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The game really only should've had two routes (among other changes also spoilerz)

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On 3/18/2021 at 10:06 AM, Jotari said:

Based on how the game turned out, I'm given the impression it was rather late in the development that they decided to expand out the routes, which leads me to think it was a mandate by someone rather than people getting over ambitious. An over ambitious addition of routes would probably be done when several are already mostly finished, yet none of the individual routes of Three Houses actually feels finished (at least to me).

How late are we talking about? There's a ton of evidence pointing out the game was already comitted to have the 4 routes by the time the E3 2018 trailer was shown.

2 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I have a strong suspicion that at some point in development they were meant to be more involved but then didn't bother and that's why they've been left in as a simple dialog question

Funny you say that: there's unused text suggesting Byleth was considered to speak out loud their chosen option when sparing/killing someone. This scrapped feature appears to be most complete in Claude's case for CF, while in Lysithea, Ashe and Lorenz's cases, Byleth simply repeat the option picked like a robot.

 

 

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On 3/18/2021 at 9:20 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I'm open to Rhea being done somewhat differently on CF. But personally, I find "Dragon Pope driven to madness by the betrayal of her pseudo-grandchild" more interesting than "Dragon Pope seeks to DESTROY Edelgard stans through FACTS and LOGIC". She's a different kind of villain than Edelgard, with different motivations and methods, but that doesn't make her worse.

How is Fodlan being "sold out", exactly? By Almyrans existing within their borders? He's made a strategic partnership to take out a mutual threat. If Claude made some material concession behind the scenes for Almyran support, maybe you'd be onto something. 

That is another weakness of Claude's story - namely, that the Almyran perspective is limited at best. Nader (or was it Nardel?) shows up as an NPC, but he doesn't say all that much. Cyril speaks about his past, but his loyalty is not to his homeland, but to Lady Rhea. Speaking to more Almyran NPCs, or even getting a recruitable Almyran, could shed some light on their motivations - and therefore, a route to peace. Suppose that they invade to demonstrate their ability as warriors. Why not replace that practice with, say, an annual gladiator competition between Fodlan and Almyra? Transform the warfare into athletic spectacle, while appealing to their values system!

None of those are Marth's old friends, though. My point is, facing the Church means facing characters the player has become fond of. Killing Flayn is still a goddamn gut-punch, even if Byleth never gets to react.

My point was less that "Berkut is a really good villain", and moreso that Ian Sinclair's vocal performance seriously elevates the character beyond what the plot offers him.

Agreed that Dimitri is poorly utilized in Verdant Wind. As for the Endgames, I could see "swapping" them. Although, the underlying problem is having two different final bosses, despite doing basically all the same stuff beforehand. I'd probably make Nemesis the final boss of Silver Snow, rework Verdant Wind so Nemesis never wakes up, and do a final battle that relates to Fodlan-Almyra relations. Rhea never goes berserk inexplicably, so she's just the final boss on Crimson Flower.

...Fuck. Why not just combine the "evil mirror" scene with the Necrodragons mountain? So instead of Celica's spirit magic saving Alm out of nowhere, it now comes from her request to Halcyon. I don't believe this scene needs to happen before Fear Mountain - say, Nuibaba gives Berkut the mirror in advance, but he doesn't deploy it until the mountain stopping point.

It's not Celica's spirit magic actually. It was confirmed in the canon drama CD that it's a Mila-blessed charm to redirect Duma's magic. Clearly Celica's charm was important, Echoes just wasn't finished so they couldn't figure out a good spot to place this explanation.

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On 3/18/2021 at 10:41 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

Edelgard does not desire to kill dragons, though. She wants them to not hold power over humans.

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With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that it's possible to spare Seteth and Flayn. (That said, I agree once again with the 1st Mate that the death scene is still effective if you see it. Not just the scene itself, but the one with Rhea after. "Must you take everything from me?")

She accepted the Slither's spin on the dragons since they groomed her to be their tool and the propaganda that Nemesis was a "hero." Her not loudly calling for killing all dragons and "just" yelling human master race rule (or something) doesn't really matter since she's fine with killing all the reptilians anyway.

Also, the whole thing with the Slithers infiltrating the empire Seiros helped build really doesn't make her look more credible and once again doesn't fit at all with said slithery men's actual showings. Again, we're supposed to accept that they play 5D chess around Rhea so hard that they can not only infiltrate the empire under her nose but that they can turn a princess into the next Nemesis but yet we're shown they don't stand a chance against Edelgard's forces and didn't actually have a plan to keep her in check when she turns on them (not even trying to replace someone like Hubert) and the nukes miss. Doubly since apparently Cornelia has a line in the JP version where she says Edel was playing them rather than the other way around. They didn't even wait until Edelgard was fighting Rhea in a duel on the battlefield to launch their nukes right at the two's armies to wipe out all their opposition if only when Rhea's weakened if not dead already and just sit back as Fodlan burns down (Edelgard and Rhea dead with inner circles dead, Edel's empire falls apart since Edel had no heirs letting Thales take command if necessary, other leaders dead or ran off). 

I know that they were trying to recreate the alliance between Arvis and the Loptousians except back then Manfroy and Co. actually had a plan to to keep Arvis in check in case he ever turned on them before the Loptous returned (blackmail him with his bloodline to ensure that if they go down he goes with them as well). Thales and Co. did not have such.

