As promised yesterday, today’s Nintendo Treehouse Live started off with Three Houses. Overall, there was roughly 30 minutes of footage, covering the academy and battle parts. You might know I wrote a pretty big analysis for 8 mins of Gamespot’s video, which wasn’t even all gameplay. So, er, get ready for another mammoth analysis, I guess?
To save you some time, here are the big reveals. Firstly, when exploring the cathedral, dual audio was confirmed. So those who prefer Japanese voices can rejoice! Around the same time, we learned that some support conversations are only available post-timeskip–and you can romance characters during that time as well.
Also, it’s been confirmed that Raphael and Ignatz (previously translated as Ignace) from the Golden Deer can be recruited for use during the school phase even if you picked the Black Eagles. Previously, it seemed like they could only be used during the war phase, 5 years later.
Otherwise, keep reading for every detail, big or small!
Oh, actually, to make things hopefully easier, this analysis will be divided into two. To save my sanity and to give you some content to mull over while I finish the second half.
The footage begins with the male protagonist, Byleth, in his personal quarters. It’s currently the 11th month, the Red Wolf Moon, which is around halfway through the school phase. The player’s Professor Level (Instructor Level) is D, which is slightly lower than in the Gamespot preview. As such, only 3 action points are available.
Uh, straight away, I think they showed off something they weren’t supposed to: just below, you can see Sothis, who we’re told only exists in Byleth’s mind. It’s possible that this is an illusion, but she looks pretty physical to me. I’m guessing something happens in the story–maybe related to the protagonist’s crest or the sword–that allows her to appear in the physical world?
Anyway, they roam around for a bit, passing by Bernadetta’s room, wandering in front of the greenhouse and fishing spot, before entering the dining hall. There’s a plethora of unaccepted quest markers, perhaps suggesting they avoided doing all–or most of–the quests up to this point. By the side of the screen, there are three quests, which have been accepted or are mandatory.
Inside the dining hall, Dedue (who has a quest) and Edelgard are available for a chat. Apparently, the player picked the Black Eagles in this save file. Next, we’re taken towards the Dining Staff. Right now, there’s an active quest: “Faculty and Knight Mixer”, which encourages dining with professors and knights. Well, shall we?
The player chooses Today’s Special, the Spicy Fish and Turnip Stew. The description mentions a location called “Teutates”, found within the north-west region of Faerghus. Plus a place called” Dagda”, which I don’t think is on the map. It also sounds a bit similar to Daska, where Dedue comes from. There haven’t been any name changes yet, so I don’t think Daska and Dagda are the same place, but…
After choosing the dish, we see the list of characters. Along the top are those that enjoy the dish. There’s also an up arrow next to Manuela, which suggests she receives a bigger boost from the dish, since the quest does encourage eating with staff. Characters you’re teaching have motivation (smiley face) icons next to them as well. Also, we can confirm that Marianne’s name is unchanged.
Petra and Manuela are both invited for this meal. As you’d expect, you gain support points between the protagonist, Petra and Manuela. Also, since Petra is your student, her motivation goes up, so you can tutor her more. Afterwards, the protagonist gains experience towards his Professor Level, increasing it from D to D+. This gives more activity points for exploration and more monthly funds.
In addition, a quest called “Share a Bite” from Sylvain is resolved. Completing questions earns you items, like ingredients for dining, plus Renown. With this quest completed, it’s removed off the side of the screen, but another quest–likely queued from earlier–takes its place. Obviously, once you’ve cleared all queued quests, they’ll all disappear from the screen.
Moving on, the player brings up the map to fast-travel. While selecting a fast-travel point, they go past a few interesting places. Firstly, in your Personal Quarters, no occupants are listed. Despite Sothis being present. So she’s not currently a “character” that you can interact with, like the other students and staff.
Next, a new female character is visible in the Officer’s Academy: Flayn (shown above). There’s also a Library on the 2nd floor, where Claude and Linhardt are chillin’. Plus the 2nd floor of the Dormitory is available by this point. Finally, they select the Cathedral to travel to.
The cathedral is the grand church-like location seen in the debut trailer, which I tentatively named the “Abbey”. Anyway, the agenda for today is the Counselor, who receives advice notes from anonymous students delivered via the Advice Box.
If you’re feeling nice, you can read the notes and offer suggestions from a choice of three options. You are timed, so you need to think fast as well! Although the students are anonymous, you can easily guess them from the silhouettes. Plus their identities are revealed after answering. You earn support points for answering well.
