Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis (Crime Island Adventure)

rpg
video
informative

#1

It was an age where strength ruled.

Welcome to the next Zodi LP, wherein we tackle the patreon requested and winner of the last poll, Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis. An excerpt of the Ogre Battle saga, a sadly long dead RPG series that is honestly rather interesting. This is more of a tactics RPG in the same line as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, though unlike that game it’s got permadeath and more of an overarching story than just tons of missions to go out on. This is a relatively obscure game, and probably my favorite in the Ogre Battle series in general, so I hope you all like it.

As with all my LPs, we’ll be updating every Monday and Friday…on the exception that the upcoming Monday will be skipped to get time for people to vote for things, because this game does have some degree of viewer participation! Gotta vote for stuff, which I’ll go more indepthly into after the video link. Suffice it to say, even though this is a Game Boy Advance game, it’s pretty complex. Also of note, this’ll be my first time doing a voiced LP in like ten years, so please be patient with me as I blather endlessly about garbage. Also note this IS a tactics RPG, so videos may be longer than my typical 25 minutes. With all that said and done, let’s begin…episode Zero.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre Knight of Lodis [0] An Introduction to Ogre

Video Length: 7:59

We’re starting this off with a non gameplay video, so we can set about naming our protagonist and choosing some stuff for him via committee. But I like to think this small little intro is a good way to wet your palette, so to speak, with regards to what’ll come next. We are a fresh faced, black haired youth who has just recently joined a noble family of some sort, the Loehar’s, and has going off to war on a inconsequential, let vitally important, little island with his buddy Rictor. He is of course nervous and scared in that way where you’re obviously trying not to be, and before our boat arrives we meet an aged wise woman who tells our fortune. The fortune will determine a good deal of things, which I’ll talk about AFTER we’ve all made our decisions.

With that in mind, here’s how we’re going to do it. Since the six fates we can choose for our protagonista here are quite lengthy, I’m going to just list all the choices and YOU can post the ones you vote for, and I’ll compile that all manually. As well, you can just throw out birthdays and I’ll decide which one to use based on arbitrary reasoning. As for his name, my supports at Patreon have given me some good names for us to vote for, so we’ll be doing that the traditional Straw Poll way. So without further ado…

Name This Boy!

Choose His Fate!:
Bear Which Burden

  • Resolve
  • Truth
  • Sacrifice
  • Affection

Walk Which Path

  • Belief
  • Freedom
  • Wealth
  • Longevity

Design Which Plan

  • Strife
  • Wisdom
  • Hatred
  • Prosperity

Swear Which Oath

  • Purity
  • Revenge
  • Victory
  • Fruition

Share Which Vision

  • Sadness
  • Mercy
  • Bliss
  • Terror

Shape Which Future

  • Glory
  • Peace
  • Change
  • Control

So yeah. That’s a bit of a short one today, but it’s all in service of greater participation. It’s the Ogre Battle tradition, one I’ll not shy away from. Hope you’re all ready for a hell of a boat trip, when all is said and done.


That said, if you’re still chomping at the bit for video’d content, special shout out to DataNinka for going through effectively my entire Phantom Hourglass LP to find where the final treasure map was. Prepare for Bonus Video~

Zodi Plays: The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass [#B] Last Stuff

As well, please note that the poll for the Zodi Game Awards 2018 has concluded. Furi is our winner, and in the coming days I’ll be asking the patrons which character is their favorite from that so we can all vote on who gets the cool reward art!


#2

Affection
Freedom
Strife
Fruition
Sadness
Change


#3

1: Truth
2: Freedom
3: Prosperity
4: Fruition
5: Bliss
6: Change


#4

Hey let’s actually get this thing started shall we?

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis 1] War-crime Island

Video Length: 20:39

With the votes tallied, it’s time to begin! With the six fates decided, the adventure of Gaston, a knight of Felis (and Lodis) begins!

There really isn’t much to this episode, we’re still firmly in tutorial zone. Which isn’t a negative thing, tactics games can be complicated if you’ve never played them before. Luckily, I am quite well versed in these sorts of games, even if I haven’t played this one really. Immediately upon making landfall on the island of Ovis, we’ve been attacked by brigands hired to murder us specifically! That’s uh…an auspicious start. Especially since, once we win…poor Gaston gets crossbow’d into the ocean! And for some reason we get swept away instead of landing in the chest high water around these cliffs, as demonstrated with shield-tech.

Waking up in a warm bed, it appears we’ve been saved…and also somehow went all the way NORTH of where we made landfall it seems? That’s weird. Anyway, Ivanna, a former knight of the guys we’ve come here to beat up, offers to help find Rictor and company, so that’s what we’ll be doing next time! Hope you all enjoyed this small taste of what is to come.


As mentioned in video I looked at the pumpkin tips in a separate video, which you can see here.

The pumpkin tips are actually pretty important stuff, but a lot of it is things we won’t have to worry about for awhile. Still, it’s nice to get all that reading done so now I don’t have to spend a large amount of time writing or speaking about a lot of the more grittier mechanics!

That being said you’ll notice that there is a Biorhythm thing like in Fire Emblem Path of Radiance. That’s basically as ignore-able here as it was in that game.


Rounding us off today, let’s look at the emblems we’ve seen. First off, dumb Past Zodi got it wrong. Arbitration is rewarded to you for persuading FIVE enemies to join your side. It increases the chance of persuasion by 30% flat, which is really good if you intend to talk enemies into joining you. It also is some nice flavor, showing that Gaston here is a nice boy who is quite good at talking.

Don Quixote is an emblem “awarded” to you for taking 2/3rds of our hp in a single counter attack. You went up against someone who could kick your ass and they did so on YOUR TURN. It lowers your int by 10, because you’re clearly an idiot.

