Three Houses: More Famitsu Screenshots, Female Byleth Footage & Anna Artwork

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!).

Jeralt

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.

Sothis

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.

Edelgard

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?

Dimitri

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.

Claude

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 “Great Tree”. If they’re going with Valentian naming convention, it would be Treestym or something.

Correction: The season was incorrectly identified as “Sun”. Evidently, I should have zoomed in to have a better look.

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.

Choices:

  • 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.

Commoner

Normal citizens found all across Fódlan. There are people from all walks of life.
This class can wield some magic.

Noble

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.

Myrmidon

Those who excel at handling the sword. They can attack with swift motions and are adept at dodging foes.

Soldier

Those who excel at handling the lance. They can wield their weapon with dexterity and are good at attacking.

Fighter

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”.

Monk

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!

https://twitter.com/FireEmblemJP/status/1121333111105527808

Firstly, they tweeted a video showcasing the moment Byleth deflects a bandit attack. You may have seen this in the Nintendo Direct trailer. But the other half of the video is the same thing but with female Byleth instead!

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…

About the Author: VincentASM
Author Website: http://serenesforest.net
  • Thunderfang

    I am legitimately disappointed that Dorothea loses her hat upon promoting. The game better have an option to give Dorothea her hat back, whether that’s in the form of an accessory shop or a costume selection feature.

    • Brave Lady Lyn

      I hope we can swap between the default outfits and the current ones through an accessory shop since I love them this is unacceptable!

      • Thunderfang

        #HatLivesMatter

  • Issun

    Wow thanks for translating all this info! Looks like the battle system will be great as always, maybe better than ever before.

    I just hope they focus on the visuals before release…because they look very bad honestly, FE always looked great whether on GBA, GC or 3DS but here the textures, characters 3D models, animations, facial expressions, landscapes & even visual effect look very ugly & without any unique style.

    I’ll trust Intsys to somehow make the game look better in the few coming months before release, they still have time.

    • Bcardia

      I wouldn’t say the 3DS games looked particulary well.
      But I agree, IntSys need to improve the visuals. I can accept the badly looking floor textures, but they really need to reduce the aliasing of the character models.

      • Issun

        I mean compared to what the 3DS can do all 3 FE games were beautiful!

        Yes I agree on the aliasing & characters faces, from what I saw of FE: Warriors it looked far better than this & that was a full on action game!

    • Awakening’s battle system also looked great before release and we all know how that turned out.

      • Issun

        Nah Awakening turned out great & this one will probably be awesome. If they weren’t I wouldn’t be playing the series to this day & follow the news for this new installment.

        • If you liked it, that’s great. Personally I was appalled by the decision to sideline permadeath and make a story that is on the level of a fanfic. Story for me is easy to ignore though if the gameplay is good but that wasn’t the case when it came to that game.

          • Issun

            The permadeath was used in Awakening though & is still used to this day in FE, even in 3 Houses.

            I just don’t get the divide of this fanbase honestly, I have played the GBA, DS & 3DS FE games minus Fates which I don’t have yet, but the series is still the same & only changed the artists, got better music/presentation & mostly better gameplay over all, but ofc opinions will vary as always.

          • I don’t mean to offend you by saying this but you clearly didn’t look hard enough if you don’t think anything but presentation changed. Awakening focuses too much on pointless conversation, allows you to grind, and has terrible map diversity. Then the same mistakes were repeated in BR and R. CQ is a great game and that’s on the virtue of embracing what made the older games so good.

            So if you can’t see the difference, I’ll lay it out for you in short: Good FE games present strict linear challenges (FE3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 for example), while the not as good ones give the player more freedom than is necessary (FE2, 8, 13, 14, 15). The games are not the same and the divide happened because there are people who actually value the challenge most older FE games provided.

