Fire Emblem Three Houses
Fire Emblem's first foray into monastery life.

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date published: 4.29.24
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I’ve thought a lot about becoming a teacher. Mostly at the college level (I think I would have an easier time keeping a hold on my sanity). I think it would be great to teach what I know about design to students even if I don’t necessarily think college is something most young designers should have to engage with. What I actually learned in college was how to use Adobe programs. This is something that has been useful to me every single day since college, but also something I didn’t really need college for. With some dedication, I could have read a book on the Adobe Suite or even just watched a bunch of YouTube videos. Looking around at job openings, just about every entry level graphic designer job I see has a college-level education requirement and a prerequisite of 5 years working as a graphic designer. Like what?? This is an entry-level job and you want 5 years of work experience? Maybe that is just to scare away less confident designers? Not sure what that’s about, but I am glad I am past that part of my career. Don’t study graphic design. I bet it is really rewarding to teach, but one thing holding me back is meeting all the requirements to become a professor. Getting a degree, finding a job at a college or university, etc. Interestingly enough, someone I know was able to skip all of that and become a professor purely based on their father’s skill as a mercenary. That person is Byleth from

Fire Emblem Three Houses is a strategy role-playing game. You take control of a character named Byleth who is given a professor role at Garreg Mach Monastery. Along with the professor role, Byleth is put in charge of one of the monastery’s student houses. You get to pick between the Blue Lions, Golden Deer, or Black Eagles. Each house has 8 students, all with different backgrounds, combat specializations, and personalities. Each house also has one student that is a descendant of royalty acting as the house leader.

The three house leaders looking at the monastery

As the game begins, you are spending each month exploring the monastery, meeting & teaching your students, defending the monastery from bandits, and having tea parties. At the end of each month, you and your class go out on a mission that will progress the story. If you’ve never played a strategy role-playing game, this genre of game typically plays out on grid where you move your units (students) through each area turn by turn and command them to attack & defeat the enemy. Before the battle, you choose which students will accompany you on the battlefield based on their individual level or specializations. These sorts of games invoke the feeling of commanding a small army, kind of like chess.

Shows some of the student's personalities

When you return from battle, your students will likely have leveled up and you may want to reassess their current academic goals. Each student has a combat class that dictates skills and stat gains from level ups. To reach higher level classes, you will need to educate your students on certain skills pertaining to those classes. Students begin the game with their default specializations, but as the player, you are given full control over what that student ends up studying at the monastery. While overwhelming at first, this is a huge amount of freedom that added a ton of interesting options to the game.

A mysterious character from the game

The story of Three Houses follows the ebbs and flows of the relationships between the leaders of the three houses and the nations they are from. The continent is home to three nations, each house leader is from a different nation and the monastery sits in the center of the continent. Depending on which house you choose, the story can vary greatly.

The world of Three Houses

I have been a fan of Fire Emblem since the GameBoy Advance games were released. My favorite entry is Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade on GBA. The game never got a release in English, but has had a fan translation for a long time. If you’ve played smash bros, this is the Fire Emblem game that stars Roy (our boy). I’ve played and enjoyed most of the entries in the series through the 3DS games (loved the 3DS ones). When Three Houses was announced for the switch, I immediately preordered the collectors edition and could not contain my excitement for the game. Time passed and the game was released in July of 2019. For whatever reason, I was not really feeling Fire Emblem at the time and I decided to wait to play it. My wife ended up playing through half of it and I watched her play and picked up the gist of the story. Five years passed with the game on my ‘to-play’ list. I had tried to get into it, but never got very far because of all the learning it asks you to do up front with teaching classes and student specializations, etc. Now, the year is 2024 and The Computer Guild GameClub selects the game for Round 10. Serendipity! I sit down and learn the ins and outs of the game, pushing myself through the entry barrier and after playing through the game, I cannot believe I didn’t take the time to do so sooner. In my opinion, this is a top-tier Fire Emblem game. It adds in a lot of content that the classic FE games didn’t have, so I was a little skeptical about it, but once I let myself get enveloped in the storylines, I was really having a lot of fun.

I was very impressed with how interconnected everything is in the storyline. When you meet the students, you get to learn their backstories and many times, their backstories would actually have relevance to another student or character. This got exponentially cooler when I recruited a character from a different house (Felix) and he had past connections with students from my house. It sort of gives the feeling you are seeing some hidden content. Furthermore, I chose to be the professor for the Black Eagles and I sided with the leader of the house (Edelgard) at a pivotal point in the story. The choices I made led me down a path where I ended up commanding Felix to kill his own father in combat. This isn’t something that happens normally — I had to recruit Felix from a different house and make very specific decisions that led me to a point where I am in battle with people from Felix’s home. The game offers an incredible amount of freedom and is extremely well thought out in regards to any different path you choose to take.

The gameplay is extremely refined, but much easier than previous Fire Emblem games. Thankfully, the game offers higher difficulty levels, I just wasn’t aware of how easy this game was when I started. Early entries in the Fire Emblem series can be known for being kind of brutal — when a character dies, that’s it - they are gone forever and you cannot revive them. In Three Houses, you have the option to turn permadeath on, but you are not required to. Furthermore, even if you have permadeath on and one of your students dies, Three Houses gives you the ability to rewind time and make a different decision. The game is also really generous with this ability, letting you use it several times in each battle. Because of this, I never once came close to losing one of my students. I suppose this is a good thing, but I do kind of enjoy how emotional it can be when you permanently lose one of your characters that you’ve been training for the past 10 hours.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m sure you can tell that Fire Emblem Three Houses gets high praise from me. I am definitely a fan of the game and continue to look forward to more entries in the series. Also, if being a professor in real life is anything like being a professor in Three Houses, I think I am definitely interested. I gotta remember to ask my dad if he has any mercenary credentials.

All the students from the game


"I stand with Edelgard"

"Too many fuckin' people"

"I don't stand with Edelgard"