Likewise, you can clear a quest from Mercedes the first time you do this. In addition to ingredients, you can even get weapons, like the Steel Bow. Unsurprisingly, earning support points lets you view support conversations. But some are only available after the time skip. Presumably Petra’s A support with Edelgard happens during that time.
We’re told a piece of vital information: after the time skip, you can pursue romance. This makes a lot of sense, since many of the characters are probably slightly too young during the school phase. But once 5 years have passed, they’re all fair game.
While they’re explaining supports, the player chooses two characters for Choir Practice, another weekend sub-activity. Like dining, you can pick students from other houses and staff, but you can only boost the motivation of students under your wing. Anyway, it seems Ferdinand through Manuela all enjoy singing. How sweet.
The player goes with Ferdy and Dorothea. Choir practice seems to function a lot like sharing a meal in the dining hall. The protagonist and the two participating characters all gain support points between each other, but instead of motivation, the other characters gain Faith experience, while the protagonist gains Authority experience. Plus the usual experience towards your Professor Level.
As the player manually exits the weekend section, they talk about the game being fully voiced, which you could’ve guessed. However, they answer a question I’m sure many of you were pondering: yes, the game has dual audio (English and Japanese).
From here, we finally see the calendar system in action! With the weekend over, we move onto to the weekdays where you’re obliged to teach your students. At the start of the week, you can formulate a Lesson Plan. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, you can let the game automatically decide for you.
Anyway, the player chooses to manually instruct, so we can see how that works. As we’ve seen before, you have a number of activity points that you can use to Instruct students individually (or Auto-Instruct) to boost specific Professor Levels (skills), change their Goals or assign a Group Task.
Linhardt is the subject of individual Instructing. He has strengths in Reason and Faith, but weaknesses in Axe and Fighting. There are Professor Expertises in Sword, Fighting, Authority and Heavy Armor.
Currently, Linhardt’s motivation level, indicated by the smiley face gauge, is at 50%. So he can be tutored twice. They mention that Linhardt has a custom focus of Lance and Riding, since they want him to become a Cavalier. This doesn’t seem to affect instructing, but may be useful for something else, which we’ll see later.
First, they choose Lance to develop, but the result is Bad, resulting in a measly 2 experience. You can then Critique or Console him. He seems more receptive to consoling, so they go with that. His motivation rises by 25%, so he’s back at 50%. But the maximum value is bumped up to 75%. They choose Lance again and this time it’s good, giving the default 4 experience. Just 4 more to go…
The third time, it’s Perfect, which results in double experience, so 8. Linhardt increases his Lance rank from D+ and C, gaining the Knightkneeler Combat Art. This debuted in Echoes as a powerful attack that’s effective versus horseback foes. Because of the Perfect, you can Praise him, again boosting his current and maximum motivation by 25%.
With motivation to spare, they choose Riding to instruct real quick. By sheer luck, the result is Great, providing 1.5 times experience and just enough to rank up! Now it’s D+. Sadly, no new skills or Combat Art was obtained. But maybe you can ride better horses?
That’s Linhardt done! All of this only used up 1 activity point, meaning 3 more students can be tutored.
Ferdinand is chosen next. He has strengths in Sword, Lance and Axe. The Professor Expertises are unchanged, presumably because they’re tied to the protagonist. Anyway, Ferdinand is tutored in Axe twice, ranking up to C. He learns the Helm Splitter Combat Art.
Back to the main Lesson Plan menu. Two activity points remain, but won’t be used today. The player instead goes to Group Tasks to take a gander. Edelgard and Ferdinand have been assigned to Stable Duty, which boosts Riding. Ferdinand has a strength in Riding too. They choose Sky Watch and assign Edelgard and Bernadetta.
While choosing the second character, we can see Edelgard’s support levels. Strangely, when selecting Linhardt, there are two small arrows above the A rank. I’m not quite sure what this suggests. It’s not available with Hubert and Ferdinand, her other male options. In Petra’s case, the A rank was completely absent, so it’s probably not a lock.
That’s enough fiddling around; they go to “Begin Lecture” to start off the week. At this point, any students with their own suggestions for study goals (what skills to focus on) will come up to you. These can be accepted or declined at your discretion.
