Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

Go To

This page assumes you have played Fire Emblem: Three Houses prior to this one. Therefore, there will be unmarked spoilers for that game here. You Have Been Warned.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fireemblemwarriorsthreehopes_button_1644450359784.jpg
"Remember, we're partners in destiny."
Arval
Advertisement:

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Fire Emblem Musou: Wind, Flower, Snow, Moon in Japan) is a Spin-Off of the Fire Emblem franchise, once again produced by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems in collaboration with Koei Tecmo. The game released on the Nintendo Switch on June 24th, 2022, while a demo with the first four chapters was made available on June 8th, with progress transferable to the full game. As the case with the original Fire Emblem Warriors, it combines the series' traditional strategy elements with the Hack and Slash gameplay of Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series.

Set in the continent of Fódlan, Three Hopes depicts an Alternate Timeline to the events of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, starting with a mercenary named Shez losing a battle to Jeralt's Mercenaries and their "Ashen Demon" Byleth. Instead of dying (as they seemingly did in the Three Houses timeline), Shez is revived by a mysterious and otherworldly being named Arval, and swears vengeance upon Byleth.

Advertisement:

This results in Shez - not Byleth - being the mercenary who happens to rescue the three House Leaders from being assassinated by bandits, after which they are recruited into the Officer's Academy as a student. This sparks a new chain of events that vastly changes the inevitable war between the three nations, while Shez builds their power to one day defeat the Ashen Demon.

Trailers: Announcement Trailer, Mysterious Mercenary Trailer, Kingdom of Faerghus Trailer, Adrestian Empire Trailer, Leicester Alliance Trailer, Awakened Rivals Trailer

    Playable Characters 
  • Shez
  • The Adrestian Empire: Edelgard, Hubert, Bernadetta, Dorothea, Caspar, Linhardt, Petra, Ferdinand, Monica, Manuela, Jeritza
  • Holy Kingdom of Faerghus: Dimitri, Dedue, Mercedes, Felix, Annette, Ingrid, Ashe, Sylvain, Rodrigue
  • The Leicester Alliance: Claude, Hilda, Raphael, Lysithea, Lorenz, Ignatz, Marianne, Leonie, Shamir, Holst
  • The Ashen Wolves: Yuri, Constance, Balthus, Hapi
  • The Church of Seiros: Seteth, Flayn, Catherine
  • SPOILERS: Byleth, Jeralt, Rhea, Sothis, Arval, The Gatekeeper


Advertisement:

This work provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 
    Tropes #-B 
  • 100% Completion: Unlocking every bit of content in the Extras menu is an extensive task that will require multiple playthroughs, at minimum.
    • There are various supports which are exclusive to specific routes due to involving path-exclusive characters (such as Hubert & Hapi's) or requiring some condition to be fulfilled (such as Leonie's and Rodrigue's A-support with Shez).
    • Every route gets their own movies and story events, and there are even some "shared" movies which get their own variation fitting each story's context. Depending on the player's choices, it's even possible to miss a few during a playthrough.
    • Getting every possible achievement in a save file requires New Game+ by default, as there are a few (like getting all the Heroes' Relic) which are impossible to obtain otherwise.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger:
    • On Azure Gleam, Byleth and Jeralt become recruitable rather late in the campaign. They join at the end of chapter, and then there are only 5 more chapters left in the campaign, only one of which has any actual side-missions prior to the main mission, and 2 of which Byleth can't even be used personally. This is downplayed on Scarlet Blaze and Golden Wildfire, as Byleth and Jeralt are recruitable 2 chapters earlier, giving more time to use them. Also on the same route, Jeritza is only recruitable in Chapter 13, giving them only 2 (3 if Byleth and Jeralt are recruited) chapters to work with.
    • On Scarlet Blaze, you can only recruit Leonie in Chapter 12, putting her in the same time crunch as Byleth and Jeralt in Azure Gleam.
    • On Golden Wildfire, Dorothea is only recruitable in Chapter 13.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In Scarlet Blaze, Aymr, Edelgard's replica Heroes' Relic, can only be obtained as an S-Rank reward for the second to last story mission and only if Byleth has been recruited, so Edelgard can only use it and its unique Raging Storm ability during the final mission or when replaying other levels. The same goes for Marianne's Blutgang (which she can't even equip unless you stray from her preferred Bishop class line), Hapi's Hrotti, Constance's Scroll of Talos, and Mercedes' Ichor Scroll.
  • Achievement System: The game has a built-in Achievement system that tracks when the player first acquires a Hero's Relic and how often they do things like Perfect Guard or damage enemies with a specific element, rewarding them with stat boosters and powerful weapons at set milestones.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Trickster and Dark Bishop, originally special classes in the original game, were upgraded into Master classes in this game, with the Dark Bishop serving as the male counterpart to the Gremory. Similarly, the Dancer class is considered as a Master class on par with the Trickster and the Mortal Savant.
  • Adaptational Expansion:
    • In Scarlet Blaze, Ferdinand is given a major role in the side plot of Duke Aiger's rebellion. While he maintains that his father should be given a fair trial for his actions, Ferdinand's insistance on it leads to Duke Aiger's escape from prison, inciting a rebellion and forcing the Imperial Army to backtrack to stop said rebellion, with Ferdinand being the one to end his father's life. Much of his conversations during this time and even after lament both his responsibility and his actions on his father's trechery often having conversations between Edelgard and Hubert about his issues.
    • In Azure Gleam, Felix is a major character especially during the uprising of the Western Lords. After the timeskip, he takes over as Duke Fraldarius as his father steps down to serve as a knight for Dimitri. Serving the same role as his father, he becomes Dimitri's closest advisor and shows notable leadership skills since taking over as Duke. In fact, during the chapter where Dimitri, Dedue, and Rodrigue leave the main army, Felix takes over as the leader of the army for the time being. With his father as a playable character too, they also expand on their relationship and their respective traumas from Glenn's death.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change:
    • Due to the restructuring of how the classes work, most characters have some changes to their default class tree. For example, Ferdinand's progression ends at Paladin in Three Houses but goes onward to Holy Knight here, while Constance's preferred class is the Dark Flier in the original game, but in this game, her preferred class is the Gremory due to Dark Flier being removed.
    • Byleth's Divine Pulse let them rewind time in the original game. Here, due to radically different game mechanics, it allows them to freeze time for a short duration instead of rewinding it.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Thanks to Shez unknowingly providing them the opportunity, Edelgard is no longer working with those Who Slither In The Dark and therefore is not complicit in any of their schemes, and events she otherwise played a part in, however minor such as Flayn's kidnapping and the "plague" in Remire do not happen as a result. She is still out to conquer/unite the continent, but is willing to use non-military and non-fatal means at times. She also makes it clear that Rhea isn't her primary enemy, the establishment created by her Church is, and she would actually prefer to avoid killing Rhea if she can help it.
    • While otherwise still vengeful towards those responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur, Dimitri isn't Ax-Crazy in the War Phase as he was in Three Houses. He's not hostile towards his allies and friends, nor does he act cruelly at any point as he did with Randolph near the start of Azure Moon's Time Skip. This is thanks to Rodrigue being his Morality Chain after he takes the throne and the absence of the Flame Emperor, who he believed to be part of the Tragedy of Duscur.
    • In Azure Gleam, Miklan doesn't steal the Lance of Ruin and is guided off the path of banditry. He assists the group, his motivations being to prove himself better without the need for Crests.
    • In Scarlet Blaze, while still one of the main antagonists, Rhea is not driven to bloodthirsty insanity like in Crimson Flower due to neither the raid on the Holy Tomb or Byleth's betrayal happening to break her.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Compared to Edelgard and Dimitri, who recieved Adaptational Heroism, Claude goes in the opposite direction. In Three Houses, he is easily the most moral and well-adjusted of the three lords. Yet, in Three Hopes, he is much more of a schemer and willing to commit more morally questionable acts such as using an Imperial unit on loan from the Empire as live bait to trap Catherine of the Knights of Seiros. Said unit is completely wiped out, with its leader realizing they had been betrayed before his death. It can be inferred that not spending a year at the Academy getting to know all of the various people of Fodlan as he does in Three Houses causes Claude to take on a much more cynical view of the country, particularly of the Church of Seiros, as he takes a much more negative view of Rhea, believing she needs to die for the sake of Fodlan, which is basically the exact opposite of his feelings in Verdant Wind where he actually sympathizes with her upon learning her history. That said, he isn't a villain, in the end he just wants what he believes is best for not only the Alliance, but Fodlan as a whole.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Several of the promoted units from Three Houses start off in intermediate classes here instead. Rodrigue goes from a Holy Knight to a Cavalier, Shamir goes from a Sniper to an Archer, and Jeritza goes from the horrifically powerful Death Knight to a Cavalier.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Hero, Dark Flier, Valkyrie, and War Monk/Cleric classes do not make a return in this game. As for enemy only/monster classes, the Giant Bird, Flying Demonic Beast and White Beast make no appearances as well.
    • The game does not allow for S-supports, with the maximum each character can increase their affection level to usually being A-rank.
    • Claude in Three Hopes has no interest in uncovering Fódlan's secrets like in Three Houses, likely due to the fact Garreg Mach Monastery closing down early into the story means he's never exposed to the series of events which raise his interest in them to begin with.
    • The "javelins of light" from Three Houses are nowhere to be seen in Three Hopes, as the Agarthans make use of far less destructive means to achieve their goals this time around.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • In the original Three Houses, Kostas being able to attack the lords despite the protection of the Church of Seiros was explained as being because Edelgard (in her Flame Emperor guise) hired him and fed him intel from the inside. This piece of information is excised from this story, in part because Kostas dying during the botched attack instead of being allowed to retreat starts a domino effect that leads to Edelgard abandoning her "Flame Emperor" persona and connected plans entirely.
    • Many plot points and character dynamics from Three Houses are indicated to still be explained and explored by the characters, but mostly offscreen since the original game already explained them in some detail. Notably, Jeralt explains to Byleth the story of his past, why he left the monastery, who Byleth's mother was, etc. in a camp conversation, but Shez arrives to listen in on only the very end of it.
  • Aerith and Bob: Present in characters returning from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, whose names range from Raphael and Monica to Dedue and Lysithea. Played with in Azure Gleam Chapter 3. The competitors to the throne of Faerghus, Crown Prince Dimitri against Rufus and Cornelia, initially aren't fantastic examples of this trope. However, Cornelia is revealed to have the alternate name of Cleobulus, a much more unusual name that hints at her treachery.
  • Alternate Timeline: The game is set up like this, with the nail responsible for the divergence being Shez, who is implied to have died before the events of Three Houses. Due to Arval's intervention, Shez lives and ends up replacing Byleth as the one who saves Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude from Kostas and his bandits, essentially taking their place in the narrative — albeit as a student at Garreg Mach — with Byleth remaining a mercenary with Jeralt's Mercenaries.
  • Ambiguous Ending: While all of the endings are subject to this to an extent (see And the Adventure Continues below), Golden Wildfire is hit with this in particular. While Azure Gleam and (the good ending of) Scarlet Blaze both end with a generally hopeful tone that peace will be achieved soon, Golden Wildfire ends on a big "if" with Claude proposing an end to the war between the three nations, even though he is currently at varying levels of odds with both of them. The ending leaves it deliberately unclear whether his plan will work or not, the alternative being war for the foreseeable future.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Three Hopes brings back Three Houses' Heroes’ Relics and Sacred Weapons and introduces new ones which had been previously lost to time in the original game's timeline, most notably Edelgard's Labraunda and the various tome relics.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the game, the chosen lord succeeds in achieving a good deal of what they set out to do. Despite this, the war is still ongoing. In Golden Wildfire Claude plans on ending the war between the Empire and the Kingdom. In Scarlet Blaze Edelgard either prepares to finish off Faerghus with the Alliance's support, or ends up in another war against the Alliance depending on the ending. In Azure Gleam the Empire refuses to concede defeat despite their losses and Edelgard herself no longer in any position to lead them due to the effects of Thales' mind control and her transformation into a Hegemon Husk, and the Kingdom may also find itself in another war with the Alliance later down the road depending on context given to the ending.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Compared to the first Warriors game, mounted units now have a dedicated dismount action. If you don't want a character riding around for weakness or moveset reasons, you can now have them in their preferred class but gain the status of infantry before recalling their mount when ready.
    • Characters can be leveled up to match the highest level unit in your army at the cost of Gold, averting Can't Catch Up. The game also doesn't punish the player for replaying auxiliary battles just to grind experience and gold, so it's close to impossible to be caught broke and underpowered.
    • Important events being available, such as support conversations or being able to expand your facilities at the base camp, will always have a prompt visible onscreen, making it less likely for people to miss out on them. Running around the overworld map is also now done by just pressing the button once, as opposed to holding it, and pressing it again will make the player walk again instead. Support conversations now also have a progress bar visible that will gradually fill up the more support points you have with a unit, until the conversation can be seen.
    • Tutorial settings can now be set to either include everything or only those that are very important. This offsets a major complaint many players had in multiple playthroughs of New Game Plus in Three Houses.
    • Permadeath doesn't kick in until Chapter 4, allowing players to get familiar with the game before worrying about losing characters.
    • When training your units, you can choose to spend all your training points in a row on the units selected. However, if a unit masters their class before all the points would be expended, the training will stop so that time isn't wasted on a mastered class.
    • When selecting units for battle, the game displays information on the enemies present, breaking them down proportionately by both weapon held and vulnerability to effective damage. This makes planning around the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors much easier.
    • Battalion endurance, carried healing items, and the durability of any weapon not completely broken are all restored completely and for free after every battle, cutting down on between-battle busywork. This is further smoothed by the ability to jump to any point of interest in camp from a menu.
