Not too long ago, Famitsu had a 6-page feature on Three Houses, which we covered in detail in this article. However, that’s not all the information they had to share, as additional screenshots (and in higher quality) can be found on their website.
Before continuing, we highly recommend perusing our earlier article, as a lot of the information is the same. This article will only cover the new stuff–and we’ll also be referring to the earlier information at points.
First up, we have clearer official artwork for the key characters: male and female Byleth, Sothis (featured above), Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude.
You may have noticed that Sothis and both Byleth are holding the same golden sword. If you’re not aware, this sword is also in the possession of two other characters in the debut trailer. However, the sword has lost its jewel in the centre.
Next, we have a batch of screenshots for the featured characters, showcasing some of their dialogue. These are mostly the same ones from the magazine, but I think there are some new ones–and the text is infinitely more legible now!
For the record, I tried my best to translate the text, but I am still learning so I apologise if I made any crude mistakes. Also, I took a few liberties to make the dialogue sound like an actual person said it (or not, in Sothis’s case!).
We mercenaries put our lives on the line for each job. If you keep getting your thoughts distracted, you’re gonna die a premature death.
Alright, I’m heading off now. You ready?
You don’t wanna wake up one morning after a student bites the dust, right? Just be careful and lead them like you mean it.
I see. As expected from a scion of man, ’tis a name few have heard of.
Why do I feel a tinge of nostalgia… It seems slumber has taken hold of me again… yawn…
…The answers you seek evade me. Apart from my name, my mind is but a blank slate.
If I were called upon this place, what would I have been doing here…
Human, you shall become accustomed to my arrival! One cannot have you collapsing in shock all the time.
Sir, so you are now in charge of our house. I wonder what transpired behind the scenes?
Teacher, you helped me when we fought the thieves before. I shall endeavour to help you this time.
Heehee, perhaps you are beyond human?
I have much room to grow, so please give me your guidance, Teacher.
Teacher, I commend your precise leadership during the mock battle. With you on our side, routing the foe shall be within our capabilities.
Unbelievable. Even Teacher can sometimes joke around.
Well then, let me re-introduce myself. I’m Claude von Riegan.
Oh. Well, if you are with us, Teacher, then things may get pretty interesting.
Nope, you can’t fool my eyes. There must have been something that only you know, Teacher.
Afterwards, we have a couple of new or clearer gameplay screenshots.
The ones above show Edelgard battling a rascal. Note that Edelgard has a crown-shaped skill (that reminds me a bit of Rightful King from Awakening), plus presumably Sword Level 1, Axe Level 2 and Authority Level 2.
The three skills at the end are tied to weapon rank progression and provide combat buffs (at least sword and axe do).
Moving on, we have Ferdinand fighting a thief. The foe is equipped with Nosferatu, which drains HP in other games. What’s strange is that next to Ferdinand’s HP, there are two triangle shapes side by side. Most other characters have three triangle shapes (or none).
Originally, I assumed these shapes were tied to the unit’s battalion–the knights of Seiros that follow and assist them during battle. More specifically, I thought it was the formation type (three triangles for offense). But perhaps it’s a measure of the battalion’s health? This is another guess though.
Next is a battle between Felix and a Church Soldier. I know what you’re probably thinking–hang on, is the Church our enemy? Well, probably. But it could be a mock battle as well. More importantly, Felix seems to be the swordsman training with Dimitri in the Nintendo Direct trailer.
There’s also a battle between Dorothea and a thief. Dorothea is casting the classic Thunder magic. By the way, I think this scene takes place after the screenshot from the Switch spring commercials. At the time, I guessed that Dorothea was equipped with Thunder–and it seems I was right!
Our next specimen is Bernadetta, who seems to fighting rascals in the same town. Of note, Bernadetta is using a new type of Gambit Boost, or something similar: “Simultaneous Fire”. This seems to make the archers in her battalion all fire at her foe. Hmm, like Claude in the debut trailer?
Another Gambit Boost, but this time featuring Hubert versus a thief. Unlike Bernadetta’s, this one is labelled as a “Co-ordinated Gambit” like the one near the end of the Nintendo Direct trailer. The “weapon” name is “Group Magic: Flame”. Also, Hubert is the previously unnamed eighth member of the Black Eagles, second from the left.
OK, we’re past the halfway point now.
For the next screenshot, there are two things I want to point out. One, I made a mistake in my Famitsu magazine article: there are in fact 9 playable units, not 10. But you’ll have to forgive me, since the original screenshot (on the right) was so blurry.
Also, I forgot to mention this last time, but above Byleth’s map sprite is his allegiance flag, which you might not have seen, unless you were very observant. Normally the flag for the three countries is there, but Byleth is from none of them.
Instead, the flag is apparently that of the Church of Seiros and/or the Garreg Mach Monastery. That makes sense since Byleth was formally recruited by the monastery. Could there be other units with this allegiance too? Like the other teachers. (Image from Dengeki Nintendo, courtesy of AuroraSkye.)
Who doesn’t like a good old Warp tile? Unlike the ones in Thracia 776, these are clearly visible and teleport you to a different Warp tile. In this map, the player seems to be controlling the Golden Deer, as Lysithea (who we identified from the magazine release) can be seen barely to the left.
