Valkyrie-Profile-Playstatio Valkyrie-Profile-PSX Valkyrie-Profile-Screenshot

Valkyrie Profile was one of the last big Playstation games by Enix before they (sadly) merged with Square. It was released in December 1999 in Japan and finally released in the USA in August 2000.

Valkyrie Profile is a pretty unique JRPG which allowed more freedom than the most other RPG’s at the time and used the Northern / Viking Mythology for its setting. The main protagonist is Lenneth, a Valkyrie which has to collect the souls of brave warriors who would serve the good gods around Odin to fight evil after their death.  Of course, Loki is in the game as well and personally I loved how he is portrayed there.

The game itself is using beautiful 2D Sprites and animations as well as 3D Backgrounds, it tells the story through dialogues as well as movies.

Valkyrie Profile got two prequels, one for the Playstation 2 and another one for the Nintendo DS in 2008. Valkyrie Profile was also ported to the Playstation Portable in 2006.

Valkyrie-Profile-PSX-Cover

 Valkyrie Profile Playstation Anniversary on Game-Art-HQ

“To My Side My Noble Einherjer” The Valkyrie Profile by LukeTheRipper

Lenneth Valkyrie, Arngrim, Aelia and Lezard Valeth from Valkyrie Profile.

Ah, the good ol’ PSX. That console is special on so many levels…
When Nintendo was getting way too stale and forgot their fans are actually growing up and pointless censorship is not needed anymore, when Sega was going crazy with more and more pointless additions to their Genesis which were a complete waste of time and money, and when almost all other companies failed miserably at creating a console that is playable at all (we’re looking at you Phillips, Panasonic, Atari and Apple), along came Playstation and led us to a new era of gaming.
It was more powerful than any competitor and the hardware made it easy enough to program games, making it very developer-friendly, it also had an unmatched variety of titles, from the plaformers, fighting games, RPGs or sport/racing games we knew, to some new and upcoming genres like survival horrors (there were horror games before, but vastly different) or hack ‘n’ slash games (it evolved from classic beat ’em ups, but quickly became a genre of it’s own), not to mention some completely unique ones like train simulators with their own controllers and even the only “simulator of Japanese man” in existance XD (just look up Incredible Crisis), making it the most user friendly system for years to come.
Sega and Nintendo, and later Microsoft, might have had their own share of awesome titles, but nothing could beat the sheer variety that PSX had.

Moving on, about my entry. Heh, what can I say, the moment I saw the words “PSX Tribute” I knew I was gonna say “I claim Valkyrie Profile”.
That title is still my personal number one for many reasons, and for good reasons no less. It was a very original title for it’s time, utilizing 2D graphics (with some 3D elements here and there), and beautiful ones at that, when most RPGs went 3D. It also had a breathtaking story, heavily inspired by Norse mythology, yet telling it’s own, unique story, with the pantheon of Norse gods as the secondary characters, and the titular valkyrie with her crew of fallen heroes at the spotlight.
And yes, do keep in mind that with a valkyrie as the main protagonist, all your companions must die before you can even recruit them. Which is another interesting part of the game, every character has their own story to tell, a story to which you saw the end, and then decided to let them start a whole new chapter. It’s really astounding as to how vastly different the characters and their personas are, from noble warriors and wise mages, to barbarians, scoundrels and mad warlocks, each of them leaving a good enough impression on the Choser of The Slain to join her ranks, and each likeable enough that you can’t really not-like any of ’em. And while we’re talking about characters, it’s criminal not to mention their voices. The voice acting was not only a huge step forward for the RPG genre which was either completely mute or had some grunts and shouts at best, but was also so exceedingly well made that most RPGs failed to come close for years to come (for example, Square’s FFX can’t compare in any way, and that’s PS2 already).
Of course, it’s not like the story and characters alone would make it so great, it takes more than that to make a successful jRPG, but VP certainly does not disappoint in that aspect as well. There’s the the very action packed, combo oriented battle system, which was way more dynamic than anything we’ve seen so far, or anytime soon for that matter. There’s the character development part, since preparing our warriors to be worthy to join Asgardian ranks is a key element of the game, so it’s not only their stats but their persona as well that we need to improve, and I dare say it’s the only RPG I know where you actually raise good traits and decrea your flaws as you level up. Interesting to note is that even most generic stats have been renamed to suit the theme. For example, we don’t have HP since being dead means you no longer have “health”, so you have DME instead which stands for “Divine Materialize Energy”, you also never buy items at shops since you’re a damn god, and god can make their own items, and yes, that is exactly how you “purchase” items in this game, you create ’em yourself from magical energy.
So what can I say more, if this sounds like a one-sided rant glorifying this game, by all means do give it a try yourself to determine whether what I’m saying is true. I am sure you wont be disappointed if you do.

Playstation 20th Anniversary Art Tribute Main Gallery

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The one and only! Plays video games since 1987, loves video game related art and is responsible for Game-Art-HQ. Among his favourite games are Tekken, Tetris and Twisted Metal 2. You can contact me about any not working links etc. via Twitter, Facebook or directly via a comment here