Foreword from the Editor:
NAMCO's popular, on-going franchises. The
"Valkyrie" and the "Druaga" series share somewhat of a symbiotic
relationship. As one character from one series usually doesn't make a
cameo without someone from the other series. [This topic is further
elaborated upon in the fifth article page.]
If you're from Japan, or an avid
Non-Japanese gamer who does a lot of importing (especially involving
games from the 1980's to the early and mid 1990's), then you probably
are more than familiar with the "Valkyrie" and "Druaga" games by now.
The purpose this article serves
is to help Non-Japanese gamers familiarize with these video game
characters, as NAMCO continually uses the characters in regions outside
of Japan without too many people understanding the reference. Whether
this is due to a lacking effort in localization and marketing, or a
small budget to produce the games on a global market, it's anyone's
The characters from both series
however, have a very large following in Japan.
I would even dare to say that
seeing Valkyrie and Gilgamesh in a new game in Japan is just about the
equivalent of seeing Link or Zelda in a new game in America. All the
aforementioned characters have been around since the mid 1980's and
started with a small "cult-status" following.
Nevertheless, here is a brief
preview of the series that will hopefully clear up any inaccuracies,
errors, and / or misconceptions about the series written in this particular article.
Editor's Overview of the Series:
The world of Valkyrie is set in
a fictional, medieval fantasy land known as Marvel Land.
Whether or not that NAMCO's
1990 Arcade / Sega Genesis / Sega MegaDrive game known as "Marvel Land"
takes place in the same world is unknown--nor is it disputed or even
openly discussed. My personal belief is that they are not in the same
world, because Marvel Land is about trying to save an Amusement Theme
Park named "Marvel Land" (that greatly resembles "Disneyland") from a
trouble-making gang of burrowing Moles.
In any event, the world of
Marvel Land is inhabited by various races who generally live together in
peace and harmony. By my count, there's four main races in the game.
Of course. Every
fantasy world has to have human beings, right? Humans are typically
the most prominent race in many main-stream Role-Playing Games.
There's really only one mainstream re-occurring human character in
the series. That character is Zuhl (or as some translations
call him, Zul, Zuul, or Zool). Any other Humans
who appear in the series are there briefly, only for a scene, or for
the duration of just that one game.
- The Sandra Clan
The Sandras, (Or,
alternatively translated as Xandra, Sandora,
Sandler, or Sandla) at first glance, appear as amorphous,
humanoid, walking green blobs. But later, you come to understand
that they are actually a type of Lizard-Man. Sandras are generally
good natured, have kind hearts, and are usually are a very trusting
race of people. However, Sandras were easily corrupted and
controlled for evil purposes. Such was the case during "The
Adventure of Valkyrie", in which Valkyrie must fight against Black
Sandras in order to advance into Zouna's pyramid and continue her
After fighting her way through a barren wasteland of a desert as she made
her way towards the pyramid, Valkyrie came across another Black
Sandra. As she fought valiantly against the Minion of Zouna and
struck the evil Sandra down, Valkyrie liberated its heart! This one
Sandra had a heart pure enough to the point where he could not be
fully consumed by evil.
The Sandra introduced himself as Kurino Sandra, and explained how
he eventually wound up in the desert to Valkyrie. From that point
onward, Valkyrie found herself a new partner, and a very dear friend
who joined her on every quest she embarked upon.
Also, as a race, the Sandra Clan live peaceful lives and
rely heavily upon agriculture [farming and ranching] as their main
means of survival. They live in a very forested part of Marvel
Land's Northwestern-most continent in a small village and farming
community known as Sandland [or Sandros in the
European game "Whirlo". But all other games refer to it as
"Sandland", so I'm going to call it that]. Sandland is surrounded by
a great forest on all sides. Both the forest and Sandland rest
merely a few miles or so from the base of Mt. Alsandra.
- The Quarkman Tribe
spelled from it's literal Romanized translation from Japanese as
Koakuman) are a very
mysterious race in general. They are, essentially, a separated tribe
of humans who have extraordinary powers beyond normal people. The
Quarkmen are noticeably very nimble and agile on their feet; being
able to jump very high and sprint quickly. Physically, they resemble
a human in a medieval court jester (or, by some comparisons, they
can be compared to resembling the character "NiGHTS" from Sega /
Sonic Team's 1996 title "NiGHTS into Dreams" for the Sega Saturn)
costume or outfit.
Quarkmen's village rests at the very base of Mt. Alsandra.
