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ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.



Valkyrie Profile was a commercially and critically successful game developed by tri-Ace and published by Square-Enix, released in 1999 (2000 for North America), relating to the tale of the Valkyrie Lenneth and an ongoing war among the gods. The game eventually spawned two games related to it, and was also re-released as a PSP port in 2006. I'll be covering the original NA version.

As might be expected, no spoilers.

Contents

Chapter 0

Part 0-1
Part 0-2
Part 0-3: The Princess and the Mercenary
Part 0-4

Chapter 1

Part 1-1: Destiny's Design
Part 1-2: Shot Through the Heart
Part 1-3
Part 1-4

Chapter 2

Part 2-1: Soul Man
Part 2-2: Injustice for the Just
Part 2-3
Part 2-4

C Ending

Chapter 2 Sacred Phase

Chapter 3

Part 3-1: Shot From the Dark
Part 3-2: Mermaid's Tears
Part 3-3: A Hard Miracle
Part 3-4
Part 3-5
Part 3-6

Chapter 3 Sacred Phase

Chapter 4

Part 4-1: Dragonborn
Part 4-2: All One Can Do
Part 4-3
Part 4-4

Chapter 4 Sacred Phase

Chapter 5

Part 5-1: Badrach Was Here! Freya Is A Loser!
Part 5-2: Be a Man (Swift as a Coursing River)
Part 5-3: Alone
Part 5-4

Chapter 5 Sacred Phase

Chapter 6

Part 6-1: Shades of Grey
Part 6-2: Requiem
Part 6-3
Part 6-4

Chapter 6 Sacred Phase

Chapter 7

Part 7-1: Colour of Death
Part 7-2

Chapter 7 Sacred Phase

Chapter 8

Part 8-1: Of Gods and Men

Part BE-1
Part BE-2
Part BE-3

Hard Mode

Part H0-1

Part H3-1

Part H4-1: 'Til Death Do Us Part
Part H4-2
Part H4-3

Part H5-1
Part H5-2: Sleeping Beauty
Part H5-3

Part H6-1

Part H7-1: Legacy of the Past
Part H7-2
Part H7-3

Part H8-1
Part H8-2

Intermission: Prologue

Part AE-1
Part AE-2
Part AE-3

Sacred Phase Scenes

Part AE-4
Part AE-END

Post-Game

Part SG-1
Part SG-2
Part SG-3

Extras

Fan Art
The Midgar Awards

ApplesandOranges fucked around with this message at Aug 13, 2014 around 10:14

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ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.



Welcome to Valkyrie Profile!



We will be doing two playthroughs on this run to get all the endings. It's not necessary, but for now the plan is to do a Normal Run, then a Hard run to compare the differences. For now, we'll do Normal.



Bells ring as the screen slowly pans down.







A bride waits, alone.





Hm?





---

OST: To the Unhallowed Ground

Going to skip past most of the credits, pointing out some notables.



Aside from designing VP, Norimoto also helped design Star Ocean and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, as well as the supervisor of Radiata Stories.



Miyake has designed battle systems for several games, such as Eternal Sonata and Xenosaga III.



Sakuraba is one of the biggest names on the list. Just a few other games on his resume include the Star Ocean series, Super Smash Bros Melee/Brawl, and many games from the Tales games, including Xillia/Xillia 2.



Gotanda is the current president of tri-Ace. As with most of the crew, he was heavily involved in the Star Ocean series.

---



We get control of Valkyrie, but we can't do anything except run left into...





Since Valkyrie doesn't have a portrait for her normal girl appearance, I'll be using her regular portrait instead.

Frei is voiced by Kayzie Rogers, whose biggest and most famous roles are from Pokemon. Said roles include Wobbuffet, Max, Professor Ivy, and many more. Also related: her vocal coach was Maddie Blaustein.

Lenneth is voiced by Megan Hollingshead. Like Rogers, Hollingshead has had several roles in Pokemon, including Nurse Joy, and has also had roles in Naruto and Bleach.


Listen to the conversation!

You seem as if you're waiting for someone.





Has it been that long...? Are you well?

Yes!

Oh! Lord Odin is waiting for you within.

Of course. We will speak later, Frei.

----







OST: Valhalla

A few options here: you can watch the rest of this scene here, or if you just want the audio, listen to the conversation here.



You have no need to kneel before us like a dweller in Midgard.

Freya is voiced by Veronica Taylor. Famous for her roles as Ash Ketchum and May in Pokemon, Taylor was also Cosmos in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Leo Klissen in Tekken.

