The GWJ JRPG Club - Q3 2019 - Tactics Ogre! ["Gaiden" Game]

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In light of our tied vote the third quarter of 2019, welcome to the "Gaiden" game: Tactics Ogre! Here's an estimate from howlongtobeat.com:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/aC9ioP3.png?1)

I haven't played this one before, so unlike with Persona 5, I have no starting tips! For spoilers, just keep it sensible -- tag big plot beats that you wouldn't have wanted someone to share with you, in advance, but everything else is fair game.

Let us know if you're in, and I'll keep a running list of who's playing. Game on!

Playing:

Spoiler:

LastSurprise
Mr GT Chris
Fastmanv347
Sundown
Godzilla Blitz
JohnKillo
walterqchocobo
A_Unicycle
Hardek

In the first 5-10 hours, peoples games are going to diverge pretty majorly depending which of 2 options they choose. I know we want to avoid going too wild with spoilers but I think one of the interesting points of playing this for the club will be comparing the differences in each others play throughs. From what I recall, there are 2 major endings, one "bad" but satisfying ending and one "good" ending. Personally, I did prefer the "bad" ending. It reminded me of the "bad" ending of Suikoden 2 in a good way.

I'm in.

Count me in as well. This has been on my pile for awhile, and I'm looking forward to getting into it.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

In the first 5-10 hours, peoples games are going to diverge pretty majorly depending which of 2 options they choose. I know we want to avoid going too wild with spoilers but I think one of the interesting points of playing this for the club will be comparing the differences in each others play throughs. From what I recall, there are 2 major endings, one "bad" but satisfying ending and one "good" ending. Personally, I did prefer the "bad" ending. It reminded me of the "bad" ending of Suikoden 2 in a good way.

That's a good point. I'm sure we'll want to talk about how the story diverges. I think we can be a lot less sensitive to spoilers here than we were for P5, or even Legend of Heroes.

I'm in! I'm not sure if I can start right away, but certainly by next week.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

In the first 5-10 hours, peoples games are going to diverge pretty majorly depending which of 2 options they choose. I know we want to avoid going too wild with spoilers but I think one of the interesting points of playing this for the club will be comparing the differences in each others play throughs. From what I recall, there are 2 major endings, one "bad" but satisfying ending and one "good" ending. Personally, I did prefer the "bad" ending. It reminded me of the "bad" ending of Suikoden 2 in a good way.

2 Options Spoiler

Spoiler:

I was curious about this, so I dig around a bit. Aren't there 3 options, or maybe I'm misunderstanding things? Law-Neutral-Chaos? Is that the choice you're referring to?

I wasn't sure if we want to spoiler this topic or not, but for now I stuck it in a spoiler tag.

That may be true also but I remember that, depending on a choice, you

Spoiler:

actually travel to distinct parts of the world. I don't actually remember a Neutral path! It's definitely been a while though.

Anyway, hopefully players will fall into either side without being forewarned too much. I seem to recall that, unlike some games, each path is compelling.

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/l2Sq01FcrHrtMWxQk/giphy.gif)

This has been on my list for awhile--time to play it!!

I'm in! I've played a little bit already and I think I'm going to have to take it really slow. I'm terrible with names and faction politics, and they are already throwing around names of different kingdoms and alliances! Eep!

Seems fantastic so far. I can't get over how good it looks.

So Johnkillo’s Quest is either delete stuff on the vita to download the game or search garage for psp version. Or third option is emulate it on the phone for more immediate game time.

Edit. Phone is out. Garage here I come.

JohnKillo wrote:

So Johnkillo’s Quest is either delete stuff on the vita to download the game or search garage for psp version. Or third option is emulate it on the phone for more immediate game time.

Edit. Phone is out. Garage here I come.

Good luck on your Garage Quest for the PSP Version. I failed on my dungeon quest, but I probably never bought it.

I was able to get started tonight on my game, starting Godzilla and his order of Beagles. I just played through the first couple of "tell me lots of things that I've already mostly forgotten" battles. Then I spent a bit of time poking about in the guide.

