Fire Emblem: Three Houses Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Fire Emblem: Three Houses RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Longest Games to Sink Hundreds of Hours Into https://www.gameskinny.com/g8l37/the-longest-games-to-sink-hundreds-of-hours-into https://www.gameskinny.com/g8l37/the-longest-games-to-sink-hundreds-of-hours-into Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:44:37 -0400 Ty Arthur

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Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

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There is absolutely no question that you could sink a ton of hours into Monster Hunter World, the most recent entry in the Monster Hunter franchise, but it's Freedom Unite that takes the crown. Thing is, you need as PSP or PlayStation Vita to play it.

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Offering up to 400 hours of play time, there's an undeniable sense of accomplishment built into Freedom Unite. that triggers something deep in our ancestral memory when we take down some big game, and Freedom Unite offers the ultimate in hunting with gigantic monsters.

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What long games are you playing when you find yourself in need a few hundred hours to waste? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on our picks, and be sure to give us some recommendations for games we could play until our eyes bleed!

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Star Citizen

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Though it's possible that Star Citizen will never be complete, what's available now in the game's Alpha version is still extremely extensive. 

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While still missing many key features, there's plenty to do between combat and delivery missions, mining and trading, exploration, and direct interactions with other players. If you've ever wanted to go explore the stars in the most ambitious video game universe ever conceived, Star Citizen is the ultimate sci-fi time sink. 

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Pokemon Black and White

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While some Pokemon games are drastically shorter than others, Black and White is probably the way to go if you're looking to really sink your teeth into something.

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For a Pokemon game, there is simply a stupid amount of content in Black and White, and it adds in 150 new pocket monsters to the roster to boot. The gameplay might be old-hat and repetitive by now, but if you want to relive your halcyon days of monster collecting, this is the way to go.

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Of course, Black and White isn't your only option. For Switch owners, there's also Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the games don't include all of the Pokemon from the get-go, a completionist run could last more than 100 hours, and there are two expansions still on the horizon!

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Fire Emblem Three Houses

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Other than Breath Of The Wild, which I'm assuming you already know you should have played, this is one of the very best, and longest, games on the Nintendo Switch. 

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Three Houses is filled to the brim with tactical combat and deeply strategic party management. It's got a winding, engaging story, and features elements from other genres, such as simulation and education. 

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It isn't a stretch to say you'll be putting in 60 hours on the low end. For those who have to explore every nook and cranny and find every secret, 100 hours isn't inconceivable.

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Persona 5

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In general, console RPGs tend to offer pretty lengthy campaigns, especially compared against the brevity of any given shooter's single-player mode. But the cream of the crop is Persona 5.

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The Persona games have always included a number of deeply interconnected relationship systems against the backdrop of intense complexity. Persona 5 kicks that design into high gear with the lengthiest story campaign yet, not to mention its Memento dungeons full of fantastic loot.

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Depending on how much of Tokyo you explore and how far into New Game+ mode you go, 100 hours of playtime is a low-end estimate. If you've already played Persona 5, it might be worth jumping back in with Persona 5 Royal. If that doesn't suit your fancy, take a look at our ranking of the Persona franchise from best to worst.

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Disgaea Series

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Old-school gamers might recall how you technically could get Cloud Strife to Level 99 on the PS1 version of Final Fantasy 7, but you weren't really supposed to do that. The gameplay just wasn't built around that type of grind, which got old  fast.

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Alternatively, Disgaea is a series that's explicitly built around that exact hustle, and the level cap isn't 99: it's 9,999. Yep, you read that right.

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Aside from a ludicrously-high character level, every item you pick up in Disgaea has its own randomized dungeon, all so you can level up said item to 9,999. Theoretically speaking, there's no cap to the number of hours you could spend here. Some have certainly spent thousands upon thousands ... 

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Thankfully, the series' strategy RPG combat stays fun during the endless grind, and all of the Disgaea titles feature tongue-in-cheek characters and interactions to keep things entertaining.

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I'm a fan of Disgaea 2's PC port, but honestly, any of these titles on either console or PC are just phenomenal and worth sinking time into. Want the latest and greatest? Disgaea 5 is the most recent main entry to hit PS4.

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Battletech

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What's more fun than giant mechs stomping each other into oblivion?  Harebrained Schemes' take on the long-running Battletech franchise. It's a winner when you need a game that goes on for a long, looooooong time.

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While the campaign itself is somewhere in the 60-70 hour range, it's what comes after — when the full map opens up  that's a real time sink. Whether you're an achievement hunter, or you're just trying to get all the parts to build that elusive crab mech, you're facing down hundreds of hours of missions.

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While such a glut of content got a bit stale at launch, additional mechs, travel events, and new mission types have since been added with free updates and paid DLC. If you quit after 120 the game first dropped, now is a great time to jump back in to see what's changed. Maybe even add 120 more. 

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Any Civilization Game

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Why stick with just one era of expansion and conquer when you could cover all of human history and then go far into the future as well? That's what's on tap if you decide to jump into Civilization, Sid Meier's 4X claim to fame. 

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As strategy games go, Civilization is the paradigm to beat. Its turn-based design has stood the test of time and influenced countless other titles. Games can play out as fairly quickly if you know what you're doing, and unique bouts abound no matter which of the hundreds of civilizations you pick.  

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One truly ludicrous example showcases a player who has been playing the same game of Civilization 2 for 10 solid years. No, not in-game years. Someone has spent a decade of their life on ONE Civilization match that never ended. 

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If you aren't familiar with the gameplay, I recommend jumping in with either Civilization 5 or Civilization 6.

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Sins Of A Solar Empire Rebellion

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Just about any major 4X game could have made this list since they're all focused on expansion, have sprawling maps, and provide plenty of replay value. 

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For the real goods, though, look no further than Sins Of A Solar Empire. Whether you want to establish an empire and deal with economic and political issues or just conquer the stars, Sins has dozens of gameplay possibilities. 

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Between the story mode and the game's random maps, there are immediately hundreds of hours at your fingertips — but that's just the start. The game supports a bevy of mods, including those for popular fandoms such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Stargate

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For example, the insanely-detailed Armada 3 mod is still the best Star Trek game that's ever been made, even if it's only a fan-made total conversion mod. 

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Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

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There are plenty of killer real-time strategy options out there, like Total War or Company Of Heroes. When you need a game that can keep you occupied for months on end, though, the large-scale conquests of Heroes Of Might And Magic have you covered.

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Heroes Of Might and Magic 5  when the franchise first made the leap to 3D environments  is my personal favorite of the series, but Heroes Of Might And Magic 3: The Restoration Of Erathia is what essentially coined the idea of "just one more turn" in any and every strategy game. It's a great place to start.

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Yes, the graphics are dated, but everything else still holds up. There's an immense level of challenge on the game's harder difficulties, but it's rewarding and worthwhile. That's not to mention the music is still absolutely phenomenal. 

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If you'd rather play something more modern, there are plenty of newer entries that feature advanced the gameplay mechanics and venture into other genres, such as sci-fi. Age Of Wonders: Planetfall is an excellent pick to sink a hundred (or two) hours into.

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Baldur's Gate 2

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You don't have to look to the stars for a sprawling game experience in the triple digits. There's plenty to do in a world like Toril, especially in places like the Sword Coast or Amn.

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The granddaddy of all PC RPGs, Baldur's Gate 2 (or, if you must, the "enhanced edition" from Beamdog) is custom-made for playing in long stretches.

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Even if you've already played it from beginning to end, there's plenty of reason to jump back into the Bhaalspawn saga and try a different route. Side with or against Bohdi and her vampires, go with an all-evil party by grabbing Korgan, Viconia, and Edwin, or try another class to earn a radically different stronghold.

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Another option that involves a significant time investment is the Baldur's Gate 2 romance system, which actually plays out over weeks and months of in-game time as you get to know companions. 

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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KC:D doesn't have nearly the same insane potential as Kenshi, but the trade-off is that there's significantly more story to enjoy. It does so in an open world with multiple ways to approach any situation.

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You start off as a peasant-nobody and have to build up your gear and reputation in a very (very) deadly world. The combat is deep and tactical, with dozens of different weapon choices from swords to maces. Clothing also plays a key role not only for defense but for social standing. And there's a crafting element that's rooted in real-life alchemy. 

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Kingdom Come is also significantly more polished and graphically pleasing than Kenshi, and looks utterly gorgeous on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, not to mention a high-end PC. 

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Kenshi

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Unconcerned with the typical story-rich RPG experience, Kenshi lets you play however you want. A true sandbox, you can build your own empire, become a slaver, start a rebellion, or just spend time crafting and researching. There's no right or wrong way to play Kenshi.

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Once you get the basics of this truly punishing game down, though, it's time to extend your playtime with the game's dozens of mods. Here's a list of must-download Kenshi mods to get you started.

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Ark: Survival Evolved

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We'll start with the ultimate time sink. If you dig survival games or just like the idea of riding a dino across a prehistoric landscape before building your own city, Ark is up your alley.

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You probably already know about Ark, but if you don't, the idea isn't just to fight other survivors and build a settlement, but it's also to tame and domesticate wild animals. From fiery Ark magmasaurs to spidery bloodhunters, creatures of all shapes and sizes can join your primal menagerie when you figure out the proper taming methods.

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Yeah, it has some clunky UI and connectivity issues still, but there really isn't any competition when it comes to Ark, a survival sim where you get to build up a stable of animals and craft a society however you please.

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To really understand the amount of time you might lose to Ark, just take a gander at the game's Steam page, where hundreds and hundreds of players have logged thousands of hours of play time!

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If you're not a fan of the game's prehistoric sci-fi setting, Outlaws Of The Old West has essentially identical gameplay but lets you live out your Wild West fantasies instead.

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Sometimes you just have a lot of time on your hands. Whether it's because of a long weekend or an extended vacation, there are times you just want to immerse yourself in a digital world for 100+ hours. 

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Luckily, there are a ton of games that fit the bill. We're going to assume you already know that heavily modded Elder Scrolls entries or Fallout 3/4 offer hundreds of hours of gaming opportunities. So instead of pointing out the completely obvious, we're going to focus on a handful of games you might have forgotten about or, perhaps, hadn't considered. 

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows Review — Smouldered Glory https://www.gameskinny.com/tl35m/fire-emblem-three-houses-cindered-shadows-review-smouldered-glory https://www.gameskinny.com/tl35m/fire-emblem-three-houses-cindered-shadows-review-smouldered-glory Tue, 18 Feb 2020 16:11:05 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ expansion pass is finally complete with the release of the side-story content, Cindered Shadows.

The DLC is definitely the meatiest portion of the expansion pass and promises a completely different take on monastery life and the game’s overall combat. But does it live up to its namesake

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows Review — Smouldered Glory

Cindered Shadows is a separate story right from the start. You’ll pick your protagonist, gender, and name all over again, and support and ability levels are fixed throughout. It all begins sometime after Chapter 2 of the main game, once the Rite of Rebirth gets crashed.

Byleth (or whatever you call them) and the House leaders notice someone suspicious lurking around Garreg Mach and go to investigate after being joined by one student from each house: Linhardt from the Black Eagles, Hilda from the Golden Deer, and Ashe from the Blue Lions. This is your posse for the next eight hours or so.

It's not much of an army, but your group gets some big new additions after finishing the first battle. After that, you’ll make nice with the Ashen Wolves house in Abyss, consisting of just four students: Yuri, Constance, Balthus, and Hapi.

You might be a hotshot yourself and have three world-changers along with you, but these four are the heart of the Cindered Shadows story — except they also aren’t to an extent, but more on that later.

Like in Three Houses’ main campaign, Cindered Shadows’ main plot beats aren’t too hard to guess, and you’ll immediately figure out who these four subterranean dwellers are. The question then becomes why they’re here.

Despite being a side story, the narrative has a great deal of relevance to the main plot. I won’t spoil any of it further than saying Byleth and Rhea both get some very good, and very necessary, character development.

Also like Three Houses, the main fun comes from watching these events unfold and seeing how they fit with what you already know about the world from the main story and, more importantly, how the characters respond to them.

The four Ashen Wolves are, undoubtedly, some of the best characters in Three Houses, both in their combat usefulness and how they're written. It's true their stories are central to the experience, but for me, the unspoken star here is Abyss itself.

This is where all the rejects in society end up — sick people, poor people, rogues, undesirables of all sorts. It's also where those who simply got left behind call home. There are nobles here, but even they have no influence anymore, fallen from grace as they are.

The Church of Seiros tolerates Abyss because it thinks the people are necessary to keep the world balanced, but “tolerance” just means “lets them live without the light of day and might wipe them out eventually. It depends on the day.”

Though the story is brief, it’s a hugely refreshing spin on a world many of us have already spent hundreds of hours in. I mentioned in our original Three Houses review this is one of the most richly-realized Fire Emblem worlds. If anything, it’s just a bit disappointing the entire story was finished in Three Houses, because Cindered Shadows proves there’s a host of possibilities in exploring the various characters and perspectives the world has to offer.

Of course, Fire Emblem is a strategy game before it’s an RPG, and bad maps can bring the best stories down. 

Here, we get four new maps, one of which is the monastery's Cathedral (!!). Cindered Shadows doesn’t exactly break the mold of map creativity, even re-using one of the new maps, but it does use its assets in some excellent ways. 

Sometimes, you’ll have to suss out the best route in a large, open map; others, you’ll be stretched to your limit, beset on all sides by countless foes. I played on Hard, and it’s a lot like Maddening mode. Enemies are at least five or more levels stronger than you, Gambits are an absolute necessity — but need to be used wisely — and you’ll live or die by your clever use of Combat Arts.

The penultimate map and the final boss are actually some of the best Fire Emblem we’ve seen in years in terms of making you use each system to its fullest.

Fortunately, the same options for Normal or Hard, Casual or Classic, exist here, so someone wanting less of an ordeal can still find plenty of fun. Plus there’s an excellent new BGM track.

And then it ends.

It’s a satisfying ending, no doubt about it, but the integration with the main story leaves something to be desired. That’s because the Cindered Shadows scenario has a distinct ending with no relation to the main story, and then you re-load your main story file and recruit all four Ashen Wolves who don’t even know you now.

I can’t imagine the effort required to somehow link the two scenarios more smoothly, but it’s still a bit jarring.

Luckily, that sense of discombobulation doesn’t last. Completing the side story is just one part of the expansion, and the Abyss you unlock after completion has a lot going for it, even with the odd transition. 

The biggest thing is, of course, introducing four new classes: War Monk/Cleric, Dark Flier, Trickster, and Valkyrie. Just this small addition can completely change how you develop your students, and best of all, it fixes two big issues from the main campaign.

Brawling classes were once exclusive to men, which was a bit odd because Hilda and others were perfect for brawling. War Cleric fixes that. Mages in the main game are sadly limited in their class choices after Intermediate level.

Then you had the oddity of characters excelling in skills that would never do them any good; for example, it was pointless leveling up skills like Flayn’s lance skill because flying classes can’t use magic. Enter the Dark Flier, which requires those skills, and Valkyrie, which gives you even more options for your magic wielders.

To get these, you’ll need to develop the Abyss by spending your Renown and taking on some fundamental quests; this unlocks the option to trade Renown for items — like the Abyssian Exam Seal — at the Pagan Altar in Abyss. If you’re starved for Renown for whatever reason, don’t worry. You get 10,000 Renown just for finishing Cindered Shadows.

You can level up Abyss itself by spending Renown, bringing in new helpful characters like the stat evaluator, and generally making it more livable for the folks there on the whole.

The four Ashen Wolves get some very good support conversations as well, mostly with each other, but also with Byleth (in fact, Yuri can marry both Byleths) and a select few other students. You’ll want them on your team for sure.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows — The Verdict

Pros
  • Great story and overall worldbuilding
  • Fantastic combat scenarios
  • Carries over into the main game for even more reason to keep playing
Cons
  • Jarring transition into the main game
  • New classes aren't available except through the expansion pass.

Barring some iffy integration and the fact that new classes are locked behind DLC, Cindered Shadows and the Three House expansion pass are completely worth it. Though short, the story is a chance to learn more about some vital players in the main game and get a new look at the world itself.

The combat is the best Fire Emblem combat in years, and you get some very good carryovers into the main game that make it worth going back yet again to re-shape the world.

[Note: A copy of Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows was provided for the purpose of this review.]

