Author Topic: RFN RetroActive #16 Discussion - Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lo(u)rdly Caliber(re)  (Read 28696 times)

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Offline Jonnyboy117

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Please use this thread for discussing Ogre Battle 64. It's available on Virtual Console, so we hope you will play along with the RFN crew and have a lot to say here in the forums! The best comments will be read on the podcast; we expect to begin discussing this game on Episode 230.


If you cannot play along but have any questions about the game, you can leave those here too. And we encourage active discussion of the game, so check back later to see what others had to say!
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Offline TJ Spyke

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I downloaded it yesterday and plan to start today or tomorrow, but I would like to know how much experience the crew had with the game when it was originally out. This will be the first time I have played any Ogre game.
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Offline adadad

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So Caliber/Calibre I understand and graciously accept, but Lordly/Lourdly? I hope I'm right in assuming that this is an intentional joke by Johnny referring to the color/colour difference, as there's no such word as "lourdly" in any English dialect! Also, and it's the same with films, it's commonplace in Britain for American spellings to remain intact in titles of games. So even on the UK's Virtual Console Ogre Battle is subtitled Caliber. Off-topic, but "The Time Traveler's Wife" from a few years ago was a memorable one, I didn't even realise that there was any difference from the British spelling, traveller, until someone pointed it out to me. It can all be quite confusing. At university my professors say a "[sic]" is unnecessary when quoting any American spelling variations, which is a boon considering how many would probably sneak by me unnoticed.

Let's discuss spelling! Or maybe let's not.

Offline Jonnyboy117

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adadad, thanks for the interesting points on spelling. We discussed "Calibre" on the show, but I honestly thought "Lourdly" might be the Queen's version of that word -- obviously, I didn't bother to check first, so let's just pretend I meant it as a joke. It doesn't make sense, considering the universal spelling of "Lord", so my only guess is that it was a subconscious influence of the word "Lourdes".

I missed out on OB64 when it was released (being an Atlus game, it was very hard to find a copy to rent, for instance). After meeting former Editor-in-Chief Max Lake at E3 2001, he let me borrow the game via mail. I kept it for several months and played at least ten hours, maybe a lot more, but I was never hooked by the game. I'd never played anything like it and felt lost and overwhelmed much of the time. However, I do remember loving the graphics and music, which must be better than ever on Virtual Console.
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Offline lolmonade

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This game has slowly started to draw me in.  First thing I noticed was the graphics, which were much better than I anticipated, and probably some of the best detailed scenery I've seen on the N64.  They actually remind me a bit of the graphics from the PS1 game "Saga Frontier 2", except a bit less cartoon storybook look. 

The gameplay was a slow burn.  At first, I was a bit confused by the battle system.  Frankly, I was disappointed with how little instruction there is on the battle system, and I was forced to rely on trial-and-error.  Same thing with finding all the options for customizing your groups.  But once I invested some time in the controls and battle system, I find a very satisfying and deep strategy game.  I made the mistake of leaving the HQ unguarded a few times, resulting in getting a Game Over and wasting 1/2 hr of time  :@ , but I've picked up on strategy pretty quickly.  I'm enjoying the arrangement of the groups and positioning just as enjoyable as playing the actual battles.  By the way, what is the advantage of different positions on the grid?  Do the melee attackers get more hits when they are close up?  Do they take more hits if they're the front line?

Storyline seems like pretty cut-and-paste material if you've played any other RPG.  I've put about 4 hours in this game so far, and have reached a plot point where you would think you're about 1/4th of the way through the game, but I get the feeling I've just scratched the surface of this game.  I only hope my wife will forgive me for the time I'm about to sink into this game, because I'm getting sucked in from the addictive gameplay. 
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Offline noname2200

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I agree with lolmonade about how poor the game is at instructing the player, how it begins slowly, and how the menu system really needs a lot of work.  I love this game, and have beaten it roughly ten times (at around 80 hours per playthrough...), so those problems obviously don't bug me enough, but the fact that such important things as the alignment system, the promotion system, and the Chaos Frame go completely unexplained did a lot to screw up my first few playthroughs; I didn't even know there was a Chaos Frame my first time around, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on that.

I'd also forgotten just how slow the beginning of the game is.  This seems to be a deliberate choice: the game starts many of your units in a poor formation, so that some troops only attack once when they should attack twice.  Even worse, adding Soldiers does a lot to make the early game a bit of a crawl: they only attack once per battle, and one of them dies out for every 1/3 of the unit's HP that is lost (thus costing you promotion points and further weakening that cluster of soldiers), but you need to promote dozens of them if you want to get an army that are worth having (and one commander has to promote ten of them if you want to unlock one of the character classes).  I don't understand why the developers thought that soldiers were a good idea, but if they were done away with I think the early game would flow much more quickly. 

Offline noname2200

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By the way, what is the advantage of different positions on the grid?  Do the melee attackers get more hits when they are close up?  Do they take more hits if they're the front line?

Every unit acts differently depending on which row it is located, and it can only attack/be attacked by enemies in certain columns.

For example, an Amazon in the front or middle row only gets to attack once per battle, but if you stick her in the back row she attacks twice per battle instead.  Fighters are the opposite: front row gets them two attacks, middle and rear only buys them one.  Additionally, a small number of units to have completely different attacks if they switch rows: the Paladin, for instance, does a melee attack from the front or middle rows, but uses magic if he's in the back.

For the columns, a unit can only attack enemies that are in the same column as it is, or one column adjacent.  This means that a unit you have on the far right can only attack enemies on the far right or the center column, and it can only attack enemies in the far left column when the right and middle columns have been cleared of enemies.  One last note: units with projectiles (arrows, magic, etc.) must attack whoever is the furthest back in a column before they can attack who's in front, and melee units have to do the opposite.  So if the enemy leader is in the front center, and a enemy Soldier is in the rear center, your Amazon will attack the enemy Soldier instead of the enemy leader, even if your unit is set to Attack Leader.

It's a bit complicated, and not well explained in the game (despite being incredibly important...), so let me know if I didn't make much sense, and I'll try to explain it better.

Offline broodwars

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Man, this is a really bad week for me to start this.  Commander Shepard, Isaac Clarke, and Nier all demand my time right now.  -_-'
 
Soldiers can be tricky to handle, but I never had a huge problem with them.  Plus, I think they get 2 attacks when they're up front, and when supported by a Cleric they don't die that easily.  Plus, there's just something really rewarding when one of your lowly soldiers gets promoted at the end of a skirmish to an Amazon or Fighter, and then working that character into one of the best classes in the game.
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Offline noname2200

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Nope, they only have one attack, even from the front row.  Being able to combine with other soldiers helps, but that early in the game three small attacks just about equals one big one, I think.  And I don't have access to clerics yet: I'm about to finish the prologue, and none of my units have a cleric.  I got a pretty mediocre group, to be honest.

Offline Crimm

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I got a crappy starting line-up, so I re-rolled.


Yep, this game gives you a random starting cast.  Well, not "random," it's based on how you answered the questions.


"What does your sword hold?"
"What do clerics like?"
"Wrong answer! You get Dio, and Dio only. Enjoy."
"%@!%@ #^ @# %@#"



Not that I needed to start a new game, I had one just after the first plot turn, but I wanted to relive the beginning of the game.
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Offline gojira

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I've owned this game for a very long time but never really played it.  I put in a couple of hours back when I first got the game, but never understood how the battles really functioned.  The whole deal with the fight ending after a few hits threw me off.  So the first thing I did (after dusting off my N64) was sit through the hour or so it took to go through the training.  Yeah it was a crap ton of information upfront before even starting the game, but it definitely helped me. 

Now I'm over eight hours in and enjoying it for the most part.  There are still some aspects of fighting that bother me.  There was this one group I was fighting where "attack the weakest" and "attack the strongest" resulted in attacking the exact same enemy.  Or when you and an enemy are basically stuck next to each other resulting in several consecutive fights.  But for the most part I find the battles pretty fun.  And I guess I answered well, because my starting groups were all pretty useful.

Offline noname2200

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There are still some aspects of fighting that bother me.  There was this one group I was fighting where "attack the weakest" and "attack the strongest" resulted in attacking the exact same enemy. 

Check the post I made explaining the importance of what column/row the character is in: some of your characters may not have the choice to attack the weakest/strongest enemy, so they focus on a different foe.  Alternatively, the strongest/weakest enemy may be changing as the battle goes on, since "strongest" and "weakest" refer to remaining HP, not combat strength.

Offline gojira

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There are still some aspects of fighting that bother me.  There was this one group I was fighting where "attack the weakest" and "attack the strongest" resulted in attacking the exact same enemy. 

