A game in the popular Ogre Battle series, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (Episode VII) is a game originally developed by Quest before it was bought out by Square-Enix, and was later re-imagined by most of the original development team after Square's acquisition of Quest. Tactics Ogre differs widely from Ogre Battle: it is far less open-ended, it does not take place on Xenobia, it is a Turn-Based Strategy game and focuses on a much smaller group of people.Tactics Ogre's story follows Denam, his sister Catiua, and his friend Vyce as they join a rebellion against a totalitarian regime run by Cardinal Balbatos. They soon are caught in the web of political intrigue, and are forced to make unimaginable sacrifices for the freedom of their kinsmen. The storyline has multiple branches, and the choices Denam makes effect the state of the world around him, and the fates of him and his friends. It touches on the themes of class warfare, democratic reform, et cetera, and continues in the direction throughout, unlike its many counterparts which swerve into the direction of Magic Stones.This game was very popular in Japan, for its story, and well-executed, if different, gameplay. Its reception in the West was a little poorer, though; it was released on the PlayStation in the wake of Matsuno's next game, the rather-successful Final Fantasy Tactics, and was perceived to be a shallow copy of a game which was, in actuality, its own Spiritual Successor. A remake for PSP was announced in July 2010, re-subtitled Wheel of Fate in Japan but keeping 'Let Us Cling Together' in English. Its original release achieved cult status at best in America, but the re-release got great reviews, with some even preferring it to Final Fantasy Tactics.
Alas, Poor Villain: There is a bio for every single enemy leader you fight. Some of them were architects, philosophers, mothers-to-be, and so on. Sometimes they will even tell Denam who they were when they die.
Anvilicious / Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: One of the points Matsuno wanted to make in this game? That war affects everybody - these aren't just bad people who raised their swords against you - they're people. They have families.
Ambidextrous Sprite: The female rogue's eyepatch switches side depending on which side she is facing.
Annoying Arrows: Very averted, especially in Let Us Cling Together. Archers are widely considered ridiculously overpowered, and for good reason.
Ars Goetia: Many of the characters in Tactics Ogre and Ogre Battle 64 are named for Goetic demons. Barbatos, Martym, Andoras, Haborym, Aloser, Forcas, Balzepho (originally Baalzephon), and Vapula, among others. Almost all of these characters are from the antagonistic Lodis faction.
Artificial Atmospheric Actions: In the PSP version, when you fight the Dark Knights later on in the game, it's possible to have recruited Ozma if you went the Law Route. It becomes rather interesting when you consider that they programmed conversations to happen if she's present, but it becomes rather silly when they recognize Denam leading the forces and talk about avenging Oz and Ozma...when the latter is right there in front of them.
Artificial Brilliance: The SNES and PSX versions were rather minimalistic in what they could do. They would have some moments of this, such as choosing not to attack a squishy when there's another unit who can die in one hit instead of three. However, in the PSP version, the AI is more advanced. Tricks that they've added include:
Prioritizing squishies and ganging up on weakened targets. Similarly, mages will often harass people with lower magic resistance.
Using finishers at the worst possible moment
Intentionally targeting their own allies with Ao E spells because they're surrounded by more enemy units.
When it has a unit with rampant aura (Which prevents you from getting past them on foot), you will hate them. The AI will often place them at a bottleneck. Even if it can only occupy one tile and in theory, you can just slink past them, their rampant aura will keep you from getting too far. To make matters worse, they'll often put Phalanx on, which reduces damage taken by 90%, so you can't just beat them down so you can get past them.
Impressively, some will target missile spells at distant targets, including friendly targets, to cause it to hit the enemy directly in front of them, which would normally be too close to target.
Healers will stay way, way away from the rest of your party, hiding usually on the other side of the map, unable to cast heals on anyone due to range. (However, when they do remain in range they do a very good job, making this particular quirk very, very noticeable.)
Characters with magical attacks (hybrid classes mostly) will often use those instead of melee attacks.
Characters with debuffs will spam those instead of doing anything actually useful, such as doing damage or healing. This often occurs even when they have literally 0% chance of hitting. Worse still, they accept the chance of your own party members being hit an acceptable risk for said 0% chance, meaning that casters with debuffs often run around debuffing your team instead of the enemy team. (Bonus: You can't unlearn or disable casting debuffs outside of disabling all magic from that school.)
