It's implied that up to 1/5th of Gallia's population of 800,000 people are in the military. Selvaria is said to have destroyed the bulk of the Gallian military at Ghirlandaio. Did they really squeeze 150,000 people into that one citadel? With the powerful Valkyrur witch that had just spent the past year jobbing the fuck out of their entire nation? The one who's powers they don't fully understand?
Well, that was only the main part of the active forces. There are a lot more reserves behind usually.
The Gallian military has been fighting a nonstop total war against a superpower with a military disparity not unlike Serbia/Montinegro VS Austria-Hungary or Finland VS USSR, only with the added "bonus" that most of the Gallian military are woefully inept and can't really compete equally with the Imperials (which is in direct contrast to the hypercompetent bit players I mentioned before) with only the units you command really punching anywhere near their weight, much less above it. Couple this with horrifically poor leadership (again, Damon, whose great strategy to counter the Imperial army amounts to Zerg Rush and We Have Reserves, in spite of the fact that they actually DON'T have reserves compared to the Empire but just ACT like they do). While conscription would have offset the losses to some extent, sooner or later you run out of able-bodied people to do so, and thus the Gallian military by any estimate would have been vastly weaker than its peacetime strength by the time of Ghirlandaio and thus requiring far fewer casualties to constitute as having lost the majority of their (remaining) strength. That, and even assuming absolutely no Gallian had been killed since the start of the war, Selvaria wouldn't have had to kill ALL of them, just MOST of them, and 75,000 and up would constitute as doing so. Couple this with the attrition we KNOW they suffered, and Selvaria didn't have to kill nearly that many Gallians in order to destroy the bulk of their military).
Just how does ragnite's energy work, exactly? The intro goes to great lengths to describe it as a limited resource; it's implied to be non-renewable, especially when it gets refined into things like fuel and medicine... but then you gets things like the interior of Barious temple, which is made of rock with ragnite in it, and where the walls have been glowing for thousands of years. That almost sounds like it emits radiation that happens to be in the visible spectrum and has a long half-life. But then there's the Valkyrian armaments, which certain people can extract a lot of energy from all at once, repeatedly and seemingly without depleting it. Does it absorb energy from sunlight, or does being a Valkyria just act as a catalyst to get a reaction that scientists haven't been able to reproduce?
I thought of it more like a uranium that doesn't give cancer from using too much of it. (as it were). Remember, you know who died in what was practically a controlled nuclear explosion.
I think it's more like crude oil, the ore is actually a whole series of different compounds that can be extracted from each other and used for various functions. We hear of Ragnite being used in armour plating and as an explosive, so there's obviously a great deal of variance in the properties of the various forms. We're told the Valkyrur knew how to make some ultra-pure form for use in their energy weapons (presumably, the modern nations don't know how this was achieved); it's possible this is likening it to nuclear material (as above), but yes, we're also told the Valkyrur have the ability to act as some kind of catalyst to the process, which is why only they can use the relic weapons. Science has duplicated this, see Maximilian's artificial Valkyria getup, for example, which presumably is also how the Marmota can fire the Valkof.
Um, didn't this page use to be a good deal longer?
Weird...there's no edit history. It looks like it got deleted or something.
I guess the gigantic honking paragraphs about feminism in the game happened before and were deleted by moderators, maybe? Off the topic, do we have a discussion page for Headscratchers? Because holy crap, reading essays on several different troper's views on feminism until my eyes start blurring lines together bugs the hell outta me.
All that feminism complaint has been removed as the new rule for Headscratchers
The first episode of the anime. Alicia's attitude in particular. Now, I know that part of drawing the events in the game out into 20 minutes meant upping the Tsundere, and I understand that. What I don't understand is when she freaked out upon learning that Isara was a Darcsen. Holding them both at gun-point, one thing. But it looked like she was going to execute them, while they were unarmed and entirely at her mercy. And not a minute afterwards they are exchanging cheerful banter. I loved the game, but that left a bad taste in my mouth.
I didn't think she was planning on executing them. Isara being a Darcsen made her think Welkin had been lying to her, since General Gunther definitely was not a Darcsen, and she pulled out her gun to stop them from doing anything else. I thought it was annoying how long they stretched out something that had been resolved quickly in the game, but it doesn't have any logical inconsistencies in the story of the anime itself.
Not planning on executing them?! Her trigger finger was twitching! The series turned her into an out and out bitch
No logical inconsistencies? It was a non-issue in the game; people already recognize Isara as General Gunther's adopted daughter. I mean, they're a moderately-sized town so people would know her, if not for being a famous guy's adopted daughter, then for being said famous guy's adopted Darcsen daughter. Welkin's been away for a while, which excused Alicia's not recognizing him, but Isara's been at home the whole time.
Also from the anime, the Welkin-Alicia-Faldio love triangle. I can take that something like that could developing, but the fact that the characters were derailed to make it happen rather irks me. Faldio, who's supposed to be a well-regarded commander, casually brings it up in Kloden and put the operation at risk. What the hell was with that?
What really annoys me in the game is the big plot twist near the end. Its revealed in the game that the reason why people are prejudiced against is because of the Darcsen Calamity. The plot twist reveals that the Valkyria caused the Darcsen Calamity instead. So the Valkyria came in, conquered Gallia, put their most loyal Darcsen slaves in charge(the Royal Family), and then just disappeared? I can understand the desire for a plot-twist, but this just seemed like the scripts writers were doing the equivalent of "No u! Lol!".
