That Tiny Website — Short Stories, Video Games, and Freelance Editing

AuthorTim

Every Internet Recipe and the Goblet of Fuzzy Navel

Welcome back to my blog and yet another recipe post! It’s so good to have you all here! Praise be1Praise be.!

In the weeks since my culinary revival on this blog, adulation has come to me from every corner of the internet. Well, nearly every corner. And you know I’m one to leave no stone unturned. It’s about who likes me. It’s about everyone liking me. And anyone who doesn’t is wrong. But in my time on this great planet of ours, I’ve learned that the easiest way to figure out how right I am about something is to listen to someone tell me how wrong I am about something closely related to it.

For our carefully measured dose of people incorrectly telling me I’m wrong, I’ll share with you this comment from a recent reader.

Hi there! Love the blog! Your posts are great, but I feel like they’re missing something. See, I want to be the cool mom on my block and let my kids and their friends have alcohol, but I don’t know how to start introducing it to them. You’re the only one who can help me! What do you have in mind?

Jan T. from Caratburg, NY

First of all, Jan, allow me to be perfectly clear. There is no quid pro quo in my recipe blogging. If you choose to partake in my recipes instead of some other food blogger, that is your choice. There is no need to send money to my secret bank account in the Cayman Islands which in turn funnels money into a bank account in Switzerland which itself funnels money to a series of envelopes mailed to the address of Yaid G. Uruinil & Associates in exchange for these recipes. But if there were such an arrangement, it would be the best blogging for money arrangement ever. But there’s not.

Second, your concern seems to be that you want to get underage individuals to consume alcohol at your place of residence. Need I remind you that this is illegal and that no person should willfully do illegal things. Especially not in THE United States of America. Where there are things that are illegal. Having those who are beneath the legal age of consuming alcohol drink in your home is a bad thing. A very bad thing.

So here’s how you do it2Disclaimer: That Tiny Website does not advocate parents, children, elected officials, or anyone else doing something that is clearly illegal. You could (and likely will) get in trouble for your actions and would be held responsible. You know. If things made sense..

While I don’t typically like to link out to other blogs whose recipes aren’t my own, I am choosing to make an exception in this specific case in order to help provide some needed context to Jan, who has clearly never heard of flasks. There is a technique wherein someone with a lot of free time, ambition, and power tools can convert the inside of a watermelon to be a vessel to hold alcoholic beverages. The site Taste Made did a good explainer on how to do this if you want to carry around an entire watermelon in order to enjoy your poolside margaritas.

But this isn’t about you, Jan. This is about the children. Children don’t have as big of hands as adults. You can’t just hand them a watermelon full of Michelob Ultra and tell them to have at it. They’ll be crushed beneath the massive combined weight of the watermelon keg and the expectations of their friends peer pressuring them into having a good time.

That said, though a watermelon is an impractical choice for teens to tote their hooch in, I like the idea of putting mixed drinks in fruit shells as a way to hold them. It’s about combining something they’re unsure about — fruit — with something they’re going to binge on when they’re depressed for the rest of their lives — also fruit — and adding alcohol. But what fruit to use? As mentioned, watermelons are too big. Pineapples are too cliche. Cantalope and honeydew are too sexual. Coconuts aren’t real. That’s just a horse hoof with cotton balls stapled inside. That said, there is a fruit that I think is the perfect solution to helping introduce your child and their friends to alcohol.

We’re going to put our drinks in a peach.

Peaches
Pictured: Peaches. Photo used via Pexels in Public Domain

I know what some of you might be thinking. Alcohol? In peach? What kind of heresy is this? What might not realize is that some of the most iconic alcoholic drinks of all time have peaches or peach-based liquors in them in some capacity. Sex on the beach? Peach schnapps. Catalina margaritas? There’s peach alcohol under the blue curaçao. Queens Mixer? It’s just Colt .45, the grease from a Big Mac, Diet Coke, and peach schnapps.

But those are all complex drinks with layers that the unrefined palaete wouldn’t understand. While your children and their chronies might want they best, they’re not the best. Not yet. We’re going to start them off with a more traditional drink you can serve in a peach — the fuzzy navel.

Like my previous recipes, I’m going to break this down into a couple of different sections. We’re going to look at how to make the drink itself, followed by how to make our peach container.

