Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is much more than a celebration of the game it is based upon. By altering events early in Three Houses' story, the developers at Koei Tecmo have brilliantly shifted the political landscape in Fodlan. What follows is a retelling, a colossal "what if?", that melds hack-and-slash-a-thousand classic Musou combat with everything that made Fire Emblem fans fall in love with Three Houses' cast in the first place.
It stands to reason, then, that there would be secret characters with special unlock conditions in Fire Emblem: Three Hopes. It's the game's way of wringing that extra ounce's worth of fanservice out of this alt-reality scenario, and it makes sure you've earned that ounce. Follow along with this guide, however, and the hidden den of Fodlan's finest will be yours without frustration.
This guide, by its very nature, will contain what many players will consider significant spoilers. If you would rather not be spoiled on the identities of the secret characters, turn away now. Even if you don't mind knowing who they are, but you would prefer not to know how and why they'll join your faction, know now that we'll be going over all of that in order to expedite your unlocks.
Every Secret Character in Fire Emblem: Three Hopes
This is Bernadetta! She's expressing her shock! This is her doing her very best to remind you that this is your final warning before we dig into some of Fire Emblem: Three Hopes' biggest surprises.
How to Recruit Sothis
Sothis is one of Three Hopes' easier unlocks. That ease does come with a caveat — Sothis cannot be unlocked until you have completed at least one campaign. It doesn't matter which one, so if you're just starting out, just choose your favorite squad and get rolling.
Upon completion, you will be able to replay the game either with the same route or (generally more desirably) through routes you've not yet enjoyed whilst carrying over a substantial amount of content. As soon as you have reached the early point at which Shez has personal quarters, check your desk and head to the Renown section. Sothis will become playable from this run forward if you're willing to part with 60 Renown.
How to Recruit Rhea
Rhea's recruitment conditions mirror those of Sothis. You won't be bringing the head of the Central Church to battle until your second playthrough. Thankfully, it continues to be irrelevant which house you joined your first time around.
Rhea, like Sothis, costs 60 Renown to unlock. Fans of Fire Emblem: Three Houses ought to be aware of just how much else these two green-haired lasses share in common…
How to Recruit Gatekeeper
Greetings, player! Nothing to report. Well, except how to unlock Gatekeeper, that is.
In a twist that's worthy of no less than a polite chuckle, Gatekeeper isn't unlocked until your third route. Why do we find that funny? Intentionally or otherwise, it's almost as if Koei Tecmo said many fans would be hungrier to play with everyone's favorite nameless guard than even Fodlan's Goddess.
Frankly, they were probably right.
How to Recruit Byleth and Jeralt
Here is something to believe in. Recruiting Byleth and Jeralt involves making precise decisions during Chapter 12 (Scarlet Blaze and Azure Gleam) or Chapter 10 (Golden Wildfire).
Fire Emblem: Three Hopes makes a rather dramatic go of it when warning you that you're about to drastically alter the remainder of the game. This will occur in the aforementioned chapters, and it is indeed directly tied to whether you recruit Byleth and Jeralt. To be clear, the plot is enjoyably different if you don't, so you might consider trying that out sometime as well.
First, you will need to have received the strategy entitled 'Resonant Lightning' from one of the searchable areas on the War Map once you've reached the Menja area. You'll want to enable it for the Chapter 12 main quest battle, of course.
The trigger to tap into Resonant Lightning occurs early on. Activate it, and then assist the Engineer units as needed. Byleth then arrives. Unlock the following two routes, you'll actually want to engage with them. Defeat them, continue the fight until you're finished, and voila.
We're a bit more pacifistic here. The strategy you'll need is 'Locate Ambushers', and it's available through a searchable area in the Menja area just like before. Equip it, and trigger it when needed.
Avoid being seen by any of the Mercenary units that appear. Once the main quest's victory condition becomes 'Defeat Fleche', ignore it and tackle the side quest to stop the Mercenary units from reaching the Allied Base. Only once you've done so should you head off to kill Fleche.
Now, you've got to reach (and obliterate) Randolph. But you do not want to engage Byleth and Jeralt. Doing so will ruin all your progress on recruiting Byleth. Get to Randolph ASAP, avoiding them entirely, and you will have succeeded.
You'll snag Byleth and Jeralt a couple of chapters earlier if your allegiance is with Claude and Leicester. You won't even need any strategies, though this is also where Yuri can be recruited, so be sure to enable that.
The battle continues apace for a while, but eventually, your goals will shift to defeating Alois and Yuri. After you've successfully bludgeoned them both, compelling Yuri to your side in the process, aid your allies (especially Claude) in stronghold domination.
Byleth then arrives with the goal of reaching Claude. Do not go near them in any way, shape, or form. Help Claude to the exit without ever being spotted and the mercs are yours. If Byleth does see you, combat ensues, and you will have failed to recruit them.
How to Recruit Arval
Arval is ostensibly just as easy to unlock as Sothis and Rhea. The catch is that you need to have recruited Byleth and Jeralt on your previous file or else the option will never appear. So long as you've done so, New Game Plus playthroughs ought to include Arval for the same steep price of 60 Renown from thereon out.
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