Fire Emblem: Three Houses Perfectly Executes Support Ranks

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a game about balance. Balancing how players spend their time in each month; figuring out how to most optimally use their time around the monastery. But one aspect of the game that has been balanced perfectly is the way conversations flow and integrate into the story.

Oh, You’re My Best Friend

Relationships have been an important part of Fire Emblem for quite some time. This is especially true when it comes to the most recent slew of releases. Not only do relationships between characters provide benefits on the battlefield, but they also contribute to the story in a major way. These relationships are represented by support ranks, a system which has been perfected in Three Houses.

Whether it be through romantic interest or simply a deeper understanding of friendship, support ranks fundamentally shape how the game is played. Strategically letting two characters support each other in combat is just one way support ranks bleed into regular gameplay. The balance in this aspect of the game is struck when players can most optimally let two units harmonize in battle and interactions such as mealtime.

A Reason to Keep Going

But why strive to push these support ranks higher and higher? Well, if nothing else, the conversations generated from them are fantastic. Whether it’s between longtime friends or two students who can’t stand each other, Three Houses has the ability to make each interaction seem genuine and worthwhile. Not only that, but with each interaction the incentive to keep driving support ranks up increases.

The multifaceted way Intelligent Systems has approached these relationships was perfectly executed as well. With each conversation players are drawn into tragic backstories, budding romances, and even long kept secrets. Knowing it’s impossible to see each and every support conversation in one playthrough is heartbreaking; yet it only creates further incentive to begin the game anew.

Each conversation has the potential to reflect outside of support ranks as well. In one scene longtime friends Mercedes and Annett have an argument, which itself is heartbreaking enough. But if players choose to have them do activities together following this argument their interactions are awkward and a bit tense. This is just one prime example of how Three Houses so effectively utilizes support conversations to advance the story and deepen immersion.