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Awesome Fan Project Imagines Fire Emblem: Three Houses in GBA Style https://www.gameskinny.com/xy0hj/awesome-fan-project-imagines-fire-emblem-three-houses-in-gba-style https://www.gameskinny.com/xy0hj/awesome-fan-project-imagines-fire-emblem-three-houses-in-gba-style Tue, 11 Feb 2020 17:13:01 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem: Three Houses was a big leap forward for the franchise when it launched last year on Nintendo Switch, with grander stories, more characters, and a fully realized hub world. But not everyone has forgotten the series' golden days on the Game Boy Advance.

Dethraxx and the Three Houses Demake dev team aren't just re-imagining Three Houses in GBA style; they're remaking it.

The project started a few months back, with a mock-up of the Prologue battle and dialogue in GBA style. In December, the team took it further and re-created the entirety of Chapter 1 in the Blue Lions' route, including the scenes in Garrag Mach Monastery and the opening mock battle.

The game's log shows the team is at Chapter 5 as of now. Just the few videos made so far show the progress made with the Monastery, which no longer uses the "all units have moved, end phase" structure to let you move around.

However, the team is still in need of more animators and hasn't quite included all the character models yet, which I suspect is why Annette is a purple-bearded man in the Mock Battle video above.

Still, it's a clever project. The team recycled character models from Sacred Stones (some of which are, themselves, recycles from Blazing Blade), so we've got Dimitri built on Ephraim, Byleth from Eirika/Eliwood, and Lorenz is Amelia the knight-in-training (d'awww).

In addition to showing off even more changes, battle sequences, and improved models, the most recent video shows just how well the game's epic soundtrack translates into bit-tunes — which is to say, really, really well.

For now, the Demake dev team doesn't plan on releasing a ROM until the final product is finished, but there's talk of a Part 1 demo when they're able to make it happen. Though it's hard to complain when Nintendo protects its IPs and shuts fan projects down, here's hoping this one stays alive as long as possible.

The team posts regular updates on Discord, so you can follow along there. Stay tuned to GameSkinny as well, as we track the Fire Emblem: Three Houses demake evolution.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows Limits Class, Ability Choices https://www.gameskinny.com/wmnf4/fire-emblem-three-houses-cindered-shadows-limits-class-ability-choices https://www.gameskinny.com/wmnf4/fire-emblem-three-houses-cindered-shadows-limits-class-ability-choices Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:16:08 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows expansion launches next Friday for Expansion Pass owners, and we're getting some more details about how battles in the Abyss will play out.

We already reported that players will use a specific set of students to overcome the grueling challenges underneath Garreg Mach Monastery. Now, according to the official Fire Emblem Twitter account (translated by Nintendo Everything), it seems there will be class restrictions to deal with as well.

Normally, you can choose from a mind-boggling array of classes and abilities for any character. In Cindered Shadows, though, you'll be limited to a few classes per character, and the same goes for abilities.

Battles in Cindered Shadows are supposed to be much more difficult than those in the main game, and they're designed like puzzles you need to overcome with the limited resources available to you.

 

So, if you want Linhardt to embrace his inner fist-fighter or really dig the idea of vengeance-obsessed Dimitri as a dancer, you'll have to keep that to the main game.

The tweet also mentions new models. However, we don't know whether that's a reference to the included characters each getting a new model, which we already knew, or if it's something else.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Cindered Shadows news as it emerges.

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Nintendo Switch Sails Past Remarkable Sales Milestone https://www.gameskinny.com/ioaqy/nintendo-switch-sails-past-remarkable-sales-milestone https://www.gameskinny.com/ioaqy/nintendo-switch-sails-past-remarkable-sales-milestone Thu, 30 Jan 2020 12:43:51 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Nintendo published its most recent financial report recently, and it contained some big milestones for the Nintendo Switch. It also contained some tidbits for Pokemon Sword and Shield, among other 2019 Switch hits.

As of December 31, 2019, the Switch has surpassed total sales of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The SNES sold 49.1 million units worldwide during its market heyday in the early- and mid-'90s. The Switch has now sold 52.48 million units worldwide. The figures include sales of the vanilla Switch and the Switch Lite.

With a slate of games coming up, such as Animal Crossing: New HorizonsLangrisser 1+2, Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl Gold, Rune Factory 4 Special, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX, that number will probably increase.

Pokemon Sword and Shield sold 16 million copies in the two-ish months between release and the end of the year. That's more than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate managed to shift in its launch period and more than Pokemon X and Y and Pokemon Sun and Moon, which are both sitting at just over 16 million each — after being out for six and three years respectively.

Luigi's Mansion 3 sold more than 5 million copies. While we aren't surprised such a well-realized game sold well, the numbers are still impressive seeing as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon only managed to sell close to 5 million after several years on the market.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the other spectacular Nintendo hit from 2019, hasn't quite broken 3 million sales yet. Still, the SRPG genre and Fire Emblem, in particular, aren't as mainstream as Pokemon. That number is almost double what Fire Emblem: Awakening managed to achieve in five years.

In short, Nintendo Switch and its software are doing pretty well on the whole. NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella predicts this success won't change too much in the coming year, either in terms of increases or declines. That's not usually news any product developer wants to hear.

However, considering Sony and Microsoft are launching their next-gen consoles the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this holiday season, it's an impressive prediction should it turn out to be true.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nintendo Switch news as it develops.

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New Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows Details Emerge https://www.gameskinny.com/h5e13/new-fire-emblem-three-houses-cindered-shadows-details-emerge https://www.gameskinny.com/h5e13/new-fire-emblem-three-houses-cindered-shadows-details-emerge Mon, 20 Jan 2020 11:37:25 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The final part of the Fire Emblem: Three Houses expansion pass, Cindered Shadows, was announced last week. It introduced us to the mysterious fourth house called the Ashen Wolves, with its students who live under Garreg Mach Monastery for... reasons. The reveal also raised some questions about how it all fits in with the main game.

We're now getting a better idea of how Cindered Shadows will play out thanks to some new details from Nintendo Japan, along with the Fire Emblem Twitter account. Translations courtesy of RPGSite and Nintendo Everything, respectively.

The DLC is genuinely side content. It will be accessed from the main menu and isn't integrated into the main story. Once players have completed the scenario, though, they can recruit all four main Ashen Wolves into their army — er, class. However, we still don't know if they will have support options with other characters or if they'll be silent helpers like Anna.

The maps are designed to be much more difficult than those in the main game, with new gimmicks and challenges, and players will be using a set group of students for combat. The Fire Emblem Twitter account revealed they will be Dimitri, Claude, Edelgard, Linhardt, Ashe, and Hilda. That's in addition to the four Ashen Wolves students and, of course, the just-announced-for-Smash Byleth.

Non-combat exploration reportedly doesn't use the calendar system either, so we're still in the dark on how the rest of the Cindered Shadows content will play out. Hopefully, we can at least invite these poor wretches denied the light of day to a lovely little tea party. That would make everything better, right?

Anyhow, Cindered Shadows isn't quite a new fourth path that lets you get by without killing everyone, but letting all the House Leaders fight together again is some pretty darn good fanservice nonetheless.

We loved Fire Emblem: Three Houses when it launched last summer and are anxiously awaiting Cindered Shadows' February 13 release date. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Fire Emblem: Three Houses news as it crawls out of the shadows.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Expansion Pass Introduces Fourth House https://www.gameskinny.com/1p3m7/fire-emblem-three-houses-expansion-pass-introduces-fourth-house https://www.gameskinny.com/1p3m7/fire-emblem-three-houses-expansion-pass-introduces-fourth-house Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:11:07 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

It's called Fire Emblem: Three Houses in the West, but the Three Houses expansion pass doesn't care. On February 12, the final wave of Three Houses DLC, titled Cindered Shadows, will introduce a fourth house called the Ashen Wolves. It will also add a new side story on top of the three (or four) main scenarios.

Nintendo of America announced the new scenario in a trailer on Twitter, immediately following Masahiro Sakurai's stream that revealed Byleth from Three Houses for Smash Bros. Ultimate as the final DLC character of the first Fighter Pass.

The Ashen Wolves house is a secret house living and operating underneath Garreg Mach Monastery. Why? We have no idea. Living underground does suggest some interesting connections with the game's important background lore, but Ashen Wolves' leader, Balthus, says the House is comprised mostly of rejects from society.

It seems players will first encounter the Ashen Wolves as enemies, regardless of which House you chose. However, as events start to unfold, they become allies and ask that you help the students fulfill their goals and set things right. It's not clear yet how many students are in the Ashen Wolves, though. The trailer only shows us Balthus, magic-wielder Constance, Hapi the Paladin, and Yuri of the purple hair.

How long the Cindered Shadows, aka Abyss, side content will be is also unclear. Since it's billed as side content, it probably won't be a full narrative arc like the other four paths, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Ashen Wolves news as it's unearthed.

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Byleth Joins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as Fifth DLC Character https://www.gameskinny.com/cs1jd/byleth-joins-super-smash-bros-ultimate-as-fifth-dlc-character https://www.gameskinny.com/cs1jd/byleth-joins-super-smash-bros-ultimate-as-fifth-dlc-character Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:06:57 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The fifth Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter Pass fighter is Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Byleth will be available on January 28 for $5.99 or will unlock automatically if you have the Ultimate Fighter Pass.

They were revealed in today's Mr. Sakurai Presents episode, along with the usual overview of the series and character and refreshing joviality from Masahiro Sakurai himself.

If you're thinking, "What? Another swordsman?", don't worry. The development team knows that and even parodied it in Byleth's clever reveal video, with Sothis criticizing our hero for daring to venture into battle with just a sword.

So, they get three different weapons instead, all of which are Hero's Relics (important items in Three Houses).

The Sword of the Creator is Byleth's default attack and dash attack. It turns into a whip for the up smash attack and the up attack, and it's a grappling whip of sorts with a huge attack range and multiple hits for the up special.

Areadbhar is the side weapon, offering even greater reach than the whip. The side smash using it can even be angled up and down. Because the lance's tip is more powerful, it's best to try and attack enemies at a distance to deal the most damage. The side special is a powerful upward swing taking advantage of that extra reach, but it also has Byleth charge forward.

The axe Aymr is the down attack. It's a tremendous axe blow that can be used with a meteor effect if you're brave enough. The down special is a charged axe strike that also lets Byleth pass through platforms. It's slow, so you'll need to plan carefully to effectively pull it off. Fortunately, it's got a splash effect that damages foes if they're nearby, even if the actual strike misses.

Failnought the bow relic is the neutral special. It's more powerful than Link's bow but can't be fired until the arrow is finished charging. If you keep the button held down after the initial charge, it powers up even more and fires off a beam of light. However, you can't actually do anything else while the bow is charging, though shielding during the charge will cancel the attack.

Byleth's Final Smash is Progenitor God: Ruptured Heaven, a move which sees Byleth channel the power of Sothis into a tremendously strong strike using the Sword of the Creator in its whip form.

The new stage should come as no surprise: Garrag Mach Monastery. It will cycle through the Marketplace, Cathedral, Bridge, and Reception Hall, and each area has its own special guests, like the Marketplace hosting prominent Blue Lions students. One other thing to note about each area is that it has fully destructible objects you can smash to expand the stage's size or use to your advantage.

Some of the music tracks shown off include the ever-popular Fodlan Winds and Between Heaven and Earth, though it's not certain whether more tracks will be added as well.

We've still got six more Fighter Pass characters on the way between now and December 2021, so if you didn't see your all-time favorite in the first round of five, there's always next time. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Smash Ultimate news as it crashes in.

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Nintendo Merchandise Gift Guide: 16 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Nintendo Fan https://www.gameskinny.com/97k5l/nintendo-merchandise-gift-guide-16-gift-ideas-for-your-favorite-nintendo-fan https://www.gameskinny.com/97k5l/nintendo-merchandise-gift-guide-16-gift-ideas-for-your-favorite-nintendo-fan Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:11:50 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-maker-worth-7b677.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-maker-worth-7b677.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203959","description":"

Super Mario Maker 2

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (485 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon

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We'd be remiss if we didn't include Super Mario Maker 2 in our list, the follow-up to the excellent Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. It's the game series that lets you design, play, and share your own Super Mario levels, using items and obstacles from throughout Mario history and offering multiple aesthetic styles to suit your creative needs.

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As comprehensive as the original was, it might seem like there's no way to improve. But Super Mario Maker 2 did improve, adding even more items, even more ways to design your stages, multiplayer options, and a special new Super Mario 3D Land style that lets you create stages with 3D elements.

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On top of that is a much more expanded single-player mode, one that goes far beyond simple tutorials to use for building and sharing stages. The idea is that Mario must help rebuild Peach's castle. While it exists mostly to teach players how to make their own stages, the included levels are easily some of the best designed Mario stages in general, essentially adding a new 2D Mario game on top of the Maker components.

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Even those who spent hundreds of hours with the original found Super Mario Maker 2 to be exciting and fresh.

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---

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And that's it for our Nintendo merchandise gift guide for this year. Hopefully, this list of awesome Nintendo products helped you find a gift for your favorite Nintendo fan — or at least got your gears turning! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-art-72f15.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-art-72f15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203944","description":"

The Art of Bravely Default

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Rating: 5/5 stars (11 total ratings)
Price: $23.49 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon

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Bravely Default isn't a new game, but it's only just now we're getting the lovely art book we've needed since the game launched. Bravely Default itself is a solid RPG, but one of the best things about it is how completely gorgeous it is, alongside the way the story plays with RPG storytelling and its Final Fantasy roots.

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Dark Horse Books — the same ones that published the Mario Odyssey art book — brings us 256 pages stuffed full of content. There's the usual art, of course, following location and character designs from conception through to the finished product. There's also never-before-localized commentary from the development team, covering the story and its origins plus general commentary on the development process.

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This is a natural fit for anyone who's played Bravely Default, though should it already be on your intended recipient's shelf, Dark Horse published a similar book based on the game's sequel, Bravely Second.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-dragon-quest-luminarys-crest-shirt-zaccummin-7d13f.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-dragon-quest-luminarys-crest-shirt-zaccummin-7d13f.png","type":"slide","id":"203948","description":"

Dragon Quest XI Luminary's Crest Slim Fit T-Shirt

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Rating: 90% 5 stars (150 total ratings)
Price: $18.81
Buy it from: Redbubble

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Like Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest still hasn't quite reached a level of popularity in the West that generates a wealth of merchandise. But the Luminary, the hero of Dragon Quest XI, is probably a bit more well known now thanks to his debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Whether your intended recipient has played DQXI or just knows the Luminary as that quirky character with the random moveset from Smash, the Luminary's Crest T-shirt from Redbubble is a great way to show off some of that Dragon Quest fan love. The design itself is central to the game, plus it's understated enough to be something you could wear anywhere, unlike some of the character-centric shirts that tend to be just a tad too loud for normal wear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-christmas-gifts-19bea.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-christmas-gifts-19bea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203945","description":"

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition

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Rating: 5/5 stars (239 total ratings)
Price: $49.99
Buy it from: Amazon

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Dragon Quest XI was one of the best RPGs that launched on the PlayStation 4 last year. Though Dragon Quest traditionally doesn't push too many boundaries in terms of RPG conventions, DQXI brought the series forward by leaps and bounds, with more character interactions, a bigger world, and a particularly potent plot twist that turns those conventions upside down.

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And now it's on the Nintendo Switch. It isn't just the regular game, either. The "definitive edition" moniker is well earned, as the Switch version includes new content, side chapters fleshing out every main character's story, a section that lets you explore elements from previous Dragon Quest worlds, and even the ability to play almost the entire game with SNES-style graphics.

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Players take control of the nameless Hero, the Luminary of ancient legends reincarnated for reasons unknown. There's a bit of a hitch in this setup, though, since the Hero ends up in prison precisely because he's the Luminary. From there, players meet up with an eclectic and fantastic cast of characters and travel around the (huge) world to uncover the mystery behind the Luminary and the dark plans unfolding behind the scenes.

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This is a meaty game, with a long main storyline on top of an extended post-game set of challenges

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019092414171700-9129043ef2aad7f1157cf852bacb8f7d-050bf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019092414171700-9129043ef2aad7f1157cf852bacb8f7d-050bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203950","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (540 total ratings)
Price: $49.94
Buy it from: Amazon

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Speaking of love for retro, Nintendo released an enhanced version of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Switch this year. Structurally, it's almost exactly like the Game Boy and Game Boy Color original, but that's not a bad thing. It isn't considered one of the best games in the storied Zelda series for nothing, and it places a greater emphasis on exploration and storytelling than many of the Zelda games that followed it.

