In each of the Valkyria Chronicles games, we have seen Valkyria. These are descendants of a race of people who were able to channel energy from Ragnite and use extraordinary abilities. In each game, we see characters in different situations dealing with this upbringing. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is no exception. While the original Valkyria Chronicles gave us an idea of how Gallia’s Armed Forces and Militia and the Empire would react to them, Valkyria Chronicles 4 provides an even better look at how the Federation and Empire treat these people.
Editor’s Note: There are spoilers regarding Valkyria Chronicles 4 below.
Let’s kick this off with the reveal. This is your last chance, should you want to avoid spoilers about characters’ identities.
We have two Valkyria in Valkyria Chronicles 4. One is Crymaria, the woman used as a research subject by the Empire and known as The Winter Witch. She is incredibly and devastatingly powerful, using her abilities to use ice spells on battlefields. She is even said to be one of the strongest Valkyria. The other is Angie, the Centurion’s… well, heart. Even though she has amnesia when we first meet her, we eventually learn she is a Valkyria and the ship plugs into her for power. This means we have two armies using people with extraordinary powers for selfish means, disregarding what is best for them.
With Crymaria, things are rather obviously devastating. We already knew from Valkyria Chronicles and its sequel that the Empire had a research facility for handling those with this potential. The women we have seen emerge from these spaces may be strong, but sacrifices were made. In the case of Crymaria, she spent her entire life isolated, belittled, told she was worthless, tortured, and used as a tool. By the time we get to Valkyria Chronicles 4, Klaus Walz is the only person who has not only treated her with respect and like a human being. Aside from him, the only one who cared for her is Fenrir, her wolf companion. Even though she is a villain, she is presented as a very sympathetic person. She even cries over someone on the opposing side.
Angie is just as tragic an individual. The Federation discovers her potential, and she agrees to become a part of a research project for the sake of her family. This means that she is turned into a battery and, like other Federation Valkyria candidates, becomes a power source for devices like the Centurion and their bombs. Because of an attack, she was removed from her position and left with amnesia, but we end up knowing who she is and what she might eventually have to or be forced to do for the sake of the people she now considers her friends and family.
Angie and Crymaria serve as interesting parallels for one another. In each situation, we have someone with incredible power who was denied a normal life. Each was used and abused. They are used and become power sources, in a way. But, throughout the course of Valkyria Chronicles 4, we have a chance to see their circumstances change slightly. People reach out to them, and they have an opportunity to reach back and make some more positive memories. (Not to mention, they each have a fine fuzzy friend at their side.)
Especially poignant is when Angie and Crymaria meet. Angie feels like she hears someone calling her. She goes with Ragnarok and fines Crymaria and Fenrir looking out over the ice. Rags knows something is up, but Fenrir is even fine with ANgie, perhaps sensing her nature. When Crymaria looks at Angie, she realizes who and what she is, but is sympathetic to the little girl’s plight and amnesia. Angie shares how much everyone cares and that they give her food and tell her stories. It reminds Crymaria that Angie has privileged enough to have something she couldn’t have. It is a bittersweet moment between someone who, at that moment, represent opposite ends of the spectrum. Both went through things, but one is innocent and the other is all too aware.
Valkyria Chronicles 4’s Angie and Crymaria give us a look at what two sides are willing to do during a war. We understand what the pursuit of power can do to people stuck in between. It lets us see that even the “good” side, the Federation, is capable of very bad things. Most important, it gives us two more Valkyria to follow. We have two more viewpoints that help us learn more about the series’ world and its people.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.