The Drink

Over my many (but not too many!) years of being alive, I’ve encountered a good number of bartenders who have told me one single refrain. They say that the best drinks are not those that are well-measured with precise ratios and careful pairing of mixing ingredients and alcohol. The best drinks are those that are made by amatuers who have no idea what they’re doing but have a ton of self-confidence, who rely on their own beliefs to guide them rather than the advise of those more knowledgeable than them, and who have a bad bartender as a role model. Don’t believe me? Have you watched Cocktail? That guy was so bad at making drinks that he became a balding movie producer.

So how do we build our fuzzy navel with this in mind? We start like any other recipe — by gathering our ingredients.

  • Peach schnapps
  • Ice cubes
  • A pure Russian vodka. Ukrainian will do in a pinch.
  • Whole tangerines, juiced

You might have noticed that I haven’t given you exact measurements of any of the ingredients. Measurements are for losers. It’s up to you how much you decide to let each ingredient in this drink influence you. Some people really like a hearty vodka drink that hits them so hard their morals are compromised. Others prefer a stronger tangerine tint in their drink. Still others just want to sit alone in a room with a bunch of ice cubes — preferably as far away from the temptations of a member of the opposite sex as they can — whilst thinking fondly of their own maternal influences. Whatever your ratio is, pick it, stick with it, and do not, under any circumstances stray from that course. No matter what evidence that you made the wrong decision is brought against you, you stick with that drink mix. Remember, Jan, YOU’RE the one that’s right, not the precious snowflakes who you’re forcing to come along for the ride.

Put your ingredients together in a shaker. Shake, then strain into our peach goblet we’ll be creating in the next step.

The Glass

Growing up in the humble nation of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, GREATEST NATION TO EVER EXIST ON THIS EARTH SO HELP ME GOD, I spent a significant amount of my childhood watching my grandfather peeling apples. It was inspiring to watch my grandfather, God rest his soul, start from the top of the apple, carefully removing the skin with his pocketknife in a single, unbroken strand, until the peel of the apple dangled from the fruit’s flesh like we hang on so tenuously to the steerings of life. It relaxed me to know that something so simple could become such a delicate, sensitive endeavor.

Making what is essentially a flask out of a peach has nothing to do with that.

To make your peach glass, you need the following.

  • A paring knife
  • A very small immersion blender

To begin, use your paring knife to cut off a very small amount of the top of the peach. You’ll want to cut enough to remove where the stem of the peach was, but not enough to impact the structural integrity of the outer wall of the peach. That wall is very important. The most important.

From there, take your immersion blender and place it in the hole you’ve just cut with your paring knife. Start the blender and blend up everything in the peach. This includes the pit. I know that you might think that the pit of the peach is bad and that it’ll corrupt everything else in your drink. Clearly not. The expression is one bad apple will spoil the bunch, not one shrivled stone will taint the vodka. Besides, you’ll need this peach puree for your drink.

Once everything is mixed together, use the now-pulverized peach juice from inside your peach as a base for your drink. Leave about 1/4 of your peach full of this liquid, while reserving the rest in a gold-plated, microwave-safe container. It must be gold-plated, as peaches will react with any other precious metal. Pour the drink mix from the previous section into the peach and enjoy.

As for those kids…do they really need a drink? You’ve earned it. So go sit back and relax. Enjoy your drink. Watch the world burn. It’s up to the kids to save you now anyway, Jan.


As always, the actual recipes that are parodied in this post can be found by clicking on the links below. No slight to the recipes I’ve linked — they seem like quality food how-tos. They just served as a base for me to be comically stupid.

Pierced Fuzzy Navel

My Pokemon Gym: Fire

Welcome to the ninth iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, and Bug type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Oricorio (Baile Form)

Okay. I’ll admit that I’m not much of a Fire type user. The Fire type that is my favorite and that I’ve used the most competitively will make an appearance on another team, while two of the three honorable mentions on my favorite Pokemon list are pre-evolved forms that are useless in battle. With that said, there’s a couple of Fire types I love using in VGC-style doubles battles, including Oricorio. I’m fairly sure Oricorio is a horrid singles Pokemon, but that’s not going to stop me here. It’s a scout, as you might be able to tell with U-Turn. That said, Oricorio’s Fire type movepool is shallow. And by shallow, I mean it gets Revelation Dance1Revelation Dance is a unique move in that it changes type based on the user’s primary typing. This means it could be Fire, Psychic, Electric, or Ghost type for Oricorio, depending on which form you’re using., Hidden Power Fire2Which isn’t even the most useful Hidden Power you could give it., and…that’s it. Oricorio makes this team on so many technicalities it’s crazy. That said, pairing it with Mega Gardevoir or Mega Alakazam in doubles is hilarious.

