Life And Death In The World Of Valkyrie Profile

By Jenni . April 10, 2009 . 12:21pm

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume and Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth have contrast stories. Both the protagonists, and the atmosphere of both games, seems contradictory and such a case can be made for Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth being a game about life and Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume being about death.

 

< Editor’s note: Since this article analyzes the stories of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth and Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume it contains spoilers. Please make a note of this before reading further. >

 

It’s ironic when you first think about it. After all, the heroine of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is Lenneth, a Valkyrie who’s task is to gather the souls of the dead. Yet, when she performs this task, it isn’t a totally morbid affair. The people who are being chosen as einherjar are, in a way, being given a second chance at life. This idea is further perpetuated when Lenneth sends one of her einherjar to Asgard – she receives progress reports telling how their new lives are going. If you factor in the Good, canon ending of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, this solidifies the idea since Lenneth gains the power of creation.

 

 

In contrast, Wylfred is an anti-hero. Depending on what path you choose while playing, he can be a dark soul who’s willing to sacrifice the lives of those who’ve come to trust him just so he can come one step closer to killing Lenneth. Quite a few of the people Wylfred joins forces with are even close to death due events in their lives. Rather than giving his party members a chance at a new future and life, they become potential fodder for Wylfred’s vengeful intentions. Since end-notes after the Normal or Bad endings provide information that pertains to Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, a case can be made that one of these two endings is canon. In each, Wylfred is forced to sacrifice allies and there is a tragic consequence in each end.

 

The Lenneth-life-Wylfred-death thesis can be seen as the games progress, as well. In Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, Artolia is falling apart as the story progresses, royal brothers are being turned against each other and wars are tearing apart the countries. There is near constant fighting.

 

As a result, most of Wylfred’s allies/plume fodder are men and women on the brink of death due to the sides they chose to support in battle or the decision to abandon a hazardous way of life

 

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth’s world isn’t happy and peaceful, but it’s slightly better off. There isn’t constant warfare, and some villages and areas even are able to enjoy peace. Though violence tends to claim the lives of her einherjar, when they join Lenneth they seem to receive a second chance to make up for what has happened to them.

 

In addition, after joining Lenneth something good tends to happen for einherjar who cared about her. Yumei, Jun, Kashell, Shiho, Belenus, Lewellyn and Nanami are good examples of this.

 

 

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth conveys a hopeful, “life after death” message to players and its heroine, Lenneth, is a sort of savior who is rescuing souls to give them a second chance. Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume offers a conflicting view, where players have to choose to sacrifice Wylfred’s trusting companions so he can have the chance to kill Lenneth for doing her job. Because of this unusual combination, the games compliment each other well. If you play Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, then Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, you can feel the natural progression and, depending on which ending you view, see how one game impacts the other.



  • MadMirko

    The “other side of the coin” perspective of COTP is refreshing, and I find myself more drawn to Wylfred’s point of view. As games, I probably prefer COTP as well (not finished with it yet, though) if only for the often painful decision of sacrificing someone to Hel. The characters to meet / recruit / doom are sometimes tragic figures _so_ close to finding a way out of their dilemma and / or unsuspecting of Wylfred’s treachery, and the player will be hard pressed to not backstab them at some point.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      It is an interesting choice, and one you don’t often see pop up in a game. It really gets you thinking about cause and effect, and the possible paths that can be taken in life.

  • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

    Very well written. I came into this skeptical, but the way you presented the information (and obvious understanding of the games – you’d be surprised how many “journalists” use their butt cheeks to hold the pen, as it were, and try to pretend they know what they’re saying) was well done.

    I also think either the “normal” or “bad” endings are more along canonical lines. I’ll admit I haven’t gotten the “bad” ending yet — too many other games, but even with the “normal” ending I can see how it ties into VP:Lenneth.

    I expect Wylfred to actually kill Lenneth, honestly. That way, she can be put into cryogenic sleep (or whatever), act as Platina while on Midgard, then return as a valkyrie once she and Lucian escape/find themselves in the field of weeping lilies (…I think that’s what they were).

    …But the multi-verse aspect presented in VP: Silmeria makes me question even that. Basically, they’ve got plenty of threads left to knit into an epic, beautiful quilt. I hope Tri-Ace doesn’t mess this franchise up. They haven’t impressed me in their other titles, of late, so, *crosses fingers*. Sorry for the long post.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. The original Valkyrie Profile is one of my favorite games, and I like to think it’s one of the more thoughtful and intelligent RPGs out there.

      I agree with you on endings – I definitely think that normal or bad is the “right” one. (I’m actually working on an article making a case for which ending is the canonical end.

      I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the multi-verse after Silmeria. A part of me thinks that the whole affair was made unnecessarily complicated.

      (No need to apologize for the long post! It was well thought out and I enjoyed reading it.)

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