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Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the fourth game of the Valkyria Chronicles series. It was released in Japan on March 21st, 2018 for the Playstation 4, with a worldwide release on September 25th, 2018 that also included the Xbox ONE, Nintendo Switch and PC platforms. This game marks the return of the series to mainstream consoles (not counting the spinoff Valkyria Revolution), and is set in the same timeline as the first Valkyria Chronicles game.

The game returns to the events of the Second Europan War of EC 1935, which focuses on the Atlantic Federation, the major power fighting against the East Europan Imperial Alliance, as the two vie for dominance of the Europan continent in their quest to secure Ragnite, a strategically important resource. Three months into the war, the Federation begins losing ground against the Empire's might, forcing them to enact Operation Northern Cross, a desperate gambit to end the war by raiding the Imperial capital.


Joining the offensive is Claude Wallace, a tank commander in the Atlantic Federation's Edinburgh Army 101st Division Platoon E, who fights to end the war and take back his homeland. Together with his comrades in Platoon E including his estranged childhood friend Riley Miller, prodigy sharpshooter Kai Schulen, and the hot-blooded Darcsen Raz, they undertake a campaign that will take them across the frozen north as they fight against the numerically superior Empire. Compounding matters is the presence of the Imperial Science Institute's X-0 unit, who fields modified superhumans led by a Valkyria against the Federation.



This game provides examples of:

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  • Ace Custom: All vehicles at your disposal. Also the Centurion, your very own battleship.
  • Action Commands: When a character reaches zero HP, the player occasionally gets a few seconds to choose between "Inspire" and "Stand Up" or "Inspire" and "Counter" Inspire buffs nearby comrades. Stand Up makes the character invulnerable for one movement and one action before dropping dead. "Counter" as the name implies lets the downed character act the unit that downed them.
  • Action Girl: Riley, Kai, Minerva, and many other female members of Platoon E. Also, if you have the 10th Anniversary Memorial Pack, Isara from the original Valkyria Chronicles will become playable as a Grenadier to Platoon E, while Rosie & Edy join as Shocktroopers.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The game includes side chapters called "Squad Stories", which feature the stories of the rest of Squad E's individual members. Completing them either grants a new potential, or turns a bad potential into a good one.
  • A.K.A.-47:
    • Much as various Gallian tanks strongly resemble German tanks, Squad E's Hafen is nearly a dead ringer for an early-production, welded-hull M4 Sherman, save for a few minor changes like the driver and radio operator hatches appearing to open forward instead of being on the topside of the hull and the use of an Edelweiss-style hood mantlet (which the normal Minute it's modified from lacks).
    • The M91 Robinson Submachine Gun is clearly modeled after various models of the Thompson Submachine Gun. To drive the comparison home, it's also known as the "Robby Gun".
      • Some aspects, however - most notably the magazine well, the retention bar under the muzzle, and the hooded front sight- seem to draw their influence from the German MP38 and MP40.
    • The Lenfield is, as the name implies, based on the Lee-Enfield, though the Lenfield has been modified into a self-loading rifle (No self-loading variant of the Lee-Enfield was ever mass-produced and adopted. They were limited to prototypes and experimental models, such as the BSA Howell and Charlton automatic rifles, and Russell Turner's self-loading conversion of the SMLE.), while the LF Wasp variant used by snipers has remained bolt-action.
      • A bit muddled, however, in that appearance-wise the Lenfield seems to have more in common with the M1 Garand than Lee-Enfield.
    • The Brown rifle (higher attack series) is, as the name implies, based on the aesthetics of the Browning Automatic Rifle. However, it does not draw much from the fuction of the BAR - it does not fire in full auto, has a very low magazine capacity, has its charging handle on the right hand side of the receiver as opposed to the Browning's left-handed charging handle (likely for animation commonality with the Lenfield and Gallian-S), and has a significantly shorter barrel. The Brown rifle also focuses on shooting overcharged ammunition as opposed to the Browning's purpose of squad supporting sustained fire.
    • The Type-F1 Grenade is, like all other hand grenades in the series, based on the German Stielhandgranate.
    • The new Imperial "Assault Tank" is heavily based on the T-34, though it has the suspension of the Panzer III and its armor is less sloped due to its shorter length and greater height. However, unlike the T-34, its flamethrower variant replaces the main cannon, rather than the hull machine gun, and it has a variant with a turret-mounted heavy machine gun.
    • The new Imperial "Ultimate Tank" is pretty much a dead-ringer for the IS-2 heavy tank, down to sharing its armament, a 122mm D-25T cannon of nearly equal length to its real-life counterpart and the same as the cannon seen previously on General Jaeger's Lupus, which may well have been a prototype for the "Ultimate Tank", considering that it strongly resembled at rear-turreted version of the IS-2.
    • Walz's personal tank, the Vulcan, strongly resembles the Jagdtiger(P) "Ferdinand", albeit with a rotating turret instead of a fixed casemate gun.
  • All for Nothing: Done humorously with Raz explaining how Kai passed her marksmanship test. He and Claude actually hit the targets for her while circumventing the instructors...but it turns out the reason Kai kept missing in the first place was because her rifle had a faulty scope and her skills were in fact the real deal.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The three Federation snow cruisers all have names starting with C: Comet, Cavalier, and Centurion. This Theme Naming pulls double duty as they they are named for British cruiser tanks.
  • Amazon Brigade: It is possible to assemble one with the huge roster of female characters available to Platoon E.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: The Federation deployed six million men in Operation Northern Cross. Most were lost during the ensuing winter. At the end of the war, more than 10 million lives have perished on both sides.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Rosetta Valeriano was born male, but later came to identify as female, or as the in-game bio states, "presents" as female. However, the English localization of the game refers to her using Gender-Neutral Writing, Rosetta herself wears the male-pattern uniform, and she does not trigger a squad member's gender-specific potentials, such as Jester Mooney's "Fancies Women" or Azusa Tsukikage's "Drunk on Pheromones". When looked at in the squad roster, which categorizes members by gender, Rosetta lies smack dab in between the male and female sections of her class.
  • Anyone Can Die: Any non-story required character that is downed, then either not recovered in time or recovered by the enemy is gone for good. A number of major characters are also killed or are at least grievously wounded. Arguably subverted with the Cenotaph.
  • Artistic License – Military: Continuing with the traditions of the first game, even though the player is in control of an actual platoon, most translations in English still calls the player's organization a squad. This is despite the fact that E is actually written as Easy Platoon, and F as Fox Platoon in-game, in English. It's also odd for an Army officer (namely Claude) to get command authority over Navy personnel (note that a Navy captain will actually outrank an Army captain).