Check the post I made explaining the importance of what column/row the character is in: some of your characters may not have the choice to attack the weakest/strongest enemy, so they focus on a different foe.  Alternatively, the strongest/weakest enemy may be changing as the battle goes on, since "strongest" and "weakest" refer to remaining HP, not combat strength.

I thought about your post when I was having that battle, and the enemy was in the middle so I don't think it was the position thing.  It was probably the enemies HP.

Offline Pandareus

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I am not far into the game, finished 2 story missions (saved the prince then killed off the rebels). Right now, I'm liking it. It seems more accessible than what I had imagined. I'm winning battles pretty handily despite making an effort to use my weakest units. The one thing I don't get right now is the alignment going up or down. Maybe I'm confused with what I read about the SNES game, or about Tactics Ogre, but aren't you supposed to fight units above your level to get your alignment to go up, or something? If so, how the hell do you check an enemy unit's level?

Alternatively, the strongest/weakest enemy may be changing as the battle goes on, since "strongest" and "weakest" refer to remaining HP, not combat strength.
Woah. If that is true, then doesn't that make the order "broken"? Since it is supposed to be the option to choose "if you want to get rid of enemy numbers quickly" according to the tutorial? It would in fact make it one of the slowest options.

Offline noname2200

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I am not far into the game, finished 2 story missions (saved the prince then killed off the rebels). Right now, I'm liking it. It seems more accessible than what I had imagined. I'm winning battles pretty handily despite making an effort to use my weakest units. The one thing I don't get right now is the alignment going up or down. Maybe I'm confused with what I read about the SNES game, or about Tactics Ogre, but aren't you supposed to fight units above your level to get your alignment to go up, or something? If so, how the hell do you check an enemy unit's level?

Alternatively, the strongest/weakest enemy may be changing as the battle goes on, since "strongest" and "weakest" refer to remaining HP, not combat strength.
Woah. If that is true, then doesn't that make the order "broken"? Since it is supposed to be the option to choose "if you want to get rid of enemy numbers quickly" according to the tutorial? It would in fact make it one of the slowest options.

For alignment, the more important stats early in the game is the enemy's alignment: killing priests=bad, killing vikings=good.  As the game progresses, you'll find that your own units' alignments matter more than anything, since your troops automatically try to balance out their alignment.  That means that once a unit starts to lean in one direction, it becomes increasingly difficult to get them to lean the other direction...

Although to answer your question, you can actually select an enemy unit and see each individual characters' stats, including their level.

As for Attack Weakest being broken, you can generally leave it on and it will work, but sometimes you'll have to keep an eye on it to make sure that an errant attack by, say, your archer (who couldn't reach the weakest enemy character) didn't weaken a different enemy enough to create a new Weakest.  So there is a bit of micromanagement in this game, although that's about the extent of it.

Offline Crimm

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Chaos Frame: Don't take towns with an alignment greatly different then the unit you're using the take them.

If you "liberate" the town, you're good. If you "capture" you're not.
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Offline broodwars

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I generally found it useful during my playthroughs back in the day to have a squad of misfits (who I rarely bothered to level) that were all chaotic for the expressed purpose of sending them out to nab any low-alignment towns.  If I needed a character to drop in alignment, I'd throw them in that unit and have them fight a few battles so they'd get lower alignment when the unit averaged out.  Otherwise, I'd just concentrate on having neutral and "good" aligned units (which, IMO, are easier to make than chaotic units) for town liberation.  Made things easier without resorting to item glitches to manufacture alignment items.
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Offline noname2200

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Random musings:

-The sprites and the pre-rendered backgrounds (NOT the battle maps) are nicely detailed and very easy on the eyes.  On the flipside, having only four frames of animation does a lot to ruin the beauty.  Having said that, I can't get myself to turn off the battle animations, despite knowing that it would shave off about 20 hours...

-Atlus' localization has come a long way in the past ten years.

-Witches.  Why?

Offline broodwars

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-Atlus' localization has come a long way in the past ten years.

-Witches.  Why?

You mock the witches, but you pretty much have to have them if you're going after the 3 Elem Pedras hidden in training battles.  I forget at the moment the arbitrary cities and the number of times you have to train at those cities with a single squad to trigger them, but you can trigger insanely difficult fights with a Dragon Tamer/Dragoon and an Evolved Dragon of a given element.  Your prize is the Elem Pedra corresponding to that dragon's element.  Having a witch in the squad to repeatedly Stun (or sleep...I guess, though I prefer Stunning) the dragon makes your life a hell of a lot easier in those fights.
 
But yeah, other than those situations they're pretty useless.
 
What's your problem with Atlus' localization, btw?  I haven't started my game yet, but I remember OB64's localization being one of the best ones in any game at the time of its release.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 12:15:16 PM by broodwars »
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Offline noname2200

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-Atlus' localization has come a long way in the past ten years.

-Witches.  Why?

You mock the witches, but you pretty much have to have them if you're going after the 3 Elem Pedras hidden in training battles.  I forget at the moment the arbitrary cities and the number of times you have to train at those cities with a single squad to trigger them, but you can trigger insanely difficult fights with a Dragon Tamer/Dragoon and an Evolved Dragon of a given element.  Your prize is the Elem Pedra corresponding to that dragon's element.  Having a witch in the squad to repeatedly Stun (or sleep...I guess, though I prefer Stunning) the dragon makes your life a hell of a lot easier in those fights.
 
But yeah, other than those situations they're pretty useless.
 
What's your problem with Atlus' localization, btw?  I haven't started my game yet, but I remember OB64's localization being one of the best ones in any game at the time of its release.

I usually just brute-force my way through those fights, although a witch probably WOULD help immensely (especially against the one that puts all your troops to sleep...GAH!).

As for the localization, it was pretty good at the time, but reading through it now it just seems too stilted, and the conversations often don't seem to flow naturally.  It's not that it's terrible, but having recently played newer Atlus games like Etrian Oddysey III, the difference is quite noticeable.  It's almost like OB64 was more of a direct translation than a localization, although that's probably not completely right either.

Offline Jonnyboy117

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How do you use the elemental attack? It seems like battles hardly ever last long enough for that meter to fill the third time.
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Offline broodwars

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How do you use the elemental attack? It seems like battles hardly ever last long enough for that meter to fill the third time.

As your units grow more powerful and start dealing more damage with more attacks (the bar fills as you inflict damage and you take damage from enemy units), battles last longer and the bar fills faster.  Once your Interupt Bar (or whatever it's called) fills 3 times, you can use your Elem Pedra attack (if there's one available.  Once you use one, it has to charge for a bit, but you can eventually acquire 6 Elem Pedras if you scour the game thoroughly enough).  For the record, allowing the bar to fill once allows you to change tactics, and allowing it to fill twice gives you the option of retreating.  You won't really be able to use Elem Pedras till probably around the time you get the ability to upgrade Fighters into Knights sometime in Chapter 1.
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Offline adadad

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How do you use the elemental attack? It seems like battles hardly ever last long enough for that meter to fill the third time.

Also bear in mind that once you've used an Elem Pedra it takes a long time to get it charged back up so you can use it again, so if you only have one or two it's best saved for important/difficult battles.

Offline Crimm

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Getting all the Elem Pedras is VERY helpful in the last battle.


The best team I built had an Angel and a Dragoon. I miss that team with the group of lovable losers I have right now.
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Offline noname2200

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I just beat Scene 8 (Dardunelles), and I'd like to ask something I've been wondering for years: was that level's boss some kind of mistake that got overlooked?  There are two other tough battles in that fight (especially the witch's unit: thankfully she's alone), but dumping a level 20 Ogre in the front row just seems cruel.  It instilled an unholy fear of ogres in me for the rest of that first game...  Although it's interesting that that is the only boss that ever moves away from his castle.  Has anyone ever sucessfully captured that castle without defeating the boss?

Also, on Scene 7, I got the Helm of the Fearless.  I can't think of too many other RPGs/SRPGs that dump the best equipment of its kind on you so early on.  Other end-game quality items I've gotten so far include the Earth Javelin and the Flame Flail.  Maybe the devs are comfortable with giving you these so quickly because you'll have up to 50 characters per battle, so one or two good peices of equipment don't really unbalance much of anything?

Also, the Angel Brooch.  What does it do?

Offline broodwars

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Also, the Angel Brooch.  What does it do?

I think it just exists to be sold, as I can't think of any quests it belongs to and it's not one of the required equipment for Angel Knights or Seraphim.  I've seen rumors that equipping the brooch on a character raises the chance of them becoming an Angel Knight at the end of a map if they die, but nothing substantial.  Even if that was true, you're better off just using one of your Love & Peace items late in the game when you run into enemy Angel Knights to add them to your party.
 
