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VALIS
Selected Games
 
1986 - Valis - MSX
 
1986 - Valis - X1
 
1986 - Valis - PC-88
 
1987 - Valis - Famicom
 
1989 - Valis II - MSX2
 
1989 - Valis II - PC88
 
1989 - Valis II - X68000
 
1989 - Valis II - PCE
 
1990 - Valis II - TG16
 
1990 - Valis III - PCE
 
1991 - Valis - MD
 
1991 - Valis III - MD
 
1991 - Valis IV - PCE
 
1992 - Valis - PCE
 
1992 - S. Valis IV - SFC
 
1992 - Valis III - TG16
 
1992 - Valis SD - MD
 

1993 - Valis Visual -PCE

 
2004 - Valis Comp. - PC
 
2006 - Valis X - PC
 
 
Valis Guides
 
Valis Famicom
 
Valis III PCE
 
 
Valis OSTs
 
Telenet Music Coll.
 
Valis II
 
Valis III
 
 
Valis Comics
 
Valis Figures
 

Two DGPL series of crappy figures were made by Millenium for a number of characters. The price is low and the build quality is even lower but you can take off the clothes in case you have a plastic boobs itch...

 

 

Valis - from ashes to ashes

When for the first time I ventured into PC Engine territory sometimes in 1996, it was somewhat late to join the party since the world had awakened to powerful 32 bit consoles. Despite this, there were several games on NEC 8 bit monster that always haunted my dreams back then, games which were often seen as almost completely inaccessible and exotic in Europe, and Valis was one of them.

Mugen Senshi Valis which translates to Valis The Fantasm Soldier felt fresh because the main protagonist was a cute sword-yielding anime girl in miniskirt. Her name was Yuuko.

The story was also kind of a mystery for me because none of the Valis games were ever released in Europe while the localized North American versions had the story changed when compared to the original Japanese material.

Anyways, the convoluted story more or less always gravitates around three planes of existence, Reality or modern Tokyo, where Yuuko lives and goes to school, the Dream World known as Vanity and finally the Dark World, known as Vecanti which is populated by various blood-thirsty tyrants who plot to take over the other worlds probably out of complete boredom.

 

The recurrent theme of Yuuko waking up because of visions and walking outside in her pajama in the Real World to then be teleported to other dimensions and turn from a student into a warrior is maybe one of the strongest ideas in the series and is one of the aspects all Valis fans remember with amusement.

 

Several iterations of Valis were developed across many platforms and sometimes the same game would look and play very differently on PC or on console.

Valis was originally released for the MSX computers in 1986 and later that year, it was released also for the Sharp X1 and the NEC PC-88 lines of Japanese PCs . In 1987, it was released for the FM-77, for the Famicom and apparently also for the PC-98. Much later, specifically in 1991, a reworked version was also released first on Mega Drive, and later on Pc Engine CD and finally on Vodafone Japan Mobile Phones, this last port courtesy of Bandai.

 

Valis I and II were released for Vodaphone cellphones only in Japan. I was never able to get a hold of any of the two titles, although they do look very interesting and they also allow to switch between several sexy outfits, as can be seen on the banner I made for this article.

 

All PC versions of Valis do not seem to differ greatly among each other although the MSX port has a password system to resume progress whereas the other versions allow for saving after each level. Valis on Famicom, on Mega Drive, on PC Engine CD and on mobile phone were actually remakes with differences which went from mild to radical, with the mobile phone version probably being the best looking one.

In my opinion, Valis the first game was far from being enjoyable to play as I attempted to describe in my impressions of the MSX version but things got steadily better with the console reworks.

Valis II was released in 1989 on several platforms too such as the MSX2, the Sharp X68000, the PC-88, the PC-98 and a reworked version also saw the light on the PC-Engine CD. Finally, as late as 2007 a remake of Valis II was released on Mobile Phone, again through Bandai (that same year, Telenet would close doors!).

 

The beauty of Valis is that Yuuko is both vulnerable and strong

 

In 1990, Valis III was released directly for the PC Engine CD and was based on the same template as Valis II for PC-Engine, meaning heavy use of spoken speech and anime cut-scenes.

