=TACTICS OGRE: The Knight of Lodis=
-THE COMPREHENSIVE MERMAID GUIDE-

version 1.0

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An in-depth FAQ by:
*-Ogre Trigger-*
aka Lia Fail on tacticsogre.com message board
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-*-Legal Stuff-*-

Copyright 2003. Justin Gabriel.

This may be reproduced under any circumstances including for personal, private
use. It may be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without
advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a
part of any public display is strictly encouraged, and not a violation of
copyright. Just give credit where credit is due.

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CONTENTS

1. Mermaids and TO:KOL
2. What?
3. Why?
4. When?
5. Where?
6. Who?
7. How?
8. Watery Allies
9. About the Author!
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1. Mermaids and Tactics Ogre: the Knight of Lodis (GBA) *A FOREWORD*

"I'm looking for a mermaid with golden scales."

Mermaids play an important role in the story behind Tactics Ogre: The Knight of
Lodis for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance system. A magical spear in particular,
once used to kick major human butt by the mermaids, becomes the object of
desire for many of the main characters for their own various motives. The last
time we got a taste of Mermaid action was in the original Ogre Battle (namely,
March of the Black Queen for SNES and later ported to the PSX).

They're baaaaaack!

Personally, I love Mermaids. When it comes to the Ogre Battle and the Tactics
Ogre series, the odder the better in
my opinion. If Pumpkin Heads existed as recruitable characters in Tactics Ogre:
The Knight of Lodis, I would be writing a FAQ about them instead. Alas they
don't. While many view Mermaids (as well as Octopi and Fairies) as throw-away
units, they can actually be put to good use (just like Octopi and Fairies). It
is just an issue of mind over matter.

In writing this FAQ, I assume that you already know the basics of the Tactics
Ogre series, if not having owned and already beaten both of the games of said
series already. You know that the game is a Gaiden, or side-story, and that you
travel to the island of Ovis with a group of soldiers representing the Holy
Lodis Empire. If all this is news to you, you've got bigger fish to fry besides
reading this FAQ.


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2. What? (is a mermaid all about?)

"Why couldn't she have been the other type of mermaid? The kind with the fish
part on top, and the lady part on bottom!"
- Philip J. Fry (Futurama: Episode - The Deep South)

Mermaids, or magical sea-dwelling, demi-human creatures exist in almost all
major mythologies since the early ages of man.
The Babylonians worshipped Oannes (or Ea), a sea-god. He was a merman that
supposedly rose from the Erythrean Sea and spread the joys of science and art
to humanity. The Syrians and the Philistines worshipped a mermaid-esque
moon-goddess who controlled the tides. The Welsh had their Lake Maidens. The
Scottish named Isles after Mermaids. Water Nymphs in other mythologies, and the
Sirens from The Odyssey have also been likened or mistaken for Mermaids. The
Japanese have Ninyos and the Western Africans have Mami Wata. The Indians have
the Aspara. The mythological Mermaid craze, however, didn't really take off
until the Irish and the Germanic cultures got hold of it. Many sailors believed
that seeing a Mermaid was bad luck, as stories often revolved around Mermaids
dragging their prisoners down into the murky depths of the ocean.

The Mermaids in Tactics Ogre are always female, just like Fairies. There are no
mermen, which raises interesting questions about how they reproduce (although
in the game it is stated that Mermaids live multiple hundred-year spans and
have been known to occasionally fall in love with more inpermanent human
beings.) They are considered Demi-Humans (like Hawkmen, Fairies and Gremlins)
and cannot change class. They are what they are and what you see is what you
get.

Vaguely similar to the sirens faced by Ulysseyus in The Odyssey, "Echoing from
craggy shorelines, their voices can revitalize listeners". Truth be told, their
initial talent does the opposite of revitalize, but as you will soon learn, a
Mermaid's song has a number of different uses. A very specific number. 2.

Mermaids have the strength of your average spell-caster, the agility of your
average knight, but much higher INT.

Variations will occur due to the equipment you give your mermaid, but generally
speaking their physical defense, magical offense, and magical defense will be
equal. Their strength is greater than Dragon Tamers, Archers, Clerics and Magic
Users.

Every time a mermaid gains a level she gets the following gains to her stats:

HP-6
SP-5
STR-4
INT-5
AGI-5

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3. Why? (should I consider getting one?)

"When you can resolve your inner struggle... a new hope will be born."
- The Fortune for Irenes (The Mermaid character in the RPG game 'Chrono Cross')

There are multiple reasons why you would want a Mermaid on your team.

One reason is that they are capable swimmers. Some early levels are water based
or swampy. The Numida Chronology quest is swampy. When there is water, a
Mermaid can really shine as a unit. It is best to get a Mermaid as early as
possible if you want to fully utilize them. Their movement  and abilities will
be more than decent in water, more so when it is raining. When the water level
rises they will do some real damage. Summon Tempest anyone?