Well, that was nearly 2000 years ago (1935 years ago, to be exact). I figured the Valkyur ruled for a time, then faded away. 500 years would be a long rule, and still leave more than 1000 years before the start of the game.
If they'd ruled, why did they put Cordelia's family in charge? Why'd they stop at Gallia? With their power, they could've taken the rest of Europa. Too many unanswered questions turn this into a wall-banger for me. It would've been nice if they fleshed that out a bit.
They ruled the whole continent, not just Gallia, the Darcsens put in charge of Gallia were the traitors who sold out thier own kind to the invaders and thus rewarded by them.
That's really not the impression I got. Its a plot point that Gallia's royal family use as a cover story that they are decended from Valkyrur, and thats why Gallia will never fall. If the Valkyrur had ruled all of Europea, wouldn't every nation's royal family be able to make that claim. If you've got a ingame reference that shows they ruled all of Europa, please produce it.
Who said no other royal family also claimed it?
Its not mentioned, which is reasonable since we don't have too much contact with the other nations in Europa. If I have to make any point at all, its that the information provided gives a somewhat disjointed picture of Valkyrur/Darcsen past.
Odds are the writers just didn't know why Europe hated the Jews (long story short they were Scapegoats) so they made up something.
I assumed that the Valkrur's victory over the Darcsens was a Pyrrhic Victory (considering the Calamity required Valkrur to sacrifice themselves). By the time the war was over, there were so few pure-blooded Valkrur left that they eventually died out, leaving the non-Darcsen humans to inherit Europa.
Are the Valkyrur traits appear only in women? It explain why Maximilian had none.
That's implied, but Maximilian wouldn't have any to begin with-the Imperial bloodline doesn't carry any Valkyrian blood.
Unit death is permanent in all battles, including skirmishes and reports. So, what is happening when you have a guy survive one story battle and then get killed off in a report battle that is placed earlier in the chronology? Does his ghost come back briefly for revenge? Do we have a trope for this?
The cutscene directly after Mission 16. Maximillian realizes that Alicia is about kamikaze herself and blow up the Marmota, so he tells his mortars to focus their fire at her. The Mortar crews evidently decide that this would be a perfect time to stop firing. GAH!
Alicia's bakery is ... some kind of derelict truck? Come on, Welkin, you're a war hero and a military officer with a whole stack of medals, you're friends with the Princess of Gallia, and the country has just found itself with like ten thousand fewer people to pay salaries to, and you've probably got some right to the patent on the country's first flying machine; you couldn't even hook her up with a storefront?
Who's to say she doesn't have a standing store too? I mean hell, she can't bake on the street, she has to have an actual oven somewhere. Of course, if Welkin is supporting her, wouldn't that also bug you since it would mean Alicia can't raise her own funds and must rely on a man to subsidize her?
One, it costs a lot to open a business, and two, the militia is volunteer, which means Welkin, being an officer, was probably getting paid; Alicia probably wasn't. Since she was an apprentice baker before the war, and then spent however many months on the front lines, she probably had gone without pay from her probably low-paying job that entire time. Where else would she get the money? Somehow I don't think Welkin is the sort of guy who would marry Alicia and not help her out with start-up funds instead of letting it put them both in debt (being that they're married and all) with loans, but that's probably not giving Gallia's banking system enough credit (though if I were feeling cynical, I might expect him to watch her struggle with it for a few weeks, brush her off when she comes to him in tears for his input, and then step in just before she tears up her certification papers in frustration). And anyway, doesn't she have an oven in the truck? It's got an awful lot of smoke coming out of it if she doesn't.
For what it's worth, the officer's commission could have only gone so far. The militia was also conscripted - everyone in the country had military training courses for that purpose. It's doubtful that Alicia did this without any compensation. And in a recovering post-war economy going through significant political turmoil (as the ads for the second game have been suggesting), it's doubtful the crown would have just handed Welkin a bunch of money just for being a good friend of the princess. Then again, I still have trouble buying the idea of an oven on a truck, so if there was an oven on a truck, then perhaps Welkin is smarter than we're giving him credit for and he built an oven-truck that won't catch fire instead of a storefront. Oh yea, and the patent on the plane would probably belong to the crown since it was made by people in military service.
I know it's just Gameplay and Story Segregation, but if you manage to recruit Knute it's because Welkin's walking around with a shit-ton of ducats on him and he can smell it... maybe that's strictly military treasury? And even if they couldn't drop a bunch of money on him, I'm sure Cordelia could give him storefront property instead of a crate of guns one time. Argh. This really does just bug me.
I think the money in that case is a military budget and not coming out of Welkin's coffers. It's also possible that Alicia and Welkin didn't want to burden Cordelia.
Anyone open to the speculation that she merely using the truck as a selling front? While not exactly the best of ideas (when you need to resupply), it works if your bakery isn't close to a high-traffic area.
If it's just a front, then why put an oven in it? And why would Alicia be manning the truck instead of her own store, if she's got enough employees to do both?
I'll just go with the explanation of the point below and say it's just an advanced ragnite oven. If you're not so open to the strange idea of ragnite being used for cooking, remember that they also use it as fuel and as medicine, so I'm guessing that it's not a stretch to cook with it. And how small can you go in making an oven? I don't know, but I'm not going to spend my time here debating about a truck and an oven.