Characters with access to healing items will spam them — the basic healing and mana recovery items being the main culprits here. It's very rare to see these actually remain available when you go to use them.
One notable problem with the AI is it feels an overwhelming need to move a character, even if they're just moving it one square to the side — this causes the character to take twice as long to get another turn. In addition, the movement AI does not sync up with the Action AI — a character may run up into melee range, only to use a single healing item and stand there, now free to be attacked by the entire enemy force.
The AI will specifically not target the target! Specifically, if a map objective is "defeat the leader," you're far better off switching to manual, as the target will be the last thing to die, due to it having higher stats and the AI prioritizing squishier targets.
Ascended Extra: Some generic enemy leaders is given Warren Report entries in the PSP remake, most prominently Mordova (previously a witch, now a Necromancer), and Hektorr (originally named Didario, this was his first name, and he's now linked further with Nybeth's story).
Big Fancy Castle: The Hanging Gardens (Eden), whose formal name is Heilingham Palace.
Bittersweet Ending: In the original, even the "Best" ending later had Valeria be invaded by the Hittites a thousand years down the road. It was especially bittersweet if Denam let his sister die and he became ruler of Valeria, where he is either executed by an assassin or the entire nation is invaded by Lodis.
However, the PSP version changes it to Valeria persisting for a thousand years before uniting with Heth, likely the Hittites. This implies that it was more consensual, so that makes it the best ending.
Black Knight: The Dark Knights of Lodis, also known as the Loslorien Order. No knights in shining armor, these. In word and deed, they are as dark as their name.
The Terror Knight class as well; they wield dark magic (as opposed to the regular Knight class) and their offensive skills are based on causing fear.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: The PS1 (and SNES patch) translation for Let Us Cling Together. The script is decent enough despite being ridden with typos and grammatical errors, but the names are simply a travesty. "Goshe?" "Bincent?"
It also includes such gems as "There is also such a thing as the immune system. It can purify the evil within the soul."
Averted in the PSP remake; the translation has been completely redone with all the name-changes that come with it.
However, some people actually claimed that the PS1 translation was better because of the name changes. Even though some of them don't make much sense such as Gilbald or Arycelle, when the original was supposed to be "Alocer" (It was localized as "Aloser" originally, considered a Good Bad Translation)
Body Surf: In grand Ogre Battle tradition, several villains do this. Deneb as always, although we don't ever meet her original body (she denies it to Canopus in the remake; but her "death" quote still says otherwise it). Serene seems to be the only one to get permanently destroyed; and her host was sad about that. There's also Beelzemuth in the Palace of the Dead; killing her body doesn't bother her; she's sure some other group of heroes will come down soon enough. All There In The Manuel reveals that Radlum in the Palace of the Dead is the villain Albeleo from the original Ogre Battle game; also body surfing.
Bragging Rights Reward: Finishing the final Coda with only Denam, Catiua, and Vyce and then killing Lanselot Tarteros last kills him instead of him running away, and gives you a chance to get his sword; Ambicion. This was weapon he got from the Fallen Angel in Tactics Ogre Knight Of Lodis. You REALLY don't need it though if you accomplish this.
Bottomless Pit: And they are insta-kill for non-flying characters who fall in.
Brutal Bonus Level: The Palace of the Dead (Hell's Gate), which is a whole 100 floors long. In the SNES version, all 100 floors had to be done in one sitting with no chance to save the game in between. In both the SNES and PSX version, there was no retreating from it.
Character Alignment: Law / Neutral / Chaos. Important note: This says nothing about morality, merely your character's viewpoints on obeying laws. A bit of Values Dissonance comes into play when you realize the Chaos path is Chaotic Good — yet unlocks the enemy-frightening Terror Knight class.
Cluster F-Bomb: You'll see the word 'shit' uttered a lot in Tactics Ogre.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Xaebos does this to Vyce, and Lanselot Tartaros does this to Lanselot Hamilton.