Embodiment of Desires is given to you for picking up five war trophies (the little loot bags) before a battle ends. If you’ve got this emblem, buried treasure you find tends to be better. Note that this is random buried treasure, some maps have pre-set buried treasure. Still nice to have, though.

Finally, Heavenly Spirit. You get this for healing allies TWENTY times! That’s a lot of healing! If you’ve got this emblem you can become a Priest class, and that’s all it does. Note that you do need to use healing MAGIC to get this. You don’t become a priest by shoving herbs in someone’s face.

A lot of emblems are pretty tricky to get, but thankfully this game has a mechanic we’ll talk about later (though it’s briefly brought up in the pumpkin tip video) that’ll help alleviate some of that.


#5

Back from the void I rise, with live commentary.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [2] Disaster At Scabellum

Video Length: 27:40

The disaster, thankfully, is that Gaston gets jumped by a hedge wizard. But yeah, this episode is a rather…interesting fight, in that last map we only controlled Gaston so everyone could give us a tutorial on how to fight. In this map…we only control Gaston again, and from the looks of how this one played out it’s so the game could give us a tutorial on how NOT to fight. It’s uh…a bit chaotic, to have a bunch of guest units since the guest units have priorities. Hell if I know what they are though.

The end result of all this is that we do, in the end, meet up with Rictor and Orson! Unfortunately, this is just a nominal reunion, as they give us a large sack of cash and tell us to perform a pincher manouver on our current target, which we’ll be doing next time. We’ll also, next time, be showing off all the cool actual units we’ve received thanks to your votes on the six fates. That rules! But yeah, hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time.


Oh boy it’s emblem time I didn’t forget that.

Knight’s Certificate: Minor correction on Past Zodi here. You don’t HAVE to attack from the front on to get this, you just need to be counter attacked five times. This lets you be a knight and not much else, but that’s still pretty important.

Centurion: This was surprising to get. You get it for killing three or more enemies on a map with a single person. It gives you a flat +20 strength…which is super good! Gaston can now punch up really good.


#6

Hoo boy, that guest character AI is… pretty bad. You never want your reinforcements to arrive just in the nick of time, only to start flailing about with little rhyme or reason.


#7

This series has…a history, with poor guest AI.

At least these ones are self sufficient enough to not explode into atoms.


#8

It’s time for a sleepy baby Zodi video for Ogre Tactics today.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [3] Gaston v. Gaston

Video Length: 37:49

Yeah expect these to get pretty long after a point. Anyway, a minor correction on Past Zodi. Centurion specifically requires you to kill three enemies and NOT kill EVERY enemy, with that single unit. It’s weird. As well, I mention the Heavenly Spirit emblem…it is NOT required to become a CLERIC. It is required to become a Priest/Priestess, the second tier cleric. I am correct that Kamui, our rando ninja, isn’t able to be the class he is, but otherwise our cleric is actually capable of being a cleric.

Also yeah, like I said I’m not sure I’ll be keeping all those four units we received. I can confirm due to recording stuff in advance that uh…we won’t be. It’s a little silly, you’ll see. Now, what’s important…let’s look at the actual mechanics of the six fates and why we got what we got. The answers to our questions, ultimately, give us an overall point score of -1. That means we get two soldiers, a cleric and a ninja. This part turns out to be correct! Less correct is…we’re supposed to have a rapier. Instead, astute eyed viewers will notice we have a second axe. I notice eventually, but it’s…it’s weird. I don’t know why it’s like this? Especially because according to the guide I’m using that’s…not an option. It may just be that my guide is wrong however, since looking around a different guide says we get a francisca for our options. But yeah, who knows!

Now, recruitment time! Hiring soldiers in this game is…interesting, mostly in that you can only ever actually buy soldiers, beasts, and demi-humans. Soldiers are…average in many ways, so boosting their level with money is a double edged sword. We use some cash to recruit a fire element lady called Deneb for absolutely no reason at all, and we’ll recruit actual patreon units…later. This unfortunately takes priority for a variety of reasons. We will also never be buying an octopus, as beasts are generally not that useful and octopi are the weakest of them. You also see me equipping Deneb with a bow and an axe. The shortbow and axe are both one handed weapons, so you can put both on your person and use both in battle. That’s actually pretty neat, though it makes it so that Deneb can’t use a shield. This is fine.

We also take a dip into training mode this video. Training mode is interesting, pitting your units against each other. You can turn on auto battle for this, but it’s not recommended since they WILL use items and that’s uh…that’s a waste. I mention not to over-train, and it’s…actually kinda hard to over-train, but it’s still worth keeping a thought on. If you gain 20 levels in training mode, you get an emblem that lowers all your stats by -10! Very flavorful, but also nasty.

Once the training is done, we head off to…a random encounter because I said so. We don’t be DIRECTLY pursuing random encounters, but if I do them I will show them off since unlike the training fights (which I also won’t be making big use of) this doesn’t count for our kill counters. But yes, random encounter with some soldiers and their wizard buddy. This is an otherwise inconsequential battle…minus two important facts. One, we use the Persuade option to recruit the wizard, Leon! Persuade is a difficult ability to use, but if it works you turn the target into a guest party member, and at the end of the map they’ll offer to join your army. Now, persuade maxes out at 49% accuracy wise, various stacks like your class (same class boosts it) gender (opposite gender boosts it) and emblems (some increase it, some don’t) influence the accuracy of persuade. So does stabbing the life out of them. Ultimately, we only end up with a 4% chance of getting Deneb to recruit the wizard…which we get, since I’m a cheater who uses save states for specific things like this. The other important thing in this fight is ONE OF THE NPCS HAS THE SAME NAME AS OUR PROTAGONIST. This CANNOT stand, and our Gaston makes a pretty convincing argument for making this guy change his name.