Quarkmen seemingly enjoy a life of solitude and isolation away from
the other races of people in Marvel Land, like Humans, Sandras, and
Tattas [a nomadic race of Trolls wearing loincloths and wielding
boomerangs and big wooden clubs]. They also use a form of
Ninjitsu-like Arts to help them in battle. Quarkmen seem to rely on
both their speed and absolute stealth amongst the trees of a dark
forest in order to hunt [as illustrated when a group of Dark
Quarkmen under Zouna's control chase after Valkyrie in a very Ninja-esque
fashion, and ultimately trap her in a pitfall that was dug in the
ground ("Valkyrie no Bouken: Toki no Kagi Densetsu" the Remake in
"NAMCO Anthology Vol. 2" for PSX)].
The only two Quarkmen you actively befriend in the series are Andy,
and his daughter, Sabine.
- Monsters & Evil Minions
Fantasy worlds cannot
simply live in peace. There has to be monsters and minions, of
course! Minions in this game range from natural wildlife turned bad,
monsters such as Ogres and Trolls, to Bosses, Subordinates and
Minions of the main villains Zouna and Kamüz.
Cast of Mainstay Characters:
Click Pictures for
She is NAMCO's mainstay heroine, and the titular character of
the franchise. Her name is originally Romanized from Japanese as
Walküre (the German pronunciation of "Valkyrie"). Whenever
Marvel Land, or the Earth itself is in trouble and approaching
doom, she falls from the heavens [literally...], sent by the
Goddess for the sake of defending peace and love. Her trademarks
that she's easily identified by are her long, blonde, braided
ponytail, green breastplate, white skirt, and most notably--her
winged bronze helm.
Since the original
series, Valkyrie has continually made cameos (alongside with
"Gilgamesh" and "Ki" from "Tower of Druaga") in several other
NAMCO franchises. Two of which she commonly frequents as a guest
appearance are the "Tales of..." RPG series and the "Soul
Calibur" fighting game series.
A brave warrior and a loving father and husband. Kurino is a
member of the Sandra clan; a race of peaceful, Lizardmen-like
In "A Sandra's Great
Adventure", Kurino sets off to cure a plague started by the Dark
Lord Zouna's evil Ashes of Despair that were spread from the
eruption of Mt. Alsandra. After enduring many trials, and making
several friends along the way, Kurino ultimately has a final
showdown with Zouna.
Sadly, Kurino loses the
battle under certain circumstances. To which point, Zouna
corrupts Kurino's heart, turning him--like so many other Sandras--into
an evil Black Sandra, whose mission is to serve Zouna by
dwelling in a vast desert and guarding the entrance to Zouna's
pyramids that contains treasure.
Kurino's heart was not
fully turned, however. He was eventually saved and liberated by
Valkyrie. The two eventually became the dearest of friends, and
comrades in battle. Ever since that fateful event, Kurino has
never gone on an adventure without Valkyrie.
With his Trident in
hand to match Valkyrie's sword and shield, the two valiantly
charge into battle, ready to face evil whenever it shows its
Sabine, daughter of Andy, is a member of the Quarkman tribe in
Marvel Land. During the earlier days from when Kurino first set
on his Journey to find the Sun Cure to combat the plague, Sabine
was still a toddler being cradled in her father's arms.
Unfortunately, in a battle with the evil Crescent Moon King, she was
separated from Kurino and her Father while she was still quite
young. As a result, she suffered amnesia for quite some time.
However, with Kurino's help, she was reunited with her father
and now joins Valkyrie and Kurino on their travels. Ever
grateful for the deeds that Valkyrie and Kurino did for her, her
father, and all of Marvel Land, she remains loyal to Valkyrie
and Kurino and a true friend.
Zuhl is a bit of a shyster by nature. Always looking for a way
to make fast money. When he first appeared in "The Adventure of
Valkyrie" for the Famicom (NES), he was actually a baddie that
appeared on the field and would cause Valkyrie grief by swiping
an item from her inventory and running off with it.
From a chronological standpoint, Zuhl didn't become a baddie until the
evil Zouna's magic brought out the evil in the hearts of just
about everyone in Marvel Land.
When he appeared in "A Sandra's Great Adventure", he was always in a hunt
for treasure and gold. He accomplished this by occasionally
following behind Kurino on his travels and dropping hints as to
where to find the "next big treasure".
After Valkyrie saved Marvel Land from Zouna's grasp, and its inhabitants
were freed from the dark spell, Zuhl was arrested by the police
in Marvel Land and put on trial. He was actually acquitted on
the condition that he gives back to the community by working as
a traveling merchant from Sandland. And so, he would try to
make an honest living for once. Which is why when Valkyrie and
Kurino set out to defeat Kamüz in "The Legend of Valkyrie", Zuhl
decided to help them by selling any useful weaponry he came across.
Zouna. Dark Lord, Wizard, and the Scourge of Marvel Land.
