Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictitious continent reminiscent of 1930s Europe - divided in two and ruled by the Empire and the Federation. The Empire has set its sights on invading a small neutral country called Gallia, which is situated in the middle of the two great empires. The game follows a hero named Welkin and his fellow soldiers of the Federation's 7th Platoon as they engage in a series of epic battles.
WP: Who has the honor to speak with us? State your name, rank, and occupation!
I'm Ryutaro Nonaka, producer on Valkyria Chronicles.
WP: What inspired the art style of the game? Valkyria Chronicles reminds us a lot of Clover's Okami. Both look a lot like moving paintings.
RN: We didn't have such in terms of games or CG. However we did take in some of the atmosphere and image of "Sekai Meisaku Gekijou" (World Masterpiece Theater, quite a few members of Ghibli came from here), a series of traditional Japanese animation.
In order to express the warmth, nostalgia, and naivety, we chose not to use ordinary cell-shading.
CANVAS is what made that possible; hand drawn, water color like graphics.
WP: Valkyria Chronicles is half real-time strategy and half turn-based. Why did you choose a hybrid approach instead of just going full RTS or fully turn-based?
RN: We first tried a fully turn based strategy system. In this system, we thought at the time that it matches our theme as so many characters cooperate as a team to complete a mission. However, this type of system was missing the thrill and excitement, making the game too objective. Thrill and excitement, are something found in TPS (or the "real-time" feature) like dodging bullets. That is why we added the action feature with "BLiTZ," our original battle system that we created for the game, and we really think that this is very unique.
WP: Characters in the game all have their own likes and dislikes. How can a player use this to their advantage?
RN: Features like "Potentials" give the characters their characteristics and players can use battle potentials to their advantages, but we would like to have players using their favorite characters, not just based on battle potentials.
WP: Do enemy characters also have likes and dislikes? Can the player exploit those or is this feature limited to the player characters?
RN: Unfortunately, enemies do not have their own "potentials."
WP: Each map allows you to choose your team. Is it possible to win every map with a random selection of characters, or is choosing the correct team part of the challenge?
RN: There is a three-way standoff between foot soldiers, tanks, and lancers. Therefore, players need to predict what kind of units the enemy brings out, and choose the most effective characters to deploy. It is possible to fight with random selection of characters, but it would be much more difficult. Players can switch members during the battles, so you can adjust the balance of your squad depending on the situation.
WP: We've heard that it is possible to beat every scenario in a single turn if you know exactly what to do. Is this true?
RN: You can defeat scenarios in the least amount of turns, if you plan and battle correctly. There are battles that can be defeated in one turn, but not all battles are like that.
WP: Are there any plans to support PS3 trophies in the US version of Valkyria Chronicles?
RN: The game does not currently support trophies, but I'm open to the idea of it if there is time and resources to do so.
WP: The main plot element driving Valkyria Chronicles is the fight for a rare energy resource. Is this an allusion to the current real world situation regarding oil?
RN: In the real world, there were so many conflicts regarding natural resources, such as coal, iron, and of course, oil. There are fantasy elements to Valkyria Chronicles, but the theme of the story is linked to our world.
WP: Any plans for an Xbox 360 version or is Valkyria Chronicles going to be a PS3-exclusive title?
RN: Valkyria Chronicles is a PS3 exclusive, and we are fully focused on successfully launching this title on the current platform.
WP: What is your favorite character class in Valkyria Chronicles, and why?
RN: If I had to choose, I'd pick the Engineers. In this game, powerful firearms have limited ammos. Engineers are the only ones to be able to refill such. Their healing items are more effective than those of other classes. Attributes such as removing land mines, fixing sandbags, and fixing tanks are also exclusive to the Engineers. When I play, Medics come out quite often (laughs).
WP: Anything about the game we haven't talked about that you would like to add?
RN: We've challenged new things in game system, art style, and story. We really hope that many players try this game and ultimately enjoy it.
Valkyria Chronicles is currently available on PS3 worldwide.
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