Three Houses: Famitsu Preview (Scary Villains, Activities and Battle System)

Famitsu has teased their 3rd Three Houses article, which will appear in their 13th June issue releasing on 30th May 2019. This one will discuss the beginning of the story, activities at the Officer’s Academy and the battle system (including Gambit Boosts).

As usual, there’s a preview of one of the double-page spreads, which is unfortunately too small to make out the precise details. That said, it’s clear there will be brand new profiles for Ashe and Lysithea–who will probably be profiled by the official Twitter and website later this week.

On top of that, Famitsu provided images of two presumably villain characters. They are known as the “Reaper Knight” (or Death Knight or Grim Knight, you get the picture) and the “Flame Emperor”. Apparently they have a serious grudge against the Garreg-Mach Monastery.

Anyway, I tried my best to analyse the tiny preview image, but it’s no easy task. Besides, the full issue will be out within 2 days.

The main agenda is the calendar and weekend activities, introduced in the 2nd Famitsu article. The big screenshot with female Byleth standing around is highlighting the map of the academy. You can toggle a full map of the academy (shown in the top-right corner), which probably indicates where all your students can be found.

Next, the focus shifts to one of the things you can do during the weekend: Stroll. This lets you wander around the academy, similar to the dungeon exploration in Echoes. While strolling, you can partake in various activities such as quests (which give rewards when completed, obviously) and even fishing!

There are four other activities, but I can’t read what they are. The screenshot near the middle of the bunch seems to involve Hanneman. Since he’s the crest researcher, I wonder if it’s related to crests? I’m guessing dining will be one of the activities as well.

Also, from what I understand, you consume the Stroll Gauge to trigger an activity, similar to the Instructor Gauge during lessons. This will appear as a number and bar along the top of the screen when you’re strolling. Likewise, the maximum value of the gauge can be increased by raising your Instructor Level.

Afterwards is a small section explaining the Class option. Like Stroll, this is only available during weekends. From the screenshot, we can see Manuela giving a lesson–but unlike normal lessons, I think it’s Byleth who’s being taught! I know some people were wondering how to raise Byleth’s Professor Levels (outside of battles)–and I think this is how.

The next weekend activity is Venture aka Sortie. Again, it’s really hard to see what’s going on, but the map of Fódlan is definitely involved. From the name, it’s not hard to guess that this might involve optional skirmishes, outside of the story battles. That said, it could simply involve sending out students to fulfill tasks, without any battles.

Regardless, this option also has a gauge attached: the Venture Gauge. Whatever venturing is about, it seems to be important enough to have weekly restrictions.

Last but not least is the option to Rest. Your guess is good as mine here, since the screenshot is far too tiny for human eyes. I imagine it probably ends the weekend without doing anything. Useful if you just want to rush through the story.

In terms of the character profiles, we have the 3 students from last week (Ferdinand, Mercedes and Raphael), Bernadetta from Monday and Ashe and Lysithea, who are probably scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. Giving the timing, Famitsu will reveal Lysithea first, but the official channels should post about Ashe first.

Given their surnames, it was easy to guess that Ferdinand (Aegir) and Bernadetta (Varley) are crest-bearers, but so too are Mercedes and Lysithea. Strangely, I’m not 100% sure but it seems none of the four crests share names with the characters’ surnames or locations on the map–which was the trend with previous crest-bearers.

However, there may be good reasons for this. Firstly, Ferdinand and Bernadetta seem to have crests that do not belong to the Ten Greats of Fódlan. Bernadetta has a crest belonging to the Divine… Indul? In any case, it seems to be a crest bestowed to a saint, similar to Seiros. I can’t read anything else about Ferdinand’s crest.

Mercedes and Lysithea both have crests belonging to the Ten Greats. I think Mercedes’s crest is Lapine. I can’t read Lysithea’s. That said, I think Lysithea comes from the Ordelia family (or could be Cordelia, but Ordelia is a place on the map). Her personal skill also seems to be Prodigy, similar to Caeldori from Fates.

Wait, hang on a second… Caeldori is a Cordelia expy. So this seems to be an intentional reference. The only strange thing is that the character Cordelia from Awakening is known as “Tiamo” in the Japanese version. So if they were planning a sly reference, I would’ve figured they’d use her Japanese name (seeing as the developers are Japanese).

Speaking of personal skills, it looks like Mercedes has Live to Serve, a healer class skill in Fates and Heroes. Well, she does look like a healer. The other personal skills I can’t really decipher. Also, before I forget, I think the four crest-bearers all have minor crests. But again, I’m basing this off text meant for ants.

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  • Cyrellinate

    Yoo flame emperor looks rly cool!!

  • Adako

    Re: “Cordelia”. It’s interesting. Although it could be a sort of backdated reference to the translation (Intelligent Systems have done things like that before), I think there’s another reason it’s there. I hope it does **not** change in the translation, but I’m actually fairly confident it won’t. Why?

    Goneril and Regan. Cordelia forms a trio with them, being the three daughters of King Lear. It therefore makes sense that they are confined to one of the three nations. Furthermore, the Duke of Gloucester and Edmund are prominent characters in King Lear too, and as far as I’m aware, they are also shown as places in Leicester.

