Video Game: Valis

A series of anime-style platform games by Telenet Japan:

  • Mugen Senshi (The Fantasm Soldier) Valis
    • PC-88, MSX, PC-98, X1, FM77AV versions developed by Wolf Team (198687) note 
    • Famicom version (1987) — Though published by Tokuma Shoten, this was Telenet Japan's first failed attempt at console game development; the promotional video made by Sunrise for this version was the closest thing ever produced to a Valis anime.
    • Mega Drive version developed by Riot (1990), released in the U.S. by Renovation Products
    • PC Engine Super CD-ROM version developed by Riot (1992)
  • Mugen Senshi (The Fantasm Soldier) Valis II
    • PC-88, MSX2, PC-98, Sharp X68000 versions developed by Renovation Game (1989)
    • PC Engine CD-ROM version developed by Laser Soft (1989) and released in the U.S. by NEC
    • Mega Drive version titled SD Valis developed by ISC note  (1992) and released in the U.S. by Renovation Products as Syd of Valis — Features Super-Deformed graphics.
  • Valis III
    • Mega Drive version developed by Renovation Game (1990) and released in the U.S. by Renovation Products
    • PC Engine CD-ROM version developed by Laser Soft (1990) and released in the U.S. by NEC
  • Valis IV
    • PC Engine CD-ROM version developed by Laser Soft (1991)
    • Super Famicom version titled Super Valis: Akaki Tsuki no Otome developed by Laser Soft (1992) and released in the U.S. by Atlus as Super Valis IV

In the first game, we are introduced to the main character, Yuko Ahso. She was an Ordinary High-School Student, who had just gotten into a fight with her best friend, Reiko one day, when the armies of the Dark World invaded Earth and Dreamland, the three of which are parallel to each other. Upon discovering this, she was given the Valis sword by Valia, Queen of Dreamland, and told of her heroic destiny. As The Chosen One, Yuko must save Dreamland and Earth from the forces of evil. Reiko, unfortunately, has fallen in love with Rogles, who is head of the DarkWorld army, and so she also opposes Yuko in her quest.

Stretched out over four games, the series traces Yuko's adventures and tribulations, gradually gaining some depth but ultimately unable to escape the criticism for existing merely for the purpose of showing "hot anime chicks in bikinis and schoolgirl outfits destroying things."

A word of caution before you get into this series: As Telenet went out of business (the entire Telenet catalog is now owned by Sunsoft), they licensed the rights to this series to another company that has turned it into a hentai production called "Valis X". Beware of this if you don't want to get into Not Safe for Work content.

Not to be confused with the semi-autobiographical novel by Philip K Dick, which you can find here.