I am personally going to guess that it is to keep up with the movements of her unit, which a regular store wouldn't be able to do.
I think she just want to created her bakery as a small family business. Knowing Alicia, she probably want to spend a sweet time with Isara jr. and her hubby more than getting headache with big franchise restaurant.
Well, to throw another opinion-log onto the discussion fire, a bakery-mobile would be a solid idea. Considering that with all the speaches towards the end about following dreams, if Alica wanted a storefront, a storefront Alica would have come hell or high water. But having a van that can serve the baking duties (ragnite ovens, whatever) seems like a better idea to a storefront. I mean, it would be cheaper to load up an oven into a van than loading an oven into a store that you would either need to purchase, build or rent. And how many bakeries do you know set up shotp and sell freshly baked buns in the middle of the town centre? She can drive it around, so there's the too and from transportation taken care of, and there is the undeniable benefit of being able to be where bread will be wanted, regardless of local location.
You know what? The idea of an oven in a truck bugs me. Is there really an oven in that truck? I don't think the creators of the game have considered the mechanics behind that...oh right. Lancers. Never mind.
The bakery risks being one-shotted by Lancer attacks from behind.
The Gallian regular military. Why do they suck?
The Worf Effect. They only exist so that they can die to prove what a bad situation we're in. And because they're overseen by General Damon, who is irresponsible, elitist, and basically evil.
To make you look better.
It's also because they had to die, for anvil-dropping reasons; Damon was an ugly glory hound who was happy to endanger Squad 7 in favor of using his own troops and then take credit for their achievements, so he had to die for karma-related reasons. The rest of the main army had to die because if they hadn't, then Faldio would have been right to shoot Alicia because they wouldn't have lived without him making that decision. Killing them all at Ghirlandaiou means that ultimately, Faldio didn't save anyone on the battlefield, and so on he ruined Alicia's life for no reason. Of course, the entire rest of Gallia might not agree, but they're not part of Squad 7 or JewsJapanese Gypsies Darcsens, so they don't count.
Seconded. What the plot does to the army infuriates me. No one in the main party cares about all the people who live because of Faldio's decision. No one seems to care much that the majority of those people probably also died at Ghirlandaio, either. Army or militia, these are still all people who signed up knowing that they might have to risk their lives to save their country from foreign invasion. Surely they had families who mourn for them? And surely there must have been some people who survived Ghirlandaio. Squads that were reassigned once Selvaria was defeated and her army routed? People so injured that they were sent off to whatever facilities Gallia has for dealing with its war-wounded? Hell, Squad Seven itself? Isn't there anyone in Squad Seven who is in the slightest glad that Gallia had its own Valkyria that saved them? We don't get to hear about these possibilities, though, because the writers wanted to get across a bunch of Aesops about how terrible war is and didn't take the time to make sure that the game's messages were consistent throughout. The people in the Imperial army are humans too? Well, one story about that is fine; we don't need to distinguish their designs any. Gallia's military has inept and arrogant leadership? Lets vaporize the whole body; after all, no decent human being would choose to be in such a horrible, violent profession, right? (You can tell this is true by the way most everyone in the militia either retires as soon as possible or gets into training or tech development positions rather than remaining in any positions that would directly see battle.) Anyway, the army's probably mostly Gallian nobility, and surely you can see how awful and bad the nobility are by looking at General Damon and Prime Minister Borg, two examples that I'm sure are fair representatives of an entire class of people. (I'd like to hope that the second game will treat this with any more subtlety—it would damn well be hard to treat it with less—but so far I haven't heard anything that makes me give it the benefit of the doubt.)
The Manga at least had the decency to give the impression that the main personality of the Army was that they were cocky assholes who considers any non-army victory a battle that probably wasn't that hard anyway. Not that is an excuse or anything, of course, but in the game we have just General Damon being General Damon and one soldier striking a surrendered, unarmed prisoner (You know who I'm talking about).
The whole "one soldier striking a surrendered, unarmed prisoner is meant to show they're bad guys" thing is definitely a symptom of the problem the game has with the Gallian military and the really screwed up Protagonist-Centered Morality the game has as a whole. Selvaria was responsible for wiping out countless Gallian soldiers with no remorse, and just because she had her hands in the air, they had no reason to think she didn't have another ace up her sleeve or that it wasn't a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, which, as it turned out, it was. Especially considering the hugely Karmic deaths the rest of the Imperial generals got, a pistol-whipping and a few minutes of being stuck in a room with a gloating General Damon is really the least of the comeuppance she deserved (although, being trapped in a room with General Damon could probably be considered a war crime in and of itself. He looks like he smells like corn chips and I bet he spits when he talks.)
It happens all the time with famous "cameos", better to stuff them in a fridge then put them on a bus apparently.
How did I realize Elle was the narrator the first time she appeared in-game? I had originally assumed it was stated in the opening and I'd just paid closer attention than most... but I went back and she was writing under a different name, so I'm now totally confused how I immediately realized that — her in-game voice and narrator voice aren't really similar, either. I'm really confused and kind of scared. Am I actually psychic?
It's not really that far-fetched - I guessed it as soon as I met Ellet, and wasn't surprised when I was right. Sure they try to mislead you with the names and the voice, but who else could that have been?
Well, IIRC, she got married after the war, which is where the name change could have come from. The different voice could have been because she was writing the book years after the war ended, and her voice aged accordingly.
