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Aedan7479

Is Crimson Flower intended as the starting Route? (Spoilers)

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It seems to be the common consensus that Crimson Flower was rushed/had cut content, primarily due to a) being six chapters long as opposed to nine or ten, and b) TWSITD being defeated off screen, but I wonder if at least some of this was intentional. It's no secret that Edelgard was the most promoted character leading up to Three Houses release, likely to influense people to choose the Black Eagles as their first house, only to discover she is the Flame Emperor. I wonder if CF was made shorter for new players and if TWSITD were left alive to encourage players to do other routes (or at least, that could be their excuse due to rushed development). Though, a counterpoint to this is Silver Snow, which first time players could just as easily (technically easier). It is longer by three chapters and gets rid of TWSITD.

Another question to raise is, if TWSITD were intended to be defeated in CF, when? There is no doubt in my mind that Rhea was always intended to be the final boss, so not after Rhea's defeat. The easiest answer is inbetween chapters 16 and 17, after Edelgard has killed Cornelia and Aurendel/Thales nuked Arinhod, when their trust is at it's lowest. It would be easy enough to say that Hubert found Shambala the same way he did in SS and VW, so that could apply here, but would they use the Shambala map if they could help it?

I'm very interested in peoples opinion of this.

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I doubt any route was really intended as the starting route. If there had been a strong intent that the players should start with a given route, then the developers would probably either have had other routes locked until the completion of the first one, or they'd have had a note saying "this is recommended for first-time players" when you choose your house. As is, the in-game choice is very open-ended with no option being presented as being better than the other two. I also wouldn't read too much into pre-release marketing, which would be a poor way to try to steer player actions, since a lot of players won't have paid much/any attention to any of that.

And if there were an intended starting route, I can't imagine that they'd make it the one that has entry requirements and is completely possible to miss. That just wouldn't make sense. I've seen people say that the entry requirements to CF were originally stricter than they ended up in the released game. I can't personally confirm that, but it's certainly believable, and if it is true then that would definitely be another point against it being an intended starting route.

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I agree that there's no real "intended" starting route. The game proper (i.e. not promotional materials) doesn't really push the player towards any given house and every route has its own upsides and downsides to playing it first. That said, I do usually recommend that new players start with either CF or AM, and that whichever of the two they don't play first, do second. This is mostly because the main story revolves around the conflict between Edelgard and Dimitri, which makes their routes the most plot-relevant imo. VW/SS by comparison feels like a side story you play last for some of the background lore after getting the bulk of the main story from CF and AM.

As for TWSITD, I don't think they were ever intended to be fought on CF. They're dealt with in the epilogue like an afterthought because that's exactly what they are at that point: an afterthought, a collection of pathetic joke villains that Edelgard wipes out with her thumb once the real threat (Rhea) is taken care of. They're all just raving away in their dubstep rathole waiting for Jeritza to show up dressed as the pizza guy and paint the place red.

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2 hours ago, RainbowMoon said:

The game proper (i.e. not promotional materials) doesn't really push the player towards any given house and every route has its own upsides and downsides to playing it first.

All the loading screens/tutorials are of Edelgard and the Black Eagles, the professor specifically saves her (I guess extra saves because they were already saving all three of them), Edelgard is in the first room when you explore to meet the house leaders and students while Dimitri and Claude are in the second, and she is the only one with an extra support boost dialogue option when talking to the house leaders after the fight (but before going back to the monastery). Even ignoring the promotional materials (since I hadn’t seen any when I got Three Houses), I felt a little pushed toward the Black Eagles.

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48 minutes ago, Sooks said:

All the loading screens/tutorials are of Edelgard and the Black Eagles, the professor specifically saves her (I guess extra saves because they were already saving all three of them), Edelgard is in the first room when you explore to meet the house leaders and students while Dimitri and Claude are in the second, and she is the only one with an extra support boost dialogue option when talking to the house leaders after the fight (but before going back to the monastery). Even ignoring the promotional materials (since I hadn’t seen any when I got Three Houses), I felt a little pushed toward the Black Eagles.

