2018’s Fire Emblem game announced one year ago finally has a name and a release date. Here’s everything you need to know about Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
The game is coming July 26, 2019. It’s been delayed from the original spring release window to allow for more development time, according to a recent Nintendo Direct.
The story takes place in Fódlan where the Church of Seiros reigns, according to the trailer. The land is divided into three main kingdoms (hence the title of the game), Adrastea, Leicester and Faerghus.
Update (Feb. 13, 2019): A new trailer gave us some more story details. The 1,000-year-old Adrestian Empire controls the south region of Fódlan. The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus controls the frigid north. A league of nobles all control the Leicester Alliance to the east. The three kingdoms live in relative harmony after a big war.
Your character travels to the Garreg Mach Monestary and becomes a teacher at the officer’s academy. The Monestary is the home base of the Church of Seiros, the religion of Fódlan which brings order to the three kingdoms. Eventually a girl named Sothis starts appearing in your mind. The officer’s academy are controlled by three houses. Edelgard leads the Black Eagles which represents Adrestian, Dimitri leads the Blue Lions which represents Faerghus and Claude leads the Golden Deer which represents the Leicester Alliance.
From the gameplay trailer, we can see that Three Houses will retain the turn-based tactics combat with characters moving and fighting along a grid-based map.
As Polygon pointed out, heroes have multiple options at their disposal before engaging enemies. They can select from Attack, Magic, Combat Arts, Formation, Equip, Items, and Wait. The ability to select between attacking and magic is especially interesting, as it implies that heroes can attack with both physical attacks and magic attacks when most heroes are relegated to either one or the other. We saw Combat Arts back in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia which were attacks with special effects that damaged the user.
The game appears to include groups of soldiers surrounding individual heroes instead of those heroes being on their own as we see in the trailer. Soldiers can also get into different battle formations which may yield a combat advantage similar to the classic triangle weapon advantage system present in nearly all Fire Emblem games.
In addition to Attack, Weapon Range, and HP character stats, Three Houses has Hit, Crit, AS, Avo, End, and Rsl as pointed out by Polygon. Weapon hit rate and critical chance was previously tied to the Skill stat but now they’re two separate stats. End and Rsl likely means Endurance and Resilience which likely lowers the damage of physical and magic attacks respectively as was the case in previous games. The function of AS is currently unknown. Weapon durability appears to be back with weapons supposedly breaking after being used too many times a la Fire Emblem Awakening.
There also appears to be a castle hub world where you can train heroes.
Update (Feb. 13, 2019): According to the recent Nintendo Direct, you get to play as your own character who can choose between one of the three houses at the officer’s academy to lead. Students travel to different lands for real battle experience. Your students will live and die based on your strategy. At the academy, students can train their skills in weapons and magic. Students can also interact with each other to strengthen their bonds and support each other in the battlefield.
The game will release with a special edition which includes an artbook, sound selection CD, steelbook case and 2020 calendar.
Nintendo was quiet on Fire Emblem 2018 since they announced the game for Switch during the Fire Emblem Direct back in January 2017.
Despite how quiet the company was, there were some rumors about it. LeakyPandy claimed that the game will be called “Fire Emblem: Elegy for the Brave.” While the subtitle bay be an old working title and not the final name, the user was confident that the game’s themes revolve around soldiers passing away. The user also claimed that the game will come out sometime in the summer.
In an July 2017 interview translated by Kantopia, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Director Toshiyuki Kusakihara said that the development team has been working to make the characters more realistic in terms of their proportions and movements than the more anime-inspired Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates. Shadows of Valentia Producer Hitoshi Yamagami added that the development team for Fire Emblem on the Switch will likely change around.
With the release of the trailer, we can see that the art style has changed quite a bit from the previous few Fire Emblem games with the character designs in particular looking more like something from a Shin Megami Tensei game.