The Valkyria Chronicles series is one where the game works to make you care about the characters in your squad. The main characters, people like Claude, Kai, Raz, and Riley, get plenty of development in the actual story. The other members are ones you might not get to know too much about in Valkyria Chronicles 4, unless you put a lot of effort into looking at profiles and unlocking supplemental materials. Looking at the Potentials, positive and negative traits for each person, can help provide insights into who they are and how you should play.
Every Valkyria Chronicles 4 has at least three traits attached to them when they join up with Squad E, with additional Battle Potentials unlocking as you level up classes in Headquarters. These show how their abilities may increase or decrease in specific situations. Some of them even involve other characters, giving you a chance to discover what sorts of relationships are developing in the squad outside of the main ones between the childhood friends. Whether they are positive or negative, they have different sorts of insights into how people work and why they might be good to have in the field.
Let’s look as Aulard, one of the engineers, as an example. When Valkyria Chronicles 4 begins, you get two engineers. Aulard is the one you should be using to maintain the Hafen and Cactus, your tank and APC. His enthusiasm is evident from these still and stats. Tank Freak, One-Track Mind, and Fix Fixation all point to his desire to be around tanks, see them do well and survive, and keep them fighting fit. Once Dan and the Cactus arrive, we also see him get Dan Lover, a Potential that sees his attack and anti-tank attack power go up when the other character is also on the field and around him. Not only do these potentials show he should be around the vehicles at all times, but it gives us an idea of how focused he is on things and people he likes, even though he does not get real screen time until the Squad Stories segment in which he participates.
Neige is another character whose Potentials define her and her role before you get a chance to see who she is. She is one of the snipers you might use, someone who can be overshadowed by stronger characters like Kai, Aladdin, and Norid. The only thing she really has going for her is her ability to dodge, in that she has a stat that is higher than 1. Looking at her Potentials paints a better picture of who she is. She has Stage Fright and Timid, showing this is a hesitant young woman who is not entirely confident in herself. Her AP drops immediately if multiple enemies see her, and her already low accuracy can drop even further just by existing. But, other potentials suggest she wants to get better. She Admires Fleuret, a very in-your-face shocktrooper, and will be even more evasive when she is around. If there is a lot of cover, her defense increases thanks to Calming Ritual when she crouches. Also, one of her first Battle Potentials is Perfect Dodge, which makes her dodge more. This shy girl becomes someone to deploy with Fleuret in areas where there is a lot of cover and not too many enemies, and she is one of the snipers who will be less likely to be hit.
Connor Doherty is a funny one. He is the first non-story-related grenadier who will join your squad in Valkyria Chronicles 4. He immediately establishes himself as an author doing this for the experience. He is definitely not someone who should be attacking vehicles, since his Poor Logic decreases anti-tank power “for the sake of war experience.” He is also someone who should be parked and left somewhere to attack, since his Unpopular Author trait decreases his defense when his AP falls below half. Meanwhile, Immersion Writing makes his accuracy and defense increase when his health falls below half. Every trait screams, “I am doing this for the experience, but I might not be the most experienced unit and I should probably only be targeting personnel after being plopped somewhere mostly safe.” His potentials say a lot about him and how his work are viewed.
Then, there is a character like Ferrier. Ferrier is a shocktrooper who always wears a helmet. Every one of her Potentials screams, “I am wearing a helmet.” Iron Mask that prevents people from getting a critical hit on her when counterattacking? It is because she is wearing an iron mask. Poor Visibility? Yeah, that tends to happen when you are wearing an iron mask with one small slit for you to see through. Endurance? Sure, wearing an iron mask would increase your defense when taking interception fire. Introversion? I would think someone who doesn’t like being seen by a lot of enemies would probably be wearing an iron mask. All of this suggests she is someone who might be good to send into a quick charge to take out one annoying enemy or perhaps capture a camp that only has one person defending it. Also, I may be just guessing here, but the Potentials could also suggest she is always wearing an iron mask.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a game that is good at telling peoples’ stories. Even before you start seeing exactly what is going on with everyone, it is dropping hints about what you can expect from Squad E members. The character Potentials are incredibly beneficial. Whether they are telling you hints about what this person is like or how you should use them, they can really help you out.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.