Note from OG: Still do not own a Nintendo Switch (One day) so I approached my good friend Rory once more to request he share his thoughts on another Nintendo title with plenty of yuri goodness. Viewers will recall his previous contribution discussing the yuri in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Here he is again doing the same for Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Enjoy.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the sixteenth entry in Nintendo’s strategy RPG series, released for the Nintendo Switch on July 26th, 2019. It has been a good few months since its release, and I have spent much of that time playing through every route the game has available.
With that done, I shall be sharing my experience with the game, with focus on the yuri content the game provides. I’ll be keeping things spoiler-free as much as possible. Another note, whenever I refer to Byleth, I am specifically referring to the female Byleth.
Fire Emblem hasn’t actually been a stranger to yuri, as I have discussed some time ago here.
I’ll begin with a brief look at the eponymous three houses: the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions and the Golden Deer.
First up, the Black Eagle House. They are led by Edelgard von Hresvelg – I shall be talking about Edelgard in a bit more detail in due course. The Black Eagle route is unique in that depending on certain factors, you will be presented with a choice that will drastically alter the course of the game towards the end of part one. Your choice determines whether you go on to the Silver Snow path or Crimson Flower path for part two of the game.
The Black Eagle house offers two yuri options for Byleth: the aforementioned Edelgard, and Dorothea Arnault. Again, more on those two in a moment.
Next up, the Blue Lion House led by Dimitri Alexandre Blaidydd. Choosing this House will lead you to the Azure Moon route for part two, which is pretty much all about the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus fighting against the Adrestian Empire.
There is only one yuri option for Byleth in this House, and that is Mercedes von Martritz.
Finally, we have the Golden Deer House, led by Claude von Riegan. Choosing them will take you to the Verdant Wind path for part two. The Golden Deer House very much feels like a third wheel in all the other paths, but I’d argue Verdant Wind has the most satisfying story.
No yuri options for Byleth in this House, though.
There is a fourth faction: the Knights of Seiros. The Silver Snow path is effectively their route, though they have to share with the Black Eagles.
Here’s how I’d rank each path (not including part one, since that is more or less the same regardless of which House you choose:
1. Verdant Wind
2. Crimson Flower
3. Azure Moon
4. Silver Snow
They’re all decent enough in their own right, and I’ll have to admit that Verdant Wind and Crimson Flower are very close. Ultimately, though, I found Verdant Wind’s story to be the most satisfying. I’d say all four are very much worth experiencing, though.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the yuri options available for Byleth.First up, the aforementioned leader of the Black Eagle House, Edelgard von Hresvelg. The imperial princess of the Adestian Empire, and next in line to become its emperor. Really not a big fan of the inequality brought about by Crests, and may just be willing to resort to whatever it takes to solve that problem.
The other yuri option from the Black Eagle House is Dorothea Arnault. The only commoner in the Black Eagle House. Before joining the Officer’s Academy at Garreg Mach Monastery, she was a popular songstress of the Mittelfrank Opera Company in the imperial capital.
Mercedes von Martritz of the Blue Lion House used to be an imperial noble, but went on to live as a commoner in the kingdom. She is actually one of the oldest students, being 22 years old in part one of the game.
There are two more yuri options for Byleth, but that might be getting a little into spoiler territory, so I’ll keep quiet about them. I believe one of these options may only be available on the Silver Snow path, but don’t quote me on that.
Choosing a specific House doesn’t lock you out of pursuing a romance with a student from another house – though Edelgard is the exception to that rule. If you want Edeleth, you have to be on the Crimson Flower path.
But to get back to my original point, you are able to recruit students from other Houses (as well as teachers and the Knights of Seiros) into your own House. So perhaps you want to experience the Verdant Wind story, but have got your eye on Mercedes; that is entirely possible.
To recruit any other student, you’ll need to have specific stats and skills high enough; that threshold is reduced by gaining support levels with them, so feel free to offer plenty of gifts to the students you like most.Its not just gift giving that can build Byleth’s relationship with the other characters. Sharing a meal does that, as well as increasing their motivation. Cooking meals, choir practice, fighting alongside the character; these are all things that build relationships.
Recruiting characters will also give you access to Paralogues – side quests, basically – that gives you access to new weapons and items. One of these Paralogues is particularly noteworthy.