As for that one boss, I get the feeling that's a bug because that has never made sense to me why that one boss would step away from his castle.  But no, I've never managed to take the castle while he's away.  The problem is that IIRC he doesn't go far enough for you to take the castle without entering into combat with him first, and if you don't kill him you automatically lose the fight no matter how much damage you do.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 11:33:15 AM by broodwars »
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Offline noname2200

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Also, the Angel Brooch.  What does it do?

I think it just exists to be sold, as I can't think of any quests it belongs to and it's not one of the required equipment for Angel Knights or Seraphim.  I've seen rumors that equipping the brooch on a character raises the chance of them becoming an Angel Knight at the end of a map if they die, but nothing substantial.
 
As for that one boss, I get the feeling that's a bug because that has never made sense to me why that one boss would step away from his castle.  But no, I've never managed to take the castle while he's away.  The problem is that IIRC he doesn't go far enough for you to take the castle without entering into combat with him first, and if you don't kill him you automatically lose the fight no matter how much damage you do.

Thank you!  That's about what I thought (about both parts), but the boss one in particular is disappointing.  I had to line up six different units to take out the boss, and even then it was a close thing.  :-\

Offline Crimm

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Love and Peace is the best item in the game.




...I may have duplicated it using the item duplication glitch in the past.
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Offline noname2200

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Love and Peace is the best item in the game.

If you can't beat 'em, steal 'em!

Offline broodwars

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Love and Peace is the best item in the game.

If you can't beat 'em, steal 'em!

Hey, just remember: This land is made of LOVE AND PEACE!   ;)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 10:18:48 PM by broodwars »
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Offline gojira

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I had a character turn into a zombie.  That was unexpected.  Another thing I realized when reading what the deal with zombies was is that magic targets the rear first.  I think that came into the confusion of attack order for me as well.  I ended up just setting it to let the computer decide and they usually do a better job than any of the other settings.

Offline noname2200

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My thanks for broodwars for advising me to stick a witch in my Pedra-winning unit: I got the second pedra halfway through Chapter 1, which is definitely a record.

I'm currently on Chapter 2, and I'm finally about to get over having soldiers in my units.  Which is good, because they only do about eight damage at this point, and they die like flies. :/  Having recently replayed March of the Black Queen, the later levels here are making me re-appreciate some of the things that have changed.  The fact that leaderless enemy units don't retreat and automatically reform is a huge bonus, especially since fights are already taking close to two hours as it is.  This also means that many of the enemy units are more unique than in the original: rather than fighting the same five units over and over and over again, this game varies up who you're fighting against, so most fights are fairly unique. 

Of course, they've jumped enemy levels to compensate for the fact that enemy units don't constantly regenerate, so all my units are becoming way too Lawful right now.  And while I really appreciate that the angle you approach an enemy changes the battle, it's annoying that your own units have to be directly looking at an enemy unit before you can assign it to chase the enemy.

Offline Pandareus

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Hmm, there is way too much stuff unexplained in the tutorial or the manual in this game for my liking.

What's the use of the Training command when you're on the map?

Offline noname2200

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Hmm, there is way too much stuff unexplained in the tutorial or the manual in this game for my liking.

What's the use of the Training command when you're on the map?

For some money, you have one of your units fight a higher-level enemy unit.  That fight continues until one side is eliminated.  If you win, all survivors get the according amount of EXP.  Unlike normal fights, death is not permanent, so don't worry if you lose someone.

Offline adadad

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I'm playing Vagrant Story at the moment on PS1, and I'm struggling to decide which of these two games is the less accessible. I will say at least that I do think the Ogre Battle management menus are well designed enough so as to not be overly frustrating or longwinded. Vagrant Story's menus are far more convoluted, which is sad when you consider that in Vagrant Story you're always only overseeing a single character as opposed to god knows how many in Ogre Battle. I'd say it's practically a necessity going to GameFAQs for an explanation of the various systems within the game though, especially for the class system and the chaos frame, which aren't explained very well in-game (or in the case of the chaos frame, not at all). Trouble is, and I think this applies to both Ogre Battle and Vagrant Story, the games are really challenging and a game over in either game can mean a setback of over an hour potentially. I enjoy a challenge and I like SRPGs, but it does annoy me that aside from teaching the very basics, the game provides very little information as to how to actually play it efficiently.

I managed for a while in Ogre Battle on my own but after I started coming up against tougher enemies partway into the game I went to GameFAQs. And what did I learn? That, apparently, early on in the game you should train up as many soldiers as you can, because the earlier you make them the better they will become. I wish there had been some indication in the game about this! The game doesn't even make you aware that soldiers will "evolve". Then compare this to the modern Fire Emblem games on GC and Wii, which do a great job of explaining what you need to do in order to succeed at the game.

Offline gojira

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I think Ogre Battle actually isn't as inaccessible now that I've given the game some time.  I don't feel like I play the game much differently than I play Fire Emblem.  It's just that the movement and combat in OB is just so unique to the other strategy RPGs I've played (Shining Force, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics and even Tactics Ogre).  And the game does kinda throw you in the deep end right off the bat.  But it's not hard at the beginning, and you'll learn stuff along the way.

It kinda feels like I'm bumbling in the dark sometimes, but then you discover something new and it's kinda rewarding.  Starting with soldiers all of a sudden evolving.  Or out of nowhere two characters combining their magical attacks.  Or even stupid stuff like I just realized that you could change the class of the leaders, but you have to remove their leadership first. 

I'm almost halfway through the game and I have yet to really struggle against enemies.  So I guess I'm doing something right, even if I don't know what that is.  The class system?  I don't know how exactly it works, I just check to see if any of my characters can be promoted.  The Chaos Frame?  I'm not even going to bother with that one.  It's like EV training in Pokemon, just leave it to super fans.

The one thing that still irks me are the battles and the whole priority setup. 

Offline lolmonade

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My first playthrough I had gone through 4 battles before realizing you could dispatch additional groups, which lead to my main character being a beast, but all the other groups being woefully weak, so I restarted.  I didn't even know you could train your characters in-between battles until I read a comment on this forum.  I was wanting to avoid using a gameFAQ, but honestly, I don't think I can successfully play this game without using one.  Does anyone know if all the essential information was in the booklet that came with the game?  Has anyone played the tutorial before starting their game?  Im considering playing it just to see if it goes in great detail explaining the game.

This game so far has involved a great deal of trial-and-error, but it punishes you too harshly when you make a mistake.  I wasted a good 6 hours before realizing I would have no chance at the point that I had saved.  I'm taking my sweet time with every decision I make this time around, but I get the feeling that I'm a few steps away from learning I should have been doing something from the beginning, and I really don't want to have to re-tread the last 5 hours again...

James was right in the podcast when he said there was one big flaw, but it isn't the speed of the game, it's the complete lack of instructions for the menus/importance of position/unit upgrading.  It's really too bad, because I do enjoy the game as I understand it so far, but this has been a nagging frustration since i've started playing it.

A few questions:

  • What is the use of the soldiers you win after every battle?  Can they be upgraded at a certain point, or are they just cheap substitution for the other units?
  • Is there anywhere you can purchase items other than the default ones?  I haven't found any weapons/armor other than what drops in battle
  • What should the priority be for class upgrades?
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Offline gojira

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A few questions:

  • What is the use of the soldiers you win after every battle?  Can they be upgraded at a certain point, or are they just cheap substitution for the other units?
  • Is there anywhere you can purchase items other than the default ones?  I haven't found any weapons/armor other than what drops in battle
  • What should the priority be for class upgrades?

Soldiers eventually evolve into a 'real' character (either an Amazon or a Fighter).  So I find it good to always have them in units.  Until then they are mostly fodder. 

Mostly you have to find a town with a store to purchase new items.  Some items are dropped after battles and some are found as you explore maps.  You can also buy sets of items on the organize screen.  But it's only the basic items for each class you've unlocked.  I found that useful to upgrade the equipment on my lower level Clerics after I had the Priest.

I'm not sure what you mean by priority.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but unlike a lot of other SRPGs there isn't necessarily a progression to classes.  For example, you don't need to be a Cleric before you can become a Priest.  If you have the stats and alignment, you can change to that class.   

Offline noname2200

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I'm almost halfway through the game and I have yet to really struggle against enemies.

Most impressive.  Are you sure you're halfway there already?  It's a deceptively long game marathon; I've already started getting the highest class units (Paladins, Priests, Sirens, etc.) and I'm less than halfway through myself...

  Does anyone know if all the essential information was in the booklet that came with the game?  Has anyone played the tutorial before starting their game?  Im considering playing it just to see if it goes in great detail explaining the game.


 A lot of the problems you're having could have been avoided if you took the tutorial, as it does explain nearly all of the basics.  That said, there are still a lot of things that it never touches upon, so you're overall complaint is quite valid.

The game doesn't even make you aware that soldiers will "evolve". Then compare this to the modern Fire Emblem games on GC and Wii, which do a great job of explaining what you need to do in order to succeed at the game.