  • Back from the Dead: After finishing the game, you can bring dead characters back by visiting the Cenotaph. This costs more money each time you use it, and you have to fight a few skirmish battles before certain characters are available.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Jascha, Hanna and Aoife's Squad Story, "Love and Logic", is set up like a romance plot between Jascha and Aoife, with Hanna playing Shipper on Deck. Until the last scene reveals she has a fiance and is just a Master of the Mixed Message. He takes it surprisingly well.
  • Beach Episode: The DLC Squad E, To the Beach!, where Squad E goes to the beach within Imperial territory to take a coastal base that turns out to be an R&R facility for VIPs. Instead of exotic weapons, the Aces drop swimsuits, which you can then dress the main characters in during missions (which can look strange given that most of the game takes place in the middle of winter).
  • Beta Couple: Klaus and Crymaria became a couple during the war. Against all odds, Klaus and Crymaria managed to survive, unlike most Imperial characters in the previous installments. Raz and Kai are also a beta couple, being solid foils to Claude and Riley respectively.
  • BFG: Lancers as always. Mortarmen, now a separate class of their own called Grenadiers, get bigger freaking guns in the form of deployable mortar launchers, an upgrade from lance-styled launchers of previous games.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: The true ending ends with one between Claude and Riley.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Also doubles as Pyrrhic Victory. The Federation and The Imperial Alliance finally managed to reach a truce, but at the cost of 10 million dead. Claude managed to keep his promise to Riley to re-open her father's company in Hafen and run it together and they finally admit their love to one another. But Raz and the real Kai are dead, leaving Leena alone and heartbroken, but at the very least, she still has her friends and Angie. Claude is stripped of his rank for refusing to detonate the A2 bomb, though since he seemed to be planning to go back to his hometown anyway, this does not seem to be a big problem for him.
  • Black Comedy: The Squad Story involving Teresa, Connor, and Jester qualifies, considering Teresa's threat of dissection towards Jester (and Connor's enthusiasm towards it) is very much Played for Laughs.
  • Bleached Underpants: Let's never for a moment forget that the series' illustrator Raita is also a well-known hentai doujin artist.
  • Bomb Whistle: The sound made by the Grenadier's mortar when firing.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Still the most lethal means to kill an enemy. Although for snipers in some cases, it is no longer One-Hit Kill. Then again, that is why you have access to semi-automatic rifles.
  • Boring, but Practical: Compared to Gallian and Imperial anti-tank lances, which are actually shaped like lances, the Vinland-produced M2EQ is downright sane - while still normally fired from under the arm instead of over the shoulder, the M2EQ has something resembling a stock to brace it with, and it is much lighter at only 10.3 kg vs 16.2 kg for a Gallian Lancaar (and even the higher-accuracy SB9 model, which does have a large blast shield, comes in somewhat lighter than its Gallian and Imperial counterparts at 15.5 kg), likely due to lacking the huge and ornate blast deflectors seen on other lances, which is in turn likely due to operating like the M1 Bazooka (as a recoilless rifle, as well as having a much smaller projectile at 60mm), rather than like a massively overgrown (and reusable) Panzerfaust. Also, its design almost certainly provides better balance than the massive lances used by other nations. That said, despite being designed much more like a serious weapon of war, it's still very inaccurate and lancers using it still have all the same drawbacks as their Gallian, Imperial, and Rebel counterparts did in the previous games.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The "Two Valkyria" DLC grants the player access to the outrageously overpowered Selvaria and Crymaria. The former has a sniper's range, a scout's mobility, a shock trooper's interception capabilities, and a lancer's destructive force and durability while the latter is a grenadier on steroids without the pesky fragility or setup time. However, they require two command points per use and they can only be acquired after the final chapter is done, meaning they're used just to see how badly the player can break the game into itty-bitty pieces.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 5. Coming right after the intense Battle of Siegval, Squads E and F have a chance to relax in a small town. The two squads get caught up in a mock battle over bread and bacon before sitting down to share a meal together. Spirits are high... until the first snowflakes start to fall.
  • Bridge Bunnies: For the first time in this franchise, we have Marie & Louffe (since this is also the first time the player's side gets to use anything from a navy).
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Makes a return in the form of Hard skirmish levels after the game is cleared once. Up to Eleven with the Challenge Skirmishes and DLC Expert Skirmishes, which really test a player's skill.
  • But Thou Must!: You have to assign a soldier to accompany Raz during his Heroic Sacrifice. Even if you're dead sure you could solo the segment as Raz alone, you have to bring the other poor soul with him to die at the end of the level. There are no two ways about it, so make sure you didn't assign someone you like, as the Cenotaph is a long way to go.
  • Bury Your Gays: Christel's personnel file says that she's infatuated with Minerva, and often fantasizes about them being together. She dies at the end of Chapter 7, just as Squad E finally shows up at the rendezvous point.
  • Cain and Abel: Kai AKA Leena and Forsetti AKA the real Kai eventually become this. A tragic example, as both of them actually care about one another.
  • Call-Back:
    • In an ironic sense, the Centurion treading through the streets of Schwartzgrad is very much similar to how the Marmota trampled through the streets of Randgriz in Valkyria Chronicles 1. Both even used the same music.
    • The Lophius is very similar to the Batomys of Valkyria Chronicles 1 in many ways. Both are superheavy battle tanks that cannot be destroyed by conventional weapons, represent an Advancing Boss of Doom with an "Instant Death" Radius that must be avoided and hamstrung instead of engaged directly, and both can only be defeated by hitting exposed radiators while they are recovering from using an ability. Both are also piloted by their games' respective Big Bads, incidentally.
  • Cap: The main game has a level cap of 20, which isn't too hard to reach with a bit of grinding. This is increased to 30 in the post-game.
  • Character Development: Also part of the gameplay. Completing Squad Story missions will forge new character relationships, provide new character attributes and sometimes improve existing ones.
  • Character Shilling: The mysterious Angie, a doll-like cutesy young girl with bubblegum hair and a voice to match, shows up towards the final chapters of the game and she's immediately showered with praise by the rest of the cast, receiving compliments, gifts and extra rations. Riley even decides that she loves her, literally having met her mere days earlier. Clearly contrived to set up Video Game Caring Potential when Angie's dark fate is revealed, the gushing, for some players, is nonetheless excessive and cloying.
  • Childhood Friends: The 4 main characters all came from the town of Hafen in Gallia. The same goes to Forsetti AKA the "real" Kai Schulen.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Claude obviously still carries a torch for Riley. Sadly, thanks to a certain incident in their childhood, their relationship become strained in the present time. As the game progress, their relationship improves, and by the end, both are clearly in love with one another.
