Like standard RPGs, the player typically controls a finite party and battles a similar number of enemies. And like other RPGs, death is usually temporary. But this genre incorporates strategic gameplay such as tactical movement on an isometric grid. And, unlike other video game genres , tactical RPGs tend not to feature multiplayer play. Players are able to build and train characters to use in battle, utilizing different classes, including warriors and magic users, depending on the game.
Characters normally gain experience points from battle and grow stronger, and are awarded secondary experience points which can be used to advance in specific character classes. In between battles, players can access their characters to equip them, change classes, train them, depending on the game. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
July This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. November A number of early role-playing video games used a tactical form of combat, such as Tunnels of Doom  and Ultima III: Exodus ,  as well as The Dragon and Princess  and Bokosuka Wars ,  which introduced party-based, tiled combat to America and Japan, respectively. Buildings, scenery and opposing units can form bottlenecks or " choke points " that players are forced to consider.
It used a combat system where, following a random encounter , the game transitioned to a separate, graphical, overhead battle screen, and tactical turn-based combat ensued. Exodus released in The game revolves around a king who must recruit soldiers and lead his army against overwhelming enemy forces, while each unit gains experience and levels up along the way.
According to Takahashi, Silver Ghost was "a simulation action type of game where you had to direct, oversee and command multiple characters. It also featured a point-and-click interface, to control the characters using a cursor. Like an RPG, the player can explore the world, purchase items, and level up, and like a strategy video game , it focuses on recruiting soldiers and fighting against large armies rather than small parties.
The game's "Gochyakyara" "Multiple Characters" system let the player control one character at a time while the others are controlled by computer AI that follow the leader, and where battles are large-scale with characters sometimes filling an entire screen. Developed by Intelligent Systems and released exclusively in Japan for the Nintendo Famicom in , Fire Emblem would become an archetype for the whole genre, establishing gameplay elements that are still used in tactical RPGs today, though many of these elements were influenced by earlier RPGs and strategy games.
Combining the basic concepts from games like Dragon Quest and simple turn-based strategy elements, Intelligent Systems created a hit, which spawned many sequels and imitators. It introduced unique features such as how the characters were not interchangeable pawns but each of them were unique, in terms of both class and stats, and how a character who runs out of hit points would usually remain dead forever.
The latter mechanic was used to introduce a non-linear storyline to the genre, where different multiple endings are possible depending on which characters are alive or dead,  a concept still used in recent games such as Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor ,  and Final Promise Story. Rekka no Ken for the Game Boy Advance , many years later, that the series was introduced to Western gamers, who until then were more familiar with localized precursors like Nobunaga's Ambition , as well as later tactical RPGs partially influenced by Fire Emblem, including the Shining and Ogre series and Final Fantasy Tactics, and Nippon Ichi games like Disgaea.
It was translated for North American release and retitled Warsong. The Langrisser series differed from Fire Emblem in that it used a general-soldier structure instead of controlling main characters. Langrisser, too, spawned many sequels, none of which were brought to North America. Langrisser set itself apart from other tactical RPGs in its time with larger-scale battles, where the player could control over thirty units at one time and fight against scores of enemies.
The player's choices and actions affected which of four different paths they followed, either aligning themselves with one of three different factions or fighting against all of them. Each of the four paths leads to a different ending and there are over 75 possible scenarios.
Langrisser III introduced a relationship system similar to dating sims. Depending on the player's choices and actions, the feelings of the female allies will change towards the player character , who will end up with the female ally he is closest with.
Players could choose one of four different Lords to defend their Towers and areas on the grid by building an army of creatures to destroy the opposing armies. This game had a sequel for the PlayStation called Master of Monsters: Disciples of Gaia, which had limited success and was criticized for its slow gameplay. Shining Force used even more console RPG elements than earlier games, allowing the player to walk around towns and talk to people and buy weapons.
Four games from the Ogre Battle series have been released in North America. The first was Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen was released for the SNES in and was more of a real-time strategy RPG in which the player forms character parties that are moved around a map in real-time. When two parties meet, the combat plays out with minimal user interaction.
The game is notable for introducing a moral alignment system that not only affects the gameplay but where tactical and strategic decisions influence the outcome of a non-linear branching storyline, which is affected by factors such as the moral alignments of the troops used to liberate a city, whether to keep certain liberated cities guarded, making popular or unpopular decisions, concentrating power among just a few units, making deals with thieves, and a general sense of justice.
These factors lead to one of 13 possible endings, alongside other factors such as how many and which units are used, how battles are fought, the army's reputation, player character's alignment and charisma, and secrets discovered. It was later ported to the PlayStation , along with Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen.
