They're doing a weird thing where all the characters are trying to convince me Dmitri is dead even though the Part 2 intro told me he isn't. Claude is leading the anti-Empire faction of the Alliance. Lorenz is leading the pro-empire faction, and I assume Ashe is in some way critical to the puppet Kingdom since he disappeared. I didn't recruit muscle guy, white twintail magic girl, Mercedes, or Hilda, so don't know what happened to them.
I don't think Edelgard or Hubert are *supposed* to be evil, but they're (fittingly) running into the same problem Cold Steel II did where it's difficult to write a compelling enemy faction that is both the aggressor and morally ambiguous, especially once you start introducing big boss magic. That game had a bunch of characters who you could argue about in isolation, but they're still fighting for the side that's committing all the war crimes, so it's a bit of a moot point. 3H is pretty much doing the same thing so far. They've shown Edelgard supporting cartoon villains and have gone out of their way to show that Fodlan had previously been at peace for centuries and that the war is destroying common people's lives, but there's been no attempt so far to even explain what she's even trying to do. Just a random "join me or die" moment followed by turning people into monsters.
yeah, if you side with Edie her motive is far more clear and also less evil.
Stuff about Claude's route:
i think s1x got to that point last night. Fairly sure on that route Dimitri does die eventually but I was really tired last night so I'm honestly not sure if he's actually dead yet in s1x's playthrough.
all the lessons learned will carry us through the unknown
I thought about getting this game, but ultimately I don't have that much time and I didn't have a dire need compared to the stuff at the end of the month so I probably won't get it. Anyway, that's my route.
it's a lot clearer to see what Edelgard's motives are when you side with her, and I imagine those same motives will come to light in your end of the playthrough as well. I wouldn't be surprised if she and Hubert do end up re-joining you in the climactic battle.
I will say to you and @Apollo the Just (sorry for tagging you again but also not super sorry because), if you want, the tactics can take such a back seat in this game that it's actually kinda crazy. In fact, you can even select auto-battle and literally have the tactics taken over for you by the AI. You can select Normal difficulty, Casual mode (no perma-death), and auto-battle your way through all of the TRPG stuff, then just enjoy the anime goodness of the professor sequences, the monastery exploration, the support conversations, and the wildly varying story.
Like for real, I'd recommend this game without reservation to just about anyone, even if TRPG isn't your thing.
I should also preface my take with the fact that I’ve been watching S1x’s playthrough and I’m also just generally not interested, so it’s not solely the battle system. Although it’s cool watching people who are into it talk ahout it and I’ve been lurking in this thread for that reason anyway.
Just killed Edelgard and Hubert. I'm glad it didn't go "POWER OF FRIENDSHIP" like Trails, but disappointed that they never made any attempt to explain what they were doing until they were dead, and even then it's a letter basically going "our friends are evil lol." There's just no explanation at all for why starting a civil war was a better approach to dealing with the big bads than, you know, attacking the big bads.
The difficulty has also been going in the wrong direction. MC never takes more than 3 damage except from bosses, and can one-turn all of them with the Brave Sword. I've been using other units to keep it more interesting, but the others aren't far behind - Leonie and Bernadetta only take a little more damage and hit from outside response range anyway, Ingrid and Petra are effectively unhittable, Caspar, Alois, and Ferdinand have too much health to ever be a real threat, and Dorothea and Marianne hang back out of attack range and spam magic/heals.
Killing the Death Knight when he first appeared was the only time I've been close to losing characters. Wish they'd had more bosses like that.
I'm not clear on why the Agarthans couldn't get their revenge whenever they wanted given that they seem to possess dozens of literal orbital nukes. Why bother with any of this scheming nonsense when they are apparently capable of wiping any part of Fodlan off the map in seconds?
All done. There's a secret marriage option at the end. You'll know it when you see it, and it is the objectively correct option because the voice actor in question went for it, and the scene is hilarious almost entirely because of them.
Mostly a rant about the writing:
I have no idea what this game was about. The first bit was a school simulator with some kind of conspiracy going on in the background. Said conspiracy killed your dad before getting in a fight with itself and banishing you to the darkness. When that doesn't work, the conspiracy just decides "welp, guess we'd better sit in a cave for five years until everybody is dead", besides making an exception to nuke a fortress without killing anyone or affecting the war in any meaningful way, presumably because it looked cool and let the Death Knight take a photo with the explosion behind him for his metal album cover.