 

Edited by Kalken

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15 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Yeah, I agree on some level that the ability to spare Flayn and Seteth exists to give the player an out from killing them (the reason this isn't given for Alois or the students you face is because the player has that out by recruiting them instead. This means a player dedicated to sparing as many playable characters as possible can usually avoid killing anyone except Jeritza, Hubert, Edelgard, and Dimitri, plus Rhea if you want to count her, depending on route). In principle I'm fine with the idea that Flayn can talk to Byleth (whom she is supposed to share a close connection with) and thus choose to abandon the fight, and if Flayn makes that choice then Seteth would logically follow. (Incidentally, a minor correction: it is Byleth who needs to engage with Flayn to save her, not Edelgard. Either can spare Claude, though.)

Agreed that the sparing/recruiting mechanics are mechanically very dull. I have a strong suspicion that at some point in development they were meant to be more involved but then didn't bother and that's why they've been left in as a simple dialog question ("You can spare Ashe! Do you want to?" Y/N) I'd definitely have preferred some of the recruitment/sparing mechanics were tied to either behaviour in battle and/or supports built in part 1. The only actually interesting sparing mechanic IMO is Crimson Flower Dedue, and even that's not that interesting as it basically boils down to "defeat him quickly". I'd mention Crimson Flower Hilda as well (whom you actually have to avoid killing in combat), but the game doesn't acknowledge if you do this or not, sadly.

Haven't heard of sparing Dedue in Crimson Flower. By defeat him quickly I expect that means kill him before he transforms? Is that actually sparing him or is it just sequence breaking by killing him before the script realizes he can die? Of all the characters in the game in terms of plot Dedue is the one that makes the least sense to spare as we see in other routes he's so commited to Dimitri that he'll continue trying to assassinate Edelgard after Dimitri is dead.

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5 hours ago, Jotari said:

Haven't heard of sparing Dedue in Crimson Flower. By defeat him quickly I expect that means kill him before he transforms?

Yep. You even get a small different scene which replaces the one with the CG where Edelgard executes Dimitri.

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I don't really think Rhea and Medeus make for a very good comparison. Rhea at least has some of her heart in the right place while Medeus is just your generic evil overlord who needs another character to claim he had good intentions, without Medeus himself ever doing or saying anything to suggest this. Rhea also isn't quite a dictator. Highly powerful and influential to be sure but she's not a tyranical overlord who rules the three nations with an iron fist. As long as they follow her teachings the Empire, Kingdom and Alliance seem mostly free to rule themselves as they please. Personally installing the families that slaughtered her people as the highest members of the nobility, even as a means to assume power also doesn't seem something a dictator would do. 

Rhea is benevolent but flawed and mentally unstable. Medeus is just the Fire Emblem equivalent of Sauron. 

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7 hours ago, Kalken said:

Also, the whole thing with the Slithers infiltrating the empire Seiros helped build really doesn't make her look more credible and once again doesn't fit at all with said slithery men's actual showings. Again, we're supposed to accept that they play 5D chess around Rhea so hard that they can not only infiltrate the empire under her nose but that they can turn a princess into the next Nemesis but yet we're shown they don't stand a chance against Edelgard's forces and didn't actually have a plan to keep her in check when she turns on them (not even trying to replace someone like Hubert) and the nukes miss. Doubly since apparently Cornelia has a line in the JP version where she says Edel was playing them rather than the other way around. They didn't even wait until Edelgard was fighting Rhea in a duel on the battlefield to launch their nukes right at the two's armies to wipe out all their opposition if only when Rhea's weakened if not dead already and just sit back as Fodlan burns down (Edelgard and Rhea dead with inner circles dead, Edel's empire falls apart since Edel had no heirs letting Thales take command if necessary, other leaders dead or ran off). 

I know that they were trying to recreate the alliance between Arvis and the Loptousians except back then Manfroy and Co. actually had a plan to to keep Arvis in check in case he ever turned on them before the Loptous returned (blackmail him with his bloodline to ensure that if they go down he goes with them as well). Thales and Co. did not have such.

 

There's a lot of complaints to be had about the Slitherers plot wherein we're supposed to simultaneously accept that they are both A) competent and threatening but B) thwartable by Meddling Kids, but "their appointed tool to destroy the Church does a great job at it but also turns out harder to control than expected" is not really one of them?  That, and Cordelia gaining huge influence in the Kingdom, are easily the two most effective things we see Slitherers do in the game, even despite Edelgard's antipathy to them.  She certainly messes with the Church on all routes.  And they do have a plan to keep her in check, it's the same plan as always of "kill people who get in our way" and that plan isn't even completely horrible.  (The Plan not actually working in CF is...  well, come on, of course it's not going to work, 3H isn't that kind of story to just roll credits after Arianhod with "and then everyone we were controlling died in a nuke, The End."  But that's a factor the Slitherers can't control, and they can still play for some sort of assassin in the shadows plot long-term - Hubert's line about now House Vestra's war begins, which implies that there's shadowy assassins to war against and possibly lose against, meaning CF Edelgard isn't home free yet post-credits.)   

