Valkyrie Elysium will soon be released at the end of the month and the game’s director and producer Takahiro Kondo was kind enough to answer a few questions about the game in an email interview.
Takahiro Kondo has spent almost 17 years of his career as a producer/executive producer of online games for popular IPs, joining Square Enix in 2019. In this interview, he told us more about returning to the Valkyrie Elysium, reviving a series that has been dormant for over a decade, and how the game will act as a new beginning. The idea was to update the series’ traditional gameplay for modern audiences while still remaining faithful to the original games.
Valkyrie Elysium is the latest game in the Valkyrie Profile series. Is there a significant reason why the game’s title was changed from “Profile” to “Elysium”?
“This title marks the beginning of the series rebranding as the ‘Valkyrie series’. The name, Valkyrie Elysium, was chosen to signify a new beginning for the series as it represents the first game in the series in over 14 years and is part of the RPG genre.”
This will be the first Valkyrie game since Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume on the DS in 2008. How does it feel to return to the series after over 14 years and why was it decided to bring it back now?
“There were two major factors that inspired the development of this title: the positive response we received for the mobile game, Valkyrie Anatomia: The Origin, as well as an internal decision to re-examine and revive some of our popular IPs of the past.
This title represents a return to the franchise’s roots, with the narrative focus being placed on the story of Valkyrie and the Einherjar and a game system that prioritizes cooperation in battle with the Einherjar.”
This will be the first Valkyrie game to have a fully 3D-action combat system. Was it difficult transitioning the 2D side-scrolling combat of the previous games into Elysium’s 3D battle system?
“The game’s battle system is modeled after that of the previous titles in the Valkyrie series. The most significant difference in this title is that everything takes place in real-time, and three-dimensional battle elements, including aerial combos produced by the Soul Chain, have also been added. It was certainly a challenge for us to balance these new elements with the traditional battle system used in the series.”
We were given a look at some of the skills and gameplay mechanics for Valkyrie Elysium, how much of an impact and usefulness would Divine Arts be, and would Players be forced to use them in combat?
“The key gameplay mechanics at the heart of the Valkyrie series are cooperation in battle with the Einherjar and the use of various attack combos to execute powerful attack moves (Arts).
The gameplay has been developed in a way that rewards players’ cooperation with the Einherjar with increased combos, which in turn allows players to utilize a wider range of Divine Arts. Another new feature that has been added is that when a new Einherjar is summoned, Divine Arts of the same elemental type will also be powered up.”
Continuing from this, we noticed that the Einherjar returned from previous games. Will we see other aspects of the past games appear in Elysium?
“Yes. If you take a look at the gameplay footage, you will see that in addition to the Einherjar, you can also see the Combo Gauge and the Arts triggered by that gauge.
Each enemy has a weakness against a specific element, and a good understanding of the enemy’s profile will give you an advantage in battle. The names of the various Divine Arts are based on previous titles in the series, and I believe our fans will be quick to notice these references.”
We thank Takahiro Kondo for speaking with us for this interview on Valkyrie Elysium. Reviving an older series for modern consoles and audiences is never an easy task however despite all the differences, it is clear that Valkyrie Elysium is still made with older fans in mind.
In our recent preview of the game, we found that it maintains the dark atmosphere, communication with dead souls, and partnership with the Einherjar that the original games were known for, adapted for 3D combat. While it may be a little different the game proved to create an intriguing world and fun, fast-paced combat. With this in mind, we’re optimistic that Valkyrie Elysium will be able to please newcomers and older fans.
Valkyrie Elysium will launch for PS4, PS5, and PC on the 29th of September.