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Link wakes up on a strange island and finds out he has to also wake up a mysterious creature known as the Wind Fish. He can't figure out why everyone on the island reminds him of people in Hyrule — or why creatures from other Nintendo franchises are wandering around. It's a surreal adventure tightly woven around some wildly unique personalities.

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While the core gameplay remains largely untouched, the game's visuals and soundtrack received some excellent upgrades. The entire game looks like a mix of toybox and diorama style in what, alongside Crafted World, stands out as one of the year's most innovative use of visuals in a game.

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If you can't tell already, we liked it. A lot. You can see all the reasons why here if you're interested.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/s/nes-encyclopedia-0cdfd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/s/nes-encyclopedia-0cdfd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203942","description":"

The NES Encyclopedia

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Rating: 4.5 stars (12 reviews)
Price: $37.04 (Hardcover) or $29.95 (Paperback)
Buy it from: Amazon

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This is the quintessential guide to everything Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). There's a comprehensive, but concise, overview of that period in gaming and the system itself, along with a detailed entry for every NES game released  all 714 of them  plus the 160 unlicensed games. It's the only book of its kind.

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The author is considered an expert in retro gaming as well, so you know it's coming not just from a reliable author, but from someone with personal experience of, and passion for, the topic. The enthusiasm for retro gaming is only getting stronger, so this would be a perfect gift for someone who already has the latest Nintendo products and even the NES Classic.

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Plus, the author is currently compiling an SNES Encyclopedia, which means we just sorted your Christmas 2020 plans for you as well. You're welcome.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-wallet-for-adults-925cb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-wallet-for-adults-925cb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203936","description":"

Poke Ball Classics

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If that certain someone isn't a plushie fan or can't carry their favorite stuffie around with them, the Poke Ball Classics collection is a consideration. It's a range of professional attire and accessories for adults (or those who have to pretend to be adults during the day).

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Though the wallet is shown above, the line contains a number of choices.

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It's a great reminder of the child at heart, that the things we love don't have to fall away just because time passes and we grow up. And they look cool, which is always a bonus.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sitting-cuties-86ac9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sitting-cuties-86ac9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203935","description":"

Pokemon Sitting Cuties Plush

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Ratings: Generally 5 stars (number of ratings varies depending on which plush)
Price: $10.99
Buy it from: The Pokemon Center

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The National Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield might not include all 1,000+ Pokemon this time around, but the spirit of Gotta Catch 'Em All is alive and well with The Pokemon Center's line of Pokemon Sitting Cuties.

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Right now, the line includes every Pokemon from Generations 1 and 2, which equates to 253 different plushies. These range in size from 5-inches to roughly 8-inches, but all are $10.99.

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As you'd expect, they all sit up somehow, which makes them easy to display or even just to sit around without worrying about them falling over and becoming the dog's next meal.

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The size also means these could be great individual stocking stuffers or grouped together as more than one, and they won't take up much space for the recipient either.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-odyssey-art-3997c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-odyssey-art-3997c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203943","description":"

The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

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Rating: 4.5/5 (9 reviews)
Price: $34.98 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon

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Super Mario Odyssey, the beloved plumber's first Nintendo Switch outing, has been around for two years now, and many players have seen all there is to see. What they may not have seen, though, is how it all came to be.

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Publisher Dark Horse Books recently put out The Art of Super Mario Odyssey, an in-depth art book presenting the various kingdoms Mario ventures to in a completely new light.

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And it's not light on content either, with 368 pages worth of material. From finished products and concept art, to cut designs and stories from the development team, this artbook is a must-have for Mario Odyssey fans.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019110613521300-0c015090e6c5e3f06d97fede95458758-a8cff.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019110613521300-0c015090e6c5e3f06d97fede95458758-a8cff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203949","description":"

Luigi's Mansion 3

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (145 total ratings)
Price: $59.99
Buy it from: Amazon

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Luigi's Mansion first appeared on the GameCube way back in 2001, and despite being well-received, it's only seen two sequels since then. It's kind of okay, though, because the most recent of those, Luigi's Mansion 3, is a polished game that's an absolute blast to play from start to finish.

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Luigi, Mario, Peach, and some Toads are on vacation at the ominously named Last Resort Hotel. Everything seems perfect until night falls, the hotel owner reveals she's in alliance with Luigi's old nemesis King Boo, and everyone except Luigi has been sealed inside portraits.

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Fortunately, Luigi soon recovers his trusty Poltergust vacuum that lets him suck up ghosts and basically everything else. From there, it's up to the player to explore all 17 floors in the massive haunted hotel, uncovering secrets, solving puzzles, playing with toilets, and fighting off hordes of ghosts.

\n

It's definitely one of the better-looking games on the Switch. You're rewarded for paying attention to the details as well since many puzzle solutions are found by carefully examining what's around you. All in all, Luigi's Mansion 3 is just plain fun for any age.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-keep-calm-have-apple-gel-mug-a745-8c095.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-keep-calm-have-apple-gel-mug-a745-8c095.png","type":"slide","id":"203947","description":"

Keep Calm and Have an Apple Gel Mug

\n

Rating: 95% 5-star ratings (out of 66)
Price: $15.76
Buy it from: Redbubble

\n

2019 has been an excellent year for RPGs on the Switch, but one that sort of got lost in the shuffle is Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. It's a remaster of a game that's largely considered the best in the long-running Tales of series, and it made its debut on a Nintendo system with the Switch earlier this year.

\n

For a while, Apple Gels are quite literally your lifeblood in the game, being the most basic — and affordable — method of restoring your health and keeping you going. This mug does the same thing for whatever your essential building block of life might be, whether it's coffee, tea, or something else entirely.

\n

It's a fun little reminder to take a break and give yourself a nice little treat in the middle of the day. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/x/nexus-cd4dc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/x/nexus-cd4dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203933","description":"

Etrian Odyssey Nexus

\n

Ratings: 4.5/5 stars (50 total ratings)
Price: $29.97
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

The 3DS still saw some new releases in early 2019 as well, with Etrian Odyssey Nexus being one of the more prominent ones. It's a celebration of, and possibly farewell to, Atlus' long-running Etrian Odyssey series that first debuted back on the original DS.

\n

Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a throwback to traditional, first-person dungeon crawler RPG mixes, where you put together a party of five adventurers and explore a series of labyrinths. The exploration is the real star here, since Etrian Odyssey games require you to draw your map as you explore, documenting shortcuts, secrets, walls — or not, if you don't want to (but you should).

\n

These labyrinths aren't for the fainthearted, either. Etrian Odyssey is known for being one of the more challenging RPG series on the 3DS, and Nexus is no exception (though as always, the difficulty can be changed at any time to suit your needs).

\n

Overcoming the challenges in each labyrinth requires some careful party planning, and that's one of the game's biggest strengths. You have access to over a dozen unique classes pulled from all the previous Etrian Odyssey games, each with its own set of skill trees that offers a ton of customization options. No two EO parties will be the same and each offers a tremendous level of freedom in how each player approaches the game and keep things fresh for a long time.

\n

We go into more detail in our review here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-ferdinvon-aegir-classic-shirt-aphoticamarant-55db2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-ferdinvon-aegir-classic-shirt-aphoticamarant-55db2.png","type":"slide","id":"203932","description":"

I Am Ferdinand Von Aegir T-Shirt

\n

Ratings: 90% 5/5 stars (118 total ratings)
Price: $17.36
Buy it from: Redbubble

\n

Maybe the person on your list already has Fire Emblem: Three Houses. If so, and if they're active on the Internet at all, they're probably familiar with this little gem of a phrase.

\n

For a bit of context, Ferdinand is a character in the Black Eagles House, the son of the imperial prime minister and someone who has rather a good opinion of himself. Every character has a sound byte play when you first choose them during your turn. Dorothea, the former opera songstress, says, "That's my cue!" while the ever-impatient Lysithea says "Let's make this quick...".

\n

Ferdinand? He says "I am Ferdinand Von Aegir!" That's it. That's all his enemies need to know, because for Ferdinand, the entire world is encapsulated in that one statement.

\n

Naturally, this immediately turned Ferdinand and his catchphrase into a meme and even webcomic material. There isn't much Three Houses merchandise available, but this one, with its humor and stronger connections to the gameplay experience itself, is definitely one of the better pieces out there.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/i/seiros-26e74.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/i/seiros-26e74.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203931","description":"

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

\n

Rating: 5 stars (496 total ratings)
Price: $57.85
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an absolute must-have for any fan of RPGs or strategy games. It accommodates players of all skill and interest levels, and that's not something many strategy games do. It's a marriage of traditional Fire Emblem strategy gameplay with an RPG-style school setting that offers players an unprecedented level of customization. 

\n

Then there's the story. Three Houses boasts a sprawling storyline split into four main branches depending on the player's choices. Each branch shares a similar first part, then they all diverge wildly, covering completely separate storylines and characters.

\n

There's no "true" ending here, giving extra weight to the initial House choice and which students players choose to recruit into their armies. Fortunately, there are ways to shorten subsequent playthroughs, so experiencing each story won't just be a slog.

\n

It's also one of the most accessible Fire Emblem games to date. There's Classic mode, where dead units stay dead, and Casual mode, where characters who drop to 0 HP just retreat. Then there's Normal and Hard difficulty, with the soul-shattering Maddening mode recently added as the highest difficulty level in the game. Stat crunching menu lovers can spend time optimizing every student, or you can skip the instructions part and let the game do it for you.

\n

You can see our review of it as well if you need some more specific details, and we even have a range of Three Houses guides to point your happy recipient in the right direction should they need some assistance.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019033023514000-e0271681f1ac755dde5456b234024a96-a96e7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019033023514000-e0271681f1ac755dde5456b234024a96-a96e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203922","description":"

Yoshi's Crafted World

\n

Rating: 4.6/5 (350 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

With all the big releases and epic adventures that released on Nintendo Switch this year, it's easy to forget Mario's lovable dino-sidekick Yoshi had their own game release this year as well.

\n

Yoshi's Crafted World follows in the footsteps of Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U and 3DS, sending Yoshi across a variety of absolutely gorgeous worlds stuffed full of detail to retrieve some special Gems stolen by an evil Magikoopa.

\n

Crafted World goes beyond Woolly World in the detail department, though. Every item in the game is a handicraft item, made from cardboard, straws — anything and everything you'd expect to see in a craft project of some kind. Most of these are used in puzzles of some kind or can be interacted with to earn a special item or coins as well, and it's easily the best use of graphics and environment in a game this year.

\n

Like most Yoshi games, Crafted World isn't designed for your hardcore challenge seeker. It's fairly easy, though trying to find all the collectibles is a challenge in itself. Still, someone who appreciates solid and fun design and is happy to just get lost in the world for a while would be a good match for Yoshi's Crafted World.

\n

If you need more information about it, head over to our review for a more thorough description.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-lite-joycon-drift-25861.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-lite-joycon-drift-25861.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203946","description":"

Nintendo Switch Lite

\n

Rating: 4.5/5 stars (322 total ratings)
Price: $199.95
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more portable variant of the standard Nintendo Switch. While it sacrifices the ability to connect to a TV and it lacks HD Rumble — which means there's a handful of games it can't play — it's also a heck of a lot easier to carry around. It's also generally more comfortable to play in handheld mode.

\n

Otherwise, it does everything the same, with a display that's just a bit clearer than the original Switch, longer battery life, and improved backlight and sound settings.

\n

If you're buying for someone who mostly plays portable systems or who needs their own Switch outside the family unit, then this is definitely a better buy than the base model — not least because it's $100 less than the original Switch. Check out our full review and detailed comparisons here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-christmas-guide-08f1c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-christmas-guide-08f1c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203969","description":"

It's holiday 2019 already. Christmas is almost upon us, and it's time to start thinking about all the rad Nintendo merchandise you're going to gift that special someone. Luckily, we've done a lot of the leg work and put together a list of 16 awesome gifts to kickstart your holiday journey. 

\n

The Nintendo Switch has been out for two years now, but 2019 was an extra-good year for Nintendo fans. Just in the past 10 months alone, we've seen several high-quality new titles added to the system's library, ranging from epic RPGs to games that let you build your own levels. The 3DS even got an excellent new title earlier in the year.

\n

But what to do when that special someone already bought the latest games? We've got you covered there, too, with a selection of non-game merchandise to suit a variety of interests and tastes.

\n

Let's see what we've got below. 

"}]]]>
Fire Emblem: Three Houses DLC Wave 2 Has Arrived, Along with Maddening Mode https://www.gameskinny.com/amegq/fire-emblem-three-houses-dlc-wave-2-has-arrived-along-with-maddening-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/amegq/fire-emblem-three-houses-dlc-wave-2-has-arrived-along-with-maddening-mode Wed, 11 Sep 2019 14:01:44 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

As Nintendo promised not too long ago, the second wave of Fire Emblem: Three Houses DLC is available now, and a separate — free — update also introduced the game's version of Lunatic difficulty: Maddening Mode.

This new wave of DLC is part of the Three Houses season pass, and it can't be purchased separately. Those who wish to purchase it will need to shell out $29.99 for the full pass, which will eventually introduce new story content and characters.

Here's what wave two includes:

  • Five new auxiliary battles
  • A new auxiliary BGM track
  • New leisure costumes for most students
  • Glasses for Byleth
  • Four stat-boosting items (which, incidentally, we predicted a while ago)
    • Sacred Galewind Shoes — Movement+2
    • Sacred Floral Robe — HP+7
    • Sacred Snowmelt Drop — Strength+3
    • Sacred Moonstone — Speed+3

The next DLC wave will introduce even more new costumes and some new quests, among other things, and it'll be available sometime before December 31.

In a separate, free update, Nintendo also fulfilled its promise to release Three Houses' ultimate difficulty level: Maddening Mode.

While players are still just getting to grips with the differences in this mode, early impressions suggest Maddening Mode decreases experience gained, increases enemy levels, usually results in enemies getting two hits in one turn, and frequently leads to critical hits — even in the first main battle.

According to Nintendo of America, those who complete Maddening Mode in a new save file — without the benefits of New Game+ carryovers, in other words — will unlock a new main menu image.

]]>
Fire Emblem: Three Houses All Team Time Answers — Church of Seiros Faculty https://www.gameskinny.com/ggquh/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-team-time-answers-church-of-seiros-faculty https://www.gameskinny.com/ggquh/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-team-time-answers-church-of-seiros-faculty Wed, 14 Aug 2019 15:13:04 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem: Three Houses lets you invite other faculty members and characters affiliated with the Church of Seiros to tea as well. Like the students of the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, and Golden Deer, these folks have their own preferences and ideal conversation topics, so we've compiled a guide covering all those.

Dataminers from Serenes Forest found data indicating correct tea party responses for Lady Rhea as well, but I don’t have the option to invite her to tea and can’t seem to figure out how that might work at this point.

For reference, we've listed each character, followed by their favorite tea, the correct conversation topics, and then the potential fourth conversation point and the correct responses for each.