    • Activities that build support points actually show the current and potential support levels of characters as they're selected, and in-battle actions that build support points are one-and-done affairs easy to check off if you're focusing on such things. In a first for the entire series, progress toward the next support tier is also displayed in the open.
    • Unlike in Three Houses, where you had to unlock supports separately for each gender Byleth, earning a support for one gender of Shez nets you the versions for both genders. The same goes for Byleth if they join you.
    • Once you beat the game you get the ability to purchase consumable items for playing other routes that will instantly clear out a section of the war map at 3 Renown each, albeit skipped battles will automatically get a D rank. If you are simply trying to go from story battle to story battle to get all the plot you can usually use these to make a path forward for roughly 9 renown a chapter.
    • Any chapter with only a story battle will have Anna appear in your base automatically to let you buy that chapter's stock of items.
    • One of the requirements to fulfill an S rank for a battle requires that you do not take too much damage beyond a certain threshold. Fortunately, this only applies to the character you are currently controlling; any damage sustained by player units that are controlled by the AI at the time does not count. The damage penalty also doesn't take damage incurred from the Lifeforce skill into account.
    • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors can only be enhanced on the player side of things. The player can only suffer one tier of disadvantage or 3-4 if a specality weapon is used, while the enemy can get up to 6 note  tiers of disadvantage.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: After the prologue, the player is usually limited to deploying 4 units in non-mandatory and skirmish maps, while for a chapter's main mission, deployment slots are raised to 8 but with the catch that half of the selected units (the ones inside a diamond shaped icon) can't be directly controlled by the player and are limited to being given orders.
  • Art Evolution: The cutscenes in particular have changed from character models standing around in a still panoramic background with neutral lighting and a border reflecting what route the player is in to the models actually standing in the environment and having the lighting affecting them, the colored border is no longer present, and more of the character portraits are shown.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Ferdinand von Aegir's battle selection phrase in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, "I am Ferdinand von Aegir," became a meme for its Captain Obvious nature and parodical arrogance. The Three Hopes team responded by making his custom ability Name Drop and bumping it to ridiculous levels by having him say it multiple times in Supports. During his special attack he will shout 'I. AM. FERDINAND. VON. AEGIR!!!', timing his phrase with his attacks.
    • Dark Mages have an automatic single tier advantage against mounted foes. This seems to be a nod to Lysithea's advantage against the Death Knight due to her access to dark magic—or rather Dark Spikes Τ in particular. Dark Mages' themselves even seem invoke what looks like Dark Spikes Τ in both near the end of their combo string and the C7 which is a dead ringer for the spell.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The "All-Out Offensive" order is this, recommended for when the player's numbers can overwhelm the enemy.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Jeritza insists that the students invade the fortress in Chapter 2, but mysterious reinforcements make him call for a general retreat.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: In the final chapter of Golden Wildfire, Claude kills the Immaculate One by shooting the Crest Stone on her forehead.
  • Batman Gambit: At the end of Golden Wildfire, Claude splits off from Edelgard and her forces to pursue Rhea, believing that Dimitri will no longer defend the Central Church because continuing to defend it will prolong the war and expose the people of Faerghus to more danger. A later scene shows Claude's prediction to be correct; Dimitri chooses to protect his people over trying to defend the Church despite Gustav’s protests.
  • Berserk Button: Lysithea despises being treated like a child, as Claude mentions learning firsthand.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: In Chapter 9 of Golden Wildfire, the Leicester army arrives at Ailell to reinforce Randolph and his troops against the Church's army. However, Claude quickly realizes that he will not be able to save them without risking his own troops and opts to surround the Church army and use Randolph as bait to weaken them. Afterwards, he swoops in to rout the Church army, leaving no survivors. His friends are horrified, but he stands by his decision, though he does agree to give some thought to their arguments. He eventually comes to regret his actions, and in Chapter 14, he refuses to abandon Edelgard even though doing so could end the war.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Between all routes, nearly every faction and major player in the war ends up at odds with the other due to conflicting interests. One way or another though, Edelgard, Dimitri, Thales and Rhea serve as the game's most recurring antagonists:
    • In Scarlet Blaze, Part I has Edelgard opposing Rhea and her Church of Seiros for the sake of reforming Fódlan from the ground up, before Dimitri and the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus get involved by protecting Rhea. Later, Claude has the Leicester Alliance's pro-Imperial houses backstab Edelgard, thus forcing conflict with them too. In Part II, Edelgard and Claude team up due to shared interests and fight Dimitri and Rhea together. Meanwhile, Thales teams up with the former Duke Aegir and helps him stage a coup in the Empire, putting Edelgard also at odds with Ludwig's supporters and "those who slither in the dark".
    • In Azure Gleam, Part I has Dimitri fighting against Edelgard and the Adrestian Empire to protect the Kingdom's sovereignty, all while Cornelia rallies Faerghus' Western Lords against Dimitri and causes a power struggle he's forced to deal with along with the existing Imperial threat. In Part II, Dimitri and Claude form an alliance of convenience for the sake of opposing an increasingly hostile Adrestian Empire ruled by Thales, who succeeded in reducing Edelgard into a Puppet Queen and is threatening to conquer all of Fódlan.
    • In Golden Wildfire, Part I has Claude opposing Edelgard and the Adrestian Empire as her desire to use the Bridge of Myrddin causes instability and threatens the Alliance's future, and amids to all this, Shahid and his Almyran army plots to invade Fódlan yet again. In Part II, Claude and Edelgard form an unified front against Rhea and Dimitri to legitimize the Leicester Federation and to create a Fódlan without Rhea's influence. During the campaign, Claude also deals with mercenaries sent to claim his head and "those who slither in the dark".
  • Big First Choice: Early on, the player has to make Shez decide which house they will join: Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer. While the mission which comes after said choice is the same for all three houses, the rest of the story branches out considerably as Shez has to help their chosen faction deal with their own unique struggles.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The normal ending of all three routes has Shez successfully claim their revenge against Byleth and help their chosen Lord win the war, but victory comes at a heavy cost:
    • Scarlet Blaze: Both the Church of Seiros and Those Who Slither In The Dark are weakened by the disappearance of Rhea and Thales as Edelgard wanted, but Claude breaking the pact made with the Empire to fulfill his own ambitions in the normal ending means that Edelgard and the Empire are still forced to continue fighting them and the Kingdom with no clear end in sight. In both endings the war with the Kingdom continues, with the only silver lining being that on the special ending, Claude remains an ally.
    • Azure Gleam: All the House Leaders and Rhea survive, but not unscathed. Dimitri defeats Thales, ending Agartha's ambitions once and for all along with bringing justice to the Tragedy of Duscur, but Edelgard is left mentally regressed to the 12 year old girl she was when the Agarthans first experimented on her thanks to Thales' mind control, and the remnants of the Empire refuse to surrender despite losing much of their power, meaning the war isn't quite over yet. If Byleth wasn’t recruited, Dimitri is also pained by the loss of Rodrigue. And based on the possible conversation between Dimitri and Claude in the special chapter, Claude plans to go after Rhea after the Empire is dealt with, which would likely lead to a break down in relationship between the Kingdom and the Alliance.
    • Golden Wildfire: Claude weakens the Central Church by killing Rhea and joins with the Empire to invade the Kingdom. All that is left is Claude trying to propose an end to the war, though it is uncertain if either side will accept his offer.
  • Black Knight: Jeritza once again dons the armor and persona of the Death Knight; a bloodthirsty knight clad in black armor with a skeleton mask. He uses the full armor only as an enemy on the Azure Gleam route, as in the other paths he's seen mostly fighting as himself and/or with full armor minus the helmet.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Felix is very eager to spar with Shez and fight enemies.
    • While Manuela never shied away from battle in Three Houses, here she will gleefully laugh and exclaim "Attack!" when directed to capture an enemy stronghold.
    • Jeritza is very curt and combat-focused, having no trouble ordering his students into a sturdy fortress with unknown defenses. Jeritza meets one-on-one with Edelgard and bows before her, even when he is not leading the Black Eagles house, implying his continued role as the bloodthirsty Death Knight from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
  • Book Ends:
    • Byleth and Shez's rivalry begins when the former's mercenary company completes their task despite Shez's best efforts. During the War Phase, Shez can potentially do the same to them and take down their employers with Byleth unable to stop them. This is also the moment in which Shez drops their rivalry with Byleth, having found another goal to focus on.
    • A similar parallelism happens if Shez joins forces with Byleth and later gets possessed by Epimenides, holding them back with sheer force of will the same way Byleth held Sothis back when she tried to kill Shez earlier.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude's unique ability only imbues their attacks with fire, lightning, and wind respectively. However, this means that all of their attacks can inflict the Burning, Shock, and Windtorn ailments that can significantly raise their overall damage output, making the abilities quite powerful.
    • The rapier is a fairly useful sword despite being the same power as iron. While it has the same effectiveness that the guardian tome does, the rapier is more practical against the sword's two most common weaknesses: armor and cavalry. More than half of spear using enemies are cavalry which helps to cover up the type weakness and armor will always have high defense, so even if they always use axes the extra damage and constant rushes will make short work of them even with the defense boost. It also uses smithing stones for its upgrades, which means even if its max power doesn't beat higher grade weapons, it still blows past any starting stats and can be upgraded much easier than higher ranked ones.
    • In this game battalions are used to give a type advantage against a particular weapon type until their durability vanishes. One useful function is to simply patch out the weakness of whatever weapon type a unit has, ensuring more consistent rushes and defense breaks on any foe.
    • Balthus' unique ability is that after 300 hits, he drops money. Not a flashy skill, but it makes him a good gold farmer, especially after it gets upgraded to activate with less hits. It can also be stacked with the Despoil ability, making him being able to farm even more gold.
  • Boss Subtitles: A variation is used in Three Hopes. Every time an important ally or boss appears in the map, the camera briefly focuses on them and displays their full name plus the faction they belong to.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The final Achievement System milestone, at 450 total achievements, rewards the Chalice of Beginnings. Much like in Three Houses', it's a powerful accessory that nullifies extra effectiveness against unit types and inflicts counterattack damage equal to what the character suffers, but unlike Three Houses'' will take a lot more effort to acquire.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Edelgard describes Linhardt with these exact words..
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The paralogue "Eagles, Lions, and Deer", unlocked by recruiting the Gatekeeper on your third playthrough, is the most difficult paralogue in the game, with an enemy level of 80 on Normal difficulty, and 180 on Maddening. It is a Boss Rush that pits Shez alone against all three of the Houses, ending in a brutal battle against a super-buffed Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude. Considering when you unlock this paralogue, Shez should not only be one of your best characters, your ideal build for them should be optimized, thus giving you the ultimate test of skill.
  • But Thou Must!: Many of the decisions in the game are out of your hands, and the only "choice" you have is whether to agree wholeheartedly or reluctantly. For example, you can try to refuse Claude's invitation to base camp after the first battle, but it won't succeed.
  • Butt-Monkey: Count Varley doesn't have much luck. First he's placed as the head of the Western Church, a position that makes him the target of all sorts of assassination attempts, but then he has the ignomity of having two routes where protecting him from enemy forces is labeled a primary objective, yet failing has the mission and story continue without any concern for his death. In Scarlet Blaze, Hubert is more concerned about having to fill his position than about the man himself. He is also one of the few non-Agarthan characters who can die in every route. Considering what he's done though, he kind of deserves it.