But yeah, that’s it for this weird, weird little episode. Join us next time, for actual plot progression…and the last time we ever seen the starting generics.


Emblem time! We got a couple emblems today!

Book of Initiation: You get this for avoiding three attacks in a row. It’s pretty fancy, though all it does is let you be a swordmaster. Of course being a swordmaster is uh…really important, given it’s a pretty strong class! A little tricky to get, so I’m glad to have gotten it when I did.

Self-Preservation: Another tricky emblem to get, though as you can see we can get this in training. If you kill a unit with a counter you get this emblem, and it increases your counter attack damage! A little extra boost, there’s a good chance I’ll get this on all my melee units eventually, just because of the nature of things.

Sniper: A surprise emblem I didn’t imagine I’d get any time soon! I sorta poo-poo it in video, but Sniper gets you +10 agility which is actually pretty decent given agility determines accuracy and stuff. I will at one point be getting this on all my fighting man units just because it’s that useful. To get it, you need to land 5 bow shots in a row without missing. Simple enough, though you can miss on a 99% shot if you’re not lucky…

Vixen’s Whisper: Persuade a male unit with a lady, and you get this emblem! It let’s you become a witch, a female magic user class. We’ll detail the specific…interesting points of this emblem at a later date.


#9

Kamui’s the best character so far.


2


#10

This is a powerful post.


#11

Good morning Vietnam Ovis. It’s time for more this.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [4] A Them Emerges

Video Length: 44:12

And by theme I mean not only with regards to plot, but with gameplay as well. In this one…we get to see that I’m perhaps not as smart and yet far smarter than I give myself credit for. We head off to our next destination, and get ambushed by Cressida, an archer lady angry about the deaths of her parents 15 years ago. Lodis killed her family in the Reformation, and she wants revenge. Gaston’s response is “yeah but that happened 15 years ago” which uh…probably puts into perspective the type of dude Gaston actually is? It’s truly interesting, I feel, that Gaston (who is our protagonist, mind you) can look at someone who’s parents were killed in the brutal Reformation that his own side did, that he doesn’t even really agree with, and say “yeah but that was like 15 years ago who cares”. Just a fun little…thing, to consider. I’m sure it’s fine, given we’re still attached to the Lodis army and this is a young, impersonally Gaston who hasn’t yet learned the truth of the world, like how a certain blonde haired Final Fantasy protagonist did. And by that I mean…well, you’ll see.

But yeah, this video also has some minor desync issues. Now, the next videos WON’T have that problem, because I’ve figured out two very good and important ways to fix that. That being said our next actual Ogre video will be done in Sony Vegas as opposed to my typical AVS editor. It’s time to actually do an upgrade. So there may be some shakiness with quality wise in the upcoming videos as I learn to wrangle that particular bucking bronco. That being said, this one is pretty good…length aside. This is one of the inevitable Issues with a tactic game like this…it’s gonna run long, and have not much to really discuss. Still, I hope you enjoy our attempts at rampaging through the country beating up more or less justifiably angry archers who barely even contribute to their undying rage due to the AI being very, VERY strange.

I also think this episode is actually pretty funny. Just as an aside. But yeah, hope you all enjoyed! Next time…well, Something Will Happen. Hope you didn’t like these particular generics…


#12

It’s time for some accidental plot progression!

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [5] Fort Toughboy

Video Length: 49:06

Yeah these get pretty long and I’m not sure what, if anything, to cut…

But yeah, starting us off this episode, we go into some previous areas we’ve been in search of treasure! We find a mysterious glass pumpkin made by our resident perfectly normal soldier Deneb, and also a cool dragon shield inside a crate. Robbery at it’s finest, but it’s for a good cause; mine. We also uh…sold all of our Alters of Resurrection and kicking out all the previous party members we had, replacing them with patrons! We’ve got a dragon tamer (mostly so she can generate the stats she needs for Knight/Valkyrie), we’ve got an archer, we’ve got a cleric in training, and of course we have a ninja who is way cooler than Kamui ever was. I also uh…managed to do the memory editing needed to remind Leon his name is actually Vecna (thanks again to Pinkhair for the assist on this).

Also I said we’d see the emblems at the end of the video…I edited it out since it took WAY too long for no reason oops. We’ll see them at the beginning of next video. But yeah let’s actually talk about what happens today, since a lot does! We head to fort Formido to do our two pronged assault as Rictor informed us! It goes well, as we fight our way up this massive ocean-side fortress with only a small group of eight. Things felt a bit touch and go, but we managed to pull through thanks to the power of team work and gravity. We also found a cool Dragon Gem Sword, which…I think makes enemy dragons take a morale unbonus when nearby? The game is very vague about it and the wiki is a different shade of vague.

However, once we finish slaughtering near everyone in the fort, we get captured in our investigation of said fort! It turns out Nichart Briffaut, the loser knight that abandoned all his men to die as part of some zany scheme to capture us, has…captured us with a zany scheme. He wants what we know…but of course, we know nothing. We are a child who was just directed towards this fort and told “go kill” and so we did. He leaves us to rot in the prison, that apparently floods and I know that’s a real prison design people did but wow that must be messy huh. However, we’re saved from our watery grave by Cybil, a perfectly trustworthy looking sorceress lady, and her ninja friend Shivan. All we need to do is pledge our loyalty to her and we’re saved! I’m sure this won’t come back to bite us.

And that’s it for today actually. Join us next time, for…what I intended to do today. Oops. Hope you all enjoyed!


