Valkyrie Profile

Summary: Lenneth Valkyrie has awakened and is tasked by the god Odin and goddess Freya to recruit Einherjar for the upcoming war and Ragnarok.

I have never played this game, but I was a big fan of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for the PS2, which is developed by the same team, same director, and even same music composer, as well as cameo appearances from Valkyrie Profile in Star Ocean.

There is a PSP and mobile version available, subtitled “Lenneth.” These versions contain higher quality artwork and sprites, primarily on mobile, as well as 12 CGI scenes to compliment the in-game cutscenes. In addition to that, these versions were based off the original Japanese version of the game, which has numerous things the North American version later changed for the PS1 release. The original Japanese version had these limitations:

  • No item sorting
  • Only active party can change equipment
  • Valkyrie will have her bow or sword skills unequipped when switching between those weapons
  • Bug that prevented some enemies from casting Great Magic, making them much easier
  • Cannot switch characters in the menus using L/R

While the PSP and mobile versions contain the following:

  • 12 CGI movies – new voice actors except Lenneth
  • Widescreen (sometimes zoomed in, cropped, or some detail added)
  • Higher quality character images (especially on mobile)

There is a lot of story in this game. The first hour to hour and a half is all cutscenes and dialogue screens. For new players, this can seem overwhelming initially, but back when I was younger, people were patient and let things play out.

This game was played using the PlayStation emulator, DuckStation. I increased the resolution with PGXP on. Widescreen doesn’t work for the game and just stretches the image.

Average Rating:

Story

Valkyrie Profile is based on Old Norse Mythology. The story begins with a girl named Platina who lives with her cruel mother in a poor village. Her friend, Lucian, indicates that she has to get out of the village since her mom is going to sell her into slavery. Unfortunately, Platina ends up dying due to breathing in the toxins of a poisonous flower.

Some time later, Lenneth Valkyrie awakens and the god Odin and goddess Freya task her with gathering Einherjar (dead warriors) for the war against Vanir and the Ragnarok (the final times). She is to travel to Midgard (where the humans reside) and recruit people that have died and send them to Asgard for the battle.

There are various stories for each Einherjar Valkyrie Lenneth recruits and how they ended up dying. However, most of them are not important to the overall story. However, some are tied directly into the main story.

Below are the characters that Lenneth recruits as Einherjar.

Arngrim & Jelanda (Artolia)

Jelanda is the princess while Arngrim is a soldier, and one of the most powerful ones at that. The king (Jelanda’s father) presents him with a statue, but he destroys it, making Jelanda angry. So, she dresses up as someone else to get revenge on him. However, she is kidnapped at some point by a sorcerer named Lombert. He ends up having her placed within a box and sent into enemy territory by both Arngrim and Badrach who have no idea what’s in the box. Enemies intercept for an inspection, which reveals Jelanda. Lombert provided a medicine that turned her into a monster. She dies while Arngrim heads after Lombert. Even after Arngrim defeated Lombert and his men, he ends up killing himself to help Valkyrie and Jelanda.

Llewelyn (Crell Monferaigne)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Llewelyn

Llewelyn gets drafted into a war, and ends up dying. His girlfriend at the time, Millia, is devastated. Her parents warned her to let the relationship go before it was too late, and even arranging a marriage with someone else for her, but she couldn’t let Llewelyn go. Valkyrie allows him to see Millia one last time for a final goodbye.

 Belenus (Gerabellum)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Belenus

Belenus is a nobleman who fell in love with a slave that was auctioned, named Asaka. However, Belenus married a noblewoman who became angry and jealous. She made a pact with Lady Beliza, which ended up killing her. Some time later, a specter appears and Lenneth comes to defeat it, saying that the house is cursed. A vampire summoned by Beliza kills Asaka, and Belenus asks Lenneth to bring her back. However, she cannot, but can perform a soul transfer to bring her back in exchange for his own life. He agrees.

Lawfer (Artolia)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Lawfer

Lawfer is a knight and had a close relationship with Arngrim, seeing him as his mentor. However, his father assumes Arngrim killed Jelanda, but Lawfer refused to believe that. Arngrim’s brother, Roland, was imprisoned for the crimes his brother committed. Lawfer breaks Roland out of prison and is killed (which is not shown).

