|Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together|
Boxart for the American PSP release
|Publisher(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Release date(s)||October 6, 1995|
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (タクティクスオウガ Takutikusu Ōga ) is a Japanese tactical role-playing game created by Quest. The game was originally released in 1995 on the Super Famicom in Japan and then re-released on the Sega Saturn in 1996 and the PlayStation in 1997. A remake of the game developed by the original team was released on February 15, 2011 for the PSP, with development and publishing credit by Square Enix.
The subtitle of Let Us Cling Together is a reference to the Queen song "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)" from their album A Day at the Races. This is one of many references to Queen songs in the series, including Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, which references "Ogre Battle" and "The March of the Black Queen".
Though Let Us Cling Together is the second entry released in the Ogre Battle franchise, it featured dramatically different gameplay than its predecessor. While Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen was more akin to a grand strategy RPG, Let Us Cling Together was a more intimate squad-based isometric tactical RPG.
Gameplay is divided between two modes; World View and Battle. In the World View, the player can manage their units via the party screen, access the Warren Report, use the shop, save and load, and move between locations on the World Map. The PSP version of the game also added a Crafting system for items and equipment.
Battle can occur from random encounters when moving on the map, or story encounters that advance the game. In the PSP remake, random encounters can be retreated from. Some areas, like castles or dungeons, can be multiple battles long, and cannot be left until all are completed.
Battle takes place on an isometric grid, similar to other tactical RPGs such as Front Mission or Final Fantasy Tactics. Turns are allocated to one character at a time depending on their individual Recovery Time, rather than being split between a "player phase" and "enemy phase". During a character turn, they can move, perform an action (attack, magic, item, wait), and (in the PSP version) perform a Skill. These can be done in any order. The remake also introduces the CHARIOT System, allowing the state of the battle to be rewound.
The conditions for winning a battle can vary. In most story battles, the enemy leader must be defeated. Other times, the objective to to defeat all enemies. The battle is forfeit when Denam is killed. Occasionally, a guest character (CPU controlled ally) must also be kept alive. Most often, however, the game will progress even if guest characters are not saved, but with slight differences to the story.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is Episode VII of the Ogre Battle Saga. It takes place after the events of Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen, and around the same time as Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber.
- "Behold the Valerian Isles, jewels of the Obero Sea. Long a center of naval commerce, the people here have struggled throughout history for dominion over these shores."
- — Prologue
The Valerian Isles are a small cluster of islands with a long history of internal strife between its three ethnic groups - The Bakram, the Galgastani, and the Walister. 50 years ago, the isles were finally united under King Dorgalua Oberyth, who reigned over an era of relative peace and prosperity. However, when the King suddenly died without a clear successor, Valeria was plunged into civil war once again.
The northeast of the isles were the seat of power for the Bakram, much of Valeria's aristocracy and ruling class. The Bakram exarch Brantyn Morne established the Bakram-Valerian Kingdom, installing himself as Regent. He bolstered the might of his country with an alliance to the Holy Lodissian Empire, a foreign superpower.
In the southwest of the Isles, the Kingdom of Galgastan was forged under the control of Hierophant Leundar Balbatos. Galgastan was the largest military force on the isles, and Balbatos soon set his sights on the violent submission of the Walister race. A Walister Resistance was led by Duke Juda Ronwey, but they were soon overwhelmed. With the Duke imprisoned, and the Resistance in tatters, the war finally drew to a tentative standstill.
In Golyat, a port town in the small Walister province under Galgastani control, three Walister youths resolve to join the fight for the liberation of their people.
The story of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is divided into four chapters with a branching storyline. Depending on player choices in key scenes, either the Lawful Route, the Chaotic Route, or the Neutral Route will be enacted. The final chapter remains largely the same regardless of route.
The PSP version of the game also introduces the WORLD system. This allows players to return to certain Anchor Points in the story while keeping their current party.
Aside from the big differences in route, there are many smaller variations that can occur. These are usually triggered by dialogue choices, recruited characters, or whether certain guest characters were kept alive.
- A young Walister from Golyat. He was orphaned a year ago when the town was razed by the Dark Knights Loslorien, allies of the Bakram. Denam is determined to join the fight against the Walister's oppressors.
- A young Walister from Golyat, and older sister to Denam. Catiua is a trained sibyl and more pacifist than her brother. She is weary of bloodshed, and afraid of losing more than she already has.