We then whizz through the calendar. As I thought, you don’t physically experience every single day of the calendar. During the weekdays, you’ll quickly move through the different days, occasionally stopping if there’s something interesting, like a birthday. On the final day, students assigned to a Group Task will report their results. I think only one Group Task can be assigned per week.
We’ve seen this screen before in Japanese. After a Group Task, the participating students earn support points and you can earn gold and Smithing Stones, which are probably used for forging weapons.
After this, you get a results screen for the week that just passed. This is where study goals come in. Students will automatically gain experience in skills they’re focusing on.
Time for some number crunching!
Unfortunately, we can’t see Edelgard’s initial experience points because her numbers starts increasing before the screen fades in. But we can definitely see the rest.
At the least, we know Edelgard ranks up from C to C+ in Axe.
Hubert gains 32 experience each in Reason and Authority. He ranks up from C to C+ in Reason.
Ferdinand gains 48 experience in Axe, his sole focus. This is a 50% loss overall, but a 50% gain for Axe. So it seems focusing on one weapon has its upsides and downsides. Doing so speeds up your growth in that weapon, but weakens your overall growth.
Linhardt gains 28 experience in Lance and Riding. I assume that’s standard, while 32 is probably for those with a Strength in a particular skill. We do know Linhardt is neutral towards Lance and Riding. So there’s a difference of 4 per week.
Caspar also gains 48 experience in Axe, ranking up from C to C+.
Bernadetta gains 32 experience in Lance and Bow, ranking up from C to C+ in Bow.
Dorothea gains 48 like the others with a singular focus.
Petra gains 32/32 in Sword and Axe.
Raphael, from the Golden Deer, gains 32/32 in Axe and Fighting.
Finally, Ignatz–also from the Golden Deer–gains 32/32 in Sword and Bow.
The last two characters are very important. We know that you can recruit students from other houses, but we weren’t 100% sure if you could use them during the school phase or just the war phase. Right now, we know you can recruit at least two characters during this time. Also, these two will make another appearance later.
Immediately afterwards, we go through all the skills and Combat Arts learned.
For reaching C+ Axe, Edelgard learns the Monster Breaker Combat Art and the Axe Prowess Lv 3 skill.
Likewise, Hubert learns Reason Prowess Lv 3 for reaching C+ Reason.
Caspar gets the Wild Abandon Combat Art and Axe Prowess Lv 3 skill for C+ Axe. Hang on, different characters can learn different Combat Arts for the same weapon and rank?
Bernadetta gets Deadeye, which was previously a Mastery skill in the Tellius games, and Bow Prowess Lv 3 for C+ in Bow.
That’s everybody who ranked up.
Now we come full cycle back to the weekend, where you can explore the monastery once again, among other activities. Since we’ve already done some exploring, we’ll be checking out a few of these other activities. Before leaving, there’s a Fighting tournament going on, where you can win a pair of Steel Gauntlets+.
Firstly, we’re shown the Certifications menu, where you can check your current available classes and take exams to class-change to new classes. We saw this in the Gamespot preview, but this time we can see the female classes too.
The Beginner classes are Myrmidon, Soldier, Fighter and Monk.
For Intermediate, there’s Lord (house leaders only), Mercenary, Thief, Armored Knight, Cavalier, Brigand, Archer, Brawler (male-only), Mage, Dark Mage (male-only), Priest and Pegasus Knight (female-only). Sadly, it seems girls have one less class than guys.
Advanced classes we’ve yet to be introduced to, but I can try to guess them? Hero (male-only), Swordmaster, Rogue, General, Paladin, Wyvern Rider, Warrior, Sniper, Gladiator (this one I completely made up; male only), Sage and Bishop. Now girls have two less classes than guys…
There’s also space to scroll down for another tier of classes…
Ta-da, here’s Linhardt and Ferdinand in their new classes! Going from Priest to Cavalier, Linhardt gains 2 Strength… and that’s it. Well, the extra movement and Canto is sure to help. Meanwhile, Ferdinand seems to gain nothing going from Cavalier to Brigand. Worse, he loses his current Battalion since its move type is not compatible.
While pondering their next move, the player briefly selects the Skip option, which lets you skip ahead to certain dates and events within them. The red exclamation mark seems to indicate a story event, while blue ones are paralogues. We’ll discuss the latter very soon. Meanwhile the fishing one is related to exploring the monastery.
I think the player accidentally selects Battle, but we’ll come to that soon. They quickly exit out and choose Seminar instead. Here, you can give weekend lessons to students or sit in another instructor’s lesson. Each instructor specialises in two particular skills. Two new instructors can be seen: Gilbert and Shamir. We can also confirm Hanneman and Alois’s names.