I understand.



I rejoice to see you again! You have been missed.

And you.

Lenneth Valkyrie.



Odin is voiced by Rodger Parsons. As with the other people in this scene, he's had a notable role in Pokemon, as the Narrator from the first 6 seasons and from season 9 onwards, and Cid from the Lufaine from Dissidia.

Yes, my lord.

The head of Mimir has told me that Ragnarok, the end of the world, draws near.

Ragnarok!

There have been signs of unrest among the Vanir of late. It seems that we, the Aesir, will not be able to avoid war with them. We require warriors. You shall journey to Midgard, the world below, and search for suitable human souls.

It is my honor, Lord... to serve you.

I expect great things from you. Well then, Freya...

Yes, my lord.





You have but recently awakened and it would be unkind of me to send you alone.



And they teleport out.

---



Yes. The lower world of Midgard. Where souls wander around... locked in cages of flesh.

Does it remind you of anything?

Not particularly. I have never seen this world before.



Then let us go. It is time for me to teach you about who you are and what your role is.

---



What do you mean?

You have a power that is yours alone. Close your eyes and open your heat. Concentrate and listen. You will understand.



We'll be using Spiritual Concentration at the start of each chapter. It basically allows us to scout Midgard for situations where we can recruit new characters. Occasionally it also provides information of other places of interest.

In a situation where we can recruit a new character, we get a voiced clip of what's going on:

Listen: Spiritual Concentration 1

"Ahhh.... Arngrim... it hurts!"

"Help me... save me...!"

"It... it's a monster!"

"You think it's foolish brother, because you're content with what you have."

"You're wrong!"






...Yes...

Do you hear it?

What is this...?

That is your power. The power to hear the sorrow, anger and hopes of humans near death. The power to hear their souls cry out. It is your task to take the souls of those chosen departed within yourself.

I am to search among the souls of the departed for those worthy to become heroes?

Yes. That is why...

That is why what?

Let us go. If we go even close, you will be able to synchronize your soul with theirs. Then you will understand more.



---



Our next scene begins with this guy slicing a monster in half.



Followed by a bunch of Generic Mooks running by him, one guy lagging behind.



Arngrim casually walks off to the next screen. We get control of him, but we don't have anything to do except run forward.



Ah...

Nuisance. Out of my way!

Let me assist you.

And we get our first battle!



OST: Confidence in the Domination

The game throws very few tutorials at you, so I'm going to have to explain this on my own. The basics of VP's battle system is the ability of your characters to attack in tandem. You can have up to four characters in the party at once, and each of the main buttons (Square, Triangle, Cross, Circle) correspond to one character. So pressing Square will have Arngrim attack, and X for Lawfer. Each characters has up to three attacks a round, depending on their class and their equipped weapon, and they have attacks unique to each character. For now, we're stuck with one per.

Green bar is health. CT is Charge Time - we'll get to that eventually, but we can ignore it for the time being.



Units can block...



...And evade attacks.



Because each character has unique attack that strike in different ways, you can get combos where you wail on an enemy on the ground or juggle them in the air. Here, Arngrim knocked the enemy to the ground, and Lawfer hit the Lesser Harpy afterwards. Hitting an enemy while it's on the ground has a chance to produce a gem, which is then randomly distributed to one of your characters. The gems will then reduce CT - again, we'll get to that when it becomes relevant.

The number of hits you can get in a combo is also important. Attacks deal 1% increased damage for each additional hit in the combo.



Conversely, hitting an enemy while your attack has sent them in the air has a chance to produce crystals, which increase experience gained at the end of battle.



Either way, this first battle is of no threat at all.

---





OST: All is Twilight

Whoa, are you okay?

Yeah. Just sit down.



Art is more than just "that stuff"...

If you can't sell it, what's the point?

I don't do it for money.

Hmmm. Whatever.

Brother... It's different. Different from war where you just kill people.



I don't fight for money. I'm a mercenary because I enjoy it. Same as you, right!?

I don't give a drat about "expressing myself" or whatever.

---



You think it's foolish, brother, because you're content with what you have.

...

For me, drawing pictures has always been a way for me to escape the confines of a frail body of mine.

---



I'll leave the money here.

That statue?

It's a present from His Highness. They give it to the guy that kills the most people.

---

Our next scene starts with a clatter of something hitting the floor.