More generally, to the extent that you want real life analogues to situations even in fantasy, conspiracy plotters who think they're very clever backing somebody and that somebody not actually doing what they expect is EXCEEDINGLY common in real history.  (At risk of Godwining myself, there's a certain famous incident in 1933 where crufty old German conservative politicians figured they could give a certain clownish dude who was popular with a different segment of the electorate the Chancellorship, and he'd be easy to manipulate, and worst comes to worst President Hindenburg, a good ol' boy conservative, would keep things in check...   and then Hindenburg died...  not comparing this to Edelgard in any other way of course, just mean the general idea of whoops-that-didn't-go-as-expected is a very valid point to stick in stories where a group puts a puppet ruler in charge, and the puppet cuts their strings.)

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1 hour ago, Moltz23 said:

Yep. You even get a small different scene which replaces the one with the CG where Edelgard executes Dimitri.

I love the dialogue in that scene, but the fact that it was literally just a black screen... yeah, I can see the case that CF was rushed. Like, I don't need a cutscene, but they could have at least given us a CG, of Dimitri dying in Dedue's arms.

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36 minutes ago, SnowFire said:

There's a lot of complaints to be had about the Slitherers plot wherein we're supposed to simultaneously accept that they are both A) competent and threatening but B) thwartable by Meddling Kids

I actually don't think we're supposed to think the Slitherers are competent. Threatening yes but not at all competent. I strongly suspect that unlike Team Garon they are written with the explicit gimmick of being incompetent. The way both Solon and Kronya loses their disguises and positions in the academy just because they couldn't resist being cartoonishly evil, them being defeated by highschoolers, Dimitri stopping Solon by complete accident, that one idiot dying because he decided to go stand in the poison they summoned, them losing control of their beasties and needing Hubert th save them, or them not at all being prepared for Edelgard overthrowing them despite Thales' chats with Edelgard making it very clear both he and Edelgard plan to turn on each other after taking down Rhea. All this adds up to a faction that's clearly inept and unable to really be the threat they want to be. Crimson Flower treating them like an afterthought is likely the result of the Slitherers indeed being a mere afterthought for Edelgard, and that their downfall is inevitable no matter what happens. 

Even Cornelia who's the only somewhat competent member of them can't resist outing herself to Gilbert when she think she's won.

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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2 hours ago, Moltz23 said:

Yep. You even get a small different scene which replaces the one with the CG where Edelgard executes Dimitri.

 

45 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I love the dialogue in that scene, but the fact that it was literally just a black screen... yeah, I can see the case that CF was rushed. Like, I don't need a cutscene, but they could have at least given us a CG, of Dimitri dying in Dedue's arms.

Oh, so it's not pure sequence breaking and Dedue does actually survive. In a case like that I would appreciate some gameplay story integration in having Dedue appear as a reinforcement enemy in the final map. As like I said, Dedue is the least likely character to just go off and find something else to do with his life should he survive. The logical result of sparing him in the chapter is that he'd later be apprehended and killed while trying to assassinate Edelgard at a later date.

Edited by Jotari

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37 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Oh, so it's not pure sequence breaking and Dedue does actually survive. In a case like that I would appreciate some gameplay story integration in having Dedue appear as a reinforcement enemy in the final map. As like I said, Dedue is the least likely character to just go off and find something else to do with his life should he survive. The logical result of sparing him in the chapter is that he'd later be apprehended and killed while trying to assassinate Edelgard at a later date.

Here's the scene in question. The voicework is incredible; it deserved more than a black screen.

It appeard that Dimitri dies before Dedue. It's unclear whether Dedue dies of the wounds he sustained in battle, or is able to fight on. Given his absence in the subsequent chapter, I choose to believe the former. Alternatively, he tries to catch up to them, but as a Fortress Knight, he's just too slow.

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10 hours ago, Kalken said:

She accepted the Slither's spin on the dragons since they groomed her to be their tool and the propaganda that Nemesis was a "hero." Her not loudly calling for killing all dragons and "just" yelling human master race rule (or something) doesn't really matter since she's fine with killing all the reptilians anyway.

She shows no interest in killing dragons and can only even indirectly cause the deaths of one particular dragon who is her enemy and two more who choose to fight for said first dragon. But sure keep trying to paint her as a racist for the audacious crime of wanting to remove her political opponents from political power.

It's pretty clear Nemesis was considered a hero by a large part of humanity, given the fact that he and his supporters were so popular that the Church was forced to turn the Elites into heroes despite them having being enemies. Edelgard isn't really too interested in that conflict except to note that it probably was a conflict without a clear obvious good guy or bad guy. (And she's very likely right about that.)

55 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

It appeard that Dimitri dies before Dedue. It's unclear whether Dedue dies of the wounds he sustained in battle, or is able to fight on. Given his absence in the subsequent chapter, I choose to believe the former. Alternatively, he tries to catch up to them, but as a Fortress Knight, he's just too slow.

Dedue doesn't really sound close to death in that scene, so I definitely feel like he survived. What he would have tried to do thereafter is left to interpretation. I do hope he found a happiness in some form instead of going out on a fruitless revenge quest (although I admit the latter is reasonably likely).

