This week’s issue of Famitsu just came out not long ago, although their website already posted their Three Houses feature several hours ago. There’s an absolute truckload of new gameplay information, so make sure you’re comfortable and prepared for a very long read!
Before we go in, I recommend studying the contents of the previous Famitsu article, if you haven’t done so already.
History of the Crests
Some characters bear “crests” passed down by their ancestors. The crests play a major role in influencing one’s social standing; for example, the Adrestian Empire’s imperial throne has been passed down for generations to those with the crest of Seiros. In addition, crests may unlock talents such as superior physical or magical ability.
The protagonist possesses a crest, shown in the screenshot above. This same crest appears in various places, like on Sothis’s clothes, the king with the golden blade in the first trailer, etc. However, the name and properties of this crest are a complete mystery. In fact, it’s even called “Crest of ???” in the game.
However, there might be a clue about its origins later…
Skills and Crests
Skills are an important part of a character’s personality and growth. When set, they have a particular effect during battle. There are three types of skills.
- Personal skills: Innate skills that each character has at the start. Cannot be removed and there’s only one for each character.
- Class skills: Innate skills for each class. It’s granted to that class only and disappear once you change class.
- Professor skills: These are learned skills according to the character’s professor levels (in Sword, Lance, Axe, Authority, etc.). Unlike class skills, they can be customised and are independent of class.
Above we can see Hubert as a Dark Mage with the following skills.
- Personal: Strategist
- Class: Miasma△ (from Echoes), Hex (from Awakening)
- Professor: Reason Level 2, Authority Level 1, Rally Magic (also from Awakening), Bow Level 1
Just in case, you can find some additional information about Professor Skills via the previous Famitsu article (search for “Close Counter”).
Below is a list of some characters’ personal skills and, if applicable, crests.
- Personal: Teacher’s Guidance – Boosts user and adjacent ally’s experience gain by 1.2.
- Crest: Crest of ??? – A mysterious crest of unknown origins.
- Personal: Imperial Bloodline – Boosts user’s experience gain by 1.2.
- Crest: Minor Crest of Seiros – A minor crest said to have belonged to the Divine Seiros.
- Personal: Royal Bloodline – Boosts user’s experience gain by 1.2.
- Crest: Minor Crest of Blaiddyd – A minor crest said to have belonged to Blaiddyd of Fódlan’s Ten Greats.
- Personal: Alliance Bloodline – Boosts user’s experience gain by 1.2.
- Crest: Minor Crest of Riegan – A minor crest said to have belonged to Riegan of Fódlan’s Ten Greats.
- Personal: Strategist – Boosts Gambit Might by 5.
- Personal: Songstress – At the start of each turn, restores adjacent allies’ HP by 10%.
- Personal: Liege’s Shield – If user waits without acting, Defence +4 for one turn.
- Personal: Solitary Wolf – When a battalion is not deployed or when battalion health is zero, damage dealt +5
- Crest: Crest of Fraldarius – A crest said to have belonged to Fraldarius of Fódlan’s Ten Greats.
- Personal: Prestigious Noble – When a battalion is deployed, damage dealt +2
- Crest: Minor Crest of Gloucester – A minor crest said to have belonged to Gloucester of Fódlan’s Ten Greats.
- Personal: Plead – When an adjacent male ally enters battle, ally’s damage dealt +3
- Crest: Minor Crest of Goneril – A minor crest said to have belonged to Goneril of Fódlan’s Ten Greats.
Correction: Hilda’s allies receive the damage buff, not herself.
The Ten Greats appear to be the legendary heroes from Fódlan’s past. They were first mentioned in the description of the Noble class. Presumably there are ten of them; we currently know of five: Blaiddyd, Riegan, Fraldarius, Gloucester and Goneril.
As it happens, these five names also match with places on the world map. It’s possible that Gautier (who’s probably Sylvain’s ancestor) may be another of the Ten Greats, since there is a “Crest Stone of Gautier” featured in the February trailer and Gautier is a location on the map.
So far, the Ten Greats and Seiros only account for 11 of the 21 crests shown on the Goddess’s mural. I wonder where the remaining 10 crests came from?
