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Ivan Tridelan

My Ideas for Changes to Crimson Flower

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To start, the biggest change would be a complete overhaul of Chapter 11. After returning from Enbarr you make the choice that currently you make at the  end of the Holy tomb fight.

Assuming you've chosen CF path, the Tomb plays out very differently. When Edelgard storms in, you make your choice known and Rhea flips out as you'd expect. She goes full Immaculate One, with stats and buffs that make it clear you aren't supposed to beat her. A bunch of imperial mages lock her in a barrier to prevent her from interfering, so she summons the guardians you fight in her paralogue in other routes (mechanical golems and phantom soldiers). You are supposed to steal the Crest Stones (making it the opposite of the other routes' version of this fight) while protecting the mages, being rewarded for how many you steal (instead of how many you protect from being stolen). The fight lasts 12 turns or the mages are slain (in either case, they warn Edelgard that Rhea is breaking out and they can't hold her much longer, so she calls a retreat). You can only use the BE students (pre-deployed), making it similar to the dreaded Ch 13 of other routes, but you do get help from the Imperial soldiers El brought. Flayn is also present as a non-aggressive enemy (in both fights against her in CF she expresses regret at having to fight you) near the back.

After the fight, Edelgard reveals her "true history of Fodlan" as well as the unwilling alliance with TWSITD, the fact they'd have started the war anyways so she's doing so on her terms, and her intentions to turn the tables on them later. This gives much better reasoning to side with her for people like Lysithea and Leonie who hate TWSITD and anyone who works with them. She is also convinced not to turn unwilling people into beasts with the Crest Stones, which she agrees to as thanks for siding with her (which is why there are no mentions of their use in CF as opposed to other routes where you fight them frequently).

CF proceeds largely according to canon until Arianrhod is destroyed, at which point Hubert pinpoints Shambala and they take the opportunity to destroy TWSITD's main base (simply re-use the map from VW/SS, with some level scaling) before proceeding to the epic clashes at Tailtean Plains and Fhirdiad which I feel are the proper conclusion to CF route. Incidentally, during the Fhirdiad mission, Ashe and Annette are too moral to go along with this, not to mention it's THEIR capital that's burning down, civilians included so they can be persuaded to either abandon the fight (they go to save civilians) or join you; Catherine has stated she'll do anything for Rhea except die, so she'll probably fight, Cyril has nothing for him in Fodlan except Rhea so he fights and Gilbert is consumed by guilt at his failures (which is why he leaves the Kingdom and his family in the first place) so at this point he WANTS to die in battle.

 

Thoughts?

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Sigh, no. You cannot suddenly think that it's a good idea to go on a side adventure to the Shambhala and take care of them. That's basically causing a civil war where they just give Dimitri and Rhea a chance to launch an attack that would cause the war to escalate even worse.

There's a reason why Edelgard, Hubert, and Byleth chose to keep it a secret and lie to their friends about Arianrhod. It's to keep their focus on the Church, as well as the rest of the army. They are close to winning the war, and if they suddenly go sideline, that just wastes time to give Dimitri and Rhea enough time to prepare. 

This is why Edelgard and Hubert focus on dealing with the Agarthans after the war, where they can destroy them entirely in the shadows, where no one has to know. And because they actually go to completely eradicate the Agarthans, unlike the other routes that thinks they can wipe them out in one or two battles that gives the Agarthans time to hide away to make a retaliated attack in the future, Edelgard takes longer to ensure that they are all destroyed so they never cause problems ever again.

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3 hours ago, Ivan Tridelan said:

Assuming you've chosen CF path, the Tomb plays out very differently. When Edelgard storms in, you make your choice known and Rhea flips out as you'd expect. She goes full Immaculate One, with stats and buffs that make it clear you aren't supposed to beat her. A bunch of imperial mages lock her in a barrier to prevent her from interfering, so she summons the guardians you fight in her paralogue in other routes (mechanical golems and phantom soldiers). You are supposed to steal the Crest Stones (making it the opposite of the other routes' version of this fight) while protecting the mages, being rewarded for how many you steal (instead of how many you protect from being stolen). The fight lasts 12 turns or the mages are slain (in either case, they warn Edelgard that Rhea is breaking out and they can't hold her much longer, so she calls a retreat). You can only use the BE students (pre-deployed), making it similar to the dreaded Ch 13 of other routes, but you do get help from the Imperial soldiers El brought. Flayn is also present as a non-aggressive enemy (in both fights against her in CF she expresses regret at having to fight you) near the back.