Ability: Dancer
Item: Choice Scarf
Moves: U-Turn, Hurricane, Revelation Dance, Hidden Power Ground

Magmar

*Flash Gordon plays*

Magmar is the very first Pokemon I learned to do trapping shenanigans with all the way back in Gen I. Granted, trapping was broken in Gen I compared to now, but I still felt the need to pay homage to it with this set. The combination of Fire Spin, Toxic, and Confuse Ray will ensure opponents die a slow death, while the combination of Eviolite and Smokescreen will (hopefully) keep me alive long enough to make a dent on my opponent’s team. A realistic hope? Probably not. But I get to be super annoying while I’m still alive.

Ability: Flame Body
Item: Eviolite
Moves: Fire Spin, Confuse Ray, Smokescreen, Toxic

Castform (Sunny Form)

Alright, I get that this is the second Pokemon I’m putting on this team due to a technicality. But if you exclude legendary and mythical Pokemon, the Fire type is devoid of likeable fully-evolved Pokemon (at least ones I’m not using on other teams3Chandelure, Delphox or that aren’t overpowered and broken4Volcorona, Arcanine. Really this was a debate between Castform and Mega Camerupt, but since I’m already bringing a different Mega Evolution on this team, Castform gets the spot. Realistically, Castform is here to set up Sunny Day. It won’t survive to do much else.

Ability: Forecast
Item: Heat Rock
Moves: Sunny Day, Weather Ball, Solar Beam, Ominous Wind

Magcargo

Okay. I know that Passho Berry is wishful thinking unless a lucky Ancient Power boost on a swap happens. That said, the vast majority of this team is built on getting lucky at the right time. Magcargo will hopefully spread some burn around, but let’s be realistic here — it’s gonna die.

Ability: Flame Body
Item: Passho Berry
Moves: Earth Power, Amnesia, Will-o-Wisp, Ancient Power

Mega Blaziken

Finally! A Pokemon that’s going to do some damage to other Pokemon. Clearly the best way to harness this power on a team full of things that die easily is to give Mega Blaziken a set of moves that nearly ensure it’ll also die quickly. It’s a high risk, high reward set, which is exactly what I’d expect from Blaziken. Blaze Kick’s increased critical hit rate is pretty awesome, but since I’m using Mega Blaziken, I can’t boost it further with Scope Lens. This set is walled by physically defensive Water types — but this is a Fire type gym. What did you expect?

Ability: Speed Boost
Item: Blazikenite
Moves: High Jump Kick, Brave Bird, Protect, Blaze Kick

Houndoom

Oh. You expected someone to be running Solar Beam that can take advantage of my Castform’s use of Sunny Day. Well. Here you go.

Ability: Unnerve
Item: Life Orb
Moves: Nasty Plot, Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Solar Beam

WIP Update #5/NaNoWriMo Update

This is going to be a combined update for a couple of different writing-related items at this point, as I felt like neither of them were long enough to warrant their own post at this point. That said, both were important enough that I wanted to be able to post about them on the blog.

In September, I asked many of you (both here and on Twitter) to give me your thoughts as to what topics you’d like to see if I did another NaNoWriMo Tips series this year. I got a lot of good ideas for what topics I could potentially talk about and even had started talking with a couple of different folks about potentially guest blogging for the series this year, as it seemed like a good idea.

I also recently wrote this short story that I really liked. In rather exciting news, it seems that a lot of you liked the story as well — which is great considering that the story itself is intended to very much be an introduction to what would likely be a larger story, if not a full novel. I took a poll asking people whether they’d rather see me do the NaNoWriMo Tips series again this year or if I should do the full version of this story on my blog for NaNoWriMo.

The results of the poll are irrelevant for reasons I’ll get into momentarily. The story won by a decent margin (69%-31%). But that’s not the reason I’m writing this post.


