Unsung Originals

This topic by nature is subjective and maybe contentious.

A few days ago was the 25th anniversary of Tactics Ogre— happy birthday Tactics Ogre— a game I love, but which in English communities is infrequently discussed relative to its influence. And more specifically, those same communities do tend to love on Final Fantasy Tactics, which is in almost every way a FF-themed remake of TO (and arguably dumbed down). So I was wondering about other examples of this: a popularly lauded game that obviously imitates an unpopular original, especially where that original is just as good or better. (In before Bonk jokes)

As an aside, the details of MMOs tend to be unknown outside their players, so TO fans out there may not know that Yoshida Naoki, the producer of FF14, is an avowed fan of Matsuno and has pushed a lot of TO fanservice here and there into the game such as armors/costumes, a randomized dungeon based on TO’s Palace of the Dead, and down to small weird things like the recent addition of Canopus’ haircut as a rare drop.

Not superior to the games it helped inspire, but would Kill Switch : GoW work for this topic?

Lots of waist-high cover strewn around monochrome shoebox levels


Is this a “white elephant vs termite” question?

For clarification's sake, would Fortnite and PUBG be an example of this phenomenon?

Ahhhh i loved the ps1 TO as a kid and loved the gba version even more. Honestly have struggled to get into the psp remake…

The dates are hard to pin down and it might be a case of parallel thinking, but I always wonder if Kizuna Encounter had any influence on the tag mechanic in X-men vs Street Fighter. The way its done is cool in that you have to be in a certain spot, but it also means its not as core a mechanic as the fast tagging in Capcom Vs. series.


@Syzygy#7696 I ask bc I'm thinking of games that have a less direct influence than tactics ogre > FFT but I think fit with your framework.

Specifically the pre-Halo Bungie games Pathways Into Darkness and Marathon.


They were clearly ahead of the curve wrt narrative and design complexity for FPS games, but it's tricky bc they were released either parallel to or shortly before Doom and System shock. Plus Mac stuff was in kind of a walled-off garden at that point as I recall. So it's difficult to trace direct influence although FPS games of course really blew up and grew more sophisticated in their wake. Is anyone else familiar with these games?

I wonder if there is any Pathways influence on the system shock/deus ex/bioshock lineage or if it's more of an evolutionary dead end.

But wrt to Marathon, I think there's a fair amount of dna in Halo and Destiny. Both in visual design, and in multiplayer/coop which I think is an underappreciated aspect of the Marathon games (the skulls were a thing first in Marathon).

Kind of shame they went "mainstream" and went in a mostly boring SF direction. I thought the woolier SF of the marathon series pretty engrossing for what it was. The old website is still up http://marathon.bungie.org/story/




I think Soul Edge/Soul Blade deserves a mention. Everyone always discuss Soul Calibur but I think the first game already had everything that made that franchise what it is. At the very least, it has the best intro!


Sorry for overlooking this thread! Dang if this aint my speciality… Being annoyed by this.

Allow me to loosely adhere to your topic here, and as more appropriate ones come to mind down the line I will update. I‘m a huge Ogre series fan and I like tracing the staff from other square and quest titles. Matsuno was inspired by Final Fantasy VI, then the director of FFIX who had directed VI was inspired by Matsuno’s work…. Which leads to FFXVI drawing from some excellent sources.

Warriors of Fate -> Dynasty Warriors
Kero Kero King (PS1) -> Ribbit King DX (PS2/GCN)
Custom Robo 64 -> Custom robo (GCN)
For the Frog the Bell Tolls -> Link's Awakening (while not "better", no one talks about it beyond it's relation)
Mizzurna Falls -> Everything from Shenmue to Silent Hill, majora's mask, mother 3
Mother -> gen 1 Pokemon
King's Field -> Souls but also... Ocarina of Time
Fire Emblem -> Fire Emblem (I like the old games and really do not love anything beyond Sacred Stones)
HM: Friends of Mineral Town, Rune Factory -> Stardew Valley
Shin Megami Tensei If.... -> Persona
Torneko's Mystery Dungeon -> Shiren the Wanderer

This happens a lot with indie games. Someone will recommend me a game "You've GOT to play this, it's amazing!"
.... and it turns out to be nothing new... Which is fine... But I'm not going to play it and have my mind blown.


@Syzygy#14124 From really came to mastery of that in the Armored Core series

quite right


@treefroggy#14116 Mizzurna Falls

I need to get around to playing this, wasn't aware it intersected with these other games

@treefroggy#14116 Every translation of a classic game is a gift. But For the Frog the Bell Tolls is the first repro I ever sought out to buy and likely the one I will never part with. It feels like an alternate Link's Awakening rather than a prototype. Just perfect DMG fun.

@Syzygy#14124 FS is just full to the brim with epic obscure titles. I‘ve attempted armored code several times. Wanna know a funny story of how I was put off immediately by AC 1 ? … the first mission has you deploy to murder a group of squatters.

I get that the point of the story is tied to questionable morality, but I can’t bring myself to murder squatters for a corporation when I am a squatter who any corporation would probably like to have die also. It‘s too real! If i was in that world I would sell my AC and go live in the woods. Much easier for me to project myself onto a plucky little fantasy guy.

Hahahaha but in all seriousness I may one day come to enjoy AC for what it is.

@robinhoodie#14129 I have Kaeru complete in box, thought about buying a repro but then… I learned to make my own using the original Japanese carts… only repro I have ever used is Mother 3 because they are so cheap and small and it’s a perfect gift for a friend so I have 3 of them on me most of the time! It’s such a perfect little two inch tele-novela!

yeah as much as I admire the AC games and the extreme bleakness, esp in the PS3 games (which do a better job of expressing their themes than the ps2 games in my opinion), I need to be in a certain frame of mind to get into. The ps3 games are very non-cartoonish which makes the misanthropy harder to get around I think


the trees care naught of the constructs of man

I'm not sure if it counts as unsung because it was pretty well respected in its own time, but Ultima Underworld has been massively eclipsed by the (arguably) much less interesting Elder Scrolls series.

@Syzygy#14143 I have played a few Armored Cores here and there, but never really got into the story. I was more of a Front Mission guy.

@yeso#7722 These Marathon aliens seem to have a doorway to Maryland




Wow. I knew Tactics Ogre on PSP was complicated but now it‘s a goal to play it thoroughly as a bucket list item.

Did they really add so many references just for the PSP remake though?? He keeps pointing out references to OB64 and Vagrant Story, even Knight of Lodis. Those all came after Tactics Ogre. . . So for one, it makes me wann amake sure to play OB, but also reinforces the idea that I’d rather have my first time finishing TO be on my SFC. Not only does it amaze me to play a game in the series on sfc hardware, but also seems like there may be less layers of arbitration in the original. I can save the PSP one for when I've fully exhausted this somewhat limited series… Limited, sequel wise.


I Lol, because I live in Baltimore and man do these folks love that flag.

@treefroggy what do you say about Monster Rancher 2? I've never played anything like it and I wonder what an expert thinks of it since it's one of my all time faves


There aren‘t very many good reviews or videos on King’s Field, this guy reviews all 4 and it's the best on youtube.