I really like this., since it helps set up Crimson Flower's big departures from the other routes in terms of level design and central narrative. The only thing I would maybe cut down on is the presence of golems and phantom soldiers, especially the bow knights, considering they're meant for a post-timeskip party. I also think that maybe having other Church characters appear might be interesting. 

 

3 hours ago, Ivan Tridelan said:

CF proceeds largely according to canon until Arianrhod is destroyed, at which point Hubert pinpoints Shambala and they take the opportunity to destroy TWSITD's main base (simply re-use the map from VW/SS, with some level scaling) before proceeding to the epic clashes at Tailtean Plains and Fhirdiad which I feel are the proper conclusion to CF route

I'm going to agree with Omegaxis that this seems unnecessary, but for different reasons. To my mind, if the central conflict of CF is Empire vs Church, then a detour to Shambhala right before the Tailtean Plains would interrupt the pacing of that conflict. I also think that one of Crimson Flower's strong points is that it's very different than the anti-Edelgard routes in terms of story structure, and having to fight Those Who Dubstep undermines that since it's already present in two other campaigns. 

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I would suggest leaving the fight with TWSITD for after Dimitri and Rhea are defeated.

I was even thinking of an idea where, after Rhea is dead, Thales in his Arundal disguise teleports into the city and thanks Edelgard for killing Rhea. However, he then proceeds to gloat that, now that Edelgard has done her part, her time is over. He attempts to assassinate her; revealing that he too was planning to dispose of her (just as she planned to do to him) once this was all over. He even says something like, "What did you think I was planning to do once this was all over? Crawl back under a rock?! No; our days underground are over. Thanks to you, the Imperial Family controls all of Fodlan, and thanks to your uncle's image, I am Imperial Family. It will be a new age for humanity, Edelgard, just as you wanted. Only, it'll be an age of the Agarthans!"

The assassination attempt is thwarted, but Edelgard, Byleth and the army is forced to flee as Javelins of Light rain down upon the area. TWSITD begin making their move to claim power, we see people and places get blown to smithereens, and Edelgard is utterly destroyed; wondering if everything she did was for nothing, and getting rid of Rhea and overthrowing the Church of Seiros only made things worse. But, we reach for her hand, we promise her that we'll bring the Slitherers down together; just as we had promised, and the rest of the story and the remaining chapters are dedicated to stopping the Slitherers' evil plan. 

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6 hours ago, Ivan Tridelan said:

To start, the biggest change would be a complete overhaul of Chapter 11. After returning from Enbarr you make the choice that currently you make at the  end of the Holy tomb fight.

Assuming you've chosen CF path, the Tomb plays out very differently. When Edelgard storms in, you make your choice known and Rhea flips out as you'd expect. She goes full Immaculate One, with stats and buffs that make it clear you aren't supposed to beat her. A bunch of imperial mages lock her in a barrier to prevent her from interfering, so she summons the guardians you fight in her paralogue in other routes (mechanical golems and phantom soldiers). You are supposed to steal the Crest Stones (making it the opposite of the other routes' version of this fight) while protecting the mages, being rewarded for how many you steal (instead of how many you protect from being stolen). The fight lasts 12 turns or the mages are slain (in either case, they warn Edelgard that Rhea is breaking out and they can't hold her much longer, so she calls a retreat). You can only use the BE students (pre-deployed), making it similar to the dreaded Ch 13 of other routes, but you do get help from the Imperial soldiers El brought. Flayn is also present as a non-aggressive enemy (in both fights against her in CF she expresses regret at having to fight you) near the back.

