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The Real Reason Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Makes This Character A Villain

"Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes" is set in an alternate timeline of "Fire Emblem: Three Houses," and features action-heavy gameplay, but one decision made by the development team had players scratching their heads. Now, the developers have explained why they made that decision and what they hoped to accomplish with it. In an interview with IGN, "Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes" director Hayato Iwata explained why Byleth, the playable character and main protagonist of "Three Houses," is now the villain in "Three Hopes."

"Although Byleth is representing the player, they are simultaneously also one of the appealing characters. So making Byleth an antagonist is a necessary development in order to further bring out the character's charm," Iwata said was his explanation to the writer of the game. Allowing Byleth to act independently of the player and have their own story allows for the writers to have more freedom and depth to her character. Byleth was shaped in the original game by which house players chose, along with other player-made decisions. Another member of the development team provided their own perspective as to why Byleth is the villain, providing a bit more depth than the team just trying to add to their charm.

Letting Byleth be the villain means they can experience the game's themes

Producer Yosuke Hayashi explained that making Byleth into an NPC instead of the player controlled character allows them to have character growth and experience the main themes of the game. "We'd felt that the main theme of Three Houses was 'the conflicts that arise from the clashing beliefs of the characters' but among the characters, the only one that had no such conflict was Byleth," Hayashi said.

Hayashi continued to say that "Three Hopes" shares the same theme of clashing beliefs creating conflict, so allowing Byleth to be their own character outside of the player's control means that they could also experience that. The decision to make Byleth the villain was also influenced by the fact that the team didn't want to retread the same story told in "Three Houses" in "Three Hopes," so changing some of the character dynamics would help with that.

"It isn't that we are trying to outwit the players' expectations. We are just constantly trying to think about and create what we believe can exceed players expectations and provide great satisfaction," character designer and supervisor Toshiyuki Kusakihara added. While some fans might be disappointed that Byleth is now the baddie, critics have given "Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes" positive reviews, pointing to a worthwhile experience.