Yesterday, Nintendo Japan showcased their Three Houses‘s special edition–the “Fódlan Collection”. In our earlier article, we briefly outlined the contents. But since it’s a quiet weekend, I thought I’d have a more thorough look…
To begin with, one of the biggest talking points, although perhaps for the wrong reasons: the game’s boxart and key visual. In case you missed it, Nintendo of America confirmed that they’ll be printing the same boxart. Presumably Europe will follow suit.
As for the artwork itself, the most interesting things for me are the weapons being held by the House Leaders and male/female Byleth. In particular, Edelgard seems to wielding an axe with a fairly unique design that I don’t remember seeing before.
I’m assuming the left side–the longer one–is the axe edge. On the right side, there’s a swirly symbol that resembles a Tomoe, which is apparently widely used in Japanese shrines and as a family emblem.
At first, I thought this axe could be a special weapon, but Dimitri and Claude’s weapons look pretty basic in comparison. What all three share in common is their colour matches their wielder: red/gold for Edelgard, silver/blue for Dimitri and grey/gold for Claude.
So perhaps they could be special weapons after all? If so, they might be personal weapons like the Rapier (a sword wielded by multiple Lords), Reginleif (Ephraim’s lance) and Wolf Beil (Hector’s axe) that only the House Leaders can wield.
Now onto male/female Byleth, the protagonist of the game. You might have noticed that he/she is wielding a very unique sword. During the February trailer, towards the end, Byleth can be seen wielding this exact same sword.
It also seems to be the same sword wielded by both the enemy leader and the church’s leader in the very first trailer. If it wasn’t obvious already, Byleth having this sword is going to be a big deal–and not just a one off occasion.
Chances are Byleth will receive a weakened version of the sword to begin with. In the cutscene from the February trailer, as well as the key visual, it seems the jewel in the sword’s hilt is missing–and instead, there’s a visible hole.
The missing “jewel” in question may also be a “Crest Stone” like the “Crest Stone of Gautier” wielded by a monster. Maybe it’s possible to place different Crest Stones in the sword to power it up–and perhaps a very special Crest Stone will unlock its true power.
Next, we have a few sample pages from the Fodlan Artbook. The first two samples feature concept art of male and female Byleth. Although they’re nice, I couldn’t really gleam any valuable information from them.
The next two samples are a bit more interesting. On the left appears to be Garreg Mach Monastery during the evening. This isn’t 100% confirmed, but the tell-tale spires and its location high atop the mountains suggests it is.
Above is a shot of the monastery during the February trailer. Yup, that looks about the same. Just in case, if you’re wondering why the shape and the spires don’t match up exactly, that’s probably due to the different perspective.
The page on the right is a bit more ambiguous. What is certain though is the crest on the floor of the balcony. This matches up with one of the crests along the left side of the Goddess’s mural. A few people have mentioned it resembles the Mark of the Exalt, but I think it’s a coincidence.
Judging from the similar lighting, I’d wager the two scenes on the right page are both from the same location. Plus it makes more sense to stick two scenes from the same location on the same page.
I’m also guessing these scenes are also from Garreg Mach for a similar reason. Not to mention you can see mountains in the background. But honestly, it could be from anywhere–for example, a castle in Adrestia, Faerghus or Leicester.
Moving on, we have the CD and two music samples. The CD itself has a similar design to the Western one, but is blue instead of gold. As far as I can tell, the order of the crests around the outside edge are the same in both–but different to the Goddess’s mural.
Music sample 1 is the game’s main vocal theme that I’m sure will be quite popular. Strangely, it doesn’t have a title right now. It’s hard to tell if they haven’t thought of a name just yet or they’re withholding the information for some reason…
This track played during the end of the debut trailer. Obviously, since it’s the Japanese special edition, the lyrics are in Japanese. I’m no good at deciphering lyrics, but @vanillastar67 has transcribed them here and they seem correct to me.
Below is a rough translation of the lyrics:
Reach for the dawn, until I can soar.
In my comfort, I trust yet tremble.
Light passing through stained glass; silver candle-lights shimmering.
The lined up smiles are dazzling, bound to their own whereabouts.
I was burned by the mark of power; my true face hidden behind a mask.
Like a nameless small flower, I always wanted to gaze at your side.
The context of the song seems to be a female within the Garreg Mach Monastery who respects a certain someone (*cough* you). The singer is female and she compares herself to a flower. Stained glass and candle-lights can be seen in the Church of Seiro’s HQ, within the monastery.
If I had to guess, the female could be Edelgard or maybe the church leader or perhaps even Sothis? Regardless of who the female is, the second-to-last line is very intriguing. It suggests the female is hiding a secret and she may have been tainted. The word “mark” could also be synonymous with “crest”.
Music sample 2 is “Fódlan’s Dawning Wind”. It played after the world map narration near the start of the February trailer. According to the notes, it’s a song that plays during battle maps. It does sound like one.
After that is the steel book, which depicts a cathedral of some kind. Most likely, it’s from somewhere within Garreg Mach Monastery.
In fact, in the debut trailer, Byleth can be seen running in a place that looks nigh identical. There’s the same tall glass window at the far back, the architecture (especially the pillars) are familiar–and there are even rows of seats visible.
Towards the back, there’s a person with their arms stretched out. At first, I thought it might be this mysterious robed man. However, if you look at their head, they seem to be wearing a headpiece, which matches the church leader’s. The bottom half doesn’t seem to match though.
Whoever this person is, even Nintendo remarks that they seem eerie. No doubt, this person cannot be fully trusted…
To finish off, we have the special edition box. This depicts the three House Leaders standing with their backs towards us, and Garreg Mach Monastery in the backdrop. Likewise, it looks nice, but I couldn’t find anything of note.
That said, the three House Leaders don’t seem to have their weapons from the key visual; Edelgard appears to be wielding an ordinary-looking axe. However, it’s hard to tell, but Claude almost looks like he’s holding a crossbow. It’s probably an illusion though.
Well, that’s everything I picked up. Hopefully it won’t be long until the next piece of Three Houses news!