I’ve been working on my current work in progress novel for quite some time now. I’ve written four different posts to this point sharing where I’m at in the process of getting it to the point where I could look to publish it, all with varying levels of working having been done when I wrote said posts. In my most recent WIP post, I went through this long list of things that allowed me to get to the point where I had written three drafts of the book. Within that list was a note mentioning how I had a mental breakdown that led me to write a blog post about the duality of writing. Even still, there was a footnote buried in that list1I use the term buried loosely here. It’s obvious the footnote was there. That said, I know full well most of the views I get on my posts come from folks who don’t click on the footnotes. I’ve looked at the data. mentioning how this wasn’t just a one-time occurrence. Granted, the breakdown that led to that post was a one-off, but the act of breaking down was not — and is not — an isolated incident for me.

I’m finally starting to get the help I need to be able to deal with some of the stuff that caused everything I described in the paragraph above. I’m sure it’s going to be a long process — mostly because I’m already realizing there was a lot more that I need to work through than even I initially realized — and I’m not particularly ready to talk about it here yet. That may well be something that happens in the future. After all, the whole reason I started blogging/writing back in 2009 was because of a suggestion given to me by the therapist I had gone to see then when I told her I couldn’t afford to come to our second appointment. But that time likely isn’t any time soon.

That said, I bring all of this up because of something that happened somewhere along in the process of finally reaching the point of realizing that I need help. I found the place from which one of the characters in my book is coming from. I admittedly didn’t expect it. The character isn’t necessarily the character I was looking to continue building on in the next draft of my book. But at the same point in time, doing so not only makes a lot of sense to me but feels a bit more meaningful.


I say all of that to say I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo Tips in November of this year, nor will I be starting a NaNoWriMo project based on the short story linked in this post. If you’re looking for NaNoWriMo help, I would encourage you to pop over to r/nanowrimo on Reddit, as it was a great resource for me last year. I likely will still turn that short story into a book in the future, as it’s a story that has existed — at least in part — in my head for nearly six years now.

This November will be dedicated to working on my work in progress and helping to build it out to where I want it to be. I’m hoping that between whatever notes my editor has for me by that point, my own quick plot consistency review I’ve been working on, and the newfound voice for one of the story’s characters that this edit will go a long way towards getting my work in progress to a finished product.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Ranking the Main Cast

Warning – Fire Emblem: Three Houses spoilers will abound in this post. While I’ll try to avoid this in general for most characters, there are some characters (Dimitri, Edelgard, Rhea, Hubert, Mercedes, Dedue, and Byleth come to mind) where spoilers are nearly unavoidable in order to explain why I like or dislike them. This is especially true for Dimitri and Mercedes.

I’ve finally done it. I’ve beaten all four paths of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. While I’m waiting on more DLC to come out1Including a rumored fifth path., I figure it’s as good of a time as any to write some of the posts I’ve been meaning to about the game. I’ll have some deeper, more thought-provoking posts on the game in the future, as there’s a massive list of topics I want to write about exploring the various intricacies of Three Houses. That said, I’m not in a position to write most of those posts right now, so you’ll see them trickle out over the next few months, mixed in with less serious posts like this one.

I decided that my first non-review post of the game would be a tier-list of how much I personally like each of the characters. My tiering system is loosely based off of the S-D tier system that TierMaker uses, though I’ve added a few tiers to help make sure that no single tier is too large. Even with that in mind, there are a ton of characters in Three Houses, so I’ve decided to only have characters that Byleth can S-support with in this list. This isn’t a ranking of how much I like each of the S-supports, but I did feel it was a useful place to draw the line. In addition to that, I’ve added Byleth (both male and female) to this list as they’re the main character, as well as Jeralt…for reasons you’ll see as we go through this list. Also, this isn’t a usefulness tier list like my Fire Emblem: Awakening tier list. Three Houses allows way too much customization of units for me to do just a single post about unit usefulness, as you can make nearly any unit as awesome or as terrible as you want2Great Knight Bernadetta is shockingly good, though Dancer Bernadetta might be better than any class for her except Bow Knight..

UPDATE 11/15: I’ve added in Anna and Jeritza to the list below following their DLC releases.

F: Just Go Away Already

Units: 40. Manuela, 39. Cyril

Let’s get these two out of the way quickly as the rest of the list is much more interesting. Manuela is Mallory Archer’s less-interesting, slightly nicer younger sister. She’s here for fan service/fan disservice3Depending on your view of her., getting kidnapped, and annoying Hanneman. Cyril marks the first time in a long time that the token villager unit is actively bad and annoying to have around. He gets the nod over Manuela because of his slightly better utility.

