Famitsu has published a lengthy preview of Fire Emblem: Three Houses detailing the game’s story, characters, and systems.
Get the details below.
■ The Story of Three Territories, Three Houses, and You
Troops filling the plains, a violent clash, a battle brought to its end, and a mysterious girl who appears in the aftermath. This is the strange dream that the protagonist, a member of the mercenary army led by their father, has every night. One day, after having that dream so many times, the protagonist encounters a group of youths attacked by a bandit. Just when the protagonist jumps to protect them from the bandit’s dagger, time comes to a halt, and the girl from the their dreams appears. The girl, Sothis, saved the protagonist’s life with “the power to rewind time.” After telling the protagonist she will lend them her power, she again disappears. The protagonist learns that the youth attacked by the thieves are students of the Garreg Mach Monastery Officer’s Academy, as well as the future leaders of the three major powers of Fodlan. Recognized for their strength in saving the youths, the protagonist is invited to the Academy as a teacher… That encounter was the catalyst of the protagonist’s involvement in an ill-omened fate.
■ The Three Countries of Fodlan and the Garreg Mach Monastery
There are three countries in Fodlan, where the story of Fire Emblem: Three Houses is set. With a history spanning over a millennium, the Adrestian Empire rules the southern half of Fodlan. In the north, the cold lands of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus is governed by a king and his knights. And the Lecester Alliance is a cooperative body ruled by a collective of prominent nobles in the east. While violent war broke out among these three countries in the past, they now maintain a balance of power. At the center of the three countries is the Garreg Mach Monastery, the headquarters of the Church of Seiros, which worships the goddess that protects Fodlan. The Monastery has an academy where the youths who will forge the future of Fodlan study and train every day.
■ The Fate that Awaits You as a Mentor
The player, valued for their skills in defeating the bandit, will lead the students of the Officer’s Academy’s three houses as a professor. The class representatives of each house hail from the three countries of Fodlan, who know that they are fated to lead their country in the future. The guidance of the protagonist will not only influence the students’ fate, but perhaps also the fate of Fodlan…
Originally working as a mercenary, the protagonist becomes a professor at the Officer’s Academy after their talent was recognized. Their mother passed away, but she had once lived with the protagonist’s father, who led the Seiros Knights. At the start of the game, you can choose between male and female appearances. There are no differences in ability based on the appearance you choose.
—Male Protagonist (Default Name: Byleth) (voiced by Yuusuke Kobayashi)
—Female Protagonist (Default Name: Byleth) (voiced by Shizuka Ito)
Jeralt (voiced by Akio Ootsuka)
A living legend famous as the strongest knight in history. Invited to the Monastery alongside the protagonist, he again enlists in the knights.
■ The Mysterious Girl with the Power to Rewind Time
Sothis (voiced by Tomoyo Kurosawa)
A mysterious girl who saved the protagonist on that fated night. Her name is Sothis. Since she usually does not show herself and communicates with the protagonist in their head, no one is aware of her existence other than the protagonist. Also, Sothis has lost her memories of herself.
■ The Young Future Leaders that Bear the Future of Fodlan
The students of the Officer’s Academy are divided into three houses based on their home country. At the beginning of the game, the player can choose from one of the three houses to lead.
Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)
The house in which those from the Adrestian Empire, which has the longest history among the three territories, are enrolled. Many from the Adrestian Empire are better at fighting with magic than weapons. Its class representative is Adrestian Empire princess and future emperor Edelgard von Hraesvelgr.
—Edelgard von Hraesvelgr (voiced by Ai Kakuma)
The Imperial princess who will one day lead the Adrestian Empire as its future emperor. She is a talented woman with a dignified and noble atmosphere.
Blue Lions (Faerghus)
The house in which those from the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus are enrolled. Its class representative is Faerghus prince and future king Dimitri Alexandre Bladud. Perhaps because Faerghus is a country of knights, this house has many that specialize particularly in the use of spears.
—Dimitri Alexandre Bladud (voiced by Kaito Ishikawa)
A refreshingly friendly young man embodied by politeness and chivalry, but is also somewhat shadowy.
Golden Deer (Lecester Alliance)
The house in which those from the new noble collective that is the Lecester Alliance are enrolled. Many students from the Lecester Alliance are skilled particularly in the use of bows and arrows. Its class representative is Claude von Regan, the son of the Lecester Alliance’s lead family. Golden Deer seems to have more commoner students than other houses.
—Claude von Regan (voiced by Toshiyuki Toyonaga)
A young man with a friendly face. He seems like the type that does not think too deeply about things, but he is actually a person of keen discernment.
■ Weave the Students’ Futures through Battle and Training
In addition to role-playing simulation-style battle parts, there are also Officer’s Academy parts where you train and interact with the students. Fire Emblem: Three Houses will have more training elements than previous entries in the series.
