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5 Things We Want Answered Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Featured Image
5 Things We Want Answered Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Featured Image

5 Things We Want Answered in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

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Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a hack ‘n’ slash, Dynasty Warriors-inspired spinoff of Nintendo’s ever-popular Fire Emblem series. With the immensely successful Three Houses at the helm, Three Hopes will return players to the kingdom of Fodlan, the continent of the most recent Fire Emblem entry, rather than Aytolis from Fire Emblem Warriors 2017.

Three Hopes aims to deliver an alternative, what-if scenario to the Three Houses’ story, in the same vein as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity managed to accomplish. Putting players in the shoes of mercenary Shez, they will learn and fight alongside the main lords of Three Houses as a fellow students rather than as a professor. However, things are not as they seem…

Though it may be bringing back the classic Musou gameplay, Three Hopes is more than just a fresh coat of Fire Emblem paint on a Warriors game. It teases mechanics and features that highlight more Fire Emblem goodness than the previous Warriors title could. 

Amidst this hype, I bring you questions I want Three Hopes to (hopefully) answer by the time the game releases this June.

1. Return of the Skill/Crest Tree in Three Hopes

A mechanic featured in the Fire Emblem Warriors 2017 was the skill crest market and tree. Not to be confused with the crests from Three Houses, Warriors’ crests functioned as equippable items crafted from certain materials to boost and buff characters’ abilities. Every character has their own tree for players to grow, unlock, and develop.

Provided the player gathered certain materials, promoted particular units, or crafted specific crests, they could create skill boost crests. In contrast to the previously mentioned crests, skill boost crests are Fire Emblem skill-based crests unique to each character that provide special effects in combat. Once learned, these crests are also available to other characters, provided they possess the right resources. 

Though not one-for-one as their original depictions, the skill boost crests gave players unique ways to customize and build their characters with the right crest combinations, turning already powerful heroes into absolute behemoths. 

With that in mind, I wonder if Three Hopes will bring back this system. It is a neat, if grindy, way to flesh out and strengthen the cast. However, with Three Hopes introducing character reclassing, a Fire Emblem staple, it gives me pause. Having the ability to reclass all the characters into anything, just like how it was in Three Houses, will allow all characters to learn all skills with enough grinding (unless gender-locked classes are making their much-unwanted return). It will make the Skill/Crest Tree mechanic almost obsolete.

However, I can see a way it can be re-implemented and that is through Three Houses’ crests. In-game and lorewise, crests bestow unique powers to characters who possess them, letting them use certain weapons and items without consequences. In Three Houses’ New Game+, the player could spend renown points to acquire whatever crest they wanted and plant them on any character, letting said unit wield crest-based items without issue (though this did not affect the plot). 

Perhaps it is through this method of unlocking crests for characters that the original Fire Emblem Warriors’ crest system may make a return. It would be a great way to boost up a player’s barracks while also making use of a previously established and functional system. 

2. Holst Making an Appearance in Three Hopes

A gripe many players had with Three Houses, particularly on the Golden Deer route, is the hyping up of and subsequent absence of Holst Goneril. As head of House Goneril and older brother of fan-favorite Hilda Valentine Goneril, Holst is held in high regard by all who mention him. He’s portrayed as a caring, if overbearing, older brother, a staunch believer in equality, and a capable military leader. So much so, that people within the Leicester Alliance thought that Holst should be the one to lead had it not been for Claude’s arrival in Fodlan.

However, despite all the praise Hilda and the cast rest upon Holst’s shoulders and his story’s importance in the Golden Deer route, the Alliance’s golden boy never appears once. He carefully avoids any screen time by instances of pure serendipity or plot contrivance. As such, Holst’s absence left many blue-balled, hungry for a chance where Holst could finally catch a break.

As luck would have it, in the most recent Three Hopes trailer, viewers saw a certain pink-haired, musclebound swordsman duking it out with a robin egg blue-haired opponent in a most impressive fashion. As the swordsman trades blows, keen viewers noticed the man bearing a certain symbol along his fluttering cape: the crest of Goneril.