After the fight, Edelgard reveals her "true history of Fodlan" as well as the unwilling alliance with TWSITD, the fact they'd have started the war anyways so she's doing so on her terms, and her intentions to turn the tables on them later. This gives much better reasoning to side with her for people like Lysithea and Leonie who hate TWSITD and anyone who works with them. She is also convinced not to turn unwilling people into beasts with the Crest Stones, which she agrees to as thanks for siding with her (which is why there are no mentions of their use in CF as opposed to other routes where you fight them frequently).

Agreed about this, BE Chapter 11 definitely needed tuning and is ridiculous if you plan on choosing Edelgard. 

6 hours ago, Ivan Tridelan said:

CF proceeds largely according to canon until Arianrhod is destroyed, at which point Hubert pinpoints Shambala and they take the opportunity to destroy TWSITD's main base (simply re-use the map from VW/SS, with some level scaling) before proceeding to the epic clashes at Tailtean Plains and Fhirdiad which I feel are the proper conclusion to CF route. Incidentally, during the Fhirdiad mission, Ashe and Annette are too moral to go along with this, not to mention it's THEIR capital that's burning down, civilians included so they can be persuaded to either abandon the fight (they go to save civilians) or join you; Catherine has stated she'll do anything for Rhea except die, so she'll probably fight, Cyril has nothing for him in Fodlan except Rhea so he fights and Gilbert is consumed by guilt at his failures (which is why he leaves the Kingdom and his family in the first place) so at this point he WANTS to die in battle.

I think Shambala probably shouldn't come before Fhirdiad, because otherwise it would defeat the purpose of letting TWSITD go free up until that point. I agree that it's weird you have to fight Ashe and Annette after Dimitri falls, so I'd rather see them help out civilians too. 

Perhaps Shambala could be a secret map, dependent on who Byleth ends up with (certain endings, like Byleth x Jeritza, ensure that Byleth is part of the TWSITD takedown, but most endings don't). I think Edelgard deserves a face-off against Arundel/Thales, it could have been a great opportunity for some Agarthan lore to be dropped, and would be a truly decisive victory for Edelgard (defeating her arch torturer, and proving once and for all humanity doesn't need any superhuman aid, including the Agarthans with their long life and monster magic).

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7 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

Sigh, no. You cannot suddenly think that it's a good idea to go on a side adventure to the Shambhala and take care of them. That's basically causing a civil war where they just give Dimitri and Rhea a chance to launch an attack that would cause the war to escalate even worse.

There's a reason why Edelgard, Hubert, and Byleth chose to keep it a secret and lie to their friends about Arianrhod. It's to keep their focus on the Church, as well as the rest of the army. They are close to winning the war, and if they suddenly go sideline, that just wastes time to give Dimitri and Rhea enough time to prepare. 

This is why Edelgard and Hubert focus on dealing with the Agarthans after the war, where they can destroy them entirely in the shadows, where no one has to know. And because they actually go to completely eradicate the Agarthans, unlike the other routes that thinks they can wipe them out in one or two battles that gives the Agarthans time to hide away to make a retaliated attack in the future, Edelgard takes longer to ensure that they are all destroyed so they never cause problems ever again.

Fair enough, I myself consider it a stretch, for all the reasons you list. I just also feel like leaving it for after Rhea takes away from the feel of the climactic showdown with Rhea and leaving it out entirely denies both Edelgard and the player the satisfaction of putting down Thales after his posturing at Deirdru and Arianrhod.

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On 7/14/2020 at 9:27 AM, Ivan Tridelan said:

After the fight, Edelgard reveals her "true history of Fodlan" as well as the unwilling alliance with TWSITD, the fact they'd have started the war anyways so she's doing so on her terms, and her intentions to turn the tables on them later. This gives much better reasoning to side with her for people like Lysithea and Leonie who hate TWSITD and anyone who works with them.

