> A few questions about FE3H:
> If you've never played a FE game before, can you just dive into this one? Are they
> connected at all or what's up?
yes you can play this one. its not connected to any of the other ones. some of the games are connected, and some take place in the same worlds but many years apart. some have easter eggs and throwbacks, some of the names in three houses are mashups of old names and some of the countries are named for old characters like Brigid. Three Houses is super beginner friendly to the series as well, its easy and they made it very beginner accessible to break it to a wider audience. its amazingly well done, the characters are top notch, the japanese and english voice actors are super, the music is awesome, and its a fun experience. the future is definitely bright for the series.
FE 3 is a sequel to FE 1, FE2 takes place in that world but in a different country. FE 5 takes place in the middle of FE4 and are the first two games in the overall timeline of Arachnea, one of the worlds in which alot of these take place. rumor is they will be the next remakes, they have been remaking them in order so far. FE13(awakening) takes place in that world but in the future, Chrom is a decendant of Marth from FE1 and 3, and one of the antagonist is a decendant of Alm from 2/15. FE 7 is a prequel to FE6 and shares characters. FE8 is pretty much its own thing. FE9 and 10 go together and takes place in a different setting than the others. FE 11(shadow dragon) is a remake of 1. FE12 is a remake of 3 and was in japan only. FE14(fates) is its own. FE15 (echoes: shadows of valentia) is a remake of 2. FE16 is three houses. FE17 is rumored to be a remake of FE4 but we'll see, it hasnt been announced.
the only thing you definitely dont want to play without playing its predecessor is 3/12,10, or 5
also of note is that FE1-6 never came to the US, but the remakes of 1 and 2 did. the remake of 1 didnt do well so the remake of 3 didnt come here, but you can play patched rom with a DS emulator. thats also neccessary if you want to play 4, 5 and 6. the GBA game we got in the US as "fire emblem" is FE7. as before its rumored FE4 is getting the remake treatment next, which i am really hoping it does, and hoping they include 5 in the package since it takes place in the middle of that story.
> These "routes" are they the exact same story in 3 ways?
yes, everything takes place in the country of Fodlan, the routes follow the lord of each of these three countries. some events will be the same, but each give you different parts of the story and fill in blanks the others dont tell you. Black Eagles has a split in it that creates a 4th route.