route was SS and at the time I kind of regret that because I enjoyed VW a lot more and at least that route ends with a "Bang" instead of a whimper.

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best run is VW/SS/CF/AM. Learn about the world before you dive into the characters. better flow and understanding of the game as a whole.

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Voted Azure Moon for both for a very simple reason: Three Houses is huge, very huge, and there's a good chance somebody might only play one route and then never touch the game again. If that's the case, it might as well be the one with arguably the best story, right?

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3 minutes ago, Elephantus said:

Voted Azure Moon for both for a very simple reason: Three Houses is huge, very huge, and there's a good chance somebody might only play one route and then never touch the game again. If that's the case, it might as well be the one with arguably the best story, right?

That's subjective, given how I would say the best isn't really Azure Moon, but Crimson Flower.

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1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

That's subjective, given how I would say the best isn't really Azure Moon, but Crimson Flower.

Oh, it absolutely is subjective, yes. Sorry if I worded that poorly. Azure Moon is what I personally think is the route with the best story, which is why I personally would recommend it to others based on my reasoning above.

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Verdant Wind has no unanswered questions or plot threads so I like it most even though I wish Claude had any character development or unique motivation driving the plot besides being such a nice guy. Azure Moon would be my runner up since while I find many of the scenes with Dimitri laughably poor in execution, his internal drama is at least compelling enough to see how it ends - and it surprisingly sticks the landing. My friend, who hasn't played a fire emblem since Radiant Dawn, picked CF of his own accord and we both agree it's pretty crudely written with its characters and motivations. He wasn't terribly keen on a second playthrough.

Edited by Glennstavos

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Just now, Glennstavos said:

Verdant Wind has no unanswered questions or plot threads so I like it most even though I wish Claude had any character development or unique motivation driving the plot besides being such a nice guy. Azure Moon would be my runner up since while I find many of the scenes with Dimitri laughably poor in execution, his internal drama is at least compelling enough to see how it ends - and it surprisingly sticks the landing. My friend, who hasn't played a fire emblem since Radiant Dawn, picked CF of his own accord and we both agree it's pretty crudely written with its characters and motivations.

I very much disagree. Almost every detail about Edelgard's trauma, her motivations, her ambitions, they are all extremely well written, and definitely even does a great job really showing how Edelgard needs Byleth with her. The other routes don't really do as well of a job. For CF, Claude just uses Byleth cause he's a convenient leader to go for, and can use him to be the figurehead of the resistance army. For Dimitri, Byleth feels more of the muscle just to keep everyone alive, and then just happen to be at the right place, right time for Dimitri.

For Edelgard, she shows from the very beginning how he means quite a lot to her, and how she is struggling with wanting to just trust him. 

The beauty of her route is how it's the route that is chosen by everyone. 

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I mentioned it in my initial post but I figured I'd go into more detail here.

I wouldn't recommend Crimson Flower or Silver Snow for a beginner to the game or franchise as a first playthrough. Crimson Flower is because of the conditions of the route (my friend wanted to play Crimson Flower first but ended up locked out due to missing Edelgard in the explore which really soured his opinion of 3H as a whole) as well as the fact that it's only 18 chapters, which means you kind of need to be more picky with your tutoring. For a first-timer to the game or franchise they could easily end up with a very messy team. Silver Snow is because it's really not beginner route friendly. He spent most of the route annoyed that he lost Edelgard and Hubert and he didn't find Seteth or Flayn to be interesting characters. Rhea as a final boss got him to drop the game entirely because he was so annoyed at the contrivance of it. There's also that the units in Crimson Flower, barring a couple of them, are harder than the others to raise.

Verdant Wind has some arguments for it. My biggest complaint is that it is the most mixed bag of the classes with several good units and several subpar units and also that Claude really carries the route. Also the cutscenes made little sense, the Flame Emporer reveal was very anti-climactic, and while the final fight with Nemesis was cool, it also came right the heck out of nowhere which would be jarring for most people.

That leaves Azure Moon, which has the most connection to the White Clouds section of the plot, the easiest in general to use characters right from the start (seriously, you get Dimitri, Ingrid, Sylvain, Felix, Dedue, Mercedes, and the only two subpar units are sometimes Annette and Ashe), it has an easier time recruiting than the Black Eagles (with the recruitment locks on BE), and for a first playthrough I feel it's the most emotionally investing thanks to the personal stories of the characters.