- Childhood friend of Denam and Catiua. Like Denam, Vyce intends to fight for Walister freedom. He is an ambitious and proactive young man, but also hotheaded and argumentative.
- A former knight from the Kingdom of New Xenobia. After he was banished from his homeland, he came to Valeria seeking mercenary work. After meeting Denam, Vyce, and Caitua, he lends his aide to the Walister Resistance.
- High Champion of the Dark Knights Loslorien, the highest order of knights from the Holy Lodissian Empire. Lanselot and his men serve as Lodis' eyes and ears in Valeria.
- Leader of the Walister Resistance. A gruff but wily old man, he commands the Walister's charge against the Kingdom of Galgastan and Bakram-Valerian Kingdom.
- Regent of the Bakram-Valerian Kingdom. A man of lowly origin who was able to politically scheme his way to the position of Regent. His relationship with his Lodissian allies is strained.
- Hierophant and acting ruler of the Kingdom of Galgastan. A ruthless man in command of Valeria's largest army. He seeks to crush the other clans and claim Valeria for his own.
- A Galgastani necromancy researcher. He pledges loyalty to Balbatos, but his only real allegiance is to his research. He is obsessed with resurrection arts, and has shed all sense of morality in his pursuits.
- The former king of Valeria. A Bakram who united the isles following a great and prolonged war. When he died leaving no successor, war divided Valeria once more.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together was first released in Japan for the Super Famicom in October 6 1995. This version of the game was published by the developers, Quest. There was no international release for the Super Nintendo, but years later a fan-made English patch was distributed online.
Square Enix also released this version of Tactics Ogre on Virtual Console in Japan for Wii (2014) and New 3DS (2016).
In 1996, the game was published for the Sega Saturn in Japan by Riverhillsoft. This version is most noteworthy for including voice acting. Approximately three hours of game's story scenes were voiced. There is no official or unofficial English version of this release, though cutscenes have been translated online.
The game was ported to the Playstation, first released in Japan on September 27 1997, and for the first time, in North America in 1998. Artdink released the port in Japan, while the North American version was published by Atlus. PAL territories saw no release.
The North American version of the game is rare, and commands high prices online.
Remake (Playstation Portable)
Tactics Ogre was remade for the Playstation Portable by Square Enix. Though the original developers, Quest, was no longer in operation, many of the game's original staff were still at Square Enix, including director Yasumi Matsuno.
The remake kept much of the original visual style, but completely revamped the interface, soundtrack, and gameplay mechanics. New features included the WORLD system, weapon and item crafting, a Skills system, CODA postgame content, multiplayer capabilities, new classes, new sidequests, and several new recruitable characters.
The Training mode and Tutorials of the original game were removed. The former was largely made redundant by the new class leveling system, while the latter was replaced with a more expansive text-based play guide in the Warren Report.
The remake, titled Tactics Ogre: Unmei no Wa (Tactics Ogre: Wheel of Fate), was first released in Japan in November 2010. This was followed by a worldwide release in 2011, keeping the Let Us Cling Together subtitle.
The soundtrack was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata, who had also worked on Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen. For the PSP remake, the soundtrack was rearranged and expanded with the Sydney Scoring Orchestra.
Tactics Ogre became a sub-series of turned-based tactics games within the Ogre Battle Saga. In 2001, Quest released a side-story entry in the series for Game Boy Advance called Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis. Like the other Ogre Battle games, the game's plot is mostly stand-alone, but does fit into the greater universe.
Ogre Battle games in the real-time strategy mold of The March of the Black Queen also continued after Let Us Cling Together. Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999, later seeing an international release in 2000. The Japan-only sidestory Legend of Ogre Battle Gaiden: Prince of Zenobia was also released for the Neo Geo Pocket Color in 2000.
Yasumi Matsuno, writer and director of Let Us Cling Together, left Quest in 1995, joining Square. There, he wrote and directed Final Fantasy Tactics, another turned-based tactics RPG that shared many parallels with Let Us Cling Together.
- TO: Wheel of Fortune official website (Japanese)
- TO: Let Us Cling Together PSP official website (English)
- Tactics Ogre for PSX at MobyGames.com
- Tactics Ogre fansite
- Tactics Ogre Forum at Zetaboards.com
- TO: Wheel of Fortune Guides (Japanese)
- 2011 Q&A with the development staff (Translated to English)