Square Enix has released new information and screenshots for strategy RPG remaster Tactics Ogre: Reborn, which introduces tarot cards and character creation, elements and divine protection, the eight elemental gods, branching narratives and multiple endings, units and classes, and the battle system.
Get the details below.
Sing to me of a time long past.
A time when men answered to power alone.
Ruled by steel. Steeped in darkness.
Sing of an age called Xytegenia.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn remakes the battle system of the game. This document will cover some new areas related to this topic, such as the elements and the gods that govern them, as well as introduce some of the gameplay basics to provide a foundation for better understanding the new features we will be introducing in the next round of information.
Many of the game’s basic gameplay elements have been included in other tactical RPGs released after the original Tactics Ogre. However, the depth and high-quality execution of their implementation in Tactics Ogre far exceeds those in other games, and Tactics Ogre: Reborn now refines them even further.
Why does Tactics Ogre deserve to be known as the crown jewel of tactical RPGs? Allow us to provide a brief glimpse of those reasons.
■ Tarot Cards and Character Creation
Tarot cards are traditionally used in fortune telling, but they are also deeply connected to the Ogre Battle series, and Tactics Ogre is no exception. One particularly important role they play is in character creation.
During character creation, after the player chooses a date of birth for the protagonist, Denam, they will be posed questions from several of the 22 tarot cards known as the major arcana. Denam’s initial stats will be determined according to the answers to these questions.
■ Elements and Divine Protection
The elemental system from the original Tactics Ogre will be revived in Tactics Ogre: Reborn. There are a total of eight elements: fire, water, wind, earth, darkness, light, lightning and ice. As the final part of character creation, Denam’s element will be determined by selecting which god appearing in the myth of Xytegenia he should seek protection from.
Units other than Denam will also have a set element. Matching a unit’s element with the element of the magic or weapon they use will allow them to unleash even greater power. For example, if a fire-element wizard uses fire-element offensive magic, they will inflict greater damage.
Elements also have particular elements that they are stronger or weaker against—for example, wind is strong against earth, and earth is strong against lightning.
■ The Elemental Pantheon
Illustrations by Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together lead character designer Tsubasa Masao.
Xoshonell, Goddess of Fire
Xoshonell is the firstborn child of Bora, the Celestial, and Anem, the Terrestrial. Though this makes her the elder sister of Philaha, Vaseqsa, and the others, she has always remained neutral, siding with none of her siblings. Even in the war against the forces of darkness, later known as the Ogre Battle, she maintained her neutrality, providing no aid to Philaha. Yet Philaha did not begrudge her this, knowing well that of all the gods and goddesses, none wielded greater power than Xoshonell—not even Philaha himself.
Aware of the supreme power at her command, Xoshonell never sought to cast herself with one side or the other. Rather, she is said to provide whatever aid she can to those who seek her help and truly need it. Though hidden beneath helm and plate, the divine beauty of her countenance–and, indeed, her every feature—is without compare.
Greuza, Goddess of Water
Greuza is the child of Phora, Goddess of Air, and Vaseqsa, God of the Sea. Like Ishtar, Greuza was born spear in hand and clad in armor, and she commands a divine host five hundred thousand strong in service of Philaha. A dutiful goddess renowned for her jealous nature, she is said to take the form of a dragon and unleash terrible storms whenever her husband Zamunza, God of the Feast, is unfaithful.
Like Hahnela, she has been worshipped in Valeria since antiquity, and followers of the Vasque religion, who hold Greuza foremost among all the gods, revere her as a symbol of vengeance and power.
Hahnela, Goddess of Air
Hahnela is the child of Horup, God of Knowledge, and Phelana, Goddess of Justice. The gods of the Four Winds, including Zephyros and Euros, are said to spring from her footsteps.
As would be expected of an island nation, the people of Valeria have always relied on the bounty of the ocean. This alone explains their reverence for the winds Hahnela breathes into life, but as the patron goddess of the sea, she is doubly honored.
Vaasa, Goddess of Earth
Heaven and earth were cleaved into two by the death of Bora, the Celestial, and Anem, the Terrestrial, giving birth to the world. Vaasa was born from the keening roar as ground and sky were rent apart. She took Anem’s place as steward of the land, and in concert with Philaha, she is said to create life and bring abundance to the earth.
Yet when the lord of the underworld, Demunza, absconded with her daughter Danika, in her grief, Vaasa began to divide this abundance between the world above, and the underworld below. This gave rise to the seasons, and the rhythm of life and death that accompany them.
Vaasa is revered as a goddess of the harvest, yet she is also honored in funerary rites as the one who guides the dead on their journey into the afterlife.
Nestharot, Goddess of Lightning
Nestharot is the child of Aranda, God of Clouds, and Phelana, Goddess of Justice. Also known as the goddess of judgment, Nestharot’s gears are said to symbolize divine order. Along with Xoshonell, Goddess of Fire, Nestharot remained neutral during the Ogre Battle, and upon the end of that great war, it was her judgment that banished the ogres within the Abyss for tens of millions of years.