In my personal opinion, the best option for a FIRST playthrough is AM>VW>CF>SS. This is not my opinion for the average playthrough of the game entirely, just for a very first playthrough.

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For story reasons, CF is the absolute worst to play first. The central mysteries in the game are:

  • Who are Those Who Slither in the Dark, and what do they want?
  • Who are the Death Knight and the Flame Emperor?
  • What are the origins of the Crests and the Hero's Relics?
  • Who/what is Byleth?
  • What is the truth behind the Tragedy of Duscur? (actually, this is barely mentioned outside of BL route and their respective support chains)
  • What are the origins of the Church of Seiros?
 

Among many more. These are all brought up in Part 1. None of these are addressed in CF. You don't even get told that Byleth is a reincarnation of Sothis in CF, though it's heavily implied. It's outright stated in other routes. CF is the worst one to play first. You never get to fight TWSITD. You're locked out of Mercedes' paralogue in CF and there's every possibility you won't recruit her in your first CF playthrough, so you won't learn much more about the Death Knight (*in the first build of the game). Tragedy of Duscur is never brought up so you don't know why Dimitri is so obsessed with killing Edelgard.

Azure Moon at least addresses the Tragedy of Duscur and Edelgard's origins (partially), but not much more than that. Personally I think it has the most satisfying story and I love that most of your core cast are so heavily affected by the story events of Part 1. There's a very personal stake in ending the war which is not really present in VW. You also get the wonderful cutscene of the Flame Emperor reveal.

Silver Snow or Verdant Wind are OK for first playthroughs because they address most of the central mysteries. For a blind playthrough, picking Silver Snow first means having to watch Edelgard and Hubert turn against you, then having to kill them, which is heartbreaking but is great storytelling. They both have pretty terribly written endings, though.

Edited by Agro

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2 minutes ago, Agro said:
  • Who are Those Who Slither in the Dark, and what do they want?
  • Who are the Death Knight and the Flame Emperor?
  • What are the origins of the Crests and the Hero's Relics?
  • Who/what is Byleth?
  • What is the truth behind the Tragedy of Duscur? (actually, this is barely mentioned outside of BL route and their respective support chains)
  • What are the origins of the Church of Seiros?

Actually, multiple of those things actually DO get brought up in CF and answers it. Not perfectly, but definitely doesn't ignore it.

  • Hubert literally investigates them in their paralogue.
  • We literally play with them. What?
  • Edelgard explains the story in Chapter 14, which lacks context, but it is actually factually true. 
  • Chapter 18, she literally explains that Byleth is just like Rhea, and is connected with the being known as the goddess. 
  • Edelgard even brings it up about how Dimitri's madness is a fault of her uncle's manipulations. 
  • Once again, the story of the Relics, how the conflict between Seiros and Nemesis resulted in the Immaculate One controlling humanity through the Church.

Azure Moon talks about the Tragedy of Duscur and explores it, but it does nothing with it. All that mystery jerking around, and Dimitri ends up dropping the matter in the end. VW does go into more details, but it's performed solely through Rhea being an exposition machine. 

I don't really get how you think that CF does absolutely nothing with these things, when they do. 

ALso, I would argue that CF is the only route that gives every character respect.

In AM, Rhea doesn't exist.

In VW, Dimitri dies like a dog and Rhea is just exposition.

SS, Dimitri is a ghost and Claude vanishes, and Rhea is only a bit more of an exposition.

In CF, though, Rhea actually plays more of a role, still showing sympathetic sides with her. Claude can be spared and has a nice conversation with Edelgard and Byleth, even hinting his real origins, and Dimitri not only plays a role, but is even given the most peaceful death possible there, and Edelgard even mourning for him. Every character played a role in CF, where in the others, someone or the other gets screwed over. 

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VM is probably the safest choice, because of how you get to know a lot of stuff (except things specific for the other MCs).

AM is too detached from the main conflict, CF depends a bit on your attachment to Edelgard and SS is a very weird experience having no Lord.

But if you like Edelgard you can't go wrong with CF.

Edited by Troykv

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I said AM to play first, since the pre-skip chapters have the most connection to the Blue Lions. But, I chose VW for new players (particularly younger ones), as I worry that some might get put off by Dimitri's character arc.