Crystal Dragon Jesus: Filaha/Philaha is a Godexpy. Often referred to as "the Great Father." He is considered part of the pantheon in Valeria (and Xenobia), but as a montheistic entity in Lodis. His angel servants were seen in both Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre Knight Of Lodis, but said servants aren't interested in the slightest in the distinctions mortals make.
Interestingly, the only thing the gods say directly in the PSP game is during the Tower of Law Bonus Dungeon; they denounce the practice of making angels (Divine Knights) using Precursor magic; said beings are not true divine servants.
Death Amnesia: Orias only remembers being Nybeth's daughter; despite having her mother's soul. In this case of Our Souls Are Different; the soul acts as an animus; not consciousness.
Decapitated Army: Most missions have taking out the leader of the opposing force as the sole goal—and in certain ridiculously dangerous ambush situations, doing so is the only possible way (short of ludicrous level-grinding) to get through the battle without permanently losing one of your soldiers.
This is probably what the game wants the player to do, since every enemy death lowers the player's Chaos Frame. Going straight for the leaders directly results in higher Chaos Frame due to fewer battle-murders.
Level grinding doesn't help too much — enemy levels scale with yours up to a certain cap (usually "Chapter # x 10" — so level 30 cap for Chapter 3, for example). Gear and Passive Skills become vastly important, but ultimately sending Canopus in with a crossbow to assassinate the enemy leader is the best strategy 90% of the time, especially during the various escort quests.
This is the response when Balbatos/Barbatos is executed; having lost the support of his own people.
DLC: Fortunately, the DLC in the PSP version of Tactics Ogre (called the Coda) that had to be downloaded in the Japanese version is naturally written into the English version; no download necessary.
Dogged Nice Guy: In Tactics Ogre, judging from final chapter death quote; Folcust to Cistina. Arycelle might be a 'Dogged Nice Girl' for Leonar. Also Vyce to Catiua, but only in Lawful route, since in Chaotic route, you don't associate Vyce with 'nice'.
Dub Name Change: The PSP remake changes some characters names. Denim Powell is now Denam Pavel, Kachua has become Catiua (still pronounced the same way though) and Vice has been renamed Vyce, and so forth.
Dual Wielding: You can naturally wield two one-handed weapons, but unless you have the double attack skill, you won't actually use them at the same time.
Dual Boss: Chapter three Chaotic, where you fight both Oz and Ozma. Changed up in the PSP version in the lawful route, where the boss is Oz and Balxephon. (whereas it was just Oz in the original.) The Penultimate boss is also just Barbas and Martym.
An optional boss features Ozma and Volaq as the bosses.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: An odd limited version: Light and dark are weak to each other, and strong against themselves. The other elements also resist themselves, but are not particularly effective against one another.
Everything's Better with Princesses: Catiua is potentially the best spellcaster in Tactics Ogre, although really squishy. She has three unique spellcasting classes in the remake, all different points along the healer / damage dealer spectrum.
Expy: In the PSP remake, Chaotic-route Vyce becomes one for Algus/Argath, starting from his rampant Jerkassery, Player Punch of killing Ravness (like Algus did to Teta), and the eventual fate of being revived as a zombie knight (by Nybass) - and to think Vice was already a Jerk Ass in the Chaotic route!
The artwork and sprites for the Swordmaster class in the SNES/PSX version of Let Us Cling Together had an uncanny resemblance to Alec Guinness. The artwork for Hobyrim looked a lot like Ewan McGregor with a goatee. This might cross over with Author Appeal considering the Star Wars references in Final Fantasy XII.
Face Heel Turn: Vyce in Tactics Ogre undergoes a highly drastic change if one decides to not slaughter an entire village...he practically suddenly morphs into a sadistic bastard right in front of you. You can tell something wasn't right because he looks evil! This is averted if you turn evil — he becomes the leader of La Résistance!
It's amazing how many of your allies will at some point try to kill you, though given the politicalsituation it's not surprising in the least.
Fake Ultimate Mook: The Golem units in most of the games. They have inherently high strength (and, in the front row, deliver three crushing punches) and can easily withstand most physical damage. However, they have pitiful HP, and are easily slain by one or two Fire-elemental spells.
