Video Game: Valkyria Chronicles
is a video game made by Sega
for the Playstation 3
and released in 2008. A PC version including all previously released DLC was released on Steam
on November 11, 2014.
The story is set in a fictional Europa
, in 1935, when two large blocs, the Atlantic Federation and the East Europan Imperial Alliance, are at war over control of the continent in what is called the Second Europan War.
Caught in the middle of the warring alliances is the Principality of Gallia, a small neutral nation famed for its rich Ragnite
mines. Gallia is also known for its policy of Universal Conscription: in lieu of a standing army, every citizen is required to undergo basic military training with the provision that they can be drafted into the army at any time to defend Gallia against an external threat.
When the Imperial Alliance launches a surprise attack against Gallia, the policy of Universal Conscription is activated and every able-bodied man and woman is drafted into military service. Three of these new recruits are Welkin Gunther, an animal sociologist and son of a famous general; Isara Gunther, his Darcsen foster sister; and Alicia Melchiott, a young girl who dreams of becoming a baker.
Along with a wide and eclectic cast of other civilians, they are organised into Militia Squad 7 and put on the front lines to defend their home against the Imperial offensive. Together they must face not only the advance of the Imperial army- including the dreaded "War Witch
" known as Selvaria Bles- but their own internal disputes as those in the Gallian military seek to manipulate or use Squad 7 for their own ends.
Like many JRPGs, Valkyria Chronicles
is very story heavy and contains many themes. The most evident are the tragedies of war, racism (of the hair color variety
), fighting to defend one's homeland, friendship, family bonds, and love. Every character you can control (and a good deal of NPCs, too) has their own personal biography, special traits, likes and dislikes, and personality quirks, making it feel like you are actually controlling real people in an actual war. However, unlike many JRPGs, Valkyria Chronicles chooses to avoid a high fantasy setting and instead opts for a very World War II
themed world with light fantasy elements.
Gameplay-wise, Valkyria Chronicles
is unique, as it is a mix of Turn-Based Strategy
, Real-Time Strategy
, Eastern RPG
, and Third-Person Shooter
. During battle, players use a pool of Command Points to directly take control of individual units so they can move and attack. While the player is controlling a unit, other units not being directly controlled will automatically fire on them if they pass through their line of sight, making cover and strategy in approaching your target much more important. All characters the player controls are separated into five classes: Scouts, Shocktroopers, Lancers, Engineers, and Snipers each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In between battles, players can use experience and money earned from battles to level up specific classes and purchase new weapons and upgrades for their troops. There are also tanks, which do not level up but can be upgraded.Valkyria Chronicles
has received generally positive reviews from critics. The main selling points are its beautiful graphic design, engaging story, and unique gameplay based on a unique blend of elements from various video game genres.
In addition to the game, there is also an anime adaptation
produced by A-1 Pictures
, simply called Valkyria Chronicles
which first aired on April 4, 2009. There are also manga adaptations in print as well. Extra downloadable content
was released in Japan after release, and is now available for download in North America as well and Europe. Available are a mission where you play as Edy, 4 missions playing as Selvaria & controlling Imperial forces, an extra hard skirmish setting and "Challenge of the Edy Detachment", a set of seven skirmishes tailored to the various classes, as well as the tank unit and a final, specially-designed skirmish bringing them all together.
There is a sequel for the PSP, called Valkyria Chronicles 2: Gallia Military Academy
. It is set two years after the first game and involves civil turmoil as students are drafted in to fight the threats within the country.
A third game, Valkyria Chronicles III: Unrecorded Chronicles
, has been released in Japan. It is a Gaiden Game
on the PSP
, taking place at the same time as the first game. This game has also gotten an anime adaptation.
A web-based online card game, Valkyria Chronicles Dnote
went live at 19 July 2012.
This series is not to be confused with Valkyrie Profile
This series provides examples of:
- Ace Custom: The Edelwiess
- Action Girl: Pretty much every girl in the game. Alicia, Marina, Rosie, Edy, Lynn, Jane, Catherine, Freesia, Rosina, Wendy, Audrey, and Aika, however, are particular standouts. Susie, however, is the only real exception to this trope. Poor little thing, she should be one of these, but thanks to her super pacifistic nature and "Humanitarian" potential...
- Actor Allusion: Before Borg got into his manipulative streak in Gallian politics, he first honed in after he escaped from a maximum security prison after the end of the Vietnam War, where he did cons to help the helpless. Looks like it led him to the dark side.
- AKA47: The Ruhm, a high-powered Imperial machine gun, is basically the real-life MG-34 used by Germany chambered for 7.62mm instead of 7.92mm. The Gallian basic infantry rifle, indicated by the game's encyclopedia, is based on the G43. The Edelweiss is based on the Panzerkampfwagen E-50 series prototype with specs copied almost word by word. In fact, most weapons sport by the Gallian forces match WWII German weapon caliber sizes & specifications.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Selvaria and Maximilian.
- The DLC focusing on Selvaria only makes this worse, as she is depicted as a caring commander who leads from the front and treats the men serving under her as human beings. She even goes so far as to allow her engineer, Johann, to rest in her cot after he collapses after the first battle of her DLC — though she does freak out for a moment and slap him when he points out that her breasts are pressing against his arm.
- Also, if you listen carefully, it's revealed that Johann is actually Oswald the Iron, one of the enemy aces you encounter.
- All There in the Manual: The name(s) of the medic.
- Amazon Brigade: It's possible to customize your squad so that it is almost entirely female.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Ghirlandaio. Full stop.
- Admittedly, everyone was a bit distracted by a tank the size of an island.
- Anti-Armor: Lancers are soldiers carrying rocket launchers, which are so heavy that slows them, making them unpractical against other soldiers. However, they're the most useful units against tanks and other armored enemies.
- Anyone Can Die: Downed units can die permanently if they aren't rescued in time, or if an enemy reaches them before one of your able units can. In the case of the storyline, Isara's comes out of the blue.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Ragnite is a multi-purpose mineral, useful for making fuel, weapons, and even medicine; arguably a case of Truth in Television, as oil can be used for all these purposes.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Typically, you can only take about nine or ten members of your twenty-member squad into combat. Some missions, depending on circumstance, cut it down to even fewer. On top of this, while you can choose to leave out any of the main characters except for Welkin, you are punished for not deploying them by getting one less command point for each character. So in reality, unless you want the handicap, you've already got four slots filled.
- Arc Number: The number seven seem to play a role in this universe, Squad 7, Class G (seventh letter of the alphabet), Number 7 is the main character of the third game, etc.
- Aristocrats Are Evil:
- The Gallian generals, and especially Prime Minister Borg. Princess Cordelia is the only exception.
- The Imperial High Command (particularly Maximillian) often do this as well.
- Armor Is Useless: In an early cutscene an imperial is shot by an ordinary rifle straight through his armor.
- Averted in gameplay, the more armored the class the more hits they can take. Tanks cannot be damaged by conventional guns unless hit in the heat sink. Selvaria makes do through sheer Valkyria toughness. Isara was likely shot for being the only person without protection.
- Artificial Stupidity: The computer will often waste turns moving units back and forth, send wave after wave of their own infantry to certain death by interception fire, will almost always fail to make proper use of cover, and is completely unable to coordinate its units in a meaningful way. Much of the game's actual difficulty comes from having to face far larger numbers of units occasionally supplemented by powerful elite units and obstacles like fortified bunkers or mortar fire. And the fact that they can make shots from halfway across the map.
- Artistic License – Military: As a 2nd Lieutenant, Lt. Gunther should have been a Platoon Leader and been given command of a Platoon rather than a Squad. The role of Squad Leader is usually given to the NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge), which means Largo or Alicia, both having the rank of sergeant, should be commanding squad seven instead.
- This is due to intentional translation or translation error on the overseas release. In the original Japanese version, the organization we come to know as Squad Seven is appropriately designated as Platoon Seven. After all, a full platoon does fall under your command.
- Asshole Victim: Geld is a torturer and coward that Captain Varrot has spent years hunting down. Though Varrot is ultimately convinced by Largo to not kill him, it's implied Maximilian killed him in some horrible way instead due to him not following protocol.
- A-Team Firing: General Damon's men are unable to kill Selvaria before she can unleash a devastating suicide attack, despite their target standing perfectly motionless only five yards or so away from them.
- Attack Its Weak Point:
- Tanks have a radiator exposed on their backs that, if hit with an armor-piercing round, will blow them up in one shot. At higher levels, a burst of fire from a shocktrooper into the radiator will do it. At very high levels, a scout, engineer, or sniper can blow up the radiator with a single burst as well.