Yet another question that has been bugging me. Isara's death was kind of a Tear Jerker for me. Beautiful scene and all, very powerful stuff. One question yet remains, though: why didn't anybody do something? I understand they were busy fighting an Imperial ambush but even when the fight ended they still had more than enough time to cry over her. Why didn't they use that time to apply some ragnaid? Or just call the freaking medic? That blondie already proved that she can run like the wind and dodge bullets in order to safely evacuate people who got crushed by tanks. Why did Isara have to die because of a single bullet?...
Yea, beats me. I understand the need to have a perma-death and all, but it would have made more sense if they'd given a plot reason why Isara was permanently dead. At least shown they couldn't resucitate her in time - the game DOES have a perma-death mechanic, but the cutscene didn't show anything that would have indicated that.
It's the same reason nobody could use a Phoenix Down on Aeris, only with even less flimsy reasoning.
Does emperor Maximilian have some kind of weird, racist Darcsen fetish? I mean, it seems like most Gallians won't touch a Darcsen with the end of a long stick, and the implication is that the Empire is far more racist than them... Yet when he tries to force Cordelia to marry him, and she shows him that she is actually a Darcsen, he isn't disgusted, he is pleased! Is that some kind of secret perversion of him or something? Do they consider it one in Europa?
he probably appreciates the irony, and he is less racist than most of the good guys
It's a strange concept but it is possible for someone to marry a woman from a race they hate. H.P. Lovecraft married a Jew and he still yelled anti-Semitic slurs in public.
Is Selvaria an albino? I assume she isn't, because she can aim at faraway things and can spend time in the sun without burning, but if she isn't, why the white hair-red eyes? Valkyries apparently get those features when they are in an "active", blue flame state, but she has them all the time(and Alicia, well, doesn't). Anything I missed?
We REALLY don't know why, but I'm personally wagering that a LOT of it has to do with her prolonged experience from Imperial research and training in her abilities.
Anime bugs, quite a list too. 1) HE'S CLEARLY SKETCHING FISH, AND HE'S NOT ARMED. I don't care how paranoid you are, if a man saves you from the enemy multiple times, he's probably not a spy! 2) The town watch. Oh dear sweet Lord, the stupid town watch. Granted, they're civilians, so mistakes were probably inevitable. So why did the Militia man go out in a suicide attack in a tank that wasn't even fit as scrap metal! 3) I'm pretty sure not even modern tanks have the turning radius of ol' Edleweiss, what the hell was that!
As of the first two, I completely agree. But for the Edelweiss bit... it kinda makes sense. The Edelweiss has whopping 800ps engine(equivalent to 2nd gen MB Ts like M60 Patton), and only weighs 32t, about half the weight of M 1 A 2 Abrams.So, no wonder Edelweiss runs like a sports car. Oh... and yes, modern tanks are very maneuverable. Just check some Youtube videos such as this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx7KxNMHwHs&feature=related.
Fair enough, point concedeed on the maneuverability.
The suspicion of Welkin at the beginning isn't (quite) as bizarre as you would think, as the process of hiding classified drawings in larger, more benign sketches is a long and practiced art in real-world spycraft. For instance, Baden-Powell (yes, the guy who helped found the boyscouts) spent several months prior to WWI undercover as an over-the-top anthropologist trying to research butterflies in order to examine Austro-Hungarian fortifications in the Balkans. Doesn't justify the later stupidity, but it might also help that she might think the Imperials ALSO think "mistakenly" that he is a Gallian, and thus are shooting at him because they don't recognize him as one of their spies, and thus he is sticking close to her for mutual protection until he can arraigne his defection. Very, VERY contrived? Yes, but stranger things have happened. The town watch trying to attack the Imperial tank were probably desperate and not thinking straight (they ARE civilians with a minimum of actual military training from how-far-back, and thus they can't be expected to do things perfectly), and they probably figured that they had more-or-less even odds or that they at least might be able to disable it or otherwise make it vulnerable for somebody to come out of hiding and get on top so they can drop one down the hatch. Again, not smart, but not completely idiotic. As for the Edelweiss, there ARE some old tanks that do turn better than our modern ones (the old interbellum and early WWII light/medium tanks are pretty good examples due to their traditionally overpowered engines), and so the Edelweiss isn't a very typical example of the time, but it isn't that unbelievable either.
Darcsens have black or purplish hair, and a racial slur for them is "dark hair". But there are several characters, like Jane or Nils, who have black or purplish hair but aren't Darcsen. It's a little confusing sometimes.
Should be noted that "dark hair" as a slur only exists in the English dub. The Japanese audio simply refers to them as Darcsens.
All in all, the parallel world in which the VC games occur is pretty similar, in many ways, to our own world during the 1930-1940's. The main technological difference is that everything uses ragnite instead of oil. Why no aircraft, then, though? Are there no birds in this world for people to look at and want to fly like? Or is there some quality of ragnite that makes it impossible to use in the creation of planes or airships? Also, why do the people of this world still use swords and hammers in actual warfare? In game mechanics terms they are useful weapons, but why? What makes them so efficient in this world? Do they use some kind of special ragnite based forging techniques or something?