They make nice platforms to get your troops to higher ground in the Tactics games.
False Flag Operation: In Tactics Ogre, whether or not Denim takes part in this determines his path through the rest of the game. Somewhat surprisingly, choosing to slaughter the town is the lawful choice.
This is unsurprising, as his orders are to slaughter the town, and lawful people follow orders.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Some elements are intentionally taken from Eastern Europe, especially former Yugoslavia and the old Byzantine Empire. There's also the Hagia Banhamuba, which presumably has at least some resemblance to the Hagia Sophia on the outside.
Faux Action Girl: For some reason, Cerya can be seen as this. She's said to be a BadassAction Girl leader of the Valeria Liberation Front and kills lots of Lodissions... off screen. Then, you need to bail her out from the Dark Knights, or she gets killed without you seeing (only in Lawful route). And when you do get her? For some reason, she can't really hit a thing with hit rate over 50%.
Possibly inverted, gender-wise by Lanselot Hamilton as well. Anyone who plays March of the Black Queen knows that Lanselot is one of the playable characters and can grow powerful. In Let Us Cling Together? He got cheap-shotted by Barbas/Martym (OFF SCREEN), gets himself imprisoned by Lanselot Tartaros, mentally tortured to the point that by the ending, he's turned into some sort of vegetable.
For Want of a Nail: Explored via the chapter system. Characters who are vital in one timeline can be near afterthoughts in the other. Characters who would be villains in one can be some of your most powerful allies in another. The text entry describing the World system in the post-game lampshades this slightly, explaining that duplicates, dead people, etc have all been seen in your party recently.
Vyce takes the cake, however — he turns on the party no matter what decision you make, but in the Chaos route he swan dives off the slippery slope, in the Law route he actually becomes heroic — fitting, since it's later revealed he doesn't really care about either path as much as he cares about going up against '''you.'''
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Characters gained from other timelines using the World System are playable, but do not affect the plot unless you specifically save/have them join your party in that time thread. This includes oddities like having a character fight themselves.
Gender Restricted Ability: Less so in the PSP, which re-balanced some classes (Witches were turned into the female version of Wizards, both can now cast damage and support magic) and added opposite gender variants of the existing ones that did not have a close counterpart. There are, however, gender restricted pieces of equipment, such as fans and whips.
Guide Dang It: Recruiting Sherri. You have to fight her in Chapter four, and are told not to kill her when you do, because Olivya and her dad (Or her other two sisters if you have them) believe she can be saved. Killing the squishy wizard is easy to do by mistake, but you can retry that. However, for some reason, when you do reduce her HP to about 20, she vanishes and...guess what? She didn't join. For no discernible reason, you have to go to Balmamusa, enter training, make it rain somehow, and then leave to trigger the event where she joins.
The new characters in the PSP, Ravness and Cressida, requires a great Guide Dang It understanding to get. ESPECIALLY Cressida, as it requires you to understand the Chaos Frame system which is NOT visible at all anywhere...note Well you can, but it requires going into a 100 level dungeon twice.
Trying to get Ravness makes one battle near the end of chapter one a That One Level. why?
You essentially cross her Moral Event Horizon and she decides to kill you, thus joining the battle, which happens to be a "Kill all" stage. If you want to recruit Ravness, you have to crowd-control her in some way because she starts very close to your units, and the enemy starts uphill, thus she can easily body-block you from getting to the ones who will end the battle. To get Ravness after this, you have to read the news and do an optional fight to save her. Then the next chapter, recruit Jenaun, a character with no visible ties to her, bring him to the next Boss Battle, and then wait until you get enough dialogue between him and the boss. After that, you will get an optional battle where Ravness finally joins.
You can actually recruit Ozma on the law route in the PSP version...however good luck figuring out how to do that without a guide.confused?
