As I stated in my last article, the Black Eagles Review, I will be reviewing each houses play-through separately. After that we will go ahead and rank the game as a whole. If you are looking for information on game play or lore, click the link above. As the rest of these reviews will be focusing more on characters and their story line. Today we are going to talk about the Golden Deer, what makes them unique, and whether or not you should spend 30plus hours getting to know them.
The Golden Deer are made up of students from the Leicester Alliance. Unlike the other two houses, their country is not governed by a single monarch. Instead the Leicester Alliance is ruled by a group of prominent noble families. You access their play-through by choosing to become the Golden Deer Houses professor at the beginning of the game. The leader of the Golden Deer House is named Claude; a quick witted and devious young man. He is far less proper than the other two house leaders, and reminds me of the cool kid in school that pulls pranks every ten minuets.
While Claude himself is very interesting, his classmates woefully fall short. Maybe its just because I already fell in love with the Black Eagle characters, but very few Golden Deer students intrigued me. I had to fight the urge to only play as my recruited Black Eagle students. Now in all honesty most of them are not bad characters. I found Lysithea, Leonie, and Hilda to be relatively interesting, but I still wasn’t as invested in them as I felt I should have been.
Now to defend my reasoning for the cast of characters bash. A lot of people claim that the Black Eagle’s characters are too straight forward with their roles. Overprotective body guard, lazy scholar, anti social teen girl, etc. To me though they were cliches played out to the extreme. Hubert threatens to kill you, the professor, every chance he gets. Bernadetta is so crippled with social anxiety that it takes hours of cut scenes before she doesn’t run away crying during any confrontation. Yes they are typical cliches, but the way they are presented is unique and engaging. The Golden Deer characters have almost an identical dynamic, yet lack the interesting extremes.
Where Lindhart was purely lazy because it was truly his passion to fly under the radar, Hilda was lazy in the typical “Oh I am afraid to fail,” kind of way. Ignatz is your typical insecure little anime warrior. Leonie is your feminist warrior with a chip on her shoulder. (NOTHING against feminists, that is just how she is presented) Also don’t get me started on Raphael, the large dumb brute who only wants to eat. In my opinion, these characters are as straight forward as they come, and I was disinterested in most of their story lines.
Golden Deer Story line:
(There will be minor spoilers, nothing like first review)
Part 1 of the game is almost identical to that of the Black Eagle’s play-through, and I assume it will be like that for both the Blue Lions/Church story lines as well. Other than character swaps (and thankfully different dialogue in cut scenes) the battle missions are all the same. Of course if you choose the Golden Deer as your first play-through, it will be a fantastic fresh experience for you.
While I say it is identical, that doesn’t necessarily make it repetitive. It is refreshing to watch how differently the new cast of characters reacts to the situations you are put in. Or how they grow in general, also it is fun to compare in your mind how the previous cast of characters are growing as well. This way you are able to see how the conflicts of interest slowly brew.
Although once Part 2 hits, the game takes off differently. You are in the midst of a civil war between all of the nations of Fodland. Although this time you are sided with Claude/Leicester Alliance. Because of this you go to war with both the Empire and Holy Kingdom. So essentially it plays out the same as the Black Eagles playthrough, that is up until the last two battles.
Unfortunately the last two battles seem to push the story pretty drastically. The bad guy is very random, and to me the ending is lack luster. I played the GD, because I really wanted to further the lore part of the story, but I was met with a lot of disappointment. I realize that this game was designed to be played multiple times. So understanding the full scope of events and characters requires playing through each houses story. Although I fell obligated to admit that I am still a tad frustrated. Having played through 2 story lines, and feel no closer to understanding some seemingly key plot points.
All I can say now is that I am excited to take the Blue Lions route next, and hope more is explained there. Not knowing what is happening is still compelling enough to keep me interested and playing the next two routes. Although I understand that this may vary from gamer to gamer.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses, is an incredible game. While this review was a lot more negative than the first one, don’t think for a second that my opinion on Three Houses has changed. Support conversations are still good in the Golden Deer, and the feeling you get as a professor is amazing.
It is important to understand that this game is a true investment of time. It is an RPG truly packed with hundreds of hours of content. If you are looking for something to deliver a quick story, this is not the game for you. Was the Golden Deer my favorite play through? No, not by a long shot. In truth I expect it to be my least favorite of the 4, but that aside I still enjoyed it.
I think that it is important to keep in mind how personal Fire Emblem games are. A huge appeal to it is the connection you share with the characters. So feel free to take my opinion on the GD characters with a grain of salt. I just didn’t vibe with them all that much, but whose to say you won’t? All in all, I have several friends that I would recommend take this path first. So, will you join the Golden Deer? The choice is yours.