Person of Lordly Caliber for the Nintendo Not only are characters moved individually on a grid, but the view is isometric, and the order of combat is calculated for each character individually. The game also expanded the non-linear alignment system of its predecessor, with three types of alignments for each unit: Lawful, Neutral, and Chaos, neither of which are portrayed as necessarily good or bad.
The game gives players the freedom to choose their own destiny, with difficult moral decisions, such as whether to follow a Lawful path by upholding the oath of loyalty and slaughter civilian non-player characters on the leader's command, or follow the chaotic path by following a personal sense of justice and rebelling, or instead follow a more neutral path. Another feature was "Warren's Report",  a type of database on the land, people, encounters and races of Valeria similar to, but much more expansive than, the troves of knowledge in Mass Effect.
Final Fantasy Tactics shared some staff members with Tactics Ogre and shares many of its gameplay elements. A prequel to the original Tactics Ogre, Tactics Ogre: In , the tactical role-playing game Fire Emblem: The character's movement range is indicated in blue.
Some terrain objects such as trees block movement. The terrain also shows a noticeable variation in height at different places.
It was released by Konami and featured a 3D isometric map that could be rotated by the player. A sequel was subsequently released, also for the PlayStation, and Konami has announced a third title in development for the Nintendo DS. While the game lacked in story, it included many game mechanics that are seen throughout many of the bit tactical RPGs; like isometric camera rotation, interchangeable and hybridization of "jobs" or "classes" for each character, the combination of moves between characters, and the capture of NPCs and having them play on your side.
Sega 's Sakura Wars , released for the Sega Saturn in , combined tactical RPG combat with dating sim and visual novel elements, introducing a real-time branching choice system where, during an event or conversation, the player must choose an action or dialogue choice within a time limit, or not to respond at all within that time. The player's choice, or lack thereof, affects the player character 's relationship with other characters and in turn the characters' performance in battle, the direction of the storyline, and the ending.
Later games in the series added several variations, including an action gauge that can be raised up or down depending on the situation, and a gauge that the player can manipulate using the analog stick depending on the situation. The Promised Land in , and Luminous Arc in Developed by former employees of Quest , the developer responsible for the Ogre Battle series, it combined many elements of the Final Fantasy series with Tactics Ogre-style gameplay.
It also expanded on the isometric grid combat of Tactics Ogre by allowing players to freely rotate the camera around the battlefield rather than keeping the camera in a fixed position. The storyline of Final Fantasy Tactics was also more linear than its predecessor, in order to provide a deeper epic narrative. Tactics , Phantom Brave , and Disgaea: A Musical Adventure published by Atlus. Hour of Darkness, which Atlus re-released due to high demand, have become cult hits for the PlayStation 2.
So Long, My Love The Game Boy Advance would also see the release of Rebelstar: In addition, instead of having separate screens or maps for exploration and battle, the game features a seamless transition between exploration and battle. This mechanic allows for, among others: Devil Survivor  blended together both traditional and tactical RPG gameplay along with non-linear adventure game elements.
Radiant Historia takes it much further by giving players the freedom to travel backwards and forwards through a timeline to alter the course of history, with each of their choices and actions having a major effect on the timeline. The player can return to certain points in history and live through certain events again to make different choices and see different possible outcomes on the timeline. Let Us Cling Together , released around the same time, featured a similar "World" system that allows players to revisit key plot points and make different choices to see how the story unfolds differently.
Wayfarer of the Time  features a unique battle system that blends turn-based and real-time strategy. The player controls each character in turn, but the actions play out in real-time. Imageepoch 's upcoming Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari Final Promise Story for the PlayStation Portable has a strategic command-based battle system where enemies learn from previous skirmishes.
The characters can also die permanently during gameplay which in turn affects the game's storyline. They tend to have stronger military themes without many of the fantasy elements often found in their console and mainly Japanese counterparts,[ citation needed ] as well as greater freedom of movement when interacting with the surrounding environment. Time Is Running Out  , part of the Battle Isle series, was one of the first strategy titles to use fully 3D graphics and support hardware acceleration on the 3dfx Voodoo.
Other titles in the series are mainly tactical wargames featuring vehicle combat and base capturing. The game was generally well received by critics. It is also the first title in a series featuring the main character, Cole Sullivan. Later titles in the series were third-person shooters.
The game's reception was mixed. The first game in the series was never released outside Japan , South Korea and Taiwan. The latest game, VM Japan, was published in Terrain elevation is also completely fluid, with smooth ramps, sloping embankments, flights of stairs and ladders not pictured.
It has also been compared to X-COM,  though it features a different action point system and is missing the latter game's upgradable units. Gameplay involves squad tactics, vehicles and a wide variety of weapons and ammunition.
The game received mixed reviews from critics. Both games received favorable reviews from critics. The Power of Law , Metalheart: