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Mugen Senshi Valis (aka Valis: The Fantasm Soldier or simply Valis), a series of anime-style platform games by Telenet Japan:

  • Mugen Senshi Valis
    • PC-88, MSX, PC-98, X1, FM77AV versions developed by Wolf Team (1986–87) note 
    • Famicom version (1987) — Though published by Tokuma Shoten, this was Telenet Japan's first attempt at console game development; the promotional video made by Sunrise for this version was the closest thing ever produced to a Valis anime.
    • Mega Drive version developed by Riot (1990), released in the U.S. by Renovation Products
    • PC Engine Super CD-ROM2 version developed by Riot (1992)
  • Valis II
    • PC Engine CD-ROM2 System version developed by Laser Soft (1989) and released in the U.S. by NEC (1989)
    • PC-88, MSX2, PC-98, Sharp X68000 versions titled Mugen Senshi Valis II developed by Renovation Game (1989) note 
    • Mega Drive version titled SD Valis developed by ISC note  (1992) and released in the U.S. by Renovation Products as Syd of Valis — Features Super-Deformed graphics.
  • Valis III
    • PC Engine CD-ROM2 System version developed by Laser Soft (1990) and released in the U.S. by NEC
    • Mega Drive version developed by Renovation Game (1990) and released in the U.S. by Renovation Products
  • Valis IV
    • PC Engine Super CD-ROM2 version developed by Laser Soft (1991)
    • Super Famicom version titled Super Valis: Akaki Tsuki no Otome developed by Laser Soft (1992) and released in the U.S. by Atlus as Super Valis IV. Rereleased for the Nintendo Switch SNES Online service in 2020.

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

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

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

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

Later on, on December 2020, a new website commemorating the game's 35th anniversary was created In celebration of this anniversary, a special edition containing Valis I-III will be rereleased for Nintendo Switch.

Now has a character page (under construction).