D: STOP TRYING TO BANG MY DAD

Units: 38. Alois, 37. Rhea, 36. Leonie, 35. Sylvain

Yes. Everyone in this class wants to get with Jeralt. Even Sylvain. Sylvain will hit on anything that moves. He and Leonie get slightly higher rankings than Rhea and Alois because Rhea is essentially non-playable, while Alois is just Cyril with a better starting class and better growths. Thing is, I really wanted to like Leonie. I made her the first character I S-supported in my very first run of Three Houses. But she just won’t shut up about Jeralt. She’s like the boy who got close to Stacey just so he could try to score with her mom4As an aside, I recognize that Leonie doesn’t have any sort of romantic feelings toward Jeralt directly expressed in the game. And many Leonie fans will be quick to point out that she sees Jeralt as a father figure and an idol. All of these things are true. But she also scream obcessive fan girl who will take things too far to me. So while saying she wants to sleep with Jeralt is a bit meme-y…it’s only slightly less creepy than the alternative.. Even her fantastic post-timeskip hair and outfit can’t save her from this tier. I actually somewhat like Sylvain — especially as a Dark Knight — but he just fits in this tier.

D+: Character Development That Makes No Sense

Units: 34. Gilbert, 33. Hanneman, 32. Lorenz, 31. Dimitri

We’ll get to the entry in this tier that’s going to induce a lot of rage from the Three Houses fanbase in just a moment. Before that though, we have a guy who abandoned his daugther5An unforgivable sin in my eyes for reasons I’ll touch on later in this post, even if their supports do slightly redeem him, keeping him out of the F tier., a guy who only cares about Byleth because of their crest, and the character who makes the worst hair choices in the game6If you want to argue Linhardt or Bernadetta’s timeskip hair is worse, I’ll buy that, even if I don’t agree. You could also convince me that Mercedes chopping off her hair was another poor choice.. But these three have character development that ranges from non-existent (Hanneman) to poorly explained (Gilbert) to wait…what (Lorenz’s solo ending).

And then there’s Dimitri. For all of the good writing that goes into Dimitri pre-timeskip, his post-timeskip PTSD is jarring. It makes a lot of sense too, even if it is hard to watch at times. But then he just randomly gets over it after Felix’s dad dies. Because…reasons? It’s so frustrating because he has the potential to be one of the best characters in the game, only to not even be a top-three story in his own storyline. I’d make a strong argument that Dedue, Felix, and Mercedes all have deeper stories in the Blue Lions arc — and you could even make an argument Annette and Ashe’s stories having more coherence. I’m going to examine Dimitri in much more detail in one of the future posts I have planned, but until then, I’ll just say that he’s easily the most disappointing Lord character of this game. The only thing that saves him from being the most disappointing character in the game as a whole is Leonie’s existence.

C: Forgettable, Except For That One Thing

Units: 30. Ignatz, 29. Anna, 28. Lysithea, 27. Sothis, 26. Jeralt, 25. Flayn

These characters all bore me, so let’s lightning round the one reason why they’re memorable. Ready, go!

  • Ignatz – Really good painter than may or may not make an erotic painting of Ingrid in their A-support.
  • Anna – Anna’s here! And she has an awesome new outfit! But she has no supports. And no unique class7At least as of 11/15.. And no major bonuses to her actually being playable other than gifting you a stat-boosting item every so often. If her new outfit wasn’t awesome, she’d just be Mr. Krabs.
  • Lysithea – The Death Knight fears no man. He does, however, fear a 15-year-old who learns the only anti-cavalry magic spell in the game8While I realize that Hubert also learns Dark Spikes, Lysithea is the only unit that gets it early enough to use in the first battle against the Death Knight. Even then, you’ll need to either feed her battles or grind free maps to death to get it in time..
  • Sothis – The cutscene where Byleth becomes the Fell Star is fucking amazing. Sothis is boring otherwise.
  • Jeralt – (To the tune of Everybody Wants to Be a Cat) EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY WANTS TO BANG YOUR DAD!
  • Flayn – She, like Manuela, gets kidnapped, but at least there’s a reason for her abduction.