#13

Fresh off my birthday, it’s time for some Ogre Tactics.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [6] As The Fairy Flies

Video Length: 24:09

In this exciting episode, some time has passed with regards to training. Deneb has become a witch, with her and Vecna now having both missile and AOE spells. Missile spells, as you may recall, shoot forward like the shuriken and stuff. AOE spells do not, and as such as mooostly safe from friendly fire. Once we get enough int to grow the AOE we’ll have to worry about it, but for now our AOE has a range of exactly one tile. We’ve also just been doing some growing in general with our units, slowly preparing for their future jobs.

Starting us off today in actual content wise, we get a cutscene where we finally see Naris Betraal, the villain we’re contending with! It turns out Nichart is a fool and an idiot and is basically pointless in the grand scheme of things. Kinda explains why he let all his men die in a brilliant plan to capture a single teenager. We also learn that…Naris and his sorcerer minions are looking for Something. But what could that Something be? We also, though Gaston doesn’t learn quite yet, learn what happened to Rick and company. No one learned that the forest they were going to march through is the undead super forest made when Lodis murdered everyone for not believing in their God. Oops, they got ripped asunder by zombies.

But Gaston doesn’t know any of this. All Gaston knows is that this cute fairy is being attacked by a bunch of other creatures for Some Reason. And no one Gaston has ever helped has ever been evil, so we should assist her! And that’s the bulk of the combat for this video, saving the fairy Glycinia. We slaughter the gremlins, fairies, and griffins hunting her and she gladly joins our party as the mascot character we’ll never ever use. She also talks about her sister Lubina, but we’ll deal with that at a later date. Also I definitely remove all of her equipment to give to all my other units because it’s waaay too good to just leave on a fairy. Call it a reward for saving her.

But yeah, that’s the episode! Sometimes these can go pretty quick! I hope you enjoyed, I’ll see you guys next time!


Two emblems this time, though both were gotten off screen.

Fist Fight: We got this before last time and I just never showed it! You get this by killing someone while you have no equipment on. It’s very hard, near impossible really, to do this in a real fight, but you can do it in training! It makes your bare fists do way more damage! It doesn’t say by how much but it was making 1 damage attacks do 50 damage so…yeah.

Miracle: This is a fun one we got before this video! If you survive an attack that would kill you at 5% current HP or less, you get this reward! It increases critical hit percent by 10%, a pretty good bonus if I do say so myself. It also has another effect; if you get the Bogus Hero emblem from training up 20 levels (which makes it impossible to crit) Miracle negates it. It doesn’t matter which order you get these in, as long as you have Miracle you cannot be effected by Bogus Hero.


#14

Oh hey another Lodis, whodda thunkit.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [7] S W A M P

Video Length: 30:59

In this episode, we make our way over to a swamp to continue our march towards…our destination, which is supposed to be a mountain according to Cybil. Gaston is confused, but he’s nothing if not a follower. We’re immediately ambushed by hawkmen! Hawkmen are interesting in that they’re an extremely easy to get unit with perfect flight, but unlike fairies are actually decent! They’re like violent, dwarfy elves and I kinda love that about them. I may at some point pick up an hawkman, just to have it. They specialize in hammers, but surprise-surprise, giving a unit capable of flight a bow is always a good idea. The fairies show this off, but like with most everything the hawkmen show it better. We also have to contend with some gryphens and some fairies, but overall this fight isn’t all that problematic.

That said, it is a massive swamp in which we have very little actual ground to step on. Being submerged in water effectively cuts your stats in half, and while the enemies suffer this as well they can all fly so their movement isn’t reduced at all. Luckily DataNinja is here to carry the slack, and also luckily we didn’t waste any goth on an Octopus that would have excelled at this map in particular, thus tricking us into thinking it’s a good unit. We also have Cybil on this map as a guest party member, wherein we learn she’s a super powerful magic casting class known as a Sorceress. The Sorceress is a modified Siren, one of the strongest magic classes in the game. It’s only real unique feature is that I think it gets access to one more utility spell than regular Siren’s do, and is otherwise identical. That said, she does show off the general power of magic! Her spells do a ton of damage, and she’s got a high enough int to make her AOE spells actually have a larger area of effect! It’ll take awhile for our wizards to get that smart. And unlike most guest party members, Cybil REALLY contributes.

Once we slaughter that plot enforced random encounter, we actually have a moment to discuss with Cybil about what we’re doing and who she is. As it turns out she’s a secret police of the Pope of Lodisism, and she’s here on a quest to discover a laser spear the mermaids who used to be the native inhabitants of Ovis island used in the totally justified and not at all garbage invasion of humans to the island. The laser spear eventually vanished, allowing humanity to gain the upper hand and reduce the mermaids to only a single area of the island. Thus, we’re going to Urodela Cape to see about finding and politely asking a mermaid where they kept the laser spear. But before we can proceed, Shivan appears to warn us that soldiers are converging near Urodela Cape. We must go and slaughter them before they do anything that impedes our search for the laser spear!

I’m sure that’ll work out wonderfully. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time…for some fun!


Emblem time! Cybil has an emblem that hints towards how to get a Siren, so let’s talk about it.

Philosopher’s Stone: This requires you to kill two enemies or more in one cast. A simple thing, and you can even acquire it in training! But it also requires having enough int to gain AOF on your AOE spells. I can’t actually find what thresholds are required, but whatever Cybil’s int was in this is how much you need to get the full classic cross shape for magic. We will, at a later date, hire another lady soldier to become a Siren. Deneb has…other plans, as you’ll see eventually.


#15

It’s time for a big one…

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [8] The Mermaid Question

Video Length: 41:01

Starting us off today, we change Blue into a Cleric as he was always meant to be, and then we march off to Urodela to deal with those enemy troops just kinda lingering around here. Immediately we are ambushed by ninjas seeking revenge for Lodis slaughtering his entire family. I’m getting a strange sense of deja vu here. This horde of ninjas also has a Witch, which is what I’m intending to turn Deneb into later. We’ll talk about that more later. We also have in this stage someone with the Necklace of Resistance. It’s uh…not very clear about it, but this accessory makes you IMMUNE to magic! I believe this means it also makes you immune to healing as well, but I’ll need to test that later. Finally, the leader ninja has a matsukaze, a powerful two handed sword with wind element.

