STORY OF OGRE BATTLE
The days of Zenobia are growing dark and cold -- evil is running rampant over the entire continent. Shadows of men roam the streets, whispering of the demise of their great King. The trusted Sage Rashidi fell prey to the evils of power, and in its grip, Rashidi slew Gran, the mighty
King. Rashidi then joined forces with Empress Endora, and their reign of terror spread to the entire continent. Thus the Zetegenian Empire was born.
It's been nearly a quarter of a century since the reign of terror began. The Empire rules with neither justice nor compassion. The last remaining members of the rebellion are gathering on the outskirts of Sharom. The rebellion is greatly outnumbered by the mighty Empire, and
there seems no way to defeat such an evil power. However, secrets carried through the wind tell of a great Wizard, "Warren" who may be willing to help you. Choose your path wisely, listen carefully to the people, and gain their confidence. If you are not careful, all will have been in vain. You will have toppled an evil Empire, only to start one of your own.
--From the SNES Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen instruction manual.
Raise an army powerful enough to stop the Black Queen!
Ogre Battle is, in my opinion, one of the best strategy games released for the SNES. Enix, the same company that brought us the classic Dragon Warrior
series, produced it, so its quality can hardly be questioned. This game was very complex, but unlike many other strategy games, the complexity of Ogre Battle is one of its best features. The level of detail makes the game more realistic and enjoyable. Many war games overwhelm the player with tedious details that slow the game and make the experience more excruciating rather than more interesting. Enix managed to avoid this pitfall and produce one truly classic strategy game.
Directions: The game could probably be called an RPG as well as a strategy game. When you start a new game, you create a character by answering a series of questions for the wise man Warren. Depending on your answers you are given a selection of Tarot cards that you will use later in the game. You start off with a small band of warriors and have to fight on a ďproving groundĒ to show you have what it takes to command an army.
As you move your forces to capture cites and other locations, you will find more Tarot cards and even special items. The Tarot cards have special effects during battles and should only be used at need. You can only keep a limited number, however, so throwing one down once in a while is a good idea. The items you find can be equipped to certain members of your army depending on the item in question and the class of the unit you want to give it to. These items greatly increase that unitís strength and should be utilized as much as possible.
I mention your unitís class because each unit does have a class. In fact, each unit is considered an individual and has not only a class, but also hit points and even stats, along with attacks based on their class. They gain experience in battle and can upgrade to different classes as they gain levels. The units even have an alignment that makes a difference when they fight. Alignment comes into play because the game takes place in real time and has both a day and night cycle. Depending on the partyís alignment they may fight better during the day or night. Their attacks are also stronger on the type of terrain they are best suited to. For instance, giant octopus fight best in the water. These subtleties give the game a definite RPG feel.
Even economy is included in the dazzling number of features Ogre Battle has to offer. Again, Enix didnít overload the gamer with details, but added a system that was simple to use and gave the game even more depth. Each day that passes, you collect revenue from towns you currently have control of. You use the money you collect to deploy your units, recruit new units and even buy items at certain towns. Itís a simple system, but can make a huge impact on the way you play the game.
The game is actually its own tutorial, so you need almost no instruction to get started. Each town you capture gives you advice on game play and information you will use throughout the game. This makes the game easy to get started on, even though there are an almost dizzying number of options. I have only touched the surface of the game in reality. Ogre Battle is a game that can hardly be explained: it must be experienced, and I suggest you do so.