Initial impressions are that this will be a lot of fun. There also appears to be a lot of depth to the game. Wow!

Do I have these things correct?
- Basic leveling is done by class, not character.
- Skills are built up by character however.
- If a character dies in a battle, he or she is dead for ever? Does it make sense then, to replay battles where you lose an important character or two?

The guide mentions something about a way to transfer skills from a dead character to a live one. Is that a common thing to do then?

Do I have these things correct?
- Skills are built up by character however.
Yep.
- If a character dies in a battle, he or she is dead for ever? Does it make sense then, to replay battles where you lose an important character or two?
They stay dead. You can go into unwinnable battles due to not having enough people to fight.

Old saves say I'm up to 50 hours. I'm going to restart.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Do I have these things correct?
...
- If a character dies in a battle, he or she is dead for ever? Does it make sense then, to replay battles where you lose an important character or two?

I think that the characters have three hearts, marking their lives. If they get knocked down, you have a few turns to revive them (or end the battle). And if they aren’t revived, they lose one heart. But after they lose their third, they’re gone forever.

If I have this right, it’s much more forgiving than FF Tactics was, and I like this method much better (in theory anyway).

What class is everyone making the main character? I haven't chosen yet. I'm still learning how they differ, but I'm also waiting for more to open up.

Considering how everyone says archers are borderline overpowered, I'm tempted to just give him a bow and see how it goes.

Edit: Some handy tips from BeforeIPlay.com

  • Archers are the god-kings of damage, try to have at least one, maybe two in your party all game. If you give Canopus a bow, he's unbelievably deadly and can get anywhere on the battlefield.
  • Damage spells blow unless you're using them on dragons or golems. Use status effect spells instead. Earth and Dark have the best status effects, but water's the only out-and-out sh*tty element. Be very careful when you're using missile spells, I can't count the number of times I've f*cked up and nailed one of my own dudes
  • If you're using Rune Fencers/Valkyries, outfit them to be roving buffbots, they'll never do enough damage to help out more than a few times a battle and they take damage like wet toilet paper.
  • When you get a chance, get a Lobber, stick it on your cleric, and give her the highest level of Field Alchemy you've got. Voila, you've now at least doubled your healing effectiveness.
  • Kill every enemy in a battle when you can, you'll be getting pretty much all your money from selling previously-owned equipment. Make sure to pick up the tarot cards, too, if you can. It takes a few of them to increase a stat, but it's worth it. If you're getting your face pushed in, there's no shame in just sniping the enemy commander with Canopus or somebody and moving on, some battles are just hard.
  • Make sure all your clerics and Catiua know Exorcise and make sure you've got a couple scrolls sitting around for everyone else to use. Undead are assholes and will keep coming back to life until you exorcise them. Also, Catiua can use Spiritsurge, make sure to teach it to her.
  • Give everyone the Anatomy skill ASAP, you mostly fight humans and it takes forever to skill-up.
  • If you use the crafting system for only one thing, make it weapon upgrades. It's a really bad crafting system and outfitting everyone with updated stuff takes way too damn long, but weapons alone will make a big difference. A prime example is the +1 shortbow. When crafts start getting any significant chance of failure, savescum it. You owe it to yourself to make crafting as painless as possible.
  • Just go ahead and use Chariot. All it causes you to miss out on is a useless title for perfectionists. The game, especially the post-game, is built around the assumption that you're abusing the f*ck out of Chariot. Use Chariot to recruit enemy units. Use it when you accidentally hit your own unit with a missile spell. Maybe even use it when Parry and Deflect activate later on because that ability is total bull.
  • On classes: Warriors are always solid and it doesn't take long before they can use their auto-crit every round. Archers are the best unit, hands down. Wizards get excellent debuffs. Go with dark magic if you want a little of everything. Clerics are nice, but many players do fine with just items and Lobbers. Knights eventually get pretty iffy, but the first couple ranks of Rampart Aura transfer to some other melee classes like dragoons, which easily solve any dragon/beast problems you may be having. Assuming your archers haven't done it already. Rogues aren't worth using for stealing, but they have some pretty badass skills and do a good job of ruining someone's day with daggers. That's mostly what I used, off the top of my head.
  • Give Canopus a 2-handed crossbow and never look back.
  • The last boss in chapter 3 can drop the Book of Gemstones. If a tarot card drops instead, reset. You need this item.
  • Baldur weapons deal extreme amounts of damage to undead units.
  • Element boosting abilities work with elemental weapons. Hits with those weapons also gain experience for those skills.
  • The wizard/enchantress's Meditation skill is awesome. Learn it, boost it with equipment and use it constantly. The only penalty to spamming it is slightly longer waits between turns.
  • The AI is more than happy to snag your loot like a petulant child.