All Faculty/Church of Seiros Tea Time Responses

Cyril
  • Favorite tea:
    • Almyran Pine Needles
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Lady Rhea
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Cats
    • A dinner invitation
    • Close calls
    • Cute monks
    • Things that bother you
    • Likeable allies
    • Shareable snacks
    • Working hours for guards
    • Thanks for everything
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Shareable snacks
    • Perfect recipes
    • Favorite sweets
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • I’m counting on you
    • I heard some gossip
    • You seem different
    • Books you've read recently
    • Monastery security
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • The view from the bridge
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • Children at the market
    • You’re doing great work
    • Your ambitions
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Why Lady Rhea likes you: Sip Tea, Nod
    • Feels good to be needed: Praise, Commend
    • Best at cleaning: Commend
    • No place to go: Commend, Disagree, Praise
    • If the Goddess would protect Almyrans: Disagree, Chat, Praise
    • You’re amazing: Nod, Laugh
    • Always busy: Laugh, Blush
Hanneman
  • Favorite teas:
    • Cinnamon Blend
    • Sweet Apple Blend
    • Bergamot
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • I’m counting on you
    • A word of advice
    • I heard some gossip
    • Heart-racing memories
    • A dinner invitation
    • A new gambit
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Tell me about yourself
    • School days
    • The existence of Crests
    • The last battle
    • The ideal professor
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Likeable allies
    • Capable comrades
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Shareable snacks
    • Thanks for everything
    • Plans for the future
    • Your research
    • You’re doing great work
    • You seem well
    • Fashion
    • Evaluating allies
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Monastery security
    • Monastery rules
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Favorite sweets
    • Things that bother you
    • The library’s collection
    • Past laughs
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Food in the dining hall
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Secret of your birth: Blush, Chat
    • Crest of Flames: Nod, Chat
    • Come by later: Sip Tea, Comment
    • Left nobility behind: Comment, Praise
    • Facts elude me: Praise, Chat, Commend
    • For my sister: Sigh, Praise
    • Stop talking about Crests: Laugh, Admonish
Manuela
  • Favorite teas:
    • Mint leaves
    • Lavender Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • A word of advice
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Heart-racing memories
    • School days
    • A dinner invitation
    • A strong battalion
    • Close calls
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Things that bother you
    • The ideal professor
    • The opera
    • Shareable snacks
    • The courtyard couple
    • Best performance venue
    • Children at the market
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Monastery security
    • Cute monks
    • Dreamy knights
    • I heard some gossip
    • Hopes for your future
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • The ideal relationship
    • Our first meeting
    • You’re doing great work
    • Working together
    • You seem well
    • First cruses
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Favorite sweets
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Working hours for guards
    • Dining partners
    • Fashion
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Reliable allies
    • Exploring the monastery
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Complain to much: Praise, Disagree
    • Just tea? Sip Tea, Admonish
    • Terrible woman? Disagree, Admonish
    • Don’t want to be alone: Chat, Praise
    • Who are you? Sigh, Chat
    • Songstress days: Nod, Sip Tea
Flayn
  • Favorite teas:
    • Sweet Apple Blend
    • Almond Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Heart-racing memories
    • The courtyard couple
    • Dreamy knights
    • Cute monks
    • Dining partners
    • I heard some gossip
    • The opera
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • A word of advice
    • Cats
    • A dinner invitation
    • Children at the market
    • Close calls
    • The ideal professor
    • The ideal relationship
    • Our first meeting
    • Things that bother you
    • Past laughs
    • Dining partners
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Thanks for everything
    • The library’s collection
    • The view from the bridge
    • Fish and the sea
    • Fodlan’s future
    • You’re doing great work
    • Things you find romantic
    • School days
    • Shareable snacks
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • First crushes
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Favorite sweets
    • Potential training partners
    • Perfect recipes
    • Plans for the future
    • Working together
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Lively places: Nod
    • Intriguing person: Disagree, Nod
    • See the ocean: Nod, Chat
    • Nostalgia: Laugh, Sip Tea
    • Fear of sleeping: Praise, Disagree
    • Born in Enbarr: Nod
Seteth
  • Favorite teas:
    • Angelica
    • Ginger
    • Four-spice
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Flayn
    • Reliable allies
    • Hopes for your future
    • Mighty weapons
    • The library’s collection
    • Likeable allies
    • The last battle
    • Children at the market
    • The opera
    • The ideal professor
    • A dinner invitation
    • A new gambit
    • A word of advice
    • A strong battalion
    • Capable comrades
    • Monastery rules
    • Working hours for guards
    • Things that bother you
    • Close calls
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Thanks for everything
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • I’m counting on you
    • I heard some gossip
    • Your ambitions
    • Working together
    • Monastery security
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Evaluating allies
    • Exploring the monastery
    • You’re doing great work
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Why archbishop is interested: Sip Tea, Chat
    • Inform me of issues: Nod
    • Just doing my job: Sigh, Nod
    • Very special to us: Nod, Chat
    • Anything I can do: Laugh, Blush, Nod
    • I go fishing: Laugh, Nod
Catherine
  • Favorite tea:
    • Rose Petal Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • I heard some gossip
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Hopes for your future
    • A strong battalion
    • A new gambit
    • Academy memories
    • The existence of Crests
    • Working together
    • You seem well
    • Working hours for guards
    • The ideal relationship
    • I’m counting on you
    • Past laughs
    • Close calls
    • Our first meeting
    • A word of advice
    • Thanks for everything
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Someone you look up to
    • Your ambitions
    • You’re doing great work
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Potential training partners
    • Shareable snacks
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Not as good as Thunder Catherine: Sip Tea, Blush, Disagree
    • Always watching: Sigh, Nod
    • Restless: Disagree, Chat
    • Don’t be nervous: Sip Tea, Sigh
    • Me as a noble? Laugh, Nod
    • Sparring with Relics: Commend, Praise, Nod
Gilbert
  • Favorite teas:
    • Lavender
    • Almond
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Someone you look up to
    • The library’s collection
    • Working together
    • Working hours for guards
    • A new gambit
    • A word of advice
    • Capable comrades
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Monastery rules
    • Monastery security
    • I’m counting on you
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Potential training partners
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Reliable allies
    • Evaluating allies
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Wood carving
    • The ideal professor
    • Thanks for everything
    • A strong battalion
    • A word of advice
    • Your ambitions
    • Favorite sweets
    • Shareable snacks
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • I’m counting on you
    • Perfect recipes
    • Mighty weapons
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Children at the market
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Walking first thing: Nod
    • Mastered most things: Nod
    • Fishing? Nod
    • Royal family service: Sigh, Nod
    • I’m a sinner: Disagree, Praise
    • Holy Kingdom: Nod
    • Relaxing isn’t my skill: Laugh, Praise
    • Not by strength alone: Chat
    • No one will bring me to justice: Sigh, Praise
Shamir
  • Favorite teas:
    • Crescent Moon
    • Chamomile
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • I’m counting on you
    • A dinner invitation
    • A new gambit
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • The view from the bridge
    • Past laughs
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Close calls
    • Capable comrades
    • Mighty weapons
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Monastery security
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Working together
    • The last battle
    • Survival skills
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Children at the market
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Plans for the future
    • Cats
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Shareable snacks
    • Your ambitions
    • Reliable allies
    • Food in the dining hall
    • You’re doing great work
    • Evaluating allies
    • Potential training partners
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Not much for conversation: Disagree
    • I enjoy lack of conversation: Nod, Sip Tea
    • Looking forward to the next battle: Blush, Nod
    • Always have an interesting look: Sip Tea, Disagree, Blush
    • Work for a fair price: Commend, Laugh
    • Sword of the Creator: Nod, Chat
    • Tactless comment: Sigh, Disagree
Alois
  • Favorite teas:
    • Crescent-Moon
    • Honeyed Fruit
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Our first meeting
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Someone you look up to
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • A dinner invitation
    • Cats
    • A new gambit
    • I’m counting on you
    • I heard some gossip
    • Tell me about yourself
    • The opera
    • The last battle
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Favorite sweets
    • Perfect recipes
    • Past laughs
    • Monastery security
    • Monastery rules
    • Thanks for everything
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Working together
    • Your ambitions
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Plans for the future
    • School days
    • Shareable snacks
    • First crushes
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • A strong battalion
    • The view from the bridge
    • Good jokes
    • A word of advice
    • Close calls
    • Cooking mishaps
    • The ideal professor
    • Working hours for guards
    • You seem well
    • You’re doing great work
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Fears to conquer: Laugh
    • Remind me of Jeralt: Comment, Disagree, Nod
    • Nothing worse than explaining a joke: Commend
    • Let me know if you need anything: Praise, Nod
    • Go fishing with me! Chat, Praise, Laugh
    • Felt a presence in my bed: Laugh
    • How are you? Nod, Chat
    • Big bro Alois: Nod, Laugh, Commend

---

That's it for the faculty members' tea time guide, but if you're still needing some help getting the most out of the game, check out our other Fire Emblem: Three Houses guides.

]]>
Fire Emblem: Three Houses All Tea Time Answers — Golden Deer https://www.gameskinny.com/0irhg/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-tea-time-answers-golden-deer https://www.gameskinny.com/0irhg/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-tea-time-answers-golden-deer Wed, 14 Aug 2019 15:05:41 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

This guide covers all the correct tea time answers for the Golden Deer House in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, along with everyone's favorite teas and the fourth conversation topics.

We've also got the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, and Church of Seiros faculty members covered if you're looking for those.

We've listed each character, followed by their favorite tea, the correct conversation topics, and then the potential fourth conversation point and the correct responses for each.

All Golden Deer Tea Time Responses

Claude
  • Favorite tea:
    • Almyran Pine Needle Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Reliable allies
    • Monastery mysteries
    • The library’s collection
    • Capable comrades
    • The last battle
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • A new gambit
    • You seem well
    • I’m counting on you
    • Past laughs
    • Likeable allies
    • Reliable allies
    • A word of advice…
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Mighty weapons
    • You seem different
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Ideal professor
    • The existence of Crests
    • Children at the market
    • Our first meeting
    • Heart-racing memories
    • I heard some gossip
    • Thanks for everything
    • Hopes for your future
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Things that bother you
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Celebrations
    • Working together
    • Evaluating allies
    • Perfect recipes
    • Mighty weapons
    • School days
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • A dinner invitation
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Food in the dining hall
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Being busy: Sip tea, Disagree
    • Known for a while: Blush
    • Wanting to know more about you: Nod
    • Being a mystery: Disagree
    • Outsider like me: Nod, Chat
    • Too many mysteries: Nod, Praise
    • My hometown: Nod, Laugh
    • New poison mushroom: Laugh, Commend
Hilda
  • Favorite tea:
    • Southern Fruit Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Favorite sweets
    • Shareable snacks
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • You seem different
    • You seem well
    • Past laughs
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Things you find romantic
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Dreamy knights
    • Cute accessories
    • Hopes for your future
    • Plans for the future
    • The opera
    • Things that bother you
    • Heart-racing memories
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • School uniforms
    • I heard some gossip…
    • School days
    • Dining partners
    • Reliable allies
    • A dinner invitation
    • Our first meeting
    • First crushes
    • The ideal relationship
    • The courtyard couple
    • You’re doing great work
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Asked about crying: Sip tea
    • Always feeling safe by you: Nod
    • Hearing herself talk: Nod
    • Mind keeps drifting: Nod, Laugh
    • Ever cried? Sip Tea
    • Serious is boring: Nod, Laugh
    • Go on a trip: Nod, Laugh, Blush
Lorenz
  • Favorite teas:
    • Bergamot
    • Seiros Tea
    • Rose Petal Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • You seem well
    • You seem different
    • Thanks for everything
    • Heart-racing memories
    • Roses
    • Past laughs
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Fashion
    • Tell me about yourself
    • A new gambit
    • Cute monks
    • Evaluating allies
    • Shareable snacks
    • Dining partners
    • School uniforms
    • School days
    • A dinner invitation
    • Hopes for your future
    • Your ambitions
    • Likeable allies
    • Gifts you'd like to receive
    • A word of advice
    • The opera
    • Our first meeting
    • Capable comrades
    • A word of advice
    • The existence of Crests
    • Dreamy knights
    • Cute monks
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Things you find romantic
    • I’m counting on you
    • The ideal professor
    • Someone you look up to
    • Monastery rules
    • Exploring the monastery
    • First crushes
    • Working together
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Roses: Nod, Sip Tea
    • You’re an interesting person: Blush, Laugh
    • Nobles need a break: Nod, Praise
    • A noble’s life: Disagree, Praise
    • Rumors: Admonish, Sip Tea
    • Following father: Commend, Praise, Chat
    • Not as an equal: Disagree, Praise, Commend
Raphael
  • Favorite teas:
    • Almond Blend
    • Ginger
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Someone you look up to
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Cats
    • A strong battalion
    • Shareable snacks
    • Perfect recipes
    • Muscle growth
    • Working together
    • Training partners
    • Things that bother you
    • School days
    • The last battle
    • The opera
    • You seem well
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Close calls
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Past laughs
    • You seem well
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Children at the market
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Dreamy knights
    • Favorite sweets
    • Your ambitions
    • I’m counting on you
    • You’re doing great work
    • Dining partners
    • Thanks for everything
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Attending lectures: Praise, Chat, Praise
    • Snack time: Admonish, Laugh, Commend
    • Be a proper knight: Praise, Commend
    • You’re shrimpy: Disagree, Laugh
    • Taking after grandpa: Commend, Laugh
    • Train together: Nod, Sip Tea
    • If parents were alive: Sigh, Nod
Ignatz
  • Favorite teas:
    • Dagda Blend
    • Seiros tea
    • Lavender Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • I’m counting on you
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • The courtyard couple
    • Cats
    • Capable comrades
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Someone you look up to
    • A word of advice
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • Thanks for everything
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • I heard some gossip
    • Gardening mishaps
    • Cute monks
    • Monastery rules
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Things that bother you
    • The opera
    • Likeable allies
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Children at the market
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Mixing pigments
    • Close calls
    • Evaluating allies
    • You seem different
    • You seem well
    • Working together
    • Our first meeting
    • The library’s collection
    • The view from the bridge
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Past laughs
    • School days
    • You’re doing great work
    • First cruses
    • Plans for the future
    • Fodlan’s future
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Hobby: Chat, Nod
    • Want to support my family: Nod, Praise
    • Young and accomplished: Disagree, Sip Tea, Blush
    • Letting me continue my art: Nod, Laugh, Praise
    • Learn from you: Laugh
    • Glad I came here: Laugh
    • Responsibility for my future: Commend, Praise
Lysithea
  • Favorite teas:
    • Sweet Apple Blend
    • Southern Fruit Blend
    • Crescent Moon Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • A dinner invitation
    • Hopes for your future
    • School uniforms
    • Monastery rules
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Cats
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • A new gambit
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Likeable allies
    • Tell me about yourself
    • The existence of Crests
    • Capable comrades
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Fashion
    • Evaluating allies
    • The library’s collection
    • The thrill of sweets
    • Working together
    • The ideal professor
    • Plans for the future
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Favorite sweets
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Your ambitions
    • School days
    • Shareable snacks
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Someone you look up to
    • Thanks for everything
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • I’m counting on you
    • I heard some gossip
    • Past laughs
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Perfect recipes
    • The last battle
    • You seem different
    • Your ambitions
    • Food in the dining hall
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Livening up: Chat
    • Ghosts: Laugh, Chat
    • Who I would be: Laugh, Disagree
    • Things that don’t yield results: Chat, Admonish
    • Eating sweets: Nod, Laugh
    • Worth my time: Laugh, Blush
    • For freedom: Chat, Nod
    • If not for Crests: Chat, Sigh, Praise
    • Empty my mind: Nod, Sip Tea, Laugh
Leonie
  • Favorite teas:
    • Four-spice Blend
    • Angelica Tea
  • Correct conversation topics
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Hopes for your future
    • A dinner invitation
    • A new gambit
    • Shareable snacks
    • A strong battalion
    • Capable comrades
    • A word of advice
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Someone you look up to
    • Jeralt
    • Mighty weapons
    • Past laughs
    • Children at the market
    • The view from the bridge
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Monastery security
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Plans for the future
    • I heard some gossip
    • I’m counting on you
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Thanks for everything
    • The ideal professor
    • The last battle
    • Our first meeting
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Close calls
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Evaluating allies
    • Reliable allies
    • School days
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Potential training partners
    • Your ambitions
    • You seem well
    • You seem different
    • You’re doing great work
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Not throwing things away: Nod, Commend
    • Feel bad for acting out: Laugh, Disagree, Chat
    • Training alone: Praise, Nod, Sigh
    • Not interested in romance: Chat, Commend, Praise
    • Don’t want to lose: Admonish, Commend
    • Keep with your training: Nod, Commend
    • Greatest apprentice: Nod, Praise
Marianne
  • Favorite tea:
    • Lavender Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Cats
    • Our first meeting
    • A word of advice
    • A dinner invitation
    • Forest birds…
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Likeable allies
    • Monastery rules
    • Existence of Crests
    • The library’s collection
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Children at the market
    • Thanks for everything
    • School days
    • Tell me about yourself
    • The ideal professor
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • You seem different
    • Hopes for your future
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • She brings misfortune: Disagree, Chat, Admonish
    • She’s boring: Admonish, Disagree
    • Don't know what to say: Chat, Praise
    • Waste to spend time with me: Disagree
    • Not as bad as me: Nod, Sigh
    • Doesn’t want me: Praise, Chat

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That's everything for the perfect tea time with the Golden Deer House. Be sure to check out our other Fire Emblem: Three Houses guides to help you make the most of your time in Fodlan.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses All Tea Time Answers — Blue Lions https://www.gameskinny.com/itunj/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-tea-time-answers-blue-lions https://www.gameskinny.com/itunj/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-tea-time-answers-blue-lions Wed, 14 Aug 2019 15:00:05 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

This guide presents all the correct Fire Emblem: Three Houses tea time topics of conversation for characters associated with the Blue Lions.

If you're looking for other Houses, we've got the Black Eagles, Golden Deer, and faculty members of the Church of Seiros as well.

We've listed each character, followed by their favorite tea, the correct conversation topics, and then the potential fourth conversation point and the correct responses for each.