          • Issun

            No offence taken at all & I have to say that my experience with FE is strictly within the officially localized games (which I think most of FE fans outside of Japan do) & tbh I don’t know their order so I don’t know what you mean by FE 3 or 5! But I love FE Blazing Blade & Sacred Stones as much as Awakening & Echoes, yes each has different strengths & weaknesses but outside of the genuinely bad/simple maps of Echoes I think they’re all great! I have yet to play Fates but it looks great.

            All in all I don’t think you can draw a defined line between what’s good & what’s not in the series overall, except for map design & battle system. I’ve been playing through Shadow Dragon these past days & I like it but I can’t help missing some features from the newer game & I can say that I wish the permadeath was optional because I restarted the game more than I’d like to.

            You sound like an expert in the franchise & have way more experience than me, personally as long as 3 Houses has great map design, objectives & a solid battle system then I’ll like it.

          • You hit the nail on the head there by saying that they all have different strengths and weaknesses. That alone proves that the games aren’t all the same. FE, for all its old-fashioned gameplay, is a series that recycles and reinvents gameplay mechanics through each era, with some being better than others.

            And I do think that there are certain things that needs to exist in each game for it to be considered a good addition to the series. The games which allows you to grind ruin the formula at its very base, for FE is a series where every decision you make matters. From deciding which units to use, to management of money, items, and weapons, even each movement and attack matter because in one playthrough you can only make a select amount of these choices. That’s also the reason Sacred Stones was my least favourite game in the series before Awakening came out, despite the nostalgia of it being my first. When you can grind zombies and gold all the small but important decisions you normally have to make are negated completely. The same thing goes for casual mode; it’s not needed because older games always assumed that you would have some casualties and were balanced around that fact, making sure that you could never unintentionally get stuck. I like my FE games to be fair but strict, and I don’t think that drives away new players as much as people might think.

            Regarding Shadow Dragon, it’s also one of the worse games, but for vastly different reasons. It’s not that it’s missing features from the newer games, but it’s missing a fuckton of features from literally every other game that came before it. I don’t know whose idea it was to keep the same 20 year old script, have little to no character interaction, and lock chapters and units behind playing poorly, but it was terrible and made the game suffer badly for it.

          • Issun

            Yeah I really don’t think Awakening revived the series because it let go of permadeath or introduced grinding (which I forgot was even there since I played the game years ago), but it was a combination of lots of features they added, both old & new, not forgetting the attractive new art style & the brilliant music along with the beautiful CG cutscenes, ads & a good release date.

            I never even considered grinding to be that big of a deal, that is why I still love Sacred Stones & Awakening because I hate losing characters forever & I restart every time I lose a character until I finally give up a weaker character to move on lol I wonder if there’ll be any grinding in 3 Houses though!! Maybe they can make it optional? But I see your argument, it’s the same way I feel about Dark Souls/Sekiro, you just have to get better by practice & management.

            Shadow Dragon is rough & weird, but I still enjoy it for what it is I guess…I hope they remake older games I hear praise about all the time like the ones on the SNES! They could remake an older title after 3 Houses, but please with a better engine & they should work on their maps & story/writing too when it needs to be updated.

            As much as I’m disappointed by the presentation/visuals of 3 Houses I can’t wait to see how they approached the gameplay & design this time, I’m kinda intrigued by the concept of being an instructor & if it’ll have different branches of the story depending on who you choose from the 3 students.

    • An Tran

      I never understood why Nintendo fans think a Nintendo game would magically look better within a few months or even a year before release.
      If they’re still working on visuals at this point, then the game would surely be delayed.

      • Issun

        I don’t have to be a Nintendo fan to like FE lol & it’s really smart of you to generalize a whole fandom with pathetic claims like that.

        Devs can ofc make adjustments on the visuals in the last few months or even after the games release with updates & patches. You just have to read more.