Valis provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • In the non-canon Famicom version of Valis, Valia is depicted as a Manipulative Bastard who orchestrated Rogles' attack so she could steal Yuko's body, as her own is failing.
    • Megas, the main villain of Valis II, is depicted in the Japanese PC versions as a Bad Boss with plenty of Kick the Dog moments, such as taking Yuko's mother hostage and killing her anyway when Yuko complied to his demands. In the PC Engine version however, he is depicted as a Tragic Villain trying to avenge his betrayal by his own father and brother, and gracefully accepts defeat at the hands of Yuko before dying.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Every game except Valis IV has one of these. Yuko mourns Reiko after killing her in the 1st game, and the Big Bads of II and III each using their dying words to explain their sympathetic motives to Yuko after she defeats them. All the bad guys in IV are Card Carrying Villains, and are sliced and diced with impunity.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final battles in Valis II and III both take place IN SPACE for no apparent reason.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Both versions of Valis III. Also, though not as bad, The fourth game, compared to this.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Valis sword and its counterpart, Leethus, which belongs to Glames, King of the Dark World.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Happens to Yuko Ahso at the end of the third game. She becomes the goddess of the realm of Vecanti.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Giga Thunder. As impressive as a screen nuke it is, the first game had completely consume your MP, which considering how rare it is, is not a good thing. Later games made it more lenient in terms of MP consumption.
  • Bad Boss: Megas in Mugen Senshi Valis II.
  • The Baroness: Medius in Valis IV is a loyal follower of Galgear and acts stoic yet also seductive.
  • Bastard Understudy: Voldes, the Lord of Thunder in the first Valis. He is patiently waiting for Rogles to fall so he can take his place as the new King of the Dark World.
  • Benevolent Boss: While Rogles acts cruelly to his enemies, he does seem to be good with his servants compared to most other Big Bads.
  • Boss Warning Siren: In Valis II: "WARNING !! A STRONG WARRIOR (Adjective Noun Fred) IS COMING HERE !"
  • Breast Plate: So... how exactly does a golden brassiere and miniskirt protect against anything, exactly? Although her upgraded armor in the third game looks much more threatening.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Valis III and IV make it clear that Megas is remembered as the Tragic Villain he was in the original PC Engine Valis II rather than the monster he was in Mugen Senshi Valis II.
  • Changing of the Guard: Yuko passes the Valis sword to new heroine Lena at the start of the fourth game.
  • The Chosen One: Yuko (and later Lena) are the ones who can save the world by wielding the Valis Sword.
  • Company Cameo: In the PC Engine version of III, the first boss fight takes place against the backdrop of a neon sign bearing the logo for NEC, that platform's publisher. The Switch rerelease changes the sign to instead be for Edia Smart Media Company, the publishers of the collection. The Genesis version's sign just reads "Reno", which is likely short for Renovation, Telenet Japan's North American subsidiary.
  • Compilation Rerelease: Valis: The Fantasm Soldier Collection groups the first three games in their PC Engine form. A second compilation was announced shortly after which collects the PC Engine version of Valis IV, the Mega Drive version of the first game and Syd of Valis.
  • Dark World: The actual name of one of the lower realms in the Valis cosmos, along with Dreamland and the real world.
  • Deadly Upgrade: According to Nazetti in the third game, the price for releasing the Valis blade to its full power. It sucks that this also ends up being entirely cosmetic, albeit awesome.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: In the Genesis version, most of the sword powerups shoot horizontally. The exception is the one that produces homing arrows, and some powerups upgraded to level 3.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending theme of the first game is sung by Sumi Shimamoto, Yuko's voice.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first Valis game was a lot less linear with maze-like stage design, there is no magic system similar to the Castlevania games, no slide maneuver, a larger emphasis on (broken) English, and a bizarre experience system quickly dropped in the later games and ports.
  • Evil Counterpart: Reiko becomes the Dark Valis Soldier to Yuko's Valis Soldier. Although after her defeat she does a Heel–Face Turn and appears in the later games Obi Wan Kenobi-style to advise or encourage Yuko
  • Evil Is Visceral: Emperor Megas has lots of twisted bundles of huge biomechanical arteries underneath his armor and face.
  • Expy: Yuko greatly resembles Fandora from the 1985 OVA series Dream Dimension Hunter Fandora, as well as Yohko from Leda: The Fantastic Adventure of Yohko from the same year.
  • Fanservice
    • Using Stripperiffic armor galore!
    • And don't forget the slide maneuver, which (in the TurboGrafx-CD version) exposes the heroine's underwear.
  • Fun Size: Syd of Valis, which uses Super-Deformed sprites, and a Lighter and Softer look.
  • Graceful Loser: Emperor Megas in the canon versions of Valis II is not at all bitter with Yuko after she defeats him, and congratulates her before explaining his sympathetic motives and wishing her success before dying in her arms, unlike the even more cruel version of him in the possibly non-canon version of Mugen Senshi Valis II.
  • Gratuitous French: Super Valis IV bizarrely makes "M'aider Maiden" an epithet for Lena.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Valna and Yuko's mother, Valia in the Japanese PC versions of Valis II.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Obviously Valis X, being the unusual hentai spinoff it is. The 2007 manga adaptation published on Comic Valkyrie also has much more nudity and graphic violence than the source game.
  • Inconsistent Dub: So is it Cham or Char? Valis, or Varis? Syd of Valis renames Yuko to Syd in game, but the box and manual disagree.
  • Jump Physics: In the Genesis version of Valis, Yuko can slide across a gap that she'd otherwise fall down.
  • Kick the Dog: Megas in Mugen Senshi Valis II. He's said to have killed his entire family, "including the women and children", his own underlings, and even the monsters who unsealed him - and that's just how he treats his allies.
  • Macguffin Title: Valis is not the name of the main character, but an Ancestral Weapon that is passed down to chosen warriors, and magically grants its wielder a magical Chainmail Bikini to boot.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Yuko and Lena.
  • Magic Skirt: Most versions of most of the games have this.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Exclusively in the Famicom version of Mugen Senshi Valis, the plot extends from the fall of Rogles to reveal that Valia, of all people, instigated the entire conflict just to find a powerful new body since she sensed her time was coming. However, she backs down quietly after losing a duel to Yuko. The canonicity of this event is questionable, although this may have inspired her canonical death of apparent natural causes in Valis II.
  • Mirror Boss: Reiko. invokedThat One Boss due to her spell, which hits the entire screen and takes off 48% of your life bar's capacity in damage.
  • Multiple Endings: Three in the Famicom version of Mugen Senshi Valis due to its slight expansion, with none of them quite matching the original version's ending.
  • Named Weapons: The Valis sword, of course, as well as its Evil Counterpart, Leethus.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The third game after Yuko's deadly upgrade, arguably. Especially the Slippy-Slidey Ice World, which requires you, at one point, to jump on a moving platform (still slippery), quickly duck to avoid the suddenly low ceiling, and then use a well timed slide maneuver to get over a Bottomless Pit. And then you have to fight the boss.
    • Also, the fourth game (which is fairly rare).
  • Rival Turned Evil: Reiko, who is turned into a Dark Action Girl by Rogles, before her own Heel–Face Turn.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Valna, the one who fights using a magic spell, wears a robe (though not a hat).
  • Sailor Fuku: Yuko wears a sailor fuku for the first few stages before getting her Chainmail Bikini. The blue skirt matches the color of her hair. It returns in Mugen Senshi Valis II as one of her selectable outfits.
  • Saving the World: Of course the plot of the three games; subverted in the third game in that, by saving your world from the invading armies of the Dark World, you doom the inhabitants of the Dark World, which is slowly being swallowed into the void.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: The Shameful Strip example below is also one of these; in Mugen Senshi Valis II, Megas takes Valia hostage, ordering Yuko to lay down her sword... and then to remove her suit. The best part: after she complies, Megas kills Valia anyway.
  • Shameful Strip: In Mugen Senshi Valis II, Cruel King Megas demands Yuko to strip down. She complies.
  • The Starscream: Venon, the Lord of Fire in the first Valis.
  • Super-Deformed: SD Valis (or Syd of Valis), which retells the story of Valis II in a Cliff's Notes manner.
  • Sword Beam: The powerups give your sword a ranged attack. The actual effect varies, including both a spread shot, to a more classic crescent.
  • This Cannot Be!!: Megas' final speech in Mugen Senshi Valis II, rather than his counterparts' more Alas, Poor Villain demise in some other versions. Also doubles as As Long as There Is Evil, although the threat seems to have been exaggerated (and non-canon).
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Gyeda, the Lord of Earth, who is the first boss you come across in the first game, can be considered this in the Genesis version if you don't know what you're doing. It's mostly because of his earthquake attack that he uses most of the freaking time.
  • Womb Level: The final level in Valis IV. The Big Bad even attacks by shooting giant fetuses at you.
    • The final level in Valis II resembles an alien hive from Aliens. Also, Act 4 takes place in an organic-looking cave.

Alternative Title(s): Valis II, Valis III, Valis IV