Hey, let’s play Ogre Battle! I can’t wait to step out on that battlefield and watch monstrous armies of ogres and other miscellaneous magical creatures clash into each other in a wave of steel and dea—oh? I have to answer some questions here. Let’s see…
Am I about to command armies, or am I getting ready to sign up to a dating website? Ogre Battle asks you a lot of questions about how you would behave in certain situations and what sort of things you prefer. Tell me, says Ogre Battle, what’s your favourite brand of green tea beverage? Who’s your favourite sporting team announcing fellow? If you were a movie, which movie would you be, and why didn’t you say E.T.?
Here’s an actual question from the game:
You are staring at the full moon the night before a battle. What are you thinking of?
I’m thinking that I’d like to play a game that simulates a battle, please. Maybe even with ogres. Not every battle has to have ogres, but if some of them did, that would help me remember that I’m playing Ogre Battle and not “20 Questions Without Ogres.” Or maybe I’m just thinking about that moon. Maybe I’m realizing this battle isn’t worth the emotional trauma and regular trauma that it entails and that our place in this universe is so tenuous and miraculous and we’re wasting it by fighting these battles over sand and glass and wind as the moon watches, unfazed. Maybe I’m thinking that tomorrow night I’m coming after that moon! You hear me, moon? You’re next, you gibbous motherfucker!
All these questions serve a purpose: they determine what kind of commander you’re going to be. Do people generally select military leadership based on a quiz and the results of Tarot card readings? “Huh, looks like you drew the ‘Coin of Losing Military Engagements’ card. Well, it could mean that your opponents will all lose against you. Yeah. Yeah, let’s go with that. You’re hired!”
Between answering questions about what to get someone’s grandson for their birthday and wandering around slowly taking Tarot cards from nearby towns, I didn’t really get much ogre battling done in this game. I’m sure if you sink enough time into it some other stuff happens, but I’ll never know what it is since I decided to find a quicker way to battle ogres: walking up and down the street yelling about how professional wrestling is fake.