Valis provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Every game except the 4th one has one of these. Yuko mourns Reiko after killing her in the 1st game, and the Big Bads of the 2nd and 3rd games each using their dying words to explain their sympathetic motives to Yuko after she defeats them. All the bad guys in the 4th game are Card Carrying Villains, and are sliced and diced with impunity.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final battles in Valis II and Valis III both take place IN SPACE for no apparent reason.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Both versions of Valis III. Also, though not as bad, The fourth game, compared to this.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Valis sword and its counterpart, Leethus, which belongs to Glames, King of the Dark World.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Happens to Yuko Ahso at the end of the third game. She becomes the goddess of the realm of Vecanti.
  • Bad Boss: Megas in Valis II for the Sharp X68000.
  • Bastard Understudy: Voldes, the Lord of Thunder in Valis I. He is patiently waiting for Rogles to fall so he can take his place as the new king of the Dark World.
  • Benevolent Boss: While Rogles acts cruelly to his enemies, he does seem to be good with his servants compared to most other Big Bads.
  • Boss Warning Siren: In Valis II: "WARNING: A strong warrior, (Adjective Noun Fred), is coming!"
  • Breast Plate: So... how exactly does a golden brassiere and miniskirt protect against anything, exactly? Although her upgraded armor in the third game looks much more threatening.
  • Changing of the Guard: Yuko passes the Valis sword to new heroine Lena at the start of the fourth game.
  • Dark World: The actual name of one of the lower realms in the Valis cosmos, along with the Dreamland and The Real World.
  • Deadly Upgrade: According to Nazetti in the third game, the price for releasing the Valis blade to its full power. It sucks that this also ends up being entirely cosmetic, albeit awesome.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: In the Genesis version, most of the sword powerups shoot horizontally. The exception is the one that produces homing arrows, and some powerups upgraded to level 3.
  • Evil Counterpart: Reiko becomes the Dark Valis Soldier to Yuko's Valis Soldier. Although after her defeat she does a Heel-Face Turn and appears in the later games Obi Wan Kenobi-style to advise or encourage Yuko
  • Evil Is Visceral: Emperor Megas has lots of twisted bundles of huge biomechanical arteries underneath his armor and face.
  • Fanservice
  • Fun Size: Syd of Valis, which uses Super-Deformed sprites, and a Lighter and Softer look.
  • Girl in a Box: Though it's actually an ice crystal, Valna in the third game who is Yuko's sister and the princess of Dream World.
  • Gratuitous French: Super Valis IV bizarrely makes "M'aider Maiden" an epithet for Lena.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Valna and Yuko's mother, Valia.
  • Inconsistent Dub: So is it Cham or Char? Valis, or Varis? Syd of Valis renames Yuko to Syd in game, but the box and manual disagree.
  • Jump Physics: In the Genesis version of Valis, Yuko can slide across a gap that she'd otherwise fall down.
  • Kick the Dog: Megas in Valis II's Sharp X68000 version. He's said to have killed his entire family, "including the women and children", his own underlings, and even the monsters who unsealed him- and that's just how he treats his allies.
  • Macguffin Title
  • Magical Girl Warrior: The protagonist's appearance and background is somewhat inspired by the Sailor Senshi.
  • Magic Skirt: Most versions of most of the games have this.
  • Mirror Boss: Reiko. That One Boss due to her spell, which hits the entire screen and takes off 48% of your life bar's capacity in damage.
  • Named Weapons: The Valis sword, of course, as well as its Evil Counterpart, Leethus.
  • Nintendo Hard: The third game after Yuko's deadly upgrade, arguably. Especially the Slippy-Slidey Ice World, which requires you, at one point, to jump on a moving platform (still slippery), quickly duck to avoid the suddenly low ceiling, and then use a well timed slide maneuver to get over a Pit Of Doom. And then you have to fight the boss.
    • Also, the fourth game (very hard to find that fourth game).
    • The first Valis is this all on its own, to the point where the Fan Translation has an optional easier version.
  • Panty Shot: The PC-Engine CD version of Valis 1 does this whenever Yuko jumps.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Reiko.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Valna, the one who fights using a magic spell, wears a robe (though not a hat).
  • The Chosen One: Yuko (and later Lena) are the ones who can save the world by wielding the Valis Sword.
  • Sailor Fuku: Yuko wears a sailor fuku for the first few stages before getting her Chainmail Bikini. The blue skirt matches the color of her hair. It returns in Valis II as one of her selectable outfits (she can switch it for a blazer in the Japanese computer version).
  • Saving the World: Of course the plot of the three games; subverted in the third game in that, by saving your world from the invading armies of the Dark World, you doom the inhabitants of the Dark World, which is slowly being swallowed into the void.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: The Shameful Strip example below is also one of these; in the Sharp X68000 version of Valis II, Megas takes Valia hostage, ordering Yuko to lay down her sword... and then to remove her suit. The best part: after she complies, Megas kills Valia anyway.
  • Shameful Strip: In the PC versions of Valis II, Cruel King Megas demands Yuko to strip down. She complies.
  • The Starscream: Venon, the Lord of Fire in Valis I.
  • Super-Deformed: SD Valis (or Syd of Valis), which retells Valis II's story in a Cliff's Notes way.
  • Sword Beam: The powerups give your sword a ranged attack. The actual effect varies, including both a spread shot, to a more classic crescent.
  • This Cannot Be!!: Megas' final speech in the X68000 version of Valis II, rather than his counterparts' more Alas, Poor Villain demise in some other versions.
  • Whip It Good: Cham.
  • Womb Level: The final level in Valis 4. The Big Bad even attacks by shooting giant fetuses at you.
    • The final level in 2 resembles an alien hive from Aliens. Also, Act 4 takes place in an organic-looking cave.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Yuko has blue hair, Reiko has purple hair, Valna has light blue hair, either Lena or Amu has purple hair.