- Squad 7 also uses the hole caused by Alicia's Valkyria lance to successfully attack and disable the Marmota.
- The Atoner: Faldio, even so far as to kill himself together with Maximilian out of guilt.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Like you wouldn't believe.
- Alicia seems to be a subversion though. She's only second-in-command in Squad 7 and she still owned Selvaria effortlessly. Although, to be fair, she's a Valkyria.
- Definitely applies to the leaders of the Imperial invasion; defeating each one is among the hardest tasks in the game. Selvaria, even when she isn't a Valkyria, has a Big Friggin' Machine Gun with huge range; Jaeger has an incredibly powerful tank with a sheet of armor that needs to be blown off before you can even Attack Its Weak Point; defeating Maximilian's Batomys is ridiculously long and involved, and Maximilian himself goes One-Winged Angel and absorbs all the powers of the Valkyria and then some.
- Authority in Name Only: Princess Cordelia is a figurehead ruler at the start of the game, and everyone knows it. Her job basically consisted of giving speeches supporting her Prime Minister's decisions. She was sixteen when she first used her royal authority to make a decision for herself - to change her usual breakfast order.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Gallia was just supposed to be a staging area and supply depot in The Empire's fight with The Federation. What it turned out to be was a nation of ass-kickers.
- Awesome but Impractical: Compared to the World War II style tanks of the period, the Edelweiss has the appearance and capabilities of a modern battle tank. However, its construction and engineering is incredibly complicated and there is currently no way to mass produce it. Background material, however, makes clear that as it was initially built, the Edelweiss was, in fact, practical for mass production—-it simply did not jibe with the overall strategic thrust of Gallian defense spending. By the time the player gets ahold of it, though, Isara's modified it enough that it's rather improbable that they manage to keep it repaired between battles. By game's end, it's a damnable mystery how the thing can move under its own weight. In-game, the Edelweiss' low mobility and high CP cost mean that on many missions that don't explicitly require a tank to accomplish the mission (Like driving through a barricade), it will probably just stay at its starting point for the entire engagement.
- Extra ammunition magazines for tanks may seem like a good idea at first, but become considerably less desirable later on, when mortar shells don't always pull off one hit kills on enemies and are more useful for dislodging them from cover. Radiator plates aren't that useful either, since they only really affect how much damage you can take from gunfire to your radiator, and any regular tank shell or lance rocket is capable of blowing you up in one hit.
- Lancers as a class in general can come across as this due to their limitations. Every other class besides snipers has much better movement, and even in the case of snipers at least they can attack from far away while the lancers are more or less stuck as short-range infantry. Besides movement issues, they have limited ammo (basically requiring an engineer to take up a unit slot to be of much use), aren't really any more effective than your tank at taking out enemy tanks (though they cost one less command point), have absolutely woeful aim without royal weapons or heavy upgrades, and can't counterattack whatsoever. They look cool and it's awesome when you can perform a one-hit kill on a tank with them, but chances are you'll rarely use them besides having Largo parked at base for an extra command point per phase to use on much more versatile characters. Late game additions like the Attack Weak Point Order (meaning you don't actually have to get behind tanks anymore) and anti-infantry hand-held mortars can make them a bit more useful, but don't be surprised if Lancers are your least used class overall.
- Then you have the Lancer weapon itself. It's basically a rocket attached to a lance. In terms of accuracy, it's already difficult to hold such a long and unwieldy object with pinpoint precision from your hip. Now add holding it out with one hand with a heavy explosive on the end. It takes a lot of strength and damn good hand-eye coordination to hit something with that. Shoulder mounted rocket launchers were around as early as World War 1, so even in an alternate history like this, it would be more practical and accurate instead of holding the explosive out on the end of a long pole (this is somewhat justified by lances being culturally significant to the Europan peoples because of the Valkyria).
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Karl and Lynn. So much that their (in-game) death quotes are entirely of one of them calling out to another...in a really sad way. Welkin and Alicia get several of these moments as well, especially in side chapters.
- Babies Ever After: Alicia and Welkin, aptly naming the kid Isara.
- Selvaria, yes. When you first encounter her on the battlefield, she's powerful enough to own EVERY unit singlehandedly except the Edelweiss, and fast enough to deflect a tank shell with her weapon. That goes double for the time you meet her again, where she shows that she can now destroy TANKS as well. Good thing you didn't have to fight her then.
- And an even bigger one (YES, there IS one) would be Alicia, on the stage following Selvaria's second appearance on the battlefield. Just after Selvaria exhibited her powers in the last stage that she can decimate practically ANYTHING, Alicia (just having awakened her latent powers) walked out into the battlefield (staggering) with her own Valkyrian spear and shield intact. She then proceeded to: dodge Selvaria's attacks effortlessly without taking a scratch; deflect her in a weapon deadlock; evade an energy attack from her; AND disarm her in ONE SINGLE THRUST; all the while acting subconsciously (meaning she's neither conscious NOR even know what she's doing). It would be worth mentioning that most of the enemy forces in that stage was taken out (in-battle) by Alicia as well, in the same tranced, awakened state. Well, the early half, at least. Although, in that battle, she's temporarily an NPC who'll attack anyone in range, friend or foe, except the Edelweiss. So long as it doesn't block her attacks...
- In fact, it's probably easier just to say that Squad 7 is an entire regiment of badasses. Invading Gallia was a mistake. Heck, even Isara has her moments!
- Badass Army: Squad 7 may be a bunch of misfits from all walks of life, but put them in the battlefield and wait a few hours...
- Badass Boast: When the members of Squad 7 start bickering over Fantastic Racism and their youthful, inexperienced leader, Welkin declares that if he takes a heavily-defended bridge in under a day (the squad's next objective), the squaddies have to shut up and like it. Then he takes the bridge and drops all the enemy tanks on it into the river.
- Badass Bookworm: Welkin is a huge fan of biology, and dreams of being a teacher. He can do logistics and field medicine, and he's a better strategist by leaps and bounds than anyone else on the continent. By the end of the game, the Gallian Militia's standard response to unwinnable situations is basically "point Welkin at it and wait".
- Badass Grandpa: Coby, the oldest soldier in the squad at 65.
- Bait-and-Switch Gunshot
- Bash Brothers: Incorporated into the combat system. If squadmates are near your selected character when you attack, they add supporting fire too, and some of the potentials give bonuses depending on the type of person the selected character is around. Furthermore your troops also have favourites which they prefer to have around them - though some of them also have potentials that specify people they hate.
- Band of Brothers and Sisters: Down to various quotes from the game calling the platoon a family.
- Battle Aura: Activated Valkyria look like they are constantly being consumed by blue flames.
- Battle Couple: There's the obvious. There's also your units Karl and Lynn, and possibly Aika and Vyse.
- Battleship Raid: Literally the final stage.
- BFG: The Ruhm, Selvaria's Signature Weapon, and the game's sole automatic rifle (the rest of the shocktrooper weapons are merely sub-machine guns).
- Beach Episode: Extra Chapter "Squad 7 R&R", between chapter 9 & 10.
- Berserk Button:
- Welkin. Usually a nice guy, but he bursts into a tantrum when he discovers that Faldio deliberately injured Alicia.
- Do Not mess with Largo when vegetables are involved.
- Beta Couple: Largo and Eleanor to Welkin and Alicia, though it doesn't become apparent until later.
- Bi the Way: A few of your squaddies.
- Big Damn Heroes: Squad 7 does a few of these. Alicia also delivers one later in the game.
- The Big Guy:
- Hannes, he's either a Class 1 or Class 3.
- Largo is a Class 4.
- Bling of War:
- The Gallian officers have some pretty classy dress uniforms to wear with whatever medals they've earned. General Damon wears his all the time, which probably serves to highlight his vanity and military incompetence. Welkin can also earn medals and weapons from the royal armoury as rewards for in-game accomplishments.
- On the Imperial side of things, most Imperial generals and officers are soberly dressed in a dark gray uniform, with some gold trimmings. The exception is Maximilian, who pretty much holds the title for having the most bling of all.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Maximilian encore! Also Gregor, though he usually wears a hat.
- Bond One-Liner: Ohhh... Gotta count 'em all!!
- Boobs of Steel: Selvaria probably needs a Custom Uniform because she couldn't fit her chest into a standard one. She could also have won the entire war on her own, if not for Alicia. Even without her Valkyria powers, she's still a formidable opponent, not to mention the fact that she's essentially a nuke that walks on feet. This is right up character artist RAITA's normal area anyway (most of his works feature big-breasted Badass females).