It is unseemly for such a lovely young princess who will one day rule the country to lose her temper in such a disgraceful manner.



Well aren't you a pleasant face.

I will not stand here silently and accept abuse from the likes of you! We cannot allow such behavior from a boorish mercenary-

Princess Jelanda!!

You need not concern yourself with regards to this matter, Princess. I will take care of everything.

...



Flashback time, again.

---



I salute you all! And among you I believe, is the greatest warrior of all, Sir Arngrim!

Hmph.

To you, I present a cash bonus, and this statue.

(Although, I'm sure mercenary taste is no different than that of a barbarian.)



(You think this makes everything alright? This cheap little statue's nothing more than a lie.)



What... What are you...

I don't have time for this farce!

This statue looks a lot like you, don't you think?

!!

Father!





Don't waste my time with this crap.

You ungrateful brute! To subject my father to such barbarism! 10,000 deaths are not enough for you! Guards! Take him!



Flashback ends.

---





Next time: Culture! Plots! 10,000 Deaths!

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


It is basically a Moral Obligation for everyone to listen to the Spiritual Concentration, just to hear the fantastically terrible voice acting.

"You're wrong!!" never fails to crack me up.

Overrated Sage
Aug 9, 2011

Atelier Iris in a nutshell:
"yay Veola pl- oh dammit main plot again"


Excellent, another Valkyrie Profile game. I hope this one is as demented as Covenant of the Plume.

Out of curiosity, does that weird little reverse upside down L symbol at the start of dialogue lines actually mean anything? It's kind of hard to get used to.

BottledBodhisvata
Jul 26, 2013

by Lowtax


Overrated Sage posted:

Excellent, another Valkyrie Profile game. I hope this one is as demented as Covenant of the Plume.

Out of curiosity, does that weird little reverse upside down L symbol at the start of dialogue lines actually mean anything? It's kind of hard to get used to.

This is the very first one.

Valkyrie Profile is mad dope and probably the best game Tri-Ace ever produced, despite and also because of all of its goofy voice acting and obtuse mechanics. It's also got some of the better storytelling and general plot and world development I've seen in games. The setting and atmosphere are rich, and the game meditates on death in a variety of fun ways.

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


I wonder if antagonizing the king is a good move in this game? I'm sure nothing bad will come of it.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009



Overrated Sage posted:

Out of curiosity, does that weird little reverse upside down L symbol at the start of dialogue lines actually mean anything? It's kind of hard to get used to.
It's meant to be brackets. [ and ]. It's just a weird stylistic choice, like how some games have their dialogue in quotation marks.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011



Valkyrie Profile is such a great game. Arngrim is such a great character.

Also the bit with Frei is pretty funny.

"HUGS "

""

I have... mixed feelings on Sakuraba's music, but I generally like VP's soundtrack and absolutely love Confidence in the Domination.


Overrated Sage posted:

Out of curiosity, does that weird little reverse upside down L symbol at the start of dialogue lines actually mean anything? It's kind of hard to get used to.

Looks like Japanese quotation marks.

Crigit
Sep 6, 2011

I'll show you my naval if you show me yours.
Let's get naut'y.


e;fb

RSCNyx
Mar 6, 2013

It's okay, little guy. I would be scared too.


Awww man, this is my favorite RPG of all time.

Some of the voice acting is hilariously bad, but everything else is just...really cool. Can't say too much until Chapter 0 is done, sadly!

Scintilla
Aug 24, 2010

I BEAT HIGHFORT
and all I got was this
jackass monkey


To this day I can't play through the game without hearing the Pokemon characters whenever the voice acting kicks in. Although most of the voices are cheesy and lovably bad there are a handful that manage to be absolutely brilliant.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012

The Laws of Fiesta are Absolute!


Just a warning to anyone playing along for the first time. If you don't want blatant hints towards some stuff, don't swaddle on the title screen too long.

Also, if you're interested, I have about a dozen jpgs of some of the characters that might be a little better to use as portraits. Let me know if you want me to send them, or post them intermittently.

For example,



Oh yeah, Freya/Frey are reversed between Norse canon and VP canon. Frigg/Frey is Odin's wife. I think Freya's a guy, or the same woman, or I don't know.

RSCNyx
Mar 6, 2013

It's okay, little guy. I would be scared too.


FeyerbrandX posted:

Oh yeah, Freya/Frey are reversed between Norse canon and VP canon. Frigg/Frey is Odin's wife. I think Freya's a guy, or the same woman, or I don't know.