No real idea about aircraft. You could say that because Gallia is so small it's technologically inferior and would have the capacity to produce aircraft in any real capacity...but the lack of Imperial aircraft kind of shoots that down. As for the use of swords and other melee weapons, it depends how lazy you want to be with an answer. The obvious one is that it's, like you said, just a gameplay mechanic, like HP and other stats. Or, you could go the exact opposite route. The reason why guns are so inaccurate and short range and why it takes about 5 headshots to kill a soldier isn't due to gameplay but because guns don't work nearly as well as they do in the real world. Using a sword and shield is a pretty dumb choice if a gun is able to easily pierce your armor and deal death at a distance, but if you know that your gun might take two dozen bullets to take down that lancer, it makes a certain amount of sense to just run up and hack him to death. Or, if that seems like it's reaching a bit too much, you could just chalk it up to the fact that the military leaders on both sides of the conflict are kinda, sorta, really idiotic, so to them, giving some guy a hammer and telling him to attack that tank might really just seem like a good idea.
Are we really supposed to sympathize with the Imperial soldiers? I mean, the only really humanizing moments for them are during chapter 8 and the downloadable missions where you play as Selvaria's squad (and no, I'm not counting Jaeger and Selvaria there, because they're main characters and have actual importance to the plot). The rest of the time, they fire on civilians and run concentration camps. I understand that not all the Imperial soldiers act this way, but almost all the ones with lines do. It seems like a bit of a Broken Aesop when you try to humanize the enemy, then go right back to showing what complete assholes they all are.
Valkyria Chronicles was built on several Aesops that end up contradicting each other because all the parallels they try to draw aren't consistent with the lessons they try to teach. We're supposed to sympathize with the Imperial soldiers, but they're Nazi analogues and most act like it. We're supposed to think Faldio was wrong for resorting to Valkyria powers, but we're not given an alternative for what he should have done instead, and explicitly told the war would have been lost without Alicia's intervention. We're supposed to think the Valkyria and their powers are evil because they represent WMD's, but that means we're vilifying an entire race of Action Girls at the same time we're being told that racism is wrong. We're supposed to sympathize with the Darcsens because they're a parallel to the Jews in WWII, but they're drawn to look Japanese and their primary representative, Isara, is Too Good for This Sinful Earth and one short haircut away from a Yamato Nadeshiko. We're supposed to believe that Valkyria powers will always have disastrous consequences as an analogue to nuclear disasters and the consequences of using WMD's, but Selvaria and Alicia have free will and ultimately live according to their own decisions and not the push of some big red button. It's a very good video game, but it rains anvils in Europa, it's inevitable that most of the Aesops get crushed.
That's because a bunch of contradicting aesops are a pretty good way to look at reality too. Most Germans/Nazis were ordinary people with families, highs and lows but they also committed terrible atrocities. It's been a wonder of the human condition that a man can kill hundreds of other people as rats and then go home and give a chocolate bar to their daughter and check on their dear old neighbour. The game was in a way trying to get across that. Gregor was imperialistic and racist but he loved his men and thought of them as family, and was willing to spare the lives of his enemies because they extended basic courtesies to a dead soldier. Even Maximillian was loyal to those around him and genuinely cared for Selvaria. I guess the game told them as though they were aesops, but they were clearly meant to have the affect of, people are just people ya know.
Uhh, that was not Gregor. That was a nameless imperial officer. Gregor was in Fouzen the whole time. Maximillian also didn't care for Selvaria as anything but a weapon.
Real life doesn't have Aesops.
Something that's been bothering me for awhile now. Alicia and Selvaria are Valkyria and Valkyria have the power to channel ragnite energy, and everybody is scared of Valkyria powers because... they're bad, because people are assholes who will exploit them, so it's the responsibility of Valkyria to not exist if they don't want to get exploited. Okeydokey, works for Alicia, apparently. But if they do have the power to channel ragnite energy, and Europa uses ragnite for everything because it's a naturally-occuring element/mineral, why can't Alicia and Selvaria do things like sap the energy out of tanks or Ragnaid caps, or even use Ragnaid caps as extra grenades? If the lances are made of high-density ragnite and the Valkyria channeled the energy in them, why don't they deteriorate or run out of usual energy when they fire the lasers? And if ragnite really is some kind of mineral, what happens to the ragnite energy discharged by the Valkyria? Alicia might have been able to stop the Marmotah just by laying hands on it. There's a lot of worry about how Valkyria are basically victims waiting to be confiscated by greedy, power-hungry overlords/slaves to the worshipful expectations of peons, but ragnite is the fuel that Europan society runs on— shouldn't Valkyria have more widely varied powers?
So this game is supposed to take place in a world that parallels WWII and 40's-era technology (minus aircraft, evidently), but girls' militia uniforms have bare midriffs, thigh stockings, and short skirts in varying combinations... but as far as I can tell, that only applies to shocktroopers and scouts, the units most likely to see direct combat. The short skirts and thigh stockings are an incredibly popular quasi-fetishy character design trope right now, but seriously, only the shocktroopers and scouts? Why is it that they need to dress essentially like schoolgirls with guns, but not the female lancers, or female engineers, or female snipers?
You probably should ask the creators. They were partially inspired by WWII stuff, but then again they did work with Sakura Wars before.
Rule of cool/sexy?
Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why do Karl and Faldio have the same last name? Are they related? Is it a coincidence? If so....why? This drives me nuts in an Empty Room Psych kind of way.
I don't think that'll be addressed for a while.
I think it's well established that tanks have that ragnite radiator that you can shoot For Massive Damage. Now, I could understand that driving a missile into the engine is perfectly capable of blowing it up, but why can shooting it up with a machine gun get the same effect?