I suppose you're right, I hadn't noticed that she's in all the loading screens (too busy staring at the progress bar to make it go faster lol) but I can definitely see how all these things might influence a new player to pick the Black Eagles. I'll admit I pretty much went in already knowing which route I wanted to do (CF), so all the Black Eagles promoting mustn't have seemed as obvious to me. They probably did it though to try and get people to play Silver Snow, considering that route seems to be their favorite for whatever reason.

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1 hour ago, RainbowMoon said:

I suppose you're right, I hadn't noticed that she's in all the loading screens (too busy staring at the progress bar to make it go faster lol) but I can definitely see how all these things might influence a new player to pick the Black Eagles. I'll admit I pretty much went in already knowing which route I wanted to do (CF), so all the Black Eagles promoting mustn't have seemed as obvious to me. They probably did it though to try and get people to play Silver Snow, considering that route seems to be their favorite for whatever reason.

Probably because, conceptually, the game was just Silver Snow at first, and also it’s the “””canon””” one.

I went into the game with basically zero expectations after finishing fe7, no idea of anything, and I picked the Blue Lions because I liked the students the most. I didn’t have a good first impression of the Black Eagles because I wasn’t expecting any of the characters to be anything beyond their trope, for lack of a better word. Meaning I thought Linhardt, Hubert, and Petra would be the most boring characters on the planet, and Bernadetta and Caspar would be quite annoying. I really only liked Edelgard, Dorothea, and Ferdinand (and 99% of that was because of his design). Ah, memories...

Edited by Sooks

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3 hours ago, Sooks said:

I went into the game with basically zero expectations after finishing fe7, no idea of anything, and I picked the Blue Lions because I liked the students the most. I didn’t have a good first impression of the Black Eagles because I wasn’t expecting any of the characters to be anything beyond their trope, for lack of a better word. Meaning I thought Linhardt, Hubert, and Petra would be the most boring characters on the planet, and Bernadetta and Caspar would be quite annoying. I really only liked Edelgard, Dorothea, and Ferdinand (and 99% of that was because of his design). Ah, memories...

I didn't go in with a ton of info, but I knew enough of the story from what I read online to know I wanted to do CF first. I immediately liked Edelgard, Dorothea, Petra and Bernadetta, thought Hubert was such a dick that I made a whole topic about it (he's one of my favorite Black Eagles now lol) and didn't care about Linhardt, Caspar or Ferdinand (I enjoy Lin and Caspar a bit more now as comic relief, Ferdie still feels like a more boring version of Lorenz to me). I did a lot of recruiting.

Overall though I think the Golden Deer has the most students I like. Claude, Lysithea, Leonie, Lorenz, Marianne... basically everyone except Ignatz and Raphael who are just sorta there imo. Blue Lions has some of my absolute favorites (Dimitri, Ingrid, Sylvain, Ashe), but also my least favorite (Felix) and the rest who I'm just kinda neutral to.

3 hours ago, Sooks said:

Probably because, conceptually, the game was just Silver Snow at first, and also it’s the “””canon””” one.

Almost makes you wonder if they promoted Edelgard and the Black Eagles so much because they hoped everyone would latch onto them, miss the CF requirements and then get railroaded onto their "masterpiece" lol

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1 hour ago, RainbowMoon said:

Almost makes you wonder if they promoted Edelgard and the Black Eagles so much because they hoped everyone would latch onto them, miss the CF requirements and then get railroaded onto their "masterpiece" lol

That's basically my working theory. Crimson Flower is, at the most basic level, a secret route. You need to do four things to access it, namely:

Spoiler

1) Get to C+ Support with Edelgard by chapter 11

2) Speak to Edelgard during an Exploration session in chapter 11

3) Go with her to the Coronation scene

4) Select "Protecc Edelgard" at the Holy Tomb

Fail any of these, and you're locked into Silver Snow.