Frey was a guy, but he was a God of Fertility. One of his friends managed to woo a giant's daughter into becoming his wife by threatening to turn her into a withered old maid.

Freya, however, was known for her beauty, oftentimes to the point of vanity. She started a war just to receive a necklace.

If you're really into Norse mythology: you're going to notice that TriAce took quite a few A TON OF liberties.

RSCNyx fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2014 around 01:06

Elite
Oct 30, 2010


Ground floor on this. I kind of bounced off your Covenant of the Plume LP due to an irrational hatred of olde english, but really enjoyed it after I gave it a second chance (I think the first time around I stopped just before poo poo got real).

I'm hoping you'll get around to VP2 too. (There's an old LP of VP1 but I don't think there's one of VP2, but yes LP technology has advanced since 2006).

vilkacis posted:

Arngrim is such a great character.

Hearing that warms him to the bottom of the gaping void in his soul.

(I still think he's basically a more diva-ish version of Guts though. Stuffy award ceremonies are for being aloof and uncomfortable, not for inciting outrage!).

AfroSquirrel
Sep 3, 2011



Yay, it's happening!

And the long list of Pokemon VAs who don't bother to change their styles at all is part of the charm of VP1!

Derek Barona
Dec 7, 2009

WHO'S YOUR FRIEND?!


Oh, hell yes. I always loved this game as a kid. Some of the best music Sakuraba ever made came from this game.

Does it say something that I don't even need to watch the video of the conversation with Odin to remember exactly how they sound?

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Welcome to my lab.



Crap. I decided to check this out a couple years ago, heard the very first line of dialogue, and said LOLNOPE. Now people are telling me it's good.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009



Seyser Koze posted:

Crap. I decided to check this out a couple years ago, heard the very first line of dialogue, and said LOLNOPE. Now people are telling me it's good.
"How nostalgic?"

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Welcome to my lab.



Endorph posted:

"How nostalgic?"

I don't know, I hit Escape on ePSXe completely by reflex and loaded up a different game. That first line or two was literally the worst voice acting I could remember having heard to that point and I guess my gamer self-defense instincts kicked in or something.

Then again, my friends and I played through House of the Dead 2 over and over back in the day, so maybe I was just having a bad day when I checked out Valkyrie Profile.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011



Derek Barona posted:

Does it say something that I don't even need to watch the video of the conversation with Odin to remember exactly how they sound?

You should be able to do this with all the conversations. And if ye do not, ye shall be made to... you know what actually never mind.

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

Scintilla posted:

To this day I can't play through the game without hearing the Pokemon characters whenever the voice acting kicks in. Although most of the voices are cheesy and lovably bad there are a handful that manage to be absolutely brilliant.

Well to be fair, Rachael Lillis' Jelanda and (later character) are pretty blatantly Misty and Jesse's voices.

And hot drat I love this game. I remember reading somewhere that Easy Mode is actually harder than the others because you don't have access to anything particularly powerful though. And the intro is just such a slog to sit through once you've played through once.

Poulpe
Nov 11, 2006
Canadian Santa Extraordinaire


Neat! I'm excited to read this. I tried to play through the PSP remake at some point but some of the mechanics were a bit of a grind to me despite liking the plot.

Are you going to point out differences between the versions? I always like that kind of stuff.

Derek Barona
Dec 7, 2009

WHO'S YOUR FRIEND?!


Seyser Koze posted:

I don't know, I hit Escape on ePSXe completely by reflex and loaded up a different game. That first line or two was literally the worst voice acting I could remember having heard to that point and I guess my gamer self-defense instincts kicked in or something.

If you watched any of the early seasons of Pokemon as a kid, this game is basically gonna be that except with with death and Norse mythology all the way through, which makes it a lot more enjoyable (at least to me) because you can sit and actively make fun of when the voice acting gets ultra-dramatic and all you can think of is Ash or Brock saying the lines.

Also, hello Seyzer. Fancy running into you here.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009



Seyser Koze posted:

I don't know, I hit Escape on ePSXe completely by reflex and loaded up a different game. That first line or two was literally the worst voice acting I could remember having heard to that point and I guess my gamer self-defense instincts kicked in or something.
Seriously? The voice acting isn't great on those lines but it's alright.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Welcome to my lab.



Endorph posted:

Seriously? The voice acting isn't great on those lines but it's alright.

Yup. I'm sure much worse can be found, but that was my immediate reaction at the time.

