Rokusabe Koujirou is a Valkyrie, a human compatible with a device known as a Valkyrie Core and able to materialize a suit of Powered Armour known as a Valkyrie Frame. Training as a member of the United Nations Air Force to combat the growing Antagonist forces, Koujirou is one of less than 100 males out of the 20,000 Valkyries in service. Surrounded by women, can Koujirou find a way to fight the Antagonists, save the world and maybe even find love?
It doesn't really matter, cause that's not who this quest is about.
''Battle Action Harem Highschool Side Character Quest'' (No SV, you are the Waifu) is a quest run on Sufficient Velocity by Avalanche. Set in a fictional anime (named Project: Valkyrie Core' by the players) the quest's premise is that rather than control the main character mentioned above, the players control one of the side characters. The quest's ultimate goal is to take the side character and make her into a main character, whether through winning the heart of the protagonist, saving the world, or getting a Spin-Off.
The players were allowed to choose a number of archetypes for their character, including the older sister, the younger sister, The Ojou, the Designer Baby, The Ace, the Broken Ace, the awkward shy girl, and the monster.
In their infinite wisdom, the playerbase chose the monster: Anna Sanchez, a traumatized Child Soldier attempting to fit in to a normal life after everyone in her home village was killed. Even though the word "harem" is in the title, the focus on Anna makes the quest more Real Robot Genre than Harem Genre as most of the usual harem hijinks end up offscreen.
The quest is also notable for the amount of thought Avalanche has put into the world and backstory.
Battle Action Harem Highschool Side Character Quest contains examples of:
- Ace Pilot: Skilled Valkyries are this. Extremely skilled Valkyries can go 3v1 without taking a hit.
- Anna's dice pool is, at a minimum, +4d6+12 (that's when she's holding back and not warping reality). Shuri's dice pool is about +3d4+7. Yukari's dice pool is, I think +8.
- Action Girl: Most Valkyries are female and so fall under this trope.
- After the End: The quest is set 58 years after the Antagonists invaded Earth.
- Ambiguous Situation: After a training exercise, in which Koujirou is seriously injured, Anna is told to fix her eyes. It is unclear whether this means her eyes were visibly damaged or if she was crying for Koujirou. Or both. In any case, she does indeed repair her eyes.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: During a training exercise, players briefly take control of Koujirou to form a battle plan against Anna.
- Benevolent A.I.: Valkyrie Cores are implied to have some form of sentience and it's suspected that Durga is behind Anna's Notes To Self.
- Berserk Button: Do not threaten, harm, attempt to harm or even suggest that humans are collateral damage in front of Anna. She will turn her guns on you faster than she can think.
- Breakout Character: The "Goal" of the game is for Anna to become popular enough to become one of these and possibly get her own spinoff.
- Child Soldier: Shuri was in the Pakistani military before they were annexed by the UN and Anna was defending her small village alone since the age of eight.
- Crapsack World: Most of the surface of Earth is under Antagonist control (with large portions underwater), Earth orbit is under relative human control and most of humanity have retreated to underground arcologies. As Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism shows, it could be worse however. Humanity is on the offensive, slowly but steadily beating the Antagonists back, the arcologies are a borderline Post-Scarcity Economy, the UN treats it's Valkyries and Valkyries-in-training fairly well including rotating them out of combat so they don't get ground down, and non-Valkyrie forces are actually capable of fighting back.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Wave Force Manipulation. Its use completely drains the Impeller Field and Higgs particle, leaving the user defenseless and has a high chance of blowing up the user and anyone near them. Anna is able to use this with minimal risk
- Koujirou overriding the safeties on his Valkyrie Frame functions like this, letting him very nearly tag Anna once but putting him in the hospital when he's done.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Any of selected unhappy backgrounds imply this. Shuri's involved being a Child Soldier for the Pakistani military and Anna defended her village for eight years amid growing animosity from the villagers only to return after finally defeating the threat to find everyone dead. While not particularly dark (or atleast, not elaborated on yet), Yukari is considered one of the "Dark" options that influenced the setting towards the grimmer end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.
- Decoy Protagonist: Koujirou is the main character of the fictional anime but not the player character of the quest.
- Deflector Shields: The Impeller field acts as an invisible force field and also allows telekinetic control over anything within its radius. It can also be consumed to power more advanced abilities.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Setsuna's normal reaction to Koujirou being his usual self.
- Defied whenever Anna is present.
- Elite Mooks: The Type 0s, the Antagonists anti-Valkyrie forces, ranked strongest to weakest: Class A-E. The first rule of fighting one is that you cannot beat one solo. The second is that you cannot beat it with your flight and the third is you cannot beat one with your squadron. Standard tactics are to run away and request backup, regardless of the class. Anna was able to defeat a Class C* solo.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Antagonists.
