In many ways, the Valkyrie series is synonymous with PlayStation. The first two acclaimed games, Valkyrie Profile and Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, appeared on PS1 and PS2 respectively. Now, after a 16-year absence from consoles, the series returns with Valkyrie Elysium.
The new action RPG features an evocative world inspired by Norse mythology, exciting and fast-paced combat, stunning audiovisual presentation, and a dark, thought-provoking narrative. It’s a fantastic RPG that has its own very distinctive vibe, and we can’t wait for you to play it.
While long-time Valkyrie fans are probably already exploring the mysteries of the game’s beautiful world through the recent demo, some of you may be wondering: what’s all the fuss about? Why is this series so loved?
With that in mind, and to celebrate the return of the series to its ancestral home on PlayStation, we thought it would be interesting to take you through the history of this revered franchise.
It all started back in 1999…
1999: Valkyrie Profile: A Classic Is Born
Just before the turn of the millennium, a bold new RPG was released in Japan: Valkyrie Profile.
At this point in PlayStation’s life, the console had made a name for itself as an RPG haven, with multiple series, including Final Fantasy, reaching new heights of popularity on this burgeoning platform.
Valkyrie Profile immediately stood out from the crowd. Developed by tri-Ace (the Star Ocean series), this was a game that dared to be different. It offered a distinctly original take on the genre, combining a stylish setting inspired by Norse mythology, an innovative battle system, and a narrative structure that rewarded players for their initiative and curiosity.
You took control of Lenneth, a newly awakened Valkyrie, who serves Odin and the pantheon of gods known as the ‘Aesir’. Lenneth is sent to collect the souls of fallen warriors, known as Einherjar, to aid the gods in their war against the Vanir.
In the course of her quest, she meets many warriors, some worthy to join the gods, others who fight by her side, and begins to piece together the mystery of the force that threatens the gods and her life before becoming a valkyrie
Although it was only the first game, many of the elements that would come to define the Valkyrie series began here, including fast-paced combo-based combat systems, the recruitable Einherjar, themes of life, death, and identity, and a rich melancholic tone. .
Audiences responded positively to these elements, both in Japan and in North America, where the game was released in 2000 and sold well. He is often cited as one of the greats of the RPG genre, something even more people would discover in 2006…
2006: Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth – the original comeback
Fans had to wait a few years for more Valkyrie adventures, but in 2006 the original game returned to PSP as Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth.
The original PlayStation version had only been released in Japan and North America, but this perfectly portable port was also released in Europe and Australasia, making it the first time players in these regions had been able to experience the game.
And a curious fact: it’s back! A PSP port of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth will be released later this year for PS4 and PS5, available as a bonus for Valkyrie Elysium Digital Deluxe Edition owners or as a standalone purchase.
2006: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria – a worthy sequel
Also in 2006, the highly anticipated sequel to Valkyrie Profile was released for PlayStation 2: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria.
Despite that prominent number in the name, the game is actually set hundreds of years before the original game and in an alternate timeline. It features many new characters and a new protagonist to control…or should it be two new protagonists?
The story focuses on the valkyrie Silmeria and the princess of Dipan, Alicia, two women trapped in the same body. Pursued by Valkyrie Hrist, the two must work together to prevent a catastrophic war between their two kingdoms.
The game built on many of the elements introduced in Valkyrie Profile, including the new Einherjar, updated side-scrolling exploration, and strategic battles that combined the combo-based battle system with new movement options.
The game was a critical success, with reviewers praising its richly detailed world, super fun combat system, and Motoi Sakuraba’s stellar soundtrack.
2008/2016: Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume and Valkyrie Anatomy: Games on the Go
The series returned to handheld devices for its next two installments: Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (released in Japan in 2008, North America and Europe in 2009) and Valkyrie Anatomia, released for mobile in 2016. The former featured a dark and mature character. story of a young man named Wylfred and his quest to destroy Valkyrie Lenneth, whom he blames for the loss of his father and the subsequent disgrace of his family. The latter is set in an alternate world to the original game. It follows a similar setup, with Lenneth tasked with recruiting einherjar to fight for the gods.
2022: Valkyrie Elysium: The series comes to PlayStation
…all of which brings us to now, and the long-awaited return of the Valkyrie Series to PS5 and PS4.
Valkyrie Elysium features a completely original story, set in a world teetering on the brink of destruction. Ragnarok, the end of all things, looms on the horizon. With the last of his strength, Almighty Father Odin creates a Valkyrie to become an emissary of redemption. His task: to save this doomed world. Descending to the land below, this fearless warrior faces many challenges as she begins to uncover the truth behind her impending demise. What will she think of this world…and what ending will she choose for him?
The game features a new take on the series that combines many of the series’ defining elements with interesting new ideas. For example, the combat system fuses stock stables like finishing moves and combos, with new real-time action combat. The recruitable Einherjar are also present and correct, and it’s all scored with a remarkable soundtrack by longtime series composer Motoi Sakuraba.
And that ends this very quick review of the Valkyrie series. Of course, you don’t need to have played any of the other games to enjoy Valkyrie Elysium: it’s a completely standalone title that builds on the rich legacy of the series to create a new adventure that anyone can enjoy.
Valkyrie Elysium launches this Thursday, September 29, and is available physically and digitally for PS5 and PS4.
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