Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct presentation started off with a big surprise for Fire Emblem fans. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes was announced, and the action game will star the cast of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The trailer didn’t have a ton of plot details, and mostly focused on showing off the third-person action. Characters like Dimitri, Claude, Edelgard, and Byleth mow down thousands of enemies with powerful attacks.
Even though the gameplay is very different from the previous top-down strategy format, Three Houses fans are excited. Sure, it’s a genre change, but they’re just excited to return to a beloved universe and spend time with old friends.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses has four distinct story paths which are decided by protagonist Byleth’s choices. Byleth has arrived at Garreg Mach Monastery as a new professor, and they must choose to teach one of three houses. Byleth’s choice of Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer determines the rest of the story. Each house is full of a unique cast of students, each with their own personalities and stories. As Byleth teaches the students and learns more about their mysterious past, growing global tensions threaten Garreg Mach.
Three Houses has multiple endings for each character, some of which lead up to the character’s death. It’s a very finite game; players didn’t expect a sequel or a follow-up. Three Hopes looks like it might be an alternate timeline, and a chance to tell a different take on the same characters and factions.
Fans are also eagerly speculating on what new ground the story might break. Many people wish that there was a “unity” route where the player, through Byleth, could unite the warring lords against a common enemy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist in Three Houses, and the player must inevitably face — and even kill — some of their old students and friends. Three Hopes, on the other hand, suggests that there’s some kind of common cause bringing the Golden Deer, Black Eagles, and Blue Lions together.
People are already speculating this might be a happier version of the same tragic tale that also lets them spend more time with a varied, likable cast of characters. It’s easy to see why an already fervent fandom is exploding with new enthusiasm over the title.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is set to launch on the Nintendo Switch on June 24, 2022.