    Tropes C-E 
  • Cain and Abel: Prince Shahid of Almyra is the next heir to the Almyran throne, and displays an intense hostility when it comes to his brother Khalid (aka Claude).
  • Call-Back:
    • If you hand over a Mercenary's Whistle to a character, you'll receive a gift from them in return that speaks about their character. If you recruit Byleth and gave them a Mercenary's Whistle, you will receive a "Tactic's Primer" in return, an item that you need to search for Jeralt as your first side quest in Three Houses.
    • In Annette's first support with Felix in Three Houses, he walks in on her singing a really silly song about eating meat, and she's embarassed. She feels it would have been less embarassing if he had heard her singing a song about bears or swamp beasties. In their support conversation in Three Hopes, Felix comes up to her asking about the lyrics of the song she was singing about swamp beasties (though the song was actually about bears).
    • On Scarlet Blaze, if you kill Jeralt in Chapter 10, a dialogue between Claude and Byleth occurs during which Claude notes that had they been at his side from the beginning, the choices he made and the state of the Alliance would be very different, referencing the events of the Verdant Wind route in Houses.
  • Camera Abuse: Ignatz's unique special attack splatters paint colors along the edges of the screen.
  • Character Customization: The start of the game allows the player to chose Shez and Byleth's name and gender.
  • Chekhov's Skill: On Azure Gleam, Those Who Slither in the Dark's ability to mind control people via Nabatean/Crest blood from Three Houses becomes pivotal in this route. While the skill back in that game was used in an experiment in Remire Village for the implied purpose of letting the group tame Demonic Beasts later on, in Three Hopes, Thales uses it to take control of a weakened Edelgard with the help of a modified version of the Aymr's Crest Stone, which back in Three Houses was all but stated to have been already hijacked to be compatible with Edelgard's Crest of Seiros (as its carvings reveal it was initially a normal Crest Stone of the Beast/Maurice).
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Zig-zagged and deconstructed. Crown Prince Dimitri initially refused to take the throne of Faerghus as a teenager, even though subjects begged him to. He sought to avoid conflict with his regent, his less popular uncle Rufus, that would divide the Kingdom, but knew that explicitly supporting his uncle would also lead to civil war. He instead heads to the Officers Academy. Rufus claims the crown and provokes a divisive conflict anyway, which makes Dimitri feel compelled to remove him by force and execute him for treason. Dimitri and his advisors then coordinate to crown him as quickly as possible, even though he is still 17 years old, to prevent further instability.
  • Composite Character: In a sense. Because of the way the game's story is structured - moving from the academy phase much earlier in the story, but having the time skip moved down to 2 years from 5 - character development is often the middle ground between part 1 and 2 from Three Houses. Marianne is still depressed and fears her crest but she's able to open up easier and doesn't show signs of actively hating herself without something to trigger it. Sylvain takes things more seriously but is still a shameless flirt who worries about the life he was born into. Their A ranks also tend to end with them getting on the path to solving their issues rather than being on a place where they're moving past them.
  • Convenient Enemy Base: A key part in the For Want of a Nail narrative - Kostas' remaining bandits flee in the direction of a local base of Those Who Slither In The Dark, where Monica is held. While Seteth orders Jeritza to pursue the bandits, Edelgard uses this opportunity to also order Jeritza to have his class invade the base and rescue Monica, setting further diverging events in motion.
  • Corrupt Church: Discussed multiple times.
    • Regarding the Central Church, in the prologue, the first thing the Central Church (via Alois presumably enforcing guidelines he's been given) does is semi-force Shez to come back to the monastery to sign paperwork and get a reward/hush money so they can avoid losing face about the attack on the house leaders, with Shez at least believing things would get violent if they refused. Upon arrival this changes to offering Shez the whole year at the academy for free, with the implication they would not take no for an answer, effectively forcing them to stay if they wanted to stay in the church's good graces (though the church has no issue with Shez leaving the school to stay in their chosen lord's country even before the monastery closes). It's later revealed (as Seteth later explains in his supports) that the reason for this odd demand was that Rhea and Seteth were wary of Shez's dark powers and wanted to determine if they were a threat. On Azure Gleam a monk who worked with them for some time rebuffs the Empire's claim that the Central Church of Seiros is incredibly corrupt, noting they saw Archbishop Rhea and Seteth harshly punish anyone who was found to take bribes or engage in criminal behavior, but admits that if someone regards their judgment in such matters as corrupt then there is nothing they can do to change their minds. He then adds that the same reasoning applies to the Empire's judgments being potentially corrupt themselves. On Scarlet Blaze another Church of Seiros adherent seems to believe the Empire's claims about the Central Church simply because Edelgard claimed it to be so. The Central Church also targets the Southern Church's bishop (who they confirmed) for assassination before any open warfare takes place. On Golden Wildfire Claude supports claims that the Central Church is holding back society, though he has not fully convinced all of his allies. Players of Three Houses know this is factually correct, but most of the evidence for it is held by the Church in ways that wouldn't be readily available to Edelgard or Claude.
    • Regarding the Southern Church, on Golden Wildfire and Azure Gleam, Holst and Gilbert respectively argue that the Southern Church is inherently corrupt in the sense that it is obviously controlled by the Empire and used as a mouthpiece for their policies rather than adhering to the Church of Seiros faith first. The fact that Edelgard's policies are intended for anti-corruption efforts does not negate the fact that the Southern Church doesn't have full independence. We do learn on Scarlet Blaze that the Central Church itself initially approved of the reformation of the Southern Church and Count Varley's instillation as its bishop, with Edelgard making the case to Rhea directly, but it looks bad regardless. That Count Varley is so plainly greedy doesn't help, though even Edelgard and Hubert all but admit they had other reasons for giving him the job, and putting up with him is only temporary. Yuri lampshades that having a man like Varley as bishop basically invites valid criticisms.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In an unique cosmetic example, NPC versions of playable characters in mounted classes can be found wearing their original designs rather than their class-related ones, which is impossible for them under the player's control. A good example of this is Hilda, as she can use her unique outfit in the Wyvern Lord class as an NPC instead of the standard Wyvern Lord armor she's locked into as a playable unit.
  • Costume Evolution: All of the Blue Lions, the Black Eagles, the Golden Deer, and Ashen Wolves have updated designs, and many have new hairstyles.
  • The Coup:
    • In Chapter 3 of the Black Eagles route, Edelgard launches a countercoup against the Prime Minister and Lord Arundel to retake power in the Empire after Solon's early exposure gives her the leverage she needs to bring the Church in on her side. Later in the route, Duke Aegir with help from Those Who Slither In The Dark attempts to reclaim the Empire, but is defeated.
    • In Chapter 3 of the Blue Lions route, the regent Rufus attempts a coup against Dimitri and Rodrigue, compelling Dimitri and the Church to put him down.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first battle opens with the group of mercenaries Shez is allied with going after Jeralt's mercenaries, with whispers of the Ashen Demon showing up. Said Ashen Demon makes extremely short work out of all of them.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Thief line have their basic moveset designed around stamina-breaking enemies. They don't have any good way to push back enemies but all their charge attacks work wonders at dealing repeated, focused damage to a small group of foes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Arval. In. Spades.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Possibly Byleth, who as The Protagonist of Three Houses would always survive the routes no matter what, in any of the routes if Shez chooses to prioritize their vengeful grudge over their major enemies. Of course, doing this locks you out of the Golden Ending for said routes.
    • While Claude in Three Houses had the fewest possible deaths (he can only explicitly die in Crimson Flower if neither Edelgard or Byleth defeat and then spare him, in Silver Snow he goes missing in action without explicitly dying and in Azure Moon he becomes allies with Dimitri before returning to his homeland), in Three Hopes, he has the "honor" of being the only lord who can die during the events of the story. If certain conditions are met, in Scarlet Blaze, he will ally with Edelgard but then choose to betray her, which will lead to his death if a specific strategy isn't deployed.
  • Decapitated Army: Discussed during expeditions with Dimitri if you ask about his preferred fighting style. He states that there's no greater art than charging the enemy lines singlehandedly, taking out their commander, and ending the fighting in one fell swoop.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: In Golden Wildfire, Claude and Count Gloucester manage to repel the Empire's invasion using this strategy. Count Gloucester surrenders and defects to the Empire at the Bridge of Myrddin, forcing Claude to retreat to Derdriu to try to hold off the Empire there. Once Claude successfully defends Derdriu, his retreat is revealed to have been a trap meant to lure the Empire's forces into position so they can be attacked from behind by Count Gloucester, whose defection was fake all along.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In Golden Wildfire, Claude's friends are extremely upset with him for sacrificing Randolph to minimize his own losses, but Petra approves of his strategy and says it would be highly praised in Brigid.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Commoner, Noble, and Lord classes go from playable classes to NPC-only. Commoner and Noble are exclusive to civilians you have to protect, while Lord is exclusive to Judith.
    • Alois, Anna, Cyril, Gilbert, and Hanneman all appear as allies, enemies, or NPCs, but are not playable.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Recruiting students from other factions, like in Three Houses, often changes the story in minor but still notable ways. For example; in Scarlet Blaze Chapter 6, if you recruited Lorenz to your side instead of killing him, not only does the game account for this by adjusting Count Gloucester's dialogue after you do so, but in the cutscene after the level, Claude references your choice to do so. Similarly, recruiting Ignatz in the same level has Raphael's dialogue adjusted to mention Ignatz joining the Empire.
    • Supports often adjust minor pieces of dialogue to account for the current faction the character is on. For example; Lysithea's first Support conversation with Shez mentions Claude, but if recruited on Scarlet Blaze, she instead says Edelgard.
    • In New Game +, you can use units you've recruited from previous playthroughs in routes they wouldn't normally be recruitable on. And just as characters can have special conversations when entering combat, there are voiced lines for scenarios that are normally impossible. For instance, if you have Flayn fight Seteth as an enemy, Seteth will desperately ask if Flayn has forgotten who he is.
    • Normally when doing training instructions, the short cutscene displaying one of the pairs training process uses the same general structure (one character is attacking, the other cheering or studying). Should the two characters be in the same class, the game has a unique animation of the characters practicing the same thing together; Thief has them practicing throwing projectiles at each other, Cavalier has the characters practicing jousting, etc.
    • During certain chapters, an enemy labeled "Thief" will spawn in and start targeting a chest, accompanied by a side mission to stop them. If the player has Ashe or a unit with Locktouch open the chest after the Thief spawns but before killing them, the thief's target will change to whoever picked the lock.
    • In certain battles, trying to defeat an enemy before you're supposed to will end in failure. You can drop their HP down to zero, but they'll instantly revive and Rally, becoming a worse threat than before.
    • On the secret chapter, you first have to do the level with Shez and the three Lords. While you are required to do have the three Lords on the map when doing Auxiliary Battles, you can swap Shez out for any other unit. If you do so, when the Shadow of Shez appears, the Lords will take point in talking to it instead of Shez, referring to it as their "Mercenary Friend".
    • Also on the secret chapter, the Lords must defeat phantoms of themselves and their retainers, Dedue, Hubert, and Hilda. Depending on Shez's support levels, those retainers may be allies, and the retainers you fight may instead be Felix, Ferdinand, or Lorenz, respectively. The wording of the lords' battle dialogue with the retainers is phrased in a way to suit either scenario.
  • Didn't See That Coming: In the aftermath of Chapter 4 of Scarlet Blaze with Adestria conquering Garreg Mach, Claude is left flat-footed when the news reaches him since by his own intel it should have been several more days before the Empire could have made the attack. He quickly realizes that Acheron and Gloucester allowed the Imperial Army to march through their territories without resistance due to secret deals and thus save time, which annoys him because he remembers how they were "puffing their chests" about holding the border.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Kostas dies in his initial attack on the lords instead of escaping and being taken out later at the Red Canyon.
    • Dimitri's uncle Rufus gets publically executed instead of being murdered by Cornelia in order to frame Dimitri.
    • Instead of being stabbed in the back by Kronya, Jeralt can be killed by Shez. If this happens, another character also follows this trope: Byleth will kill either Randolph, Rodrigue or Judith.
    • Outside of Scarlet Blaze, Fleche will die either defending Randolph (Azure Gleam) or attempting revenge (Golden Wildfire), as opposed to being killed by Byleth after failing to assassinate Dimitri in the original game’s Azure Moon route.
    • Solon can, if the right objectives are met, suffer Death by Irony: in Three Houses, he sacrificed Kronya to seal away Byleth and gets killed in retaliation, but if Byleth is recruited in Three Hopes, Solon is sacrificed by Epimenides to try and seal Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, and Shez so they can't interfere with Epimenides trying to kill Sothis.
  • Driving Question: "Who is responsible for the Tragedy of Duscur" is the main mystery driving the plot of the Azure Gleam route.
  • Double Unlock: There are certain support converstaions which require other support conversations involving a different character to be completed first. For instance, to see Annette and Felix's B rank support conversation, you must see her B support with Sylvain first.As for what happens 
  • Downer Beginning: The game begins with Shez's companions being wiped out to the last by Byleth, with Shez only surviving thanks to the intervention of Arval.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: A nasty example occurs in Scarlet Blaze in the mission where you can recruit Byleth. If you're aiming for the best outcome, you have to use the Resonant Lightning strategy to take down the strongholds and trap Byleth in a certain spot. However, if you go too fast and take down all the strongholds before using the strategy, it will no longer take effect and Byleth will not get trapped, forcing you to fight them and locking you into the bad end route.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Jeralt's supports with Byleth, Jeralt remarks that if things went different, Byleth would've been a student at the Officer's Academy or someone who gave seminars, but dismisses the latter notion because they believe they are not qualified to be a teacher.
  • The Dreaded: Byleth is the Ashen Demon and is well known and feared among other mercenaries. And for good reason too, as the moment they appear in the first chapter is when things go south for Shez and their crew.
  • Dual Wielding: Shez's Fluegel class allows them to wield two swords at the same time, with one being a regular sword and the other looking like a Heroes' Relic.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the game's demo, Leonie's C-support has her name-drop Jeralt as the merc captain who she idolizes, but Shez — who has a huge grudge against Jeralt's group and Byleth in particular — doesn't even blink. This is because in the original Japanese dialogue Leonie doesn't mention Jeralt's name at all. In the official release, the line has been edited so she instead refers to him as just "the captain".
  • Dwindling Party: In Scarlet Blaze, the Blue Lions and the Kingdom of Faerghus in general take severe losses as the story goes on, as they refuse to surrender peacefully. By the end, the only surviving ones are Dimitri, Felix, Dedue, and possibly Annette if the player goes out of their way to spare her, with Ashe and Mercedes only surviving if convinced to join Adrestia.
  • Elective Monarchy: In Chapter 9 of Golden Wildfire, the Leicester Alliance becomes the Leicester Federation, and Claude is chosen by the roundtable to be its first king. In Claude and Lorenz's A support, Claude suggests having the next king be chosen by the people of Leicester, after Lorenz points out that the nature of how Claude became king means the Federation has no need to be a hereditary monarchy.
  • Elite Mook: Tougher soldiers guard bases and, particularly, strongholds.
  • Emergency Authority: Discussed in Claude's C support with Shez. Claude says that the Alliance roundtable is too slow to make decisions during wartime, and Shez suggests that Claude should find a way to give himself more power. Claude ends up doing exactly that.
  • Enforced Technology Levels: Implied trope. While back in Three Houses' Abyssal library, it was revealed that the Church of Seiros enforced limitations on certain forms of technological progress in all the continent to prevent it from developing "too fast", this information on this game happens to be hinted in a few instances:
    • Early into Azure Gleam, when Dimitri provides asylum to Rhea and her Central Church, he apologizes to them for Faerghus not having enough resources to feed them or pay the soldiers she is lending them (due to its land's history of cold climate not being friendly to agriculture as a whole), and Rhea reassures him that she won't ask for such things. Agriculture comes back as a topic once expeditions are unlocked later on and Dimitri is taken to one, he can mention that Rhea shared some wisdom with him about "land cultivation", and is impressed by how much knowledge she possesses on the matter. Some other NPC talk mentions the Church is looking into the feasibility of a "land reclamation" project to help Count Galatea's infamously barren lands. Admittedly, however, none of this is treated as some secret or forbidden knowledge, but rather simply as information the Kingdom either never asked for or the Church never offered before (with other events showing that many of the Lords in Faerghus were in the past stubborn and proud to the point that they would not readily accept help from their own King when it came to taking care of their lands, let alone help from the Church).
    • Late into Golden Wildfire, it's noted by Lorenz after Claude and co. travel towards Fraldarius Territory via Almyran merchant ships that those are more advanced than the ones found in Fódlan, which surprises him as he thought Almyra's technology was far inferior, and the disparity in question makes sense in-universe given that foreign nations to Fódlan (and by proxy, the Church) faced no technological restrictions. That said, none of the restrictions mentioned in Abyss would have influenced ship development (aside, perhaps, spy glasses), so it may simply be a matter of Almyra's long history as a maritime culture causing them to focus more on such developments. Muddying just how big the differences are, the records of the Empire's invasion of Dagda that can be read about in Three Hopes show that Fódlan is at least capable of building ships that can carry a whole army across a large stretch of ocean, and Golden Wildfire itself showing that Fódlan has ports that can host Almyran ships just fine.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: In Scarlet Blaze:
    • In Chapter 5, when Edelgard learns that Lord Lonato has taken the opportunity offered by Rhea and her closest being forced to evacuate Garreg Mach by the Empire's attack and seek asylum in Faerghus by launching his long-desired vengeance for his son Christophe, regardless of Kingdom and Church reinforcements mobilizing to crush him in response to his treachery, she tells Hubert they must aid him as quickly as possible. When Hubert expresses doubt about going out of their way to aid what's for all intents and purposes an old man on a suicide mission, Edelgard responds by noting, besides her personal feelings on the matter, that they need to show their allies the Empire will come to their aid and not leave them high and dry while in trouble, and Lord Lonato is one of the now-Empire-aligned House Rowe's bannermen.
    • She also uses this rationale to forgive Count Gloucester's betrayal of the Empire, because as a popular lord it would cause more trouble than it's worth to execute him for his crime rather than to keep him as a vassal for the sake of stability.
  • Escort Mission: Late in the first major battle, after freeing Monica, the party must retreat from the fortress while escorting them out. Some optional missions also involve capturing rescued soldiers or ones stuck in a jam due to unfortunate circumstances.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In the finale of Golden Wildfire, Marianne is deeply disturbed when Rhea destroys all of the strongholds with a long-forgotten spell, and the remaining soldiers under her command proudly march to their deaths because of what they see as a sign of divine providence. Marianne, who is also a devout follower of the goddess, believes that the soldiers are allowing their faith to be tainted by fear and must be stopped for their own good.
  • Evil Uncle: Downplayed. Rufus, Dimitri's uncle, is an unpopular regent who tries to take the throne from him and kill him in battle. However, he laments what he has become, fears Dimitri as bloodthirsty and savage (with unclear legitimacy), and is implied to be under the influence of the traitorous Cornelia.
  • Evolving Title Screen: When you first start the game, the title screen is a picture of cliffs overlooking Garreg Mach Monastery. After beating the first battle, the title screen pans over to show Byleth and Shez's swords stuck in the ground, crossed with each other to represent their rivalry. Beating a campaign adds the corresponding lord's Relic weapon to the scene, and uncrosses Byleth and Shez's swords if Byleth was recruited.

