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Video Game / Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis

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Alphonse and Eleanor

Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis is a 2001 video game, a Gaiden Game for the Game Boy Advance based on the popular Ogre Battle series. The story follows a young Knight of Lodis named Alphonse Loeher, in his best friend Rictor Lasanti's military unit, the Order of the Sacred Flame. He is sent to an island called Ovis. Ovis is divided by conflict thanks to an aggressive push of Lord Batraal, living on the north of the island. Alphonse is separated from the rest of his unit, and begins to uncover a sordid plot opposing the pope and the empire of Lodis over the fabled Spear of Destiny and the possible resurrection of a fallen angel.

Like the previous Tactics Ogre, this is an isometric view turn based strategy game.

'Tactic Ogre: The Knight of Lodis contains examples of:

  • Achievement Mockery: There are several unflattering medals with penalty effects: Bogus Hero, if you gain 20 or more levels while sparring your own units and Don Quixote if you attack someone and the counterattack damage deals 2/3 of your max health. Clerics and Priests can earn a third one, Gibe of the Fallen Angel, by killing three enemies with physical attacks.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played straight. Archers received a significant nerf from the original Tactics Ogre. Still, this is mainly a fault with the class: other classes can use bows and still be reasonably effective.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Getting the Fist Fight Emblem, which causes bare fists to cause more damage, makes a "monk" playstyle possible.
  • Boring, but Practical: Knights have great offensive and defensive capabilities, and cast low-level Virtue spells, including healing, making them a strong Jack of All Stats class. They're also available from early on, viable for the entire game, and have arguably the best stat growths for melee-oriented characters. Their weakness is intended to be their relatively weak movement, but that's easily circumvented with the Lightning Bow spell or a ranged weapon, and the AI generally isn't smart enough to exploit it to begin with.
  • Catchphrase: For the series overall. "FIGHT IT OUT!"
  • Dem Bones: If you defeat undead units conventionally, they'll pop back up again in a few turns; you can beat them more permanently with an Exorcism spell.
  • Doomed by Canon: If you already know who the player character in Knight of Lodis is, then it's best not get attached to Rictor, Orson, or Eleanor.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The canon ending is a Downer Ending that reveals this game is a prequel to Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, and Alphonse is Lanselot Tartaros, an antagonist in said game. Best friend killed, love interest killed.
    • The non-canonical B ending is better, in that Rictor at least doesn't die. Of course, depending on how you interpret the ending, Alphonse and Eleanor might die. Either that or they completely vanished from the pages of history and never met any of their friends again.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Well, of sorts. There are three sets of two opposed elements: fire and water, earth and air, and virtue and bane. Damage is slightly increased from characters, or spells, that are of the opposite element that their target is affiliated with.
  • Empathic Weapon: It's unknown how much of one's conscious remains when turned into a snapdragon sword, but it will have an element and stats corresponding with the character that turned into it. And when you use the Snapdragon, you will hear a scream.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Eleanor's Pearl necklace. Until a cutscene plays when she offers it to Alphonse, it is locked to her. After that scene, you can give it to anyone.
    • Cybil ambushes Alphonse with a dagger, and tells him that he won't die if it's treated. During the ensuing battle, Alphonse starts the battle off with the poison status.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: During fights, the sleep spell is nigh worthless; low success rate, doesn't last for very long (maybe two turns... the time it takes someone wearing armor to jog 40 feet and swing a sword twice), and the target will wake up if someone so much as musses up their hair. During a cutscene, however, Alphonse takes a sleep spell and wakes up (probably several hours, at least several minutes) later in a dungeon, chained to the wall.
  • Geo Effects: Depending on where you're standing, your elemental spells and attacks can do slightly increased damage. (standing in water makes your water attacks stronger, stone improves earth spells, etc.)
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Want the Relix emblem (for males) or Ripple emblem (for females)? It gives you a permanent +2 on your mental gauge, which is quite handy... but you'll have to have the person in question go through every class, including angel, ghost, and lich. Good luck...
    • The Crescente, the most powerful bow in the game, can only be obtained by waiting until the end of the game to recruit Glycinia (a fairy who joins you in one of the first side missions available). Triggering the encounter early (which any player not overtly aware of this is going to do) will render the weapon lost.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: An odd example in that the main character does this very early in the game; you take a crossbow bolt for your commander, and fall into the ocean (also, you can't swim much on the best of days, and you're wearing armor, though you ultimately survive).