Yumei (Hai-Lan)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Yumei

Yumei is a half-human and half-mermaid girl who can transform into both. She is looking for the Cerulean Lapis, a legendary stone that can grant the wishes of the one who possess it. Her father, Rijun Koh, a famous shogun, is rumored to be dead, but was taken prisoner by the merfolk. He ended up falling in love with a mermaid and they had a child. Yumei and her mother were ostracized by the merfolk, and her mother later died. She later meets a young boy named Fuyuki who believes in the lapis. Yumei’s wish is to be reunited with her parents, but since they are both dead, she gives up hope and heads into the ocean where the Oouzu, a shift in sea currents that causes whirlpools, awaits. Fuyuki tries to stop her, shocked that she was a mermaid, but she goes out to sea anyway. However, her tears form the lapis gem, and Fuyuki wishes for her to be reunited with her parents again. Since both of her parents are dead, she too dies.

Jun (Hai-Lan)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Jun

Jun is a samurai, who is a twin to his blind sister, Ai. He desires to find a cure, and discovers that the Soul Stone in the dark mirror cavern can provide this. However, an ogre prevents him, saying that either Jun must die, or his sister dies. Jun kills the ogre, but had his body possessed by the ogre. When Lenneth kills the ogre, Jun returns to his human self, and explains that there was no ogre. Rather, Jun’s inner soul is that of an ogre, and he was the cause of Ai’s blindness. When he dies, Ai regains her eyesight.

Kashell (Camille Village)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Kashell

Kashell is a mercenary from Gerabellum. Both him and Celia, which was in the same mercenary group as him (in addition to other characters: Grey and Aelia), travel to Camille Village where everyone turned to stone. A sword rests against doors to a cave where the demon rests. They go inside and find a little girl who has been petrified in front of a stone tablet. The demon attacks Kashell, killing him, while his last wish is to protect the vial he held that could bring back the little girl. Lenneth comes to recruit Kashell, and saving the vial. Celia takes the vial and brings back the little girl.

Nanami (Hai-Lan)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Nanami

Nanami was adopted at a young age, after her adopted parents lost their child, Minayo. She wants to perform the family ritual, but knows that she’s not their birth daughter. Her parents try to stop her, but she goes anyway. The ritual consists of getting the Dragonbane sword within a shrine in a cavern. As she approaches the sword, Minayo’s spirit attacks her. Nanami feels like she is the wrong daughter and instead wishes to sacrifice herself to have Minayo take her place. Lenneth comes in and recruits Nanami while Minayo, in Nanami’s body, takes the Dragonbane back to her parents.

Aelia (Villnore)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Aelia

Aelia is a mercenary from Gerabellum (in addition to Kashell and Grey). She found a dragon gem which allowed her to transform into a dragon. She sent out to find Grey who went missing, but was captured by Gandar, a sorcerer from Villnore who seeks the dragon orb. He tortured her, but she wouldn’t reveal the location. She ended up dying and Lenneth recruited her, while remembering Gandar’s disgusting ways.

Janus (Crell Monferaigne)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Janus

Janus was a skilled warrior who was assigned espionage and assassination missions. However, he was to assassinate a nobleman of a neighboring country, which ended up failing. The king marked Janus as a traitor and is exiled. Years later he returns to check up on the king, which has passed away and been replaced by a new one. Janus steals documents and returns them to the king to prove his loyalty, but they no longer trust him and have him killed. They were conspirators that wanted to kill him earlier, but couldn’t when the previous king was still alive.

Lorenta (Flenceburg)
Valkyrie Profile Einherjar - Lorenta

Lorenta is a teacher at the Sorcery Academy. She is generally respected by her students, with the exception of Mystina and Lezard. She expelled Lezard due to his interest in forbidden magic, and so he sought revenge on her. On her birthday, Lezard kidnaps her husband and brings him to the top of his tower, giving him a potion that turns him into a beast. Lorenta rushes by his side, but he ends up killing her. Lezard’s true intentions may not have been revenge, but rather to summon Valkyrie from the love the two shared.

There are three endings in the game, C, B, and A. To get the A ending, it’s best to play on hard difficulty, while easy difficulty it’s unobtainable. The easiest and quickest ending to get is C ending.

