Outside of strategy and battles, the Fire Emblem franchise has always been highly character-based. Fire Emblem plays almost like a dating simulator at times, with its diverse set of characters and rich interactions. This holds true as well for the latest game in the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Beyond Byleth and the three house leaders, there are many enjoyable supports between the characters, each special in their own way. Whether revealing backstory or adding to the game’s humor, I have tasked myself the job to choose which conversations and interactions I enjoyed the most.
It was hard to come up with this concise list, especially when I love all the characters and have gotten so invested in their stories. But nevertheless, here are my top five supports in Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
The Ignatz/Raphael support conversations reveal a tragic backstory and a heartwarming reconnection. Despite being best childhood friends, Raphael notices that while at the academy, Ignatz intentionally avoids Raphael and excuses himself out of situations with him. When Raphael finally catches Ignatz to candidly ask what changed, we learn Ignatz harbors a great deal of guilt for the death of Raphael’s parents, as Raphael’s parents had passed in an occupational accident while covering for Ignatz’s parents at work.
Raphael is insistent that Ignatz should not feel at fault for the death of his parents and affirms that he does not hold any grudges against Ignatz or his family, however Ignatz doubts Raphael’s forgiveness. Raphael persists to mend their friendship. He eventually tells Ignatz that he wishes they can just be friends like before. After the time skip, we see so much change in their A support. Ignatz is the one to approach Raphael first in the dialogue — a distinct sign that Ignatz has processed his guilt.
Also in this last conversation, Ignatz reveals that his passion for painting and the arts stemmed from making Raphael’s little sister Maya happy. The two friends end their story supporting each other in their own endeavors, something not only incredibly warm to see, but also very funny as they are polar opposites in both size and personality.
Dorothea starts with a lot of sarcastic passive aggression for Ferdinand, which Ferdinand cannot parse out. He begs her to tell him why she treats him so coldly. She only gives him a distant metaphor, likening him to a bee, an analogy she doesn’t explain until the last of their support conversations after the time skip. Dorothea finally opens up and shares her childhood experiences with Ferdinand.
She explains that she remembers a young Ferdinand giving her a disdainful glare while she was bathing in a fountain — a marked contrast to how he treated her at the academy, with friendliness and smiles. Ferdinand is quick to share his side of the story, explaining that he had not been glaring at her, but that he had been entranced by her beauty and the song she had sung. At the end, they both realize that there is not only personal history between them to process, but economic and social factors to work out as well. With this, Ferdinand admits he wouldn’t mind if Dorothea thinks of him like a bee — since the drones are always circling around their queen.
In my opinion, Petra and Alois’s interactions are probably the funniest support conversations in the game! A lot of humor derives from Petra not understanding figurative language, due to not being a native speaker of the Fódlan language, and her dialogue with Alois does not skimp out on these misunderstandings. From the start, Petra is incredibly curious and almost envious of Alois’s personable nature and how he always makes others laugh. She requests that he teach her how to be funny.
Little does she know that Alois’ humor consists of puns and often bad dad jokes, and maybe most ironically, she herself does not laugh at his jokes nor find him funny. Nevertheless, Alois teaches her his jokes. He later catches her in a conversation with two village children and joins in, cracking a few puns in his opening lines. No one laughs and the dialogue quickly becomes awkward, however the children later admit that they find Petra funny. Perhaps they don’t find Petra funny in the comedic sense that she was seeking to be perceived as, but Petra reacts to it as so and thanks Alois profusely for teaching her how to be funny.
Felix’s behavior around Annette contrasts remarkably from many of his other character interactions, which is refreshing to see in Felix, who often ends conversations with his curt responses. As opposed to avoiding interactions as he does with most other characters, Felix himself approaches Annette first, drawn in by her singing. Annette, as per usual, is embarrassed to be caught in the middle of song-and-dance and attempts to insist that Felix keep quiet. Unfortunately for Annette, Felix is too impressed by her melodies — and the lyrics — to forget and continues to lurk around as she does chores in the greenhouse of the library to listen to her sing. Overtime, Annette begins to grow more comfortable with Felix as her audience and willingly sings her entire collection of tunes about boxes, libraries, dungeons, swamp beasties, and bears to him.
Dorothea is absolutely one of my favorite characters, so it doesn’t surprise me that yet another one of her support conversations has made my top five list. Dorothea is very much enamored by the strong women she is surrounded by in the Academy, evident in how forthcoming she is with Edelgard, Manuela, and even female Byleth. But I loved all her interactions with Petra the most.
From the start, Dorothea offers to cook dinner, massage, and even sing lullabies should Petra need support away from Brigid. Petra politely refuses these offers but does not forget Dorothea’s kindness. Their friendship develops over the course of the game, and they share thoughts about relationships, royalty, and even hair braiding. In the end, Petra invites Dorothea back to Brigid with her.Okay, okay. I know I said I would list my top five supports, but I really wanted to throw in an additional bonus because this support completely caught me off guard!
The progression of change between Hubert and Shamir was the turn of events I absolutely did not expect coming at all. For people who are like-minded in their emotionless approach to following commands and rationale, the two definitely did not get along from the very beginning. Hubert is upfront with Shamir about his distrust of her since she is a contract mercenary. But Shamir is not intimidated by Hubert’s threat, warning Hubert to stay away from her with the same amount of aggression.
Naturally over the course of battle, Hubert gains a little more trust for Shamir, especially after she saves him life from an assassin. However, the kicker is what happens after Hubert disobeys direct orders from Edelgard to spare a couple lives, instead killing them. Shamir admires this and later suddenly admits that she’s grown fond of him — which honestly took us all by surprise, especially Hubert himself.
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Featured image credit: Nintendo