It has many of the same gameplay mechanics as it's predecessor but boasts better graphics, more classes and a longer quest. Ogre Battle 64 is a Strategy RPG but differs from most RPGs in that the player doesn't have direct control over the combat. Instead the player directs units and the battles play out in a sequence of characters attacking one another until they run out of attacks or wipe out the other side. Like, the original, there are many choices to be made throughout the story and decide which one of the multiple ending the player gets upon beating the game. The game can easily be over 100 hours for most players, especially with the ability to go back to previous stages and find hidden items and sub quests.
You follow Magnus Gallant, a fresh graduate of the military academy and new recruit of the Palatinius Army. After witnessing injustice to the lower class of Palatinus first-hand during his first few missions as a soldier, he decides to join the Revolutionary Army. Magnus and his revolutionary army then set out to liberate all of Palatinius and abolish the class system. Along the way he will fight fellow countrymen, the Lodis empire, denizens of the Netherworld, and his best friend. Depending on the choices the player makes there are three possible endings. Varying from Palatinus ending up in chaotic disorder to Magnus becoming the new king and the Golden Age of Palatinus.
There are two different screens where the player has control over the game. The first is the pre-mission menu screen. Here, the player can do a number of things. Such as detailed information on characters and events to keep you updated on the huge story, a place to train you troops, and the organization of your troops. The immense amount of character classes is iconic of the Ogre Battle franchise. There are dozens of different classes and weapons to choose from and hundreds of ways to micro-manage your troops. The second gameplay screen is the battle screen. Once the battle has started the game takes you to an overhead view of the battlefield. Here you deploy different units from your stronghold, up to ten. Units are groups of up to 5 soldiers on a 3x3 grid and appear as one character on the battlefield and can be commanded to move, attack, and liberate cities on the map.
When a friendly unit encounters an enemy unit, the screen switches to the battle screen. Unlike most RPG's, the player only has limited control over what happens in the battle by setting basic tactics such as attacking the enemy units leader or attacking the weakest character in the unit. The soldiers on each side take turns attacking each other, until all characters run out of attacks or one side is wiped out. The player can maximize his units efficiency by strategically placing the soldiers in the grid. If the leader of a unit is killed the unit will cease moving and simply run away from any enemy unit that approaches it unless a new leader is assigned. The player can achieve victory by liberating the enemy stronghold or by defeating all other units in a normal battle. The player loses if Magnus is killed or if their stronghold is overtaken.
Ogre Battle 64 added a feature that lets the player save where they are in a map to resume to later, rather than having to play through the entire map before saving. This was a welcome addition to most players, as the original Ogre Battle didn't have this feature, forcing players to finish maps that can take several hours to finish or else restart the mission.
Ogre Battle 64 is a fairly rare game to buy used. Not many games were produced initially, despite a good reception from critics and fans of the genre. Even after the next generation of consoles was released and right before Gamestop stopped selling used Nintendo 64 games, the game sold for roughly $25, while most other Nintendo 64 games sold for $0.99 to $5.