Anyway, evidently I need to dust it off and try again.

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


Derek Barona posted:

If you watched any of the early seasons of Pokemon as a kid, this game is basically gonna be that except with with death and Norse mythology all the way through, which makes it a lot more enjoyable (at least to me) because you can sit and actively make fun of when the voice acting gets ultra-dramatic and all you can think of is Ash or Brock saying the lines.

I found it amusing when I played Valkyrie Profile that one of the characters Veronica Taylor (the voice of Ash) voices basically sounds like a feminine Ash... and her Finishing Strike sounds like she's having an orgasm.

BottledBodhisvata
Jul 26, 2013

by Lowtax


Lenneth's voice acting is awesome.

"Divine assault! Nibelung Valestiiiiii!

Derek Barona
Dec 7, 2009

WHO'S YOUR FRIEND?!


I haven't played the game in over twelve years and I can still perfectly do Arngrim's finisher.

"I grow tired of you.

Finishing Strike! Final Blast!!!

Now die, and be silent."

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Dinosaur Gum

I like how everybody's getting all huggy with Lenneth in Asgard. It's a pretty big contrast to the more desolate and backstabby slice of Midgard we see.

PotatoManJack
Nov 9, 2009


I loved this game back in the day. Two that stand out to me:

"To my side, my noble Einherjar"

and my absolute favorite (spoilered just in case)

"I invoke the power of the Glacial Blade! Finishing Strike - Icicle Disaster!"

PotatoManJack fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2014 around 03:26

jizzy sillage
Aug 13, 2006



PotatoManJack posted:

I loved this game back in the day. Two that stand out to me:

"To my side, my nobel Einherjar"

and my absolute favorite (spoilered just in case)

"I invoke the power of the Glacial Blade! Finishing Strike - Icicle Disaster!"

Yep, I still remember the noble Einherjar line perfectly. I quote it to my friends all the time.

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


I'm still more partial to her other line, but we'll get there soon enough.

a cartoon duck
Sep 5, 2011



By any objective standard the voice-acting in this game is bad so I cannot begrudge Seyser Koze for not sticking with it, but it always had some kinda B-movie charm to me, or of lovely late 80s/ early 90s anime dubs.

I'd list my favourite voice-acted lines but then we'd be within end-game spoiler territory by the next two posts so I'll just say that I'll be following this LP.

ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.

I'm almost regretting not titling the LP 'I choose you! Let's Play Valkyrie Profile!'

Poulpe posted:

Neat! I'm excited to read this. I tried to play through the PSP remake at some point but some of the mechanics were a bit of a grind to me despite liking the plot.

Are you going to point out differences between the versions? I always like that kind of stuff.

The major thing the PSP port added were the CGI scenes. You'd lose some functionality but nothing major.

I could probably try to find and link a youtube video of the appropriate scenes when we get to them (there'd be one coming up quite soon).

As for the voice acting... it's got a bit of a 'so bad it's good' feel to it. It grows on you after a while. There are definitely some scenes where I really wish I could fast forward through them though.

Update likely coming up tomorrow or Saturday. Chapter 0 is long, so the rest of it will probably be in 2 to 4 parts.

Derek Barona
Dec 7, 2009

WHO'S YOUR FRIEND?!


Yeah, this was always my big complaint with VP and Star Ocean 2. Tri-Ace made such great games, but the amount of time spent in the prologue sections almost rival an MGS game, it feels like.

W.T. Fits
Apr 21, 2010


They'll never see it coming...


Oh poo poo yeah, Valkyrie Profile! I loved the hell out of this game when I borrowed it from a friend, and one of my biggest regrets was not actually picking up a copy for myself when I had the chance.

The PSP remake is basically the reason I bought my first PSP. No regrets.

Gonna enjoy the hell out of this LP.

Poulpe
Nov 11, 2006
Canadian Santa Extraordinaire


Can we talk about how Arngrim destroys the reward statue just as he receives it yet also somehow shows it to his brother later? Was he forced to glue it back together as punishment?

Sientara
May 27, 2012



Poulpe posted:

Can we talk about how Arngrim destroys the reward statue just as he receives it yet also somehow shows it to his brother later? Was he forced to glue it back together as punishment?

I don't think he destroys it, he beheads it. So it is the broken statue that he is showing his brother.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009



The voice actings' kinda bad but at least they're putting in effort.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAtC1SzWSXg

Unlike this.

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theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


Oh god Chaos Wars. That's just not even fair to compare the two.

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