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Situation has Changed! Let's Play Yggdra Union!
Shield Of Doom

[table of contents]
Mechanics Update 2: Unions and Items
Well, since the previous map introduced unions, I think it's high time I discussed them and how they work. I'll also throw in an explanation of the game's...unfortunate inventory system.

Unions: Not the Kind Big Companies Hate

Unions are this game's major gimmick mechanic, which is used to make battles more interesting. The short version is that they allow your team and the enemy team to attack with multiple units at once, but there's a bit more to it than that.

When you decide to make an attack, the game will project a formation of sorts around your character—it's shaped like an X if it's a male unit attacking, if you're using a female unit it's a straight cross, and it extends two spaces from the attacking unit in all directions in either case. Any allied units within this formation will get to attack along with the unit who initiated the attack. The target will also form a union, however.

The order in which units fight in a union is determined simply enough. After the union leader, the first unit to fight will be the one in the top-right position closer to the center of the union. After that, the next unit to fight will be the one in the bottom-right position on the inside, and so on in a clockwise pattern. This then repeats for the outer part of the formation. Knowing the order in which your units will fight is vital to your success in battle, as you can use this information to keep units from fighting enemies with an advantage over them.

Each union can have a maximum of five members, though you often won't get that many units to use even when you have that many. If your union is outnumbered, the priority formula will restart from the leader, but everyone who has fought before will go into battle missing one unit for each fight they have done (or, in the case of large units, you'll have one of your members at half health). The "No Battle Penalty" ability negates this effect entirely, allowing any unit that has it a significant advantage.

The reason to use large unions, naturally, is to get rid of multiple enemies in one turn. You can also use this to cut through bosses much more effectively.

Items and Why You're Going to Hate Them

The inventory system used in Yggdra Union is, to put it bluntly, terrible. Items are, however, often the only thing standing between you and a horrible death, so you'll have to put up with it.

Items are found either by placing a unit on a totally arbitrary space or by taking them off of your enemies. To get an enemy to drop an item, you need to deal the finishing blow using a unit whose Luk is greater than or equal to the Luk of the unit whose item you want. This isn't really that much of a problem because the Royal Army contains many very lucky characters, but it does limit you a fair bit early on.

Quite a few items you find on maps are in the most dangerous place anything of use to a JRPG character can be: in the hands of NPCs. Some of them will give you stuff with no strings attached out of the goodness of their hearts, but you usually need to give them something, which you may or may not have. Sometimes you might need to have your Reputation at a certain level to get an item, which is problematic because Reputation resets after every single loss (though these items invariably use your army's total Reputation, so you can usually get away with one or two losses). The worst items to get are the ones locked behind both a Reputation check and a trade, which in many cases can render something you've been carrying for several maps useless simply because one enemy inflicted a critical hit.

Now, items are used for a few things. You can trade them for other items, use them to recover your morale (which, contrary to years of SRPG tradition, remains as-is after every single map), or you can equip them. Using an item to recover morale consumes it entirely and gives you an amount of morale dependent on the character you used it on. Do note that there are very few items whose only use is to recover morale.

Equipping items is where it's at. Equipping an item will alter your stats, with the change generally being by a certain number of small stars for each affected stat. You also usually get some sort of effect from the item. Some effects are good, some are bad, and some are so situational that they might as well not exist. Once you've equipped an item, it will remain on the character using it for a set number of maps, and they will be unable to equip anything else.

Now, here's the issues with this inventory system:

Well, that should explain things decently enough, I think.For the record, here's a list of all the items I have as of map 3, with notes on their effects and what I think of them:

As a final note, I have heard that PSP Exclusive Character #2 might not be exclusive to Hard mode after all, instead merely being restricted to a second playthrough. If anyone could confirm or deny this, it would be most appreciated, because with the results of that last fight, I'm seriously doubting the possibility of me finishing the game on Hard mode...
13th Aug '11 12:06:22 AM flag for mods
Aww, Be a man and do it! If I can finish the GBA version, you can finish the PSP one on Hard mode :P
Barrylocke 18th Aug 11
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