  • Collection Sidequest: Obtaining the Excellence in Armament and Excellent in Technology decorations pretty much boil down to defeating every Imperial Ace in the game and nabbing their unique weapons and tank parts. You'd better go over each map with a fine tooth comb if you're gunning for 100% Completion. And yes, that's counting the weapons and tank parts exclusive to the Challenge and Hard skirmishes.
  • Comic Trio: The Squad Story A Chivilrous Heart shows the main characters of Squad F as this; Minerva is the ringleader who's obsessed with beating Claude beyond all reason, Christel is the flunky who goes along with Minerva unquestionably, and Ronald is the straight man who realizes that the whole thing is stupid but can't do anything about it.
  • Commie Nazis: The Empire continues to mix Soviet, Nazi German, and Imperial German aesthetics, if not ideologies, with small arms that strongly resemble German WWII small arms, body armor and officer attire that is more Prussian than Soviet or Nazi Germany in style, and new tanks that are even more heavily based on even more famous Soviet tanks, but a new, unique tank that is heavily styled after the Ferdinand tank destroyer. It is perhaps best emphasized by the name of the Imperial capital, Schwarzgrad, combining 'Schwarz', the German word for 'black' with 'Grad', a shortening of 'Gorod', which is Russian for 'city'. In the English version, they are referred to as fascists and have traditional views on women (exceptions like with Crymaria aside), but their territories are generally aligned with the real world's Warsaw Pact's perfectly.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: The final boss Lophius is immune to AP Down. The other bosses are affected by status effects normally, however, Vulcan included.
  • Continuing is Painful: At first blush, the Cenotaph seems like a useful tool to bring dead squad members Back from the Dead. However, it has a steep cost to begin with at 50,000 DCT, and subsequent revives will tack on an additional 10%, up to a maximum of 150,000 DCT per soldier. Furthermore, reviving a character a second time will cost double that, with the price keeps doubling the more times they are revived, up to a staggering cap of 300,000 DCT.
  • Cool Ship: The 101st Division is accompanied by the icebreaker ship Centurion, which players can command through the Orders system to provide support on the field. It is certainly a Cool Ship, at least until you realize that this ship uses a little girl as a power source for propulsion and for a fantasy nuke...
  • Cool Tank: As a staple of the series, Valkyria Chronicles 4 also features a tank, in this case the Hafen, which can be upgraded and customized as the game progresses.
    • The Hafen is accompanied by the Cactus APC to provide infantry transport.
    • Later joined by the Glory, a Gallian Light Tank requisitioned by Squad F and later joining Squad E when most of Squad F is wiped out and what's left is rolled into Squad E.
    • From the Imperial side, we have Klaus' custom-made tank, the Vulcan Herzog/Procus. Made from the most cutting-edge technology available to the empire, it's incredibly fast, has an independent mounted machine gun that can fire during movement, and its radiator is placed inside its front armor instead of rear-mounted, making anti-armor Grenadiers or high ground the only realistic ways of dealing significant damage, at least until you learn high level orders which let you beat up tanks much more easily. The only bright spot is that the Vulcan's firepower is thankfully not much different than that of other tanks.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Gallian weapons are very accurate. In fact, they are so over-engineered for precision that they aren't particularly good at anything else. While the accuracy advantage over the two other development tracks in each category is appreciable in the early game, where all of your classes are low-leveled and don't have good aim, these same units will have improved enough at Elite and Paragon levels that they could start compensating for the lower Aim of the other weapon systems without having to sacrifice shot damage or magazine capacity, both of which can be crucial during later chapters.
  • Crossover: A group of DLC missions has Squad E in joint exercises with Squad 7 from the first game.
  • Darker and Edgier: Valkyria Chronicles has never shied away from the darker aspects of warfare, but 4 goes heavier on it, with the hero's mission constantly teetering on the brink of failure, facing constant shortages of supplies, fighting the cold on top of the enemy, and requires the player to sacrifice two of their units during one mission. Not to mention the fact that the hero would ultimately be responsible for detonating a nuclear weapon equivalent inside a highly populated city, one that's powered by a child no less.
  • Dark Secret: The reactors onboard the three Federation snow cruisers are not what they seem. They are considered top secret by the Federation, and accessing them without permission will result in court martial followed by summary execution.
  • Decapitated Army: The Federation's ultimate plan for Operation Cygnus: since the Empire is a highly centralized state, the Federation reasoned that if the Empire's leaders are wiped out in one fell swoop, this trope will make it easy for them to mop up the remaining Empire troops, thus Valkyria Bomb in the Empire's capital.
  • Demo Bonus: Completing the demo and loading the save file in the full game gave a unique accessory.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Should a named character die during a mission, the next cut scene that originally had that character will be replaced by a generic trooper.
    • Characters who suffer from Plotline Deaths will have special quotes acknowledging this fact when revived via the Cenotaph.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In one bonus chapter, Riley hears some of the guys making misognistic comments and charges out of the hot spring to confront them... forgetting she doesn't have anything on.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Operation Northern Cross was an attempt by the Federation to march directly into the heartland of the Empire and dictate peace at the latter's capital of Schwartzgrad. This was to be accomplished before the onset of winter. Unfortunately, winter came early in October and doomed any chances for Federation success. note 
    • Moreover, most of the fighting occurs in what the Federation designates as the 'Eastern Front'; the Empire calls the conflict 'Great Patriotic War'. However, this is downplayed somewhat in the official English localization, as the Federation refers to the area as the 'Eastern Theater' and the Empire calls the conflict the 'War for the Motherland'.
    • The Federation main battle tank is known as the Minute/Minutemen, a Vinland design. This is in reference to the speed of its production as well as to commemorate the militia who fought the War of Independence, which led to the founding of the United States of Vinland.
    • The scene of a friendly Imperial civilian lynched by Imperial soldiers recalls tactics employed by hardcore Nazis in the last year of World War II. This practice has still not completely died out - the last recorded attempt was made in 2016 in the aftermath of a failed revolt in Turkey.
    • There is a resistance force within the Empire made up of Imperial citizens known as the Blue Rose. This is based off of the real life White Rose, which was an anti-Nazi resistance group based in Germany mostly made up of students.
    • The presence of foreigners willing to serve in the Edinburgian military is a reminder on how Americans have fought with the Allies in the two World Wars despite America having a neutral stance at first. It's also a reminder on how the French and Spanish Foreign Legions continue to operate even today with foreigners in the rank and file.
    • The fact that ragnite implosion technology and Valkyria bombs are perfected by Riley and scientists in Vinland is a a clear parallel to the US' development of nuclear technology and weaponry during World War II, which are being helped along by several scientist from other countries working for them.
