The Let's Play Archive

Ogre Battle 64

by loquacius

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Original Thread: Let's Play Ogre Battle 64: I Want To Break Free

If you liked this LP, you might also like Final Fantasy VI Advance by Maxpkmf, Chrono Cross by The Dark Id and Oregon Trail by Vanilla Ice

Introduction

The White Dragon posted:

hey can i help a tired-lookin brother get his motherfuckin revolution on?

Ogre Battle is a series of strategy/tactical RPGs developed by Quest and published internationally (mostly) by Enix. It carries a recurring theme of popular nationalist uprisings against unjust autocratic and feudal states, especially those carried out by starry-eyed young idealists. The first game in the series, "Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen," was released for the Super NES in 1993. Yasumi Matsuno, of Final Fantasy Tactics/Advance/XII fame, started his career at Quest making Ogre Battle, and allowed himself the indulgence of naming everything after Queen songs.



Matsuno was not involved with Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, which should explain the relative dearth of Queen references in its title. Not only did Queen never write a song called "Person of Lordly Caliber," but I get the feeling that even if they did it wouldn't have been their best work. Imagine Freddie Mercury singing that phrase in any way and making it sound... not awkward. It doesn't work. That's why I've decided that the theme of this game and this LP will be I Want To Break Free. Crossdressing isn't a theme of this game, but independence sure is!

OB64 was developed by Quest in 2000. Enix never had anything to do with it -- it was published by Atlus and Nintendo. It's a slow-paced strategy RPG: the player commands a number of characters, some with personalities and some generic, most of which may be assigned to any of a number of classes based on gender and species. These units must be organized into small squads (or "units") of up to five (fewer if any are large Monster types). Depending on your units' formation, the characters therein will carry out a predetermined number of predetermined actions whenever they happen to run into another unit. More in-depth game mechanics will be discussed in a later post.



We live in the country of Palatinus, which borders the country of Zenobia (where March of the Black Queen took place). Zenobia is currently ruled by the group of starry-eyed young idealists who starred in the SNES game. Palatinus is ruled by a feudal monarchy, which is a client state of the Holy Lodis Empire. Lodis took over Palatinus at some point in the past and allowed its king and government to stay in place as puppet rulers. They imagine that they have done Palatinus a big favor by doing this, and expect Palatineans in general and the king in particular to show them gratitude for their mercy at every opportunity.



Our main character is the young, promising scion of a military noble family (the Gallants) who has just joined the army during a time of great political volatility. (Moustache creator unknown; image provided by HeroOfTheRevolution from his LP attempt last year.) All he wants is to be a soldier and make his own way in the world, but he'll soon find himself caught up in a growing political storm. He'll need a name and a birthday. You might be tempted to name him Destin after the guy from the first Ogre Battle game. Resist that urge.  Destin will be showing up himself pretty damn soon. 

Reader Participation

There will be a limited amount of reader participation in this LP. I will not be taking suggestions of what units to create; instead I'll be asking you guys for answers to a personality test the game administers which will decide the makeup of our starting army, and I'll futz around with the results to make good or interesting units out of what the game gives me. Later I'll create more units to show off stuff that I think is cool. I'll also need a name and birthday for our main character, and will accept suggested names for all generic units (who can be renamed whenever the hell you want). Lastly, I'm going to need you guys to decide whether this is a Nice Playthrough or a Naughty Playthrough. This game features a hidden reputation meter (called the Chaos Frame) which measures how much of an asshole you are. This stat affects which unique characters you may recruit and which ending you get, but the game never really gives you any hint that it exists or that you may be dooming yourself to a bad ending. The main factors are (a) choices you make in cutscenes and (b) whether your units are "capturing" towns or "liberating" them, which looks like it's just flavor text (but isn't!!!!) and is determined by how closely the leader of the invading unit's alignment gels with the culture (or "morale") of the town. Rather than "good" or "evil", alignment ranges from "chaotic" to "lawful."

For example: Imagine two units, one chaotic (let's call them Captain Hillbilly and the Goatfuckers) and one lawful (let's call them Sir Arthur Mannerbottom and his Polite Associates). They're trying to take over a town. If Captain Hillbilly should happen to roll on into the well-to-do suburb of Posh Haven, he's going to have to crack some heads to get the village patrons to do what he says, but if the same town is invaded by Sir Arthur Mannerbottom, the transition will be a bit easier (and likely involve tea). Conversely, if Captain Hillbilly wanted to take over the settlement of Shit Creek, Arkansas, he could do it with nothing but a barrel of moonshine and a sack of pork rinds, but Sir Arthur would have to be a bit more hard-nosed if he wanted to get them to listen to him. Capture enough towns and you can recruit asshole characters; liberate enough towns and you can recruit noble ones. Nobility gets you a better ending.

Just to get this out of the way, I will be using an item-duplication glitch to control all characters' alignments because doing so on the up-and-up is a huge pain in the ass, which in turn makes controlling what kind of Chaos Frame you end up with nearly impossible. It's doable, but I'm not doing it. I think this was an anti-metagaming measure to keep players from making the inexorable march of history turn out however they wanted, but in the interest of entertainment value I'm going to make sure we go firmly in one direction or the other. This isn't a skill run -- the fact that I'm leaving the makeup of my army up to you guys' answers should be evidence enough of that. More on that when I get to the point in the game when it actually matters.

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