All Blue Lions Tea Time Responses

Dimitri
  • Favorite tea:
    • Chamomile
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Our first meeting
    • Close calls
    • Books you've read recently
    • Children at the market
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Someone you look up to
    • School days
    • The last battle
    • Working hours for guards
    • Your ambitions
    • Monastery security
    • School days
    • A new gambit
    • Evaluating allies
    • Monastery rules
    • Working together
    • A word of advice
    • A strong battalion
    • Past laughs
    • Mighty weapons
    • Reliable allies
    • Sturdy weapons
    • The view from the bridge
    • Cooking mishaps
    • You’re doing great work
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Things that bother you
    • Potential training partners
    • You seem well
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Joining for training: Blush
    • Nice, relaxing conversation: Sip Tea, Laugh
    • Going to his quarters: Laugh
    • Sorry to be a bother: Nod, Blush
    • When I feel down: Nod
    • I do my training: Nod, Laugh
    • (Part Two) Helped in the last five years: Praise
Dedue
  • Favorite teas:
    • Ginger
    • Four-Spice Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Thanks for everything
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Gardening mishaps
    • A strong battalion
    • Shareable snacks
    • Exploring the monastery
    • The last battle
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Fodlan’s future
    • I’m counting on you
    • Our first meeting
    • Working hours for guards
    • Working together
    • Someone you look up to
    • Training partners
    • Dimitri
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Capable comrades
    • Your ambitions
    • Monastery security
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • A word of advice
    • A dinner invitation
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Favorite sweets
    • Food in the dining hall
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Feeling comfortable: Blush or Laugh
    • Sword and shield of his highness: Commend, Praise
    • Don't like classrooms: Disagree, Praise
    • Blood of Duscur: Sip tea
    • Should I have brought sweets? Nod, Disagree
    • Visit me: Nod, Blush
    • Flowers in bloom: Nod
    • Dimitri’s help: Chat
Annette
  • Favorite tea:
    • Sweet Apple Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Things that bother you
    • Likeable allies
    • A new gambit
    • You seem different
    • Thanks for everything
    • The courtyard couple
    • You seem different
    • School days
    • Dreamy knights
    • Evaluating allies
    • Dining partners
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Favorite sweets
    • Shareable snacks
    • Someone you look up to
    • The library’s collection
    • I’m counting on you
    • The ideal relationship
    • Kitchen catastrophes
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Gardening mishaps
    • The opera
    • Exploring the monastery
    • A word of advice
    • Fashion
    • Cute monks
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Our first meeting
    • A word of advice
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Plans for your future
    • You seem well
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Children at the market
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • The confectioner is in town: Nod
    • First time I met you: Laugh
    • Broke a plate: Disagree, Chat, Praise
    • Asked about equations: Commend
    • Feels at ease: Laugh, Blush
    • She feels like she can be herself: Laugh or Blush
    • Only one way to clean: Nod
    • No effort is in vain: Commend
Mercedes
  • Favorite teas:
    • Albinean Berry Blend
    • Southern Fruit Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Children at the market
    • Thanks for everything
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Perfect recipes
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Places you’d like to visit
    • The opera
    • Fashion
    • Likeable allies
    • Heart-racing memories
    • I heard some gossip
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • First crushes
    • I’m counting on you
    • Favorite sweets
    • Shareable snacks
    • The last battle
    • A word of advice
    • Things that bother you
    • You seem different
    • You’re doing great work
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • School days
    • Cats
    • Food in the dining hall
    • School uniforms
    • The courtyard couple
    • The ideal relationship
    • Past laughs
    • Monastery rules
    • Dreamy knights
    • Fashion
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • No regrets: Praise
    • Drawing you as a model: Nod
    • Used to live in a church: Commend
    • Should write my mother: Nod, Chat, Praise
    • Cathedral as relaxing: Disagree, Blush
    • Baked a cake: Nod, Sip Tea
    • (Part Two) Livening up: Nod
Ingrid
  • Favorite tea:
    • Mint Tea
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • The last battle
    • Cats
    • Favorite sweets
    • Food in the dining hall
    • A dinner invitation
    • Things you find romantic
    • Past laughs
    • The library's collection
    • The view from the bridge
    • Potential training partners
    • The existence of Crests
    • Reliable allies
    • The ideal professor
    • You’re doing great work
    • Heart-racing memories
    • Thanks for everything
    • Our first meeting
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Working together
    • Your ambitions
    • Shareable snacks
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Monastery security
    • Working hours for guards
    • Someone you look up to
    • School days
    • Food for life
    • Perfect recipes
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Cats
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • I’m counting on you
    • Mighty weapons
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Forgetting about fighting: Chat or Praise
    • As a child...: Laugh, Admonish
    • Calms my nerves: Disagree, Blush
    • Warm around the monastery: Chat, Praise
    • Sword training: Chat
    • Favorite food: Laugh, Chat
    • Thinking of my next meal: Laugh
Sylvain
  • Favorite tea:
    • Bergamot
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Likeable allies
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • The library's collection
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Reliable allies
    • First crushes
    • Favorite sweets
    • Evaluating allies
    • Dating escapades
    • Things that bother you
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Potential training partners
    • Dining partners
    • The courtyard couple
    • Cute monks
    • Perfect recipes
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Favorite sweets
    • Thanks for everything
    • Hopes for your future
    • Past laughs
    • Plans for your future
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Cooking mishaps
    • The opera
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Exploring the monastery
    • The view from the bridge
    • The ideal relationship
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • A dinner invitation
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Heart-racing memories
    • I heard some gossip
    • I'm counting on you
    • School uniforms
    • School days
    • Capable comrades
    • Shareable snacks
    • You seem well
    • You seem different
    • You’re doing great work
    • A place you'd like to visit
    • Food in the dining hall
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Curious: Laugh, Blush
    • Stoic: Chat, Sip Tea
    • Join for training? Sip Tea, Praise
    • Opera, art, and literature: Commend, Chat
    • Reason to fight: Commend, Praise
    • Should have brought candy: Nod, Sip Tea
    • Wish my parents' home...: Chat, Praise
    • See right through him: Sip Tea or Disagree
Ashe
  • Favorite teas:
    • Mint Tea
    • Angelica Tea
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • The library’s collection
    • The ideal professor
    • School days
    • Working together
    • Thanks for everything
    • Being the perfect knight
    • The last battle
    • A dinner invitation
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Perfect recipes
    • Favorite sweets
    • Close calls
    • Past laughs
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Cats
    • Children at the market
    • Shareable snacks
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Gardening mishaps
    • I’m counting on you
    • Your ambitions
    • You seem well
    • Dreamy knights
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • A strong battalion
    • A word of advice
    • The existence of Crests
    • Working hours for guards
    • Things that bother you
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Seeing a ghost: Sip Tea
    • A lot happening: Commend
    • Need to work harder: Disagree, Commend
    • Good with kids: Laugh, Praise
    • Getting letters: Blush
    • No one can outrun: Commend
    • Years with Lonato: Nod, Sigh, Praise
Felix
  • Favorite tea:
    • Almyran Pine Needle Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Shareable snacks
    • Someone you look up to
    • Monastery security
    • Cats
    • Capable comrades
    • A strong battalion
    • A new sword technique
    • A new gambit
    • Children at the market
    • Mighty weapons
    • Our first meeting
    • The opera
    • Working together
    • Someone you look up to
    • The last battle
    • Reliable allies
    • I’m counting on you
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Potential training partners
    • Your ambitions
    • You’re doing great
    • Evaluating allies
    • Plans for the future
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Overcoming weaknesses
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Take a break: Nod, Chat
    • You intrigue me: Chat, Blush
    • Join me for training: Nod, Commend
    • I appreciate you: Laugh, Blush
    • Spending time with you: Laugh, Blush
    • Think about wars: Laugh
    • Family of soldiers: Commend

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That's it for the complete Blue Lions tea time guide. Once you've finished your tea and are ready to jump back into the fray, check out our other Fire Emblem: Three Houses guides to keep yourself fighting fit.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses All Tea Time Answers — Black Eagles https://www.gameskinny.com/bzafn/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-tea-time-answers-black-eagles https://www.gameskinny.com/bzafn/fire-emblem-three-houses-all-tea-time-answers-black-eagles Wed, 14 Aug 2019 14:54:22 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives you a lot of ways you can bond with your students and other faculty members, from choir practice to sharing meals. The one that’s getting a lot of attention, though, is tea time, also called tea parties. This guide covers how to unlock tea time, as well as how it works and all responses for the Black Eagles. 

Despite being a fairly simple idea, there’s actually quite a bit involved in tea time. Let's get started. 

Be sure to head to the links at the bottom of this guide for tea time answers for the Blue Lions, the Golden Deer, and the Church of Seiros. 

How to Unlock Tea Time

There’s a very specific way to unlock tea time and a formula to follow for getting it right. First, though, you'll need to start the Tea for Two quest in Chapter 2, Blue Rain Moon

Ferdinand asks you to give away a spare tea set to someone who might appreciate it, and that someone is Lorenz. Once you finish the quest, you’ve unlocked the ability to ask your students, students from other Houses, and faculty members to attend a tea party with you.

You can only initially ask students from your own House. You have to have recruited or earned a C-rank support level with other students and faculty to unlock tea time for them.

Tea time’s uses are very specific as well and might not be incredibly useful until after Chapter 5 when you’ve raised your Professor ranking to at least C. That’s because it costs one Activity Point and only lets you bond with one person, unlike sharing a meal.

However, a successful tea time offers a considerable boost to your support points with that person. That makes it ideal for cultivating relationships with students from other Houses. You can use it to achieve B-rank or higher and recruit them.

How Tea Time Works

The idea is to choose a specific tea the other person likes, then pick conversation topics you think they’ll be interested in based on their personalities.

You get three attempts at conversation. If you miss two, the party is over. If you get all three correct, you get a fourth option where you choose an action based on what the other person said.

Each correct answer gains a support point, and a perfect tea time gains double.

Finally, if you choose their favorite tea, you get a special bonus that negates an incorrect choice.

How to Find Tea

Teas are blue, glowing spots in the Monastery. Finding them is completely random, but you can also buy them from merchants. The downside to buying them is the price, though it’s also the best way to get some of the rarer teas, should you want to try and give everyone their favorites.

So Many Choices

The thing to keep in mind about Three Houses’ tea time mechanic is that it’s completely, unrepentantly random.

When gathering intel on the correct responses, I chose the same save file and re-loaded after using all of my Activity Points. In most cases, some people who agreed to attend the first time would refuse the second time. Support rankings don’t seem to have any bearing on this either; it’s pure RNG.

How many times they’ll attend is random as well. In some cases, I’d spend five activity points on one person after failing each tea time, when they’d be done after one successful tea party on the next save file. 

Most important of all, which topics pop up for you during tea time is random.

That even applies to the special fourth conversation topic that uses a pre-scripted line from your tea partner. It seems like most characters have at least two of those, but whether you ever see them is another story entirely. Some change each time you attend a tea party with them, while others will stick to the same one for three or four consecutive tea parties.

Another thing I noticed with these fourth topics is that they don’t always have the same response choices, making it very difficult to pin down which is the correct choice each time.

The most difficult thing, though, is figuring out which conversation topic is the “correct” one in a given set of topics. Mostly, they correspond to the other person’s personality, but it’s often subtle.

For instance, Linhardt hates the dining hall food, so he’s not interested in talking about it. Hanneman hates cooking for himself, so he is interested in the dining hall food because he doesn’t have to make it.

Unless you’re keeping notes about everyone’s varied interests, it’s difficult to know for sure which choice is right, let alone choose it in less than 15 seconds.

What follows is something to make that easier. We’ve gathered everyone’s favorite teas and a comprehensive list of the correct conversation topics.

All Black Eagles Tea Time Responses

We've listed each character, followed by their favorite tea, the correct conversation topics, and then the potential fourth conversation point and the correct responses for each.

Edelgard
  • Favorite tea:
    •  Bergamot
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • The existence of Crests
    • A strong battalion
    • Tell me about yourself
    • I heard some gossip
    • A word of advice
    • A new gambit
    • Hopes for your future
    • Thanks for everything
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • I’m counting on you
    • The opera
    • The ideal professor
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • Our first meeting
    • Close calls
    • Dreaming of lazy days
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Things that bother you
    • The last battle
    • The view from the bridge
    • Monastery rules
    • Monastery security
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • Cats
    • Capable comrades
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Your ambitions
    • You seem different
    • Things you find romantic
    • School days
    • School uniforms
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Favorite sweets
    • Past laughs
    • Evaluating allies
    • Plans for the future
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Not born to Hresvelg: Laugh, Praise
    • Upsets Hubert: Nod, Laugh
    • Relaxation: Sip Tea, Blush
    • Calm: Disagree, Sigh, Sip Tea
Hubert
  • Favorite tea:
    • Dagda Fruit, Cinnamon Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Monastery security
    • Monastery rules
    • Your ambitions
    • Working together
    • Close calls
    • Evaluating allies
    • Fodlan’s future
    • Successful plots
    • A new gambit
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Guessing someone’s age
    • I’m counting on you
    • Reliable allies
    • Someone you look up to
    • Mighty weapons
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • The library’s collection
    • Someone you look up to
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Head of House Vestra: Commend, Praise
    • Not a waste of time: Sigh, Sip Tea
    • Bored and depressed: Disagree, Admonish, Praise
    • Precognition: Disagree, Sip Tea
    • Eternal gratitude: Nod, Blush
Petra
  • Favorite tea:
    • Four-Spice Blend, Ginger Tea
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Swimming in the ocean
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Heart-racing memories
    • Potential training partners
    • Thanks for everything
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Likeable allies
    • Close calls
    • Someone you look up to
    • A new gambit
    • A dinner invitation
    • The last battle
    • Hopes for your future
    • Tell me about yourself
    • The ideal relationship
    • A word of advice
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • A strong battalion
    • The library’s collection
    • Monastery rules
    • Monastery mysteries
    • Mighty weapons
    • Capable comrades
    • Cats
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • The view from the bridge
    • Evaluating allies
    • Fodlan’s future
    • School days
    • You’re doing great work
    • Working together
    • You seem different
    • Fashion
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Past laughs
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Shareable snacks
    • Your ambitions
    • Working hours for guards
    • Things you find romantic
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • The ocean is far…: Sigh, Praise
    • Show you Brigid: Nod, Blush
    • Great pleasure: Sip Tea, Blush
    • In Enbarr…: Sigh, Praise
    • Much sleep: Laugh, Admonish
Linhardt
  • Favorite tea:
    • Almyran Pine Needles, Angelica Tea
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • A dinner invitation
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Monastery mysteries
    • I heard some gossip
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • The existence of Crests
    • The library’s collection
    • Past laughs
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Capable comrades
    • Cats
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Things that bother you
    • Books you’ve ready recently
    • Thanks for everything
    • The art of napping
    • The view from the bridge
    • Working hours for guards
    • Plans for the future
    • Our first meeting
    • Past laughs
    • Tell me about yourself
    • A word of advice
    • Favorite sweets
    • Strange fish in the pond
    • Gardening mishaps
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Wake me if I fall asleep: Admonish, Sip Tea
    • Crest’s power: Admonish, Chat
    • Librarian job: Nod, Praise
    • Crest of Flames: Commend
    • Relics and Crests: Nod, Commend, Chat
Bernadetta
  • Favorite teas:
    • Albinean Berry Blend
    • Honeyed Fruit Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • A word of advice
    • I’m counting on you
    • Thanks for everything
    • The ideal relationship
    • The last battle
    • Our first meeting
    • Likeable allies
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Children at the market
    • Cats
    • Close calls
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • The library’s collection
    • Past laughs
    • Insectivorous plants
    • I heard some gossip
    • The courtyard couple
    • The view from the bridge
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Plans for the future
    • You seem different
    • You seem well
    • You’re doing great work
    • Things that bother you
    • Perfect recipes
    • Things you find romantic
    • Cute monks
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Fashion
    • School days
    • School uniforms
    • Favorite sweets
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Shareable snacks
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Mom’s a genius: Laugh, Commend
    • Spoiling me: Admonish, Praise
    • Sewing kit: Nod
    • Recluses together: Laugh, Chat
    • Greenhouse: Nod
    • Going to be punished: Admonish
    • Eavesdropping: Nod, Praise
Dorothea
  • Favorite teas:
    • Sweet Apple Blend
    • Albinean Berry Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • The opera
    • Things that bother you
    • Past laughs
    • I heard some gossip
    • A new gambit
    • A dinner invitation
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Likeable allies
    • Cute monks
    • Close calls
    • Dining partners
    • Dreamy knights
    • Monastery rules
    • I’m counting on you
    • The courtyard couple
    • The melody of words
    • Our first meeting
    • First crushes
    • Books you’ve read recently
    • The ideal relationship
    • Fashion
    • School uniforms
    • You seem well
    • You seem different
    • Things you find romantic
    • Working together
    • You’re doing great work
    • Someone you look up to
    • Heart-racing memories
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Evaluating allies
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Plans for the future
    • School days
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • Potential training partners
    • Working hours for guards
    • Hopes for your future
    • Strange fish in the pond
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Noble pilgrimage: Disagree, Sip Tea
    • Open-minded professor: Laugh, Sip Tea, Blush
    • Stronger attraction: Nod, Chat
    • Vain men: Laugh, Chat, Sip Tea
Caspar
  • Favorite tea:
    •  Ginger
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Gardening mishaps
    • A dinner invitation
    • Someone you look up to
    • Hopes for your future
    • The last battle
    • A new gambit
    • A place you’d like to visit
    • Cats
    • Children at the market
    • I’m counting on you
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Thanks for everything
    • A strong battalion
    • Mighty weapons
    • Our first meeting
    • The view from the bridge
    • Things that bother you
    • Working hours for guards
    • Overcoming weaknesses
    • Working together
    • Past laughs
    • Perfect recipes
    • Close calls
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • A word of advice
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Plans for the future
    • Your ambitions
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Shareable snacks
    • Exploring the monastery
    • Food in the dining hall
    • You’re doing great work
    • Dreamy knights
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Potential training partners
    • You seem well
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • I feel stuck: Praise
    • What is Justice? Commend, Chat
    • Getting hungry: Laugh, Sigh
    • Beat you: Disagree, Blush
    • Hard work: Commend, Praise
    • Count on you: Nod, Laugh, Blush
Ferdinand
  • Favorite teas:
    • Almyran Pine Needles
    • Seiros Tea
    • Southern Fruit Blend
  • Correct conversation topics:
    • Food in the dining hall
    • Thanks for everything
    • The existence of Crests
    • A dinner invitation
    • Tell me about yourself
    • A strong battalion
    • Heart-racing memories
    • Hopes for your future
    • Gifts you’d like to receive
    • The ideal professor
    • Children at the market
    • Classes you might enjoy
    • I’m counting on you
    • I heard some gossip
    • The last battle
    • Close calls
    • Capable comrades
    • The meaning of nobility
    • The ideal relationship
    • A word of advice
    • Hopes for your future
    • Past laughs
    • Potential training partners
    • You seem well
    • You seem different
    • Equipment upkeep
    • Evaluating allies
    • Dining partners
    • Cute monks
    • Likeable allies
    • Things you find romantic
    • The opera
    • Cooking mishaps
    • Dreamy knights
    • Working together
    • Things that bother you
    • Plans for the future
    • Monastery rules
    • Mighty weapons
    • Relaxing at the sauna
    • Exploring the monastery
    • First crushes
    • School uniforms
    • Your ambitions
    • You’re doing great work
    • Someone you look up to
    • School days
    • Fodlan’s future
  • Fourth conversation point and correct responses:
    • Loved riding horses: Disagree, Blush
    • Making people comfortable: Disagree, Blush
    • Nobles and commoners in love: Nod, Commend, Chat
    • True noble: Sigh, Praise, Chat
    • Treat everyone the same: Commend, Praise, Blush
    • Versatile: Laugh, Disagree, Praise
    • Sword of Creator: Chat, Nod
    • Remember me: Sip Tea, Blush

