Fire Emblem Golden Deer House

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses, as the name would imply, feature three unique houses. The Black Eagles consist of students from the Adrestian Empire, the Blue Lions who house students from the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Golden Deer contains students from the Leicester Alliance. Each house has its own unique story, themes, characters, and feel compared to one another. We’ll be going over the Golden Deer House and what makes it unique compared to the other routes. All three routes for the first half of the game follow the same chain of events till the time skip happens.

*The following will contain some spoilers for the Golden Deers Route*

The Long-Awaited Reunion

After an ever-so-quick five-year nap, you awake to find that the Monastery is both destroyed and abandoned. Following a promise you made with your students before the said time skipped, you go into the Monastery to find that Claude, the leader of the Golden Deer House and now newly appointed leader of the Alliance, was waiting in case you were still alive and remembered to show up. After a quick reunion, the other students from the Golden Deer House all appear, remembering the promise made five years ago. With the ongoing war taking place and having nowhere else to go, you and your students take over the remains of the Monastery and use it as a base of operations for both The Church of Seiros and the Alliance.

The Long Road Ahead

Golden

With Claude having his teacher return and reunited with his fellow classmates, the Alliance finally stands a chance against the empire in the ongoing war. That said, even with that glimmer of hope, the task wouldn’t be an easy one. The Alliance and Church managed to get help from the head of House Daphnel of the Leicester Alliance, Judith von Daphnel as without her help, they were severely outnumbered. She helps the Alliance with troops and supplies and helps Claude lead the Alliance acting as an advisor of sorts.

Things take a turn for the worst when the Alliance and Church find out that the other two armies are approaching; with no other options, the Alliance takes part in what becomes a three-way battle against the Empire and the Kingdom of Faerghus on the same field they all once fought upon five years prior in a mock battle. Unique to the Golden Deer route, this quest takes both the Alliance and The Church of Serios to almost all corners of Fodlan as they fight to end the war and uncover the dark truth of who is actually behind all of the pain and suffering in Fodlan, along with offering what I feel is the most complete and fulfilling story out of the three.

The Students of Golden Deer

You cant talk about Golden Deer without going into the team that makes them who they are. The members of Golden Deer are as follows.

  • ¬†Claude
  • Lorenz
  • Hilda
  • Leonie
  • Marianne
  • Lysithea
  • Raphael
  • Ignatz
  • Byleth (If you join Golden Deer)

Claude Von Riegan

Claude Von Riegan

The former house leader of the Golden Deer and the leader of the Alliance. Claude is the heir to house Riegan and possesses a minor crest of Riegan, alongside being a master tactician and a very charismatic character who always knows more than he leads on. He is curious about the world he lives in and very caring to his friends and the people of Foldan.

Although he can be mistaken as someone who acts childish at the beginning of the game with his mischief and schemes, he’s simply always thinking three steps ahead for whatever obstacles come his way. After getting to know Byleth and knowing that they are trustworthy, Claude puts a lot of faith in Byleth, not just for their experience on the field and ability to overcome great obstacles but also for their ability to teach and lead. Easily one of my favorite characters in the entire game.

Lorenz Hellman Glocester

The heir to the County of Glocester and eldest son of Count Glocester. Lorenz is incredibly proud of who he is and where he comes from, so much so that it can be annoying to others, and being completely honest; I couldn’t stand him during my time with the game. He enjoys Tea and his own appearance very much. What you’ll notice most about him, however, is his suspicion of Claude as Claude’s appearance as the heir of house Riegan is very sudden, and when he isn’t questioning Claude’s relation to house Riegan, he’s looking down on him as he believes it’ll be up to him to lead the alliance. He’s, in my opinion, the worst character in not just the Golden Deers but the entire game personality-wise.

Hilda Valentine Goneril

The Daughter and the youngest of house House Goneril, along with Holst Goneril’s brother, one of the best generals of the Leicester Alliance, Hilda, comes from a powerful and well-known background. Despite that, however, Hilda, especially at first glance, is Lazy and even admits to being spoiled by her brother and father. She would often ask Byleth if she could cheer one everyone else from the sidelines, claiming she’s weak and wasn’t meant for fighting, which is a bit funny considering her primary weapon is an axe and she turns out to be one of the better units in the gaming, even carrying in some instances depending on how you build her.