- Boom, Headshot: The preferred way of dealing with most enemy troops.
- Boring but Practical: Sure it's cool to make use of potentials and lucky shots and status effects for victory, but chances are you'll have a much quicker victory if you just park more mobile units like scouts and shocktroopers close to an enemy and point blank headshot them for a guaranteed kill. (And if they're in cover, a simple grenade or two will flush them out.) This becomes less of an issue over time as weapon accuracy improves and you can attack from further away (even being able to more reliably use snipers for their intended purpose), but just using multiple commands on scouts and shocktroopers alone remains a pretty viable path to winning and even top ranks, especially if you can form team attacks to counteract weak attack power.
- On the other hand, once you get Orders like Awaken Potential, suddenly character potentials can start mattering a lot more because they are much more likely to trigger. Alicia with all her unlocked potentials is a particularly powerful choice for this order as Double Movement and Resist Crossfire can allow her to move to basically anywhere on the map, while Mysterious Body and Valkyria can make her a nearly unstoppable killing machine.
- Another very boring but very practical application of shocktroopers is pairing them with the Penetrate Order. By using shocktrooper machine guns while ignoring enemy defense, they can fairly quickly take out even the toughest armored targets in the entire game, albeit only by basically spending all your command points per phase on them.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Certain enemy units can cross into this territory, with Aces being the prime candidate for this title. If no one else counts, at least Ty the Immortal should in his many appearances as he can wreck your units quickly and takes a lot of damage to kill. Interestingly enough, an Ace tank can be an Anti-Climax Boss because they can still die to one hit to their radiator.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Edy does this in the add-on if you get a D on the mission, calling the player "sloth fingers". Homer, next to her, wonders who she is talking to. The nature of this mission makes it very hard to do this badly without getting a gameover, making this something of an Easter Egg.
- Breast Plate: Literal ones. Some of the troopers have them, and they cover exactly what they say they do on both men and women.
- The Call Twinks You
- Camp Gay: Not all of the gay men are campy, but this trope still shows up.
- Cannon Fodder: The general perception of the militia by the regular army. Squad 7 sure proves them wrong, though...
- The Captain: Captain Eleanor Varrot, obviously. Although of lower rank, it also applies to Welkin; he's the one in charge of Squad 7, and although he's easygoing and amicable, do NOT question his orders. He's in charge for a reason.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Captain Varrot and Sergeant Largo.
- Catch a Falling Star: Welkin and Alicia are rescued this way.
- Chekhov's Gun: Isara, Leon, and Kreis' flying machine.
- Child Soldiers: Due to Gallia's policy of universal conscription, military training is a part of general education and citizens as young as fifteen may be conscripted. Then there's twelve-year-old Aisha Neumann, a Shocktrooper in your Squad, who apparently begged to serve and had it granted if her bio in the game is to be believed.
- Clean Pretty Childbirth: A woman gives birth in a tank - during a battle - with no signs of a mess being made, and without any noises or medical complications that would require the two people crewing the tank to divert their attention away from the battlefield.
- Cold Sniper:
- Marina, not the only sniper, but by far the best because of her potential "Ultimate Accuracy" which is always activated. Ultimately subverted if you purchase the add-on content: her potentials imply she is a sociopath, but the Edy's Brigade reveals that she has a soft side. Apparently she just doesn't like being around other people.
- Cezary plays this trope a little straighter, though in his case it's less cold sniper and more selfish asshole sniper. His profile states that he grew up in isolation and is not used to social interactions, so he chose to be a sniper to avoid being on the front lines.
- Color-Coded Armies: The good guys are blue, the bad guys are dark gray and red, especially the officers.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
- Enemy tanks, in particular, appear to have freakishly good accuracy and can make pinpoint shots with their shells from halfway across the map. Good luck making equally-impressive shots without Save Scumming.
- Enemy Aces are also incredibly annoying in their ability to dodge long-range sniper shots - from behind - as well as point-blank barrages.
- There's also the Lancers. If your tank's radiator is visible at all, it's likely to take a shot. It doesn't matter if they can only see 1 cm of it, and they're firing from the other end of the map; they will hit that radiator. This is especially painful because losing your tank means game over.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: In a good number of the game's levels, chances are your squad will be horribly outnumbered by the Imperials. Plus, unlike you, they literally have infinite reinforcements they can continually call on until you capture their bases.
- Cooldown Hug: Preceded by a speech and followed by a kiss. Welkin to Alicia when she decided she'll go kamikaze on the Big Bad's land battleship.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Pretty much everybody calls Welkin's plan in chapter 4 nuts. The Militia is ordered to take back the Great Vasel Bridge, which everyone is expecting to end up looking rather like Burnside's Bridge: an incredibly bloody frontal assault through a natural chokepoint. Welkin instead does an impromptu amphibious assault to outflank the enemy bridgehead, a plan which includes waterproofing the Edelweiss and driving it across the river bottom.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Every class is restricted to certain types of weapons. This means that Lancers can't carry a carbine as a back-up weapon for dealing with infantry. Later on, Lancers can have the option of taking mortar lances that are more effective against infantry, with the obvious tradeoff in mortars being less effective against tanks.
- More to the point, Lancers and Snipers don't carry any weapon besides AT Lances and Sniper Rifles respectively — not even a handgun. This means that during the enemy's turn, they don't lay down interception fire or return fire when shot at.
- Critical Hit Class: The Sniper class can only shoot once per turn, but has very high accuracy and range, making them ideal for headshots.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Squad 7 pretty much does this every level, especially once you learn to correctly utilize each class and their strengths/weaknesses.
- Selvaria does this on almost every map she shows up on.
- Alicia delivers one to Selvaria later on as well, while in a half-weakened state no less.
- Cursed with Awesome: Alicia works herself into a suicidal frenzy over her powers and the effects they'll have on her, but her fears are grossly exaggerated compared to the likelihood of any of them actually happening, and entirely based on assumptions about Selvaria.
- Custom Uniform: Jaeger and Selvaria.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Where the hell was that medic when Isara was shot?!?
- A Day in the Limelight: In one of the downloadable content packs, Edy gets a mission that is entirely focused on her. Also included are a slew of secondary characters you may or may not have used in the main game.
- A Death in the Limelight: Isara certainly gets a lot of focus in Chapter 11, just before her death.
- David Versus Goliath: More like David versus two Goliaths, if you count the Atlantic Federation.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Squad 7's defeat of Maximilian. He had equipment that mimicked the powers of the Valkyria and unlike the fight with Selvaria, Squad 7 decided not to rely on Alicia's Valkyria powers.
- Didn't See That Coming : Maximilian's plan to hold Europa hostage with the power of the Valkyrian bloodline was kind of derailed by the minor detail of Cordelia and her ancestors actually being Darcsen. He rolls with the punches, though.
- Dodge the Bullet: Aces can do that with disturbing regularity unless the attacking soldier has the Undodgeable Shot Potential - even under circumstances when they shouldn't be aware that someone is shooting at them.
- Doomed Hometown: Bruhl
- Downloadable Content: The Edy Brigade mission, Behind Her Blue Flame (a pair of missions featuring Selvaria), and the Edy Brigade challenges, which are missions tailored to a specific job class.
- The Dragon: Selvaria. Or Jaeger, gameplay-wise, since he's the last of the Drei Stern you face in a real showdown.
- Dramatic Gun Cock: In the earliest part of the story, no less!
Welkin: Um, uh, my name is Welkin. ...And you are?
Alicia: The one with the gun.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty:
- Drill sergeant Calvaro's existence hinges on his ability to insult you as you level up your troops. He's the epitome of the trope, really.
Drill Sergeant Calvaro: Good job maggots! You're one step closer to being human!
- Jane also becomes a drill instructor at the end of the game, and is even stricter than her predecessor.
- Dubtitle: While hardly unusual for a game with a bilingual soundtrack, the English script used for the subtitles only matches the English dub. While it hardly alters the game's plot in any way and the English script and dub is faithful to the plot and the characters, it can create a strange dissonance with the Japanese track on. Most notable is a moment in which Welkin simply says "Faldio", and the script reads "I don't know what to tell you, Faldio."
- While it is true that the overall plot is, on face value, faithful, the differences in the minor details can lead to a very different impression from the characters, which may or may not change the resulting flavour of the ending. The best example would be Faldio in the fully unlocked (New Game+) scene "Awakening"; in the Japanese audio, he comes off as far more sinister, and his words are a few notches more brutal than what the subtitles actually say.