The crests are also divided into minor and standard types. Everybody listed with a crest except for Byleth and Felix have minor ones. Furthermore, Edelgard’s crest being Seiros’s is starting to make a lot of sense. After all, the same crest features prominently in both the Adrestian Empire and the Church’s flags. Clearly, they have a strong relationship.
The Protagonist’s Colleagues
Afterwards, we have profiles for two teachers that work alongside the protagonist. Manuela was already covered before, but Hanneman is new. He’s voiced by Kenji Hamada and is a scholar who studies the power of crests. He tends to get excited whenever the topic of crests comes up.
First seen in the debut trailer, characters can deploy battalions who appear alongside and assist them during battle. Battalions can be hired and equipped to each character. By deploying battalions, the character’s abilities may change and “Gambits” can be used.
The associated professor level is Authority. The initial professor skill is Authority Level 1, which grants Might +2 when a Gambit is used. By raising a character’s Authority, stronger battalions can be deployed and skills related to Gambits can be learned.
Battalions can be hired via the Knights Guild as the story progresses. The above screenshots show the hiring process. The options at the start are Hire, Disband or Replenish. Next, the player chooses a battalion for Ingrid, the previously unnamed female from the Blue Lions.
Next, you can choose from a list of battalions. You can see the battalion’s name, Gambit, required Authority level and cost to hire. The bottom panel shows the battalion’s maximum health and affected stats, as well as the Gambit’s maximum uses and properties.
|Seiros Church Soldiers||Disrupt||E||1,000|
|Seiros Mercenary Brigade||Violent Assault||E||1,200|
|Seiros Monk Squadron||Godspeed Preparation||E||1,200|
|Seiros Maiden Squadron||Echoed Magic: White||E||1,200|
|Seiros Magic Brigade||Group Magic: Flame||D||1,200|
|Seiros Pegasus Brigade||Lure Scheme||D||1,200|
|Seiros Cavalry Brigade||Fire Scheme||C||1,500|
|Kingdom Foot Soldiers||Lure Scheme||E||1,000|
|Kingdom Lance Soldiers||Co-ordinated Lance Strike||E||1,200|
|Kingdom Fist Squadron||Disrupt||E||1,200|
|Kingdom Magic Squadron||Group Magic: Ice||D||1,200|
From the list, most of the battalions are aligned with the Knights of Seiros. But there are some presumably from the Kingdom of Faerghus as well. In one screenshot, Petra is leading an Empire Infantry, so I’m guessing there will be battalions from the Leicester Alliance as well.
Seiros Magic Brigade
- HP 30, Strength -2, Magic +1, Hit rate +0, Critical +0, Avoid +0, Defence +0, Resistance +3, Charm +3
- Group Magic: Fire (Uses: 1, Range: 1~2, Might: 2, Hit rate: 60, also damages foes adjacent to target)
Seiros Cavalry Brigade
- HP 60, Strength +2, Magic -1, Hit rate +0, Critical +0, Avoid +1, Defence +1, Resistance +1, Charm +5
- Fire Scheme (Uses: 1, Might: 10, Hit rate: 50, turns forward tiles in a triangular pattern into “flaming” tiles)
The triangle icons next to a character indicate the battalion’s health. Three triangles means the battalion is healthy (above two thirds health), then it goes down to two triangles (below two thirds health), one triangle (below a third health) and presumably none.
The “Charm” stat has a currently unknown purpose. Maybe it’s related to morale somehow. Looking at the windows, it seems a battalion’s health can reach triple digits and the Gambit usage can reach double digits. In the second screenshot, Violent Assault can be used at least twice.
If the character leading the battalion takes damage, the battalion’s health will decrease. Once the health reaches 0, the battalion’s effects will disappear and Gambits cannot be used. A battalion’s health can be restored at a guild. For E to D rank battalions, it seems to cost 1 Gold per health, while C rank battalions cost 2 Gold per health.
Like characters, battalions can level up and increase their abilities by fighting. This is clear from the Petra screenshot above, showing her defeating an enemy and gaining experience for her battalion.
Gambits can be used by characters with battalions deployed. They can deal damage to enemies, but also provide supportive effects allowing for various strategies. When using a Gambit, enemies cannot counter-attack and multiple enemies can be targeted at the same time. But their uses are limited.