Actually, I believe the tutorial does cover this, and more besides.  I think the problem some people are having is that they've become ingrained to the idea that the first hour(s) of the main game will be a tutorial, so that you don't need to read the manual or pick up the basics elsewhere.  Personally, I prefer the way this game approaches it:  it lets me replay the game at any time without having to slog through a "here's how you move your units.  Now you do it!" moment, which I've always found off-putting.  I have a hard time restarting otherwise-great games (like Twilight Princess and Advance Wars 2) because they do start with those, so I'm grateful when a game doesn't.  Your mileage may vary, of course.
 

Offline gojira

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I'm almost halfway through the game and I have yet to really struggle against enemies.

Most impressive.  Are you sure you're halfway there already?  It's a deceptively long game marathon; I've already started getting the highest class units (Paladins, Priests, Sirens, etc.) and I'm less than halfway through myself...


From what I can tell I'm 2 or 3 scenes from the end of the second chapter.  And as soon as I post that I haven't been having much trouble, I hit some of those high level units.  However, after I thought the battle was all but lost I almost had that chapter beat when some enemy sneaked to my base and I got a game over.  I usually keep some characters there, but I thought I had cleared out the enemies and I needed the units.  The whole zombie thing has made me paranoid about losing units and I was moving some to a Witch's Den.  Ugh.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 02:04:47 PM by gojira »

Offline adadad

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A lot of the problems you're having could have been avoided if you took the tutorial, as it does explain nearly all of the basics.  That said, there are still a lot of things that it never touches upon, so you're overall complaint is quite valid.

The game doesn't even make you aware that soldiers will "evolve". Then compare this to the modern Fire Emblem games on GC and Wii, which do a great job of explaining what you need to do in order to succeed at the game.

Actually, I believe the tutorial does cover this, and more besides.  I think the problem some people are having is that they've become ingrained to the idea that the first hour(s) of the main game will be a tutorial, so that you don't need to read the manual or pick up the basics elsewhere.  Personally, I prefer the way this game approaches it:  it lets me replay the game at any time without having to slog through a "here's how you move your units.  Now you do it!" moment, which I've always found off-putting.  I have a hard time restarting otherwise-great games (like Twilight Princess and Advance Wars 2) because they do start with those, so I'm grateful when a game doesn't.  Your mileage may vary, of course.

I may be remembering wrongly (it's been a long time since I started this game), but I did do the training and I don't remember it being any good for explaining anything other than the basic gameplay mechanics...which of course in a strategy game like this is completely insufficient. I completely agree though that lengthy tutorials in games are undesireable, it's just I feel the information should be in there. And of course it can be in the game and still be optional or skippable for repeat playthroughs. Like I said, I think Fire Emblem is a good example of the right way to do it.

Offline Crimm

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I just beat Scene 8 (Dardunelles), and I'd like to ask something I've been wondering for years: was that level's boss some kind of mistake that got overlooked?  There are two other tough battles in that fight (especially the witch's unit: thankfully she's alone), but dumping a level 20 Ogre in the front row just seems cruel.  It instilled an unholy fear of ogres in me for the rest of that first game...  Although it's interesting that that is the only boss that ever moves away from his castle.  Has anyone ever sucessfully captured that castle without defeating the boss?

So I tried this. Meant to come back to the thread to update what happened.

First off, that monster you challenge early wrecked Katreda's unit. Her, Asnabel, Troi, two soldier sets.

After the fight: Soldiers GONE. Troi, dead. Asnabel, banged up. I had to run them all the way across the map to the witches den, which was hazardous to say the least. Meanwhile the battle continued around them.

Anyway, and to my point, I tried to slide a unit in behind Magnus. So the battles against him are treated as if they're in the fort, even as I used Magnus to draw him further and further away from the fort. However, Dio's unit couldn't make it to the fort, because they got intercepted by a leaderless unit that was camping. I suspect, although I cannot confirm, that it would have you battle him.
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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I've seen some posts mentioning the importance of upgrading soldiers. Does that mean I should periodically replace fighters and other "mature" units with soldiers, to give the latter a chance to be promoted during battle?
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Offline noname2200

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I may be remembering wrongly (it's been a long time since I started this game), but I did do the training and I don't remember it being any good for explaining anything other than the basic gameplay mechanics...which of course in a strategy game like this is completely insufficient.

Ah, in that case I stand corrected.  I know I wasn't surprised at the promotions, but I guess I'm forgetting where I learned to expect it, then.


Anyway, and to my point, I tried to slide a unit in behind Magnus. So the battles against him are treated as if they're in the fort, even as I used Magnus to draw him further and further away from the fort. However, Dio's unit couldn't make it to the fort, because they got intercepted by a leaderless unit that was camping. I suspect, although I cannot confirm, that it would have you battle him.

 There goes that thought, then.  :-\ I guess the best course remains loading a bunch of projectile troops on the right side, or trying to engage him from behind. (Don't go there, Lindemann!)

I've seen some posts mentioning the importance of upgrading soldiers. Does that mean I should periodically replace fighters and other "mature" units with soldiers, to give the latter a chance to be promoted during battle?

 Sort of.  Your army can field up to ten units at a time, so what you should be doing is forming new units as your army grows, with soldiers filling in the gaps.  In the first two or three battles, it's okay to have two or three soldiers in each unit, but as time goes on, you should space out the soldiers until each has one at most. 

Feel free to cannibalize units that don't have any soldiers to help form the new units (e.g. take one Valkyrie from Leia's unit, replace it with a soldier, and then assign the valkyrie to the new unit).  Between doing this, and recruiting special characters, you'll be able to field ten units by the end of the first chapter/early in the second chapter, with little to no soldiers remaining.
 
 

Offline Schadenfreude

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This game isn't what I expected. I was thinking something more along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics. There are similarities, but the battles are much more passive.

Offline Crimm

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I'm about two missions into Chapter Two.

I have nine units with only about 3 soldier sets currently in use (2 in the same formation)

I'm going to be getting at least two more units worth of special characters:

Destin and co.
and
Ankeseth and his unit

At some point I'll have to cannibalize a unit. I have a unit with a beast master, a hellhound, a priestess, and a fighter that is the likely candidate. That said, it's a terrible formation but they seem to manage quite well for themselves in fights.

Hellhounds in the front row are absolute wrecking balls.

I've been trying to recruit hawkmen. I have one so far. I'll get Sheen later. I'm quite alright with having an eleventh unit that's just flying. They're very useful later in the game when you need to get behind legions.
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Offline gojira

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I have a unit with a beast master, a hellhound, a priestess, and a fighter that is the likely candidate. That said, it's a terrible formation but they seem to manage quite well for themselves in fights.

My unit of a beast master and hellhound was one of my strongest.  The beast master already moved up in class, I could even make him a black knight if I wanted.  The hellhound evolved too.  Now my beast tamer/cerberus unit is quite deadly.

It's funny, after that one battle with the cockatrices I've resumed my dominance over the enemy.  And I finished Chapter 2 with out issue.  Then all of a sudden I have legions.  No introduction or anything, the option is just there.  The info in game didn't really help me understand how to use them so I went to gamefaqs.  It sounds like they're basically worthless?

I've also tried out the training for the first time.  I wanted to play more game, but didn't want to get sucked into a two hour battle.  It reminds me somewhat of the bonus exp system in the most recent Fire Emblem games.  Basically it seems to be a method to raise the levels of characters outside of battle.  I guess it has some other functions too, like finding more Elem Petras.  But I haven't done that yet.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 11:17:14 PM by gojira »

Offline Crimm

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I never found the legions helpful. I did enjoy decapitating legions of their legionnaire. very useful tactic, and vultan units are well suited to it.
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Offline noname2200

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This game isn't what I expected. I was thinking something more along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics. There are similarities, but the battles are much more passive.

I see what you mean, but I'm not sure I completely agree.  It's true that you don't command individual units in battle, like you would in the more common SRPGs, but that's only because you're channeling all your time and attention elsewhere.  Where games like Tactics Ogre have you putting most of your time into individual units' tactics (...), with only a bit of time spent in pre-battle preparation (i.e. equipment and class), this game asks that you put that same amount of time into arranging, equipping, and moving your units, with only a little time getting devoted to the battle itself.  This doesn't mean OB is more passive about combat, just that it reverses where the player has input on the outcome.  If it helps, think of games like Tactics Ogre as making you a military sargeant (sic), who can do a lot of micromanagement over his troops, while games like Ogre Battle treat you like a general, where preparing and moving your units is your duty, but the individual combat is left to subordinates.

I've been trying to recruit hawkmen. I have one so far. I'll get Sheen later. I'm quite alright with having an eleventh unit that's just flying. They're very useful later in the game when you need to get behind legions.