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

It's pretty clear Nemesis was considered a hero by a large part of humanity, given the fact that he and his supporters were so popular that the Church was forced to turn the Elites into heroes despite them having being enemies. Edelgard isn't really too interested in that conflict except to note that it probably was a conflict without a clear obvious good guy or bad guy. (And she's very likely right about that.)

Isn't that what the Church already preaches, though? They describe Nemesis and the Ten Elites as good people (hence, being "rewarded" with Crests and Relics), before they "turned bad", forcing Seiros and the Four Saints to kill them. Edelgard has a far rosier picture of Nemesis - that him "turning bad" was an invention of the Church, who scapegoated him to secure their own power. Interestingly, the "true story" of Nemesis paints him in a far worse light than the Church's original story - his Crest and Relic were "earned" by killing Sothis. Same for the other Ten Elites, but with Nabateans in their case. It's likely that they had legitimate grievances against the Nabateans, but the Church's official narrative makes them look far nobler than is likely deserved.

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Dedue doesn't really sound close to death in that scene, so I definitely feel like he survived. What he would have tried to do thereafter is left to interpretation. I do hope he found a happiness in some form instead of going out on a fruitless revenge quest (although I admit the latter is reasonably likely).

Best-case scenario (for Dedue, at least) - he returns to Duscur, and unites the survivors into a community independent of the Adrestian Empire.

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7 hours ago, SnowFire said:

There's a lot of complaints to be had about the Slitherers plot wherein we're supposed to simultaneously accept that they are both A) competent and threatening but B) thwartable by Meddling Kids, but "their appointed tool to destroy the Church does a great job at it but also turns out harder to control than expected" is not really one of them?  That, and Cordelia gaining huge influence in the Kingdom, are easily the two most effective things we see Slitherers do in the game, even despite Edelgard's antipathy to them.  She certainly messes with the Church on all routes.  And they do have a plan to keep her in check, it's the same plan as always of "kill people who get in our way" and that plan isn't even completely horrible.  (The Plan not actually working in CF is...  well, come on, of course it's not going to work, 3H isn't that kind of story to just roll credits after Arianhod with "and then everyone we were controlling died in a nuke, The End."  But that's a factor the Slitherers can't control, and they can still play for some sort of assassin in the shadows plot long-term - Hubert's line about now House Vestra's war begins, which implies that there's shadowy assassins to war against and possibly lose against, meaning CF Edelgard isn't home free yet post-credits.)   

If you're saying the only thing that stops them from doing the obvious (nuke edelgard when she can't possibly survive) is just so the player can't lose then that's just showing that the Slithers are a poorly designed antagonist. They should have never given them such ridiculous capabilities (shapeshifting, mega tech complete with nukes) if they weren't able to properly write with their implied threat level in mind.

Quote

More generally, to the extent that you want real life analogues to situations even in fantasy, conspiracy plotters who think they're very clever backing somebody and that somebody not actually doing what they expect is EXCEEDINGLY common in real history.  (At risk of Godwining myself, there's a certain famous incident in 1933 where crufty old German conservative politicians figured they could give a certain clownish dude who was popular with a different segment of the electorate the Chancellorship, and he'd be easy to manipulate, and worst comes to worst President Hindenburg, a good ol' boy conservative, would keep things in check...   and then Hindenburg died...  not comparing this to Edelgard in any other way of course, just mean the general idea of whoops-that-didn't-go-as-expected is a very valid point to stick in stories where a group puts a puppet ruler in charge, and the puppet cuts their strings.)

Those conspirators didn't have shapeshifting or nukes.

7 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I don't really think Rhea and Medeus make for a very good comparison. Rhea at least has some of her heart in the right place while Medeus is just your generic evil overlord who needs another character to claim he had good intentions, without Medeus himself ever doing or saying anything to suggest this. Rhea also isn't quite a dictator. Highly powerful and influential to be sure but she's not a tyranical overlord who rules the three nations with an iron fist. As long as they follow her teachings the Empire, Kingdom and Alliance seem mostly free to rule themselves as they please. Personally installing the families that slaughtered her people as the highest members of the nobility, even as a means to assume power also doesn't seem something a dictator would do. 

Rhea is benevolent but flawed and mentally unstable. Medeus is just the Fire Emblem equivalent of Sauron. 

I was talking about how CF!Rhea's place as an antagonist is less effective than Edelgard's since the latter actually tries to engage with Dimitri's ideas and shows she does have an argument if a wrong one like the Commies did. I call her "dragon dictator lady" since that's what she's shown as with the route lacking much information to confirm she's indeed more than that.

4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

She shows no interest in killing dragons and can only even indirectly cause the deaths of one particular dragon who is her enemy and two more who choose to fight for said first dragon. But sure keep trying to paint her as a racist for the audacious crime of wanting to remove her political opponents from political power.

She's the one who calls them beasts in human skin and yaps about muh humanity and yaps about who shouldn't be in fodlan.

Quote

It's pretty clear Nemesis was considered a hero by a large part of humanity, given the fact that he and his supporters were so popular that the Church was forced to turn the Elites into heroes despite them having being enemies.

Plenty of Germans followed Hitler and others didn't oppose him until it became convenient. The empire's human leadership was also complicit if only unintentionally in both the Elites being turned into "heroes" and the Crestville becoming what it did since they spared Nemesis' followers families for submission instead of killing them all sooner or later.