Haven’t decided yet on a main class for Denam, but last night I tried to do some shopping at the first base and upgrade my characters’ gear. Unfortunately, all the gear is level-dependent, so I can’t equip any of it. Lesson learned!

I just kicked off the game last night. Wearing headphones, was impressed with the music all over again. Lots of lore buried in the menus, worth checking out if you want to flesh out the world or start to try and get a handle on all the factions.

I remember almost nothing about the gameplay! So, I'll be pretty much learning from scratch like most of you.

A few days ago, I booted up the game to make sure it works, and played through the first couple of tutorial missions. I was totally overwhelmed by the game's initial Proper Noun Assault, and felt like I needed some serious context for what was happening. Fortunately, I remembered that Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen would launch an explainer if you let the game idle on the title screen for a little while. So I did that here, and that was a huge help: knowing that the Bakram, Galgastani, and Wallister are three different factions (and, it sounds like, ethnic groups) in Valentia helps a great deal.

It was weird to see Canopus -- a stalwart ally throughout Ogre Battle -- show up as someone who was exiled from Xenobia in disgrace. It's been a long time since I beat Ogre Battle, but I don't remember anything like that at the end. I also played some of Ogre Battle: Person of Lordly Caliber, where other Xenobians appear in Lodis, and I don't remember those Xenobians as exiles. I'll be curious to see if the game explains further what happened in Xenobia, and if Canopus was being honest.

I'm inherently skeptical that this Lanselot (the one traveling with Canopus) is who he says he is. Assuming there were two powerful knights with the same name, what are the odds that this Lanselot knew nothing about the one from Lodis (as this one claims?). Also, Warren tries to pull the same stunt -- "Yes, I'm a dark magic user named Warren, but I'm not that Warren" -- and it seems pretty obvious to me that he's the same guy from March of the Black Queen.

Also, to expand on what I said before, after almost every battle, the Warren Report gets updated with the story beat, other events going on, and all the character profiles. You'll see a little refresh icon appear on a character profile when more information is added. That minor group leader that you defeated on the way to the next major battle? They probably have a multiple page back story.

I’m in on this one.

I started last night, played for a bit, then started to question if I made the right choices on the list of questions they start you off with...

Welcome!

I wondered about that too, and did a little checking. It appears that those question choices have a very slight effect on your main character's starting stats, but nothing else. They don't affect the story at all, and they don't have any bearing on your main character's skills -- unlike in the original Ogre Battle, where these choices determined Destin's front-line and back-line attacks.

Well, I got through the opening mission this evening to get things rolling. The opening credits, with the turmoil depicted, was a great set up. I think I already like the story in this, although as they toss country names and character titles about I'm a bit lost. Mostly figuring it out as I go. I assume playing other games in the series helps it make sense, but I'm also assuming this will stand alone enough that I won't have to have the outside context to get by, and I'll get caught up in time.

I think that’s true. This is the only Tactics Ogre game I’ve played.