 Ah Sheen.  I nearly missed him this playthrough (my Chaos Frame was a smidge too high), but after restarting and letting the enemy take a few of my cities he showed up and did his usual perv act.
 
 I also got Ankiseth, i.e. the best character in the game hands down.  In terms of badass-oscity (...) he's basically like Orlandu was in Final Fantasy Tactics.  Although because there's fifty of you fighting instead of just five, he doesn't completely unbalance the game like Orlandu did. 
 


It's funny, after that one battle with the cockatrices I've resumed my dominance over the enemy.  And I finished Chapter 2 with out issue.  Then all of a sudden I have legions.  No introduction or anything, the option is just there.  The info in game didn't really help me understand how to use them so I went to gamefaqs.  It sounds like they're basically worthless?

 Yup, they suck.  They make your units completely inflexible, and the core unit has to have soldiers in it.  On the flipside, enemy legions are awesome:  because they're in a compact space, you can just go Wrecking Ball on them and enjoy the resulting carnage.  Even better, if you don't kill off the leaders, defeated enemies return to formation at super-speed, so you save a ton of time that's usually wasted on hunting them down.  Best of all, they won't retreat, no matter how wounded, until the legion leader does.  Convenient!
 

Offline Crimm

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Enemy legions are only problem if you don't plan for them. If you're not ready for them then get out of their way and start the process of getting ready.


I cleared Scene 12 - The Steadfast (Highland of Soathon) last night . Every time I play the game I forget that this mission has one nasty surprise for you. Early in the battle the enemies let you close in on them. Once you pass a certain point they launch a counter attack using vultan units.


This isn't the first time the game uses vultans or "FLY" formations, but it's the first time it shows you how they can be used in a concerted effort to achieve strategic objectives.


Here, once you clear the first stronghold of the hostiles around it three vultan units show up. One is behind you (in the mountains), one is across the river to the north and the other is across the river to the south. Because they fly they can cross the river without the bridge and are much faster then you. If they get behind your forces they have a clear shot at the stronghold, and can win by default.


LUCKILY I had enough forces behind to hold them long enough for the so-called "tip of the spear" units could double-back to resolve the situation.


This is, however, a strategy you can emulate. I'm still working on, because the next mission is the one where they blow up the bridges. I hate that mission, because it leaves you completely exposed until relief forces can reach the other side.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 12:27:03 PM by Crimm »
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Offline gojira

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So I was just checking out Amazon to see what this game is going for.  And then I noticed a little note at the top telling me I've already purchased the game June 13th, 2003.  So I've only had the game for almost 8 years before I put some meaningful time into it.  :p 

I also noticed that this game came out in late 2000.  A year before the GameCube came out.  And reading IGN's review saying the n64 has finally gotten its' true RPG is kinda sad the genre was so neglected on the system. 

Also I just had a funny engagement I thought I would share.  So I was tracking down some enemy unit.  I recently got a golem so my unit had him, a doll master, a cleric and a hawk guy.  Anyway the unit I chasing had to camp so I took them on while they were asleep.  The hawk guy hits a witch and takes her health down.  She then wakes up only to see a jester doll right in her face.  Boom.  Dead.  I lol'd.  I was just imagining a character running for their life until they couldn't stay awake anymore only to wake up to a jester doll right in front of them.  Then they die.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 11:57:49 PM by gojira »

Offline noname2200

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I had my first game over since my first playthrough. :( Apparently, I missed a unit in Celesis, because just as I was about to march on the castle and beat the stage I get a message that my HQ had fallen.  This means I had to restart that level for the second time, since the first time around I blew all my Love and Peaces in an unsuccessful bid to get an Angel Knight; apparently, I have just as much luck with virtual girls as I do with the real deal!

In other news, my army is now nothing but master class units, including the Dragoon and the awesome Lich.  I've always been leery of leaving a magic user exposed, since they drop like flies when a melee unit so much as looks at them, but I've changed it up a bit this game and now have two units that can use combo magic.  I'd forgotten how potent that stuff can be: combine fire and lightning to get a strong attack which usually paralyzes the enemy.  When it's two sirens using that spell, you hit all the enemies, and paralyze between 2-4 of them.  So awesome.  So cheap.  But not as cheap as a Lich with Drakonite magic...

Offline Jonnyboy117

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I made a zombie! Is he going to be useful?
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Offline broodwars

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I made a zombie! Is he going to be useful?

Nope.  And he'll become even less useful I believe if he's ever hit with a flame attack, which will turn him into a Ghost that has a pretty useless attack IIRC.  The ONLY good class to come of a character dying is the Angel Knight.
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Offline noname2200

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I made a zombie! Is he going to be useful?

Depends on how you use him.  Zombies lack the attack or defense power of whatever poor soul got bumped off to create it, but they make up for it in meat-shield potential. Unlike most units, most of the undead (zombies, skeletons, ghosts) automatically regenerate with full health at the end of any battle in which they "die."   The only ways permanently kill off a zombie/skeleton/ghost is to either have the finishing blow come from a holy weapon (which enemies rarely use outside of Chapter 3), or to have ALL the units die at the end of the battle.  So as long as someone still has a toehold on life, your zombie should regenerate.  Of course, the same is true of enemy zombies.

But if you're going to use this strategy, try to have your zombie get hit with a fire attack.  This transforms it into a more powerful Skeleton, which has the same regeneration, health, and defense as a zombie, but can now actually do damage by equipping hammers and axes.  Just don't undeadify too many of your units, because the living tend to hit harder, especially as the game progresses.

Also, how'd you get your zombie?

Offline noname2200

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I made a zombie! Is he going to be useful?

Nope.  And he'll become even less useful I believe if he's ever hit with a flame attack, which will turn him into a Ghost that has a pretty useless attack IIRC.  The ONLY good class to come of a character dying is the Angel Knight.

Nah, zombies become skeletons with fire.  Hit a skeleton with a combination fire/wind attack to get the (useless) ghost, just like you'd turn a Stone Golem into a Baldr Golem.  But I only remember two enemy formations that use that combo, and one was in the secret final level...

Offline Crimm

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I missed Sheen.

I MISSED SHEEN!

 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
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Offline Schadenfreude

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I'm probably 3 hoursish in and am so far finding this game...boring. It starts slow so I'll keep at it, but nothing about it so far has 'compelled' me to keep playing. I think I just prefer games more like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics.

Offline Kytim89

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The only way I would want a zombie in my party is if he could infect the opposiong army's soldiers into zombies. Also, I bought this game about a year ago thinking that it was like Tactics Ogre and I was dissapointed at the results. I find this game hard to get into, but the visuals are just beutiful.
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Offline gojira

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I had a character turn into a zombie and recruited a skeleton.  But I lost both due to holy attacks. :(

I cannot state enough just how much I hate cockatrices.  They are so freaken overpowered.  The chances of getting petrified seems to be like 75%. 

I'm also annoyed with the alignment system right now.  I have a handful of characters that can be promoted if their alignment was only a few notches over. 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 12:03:29 AM by gojira »

Offline Kytim89

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The art style alone for his game makes it a must have for any nostalgic gamer. I would love to see a traditional RPG that uses the same art styles as this game. Although I prefer that Tactics Ogre games, I see this game as specieal because I like the colorful sprites and art style.
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Offline gojira

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The people saying this game looks good must be playing on VC.  It's not so pretty on my n64 hooked up to my plasma with composite cables.

Offline Yoshidious

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The people saying this game looks good must be playing on VC.  It's not so pretty on my n64 hooked up to my plasma with composite cables.

I'd be surprised if anything hooked up to a plasma TV via composite cables looks good, much less an N64 game running in 320x240. I'm sure the upscaling to 480p on Virtual Console along with the use of component video makes a very appreciable difference.
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Offline Kytim89

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The people saying this game looks good must be playing on VC.  It's not so pretty on my n64 hooked up to my plasma with composite cables.

I'd be surprised if anything hooked up to a plasma TV via composite cables looks good, much less an N64 game running in 320x240. I'm sure the upscaling to 480p on Virtual Console along with the use of component video makes a very appreciable difference.

My TV is an old RCA from 1994, so I am sure I would get a better resolution from my Wii if I had a better TV.
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Offline Crimm

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I cannot state enough just how much I hate cockatrices.  They are so freaken overpowered.  The chances of getting petrified seems to be like 75%.


*nods solemnly*



I'm also annoyed with the alignment system right now.  I have a handful of characters that can be promoted if their alignment was only a few notches over. 


URN OF CHAOS


Who the hell would make an item called "The Urn of Chaos," specifically designed to make someone more murderous? It seems like a pretty terrible decision.
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Offline gojira

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I cannot state enough just how much I hate cockatrices.  They are so freaken overpowered.  The chances of getting petrified seems to be like 75%.