My own first one was Verdant Wind, and I'm currently on the third stage of the VW->CF->AM->SS chain. I would call this my preferred order, since you avoid starting with CF, butting VW/SS, and butting CF/SS. Although you could make a case for SS->AM->CF->VW.

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2 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I said AM to play first, since the pre-skip chapters have the most connection to the Blue Lions. But, I chose VW for new players (particularly younger ones), as I worry that some might get put off by Dimitri's character arc.

You know I actually hadn't considered how Dimitri's arc might look to younger players. Though the game is rated T, so that's a consideration to make. But yeah, for someone just getting into the franchise, Claude is probably less controversial than Dimitri.

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1 hour ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

You know I actually hadn't considered how Dimitri's arc might look to younger players. Though the game is rated T, so that's a consideration to make. But yeah, for someone just getting into the franchise, Claude is probably less controversial than Dimitri.

Yeah, obviously "new players" can be any age, but my mind jumped to potential players much younger than myself. Obviously, there are a lot of mature topics that come in the game (death, abusive parents, trauma, etc.), so the T rating is well earned. But if I had, say, a 10-year old child who really wanted to play this game, I'd probably let them play on Golden Deer. I see it as the least morally ambiguous route, with the lightest story material overall. Then again, I know nothing about parenting and would probably do worse than Gilbert, haha.

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Well, it kinda depends on what you're looking for.

Gameplay-wise, I'd go with AM - you get a lot of well-defined basic classes, and they're pretty easy to digest.  VW isn't quite as obvious about who goes where, and CF/SS have characters permanently leave for whatever reason.

Story-wise, I'd go with VW - it does a good job of covering general Fodlan history.  AM is a more personal story, CF is confusing as hell without context, and I haven't played SS (but heard that it's similar to VW).

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23 hours ago, Zemuria said:

Golden Deers is the neutral path and also the easiest one because it gives the strongest cast and has the by far easiest final map and boss. 

AM’s final map is technically easier Ignatius you know how to cheese it with Battalion Wrath vantage and warping Dimitri into the middle since none ornaments the enemies have gambits, but that requires extensive planning to pull off, so for a first timer VW does have a much easier final map.

 

On topic: from a lore perspective I think the best order is definitely VW first, since it reveals the truth behind fodlan’s history, Nemesis and Seiros, the 10 elites and crests and relics. SS briefly touched upon some of these but AM gives no information about them and CF has Edelgard give false exposition that she was led to believe (such as Sothis loving Nemesis and Seiros being jealous.)

After VW I would say either AM or CF. AM has the best part 1 in the game due to the in house connections with certain characters (Sylvain and Miklan, Mercedes and Jeritza, Ashe and Lonato.) and having a character driven part 2 themes around Dimitri and his struggles with the world. Doing CF after VW lets you understand backstory and exposition allowing you to experience Edelgards motives and understand what actually happened in the past with the relics, and what were just lies fed to El by Arundel. Allowing you to experience Edelgards story without forming false conclusions. CF/AM must Be played one after another, since it lets you experience the motives of both Edelgard and Dimitri, allowing you to appreciate both characters without forming negative opinions due to how they’re depicted in each other’s routes.

SS is last since it reveals similar things to VW, but reveals less about crests and the history, and more about the Avatar, so it can reveal things about Byleth, and why Rhea did what she’s did but I would say it’s less important than the exposition of VW, and the stories of Dimitri and El.

So lore wise VW - AM/CF - AM/CF - SS

I do think AM is the most beginner friendly gameplay wise since it has the easiest units to use and is tied for the highest number of maps with VW but Gwen Loren unique maps and variety. But from a Lore and overall standpoint VW is the best, since it makes the CF route more enjoyable and lets you have AM and CF next to each other. 

But that’s my opinion.

 

For people new to fe it would probably be Am-Cf-VW-SS or AM-VW-CF-SS

 

Edited by Geenoble

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My fav is VW, but I think AM is the better first route/beginner route because it has the most traditional team, storyline, and it may intrigue you more to play the other routes since it reveals the least amount of lore.

Then I'd either

VW > CF > SS if you don't mind playing with the same team back to back

CF > VW > SS if you don't mind playing the same storyline back to back

If you don't want to do anything back to back, then I guess VW or SS first and last lol

Edited by Crysta

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