- Due to the Dead: When Welkin and Alicia are separated from Squad 7, they encounter a critically wounded Imperial soldier that they try to help, and then bury him when he dies anyway. When the rest of the dead man's unit finds them the next day, they let the two go as thanks for their attempt to save the late Private Fritz.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite beating back the Imperials pretty much by themselves, Squad 7 is constantly given the insanely dangerous missions while the main army gets the fairly easy jobs. If not for the actual callousness of the high command, this would actually make sense because Squad 7 is by far the most capable formation in the Gallian military, and with their proven track of astounding successes, it would only make sense to give them the more difficult jobs. This is Lampshaded in the briefing for the assault on Ghirlandio.
- Dungeon Bypass: The best (sometimes only) way to get A ranks on missions. Easy to do in New Game+ when your units are way overpowered.
- During the War
- Elite Mooks:
- As the game progresses, you'll eventually start facing tougher enemies, who aptly have the title "Elite". By reaching a certain level, your own soldiers can also attain this status, which confers new potentials and subweapons for particular classes.
- Also in the spirit of the trope are black-armored Imperial units, who are stronger than ordinary soldiers, and aces, who have preternaturally good accuracy and dodging skills. An ace will frequently duck bullets from a sniper stationed half a mile away, before the rifle actually goes off.
- Empathy Doll Shot: Rosie finds a child's doll in the burnt ruins of a Darcsen concentration camp that the Empire razed with the prisoners locked inside before retreating.
- The Empire: The East Europan Imperial Alliance.
- The Engineer: Loads of them, but Isara, Leon and Kries are the most prominent, storywise. Leon fits the young engineer stereotype to a tee: enthusiastic, hot-blooded and with a little bit of an inventor stripe. Sometimes borders on Mad Scientist territory. In battle, engineers are essential for building and breaking fortifications, repairing tanks, disarming land mines and resupplying fellow soldiers.
- Encyclopedia Exposita: For all the weapons, characters, major world events and landmarks.
- Enemy Chatter: You'll hear comments from the Imperial's radio quite a bit during battles, but it might be hard to make it out due to the allied radio chatter at times.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In one of the side chapters, an Imperial war criminal who is infamous for taking civilian hostages in battle is court-marshaled by his own superiors. Maximilian may be a bit of a royal bastard who treats even his most loyal subordinates as pawns, but even he expects his troops to stick to the rules of war.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Cordelia; notable in that she's the daughter of an Archduke and Archduchess and the only heir to the throne, but is not crowned due to her young age, and cedes control of the country to her Prime Minister. Even after she matures, has her big reveal, and said Prime Minister gets killed, her title remains Princess. Since Gallia is a principality and not a kingdom, this actually makes a bit of sense. The ruler is meant to be a prince(ss) and not a king or queen.
- Evil Chancellor: Borg.
- Eyes Always Shut: Leon the Mechanic rarely, if ever, opens his eyes. Even when he's flying a plane!
- Faceless Goons: Generally speaking, the Imperial Army. Played with a bit between mission 8 and 9, though, wherein Alicia and Welks comfort a dying Imperial grunt (removing his helmet in the process) and then have a civil chat with his commanding officer; more obviously played with in the Selvaria DLC.
- Fan Disservice: The breastplates on the shocktroopers. Just... it's not strictly for women. Welkin's old-timey swimsuit can count as this, especially as out of place as it looks when the other women around him are wearing extremely modern and Fanservice friendly swimsuits.
- Selvaria. Again.
- Many of the girls of Squad 7. If they're not in pants, they wear skirts and REALLY HIGH knee socks. Rosie tops all the others by having a gap around her midriff (and having a much shorter skirt). The girls with skirts are prone to what looks like Panty Shots at first glance (although it's really Skirt Over Short Shorts) as the their evasive manoeuvre is to drop to the ground. Guess where the camera points. And then there's the Beach Episode. In particular, Alicia has a very revealing bikini.
- Fantastic Racism: Darcsens, although they are a vague analogue for the Jews/Gypsies in World War II and their experiences; this is perhaps muddied by how the Darcsens◊ are visualized◊ in Anime/Manga style◊. Technically, they are human but what sets them apart is their dark blue hair.
- Darcsen hatred is quite common in Europa, apparently. It is commonly held and mistaken belief that the Darcsens were responsible for a great calamity that occurred long ago. This hatred is institutionalized in the Empire, and rounding up Darcsen families, burning down their homes and sending them off to work camps is official policy. One of the bad guys in Varrot's side missions is court-martialled for "torturing non-Darcsen civilians". Even the Gallians, the good guys, have a few examples of this: Rosie initially hates them because her parents were accidentally killed by a Darcsen-hating mob that set fire to the home of their Darcsen neighbors and often takes out her prejudices on poor Isara, and while Rosie eventually gets better, several other playable squadmates retain the Darcsen Hater trait.
- Fantasy Conflict Counterpart:
- The First Europan War appears to be based on World War I, as it was started by the assassination of the crown prince of the East Europan Imperial Alliance, featured the first use of tanks, and became bogged down in trench warfare. It diverged at the point where the trench warfare became so inconclusive that the Empire and the Atlantic Federation basically gave up and signed a ceasefire.
- In contrast, the Second Europan War that forms the backdrop to the game bears only a passing resemblance to World War II's European theatre. It started twenty years after the first one and features the Empire steamrolling its enemies for the first stage of the war, but the similarities pretty much end there as at no point in World War II did Nazi Germany invade Switzerland (for which Gallia is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture).
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The following could be said of the countries and peoples that appear in the game:
- Gallia is loosely based on the nations geographically associated with Gaul (or Gallia in Latin) and more specifically the Rhineland, including a mix of Dutch, French, Belgian and German traits.
- In his review of Valkyria Chronicles, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw referred to Gallia as: "a small, idyllic country that resembles a mashup of Holland, Belgium and Switzerland as depicted by Winnie-the-Pooh".
- The Atlantic Federation is essentially akin to NATO and the Western Allies of the world wars, sans North America and Australia.
- The Imperials are a mishmash of Imperial Russia, Austria-Hungary, Imperial Germany, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany.
- If Jaeger's any indication, his homeland within the Empire bears at least a passing semblance to Hungary.
- The Darcsens, meanwhile, are basically European Jews with some cultural elements of the Gypsies.
- The map is almost the real world map with the borders redrawn. If you look closely, Europa is still surrounded by the Norwegian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
- A Father to His Men: Welkin sees himself this way, as does the commander of the Imperials he and Alicia meet in Chapter 8. Selvaria is also like this towards her subordinates.
- The Federation: Subverted. They show up as antagonists.
- Five-Man Band: The main characters of Squad 7:
- Fragile Speedster:
- Scouts go down easy. The trade-off is that their insane movement range makes them one of the most valuable units in the game, especially when going for A ranks.
- Zaka's tank, the Shamrock. While not as tough as the Edelweiss, it has a higher movement range and can choose between three different primary weapons: the standard mortar/cannon, a gatling gun, or a flamethrower.
- Framing Device: The game proceeds as if you're reading through the history book Irene Koller/Ms. Ellet wrote about the events of the war; cutscenes and battles are played by selecting them in the book's chapters and most of the game's extra content can be accessed through "tabs" to other sections.
- Friendly Sniper: Catherine O'Hara, and the Bielert brothers (Oscar and Emile).
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- See "Cutscene Incompetence". Dang, that one was irritating.
- A squad is awarded the Splintered Horn when one of their own falls in the line of duty. You don't get it automatically when Isara dies, though, since it happens in a cutscene rather than in gameplay.
- You level up the classes level rather than the characters themselves. This results in seasoned vets and Child Soldiers being the same level.
- Gender Is No Object: In Gallia at least, men and women alike seem to share the same rights and opportunities. In fact, no one seems to mind the idea of female soldiers.
- General Ripper: And quite literal ones at that. One on each side.
- Generation Xerox: Played with, everyone thinks Welkin is following in his father's footsteps while the only thing he wants is to become a teacher.
- Gentle Giant: Walter, Hector, Jann, and Largo. Note that they're all Lancers, a class you'd expect to be populated with Dumb Muscle. There's not a single one who fits that description.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Certain characters, especially in the side chapters and DLC, start to go a little crazy before their Love Interest snaps them out of it.
- Glass Cannon: Snipers; they can kill most opponents with one hit, at ranges far beyond what any other unit can manage, but they have very low health and ridiculously little movement range.
- Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: The negative potentials some characters have basically come in two varieties: mild annoyances, and those that render the character near useless. In the former category, [Environment] Allergy and [Name] Hater will never hurt you so long as you stay away from that environment/character. Desert Allergy is particularly minor, as only two chapters and one optional skirmish in the entire game take place in desert terrain. (Granted, one of them is That One Level, but still...) On the opposite side of the scale, you have things like Herbert's 'Moody' (occasionally flat out refuses to follow orders), Hermes' 'Chronic Fatigue' (even just moving can incapacitate him, and he's a scout!), Cezary's 'Acrophobia' (a Sniper who's afraid of heights??) Susie's 'Humanitarian' completley ruin those characters' ability to do thir jobs properly, rendering them Tier Induced Scrappys. It even works in reverse: some 'good' potentials aren't all that great. (Sure 'Dud Mine' is good an all but couldn't you have just, you know, not stepped on the mine in the first place...)
- Green Rocks: Ragnite. Used in anything humanly possible from first-aid kits to ammunition, including, but not limited to, street lamps and engine fuel. Apparently, the Valkyrian weapons are made of Ragnite as well.
- Happily Married: Welkin and Alicia, in the end. Also Largo and Eleanor. Karl and Lynn, two of the otherwise faceless units, are lovers by the time the game has started and get married after the war ends.
- Harder Than Hard: EX Hard Mode. As an example, the first mission pits a tiny squad smack-dab in the center of a huge Imperial ambush.
- "Hell Yes" Moment: Several throughout the game, typically when you win a battle. But one particular scene, when Alicia first awakens as a Valkyria. Made more notable by the fact that she delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to Selvaria in her Valkyria form, who up until this point in the game is invincible.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: None of Squad 7 wears a helmet. In fact, the armor they do wear is highly impractical in general. They have protection on their shoulders, hips, knees and (in the case of the shocktroopers) pectorals, but leave the rest of their center-mass, neck, head and groin protected only by cloth uniforms. This may be justified in the fact that they are a civilian militia, which is often undersupplied and considered cannon fodder by the military brass, rather than army regulars.
- Heroic BSOD: Welkin, and all of Squad 7 really, experience this when Isara dies and when Alicia is shot.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Averted when Alicia decided that she'll take down Maximilian's ship together with her, only to be stopped by Welkin. Then played completely straight by Faldio.
- Hidden Depths: Turns out Nadine is quite the writer, Largo is highly knowledgeable about agriculture, Jann is good with kids, and Walter enjoys cooking and gardening.
- Holy Ground: Prince Maximilian von Regingrave didn't want to kill off Gallian militiamen present in the ruins of a Valkyrian temple, which is considered to be holy grounds.
- Hollywood Tactics: The level ranking system actually encourages this - the ranking is based entirely on how many rounds it takes to complete the mission objectives, with bonuses added on to the rank reward for how many officers, aces, and tanks are defeated, with no regard for how many regular enemy units are defeated or friendly casualties taken. As a result of this, you get more XP and money for taking ridiculous risks to take/kill the primary objective as quickly as possible than by fighting intelligently and taking an extra round or two to wipe out the enemies between the starting point and the objective (Who will be shooting at the soldiers charging recklessly for the objective all the way).
- Hopeless Boss Fight:
- The first tank you encounter is impossible to destroy with any gun, even in New Game+. Selvaria in all but her last battle is pretty much "run away and get the stage goal accomplished before she kills everyone."
- You can, interestingly, defeat Jaeger's Tank when it first appears in the forest stage. Beating him sends all other enemies running with their tails between their legs, and Jaeger himself comments on your skill. Although curiously you get no experience credit for it.
- Hysterical Woman: Alicia, Varrot, and Selvaria. Despite spending most of the game being calm, collected, and competent, the culmination of all three of their character arcs see them becoming so consumed with their emotions that they become dangerously, suicidally self-destructive, and require a male love interest to save them from themselves. Welkin and Largo both step up to talk Alicia and Varrot down; Maximillian doesn't, and Selvaria dies accordingly.
- Ill Boy: Oscar and his brother, Emile. Homer sort of qualifies with his frail body, but he seems to enjoy the suffering.
- Informed Ability: Welkin's supposed to be a genius, large and in charge, but there are places where the story doesn't bear that out. The one time he's pressed for a solution to a major crisis, he flubs it, and when the problem is solved by means he doesn't like, he can't offer a better solution or argue with the logic behind it and just punches the guy who did, deducing that a river is shallower where plants are growing out of it is more common sense than knowledge, and Isara's death occurs because Welkin gives the orders to break formation and start repairs on the tanks without securing the area or posting watch.
- Ignored Enamored Underling: Silvaria to Maximilian.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Not everywhere, but particularly bridge handrails. Kinda subverted: while Snipers can easily shoot over them, Lancers apparently can't (because they're literally waist-height; a sniper rifle is held to the shoulder, and snipers don't crouch in this game unless they're in grass — but lancers hold their lances near the hip.)
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Completely inverted, enemies are FAR more accurate than you are.
- Interface Spoiler:
- When you first meet Rosie, she's prejudiced against Darcsens, but doesn't have the "Darcsen Hater" potential, hinting that she'll get over her prejudice eventually. In fact, she later unlocks a potential that's virtually the exact opposite.
- In Book Mode, cutscenes are displayed as a greyed-out still of the scene, which are colored after you watch them. But it's often easy to guess the content of the scene from the still: most egrigiously, one in Chapter 11 shows the main characters looking very sad, with one member of the group suspiciously absent...
- Also, Alicia in the center of a sniper crosshair makes for one anxious approach to the episode.
- The early episode where you receive your father's legacy has the image of a large tank on it, thus ruining the surprise.
- In a meta sense, the name of the game is Valkyria Chronicles. Were you really surprised when someone turned out to be a Valkyria? Additionally, lots of promo and marking images spoil the surprises for both of the Valkyrias.
- Internalized Categorism: Alicia's character arc, in a nutshell. Her thoughts on her Valkyria powers are only informed from the most extremely negative outside sources. She ''is'' the nail that sticks up. And in the end, she hammers herself back down to earth.
- Interservice Rivalry: There is a lot of friction between the soldiers of the militia and the high echelon officers of the regular military.
- It's Up to You: Subverted. Squad 7's exploits are part of the wider war effort. Those very exploits as well as Welkin's background, however make them increasingly prominent, eventually becoming Gallia's last hope against Maximilian.
- Jerk Ass:
- Rosie is this at first, but eventually becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- General Damon, who views the militia as expendable canon fodder.
- Cezary. Just... Cezary. At one point in the manga he is shown telling Oscar not to give the Darcsens fighting alongside them backup (thankfully Oscar refuse to obey him) and lets an Imperial Sniper take aim at Nadine without bothering to help, and she probably would've been shot if Marina hadn't killed the sniper before he had the chance. Cezary is considered such a Jerkass that he's often portrayed as a downright evil character, or even a traitor, in fanfictions.
- Ironically, the only person that does like Cezary in the manga is not other than Nadine herself, who mistook Cezary as the one who saved her from the Imperial Sniper.
- Theold, although he apparently gets better after the war, when he falls in love.
- Jumped at the Call: When Isara dies, Kries instantly volunteers as the Edelweiss's pilot to honor her memory. He proves just as skilled and courageous as her, and Welkin is honored to have him in her place.
- Karmic Death: Most of the morally corrupt characters on both sides suffer a well-deserved demise. When not literally it comes symbolically, through loss of status or motivation.
- Kick the Dog:
- The Federation and Prime Minister Borg with their plan to kidnap the Princess.
- In Selvaria's side chapter, Damon kicks the dog when he uses poisonous ragnite gas against the Imperials even though both sides are under a treaty that specifically forbids the use of such weapons. Not only that, but after he loses the battle, Damon covers for his failure by accusing the Imperials of illegally using chemical/biological weapons!
- Your very first encounter with Imperial troops starts with them gunning down unarmed fleeing civilians.
- Killed Off for Real: Isara. Also, if any of your soldiers are downed in combat and are not rescued before an enemy soldier touches them, you lose them permanently. Except for plot-critical characters who will "retreat" instead, despite the fact that they were unconscious seconds before and have an enemy standing over them.
- The Kingdom: Gallia. Even though the country is actually a Principality and ruled by a Archduke/Archduchess, it fits the archetype to a tee.
- Lady of War: Selvaria, obviously. Also, Captain Varrot is one to a lesser degree.
- Land Mine Goes Click: Not a noise you want to hear - the only units that won't be immediately caught in a fiery explosion after that click are the engineers, the only ones capable of disarming them. Sustaining the trope, the mine never blows up until you step/roll off of it. If you end turn as soon as you hear the click, an engineer can still disarm the mine.