*nods solemnly*



I'm also annoyed with the alignment system right now.  I have a handful of characters that can be promoted if their alignment was only a few notches over. 


URN OF CHAOS


Who the hell would make an item called "The Urn of Chaos," specifically designed to make someone more murderous? It seems like a pretty terrible decision.

That item might be useful if it moved alignment more than one tiny notch.  They let you buy the equipment required to promote, it'd be easier if they did the same with alignment.  Money doesn't seem to be an issue in the game, so let me spend it on changing my characters alignment.

Offline broodwars

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That item might be useful if it moved alignment more than one tiny notch.  They let you buy the equipment required to promote, it'd be easier if they did the same with alignment.  Money doesn't seem to be an issue in the game, so let me spend it on changing my characters alignment.

Something I did that was rather effective (and I've mentioned this before) is that I captured negatively-aligned creatures like Hellhounds (or whatever the first form of the Cerberus is called), Gremlins, and whatnot.  When I needed a character to lose alignment, I'd take them out of their unit, throw them in a unit with those creatures, and then I'd have them go into a few random encounters with creatures while wandering the world maps.  At the end of every battle, the game will raise the alignment of the negatively-aligned creatures and lower the alignment of the good-aligned character to try to balance out the unit.  Presto, you now have a significantly lower-aligned character.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  The only thing you lose is a little unit morale from your character being out of his unit for a while, but you can get that back with a few battles.  You just won't see combination magic as often for a while.
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Offline noname2200

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Just listened to the podcast, and I'm honestly a bit surprised that only Jonny was all the frustrated with the game.  Although the complaints are all valid.  The funny thing about the game being slow is that its predecessor on the SNES was actually pretty fast, especially when you got flying units (which, unlike in this game, let you take to the skies even if you had non-fliers in that unit.  This game's restriction there caught me by surprise the first time: it makes hawkmen and griffons much less necessary). 

Unlike Jonny, I like the fact that battles end, since it lets me use items and adjust my formation to compensate for the pounding I just took, although it can also lead to long chases if you're trying to completely wipe out a unit.  I am glad, though, that fleeing units are slower than normal, although this also means that you'd never set your own units to automatically flee.

I would like to point out though that you CAN recruit Vad without ever fighting him: just don't send any unit east (at all) until you've seized the northern town and thus blown the bridge.  He'll sit still in one city for the rest of the fight, and join you after the battle.  Also, the Chaos Frame actually affects more than just the five Zenobians, most importantly the God-like Ankiseth and the Pretty Good Biske (sounds like something off a BBQ menu...), but admittedly not knowing about the system won't cripple you: alignment and promotions are much more important.  Although the special characters tend to be pretty freaking awesome...

As a sidenote, I love how Destin's far more of a character here than he was in his own game.


I cannot state enough just how much I hate cockatrices.  They are so freaken overpowered.  The chances of getting petrified seems to be like 75%.

Yup.  But just wait until you get a bit into Chapter 4, and encounter the worst enemy in the game, the Gorgon.  If one is in the front row, every unit that is not behind another unit will get petrified unless it 1) has the (unique) Hallowed Shield (thanks Troi!), or 2) is a Golem.  So cheap....

If you need an anti-cockatrice strategy, have a unit that has the Hallowed Shield equipped, and stick a Golem in there if feasible (they're not only immune, but they get strengthened when "petrified").  If you're not into Golems, take advantage of the cockatrices always being in a corner by shifting your formation so that three characters are on the opposite column as the cockatrice, with one unit in the front row and one in the back (so only one unit is vulnerable to the attack). Equip the vulnerable unit with the Hallowed Shield, if possible, and you'll be home free.

 If you're fighting TWO cockatrices, space out your troops: one in each of the corners, and one in the very center.  This way, only two units at most are vulnerable, and you can not lose more than one unit in one attack.  If you can, equip the Hallowed Shield on someone who is in the BACK of his/her column, to take advantage of its status immunity.

Finally, do what you can to avoid having the cockatrice in the rear.  If you fight a unit that has a cockatrice in the front, change your strategy and formation to take it out before you eliminate the leader, since that shifts it to the rear when the units is retreating.  If it's already in the rear row, take advantage of its slow speed by shifting troops to focus on the leader, taking out the leader, and then retreating as soon as the leader is dead.  That way, the enemy will retreat, which moves the cockatrice to the front...

Follow these tips, and you're unlikely to lose more than one or two units to cockatrice petrification during the entire game.  The other petrifier is a different story...
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 03:26:58 PM by noname2200 »

Offline Jonnyboy117

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After getting my first zombie (who does seem useful due to the regeneration, at least more than soldiers), my next battle ended with getting four more zombies. Some of these are characters who I'd prefer to have alive... is there any method for changing them back? I had some units on the Witch's Den and simply forgot to revive the dead guys before the battle ended. At least I know that skeletons can be more useful.
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Offline broodwars

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After getting my first zombie (who does seem useful due to the regeneration, at least more than soldiers), my next battle ended with getting four more zombies. Some of these are characters who I'd prefer to have alive... is there any method for changing them back? I had some units on the Witch's Den and simply forgot to revive the dead guys before the battle ended. At least I know that skeletons can be more useful.

Nope.  Once a character turns into a zombie, they're undead for the rest of their un-life.  The only way to get them back is to reload your save and try the stage again.  That's why I never complete a map unless I'm sure all my characters are alive.
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Offline gojira

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I'm now onto chapter 4.  My characters are kinda falling into place.  Take a lawful character from this unit, promote it and switch with another unit.  Most of my characters are promoted and I think I only have a couple of soldiers left in units.  Kinda like with most SRPGs, I seem to be spending a lot of battles trying to get my lower level units exp.  But it's totally worth it when you get the promotions.

Offline noname2200

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Beat Fort Romulus, got myself a Seraphim, and recruited meself a princess.  The Seraphim is the upgraded Angel Knight.  In the back row, she gets two hit-all holy attacks, kind of like the Elder Dragons, but she only takes up one slot: very nice, and definitely worth all the hassle involved in getting an Angel Knight.

The Princess is as awesome as James alluded to in the podcast.  She's essentially a lawful-oriented Siren who only gets one attack instead of two, but most importantly if you make her the unit leader she gives EVERY other member of her unit an extra attack, including herself.  So if your Lich attacks three times, it now goes four times.  Your Priests now heal three times instead of two.  Etc.  It's easy to see why she's so valuable, and also why you have to go through a massive hassle to get her.  She also highlights some of the differences with the SNES game, in that while both games had Princesses available, the first game had the enemies do random drops, so you might get a Princess as early as the second level, and could theoretically have as many as nine of them on the field at once (my record was four.  My army was invincible!).  I'm glad this game decided to go with set drops instead, since it helps to balance out the difficulty better than in the original.

Finally, Fort Romulus introduces a new, and somewhat needed, twist to the gameplay.  It's essentially like the normal battle maps, but there are very few strongholds, you can not see behind walls (unless you fly over them...), there are no shops or witch dens, and there is a time limit.  I appreciate what the developers were trying to do with this, but the limited number of fortress battles, combined with how easy most of the fights there are, somewhat defeats the purpose... Although in more Ankiseth Kicks Ass News, he once again took the full brunt of the boss' special attack (essentially, he uses a Pedra against you: very painful) and still survived.  Good times!

Offline Crimm

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I forgot about the fortresses. They're yet another place where a flying unit can be a godsend. Woosh: Right over the walls!


I remember the first time I played one being beside myself that I didn't have access to a witches' den.


I know they don't do this in all the forts, but in at least one the defenders will sally forth to meet you in the field outside. This helps in that you know what you have to kill, but it serves as a huge time waste.
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Offline noname2200

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I know they don't do this in all the forts, but in at least one the defenders will sally forth to meet you in the field outside. This helps in that you know what you have to kill, but it serves as a huge time waste.

That's in the second fortress fight.  It's a good thing that the time limit is so generous, because that battle is surprisingly lengthy, especially compared to how vanilla the "Impregnable" Fort Romulus is.

Offline Crimm

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Strangely, I have a flying unit even without Sheen.

Shockingly, it's pretty much a hunter-killer unit.
  • 1 Seraph (unit leader)
  • 3 Vultans
  • 1 Raven
They're very effective in one to one combat, even when they're not being used to get behind the enemy. When retaking Leia's home her unit circumvented two legions and struck the commander directly. The next time I needed them was in rapid response to an enemy unit that got behind the cordon, and had a clean shot at the base. They caught him just in time and managed to repel the attack.

This is actually the first time I've had a flying unit that isn't kind of garbage. They're SO USEFUL during a siege. Granted, units spawn during sieges, so you can still get ambushed, but it does help. In the end, I still had to puncture the walls to get to the boss, but they did help clear the route ahead of the siege units.
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Offline noname2200

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They're very effective in one to one combat, even when they're not being used to get behind the enemy. When retaking Leia's home her unit circumvented two legions and struck the commander directly.

