This month of August comes the 20th anniversary for the U.S. release of Valkyrie Profile. The franchise is one of the best titles ever, but it is yet to receive a new installment.
The story of Valkyrie Profile rooted itself firmly in Norse mythology. The way it followed the Valkyries and their search for einherjar created for gripping stories. Every hero has their tale to tell, and everything is never black or white.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth offers a story of pain and tragedy
The most famous version of the game ever is Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. The story follows the tragedy-struck life of Lenneth, a Valkyrie in search of heroes. The einherjar will be there to support the Aesir in the upcoming Ragnarok.
The story of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is as innovative as its gameplay. There are as many as 20 recruitable characters, except for temporary party members. There are also more playable characters in the game itself.
Each of the playable characters has their story to tell; many struck with tragedy. Their souls undergo harvesting because the world has wronged them. Even if the world was unfair, many of these heroes never gave up on their humanity and principles.
The diversity of the players is also stunning for the time. While the game’s setting came during a medieval fantasy period, the variety is unbelievable. Knights, fishermen, bandits, blood knights, and Asian warriors had authentic tales to tell.
Lenneth herself was a tragic hero, resurrected from an early death. The complex characterization of a very nuanced character made Lenneth compelling.
Lenneth offered ambitious gameplay and superb art direction
Beyond the story, Valkyrie Profile offered a deep gameplay experience. The entire combat mechanic is easy to execute and feels excellent for easy play. Even then, it’s hard to master the combat and its entirety, with a steep learning curve.
Lenneth utilizes the strength of each hero under her command. Every character has their place within the story and has value within combat. The battle itself follows the traditional turn-based aspect but uses a gauge for each turn.
The game also uses a traditional dungeon crawler aspect, but it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Combat is almost always in-story, with only very few random enemy encounters. This move keeps the game focused and ready for the next process.
What made Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth a classic is its ambitious mechanics. Everything in the game did not reflect the period it came out.
The art direction was topnotch, the battle system is never dull, and its story was complex. Valkyrie Profile deserves a new entry into the modern landscape apart from mobile ports. If it can come back true to form, Square Enix has a hidden gem ready for appraisal.
Images courtesy of Square Enix/Youtube Screenshot