Endings:

  • C Ending – After the tutorial dungeon, rest for the remainder of the chapters without sending anyone else up. Freya will get mad as Lenneth’s evaluation plummets. Once it goes low enough, Freya gives Lenneth a warning, but when it drops to 0, Freya will kill Lenneth. She then talks with Odin and says the primary ego, Lenneth, has been sealed off and that the secondary ego, Hrist, will be awakened. 
  • B Ending – TBA
  • A Ending – In order to get this ending, several key steps are needed to get Lenneth’s seal value below 38 by chapter 7. These take place in chapter 4 where Lenneth visits the Weeping Lily Meadow where Platina died, in addition to confronting Brahms in his castle which she doesn’t remember, but he knows her, and paying a visit to Gerabellum to see an event with Lucian. It’s also important to complete the Tower of Lezard Valeth without leaving to further see another important story narrative.

Gameplay

This is a turn based RPG game, but unlike traditional ones where you select attacks and techniques from a menu, instead your characters are assigned to one of the four action buttons: X, Square, Circle, Triangle. Four characters can be in your party at one time. Battles consist of pressing these buttons for the character to attack and performing combos by trying to hit the enemy in quick succession, without missing. Grouping attacks quickly raises the special attack gauge, which will allow for a button prompt to execute any of the character’s powerful special attack on the enemy (which can also be chained with other special attacks), and are called Purify Weird Soul attacks. Charge Turn (CT) during battle raises when magic users cast spells, and another spell can only be cast again once it reaches zero. Orbs can be collected in battle when attacking an enemy that’s knocked out on the ground to lower CT.

Each character (which there is 24 playable ones) has three different types of attacks, which depend on the weapon you equip them with. They can even perform more than one attack, but it still depends on the weapon. Each weapon, armor, and accessory all grant different stats and abilities, such as strength, intelligence, agility, dexterity, attack, reduce damage, avoid, hit rate, resist, and elemental resistance. Health is called “divine material energy” or DME). Weapons also have two additional stats, attract trust which is reliability of the attack damage being high, and hit trust is the reliability to actually hit the enemy.

Characters can learn skills by using capacity points, which are obtained by leveling up. Levels can be obtained from fighting enemies, with additional experience granted when gathering crystals by attacking them in the air. Event experience can also be obtained by doing various tasks in dungeons and is a separate pool of experience that allows you to distribute it to your other characters to level them up. 

There are various items in the game that can restore health, revive, and many other things. Items can be purchased in the shop, titled ‘Divine Item’ when standing on a save point or on the world map. Items are purchased with materialized points (MP). Some items can also be be turned into another item via transmutate, or even sold for MP by converting them.

Dungeons are explored like a platformer, where you control Lenneth and traverse the dungeon. She can use ice crystals to create platforms, or break them fly across the room, or even use the shards to activate switches. Additionally, breaking a crystal creates an invisible platform where the crystal was for a period of time. Shooting ice at an enemy can also freeze it so a battle isn’t initiated. Run into enemies to initiate combat. However, you can attack with your sword to initiate the first attack. But, they if the enemy touches you from behind, they will strike first. Treasure chests that can contain valuable items are found in the dungeons, as well as save points that will heal you as well.

Depending on the difficulty, there are dungeons that are only available on easy and normal, or hard-only dungeons. 

Upon completing the game, or rather saving at the last save point, unlocks the Seraphic Gate, which is a dungeon that has hard enemies and is separate from the main game. Some of the enemy characters can be recruited, such as Brahms, Lezard, and even Freya. To unlock some of these rooms, flame jewels can be found in the main game in various dungeons. There are a total of eight flame jewels and it’s important to find them if you want everything in the Seraphic Gate.

Graphics

This is mostly a 2D game with some 3D elements such as the world map. Characters are sprites and a portrait of them appears on the screen when they are speaking. The mobile version of the game have amazing HD artwork. I could not find a HD texture pack, but it couldn’t be too hard to do since the assets can be extracted from the mobile version relatively easily.

Sound / Music

Motoi Sakuraba does some amazing work, which is why he’s one of my favorite game composers. They music is great, catchy, and memorable. The voice acting isn’t bad either, but there isn’t much of it compared to text dialogue boxes that have to be read.

Albums

Game Info

Valkyrie Profile (Cover)
Developer: Tri-Ace
Publisher: Enix
Initial Release Date: December 22, 1999
Platforms: PlayStation, PlayStation Portable, Mobile

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