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Tactics Ogre: Reborn – How To Recruit Cressida

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  • Cressida Is Exclusive To The Chaos Route
  • Cressida Requires Relatively High Galgastani Chaos Frame
  • Cressida's Recruitment Occurs In 'The Balmamusa Dead' Sidequest
  • Cressida Will Make You Hate Golyat Forever

Naoki Yoshida, the artist behind the excellent character portraits in Tactics Ogre, instills nearly every portrait with a somber countenance befitting the world they live in. But all of them pale in comparison to the oh-so-pale Cressida Obdilord, whose sad expression isn't just sociopolitically accurate — it's downright goth-punk.

Perhaps that's partly why players are so interested in earning Cressida. Or perhaps it has less to do with the early 2000s Amy Lee aesthetic, and more with the fact that she's the only source of Necroprentice Marks in the game. We could debate the merits… or we can tell you how to recruit Cressida in Tactics Ogre: Reborn.

Cressida Is Exclusive To The Chaos Route

There's a caveat to the entire recruitment affair, and it's an important one, but not necessarily so damning as it might sound: Cressida can only be recruited in Tactics Ogre: Reborn's Chaos Route.

This means that, although her recruitment sidequest occurs during the fourth and final chapter (which doesn't differentiate between Lawful, Neutral, and Chaos by nomenclature), it can't be accessed unless you disagreed with Leonar at the tail ends of both the first and second chapters of the story.

But rejoice. After all, beating the game means players unlock the ability to jump around time and change their decisions. You won't have to entirely restart in order to convince Nybeth's most gothic offspring to join the cause.

Cressida Requires Relatively High Galgastani Chaos Frame

'Galgastani Chaos Frame?' For the uninitiated, that might sound like word soup comparable to whenever a character voices the words 'Abuna Mreuva' in the script. Chaos Frame's a bit complex, admittedly, which is why we have an entire guide on the subject. Please do consult it to get into the rhythm — it even contains an extensive section on Cressida's recruitment process to help supplement this page's content.

Here's the gist, though, and if you'd prefer not to read so much, this ought to be enough to set stuff into motion for you. Every clan listed in the Warren Report has a hidden (until postgame) statistic toward the player called Chaos Frame. In simplest terms, the more units from that clan you slay, the lower the number; and the lower the number, the less kindly those units think of you (visible by checking their loyalty, which is also covered in the above link).

There are, however, ways to counteract this effect. Which is very good, indeed, as Cressida will only join the party if your Chaos Frame with the Galgastan is 50 or higher; a tall ask when you've spent so much of the game slaughtering Galgastani.

Hence, the conundrum. How do you raise Galgastan's Chaos Frame to recruit Tactics Ogre: Reborn's sole Necromancer? The ever-reliable, fan-dubbed, 'Death March':

  1. Recruit a full squad's worth of Galgastani from a shop.
  2. Check their loyalty in the roster by pressing the 'Help' button and hovering over their names. They'll likely be none-too-fond of you.
  3. Head to the Phorampa Wildwood, hop into battle, and deploy Denam (or another strong unit) and as many fresh Galgastani recruits as you can. Wait until the recruits are all rendered unconscious, and then retreat from the fight.
  4. Do this as many times as you need to until a new Galgastani recruit from the shop has a loyalty rating that says one of the following, per their morality: 'This Unit often speaks on your behalf to win others to your side'; 'This unit looks favorably on your decisions and shares an understanding with you.'; or 'This unit is prepared to put aside its own interest in service of your cause.'.
  5. At that point, your Chaos Frame with the Galgastan is guaranteed to be within the necessary range for your upcoming efforts to recruit Cressida.

You might be wondering why we specified the Phorampa Wildwood, when there are other optional fights in Tactics Ogre: Reborn, such as training battles. As it stands, we're not certain training battles contribute in any meaningful way to Chaos Frame, so it's a surer bet to go with the Wildwood. If information arises that indicates otherwise, we'll update accordingly.

As for other optional dungeons? Frankly, they're just tougher than they need to be, when the first few stages of Phorampa are such a relative cakewalk by comparison.

Cressida's Recruitment Occurs In 'The Balmamusa Dead' Sidequest

Once you're sufficiently confident that Galgastan doesn't despise Denam as much as it once did, wait until fairly early into Chapter 4, after the battle events at Brigantys Castle, and then search the 'Talk' section of the Warren Report for 'The Balmamusa Dead'.