Also of note, there’s a heavy armour enemy wielding an axe towards the right. It’s been a while since we’ve had axe armours! Furthermore, along the very top, there looks to be two enemy units with a “loot” icon–and one looks like a Thief with a Bow. Presumably defeating these foes earns you their loot.
To space out the gameplay a bit, here’s Lorentz from the Golden Deer meeting his maker.
Of all the foolishness! I, Lorentz, was defeated here?
This screenshot is an example of the time-rewinding feature that is basically the same as the Mila’s Turnwheel from Shadows of Valentia. For the time being, I’m calling it Skyrending Pulse. From my understanding, it’s like a shockwave that rips apart the fabric of space.
Last time, I used the rewind history to determine the names of 2 of the 3 unnamed characters from the Golden Deer. Their names turned out to be correct and now we can see their faces a bit better in the screenshot above. Lysithea, featured in the Warp tile screenshot, is the greyed out unit under Hilda, who’s also greyed out.
Meanwhile, in-between female Byleth and Raphael is Marianne. There’s also a boy(?) with glasses to the far right, who we’ll learn his name a bit later.
Now, Famitsu already claimed that the game only offers Normal/Hard and Casual/Classic at the beginning. Well, now you can see for yourself. Hmm, there does seem to be a lot of space for additional difficulties, but I won’t try and get your hopes up.
These two screenshots show male and female Byleth roaming around Garreg Mach Monastery. The first thing I noticed is the calendar. Today is the 23rd of the 4th month and the current season is the Sun. If they’re going with Valentian naming convention, it would b Solstym.
Right now, it’s unclear what kind of time limits are imposed on the game. We do know there seems to be a presumably daily limit on how many study sessions you can perform. But we don’t know if plot progression is tied to the calendar as well. In Shadows of Valentia, the calendar was nothing but fluff though.
Speaking of Valentia, there’s a cat in front of male Byleth. Meow. Also, the objective for both screenshots is to speak to all 3 House Leaders. So I’m guessing this is still pretty early in the game. Hang on, the 23rd of the 4th month? That’s real close to 20th April, the series’s anniversary.
Anyway, the mini-map in the top-right corner has quest markers, which are the same icon as the objective. In the left screenshot, there are three markers, while there are two on the right. Presumably, female Byleth has talked to one of the leaders already. There are also speech bubble icons for those who want to chat.
More characters now–this time all students from the academy!
Mercedes (Blue Lions)
Oh my? You’re a new face. Tell me, which part of the monastery are you from~
Petra (Black Eagles)
Name’s Petra. Pleasure to meet you.
Ignace (Golden Deer)
Wow! Is that so? I’m deeply honoured to speak with you!
Sylvain (Blue Lions)
Oh man, you read me like a book, Teacher! This is totally the kind of food I can get behind!
Caspar (Black Eagles)
Um, Teacher, can I ask you something? Linhardt keeps bugging me about eating too fast.
- Eating fast is bad for you.
- If you’re busy then there’s no choice.
Hey, this is our first look at the shop! The weapons in order are Iron Sword, Steel Sword, Trainer, Iron Lance, Steel Lance, Practice Lance, Javelin, Iron Axe and Steel Axe. The Steel weapons and Javelin are limited to 3. An Iron Sword requires an E rank, while a Steel Sword requires D.
Weapon Weight is also back. Steel Swords weigh 10 versus an Iron Sword’s 5. But they are stronger and have more Uses. Interesting…
Here’s a clearer look at Caspar taking a Promotion Exam to Class-Change from Noble to Fighter. The other available classes are Myrmidon, Soldier and Monk. All four seem to be base classes.
Caspar apparently needs D or higher in Axe, Bow and Fighting. His current Class Exp is 17, but what’s confusing is the meter underneath him. “E” seems to be related to his current class and the icon above seems to be the selected class. But I’m unsure what the numbers mean.
Also, his aptitudes for Bow and Fighting are red, while Axe looks normal. Or is it the other way round? In any case, he has a 100% pass rate, so he must have done something right. For those curious, he needs a Beginner Exam Pass to take the exam and the player currently has 5.
Likewise, here’s an example showing Dorothea Class-Changing from Commoner to Monk. Her Class Exp is 16 and the meter underneath her is 65/65. After Class-Changing, she loses her hat. Just like Joshua from The Sacred Stones…
Finally, enjoy a class showcase! Commoner and Noble are “trainee” classes, while the remaining classes are base (unpromoted) classes.
Normal citizens found all across Fódlan. There are people from all walks of life.
This class can wield some magic.
Those with the guiding bloodline of kings and lords. There are many descendants of the ancient heroes, the 10 Greats.
This class can wield some magic.
Those who excel at handling the sword. They can attack with swift motions and are adept at dodging foes.
Those who excel at handling the lance. They can wield their weapon with dexterity and are good at attacking.
Those who excel at handling axes, bows and gauntlets. They have immense strength and can land powerful blows.
Note: This class is occasionally translated as “Warrior”, but I believe that’s a mistake. The Japanese name “Senshi” is traditionally translated as “Fighter”.
Those who can heal others or fight with magic.
This class can wield magic.
That’s all from Famitsu, but the official Japanese Twitter account has more news for you!
— 『ファイアーエムブレム』総合 (@FireEmblemJP) April 25, 2019
One final thing: the Twitter account has updated its profile icon to use Anna’s portrait from Three Houses! Hmm, what will this version of Anna be doing? Will she be a NPC or a playable character once again? Only time will tell…