The first meaningful decision that you must make in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is whether to lead the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer. However, what many won’t know is that there is an otherwise secret fourth Church route that can you can tread in the Nintendo Switch exclusive.
Spoiler Warning: If you read beyond this point, we are about to discuss the impact of critical decisions that you will make in the Black Eagles storyline before the timeskip happens.
To experience this fourth route, you will need to choose to guide the Black Eagle house when presented with that choice. From here, you will then carry on playing through the turn-based tactical role-playing game as normal.
Keep an eye on the calendar as you progress through each chapter, and, once you reach Month 2: Pegasus Moon before the timeskip, make sure that you choose to spend your free time exploring Garreg Mach Monastery.
You will be able to find Edelgard in the Entrance Hall, who will ask that you join her for something that she must do. That’s to return to the Imperial capital, Enbarr.
It is at this point that the game indicates that your decision “will drastically change the story,” and, from the options, select “I will go with you.”
In the resulting cutscenes, you will witness Edelgard’s father relinquish the crown to allow her to become the new emperor. With the fate of Fódlan left in her capable hands, she returns with you to Garreg Mach Monastery for the ceremony at the Holy Tomb.
It is in this next battle – Conflict in the Holy Tomb – that the game imparts some shocking revelations. Not only is Edelgard revealed to be the masked Flame Emperor, but, after you defeat her forces in battle, Rhea will command that you kill her – warning that Edelgard’s rebellious heart “is a danger to all of Fódlan.”
In this moment, you are met with another decision that drastically changes the story. You can either choose to kill Edelgard as Rhea commanded, or protect her.
If you choose to protect Edelgard, you will continue to work with her and the rebranded Black Eagle Strike Force to unify Fódlan.
Whereas, those wanting to access the fourth route in Fire Emblem: Three Houses will need to kill Edelgard – although the next conversation option will let you delay this outcome and let her withdraw. In this alternate route, you will side with Rhea and the army raised by the Church of Seiros.
You will lose Edelgard and Hubert in this route, but Ferdinand, Caspar, Linhardt, Bernadetta, Dorothea, and Petra will stay to fight alongside Byleth.