While Smash Ultimate fans were seething over the inclusion of Byleth as a new fighter in that game, things were going pretty great over in the Fire Emblem community. Nintendo dropped a new trailer showing off the upcoming Cindered Shadows DLC for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and surprise surprise, it introduces a fourth House for players to check out.
It’s also the most random, out of left field introduction ever.
Get this: the fourth House, known as the Ashen Wolves, are a group of four students who were outcast, and have been living beneath Garreg Mach Monastery for who knows how long.
Essentially, we’re meant to buy the setup that these four kids have been scurrying around the basement of the church, and we’ve somehow never run into them throughout Byleth’s tenure at the academy.
It’s especially hilarious when you consider the fact that the main story of Fire Emblem: Three Houses has you venture into the basement a few times, too.
It raises a lot of questions: what have these four kids been doing in the basement this entire time? Is there food down there? Are they allowed to come up to the surface? Does Rhea know they could’ve been messing with her precious tomb? Is there internet in the basement?
So many questions, which I’m sure will be glossed over or addressed with flimsy explanations in the game itself.
But here’s the thing, if there’s one game that could get away with this amount of silliness and contrite, it’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses. While the main story is certainly one of the most well put together we’ve seen in the series, it’s no secret that a very large part of the community rallies around the characters themselves, and not the world or lore.
Ask anyone what the main selling point of Fire Emblem is and, aside from the fun tactical combat, most fans will tell you it’s the way the characters interact with one another. Intelligent Systems knows exactly who its target demographic is, and Cindered Shadows was made specifically for that audience in mind.
This new side story will introduce a fourth House (the irony of the game being called Three Houses is not lost on me), with four new very good-looking teens that we’ll doubtlessly be able to bond with and maybe even achieve S-rank supports with.
From what we’ve seen of the trailer so far, the new faces are well voiced, they’re charming and each have their own quirks. Some may even threaten to dethrone popular existing characters like Claude and Hilda as the community’s paramours of the day.
I, for one, am completely ready to befriend the new students in Cindered Shadows. Story cohesion be damned, I want new friendships and romances to blossom in my class.