---

That's it for the Black Eagles tea time answers guide. If you're looking for the right topics for other Houses, check out our tea time guides on the Blue Lions, Golden Deer, and Church of Seiros, as well as our other Three Houses guides.

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Which House to Pick in Fire Emblem: Three Houses https://www.gameskinny.com/sjk3k/which-house-to-pick-in-fire-emblem-three-houses https://www.gameskinny.com/sjk3k/which-house-to-pick-in-fire-emblem-three-houses Mon, 12 Aug 2019 12:51:40 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem: Three Houses tasks you with choosing one of the three titular houses very early in the game. Your choice has a huge impact on how you experience the game and its story — one house even has a secret branching path that leads to a fourth storyline — along with which characters will be your friends and foes.

Needless to say, there's a bit of pressure to make the right choice. The thing is, there isn't necessarily a right choice; though not all the stories are presented equally, so it's easy to say just pick whichever one you want.

But this is Fire Emblem, so personal interest isn't the only thing involved. That's why we've put together this handy guide outlining the advantages and potential disadvantages of each House based on the major areas your House choice affects.

Some Preliminary Points

The story is roughly the same for the game's first part, regardless of which House you choose. However, that changes in a big way after Chapter 10.

Some have likened the three major branching routes in Three Houses to Shin Megami Tensei's chaos, law, and neutral routes, and it's a reasonable comparison to make based on each House leader's motivations plus their relationship to other nations and the Church of Seiros.

Note some minor story spoilers will follow below for each house.

While you can recruit characters from other Houses if you meet certain requirements, it takes time and concentrated effort. Also, some characters can join your party regardless of which path you choose, like Alois, Shamir, Cyril and Catherine.

Still, you'll be sticking with your original House for a good deal of the game, so it's worth choosing the ones you think are most interesting or have the best potential for your playstyle.

Golden Deer

Characters

The Golden Deer house has Claude as its leader and draws its students from the Leicester Alliance. The Alliance is a newcomer to Fodlan's political stage, having broken off from the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus in the recent past and eschewed monarchs in favor of an aristocratic council.

Since its social structure isn't quite as rigid as the other two regions of Fodlan, Golden Deer has a decent mix of commoners and nobility. It's basically the ragtag bunch, with a wide range of personalities and backgrounds represented, and that's not a bad thing.

For one, it lends to some lively support conversations, where seemingly mismatched characters learn to understand people completely different from themselves and grapple with the Alliance's manifold political difficulties.

For another, it makes Golden Deer the perfect House to experiment with Three Houses' open class system. This is the path to choose for those familiar with Fire Emblem's usual mechanics who want to break out and experiment with something different.

Despite the promotional materials making Golden Deer out to be full of archers, the characters are all fairly versatile, with just a couple of exceptions.

Here are some standouts from the Golden Deer.

Hilda

Hilda is one of the better adjutants in the game. She has high Strength and Speed growth rates, with decent Dexterity and Defense as well, meaning she's pretty much suited to any class. She's also one of the only characters you can make a speedy Armored Knight out of, which fits well with her Budding Talent in Heavy Armor.

Like all physical characters, Hilda's resistance isn't the greatest, though she can take a few hits from magic users. Whatever class you choose, don't neglect her Brawl skills, because her natural speed and the Gauntlet weapons' higher attack speed mean you'll frequently land more than one attack.

Lysithea

Lysithea is the game's strongest magic user. She has the highest Speed and Magic rates and can learn dark magic, black magic, and white magic. Being female, she can't be a Dark Mage; but after the Intermediate level, that's not really a problem anyway.

Unlike Dorothea, Lysithea has a natural affinity with Faith, which makes her versatile as an offensive and defensive magic user (like Marianne, but with higher magic). That's good, since she learns Seraphim as a white magic spell, a highly useful attack effective against monsters.

Stick the Fiendish Blow skill on her, keep her out of direct combat, and watch the sparks fly.

Lorenz

Lorenz might not be quite as astounding as Lysithea and Hilda, but he's a useful character nonetheless. What makes him stand out most is his growth stats, with HP, Strength, Magic, and Speed all growing at a good rate. Like Hilda, it means he's a useful unit in almost any class.

If you need another offensive magic user, though, stick Lorenz on the Monk and Mage path; otherwise, you don't get to use any magic at all, and his Magic growth might not be quite so good. As a Monk, he can still use regular weapons as well as magic, plus there's no penalty for the Strength stat.

Additionally, while the game and Lorenz's own instruction requests lean towards making him a Cavalier then Dark Knight, it's not advisable to make him just a Cavalier at the Intermediate level, else he'll lose out on his naturally higher Speed growth.

Story

Going with the chaos, law, and neutral motif, the Golden Deer path is the neutral option. Claude and the Leicester Alliance aren't caught up in the Church's politics like the Adrestian Empire and Holy Kingdom are. Claude himself is quite willing to uncover the Church's darker side in a bid to achieve his own agenda, which itself is a bit on the murky side.

That's because neutral isn't "good" or bad; neutral doesn't seek to upend the status quo, nor does it try to uphold it.

If you want a balanced overview of what's going on in Fodlan, with a slant towards the outsider's viewpoint, then Golden Deer is for you. It lays a good foundation for seeing the other, more extreme options in a New Game+ campaign as well.

Blue Lions

Characters

The Blue Lions House is connected to the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, a relatively new nation in Fodlan. It was once part of the Adrestian Empire, but rebelled and achieved its independence thanks in part to assistance from the Church of Seiros.

As one would expect from a country with a shaky claim to independence, its nobility and legitimacy to rule play an important role, though it's not quite so aristocrat heavy as the Black Eagles house.

In fact, Blue Lions is more your traditional Fire Emblem setup in several ways, not least because of how it deals with character builds.

It's a great choice for series newcomers or those who don't want to dive into the class system's intricacies right away. Blue Lions' students all fit a definite role, with Dedue being your ready-made Armored Knight, Sylvain's stats and strengths fitting the Cavalier role perfectly, and so on.

While they can deviate from that role should you so desire, it's fine to sit back and let them follow their established paths as well.

That doesn't mean some characters don't stand out, though.

Ingrid

Ingrid is definitely made for the Pegasus Knight class and beyond, with her high Speed and aptitude for Flying. However, she's a bit of a rarity among Pegasus Knights in Fire Emblem who aren't named Catria. She combines Florina's and Farina's higher Strength growth rates with Vanessa's better defense, topped off with a very good HP growth rate and good Luck.

Now, none of these are astoundingly high. However, the base Strength value and 35% chance of increasing every level, combined with high Speed, mean Ingrid can deal a lot of damage to most foes. The Pegasus Knight's dismount feature this time around also means she isn't automatically vulnerable to archers either.

Yet her Defense rate is decent enough to where you could put Ingrid in any class, and her Strength and Speed could help her clear the field regardless of what role she's in.

Felix

Felix is one of the strongest units in the Blue Lions house. He has naturally high Strength and Speed, with decent Defense, good Luck, and sound Dexterity. His skill strengths mean he's suited for almost any physical weapon type, and even if Felix naturally favors Swords, his high Speed and Dexterity mean he'd be one of the game's more capable Axe users as well.

Many players build him into a Swordmaster, though, and that's not a bad route to take either. Swordmasters in Fire Emblem are notorious for being speedy more than strong, with lower defense rates holding that speed back as well.

Not so for Felix, which means he'd also do well as a Thief and Assassin, two other classes whose effectiveness is typically held back by lower stats elsewhere. His Defense is still on the lower side, but even though he might not be able to hold a line entirely by himself, he's still an invaluable unit to have.

Story

The Blue Lions is the law or status quo option, hence the blue color and emphasis on personal virtue.

It focuses on a specific noble (Dimitri) and his attempt to find the cause behind a tragedy that befell his house and land. That quest involves fending off threats to both crown and country with the help of fellow nobles and some commoners as well.

It's an intense and personal story. The darkness in Dimitri hinted at first thing in the game comes out strong, though it's not all there is to the northern prince.

Because Faerghus centers around Dimitri as its sole legitimate ruler, the story itself is also Dimitri-centric. It has various points where characters leave and come back later, and it doesn't necessarily explain the most about what's going on in Fodlan.

However, if you go into it knowing there's more than what you see in just this path, it shouldn't be an issue.

The Black Eagles

Characters

The Black Eagles House is the epitome of nobility, if only in name and heritage. Every character is from a high-ranking noble house in the Adrestian Empire, except Dorothea — but, being an internationally famous opera diva, even she isn't your average commoner.

They aren't all stodgy, though. Support conversations center around a variety of topics, from the politics of an ancient superpower to deep-rooted family discord and beyond.

The Black Eagles is presented as the mage House, which is pretty much true for the most part. Hubert, Dorothea, and Linhardt are all built as mages, which can hamper your team building thanks to that role's glaring weaknesses of low defense and not much strength.

It's another reason why Black Eagles wouldn't be a great first choice, at least for a newcomer. There are other characters who pick up the slack, but it offers a bit more of a challenge than the other two routes since those like Caspar, Bernadetta, and Ferdinand aren't shining examples of their respective strengths.

There are a couple of characters that help mitigate that challenge, though.

Petra

Aside from Edelgard, Petra is the star of Black Eagles. Her Strength, Dexterity, and Speed are all high, and Defense is average, all of which means Petra is yet another unit who could fit in almost any class.

High speed counters the Cavalier and Armored Knight's speed penalties and can help maximize Petra's naturally high Strength growth. That better Strength and Dexterity mean when she attacks, it's more than likely going to hit and do a lot of damage, so she's also a good fit for the Assassin and Swordmaster classes.

Black Eagles is short on ranged physical attackers with good strength, so putting a bow on Petra is a good idea too.

If you don't choose Black Eagles, it's still worthwhile to try and recruit Petra anyway.

Linhardt

Of all the mages in the game, Linhardt is one of the most well-rounded. He doesn't have the highest Magic or Speed rates; Hubert and Lysithea outrank him there. But he does have the highest Defense of the mage-type characters, good Dexterity, and good Luck.

The game naturally pushes him towards the Priest class, but you want him as a Mage (even a Dark Mage at the Intermediate level, if you can get your hands on a Dark Seal) to help increase his damage output. Because he has higher defense, he won't be as susceptible to dying after one attack like Dorothea, Hubert, and Lysithea are, which is a very useful trade-off for a slightly lower Magic growth rate.

Put Faith as a weekly goal, and you're on the track to a versatile and sturdy Gremory later in the game or even a Holy Knight if you want to shake things up.

Story

The Black Eagles get the most attention in Three Houses. They feature in all the promotional materials; the in-game tutorials show Black Eagles members; and Edelgard is the most popular character from the game.

There's a pretty good reason for pushing Black Eagles so much, and it's to do with how the story evolves on that route. Be aware there are some spoilers about Black Eagles here.

Edelgard is the chaos choice. Her goal is to re-shape society, taking the focus off the importance of Crests in determining who has power and ultimately defying the Church of Seiros and basically anyone else who might stand in her way.

You get to choose whether you want to side with Edelgard or the Church — sort of.

In Chapter 11, Throne of Knowledge, you have the option to speak with Edelgard. If you do, she asks you to accompany her to the Adrestian Empire's capitol of Enbarr. Say yes, and you start along the Black Eagles' branching story path, Crimson Flower.

Say no or don't talk to her at all during this chapter, and you automatically take the Silver Snow route for Part Two of the game.

If you do accompany Edelgard, you'll have another choice during the chapter's main mission, where you must decide whether to side with or against her. Siding with unlocks the Crimson Flower route, while siding against puts you on the Silver Snow route.

The Silver Snow route automatically gets Church-affiliated characters on your team, including Flayn, Seteth, and Catherine. Since the Crimson Flower route is opposed to the Church, these characters won't join you if you go down that path.

Three Houses doesn't have a true ending, but given Edelgard's role in the story regardless of which House you choose, it's no secret you get a completely different perspective if you go down the Crimson Flower route.

For that reason, it might be best to choose Black Eagles as your second or third playthrough, so you have at least one other perspective on how things unfold.

To avoid playing through Part One again, it's be a good idea to make two save files when you start Chapter 11, so after finishing one route, you can start back at the branch again later.

---

Which House you choose will definitely affect how you approach the game's various challenges, so it's worth considering what you want before deciding on your allegiance. It's also highly recommended to play through the game at least twice to see a wider view of the drama engulfing Fodlan.

Once you've chosen your ideal House and are ready for war, check out our other Fire Emblem Three Houses guides to help you survive for the long haul.

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Nintendo Signals Release Dates for Fire Emblem: Three Houses DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/d9w7w/nintendo-signals-release-dates-for-fire-emblem-three-houses-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/d9w7w/nintendo-signals-release-dates-for-fire-emblem-three-houses-dlc Tue, 06 Aug 2019 10:55:48 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Nintendo of America recently updated the Fire Emblem: Three Houses game page to include a timeframe for when we can expect the game's DLC waves.