C+: Characters Held Back By a Character or Gameplay Trait

Units: 24. Caspar, 23. Marianne, 22. Seteth,  21. Jeritza 20. Ferdinand Von Aegir, 19. Ingrid

Lightning round 2: electric boogaloo!

  • Caspar – Strong unit that does well in melee combat but is so forgettable that I didn’t get him an A-support until the last minute in my Church run.
  • Marianne – Frail but very good mage unit that I’d like a lot more if everything she did didn’t remind me of Fluttershy.
  • Seteth – Even in the run where he’s supposed to matter (the Church run), Seteth feels like a background character. Which is a shame, because he’s one of the most memeable characters in the game.
  • Jeritza – Jeritza is broken as all hell. And he SHOULD be higher on this list. But he sounds like Richmond from The IT Crowd and I can’t un-hear it. I can’t take him seriously.
  • Ferdinand Von Aegir – I want to love Ferdinand Von Aegir because the memeiness of Ferdinand Von Aegir is off the charts. Sadly, Ferdinand Von Aegir is arguably one of the weaker mounted units you’ll end up with, especially if you recruit everyone. At least Ferdinand Von Aegir and Marianne make a cute couple.
  • Ingrid – The jack-of-all-trades who can fill most any role you need her in within Three Houses and be at worst above average at it. Too bad she’s a walking Avenue Q song.

B: Amusing One-Note Characters…and Hubert

Units: 18. Raphael, 17. Hilda, 16. Ashe, 15. Hubert, 14. Catherine

Okay, I get it. Raphael just eats. Hilda is lazy and cunning. Ashe just screams LORD LONATOOOOOOOO mournfully. Catherine kills people for the Church. They’re all boring on the surface. But they’re much more than that if you get into their supports. Raphael is a giant (literally) sweetheart who just wants to eat and train his muscle so he can protect those he loves. Ashe is a former orphan and thief who is kind and pure to everyone he meets. Catherine kills people for the church, but she does so with nails painted whatever color her secret life-partner Shamir asks her to9My ranking of non-Byleth same-sex relationships in Three Houses is 1. Petra/Dorothea, 2. Shamir/Catherine, 3. Everyone else.. Hilda is lazy and cunning and…well, it’s funny how much she can convince other people to do work for her10The internet also seems to like Hilda because puberty hits her like a truck post-timeskip. Thing is, she didn’t need the help.. Plus the fact that she chants for herself after winning a battle won me over. Hubert is evil. That’s his gimmick. Except when he’s not, which you don’t really learn about unless you play routes other than the Black Eagles route. I really like the way Three Houses chooses to limit what you know about characters based on what story you’re playing. Hubert is interesting in that you actually learn more about him if he isn’t part of your team than if he is. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered a non-villain character whose story we learn quite like that in a game before.

B+: Child Abuse is Wack

Units: 13. Bernadetta, 12. Edelgard

Full disclosure: If I liked Lysethia more, she’d 100% be in this category too.

Holy fuck, Three Houses does not shy away from child abuse as backstories for characters. Bernadetta’s was dark enough that the most recent DLC patch actually had to tone it down some. Meanwhile, Edelgard is essentially a massive science experiment gone right…and yet it basically destroys who she is. The tragic backstories make Bernadetta and Edelgard who they are, both for better and for worst. While they aren’t my favorite characters in the game, they are two of the best-written characters. They’re a major reason why I’m glad I played the Black Eagles route as my first run, as it made me much more understanding of how the rest of the game’s routes played out.

A: I Don’t Have a Good Title for This Tier

Units: 11. Linhardt, 10. Felix, 9. Male Byleth, 8. Female Byleth

Linhardt is basically the one-trait character turned up to 11. The dude’s sleepy. He has so much he wants to learn, but he just needs a nap. He’s my entire mood some days. Felix is a tsundere Domino’s delivery driver trapped in a medieval swordsman’s body. The two Byleths also make this tier because they’re so important to the story and some of the best units in the game. The thing is, they’re basically wordless characters. Yes, their story is interesting, but their character itself isn’t, keeping them from a higher ranking. Bylass gets a slightly higher ranking than Boyleth because her pre-timeskip outfit is attractive. I’m not above being pandered to11Hi Shamir..