    • Azusa's last personnel entry also hints to a possible Pacific Theater-style war between her homeland and Vinland.
  • Downloadable Content: The 10th Anniversary Release Edition of Valkyria Chronicles 4 includes DLC that features Squad 7 from the original game.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Beating the final mission requires you to get Riley to a certain spot for story reasons, and then defeat a boss tank. To beat the tank, you have to chase it all over the map while knocking out its defence guns and building ladders up the sides so that saboteurs can get on top. Alternatively, if you have unlocked the correct orders, you can move Riley to a different spot in turn one, and then have her hammer the tank's weak spot to death in turn two. Mission accomplished!
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It took a LOT of sacrifices, but they finally managed to end the war. Claude also managed to keep his promise to Riley to re-open her father's company and run it together.
    • The true ending is unlocked only after beating the game once, watching a cutscene to unlock the final mission on hard, and then beating the final mission on hard. Yes, this game makes you, the player, Earn Your Happy Ending.
    • Also in the case of Beta Couple Klaus and Crymaria. They certainly earned theirs.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. Once the Federation pushes past the Siegval line, their supply lines are dangerously thin, and sudden onset of an early winter breaks them, leaving them vulnerable to a counteroffensive. Two missions consist of raids on Imperial supply depots, one to deny them to the enemy, and the other to seize them for the Federation.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Klaus' personal unit, the "Ausbruch" 502nd heavy tank platoon. They ride custom made, powerful tanks and often acts independently in the field and are one of Platoon E's most dangerous foes. Zig-zagged, surprisingly, when it comes to Platoon E itself. While they are considered an elite unit, filled with skillful members, they are generally very down-to-earth, otherwise. Of course, it doesn't make them any less dangerous.
    • Minerva believes her own Platoon F is this. Though this is probably up to the player to decide if they are, or not.
    • In the Edinburgh army, it's anyone who's been through the Ranger training course program.
  • Enemy Chatter: The player will hear this during battle alongside chatter from allies.
  • Evil Colonialist: Used by Imperials to describe the conditions of overseas Federation colonies.
  • Expy: Stahlschrott is one of Arnold schwarzenegger as a T-800 in the film The Terminator.
  • Fantastic Racism: While discrimination against Darcsens run deep in many parts of Europa, this is mostly averted by members of the Federation military. No one in Platoon E, F or other branches of the Federation military spoke ill of Darcsens throughout the game apart from one Squad Story (where the discriminator ends up changing her mind after a Darcsen saves her life). That said, a number of characters do have the Darcsen Discriminator Potential. This does fit rather well with what happened in Valkyria Chronicles II, where Ambassador Townsend suggests that the GRA stop purging Darcsens due to unpopularity with Federation citizens. Compare that to the first game where the Empire has their own Darcsen concentration camps.
    • On the other hand, if the player has the DLC that features the original cast from Valkyria Chronicles, Rosie will remain the poster child of vocal anti-Darcsen racism, despite her having opened up to them during the events of the first game.
  • Fantastic Nuke: A Valkyria's Final Flame serves as an analogous of this, as usual. The Federation chose to weaponize Final Flame into this trope's literal extreme with their Valkyria Bombs: their Final Flame basically serves as a fission trigger for ragnite implosion fusion. Also, before being used as nukes, the Valkyrias involved are basically used as a nuclear reactor for ships.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: This game adds a few more nations to the list of fictional countries in the franchise based off real world countries:
    • The United Kingdom of Edinburgh is the game's version of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, complete with being located on an island off Europa. As per the real UK, in-game supplementary materials note that the Kingdom was the first nation to industrialise, has a highly trained and respected military force, and was the major global power decades prior. The name of Edinburgh, of course, is borrowed from the capital of Scotland, one of the four countries that make up the UK.
    • The United States of Vinland is the obvious equivalent to the United States of America. "Vinland" is the name given to the lands settled by the Norse in Northern America.
    • The far north country of Nord Republic that's conquered by the Empire is the Europa's equivalent of Norway, or the Nordic countries in general, especially given the country's name.
  • The Federation: The Atlantic Federation. Unlike in the original game, Valkyria Chronicles 4 features them as the protagonists. Despite that, they come out as Not So Different from the Empire, strongarming neutral nations into joining them and doing unethical experiments on Valkyrur.
  • Failure Gambit: Given the naval presence early in the story, Operation Northern Cross doesn't seem like it was meant to succeed. Rather it's merely being used as a distraction for Operation Cygnus.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Squad 7 DLC reveals that Ambassador Townsend wanted Squad E to help him acquire an important VIP out from Gallia which fans of VC 1 would know as the Federation secret mission to kidnap Princess Cordelia to force Gallia join the Atlantic Federation. Had Claude not refuse Townsend's orders due to the importance of Operation Northern Cross, Squad E might have ended up fighting their new friends from Squad 7.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: In the A Prayer For The Broken Squad Story, Rosetta makes this point to Godwin by comparing him and Nico. While both of them have had difficult lives, Nico's remained a kind person, while Godwin uses it as an excuse for his antisocial behavior.
  • Gaiden Game: Zig-Zagged. Similar to Valkyria Chronicles III, the story of Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place concurrent to the events of the first game, at least initially. By mid-game, Maximilian is dead and the war in Gallia ends. The war between the Federation & the Empire continued for the duration of the latter half, and eventually ended in an uneasy truce. The thought that the Empire really intends to end the fighting is somewhat suspect considering they are being metaphorically held at gunpoint by the nuclear bomb temporarily parked in their capital. In the epilogue, it is mentioned that, hawkish Imperial politicians became more aggressive following the war's end.
  • Gainaxing: A minor one whenever Minerva kills an enemy. There are also a few cutscenes where you can see Kai's and even Riley's chests being jiggly.
  • Gender Flip: Happened in-game, also a case of Becoming the Mask. Leena Schulen eventually became Kai Schulen, cementing her position in Platoon E, replacing her brother.
  • Gender Is No Object: Like their Gallian counterparts, The Federation has women in frontline combat roles - In fact, they may have more than said Gallians. Funnily enough, The Empire employs the opposite despite two of their biggest powerhouses being women. Then again, they're also Valkyrur.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Valkyrian abilities seem to only manifest in female descendants.
  • Geo Effects: The environment play a larger role in this game in the form of more environmental threats such as avalanches that gradually reduce the playable area, and firewalls that make passage impossible for infantry.
  • Glass Cannon: The new Grenadier class utilizes powerful mortars that can launch high explosive bombs from afar, dealing massive Splash Damage to infantry caught in the blast radius. Unfortunately, they're quite fragile and vulnerable in close quarters combat. In an interesting twist, they're also extraordinarily weak against other grenadiers - they take so long to set up their mortars that interception fire from other grenadiers will often kill them before they get a shot off.