    Tropes F-H 
  • Face of a Thug: Discussed in Shez's support with Bernadetta. After seeing how jittery she is, Shez remarks that she's very judgmental for believing that one of Shez's mercenary friends is an evil person purely based on the way they look and talk. Shez then points out that some of the most wicked people can hide their intentions behind honeyed words and a pretty face. This just makes Bernie even more paranoid as she assumes that Anna is a murderer trying to lull her into a false sense of security. After realizing the mess they caused, Shez offers to introduce Bernie to another one of their mercenary friends who's a mountain of a man but a teddy bear on the inside to help her with her anxiety. Unfortunately, she winds up panicking again anyway, causing a commotion that leads to weeks of clean up.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In Chapter 3 of Golden Wildfire, Prince Shahid somehow doesn't realize that Claude is actually his little brother Khalid despite being able to see him well enough to comment that he looks just like him. If you fight him with Claude in Chapter 8, he recognizes him at last, and Claude mocks him for taking so long to realize it.
  • Final Boss:
    • Scarlet Blaze: Rhea and Thales.
    • Azure Gleam: Thales and Edelgard.
    • Golden Wildfire: The Immaculate One.
  • Foreshadowing: At camp when you meet the students, one of the Knights of Seiros remarks that if anything happened to one of the students in the bandit encounter you saved them from, it'd be especially bad after one student went missing the term prior. That missing student (Monica) turns out to have a very important role to play in the prologue.
  • For Want of a Nail: The prologue establishes that because Shez survives their fight with Byleth, they rescue the lords from Kostas' attack instead of Jeralt and Byleth, Jeralt and Byleth don't come to the monastery, and Jeritza steps up as one of the house teachers. This causes numerous ripples that affect every route, starting with Monica being saved from TWSITD before Kronya could impersonate her, allowing her to name Tomas as her abductor. "Tomas" has his hatred of the Church exposed, reveals himself as Solon and flees, causing a large number of different events. While the player follows one of the following paths, all three reference each other's events. Specifically:
    • Scarlet Blaze: Edelgard uses Solon's reveal to gain the Church's support in deposing Duke Aegir and her uncle Arundel, by revealing her uncle was actually Thales, an agent of TWSITD, who flees. She takes over the Empire and overhauls it for two years before declaring war on the Central Church, this time reinstating the Southern Church to rally faithful Imperials to her side. She also doesn't directly confront the Church or the Officer's Academy students in her Flame Emperor persona during her own time as a student. Also, because the raid on the Holy Tomb never happens and Byleth isn't around to turn on her in this scenario, Rhea doesn't fall into madness when Edelgard makes her move.
    • Azure Gleam: With TWSITD exposed and desperate, "Cornelia" (Cleobulus) pushes Rufus (Dimitri's uncle and the regent) to seize power in the Kingdom, so Dimitri's class and some of the Knights of Seiros leave to quell that insurrection and crown Dimitri. Dimitri never assumes Edelgard was behind the Tragedy of Duscur due to the combination of her abandoning her 'Flame Emperor' guise along with one of the true accomplices revealing themselves early on, so he never becomes vengeful towards her, instead going to war with the Empire due to the Church's request for asylum. The Blue Lions are not separated for years due to war, and Gilbert does not become Dimitri's personal attendant.
    • Golden Wildfire: With conflict in two thirds of Fódlan, the Almyran prince Shahid uses the opportunity to attack the Alliance, and Claude, his class, and Shamir request leave to repel that invasion. This gives Claude an earlier chance to show his worth to the other Alliance lords, causing him to develop a more negative view of the Alliance than in Three Houses. Also, since he gets to spend very little time at Garreg Mach, he never gains an interest in unravelling the secrets of Fodlan and the Church of Seiros. This leads him to have a much more negative view of Rhea than he did in the Verdant Wind route of Three Houses, as he never learns the truth about her.
    • In all routes, due to how quickly the political landscape of Fódlan changed because of all the above events, Rhea temporarily closed operations of the Officer's Academy due to the political instability occurring all over Fódlan and sent all the enrolled students back to their respective territories.
    • Alliances between nations are also portrayed differently depending on which house Shez chooses, and what actions Shez takes: Only on Azure Gleam, the Leicester Alliance sides with the Kingdom and Central Church. Dialogue in the secret chapters accessed by sparing Byleth reveals this pact is only temporary, and Claude intends to turn on the Central Church. On Scarlet Blaze and Golden Wildfire, the Leicester Alliance/Federation instead signs a peace treaty with the Empire. The cutscene and dialogue for this treaty is also more positive on Scarlet Blaze, where it is more functional on Golden Wildfire. On Scarlet Blaze if Shez does not spare Byleth, Claude breaks this treaty.
    • Additionally, because of the various circumstances described above, relationships between students from different houses did not have the opportunity to grow, or end up growing in different ways, as reflected by the new Support Conversations.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Like in Three Houses, Bernadetta is a shut-in who would rather be cooped up inside her room, alone, than doing basically anything else. This is especially true for battle, as her first impulse is to make excuses as to why she can't go, if she can sit the battle out, or most importantly, go home. In the prologue that is set in the student's first outdoor excursion, Bernadetta is the only missing student, having managed to successfully stay inside her room.
    • Holst Goneril is renowned in the Alliance for constantly driving away the Almyran army. In battle, Holst's default class is Swordmaster, and his default weapon is a sword that is strong against flying units. The bulk of Almyra's army consists of axe-wielding Wyvern Riders, meaning he has a twofold advantage against them.
    • If recruited, Byleth has no support conversations with anyone except for Shez and Jeralt, compared to Three Houses where they can form a close relationship with everyone. Makes sense considering in this continuity, they are simply a powerful mercenary recruited relatively late in the war instead of everyone's professor and commander. With that said, Byleth is still capable of reaching an A-Rank bond with everyone in the game when the most that two unconnected characters can usually reach is a C, reflecting that they still have that potential to connect with others when given the opportunity to do so.
    • It's possible for playable characters with Plot Armor to die in Classic Mode, but only if they're used outside of their respective routes via the Record Keeper in New Game +.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Characters mention that the Agarthan forces look like corpses, presumably referring to their extremely pale skin when undisguised, but save for Thales, Kronya, and Solon, their models and art don't look any paler than normal light skinned characters.
    • In-gameplay, a single character can with some effort mow down over a thousand soldiers during the course of a single map. However, it's repeatedly indicated (sometimes via jokes, like the assertion Holst was taking on this many opponents) that in the actual story the characters (while still superhuman by real world standards) are not fighting anywhere near that many opponents, at least on their own. That said, it is noted that those characters with both a Crest and a matching Relic Weapon are potentially equivalent to a thousand normal soldiers.
    • While in the opening cutscene, Seteth uses his spear while mounted on a wyvern, in actual gameplay (unlike Three Houses) only axes can be used as a wyvern rider (unless you are Claude). Seteth can only use his spear following the cavalry class tree even though wyvern rider is his preferred class tree.
    • Even though the Hero class no longer exists in gameplay, it's still possible to find generic NPCs during camp exploration with it, featuring the same design they had back in Three Houses.
    • Towards the end of Golden Wildfire you are told to protect Count Varley who was ambushed at one of your keeps. You can actually fail this mission, leading to their death, and the battle will continue on. But even if you do, a throwaway line in the post battle cutscene has a character speak about them as though they were still alive. This is notable since the game dialogue usually will account for if a recruitable character was killed or not.
    • During a scene during chapter 7 of Azure Gleam, Felix is seen holding the Sword of Moralta, a holy weapon tied to the Crest of Fraldarius. However, that sword can't actually be obtained by the player until chapter 15.
    • During the second bonus chapter that happens if the player recruited Byleth and Jeralt, Epimenides summoned phantom versions of the three lords for them and Shez to fight. While the lords are concerned that they might accidentally attack themselves instead of the enemies, the mechanics for the game makes it impossible for the player to do so.
  • Gameplay Grading: Every stage has three challenges: clear the stage under a set time, defeat X amount of enemies, and don't lose more than X% health. Accomplishing each goal rewards an S-rank, with A and lower ranks depending on how close you were, and achieving all three S-ranks at once has mission-specific rewards such as stat boosters and Relic weapons.
  • Golden Ending: Downplayed. All three routes have an alternative outcome that varies compared to the normal campaign route, such as Randolph, Rodrigue, or Judith (Depending on the route) not being killed at a vengeful Byleth's hands. The golden ending routes still end on a bittersweet note in that Shez is forced to kill Arval after the latter reveals themself to be a weapon meant to kill Sothis, and the war is still ongoing despite the chosen lord having achieved their goal.
  • The Good King: Shez says Dimitri will be the kind of "good king" who takes care of his people after seeing his willingness to check up on them.
  • Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: When Shez tries to motivate a Kingdom soldier worried about upcoming battle, supposedly placating her fear by assuring her that battle will come, Arval calls them "the worst motivational speaker ever."
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: While both Edelgard and Dimitri avoid many of the extremes they went to in Three Houses by ending their relationship with the Agarthans and not giving into their vengeance obsession respectively, Three Hopes still doesn't shy away from the amount of blood that ends up on their hands, and the morally dubious things they have to do for what they hope is a greater good. The same can be said for Claude and the conflict in general.
    • The Kingdom's elimination of violently rebellious factions sometimes involves collateral damage, something Dimitri feels can never be justified but that he must tell his people were correct and good decisions if he is to maintain their confidence. Dimitri's initial opposition to Edelgard is also not out of a moral opposition to her aims, but finding them to be too progressive for Faergus at the time, and noting supporting the Central Church is necessary to maintain his divine mandate as king.
    • In their C Support with her, Shez is quite blatant about the many ways Edelgard's war with the church hurts her own people, all for promised benefits that may not be seen for years or even decades, and which said citizens may not even see as worthwhile. She also still believes she must conquer/unify Fódlan in one way or another, and doesn't see pacts she makes with other nations as accepting their existence but rather as deciding to rule them through other means.
    • Edelgard and Claude's vendettas with Rhea are less cut and dry this time around. In Crimson Flower, even if Edelgard's understanding of Rhea and the church is flawed, she is given plenty of motivation to take Rhea down as the latter descends into madness after Byleth chooses to side with the Empire against the Church, culminating in Rhea burning down her ally the Kingdom's capital in a last ditch attempt to kill Byleth. In Three Hopes, Rhea fully retains her faculties, so her opponents are against her on a purely ideological basis. As a result Edelgard just wants to strip Rhea of power rather than kill her unless there's no choice. Claude is in even a greyer position, as he takes a complete 180 from his stance in Verdant Wind where he actually sympathizes with Rhea after learning about her past, even if he still disagrees with her policies. Claude in Three Hopes is the most aggressive about how Rhea needs to die for the sake of Fodlan even though he's operating on the same incomplete knowledge that Edelgard is, lacking any interest in finding any deeper truths.
    • Shez themselves, while a overall heroic protagonist, makes no secret that they have done "terrible things" at times to survive as a mercenary. Whether they believe the side they fight for is actually fully in the right or not is often dependent on their dialog choices, and often indicated to not be their primary concern in the war.
    • Initially Claude avoids a lot of the morally gray behavior, if only because the Alliance itself was fairly stable and by Fódlan standards socially progressive well before he became its leader, on top of dealing with an outside invasion that is removed from the main conflict. This soon changes though, with it becoming clear Claude is in fact much greyer than he was in the original game, playing all the other factions against each-other for his own ends and the benefit of Leicester. His pragmatism is also comparatively ruthless, with him being quite willing to kill any member of the Central Church that doesn't submit to his demand that their sect be dissolved, all in the belief that ending the war quickly needs to come before anything else and his theory that removing the Central Church is the best way to do this.
    • Compared to Three Houses many characters are less united in purpose during the war. In camp there are repeated instances of dialog discussing how they don't know who is right in the war, they just want it to end and for whoever wins to hopefully make the world better than it was before. Recruited characters from other factions tend to join your side more under the "I lost and I'm not willing to die, plus I don't actually hate you so I'll accept fighting for you even if its against my old friends" sort of reasoning than actually fully believing in your faction's cause.
    • "Those who slither in the dark" remain the main aversion in all this, with every faction regarding them as far worse than the factions they are actively at war with, one major reason being their willingness to harm regular citizens as opposed to soldiers.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Besides obtaining Abilities by mastering classes, each character has access to an Innate Ability which is unlocked by mastering a specific Master Class with them (Ex: Shez can learn Range Master by mastering Dark Knight). These fall into this territory because the game never tells you which class each character needs mastered in order to get them (despite the game showing you which Abilities you normally do get from each class), meaning trying to find and master the right class for each of your units just to get their respective Innatte Abilities can become very time consuming without a guide. The only exception to this rule is the Gatekeeper, as they can access every other character's Innate Abilities by mastering all of their available Master Classes.
    • The conditions for unlocking Arval's paralogue are anything but obvious, meaning it's very much possible to either unlock it by accident, or just never end up seeing it altogether. During two subsequent playthroughs, the player needs to recruit Byleth and Jeralt in the first one, and later have them both killed as bosses on the second. Only by doing both of these things the player will be able to access Arval's paralogue.
    • The conditions for recruiting Byleth and Jeralt are challenging and not explicitly clear on any route, but on the Scarlet Blaze route in particular, the consequences for not doing so last beyond the end of the game: Byleth, Jeralt, and Sothis can die. Randolph is killed out of revenge. Several chapters later, Leonie is rendered unrecruitable and dies. Then the Lords don't have an opportunity to meet and open dialogue. Then the Alliance betrays the peace agreement with the Empire, and Claude dies unless another strategy is implemented. Edelgard and any recruited member of the Alliance feel personally betrayed. Either way, the Alliance goes back to war with the Empire.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Hard and Maddening have greatly increased enemy levels, but reward better quality weapon drops and more experience points.
  • Harder Than Hard: The Maddening difficulty returns, unlocked by clearing the game for the first time. It is only intended for those with very high leveled units, as the first proper level after the prologue starts at over level 100, and gets higher from there.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The Mysterious Mercenary trailer reveals you can freely name Shez. Interestingly, you can also name the Ashen Demon, despite the fact they are not the protagonist this time around.
  • Hidden Depths: Arval notes that, despite Alois's "soft" and happy-go-lucky appearance, he is willing to offer Shez "hush money" for not leaking the events of the first battle, and he is subtly forceful in encouraging Shez to return with him to Garreg Mach Monastery.
  • Hope Spot: After being defeated easily by the Ashen Demon, Shez goes into Super Mode. Think the tides have turned in your favor and you're about to crush Byleth? Nope, you're still no match.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first chapter ends with a fight against Byleth, who takes Scratch Damage from Shez's attacks and easily overpowers Shez, both in the story and gameplay. Even Shez's Super Mode isn't enough to even the odds, as Arval notes afterwards that Shez was to die at that moment.
  • Hordes from the East: The Leicester Alliance has to defend against an invading "horde" from the remote eastern continent of Almyra.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Titanus, Those Who Slither in the Dark's giant tron-like automatons from Three Houses return in Three Hopes, appearing mostly on the Azure Gleam route. They behave like a giant monster version of the Armored and Fortress Knight enemies, having Multiple Life Bars and armor and taking up multiple tiles on the field, while also having a weakness against magic attacks in exchange of gaining sky high physical defense.