In chapter three, during the chapter where Ozma is attempting to arrest Hobyrim and you interrupt, leading to a battle, you have to not kill her. Easy enough - she retreats at critical health anyways. Then the game drops a hint that Ozma actually knows Hobyrim...and is wondering exactly what is going on. It gives a pretty big hint that she's playable. However, you must then play the game normally, which involves killing Oz at the end of Chapter 3...which you can imagine is probably not going to make his twin happy. But then, you must check the news that suggests of dissent growing amongst the Dark Knights, and optionally see a scene where Ozma runs off and Volaq comes to retrieve her. This then unlocks an optional battle against Ozma and Volaq...where the two and their templar knights are likely to be much higher level than your characters In this battle, you must bring Hobyrim, pick the right choice, then reduce Ozma to critical and not kill her, and then reduce Volaq to critical, causing him to retreat and Ozma to surrender. In the ensuing scene, you must pick the right option or else Ozma will think you're too wishy-washy and refuse to join you. How did anyone figure this out?
There's also recruiting Deneb AND unlocking her special class, which can also be tedious.
Getting any special recipes and items. They're only droppen by certain enemies on specific stages, which you'll have a hard time figuring out without Guide Dang It. And these same enemies don't necessarily even spawn in the battles at all. And in case if that wasn't enough, the enemies won't necessarily drop all or any of their belongings. Even if you use CHARIOT, you might still have to spend a good amount of time until you'll get what you wanted. Oh, and did I mention that there's also a party level requirement for even having a chance of getting that awesome gear? Good luck hunting.
A rare justified example - The Fireseal. Evidently, Quest held a contest to see who could get the fire seal first, awarding an ogre-battle style battle helmet to the winner.
Handicapped Badass: Hobyrim, the first Swordmaster you're likely to get. Is a "retired" Knight of Lodis. They cut his eyes out for his trouble.
Heroic Bastard: Vice in Tactics Ogre's Law route. Other routes turn him into a literal bastard.
I Did What I Had to Do: Denam himself can make such a choice by taking the Law route. He is surprisingly less angsty than one would think.
I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Subverted. Nybeth the Necromancer tried to bring his son back to life using Forbidden Magic. However his son comes back as an undead knight, with no memory or personality. It's for this reason his daughter Orias hates him.
Infant Immortality: Averted. A child is murdered while Denam and another character talk about the war's effect on children. And when you kill a pirate's wife, she will reveal that she's pregnant.
Ironic Echo: After Sherri finds out that you've killed her minion prior to approach Balhamusa Shrine, she claims that he was "all breeding and no substance." Shortly thereafter, when you've sent Sherri herself fleeing (or have killed her), Abuna Brantyn claims the exact same thing...About her.
Item Crafting: Added in the PSP remake. Unfortunately, it's very tedious, with a long animation for every sub-combine, and no ability to make multiples at a time. Items can only be improved to +1, but are almost always better than the next "tier" of gear, often adding special effects as well.
Jigsaw Plot: Very mild. But you might be surprised with how some characters wind up if you go to a different route. For example, Zapan/Xapan becomes an ally in the Law route. However, in the Chaos route, he becomes a Disc One Dragon.
Joke Item: Ranged attacks when you don't have a ranged weapon equipped. Mostly this involves throwing a stone at the enemy which will do one point of damage. There are exceptions, though.
Katanas Are Just Better: The artwork for the Jedi Swordmaster class and young Obi-Wan Kenobi Hobyrim in the PSP version of Let Us Cling Together shows them using katanas. Which makes sense, given that the Swordmaster (of which Hobyrim is the first and only NPC variant) are 2 handed Katana specialists.
Lawful Stupid: Many new players are confused at the start of Chapter 2. Refusing to slaughter a town of innocents under a False Flag Operation? Clearly the good choice, so why did you become Chaotic? Because obeying orders, no matter what you personally think of them, is the lawful choice — and the Law / Neutral / Chaos choices do not take into consideration morality. This was shored up a bit in the PSP remake — in the original, the Terror Knight class was Chaos only, making it hard to justify playing as a noble knight when the only knight-like class available was the fear-inducing, lord of darkness Terror Knight class.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Hilariously and brutally played in the PSP remake, Presance attempted to use Exorcism on living Undead... only to fail because the new system requires that undead be knocked out first before being exorcised. He remarks that it's been 15 years since he fought an undead as an excuse, which is the real time difference between the remake and the original's release.However, in Orias' case in the Chaos route, this got her fatally wounded by the undead as she failed to exorcise and it wounded her to the point she succumbed to the wounds and die.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Magic is very powerful, especially the hidden Dragon Magic. However, Warriors tend to be able to keep up, especially Ninjas and Archers. Amusingly, the strongest Melee and Ranged combat skill layouts involve giving those characters elemental weapons and the elemental support skills (at face value meant for magic using characters) — making them into an odd melee version of a spellcaster!