- Everything Sensor: All Valkyries have this to some extent, however Anna specializes in this and hers is sensitive enough to register that the simulated Antagonists are fakes and can be safely ignored. She also manages to detect several additional targets during a lesson on how to use the sensor. Not even the instructors appeared to pick up on this.
- Finger Poke of Doom: Anna manages to break Koujirou's sword and deflect his Desperation Attack with a thumbs up gesture.
- Fun with Acronyms: The title for the fictional anime the quest takes place in is "Project Valkyrie Core", which is shortened to PVC. As a meta example, the quest's title is shortened to BAHHSCQ, pronounced as Basque.
- Also, United Nation Office of Military Intelligence. Shortened as UNOMI.
- Framing Device/Literary Agent Hypothesis: An unusual example. The setting is a fictional anime but this has no bearing to the characters the players interact with. In other words, there is a fictional universe where the quest's events are real, and another fictional universe where the quest's events are an anime. We don't see anything of the second universe, but Word of God says the anime is showing the parts with Koujirou. The fictional anime depicts events that are "off-screen" from the players perspective, while the quest depicts events that are off-screen in the fake anime. One reader decided to run with this and made an Omake where 4chan reacts to the show.
- Hammerspace: All Valkyries have this. Stored items can also (after some time) be improved in various ways and integrated into the Valkyrie Frame itself.
- Hero of Another Story: The quest itself is this, since the fictional anime stars Koujirou.
- Improbably Female Cast: As only 0.05% of all Valkyries are male, male characters other than Koujirou are unlikely.
- Instant Armor: Valkyrie Frames can be materialized and dematerialized at will, so long as one is synced to a Valkyrie Core. Experienced users can summon the Frame instantly, while those who havent been synced as long take a few seconds.
- Instant Web Hit: The Bread-chan meme, images of Anna and her reaction to the various breads she ate as she worked her way down The List.
- Lead the Target: Koujirou attempts to do this during a training scenario against Anna. Due to Annas erratic speed and acceleration, it doesnt work.
- Major Injury Underreaction: After a 3v1 training session Anna is told to 'fix her eyes.' Whether this is because she was crying or if her eyes were visibly damaged is left ambiguous. In the case of the latter, it means Anna was fighting while blind and didn't even notice.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Anna's missile racks can fire a maximum salvo of 60. During a lesson, Anna decides to instead launch her entire store of missiles (260) out of her Hammerspace at once.
- Men of Sherwood: Far from being unimportant cannon fodder, non-Valkyrie UN forces are a core part of their battle plan, even in zones that do have an abundance of Valkyries. Ground forces with heavy-duty long-range artillery are decisive tools in aiding Valkyries with taking out larger concentrations of enemy forces and the importance of having infantry to hold ground so the Valkyries can focus on more important battles is noted.
- Note to Self: Anna has received several messages in her voice reminding her to do 'normal things', seemingly without having recorded them. It is suspected that Durga may be the one behind the messages.
- One-Man Army: When you can solo a Type 0, Anna definitely qualifies.
- Powered Armour: The Valkyrie Frames are this. Various frame specialize in different areas, such as close quarters or long range. They also allow the user to fly.
- Power Levels: Type 0's are ranked E through A, in ascending order.note All Valkyries are tested and given a combat rating and from that a ranking. The ranks, in order are:
- Junior Valkyrie Third Grade
- Junior Valkyrie Second Grade
- Junior Valkyrie First Grade
- Enlisted Second Grade
- Enlisted First Grade
- Elite Enlisted
- Elite First Grade
- Ace/300 Level Valkyrie*
- Genius (300 Level) Valkyrie*
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Players were able to influence exactly when the setting fell on a scale of -5 to 5. It ended up at a not hopeless -1.
- Space Master: Mainly Type 18's, though experienced Valkyries can use this to teleport.
- Supporting Protagonist: Anna is just a side character when the quest starts. It is the players goal to change this.
- Swiss Army Weapon: All Valkyrie frames are this.
- Unobtainium: The Higgs particle. Used by Valkyries to power their most powerful abilities, only the Antagonists have any understanding of the technology and are able to generate it. Humanity is unable to even accurately simulate its effects.
- Upgrade Artifact: Valkyrie Cores improve anything they're attached to.
- Virtual Training Simulation: Used to train, both against simulated Antagonist forces and real, human Valkyries. They also allow Valkyries to run historical simulations, although since the Higgs Particle cannot be simulated, some of them cannot be successfully completed.
- War Is Hell: Shuri is a Child Soldier and Anna lost her entire village. War most certainly isn't fun.