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Warning: This post is image-heavy.
Gloria Union is a spinoff to Yggdra Union. It was released for the PSP in 2011. Tobe Sunaho returned once again to illustrate the new cards, while freelance illustrator Konishi Hiroshi and Sting’s in-house graphics designer Tameshige Eiko worked as the character designers and main artists. The game inherits the same general format as Blaze Union, with a few new systematic elements added.
Once upon a time, a thousand years ago to be precise, there was a country called Euforia that flourished via use of the power called Will, the crystallization of intent and determination into energy. Euforia built a vast kingdom and developed a culture dependent on that power, and so did many other countries at the time.
But one day, Euforia’s legacy suddenly came to an end when it vanished into the sea, submerging over eighty percent of the world in water. It is whispered that before the country disappeared, the Euforian people hid their treasures within crystals, so that their culture might survive them.
In the present day, this legend of the crystals has captured the imaginations of many—especially the pirates that have come to populate the high seas. The search for the crystals has become the romance of many a pirate band, synonymous with adventure.
And among those pirates searching for the crystals are a newbie named Ishut and his childhood friend-slash-flunky Pinger, a pair of kids looking to get rich quick just like everyone else.
But when Ishut is looking for the crystals, he discovers a capsule falling from the sky—and investigating it, uncovers a mysterious girl named Ruru who promises to lead him right to them. Just when he’s rejoicing over his lucky day, though, it turns out that the Lukia Empire—the most powerful country in the world—has put an exorbitant bounty on his head!
To the rescue comes the famous pirate band Gloria. Their leader Zazarland knows what Lukia is up to, and he and his daughter Elisha are determined not to let them have their way. Ishut and his friends are now wrapped up in a race to see who can get to the crystals first.
Gloria Union takes place in a separate world from the other Episode II games. It is a spirited dramedy that raises important philosophical quandaries as to identity, morality, the use of power, and the meaning of happiness.
Ishut is the protagonist, a really enthusiastic greenhorn pirate who wields a giant sword he’s had since childhood. Hot-blooded and cheerful; cares a lot about his friends. Terrible at using his head; doesn’t seem to understand the term “indoor voice”. A bit gullible and weak against cute girls. Can use more Will than most people.
Pinger is Ishut’s childhood friend, a cait sidhe. Perky, sly, loves cat puns and making fun of Ishut. The moodmaker of the team; also the brains of the outfit. Talks both rather boyishly and unusually politely. She’s attached to Ishut despite the way she likes to annoy him. Skilled at lockpicking. Rumored to still take baths with Ishut even at their age.
Ruru is a mysterious girl who falls from the sky and claims to be the guide to Euforia. She can sense Will. Eats relics as a source of energy, and has incredibly bad gas mileage. Has a very babyish and innocent personality despite her looks, and clings to Ishut. Usually very cheerful.
Elisha is the first mate of the Gloria, Zazarland’s daughter. A sharpshooter famous for her skill with two pistols. Seventeen years old, but tends to come off as older due to being extremely responsible and experienced in traveling the world. Sometimes short-tempered; has no patience for incompetence. Likes sea goblins.
Zazarland is the captain of the Gloria. He is very genial and paternal, and a charismatic leader. Calls his men his “sons”, has them refer to him as their old man, and is very protective of them. Knows a lot more about what’s going on than he’s telling. Is such a heavy drinker that you can take the pay for a gatling gun’s maintenance out of his booze allowance and there’ll still be plenty left over.
Gloria Union plays almost identically to Blaze Union but for the way that routes are determined. Although you have two chapters where you can freely choose maps to play, which maps you pick and what you do in them determines your REP, which goes on to determine some of the maps that will be available to you in the future, as well as your ending.
There is also a hidden third ending available if you complete a certain game-long item trade.
Whereas the two previous Union games had time of day settings—noon, evening, and night—Gloria also adds three weather conditions: Sunny, rainy, and foggy. Rain decreases the power of fire-elemental and gun-using units, and fog decreases your Union matrix to four squares rather than eight. Attacking an enemy under foggy conditions also has a 50% chance of sending them into Panic at the beginning of a battle.
As usual there are Extra Contents to be unlocked; this time there are very short drama tracks and character monologues available amongst the usual collectibles.
Gloria Union Official Strategy Guide – Includes a collection of the game’s CGs and fanservice phone card illustrations.