As is the case with many of Tactics Ogre: Reborn's sidequests, you won't be able to begin 'The Balmamusa Dead' until you've read its related Talk topic (which, in this case, happens to be identical in name). Head to Balmamusa when you're ready, for the first in a string of three fights that conclude with Cressida's recruitment.

Balmamusa

The hard part here is making certain you resurrect Oelias in time. Nothing will do the trick quite as well as Canopus or another flying unit with the Lobber skill learned from the Beast Tamer class. The combination of an ability to cross a significant distance per turn, plus the chance to toss a Blessing Stone Oelias' way even earlier via Lobber, will unequivocally do the trick.

Oelias, superior to other 'rescue me' NPCs, immediately exits the battlefield upon being revived, making things so much easier from thereon out. If you don't have Lobber, or somehow you even lack a flier of any kind, things will be murkier, but we've tested and there are enough turns to bring a reasonably swift unit to Oelias in time.

To decrease your worries in that case, make sure the unit is equipped with as little gear as possible, since equipment slows characters down in Tactics Ogre: Reborn.

Qadriga Fortress

On the one hand, Dievold, the boss unit, won't hang back all match waiting for you to reach him. This means it will be easier to bypass at least some of his minions and get the jump on him directly. In fights like these, it's imperative that you think less in terms of how to defeat every enemy, and more on how to go for the only kill that truly matters.

Bring a Dragoon or two to make the Dragons less of a bother, and if you have Exorcism II unlocked on anyone, protect them at all costs (as they're likely to be quite weak defensively) and see if you can clear out that first batch of stilled undead before they join the fray. (The regular Exorcism is just as important. Just not as excellent, is all.)

Cressida Will Make You Hate Golyat Forever

And then there's this place.

The clash in Golyat during 'The Balmamusa Dead' is, hands down, one of the hardest bits of the game. First, the undead elephant in the room: at first, the game claims all you need to do is defeat Nybeth, when, in fact, you must defeat everyone. Gunning down Nybeth when even a single enemy unit's still standing merely switches up objectives.

So yes, this includes Moldova, Cassandra, Vyce, and Hektor. Furthermore, and here's the biggest rub of all, not only do you need to revive Cressida before her timer runs out, but if she's knocked out again, she's dead forever. You can still win the battle, but truly, you've come this far in this sidequest with the intent to recruit her. Why would you keep at it?

There are some saving graces that keep Golyat from being impossible, of course, even if they're not readily visible from the start. For one, there's the fact that Moldova and Cassandra tend to bundle up fairly close to each other, very early.

While, yes, the two of them being in front of the fallen Cressida is no small irritation, neither of them will last long against focused fire, and they lack any form of physical barrier like Knights and such to stop your emergency Cressida medic from getting past them.

Thus, at the beginning of the battle, you have two early goals. Bring fliers to revive Cressida; and have numerous hard-hitting units follow along more slowly behind them, to wipe the floor with the mother-and-daughter mayhem before their powerful spells are too much to bear.

Note that it's absolutely vital you get Cressida's HP restored either right when she's revived (if you have another party member swift enough to follow up on the resurrection) or at least as close to that as possible. You'll need to try to distract Nybeth from thereon out until he's beaten and leaves, because for all his talk of loving his daughter, he sure does try to nuke her again once she's up unless something else catches his eye.

For years, the recommendation for Golyat has been to send all your units northward to Cressida, taking down Moldova and Cassandra along the way. You may find that this works well for you.

If, for whatever reason, it doesn't, don't be afraid to try sending a few units over to where Hektor and Vyce spawn, cutting them off with bulky tanks. This side of the map will likely become a contest of attrition, but if you tried the full-on rush strategy and found yourself too boxed-in by the foes from those other two sides, this is the sole reliable solution.

Strange Bedfellows

With her mother, sister, and would-be brother-in-law all put to rest once and for all, Cressida will join you. That is, unless either your Galgastani Chaos Frame is too low, or you don't have Denam tell her she won't be judged.

It's one of those fairly straightforward 'here's your chance to either recruit a Tactics Ogre character or be mean to them and miss the chance' moments. Being mean, in this instance, is telling her she shouldn't expect forgiveness.

Congratulations on snagging one of the toughest-to-earn characters in the game. Feel free to laugh darkly when Cressida points out Denam has murdered her family, only to immediately agree to join his cause in essentially the same breath.

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