In the beginning, there was Fire Emblem: Three Houses and it was good.

Well, wait. That’s not entirely accurate. Let’s try this again.

In the beginning, there was Fire Emblem Heroes, and it was a mildly compelling “gacha” game with strategy elements that we liked for a little while, and then dropped. (I could be here all day naming the “gacha” mobile games I’ve tried, enjoyed or not, and dropped over the years.)

Then came Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I only vaguely recall that I bought it not long after release because some people online were gushing about it. I tried it, got partway into my first story path (Crimson Flower, if you’re into that) and wandered off.

You can tell this is from my first run-through because I’m only using one out-of-house recruit.

After a while of being pandemic shut-ins, though, we both revisited Three Houses and found ourselves falling in love with it. At the time of this writing I’m on my seventh play-through (ph3@r the deer!) which I probably won’t finish any time soon because… well, we’ll get to that.

Oh, and because the mobile game started adding Houses characters, we got back into that as well. Because of course we did, stingy gacha rates and all.

I could do an entire post about this support conversation. Bernie-bear is not, despite what you might think, saying what she seems to be saying. At least, I don’t think she is.

A couple of years into our now-ongoing Three Houses obsession came the sort-of-sequel, a “Warriors” style game called Three Hopes. It’s a silly over-the-top action combat game where one fighter defeats dozens (or even hundreds) of foes all at once. While it’ll never be our favorite game ever, since it features most of the same cast of characters we enjoyed it because it gave us more time with them, and showed us different interpretations as well.

“Meat party! Meat party! Meat party!” Look, do you even WANT further context? Do you NEED further context?

Now with a new regular Fire Emblem game, Engage, on the horizon, what have we done? Gone back to Houses, that’s what. And it’s amazing how much I’d missed the game and how easily I’ve stopped missing the mechanics of Hopes. (To be fair to Hopes, it does feature some quality-of-life improvements and replay-friendly features that Houses sorely lacks. Ah well.) Yo ho ho, a turn-based life for me.

Tell me something I don’t know, Pocket Nuke.

Good thing that’s what’s coming up. Soon. This week, if all goes well. Once again, it’s almost time to take on yet another Fire Emblem game.