Whether this solidifies Holst’s appearance or not is still up in the air as the man’s identity, despite bearing the Goneril sigil, is not clear. However, if this mystery man is Holst, what I want Three Hopes to answer is his degree of playability in-game. Fire Emblem Warriors isn’t afraid to have interesting characters locked to NPC roles, as it did with Daario back in 2017.

Hopefully, Holst, whilst making an appearance, is fully playable and not merely an NPC or background character. After all the hype surrounding the man, it’s about time he is let loose.

3. Interclass Recruiting

An integral component of the Three Houses experience was being able to recruit characters to a player’s class/army provided the player fulfilled the necessary conditions to do so. What throws a wrench into this mechanic returning is Three Hopes’ protagonist, Shez.

Unlike Byleth, who is recruited to become a professor by Garreg Mach, Shez is accepted as a student, even if their introduction to the academy is the same. Due to the major difference in roles, Shez may not have the same authority to be able to switch their adjacent class peers over to their class. However, this is pure speculation, expecting the worst-case scenario. It will not be impossible to implement the same mechanic, having Shez persuade their classmates differently to get them to join their class. 

Having this feature gone will result in a huge aspect of Three Houses (and potentially Three Hopes) identity, drama, and tragedy excised from the game. The story details, changes, and reactions of each student depending on recruitment status, prior class, and route taken to play a huge role in worldbuilding and development, making the players’ units feel alive and reactive rather than static cardboard stand-ins. Hopefully, the interclass recruiting returns, allowing players’ stories to unfold and develop how they see fit.

4. The Link Between Sothis and Arval

Acting as a mirror to Three Houses’ avatar Byleth, Shez is also in possession of a tulpa, a spiritual being only they can see. Just like how Sothis, Byleth’s tulpa, saved them from death at the beginning of Three Houses, Shez’s tulpa does the same thing, saving them from death at the start of the story.

Named Arval, this silver-grey clad being screams alien in the medieval fantasy setting. Arval’s clothing looks akin to a cocooned or not fully developed insect, its white markings and scales lining its body up and down. It’s fitting because Arval’s Japanese name is Larvae, whose meaning should be self-explanatory. 

What is curious is the juxtaposition of these tulpas against each other. Sothis and Arval are depicted facing off in the box art in the same manner their avatars are, with Byleth and Shez crossing blades. The similar nature of their powers and existence, makes us wonder what connection there could be between the two spiritual beings and if it has any relevance to Sothis’ mysterious (and not particularly fleshed out) backstory. 

An interesting thing to note is the color of Shez’s hair. When Byleth merges with Sothis in the story, their hair turns to bright, almost minty green, indelibly marking the unification of the two beings. Shez’s hair is a reddish-purple, which lies on the opposite spectrum from Byleth’s hair color. With how these two avatars and tulpas are shown against each other, Shez’s off-putting hair color seems deliberate, remarking on how opposite these characters are from one another. 

Shez’s animosity towards Byleth is easy to understand, as we will get to next, but there seems to be more than what meets the eye between Sothis and Arval. Hopefully, Three Hopes puts these questions to rest while also filling in the gaps regarding Sothis herself, which were left unanswered in Three Houses.

5. Byleth’s Role

 The inclusion of a new avatar character and making said character the protagonist of the story was a curveball no one saw coming. In doing so, it left Three Houses’ protagonist Byleth in a strange purgatory. What role are they playing in the coming events of Three Hopes

What we know is that players can choose the gender of Byleth and Byleth is responsible for nearly killing Shez at the start of the story. Also, rather than being referred to as Byleth, the Three Houses’ avatar is referred to as the Ashen Demon, a moniker they earned for their ruthless reputation on the battlefield.

With the developers leaving fans in the dark, many have begun speculating that Byleth may play an antagonistic role in the story, and it’s hard not to see why. What isn’t as clear-cut is Byleth’s extended role and playability in-game. Though not insanely liked, Byleth still is a popular character, and having them be unplayable in a game they were previously the protagonist of would be a strange move. With that in mind, fans are wondering if there is a secret fourth path in-game with Byleth at the helm, playing out Three Hopes’ story in Shez’s stead. Whether this will be true is not known, but it would boost replayability and the depth of Three Hopes.

All questions will be put to rest when Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes releases on June 24, 2022, for the Nintendo Switch. Till then, all we can do is hope.

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