I don't think this fits with Edelgard's character - she's established to trust very few people, with Hubert and Byleth being two of the only exceptions. Why would she tell a bunch of classmates, some of whom she barely knows, that they're going to backstab Those Who Slither? Spreading this just makes it more likely that TWSITD will fimd out, and "dispose" of Edelgard before she causes too much trouble.

Conceptually, I like the idea of "reversing" the Holy Tomb map, so that you steal the stones instead. But I'm not convinced that all of Edelgard's classmates will turn on a dime (before war has even been declared, no less). And the fewer chapters structured like Reunion at Dawn, the better.

Agreed with @omegaxis1 on why detouring to Shambala doesn't make sense. Edelgard and Thales may be each others #2-enemy, but they share a #1-enemy in the shape of Rhea. So long as she lives, they work together. And being the #1-enemy, she's the most sensible candidate for the route's final boss.

For what it's worth, I do think Crimson Flower could be extended, but not in the way most discuss. In my new chapter 13, Edelgard has a rebellion on her hands - Count Varley and Duke Aegir have escaped house arrest, and they're riding off public discontent with the war effort (which has so far yielded few results). In chapter 13, you defend Fort Merceus from being taken by Varley's troops. In chapter 14, you defeat Duke Aegir in Empire Territory (the Ferdinand/Lysithea map), and discover that he had received supplies from the new Duke Riegan. Thus giving Edelgard a clear causus belli for invading the Alliance.

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On 7/17/2020 at 2:32 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I don't think this fits with Edelgard's character - she's established to trust very few people, with Hubert and Byleth being two of the only exceptions. Why would she tell a bunch of classmates, some of whom she barely knows, that they're going to backstab Those Who Slither? Spreading this just makes it more likely that TWSITD will fimd out, and "dispose" of Edelgard before she causes too much trouble.

Conceptually, I like the idea of "reversing" the Holy Tomb map, so that you steal the stones instead. But I'm not convinced that all of Edelgard's classmates will turn on a dime (before war has even been declared, no less). And the fewer chapters structured like Reunion at Dawn, the better.

Agreed with @omegaxis1 on why detouring to Shambala doesn't make sense. Edelgard and Thales may be each others #2-enemy, but they share a #1-enemy in the shape of Rhea. So long as she lives, they work together. And being the #1-enemy, she's the most sensible candidate for the route's final boss.

For what it's worth, I do think Crimson Flower could be extended, but not in the way most discuss. In my new chapter 13, Edelgard has a rebellion on her hands - Count Varley and Duke Aegir have escaped house arrest, and they're riding off public discontent with the war effort (which has so far yielded few results). In chapter 13, you defend Fort Merceus from being taken by Varley's troops. In chapter 14, you defeat Duke Aegir in Empire Territory (the Ferdinand/Lysithea map), and discover that he had received supplies from the new Duke Riegan. Thus giving Edelgard a clear causus belli for invading the Alliance.

 

1) Fair point, though given her relations with Petra and Dorothea in particular it's possible since she was all set to walk her path alone (plus Hubert)

2) Keep in mind a huge part of why they turn is because they witness Rhea going full-blown "Kill everyone in sight" dragon mode. They'll turn because they don't have a choice. Flayn might get a pass in Rhea's mind because she's a Nabatean but the rest are "untrustworthy" hunans. And quite frankly the only similarity my map has to RAD is house units are mandatory. In my map they're all deployed at the beginning, AND you have allies. It's also pre-time skip and you can prepare before going into the Tomb.

3) I already acknowledged that while I'd love to see Edelgard get her due revenge, it doesn't really fit well for reasons others have stated.

4) An interesting alternative, and causus belli would be nice instead of just "we can't leave Claude poised to strike out flank so we're going to take out the Alliance". Side note: The Great Bridge of Myrddin battle makes less sense on CF since Gloucester is supposed to be pro-Empire and they (along with lolAcheron) are the ones in control of the bridge. Unless Judith's troops just swept in, I suppose. As far as Claude is concerned, once the Empire focuses on the Alliance, his little balancing act doesn't matter anymore so he can't worry about whether or not he pisses off Gloucester.

