It’s probably happened to you. You thought you’d made a great appeal in Triangle Strategy, only for your entire party to vote against the story route that you wanted to take. Don’t worry. It’s not you, it’s literally them. The characters in Square Enix’s new strategy game each have their own individual, personal values. In order to choose your story route, you have to accommodate your friends’ thoughts and feelings. Just like how you decide where to eat after a midnight bar crawl!
At key turning points in Triangle Strategy, the Scales of Conviction come into play. This system is simple on its surface: for every major story decision, you must persuade a majority of core party members to vote for one of two choices. While the game has a golden route, the narrative feels coherent regardless of which path you want to take, so don’t stress too much if you pick the “wrong” option. But if you want to experience the system to its fullest, then start learning about each of the core characters.
Also remember–always do the exploration sections thoroughly. If a dialogue option is locked when you negotiate with a party member, then it’s because you haven’t talked to the right NPC for the information that you need. Be careful when you try to change a party member’s mind. Once you finish a persuasion attempt, they’ve made their decision and can’t be swayed further. So save your game before you try to persuade anyone.
This is not going to be a prescriptive guide on which dialogue options to take, which nobody is going to remember by the end of the blog. Besides, I feel that it ruins the fun of feeling like you’re having a real conversation with the characters. Rather, these are my insights into the particular ethics and values of each character, what might appeal to them, and what won’t. Oh, and remember–the locked choice isn’t always the correct one.
Here’s what I learned from hounding my party members and yelling “DEBATE ME.”
Frederica is a strong-willed noblewoman whose concerns are very morality-driven. She cares about making the ethical choice. Arguments along the lines of “we could get slaughtered by our enemies” are unlikely to move her.
I always save him for last, because your steward is a hard-arse. I mean this in the most affectionate way possible, but he very rarely budges on his opinions. Always make appeals to logic, and back everything up with facts that you find during the exploration phase. Regardless of who or what has to be sacrificed, his first priority is always House Wolffort.
This healer is a worldly woman who wants to pick the choice that allows the group to survive another day. Geela is logical, but she’s much easier to sway than Benedict. As long as you have a plausibly good plan for getting the party out of whatever mess that they’re in, she’ll reliably cast your preferred vote.
The prince of Glenbrook is another character who makes decisions with his heart, rather than his head. Logical appeals can work on him, but they have to be for ethical ends. He cares deeply about the wellbeing of his friends, his nation, and justice. However, he’s not as strong-willed as Frederica. Find some convincing evidence, and he’s inclined to trust your judgment.
Hughette is a member of the kingsguard, and Roland’s protector. Bringing up the prince’s safety will hold her interest. She is also a patriotic citizen who cares about the entire nation of Glenbrook as both a place and an ideal. Keep these in mind, and you can make a case for why your preferred outcome deserves her vote.
Erador is the third character in the party who is moved by emotion and justice. However, he’s also a pragmatic and military man. He will often choose the option that protects the people living on Wolffort lands.
With a few key exceptions, the spy of House Wolffort is usually in the undecided faction. While she might be easier to sway than her adoptive father Benedict, she still has her own values. Pick appeals to pragmatism, rather than emotion. If you can find information that helps with the logistics of your preferred plan, then she’ll be more likely to vote in a certain way.