- Law of Inverse Recoil:
- In Real Life, RPGs have little to no recoil. On the other hand, the degree of steadiness with which Shocktroopers can hold the Ruhm beggars belief.
- The lances do not have a rear exhaust for the back blast, so recoil is expected.
- Lighter and Softer: Despite the fact that Anyone Can Die and that virtually every horrible war-related trope comes into play, the whimsical art style and the numerous light-hearted moments manage to make this a lot less depressing than most war stories. Averted in the manga, which is brutal.
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: Apart from Welkin and Alicia getting promoted from militia inductee to 2nd Lieutenant and Sergeant, respectively (Which is due entirely to their education levels), nobody gets promoted over the course of the war. Given the horrific casualties that are suffered over the course of the war, you'd think that Welkin and Varrot would warrant a battlefield promotion or two for their achievements, but the subject never even gets brought up.
- Little Hero, Big War: The Gallian conflict is a small part of the second Europan War; the Empire and the Federation are still at war with each other after Gallia drives out the fragment that invaded them, having convinced them that it's not worth it.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Oh yes. Both games border on Suikoden levels.
- Lost Forever: Killing enemy aces is rewarded with new weapons. Outside of the DLC missions, they only appear in non-repeatable missions, often with nothing to indicate that they're there to be defeated.
- Lost Superweapon: The Valkof.
- Love Martyr: Selvaria to Maximilian, although she has little, if any, interest about changing him.
- Lower Deck Episode: The downloadable chapters featuring Selvaria are focused around Johann, an Imperial soldier who is saved from mook status by the fact that he is assigned to be Selvaria's personal aide. Selvaria's personality is expanded upon through Johann's experiences with her.
- Luminescent Blush: Let's see here. Japanese RPG: check. Anime-style: double check. Romance plot: check, check, check. Nope. No reason not to see this trope in it.
- Magitek: Downplayed. Ragnite does have peculiar properties that enchance those with Valkyrur blood, but is otherwise a mineral and fuel source vital to industrial civilization.
- Martyr Without a Cause: Alicia vs. the Marmota.
- Medieval European Fantasy: Played with. A good chunk of the aesthetics, whether it's Gallia's castles or the lance-shaped rocket-propelled grenades, suggests that this is what happens when this trope is put on fast-forward. Meanwhile, ragnite is a fuel source vital for industrial civilization that would otherwise be a mystic ore in some other fantasy setting.
- The Medic: When one of your soldiers is down and another one manages to get to him on time, the cute little medic will pop up to get them back in shape!
- The Men First: Welkin's first priority in every single mission, beyond its completion, is the safety of his soldiers.
- Micro Monarchy: The Principality of Gallia.
- Mighty Glacier: Lancers; they're great against tanks and can weather most incoming fire like it's nothing. Unfortunately they have trouble keeping up with everyone else.
- Mildly Military: The Gallians in general. Early in the game Captain Varrot gets away with calling a general a lousy soldier to his face with not much more than an angry "HEY!"
- Military Mashup Machine: The Marmota. Think "Battleship on wheels" or "insanely armed and armoured hovercraft".
- Military Maverick: Welkin usually comes up with incredibly unorthodox strategies to win his battles. Varrot also embodies this trope to some extent.
- Mook Horror Show: The victory cutscene of the chapter 4 battle has the heroes raising a drawbridge underneath an Imperial armor company. There's shots of the enemy tanks scrabbling to stay on the bridge and an infantryman hanging onto the bridge for dear life before the slope becomes too steep and they fall off.
- Mook Maker: Enemy camps. In later stages, they'll spawn one unit per camp every turn, on average, if not always. Better be glad they can't spawn tanks...
- Morality Pet: Oddly, Selvaria is this to Maximillian for much of the story. His respect and kindness toward her, and her devotion to him, are the primary signs that he's not all bad. Especially since it turns out her obsessive loyalty is for a really good reason: he saved her from an agonizing life as a scientific test subject. Near the end of the game, he decides that she needs to take the "I value you more than my life" thing more literally. This action doubles as his Moral Event Horizon.
- More Dakka: Most Stormtrooper weapons. Selvaria's Ruhm in particular.
- Mystical White Hair: Selvaria and Alicia when her Valkyria powers are active. Edy as well, although hers is a darker silver and it doesn't come from being a Vakyrur.
- Nicknamingthe Enemy: Gallian troops sometimes call their Imperial enemies "imps", often as a pejorative. "Imp Hater" is a trait some soldiers have that grants them a damage boost towards enemies.
- New Game+: You get a bonus character during New Game Plus, some cut scenes are extended, and you can also unlock some exposition only chapters that would have been totally Spoileriffic if seen on the first play through.
- New Meat: Some of the characters' potentials exemplify traits of this.
- No Name Given: The Medic, unless you know that she's a cameo character from one of the earlier games from the same developers. There are actually three medics who are all identical siblings. Their names are Fina, Hina, and Mina. More direct examples would be the Drill Instructor and the Aged Gentleman in the War Cemetery, though you can eventually get their names and bios after unlocking all the orders and leveling every class to level 20.
- Nonuniform Uniform: If you look carefully, some of the characters, especially the main ones, have noticeable variations in their uniforms.
- No Ontological Inertia: Any mission ends in success the moment the main objective is completed, regardless of how many enemy troops or tanks are still alive or how nearly wiped out your team is. This is sometimes justified by the enemies (or your allies) retreating upon mission success, but there are numerous times when the enemy can appear to have the upper hand but still lose anyways if you just craftily occupy a certain critical base or something along those lines. This becomes most notable when going for top ranks, as winning as fast as possible often involves using a fragile scout to cross large amounts of territory while skirting around enemies that could kill them.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: You can still rescue squadmates even after they get shot in the face with a tank shell. With a little luck, tougher classes such as Lancers and Shocktroopers can even take a direct hit from an explosive round and get back up to return the favor. Also, running someone over with a tank does zero damage.
- Officer And A Lady: Varrot.
- Official Couple: Guess who!
- Oh, Crap: Chapter 4, when Welkin's tank just appeared out of the water in front of two Imperial soldiers. Even though their faces can't be seen because of the helmets, their voices alone are just priceless. Hell, Alicia's reaction is basically this, even though the tank is on HER side!
- Old Soldier: While most of Squad 7 are teenagers, you get the odd one of these. Largo is the most prominent example and he has the personality of one, even going so far as to initially view Welkin as New Meat and refuse to take orders from him. Other Old Soldier squad members include Musaad, Catherine and Wavy. The king of this trope, however, is Coby: the previously listed characters are mostly in their 30's and 40's, but Coby is 65 years old and still out kicking ass and taking names.
- One-Man Army: Selvaria and Alicia do this in one level. It can also be played straight if you use one character almost exclusively throughout the mission.
- Only One Name: Darcsens do not have last names, as part of the punishment by the Valkyrur since ancient times. Isara is an exception because she's adopted.
- Optional Party Member: While this applies in a sense to all of the game's recruitable soldiers, there are also five hidden ones (one per class): Musaad (Scout), Lynn (Shocktrooper), Audrey (Lancer), Knute (Engineer), and Emile (Sniper), that only get unlocked by certain means, two of which involve certain characters getting KO'ed.
- Orange-Blue Contrast
- Pause Scumming: The unit you are controlling, (and only the unit you are controlling) will be exposed to suppression fire, whether he or she is stationary, behind cover, or moving. However, enemies will mysteriously cease fire the moment you take aim. This leads to one or two different playstyles. The player will usually either run fast, shoot, and stop controlling the character; or walk, aim, walk, aim, walk, aim....
- Pendulum War: In the absence of Squad 7, the rest of the Gallian military doesn't seem to be able to achieve much of anything and generally get their butts handed to them by the Empire. However, once Squad 7 arrives on the field, expect to see Imperials flying across the Gallian-Imperial border in droves.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling:
- The Windmill Plaza skirmish can be consistently completed in a single phase to rake in large amounts of xp and money, even just on Normal difficulty. Good for starting off, until you tackle...
- Susie's Skirmish mission. While it is DLC, this fairly short skirmish has only 8 enemy scouts to kill, including an ace scout. Beating the mission, even with a D rank, guarantees at least 23000 XP. An A-rank gives you over 60000 XP and 120000 ducat. A-rank requires beating it within 8 turns, and can be completed in as little as 3. With enough farming, you can level up all 5 classes to 20 as soon as the Skirmish tab opens up to you shortly after the start of the game.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The Valkyria are literally walking nuclear bombs.
- Power Trio: Hannes (Id), Oscar (Superego) and Jane (Ego)
- Player Mooks: More of a You Suck than anything else, but if the player loses enough squad members permanently, they get replaced with an endless series of faceless, one-size-fits-all mooks.
