What is it that makes a good (bad) man turn neutral?

I’ve been playing Ogre Battle 64 recently. I wasn’t a particularly big fan of the original (Ogre Battle SNES/PSX) in some ways, mostly because of the way town liberation works. You pretty much need to have a high alignment unit liberate towns as I recall. Most good alignment units were pretty worthless, too. OB64 does it in a bit more complex way, where you have to liberate towns by matching up the town’s alignment with the unit’s alignment.

Anyway, I was happily playing the game, going around liberating all the towns so I can try to get the best ending, when I started to notice a problem: far from having problems with units being too chaotic, I was having problems with all my units going lawful. They were getting too good on me too fast, so I couldn’t liberate the low alignment cities anymore.

I vow to bring the fiery justice of iron-fisted chaotic liberation to Palatinus!

The combat isn’t too tough, but constantly lining up the alignments and such became a hassle because I only had one chaotic unit that kept dying on me. Even good old Dio who I thought would be reliably evil (and annoying) throughout the game turned good, and Asnabel started showing the dangerous signs of neutrality.

It was at this point that I knew that I myself had to turn chaotic if my own troops wouldn’t. At a friend’s recommendation, I used an item duplication cheat and created clones of an item that gives any character a level-up. I made the ultimate evil unit to enforce my iron-fisted will, which would become still more chaotic as it ran down the few stragglers of its much lower-level opponents. And I would use that brigade to liberate all of the low-alignment towns, and unify them under my banner of freedom and try to get the good ending on my first play-through.

The thing is, though, I couldn’t resist cheating. Normally I really don’t like cheating, because I like a good challenge. The problem in this case was that all of the unit management started getting to me, and this move was to keep the pressure of micromanagement from crushing my pathetic Ogre Battle-unexperienced mind. I want to enjoy the game, I shouldn’t have to manage the characters individually like it’s my job. The micromanagement was what kept me from enjoying Ogre Battle SNES, but I think for now I’ve found a way to keep it simple in the N64 game. Maybe next time I will try it without resorting to chaotic means.

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17 years ago

Man, this game sounds pretty complex. I never knew what the Ogre Battle series was like, but from the little impressions you’ve given here, it sounds pretty awesome, filled with a mechanic that I never knew existed. I shall now pray to the Gamer Gods to get it on the VC. Praise be to Yevon…


[…] (N64) – I’ve brought this one up before, as I had to resort to cheating to get around the obnoxious alignment management issues long ago. If you can put up with either those alignment issues, or cheating to get around them, […]