Maidenless No More
This week’s entry to Hamster’s Arcade Archives is something a little obscurer, a little less-played, and a little more special, as Namco’s forgotten top-down adventure The Legend of Valkyrie returns, ready to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Originally released to Japanese arcades in 1989, before later being ported to the PC Engine, The Legend of Valkyrie, (known by its original moniker of Valkyrie no Densetsu), attempts to take the popular fantasy RPG trend of the day and transition it to an arcade action-adventure. Players pick up the short sword of the titular hero, Valkyrie, as she sets out to plant the mythical Golden Seed and restore life to the crops of her dying homeworld, Xandra Land.
Valkyrie, accompanied by her reptilian sidekick Kurino, battles her way through a top-down fantasy world, fending off ghoulies, goblins, armored pigs, and other monsters on her epic quest to the Golden Seed’s ideal plant point, The Northern Fountain. While The Legend of Valkyrie mostly consists of chaotic, dungeon-crawling action, players can gather gold to spend on new weapons and spells to help our heroic duo on their quest. Check out the action in the video above, courtesy of YouTuber Media Pool.
While understandably dated by modern standards, The Legend of Valkyrie is a truly “magical feeling” release. It has lovely, detailed sprites, fun sound, nicely designed worlds, and an evocative, ethereal soundtrack. Namco’s forgotten adventure rarely turns up in retro compilations, (though it did see rerelease on PlayStation and Wii Virtual Console). Its addition to the Arcade Archives, at the very least, helps keep Valkyrie and Kurino’s mythic quest immortalized.
The Legend of Valkyrie is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.