This is a pretty interesting encounter, mostly in that ninjas are as you’d expect fast and fairly deadly, but also decently fragile. Cybil’s supportive nuking with magic is pretty useful, as are our own wizards. Since we’ve turned Blue into a Cleric we’re down a melee fighter as well, so things can get a little hectic. But we’re able to handle things fairly easily, since I’m not actually THAT bad at tactics…mostly.

With all the ninjas dead at our feet, we discover the actual soldiers who were hanging out in the city! It’s Rictor and Orson and Others, our old buddies! We have a…discussion about just what exactly Gaston is doing. Gaston questions why Rictor is really here, likely suspecting it may have to do with the spear. Rictor seems to not know at all. But he does recognize Cybil for what she is, and is super pissed that she’s hear. The pope using secret police wizard spies to manipulate the world from the shadows is not something God would approve of! Which…I mean is true. But then Rick goes off on Cybil for being a poor as well. Damnit Rictor, I like you, don’t be like that. We also learn through this conversation what, exactly, Gaston is intending with his actions. He wants to see what he can do without the support of the noble family that took him in, or the backing of Rictor and Felis. He wants to go his own way. Rictor calls his bluff on this since he is basically just following along with the random pope spy who saved us. Rictor stomps off, deciding that we’ll be enemies from now on…

Later that night it begins to storm, and Cybil has taken us to a shake to work out what we need to do next about this mermaid thing. But first she gives us a rather large and interesting speech about choice. Not choosing is a choice, and riding the currants of your life isn’t UN valid, but it is a weak way to exist. Cybil then shows her manner of thinking is…a bit flawed, because when we ask her how she became a pope spy she mentions she was brought in by the age of six and basically raised to be what she is. She frames this as her choice, and while it is true that she COULD have chosen to not be a pope spy when they asked her…she was raised in that environment. They made it so her choice really wasn’t a choice at all. She doesn’t seem to get that…I mean, she gets to to some degree, but she doesn’t realize it on a conscious level.

Our conversation is interrupted by the sailor we hired to take us to mermaid town showing up. As it turns out this storm is too hard to sail in and also hey, we have rules about messing with mermaids. They’re powerful demi-humans with long spears and strong magic. Don’t mess with mermaids, especially since they live near the water where they excel and you drown. So don’t mess with mermaids. We may think with our money and logic that we can easily deal with these mermaids…but rules exist for a reason. Cybil is of course less than pleased with this, so the sailor gives us an idea. Why don’t we just torture a mermaid? Her allies will be drawn in by her singing for help, then we can follow them back to mermaid town! This plan is flawless! Cybil immediately takes it as canon and what we need to do, and Gaston is…a little squiggly about it.

And it is here that we receive a choice. It’s a bit more nuanced than it really appears and than I really present it, but…it is, effectively, a choice between two options. Are you pro or con on the torture of mermaids? This’ll be decided by all of you in a vote that lasts until Wednesday so I have time to record and edit. I won’t be discussing the actual like, nuance behind the vote because I don’t want to bias the vote one way or another, until you’ve all voted and we’re firmly locked into our path. But yeah, this is the Big Choice. The answer we give here will determine the outcome of the entire game, and one of these are canon! None of you will learn what is canon until the end of the game though, just for my own personal amusement.

But yeah. Hope you all enjoyed! See you all next time…and Don’t Forget To Vote.

Remember. Not choosing is it’s own choice.


#16

Can’t escape from crossing fate.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [9] Gremlins Are Bad

Video Length: 39:41

The votes are in and all of you have voted for the…obviously correct of the two choices. We’re going down route B, telling Cybil that her plan is stupid. Now, why IS it stupid, anyway? Well first off, let’s go down the points in reverse order. Assuming everything works out and we DO follow mermaids back to mermaid town after torturing a mermaid (which isn’t 100% likely) we’re left with a situation where…yeah, we’ve found mermaid town, but they likely will hate us entirely. Secondly, there’s no real reason to assume any mermaids will APPEAR when we torture one. That’s always a concern. Additionally there is the problem of actually finding a mermaid in the first place. It’s not like they’re SUPER rare, but they only live in one localized area of the island and are justifiably insular due to the colonial nonsense that the mainland enforced on them. And finally, with that in mind…this idea’s basic premise is entirely flawed because if we find a mermaid WE CAN JUST ASK THE MERMAID WHERE SHE LIVES. It might be hard to convince her to tell us, and we may need to follow HER, but…this entire plan is predicated on finding a mermaid. If we find a mermaid we can AT LEAST TRY non torture methods. Jumping immediately to torture a mermaid is…ridiculous.

That being said, I buried the lead on this one. Not on purpose mind you, I didn’t know until AFTER setting it all up. I checked out what happens if you pick A. Gaston says he can’t think of something…but he asks Cybil to give him time to. Cybil agrees. Looking ahead down this route I’ve seen no one ever take…we never actually torture a mermaid at all. The entire point of this question was not to see if we would actually torture a mermaid or not, but to see how we react to CYBIL wanting to torture a mermaid. Do we tell her off like we do here, cutting our ties with her? Or do we still work WITH her. We still say no to torture, but it’s a soft no. It’s basically a maybe. And that’s the REAL deciding element here. Do we show Cybil that we’re still willing to be her lap dog or not. Which still, of course, carries the problem of SHE SPENDS LIKE THREE MINUTES giving a speech about THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOICE. By doing all of that, it keys the player who is paying attention (and it’s a plot based tactics JRPG, they’re PAYING attention) in to the fact that Cybil is, absolutely, a maniac. She literally tells you “choice is important don’t do something just because fate decides it” and then follows it up with “but also follow my ever order without question”. She’s an idiot and a psychopath and I have to imagine the reason why people DID vote for her path was because they’re playing devil’s advocate or just want to see something that’s not been done before. Because there is literally no reason, what so ever, to actually justify taking Cybil’s path.

