The Adventure of Valkyrie offers an interesting approach to advancement

The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key is a The Legend of Zelda-like that had some issues that kept it from being as memorable as other action RPGs of the time. Namely, that the Valkyrie was always swarmed by enemies and received no guidance as to what you should or shouldn’t be doing. But, there was one thing it did do right. The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key went above and beyond when it came to character advancement.

When The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key’s Valkyrie comes down to Marvel Land, she arrives with nothing. She’s a novice warrior sent to save the world from Zouna. Except, she might not be an entirely blank slate. When you start a new game, you’re able to choose her astrological sign and blood type. Each one influences the heroine.

Since I’m a Scorpio and have type AB blood, I went with options for my first Valkyrie. She started with low HP, high MP and knew fireball and healing spells from the start. The amount of experience she needed to level up ended up varying. But, when I experimented and went with an Aries heroine with type A blood, she had 64 HP, 32 MP, ended up getting and being able to use an axe after about one level that let her traverse more terrain and had more even gaps between leveling up. While every start is generally the same, the little details can influence each adventure.

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Especially since The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key did something else rather unexpected for the time. The Valkyrie’s intelligence determines what spells she’s able to cast. This makes sense. Only someone smart would be capable of using advanced abilities. That the game doles these abilities out based on her MP, rather than arbitrarily determining she’s ready after reaching a certain level, is a logical decision.

Since the healing spell requires 40 MP and the fireball 60 MP, there’s a 50/50 chance your game can begin with the young woman already ready and able to use these skills. It all depends on what astrological sign you went with at the outset, which leaves her as someone brainy or brawny. It makes sense that she wouldn’t learn how to become invisible until she’d gathered the necessary experience battling around Marvel Land. Only then, would she have built up a reservoir of 80 MP and been wise enough to use true sight to see hidden details across the land. Naturally, she wouldn’t be strong enough to call down lightning bolts until she’d passed 240 MP.

Even the method of collecting equipment in The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key tends to mimic the manner in which a real hero would begin to build his strength. When the Valkyrie explore Marvel Land, she might come across the remnants of civilization. Maybe she’ll come across an item in an unexpected location, like the blue helmet hidden in the well on the first continent she visits. This makes sense, as it’s something that could have been lost in a battle and ended up in that spot, but still been quite useful. It also happens to be the way to get some of the best equipment in the game, which makes sense. The world has been ravaged; it isn’t like production lines are churning out amazing armor and lethal weapons as usual.

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But, The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key doesn’t ignore the RPG standards. While Marvel Land has been ravaged, it isn’t entirely beyond hope. There are still some bastions of civilization left, in the form of shops and hotels, which means she can also acquire weapons, armor and equipment in a more standard way. This means people have more options regarding how they can play and what they can do. Saving up and buying your way to a better build could mean it takes less time to save the day.

The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Time Key is a game that dares to be different. When it comes to creating and building a character, everyone isn’t in the same position. Your early decisions matter, offering input that influences her starting abilities and leveling for the rest of the game. She earns skills in a way that’s tied to her actual intelligence, rather than being given an spell for getting to a specific level. And, when gathering equipment, it all comes down to whether you’re willing to scavenge for the best or buy your way through with the rest. You’re able to advance in your own ways, with every build offering its own sort of success.

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