For that matter, you're telling me that of all the engineers and tank operators in the world, only one (Jaeger) actually thought to cover that radiator up and even then, not immediately? You're telling me that Theimer and General Gunther were able to build the Edelweiss as an otherwise state-of-the-art tank, but left that radiator exposed and left the tank vulnerable to one-shooting? And that neither Welkin, Isara, Zaka, the entire R&D research facility, nor anyone else who has repeatedly shot enemy tanks in said radiator, had the idea to cover up the Edelweiss's or Shamrock's radiator? Overheating or not, tanks shouldn't be able to be destroyed by a machine gun clip to the engine! They're even exposed on the Marmota, which makes one wonder why, instead of mines, the Gallians didn't just shoot it there! At least on the Batomys, they were partially hidden. I'm guessing Jaeger, the tank genius he was, designed that thing. Because apparently no one else has that foresight.
My guess is that there are engineering problems that haven't been overcome yet. Since they presumably radiate heat (thus the name radiators), then it would make sense that covering them would interfere with that. Apparently only a few Imperial engineers have come up with a way to cover the radiator and still have it function properly, and it's not yet in mass production for line tanks for whatever reason. Probably the Marmota and the Lupus represented prototypes of the new tech. The sequel does mention that Gallia is lagging behind in the technology arms race, so it makes sense that the Empire invented it first. It would also explain why the Edelweiss doesn't have it - it's an old tank and predates the new technology.
Plus Ragnite-powered engines may not necessarily run the same way standard combustion engines do. It's been shown that ragnite is EXTREMELY volatile, since just shooting barrels of the stuff is enough to destroy a tank if its close enough. It's not unlikely that a high caliber bullet can punch through the weak rear armor and set off a fuel line.
An in-universe support of both of the above lies with Jaeger's tank. He can armour plate it to great effect, elimiating the weak spot and making the tank a severe drain on resources to take down compared to pretty much any other tank. The issue, of course, is that since it is bloking the radiator, it will overheat rather rapidly, so he has to remain in close proximity to outside coolant to prevent an engine blowout. That ties the tank to a camp, which is great for defence, but you are essentially setting up a bunker, since chasing down the enemy or pushing for new positions would be unviable.
The 'verse's Gallia-centric nature, and its' treatment of the AF: the canon's been fairly good at showing that the problems of the universe (racism, authoritarianism, etc) are pretty down-to-earth, and can only be truly solved in a gradual, almost glacial way. The existence of the GRA in the sequel shows that much. But things are improving. And we can accept that much. Except..... there's a massive, 50,0000+ ton elephant in the room that shows absolutely no sign of going away anytime soon. The Autocratic East Europan Imperial Alliance. The Empire has already fought three wars with Gallia (E Ws I and II and the Gallian war of independence) and from Helmut's epilogue it has shown no signs of changing. And it is clearly *WELL* outside of Gallian capability to defeat in a lasting manner (take a look at the respective sizes: the tiny blue dot up against the big Red colossus). Which'll only lead it to try again. And again. Which means that there can be no entirely lasting closure, regardless of the numerous improvements in Gallia itself (development, recovery, the downfall of the GRA, etc). And yet... nobody ingame or in the meta apparently seems to be troubled by this fact. No major qualms with the inherently negative (literally being the source or at least exemplar mof most of the 'verse's thematic ills: totalitarianism, militarism, racism, moral perversion (at least regarding Valk powers and human rights), etc.) Why is nobody interested in addressing that?
It could just be that it's a pointless question to address for the characters. It probably goes without saying that every single character is well aware that it is utterly impossible for them to ever really defeat the Empire, but they have more pressing matters to attend to. Of course, they never have to actually beat the Empire anyway. Even though the story is centered on Gallia, it's clear that it's just a sideshow in the larger war. As long as the Empire is at war with the Federation, they can never really throw more than a token force against Gallia, and dialogue between Avan and Zeri in the sequel implies that if hostilities with the Federation ever really ceased, there's a good chance that the Empire would fracture back into separate countries again. Or, if you want a cop out answer, you can just say that they've learned to live with the fact that as a tiny country they're at the mercy of international superpowers.
Well, going by the events and ideology of the first game, nobody's worried about the Alliance because everyone who's not the Empire are morons. The big scary plan to run Gallia into the ground was to kidnap their princess. At least Maximillian was smart enough to invade and marry her, which is in itself kind of a dumb plan, because even political marriages aren't a game of tag. "Aha! Got the ring on, you're mine now! Hear that everyone, conflict is over, I won, and now I'm Super Emperor. Nyeh!" Gallia isn't worried about anybody but the Empire because the Valkyria Chronicles universe doesn't run on cause and effect, it runs on fairy tale logic and Protagonist-Centered Morality. Gallia will always fight the Empire, and Gallia will always win because Gallia is the best, end of story.
Captain Varrots rank. I know she's just militia and not the actual army, but she has command of multiple squads of men and seems to take her orders directly from the General. Ranks must be pretty squished for the rest of the militia too.
The militia tends to get assigned to the worst suicide missions. Chances are the reason Varrot takes orders from the general as a captain is because everyone who ought to be between her and him is dead.