So. We tell Cybil off, and then head off to that old church were we woke up after being crossbow’d into the ocean. Eleanor is there, and she’s VERY happy to see us. Gaston is very happy to see here, and if you don’t see the relationship flaps flying high here then I don’t know what to tell you. Regardless, we tell her that we’ll be back for her some day. Much like every other non mermaid torture adjacent question, this really is a non-question. You pick the first choice because otherwise…nothing really happens except Eleanor ceases to matter. Of course, in this case…Eleanor ceasing to matter is kind of a big deal that I’ll get into later.

Regardless of that, we leave and head off to the cave path that Gaston learned about somehow. Dragons and gremlins block our path, but our old friend Orson appears! He’ll be assisting us, as it seems Rictor has sent him off to watch over us. Thus we begin the fight, and it’s a hell of a fight honestly. Dragons are tough, decently strong, and have powerful breath weapons that increase in range as they gain intelligence. Thunder dragons can stun you with their breath, earth dragons can poison you. It’s pretty nasty! I take this opportunity to recruit a dragon with Celestinee, who gladly joins our ranks and will likely be renamed as soon as I’m able. Then we enter gremlin hell. This is what the game means when it says they have evil blood.

After an…agonizingly long time killing two gremlins, we finally get a scene of Orson making it very clear. Rictor doesn’t know jack all about the mermaid stick, they’re really just here to investigate why things have gotten so bloody, so quickly. That’s good to know. With that knowledge in mind we can rest easy, and proceed to march to Arena. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time.


New emblem time! Pretty rare to see that now that we’ve gotten all the easy to get ones!

Lancer: Lancer is actually pretty hard to get outside of training and the fact that I did it speaks truth to the fact that I might actually be insane. To get it you must hit two enemies at once with a piercing weapon like the pike. Piercing weapons hit two squares, the second square for less damage, and it can hit two people at once because of it. If you get this emblem you can, once you’re strong enough, turn into a Valkyrie. We’ll talk more on them later, but suffice to say they’re one of the stronger end game classes.


#17

Onwards, to greater and greater conflicts.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [10] Fish Violence

Video Length: 37:01

In this episode, we make our way to Arena in our search for a mermaid to befriend! And believe it or not, we do manage to stumble upon a mermaid, Minerva…unfortunately, trying to negotiate with her proves futile. She is, unsurprisingly, untrusting of humans! With a simple shout a bunch of her allies appear, mermaids octopi and even some hawkmen, and the battle commences. Whether Gaston wants it or not.

So, this fight. It’s a pretty difficult one if you’re not careful! Because of the way water works, if you step out into the ocean to try and bring the fight to Minerva…you’re doomed. Mermaids and Octopi get a boost when in the water, and any unit you have that gets submerged loses half of it’s stats. You can see clear as day just how effective this water bonus is with the octopi being nearly unbreakable while in water, but super weak out of it. Thankfully, I’ve got an indestructible unit of my own! I uh…put a bunch of pumpkins on Terepat and that basically made my dragon untouchable. I unfortunately put the Necklace of Resistance on him so he can’t really be healed, which was a mistake considering Minerva has the lullaby ability which is pretty dangerous, but overall it worked out surprisingly well I think. I also arbitrarily changed Trobby into a ninja to gain some stats so I ended up having two ninjas on this fight. That turned out to be super useful…if risky.

With Minerva defeated and all of her friends driven into the coast, Gaston lingers in despair. He had to defend himself from a mermaid thinking he was one of those basic humans who hates demi-humans and wants to kill them. He had all that bluster about not wanting to torture a mermaid…and then struck out and killed a bunch of them. Gaston feels despondant. The ultimate irony here is…I looked up what the other path has you do.

It has you come across Minerva being attacked by humans. And you save her, and let her go. The choice was, at the end of the day, SUPER fake. In the torture mermaid path, you save a mermaid’s life and do not in any way torture any mermaids. In the refusal path you end up beating the crap out of a ton of mermaids. It’s just…fascinating. Also you get like, WAY more goth from the A path like what the heck. It’s crazy.

Finally, rounding out this video…we finally complete the ritual. With that final level up, Deneb has acquired enough MP to become a Witch! With the flick of our wrist, Deneb class changes into a witch…and so it happens. Deneb is a unique unit, secretly. She was just a generic soldier when we hired her, but…girls who share a name and personality with the Great Witch <3 Deneb can invoke this magical formula to become her. Deneb, the Great Witch <3, is a character from Ogre Battle in general. An immortal ghost witch who possesses the bodies of girls to wreck mischief and chaos. She is not actually plot important to this game, even though she is a plot character. To get her you have to do the steps I’ve shown here, ie hire a female soldier named Deneb and then turn her into a witch. In Japan you had to have her be fire element as well but you don’t HAVE to do that in America. Having Deneb means we’ve lost a dedicated wizard for the purpose of violence, but her support spells and her hyper upgraded to Temptation makes the Great Witch <3 class that she’s permanently stuck in pretty useful actually. And unlike regular witches, Deneb DOES have access to…other, spells.

But yeah, that’s the end of this video. I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time!


#18

Oh hey more of this!

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [11] Further Fish Violence

Video Length: 51:39 (!!!)