In Valeria, the downtrodden have long been Nestharot’s devoted followers, drawn to her impartiality and fairness. Even after the Dynast-King Dorgalua united the isles in the worship of Philaha as the one true god, many still prayed to her in secret.
Lyuneram, Goddess of Ice
Lyuneram sprang forth from the tears shed by Morada, God of the Mountains, upon the death of Anem, the Terrestrial. It is said that as Lyuneram was born, Morada’s tears turned to ice, creating vast tundra and glaciers. Later, when Philaha become lord of the heavens and did battle with his elder brother Demunza, Lyuneram sided with Demunza against him. Not even Philaha and the blazing light of the sun could pierce Lyuneram’s ramparts of bitter ice, and his forces were brought to a standstill. Seizing this opportunity, Demunza descended into the Abyss, where he became king. Lyuneram could only watch as he left, and in the end surrendered herself to Philaha. Yet in his boundless compassion, Philaha forgave Lyuneram, and gave her a seat among the gods of the heavens.
Ishtar, Goddess of Light
When the sun god Philaha and his siblings struck down their father, Bora, ruler of the heavens, Ishtar sprang from the blood that flowed from Bora’s dying body. Ishtar was born wielding a silver sword, and wearing gleaming armor and robes of white. With his dying breath, Bora commanded his newborn daughter to slay Philaha. But Ishtar was wise. Filled with shame at the thought of such a wicked act, she joined Philaha’s ranks instead. Philaha gladly welcomed his younger sister, and gave her a place alongside the other gods.
Ishtar’s white garb symbolizes her purity, while her alabaster blade and armor embody victory. She is revered as the goddess of glory and triumph, giving the cause of those who worship her the certitude of justice.
Ashmedai, God of Darkness
Ashmedai marched beneath Demunza’s banner at the head of one hundred eight legions in the Ogre Battle. Though much of Ashmedai’s power was taken from him following his defeat, even in his weakened state, no mortal could hope to challenge him.
Ashmedai is no longer believed to occupy his time plotting great evils, and it is even rumored he aids the mortal realm from time to time. There are many theories as to why this may be, but the common belief is that in the ancient days of Xytegenia, Ashmedai was summoned by the alchemist Gatham, with whom he lost a bet. In payment, Ashmedai was made to assist mortals who sought his help. None can say for certain whether Ashmedai lends his aid to suit his own whims, or as a result of Gatham’s cunning, but whatever the case, he does not seem to be openly hostile.
■ Branching Narrative and Multiple Endings
Tactics Ogre features a branching story with multiple endings, where the developments in the story and its eventual conclusion will depend on the player’s choices.
Our story unfolds from the perspective of a young man named Denam, the game’s main character. The destinies of those he meets and the history of Valeria will be shaken by the decisions he finds himself compelled to take. All kinds of shocking developments await the player—from characters who turn from friend to foe if the player’s actions go against their beliefs, to the chance for encounters with entirely new characters.
—A variety of decisions await the player, decisions that will change how the story unfolds.
■ Units and Classes
In Tactics Ogre, the protagonist, Denam, will become the leader of his own order of knights. The individuals comprising this order who fight alongside Denam are known as units. These units have a wide variety of classes, each with different abilities. Units primarily grow and become stronger by defeating enemies or being victorious in battle, purchasing equipment from shops, or learning magic.
The stats gained when levelling up are different for each class, with each class having its own characteristics—for example, intellect (INT) will increase more easily for a wizard, while a berserker will find it easier to increase strength (STR) and a knight vitality (VIT).
Who will you make an ally, and in which class will you train them? Create your own unique order of knights!
■ Battle System
When you move into a location on the world map where enemies are present, you will enter battle. After selecting which units from Denam’s order will participate and determining their formation, your troops will deploy. After they deploy, allied and enemy troops will be placed on the battlefield and the battle begins.
Tactics Ogre does not use a turn-based system. Instead, each unit acts in the order that their Recovery Time (RT) reaches 0. RT is calculated based on equipment weight, class and actions taken—the order in which each unit acts continually changes, allowing you to enjoy battles with a deep sense of realism that fuse advanced strategy and intense drama as attack and defence by friend and foe interweave one another.
The Flow of Battle
—When moving around the world map, you may enter battle either when you reach your destination or on the path along the way.
—Once you enter battle, you will move to the party screen. Here, you can select the units to deploy in battle and determine their formation. You can also check unit information and change equipment. The number of units that can take part may change depending on the specific battle.
—When battle begins, the terms of victory will appear. Once these terms are met, the battle is won.
—Battles proceed according to the Recovery Time (RT) system. Units take their turn depending on factors such as their agility and equipment, regardless of whether they are friend or foe. When it is a unit’s turn to act, this is called their Attack Turn (AT).
—When the terms of victory are met, the battle is won. If the terms of victory specify the defeat of a certain unit, then the battle will end when that unit is defeated, even if there are other surviving enemies.
—In the results following victory, you will receive any item pouches that you did not collect. You can also see the EXP that your forces gained and any units that levelled up.
This concludes our brief introduction to the basic gameplay systems. These systems also include many new features, which we will detail in the next instalment.
View the screenshots at the gallery.