Another reason is that they are good with polearm style weapons and can learn
talents that your Valkyries won't. This makes them decent fighters and decent
support magic users. Mermaids can learn two talents, Lullaby (at level 10) and
Cheer (at level 15)

Lullaby (Wind Effect)

15 SP
RNG 6
AOE 1-5.
"Listeners will be lulled to sleep by this peaceful melody. AOE broadens as
user's INT goes up."

Cheer (Wind Effect)

22 SP
RNG 5
AOE 1
Power: 0
"Listeners are temporarily uplifted by this lively, booming voice."

Both moves deal zero damage to opponents, they are only status-changing and
support moves, respectively.

Yet another reason why you would want a Mermaid in your army is for flavor, for
color, and for flare. Why stick with Knights and Archers? Mermaids have great
hair, colorful tails and some funky coral jewelery. Aerial, a special
character, comes with an Amulet Necklace known as the 'Eye of Basilisk' which
prevents petrification, adds Spell DEF 20 and gives INT+7.


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4. When? (do I encounter these high fallutin' Mermaids?)

"Mermaids are monsters!" - Fisherman

Mermaids surface pretty early in the game if you choose the Alpha or Beta
progession option. As I mentioned earier, a large portion of the plot revolves
around recovering a sacred weapon (the Longicolnis) that once belonged to the
Mermaids. When was the last time Final Fantasy focused on Mermaids? Huh? HUH?

:::THE BIG CHOICE:::

(spoilers)
Cybil wants the sacred spear Longicolnis. The Mermaids had it last, so they
must at least have an idea of where it is now. Your mission is to travel to the
Rana Sea to investigate the Mermaids' sanctuary. In route, a fisherman warns
you that Mermaids are monsters. If you capture one, you may be able to persuade
it to take you to its domain.

A: "I've no better ideas..." - Alpha
B: "It doesn't seem right." - Beta

ALPHA: Battle 8 at the Arena coast.

You will have to rescue Minerva from some Mermaid haters: Damiel, Lendanto and
Cassini. They three of them are abusing poor Minerva and you must kill them
while protecting her. After that, you let Minerva free.

ALPHA: Battle 9 at the Rana Sea

This time you'll be facing Mermaids, Fairies and Octopi. The enemies will be
lead by one feisty Aerial, the Mermaid warrior. Aerial hates humans and falsely
accuses Alphonse of hurting Minerva (when you saved her). Battle ensues.

After this very tough battle, you will eventually get to speak to Lady Chloeri,
the leader of the Mermaids.

BETA: Battle 8 at the Arena coast.

Unlike the Alpha path, you will have to fight a surprised Minerva, and her army
of Mermaids and octopi. Minerva will escape in the end despite your pleas.

BETA: Battle 9 at the Rana Sea.

This is very similar to the Alpha path. You must know face Aerial and her
comrades. Two Mermaid battles in a row!


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5. WHERE? (do I get a Mermaid?)

"Come in. Come in, my child. We mustn't lurk in doorways - it's rude. One MIGHT
question your upbringing."
- Ursula the Sea Witch (Disney's 'The Little Mermaid')

If you want to recruit a Mermaid the old fashioned way, you need a Mermaid in
your party. A bit of a Catch 22? Yes, I know. By the time you get a Mermaid in
your party, you won't be seeing many more Mermaids in battle. So what's the
catch to landing this great catch? Following are the two easiest ways to
Mermaid-it-up:

Option - 1: In the Alpha progression, if Minerva doesn't die, the special
Mermaid character Aerial will ask to join you after you defeat her and meet
with the Mermaid leader. Simply choose 'yes'. In the Beta progression, beat the
crap out of Minerva, beat the crap out of Aerial, and then she will ask to join
you after you defeat her and meet with the Mermaid leader. Simply choose 'yes'.
Your actions towards the Mermaids and your responses to Mermaid leader
eventually convince her that perhaps not ALLLLL humans are evil scum-sucking
pig demons.

Option - 2: Hire a Mermaid at the shop in Rana! They cost 1800 Goth plus an
additional 250 per level. *note* Low level units gain levels very fast in
training if they face your stronger units... but you may need a Miracle Emblem
to counter-balance a potential Bogus Hero emblem if you do this too much.

I whole-heartedly recommend waiting for Aerial and sticking with Aerial, unless
you want a whole Mermaid battalion. As they can't change class, you might not
want more than a half dozen of these dastardly damsels.


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6. WHO? (are the major players in the Mermaid scene?)

"I don't understand. All my life I've been waiting for someone and when I find
her, she's... she's a fish."
- Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks in 'Splash')

There are four major Mermaid characters in Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
that you simply must know about. In order of appearence... *drum roll please*...

1. Minerva (arena)
Feisty Talent

Level: 9
Element: Water
Alignment: Neutral
163 HP
49 MP
56 STR
63 INT
70 AGI
Pike, Chain Mail, Water Ring
---

2. Aerial (rana)
A Warrior's Hatred

Level: 12-17
Element: Wind
Alignment: Neutral
Trident, Thunder Chain, Amulet

(prize) 2000 Goth for defeating
---

3. Lady Chloreia (after rana)
400 year old Mermaid Leader

(spoiler)
This beautiful blonde Mermaid is the supreme Mermaid leader. 400 years ago,
during the great Mermaid - Human conflict, she was only a soldier. Her loyalty
and bravery led her to advance in rank and in power.
---

4. Golden Scaled Mermaid (after aquilla)
Traitor With the Golden Scales

(spoiler)
She is the Mermaid who fell in love with a human, and stole the Sacred Spear in
hopes of ending the war between the humans and the Mermaids. She was exiled
from the Mermaid colony because of it. But what is Eleanor's relationship to
her? And will Lady Chloreia ever forgive her?
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7. HOW? (do I use these things?)