The DLC waves are separate from the planned update that will include Three Houses' Lunatic mode.

Of course, we all know the first DLC launched alongside the game on July 26 and includes Officer's Academy outfits for male and female Byleth. It's part of the expansion pass, though, so you'll need to purchase it, then download the costumes before you can access them in the game.

The second wave is expected to launch sometime before October 31. This DLC will provide new Auxiliary Battle maps as well as "helpful in-game items, and more." It's still not clear what these helpful items are, though we did speculate what they could be, and there's also no indication what the "more" might consist of.

However, the Nintendo Australia page for the expansion pass said the Auxiliary maps will feature multiple map types, which is good for those who quickly grew tired of the repeated forest and town motifs. These maps will also feature more enemies who drop items.

The third wave will include new quests and costumes, and it's planned for release sometime after October 31 and before December 31. The plural "costumes" suggests it could provide getups for more than just Byleth, though whether these will be different for the pre and post-timeskip character models still remains unknown.

Alongside the quests and costumes will be another free update.

Finally is wave four, the one that will bring new characters, locations, and story content, plus yet another free update. This one should launch sometime before April 30, 2020.

The last expansion pass that provided new story content for a Nintendo game was Torna: The Golden Country, and it offered what amounted to a completely new game in itself, even taking up an E3 slot in 2018.

Since the new Three Houses content is planned before the big summer expo, it presumably won't be quite so expansive and will still focus on the world and events of the main game's storyline.

The Expansion Pass can be purchased for $24.99 directly from the Nintendo Switch eShop or from Nintendo's website.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Recommended Class Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/f39ee/fire-emblem-three-houses-recommended-class-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/f39ee/fire-emblem-three-houses-recommended-class-guide Tue, 06 Aug 2019 11:52:50 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem: Three Houses leaves you with an incredible amount of freedom when choosing what classes your units will advance to. It's true that each class has its own benefit and can find a spot to fill in any roster, depending on the setup.

However, there are some classes that rise above others in Three Houses. This guide picks them out and explains everything you need to know about them. Beginner classes are excluded here, just because you don't really get much from them and are limited in choice anyway.

Some Considerations

Before getting into the nitty-gritty with class details, it's important to keep a few things in mind. Don't forget class abilities are tied to that class; the only ones you can take with you are the Mastery abilities and Combat Arts, which obviously require you to master said class.

Skills learned aren't tied to class. If you have a Brawler with level B Faith, that Brawler will learn white magic even if he/she can't use it in that class.

Classing up doesn't necessarily mean big stat increases.The important things to consider are, instead, stat growth rates, since those determine how your unit will develop over time.

Recommended Intermediate Classes

Lord

Requirement(s)

  • Edelgard/Dimitri/Claude only
  • Sword D+
  • Authority C

Facets

  • Charm — Adjacent allies deal extra 3 points of damage during combat.
  • Res+2 (Mastery Ability) — Increases resistance by 2
  • Subdue (Mastery Combat Art) — Leaves the enemy with 1HP
  • Skill Bonuses: Sword+2, Authority+2, Lance+1

The Lord isn't a spectacularly useful class on its own, but it does a few very vital things. The first is that it keeps your roster from being full of mercenaries or archers by letting you put your House Leader in a unique role.

The Charm ability is definitely worthwhile. Even if you're playing on Casual, chances are you always have at least one unit around your House Leader to provide support boosts. Charm rewards you for protecting the leader and lets all nearby units dish out more damage.

Subdue is okay if you're trying to train weaker units, but Res+2's importance can't be overstated. Resistance is almost always the biggest weak point of a main character in Fire Emblem, and Three Houses throws a lot of magic users your way. Every little bit helps.

The three House Leaders each have two other unique classes that unlock at certain points in the story. These, including names, could be seen as spoilers, but the recommendations about the Lord class apply. Each of these unique classes offers benefits that affect the entire army and play to that Leader's strengths, so they're worth pursuing.

Mercenary

Requirement(s)

  • Sword C

Facets

  • Vantage (Mastery Ability) — If a unit with Vantage has less than 50% HP and is attacked, unit attacks first
  • Skill bonuses: Sword+2, Axe+1

The Mercenary might be the standard class when you don't know what to choose, but it's a good one nonetheless. Its growth stats favor strength and speed, which is a good combination indeed. Higher speed means a chance to strike twice, and it goes for your opponents, too.

Most important is the Vantage ability. It might take a while to unlock it, but it's a lifesaver in situations where you don't want to use Divine Pulse, but left a unit in a potentially deadly situation.

The only drawback is one common to most physical-oriented classes: low resistance growth rate.

Should you choose Mercenary, it'd be a good idea to supplement by setting Bow as one of your weekly goals. That way, you'll meet the requirements for the Assassin class without having to divide your time between using bows and swords. If you did use Bows, though, the Mercenary is a better choice over the Archer, whose stats leave something to be desired in the Strength department.

Brawler

Requirement(s)

  • Brawl C (Male only)

Facets

  • Unarmed Combat — lets units fight without weapons. The class mastery bonus is the same thing
  • Skill bonus: Brawl +2, Axe+1

Assuming you aren't raising your female units' brawl stat, the Brawler is the better choice over Brigand. Brigand gets a strength boost and a strength-oriented class mastery bonus, but the Brawler has higher Dexterity and Speed stat growth rates. Those two are arguably more important, because a strong hit is useless if it misses or results in two counter-attacks.

Dark Mage

Requirement(s)

  • Reason C
  • Dark Seal (Male only)

Facets

  • Miasma Delta — Lets unit cast Miasma Delta or, if the spell is already available, increases the number of times it can be used
  • Heart Seeker — Avo-20 for adjacent foes
  • Poison Strike (Mastery ability) If a unit lands a hit during combat, foe loses 20% HP after combat
  • Skill bonus: Reason+2, Faith+1

The Dark Mage is the best of the three Intermediate magic classes — and the biggest pain to unlock. Three Houses has four Dark Seals you can find over the game's course, and none of them are easy to get. You've probably seen the first one already: the Death Knight has it in the assassination plot chapter.

Still, should you obtain one, the Dark Mage's abilities and mastery ability make it the most versatile magic user. It grants non-mage but Magic proficient types like Lorenz the ability to use Dark Magic, deals extra damage to foes, and makes them easier to hit, all while improving the Magic stat growth rate at a higher pace than the Priest.

Interestingly, the Dark Mage is a better choice than the Dark Bishop later on. The Dark Bishop gets the same abilities as the Dark Mage with only a moderately useful mastery ability and the Mage's mastery ability thrown in for good measure.

Mage

Requirement(s)

  • Reason C

Facets

  • Fire — Lets unit cast Fire or, if the spell is already available, increases the number of charges
  • Fiendish Blow (Mastery ability) — +6 Magic when unit initiates combat
  • Skill bonus: Reason+2, Faith+1

If you don't feel like messing with the Dark Seals, the regular Mage is the next best choice. It's Magic growth rate is 10, to the Priest's 5, plus the mastery ability is more useful for offensive combat.

Each house has at least two default magic users, which you'll be bringing with you to battle until you recruit other units.

They should both be Mages. That way, you can alternate between attacking and assisting as needed. If you're concerned about raising Faith levels, just set those as goals and focus on improving them via instruction as well.

Pegasus Knight

Requirement(s)

  • Lance C
  • Flying D (Female only)

Facets

  • Canto — Lets unit take additional, unused movement after taking an action
  • Avo+10 — Increases Avoid
  • Darting Blow (Mastery ability) +6 Attack Speed if unit initiates combat
  • Triangle Attack (Mastery Combat Art) Requires three flying units adjacent to an enemy
  • Skill bonus: Lance+2, Flying+2, Sword+1

The Pegasus Knight, or Peg Knight, tops the Cavalier as the better of the two mounted Intermediate classes. It might not get the strength stat growth increase the Cavalier does, but it does get a Speed boost and has no negative stat growth rates. That means no stat reductions when you change classes.

Canto is very useful for darting short distances for attacks and then retreating out of harm's way. Just be mindful of the flyer's weakness to arrows and the fact that most of the enemy archers have the +1 range ability for their attacks.

If you have a female unit with good strength already, like Leonie or Ingrid, the extra Speed growth rate combines stronger hits with more of them. In other words, they could end up being the most powerful members of your roster as Pegasus Knights.

Recommended Advanced Classes

Swordmaster

Requirement(s)

  • Sword A

Facets

  • Swordfaire — Attack+5 when using a Sword
  • Sword Crit+10 — Critical hit rate goes up by 10 when using a sword
  • Astra (Mastery Combat Art ) Attacks five times at 30% the usual strength
  • Skill bonus: Sword+3

The Swordmaster is one of the game's best classes and certainly one you want to focus on at the Advanced tier. The sword bonuses easily outshine the Hero's abilities, plus the Swordmaster's growth rates focus on Strength and Speed. Unless you're using a unit with frail defense, this means you've got a ready-made frontline monster to hold its own and push through the enemy lines.

Astra is also one of the best Combat Arts for dealing higher damage rates, though it will blow through your weapon durability if you use it too much.

Assassin

Requirement(s)

  • Sword B
  • Bow C

Facets

  • Swordfaire — Attack+5 when using a Sword
  • Locktouch — Can open doors and chests without a key.
  • Stealth — Unit is less likely to be targeted
  • Lethality (Mastery ability) Could instantly kill a foe (activation depends on Dexterity x 0.25%)
  • Assassinate (Mastery Combat Art) Instantly kills a foe
  • Skill bonus: Sword+3, Bow+2

The Assassin is another of the game's best classes. While you don't get any Strength boost in the growth stat department, you do get rates twice as high for Dexterity and Speed, so you'll be landing more hits, more often. The mastery skills don't need much explanation; they're incredibly powerful.

Locktouch's usefulness is complemented by Stealth, since you can push your Assassin unit forward without worrying as much about being targeted. Stealth and higher speed also makes Assassin a good class for units with lower natural defense. You can dish out the damage and are more likely to avoid repercussions.

Paladin

Requirement(s)

  • Lance B
  • Riding B

Facets

  • Canto — Lets unit take additional, unused movement after taking an action
  • Lancefaire — Attack+5 when using lances
  • Terrain Resistance — No negative effects from terrain
  • Aegis (Mastery ability) — Could reduce bow and magic damage by half (activation depends on Dexterity)
  • Skill bonus: Lance+3, Riding+3, Sword+2

The Paladin makes up for the Cavalier's shortcomings in all ways. It gets stat growth rate boosts in all categories except Magic and Speed (which still gets a reduction). It's a naturally stronger unit compared to the Wyvern Rider and doesn't have the weakness to arrows and magic associated with the latter.

Canto and Terrain Resistance, plus higher defense and strength, make the Paladin a highly useful class for forging ahead and clearing a path for other units or holding the frontline. That goes double once you learn Aegis.

If you don't use the Cavalier at the Intermediate level, just use seminars and goals to quickly raise your Riding level.

Sniper

Requirement(s)

  • Bow A

Facets

  • Bowfaire — Attack+5 when using a bow
  • Bowrange+1 — Increases the range of bow attacks by 1
  • Hunter's Volley (Mastery Combat Art) — Strikes twice, exclusive to Snipers
  • Skill bonus: Bow+3

The Sniper is a bit of an anomaly in this list because it doesn't have too much going for it — but what it does have is worthwhile.

Bowrange+1 is one of the best skills for any bow user for obvious reasons. Combined with Bowfaire plus the Sniper's higher Luck growth rate, you've got the perfect class for units like Ignatz with high strength but low defense. They can deal high amounts of damage up to three or four squares away without dealing with counter attacks.

Grappler

Requirement(s)

  • Brawl A (Male only)

Facets

  • Fistfaire — Attack+5 when using brawling.
  • Unarmed Combat — Can fight without a weapon.
  • Tomebreaker (Mastery ability) — Hit and Avoid +20 when attacking magic users
  • Fierce Iron Fist (Mastery Combat Art) — Attacks three times, exclusive to the Grappler
  • Skill bonus: Brawl+3

The Grappler is a class worth sticking with to get the Tomebreaker ability, which perfectly complements the Brawler's high strength and low resistance.

Like the Brawler in the Intermediate tier, the Grappler gets high Strength, Dexterity, and Speed growth rates, making it again more useful than the one-sided Warrior.

Warlock

Requirement(s)

  • Reason A

Facets

  • Black Tomefaire — Attack+5 when using black magic
  • Black Magic Uses x2 — Doubles the number of times you can use each black magic spell
  • Bowbreaker (Mastery ability) — Hit/Avoid +20 when using magic against bow users.
  • Skill bonus: Reason+3, Faith+2

There's not too much to say about the Warlock, other than it's a very strong unit. It offers more and more useful abilities than the Dark Bishop and turns your Reason-based magic user into a highly efficient offensive unit. More power and more times to take advantage of it definitely outweigh the Bishop's Renewal mastery ability.

Recommended Master Classes

The Master tier of classes is a difficult one to choose the best from. Every class is strong and offers distinct benefits depending on your playstyle, but some stand out above the others.

Mortal Savant

Requirement(s)

  • Sword A
  • Reason B+

Facets

 

  • Swordfaire — Attack+5 when using a sword.
  • Black Tomefaire — Attack+5 when using black magic.
  • Warding Blow (Mastery ability) — Resistance+6 when unit initiates combat
  • Skill bonus: Sword+3, Reason+3

The Mortal Savant is a physical class that actually lets you use magic as well, making it one of the two best end classes for all reason-based magic users. While it might not be the most useful for those with naturally lower Strength initially, that stat does grow at a steady pace. Plus using a Sword grants an attack bonus anyway.

There are several units with high strength and decent magic that would fit this class, including Byleth.Just don't use a slower unit, since the Mortal Savant gets a small blow to Speed.

Dark Knight

Requirement(s)

  • Lance C
  • Reason B+
  • Riding A

Facets

  • Black Tomefaire — Attack+5 when using black magic.
  • Canto — Lets unit take additional, unused movement after taking an action
  • Dark Tomefaire — Attack+5 when using dark magic
  • Seal Resistance (Mastery ability) — Foe gets Res-6 for one turn after unit attacks
  • Skill bonus: Lance+3, Riding+3, Reason+3

The Dark Knight is the other end class for all offensive magic users. The added mobility granted by riding a horse, plus the increased attack for both kinds of offensive magic, outweigh the slight speed reduction all horse units get at this level.

Additionally, there's more offensive black and dark magic than there is offensive white magic, making the two Tomefaire skills more useful than the Holy Knight's White Tomefaire skill. You also get a slight increase for the Strength growth rate, making lance use feasible as well, should you need it.

War Master

Requirement(s)

  • Axe A
  • Brawl A (Male only)

Facets

  • Fistfaire — Attack+5 when using Brawl-based weapons
  • Axefaire — Attack+5 when using an Axe
  • Crit+20 — Increases critical hit rate by 20
  • Quick Riposte (Mastery ability) Guaranteed follow-up attack if a unit's HP is greater than 50% and foe initiates combat
  • War Master's Strike (Mastery Combat Art) Effective against all enemies and has a high Hit rate
  • Skill bonus: Axe+3, Brawl+3

It's easy to see from the skill list alone how useful the War Master can be if you've focused on Brawl skills in any of your male units.

All attacks will be enhanced, with improved critical hit rates, strong counter skills once you master the class, and high HP, Strength, and Dexterity growth rates. As physical units go, it's hard to beat this one.

Gremory

Requirement(s)

  • Reason A
  • Faith A (Female only)

Facets

 

  • Black Magic Uses x2 — Increases how much each black magic spell can be used
  • Dark Magic Uses x2 — Increases how much each dark magic spell can be used
  • White Magic Uses x2 — Increases how much each white magic spell can be used
  • Defiant Mag (Mastery ability) Mag+8 when HP is less than 25%
  • Skill bonus: Reason+3, Faith+3

The Gremory is the ultimate magic user, but is limited to female units only. Fortunately, there are a lot of magic-proficient female units in Three Houses, so you're bound to have at least one unit that would be a good fit for this class regardless of the House you chose.

Growth rates favor Magic and Dexterity, so units like Marianne and Annette who can't make good use of the Dark Knight or Mortal Savant's physical skills would be ideal here.

Unique Class

Dancer

Requirement(s)

  • Complete "The White Heron Cup" quest available in month 12.

Facets

  • Dance — Allows targeted ally to move again
  • Special Dance (Mastery ability) — Dancing also increases Luck, Dexterity, and Speed by 4.
  • Skill bonus: Sword+2, Authority+2

The Dancer is a peculiar class. Only one character can be a Dancer — whichever one you choose for the quest mentioned above. However, Dancers don't get any beneficial stat growth increases, except HP. Strength, Defense, and Resistance all take a small hit.

