First Nintendo Direct of 2019 Brings News on Fire Emblem Three Houses, Releasing July 26

Nintendo is usually pretty good about giving us just enough information to want more, and this is no exception. During E3 2018, Fire Emblem: Three Houses was lightly detailed, and immediately, the internet took to storm. For the first time in nearly 250 days, we’re getting some real news, in today’s Nintendo Direct that in its own wait screen, mentions solely our game by name.

We’re given an intro by Sothis, our guide through the world.

Shortly afterwards, we’re introduced to Fodlan, the continent of the game, and its many countries and alliances (much like the way Radiant Dawn handled its introductions).

Continuing on, we learn a bit about the game’s primary worlds and religion of Seiros, in which we are part of. The Black Eagles (Adrestian, Edelgard), Blue Lions (Faerghus, Dimitri) and Golden Deer (Leicester, Claude) are introduced as the primary “houses” within the game’s introductory academy, and each house has its own colorful cast.

What’s the quirk? You’re the Professor of Battle of one of these houses.

You’re in charge of raising and teaching your students, guiding their specialties and lesson plans, as well as helping in socialization and battle coordination.

Not much was detailed about battle or the lesson plans itself, but there were quite a bit of names, clips and screenshots to analyze.

Fire Emblem Three Houses is set with its NA release on July 26 of this year.

Of note, there will be a special release including an Artbook, Steelbook, Calendar and Sound Selection CD, in the Seasons of Warfare Edition release.


For those interested in a much more detailed breakdown, keep an eye open for a post by VincentASM later today, our resident overlord and master of all things analysis when it comes to Fire Emblem teasers.

About the Author: Elieson
Single father of 2 in Texas. Avid enthusiast of tile-based games and overall upstanding fellow.
  • Thunderfang

    What I want to know right now is the pre-order information. I remember what happened to the Special Edition of Fire Emblem: if.

  • The lack of emphasis on combat in the footage makes me fear that this will be heavily character focused. A positive though is that the avatar seems to be non-responsive, so praise be that we likely won’t have to deal with illogical hookups.

    On the other hand, the inclusion of one in the first place could be the games undoing. The avatar in Heroes became the main character of a story that, while somewhat bland, was still set in stone. This led to the plot reading like a really bad fanfiction, and the same issue plagued Awakening. In that game, they wanted a traditional FE story with a twist and also a self insert. So the avatar shoved away every other character while being told how amazing, great, and brave they were while every other character sits patiently in a corner until its time to spread their legs. So far none of this seems to be the case in 3H, but it’s hard to say at this point in time. The lack of speaking though is a positive for sure.

    • Theodore Homdrom

      I worry about the Avatar character largely because of how they marketed things in that trailer: “YOU are the hero the world needs!” “YOUR students!” “YOU ALONE can see the dragon girl!” Really makes it seem like the avatar is going to be wayyyyyyyy too big a part of the story, or even the story will revolve around them, and that’s what’s really hurt previous FE titles. The world and other characters get me excited, so much of the game’s concepts and ideas and world and scenario are really exciting, but how they made it pretty clear in that trailer that your avatar is a huge part of the story and even a special sort of chosen one is a big red flag for me. I didn’t hold out hope they’d actually leave that kind of writing behind for modern FE, but I couldn’t help wish for it. Maybe some day they’ll leave the avatar worship behind, but it doesn’t look like Three Houses is the game that does it.

      It does look like the rest of the cast will have more to do and be more their own agents in their own stories, so I’m hoping that’s the case. A lot of this game looks really promising and like a step in the right direction, but the avatar stuff looks like it will, in some ways, be worse than it’s ever been (though it’s a step in the right direction if they don’t give your avatar romance options… or at least not romance options with your students. Please… IS… don’t do it)

      • Sisyphe

        I don’t think the existence of an avatar necessarily says anything about what we can expect from the writing. Sure there’s definitely a thin line with self-insert characters, but I think a teacher/advisor character that isn’t a playable unit and doesn’t have romance options (even better if they don’t speak at all) could be a lot of fun. Besides, stories in general are fairly often about chosen ones, so I don’t think we can conclude anything about that yet. We really know so little about the plot and the style of writing we’re getting. I’m holding out hope that we’ll get a tone that resembles the E3 trailer. I really loved that

        • The issue with that though is that all the 10 other games (+TRS) in the series that don’t have a self insert are all infinitely better from a written standpoint, despite not being masterpieces in their own right. They present a set story that doesn’t have that big a problem vector of making a self insert work. It’s simpler and less constrained by the mechanics of the game. Fates is surprisingly the game that handles its avatar the best, since the split paths allowed for some actual depth and motivation out of the opposing characters.

