Years ago, possibly when I was still in high school, I picked up Ogre Battle for SNES. I played it for hours and had a blast. I was maybe three-quarters of the way through the campaign when I discovered what the character’s alignment did to your troop-recruitment options and I stopped dead when I found out my play style meant I was destined for the game’s “worst ending” of its multiple possible endings.

Ogre Battle is a real-time strategy game where you lead a resistance force as it tries to free the land from the oppressive yoke of an empire (I think). You have a unit that represents your character, based on a quickie personality test you take at the beginning of the game (inspired by Tarot cards) and you play through scenario maps, liberating towns, collecting tributes, and laying siege to the map’s boss.

Along the way you use money to buy equipment for your leadership units, resurrect fallen troops (which gain EXP, level up, and change classes) and to recruit new troops as you unlock new unit types throughout the course of the game. My play style was to lead every battle with my main character (a powerful front-line warrior), liberate each town as quickly as possible, and if I was running low on funds, sit and collect tribute for a couple days to make sure I had plenty enough to continue supporting my troops.

If your leader is a higher level than your troops, your moral alignment drops at a staggering rate. (You do better to let others do your fighting for you, so you your character advances as little as possible.) If towns are recaptured you lose more of your alignment. (Better to let them suffer under the empire and liberate them only when you can guarantee their freedom.) Oh, and the more tribute you collect from liberated towns, the more your alignment drops. (Okay, this one makes sense.)

Oh, and alignment is really difficult to bring back up once it’s gone down. You’re basically locked in a downward spiral as your character becomes an evil tyrant until the NPCs conspire to assassinate you in the game’s worst ending. This, all, for risking your neck on the battlefield to liberate ungrateful townsfolk and make sure you can continue the war effort and … never mind. I wish I had time to play this game, but individual scenarios can take up to an hour or more.