In Valkyria Chronicles 4, people have an opportunity to get to know their Squad E allies a little better. As character work together on missions and move up the ranks through regular use, Squad Stories will eventually unlock. These give you a side story starring these specific characters, sometimes only these folks, as they resolve an issue and tackle a map. Once its done, everyone involved’s Potentials improve and they generally become more useful.
First, you may wonder when you finally start to get to see these Squad Stories. They aren’t unlocked at the outset of the game. In order to get them, you need to use people together. For example, they unlocked for me when I finished the fourth chapter of Valkyria Chronicles 4‘s first Battle of Siegval. Treading New Ground unlocked. This is a Squad Story specifically starring Aulard and Dan, though Miles makes quite a showing too, and is one of the easier ones to get since it only involves two people. You could also say it serves as an introduction to the formula, helping you learn how these play out. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I am not going to go too much into what happens with these tales, but this first segment with Aulard, Dan, and Miles and the Like Old Times segment with Curtis, Eileen, and Laurent both do a good job of setting expectations and helping you see how enlightening and beneficial these can be.
In the case of Aulard and Dan, we have a learning situation. Aulard is always an overenthusiastic character, as we can tell from his initial Potentials. However, his overexuberance gets him into trouble and the fascination with tanks even has him initially benched for the Treading New Ground mission. He ends up getting to go, and the time spent maintaining the Hafen makes him realize how much he prefers working on tanks to the possibility of one day driving them. It also gives him a greater appreciation for Dan and his decision to become an APC driver, rather than keep driving tanks. Dan develops the Protector Potential after the mission, which brings a major defense increase when he is carrying people. More importantly, Aulard’s detrimental Fix Fixation, which would decrease his AP whenever he would fix a tank, transforms into The Joy of Tanks, which makes his repairs more effective and lets him take a second action after repairing a vehicle.
The Like Old Times quest is an even better example of what Valkyria Chronicles 4 Squad Stories can be like. Aside from the initial one, they involve three people. This one brings together Curtis, his little sister Eileen, and Laurent, Curtis’ best friend who grew up in the same town as the two of them. This storyline starts with the three preparing for a mission all will be on the next day. We see that Curtis has social anxiety, which means he has trouble talking with people who aren’t Eileen or Laurent. Laurent has a very black-and-white mindset, believing all people from the Empire are evil. Eileen feels like she just has to be the reliable one now, because Curtis went to the trouble of saving her when they were kids.
The Squad Story mission the three of them go on forces each of them to confront parts of themselves that make them weaker. Eileen has to deal with her insecurities, Laurent is faced with Empire soldiers firsthand, and Curtis really has to step it up. The result is a satisfying bit of story that shows how each develops, and a lot of much-improved Potentials. Curtis’ Overbearing Sister initially drops his accuracy when Eileen is around, and it turns into the Thoughtful Brother that boosts his accuracy, attack, and defense when Eileen is near. Eileen’s Unreliable Brother, which decreased her evasion when Curtis was also there, becomes Proud Sister, which makes her evasion much higher when he is around. Finally, Laurent’s accuracy-decreasing Empire Hater goes away and is replaced by the accuracy and evasion-raising Seeking Justice. Immediately, all three become more viable.
This means that people who might not normally be used can suddenly become a lot more useful. It means you might find yourself bringing people you might have ignored into battle. Valkyria Chronicles 4 Squad Stories are good about making you care about people and invest in them. Like say you go in, thinking Lily’s “curse” is too detrimental to make her useful. But, if you take the time to make sure she deploys with Jimmy and Odin and sees a lot of action with them, you might eventually discover she could be a bit more viable.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.