Despite her noticeable laziness when she is actually being to do some work or help others, she is incredibly helpful, and she gets along nicely with many of the other members of the Golden Deers. Similar to Claude, Hilda is more knowledgable and loyal than she lets on at first, and while being lazy isn’t the best of traits, her reasoning behind it comes from a good place. A stand-out personality for the Golden Deers, along with being one of their best fighters and one of my favorite characters in the game.

Leonie Pinelli

Leonie Pinelli

The Daughter of an unnamed hunter from Sauin Village within the Leicester Alliance, Leonie, at a young age, meets Jeralt and becomes his apprentice for a brief period of time. While their time together may have been short, it left a lasting impression on Leonie for the rest of her life, even going as far as training to become a mercenary like him, following in his footsteps. When you first meet Leonie, she is very blunt with Byleth, claiming much of their successes with who they are as a teacher and fighters is only because Jeralt was their father.

When Jeralt, unfortunately, dies on the battlefield, she struggles with it for a bit but eventually pulls through and continues to move forward. Despite how blunt she can be, she does genuinely care about her friends and everything going on; she especially cares about her home village, which helped her become a student in the first place. Much of who she is and wants to do is based around Jeralt, which can be annoying at first but eventually leads to a nice payoff at the end.

Marianne von Edmund

Marianne is an incredibly shy and reserved individual, the daughter of an unnamed noble from the Leicester Alliance. Some students go as far as to say that they had never even heard her speak before. On top of that, she has very low self-esteem, which gets her into trouble with some of the other members of Golden Deer, primarily Leonie and Lysithea.

When the other students begin to investigate why she likes this, it gets revealed that it’s because of the crest that she bears, which is the Crest of Maurice. It leads to a very interesting backstory well worth the time of going through. However, when she isn’t interacting with others, she enjoys spending her time with animals and communicating with them. I think she is another stand-out character for the Golden Deers with her personality and backstory.

Lysithea von Cordelia

The youngest member of Golden Deer and having two unique crests: the Minor Crest of Charon and a Major Crest of Gloucester, the eldest daughter and Hier of House Ordelia Lysithea, is one of if not the hardest working students and members of the Golden Deer. And with that comes her great talent as a magic-user allowing her to be one of the strongest allies of the Alliance. Despite her skill, because of her age, many of the other students treat her as if she were a child or constantly needs help, which infuriates her to no end.

Despite this, however, there are instances where she shows her more child-like tendencies, like her love for cake and being afraid to walk around the monastery at night because of her fear of ghosts. Like Marianne, her backstory is interesting, tying her to other major characters in different routes and to the game’s true villains. Everything combined, she makes a great addition to the Golden Deers.

Raphael Kristen

Raphael Kristen

Born the son of a merchant family in Leicester, Raphael many times isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but greatly makes up for it in brute strength and his compassion for his friends. His only wish is a simple one, and it’s to become a knight, and he tries his absolute best at it. Many of his best moments come when he’s interacting with other people, as that’s when his personality in trying to do the right thing and be a good person shines the brightest. Although his past is tragic, there isn’t much he offers in terms of story but compensates for it in how fun his interactions are with the other members of Golden Deer.

Ignatz Victor

The last and final character in the Golden Deer is Ignatz, born from a family of merchants and having his brother take over the family business; not wanting to be a disappointment to his parents, he sets out to become a knight. That said, Ignatz really doesn’t want to be one and is only doing it for his family’s sake; in truth, he much rather would become an artist as that’s what he enjoys doing. With the other characters, he’s very kind and compassionate, especially with Raphael, which leads to a nice support conversation and ending for the character.

Gameplay and Opening Hours

In terms of gameplay, the Golden Deer starts out a bit rough compared to the other two houses, with many characters just not doing a lot of damage compared to the Blue Lions and Black Eagles; because of this, for most players, the opening hrs of the game will mainly be you learning about how each character plays and doing a lot of optional missions to buff the students up a little. Basic gameplay for all routes mainly revolves around routing the enemy, which simply involves you defeating every single enemy that appears on the screen or simply killing the boss enemy within the map to end the mission. There are some other missions that you could possibly get, but those are few and in between.

While ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how to build your students, Golden Deer has many archers ranged units, and dragon riders, allowing for easy transversal around many levels mid to endgame, with some of their strongest units, gameplay-wise being Claude, Hilda, and Lysithea. While the other members of Golden Deer are decent/good in their own right, the three listed above stand out above the rest, and if you were to prioritize anyone, it’d likely be them.

If you keep Claude as an archer, eventually, towards the end half of your run, he’ll gain access to the Barbarossa class, which is exclusive to Claude and is a more or less upgraded version of the Wyvern Master class, which was already strong to use, to begin with allowing Claude to cover a lot of ground very quickly with good attack and defense. Given that he’s an archer with the ability to attack from long distances, the perks Barbarossa gives him make him incredibly effective.

Hilda, similar to Claude, one of her better classes for the endgame will be a flying class, that being Wyvern Lord, to be exact. As mentioned earlier, Hilda is primarily an axe wielder and an incredibly powerful one at that, with the Wyvern Lord class allowing her to keep her strength with her axe with the bonus of being able to cover distances across the map, one-shotting most enemies that stand in her way.

Lysithea has a very straightforward route with how to use her as she is an absolutely ridiculously powerful magic-user and someone worth recruiting no matter what route you pick; that being said, on most playthroughs, she’ll end up using the Gremory class endgame, allowing her to be even more proficient with magic, and if you were to pair her with a relic you get from completing an early game paralogue, you could effectively turn her into someone capable of completing entire story missions within one or two turns if you know what you’re doing. If I were to give any advice at all for this route, it’d be to not sleep on Lysithea.

Paralogues

deer house

Speaking of paralogues, every route you pick will have them, and they act as side stories to the main game. They allow you to learn more about specific characters and their backstory; completing them will grant you unique items and weapons; they’re even required sometimes if you wish to strengthen the bond you have with certain students. The item mentioned while covering what Lysithea is capable of comes from Lorenz’s paralogue, for example.

Player Choice 

One of the best things about the game is that you can build characters however you want despite if it is really good or not. If you wanted to, you could make Claude, whos primary an archer, into someone who mainly uses swords, and they’ll be ways to work with said build if you choose to do that, which adds a nice bit of replayability for those who enjoy that or perhaps an added challenge to their runs. The game also allows you to preview almost all of the classes everyone can achieve very early in the game, allowing you to see what requirements there are for each class and how to get there.

FAQS

Question: Why is Lysithea so good?

Answer: In short, a lot of it comes down to her skills and incredibly powerful magic attacks such as Warp and Dark spikes, both incredibly useful and powerful but are only a small taste of what she has access to within her kit.

Question: Should I do all paralogues?

Answer: While not mandatory, I do recommend doing the paralogues for the side stories and weapons/items you gain from them; that said, it’s completely possible to have a perfectly good and enjoyable run through the Golden Deer route without doing any paralogues whatsoever.

Question: Are there characters that you can’t recruit into your class/team as part of the Golden Deers?

Answer: While, for the most part, you can recruit most students into Golden Deers, you won’t be able to recruit everyone, people such as Dimitri and Dedue from the Blue Lions or Edelgard and Hubert from Black Eagles as these characters are incredibly important to their respective routes story. Besides them, there are a few exceptions as well as in order to recruit students, you have to get them to a certain bond level. Some of these bond levels cant be achieved until after major story events, well after the time skip, such as Casper, and Gilbert, as at that point, it’ll already be too late. This issue can be avoided in new game plus as you can buy bond levels for students there.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Overall the Golden Deer Route, if you were to choose it, is a solid one offering up a complete story along with some of the game’s strongest and most liked characters, with a lot of them having great backstories that follow and intertwine with the main game or are just interesting to learn about. Lots of memorable moments can be had in this route with these characters, along with fun and ridiculous gameplay options resulting in a very enjoyable experience.

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