    Tropes I-O 
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • No matter which house and route you pick, several events always happen: Jeritza always becomes your teacher and you are always given the responsibility of mopping up Kostas' surviving bandits, and the events of the prologue begin the same way. It's also indicated that all three versions of Chapter 3 always happen, with the only difference between them being where Shez goes and who they join afterwards.
      • The Gatekeeper of Garreg Mach will always end up on the same side as Shez once the war breaks out. In Scarlet Blaze, it's because he's visiting his estranged family in Enbarr; in Azure Gleam, he's brought to Fhirdiad alongside the rest of the Knights of Seiros; and in Golden Wildfire, he was escorting a friend back to Derdriu when it becomes too dangerous to cross the borders.
    • Several events from Three Houses still happen, though circumstances may be changed:
      • The trailer released the day of the demo shows that, despite changed circumstances, Byleth still merges with Sothis. Or so it seems... This depends on whether Byleth is spared or slain.
      • Edelgard still declares war on the Central Church. In contrast to Three Houses though, she, Count Bergliez, and Count Hevring get one extra year to sort out the details, meaning it officially starts at the end of 1181 rather than at the beginning of the year like in the first game.
      • In Raphael and Shez's C-Support, the former mentions that his grandfather and little sister still end up opening the inn mentioned in his Three Houses endings, but since the two year timeskip was peaceful, he got involved with it from the beginning instead of after going off to fight.
      • In Dimitri's route, Edelgard still transforms into her Hegemon Husk form but here, it is involuntary courtesy of Thales' machinations compared to her willingly transforming herself in the original timeline.
      • In Golden Wildfire Claude ends up getting Nader and Holst to become friends like he does in Verdant Wind, with the main difference being that it's primarily to help subvert Shahid's ambitions to invade Fódlan rather than to help against Edelgard.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • A minor one but notable/playable characters in the base camp show up as blue dots on the minimap. This leads to a few less important looking people being noticeable early.
    • In chapter 10 in Azure Gleam, the location of the main battle changes due to an unexpected attack by the Western Church. When you enter the initial main battle, there is no prompt to save, hinting that something is off.
    • If the secret branch of a route was missed in a first playthrough, checking the support log during New Game + will reveal Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude have C-Supports with dialogue between each other, hinting there is a possible instance in the story where the three lords can join forces.
  • Internal Reveal: In Golden Wildfire, Claude reveals to Judith in his paralogue that he is actually an Almyran prince. The player likely already knows this from earlier events in the game or if they played Three Houses.
  • Irony:
    • Despite Edelgard being as anti-Church of Seiros as she was in 3 Houses, her iconic weapon this time is Labraunda, a holy axe tied to the Crest of Seiros rather than the "relic" Aymr. She is the only Lord without a Hero Relic this time around. This is due to Edelgard cutting ties with Those Who Slither so early in the story, before they bestowed her with Aymr, which is unique in that it's of Agarthan make rather than being made at the same time as the rest of the relics.
    • Discussed in Chapter 4 of Scarlet Blaze. Rhea, Seteth, and Flayn regretfully comment between themselves that despite the Empire having once been their biggest ally during their fight against Nemesis' army in the distant past, in the present they're their greatest enemy under Edelgard's leadership.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: In Golden Wildfire, Count Gloucester surrenders to the Empire at the Bridge of Myrddin only to attack their troops once they're lured deeper into Alliance territory.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • Arval doesn't remember any events before their first meeting with Shez.
    • Zigzagged case with Edelgard in Azure Gleam. On one hand, it's gradually revealed during Part II that Thales' mind control device reduced her to her child-self from the way she calls both Dimitri ("Dee") and Thales ("Lord Uncle"). On the other, the secret branch of the route reveals Edelgard's present self still exist within her and has no memories of the events that took place after Thales hijacked her body and had her child-self take over.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Edelgard is shown using the Crest of Flames in gameplay, something that she keeps a secret to all but her most trusted companions. It's also her second Crest, a big spoiler for her character.
    • Byleth is shown both with their normal hair and the hair color they gain after fusing with Sothis.
    • Dimitri and Claude both possess Areadbhar and Failnaught respectively, weapons they don't obtain until more than halfway through Three Houses. The second trailer shows Hilda wielding Freikugel.
    • A short map segment features Edelgard's army preparing for the conquest of Garreg Mach by defeating the Church of Seiros soldiers that stand in her way, thus giving away Edelgard crashes with the Church later on in the story.
    • The opening cutscene showcases new scenes of the armies of Seiros and Nemesis clashing. During it, we see numerous characters who's true identities were secret in Three Houses, yet are easily discernable now; Flayn/Cethleann healing a soldier, Seteth/Cichol flying on a wyvern, The Wind Caller/Macuil and The Immovable/Indech in their beast forms, while Seiros/Rhea transforms into her "Immaculate One" form.
    • Monica's personal weapon post-timeskip, the Wind Caller's Genesis, makes the connection between the Wind Caller and Saint Macuil very clear when you take her crest into account.
    • In Edelgard and Jeritza's C-Support, she refers to him not only as the Death Knight, but as his true identity of Emile von Bartels, who Jeritza considers dead.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Ignatz and Leonie's B rank support they're both archery hunting and end up shooting at the same target. They can only see one arrow in the target and Leonie freaks out when she thinks she missed because the shot just felt perfect, but also doubts Ignatz would miss, only for them to find out that they both hit the same spot. In Three Houses Ignatz's high Dex and personal skill would make it very, very hard for him to miss. Also, given Leonie's reaction, it sounds like she was freaking out because she thought she had just missed a critical hit, which in the previous game was impossible as a crit ensured the attack would connect.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Rodrigue twice recommends the Blue Lions force split up to handle multiple threats in Azure Gleam Chapter 3.
  • Lighter and Softer: Zig-zagged. The story appears this way initially in comparison to Three Houses. Those Who Slither in the Dark's grip on the Empire is loosened immediately. Monica, who turns out to be a friend of Edelgard, is saved. Dimitri is not consumed by vengeance. Edelgard's campaign lacks many of its most ruthless elements and her egalitarian reforms are more quickly evident. Rhea is not captured and her sanity remains intact even after Garreg Mach is taken. However, the downsides are less immediately evident. Claude ends up much more ruthless this time. Byleth lacks a connection outside of Jeralt and with it much in the sense of idealism. Dimitri is forced to crack down on treacherous elements within his own border. And as it turns out, arguably none of the endings are as bright and optimistic as they were in Three Houses, with some bordering on Downer Endings, something the original game lacked entirely outside of character-specific endings, although at least all three lords survive every ending this time around (generally, see Death by Adaptation for details).
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Mercenary class is rather slow and clunky to use compared to its counterpart, the Thief. But putting in the effort to master it lets you unlock the much more powerful Swordmaster.
    • To an extent, Byleth is this upon recruitment. They start at a tier two class by the time that just about everyone else should start getting or be fully settled into tier 4 classes. That combined with no side classes unlocked like everyone else, makes Byleth's initial strength require some time to catch up. This can be a bit problematic on Azure Gleam, as Byleth is recruited later than the other two routes, and most of the chapters post-recruitment have no side missions prior to the big battle. This is also a case of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard as Byleth will be in their Enlightened One class during the fight on the chapter they can be recruited in.
    • The Hero's Relics and the Sacred Weapons start off with fairly mediocre power and durability, and will get outclassed by regular weapons due to their forging materials being quite rare and expensive to obtain early on. It isn't until you unlock the option to unleash their effects that their power and durability skyrocket and gain a powerful passive ability.
  • Male Gaze: Gender-inverted and played a bit more seriously than one might expect. At the end of Leonie and Shamir's paralogue, Shamir notes that the woman who hired the enemies to kidnap her wanted more than just a strong soldier out of her. She refuses to elaborate, but the camera pointedly focuses on Shamir's breasts as she declares that "if someone isn't interested, move on."
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: The dancer class played it straight in Three Houses, where the females are Dance Battlers while the males just use the default sword wielding animations. In Three Hopes however, it's averted, as the Dance Battler animations are now gender neutral.
  • Mauve Shirt: Members of Shez's mercenary company are given names and some brief characterization during the prologue. The Ashen Demon proceeds to kill all of them without blinking.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Ashe and Mercedes' B-Support discusses this trope when she overhears Ashe talking to a Soldier that apparently saw something he did too. When Ashe relays that the thing was a ghost, Mercedes notes that his ghost story is actually akin to a legend of someone who allegedly saw a ghost too, only to realize that it was his shadow. Relieved that it was supposedly mundane, Ashe asks the Soldier to tell his ghost story too, though players would notice that he vanished when Mercedes entered the room. A suddenly paranoid Mercedes notes that there is no one else in the room and that Ashe was talking to himself, and upon noticing the Soldier had vanished, Ashe freaks out and realizes that the Ghost was Real After All.
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • Just like in Three Houses, some battles are three-way conflicts between the player and two rival enemy factions. For example, one of the battles in Azure Gleam Chapter 4 is a fight between the player's Kingdom Army, a band of renegade knights who support the Empire over the Church, and a group of bandits.
    • The final battle of Scarlet Blaze is a three way between the Empire, the Church, and the Agarthans at Garreg Mach.
  • Meta Twist:
    • Claude and the Alliance were A Lighter Shade of Grey in the original game. Here, he's willing to go to similar extremes as the other Lords, and his route and ending is arguably the darkest of the three.
    • In many previous Musou-style games, completing as many optional objectives as possible, often including pursuing the Lu Bu equivalent when told not to, always leads to better rewards and "Hypothetical" paths with better outcomes than their historical basis. Here, pursuing Byleth is actually encouraged by Arval, but doing so denies access to the game's happier endings.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The game's cover shows Sothis and Arval facing against one another.
  • Mood Whiplash: If Shez kills Jeralt in Azure Gleam, the next cutscene shows Dimitri and Felix engaging in humorous banter, and Rodrigue watching with amusement. And then Rodrigue is suddenly stabbed from behind by a Sothis-possesed Byleth completely out of nowhere.
  • Mooks: Basic enemy soldiers can be attacked and killed by the dozen, as is conventional for Musou games, often not even putting up a fight.
  • Moveset Clone: Averted if Shez and the three main lords are in their unique classes, having unique movesets and Warrior Specials. But for the regular classes, it's played straight, as the movesets and Warrior Specials are linked to the class, so for example, two Mages in your party will have the same combo strings and specials. However, each playable character has a preferred class that grants them a unique Warrior Special, and also has a special passive or active ability exclusive to them that modifies their playstyle enough to stand out among the other characters.For example... 
  • Multiple Endings: In addition to the expected case of each route having its own unique ending, they each actually have two branching paths and endings determined by whether Shez chooses to pursue their revenge against Byleth or instead focus on their faction's main enemies, with the latter eventually leading to all three faction leaders briefly working together while stuck in Zahras.
    • The default endings are achieved by killing Byleth and Jeralt. In Scarlet Blaze, Rhea and Thales take each other out and are presumed missing. Before Edelgard can focus her efforts on the Kingdom, the Alliance decides to betray her, forcing the Empire into another two-way war. In Azure Gleam, Dimitri kills Thales and Edelgard, as a result of the effects of her mind control, is Emotionally Regressed and no longer in a position to lead the Empire. Despite this, Adrestia refuses to back down in spite of numerous losses and a leadership that's far less moral than Edelgard's Means To An End. In Golden Wildfire, Claude succeeds in destroying the Central Church and defeating Rhea, and decides its time to put an end to the war, with the implication being that he will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Shared among all three routes is Byleth killing one of the chosen lord's comrades in retaliation for Shez killing Jeralt.
    • The Golden Endings are achieved by recruiting Byleth and Jeralt, leading to the three lords briefly working together and learning that they share some common goals. In Scarlet Blaze, Rhea and Thales perform a Mutual Kill like in the normal ending route, though the pact between the Empire and Alliance remains intact as both sides now turn their attention to Faerghus. In Azure Gleam, Rodrigue is spared from a potential demise and it's shown in Zahras that Edelgard's mind control can be broken and thus return to her normal self. In Golden Wildfire, the route plays out like in the normal one, though it's implied Claude is looking for a more peaceful resolution to end the war rather than potentially backstabbing his allies.
  • Murder by Inaction: A darkly amusing meta example. On Chapter 15 of Scarlet Blaze, Count Varley, Bernadetta's Abusive Parent, will come under attack at one point, with defending him becoming a side objective. Letting him die won't fail the chapter, the only negative impact it has is triggering more reinforcements.
  • Mutual Kill: At the end of Scarlet Blaze, Thales and Rhea are caught in the same explosion as Rhea strikes one of Thales's magic attacks, causing the bridge connecting Garreg Mach Monastery to the Cathedral to collapse and presumably cause the two to fall down the chasm. While no one goes down the chasm to find their remains, everyone assumes that the two didn't make it.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Although it is possible to recruit some of the characters from the Houses you did not pick by spending Strategy Resources, some characters will never be able to work together. One of the advantages of New Game Plus is letting you play as characters you've already unlocked, but only when replaying missions; they cannot be used for story progression, nor will they interact with your army unless they're recruitable during the current campaign. A list of exclusive party members is as follows:
    • Edelgard, Hubert, Ferdinand, Caspar, Monica, and Manuela are exclusive to Scarlet Blaze. Jeritza can never be recruited in Golden Wildfire, but can be recruited in Azure Gleam by his sister Mercedes.
    • Dimitri, Dedue, Felix, Annette, Sylvain, Ingrid, Rodrigue, Seteth, Flayn, and Catherine are exclusive to Azure Gleam. Mercedes can never be recruited in Golden Wildfire, but can be recruited in Scarlet Blaze by her brother Jeritza. Notably, this makes Ashe the only member of the Blue Lions that is playable in every route.
    • Claude, Hilda, and Holst are exclusive to Golden Wildfire. Lysithea and Leonie can never be recruited in Azure Gleam, but can be in Scarlet Blaze; oddly enough, this means that the Support Conversation between Lysithea and Mercedes can only be unlocked on the route where neither are working with their original leader.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Buying the digital version of the game will have the occasional visit from a messenger owl as a bonus.
    • Ingrid and Felix's C-Support involves the former returning a lost item to the latter, a gameplay element from Three Houses.
    • In Bernadetta and Marianne's A-Support, the former brings up the possibility of horse riding being a sort of hidden talent of hers. In Three Houses, Bernadetta did in fact have a hidden talent in horse riding.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • "Cornelia" was all but stated to be a Those Who Slither In The Dark imposter in the original game, but unlike Kronya, Solon and Thales, her true identity was never revealed. This game has a fellow member refer to her as Cleobulus.
    • Many characters whom in Three Houses were only known by their title (such as Count Bergliez and Margrave Gautier) now get their actual names revealed in Three Hopes.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Some of the cutscene footage shown in the early trailers has been deliberately edited to avoid spoiling the story too much, leading to things like Edelgard appearing to be an enemy in a scene that actually comes from her route. The reveal trailer also managed to hide the fact that Byleth was no longer the Player Character.
  • No Name Given: Byleth, the hero/ine of Three Houses, is never referred to by any name other than the Ashen Demon throughout promotional materials. Also overlaps with Names to Run Away From Really Fast.
  • The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: As detailed during the Scarlet Blaze route (though it happens on every route), Edelgard promotes Bernadetta's father to the head of the Southern Church, which at first seems like a reward for his loyalty to the throne rather than a punishment for his misdeeds. But after the time-skip, Hubert reveals that the position and the actions Edelgard requires of him in said position has made him the target of relentless censure and on at least one occasion attempted assassination by the Central Church, so this position really is a punishment after all.
  • Old Save Bonus: As shown with the demo, the game will actually read your save data from Three Houses and give Byleth the same name from it. Also, according to the My Nintendo Store page, players who also have save files for Three Houses or the original Fire Emblem Warriors can get extra in-game gold and items (specifically, 5000 Gold, 5 Owl Feathers, and 5 Smithing Stones per game data).
  • Old Shame: In-Universe, Ashe is "not proud" of how he knows to pick locks, hinting he was once a thief, as in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
  • Optional Party Member: Characters from other factions are able to be recruited during battle if the player wants to by using Strategy Resources before the final level of a chapter to use specific Stratagems. Instead of killing the enemy, it instead has your forces spare them and convince them to defect to your side. That said, in order to recruit some characters, you have to have recruited certain other characters to convince them, or must deploy a specific unit to do so; in Scarlet Blaze, you must have recruited Ignatz and deploy him in battle in order to recruit Raphael, while Jeritza must be deployed to recruit Mercedes.

