Video Game: Yggdra Unison
The year was 2007, and with many of their other projects winding down, Sting Entertainment
needed something to do. The PSP version of Riviera
had been released, and the PSP version of Yggdra Union
wasn't due out for some time yet. Someone or other had the brilliant idea of doing a different kind of promotion for Yggdra Union
—and thus the first incarnation of Yggdra Unison
Originally a real-time tactical MMO playable on the cellphone, Yggdra Unison: Beat Out Our Obstacle
allowed players to take control of any army from Yggdra Union
and engage in competitive battles with opponents all over Japan. Because it was made for the cellphone specifically, the game never left Japan
Happily for fans the world over, Sting announced that a Nintendo DS remake of the game (entitled Yggdra Unison: Holy Sword Stories
) would be released in December of 2009, featuring a new story mode and various unlockable features. The remake no longer features any cooperative or competitive multiplayer modes, though.
In both of its incarnations, Yggdra Unison
is a non-canonical Alternate Universe
retelling of Yggdra Union
similar to such games as Fate/unlimited codes
—it retells the story of the war from a number of possible perspectives, asking "What if so-and-so were the main character?" and introducing many changes to the storyline along the way. For the most part, it also happens to run on Rule of Funny
. There are twelve playable characters—Yggdra
, and Nessiah
A drama CD
featuring stories about the Royal Army, Milanor's bandits, and part of the Imperial Army was released in March 2010.
See also the pages for Yggdra Union
, the main title, and Blaze Union
, the prequel following the Imperial Army.
Yggdra Unison utilizes these tropes:
- A Day in the Limelight
- Alternate Universe
- Anti-Frustration Features: It's possible to restart any stage at any given time, and if you get a game over, you can do an Easy Retry, much like all the other Dept Heaven games thus far. Also, once you manage to unlock Nessiah, he stays awake for all subsequent playthroughs, saving you the trouble of having to search the world for his event trigger again.
- Apologetic Attacker: Emilia, when fighting anyone Bronquian. Particularly Gulcasa. "I'm sorry if it hurts...! D-don't think badly of me!"
- Ascended Extra: The game is built around this idea—aside from Yggdra, Milanor, and Gulcasa, the playable armies are all led by rather minor characters.
- Baleful Polymorph: The class-switching cards.
- Berserk Button
- Anyone calling Mistel Oba-san is in for a lot of pain.
- Also, if you're in the mood for some hilarity, have Nessiah fight Gordon and Mardym and watch him pitch his composure out the window.
- Blood Knight: Leon, Gulcasa, Emilia, and many more.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The general flow of the character interactions in Yggdra and Milanor's chapters of the dramas, although who exactly has each role tends to change in each scene.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Nessiah's ending. The audience never finds out what happened to your forces, but the fact that they were unable to return bodes ill.
- Chess Motifs: Nessiah (who else?) occasionally speaks in chess metaphors.
- The Chew Toy: It still sucks to be Inzaghi.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Somehow, Pamela manages to be even more insane than she is in the main game.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: There are at least some people who would be happy to help him if he just bothered to explain himself, but he chooses to laugh at the rest of the world rather than try. (Justified given his background; the way he's been treated, the possibility probably wouldn't occur to him at all.) Also a case of You Didn't Ask.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nessiah, of course, but Zilva has her moments, too.
- Defeat Means Friendship: At least if your opponent doesn't have a personal problem with you to begin with. And even then, they'll probably submit to you if your conquered territory is big enough.
- Dem Bones: Roswell's Servant and the other Skeletons.
- Demoted to Extra: Nessiah, Marietta, and Nana-chan in the original; in the remake, Nessiah finally has a role in the story (and is an unlockable player character), but Marietta and #367 still don't even get so much as a mention.
- And in the drama CD, most of the cast that doesn't join the Royal Army in Yggdra Union, along with half of the Imperial Army. The fact that Elena seems to be absent has been met with many complaints from the fanbase.
- Pamela, Gordon, and Nessiah aren't even in the key visual.
- In an amusing aversion, this is about the only game in the whole of the Episode II part of the franchise where Luciana doesn't get shafted for once. She even gets her own story in the drama CD.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Yggdra betraying and attacking Milanor in the dramas because Milanor and Kylier accidentally activated a card that destroyed all their held items, including a Sweetberry she had wanted. Since Milanor's chapter of the drama proudly casts him in the role of The Chew Toy, it Crosses the Line Twice and gets Played for Laughs.
- And right after that, Roswell changes her class to Skeleton for the duration of the fight.
- Downer Ending: Nessiah's ending. Even as hard as he tried, and as long as he had to wait, it's implied that all that effort was useless from the start.