Took care of the necromancer. Had two party members with exorcism and invested in 4 scrolls so that other members could help out. All were used up. Also, bought some mp replenishing herbs that my magic user used to keep the clerics replenished. He has dark magic which wasn’t really that useful as it can’t damage undead. Still a somewhat challenging encounter but it was good to be prepared.

I think taking another path may avoid this encounter entirely but I think most players will take this route.

I played a bit more last night, and got pretty confused with some of the mechanics. I'm wondering if someone might help me get unstuck?

- Are skill assignments are based on the class of the character? If so, what happens if you switch the character's class? Do you lose the skill points and skills, or get them back, or does the character keep the same skills (which may no longer be useful for his new class)?

- I played around with switching up my main character's class a couple of times, then I got a message that I couldn't switch back to warrior because I no longer had a "something something" to enable the switch. Are those "something somethings" easy to get? And I guess I should be treating class switches with a bit more thought?

- I read somewhere that Denam, the main character, makes for a great Lord class, which is unique to him. Is there a path to this that I have to follow, or will that class just unlock for him at some point in the story?

- Are skill assignments are based on the class of the character? If so, what happens if you switch the character's class? Do you lose the skill points and skills, or get them back, or does the character keep the same skills (which may no longer be useful for his new class)?

Although classes level up as long as you have one character of that class survive the battle, individual characters only accumulate skill points if they participate in and survive a battle. The second is true, characters keep any skills they learn but may be unable to access them when they switch to a different class. So, switching classes a lot can be inconvenient, you may have to do a few random battles just to get some skill points. At least you're not penalised for fighting random battles unlike FFT.

- I played around with switching up my main character's class a couple of times, then I got a message that I couldn't switch back to warrior because I no longer had a "something something" to enable the switch. Are those "something somethings" easy to get? And I guess I should be treating class switches with a bit more thought?

You need a token or mark to change classes and they are consumables. However, they come pretty thick and fast as drops and you can buy the common ones at the store so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

- I read somewhere that Denam, the main character, makes for a great Lord class, which is unique to him. Is there a path to this that I have to follow, or will that class just unlock for him at some point in the story?

Don't remember, but you will get a steady flow of new classes to mess with as you play through the game.

Just got to Ch 2, that was quite a decision... phew...

You're off to a quick start, I see!

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I played a bit more last night, and got pretty confused with some of the mechanics. I'm wondering if someone might help me get unstuck?

...

- I read somewhere that Denam, the main character, makes for a great Lord class, which is unique to him. Is there a path to this that I have to follow, or will that class just unlock for him at some point in the story?

I think I read somewhere that he gets promoted to a Lord during the story. That seems consistent with the other Ogre Battle games -- Destin (SNES) was a "Leader" or something, and Magnus (N64) was some kind of warrior who got promoted part way through. Their classes were unique to them.

I also read that the Lord class for Denam allows him to use skills that he learned in any other class. So, he'll end up being much more customizable than the rest of the army.

Journal #1
So I loaded up the Vita version. I have saves from the physical version PSP version already downloaded to the vita? I don't remember if the PSP uploaded saves to PSN. The music and everything is very cool and stoic. I accidentally named my character Mars but oh well. Going to be very "Sithy" I guess.

Thanks for the help everyone!

I’ll not worry about it then and start picking skills and whatnot.

Onward!

JohnKillo wrote:

Journal #1
So I loaded up the Vita version. I have saves from the physical version PSP version already downloaded to the vita? I don't remember if the PSP uploaded saves to PSN. The music and everything is very cool and stoic. I accidentally named my character Mars but oh well. Going to be very "Sithy" I guess.

Yes, you would have done that manually, perhaps using PS3 or a PC as a go between. The PSP was never able to upload saves to PSN.

I've been playing on Vita and it's definitely one of those games where you soon forget that it isn't a native Vita game.

LastSurprise wrote:

You're off to a quick start, I see!

Yep! There's a (very poorly designed) rescue mission early on that may frustrate folks. Let me know if you need any tips. I don't remember it being so annoying but it could just be where we are at with game design nowadays.

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