    • Snipers usually fall into this category as well. Except this time, Snipers shoot back.
  • Golden Ending: Heinrich Belgar is defeated and his X-0 division is decimated. Claude is discharged from the army without regrets. Riley manages to save Angie from the engine room of the Centurion and survives her injuries, albeit confined to a wheelchair. The two then reestablishes the Miller family company and finally tie the knot, living happily together as husband and wife. It is an ending that one must earn, through satisfying certain conditions in the post-game.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: One of the interlude purchasable post-game has Claude's group and an Imperial scout group on a truce after they stumble upon each other during a blizzard and their weapons jam due to extreme cold weather. Also a Hot Springs Episode.
  • Graying Morality: Platoon E entered the war as a cheerful group of Federation soldiers fueled by idealism. As the war progresses however, they soon realize that War Is Hell.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told:
    • After the end of the war, the truth about Operation Cygnus, the existence of the Valkyrur, and the A2 bomb, were covered up despite their being instrumental in bringing the Empire to the treaty table. They were classified by both sides to keep the implications of city-destroying weapons from the public.
    • The same fate befalls whoever you send to die with Raz in chapter 16. Everyone grieves over Raz and talks about how brave he was. Yet no one sheds a tear, or even spares a thought for the one who helped him reach the generator and died covering him. Without their contribution, Raz's mission would have ended in failure and leave Claude no choice but to surrender the Centurion to Forseti.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Both the Federation and the Empire utilize very questionable and unethical methods to win the war.
  • Green Rocks: Ragnite, as usual, is this world's all-purpose mineral, capable of making weapons, medicine, fuel... etc.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game says nothing about the True Ending, and how to achieve it (finish the game, play some bonus skirmishes, replay the final battle on Hard mode). Without a guide, it's something that a completionist player can stumble across, instead of something that an ordinary player can aim for.
    • Non-officer squad members can earn promotions, from Private up to Corporal if they are fielded and used enough times. This also opens them up for Leader status and unlocks their squad stories if applicable. In order to gain promotions, a soldier has to "eat" enough Command Points (10 for Private 1st class, 20 for Corporal), without regards to their actual merits in combat. The game does not tell you this, though, and there's no way to keep track of how many CP a squad member has "eaten". To make matters more confusing, different mission types have different CP multipliers, so a soldier can be promoted quicker or slower depending on the map they are deployed onto. Again, nowhere in the game does it tell you this, and there's a Decoration for promoting everyone to Corporal, so have at it.
  • Gunship Rescue: Gunboat edition. A squadron of ships led by the Centurion, cannons blazing, arrived to bailout the stranded Platoon E, and other survivors of Imperial pursuit.
  • Hold the Line: What the Federation hope to do after Operation Northern Cross failed. Pockets of Federation resistance in Imperial territory were drawing in as many enemies to them as they could in order to create a diversion for Operation Cygnus.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Operation Cygnus is a plan to capture the capital of the Empire in a surprise attack using a mere three ice-cutter battleships. Things get even worse as they lose ships, supplies, and most importantly the element of surprise. This trope is subverted hard, as the true plan is revealed to be perfectly achievable by such a small force. The real plan isn't to capture the Imperial capital at all, but to destroy it with a magical nuke.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Crymaria, Chiara and Nikola are extremely deadly foes to face in battle. They are also absolutely terrified of Heinreich Belgar.
  • Hot Springs Episode: In midst of Imperial winter, no less! An episode titled "Steamy Ceasefire" will become available for purchase at the infirmary when the player has cleared the game once.
  • Human Weapon: Descendants of the Valkyrur are deployed by both the Empire and the Federation during the war.
  • Interquel: Takes place between the first game and the second. Events after the invasion of Gallia are depicted in this game. The war continues between the Federation and the Empire even after the death of Maximilian and the invasion of Gallia failed.
  • Indestructible Edible: The "Enhance All Armor" Order is inspired by a loaf of bread so hard that hitting it with a wrench didn't damage the crust.
  • In Name Only: The titular Valkyrur are powerful women, and aside from that they have almost nothing in common with the valkyryur from Norse mythology.
  • In-Series Nickname: Claude himself is known as "Scaredy-Claude" by several members of his team. On the other hand, Klaus calls Claude his "Femme Fatale". Klaus Walz is known as "The Most Dangerous Man of Europa" after the war since his lover is.... well, Crymaria, a Valkyria. Crymaria herself is known as the "Winter Witch". Klaus later starts calling her "Mary".
  • Instant-Win Condition: If the mission objective is to capture the enemy base, then doing so is all that matters. Even if you've lost almost all of your units and haven't killed a single enemy, you'll still win if one of you units captures the base. Conversely, the player can lose a battle if they fail to protect their own base.
  • Interface Spoiler: Subverted. Beating the game unlocks the ability to revive characters Killed Off for Real in the storyline. By default it includes Christel and whoever you sent on the suicide mission with Raz, but not Raz himself. Since there are still more cutscenes to unlock postgame, one might think this indicates they survived as part of a Golden Ending. Nope, you just need to complete one of the new skirmishes and then watch a Filler cutscene to make them available for revival.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The crew of the Centurion and Squad E get along badly at first, leading to several outright brawls between the sailors and Raz. It takes working together in an actual battle for them to get on the same page.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Standard Federation weapon series (Lenfield, Robinson, LF Wasp etc) tend to be this. They possess neither the improved Accuracy of Gallian firearms, nor do they have superior firepower or gimmicks common to the third development category, but they make up for this by not having any glaring faults, either.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gameplay-wise, any unconscious member of your team that you fail to provide medical attention, or reached by the enemy before you did. They could be revived, though, at the cemetery once the game is cleared. This also include those that died according to the storyline. Yes, that includes Raz.
    • Storyline-wise, Raz, Christel and most of the Squad F members except Minerva and Ronald.
  • Lady of War: On the Federation side we have Minerva, on the Imperial side we have Crymaria.
  • Last-Minute Reprieve: Claude is about to detonate the A2 bomb in the middle of Schwartzgrad when the announcement of the armistice is made.
  • Leitmotif: Valkyria Awakening, a staple in the franchise.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: A staple in the series - you are leading a platoon of soldiers after all.
  • Logical Weakness: Three of the four superpowerful infantry in this game are supercharged scouts. They're extremely fast and pack a fair punch, but what really sets them apart is their durability and evasion skills. Almost impossible to kill, but this kind of enemy is vulnerable to the kind of tactic one would expect - sneak up on them and blast them with a machine gun. Can't dodge what you can't see!