I don't know how I managed to miss this before: The Gallian royal palace takes up, like, one third of their capital city, when viewed from afar. Either their capital is ridiculously tiny (as in, small town sized, barely even worthy of being called a "city") or their palace is massive, as in "How the hell do they maintain such a titanic structure so well? It must take like a thousand people working constantly just to keep it clean".
Why does everybody think Maximillian thought of Selvaria as only a weapon? Selvaria explicitly says to him in Chapter thirteen, "Your Grace took me from that place, raised me to be a human before a Valkyria". Sure, her story is tragic, but it seems to me he thought of her as a soldier, not a weapon, and that Selvaria was probably much less human in behavior before Maximillian got her out. Being a conquering Emperor, ordering her to blow herself up and destroy the main army wasn't just casually discarding her, he was making a sound tactical decision that they both agreed with; if Squad 7 didn't have Plot Armor, he'd have had Gallia in the bag. Sure, it was cruel, considering he knew she loved him, but even if the reasoning behind it was severely screwed up (let's remember that Max isn't exactly well-adjusted either), Max was conquering Gallia for the ragnite, which (IIRC) was getting scarce in his own land and had no apparent alternatives. Maybe it's just my other frustrations with the game talking, but asshole or not, I can't help being a little pleased with Max for not placing the life of a single person over the needs of the nation under his rule.
Their relationship may of started out as something different, but by the events of the game, Maximillian is clearly obsessed with the powers of the Valkyria, also, Maxi-boy wasn't doing it for his nation, but for himself, the conquest of Galia was for his ego, yes, I think Maximillian did care for Selvaria, but by the time he ordered her to sacrifice herself, he no longer saw her a person.
Why do some people insist that the Darcsens are stand-ins for the Japanese? If a Japanese company wants to make a stand-in race for Japan, they'll make it more obvious. I feel like the reason they created Shin Hyuga was to drive the point home that the Darcsens are not meant to represent the Japanese.
They did, but that was in response to all the negative criticism about that particular interpretation, which (at least as of the first game) is totally valid: they're a homogenized race of people with a distinctly different culture from the rest of Europa, two, they're characterized by dark (usually pin-straight) hair and eyes (though eye color gets less focus than hair color) and the art style lends them to look noticeably Asian (Nadine even has almond-shaped eyes and is probably the most easily-cited example), three, their most prominent member (in the first game, anyway) is a Yamato Nadeshiko, who dies because she's Too Good for This Sinful Earth, and four they make "good luck dolls" in the shape of girls to give as gifts (basically a hina doll, only given to the person they're for instead of being enshrined), on top of the fact that all of Europa is apparently animist (the Feast of All Spirits) and not monotheistic.
The big one, though: there is no Japanese Expy country when there should be. Valkyria Chronicles is a World War II pastiche and there are varying interpretations of who's sitting in which Expy chair. The Empire is definitely Putting on the Reich and Gallia could be equally seen as France or Belgium or any of other countries, likewise the Federation, but Japan is very conspicuously missing. Add to this the tendency for Japan to quietly revise or ignore its role in WWII in its fiction, and it's an extremely easy parallel to draw. Shin Hyuga is the video game equivalent to an Author's Saving Throw, and probably exists to be so Japanese that no one would ever accuse the Darcsen of being Japanese ever again; you may note that later artwork (particularly in the anime) makes the average Darcsen look much closer to European Jews, too. Keep in mind, though: Shin Hyuga is emblematic of Feudal Japan, some few hundred years behind the rest of the world, despite the fact that he's from "Some country in the Far East", implying it hasn't even been discovered by Western culture yet and removes the fictional implication of Japan being involved in the war at all. Shin Hyuga is the obvious product of furious Olympic-class backpedaling, whether the implication of Japanese Darcsen was intended or not.
In response to the above two statements, I have several problems:
"they're a homogenized race of people with a distinctly different culture from the rest of Europa." So, like real-life Europe?
Real-life Europe is hardly homogenized, but that's not relevant here. The Darcsens are the only distinct race in VC aside from the Valkyria themselves (who don't seem to have an ethnotype that isn't.. irradiated? I guess?) but they do have an ethnotype, a distinct cultural dress, and customs, and social isolation that set them apart from the rest of the game's people who are all wildly different. While that does apply to a Jewish racial equivalent, it also fits the Japanese. That's why it's an implication, and not obviously intended.
Dark hair and dark eyes aren't just exclusive to East Asians. Aren't these features common in Basque people too? Plus, Nadine is only one out of how many Darcsens, Varrot has similarly shaped eyes and we know she isn't supposed to be East Asian. Also needed to point out that the Darcsens were originally going to be some kind of beastmen but I guess the guys behind the game thought furries would be too out of place.
I'd argue that Varrot looks as Asian as any Darcsen, but again: this is all implication, not directly stated. They definitely look closer to an Asian ethnotype than a Jewish one, at least, mainly because of the art style, but let's not split hairs over which cultures do and don't commonly have dark hair and dark eyes, both are seen all over the world (and all across VC), but the Darcsens are the only people that make a big deal out of it, and they all have smooth, mostly black-to-Anime-blue-for-black hair and eyes that don't often get applied to anyone but Asian characters, particularly multiethnic casts, in anime/manga/JRPGs and the like. Out of the first-game Darcsen, I think Zaka has the thickest, coarsest hair, and he's got J-rocker spikes and not the majestic Jewfro.
