Sting, the developer behind the recently released Riviera: The Promised Land, has now released additional information on its latest Game Boy Advance title, Yggdra Union. The company's next GBA game will blend strategy RPG staples with card-based mechanics.
Yggdra Union, like many strategy RPGs, will be divided up into chapters. At the start of each chapter, the player will receive a mission briefing describing the upcoming battles and its particular objectives. Once the briefing has concluded, it's time for the fighting to begin. The player must first select which cards he wishes to take into the chapter's battle. Skimping on the cards is not advised, as it turns out they are a critical element for success; should the cards run out before the battle has concluded, the game will end.
During battle, these cards can be used for a variety of effects. Some of the examples Sting has provided include which special attacks are at the allied units' disposal, how far units can be moved, and how much morale player-controlled units gain for defeating enemies. After combat has ended with victory, the cards will gain levels just like units will. However, in addition to the standard leveling up, player units will also have access to a special MVP award. The unit which inflicts the most damage to the enemy forces will receive bonus stat points as thanks for his efforts.
When not fighting the enemies, the player will be able to visit the various towns in Yggdra Union. Like games such as Ogre Battle and Fire Emblem, visiting towns will trigger story events. In the villages, the player will also be able to purchase weapons, discover hidden treasure, and get information from the local residents. It will be necessary for the player to move quickly, however, as enemy raiding parties will have the ability to destroy friendly towns.
Besides explaining the role cards will play in the game, Sting also elaborated on the "union" part of Yggdra Union's name. Units will be able to create formations, called "unions," which will allow multiple units to participate in a single instance of combat. Combat begins when two units come into contact on the field map, so the unit which initiates the combat round is the "union leader" and can bring the other units in its formation into the battle. It is important to note that some strategy will be required when creating unions, as not all unit types are equally compatible.
Sting has recently updated the website for Yggdra Union to note that the game will be shipping to Japanese retailers on March 23, 2006. No announcement has been made yet about a possible North American localization.