- Plotline Death: Isara. And later, Selvaria. Gregor too, but everyone hates him anyway.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Selvaria is a terrifying enemy until we find out Alicia's a Valkyria too. She becomes more sympathetic as the story goes on because of that kinship, and the story makes it pretty clear that her suicide is a tragedy, but the thousands of Gallian soldiers she wiped out with her final flame had it coming.
- Punch Clock Villain: Not all Imperial soldiers are Magnificent Bastards or Jerkasses. A large majority of them are just regular joes just like the Gallians and this fact is heavily emphasized during one of the game's chapters. The Selvaria DLC expounds on this a bit more. Radi Jaeger also has signs of this, as he's only fighting for the Empire to free his homeland. He (and Selvaria, except she's truly dedicated to the cause) is easily the most likable of the villains.
- Putting on the Reich: The Empire loves this. Though they'd probably look more at home in early World War I. They're very Prussian.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Gallia Militia in general, with Squad 7 standing out moreso.
- Really Dead Montage: As if they couldn't hammer home Isara's death enough. Rosie even sings through the entire montage.
- Recurring Ace: The aptly named "Ty the Immortal."
- Red Baron: Various characters have names attached to them, most noticeably the enemy aces. They have monikers like "the Iron", "the Immortal", "the Heavy". The Selvaria DLC showed that Musaad was in the military with the name "the Mole", which he apparently had since the previous war, also according to her bio at the end of the game, Jane, in addition to becomming a drill instructor is referred to as "Sadistic Jane" with reverence.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All activated Valkyria appear to have red eyes, though it seems to be Selvaria's natural eye color.
- Redemption Equals Death:
- Faldio and in a way, Selvaria too.
- Somewhat inverted in the case of Rosie, who got her own personal redemption via the death of another person.
- Required Party Member: Welkin and the Edelweiss tank are almost always required for battles, probably due to Can't Drop the Hero and serving as the commander for Squad 7. (Amusingly, even when the Edelweiss is out of commission for story reasons Welkin tends to still be around as an on-foot Scout.) Other party member requirements vary based on the mission. Alicia is a very common requirement due to her role in the story, and Largo and Rosie are occasionally required as well. This game is a particularly noticeable example of this trope because you have a finite number of members you can take into battle and sometimes half or more of that number will be filled with required characters.
- Rescue Romance: Welkin and Alicia don't resolve their relationship until he saves her from herself.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Maximilian does this to Borg.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Homer and Edy in the Edy Detachment DLC.
- Say My Name: "ISARAAAAAA!"
- Schizo Tech: Varies widely between pre-WW and post-WW2 tech. Firearms technology is late-WW2 tech, with the standard infantry rifles of all sides being semi-automatic rifles (Gallia's is roughly based on the Gewehr 43). Airplane technology is pre-WW1. Tanks are inter-war tech, roughly. Tactics vary as well, with The Empire using a classic blitzkrieg but then also using WW1-era trench warfare.
- Sensitive Frail Masochistic Guy And Brash Arrogant Egotistical Girl: Homer and Edy in Edy's DLC, with him being a masochist, Homer takes sublime pleasure in every punch and kick Edy sends his way.
- Seen It All: Largo and Rosie get this way really quick. "Yeah, you sorta get used to this." "Huh.....so it really is a giant land battleship."
- Senseless Sacrifice: Attempted by Alicia when she attempts to destroy the Marmota. Deterred by Welkin's proposal. Borders on Stupid Sacrifice depending on how you view the character development at the end of the game.
- Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Gunfights in Valkyria Chronicles tend to take place at extremely close ranges, particularly in the early game when everyone's accuracy is fairly low. Most of the hidden weapons acquired by beating aces sacrifice range for power, making them even more short-ranged.
- Shout-Out: Major cameos by Vyse, Aika, and Fina of Skies of Arcadia. Vyse and Aika appear as two playable soldiers while Fina appears as a medic along with her two sisters, Gina and Mina.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Dallas Wyatt, for Alicia. It's even one of her in-battle potentials that she gets a stat boost when Alicia is around! After Alicia gets married, Dallas switches targets to Rosie.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Most of the female characters with a male Love Interest fall under this, thankfully.
- Slow Motion Fall: Isara's death.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Most female Lancers are this, walking around with a weapon that's usually longer than they are tall. Applies to Aisha too, the 12-year-old Shocktrooper later on, where she can hold something about the size of a typical light-machine gun, or if you get the Ruhm via DLC.
- Smug Snake: Prime Minister Borg. He tries to come up with dastardly plots, but all end up horribly backfiring on him.
- Sociopathic Soldier:
- Jane. One of her potentials describes her as a sadist, and her Catch Phrase when it activates does not help at all, nor does the fact that the animation shows her rubbing her face in something close to ectacsy.
- When you first recruit Wendy, she says "Ha ha...kaboom! Ha ha..." According to the biographical material, she accidentally blew up her house making homemade explosives before joining the militia.
Wendy: "Hehe, I upped the power!" "I seeeee yoooou!" "Here I coooommmme!"
- Marina is initially implied to be a silent version this but is averted in the fact that she is not sociopathic but just extremely anti-social.
- In Edy's DLC, Edy herself seems to enjoy using Homer as her own personal punching bag. However, he seems to enjoy it as well, perhaps too much.
- So Proud of You: Drill Sergeant Nasty gets teary-eyed and genuinely compliments the squad when every class reaches level 20.
- Splash Damage: Grenades deal splash damage, which makes them one of the only weapons that can easily hit more than one target. Their main use, however, is taking out sandbags so you can get headshots on the exposed troops. Strangely, standing right next to an exploding tank does not inflict splash damage.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: The Valkyrian Shield.
- The Squad: Enough said...
- Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy:
- The Emperor: Prince Maximilliannote
- The Right Hand: Selvaria Bles
- The General: Berthold Gregor
- The Guard: Giorgios Geld
- The Evil Counterpart: The Enemy Aces
- The Oddball: Radi Jaeger
- Stealth-Based Mission: The first operation of Chapter 8, where Welkin and Alicia must dodge Imperial troops and make it to the other side of a forest at night. The Bonus Report "Largo's Passion" tries to be this but arguably fails — it's too easy to attack it head-on.
- The side chapter "What Lies Beyond Hate" is a straighter version, as the mission fails instantly if your units are sighted at the end of your phase.
- The Stoic: Ramsey, and a few others.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In case grenades, grenade launchers, lance-shaped rocket launchers, and tank mortars weren't enough for you, there are also bunkers with ragnite bins behind them. Explosions beget bigger explosions!
- Stupid Sacrifice: Selvaria spares Squad 7 from her Suicide Attack, but all that means is that she killed herself to vaporize a bunch of people that nobody gives two shits about, while letting the only credible threat to Max's success go free.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: After establishing themselves as a Badass Army, half the missions Squad 7 gets sent on are insanely dangerous suicide missions, courtesy of a jealous General Damon.
- Taking You with Me: Selvaria took down the whole Gallian army, save the militia, in her final effort. Averted with Alicia, since Welkin stopped her before she could actually do it. Kinda subverted when Faldio took down Maximilian together with him, since this is more of an atonement/apology than a desperate effort. Maximilian, on the other hand, was trying to invoke the trope himself at the time.
- Tank Goodness: Appears to be standard operating procedure in the Empire.
- Team Mom: Welkin sees Alicia this way. Also helps that one of Alicia's abilities is called 'Maternal.'
- Team Pet: Hans, the insufferably cutesy winged pig.
- That Woman Is Dead: Alicia feels this way about being Valkyria. She's convinced otherwise.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Using mortars to kill scouts or engineers, using anti-tank lances to kill anyone but tanks...
- Those Two Guys: Kreis and Leon.
- Toilet Humour: Welkin investigates what Alicia at first takes to be seeds, but...
Welkin: Alicia, hold on to these for me, will you?
Alicia: Sure Welkin. What are these? Some kind of nuts?
Welkin: No, actually they're longbeard goat droppings.
Alicia: Ahhh! Gross! You made me hold poo? Are you crazy?! *Throws them to the ground*
- The look on Alicia's face afterwards just makes it funnier.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Isara
- Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: One of the chapters is based on this, where Welkin and Alicia are cut off from their squad during an ambush and spend two missions trying to reunite with them, the Edy Detachment dlc is also based on this premise.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: A lot of the later stages are subject to this, especially the Scrappy Level.
- True Companions: Squad 7, natch.
- Tsurime Eyes: Several of the women, though Cpt. Varrot is the most obvious of them.