Co-ordinated Lance Assault
Hits one enemy on the left and right of the targeted foe. This Gambit causes the “Distress” status (reduces all stats by 10%, prevents movement, stat boosts from battalions and Gambits). Can be used at least twice.
This implies enemies can use battalions and Gambits…
For one turn, increases the movement of allies by 5. Targets an adjacent ally and seems to apply the effect to all allies with a 2 tile radius of the target (or maybe just a triangle with the user at the centre and the target at the edge). Can be used at least twice.
Targets an adjacent foe and moves them to the tile behind the user. Also creates a special tile where the foe used to be, which triggers the same effect. Also seems to inflict “Distress” on the foe. Can be used at least twice.
This is a new type of weapon that is based on fist-fighting. The associated professor level is Fighting and the initial professor skill is Fighting Level 1, which grants Hit +5, Avoid +7 and Critical Evade +5 when equipped with Gauntlet.
Gauntlets allow the user to deal consecutive attacks, similar to Brave weapons. If the character’s Attack Speed is 4 or higher than the opponent’s, a follow-up attack will be performed. If a Gauntlet is equipped, you can deal 4 hits in one battle. However, Gauntlets cannot be equipped when riding on a horse or pegasus.
In the example shown, Caspar is equipped with a Training Gauntlet. Unlike previous practice (and Bronze class) weapons, these can trigger critical hits.
Previously, Famitsu covered the Commoner and Noble classes and classes available after Level 5. Below are some intermediate classes available after Level 10. In case you missed it, characters apparently retain their Level after class-changing (similar to Reclassing).
Mercenaries who fulfill their objective. Excel in strength and speed.
As an intermediate class, Mercenaries specialise in swords and axes similar to Heroes in previous games. The featured character is Felix.
Riders who ride in battle on horseback. After fighting, they can move again.
Class skill: Canto – After performing an action, user can use their leftover movement (from Path of Radiance).
I’m sure a lot of people are happy about the return of Canto! The Cavalier here is Lorenz.
An axe-fighter with exceptional strength. With their excellent vitality, they fare well on the front-lines.
The Brigand has inherited the axe and gauntlet specialties from the Fighter class. Our Brigand is Hilda.
A gauntlet-wielder who fights at close-combat. They’re adept at swift attacks.
Class skill: Barehanded Battle – User can fight without a weapon equipped.
Confusingly, the Brawler (thanks to Thane for the better name suggestion) shares the same specialties as the Brigand. Of course, their stats are probably different and the Brawler has a unique skill. Raphael is bearing his fists here.
According to Famitsu, only males can be Brawler. Presumably Brigands can be both.
A practitioner of black magic. Good at fighting foes with high defence. This class can equip magic.
Class skill: Fire – Enables the use of Fire. If already learned, doubles the number of uses.
The class skill is rather intriguing. If a character doesn’t know the Fire spell, they can use it as a Mage. But if they do have the spell, the number of times it can be cast is doubled. It’s unclear how characters learn spells though. I have no idea who the Mage is without her hat
A practitioner of dark magic. Good at fighting foes with high defence. This class can equip magic.
Class skill: Miasma△ – Enables the use of Miasma△. If already learned, doubles the number of uses.
Class skill: Hex – Reduces Avoid of adjacent foes by 20.
Dark magic should not be confused with Black magic, which appears to be the collective term for offensive magic. I have no idea what the triangle after Miasma’s name is for, but presumably it’s a stronger version of the base spell. Our lovely Dark Mage is one Hubert von Bestla.
Like Brawler, Dark Mage is apparently locked to males. So far, we’ve only heard of male-only classes, but judging from the “Seiros Maiden Squadron” battalion, there might be a Saint class for females only.
The game is divided into two parts: the battles you all know and love and the academy part. In the academy part, you can interact with students and teach them to boost their abilities. You can also check the in-game calendar to plan how to spend your days. P-Persona?
During weekdays, there will be lessons. You can partake in Tutoring, Auto-Tutor, Group Task and Set Goals. These are all options in the Lesson Plan menu.