■ Battle Parts: One Move Could Determine Victory or Defeat
Fire Emblem: Three Houses uses a turn-based battle system identical to previous games in the series. Each unit moves one at a time, and the turn changes to the enemy side once all units have taken action. Since a time-rewind system has also been introduced, even newcomers to the series can play with ease.
Battles Against Numerous Enemies
While previous Fire Emblem games have often depicted scenarios of countless soldiers on the battlefield, battles develop as one-versus-one matches. In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, you will be able to witness intense scenes of battle in which countless soldiers wage war. Additionally, a system new to the series will also appear. While the details are still unknown, stay tuned for future updates.
In battle, there are various terrains on the map, and the units positioned in that terrain will receive the effects it grants. Since terrains include forests and fortresses that increase evasion and defense, it is important to learn their effects and utilize them at the proper times.
Here is a forest terrain, which increases your evasion rate against enemy attacks:
This terrain can be used to recover HP:
You can also set teleportation portals to warp to other areas on the map:
This is a helpful system (that can be used a limited number of times) for when you want to turn back the clock in cases such as when an ally has been defeated. By using it, you can instantly go back one move and choose a different command. With save and load, there is no need to redo a battle from the beginning.
Modes and Difficulty
At the start of the game, you can select a difficulty and mode. Difficulties include normal and hard, which affect the strength of enemies. Modes include casual, which let you revive fallen allies, and classic, which does not let you revive fallen allies.
Unlike the class change systems of previous games, you do not return to Level 1 after changing classes, and the type of weaponry available to you does not change. You can change classes an unlimited number of times once you pass the class’ test.
■ Officer’s Academy Parts
During Officer’s Academy Parts, you will interact with students and developer their abilities. Moving your character around the Monastery in 3D graphics is a feature that has not appeared in previous Fire Emblem titles. Explore every nook and corner of the Monastery, connect with students, and learn alongside them. The bonds between professor and student are an ever-important element of Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Teaching and Interaction
At the Officer’s Academy, you can train the students and raise their Professor Levels. You can also interact and deepen your bonds with the students of the house the protagonist is in charge of. While the details are currently unknown, deepening your bonds will have a beneficial effect in battle. Help your students grow to excellence through training and interaction.
—Giving advice to troubled students is one of the jobs of a professor. At times you will even be able to choose a response.
In order to change to a different class and utilize various weapons and skills in battle, you must increase the Professor Level that corresponds to that class. By increasing the Professor Level, you can learn powerful skills, as well as wield high-performance weaponry. Each student has their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Sword – Skill for wielding a sword.
- Lance – Skill for wielding a lance.
- Axe – Skill for wielding an axe.
- Bow – Skill for wielding a bow.
- Reason – Skill for using black and dark magic.
- Faith – Skill for using white magic.
- Flying – Skill required for Flier classes.
- Heavy Armor – Skill required for Armored classes.
- Riding – Skill required for Cavalry classes.
Main Learnable Skills
- Sword Lv. 1 – Hit Rate +5, Avoid +7, and Critical Avoid +5 when using a sword.
- Swordbreaker – Hit Rate and Avoid +20 when using a spear and defeat an enemy wielding a sword.
- Axe Lv. 1 – Hit Rate +7, Avoid +5, and Critical Avoid +5 when using an axe.
- Close Counter – Counterattack when attacked from a square away.
- Reason Lv. 1 – Hit Rate +7, Avoid +5, and Critical Avoid + 5 when using black or dark magic.
- Faith Lv. 1 – Hit +5, Evade +7, and Hissatsu Evade +5 when using white magic.
—Lead Edelgard and her Axe skill level will increase. Learn new skills and increase your strength with an axe in battle.
By increasing the students’ levels, they will be able to take exams to change classes. To take an exam, you must use the Exam Pass that corresponds to that class’ rank. The higher your Professor Levels required by that class, the more likely your chances are of passing.
—Once you pass an exam, you can change to that class at any time. These exams can also be taken by the protagonist.
Just like previous entries in the Fire Emblem series, you can advance to various classes. The protagonist and the students will start from a Commoner or Noble class depending on their birthplace, and can change to other classes by increasing their Proficiency Levels. Below is an introduction to the First Tier clases that appear in the beginning of the game (Myrmidon, Soldier, Fighter, and Monk). By reaching level 5 and using an First Tier Exam Pass, you can take their Qualification Exam.
—The Commoner and Noble classes. They can use magic to a certain degree, but have no standout traits.
—The Myrmidon. A class that specializes in swords. They are agile and have a high evasion rate.
—The Soldier. They specialize in spear-based attacks. They are highly dexterous and can easily land an attack.
—The Fighter. A class with a bonus on power. In addition to axes, they are also good with bows.
—The Monk. They can use black magic. Magic is classified by white, black, and dark.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is due out for Switch on July 26.