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Crimson Flower is basically stuck.  If Edelgard & co. attack TWSITD "early", that's cheating and makes the conflict less interesting - TWSITD become even more the convenient always-antagaonists-no-matter-what.  The plot post-timeskip is that they've allied with Adrestria for Reasons, so stick with it.  Additionally, FE3H plays it fast-and-loose with geography (theoretically bouncing across the map in a single weekend to complete 3 Paralogues), but Shambhala is in the exact opposite direction from where you're supposed to be campaigning in Faerghus.  However, Edelgard's principal foil is Rhea (and to a lesser extent Dimitri, although that's more explored on Azure Moon).  Dramatically speaking, Rhea needs to be the final boss for all the marbles.  (Side rant: Atheist Foreigner Claude should have been the final boss of Silver Snow as the foil of the Church, but alas.)  So...  that's why there's the awkward "uh we'll fight TWSITD during the ending credits."  I don't see a good way around that, I think that's the best the game can do.  Basically, agreeing with others that pacing / drama dictate that the focus be kept on the Church.

I do agree that a remixed C11 would be good, and the only reason it isn't is budget / time.  Still, since Rhea's paralogue isn't accessible in CF, you'd think that if the CF vs. SS choice happens at the start of C11 rather than the end, you could have basically run Rhea's paralogue (with stats scaled down) instead without requiring TOO much more budget.  I dunno, Metodey runs off to grab a sandwich or something.  I do agree that arguing about the history of Fodlan earlier, on-camera, would be cool to make the reality split between Edelgard's version and Rhea's version in Verdant Wind more clear (since both can't exactly be correct).

I do think that sheerly gameplay-wise, CF could have been a bit longer.  The main issue is that it's not clear who would head-up new maps added without locking out more characters from recruitment Dedue / Hilda - style and giving them a map.  (e.g. make Marianne non-recruitable and turn her paralogue into some sort of "fight the Alliance monsters in a spooky forest led by the mysterious Beastmaster").  Hilda is kind of a pair with Claude so it doesn't make tons of sense to split her off from the Deirdru mission.  The best thing I could propose is turn Arainrhod into two maps back-to-back - in the first part, Rodrigue is the boss, in the second part, Cornelia & her crew come out of hiding or something and you fight them.  (This would make E & H's excuse about "whoops sorry Cornelia got mixed up in there uncle maybe she shouldn't have been fighting with the Blue Lions" even less plausible though.)  You could also add in some sort of shameless filler mission like "collect rare materials for a superweapon from monsters on the mountain peak in a race with opposing forces".  But not a huge deal.

Finally, the flames in the final mission are very dramatic and awesome, but I'd skip the plotline about Rhea setting it aflame herself (but keep the part where, vaguely like Avatar Azula, she's going crazy and lashing out at people nearby).  Ashe and Annette (and Gilbert) SHOULD fight you since you're the invading force and the game should handle that locals won't appreciate that, and making the fire external makes that disconnect easier to explain.  Just...  don't explain it at all, instead.  Or blame the Slitherers for indiscriminately bombing both sides or something.  Can keep the drama and not have to explain why one side thought this was a good idea, except for maybe Arundel who's already been established to dislike both sides.

Edited by SnowFire

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On 7/14/2020 at 7:27 AM, Ivan Tridelan said:

Assuming you've chosen CF path, the Tomb plays out very differently. When Edelgard storms in, you make your choice known and Rhea flips out as you'd expect. She goes full Immaculate One, with stats and buffs that make it clear you aren't supposed to beat her. A bunch of imperial mages lock her in a barrier to prevent her from interfering, so she summons the guardians you fight in her paralogue in other routes (mechanical golems and phantom soldiers). You are supposed to steal the Crest Stones (making it the opposite of the other routes' version of this fight) while protecting the mages, being rewarded for how many you steal (instead of how many you protect from being stolen). The fight lasts 12 turns or the mages are slain (in either case, they warn Edelgard that Rhea is breaking out and they can't hold her much longer, so she calls a retreat). You can only use the BE students (pre-deployed), making it similar to the dreaded Ch 13 of other routes, but you do get help from the Imperial soldiers El brought. Flayn is also present as a non-aggressive enemy (in both fights against her in CF she expresses regret at having to fight you) near the back.

