Valkyrie Profile, an RPG developed by tri-Ace
and originally published by Enix
, takes place in a world very loosely inspired by Norse mythology. The game centers around Lenneth
, a Valkyrie under the service of Odin
, who is awakened and charged with the task of recruiting the souls of fallen warriors to fight for Asgard at Ragnarök. Linking storylines, drama, and buried pasts await Lenneth in her quest for battle-hardened spirits, and the outcome rests entirely on her decisions. With each character sporting their own unique backstory, characters of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds team up with the legendary warrior-maiden, but will their combined powers be enough to save Asgard and Valhalla from ruin?
As Platina, a purely innocent little girl, returns home after drawing water from the river she bumps into two strange men and her abusive mother. Unaware as to the meaning behind their
presence, Platina goes to bed in peace. Lucian
, her close friend, arrives in the ungodly hours of the night to warn Platina that her mother intends to sell her off to the two strange men seen earlier. With hardly any thought, Platina and Lucian run away with only mere hopes of a better life. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes as the two aimlessly wander into the Weeping Lily Meadow which has toxic pollen blowing in every direction. Platina inhaled the pollen and collapsed in the arms of Lucian, who survives. It is from here that the story of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth truly begins.
Ragnarok: The Beginning of the End
Lenneth Valkyrie wakes up on a weeping lily patch in Asgard and she broods over the nostalgia as she proceeds to meet Lord Odin. Ragnarok, the end of the world, has been long forthcoming and Odin fears it will arrive fairly soon. With this in mind, Odin gives Lenneth the task of collecting Einherjar to help Asgard in the upcoming war. Upon receiving orders, Freya awakens Lenneth's powers and they descend into Midgard, where Lenneth's task begins.
Valkyrie Profile has three different endings. The ending acquired depends on the difficulty level to which the game is set, whether Lenneth accomplished certain tasks during the course of the game, and a pair of numerical values, the Evaluation Rating and the Seal Value. The Evaluation Rating is based upon the player's general performance in accordance with Odin and Freya's orders, and will rise and drop based on how well Lenneth completes her assigned tasks. The Seal Value is a personal value associated with Lenneth that will rise and fall based on specific actions taken during the game. The basic requirements for each ending are as follows:
- Ending C: The bad ending. This ending is very easy to get if the player simply blows off Odin and Freya's requests and plays through the game without sending any recruits to Asgard. This ending is triggered when the Evaluation Rating drops to zero, and can be acquired on any difficulty level.
- Ending B: The average ending. If the player progresses through the game normally and does not perform the requirements to achieve the best ending, the game will end with a confrontation with Surt, and leave the majority of the game's questions unanswered. This is the best ending the player can earn on the Easy difficulty level.
- Ending A: The best ending. If the player performs a specific set of tasks and monitors Lenneth's Seal Value so that it is under 37 points at the end of Chapter 6 and the game is being played on Normal or Hard difficulty, the A ending path is unlocked, in which all of the questions surrounding Lenneth's past are answered and the final boss is Loki, rather than Surt.
Valkyrie Profile is a hybrid of RPG and side-scrolling platformer divided into eight chapters, with each chapter divided into a set number of turns, representing the amount of time left until the end of the world. Each time the player enters a town or dungeon, a certain number of turns is used, and the chapter ends when there are no more turns to spend. As a result, Valkyrie Profile puts a premium on prudent exploration rather than roaming the world at will.
To recruit new characters, Lenneth must sense for them to learn their location. When she identifies where a recruit is located, the player may enter the proper town, and a cutscene will play out, revealing the character and how he or she died. Lenneth then recruits the character, who is added to the party roster. Once a character is recruited, the player must then train them by taking them into dungeons filled with evil that must be purified, and equip them with strong weapons and armor. Once trained, the player can then remove the recruit from the party and send
him or her to Asgard. Each chapter begins with a request relayed by Freya for warriors with specific attributes, such as character class, Hero Level, or characters that are particularly skilled in key areas. If Lenneth sends trained characters that match her request before the end of the chapter, Freya will pass on a reward from Odin, and will admonish Lenneth if she fails in her duties.
Dungeons in Valkyrie Profile are laid out as a series of side-scrolling hallways filled with pits, platforms and other obstacles that require platforming skills in order to progress, with enemies visibly moving about the dungeon. A dungeon's hallways are layered, so that by passing through a doorway or staircase in the foreground or background, Lenneth will enter a new area of the map on a different floor, or layer of the same floor. Lenneth has a number of standard platforming abilities, including jumping, ducking, and being able to slide through narrow gaps. She also has the ability to form ice crystals by shooting projectiles into the floor, walls, and ceiling, which can then be used as a stepping stone, temporary platform, or as a way to solve a puzzle that is blocking progress. Enemies can also be frozen if hit with Lenneth's ice projectile. Lenneth can also swing her sword to destroy objects and strike an enemy to gain the initiative when triggering a battle.
2D Turn-Based Combat
Valkyrie Profile takes place on a 2D plane during battle sequences. On the battle screen, enemies and allies take turns attacking each other in a real time-like fashion. Up to four allies can fight, with Lenneth always being one of them. Each ally's attacks are unique, there is virtually no overlap in the default movesets. When it's the player's turn, any attack will begin a combo sequence and specific timing is required in order to maximize attack efficiency. For example, an ally's magic attack could launch an enemy into the air while another's melee attack is good for hitting the enemy as it's falling down. Through trial and error, player's must constantly discover new attack chains since Einherjar are frequently switched in and out of the party. For the sake of simplicity, each of the four allies is mapped to one of the four face buttons, and pressing the corresponding button begins their attack.
Purify Weird Soul
If the combo gauge is filled to 100 during an attack chain, character-specific super attacks called a Purify Weird Soul can be launched. Purify Weird Soul attacks are unblockable super-combos that can only be used if characters have both enough Ability Points in stock and a weapon that allows the attack's use equipped. If the attack refills the combo gauge to 100 and another party member has the Ability Points and proper weapon, he or she can then launch into another Purify Weird Soul attack.
The Japanese and English versions of the original Valkyrie Profile had a number of differences. Some of these changes were minor but significant tweaks to the game's menu system. For example, the English version added the ability for the player to change the equipment of all party members, not just active party members. Lenneth's skills will also reset whenever she switches from bow to sword, making things hairy in some battles, as skills cannot be set when doing battle.
The English version featured some mild examples of content censorship. One such example was the removal of a pentagram that appears when Lezard Valeth
teleports, and Badrach's
cigarette was removed from his animations. However, all blood and and sexual dialogue was left unedited for English audiences. In the PSP game, fewer edits were made, like Lezard's teleportation remaining a pentagram, but a few items remained omitted.
Interestingly, in the English version, the names of Frei and Freya
were switched. In Norse mythology, Frei is the elder sibling and Freya is the younger, and in Valkyrie Profile Freya is the elder and Frei the younger.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP)
In 2006, an enhanced port of the game was released for the PSP under the name Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. This version of the game adds Full Motion Video
, and features a 16:9 widescreen format, although it lacks the gameplay enhancements that were added to the English version of the PlayStation original. The English version of Lenneth uses an improved version of the original script, but all of the original voiceovers have been retained. What few anime cutscenes were included in the original PS1 version of Valkyrie Profile were removed in favor of the Full Motion Video sequences.
The additional voice over added the Full Motion Video sequences was recorded by New Generation Pictures.