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Edelgard isn't really too interested in that conflict except to note that it probably was a conflict without a clear obvious good guy or bad guy. (And she's very likely right about that.)

One side resorted to legit genocide when given the chance and the other didn't (especially when the dragons were far more advanced than the humans when they first settled and certainly could have performed a culling rather than share their knowledge). Edelgard is surprised when she's told that Nemesis was just a criminal and doesn't ever acknowledge his army's atrocities combined with never showing she knows any of the actual backstory (that isn't from how the Slithers and official propaganda spun it). Throw her in actual words when speaking to or on a dragon and you have a pretty picture, which is that she's another Nemesis as the Slithers made her to be complete with scapegoating the remaining dragons and being ignorant on just what the Slithers are/have done compared with the dragons (like how she never acknowledges it was the Slithers acting through Nemesis who made the Crests making them just as responsible for the Crest System as Rhea).

Edited by Kalken

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

Isn't that what the Church already preaches, though? They describe Nemesis and the Ten Elites as good people (hence, being "rewarded" with Crests and Relics), before they "turned bad", forcing Seiros and the Four Saints to kill them. Edelgard has a far rosier picture of Nemesis - that him "turning bad" was an invention of the Church, who scapegoated him to secure their own power. Interestingly, the "true story" of Nemesis paints him in a far worse light than the Church's original story - his Crest and Relic were "earned" by killing Sothis. Same for the other Ten Elites, but with Nabateans in their case. It's likely that they had legitimate grievances against the Nabateans, but the Church's official narrative makes them look far nobler than is likely deserved.

Nemesis is called the "King of Liberation" so you have to wonder how he earned that title. And again, the Elites were so popular among humans that Seiros had an easier time channeling that popularity into having them still be regarded as heroes.

I hesitate to call them "noble" in the sense that they were obviously killing dragons, but I strongly suspect there was some serious anti-human oppression going on that led to the Elites being treated as popular revolutionaries. We don't know for sure, but that's the impression I get.

Regardless I don't think Edelgard actually cares that much about their morality. She cares about the fact that the Church has constructed their own false narrative of history and used it to maintain control over the nobility and hence all people.

7 minutes ago, Kalken said:

She's the one who calls them beasts in human skin

She's... not wrong, though. "Beast" is a well-defined word in Fodlan (see: black beast, white beast, deminic beast) and the Nabateans are beasts by that definition. And they're pretending to be human (for understandable reasons, granted). I don't recall her even saying they shouldn't be in Fodlan (do you have a quote for that?), just that they shouldn't hold power over humans. Which seems reasonable!

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11 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I actually don't think we're supposed to think the Slitherers are competent. Threatening yes but not at all competent. I strongly suspect that unlike Team Garon they are written with the explicit gimmick of being incompetent. The way both Solon and Kronya loses their disguises and positions in the academy just because they couldn't resist being cartoonishly evil, them being defeated by highschoolers, Dimitri stopping Solon by complete accident, that one idiot dying because he decided to go stand in the poison they summoned, them losing control of their beasties and needing Hubert th save them, or them not at all being prepared for Edelgard overthrowing them despite Thales' chats with Edelgard making it very clear both he and Edelgard plan to turn on each other after taking down Rhea. All this adds up to a faction that's clearly inept and unable to really be the threat they want to be. Crimson Flower treating them like an afterthought is likely the result of the Slitherers indeed being a mere afterthought for Edelgard, and that their downfall is inevitable no matter what happens. 

Even Cornelia who's the only somewhat competent member of them can't resist outing herself to Gilbert when she think she's won.

Tomas and Kronya arguably had the best timing in losing their disguises, if you assume their plan was to sabotage any chance of Byleth uniting with the Flame Emperor, who has been their face. They need Edelgard to defeat Rhea because she has the sheer force army numbers to win. But Edelgard would prefer keeping Byleth alive if not an adversary. Slither probably prioritizes Byleth’s death over Rhea’s, because of their tie to Sothis. Having Byleth under Edelgard’s protection is their nightmare scenario.

 

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18 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Nemesis is called the "King of Liberation" so you have to wonder how he earned that title. And again, the Elites were so popular among humans that Seiros had an easier time channeling that popularity into having them still be regarded as heroes.

I hesitate to call them "noble" in the sense that they were obviously killing dragons, but I strongly suspect there was some serious anti-human oppression going on that led to the Elites being treated as popular revolutionaries. We don't know for sure, but that's the impression I get.

Ehhh, not really?  We know very, very little of society pre-Nemesis's assault on the Red Canyon, but what little we do learn portrays it as idyllic.  Sothis is a sympathetic figure and she doesn't say boo about things being bad, she was apparently composing music at the time.  More generally, it makes more sense for this to be a narrative of a "fall" not a liberation from Seiros's perspective - we tried living in harmony and in peace, we got murdered for that, no more Miss Nice Seiros, the humans will be kept in check this time.  And idk, tyrants who give themselves impressive nicknames and threaten to kill anyone who disagree are pretty common, and can and do generate true love from the "brainwashed" masses. There was mourning in the streets when Stalin died, and it wasn't all performative, a decent amount was sincere.  You can argue that Deng Xiopang did something similar with Mao in China in the 1980s - Mao was still regarded as Awesome And Worthy Of All Those Titles, but he miiiight have been mislead by evil advisors sometimes, so we're gonna clean those parts up while still officially revering Mao.  Hell, Mao still is regarded as super-awesome today, and yet that isn't merited at all.