It’s kinda sad this is a long once since I don’t have all THAT much to say. Starting us off, we return to Scabellum to quickly unlock Deneb’s Secret Shop! The secret shop is just like all the regular stores, except it’s run by a pumpkinhead monster and it stocks some…unique equipment, that only the store provides. As well, Glass Pumpkins can be liquidated here for a vast amount of money, and if we sell them five pumpkins…well, you’ll see, because I do intend to get it, to the best of my abilities.

After that, we head off to Rana, wherein we get attacked by another mermaid! This one is Aerial, and she’s a slight bit stronger than Minerva was. She’s enraged at Minerva’s death, and will do everything she can to kill us. Her allies aren’t that significant, except for the mermaid with the dragon gem, a hawkman with an earth shield, and the two Naga’s on her team. Naga’s are the neutral evolution of the dragon, because while dragons cannot class change they CAN mutated. Naga’s are the neutral dragon, swimmers that coil and slither around. I forget what, if any, special features they have. Whatever the case may be, they’re incredibly powerful and no guide I read have ever listed them as being part of this fight so HMM. That’s uh…not good.

About 55 minutes later, we finally put an end to all the enemies. Aerial, bleeding and wounded, demands we finish her off or she’ll keep fighting. Gaston doesn’t want to, and much to the relief of everyone another mermaid rushes out to save Aerial from a cold, unwanted death. This random mermaid guard reveals that uh…the mermaid town is literally right here in Rana, and the Mermaid Queen would like to speak with us. Which she does, and in a round about way explains that the Sacred Spear is a horrifying black device that shoots people to death, rending through armour and flesh. It’s basically a gun and that’s really amusing to me. The mermaids used it to fight the war, but humans are nothing if not persistent. More humans came, no matter how many the future queen struck down with her lightning gun, and many more mermaids died as a result. Sometimes, you need to compromise some of your positions to ensure you’ll live. An unfortunate and unwanted thing, but sometimes true all the same.

Of course it’s not like the Queen learned that lesson. The spear got vanished out from under their noses and she was forced to watch as humanity beat them back, slaughtering them all wholesale. So the mermaids retreated from the ancient ground that was their home and are now kept nice and tidy up in this pocket of coastal ocean caves. They never found the spear, though they know who took it. The queen’s sister, Berevra, who fell in love with a human and so absconded with it in the night to prevent further war. I don’t know how she got her hands on it but it…well, I won’t say it didn’t help, because the war did stop. But it stopped because the bad guys finally killed enough of you that they decided they’d won. That’s not a victory by any stretch. Would it have been right to keep the spear? Who knows! But probably, yeah.

And that’s it for today. We’ve got some more information, and a lot of dead mermaids on our back. I hope you’re happy Gaston, all you had to do was listen to Cybill being a psychopath about torturing mermaids and you wouldn’t of have to torture any mermaids. That said I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time!


Two new emblems today, courtesy of DataNinja making the ultimate sacrifice; not attacking with his cool katana. Also dying.

Angel Feather: Rewarded to a unit that gets revived from death. Let’s you become an Angel Knight, but…we’ll talk about what exactly that MEANS at a later date. I do intend to get one, that’s all I can really say here for now. I will note, you can get this emblem in training! I don’t quite know why!

The Pen And The Sword: By killing four enemies with physical attacks and four enemies with magic/skill attacks, we get this! It lets a dude turn into a warlock (no ladies allowed) which is a pretty good class. We’ll talk more about it later, once/if I do get one, which I think I will since I think this emblem is one of the ones you can’t get in training! If someone could correct me on that that’d be cool.


#19

Fi…fight it out?

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [12] Interruptus

Video Length: 21:00

Bit of a short one today, for reasons I’ll get into momentarily. Starting us off, we’ve got two new changes to the army! Trobby has grown into a Valkyrie, a fantastic female warrior that specializes in spears. They get two slots for spells, and they’re even good at water. They also provide a +1 morale bonus to men within three squares of them, which rules. We also hired Deme off screen, and after a short hour or so of grinding she’s up to par with the rest of the army as our Siren, a powerful magic caster in her own right! Jumping a bit ahead, we also end up using the Mirror of the Gods to change Terepat to change his element to wind…which also changes him into a Thunder Dragon! Dragons are weird like that.

Anyway, plot stuff! We say our somber, sad goodbyes with Arial, who then proceeds to join the party! Except not. Because, for reasons that are entirely unclear, you have to SPECIFICALLY lower Minerva to critical HP levels, after which she will surrender. None of the guides I was using specified this, and simply said “don’t kill her”. This is…bothering, because the game says to kill her so I was kind of at a loss for what that MEANT exactly? Now, admittedly I should have dug a little deeper, but I’m taking the full blame for it because literally every other enemy you recruit in this game is someone you have to beat to death. So yeah, no mermaid for us, instead she just muses about how humans and fish are likely incompatible. This is ultimately not a big deal since mermaids are less than good on land and spoilers, we don’t…really get any more water maps. We’re done with wet.

After that we return to Cybil to inform her of our wonderfully our No Torturing Mermaid plan went. She appreciates the help, but notes that none of her searching has found Berevra either so we’re at a loss. This is where things get…silly. I realize that they have to write the plot so that it works no matter which path you’re on, but…apparently, even though Gaston completely disagrees with Cybil’s methods, he still feels he owes her. He said he would help her, just in his own way…he never said when he’d STOP. It just…it feels really weird to see Gaston being so chummy with her considering everything. However, at the very least talking with her as proved fruitful for our own investigations! We remember about Eleanor’s story about seeing a golden scaled mermaid. So now it’s time to head back to Solea to talk to her about a fish.

