Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis

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Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
TacticsTKOL.jpg
Developer(s) Quest
Publisher(s) Atlus
Composer(s) Hitoshi Sakimoto
Masaharu Iwata
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
  • JP June 21, 2001
  • NA May 7, 2002
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution 1 cartridge

Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis (タクティクスオウガ外伝 The Knight of Lodis Takutikusu Ōga Gaiden Za Naito obu Rōdhisu?, "Sidestory to Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis") is a tactical strategy game developed by Quest. It was originally released by Nintendo in Japan in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance, then later released by Atlus in North America in 2002.

Like Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, The Knight of Lodis features party-based tactical combat on an isometric playing field. The player has limited control outside of battle, being provided only extremely limited movement on a world map, a shop function, an options menu, and an option to participate in a training session in which the player pits its own forces against each other in order to gain experience. Characters can be hired or acquired in combat, and there are interchangeable classes and a wide array of weapons, equipment and magic spells.

Plot[edit]

This game is set before the events of chapter five - Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen and chapter six Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber and seven Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together which run concurrently.

Ovis is brutally oppressed by the knights of Lodis. Alphonse Loeher is a knight in Rictor Lasanti's military unit, the Order of the Sacred Flame, and he is sent to Ovis. When he is later separated from the main forces, he meets Eleanor Olato and Ivanna Batraal, two locals from whom he eventually learns the truth about the horrific events taking place in Ovis.

Various circumstances lead Alphonse to separate from Rictor's main unit. As the plot unfolds, Alphonse begins to question the actions and motives of Rictor. He then begins his search for answers, starting with Ivanna's uncle, the sinister regent Naris Batraal, and the sacred spear, Longicolnis, which is the only instrument that can pierce the skin of the fallen angel, Shaher. It is later revealed that Rictor initially knew about the sacred spear and wanted to obtain it for the Lodis empire. About halfway through the game, the player is presented with two choices, one of which eventually leads to his falling out with Rictor. In fact, the player's choice will significantly affect all plot elements that follow.

There are five possible endings in the game (the Game Over scenario, which is gained by losing to the final boss, is also counted). The "A+" ending sequence features one additional scene which details Lans Tartare's past, in addition to the entire "A" ending sequence. To view the A+ ending, several conditions must be met, including completing the game in under 25 hours. The exact ending sequence with which the game presents the player depends on, among other things, the significant choice that the player has made halfway through the game and Eleanor's presence in the final battle. In particular, the "D" ending excludes Eleanor altogether.

Gameplay[edit]

Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis offers a strategic field-and-class based combat system. Although the player starts with a meager army of only six units (with the classes of those units being determined by questions the player answers in the beginning of the game), the army can later blossom to as many as thirty-two.

Each character is unique, being determined by several things: material statistics, of which there are only three, strength, intelligence, and agility; alignment, ranging from chaotic to lawful; and element, based on the four original elements. Characters can also earn emblems, certificates given after performing a specific feat or reaching a certain checkpoint. These emblems sometimes have no effect, often alter character statistics, some have a negative effect, and a few are required to advance to certain classes.

The game's playable units are divided into several categories; humans, demi-humans, dragons, Beasts, the undead, transcended beings and denizens of the netherworld. The human class is the only category with interchangeable jobs, with each class being marked by a required, or multiple required statistics, and often an emblem. Some classes can only be unlocked by a certain sex, while other classes are reserved only for certain special characters.

Demi-humans, non-humans, and the undead cannot change classes. Although all categories of units in the game can be persuaded in battle, the undead alone cannot be bought. Instead, undead units are created by using a certain spell on deceased units. Dragons change classes in a unique way: after reaching several checkpoints in statistics, a dragon will instantly upgrade into a certain new class, with the class being determined by the dragon's alignment. Once a dragon has upgraded, altering its alignment will automatically change its class.

After customization of the player's party, the group of units (of which the max limit on any story-based level is eight, with quest-based levels having a restriction of five) engage in combat.

Battle takes place on a large, panel-based playing field. The area is composed of terrain types and various height levels, making movement a critical factor. There are several movement types, ranging from simple walking to airborne flight. A character's movement type is determined by the class of that unit, as well as various special equipment which can change movement type. Terrain levels range from basic dirt and grass, to water (in varying depths and types), to untraversable terrain, such as lava or blank space.

In actual combat, there are also many variations. Simple melee combat can be performed, either barehanded or with single-ranged weapons, to adjacent panels. This means the attacking unit must be directly next to the target, making mobility a critical ability. Some weapons offer different attack ranges, such as the two-paneled pierce attack of spear and lance weaponry, to the two-paneled selective attack range of the whip.

Ranged attacks require the use of either a bow weapon, or a special ability. With such emphasis on movement, ranged attacks are a certain advantage, as units can be far away from opponents, offering possible immunity to counterattack. Abilities require the use of either S.P. or M.P., which both regenerate at a rate of ten per player phase, and vary in impact sizes (panels).

When all units belonging to a specific force are exhausted, having performed their restrictive one action per phase (which includes both movement and ability usage, from attacks to items), the game changes to the opposing player's phase, and back and forth until certain victory conditions have been met by one player, such as destroying all opposing units.

Reception[edit]

Famitsu magazine scored the game 34 out of 40 on release,[1] and GameSpot.com gave the game their Game Boy Advance RPG of the Year award in 2002.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ゲームボーイアドバンス - タクティクスオウガ外伝 The Knight of Lodis. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.114. 30 June 2006.

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