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Videogame: Tactics Ogre
Fear is only the beginning. Fight it out!

Originally released for the Super Famicom system in 1995, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (Episode VII) is a game in the popular Ogre Battle Saga, acting as a direct sequel to Ogre Battle. It was 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 is different from the first game in a lot of ways. Unlike the first game, this is a Turn-Based Strategy game, and has the player controlling and witnessing the lives of a smaller group of people. While it does not take place in Xenobia, some of the Xenobians from the first game do make appearances here, and play a large part in the game's story.

Written by Yasumi Matsuno, Tactics Ogre's story follows three young people of the Walstanian ethnic minority: Denam, his sister Catiua, and his friend Vyce as they join a rebellion against a campaign of genocide run by Hierophant Balbatos of Galgastan. They quickly get caught up in a 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 affect 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, imperialism, et cetera, and continues in this direction throughout, unlike its most well-known counterpart which swerved 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; Tactics Ogre did not receive an English release until 1998, three years after its initial Japanese release. The English version 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 the PSP was announced in July 2010, re-subtitled Wheel of Fate in Japan but keeping 'Let Us Cling Together' in English when it was released in North America in February 2011. The 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.

A prequel to this game was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2001 (Japan) and 2002 (North America) called Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis.


Tactics Ogre contains examples of:

  • 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.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Averted, as an archer could fire a bow at point blank. Given that for some quirk in the code it can't be countered it is a way to help the player since the game is nintendo hard.
  • Ars Goetia: Many of the characters in Tactics Ogre and OgreBattle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber 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:
    • The knowledge to Shoot the Medic First. If you leave your medics unguarded, they WILL be shot at.
    • 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 AoE spells because they're surrounded by more enemy units.
    • When it has a unit with rampart 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 rampart 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI is amazingly thick. To wit:
    • 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.
    • Guest characters are very stupid, following some combination of any and all of the above. Even worse, they refuse to come into the training sessions with you, meaning that they remain low-leveled while the enemy becomes just as strong as you... not that this will stop them from charging right into them while you are trying to maneuver your army in a different direction entirely. This can be averted if the guest characters are a standard class — the PSP remake equalizes all levels across a certain class, see One Man Party below.
  • 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).
  • Balkanize Me: This is what happened to Valeria after the death of King Dorgalua.
  • Battle in the Rain: One of the most notable examples is the battle to rescue Donnalto.
  • 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). 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 Manual 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: The Knight of Lodis. You REALLY don't need it though if you accomplish this.
  • Bonus Boss: Many of them.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Palace of the Dead (Hell's Gate), the Phorampa Wildwood, the Pirate's Graveyard, and six different elemental dungeons with 7 floors each.
  • Book Ends: The last Coda is traveling back in time to an Alternate Universe version of Lanselot Tartaros's assault on Denam's, Catiua's, and Vyce's hometown; the scene the game opens with.
  • Boss Banter: Nearly every single boss in the remake has something to say during their battle, whether it be The Reason You Suck, a Hannibal Lecture, or just a Badass Boast.
  • 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.
  • Catch Phrase: For the series overall. "FIGHT IT OUT!"
  • 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 God expy. 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: The 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.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Some of the endings lead to your death. This does not take your strength into account.
  • 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.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Gorgons have a special ability called "Evil Eye" that turns people to stone if used on people who don't have shields to hide their eyes (You can use this skill with gorgon heads or gorgon shields too). Hobyrim has Disability Immunity, because he's blind.
    • Numerous non-generic characters have dialogue have the bosses of a few maps, well after you've recruited them - it's entirely possible to miss these if you don't deploy those characters during a particular battle, if you failed to recruit said character, or if said character is already dead.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Numerous.
  • 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.
  • Duel Boss: There are a couple... and they're usually allowed a cheap shot at you at the beginning, which is bad news for people who made their hero a Squishy Wizard.
  • 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!
    • Dame Ravness, a new character added in the PSP version, is extremely similar to Final Fantasy Tactics' Holy Knight Agrias Oaks. Both in position, attitude and looks, they are almost the same character. Ravness' battle sprite is pretty much Agrias with a lighter colored hair and her unique class is the White Knight!
    • 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.
  • Eye of Newt: The reagents for necromancy magic.
  • 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 political situation 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 Badass Action 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.'''
  • Freudian Excuse: Lanselot Tartaros had such a big one it took an entire Gaiden Game to establish it.
  • Gaiden Game: Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the PS1 version, there was a bug that would prevent loading a saved game. This occurred occasionally, but it was frustrating considering how long the game is.
  • 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.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Vernotta, Dorgalua's wife.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: Tactics Ogre is very gray and gray, especially if you choose the Law route.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Vyce's reason for his Face-Heel Turn. When you duel him at the end of Chapter 2 Chaos, he'll mention that everyone liked Denam, but not him, as his father was an abusive drunk. He never mentions it in the Law route, though.
  • 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 
      • Trying to get Ravness makes one battle near the end of chapter one a That One Level.Why? 
    • 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? 
    • 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.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Depending on your routes, you can recruit Dark Knight Ozma in the remake.
    • Given the route system, just about every character is on at least one "villain" side depending on your point of view. This includes Denam.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Simon Templeman is the male narrator. Kate Higgins is the female narrator.
  • 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.
  • Inconsistent Translation: This was a problem with Atlus's PS1 translation. One notable example was that for the first two chapters, the text referred to "Cardinal Barbatos" and "Bishop Branta." However, come chapter 3, Branta started being referred to as cardinal. More than one player got confused at this.
  • 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.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Lanselot Hamilton
  • 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: 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.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Usually chucking rocks only deals 1 HP of damage. However, if you raise your stats high enough, you can cause a significant amount of damage to the enemy, especially to more squishy classes. Plus, critical hits almost always knock back units, so a critical hit with a rock can potentially cause an enemy unit to fall off a ledge and die instantly.
    • It's also particularly good for Cherry Tapping; one boss requires that you don't kill them so that you can recruit them later.
  • Limit Break: Added in the PSP Version.
  • 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!
  • Literary Allusion Title: Almost every installment's title has something to do with Queen, as does the overall series title.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Much like Final Fantasy Tactics there enough unique characters to form two or more full teams.
  • Love Redeems: Hobyrim to Ozma.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Mad Necromancer Nybeth has three beautiful daughters, two of which rebel from their father and are recruitable, though in different paths. Cressida is maddeningly more difficult to recruit than Oelias.
  • Magic Knight: Magic Knights up the wazoo! Valkyries (and the male counterpart Rune Fencers), Terror Knights, regular Knights, Vartans, Knight Commanders, Catiua's Princess class, Denam's Lord class...
    • Warlocks also fall into this, moreso in Knight of Lodis, where their preferred weapons are swords.
  • Magic Is Mental
  • Magikarp Power: You wouldn't believe it based on the first hour or three of gameplay, but archery becomes very powerful in the mid and late game. Part of the problem is the first bow is absurdly weak.
  • Manual Leader, AI Party: You have this option, however the AI tends to show suicidal behavior.
  • 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.
  • Master Of All: Before the remake said class was the AI-only Templar Knight.
  • 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.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the items is a Rood, except it's upright rather than inverse.
    • 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.
  • Necromantic: Nybeth Obdilord from Tactics Ogre, complete with a priestly daughter who wants him dead.
    • 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+: 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.
  • Nostalgic Musicbox: Lanselot Hamilton has one.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Turns out that Denam and Catiua are not related at all.
  • 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.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Heavily, heavily subverted, especially in chapters 2+. Especially on the Law side, where the protagonist decides Utopia Justifies the Means and slaughters thousands of his own countrymen under a False Flag Operation.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Longicolnis, a take on Longinus.
  • Pun: The Warren Report, which coincides with an infamous US Report on President Kennedy's Assassination.
  • Quicksand Box: The PSP version has so many options and features that it's hard to pin down what the heck you're supposed to do to improve your characters at first.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Dorgalua
  • Real Life Writes the Plot / Ripped from the Headlines: Matsuno allegedly based some events of this game off of real life events - namely the Ethnic Cleansing around the Yugoslavian regions. The game's original release year was 1995, right when The Yugoslav Wars were in full swing, so this one may be on the money.
  • 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.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Vyce will make the opposite decision as you at the end of the first chapter; and this will become his entire personality.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Going alone and unarmed to Brigantes lets you skip the battle. If you don't, you kill some of the people you're trying to negotiate with, and get told that he could have avoided that. (It's true!)
  • Shout-Out: The (most likely) first Exorcist (first version) / male priest (PSP version) you get is Donald Pleasance, probably referencing the Halloween series.
  • Shown Their Work: The PSX translation of the game used Roman Catholic terms when translating religious titles, namely "Cardinal" and "Bishop." However, the PSP translation used titles from Orthodox Christianity. This is extremely relevant, as Valeria is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Yugoslavia and Eastern Orthodoxy is the dominant form of Christianity in that area.
  • 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 Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz Tito) 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.
  • 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.note  However, it's still quite good - many things they did for the Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance made it into the remake of Tactics Ogre.
  • 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.
  • Straight for the Commander: Makes this trope the only way you or the enemy operates (specially in the Chaos Route Rime Battle where the Commander and a guest are in the middle of the heat and the army has to play Catch up, a really bad moment if the player has made said unit a Squishy Wizard).
  • 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.
  • Sword and Gun: A possible way to equip your characters. Can be Awesome, yet Impractical due to weight issues with the combination.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Brynhildr. It's quite a powerful holy-elemental sword in its own right.
  • 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 guest party members.
  • 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+.
  • 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.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The beginning of chapter four.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Denam, Vyce and Catiua in Tactics Ogre.
  • 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.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Hanging Gardens (Eden)
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Not only can you sell off your (sentient) Beasts to be chopped up for parts; you can also use a Snapshot/Snapdragon spell or a Cursed Weapon to Final Death a character and turn their soul into an Infinity+1 Sword.
  • 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.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Chapter One, the trajectory of the entire story changes with one line:
    Leonar: You must... You must kill them. All of them. Spare no one.
  • 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.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Sometimes. It stands out when it does.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Neutral route.
  • Zombie Gait: Sure enough, the standing-still animations for zombies suggest this.
OgreBattle 64: Person of Lordly CaliberStrategy RPGTactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
Ogre BattleSuper Nintendo Entertainment SystemOperation Wolf
Syphon FilterPlay Station PortableTaiko Drum Master
Ogre Battle The March Of The Black QueenPlay StationOmega Boost

alternative title(s): Tactics Ogre
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