A+: More Than Meets The Eye

Units: 7. Mercedes, 6. Petra

Major spoilers for Mercedes here. Her brother is the Death Knight. You don’t learn this fact unless certain conditions are met. But if you do learn it and you’re playing the Blue Lions route, holy hell does it add a ton of depth to her story. One of the weird things about Three Houses is that you can have quite a few characters fight/potentially kill people they’re close to over the course of the run. And while many of them are torn about it, most of them do it without questioning it, only having second thoughts after the battle. Mercedes has her mental blue screen of death IN BATTLE with the Death Knight…potentially several times over, depending on how you play each level where he appears. This really sold me on a character I started out not liking. Petra is basically a hostage who could kick the asses of everyone she needs to in order to get free. The thing is, she stays at the Officers Academy as a way to help keep the peace between Adrestia and her home nation of Brigid (which is a vassal state of Adrestia). Many of her endings make her queen of an independent Brigid, which is one of the best feel-good endings you can get in the game.

S: The Ideal Buddy Cop Film

Units: 5. Dedue, 4. Claude

Dedue is the straight-laced behemoth of a man who just wants to protect Dimitri from all harm in the world. Claude is the joking trickster who loves nothing more than a good prank. I would watch the hell out of Fodlan 911 with these two on the police force. Plus both characters are more complex characters than you’d think. Dedue is an amazing chef. Claude just wants to go full Aladdin and show you the world. Dedue struggles with direct racism being a foreigner in a land he’s less than welcome in. Claude is hellbent on breaking the walls down between Fodlan and the outside world. Dedue’s sacrifices in every non-Black Eagles path make me wonder whether Dimitri is the deserving leader of his nation. Claude’s voice actor has the best Twitter account…and he writes books with the best taglines ever. You cannot go wrong with either of these two.

S+: The (Un?)Holy Trinity

Units: 3. Dorothea, 2. Shamir, 1. Annette

The gap between the units in the S+ tier and the S tier (at least in my mind) is bigger than you’d think. Don’t get me wrong, Three Houses is filled with some amazing, compelling characters. But these three take the cake. Dorothea, in addition to being the smoothest flirt you will ever come across in a game, manages to deliver the single saddest monologue in the game if Ferdinand Von Aegir dies battling against your army. She is arguably the game’s canon Dancer unit, but she’s versatile enough that you’re not stuck using her that way. Plus her supports are so good that you’ll want to recruit her on every run — not to mention the fact that she’s the only female character that pretty much every female can have a romantic paired ending with. Shamir is more than just an attractive assassin. She’s the best non-student unit you can get in all paths of the game, with only Catherine giving her a run for her money (and you’re locked out of recruiting her in certain paths). Plus her S-support with Byleth involves her coming up with wedding vows on the spot, which goes to reinforce how smart and caring her supports make her. That said, the best character in the game is Annette. She’s everything Shamir is in terms of a fighting unit, only without the over-the-top sex appeal. She’s caring to a fault and makes up the best songs in the game even though she isn’t a particularly good singer. We must protect War Goddess Annette at all costs.

New Patreon Goal Reward Up!

It was (rightly) mentioned to me earlier this week that I don’t advertise my Patreon enough. That’s a completely accurate sentiment. I hate being the person who is annoying about advertising myself and my writing/podcasting/etc. I am a human, not a brand. And I don’t want to portray myself as anything else.

That said, I barely ever talk about my Patreon on this blog. The last time I talked about it was when I posted the link to the Q2 Patreon Q&A, which has been months ago at this point. So why talk about it now?

I’ve started a new goal system on my Patreon. Once I get to 10 patrons, I’ll be doing a raffle for a chance to win a signed copy of my first book An Epilogue to Innocence. Not only that, but the winner of this copy not only gets a signed copy of that book, the book will have handwritten annotations with my thoughts on the book and the short stories within it in the book. It’s to be determined whether I’ll actually write these IN the book or whether I’ll post-it note them or provide a supplemental document. Because let’s face it — my handwriting is garbage.

In addition to that raffle, I am still doing various perks at different levels of support. These perks include the ability to submit questions to the quarterly Q&A before the general public, signed pictures of not me, a monthly bonus blog post, and a monthly patron-exclusive podcast.

If you’re interested in becoming a patron, just click the link below. If you happen to read this post and would be so kind as to share the post with others you think might be interested in my work, that would be amazing.

Become a Patron!

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