    Feel free to ask me any more Qs about the name influences, with particular regard to Faerghus and Leicester, since they both make a number of mythological allusions to things I’m highly familiar with.

  • Anne O’Namus

    Could Ferdinand’s be Indra?

  • MattLaTique

    @disqus_YDO76S6emT:disqus Actually, it would be Really nice to have either briefs paragraphs or longer articles (maybe by nations, or Famitsu release) on the names and their inspirations! But I don’t know how much work that represents, or even if that is relevant… Anyway, feel free to offer us some of your wisdom, I would be a happy reader 😀

    • Adako

      Well thanks for your interest. I’m probably rambling a lot, but I’ll start with the ones I do know (mainly the Welsh ones since I speak that language to a conversational degree); most of these I noticed when I was looking at the map

      Garreg Mach looks to me like it was supposed to be Welsh, but it’s been mutated incorrectly. “Carreg Fach” is how I would render it in that context. Anyway, I take it to mean “Small Stone”, or perhaps something more akin to “Little Rock”. I think that’s a town in Arkansas, USA, lol.
      Blaiddyd (BLY-thid; /th/ is voiced like in “there”) is a pseudo-historical king of Britain. The “blaidd” (blythe) part probably means wolf, as far as I can tell.
      Gwenhwyfar (Gwen-HWIV-var) is simply the Welsh form of Guinevere, wife of King Arthur. Survives to this day as the modern name Jennifer!
      – There’s something the SF map of Fódlan has given as “Magdred”; I’m not certain but I’ve got a funny feeling it’s a bastardization of older forms of “Mordred”. There are tons of variations on Mordred’s name so I might be completely wrong – however, it would fit with the other Arthurian references that are mostly confined to Faerghus.
      Myrddin (MER-thin; same again for that /th/ sound) is the Welsh form of “Merlin”, a guy I’m sure a lot of people have heard of. The weird thing is that this one appears to be in Leicester rather than Faerghus, but it probably doesn’t mean anything significant.
      Arianrhod (Ar-ee-AN-rhod; not sure how to explain the difference between /r/ and /rh/, but they are voiced/voiceless equivalents and regarded as separate letters in the Welsh language) is a figure from the Mabinogion, sort of your classic “evil bitch” character like Cersei Lannister or someone.
      – Way down in the south of the Adrestian Empire is Morgaine; this is a variant on Morgan (le Fay). It’s not in a Welsh form though, and it’s outside Faerghus. Again, I don’t know if its placement is significant particularly.

      • Adako

        Onto the Irish ones. I’m less clear on pronunciation and the spelling variants here, so it would be handy to have input from an actual Irish person, but I did notice:

        Faerghus itself is the Irish name “Fergus”, as far as I can tell. Possibly as in “Fergus mac Roich”.
        Brionac is a name sometimes attributed to Lugh’s spear, or one of them. Ahh, the Irish and their legendary spears. Anyway, you can also find this name used in Xenoblade 2. I believe Lugh itself has already been used for the name of a character in Roy’s game, but I haven’t played that one.
        Fhirdiad might be a variant on Ferdiad, who is Cú Chulainn’s rival/best friend/etc – how shounen of them 😉 If you know anything about the Fate franchise, you may have heard of that Cú guy.

        The Adrestian locales seem to be mostly Scandinavian or Norse, on which my knowledge is a lot smaller, but I do know that Hraesvelgr is notable because it is a giant eagle. There is also a summoned monster in Bravely Default called Hraesvelgr, and Velgrmon from Digimon is also based on this concept, and is also black.

        • MattLaTique

          Fantastic!! I always were interested in etymology, it reveals so much on the influences! Ironically, if it is cleverly used, it is a double edge-sword, because you can understand things earlier in a story…

          As a french speaker, I can’t sadly be of use here…

        • Gamemastah

          To give a possible answer to Fodlán, Fodlá is a goddess from Irish mythology. She and her 2 sisters had an argument over who the island will be named after, and consulted a bard, who decided to name it after all 3. Well, technically, Ériu won, hence Ireland, but poets insist that Fódhla and Banba are also suitable names. At least, this is what Wikipedia told me, since I’m no Irish myth expert.

          • Big Klingy

            Interestingly, Fodlá, Banba and Ériu have been referenced in Fire Emblem before, as the names of three minor antagonists from FE4’s second gen, the mage sisters. Most fan-translations butchered them to “Vampa, Fetra and Elliu” though.

  • Bcardia

    Those villain designs are hot, specially the second one.

  • vanguard333

    Anyone think that the Red Emperor will be this story’s equivalent of Isaac McDougal from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood or Egil from Xenoblade Chronicles 1; a seemingly obvious bad guy who turns out to be a well-intentioned extremist trying to stop the real bad guys?

  • Rei1556

    is this one a new article from famitsu regarding fire emblem three houses?

  • Shirogane95

    WHAT I LEARNED TODAY: So far the villains apparently beat out the heroes with actual good character designs? Interesting yet not surprising.