      • kyrt

        Depending on when these screenshots were taken (and whether it is from an Alpha, Beta or the freeze period) there might actually be the ability for the graphics to improve. Considering they are about 3 months out they are probably using screenshots from pre-beta so cold freeze or alpha which means we’ve yet to see Beta (which is when features and assets are usually completed and they switch to bug stomping which they are probably in right now). We’ll see what the game will actually look like properly by E3 hopefully. There is a chance that the visuals won’t improve though due to the limitations of the Switch but we can definitely hope.

    • Harenghead

      This series has always had visual appeal problems. The nes and snes eras were in no way groundbreaking visually, the GBA era was widely criticized for how its map visuals look, GC and Wii were both almost a generation behind graphically, the Archanea remakes speak for themselves. The 3DS era was the first to up the bar a little, but what sold it was the amazing cgi(except Echoes).
      It’s fine if the gameplay doesn’t look amazing as long as it’s well animated(still unclear at this point) and you don’t needlessly focus on the rougher aspects in promotional material, but it’s a real shame they went with cheaper cgi this time around on top of it.
      Also I gotta be real with you as well, what we’re seeing at this point is what we’re getting.

      • Issun

        Yes the CG shocked me when I saw it at E3 last year! it was very stiff & the frame rate was atrocious… After the amazing CG they used for Awakening & Fates, they went with the ugly FE: Echoes CG.

        I will ofc enjoy the game & it sounds amazing so far but I expected way better presentation from Intsys considering this is their 1st “console” FE in a decade & the fact that it is releasing after the breakthrough for the series & the phenomenal success they had with their mobile game FE: Heroes.

  • Bcardia

    I really like Anna’s new design. Digging the raspberry-colored hair.

  • Sentinel

    The 10 Greats huh? Guess we have our usual lore characters.

    Kind of wish Heroes would go into those sorts of characters more.

    • Semi Colon Parenthesis

      Heroes should do a lot more things really.

  • James Richardson III

    Hopefully more information comes out about other details, like fighting, battalions, etc. And maybe information on possibly recruiting outside characters?

  • nainelaine

    the video showcasing byleth defending edelgard makes me laugh. edelgard must lack any brains or skills if she really couldn’t deal with a guy taking 5 or so seconds to run at her. she literally couldve just walked out of the way. thats so funny. but i guess byleth really needed those Epic Gamer points.

    im really disappointed with a lot of aspects of FE3H so far, but i’m VERY excited to see where this slice-of-life type gameplay may be going. character interactions are always my favorite, and even if theyre ugly as all hell, personality can still save em!! no, really, i love fire emblem and i’m excited for this game, don’t get me wrong. the gameplay (the most important part!!) seems really interesting. at the very least it seems like its going to be fun to play! which, like.. what else can u really ask for, lol.

    • Issun

      Lol I agree with your opinion A LOT!

      Things I like:
      – Gameplay/battle system
      – Music
      – Setting, being a teacher instead of a student makes it really interesting & less cliche

      Thing I dislike:
      – The visuals
      – Characters designs
      – The CG & the “anime” scenes? which I find really weird having both CG AND “anime” animation to tell the story!!

      I hope the story is good this time.

    • Alexios Blake

      Well she only has a knife while her opponent a ax, furthermore she was surprised which slowed down her reaction and not to forget the physical differences between the two, so I am completely okay with that scene.

  • Poseidon

    In the 2/13 direct, at around 3:40, Ferdinand and Sylvain are using the “Training Lance”, so I think that’s what they will end up being called instead of Practice Lance. The kanji looks the same in the Japanese direct too. I’ve also noticed there is a “Beginner Exam Pass” that Caspar/Dorothea uses to promote to the 4 base classes and an Intermediate one that Edelgard uses in the direct(4:07). None of the 8 seen classes that Edelgard can promote to seem like final classes(and the ones that we do see seem promoted from these 4), so would there also be an “Advanced” Pass for a final tier? So 3 or 4 tiers essentially when also considering Noble/Commoner as one.

    • Alexios Blake

      Hopefully, I really missed the advance classes from the Tellius games.