GameSpite Quarterly 2, #38: Valkyrie Profile

Huh, Michigan in August isn’t supposed to be this pleasant. It’s supposed to be brutally hot and so muggy that when you take off your shirt you peel off a few dermal layers along with it. But it kind of feels like I didn’t even leave San Francisco, aside from the fact that I’m surrounded by verdant countryside. Well, and the fact that a house like my parents’ new place would cost a few million bucks in San Francisco. It’s not big; in fact, it’s a lot smaller than their last place. But it has history.

My parents have this strange habit of buying homes in need of significant overhauls, tweaking them until they’re magnificent, and then promptly moving away before they really have time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They bought a place about a decade ago whose previous owner was an old shut-in who chain-smoked and let her awful little dog relieve itself in the corner, so the ductwork had cancer (seriously, there were permanent yellow tobacco stains by all the vents) and the floor had to be completely replaced down to the foundation since it was soaked with puppy pee. They turned it into a really gorgeous home with hardwood floors and a bright, modern interior. Then they moved up to a ranch-style farmhome in central Michigan with an unfinished basement; there they completed the basement, doubling the usable space in the house, before adding a huge garage with a massive family room above it. Within a year they’d moved! Now they have what was until earlier this year an abandoned farmhouse vandalized by local teens (maybe squatters) and whose leaky basement was populated by massive spiders and even bigger mushrooms. Already it’s looking homey, with the basement almost fully dried out and a new enclosed porch nearly constructed. Which means they’re probably already thinking about the next place they can rebuild. I figure at the rate they’re going, it’ll be a burned-out crack house shell in the Tenderloin. But hey, it’ll be nice to have them local.

Valkyrie Profile
Oh, right, you’re here to read about videogames. Hey kids! Do you like being dead and hanging out with other dead people? Well boy have I got a game for you. Valkyrie Profile is about precisely that. It’s all for a good cause, though. You’re saving humanity from the frost giants or a serpent that eats its own tail or some such. I don’t know. Just remember that I love you all.

8 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly 2, #38: Valkyrie Profile

  1. Other than a few days, this has been a surprisingly mild Michigan summer. Still warm, not a lot of bad weather, so it’s been one of the nicer ones in a few years.

  2. So how many people found the Valkyrie Profile A ending through exploration and how many found it by having someone else tell them how to do it? It’s a little obscure.

  3. I take it by “a little obscure” you mean absolutely obtuse in a way that must have brought tears of joy to any strategy guide publisher?

    Getting the ‘best’ ending in VP is a matter of both doing things the game generally discourages and doing more than a few unhinted at things. It wouldn’t be as big a deal if not for the game’s reply value being reduced significantly by many long UNSKIPPABLE cut scenes; the actual game is well designed for replays, aside from this. So I’d guess the number is very close to 0. Not like this was back before gamefaqs.

  4. Yeah, Freya tells you not to do things, but she’s, well, also kind of overbearing, so it’s not too much of a stretch to try doing things that she doesn’t want you to. I was close to the A ending when I first played, having completed all the necessary events, but I missed the Seal Rating requirements, which are definitely the most arcane element. The only real hint there is that, uhh, it has no other use, I guess?

    Even then, the main thing that prevents your Seal Rating from being low enough is hoarding divine treasures and sending Einherjar instead to make up for the lost Evaluation points. If you pace yourself on those (and you have to to get the A ending) then it’s probably possible to stumble upon after a few plays. It’s certainly a pretty big fault, but I don’t even really hold it against the game.

  5. You just came to Michigan on a lucky day. It’s been a miserable, oppressive summer right up until you visited. Maybe you just bring cool fronts when you travel places?

  6. Valkyrie Profile is a special game for me ’cause it’s the first game I bought with my first paycheck from my first job after reading about it in an issue of Gamefan.

  7. That was an interesting read… I owned Valkyrie Profile and found it to be an amazing game, but I never managed to complete the game. I would play for a few hours, and them get the feeling that something wasn’t right. I was always under the impression that I was doing something wrong and that I would eventually need to restart the game to fix whatever I was doing wrong.

    Now that I’ve read this, I understand why I had this strange feeling. As you’ve said, the game is meant to be played multiple times. I couldn’t get it when I first played it, and maybe that’s why people don’t value this game as they should. It’s a pretty interesting concept, and I guess now I’m ready to try it again. Thanks.

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