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Overview

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria was developed by Tri-ace, and was released for the Playstation 2 in the United States on September 26, 2006. The game follows up the cult classic RPG, Valkyrie Profile.

Gameplay

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria , shares the same familiar gameplay that the series is known for. Unlike many other JRPGs, Valkyrie Profiles exploration takes place on a two dimensional plane similar to a sidescroller. The levels are designed similar to those of platforming games, and the player must solve puzzles and jump from platform to platform in two dimensions. Alicia is the only visible character when exploring, and she possesses the ability to jump, shoot photons, and swing her sword. Enemies will appear in each of the games dungeons, and Alicia can hit them with her sword for a preemptive strike and a full AP gauge when the battle begins. If Alicia comes into contact with an enemy, the combatant that attacks initially is random, and the player may begin battle with an empty AP gauge. Alicia, the main character, much like Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, has the ability to manipulate photons (Lenneth had the ability to manipulate crystals).  Photons can be used to create temporary objects in the two dimensional environment or freeze enemies allowing you to avoid battle if you wish.  Also you can freeze other objects to create platforms, allowing Alicia to reach new areas, and quite often solve puzzles.     

Whereas the original Valkyrie Profile had three difficulties (Easy, Normal, and Hard), Valkyrie Profile 2 does not allow the player to choose the level of challenge. Rather, the game becomes increasingly difficult with each successive play-through.

Alicia can gather Seal Stones, items with special effects, in the games numerous dungeons. These sealstones will negatively effect enemies within their area of influence.

Additional party members can be found in the many villages and dungeons in the form of inanimate objects whose attached spirit Alicia can materialize into einherjar,  the character you obtain is randomly selected from a pre-set list with up to 4 possibilities per item . Many of these characters can also be "released," which rewards the player with special items and stat boosts.

Unlike the first game, there are no periods or time limit for progression, and, overall, the game is more linear than its predecessor.


Battle System

The battle system in Valkyrie Profile 2, called the "Advanced Tactical Combination Battle System", has changed from the system in Valkyrie Profile 1.  
Screenshot of the battle screen
The first noticeable aspect is that the game uses a 3-D field with 2-D aspects.  Both you and the enemy have a radius around you detailing where you can attack.  Another thing worth noting is that you are in complete control of the combat. If you aren't moving, neither is the enemy and the enemy will only move when you are moving.  Also the system got an overhaul in the sense that your whole party has a meter at the bottom of the screen of 100 AP.  Each character in your party when they attack, use a specific amount of AP points.  If you run out, you can't attack.  The meter can be recharged by moving around or using a specific item to recharge it. 
 
Each of the 4 characters are mapped to a button and pressing their corresponding button will cause them to execute their abilities based on a preset rotation (freely customizable outside of combat).  Every attack has their own timing and lift/push properties associated and when properly used in tandem can even refund AP lengthening the turn and multiply the XP gain. AP falls off the enemies in the form of balls and XP in the form of crystals for lift and down attacks respectively.

You can also target specific body parts on the enemy and if you cause enough damage to an specific spot without killing the enemy's overall HP, you can break it off giving you a chance to get various items that are necessary for learning new skills and creating new weapons.

A second player can participate in the battles if another controller is connected.

Plot

Valkyrie Profile 2 takes place hundreds of years before the events of the first game.  You play as Alicia, the first princess of the kingdom of Dipan who is possessed by a Valkyrie named Silmeria.  Silmeria, one of the three Valkyrie battle maidens, was instructed by Odin, lord of the gods, to collect the souls of the fallen and send them to Valhalla.  After serving Odin faithfully Silmeria began to doubt his rule after a certain incident and rebelled against Odin.   As punishment for her rebellion Odin transmigrated Silmeria's soul and summoned the next battle maiden in her place.  But the spell used to transfer Silmeria's soul was not completed and she was instead transferred to the body of the young princess Alicia. 
 
Silmeria has spoken to Alicia since she was young trying to prepare her for what will happen when Odin finds out Silmeria's soul resides within Alicia's body.  These conversations led many to believe Alicia was insane and the king banished her while still a child to a small palace outside of Crell Monferaigne. When Odin becomes aware of Silmeria's persistence inside of Alicia he sends the Valkyrie Hrist to take Silmeria to Valhalla. Alicia and Silmeria flee Hrist as they travel to Dipan Alicia's childhood home and the base camp of a Rogue empire that opposes Odin and the gods.

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