As I said before, I don't understand why they couldn't just use their literal nukes to kill everybody, since even dragon Rhea is clearly harmed by them and there's no reason to think everyone else wouldn't die. Or why Monica couldn't have replaced Flayn. Or what either of them gained from helping the empire, or why they needed to turn people into monsters since they have mechs and lightning guns in their dubstep cave.
I still have no idea what Edelgard was trying to accomplish, or why she was working with the Agarthans if Hubert was just going to leave a letter to go kill them too. Duscue showed up in the final battle against her and then completely disappeared, much like how Dmitri pulled a maybe Yoda but then didn't say anything of consequence and never came back. Claude played no role in the story whatsoever. Hell, the entire concept of a civil war barely played a role since there's a whole two battles that have anything to do with the troubles in the Kingdom or Alliance before you just Ghengis Khan the Empire in three battles. And everybody just kills each other at a battle that happens off screen.
Then Rhea goes insane out of literally nowhere and you've gotta kill her to save the world. I have no idea what this added to the plot other than a final battle against a dragon and a convenient way to remove someone who might've wanted to rule instead of the MC. And then it just ends, you become the Pope, and Sothis decides she wasn't dead after all but was in love with you.
It's weird, because they really did make huge improvements to the moment-to-moment dialogue compared to the previous games, (although it's still just passable) but the overall plot is somehow even more of an incomprehensible mess than Fates was. It just starts and drops plots at random without any concern for whether there's a reason they're happening or if their resolution actually accomplished anything and then it smashes them into a world that's equally impenetrable because we barely see any of it.
Spoiler-free thoughts in the review thread later. Preemptive tl;dr: I like this game, but with the caveat that it's aping a bunch of games that do it better.
Sothis. Alois is probably funny as well, but I somehow didn't get his A rank, so he wasn't an option.
^^Dunno if that was addressed at me, but if you're going to do a branching narrative, the individual branches have to be coherent on their own, especially when it's a 40 hour game and the overwhelming majority of players will finish 1 or 0 branches.
That's what I figured, but considering she or her allies committed murder and kidnapping as well as going full Umbrella Corp multiple times even before the war started, I feel like the "who's evil here" ship had kinda sailed before it gets to that point. I get that they *want* the church to be ambiguous, but the worst they showed was that they execute rebels.
Doesn't help that the one paralogue I've done so far was Hubert trying to murder us all for the high crime of stopping them from forcing Brigid to join the war.
If this is Petra and Bernadetta's paralogue... if you sided with Edie, it changes a bit - instead Catherine comes and you fight the Church of Seiros
...What? Does the Empire just completely whiff the civil war if you side with her? Because she's pretty much won by the time my branch starts, and I can't imagine what possible leverage the Church would have over Brigid if Petra isn't with them.
When you side with Edelgard, the latter half of the game is the process of conquering Fódlan. Like the first mission after siding with her is taking Garret Mach back, then after the time skip the war has basically come to a stalemate and you’re the thing that turns the tides. You start by working your way into the alliance, then work your way up into the Kingdom. So I wouldn’t say Edie “whiffs” the Civil War; it’s just not nearly so developed in that branch of the story until you get back.
When Petra is on your side and you’re with Edelgard, the Church sends the knights to Brigid to get them on their side against the Empire, using the prior war between the two as reasoning. You go with Petra to get to them first and tell them not to buy their story.
Also, when you side with Edelgard, you discover very quickly that Rhea is actually a monster. Literally.
I mean, yeah, she's a big 'ol dragon. But the worst thing she's apparently doing is (with apparent consent) putting stones into people, and Edelgard's response is to put more stones into more people without apparent consent. She's a bit of a fanatic, but unless she's a totally different person in the Empire route, Edelgard's response is way worse than anything she does.
I don't think it makes much sense that Brigid would consider invading the Empire when they still have Petra and have mostly won a civil war that just makes them stronger than they were previously. It makes sense when they're being threatened into fighting and Petra shows up to say "they can't hurt me anymore", but the reverse just feels like they didn't want to write a new scenario.
Big E has not put any crest stones into people in this route so far, and is a lot more concerned with putting an end to it. But there’s a faction of the empire ( Edelgard’s uncle who tortured her and her siblings) who has ulterior motives concerning crest stones and such.
They probably didn’t want to write a new scenario, you’re right. But the power grab for Brigid by the church still makes sense to me. Intimidation was certainly a factor in their “appeal,” too.