He was the main villain
in "The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Key of Time",
and is the most recognized villain that Valkyrie and Kurino have
faced. Zouna used his powers to corrupt the hearts of everyone
in Marvel Land and control it to his own purposes using the
legendary Key of Time. With this power, he created an army of
both living and robotic creatures to rule the world with.
Valkyrie traveled to Zouna's castle on the eastern continent of Marvel
Land in order to stop him.
Having succeeded, peace was restored to Marvel Land.
After his defeat, Zouna's power was strong enough to return from the
Abyss of Time and become a major threat to the universe in the
cross-over RPG Namco X Capcom for PlayStation 2. However,
with the help of Reiji Arisu and Xiao-mu, Valkyrie, Kurino
Sandra, and Sabine were able to once again defeat Zouna.
Kamüz is the main villain
of "The Legend of Valkyrie".
After Zouna's defeat,
and Valkyrie's restoring of Marvel Land by returning the Key of
Time, Kamüz decided he would seek the Golden Seed and use it to
make a wish with his heart to rule the world. However, through
Kamüz's power, the earth began to gradually decay and fall into
Valkyrie and Kurino managed to obtain the Golden Seed early on in their
adventure and quickly resolved to embark on a quest to sink the
Golden Seed into the mysterious "Northern Spring" of Marvel
Little did they know
that Kamüz would be there awaiting their arrival and his chance
to steal away the Golden Seed.
Kamüz failed in his
attempt, and once again the peace of the Earth was defended by
Valkyrie and Kurino.
The Black Valkyrie:
There is little information
regarding the Mysterious Black Valkyrie. Let alone her
whereabouts, true identity, origins, and what exactly her true
While still somewhat of a villain, she does not seem to be completely
evil. However, even this can be disputed.
refers to the Black Valkyrie as "the fallen one", and similar
titles. Presumably, the Black Valkyrie was cast down from the
heavens and sought to ruin the world whereas Valkyrie descended
from the heavens in an effort to save it.
As shown in the
picture, she makes an appearance in Namco X Capcom for
PlayStation 2, and the Japanese Arcade Only RPG, Druaga
Online: The Story of Aon, in which Gilgamesh, Young Ki,
Valkyrie, and Xeovalga eventually face her.
(Other than this, I
personally do not know in which game that the Black Valkyrie
makes her first appearance. It would have to be something in the
mainstream canon of the Valkyrie series--This, of course,
discounts crossover games like NXC and DO:SoA. The only three
Valkyrie games I have yet to find and play [due to their rarity,
or unavailability] are both remakes of "Key of Time"--The first
time being in the Japanese-Only Namco Anthology Vol. 2
for PSX. The other being the remake of "Key of Time" on Japanese
Cell Phones, and the last game; "Valkyrie no Densetsu Gaiden ~
Rosa no Bouken", which, to my understanding is not actually a
game, but a text adventure / digital comic book.
This paragraph is
subject to change as more information on the Black Valkyrie
Zouna's Minions; Black Sandras & Dark Quarkmen, and other
Primarily the Sandra Clan, and the Quarkman Tribe were Zouna's main
targets for mind control. Giving rise to "Black Sandras" and
"Dark Quarkmen". Other beasts include:
- Tatta タッタ : One of
the types of Marvel Land inhabitants Valkyrie & co. will
frequently encounter on their travels. They resemble
something of a Troll, Ogre, or Caveman. Typically, they
wield a stereotypical caveman's wooden club, or a boomerang.
In the remake of "Valkyrie no Bouken", Valkyrie ends up
helping their tribe in a rescue effort involving their
- Goblin ゴブリン : These
creatures resemble the typical green (or sometimes purple)
goblin of storybooks. They usually come in large numbers,
and appear in every level of "Valkyrie no Densetsu". A
general nuisance, they are always wielding spears.
- Fly Drill
フライドリル : For a clear picture of these beasts, simply look at
the box arts for both versions of "Valkyrie no Densetsu"
(Arcade and PC-Engine). They are part flying beast, part
Mandrill (a type of real-life jungle dwelling ape, for those
who don't know what a Mandrill is). A "flying monkey",
probably borrowed from "Wizard of Oz". They attack in large
numbers, and do nothing else but fly towards Valkyrie /
カマエルマン : They only appear in the first stage of "Valkyrie no
Densetsu", in the village of Sandland. Springing up from the
swamps and lashing at Valkyrie and Kurino with their
- Trent トレント : What
would a fantasy world be without walking and talking trees?
Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, and Lord of the Rings refers
to them as "Ents", "Tree-ents", or "Treants". Well, in
"Valkyrie", they're "Trents". And they're ruled over by a
"Boss Trent". They resemble a large, dead tree with wavering
branches that advance towards you. They appear in "Valkyrie
no Densetsu" and the remake of "Valkyrie no Bouken" for PSX.
They're good to kill and farm because instead of dropping
money, they drop Magic Spheres which restore MP.
デーモン : They come in the colors Red and Blue and appear
throughout the entire series. Normally, they completely
encircle you in a team of eight, usually. Shooting fireballs
at you all the while. They look like Japanese Red & Blue
"Oni" from various folklore. Having horns, long hair, fangs,
and a loincloth.
カオックス : They appear in all Valkyrie games except "Sandora no
Daibouken". These are especially tough to deal with. They
come in colors of red and blue, and will occasionally spawn
from treasure chests in "Valkyrie no Bouken" in
large--almost overwhelming--numbers. They can pass through
walls and shoot fireballs. They resemble a
"Jishi" mask. Basically, a Chinese "Lion" mask--with the
extravagant face paint and very long fangs.
ダダッタ : A Tatta, but wearing full-body bronze armor.
Willfully serving Zouna or any other evil authority. They're
a bit tougher than a normal Tatta. They wear horned helmets,
and use a Morning Star (Ball & Chain) as their primary
weapon. They are in all Valkyrie games.
- Talos タロス : Once a
docile beast of burden in Marvel Land. The presence of evil
has driven them to insanity. They are wild, feral
gray-colored bulls that will charge fiercely at anyone in
their way. They are in all Valkyrie games.
ロボチィアン : Animated Armor. Robotians were created by Zouna to
help subdue intruders. They resemble silver suits of armor
with a bright red cross emblazoned on the front of their
helmets. They shoot laser beams out of the red cross, too.
This makes them a formidable foe because of their ranged
capabilities. They are in all Valkyrie games.
ホノーリアン : Similar to the "Kaox", Honorians can also pop out
of treasure chests. They usually inhabit darkened or
enclosed areas such as dungeons or dark forests. They can
pass through walls and move at high speeds. They come in Red
and Blue colors, and resemble the "Will-o'-the-Wisps" of
シザース : Out of all of the larger monsters, Scissors are the
more common ones. They resemble a giant pair of reptile-like
scissors. They appear in all Valkyrie games and usually
fight by shooting debris at their victims.
- Quiz Phantom
なぞなぞ怪人 : Not really a "bad guy", but can be annoying
nevertheless. The Quiz Phantom makes occasional appearances
in "Sandora no Daibouken" and "Valkyrie no Densetsu". A
white mask-like face with red eyes, long hair, and goat-like
legs. The Quiz Phantom presents whoever approaches it with a
question or a riddle that the player must solve.
- Twin Gilas ツインギラス : A
large, blue, two-headed monster that appears in "Valkyrie no
Bouken" and "Valkyrie no Densetsu". A tough foe to fight
because it can attack in various ways.
ソーチキス : They have appeared all throughout the Valkyrie
series. They resemble alligators with oversized heads. While
slow on land, they move very quickly in the water--so pick
your battles wisely!
エレキマン : Elecman, or... in some cases, Elecmen are mage-like
beings that shoot electricity from their hands. They kind of
"Dogu" statue of ancient Japan. (The image of a "Dogu"
statue has appeared in other games. A monster in the
PlayStation 2 game "Okami", and also the character
Huitzil / Phobos from Capcom's "DarkStalkers" game
series.) They appear throughout the Valkyrie series.
ドクサス : Basically, a fast-moving scorpion. They appear in
"Valkyrie no Bouken", and in the form of a boss in "Valkyrie
no Densetsu". They can shoot fireballs and will chase
Valkyrie down without hesitation.
Similar to the "Druaga" series,
and a host of other video games and movies, the games were not released
in chronological order. Which is why I've done just that. Here is the
Valkyrie series in chronological order. (Excluding Cameos, Guest
appearances, and the like. Official canon only. I am also discounting
re-makes, new arrangements, and re-releases from the list. Such titles
are available for viewing in section five of this article.)
"A Sandra's Great Adventure: The Encounter with Valkyrie"
NAMCO ®, 1992.
Super Famicom [Japan] / SNES (Super Nintendo
Entertainment System) [Europe]*
*Released under the title Whirlo in Europe.
"The Adventure of Valkyrie: The Legend of the Key of Time"
NAMCO ®, 1986.
"The Legend of Valkyrie"
NAMCO ®, 1989.
Arcade [Japan] / PC-Engine (TurboGraphix-16) [Japan]
/ "Namco Museum Vol. 5" (©1997), PlayStation [Japan, U.S.A.,
The articles will be presented in
the chronological format as shown above. Please enjoy.