19 hours ago, Kalken said:

Those conspirators didn't have shapeshifting or nukes.

This is not responsive to the point I was making, but explaining why would require an essay which seems a little over-the-top for 7 words.  I'll try and keep it brief.  In some works, the implications of powers and abilities in the setting is NOT explored long-term; it's all just today's morality play, or a strictly gameplay ability, etc.  You're not supposed to watch an episode of original 1960s Star Trek and say "hey why don't they use that godlike technology they discovered 3 episodes ago to solve this problem."  In other works, the author changes one or two things about a setting from real-Earth expectations, and then fully explores what this means - often resulting in aspects of life that are obvious to characters who've lived in the setting their whole lives, but are weird to us.  This is usually the harder-side of sci-fi, but occasionally fantasy too (maybe Mistborn as the closest fantasy example?).  Most stories are at least somewhat in-between, although they generally lean toward the former.

Anyway, my point is that Fire Emblem is not the latter kind of story.  It's like complaining that Peter Parker doesn't sell his formula for ultralight yet strong web shooters to become a zillionaire and radically change the Marvel setting, as all sorts of wish list construction projects suddenly become viable and start being built.  That's an interesting story to tell, but it isn't this one.  However, that does NOT remotely imply that this means the real-world connection is severed.  In many, many stories that don't take updating-the-setting too seriously, they can and do use real-world analogues and issues, and this makes them stronger, not weaker.  Star Trek or the Twilight Zone in the 50s/60s had plenty of parts that rang true to real life despite the wackiness going on elsewhere.  They just weren't telling a story about the implications of technology/power X, they were telling a story about paranoia or racism or diplomacy that happened to use power X to set it up.

Fire Emblem already doesn't update its own internal reality based on the technology / abilities we see in it.  Despite the fact that the Slitherers "should" be more powerful given the tech they have, they just aren't, just like 10x other aspects of reality that don't 100% follow based on what we see of what's possible.  So forget about the shapeshifts & nukes, it's still a valid parallel because the game wants it to be, and so it is.

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7 hours ago, SnowFire said:

Ehhh, not really?  We know very, very little of society pre-Nemesis's assault on the Red Canyon, but what little we do learn portrays it as idyllic.  Sothis is a sympathetic figure and she doesn't say boo about things being bad, she was apparently composing music at the time.  More generally, it makes more sense for this to be a narrative of a "fall" not a liberation from Seiros's perspective - we tried living in harmony and in peace, we got murdered for that, no more Miss Nice Seiros, the humans will be kept in check this time.  And idk, tyrants who give themselves impressive nicknames and threaten to kill anyone who disagree are pretty common, and can and do generate true love from the "brainwashed" masses. There was mourning in the streets when Stalin died, and it wasn't all performative, a decent amount was sincere.  You can argue that Deng Xiopang did something similar with Mao in China in the 1980s - Mao was still regarded as Awesome And Worthy Of All Those Titles, but he miiiight have been mislead by evil advisors sometimes, so we're gonna clean those parts up while still officially revering Mao.  Hell, Mao still is regarded as super-awesome today, and yet that isn't merited at all.

This is not responsive to the point I was making, but explaining why would require an essay which seems a little over-the-top for 7 words.  I'll try and keep it brief.  In some works, the implications of powers and abilities in the setting is NOT explored long-term; it's all just today's morality play, or a strictly gameplay ability, etc.  You're not supposed to watch an episode of original 1960s Star Trek and say "hey why don't they use that godlike technology they discovered 3 episodes ago to solve this problem."  In other works, the author changes one or two things about a setting from real-Earth expectations, and then fully explores what this means - often resulting in aspects of life that are obvious to characters who've lived in the setting their whole lives, but are weird to us.  This is usually the harder-side of sci-fi, but occasionally fantasy too (maybe Mistborn as the closest fantasy example?).  Most stories are at least somewhat in-between, although they generally lean toward the former.

Anyway, my point is that Fire Emblem is not the latter kind of story.  It's like complaining that Peter Parker doesn't sell his formula for ultralight yet strong web shooters to become a zillionaire and radically change the Marvel setting, as all sorts of wish list construction projects suddenly become viable and start being built.  That's an interesting story to tell, but it isn't this one.  However, that does NOT remotely imply that this means the real-world connection is severed.  In many, many stories that don't take updating-the-setting too seriously, they can and do use real-world analogues and issues, and this makes them stronger, not weaker.  Star Trek or the Twilight Zone in the 50s/60s had plenty of parts that rang true to real life despite the wackiness going on elsewhere.  They just weren't telling a story about the implications of technology/power X, they were telling a story about paranoia or racism or diplomacy that happened to use power X to set it up.

Fire Emblem already doesn't update its own internal reality based on the technology / abilities we see in it.  Despite the fact that the Slitherers "should" be more powerful given the tech they have, they just aren't, just like 10x other aspects of reality that don't 100% follow based on what we see of what's possible.  So forget about the shapeshifts & nukes, it's still a valid parallel because the game wants it to be, and so it is.

