Valkyrie Profile is a JRPG based on Norse mythology, featuring a female protagonist.
Violence: Mild fantasy violence only. Many characters die, but in a mythical sense; they are gods, or they are “brought back” later on.
Sexual Content: Nothing explicit, though some characters make sexually motivated comments.
Strong Language: Some.
Substance Use: Alcohol is at least mentioned.
Nudity and Costuming: Some characters have mildly revealing clothing, but there is no nudity.
Lenneth Valkyrie is the protagonist of Valkyrie Profile. The Norse gods Freya and Odin task her with recruiting Einherjar for the coming Ragnarok (an apocalyptic battle in Norse myth). Einherjar can be created only when a hero dies, so Lenneth’s quest involves seeking those who are killed in heroic sacrifice and sending them to Valhalla to be judged by Freya and Odin. Those who are deemed unacceptable remain at Lenneth’s side.
One of the heroes Lenneth encounters remembers her as Platina, a different woman, and one he had been in love with before her death. It is revealed that Valkyries can die a human death, and upon doing so, return to Valhalla to have their memories ereased. Lenneth was, indeed, Platina. Her former lover—Lucian—insists on breaking the rules in order to see her and is killed as a result.
In the end, Lenneth must face the evil Loki. She is overpowered, but her compassion and love for Lucian combine to make her into something more than a Valkyrie; Lenneth becomes the Lord of Creation in the slain Odin’s place.
In the newest iteration of the game, Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, the story follows Wylfred, whose father was taken by Lenneth earlier on to join the ranks of the Einherjar. Wylfred’s father’s death leaves his family destitute and his sister Elsie insane. Wylfred blames their hardships on Lenneth, swearing vengeance.
Wylfred’s plan is to become an Einherjar himself so that he may reach Valhalla and kill Lenneth. However, after falling on the battlefield, he is contacted by the Queen of Niflheim (the Norse underworld), Hel. He makes a deal with her, and inadvertently murders his best friend because of it. The “Destiny Plume” is the instrument of this murder. Wylfred must later choose between three sides; the rebels, the suppression force, or the mercenaries. Each path will end in failure, and the story diverts based on how many times Wyfred has used the Destiny Plume.
If the worst path is chosen, Wylfred’s quest will end in the Valkyrie’s death, but Wylfred will be sentenced to an eternity in Nifleheim with Hel. On the normal path, Wylfred defeats the Valkyrie, but his father intervenes and takes Wylfred’s place in Niflheim. Wylfred will be left to contemplate his sins. On the best path, Wylfred will be joined by his best friend one last time as the Valkyrie has allowed him to return to his side. After they defeat their enemies, Wylfred’s friend forgives him and gives him a message from his father—”fix Elsie’s music box.” After doing so, Elsie regains her sanity, and Wylfred’s family, though broken, sees its happy ending.
Valkyrie Profile’s themes include the power of human emotional connection, duty, and mythology.
- Do you think this game is an accurate representation of Norse myth? Has it inspired you to learn more?
- What are some benefits of taking a well-known mythology and adapting it to modern storytelling? What are some negatives?
- What is the definition of a “heroic death,” in your opinion?