P.T.O.: Pacific Theater of Operations (提督の決断, Teitoku no Ketsudan; Literally: "The Admiral's Decision") is a turn-based war simulation series first released by Koei in 1989.
Like the localized title suggests, these games are set during the Asia-Pacific War in WWII. P.T.O. titles often have scenarios before the attack on Pearl Harbor and typically end with Operation Iceberg. Any Japanese kamikaze attacks and the majority of Imperial Japan's war crimes have been omitted, yet the cruelties of other figures (e.g: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin) are at least acknowledged. The double standard has earned negative reception from the Chinese media, leading to accusations of the developers whitewashing Imperial Japan to construct a "contrived heroic candidate for victory". While Koei has not made public statements regarding their creative decisions, these criticisms are presumed by gamers to have halted further productions for the series.
The P.T.O. games are one of two Koei IPs to carry the WWII Game branding, the other being Operation Europe: Path to Victory. Kou Shibusawa is the producer for the first two entries and the general producer for the last two entries.
Every title lets players command the North American or Imperial Japanese naval forces. Nazi Germany and the British Empire became playable in the fourth title. Every title has Campaign or Short Scenarios. Campaign types have multiple conditions for obtaining victory and often has the longest time limit. Short often limits the goal to a single objective that must be achieved within a set duration. The player assumes the main role of admiral from a predetermined list of historical figures in each scenario.
While the names and practices change in every entry, turns have two general phases: Strategic and Battle. The former focuses on micromanagement for the player country's funds, alliances, production, technology and so on. Fleets can vary from battleships, cruisers, destroyers, or submarines and can be escorted by air fighters, bombers, and/or attackers. Players can delegate policies with their Naval Staff or commands to their armed forces. Any sort of command requires several turns to take effect, encouraging the player to predict the enemy's actions for their success. Activities are restricted to the Pacific Ocean throughout the series; the fourth title is the lone entry to give a complete global focus.
Once the strategic phase has ended, time will move to complete given orders. Battle can commence if opposing forces come into vicinity of one another whilst moving. The player has direct control over their navy and any air forces which has been docked onto warships or bases. Infantry commands may or may not be present depending on the title. Combat execution varies with each title, yet a time or turn limit remains a consistent factor for each engagement. Players can constrain themselves to hit-and-runs or quit early with the manual escape option. Victory is often achieved by obliterating the enemy forces. Invading forces may claim the territorial base for their faction.
Delegation and combat can be left to the AI with varying degrees of proficiency. The player can alter or cancel the AI at any time. An option to watch a game between two computer opponents is included in the first two titles.
Historical events are minimal throughout the series. Faithful historical reenactment is seen in scenario introductions, broad fleet deployment, and a ship/plane's attributes over the actions of historical figures. Players for the Axis Powers can reap the benefits of defying history, just as the Allied Powers can for following it. Biographies for each figure are present within the index.
- P.T.O.: Pacific Theater of Operations
- P.T.O. II: Pacific Theater of Operations
- Teitoku no Ketsudan III
- P.T.O. IV: Pacific Theater of Operations
- Kaze no Komoriuta
- Performed by Junko Hirokawa