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Longinus, the spear of plot advancement, is a very good weapon... but it's still weak compared to snapdragon swords.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: There are precisely four items in the game called snapdragons (some of which are missable) that, when used, transform their user into a sword, with stats based on the person the sword was made from. Even if you have a level 1 character use it, the sword will still be noticeably stronger than Longinus, and if you turn a max-level character into a sword, the game might as well throw up its hands and say "I give up".
  • Informed Flaw: Alphonse is a weak swimmer, according to himself. He can be forgiven for not being able to swim while wearing armor after being shot.
  • Interspecies Romance: Caused the mermaids to lose the war.
  • Multiple Endings: Based on a choice you make halfway through on whether to capture a mermaid or not, you'll end up siding with Rictor or Cybil. There's an A+ ending for picking the 'A' option and meeting other requirements when you beat the game.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Depending on the path. The A path gets you Shiven and Cybil, the B path Orson and Rictor. On either path you can also recruit either the demon Saia or the angel knight Lobelia - the other will refuse to join you if you already have the other.
  • 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.
    • Played straight with crossbows, which just shoot in a perfectly straight line. They don't do any more damage, though...
  • Optional Party Member: Elrik, Euphaire, Saia, Lobelia, Deneb, and more depending on Path A or B.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: These ones tend to show up wielding bows, and use magic via kissing. One of them runs away from home and dresses up as an enemy just For the Lulz.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They have a culture with temples, and had an all-out war with the humans at one point. They would have won, too, if one of them hadn't stolen the sacred spear.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Undead spellcasters with extremely high defenses and better spellcasting abilities than any other unit. Only their inability to use Summon Magic keeps them from being GameBreakers.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Ghosts have one that does 10% of maximum HP. It's fairly useless against most enemies, but an extremely effective way to beat the Final Boss, who has 800 HP and is almost immune to damage. If you give the spell to a Lich, Saia, and a Ghost, you can deal 300 damage per turn...
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: The canon route for the story is about how Alphonse became the Affably Evil Lancelot Tartaros, one of the highest ranked knights of the Lodisian Empire.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: You can't actually target enemy zombies with resurrection effects, but healing does damage them. In an uncommon twist, there is a spell to turn one of your defeated undead units into a flesh-and-blood soldier again, meaning that Revive Kills Zombie-ness, leaving the target alive.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Rictor is turned evil supernaturally.
  • Say It with Hearts: Invoked with series mascot Deneb. Naming a witch Deneb unlocks the special "Witch <3" class.
  • Secret Character: Deneb, who is summoned by hiring a female soldier, naming her Deneb, and changing her class to Witch. She's basically the same as the Witch with better stats and attacks, and can use Summon Magic.
  • Secret Shop: It's in the first town, and is accessible only by Deneb.
  • Shout-Out: Features one to The Lord of the Rings. When the ogre Rimmon dies, he regains his "human heart" and says "my precious".
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: Mermaids, at certain levels, learn the ability to sing their enemies to sleep.
  • The Spear of Destiny: Longinus. It's the horn of the Big Bad.
  • Status Effects: Status effects generally don't work very often or last very long. And poison is just a series of slaps on the wrist.
  • Summon Magic: One for each element besides bane. The only standard class that can wield them are Sirens.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Alphonse's Informed Flaw. Yes, he does drown (twice) and admits on both occasions that he is a "not much of a swimmer", but the first time he was shot with a crossbow and the second time he jumped off a tall cliff. He was wearing armor both times. Surprisingly, the first time this happens, he does not stay dead, even though he is next seen unconscious on a beach several miles away (possibly because of the intervention of a mermaid).
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Longinus. Good luck beating Shaher without it.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The Longinus can be chalked up to this. While a powerful weapon in-game, in the cutscenes you see mermaids firing magical bolts out of it. This can be seen as a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, but it's possible that it's a case of this. May also be justified in that you actually never learn to fire bolts of magic... except outside of a cutscene when it's forged.
  • Unwinnable by Design: The final battle becomes this if you neglected to equip anyone with the Longinus. Shaher is invincible until he has been struck by the spear, so if you don't have it, all your attacks will bounce off. After a few turns, Alphonse will despair at his mistake and you will recieve a Non Standard Game Over. You really have no one to blame but yourself if you get it though.
  • Vancian Magic: For the most part, you can only cast the spells that you equip, and you require MP to cast them.
  • Wham Line:
    Alphonse Loeher: "I am Alphonse Tartaros".
  • The Window or the Stairs: To get the best ending, you have to take make certain choices through the game. When deciding the fate of the captured mermaid, the phrase that sounds like what plan you pick actually has you doing the opposite, screwing you over if you're gunning for said ending.
  • Winged Humanoid: Hawkmen in general.
  • White Mage: Cleric, Priest, and Bishop.
  • Younger Than They Look: Ivanna. She looks like she could be in her forties because of the grey hair!