- The Drag-Along: Gulcasa will obey the orders of the other eleven world leaders if he deems them able to use his power, but nobody ever said he had to be happy about it.
- The Dreaded: Gulcasa. Even this is Played for Laughs.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After you've played through the canon route of Blaze Union, Gulcasa's path takes on definite elements of this.
- The Eeyore: Elena.
- The Extremist Was Right: Gulcasa's ending.
- Faux Affably Evil: The few characters who could be considered "villainous" or are fighting for selfish goals are all still cute, silly, and extremely likable.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Some of the requirements for unlocking armies are just plain ridiculous—you have to purposely play as terribly as possible to have twenty-five deserters in one playthrough, for example.
- Fandom Nod: A lot of fan-favorite lines from the original game are included here.
- Fragile Flower: Nessiah. Yes, really.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the original cellphone version, Nessiah's spellbook and clothes could only be found in Gulcasa's territory. In the DS version, Gulcasa's castle is only one of a few possible locations to discover the Revelation... and Nessiah's clothes are still there. For some unfathomable reason.
- The Angel Halo can only be equipped by "pure" people. Whether that means literal purity of heart or something else is not specified.
- Gender Bender: When Diamond Dust activates, it turns everyone into Undines, your units' gender be damned. This is, of course, spoofed to high heaven and back again in the drama CD, where Milanor and Roswell get into a bragging fest over the bust size of their Undine forms.
- Giggling Villain: Nessiah retains his trademark ふふふ laugh, and according to the ending text for certain characters, the fact that sometimes he seems to be laughing at his own teammates occasionally makes them wonder whose side he's supposed to be on.
- Guide Dang It: Some of the card effects. Trying to recruit Nessiah and Mistel is a massive pain if you don't know what to look for, too.
- Getting the best items in each search involves fulfilling strict hidden conditions and deploying the right characters. Character recruitment itself actually has pretty complicated mechanics at play, too.
- Harder Than Hard: Trying to recruit the other Dragon Generals with Nessiah. (Or just trying to get Nessiah through his route without letting him get severely unbalanced by the end.)
- Hates Being Touched: Milanor, apparently, as one of his victory titles claims that he was feared by his court due to his tendency to FUCK YOU UP whenever you try.
- Heavy Sleeper: Good lord, Nessiah. You'd think he would want to be awake for the events of this war, considering, but...
- Hidden Depths: Due to the style of the game, the character traits that couldn't get revealed in Yggdra Union are brought to light here in various ways.
- Hilarity Ensues: All the goddamn time.
- Ho Yay: Oh good lord, the amount of subtext that some characters get.
- Hypocritical Humor: "Dirty old man", says Ortega to Dort.
- Idiot Hero: Milanor, Ortega, and Pamela.
- Impossible Thief: Nessiah; this is implied to be why Roswell and Rosary get dragged into the world war.
- Irony: In the other episode II games, Genocide draws power from Gulcasa's teammates to add to his own. In this game, it actually powers him down slightly in order to spread his strength amongst his allies. Yes, it went from running on The Power of Friendship in a Black Mage sense of the phrase to a weaponization of the concept of The Paragon.
- It Amused Me: Why Rosary is trying to set up a Kylier/Milanor/Yggdra Love Triangle in the drama CD.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: When exactly did Ordene and his wife kick the bucket? For that matter, what were the circumstances under which Gulcasa and Nessiah went their separate ways, especially considering that they're just as flirty as ever? And since no one mentions the Transmigragem going missing (as it is in fact still in Emelone's castle!), just how the heck does Nessiah still know Nietzsche's sister? Have fun trying to figure it out!
- Let's Play: There's one of Milanor's route in five parts. It starts here.
- Leitmotif: Every army has two themes.
- Lighter and Softer: Still not the most saccharine of games, but the atmosphere is considerably more lighthearted than the original, especially because killing your opponents is optional this time around.
- Mauve Shirt: Milanor's slightly unique flunky, Flunky makes a returning appearance.
- Nature Adores a Virgin: And so does the Angel Halo.
- Nerfing: To preserve the game's balance, it was unavoidable that game-breaking characters like Gulcasa and Nessiah would have to have drawbacks. These are usually carried out through the morale-recovery system, which has the added bonus of fleshing out their characters in some rather amusing ways (Nessiah, for instance, has next to no interest in just about every item other than books).
- No Sense of Direction: Apparently Nessiah. Rule of Funny?
- Not Helping Your Case: Nessiah is trying to end the war, too, but with the way he acts, would you believe it?
- Pet the Dog: The way Nessiah treats his soldiers, especially given his usual demeanor.
- Picky Eater: In addition to all of the characters' likes and dislikes from the previous game, here we have Zilva and Emilia's hatred of cheese, among other things.
- Player Mooks: Certain characters have generic units in their armies.