16 hours ago, Aedan7479 said:

Another question to raise is, if TWSITD were intended to be defeated in CF, when? There is no doubt in my mind that Rhea was always intended to be the final boss, so not after Rhea's defeat. The easiest answer is inbetween chapters 16 and 17, after Edelgard has killed Cornelia and Aurendel/Thales nuked Arinhod, when their trust is at it's lowest. It would be easy enough to say that Hubert found Shambala the same way he did in SS and VW, so that could apply here, but would they use the Shambala map if they could help it?

Twiztid in Crimson Flower are something of a Catch-22. It doesn't make sense for them to fight with Edelgard while Rhea is still alive, since she's their mutual number-one enemy. But only Rhea works as a final boss for CF, because... again, she's Edelgard's number-one enemy. And because displacing the leadership of the Church was the lynchpin to Edelgard's plan to transform Fódlan. So Twiztid can either be an inconsistency, an anti-climax, or a handwave - and they went with the last of those.

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To answer your questions:

* Datamine suggests CF being short was fully intentional and planned way in advance, but also that it was indeed the last route the devs worked on. Regardless of what it's lenght and short chapter count may indicate, there is very little scrapped content for it compared to the other routes and the fact it follows it's own difficulty curve and the shops unlock their lategame stuff earlier also supports this.

* The interviews about the game's development heavily imply the whole intention of advertising Edelgard and co. was to lure the player into doing Silver Snow, in particular as it was written by the director and the clues that hinted how to get into CF instead weren't telegraphed initially.

* I personally don't think the Slitherers were even meant to be fought in Edelgard's story. Even though the plot suggest they're doing stuff in the background, they're showed more as a bunch of dangerous-yet-useful tools than actual final enemy material.

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Here's my two cents: I believe that the "starting route", though not really promoted as such, would be the Blue Lions path. It has, by far, the most dramatic version of Edelgard's reveal, and Dimitri comes off as the most "lordly" of the three during part 1. Though, on-topic, I feel like the devs simped for the Black Eagles, too.

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I don’t know about a “starting route”, but I feel like they wanted you to get attached to Edelgard but end up on Silver Snow.

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It feels like the "last route" to me. All the other routes were about beating Edelgard, and CF was this secret route where you actually team up with her. It seems like a fun, short route you play last.

Now did I play it last? Nope.

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My own understand is that the game was originally envisioned with Edelgard as an antagonist, but that during development the devs really wanted a route where the player sided with her, and that's how we got CF. I don't really feel like one house was pushed strongly over the others, though I agree that the Eagles are generally pushed as "first" in a few minor ways (showing up in tutorial screens, Edelgard being the first lord you talk to, the cursor defaulting to them when you choose your house, etc.). To me that probably less reflects that the devs really wanted you to choose them first, though - I think they wanted a relatively even distribution of first choices (which is what they got) - and making Edelgard the "first" or "default" choice just a reflection of her central role in the story.

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1 hour ago, Sooks said:

I don’t know about a “starting route”, but I feel like they wanted you to get attached to Edelgard but end up on Silver Snow.

If that was the intention, then I almost wish they'd done it in a game with only one route. Having different routes really dilutes the emotional impact of having your main lord turn on you.

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9 minutes ago, lenticular said:

If that was the intention, then I almost wish they'd done it in a game with only one route. Having different routes really dilutes the emotional impact of having your main lord turn on you.

I kinda feel like the emotional impact of the lord turning on a silent avatar character was doomed to failure from the start. I think Silver Snow as an effective dramatic route would require Byleth to be a very well-fleshed out character with a clear ideology to make the part 2 conflict work. But I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of avatar characters to start with.

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42 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I kinda feel like the emotional impact of the lord turning on a silent avatar character was doomed to failure from the start. I think Silver Snow as an effective dramatic route would require Byleth to be a very well-fleshed out character with a clear ideology to make the part 2 conflict work. But I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of avatar characters to start with.

Dang it, we should have been playing as Dimitri joining the Black Eagles!

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