Also, the attendees are automatically picked from those who are interested. I think the game checks their study goals. I’m guessing if at least one of the advertised skill matches one of the skills they’re focusing on, they’re eligible. If Byleth is not teaching, he/she is always an attendee.
Seteth is chosen as the instructor. Let’s check the results, shall we? Byleth, Edelgard and Hubert all gain 40 experience in Lance, ranking up from E to E+. Meanwhile, they all gain 30 experience in Authority, with Hubert ranking up from D+ to C. Sadly, the player closes the window before Linhardt and Bernadetta finish collecting exp. Nooo….
Judging from the numbers we do have, it looks like the ranks next to the advertised skills give you an idea of how much experience you’ll get from the seminar. Seteth had B in Lance and C+ in Authority, which would correlated with the 40 and 30 experience earned. It’s either that or those are the maximum ranks you can attain from the seminar.
Of course, ranking up means new skills and/or Combat Arts! Oh, here’s a rare moment where Byleth says something. I’m guessing he has lines for leveling up as well. Anyway, E+ Lance grants Lance Prowess Lv 1. A C in Authority gives the Battalion Wrath skill. Also, as before, C in Lance grants the Knightkneeler Combat Art.
We’re quickly taken through another week of studies, without any individual instructions. Before the first day starts, Ignatz comes up with another goal suggestion, but this time it’s to let him become a Thief or Assassin. Hmm, is that one of the Advanced classes? Maybe what I guessed was a Rogue?
On Friday, there’s a special event celebrating the founding of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. It seems you can enjoy a special meal in the dining hall. Unfortunately, the player is strapped for time, so they skip this. Finally, Edelgard and Bernadetta report their weekly Group Task, since they were still assigned.
At the end, we see the end-of-week results, but very briefly. Petra learns the Helm Splitter Combat Art for obtaining C in Axe, Raphael learns the Lancebreaker skill for reaching B in Axe and, lastly, Ignatz gets the Axebreaker skill for achieving B in Sword. Fantastic results, everyone!
It’s the weekend again, but–oh–it’s someone’s birthday! Marianne’s to be exact. You can choose to give her a special birthday flower for the low price of 200 G. You might have noticed there wasn’t a birthday icon visible on the calendar–it seems birthdays during weekends aren’t marked, probably because there are too many icons.
Like last week, the Brawling Tournament is still on-going. But we’re gonna finally check out that Battle option… Here, you can access various side battles. We’ve seen a similar screen in Famitsu, on the right. At the top is “The Remire Calamity”, which I think is the end-of-month story mission.
Below it are three paralogues, visible from the calendar earlier. Each weekend, you have one activity point dedicated to battles–and everything except the mission and one low Level auxiliary battle (Normal difficulty only) cost activity points. So you really need to be careful.
Paralogues are optional chapters/battles focusing on one or multiple characters. Interestingly, the first one focuses on Sothis. She doesn’t seem to be a character you can interact with in the monastery, but there are events related to her at least. The second one involves Ingrid and Dorothea–and was covered in fair detail via Famitsu.
Just in case, it seems you can accept paralogues involving students from other houses. Currently, the player has sided with the Black Eagles, so Dorothea makes sense. But Ingrid is from the Blue Lions–and she’s definitely not recruited. Confusingly, they say you need to recruit these other students to unlock their paralogues, but I think it’s a mistake.
They pick “Death Toll”, which involves Raphael and Ignatz, who they poached from the Golden Deer. You may remember I awkwardly translated this as “Disquieting Death Co-ordination” (the latter part refers to co-ordinated attacks). Thankfully, the localisation team is allowed to take more liberties, unlike us more humble translators!
As the paralogue loads, we see the save screen for a moment, as well as the chapter opening screen. Right now, it’s the eighth chapter “The Flame in the Darkness”. Also, the game explicitly mentions what part you’re in: “Part I: White Clouds”. I’m guessing Part II is “Dark Clouds” or something?
Like traditional paralogues/side chapters, there’s dialogue before you start the battle. The player rapidly skips through the dialogue, but you can pause to read everything. Anyway, what’s happening is that merchants from Leicester are being attacked by monsters and they want you to fix things.
…I think that’s a good place to stop. I’ll continue the rest–the battle part–in the second half of this article.