    • Chiara and Nikola are also crimped by merely lobbing a smoke round from the Hafen. As their visibility is reduced to practically zero, you could march a Shocktrooper right up to their noses and blast them to bits without them dodging out of the way.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Certain levels prohibit the player from bringing vehicles into them. That means Claude will come in without the Hafen, and the Glory and Cactus are not usable. However, Welkin and the Edelweiss are not excluded by this rule, meaning players with the Squad 7 DLC can field him and have a tank as usual.
    • The boss fight against the Lophius in Chapter 18 is meant to have the player slowly destroying each of its radiators one by one, taking multiple turns to do so as it retracts the intact ones after one has been destroyed. However, if the player can bust all of them at once, then the battle immediately ends in victory. Despite being important for the mission objective, Riley is often the best squad member to pull this off, preferably with an Elias-series launcher and a few Demolish/Penetrate/Blast Boost orders stacked on her. You can do a slightly modified version of this tactic in the Hard version of this mission, only with one of your other Grenadiers, since in the Hard version, you have to move Riley to her spot.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: All of the Squad Stories are this to varying extents, but the best example is the A Captainless Squad DLC, in which a group of eight minor characters (Zaiga, Rosetta, Simon, Azusa, Neige, Connor, Hanna, and Rita) get their own short side story.
  • Luminescent Blush: Riley, Kai, Angie... even Claude & Raz have their moments!
  • Magikarp Power: Some squad members who have horrible potentials, after doing their squad missions, become top tier. A good example is Vancey, whos squad mission requires you to save up 1,000,000 ducats. She goes from the worst shocktrooper who loses all her movement randomly, to easily the second best after Raz.
    • The LF-ASR sniper rifle line, early in the game has poor accuracy. But after your snipers get leveled up enough, they get enough innate accuracy that the LF-ASR's three rounds will all hit their mark, doing easily twice the damage of the other two, and turning your snipers into long range shocktroopers when intercepting the enemy.
  • Military Mashup Machine: The Lophius is a bizarre mix of a Japanese submarine sail, British submarine cruiser rear gun and the Soviet Objekt 279 superheavy tank. The likeness to the latter is referenced by its given weight of 279 tons.
  • Multinational Team: Squad E, as part of the Federation army, draws in soldiers from multiple different countries.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two endings. First is the standard end. Then there is the True End, available only when certain conditions are met after the first playthrough.
    N to Z 
  • New Skill as Reward: There are missions for minor characters that reward them with either a new potential or one of their negative potential removed or replaced with a positive potential.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • Being spotted by an instructor while helping Kai out with her marksmanship test counts as one.
    • A rather unexpected one during the Centurion engine room boss fight against Nikola. The mission automatically fails if Claude comes into contact with Nikola in any way, whether by him running into her, her running into him, or him approaching her body lying on the floor. As it's common knowledge of most VC players that running over a corpse makes it harmlessly vanish, doing the same in this situation will net Claude a nice surprise.
    • At the start of Chapter 16, Forseti gives you an hour to surrender. If you give up during the mission, Claude will surrender to him via transmission.
    • Giving up on the final mission leads to Angie blowing up the Centurion.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Invoked In-Universe by Riley in the final mission, as she is lying wounded and talks to Claude via radio. She tells him how despite all their promise to come home to Hafen alive, in the end even if they do manage to come back, it won't be the same, they have become adults now, not innocent children anymore and that Raz and the real Kai are both dead. Claude then tells her that she's right, but it's because they have become adults now that they can do things that they weren't able to do as children and that even if it won't be the same as it used to, they can still make wonderful, new memories together. From the looks of the true ending, he's right.
  • Not So Different:
    • The Empire and the Federation. Despite their ideological differences the two factions employ very similar strategies in order to win the war. Including conducting secret and frequently unethical experimentation on Valkyrur.
    • Claude and Klaus. Both are leaders of an elite unit who ride a custom made and rather cutting-edge tanks and cares deeply for their friends. They have a rather My Country, Right or Wrong mindset when it comes to the war and both are in love with a woman who originally doesn't want anything to do with them. They developed a strong respect towards one another as the game progress.
  • Nuclear Option: The A-2 device was this, as it's clear . Fortunately, Claude didn't go through with it.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the 'Winter Witch' AKA Crymaria Levin displayed her powers for the first time, immediately sinking the Comet and almost destroying the Centurion. She was intended only as a last resort, but ended up being deployed early. Her powers horrified even her allies.
  • Official Couple: Claude and Riley are very much official at the end, especially if you get the true ending which ends with The Big Damn Kiss between them.
  • Older Is Better: Inverted. According to Ronald. Platoon F's Glory, a tank of Gallian design that saw action in the first war was specifically requested by Platoon F. This is emphatically shown not to be true in-game, however, as the Glory will often get obliterated by a single shot from some of the nastier tanks, without them even hitting the weak spot. Averted in the case of some characters though - more experienced soldiers are not generally better than the fresh recruits but a few of the older folks are head and shoulders above most others in their class.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. The game's cast includes squadmate Nico Emery and recurring enemy Nikola Graf.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Operation Northern Cross and Operation Cygnus.
  • Overranked Soldier: Given sufficient grinding, it is possible to have everyone in Platoon E be ranked corporal or above, with no privates for them to command.
  • Pendulum War: During the onset of the war, the Empire was gradually gaining an advantage, then the Federation responded with Operation Northern Cross in an effort to thrust deep into the heart of the Empire. Unfortunately, early winter prevented Federation success, and the Empire counterattacked, pushing the Federation back, locking both sides in a stalemate.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Skirmishes, as in the first game. Getting an A rank isn't too hard, and only takes two turns.
    • The first mission of chapter 8 is a viable alternative, as Dan in his APC plus one foot soldier of any class can easily get the mission done in just 4 moves with little risk.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Can't be a Valkyria Chronicles game without them. Three are even hooked up to be the literal power sources for fantasy nuclear ship engines and also as nukes.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Averted. You unlock the ability to resurrect dead squad members after beating the game, so if someone died before you completed their Squad Story, said Story is not gone forever. This is important because at least one squad member will die during the main storyline, as you're forced to sacrifice someone in Chapter 16 along with Raz.
  • Playing with Syringes: Both the Federation and the Empire are devoted to Valkyrian research, with their subjects usually drawn from the adolescent female population through a number of very dubious recruiting methods. These girls are then subjugated to inhuman experiments in order to bring forth their hidden Valkyrian potential. Unsurprisingly, many of these girls resort to suicide, while survivors may become emotionally tattered as a result.