It's quite known that Japan will give characters Japanese traits even if they aren't Japanese, so what's stopping them here? I could even argue that Selvaria is an even bigger Yamato Nadeshiko.
I'm sorry, I have to disagree with you there, unless by "bigger" you mean those F-cups Selvaria's lugging around. Remember, we're talking visuals, not just personality: they're both stoic and they're both unshakably dedicated to their loved ones, but Isara has the characteristic "meek and modestly pretty with a touch of iron" of a YN, where Selvaria is inhumanly gorgeous and metal as a Mastodon album. It's apples and oranges. Or possibly apples and watermelons.
I don't have much evidence against the good luck dolls since every page I go to links back to Japanese dolls, except they don't exactly function as Hina dolls (as Hina dolls absorb bad luck as oppose to giving good luck). I would probably just chalk this up to "using what they're familiar with".
And what they're familiar with is Japanese. Not being argumentative, I'm just pointing this out specifically because it bolsters the unintended implication: if you write what you know and what you know is Japanese, then the end product is going to look Japanese. That can pretty much be applied to the entire view of Darcsen = Japanese and not Jews. There are Christmas decorations in Japan that put Santa Claus on a cross and show eight reindeer attending the birth of Christ in the manger; it'd probably not be fair to expect a racially-sensitive depiction of Jewish culture without taking a few steps to the side, they just decided to take a few steps to the side that brought them closer to home.
Europan being Animistic? There's not enough to go by to know what kind of religion they practice. Closest we got is to Nordic Paganism and "Feast of Spirits" sounds like something the Celtics would do. I would go on pointing to Greco-Roman religion, but you said Animistic and not Polytheistic.
I meant Animistic specifically because the Feast of Spirits refers to inviting the land spirits to return and blessing the earth, or something like that, which definitely sounds more Shinto to me than anything Western; this may be a lapse in my Nordic Pagan Studies knowledge, but I don't know of any holidays centering around appeasing land or sea spirits that weren't part of a pantheon of Norse gods. If the Darcsen people were a closer Expy of Jews than Japanese, they'd probably have a notably different religion, rather than everybody celebrating a functionally animist holiday. I don't know if there are any others, it's the only one I can remember right off.
True that there's no Japanese expy, but then again where's Russia, Britain, Italy, China and America? I would also say that both EWI and EWII are probably representations of WWI rather than WWII (no airplanes, people are still using swords, etc) and during WWI, Japan did have a minimal role.
Exactly which war it's supposed to be tends to get muddied up in the specifics; there's no aircraft and people still carry swords, but Not!Nazi Germany is occupying Not!Belgium Austria France and putting Japana Jews in forced labor camps, and they're fighting over the magical green rocks that can light your house, blow up your tank, cool your tank, heal your wounds, and light your girlfriend on fire. Even so, the countries you listed could very easily fall under (and I think they do, on the VC maps) the Empire and the Federation without needing to be named specifically, except America, which wouldn't have been in that theater of war in any case (I don't think, anyway, I could be wrong). Japan's not even part of the world in VC. Again, it's valid, but it's conspicuous.
The fact that Shin Hyuga is biracial suggests that Japan-Expy country is known to Europa but is otherwise irrelevant towards the EWII war. Speaking of which, we mostly know about the stuff related to Gallia and nowhere else. We barely know anything about any of the Federation countries.
Is he biracial? I honestly don't remember. But Shin is kind of a unique case, because they don't even name the Japan-expy he comes from. I'm about half-sure that everybody else, if their place of birth is mentioned, is either Gallia or somewhere else in either the Empire or the Federation, or just "a town somewhere" assumed to be in one of the two. Shin's just from "somewhere in the far east" but is obviously, obviously, Feudal Japanese.
That's all I got. Please note that I'm not suggesting that Japan wouldn't sugarcoat their history or role in their works (I'm looking at you, Code Geass) but I think the whole Japanese/Darcsens thing was an overblown reaction to looking for propaganda that isn't even there. As I said, I felt Hyuga's inclusion was because the designers were rolling their eyes at the accusations and it's probably not going to stop until a Showa-expy nation appears in the series. The points you two made might sound suspicious but at the same time, I feel the connections are a little too out there.
That's what makes it an implication, though; even if it wasn't specifically intended, the window dressing was just one too many red flags. If they just looked Asian because of the art style, or if there was a previously-existing Japan with obvious Japanese people from the beginning, or if Isara had been less of a Yamato Nadeshiko to garner sympathy with Japanese players for the Player Punch, or if Japan didn't have a reputation for aggrandizing itself in a lovely rainbow of ways, probably nobody would have said anything. Creating a fictional alternate history and then recasting the Japanese as a victimized (but ultimately blameless, because VC has a big thematic hang-up about guilt and blame) race isn't something a lot of people would put past a Japanese creative team. In any case, it's an interpretation; personally, I think the fact that people can draw or not draw that kind of conclusion, and still argue about it like literary criticism, is a great example of how far video games have come as an artistic medium. I say bring on the Unfortunate Implications and differing interpretations, it gives us stuff to talk about.
Isara Gunther's death. Preforming maintenance in the one part of the base open completely to sniper fire ? There were at least 4 tanks in that fight, are you telling me that base didn't have an area for maintenance or storage? No look outs either? The actual death I'm fine with, but the cutscene it was done in was terrible. It's so simple to make it make sense, just have Rosie's talk with Isara bring her outside. It makes Welkin look REALLY incompetent.