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

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I was still feeling incredibly burned out with Tactics Ogre, but I fired up the game to attempt a single level before bed. I made it past that horrendous uphill climb against Hanzo and...Didn't go to bed for another hour as I played through The Royal City of Heim.

Still feeling tired from the lack of variation, and I'm pretty lost with the story, but the battles remain a lot of fun. enough fun to have me hooked past my bedtime!

Anyway, looks like I'm approaching the final dungeon. I've probably done something silly, but I've swapped out my mediocre classes for archers and ninjas at this point. I'm near the end, so the level imbalances hopefully shouldn't affect me too much.

I think if you're planning to not play pass the current route then it's no big deal. I'd recommend having everyone take Field Alchemy and loading up on healing items, makes Cleric redundant. Also, load up on Exorcism scrolls, at least 50 for the final route.

Oh geez, that's good advice but it's also making me feel a little bit...terrified.

Onward!

Update: Ugh, final dungeon is a slog.

A_Unicycle, I'm in the same boat. I'm finding it really hard to make the final push and finish the game, so I've definitely been finding reasons to play other things. At the same time, my completionist lizard brain was making me think, "look, maybe I should finish that Necromancer quest line before I head to the final area. But if I do that, I need to actually be able to recruit the bonus character at the end. And there's the pirate graveyard area..." But ultimately, as cool as I think the story is, I'm ready for the next thing and not going to play past the end.

Anyway, today, I hit a milestone...

Spoiler:

Reunited with Catiua

I know I have several more story missions before I even get to the final dungeon, which itself is long. Time to brace myself and make a push.

You can do it LastSurprise! Once I got over my hump, I buckled down and found I was having fun despite my nitpicks. The battles ramp up in difficulty considerably, but it's a nice challenge despite the monotony and tedium. It's pretty satisfying!

So yeah, with that...I'm done! 45 hours.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EEgYDU9U8AYbcwz?format=jpg&name=900x900)

I was pretty lost by the end because I stopped reading the Warren reports, but ,eh, I ultimately liked the game. It was phenomenal in the beginning when I was constantly discovering new classes and building up my main party, but you get so little of that near the end. I'd have liked it a lot more if the stream of new abilities and usable classes continued into late-game. It's such a shame that the balance of this game funnels you into a certain playstyle, but I'm willing to overlook that a little since it is a remake of a SNES game after all.

A few dotpoints to summarise my playthrough:

  • Ninjas. Ninjas. Ninjas. incredible movement paired with double strike/upgraded weapons meant I could make a direct line for the enemy boss (while using the Ninja's natural evasiveness!) to win most maps pretty quickly
  • Archers did the same, death from a distance!
  • Monsters ALWAYS gave me a lot of trouble. Their resistance is just so damn high! This was a huge problem when I was faced with maps I couldn't instantly win by killing one enemy.
  • My Wizard > Warlock rocked. Petrifog was nice on occasion, but Cragfall and the level 3 shot was doing 100-160 damage by end-game. I never got to use Draconic spells though.
  • I barely ever used status ailments. I used Petrifog a handful of times at most, right near the end.
  • I never managed to figure out how recruitment works. I just used whomever joined via the story. I also feel like I missed a tonne of content because it felt hidden behind obscure tasks and loopholes.

I was going to give a very loose ranking out of 10, but I'm finding it difficult. Early game was a solid 10/10, beautiful, perfection in sRPG form. But the final 15 hours were such a slog, that it really brought the experience down for me. The last few maps really challenged me, and were fun, but having a final dungeon of 15(?) kill-all-the-enemies maps started to piss me off.

Weird game, incredibly happy I got to play it. And I think I got a LOT more out of it having discussed it with you fine folk as I progressed. Onwards to next month!

Nice, congratulations! Level up incoming.

And thanks for the encouragement! I'm drawing ever closer. I've finished up the two battles on the route to Heim. So, from what I understand, I need to finish up Heim itself, plus then the final dungeon.

As I'm nearing the end of the game, I've realized that I reclassed into Warlock much too late. It's rendered my main wizard pretty much worthless offensively, and he's become a huge liability defensively. I might switch him back to a regular ol' wizard.

On the other hand, I've found that Valkyries are a great class. Between them, my new(ish) Cleric, and my new Princess, I have four characters who can cast Boon of Swiftness, so I am able to start off the battle by having a whole chunk of my party hastened. That's been huge for establishing an advantage early on.

Also, while I'm finding archers every bit as useful as other people here, I should say that it's really just Arycelle who's a huge asset to the team. I have another archer (Sara) who I use on occasion, by Arycelle is a beast and very few can match her damage output.