I really like this idea, it'd make it more interesting and stand out more from the other routes. I think having Flayn defeated in this fight would cause Seteth to get pissed and have Flayn absent for the next fight (adding this on as an idea).
 

 

On 7/14/2020 at 7:27 AM, Ivan Tridelan said:

After the fight, Edelgard reveals her "true history of Fodlan" as well as the unwilling alliance with TWSITD, the fact they'd have started the war anyways so she's doing so on her terms, and her intentions to turn the tables on them later. This gives much better reasoning to side with her for people like Lysithea and Leonie who hate TWSITD and anyone who works with them. She is also convinced not to turn unwilling people into beasts with the Crest Stones, which she agrees to as thanks for siding with her (which is why there are no mentions of their use in CF as opposed to other routes where you fight them frequently).

I don't think this would happen (considering that Hubert, Edelgard, and Byleth want to keep TWSITD a secret). If it was just revealing it all to Byleth now then it'd make a bit of sense (even if it's told throughout the story already).
 

 

On 7/14/2020 at 7:27 AM, Ivan Tridelan said:

CF proceeds largely according to canon until Arianrhod is destroyed, at which point Hubert pinpoints Shambala and they take the opportunity to destroy TWSITD's main base (simply re-use the map from VW/SS, with some level scaling) before proceeding to the epic clashes at Tailtean Plains and Fhirdiad which I feel are the proper conclusion to CF route. Incidentally, during the Fhirdiad mission, Ashe and Annette are too moral to go along with this, not to mention it's THEIR capital that's burning down, civilians included so they can be persuaded to either abandon the fight (they go to save civilians) or join you; Catherine has stated she'll do anything for Rhea except die, so she'll probably fight, Cyril has nothing for him in Fodlan except Rhea so he fights and Gilbert is consumed by guilt at his failures (which is why he leaves the Kingdom and his family in the first place) so at this point he WANTS to die in battle.

I think that wouldn't happen as why leave in the middle of a conflict to deal with another. This would allow Rhea and Dimitri to take down the empire easier as you're dealing with something that could've waited.
My personal thought would be a side-story instead where you choose a file that completed CF and you can unlock a side story that has a few levels where you play as Byleth, Edelgard, and Hubert taking down TWSITD. Only reason it'd be like that is because (like I stated earlier) Edelgard, Hubert, and Byleth want to keep TWSITD a secret, so it makes sense that it'd just be the three of them, and it'd be a few levels like Cindered Shadows as they wouldn't just be killing Thales and moving on, but doing a thorough job of taking them all out.

That's just my ideas for it though (as well as ideas I got from reading other replies).

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On 7/18/2020 at 6:01 PM, Ivan Tridelan said:

4) An interesting alternative, and causus belli would be nice instead of just "we can't leave Claude poised to strike out flank so we're going to take out the Alliance". Side note: The Great Bridge of Myrddin battle makes less sense on CF since Gloucester is supposed to be pro-Empire and they (along with lolAcheron) are the ones in control of the bridge. Unless Judith's troops just swept in, I suppose. As far as Claude is concerned, once the Empire focuses on the Alliance, his little balancing act doesn't matter anymore so he can't worry about whether or not he pisses off Gloucester.

Yeah, I don't know for sure either. My guess is, Claude convinced the Alliance Lords to defend their borders with troops across the country, and to commit to repelling any invasion (whether by the Church, Kingdom, or Empire). Count Gloucester likely protested, but was outvoted. So Claude was able to mobilize troops to defend the Bridge, as an Alliance interest. Gloucester troops don't show up because the Count is bitter toward Claude, and favors the Empire.

Again, this is all speculative. The Alliance is basically a Confederation, so Claude's powers are limited, but I could see him using the war as an excuse to consolidate power and coordinate efforts.

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