It has all lead to this Fire Emblem fans, this is the final review on Three Houses.
Once again if you are looking for information on game-play or lore, click this link to my Black Eagles Review. As this final review will be solely focused on characters and their story lines. Also I will include a route ranking/summary at the end.
Without Further a dieu lets discuss the fourth and final story; the Church Route.
Church Of Seiros
The Church Route, is the more secret route to play through in FE3H. You access this by playing through The Black Eagles route, but making choices to side with Arch Bishop Rhea towards the end of part one.
SPOILER: (explaining how to access this play through)
On the last month of Part One, Edelgard will raid the Holy Tomb of Seiros. After a short battle, preventing the Empire from raiding the tomb, you are forced with a choice. Either protect Edelgard, or side with Rhea. To choose the Church route you must side with Rhea (ew I know right).
I wasn’t all that excited to play the church route. Retracting some earlier statements I made about the Golden Deer route, I felt that I had learned or could inference all I needed to know about FE3H.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t entirely off here, while the lore goes into much greater depth, and some information unattainable in other routes is gained. I still can’t say much on this Church Route other than it should be played, due to the fact that it is a short Part Two (and Part One is with the Black Eagles so you can’t go wrong).
The church has a combination of your Black Eagles students (excluding Edelgard and Hubert) and the Church Staff. The students will struggle with fighting their homeland. While the church staff is distraught due to the fact that the Empire captured Rhea.
I personally was never overly fond of the Church Staff, don’t get me wrong there are a few great characters, but none are anywhere near my favorites. It is also important to note that almost all of them are easy to recruit, and it makes a lot of sense when they tag along with you on other routes anyways.
The highlight of this play through character wise is definitely, as I stated earlier, watching the BE characters deal with warring against the Empire. Each of them get a slightly new character development that is refreshing to see.
It serves as a reminder that we can take many different paths in life. The decisions we make will affect how our future plays out. Who knows how our lives would have turned out had we done one thing or another differently?
Part Two: (minor spoilers)
Part Two of the Church will consist of you fighting against all three Nations of Fodland indirectly. You kind of rebuild the broken church, and watch from the sidelines before swooping in for the victory.
To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this came out as the canon true ending to FE3H. While it is definitely the least satisfying, watching such complex and interesting characters like Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude dissipate with a wave of Byleth’s hand. It is interesting to get a new perspective on the war.
Not to mention the fact that you learn all about Byleth, and Jeralt. I especially loved learning about Jeralt as he was such a mystery in every other route. Although Byleth’s background is refreshing to unveil as well.
You also get to put an end to “Those Who Slither In The Dark” which for some ridiculously stupid reason doesn’t happen in the BE play through. (Yes I am salty, no I will not apologize)
If you are looking to fully understand the lore of this game, you MUST play the church route. It is also the route that gives Seteth quite a major role, and that was something I appreciated.
Final Game Thoughts:
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the greatest video games I have ever had the privilege of playing. The amount of new features implemented made the title feel revitalized. It provided me well over 200 hours of gameplay, and kept me invested every step of the way.
Below I will rank my favorite routes and give a small explanation of the appeal each one gives:
4). The Church Route
It is an interesting route, and the one that has the most unique ending. This route will appeal to you if you connected most with Rhea and the rest of the church staff. The reason it sits at number 4 for me is that I disliked Rhea, and what her version of the church stood for. Although the route as a whole is certainly informative.
I gave the Golden Deer a pretty harsh review, although I stand by most of what I said still. I felt that their playthrough was the most random, as Claude has nothing to do with Fodland. This route will appeal to you though if you enjoy the lighthearted approach to situations. The characters, and plot come off as a lighthearted anime, and is easy to digest/enjoy.
The Blue Lions is classic Fire Emblem story line, and I definitely didn’t mind. The mental health struggles sell Dimitri’s character so well, although personally I am not his biggest fan. Mostly because I don’t agree with how his route handles and views the war. (Especially siding with the church) You will like this route if you appreciate the classic (or basic) ‘hero’ story. If you are the kind of person who thinks Captain America in the MCU is always right, then this is probably the route you’ll affiliate with most.
I loved this route. The Black Eagles as a whole have the most interesting character progression than any other house. (Accomplishing this in a route that is shorter than all the others) Edelgard is the only character whose intentions and dreams never waiver in any route you play. She is determined to fix the many broken and oppressive parts of Fodland, and expose Rhea for what she really is. You will like this route if you have an open mind, and are able to see the big picture. If you thought Thanos had a point, but went about it the wrong way, go with the Black Eagles.