And we would absolutely do that…were it not for a random encounter! Random encounters are…a frustrating and kind of terrible mechanic honestly? It’s probably because of the level 6 fairy sitting in my army acting as mascot, but the enemies are barely worth the effort, giving at most 1 EXP a kill just because they’re one or two levels lower than us. The ones that are on par, through being that strong or simply leveling up off of US, aren’t even that worth it either since none of them drop much of value item wise. I’d of maybe liked to get one of those spell robes they have, but ultimately there’s very little of worth in random fights like these. Which is unfortunate because you CANNOT RUN from fights. At the very, very least what this random fight lets us do is show off how strong our units have gotten since the beginning of the game. A long time ago a fight like this could have been a slog. Now we’re kind of ripping everything apart.

But yeah, that’s it for today. I hope you all enjoyed! Join us next time where we actually proceed with the plot mission. And if you’ve got any input on how to handle potential future random encounters, please feel free to speak up!


#20

Oh hey what if I did more Lodis Knight.

Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [13] Beach Episode

Video Length: 40:45

Today, we finally reach Solea without any random encounters barring our path forward! Gaston confronts Eleanor…only to find that she’s bleeding. It seems the father of this small church of hers has beat her for some unknown failure. She brushes it off, and Gaston seemingly does as well? It’s unclear. Regardless, she asks Gaston how talking with Cybil went…and we get the hilariously wrong line of “she’s a reasonable person” which…makes no bloody sense in this path where we’re literally only helping her due to our life debt to her that Gaston decided we have. However, before things really get to a head, Eleanor figures we’re using her to get mermaid knowledge and runs off…only for Cybil to enter and mention that the White Fang has arrived. Uh oh.

Karcist, a powerful dragoon followed by two archers and four entire dragons! This is our next fight, and it’s honestly a pretty scary fight! We uh…can’t take Terepat with us on this one, so it looks like we’ll need to rely on regular human meat for once. Items of note on this map include Karcist’s Fafnir sword, which is a great anti-dragon weapon, the Dragon Eyes bracelet attached to the ice dragon that prevents all status ailments, and the Sherwood Hat Brenda has. It’s another two legendary pieces of equipment! That’ll be worth endangering the lives of our army to contend with.

Speaking of contending with, this map is of courser a protection one. Keep Eleanor safe and sound! Thankfully, Eleanor is a SMART AI, unlike other AIs we may have met in this or other games. She’ll run away from danger, and even leap into the ocean to avoid it. Smart girl, I like her. There’s not much else to say about the fight itself, I actually handle it pretty well if I do say so myself? I’m not the best at tactics, but I’ve learned from some of my earlier mistakes. In a couple quick (by this game’s standards) turns, we finally manage to bring down all the loot pinata’s and stab Karcist to death, with a minimal amount of blood lost. Eleanor tells us some mermaid facts in exchange for saving her, but then asks us if she can join, which we obviously say yes for. A slight error on my part here; she doesn’t become a non character if you say no, she forces herself into your army to join you, but only as a person who follows you around like Cybil currently is, not like an actual playable character.

With that said and done, I hope you all enjoyed. I’ll see you all next time…which is to say, right below the break because we’ve got emblems to talk about, AND a bonus video.


Emblem wise, there’s little to really discuss. Thanks to Karcist, we get to see the Dragon Scales emblem!

Dragon Scales: Kill five dragons, and you get this. It lets chaotic men become Dragoons (because for some reason murdering five dragons is a chaotic action) and also gives you an aura that makes dragons have a -1 morale bonus. It also makes your ability to persuade both dragons AND random beasts lower by 50%, so you won’t be talking any octopi to your side if you’re slathered in dragon blood.

Now then, bonus video time!


Zodi Plays: Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis [#B2] Chronicles

Video Length: 6 minutes hahaha this is what happens when you focus fire someone.

No commentary on this one, mostly because it doesn’t matter per our stats and also is just me doing a quick run of the first Chronicles in Quest Mode. I’ve been a little sick this whole week so just have not had the desire to throw words at this, at least with my speaking voice. I’ll certainly write about it though!

In certain story missions, you find books known as Chronologies. These books are tomes of lore that point you towards specific locations where you can hunt for legendary treasure, and that is expressed via Quest mode. I’ve heard Quest mode lets you get emblems, but otherwise doesn’t count stats and as such should not be counted for our kill counters. You also don’t get any EXP during this mode at all, and all enemies are preset at a specific level. The leader unit of each map you get sent to (one per Chronology) is always a specific unit with specific abilities and equipment, but everyone else is entirely randomized! It’s actually pretty interesting. When starting a Quest, you can choose whether the fight will be destroy the leader, or destroy all enemies, and you can even set a turn limit for yourself!

But why would you do that, you ask? Well, if you succeed at beating the map within the turn requirement you set out for yourself, you get rewards. The amount of Goth you get, plus the loot table you roll on for items you are rewarded, is determined by the victory condition and turns you’ve allotted to do it in. If you do “defeat all enemies” you get three rolls for treasure, but of course the fight is that much harder, and there are even special achievements in Quest Mode that we’ll get later. Later maps also have higher rankings of treasure, but for now the Numida Chronology is chock full of gear that uh…I’ll be honest, I definitely spent SOME AMOUNT OF TIME on getting. All of it was off screen except for this run which I’m showing mostly to show how Quest mode works, and to show how…absolutely brutally quick you can end a map if you focus entirely on the objective.

And that’s basically all I have to see regarding quest mode. I may at a later date try to get VS mode working so I can fight like…myself or a friend just to show that off (as well because there are emblems attached to it that are just objectively good to have) but otherwise, that’s all I really need to show in Quest mode. That said if you’d like to see at least one run through of each map in Quest mode, once we get them, I’m more than happy to do so as bonus videos. How does that sound? Tell me and I’ll do it!