Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen – Definitive 50 SNES Game #15

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

15th place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games goes to Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen.

This real-time strategy RPG was released by Enix in North America in May of 1995, a full 2 years after its Japanese debut. Ogre Battle was later released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It is now available on Wii’s Virtual Console Service.

You begin The March of the Black Queen as head of a liberation army, out to free the continent of Zetegenia from the clutches of Empress Endora.

Ogre Battle‘s gameplay is a rather unique mix of real time strategy and role-play. In this title, you’ll have to organize small units of soldiers to send into battle, taking care to put different types of characters together that will work cohesively, and positioning each so that he or she will be most effective (stronger melee units in front, magic users in back). Individual fights are largely out of the player’s hands, so it’s important to get these things right before you find yourself surrounded by better organized opposition forces.

Hitting the battlefield introduces a whole new set of strategic decisions. The player must decide which units to deploy, and where. The main goal of each level is to liberate occupied towns and temples from the enemy while crushing the stage’s boss. Liberating these locations will also net you items and information, plus all-important tarot cards for use in battle.

If all of that hasn’t made it clear, let me just say that The March of the Black Queen is an incredibly deep gain. But wait, there’s more. When you begin a new game, you are asked a series of questions, and your answers will determine your main character’s starting abilities and units. The game also boasts a multitude of endings depending on choices you make as you play. Watch out, getting hooked on this title can be a serious time drain.

Tracking down a physical copy of Ogre Battle can be tough. The cartridge will run you $50+ on eBay on its own, and a complete version with box and manual can run into the hundreds of dollars. For collectors, this game is a serious trophy.