More information on upcoming strategy RPG Fire Emblem: Three Houses has surfaced.
The information has come via Famitsu and an interview with co-directors Toshiyuki Kusakihara and Genki Yokota at Japan Expo. You can find past information on the game here, here, and across Niche Gamer.
Here’s all of the new information:
A new form of boss appears in the game called “Demonic Beasts”. These beasts are so large they take up multiple squares (with the ones we have seen so far taking up a 2×2 area). Not only do they have some kind of protection effect (indicated by yellow tiles that assumedly travel and rotate with the beast), but they have multiple HP bars.
The protection effect can be broken by using weapons they are weak to, along with gambits and combat arts. When one of the protective tiles is broken, their defense lowers and they will not counter-attack next time they are attacked. When all the protection tiles are broken, they enter “Armor Break”- becoming unable to move and dropping rare items.
However, the monster will slowly build up for a super attack that can attack multiple units at once with a harsh blow. This can also regenerate broken protection tiles. Suffice to say, your squad will have to work together to take such a beast down. We have also noted from footage online that the beasts are armed with “Crest Stones”, and that certain attacks can attract the creatures attention and make it face who just attacked it.
In the interview with Toshiyuki Kusakihara and Genki Yokota, they clarified the weapon triangle had not been removed, but it was just “less visible” as Yokota explains:
“The weapon triangle system hasn’t disappeared, it’s just less visible. Will we see it again in future games is difficult to say since we’re working on themes and game mechanics first before thinking about importing features in it. What we wanted to do in Three Houses is to give player freedom in tutoring their students, so that the player can give their favorites students whatever they want in weapons and skills. It helps the player identify with the team they’re raising.”
In short, the Weapon Triangle basically is gone, but as a character improves their skills with weapons, they can learn Combat Arts and abilities that grant similar effects. This includes Swordbreaker for lance users (which in past games had an advantage over sword-wielding units).
- Assassins do well with both sword and bows. They also have access to skills that let them move around easier, and become harder to hit by enemies. Class Skill: Sword Master (+5 Attack while a sword is equipped), Open Lock (Open doors and treasure chests without a key), Sneaking (Become harder to hit).
- Dark Bishop is a class only for male students. But, they can use Dark Magic along side other magical tomes. Class Skills: Dora Δ (Allows you to use that spell without the tome, or attack twice with that tome), Devil Strike (If you attack on your own, +6 Magic), Curse (Adjacent Enemies have -20 Evasion).
- Sword Masters focus on swords, speeds, and using skills to make themselves more powerful. Class Skills: word Expert (+5 Attack while a sword is equipped), Sword Killer (when equipped with a sword, Critical + 10).
- The Wyvern Rider (known as Dragon Knights in Japan) tend to have better stats overall and can fly around freely. However, they have a weakness to magic and bows. Class Skills: Canto (If you have Movement Points remaining after you perform an action, you may move again. This is a recurring ability for mounted units in past Fire Emblem games), Axe Master (+5 Attack while an axe is equipped).
- Warriors mirror Sword Masters in a few ways. While Sword Masters utilize speed and finesse, Warriors are focused on pure attack and axes. Class Skill: Axe Master (+5 Attack while an axe is equipped), Axe Killer (when equipped with an axe, Critical + 10).
- Snipers work very well with a bow as you might expect. In fact, snipers can shoot further with a bow than other units can. Class Skill: Bow Master (+5 Attack while a bow is equipped), Bow Range + 1 (the maximum range of bow weapons is increased by one tile).
Areas of the Officer’s Academy
Arenas have returned in the form of in-game monthly Tournaments focused around a specific weapon. There seems to be a grand prize to boot. Unlike past arenas, players will be able to heal a set amount of HP twice. It is unknown whether this is between or during the many battles of the Tournament.
The Knight’s Quarters is where you can find the Knights of Seiros. Here you can gain Faculty Training from the knights. Likewise the Library lets you read up on the history of Fodland and the Church of Seiros. There are also the Student Dorms, where you can see how your students decorate their rooms and even read some of their books to gain an idea of what they like and earn some EXP. Finally, there is your Personal Room, with a Notice Board to accept quests. It seems Sothis has not gone entirely unnoticed, as rumors have begun to spread of a young girl’s voice coming from your room.
A rather unique area is the amiibo Gazebo. Once you tap an amiibo, you unlock items. Fire Emblem based amiibo are said to grant rarer items, along with tracks from past games.
Other areas were briefly mentioned, but their mechanics were not detailed. Instead they focused on what students tend to hang around there. These include the monastery’s Audience Chamber (where Rhea is usually found) and the Stables (where students who like horses hang out).
The first online feature is “Lost Spirits.” While connected to the internet and in a battle, areas where other player’s characters have died will have a Lost Spirit sitting on it. This special tile will grant bonuses when fighting on it, such as items. However, the odds are its not a safe place to be since someone died on that map. This does not make a unit weaker in any way, but some healthy caution towards nearby units may be called for.
Exchange Students allow you to send a unit with an item from your game onto the internet. Others who receive that unit can pay to hire them to fight along side them. In addition, players can buy items off them at a discount, play mini-games with them, and more. It is unknown what benefits a player gets for sending their unit out, but we assume you may get something in exchange for items sold.
It is unknown if your unit will become unusable while you send them away, or if you can still use units while a duplicate is sent away. From the screenshots below, it seems the character looks like they usually do- but with white or grey hair.
Finally, Global Activity will show what decisions other players made at key points. This is sure to reveal the most popular house the player chooses at the beginning of the game, along with other key moments in the plot. Similar features were also used in Catherine and Detroit: Become Human.
Alois is one of the Knights of Seiros who defend the monastery. A former mercenary deemed a hero, he took up the request to become a teacher.
Gilbert, another Knight of Sieros, is very pious and serious. He rarely talks about himself to boot.
Shamia was a mercenary and deadly with a bow. She joined the Knight of Sieros in order to replay Rhea (the head of the Church of Seiros).
Siril is a servant for Rhea. He is an orphan from the prior war and was taken in by Rhea, living in the monastery.
Setes acts as Rhea’s assistant. He values order and discipline, and seems rather wary towards the protagonist.
Fren is Setes’ sister. Quiet yet curious, she is very protective of her brother and worries about him.
Ieriza is a teacher specializing in swordsmanship. While there are many mysteries about him, his loyalty is unquestionable.
Tomas has been serving as the monastery’s librarian for over 40 years.
Same-Sex Relationships Among Characters
Nintendo of America have confirmed to US Gamer that some characters in your squad will be able to enter same-sex relationships. These will only be available to certain members, and those members have been kept a secret. [Editor’s Note: the article contains alleged leaks for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, claiming to know who the main character Byleth can enter same-sex romance with and one character spoiler]. With the focus on Byleth, we are unsure if same-sex relationships can occur among party members.
In the interview with Toshiyuki Kusakihara and Genki Yokota, they revealed Intelligent Systems managed the artistic direction and game design while Koei-Tecmo handled programming. They said production has gone smoothly, part in thanks to Koei-Tecmo’s familiarity with strategy games like Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Nobunaga’s Ambition. This was combined with their passion for the genre, and their handpicking of developers who liked Fire Emblem.
Kusakihara also stated that it took him 80 hours to beat the game, without skipping dialogue and cutscenes. He feels this means the game could take over 200 hours to complete all thee houses.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is launching for Nintendo Switch on July 26th.