The New 'Fire Emblem: Three Houses' DLC Isn't the Good Kind of Difficult

There were many ways Nintendo could've changed the difficulty, but they've picked the worst way.
Screenshot from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, A woman with grean hair, pale skin, and horn like crown crosses swords with a man with a grey beard wearing heavy armor with large spiky pauldrons.
Image courtesy of Nintendo

Even at launch, Fire Emblem: Three Houses had a tension between its strategy layer and its narrative. While perfectly serviceable, the combat part of Three Houses wasn't anything special. The recently released DLC adds a new story and some challenging tactical encounters, but with the same design choices that made combat just fine in the base game. The Waypoint Radio crew discuss this, GDC's cancellation, and (of course) politics on this week's episode. You can read an excerpt or listen to the full episode below.


Gita: But Rob, we talked about this on three moves ahead - the sort of disconnect between Three Houses' strategy stuff, which is sometimes really good but sometimes not that good at all. Sometimes you really feel the random number generation in a way that feels cheap and unsatisfying. The plot stuff, the writing in Three Houses, is really good. This is absolutely the most those two things have been divided. This–

Rob: Fuck!

Gita: Yeah.

Austin: That's a shame because it's not that long, is my understanding,

Gita: No, but they wanna make–

Austin: Why don't they just put the good levels in it?


Austin: They have so much control over what you have!

Gita: They have so many good ideas for levels, but they want to make it really hard. And the version of really hard that Fire Emblem does, even on normal, is throw more guys at you and introduce time limits. So I'm stuck on this level right now, where there's two of those big monster guys, and they're deliberately made to be so powerful that you can't fight them. If you lose any unit, even in casual, you lose the level and you have to get to a certain place by certain time limits. And it's becoming not-fun hard, it's becoming more of like "How can I cheese this to do the thing that the game wants me to do? Because otherwise I'm just gonna be stuck here." If I had my leveled up guys…

Austin: That's what I was gonna say, this is all standalone stuff where you just have…


Gita: This is all standalone. [The Ashen Wolves] start level 20, some of my characters are at level 30 now, which is great, but I don't have all my gear. I don't have–

Austin: Lysithea isn't here to just like –

Gita: Just merc 'em.

Austin: Bop some motherfuckers.

Gita: Yeah, I want to finish it because the new classes are really interesting.

Austin: What are the new classes? I missed that there were new classes.

Gita: There is a dark rider who is a flying dark magic class.

Rob: What?

Austin: Rider.

Gita: Rider.

Austin: I thought "writer" also.

Gita: Not a dark scribe!

Rob: I was like "Ohhh?"

Austin: We just showed our whole ass Rob, both of us.


Austin: We were like "Ah, this is the person I am. I'll let the world know!"

Gita: The Red Podcasters have logged on.

This transcript was edited for clarity and length.

Discussed: Politics 2:33, Dreams 9:30, Destiny 2 13:56, Valorant 24:12, GDC Canceled 30:34, GeForce Now 43:52, Granblue Fantasy 54:45, Death Crown 1:18:47, World of Horror 1:23:12, Circle Empires 1:30:01, Corruption 2029 1:42:21, Fire Emblem: Three Houses Ashen Wolves DLC 1:49:12, Stellaris 2:09:38, Dwarf Fortress 2:12:57, Total War: Three Kingdoms 2:14:01, Politics round 2 2:25:22, The Rob Situation 2:39:25

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on Apple Podcasts. It really helps.

Interaction with you is a big part of this podcast, so make sure to send any questions you have for us to with the header "Questions." (Without the quotes!) We can't guarantee we'll answer all of your questions, but rest assured, we'll be taking a look at them.

Have thoughts? Swing by the Waypoint forums to share them!