During weekends, you can enjoy some free time. You can take a Stroll, Class, Rest, Venture and Examination. The latter allows you to class-change.
Finally, during the end of a season, there will be a Field Study. Is this Trails of Cold Steel? This will obviously involve heading out into combat. After that, the season will end.
Let’s take a look at the calendar. Hang on, it’s the same one found in the Seasons of Warfare edition! The top four options are Stroll, Class, Venture and Rest. Judging from the icon, Venture may let you go out and do some optional battles. Below that is the shop and Examination.
Strolling lets you wander the academy grounds. You can interact with the inhabitants and trigger quests. Near the bottom-right corner of the screen are button prompts to open the Rankings (- button), Menu (X button) and Check Schedule (Left and Right on D-Pad).
The current season is the Flower Crown season; it’s similar to the Flower Season (Flostym) in Echoes. In Fódlan, there are 12 seasons (months) in a year, just like in real life. Each season equates to one chapter or act. You’ll go through the calendar for each season, then you must clear the Field Study to end the current season and chapter.
The calendar itself has multiple symbols. The easiest one to recognise is the birthday symbol. Already, there are 2 birthdays this month, which seems a bit surprising if you only have 8 students to start with. Strangely, even though it’s not marked, 22nd June seems to be Edelgard’s birthday (so that’s 3 birthdays this month).
Other symbols include a golden “f” on Sundays and the last day of the month, which could stand for free time. That said, shouldn’t Saturday be included as well? Also found on Sundays are a variety of small circle icons that appear to be related to side-quests or interactions.
The fishing icon on 22nd June is the “mythical fish’s appearance”. Meanwhile the ones for 8th June are “magical variation” (fishing), “earth’s blessing” (plant), “sweet-boosting weekend” (food) and “choir festival” (song). These all sound like… activities alright!
Mondays also have a notepad icon that seems to match the icon for a Class. I’m not quite sure what happens during a class–do you actually lecture? *Sweats* I’m just a mercenary that they forced to join the academy… I can’t even say a sentence to save my life.
Last but not least, the last day of the season has the insignia of the Leicester Alliance. The listed task is “Help to retake Gaspard Castle”. I’m guessing this castle is located in the Leicester Alliance. Unless you’re leading the Golden Deer and that’s why the symbol is there. But Edelgard’s birthday on the calendar suggests you’re leading the Black Eagles.
During tutoring, you can teach your students and enhance their professor levels (Sword, Lance Axe, Authority etc.). You can Auto-Tutor too if you don’t want to strain your head muscles, but if you carefully teach your students, you can better shape them to their needs.
Instructor Gauge: This is the green gauge and the number displayed near the top of the screen. It shows how many students can be tutored in one week. As your Instructor Level increases, this will go up.
Motivation: This is shown by the gauge with the smiley faces. The higher the student’s motivation, the more times they can be tutored, allowing for increased growth.
In the above screenshots, Dimitri excels at Sword, Lance and Authority, but is weak at Axe and Reason. There’s also an Instructor Bonus for Swords and Fighting. The first time he’s tutored in Sword he gains 8 Exp (4 base, 2 from his personal strength and 2 from the Instructor Bonus).
The second time he’s tutored, the result is “Great” instead of “Good” for some reason and he gains 1.5x EXP so 12. I’m not sure what caused the difference, as nothing has changed except the motivation gauge–the result could simply be related to chance.
Instructor Level and Gauges
In addition to the Instructor Gauge, there’s a Stroll Gauge and Venture Gauge as well. As the protagonist’s “Instructor Level” increases, the amount of times you can do things will increase and you’ll be able to get more out of your week.
Your Instructor Level can be improved by teaching, socialising and taking strolls etc. If you want your students to become their best, your growth as a teacher will be essential. The more actions you can get in, the easier you’ll progress through the story!
Even dining with your students can improve your Instructor Level. Above, we can see Mercedes and Annette enjoying their food with you. Afterwards, the support points between the two characters and the protagonist increase and the two students’ motivation also increase.