However, the Dance ability's usefulness can't be overstated. Whether you're letting a healer assist another unit, moving a unit out of danger, or taking out another enemy, it's always useful to grant an extra action to one of your party members.

Just note that while the Mastery ability affects dancing, the Dance ability is tied to the Dancer class and can't be transferred to another.

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Every class is viable in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but the ones listed here offer the best skills, abilities, and growth paths of the bunch. While you're working on meeting requirements and planning for your army's future, check out our other Fire Emblem: Three Houses guides for help with skills, instruction, and more.

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GameSkinny Weekend Download: Rockstar Makes Headlines, Fire Emblem is Awesome, Madden 20 Takes the Field, and More https://www.gameskinny.com/inpj1/gameskinny-weekend-download-rockstar-makes-headlines-fire-emblem-is-awesome-madden-20-takes-the-field-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/inpj1/gameskinny-weekend-download-rockstar-makes-headlines-fire-emblem-is-awesome-madden-20-takes-the-field-and-more Sat, 03 Aug 2019 08:43:58 -0400 GS_Staff

This week, we look at Madden 20 and if this year's installment earns the franchise a contract extensions. We also give our thoughts on the criminally-good Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which has all of us that don't already have a Switch want to run out and get one right now!

In the news, Rockstar faces accusations of tax evasion, while GameStop begins its "reboot" in earnest, laying off 50 employees.

Sony says that the PS4 has now sold 100 million units, putting it past the PS2 in the same timeframe, while U.S. tariffs might increase the price of the popular system. The Switch is also doing (really) well, in both hardware and software. 

PEGI, the European ratings board, seems to have accidentally leaked an impending Doom 64 re-release on PS4 and PC, while Turok and Turok 2 are getting physical releases on the Switch.  

And rounding out the news, Capcom is up to something with (could it be an RE3 remaster?)...

Of course, we also have a slew of guides for some of the most popular releases, as well as as a handful of gear reviews and lifestyle roundups. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. It's the weekend. What else are you gonna do? Play video games? 

News

Reviews

Culture

Guides

Check back next weekend for another roundup of news, reviews, guides, and features. Be sure to check previous weeks for more content: 

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cooking Together Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/10wkc/fire-emblem-three-houses-cooking-together-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/10wkc/fire-emblem-three-houses-cooking-together-guide Wed, 31 Jul 2019 14:56:04 -0400 diegoarguello

Fire Emblem: Three Houses feels like the mix between the tactical components of the series with Persona elements. This results in an array of activities to do with a new cast of characters, and one of them involves cooking together.

For this, you'll have to talk to the Head Chef, located in Garreg Mach Monastery's dining hall. You'll be able to do so whenever you choose the option to Explore during a free day from your calendar.

In order to unlock said activity, you'll have to make progress through the story until at least Chapter 2.

Bear in mind that doing this will take one Activity Point from your free day, so make sure to plan your full schedule ahead as with any other activity. The best part is that the effects will last for a full month, so it's not mandatory to repeat it in every possible occasion.

Cooking Together: How It Works

This is a relatively easy activity in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and it's worth investing some time in it. Once it unlocks, a new marker will show up in the dining hall where you'll be able to access a list of recipes and characters.

It's similar to sharing a meal with two other students, only that in here only one can be chosen at a time. Make sure to keep an eye on the arrows at the side of each student, which can either point up in a light blue color or down in red. This will affect the support points you can gather from each interaction.

Then, you get to choose what kind of food you want to make, although you'll need to have the required ingredients first. These can be obtained as reward from side quests in the Monastery, caught during the fishing minigame, and also from gardening.

You'll probably have a lot of ingredients laying around at this point, so always make sure to put them to good use whenever you have the chance.

Cooking Together Recipe List
  • King of Beasts Steak
    • Description: Duscur bear steak.
    • Effect: Allies gain Maximum Health Points +3 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Duscur Bear x1
  • Invincible Grill
    • Description: Grilled Oghma wolverine.
    • Effect: Allies gain Strength +1 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Oghma Wolverine
  • Hero Salad
    • Description: Angelica salad.
    • Effect: Allies gain Magic +1 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Angelica 1
  • Queen Fish Sauté
    • Description: Sauté of queen loach.
    • Effect: Allies gain Dexterity +2 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Queen Loach x1
  • Swift Fish Gratin
    • Description: Bullhead gratin
    • Effect: Allies gain Speed +1 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Bullhead x1
  • Blessed Jelly
    • Description: Morfis-plum jelly.
    • Effect: Allies gain Luck +2 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Morfis Plum x1
  • Immortality Stew
    • Description: Teutates pike hot pot.
    • Effect: Allies gain Defense +1 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient: Teutates Pike x1
  • Nirvana Cake
    • Description: Boa-fruit cake.
    • Effect: Allies gain Resistance +1
    • Ingredient(s): Boa Fruit x1
  • Charming Soup
    • Description: Nordsalat soup.
    • Effect: Allies gain Charisma +2 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Nordsalat x1
  • Sacred Beast Roast
    • Description: Albinean moose roast.
    • Effect: Allies gain Maximum Health Points and Strength +1 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Albinean Moose x1 - Magdred Kirsch x1
  • Treasure Fruit Nectar
    • Description: Zanado treasure fruit nectar.
    • Effect: Allies gain Magic and Resistance +1 for the rest of the month.
    • Ingredient(s): Zanado Treasure Fruit x1 - Magdred Kirsch x1

Those are all the recipes we've gathered thus far. All grant different bonuses, so it will depend on your playstyle and the usual group you like to take into battle to see which ones are the best fit.

If you found this guide useful, take a look at our other Fire Emblem: Three Houses guides going over topics like reclassing and class mastery and lost items.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review — Cream of the Crop https://www.gameskinny.com/vc83w/fire-emblem-three-houses-review-cream-of-the-crop https://www.gameskinny.com/vc83w/fire-emblem-three-houses-review-cream-of-the-crop Wed, 31 Jul 2019 16:20:54 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Put an RPG in a school setting, and you'll likely get lots of exasperated eye rolls from fans. Anime School often brings with it lots of well-used tropes. That's why Fire Emblem: Three Houses surprised and concerned many when it came out the game was partially set in a school.

Competing factions? Check. Shy mage girls and brash, would-be Casanovas? Check. In fact, "check" for everything you might expect out of a school-based RPG.

Add a Persona-style calendar and stat-raising system with some distinct plot elements reminiscent of Nihon Falcom's Trails of Cold Steel, and you have a game that seems mostly derivative on paper.

Fortunately, the difference between theory and reality is made plain from the moment you boot up Three Houses. This Fire Emblem skillfully balances innovation with established mechanics to create the most immersive and finely crafted game in the franchise.

The Bonds You Form

Three Houses presents what's easily the most sophisticated — and coherent — Fire Emblem story, and it does so in ways subtly different from the series' usual storytelling methods. Note that some minor story spoilers from the opening segments follow.

It's no secret that churches and organized religion are frequent targets in JRPGs. Three Houses isn't different in this regard, but it doesn't expect you to be surprised by that fact. You're actually shown the Church of Seiros' dark side in the game's opening movie sequence.

By chapter five, which is still quite early in the game, you and your students are in no doubt about the Church's morally ambiguous nature and tendency towards authoritarianism.

What makes the plot especially strong is how all this isn't necessarily the primary emphasis. How each character reacts to what they learn, how they take part in or are affected by the political machinations around them — that's what makes Three Houses' narrative compelling.

It doesn't fade as the game progresses either. Despite some intentionally predictable developments, there are still plenty of surprises, many of which relate to how you're forced to interact with the students you once considered friends once the real war starts.

This setup and heavier focus on characters and character development is a definite boon for the game. That's because Fire Emblem has always been about its characters, even before Intelligent Systems turned them into breeding machines with Awakening.

As we initially predicted after the first gameplay reveal, the school setting is a natural way for the game to emphasize this strength. You don't really have a choice: you're going to become invested in your students.

You help them grow and achieve their goals, you learn their troubled backstories, you come to understand their hopes and dreams, and you spend your rare free time with them.

After the time skip and each House splits, all this time and effort means it's almost like facing off against your own kids during battle (if your kids were fictitious and lived in a fantasy world, that is).

Support conversations are more important than ever thanks to this setup, especially since these are where you interact with students one-on-one and see how they relate to their classmates.

What's even more interesting this time around is that support conversations often have some plot significance, with the conversations between House leaders and their second-in-command proving most useful in foreshadowing how that House's path will play out.

Wanting to see how each House's path plays out means Three Houses has tons of replay value as well. Plus, that desire bears witness to the story's strength on the whole. Even after dozens of hours finishing one path, you'll want to jump right back in to pick another path.

Tangled Threads

It's not all about the characters, though; there's still a strong plot independent of them. Even with the many changes to the series, the usual Fire Emblem content is still here: characters who go bad, surprise-not-surprise revelations about an important character's lineage, lots of political intrigue and the like. As fantasy food goes, it's all satisfying stuff.

However, Three Houses' political issues seem more deeply rooted in political history, with a splash of literature thrown in for good measure. (Bonus points for anyone who gets the house name references to King Lear in the Golden Deer path.)

No longer does King X invading Country Y to fulfill evil, arcane Mission Z make up most of the world-building. It's there, but there's much more as well.

Clashes between democratic ideals and monarchy, burgeoning nations and the established hegemony, are as old as civilization. These different themes are common throughout medieval European history, and the tangled motives and conflicting paths are a refreshing take on Fire Emblem's usually more one dimensional narratives.

All of this is wrapped up in the Church of Seiros' dark secrets and the forces that move against it, not all of which work together.

Whether you're versed in politics and history or not, it's easy to appreciate the detail Three Houses lavishes on its world and nations, not to mention the nuanced treatment given to the story.

Welcome to Your New Life

Fire Emblem games usually introduce something new in each entry, but the changes tend to be conservative. Some new class paths here, an overworld map there, skirmishes, removing weapon durability, and other similar changes have all featured in each successive Fire Emblem game in the West since 2003.

In comparison, Three Houses is like a quiet revolution. Not only does it do away with the weapon triangle, a series staple, but it introduces a host of new mechanics, expands existing ones, and does all this in a way that feels completely natural for the series and genre. It's a perfect setup for longtime fans and series newcomers alike.

Teacher's Pet

The most noticeable changes come first thing when you're recruited as a professor and have to choose a House.

The branching storyline mechanic isn't new, though it's certainly perfected far beyond what it was in Fire Emblem Fates, thanks to more meaningful changes in the plot.

But the big change here is, of course, being a professor, which in Three Houses means choosing in what your units will excel and what they will prioritize.

Being responsible for teaching your students introduces an almost intimidating level of customization and lets you make any unit whatever you want it to be. Unlike earlier games, the only restrictions on classes are skill levels and, for some, gender. Want to see what happens when Marianne the weak mage focuses all her might on her Brawling skills? Go for it.

That being said, each character has innate strengths and weaknesses, and some of them act like guides for how you could chart their growth paths. You can ignore them if you want, tweak them a bit, or just forego the customization element completely and let them train themselves.

Letting you choose to engage in the new mechanics or not is a smart move. Sure, auto-instruct might not grant the same level of investment in your students, but some people just want a traditional Fire Emblem game and that's fine, too.

Those who do engage in the new features are in for a treat. Once you get the hang of goal setting and choosing which skills to promote with each activity, the teaching turns into an incredibly satisfying loop that also helps determine how you spend your time in the other big, non-combat change: the monastery.

It's a huge area that functions like an overworld, with plenty of places to explore — so many that you're still unlocking new areas several chapters into the game.

You have a set number of Activity Points to spend during exploration and a wide range of things to do. You can choose to engage in tournaments, complete activities with students to raise support points, fish, garden, host tea parties, complete side quests, return lost items, answer notes left in the cathedral — there's a staggering amount of activities you can pursue outside of combat and instruction.

Taking breaks from combat to explore and focus on bonds helps keep from getting into the strategy game slog, where consecutive maps easily lead to game burnout.

On the Battlefield

Then there's the combat, one of the most important parts of any strategy game. It's largely unchanged except for a few key areas.

The first is battalions, groups of soldiers or mercenaries you can hire for each character, should you have the funds and requisite Authority ranking.

Battalions offer a variety of advantages, from stat boosts to special Gambit skills. Gambits are powerful attacks often involving more than one character, and they can have several different effects.

The most common one early in the game is Onslaught, which can prevent a counterattack, push an enemy back, and seal its movement for the next turn. Others like White Magic Resonance magnify healing magic and spread it over multiple tiles. Your enemies get battalions too and make good use of them.

These Gambits aren't all-powerful skills, though, and your battalions eventually wear down. However, replenishing them is easy and inexpensive, so while it's not a good idea to blow through your battalion right away, the game certainly encourages you to use them frequently.

Another minor but important change is with skills. Each skill set gets a variety of passive and combat skills, and good use of combat skills can turn the tide of a difficult battle — at a cost. Weapon durability is back, and combat skills wear weapons down at a faster rate than normal combat.

Magic is tied to the Reason and Faith skills this time. That means you don't have to buy tomes and staves, but you do need to invest a lot in Reason and Faith to make mages useful.

Though these changes are minor, they all combine to make Three Houses the most streamlined and engaging game in the series so far, with plenty of options to keep combat fresh.

Finally, we come to map variety. Three Houses continues the theme Echoes: Shadows of Valentia started by exchanging complex and exotic maps with open spaces, simple terrain, and multiple paths in a given map.

Some fans prefer the diverse map design from Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, with challenging gimmicks and layouts that hinder as much as they assist.

However, there's something to be said for the simpler variety. The lack of features means you have to focus more on strategic unit placement, taking advantage of what terrain there is and deciding whether to split your army up or press forward as one. It ends up fitting very well with the game's greater emphasis on training and wisely choosing skills too, so even if it isn't as flashy as other games, it works perfectly in the context of Three Houses.

New Horizons

Speaking of looks, Three Houses is easily the best looking Fire Emblem game to date. Colors are deep and rich, and the various areas of the monastery offer their own visual treat, from the sun shining on the flagstones to the warm hues of the cathedral.

Character models move much more fluidly than in previous games, even if they don't have too many movements outside of combat. They do have feet, though, which is important for anyone who's played Awakening.

As with more recent entries, scenes are told via both gorgeous 2D portrait art and 3D models, though the Switch's hardware naturally makes Three Houses' story sequences look and play the best of them all. There are more lovely looking anime-style cutscenes as well, helping punctuate important moments with that extra bit of visual impact.

Unfortunately, it seems like Three Houses might have been a bit too ambitious for the hardware in a few areas. There's frequent slowdown when moving about the monastery, and while it doesn't really affect the game's flow, it is noticeable. There's also evident screen tearing in the Entrance Hall and some of the monastery's corridors while in handheld mode. Again, it doesn't detract from the game, but it's easy to see.

Three Houses is an audio treat as well. The soundtrack features various remixes of the main theme, but they're all suited perfectly to whatever situation in which they play, from the quiet melodies of exploration to the truncated, percussion-heavy sounds of combat.

More important is the voice acting, which is stellar and much more extensive than the grunts of past games. Every line of dialogue, even NPC and random Seiros guard dialogue, is voiced, and fortunately, it's all high-quality work.

Each actor manages to capture the emotion behind their lines, and like all good acting, it makes the experience even more immersive than if it were just text. This writer didn't use the Japanese voice track, so he can't really comment on it, but that's a testament to the English track's quality; never was the temptation there to switch tracks or shut it off, even on the odd occasion when voiced dialogue and script didn't match completely

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Pros:
  • Expansive story, with plenty of replay value
  • Meaningful player choices
  • Immersive character customization and development
  • Consistently engaging and high-stakes plot
  • Impressive coherence between all aspects of the game
Cons:
  • Map design may be too simple for some
  • A few technical problems

Fire Emblem: Three Houses has enough to keep the strategy faithful happy while still being accessible for newcomers, making it a very versatile game indeed. It builds on the traditional Fire Emblem formula, introducing a number of improvements that build naturally on the series' biggest strengths. Combat is smooth and deep, the story is impressively detailed, and there are countless ways to spend your time in the game.

It all blends seamlessly together to create a satisfyingly immersive experience that lasts throughout the game and well into several extra playthroughs.

[Note: A copy of Fire Emblem: Three Houses was provided by Nintendo for the purpose of this review.]

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