- Underdogs Never Lose: Pretty obvious.
- Unexplained Recovery: If you can rescue your fallen soldiers with the medic, you can bring them back into combat in the same battle using a base. It doesn't matter if they got shot in the head, blown up with a grenade, or blasted to smithereens by a tank shell. They get better (and fast!).
- Unlucky Childhood Friend:
- Juno. As crazy as she is about Welkin, we all know whom he'll end up with... Poor lass.
- Noce for Alicia would qualify as well.
- The Uriah Gambit: General Damon begins to grow jealous as Squad 7's success, so he continually assigns them even more dangerous missions as Cannon Fodder in the hope that they'll get killed.
- Valley Girl: Cherry is like, such a totally awesome example of this trope, and.. hey! Are you, like, listening?!
- Verbal Tic: There are many of these to distinguish characters in the Japanese track. Hermes and his "-yo"s. Hannes likes to end his sentences with "-ssu" like a Prinny... Elysse doesn't really have one in particular, but talks slowly and drags out her words. (Maybe because she's a "Slow Starter?")
- Unstable Equilibrium: You're rewarded with extra money, class xp, and eventually even powerful weapons for finishing missions quickly, which in turn allows you to field better weapons and units to finish other missions even more quickly. While skirmishes provide a means for grinding money and xp if you feel underpowered (though you're still out of luck if you miss special weapons), finishing main missions quickly can be a key component of performing well in future missions. It doesn't help that performance is ranked predominantly by number of turns, meaning that doing seemingly illogical things like keeping around certain units for extra command points without ever using them and prioritizing the main objective over killing enemies along the way or even saving allies before final death, can be the best way to play.
- Urban Warfare: While many stages feature World War I-type trench warfare, there's also quite a few that happen in the ruins of cities, especially during the first chapters.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Sometimes, your troopers are just too darn adorable! Really! You will go to save your squad members when they're downed.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- You can send your troops on suicide missions deliberately.
- Also, you can run your own soldiers over with your tank. It won't harm them at all, and you get to hear their hilarious reaction to being hit by a tank. Better yet, it's entirely possible to use this to your advantage - knocking units around with the tank while they're on an armed landmine will toss them safely away.
- You can even use your soldiers to provide cover for other soldiers; yes, interception fire will hit another soldier if you hide your "active" soldier behind one. In certain cases, you can actually use this to your advantage against the AI. You Bastard.
- One medal requies a memeber of your unit to die permenantly during combat (Not saved by a medic in three turns, has an enemy soldier touch their unconcious form etc). The player will most likely develop a retinue of troops they always use and couldn't bare to be without, so for 100% completionists they have to look at their roster, decide which of their unused men they like least, put them in a battle, control them by hand into enemy fire, and sit there for three turns (more than enough to save them) while they lay there dying, before listening to their final words.
- Villain Episode: One of the DLC packs includes chapters that are focused around Selvaria and the Imperial army.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Valkyria's ultimate weapon, Valkof, is essentially a gigantic laser cannon capable of blowing up mountains. On a smaller scale, the Valkyrian lance.
- Weak, but Skilled: Engineers; sure, they have bugger-all health, but the fact they can move almost as far as scouts, defuse mines (even after stepping on one), refill any unit's ammo to full just by touching them, carry three grenades as opposed to one, use healing items that are twice as effective, and are the only ones capable of fixing your tank(s) make them one of the most versatile units around. It's generally an unwritten rule to have at least one in your squad at all times.
- We Cannot Go On Without You:
- Welkin's death is a losing condition on pretty much every map in the game.
- Alicia is subject to this on occasion as well.
- We Do the Impossible: Pretty much Squad 7's motto. They are almost always given missions deemed suicidal, or at least ones the deemed unfit for the regular Gallian army to undertake. And despite the odds, they manage to succeed each time, or at the very least delay the enemy forces.
- We Have Reserves: The Gallian Militia is almost always given the most suicidal missions with minimal support from the main army.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: For all the main characters in the credits, and all the secondary characters in your squad when you completed the game in the Encyclopedia Exposita.
- World War II: The game cribs its setting heavily from World War II; Gallia is essentially "Belgium with the military policies of Finland and Switzerland in the mix", the East Europan Empire is basically the Axis powers of Europe (though their territory includes where Russia should be, interestingly enough), the Federation is obviously the Allied powers (sans any country outside Europe) and there's even a persecuted ethnic minority whom the East Europans particularly hate. The actual visual and mechanical design ends up being a bit of an Anachronism Stew between both real life World Wars, though.
- Woolseyism: Dark Hair was made up as a slur for the Darcsens in the English version. They were simply called "Darcsens" in the original.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Selvaria pulls off a masterful one. She makes a point of not activating her powers and then feigns exhaustion when Damon comes to capture her; it's a set-up that ends in the annihilation of the entire army. It's also one of the most obvious instances of Protagonist-Centered Morality in the game.
- Wreathed in Flames: Active Valkyria.
- Written by the Winners: Everyone in Europa (or who studied Europan history) believed that the Darcsens were responsible for the calamity that affected the continent until the Valkyrur saved them. It's subverted as (according the artbooks) archaeologists are finding more and more evidence that suggests that the Darcsens were framed as the culprits and that the Valkyrur are the real villains, which is why they're starting to doubt the history as taught to them in schools. Also the revelation that the Randgriz family were descended from Darcsens.
- X Meets Y: Fire Emblem crossed with a Third-Person Shooter.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Darcsens have either dark blue or dark purple hair. Dark-hair is a racial slur.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Maximilian does this to Selvaria when realizes her Valkyria powers won't give his forces an advantage anymore. It may apply to Borg too, in a sense.
- You Have Failed Me: Coincides with the above entry, as Maximilian also does this to Selvaria for losing a critical battle to the Gallians.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Hmm... where to start? Alicia, Rosie, Isara... Pretty much any Squad 7 girl who isn't in pants, in which case, they're in skirts and knee socks.
The Manga provides examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: Tha manga is better than the anime in its story telling. It helps that the extras are now integrated into the story, meaning someone's Ensemble Darkhorse now gets more characterization and stuff.
- Accidental Hero: Nadine mistakes Cezary as the one who saved her from an enemy sniper. But what really happened was that it was actually Marina who shot the sniper while Cezary was going to let it happen. He tries to explain the truth it to Nadine but Marina gives him a Death Glare to make him shut up and not talk about it.
- Anyone Can Die
- Ascended Extra: All of the Militia members in the game get their own scenes or an extra role in the manga.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Seeing people bleeding getting shot and injured in the manga makes the anime look like child's play. But nothing compare seeing Alicia saving an injured farmer only to learn the other half of his body has been blown off.
- Cliff Hanger: Read Volume 3.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Welkin (again), even more so than in the anime or the game. Having forgotten that the schedule for a strategy meeting was changed, he went off to watch an ant colony and collect spotted leeches.
- Darker and Edgier: See War Is Hell.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: "Mr. Merchant" during the attack on Bruhl, much to Alicia's horror as she pulls him from some rubble.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cezary tells Nadine to stay with him to be safe during a battle in the forest. Whether it means he's becoming less of a jerk or really does have feelings for her is up for you to decide.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Spoofed; during the vasel engagement Jane is shown charging towards the Imperial lines (much to Rosie's annoyance), frothing at the mouth and yelling obscenities whilst firing her machine gun...only to get clotheslined accidentally by Largo's anti-tank lance when he turns around to see what Jann wants.
- Love Square: A very interesting, complicated one which is better than in the anime: Welkin might have feelings for Juno and Alicia and know his best friend Faldio has feelings for Alicia. Alicia has feelings for Welkin but feels conflicted because her good friend Juno has feelings for Welkin too which in turn makes Alicia fall for Welkin's best friend Faldio. Juno has feelings for Welkin but is unaware that her good friend Alicia also has feelings with Welkin too as she thinks Alicia has feelings for Faldio. Faldio has feelings for Alicia who may have feeling for him but feels conflicted as Welkin may have feelings for Alicia but Juno too.
- The Rival: Edy's one-sided rivalry with Rosie is finally become two-sided with Rosie seeing Edy as an idiot attention seeker that might put the squad in danger.
- Shown Their Work: The manga author thankfully averts doing Hollywood Tactics and instead did some research on WW2 and modern combat tactics and made most of the chracters do accurate and practical battle tactics like giving covering fire, taking cover, snipers working in pairs using camouflage, teamwork, etc.
- War Is Hell: The manga doesn't shy away on how war affects everyone from civilians to soldiers on both sides.