The yuri in Fire Emblem: Three Houses isn’t just limited to Byleth, though. Starting with the Black Eagle House, Dorothea actually has two more potential female partners beside Byleth.
First up is another member of the Black Eagle House, Petra Macneary. The princess of Brigid, a vassal of the empire. Petra struggles with the spoken language of Fódlan, often taking figures of speech at face value.
My first play through of Three Houses led me to the Crimson Flower path, obviously in pursuit of the Edeleth pairing. Dorothea and Petra getting a paired ending came as a pleasant surprise to me.
When it comes down to it, Petra is my favourite girl to pair Dorothea with.
Manuela Casagranda, an ex-songstress from the Mittelfrank Opera Company. Dorothea looks up to her, and its possible for those feelings to blossom into something more should you choose to build the relationship between the two. Otherwise, Manuela is very unlucky in love. Serves as a teacher and doctor for the Officer’s Academy.
I may prefer to pair Dorothea with Petra, but “opera lesbians” does have a nice ring to it.
Now, Ingrid Brandl Galatea isn’t technically one of the options to pair Dorothea up with, but there is a good reason I’m mentioning her.
A member of the Blue Lion House, Ingrid has a serious attitude and admires virtuous knights. Also loves her food.
Should you have both Dorothea and Ingrid in your House, you can access a Paralogue that involves a wedding ring and Dorothea becoming somewhat possessive of Ingrid. Shame the two don’t get a paired ending…
Sticking with the Blue Lion House, Mercedes has another girl she can pair up with besides Byleth. That girl is Annette Fantine Dominic. Annette is a hard worker, even graduating from the Royal Capital’s Magic Academy with flying colours. Is on the clumsy side, though.
I’d say that Annette and Mercedes’ friendship is plain to see almost immediately, particularly with the pair referring to each other as “Ann” and “Mercie” respectively. Build up their supports, and this steadily becomes something more.
The Golden Deer House may not have any yuri options for Byleth, but there is a potential yuri pairing in there. The pink haired girl is Hilda Valentine Goneril, and the girl with blue hair is Marianne von Edmund.
Hilda exerts as little effort as possible, getting other people to carry out any arduous tasks she may be given.
Marianne is extremely devout, and also tends to keep to herself. She much prefers talking to animals over human interaction.
Besides Byleth’s ships, this one is definitely up there as one of my personal favourites from the game.
Finally, we turn our attention to two characters from the Knights of Seiros: Catherine and Shamir.
Thunder Catherine, as she is known, is the wielder of the Thunderbrand, one of the legendary Heroes’ Relics. Extremely loyal to Archbishop Rhea, Catherine won’t hesitate to cut down anyone who opposes her. There is a perfectly good reason for this loyalty, but I shan’t divulge that here.
Shamir Nevrand is a mercenary who serves with the Knights of Seiros to repay a debt she owes to Rhea. Despite serving the church, Shamir is a non-believer.
I absolutely adore these two together. Their chemistry is arguably the best of all the potential yuri pairings.
One catch, though: you cannot recruit Catherine on the Crimson Flower path. Same goes for Hilda, so that’s at least two yuri pairings you’ll be missing out on. It is worth it for Edeleth, though.
That covers all the potential yuri pairings, but there is one more character that I would like to talk about, and that’s pretty much just because I love her to pieces.
That character is Lysithea von Ordelia from the Golden Deer House. A prodigy with a real talent for magic, but she doesn’t brag about it or anything. In fact, she is a hard worker.
Hates being seen as a child, despite having a sweet tooth and fear of ghosts.
There are plenty of reasons why I adore Lysithea: she is a magical nuke, for a start. Doesn’t exactly take a hit well, but is capable of incinerating enemies without much effort. Actually has a little bit in common with Edelgard, particularly when it comes to the past.
Also, voiced by Aoi Yuuki in Japanese.
Her favourite flowers are lilies, but she doesn’t have any yuri options, which is a shame if you ask me. Her supports with Catherine give them a sisterly relationship, which I do like.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a brilliant entry in Nintendo and Intelligent Systems’ long-running strategy RPG series. Ask me to recommend Nintendo Switch games, and Three Houses will be right at the top of the list; followed closely by Xenoblade Chronicles 2.