          Of course, if the 3H avatar is only a visual representation of the player making choices, and doesn’t romance anyone else or have cringeworthy support conversations with them, then that’s something else entirely. It’s just a more developed Mark at that point, which I would not mind at all. Although I did spot a “love points+” icon in the form of a heart in the trailer, so who knows.

          • Sisyphe

            Yeah, personally, I’m really hoping for a Mark, or more developed Mark, but not a playable unit. I still don’t think the reason Awakening and Fates are badly written completely because of the avatar. It’s correlation without causation. They’d be badly written without one. That said, I’m hardly in love with the concept, as I noted.

          • Theodore Homdrom

            Yeah the writing for the FE series has seen a big change in recent years, and I don’t think it helps that it seems like the writing staff for Awakening, Fates, and Shadows of Valentia were all completely different? I know Fates’ main story writer was a manga author, so at least Awakening and Fates had different people in charge of the story and characters. Shadows of Valentia I thought was very well-written (though like you said I don’t think it’s an Avatar or self-insert thing, as both Alm and Celica had shades of the character style for Robin/Corrin but were just better written). So I’m curious how Three Houses will shake out, even if I end up not being a fan of all of the ideas, if they have a strong writing team and execute well on their ideas we could see a really excellent game. FE is a series where its stories, I think, have been strongest when they’ve been well-written, so we can’t really tell how good the story will be just from ideas and concepts.

        • Theodore Homdrom

          A teacher/advisor character not being playable and not having romance options could be fun, but the trailer makes it clear that the Avatar character is definitely playable (seen multiple times as a controlled combat unit alongside student characters in battle scenes).

          I too loved the E3 trailer, so I still don’t fully know what to expect from the full game. The two different trailers have very different focus and tone, so I’m very interested to see how the final game shakes out. This trailer didn’t do much for me since so much of the focus was on the self-insert protagonist, but the world, setting, and other characters really interest me! And the gameplay changes look to be really exciting!

    • Ziko577

      Heroes is what happens when you can’t write a good enough story to keep you engaged and paying for it at the same time. I’m shocked the game hasn’t died yet. 3H is a breath of fresh air to me compared to that piece of crap.

    • Wooster

      Personally, I wouldn’t take the lack of combat as an indication of anything. The game releases after E3, they need to save the juicy footage for then.

      Likewise, I wouldn’t read too much into the school environment. Whether either the hub or the early game setting, it may have little to do with the campaign at large.

  • Sisyphe

    I’m not sure we really learned anything that would allow us to make conclusions about what kind of game we’ll be getting. It looks like we’re returning to the non-unit tactician/avatar, which is neat, but the possibility of school elements doesn’t exactly excite me. Still, it certainly seems like they put more effort into it than they did for Fates.

    • mrkisukes

      I suspect what they showed off tody was just the first few chapters (think Lyn’s mode), with an inciting incident that causes the 3 kingdoms to go to war. Your students look to be trainee classes with wide flexibility in their promotions, with later chapter giving you more set in stone characters, in traditional FE fashion, that can still be “taught” by you.

      They did a similar thing with Fates and Echoes where they focused on the gimmick of the game (Fates was the branching stories and Dragon Veins, Echoes was the dungeon crawling) even though those gimmicks were much more low-key than the initial revealed would’ve led you to believe.

      • Sisyphe

        You could definitely be right. It goes to reiterate my point that we didn’t really learn a whole lot, which I’m more saying for my own benefit, since I’ve just about every reaction to the Direct from “Gods I hate this” to “I must preorder this right now”.

        I think the teaching aspects could be fun from a resource/unit management perspective and I’d be fine being handed a bunch of trainee classes (as an aside, are there three routes in this game, one per house? This article makes it seem that way).

