Video Game Closet: Tactics Ogre Let Us Cling Together!

Hello everybody! Today we have one of my favorite JRPGs Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.

TACTICS OGRE: LET US CLING TOGETHER

Developer(s) Quest, Square Enix
Publisher(s) Atlus, Square Enix
Writer(s) Yasumi Matsuno
Platform(s) Super Famicom
Sega Saturn
PlayStation
Virtual Console
PlayStation Portable
Release date(s) October 6, 1995, 2011 (PSP)
Genre(s) Tactical RPG
Mode(s) Single Player

For eighty years, Valeria has been in constant strife, and its three leading ethnic groups all claim leadership. King Rodrick, aided by the forbidden powers of the “Palace of the Dead,” is able to dominate the people of Valeria until Dorgalua of Bakram successfully leads his army to defeat Rodrick. Dorgalua then claimed the throne as his own, and was able to end the struggle between the ethnic groups. Under King Dorgalua, the rights of the people were preserved, and all internal struggles in Valeria came to a temporary halt.

All is right until the entire royal family is lost due to a string of accidents. Because the late King Dorgalua had no living heirs, the ethnic groups once again struggled for leadership: Abuna Brantyn of the royal court, Heirophant Balbatos of the Galgastani, and Duke Ronwey of the Walister all fought for control, but in the end, Balbatos and Brantyn stalemated. In order to preserve their power, the two men took separate measures: Heirophant Balbatos sought an “ethnic cleansing” policy and slaughtered thousands of innocent Walister and Galgastani, while Brantyn received aid from foreigners, the Dark Knights Loslorien of the Holy Lodis Empire.

Denam Pavel is the primary protagonist in Tactics Ogre. He is the son of Abuna Prancet, and after Prancet was taken away by the Dark Knights and his home town was massacred, Denam, his sister Catiua, and his friend Vyce plan a vendetta against the Dark Knights. He must lead the “Liberation Army” to bring freedom to the oppressed nation of Valeria.

Tactics Ogre is one of my favorite video games of all time, and is by far my favorite entry in the Ogre Battle saga. The game is a TJRPG, also known as a Tactical Japanese Role Playing Game. The game focuses on using a squad of up to twelve characters to complete a single objective per battle. The strong point of this system is that you can’t just focus on your squad as a whole, there is plenty of individually leveling to do as well.


The story that Tactics Ogre presents is the best part of the game. The story is multi-branching and many of the decisions the player makes throughout the game can cause significant differences in each play through. They are three main routes (Lawful, Chaotic, and Neutral) and each branch is insanely different from the rest. I will be recording a lets play! through this game in its entirety as well as its predecessors.

Even though I offer Tactics Ogre so much praise, I know that it is far from perfect. The game contains no voice acting, as the game’s entire dialogue is told via text on screen. The AI mechanic in the game for NPCs is as stupid as ever, even through multiple ports and remakes. Lets just say too, this game is a bitch to complete with 100%.

PROS:

  • Tactical JRPG
  • Multi-branching story.
  • Character Leveling.
  • Graphics/Art Design.

CONS:

  • No Voice Acting.
  • AI Mechanic.
  • Time investment.

SCORE:

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Classic Video Game Closet: Ogre Battle March of the Black Queen

Hello everybody! Today we have the first game in one of my favorite JRPG series, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen.

OGRE BATTLE: MARCH OF THE BLACK QUEEN

Developer(s) Quest
Publisher(s) Super Nintendo

  • JP Quest
  • NA Enix America

Sega Saturn

  • JP Riverhill Software

PlayStation

  • JP Artdink
  • NA Atlus

Virtual Console
Square Enix

Designer(s) Yasumi Matsuno
Artist(s) Akihiko Yoshida
Composer(s) Hitoshi Sakimoto
Masaharu Iwata
Hayato Matsuo
Platform(s) Super NES, Sega Saturn,PlayStation,Virtual Console
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Strategy RPG
Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution 12-megabit cartridge

At the beginning of the game, the protagonist, whose name, gender, and other characteristics are chosen by the player, takes command of the Liberation Army. Throughout the course of the game, the protagonist is joined by various other characters, such as Lans Hamilton, a knight who served the king of Zenobia until the king’s death; Warren Moon, a wizard with the ability to divine the future; Tristan, the rightful prince of Zenobia; and many others.Twenty-five years prior to the beginning of the game, Empress Endora conquered the continent of Zetegenia. During her reign, a resistance organization called the Liberation Army forms to free the continent from her rule.

After the Empress is slain, it is discovered that she was manipulated by Rashidi, a dark wizard in the Empress’ employ. The protagonist defeats him, but before Rashidi dies, he uses his blood to release Demundza, the king of the Underworld who was sealed away after the first great Ogre Battle. The protagonist and his army manage to seal Demundza away again before he can become too powerful. There are more than one possible outcomes to the story depending on various factors such as the player’s alignment, their reputation, and which character they choose to recruit.

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is the first game released in the Ogre Battle saga, even though I believe it is actually episode four (Atlus kind of screwed the episodic structure up). The game is unique since it has a very interesting story, which was definitely rare for games released around the same time. The story (which you can read a quick synopsis above) caught my attention right away. I wasn’t the only one either, many of my associates (some who have never played/heard of the game before) had their attention grabbed immediately after starting the game. Another major plus for March of the Black Queen is the class system. The game features many different classes to choose from, allowing you to mix and match so you can play the way you want.

The game is definitely fun, but not compared to its successors (the rest of the Ogre Battle saga). Since the game was originally released on the Super Nintendo, the graphics are absolutely horrendous. They weren’t even decent for 1990’s standards. The gameplay can be somewhat drawn out, since the game is not necessarily a traditional tactical RPG like Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis. In March of the Black Queen you fight with squads (containing up to 5 characters/classes) as a single unit. You could easily have 5-10 squads out on the battlefield at one time.This same game play style was once adapted for Person of Lordly Caliber, but to much more success.

Interesting little tidbit, all of the games in the Ogre Battle saga have Queen songs named after them. This game is March of the Black Queen – Queen.

PROS:

  • Interesting story,.
  • First episode of Ogre Battle saga.
  • Variety of classes.

CONS:

  • Game play style.
  • Graphics.
  • Battlefield mechanics

SCORE: 6.5 / 10

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