That being said they really shouldn't have given the Agrathans nuke capabilities. It should be such a massive game changer for the situation yet it just isn't. The Agarthans actually use their shape shifting in part 1 to influence the plot, but the nukes never actually do, despite being freaking nukes (I don't think they kill even a single named character). It would be ridiculously easy to write them out of the story. The closest things the Javelins of Light have to actually influencing events is allowing Hubert to find the Agarthans hide out which let's face it wouldn't be see outside of his capabilities if just managed to find out with offscreen spy shenanigans. A story doesn't have to be about exploring a certain technology, but don't put in such game changing technology unless it's actually setting up something else in the plot to explore, which the shape shifting does, but the nukes just don't.

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2 hours ago, Jotari said:

That being said they really shouldn't have given the Agrathans nuke capabilities. It should be such a massive game changer for the situation yet it just isn't. The Agarthans actually use their shape shifting in part 1 to influence the plot, but the nukes never actually do, despite being freaking nukes (I don't think they kill even a single named character). It would be ridiculously easy to write them out of the story. The closest things the Javelins of Light have to actually influencing events is allowing Hubert to find the Agarthans hide out which let's face it wouldn't be see outside of his capabilities if just managed to find out with offscreen spy shenanigans. A story doesn't have to be about exploring a certain technology, but don't put in such game changing technology unless it's actually setting up something else in the plot to explore, which the shape shifting does, but the nukes just don't.

Come to think of it, for a secretive society that tries to influence Fodlan society from the shadows... ICBMs are almost comically out-of-sync with their modus operandi otherwise. Disguises, lies, blackmail, this stuff makes sense. But when it's obvious something happened, people are going to ask questions, and look for the perpetrators. This kind of power is better for establishing terrified obedience to a known authority.

If Twiztid really want to destroy the structures in question (Fort Merceus, Arianrhod, Shambhala), why not do it through a controlled demolition? Say, sneak some "explosive bricks" among the building's foundation. These can be ignited, either through a remote signal, or through bringing a unique "ignition" substance into proximity. That way, they can still blow up places they've already "sabotaged", without having an unlimited power to nuke wherever, whenever they feel like. Plus, it won't be clear to outsiders that the demolitions were due to sabotage, rather than a structural flaw.

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18 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Come to think of it, for a secretive society that tries to influence Fodlan society from the shadows... ICBMs are almost comically out-of-sync with their modus operandi otherwise. Disguises, lies, blackmail, this stuff makes sense. But when it's obvious something happened, people are going to ask questions, and look for the perpetrators. This kind of power is better for establishing terrified obedience to a known authority.

If Twiztid really want to destroy the structures in question (Fort Merceus, Arianrhod, Shambhala), why not do it through a controlled demolition? Say, sneak some "explosive bricks" among the building's foundation. These can be ignited, either through a remote signal, or through bringing a unique "ignition" substance into proximity. That way, they can still blow up places they've already "sabotaged", without having an unlimited power to nuke wherever, whenever they feel like. Plus, it won't be clear to outsiders that the demolitions were due to sabotage, rather than a structural flaw.

Side questions, why did they even use the nukes to blow up their own fortress? If they'd used them on Gronder they would have taken out absolutely everyone of importance in one fell swoop (well outside of Silver Snow where Seteth and Byleth are just chilling out at the Monastery). How did the Death Knight know about the Nukes? Edelgard is completely ignorant of them in Crimson Flower until the Agarthans use them to flex.

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10 hours ago, Jotari said:

How did the Death Knight know about the Nukes? Edelgard is completely ignorant of them in Crimson Flower until the Agarthans use them to flex.

The Death Knight's loyalties are a mashup of

Spoiler

"He works for Edelgard/The Flame Emperor", "Actually he's an agent of Twiztid", "Actually actually he just likes killing". Maybe he learned of them while he was on-loan to Thales, and just never told Edelgard?

It's a stretch, though.

10 hours ago, Jotari said:

Side questions, why did they even use the nukes to blow up their own fortress? If they'd used them on Gronder they would have taken out absolutely everyone of importance in one fell swoop (well outside of Silver Snow where Seteth and Byleth are just chilling out at the Monastery).

They seem to want to keep Edelgard alive, at least until they've gotten their revenge on Rhea. So firing them on Gronder wouldn't fit into their 11-D backgammon strategy.

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On 3/20/2021 at 5:07 PM, Kalken said:

If you're saying the only thing that stops them from doing the obvious (nuke edelgard when she can't possibly survive) is just so the player can't lose then that's just showing that the Slithers are a poorly designed antagonist. They should have never given them such ridiculous capabilities (shapeshifting, mega tech complete with nukes) if they weren't able to properly write with their implied threat level in mind.