In 1991, Valis and Valis III adaptations were both released on Mega Drive with heavily cut anime scenes and no speech because of cartridge memory constraints while Valis IV made its way to the PC Engine CD with the tried and tested formula of spoken speech and lengthy cut-scenes, demonstrating the clear superiority of NEC 8 bit system for some games over Sega's 16 bit console.

 

Renovation Games, a subsidiary from Telenet develped and ported a number of Valis games to the West

 

In 1992, a skillfully reworked version of Valis 1 which bears no resemblance to the graphics or gameplay of the original game was released on PC Engine and is regarded to this date as one of the best efforts in the entire series. It was developed by Riot.

Super Valis IV was also released on Super Famicom although since running on cartridge, it featured none of the PC-Engine speech and cut-scenes but had really good graphics and animations, although the difficulty was disappointingly low.

 

 

In this same year, SD Valis was released on Mega Drive and as the title suggests it featured super-deformed sprites of the various characters of the Valis universe and despite the looks, it was in fact a really challenging and frustrating game, as witnessed below:

You can read about who did this to this Syd of Valis Cart and crucially why he did it, here.

 

In 1993, a collection of the cut-scenes from Valis II, III and IV known as the Valis Visual Collection was released on a single CD for PC Engine . Although a decent idea, the slow loading time, the letter-boxed cut-scenes and limited animations became more apparent when ripped out of the context of the games.

During the golden age of the series, Yuuko also made a couple of cameo appearances in other Telenet games. First she appeared in the intro of Legend Of Dekoboko, an average overhead racing game by Telenet and then she starred into Nariagari Trendy, an uninspiring comical board game.

 

Yuuko on the cover artwork of Nariagari Trendy. This cover was also used for the American version of SD Valis, Syd of Valis for no clear reason.

 

In 2004, a complilation of the chapters of Valis originally released on PC Engine saw the light as a quadrilogy released on a single PC CD-ROM for Windows. It wasn't anything to write home about but it was a first sign that Valis had not been completely forgotten, if not by Telenet, at least by other publishers since the CD came out courtesy of Bothtec / Project EGG.

In 2006, probably because of financial pressure, Telenet tried to re-ignite interest into its flagship series by commissioning five erotic graphic adventures starring Yuuko, Reiko and all the happy crew. Developed by veteran erotic games studio Eants inc, the Valis X series featured high production values in terms of the quality of the artwork, but simplistic gameplay which was really just a pretext to watch extreme scenes of sex with a sick assortment of creatures ranging from horses to monsters and of course, tentacles. The irony is that the artwork is really good and dare I say it, miles better than anything Telenet ever produced!

 

Valis X includes quality artwork

 

Although the Valis games have always included some mild scenes of partial nudity and gore, this seems to have taken things a bit too far.

Unfortunately for Telenet, forcing Yuuko and friends into prostitution didn't yield enough returns as the company shut down a year later, in 2007.

 

In 2008, a home-brew cute 2D side-scrolling beat'em up called ***taking deep breath***
"Tomoyo Fighter ~ It's an Exciting Life ~ Perfect Edition"
was released for PC by Chinchillasoft. Aside from looking really cool and detailed, it featured Yuuko as a playable character!

 

In 2011, Valis Complete Plus, a reprint of the 2004 compilation for PC, limited this time to only 500 units was released for the 10th anniversary of Project EGG. It included the four PC Engine entries (again) plus Super Valis IV (SFC), SD Valis and an OST but it lacked the beautiful Yuuko figurine included in the 2004 release.

As of 2012, apparently the rights to this long lasting and embattled series should be in the hands of Sunsoft although the resurgence of Yuuko in a full-fledged Valis game doesn't seem very likely in the near future unless a low cost release could show up sometimes on PSN, XBox Live or on Nintendo's on-line digital store. Wait, scrap that last option, I doubt Yuuko would be welcome in Nintendo's happy land given her questionable past ;)

 

Need to know more about this great series? Check out the following articles!

http://www.sega-16.com/2004/07/history-of-valis/

http://valis.wikia.com/wiki/Yuuko_Asou

 

Where next for Yuuko?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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