Marathon Level: Hell's Gate is this in the first version of the game because there is no retreating from it. The Hanging Gardens (Eden) is this in both versions of the game.
Maximum HP Reduction: The pretty much almost never used (a mercy by the programmers and the AI) skill called Oracle reduces the max HP of the target. The only one who actually uses it Lans Tartare, the leader of the Templar Knights in the game.
Mind Rape: The Knights of Lodis' preferred tactic for dealing with captives, combined with Cold-Blooded Torture. Lanselot, one of the major characters in the series, is reduced to a vegetable after they are done with him — for no other purpose than they thought it would be fun to torture a holy knight. Other victims include Catiua (mind screwed until she turns on the party) and Hobyrim (eyes cut out).)
Morton's Fork: Denam really can't win if he becomes ruler of Valeria. Chaos frame too low? Someone assassinates him. Chaos frame high? Then Lodis invades and takes over Valeria.
The description of the Palace of the Dead if you put your cursor over the levels is usually "All who enter this dungeon, abandon what little hope yet may yet have." This was inscribed on the Gate of Hell in Dante's Inferno. "Hellgate" was what the original Playstation version called the dungeon.
Made even more so in the PSP remake. It turns out that his "daughter" is actually his wife, revived in his daughter's body with his daughter's memories.
Never Trust a Trailer: The animated trailer of the PSP remake focuses more on Lanselot Hamilton and his knights than anyone else. Denam doesn't physically appear until almost a minute in, and he's the only the focus of the video for roughly fifteen seconds. It also showcases a big battle on an expansive field between the good guys (featuring Lans Hamilton) and some mounted force led by Lanselot Tartaros; this is a battle that has no analogue (or anything particularly close!) in the game.
New Game Plus: In the PSP remake. Finishing the game changes the event map (the Wheel of Fortune) into The World; using it lets you move to important points in the story to see how different choices play out. You bring your entire end-game party with you, but don't expect to steamroll the opposition, enemies level with you.
Events change based on who is alive or dead according to the Warren Report. Even if a character is in your party, if she or he dies in the storyline that character is dead for all future story events until you go back and avert that death.
No Arc in Archery: You'll love that they averted this whenever you start on the top of a map, and hate them for it whenever you're at the bottom. Crossbows even get their own, mostly accurate arcs — straight forward.
Nominal Importance: Played with; antagonists who appear for only one battle often have detailed Warren Report entries (even if they don't have unique character portraits). Also, several characters of central importance in one path might go unmentioned in other routes.
The Obi-Wan: Lanselot Hamilton acts like this towards Denam.
One Man Party: Averted in the PSP remake — classes, not characters, get experience levels. So using Warriors in battle will cause all your warriors to gain levels equally. The EXP curve is also balanced so new classes gain levels rather rapidly until they hit a decent plateau. Character specific customization is limited to gear and skills, the latter of which is a new addition to the PSP version and is really extensive.
One Steve Limit: Averted, Lanselot Hamilton the white knight and Lanselot Tartaros the black knight. Denam and friends even attack Lanselot Hamilton in the first battle in Tactics Ogre because they heard a "knight named Lanselot" is coming.
Orphean Rescue: In one of the Coda post-game, your party goes to look for the Chaos Gate in the Palace of the Dead to rescue Warren.
Rival Turned Evil: Vyce, if you pick the chaos route; but he still turns against you no matter which choice you make.
Rictor becomes this in the Gaiden Game. However, he gets better - he becomes Brainwashed and Crazy on the A route, and was saved on the B route.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Arycelle in Tactics Ogre. Toned down in Chaos route, taken to quite the extreme to death in Law route.