Meanwhile, the Protagonist’s Instructor Level increases from E to E+ as a result. Their Stroll Gauge is increased, as well as their paid Activity Funds. Wait, do teachers need to fund school activities out of their own pockets? Although I suppose it’s probably the academy that’s paying you…
To smoothly develop your students’ talents, you’ll want to keep their motivation high. Motivation can be increased by interacting with the protagonist and during battle. Motivating students is essential for any good teacher.
Students will often ask you questions. That’s a good time to solve their troubles by giving smart and sound advice. Hey, you have to use your adult experience somewhere!
I hear boys seem to prefer cute, normal girls over stunning beauties. But isn’t it like how dukes are always above viscounts? What do you think, teacher?
>It’s hard to approach those superior to you.
>Nothing really matters at the end of the day.
>You’d get bored eating fine cuisine everyday.
Picking the third option seems to elicit the correct response from Dorothea.
For some reason, girls look at me in disdain. Is courting a lady merely a lofty dream for me? No, perhaps, in my case it’s an impossible dream.
>Try to say a joke to relieve the tension.
>Try smiling and laughing.
>It’s OK if it’s an impossible dream.
I dare someone to pick the third option. Apparently the second option is enough to satisfy Lorenz. Hopefully he won’t come crying back tomorrow…
Answering questions does more than boost Motivation. It also increases your Instructor Level. When it reaches D, your Stroll and Instructor Gauges will both go up.
During individual tutoring, you can pick a particular professor level to raise for each student. By raising these levels, students can learn new skills and wield better weapons. For the most part, equipped weapons do not change when class-changing, so you may want to focus on a main weapon. It seems magic is restricted by class though.
We’ve seen “Good” and “Great”, but another possible result of tutoring is “Bad”. This appears to give a minimal amount of Exp. Poor Hubert looks pretty depressed here. His selected professor Level is Lance, which has three stars next to it–we’ll learn what these do soon.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, another possible result is “Perfect”. This gives 2x Exp, which Dedue seems pretty pleased with. Similarly, it seems to be random which result you get. Because afterwards, there’s a screenshot of Hubert getting a “Perfect” under almost the same conditions.
According to Famitsu, these four results are all the results you can get. On top of affecting the amount of experience earned towards a Professor Level, the result–and what you do afterwards–can affect a student’s Motivation as well. After Hubert gets a “Bad”, you can opt to scold or comfort him. Getting a “Perfect” lets you compliment the student only.
Above are the Professor Levels for Dedue. He excels at Lance, Axe, Fighting and Heavy Armour, but is poor at Faith, Riding and Flying. There’s currently an Instructor Bonus for Sword and Authority. A poor Professor Level reduces the Exp gain by 2. Since the base gain is 4, that’s a 50% loss, which is significant.
Besides tutoring, you can choose the “Set Goals” option to make a student focus on two Professor Levels for them to improve via self-studying each week. By improving certain levels, you can make students enter exams to change class. So try to focus on levels that are appropriate.
Students can also suggest their own goals, but only you can approve them.
I’ve decided. I want to study Reason. Even if I must fight, I don’t want to use a weapon. I would like to find more ways to fight with magic.
Here, the player changes Linhardt’s focus from Reason and Faith to just Reason. I’m guessing only having one focus doubles the growth for Reason. For those unaware, Reason is the level for offensive magic (aka Anima in the GBA games).
Just put him on a horse and daddy Reinhardt would be proud.
Guys just need to win with one decisive blow. I wanna knock the enemy flying with my spinning axe! I’mma learn the way of the Axe, and be a proper Warrior!
The excitable Caspar wants to go from Fighting and Faith (that’s a pretty curious combination) to just Axe.
Above, the player is setting a custom Bow and Riding focus for Ferdinand. He’s good at Riding, so that’s not a bad choice. His default focus seems to be Lance and Axe. Also, Dedue’s focus is set to Lance and Fighting. Luckily, he’s great at both. His previous focus was Axe and Fighting.
Each week, two students can be given group tasks. When they complete the task, the Professor Levels for that task will increase and the support points between the two students will go up. Also, depending on the success, a reward can be earned.
Bernadetta and Dorothea have been chosen for this group task.
- Weeding: Help to remove weeds from the academy grounds. Boosts Heavy Armour.