Most impressive that they finished that boss off so effectively.  I sent Leia's unit in to do the job, but after getting a pair of combo spells only Leia was left to limp away in complete humiliation.  ;D

Anyway, I finished the game for the umpteenth time.  The final fight is pretty emblematic of the game as a whole: when I didn't know what I was doing (the first time around), I got walloped, and barely managed to win.  Now that fight is kind of a joke.  Being prepared really, really helps in this game (not surprising, since the player's input is almost exclusively in the preparation).  This makes it doubly unfortunate that the game only occasionally takes the time to educate and prepare the player...

As a random aside, I finally ran into an enemy unit led by someone named Badguy.  I took hunted him down with a unit led by a Black Knight named Ma'ddog.  As an added bonus, Badguy's unit had a knight named Dude.  I love the random name generator in this game.  ;D Although nothing will ever top the original's, which gave me an almighty and widely-feared Lich.  His name was "Pizza." 

Offline Crimm

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I killed a couple of "Dudes" today. Badguy is classic. I'm sure there's a list of names somewhere.

Then again, one of the units I started the game with was named Aqua. I feel like if she didn't have a completely stupid name I'd have used her more and she'd be a strong unit.

The horrible unit I've created of recruited characters I don't have a slot for is now unstoppable.

Aisha (A), Saradin (S), Vad (V), Merida (M), Debonair (D)

Front
_ V D
_ _ _
A S M

In that formation Vad and Debonair both get three attacks and Aisha gets two heal plus.

That alone would make this unit fairly powerful, however Merida has The Book of Meteor Strike equipped and Saradin has The Book of the Tempest.

At no point in the last three missions has ANY unit had even a single unit survive an encounter with them.

For those that don't know, Tempest and Meteor Strike are spells that each to between 50 to 110 damage...to all enemies in the formation. Because of their position on the field, they both get to cast their spell twice. With Vad and Debonair doing about 60 - 90 per hit, and each going three times, this unit kills EVERYTHING many times before the second round starts.

Troi's unit has The Book of Destruction. Not sure how they ended up with it, but they've had it since you could first buy it around mission 13. It basically took every cent I had. It's paid it back 10 fold.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 12:14:32 AM by Crimm »
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Offline Crimm

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Final Stats:

Chaos Frame: 74 points
Total: 985 days

Ending: King Magnus

That's got to be the quickest (in terms of days) that I've beaten the game. I only had three birthdays!

Time (it doesn't tell you final time, so this is my time BEFORE the final battle): 40:32:41. I'd say the last battle took slightly over an hour.

So a good estimate is probably 41:45. I'm happy with that.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 12:11:23 AM by Crimm »
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Offline noname2200

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I killed a couple of "Dudes" today. Badguy is classic. I'm sure there's a list of names somewhere.

Then again, one of the units I started the game with was named Aqua. I feel like if she didn't have a completely stupid name I'd have used her more and she'd be a strong unit.

I'd suggest just changing her name, since she's generic, but it'd be hypocritical of me since I never bothered either.  Save for one time, when I was younger, and thus named all my generic units after sex positions.  That was when I first discovered the, erm, large variety of information that the internet can put at the disposal of any teenager with a keyboard and 56k modem...

Although speaking of special characters you don't know what to do with: what use is Gilbert?  He's a Beast Master, and thus already worthless, but he doesn't seem to be much better than any other Beast Master...

Offline Crimm

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He's not useful at all. I think beasts might get a stat boost in a party with a beastmaster. I can't confirm that to be true, however.


I've got him doing meat sheild duty next to Destin and a knight (yes, a knight at the end of the game who despite leveling never made it to paladin). Of course, they're not protecting anything, because behind them is the fully evolved form of the wind dragon. I had it with the flying unit, only to find that despite his GIANT WINGS and his WIND ALIGNMENT he can't fly.


Once I had an angel knight and the Raven he was kicked out of the band, but it seemed a waste to leave him in the inactive roster. It's not like he was something useless like a fairy.


>Throw a Kiss x2


...great
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Offline Kytim89

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He's not useful at all. I think beasts might get a stat boost in a party with a beastmaster. I can't confirm that to be true, however.


I've got him doing meat sheild duty next to Destin and a knight (yes, a knight at the end of the game who despite leveling never made it to paladin). Of course, they're not protecting anything, because behind them is the fully evolved form of the wind dragon. I had it with the flying unit, only to find that despite his GIANT WINGS and his WIND ALIGNMENT he can't fly.


Once I had an angel knight and the Raven he was kicked out of the band, but it seemed a waste to leave him in the inactive roster. It's not like he was something useless like a fairy.


>Throw a Kiss x2


...great

Are you getting the new Tactics Ogre for the PSP?
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Offline Crimm

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Don't have one. That said, I do really prefer the Ogre Battle style to the Tactics Ogre style.
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Offline Kytim89

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Don't have one. That said, I do really prefer the Ogre Battle style to the Tactics Ogre style.

I am the opposite and prefer the Tactics Ogre style over the other.
Please follow me on Twitter at: Kytim89.

Offline broodwars

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Don't have one. That said, I do really prefer the Ogre Battle style to the Tactics Ogre style.

I am the opposite and prefer the Tactics Ogre style over the other.

Hooray for you?   ::)

Isometric, grid-based strategy games bore me.  It's just a continual dance of "send this unit behind this enemy unit and backstab until dead" or "send this unit and spam magic on this group of enemy units until dead."   Every battle involves moving the same characters to largely the same positions to execute the same moves.  I'll take macro-level military strategy where I'm directing legions of troops (or micro-level ones like Valkyria Chronicles that discard the grid for 3rd person movement and combat), thanks.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 12:21:09 AM by broodwars »
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Offline Kytim89

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Don't have one. That said, I do really prefer the Ogre Battle style to the Tactics Ogre style.

I am the opposite and prefer the Tactics Ogre style over the other.

Hooray for you?   ::)

Isometric, grid-based strategy games bore me.  It's just a continual dance of "send this unit behind this enemy unit and backstab until dead" or "send this unit and spam magic on this group of enemy units until dead."  I'll take macro-level military strategy where I'm directly legions of troops (or micro-level ones like Valkyria Chronicles that discard the grid for 3rd person movement and combat), thanks.

I prefer a small band of fighters out numbered by the enemy and you, the player, must rely on skill and strategy to defeat your opponents. I also love all of the different classes.
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Offline Crimm

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Neither series is want for number of classes or opportunities to be outnumbered. I'd say that the OB series places more emphasis on the longterm decision making:

Units are slow
Fields are large
Game is realtime

then it does on shorter term tactics.
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Offline noname2200

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I'm a fan of both styles of SRPG, but I'd be more excited about an upcoming game that's like Ogre Battle than Tactics Ogre, simply because the latter has been farmed far more than the former.  Can anyone name a game that's similar to Ogre Battle?

Offline broodwars

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I'm a fan of both styles of SRPG, but I'd be more excited about an upcoming game that's like Ogre Battle than Tactics Ogre, simply because the latter has been farmed far more than the former.  Can anyone name a game that's similar to Ogre Battle?

The Last Remnant on the Xbox 360/PC (and I hear the PC version is dramatically superior due to the lack of massive framerate issues that the 360 version has).
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Offline broodwars

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Just to give my own thoughts on the game since I'm not going to have the time to play any more than the little bit I already have before the RFN crew is done with the game:
 
Ogre Battle 64 is one of my favorite games of All Time.  It's not a perfect game by a long stretch: much of the game can be beaten by just aiming for the leader, a great number of features about the game are either never explained or quickly glossed over (such as why you would ever want to use a Legion), the game's pace can be maddeningly-slow, and on occasion the lack of direct input can frustrate me.  However, it managed to do something years ago I never would have thought was possible: it took the formula of the original frustratingly-obtuse SNES Ogre Battle and made it fun.  It's stuffed with secrets and gameplay systems that rival many modern games (let alone N64 ones), the 2D visuals are gorgeous (especially on the Wii's component video), the N64's limited 3D capabilities are used well, the soundtrack is excellent (though some songs are overused), and the story is deceptively simple yet contains a surprising amount of complexity.
 
Sadly, gamers have shown they'd rather experience the dull, copy-and-paste Tactics Ogre/Final Fantasy Tactics formula, while I much prefer the preparation-based strategy of the original Ogre Battle and Ogre Battle 64.  For all their flaws, at least those two games are unique, which is more than I can say for most strategy and RPG games nowadays.  The games are acquired tastes, but I highly recommend Ogre Battle 64 and for $10 on Wii I really don't see how you can go wrong picking the game up (I paid $60 for the original cartridge at launch).  The game certainly holds up better than most of the games on the Virtual Console.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 02:46:50 PM by broodwars »
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Offline Crimm

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I'm a fan of both styles of SRPG, but I'd be more excited about an upcoming game that's like Ogre Battle than Tactics Ogre, simply because the latter has been farmed far more than the former.  Can anyone name a game that's similar to Ogre Battle?