Rogue Protagonist: The Gaiden Game Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis stars a soldier from Lodis named Alphonse. In the "A" ending, he is given the name "Lans"...Lans Tartare. If you get the "A+" ending, you see a "One-eyed knight" preparing to attack a village...and in Tactics Ogre, he's revealed as Lans Tartare. He even wields the sword obtained from Shaher.
Self-Imposed Challenge: Not losing any party members in the SNES/PSX version, which is quite a task as once their HP hits zero they're Lost Forever without the timely intervention of a high-level spell or a rare and expensive consumable. The challenge isn't quite as pointed in the PSP version since it's both much easier to avoid party members being killed and a lot less effort to get them back on their feet. The PSP version also has "Never use Chariot" and, since Final Death and being knocked out aren't the same thing, "Never suffer a casualty" and awards nifty titles based on success at these challenges.
Shout Out: The (most likely) first Exorcist (first version) / male priest (PSP version) you get is Donald Pleasance, probably referencing the Halloween series.
As noted under Expy, Swordmasters have a few things in common with Jedi, complete with force-throwing rocks, the standard male Swordmasters looking like Alec Guinness, and Haborym looking like Ewan MacGregor. Toned down in the PSP version where only the outfit and hairstyle is similar.
Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The background of the inner conflict between the Valeria Liberation Front at first. Cerya is quite the realist and will dirty her hand to achieve her goal, while Cistina (and Folcust and Bayin) is more of the idealist and refuses to create a nation out of bloodshed.
Some enemies will call Chaos path Denam on this. As far as they're concerned, sure, he's morally unsullied, but he won't do anything, and lets everyone else get their hands dirty; Denam's ideal, but irrelevant. This doesn't stop him from becoming the military leader of Valeria, but those enemies don't dwell on the fact.
Smug Snake: Brantyn. Take a look at how he got into the Cardinal position (from Prancet's death scene), and combine with the fact that while he 'usurps' the rule on Valeria, he pretty much lets the Dark Knights do most of the work for him and gets visibly shaken when the Dark Knights plan to stop supporting him...
In the PSP Remake, he spends most of the fight running away while his soldiers (almost all tanky types designed to make it hard for you to get to him) do all the work. His dialogue is all about trying to convince you that You can Rule Together. While he did Take a level in badass and can actually hurt you, he's still a Squishy Wizard.
Martym. LOOK at him.
Squishy Wizard: Wizard units deal excessive amounts of damage, but tend to die easily.
Space Cold War: This is happening between Lodis and Xenobia, complete with using Valeria (itself resembling post-Tito Yugoslavia) as a proxy battleground.
Spared by the Adaptation: In the PSP version, you can Time Travel to save Good Lans and enter a Chaos Gate to save Warren. In an inversion, you can go Time Travel and kill off Dark Lan's entire party before they kill Denam's and Catiua's father. The results of that are not shown.
Spiritual Successor: Final Fantasy Tactics and its spinoffs (Advance). Square Enix was so impressed with the original Tactics Ogre that they bought out Quest and had them make Final Fantasy Tactics, a slightly dumbed down version of Tactics Ogre with a Final Fantasy theme.*
Standard Status Effects: And the enemy AI seems to favor trying to inflict these ailments more than casting damage spells.
Which can still be problematic, as this is one of those few games where status effects are not entirely useless. Thankfully, the same applies to your own support-style mages. If you level them up right, a Witch or Warlock can reliably shut down enemies with little trouble.
Summon Magic: Subject to Magikarp Power via the Valkyrie/Rune Fencer class; while initially weak, the class gains a skill to cast magic for 0 MP by using TP. The summon spells themselves are not that easy to get, though.
Take Your Time: You can spend many game years without advancing the story.
Talking Is a Free Action: Subverted. Oelias in the sidequest fight in Balmamusa ( "The Balmamusa Dead", the first sidequest for recruiting Cressida.) — you and her have a nice discussion, she prepares to teleport out, only to be stabbed to death by an undead soldier before she can finish using the gem.
Many character recruitment paths require that conversations play out in certain battles; these conversations (in the PSP version) happen one person at a time as the talkers' turns come up, their present contribution to the conversation happening right before they take their turn. This means that one sometimes has to drag out a fight long enough for the people talking to finish shouting at one another (not that the end of the conversation is always obvious), which can be really inconvenient in the cases of some guestpartymembers.