There are multiple things I think this doesn't take into account. 1) Launch time of the Javelin of light is unknown and probably takes a bit to aim properly and all of that.  2) The down time between launches is probably considerable considering there is only one launch per route. 3) Given Jeritza was able to know the nuke was coming and warn Byleth to run its possible that the same could happen with launches or someone on the battlefield know that something is up. Keep in mind the armies are way bigger than potrayed on screen and because of their sizes the distances are probably bigger than the maps accurately portray. So launching a javelin might not be as effective as people think because of the respect space that the armies give each other 4) They might have still needed Edelgard to be alive for the plans to work until after the war at least 5) More importantly they might have just plain underestimated where Edelgard was at her Slither removal plot. Its very possible that  Corniella's death was their first indication that she is not the puppet they thought she was.  Hubert and Edelgard did their best to keep up appearances around twsid and make themselves look trustworthy to twsid and were able to catch Cornellia by surprise. The reason why might be as simple as they didn't think Edelgard was ready to do that and they might have trusted their sources about Edelgard going to the kingdom's capital a bit too much. 6) The battle of Tailten plains which is probably the battle people think that twisd could just nuke them the most was bit messy due to weather.  If twisd wanted to nuke all the major players it wouldn't be easy given how staggered and separated the kingdom and church armies were in the battle. Rhea's location in particular wasn't easy to pin down at the start and she is probably the person they wanted to nuke the most.  7) Lastly given real weaponry is effected by weather the javelins might also be depending on how they work so maybe mute for the Tailtien plains simply because of rain alone its an unknown.

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8 hours ago, vikingsfan92 said:

There are multiple things I think this doesn't take into account. 1) Launch time of the Javelin of light is unknown and probably takes a bit to aim properly and all of that.  2) The down time between launches is probably considerable considering there is only one launch per route. 3) Given Jeritza was able to know the nuke was coming and warn Byleth to run its possible that the same could happen with launches or someone on the battlefield know that something is up. Keep in mind the armies are way bigger than potrayed on screen and because of their sizes the distances are probably bigger than the maps accurately portray. So launching a javelin might not be as effective as people think because of the respect space that the armies give each other 4) They might have still needed Edelgard to be alive for the plans to work until after the war at least 5) More importantly they might have just plain underestimated where Edelgard was at her Slither removal plot. Its very possible that  Corniella's death was their first indication that she is not the puppet they thought she was.  Hubert and Edelgard did their best to keep up appearances around twsid and make themselves look trustworthy to twsid and were able to catch Cornellia by surprise. The reason why might be as simple as they didn't think Edelgard was ready to do that and they might have trusted their sources about Edelgard going to the kingdom's capital a bit too much. 6) The battle of Tailten plains which is probably the battle people think that twisd could just nuke them the most was bit messy due to weather.  If twisd wanted to nuke all the major players it wouldn't be easy given how staggered and separated the kingdom and church armies were in the battle. Rhea's location in particular wasn't easy to pin down at the start and she is probably the person they wanted to nuke the most.  7) Lastly given real weaponry is effected by weather the javelins might also be depending on how they work so maybe mute for the Tailtien plains simply because of rain alone its an unknown.

The down time is 2 months at max, as Thales uses them to destroy Shambala two months after Mercius. And that's even assuming there is required downtime as it's pure speculation on the character's part. Course their speculation does make sense, but two months is the max given the events.

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On 3/18/2021 at 2:06 PM, Jotari said:

Based on how the game turned out, I'm given the impression it was rather late in the development that they decided to expand out the routes, which leads me to think it was a mandate by someone rather than people getting over ambitious. An over ambitious addition of routes would probably be done when several are already mostly finished, yet none of the individual routes of Three Houses actually feels finished (at least to me).

Literally everything we've heard of the game suggests that all four routes were planned from very early on. Apparently the idea that the ntire game was founded on was Sigurd, Eldigan, and Quan's backstory in FE4, which immediately  suggests three different main characters. We also know that SS was the first route written, and the very existence of Claude and Dimitri, or even the Blue Lions and Golden Deer in general, make zero sense if SS was intended to be the only route when it was written, since neither Claude or Dimtiri actually do anything on SS, and and you never fight the other two houses the way you do on the other routes. The existence of Claude, Dimitri, BL and GD in SS only makes sense if there was always intended to be other routes where they are actually relevant. From what we've been told it also seems that the existence of two BE routes was planned pretty much since it was first decided that Edelgard would be the main antagonist. It rally makes no sense to not assume that all four were inteded and planned for since very early on in development.

On 3/19/2021 at 8:12 AM, Jotari said:

The method to spare them is also silly, you have to defeat them with Byleth or Edelgard

You can't spare Seteth or Flayn with Edelgard, you have to defeat them with Byleth. Or rather, you have to defeat the first one with Byleth. Once either Seteth of Flayn has been spared, the other one  will also retreat regardless of who you beat them with.

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25 minutes ago, Druplesnubb said:

From what we've been told it also seems that the existence of two BE routes was planned pretty much since it was first decided that Edelgard would be the main antagonist. It rally makes no sense to not assume that all four were inteded and planned for since very early on in development.

It's not clear that they originally planned Edelgard and Hubert to be playable post-skip in any capacity. At the very least, the shortness of the route, and the lack of cutscenes or CGs, suggest that Crimson Flower was not prioritized.

29 minutes ago, Druplesnubb said:

You can't spare Seteth or Flayn with Edelgard, you have to defeat them with Byleth. Or rather, you have to defeat the first one with Byleth. Once either Seteth of Flayn has been spared, the other one  will also retreat regardless of who you beat them with.

What I've heard is, if Seteth is killed first, he retreats, as does Flayn. I haven't been qble to verify this in practice, though 

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