The Last Remnant on the Xbox 360/PC (and I hear the PC version is dramatically superior due to the lack of massive framerate issues that the 360 version has).


And the screen tearing. It's so bad about that. I enjoyed it, but man that game has BUGS.


It does have the squads, and the limited control. It doesn't have the big over-land tactical stuff, but some of the battles are quite larger and the game IS absurdly obtuse. It has its own Wiki page, and it is totally necessary to extract all the gameplay from that game.


broodwars, as I've said on the show, there is no N64 game I love more than OB64. If I've beaten it as many times as I remember (four now?) that's over 160 hours. No N64 game comes close. Even after 160 hours I still learned some stuff right up to the last engagement of the last battle of this play-through.


I got really good at knowing when to end engagements early, something I had never done in the past because I was too concerned with ending the engagement as the winner.
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Offline Razorkid

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Just got through listening to the podcast on my way driving down to DC from New England. I love this game sooooo much!

I remember preordering it back in the day when I was in highschool at Babbages.

I've beaten the game 3 times, though it has been over 10 years since my last playthrough. This is one of my top all time favorite games and a real gem on the N64. Back when I was in highschool and had all the time in the world, to have this game as part my N64 library was huge. You gotta remember that there were just about zero rpgs for the N64 at the time and it was my only current gen system. So when I heard it was coming out and saw the 2D sprite art that was so bereft on the N64 and prevelent on the psone (of which I didn't own) I pounced on it immediately.

I remember jumping in blindly on my first playthrough (though only after thoroughly reading the manual and playing the tutorial) and not really taking advantage of all the strategic placements and promotion systems till about halfway through chap 1. After that, it was a blast to play.

Favorite things for me:
-The planning screen- Oh how I would spend hours pouring over stats, quibling over unit placement and grouping, outfiting with new equipment, and deciding who's next in line for a level up. Plus that music during the planning screen is soooo serene. Easily half my playtime was devoted to planning.

-The battles - It's interesting hearing different preferences on strategy games. I really enjoyed OGB64's take on realtime/turnbased and got a real sense of accomplishment when my troops performed admirably all thanks to my planning. Plus, how satisfying is it when your troops get a critical hit and the camera zooms in for extra emphasis!

-Replayability- I've beaten the game 3 times and have gotten a different ending everytime. I've still yet to create some of the different classes (angels, princess, seraphims, some dragon evolutions, etc.) nor have I played completely chaotic before which would be fun.

As it was stated in the retrospective, I would pay a handsome sum to have this exact game portable. As a working adult and family man, I don't have as much time to sit in front of the tv like I use to to devote the time I need to enjoy this game. Nowadays, I play the majority of my srpgs on my DS and that has become my mode of choice with this genre.

Here's hoping that they release a re-make or this exact game for 3DS AND a sequel as well with the same battle system.

"All the world is blind to my passing..."

Offline gojira

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I'm getting towards the end.  I feel like I'm going to get a 'bad' end because no one has joined my party lately and a lot of characters seem to be dying. 

Despite that I got this super bad ass bow that petrifies seemingly 100% of the time.  Freaken domination with that unit.

Offline noname2200

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Thanks to James, Jonny, Nathan, and Greg for their other recommended titles.  I've repeatedly played the SNES game (it's great, but not as good as 64), and I've tried and enjoyed the Total War series (up to Medieval II, which turned me off) and Romance of the Three Kingdoms (it gets too complicated for me after IV).  But Company of Heroes sounds like it should be up my alley, even if it's not quite the same:  I'd heard great things about it, but somehow never got around to picking it up.  I'll correct that mistake.

I'm getting towards the end.  I feel like I'm going to get a 'bad' end because no one has joined my party lately and a lot of characters seem to be dying.

That's not necessarily indicative of anything.  Special Characters stop pouring in early in Chapter 4, with the last one being available only if you're Chaotic and don't have any Zenobian.  And the plot definitely turns into a bloodbath no matter what, although it's even worse if you missed some characters, or make a few decisions differently.

I remember jumping in blindly on my first playthrough (though only after thoroughly reading the manual and playing the tutorial) and not really taking advantage of all the strategic placements and promotion systems till about halfway through chap 1. After that, it was a blast to play.

Favorite things for me:
-The planning screen- Oh how I would spend hours pouring over stats, quibling over unit placement and grouping, outfiting with new equipment, and deciding who's next in line for a level up. Plus that music during the planning screen is soooo serene. Easily half my playtime was devoted to planning.

-The battles - It's interesting hearing different preferences on strategy games. I really enjoyed OGB64's take on realtime/turnbased and got a real sense of accomplishment when my troops performed admirably all thanks to my planning. Plus, how satisfying is it when your troops get a critical hit and the camera zooms in for extra emphasis!

It's fun to compare experiences with other people about this game, since, not surprisingly, people who've played the game are pretty rare.  It's kind of heartening to know that everyone was as lost and confused as I was when I first played it. :D  Nowadays, the prevalence of Gamefaqs means that will never happen again, so I know I'll never get to completely repeat that feeling.  That's mostly for the better, of course, but there was something to peicing together the game's mechanics through observation, trial, and error.  Jonny kind of exemplified this when he talked about discovering how strongholds recover your HP as well as your stamina: the feeling I got from peeling away the game's layers one by one was strangely gratifying, especially since I wouldn't have this patience with most other games.  I guess I just always got the impression that there was a ton of stuff waiting beneath the surface, which encouraged me to push through the frustration.

Well that, and I was a broke teenager, so I had to milk all my games for as much as I could...

As for the battles, the criticals are satisfying, but my favorite part is the various death screams.  As simple as they are, they're strangely satisfying.

Offline gojira

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I finished the game.

Chaos Frame: 1 pt (and obviously the worst ending).
662 days (one birthday, should've been two but they skipped over my first one).
75+ hours (half of that was probably spent in the organization screen).

The game wasn't that difficult overall.  I'd say my experience with many other strategy games and the time spent in the organization screen played a big role in that. 

But wow those hours.  I listened to many many podcasts and an audible book or two.  I even spent some time fixing up a n64 controller I kinda broke in a fit of rage. 

Having shunned this game for so long it's funny it's now a game I really enjoy.  It's not my favorite strategy game, but it feels like the most replayable.  So I can see why it has been played multiple times by people.

Offline Crimm

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1 POINT!? Who are you, Benito Mussolini?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 08:43:38 PM by Crimm »
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Offline gojira

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Apparently.  They kept telling me all I cared about was winning battles. 

Offline Crimm

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I think 60 is bad end.

You missed good end by like 59 points.
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Offline noname2200

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I think 60 is bad end.


Nah, there's a Pretty Good end between 30 and 60.  Things end pretty happily for all involved, and the sequel gets set up as much as in either of the other endings.  So he's only 29 away from not completely screwing over the country.

Offline Crimm

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You can't get a 0 right? For all we know he may have been much worse.
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Offline gojira

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I think 60 is bad end.


Nah, there's a Pretty Good end between 30 and 60.  Things end pretty happily for all involved, and the sequel gets set up as much as in either of the other endings.  So he's only 29 away from not completely screwing over the country.

But I did get to see the baby crawling out from under the dead woman.  Or is that in all the endings?

Offline Crimm

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King Magnus has no such event.

It does have Sir Fredrick dying in battle, which makes no sense as he never took the field during the entire duration of the war.
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Offline noname2200

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You can't get a 0 right? For all we know he may have been much worse.

You can, actually; it's what I got my first time through.  Totally flubbed it!  :D

Offline noname2200

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But I did get to see the baby crawling out from under the dead woman.  Or is that in all the endings?


That's only in the worst ending, although it's almost certainly going to be a critical part of the next games.  For reference sake, that baby was the final boss of the SNES game, and likely the ultimate villain of the series.  He fought in the Ogre Battle, turned insance/evil afterwards, and keeps getting resurrected.  For maximum ickiness, he's also Mari's biological father...and thus technically his own grandfather  :-\

Offline Crimm

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Poor Destin. He wins his war, provides Magnus guidance in his war, and what happens to him? He gets to go fight with the Bolumakans while Magnus gets mad dap.
James Jones
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Offline noname2200

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Poor Destin. He wins his war, provides Magnus guidance in his war, and what happens to him? He gets to go fight with the Bolumakans while Magnus gets mad dap.

My favorite is the fact that after he's done all that you can still up and murder him.  He should've gotten the Emperor Ending!