- Plucky Girl: A number of the ladies, but Monica especially.
- The Pollyanna: Nessiah. Oh boy. Almost everyone hates him, and he regularly gets accused of ridiculous things that even he wouldn't do. He does not let it get to him. At all.
- Puni Plush: Like in Yggdra Union everyone is extremely cutely drawn with huge eyes.
- Retcon: The Imperial Army's likes and dislikes were changed in Blaze Union; many of the characters are willing to eat things in Blaze that they wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole in Unison (for instance, cheese for Emilia, dragon meat for Gulcasa, just about everything for Nessiah). This is also the game that first changed Nessiah's elemental affinity to "dark".
- Road Cone
- Running Gag: Several, including Mizer debating his enemies' worth right in front of their faces and Gulcasa's recklessness causing him to be labeled by everyone around him as an airhead.
- Sanity Slippage: You haven't seen batshit laughter until you've made Nessiah kill Gulcasa. You really haven't.◊ Depending on your style of play, Nessiah's route may see him getting crazier and crazier.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Don't kill anyone! Find Mistel and Nessiah on your first playthrough! Form an active party of the five key characters of Yggdra Union (Yggdra, Milanor, Gulcasa, Nessiah, and Kylier) and finish the game with them!
- Or conversely, kill everything and make it through the game with your original roster.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Milanor re: Yggdra in his chapter of the dramas, vehemently. His allies, of course, tease him mercilessly.
- Ship Tease: Many, but Fan-Preferred Couple Roswell and Rosary get some especially heavy implications.
- Shipper on Deck: In Milanor's chapter of the dramas, Rosary actively does everything she can to make Milanor and Yggdra be attracted to each other, although she may just be doing it to pick on Kylier.
- Sinister Minister: Juvelon, Mardym, and their army of Church Militants.
- Slasher Smile: Gulcasa in the key visual◊. As the key visual features everyone Super-Deformed, the effect is rather humorous.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Milanor. He's one of the two statistically proudest characters in the games, and unlike Gulcasa, he's got nothing to show for all that ego.
- Spoiler Opening: More like "spoiler key visual"—Monica is featured rather obviously in the lower left hand corner, although she's not an announced character.
- The Stinger: Nessiah appears after the credits with a Just As Planned expression if you haven't found him in-game.
- Strange Bedfellows: Ortega continues to boss around poor Inzaghi.
- For an even straighter example, how about Yggdra and Gulcasa fighting under the same banner?
- Talking to Himself: The drama CD features a number of scenes where Luciana and Aegina hold conversations and even speak at the same time, so Fujino Tomoko had a lot of recording to do.
- Too Dumb to Live: Flunky. "Hey, it's the curse lady! Let's pick on her!"
- Trademark Favorite Food: Yggdra's love of Sweetberries and Roswell's obsession with Banangos are both still present and gleefully lampooned in the dramas. Gulcasa also seems to really like mushrooms (though that may be because Powershrooms are stated to be good for one's body).
- Unholy Holy Sword: Since it was a big part of the plot in Yggdra Union, this is both a no-brainer and not taken anywhere near as seriously. Having Nessiah show up and ask Yggdra to give it back (when she's never had reason to question her country's Justice Will Prevail ideology) can actually be a large source of Hilarity Ensues.
- Vague Age: Amareus as usual; Nessiah and Pamela are both referred to as "probably older than they look".
- The Vamp: Amareus.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Kylier in Milanor's campaign, if you keep her with you.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: It's fully possible to have friends and allies fight each other to the death, if you're enough of a jerk to deploy them against each other. Some characters take this more in stride than others; Gulcasa, for instance, accepts having to cross blades with or even being killed by his loved ones downright heroically, Amareus reveals herself to be a raging yandere, and Kylier will cross the Despair Event Horizon.
- Villain Ball Magnet: Nessiah.
- Villain Protagonist: Ortega, Dort, and Juvelon. Gulcasa is too noble to count.
- Visible Silence: A few characters, though Elena is without question the worst offender.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Nighttime is Kylier and Emilia's bane, as griffon riders are ridiculously slow then.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
- Wide Open Sandbox: You can recruit just about any character to your party if you take the right steps, leading to a number of improbable and vastly amusing army setups. (This is part of the reason that this game is every shipper's wet dream, too...)
- Wild Card: Pamela, Ortega.
- With Friends Like These...: The result of some army setups. In certain routes, this is directly mentioned if you recruit Nessiah.
- Worthy Opponent: Zilva to Amareus in Gulcasa's storyline.
- Yandere: Amareus, for Juvelon. Squick.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Poor Nessiah.
- You Go Girl: Russell, as always, is sexist. Just about every woman with the opportunity to fight him will scorn him for it if she defeats him.