The expected result seems to be 2 out of 5 stars. Also, it seems Bernadetta and Dorothea can reach C and B support ranks. It’s strange that A rank isn’t available, although it could be locked until story progression.
The group task was a “Good” success and the rewards include support points between the two, 500 Gold and 3 Forging Stones. Hmm, it seems like forging will be back in some capacity. There’s also an up arrow next to Bernadetta, perhaps because she’s good with Heavy Armour?
- Aerial Anti-measures: Help with establishing anti-measures against aerial foes. Boosts Flying.
This time, Edelgard and Petra are working together. Their combination allowed for a “Perfect” result, netting support points, 1000 G and 5 Forging Stones. Likewise, there’s an up arrow next to Petra, which could indicate a proficiency in Flying.
Some students have 3 stars next to a Professor Level they’re weak at. After tutoring this level a certain number of times, the student’s talent in that level may bloom! Besides becoming adept in that level, the student can learn new skills and abilities. Sometimes it’s good to work on your weaknesses!
Earlier, I was poking fun at Dorothea lacking Faith, but if you keep tutoring her in Faith, you can bring about a positive change. Also note the Holy Cethlenn Statue that Dorothea has, which boosts her Exp gain by 1 in all observable Professor Levels. Also, wow, she has B+ in Reason.
After filling in the three stars, Dorothea becomes strong in Faith (the red down arrow will change to a green up arrow) and she learns a new skill “White Magic Avoid +20”. I’m not too sure what that does. It might boost avoid against enemy White Magic or boost the user’s Avoid when White Magic is used.
Hubert meanwhile is packing a B rank in Reason and Authority. He also excels at Bow, Reason and Authority but fails at Axe and Faith. Unlike Dorothea, he has 3 stars in Lance, but he’s neutral towards it. Still, the fundamentals are the same. After filling in all 3 stars, he becomes adept at Lance and gains the “Ice Javelin” Combat Art.
Correction: Ice Javelin is a Combat Art not a skill.
That’s all the gameplay, but Famitsu has some story bits to share at the very end.
Church of Seiros
The Church of Seiros, which is deeply rooted in Fódlan, was founded by the Divine Seiros. In the distant past, they fought against the Liberation King Nemesis during the War of Heroes, to restore order to Fódlan. It’s said they helped to establish the Adrestian Empire as well.
As time passed, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus became independent, and later the Leciester Alliance split off as well. A long war was fought over supremacy. However, in the present era, the nations exist in equilibrium and it’s largely thanks to the Church of Seiros.
Okay, I think one particular mystery has been solved with this description. The conflict featured near the start of the E3 trailer is probably showing the battle between Seiros and Nemesis. I think some people guessed as much. That means the woman who I thought resembled Rhea, the current archbishop, is Seiros–and possibly Rhea’s ancestor.
Also, I think it’s pretty obvious that the protagonist is related to Nemesis, assuming he’s the guy with the same mysterious crest on his cape. Nemesis’s title of “Liberation King” is pretty suspicious as well. I can’t help but think he was fighting to liberate the continent from the crests’ influence or another noble cause, but was labeled a villain after his loss.
Many of the nobility, who are descended from Fódlan’s Ten Greats who fought during the War of Heroes, hail from families that bear crests. Crests are passed down by bloodline, but not all descendants inherit crests and only a small number of people can invoke their abilities.
Crests are divided into “Major Crests” that contain immense power and “Minor Crests” whose power is weaker. Generally, it’s believed the stronger the hero’s blood, the higher the chance of having a major crest. But a child with a major crest can suddenly be born and the reason behind this is currently unknown.
If you’ve played Genealogy of the Holy War, it sounds like crests work exactly like the holy blood and brands in that game. In that game, there’s major and minor blood. Major blood reaps the biggest benefits and is required to wield the weapons of the legendary Crusaders. Meanwhile minor blood is just sort of just there.
In general, major blood can be preserved by mixing together the same blood. This is evident in the way that in-game inheritance works. However, lore-wise, major blood (which is also tied to the appearance of brands) can also appear randomly in the family, even if the blood is diluted. I don’t think this similarity is a coincidence…
That’s everything for today! If you noticed anything odd or have any theories to share, please hit me up!