    Tropes P-Z 
  • Permadeath: Classic Mode once again returns, meaning that any ally unit who fall in battle are lost forever. However, this only comes to play after Chapter 4, allowing the player to get comfortable with the game before the difficulty steps up.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Unlike in Three Houses, some supports now directly reference the game's main story or other characters. As such, some support conversations can now be inaccessible if their context has passed.
  • Pet the Dog: The secret path has a mutual one between Edelgard and Claude, also setting them up as foils. In essence, it's revealed that, while Edelgard seeks to overthrow Rhea and conquer and unite the entire continent to enact her reforms in a lasting way, she has no intention of killing Rhea unless she is left with no choice. Meanwhile, Claude feels Murder Is the Best Solution to remove the Central Church as an obstacle, but sees the occupation of the other countries as unnecessary to defeat the Central Church and its ideology, preferring that the nations of the continent remain free and self-determining.
  • Place of Power: Three Hopes heavily implies Zahras is this, as it essentially allows powerful beings to fill out its never ending nothingness with whatever they desire, if they know that they can do so. Epimenedes in the routes' secret branch uses it to project himself and Arval's mental world outside of Shez' body in an attempt to kill their soul and seize their body for himself, and once Epimenides ends up killed in return, his projected world quickly collapses.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: The game doesn't have any S-supports, meaning that it is not possible for Shez to pair-up with anyone. However, the letter you can receive from other characters if you give them the Mercenary's Whistle shows them having a lot of admiration towards Shez, making it apparent that they have become closer than just mere comrades.
  • Player Headquarters: The base camp. Unlike Three Houses, the player doesn't get situated in Garreg Mach and instead has a rough, put together area set up in ruins of an old fortress to prepare and send troops out of. All signs indicate that it's meant to be hastily constructed as a preparing ground for the war, as the only fortified structure remaining is used as the building which houses the respective lord, strategist, and meeting table, while the rest of the buildings are wooden and at most use old, crumbling walls for a bit of cover.
  • Playing Both Sides: On the Golden Wildfire route, those who slither in the dark attempt to pit the Empire and Federation against each other. A disguised Agarthan informs Fleche that Claude is responsible for the death of her brother Randolph. Fleche rallies Imperial troops and hires Jeralt's mercenaries to assassinate Claude. However, the Federation kills Fleche and either defeats or recruits Jeralt's mercenaries and Edelgard never learns of Claude's actions, so the plan ends up failing.
  • Plot Armor: While playing in Classic Mode, there are a few characters who will become undeployable rather than killed if their HP reaches zero. These are: Hubert, Ferdinand and Monica in Scarlet Blaze; Dedue, Felix and Rodrigue in Azure Gleam; and Hilda, Lorenz and Holst in Golden Wildfire.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Dimitri sends a letter to Rufus encouraging a peaceful resolution of Faerghus's power struggle, and he is disappointed when the letter gets no response. Rufus, for his part, sees Dimitri as a bloodthirsty savage and assumes his letter never desired an answer. After the ensuing battle, Dimitri personally executes Rufus for his treachery.
  • Power Floats: When running at full speed, a player-controlled Mage, Warlock, or Gremory will float off the ground via their magic power.
  • Promoted to Playable: Certain characters who were only NPCs (or just mentioned and never appeared) in the previous game become promoted to proper playable characters: Monica in the Scarlet Blaze route, Rodrigue in the Azure Gleam route, Holst in the Golden Wildfire route, and Jeralt in all three routes.
  • Properly Paranoid: Talking with Dorothea after the Chapter 1 battle reveals that Bernadetta refused to take part in the outdoor exercise for fear of being attacked. Dorothea is dumbfounded that Bernadetta turned out to be right.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude are depicted more favourably on their own routes than the other two thanks to the deeper insight the stories provide on their goals and context they find themselves in. This also impacts how Rhea's despicted, as both Edelgard and later Claude oppose her due to their agendas clashing with her Church of Seiros', while with Dimitri she is an important political ally whose wellbeing needs to be preserved to keep Faerghus stable.
  • Real After All: Ashe and Mercedes' B-Support conversation starts with Ashe talking to a soldier who apparently saw something he did, with Mercedes then walking in to check on him. Ashe admits to Mercedes that he twisted his ankle, but is actually more fearful of the fact that the last time he twisted his ankle was after supposedly seeing a ghost and getting injured when fleeing. Mercedes then tells a legend of a person who also claimed to have seen a ghost in a similar situation, only for it to really be his shadow. Relieved that he was only seeing things, Ashe then asks the soldier to relay his own ghost story, a soldier that sharp eyed players would notice vanished when Mercedes entered the scene. A suddenly paranoid Mercedes then drops her tenderly demeanor and notes that Ashe was talking to himself when she entered the room, and upon realizing the soldier vanished, Ashe freaks out upon realzing he was talking to the ghost after all.
  • Recycled Title: Double time in the Japanese name, as it takes the "Fire Emblem Warriors" title and just slaps the Japanese subtitle of Three Houses on the end of it. The English name is slightly more creative by renaming it to "Three Hopes".
  • Revealing Cover Up: Defied by Dimitri at the end of Chapter 3 of the Azure Gleam route. When it is found out that Dimitri's uncle Rufus was one of the main conspirators of the Tragedy of Duscur and the western lords are involved as well, Dimitri takes measures to inform everyone in the kingdom about the fact to keep the western lords and accomplices of the Tragedy of Duscur in check. While Gilbert and Margrave Gautier advise against this, Dimitri states that to create stability just after a civil war and to walk a more peaceful path for the kingdom he would not give half-truths to his people, where just burying the truth only to later on have it spread without Dimitri's consent would have the people lose trust in him, destabilize the kingdom, and create another civil war.
  • Revenge: Several characters seek to fulfill their vendetta on someone.
    • Shez' entire beef with Byleth starts because the former wiped out Berling's Mercenaries in the prologue. In the routes' normal branches, Byleth eventually returns the sentiment as they seek payback for Jeralt's death at Shez's hand.
    • After being rescued in Chapter 2, Monica in Scarlet Blaze becomes hellbent on giving those who slither in the dark their just desserts for almost having her killed in their experiments.
    • Just like in Three Houses, Dimitri is driven partly by revenge on those responsible for murdering his family and friends in the Tragedy of Duscur, ultimately leading him to come at blows directly with its perpetrators. In Three Hopes, the constant support from his friends prevent him from falling into madness, allowing him to reconcile this facet with his royal duties to an extent.
    • Lonato rebels against Dimitri and the Central Church of Seiros for executing his son Christophe like in Three Houses.
    • Finally, Thales is once again driven by revenge against the surviving Children of the Goddess for their kin forcing the Agarthans to retreat underground after Sothis wiped out their civilization, and seeks to undermine their legacy at every turn while attempting to take over Fódlan. It's for this reason Rhea considers him in Scarlet Blaze a far greater threat than Edelgard after he reveals himself, as he's been doing this for a millenium at minimum, and she knows neither her own kin nor Fódlan will ever be safe as long Thales and his group draw breath.
  • Rivals Team Up: Any time Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude get to team-up.
    • In Chapter 1, Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude fight together along with Shez to defeat Kostas' bandits.
    • In Scarlet Blaze and Golden Wildfire, Edelgard and Claude make an alliance at the start of Part I to further their own goals and confront the Church and the Kingdom together. Meanwhile in Azure Gleam, Dimitri and Claude work together after the second timeskip to provide an unified front against the Empire.
    • In the routes' secret branches, Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude briefly team up in Zahras to defeat Epimenedes. At this point it also overlaps with Enemy Mine, as either Edelgard or Dimitri will firmly be an antagonist depending on the chosen route.
    • Exaggerated in the Gatekeeper's paralogue, as it's shown the Black Eagles, Blue Lions and Golden Deer joined forces during Garreg Mach's first mock battle to defeat Shez.
  • Rogue Protagonist: The game shifts the perspective from Byleth to Shez, who is a mercenary who lost against Byleth and would have died if Arval didn't save their life (in this timeline, at least), with Shez's motivation being to face against the Ashen Demon to get their revenge.
  • The Scapegoat: Rodrigue willingly takes the fall for the events of the first Blue Lions mission and retires as a Duke, claiming that keeping the king's reputation clean is the top priority.
  • Secret Character: Beyond the characters who join you based on the house you pick and story recruits, there are several secret characters you can get.
    • Recruiting units from the different houses, including the Ashen Wolves, can be done by spending Strategy in a mission to persuade the character to join your side.
    • Byleth and Jeralt can be recruited in the mission what can veer the story towards the Golden Ending by not attacking Byleth when they appear as a boss and instead focusing on the main objective, after which you need to defeat the real boss before Byleth does. Doing so will have Byleth and Jeralt surrender and join your side.
    • Rhea and Sothis can be unlocked in New Game Plus by spending Renown in the base camp. Arval can be unlocked the same way if you have cleared the Golden Ending.
    • The Gatekeeper can be unlocked after beating the game twice, with the second time being on New Game+. He will then be automatically added to your roster on your third run (always on New Game+).
  • Sentry Gun: The Viskams, the highly futuristic ring shaped electric turrets employed by Those Who Slither in the Dark, return once again in Three Hopes. Similar to Three Houses, while they can't be destroyed per se, it's possible to deactivate them by by turning off their specific switch on the map.
  • Series Continuity Error: Mercedes' character timeline lists her younger brother Emile's birth year as 1167, which contradicts Three Houses establishing his birth year as 1158 and would mean that Emile/Jeritza is thirteen years old.
  • Sex Slave: Heavily implied to be what a evidently Psycho Lesbian former employer of Shamir was seeking to make her into in Shamir's paralogue. Shamir rebuffed said woman's advances, and in her obsession to have Shamir she hired a bunch of mercenaries with a grudge against Shamir to capture her. The leader of the group outright says their unnamed employer wants to turn Shamir into her "plaything." Shamir and her allies of course kill them all, Leonie hilariously never quite grasping just how twisted the situation was.
  • Ship Tease: While romantic paired endings are not featured in this game, several support chains, comments during training and meals, etc. make obvious to not-so-obvious references to romantic feelings pairings from Three Houses had for each other, indicating said feelings and possible future pairings are in this continuity as well.
    • Ignatz and Marianne's supports feature them dancing around feelings for each other while talking about a pegasus they've been caring for. Marianne says that she is aware of Ignatz' strong feelings (Ignatz blushing and making it clear he is wondering if she is talking about his feelings toward the pegasus or herself). And while probably unintentional, the way she words things regarding how she (the pegasus) might let Ignatz "ride her" can come across as a Double Entendre.
    • In this continuity Dorothea finds out how mistaken she was about how Ferdinand views her via overhearing a conversation as he relates the tale of the water nymph he saw bathing as a child. Once she is noticed she spends the rest of their B-support blushing up a storm, clearly flattered and unsure how to react over Ferdinand being so enamored watching her bathe. Should they train together Ferdinand will remark on how he hopes he won't get too distracted watching her. Should they become enemies and fight each other the two will comment on the awkwardness of the situation.
    • Dorothea and Petra also get a bit as well, using the exact same "precious to me" wording as in their A support in Three Houses.
    • When Hanneman comes to rescue Manuella during her and Dorothea's paralogue the two pretty much start flirting, with Manuella stopping to voice how she realizes she might be really into this sort of situation. After more of their usual Like an Old Married Couple schtick, Manuela suggests they, Dorothea, and Shez return to camp "like a family."
    • While not a pairing from Three Houses, Monica is exuberantly in love with Edelgard, who is more confused and mildly annoyed than anything until Monica blurts out her feelings while thanking Edelgard for rescuing her in their B-support. Edelgard tries to dissuade Monica by revealing she'd been willing to let those who slither in the dark murder her for the sake of furthering her plans, but it doesn't work. For her part, Edelgard is mostly exasperated by Monica's antics, though she does express jealousy if Monica has a high support level with Shez. Interestingly, Monica doesn't speak of thinking or hoping any romantic relationship will actually happen, treating Edelgard with reverence close to worship rather than conventional romantic love.
    • Several of Shez's A-supports will feature the other character speaking of a desire for Shez to stay with them for the rest of their lives after the war is over, sometimes in rather flirtatious ways (examples including Petra and Linhardt). Just as with Three Houses, whether the feelings are actually romantic, let alone reciprocated, typically gets left ambiguous in the support itself and with no paired endings available that's as far as things are shown. One Shez pairing that gets attention even outside of supports is the possibility of Shez and Byleth sticking with each other for good, something Jeralt repeatedly advocates for.
    • Manuela openly pines for Jeralt in their supports, it's one sided in their C support (though he is flattered), by their A support he's not all that against the idea.
    • While most ships with Byleth are a lot less likely in this game, Edelgard can still say she feels some sort of connection with the Ashen Demon if they are recruited. She wonders if this bond may be due to her crest.
  • Shout-Out: The flavor text for the expeditions references the "Looking Respectfully" meme.
  • Sibling Murder: In Golden Wildfire, Claude is forced to kill his older half-brother Shahid after initially trying to spare him. However, Shahid tries to kill Claude by throwing a sword at him, which Shez blocks. Claude finally builds up the resolve to kill him and says that next time he won't hesitate to do what must be done.
  • Sidequest: They come in two flavors.
    • Side Missions are optional objectives given during main missions, which can run the gauntlet from defeating a certain number of enemies or specific enemies, defeating enemies before they reach a certain spot, protecting allies, etc. Completing them usually provides bonus items, additional bonuses to your gold payout for the mission, and completing all available side missions is occasionally a requirement to complete a Survey Quest for the region afterwards, so it's usually to your benefit to do them. During the final mission where Byleth appears on any route, actually confronting them is labeled a side mission from Arval. If you're going for the Golden Ending of the route, do not pursue it as doing so and the consequences resulting will lock you out of said ending.
    • Survey Quests are bonus objectives unlocked on the War Map after conquering a territory for completing its main mission. The requirements to access them can run the gauntlet from simply clicking on the icon, completing all the available side missions for the territory, trading specific resources, or even having one of your characters unlock and use a specific class. Completing them gives access to bonus items for combat or resources for developing the facilities of your Player Headquarters.
  • Significant Anagram: Arval is an anagram for larva, echoing their pale white color and breastplate resembling an exoskeleton.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Monica is rescued from Kronya before the latter can replace her on all three routes, joining the party on Scarlet Blaze.