"Are you saying that we should let the humans win, that we should endure that
kind of humiliation? God! Do you only side with humans? It is we who are the
soul of the sea. As such, we will eventually become one again with the water
and wind. Are we so insignificant? Answer me!!! Is there no place for us on
this earth? Will you turn your back on us and let us fade from existance?" -
Chloreia (circa 400 years ago).

Mermaids are best used in their natural environment, the water. The two levels
that has you facing off against these fishy-tailed foes may give you a run for
your money if you aren't properly leveled up. When you control Mermaids, they
are strongest in lakes, rivers and oceans.

They are best at using polearm based weapons; pikes, tridents, etc. These
weapons can reach two spots in length, meaning that they can either attack an
enemy and avoid being counterattacked or attack two enemies standing next to
one another. When you cannot reach an opponent, you can cast Lullaby on
multiple targets to lure them to sleep. Or, you can pump up your own army with
Cheer. Give them your best spear-like weapon.

You will easily get the Lancer emblem with a Mermaid. Through the levels and/or
through training, try to give the Mermaid such emblems as Self Preservation,
Miracle and Centurion to make her more powerful. Use a link battle with a
friend to gain Veteran Soldier. Keep your Mermaid leveled up and she will
strike fear into the hearts of her foes!
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8. Watery Allies: Water Is Your Friend!

"We Know More About the Surface of the Moon Than Our Oceans"
- BBC Documentary Series (Blue Planet)

Aerial and an Octopus can make a deadly combination if you work it right. Most
players just won't spend the time to make these characters what they should be.
Octopi are generally considered to be the worst unit in the game, but I beg to
differ. Give your Octopus some Crowns of Intellect, some Quick Stones, maybe a
Sword Emblem or two and they are ready to do some damage on their own. Fill
their inventory with Seraph Plumes for extra movement and Water Rings to allow
them the power to do long distance Ice Field attacks. Glass Pumpkins hamper
their movement a lot, so I argue against using them despite the obvious
positive effects.

Make sure Aerial has the Cassowary Feather equipped, so that she has Beast
Mastery and thus negates the need for a Beast Tamer or Master. Aerial and your
Octopus will be able to move better in water, better yet if it is raining, and
much, much better if the water level rises (use your storm horns and your storm
summon spells to help). While Aerial can attack with a Trident from afar, your
Octopus can crawl in front of her and deal a good 50+ damage in his early
stages. Strangling Tentacles, the Octopi's only Talent, can deal over 65 damage
to two enemies and cause confusion. Although this is hard to connect, the
confusion can be worth it.

If you properly trained your Octopus and fed him his quick stones, he will be
able to dodge a lot of attacks. Octopi also almost never fall asleep. This
comes in handy because a lot of the time (especially in random encounters), the
enemy AI will be set to a 'purge the powerhouse' mode, where they attack the
strongest unit. The Octopus will take a lot of damage but be okay because of
its large amount of health. Using this combo of swimming and attacking with the
Octopus and the Beast Mastering-Aerial can be quite effective.

The Octopus has poor movement, this I know. Use the Seraph Plumes on it and use
it in the water. It moves much better in the water but it moves very well in
swampy areas like the Numida Chronology Quest and Gryllus.

Sometimes you won't even have to move the Octopus at all. A nice trick at times
is to end your first turn immediately. This will allow your team to build up MP
and SP, while the opponents will waste 2 turns just getting near enough to
attack. If you wait until they come to you, you can easily trick them, trap
them, and beat them into submission with your Aerial/Octopus combo. For archers
and magic users, your water rings will be able to deal damage from afar as your
other, admittedly more BORING characters, move in for the kill. Or just put the
baddies to sleep with Lullaby and send in your Octopus to use Strangling
Tentacles on them.

Together, Octopi and Mermaids can gain levels quickly. Train them on water maps
or swampy maps and try to keep them always one step ahead of the competition as
far as leveling up goes. You may be forced to abandon your Octopus when you get
into the Snow levels, but never underestimate the potential, customizable power
of your non-human classes.

You can recruit Octopi in both levels that you battle Mermaids, and hire them
at the Scabellum or Urodela shop.
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9. About the Author!

The Ogre Battle Saga is one of the greatest video game series ever. It fuses a
brilliant mixture of strategy and role playing that simply cannot be beat. Many
people shy away from using 'unusual' characters or classes, opting to go for a
boring, homogenous army of white boys with swords. Feel free to experiment with
things like Mermaids! The best part about Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis is
the customization... the possibilities... the room given for creativity.

So don't follow the crowd and have fun!

- Ogre Trigger
surferzero@yahoo.com