  • Post-End Game Content: Finishing the game gives access to bonus content. Some is available immediately, some has to be unlocked by playing extra Skirmishes.
    • More and harder skirmishes.
    • More playable characters.
    • Dead soldiers can be resurrected via the Cenotaph. This includes storyline deaths.
    • The True Ending.
    • Extra cutscenes.
    • A higher level cap for soldiers, and more development options for weapons and vehicles.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: How the Federation's three Snow Cruisers are powered. The Centurion in particular, is powered by Angie.
  • Pun: Please, for the love of god Christel. Stop using the "victor" pun every time you talking about Minerva!
  • Ragdoll Physics: Downed enemies sometimes exercise some amusing physical characteristics.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Averted. While Platoon E still offers a roster of individuals with potentially eccentric personalities, they are nonetheless rank & file of the regular army. This is very different from the previous installments where the player commandeered a hastily mustered militia with uneven readiness & training, a penal battalion consisting of criminals & misfits, or a classroom full of delinquents & under-performers. Moreover, Claude himself graduated top of his class from the Edinburgh Military Academy, while Riley's ragnite engineering talent allows her to skip grades and attend a university in the United States of Vinland, the most powerful member of the Atlantic Federation.
  • Rank Up: Non-officer squad members can be promoted from their starting rank of Private, to Private 1st Class and finally Corporal, simply by using them enough times. The actual process is both counter-intuitive and glossed over by the game, however.
  • Red Baron: Many enemy 'aces' with monikers populate various missions. They drop unique equipment once killed.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the Valkyrur are powering up, their eyes glow red and you... run!
  • Red Shirt: If you get enough of your named units killed, you start getting generic, nameless units to replace them.
  • Retro Upgrade: Many upgrades are available to bring the outdated Glory up to modern standards.
  • The Rival: Both Minerva & Klaus treat Claude as one. On the other hand, Claude is mostly unaware, until later.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Averted this time around. Unlike the first game where Prince Maximilian led the invasion against Gallia, no members of the Imperial family are present in this installment.
  • Sadistic Choice: Chapter 16. You have to choose a soldier in your roster to back up Raz in a mission that will end in both their deaths. Raz can't go in alone; you have to pick someone to die alongside him. Have fun.
  • Save Our Team: What prompted the Federation's major offensive into the Empire, Operation Northern Cross. With the Empire gaining an upper-hand in the war, members of the Federation cast aside their differences and pooled their resources together in an effort to resist a greater foe. This level of cooperation is even noted in-game for being unprecedented.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: As with previous installments, the Final Flame, capable of being activated by descendants of the Valkyrur. The ships of Operation Cygnus also have a similar mechanism, and for a similar reason.
    • Chiara and Nikola also have absurdly powerful explosive triggers on them by the time the Centurion reached the capital. They are powerful enough to shred the Hafen's treads on top of busting it up even at medium range as Chiara's swansong showed off. At close range, it is an outright tank destroyer, as Nikola's vaporized Belgar's tank, while all you can do is merely put it out of operation.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Grappling with this is what keeps Claude and Minerva's hands on the lever that would activate the A2 bomb and raze Schwartzgrad to the ground. Do they follow orders and stand down, invalidating the lives that their fallen comrades gave to even get them there? Or do they activate the bomb in an attempt to honor those same lost lives, despite the Empire agreeing to a ceasefire mere moments before? Ultimately, Claude realizes that they are there to end the war in some way - which, whether by their actions or not, has already happened; activating the bomb would be tantamount to genocide at that point. He manages to talk Minerva out of it as well.
  • Sequel Hook: Azusa's ending reveals that there's growing tension between her homeland and the United States of Vinland, noting that another great war could be on the horizon.
  • Series Continuity Error: One that later gets addressed in a DLC. Progressing through the game unlocks Smoke rounds for the Hafen, a technology that is invented by Isara Gunther all the way back in Gallia, smack-dab in the middle of the conflict. How do your forces get their hands on them? It turns out the Squad E briefly gets pulled from the war front and goes meet with Squad 7 for the sake of diplomacy, and while there Riley and Isara talk designs, in particular said Smoke rounds. Riley helps finalize the design and in turn gets a copy for herself, making it an option for both squads in the end.
  • Shoot the Medic First: In one mission, a sniper will target any medic on the field, preventing wounded soldiers from receiving treatment. The sniper must be eliminated before medics can be deployed again.
  • Shout-Out:
  • SNK Boss: The Vulcan and its upgraded form break the well-established rules about interception fire and small-caliber weapons.
    • First, interception fire can only be done during the other side's turn. Everything else in Valkyria Chronicles 4 and the three preceding games adheres to this rule. Even multi turreted vehicles like the Imperial Medium Tank and Batomys and powerful and frustrating bosses like Selvaria, Maximilian, and Baldren Gassenarl would adhere to this rule. The Vulcan breaks this rule - so long as it is in range of any of your units and is not actively aiming its main gun, its ball turret will shoot constantly for very high damage.
    • Second, it is a consistent rule that small arms other than anti-tank rifles cannot even do Scratch Damage to tanks unless they're shooting the radiator and only do Scratch Damage to APCs. The Vulcan's miniturret can punch right through armor, shredding the Cactus and doing major damage to the Hafen and Glory. With these two factors put together, the only reason the Vulcan is beatable is because the AI fires the main gun when given a chance and ends its turn after firing the gun or running out of AP.
  • Snow Means Death: Almost all of the tragic moments of the game happen once winter closes in. Operation Northern Cross grinds to a halt, retreating squads are forced through a treacherous mountain pass, Squad F gets wiped out, the Comet gets destroyed, the Cavalier self-destructs; and to curve it all off, Raz and another squad member knowingly get sent off to die with the preceding battle taking place during a snowstorm for added bleakness. Also applies to any other non-essential squad member that happens to get killed during this part of the game.
  • Someone Set Up Us The Bomb:The true objective of Operation Cygnus is to take the Valkyria on the snow cruisers into Schwarzgrad and level the city with their Final Flames.
  • Splash Damage: Grenades, anti-personnel mortars, and the Bombardment ship order damage all enemies within a certain radius of where they land, making them very effective against clustered infantry units.
  • Spoiler Opening: The real Kai, whom you meet in the first interlude chapter, is easily recognisable from the opening scene... during the villains montage. His wardrobe is a little different, certainly, but his distinct character design still makes the connection obvious.
  • Stay in the Kitchen:
    • During a ceasefire between Claude and the Empire, a number of Imperials accompanying their leader are shown to have this attitude, who hold the mindset that a man's place is in the battlefield, while a woman's is at home.
      Lancer: This is what happens when females are allowed on the battlefield!
      Shocktrooper: That's right. A woman's place is at home, a man's at war.