Tarot Motifs: All of the major arcana are items that enemies sometimes drop. Ending someones turn on one nets you a status effect inflicting item and a tiny but permanent stat boost.
Characters also invoke the Chariot and the Wheel frequently in dialogue; not so coincidentally, both of these are part of the game's mechanics. The former lets you turn back turns in battle to correct your mistakes, that latter serves as a visual representation of major storyline event and a film viewer.
Achieving any of the multiple endings open to you turns the Wheel into the World, which serves as the game's New Game Plus.
Thanatos Gambit: In Law, Leonar would have preferred Denam to take the blame for the Balmamusa massacre and murder of the Duke but when he loses to a duel; tells Denam to blame it all on him.
This Cannot Be!: Brantyn says as much when you kill him, placing either Catiua or Denam on Valeria's throne.
Time Travel: The World system. Also, in the Bonus Dungeon there's a way to go back in time and save Warren and Lanselot Hamilton. The canon of such is questionable.
Trailers Always Spoil: In the animated trailer for the PSP remake, a few important (and unexpected) scenes are shown, such as Leonar and Denam arguing right before the Balmamusa massacre or the Loslorien attack on Rhime.
The Unfought: Balzepho/Balxephon and Volaq in the original versions were never fought. In fact, battle data of Volaq did not even exist! This was averted in the PSP remake, where Balxephon fights you in a Dual Boss story battle, and Volaq is an Optional Boss Fight.
Barbatos/Balbatos are either captured and then executed offscreen (although you can view his execution) or he commits suicide in the law route.
Urban Legend of Zelda: Contrary to popular belief, you can not get Lanselot Tartaros and two of the other Dark Knights in Tactics Ogre. In the PSP remake, going Law means you can get Ozma. She's one of, if not the most powerful character you can get, due to her massive RT bonus (meaning she moves vastly faster than anyone else). She's also exceptional base stats and a fantastic class (with a lowish base RT, further increasing her speed advantage) that's normally Villain-Only.
Video Game Remake: Two actually. The original Let Us Cling Together was a Super Famicom game that never left Japan. The PSX remake did and the translation was handled by Atlus. This remake was more or less a straight-up port, with very bad slowdown as well as "Blind Idiot" Translation, but still highly playable and sought-out by collectors. The newest iteration is for the PSP, and in addition to the retranslated script, new features include the Chariot system by which up to 50 previous actions can be rewound in battle, a new leveling system and numerous adjustments to classes and class balance. It's a very thorough remake, with some reviewers even saying it's practically unrecognizable.
We Can Rule Together: Brantyn Morne, current regent of Valeria and Prancet's brother, making him Denam's uncle, offers Denam the chance to rule Valeria alongside him. Naturally, he refuses. If Catiua is alive, she becomes Queen. If not, Denam gains the Lord class, arguably his most powerful, and becomes ruler of Valeria.
What If?: The World System works like this, letting you change your choices throughout the story. Coda/Postgame Chapters 3 and 4 explicitly uses this.
What the Hell, Hero?: Happens frequently. Do you kill every enemy you encounter? Your (hidden) standing with the various factions dips with each kill. More obviously, NPCs will frequently call your actions out no matter what you do, though particularly on the Law path.
What the Hell, Player?: If you raise an L-size beastie to a high enough level, you can auction them off in exchange for unique weapons and items. Sounds good, right? Except that when you do designate them to be up for auction, they sob.
And then you can buy whatever items they were butchered to make.
White Mage: Clerics, Priests, and High Priests. Brantyn has a special class called Dark Bishop that focuses also on Divine Magic (since he is basically the head of the church), but sounds as if it would focus on dark magic like Catiua's Dark Priest class.
Unreliable Narrator: The Sacred Spear in the Gaiden Game was said to have shot lightning and bolts of energy. You can't do such a thing with it when you obtain it in-game...however it does break the seal of the Fallen Angel Shaher, and you have to have with you in the final battle.
Maybe since the spear was originally held by merfolk, only they know how to make it do this? You don't obtain it from merfolk as it was stolen.