I totally agree that this game holds up really well for its time, and it wouldn't need a lot of updating to go from "really well for its time" to just downright great. If I could tweak just a few things, I'd do the following:

  • Eliminate or mitigate the system of having classes start at level 1. I don't even mind leveling by class, but if that must be in the game then I'd like to see something like Fire Emblem's bonus XP, or Valkyrie Profile's ability to spend XP between battles on a class-wide basis. This could even be done in a system similar to how skill points are accrued and spent, here.
  • Crafting sucks, but only a couple tweaks are needed to make it annoying-but-tolerable: let me craft in bulk (for ores and consumables, especially), and remove the chance of failure when crafting.
  • I think the skill system easily could be great with a modern approach to skill trees.
  • Let me see the map before I select units, and deploy units right onto the map.

If I could see some of these things changed, the main gameplay would still be grindy, but I'd have a lot less frustration between the missions and think I could power through much more effectively.

Well, being home sick kind of sucks, but if you're not too sick it's good for gaming! I've cleared the next two missions, which brings me to the Heim Grand Hall. I think that's all I have the stamina for today, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

I know, from reading up on the endgame, that I have a beast of a final dungeon ahead of me after this. Any recommendations for tackling the Hanging Gardens?

Just what I posted before about lots of exorcism scrolls. It’s a real time saver if anyone can exorcise. Also you won’t be able to shop so stock up on healing items.

Yeah, I ran out of revive items and mana leafs. It wasn't pretty. Stock up, you'll need more than you think.

There are also a few maps where you will HAVE to kill dragons and golems. If you don't have a reliable means of doing so already, It's worth fixing that before going in. I used my Warlock/Wizard (Cragfall was hitting for 100+) and a Dragoon with a crossbow. Even then it was rough.

It's also worth upgrading the knockback skills as you can get some easy kills by pushing enemies off ledges (just keep in mind that it can happen to you too).

Goodluck! The final fight looks amazing. Colours and gorgous pixel art all throughout.

1. Pack petrify removing items, and spread them around.
2. There's one fight that I found TP and MP reducing items to be invaluable.

Thanks for the help! I finished Heim today, and then spent a bunch of money getting a whole lot of Exorcise scrolls (I probably have 40-50), buying and crafting a bunch of herbs, and buying revival stones. Also, TP and MP reducing items? Maybe I haven't been looking hard enough, but I don't even know what these are.

I haven't spent anything on better gear, and I'm wondering if I'm a bit under-leveled and under-equipped. My characters are generally around level 17-18, and the enemies on the first floor of the Hanging Gardens are around 22. I'm less concerned with the levels themselves, and more concerned with the idea that I might be using gear several levels under what I should be using. What do you guys think?

I was around level 21-22 for most of my team when I went through the Hanging Gardens, I'd suggest doing some grinding in the forest unless your running mostly ninja/archers

I meant TP and MP reducing spells. I had a couple of wizards with those spells, and they were the first and only time I used them in the game. But it really helped.

I actually only run one ninja (Denam) and two to three archers (Arycelle & Canopus, sometimes Sarah). I'm definitely thinking that more ninjas could be useful, although I've found valkyries super useful since discovering that they can hasten units, and I also really like holy knights given their stun blade ability. And I'm really intrigued by velocity shift (another holy knight ability), but haven't tried it much yet.

In general it's worth remembering that, once you finish one route, it opens up short cuts that bypass part of Heim and almost all of the Hanging Gardens for future play throughs. If you do get the hankering for another route :).

Well, over the past few days, I've grinded out a few maps: a couple of random encounters, and a couple of maps en route to the Palace of the Dead. I figure I might as well make some progress while I'm trying to level.

The classes I use are around level 18-19. I think 19-20 will be the sweet spot for me attempting the Hanging Gardens. It looks like the next tier of equipment sits at around 18-19, so upgrades will be at 19-20. So, if I buy and upgrade equipment for the party members I plan to use, I could start the gardens at 19, and either equip them right away, or as they hit that next level.

LastSurprise wrote:

Well, over the past few days, I've grinded out a few maps: a couple of random encounters, and a couple of maps en route to the Palace of the Dead. I figure I might as well make some progress while I'm trying to level.

The classes I use are around level 18-19. I think 19-20 will be the sweet spot for me attempting the Hanging Gardens. It looks like the next tier of equipment sits at around 18-19, so upgrades will be at 19-20. So, if I buy and upgrade equipment for the party members I plan to use, I could start the gardens at 19, and either equip them right away, or as they hit that next level.

The first few maps of the forest is probably the best place to level up, only party of 6 so the battles go very quickly.

That’s fair. I just figured that I should start on some of the maps I hadn’t done yet. I don’t really know why I felt compelled to do this, as I know I want to press on to the end. Completionist impulses, maybe?

Today on my way to work, after refining some more armor for my squad, trying the pirate's graveyard, and promptly getting beaten down badly by a Kraken, I decided I was done with grinding and that it is time to attempt the Hanging Gardens. I've kitted out almost everyone in the best armor they can get, but my weapons aren't quite upgraded. We'll see how it goes!

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