    • If the player accomplishes specific objectives, Jeralt avoids dying from either an Agarthan mole or Shez themself, and instead joins Shez's side alongside his offspring Byleth. In the Scarlet Blaze and Azure Gleam routes, respectively, doing this will also prevent the deaths of Randolph and Rodrigue, both of whom die in every route of Three Houses and would have otherwise been killed by Byleth immediately after Jeralt’s death.
    • On Scarlet Blaze, Lonato will be rescued by the Empire when he makes his march on the Central Church to avenge Christophe, saving him from death, compared to how his death is inevitable in Three Houses.
      • Instead of being still loyal to the Kingdom like in Crimson Flower, Gwendal will fight for the Empire and can be rescued at Arianrhod.
  • Start of Darkness: On Golden Wildfire, Claude killing his war seeking brother serves as one. He notes that he hesitated in doing so, but that he won't hesitate again. And soon enough, he begins committing to strategies that give his closest allies pause, such as using an Imperial unit on loan from Edelgard as live bait to lure Catherine of the Knights of Seiros into a trap. The plan is successful, but the entire Imperial unit is wiped out with it's leader realizing that they had been betrayed. This is enough to cause Shez and Judith to both give him a massive dressing down.
  • Status Effects: There are several status ailments that are inflicted either through elemental damage or through weapon enchantments.
    • Poison is inflicted by the Venin weapons, inflicting Damage Over Time and reducing the enemy's Strength and Magic.
    • Fire damage inflicts Burning, dealing Damage Over Time, and subsequent attacks of fire damage can cause it to build up and combust, damaging surrounding enemies.
    • Lightning damage inflicts Shock, sending out bolts of lightning to damage nearby enemies when they're sent flying, inflicting them with Shock as well.
    • Wind damage inflicts Windtorn, amplifying the damage the enemy takes when attacked in midair, and sends out blades of wind to damage nearby enemies.
    • Ice damage inflicts Frozen, freezing enemies in place and rendering them unable to act.
    • Dark damage inflicts Spellbound, slowing down the enemy's overall speed, reducing their Defense and Resistance, and ignoring the damage reduction when they attempt to guard.
    • Light damage doesn't exactly inflict an ailment, but instead heals the unit based on the damage dealt.
  • Story Branching: Downplayed. Aside from the decision to side with Edelgard, Dimitri, or Claude after Shez enrolls at the Officer's Academy, the story branches off again in Chapter 10 of Scarlet Blaze/Golden Wildfire and Chapter 12 of Azure Gleam depending on the battle's outcome.
    • For Azure Gleam and Golden Wildfire, if you fail to meet the conditions to recruit Byleth, Shez will kill Jeralt, Byleth will kill either Rodrigue or Judith in revenge depending on your route, and then Shez will kill Byleth. If this happens, you will lose access to two of the final missions that resolve Arval's plot relevance, but otherwise the story will conclude largely the same way as if you had recruited Byleth.
    • For Scarlet Blaze, all of the above point will largely happen as well with Randolph being the target of Byleth's revenge, but on top of that, Byleth will convince Claude to betray the Empire after the Empire and Alliance form a treaty. This will likely lead to Claude's death, and the ending will be much less hopeful, with a three way war breaking out with no end in sight, while the alternative is the Empire and the Alliance working together to defeat a largely off-foot Kingdom (after Rhea's disapearance and the Church's power waning) which is much more hopeful in peace arriving soon.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: While averted in some regards in which the original played it straight, (All the routes are equal in length and have distinctive narratives even in Part 1- They play concurrently to one another and have divergent elements based on who Shez is aligned to), It's played straight in several ways:
    • Azure Gleam has the largest roster of recruitable characters and within the narrative there are fewer unavoidable sympathetic character casualties, with many among the Church's roster surviving alongside Claude and even Edelgard. Furthermore, should the player opt to go after Byleth during Chapter 12 (this path's equivalent to Chapter 10), the character that Byleth takes out in revenge is Rodrigue, who gets the most focused cutscene of his passing, which in turn is enhanced by him being playable in this title unlike Judith and Randolph. The country of Sreng and its relationship with Faerghus is also explored considerably more than Almyra's relationship with Leicster in Golden Wildire.
    • Scarlet Blaze seems to be the route that the game's prologue is tailored towards, with your house of choice being instructed by Jeritza to take out some bandits and rescuing Monica in the process. Its final mission, rather than focus on either Thales or Rhea like the other two routes, ends with a Mêlée à Trois. It also has an ending most affected by recruiting Byleth and Jeralt, as not doing so leads to Claude being convinced to betray Empire and dying, putting Edelgard’s efforts back as she has to contend with both powers rather than the implication in the epilogue that the Alliance will help her neutralize the Kingdom.
    • Golden Wildfire, in contrast to the other two paths, has quite a few elements going against it: The fewest recruitable characters, only three units exclusive to it (Claude, Hilda, and Holst), four exclusive Paralogues (Balthus/Holst/Hilda's, Hilda/Marianne's, Lysithea's solo Paralogue, and Claude's, with the latter being the only incentive in recruiting Byleth and Jeralt on his routenote ), and is also the route that explores Shez's ties to Those Who Slither the least. The ending itself is also quite dark, considering who the Final Boss is and the position Claude forces the Federation into at that point (with the ending being very ambiguous about the future compared to the Azure Gleam and the good Scarlet Blaze endings).
  • Suddenly Speaking: Byleth actively talks now, as opposed to being a Heroic Mime. Their dialogue is mostly monotone to reflect their stoic, nearly-emotionless nature as the Ashen Demon, but during the Hopeless Boss Fight, they actively engage in brief conversation.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: In the first level, Shez's mercenary captain boasts about how she'll take pleasure in killing Byleth upon sighting them. She is killed in under a minute by the Ashen Demon.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: In addition to the series-traditional sword beats axe beats lance beats sword, a second weapon triangle exists where bow beats brawling beats tome beats bow. Also mixed around compared to the first Warriors as the tactical advantage afforded by the right weapon type is much weaker in this game. It only offers minor advantage or disadvantage, similar to magic and bows in the first, meaning you simply shouldn't expect easy stamina breaks but otherwise are at the same damage and flinching levels.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Azure Gleam, the Kingdom and the Church join forces with the Alliance to fight the Empire after it's taken over by Thales and Duke Aegir. Claude quite clearly dislikes Rhea and the Central Church, while the Church is wary of him because he is not devout and favors the Eastern Church over the Central Church. The Kingdom is also suspicious of him due to his reputation as a schemer. Despite all of these issues, Dimitri, Claude, and Rhea are able to work together to defeat Thales.
  • Time Skip:
    • During the prologue, the game fast-forwards six months from Shez's initial defeat by Byleth, up to the moment they meet the three house leaders.
    • The first war phase of the game takes place two years after the prologue. Unlike in Three Houses, the actual war begins at the end of the skip, not just before it.
    • The second war phase takes place after a shorter time skip of several months during which the war grinded to a overall stalemate on all sides. The result is that by then its been over three years since the prologue.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Bandit Gatekeeper in Chapter 2 announces his intention to guard the entrance to the Thieves' base as his life depends on it. Jeritza immediately points out how that means they now know who to kill to get the gate open.
  • Traitor Shot: Cornelia attempts to reassure Rufus before the battle with Dimitri. After Rufus leaves, she turns to talk with a "Mysterious Soldier" who resembles the hostile mages in the first major battle. The soldier refers to her by a different name, Cleobulus, and discusses a seemingly separate agenda. In the ensuing battle, Cornelia runs away when her health drops too low.
  • Unseen No More: Three Hopes introduces a significant number of characters who were The Ghost in Three Houses, and gives them proper portraits and models in-game. Among them include Holst, the brother of Hilda; Margrave Gautier and Counts Gloucester, Bergliez, Hevring, and Varley - the fathers of Sylvain, Lorenz, Caspar, Linhardt, and Bernadetta, respectively; and Rufus, the uncle of Dimitri.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Similar to Three Houses, characters who provide exposition on unseen events can be unreliable. In many cases, their word is presented as the truth (or doesn't indicate it could be missing context), yet choosing different routes allows the player to see that some of their information is a half-truth or that they were misinformed:
    • In Scarlet Blaze and Golden Wildfire, it's mentioned that after Part I, Dimitri purged every Kingdom house which sympathised with the Empire to ensure everyone on his land answered only to the crown. Azure Gleam shows Cornelia rallied the Western Lords involved with the Tragedy of Duscur and the ones that supported it against Dimitri in an attempt to overthrow him, which forced him to wipe them out and assign non-rebellious leaders in the few houses he was able to.
    • In Azure Gleam, it's mentioned rumors say that Lord Arundel was put in house arrest after Edelgard's Church-endorsed coup against him and Duke Aegir in the prologue. Scarlet Blaze meanwhile reveals Thales escaped from Enbarr palace during the coup to parts unknown, and his Lord Arundel persona became a fugitive in the Empire and was given a target on his head.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: If Shez chooses to kill Jeralt, they end up having to kill a furious Byleth. Despite having achieved their original goal of defeating the Ashen Demon, Shez admits to Arval that they don't feel too happy about it, and wonders if there was another way.
  • Verbal Judo: When Arval scolds Shez for their carelessness, Shez can sincerely apologize. Arval notes how this strikes them off balance, remarking in surprise how they were the one feeling bad despite getting the response they initially wanted.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Carried over from the main game since you can once again recruit characters from other factions and can make them fight their former allies. Unlike the main game, it's impossible to recruit every character to avoid such a scenario, which means that they will have to fight and potentially kill any old friend who can't be brought to their side, with special dialogue calling the player out for making them do this. The nicest thing the player can do at that point is to not deploy them during fights agains their old factions.
  • We Are Everywhere: Thales issues a chilling threat to Shez and Edelgard shortly after they oust him from the Imperial Palace in the Scarlet Blaze prologue, reminding them that his faction's influence isn't limited to the Empire alone:
    "We are the darkness itself. And the darkness cannot be slain."
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If Shez or the three lords die in Classic Mode, the battle immediately ends. This also applies to all characters in paralogues, as any death will result in a Game Over.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The player is introduced to Shez's mercenary companions at the start of the game, and they all immediately perish in the first mission when they go up against Byleth. For their part, Shez is bothered but not too terribly upset at their loss, having become used to "parting ways" with friends and people they care about.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In a meta sense, the prologue (covered by the demo), is this for players who thought they knew what to expect from Three Hopes. Shez, their class, and their teacher Jeritza save the real Monica from Kronya. Monica exposes Tomas/Solon, and sets off a domino chain that results in a vastly different political situation than that of Three Houses.
    • Part I of each story route usually ends on one.
      • In Scarlet Blaze, the Knights of Seiros pull an Assassination Attempt on Edelgard in Enbarr which the Imperial Army thwarts, only to find themselves invaded by Church forces. And once that's dealt with, it's discovered the former Duke Aegir (whom Edelgard arrested in the prologue) escaped during the chaos.
      • In Azure Gleam, after Edelgard's defeat in Arianhrod, Thales suddenly appears, transform her into the Hegemon Husk and lays waste to the Kingdom with her before escaping. Afterwards, it's shown Edelgard is Not Herself, and Thales has Duke Aegir reinstated as Prime Minister, assuming control of the Empire.
      • Golden Wildfire meanwhile features two shocking developments back to back. Part I ends with Claude being forced to kill off Shahid in order to neutralize Almyra's threat for good. Meanwhile, Part II begins with Alliance being reinvented into the Leicester Federation, with Claude becoming its king and main authority.
    • In Part II, there's a chapter when your enemy hires Byleth when you've finally become strong enough to defeat them, and the game warns you that your actions during the battle will have significant ramifications. If you attack Byleth instead of finding a way to avoid them, you wind up killing their father Jeralt (and later Byleth themselves) to sate your revenge, but not before Byleth flips out and kills one of your allies in response. It's especially harsh on Azure Gleam because Rodrigue becomes Byleth's victim, costing you a playable character. This has additional consequences on Scarlet Blaze because not only do you get locked out of the extra Arval-centric missions, but Claude and Hilda will turn against you during the battle in Ailell, forcing you into a battle against four hostile factions (the Kingdom, the Church, Byleth, and what's left of the Leicester Alliance/Federation.)
    • And if you're gunning for the "good ending", Chapter 14 will make you work for it, because Arval will use Shez to attempt to kill Byleth anyway, leading to an extra mission where your army has to protect Byleth from a possessed Shez, followed by another where Shez and the three lords get trapped in a dark void and have to kill Arval's precursor predecessor to escape.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Claude gets a big one from Shez and Judith in Golden Wildfire after essentially sacrificing the Imperial unit sent to help him from the Empire in order to trap and kill Catherine. Shez asks if that's how he treats non-Alliance allies, will he leave them hanging in the wind next for being a mercenary? And Judith states that his actions will demoralize his troops and that his choice shows he doesn't seem to have any faith in his army's capacity to actually win in a difficult fight.
  • Winged Unicorn: The pegasi used by the Falcon Knight class return in this game, with unarmored ones appearing in some of the camps confirming that their large, spike-shaped horn is part of their body and not man-made armor. It's still unclear if they are a different age, sex, breed, or species from the hornless pegasi used by Pegasus Knights.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Edelgard takes advantage of some unexpected wrinkles that occur in the lead-up to and during Chapter 2 to thoroughly screw over Those Who Slither In The Dark in Chapter 3, as well as set up her future goals. Shez and co. rescuing Monica from the Agarthans allows her to finger Tomas as the culprit. Once he is driven out of the monastery, Edelgard reveals to Rhea that Lord Arundel underwent a similar shift in personality and is almost certainly another member of the conspiracy, convincing Rhea to lend her support in overthrowing them and restoring Edelgard to power in the Empire. She then uses her authority to reestablish the Southern Church, allowing her to rally those who believe in the Church but hold ties to the Empire to her side for when she declares war on the Central Church. Notably, Hubert seriously questions this, as the risks of deviating from their initial plans so radically could outweigh the benefits, but Edelgard affirms her decision to strike with this golden opportunity. While this obviously goes fairly well for her in Scarlet Blaze, as well as Golden Wildfire, it's deconstructed hard on the Azure Gleam route, wherein the consequences of earning the direct ire of her previous, well-connected allies go so awry that she's left in perhaps the worst state she could possibly be in out of any route in either game, a puppet of both those who slither in the dark and the very corrupt nobles she'd ousted not long ago, and ultimately mentally regressed to the state of a child by their abuses. Even in the three original game routes where she died, at least she was somewhat herself.
    Edelgard: Plans can be rewritten, Hubert. Either we're doing this, or we're not.

Top