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Fire Emblem's 'Lost Items' Mechanic Is So Annoying

Illustration for article titled iFire Emblem/is Lost Items Mechanic Is So Annoying

Even in the fantasy world of Fire Emblem, there is no way the students of Garreg Mach Monastery are so forgetful that I, as their teacher, need to ferry 100 of their lost items around a school campus at all times in hopes of finding their owners. Fire Emblem: Three Houses has a mechanic for that, and to be completely honest, I am having no fun with it at all.

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Fire Emblem’s “lost items” mechanic, in theory, is a cute way of getting to know all the quirks and qualities of the wonderful students in your school. Matching, say, a feather pillow with Linhardt von Hevring tells you that he is a big napper. Matching bone dice with Shamir Nevrand tells you she’s someone who likes to gamble. This makes your interactions with the characters feel a little deeper. From a mechanics standpoint, it helps motivate your students and boosts your bond with them.

Illustration for article titled iFire Emblem/is Lost Items Mechanic Is So Annoying
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In practice, going down a list of dozens of items with each and every student—some of whom respond rudely to your generous inquiries—is tedium incarnate. And if you really think about it, it’s utterly ridiculous. Imagine carrying 30 to 40 items in your satchel at all times, including a bag of tea leaves, a noseless puppet, a songstress poster, a cooking pot, and an encyclopedia of sweets, and asking each student, unprompted, “Excuse me. Sorry to bother you. By any chance, does _____ belong to you?” 30 to 40 times. No! I was brought onto this staff to teach and fight and maybe, like, do holy stuff. I was not brought on to be a roving human lost and found.

There are strategies for accomplishing Fire Emblem’s “lost and found” mechanic aside from slamming random puzzle pieces into random holes. You can listen very closely to what the students say and make an educated guess on what belongs to whom. This is easy for the kids in your house, but if it’s someone you rarely interact with, you’re basically back to making uneducated guesses. You can also ask a student to help you with a battle and look at their profiles. It’s pretty inefficient, though.

The locations of the lost items actually correspond with where students were standing the month prior. But there’s no way you’re going to remember that.

Or you could be like me, somebody who’s both too stubborn to Google a guide and too lazy to keep playing lost items matchmaker, and hope that, maybe later, I can just pawn all this random crap for cash.

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

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DISCUSSION

Brute forcing the lost item list is tedious and NOT what was intended.

The intention is that you discover a lost item, think “so and so prolly lost this” and bring it to that person. If you can’t figure it out, then you hang on to the item, and when a hint comes up in the conversation, you remember that you have such an item and hand it over.

You are complaining that a completely optional boost that depends on your familiarity with the characters is hard because you aren’t familiar with them. Are you equally put off with the tea time mechanic? Or, the random questions that show up in conversation? Or the letters you can answer?

The lost item mechanic is an incentive to get to know the characters. If you learn about the characters, you get rewarded. Yes, it is possible to complete it without getting to know them, but then you have to jam pegs into holes until you find the right one, and that aint fun.