      Scout: So get back to the kitchen and make us a sandwich!
    • In one mission Riley thinks that Claude is invoking this when he orders her not to go to battle, but he then provides a good reason: If they don't get their transport's engine running soon, they'll all die, so she's far more valuable at that moment as a mechanic in the engine room than a grenadier on the battlefield. She concedes he has a point and is unavailable in the following level.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The second Interlude involves Claude and Raz having to fake the test by shooting down the targets (represented by your Lancers) to make it look like Leena (who is doubling for the actual Kai) hit her targets. The failure conditions is if Claude and Raz are intercepted by any Federation soldiers in vision or if none of them are hiding in the grass patches by the end of the turn.
  • Suicide Attack: Both sides are guilty of this, but the ones who are most guilty of this are Chiara and Nikola, who have deceptively powerful detonators that is an instakill.
  • Suicide Mission: Operation Cygnus. The entire mission is to essentially drive Fantastic Nukes-carrying tank ships that are powered by said nukes, which are in reality children Valkyria, then detonate the nukes by killing said Valkyria, which starts a chain reaction detonation from their Final Flame that makes an explosion strong enough to theoretically vaporize an entire city.
  • Take Cover!: Just as important as previous games.
  • Taking You with Me: The sole purpose of Operation Cygnus is to take out the Imperial capital of Schwartzgrad by detonating the Centurion's onboard living battery. Fortunately averted at the last minute.
    • Attempted by Crymaria. Also averted at the last minute, thanks to Walz breaking her Ragnite crystal. Chiara performs this with regular but powerful explosives on Belgar's orders, and after finally snapping, Nikola performs this on Belgar.
  • Tested on Humans: Many experiments aimed at creating Valkyrur simulate the 'brink of death'. For many participants, it did not end well.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Semi-automatic sniper rifles can fire three shots in one action, at the cost of range and accuracy. Range and accuracy being rather important for sniper rifles, you probably won't use them. However, in the boss battle against Crymaria, you have to snipe her Amplifier Artifact to weaken her. It takes three shots to knock it out, and she isn't that far away. However, unlike normal instance of this trope, continuing to improve your snipers can turn semiauto snipers into mini Game-Breaker.
    • Additionally, Lancer Elites/Paragons have so much health, they cannot get One Hit Killed by standard sniper fire so semis are needed to kill them.
  • Timed Mission: Every mission will end in failure if you take too long. The limit is usually a very generous twenty turns, but a few have much tighter limits. There is also a hidden timer: The game rewards you for finishing missions quickly, but the target for A rank is never revealed, and varies from mission to mission.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The trope is hilariously said word for word by Riley in the third battle of the DLC story A Captainless Squad as she notices just how much more effective the 8 members of Squad E who snuck off have become.
    "It's like they took a level in badass!"
  • Tragic Keepsake: Any squad member who dies in battle leaves behind a unique item that serves as an accessory.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: Operation Cygnus is a voluntary version. Federation troops still resisting within Imperial territory drawing fire from Imperial troops post-Operation Northern Cross is a textbook version of this.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: There are a few missions that will make you say "If I had known that THAT was coming, then ..."
    • In the Chapter 15 boss battle against Walz, any of your troops that have not left the base will be wiped out on the enemy's first turn. This will be a particularly nasty surprise to people who are accustomed to needing to defend the starting base against enemy attack.
    • The mission to destroy the generator: you have to get two soldiers to a target point, and find the way blocked by a heavy tank at the very last step. Its weak point is protected by environmental features, so you have to bring in brute force. If you know where the tank is, you can move the brute force into position while the original duo are on the move.
  • True Companions: Initially with Platoon E, then joined by remnants of Platoon F, and later followed by the crew of the Centurion.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Enemy Snipers have access to both "normal" rounds for their rifles, as well as "interception" rounds, ostensibly meant for interception fire against player-controlled units. Normal ammunition would always be prioritized for such a situation, but if they are hit with the "No Ammo" status effect, they will switch to Interception Fire rounds and use those for the duration of the attack instead. The player's own Snipers cannot use this ammo in the same circumstances.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Crymaria, Chiara and Nikola all run on this trope. It doesn't help that they are all mentally unstable in the first place.
  • Victory by Endurance: What the war amounts to between the Federation and the Empire. Millions were mobilized, and millions were lost. With the failure of Operation Northern Cross, the Empire was gradually, but surely gaining dominance through sheer attrition. Though the war did end following Operation Cygnus, it is difficult to determine an actual winner as little changed in the aftermath.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: Vodka is the Empire's most popular drink, especially during winter. They even have proverbs regarding the beverage!
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Claude, Raz, Kai, Riley, and Minerva gain swimsuit costumes from the Squad E, to the Beach! DLC. It becomes ridiculous as they could still wear it in the snow which takes up majority of the game.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: The A2 bomb becomes one unintentionally. When the Empire learns that it exists and how powerful it is (by the destruction of one of the Centurion's sister units), it scares them to the treaty table. And the arrival of a ship carrying such a weapon in Schwartzgrad scared them into signing the armistice.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Federation initially is this, being an organization of loose-alliances between many countries. Though in face of Imperial onslaught, Federation bureaucrats soon realize they are facing a Divided We Fall scenario.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The scrap dealer and the resistance contact who interacted with Platoon E were killed almost as quickly as their introduction.
  • Wham Line: "It's snow." Cue a dawning sense of horror as Squad E realizes their lives are about to become very difficult.
  • Winter Warfare: Operation Northern Cross has Federation forces trek through cold climates.
  • Worthy Opponent: Klaus and Claude develop into this. When they finally meet face-to-face during the penultimate mission, they are very respectful to each other.
  • Would Hurt a Child: By the Federation of all factions! All of the ships in the Operation Cygnus fleet are powered by children Valkyria, with the sole shown one (Angie) not even 13 yet.
  • You Are in Command Now: Claude gets promoted to company command despite not being most senior because of the three remaining officers, he's the only one with a mostly intact unit.
  • You Are Too Late: Because Squad E diverted from the retreat to destroy an Imperial supply depot, they were late to the planned rendezvous with the rest of the battalion, and were unable to help them when Klaus catches up with them.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Darcsens and their trademark hair color make a return in this series.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The game ends at least three times: You reach the enemy capital, resolve the situation with the Fantastic Nuke, and even exchange some civil words with old enemies. Then a giant submarine appears out of nowhere, and you have to defeat it. Then the sub spawns an amphibious tank, and you have to defeat that.
    Marie: You're cleared for deployment, Squad E. Please, let's end this once and for all.

Alternative Title(s): Valkyria Chronicles IV


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