VALKYRIE NO BŌKEN - TOKI NO KAGI DENSETSU
Game Cover
Game
ワルキューレの冒険 時の鍵伝説
©1986 Namco Ltd.
Release: 1986-08-01 (¥3900)
Cartdridge NWB-3900
Action/Adventure

Valkyrie no Bōken Toki no Kagi Densetsu ("The adventures of Valkyrie - the legend of the time key") is an action/adventure game by Namco. Marvel Land is at stake, the dark lord Zouna has stolen the key of time and now spreads terror over the whole kingdom. The gods are compelled to answer the people's prayers and, one day, they send a maiden Valkyrie from the heavens to save Marvel Land and its defenseless inhabitants. The heroine wanders around a top-down world map (which features a day/night cycle) and randomly encounters monsters who periodically surround her. She starts her long journey equipped with a short sword and more powerful weapons can be purchased later in the game, as well as other items such as potions (restore health), Cure (cures poison), Axes (to cut through forests), Helmets, keys (to unlock doors and chests), lanterns (to light up dungeons) and so forth. As she progresses through the game, she also finds chests that contain many different items. However, Valkyrie no Bōken is not a traditional RPGs - Valkyrie doesn't talk to other characters on her journey and the gameplay is mainly action-oriented and relies on item-fetching. Although Valkyrie gains experience points as she defeats enemies, she doesn't level up on the battle field but when she rests inside Inns scattered throughout the game. Leveling up also gives her later access to magic spells such as Healing, fireballs, enemy freeze and so forth. By pressing Start during the game, she can equip weapons or items and map them onto the B button (by pressing left and right) or map spells onto the A button (by pressing up and down). Interestingly, whenever the player starts a new adventure, the game asks a couple of personal questions such as Zodiac Sign, Blood Type and favorite color. The answers actually influence the internal rules of the game and the player's status at the beginning of his journey.
Related
ValkyrieNoDensetsu (Pce-Hu) SandoraNoDaibōken (Sfc)
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Valkyrie No Bōken The first Valkyrie game was released for the Famicom in 1986 and called Valkyrie no Bōken: Toki no Kagi Densetsu (version tested here). The game was immensely popular in Japan and a sequel called Valkyrie no Densetsu followed in 1989 - first as an arcade game, it was then ported to the PC Engine in 1990. The original arcade game can also be found on Namco's Museum Volume 5 (Playstation, 1997). The next Valkyrie game was Sandora no Daibōken (Super Famicom, 1992) and only featured Sandora. This title was chronologically set right before the first game and was released in Europe under the name Whirlo. Other Valkyrie games exist, the most noticeable is the remixed version of Valkyrie no Bōken that Namco included in their Namco Anthology 2 (Playstation, 1998) which plays a lot like Valkyrie no Densetsu. An obscure digital comic called Valkyrie no Densetsu Gaiden Roza no bōken was released in Japan for Windows 95 in 1996 - it featured the voice of the j-pop singer Aya Hisakawa and told the story of a young goddess named Roza who accompanies Valkyrie on a new journey. Finally Valkyrie no Eikō (The Glory of Valkyrie) was released for mobile phones in 2007 - it is a simple side scrolling action game borrowing elements and enemies from Valkyrie no Densetsu. A sequel called Valkyrie no Eikō 2 followed in 2009. As a side note, Namco also released an updated version of Valkyrie No Bōken for mobile phone in 2006 with enhanced graphics and musics. The Valkyrie franchise is still strong in Japan and literally tons of goodies can be found (figurines, phone cards, videos, comic books, soundtracks and so forth) and Valkyrie has appeared as a cameo in countless Namco games such as Soul Calibur 2 (arcade, 2002), Namco X Capcom (Playstation 2, 2005) and Tales of the Abyss (Playstation 2, 2005).

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

STAFF

Programmed by
A. Wachi (Sco.B)

Music Directed by
H. Kawada (Leo.O)
Original Character Design
H. Fuji (Vir.A)

English Advisor
N. Watanabe (Vir.A)
Executive Observer
Wan Wan (Sag.O)

Special Thanks to
M. Koizumi
K. Saito
S. Takigami
Directed by
S. Macco (Aqu.AB)


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Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Novel
Japanese Novel
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Book
Japanese Book
Japanese Phonecard
Japanese Phonecard
Japanese Boardgame
Japanese Boardgame


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Documentation Comic Book
Click on picture to enlarge

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Here are some hints to help you at the beginning of the game:

Items:
Most of the items do wear and break after many uses. Only the blue items (blue axe, blue lamp, blue mantle and so forth) can be continually used without breaking.

The ship:
Obtaining the ship is Valkyrie's first task. It is located North, in a mountain path guarded by a large blue Shīzasu monster. Defeat him to collect a key. Then walk along the path and find a chest. Unlock it with the key to collect the ship.

Levels:
Valkyrie's strength is important. The more HP she has, the more powerful she becomes. For instance, she can only chop trees with the axe at first, but soon she is able to break through mountains with it.

Desert:
Valkyrie can't walk in the desert unless she equips a mantle first.



Warp Gates:
To operate the warp gates, you just need to stand on them and to press A. However, the direction you face when you activate a gate is important and it will send you to another area of the world.

Pegasus Warps:
Some dungeons have a tile with a large Pegasus on them. It is also a warp gate. Stand below one of the dark boulders and press A.



The Pyramids:
You will probably find pyramids in the desert. Unfortunately, you can't enter them and an image of Sandora (green character) appears when you try to walk through their doors. To find the soul of Sandora, just fight the black sandoras found around this area. One of them will eventually drop the Soul of Sandora. Make sure you collect the blue mantle from the North pyramid and the blue Helmet from the South pyramid.

I leave the rest to you...


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Valkyrie no Bōken does so many things right that it's almost heartbreaking to see how many things it actually does wrong. The gameplay is simple to get into - just walk around a map and slash enemies that randomly appear on the screen, visit dungeons and collect items. Unlike other role playing games at the time (such as Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy), battles don't break the flow of the game and follow a Zelda-ish formula instead. Then the visited world is fairly large with four continents to explore. But not everything about the game is golden and here comes the downfall. Valkyrie no Bōken is frustratingly hard and punishing. Enemies are relentless and appear out of thin air, soon they even start shooting fireballs that will eat your life bar like zombies eat brains. Then Inns are useless, it will cost you money to restore every single health point from your life bar - who came up with that genius idea ? All the gameplay flaws aforementioned just add an unnecessary difficulty level that burdens the whole experience. It is a shame because Valkyrie no Bōken has a lot to offer and could have rivaled with the likes of Zelda back in the days - it also has no Japanese text so the game is as English friendly as it gets. It is still highly regarded in Japan to this day but you will need tremendous patience to enjoy it.




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