        For me, it’s really going to be about the writing, and we really don’t know anything about that yet. But it is interesting to be that this trailer is so different from the E3 trailer (which I loved)

  • 1% Crit Chance

    I actually really dig the academy setting. It’s something different and has potential for some fun mechanics. I’d rather they branch out with some new ideas like this rather remake the same game over and over.

  • Glavenus

    fateswakening 2

  • mrkisukes

    3Hs is looking like a trashy light novel set in a battle academy…and I love it.

  • chris123sm

    I’m getting some serious Valkyrie Chronicles 2 vibes with the whole academy setting, hopefully they do it right since VC2 wasn’t a fantastic game. Either way, hoping it’s good and people can stop being so toxic about modern FE.

    • mrkisukes

      The fandom has reach critical mass, it’ll never stop being toxic.

  • DivineLion

    already like this Modern look for fire emblem. the way classes are handled is also pretty good. the MU male and female don’t look to bad imo. I don’t really care if we have a MU as long as its done like Robin which he is the first MU to be important in a story, not like corrin. either have it or don’t have it

    • Semi Colon Parenthesis

      “as its done like Robin”
      But Corrin was also important to the story. From the looks of it Byleth seems very integral, so there’s that.

      • DivineLion

        people hated corrin and how fates revelations story line was presented. If Byleth is important or not, im fine with that

  • Kenchi

    what I want to know, will it have casual mode?

    • Thunderfang

      Probably. Intelligent Systems is most likely aware that permadeath scares away many potential customers, plus every Fire Emblem game since New Mystery of the Emblem (FE12) has had some way to play without permadeath. Even in Fire Emblem games without a casual mode, you can still reset the game whenever somebody dies. That’s what most players do.

  • Daniel Smith

    This game looks great but everyone is not asking the right questions…
    which house will you choose on your first playthrough?
    I am thinking Faerghus for me

    • Doctor Robert

      Leicester all the way. Because Federations rock!

      …Unless they have some stupid nerfy perks/powers. Why must they be so cruel to the Free Lycian United Carcino Holy Roman States League Marches???

  • Thunderfang

    This game reminds me of Bastard Magical Instructor so far. I hope a second season comes out soon.

  • Bcardia

    Didn’t like how they barely showed any combat, but other than that, so far so good.

  • mg_3D

    wait- did i see punching in that
    can i have my whole army punch the enemy?
    can i have the avatar punch the enemy to death? that’s what i want, now.

  • 3-13 Archer

    Looks… different. Way better than Fates, though (at least at the moment), and the three “paths” will be in one single game: having to pay for 3 games that didn’t convince me was the main reason I didn’t buy Fates. I still don’t like those generic jrpg designs, and a marriage system will look even worse now, it would turn this game in your classic anime visual novel. But I think the “teaching” thing will heavily rely on strategy and that’s just great.

    • Bcardia

      I’m not seeing how these designs are more “generic jrpg design” than a lot of the designs we got in the past.

      • Sofa Man

        Part of it is that they’re just faces, no head/body gear or accessories that would influence their design. Ex: Ike’s headband, knight armor, pope garb, etc.

        I really hope they fix this by release.

        • Bcardia

          This doesn’t make it more “generic JRPG design”. It’s not like characters wearing armour sets is something unique in the JRPG genre.

          Also, characters wearing uniform-like clothes fits with the context of TH. And besides that, characters wearing clothes not particualry suitable for medieval warfare is something FE always did, even in the older games.

          • Sofa Man

            Maybe it doesn’t make them more JRPG, but it does make them more generic. Even Persona separates it’s cssr by giving them different outfits than their school uniforms.

      • 3-13 Archer

        Most jrpg’s styles are a mix between medieval and modern ages, and so we have motors and flying ships while fighting with swords and bows. These characters’ clothes are uniforms from a random college and people nowadays could wear them without it being too weird. Besides, most faces look the same, even more than Kozaki’s.

  • Doctor Robert

    Me 8 months ago: “I predict you play a lowly tactician/professor from a tiny neutral fief
    with a university to kill and/or die for and, because a war *always* has
    to break out, a war breaks out, forcing you to chose one of the three
    dashing peeps above to the detriment of the other two.”

    Yay! I was right!! Mostly, but Mercenary/Professor is just about the coolest thing ever, I’d sport that.

    Looks exceedingly awesome and promising. Will Intelligent Systems redeem themselves? We. Shall. See. :3